Friday, June 13, 2008

Pope wades in to Irish EU referendum

While other media outlets report either ‘neutrally’ that the ‘Pope hails Irish role in Europe’, or rather more provocatively that ‘Ex-Nazi supports Irish “Yes”’, Cranmer is content with the colloquial neutrality of intervention. Pope Benedict XVI is evidently following the example set by his predecessor Pope John Paul II. Just as His late Holiness gave many coded pronouncements on his support for the EU, so His present Holiness is lending his considerable religio-political weight to the Treaty of Lisbon.

Since World War II, each pope has thrown his weight behind moves toward the creation of a supra-national European union. Pope John XXIII insisted that Roman Catholics should be ‘in the front ranks’ of the unification effort. When Pope John Paul II began the process of beatification of the EU’s ‘Founding Fathers’, it was a move clearly designed to sway Europe’s (then) 200 million Roman Catholics into believing that the EU is a project both designed and approved by God. It has taken a German pope to revive the Sacrum Romanum Imperium Nationis Germanicae, and since the Empire needs an Emperor, it comes as no surprise that the Vatican is supporting the creation of such an office, effectively fulfilling a function last performed by Pope Clement VII in 1530.

While visiting Austria in 1983, Pope John Paul II spoke out against the ‘national and artificial borders’ all over Europe. He added: ‘Europeans should overcome the menacing international confrontations of states and alliances, and create a new united Europe from the Atlantic to the Urals.’ In 1988, he continued this theme when he addressed the European Parliament in Strasbourg; an occasion at which many asked why a perceived spiritual leader was addressing the issues of political unity. The Sunday Telegraph (25 August 1991) summed up his plans for the ‘evangelisation’ of Europe, stating: ‘He is calmly preparing to assume the mantle which he solemnly believes to be his Divine Right - that of new Holy Roman Emperor, reigning from the Urals to the Atlantic.’

And so when Pope Benedict XVI chooses the eve of the Irish referendum to praise an Irish monk by the name of St Columbanus, the speech would not have been accidental. Indeed, the attempt to influence the outcome is rather shameless.

St Columbanus was an Irish monk born in 543 who travelled to Europe to spread Christianity. He was zealously orthodox, and wrote to Pope Gregory I: ‘We Irish, though dwelling at the far ends of the earth, are all disciples of St. Peter and St. Paul... Neither heretic, nor Jew, nor schismatic has ever been among us; but the Catholic Faith, just as it was first delivered to us by yourselves, the successors of the Apostles, is held by us unchanged... we are bound to the Chair of Peter, and although Rome is great and renowned, through that Chair alone is she looked on as great and illustrious among us... On account of the two Apostles of Christ, you (the Pope) are almost celestial, and Rome is the head of the whole world, and of the Churches.’

And so Pope Benedict XVI describes Columbanus as one of the founding ‘Fathers of Europe’. He ‘spent all his energies to nourish the Christian roots of the nascent Europe. With his spiritual strength, with his faith, with his love of God and neighbour, he became one of the Fathers of Europe, showing us today the way to those roots from which our continent may be reborn’. The Pope lauds him as a great Irishman and an early advocate of European unity.

Well, rather later advocates of European unity include Napoleon and Hitler, so being an advocate of European Union is not a noble pursuit in itself. And yet it is deemed sufficiently righteous to make one a ‘European saint’.

According to the BBC, the Pope is ‘close to the Catholic archbishop of Dublin Diarmaid Martin’, who is ‘likely to have briefed the Vatican on the referendum’. While the corporation is cautious about admitting that this has anything to do with the Pope's speech about Irish missionaries' historic role in Europe - just as the country's people determine the future shape of Europe in the referendum – they note that it ‘is probably a Vatican decision likely to remain behind closed doors’.

As Dr Richard North observes, it ‘seems the Vatican and the EU have a lot in common’.

And this has been previously stated by Lord Shore of Stepney, who observed in his book Separate Ways:

…part of the whole mystique of Community Law is its textual incomprehensibility, its physical dispersal, its ambivalence and its dependence upon ultimate clarification by the European Court of Justice: and the Brussels Commission and their long-serving, often expert officials are, in interpreting and manipulating all this, like a priestly caste - similar to what it must have been in pre-Reformation days, when the Bible was in Latin, not English; the Pope, his cardinals and bishops decided the content of canon law and the message came down to the laymen, only when the Latin text was translated into the vernacular by the dutiful parish priest.

It comes as no surprise that the Irish Roman Catholic hierarchy, although stopping short of directing its congregations on how to vote, issued a statement last month which was widely seen as supportive of the treaty. The BBC notes: ‘It urged voters not to register a protest vote and condemned groups spreading "false information", a regular jibe by the "yes" campaign used against their opponents in the "no" camp. Those who seek to influence the outcome of the referendum either by offering misleading or patently incorrect advice or by introducing extraneous factors into the debate, ought to be condemned.’

And so His Holiness affirms the anathema and perpetuates the dogma that on the seventh day God created the EU. This is curious, given that it is a distinctly secular, utterly Godless and increasingly anti-Christian construct which is antithetical to all that St Columbanus might have held dear.

But God forbid that men of God might be accused of spreading ‘false information’, or offering ‘misleading or patently incorrect advice’.


Blogger Bob said...

The Pope's coded message seems to have been a little too coded as it received absolutely no media spotlighting here in Ireland whatsoever.

On more pressing matters, the early tallys from the referendum here are showing a majority of 'No' votes, although its early days yet in the count.

13 June 2008 at 10:31  
Anonymous oiznop said...

I've heard that Paddy POwer is already paying out on a Yes. What are they basing that on? It's either a very stupid move (and expensive!) or they are party to exit poll information which confirms a Yes. Paying out on a Yes semms a little premature to me. Unless they know something we don't.

13 June 2008 at 10:39  
Blogger Bob said...

Paddy Power were paying out on a yes vote which they're now regretting as the tallies are showing the 'No' vote coming in at between 55%-60% in the majority of constituencies.

13 June 2008 at 11:37  
Blogger Death Bredon said...

Your Grace,

Of course, the Vatican wants to restore the Holy Roman Empire, believing that it would play a prominent role on the political world stage again.

But, the EU is hell bent on secularism, and would be closer to a Fourth Reich led by Bundesbank materialism than anything remotely "Holy."

Personally, if "World Government" has to be, I would prefer to take my chances with Vladimir Putin and the Moscow Patriarchate in reviving the "Third Rome" idea.

Still, all in all, what's soooooooooooooooooo wrong with the Anglican idea of decentralized power and authority?

13 June 2008 at 11:52  
Blogger Dave said...

Your Grace,

Have your prayers been answered? The Times is reporting that the result will be a "No".
Guido is cock-a-hoop and the BBC say-


What do we expect?

13 June 2008 at 12:16  
Anonymous Goodnight Vienna said...

It's 'NO' - the yes camp have conceded defeat and even, shock, horror, the BBC have now acknowledged as much.

13 June 2008 at 12:53  
Blogger Homophobic Horse said...

"Still, all in all, what's soooooooooooooooooo wrong with the Anglican idea of decentralized power and authority?"

It leaves people with far too much freedom, that's why.

Is the Pope just an abomination? I think it is.

13 June 2008 at 12:53  
Blogger Jomo said...

What about the "sensus fidelium"

Your Grace after all is all too aware of the ability of prelates and priests to follow fashion and bow down before secular power.

If the Irish had taken the advice of their bishops there would have been no Easter 1916 and no Republic to save Europe again from the darkness threatening it.

13 June 2008 at 13:39  
Anonymous Jim Kalb said...

St. Columbanus showed that an Irishman could make a big contribution to civilization when Ireland wasn't dominated by Europe. It's hard to see what Ireland could have contributed if there weren't a lot of mutual independence, if Columbanus's education for example had followed continental standards. So why is praising him praising the EU?

13 June 2008 at 14:29  

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