Our Lady of Brexit
Roman Catholic Church

Our Lady of Brexit? Why not consecrate the UK to the Immaculate Heart of Mary?

It has been announced that Scotland is to be consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary “for the first time”. It is believed that the act will set Scotland apart for a sacred service, renew the faith of all Scottish Roman Catholics, and entrust all non-Catholic Scots to the care and protection of Our Lady. Quite why Scotland has had to wait so long isn’t entirely clear: England and Wales were consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1948, and re-consecrated in February of this year. “When England returns to Walsingham, Our Lady will return to England,” said Pope Leo XIII. The cart appears to have come before the horse.

The practice of Marian consecration and entrustment is centuries old, but it is a curiously arbitrary, if not incoherent thing. Why specifically consecrate Scotland or England & Wales to the Immaculate Heart of Mary when the whole world was consecrated by Pope Pius XII in 1942, and re-consecrated and re-re-consecrated by Pope John Paul II in 1982 and 1984, and re-re-re-consecrated by Pope Francis in 2013? (What is this reiterative consecration? May a man be re-consecrated a bishop? May bread and wine be re-re-consecrated in the Eucharist?) If the whole world has been consecrated multiple times to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, does that mean the United Kingdom has been latently consecrated? Is an implicit consecration sufficient?

It would seem not. Pope John Paul II himself apparently cast doubt on whether Russia had been included in his 1984 consecration, since that nation was not specifically mentioned:

The consecration of March, 1984, was done in front of 250,000 pilgrims. Again, the pope consecrated “the world” and hinted at Russia, as we have seen above. But moments after the consecration, John Paul II added some unscripted, off the cuff remarks, in which he implored Our Lady of Fatima to “enlighten especially the peoples of which You Yourself are awaiting our consecration and confiding.” These statements appeared on the cover of the March 26th 1984 edition of L’Osservatore Romano.

If the entire world and the human race had just been consecrated by the pope, who on earth could possibly be “awaiting consecration and confiding”? In making this statement, the Pope was publicly acknowledging that the consecration requested by Our Lady had still not been performed.

And yet many nations were not specifically mentioned. Where was China or India? Since this was 1984, where was specific mention of Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia or East Germany ? Who determines which sovereign states merit consecration to Mary, and which have to be absorbed by greater political or geographic entities? Why Scotland and not Serbia? Why England and Wales but not Quebec? Why not England without Wales, or Wales without England?

Does a pope really have to list all the nations of the world in order for global consecration to be efficacious? Does a presiding bishop have to name the specific country/region which is being consecrated in order that “Our Lady’s request” might be fulfilled?

If so, questions might be asked (indeed, they are being asked) about the efficacy of this year’s re-re-consecration of England and Wales (or questions about the competence or political motives of Cardinal Vincent Nichols):

The pre-event blurb specifically stated that Cardinal Nichols would re-consecrate England to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. He did mention in his sermon that he was going to ‘re-consecrate ourselves and country’ at the end of the Mass, but when we read the re-consecration prayer in the brochure that he actually recited, it didn’t actually mention England at all. It seems to be a problem with those affected by the post-conciliar diabolical disorientation – they can’t actually understand that a nation/person/place/item to be consecrated, has to be specifically mentioned as being the object of the consecration.  Hence, Russia still not being consecrated.

The conversation thread which follows that piece includes an interesting discussion about whether the advertised purpose or the presiding bishop’s heartfelt intention are sufficient to establish efficacy. It includes this comment:

We only went for the re-consecration because that is what we were told was going to happen. The question is – did it? The actual act did not refer to ‘England’, ‘our country’, ‘our nation’ or anything like that. So what was consecrated? ‘Ourselves’. What is defined by ‘ourselves’? That could define any group – those in the Cathedral on that day, the Diocese, the Catholic community in general…  why the vagueness and ambiguity? It was obviously a general act of consecration, but I think it’s stretching a point to consider it as an actual re-consecration of England. As some friends who attended wrote after the event:- “You can’t have a recipe for beef stew without putting beef in… and we think you can’t consecrate England if you don’t name England!”

There is clearly some intra-Catholic division about this.

Yet it is curious that Ireland (‘All Ireland’) has been consecrated, England & Wales have (has?) been consecrated, and Scotland is about to be consecrated. What is this divide and rule? Seriously, why has the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland never been consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary?

There is manifestly precedent for the consecration of political unions and geographic locations or even entire regions. Canada (created in 1867 with the federation of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec) was consecrated in 1947 and re-consecrated 1954, and re-re-consecrated in 2017. Europe was consecrated to Mary in 1309, and re-consecrated in 2003 “so that the Holy Virgin may make Europe a concert of nations committed to building together the civilization of love and peace!”. And the entire Middle East was consecrated to Mary as recently as June 2017.

Surely if a region as politically disparate and religiously divided as the Middle East may qualify as an entity worthy of Marian consecration, why not the United Kingdom? If a political federation created in 1867 may be consecrated, why not one which was forged in 1707?

‘Our Lady of Brexit’ may have been a humorous, demob-happy tweet from the outgoing associate director of the Anglican Centre in Rome, but those 12 stars on the flag of the European Union are the same as those on the flag of the Council of Europe, which are thought to have been inspired by Mary’s Corona Stellarum Duodecim. The Council of Europe was founded in 1949 and has 47 member states. It predates the European Union (currently 28 member states) by 44 years (or eight years if you bypass the Treaty of Maastricht and revert to the foundation of the EEC in 1957). The UK is leaving the EU: it is not leaving the Council of Europe.

Perhaps 31st March 2019 would be a good date for the Cardinals of Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland (‘All Ireland’) to come together to consecrate the United Kingdom to the Immaculate Heart of Mary (or just to the Blessed Virgin Mary if you don’t go in for that ‘immaculate’ stuff). It doesn’t matter a fig to Protestants (or atheists, humanists or followers of other faiths), of course. But every Brexit-supporting Roman Catholic along with all Mary-venerating Anglicans would be positively overjoyed, if not profoundly encouraged in their devotions and renewed in their reformed faith.

  • David

    Hhmm ! What a strange, specialised and minority interest matter this one is.
    But if this is what the Roman Church wishes to do, then that’s fine I think.

    However as we are thinking in large, geo-strategic terms, the main point that strikes me is this; that until the nations of the west turn back to God in humble repentance, once more accepting His supremacy, then their feeble and worsening attempts to strut about attempting to make themselves into gods, can only lead into a deeper and ever more dysfunctional society.

    • Jack wholehearted agrees with your second paragraph. You don’t accept Mariam doctrine, fine, but the intent behind the consecration to Mary is precisely to ask her to intercede for this.

      Recall the Battle of Lapanto, October 7th, 1571? The forces of the Holy League confronted the superior power of the Ottoman Empire. Defeat would have resulted in a seismic shift from East to West. Pope Pius V, ordered the churches of Rome opened for prayer day and night, encouraging the faithful to petition the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary through the recitation of the Rosary. The rest is history – as we know it.

      What an ally in Heaven. “Our Lady of Victory”, the Mother of our Messiah, who proclaimed God mighty and victorious in her Magnificat, and spoke of the strength of His arm to cast down the mighty and exault the lowly. He is triumphant indeed, but there are still battles for Him to fight in all the Lepanto’s that rage within our own troubled souls. In the midst of these battles, Christ the Lord fights for us still, and Our Lady of Victory is at His side interceding for us.

  • Dominic Stockford

    Simple answer to the title question, ‘Because her heart was not immaculate’.
    See Luke 1:47 “…my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour” – were her heart immaculate she would need no Saviour.

    • Astonishing that you misrepresent the actual Catholic teachings on the Immaculate Conception, which includes Our Blessed Lady, like all men and women, being in need of Christ as her Saviour.
      Disagree if you choose. But why the falsehoods?

    • ardenjm

      Oh dear, Dominic. This is very poor.
      It’s Catholic Marian Theology 101 to learn that thanks to the prevenient grace earned by the sacrifice of her Divine Son, the grace of the Immaculate Conception EXTENDS Christ’s salvific work, most fittingly, to the salvation of at least one person (obviously not Himself since His Person is Divine – and thus not in need of saving (you accept that much, right?)) from Original Sin.
      The Immaculate, therefore, is not less saved (or to use your distortion not presented as not needing a Saviour) on the contrary Our Lady is MORE saved. Saved even from Original Sin and from all occasions thereafter from personal sin. In that sense, she, more than any other human being in history can sing of God being her Saviour.

      Which explains why she does exactly that in her Magnificat.

      What on earth DID you learn in Seminary?

      • Well, where have you been all day? Jack has been fighting heresy all day without support.

        • ardenjm

          Sorry about that.

          It’s funny how Our Lady’s place and role is, as prophesied, the means God uses, “so that the secret thoughts of many might be revealed”…

          • You are forgiven. What you say is so true. It made Jack’s day reading your comments. He can now retire from the fray with an uplifted spirit.

          • Correction: There was support from Terry Mushroom and Dolphinfish. Apologies to both and for the silent support from a Nicola Claudio Salvatore and one Adsum.

    • Simon Platt

      Crikey! Did they not even teach you about that at Downside? Not to mention the seminary!

  • magnolia

    Well they will do what they will do.

    Walsingham is a place that having been once I would avoid assiduously. They seem to think the Virgin Mary is honoured by the acquisition of garishly painted plaster of Paris and weird pictures flickering between her and padre pio. Perhaps Jesus’ mother didn’t even like household tat and garish statues. Perhaps she was a minimalist; probably little choice in those days. Who knows? Too many drawn to this sort of thing don’t awfully like real women anyway!

    • meltemian

      A bit like Lourdes then?

      • Stig

        Having been to both I think Lourdes is worse. My wife even drank the water, seeming perfectly healthy at the time, and six months later she was dead!

        • CliveM

          Oh dear. I laughed and now I feel bad.

        • Cressida de Nova

          Was she a Protestant?

          • Stig

            Yes, she was. I thought you were going to say it only works for Catholics. But I didn’t see anyone else spitting it out.

          • ardenjm

            Of course you’re meant to swallow it! The water in Lourdes itself is not only perfectly fine it’s also pure spring water! I can’t number all the times I’ve drunk it.

            If, though, you bring a plastic bottle of it home from Lourdes and sit it in the sun for 6 months don’t be surprised by the algae that grows and don’t take a swig of it!
            And if you use the baths (basically much the same as Baptists’ baptistries) don’t swig the water from that either! Yes, the (v cold!) spring water is piped through constantly, but, all the same, a lot of pilgrims have been plunged into it before you…

            I love the down to earth physicality of Lourdes. I’m even reconciled to the tackiness of the tat in the town. Those who snootily stand aloof from it all are just being middle class and WASPY.

          • Cressida de Nova

            Oh I don’t know about that. It’s not necessarily WASPY to not like Lourdes . Tat is not a prequisite for being Catholic …in fact in my experience (fortunately) it is the opposite. Excuse my middle class Catholic manners but I would appreciate it if you did not address HG as His Barbecued Fried Crispiness. I know you say it in jest but it is not really appropriate on this middle class blog. I requested your reprieve from the chopping block for the reason that your posts are very informative and interesting in representing the Catholic position.
            However the Catholic charm factor needs work. A few decades in France might do the trick or alternatively see Clive !

          • ardenjm

            I shall do my level best…

          • Cressida de Nova

            (beaming a smile
            to you)

          • Lol ….

            “His Barbecued Fried Crispiness” is very funny and Jack is trusts and hopes HG will not be too offended. He’s been called far worse. Like you, Jack greatly admires his comments and hopes he will survive the snipping that is starting.

          • Cressida de Nova

            Sniping heh. Well I hope he stays and supports you because I need a holiday. My work here is done. Terry is on the scene now and also Albert fronts up occasionally, so you wont be completely alone fighting the onslaught. Au revoir et bonne chance! x

          • God Bless and keep you, Cressie.

        • Terry Mushroom

          What a curious non sequitur.

  • Anton

    Maybe it wears off…

  • Dolphinfish

    Rome thinks in centuries, and her thoughts are analogous to Russian foreign policy – a puzzle inside a riddle wrapped in an enigma. She knows what she’s doing. No need for Protestant brains to overheat. This kind of stuff is why it’s great being a Catholic.

    • magnolia

      If the Holy Spirit is like a wind and it is, then if the Roman Catholic church were at full mast with its sails catching the wind it would be thinking in seconds and minutes rather than centuries.. If it is thinking in centuries there is clearly something badly wrong….

  • “but it is … curiously arbitrary”

    Well, quite. Given all the supposed Papal powers, you have to wonder about a lot of things of this sort. Given his supposed power to grant indulgences, remit time in Purgatory, and various things of that kind, you really have to wonder why he devotes any of his waking hours to anything else. If the answer is that “he only acts as specially guided by the Holy Spirit”, then you have the other horn of the dilemma: all the other things he gets up to, which are usually explained (by Rome’s apologists, that is), with the clarification that this guidance is only very occasional, and doesn’t apply to huge swathes of what he does.

    i.e. Horn 1 of dilemma: the Papacy, over the centuries, basically behaves like any other purely human institution, which indicates the conclusion that that’s exactly what it is. A purely human institution. Problem for Rome’s apologist: this denies core Roman claims about the nature and distinctive glories of the Papacy.

    Horn 2 of the dilemma: if the supposed special guidance of the Holy Spirit doesn’t actually extend to the bulk of the things that the Papacy does – not just in small things, but large – such as Crusades, announcing Indulgences, devoting this or that nation to Mary, teaching things that disagree in form and substance with teachings of predecessors – then the doctrine of special guidance is simply a theological word game, unrelated to Jesus’ teaching that “by their fruits you shall know them”. Problem for Rome’s apologist: nobody wants to admit that a doctrine which they proclaim is one of their distinctive glories, separating them from the messy chaos of churches not in fellowship with Rome, is actually just a theological word game, unrelated to Jesus’ teaching.

    • Dolphinfish

      The pope cannot remit time in purgatory. Unfortunately, the doctrine of indulgences is massively misunderstood and it’s best for Protestants to steer clear of it. Stick to interpreting “Jesus’ teaching”, and splitting into ever smaller splinters.

      • Dominic Stockford

        Moe honesty in being apart when you don;t agree, than in being together and pretending that you do agree. I point you to ‘His Grace’s’ words above: “There is clearly some intra-Catholic division about this.”

        • Catholics are not the Borg Collective.

  • magnolia

    Such unbiblical and lessersensical prayers are at best bent and fractured conduits turned from the best course for the Holy Spirit to work through.

    Other more biblical intercessions for Scotland have been made. Some good ones on Youtube. If Scotland returns to Christ my bet (non-monetary) would be that other intercessions such as these were more powerful.

  • Interesting year 2017:

    500 years since the Reformation;
    100 years since the Fatima Messages delivered by Our Lady to the world; and
    50 years since the decriminalisation of homosexuality.

    The act of consecration of Scotland to Mary will be carried out by the country’s Bishops at the Marian shrine at Carfin on September 3, 2017.

    • Anton

      Also 100 years since the Balfour Declaration.

      • And the Battle of Passchendaele.
        One of those years then, especially in the light of current astronomical events.

        • Anton

          And the Russian revolution.

          There also appears to be a significant date, for the stalemate at Passchendaele was broken in the Allies’ favour on the day the Balfour Declaration went through Lloyd George’s War Cabinet, October 31st (although the letter was dated and sent to Lord Rothschild two days later), and this was also the day on which Luther published his theses which started the Reformation. The Russian revolution was around the same time too.

          • carl jacobs

            The Glorious October Revolution occurred on November 7th, 1917.

            All Power to the Soviets!

          • Merchantman


          • Anton

            They certainly had a good national anthem.

          • betteroffoutofit

            “They certainly had a good national anthem” : Them as know about these things told me it was “Happy Birthday to You ” played backwards!!!

          • 50 years since the “Summer of Love” when 400 million world-wide viewers watched the live television broadcast of The Beatles’ cryptic and diabolical song “All You Need Is Love”.

            50 years since Pope Saint John Paul became a Cardinal.

          • Anton

            (You might add a “II” after John Paul for clarification.)

            50 years since the heinous Abortion Act legalised it.

          • Dominic Stockford

            And he was neither Pope nor John Paul at the time he became a cardinal.

            As for the Abortion Act, I wonder whether the BBC will try and puff that up as it has another matter?

          • Manfarang

            Almost 50 years
            Lady Madonna”

            Lady Madonna, children at your feet
            Wonder how you manage to make ends meet
            Who finds the money when you pay the rent
            Did you think that money was Heaven sent?
            Friday night arrives without a suitcase
            Sunday morning creeping like a nun
            Monday’s child has learned to tie his bootlace
            See how they run

            Lady Madonna, baby at your breast
            Wonders how you manage to feed the rest?

            See how they run

            Lady Madonna lying on the bed
            Listen to the music playing in your head

            Tuesday afternoon is never ending
            Wednesday morning papers didn’t come
            Thursday night your stockings needed mending
            See how they run

            Lady Madonna, children at your feet
            Wonder how you manage to make ends meet

      • And 50 years since Sgt. Pepper, and since I passed English language O Level.
        I must decide how to celebrate these epochal events.

    • Rhoda

      50 years since the reunification of Jerusalem and establishment of Israeli control over the Old City after the Six day war (June 1967).

    • IrishNeanderthal

      For some reason, this reminds me of the mathematician John Conway (quite a significant one, to boot.)

      He has four children by his first wife, two by his second, and one by his third. If he wants one more child, will he have to marry an infinte series of wives?

    • 62 years since a significant birth… as I see it at least.

      • Anton

        2017 since another… and I reckon autumn (Tabernacles) is the time of year He was born.

      • Kevin Costner?

  • Father David

    My own personal devotion is for and with “Our Lady of the Remainers”

    • Dominic Stockford

      She’s definitely dead.

  • Stig

    Forgive my ignorance, but what concrete benefits is this supposed to result in, apart from a bit of publicity for the RC Church? Mary was simply a human being used by God for His purposes, just all His followers are. So why not consecrate those countries to any or all Christians instead?

  • carl jacobs

    “No, Moses. We weren’t offering Latria to that Golden Calf. We were only offering Dulia.”

    • Jack understands these concepts are difficult for those incapable of grasping complexity in spiritual matters. This will be doubly difficult for anyone blinded by the anti-Gospel of Calvinism. Mary’s flower is the Rose, not the Tulip.

      • carl jacobs

        Idolatry is not a difficult concept.

        • Well apparently, from your comments, it is.

          • carl jacobs

            Complexity gets introduced when people need to justify themselves – like (say} when they write long tomes justifying the separation of latria from dulia. But the concept remains simple – worshipping the creation (ahem – a woman) instead of the Creator.

          • Which rather proves you don’t understand the honour and devotion Christians pay to Our Lady. In your “eyes” she is rotting in the soil awaiting the resurrection of the dead and the Last Judgement. In truth, she is .

          • Excuse me!
            That may be the view of Jehovah’s Witnesses and 7th day Adventists, but Protestants know that Mary is with her Lord and, ahem, Saviour awaiting the Last Judgement.
            But that does not mean that she is standing by the prayer hotline.
            There are generally considered to be five principles of answered prayer, contained in the following texts:
            John 16:23.
            Psalm 66:18
            1 John 5:14
            Mark 11:24
            Luke 18:1
            None of these involve prayers to Mary or any other dead person. ‘Should not a people seek their God? Should they seek the dead on behalf of the living?’ (Isaiah 8:19).

          • IanCad

            Mary in Heaven!!!??? Where in Holy Scripture is that written?

          • Father David

            Well, if she isn’t in Heaven then where the Hell is she?

          • IanCad

            In the grave, as is King David and all the other departed.

          • Explain the Transfiguration.

          • IanCad

            Your not serious Jack?? The Son of God, The Creator, Our hope, Our Redeemer – and you have the gall to compare mortal Mary to Him??

          • Where’s the comparison? You claim Mary is in the ground along with David. How come Moses and Elijah appear next to Christ as He spoke with them?

          • IanCad

            Because there is biblical evidence for the translation of Moses and Elijah, along with Enoch, to heaven.

          • Then the evidence is that saints do go to heaven and some are assumed bodily.

          • IanCad

            You’ll have to show from the Bible where others have been so transported to the pearly gates.

          • Why? The fact has been established in scripture that saints are in heaven and at least has been assumed in his body without physical corruption.

          • IanCad


          • Her body, that is.

          • Lol …. naughty but funny!

          • Anton

            You deserve the answer Purgatory, not that it exists!

          • “Protestants know that Mary is with her Lord … “
            Well, excuse, Jack. Protestants don’t actually speak with one voice on this (or a range of other issues), now do they? Or is Carl no longer a Protestant?

      • Typo. I think you meant ‘authentic’ or ‘apostolic’ not ‘anti’.

        • carl jacobs

          I keep pressing the up button but it won’t register more than one vote.

        • No. Jack stands by his comment – 100%.

      • IanCad

        Roses !! Tulips !! You’ve got to click on this Jack:

    • Indeed. Distinctions without a difference and more so in the mind of the average R Catholic.

  • carl jacobs

    The irony is that Mary doesn’t know anything about this. It’s just the huffing and puffing of Marian idolatry.

    • Anton

      I suspect she does, and weeps.

      • carl jacobs

        But how would she know? Leaving aside all the attributes of Deity assigned to her by the RCC, she is as separated from this world as we are from her.

        But I will say this. I was originally going to write “doesn’t know or care” but changed it for exactly the reason you mentioned.

        • Anton

          I believe the dead are aware, and they intercede according to the Book of Revelation.

          • Then why not pray for their intercession and “consecrate” oneself to them? The word used by Saint John Damascene (see above) is “anathémenoi”. The same word from which we derive “anathema” which can mean “set above,” “suspended,” “banned,” and usually “accursed.” It is the Greek word used to translate the Hebrew word “charem” for those people or things which belong to God as either holy or cursed. The same idea is preserved in Latin where “sacrosanctum” can refer to persons who are either “holy” or “cursed”.

            Consecration to a particular saint is the Christ-centered. Consecration to Mary meaning is: “In this way we can better show our attachment to our Master”, Christ the Lord.

            The whole point of consecration to Mary is not to exalt Mary to the level of deity or to place her in competition with Christ. True consecration to Mary leads to greater love and service for Christ.

          • Anton

            The saints in heaven intercede with God, we intercede with God. Why should we intercede via them when we are guaranteed a hearing in the throne room if we pray through Christ? Intercession is man to God and Christ is uniquely qualified for that role. Nobody is recorded as doing what you suggest in Acts, after all (an argument that has nothing to do with sola scriptura, so please don’t divert).

          • It’s an argument that rests on the premise that sola scriptura is all there is. So it is not a “diversion”.

          • Anton

            I am merely using scripture as precedent, and as by far the earliest documents we have about the church in the apostolic era, which is normative.

            God has appointed Jesus as mediator between man and God. That means we can be certain our prayers get a hearing (even if the answer is No) if we pray through Christ.

            Where is the guarantee that if we pray through a deceased person whom we believe to be in heaven then our prayer will reach Christ (and thence his Father)?

            We could be wrong that the person is in heaven (although I am confident Mary is). We could be wrong that they are licensed and able to pass prayers on. We could be wrong that they hear us; if a thousand people pray to Christ at the same time then He has sufficient bandwidth because He is God, but Saint So-and-so does not necessarily have that capacity.

            We have not been told much about what goes on in heaven. There are so many uncertainties which you don’t acknowledge. I’ll stick with prayer through Christ.

          • Translation: Anton doesn’t know because the bible doesn’t tell him so.

            Fine. Catholics do know, because the Church, resting on scripture, Sacred Tradition, and coming into all Truth, inspired by the Holy Spirit, teaches them so.

          • Anton

            “Translation” means putting your words in my mouth, an entirely illegitimate procedure about which you would rightly grumble if I did it to you. As you are the Catholic, perhaps you would clarify:

            Is it the case that Rome claims to know who is definitely in heaven because of miracles they have supposedly interceded for?

            And doesn’t that mean that Rome tacitly permits trial prayer to uncanonised people who might not be in heaven, as a way to find out?

          • The canonisation of a Saint is an infallible degree of the Pope that the person concerned has achieved the full Beatific vision, yes.

            This occurs at the conclusion of a long process requiring extensive proof that the candidate for canonisation has lived and died in such an exemplary and holy way that s/he is worthy to be recognised as a saint and as an exemplar. The steps are Servant of God, Venerable, Blessed and then Saint.

            The Church’s official recognition of sanctity means the person is in Heaven and that s/he may be publicly invoked and mentioned. To be canonised as a Saint, ordinarily two miracles must have been performed by God through the intercession of the Blessed after his/her death.

          • Anton

            Thank you Jack.

            No more questions.

          • Anton

            This occurs at the conclusion of a long process requiring extensive proof that the candidate for canonisation has lived and died in such an exemplary and holy way that s/he is worthy to be recognised as a saint and as an exemplar

            Yeah, sure. St George was among those saints “whose names are justly reverenced among men, but whose actions are known only to God” according to Pope Gelasius I (Wikipedia on St George).

          • Thought you had no more questions to ask? Wondered how long this would last. The processes changed, as you well know if you’ve read that article. Popular acclaim is no longer sufficient for certainty concerning canonisation.

          • Anton

            So delist him.

          • That ordinary believers, servants of God,are all saints in the NT doesn’t give pause for thought re this Catholic hierarchy of holiness?

          • It’s not a “hierarchy of holiness”. Not every proclaimed Christian will enter paradise. Goats and Sheep and all that. The title is reserved for those only where the Church is certain they are in Heaven. There will be more, as yet unknown to the earthly Church, who die in a state of perfect grace, who will also be there (the Church Triumphant). Others will be in Purgatory (the Church Penitent). Together with those on earth, (the Church Militant) they are the collective People of God.

          • Yet there is no reticence to call all believers on earth saints though time may prove some were not for they fall away from faith. Again, in my view, the Spirit of the NT is in conflict with Church Tradition. The NT entitles all believers as saints (a title for all God’s people whether they are saintly or not). Catholic Tradition calls only some saints.

            The NT confers sainthood on all believers on the basis of their professed faith in Christ; by such confession they are God’s ‘set apart’ or ‘consecrated’ ones set apart for him by the death of Christ . Catholic Tradition insists on waiting to see a life lived. The former views sainthood through the finished work of Christ the latter through the works of the believer. The different and opposing dynamics of the gospel and RC theology are again revealed; one lays stress on divine initiative the other on human accomplishment.

          • “The former views sainthood through the finished work of Christ the latter through the works of the believer. “

            That’s not Catholic belief. Because grace is not irresistible and can be lost too from one’s soul by grievous sin, our life of faith new must be strengthened and deepened by our life and the reception of the sacraments. There is also a temporal consequence to personal sin; it carries a debt we must pay to perfect ourselves. Temporal punishment is a penalty imposed on us, either on earth or in purgatory, by which we satisfy the temporal debt we owe to God for our sins.

            “Again, in my view, the Spirit of the NT is in conflict with Church Tradition.”

            In the Old Testament, God made a distinction between the guilt of sin, which was an eternal debt, and the temporal debt that was still owed even after the guilt was forgiven. The classic case is David, who sinned in taking another man’s wife, Bathsheba, and arranging for her husband’s death (2 Sam. 11 & 12). Though God forgave David, when he repented, the child born of their adulterous union died in punishment for David’s sin.

            Forgiveness of guilt remits our eternal debt (paid only in hell), but it doesn’t free us from making satisfaction in time for disturbing God’s order. Satisfaction is made either by being punished or by offering something else to God in place of punishment (prayer, almsgiving, self-mortification, or sacrifice). An example of this is found in 2 Maccabees 12:39-45, which tells how sacrifices were offered for fallen warriors, that they might be delivered from their sins. You don’t accept this book as canonical, but it shows a common Jewish belief, in the last centuries before Christ, that the temporal debt of sin was paid by offering sacrifice, even for the departed.

            Protestants often assume that everything in the Old Testament was wiped away by Christ, unless clearly reaffirmed in the New Testament. The more reasonable assumption is that Old Testament teachings not clearly abrogated in the New Testament would continue in the Church. Jesus said that He didn’t come to destroy the Old Testament law and the teachings of the prophets, but to fulfil them. In that light, we understand His words, “Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come” (Matt 12:32). This implies that other sins may be forgiven in the age to come, i.e., in the next life. Since that can’t apply to anyone who dies outside the grace of God – after death it’s too late to be saved – and anyone who dies in the grace of God has already had his eternal debt forgiven, it must refer to the temporal debt of those who die in God’s grace.

            Purgatory is the name given by Church Fathers to the state or condition of saved souls, (saints in your terminology) in which they undergo punishment for sins whose temporal debt they still owe. The word “purgatory” isn’t found in the Bible, but then neither is the word “Trinity” or “Incarnation.” These are words coined to express doctrines either taught or implied in the Bible. Purgatory is implied particularly in I Corinthians 3:10-15, in which St. Paul writes that Christ-centered works will survive the testing of fire, but self-centered works will be consumed. “If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.”

          • Thanks for full comment Jack. I agree there are often temporal consequences of sin that grace does not remove. David being a good example of this. However, they are temporal; they finish at death. There is no biblical suggestion of an after death purgatory. This is another RC invention. Purgatory is this life not the after life. Far too much is being injected into the 1 Cor 3 passage. It is a metaphor. It describes how some will be saved IN NO MORE or BARELY. Much of their life’s service ( in this case, their teaching) will prove to be worthless on the day of judgement. But there is no sense of enduring a further time of purification. This idea is foreign to both old and new testaments. As I say, only in this life must inevitable consequences be borne. Anything further is the result of faulty human logic, a doctrine built on air.

            But this is a good example of what I mean by Catholic Tradition that goes beyond Scripture creating doctrines that militate against the clear sense of Scripture and thus contradict it. Death takes the believer immediately into paradise… Abraham’s bosom… home with the Lord.

          • And a baptised man, freed from original sin, who has lived a totally depraved life, and killed, murdered, raped and robbed an oppressed people? A death-bed repentance without restoring God’s order and paying the temporal debt owed? How is hein a stateof

          • Don’t you ever sleep. Can’t answer in ful just now. The thief on the cross was with Christ in paradise that very day. More later perhaps.

          • Occasionally. Let’s call it a contribution towards my penance.

            The thief was humiliated and crucified for his sin. We know nothing about his life apart from him being a thief. Watching Our Lord, an innocent man, die such a brutal death, caused him much anguish too. Jack would say that’s some purification!

          • IanCad

            No John – you are reading the verse incorrectly. The thief did was given a ticket to Heaven that day. The train leaves at the resurrection.

          • magnolia

            The Acts of Paul and Thecla are wonderful reading, but even I, unabashed (albeit relatively moderate) supernaturalist as I am have to reluctantly admit they are a bit OTT and racy, and probably earned their place outside the canon!

          • Moderate Mystic Magnolia is better – good alliteration too.

          • Anton

            Protestants often assume that everything in the Old Testament was wiped away by Christ, unless clearly reaffirmed in the New Testament.

            It’s Catholics who do that. Protestants are all too prone to thunder “we are not under law” from the pulpit while standing beneath an engraving of the Ten Commandments! The key to proper understanding of the issue is the notion of covenant. The Mosaic covenant was only for ancient Israel and was fulfilled in Christ. The covenant with Noah remains in place unchanged. If it didn’t then you’d better start worrying about another Flood when it rains hard.

          • Never pray for a person in need to Christ – or ask them to pray for you? What’s the difference?

          • Anton

            In order:

            1. It’s not about the cause for which you pray, it’s about who you immediately direct the prayer to;

            2. Asking somebody to pray for you isn’t the same as asking them to carry *your* prayer to Christ.

          • The living person is asking you to pray to God on their behalf for His assistance. When Jack asks a person to pray for him to Christ, he is doing the same thing. Accept Mary is in Heaven, alive and with her son, and remains a part of the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ and Communion of Saints, and it all falls into place.

          • Anton

            You could be wrong that a persons in heaven are so licensed. You could be wrong that they hear us; if a thousand people implore Christ at the same time then He has sufficient bandwidth to hear them all because He is God, but others do not necessarily have that capacity. It all rests on miracles that Rome says have been done, and which match what was asked for. These are most commonly healings. Believe them all, and the explanation, if you wish; as for me, I’ll pray direct through Christ. Doesn’t it remain the case, though, that people must have tried it with uncanonised persons for them ever to have got canonised?

          • But Jack knows he is not wrong – that’s the point.

          • Anton

            It is possible to be certain and wrong.

            And my question? If people get canonised following miracles after somebody has exhorted an uncanonised deceased person, does that exhortation not contradict Catholic regulation?

          • ardenjm

            No, of course not. Much like the setting of the Canon of Scripture, the Church’s declaration of canonisation of a saint is a recognition of what God’s grace has accomplished in them. It doesn’t confer sainthood onto the person – merely recognises it. Just as the Church’s recognition of the Canon of Scripture is a recognition of their Divine inspiration.

            The Feast of All Saints aptly anticipates your objections. We do not know the vast majority of the saints. Still, it pleases God that some should be known to us by name and their stories told for the mutual building up of God’s Church.

          • Anton

            So, if you pray to/through a deceased person and that deceased person is subsequently canonised then it’s OK… but you didn’t now they were going to be canonised! Therefore it’s OK to pray to/through ANY deceased person in the hope they’ll be canonised?

          • ardenjm

            You make it conditional: since you know your prayers are addressed to God alone. It’s not complicated: you leave it to God’s judgement. Who knows, for example, if that poor priest who had his head decapitated in France last year will be canonised a martyr. Given his death – his chilling last words: Satan va-t-en: Satan be gone! the chances are he will be canonised. In between times I ask him to pray before God – for peace in our troubled world, for the conversion of Muslims to Christ and for courage to bear witness to Christ should the time ever come. I have every confidence that God will answer my prayers as best He see fit – whether this priest is canonised or not.
            God likes to multiply His instruments: He wants to say, ‘well done good and faithful servant enter in to the joy of your Master’. He appoints angels to do guardianship ‘work’. He’s a jealous God but a generous Father. It pleases Him that we see His glory in His saints and see the bonds of charity that bind us together in love and prayer.

          • ardenjm

            That is an EXCELLENT answer, HJ.

          • Thank you, much appreciated.

          • IanCad

            There is only one intercessor Anton and it’s not the dead and certainly not Mary. They are in the grave and out of it.

            “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;” 1 Timothy 2:5

          • Anton

            I’m not suggesting that we ask the dead to pray for us, or address our prayers through them! I’m suggesting that they are praying. And my grounds for that suggestion are entirely biblical.

            A Catholic could respond to you that 1 Tim 2:5 requires all prayer to go through Jesus as the last step before reaching His Father, but does not rule out prayer going from you to Mary to Christ to the Creator. In strict logic that is correct, but I have posted below why I pray only through Christ and why that is the only sound practice.

          • IanCad

            Anton, the dead are asleep, and until the Second Coming will remain in that unknowing state: if they are His, those sleepers will awake when resurrected on that glorious day.

          • Anton

            If they are asleep, how come Jesus spoke to Moses at the Transfiguration, and how do you explain Rev 7:9-10 in which the deceased of the tribulation cry out in praise some time before their resurrection?

          • IanCad

            John was in vision of the future. What he saw were the redeemed, as v. 11 makes clear.

          • Anton

            But it is still between their death and their resurrection, regardless of when it takes place in our calendar.

          • IanCad

            But the throne is in Heaven and access to glory is only granted through the resurrection, which had to occur prior..

          • Anton

            And what of Rev 6:9-11?

            I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. 10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” 11 Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.

            That’s before their resurrection because it is before the Second Coming, and 1 Corinthians 15:23 is clear that the faithful are resurrected (just) after that.

          • IanCad

            The souls under the altar is figurative and is a parallel to that of the cry for Abel’s blood. It cannot be used as a proof text for any transfer to Heaven prior to the resurrection.

          • Anton


          • ardenjm

            There we go, Anton, sounding like a Catholic interpreter of scripture!
            I’m so glad our conversations on other threads are bearing such immediate fruit.
            ; )

            Deo gratias!

          • Anton

            And also with you!

          • Their bodies sleep but they are awake.

          • IanCad

            No John. The dead know not anything. Not sure from where in the bible you derive your view.
            The first lie was when Satan said “You shall not surely die” Many, many Christians have swallowed this falsehood; the acceptance of which is the path to Spiritualism.

          • The cry of the dead martyrs is one. The rich man in hell is another. The suffering of the damned is conscious. The OT envisages the realm of the dead greeting new arrivals. Paul considered absent from the body and at home with the Lord far better. The unresurrected redeemed in heaven are consciously praising. The thief on the cross is promised he will be with Christ in paradise. These all point to conscious existence in the afterlife prior to resurrection. This has been the teaching of all mainstream Christianity.

            Sleep is a euphemism for death as Jesus makes clear in John 11. However, Jesus also makes clear death has various dimensions.

          • IanCad

            Oh Dear John!! We are miles apart here.
            The cry of the martyrs should be understood in the light of the blood of Abel. His blood cries out; not himself – he is dead.
            The story of Dives and Lazarus is a parable; surely the just and the wicked have no contact after the judgment.
            Takes more than a paragraph to address the absent from the body verse as being no justification for any immediate transfer to Heaven. The unresurrected redeemed being in Heaven makes a mockery of His Second Coming.
            The thief is not in Heaven – see my earlier response to that common misunderstanding.
            I will say it again – the belief that the dead do not really die is the foundation of Spiritualism and an affront to the Word.

          • Ian, I agree Dives and Lazarus is parabolic. Indeed all biblical glimpses into the afterlife involve imagery. However, Luke 16 has no potency or point if there is not consciousness. It is about rewards for a life lived.

            Why does the unresurrected redeemed being with Christ make a mockery of his second coming?

          • IanCad

            Mockery was not the best choice of word. I should merely have pointed out that the term “unresurrected redeemed in Heaven” seems to be an impossible state of being.

  • A Berean

    “The practice of Marian consecration and entrustment is centuries old, but it is a curiously arbitrary, if not incoherent thing.” That’s a rather interesting way of saying that this has no biblical justification whatsoever, which it most certainly does not.
    As for why England and others keep being re-consecrated It’s hard to resist the suspicion that the reason it keeps being repeated is for the publicity and PR purposes. It’s an attempt to make the RC church look good.

  • Of course, as a sola scriptura Protestant I consider all this foreign to Christianity and not a little distasteful. I respect HJ and wonder how he can buy into this.

    On a more particular note, I’m not so sure about the whole idea of consecrating a people group. What is meant by consecration here? Can things unclean be consecrated to Christ (or Mary)? Is this not rather like Antiochus offering a pig in the holy place?

    • Maalaistollo

      I rather fear that HJ would consider that your spiritual eyes have been blinded by the pernicious combination of scripture and reason. Sola mumbo jumbo is what you should be striving for!

      • Dominic Stockford

        Harsh, but true.
        I believe ‘hokey cokey’ is in fact a better phrase for what they get up to.

        • Anton
          • Dominic Stockford


        • Maalaistollo

          Isn’t it more properly ‘hocus pocus’, derived from the words ‘Hoc est corpus’ used in the mass?

          • Dominic Stockford

            hocus pocus was transmogrified into hokey cokey – sing the song and think about the ritualistic actions of the roman mass. You’ll see it then.

          • ardenjm

            I shall never forget the moment sitting in the Chapel where Calvin started preaching his Reform in Geneva. A plain simple chapel with a huge pulpit – unlike the grand Catholic Church round the corned they nicked from the Catholics and then iconoclastically stripped bare in their proto-talibanesque destruction of images.
            Suddenly the door opened and a fetching gaggle of American Mennonites came in – awe-inspired to be in the ultimate place of origins of their own religious movement. They moved around the Chapel wide-eyed and on reaching the pulpit where Calvin himself had preached the true Gospel of sola fide, sola gratia and above all sola scriptura they proceeded to caress and touch the pulpit.
            It was exactly like the pious ladies at Lourdes touching the grotto.
            It was quite moving really – to see these pilgrims touching relics. Because that is exactly what they were and that was exactly what they were doing. And the Good Lord has no problem at all with such incarnated, tangible spirituality.
            Why he gives us scriptural mandate to make use of such relics as conduits of His grace and encourages it.
            The Mass is the ultimate prayerful expression of that Incarnated truth.
            If David danced before the Ark of the Tabernacle and the in utero John the Baptist leapt for joy at the voice of the coming of the New Ark, Mary, carrying the Divine Presence, Emmanuel, I have no problem at all with making gestures in the liturgy of the Mass.
            As with virtually everything else I’ve read of you, Dominic: you are wilfully – and spitefully – misguided.
            Haven’t studied any Scott Hahn yet, manifestly.

          • Just as Adam and Eve hid from God, Dominic uses his own self-constructed fig-leaf to cover his guilt.

    • carl jacobs

      I respect HJ and wonder how he can buy into this.


      • Simple. Jack is a Catholic and follows Catholic teaching i.e. the true Gospel. You can’t pluck the Marian doctrines out of the Church’s soteriology and ecclesiology and expect to comprehend it.

        A Calvinist mind-set is, at best, invincibly ignorant to such truths, being fundamentally hostile to matter, seeing it as opposed to spirit, and unable to accept we cooperate with God graces rather than being helpless subjects of His election or damnation.

        All one can do is patiently attempt to explain what rightful devotion to Mary is, shared by Orthodox Christians and Catholics.

        • carl jacobs

          I am fundametally hostile to the elevation of Mary into a functional fourth member of the Trinity. All your rationalizations cannot change the fact that the RCC has done exactly that.

          • Anton

            Indeed – by progressively assigning to Mary various of his attributes: perpetual virginity, sinlessness, miraculous conception, direct assumption into heaven, etc. You realise that most of Europe’s great cathedrals, from the 12th century onwards, were dedicated to Mary?

          • Are you denying the Miraculous Conception of Jesus – or confusing this with Mary’s Immaculate Conception?
            Oh, and Jesus Ascended to Heaven, whereas Mary was Assumed into Heaven.

          • Anton

            You’ve got the videotape?

            Of course Jesus was conceived miraculously, and nothing I said implies otherwise.

          • You said Catholics assign to Mary “various of his attributes: perpetual virginity, sinlessness, miraculous conception, direct assumption into heaven, etc.”

            No Catholics considers Mary’s conception miraculous. She had a created father and mother and was conceived through a natural process with a created soul.

          • Anton

            I meant videotape of her *assumption*. I wasn’t being prurient. But you do believe that her own conception was “immaculate”.

          • Her own conception was Immaculate, yes.

          • Anton

            News to her!

          • ardenjm

            Indeed it was! On learning from the Angel who greeted her, ‘Hail Full of Grace!’ (as if it was her name, her identity, who she was) scripture tells us very clearly:

            “Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be”.

            [On a completely – non de fide – level (since Private Revelations, even if approved of by the Church are not required to be believed in for our salvation) there is a striking moment in the Lourdes apparitions. St Bernadette keeps on asking the Lady for her name so that she can give an answer to the authorities (both civil who were intimidating her, and ecclesiastical – who were also intimidating her!).
            She recounts later that eventually – on March 25th (note the date) Annunciation – i.e. the day of the Angel’s greeting. The following happened:

            “She replied – with a slight tremble in her voice – “I am the Immaculate Conception”.

            It is interesting that Bernadette noted the tremble. The tremble of Our Lady’s voice conveys the ‘mysterium tremendum’ of what God has done in her. And is a kind of echo of that passage in Luke’s Gospel. Indeed it was news to her!]

          • Anton

            O, the tremble! The tremble! It proves everything!

          • ardenjm

            No, not a proof – hence the fact that it’s all in square brackets and is firmly explained as not de fide. No Catholic is bound to believe in any apparitions at all. But should you do so, then that seemingly incidental detail has a certain resonance. And that’s the only point I was making. The substantial theological point is contained in the Biblical passages I cited. But then we come back to how to understand them and on what authority.

          • Anton

            And how to impress them on others.

          • cagedvole

            haha. Reminds me of B B Warfield in “Counterfeit Miracles” on the ignorant-teenage-girl-speak of the alleged queen of heaven, who uses
            “…… the remarkable words, ‘I am the Immaculate Conception,’ as if one should say, ‘I am the procession of the equinoxes,’ or ‘I am the middle of next week….’

          • ardenjm

            Rather you should take it up with the Angel Gabriel who uses a ‘state’ – to be full of grace – as a nominal greeting when he makes his salutation of the Virgin.

            Our Lady at Lourdes was merely saying the equivalent to the Angel: “I am the (one who is) Full of Grace”.

            The jibe of Warfield, and your own, smacks far more of spotty 14 year old school boy know-it-all than anything recounted in the apparitions of Lourdes.
            (Not sorry.)

          • cagedvole

            Hello Not-Jim, I thought you’d like that 😉
            (Not like that).

            Warfield only points out that “I am [abstract noun]” makes poor sense, but is what an unlettered girl (meaning Bernadette, obviously) might well come out with, who had heard the term bandied about without exactly comprehending its scope or application.

            If the Lord had wanted us to worship/pray to his Earthly mother, he would have told us so, and explained how the commandment to serve no graven images had (alone out of the decalogue) ceased to apply, not to mention the absolute ban on contacting the dead.
            If Mary was to have that big a role in the church’s life, Paul or another of the NT writers would also at least have mentioned her, – maybe outlining acceptable procedural principles, as Paul had to do with other, less central, matters.

          • Presumably Warfield would also want to correct God’s use of grammar in His revelation of Himself to Moses too.

          • cagedvole

            Are you saying that God’s grammar was faulty?!?!

          • Jack isn’t, of course not!

          • cagedvole

            oh, good 🙂

          • Take it up with Warfield. He’s the one claiming to be the expert.

            Jack doesn’t even know what Warfield means when he says: “I am [abstract noun]” makes poor sense”, being unlettered himself and so doesn’t “comprehend its scope or application.”

            What would a scholar make of:

            “I AM WHO I AM. Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you’. . . this is my name for ever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations”?

            Probably fail Him in English comprehension.

          • cagedvole

            Bernadette’s utterance was opaque, but it hardly follows that every sentence featuring the words “I AM” must be defective.
            I think Warfield would explain that I AM THAT I AM is a way of expressing the self-existent nature of God, who is Being Itself, in counter-distinction to every contingent entity.
            Which isn’t to say that the sentence lacks intelligibilty outside of that high context, as Popeye could tell you 🙂

          • You know Popeye?! How’s Poopdeck Pappy these days?

          • cagedvole

            same as ever – he Yis what he Yis 🙂

          • Anton

            How does an Assumption into heaven differ from an Ascension?

          • Doh …. you cannot be serious!

          • Anton

            What would a videotape of an Assumption into heaven show? How would it differ from an Ascension? If it’s such a basic question then it should be easy to answer.

            As for Mary’s Assumption, I understand that there are differences of opinion among Christians who accept it – and studied ambiguity – about whether it happened when she was alive, asleep or recently deceased…

          • “So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped … “
            Now you want to get into phenomenology?

          • Anton

            I wouldn’t mind an answer to the question instead of long words!

          • That is Jack’s answer.

          • Phenomenology:
            – the science of phenomena as distinct from that of the nature of being.
            – a philosophical approach that concentrates on the study of consciousness and the objects of direct experience.

            (Never say Jack is unhelpful)

            Did the sun stand still or the moon stop, the earth or neither? We know time stood still. We know Mary left earth, body and soul, for Heaven. You know full well the difference between Ascension and Assumption however they might appear and be experienced by the viewer.

            The doctrine of the Assumption says that at the end of her life on earth Mary was assumed, body and soul, into heaven, just as Enoch, Elijah, and perhaps others, had been before her. It’s also necessary to keep in mind what the Assumption is not. Christ, by his own power, ascended into heaven. Mary was assumed or taken up into heaven by God. She didn’t do it under her own power.

            The Church has never formally defined whether she died or not, and the integrity of the doctrine of the Assumption would not be impaired if she did not in fact die. Pope Pius XII, defined that Mary, >“after the completion of her earthly life was assumed body and soul into the glory of heaven.”

          • ardenjm

            What a disingenuous question: the Assumption of Mary and the Ascension of Christ must have ‘looked’ the same – therefore Catholics must believe that Mary is ‘as divine’ as Jesus.
            Look: two people shake hands over the net on the tennis court. It’s the same gesture they’ve accomplished: but one does it as the winner, the other as the loser – the signification or meaning of the act is different depending on whether you’ve won or whether you’ve been beaten.
            Or again: the Dad and the toddler push on the door to get in to the room. They both accomplish the same gesture but it is clearly the Dad’s strength that opens the door.
            Or again: The President makes the oath of office with his spouse at his side. But it’s his oath that makes her the First Lady – she makes no promises of her own on the Bible, does she. It happens to her by virtue of her husband’s act.
            Our Lady’s Assumption in to heaven is not her act – it happens to her.
            Our Lord’s Ascension in to heaven is – by virtue of his Divine Nature – His act: he does it to His body.

          • Anton is a Puritan and maintains Mosaic Law is God’s perfect plan for mankind if a nation would but voluntary accept it – or so Jack believes. He’ll hear nothing wrong said about Cromwell or the Glorious Revolution – nothing. He has a visceral objection to (his distorted understanding) of the Catholic Faith. He’s also very pedantic and likes to frames questions to get the answers he wants and bangs on until he does. Jack find him somewhat irritating especially his refusal to accept answers given. He brings out the worst aspects of Jack’s flaws. Jack is not always careful in his responses as he is often working out what he wants to say as he writes. Not the place to do this.

          • Anton

            To correct this: the parts of Mosaic Law governing interpersonal relations (‘moral’ laws) remain divine precedent for gentile nations who wish to be guided by God, because human nature hasn’t changed. The rest of Mosaic Law isn’t applicable and I have never said it is. I have defended Cromwell’s actions in England and kept silent about those in Ireland, which I wish to look into more closely before giving my views. As for the Glorious Revolution, I’m glad of its outcome but like many actions by Catholic and protestant men of power in the 16th and 17th centuries it was a political act. I have long held that view and I don’t think I have waxed triumphant about it here or anywhere else. (If you wish to maintain otherwise then please state where.) When I phrase questions and get more specific in exposing contradictions people don’t like it and react by diversion and name-calling.

          • Just Jack’s personal impressions, Anton. He makes no claims to infallibility. They can be taken or left.

          • Anton

            OK. I’ll add that unless His Grace posts on something that’s explicitly a Reformation issue, such as Marianism, then I don’t generally start Reformation rows; but I don’t let pass without comment phrases such as “Catholic doctrine, which is inerrant, states that…”, because I disagree with the statement. Were you more content simply to write, “Catholic doctrine states that…” then I’d be glad to let it pass, because it is a true statement.

          • Does Jack start statements with: “Catholic doctrine which is errant”? He generally states: “Catholic doctrine.” No qualification is needed. As a discussion progresses, he might add his conviction it is indefectible and/or infallible.

          • Anton

            So she might even have died on earth according to the Vatican!

          • As Jack said, the question of whether she was asleep in Christ or living has not been dogmatically defined.

          • And all your perceptions and disagreements are based on what Jack considers to be your errors concerning scripture and a wilful, stubborn refusal to understand Catholic teachings. For an otherwise seemingly intelligent man, you show considerable ignorance in this whole area.
            For a person who takes an almost military pride in knowing his “enemy”, this is indeed a very poor showing.

          • carl jacobs

            Just yesterday I mentioned RCs demand that their opponents view all disputes through a RC lens. This is a prime example. I am not bound to accede to RC teaching – especially when I consider that teaching to be subterfuge. It’s not a matter of not understanding. I understand the teaching and reject it because it is wrong.

          • No, of course you’re not bound to accede to Catholic teaching. You could at least dialogue with a Catholic on their terms and show a glimmer of comprehension about their beliefs, even if you are hostile to these. However, so far you’ve demonstrated no understanding at all. None. Stamping one’s feet and declaring it wrong, then calling it “subterfuge”, is hardly demonstrating any understanding. You do exactly the same with Papal Infallibility and with Annulments.

            There is a word for all this, but it escapes Jack’s mind at the moment.

          • carl jacobs

            Jack, the case for idolatry is prima facia. Put any other name into this conversation and you would be standing with me instead of against me. Any other name by Mary and there would be no debate between us. There must be made an explicit exception for Mary to avoid this charge and that explicit exception depends 100% upon the authority of the RCC. Nothing else sustains it. The only way I can arrive at your position is to become RC. But I won’t judge the truth of the dogma by the authority of the RCC. I will judge the authority of the RCC by the truth of the dogma. And I find it wanting.

          • Anton

            ****… always has delivered the Christian people from their greatest calamities and from the snares and assaults of all their enemies, ever rescuing them from ruin… The foundation of all Our confidence… is found in ****. For God has committed to **** the treasury of all good things, in order that everyone may know that through **** are obtained every hope, every grace, and all salvation. For this is His will, that we obtain everything through **** – Ubi Primum, Pius IX. Guess who the missing name is? Christ, surely? No…

          • Ah, the troll returneth ….
            Mary did freely consent to give birth to Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

          • Anton

            Indeed she did. What has that to do with Pio Nono’s quote? I reckon she looks down and weeps at such things.

          • Jack would never be so presumptuous as to claim to know the mind of Our Lady. However, during the Fatima appearances she described herself to the visionaries as “The Immaculate Conception”.

          • Anton

            I would never be so presumptuous as to claim to know what happened at Fatima. 2 Cor 11:14 and all that.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Anton is no troll. Apologise.

          • No.

          • Jack prays regularly to many other canonised Catholic Saints. Is this “idolatry” too? No, of course not.

            Mary is exceptional, indeed, because of the part she played in our salvation history. God foreknew her free response to His request to bear our Redeemer and, because of this, she gained the benefits of saving grace in its fullness at the point of her creation. She is no God. She is not a “functional” member of the Trinity. No Catholic believes this. There is no limit to the honour man can rightly pay Mary as a created creature, a descendent of Adam and Eve. As the mother of Jesus, alive with Him now in Paradise, she has a special place at His side.

          • carl jacobs

            The RCC church attributes to Mary things that are not attributed to any other creature. They are divine in nature. No, this isn’t just about saints. Mary is in a wholly different class. And you see this by the kinds of writings that Anton just published. Those are divine attributes, Jack. And you will not repudiate that statement. That is my strongest proof in this argument. You will rationalize the attribution of divine traits to Mary to defend the authority of Rome.

          • What “Divine” attributes? Without sin? You deny God the power to grant Mary this based on the sacrifice of His Son? Assumption into Heaven? Our most powerful advocate in Heaven with her son, based on the part she played in our salvation? Which one of these is a Divine attribute?
            Jack will defend the truth about Our Lady and regards her as his spiritual Mother. He has experienced her guidance and protection many times in the darkest moments of his life.
            The truth about Mary stands squarely against your Calvinist convictions. That’s the nub of it. As a creature, she was perfect, with no sin and with free will. She aligned her life with her sons, witnessed and participated in the mysteries of His life, death and resurrection. How could a “totally depraved” being, “dead in her sin”, with no free will, possibly exist? There’s no way this can figure in your mind-set as it contradicts everything you cling to. The slightest possibility any of it might just be true would drive a coach and horses right through your belief system.
            And yet, it’s all true.

          • carl jacobs

            You mean besides all the things that Anton just listed? Do you want me to post “Our Lady of Perpetual Help” again and go through again all the explicit attributions of Deity that occur. Like Mary possessing the Most Powerful Name. Like Mary being the “safeguard of the living and the salvation of the dying.” Any other name in that prayer and you would be right here with me. But you won’t repudiate it.

          • Go ahead, knock yourself out, Carl.
            Add the “Second Eve” and “Co-Redemptrix” too if you have a mind to do so. Here’s a portion of devotional titles in the Litany of Loreto:

            Holy Mary, pray for us.
            Holy Mother of God,
            Holy Virgin of virgins,
            Mother of Christ,
            Mother of the Church,
            Mother of divine grace,
            Mother most pure,
            Mother most chaste,
            Mother inviolate,
            Mother undefiled,
            Mother most amiable,

            Mother most admirable,
            Mother of good counsel,
            Mother of our Creator,
            Mother of our Saviour,
            Virgin most prudent,
            Virgin most venerable,
            Virgin most renowned,
            Virgin most powerful,
            Virgin most merciful,
            Virgin most faithful,
            Mirror of justice,
            Seat of wisdom,
            Cause of our joy,
            Spiritual vessel,
            Vessel of honour,
            Singular vessel of devotion,
            Mystical rose,
            Tower of David,
            Tower of ivory,
            House of gold,
            Ark of the covenant,
            Gate of heaven,
            Morning star,
            Health of the sick,
            Refuge of sinners,
            Comforter of the afflicted,
            Help of Christians,
            Queen of angels,
            Queen of patriarchs,
            Queen of prophets,
            Queen of apostles,
            Queen of martyrs,
            Queen of confessors,
            Queen of virgins,
            Queen of all saints,
            Queen conceived without original sin,
            Queen assumed into heaven,
            Queen of the most holy Rosary,
            Queen of families,
            Queen of peace

            The infallible dogmatic titles are:

            Mother of God
            Blessed Virgin
            Immaculate Conception
            Our Lady of Assumption

          • Dominic Stockford

            And Islam believes it too because of that.

          • ardenjm

            As if what they claim to be the sin of Shirk – or association with the transcendent deity – isn’t the real reason Islam is opposed to the Gospel and the Church. Islam has it written around the Dome of the Rock: their problem is with the claim of the Incarnation – that Jesus is Divine. Not with the veneration of the Blessed Virgin: whom they recognise as sinless (although they mean something different, not having the Christian concept of Original Sin.)

    • Saint Louis de Montfort is the saint to answer this question since he shows that all consecrations to Mary, or to any saint for that matter, are ordered to our Lord Jesus Christ through His Sacred Humanity. Since all saints are members of His Body and partakers of His Divine Nature, consecrations to them are relative and are therefore through them to Christ our God.

      The same is true for prayer to saints. We pray to saints but understand that the prayer “to” a saint is relative and not absolute. Absolutely speaking, the intercessions of saints have their final terminus in Jesus Christ, the one mediator between God and men.

      Saint John Damascene is one ancient example of “consecration to Mary.”

      “We are present before you, O Lady, Lady I say and again Lady, binding our souls to our hope in you, and as to a most secure and firm anchor , to you we consecrate our minds, our souls, our bodies, in a word, our very selves, honouring you with psalms, hymns and spiritual canticles, insofar as we are able-even though it is impossible to do so worthily. If truly, as the sacred word has taught us, the honour paid to our fellow servants testifies to our good will towards our common Master, how could we neglect honouring you who have brought forth your Master? In this way we can better show our attachment to our Master.”
      (St John Damascene)

      Notice the Christ-centered ending? Consecration to Mary: “In this way we can better show our attachment to our Master.” Our Master is Christ the Lord.

      The whole point of consecration to Mary is not to exalt Mary to the level of deity or to place her in competition with Christ. True consecration to Mary leads to greater love and service for Christ.

      • CliveM

        Ok having read this and understanding it (I think!), I am left with why? If you want to proclaim your attachment to Christ (no argument there) why obscure it and open it to potential misunderstanding? Why not just stick with Christ?

        • Well, the answer is in Jack’s post. Patron saints, in heaven with God, (the Church Triumphant) are an additional source of help and assistance to us in this life (the Church Militant). Never asked a living person to say a prayer for you in a time of need? Never prayer for another person?

          • CliveM

            Thank HJ. I will admit that it seems somewhat alien to my understanding. I can follow your reasoning, but I don’t see the advantage. Even if I accept the argument, it still seems a circular route to me.

      • David

        Thank you for your explanation.
        But why go to Edinburgh to get to London ? The most direct, easiest and, above all, transparently clear method, is to praise Christ directly. What is gained spiritually by creating such a deliberately circuitous route ?

        • Do you ever pray for another person or ask them to pray for you? Why not just do the praying yourself or tell them to? Because in this life we need all the spiritual help we can muster. And we know from the Gospel Jesus listens to His mother:

          “Here the supply of wine failed; whereupon Jesus’ mother said to him, They have no wine left. Jesus answered her, Nay, woman, why dost thou trouble me with that? My time has not come yet. And his mother said to the servants, Do whatever he tells you.”

      • Again, with Scripture as my sole objective authority, I am not persuaded. But a couple of more general points:

        Don’t you think, however strenuously the effort is made to distinguish between veneration and adoration/ relative and absolute consecration etc, the average R Catholic misses the point completely and simply worships Mary. Mary is easier to approach than Jesus… or so the popular perception is… and so he becomes distant and Mary is blasphemously worshiped.

        The point I was making re the consecration was not who it was consecrated too (though that is clearly an issue) but what is consecrated. Can we offer to God what is polluted (the world)? When we offer ourselves we are offering what has been cleansed and is suitable for offering.

        • Bread and wine is offered to God and is material matter. No person or creature is without blemish. Catholics believe grace is infused and transforms and perfects us, restoring us to our full humanity. It’s hard to be categorical about protestant believes, there are so many, but isn’t it true many/all believe grace is imputed, there is a forensic covering of what remains a sinful and corrupt human nature at war with the spirit?
          There is a danger that some Catholics misunderstand what devotion to Mary rightfully entails, yes. Then again, feeling more comfortable expressing helplessness and fear to Mary and praying to her to ask for her son’s assistance, is not blasphemous or detracting from the Christ. Then there is much confusion amongst all Christians about the Gospel.

          • But surely Catholics don’t believe this infused grace applies to a society that rejects God. To consecrate rebellious humanity to God is hardly the equivalent of offering bread or wine. Even the OT condemns sheep offerings etc with obvious blemish. These were an affront to God.

          • The earth and all its people belong to God – as corrupt and sinful as we are. Saint John Damascene’s prayer captures it. We’re asking God, through Mary, to purify our lives and our nation.

          • That seems to me a different thing than consecrating them to God.

            But again Jack, and I know this is old ground, ‘we are asking God, through Mary’ seems to me to not simply be an addition to the NT gospel (though, in truth, every addition is a subtraction) but a contradiction. I hear Paul’s words ‘one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus’. I hear Jesus saying ‘come to the Father by me… whatever you ask in my name’. I hear John ‘we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous’.

            I cannot imagine these apostles ever saying go to God ‘through Mary, or Peter, or Paul, or anyone else’. Such a thought would be to them a contradiction of the gospel.

            In the OT, the law covenant made God although among them, distant. Everything ( veils, holy places etc, ). was to stress his holiness and his distance from a sinful people. There was no sacrifice, no person, sufficient to bring the people into his presence with confidence and in peace. Sinai epitomised the relationship between a sinful nation and God. It was a fearful place full of thundering and thick darkness. The people were afraid to approach the mountain. They asked Moses to speak to God on their behalf.

            But the gospel removes all this distance. There is no fear for those who have embraced and grasped the gospel. The veils have been removed. God’s glory can be seen and it is seen in the face of Jesus. We come with confidence not to Sinai with its ominous thundering but to Mount Zion and joyful celebration. And all of this is because of the efficacy of the once and for all sacrifice of Christ.

            It was this pure gospel perspective that the Reformers rediscovered almost entirely buried by the weight of Catholic tradition. Tradition that, in my view, simply served to place the soul in Sinai rather than Mount Zion. Indeed, it seems to me that from many angles Roman Catholicism is simply a Christianised Judaism (as is Anglo-Catholic Anglicanism and various forms of Orthodoxy). Investments, incenses, aesthetics, rituals, perceptions of God etc all belong to Judaism not Christianity and become ‘another gospel’.

            I speak of the system not all within it. Where simple faith in Christ is present God honours it but much of Catholic teaching seems to work against such a simple assured faith. The gospel gets buried under the rubble of Church tradition and the teachings. Catholicism takes people to Sinai not Calvary.

          • And yet Saint Paul included many prayers for others in his epistles, and recognising his own weaknesses, also asked others to pray for him in his trials and struggles. This was intercessionary prayer.

          • Indeed. Prayers for others, not to others. And of course all believers (living) are urged to pray for each other. But we never pray to others; we pray to the Father. This is not simply an obligation it is the great blessing of Christianity. We who believe in Christ have been brought into intimacy with God the Father. We share in his life, his nature. We are in Him and he is in us. Perfect love has cast out all fear.

            Proclaiming this wonder and encouraging all to grasp and exult in it is at the heart of the gospel. The gospel is a proclamation of God’s saving activity in Christ. It’s focus is ever God and what he has done. Faith, is but to trust God, resting and rejoicing in all he has done. To be sure living faith is active but any and all activity in faith grows out of focusing on faiths object – God’s saving revelation of himself in Christ.

            What the Reformers grasped was that the gospel is always primarily a focus on God and his saving activity. As soon as the focus moves from God to me the danger is that i will lose the gospel perspective and my salvation will rest on me… my faith, my service, my perseverance. Immediately God becomes distant, a threat, hostile. I lose all certainty of salvation. The focus becomes the remorseless treadmill of what I must do (Sinai) rather than the response of gratitude for what God has done (Zion).

            Again, I feel RC theology is so shaped that the emphasis lies on what I must do to ‘cooperate with grace’. I fear that many RC’s are held by fear rather than faith. Hence the need for Mary for God and Jesus look too much like Sinai.

            Of course, for many RC’s as for many ‘Prods’ there is no authentic faith. They have never really believed the gospel. Their religion is merely tribal. Thus their instinct is that God is only a judge and never a Saviour is natural for it is only those who have grasped the gospel or rather been grasped by it who rejoice in God their Saviour.

          • How many Roman Catholics do you know and how many do you know who live in fear if the Pauley don’t “play by the rules”? Those Jack worships with and those he once visited as a member of Saint Vincent de Paul’s, don’t think like that.
            The focus of a Catholic is, of course, on Jesus Christ, His boundless Mercy and Love and the grace His sacrifice made available to us for our Redemption and showers us with throught the Church and her sacraments. – the whole

        • Terry Mushroom

          “…misses the point completely…” How do you know this?

          “…or so the popular perception is…” How do you know the perception is correct?

  • Terry Mushroom

    Why do Anglican churches put themselves under the patronage of St Mary? Or is there another reason?

    • Dominic Stockford

      CofE churches *called* St Mary will have had that name since well before the congregation came over to the Biblical way of thinking.

      • Terry Mushroom

        So why not change the name to be consistent and true to one’s beliefs?

        • Dominic Stockford

          You’d have to ask them, but after so many years existence I imagine it was simply one hassle too many. Many were changed, and many newer ones can be told by the names chosen, ‘Christ Church’, for instance.

          • betteroffoutofit

            Yes. It’s also a very long history of tradition and thinking. No point in eradicating it: that would just play into the hands of the Enemy and his henchmen – and their penchant for re-writing us into whatever suits their agenda.

          • Terry Mushroom

            If there’s a long history of history and tradition about putting a churches under patronage of St Mary, how about a country?

            England used to be known as Mary’s Dowry, I believe.

          • betteroffoutofit

            I refer to our history and tradition in general — the Marian argument is but a small part of the whole.

          • Terry Mushroom

            So why the article?

          • betteroffoutofit

            I personally believe in considering all possible aspects of a situation – and in recognizing that I should not seek to exclude others from consideration of those aspects. In other words — I don’t destroy evidence or deny others the right to think about it.

            I believe that I should not force acceptance of my judgements and conclusions on everyone else in the public sphere — not least because my judgements and conclusions are as fallible as most, if less so than some. And mostly because I believe there is only One Truth, and One Judge – Who is not me.

            Certainly, I stand by my beliefs as far as I can justly do so — I have the courage of my convictions. However, I’m also aware that, given time and further evidence (empirical or otherwise), even my perceptions and convictions change during my lifetime.

          • Dominic Stockford

            It was not known as that by us, but by those who wished to reassert their secular authority over it.

      • Dolphinfish

        I have been in at least one C of E church with a hand sewn tapestry of the Hail Mary on its wall, and I have heard an Anglican vicar say that prayer aloud at Walsingham.

        • There’s also a side chapel and shrine in Chichester Cathedral dedicated to Our Lady where one can write and leave intercessory prayers. Jack used to visit it regularly when he was a student down that way in the late 1970’s.

        • Anton

          “This is not the most heterosexual event in the Church of England” – a wonderful comment I recall reading in the newspapers some 20 years ago from a man on the main annual Anglican pilgrimage to Walsingham, in the late spring.

  • john in cheshire

    I think the Roman Catholic cult of Mary should stop. But is this consecration malarky the Roman Catholic church re-establishing its claim to the whole world?

    • Dominic Stockford

      Yes, and yes.

    • No, and no. The world and all creation belongs to God. Consecration is actually a Christ-centred action intended not to deify Mary but to greater serve Our Master – Christ.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Yes, and yes.

      • betteroffoutofit

        Seconded: Yes, and the 2nd yes = the world via the euSSR, of course. Sitting on the Head of the Beast, as it were.

    • Martin

      They like to pretend they’re Catholic.

  • CliveM

    It’s because you are an American that he eliminated the possibility that you were being ironic!! :0)

    • carl jacobs

      I saw what you did there. You were being ironic about Americans not understanding irony. Clever!

  • Terry Mushroom

    Why is England under the patronage of St George?

    • Dominic Stockford

      Cos he’s cool….

      • Terry Mushroom


        • Sarky


          • Terry Mushroom

            Roman soldier, apparently. According to Wikipedia he’s a patron in numerous places and countries.

          • Richard Woods

            No; the Turks had not then moved west to begin their bloody and genocidal conquest of Asia Minor and the Eastern Roman Empire.

      • Martin

        And it’s my name.

    • Excellent question.

    • IanCad

      Because the Reformation was just a start. It ain’t finished, many superstitions and practises still hold fast.

      • Terry Mushroom

        Does it really take more than 400 years to rename a church?

        • IanCad

          Old habits die hard, and you know what Terry? Even I like the flag of St George and would hate to see it go; we just need to remember that it is based on superstition and a powerful priesthood who held sway over a credulous society.

          • Terry Mushroom

            Doesn’t seem very consistent. I get the liking the flag. But why fly it if you don’t believe in what it signifies? Or have him as patron of churches?

          • IanCad

            Communicants on this blog will know I have never demonstrated absolute consistency, much less claimed infallibility. That said; I like St. Georges Flag. It is simple and confers on those under its blessings the endowment of a glorious history and the privilege of its many blessings.

          • Terry Mushroom

            Blessings from God through the prayers of St George? And those asking St George to pray for us?

          • IanCad

            No! Merely the acceptance that, as a flag is a symbol – for good or ill – of a nation, I will content myself with the comfort that It is a jolly fine flag without any theological baggage that I will currently accept.

          • Terry Mushroom

            But it does have “theological baggage” as you call it. To begin with, it’s called St George’s flag. Has been in England since the 12th century, I believe.

            If it’s “based on superstition and a powerful priesthood” as you’ve suggested, I don’t understand why mere sentiment is enough to keep it. Surely it should be destroyed in the manner of the Puritans who turned altars into gravestones and rendered faceless the statues of Mary?

          • ardenjm

            England’s “official” patron is still, I believe, St Edmund Martyr (he of Bury St Edmund’s). St George, as you know, was the patron of the Crusaders and he was co-opted for England on their return from the Holy Land.

          • Terry Mushroom

            England shares its flag with Genoa who, I understand, had it first.

          • IanCad

            Not for me Terry, those “images’ were the objects of, and testimonies to a strong faith/belief and should not have been destroyed. To my mind the Iconoclasts were a wretched lot – proud, judgmental and disrespectful of the right to be wrong.

          • David

            Me too Ian. I’ve always like the idea of a brave knight slaying the evil dragon, even if it is just a romantic tale. The battle cry “St George and England” has a strong appeal to me. As an aside St George is also associated with Ethiopia, so the knight errant travelled far and wide !

          • Terry Mushroom


          • All sounds a tad superstitious to Happy Jack.

          • Anton

            Glorious comment. You understand irony well !

          • Richard Woods

            Nothing to do with priesthood, which even then was easily over-ridden by real-politic especially by large men with sharp swords. St George was brought back from the Middle East by Crusader knights, who were also the wielders of political power.

  • Inspector General

    As a result of the Pope not being invited to the Act of Union party (and you didn’t even have to bring a bottle) on 1 May 1707, the Roman Catholic Church has never bothered with the treaty, or somesuch. One doubts at the time any Roman Catholic was invited. Persecuted, yes. Hounded, yes. Invited, hardly…

    Anyway. It will be a good excuse for a celebration in Scotland. The clergy will be pleased. A glass of small beer for the deacons. A couple of pints of bitter for the younger priests, and brandy and cigars for the rest, save the nuns who will work their way through a bottle or more of sherry.

    And what of the protestants during all this. Po faced and disapproving, of course. It is Scotland…

    • Indeed it is Scotland.

      Did you know the “Hail Mary” is not regularly recited at Mass in Scotland after the Bidding Prayers? Jack noticed this straightaway and asked his priest about it. Apparently, it is omitted so as not to offend our Protestant brethren and thus risk feeding sectarian hatred. It’s the same reason Scotland has yet to be consecrated to Our Lady. Shocking when you think about it.

      Maybe Len, joined by a few members of the Protestant Truth Society, should send a flying picket up here with suitable placards protesting the whole affair.

      • Terry Mushroom

        HJ, I understand the late Archbishop Dwyer of Birmingham is responsible for the Hail Mary at the Bidding Prayers. “Let us ask Our Lady to pray with us and for us” being the common introduction, as you know.

        My understanding is that England is alone in having it at the Bidding Prayers. I’ve not heard it said in France, Spain, Switzerland or Australia at the Bidding.

        Your priest’s reason is a very poor one. Surely the Mass in itself is offensive if anyone is so minded?

        • Possibly, as there is no provenance to his account. It is becoming more common now with some priests including it, especially older Irish priests.

          • ardenjm

            Yes, the Hail Mary after the Bidding Prayers is an English anomaly – and not part of the tradition at all. Still, I quite like it having been snuck in!
            There is a (patchy) French tradition to say a prayer to Our Lady at the end of Mass before the Priest leaves the sanctuary – which is also very lovely.
            The loveliest of all, tho’, is the tradition of the bride at the end of the Nuptial Mass leaving her bouquet at the Lady Chapel altar…

        • Simon Platt

          I was led to understand that this was introduced at the behest of the English hierarchy (perhaps at Archbishop Dwyer’s initiative) to compensate for the loss of the Hail Mary in the prayers after low Mass which the English, with their Marian devotion, missed.

          Before my time, though.

      • Dominic Stockford

        The PTS will not be bothering protesting. Some ritual is going on which achieves nothing and means nothing, why bother wasting our time protesting about someone else wasting their time?

        • But didn’t you organise a rather silly protest against a Catholic service being held at an Anglican church recently ….. was it Hampton Court Palace?

    • Dominic Stockford

      I don’t think it is ‘po faced’ to remain sober.

    • CliveM

      Sobriety is not my abiding memory of my decades in Scotland.

  • Carl Jacobs doesn’t rate him. What does he know?

    • carl jacobs

      Huh? Who? What? Where?

      • Remember, Carl? Too unmanly for your taste. A star of “chick-flicks” was the term used.

        • carl jacobs

          Kevin Costner? The movies I think of for Kevin Costner are “Field of Dreams” (an American classic) “Dances with Wolves” (Expletive deleted) “Waterworld” (proof that a movie can really be that bad). But none of those are chick flicks. Who have you confused him with?

          • Bodyguard; Message in a Bottle; Tin Cup … these were the movies referred to.
            Dances with Wolves …. brilliant movie.

          • Anton

            A sugar-coated version of Little Big Man?

          • Hated, hated, hated “Little Big Man”. Did Jack mention he hated it?
            “Dances with Wolves” transcends its historical context.

  • ardenjm

    Well it is a beautiful thing to see His Fried-Crispiness consecrate so much time and energy into looking at the consecration of a nation to God through Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart.

    It is a fine thing to see an Anglican take such an interest in this patrimony rooted deep in England’s understanding of herself as a Catholic nation: from the tender simplicity of Walsingham; to one of the finest pieces of medieval art – our national treasure that is the Wilton Dipytch so deeply linked to that beautiful expression of popular English devotion: England, Our Lady’s Dowry; to the Lady Chapels in our once Catholic Cathedrals; to the celebrations of Lady Day; to Erasmus saying he had never seen the like of devotion to the Mother of God in all of Europe as he had witnessed in England; to rosary beads recovered from the wreck of the Mary Rose; to Duns Scotus on the Immaculate Conception…the profound link between the inhabitants of these islands and the Blessed Virgin was once deep and tender.
    For it was no different in Scotland.

    Indeed, it is no different in any nation where the Gospel takes root. Every people develops a devotion and closeness to the Blessed Virgin. It takes a huge rupture to drive it out.
    Which, of course, was exactly what the Reformation was – especially north of the border.

    Second: the personal, familial, parochial, diocesan, national, and international consecrations are entirely normal and don’t replace each other and how odd to spend quite so many paragraphs in futile speculation that they must do. I’m assuming His Fried-Crispiness votes in parish council, local council, national and european elections and sees his participation in the democratic process at the lower level as not rendered redundant because he votes for an MEP? Of course not. So most of the facetiousness of His Fried-Crispiness’s queeries on the matter of Marian consecrations are just self-indulgent gad-flying.

    But he mustn’t be jealous. England got Elizabeth I in exchange for the Blessed Virgin Mary, after all. What a most excellent exchange! Our Lady’s Dowry for a mess of potage!
    (I’m guessing the Virgin Queen Bess won’t be interceding for them from her Heavenly home, alas. But we live in hope that she made it in to Purgatory through the prayers of her Catholic subjects and the itercession of those she had tortured and killed…)

    The best scene – with all the overblown artistic license (and anachronistic use of Mozart) in the Cate Blanchett films celebrating that extraordinary and awful monarch is precisely this one which goes to the heart of the matter. Just not a very Immaculate one…

    • betteroffoutofit

      English/British ecclesiastical history didn’t begin with the Reformation to which you refer. In that light,you seem unjust to “England’s understanding of herself as a Catholic nation” – wherefore I would substitute “Christian” or “catholic” for your sectarian term.

      Christianity developed here from roots established during Roman occupation, through those re-enlivened by Æthelberht of Kent (AD560-616), and thence through Gregory the Great’s mission via Augustine (597 ff), and Paulinus (AD 575-644). Theodore of Tarsus, a Greek, would became Archbishop of England (Canterbury 668-90). In AD 635: Aidan [d. AD 651] arrived at Lindisfarne at the invitation of King Oswald (AD 634-642 Bede III.5; and III.26).
      In 669, at the joint request of the Kings of Northumbria (Oswiu) and Kent. Pope Vitalian supported the decisions of the Synod of Whitby (664), and also sent the African Abbot Hadrian, and Benedict Biscop (d. 689/90). Through these great Christians, we developed a culture that produced beautiful stone crosses and illuminated manuscripts like the “Lindisfarne Gospels.”

      The English developed our own standards, especially under Alfred the Great (AD 871-99) – who strengthened the union of English Christians and initiated the Chritianization of the Vikings. However, necessary reform of the establishment started to clarify as early as c973, when the Council at Winchester agreed on Benedictine Reform (key figures included Dunstan, Archbishop of Canterbury (959–988), Æthelwold, Bishop of Winchester (963–984), and Oswald, Archbishop of York (971–992). The euros had their well-documented factions and problems at the time – but alien popes finally attained a strong foothold in England in 1066, when Alexander II (1061-1073) backed William the Bastard against our own Harold (1066).

      So while the 14th century Wilton Dyptich certainly has its interesting aspects, our problems with Roman hegemony and power-play started long before that. As Chaucer, Langland, the Lollards et al record, we struggled to reassert ouselves right through the Wars of the Roses, and to the 16th/17th century Reformation, which also allowed our great cultural re-birth. The alternative view to yours, then, is “Thank God for the [Welsh] Tudors.”

      As to our greatest monarch since Alfred . . . perhaps you’ve confused her with her half-sister Bloody Mary (of Spanish inspiration), and/or her other relation: the (francophile) Mary Queen of Scots.

      Your euro buddies never give up, you see. And they’re still at it.

      • ardenjm

        All Catholics.
        That’s the whole point I was making: Catholicism inculturates very well. A sui generis genius and sensibility is fostered by the universal Church. In fact, can only be fostered by a universal Church in a way that channels patriotism towards something noble and holy working against our fallen human nature’s tendency to tribalism and narrow jingoism.
        So these brilliant men and women were no less English or Scottish or Irish or Welsh in being Catholic. They were more fully these things precisely because they were Catholic. Merry England, not Little England.
        And anyway – they knew they were Catholics:
        They believed in the Real Presence. They believed in Our Lady’s intercession and role in their salvation. They believed in the Pope’s authority.
        Not very complicated to work out that if this long cast of characters were around today they’d choose to go to Westminster Cathedral, not Westminster Abbey as soon as the “Church of England” and its core beliefs (such as they are) were explained to them.
        Sorry about that.
        Gloss it any way you like but they were all Catholics.
        Even John Wycliffe had this to say about the Virgin Mary:
        “It seems to me impossible that we should obtain the reward of Heaven without the help of Mary. There is no sex or age, no rank or position, of anyone in the whole human race, which has no need to call for the help of the Holy Virgin.”
        Sound like any Anglican ever? (Other than those who finished up in the Catholic Church, I mean.)

        “Your euro buddies never give up, you see. And they’re still at it.”
        See my post above on Brexit.
        Try again.

        • betteroffoutofit

          The point is that your RCC is a political organization run by aliens who require power over Great Britain.

          Stop giving me orders. Get away from Britian.

          This fake discussion is over.

          • ardenjm

            “Stop giving me orders. Get away from Britian.”
            Where would you have us go?
            Protestants stole our country from us.

            As for the rest: boorish Little Englander posturing that will sacrifice the Gospel to the national tribe that, ultimately, is the false-god behind all this.

          • Anton

            In other words, My political Christianity is better than your political Christianity.

            Political Christianity is not gospel Christianity.

            As for “our country” – vanity! It was once pagan, then Catholic, then protestant, now secular, and possibly next Islamic. Yet all power in heaven and on earth is given to Christ, and He knows what He’s doing and why.

          • ardenjm

            “Yet all power in heaven and on earth is given to Christ, and He knows what He’s doing and why.”
            Sure. But I’m not a quietist. Sorry. The Church is called to be a Light. That will inevitably have consequences on societies and, by ricochet on politics.
            But it’s important that that not be appropriated by political systems, I agree.
            That becomes idolatrous.
            So we’re back with the Our Lord’s parable of the good grain and the weeds in the harvest.

          • magnolia

            “Protestants stole our country from us.”

            What a ridiculous statement- and thoroughly overblown. Overblown is not the English nor the British way.

            British prosperity has come directly from the Protestant work ethic. And the Protestant emphasis on purity of conduct. While individual lives have at times been beautiful it is also true that where Roman Catholicism has had most influence poverty, and sometimes crime, have historically been well entrenched, though not so much as in Muslim lands, excepting those who had oil.

            Mafia/ Italian crime/ Borgias- Roman Catholic
            South American political instability and crime, & various mad and warmongering dictators- Roman Catholic
            Hitler/ Mussolini/ Bloody Mary- Roman Catholic

            Again RC writers; some brilliant ones: Waugh, Greene, but drink and adultery also in there- deeply.

            A very tarnished record.
            Where are the Protestant dictators of similar stature? We are way, way, way behind….

          • ardenjm

            I do find it interesting that immediately the question is looked at as one of material wealth.
            And when the history of the world is written we might see just how many victims were offered up on the altar of Mammon…

            I think it poor taste to make of Hitler (and even Mussolini) Catholic dictators – given their rejection of the Church and her teaching and the many millions of Catholic victims of their neo-pagan occult ideologies. You might as well tax Stalin for being an Orthodox dictator and Lenin for being a Jewish one.
            On the other hand it would be impossible not to see Franco except in terms of his support of the Church.
            Protestant dictators? Apart from Oliver Cromwell, you mean – and his 600,000 victims in Ireland. To say nothing of the Civil War…

          • andrew

            Spot on. Ever met the curious die hard, Catholic-hating Liberal nationalist; the kind that is happy to not only sacrifice the gospel, Mary and England’s true roots for Islamic immigration, but some how finds nationalist strength and fervor in doing so? A tragedy not even Shakespeare could envisage.

          • The aliens in Europe are the Lizards.

          • Anton

            I think you mean “but for Charles Martel and the Byzantines, who in the 8th century stopped both horns of Islam”.

          • Another good Catholic and the founding figure of the European Middle Ages, credited with a seminal role in the emerging responsibilities of the knights of courts, and the development of the Frankish system of feudalism. A great patron of Saint Boniface.

          • Anton

            A great warrior, certainly. Would it surprise you to know that I prayed and wept for Europe for 2 hours by his tomb when last in Paris?

          • It does surprise Jack, yes.

          • andrew

            Ignoring the military might and strive of Catholic soldiers who foight time and again to stop or kick out Muslim invasions of the med, can hardly be regarded as a noble act or proof of one’s intellectual elevation.

          • Terry Mushroom

            Any evidence for this remarkable claim?

      • andrew

        Greatest monarch…. The same monarch who colluded with the turks. Son, your ignorance, and probable accidental appreciation of a traitor to Christendom…. is forgiven.

    • CliveM

      Are you sure you’re not Linus? You are as long winded and verbose with the same tendency to denigrate and to get carried away by your own cleverness?

      • From Jack’s point of view, the substance of the content is fine and shows a deep understanding of Catholic doctrine and Church history. Jack is working on his “bedside manner”. Please be patient.

        • CliveM


          I have little problem with content. Whilst not necessarily agreeing with it.

          It’s his manner. He could be quite interesting!

          • All a part of life’s rich tapestry, Clive. It’s what makes the world so interesting.

          • CliveM

            Agreed and people have put up with me over the years. I’m not after him leaving, just ‘adjusting’ tone slightly.

          • ardenjm

            Not Linus. Nor Cletus, Clement, Sixtus nor Cornelius….

            Verbose, pompous, vain, egotistical and proud?
            Yes. All of those.

            Kyrie eleison.

          • Lol ….

    • Anton

      That film is a hoot, as good fiction should be.

      Mary never heard of England. To call it Our Lady’s Dowry is further fiction.

  • ardenjm

    And it is rather lovely to see an image of Our Lady on your website, a gentle counterpoint to that grim icon you have of the original barbecued arch-heretic.
    You should make a more permanent change.
    You could use the wonderful Wilton Diptych indeed – if you want to be Brexity about it:

    I find this medieval sculpture of Our Lady of Grace really rather lovely.
    But it is French….

    • betteroffoutofit

      Your Grace – Thank you for an interesting article. However, I must disagree with ardenjm and the unholy RCs who attack us on your site. That vile image makes a true Brit cringe, even as one loathes anything that looks like the euSSR’s rag. This does, however, suggest the unholy alliance between the RCs and the alien power that never ceases to harrass us.

      • ardenjm

        Proud Catholic Brexiteer voter here.
        I’d even go as far as to say the following: the more ‘traditional’ the Catholic the more supportive of Brexit they are – look at Jacob Rees Mogg and Ian Duncan Smith! This is because those Catholics who take their faith seriously and practice it see within the EU something spiritually suspect – a kind of supra-national pseudo-messianism, which the Church warns about in whatever form it takes in history.
        French Catholics remember bitterly how Jacques Chirac was a stooge for the Freemasons (an Anglican Establishment creature originally) who insisted on pain of veto that all references to Christianity’s place in European history in the original preface to the Constitution for the European Union over 10 years ago be excised from that document.

        You see an unholy alliance in the flag of Europe and the Crown of Stars around the Virgin’s head in Catholic iconography. I see an unholy aping, a simulacre: much like Elizabeth I presented herself as England’s new Virgin Queen in white with star-like pearls around her ruff at the time of the Reformation.

        • Father David

          But isn’t His Holiness the Pope Anti-Brexit? So, shouldn’t The Mogg and IDS be following his spiritual leadership?

          • Terry Mushroom

            I wonder if you’ve correctly understood how Catholics regard a Pope’s teaching office?

          • Mike Stallard

            Absolutely (not edited at all).

          • Father David


          • ardenjm

            When he speaks infallibly. And only when he speaks infallibly. Which can only ever be on Faith and Morals and consonant with the Deposit of the Faith and the articulation of the precedent of Tradition.
            So political judgements on how best or who best to run a country or continent whilst spoken with papal authority are never going to be infallible and we are bound only to listen respectfully to a Pope’s counsel, not to hold it to be infallible and thus binding on these kinds of questions.
            Hope that clarifies.

          • Dominic Stockford

            he might quite easily state that leaving the EU is immoral, and then go on to make an infallible statement about it. Most remainers believe it immoral to leave, so it would be no surprise for him to reflect that.

          • ardenjm

            Good grief. This is again very poor knowledge of Catholic doctrine and theology from you, Dominic. I’m glad I’ll never have to sit through one of your homilies at a Mass nor seek your advice in the Confessional.

            Look: in order for ‘leaving the EU’ to be immoral you would have to show how it breaks one of the Commandments or otherwise violates the natural moral law inscribed in our human nature. And obviously it doesn’t – in itself – do so. The Pope can’t just arbitrarily declare that it does. How odd that you should think he could.

            But let me suggest why it is you think in that way: You’ve got an understanding of infallibility based on an erroneous understanding of human nature and also of God’s nature. It’s called voluntarism: the primacy of the will and it comes to you via William of Ockham who said that the human will had to be ‘indifferent’ in order to be free. For Ockham only the will determines what it wants or else it can not be described as truly free. Anything good that ‘attracts’ or ‘draws’ it – is somehow influencing the will. Therefore, the will has to be ‘indifferent’ – and orientate itself to any good that it alone determines that it wants. You can see that this understanding leads to two errors the consequences of which we are suffering today: subjective relativism on the one hand (my will wants ‘this’, your will wants ‘that’, who am I to judge) and thus arbitrary voluntarism on the other: ‘this is what I want and thus declare it good for me’.
            But the really nefarious effects are when that understanding of the will are transposed to God and His will. You have a sovereign God who wills arbitrarily what He wills and that then becomes what is good and we, His creatures, must simply accept it. That mistaken Ockhamist perspective had a huge influence on Lutheran and thus Protestant theology and it is wrong.
            That’s the model you’re clearly working with when you think that the Papal ‘will’ can likewise just determine something by pontifical diktat.

            It can’t.

            And I’m even sorrier for the sub-standard theological formation you clearly had in Catholic seminary because all of these issues would have been half-ways ironed out for you if you’d only had a bit of decent teaching.

          • Urgleboo

            Thanks for that interesting post: it is going to prompt me to some Sunday reading 🙂

          • ardenjm

            Great! Take a look at Charles Morerod’s Ecumenism and Philosophy. Well worth an attentive reading:

          • Father David


          • Anton

            I too could say I am infallible whenever I feel like saying so. And I too would be wrong.

        • andrew

          Is that the same elisabeth who danced with the wolves (Muslims), behind Christian Europe’s back? Surprisingly, and whether they realise it or not, she remains a steady template for the European project.

      • David

        The demarcation line between pro and anti the EU cuts across the denominational boundaries as it does across the political parties. One of the staunchest Brexiteers on this site is The Inspector, who is a Catholic, albeit a somewhat eccentric one. In its early days the pro to-EU had the backing of a number of Catholics, but now even its constitution is anti-Christian. The EU is presently I’d say a Socialist / /Humanist construction. Strong Catholic nations like Poland are amongst its most rebellious.

        • “The Inspector, who is a Catholic … “

          *coughs*, *splutters*, *falls off his chair*.

          “albeit a somewhat eccentric one …*

          This must be a contender for comedic comment of the month.

        • Dominic Stockford

          it is fascinating how much the RC’s end up fighting each other, even on here!

          • Terry Mushroom

            Very different personalities, certainly. Some more assertive than others.

            But I detect none “fighting each other” about what the Catholic Church’s teachings.

            (Although the Inspector does have a special take on things that seems very much his own.)

          • andrew

            I would go as far as to suggest that the remaining Catholic/orthodox nations of the EU are the ONLY nations who see through EU machinations and manipulation. Upon closer inspection I see little coincidence.

      • Dominic Stockford

        I share your feelings at seeing such an idolatrous image.

    • Anton

      Fine art, lousy theology.

  • Father David

    I like statues of Mary as much as the next man but I think we could do without the fairy lights around Our Lady’s head. I note that of the 12 lights – one has gone out! I suppose that represents the UK as disastrously and incompetently it prepares to leave the EU.

    • Anton

      You won’t recognise the EU in a few years: terrorists will have done for Schengen and internal strains and debt will have done for the Euro. Those are the EU’s two signature policies.

      • andrew

        We won’t even recognise Europe within 40 years. And I think you know why.

        • Anton

          It’s not obvious to me who would win a civil war on the Continent if it took place in the 2020s. But Europe would still be unrecognisable afterwards.

          • andrew

            Who said anything about armed conflict? The western man (and woman) is too interested in instagram and their careers to share any interest in an armed struggle for a land they care little for and an identity they have worked hard to shrug.

    • James60498 .

      “Incompetently” I can’t disagree with. When you have members of the government and the opposition trying to thwart the democratic referendum then it is always going to go badly.

      Long term though it remains the right decision.

      We will watch the remaining lights go out quickly enough.

  • Mike Stallard

    I love painting. Have done for years. It is not so easy to paint a beautiful girl but it is easy to put a lot of familiar clothes on her and pass her off as a Madonna. Michelangelo and others dared to do totally nude sculptures and paintings of beautiful people for churches too.
    I notice that the southern Europeans at our Church love all the plaster statues. Why not? The church is for everyone. And before you ask, yes, they do (very often) carry the faith over into their lives too.

  • David

    When touring Peru about ten years ago we visited a town which was amongst the last to accept Catholicism. Previously the Indians had worshipped the snow topped mountain peak, which took the form of a classic volcanic cone. In the large church I spotted representations of the Virgin Mary in the form of a huge, white conical dress – like a overblown wedding dress, but in the form of a perfect cone. Mary’s head was a tiny pinprick, difficult to see clearly, perched atop of the huge cone.
    I asked a guide to explain, who in turn asked the priest in attendance. He, very honestly, explained that to “assist” the slow gradual conversion of the indigenes to Catholicism they were at first, as a first step, only required to pray to Mary. This is exactly what I saw and heard. Because this Mary resembled their local deity the mountain cone, this gave them but a small step to take. Ever since then I have suspected that Mary represents an easy entry gateway or portal, as well as a role model.
    Christians are fortunate in that they can know that it is God, not us, who will judge who is and who is not a Christian, and who has turned to Him in repentance and faith, or not.
    The Catholic Church never succeeded in converting all the rural areas, as in the higher remote regions they are still pagan, animists. Various North American protestant Churches are now growing rapidly in many parts of South America including the Anglo-Catholic wings of the Anglican Church.

    • andrew

      Regardless of romes history or the inability to convert rural south American pagans, nobody in their right mind purposefully gravitates toward Anglicanism, irrespective of which particular strand. There is no reason to.

  • ardenjm

    Of course the original question is asking why the UK as a whole isn’t consecrated to Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart.
    Whilst it would be possible that the English and Welsh Bishops could parley with the Scottish and take that unprecedented step, the Northern Irish, coming under All Ireland jurisdiction (like the Rugby) would make it a little more complicated – and, given the success of anti-Mary protestant propaganda in Northern Ireland – would probably be seen as a provocation.
    Historically, of course, the reason why there’s been no overall Bishops’ Conference for the island of All Britain as there was for All Ireland is because, in Catholic terms anyway, the union of England, Wales and Scotland is really quite recent. For centuries the English and Welsh were one Kingdom, the Scottish another and the Papacy dealt accordingly with two entities much as it does everywhere else where nations share landmasses. That could hardly change when the Union was established, of course, (first of the Crowns then of the nations) because of, urm, Britain’s hostile position with respect to the Church.

    In that sense, the nearest parallel to all of this is the Commonwealth it seems to me. Where various nations have Elizabeth II as their Queen but she doesn’t deal with them as if they are all one nation.

    Now if only the Irish could get over their sulk and rejoin the Commonwealth.
    And if only the British could get over theirs and rejoin the Church.

    Toodle pip.

    • Anton

      Consecrate what you like, for without the authority to it makes no difference.

  • “The UK is leaving the EU: it is not leaving the Council of Europe.”

    It’s not leaving anything at all, at this rate. Not that I care.

  • ardenjm

    I think it’s a safe to leave this here now:

    Ave Maria…

  • Dominic Stockford

    Why not? Because she hasn’t got one. She herself admitted her need for a Saviour, and only sinners need saving.

    • mollysdad

      If Mary had not been completely without sin, the Holy Spirit would have incinerated her in the moment of the Incarnation. When the glory of the Lord descends into the world of men, and you’re at ground zero, you’ll perish unless Jesus has died for your sins.


    I can’t help thinking how upset Mary would be at all this.
    Mary wouldn’t want to be venerated. How can those who do claim to have a reformed Faith?
    It is in Christ alone. Not in Christ and Mary. One mediator between God and man the man Christ Jesus.
    Mary was saved by her Son.

  • Nightblogger

    Is a ‘re-consecration’ any different than a renewal? When a couple renew their wedding vows for a silver wedding we don’t assume they have broken them. When a Christian renews baptismal vows at Easter we don’t assume they have had a spell as an atheist or Buddhist. So why assume that a ‘re-consecration’ implies some sort of flaw or break in the previous consecration?