Quotes Suitable for Framing: Daniel Webster

Sunday, March 26, AD 2017



If we work upon marble, it will perish; if we work upon brass, time will efface it; if we rear temples, they will crumble to dust; but if we work on men’s immortal minds, if we impress on them with high principles, the just fear of God and love for their fellow-men, we engrave on those tablets something which no time can efface, and which will brighten and brighten to all eternity.

Daniel Webster, May 22, 1852

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Saints of Lent: The Lion of Munster

Sunday, March 26, AD 2017

Lent is a grand time to confront evil, both that evil which stains our souls, and the evil external to us.  Throughout the history of the Church there have been saints who risked all to bravely confront the popular evils of their time.  This Lent on each Sunday we will be looking at some of those saints.  We began with Saint Athanasius.  Go here to read about him.  Next we looked at Saint John Fisher.  Go here to read about him. Last week we looked at the life of Saint Oliver Plunket.  Go here to read about him.  This week we turn to the Lion of Munster.

The Nazis hated and feared Clemens August Graf von Galen in life and no doubt they still hate and fear him, at least those now enjoying the amenities of some of the less fashionable pits of Hell.  Going into Lent, I am strongly encouraged by the story of Blessed von Galen.  I guess one could come up with a worse situation than being a Roman Catholic bishop in Nazi Germany in 1941, and confronting a merciless anti-Christian dictatorship that was diametrically opposed to the Truth of Christ, but that would certainly do for enough of a challenge for one lifetime for anyone.  (Hitler privately denounced Christianity as a Jewish superstition and looked forward after the War to “settling accounts”, as he put it, with Christianity in general and Roman Catholicism in particular.)

Priests who spoke out against the Third Reich were being rounded up and shipped off to concentration camps.  What was a bishop to do in the face of such massive evil?  Well, for the Bishop of Munster, Clemens von Galen, there could be only one answer.

A German Count, von Galen was from one of the oldest aristocratic families in Westphalia.  Always a German patriot, the political views of von Galen would have made my own conservatism seem a pale shade of pink in comparison.  Prior to becoming a bishop, he was sometimes criticized for a haughty attitude and being unbending.  He was chosen Bishop of Munster in 1933 only after other candidates, no doubt recognizing what a dangerous position it would be with the Nazis now in power, had turned it down.  I am certain  it did not hurt that he was an old friend of Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli, the future Pope Pius XII.

One Response to Saints of Lent: The Lion of Munster

  • The shallow and hateful among us who seek to blame the Church for not doing more to stop Hitler always conveniently ignore Cardinal von Galen and his words and deeds. Facts can’t get in the way of a narrative, or as we call it now, fake news.

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Gloria In Profundis

Saturday, March 25, AD 2017

THERE HAS fallen on earth for a token
A god too great for the sky.
He has burst out of all things and broken
The bounds of eternity:
Into time and the terminal land
He has strayed like a thief or a lover,
For the wine of the world brims over,
Its splendour is spilt on the sand.

Who is proud when the heavens are humble,
Who mounts if the mountains fall,
If the fixed stars topple and tumble
And a deluge of love drowns all—
Who rears up his head for a crown,
Who holds up his will for a warrant,
Who strives with the starry torrent,
When all that is good goes down?

For in dread of such falling and failing
The fallen angels fell
Inverted in insolence, scaling
The hanging mountain of hell:
But unmeasured of plummet and rod
Too deep for their sight to scan,
Outrushing the fall of man
Is the height of the fall of God.

Glory to God in the Lowest
The spout of the stars in spate-
Where thunderbolt thinks to be slowest
And the lightning fears to be late:
As men dive for sunken gem
Pursuing, we hunt and hound it,
The fallen star has found it
In the cavern of Bethlehem.

~G.K. Chesterton

2 Responses to Gloria In Profundis

  • More soul candy from Donald’s storeroom.

    Mmmm. Thanks Mr. McClarey.

    Finding the pearl of great price is life altering. I’m getting ready to serve them right now. They are gems. God’s choicest and most beautiful. Worth the sufferings, humiliation and death on a scaffold, so we too can behold such beauty hidden in the lowly and old.

  • The Annunciation is the singular greatest event since the creation of the Universe, per Fr. Larry Richard, and I cannot put it any better.

    “Hail full of grace, the Lord is with you…. Ave Maria, gratia plena. Dominus tecum.” No one else in either Testament is addressed in this way and the words are those of God’s choosing related perfectly by the Archangel Gabriel.

    “Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum.” With Mary’s fiat, the promises of the Old Testament become fulfilled, especially that of Isaiah to Ahaz, that a virgin shall bear a son. Filled with God’s grace means a total absence of sin…Mary’s Immaculate Conception can be inferred from God’s words.
    Thus, all of what Holy Mother Church teaches and believes about the Mother of God is validated from this small but so very important part of St. Luke’s Gospel..1:26:38.
    Yesterday was a busy day with a learn to play hockey class followed with two baseball practices. I don’t mind that kind of busy, as I got to go on the ice and the ball field to help. Before any of that, I took my five year old, who was baptized on Annunciation Day, even though the Church moves the observance to March 26 when that happens, to Mass. Charlie kept his hands in the prayer position for the entire Mass.

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Bear Growls: That’s the Way It Is?

Saturday, March 25, AD 2017



Our bruin friend at Saint Corbinian’s Bear gives us a Bear’s view of current events as gleaned from the mainstream press:


Here is a recap of world news based on the Bear’s cursory reading of stories the past few days. The Bear has been busy and may have gotten a few details wrong, but he’s pretty sure the gist is accurate.

  • WASHINGTON D.C. (March 24, 2017) — Trump the Usurper hosted a hunting trip for Soviet strongman Vladimir Putin. The pair were seen on the banks of the Potomac River clubbing adorable baby river seals to death with babies. Witnesses also report Trump the Usurper backed a dump truck full of $100,000,000 bills and buried a laughing Putin. The two men spent the rest of the afternoon playing in the pile of money like children in autumn leaves.
  • WASHINGTON D.C. (March 24, 2017) — Legitimate President Dear Leader Hillary Clinton staged a lightning raid on Richmond, Virginia yesterday, freeing thousands of slaves. Trump the Usurper had last Thursday declared the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments to the constitution null and void, opening the way for the return of slavery for the first time since 1957. A Gallup poll shows 100% of Americans support the campaign of Dear Leader to restore America to the golden years when Legitimate First Partner Bill Clinton was president.
  • PARIS (March 23, 2017) —  The religious harmony of France was broken by a White male using a loudspeaker to cry “Jesus is Lord” from the top of the Eiffel Tower. Witnesses say he had a distinct American southern accent and raised an enormous Confederate flag on the tip of the landmark. He mowed down thousands of curious Parisians gathered below with an automatic machine assault rifle firing bullets of depleted uranium. With a final cry of “Soldiers of the Cross do thou likewise” he detonate a 20 megaton nuclear bomb strapped to his back, destroying France.
  • VATICAN (March 24, 2017) — Today Generic Spiritual Leader of the World Pope Francis condemned frequent terrorist attacks by Christians. “Out of all religions, why do we only see Christians committing all these terrorist acts? The exclusivist nature of a religion that offers only one means of salvation can only breed hatred. Their beliefs taste like excrement in my mouth.” The pontiff announced that a new bible was being prepared that eliminates all references to violence and incorporates wisdom from other faiths.

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PopeWatch: Leaving on a Jet Plane

Saturday, March 25, AD 2017


From the only reliable source of Catholic news on the net, Eye of the Tiber:


Roman Curia officials pulled out all the stops this year to celebrate the 4th anniversary of Pope Francis’ accession to the Throne of St. Peter after scrounging together a few hundred Euro to surprise him with an unforgettable one-way ticket to his native Buenos Aires.

“He’s been working so hard lately, we thought he could use an extended, indefinite getaway,” said Msgr. Giuseppe Bernardo, an attaché attached to the Papal Household. “Plus it’s a 14-hour flight…ample time for several meandering in-flight press scrums.”

“He’s going to love this!” honorary prelate Anotonio Vada said, trying to contain his excitement. “We even had his boarding pass printed on poster-board like those giant ceremonial checks diocesan bishops are so fond of.”


At press time, the Curia was preparing to clean the universal Church while the boss was away.

“He left behind a pretty big mess,” an unnamed Cardinal prefect whispered.  “This may take a century or more.  Some of the stains might never come out.”

2 Responses to PopeWatch: Leaving on a Jet Plane

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Stand Up For Uncle Sam My Boys

Saturday, March 25, AD 2017



Something for the weekend.  Stand Up For Uncle Sam My Boys sung by Bobby Horton who has waged a one man crusade to bring Civil War music to modern audiences.  A pro-Union song written in 1861 by that tireless writer of Civil War tunes George F. Root.  Sadly its patriotism may seem over the top to modern audiences.  Not so to most of the fighting men on both sides during the Civil War who liked their songs about the War to be lively and very patriotic.

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Theft, Charity and Virtue Signaling

Friday, March 24, AD 2017

Hattip to commenter Nate Winchester.  This is absolutely brilliant by Dystopic at the bog Declination:


Competitive morality requires that you trumpet your moral achievements to the world. Stephen Colbert shows us how it is to be done:



Here Stephen Colbert is telling us that we are not Christians, and do not follow Christ, if we don’t want to give our earnings to the government. This is designed to wound a genuine Christian, by calling him a poor follower of Christ, and elevate himself as a superior agent of morality at the same time.

Mr. Colbert would be well-advised to read Matthew 6:2:

Therefore when you give your alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

Stephen Colbert and his ilk are revealed for what they are: hypocritical trumpeters of their charity.

So long as one man in the world has less than another, men like Stephen Colbert will find cause to call us selfish and uncharitable for not giving all of our wealth to the government, to spend as it sees fit.

Those same people say that churches don’t do enough to help the poor. This meme is a great illustration:


Give all your money to government, and not churches, because it is better at helping people. Right.

These people know that charity and taxation are not the same thing, and yet they continue to make these insinuations, continue to trumpet their moral superiority. “I’m better than you,” says the liberal. Sometimes they imply that they are more moral in sarcastic, passive-aggressive fashion. “I worked for Greenpeace, did you?”

My first instinct would be to say “no, I prefer to donate my time and money to the parents of kids with cancer in my hometown, because charity starts at home.” But that’s actually a bad reply. It’s a form of trumpeting your own charity right back at them. More importantly, it doesn’t work.

That is their heresy, not ours. We’ve no need for that sort of thing. Instead, explain how their charity really isn’t charity. If you’re taking someone else’s money, grabbing a cut for yourself, and passing along some of it to another in exchange for his vote, you’re no Mother Theresa. You’re an asshole.

The Clinton Foundation was more interested in ensuring Chelsea Clinton’s dress fit right than whatever was going on in Haiti. Whenever massive amounts of money are moved from place to place, these people get a slice of it. They can also determine who it goes to, and under what conditions.

10 Responses to Theft, Charity and Virtue Signaling

  • Since the conscience of man has been repudiated by the atheist and the government; involuntary charity is extortion.

  • Heard a great name for virtue signallers like Colbert: “fake liberals”. It really gets the going…

  • Jesus commanded us to go and make disciples of all nations. Helping the poor is important, but having faith is by far the greatest gift of all as it will lead us to an eternal life with God. Given the very poor moral and religious state of our modern world, I would say that the true tragic crises of poverty is of one in faith.
    So Steve, you may want to recalibrate your catholic message and forego the easy talking points of the low hanging fruit.

  • Some really great “encapsulation-phrases”, describing very effectively the current moral-shaming argumentation that many Catholics cannot stand up to, and so are cowed into submission:

    “Competitive morality”; “Virtue-signalling”; or “Aggressive morality” (that last one is my fusion/improvisation).

    Here in the SF Baytheist Area it is a rich vein of all the above. So many noses in the air, so much aggressively superior morality.

  • My understanding is that surveys indicate Liberals give far less to charity than do Conservatives. Personally, I would like to see the Federal Government completely out of the charity business and that it become a local community obligation so that charity is seen a a personal and close to home obligation. The other thing about close to home charity is that we would be more motivated to find work for those on welfare. Welfare now is a way to maintain the Democrat voter base and is morally evil as it encourages the recipients to stay on the dole.

  • I don’t take virtue lectures from evil people that think murdering 57 million babies is a “choice.”

    If President Trump or I tried to say, “The US is a Christian Nation,” we’d be called homophobic, Islamophobic, racist, white-supremacist, xenophobic.

    Simply put, liberalism and social justice are stealing from your neighbor with the government as middleman.

    Finally, since I’ve been paying taxes and doing good works, say, the 1960’s, the US government has spent tens of trillions of real dollars on poverty, is now $20 trillion in unsustainable debt, and yet there are millions more poor Americans.

    If the federal government took over the Sahara Desert, in five years, there would be a shortage of sand (Milton Friedman).

  • A recent poster from a counter protester at a Defund Planned Parenthood rally stated;. “Planned Parenthood Saves Lives!”

    When asked to compare his tally to the death toll racked up thus far by abortion on demand, he couldn’t give an answer.
    All he could do is smile.

    This is liberal justice mush.

    Killing the innocent is Saving Lives.

    And Jesus continues to weep…

  • When churches and charitable organizations of 19th century were faced with (swamped by) the poverty of urbanization and industrialization and migration- not just international but also within the US- it was thought that having a more organized approach that could be offered by a centralized system would be helpful. It does seem the devil presents solutions which sound good, but he remains in the details.

  • We lived in a third world country for three years in the late 80s so I’ve seen poverty. Each time I visit downtown San Francisco to housesit for my eldest I am appalled and saddened at the ever increasing numbers of homeless men and women. Sleeping in door ways and up against buildings like the Ritz in the bone chilling cold and rain from dusk to dawn. By morning they’ve disappeared leaving behind trash, their nest of clothes and the smell of urine. Rarely are they middle aged or seniors. Mostly they are able bodied young adults. Maybe they are down on Market Street panhandling during the day or have gone to the Tenderloin to score drugs. I never see any homeless in Chinatown. The churches have many programs, free meals and some shelter. The city government hands out cash on a certain day and that is what keeps them there. There are shanty towns beneath the freeway over passes. The city looks the other way it appears. Just hand out the checks and look the other way in liberal San Francisco.

  • CAM.

    They pay so they don’t have to look.
    They have done their duty.
    The crumbs they have given, and the crumbs they shall receive.

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Cry Rooms and Blogging

Friday, March 24, AD 2017



I make a point of stopping by Acts of the Apostasy a few times a week.  Here is a sample of why I do so:


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CHEYENNE – As Catholic Mommy blogger Courtney Kitchener-McGavin held her slightly irritable two-year old daughter Jayden during Sunday’s 11:00 AM Mass, she mentally drafted a white-hot post condemning the parishioners around her who were perturbed she didn’t take her daughter to the crying room.

“These people are gonna get it,” she hissed, her nostrils flared and eyes narrowed to mere slits of seething anger. “Tomorrow’s blog post is going to absolutely rip these people a new one. How dare they look at me with disapproval and a judgmental attitude? Don’t they know who I am?”

Courtney’s blog, “Stressed, Blest, and Breast is Best”, is one of the most widely read Catholic mommy blogs on the Internet, with tens of thousands of followers and subscribers.

“I get a million page views a month, so I have cred,” she said, her shoulders visibly shaking with rage. “These people are going to be sorry. So is the priest! The way he glanced at me when Jayden whimpered a couple times during his homily? I know what he was thinking, and frankly, I’m not going to take it.”

Courtney jotted snarky remarks and clever criticisms on an unused collection envelope during the Prayers for the Faithful, nodding approvingly with her choice selection of apt descriptors and moderate alliterations.

“Ooh, I really like the way that sounds,” she cooed, like Cruella de Vil taunting a helpless Dalmatian pup, her lips forming a self-satisfied smirk. “This is gonna be soooo good. This will go viral.”

In a rare move, Courtney bustled Jayden and her husband Roddy out of the church immediately following Holy Communion.

“I need to get home and post this right away, while it’s fresh. If there are two things I’ve learned about Catholic blogging, it’s one, write while the emotions are high and the fury is raging. And two, follow up humble apology posts are really, really popular.”



15 Responses to Cry Rooms and Blogging

  • “Suffer the little children to come to me.” Courtney is obliged to stay at Mass until the priest says “Ita Missa Est.” The Mass is over and the final blessing. I attended a Mass where the people and priest all flocked to the crying babe to soothe him. People behave as though the infant does not belong to the community of faith…too much priesthood of the laity and not enough Samaritan.

  • Mary,
    I’m just over 50 and have four “kids” ranging from 16 to 23. When my kids were under 4, if they acted up at ANY point during the Mass, we left the nave so as not to disturb others and the Mass in general. I’ve been told, by my parents, that it was quite common for one parent to stay at home with a disruptive or sick child and when the other parent returned home from Mass the other parent would then attend a later Mass. It all seems rather do able and should NOT be all about ME.

  • The cry room is a courtesy for neighbor.
    What an act of mercy it becomes for parents to excuse themselves when the need arises.

    What an act of selfishness it is otherwise.

    Corporal works of mercy going on, “what you did for the least of my brother, you did for me.” Years ago I witnessed a priest stop his homily and ask very politely for the parents to utilize the cry room. The high pitched crying became the focus unfortunately, but it drowned out the message from the ambo. The parents complied without hesitation.

    The priest blessed them and child as they made their way to the room.

    Some priest’s, Fr. Larry Richards, disagree’s with that approach. He stops and wait’s for a break in the the outbursts, smiles, and continues on. I heard him speak on this topic less than a month ago on Catholic radio.

    Who’s right? I’d go with common courtesy.

  • This reminds me of the post about virtue signaling 🙂 So much judgment all around…judging the judgers.
    Personally I am never bothered by little kids, or senile people who mutter or talk aloud. I am bothered by sermons waay to often. Also I need to be more copacetic about the music.
    A side benefit of wearing a crocheted triangle for a head covering– serves as blinkers when I look down– head bowed.

  • John F. Kennedy: I have five children and I removed myself and them when they got cranky. And we went back for a later Mass. After awhile, they realized that to be still is good and they were little angels, but this was before crying rooms. It is important to bring the children to Mass. At Mass children develop their abstract thinking and their transcendent souls, the metaphysical self. Abstract thinking is indispensable in the business world and in the eternal world. I do encourage all parents with children to being them to Mass and make visits to explain the Real Presence, the saints and the rites. Magnificent.

  • Philip Nachazel: Sometime the children, especially infants, are aware of the devil’s presence at Mass and therefore they scream. Prayers to exorcise the devil will calm the children. Father Larry Richards knows this, I bet.

  • It’s a whole lot easier on parents and other parishioners not to take the little kids to Mass. My wife and I, with 11 kids, went to different Masses.

  • Kids are “graced” at Mass – so much of the wonderful work done by God through their angels is unseen and undetected but still may bear fruit in their lives.
    I wish they wouldn’t usher children out for “children’s liturgy” during the reading of the Gospel.
    Maybe part of why kids are so undereducated when they graduate today- ( and vocabulary in general seems to be shrinking) – We don’t expect them to be able to listen and learn. I don’t think my grandkids are brighter than everyone else’s- but I know they can listen and learn.

  • I love having someplace to hide when one of the kids gets going– the Duchess can get into a frenzy that is way beyond a priest’s ability to talk over her, and I’d be horrified and mortified if folks stopped focusing on Christ to rush over and fuss over my fussy kid! (Not to mention that’s usually what sets the Duchess off….)

  • I go with common courtesy. When I was growing up, most parents with young children, that is under 3 or 4, went to separate masses so as not to disturb. It is not just the crying, but everything else that is done that is so disruptive. Mass has become a picnic, with drinks and snacks and books and toys. The parents of these children are focused on the children, not on Mass. On several occasions in the last few months, I have seen 2 different mothers put a cover over their shoulder to breath feed an infant, while sitting in the first or second row. To me this is putting the focus on the wrong place. some courtesy to those around you is just common sense.

  • What a reminder of why we became Byzantine Catholic! Children are full members of the church, it’s their birthright to be there and receive the Eucharist. You think it’s selfish to bring children to church, selfish to nurse them when they’re hungry? Shame on you, and the next generation won’t be Catholic if everybody followed your rules. Christ said the kingdom belongs to such as they. You need to be more like them to be holy, not the other way around. There’s somebody here who’s selfish and it’s not the sweet families who are working very hard to raise children in the faith.

  • A old & wise priest noted, “Nor hearing a infant in Church, is a dying Church”.

  • I closed up our “Cry Room” years ago. I’ve told people that children need to be at Mass with their parents and if a child cries it just means that they are going to some day lead the choir. The people have responded well. I also tell them “If your child needs to be taken out for a diaper change or a little walk we understand that. Go ahead and do it, if you want. But come right back in and anyone who gives you a dirty look will get a free “grouchy face” sticker from me personally! It’s gotten to the point where I can say “Ah, we have a lot of children here this morning! I hope I can get them all to sing together!” We’ve turned the situation into a joyful celebration of “Children are welcome!” Now, if they could just get ME to stop making so much noise! LOL

  • Reminds me of a story by Archbishop Sheen. A baby started to cry, during one of the Archbishop’s sermons, and as the mother got up to leave, Archbishop Sheen saw her, and said, “Please don’t leave, he’s not bothering me.” The mother replied, “No Archbishop, your bothering him!”

  • Abby.
    No one is saying, STAY AWAY.

    Please use common sense.

    Is that bad?

    If you can’t because of the circumstances…Your a single mom and have three others in tow, the eldest is 7 and can’t properly take on the responsibility of the other two… Okay.
    Stay there of course.

    If you are able to utilize the cry room and the baby isn’t receiving the help of the good angel’s, but the devils are having a ball with her, then get up.
    Excuse yourself.
    Be polite.
    Be sympathetic to those around you.

    Why should a priest have to compete with a toddler and an obstinate mother who chooses to wait out the spell, regardless of the other worshipping parishioners.

    I guess I just don’t get it.
    Oh well.
    Thanks for your oppression on us.

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PopeWatch: Historian

Friday, March 24, AD 2017



Professor of History Bronwen Catherine McShea in First Things takes a look at some comments made by Pope Francis regarding history:

Such concerns may help explain the appeal that Martin Luther, with his stark emphasis on the preached Word and a radically spiritualized, ahistorical view of the Church, holds for Pope Francis. So let us turn to the historical claims of the Holy Father with which we began, about Martin Luther and the causes over time of deep divisions between Lutherans and Catholics. (They are remarks that, coming from a Pope of Rome, I cannot help but think would be eye-popping to the reformer himself.)

With respect to the simple assertion that Martin Luther intended only to renew the Church, not divide her, it is indeed the case that the historical consensus today is that the reformer had no intention of leaving the Catholic Church in 1517, when he first presented his Ninety-Five Theses to religious authorities and a wider public in and around Wittenberg. However, even scholars of the Reformation very mindful of contemporary ecumenical stakes do not deny that, very early during his reforming career, Luther became convinced that the international, visible Church as led by popes, cardinals, and bishops was irredeemably corrupt, “judaizing” in its emphasis on laws and rituals, and therefore inherently at odds with the “true,” invisible Church of all persons of sincere “faith” as he defined it.

In other words, from early on, Luther’s Reformation was centrally about separating, promptly—with the help of powerful territorial princes and city magistrates with local influence and armies at the ready—the hidden, faith-filled wheat from the papistic chaff, so to speak. Luther certainly believed in only one, true, Apostolic Church, but he redefined the Church in a direction that was inherently exclusionary of those who deferred to the papacy, affirmed seven sacraments and Christ’s institution of a consecrated priesthood, and acknowledged an active, participatory role for human free will in God’s economy of salvation. Any concern he might have had to preserve unity in the Church in a way any orthodox Catholic bishop or theologian of the sixteenth century would have recognized as such was, at best, a very secondary priority. Much more urgent for Luther was to rally other reform-minded men and women toward full acceptance of the creed his own conscience told him was the true creed—by 1530, that would have been the enumerated articles of the Augsburg Confession—and, in the process, reject communion with groups that departed in any way from that creed.

Scholars very sympathetic to Luther also acknowledge that he was incorrigibly pugnacious as well as deeply convinced his understanding of faith and of the Church was the only correct one. He sought out opportunities, often, to do battle not only with Catholics (or as he put it in 1545, “whatever riffraff belongs to His Idolatrous and Papal Holiness,” whose tongues “we should … tear out from the back, and nail them on the gallows”), but also with followers of the Swiss reformers Ulrich Zwingli and Heinrich Bullinger, the more radical Anabaptists and Spiritualists, and Protestants closer to his own mind who nevertheless disagreed with him on this or that creedal article. Luther’s verve for creative name-calling and insults where all these groups were concerned was legendary in his own time, as it remains in ours. (Graduate students in Reformation history will confess to finding amusement in a website called the “Lutheran Insulter” in which real ad hominem attacks from the reformer’s writings are generated at random. While writing this paragraph, I clicked on its “Insult me again” button and was informed by Doktor Luther, as if I were Erasmus just daring to defend free will: “You foster in your heart a Lucian, or some other pig from Epicurus’ sty”—this from Luther’s Bondage of the Will of 1525.)

It is also the case that, during a time when some sixteenth-century reformers were actively engaged in the earliest ecumenical efforts to find common ground across the splintering confessions, and to strive toward the reunification of Western Christendom, Luther was relatively uninterested in such things.

Pope Francis, however, in order to push along the cause of Catholic-Lutheran reunification, casts Luther as someone who had no wish to sow discord among Christians. For the hardening sectarian divisions of the early modern era, Francis blames, instead, others who “closed in on [themselves] out of fear or bias with regard to the faith which others profess with a different accent and language.”

With all due respect to His Holiness, this explanation of what unfolded during and after Luther’s time is not only condescending to the full-blooded, spirited, and hardly faultless reformer himself. It is insulting to the intelligence of numerous theologians, apologists, and preachers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, including Robert Bellarmine and other Jesuits who devoted years of life, and heart, to clarifying and defending serious, important Catholic doctrines against serious, important Protestant challenges. And it is cavalier toward the memory not only of countless martyrs and war dead on all sides of that era’s terrible struggles, but also of numerous families, villages, even religious communities in Reformation Europe’s confessional borderlands, which were torn apart, agonizingly—while very much speaking the same language, with the same accents!—over very serious, important, real disagreements about doctrine and praxis.

6 Responses to PopeWatch: Historian

  • How much of The Pontiff’s admiration for Luther comes from the German episcopate? He seems to-do what Kasper and Marx want him to do.

  • The pontiff’s agenda requires a simplistic, contrafactual assessment not only of the moment but also of history. It is of a piece with his cringe-inducing argument [if it can be dignified with such a term] that terrorism is caused by arms dealers.

    His worldview is frozen in a progressive dreamscape from 1965-79, but he’s going to impose it, reality be damned.

  • Silence would improve the Pope’s image and impact appreciatively.

  • Francis gives his embrace of Luther as a sop to the apostate world around us because he doesn’t value the historical teachings concerning sacraments. priesthood etc. Church any more than Luther did.
    Hopefully I say that perhaps Francis’ own “unintended consequences” of his deconstruction will be that the whole Faith will be more carefully studied.

  • When our boys were infants I don’t recall them crying in church. When they were toddlers they were very active. My husband was at sea during that period and I found the nursery or the crying room to be helpful.
    I or we could concentrate on the Mass and the boys were not annoying/distracting others. Except on two ocassions: at the younger son’s baptism the older one escaped from my mother’s grip and rang the bells during the ceremony. and once in a packed crying room when I was listening intently to a good homily, suddenly the priests lips were moving but there was no sound. My 3 year old was no longer in the room. I rapidly crossed the hall to another room and saw my little fellow at the controls of the sound system. Praying that I would select the right button I restored the sound. Why is it children always know how to operated electron devices?
    I am still amazed at the parents who do not correct or remove their misbehaving children from the church during services. It is particularly bad at the Spanish language Mass with young children walking up and down the aisles and transversing past the altar at the Consecration with the aren’t I cute look on their faces. No you are not.
    Catholic school and parents teach their children the proper respect to be shown during the Mass .

  • oops wrong post. Long day and night.

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Not Governed by Law at All

Thursday, March 23, AD 2017


Judge Jay Bybee, Circuit Judge of the US Ninth Circuit, has written a brilliant dissent in the now moot travel ban executive order case.  The dissent is joined by four other judges of the Ninth Circuit.  It is a model of what a judicial opinion should be:  a clear look at relevant constitutional law, statutory law, and applicable prior case law.  The problem in our society is that the left has succeeded in weaponizing our courts to use political tactics to reach desired ends, rather than a dispassionate search for the law.  Such methods win momentary political battles, but they destroy what a court should be:  a neutral forum dedicated to applying the law.  The last paragraph of the dissent is poignant:

Finally, I wish to comment on the public discourse that has surrounded these proceedings. The panel addressed the government’s request for a stay under the worst conditions imaginable, including extraordinarily compressed briefing and argument schedules and the most intense public scrutiny of our court that I can remember. Even as I dissent from our decision not to vacate the panel’s flawed opinion, I have the greatest respect for my colleagues. The personal attacks on the distinguished district judge and our colleagues were out of all bounds of civic and
persuasive discourse—particularly when they came from the parties. It does no credit to the arguments of the parties to impugn the motives or the competence of the members of this court; ad hominem attacks are not a substitute for effective advocacy. Such personal attacks treat the court as though it were merely a political forum in which bargaining, compromise, and even intimidation are acceptable principles. The courts of law must be more than that, or we are not governed by law at all.  I dissent, respectfully.

Of course the comments were made because it was clear that the courts were acting as political forums and issuing political, not legal, rulings based upon the personal predilections of the judges involved.  When courts get political any concept of the rule of law flies clear out the window and we are left in a world where the law is merely another tool in the arsenal of those with whom the judges political sympathize.   In the context of the Trump administration it is clear that many Federal judges share the view of the left that Donald Trump is not a legitimate president and they will prostitute their courts, and ignore applicable legal precedents,  in order to hinder him.  God help us all.

Here is the text of the dissent:

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PopeWatch: Sophistry

Thursday, March 23, AD 2017


One of the defining feature of his pontificate is the endless sophistry deployed as a smokescreen.  Sandro Magister gives us an example:


For understanding how Francis acts with his opponents, the archbishop and theologian Bruno Forte is a reliable oracle, especially since he reported in public what the pope said to him during the last synod, at which he acted as special secretary:

“If we talk explicitly about communion for the divorced and remarried, you have no idea what a mess these guys will make for us. So let’s not talk about it directly, you get the premises in place and then I will draw the conclusions.”

Francis has drawn the conclusions, as is known, in the postsynodal exhortation “Amoris Laetitia,” but in such an ambiguous form that he has inevitably aggravated the opposition and confusion in the whole Church, and has induced four cardinals to ask him publicly to bring clarity on the “dubia” created by this fluid magisterium of his.

But for Bruno Forte, it is not the words of “Amoris Laetitia” that have generated the doubts, but it is these latter and those who are raising them that are “sowing uncertainty and division among Catholics and others.”

This and more was said by the archbishop and former special secretary of the two synods on the family, who is also one of Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s trusted men, at the conference that he gave on March 9, in Rome, at the church of San Salvatore in Lauro, introduced by the auxiliary bishop of the pope’s diocese, Gianrico Ruzza, and as followup speaker, immediately after him, Church historian Alberto Melloni, head of the famous “school of Bologna.”

The main argument that Forte brought out in support of Pope Francis’s position is the concordance between what is written in “Amoris Laetitia” and the propositions voted on by the synod of bishops: a “consensus fidelium” – he added – which has been wrongfully abandoned by those who have raised the “dubia.”

Here are his exact words in this regard, transcribed from an audio recording of his conference:

“The final points of the synod were approved by the representatives of the episcopates of the whole world, with an extraordinary majority: almost all of them unanimously and the more delicate by at least two thirds. Francis had clear ideas, he knew where he wanted to go. When he called on me to be the secretary of the synod, he said to me: ‘For me it is important to arrive there together with all the bishops of the world, because the pope is the servant of the servants of God and I want us to grow together. It doesn’t matter to anyone if a document is written for the Church without the journey we have made.’ This is an aspect that must not be overlooked. Pope Francis has taken collegiality seriously. There are those who have calculated that the 85 percent of the contents of the postsynodal exhortation comes from texts of the final synodal relation. They are texts that ripened collegially, with the episcopate of the world working alongside the successor of Peter. We therefore find ourselves before what is truly a ‘sensus,’ an impressive ‘consensus fidelium.’ This is why the ‘dubia,’ underground, raise doubts over those who have raised them, because some of them were absent from the synod and have not seen what great power of communion there was.”

Of course, Forte didn’t make the slightest reference to how the twofold synod was manipulated from on high, resulting among other things in a sensational incident halfway through the first session – when Forte himself was accused in public by cardinal relator Peter Erdo of having written parts of the “relatio post disceptationem” entirely on his own initiative – and in an even more sensational letter of protest and of appeal to the pope from thirteen cardinals at the beginning of the second session.

Nor did he make any reference to a presumed “collegiality” that produced texts rejected in their most controversial points by almost a third of the synod fathers, and passed by a margin of a few votes only on account of an ambiguity and reticence of language even more pronounced than those afterward put into “Amoris Laetitia.”

Instead, entering into the content of the objections, Forte contested the accusation of “relativism” brought against the pope and his “Who am I to judge?”

And he did so by referring to the “great Jesuit” Karl Rahner and to Saint Ignatius of Loyola, in whose footsteps – he said – Francis is going against relativism, since “he combines the absoluteness of the truth with the absoluteness of charity, in a daily effort of discernment, from which no one should feel excluded.”

It can be presumed with a certain surety that what Forte has illustrated is also what Pope Francis thinks about the objections of the four cardinals, and not only about these.

4 Responses to PopeWatch: Sophistry

  • I had a hard time not laughing at this line; “he combines the absoluteness of truth with the absoluteness of charity, in a daily effort of discernment, from which no one should feel excluded.”

    A new way over the wall of the new Jerusalem?

    Good luck with that!

    It’s through the Gate or nothing.

  • No ambiguity here.
    A lesson for the Vatican;

  • All of this sounds very much like the way the ambiguities in the documents of Vatican II were accomplished. Let’s of double talk resulting in the transposition of truth into lies.

  • Shocking. The derision for the four dubia “cherries” who think themselves half the tree. That they have a “sound box” that magnifies them even though more numbers of people seem to believe otherwise. This barometer of truth, the “impressive ‘consensus fidelium.’ ” is only measured by the thoroughly modern and sensitive hearts of those close with Francis.
    All of this still does shock me even after four years of “fluid” magisterium.

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PopeWatch: Populism for Me and not for Thee

Wednesday, March 22, AD 2017


Samuel Gregg at The Federalist notes that Pope Francis has a double standard when it comes to populism:


Asked in a 2015 interview whether he considered the pope isolated and surrounded by opponents in the Vatican, Fernández answered: “By no means. The people are with him, not his few adversaries. This pope first filled St. Peter’s Square with crowds and then began changing the Church. Above all, for this reason he is not isolated. The people sense in him the fragrance of the Gospel, the joy of the Spirit, the closeness of Christ and thus they feel the Church is like their home.”

“The people.” “Crowds.” “The people.” Such language has very specific meaning in Latin America. When used by figures such as the long-deceased Argentine populist Juan Perón or the more recently departed “twenty-first-century socialist” Hugo Chávez of Venezuela, the purpose of this phraseology is the same. It is to evoke an almost mystical connection between the leader and “the people” as they struggle together against oppression.

This rhetoric goes hand-in-hand with tendencies to caricature real or perceived opponents. The speeches of Perón and Chávez are full of ad hominem rants against “enemies of the people.” Francis himself isn’t shy about applying labels. There’s even a blog that has compiled his more memorable phrases: “rigorists,” “fundamentalists,” “Pharisees,” “intellectual aristocrats,” “little monsters,” “self-absorbed promethean neo–pelagians,” to name just a few. The targets range from younger Catholics with a distaste for 1970s liturgy to theologians who insist that coherently preaching the gospel requires a concern for intellectual rigor.

But Francis’s populist side manifests itself most clearly in addresses he’s given to one particular group that he has clearly supported: an organization called The World Meeting of Popular Movements. The populist edge to Francis’s thought is very evident in, for example, a 2015 speech he gave to this group in Bolivia. At various points, the rhetoric employed by the pope—“tyranny of mammon,” “this economy kills,” “bondage of individualism” etc.—is decidedly charged, even polemical. Some of it isn’t that different from the language used by populist politicians throughout Latin America.

This last point is underscored by the fact that Pope Francis delivered these remarks while seated next to President Evo Morales of Bolivia. A self-described communitarian-socialist, Morales is a quintessential Latin American left-populist. Like all such politicians, he’s steadily removed constitutional restraints on his power in the name of “the people.” Morales’ prominence at the pope’s speech, as one journalist present remarked to me, reinforced the sense that “the whole event had the feel of a deeply political, very left-wing, and somewhat secular rally.”

The pope’s apparent empathy for a type of populism was further underscored when the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences held a conference in April 2016 to mark the 25th anniversary of John Paul II’s encyclical “Centesimus Annus.” The two heads of states invited to speak were none other than Morales and another left-populist head of state, Ecuador’s Rafael Correa. The event was tilted even further in a left-populist direction by the presence of the then-candidate for the Democratic nomination for president of the United States, Sen. Bernie Sanders, who also gave a speech.

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Rockville Rape

Tuesday, March 21, AD 2017



A 14 year old girl was allegedly brutally raped in a boys’ bathroom at Rockville High School by two illegal aliens, 18 and 17 years old.  This comes at a time when Rockville, Maryland was considering becoming a sanctuary city.  The Superintendent of Montgomery County Schools, Jack Smith, seems a lot more concerned about protecting illegal aliens than he does about protecting his female students from rape.


The two suspects, Henry Sanchez-Milian, 18, and Jose O. Montano, 17, who was charged as an adult, are being held without bail. Montgomery Schools Superintendent Jack Smith told reporters that both suspects had been in a special program for non-English speakers at the high school and not in classes with the victim.

Smith pushed back hard against questions about whether the rape case should affect local efforts to comply with federal law, which guarantees a free public education to any child living in the United States, regardless of citizenship status.

“It’s totally inappropriate to suggest that we’re going to deny a 14-year-old, a 16-year-old, an ­18-year-old an education because of a horrible thing that happened in our schools last Thursday,” Smith said. “Some have tried to make this into a question and issue of immigration . . . but we serve every student who walks through our doors.”

32 Responses to Rockville Rape

  • Are you crazy, protect the rapist, next you blame the victim! No, this was an illegal alien grown man who with the help of another illegal alien 17 year old, orally, anally and vaginally raped a child. No there is place for them in this country. The only reason to keep them here is for life in prison!

  • My prayers are with the fourteen year old this morning. May she find a sanctuary that will help her heal emotionally and physically.

    Illegal immigrants who are learning English and committing crimes such as rape….read and understand this word punks; Incarceration! Deportation will only work if they are incarcerated when they return to their homeland.

    Liberal Maryland will probably give them four weeks of sensitivity training, box of condoms from local planned parenthood and a fake voters ID.

  • Possibility of life in prison;


    The slack jawed Obama administration should be reminded of the role they played in this horrible act of violence.

  • Once again, liberals don’t give a fig for the very groups they claim to represent. They stand for no higher value other than the acquisition of power. In the end, they just don’t care about that 14 year old girl. Now, let some privileged white male students do such a thing, and liberal outrage will pour forth.

  • Life inprisonment, AC? Nah, I see a tree with some strange fruit hanging from it!

  • And the sound of crickets from the National Organization for Women.

  • Well, I had to dig to find this story. There was one story about a 14 year old being shot that came up first. I thought that was the story here. It took a few to find this one, and reports of it that weren’t coming from more conservative outlets. And then it was the WP of all places.

  • About 1960, Martin Meyer published “The Schools,” on elf his books about the professions. Tio show that nothing has changed, I quote something he wrote. Public school administration is a form of appointive politics. “ No institution is more political in the broad sense than the public schools, a fact to which people seem oblivious. I had an-mail exchange with a school board member, from another district. I had pointe out that a school district is a government agency. She demurred. Not us, she said. Did she think that she was not as much as elected official as her state representative? Did she and her colleagues not set policy? No ones so blind as he who will not see. IAC, the Superintendent ought too resign and if he will not than he should be fired. This is the downside of the large salaries and generous perks awarded by the school district.

  • I state my credentials because context for my comments is necessary.

    I am an attorney and have been in the immigration Civil Service for more than twenty years. What I am writing are my own perceptions and views and do not, in any way, represent the views of my agency. They are not based upon any information not publicly available.

    This is a disturbing case for a number of reasons:

    1) I note that the sine qua non of education has switched from “that which is good for students” (plural) to “that which is good for the student” (singular). When I was in elementary school, that which was disruptive to the many was removed and that which affected the individual was tolerated. I was bullied. Some was earned and some was not but it was clear that the many were the concern, not the one. Now, the opposite is true.

    Here, we have 17 and 18 year old “freshmen” in class with 14 year old children. Note that I am not saying “what did they expect would happen” because normal 17 and 18 year old humans do not sodomize 14 year old children. I am pointing to the reality that the school felt that it had an obligation to the 17 and 18 year olds that was more serious and significant than their obligation to the student body as a whole. “We have to help THAT person” is the touchstone, not “how do we deliver the best education possible, for the greatest percentage of our students?”

    I am not saying that the other was better. As noted above, I was bullied and bullying is most unpleasant. What I AM saying is that public education cannot be so individualized that no holistic analysis of what is good and useful is done. This leads to my second point that these “unaccompanied minors” should never have been in that school at all.

    2) Central America has imploded. That is the reality that the media chooses not to cover. The children FROM Central America and Venezuela are in a position not dissimilar to the child soldiers of Africa: they have witnessed and, in many cases, directly experienced real horror.

    I dealt with a child soldier case back in the mid-1990s in which the man had been kidnapped and used as a sex slave when he was seven. By age eleven, he was gleefully chopping off the hands of babies and toddlers. He had been so seriously warped by his experiences that I suggest he was barely human anymore.

    What, exactly, does one do with such a one?

    His Holiness talks about charity in the context of immigration, and so he should, but these rapists illustrate a certain reality of immigration and that is that some people are so seriously damaged that they will never be safe to be around.

    I do not know these boys’ histories. My guess is that, if one looks at them, they have no small experience with sexual abuse and that this is not the first sexual assault they have participated in. We DO know that sexual assault is frighteningly common in Central America and that a very large percentage of young people have been raped and have raped.

    One case I dealt with a few years ago was of a young woman whose mother put her on the pill in her home country, before entrusting her to the care of smugglers THAT SHE KNEW WOULD BE RAPING HER. Her mother expressly told her to go with it, lest she be hurt, and, so, she was raped many times by the smugglers, people smuggled with her, and even authorities in Central America and Mexico… All so that she could come to the US as an “unaccompanied minor.”

    This brings me to my third point: The Obama Administration owns this problem, lock, stock, and barrel.

    3) The Obama Administration openly encouraged unaccompanied minors to come to the US. By using US tax dollars to complete the smuggling from the border to relatives in the interior of the US, the message got out that IF one got one’s kids to the US, the US would take care of them. This encouraged folks to send their kids to the US, despite all of those risks and, in some cases, BECAUSE of all of those risks.

    We talk about “vetting” of refugees and it is wise to do so but the vetting of these unaccompanied minors was nearly nothing. They show up at the border with no documents. An inspector or Border Patrol Officer interviews them and fingerprints them. If the fingerprints come back negative… Which they should if they person hasn’t been here before, and the CLAIM to be under 21, they were either permitted to go to their intended destination, were taken to a detention center (this is for the clearly too young to be let go), or taken to their intended destination.

    Stated differently, if you got to the US, claimed to be under 21, and had no prior US arrests, we let you settle here… Ostensibly awaiting an immigration hearing that would be no less than three years in the future IF you showed for that hearing at all.

    This leads to my last point: Having admitted “adults,” for, let us be hones, the boys in this horror are not “kids,” the school should have segregated them from the others. It was fundamentally unwise to let the boys wander about, unnoticed.

    The range of assaults here is staggering. I have no idea how long sexual assault takes but it cannot have been a quick crime for them to have done all that was reportedly done to her… And, no one noticed.

    Thanks for your patience here but this is a case that I find remarkably disturbing and it is cathartic to say what I think about it.

  • I doubt there’s any federal statute which does or could compel states to enroll illegal aliens. They’re confusing federal law with arbitrary exercises of judicial wilfullness.

  • People like Smith would much rather see our daughters raped and murdered than see the immigration laws of our nation enforced.

    Ignoring violent crime does not disrupt the Democratic Party’s vote farming operation. Enforcing the immigration laws does.

  • Superintendent Smith’s “Equity Initiatives Unit” ? It’s going to make that young victim whole again? Prevent another crime? Liberal Lala Land. What if the victim had herself been an illegal? It probably wouldn’t have been reported. When an underclass like illegals is created all sorts of crimes by illegals upon illegals the cl are not reported or under reported for the obvious reason.

  • The (open-borders, bring-in millions of Muslims) establishment and elites don’t care about ordinary Americans. The agenda (fundamentally transform/wreck evil, racist Americans in fly-over country and reduce labor costs) is all and all.

    This woman’s poor daughter was expendable. She was not even “collateral damage.”

    This is one of the many ticking time bombs Obama left behind.

    In addition to hundreds of unnecessary (they should not be here) murders and rapes, Obama overloaded, and will bankrupt, many states’ social programs with tens of millions of illegal immigrants.

  • That is, of course, correct, T. Shaw: an 18 year old, who cannot read or write in their own language, who has no skills, and has an horrific life history, cannot be other than a burden on the State.

    One of the things I have noticed about the Left is that they are ALL about institutional change for things like race and sex discrimination but then refuse to even look at institutional matters when the issue does not fit the narrative. What I mean is that we hear “you may not have MEANT to discriminate but that is the effect so you must institute dubious, expensive, and potentially disastrous institutional changes to fix it” but “why would we bring adults here as though they were children and then put them in proximity to our children, without vetting them” is racist and xenophobic.

  • Just another reminder that the bottom line of multiculturalism is that it is a man’s world. And a particularly unpleasant man at that.

  • Mr. Spalding, We can take off the gloves and appropriately act given the nature of the war. It is a war for America, for our children, for our liberties , for our way of life. These evil people hate you and me. They hate America and the uses Americans we make of our liberties. Ergo., when you defend America you are a “racist,” a “xenophobe,” “etc.”

    Obama misspent eight years wrecking America and our way of life. Hillary would have finished us off.

    Therefore, I am blessed when evil people falsely call me “racist,” “xenophobe,” and sorts of evil things for so did evil men persecute the Jesus and the prophets before me.

  • Thanks David Spaulding for sharing your expertise and inside insight on this matter. Your views on the hell many of these illegals come from is sobering. It’s almost impossible for US to imagine what it would be like to suffer their plight. To be brought up in a slave mentality and only knowing oppression and hate.

    I am not defending the punks nor their actions. I’m perplexed at a humanitarian answer in this fubar.
    Rehabilitation centers?

    In this climate can we be our brothers keeper, especially if they resemble the persecuted and perpetrator at the same time?

  • The lib elite narrative is everything. Anything that belies the agenda is censored, distorted, explained away, whatever. Compare and contrast any gun violence incident – every American gun owner is guilty – with any illegal invader atrocity or Muslim massacre.

    The point is that the authorities treat this epidemic of hatred and violence as “Nothing to see here, keep moving.” And, that President Trump and 63 million voters are “uncharitable” for wanting to reverse that perversion.

    In the less-enlightened era, the authorities’ motivations were protecting the innocent by punishing the predators. In these “enlightened” times, it’s “She was expendable.” In the unenlightened, bad old-days, rapists were hanged.

    Recently, Suffolk County, NY police arrested a dozen illegals, members of MS-13, for brutally (baseball bats/machetes) murdering two young American women. My sister works with one victim’s mother. And, we hear “crickets” from the dums and media. It would be 24/7 anti-gun outrage if a deranged white had gunned down the poor women.

  • It ought to have been Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi who got raped and Obama who got sodomized and orally violated. Life in prison means two months after an appeal. Castrate the rapists with a dull, rusty knife and shorten his member so that every time he pees he is reminded that violating people is a crime. Our American Liberty is predicated on the LAW.

  • Illegal immigrants are invaders. Never invited and never welcomed. Outlaws are criminals and wars are started by outlaws. This is not CHARITY. This is insanity Let us put Obama and Hillary Clinton in prison for this violation of personal sexual integrity and privacy.
    the green light for the rapist is Obama’s bathroom bill. Clinton and Obama enabled this violation of the sovereign personhood of a minor child, our constitutional Posterity. Exile the enablers, then the criminals will stop coming.

  • Mary De Voe.

    Need I be reminded of my like for you?
    Your on target!

  • “It ought to have been Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi who got raped and Obama who got sodomized and orally violated. Life in prison means two months after an appeal. Castrate the rapists with a dull, rusty knife and shorten his member so that every time he pees he is reminded that violating people is a crime.”

    That is quite enough, far more than enough actually, of that.

  • In Mary’s defense, not that she needs me to defend her, unless you’ve been raped yourself, or know someone who has, the response to the outrageous act on the fourteen year old is understandable.

    I do know someone, and her ability to move forward and forgive her assailant is saintly to say the least.

  • 2) Central America has imploded. That is the reality that the media chooses not to cover. The children FROM Central America and Venezuela are in a position not dissimilar to the child soldiers of Africa: they have witnessed and, in many cases, directly experienced real horror.

    What are you talking about? There were 3 wretched insurgencies which went on over the years running from 1960 to 1996. One was largely suppressed by the end of 1984 and formally settled 12 years later. The other two were settled via armistices in 1990 and 1992, respectively. Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras have an exceptional problem with street crime. Guatemala and El Salvador are more tranquil in this respect than was the case 20 years ago. Honduras is suffering, but 80% of Central Americans live elsewhere.

  • The Superintendent of Schools statement was pure garbage but not unexpected. Rockville is the county seat of affluent Montgomery County. Many years ago they used to elect a Republican Congresswoman, albeit not a conservative, but not the crazy liberals that now occupy many seats of the state govt. and represent MD on the federal level. Montgomery County was the forerunner in proposing self identifying transgenders use bathrooms in public schools, parks and other county buildings. Nancy Pelosi is a product of Bal’more politics. Thank God (and that’s a prayer) that the self styled “new JFK” Martin O’Malley didn’t get either the #1 or #2 Dem nominee slot in the last election. A Caucasian Obama in Irish Catholic sheep’s clothing.
    Hopefully there is some good resulting from the heinous crime IF school policies are changed and the wacky, liberal pols are voted out.
    Let’s turn our anger into prayers for the young girl and her family.

  • Thank you Donald McClarey. Caution noted. Thank you Philip: The rapists would have killed her if she had fought back. The victim’s innocence and virginity are not precluded by rape..

  • Thank God (and that’s a prayer) that the self styled “new JFK” Martin O’Malley didn’t get either the #1 or #2 Dem nominee slot in the last election. A Caucasian Obama in Irish Catholic sheep’s clothing.

    Dr. Zummo will have to weigh in on this. As far as I could ever see, Martin O’Malley is a standard-issue Democratic pol, careerist type. In fairness to O’Malley, he practiced law for 3x as long as BO did and tried his hand at executive positions ‘ere running for President. Trouble is, when you’re Mayor of Baltimore, you have one job: cut crime. He pretty much failed. Didn’t hurt his career, though.

  • The destruction of the girls psyche, her haunting memories are scars slow in healing. If it was your daughter…well, God only knows what retribution you would like to wield on the men. Forgiveness is not easy. It’s a life’s work. Tomorrow I’ll beg our Lady for special graces to enfold the child and her parents. As for the rapists, God’s mercy and as He see’s fit.

    Our Lady of the Annunciation help us.

  • “A lawyer for Sanchez said his client is innocent, and sex with the 14-year-old girl was consensual.”
    The 14-year-old victim was not an emancipated person when the crime was committed against her. Therefore, the victim did not have informed sexual consent to give. Had the victim agreed to have sex with the adult males, it is incumbent upon the adult males to refuse. If the judge hearing the case decides that the victim had the maturity of informed sexual consent to give, enough to be emancipated, without being able to vote, to serve on a jury, to serve in the Armed Forces, to drive, it is after the fact of the crime and inadmissible. The crime against her was committed while she was a minor child.
    Some judges emancipate minor children when they become pregnant to enable an abortion with school counselors and without parental consent. Another miscarriage of Justice, especially since the unborn sovereign person, our Constitutional Posterity, protected under our Preamble, is now a ward of the court.
    “Sean Spicer said, “Part of the reason that the president has made illegal immigration and crackdown such a big deal is because of tragedies like this.”
    This is not a tragedy. This is a crime, a violation of a human being, assault and battery of an American citizen. Earthquakes, floods and hurricanes may become tragedies.
    Sanctuaries are holy places. Sanctuary cities must be holy places. The taxpayers are being swindled.

  • Philip Nachazel: Thank you again Philip. I am listening to an audio book of Anne Catherine Emmerich :The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord, Jesus Christ May I recommend the book?

  • Self-Defense For All 12-Year-Old Girls! I was a victim/survivor of a sexual assault that happened when I was 15 years old. I was modestly dressed, on the campus of a Christian university for a school program, and was doing nothing wrong. I was alone in a girls’ only dorm. I was in the wrong place and at the wrong time and there was an opportunity for an attacker, and he took it. I later took self-defense in college. It helped, but it was really too late for me. We need to teach our girls anti-rape strategies along with how to use a maxi pad and how to wear a training bra. It’s sad, but it’s true. Please, if you have daughters, help your girls to help themselves.

  • Mary De Voe.
    Thanks, and yes…One of Mel Gibson’s resources in the making of The Passion of the Christ. My parents bought five copies for each of their sons. I read it then and gave my copy to an individual, and now it’s part of providence vacuum…the unknown but hopefully in the right hands.
    I will search out another copy at our extensive lending library at Church.
    It’s been eleven years since I’ve read it.
    I recall being stirred in the soul as events unfolded. The Poem of the God Man by Maria Valtorta’s, eight volumes I believe, was another moving piece that left you wanting more. A friend loaned a couple of her books to me and yes, she did get them back.
    I will search out St. Emmerich’s book this week.


    God bless you. Self defense at twelve years old. If it helps one girl it is worth it. If it causes more pain because the attacker is much stronger and now somewhat hurt, then I feel worse for the child, however at least the child had a fighting chance at escape.
    Peace to you and your loved ones.
    Thanks for sharing.

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A Century of Vera Lynn

Tuesday, March 21, AD 2017



The singing voice of Great Britain during World War II, Dame Vera Lynn is one hundred years old.  The Sweetheart of the Forces, she was tireless in her performances for the troops during World War II, and the veterans of that conflict have always held her in high esteem.  Contrary to the usual dismal history of the entertainment industry, she enjoyed a life long love affair with her one and only husband until he died in 1998.  Throughout her long life she has  championed disabled servicemen and disabled kids.   She is a living refutation of the falsehood that the good die young.


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Trump and Teddy?

Tuesday, March 21, AD 2017

Matter! Matter! Why, everybody’s gone crazy! What is the matter with all of you? Here’s this convention going headlong for Roosevelt for Vice President. Don’t any of you realize that there’s only one life between that madman and the Presidency? Platt and Quay are no better than idiots! What harm can he do as Governor of New York compared to the damage he will do as President if McKinley should die?

Ohio Senator Mark Hanna at the Republican Convention of 1900

I have been rolling around in my brain the thought that as President Donald Trump reminds me of Theodore Roosevelt.  At first glance the two New Yorkers seem entirely dissimilar with Roosevelt the scholar turned politician who led the charge up San Juan Hill having little in common with the blue collar billionaire.  However, in their shared endless energy, their desire to attack intractable problems, their appeal to restoring America greatness, their willingness to make enemies of the powers that be, etc. they do strike me as quite similar and unlike most other Presidents. Stephen Beale at The American Conservative makes the case for Trump being in the same mold as The Colonel:

Roosevelt—a career politician who sought military service, an avid outdoorsman who hunted elephants and explored the Amazon, and an intellectually curious historian who dabbled in anthropology and zoology—might seem an unlikely model for Trump.

But in terms of policy, the parallels are legion.  

On trade, Roosevelt was—like most Republicans then and Trump now—a proud protectionist. “Thank God I am not a free-trader. In this country pernicious indulgence in the doctrine of free trade seems inevitably to produce a fatty degeneration of the moral fibre,” Roosevelt wrote in an 1895 letter to his friend Senator Henry Cabot Lodge.

Roosevelt was also a committed immigration restrictionist. In 1903, after radical socialists had bombed Haymarket Square in Chicago and assassinated his predecessor, Roosevelt signed into law a ban on anarchists—including those who professed radical political views, even if they didn’t have any actual terrorist affiliation. Four years later, another law excluded “idiots, imbeciles, feeble-minded persons,” prostitutes, those with certain medical conditions, such as epileptics, and polygamists, or even those who believed in polygamy. Notably this last provision was wielded against Muslim immigrants.  

Roosevelt famously railed against “hyphenated Americanism” and declared that America was not a “mosaic of nationalities.” In language that rings as distinctly Trumpian today, Roosevelt demanded total allegiance and nothing else from American citizens, native and naturalized alike: “A square deal for all Americans means relentless attack on all men in this country who are not straight-out Americans and nothing else.”

Roosevelt built up the military, specifically the Navy, which he showed off to the world as the “Great White Fleet.” Both presidents have a defining public works project. For Trump, it’s the border wall. For Roosevelt, it was the Panama Canal. As with Trump, Roosevelt ruffled international feathers with his proposal, even sparking the secession of Panama from Columbia.

As an undergraduate student at Harvard, Roosevelt had fallen under the influence of Hegelian philosophy, which holds to an evolutionary view of history. He came to believe that the old view of a limited government entrusted with the protection of natural rights was outmoded. Instead, Roosevelt championed an exalted view of executive power that was limited only by what the Constitution explicitly said it could not do. As he put it in his autobiography:

I declined to adopt the view that what was imperatively necessary for the Nation could not be done by the President unless he could find some specific authorization to do it. My belief was that it was not only his right but his duty to do anything that the needs of the Nation demanded unless such action was forbidden by the Constitution or by the laws. Under this interpretation of executive power I did and caused to be done many things not previously done by the President and the heads of departments.

More than anyone since Lincoln, Roosevelt expanded executive power, laying the foundations for the modern presidency. He sought to govern by executive order as much as possible, issuing a whopping 1,081 orders—nearly six times as many as his predecessor and still the fourth highest overall in the history of the U.S. presidency. (His cousin FDR holds the record at 3,721. Woodrow Wilson and Calvin Coolidge rank second and third at 1,803, and 1,203, respectively.)

One Response to Trump and Teddy?

  • TR was until 1905 restrained by his need to get elected in hi shown right, and even afterwards by the power of the Republican party. Not until 1912 did he let ‘er rip.The victor in that election enlarged the role of the Presidency far beyond what TR had. Trump is 70 years old and all he needs to win re-election is to hold on to his base.

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March 21: 1917: Loretta Perfectus Walsh Enists in the Navy

Tuesday, March 21, AD 2017

A bit of naval history was made a hundred years ago when twenty year old Loretta Perfectus Walsh enlisted in the Navy as a Yeoman F, becoming the first woman to be a member of the US military.  Some 13,000 women would serve in the Navy as Yeomen, or Yeomanettes as they were often unofficially called,  during World War I as clerical personnel, freeing up men for sea duty.  Walsh served her four year tour and tragically died of tuberculosis at age 29 in 1925.  She was buried in Saint Patrick’s Cemetery in Olyphant, Pennsylvania.  Her tombstone bears the following inscription:

Loretta Perfectus Walsh
April 22, 1896–August 6, 1925
Woman and Patriot
First of those enrolled in the United States Naval Service
World War 1917–1919
Her comrades dedicate this monument
to keep alive forever
memories of the sacrifice and devotion of womanhoo

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