Monday, 26 August 2013

Paulo Coelho

Dear Bishop,

I have recently come across the books of Brasilian bestselling author Paulo Coelho. Although I enjoyed his story of the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella, recently an elderly priest has advised me against reading anymore from Coelho, stating he was only outwardly a traditional Catholic and in reality an occultist and a (perhaps even black) magician. Given the fact that Coelho is apparently one of the most successful authors of the present I would very much appreciate your opinion regarding his work. Thank you.


Paulo Coelho was born in Rio in August 1947; "I am 100 per cent Virgo," he says, "stubborn, over-organised, slightly abstracted from the rest of the world." His father was an engineer, and expected his son to follow in his footsteps. His mother was a devout Catholic, and sent her son to a Jesuit school. They took a dim view of his desire to write, and an even dimmer one when he took to declaiming his poetry on the beaches amid Rio's proto-Beats. They sent him to a mental institution where he received electroshock therapy. In the late 1960s, he became a fully-fledged member of the Brazilian underground, growing hippy hair, doing drugs, and devouring the writings of the occultist Aleister Crowley. He met a singer called Raul Seixas and began writing lyrics for him. Seixas became a huge star, and one of his and Coelho's biggest hits was called Sociedade Alternativa; soon, kids all over Brazil were singing its catchy refrain – "Do what you want / Because it's the whole of the law / Long live the Alternative Society / The number 666 is Aleister Crowley."
"I've presided over a few black masses in my time, sure," grins Coelho. "I wouldn't recommend it necessarily, but every young person should allow the flame of rebellion to manifest in some way, because if you don't see the other side of the coin, you are just a sheep. You'll have some risky experiences, but everyone knows his or her limits, I believe." (This train of thought naturally brings him to Amy Winehouse: "I love her," he declares. "She doesn't seem like the happiest person on earth, and I guess she will either die or she will survive, but I believe it will be the latter; she has a talent to nurture.")

You will know them by their fruit. (Matthew 7: 16) 
It really is that simple.

Sacred Scriptures

Hello Bishop, I would like to ask you if you think it would be fine for a Catholic to own and read protestant translations of the Bible such as the King James Version and the New International Version? Also, do you think it would be permitted for a Catholic to own writings from other religions such as the Quran and the Book of Mormon?  Ruben H.

I have in my library all manner of reading material which I do not subscribe to as a Christian, and the sole reason they are in my possession is for reference. Therefore, from an academic and scholarly perspective, I find no objection in the possession of such material unless you are at definite risk of being influenced by it.

It rather depends on the reason why you possess writings from other religions and scriptural translations other than the Bible published in accordance with the prescriptions of Catholic canon law, which states:

Books of the sacred scriptures cannot be published unless the Apostolic See or the conference of bishops has approved them. For the publication of their translations into the vernacular, it is also required that they be approved by the same authority and provided with necessary and sufficient annotations. 
With the permission of the conference of bishops, Catholic members of the Christian faithful in collaboration with separated brothers and sisters can prepare and publish translations of the sacred scriptures provided with appropriate annotations.
The following are English versions of the Bible that correspond to this description:

DRBDouay-Rheims Bible1582–1609
DRCDouay-Rheims Bible Challoner Revision1752
WVSSWestminster Version of the Sacred Scriptures1913–1935
SPCSpencer New Testament1941
CCDConfraternity Bible1941
KnoxKnox's Translation of the Vulgate1955
KLNTKleist-Lilly New Testament1956
JBJerusalem Bible1966
RSV-CERevised Standard Version Catholic Edition1965–66
NABNew American Bible1970
TLB-CEThe Living Bible - Catholic Edition1971
NJBNew Jerusalem Bible1985
CCBChristian Community Bible1986
NRSV-CENew Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition1989
RSV-2CERevised Standard Version - Second Catholic Edition (Ignatius Version)2006
NABRENew American Bible Revised Edition2011/1986 (Old Testament and Psalms)/New Testament)

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

St Pius X

Today is the feast of Pope Saint Pius X. What are your feelings about this popular saint?  Lillian

Pius X's feast day was assigned in 1955 to September 3rd. It remained thus for fifteen years. In the 1960 calendar the rank was changed to Third-Class Feast, and in the General Roman Calendar since 1969 it became that of Memorial and the feast day is obligatorily celebrated on August 21st (today). Traditionalists, however, like myself celebrate the feast of Pius X - for whom I have great affection - on September 3rd.

Pius X (2 June 1835 – 20 August 1914) rejected modernist interpretations of Catholic doctrine, promoting traditional devotional practices and orthodox theology. He was the first pope since Pius V (1566 – 1572) to be canonised. The silver altar at my private retreat (see below) contains relics (ex ossibus) of St Pius X.

In 1913, Pius X suffered a heart attack, and subsequently lived in the shadow of poor health. In 1914, the Pope fell ill on the Feast of the Assumption of Mary (15 August), an illness from which he would not recover. His condition was worsened by the events leading to the outbreak of World War I (1914–1918), which reportedly sent the 79-year-old Pope into a state of melancholy. He died on 20 August 1914 of a heart attack. Following his death, Pius X was buried in a simple and unadorned tomb in the crypt below St Peter's Basilica. Papal physicians had been in the habit of removing organs to aid the embalming process. Pius X expressly prohibited this in his burial and successive popes have continued this tradition. Although Pius X's canonisation took place in 1954, the events leading up to it began immediately with his death.

Pius X's feast day was assigned in 1955 to September 3rd, to be celebrated as a Double. It remained thus for fifteen years. In the 1960 calendar (incorporated in the 1962 Roman Missal of Pope John XXIII, whose continued use as an extraordinary form of the Roman Rite is authorised under the conditions indicated in the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum) the rank was changed to Third Class Feast. The rank in the General Roman Calendar since 1969 is that of Memorial and the feast day is obligatorily celebrated on August 21st, closer to the day of his death (August 20th, impeded by the feast day of St Bernard).

Devotion to Pius X between the two world wars remained high. On 14 February 1923, in honour of the twentieth anniversary of his accession to the papacy, the first moves toward his canonisation began with the formal appointment of those who would carry out his cause. The event was marked by the erecting of a monument in his memory in St Peter's Basilica. On 19 August 1939, Pope Pius XII (1939–1958) delivered a tribute to Pius X at Castel Gandolfo. On 12 February 1943, a further development of Pius X's cause was achieved, when he was declared to have displayed heroic virtues, gaining therefore the title Venerable.

On 19 May 1944, Pius X's coffin was exhumed and was taken to the Chapel of the Holy Crucifix in St. Peter's Basilica for the canonical examination. Upon opening the coffin, the examiners found the body of Pius X remarkably well preserved, despite the fact that he had died thirty years before and had made wishes not to be embalmed. According to Jerome Dai-Gal, "all of the body" of Pius X "was in an excellent state of conservation." After the examination and the end of the apostolic process towards Pius X's cause, Pius XII bestowed the title of Venerable Servant of God upon Pius X. His body was exposed for forty-five days, before being placed back in his tomb.

Pius X lying in state, 21–22 August 1914.

The process towards beatification then began, and thus investigations by the Sacred Congregation of Rites (SCR) into miracles performed by intercessory work of Pius X subsequently took place. The SCR would eventually recognise two miracles. The first involved Sr. Marie-Françoise Deperras, a nun who had bone cancer and was cured on 7 December 1928 during a novena in which a relic of Pius X was placed on her chest. The second involved Sr Benedetta De Maria, who had cancer, and in a novena started in 1938, she eventually touched a relic statue of Pius X and was cured.

Pope Pius XII officially approved the two miracles on 11 February 1951, and on 4 March 1951. Pius XII, in his De Tuto, declared that the Church could continue in the beatification of the Venerable Pope Pius X. His beatification took place on 3 June 1951 at St Peter's before 23 cardinals, hundreds of bishops and archbishops, and a crowd of 100,000 faithful. During his beatification decree, Pius XII referred to Pius X as "Pope of the Eucharist," in honour of Pius X's expansion of the rite to children.

The tomb of Saint Pius X.
Following his beatification, on 17 February 1952, Pius X's body was transferred from its tomb to the Vatican basilica and placed under the altar of the chapel of the Presentation. The pontiff's body lies within a glass and bronze-work sarcophagus for the faithful to view.
On 29 May 1954, less than three years after his beatification, Pius X was canonised, following the SCR's recognition of two more miracles. The first involved Francesco Belsami, an attorney from Naples who had a fatal pulmonary abscess, who was cured upon placing a picture of Pope Pius X upon his chest. The second miracle involved Sr Maria Ludovica Scorcia, a nun who was afflicted with a serious neurotropic virus, and who, upon several novenas, was entirely cured. The canonisation Mass was presided over by Pope Pius XII before a crowd of approximately 800,000 of the faithful and church officials at St Peter's Basilica. Pius X became the first pope to be canonised since Pius V being canonised in 1712.


Wednesday, 14 August 2013

National Gnosticism and Social Darwinism

Dear Bishop Manchester,

I have read your comments on my blog, and a commentator suggested I post here, to ask if you think the blog is a useful record of someone who was involved in a satanic version of Fascism, but is now claiming to be trying to overcome hate and embrace Christ? Shouldn't we as Christians be reaching out to such individuals? Perhaps even David Farrant might one day knock Wicca/Witchcraft on the head and find Christ, so we can never write anyone off, and we shouldn't judge.

As for being a "resource," I for one was surprised to discover reading another article on the blog that Aleister Crowley, the notorious self-proclaimed "Great Beast 666," was a proto-Fascist, racist and anti-Semite. If this was more widely known perhaps less impressionable youngsters would laud the long dead Crowley.

Your sincerely,


An Anglican

Aleister Crowley

Your blog states that it is dedicated to promoting the creed of National Gnosticism and the doctrine of Social Darwinism in its "eternal struggle for Survival of the Fittest." Aleister Crowley also features heavily on it.

Its "recommended reading list," amongst a plethora of titles promoting Fascism, Black Magic and Satanism, includes two of my own books. These are not as random as at first they might appear. One is about an investigation into the malign supernatural while the other warns against the dark occult. Both books are justifiably critical of David Farrant. My name, as the author, is naturally also included. This might suggest your blog supports me when, in fact, it does not. There is much on it defaming me which naturally required some refutation.

What might possibly be your final blog entry was published on 21 July 2013, stating that your blog "is now disbanded and the previously listed contact email address of the Order is no longer in use. In any case our circle of supporters never amounted to more than a handful of individuals. This blog is now suspended and will not be updated. Previous posts will be maintained as a historical archive and resource for researchers."

Facts regarding Aleister Crowley about which you remark are widely available elsewhere, but what your blog does provide, apart from misinformation and falsehood gleaned from my detractors about me, is an incredible catalogue of Left-hand Path occult and Fascist literature with links to ultra-extremist websites. Needless to say, you advertise a number of self-published items originating with Mr Farrant whom, I agree, we should not "write off." I have offered to meet this man privately on innumerable occasions with view to helping him and also  putting an end to his exceptional hostility. He has always declined. Incidentally, David Farrant, according to his own published statements on the matter, ceased to be a "wiccan/witch" in 1982. I cannot vouchsafe what he is today or ever was prior to that time, but I doubt it had much to do with "wicca."

Nobody is beyond redemption, including yourself, and I would not judge nor rule out the possibility of any person being helped to turn from their own shadow to the Light,  but I am obliged to condemn behaviour which is morally reprehensible, degenerate and harmful. On balance, therefore, I do not find your blog a useful record, as it overwhelmingly offers contact with the very things of darkness you now claim to eschew.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Modernism and Liberalism = Heresy and Apostasy

Bishop Manchester

Your Grace, kindly consider the matter of "quack" faith healer john of god of Brazil. Recently there are reports that he has been honoured and recognized by the Catholic Church including Papal titles.

These reports and documents are being used to influence, promote and crassly advertise this necromancer to believing Catholics. People are now claiming john of god's "work" is sanctioned by the Pope. Also, who is this Bishop Bertone and Sodano? Are they actually aware of what is being done in their name? And do they condone it?

Thank you

Lakisha Johnson

A controversial document, apparently signed by Cardinal Bertone, making 
Teixeira de Faria a Knight Commander of the Order of St Gregory the Great.

Tarcisio Pietro Evasio BertoneS.D.B. (born 2 December 1934) is an Italian prelate and a Vatican diplomat. A cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church, he currently serves as Cardinal Secretary of StateThe document that honours João Teixeira de Faria (aka João de Deus) as a Knight-Commander of the Order of St Gregory the Great certainly appears to have beeen  signed by Cardinal Bertone.

Cardinal Bertone has been accused of lying about the content of the Third Secret of Fatima in his book, The Last Secret of Fatima, and also in televised appearances. After Bertone's book was published, Italian journalist Antonio Socci published an article entitled, Dear Cardinal Bertone: Who—between you and me—is Deliberately Lying? Catholic attorney Christopher Ferrara wrote an entire book called The Secret Still Hidden aimed at exposing and debunking the claims of Cardinal Bertone with respect to Fatima. The book contains an appendix entitled, 101 Grounds for Doubting Cardinal Bertone's Account. In particular,  it is claimed that Bertone engaged in a systematic deception along with Cardinal Sodano and Cardinal Ratzinger to cover-up the existence of a one-page document containing the words Lúcia Santos said were relayed to her in a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which some, including myself, believe contains information about the Apocalypse and a great apostasy.

Angelo Sodano (born 23 November 1927) is an Italian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church who has been Dean of the College of Cardinals since 2005. He was Cardinal Secretary of State from 1990 to 2006, under both popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI. On 27 April 2005, he was elected to succeed Benedict XVI as Dean of the College of Cardinals by his fellow Cardinal BishopsHans Kung received warm praise from Cardinal Sodano when he remarked on "his beautiful pages." This from a prominent Catholic theologian who denies the divinity of Jesus Christ, doubts some of the Gospel parables, and the Resurrection. He even doubts the historical founding of the Roman Catholic Church.Cardinal Sodano has an exceptionally sinister record of shielding abusers, particularly eminent ones, which goes back many years. He blocked a 1995 investigation into subsequently proven accusations of child abuse. 

João Teixeira de Faria (born 24 June 1942), known also as João de Deus ("John of God"), is a medium and according to himself, a psychic surgeon in Brazil. He is based in Abadiânia, a small town in the state of Goiás, southwest of Brasília. João is not a licensed doctor. He is said to have been so rebellious he was thrown out of school after the second grade and could not keep a job. At sixteen it is claimed the "entity" of King Solomon entered his body, and performed a miraculous healing. For years, João wandered Brazil offering healings. Three decades ago, he took residence in his casa in the plateaus and became known as "John of God."

Some people say the healings are just a front - a way to make "John of God" rich. Even though he charges no fee for treatment, João appears to be a wealthy man. He owns a cattle ranch not far from where he sees patients. It comprises more than 1,000 acres. When it was pointed out to João that his town has become a tourist beacon with thousands coming to spend money for herbs and other items, he looked hurt. His eyes turned red and watered. He said he has money but he spends it to pay for food and education for the poor. "I have cattle, but that's not enough to keep the casa," he said. Yet there are rumours that "John of God" has a much darker side. Juliana Almeida Franca, a district attorney who has investigated "John of God," says he sent her death threats - delivered by a relative. João denies this. João has also been accused of taking advantage of a woman who came to be healed. He insisted his healings are legitimate. "You can fool the people for one to two years. But you cannot fool people for 45 years," he protests in his own defence. I do not see in João de Deus a man of God, but rather someone who claims to communicate with spirits of the dead and also someone claiming to be a so-called "psychic surgeon." Such practices are obviously prohibited to Christians and clearly invite charlatanry by those who adopt them.

I do believe in Divine Healing where the healing derives from God, but I do not believe João Teixeira de Faria is such a healer. Far from it. He is a medium and as such his actions are utterly condemned in scripture. Calling himself "John of God," therefore, is blasphemy. He does not represent God. He represents himself and such "spirits" he evokes - assuming he communicates with external entities from the spirit world at all - and these will be from an unknown source.

Divine healing should not be confused with “faith healing” or “spiritual healing.” Divine healing is the effect of the Holy Spirit upon our natural beings. When the sick, suffering and demon possessed touched Our Lord Jesus Christ, virtue went out of Him - the power of the Holy Spirit flowed from the Saviour. Divine healing can be experienced through the following means:

The laying on of hands in His name.

Anointing with chrism.

The prayer of Faith.

Fasting and prayer.

Anointed cloths.

Gifts of healing.

The Eucharist.

Friday, 9 August 2013

Disturbing the Dead

Greetings in Christ, Your Grace, I was just today made aware of the fact that human remains are being excavated in London in order to build a new railway. Here is the article:

The 118-kilometer (73-mile) Crossrail line is Britain's biggest construction project and the largest archaeological dig in London for decades. In the city's busy business core, archaeologists have struck pay dirt, uncovering everything from a chunk of Roman road to dozens of 2,000-year-old horseshoes, some golden 17th-century bling — and the bones of long-dead Londoners.
One afternoon this week, archaeologists were unearthing newly discovered bones in a pit beside Liverpool Street rail and subway station, while living city-dwellers scuttled by, oblivious, a few feet away. The remains belong to a few of the 20,000 people interred in a burial ground established in the 16th century.
"Everyone's been running around in Liverpool Street for years and not thinking that they've been walking around on bodies from one of the densest burial grounds in London," said Nick Elsden, a Museum of London archaeologist helping to oversee excavations that go along with the work on the Crossrail line.
The 2,000-year history of London goes deep — 5 to 6 meters (16 to 20 feet) deep, the distance between today's street level and sidewalks in Roman times. Crossrail is providing archaeologists with a chance to dig down through those centuries — and even beyond, to prehistoric times.
"This site is a rare, perhaps unprecedented opportunity," Elsden said as he watched museum staff gently brush dirt from newly found bones and a skull in a hole that will soon house a maintenance shaft. 

"This is a major roadway outside one of London's busiest railway stations. You don't get to dig that up normally."

I am personally distressed by the fact that Christian graves are being dug-up like this, and I pray that it may be stopped. 

Something similar happened near my home, when a graveyard was dug-up in order to widen a road. What is His Grace's opinion on these matters? I thank His Grace for his time and consideration.

In Christ,
Theodore Conrath

I have fought most of my life to try and prevent old burial grounds and kindred sites from being destroyed by whomever. The introduction by the Tory government in 1981 of the Disused Burial Ground Amendment Act, which allows developers to demolish graveyards where fifty or more years have elapsed after the last interment, witnessed me enter politics as an independent cemetery preservation campaigner at local government level. Since then I have given my name to countless campaigns to try and stop the tranquility of the tomb being disturbed by those seeking to profit out of such desecration. Our heritage is also being destroyed, of course, but it is the fact that to lay a loved one to rest in perpetuity, as once was believed to be the case, can no longer mean in perpetuity. It simply means until fifty years have passed and that is all.

Furthermore, I do not feel that just because a considerable amount of time separates us from the discovery of remains where digging takes place we should treat those remains any differently to a newly interred body.

If you know of any disused or closed
burial grounds in the UK please help
us to update our register so we may
monitor their status and take action to
preserve and protect them.

Disused cemeteries become overgrown and vandalised. It is disrespectful and a sad state of affairs when the Church or the Local Authority do not maintain them in perpetuity.