Breaking: Hobby Lobby Wins

Monday, June 30, AD 2014

The Supreme Court has voted in favor of Hobby Lobby in a decision just handed down this morning. Justice Alito wrote the majority opinion. The ruling appears to be a very narrow one, holding that closely held corporations cannot be compelled to provide contraception coverage. It doesn’t apply to other mandated coverage. More on the content of the ruling when the decision is released.

By the way, I have to relate something Kathryn Jean Lopez just tweeted. Evidently the protesters on the anti-Hobby Lobby side are chanting “Out of our bedroom!” You know, the people who want US to pay for THEIR contraceptive coverage.

Continue reading...

10 Responses to Breaking: Hobby Lobby Wins

  • Praise God!
    Please thank Eric S. from Pro Life Action League. He spearheaded the “Stand up for Religious Freedom” campaigns in 2012. Over two hundred cities participated in public outcry over the HHS mandate.
    Thanks for the news Mr. Z.

  • Would you say it’s time for a Can-Can?

  • Heartening, but narrow decision. Expect the Little Sisters and EWTN cases to keep rolling their way upward to the Supremes.

  • Evidently the protesters on the anti-Hobby Lobby side are chanting “Out of our bedroom!” You know, the people who want US to pay for THEIR contraceptive coverage.

    Different dimensions of portside politics evince a mentality you might expect in a high school student. This is just one facet.

  • The crux of the decision would appear to be this: “HHS’s concession that a non-profit corporation can be a “person” under RFTA effectively dispatches any argument that the term does not reach for-profit corporations; no conceivable definition of person includes natural persons and non-profit corporations, but not for-profit corporations.”

  • The closing section of the majority opinion made me cheer:

    “In its final pages, the principal dissent reveals that itsfundamental objection to the claims of the plaintiffs is an objection to RFRA itself. The dissent worries about forcing the federal courts to apply RFRA to a host of claimsmade by litigants seeking a religious exemption from generally applicable laws, and the dissent expresses a desire to keep the courts out of this business. See post, at 32–35. In making this plea, the dissent reiterates a point made forcefully by the Court in Smith. 494 U. S., at 888– 889 (applying the Sherbert test to all free-exercise claims “would open the prospect of constitutionally requiredreligious exemptions from civic obligations of almost every conceivable kind”). But Congress, in enacting RFRA, took the position that “the compelling interest test as set forth in prior Federal court rulings is a workable test forstriking sensible balances between religious liberty and competing prior governmental interests.” 42 U. S. C. §2000bb(a)(5). The wisdom of Congress’s judgment on this matter is not our concern. Our responsibility is to enforce RFRA as written, and under the standard that RFRA prescribes, the HHS contraceptive mandate is unlawful.
    The contraceptive mandate, as applied to closely held corporations, violates RFRA. Our decision on that statutory question makes it unnecessary to reach the First Amendment claim raised by Conestoga and the Hahns. The judgment of the Tenth Circuit in No. 13–354 is affirmed; the judgment of the Third Circuit in No. 13–356 is reversed, and that case is remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.
    It is so ordered.”

    A court acting like a court and not a super legislature. What a revolutionary concept!

  • Please…don’t vote for Democrats.

    So that we can have less need for decisions like this.

    Thank you.

    (I know that many Republicans aren’t much better )

  • That tweet about the demonstrators is too funny! They think their freedom depends on making me do something I don’t want to do.

  • “would open the prospect of constitutionally required religious exemptions from civic obligations of almost every conceivable kind”).
    It is not a civic obligation to provide any individual with contraceptives or abortificients. All people, any individual, is still free to provide contraceptives and abortificients to whom ever they will, and without the weight of the law levying penalties for following one’s conscience.
    Thomas Jefferson wrote to the Danbury Baptist Church: “”I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.”
    “A court acting like a court and not a super legislature. What a revolutionary concept!”
    Quote of the day.

  • “By the way, I have to relate something Kathryn Jean Lopez just tweeted. Evidently the protesters on the anti-Hobby Lobby side are chanting “Out of our bedroom!” You know, the people who want US to pay for THEIR contraceptive coverage.”
    “unless you honor me, I will make of you a NO People, a foolish nation.”

Holy Innocents and Tolerance

Monday, June 30, AD 2014


Holy Innocents in New York City is the only Church that offers a daily traditional Mass.  It heads the list of parishes facing closure by the Archdiocese of New York.   This Church played an instrumental role in the conversion to Catholicism of Joyce Kilmer:


“Of course you understand my conversion. I am beginning to understand it. I believed in the Catholic position, the Catholic view of ethics and aesthetics, for a long time. But I wanted something not intellectual, some conviction not mental – in fact I wanted Faith. Just off Broadway, on the way from the Hudson Tube Station to the Times Building, there is a Church, called the Church of the Holy Innocents. Since it is in the heart of the Tenderloin, this name is strangely appropriate – for there surely is need of youth and innocence. Well, every morning for months I stopped on my way to the office and prayed in this Church for faith. When faith did come, it came, I think, by way of my little paralyzed daughter. Her lifeless hands led me; I think her tiny feet know beautiful paths. You understand this and it gives me a selfish pleasure to write it down.”



Father Z gives us the details on the possible closure:




Many media outlets (e.g. NYT, NRO, Rod Dreher), are noticing the plight of the people of Holy Innocents Church in midtown Manhattan’s reviving Garment District.

There is now a good article at the National Catholic Register about Holy Innocents, though I strongly disagree with the first line:

NEW YORK — Every weekday, several [?] traditional Catholics in New York City gather for a 6pm Traditional Latin Mass at the Church of the Holy Innocents, a Gothic Revival structure in Manhattan’s Garment District.

“Several”?  Several dozens!  And they are of every color and shape and economic level.

Masses are celebrated every day at the ideally situated Holy Innocents Church in both the Ordinary Form and, more importantly, in the Extraordinary Form.

The attendance at the Extraordinary Form evening Mass, well-timed for people getting off work, has been steadily growing.  For Low Masses on Monday and Thursdays there is an average of 55 people.  For Sung Masses – every Wednesday – about 75.  On Fridays the number climbs to over 100.  On Saturday morning, it varies between 80-100.  On Sundays the average has been 170 and that number is climbing to around 200 these days. There are about 40 men who are in the server corps and about 20 in the choir rotation.  Lay people gather and at least one cleric on Sunday afternoons to sing Vespers (as the Second Vatican Council asked) and have Benediction.  There aren’t Sung Vespers at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, but there are at Holy Innocents.  More people are at Sunday Vespers than at the Novus Ordo Mass at 12:30.

I don’t usually go for the “empower” buzz word stuff, but it is the lay people who are seriously empowered here.  A liberal’s dream, right?  Lay people have, with the benign nod of the pastor, turned this place around in 5 years.

Since the now infamous sermon given by Fr. Wylie and the way Holy Innocents has been in the news, I am told that there are many new faces in the congregation.  I was told, “there are so many new faces for the coffee hour that we are running out of food extremely quickly.”  They have coffee and doughnuts after the Sunday Extraordinary Form Mass and quite a few people hang out, as is typical of the traditional Mass goers whom I have seen around these USA and abroad.

Traditional Catholics tend to form a close and warm community.  That’s also what is at stake.  These are people, not numbers.

But speaking of numbers, last year the parish exceeded the quota for the “Cardinal’s Annual Appeal”.

Holy Innocents is on 37th between Broadway and 7th, near Herald Square, not far from Penn Station, so it is ideally situated near many public transportation options.  The Garment District is experiencing a revival.  The New York Post wrote that it is becoming another Silicon Valley.  Even now, there is a steady stream of people all day long in an out of the church. People come to light candles, to pray briefly, and then go on their way. There is a thrift clothing store in the basement which is a help to low income people.  I wrote about watching people during the day HERE.

If you are in New York sometime, and go to nearby Times Square or Macy’s, stop in at Holy Innocents even if you can’t be there for Mass. Say a prayer, and then watch the people come and go.  It is amazing.

Continue reading...

11 Responses to Holy Innocents and Tolerance

  • Thanks for helping spread the word.

  • One way for any church in Glasgow to ensure a packed congregation is to advertise “An Aifreann Ghàidhlig” on Facebook. People will travel 50 miles to attend.

    Indeed, Fr Ross Crighton of Benbecula has been getting large congregations at St Mary’s Moorfields in London for a Gaelic Mass.

  • “It seems that in the current pontificate the only thing beyond the pale of tolerance is traditional Catholicism.”
    It would seem so.

  • I don’t understand why anyone is “against” the Traditional mass.

  • Anzlyne wrote, “I don’t understand why anyone is “against” the Traditional mass.”

    I do not imagine anyone is. This is not to say that the Roman Canon has not been compared unfavourably to others, both Eastern and Western, including the earlier canons of the Roman church herself (St Hippolytus, the Apostolic Constitutions &c) but none of these critics has ever suggested the Roman canon should be suppressed.

    However, I believe not a few people share the Holy Father’s concern, when he said, “What is worrying, though, is the risk of the ideologization of the Vetus Ordo, its exploitation.” This is something that has happened in the Church before; in the 17th and 18th centuries, a passionate attachment to the Gallican rites, wholly legitimate in themselves and sanctioned by Quo Primum, became in France the badge of a faction, the ardent defenders of the “liberties and immunities of the Gallican Church,” perpetually suspicious of the Roman See and suspected, not always unjustly, of toying with ideas of national independence.

    At first, this may seem fanciful, but I believe Bl John Henry Newman was right, when he observed, “Again, another similar peculiarity in developments in general, is the great remoteness of the separate results of a common idea, or rather at first sight the absence of any connexion. Thus it often happens that party spirit is imputed to persons, merely because they agree with one another in certain points of opinion and conduct, which are thought too minute, distant, and various, in the large field of religious doctrine and discipline, to proceed from any but an external influence and a positive rule; whereas an insight into the wonderfully expansive power and penetrating virtue of theological or philosophical ideas would have shown, that what is apparently arbitrary in rival or in kindred schools of thought, is after all rigidly determined by the original hypothesis.”

  • How long has this persecution taken place to this level? Has it been only since Pope Francis has come into power?

    Has it simply intensified under the current pope’s leadership?

    Is the end goal destruction of Traditional Catholicism or simple control or something else?

    I really have a hard time with this taking place.

  • When the Apostles went out to preach after Pentecost, everyone understood and heard in his own language. Vatican II was not so much to reach the people in the vernacular, as it was for preachers to preach in the language of the Holy Spirit. If the language of the Holy Spirit is Latin or vernacular or any, it may not be withehld. Pope Benedict XVI declared that the Latin Mass had never been banned by Vatican II, and therefore, the Latin Mass was acceptable. To deprive the faithful of the Latin Mass would circumscribe the Holy Spirit, and deny Pentecost.

  • MPS said , “However, I believe not a few people share the Holy Father’s concern, when he said, ‘What is worrying, though, is the risk of the ideologization of the Vetus Ordo, its exploitation.’ This is something that has happened in the Church before”

    Factions have been in the church from the very beginning. Peter himself was rebuked by Paul for eating with the Jews and shunning the Gentiles over religious practice.

    Wrong motives by religious leadership is also addressed directly in Phillipians 1:15-18. “Some indeed preach Christ even from envy and strife, and some also from good will: The former preach Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains; but the latter out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice.”

    My point is that the gospel is preached multiple ways in every mass, especially through the sacrament of the Eucharist. We should be glad that the gospel is being preached through these traditional masses rather than attempting to stop them.

  • Barbara Gordon

    The Instruction of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesiæ Dei of 30 April 2011, under Benedict XVI thought it necessary to provide, “The faithful who ask for the celebration of the forma extraordinaria must not in any way support or belong to groups which show themselves to be against the validity or legitimacy of the Holy Mass or the Sacraments celebrated in the forma ordinaria or against the Roman Pontiff as Supreme Pastor of the Universal Church.”
    Whether this was based on evidence it had received, or simply included ex majore cautela, it shows the Commission was alive to the dangers I have alluded to.

  • I do not imagine anyone is.



Top Ten Civil War Movies for the Fourth

Monday, June 30, AD 2014

Any understanding of this nation has to be based, and I mean really based, on an understanding of the Civil War. I believe that firmly. It defined us. The Revolution did what it did. Our involvement in European wars, beginning with the First World War, did what it did. But the Civil War defined us as what we are and it opened us to being what we became, good and bad things. And it is very necessary, if you are going to understand the American character in the twentieth century, to learn about this enormous catastrophe of the mid-nineteenth century. It was the crossroads of our being, and it was a hell of a crossroads.


Shelby Foote


I agree with historian Shelby Foote that it is impossible to understand the United States without understanding the Civil War, and it is “therefore fitting and proper” that over the Fourth Civil War movies come to mind.  This is a repeat of a post I originally did in 2011, with changes to some of the video clips.


10.   Ruggles of Red Gap (1935)-We begin with a non-Civil War movie with the video clip at the beginning of this post.  In 1908 English Bulter Charles Ruggles, well played by actor Charles Laughton, comes to work in the American West.  It is a hilarious fish out of water comedy, as Ruggles, with his culture and British reserve comes face to face with the Wild West.  While living in America, Ruggles becomes interested in American history, and becomes a great admirer of Abraham Lincoln.  When he recites the Gettysburg Address, the impact on his listeners is obvious, and reminds us that for Americans the Civil War will never be a matter simply relegated to books or memory, but is something that still has a vast impact on us to this day.



9.    Friendly Persuasion (1956)-Starring Gary Cooper as Jess Birdwell, the head of a Quaker family in southern Indiana during the Civil War, the film is a superb mix of drama and comedy as the Quakers have to determine whether to continue to embrace their pacifist beliefs or to take up arms against General John Hunt Morgan’s Confederate cavalry during his Great Raid of the North in June-July of 1863.  When the oldest son of the Birdwell family, portrayed by Anthony Perkins in his pre-Psycho days, takes up arms, his mother, played by Dorothy McGuire is aghast, but Cooper, as Jess Birdwell, defends him.  Although he remains true to his pacifist convictions, Birdwell understands that his son is acting in obedience to his conscience, and, as he tells his wife, ” A man’s life ain’t worth a hill of beans except he lives up to his own conscience.”



8.    Major Dundee (1965)-Sam Pekinpah’s flawed, unfinished masterpiece, the film tells the fictional account of a mixed force of Union soldiers and Confederate prisoners who join forces to hunt and ultimately defeat an Apache raider, Sierra Charriba, in 1864-65.  Charlton Heston gives an outstanding performance as Major Amos Dundee, a man battling his own personal demons of a failed military career, as he commands this Union-Confederate force through northern Mexico on the trail of the Apache, with fighting often threatening to break out between the Union and Confederate soldiers.  Use of Confederate prisoners as Union soldiers in the West was not uncommon.  Six Union infantry regiments of Confederate prisoners, called “Galvanized Yankees”, served in the West.   The final section of the film involving a battle between Major Dundee’s force and French Lancers, the French occupying Mexico at the time, has always struck me as one of the best filmed combat sequences in any movie.



7.    The Horse Soldiers (1959)-In 1959 John Ford and John Wayne, in the last of their “cavalry collaborations”, made The Horse Soldiers, a film based on Harold Sinclair’s novel of the same name published in 1956, which is a wonderful fictionalized account of Grierson’s Raid. Perhaps the most daring and successful Union cavaly raid of the war, Colonel Benjamin Grierson, a former music teacher and band leader from Jacksonville, Illinois, who, after being bitten by a horse at a young age, hated horses, led from April 17-May 2, 1863 1700 Illinois and Iowa troopers through 600 miles of Confederate territory from southern Tennessee to the Union held Baton Rouge in Louisiana.  Grierson and his men ripped up railroads, burned Confederate supplies and tied down many times their number of Confederate troops and succeeded in giving Grant a valuable diversion as he began his movement against Vicksburg. John Wayne gives a fine, if surly, performance as Colonel Marlowe, the leader of the Union cavalry brigade.  William Holden as a Union surgeon serves as a foil for Wayne.  Constance Towers, as a captured Southern belle, supplies the obligatory Hollywood love interest. Overall the film isn’t a bad treatment of the raid, and the period.  I especially appreciated two scenes.  John Wayne refers to his pre-war activities as “Before this present insanity” and Constance Towers gives the following impassioned speech: Well, you Yankees and your holy principle about savin’ the Union. You’re plunderin’ pirates that’s what. Well, you think there’s no Confederate army where you’re goin’. You think our boys are asleep down here. Well, they’ll catch up to you and they’ll cut you to pieces you, you nameless, fatherless scum. I wish I could be there to see it.

Continue reading...

13 Responses to Top Ten Civil War Movies for the Fourth

  • Thanks so much for these titles. We are living overseas this 4th & I appreciate the suggestions for some real American movies!

  • Thank you Pam! An American rarely appreciates being an American more than when they are living abroad.

  • Gone With the Wind is only one of two movies to which I have had multiple conflicting reactions. It depicts idealism, arrogance, chivalry, racism, stupidity, and many other virtues and sins. Every time I see it I walk away with different feeling than I had before. The only constant is admiration for Mammy as the moral center of the O’Hara family.

    The other movie? Dr. Strangelove

  • Runners-up:
    Shenandoah A fine story, just a little fluff, but a bit constrained by its roots in theater.
    Lincoln had a few historical inaccuracies, and Daniel Day-Lewis hammed up a couple of scenes, but a pretty good movie nonetheless.

  • If I were redoing the list both Lincoln (2012) and Saving Lincoln (2013) would have places of honor on the list.

  • Just asked my wife, a big movie fan, to guess what was on the list. She got only three of them (I think she had blocked out The Horse Soldiers because of the amputation scene – that was the first thing she said about that movie when I named it). She mentioned my two runners-up, along with a third I have not seen: Cold Mountain.

  • I don’t know, I just read the Wikipedia synopsis of Cold Mountain and the plot seems pretty bizarre. I better tell her gently…

  • How could there even be a Civil War, when “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal”?
    The citizens enjoyed their hard won freedom, but refused to share their freedom with others, like the rich man in the Gospel who refused to share his wealth with Lazarus.

  • I didn’t care for Cold Mountain, but it’s depiction of the Battle of the Crater during the siege of Petersburg makes it worthy of honorable mention.

    And if Major Dundee is a Civil War movie, then so is The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.
    Anybody remember The Blue and the Gray? It was a TV mini-series, so I understand why it’s not on the list.
    But it should be.

  • “And if Major Dundee is a Civil War movie, then so is The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.”

    The War was a strong theme throughout the movie, as typified by this brilliant piece of dialogue:

    Major Dundee: Do you expect me to believe these Apaches
    will turn against their own families?
    Track down their own people?

    Samuel Potts: Why not?
    Everyone else seems to be doing it.

  • “Anybody remember The Blue and the Gray? It was a TV mini-series, so I understand why it’s not on the list.
    But it should be.”

    If it hadn’t been a miniseries it would have had a place, if only for Gregory Peck’s portrayal of Lincoln:

  • Major Dundee was not only a great civil war themed movie. It was also a brilliant allegory of the US in general. Complicated. Diverse. Mixes of loyalties, strengths, and failures. Perhaps too optimistic about our ability to pull together against a common enemy.

    I have not seen the movie in a long time, but if memory serves, the survivors of Dundee’s unit cross back into Texas in April 9, 1865, right after Lee’s surrender

  • Yep, after they unite to fight the French, short circuiting a long anticipated show down between the Union and Confederate troops.

PopeWatch: Communists

Monday, June 30, AD 2014



Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded – here and there, now and then – are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as “bad luck.”

Robert Heinlein

Well, the Pope has given another interview, this time to the Roman paper Il Messaggero :


“I can only say that the communists have stolen our flag,” said the Pope, who returned to the public eye today with Mass for the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul after lying low with an apparent cold. “The flag of the poor is Christian. Poverty is at the center of the Gospel.”
He said this citing Biblical passages about the need to help the poor, the sick and the needy.
“Communists say that all this is communism. Sure, 20 centuries later. So when they speak, one can say to them: ‘but then you are Christian,’” he said, laughing.

Continue reading...

18 Responses to PopeWatch: Communists

  • I always thought Christ was at the center of the Gospel. Then following Him to the Father. Then doing the will of the Father out of love for the Father, Son and Spirit. Then loving others. Then following the Commandments including the Beatitudes. This now leads us to love of poverty, which is not just material (as Communists and other materialists including Christian materialists would have one believe.) Rather, it is the absolute dependence on God for all things including our spiritual salvation. This being completely met in Christ. Thus the true center of the Gospel (see my first sentence.)

  • When will this poor man stop talking about things he knows nothing about?

  • Are you sure this isn’t a translation problem? Maybe he was misquoted? Maybe he said communism helps make the poor, not help the poor?

  • I take the quote as saying that Communism claims to help the poor, while the Church actually does help the poor. Communism appropriated the Christian concern for the poor to it own anti-Christian purposes.

    This is no surprise to anyone familiar with the history of liberation theology in Latin America. At best liberation theology was an attempt to Christianize Marxism, and at worst is was a Marxist infiltration of the Church. Pope Francis in his formative years as a priest was a direct observer of this conflict, so it is safe to comment that he surely had much firsthand experience with this subject. One can get the feeling, in fact, that he was speaking in a shorthand possibly due to overfamiliarity with it.

  • This is troubling: Less Latin, more liberation? | Commonweal Magazine |

    @Phillip, I agree and I additionally comment as follows: gospel = good news [of salvation] and Jesus sends a report to St. John the Baptist that “the Good News is proclaimed to the poor”. Since we have the poor with us always, it therefore is not the Church’s goal to eliminate poverty (communism goal through class struggle) even though in its mission, it never forgets the poor.
    The Pope is mistakenly confused or purposely confusing …

  • It is the exercise of the virtue of Justice to aid the poor in their necessities to maintain life. It is not in the power of the state, or of communism, to define poverty or a person’s obligation to aleviate his neighvor’s poverty. The individual person must follow his conscience in giving alms to the needy. Communism denies the individual’s conscience and his tithing as an expression of love for God.

  • People find similar goals shared by communism and Christianity if that is what they are looking for . You can also find plenty of parables and proverbs about industry, stewardship, proper use of talents if you are looking for that boost to a more productive world view. We can glean what we are looking for to a certain extent, or support for what we already believe. We do know for sure that we can discern truth by looking at the fruit. Communism has not produced better standards of living, but some people hold to the hope that somehow it would work This Time.

  • Anzlyne: “some people hold to the hope that somehow it would work This Time.”
    How can communism work this time, when communism denies the individual common person for the herd mentality, the group, the state, leaving the individual to support the state under penalty of law? The will of the people to be free and make their own decisions by informed consent must direct that the state must operate in conformity to the will of the people.

  • “So when they speak, one can say to them: ‘but then you are Christian,’” he said, laughing.”
    Communism denies the individual person, the citizen, and imposes the ideals of the group, the state, using the citizen’s constituency in the state as the yoke to burden him. Therefore, communism would deny Jesus Christ, the individual, the citizen of the world, the Son of God. The errors of atheism, imposed by communism, have done much harm to the freedom of religion, to the individual citizen and to the world.
    Comrade Anzlyne, you do not matter to the communist party, unless you are the Commisar. (Sorry Anzlyne) The nuns used to say “We are the biggest communists”. The difference being that the nuns gave up their freedom to vow obedience. The communist party imposes obedience by military action and terror. It is fair to say that the communist party members are not good communists.

  • Yes. As I said, communism does not produce good fruit. But sometimes people hope it will work this time, despite having seen that it does not produce good fruit. I agree with you 100% Mary. I say that the pope like many other, can misunderstand and misinterpret based on what they are expecting to find in Jesus’ teaching. Now if his expectations come from how he was formed in Argentina,by his parents, by the Jesuits or what I don’t know, they say his grandparents left Italy in response to Mussolini fascism. Maybe all that forms his expectations about “right wing”.
    God asks us, I think, to keep going back to HIM for Clarity and Light, to ask as David did, for God to cleanse us of unknown faults.

  • ‘The poor’ in both testaments have been examples of spiritual poverty, as well, if not more so. I wish that this spiritual poverty, a condition glaring overwhelmingly in the world, were addressed as much as material poverty. Illustrating the aspect of spiritual poverty with His teaching through the Church would give a greater voice to reveal the imbalance in ways of the world.

    Flipping through the books in the Book shows how prophets, peoples, disciples and apostles were chosen and who they were. Solving material poverty is an end; eliminating spiritual poverty is a beginning for many more kinds of endings, including material.

  • Making some distinctions:
    What is due in Justice should not be given as Charity.
    Poverty, whose responsibility? All! (State, Church, individuals, society, etc.) And responsibility arises from Justice, Charity, or in accordance to God’s law.
    Charity examples: almsgiving, The Rich man and Lazarus, […] in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine […], coming to the help of orphans and widows, cf. Letter of St. James, If a man who was rich enough in this world’s goods saw that one of his brothers was in need, but closed his heart to him, etc.
    Justice examples: Pay a fair wage (even above the minimum wage), Laborers mowed your fields, and you cheated them (a sin crying to heaven for vengeance), merchants not tampering with the scales, wise and just laws (cf. social doctrine of the Church: Article 7 of CCC, the 7th Commandment), caring for the Vets, etc.
    God’s law: caring for family and parents, support of our pastors, etc.
    CCC 2425 The Church has rejected the totalitarian and atheistic ideologies associated in modem times with “communism” or “socialism.” She has likewise refused to accept, in the practice of “capitalism,” individualism and the absolute primacy of the law of the marketplace over human labor. Regulating the economy solely by centralized planning perverts the basis of social bonds; regulating it solely by the law of the marketplace fails social justice, for “there are many human needs which cannot be satisfied by the market.” Reasonable regulation of the marketplace and economic initiatives, in keeping with a just hierarchy of values and a view to the common good, is to be commended.
    Food for thought: Faith languishing in the prosperous West yet thriving in the Third World …

  • FMS: “What is due in Justice should not be given as Charity.”
    Justice is giving to another person what he needs to maintain life. Charity would be giving to the person what he might desire or choose for himself…the packed down spilling over.
    In Justice, the state may use tax dollars to maintain life. (Any law may be broken to save a life). The state may not take tax dollars to act in Charity as the virtue of charity belongs to the free will of the citizen. Deut. 14: 22-29 the law regarding tithes.

  • Definitions
    1836 Justice consists in the firm and constant will to give God and neighbor their due.
    1844 By charity, we love God above all things and our neighbor as ourselves for love of God [or better, as he has loved us]. Charity, the form of all the virtues, “binds everything together in perfect harmony” (Col 3:14).
    Human example: Employer paying his employee a just and fair wage and on time; same employer assisting the employee with time and a financial arrangement so that the employee can go and bury his father.
    The LORD’s example cf. Ps 130:3-4
    If you, O LORD, should mark our guilt,
    LORD, who would survive?
    But with you is found forgiveness [He himself paying our debt]:
    for this we revere you.
    Summary: Justice: as we deserve; Charity: better than we deserve [having take care of justice]

  • The Mosaic law enjoins: “And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest. And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and the stranger: I am the Lord your God” (Lev. xix. 9, 10). “When thou beatest thine olive tree, thou shalt not go over the boughs again: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow. When thou gatherest the grapes of thy vineyard, thou shalt not glean it afterward: it shallbe for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow” (Deut. xxiv. 20, 21). These provisions belong to the agricultural poor-laws of the Bible, the transgression of which was punishable with stripes.
    This was not a mere obligation laid on the Israelites, it was a true property right, a jus quæsitum tertio, reserved to the poor

  • I have found that one needs to recognize the primary sources of Pope Francis’ views on things. For example, a great deal of his approach to the Church and the Gospel can be traced back to Hans Urs Von Balthasar, the great theologian whom St John Paul named as a cardinal and who also influenced Pope Benedict. In terms of ‘the poor’ it is not marxism or even liberation theology which has influenced Pope Francis. One can find a magnificent ‘treatment’ on ‘the poor’ in a book by Jean Cardinal Danielou which is simply named “Prayer”. While the name sounds like its content is totally about prayer in Catholic life, it actually is about ‘mission’. In that book, Danielous a real indepth approach to the subject of ‘the poor’. The book is readily available so I will leave you to read it.

  • In the previous post, I meant to add, that in Danielou’s work, ‘the poor’ are really all in need of salvation. With that in mind, without excluding those who experience material poverty, all that the pope is saying makes a great deal of sense.

Fortnight For Freedom: A Just War

Monday, June 30, AD 2014

Fortnight For Freedom 2014

As we approach the Fourth of July we celebrate American independence and the liberties we enjoy.  Independence was won on the battlefield.  Was the American Revolution a just war is therefore a question that should be asked and answered.

Based on the just war doctrine first enunciated by Saint Augustine, I believe the American Revolution was a just war.


Over the centuries the precise content of the just war doctrine has varied.  The classic definition of it by Saint Thomas Aquinas is set forth in Part II, Question 40 of his Summa Theologica:

“I answer that, In order for a war to be just, three things are necessary. First, the authority of the sovereign by whose command the war is to be waged. For it is not the business of a private individual to declare war, because he can seek for redress of his rights from the tribunal of his superior. Moreover it is not the business of a private individual to summon together the people, which has to be done in wartime. And as the care of the common weal is committed to those who are in authority, it is their business to watch over the common weal of the city, kingdom or province subject to them. And just as it is lawful for them to have recourse to the sword in defending that common weal against internal disturbances, when they punish evil-doers, according to the words of the Apostle (Rm. 13:4): “He beareth not the sword in vain: for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath upon him that doth evil”; so too, it is their business to have recourse to the sword of war in defending the common weal against external enemies. Hence it is said to those who are in authority (Ps. 81:4): “Rescue the poor: and deliver the needy out of the hand of the sinner”; and for this reason Augustine says (Contra Faust. xxii, 75): “The natural order conducive to peace among mortals demands that the power to declare and counsel war should be in the hands of those who hold the supreme authority.”

Secondly, a just cause is required, namely that those who are attacked, should be attacked because they deserve it on account of some fault. Wherefore Augustine says (Questions. in Hept., qu. x, super Jos.): “A just war is wont to be described as one that avenges wrongs, when a nation or state has to be punished, for refusing to make amends for the wrongs inflicted by its subjects, or to restore what it has seized unjustly.”

Thirdly, it is necessary that the belligerents should have a rightful intention, so that they intend the advancement of good, or the avoidance of evil. Hence Augustine says (De Verb. Dom. [*The words quoted are to be found not in St. Augustine’s works, but Can. Apud. Caus. xxiii, qu. 1]): “True religion looks upon as peaceful those wars that are waged not for motives of aggrandizement, or cruelty, but with the object of securing peace, of punishing evil-doers, and of uplifting the good.” For it may happen that the war is declared by the legitimate authority, and for a just cause, and yet be rendered unlawful through a wicked intention. Hence Augustine says (Contra Faust. xxii, 74): “The passion for inflicting harm, the cruel thirst for vengeance, an unpacific and relentless spirit, the fever of revolt, the lust of power, and such like things, all these are rightly condemned in war.”

The most recent formulation of the Just War doctrine for the Church is set forth in the Catechism at 2309:

Continue reading...

Unlikely Apostles

Sunday, June 29, AD 2014


To: Jesus, Son of Joseph
Woodcrafter’s Carpenter Shop
Nazareth 25922

From: Jordan Management Consultants

Dear Sir:

Thank you for submitting the resumes of the twelve men you have picked for managerial positions in your new organization. All of them have now taken our battery of tests; and we have not only run the results through our computer, but also arranged personal interviews for each of them with our psychologist and vocational aptitude consultant.

The profiles of all tests are included, and you will want to study each of them carefully.

As part of our service, we make some general comments for your guidance, much as an auditor will include some general statements. This is given as a result of staff consultation, and comes without any additional fee.

It is the staff opinion that most of your nominees are lacking in background, education and vocational aptitude for the type of enterprise you are undertaking. They do not have the team concept. We would recommend that you continue your search for persons of experience in managerial ability and proven capability.

Simon Peter is emotionally unstable and given to fits of temper. Andrew has absolutely no qualities of leadership. The two brothers, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, place personal interest above company loyalty. Thomas demonstrates a questioning attitude that would tend to undermine morale. We feel that it is our duty to tell you that Matthew had been blacklisted by the Greater Jerusalem Better Business Bureau; James, the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus definitely have radical leanings, and they both registered a high score on the manic-depressive scale.

One of the candidates, however, shows great potential. He is a man of ability and resourcefulness, meets people well, has a keen business mind, and has contacts in high places. He is highly motivated, ambitious, and responsible. We recommend Judas Iscariot as your controller and right-hand man. All of the other profiles are self-explanatory.

We wish you every success in your new venture.


Jordan Management Consultants

I have long thought that God has a very well developed sense of humor, and nowhere is that attribute of God more in evidence than in His selection of the human instruments He chooses to work His Will.  Saint Peter was a fisherman and God chose him to be the first Pope.  I assume that almost everyone, including Peter, thought that Christ had made a great mistake in doing this, since other than having a big heart, Peter had no other qualities to the casual observer that would explain why Christ chose him.  Such doubts were underlined when Peter, as predicted by Christ, denied Him three times after the arrest of Christ.  Yet Peter, after the Resurrection, would be transformed into a heroic leader, fearlessly preaching the message of Christ, leading the Church from a small band in Judea into a religion spanning the Mediterranean and beyond.  The big fisherman had been a good choice after all.

No such initial doubts would have concerned the worthiness of Saul of Tarsus for some important office.  He was a keen scholar of the Scriptures, a riveting speaker and utterly fearless.  He was also on the other side, a persecutor of Christianity as a hideous blasphemy against I AM.  In less than the twinkling of an eye God seizes upon His enemy and transforms him into a zealous champion of the New Way, a man who from being afraid of the transformation of Judaism by the teachings of Christ, into the Apostle of Christ to the Gentiles.

Continue reading...

8 Responses to Unlikely Apostles

2 Responses to JFK Reads the Declaration of Independence

Fortnight For Freedom: Why Do We Celebrate the Fourth of July?

Sunday, June 29, AD 2014

Fortnight For Freedom 2014





During the Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858, both Lincoln and Douglas, in addition to their joint appearances at the debates, gave many separate speeches.  On the evening of July 10, 1858, Lincoln gave a speech in the evening in Chicago.  During the course of that speech he touched upon why we celebrate the Fourth of July.

Now, it happens that we meet together once every year, sometime about the 4th of July, for some reason or other. These 4th of July gatherings I suppose have their uses. If you will indulge me, I will state what I suppose to be some of them.

We are now a mighty nation, we are thirty—or about thirty millions of people, and we own and inhabit about one-fifteenth part of the dry land of the whole earth. We run our memory back over the pages of history for about eighty-two years and we discover that we were then a very small people in point of numbers, vastly inferior to what we are now, with a vastly less extent of country,—with vastly less of everything we deem desirable among men,—we look upon the change as exceedingly advantageous to us and to our posterity, and we fix upon something that happened away back, as in some way or other being connected with this rise of prosperity. We find a race of men living in that day whom we claim as our fathers and grandfathers; they were iron men, they fought for the principle that they were contending for; and we understood that by what they then did it has followed that the degree of prosperity that we now enjoy has come to us. We hold this annual celebration to remind ourselves of all the good done in this process of time of how it was done and who did it, and how we are historically connected with it; and we go from these meetings in better humor with ourselves—we feel more attached the one to the other, and more firmly bound to the country we inhabit. In every way we are better men in the age, and race, and country in which we live for these celebrations. But after we have done all this we have not yet reached the whole. There is something else connected with it. We have besides these men—descended by blood from our ancestors—among us perhaps half our people who are not descendants at all of these men, they are men who have come from Europe—German, Irish, French and Scandinavian—men that have come from Europe themselves, or whose ancestors have come hither and settled here, finding themselves our equals in all things. If they look back through this history to trace their connection with those days by blood, they find they have none, they cannot carry themselves back into that glorious epoch and make themselves feel that they are part of us, but when they look through that old Declaration of Independence they find that those old men say that “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,” and then they feel that that moral sentiment taught in that day evidences their relation to those men, that it is the father of all moral principle in them, and that they have  a right to claim it as though they were blood of the blood, and flesh of the flesh of the men who wrote that Declaration, (loud and long continued applause) and so they are. That is the electric cord in that Declaration that links the hearts of patriotic and liberty-loving men together, that will link those patriotic hearts as long as the love of freedom exists in the minds of men throughout the world. [Applause.]

Continue reading...

One Response to Fortnight For Freedom: Why Do We Celebrate the Fourth of July?

PopeWatch: Nutmail

Saturday, June 28, AD 2014



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

Boonville, NC–Writing under the pen name “Nerocious,” 67-year-old Max Kroeger of Boonville, North Carolina sent an irate letter to the Vatican this week denouncing what he called the “abuse and corruption” inside the Vatican. Kroeger reported this morning that the 12,000 word letter addressed to “TO WHOM IT MUST CONCERN” was the fruit of a vigorous and ferocious one hour writing session he had had the prior evening after finishing the book Hitler’s Pope. Father Roberto Abate, who had the privilege of opening the letter, told Eye of the Tiber that he had never seen such a well crafted letter in all his years. “It was outstanding,” Abate said, still in tears by the fervor that seemed to pour forth from the passionately written letter. “I was moved even before I read its contents. The entire thing was written in caps, which automatically caught my attention and alerted me to the fact this was a serious matter, and that this man, whoever he was, was extremely furious about the state of the Church.” Abate went on to say that the masterfully executed letter, with its flawless use of all caps, as well a large number of just perfectly positioned bold ones that helped to emphasize certain aspects Kroeger believed the Church was lacking, could very well make it to the Holy Father’s desk. “This is what the Pope likes to see. It is not enough to write a letter. You must mean it…you must make it stand out. After all, without capitalized words, bold words, underlined words, and perhaps even highlighted words pointing out phrases that you don’t want the reader to overlook, how can you expect anyone to know that you’re frustrated?”

Continue reading...

One Response to PopeWatch: Nutmail

  • …how can you expect anyone to know that you’re frustrated?
    –Eye of the Tiber

    Those short notes in the otherwise empty return envelopes for the Bishop’s Annual Appeal ought to be a clue.

Foolish Thing in the Balkans

Saturday, June 28, AD 2014


Europe today is a powder keg and the leaders are like men smoking in an arsenal … A single spark will set off an explosion that will consume us all … I cannot tell you when that explosion will occur, but I can tell you where … Some damned foolish thing in the Balkans will set it off.

Otto von Bismarck,  said during the Congress of Berlin in 1878

One hundred years ago the Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated, setting off a chain of events leading to World War I, the rise of Bolshevism in Russia, the reshaping of the map of Europe, ultimately to the rise of Nazism and World War II.  The deadliest bullets fired in the course of history were those fired by Gavrilo Princip.

Looking back, one is struck by how slow contemporaries were to grasp where events were heading.  The general feeling was that this crisis would be ultimately resolved and that war would be avoided, perhaps by a meeting of the great powers.  Alas such was not to be.  Austria used the assassination as a pretext to militarily settle accounts with Serbia.  Kaiser Wilhelm, against the advice of wiser heads among his advisors, gave Austria a blank check.  Russia would inevitably enter the war on the side of Serbia, which would bring in her ally France.  Germany would quickly be fighting a two front war.  The German invasion plan of France required an invasion of Belgium which would bring Britain into the war.  All of these domino actions were clear enough at the time, but the powers that be in each of the Great Powers assumed that their adversaries would back down rather than risk a general war.  Such was not the case.

Winston Churchill, First Lord of the Admiralty at the time, was preoccupied, as was the rest of the British cabinet, with the issue of Irish Home Rule, which threatened to lead to violent clashes in Ireland and a possible revolt by segments of the British Army in Ireland against Home Rule.  This was a major crisis and it was not until July 25, 1914 that Churchill grasped what was coming on the Continent.  After a long discussion on the issue of Home Rule in Ireland. the Foreign Secretary read to the cabinet the Austrian ultimatum to Serbia:

“We were all very tired, but gradually as the sentences and phrases followed one another, impressions of a wholly different character began to form in my mind.  As the reading proceeded it seemed absolutely impossible that any State in the world could accept it, or that any acceptance, however abject, would satisfy the aggressor.  The parishes of Fermanagh and Tyrone faded into the mists and squalls of Ireland, and a strange light began immediately, but by perceptible gradations, to fall and grow upon the map of Europe.”

Continue reading...

24 Responses to Foolish Thing in the Balkans

  • Everyone wanted war in 1914

    1. Ever since the Congress of Berlin in 1878, Austria and Germany had been determined to prevent Russian expansion in the Balkans. Austria knew that, if she allowed herself to be humiliated by Serbia, she could not keep control of her minorities.
    2. Germany saw war with Russia as inevitable and wanted it before Russia completed her rail network and gained the ability to mobilise her vast reserves quickly.
    3. With her prestige already damaged by her defeat in the Russo-Japanese War, Russia knew if she allowed her ally, Serbia, to be humiliated, she could well face revolt in her Western provinces, particularly Poland and the Baltic states, from which she drew the bulk of her tax revenue.
    4. With her stagnant birth-rate and Germany’s growing one, France knew she could not wait another generation, if she were ever to recover the lost provinces of Alsace and Lorraine and avenge the defeat of 1870.
    5. Italy wanted to incorporate Austria’s Italian provinces (Italia Irredenta).
    6. Tirpitz’s naval expansion and the consequent arms race with Germany was ruinously expensive for Britain and, ultimately, unsustainable.

  • “Everyone wanted war in 1914”

    Disagree. The Brits clearly didn’t want it, and absent the invasion of Belgium I doubt if they would have gotten involved on the continent, restricting themselves to a naval war against Germany. The Serb government accepted almost all the demands of the Austrians in an attempt to avoid war. Inept, doomed Nicholas II, the last Tsar, did not want war and did his ineffective best to try to avert it. Even blockheaded Kaiser Bill, who did so much to bring on the Great War, had moments of panic and regret during the Sarajevo crisis when he realized the Great War that had been predicted for so long was really about to begin. One of the saddest aspects of Sarajevo is how few actual villains there were and how much miscalculation piled on wishful thinking there was. Easier to accept great disasters brought about by villains like Hitler, instead of great disasters brought about by bumbling mediocrities.

  • Donald M McClarey
    Ever since 1886, people like General George Boulanger, the Ligue des patriotes led by Paul Déroulède and supported by Maurice Barrès, Godefroy Cavaignac, Marcel Habert and Barillier had been campaigning relentlessly for war with Germany – « La Revanche. »

  • Yep, and they had been ignored, as the time between 1886 and 1914 would indicate. French desire for revenge for Alsace and Lorraine had not overcome realization that in a one on one fight they would doubtless be trounced by the Germans again. It was fear, and not desire for revenge, that led France into its alliance with Russia.

  • particularly Poland and the Baltic states, from which she drew the bulk of her tax revenue.

    About 11% of the population of Tsarist Russia resided in Poland or the Baltic states. Some how I tend to doubt the revenue generating potential in those provinces exceeded that of the rest of Russia by a factor of 8 or more.

  • “Cum enim dixerint pax et securitas tunc repentinus eis superveniet interitus sicut dolor in utero habenti et non effugient.” Prima Epistula Sancti Pauli ad Thessalonicenses, Caput V, Versus III.
    I have a feeling that the First World War never ended, but had mere brief lulls of low-level fighting and bloodshed. What Putin is doing in addicting Europe to natural gas while it de-nuclearizes itself and welcomes in Muslim immigrants is a setup for another powder keg.

  • The total death toll in all 20th century wars prior to Sarajevo was 1.5 million, or about 100,000 persons a year. If the assassination in Sarajevo never happened and the course of the 20th century was different, one could extrapolate that the 20th century would have killed about 10,000,000 persons (of course, one cannot really say that the trends of 1900-1914 would have continued indefinitely. Perhaps it would have gone the other way, Irish Home Rule would have been granted and become the pattern for the rest of the century, with even less conflict and death as a result).

    Instead we got Sarajevo, and the number dead “by human decision” amounted to at least 231,000,000. People who read the Apocalypse of St. John should realize that the Horsemen have been riding for quite some time already.

  • The total death toll in all 20th century wars prior to Sarajevo was 1.5 million, or about 100,000 persons a year.

    I’d be quite skeptical of these sorts of contentions. Follow the citations rearward and see if they come to a serious piece of historical demography. One minor personal project I’d like to undertake is to find out the origins of the seven digit death tolls attributed to King Leopold’s troops in the Congo Free State.

  • I have a feeling that the First World War never ended, but had mere brief lulls of low-level fighting and bloodshed.

    The principals in the 1st World War were Britain & her Dominions, France, Germany, the Hapsburgs, Italy, Russia, the Ottoman Empire, the United States, and Japan. I am trying to figure who among them you anticipate will be fighting whom. The bloodshed of note in Europe in the last 60-odd years has been confined to Yugoslavia (bar the brief intramural violence in East Germany (1953), Hungary (1956), and Roumania (1989). Latin America has seen one interstate war since 1895. There has been horrendous bloodshed in the Far East since 1945, but it’s hard to see much of that as derivative of the World War I era conflicts.

  • Casualties in war are notoriously squishy, and the closer you examine them the squishier they get, often involving fairly loose guestimates. A prime example is our Civil War, studied more than any other conflict, with the exception of World War II. For over a century, fatalities were accepted as around 640,000. Recently a higher death toll is being bruited about of 750,000. I have always thought the death toll of 640,000 was probably too low, based on the large amount of skirmishes and raids fought where record keeping was none too good, and general problems with the destruction of a fair amount of Confederate records during and immediately after the War. However, the new estimate is largely based on demographic extrapolations from the 1860 census, and that puts us squarely in guestimate territory.

  • I sometimes wonder what would have happened, if Germany had gone to war with France in June 1905, during the Morocco crisis.

    The Anglo-Russian Entente was not concluded until 1907 and Britain might have stood aloof. The Schlieffen plan might well have produced a German victory within weeks.

    In 1914, even with the BEF in place, scouting parties of cavalry from von Kluck’s army reached the outskirts of Saint-Maur-des-Fossés – That is just over 11k or 7½ miles from the centre of Paris.

  • “I’d be quite skeptical of these sorts of contentions.”

    Yes, we should be Art. It would probably be better to express these numbers in min-max range due to uncertainties over deaths due to war-related disease and famine, especially civilian. The estimate of 1,500,000 deaths in the 1900-1914 period (another issue: is 1900 in the 20th century?) is the best I could find on short notice, especially considering these numbers:

    Second Boer War: 44,000
    Philippine revolt: 226,000
    First Balkan War: 448,000
    Second Balkan War: 34,000
    Russo-Japanese War: 157,000
    Italio-Turkish War: 18,000
    Total: 827,000

    The Russian numbers from the Russo-Japanese War are the maximum values. The minimum are half that. The Philippine insurrection likewise has a good deal of uncertainty. But these are among the best numbers we have.

    The numbers above bring us to over 50% of the 1.5 million estimate above, so the numbers are within the same order of magnitude. I’d have to do more work to better the accuracy.

  • I sent one fellow into apoplexy by turning up a scholarly article by a military historian on the Philippine war which included some casualty estimates (the upper bound being a good deal lower than your quotation above). The notion that a modest expeditionary force was willing or able to inflict that level of carnage strikes me as incredible.

    My initial efforts at finding the source of the estimated death tolls in the Congo Free State were unsuccessful. It would not surprise me in the least if that number were just a castle in the air.

  • There are some Philippine insurrection numbers floating around of 1,000,000 or more. Obviously we have some problems here. U.S. troops did commit some atrocities there – we know because some Americans were disgusted and complained about it, or went to the media. Camps were built and many civilians were interned in them, and disease took many lives. People were motivated to exaggerate these deaths in both directions depending on which side they were on.

    One fact that goes against the larger numbers for the Philippine insurrection is the rather harmonious relationship between the Filipinos and the Americans in the 1910-1945 timeframe. Real bitterness does not seem to have entered the picture. Perhaps it was Christian forgiveness in action, or perhaps it was just that there was less to be bitter than some accounts maintain.

  • Thank you all for the history. Learn so much here. I wonder what they will be writing about America one
    Hundred years from now. I wonder what they will be writing about the Catholic Church? I also wonder if there will be my one left to write, or, any books to research from…..

    So sorrowful that so many died……so very sorrowful… many Mothers’ hearts were broken…..

  • In a sense, World War I was a continuation of the Franco-Prussian War and the Russo-Japanese War, as well as the Polish uprisings.

    The Hapsburg Empire was not something that could have lasted much longer. The Ottoman Empire was dying. The Russian Empire was fragile and led by the weak Nicholas.

    It was some “damn fool thing in the Balkans” because there have been few times when the Balkans have been at peace with each other. Catholics, Orthodox and Muslims have always been at each others’ throats.

    Germany, the Habsburgs and Russia weren’t about to cede an inch of their empires. In the end, they all lost them.

  • If the Kaiser had experienced a momentary flash of sanity, ignored von Moltke (and therefore Schlieffen,) decided to not invade France through Belgium but simply stand firm againt the French in the west and then send the three northern divisions eastward against Russia, how different would the world be? Certainly Poland, the Baltic States, White Russia and most if not all of the Ukraine would have become German, since that has been the Teutonic Dream since ol’ Red Beard himself.
    An Imperial Germany that stretched from the North Sea to the Gulf of Finalnd and then south to the Black Sea would have precluded a Nazi Germany born of vengeance and desperation, but would it have been any better in the long run? An eventual naval showdown with Britian, who would not have entered the conflict, was a surety, as well as continued global colonial competition. Would France have temporarily granted Britain overseer status to its holdings in SE Asia, or would Japan have begun expanding earlier than it did?
    Always an interesting speculation.

  • Yes, very interesting WK
    Hard to say that your White Russia-Ukraine scenario would have played out that way, at least immediately. The Japanese question is the more intriguing. Would they have joined with Russia and gone after Germany’s Pacific possessions or joined Germany and gone after Manchuria and Siberia? Without digging into the motives of particular Japanese leaders of the day it seems hard to answer. The obvious observation is that if Japan had joined Germany then your White Russia-Ukraine scenario would have been more likely, and Germany would have retained its Pacific possessions and thus Pearl Harbor would likely not have happened.
    Of course, a Kaiser who could have said no to von Moltke could have said yes to gentlemen’s agreements to coordinate Anglo-German fleet operations and to ending the colonial competition.
    The whole idea though begs the question: would France have stood by in a Phony War had Germany attacked only Russia?

  • Pan-Slavism and the determination of the other Great Powers to curb Russian influence in the Balkans meant it would be the flash-point for any conflict.

    It was only the naval arms-race that convinced GB of their folly in seeing Russia as the prime threat, ever since the Crimean War. The policy of HMG was well, if crudely, summed up in the words of the popular song
    “We don’t want to fight but by jingo if we do,
    We’ve got the ships, we’ve got the men, and got the money too!
    We’ve fought the Bear before and while we’re Britons true
    The Russians shall not have Constantinople.”

  • “Of course, a Kaiser who could have said no to von Moltke could have said yes to gentlemen’s agreements to coordinate Anglo-German fleet operations and to ending the colonial competition.” Perhaps, but then again, maybe avoiding conflict with England while taking land in the east would have been solely to ensure a greater ability to do so after accomplishing that goal – and employing the coal, iron and industrial expansion it afforded. Then perhaps a Hapsburg-Hollenzollern merger?
    A “Zweites Reich” that had close to half the size of the US in land mass? A Mediterranean port would have emerged within a decade and pretty soon that sea would have been be a German lake. Then, accord with whatever cousin sat on King Edward’s Chair would have been at Willie’s whim. Or not . . .
    “The whole idea though begs the question: would France have stood by in a Phony War had Germany attacked only Russia?” That’s a good one. Whether the French would have breathed a sigh of relief when no spiked helmets came tromping towards Metz, or would have found the opportunity to attach an otherwise-distracted Germany too much to resist is a great 3- or 4-round tavern talk.

  • W K Aitken asks, “would France have stood by in a Phony War had Germany attacked only Russia?”

    France would never have missed a heaven-sent opportunity to retake the lost provinces of Alsace and Lorraine.

    One has only to think of the public reaction to the Saverne incident, of the march of the Strasbourg students past Kléber’s statue, of the crowds that flocked to the frontier to watch the Bastille Day parades at Belfort and of those young men, who, year by year, left home and family behind them to perform their military service in France, knowing they would be forbidden to return.

  • “France would never have missed a heaven-sent opportunity to retake the lost provinces of Alsace and Lorraine.”
    Actually, TomD posed the precipitating query earlier and I’d replied, basically, “Good question.”
    That said, I think our host Don puts the other side of that debate nicely when he posits, “French desire for revenge for Alsace and Lorraine had not overcome realization that in a one on one fight they would doubtless be trounced by the Germans again.”
    At least three rounds at the tavern, I’m sure.

  • WK Aiken
    “French desire for revenge for Alsace and Lorraine had not overcome realization that in a one on one fight they would doubtless be trounced by the Germans again.”
    Of course, but a war between Germany and Russia would have been the signal for an attack and France, with her 30,000 km of railways could mobilise her massive reserves much more quickly than Russia. That was the whole rationale of the Schlieffen plan: Germany knew that war with either France or Russia inevitably meant war with both and that she needed to knock out France quickly, before Russia could mobilise, in order to move her forces eastwards.

  • MP-S

    “That was the whole rationale of the Schlieffen plan: Germany knew that war with either France or Russia inevitably meant war with both and that she needed to knock out France quickly, before Russia could mobilise, in order to move her forces eastwards.”
    Indeed. The Plan was devised to pull a quick “one – two” in the west and then be in place in the east by the time the cumbrous Bear finally gained any traction.
    One of the “cheats” in the speculation of counterfactual history is that we know what really happened, and so we can compare that against our own imaginations – an advantage that real people in their own times do not have. So we know the right flank was not strong enough and Moltke’s implementation fell victim, ironically, to his uncle’s dictum: “No plan survives first contact with the enemy.” This means we can see that it was Moltke der Jüngere who caused the whole mess. Willie wanted to go east on the promise of British neutrality absent a German attack on France, but the general would not have any of it. Yet how close did it come?
    If Kaiser Bill had shown a shred of kingliness, stood up to Moltke Jr, gone east with the bulk of the German offensive forces, grabbed as much territory as possible before the Russians responded while simply holding the line in the west against the inevitable French attacks, taking advantage of superior German firepower entrenched in the naturally defensive geography along the French border and knowing that the French Plan XVII depended upon a then-nonexistent British intervention . . . it is to wonder. “For want of a nail . . .”

Fortnight For Freedom: Revolution, Independence and Schoolhouse Rock

Saturday, June 28, AD 2014

Fortnight For Freedom 2014


Something for the weekend.  I loved these schoolhouse rock videos when they were first broadcast back in the Seventies right before the bicentennial.  Among a fair number of kids I knew they sparked an interest in history.  Of the videos, I believe No More Kings has the catchiest tune.  For a cartoon, The Shot Heard Round the World does a fairly good job of conveying information about the Revolution in a very short span of time:  it manages to include the opening battles of the war, Washington as the central figure of the war, the role of the militia, the endurance of the Continentals, the battle of Trenton, Valley Forge, the frequent defeats of the Americans, the importance of diplomacy and foreign intervention, and the decisive victory at Yorktown.  Fireworks is a nice opening view of the Declaration for kids.  If readers have kids, or if, like me, part of them has never really grown up, watching these cartoons can be a good way to get into the Fourth of July spirit!

Continue reading...

One Response to Fortnight For Freedom: Revolution, Independence and Schoolhouse Rock

  • “Shot heard round the world” is still my favorite– main reason I got the DVD of School House Rock. (Which now lives with the Daffy Duck Mathamagic Land DVD in my computer bag, for somewhat educational child distraction.)

PopeWatch: Who Do You Say That I Am?

Friday, June 27, AD 2014


The most important question in all of history is the simple one posed by Jesus:  “Who do you say that I am?”  In his homily on Thursday the Pope posed a partial answer to the eternal question.


These, the Pope said, “were the voices that reached the people, and none of these voices had the power to warm the hearts of the people – But Jesus did! The crowds were amazed: They heard Jesus and their hearts were warmed. The message of Jesus reached to the heart.” Jesus, Pope Francis said, “approached to the people,” He “healed the heart of the people,” He “understood their difficulties.” Jesus, he continued, “was not ashamed to speak with sinners, He went out to find them,” Jesus “felt joy, He was happy to be with His people.” And this is why Jesus is “the Good Shepherd,” the sheep hear His voice and follow Him:

“And this is why the people followed Jesus, because He was the Good Shepherd. He wasn’t a moralistic, quibbling Pharisee, or a Sadducee who made political deals with the powerful, or a guerrilla who sought the political liberation of his people, or a contemplative in a monastery. He was a pastor! A pastor who spoke the language of His people, Who understood, Who spoke the truth, the things of God: He never trafficked in the things of God! But He spoke in such a way that the people loved the things of God. That’s why they followed Him.”

Jesus, the Pope said, “was never far from the people, was never far from His Father.” Jesus “was so joined to the Father, He was one with the Father!” and so was “so very close to the people.” He “had this authority, and this is why the people followed Him.” Contemplating Jesus, the Good Shepherd, the Pope said, it would be good for us to think about who we like to follow:

Continue reading...

16 Responses to PopeWatch: Who Do You Say That I Am?

  • I wonder where in the Pope’s homily was this said, “From that time [the arrest of John the Baptist] Jesus began to preach, saying, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.'”
    Yes, Jesus healed the heart of the people, He understood their difficulties. Jesus was not ashamed to speak with sinners, He went out to find them, Jesus felt joy, He was happy to be with His people. And yes, this is why Jesus is the Good Shepherd, the sheep hear His voice and follow Him.
    But Jesus is Lord and King as well as Pastor and Savior. He cannot be the latter two without being the former two. It is gratifying to hear the Pope speak of repentance when talking about the obviously murderous – the Mafiosi. Perhaps he will eventually say the same about liberal progressive Democrat politicians who abuse their status as born and raised Katholycks and then justify and disseminate their gospel of social justice, the common good and peace at any price while they pass laws and promote measures to murder the unborn and sanctify the filth of sexual perversion.
    Healing comes with repentance, not before. And we all have to repent on a daily basis.

  • St Augustine, as usual, is very good on this: “Moreover, in the same mass of ruin the Jews were left, because they could not believe such great and eminent mighty works as were done in their sight. For the gospel has not been silent about the reason why they could not believe, since it says: “But though He had done such great miracles before them, yet they believed not on Him; that the saying of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled which he spake, [Isa. liii. 1] Lord, who hath believed our report, and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? And, therefore, they could not believe, because that Isaiah said again, [Isa. vi. 10] He hath blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.” [John xii. 37 ff.]
    Therefore the eyes of the Tyrians and Sidonians were not so blinded nor was their heart so hardened, since they would have believed if they had seen such mighty works, as the Jews saw. But it did not profit them that they were able to believe, because they were not predestinated by Him whose judgments are inscrutable and His ways past finding out. Neither would inability to believe have been a hindrance to them [the Jews], if they had been so predestinated as that God should illuminate those blind eyes, and should will to take away the stony heart from those hardened ones…. For they hear these things and do them to whom it is given; but they do them not, whether they hear or do not hear, to whom it is not given. Because, “To you,” said He, “it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.” [Matt. xiii. 11] Of these, the one refers to the mercy, the other to the judgment of Him to whom our soul cries, “I will sing of mercy and judgment unto Thee, O Lord.” [Ps. CI. 1]” – Praescientia et praeparatio beneficiorum Dei.

  • To Donald Paul and Michael.

    Thank you. I have enjoyed your insights this morning. We are blessed.

  • Ouch say the contemplatives in the monasteries….we’re grouped with pharisees, publicans, and Che Guevara…can we have a tee shirt with an image of St. John of the Cross escaping Carmelite prison through the little window?

  • The Pope has a point. Monasticism should always be valued, but Jesus was not an Essene, and he obviously saw that his total withdrawing from the world would not save it.

    I have to echo Philip. Don, your last paragraph on this post is a gem.

  • “Or a contemplative in a monastery”
    Contem[platives in monasteries are always open to seekers of truth, wisdom and spiritual guidance. Pilgrims must come to contemplatives, because contemplatives are cloistered, but contemplatives are always open to the pilgrim, just like Jesus, Who was always open to all the people who came to Him.
    Mother Angelica of EWTN was a cloistered Poor Claire. Mother Angelica had a vocation within a vocation, like Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Following Jesus must be according to our vocation from God. Jesus did only the will of His Father in perfect conformity.
    Jesus did not quibble, nor was Jesus moralistic . These are fakes.
    If anyone is called to be a guerrilla soldier to liberate his people as Saint Joan of Arc, so be it, unless he or she as had beforehand committed his vows to God through the Catholic Church and received ordination to Holy Orders.
    If anyone follow Pope Francis’ words but ignores his vocation to the detriment of his soul, he will be damned.

  • Mary de Voe

    Saint Joan of Arc was not a guerrilla; she was a general officer in the French King’s service.

  • Guerrillas? Would Pope Francis lump Pelayo in with those he speaks of? Or would Pope Francis even know of Pelayo?

    According to Warren Carroll’s book, Isabel – The Catholic Queen – Pelayo, whose sister had been put in a harem of the Muslim Caliph of Cordoba, escaped his Muslim captors and made his way to the north of Spain, Asturias. There, he gathered a few like minded people, who made him King, and Pelayo swore that Spain would one day be liberated from the Muslims. It was. Pelayo battled the rest of his life, being at one point backed into a cave at Covadonga, but he never lost faith in God or His Church.

    Mother Angelica has already been mentioned as a contemplative. Her vision has resulted in a network that has reached countless people in numerous languages.

    It is worthwhile not to be hypersensitive to the words of Pope Francis. He does not measure his words. He is not careful of what he says and often comes across ill informed. He often makes a backhanded insult (neo-Pelagians) and nobody knows for sure if it is intentional or not.

    Jesus ventured out of Israel only a few times – Samaria, Tyre, Sidon if memory serves. It was the Apostles, who had been visited by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, who spread the Gospel of Christ from India (Thomas) to Spain (James).

  • Guerrillas? I would bet Pope Francis was thinking of the Zealots when he said this.

  • “He never trafficked in the things of God!”
    That needs qualification if Jesus is God. 🙂 No, He wasn’t “selling” Himself to us, but invitations were sent out, so to speak. Consider whether John the Baptist was “trafficking” in the things of God…

    “But He spoke in such a way that the people loved the things of God. That’s why they followed Him.” As per Don, He spoke in such a way that some of the people loved the things of God right off the bat.

    And, no, Jesus was the opposite of a quibbling Pharisee, but was Jesus really the opposite of moralistic? As in, promoting a specific moral view? As in, “good” and “bad”, or to put it in Pope Francis lingo, “yes! to” and “no! to” ?

  • “or a guerrilla who sought the political liberation of his people.” I am sure Pope Francis was referring to the proponents of liberation theology, whom Pope John Paul II called out. In Jesus Christ’s time Barrabas would fulfill that definition.
    Penguin’s Fan and Michael Paterson-Seymour: Saint Joan of Arc, one of the patronesses of France, the other being Saint Teresa, the Little Flower, is one of my favorite saints.
    It was a poor comparison, my point being that once a person takes Holy Orders, he does not take up guerrilla warfare as a soldier.

  • Pingback: Upon This Rock: Readings for Solemnity of Sts. Peter & Paul
  • Everybody knows that Jesus is the cosmic butler who helps us into the saddle…so that we can be all that we can be.

    (pssst… a real God…not a guru to help us scratch our religious itch)

  • Mary de Voe wrote, “Saint Joan of Arc, one of the patronesses of France, the other being Saint Teresa, the Little Flower, is one of my favorite saints.”
    I often pass Emmanuel Frémiet’s statue of La Pucelle [the Maid] in the Place des Pyramids, near the spot where she was wounded, trying to take Paris. A magnificent equestrian statue, it is one of the landmarks of the city.
    Commemorations are held there every year on 8th May, the anniversary, both of her raising of the siege of Orléans in 1429 and of victory in Europe in 1945 (Fête de la Libération). It was her Cross of Lorraine that the Free French army of North Africa placed on their Tricolore.

  • Thank You, Michael Paterson-Seymour. Thank You. My middle name is Lorraine.

  • He never trafficked in the things of God!

    That sounds like a dig at Simon Magus, and his modern counterparts – televangelists! I can see Joel Olsteen clicking on “unfriend” at this very moment.

Fortnight For Freedom: The Father of Our Country

Friday, June 27, AD 2014

Fortnight For Freedom 2014


America has been blessed by God in many ways but I suspect no blessing has been greater than His granting us George Washington to lead us in our struggle for independence and to be our first President.  Catholics have perhaps more reason than other Americans to keep the memory of Washington alive in our hearts.  In a time of strong prejudice against Catholics in many parts of the colonies he was free from religious bigotry as he demonstrated on November 5, 1775 when he banned the anti-Catholic Guy Fawkes celebrations.

“As the Commander in Chief has been apprized of a design form’d for the observance of that ridiculous and childish custom of burning the Effigy of the pope – He cannot help expressing his surprise that there should be Officers and Soldiers in this army so void of common sense, as not to see the impropriety of such a step at this Juncture; at a Time when we are solliciting, and have really obtain’d, the friendship and alliance of the people of Canada, whom we ought to consider as Brethren embarked in the same Cause. The defence of the general Liberty of America: At such a juncture, and in such Circumstances, to be insulting their Religion, is so monstrous, as not to be suffered or excused; indeed instead of offering the most remote insult, it is our duty to address public thanks to these our Brethren, as to them we are so much indebted for every late happy Success over the common Enemy in Canada.”

Order in Quarters, November 5, 1775

– George Washington

This stand against anti-Catholicism was not unusual for Washington.  Throughout his life Washington had Catholic friends, including John Carroll, the first Catholic bishop in the US.  He would sometimes attend Mass, as he did during the Constitutional Convention when he led a delegation of the Convention to attend Mass in Philadelphia as he had attended Protestant churches in that town during the Covention.  This sent a powerful signal that under the Constitution Catholics would be just as good Americans as Protestant Americans.

Washington underlined this point in response to a letter from prominent Catholics, including Charles and John Carroll, congratulating him on being elected President:

Continue reading...

6 Responses to Fortnight For Freedom: The Father of Our Country

  • Americans are indeed blessed by God with George Washington. Every citizen ought to emulate Washington’s wisdom, courage and love for God, country and his fellow man.
    Common sense is necessary for the common good and the general welfare and to fulfill the mandates of the Preamble, the purpose, the unchangeable purpose, of the Constitution. Washington called anti-Catholicism “a void of common sense”.”a void of common sense” is called “a no people, a foolish nation” in the Bible.”a void of common sense” is filled with criminality.
    A recent guest on EWTN’s Father Mich Pacwa Show said that only 6% of people entering into college this fall know the Ten Commandments, a very great “void of common sense”.
    It must be noted as well, that Thomas Paine, a pamphleteer who supported freedom and independence for the colonies wrote “Common Sense” to encourage the people to realize their unalienable civil rights. To realize one’s unalienable human rights, one must acknoweldge all men’s unalienable human rights.
    Obama denies his conscience and imposes his “void of common sense” on all citizens.

  • “Thomas Paine, a pamphleteer”

    Having been granted honorary French citizenship, along with other foreign friendsof liberty by the Legislative Assembly’s decree of 26 August 1792, later that year, he was elected to the National Convention as deputy for Pas-de-Calais. His contributions to the assembly’s debates were limited, for he did not speak French. He sat with the Girondins and Robespierre, in a rare flash of wit, remarked that he looked forward to hearing Paine’s speech from the scaffold.

  • Paine barely escaped from execution due to Thermidor. His enthusiasm for Revolutionary France was only one illustration that the author of Common Sense possessed little enough of that attribute himself.

  • Donald R McClarey wrote, “Paine barely escaped from execution due to Thermidor”

    It is said that, the night before he was ordered for execution, a gaoler, who had dined well rather than wisely, put the usual chalk-mark on the inside of his door, open because he had official visitors, instead of the inside.

    His enthusiasm for the French Revolution he shared with Jefferson, who said of the September Massacres in Paris in the summer of 1792 “Many guilty persons fell without the forms of trial, and with them some innocent. These I deplore as much as anybody. But—it was necessary to use the arm of the people, a machine not quite so blind as balls and bombs, but blind to a certain degree—was ever such a prize won with so little innocent blood?”

    Lord Acton was shocked by this “disinterested enthusiasm for murder”

  • One of many reasons why my feelings for Jefferson can best be described as ambiguous.

  • ” … my feelings for Jefferson can best be described as ambiguous.” Ditto, Donald — and mine for Paine as well. I tend to explain both of them when they are at their genuine best as examples of the adage that “even a stopped clock is right twice a day.”

June 27, 1864: Battle of Kennesaw Mountain

Friday, June 27, AD 2014


I have heard men say that if they ever killed a Yankee during the war

they were not aware of it. I am satisfied that on this memorable day,
every man in our regiment killed from one score to four score, yea,
five score men. I mean from twenty to one hundred each. All that was
necessary was to load and shoot. In fact, I will ever think that the
reason they did not capture our works was the impossibility of their
living men passing over the bodies of their dead. The ground was piled
up with one solid mass of dead and wounded Yankees. I learned afterwards
from the burying squad that in some places they were piled up like cord
wood, twelve deep.
Private Sam Watkins, Company H, First Tennessee Infantry

Throughout his maneuvers to slow Sherman’s drive on Atlanta, General Joseph Johnston often occupied strong positions that he hoped Sherman would assault.  At Kennesaw Mountain on June 27, 1864 he got his wish.

Following the battle of Pickett’s Mill on May 27,1864, go here to read about it, the Union and Confederate armies would spend June with Sherman attempting to find some way to outflank or make his way through the defensive lines constructed by Johnston to defend Marietta, Georgia, and his rail supply line.



Sherman having successfully turned his initial line, Johnston fell back on a previously prepared fortified line astride Kennesaw Mountain, an immensely strong position, on June 18-19.  Sherman’s attempt to turn the left of Johnston’s position came to a halt at the Battle of Kolb’s Farm on June 22.  Here Hood, in a foreshadowing of dark days to come for the Confederate Army of Tennessee, had his corps attack without adequate reconnaissance and incurred heavy losses of 1500 to 250 Union.  Nonetheless, Sherman’s flanking movement was stopped.

Growing impatient, on June 27 Sherman launched the last frontal assault of his career.  Assuming that Johnston had stretched his line too thin, Sherman attacked the Confederate center.  The attack began with a furious cannonade at 8:00 AM involving 200 cannon.  The Union attack went in and was bloodily repulsed with 3000 Union casualties to 1000 Confederates.  The fighting was over by 10:45 AM.  Sherman twice urged General Thomas to renew the assault.  Thomas flatly refused, saying “One or two more such assaults would use up this army.” 

The aftermath of the battle was anti-climactic.  The armies stood facing each other for five days, until July 2, 1864 when Sherman again attempted to outflank Johnston’s left, this time with success, Johnston retreating to prepared lines at Smyrna.  Here is Sherman’s account of the battle in his memoirs:

Continue reading...

Massachusetts Abortion Clinic Bubble Zone Law Struck Down

Thursday, June 26, AD 2014



Today a unanimous Supreme Court, in MCCULLEN ET AL. v. COAKLEY, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF MASSACHUSETTS, struck down the Massachusetts “Bubble Zone” law, keeping pro-life protestors  35 feet away from abortion clinics, as a violation of the First Amendment.  That is a good thing.  The bad thing is that it was authored by Chief Justice John Roberts, and I will let Justice Scalia explain what a limited victory for the pro-life cause this is, and what a disappointment it is that the Chief Justice wrote it.


JUSTICE SCALIA, with whom JUSTICE KENNEDY and JUSTICE THOMAS join, concurring in the judgment.

Today’s opinion carries forward this Court’s practice of giving abortion-rights advocates a pass when it comes to suppressing the free-speech rights of their opponents. There is an entirely separate, abridged edition of the First Amendment applicable to speech against abortion. See, e.g., Hill v. Colorado, 530 U.S. 703 (2000); Madsen v. Women’s Health Center, Inc., 512 U.S. 753 (1994).

The second half of the Court’s analysis today, invalidating the law at issue because of inadequate “tailoring,” is certainly attractive to those of us who oppose an abortion-speech edition of the First Amendment . But think again. This is an opinion that has Something for Everyone, and the more significant portion continues the onward march of abortion-speech-only jurisprudence. That is the first half of the Court’s analysis, which concludes that a statute of this sort is not content based and hence not subject to so-called strict scrutiny. The Court reaches out to decide that question unnecessarily-or at least unnecessarily insofar as legal analysis is concerned.

I disagree with the Court’s dicta (Part III) and hence see no reason to opine on its holding (Part IV).

Continue reading...

13 Responses to Massachusetts Abortion Clinic Bubble Zone Law Struck Down

  • Only truth has free speech.

  • “Public streets and sidewalks are traditional forums for speech on matters of public concern.”
    Is that really the law in the US? Ours is quite different. In McAra v. Magistrates of Edinburgh [(1913) S.C. 1059], the Lord President (Dunedin) said, “As regards the common law, I wish most distinctly to state it as my opinion that the primary and overruling object for which the streets exist is passage. The streets are public, but they are public for passage, and there is no such thing as a right in the public to hold meetings as such in the streets.”
    As for the right of free speech, he said that it undoubtedly exists but that: “the right of free speech is a perfectly separate thing from the question of the place where that right is to be exercised.”
    Hence, the common request by police officers to “Move along, there” and why demonstrations usually take the form of marches.

  • “Is that really the law in the US?”

    Yep. Parade permits normally have to be obtained if one wishes to march in the streets. Sidewalk protests in the US, completely unlicensed, are not uncommon. I walked through an anti-war one on public sidewalks, ironically aimed against Obama by far Leftists, after my family and I had lunch at a pub in downtown Urbana on the Saturday before Memorial Day. This group has been holding similar weekend protests in Urbana since 2003.

  • “Only truth has free speech.”

    No, since people differ on truth and many disagreements do not involve truth per se, or involve clashing truths: i.e. state’s rights v. freedom in the Civil War. Most tyrants throughout History, as they throttled the free speech of those who opposed them, would piously proclaim that they were only defending truth.

  • Agree, Donald. Man is not God, and by virtue of his fallen nature will always have a weak grasp of Truth. Hence we grope for it clumsily and with limited success, but it is important and we struggle and argue over it necessarily. Free speech is a key means by which we can make progress. It leads to Truth, however haltingly and imperfectly.

  • Pingback: Sacred Heart of Jesus, English Chant Propers -
  • “I wish most distinctly to state it as my opinion that the primary and overruling object for which the streets exist is passage”
    MPS, sidewalks in the U.S. are for passage also. However, we recognize that the right of the pedestrian for passage is usually not hindered by people who are exercising their free speech rights. Perhaps the sidewalks are just smaller in Scotland?
    We have recently had a spat of demonstrations by groups called ‘Occupy Wall Street’ or OWS. These groups did block sidewalks, to the consternation of many. All U.S. venues have laws that prohibit this, but the police often were reluctant to enforce them due to media sympathies for OWS and the knowledge that certain judges will go too far and agree with the OWS claim that their blockage is itself an exercise of free speech. The police would only act in the most outrageous situations.

    You may ask yourself, how did these judges get this idea? It all goes back to the civil rights movement of the 1960’s, with the protests against legal segregation. The civil rights protestors maintained their blockage of sidewalks and entrances to segregated establishments was the only effective way they could protest and thus was an act of speech. What people forget is that those protestors never saw their actions as an act of free speech: they were not challenging public order laws in general, and fully expected to be arrested. In fact they were a bit apologetic about it, even as they maintained the necessity to do so. Today’s protestors claim their mantle but also claim their public disorder to be free speech. It’s a much different world, and in this regard not a better one.

  • The English law on the subject was stated by Lopes LJ in in Harrison v. Duke of Rutland ([1893] 1 Q.B. 142) Harrison was on a road running across the Duke’ land and was interrupting a shoot by scaring game away from the butts.
    At p. 154 he said: “The conclusion which I draw from the authorities is that, if a person uses the soil of the highway for any purpose other than that in respect of which the dedication was made and the easement acquired, he is a trespasser. The easement acquired by the public is a right to pass and repass at their pleasure for the purpose of legitimate travel, and the use of the soil for any other purpose, whether lawful or unlawful, is an infringement of the rights of the owner of the soil, who has, subject to this easement, precisely the same estate in the soil as he had previously to any easement being acquired by the public.”
    In Hickman v. Maisey ([1900] 1 Q.B. 752) it was held to be a trespass for someone (a racing tout) to use the road as a vantage point for observing and timing the performance of racehorses undergoing trial for an hour and a half. The same would, no doubt, apply to paparazzi on a stake-out, if the owner of the soil took exception.
    The law of Scotland is the same.

  • “Roe v. Wade has exerted a poisonous influence on the courts as laws, and traditional judicial modes of interpreting laws and the Constitution have been twisted and warped to protect the sacred [rite, ahem] right of women to slay their offspring.”
    Of course, it isn’t just Roe v, Wade, but the continuing love of abortion and the need to justify it that is poisonous.

    ” Imagine the damage that the Dred Scott decision would have done to American jurisprudence if it had not been overruled by the Civil War…”
    I have never seen this thought expressed, but it is so true. The Dred Scott decision would have infested the courts and generated more and more evil fruit with each case that relied on it as precedent. Arguably the timing of the Civil War and the postwar amendments to the Constitution saved this country from many legal monstrosities; a Civil War delayed to 1890 or 1900 would have allowed for a half century of bad precedent that even a Union victory could never repeal. Up for a novel, Don?

  • Every time Piers Morgan talks, I lose a brain cell.

  • Pontius Pilate asked of Jesus Christ, his prisoner: “What is truth?”
    Truth is the absolute and perfect absence of evil. Pilate no longer recognized his own pure innocence and his soul created in perfect innocence. Jesus’ presence testified to Pilate’s guilt in not willing to stay pure and innocent, morally and legally innocent. It was incumbent upon Pilate, as governor of Judea, to defend truth and innocence, as it was Pilate’s function to deliver Justice and determine guilt; to judge the nation. Jesus stood as a witness against Pilate’s failure to be both a man and a leader.
    “The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God.” ought to have been Pilate’s constant prayer.
    The obvious answer to “Who is truth?” is the three persons of the Blessed Trinity, Jesus Christ, true God and true man, and the Blessed Virgin Mary, who, filled with the Holy Spirit from creation, willed to be in perfect conformity to the will of God. To Mary, God gave the special privilege of the Immaculate Conception, the grace to have her pure and innocent desire fulfilled by God and to remain a virgin for all time. The next answer to: “Who is truth?”: is the newly begotten sovereign person, who is created in perfect and absolute innocence, moral and legal innocence, for God does not create sin or evil, and who must be visited by the sin of Adam, and who must desire to remain an innocent virgin as God created him and avoid the sin of Adam.
    Truth is the absolute absence of evil and in this, truth is absolute. If it is not true, then it is a lie. Unalienable human rights must be endowed by an infinite God of absolute truth. Finite human rights endowed by a finite state, that is, a state constituted by men, with a beginning and, therefore, an end, cannot endow unalienable human rights because it is, of itself, alienable. “it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government,” The Declaration of Independence. The finite state cannot endow unalienable human rights. The finite state can only endorse the human rights endowed by “our Creator”.
    Pornography is a lie about the human being, his creation in perfect innocence and virginity and impacts our constitutional posterity by setting an evil precedent of ignoring the innocence and virginity required to establish Justice “to secure the Blessing of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity.” From the Preamble to our Constitution.
    Pornography profits from catering to the sin of Adam and therefore is not free or absent of evil. Abuse of the human being, body and soul, inheres in pornography. Pornography may be described as soul murder. That pornography was given freedom by the Court, while it is addictive and imprisons the soul, is a miscarriage of Justice.
    Abortion destroys our constitutional posterity. Justice cannot be established by destroying the most innocent among us. Innocence, the absence of evil, is the compelling interest of the state and the indispensible reality for establishing and preserving Justice. “establish Justice” from The Preamble. Abortion violates the Preamble, the unchangeable purpose of the Constitution.
    Sodomy denies the soul of the human being. Denying the human being composed of body and rational immortal human soul is a great lie.
    Like prohibition with alcohol, abortion and pornography and sodomy might never become outlawed, but abortion, pornography and sodomy must be identified by the state as the evil they perpetrate. These evils must never be allowed. These evils must be outlawed, as for the common good and general welfare of the nation, and most certainly must not be supported by the laws levying taxation upon the innocent souls in our nation. Forcing innocent souls to support evil through public allowance of evil and levied taxation is taxation without representation.
    If Hobby Lobby is not represented by our nation, or Hobby Lobby’s constituency is used against it, Hobby Lobby cannot be forced by its citizenship or constituency, which have been denied to it, to support a nation which refuses to acknowledge his citizenship and constituency. If Hobby Lobby does not win this judgment, Hobby Lobby will have been again denied his citizenship, his constituency overruled, and again refused to be represented and acknowledged.
    Justice is of God.
    All the state endows is citizenship and a tax bill at birth of an innocent soul. Taxing that innocent soul without representation is unconstitutional. Taxing that innocent soul without acknowledgement of his soul is unconstitutional and irresponsible.
    The truth will set us free.

  • If same sex couples can come into bakeries to harass and sue for access to the bakery’s time and talent, and people out dining may come into the kitchen of restaurants at will to check on cleanliness, then, surely abortion clinics, which are places of commerce and are not non-profits cannot deny any person the freedom to come onto their premises to inspect, inform themselves, or to pray the rosary.
    There is an excellent example in Obamacare coming into Hobby Lobby, a place of commerce, and not a non-profit, and making demands under penalty of law, that the corporation give to their workers a benefit to which the owners in good will, object. The government has no business, at the business, telling the owners and workers how the business will be run.
    Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has brought to the fore the question of changing the Constitution without three quarters of the states ratifying this, or any change. The change from “due process of law” to “substantive due process of law” gives the court the freedom to write law and rewrite the Constitution, a power reserved to the people. “substantive due process of law” may decide who is given due process of law and who is denied due process of law, as in the case of the newly begotten sovereign person’s being accused of murdering, or causing the death of his mother. In the case of abortion to save the life of the mother, death must be imminent. In “substantive due process of law”, the court has usurped legitimate authority to serve its bias against human life, and human beings’ right to life, and our founding principles that all men are created, not born, equal.
    The Fifth Amendment, in the takings clause, has also been changed in collusion, from private property being taken “for public use” to private property being taken for public purposes” giving government and local officials total power over all private property under their control, and without the change being ratified by the states and without the people being notified of the change and without the change being put to the taxpayers’ vote. It is the government official who decides what is “public purposes”, without ratification or the peoples’ consent.
    When an ordinary person serving in the capacity as government can overrule the will of the people, we are no longer the land of the free, we are subjects to the whim of an imperfect individual.
    Donald your interpretation of Antonin Scalia is superb.
    Michael Paterson-Seymour: ““As regards the common law, I wish most distinctly to state it as my opinion that the primary and overruling object for which the streets exist is passage. The streets are public, but they are public for passage, and there is no such thing as a right in the public to hold meetings as such in the streets.””
    If people, persons, were monuments of stone in the passage way this law is true, but people deserving of respect and courtesy may be petitioned to give way or allow passage at will, barring assault and battery. The people at abortion mills are the most humble, peaceable, and generous.
    All public lands and waterways belong to the people in joint and common tenancy. We own it all and I own it all, and therefore, the sidewalk cannot be reserved to serve the bias of the courts.

  • Clay: “Every time Piers Morgan talks, I lose a brain cell.”
    I loved the way Scalia held his own and gave no ground to the bully.

PopeWatch: Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate

Thursday, June 26, AD 2014



The Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate and the Pope had a meeting on June 10.  Father Z gives us the details:


Oddly, we didn’t hear about this meeting before.  It happened on 10 June.  Usually the Pope’s meetings are listed in public sources, such as the Bolletino.

From Vatican Insider with my emphases:

The Pope speaks with the young Franciscans of the Immaculate

The meeting, which lasted an hour and a half, took place on Tuesday 10 June in the chapel of Santa Marta. On the Council, Francis endorsed the hermeneutic proposed by Benedict XVI


The meeting was held on Tuesday 10 June in the chapel of the Santa Marta Residence in the Vatican, despite the fact the Pope had been feeling under the weather and cancelled some appointments the previous day. For an hour and a half, Francis entertained around sixty Franciscans of the Immaculate, the order founded by father Stefano Manelli that last year the Holy See put under temporary receivership to resolve internal differences regarding the government, administration, relationship with the female branch and the use of the by new exclusive [sic] old missal and the interpretations of the last Council. Around forty seminarists, novitiates, and theology and philosophy students were present, along with their teachers and the pontifical commissioner, [aka Commisar] father Fidenzio Volpi.

The Franciscan Friars sang the Ave Maria di Fatima and renewed in the hands of the Pope their vows of total consecration to the Immaculate. Questions were then put to Francis on the most contested themes regarding the internal operations of the institution. Pope Bergoglio proved to be well informed on all issues, following the matter closely, and several times showed his appreciation for father Volpi, quelling rumours that the actions of the government of the commissioner and his collaborators were undertaken without the Pope’s knowledge. [So, the Pope knew what was going on.]

Following the assignment of commissioners and restrictions applied to the use of the old missal, which, as opposed to what happens under motu proprio “Summorum Pontificum”, in the case of the Franciscans of the Immaculate it can be used without prior authorisation from superiors, there were defections in the friars and the seminarists. Of 400 members in the world, around 40 have requested to be released from their vows, and around half of these are seminarists and therefor still students who had only made temporary vows.

[NB] On the motu proprio, [Summorum Pontificum] Pope Francis said he did not want to deviate from the line of Benedict XVI, and reiterated that the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate remained free to celebrate the old mass, even if for the moment, [?] in light of the controversies surrounding the exclusive right to use that missal – an element that did not constitute part of the founding charisma of the institution – they required “a discernment” with the superior and with the bishop if it concerned celebrations in parish churches, sanctuaries and teaching houses. [Excuse me, but… why?] The Pope explained that there must be freedom, both for those who wish to celebrate with the old rite, and those who wish to celebrate with the new rite, without the rite becoming an ideological banner. [And clearly it had.  But, now that this trip to the woodshed (fairly or unfairly) has been prosecuted, why not just let them get on with life?  Also, if Pope Francis is okay with the juridical changes made by Benedict, then why is the group getting hammered?  Is this a way of testing them?  Is this something that a former Jesuit provincial would do?  Force the group to make choices and test them?]

One question concerned the interpretation of the II Vatican Council. Francis once again expressed his appreciation for the work of Archbishop Agostino Marchetto, defining it as “the best hermeneutic” of the Council. [DI YOU HEAR THAT, FISHWRAP?  Remember what Pope Francis wrote to Marchetto?  HERE] He then responded to the objection according to which the II Vatican would only be a castoral [sic… I don’t think “beaver-like” but rather “pastoral”] council, which has damaged the church. The Pope said that although it is has been pastoral, it contains doctrinal elements and is a Catholic council, reaffirming the line of the hermeneutics of reform in the continuity of the one-subject church, presented by Benedict XVI in his speech to the Roman Curia in December 2005. He then reminded them that all councils have provoked uproar and reactions, because the demon “does not want the church to become strong”. [“the demon… il demonio”, which is The Devil.] He also said that we must move forwards with a theological and not ideological hermeneutic of the II Vatican.

Francis also said that he had wanted the closure of the theological institute within the Franciscans of the Immaculate (STIM), so that the seminarists would study in the pontifical theology faculties of Rome. He then explained that the Church guarantees orthodoxy through the Pope. [His Holiness, if he thinks that, should pay closer attention to his old colleagues at the Gregorian.]


Meanwhile, the fact of this meeting makes me scratch my head a little.  What I have been hearing is that some of the men want to leave the FFIs, maybe to form something else, perhaps under the aegis of the PCED.  So, it could be that some people are getting nervous.  Could it be that the powers that be have become aware of how many people are watching the situation of the FFIs?  Could this be damage control?  It’s pretty ugly, after all.

Continue reading...

7 Responses to PopeWatch: Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate

  • It was always obvious that the application of Summorum Pontificum to capitular and conventual masses would be a potent source of discord.
    Article 3 provides that “If an individual community or an entire Institute or Society wishes to have such celebrations [the extraordinary form] frequently, habitually or permanently, [saepe vel habitualiter vel permanenter] the matter is to be decided by the Major Superiors according to the norm of law and their particular laws and statutes.” Quo Primum, one recalls, referred the matter to the whole chapter.
    One might have expected the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei to provide more detailed guidance, but their Instruction simply provides that “The use of the liturgical books proper to the Religious Orders which were in effect in 1962 is permitted”
    Certainly, the Holy Father would not appear to be departing from SP by requiring “a discernment” with the superior; indeed, this would appear to accord both with the letter and the spirit of Art 3.

  • How, then, after the period of both growth in vocations and Mass attendance, is it possible to view this particular requirement of discernment as a usual result of the Article, especially when the 1962 liturgical books were permissible and enough time went by to provide for the growth?

    It would seem, to a distant observer, that only certain intellects, with hearts faithful to Sacred Tradition, the Magisterium, and Sacred Scripture, maybe the Latin language of the Roman Church, are the chosen targets of ideologues in pastoral cloaks.

  • Pat
    The reference to “iturgical books proper to the Religious Orders” refers to those that did not use the Roman Missal or the Roman Breviary, such as the Carmelites the Carthusians and the Dominicans, who had their own missals, or the monastic orders, Carthusian, Benedictine, Cistercian (both observances) that had their own breviaries, based on the Rule of St Benedict.

    Article 3 says that the use of the extraordinary form (not the particular rite of an order pre-dating 1962, such as the Dominican rite) “frequently, habitually or permanently” is to be decided by the Major Superiors, subject to the laws and statutes of the order, if there are any applicable and to the general law of the Church.

  • “Following the assignment of commissioners and restrictions applied to the use of the old missal, which, as opposed to what happens under motu proprio “Summorum Pontificum”, in the case of the Franciscans of the Immaculate it can be used without prior authorisation from superiors, there were defections in the friars and the seminarists. Of 400 members in the world, around 40 have requested to be released from their vows, and around half of these are seminarists and therefor still students who had only made temporary vows.”

    I have to comment that this bothers me. Padre Pio, now St. Pio of Pietrelcina, unarguably was persecuted in his time by some of his religious superiors. Did he request to be released from his vows? No, he did not. He lived out his life in humility despite what was thrown at him.

    Here we have a traditionalist religious order of whom 10% of its members cannot find some way to stick with their mission and somehow make it work despite the obstacles that unfairly or not are thrown in their way. They are voting with their feet. I don’t know the full story. Perhaps I would leave too. But this looks to be a rather modernist outcome for a traditionalist order.

    Everyone in this story needs a lot of prayers.

  • Pingback: Pope Francis & South Korea -
  • Pope Francis and father Volpi stepped in it when dealing with the FFI. I do not know how much Pope Francis realizes this. Nobody does.

    We continue to see and hear of disobedient priests, bishops, nuns and lay Catholics, but only the FFI gets busted. Don’t dare question anything from Vatican II, ever.

  • Unseen is the virtue of mercy in the Holy Fathers treatment extended to the FFI. That which is so loudly
    Suggested that we peasants attain to ….. Is missing

    To compare these holy men to the Legionaries of Christ is a very public beating. Not even administered in the woodshed. What a ‘catty’ insult ! They have been mauled long enough ! I’m surprised that Father Manelli hasn’t had a heart attack.

    How do I know they are holy? I have attended so many of their Masses (all Novus Ordo) that I am firmly convinced. Reverent Masses they are. Homilies that have left me in tears…..of joy! Ah, the truth rings
    Clearly from their mouths. Clear as a bell!

    The quality of mercy is strained here…..

Fortnight For Freedom: Charles Carroll of Carrollton-Faith and Freedom

Thursday, June 26, AD 2014

Fortnight For Freedom 2014


And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

George Washington, Farewell Address

Charles Carroll of Carrollton, as he signed his name when he added his signature to the Declaration of Independence, was the only Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence.  When he died at the age of 95, he was the last of the Signers to depart this vale of tears.

The scion of perhaps the richest family in the colonies, Charles Carroll was initially uninterested in politics and, in any case, was debarred by his religion from participating in politics in his native Maryland by his religion.  However, in his thirties he became a passionate advocate of American independence from Great Britain and quickly became one of the chief leaders of the Patriot cause in his home colony.  It was only natural as a result that he was sent to Congress, in spite of his religion, where he was one of the chief spokesmen for independence and happily placed his signature on the Declaration even though by doing so he risked not only his fortune but his life if the British had prevailed.

Two stories are told about him signing the document.  Supposedly he initially signed as Charles Carroll.  A member of Congress, who disliked Carroll because of his Catholicism, sneered, saying how would the British know which Charles Carroll had signed, this being a common name.  Carroll then angrily took up his quill pen and appended “of Carrollton” to his signature.  I love this story, but alas it is unlikely.  Charles Carroll had been adding  “of Carrollton” to his signature for years prior to the Revolution, a reference to his Manor known as Carrollton.  Additionally, as one of the richest men in the colonies,  it is unlikely that the British government would have had any confusion as to which Charles Carroll had signed his name.

The second story is much more likely to be true, as fond of gallows humor as the Founding Fathers tended to be.  When he signed his name one of the other members of Congress said, “There goes several millions!”.

By the end of 1776 the revolutionary government of Maryland had issued an act of religious freedom, and Carroll and his fellow Catholics in Maryland enjoyed the same civil rights as Protestants.

In 1778 he returned to Maryland and helped draft the state constitution and in setting up the new state government, serving in the State Senate until 1800, and briefly in the United States Senate.

A slaveholder, throughout his career Carroll spoke and wrote of slavery as an evil that must come to an end as soon as possible.  He attempted, but failed, to have Maryland implement a plan of gradual emancipation.  At the age of 91 he took on the task of being president of the Auxiliary State Colonization Society of Maryland, part of  a national movement to have free blacks voluntarily colonize what would become Liberia in Africa.

Something of a Renaissance man, he had a strong interest in science and in his nineties helped set up the B&O Railroad, lending his prestige to this new technology in his native Maryland.

Throughout his life his two main passions were the American Revolution and his Faith.   Like most of the Founding Fathers he regarded the idea of political liberty divorced from sound morality, derived from religion, as an absurdity.  He set forth his ideas on this subject in a letter to Secretary of War James McHenry in 1800 in which he lamented the then current American political scene:

These events will be hastened by the pretended philosophy of France; divine revelation has been scoffed at by the Philosophers of the present day, the immortality of the soul treated as the dreams of fools, or the invention of knaves, & death has been declared by public authority an eternal sleep; these opinions are gaining ground amongst us & silently saping the foundations of religion & encouragement of good, the terror of evildoers and the consolation of the poor, the miserable, and the distressed. Remove the hope & dread of future reward & punishment, the most powerful restraint on wicked action, & ye strongest inducement to virtuous ones is done away. Virtue, it may be said, is its own reward; I believe it to be so, and even in this life the only source of happiness, and this intimate & necessary connection between virtue & happiness here, & between vice & misery, is to my mind one of the surest pledge of happiness or misery in a future state of existence. But how few practice virtue merely for its own reward? Some of happy dispositon & temperament, calm reflecting men, exempt in a great degree from the turbulance of passions may be virtuous for vitrtue’s sake. Small however is the number who are guided by reason alone, & who can always subject their passions to its dictates. He can thust act may be said to be virtuous, but reason is often inlisted on the side of the passions, or at best, when most wanted, is weakest. Hence the necessity of a superior motive for acting virtuously; Now, what motive can be stronger than ye belief, founded on revelation, that a virtuous life will be rewarded by a happy immortality? Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore, who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime & pure, which denounces against the wicked eternal misery, & insures to the good eternal happiness are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free government.

Continue reading...

10 Responses to Fortnight For Freedom: Charles Carroll of Carrollton-Faith and Freedom

  • In Scotland, strictly speaking, a heritor should always include his territorial designation, when signing a deed or other formal writ, thus, “MPS of Boyd.” A tenant would sign “at Boyd”

    This is why one encounters names like “Maitland of that ilk,” meaning “Maitland of that same,” in other words, Maitland of Maitland, where his surname and the name of his seat are the same.

    In country areas, it is very common for farmers to be called by their territorial designations. Everyone locally calls me “Boyd.” After all, Mr Boyd means master of Boyd and Mr P-S means nothing at all.

    Perhaps, that is why it has always been quite common here for married couples to keep their own surnames, but to use the same designation, thus John Brown and Janet Gordon may be Mr & Mrs Kersland.

  • What a great man! And to think that Hollywood recently portrayed him as a member of the Masonic Order? Who knew!?

  • Pingback: Pope Francis: Seeking Jesus Outside of Church Bad - Big Plpt
  • This is where you have the advantage of me Donald. I was under the impression that Maryland was founded by Lord Baltimore as a Catholic colony (or at least as a colony tolerant of Catholicism). Had that changed by 1776?

  • Ernst, Maryland was never a Catholic majority colony. Except for a brief Puritan revolt during the time of Oliver Cromwell’s Commonwealth, the Calvert family were allowed to run the colony as a haven of religious toleration. After the Glorious Revolution of 1688 Parliament outlawed Catholicism in Maryland, and it stayed that way until the American Revolution

  • TomD

    Following the Glorious Revolution of 1688, Catholicism became identified in the minds of British Protestants with support for the exiled House of Stuart.
    In this, they were not wrong. The Stuarts, beginning with Charles I, who was married to a French Catholic (who may have given her name to Maryland), had always used their power to mitigate the disabilities of Catholics, James II was openly a Catholic and Charles II was probably an undeclared one.
    Add to this that the Catholic clergy in Britain was wholly French-educated, as was a fair portion of the Catholic gentry, who were sent to Jesuit or Benedictine schools at Douai. There they imbibed a strong belief in sacral monarchy and legitimism. Although the Jacobite cause was plainly lost after the ’45 Rebellion, many Catholics continued to believe they could not, in conscience, swear allegiance to “the Elector of Brunswick,” or renounce “the Pretender”until after the direct Stuart line came to an end with the death of the Cardinal Duke of York in 1807.
    As a result, although religious tolerance, not to say indifference, increased in Britain throughout the 18th century, Catholics remained politically suspect and, often, with good reason.

  • “Catholics remained politically suspect and, often, with good reason.”

    And this was pure prejudice, MPS. Everyone remembers Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot, which would seem to be a ‘good reason’ to suspect Catholics. Does anyone remember that it was English Catholics who put an end to the plot by informing the government? No, of course not. Over a century earlier Thomas More supported the Crown on every topic but one, and that support gained him no credit in the end. A ‘good reason’ to suspect Catholics could always be found.
    It’s a good thing Europe gave us Martin Luther when it did and not Karl Marx, or the English anti-papists would have been a thousand times bloodier.

  • TomD

    When people make no secret of their support for a government in exile at Bar-le-duc and refuse to take an oath of allegiance to the current government, they cannot really complain, if they are not admitted to public office.

    Robert Dundas of Arniston (Solicitor General 1742-46, Lord Advocate 1754-60 and Lord President 1760-87) certainly represented educated opinion in Scotland, when he wrote, ““The spirit of persecution and intolerance is happily now almost extinguished. It survives only in those illiberal minds who join a morose and harsh disposition to a weak understanding. An acquaintance with the history of mankind will easily show that calamity, bloodshed, rebellion and depopulation have taken their rise from religious persecution, but no example ever occurred of a political evil which arose from toleration.” But, for him, abjuring allegiance to the Pretender was non-negotiable, pleas of conscience notwithstanding. When Rev Mr William Harrison, Parish Priest of the Rough Bounds was captured carrying dispatches from the Pretender’s court, Dundas had him promptly deported to France.

  • I am glad that Robert Dundas did not hang William Harrison. That was a generous act of mercy.

    None of this has a bearing on Maryland. Maryland did not have a Catholic majority. The later Lords Baltimore were Anglican. Many of their appointed governors were not Catholic. Maryland was not going to host any Stuarts (the cooking in France was better). Personally I find the colonial politics of less import than the fact that the Protestants were unhappy with the Maryland Toleration Act. Suspicion may have been understandable, intolerance was not.

  • TomD wrote, “I am glad that Robert Dundas did not hang William Harrison. That was a generous act of mercy.”
    That would have been quite unthinkable. Of the priests who had accompanied the Prince in the ‘45, only Rev Mr Colin Campbell of Morar was murdered; although unarmed, he was shot down on the field of Culloden by Hessian mercenaries, as he tried to rally the MacDonalds for one last charge.
    Of the others, Rev Mr Allan MacDonald, rector of the (illegal but tolerated) seminary at Scalan, near Glenlivet was imprisoned for a year in a military garrison and then ordered to leave the country. Scalan itself was burned on the orders of Butcher Cumberland, as a “nest of traitors.” Rev Mr Aeneas McGillis of Glengarry was put to the horn (outlawed) and fled the country. Of those who had stayed at home, but had “prayed for the Pretender,” Rev Mr Neil McFie of the Rough Bounds, Rev Mr Alexander Forrester of Uist and Rev Mr James Grant of Barra were deported to France. Savage as such treatment of clergymen appears to us, it was not unduly harsh by the standards of the time. They were pardoned under the Indemnity Act 1747. They were welcomed back with a letter from the Lord Advocate, William Grant of Prestongrange (a staunch Presbyterian) warning them that, in future “such clemency might not be so expedient for the public welfare as it would be agreeable to his Lordship’s inclinations,” so they were effectively on probation.
    Only the Apostolic Visitor, Bishop Hugh MacDonald of Morar, who had blessed the Jacobite standard at Glenfinnan, was prosecuted (not for treason, but as a “Jesuit, priest, or trafficking papist”) at the insistence of the London government. Banished on pain of death, he ignored the sentence and went on with his work as before and the Scottish authorities winked at it. He was granted a pension by the French Intelligence Service, under his nom de guerre of of Marolle.