13

Democrats and the Race Card

 

Civil Rights

We condemn bigots who inject class, racial and religious prejudice into public and political matters. Bigotry is un-American and a danger to the Republic.

We deplore the duplicity and insincerity of the Party in power in racial and religious matters. Although they have been in office as a Majority Party for many years, they have not kept nor do they intend to keep their promises.

The Republican Party will not mislead, exploit or attempt to confuse minority groups for political purposes. All American citizens are entitled to full, impartial enforcement of Federal laws relating to their civil rights.

We believe that it is the primary responsibility of each State to order and control its own domestic institutions, and this power, reserved to the states, is essential to the maintenance of our Federal Republic. However, we believe that the Federal Government should take supplemental action within its constitutional jurisdiction to oppose discrimination against race, religion or national origin.

We will prove our good faith by:

Appointing qualified persons, without distinction of race, religion or national origin, to responsible positions in the Government.

Federal action toward the elimination of lynching.

Federal action toward the elimination of poll taxes as a prerequisite to voting.

Appropriate action to end segregation in the District of Columbia.

Enacting Federal legislation to further just and equitable treatment in the area of discriminatory employment practices. Federal action should not duplicate state efforts to end such practices; should not set up another huge bureaucracy.

Republican Party Platform on Civil Rights, 1952, when Eisenhower cracked the Solid South

 

 

 

 

One political party for over a century and a half has routinely used appeals based on race to win elections.  The other party, throughout its history, has stood for civil rights for all Americans and denied that government policy should be based on racial discrimination.  The first party is the Democrat Party and the second party is the Republican party.  To get around this simple fact of American political history, some Democrats, especially in election years when the polls are against them, routinely attempt to portray Republicans as racists, in an Alice in Wonderland inversion of the truth.  The latest hilarious example of this mendacious and bold faced attempt to rewrite history is on display at Politico in an article entitled Race and the Modern GOP.  This recycles the claim of an evil Republican strategy to appeal to white racists in the South who switched en masse to become Republicans.

The problem with this is that it is a liberal fable. It didn’t happen that way. The first breach in the solid South was by Eisenhower who ran on a platform of vigorous support for Civil Rights for blacks. Segregationists retained complete control of the Democrat parties in the South and enjoyed electoral success throughout the period in question. The South changing to Republican had to do with the rise of the cultural issues, an influx of northern Republicans following wide spread use of air conditioning and the rapid economic development of the South, and the anti-military hysteria and isolationism that seized control of the Democrats in the wake of Vietnam.

My co-blogger Paul Zummo had an excellent post on this subject :

Along these same lines, Trende postulates that if any real realignment occurred, it took place during the Eisenhower administration. The Eisenhower coalition, as he puts it, pushed the GOP to decisive victories in seven of nine presidential elections. Moreover, the solid Democratic south began shifting towards the Republican party at this point. In fact the south’s gradual shift towards the GOP had begun as early as the 1920s, but the Depression halted Republican advances here. Once the New Deal had ramped up, the Republicans again began making inroads. Republicans began being truly competitive in presidential elections during the 1950s, then started making inroads in Congressional races in the 1970s and 80s, and are finally now the dominant party on the local level.

Trende’s thesis effectively destroys the notion that Republicans only began being competitive in the south once Nixon deployed the “southern strategy” to woo racist southerners after the Civil Rights Act. As already mentioned, the GOP vote share in the south had been incrementally creeping up in the 1930s, with GOP vote shares moving out of the 15-20% range and inching up towards parity slowly and surely. In fact the GOP vote share in the south did not noticeably increase during  the 1960s, but instead crept up in the same incremental 1-2% annual range. Where Republicans really started making dents were with younger southern voters, as older southerners continued to cling to the Democratic party even though the national party’s values no longer matched their own. Considering that younger voters tended to have much more liberal racial views, the transformation of the south into a Republican stronghold has to be explained by something other than racial matters.

Even though Trende doesn’t come right out and say this, if anything the changing electoral map can just as easily be explained by the Democrats pursuing a northern strategy. As the Democrats began appealing to elite northern voters by pushing a more liberal agenda, this drove southerners and midwesterners away from the party. This trend would continue until Bill Clinton pursued a much different strategy, crafting his agenda to appeal to suburbanites and middle income whites. Clinton and the New Democrats were able to rip into Republican strongholds by advancing a more moderate platform. The end of the Cold War, as well as the rise of the Evangelical right, fractured the Eisenhower coalition, allowing the Democrats to win presidential elections. Continue Reading

22

PopeWatch: Jesuits

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

 

 

Popewatch has always believed that one of the keys to understanding Pope Francis is that he is a Jesuit.  Here is his speech commemorating the 200th anniversary of the restoration of the Jesuits in 1814:

 

 

Dear brothers and friends in the Lord,

The Society under the name of Jesus has lived difficult times of persecution. During the leadership of Fr Lorenzo Ricci, “enemies of the Church succeeded in obtaining the suppression of the Society” (John Paul II, Message to Fr Kolvenbach, July 31, 1990) by my predecessor Clement XIV. Today, remembering its restoration, we are called to recover our memory, calling to mind the benefits received and the particular gifts (cf. Spiritual Exercises, 234). Today, I want to do that here with you.

In times of trial and tribulation, dust clouds of doubt and suffering are always raised and it is not easy to move forward, to continue the journey. Many temptations come, especially in difficult times and in crises: to stop to discuss ideas, to allow oneself to be carried away by the desolation, to focus on the fact of being persecuted, and not to see the other. Reading the letters of Fr Ricci, one thing struck me: his ability to avoid being harnessed by these temptations and to propose to the Jesuits, in a time of trouble, a vision of the things that rooted them even more in the spirituality of the Society.

Father General Ricci, who wrote to the Jesuits at the time, watching the clouds thickening on the horizon, strengthened them in their membership in the body of the Society and its mission. Here it is: in a time of confusion and turmoil he discerned. He did not waste time discussing ideas and complaining, but he took on the charge of the vocation of the Society.

And this attitude led the Jesuits to experience the death and resurrection of the Lord. Faced with the loss of everything, even of their public identity, they did not resist the will of God, they did not resist the conflict, trying to save themselves. The Society – and this is beautiful – lived the conflict to the end, without minimizing it. It lived humiliation along with the  humiliated Christ; it obeyed. You never save yourself from conflict with cunning and with strategies of resistance. In the confusion and humiliation, the Society preferred to live the discernment of God’s will, without seeking a way out of the conflict in a seemingly quiet manner. Continue Reading

2

The Great Beefsteak Raid

Great Beefsteak Raid

One of the more colorful episodes in the siege of Petersburg, the Great Beefsteak Raid of September 14-17 helped cement Major General Wade Hampton III as a worthy successor to Jeb Stuart in command of the Army of Northern Virginia.  Learning that a large herd of cattle were being grazed by the Union at Edmund Ruffin’s plantation on Coggin’s Point on the James River, Hampton decided to launch a raid behind enemy lines with 3,000 troopers, capture the cattle and drive them back into Confederate lines to feed the Army of Northern Virginia that was on starvation rations.

Hampton and his men seized the herd on September 16, and got 2,468 of them back into Confederate lines on September 17.  Along with the cattle he brought back 304 Union prisoners, having suffered 61 Confederate casualties during the course of the raid.  President Lincoln referred to it as “the slickest piece of cattle stealing” he had ever heard of.  An exasperated Grant, when a reporter after the raid asked him when he expected to defeat Lee, snapped, “Never, if our armies continue to supply him with beef cattle.”

In 1966 a heavily fictionalized film on the beefsteak raid, Alavarez Kelly, was released.  Here is Hampton’s report on the raid: Continue Reading

6

Pope Leo and Saint Michael the Archangel

(I originally posted this in 2010.  I think I will begin posting it on each September 29, the feast of the Archangels.)

In 1947 Father Domenico Pechenino related what he had witnessed over six decades before.

“I do not remember the exact year. One morning the great Pope Leo XIII had celebrated a Mass and, as usual, was attending a Mass of thanksgiving. Suddenly, we saw him raise his head and stare at something above the celebrant’s head. He was staring motionlessly, without batting an eye. His expression was one of horror and awe; the colour and look on his face changing rapidly. Something unusual and grave was happening in him.

“Finally, as though coming to his senses, he lightly but firmly tapped his hand and rose to his feet. He headed for his private office. His retinue followed anxiously and solicitously, whispering: ‘Holy Father, are you not feeling well? Do you need anything?’ He answered: ‘Nothing, nothing.’ About half an hour later, he called for the Secretary of the Congregation of Rites and, handing him a sheet of paper, requested that it be printed and sent to all the ordinaries around the world. What was that paper? It was the prayer that we recite with the people at the end of every Mass. It is the plea to Mary and the passionate request to the Prince of the heavenly host, (St. Michael: Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle) beseeching God to send Satan back to hell.”

Cardinal Giovanni Batista Nassalli Rocca di Corneiliano wrote in his Pastoral Letters on Lent“the sentence ‘The evil spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls’ has a historical explanation that was many times repeated by his private secretary, Monsignor Rinaldo Angeli. Leo XIII truly saw, in a vision, demonic spirits who were congregating on the Eternal City (Rome). The prayer that he asked all the Church to recite was the fruit of that experience. He would recite that prayer with strong, powerful voice: we heard it many a time in the Vatican Basilica. Leo XIII also personally wrote an exorcism that is included in the Roman Ritual. He recommended that bishops and priests read these exorcisms often in their dioceses and parishes. He himself would recite them often throughout the day.”

The Prayer written by the Pope is of course the famous prayer to Saint Michael:

Sancte Michael Archangele,
defende nos in proelio;
contra nequitiam et insidias diaboli esto praesidium.
Imperet illi Deus, supplices deprecamur:
tuque, Princeps militiae Caelestis,
satanam aliosque spiritus malignos,
qui ad perditionem animarum pervagantur in mundo,
divina virtute in infernum detrude.
Amen.
Continue Reading

2

Too Dumb to Vote

Note to self: never get on Kevin Williamson’s bad side. Here is Williamson’s rebuttal to a particularly empty-headed column from Lena Dunham.

If you would like to be filled with despair for the prospects of democracy, spend a few minutes attempting to decipher the psephological musings of Lena Dunham, the distinctly unappealing actress commissioned by Planned Parenthood to share with her presumably illiterate following “5 Reasons Why I Vote (and You Should, Too).” That’s 21st-centuryU.S. politics in miniature: a half-assed listicle penned by a half-bright celebrity and published by a gang of abortion profiteers.

It is an excellent fit, if you think about it: Our national commitment to permanent, asinine, incontinent juvenility, which results in, among other things, a million or so abortions a year, is not entirely unrelated to the cultural debasement that is the only possible explanation for the career of Lena Dunham. A people mature enough to manage the relationship between procreative input and procreative output without recourse to the surgical dismemberment of living human organisms probably would not find much of interest in the work of Miss Dunham. But we are a nation of adult children so horrified by the prospect of actual children that we put one in five of them to death for such excellent reasons as the desire to fit nicely into a prom dress.

It’s not for nothing that, on the precipice of 30, Miss Dunham is famous for a television series called Girls rather than one called Women. She might have gone one better and called it Thumbsuckers. (The more appropriate title Diapers would terrify her demographic.)

And he’s just getting warmed up.

Williamson’s contempt for Dunham is shared by yours truly, as she is representative of a completely narcissistic generation of pseudo-intellectuals whose idea of good citizenship is casting ballots that elicit warm fuzzies in the cockles of one’s heart. Dunham’s insipid and banal meanderings would be worthy of mild scoffing were it not for the fact that a generation of Americans is so mesmerized by her lot.

Williamson says in his concluding paragraph:

I would like to suggest, as gently as I can, that if you are voting as an act of self-gratification, if you do not understand the role that voting in fact plays in a constitutional republic, and if you need Lena Dunham to tell you why and how you should be voting — you should not vote. If you get your politics from actors and your news from television comedians — you should not vote. There’s no shame in it, your vote is statistically unlikely to affect the outcome of an election, and there are many much more meaningful ways to serve your country and your fellow man: Volunteer at a homeless shelter; join the Marine Corps; become a nun; start a business.

Statistically speaking, those most in thrall with Dunham, Stewart, et al are likeliest to stay home on election day. Unfortunately, the percentage of Americans who are of this type is growing as we are increasingly becoming a nation of perpetual children (who, in turn, have no actual children, but that is for the next post).

13

Sandy Hook Blame Game

 Government Blame Game

Government fails in its elementary duty to protect kids at a government school where it forbade its citizens from possessing weapons for self defense.  Kids are slaughtered.  The government solution:  regulate home schoolers!

 

Under a new law proposed this week by Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy’s Sandy Hook Advisory Commission, every homeschooling parent with a child who has been labeled with a behavioral or emotional problem would be forced to submit to a host of strict, burdensome regulations.

The scheme put forth in the commission’s draft recommendations on mental health would require homeschooling parents to submit individual education plans regularly to a local education bureaucrat.

School officials could then decree whether parents may continue to educate their own children, reports the Connecticut Post. Administrators could pull the plug on any parents’ homeschooling by declaring that the child failed to make “adequate progress.” Continue Reading

10

Government as Tiresome, Expensive Nag

Nanny State

 

Have you noticed that as government becomes more of a ponzi scheme where it takes in huge amounts of money and doles out some of it to a large number of recipients in the body politic it has taken on the hectoring privileges of a parent paying out allowances to wayward brats?  The late Kenneth Minogue did.  From 2010:

 

My concern with democracy is highly specific. It begins in observing the remarkable fact that, while democracy means a government accountable to the electorate, our rulers now make us accountable to them. Most Western governments hate me smoking, or eating the wrong kind of food, or hunting foxes, or drinking too much, and these are merely the surface disapprovals, the ones that provoke legislation or public campaigns. We also borrow too much money for our personal pleasures, and many of us are very bad parents. Ministers of state have been known to instruct us in elementary matters, such as the importance of reading stories to our children. Again, many of us have unsound views about people of other races, cultures, or religions, and the distribution of our friends does not always correspond, as governments think that it ought, to the cultural diversity of our society. We must face up to the grim fact that the rulers we elect are losing patience with us.

No philosopher can contemplate this interesting situation without beginning to reflect on what it can mean. The gap between political realities and their public face is so great that the term “paradox” tends to crop up from sentence to sentence. Our rulers are theoretically “our” representatives, but they are busy turning us into the instruments of the projects they keep dreaming up. The business of governments, one might think, is to supply the framework of law within which we may pursue happiness on our own account. Instead, we are constantly being summoned to reform ourselves. Debt, intemperance, and incompetence in rearing our children are no doubt regrettable, but they are vices, and left alone, they will soon lead to the pain that corrects. Life is a better teacher of virtue than politicians, and most sensible governments in the past left moral faults to the churches. But democratic citizenship in the twenty-first century means receiving a stream of improving “messages” from politicians. Some may forgive these intrusions because they are so well intentioned. Who would defend prejudice, debt, or excessive drinking? The point, however, is that our rulers have no business telling us how to live. They are tiresome enough in their exercise of authority—they are intolerable when they mount the pulpit. Nor should we be in any doubt that nationalizing the moral life is the first step towards totalitarianism.

We might perhaps be more tolerant of rulers turning preachers if they were moral giants. But what citizen looks at the government today thinking how wise and virtuous it is? Public respect for politicians has long been declining, even as the population at large has been seduced into demanding political solutions to social problems. To demand help from officials we rather despise argues for a notable lack of logic in the demos. The statesmen of eras past have been replaced by a set of barely competent social workers eager to take over the risks of our everyday life. The electorates of earlier times would have responded to politicians seeking to bribe us with such promises with derision. Today, the demos votes for them. Continue Reading

37

PopeWatch: Peronism

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

 

An interesting post over at Father Z’s regarding the Pope’s political views:

 

I saw in interesting interview at Real Clear Religion with Rocco Buttiglione, who played a role in the economic views of St. John Paul II.

[…]

RCR: Does Pope Francis have the same kind of philosophical heft that Wojty?a had?

RB: No. He is a different man.

RCR: Is that problematic for the Church?

RB: I don’t think so. We have had a pope who was a great philosopher, we had a pope who was a great theologian, and now we have a pope who has a great pastoral spirit. The Church needs all. I dare say that after those two popes we surely need a pope like Francis because the Curia is a mess and you need someone who has the capacity of clearing that mess.

RCR: You’re often credited for bringing Wojty?a to free market ideas, especially in the context of Centesimus Annus. How did you seem to persuade him?

RB: I would not put it that way, but I was a friend. As Don Ricci had done with me, I talked to Wojtyla about my friends and the things I saw in the world. Sometimes he asked me to do this or that for him, and that’s all.

RCR: Do you think Pope Francis needs a similar education on economics?

RB: Well, you had a pope from Poland who came to understand and love North America much more than anybody could imagine. Now you have a pope who comes from Latin America and in dialogue with him, we must try to explain other things. He is a pope that cannot be only Latin American, but he has to enlarge his horizons. How will he do that?

One of the first things John Paul II did when he became pope was go to Latin America. There he gave a series of homilies, which are a kind of regional encyclical. This encyclical is not against liberation theology, but it is an encyclical that says: We want a theology that is from the point of view from Latin American people. Fine. We want a theology that is written from the point of view of the Latin American poor. Even better! You think that you can produce this theology by using Marxism? That’s wrong. You need a different instrument to approach socio-economic realities from a point of view of a true liberation theology.

I remember one day Don Ricci and I were in Lima, Peru and we were talking with a group of liberation theologians. It was the day of the feast of Señor de los Milagros, and all the people were in the streets. I told the theologians: You talk about the people? Please open the door and look on the streets. They are the people! They are people who are not Marx’s proletariat; they are a people of culture and religion.

Then we started working in Latin America to create groups that wanted to make a true liberation theology. Some wanted to condemn all liberation theology, and there was the first instruction from the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, which was very harsh.

I went around visiting different countries and when I came back, John Paul II invited me to one of his “working dinners.” In the end, he asked me: There is the theoretical side, but how is Gustavo Gutiérrez as a man? Does he say Mass? Does he pray the Rosary? Does he confess people? Yes? Then we must find another solution.

After that came the second instruction on liberation theology, which made a distinction between true liberation theology and Marxist liberation theology.

RCR: Which liberation theology is Francis influenced by?

RB: He is not a Marxist. Politically, he is a Justicialista. Westerners might call it populist. Justicialismo in Argentina has been a tremendous movement, giving for the first time to the people the idea that they have dignity. They are anti-capitalist and anti-Marxist. There is an Anglo-Saxon model of capitalism, which is the “self-made man.” That’s American. But that’s not capitalism in Argentina. Capitalism there is where a few people use the contracts given by the state without taking the risk of the market make an enormous amount of money and oppress other people. It is a capitalism created by the State.

If I could suggest to Pope Francis the reading of a book, I would suggest he read Friedrich Hayek’s The Counter-Revolution of Science: Studies on the Abuse of Reason. This might help him.

[…]

Justicialismo…  good grief.  Who of us up here in the North can grasp what on earth has gone on in Argentina?  The more I read about the place, and its modern history, the less I understand.  Do you have be Argentinian to get it?  Does anyone understand Perónism, with all its layers and bands along the ideological spectrum?  I’d be pretty skeptical were someone to make that claim.  Take a look on Google for something on Justicialismo.  There is nearly nothing useful in English.  I read Spanish, but… sheesh… this has been entirely ignored.

 

Continue Reading

1

September 28, 1864: Hood Launches His Tennessee Campaign

Franklin-Nashville_campaign_svg

After the fall of Altlanta, General John Bell Hood, commander of the Army of Tennessee, faced a quandry.  He confronted an army led by Sherman that heavily outnumbered his force.  Confederate manpower reserves were used up, and he could look for no further substantial reinforcements, while Sherman could rely upon an apparently inexhaustible flow of supplies and men from the North.  If Hood remained on the defensive the initiative remained with Sherman who was clearly readying his army to plunge into the heart of the Confederacy.

In these dire circumstances Hood hit upon the plan of heading north and forcing Sherman to follow him to protect his supply lines.  This would perhaps forestall a futher advance by Sherman into the deep South and with luck allow the Confederates to retake Atlanta and other occupied territory.

It was a desperate throw of the dice.  Moving north Hood moved ever closer to areas that the Union held in strength, and risked his Army being caught in a vice between Sherman and the forces that the Union could quickly amass due to their control of the rail net and the rivers of Tennessee.  However, it was probably the best of the very bad options confronting Hood.  Here are his comments on the start of his Tennessee campaign which appeared in Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, condensed from his memoirs, Advance and Retreat: Continue Reading

15

Quotes Suitable For Framing Saint Augustine

 

“Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he holds to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods and on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion.”

Saint Augustine, De Genesi ad Litteram Libri Duodecim Continue Reading

28

A “Catholic” environmentalism…

 

Caring for and ruling the environment are biblical imperatives going back to the Book of Genesis. It’s a no-brainer: There is what might be termed a “Catholic environmentalism.”

This sound, theological proposition is not the ideology of those who worship at the altar of environmentalism and propounded by their stormy petrels and a compliant mainstream media. It is not rooted in contrived “facts” supported by spurious research that, in the end, is dubious research, at best. It also is not “sexy” in the sense that Catholic environmentalism will win the Church a Nobel Prize or that Pope Francis will jet across the imperiled globe in a private jet, increasing his carbon footprint while, at the same time, preaching against everyone else who does so.

No, Catholic environmentalism is constructed upon a profound sense of responsibility for the gift of nature, entrusted to humanity by its Creator. Love of God and of neighbor are the twin pillars upon which Catholic environmentalism is constructed. Catholic environmentalism is, as Pope Francis has said of marriage and fidelity to spouse and family, “a beautiful thing.”

That said, it appears some very high Vatican operatives have become smitten with the secular version of environmentalism, relying upon its dubious “scientific” reserach to assert that it’s a “moral imperative” to act with regard to “climate change.” Consider what the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, said to the 2014 United Nations’ Climate Change Summit:

The scientific consensus is rather consistent and it is that, since the second half of the last century, warming of the climate system is unequivocal. It is a very serious problem which, as I said, has grave consequences for the most vulnerable sectors of society and, clearly, for future generations.

Numerous scientific studies, moreover, have emphasized that human inaction in the face of such a problem carries great risks and socioeconomic costs. This is due to the fact that its principal cause seems to be the increase of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere due to human activity. Faced with these risks and costs, prudence must prevail, which requires thoughtful deliberations based on an accurate analysis of the impact our actions will have on the future.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin Vatican Secretary of State

The problem with Cardinal Parolin’s assessment is that no “scientific consensus” exists concerning global warming. What exists are manipulated data—which many have called “fraudulent”—that conform to the ideology of those who worship at the altar of environmentalism and whose political goal is to impose a novus ordo saeculum—a new one-world order—across the globe.

Considering the content of the Cardinal’s speech, it might just as well have been written by those who worship at the altar of environmentalism. Yes, it might not promote the gospel of global warming, but it’s there. Yes, it may not be hysterical in tone, but it’s there. What’s next, a papal encyclical concerning the Earth’s melting icecaps which are raising the ocean’s levels and threatenting to imperil cities, when, in fact those icecaps are expanding? Another papal encyclical calling upon the people of the earth to protect the endangered polar bears whose numbers are actually expanding?

The Vatican oftentimes is criticized for immersing itself in matters that are “beyond the Church’s competence.” That’s certainly apropos in this regard. There absolutely is an imperative—a scripturally-based imperative—to care for and rule creation in order to ensure the next generation’s health and well-being. As Cardinal Parolin notes, that would be “prudent.”

But, to provide propaganda for those who worship at the altar of environmentalism that will be propagated by their stormy petrels as well as a compliant mainstream media isn’t good diplomacy. Especially when those statements are rooted in falsehood.

 

 

 

To read Cardinal Parolin’s address, click on the following link:

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2014/09/24/vatican_address_to_2014_un_climate_change_summit/1107182

To read The Motley Monk’s daily blog, Omnibus, click on the following link:
http://richard-jacobs-blog.com/omnibus.html

13

PopeWatch: He’s Back

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

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

 

VATICAN–According to reports today, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is seeking the chair of his pontificate months after his resignation. The news has sent shock waves around the world.

Vatican spokesman Fr. Vitateli Devitiamani told EOTT that, “He came for a dinner as scheduled and then proceeded to return to his old living quarters. That wouldn’t be a problem, since His Holiness Pope Francis chose to live elsewhere, the room is open. However, once we asked him where he was going, he simply said, ‘I’m back,’ then proceeded to put his sunglasses on even though we were inside.”

Sources say that the next morning, he walked down the hall asking for his valet and his red Prada shoes, and was overheard asking an adviser to “get Burke on the line.”

This comes 19 months after his official resignation from the Holy See. EOTT had the chance to sit down with the Pope Emeritus to discuss the ordeal.

“You have to understand that, months ago, I received a call from Word of Fire Catholic Ministries. It was Fr. Steve Grunow on the phone along with his colleague Jared Zimmerer. They’re both serious about the care of the body and the mind, and offered to help me regain some strength in both. I gratefully accepted. So, after months of training, I’ve lost weight, regained my muscle mass and strength of mind. I’ve never felt better. And to tell you the truth, I never actually filed the paperwork to officially exit my office,” Benedict said just outside the Bernini Columns where he proceeded to flick a lit cigarette into a full barrel of gasoline and walk away as the barrel exploded.

At press time, Benedict still hasn’t looked back at the massive explosion. Continue Reading

2

Autumn

Something for the weekend.  Autumn from the Four Seasons by Antonio Vivaldi.   Composed in 1725, like all of Vivaldi’s music it scampered into obscurity after his death, only to be surprisingly revived in the rediscovery of Vivaldi in the last century.

Fall has always been my favorite season.  Gone is the heat of summer and I find the cooler weather bracing.  The leaves in all their glorious colors, as they move from life to death, have always struck me as a symbol of a life well spent.  A time for action and meditation, at least in my practice for some reason.

3

September 26, 1907: Dominion of Newfoundland

 

Ye brave Newfoundlanders who plough the salt sea,
With hearts like the eagle so bold and so free,
The time is at hand when we’ll have to say
If Confederation will carry the day.

Men, hurrah for our own native Isle, Newfoundland,
Not a stranger shall hold one inch of its strand;
Her face turns to Britain, her back to the Gulf,
Come near at your peril, Canadian Wolf!

Cheap tea and molasses they say they will give,
All taxes taken off that the poor man may live;
Cheap nails and cheap lumber, our coffins to make,
And homespun to mend our old clothes when they break.

If they take off all taxes, how then will they meet
The heavy expenses on army and fleet?
Just give them the chance to get into the scrap,
They’ll show you the trick with pen, ink and red tape.

Would you barter the right that your fathers have won?
Your freedom transmitted from father to son?
For a few thousand dollars Canadian gold
Don’t let it be said that our birthright was sold.

Newfoundland Anti-Confederation folk song (1869)

 

 

 

Faithful readers of this blog know that my sainted mother was from Newfoundland.  My mother and my father after my birth in Paris, Illinois, due to my 21 year old Mom being deeply homesick, lived in Newfoundland from 1957-1961.  My brother was born there in 1958.  Newfoundland never being an easy place to make a living, for all its stark beauty, my family returned to Paris, Illinois in 1961 so that my father could obtain employment, and that is where my parents lived for the remainder of their lives, and where my brother and I were raised.

Newfoundland was granted dominion status on this day in 1907.  During World War I, Newfoundland had a proud war record, its regiment in France being granted the signal honor of being designated the Royal Newfoundland regiment.  Alas war debts, the Great Depression and corrupt politicians bankrupted the nation and Newfoundland, with its legislature suspended, and a governor appointed by Great Britain, became a colony, in all but name, again in 1934.

In 1948 a referendum was held to determine the future of Newfoundland, with three options:  restoration of dominion status, confederation with Canada, and a continuation of being a colony of Great Britain.  The Brits made it quite clear that they could no longer afford to subsidize Newfoundland.  There was some sentiment among Newfoundlanders to ask the US Congress for statehood, but supporters of that idea were unable to get it on the ballot.  In the first referendum held, a narrow plurality of voters chose dominion status, with confederation with Canada coming in a close second.  In the second referendum the option for continued colonial status was dropped.  Confederation supporters, some of them, prior to the second referendum, appealed to religious bigotry by arguing that Catholic bishops were telling Catholics to support dominion status, which an overwhelming number of Catholics did support.  In the second referendum 52% of the votes were cast for confederation, so Newfoundland joined what prior generations of Newfoundlanders had often referred to as the Canadian wolf!  It was still a topic of some controversy in the Sixties among my Mom’s relatives! Continue Reading

9

Who Still Supports Obama?

 

The worst President, alright Mr. Buchanan, I see your hand, maybe he is only tied with you, plumbs new depths of approval for him:

 

Barack Obama’s approval rating slid into dangerous territory this week, with the latest Reuters-Ipsos poll showing just 35 percent of Americans approve of the president’s job performance even as he leads the nation into a war against Islamic fundamentalism in the Middle East.

Fifty-eight percent of Americans expressed disapproval of the White House’s current occupant — 37 percent of them “strongly.” Just 17 percent strongly approved of Obama’s current performance. The poll is based on a five-day rolling average.  Continue Reading

27

PopeWatch: EJ Dionne

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

 

 

PopeWatch has been amused at a number of Catholic bloggers seeking to convince their readers, perhaps even to convince themselves, that the appointment of Blase Cupich to be Archbishop of Chicago does not send a clear signal by Pope Francis of where he intends to lead the Church.  EJ Dionne, Washington Post columnist, yellow dog Democrat, liberal, pro-abort and Catholic, has a better understanding of what the appointment means and does a victory dance in his Washington Post column:

 

 

Cupich is a Francis Catholic through and through. He was one of the first church leaders I know who immediately and fully understood the meaning of this pope’s election — Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, archbishop emeritus of Washington, was the other — and in an e-mail Wednesday, Cupich embraced the pope’s commission in explaining his priorities.

“I keep going back to the Holy Father’s call for the kind of serious ongoing conversion that all of us are called to,” he wrote, “on the issues of accompaniment, non-judgmentalism and the throwaway culture of exclusion.”

Asked which aspects of the American church needed to be preserved and safeguarded, he offered a list that made his priorities clear. Note what he put first: “our outreach to the poor, the participation of laity in the liturgical life of the church, the vitality of the new immigrant groups, the heroism of parents who sacrifice for their children because of their faith, and the continuing witness of priests and religious women.”

As for American politics, Cupich has emphasized dialogue rather than confrontation with the Obama administration over the contraception mandate in the Affordable Care Act. While many bishops declined to help the uninsured sign up for coverage under the ACA, Cupich asked Catholic Charities in eastern Washington to join in the effort on the basis of a long-standing Catholic principle. “We consider health care a basic human right,” he said. Continue Reading

3

September 25, 1864: Battle of Sulphur Creek Trestle

 

Nathan Bedford Forrest again demonstrated that so long as he was in the vicinity no Union supply line was safe.  On September 23, 1864, near Athens, Alabama, he and 4500 troopers were engaged in destroying a Union controlled  rail trestle.  He easily beat a Union force that sallied from Fort Henderson to stop him.   Taking Athens, he began an artillery barrage on Fort Henderson on the morning of the 24th.  Convincing the Union commander that he had 8,000-10,000 men, a common Forrest trick, the garrison capitulated.  Shortly after the capitulation, 350 men of the 18th Michigan and the 102nd Ohio had the misfortune to arrive by rail.  Forrest promptly attacked them, and they surrendered after losing a third of their numbers. Continue Reading

14

PopeWatch: Synod Question Mark

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With the Synod on the family coming up in October, Sandro Magister at his blog Chiesa tells us what we know right now:

 

Francis began with the distribution, one year ago, of an open-ended questionnaire on all the questions concerning the family, from contraception to communion for the divorced, from de facto couples to marriage between homosexuals. And some national episcopates, with the German-speaking ones in the lead, revealed their results, igniting expectations of liberalization in the discipline of the Church.

But then, above all, Francis gathered a consistory of cardinals in Rome last February as a dry run for the upcoming synod. And to whom did he entrust the introductory presentation? To the German cardinal Walter Kasper, who back in the early 1990’s was a combative supporter of getting rid of the ban on communion for the remarried, but was defeated and reduced to silence, at the time, by John Paul II and Joseph Ratzinger.

Kasper’s talk is the only part of that consistory that has been made known, all the rest has remained secret. But to judge by the subsequent public forays of some of the cardinals, it is clear that the resistance to the changes proposed by Kasper has been and continues to be entrenched, belligerent, and authoritative.

Among the resisters who have come out into the open are cardinals Gerhard L. Müller, prefect of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith, Raymond L. Burke, Timothy M. Dolan, Marc Ouellet, George Pell, Fernando Sebastián Aguilar, Carlo Caffarra, Angelo Scola, all generally classified among the conservatives. But there are also cardinals viewed as progressive, like the Austrian Christoph Schönborn, who are joining the coalition against Kasper.

All of these will find themselves at the synod in a no-holds-barred fight against Kasper and his not equally solid supporters.

The fact that the “reactionaries” Caffarra, Scola, and Aguilar have been invited to take part in the synod by Francis himself has significantly chilled the enthusiasm for the current pope.

The American Jesuit Thomas Reese, the former director of the magazine “America” and an influential opinion maker, an all-out fan of Jorge Mario Bergoglio at the beginning of the pontificate, after this latest blow has moved definitively into the opposing camp, against what for him is a betrayal of the awaited revolution.

But the battle has just begun. The upcoming synod will not draw  any conclusions. It will have a second round in October of 2015. After which it will be not the synod, but Pope Francis, who decides what to do. Continue Reading

83

Professor Douglas Kries on Cupich

Cupich

 

Well, this is interesting.  Professor Douglas Kries at Gonzaga University in Spokane gives his assessment of Bishop Blase Cupich, the Spokane Bishop tapped to head the Chicago Archdiocese:

Bishop White Seminary at Gonzaga, which was nothing short of an extraordinary success story until Cupich became bishop, fell quickly into desuetude after his arrival. Moreover, when Gonzaga University refused to continue club status for Gonzaga’s campus Knights of Columbus council, Cupich, it is widely whispered, told the remaining seminarians not to discuss the matter with the press. It has also been widely reported that Cupich did not want his diocesan priests involved with certain pro-life groups that he considered too strident. Cupich may not even know it, but at the time, students involved with Gonzaga’s Right to Life Club felt abandoned, even though they were not his direct target.

I once wrote to him expressing in particular my concerns about the direction of Gonzaga’s core curriculum. His reply was polite, but he made it quite clear that he had no interest in involving himself in such matters. Gonzaga adopted, and is now planning to implement, a core curriculum that diminishes the number of courses that students take in “Catholic or Christian religion” from three to one.

The formerly required course on the Bible is being eliminated and the course in applied Christianity, which often in practice meant Christian morality, is being changed to world religions. Gonzaga students, many of whom belong to Cupich’s diocese, will soon be devoting only a single semester course in four years of college (3 out of 128 credits, or 2.34 percent) to the study of “the Catholic or Christian religion.”

The local Spokane newspaper describes Cupich as “a moderate who has called for civility in the culture wars,” since he has said that Pope Francis doesn’t want “ideologues.” From what I can tell, the description is inaccurate. Real moderates engage all sides, trying to find common ground, if it is available, that will permit them to advance their principles. By not inserting his office into conflict situations, Cupich has often, whether intentionally or not, quietly ceded much ground to one side, and without advancing his principles. 

To be fair, Cupich was willing to debate publicly a local city councilman about legalization of same-sex marriage. Still, on the whole, the record is hardly a bold one. And one wonders: if he comes across as too timid to be effective in the small, rather polite, and humble diocese of Spokane, what are his chances to be effective in a large, muscular, broad-shouldered place like Chicago?

My advice to Catholics in Chicago? Your new archbishop is a very nice man; he is also very intelligent and talented. I respect him far too much to flatter him, as many of my fellow Spokanites are wont to do. And I refuse to believe that he really thinks that those of you trying to defend and advance the Church in the public forum are just “ideologues.” But he tends to be – to use a polite phrase – “conflict averse.” Continue Reading

18

Knife Control

Charlton Heston never played Jesus in a film, to the best of my knowledge, but he famously was Moses and also played John the Baptist in The Greatest Story Ever Told. I so much wanted to hear him say, “You can have this sword when you pry it from my Cold. Dead. Hands!”

Deacon Michael D. Harmon

 

 

Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels so frequently for the Church that I have named him Defender of the Faith, takes a verbal axe at Midwest Conservative Journal to the latest bizarre explanation of why Christ was condemned by Pilate:

Premise: a Christian event that happened over 2,000 years ago has been pondered, studied and debated from the moment it occurred until the present day and general agreement about the significance of that event has been reached.  You, on the other hand, with the able assistance of “Christian scholarship,” have come up with a Radically New InterpretationTM of the meaning of that event:

Jesus may have been crucified because his followers were carrying weapons, according to a scholarly analysis of New Testament books.

Dale Martin, a professor of religious studies at Yale University, says that this aspect of stories about Jesus, as told in the gospels, has received too little attention, but could alone explain Jesus’s execution and also show that the man from Nazareth was not the pacifist he’s usually made out to be.

The biblical books of Mark and Luke both state that at least one (and probably two or more) of Jesus’s followers was carrying a sword when Jesus was arrested shortly after the Last Supper, at the time of the Jewish festival of Passover. One disciple, Simon Peter, even used his sword to cut off the ear of one of those arresting Jesus, according to the Gospel of John.

This militant behavior almost certainly wouldn’t have been tolerated by the Romans, led by the prefect Pontius Pilate, Martin tells Newsweek. For example, historical documents show that it was illegal at the time to walk about armed in Rome and in some other Roman cities. Although no legal records survive from Jerusalem, it stands to reason, based on a knowledge of Roman history, that the region’s rulers would have frowned upon the carrying of swords, and especially wouldn’t have tolerated an armed band of Jews roaming the city during Passover, an often turbulent festival, Martin says.

“Just as you could be arrested in Rome for even having a dagger, if Jesus’s followers were armed, that would be reason enough to crucify him,” says Martin, whose analysis was published this month in the Journal for the Study of the New Testament.

Conclusion: you’re not only wrong but you’re dumber than a bag of hammers.

Paula Fredriksen, a historian of ancient Christianity at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, says Martin’s paper has several holes “that you could drive trucks through.”

For one, she doesn’t think it’s legitimate to assume that since carrying arms was illegal in the city of Rome, the same laws necessarily applied in Jerusalem. Control of the city wasn’t too tight, she argues, and the Roman prefect visited only during Passover, to help keep the peace. And during this time it probably would’ve been impossible to police the thousands of Jews that spilled into Jerusalem.

“I can’t even imagine what a mess it was,” she says.

Furthermore, she says, the Greek word used in the Gospels that Martin interprets as sword really means something more akin to knife. And these could be easily concealed, she adds. “Only professionals,” like soldiers, “carried swords,” she says.

While we’re on the subject of weapons, people didn’t carry staffs back then only because they needed help navigating the terrain.  Staffs also offered [limited] protection against wild animals.  Or wild people, whatever the case may have been.

Dear Newsweek or the Daily Beast or the Daily Tina Brown’s Ego or whatever you’re calling yourselves this week.  Stop writing about the Christian religion.  Just stop.  You people have no idea how stupid you’re making yourselves look. Continue Reading

8

Tiber Creek Community Church

Tiber Creek Community Church

 

Church Pop brings us the news:

 

 

ROME, Italy — Pope Francis has changed the name of St. Peter’s Basilica to “Tiber Creek Community Church,” Vatican spokesperson Fr. Federico Lombardi announced this morning.

“The greatest church of Christendom, built on the holy grave of the martyr-prince of the Apostles, has been known as ‘St. Peter’s Basilica’ for 1700 years,” Fr. Lombardi explained. “It was long overdue for a rebranding.”

He continued that this was just the next step in Pope Francis’ greater program of trying to make the church more relatable to the average person.

“How many Catholics today even know who St. Peter is?” Fr. Lombardi asked reporters, eliciting murmurs of agreement. “And besides, referencing St. Peter is a dead giveaway that we’re Catholic.” Fr. Lombardi said that naming the church after it’s geographic location without any denominational identifiers was more in line with how modern people felt about religion.

Fr. Lombardi also announced that projectors and screens would be installed throughout the basilica in the coming week, that a “totally rocking” worship band was being formed, and that Pope Francis planned on making his sermons “relevant to every day life.”

“The Trinity, the Incarnation, the Virgin Birth, these are all interesting — to dead theologians,” Fr. Lombardi said dismissively. “But how does that apply to my everyday life? How will that help me advance in my career? That’s what Pope Francis is going to be focusing on.”

According to an anonymous source within the Vatican, when some of his advisors voiced concerns about the name change, Francis informed them that he had already purchased the new sign.

“He was really proud of the sign,” the anonymous source said. “He told us he already had some great jokes to post up there.” Continue Reading

5

Worse Than a Black Mass?

For those who kneel beside us
At altars not Thine own,
Who lack the lights that guide us,
Lord, let their faith atone!

Rudyard Kipling, Hymn Before Action

 

Father Paul Nicholson engages in some silliness on stilts:

 

The imagery that is being circulated of the confrontation with the diabolical at the black mass in Oklahoma city is truly moving. But there is something worse than a black mass. It is the abuse of God’s Mercy.

I have seen the images of the Society of +Marcel Lefevbre in a full demonstration against the black mass that took place on September 21, 2014. They look every bit Catholic … yet they are not submissive to the Vicar of Christ. They are Catholic protestants.
And while they decry the attack on Christ in the black mass, do they not realize that they are compounding the wound in the Heart of Christ, by attacking the Body of Christ? How can any Catholic not feel indignant as he sees this tragedy in front of him.

Continue Reading

11

PopeWatch: Why Cupich?

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Father Pio Pace at Rorate Caeli gives us the back story on the appointment of Bishop Cupich to head the Archdiocese of Chicago:

It is very necessary to understand the full measure of the nomination of the extreme liberal bishop Blase Cupich to the see of Chicago, replacing Cardinal Francis George.

Cupich’s promotion to this particularly important position, that usually entails the elevation to the cardinalatial red, was a personal decision of Pope Francis himself. More precisely, the Pope imposed his candidate on Cardinal Ouellet and the Congregation for Bishops, under the desperate suggestion of the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, Abp. Carlo Maria Viganò. We know well that those men who are particularly authoritarian, such as Francis, also are, in many cases, easily manipulated by those who learn how to read them. Moreover, it is enough to waggle before the eyes of the Pope the scarecrow called Cardinal Burke to lead him in one direction or another, because he has kept against the Prefect of the Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura an extremely strong rancor after the 2013 conclave, in which the American Cardinal was one of those who tried to thwart his path to the pontificate.
Nuncio Viganò also has lots of scores to settle. He was, at the Secretariat of State, one of the most influential members of the close entourage of Archbishop (later also Cardinal) Fernando Filoni, when Filoni was the all-powerful Sostituto at the 1st Section (General Affairs), before being named Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. First named Secretary of the Governatorate of Vatican City State, Viganò was then made, to his great displeasure, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, a high diplomatic post, and that is in itself far from being a place of exile. (We recall the “leak” of his letter addressed to Benedict XVI to denounce the “corruption” in the administration of the Vatican City State.) It is true that while the Nuncio to the United States, when retired, often enters the College of Papal Electors, that is not always the case. For Abp. Viganò, 73 years old, time is pressing, because there are almost no chances left for him to become the head of a Congregation. But to achieve a nomination such as that of Blase Joseph Cupich to Chicago makes one’s reputation.

Continue Reading

17

Cupich and Bilberries

Cupich

 

Dale Price at Dyspeptic Mutterings dishes out truth with the bark on:
Royal Air Force pilots during the Second World War reported that ingesting bilberries improved their night vision.

It’s not often that I offer health advice here, but I think it’s relevant now, what with the bombshell news that Pope Francis appointed Blase Joseph Cupich as the next Archbishop of Chicago.
Now, if you processed that news and are still the proud owner of a foam finger that says “Francis #1!” I don’t think this post is for you. In fact, it’s really not. In fact, if I post your comment, it will probably be as a sign of how far gone you are.
For those of you taken aback by the appointment of a certified hater of TLM massgoers and pro-lifers–and even Al Kresta!–to one of the most important sees in North America, this post is for you.
An eclipse is at hand, and things are about to get unpleasant for people who think being Catholic has some supernatural value. The bottom lines are four:
  1. First: B.J. Cupich is the man the post-Burke shake-up in the Congregation of Bishops came up with. *This* is the man the Pope wanted to run one of the top three sees on the continent.
*This* is the Pope’s vision of the ideal bishop for American Catholics. From that, all else follows. 
The nausea you feel is quite understandable. All the wrong suspects are celebrating his alleged inclusiveness (Disclaimer: “Inclusiveness” and “pastoral” are void with respect to Those People Who Still Believe That S–t). Cupich’s public record confirms that he’s yet another Dad more popular with other people’s children. He’s Edward Egan, only with pretensions to intellectualism and sans the charm.
Sing a new church. Actually, an old church. That 70s Church, in fact.
       2.  Second, the Pope just sent a big signal to careerist clerics: picking public fights with pro-lifers and traditionalists is no obstacle a-tall! In fact, it’s your ticket to the top.
Get ready for some unpleasant displays from priests and bishops, alas. Fallen human nature being what it is. 
       3.  If you like your bishop, storm heaven for him. 
Pray God he’s not retiring soon, or otherwise the Wuerlwind is going to deposit yet another touchy, iron-fisted “pastoral” dialoguer on your doorstep.
        4.  The hermeneutic of continuity is dead, dead, deadski.
If the Pope was really in tune with his predecessors not named “Paul VI,” Bishop Cupich would hit age 75 as the Bishop of Spokane. Pope Francis is a Reformer, and sees himself as one. Unlike Benedict, he’s just fine with everything Vatican II did. He’s never uttered a cross word about the 21st ecumenical council. Not a one. I’d love to see anything like Benedict’s criticisms about V2 (no, not that one…) from him, but they simply do not exist. It was a break with the past, and that’s a good thing in his book. To the contrary–the people dwelling in the past are the problem, as he has scolded constantly. And as BJC affirms in this love-fest interview with the National Catholic Reporter (indirect link). This part stands out.
 

Continue Reading

22

Who Needs Clown Masses?

 

 

Hattip to Pat Archbold at Creative Minority Report.

From the comments:

The showboatin’ priest is Fr. Tony Ricard, pastor of Our Lady Star of the Sea parish in New Orleans. These kinds of stunts are standard fare for him. Archbishop Greg Aymond enjoys his popularity, earned largely by pandering to the vanity and worldly preoccupations of his flock. He’s not the sort of ordinary who would put a stop to these antics.

The number one problem in the Church today is that too many clergy and laity fail to give any evidence of actually believing the teachings of Christ and thus engage in this type of tripe to paper over the spiritual void that is eating the heart out of the Church.  God forgive them and God forgive us for putting up with it.

16

Compare and Contrast

Reagan saluting

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We did not pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.

                                         Ronald Reagan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coffee Cup Salute

20

Evil as Bad Performance Art

To Nero, Emperor of Rome, Master of the World, Divine Pontiff.

I know that my death will be a disappointment to you, since you wished to render me this service yourself. To be born in your reign is a miscalculation; but to die in it is a joy. I can forgive you for murdering your wife and your mother, for burning our beloved Rome, for befouling our fair country with the stench of your crimes. But one thing I cannot forgive – the boredom of having to listen to your verses, your second-rate songs, your mediocre performances. Adhere to your special gifts, Nero – murder and arson, betrayal and terror. Mutilate your subjects if you must; but with my last breath I beg you – do not mutilate the arts. Fare well, but compose no more music. Brutalize the people, but do not bore them, as you have bored to death your friend,

the late Gaius Petronius

Fictional letter from Gaius Petronius to Nero in the novel Quo Vadis

 

 

Bad enough that someone has slain an innocent, but making a bad poem out of it?  At least the Nazis did not attempt to make swing tunes celebrating the glories of their extermination camps.  Ben Johnson of Lifesite News gives us the details behind the above video:

 

 

To take the second question first, The Huffington Post is promoting a video featuring Scottish “poet” Leyla Josephine, celebrating her decision to abort her daughter. The video, “I Think She Was a She,” was uploaded to YouTube a month ago.

In the video Josephine, decked out in military camouflage, justifies herself in part by saying that she would have been willing to serve as a sacrifice to abortion just as she offered her daughter to the idol of “choice.”

“I would’ve supported her right to choose – to choose a life for herself, a path for herself. I would’ve died for that right like she died for mine,” she said.

In the next rhyming line, she addresses her unborn daughter: “I’m sorry, but you came at the wrong time.”

“I am not ashamed. I am not ashamed. I am not ashamed,” she continues – a phrase she repeats a total of six times. She repeats the phrase “This is my body” three times. (She also takes the Lord’s name in vain once.) Continue Reading

8

What Right Wing Zealot Wrote This?

 

 

 

Policy makers and the public may wish for the comfort of certainty in their climate science. But I fear that rigidly promulgating the idea that climate science is “settled” (or is a “hoax”) demeans and chills the scientific enterprise, retarding its progress in these important matters. Uncertainty is a prime mover and motivator of science and must be faced head-on. It should not be confined to hushed sidebar conversations at academic conferences.

Society’s choices in the years ahead will necessarily be based on uncertain knowledge of future climates. That uncertainty need not be an excuse for inaction. There is well-justified prudence in accelerating the development of low-emissions technologies and in cost-effective energy-efficiency measures.

But climate strategies beyond such “no regrets” efforts carry costs, risks and questions of effectiveness, so nonscientific factors inevitably enter the decision. These include our tolerance for risk and the priorities that we assign to economic development, poverty reduction, environmental quality, and intergenerational and geographical equity.

Individuals and countries can legitimately disagree about these matters, so the discussion should not be about “believing” or “denying” the science. Despite the statements of numerous scientific societies, the scientific community cannot claim any special expertise in addressing issues related to humanity’s deepest goals and values. The political and diplomatic spheres are best suited to debating and resolving such questions, and misrepresenting the current state of climate science does nothing to advance that effort.

Any serious discussion of the changing climate must begin by acknowledging not only the scientific certainties but also the uncertainties, especially in projecting the future. Recognizing those limits, rather than ignoring them, will lead to a more sober and ultimately more productive discussion of climate change and climate policies. To do otherwise is a great disservice to climate science itself.

Steven Koonin, Undersecretary For Science, Department of Energy, during Barack Obama’s first term.

17

PopeWatch: Urban II

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

 

 

 

 

PopeWatch assumes that one day there may be a grand debate between Pope Francis and Pope Urban II in Heaven.  If PopeWatch should manage to defy the odds and become an attorney who enters Heaven, he hopes to have a ring side seat!

 

In a trip to Albania Pope Francis said:

‘Let no one consider themselves to be the armour of God while planning and carrying out acts of violence and oppression,’ the pontiff said in speech at the presidential palace in Tirana in front of Albania’s leaders.

‘May no one use religion as a pretext for actions against human dignity and against fundamental rights,’ he said. ‘To kill in the name of God is a grave sacrilege. To discriminate in the name of God is inhuman.’

Go here to read the rest.  If Pope Francis is restricting his statement to those who slay in the name of God to oppress others, then there is no contradiction with what Pope Urban II preached long ago.  If the Pope is saying that it is always wrong to kill in God’s name, there appears to be a contradiction between the popes.

 

One of the versions of the speech given by Pope Urban II at the Council of Clermont in 1095:

 

“If among the churches scattered about over the whole world some, because of persons or location, deserve reverence above others (for persons, I say, since greater privileges are accorded to apostolic sees; for places, indeed, since the same dignity which is accorded to persons is also shown to regal cities, such as Constantinople), we owe most to that church from which we received the grace of redemption and the source of all Christianity. If what the Lord saysnamely, ‘Salvation is from the Jews,’ accords with the truth, and it is true that the Lord has left us Sabaoth as seed, that we may not become like Sodom and Gomorrah, and our seed is Christ, in whom is the salvation and benediction of all peoples, then, indeed, the very land and city in which He dwelt and suffered is, by witnesses of the Scriptures, holy. If this land is spoken of in the sacred writings of the prophets as the inheritance and the holy temple of God before ever the Lord walked about in it, or was revealed, what sanctity, what reverence has it not acquired since God in His majesty was there clothed in the flesh, nourished, grew up, and in bodily form there walked about, or was carried about; and, to compress in fitting brevity all that might be told in a long series of words, since there the blood of the Son of God, more holy than heaven and earth, was poured forth, and His body, its quivering members dead, rested in the tomb. What veneration do we think it deserves? If, when the Lord had but just been crucified and the city was still held by the Jews, it was called holy by the evangelist when he says, ‘Many bodies of the saints that had fallen asleep were raised; and coming forth out of the tombs after His resurrection, they entered into the holy city and appeared unto many,’ and by the prophet Isaiah when be says, ‘It shall be His glorious sepulchre,’ then, surely, with this sanctity placed upon it by God the Sanctifier Himself, no evil that may befall it can destroy it, and in the same way glory is indivisibly fixed to His Sepulchre. Most beloved brethren, if you reverence the source of that holiness and I . you cherish these shrines which are the marks of His footprints on earth, if you seek (the way), God leading you, God fighting in your behalf, you should strive with your utmost efforts to cleanse the Holy City and the glory of the Sepulchre, now polluted by the concourse of the Gentiles, as much as is in their power.

“If in olden times the Maccabees attained to the highest praise of piety because they fought for the ceremonies and the Temple, it is also justly granted you, Christian soldiers, to defend their liberty of your country by armed endeavor. If you, likewise, consider that the abode of the holy apostles and any other saints should be striven for with such effort, why do you refuse to rescue the Cross, the Blood, the Tomb? Why do you refuse to visit them, to spend the price of your lives in rescuing them? You have thus far waged unjust wars, at one time and another; you have brandished mad weapons to your mutual destruction, for no other reason than covetousness and pride, as a result of which you have deserved eternal death and sure damnation. We now hold out to you wars which contain the glorious reward of martyrdom, which will retain that title of praise now and forever. Continue Reading

4

Pinkos

Father Z and I have similar feelings about what is going on in the Church today:

 

 

Some wag out there used his photoshopping skills to Hello-Kitty-ize some heroes of the silver screen.

Samples:

No… I just don’t have the heart to post Batman.   Or Superman, for that matter.  I just … can’t.

These days, this is what I feel is being done to our Church right now.

Yes, I wrote “feel”.  I’ll start thinking again after a couple shots of espresso and some fresh air. Continue Reading

55

PopeWatch: Bernardin II

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One of the chief ways of assessing any pope is to look at his appointments.  Pope Francis has picked Bishop Blase Cupich of Spokane to run the Chicago Archdiocese.  PopeWatch believes this marks a return to the policies of Joseph Cardinal  Bernardin who was in charge of the Chicago Archdiocese prior to Francis Cardinal George.  Let us count the ways.

 

1.  Seamless garment

It’s a philosophy underscored by his previous job as bishop in Rapid City, South Dakota. Under his leadership, the “Pro-Life Committee” in the Rapid City diocese became the “Social Justice Committee.” It wasn’t a shift away from an anti-abortion message, Cupich says, but an expansion to all sorts of issues — opposition to capital punishment, support of immigration reform, concern for those in poverty. 

2.  Distancing from the pro-life cause

As is his custom, the bishop has not responded.  I do not understand Bp. Cupich’s hostility  to the prolife movement and 40DFL, but this is not the first time I have gotten samizdat from some suffering soul in Spokane, struggling with the fact that the bishop appears to be bent on campaign of crushing and suppressing pro-life activity and punishing people for the crime of being orthodox.  I do not understand that guy.

3.  Hostility to traditional Catholicism-

RAPID CITY – A standoff between Latin-rite Catholics in Rapid City and their bishop has left the Latin Mass congregation of St. Michael’s choosing to celebrate Good Friday services on the sidewalk instead of in church.

Members of the Latin Mass community, which has met in Rapid City for the past 12 years at Immaculate Conception Church on Fifth Street, say Bishop Blase Cupich has barred them from celebrating Good Friday and Easter vigil services at the church in an attempt to mainstream them into the English-language Mass.

“We’ve been prohibited by the bishop from celebrating the Easter Triduum liturgies and locked out of our church from noon on Holy Thursday until 8 a.m. on Easter morning,” Dan Carda, 58, of Piedmont, said. Carda is a Latin Mass adherent who refuses to participate in the new-order English-language Mass that was mandated by the Second Vatican Council.

Instead, Carda and some of the other 220 members of St. Michael’s congregation will gather at 3 p.m. today for Good Friday services on the sidewalk in front of the church.

4.  Toadying to the Democrat Party-

When most bishops refused to let Catholic Charities employees serve as Navigators for the Affordable Care Act, Cupich bucked the trend: Whatever problems the USCCB had with Obamacare and its contraception mandate, he was committed to using the infrastructure of the Church to help poor people access health insurance.

Just prior to the presidential election in 2008 he wrote an editorial in America raising the spectre that it was intrinsically evil for people to vote against Obama because of his race.  The purpose of the editorial seemed to be to give cover for Obama on the abortion issue and was curious since the idea that large numbers of voters were voting against Obama simply because of his race was a mirror image of the actual role of race in that election.  Go here to read the editorial.

He was the second to the last bishop to join the fight against the contraceptive mandate. Continue Reading

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Politics as Religion and Moral Code

 

 

Kirsten Powers, who is rapidly becoming my favorite liberal, is a liberal who actually prizes tolerance and intellectual diversity, and she is noticing that she is becoming a rather rare bird among her ideological colleagues:

 

This week, a trail-blazing woman was felled in the new tradition of commencement shaming. International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde withdrew from delivering the commencement speech at Smith College following protests from students and faculty who hate the IMF. According to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, this trend is growing. In the 21 years leading up to 2009, there were 21 incidents of an invited guest not speaking because of protests. Yet, in the past five-and-a-half years, there have been 39 cancellations.

Don’t bother trying to make sense of what beliefs are permitted and which ones will get you strung up in the town square. Our ideological overlords have created a minefield of inconsistency. While criticizing Islam is intolerant, insulting Christianity is sport. Ayaan Hirsi Ali is persona non grata at Brandeis University for attacking the prophet Mohammed. But Richard Dawkins describes the Old Testament God as “a misogynistic … sadomasochistic … malevolent bully” and the mob yawns. Bill Maher calls the same God a “psychotic mass murderer” and there are no boycott demands of the high-profile liberals who traffic his HBO show. Continue Reading

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Blase Cupich: Remembrance of Things Past

Cardinal George and Bishop Blase Cupich

 

Tomorrow PopeWatch will have much to say about the dismaying appointment of Bishop Blase Cupich to head the Archdiocese of Chicago.  Mark Shea back in 2011 gave some reasons why this appointment is disturbing:

A reader writes:

Dear Friends,We recently learned about a troubling decision regarding pro-life activities by our bishop, His Excellency Blase Cupich of the Diocese of Spokane.

I am emailing you because you are a parishioner in the diocese, or have a connection to the diocese, or you have the ability to make public this regrettable decision.

Bishop Cupich has informed all of his priests and seminarians that they cannot:
– pray outside of Planned Parenthood
– promote or organize peaceful protest outside Planned Parenthood in their parishes (naming 40 Days for Life specifically)
– or allow pro-life material to be distributed in their parishes unless it is published by the Washington State Conference of Catholic Bishops or the USCCB–who, ironically, support 40 DFL.

This information came to us directly from multiple Spokane priests. We were also told by these priests that Bishop Cupich identifies himself as pro-life, but disagrees with the “tactic” of praying outside of abortion clinics. The reason he gave for his decision is that he does not want his priests being identified with “extreme” pro-life persons.

We know you all understand the great concern that comes when a bishop is 1) not overtly supportive of pro-life activities and 2) will not allow his priests to fight for the pro-life cause by praying and giving witness to the sanctity of human life outside of Planned Parenthood.

My wife and I have written a letter that we will be sending to the bishop tomorrow and have copied the text below. I am asking that you also do what you can to help him change his mind, especially since we begin the fall campaign of 40 Days for Life in a few weeks.

Let us all pray for Bishop Cupich that he has a conversion of heart on this issue.

May God bless each of you as you fight for life!
****

Most Reverend Blase J. Cupich
Diocese Of Spokane
1023 W. Riverside Avenue
Spokane, WA 99210Your Excellency:
We have recently learned of facts that are highly disturbing to us. We are seeking clarification from your office.
We have been told that you have forbidden priests and seminarians of the Diocese of Spokane from praying in front of Planned Parenthood, participating in 40 Days for Life, organizing peaceful protest outside of Planned Parenthood (either as a part of 40 Days for Life or otherwise), and endorsing/allowing communication of pro-life activities involving the above two methods in a parish.
We also learned that no pro-life literature may be distributed in a parish except for those produced by the Washington State Conference of Catholic Bishops or by the USCCB. A few months ago, we learned that you declined to endorse 40 Days for Life—something Bishop Skylstad, your predecessor, did indeed endorse. Even the USCCB supports and promotes this organization.
We were concerned, but hoped you had a good reason for your decision, and that it might be a misunderstanding. With this new information, we find it hard to believe it is a misunderstanding.
As members of the Diocese of Spokane, we do not understand why our bishop, the man entrusted by the Church and by Christ to lead the flock, would not allow a peaceful protest of the destruction of human lives. The pro-life issue, which has been championed and endorsed by Popes John Paul II, Benedict XVI and the USCCB, is the most important of our age.
In the last 38 years, since abortion became legal in the United States, over 50 million children have been lost (that we know of) through the horror of abortion. While we are hoping that your denial of priests to pray for the unborn outside of the very place where children are murdered is a matter of disagreement on tactics, it seems as though you do not support the movement at all; again, we hope that is not true.
However, we do not understand how a bishop could not endorse praying the rosary, Our Lady’s prayer, for the sake of the unborn, their mothers and fathers and the workers, at the very scene of their deaths. Prayer and peaceful witness are the only ways that we will win the battle of converting hearts to believe in the sanctity of every human life. If what we heard is true, telling priests not to pray outside of abortion clinics would be equivalent to telling a priest in Germany or Poland that they should not pray outside of Death Camps. The same tragedy that happened in Germany is happening in our country today, but too many people are standing by without defending the unborn.
We need our priests and our bishops, our spiritual leaders, to take on the cause of defending the unborn! We need our priests and bishops to unabashedly proclaim the sanctity of human life! We need our priests and bishops to witness to the women who are going into a clinic and are in need of a friendly face! If they don’t lead the people of God, how will we win this battle for the lives of the unborn? How do we tell the world that the Catholic Church is the most pro-life faith when our bishops are not willing to sacrifice for the life of a baby?
We are not necessarily asking you to pray outside of Planned Parenthood or be the leader of 40 Days for Life, although we wish you would desire to do so.
But we are asking you to clarify why you would not allow your priests and seminarians to take part in this essential part of the pro-life movement. We are also asking you to publicly endorse 40 Days for Life, an important part of our witness in this diocese each year.
It saddens us that our new bishop is not overtly pro-life, let alone that he will not allow his priests and seminarians to express their own pro-life convictions.
Know that we will pray for you as the shepherd of our diocese. However, if this decision remains in effect, we will not be able to support you financially. We will be rescinding our 2011 pledge to the Annual Catholic Appeal, additionally.
It is essential that the Catholic Church be the beacon of hope in this time where our society finds it acceptable to murder innocent human life by the millions each year.
May God bless you in your ministry and give you wisdom as you lead our diocese.

I don’t get the guy. His reasoning isn’t even internally consistent since the USCCB (rightly) has no problem at all with 40 DFL, a perfectly peaceful, non-confrontational, non-gory form of civil witness for life. Plus, he’s just taken over a diocese that’s been through the ringer financially due to abuse lawsuits. So he deliberately spits in the eye of the most dedicated and loyal Catholics, provoking them to withhold their appeal funds out of conscience? What gives?

God grant him a change of heart through Christ Jesus.

 

In 2012 Mark wrote: Continue Reading

September 21, 1864: Battle of Fisher’s Hill

Fisher's Hill

After his defeat at the Third Battle of Winchester on September 19, 1864, go here to read about it,  Early retired south to a strong position near Strasburg, Virignia, with his right anchored on the North Branch of the Shenandoah River, and his left on Fisher’s Hill, grandiloquently known during the Civil War as the Gibraltar of the Valley.  The position was a very strong one, but with only 10,000 men to cover four miles, Early did not have enough troops to man it adequately.

Sheridan with 29,000 men quickly decided that a frontal attack would be fruitless without a flank attack.  Crook was sent with his corps on an arduous march to flank the Confederate left on Fisher’s Hill.  Crook was in position to commence his attack at 4:00 PM on September 22, while Sheridan pressed Early from the front.  After some desultory fighting, the Confederate army routed.  Battle losses in dead and wounded were minimal, but 1000 Confederates were taken prisoner.  Early retreated to Waynesboro leaving Sheridan in undisputed control of the lower Valley, a control that Sheridan was going to use to destroy the granary of the Confederacy.

Here is Early’s report to General Robert E. Lee on the engagement: Continue Reading

6

Art Imitating Life and Life Imitating Art

I finished watching Ken Burns, The Roosevelts:  An Intimate History.  A fair amount of liberal hagiography for FDR and, especially, Eleanor, but on the whole I liked it, and I will review it in a future post.  However, I was struck by a vignette that occurred in the final episode last night.

By 1944 FDR was in visibly failing health.  Diagnosed with congestive  heart failure, Dr. Howard Bruenn, a Navy Lieutenant Commander and cardiologist, followed him everywhere.  He recommended extended bed rest which was an impossible diagnosis for a Commander-in-Chief during a World War.

At the Quebec Conference with Churchill, in the evening for entertainment, FDR had the film Wilson (1944) shown.  A film biopic of the life of Woodrow Wilson from his election as Governor of New Jersey in 1910, the movie is largely forgotten today.  It won several Oscars, but was a financial flop, people being too preoccupied with the current World War to want to see a movie about the first one.  Alexander Knox, relegated through most of his career in character actor roles, does a good job in the role of Wilson.  Making the dessicated, pedantic Wilson into a heroic figure was difficult, but the film, taking a fast and loose approach with much of the history of the period, and with the help of a majestic musical score, accomplishes the feat.  It is definitely worth watching. Continue Reading

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Margaret Sanger Being An Idiot During World War II

 

Hattip to Instapundit.  A salute to Dalrock for coming up with another example of the font of stupidity that was Margaret Sanger:

In my last post I quoted from a radio program delivered by Margaret Sanger discussing the hardships women face in marriage and the importance of marriage counseling.  Sanger described a young mother she met the day before on the train:

she was beginning to feel very bitter toward her husband because she said that she could tell from his letters that he was actually enjoying the ↑excitement of↓ war! Already he had been to Iceland, England, Africa, and Italy! Oh, she was willing to admit there were plenty of hardships connected with it… but what had she been doing all this long while? Just staying home day after day minding the baby! “When he gets home,” she told me, “he can just sit with the baby for a while and she what it’s like. I’m going out and have some fun!”

I could see her point of view… what woman couldn’t. You don’t have to be a war bride to feel trapped… many a house-wife gets that feeling just watching her husband go off to the office every morning while she stays home facing the same meals, dishes, and children. How many divorces have their beginnings in just this very feeling of imprisoned futility.

The date of the program was July 19, 1944.  This was just a little over a month after D Day and before the Normandy breakout.  World War II was very much still raging in Europe, and American men were still fighting and dying there.  Yet at this very time we had (if we believe the story), a woman complaining to strangers on a train about the exciting adventures her husband was enjoying in the European theater (most likely as a result of being drafted).   Continue Reading

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Quotes Unworthy of Framing: Bishop Sheen

Bishop Sheen

 

 

“The very fact that in World War II we chose to fight in alliance with one form of totalitarianism against the other two forms, though all were intrinsically wicked, proves not only the basic sympathy between Western materialism and communism but also the grave mistake of trying to drive the Devil out with Beelzebub.”

Bishop Fulton J. Sheen

The start of a new series.  In this set of posts we will take a look at truly foolish things said by people I generally admire.  First up, this gem from Bishop Sheen.

The idea that we chose to have the Soviet Union as an ally in the Second World War is a doozy.  Hitler made the choice when he invaded the Soviet Union.  If Bishop Sheen had then wanted us to be at war with both Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, he would have had to have been content with Western casualty totals probably five times what they turned out to be, and his proposed course of action would have required the existence of Western leaders capable of explaining to puzzled populations why their nations were going to war with the Soviet Union that was holding down 80% of the Wehrmacht.  Such a policy would probably have resulted in an eventual renewal of the alliance between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany and led to a conflict that the Western Allies could not have won without resort to nuclear weapons, something that Bishop Sheen of course opposed.

At the end of the War we could of course have launched a new war to drive the Soviet Union out of Eastern Europe.  With the exception of General Patton, there was zero appetite among the Western Allies for a new conflict after the vast blood letting that had wrecked most of Europe.  I doubt if Bishop Sheen would have supported such a conflict for long, due to his coming out against the Vietnam War in 67.  When the going got tough geo-politically, Bishop Sheen tended to hit the road. Continue Reading

7

PopeWatch: Burke

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

 

Akron, OH–Pope Francis has reportedly planned to remove Cardinal Raymond Burke from head of the Apostolic Signatura, demoting him to the largely ceremonial role as Head Chaplain for the Akron RubberDucks minor league baseball team.

Although his removal from the Roman Curia (the body of Vatican-based Cardinals who are close advisers to the Pope,) appears to be a slight to many conservative Catholics, some Akron-based Catholic  RubberDucks fans believe Burke’s new role as chaplain and adviser to the minor league team will help revitalize the beloved Double-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians.

President of the Akron RubberDucks Jacob Wallace told EOTT this morning that the team has been playing liberally in the past few years, and that it was time for a change. “We need to begin playing a lot more conservative…the way we used to play when were winning,” Wallace said. “We believe that his spiritual impact on the team will help us reduce errors. I have personally spoken to Cardinal Burke and he has assured me that there will no longer be anymore stealing bases. Anyone caught stealing will be removed from the team immediately. If we’re going to win, we’re going to win with integrity.”

Burke, who is not only a liturgical conservative, but also a baseball conservative, is also expected to change the RubberDucks jersey back to the old-fashioned retro jerseys the team wore when it was founded in 1997. Continue Reading

Scotland the Brave

 

Something for the weekend.  Scotland the Brave.  I have always loved orchestral versions of this song, but I find the lyrics insipid.  Therefore I was happy to find the above version with lyrics worthy of the tune.

Let Italy boast of her gay gilded waters
Her vines and her bowers and her soft sunny skies
Her sons drinking love from the eyes of her daughters
Where freedom expires amid softness and sighs

Scotland’s blue mountains wild where hoary cliffs are piled
Towering in grandeur are dearer tae me
Land of the misty cloud land of the tempest loud
Land of the brave and proud land of the free

Enthroned on the peak of her own highland mountains
The spirit of Scotia reigns fearless and free
Her green tartan waving o’er blue rock and fountain
And proudly she sings looking over the sea

Here among my mountains wild I have serenely smiled
When armies and empires against me were hurled
Firm as my native rock I have withstood the shock
Of England, of Denmark, or Rome and the world Continue Reading

26

United Kingdom Still United

 

Groundskeeper Willie Weeping

Supporters of Scottish Independence came up short of their goal in the vote yesterday:

Scotland spurned independence in a historic referendum that threatened to rip the United Kingdom apart, sow financial turmoil and diminish Britain’s remaining global clout.

A vote for the 307-year union is a relief for millions of Britons including Prime Minister David Cameron, whose job was on the line, as well as allies across the world who were horrified at the prospect of the United Kingdom’s separation.

Unionists won 55 percent of the vote while separatists won 45 percent with 31 of 32 constituencies declared.

Political leaders of all hues agreed that Britain would be changed for good nonetheless.

Unionists cheered, kissed and drank wine and beer in Glasgow, Scotland’s biggest city where secessionists won, while nationalist leader Alex Salmond conceded defeat in Edinburgh, which supported the United Kingdom.

“Scotland has by a majority decided not, at this stage, to become an independent country. I accept that verdict of the people and I call on all of Scotland to follow suit in accepting the democratic verdict of the people of Scotland,” Salmond said. Continue Reading

12

PopeWatch: Silence

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Hmmm.  This is very interesting:

 

Pope Francis has told a group of Jewish leaders “first it was your turn and now it is our turn” in a discussion about the persecution and murder of Christians in the Middle East.

The leader of the Catholic faith drew a comparison between the Jewish Holocaust and the current persecution of Christians in Syria and Iraq during a meeting with 40 Jewish leaders at the Vatican on Wednesday.

“Pope Francis told us privately that he believes we are in World War Three,” said Ronald S. Lauder, the head of the World Jewish Congress.

“But unlike the first two world wars, instead of happening all at once this war is coming in stages,” he said.

“[Pope Francis] said ‘first it was your turn and now it is our turn’. In other words first Jews suffered savage attacks that were met with the world’s silence and now it is Christians who are being annihilated and the world is silent.”

 

Continue Reading

27

Cardinal Dolan: Company Man III

Hmmm,  a debate has arisen on Saint Blogs as to whether Timothy Cardinal Dolan is a fool or a careerist.  Kevin O’Brien at Waiting for Godot to Leave addresses the controversy:

 

For those of you who haven’t been following, let me summarize in brief.  Cardinal Dolan has given what I consider to be a poorly reasoned, condescending and annoyingly folksy rationalization of his decision to serve as Grand Marshal of New York’s St. Patrick’s Day parade, which will now show the children along the route a group of “gay Irish” marching under a banner identifying themselves as such.  Dolan rightly points out that we condemn the sin, not the sinner – and of course gays have been marching in parades for centuries (though not parading about as gays).  He wrongly points out that if a man or a woman marches under a Gay Pride banner, it’s merely a way of indicating his or her sexual identity, and is in no way an endorsement of the sins that such a sexual identity seeks out.

I countered with an Open Letter to Cardinal Dolan in which I asked to march under the banner of IRISH ADULTERERS.  I point out that, even though the sin of adultery is condemned, and even though I have not given in to consummating fully the temptations of adultery, I still consider this my sexual identity and the Church should not judge me for that, and certainly by marching under a banner in which I identify myself as having an inclination to adultery, I’m not endorsing adultery.  Heavens no!  I’m simply Proud of my inclination.  I simply identify with my temptations.  I could have said more.  I could have suggested groups marching under such banners as GREEDY IRISH EMPLOYERS, or LAZY SLOTHFUL IRISH DRUNKS, or IRISH CHILD MOLESTERS.  I mean, we can’t judge a child molester’s soul, only his sins – although if Dolan is affirming anything in this scandal, it’s that we are defined by our sins.  

So that’s our story so far.  And the general take on this situation is that Cardinal Dolan is a naive fool.

Today, however, Kevin Tierney comments on the Dolan Situation at Red Cardigan’s blog (my emphasis)…

Maybe we have to consider the unpleasant possibility that His Eminence knows exactly what he is doing, he is not the fool, and that these are conscious choices.

Too many events have happened in Dolan’s history to suggest naivete or [foolishness]. There’s something else at work here.

No, it’s not him being a heretic, modernist, or whatever you want to say. Plain and simple, Dolan is a careerist. All of his controversial decisions from the Sheen dustup, to his role in the abuse scandals, to Holy Innocents, to now the parade have been about what’s best for the bottom line … his bottom line. What advances his profile is what is best for business.

This is one of those theories that fits all the facts – which means it’s probably true. Continue Reading

12

Mash Note

 

America, the Jesuit rag not the country, interviews Mark Shea.  The money quote:

 

I love the man. It’s almost inarticulate, but I have nothing but love for the guy. I think he’s the absolute real deal and I feel tremendous hope for the church. As I said before, I’ve loved every pope we’ve had, but I particularly have a soft spot for this man just as a human being apart from whatever he does as pope. I think the world of him. There are some people you just recognize as genuine people and I always respond really strongly to them. There’s no artifice about him and I really like that. Continue Reading

16

PopeWatch: Burke

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Father Z gives us the latest bad news from Rome:

Now that the cat is out of the bag, I’ll post this. I do not like the fact that Sandro Magister posted in this way, however.  I’ve been biting the inside of my mouth for a while now.  The optimist in me was saying that the official announcement would not be made until after the Synod of Bishops, or at least the beginning of the Synod.  Or at all.

It’s not good news.  At the time of this writing, it is still – officially – a rumor.  I believe it, however. I have been trying to get myself into a mental and spiritual place to see it for what it is and, more importantly, for what it is not, and to plot my own reaction and subsequent course.

Vatican Insider has posted that His Eminence Raymond Card. Burke will soon be demoted by Pope Francis from being Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura to the Patron of the Knights of Malta.

The move is not lateral.  That position is usually entrusted to older Cardinals.  The present Cardinal Patron is Card. Sardi, who is now 80.  Before him was Pio Card. Laghi.  The reassignment would be a demotion, for the Patron of the Knights is not nearly the equivalent of Prefect of a Roman dicastery.

I didn’t think that Card. Burke would be moved to Chicago, though I had a little fun with that idea. I thought he might be moved laterally to the Congregation for Causes of Saints to replace Card. Amato, who is over 75.  More on Saints, below.

There are a few points to make here, before the trads blow arteries and quite simply die and before liberals and dissidents, who suffer from Burke Derangement Syndrome, start their Lord of the Flies Dance.

First, it is possible that the three Roman tribunals (Penitentiary, Signatura, Rota), might be collapsed into a single dicastery for justice. I don’t know how that would work. I think it would be a really bad idea, but they didn’t ask me. If that is the case, the Signatura and the Penitentiary will not both need a Cardinal.

Second, according to a couple sources I have heard from, there is talk of collapsing the Congregation for Causes of Saints back into Divine Worship where, historically, it once belonged. Once upon a time the powerful Sacred Congregation of Rites had the brief for beatification and canonization. That would eliminate another cardinalatial chair in the Curia.

Furthermore, there is talk of collapsing minor curial offices, Councils and the like, into a Congregation for Laity. That could eliminate several other Cardinals in the Curia.

If you eliminate a position that has required a Cardinal, and that Cardinal is not 75 or 80, that is, ready for retirement, the Pope has to do something with him.  Burke is only 66.  What can the Pope do if there are no longer enough cardinalatial slots in the curia because he plans on eliminating them?  Well, you can send His Eminence off to be the bishop of some important see in his own country, right?  What if the Pope can’t do that because the Cardinal’s own countrymen have been drenching the same Cardinal in contumely?  Not enough curial chairs, not a good option back home?  Don’t forget that the Archbishop Secretaries of eliminated offices have to go somewhere too!  They might need those dioceses back in their native places.

So, what? You put the Cardinal in the best possible cardinalatial role you can find.  Some Cardinals who hit 75 and are at the end of service in a Congregation, are still useful.  They reside in Rome.  They can be on other Congregations until they are 80.  They could head up some office such as, once upon a time, the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei”.  That’s been put under the CDF.  There are still, for example, Archpriests at the Major Basilicas.  But, there’s already an American at St. Paul’s outside-the-walls: Card. Harvey, 64, also from Wisconsin, just like Card. Burke. Two American sexagenarian Cardinals from Wisconsin as Archpriests of Papal Basilicas at the same time? Not likely. I suspect that if Francis eliminates a few offices, such as Cor Unum or Justice and Peace or the like which have men who are still of service age, one of them will go, say, to be Archpriest at St. Mary Major, where the present man, Card. Abril y Castelló, is about to turn 79. An Italian could wind up as the Delegate for the Basilica of St. Francis where Card. Nicora, 77, is now.

It is fair to imagine that Pope Francis – certainly at the instigation of a few close advisers – is purging the Curia of his predecessor’s influence. Continue Reading

7

September 17, 1787: Rising Sun

 

 

 

Whilst the last members were signing it [i.e., the Constitution] Doct FRANKLIN looking towards the Presidents Chair, at the back of which a rising sun happened to be painted, observed to a few members near him, that Painters had found it difficult to distinguish in their art a rising from a setting sun. I have said he, often and often in the course of the Session, and the vicissitudes of my hopes and fears as to its issue, looked at that behind the President without being able to tell whether it was rising or setting: But now at length I have the happiness to know that it is a rising and not a setting Sun.

James Madison, September 17, 1787

4

Joe Biden: Equal Opportunity Foot in Mouth

Our beloved national clown and Veep has been working overtime lately to lighten the national mood with his patented verbal pratfalls:

Vice President Joe Biden drew fire from a prominent Jewish group on Tuesday after he described unscrupulous bankers who prey on servicemen and servicewomen deployed overseas as “Shylocks” a term frequently condemned as an anti-Semitic caricature.

“Shylock represents the medieval stereotype about Jews and remains an offensive characterization to this day. The Vice President should have been more careful,” Anti-Defamation League National Director Abraham Foxman said.

Go here to read the rest.

In a joint appearance with the liberal group Nuns on the Bus, perhaps Joe was merely telling truth out of season:

He credited the nuns with “fighting like the devil” for the health care law enacted in 2010.

Perhaps this could be the theme song for nuns on the bus? Continue Reading

6

How To Write For the National Catholic Reporter

 

 

National Catholic Fishwrap

 

 

Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic, demonstrates yet again why I long ago designated him Defender of the Faith:

 

A continuing series

Thank you for your interest in writing for the National Catholic Reporter.  Although we welcome your submissions at any time, we hope that these occasional posts help you to become exactly the sort of writer NCR is looking for.  The following piece by Robert McClory illustrates two key abilities every great NCR writer needs to learn how to perform well.  The first of these is how to:

Play dumber than a bag of hammers – Commenting on a recent column by Cardinal Francis George of the Archdiocese of Chicago in which George said this:

Now, George says, “society has brought social and legislative approval to all types of sexual relationships that used to be considered ‘sinful.’ Since the biblical vision of what it means to be human tells us that not every friendship or love can be expressed in sexual relations, the church’s teaching on these issues is now evidence of intolerance for what the civil law upholds and even imposes. What was once a request to live and let live has now become a demand for approval. The ‘ruling class,’ those who shape public opinion in politics, in education, in communications, in entertainment, is using the civil law to impose its own form of morality on everyone.”

McClory responds:

I don’t understand what George is saying. If many states pass, for example, approval of gay marriage, aren’t Catholics free to oppose it in keeping with official church teaching, just as they are free to oppose the sale of contraceptives in drug stores? If the government requires insurance policies to cover the purchase of contraceptives, are not Catholics free to object, as George has done for months? But I don’t see how any of this amounts to a “ruling class” imposing “its own form of morality on everyone.”

The simple fact of that matter is that, unless he is too stupid to be allowed outside without supervision, McClory knows perfectly well what George means.  But McClory has to pretend that he doesn’t; otherwise, he must explain why being governmentally coerced into committing a sin is fine as long as you’re free to feel bad about it as well as why being governmentally coerced into sin isn’t “imposing morality.”

The second ability any good NCR writer needs to know particularly well is how to:

Duck the questionCardinal George continues.

“It means that those who choose to live by the Catholic faith,” [George] says, “will not be welcomed as political candidates to national office, will not sit on editorial boards of major newspapers, will not be at home on most university faculties, will not have successful careers as actors and entertainers. Nor will their children, who will also be suspect. Since all public institutions, no matter who owns or operates them, will be agents of the government and conform their activities to the demands of the official religion, the practice of medicine and law will become more difficult for faithful Catholics. It already means in some States that those who run businesses must conform their activities to the official religion or be fined, as Christians and Jews are fined for their religion in countries governed by Sharia law.”

One assumes that McClory knows that George’s last sentence has already happened several times since several private businesses have been driven into bankruptcy by the legal assaults of homosexuals.  One also assumes that McClory remembers the Chick-Fil-A controversy of a while back in which the homosexual community as well as several prominent politicians publicly execrated Chick-Fil-A and wished for its destruction simply because its CEO opposed the concept of homosexual “marriage.”

Assuming that McClory knows all this, how does he respond?  Like any great National Catholic Reporter writer would.

I hope some of George’s clearer-thinking colleagues would gather around their partner and urge him to consider a more positive, optimistic future for Catholicism. Is not the Holy Spirit still among us? Continue Reading