25 March 2019

National Unity in the Post-Brexit world: Fr Hunwicke's Modest Proposal

Exciting days: we may soon Have Our Country Back Again, and be deploying our nearly-finished (but as yet aircraft-less) Aircraft Carrier to ward off all the foreign diplomatts and Trade Ministers and merchants who will be besieging us (I distinctly remember being assured that this is what would happen) in the hope of getting some of our splendiferous new Trade Deals. It will be a period in the History of our Great Nation when we shall have to re-emphasise our National Unity.

Perhaps one element here will be the need to ensure that anyone who tries to get in on our post-Brexit financial boom will be able to speak our National Language. Nothing of course cements a society as much as etc.etc. ad nauseam..

Which, of course, er, means, er ... y'kno' ...

English is not our only historic and native language in these Three Kingdoms. There is Welsh; there is Cornish, the language that Pam and I dip into together during our Cornish holidays as we return to the Catholic culture of medieval Europe by reading the mystery plays and sermons which survive in the old Cornish language. There are the two kinds of Gaelic; and, no, I haven't forgotten Manx. (In the disiecta membra of the old Duchy of Normandy, fragments of Norman French dialects survive.) Each of these is as properly, anciently, British, as is English ... the late Mr Chaucer's dialect ... or, possibly, even more so. And I haven't forgotten Old Norse, part of the heritage of the Orkneys. But there is also another inherently British tongue: Latin, the language of these islands from the Claudian invasion onwards; the language of S Bede the Venerable and Sir Isaac Newton; the language in which Law and Theology and Mathematics and Logic were taught in our ancient universities ... Oxford, Cambridge, Glasgow, Aberdeen ... in the Middle Ages and thereafter; the language in which the inhabitants of the Three Kingdoms worshipped for more than a thousand years.

So here is Fr Hunwicke's Modest Proposal. We should have two levels of citizenship: full citizenship; and associate citizenship. Full citizenship, including the right to vote and to own property and to have social benefits, would be available to all who could speak at least two of the languages on the following list; associate citizenship would have much more restricted rights attached to it, including temporary residence and the right to pay taxes, but would be freely and generously available to lesser mortals who were only able to be fluent in one of these languages.

(In the Channel Isles: Norman French.)
(Within the Metropolitan Province of Westminster: Scouse, as an act of respectful deference to Cardinal Vin.)
(Esperanto would need to be excluded as being insufficently divisive.)

Gosh, the scope for fertile combinations: lessons in Cornish for native speakers of Urdu; Latin word lists for Polish Plumbers and Dentists ...

You know it makes sense.

24 March 2019

Eminent Training; but Pellucid Guilt ???

I'm rather terribly embarrassed about writing this ... it's not the sort of thing Nanny expected one to talk about in public ... after all, this is a Family Blog ... but, well, I was at Waitrose stocking up on smoked salmon (they sell a variety which is not cluttered up with all those daft little slithers of transparent plastic), when my Instinctive Responses suggested that, before catching the 'bus home, it might be comforting to, er, void my, er, bladder. So I went to, er, the PAC (Publicly Available Commode, Americane 'restroom').

Dear me. I was wearing trousers, pants, a capacious pullover, a long dangly scarf (my Wife's College), a waterproof. It was not a warm day. (This year, we got summer out of the way in February during Torpids.)

The good news is that I do have two hands. Using these with all the complex skills born of nearly eight decades, graduating in due course from elementary potty training, I was able to achieve my purposes without mishap, or whatever the American is for 'mishap'. I couldn't suppress a thought that a Wiser Providence ... I hope this isn't disrespectful ... let's say an Even Wiser Providence ... could helpfully have provided male humans with three hands, if not four. Perhaps, if Mr Darwin is right, we shall evolve an extra hand over the next few millennia. No; don't write in screaming about how I'm not really a Traditional Catholic or I wouldn't have mentioned Evolution. I'm just not in the mood for opening up warfare on yet another front.

Yes. Fronts. That's it. At this moment I thought about Cardinal Pell, whom I once had the pleasure of meeting at Knock when we both adressed the Irish Confraternity of Catholic Clergy. I think it might have been an occasion when I read my Paper on how a pope who tried to suppress the Vetus Ordo would be acting ultra vires. I particularly enjoy reading that Paper. I modestly feel that it goes with a zing.

Like me, Pell only has two hands; larger and more eminent ones than mine, I grant you, but still subject to all the same fundamental terrestrial limitations.

Assuming that, for solemn Mass in his Cathedral Church, the Cardinal Archbishop will have been wearing pants, trousers (do they favour zips or buttons in Oz?), soutane (with buttons), alb, girdle, stole, dalmatic, pectoral cross, chasuble, and pallium (praetereo Cappam Magnam), how, er, um, how on earth inguen ita suum a vestibus liberare potuisset ut minctum sine periculo tute perageret, non dicam stuprum?

Phew. Why didn't I write this whole piece in Latin? It's so much easier than English. I'm sure English must be the product only of God's permissive will.

Do you think newly created cardiinals attend specially designed Training Sessions praeside et magistro eminentissimo domino Cardinale Coccopalmerio?

23 March 2019

Liturgy and Vatican II: what did they think they were voting for?

Vaggagini says somewhere "Three tendencies were manifested: some wanted no concessions to the vernacular; some wanted permission to say everything in the vernacular for all who wanted it; some wanted to maintain the basic principle of Latin, but also to open the door noticeably to the vernacular tongue." (The text of Sacrosanctum Concilium at para 54 actually reflects this stage of understanding very closely.) The last group, he said, were by far the largest. So, if you put that together, you clearly find that the overwhelming majority of the Council Fathers wanted at least to preserve a basically Latin Liturgy. And thought they were voting for this!

All but four bishops voted finally for the draft text: and those four lonely dissenters did  not  include Archbishop Lefebvre. He and his friends were happy with what they had voted for; with what they imagined they would get.

So how did we end up with the practical disappearance of Latin in less than a decade? And a radical deformation of the Roman Rite?

A friend once left a comment advancing the hypothesis that the Council, if anything, attempted to put the brakes on the radical slide into innovation which had been begun, on his own initiative, by Venerable Pius XII. I think there could be something in that. How about this as a summary of a possible narrative:
Over the decades, an international network of professional Liturgical Experts had grown up who were mostly not particularly marked by precise or original scholarship but maintained a close network of meetings, conferences, and journals. After the Council, they soon came to dominate the Diocesan Liturgical Committees which the Bishops set up, and then the liturgical bureaucracies created by the Episcopal Conferences. Bishops felt that they themselves didn't really know about Liturgy and were glad to be able to leave it to The Experts.

You remember the hoohaa that started up when Joseph Ratzinger began to write about Liturgy: "But he's not an expert in Liturgy". They meant: he's not one of us and he hasn't participated in our conferences and our journals and our international common agendas.

22 March 2019

Ad Multos Annos!!!

I don't know whether there are any fissures at all in the heavy plate-armour surrounding PF's fortified self-certainties; if there are, he must several times have wondered whether it really was a smart move to dispense with the services of Gerhard Cardinal Mueller ... there is an edifying English proverb to the effect that it is better to keep one's "enemy" inside one's tent p***ing out than to have him outside p***ing in. But PF's repertoire of old English proverbs may be limited.

His Eminence's Statement of Faith was, I think, the first substantial act of Magisterial guidance during this arid pontificate. Catholics thank him for it.

But now there has appeared another such!

It became clear that Bishop Athanasius Schneider was being leaned on by the Congregation for Bullying to stay in Kazhakstan and support his local footie team against the Scots rather than gallivanting round the world. He did exactly this, and with great success ... the massed and woad-painted Clans were thoroughly humiliated ... and his Lordship, freed from the tyranny of airports, has been able to spend time on researching and writing.

I commend ... how could I not ... the fine treatise by Bishop Athanasius about heretical popes (and much else).

Readers of this blog will immediately discern that his arguments, evidence, exempla, and conclusions are exactly those which I have regularly deployed here. So you will not be surprised that I am feeling quite up-beat.

Bishop Athanasius has rightly emphasised the importance of the Honorius case (above those of other errant popes) in making clear beyond any question that (1) popes can err; (2) such popes can be formally and Magisterially condemned for heresy; and (3) such popes do not ipso facto by their heresy lose their position.

When something has happened, this proves it can happen. 

Do-it-yourself depose-a-pope may be emotionally satisfying but it is not an option for grown-ups in a real world.

21 March 2019

Only for those who possess Latin Monastic Breviaries: Hymns for S Benedict

In the Liturgia Horarum, you have Legifer prudens for Lauds. This was composed by Dom Anselmo Lentini and published (1954) in the periodical Latinitas. Lentini, a very considerable hymnographer, commented that it fitted the munus sociale of S Benedict, on account of which he was made principal Patron of all Europe by S Paul VI.

Also in LH, at Vespers, there is Inter aeternas, by Peter the Venerable, Abbot of Cluny, who died in 1156. It is shortened, partly by the omission of some miracles.

In the original draft of the Hymnarium for the Liturgia Horarum, Fratres alacri had been suggested for the Office of Readings. It was composed by Paul the Deacon, who died in 799.

In my Diurnale Monasticum, Inter aeternas is the hymn at Lauds; at Vespers there is Laudibus cives. I find this hymn very appealing because of the clues scattered around its text. For example, it tells us that the youth ful S Benedict left the penates of his fatherland; that he laid low both the nemus of Venus and the bronze statue of Clarius. The God of Clarus was, of course, Apollo ... I wonder if penates and Clarius would have featured in a hymn written before the classicising movement of the seventeenth century.  

But Urban VIII and his circle cannot claim the credit for Laudibus cives. It was written by Jean-Baptiste de Santeuil (1630-1697), who, in the style of the times referred to himself as Santolius Victorinus, because he was a Canon Regular of the Monastery of S Victor.

He made generous contributions to the hymnody of the Paris 'Neo-Gallican' breviaries of 1680 and 1736, but I have not discovered that Laudibus cives was one of them. My hypothesis is that he provided it for the Cistercian Breviary revised in that century by Claude Vaussin, Minister General, and that it thence made its way into the current Monastic Rite. Or perhaps the Cluniac Breviary of 1685 was the source. Erudite readers who know better are urged to correct or supplement this account.

'Santolinus', having been buried at Dijon, was moved later to his Abbey of S Victor. When that Abbey was destroyed during the Troubles of the 1790s, the body was transferred to the church of S Nicolas du Chardonnet, where, according to Wikipaedia, it is buried in the Chapel of the Holy Spirit. I have not been able to discover in Wikipaedia the text of the Latin epitaph composed by the great (if Jansenist) Hellenist Rollin.

I don't know if current Roman Catholic hymnody is much influenced by the oeuvre of 'Santolinus'; he was quite popular in the Anglo-Catholic rediscovery of Latin hymnody, and he has three translations in the English Hymnal. They include the still popular Disposer supreme ...

20 March 2019

CENSORSHIP: Postscriptum

Some thoughts about points of reference in an atmosphere of intimidation.

(1) Cardinal Mueller continues to make lively and relevant comments. These include doctrinal matters (for example, his Profession of Faith)  but also frank comments on matters which are not doctrinal or are not solely doctrinal. For example: the poor quality and theological illiteracy of many who are currently being promoted in and to the Episcopate; the true status of Episcopal Conferences and their chairmen and their bureaucracies ...

His Eminence signed his Profession with the information about his tenure of the position of Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. This implied a guarantee of the authenticity of his teaching.

I do not see how lesser people could be criticised, still less disciplined, if their remarks are in line with Mueller's and Mueller has himself not been condemned.

(2) Watch the CDF and its current prefect Cardinal Ladaria. Not long ago, after PF made some particularly silly remarks about Gnosticism and Pelagianism, the CDF put out a very sensible statement on those heresies. While not criticising PF by name, it was clearly a put-down ... er ... clarification. The situation, of course, may change, particularly when His Eminence retires and if he is replaced by someone like the Graf von Schoenborn or even 'Tucho' 'Kiss me quickly!' Fernandez.

(3) It appears that Blessed John Henry Newman will be canonised this year. It would hardly be elegant for anybody to be leaned on for subscribing to his views, or, indeed, to the example he set by how he referred to Pio Nono and Cardinal Manning and the other ultrasuperhyperueberpapalist extremists of his own time. I have found the 1870 volume of his letters to be endless fun!

(4) PF himself still calls for Parrhesia. While it is contextually clear that what he means by this is "If you agree with me, say so loudly and often!", it can be rhetorically amusing to turn his own repeated topos against him.

(5) Mgr Knox's preface to his own collected Essays in Satire is a fine account of the importance of demonstrating how naked Emperors commonly are.

(6) Do not forget Canon 212, especially the admirable sense and fine balance of its third paragraph.

Again ....

The reason why some submitted comments have not been enabled is that I do not enable comments which say or suggest that our Holy Father Pope Francis is not Pope.

19 March 2019

Te Ioseph ...

Naturally you want to know all about the hymn Te Ioseph celebrent agmina caelitum, found in the Breviary Office of S Joseph.

The lyric metre is (what Nisbett and Hubbard classified as) the "Second Asclepiad". It was used in Greek by the early Lesbian lyric poet Alcaeus, but the form we find in the Breviary is that standardised by Horace in Latin. Each stanza consists of three 'minor Asclepiads' followed by a 'Glyconic'.

Unlike the Sapphic metre (also of Lesbian origin), this metre did not attain the same enormous popularity among Christian hymnographers, although those of you who use the Liturgia Horarum will find, if you turn to S Jerome on the 30th of September, a modern hymn in this metre probably written by Dom Anselmo Lentini. He explained that this was the only metre in which S Jerome's name could be metrically included!! Whether you deem the name to be, with five syllables, Hi-er-on-ym-um, or with four syllables, Je-ro-ny-mum, you can fit it in after laude. Geddit?

What a lot of trouble Dom Anselmo and his coetus did go to in order to fulfil the Conciliar mandate with regard to the Hymnology of the Office ... little knowing that in half a decade the recitation of the Office in Latin would, to all intents and purposes, have disappeared ... disappeared despite the explicit mandate in Sacrosanctum Concilium that the use of Latin by clerics in the Office should be maintained. What a corrupt decade that was. Whenever I hear the mendacious, the lying, claim that the liturgical "reforms" did what the Council had ordered, it makes me want to kick people.

However, one should not go around kicking poor deceived deluded people who have been taught a pack of diabolical lies by others far wickeder than themselves. So back to S Joseph ...

Te Ioseph  was written by a Carmelite, John Escallar a Conceptione, about whom I only know that he died in 1700. In other words, this composition is the fruit of the classicising Counter-Reformation. An exquisitely elegant fruit.

One oddity. The line Post mortem reliquos sors pia consecrat. Lentini explained that the original text was Post mortem reliquos mors pia consecrat. Others deserve their rewards after their deaths, because of the sanctity of their deaths. But S Joseph got his goodies during his earthy life as he guarded the Holy Family. Dom Anselmo explains that the original line won't do, because it contains a certain word-play, mortem ... mors, acceptable in that century but unpopular (invisus) nowadays.

Oh dear ...

18 March 2019

Censorship ... Bergoglianity is at work on it ...

I here republish an old post with its original thread, from 29 October 2018. When one ventures upon prophecies, it is always interesting to know if they are fulfilled! So it would be kind if readers were to let me know of any signs that I was right in the apprehensions which I voiced! I will read and then delete comments which their authors preface with NOT FOR PUBLICATION. I quite appreciate that people have good reasons for not exposing themselves to persecution by the Ministers of Mercy who patrol the Bergoglian Church.

I will add a few further thoughts the day after tomorrow.

In the chaos of the 1960s, one notable casualty was the Church's system of the censorship of books. This disappearance was, I think, inevitable; in that febrile and aggressive atmosphere, it is inconceivable that the process of waiting for a diocesan Censor Librorum to read a book and make his comments, then for him to negotiate with an author about his/her ambiguities, and to agree a text ... then for the Ordinary or his VG to issue the imprimatur ... it is inconceivable that such a system could have survived. Then add Humanae Vitae and the spate of dissenting books and articles which would have needed to be refused the Nihil obstat ...

There was undoubtedly rejoicing at the disappearance of the pre-modern apparatus of censorship; predictably, especially among 'liberals'.

Clandestinely, this development led to a new and only semi-visible form of censorship. The dominance of certain 'schools' in Academe, especially in subjects such as Liturgy, Biblical Studies, and Moral Theology, made it increasingly difficult to secure publication of ideas which defended or explicated Tradition.

Although the boot was invisible ... it was now on the other foot.

But now comes the paradox. The disappearance of Censorship preceded, at a polite distance, the emergence of the Internet. And in our own age it has become very difficult for anybody to monitor, let alone to control, the myriad ideas and opinions which can flicker across the World's computers. And, among all this material, orthodox and traditional statements and ideas have as free an access as everything else to the many fora of discussion. I very much doubt if the examination and critical assessment of this pontificate would have been as open and free as it has been, had the Internet not existed.

But now ... Synod 2018 Paragraph 146.

"The Synod hopes that in the Church appropriate official bodies for digital culture and evangelisation are established at appropriate levels ... Among their functions ... [could be] certification systems of Catholic sites, to counter the spread of fake news ..."

I very much dislike the look of this. It is no secret that some members of the CBCEW were, for years, very nervous about bloggers and especially clerical bloggers. The disgraceful episcopal suppression of one famous diaconal blog became quite a cause celebre. Management had lost a significant control. It is only a year or two since my friend Fr Ray Blake bravely put on the public record that he had found tanks parked on his lawn: tanks in the shape of his Bishop passing on the cheerful news that "The Cardinal doesn't like ...".

We seem to have come a long way from those broad sunlit uplands when Benedict XVI (remember him? The 'Rat', the 'Inquisitor', the 'Panzer Cardinal'? Yes, that one) encouraged blogging, and especially clerical bloggers. Now, the era of the boors and the bullies.

Shall we, in a few years' time, discover that we have Diocesan, National, and Worldwide systems for closing down free discussion in the Church? After all, the Synod will have "called for it", won't it?

"Synodality" sounds so democratic, modern, open and free. What's not to like? And this Synod has concluded with the usual flurry of synthetic Bergoglian rhetoric about the Holy Spirit. In such liberated and happy times, don't you need to be paranoid to be suspicious?

Don't you believe it. Bullies are bullies are bullies.

17 March 2019

The Emerald Isle

Q What should the Irish do on S Patrick's Day?
A Wake up from their hiberniation.

The first S Patrick's Day since the Enemy promised to the Irish people, as he did to Tinidril on Perelandra, "I have come that you might have Death, and have it in abundance."

I think Cardinal Sarah should revoke the indult that allows the dioceses of Ireland to celebrate S Patrick even on a Sunday in Lent.

16 March 2019

"The worst pope ever"?

So a correspondent wrote on one of my threads. It set me thinking.

I am convinced that PF is most certainly not the worst man ever to have been pope. OK; he has a short temper; he turns easily to abuse; he has either a very bad memory or a tendency to lie. But even striking characteristics like his propensity to accuse people of shit-eating betoken, probably, nothing more than a cultural back-ground a trifle different from our own. We middle-class British are so much more circumlocutory in our put-downs of those we dislike. "My dear fellow, with the utmost respect I'm not entirely sure that I completely agree with you" may be every bit as aggressively focussed as "You coprophagist!". We must be humble enough to be open to semantic diversity.

Anybody who seriously thinks that PF is the worst man ever to have been pope should probably read rather more Church History. I do not only have in mind the 'Marozia' popes of the period called the Pornocracy; I would also nominate Urban VI, who precipitated the Western Schism by his 'harshness and violence'; and Paul IV Caraffa, 'of ferocious character', whose malevolent hostility towards the English Catholic Church during the reign of Queen Mary made it so much easier for Elizabeth Tudor to reintroduce the Reformation to my country.

What might, much more plausibly, be argued is that PF is the worst pope in the single sense that the papal office has drastically changed under the influence of modernity, in a world of instant communications and rapid reporting and the possibility of minute-by-minute micromanagement. So this Ministry, when exercised by an impatient shoot-from-the-hip-especially-when-you're-irritated individual like PF, is more dangerous now than any exercise of the Petrine office was in the past, even in the pontificates of very bad men, back in those happy days when the ordinary layman or cleric probably knew little about the current occupant of the Roman See, and had certainly not heard about the sillier things he said in his private chapel this morning or the proclivities of his nastier cronies.

What we need after PF's death or abdication or deposition is not a better or more holy or more prayerful man. What we need is the papal office itself stripped down and cleansed from the idolatrous accretions of recent pontificates, so that it is again a Petrine Ministry which can without daily disaster be exercised by an ordinary sinful human being with ordinary human failings tempered by the Grace of God ... just like the great majority of popes over two millennia, who were neither saints nor reprobates.

Above all, a new pope will need the self-discipline to ... you thought I was going to write "Talk very much less". But that does not quite get to the heart of the problem. Very soon after this pontificate began, I wrote in a blogpost that our new pope should not be allowed out without whatever he was to say having been carefully checked by those in the Curia whose responsibility it is to give a theological shape to a pontificate.

Papal authority is not personal in an individualistic or whimsical sort of way. The pope is supposed to say, not what he feels or wants, but what the judgement of the Roman Church is as a corporate and structured body mindful of its own Holy and immemorial Tradition. (When PF, after some off-the-cuff remarks about his own liturgical preferences, emphatically added "This is Magisterium!", he thereby exemplified the main error which he entertains with regard to his own job-description.)

The first major exercise of papal authority, the letter called I Clement, has the form of something written as if by one member of the Roman Presbyterate. S Clement is not himself actually mentioned. The writer was very clearly an individual who expected to be obeyed. But he writes and judges and instructs in a corporate manner. That is why the Curia Romana has a doctrinal status and purpose. It is not meant to be a tedious bureaucracy which so sadly gets in the way of everybody being able to see what a splendid chap a pope is once he is able to shake off his staff. It is an integral part of the exercise of the Ministry which the Redeemer instituted in his Church, because an episkopos is meaningless without his presbyterium, his diakonia, his laos.  And this goes for Rome as much as for any other particular Church. The earliest witnesses of the Roman Primacy, SS Ignatius and Irenaeus, do not explicitly mention the Roman Bishop; they talk about the Roman Church.

Finally: this Next Pope will need to remember the apercu of Blessed John Henry Newman, that the Ministry of the Roman Church within the Oikoumene is to be a barrier, a remora, against the intrusion of erroneous novelty.

It is: to hand on the Great Tradition unadulterated.

In an age when the adjective "negative" has unpopular vibes, we need a reappropriation at the very highest level within the Church of the central, fundamental importance of a negative and preservative, papacy. Tradidi quod et accepi implies Quod non accepi non tradam.

15 March 2019

Is PF "A Subtle Jesuit"?

Newman's Oxford undergraduate (Loss and Gain) "Charles Reding", about to be rusticated for  ... allegedly ... having a mind "perverted, debauched by sophistries and jesuitries", goes to say farewell to the Principal of his College. To whom he says "'I cannot conceive, sir, why I should be unfit company for the gentlemen of the College'. Dr Bluett's jaw dropped, and his eyes asumed a hollow aspect. 'You will corrupt their minds.' Then he added in a sepulchral tone, which seemed to come from the very depth of his inside, 'You will introduce them, sir, to some subtle Jesuit -- to some subtle Jesuit, Mr Reding'".

What a lovely reputation the Jesuits once had. What a shame we have no subtle Jesuits around today. But Stay!! Perhaps, after all, we do. Perhaps PF is a Subtle Jesuit!!! Had that occurred to you?

Here, again, is what PF said in his joint statement with his Islamic chum:
"The pluralism and the diversity of religions, colour, sex, race, and language are willed by God in his wisdom, through which he created human beings."

The inattentive might misread this as a typical piece of modern liberal 'affirmation', in which everybody is praised for and in their diversity. It is, surely, the dogma expressed by the 'diversity flag', in which all the colours of the rainbow are gloriously combined in one composition. All affirm all.

Well ... we have no way of knowing how PF's Islamic co-signatory glossed these words, But to many, this statement will seem nothing but a statement of the modern liberal blindingly obvious.

But PF introduced a new element into the rich mix when he gave Bishop Schneider permission to report a quite different interpretation: the idea that Diversity of Religion relates to the permissive will of God ... not to what he positively wills, but only to what he is willing to permit even though it is evil in itself.

Lovely Stuff. But PF goes on to bracket diversity of sex with the diversity of religion. And anybody who knows the least about the Judaeo-Christian tradition could have explained to PF that the division of Humanity into two sexes is given in Genesis, a section of the Pentateuch near the beginning of the Bible just after all the stuff about King James I, as part of the positive will of God for unfallen Humanity ... not just as something God tolerates because it is an unfortunate consequence of creating Man with the free will to choose the Good and the Bad. Creation of Mankind in two complementary sexes is not something that God permits; it is what he has himself freely done.

But ... hang on ... perhaps PF is not, as you were foolishly assuming, impetuous, judgmental readers that you are, a poor ignorant old man who has never read Genesis. Perhaps he is ... after all ... a Subtle Jesuit ... like all those Subtle Jesuits who lurked behind every lamp-post and hedgerow of the Victorian Protestant imagination!

So, on the one hand, to Moslems and Liberals, PF wishes to come across as praising religious diversity; it is a Good positively willed by God.  

But, on the other hand, to Bishop Schneider and his associates, PF tips the wink: "Don't be too noisy about this, old man, but of course I agree wholeheartedly with you that the existence of all false religions is one of the terrible evils resulting from the wilfulness and waywardness of Man, once he has been led by Satan into Sin, Disobedience, and Error. If you think it will help, do tell your troops that what I meant was: false religions are not positively but only permissively willed. And do anything else you can to get them to just Shut Up and stop analysing what I say. Analysis is just so ***********ly Rigid. As S Thomas Aquinas so rightly said, Logic is the Devil's Whore."

Amazingly Subtle. Devastatingly Jesuitical. What a man!!!!!