Wacko conspiracy theories across the pond

Wacko conspiracy theories across the pond

You have to wonder what this guy is smoking. A member of Britain’s Conservative Party thinks that the European Union is a Catholic plot to impose Catholicism on Protestant Britain. Riiight. Because the EU is so friendly to Christianity that they refused to include any mention of the unique role of Christianity in the history and heritage of Europe. Sure.

Mr Hilton outlined his view that European integration would lead to a “Catholic Caesar presiding over the [British] Protestant monarch” in an article, headlined Render unto the Pope, published in the Spectator in August 2003. “The issue of European religious union is one that has been concealed even deeper than the plans for political union, but the ratchet towards a Catholic Europe is just as real,” the article claims. “A Catholic EU will inevitably result in the subjugation of Britain’s Protestant ethos to Roman Catholic social, political and religious teaching.”

If only it were true.

  • ninenot: I don’t. It’s about due process, not how somebody involved is gonna react. A number of canonists, even those sympathetic with Bruskewitz, have raised the same concerns.

  • Being familiar with Call to Action’s heresies and looniness for nearly 25 years, it couldn’t happen to a more deserving group.  As I imagine that they are aging into obsolescence, it is a matter of time before we will be praying for their souls.  A bit of purgation won’t hurt.

  • It’s interesting that Bishop Bruskewicz’s excommuniction also included those who join the Lodge, but that portion of his announcement was not included in the appeal.  Presumably that excommunication remains in effect as well.

    I am especially interested in this portion of it because I have a close friend, a Catholic, whose Catholic husband is a member of a Lodge which is dear to his heart.  My friend attends meetings with him, and I have yet to figure out how to broach the subject with her.  She seems to be ignorant of the fact that she is doing something wrong.

  • Carrie, this bit from a 1996 interview might be helpful.

    Q. What advice would you offer to rank-and-file Catholics who might become confused
    because your actions differ so much from what their own bishop might allow?

    A. Once again, I would say that a bishop is a legislator for his own diocese, and
    therefore his legislation applies only to that diocese. I would not pretend to legislate for
    any place outside of Lincoln; nor do I have any desire to. Catholics should follow the
    legislation that applies to their own diocese.

    I am not in a position to determine whether some of these organizations are different
    from one diocese to another, although I suspect they are not. I would also point out that
    legislation for the universal Church regarding Masonic organizations seems to be for all
    Catholics everywhere. On Nov. 26th, 1983, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger in a Declaration
    on Masonic Organizations said that Catholics who join these organizations are in a state
    of serious sin and may not receive Holy Communion. And this declaration was
    approved and promulgated by the Holy Father.


  • What does everyone think about the SSPX being included in this list. It reminds me of that game on Sesame Street: which one of these things doesn’t belong?  Also, in the case of the Hawaii 6, the Bishope tried to get 6 SSPX “members” excommunicated and Rome overturned it. Very confusing in my opinion.

  • If I remember right, the Hawaii case was weaker, in that the lay people accused were not clearly adherents to the SSPX movement.  Sometimes they invited an SSPX priest to say Mass at a chapel the lay group owned, but sometimes they invited other “independent” priests.  There was not clear evidence that they had committed schism.

    As far as I know, the SSPX’s only members are priests and seminarians, so it’s not clear whether Bp. Bruskewitz’s prohibition would affect any ordinary lay people.

    My first impression on reading the list of organizations was that Bp. Bruskewitz had named CTA and SSPX together to avoid any appearance of favoritism.

  • I commend Bp. Bruskiewicz on his unequivocal stand regarding Call to Action and other groups. Then you have Bp. Gumbleton who supports CTA and has been a featured speaker at their past gatherings. It is unfortunate that wspaper article a few days ago about the phenomenon of Godcasting, using the new podcasting technology to spread the Gospel. I mentioned that I’ve been thinking of doing something along those lines. Looks like there’s already a Catholic podcaster at the Catholic Cast. Check him out. The more, the merrier.


    2005-03-10 11:06:21
    2005-03-10 15:06:21


    2005-03-11 12:05:44
    2005-03-11 16:05:44
    I’ve tried a few podcasts—one on news and such, and two on a series I’m starting—explaining the mass to Protestants. You can get the feed here—http://crowhill.net/pod/dircaster.php


  • All that memorizing Shakespeare must have burnt out his brain,  and he’s stuck in a Midsummer Night’s Dream making Much Ado About Nothing.

    “I am dead above the ears, Horatio.”
    (Apologies to Hamlet, but this was too good to pass up.)

  • Of course, seeing the EU as representing Christianity in any sense (much less the Church of Rome) is absolutely batty. Seeing the traditional Catholic powers in Europe like France, Spain and Austria as today representing Christianity in any sense (much less the Church of Rome) is absolutely batty. Seeing the current House of Windsor as Defender of the Faith or Anything in Particular is absolutely batty.

    Check on all of that.

    Nevertheless, there’s actually a long history of this sort of thing in British politics—our national identity is intimately tied with anti-Catholicism and/or resisting Catholic powers. Anti-Catholicism has played at least some role in all the central legitimating and shaping events of the modern British state since Henry VIII. Though obviously some to a greater extent (obviously the founding of the Church of England and the radical Reformation in Scotland) and others a lesser extent (keeping the continent divided, an essential for colonial expansion, involved ending the Church’s role as a temporal power and doing things like backing Garibaldi).

    To this day, Guy Fawkes Night involves burning an effigy to celebrate the foiling of a Catholic plot to blow up Parliament. And as a boy, it didn’t seem to me like Catholics didn’t participate in it as a secular celebration and a chance to see a cool bonfire.

    So anti-Catholicism is like a recessive gene in British politics, particularly in the Conservative Party and among Euro-skeptics. As I said, since it went Protestant at the start of modernity, Britain’s primary foreign policy has been to prevent the rise of a unified continent or its domination by a single power. For centuries, the specter of the Church of Rome was part of the rhetorical background (and sometimes more than rhetorical). For many years, we stayed out of the Common Market, and to this day, we’re always the most stubborn defender of national sovereignty and prerogative against the plans of the Paris-Berlin axis for political integration. And many Tories (not unreasonably, I hasten to add) see the EU as the latest verse in this “Britain will die if Europe unites” song.

    Not to say that in the particular case, it isn’t silly to blame it all on Nefarious Popery, but there’s a history to it.

  • And let one thing be added. I do believe that this same history of “the Anglo-Saxons as the enemies of the Church,” is not exactly forgotten elsewhere. Stipulating the recasting of the United States as the leading current spreader of Anglo-Saxon diseases—Protestantism, secular government, liberalism, capitalism—I believe this Continental outlook plays no small cultural role in shaping anti-Americanism in the Vatican and the foreign diplomacy of the Holy See.

  • Victor, nice points.  Thanks for the lesson. 

    It just seems odd now as Christianity in Europe, not to mention Catholicism west of Poland, is so rapidly declining and the new Islamic features are beginning to emerge.  But considering the nefarious reputation of the papacy among some Protestants, it is very plausible.

  • The funny thing is that I think I’d agree with Hilton that the EU is bad for Britain and Europe in general and that the loss of national identity and sovereignty is not a good thing. Just not for the reasons that Hilton advances.

  • Here is the original Papal-Conspiracy-Behind-The-EU article that Adrian Hilton wrote.

    Its anti-Catholicism gave me enough trepidation to ask Dom if linking to the article from his site would be OK (growing up Catholic in Britain gave me a passive immunity to this sort of thing, but I don’t trust my own judgment in this field as a result).

    But I actually thought Hilton’s article an interesting bit of Euroskepticism—setting aside the wacky theories about the Pope being behind it all (though it was backed by some foolish things European churchmen HAVE said about the EU). One thing I especially liked about it was pointing out the Continental template of thought—the formal similarities between Natural Law theories of government and features of the EU system (e.g., the people only have the right to vote for what is right)

  • It’s like the Gunpowder Plot was yesterday. 

    I didn’t know any of these old warhorses were still around.  But English anti-Catholicism was a *very* hardy breed for a very long time.

    Apparently it’s not quite dead yet.  Just…mostly dead.  (Apologies to Princess Bride)

  • No, Richard, the Gunpowder plot is every November 5. It’s every time Rangers and Celtic play. It’s every time the words “IRA” are chanted or a bomb goes off in Northern Ireland.

  • Is Mr. Hilton by chance related to the Rev. Ian Paisley of Northern Ireland infamy? He, like Paisley, appears to see

    Anyway, the appeal itself was rejected because you can’t appeal a law, only a judicial sentence or administrative decree. And the reality is that Bishop Bruskewitz’s law is entirely in line with the Code of Canon Law and the Church’s constant teaching.

    Of course, the question remains whether someone who belongs to Call to Action or Planned Parenthood or a schismatic group is going to follow another Church law. If they’re disobedient in one thing, they’re going to be disobedient in other. And thus the foregone conclusion is that if the Vatican had upheld their appeal they would have expected Bishop Bruskewitz to abide by it, but when it goes against them, they’ll just continue to ignore it. And the beat goes on.

    At least Bishop Bruskewitz has the courage and backbone to stand up to them.


    2005-03-10 11:09:45
    2005-03-10 15:09:45


    2005-03-10 13:43:28
    2005-03-10 17:43:28
    This is a remarkable development, from a canonical standpoint. Decrees of excommunication are usually issued against individuals, not groups. In addition, protocol would have demanded that Bruskewitz go through the metropolitan of his province, in this case Archbishop Eldon Curtiss of Omaha, which did not happen. But what the h#$% do I know? Where’s Pete Vere when we need him? Probably slumming over at Catholic Light. Somebody give him a call…