Xi Jinping and Queen2
Christian Persecution

The Queen hosts President Xi Jinping, and the Catholic Herald sneers at her hypocrisy

 

“As the Catholic Herald has constantly stressed, China continues to persecute Christians, and there is evidence that this persecution is getting worse. How ironic, then, that the Supreme Governor of the Church of England is having Xi, who presides over this persecution and approves it, to stay in Buckingham Palace. Indeed, ironic is the wrong word, for it is beyond irony. How farcical that Prince Charles, who has long spoken about religious toleration and wanting to be the “defender of faith”, will be meeting Xi.”

So wrote Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith in the Catholic Herald, following the State Visit of President Xi Jinping of China, as though Christians oughtn’t to consort with reprobates and outcasts, and Jesus never broke bread with black sheep. It’s a sneery piece, replete with moral condemnation, in which the Queen and the Prince of Wales are judged to be complicit in “fawning”, “shameful”, “hypocritical”, “ironic”, “farcical” behaviour, all because China persecutes Christians, which, “(a)s the Catholic Herald has constantly stressed”, is “hideous“.

Note how the derision is expressed toward the Queen as “the Supreme Governor of the Church of England”, as though it weren’t a church “in the proper sense“. And observe the scorn reserved for the Prince of Wales who “has long spoken about religious toleration” but doesn’t quite care enough about the plight of Christians in China. And then there’s that old “defender of faith” yarn, as though His Royal Highness hasn’t clarified and clarified again what he meant by that. The truth is that the Prince of Wales cares passionately about religious freedom and grieves deeply for the persecuted church throughout the Middle East.

But it’s easier, it seems, to pour scorn upon diplomacy, despite possessing some knowledge of the limitations of constitutional monarchy: “Actually, members of the royal family are not to blame for this, for they have to do what the government tells them to do,” acknowledges Fr Lucie-Smith, before heaping hot coals: “..though I suppose, like us, they do have the right to refuse to do anything they think is sinful.” So, the Queen and Prince of Wales are judged either to be ignorant of their sin or wilfully complicit in the torture of Chinese Christians. Hence the “fawning”, “shameful”, “hypocritical”, “ironic”, “farcical” behaviour.

The thing is..

Mugabe pope

Doesn’t Robert Mugabe persecute Christians? Is his maniacal genocide less “hideous” than that of President Xi Jinping?

Mugabe is subject to an EU-wide travel ban for more than a few human rights abuses. According to CNN, Fr Federico Lombardi of the Holy See’s press office “did not personally invite Mugabe”: he was present because “a diplomatic relationship exists between Zimbabwe and the Vatican”.

What, like that which exists between China and the UK?

If the Queen ought not to host President Xi Jinping because of his persecution of Christians, why does the Holy See serve Mugabe the sacred host after his complicity in murder, terrorism, oppression, starvation, genocide and a myriad of human rights abuses?

 

Mugabe - JPII Beatification Mass

While popes Benedict and Francis were “fawning” over Zimbabwe’s President, permitting him to elevate his personal prestige not only by attending Mass but giving him the Eucharist, at least the Supreme Governor of the Church of England saw fit to strip him of his honorary knighthood.

Perhaps, instead of sneering at the Church of England and its Supreme Governor, the Catholic Herald might look to the beam in its own eye, and then consider calmly, morally and dispassionately some of the obvious reasons why HM Government might consider a State Visit appropriate for the Chinese President, and what hope – however feint – it might offer those who are oppressed and persecuted. After all, not only did Our Lord meet and dine with sinners to call them to repentance, the Anglican Church is working and praying hard on the ground to aid, serve, mediate and mitigate. Within the language of diplomacy, certain things follow from maintaining relationship.

So, yes, the Catholic Herald can sneer at the Church of England and its Supreme Governor if they wish. But they might recognise at least the “fawning”, “shameful”, “hypocritical”, “ironic”, “farcical” behaviour of their own church before they do so.

  • Albert

    The attack is misdirected in any case. If there is fault here, in inviting Xi to Buckingham Palace, it is not the fault of HMQ, but HMG

    • Albert

      Oops, I’ve just read the article, and it doesn’t seem to be the article you are talking about. It includes the following (including the bits you missed out):

      Actually, members of the royal family are not to blame for this, for they have to do what the government tells them to do, though I suppose, like us, they do have the right to refuse to do anything they think is sinful. Our real anger should be directed at the British government for inviting the Chinese delegation, and arranging all this official fawning over a dictator.

      There then follows a suggestion that people protest against HMG. So the complaint is not, as you suggest

      I don’t think the stuff about “Supreme Governor” can be meant to mean the CofE isn’t a Church “in the proper sense“, because the Supreme Governorship is not an obstacle to the CofE being a Church “in the proper sense” (although it is a cause of schism). But the inconsistency with the Vatican’s relationships may be a fairer complaint. But that would require (a) that the is parity between the occasions (I don’t think there is) and (b) that the Catholic Herald wasn’t critical of it.

      So I’m afraid, I don’t see your argument about hypocrisy works in this case.

      • You really didn’t bother to read this piece at all, did you, before issuing your pathological knee-jerk defence?

        • Albert

          Yes I did. Which part do you think I didn’t read? May be I misread it, but it read like you’d gone on off on a knee-jerk reaction. I actually think the points you make in defence of the visit seem well taken, but the rest of your article seemed not to reflect the CH article. I’m happy to withdraw my remarks if you can show me where I’m wrong.

  • len

    The absolute hypocrisy of the RCC is quite astounding in view of its past and present history……..”Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are
    like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the
    inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean”.(Matthew 23 :27)

    • The Catholic Herald is not the Roman Catholic Church and does not speak for her.

      • CliveM

        Fair point.

        • carl jacobs

          Don’t encourage him. He’ll start thinking he makes good points all the time.

          • CliveM

            Oh I’m sue Linus will ensure he doesn’t!

          • The Explorer

            Or the Inspector.

          • CliveM

            Yes better example.

          • Jack has given up with Linus but will continue to endeavour to lead the Inspector to more Orthodox beliefs. He expects no recognition in this life for his efforts.

          • The Explorer

            Quite. One responds to Linus (as a generic name for his various manifestations) for the sake of others, not for his own. We Protestants had best avoid theological discussion with the Inspector, though we can converse with him on social/cultural/political issues.

            PS: You don’t think Bob the Buddhist was Linus in mischievous mode do you?

          • Please do not abandon Jack in his efforts with the Inspector. Gradualism may be appropriate here and Protestantism could be a way back for him.
            As for Linus, his humour is caustic and one doubts he could pose as a Buddhist.

          • The Explorer

            I think you’re right re Bob. I doubt that Linus would tell us, either way.

            I see that Mundabor thinks Catholic heretics can almost be equated with Protestants. Actually, I’d say that traditional Catholics and traditional Protestants have far more in common with one another than either group has with the liberal wing of their own persuasion.

          • This is true. The liberal-progressive wings in Catholicism and Protestant churches are moving increasingly away from orthodox Christianity in both doctrine and moral teachings.

          • carl jacobs

            Mundabor is a consistent traditional Catholic who thinks Protestants are damnable heretics. In other words, he knows and still believes what Rome used to teach. Everything that is wrong with RCism is on display at that website – the fear, the works righteousness. Your point is correct in a temporal sense, but he would not accept it in any other way.

          • CliveM

            I wish you luck with that!

          • It doesn’t depend on Jack in the final analysis.

          • CliveM

            And in the nicest possible way, isn’t that reassuring?

          • Anton

            The word “Orthodox” with a capital “O” surely deserves to mean among Christians the Eastern Orthodox churches? I expected you to seek to lead the Inspector to Catholick beliefs.

          • An error that Jack will correct. However, Orthodox will do as a stepping stone, Anton.

          • Anton

            I always found it odd that a man of Chesterton’s education wrote (while still Anglican) a book called Orthodoxy about the essentials of the faith.

          • As a title it would start with a capital letter. Plus, it reflected his view that Catholicism was the one true, orthodox and universal faith.

          • Anton

            Yes, it had a lower case in the text, but it still seems somewhat insensitive to the Eastern Orthodox. NB He wrote it while Anglican, not Roman Catholic.

          • Insensitive? Chesterton was a straight talking man who didn’t write to be ecumenical. He stated the truth as he understood it in an uncompromising fashion.

          • Anton

            That’s untrue; Chesterton deliberately avoided sectarian issues in “Orthodoxy” and was seeking to do much as CS Lewis later did in “Mere Christianity”: emphasise what all Christians have in common. Straight talking is fine but I remain surprised that a man of his education chose such a title in view of the size and age of the Eastern Orthodox churches. I don’t wish to be provocative by repeating the claim that this was insensitive, but I haven’t changed my opinion.

          • Anton

            For fun!

          • Then there’s always Anton …. and not forgetting Len.

          • Anton

            Hi Jack (pun)

            I know very well your take on the Roman Catholic church but what is your take on Pope Francis, please? I ask without intent of bashing Rome in response to any comment you make, and as you are Catholic I’m interested in your views. Pope Francis seems to me to have come through the Jesuits just as they were moving from the most conservative grouping to the most liberal within the RC church, so it won’t be easy to work out where he is on that spectrum, and the stuff about him kowtowing to the fascist junta in Argentina is just lies – as a bishop he stood bravely up to the junta on behalf of those of his priests who antagonised it simply by doing what Christ did. There are traditional Catholics like Mundabor and Ann Barnhardt who, in my opinion, believe by reflex that Francis’ differences from his predecessors are due to heresy, rather than his being forged by principled opposition to fascism rather than communism (as with John Paul II). But he might really be a liberal heretic if, for instance, his ambiguous comments about gays reflect his doctrinal views rather than the need to show love to people impartially on a personal basis. I was disappointed that he was gulled by the global-warming faction in the Vatican into putting his name to it (given that the satellite records, which are the best, show no such warming even as China and India industrialise and increase the rate of human CO2 emission). High-ups in the IPCC itself have stated that their activity is political rather than environmental, and the essence of charity is that it be voluntary and personal, which tax transfers from rich nations to poor ones aren’t. Any views?

          • Tough one, Anton.
            Jack once thought Mundabor overstated the faults of Pope Francis, especially when he got personal. However, when priests like Fr. Ray Blake express concern about the Pope’s leadership, then Jack takes more notice. What’s clear is that the man is no theologian and he does appear to have modernist leanings in his pastoral focus of mercy and lack of clarity about repentance and conversion. He also seems to associate closely with some in the Church who are clear heretics. Some of his homilies are very rich spiritually and yet within them there is ambiguity and confusion.
            Still, he is the Pope and Jack will pray for him just as he does all other sinners.

          • Anton

            Many thanks Jack. I suspect that a lot of traditionalist Catholic commentators are confusing his politics, coming as he does from an anti-far-right rather than an anti-far-left background, with his doctrines. Time will clarify.

          • CliveM

            At the risk of my question being misused, it suddenly occurred to me today, why would the Church see it as acceptable to allow an unrepentant murderer like Mugabe take communion, but not the unrepentant divorcee/ remarried?

          • Very good point, Clive. Jack was hoping no one would ask this too. It was scandalous. It’s a tricky Canon Law issue about when to publically withhold Communion. Would a priest physically refuse and withhold Communion from a person he considered to be in an objective state of grievous sin? Certainly in the not too distant past they would and did, but nowadays it’s not so clear.

            Anyways, Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith, the same author of the article under debate, defended both Mugabe’s visit to Rome and reception of Holy Communion in 2011 – on political and diplomatic grounds.

            http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/commentandblogs/2011/05/02/banning-mugabe-would-push-the-vatican-into-a-diplomatic-minefield/

          • CliveM

            Thanks for the link. An interesting article. It would appear that he believes the Church is right to ignore someone’s sins if they are suitably high up and powerful. So to use his own examples, Sarkozy can take Mass as a several times married man, because he is President of France, or Mugabe can as a murderer because he is Head of Zimbabwe, but for a re-married ordinary Joe, it is right that they are excluded. Presumably on the simple grounds that they don’t matter!
            Also interesting that the Queen shouldn’t have put on her best dress and tiara to meet the President of China, but Senior Priests in the RCC are justified in giving out the Churches most sacred and holy sacrament to Mugabe!
            I get the impression, maybe unfairly, that some of his comments are driven by a dislike of the British State.

          • Cressida de Nova

            The answer to your question Clive is the priest or anyone else who countenanced Robert Mugabe receiving the Eucharist has committed a grave sin. Salvation will be denied to them unless they atone and the atonement has to be in relation to the gravity of the sin. Hell will be packed with the clergy….a good reason for avoiding the possibility of going there.The best thing about Catholicism is that every Catholic knows the rules No matter how the clergy twist and turn and give reasons for Mugabe being permitted to receive the Eucharist,Catholics who have benefited from religious instruction from childhood know that it is a grievous sin and that there will be consequences for priest or Pope regardless !Good question.

      • Anton

        Then one hopes that high-up Catholics will promptly disassociate themselves publicly from the article.

        • Why on earth would they need or want to do such a thing?

          • Anton

            If that isn’t self-evident to you, as I expect it is to most, then I certainly won’t be able to get it across to you.

          • Some small clue might help Jack reach your greater state of enlightenment.

          • carl jacobs

            Ooh! Can I give Jack a clue? Can I? Can I? Pleeeease?

          • Anton

            Go ahead Carl… make my day.

          • He wont say it – American pride – but he probably agrees with Jack’s comment.

          • carl jacobs

            Well, yes, I did as a matter of fact. I can’t imagine why the Magisterium should bother with the mumblings of something called the Catholic Herald. But that’s entirely beside the point!

          • First time you’ve ever asked another blogger’s permission to comment. Now it has been given, Jack trusts it’s worth the wait. As you know, Jack is always open to sound advice from whatever quarter.

          • carl jacobs

            Where to begin? Where to begin? Jack is what you might call a “clue-deprived environment.”

            Hrmmm…

          • Umm … certainly Jack is immune to *clues* of a certain type but is always open to considering erudite and reasoned propositions.

          • carl jacobs

            Wisdom, 5 cents.
            The Sage is IN.

            Pick a subject, Jack. I can help you in all of them.

            1. Religion
            2. Politics
            3. Women
            4. Grammar
            5. Sports

          • Women it is then …. Go ahead, Grasshopper.

          • carl jacobs

            Where is my nickel?

          • Cressida de Nova

            Is Albert a high -up Catholic? On what sort of Catholic high is the Inspector?

          • Albert

            What do you mean by “high-up Catholic”? I suppose my liturgical preferences are what Anglicans would call “high”, but unless that’s what you mean, I am not “high” in any other sense.

          • Welcome back Bonnie Cressie. Always good to hear from you.

            Jack doesn’t know Albert’s personal circumstances. If he had to guess, he would say he has an academic background in theology and logic. He’s a sound and thoughtful Catholic but, on occasions, not too politically astute.

            As for the Inspector, what has become abundantly clear of late is that judged by the basic Creeds of the Church, he is not a Christian let alone a Roman Catholic.

          • Cressida de Nova

            Is there such a thing as a high -up Catholic, Jack?

          • Yes, in one sense, Cressie. There are “high-up Catholics” who speak for and on behalf of the Church when need arises.

            The structure of the Church is hierarchical with bishops, archbishops, cardinals and popes. Cardinal Vincent Nichols (Vinnie, to his friends) is the most senior member of the hierarchy in England and Wales.
            Anton is suggesting the Church’s formal leadership say something about this article (which, in Jack’s view. does have an unnecessarily smug and judgemental sub-text).

            In another sense, the Church has no hierarchy and we are all one in Christ with priests, bishops, archbishops and popes being servants and not rulers of the Church.

          • Cressida de Nova

            In the real sense your last paragraph I believe to be correct.

  • CliveM

    I take it that when the Pope expressed the wish to visit china, it was only for a holiday? Or is it indefensible for the Queen to shake hands but not the Pope.

    The outrage all seems a bit synthetic to me.

    Btw I think the Pope is right to visit, if and when it happens.

    • CliveM

      In light of what HJ has highlighted below, to make clear my comment is about the article, not the RCC.

    • Albert

      I suppose one of the problems is that this visit to the UK appears to be about money. A proposed visit by the Holy Father the China would be to support his people there and speak up for them. So again, there’s not really any parity between the two cases.

      • carl jacobs

        Gov’ts have responsibilities not possessed by the Vatican. There is no fair comparison. This media outlet (the Catholic Herald) should have held its fire. It never had a valid complaint against the Queen. She was not acting as head of the CoE but was acting as would be required of the head of state of the UK.

        • Albert

          I don’t read the article as an attack on the Queen. The CH article looks very different from how it’s been represented here.

          • carl jacobs

            I disagree. All in all, it’s a pretty shoddy article. It takes no account of the requirements of diplomacy.

          • No point bothering, Carl. He half-reads (or glances over) what he thinks a piece says (hey, it’s only Anglican, after all), and then pontificates with his usual knee-jerk “anti-Catholic” innuendo, and then tries to project his own pathology onto others. It’s a shoddy piece, and if he had any discernment, he’d agree. If the CH’s *point* were simply to berate HMG, *why* mention the Queen’s church role or the Prince of Wales’ persecution concerns at all? Why question their sincerity or integrity? And *why* sneak in that nasty, self-righteous imputation of sin?

          • carl jacobs

            The Archbishop is right, Albert.

            This line …

            though I suppose, like us, they do have the right to refuse to do anything they think is sinful.

            … made the story into an attack and was an implicit accusation of hypocrisy.

          • Albert

            I’m not sure that this is remotely central. Surely, his point is simply to say that the fact that the Queen is Head of State, does not mean she has no personal responsibility. The article could be read as arguing that the Government is wrong to invite Xi. But the Queen has a different role. She has no choice over that, and must instead ask if, given that Xi is coming, she should participate. Perhaps in good conscience she agrees with his coming. She would have an even better case, if she simply said, given that he is coming, she should participate.

            There’s nothing here that says that she has violated her conscience (how could anyone impute that?). So what’s left is an article that condemns HMG (a reasonable position to take, even if not the only reasonable position to take) and one that suggests it is improper for the Head of State to the Supreme Governor of the Church of England.

            I find it hard to believe, Carl, that you disagree with that latter point.

          • Albert

            If the CH’s *point* were simply to berate HMG, *why* mention the Queen’s church role or the Prince of Wales’ persecution concerns at all? Why question their sincerity or integrity? And *why* sneak in that nasty, self-righteous imputation of sin?

            I have answered all three points. Your reading is certainly a possible one, but not the most likely given the entire piece. You seemed determined to take it in the worst way possible.

          • Albert

            Let me clarify: I don’t think the article is right – from that point of view, I think Dr C is right. I just don’t think it is guilty of what Dr C says it is guilty of.

          • carl jacobs

            Albert

            This statement …

            How ironic, then, that the Supreme Governor of the Church of England is having Xi, who presides over this persecution and approves it, to stay in Buckingham Palace.

            … is simply gratuitous. There is nothing ironic about it. This is a requirement of diplomacy regarding the leader of one of the most important countries in the world. Nothing more.

          • Albert

            But surely there is an irony. She is in a position of authority over the Church of England and yet has to dinner someone who is persecuting the Church. That’s ironic. It’s not her fault, but it is ironic.

      • CliveM

        I think Carls comment sums it up.

        To be honest it’s the ‘tone’ of the article more then what it says that irritates me.

        • Do not encourage Carl. You’ll just boost his already over-inflated American ego.

    • Cressida de Nova

      I will be interested to see what the Chinese government will give to His Holiness as a welcome gift…a Mao suit perhaps? The Queen’s gift of some garden veggies was memorable…a British euphemism for “get stuffed” I believe. I wonder what she gave the Chinese president as a gift. I am certain it wont be any of her garden produce.

      • CliveM

        I understand the Queen gave the President a signed photo of herself and Prince Philip and a bound copy of the collected works of Shakespeare.

        He gave a cd of his wife singing traditional Chinese folk songs.

        I suspect showing enthusiasm for that stretched her Majesties acting capabilities!

        • Anton

          I’m sure that she is an accomplished actor after putting up (with) some of the people that her Prime Ministers have foisted on her. The Ceaucescus in particular, where it is said that the spoons had to be counted after each meal…

      • Anton

        I think it was a hamper of British goods including honey from her garden and a bottle of Balmoral whisky.

  • carl jacobs

    It is pointless to criticize a head of state for acting like a head of state. Diplomacy requires certain tact and ceremony.

    IIRC, the actions of the Vatican re Mugabe had much to do with protecting RCs in Zimbabwe from retaliation.

    Tempest. Teapot. Nothing to see here. Move along.

    • Albert

      IIRC, the actions of the Vatican re Mugabe had much to do with protecting RCs in Zimbabwe from retaliation.

      This is an important point, whereas, HMG’s willingness to give Xi a great welcome strengthens him at home, where he persecutes Catholics and others.

  • David

    A sneery approach helps no one. The Queen is doing what is expected of her, as head of state, no more and no less. Like the rest of her family, she has to hide her personal feelings and beliefs all the time. This takes a very high level of self-control and professionalism. Even her speeches are vetted politically. We only get a glimpse of her personal feelings and belief when she both writes and then gives, her own personal Christmas address. It is very clear to me that she is a sincere Christian, flawed of course like the rest of us.

    Apart from that, the question is, given what we know about the Chinese national character, are we likely to be able to achieve more for the now large, although persecuted, Christian minority by developing good relations with the Chinese, and then speaking on their behalf in private, than openly criticising them in public ? Saving face seems hugely powerful in the Chinese mind.

  • Anton

    The Pope and the Queen are both Heads of State and at the same time leaders of a denomination. Which is odd given that Christ said that his kingdom was not of this world.

    • Old Nick

      But He was quite clear that His Kingdom is in this world, and kings and bishops need to be a part of it while exercising their royal and episcopal authority. I can think of few finer exemplars of Christian kingship (and there have been many in our islands, including Kings Oswald of Northumbria, Alfred of Wessex, Edward the Confessor just for a start, than Her present Majesty.

      • Anton

        “He was quite clear that His Kingdom is in this world, and kings and bishops need to be a part of it while exercising their royal and episcopal authority.”

        Royal authority must count for nothing inside the church provided that its members obey the law.

  • Rodney Gilmour

    Mr Xi shows respect to the Queen by placing his glass lower than her’s – who knows what quiet words were spoken.

    • steroflex

      Well observed.

  • Hi

    Whether we like it or not China is a great power and potential super power. Britain is a global trading nation and China doesn’t pose a threat to the UK, so it is keeping mischief within its own borders. There are many regimes we don’t like, but put up with for a variety of reasons, such as Saudi Arabia (whose gov’t is currently on the UN human rights council) and indeed nowadays Iran , which regularly holds “death to the Jews and Israel” rallies.

    So Britain trades with various regimes and if we make noises about human rights in the wrong way, the Chinese will simply ignore us or remind the west of their own feelings -whether justified or not -about when Britain and others used to interfere in China’s affairs, to wit opium wars, the boxer rebellion etc.

    With China it is better to engage and if there is to be a change, it would be better to happen gradually and over time. Perhaps with the influences of capitalism , you might find that China ends up with a democratic one party state, such as Japan or Mexico.

  • IrishNeanderthal

    Perhaps one should tell those chaps at the Catholic Herald that if they did not view the C of E the way Beijing looks at Taiwan, they might themselves be viewed with greater respect.

  • The Inspector General

    One is reminded of how the great and the good implored anyone who would listen to them not to talk to the IRA. A great deal of distress, and infinitely worse too, emanated from that crowd as from the still cold but not as they were so very cold Chinese government. Thankfully, talking did take place and the ceasefire resulting still holds. Just goes to show that turning your back on people that deserve to have you turn your back on them is ludicrous. If you want things to change, you talk, then you talk some more, and when you’re finished doing that, you talk again.

    Some priests would be better employed on, well, flock duties in their parish for want of a better use of their time, although maybe the fellow has calmed down a bit now he’s got his rant into the public domain, although it cannot be ruled out that he’s strutting around like a proud cock who’s warned the hen house there are foxes about…

    • Anton

      One should always be willing to meet people, but sometimes there isn’t a lot to say. Compromise is a word having both a good and a bad meaning.

      • The Inspector General

        When you are talking to the Chinese government, you are talking to the Chinese. When you are talking to the IRA, you are talking to the premier terror group of that ilk in that Island. When you talk to muslims, you are talking to an undisciplined rabble of cut throats. So yes, keep that word ‘compromise’ in a safe place at all times. It may not need to be aired…

  • chiefofsinners

    It’s a brave man that accuses another of hypocrisy.

    • Anton

      I love the evangelistic comment, “You complain that the church is full of hypocrites? Well there is room for one more; come in!”

  • Darter Noster

    It’s not often that I, as a republican, will say this, but I kinda feel sorry for Her Maj.

    She meets who the Government tells her to. I doubt Brenda likes Saudi Monarchs or African dictators any more than she does Chinese communists, but who she likes and what she thinks is neither here nor there, as Brian will discover if he gets to put the sparkly hat on.

    Britain can’t and shouldn’t ignore China, even if we do not approve of some things their government does. We will do a lot more good by hosting as many Chinese students as possible than by just moaning about their government.

    When I go abroad, I am not David Cameron or Tony Blair, and neither are the Chinese their equivalents.

    • Cressida de Nova

      Agree. It ‘s just biziness. Money makes the world go around.

  • Tutanekai

    Remember, remember the Fifth of November
    Gunpowder Treason and Plot
    I see no reason why Gunpowder Treason
    Should ever be forgot

    It works both ways. Catholics hold a (more or less) subconscious grudge against the monarchy for kicking off the events that led to the English Reformation. Brenda is wee Jimmy Stuart’s heiress and although modern Catholicism frowns on direct assassination attempts, character has always been fair game and can be assassinated at will if it advances the Faith.

    If you don’t believe me, try infiltrating a Catholic Mothers’ Union coffee morning and listening to the conversation. Nobody’s reputation is safe, and God help you if you’re an Anglican. The Anglican Communion’s current travails are a favourite topic of conversation and the Schadenfreude and satisfaction they provoke are palpable.

    All small, backbiting and incestuous minority communities are the same. A hothouse atmosphere of accusation, reproach and impotent rage is inevitable, and the discomfiture of the perceived oppressor elicits much joy and celebration. It’s human nature and Catholics are as human as anyone else, although they’d rather you didn’t know that, and would prefer that you think of them as saints on earth whose holiness and virtue clearly point to the superiority of their faith over all others. That’s the Catholic Herald’s raison d’être, only sometimes the mask slips…

    • “All small, backbiting and incestuous minority communities are the same. A hothouse atmosphere of accusation, reproach and impotent rage is inevitable, and the discomfiture of the perceived oppressor elicits much joy and celebration.”

      Projection and displacement, Tuti. Your misogynism is showing through too. Jack is reminded of the old proverb: “The harlot reproves the chaste.”

      • Tutanekai

        A better example of Catholic hypocrisy would be harder to find.

        Instead of attending to the beam in his own eye, Jack prefers to talk about the mote he’s decided he can see in mine. Throw in a little bearing of false witness and you can see how empty is his claim to be a follower of Christ.

        By their deeds shall ye know them indeed. All that crying of “Lord! Lord!” counts for nothing, you do know that, don’t you Jack?

        And for anyone who objects to my description of the log jam clogging up Jack’s eye, do please remember that as I’m not a Christian, I can say what I like. If there is a God, I’ll be punished for it just like Jack will be. But at least my error will have proceeded from an honest mistake, whereas Jack is doubly culpable because he claims to be a Christian while his actions reveal the pagan motivations that really drive him, so along with all his other sins, unrepentant dishonesty and hypocrisy will probably be the straws that break the camel’s back.

        I’m not God and have no idea, if he exists, what he is like, so I can’t predict what tortures await Jack’s supposedly immortal soul. But it seems logical to suppose they’ll be exemplary in their savagery and duration. The sins he so unrepentantly commits time and time again are the very ones the Bible underlines as being particularly abhorrent to God, so one can only assume he’s in for a really hard time.

        Hell, if it exists, must be full of Pharisees, tax collectors, publicans, adulterers, homosexuals, and people like Jack. As an unbeliever, I’ll be sent there too, of course. I almost hope I get there before Jack so I can be part of the welcoming committee when his turn comes. My own sufferings will be mightily relieved if I know that some form of justice has been done and the Jacks of this world don’t get to pollute paradise with their hatred and bile.

        • The Explorer

          For a moment there, I thought you were going to call him Sad Jack.

          • Tutanekai

            The use of ironic diminutives, or adding insulting epithets to someone’s name, or even giving them a new name, are the mark of the playground bully and/or control freak sociopath. If you name something, you exercise control over it. That’s the theory at least.

            This isn’t a game I like to play. Not the least because in this instance, if I did control Jack, what on earth would I do with him? Who wants responsibility for the local unfriendly Catholic Pharisee?

            He can stew in his own juice. It’s an acid enough brew that doesn’t need me to add any pickling to it.

          • chiefofsinners

            But you do like to play the game of naming the faults in others, so long as the rules are “I’m not a Christian, I can say what I like.”

            As Anton says below: “You complain that the church is full of hypocrites? Well there is room for one more, so come in!”

          • Tutanekai

            Thank you for the invitation, but the problem with enclosing stinking animals in a confined space is that the stench soon becomes unbearable. It’s better to let them roam in the wide open spaces where they can’t overwhelm you with their reek.

            An old friend of mine who isn’t Jewish or Muslim, and who lives downwind of a piggery, refuses to eat pork. I often think that if pigs roamed free and she wasn’t overwhelmed by the stench of them when they gather together in one spot, she’d probably be perfectly happy to tuck into a juicy pork chop.

            Similarly the stench of hypocrisy and bile that rises from any Christian gathering can be very overwhelming. Atheists and agnostics may be just as unpleasant, but the fact that they tend not to congregate in large gatherings makes them easier to be around.

          • chiefofsinners

            You clearly prefer the smell of bulls*it.

          • Pubcrawler

            “The use of ironic diminutives, or adding insulting epithets to someone’s name, or even giving them a new name, are the mark of the playground bully and/or control freak sociopath.”

            “Brenda is wee Jimmy Stuart’s heiress”

          • Tutanekai

            There’s a difference between using an ironic and humorous reference from the press for a famous public figure and actively trying to deform the name of somebody you’re talking to directly.

            Calling the Queen “Brenda” is a political statement. By referring to a public figure whose position sees her accorded all sorts of pompous titles and honorifics by a common, garden, suburban name, I’m stating that I find all the flimflam of royalty completely pointless. It’s a valid criticism of an institution that needs to be a great deal more criticized than it is.

            Calling me “Tuti” is just one private individual trying to lord it over another.

          • Anton

            Ever since King Charles was beheaded the real power in England has lain in parliament. The monarchy is largely ceremonial. Criticising it is a side issue in real politics.

          • Tutanekai

            The existence of the monarchy is a political issue.

          • Anton

            Agreed entirely! I’m saying only that it is a side issue. Politics is about what to do with power, and real power is concentrated in parliament not in Buckingham Palace.

          • Pubcrawler

            I’m not sure real power resides in Parliament anymore.

          • Anton

            Well, no. But more than in Buckingham Palace.

          • Tutanekai

            Side issue or not, it’s still political.

            I have no expectation of seeing the House of Windsor dethroned any time soon. Indeed I wouldn’t even want it unless such a move was supported by a clear majority. The head of State needs to enjoy broad popular support otherwise the political system is destabilised from the top down. The present Queen, rightly or wrongly, clearly does enjoy broad popular support. In a democracy, the will of the majority must prevail unless it is used to impose an intolerable burden upon a minority.

            The Windsors are more of a mild irritant than an intolerable burden, so I can live with them. If it gives my fellow citizens pleasure to fawn over a bunch of very ordinary people, and to follow the royal soap opera with bated breath, what is there to do except shrug one’s shoulders and smile?

          • Anton

            The monarchy has two practical values: tourist revenue and as a slight check on parliament.

          • It’s also a political statement, Tuti.

          • chiefofsinners

            “If you name something you exercise control over it.”

            So what is your name?
            Those who come here regularly know you by several.

            You oppose and exalt yourself against all that is called God
            or worshipped. You are a deceiver. You are the accuser of the God’s people. Your name is Legion, for you are many.

          • Tutanekai

            “Opposing … myself against all that is called God or worshipped” cannot make me a deceiver, because that which is called God or worshipped cannot be demonstrated to exist, therefore to oppose it, or rather to oppose the worship of it, cannot rightly be called deceitful.

            You can only deceive when you conceal the truth, but as the truth depends upon knowledge, and as we have no knowledge of God, but merely beliefs, it is impossible for me to deceive anyone about him.

            Besides, I have never said that God does not exist. I merely say there is no proof that he does. There is also no proof that he does not. I can know nothing about God because there is quite literally nothing to know.

            That’s not deceit. It’s a mere recognition of how things are.

            Of course if you’re in possession of some incontrovertible evidence for the existence of God, by all means do share it with me. I’ll examine your evidence and if it seems solid and irrefutable to me, then I’ll know that God exists. As yet I have seen no such evidence. But that doesn’t mean I won’t some day.

          • Ivan M

            If an entity like God exists, He subsumes all in the sense that even your thought processes are implicated, since if you are of a skeptical frame of mind you, have to resist any intimations of His existence, through a kind of cheap skepticism that passes for intelligence in your circles.
            Belief in God is a binary proposition, either He exists or He does not. There is no third way. Thus if it is more honest for you to say that He does not exist, rather than pretend that you are above the fray in your non-existent third way.

            It is like a marriage. If you do not cherish your spouse and make a determination to be faithful, you will never discover what it is like to be deeply in love. Can a faithless man find true love? Can we rely on the testimony of such a man in these matters? (I am talking partly about myself.)You will find the truth about God if you work and wish for it.

          • Tutanekai

            No matter how binary the proposition of God’s existence may be, we cannot know the truth of the matter without supporting evidence. I have seen none that convinces me either way, therefore I do not know if God exists.

            My position clearly irritates you because it reminds you of your own doubts. It reminds you that you too are not omniscient and must therefore face up to the uncertainty of your beliefs.

            I’m willing to admit I don’t know, whereas you pretend you do. What’s cheap, I wonder? Honesty or pretense?

          • “What’s cheap, I wonder? Honesty or pretense?”

            ROFL … from the recently ‘married’ homosexual who later claimed to be in bed in his female wife of four years.

            (Btw, the usual British spelling is pretence)

          • chiefofsinners

            You misunderstand me, or pretend to. Let me give you another clue: the only part of the job description that you are missing is “masquerades as an angel of light”. Although if you’re doing that as well as you do the rest of it, I wouldn’t have noticed.

          • Cressida de Nova

            You need to surf (not the net)It’s a good cure for that festering bile that is eating away at you.

          • Pubcrawler

            It’s about the only familiar trope we haven’t seen yet.

        • “The sins he so unrepentantly commits time and time again are the very ones the Bible underlines as being particularly abhorrent to God, so one can only assume he’s in for a really hard time.”

          Now, now, do calm down.
          You must recall learning about the sins that are so evil that they are said to be sins that cry to heaven for vengeance. They are: murder (Gn 4:10), sodomy (Gn 17:20-21), oppression of the poor (Ex 2:23), and defrauding workers of their just wages (Jas 5:4).

          • Tutanekai

            Funny, these weren’t the sins that Christ got so upset about. No, he reserved his choicest and most withering comments for the Pharisees and hypocrites. For the Holy Joes who made a spectacle of their faith and specialised in denunciation and condemnation, but who wouldn’t lift a finger to help anyone in need.

            Sound familiar? It should.

          • Mlle Poseur Pissoir, you wound Happy Jack with your harsh words. Wound him, you do.

          • chiefofsinners

            Be of good cheer, brother Jack. Christ has overcome the world.

          • Cressida de Nova

            Chin up Jack. Sticks and stones. You are a kind man who would help anyone who needed it.

          • Thank you, Cressie. Jack hopes he would do all that he could to help anyone.

            You should know Tuti is the blogger formally known as Linus. He’s simply serving up the same poison towards Christians because he has an *issue* with God about his same sex attraction. His conscience probably tells him its wrong and he cannot handle the shame and guilt.

            A strange commenter and, in Jack’s opinion, oft times he borders on the deranged.

          • Ivan M

            HJ, the last three will put the majority of us in Hell.

          • Pubcrawler

            Matt. 19:25f.

          • All four when you consider the state of the capitalist, secular humanist West that embraces abortion and euthanasia and has manufactured same sex ‘marriage’ claiming sodomy is an act of love.

          • Anton

            I’m unconvinced that buying goods in free markets that are manufactured in the third world falls in your categories 3 and 4.

            WE think those factories are Dickensian, but the Chinese much prefer to work in them than in the fields. And the result of our buying those goods is that more Chinese can afford meat – so many more that it is seriously starting to affect world livestock markets; this is not a phenomenon confined to the very rich in China. The standard of living of the average Chinese is improving because of this trade, and I question whether I am responsible before God for the maltreatment of workers by individual factory owners 10,000 miles away.

          • Jack was referring more to consumerism and the insatiable wants it creates across the globe for more and more at les and less cost. It places man at the centre of creation and reduces labour to unit costs. Work should be enriching and creative, not exploitative.

          • Anton

            It shouldn’t be exploitative but, as for enriching and creative, that is the exception rather than the rule since the Fall; see Genesis 3:19.

          • Even so, work should enhance the dignity of man and since Christ’s life, death and resurrection things have changed somewhat.

            “Christianity does not look upon work as demeaning or evil, as though leisure were more worthy of human dignity. Work ennobles a person’s character and assimilates one to the Saviour.”
            (Fr. John Hardon’s Modern Catholic Dictionary)

            “We believe by faith that through the homage of work offered to God man is associated with the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, whose labour with his hands at Nazareth greatly ennobled the dignity of work. This is the source of every man’s duty to work loyally, as well as his right to work; moreover, it is the duty of society to see to it that, according to the prevailing circumstances, all citizens have the opportunity of finding employment”
            (Vatican II, Constitution on the Church in the Modern World)

          • Anton

            Yes, it is not for us to complain at the toil that God has decided should be our lot since that fateful day, and if we find it burdensome then we should consider that we deserve it and thank Our Lord for saving us from worse and saving us for better after we pass on. I agree that there is such a thing as the dignity of labour.

        • The Explorer

          You go to Hell for owning a pub?

          Just joking, old chap. I know it has another meaning in the New Testament.

          • Ivan M

            Zaccheus will help the Inland Revenue chaps. They’ll just have to pay up four times what they defrauded. It is better though to be a Catholic in those circumstances, three Hail Marys and one is scot free.

          • Anton

            Carrie A Nation thought you went to hell for owning a pub:

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carrie_Nation

            She was an American woman who was a radical member of the temperance movement, which opposed alcohol before the advent of Prohibition. She is particularly noteworthy for attacking alcohol-serving establishments (most often taverns) with a hatchet… Nation was a relatively large woman, almost 6 feet (180 cm) tall and weighing 175 pounds (79 kg). She described herself as “a bulldog running along at the feet of Jesus, barking at what He doesn’t like”, and claimed a divine ordination to promote temperance by destroying bars.

          • The Explorer

            Wonder what she made of the Miracle at Cana?

          • Anton

            Yes, prohibition was put in place in the USA by Christians who would have barred Jesus from their churches in view of Matt 11:19.

        • Um…your Linus is beginning to show, Tut. Assuming you care, of course. It’s the growing number and lenghs of your paragraphs, the flowery vocabulary, the sub-orbital hyperbolae, ponderous and overly descriptive Continental…one might even say, French…humour.

          • carl jacobs

            But after so many creations and re-creations, what do we really know about him? Almost everything we know is a lie by definition. And why should we believe the rest?

          • What we know is that he is combative and overly self-conscious, even over his pseudonyms and created personae, and we can believe that he’ll be consistent.

          • The Explorer

            If we think about who is the father of lies, we can, at least, identify his intellectual paternity.

          • The man’s in pain spiritually and emotionally and we should try to be charitable towards him whilst still robustly challenging his assertions and bizarre statements.

          • The Explorer

            Avi, Carl, Jack: the three experts now concur as to his identity. Good enough for me. Mind you, I’d already decided independently.

          • I didn’t believe it until I read this.

          • CliveM

            I think the bullying of Magnolia removes any doubt. Linus always got particularly vicious (and biological) with women.

          • The Explorer

            And especially with Magnolia.

          • CliveM

            He wasn’t particularly chivalrous with Busy Mum either.

          • Ah, see? Told you I’m no expert; you folks had his number way before me.

          • CliveM

            Oh I’m just easily influenced.

          • magnolia

            I think of Tutanekai as a Mummy flapping its graveclothes. Not good to let it get away with nonsense, but you don’t take the verbal onslaughts with great seriousness nor personally! So I wouldn’t consider it as bullying, just ad hominem poor quality debating, and unnecessarily potty-mouthed.

          • Pubcrawler

            These latest efforts of his, especially his priggish sophistry, have convinced me as well.

          • The Explorer

            Either none of the personal details about Linus were true, or a lot of them were. Either he was having fun with us by feeding us deliberate misinformation; or he revealed more about himself than he intended. That could account for the closure of the Linus identity to blur our memories, and the new identities with different personal information to confuse us. Whichever persona, the essential personality reveals itself.

          • Having read his earlier comments on Peter Ould’s blog, Jack would say Linus presented accurate auto-biological information – with the possible the exception of his announced ‘marriage’. My view is he gave away far too much information on himself and when he was made to look ridiculous, took fright.

          • Pubcrawler

            Personal details are of no intrinsic interest; however, identifying that it is the same person with the same purposes and the same modus is very useful in determining how — or indeed whether — to engage.

          • Anton

            Does it matter? Should one not simply answer the words?

            In any case, nothing is stopping anybody from asking anyone here politely: “Have you posted at this blog under the name blahblah in the past? Please do me the honour of including a clear Yes or No in any reply.”

            PS Supposing temporarily that he is Linus, he didn’t clear out his former account for no reason; that must have involved quite a deep rethink, and baiting him about the change rather than asking him straight questions is not constructive.

          • The Explorer

            See my response to Pubcrawler below.
            Personally, I think personal information may be included if it’s relevant to the discussion but not otherwise. Let the arguments speak for themselves. (And if it’s personal information that’s unrelaible because contradicted by a different set of information, that merely confuses things.)

          • Jack attempted this when he was using the name In Perfect Ignorance and was met with avoidance and rudeness.
            That said, given Jack’s history on this blog, he understands your point.

          • Hi

            Actually , if you think about it ” Jack, Barzel & Jacobs ” does sound like a merchant bank or a legal firm.

    • saintmark

      Surely they’re not saints until they’re officially canonised?

      • Tutanekai

        Well quite, but in their fertile imaginations their canonisation is a shoo-in, so they’d like all the veneration now please.

  • len

    I suppose the RCC couldn`t really turn Robert Mugabe away because he certainly isn`t any worse than some of the popes?.

    • Ivan M

      Well then there is hope for you too, by the same token. Be of good cheer.

  • Your Grace, with apologies for the OT comment, but a big thanks to your UK signatories opposing a boycott of Israel. This is way better than flipping the bird in Roger Waters’ face on his birthday at a film festival last year! A good weekend and a shabbat shalom to all from Toronto.

    • “flipping the bird”. Please be more sensitive ….
      Shabbat Sholom.

      • Big sorry, Jack; forgot dodos are kosher, but so are giraffes and I don’t eat those either. Only chicken for dinner tonight.

        • carl jacobs

          “…kosher dodo? …”

          Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha

          • A relative of doves and pigeons. But the awkward and goofy-looking side of the clan.

          • Manfarang

            Harper is now the dodo.

          • Yes. Canadians got bored of a good and stable economy with high employment and low taxes. Harper is a carmudgeony sourpuss and the Young and the Restless wanted excitement, change and big government back up their butts, so we got Pretty Boy now. Pray for us.

    • Anton

      O, we can do better than that, by actively buying Israeli products. (Wish the wine was a bit cheaper though!)

      • Manfarang

        The Queen was knocking back some good English wine from a Ditchling vinyard. Nice Old Meeting House in Ditchling.

  • Jack never said the person was were sleeping, merely that he was in bed and he meant beside her. In fact, you claimed to be blogging at the time and this was annoying your wife.

    So which was the lie, Linus? Your homosexual ‘marriage’ or this one?

    • Tutanekai

      No idea what you mean. And is “Linus” a code word on this blog for “enemy”?

      What a strange bunch of people you are…

      • Tut, tut, Tuti.

        If you were Pinocchio your nose would stretch across La Manche.

        • CliveM

          Oh but he’s right, we are very strange!

          • Queer, one might have said in days gone bye.

  • Manfarang

    They would wouldn’t they.In the PRC churches run their own affairs with no outside control. The Chinese make good Catholics though.

  • James M

    Regrettable as the Holy See’s treatment of Mugabe is, that does not justify what the CH, surely rightly, was objecting to. Pointing the finger at an accuser whose conduct is no better than one’s own is not exactly gracious, no ? We should be better than that, and should belp each other to be.