13 December 2020

The Mikado?

 I just love the phrase "President Elect". It has such a very English, GilbertandSullivan, feel to it. I think our transpontine friends are very lucky to have one. And he says such divinely funny things ... "Steel your Spines", for example. He is a poppet. 

You will guess, rightly, that I have been watching him a bit on video clips. Let me explain why.

Not along ago, I did rather join in with those other wicked souls who were laughing about the fact that the President Elect, "A devout Catholic", thought Psalmist was pronounced Palmist (instead of Sah-mist, as the rest of us, and our dictionaries, believe). One reader rebuked me for mocking somebody who had a speech impediment. So, I watched ... and listened ... to find any evidence that he cannot pronounce words with an initial S sound. I have to say that I discovered he has no problems at all with initial Ss. After all, many much younger men might have had trouble negotiating a phrase of such allusive complexity as "Steel your Spines". So I plead not guilty.

The survey, however, did convince me that, as my maternal Grandmother (now, I very much fear, deceased) would have put it, "He hasn't got much up top". And I got to wondering if this had any relevance to the question of giving him, or refusing him, Holy Communion ... a subject currently in the news. Reports are circulating about the words of Archbishops Chaput and Aquila. I have tentatively wondered if it can sometimes, in matters like this, be pastorally right to take account of somebody's low intelligence, ostensible decrepitude, deteriorating mental condition, or impaired grasp of realities.

Take Rex Mottram, for example, in Brideshead Revisited. He has proposed himself as a convert because he wishes to marry an aristocratic Catholic. Father Mowbray, given the task of instructing him, complains:

"'I wasn't happy about him. He seemed to have no sense of reality, but I knew he was coming under a steady Catholic influence, so I was willing to receive him. One has to take chances sometimes -- with semi-imbeciles, for instance. You never know quite how much they have understood. As long as you know there's someone to keep an eye on them, you take the chance.' ... 

"'Poor Rex,' said Lady Marchmain. 'You know, I think it makes him rather lovable. You must treat him like an idiot child, Father Mowbray.'"

When someone is extremely mentally confused, might it be right to give them the benefit of the doubt out of pastoral oikonomia?

Of course, I do realise that the question of Scandalum has also to be taken into account.

 

29 comments:

Scribe said...

Dear Father, I have noticed of late that the expression 'devout Catholic' is often used to mean any sort of Catholic, devout or otherwise. It includes politicians of all kinds who turn a blind eye to abortion, and other practices forbidden by the Catholic Church. A Protestant friend of mine recently described me as "a staunch Catholic", and I shall use this expression when describing my religious stance in future. I rather like it. As for Palmist, it's just possible that Mr Biden was referring to a little-known Society of Pontifical Right that commemorates Our Lord's entry into Jerusalem by organising clam bakes and other commemorative festivities across the pond.

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Dear Father. Biden is the perfect President-Elect person to represent the death of democracy - futile. flailing, failing...

Democracy is dead.

What is anon?

We'll soon know when Trump crosses The Rubicon.

vetusta ecclesia said...



The Father Mowbray incidents are among the most delicious in a very delicious book. Probably time for my annual re-read

Matthew F Kluk said...

When Waugh in Brideshead Revisited described the mental patients across the road in the municipal lunatic asylum as heirs at law to a century of progress, he added that Lieutenant Hooper begrudged them their existence, that Hitler would put them in gas chambers. Showing briefly that not all Allied personnel and men of "good will" were on exactly the same page in their book of the destruction of Hitler Nazism and Fascism.
Much as Trump's followers believe they are morally the only real Christians.
I periodically read comments here and elsewhere. Father Mowbray dealt with invincible ignorance in Rex Mottram's case, though Mottram was no ass, having served in the Great War, becoming an ADC and decorated perhaps. Mottram became a political opportunist that only the new War would save. Barring any final Neronian or Caligulan insanity, no opportunism will save Trump or his sTrump-ettes, or endanger America or the world, please God. Invincible ignorance had a 4 year reign. Father Mowbray is tired, he needs a breather. I'll take Captain Ryder and Julia, aong with Mr Biden, as flawed.human beings working out the grace of God through their stumbling at times sinful lives over the messianic demoniac and his hordes.
Democracy is not perfect. Biden far from perfect. But I'll catch his bus toward a different stop than proto Fascism Trumpism.
Father Mowbray at Farm Street and Father Hunwicke in the Ordinariate have one goal. Saving souls. I'll take them with gratitude. I'll take a worn out tired decent Caesar over an obviously demented Caesar I'm told day after day is the Chosen One.

John Patrick said...

Dear Mr. Kluk, perhaps it might be worthwhile for you to step back from your gaslighting of Trump supporters - you must know many of them intimately enough to be able to say they believe they are morally the only real Christians - and take an objective look at what Mr. Trump has accomplished over the last 4 years vs. Mr. Biden in his decades of service as a senator and VP. His primary accomplishment was to make a great deal of money selling his influence overseas, oh and I almost forgot, he was almost able to prevent a worthy Supreme Court justice (Clarence Thomas) from being confirmed. But we can excuse this lack of real accomplishments as well as his enthusiastic support for abortion and same sex "marriage" because he is a flawed human being working out the grace of God. For some reason we don't accord Mr. Trump the same consideration, he apparently is the AntiChrist or something like it. Perhaps you live on the right hand side of the pond so that might excuse your ignorance of what has transpired in this country over the last 4 years.

Michael Leahy said...

Mr Kluk has such an irony deficit, he need never fear he will rust.

Arthur Gallagher said...

When I was young, I used to hear an expression that someone was a Dumb Kluck (sic) which has just come to mind, regarding this thread.

The obnoxious comment that "invincible ignorance has a four year reign" by the above Kluck, ignores that his apparent favorite, Mr. Biden, is set to abolish the Mexico City Policy, thereby funding abortions in the third world, is on record as opposing the Hyde Ammendment, which forbids Federal money being used to pay for abortions, and has promised to support sex-change surgeries for eight-year old boys. Oh, yes, Mr. Kluck is very confused.

I must admit that, much as I like Brideshead Revisited, the character Rex is hard to credit. To the extent that Mr. Kluck is accusing Donald J. Trump of being some sort of a fool, I would suggest that Kluck is the one being foolish. Any man who can keep a country out of any significant military adventures, when the entire establishment clamours for war, who can have repeated diplomatic successes in many of the most intractible areas, who started a trend of industry returning to his own country, who initiated highly profitable energy policies that gave his country energy independence, and had the side effect of leading to much cleaner air, who forced his freeloading NATO allies to actually pay their membership dues, who successfully built bridges to the Black community that resulted in the largest number of Black votes for any republican since 1960, and who rushed through the world's first vaccine to successfully fight a corona virus, in record time. Who slashed onerous regulations, leading to a booming economy, who rescued thousands of children from human trafficing, all the while receiving 92% negative press coverage. You can only call such a man a GENIUS!

Though, I will admit that he does cling to being a Presbyterian.

No, all in all Donald J. Trump has been a very pro-Catholic President! For the most part his detractors are either wicked, pro abortion people, or vain fools, who seek to advertise their own supposed superiority.

Arthur Gallagher said...

By the way, Mr. Biden, who frequently claims to be from an Irish Catholic background, and to have been attacked because of it, actually comes from a (mostly) Protestant background, and is mostly of English extraction. He might be a nominal Catholic, but he has publicly and persistently supported moral positions inconsistent to the Church's moral teachings.

Arthur Gallagher said...

Amatuer Brain Surgeon is using all of the wrong words. The correct word is FIGHTING!

To date, Mr. Trump has merely excercised his legal rights in response to an obviously stolen election.

The same procedures and strategies have been employed over and over again. Not just by him, but by Hilary Clinton, Al Gore, Richard Nixon, just to name a few.

He is doing the right thing, and what is the best thing for America, and conservatism- no matter what posture is adopted by his enemies in the press!

Matthew F Kluk said...

I live in Pennsylvania and have seen enough of Trump's criminal actions for 4 years. Ignorance? I am able to read and able to figure out the truth. I dint need Fox news to puree my news for me as apparently most of Trump's masses do.

Matthew F Kluk said...

Little man when you are reduced to making an ad hominem based on my name I must assume you are a sTrumpette too. Good day little man

T.Cranmer said...

Considering the lack of any forensic evidence of voter fraud by Democrat voters the salient question is to what extent the Trump losing vote was inflated by Russian bots and the like. Perhaps there should be investigation, and prosecution where necessary of Republican fraud?

John Nolan said...

Alexander von Kluck commanded the German First Army in 1914. The obvious rhyme was used to effect in bawdy songs popular with the 'Old Contemptibles' (of which my grandfather was one).

At school we were amused when told that 'Kluck, with his weakened wing, swung east of Paris.'

If the Prussian general took offence, it is not recorded.

Banshee said...

Mr. Kluk, I don't think you're paying attention. If you're from Pennsylvania, it doesn't really matter if you like Trump or not, or if you wanted to vote for Biden or not, or who you wanted to win in the primaries.

You no longer have a presidential vote, and that only the voting machines in one county are really important.

Now, as for the rest of your ballot, I suppose that a few of your down-ticket votes and local issues may have been honestly tabulated as you set them down. But in general, you just don't count. If you're a Democrat, your party does not need or want your vote at all.

Enjoy your lack of the franchise, and contemplate which civil rights will be the next to go.

coradcorloquitur said...

The illogic of the Left has reached pandemic proportions, and is more pernicious than the pandemic unleashed (by design to create chaos and have a visibly favored candidate steal an election perhaps?) by the great human "benefactors" who rule the Chinese Communist Party. All that the woke robots can do is quixotically fight non-existent enemies while the real ones threaten the freedom and basic humanity of the entire globe. But perhaps theirs is not just ignorance and utopian irresponsibility but culpable collaboration with the real enemies of humanity; I do not know, but God most certainly does and I suspect will remember at the appointed time. To be flinging the by-now meaningless epithet "fascist" (or the well-worn "racist," depending on what is opportune in shutting down speech) on anyone you dislike is not just juvenile and irresponsible but indicative of the limited mind of, to quote the nasty sarcasm above, "a little man" indeed.

Arthur Gallagher said...

Mr. Kluk,

I would thank you not to call me little man. It is not my fault that your comments brought that old expression to mind.

"Your reference to Trumps Criminal actions for 4 years" is utter rubbish. The Democrats tried and tried and tried to accuse Mr. Trump of almost anything, and all of their efforts failed.

Perhaps you should examine your conscience. At the very least, try to give an example.

You cannot, of course actually provide an example.

You are allowing your ambivalence to abortion (which must be true, given your hostility to the most pro-life president in history, in favor of a pro-death charlatan,)and your probable support for a man who is undoubtedly financially corrupt, i.e. Joe Biden, to color your thoughts.

Arthur Gallagher said...

Mr. Cranmer:

Or whatever your name might be,

There is abundant evidence of Democrat voter fraud. Something they have been doing since Aaron Burr.

Matthew F Kluk said...

I merely lowered myself to your lower level. If you choose to mock my name a third grade tactic at best I'd pount out Gallgher if from the Gaelic for "foreign help" or "foreign helper" which laughingly puts me in mind of all the foreign help bought and paid for by Mr Putin in 2016 for Donald Trump.

coradcorloquitur said...

And the lies and calumnies against a legitimately elected president continue. I thought on a Catholic blog the sin of calumny (or even detraction) would be easily recognized as the mortal sin it is. But, of course, for trolls and the blind cult followers of the media---which never lies and is as pure as the driven snow, don't you know---facts, evidence and truth do not matter in the least. In classic Bolshevik fashion, the only thing that matters is the narrative that promotes the cause of the party (in Soviet Russia then or in liberal America now). Would the self-righteous hypocrites with BLM signs in their lawns be troubled by the sub-human conditions of, for example, Cuba's brutal communist prisons, where many courageous black men and women of integrity languish for refusing to cooperate with monstrous lies and demonic evil? I would be willing to bet my last penny that most of them would not; for they have demonstrated often that only some black lives matter---those they use to promote their destructive, anti-civilizational agenda. To the woke robots' "Russia, Russia, Russia---Putin, Putin, Putin" mindless mantra, thinking men and women of integrity should respond with at least equal force: "China, China, China---Xi, Xi, Xi"---thus pointing to where the real danger to our civilization and, more parochially, the machinations for the theft of an election lie.

Maureen Lash said...

Idiot.

Maureen Lash said...

Idiot.

Ed the Roman said...

Mr. Kluk being glad of the replacement of a President who accomplished multiple Middle East peace deals and appointed judges determined to apply the law as written by one who will re-join the deal that terrifies our friends and allies in the Middle East and gives the Islamic Republic permission to become a nuclear weapons state in about five years (ten from its signature) while nominating judges determined to preserve abortion without hindrance, and encouraging the Congress to make us all pay for abortion, leaves me without much else to say.

T.Cranmer said...

Perhaps I am being obtuse but it appears that a larger proportion of Democrat voters used postal votes - in so doing showning their respect for their fellow man by reducing the risk of viral transmission - whilst typical Republican voters do not even believe in Sars-Cov2 as a virus exists, or climate change, or that the earth is, broadly speaking, spherical and that 315,000 dead Americans is nothing to worry about cannot comprehend the concept of postal votes.

No court, and especially SCOTUS despite Trump trying to stack it with his appointees, has upheld claims of Democrat fraud. Again, I suggest an investigation of Republican fraud is overdue.

Thank Heaven for people like coradcorloquitur for respecting the democratic election of a president. God bless Jo Biden and may he clean the swamp. Let's make America clean again!

coradcorloquitur said...

The legitimately elected president I refer to above is not the corrupt, inept Joseph Biden (China Joe, the father of the son who has shady deals with both Ukraine and China without any credentials and experience and in collusion with his well-connected father). It is Donald Trump, who did not need widespread ballot fraud to be legitimately elected---unlike Joe Biden and the utterly corrupt anti-democratic Democratic Party, whose socialist agenda can only be imposed on a people through lies and chicanery.

coradcorloquitur said...

How mature and lady-like of Maureen Lash above to call names and make gestures most of us had left behind in kindergarten! And in doubles, in case anyone misses the sublime power of such eloquence! I suppose that is what one recurs to when one lacks a real argument as well as the good sense to know it and remain silent.

Syrian Church said...

Believe what you will about Trump or Biden, there is no doubt that Biden won the election fairly. There is also no doubt that Mr Trump is using these last few weeks to pocket wads of cash from his believers. The fine print on all the "legal defense" points directly to his and his children's purses.

The idea of draining the veritable swamp is admirable, the notion that Mr Trump has done so, rather than make himself the recipient of its benefits, is naïve.

Arthur Gallagher said...

Mr. Kluck:

You are tiresome at best. It has been clearly demonstrated that Russia collusion was a hoax. Yet you use it as a stretch to mock my name, and say QUITE INCORRECTLY that it means "Foreign Help"

Just to put the matter straight: Conal Gulban, eldest son of Niall of the Nine Hostages,and a descendant of Conn of the Hundred Battles, took his name from his celebrated arrival from ANOTHER part of Ireland in a time of crisis. He was the first Prince of Ireland to be baptized by St. Patrick, and was King of Tirconnail.

There was nothing "foreign" about him. Perhaps you would do better to avoid whatever dubious source of information you are using.

Besides, even if you were right, your point is still labored, wrong, and very tiresome.

Arthur Gallagher said...

Mr. "Syrian"

There is every doubt that Biden won anything. Especially a Biden victory requires a voter turnout of about 130%!

As for your libelous lies that President Trump is now filling his pockets as he might be leaving office: put up or shut up! You have no indication, let alone proof that that could be so!

Your dishonest speculation is something less that naive!

Little Black Sambo said...

"Staunch Catholic": sorry, that is an illegitimate term. Catholics may be devout but never staunch. That term is reserved for Methodists.