An ad hoc journal/newsletter by His Grace, ✠Jerome Seleisi, providing informative news and thoughtful reflections to enlighten, educate, and inspire action.
Apologies for the delay in sending out this second edition newsletter, as I had promised to provide a weekly review. It was due to the fulfillment of two remarkable items on my bucket list – a trip to the awe-inspiring Grand Canyon and a visit to the vibrant city of New Orleans. These experiences allowed me to immerse myself in the beauty of nature and the rich cultural heritage of a city that has captured the hearts of many and has a rich and vibrant cultural history.
Standing on the edge of the canyon, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of insignificance in the face of such grandeur. The layers of rock, carved by the forces of nature over centuries, including the Great Flood, told a story of Earth’s history and the power of time. From the towering cliffs to the rushing Colorado River below, every aspect of the Grand Canyon was a testament to the wonders of nature and God’s awesome providence.
After my time at the Grand Canyon, I made my way to New Orleans, a city known for its vibrant culture and rich history. From the moment I stepped foot in the French Quarter, I was enveloped in a sensory overload of sights, sounds, and smells. The streets were alive with the rhythms of jazz music, and the air was filled with the tantalizing aroma of Cajun and Creole cuisine. I wandered through the historic neighborhoods, admiring the colorful architecture and soaking in the unique atmosphere that can only be found in New Orleans.
One of the highlights of my visit was exploring the city’s rich cultural heritage. From the historic plantations along the Mississippi River to the vibrant art scene in the Warehouse District, New Orleans offered a glimpse into the diverse influences that have shaped its identity. I visited museums and galleries, immersing myself in the works of local artists and learning about the city’s African, French, and Spanish roots. The blend of cultures was evident in the architecture, the music, and the cuisine, creating a tapestry of traditions that make New Orleans truly one-of-a-kind.
Overall, my experiences at the Grand Canyon and in New Orleans were nothing short of extraordinary. They allowed me to step outside of my everyday routine and immerse myself in the wonders of nature and the vibrant tapestry of human culture. These experiences have enriched my life and provided me with a deeper appreciation for the beauty and diversity that exist in the world around us. I hope that by sharing my journey with you, I can inspire you to seek out your own adventures and embrace the magic that awaits.
Together with the other co-founders of PSHEbrighton, I attended a conference in London hosted by the Lesbian, Gay, & Bisexual Alliance concerned about modern conversion therapy and the manipulation of young people in our schools by transgender ideologues. We were there to support one of our affected parents who was speaking at the event. Her powerful testimony sharing the experiences of four different families in Brighton affected by transgender ideology both moved and shocked the audience and drew media attention directly after she had spoken.
The conference was told how different children had been impacted by transgender ideology from being secretly supplied with chest binders by activist teachers, to being prescribed cross hormone treatment by GP’s without parental knowledge and consent. Both national and local papers took up the news and we have been inundated at PSHEbrighton with emails of support and more information from other affected parents, children and families.
We are currently undergoing a listening exercise with these families to gather their stories. This exercise aims to provide a platform for affected individuals to share their firsthand accounts, ensuring that their voices are heard and their perspectives are taken into consideration. Through this process, PSHEbrighton hopes to gain a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by these families and to advocate for their needs and rights.
March for Life
I had the incredible opportunity to join a remarkably diverse group of individuals hailing from various regions across the United Kingdom in the historic and symbolic setting of Parliament Square. It was a solemn and poignant gathering, as we came together to silently mark and pay tribute to the 56th anniversary of the Royal Assent given to the 1967 Abortion Act. This significant legislation, often misunderstood by the general public, did not, in fact, legalize abortion outright. Rather, it served to shield individuals involved in terminations from prosecution under specific and carefully delineated conditions.
Regrettably, over the years, these conditions have been subject to widespread abuse, leading to a situation where, despite subsequent revisions and the introduction of new legislation since 1967, a staggering 99% of abortions performed in the UK today do not technically align with the very specific circumstances originally permitted by the Act. This sobering reality underscores the complex and evolving nature of the legal framework surrounding abortion in the UK, prompting ongoing discussions and debates about the ethical, moral, and legal dimensions of this deeply sensitive issue.
It was a joy to meet again some people I met at the SPUK Conference and to meet new friends in the cause of right. Particularly three religious sisters originally from Spain, who’s order cares for some 10 million alzheimer and dementia patients in 27 countries across the world! We prayed a decade of the rosary together and they asked a blessing with the intention for a vocations discernment day they were participating in the next day. Sadly. I was the only cleric present for the last hour of the vigil and understand only one other cleric had been present during the first hour.
Battle of Ideas
I recently had the opportunity to attend an event that I’ve been wanting to go to for about ten years. In the past, I always had prior commitments that prevented me from attending. However, this year, as soon as the conference was announced, I made sure to clear my schedule and book myself out for the dates. I am so glad I did!
The event was absolutely incredible. It was a wonderful experience to be surrounded by over 600 attendees who were all passionate about open thought and free speech. People from all walks of life and from different parts of the world were in attendance. We had the privilege of listening to some of the most intelligent and respected speakers of our time, who discussed the real issues that impact the lives of ordinary people.
The conference was held at Church House, the headquarters of the Church of England’s General Synod. It was somewhat ironic that some of the topics we were discussing have recently been used to justify the growing apostasy within that denomination. These topics included everything under the euphemism Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, e.g. gender identity, the roles of men and women, etc, and other topical subjects including AI, IT, Israel/Hamas conflict, education, work place practices, etc. Just too many good topics and too many excellent speakers, it was difficult to prioritise and choose which debates to attend! Overall, it was a truly memorable and enlightening experience.
PSHEbrighton recently created a petition on change.org to challenge Brighton & Hove City Council regarding their Trans toolkit and activism in local schools. However, change.org decided to cancel the petition within hours of it being posted, citing “community values,” despite the petition’s intentionally innocuous and non-sensational language.
We are now challenging change.org regarding their decision with a legal Letter Before Action. For the following reasons:
a) the petition is a protected act (s.27 (2) Equality Act 2010, because it is “doing any other things for the purposes of the Act, namely drawing public attention to breaches of the Equality Act and alleging a breach of the Act. These are two of the four categories of protected act at s.27(2) Equality Act 2020.
b) The petition is a protected act (s.27 (2) Equality Act 2010. Taking it down is a detriment done because of the protected act and it is therefore an act of unlawful victimisation.
A new Slovakia Mass centre
I was thrilled to receive the news from Revd Dr Sykora in Bratislava that the City authorities have officially approved our apostolate’s regular use of the chapel located in the historic Primatial Palace in the city center. The chapel is stunning, with breathtaking architecture and a rich history, making it the perfect setting for our religious activities and gatherings.
The historic Archbishop’s Palace itself holds great significance in the city’s history and culture. As a central landmark, it has witnessed countless events and played a vital role in the development of Bratislava. Including the first ordinations in the Tridentine Rite to be held in the Chapel for almost a century by ✠Jerome last year! The fact that our apostolate has been granted permission to utilize the chapel within this historic building further adds to the honor and privilege we feel.
With this new development, we can now plan and organize our religious activities with greater ease and efficiency. The regular use of the chapel allows us to establish a sense of continuity and familiarity for our members and attendees. It provides a dedicated space where they can come together, find solace, and strengthen their faith. We are grateful for this privilege and look forward to utilizing this remarkable space to further our apostolate’s mission.
On Saturday, November 4th I was able to attend the priestly ordination of the Revd Calvin Robinson in London. Fr Calvin is a well-known if controversial media personality and social commentator. Until recently he was a presenter on GB News, but was fired for making a principled stand for free speech. We first met at the SPUC Conference earlier this summer.
Fr Calvin was ordained by Bishop Roald Flemestad of the Nordic Catholic Church, a daughter church of the Polish National Catholic Church itself formerly of the Union of Utrecht Old Catholic Churches. The PNCC and NCC between them form a more orthodox theologically entity called, the Union of Scranton. Like the Old Romans, the PNCC share apostolic succession ultimately derived from the See of Utrecht, via their founder ✠Franciszek Hodur who, like ✠Arnold Harris Mathew, was consecrated by ✠Gerardus Gul, these orders and sacraments are recognised by Rome.
Although the Union of Scranton represents a more conservative polity than its former colleagues in the Union of Utrecht, i.e. they do not ordain women, the Old Catholic tradition that it represents is not wholly in sympathy with that of the Old Romans. Whereas the Old Roman position is one of continuity pre-Vatican I, the Union of Scranton is one of divergence post-Vatican I that later embraced modernist tendencies. For example, in the Union of Scranton, Mass is primarily offered in the vernacular, using the Novus Ordo Missae, whereas Old Romans retain the Tridentine Mass primarily in Latin, etc.
Ad theologiam promovendam
The Catholic faith is a living Tradition, which means it is not characterized by constant change or evolution, as some modernists might suggest. Instead, it endures across time, remaining unchanged despite the passage of ages. Our faith is both eternal and incarnational, and these aspects are inseparable. This is evident in the evolution of liturgical vestments over the centuries, where the same liturgy, representing the eternal dimension, is re-presented in different material forms, reflecting the incarnational dimension. This enduring nature of the faith, with its dual eternal and incarnational dimensions, serves as a testament to its unchanging essence throughout history.
The same is true in the way Catholics live themselves, timeless piety yet incarnational customs, e.g. the way in which we pray the rosary – the spirituality (eternal) hasn’t changed, but the number and arrangement of beads (incarnational) has. This illustrates the enduring nature of spiritual practices, where the core beliefs and principles remain constant while the outward expressions may evolve over time to adapt to changing circumstances and cultural influences. It’s a testament to the resilience and adaptability of faith, as it finds new ways to connect with believers across generations and cultures.
Likewise then, of people. We have changed, contemporary humanity in the incarnational aspect, we live longer, eat better, are more comfortable, etc, and yet spiritually, eternally, humanity experiences life, i.e. living, in much the same way as we have throughout the centuries, e.g. needing shelter, needing food and water, pro-creating, etc. This highlights the dichotomy of human existence, where technological advancements and societal progress coexist with fundamental human needs and experiences that have remained constant throughout history. Despite the advancements in science and technology, the basic human needs and desires persist, emphasizing the timeless nature of human existence and the enduring relevance of fundamental human experiences.
The latest Motu Propio by Pope Francis, titled “Ad theologiam promovendam,” introduces a new approach to theological reflection. In this document, the Pope suggests placing emphasis on utilizing an inductive method in theological development. He suggests commencing the theological reflection process from diverse contexts and specific real-life situations in which people are immersed. This approach encourages theology to be profoundly influenced and shaped by the challenges posed by reality itself. At first glance, this directive may seem to align with the sentiments expressed in my preceding paragraphs above. However, upon closer examination, it becomes evident that this new approach represents a significant departure from traditional theological methodologies. The emphasis on grounding theological reflection in the lived experiences and contextual realities of individuals marks a departure from the partnership with the eternal dimension inherent in traditional theology. The change in perspective indicates a significant reorientation in the approach and comprehension of theology.
This shift represents a fundamental transformation in the way theology is approached and understood. Instead of placing primary emphasis on the contemplation of the eternal truths of our Faith and considering their application to our lives, the focus now shifts to first considering our subjective context and then interpreting the rest accordingly. This approach would lead to the concept of “truth” becoming relative, which in turn could result in the emergence of multiple individual gospels, each subjectively pertinent to specific individuals within particular contexts. Consequently, this could lead to a loss of universality, as opposed to a single Gospel that is applicable to all. In other words, instead of one faith, many faiths, instead of one true religion divinely revealed by God, many different religions.
An example of relativism is moral relativism, which encompasses various aspects of human behavior and beliefs. For instance, it includes the acceptance of different dietary practices, punctuality norms, attitudes towards money and consumption, and other cultural-specific behaviors and values. Moral relativism considers the diversity of moral standards across cultures, making it challenging to determine a universal right or wrong. This concept emphasizes the influence of cultural context on ethical beliefs and behaviors. What the is “wrong” for you may be “right” for me. Very worryingly this attitude was prevalent at the “Synod on Synodality” with advocates for the blessing of Same Sex Couples, basically suggesting that if two people of the same gender commit monogamously to each other that should be celebrated – despite the fact that such an intimate union is itself contrary to the precepts of the divine Will.
The 2005 conclave was a significant moment in the history of the Catholic Church, marked by Pope Benedict XVI’s delivery of a now-famous homily denouncing the “dictatorship of relativism.” In his address, Pope Benedict XVI cautioned against the growing trend of relativism, stating, “We are moving toward a dictatorship of relativism which does not recognise anything as definitive. The Church needs to withstand the tides of trends and the latest novelties.” This powerful message resonated with many within the Church and beyond. Yet now Pope Francis and Cardinal Ferdinand of the DDF advocate for a theology rooted in a populist understanding of the sensus fidelium, based upon the lived experiences of “average people”, meaning whatever the majority think is right, is right. This would mean the continuous capitulation by the Church to the zeitgeist, forever changing moral teaching to reflect the contemporary age, instead of maintaining steadfastly to the constancy of morality derived in relation to God and His eternal Will for us.
In a recent interview, Pope Francis said, “Since the Second Vatican Council, John XXIII had a very clear perception: the Church has to change. Paul VI agreed, just like the succeeding Popes. It’s not just changing ways, it’s about a change of growth, in favor of the dignity of people. That’s theological progression, of moral theology and all the ecclesiastical sciences, even in the interpretation of Scriptures that have progressed according to the feelings of the Church.” The operative word here is “feelings” the ultimate betrayer of modernism.