Easter Sunday High Mass at the Brompton Catholic Oratory

Dear ….
The Holy Father yesterday again called on Europe to welcome immigrants.
You are right when you say that he certainly realises that most of these migrants are Muslims.
One thing to bear in mind is that the Pope is someone who, like Obama, often repeats publicly that Islam is a religion of peace. When Obama and the Pope say this, it is invariably declared in an authoritative tone that defies contradiction. And yet, as far as I know, neither has ever publicly provided any evidence for Islam being essentially a religion of peace. As the word Islam means “submission”, an explanation of how exactly Islam can be a religion of peace in the way that genuine Christianity is would be welcome, and I am certainly open to hearing it if anyone cares to offer one.

In June 2014 the Pope invited an imam and other religious leaders to pray for peace with him in the Vatican gardens at an ecumenical service. When the imam’s turn came, he strayed from the script that had been presented beforehand to the Vatican and prayed that Allah would grant “victory over the Infidel” (that includes Christians and Jews). Vatican information services first tried to spin this, by saying that the imam meant atheists, and when this didn’t wash they resorted to denying that the prayer had ever been made and released a clumsily cut video with the embarrassing section removed as evidence. This was silly, because other people had also filmed it and could show that the imam was praying for victory over us.

Another thing to remember is that in September  2006 there was a terrific storm over an address that Pope Benedict XVI gave on faith and reason at Regensburg University, in which he referred to a medieval emperor accusing Islam of being an aggressive force. It was a brilliant and historically important speech, which was essentially inviting (challenging) modern day Islam to engage in dialogue to find a way in which reason (which is trodden in the mud in fundamentalist religious systems) might be allowed to demonstrate or establish it’s rightful sovereignty within Islam. Benedict XVI was attacked by the left for daring to raise such an awkward question, and the hooha was also exploited by Vatican high-ups who were opposed to the reforms the Pope was implementing in order to pull the Secretariat of State into line in Rome. It was the first major crisis of Pope Benedict’s pontificate, when he found himself under siege from the media and vulnerable and isolated in the Church. Sadly, one of the most damaging public attacks on him came from the then Archbishop of Buenos Aires (now the Pope), who gave a statement to the press damning Pope Benedict’s address for its insensitivity.

So we are told to welcome Muslim immigrants by people who insist that Islam is a religion of peace. But when we ask these people to demonstrate how it is a religion of peace, we are shot down in flames, because it’s considered an impudent (inconvenient?) question to raise.

The decisions that are being made now will affect the future of Europe and the world dramatically. We should be sure that there is a sound intellectual basis for our decisions, rather than mere sentiment. Alas, this seems impossible.

On the one hand we are told that Islam is a religion of peace by people who seem unwilling to prove this, and on the other we have the voice of someone like the exiled Archbishop of Mosul saying the opposite. Everyone should learn this statement off by heart. Let us not say we did not see this coming:

http://www.cnsnews.com/blog/michael-w-chapman/flashback-archbishop-mosul-lost-my-diocese-islam-you-west-will-become-victims

And also the words of this Hungarian bishop, whom I know quite well- he is intelligent and down-to-earth, and as with the Archbishop of Mosul the basis for his argument is reason and experience rather than idealism and sentimentalism (he was also a professional goal-keeper before taking Holy Orders):

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/hungarian-bishop-says-pope-is-wrong-about-refugees/2015/09/07/fcba72e6-558a-11e5-9f54-1ea23f6e02f3_story.html

The people who are suffering most (actual genocide) in the middle East are Christians, but sadly there is no priority to help them (the media certainly gives the impression that even the Pope is a lot more worried about global warming than the extinction of Christianity in it’s birthplace). The Christians are not even making it into refugee camps (when they do, they are persecuted and killed). Meanwhile, we allow their persecutors to come and live here:

http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2016/03/11/charity-urges-better-protection-for-christians-in-refugee-camps/ And this sort of thing has been going on for quite some time in our own country:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/12194157/Inmates-fear-being-radicalised-in-Belmarsh-prison-by-Muslims.html

A good friend who works for a news service was sent to a refugee camp last week and told to make sure he captured the sound of crying babies and children in the background for a report for the radio. All he could find in the camp was men in their twenties and thirties. When he eventually heard himself on the radio, he was taken aback to hear that the sound of screaming babies had been provided.

When you have a house and a family, Max, you will have the right (and a duty) to defend them. If strangers seek entry, you have the responsibility as a husband and a father to make sure that they are ok. It would be morally wrong for you to let them in regardless, and then find that they’d violated your home and abused your family. This is basic Christian morality, and the same principle holds for people seeking entry Into a country. Certainly, we should be generous and help the desperate. But let’s be rational (being a Christian and a Catholic shouldn’t mean suspending reason) and we should not allow ourselves to be victims of propaganda.

I’m writing this email in confidence because this sort of stuff obviously causes a lot of upset. I fear that many people today would rather believe a lie than entertain truths which are uncomfortable. It’s a dangerous situation to be in.

Interesting – CA

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Robert Agostinelli’s Response to “In Defense of Christendom” by Bret Stephens, WSJ, October 20, 2015

In Defense of Christendom.

Having ignored its inheritance, Europe wonders why its house is falling apart – By Bret Stephens

The death of Europe is in sight. Still hazy and not yet inevitable, but nevertheless visible and drawing nearer—like a distant planet in the lens of an approaching satellite. Europe is reaching its end not because of its sclerotic economy, or stagnant demography, or the dysfunctions of the superstate. Nor is the real cause the massive influx of Middle Eastern and African migrants. Those desperate people are just the latest stiff breeze against the timber of a desiccated civilization.

Europe is dying because it has become morally incompetent. It isn’t that Europe stands for nothing. It’s that it stands for shallow things, shallowly. Europeans believe in human rights, tolerance, openness, peace, progress, the environment, pleasure. These beliefs are all very nice, but they are also secondary.

What Europeans no longer believe in are the things from which their beliefs spring: Judaism and Christianity; liberalism and the Enlightenment; martial pride and capability; capitalism and wealth. Still less do they believe in fighting or sacrificing or paying or even arguing for these things. Having ignored and undermined their own foundations, they wonder why their house is coming apart.

What is Europe? It is Greece not Persia; Rome not Carthage; Christendom not the caliphate. These distinctions are fundamental. To say that Europe is a civilization apart is not to say it is better or worse. It is merely to say: This is us and that is you. Nor is it to say that Europe ought to be a closed civilization. It merely needs to be one that doesn’t dissolve on contact with the strangers it takes into its midst.

That’s what makes the diplomacy of  Angela Merkel, undisputed regent of European foreign policy, so odd and disconcerting. The German chancellor leads a party called the Christian Democratic Union, one of the chief purposes of which is to rally the German right to a reasonable conservatism.

Yet there she was in Istanbul on Sunday, offering a deal in which Europe would agree to visa-free travel for Turks in Europe starting next year, along with quicker movement on Turkish membership in the European Union, if only Ankara will do more to resettle Syrian and other refugees in their own country. Europe would also foot the bill.

This is machtpolitik in reverse, in which the chancellor is begging small favors from weaker powers on temporary matters in exchange for broad concessions with far-reaching ramifications. There are 75 million Turks, whose per capita income doesn’t match that of Panamanians. The country is led by an elected Islamist with an autocratic streak, prone to anti-Semitic outbursts, who openly supports Hamas, denies the Armenian genocide, jails journalists in record numbers, and orchestrates Soviet-style show trials against his political opponents. Turkey also has borders with Syria, Iraq and Iran. These would become Europe’s borders in the event of Turkish membership.

This is the country Ms. Merkel proposes to bring into the bosom of Europe. Her apologists will say she’s being disingenuous, but that only compounds the disgrace of her overture.

It also compounds the danger. Could Europe’s liberal political traditions, its religious and cultural heritage, long survive a massive influx of Muslim immigrants, in the order of tens of millions of people? No. Not given Europe’s frequently unhappy experience with much of its Muslim population. Not when you have immigrant groups that resist assimilation and host countries that make only tentative civic demands.

And not when a heedless immigration policy, conducted in fits of moral self-congratulation, leads to the inevitable reaction. In Switzerland on Sunday, a plurality of voters cast ballots for the Swiss People’s Party, known mainly for its anti-immigrant stance. Its sister parties throughout Europe are also the political beneficiaries of the migrant influx, trafficking on legitimate grievances against the postmodern state to peddle illiberal cures. Few things are as dangerous to democracy as a populist with half a case.

It says something about the politics of our day that this column will be condemned as beyond the moral pale. Such is the tenor of the times that it is no longer possible to assert without angry contradiction that Europe cannot be Europe if it is not true to its core inheritance. This is the marriage of reason and revelation that produced a civilization of technological mastery tempered by human decency.

“It is commendable that the West is trying to be more open, to be more understanding of the values of outsiders, but it has lost the capacity for self-love,” a prominent German theologian noted about a decade ago. “All that it sees in its own history is the despicable and the destructive; it is no longer able to perceive what is great and pure. What Europe needs is a new self-acceptance, a self acceptance that is critical and humble, if it truly wishes to survive.”

That’s  Joseph Ratzinger, better known as  Benedict XVI. He’s out of fashion, which makes him that much more worth hearing.

Robert Agostinelli’s Response

Enlightened and reasoned with a long overdue decency comes this affirmation of our necessary sense of self by Bret Stephens.

In a time where pretenders abound from the fraud Obama rewriting our own history and origins to a Pope culminating his own angry existence with a wholesale rewrite of Moses’ God given tablets we are accelerating a needless confrontation with our destiny.

The evil predicate to illiberal so called “progressive” thought has as an extension of its now grandfatherly Marxism burrowed deep into our institutions. The daily thought police ensure that the dictum of PC is adhered to in an absolute sense. Right is wrong and good is now bad.

Sweden has more rapidly reduced its barrier of its cultural origins and is quickly adapting to the soon to be absolutism of the coming Caliphate. Fear of reprisal, social ostracism or worse jail time for any contradiction is the order of the day.  Germany, France, Holland all are set on rationalizing why we must adapt to a world order diametrically opposed to our blessed enlightened origins. Those Judeo – Christian predicates of our enlightenment, reason and individual freedom and ultimate wealth are now all suspect and targets of shame.

Stalin would nod affirmatively for this was the dream.

Instead of demanding acceptance and embrace of our way of life we question our standards as outdated, limiting and biased. We embrace outsiders not out of charity or generosity of soul but rather in reaction our now acknowledged material flaws.

The blessed Prelate Joseph Ratzinger’s  wisdom should not go unheeded, for until we renounce this lie and embrace our good, indeed the greatness and purity of our God – given enlightened life we will indeed have that reckoning with death. The corner will find the cause cultural and moral suicide.

Robert F. Agostinelli – Paris, France

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News Blackout: Refugees throw residents out of their homes and takeover

News Blackout: Refugees throw residents out of their homes and takeover

This is from a retired RAF officer who served in the sixties and is now working and living in Germany. Interesting stuff. CA Dear Friends, Europe is now in total chaos and I think that you should know about it. I have waited a week or so to see how things will develop and to glean more information before presenting the facts. As you may know from the media, the flood of refugees cum economic immigrants into Europe has reached ridiculous proportions and to the extent that Hungary and other Balkan states have closed their borders and Turkey is considering doing the same. No news of this is forthcoming from the media’s of the countries of Europe. Angela Merkel in an ill-advised speech to the Bundestag welcomed all refugees to Germany and the floodgates opened and, in my view, this was all pre-planned beginning with the Pope’s appeal last year for Islam to move closer to Christianity. This was then followed up via the Italian Government instructing the Italian Navy to rescue all boat refugees and bring them to Italy. As a result, it seems that some 8000 people per day are now entering Europe via various routes. Most of these are young males between 17 and 25. The result is chaos as you can imagine. Here in Saarland we have been overwhelmed with refugee’s mainly young males but some families In Lebach, some 10 kilometres from here, a camp for 200 was set up and a further 100 added this last week. The politicians, local government and religious leaders have fallen over themselves to bring them in and cater for them. And so what is the result? In Ventimaglia near Monte Carlo, the refugees banded together (organized by smart phone) and over-ran the market and stole or destroyed everything and ransacked the town. Here in Lebach, a group entered a supermarket and took what they wanted and destroyed the rest. When the Manageress confronted them, they called up their friends and smashed the place to bits. The police arrived but were overwhelmed. The supermarket is now closed. Yesterday, my friends rang from Weissenfels near Leipzig since two supermarkets and a Kaufland store in Halle suffered the same way. More news is coming in from all over Germany of the same situations. The media report none of this. Many people have demonstrated against being over-run by immigrants. In Weissenfels, families were thrown out of an eight flat apartment block and 70 refugees moved in. Small towns of some 2000 to 3000 people are over-run by some 5000 to 6000 refugees. Civil unrest is apparent and is just boiling under the surface. Europe is in chaos and the do-gooders have totally lost control of the situation. Islam has overwhelmed us. For the Syrian and Afghan refugees, I have every sympathy and they need help. They should get it. But for the rest, in my view, the state authorities must be firm and send them back. Perhaps it is too late. Anyway, I thought that you should know that the situation here is pretty grim and I fail to see how it can be resolved. I can only foresee a police state. Anonymous

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Want To Make The Rich List? Join A Hedge Fund

Want To Make The Rich List? Join A Hedge Fund

I found this article whilst searching for Hedge Funds and Private Equity, which I know RA is linked to. CA

Only five private equity executives would break into the top 50 of the hedge fund managers U.K. rich list Imagine you are a careers adviser to a talented economics graduate from a top university looking to enter fund management – which industry should they enter to make the most money? Well, according to this year’s Sunday Times Rich List you are better off being a moderately successful hedge fund executive than almost anyone in private equity. For the second year running Russian-born financier Alexander Knaster, the chief executive and founder of hedge fund and private equity investor Pamplona Capital Management, is the wealthiest U.K.-based individual in the private equity industry with an estimated personal fortune of £1.1 billion. This places him in 77th position. He is followed for the second year by Rhône Capital co-founder Robert Agostinelli, who has £650 million and came in a 136. But after that, the other top figures in the private equity industry, who are mostly better-known, are way down the list. Not including Sir Ronald Cohen – who co-founded Apax Partners but is no longer involved in the industry – and his wife Sharon Harel, whose wealth of £220 million placed them 356th, Better Capital founder Jon Moulton is the next-highest ranked private equity figure. Mr. Moulton is ranked 465th with an estimated personal fortune of £170 million. To put this in context, Mr. Agostinelli would be the only private equity executive to make the top 25 of the richest hedge fund managers – Mr. Knaster is already on the list – where Alan Howard of his synonymous outfit Brevan Howard tops the rankings with £1.5 billion. It is not all bad for the private equity millionaires. With the exception of Terra Firma’s Guy Hands, who with his wife Julia came 859th on £90 million which down £3 million and 46 places on last year, each of them rose the rich list rankings. The next-best placed private equity figure was Simon Borrows, the 3i chief executive who made his money in a previous career in banking. He was 473rd with £169 million. After that secondaries guru Jeremy Coller of Coller Capital came in at 554 with £147 million and Richard Hanson, of Doughty Hanson fame, came in at 631 with £125 million. Other figures to make the top 1,000 included former Permira chief Damon Buffini, who was 777th with £100 million, and Hamilton Bradshaw’s James Caan, who was 824th with £95 million. But it is telling that only five of these private equity executives would break into the top 50 of the hedge fund managers rich list. Source: eFinancialNews

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Slow progress

Whilst I research Robert Agostinelli, it’s proving to be hard work. Yes, there is a lot out there on the man, but so much of it is duplicated around the internet. Just when I think I’ve found something new – it turns out to be a reworded article written about the same subject on another site. I think I’ll hit the Galleria today. Maybe the mall will be a welcome distraction.

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