Monthly Archives: September 2009

History and the End of Schism

Pope Benedict and Patriarch Kirill

Rumors and rumors of rumors of an imminent end to over a thousand years of the Great Schism between Catholics and Orthodox have exploded over these past few days.  If these rumors are correct then not since the Ecumenical Council of Ferrara-Florence have these great Church’s been so close to unity.

In A.D. 1054 Catholic prelate Humbert and Orthodox prelate Michael Cærularius excommunicated each other.  This marks the beginning of the Great Schism between the Catholic and Orthodox Church’s.

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Is There a Liturgical Counterrevolution Underway? I Hope So.

There have been a number of conflicting reports about impending changes to the liturgy in recent weeks. The National Catholic Register, on the one hand, reports that:

On Aug. 22, the reliable Vatican watcher Andrea Tornielli reported that cardinals and bishops of the congregation voted almost unanimously at their plenary meeting in March “in favor” of 30 proposals aimed at increasing reverence in the liturgy. He said these included “a greater sacrality of the rite, the recovery of the sense of Eucharistic worship, the recovery of the Latin language in the celebration, and the remaking of the introductory parts of the Missal in order to put a stop to abuses, wild experimentations and inappropriate creativity.”

Tornielli also wrote that the bishops had reaffirmed the importance of receiving Communion on the tongue rather than the hand, and that Cardinal Cañizares was studying the possibility of “recovering” the practice of celebrating Mass with the priest facing ad orientem (literally “to the east”; i.e. in the same direction as the people).

As we might expect, however, the National Catholic Reporter remains skeptical about any proposed changes:

On Aug. 24, a Vatican spokesperson effectively denied the Il Giornale report, saying, “At the moment there are no institutional proposals regarding changes to the liturgical books currently in use.” Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican’s No. 2 official after the pope, dismissed the reports as “fantasies” in an interview with the Vatican newspaper.

So it would appear that, as of right now, all we can say is that there are discussions about the liturgy taking place.

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The Acorn Scandals Continue

O’Keefe and Giles take their pimp and prostitute masquerade to an Acorn office in San Bernadino California and are met with open arms!  Four Acorn offices across the nation have no problem with helping out a criminal enterprise involving underage prostitutes!  This has been a brilliant sting which has brought Acorn to its knees in just a few days.  Amazing, simply amazing!  Go here to read Hannah Giles’ comments on the science behind the Acorn sting. 

The mainstream media and this story?  Best summed up by ABC’s Charlie Gibson’s comment this morning on WLS in Chicago that he knew nothing about it.  If a story reflects poorly on Democrats, it might as well not exist for much of the mainstream media.  In the day of blogs and youtube, this type of partisan “ostrich journalism” is rapidly becoming extinct.  They will not be missed.

 

Update:  The New York City city council has suspended payments to Acorn and the Attorney General of New York has announced an investigation into pork barrel grants to Acorn. 

Do you trust people who profit from you?

We’re often told that we shouldn’t trust people whose only interest is to make a profit from us. I ran into a brief piece by economist Russ Roberts which stands that conventional wisdom on its head in an interesting way.

The other day I had to get some important tax receipts to my accountant. He’s in St. Louis, it was getting close to April 15, and it was very important that the papers didn’t get lost. To give my accountant plenty of time, I wanted the papers to arrive the next morning.

So what did I do? My first choice was to get on a plane and deliver the letter myself. Too expensive. Too much time.

So I did the next best thing. I went down to the airport and found someone headed to St. Louis. I told her how important it was for my accountant to have my receipts by the next day. Fortunately, she seemed really nice. She said she’d be happy to help me out. I sealed up the envelope, and she promised not to open it after I left.
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From Tiny Acorns Mighty Scandals Grow

Acorn, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, is a left wing political action group with close ties to the Democrat party.  Since 1994 it has received over 53 million dollars in federal funds.  It has a long history of involvement in voter registration fraud.  Obama has a very long history of involvement with Acorn.  Acorn has acknowledged problems in voter registration fraud but has blamed a few “bad apples”.

Thanks to the intrepid James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles, posing as a pimp and prostitute, we now know quite a bit more about advice that Acorn gives to those seeking assistance from them.  Hitting Acorn offices in Baltimore, Washington and Brooklyn, Acorn employees were only too happy to assist O’Keefe and Giles in setting up a fictitious house of prostitution involving underage prostitutes.  The advice of the Acorn worker in Baltimore that the girl prostitutes could be listed as dependents on the tax returns of O”Keefe and Giles is pure comedy gold!

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Real Men, Manly Men

It’s ok for men to seek positions of authority, speak their mind, and help damsels in distress.  It’s in our DNA and that’s what God wants from us.

Be men.  Be manly men!

Here is a fine blog I recommend for those wanting to rediscover their masculinity and return on their path to manhood.  It’s called The Art of Manliness.

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To view more commentary on Catholicism from RealCatholicTV click here.

To read more about the movie, Robin Hood Men in Tights, where the second video is taken from, click here.

How To Solve Health Care

Pro-life liberal Catholic writer Michael Sean Winters of the National Catholic Reporter argues that because Catholic conservatives find themselves opposed not only to a universal health care bill that funds abortion, but also to the idea of centralized health care in general, they are in fact playing into the hands of the pro-abortion lobby.

It is strange indeed to see conservative Catholics unwittingly aiding and abetting the agenda of the pro-abortion organizations they oppose. And stranger still that conservatives who spent the last election cycle saying that no political issue mattered as much as abortion are suddenly putting their idolatry of the market before adopting a sound strategy for keeping abortion coverage out of the health care reform effort. They have provided ample reason for the administration and Congress to ignore their pleas on abortion. The may see themselves as the “loyal opposition” but they are not being loyal to the pro-life cause they espouse. They are undermining it.

Natlamp73His argument is basically that since health care reform is currently on the table, if conservative pro-lifers do not promise to support it if it doesn’t fund abortion, then they are therefore helping those who want it to fund abortion. I can’t help like feeling that this is a bit like the old National Lampoon cover: “If you don’t buy this magazine, we’ll kill this dog.”
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My Reaction to the Shooting of Jim Pouillon

It has already been confirmed that Jim Pouillon was shot to death for his pro-life views.

Jim Pouillon was a pro-lifer advocate that would stand outside of abortion mills hoping in turning away women from killing their unborn children.  He wore leg braces, was dependent on an oxygen tank, and was a “wonderful, Christian, peaceful man.” as described by close friend Cal Zastrow.

Jim Pouillon was also a Catholic and was remembered by his parish priest, Father John Fain of Saint Paul Church in Owosso, Michigan as “a good Christian and a faithful Catholic.

For self-disclosure I am very active in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston in the pro-life movement.  One of the many activities that I participate in is peaceful prayer in front of Planned Parenthood.  So when I heard of the shooting I was deeply shocked at the news.

Even more shocking was the reaction in the secular world, particularly from the political extreme left as this example displays from the notorious Huffington Post:

“…with the way the fake news pundits will run with this one, we might as well get a good laugh out of it now.”

Though what was most disturbing at all was what emanated from various dissident Catholics and blogs when they began smearing the pro-life movement immediately after the attack by claiming that many pro-lifers are violent.

What can we do?

Pray for them.

Follow Jim Pouillon’s example of peaceful protest and prayer.  As our Lord and Savior told us, close the door behind us and pray in private.

Ora pro nobis.

Of Tea and Elections

I have had my eyes on the tea party movement protesting government spending since the beginning of the movement.  On Saturday a huge national tea party protest was held in Washington.  Estimates of crowd size range from 500,000 to 2.3 million.  Some organs of the mainstream media are attempting to downplay the significance of this event.  Politicians on both sides of the aisle are not so gullible.  They realize that a political storm is brewing.  Perhaps even more significant than this show of strength by the forces opposed to the drunken sailor spending of the Obama administration are the state tea parties taking place each week.  For example in the completely blue state of Illinois, my home state, there was a tea party at New Lennox near Joliet last week that drew 10,000 people.   This weekend a tea party at Quincy, Illinois drew 12000 people.   Receiving scant coverage from the national media, these parties are are becoming a real factor in the 2010 elections.

Charlie Cook is one of the best political prognosticators in the business.  Here is what he is seeing:

 

“Even in the best of times, Congress is unpopular. And now voters see Obama as having sent suggestions rather than proposals to the Hill, staking his future and reputation on a body that they hold in low regard. (On foreign-policy matters, where Congress plays a small role, Obama’s job-approval ratings remain quite good. It’s on the domestic side that his numbers are dismal.)

With 14 months to go before the 2010 midterm election, something could happen to improve the outlook for Democrats. However, wave elections, more often than not, start just like this: The president’s ratings plummet; his party loses its advantage on the generic congressional ballot test; the intensity of opposition-party voters skyrockets; his own party’s voters become complacent or even depressed; and independent voters move lopsidedly away. These were the early-warning signs of past wave elections. Seeing them now should terrify Democrats.”

White House Clueless on Health Care Protests

“A mob”

“Astroturf”

“Nazi’s”

President Obama and Speaker Pelosi are trying their hardest at imitating an ostrich sticking its head in the sand.  It continues still today.

When White House Senior Adviser David Axelrod was asked for his opinion concerning the large number of protesters that marched on Washington on Saturday, he replied:

“I don’t think it’s indicative of the nation’s mood . . . “You know, I don’t think we ought to be distracted by that. My message to them is, they’re wrong.”

After tens of hundreds of tea party and town hall protests, the Obama administration seems to purposely be ignoring what Americans demand, no more government intrusion and spending.

The tone deafness of this administration and their proxies is simply stunning.

Irena Sendler

Some people just make you proud to be a human being, and the incredibly heroic Irena Sendler is in that category.  When asked why she saved 2500-3000 Jewish kids she said simply:  “I was taught that if you see a person drowning, you must jump into the water to save them, whether you can swim or not.”  The acclaim she received late in life bothered her somewhat:  “Every child saved with my help is the justification of my existence on this Earth, and not a title to glory.” 

When any of us confront evil and think, “What can I do?”, may the example of Irena Sendler cause us to do the very most that we can.  Irena Sendler did not think of herself as a heroine.  She said that she could have done much more.  I find that hard to believe, but with such a conscience to guide her I can understand how she accomplished the near miraculous.

God Save The Tsar

Something for the weekend.  God Save The Tsar, the national anthem of pre-Revolutionary Russia.  As a whole the members of the Romanov dynasty who ruled Russia for three centuries prior to 1917 were a rather bad group of rulers, with the exceptions of Peter the Great, Catherine the Great and Alexander II, the Tsar Liberator who freed the serfs, and seemed to specialize in inept mediocrities,  especially poor doomed Nicholas II, the last Tsar, who lacked the ability to run a town let alone a vast empire.  However, they were fortunate in their successors.  They shine when compared to monsters like Lenin and Stalin.  Perhaps the Obama administration could revive the song and have it played when some of their “tsars” consult with the President?

For the Least of Our Brothers: On the Murder of Jim Pouillon

When Dr. George Tiller was murdered in cold-blood earlier this year, pro-abortion political partisans and the left in general wasted no time in condemning the act as one of “domestic terrorism.” Leftist blogs and news magazines declared that “words matter” – the words of the pro-life movement are what ultimately cause people who would not have otherwise done so to pick up a weapon and take a life. The entire pro-life movement, therefore, was to blame for the actions of individuals.

There is little doubt in my mind that no one in the media is going to hold the “pro-choice” movement to account for the murder of Jim Pouillon, a 63 year-old man on an oxygen tank and crutches who renounced violence, and, so far as we know, never harmed a living soul. His great and terrible crime was to simply display, in images more than words, the truth of abortion – that it almost always ends with a butchered, bloody human being. For the record, only cowards and liars fear the truth.

But let us return to the topic of words. They still matter, don’t they? Let us take the words, for instance, of the CEO of Planned Parenthood of Collier County, Florida, not long ago:

“I think the people that demonstrate outside of our building are terrorists because they’re trying to deny women access to what a woman is choosing for herself”

So, to be clear: American citizens exercising their first amendment rights, who certainly cannot and do not attempt to physically prevent anyone from entering a facility, are “terrorists”. Before addressing the hypocrisy of this charge, let us look at what people such as Jim Pouillon actually do.

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There's No Such Thing as a Monarchist

I’ve been on an early modern French history kick lately, reading The Battle: A New History of Waterloo, Alstair Horne’s The Age of Napoleon, and now Paul Johnson’s Napoleon: A Life, and Alistair Horne’s La Belle France. All this has led me towards a contention — though I suppose one on a quirky enough topic few will be interest.

It seems to me that there can be no such thing as a “monarchist”. An -ist indicates some sort of intentional form of government which one may support establishing or working towards. Yet looking at the various attempts to bring back the ancein regime or something like it, it strikes me that monarchy is not something which can be intentionally established, except as a cultural and political figurehead of sorts. Monarchy must necessarily be an unintentional form of government, and so while one may admire it where one finds it in history, it doesn’t seem like something one can be a supporter of establishing. An intentionally established monarchy would not be a monarchy in any sense worth valuing.

Pro-Life Protester Shot and Killed

In Michigan, a man is in custody after shooting and killing well known local abortion protester:

Owosso police chief Michael Compeau said Jim Pouillon, 63, was outside the school Friday morning with a sign when a man drove by and shot him. No one else was injured.

Michigan State Police have taken a suspect into custody, the Flint Journal reported.

The school was placed on immediate lockdown, though no students were hurt or involved in the shooting, Ossowo Hish School officials told the paper.

When authorities were responding to the first shooting, officials received a report that another man had been shot and killed at a gravel pit business in Owosso. Shiawassee County Sheriff George Braidwood said Mike Fuoss was found dead in his office.

Perhaps I’m cynical, but I doubt that there will be nationwide hand-wringing over whether pro-choice rhetoric has been too violent, and is thus at fault for the killing. Satisfying as that might be for those of us who are frustrated at being accused of being violent simply for opposing the idea that killing the unborn is a constitutional and moral right, it is probably as it should be since, as I’ve said when the shoe is on the other foot, broad political movements cannot be held responsible for the actions of lone crazies who happen to do something vaguely related to their aims.

Further details on the murdered pro-life activist from LifeNews. May God welcome the dead into the eternal kingdom.

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