Synod as Ark

Saturday, January 31, AD 2015

The Fire Next Time


Yet another bad sign for those who fear that the upcoming renewal of the Synod will spit in the face of Christ and approve reception of Holy Communion by Catholics in adulterous marriages:

ZENIT: How can the Synod on the Family be represented?

Archbishop Paglia: If I were to describe the Synod with an image, I would say that the Church gathers all families, the good ones and those that have problems, all of them, to say to the whole world that the family is the way of happiness for contemporary society in the third millennium, because globalization has become almost solely that of the market and, let me to say it: loneliness is being globalized.

ZENIT: Why is there fear sometimes to address these topics, even among more “observant” persons?

Archbishop Paglia: I would say that it is necessary to have more serenity and more confidence. Let me to answer with a biblical image: the deluge. At that moment, God created Noah’s ark. And the Church is a bit like Noah’s ark. We are all there, all types and tendencies. What is important is to be in the ark, and not to make holes in it or to open the windows.

The Church is called with all her variety – all are necessary. We cannot say that only “the head is important.” A Church that is only head would be monstrous. The little finger is also important. The knee is important. One can live without a hand, but it’s not the ideal. I would like to say to all Christians and to men of good will: at this moment the Church, with Pope Francis, wants to be like Noah’s ark to save all of them, all families. This is a wide objective as wide as God’s heart. A large ark where there is room for all, with one conviction: while we are together we will be happy.

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The University of St. Thomas (St. Paul, MN) says, “Stick it in your ear!”

Saturday, January 31, AD 2015


The folks over at The College Fix have done their homework, exposing how administrators at the University of St. Thomas (UST)—a “private Catholic liberal arts school” located in St. Paul, MN—are standing by their decision to let students to gain academic credit by serving as interns at a Minnesota-based National Organization for Women (NOW) chapter, even though the organization advocates for abortion on demand, LGBTQ rights, same-sex marriage, and its brand of so-called “racial justice.” UST’s Women’s Studies Department is sponsoring the internship opportunity.

This decision comes after the folks over at TFP Student Action also did their homework, organizing a successful petition drive garnering 10k+ signatures admonishing UST for offering internships at Planned Parenthood and Minnesota NARAL. Quickly after that email was forwarded to UST President Julie Sullivan, the listings were removed.

Now, that administrative fiat might satisfy some people.

However, what’s noteworthy about the NOW incident is not that diversity and inclusion means providing students opportunities to intern in organizations whose purpose contradicts official Church teaching. Nor is what’s noteworthy that academic administrators and professors sincerely believe that providing students those internships advances the institution’s mission as Catholic.

What’s noteworthy about this incident is that doing so provides additional evidence of a pattern of conduct on the part of academic administrators and professors at many of the nation’s Catholic universities and colleges. Namely, tacitly allowing opportunities like those internships at NOW to proceed. How? Perhaps through a “wink and a nod” or, even better yet, “Don’t inform me.” The idea is that if nobody finds out, all the better. And, if a crazy conservative Catholic does find out and complain, assert plausible deniability.

To wit:

…the links were published in error on the website of our College of Arts and Sciences, and they are being corrected. Student internships in the college are approved through the Office of the Dean. The Dean has not approved, nor would he approve, academic credit for internships at Planned Parenthood or abortion organizations.

  • The Director of UST’s Women’s Studies Program, Susan Meyers, claimed she was “completely unaware of any protests and petitions regarding Planned Parenthood internships at UST.”

What’s important is that other voices also be introduced into the discussion. In this way, the narrative can be change from one that focuses upon upholding Catholic identity to one of safeguarding academic freedom. To wit:

  • UST’s Vice President for University and Government Relations, Doug Hennes, said that UST administrators view the NOW as “an advocacy group on a wide variety of women’s issues, not specifically on abortion.” Yes, including: LGBTQ rights, same-sex marriage, and racial justice.
  • Catherine Cory, Director UST’s Murray Institute—an on-campus Catholic institute for dialogue with the Archdiocese—asked: “If some of Planned Parenthood’s work is morally wrong according to Catholic moral teaching, does that make everything they do wrong?” “Planned Parenthood does more than provide abortions and contraceptives,” Cory added.
  • A St. Thomas alumna, Chloe Lawyer, thinks “it is a shame that members of the St. Thomas community are not even allowed to view these opportunities.” Lawyer just happens to have completed one of those internships at Planned Parenthood and said that limiting internship opportunities disrupts freethinking, adding, “Freethinking does not always align with Catholic values.”

Yes, indeed. When caught with your finger in the cookie jar, claim plausible deniability. Then have all of your friends explain why it’s perfectly reasonably that your finger should be in the cookie jar.

What the NOW incident exposes is what may be a more radical approach emerging, namely, “Stick it in your ear.”

When will the nation’s Catholic bishops realize where this narrative is headed and set about righting the wrong?




To read The College Fix article, click on the following link:

To read The Motley Monk’s daily blog, Omnibus, click on the following link:

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7 Responses to The University of St. Thomas (St. Paul, MN) says, “Stick it in your ear!”

  • “When will the nation’s Catholic bishops realize where this narrative is headed and set about righting the wrong?”

    That assumes the bishops believe it is wrong. There are some who clearly don’t.

  • Phillip. Your dead on. Many Bishops are “freethinkers”. Supporting abortion as to not rock their flimsy canoe they placed themselves in.

    America Needs Fatima and TFP do an outstanding job defending the Faith.
    Thank you for giving credit to these brave young men and women. I was privileged to stand with them in Madison WI. years ago.

  • Couldn’t agree more. I would venture to say that a majority of bishops agree with this particular type of “freethinking”. At the synod on the family, the controversial paragraphs in the Relatio gained majority approval, just not two thirds approval. The canary has long since died. The few actually “Catholic” bishops left need to find their voice. In the U.S., Cardinal Burke can’t be the only one to put himself in harm’s way. God Bless him for doing so.

  • Father of seven.

    Cardinal Burke is heroic.

    A man truly and faithfully of Christ.

  • Pingback: Pope Francis Can't Change Church Alone by Eamon Duffy
  • Susan Meyers, claimed she was “completely unaware…”

    Completely clueless would be a better description. I don’t know what would concern me most: That she would blatantly lie about not knowing this was wrong; or that she may actually not know there was anything wrong with a “Catholic” school offering internships with Moloch. Either way, not good.

  • C Matt – my guess is that it was an intentional cluelessness, much to be gained by “hear no evil/see no evil”. God bless us all! Thank you for this excellent piece.

PopeWatch: Preventive Clarification

Saturday, January 31, AD 2015



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


Speaking to journalists at his residence inside the Vatican this morning, Pope Emeritus Benedict answered journalists’ questions concerning the currently debated question of whether or not the use of preventive clarifications is acceptable for Papal interviews.

“It is important not to attribute simplistically the comments made by the Pope during many of his off-the-cuff interviews to error,” Benedict said. “That would be a great inaccuracy. It is true that the history of this Pope contains a tendency to say random things that seem to anger some traditional Catholic sensibilities, but the fact is that he has not gone against the traditions of his predecessors.”

A  journalists from EOTT pressed him, asking the former head of the Catholic Church if the Catechism of the Catholic Church permits “preventive clarifications” in exceptional cases.

“The concept of preventive clarification does not appear in the Catechism,” Benedict stated, adding in clarification, “We cannot simply say that the Catechism does not justify clarifications of what Francis is going to say, but it is true that the Catechism has developed a doctrine which on one hand does not deny that man does have free will, that the Pope is a man, and therefore he, as man, can say things without considering how quickly the media can and will jump on anything he says without a second thought. The problem that we face, of course, is that Francis does not stick to script, but rather, tends to trail off into a wide variety of topics, so that even if we can justify preventive clarifications, how could the Vatican know beforehand when it’s time to clarify a yet-to-be-said statement, or what it is exactly that they are about to clarify? These are many of the questions that must be discussed.”

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6 Responses to PopeWatch: Preventive Clarification

  • The pope approved of the Relatio before the synod began. A heretical pope.

  • Here is an interesting attempt to achieve clarity, a hope to prevent preventive clarifications:

    ” The link below is to a petition first signed by Cardinal Raymond L. Burke, Cardinal Walter Brandmueller, Bishop Athanasius Schneider, among many other prominent Catholic personalities. It filially requests His Holiness Pope Francis, to make a clear statement upholding the traditional, orthodox teaching of the Church on the issues of Holy Communion for the divorced and “remarried”, and homosexual unions. The context of the petition is the present time of preparation for the upcoming Synod of Bishops on the Family. The petition is being circulated internationally in a number of different languages.

    I have just signed the petition and warmly encourage you to consider not only signing it, but also forwarding it to your own email contacts who you anticipate will be in sympathy with this important initiative. It can be accessed and signed at the following link. This is the kind of petition that needs not just tens, but hundreds of thousands of signatures to make a real impact. (And don’t worry – unlike so many petition drives, this one doesn’t have ‘strings attached’, and I mean tugging at your purse-strings!)

    Let us also pray and make sacrifices during the upcoming Lenten season with the intention that the October Synod and the Holy Father do not yield ground to the relentless and powerful spirit of the world, and firmly uphold Catholic teaching and discipline on these matters which are so vital for the well-being of marriage and the family. “

  • Thank you Patricia. Just signed. 🙂

  • Philip: I did, too. It’s a way to communicate the sense of apparent imbalance revealed in the outreach and rejection; and to defend faith, reason, and reverence. (which is becoming sadly necessary)

  • If The bishops will not uphold the Church the laity must do it.

    In the days of Arius the heretical bishop, the laity rose up, grabbed him out of his residence, threw him outside the city gate and closed the doors behind him.

  • Eye of the Tiber is slipping. Preventative Clarification would not be a matter for the Catechism but rather for Canon Law or the Apostolic Constitution. Oy Vey!

January 31, 1865: Passage of the Thirteenth Amendment

Saturday, January 31, AD 2015

Something for the weekend.  Battle Cry of Freedom.  After the fall elections in 1864 passage of the Thirteenth Amendment banning slavery was inevitable.  In 1864 the Thirteenth Amendment passed the Republican controlled Senate with an overwhelming majority of 38-6.  In the House the Amendment failed 93-65, thirteen votes shy of the two-thirds necessary for passage.  In November the Republicans in the House gained 46 seats and would have a majority of 134 when the new House was seated.  Nonetheless, the Lincoln administration was eager to undertake another vote in the House when the old Congress came into session after the election.  Lincoln made direct emotional appeals to several Democrats in favor of the Amendment.   Favors and appointments were offered to Democrats who switched their votes.  The Amendment passed 119-56.  Black spectators cheered after passage and several members of Congress openly wept.  Here is the text of the Amendment:

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Prelude to Axanar

Saturday, January 31, AD 2015

 Never attempt to force the pink skins onto thin ice!

Andorian maxim about Humans


Further proof that with Kickstarter, and other modes of alternative financing, and CGI technology being literally at our fingertips, we are rapidly reaching a world where the old Judy Garland-Mickey Rooney movies of the thirties, with complete amateurs somehow putting together a professional musical, can now be taken as prediction rather than fantasy.  The above video, Prelude to Axanar, is incredibly well done, a “retrospective” look by major participants in The Four Years War between the Klingons and the Federation.  It is in effect a Youtube advertisement for the forthcoming independent movie on the battle of Axanar, the decisive turning point in The Four Years War.  Trek fans rejoice.  Also rejoice those who are hungry for better quality entertainment than is slopped out by the networks, cable channels and the Hollywood studios.  Virtually any group now can put together entertainment of this quality.  Hey any Catholic group who wishes to put out quality movies on the saints.  A pathway now exists for you to do this.  O Brave New World!

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Reagan on FDR

Friday, January 30, AD 2015


Today is my bride’s birthday, a birthday she shares with Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  On this day, I think the remarks of President Reagan on the centennial of FDR’s birth need to be recalled.  Reagan of course supported FDR when Reagan was a New Deal Democrat.  As a Republican he attempted to correct the mistakes of the New Deal, but he never lost his admiration for the leadership shown by Roosevelt, many aspects of which Reagan during his Presidency shared.  Here are an excerpt of Reagan’s remarks:


We’re all here today to mark the centennial of one of history’s truly monumental figures, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Historians still debate the details of his intentions, his policies and their impact. But all agree that, like the Founding Fathers before him, F. D. R. was an American giant, a leader who shaped, inspired, and led our people through perilous times. He meant many different things to many different people. He could reach out to men and women of diverse races and backgrounds and inspire them with new hope and new confidence in war and peace.

Franklin Roosevelt was the first President I ever saw. I remember the moment vividly. It was in 1936, a campaign parade in Des Moines, Iowa. What a wave of affection and pride swept through that crowd as he passed by in an open car—which we haven’t seen a President able to do for a long time—a familiar smile on his lips, jaunty and confident, drawing from us reservoirs of confidence and enthusiasm some of us had forgotten we had during those hard years. Maybe that was F. D. R.’s greatest gift to us. He really did convince us that the only thing we had to fear was fear itself.

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3 Responses to Reagan on FDR

  • Happy Birthday Mrs. McClarey.
    Blessings and celestial warmth be yours.

  • What a lovely post for your wife and for all of us. I appreciate the sentiments expressed here by both of those presidents. God has blessed us with leaders in the past. I hope we can recognize and elect the leaders for today and for 2016 and after.

  • Thank you for the lovely birthday wishes, Philip & Anzlyne! I was born on Midway Island — and am extremely glad that the Battle of Midway was many years prior to my birthday! 😉

Papal Contradiction?

Friday, January 30, AD 2015

Pope and Friend



Well, in the space of a week, we have Pope Francis saying no, again, to proselytism:


The woman of Sychar asks Jesus about the place where God is truly worshiped. Jesus does not side with the mountain or the temple, but goes deeper. He goes to the heart of the matter, breaking down every wall of division. He speaks instead of the meaning of true worship: “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth” (Jn 4:24). So many past controversies between Christians can be overcome when we put aside all polemical or apologetic approaches, and seek instead to grasp more fully what unites us, namely, our call to share in the mystery of the Father’s love revealed to us by the Son through the Holy Spirit. Christian unity – we are convinced – will not be the fruit of subtle theoretical discussions in which each party tries to convince the other of the soundness of their opinions. When the Son of Man comes, he will find us still discussing! We need to realize that, to plumb the depths of the mystery of God, we need one another, we need to encounter one another and to challenge one another under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, who harmonizes diversities, overcomes conflicts, reconciles differences.

Gradually the Samaritan woman comes to realize that the one who has asked her for a drink is able to slake her own thirst. Jesus in effect tells her that he is the source of living water which can satisfy her thirst for ever (cf. Jn 4:13-14). Our human existence is marked by boundless aspirations: we seek truth, we thirst for love, justice and freedom. These desires can only be partially satisfied, for from the depths of our being we are prompted to seek “something more”, something capable of fully quenching our thirst. The response to these aspirations is given by God in Jesus Christ, in his paschal mystery. From the pierced side of Jesus there flowed blood and water (cf. Jn 19:34). He is the brimming fount of the water of the Holy Spirit, “the love of God poured into our hearts (Rom 5:5) on the day of our baptism. By the working of the Holy Spirit, we have become one in Christ, sons in the Son, true worshipers of the Father. This mystery of love is the deepest ground of the unity which binds all Christians and is much greater than their historical divisions. To the extent that we humbly advance towards the Lord, then, we also draw nearer to one another.

Her encounter with Jesus made the Samaritan women a missionary. Having received a greater and more important gift than mere water from a well, she leaves her jar behind (cf. Jn 4:28) and runs back to tell her townspeople that she has met the Christ (cf. Jn 4:29). Her encounter with Jesus restored meaning and joy to her life, and she felt the desire to share this with others. Today there are so many men and women around us who are weary and thirsting, and who ask us Christians to give them something to drink. It is a request which we cannot evade. In the call to be evangelizers, all the Churches and Ecclesial Communities discover a privileged setting for closer cooperation. For this to be effective, we need to stop being self-enclosed, exclusive, and bent on imposing a uniformity based on merely human calculations (cf. Evangelii Gaudium, 131). Our shared commitment to proclaiming the Gospel enables us to overcome proselytism and competition in all their forms. All of us are at the service of the one Gospel!

Then we have this:

They scorn the others, they stay away from the community as a whole, they stay away from the people of God, they have privatized salvation: salvation is for me and my small group, but not for all the people of God.  And this is a very serious mistake.  It’s what we see and call: ‘the ecclesial elites.’  When these small groups are created within the community of God’s people, these people believe they are being good Christians and also are acting in good faith maybe, but they are small groups who have privatized salvation.”

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32 Responses to Papal Contradiction?

  • “they are small groups who have privatized salvation.”
    How does one privatize divinity?

  • “They scorn the others, they stay away from the community as a whole, they stay away from the people of God, they have privatized salvation: salvation is for me and my small group, but not for all the people of God. And this is a very serious mistake. It’s what we see and call: ‘the ecclesial elites.’ When these small groups are created within the community of God’s people, these people believe they are being good Christians and also are acting in good faith maybe, but they are small groups who have privatized salvation.”

    Here speaks the elite of elites, with a group of elite advisors, teaching the poor ‘community’ a divisive, unreasonable way to think about those who would uphold the deposit of the Faith as troublesome to plans for wholesaling ‘salvation’.

  • I’m coming to the conclusion that interpreting him is something of a fool’s errand. He’s so amorphous, broadbrush and vague in his spiritual condemnations that it’s like trying to catch a cloud in a butterfly net. For example, this one strikes me as a heat-seeking missile aimed at such groups as the Neocatechumenical Way, whose modus operandi is to create a parish within a parish. Or it’s also a good fit for the Legion of Christ, too.

    But neither are traditionalists, and I agree that the latter are his bête noire. But it still fits that kind of group (NCs/LCs) best.

    Who knows? The one thing you can be certain about is that it won’t be clarified.

  • And the other thing to consider is that he seems to indulge non-Catholics, lavishing them with a generosity he generally denies the wrong kind of Catholics. That explains the sweeping endorsement in the first speech. Though I think he was on to something with the “ecumenism of blood” idea, which is a keeper–that is an undeniable truth, and an excellent turn of phrase. Too bad it was swaddled in a blanket of “I’m OK, You’re OK” beforehand.

  • “Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword. For I have come to set a man ‘against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one’s enemies will be those of his household.’” – Matthew 10:34-36

    “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing! There is a baptism with which I must be baptized, and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished! Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. From now on a household of five will be divided, three against two and two against three; a father will be divided against his son and a son against his father, a mother against her daughter and a daughter against her mother, a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.” – Luke 12:49-53

    “The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid. Otherwise it is more akin to a sewer, taking in all things equally.” ~ G.K.Chesterton

  • One recalls Mgr Ronald Knox, in his magnum opus Enthusiasm: “There is, I would say, a recurrent situation in Church history – using the word ‘church’ in the widest sense – where an excess of charity threatens unity. You have a clique, an élite, of Christian men and (more importantly) women, who are trying to live a less worldly life than their neighbours; to be more attentive to the guidance (directly felt, they would tell you) of the Holy Spirit…The pattern is always repeating itself, not in outline merely but in detail. Almost always, the enthusiastic movement is denounced as an innovation, yet claims to be preserving, or to be restoring, the primitive discipline of the Church… ”

    From Montanists, Novatians and Donatists to Quietists and Jansenists, the history of the Church is littered with them.

    The upshot, too, is always the same, “There is provocation on both sides; on the one part, cheap jokes at the expense of over-godliness, acts of stupid repression by unsympathetic authorities; on the other, contempt of the half-Christian, ominous references to old wine and new bottles, to the kernel and the husk. Then, while you hold your breath and turn away your eyes in fear, the break comes; condemnation or secession, what difference does it make? A fresh name has been added to the list of Christianities.”

  • “The encounter by the Samaritan woman with Christ at the well seems to be a symbol for this type of Christianity: long on an emotional encounter with Christ and short on doctrines and rules.”

    That is quite a stretch.

    The Holy Father may mean no more than Bl John Henry Newman, when he wrote, “The heart is commonly reached, not through the reason, but through the imagination, by means of direct impressions, by the testimony of facts and events, by history, by description. Persons influence us, voices melt us, looks subdue us, deeds inflame us. Many a man will live and die upon a dogma: no man will be a martyr for a conclusion.”

    Hence, he says “If an image derived from experience or information is stronger than an abstraction, conception, or conclusion—if I am more arrested by our Lord’s bearing before Pilate and Herod than by the “Justum et tenacem” &c. of the poet, more arrested by His Voice saying to us, “Give to him that asketh thee,” than by the best arguments of the Economist against indiscriminate almsgiving, it does not matter for my present purpose whether the objects give strength to the apprehension or the apprehension gives large admittance into the mind to the object. It is in human nature to be more affected by the concrete than by the abstract.” In this, he agrees with Aristotle: Λόγοσ ούδέν κινεί – Reason moves nothing

  • “I’m coming to the conclusion that interpreting him is something of a fool’s errand.”

    I’m coming to the same conclusion Dale. I think that when Pope Francis comes down on positive subjects he is generally on the money, though his reasons are frequently too ‘pastoral’ and lack theological rigor. When he comes down on negative subjects it is a different story – here he is again right on the money with the corrosive spiritual outcomes of atheistic materialist culture, but he gets much wrong: traditionalist Christians, Islam, capitalism being just three examples.

    I think he definitely has a vision of the church that is worthy of attention. It is also a vision that is so broad and far reaching that it cannot avoid leading into contradictions that arise from a lack of rigor and meticulousness. If he can’t be more careful then it is more important that the rest of us be careful for him.

  • This quote from his talk is important to notice: ““His (Jesus) attitude tells us that encounter with those who are different from ourselves can make us grow.”

    ! Once again our pope is calling for latitude in the attitude. Jesus’ attitude. This story of the encounter with the Samaritan woman was not about Jesus having an attitude of willingness to change and grow. God does not change.
    The woman knew who He was,, where he was from, what he believed and she asked Him: “then bring me this water…” After her willingness to hear Him about her own personal life, did she go back to town and ask others if this could be the Messiah.
    Jesus spoke of true worship spirit and truth in the same way prophets had. The people of Jesus’ day had the same problems they had in Isaiah’s and Jeremiah’s days.
    Jesus did not change his teaching (knocking down walls of division) to suit the woman or the Samaritan way of life. He called her to higher understanding of truth.
    What connects the people of Samaria and those of Judah is their sinfulness, and the remedy for both is the worship in spirit and truth.
    God calls shepherds or pastors to account in Jeremiah 23:1 “Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! says the Lord.”
    Jeremiah 23:13
    In the prophets of Samaria
    I saw a disgusting thing:
    they prophesied by Baal
    and led my people Israel astray.
    14 But in the prophets of Jerusalem
    I have seen a more shocking thing:
    they commit adultery and walk in lies;
    they strengthen the hands of evildoers,
    so that no one turns from wickedness;
    all of them have become like Sodom to me,
    and its inhabitants like Gomorrah.

    in Samaria….”Led my people Israel astray”… but more shocking in Jerusalem — “strengthen the hand of evildoers, so that no one turns from wickedness….”

  • I think the Pope displays an inner confidence in Catholicism such that if all Catholics strive to LIVE the Good News as Catholics there would be no need to proselytize, since THE TRUTH, Jesus Himself, draws all men to Himself. Further, those who do proselytize are like the last in a chain of ‘oral’ re-presenters whose truth has become so distorted as to become unrecognizable. Thousands of ‘splintered’ Christian denominations and sects testify to this. Jesus’ prayer ‘THAT ALL MAY BE ONE’ has not yet been achieved…!!!

  • Disagree Fran. Jesus did not say “if necessary use words”. I understand Francis ( the saint) did not actually say it either. Yes I do agree that our actions are powerful witness. But it is not enough for us to withdraw from speech and silently live holy lives. Words are almost always necessary.

  • “I think the Pope displays an inner confidence in Catholicism such that if all Catholics strive to LIVE the Good News as Catholics there would be no need to proselytize”

    Judging from history such confidence would be completely unwarranted. It also flies in the face of Christ’s command to go forth and make disciples of all the nations.

  • “I understand Francis ( the saint) did not actually say it either.”

    Yeah, the phrase pops up in 1990’s, and has been endlessly attributed to Saint Francis ever since. Saint Francis is the mother lode when it comes to someone who has quotes falsely attributed to him:

  • To clarify my earlier comment, PREACHING is not the same as Proselytizing…one continues to TELL THE GOOD NEWS, while the other attempts to ‘CONVERT’ to one’s ideology. The many sects and denominations attest to taking a piece or pieces of truth and corrupting and distorting its original meaning. JESUS IS THE TRUTH and He can not be divided…and so the Church’s ONENESS…!!!

  • I think the Pope displays an inner confidence in Catholicism such that if all Catholics strive to LIVE the Good News as Catholics there would be no need to proselytize,

    I think the Pope displays the unseriousness of the ecclesiastical people pleaser.

  • Being nice and broad minded today seems to indicate that good manners would make one refrain from proselytizing… after all, it’s one just one ideology or another. Mine against yours.
    The point of evangelizing, of telling the good news, is to encourage conversion, to encourage acceptance of Jesus as Savior. It is true that the many sects and denominations tells the sad story of fracturing Truth into bits and pieces. That is why proselytizing the Truth of the Catholic Faith is so important.

  • We proselytize because we want all men to be saved, which can be done only through the sacraments and worship in the one true Church founded by Jesus, who says He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. If one is in a false religion, we do him no service by allowing him to stay and die in that state. To say that proselytism is solemn nonsense as Francis has is the real solemn nonsense and shows a complete disregard for the highest love, which is that a soul is saved.

    If one believes that all religions are the same, or that there are other ways to salvation outside of the Church, then one is a heretic if one is a Catholic.

    This homily was a muddled contradictory and insulting attack on real Catholics, who abide by the Commandments, try to practice the virtues and the works of mercy and develop in sanctity, attend Mass, receive the sacraments, do penance, and believe and abide by all the dogmas of the Faith. Those are the ones, who actually practice the Faith and those are the ones he was putting down as ecclesial elites.

    He says we’re saved as a people and there is no privatized salvation. That’s nonsense: we are given free will, to choose good or evil, to obey the commandments or not, to live according to the dogmas of the Faith or not, to receive the sacraments or not, to pray or not, to repent or not. By its very nature, one’s individual salvation is fundamentally a private affair, helped along by others, but ultimately is our individual choice to want it or not, and the final decision is not ours, but Jesus’.

    Moreover, Francis says quite clearly that we’re already saved, which for Catholics is not the Faith but a heresy.

    I wrote more extensively on this on my own blog a couple of days ago at

  • And here I thought it was the Lord Jesus Christ Himself Who said:”Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you..”! NO?

  • Anzlyne wrote, “This story of the encounter with the Samaritan woman was not about Jesus having an attitude of willingness to change and grow. God does not change.”
    “And Jesus advanced (προέκοπτεν) in wisdom, and age, and grace with God and men.” – Luke 2:52
    We are not, I hope, Apollonarians.

  • We must be very careful to balance what you say with the teaching of the Council of Orange:

    Canon 3. If anyone says that the grace of God can be conferred as a result of human prayer, but that it is not grace itself which makes us pray to God, he contradicts the prophet Isaiah, or the Apostle who says the same thing, “I have been found by those who did not seek me; I have shown myself to those who did not ask for me” (Rom 10:20, quoting Isa. 65:1).

    Canon 4. If anyone maintains that God awaits our will to be cleansed from sin, but does not confess that even our will to be cleansed comes to us through the infusion and working of the Holy Spirit, he resists the Holy Spirit himself who says through Solomon, “The will is prepared by the Lord” (Prov. 8:35, LXX), and the salutary word of the Apostle, “For God is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13).

    Canon 6. If anyone says that God has mercy upon us when, apart from his grace, we believe, will, desire, strive, labour, pray, watch, study, seek, ask, or knock, but does not confess that it is by the infusion and inspiration of the Holy Spirit within us that we have the faith, the will, or the strength to do all these things as we ought; or if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, “What have you that you did not receive?” (1 Cor. 4:7), and, “But by the grace of God I am what I am” (1 Cor. 15:10).

  • My last comment was a reply to Steven Hansen, “we are given free will, to choose good or evil, to obey the commandments or not, to live according to the dogmas of the Faith or not, to receive the sacraments or not, to pray or not, to repent or not.”

  • Michael Patterson, you are very correct. I was not saying that we are practicing Catholics because we give ourselves the grace to do so, nor was I saying that we can obtain or achieve Faith and salvation because of our sheer sole will to have them without Grace. Faith is a pure gift, given to everyone, but we must receive that gift. Many refuse the gift. After we accept the gift, we can choose to ignore what the Spirit has prompted and enables us to do. The Holy Spirit gives us the ability to say “Jesus is Lord” but we can choose to say it or not. The Holy Spirit prompts us to go to Mass, but we can choose to ignore that and stay home, and many do. Those who follow the prompts, who strive to respond to the gift of Faith are now the disparaged “ecclesial elites”, whom Francis accuses falsely of placing themselves separate and apart.

    The main problem here is that we’re trying to interpret and reinterpret contradictory stupidity at its core. By its nature, no one really knows what the heck was actually meant. That’s my take on what Francis meant based upon his words, but he could truly believe he meant something else even though his words ought to be taken as they are objectively defined and understood.

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour, I should have written. Sorry.

  • Steven Hansen wrote, “After we accept the gift, we can choose to ignore what the Spirit has prompted and enables us to do.”

    But, according to St Augustine, writing against the Pelagians, who held grace is either efficacious on account of man’s consent to the good, or inefficacious on account of the evil will of man, efficacious grace ensures that we shall never want to.

    “If, therefore, you confess that to persevere to the end in good is God’s gift, I think that equally with me you are ignorant why one man should receive this gift and another should not receive it; and in this case we are both unable to penetrate the unsearchable judgments of God. Or if you say that it pertains to man’s free will—which you defend, not in accordance with God’s grace, but in opposition to it—that any one should persevere in good, or should not persevere, and it is not by the gift of God if he persevere, but by the performance of human will, why will you strive against the words of Him who says, “I have prayed for you, Peter, that your faith fail not”? (Luke 22:32) Will you dare to say that even when Christ prayed that Peter’s faith might not fail, it would still have failed if Peter had willed it to fail; that is, if he had been unwilling that it should continue even to the end? As if Peter could in any measure will otherwise than Christ had asked for him that he might will. For who does not know that Peter’s faith would then have perished if that will by which he was faithful should fail, and that it would have continued if that same will should abide? But because “the will is prepared by the Lord,” (Proverbs 8:35 LXX) therefore Christ’s petition on his behalf could not be a vain petition. When, then, He prayed that Peter’s faith should not fail, what was it that He asked for, but that in his faith Peter should have a most free, strong, invincible, persevering will! Behold to what an extent the freedom of the will is defended in accordance with the grace of God, not in opposition to it; because the human will does not attain grace by freedom, but rather attains freedom by grace, and a delightful constancy, and an insuperable fortitude that it may persevere.”

  • I am speaking of the choices to be made to either follow the prompts of grace daily or not and it is by our free will that we make the choice to sin or not. Grace does not prevent us from sinning no more than it causes us to sin, unless we ask for its assistance. St. Augustine is speaking here of perseverance which is only possible by grace, by which we repent, seek forgiveness, get back up and try again, but not abandoning the Faith, even though we sin. Indeed, these are the among the gifts we receive at confirmation from the Holy Spirit. However, by our sin we can be cut off from Grace. Through our sins, we can make our situation worse, persist in our refusal to repent, and lose our salvation. That’s not to say though that through the prayers of others, God cannot lead us back. It happens all the time. Yet, some people refuse to follow because of their obstinate pride. God gives us freedom to choose to do or not. Otherwise, we are just puppets on a string with no freedom. As we know, God loves us too much for that.

    St. Augustine wrote a treatise on predestination, where your quote might come from, but I seem to recall that his ideas on this were refuted by the Church and perhaps even by himself later in life. I have a copy and read it some time ago. You’ve made me want to revisit it.

  • Steven Hansen

    St Thomas teaches that “Since the love of God is the cause of the goodness of things, no one would be better than another, if God did not will a greater good to one than to another.” [ST Ia, q. 20, a. 3] He also says in article 4 of the same Question and also in Ia, q. 23, a. 4: “In God, love precedes election.”

    Obviously, the person who keeps the commandments is better than the one who is able to do so, but does not. Therefore, he who keeps the commandments is more beloved and assisted by God. In short, God loves that person, to whom He grants that he keep the commandments, more than another in whom He permits sin.

    This principle of predilection presupposes, according to St. Thomas, a decree of the divine will rendering our salutary acts intrinsically efficacious [ST Ia, q. 19, a. 8]. For, if they were efficacious on account of our foreseen consent, of two people equally loved and helped by God, one would be better in some respect. He would be better of himself alone and not on account of divine predilection.

    The Bible bears this out. “I will have mercy on whom I will, and I will be merciful to whom it shall please Me” (Exod. 33:19); and “For who distinguisheth thee? Or what hast thou that thou hast not received?” (I Cor. 4:7.) And, again, “So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.” (Rom 9:16)

  • As a Catholic I know that God loves all of us. Also as a Catholic I find musings as to the gradations of God’s love and speculations as to the interplay between such putative gradations and one’s obedience to His commandments to be worse than unprofitable, other than to say that any suggestion that a man’s failure to cooperate with God’s grace is a product of God’s decision to love him insufficiently is wholly incompatible with Catholic teaching and Christian Tradition as properly understood.

  • Mike Petrik

    The teaching of St Augustine and St Thomas is really very simple

    No good, here and now, in this man rather than in another, comes about unless God Himself graciously wills and accomplishes it, and no evil, here and now, in this man rather than another, comes about unless God Himself justly permits it to be done. Nevertheless, God does not command the impossible, and grants even to those who do not actually observe His commandments the power of observing them.
    But those who observe His commandments are better than others and would not keep them in fact, had not God from eternity efficaciously decreed that they should observe these precepts. Thus, these good servants of God are more beloved and assisted by Him than others, although God does not command the impossible of the others.

  • These are very precious theological musings for sure, Michael, but to the extent that they can be construed to endorse predestination and the silly concept of the elect over free will and God’s love for us all, I hold with the latter and His Church.

  • Michael Petrik

    We must also avoid the Pelagian heresy, according to which grace is either efficacious on account of man’s consent to the good, or inefficacious on account of the evil will of man.I believe it is very widespread today.

    But St Augustine says, “Who would dare to affirm that God has no method of calling whereby even Esau might have applied his mind and yoked his will to the faith in which Jacob was justified? But if the obstinacy of the will can be such that the mind’s aversion from all modes of calling becomes hardened, the question is whether that very hardening does not come from some divine penalty, as if God abandons a man by not calling him in the way in which he might be moved to faith. Who would dare to affirm that the Omnipotent lacked a method of persuading even Esau to believe?” (Ad Simplician, 13-14)

  • Michael, just to be clear — are you saying that the Church teaches heresy, Pelagian or otherwise?

  • Michael Petrik

    Of course the Church does not teach heresy – but many in the Church do.

    Many, one trusts, are in the position described by Macaulay, “We know through what strange loopholes the human mind contrives to escape, when it wishes to avoid a disagreeable inference from an admitted proposition.”

PopeWatch: If Only the Tsar Knew!

Friday, January 30, AD 2015

12 Responses to PopeWatch: If Only the Tsar Knew!

  • “…absolute majority..”

    That’s a popular dirty martini concoction in Rome. Now his remarks makes sense.
    Party On!

  • Of course the Tsar knew. It is the Church of Francis after all. Contrary to another post, it does have doctrines and rules. We’re seeing some of those new doctrines expressed in the Relatio. There certainly are new rules as well, such as regards the TLM. Nature always abhors a vacuum.

  • “We as a Church want consensus.”
    Stercus Tauri!
    Truth is NOT determined by consensus.

  • Being a protestant (as opposed to being a modernist or personality cultist), I believe Objective Truth is not susceptible to a vote or to renovation.

  • I trust that statement was sarcasm, T Shaw.

  • Go here to read the rest. A wise policy to follow is that in the absence of solid evidence to the contrary, always assume that the man at the top of an organization fully endorses the current policies and initiatives of that organization.

    Francis’ bad acts are initiatives at the apex and center of the Church.

    The trouble you had a dozen years ago was the Dreher strand of thinking which expected the Vatican (whose total census of employees was in the lower four digits, from the Secretary of State to the janitors) to repair diseased dioceses or the Podles strand of thinking who fancied that the Vatican was somehow responsible in remediable ways for bad institutional cultures on the ground. The Pope has 3,000 bishops reporting to him. There was never the manpower in Rome to supervise diocesan administration and tiles Podles idea that some tiles in the mosaic of canon law were decisive is severely implausible. That’s not to say the Vatican did not do injurious things (the Paul Vi and Cdl. O’Boyle; John Paul II’s master of ceremonies; the Assissi mess; the failures vis a vis SSPX), it’s just that another bit of information in the flood of memoranda the Pope receives is just that and the implications of the Tsar knowing something are much more circumscribed than one might imagine. (That having been said, the Cdl-Archbishops who had been delinquent actors should have been removed forthwith: Law, Egan, and Mahoney at least; the Holy See was astonishingly patient with Grahmann of Dallas as well).

  • (Other bad acts: the 1970 missal, the effective suppression of the 1962 missal, the post-hoc blessing for girl acolytes, the Jadot bishops, the failed system for vetting episcopal nominations…).

  • Who knows, maybe the Holy Spirit did choose Bergoglio in order to expose him and the rest of the modernists in the Church that have been undermining the faith for the last 50 years. Afterall, it’s better to get these clowns out in the open so we know who our enemies are.

  • “Revised Praxis: To be granted to achieve the more active participation in the Novus Ordo Mass. The table of the Eucharist is to be extended and or supplemented with auxiliary tables in such a way as to provide for the new useful and necessary self-service ministry and for the restoration of the People’s Liturgical Buffet Eucharist Distribution Table.” CNN

  • “May God bless and kep the Tsar….Far away from us!”
    . (Tevye – Fiddler on the Roof)

  • steve: “Afterall, it’s better to get these clowns out in the open so we know who our enemies are.”
    Steve, right on!

  • Actually, it wasn’t Tevye, it was the town’s Rabbi who said that prayer.

January 30, 1865: Sherman’s March Through South Carolina Begins

Friday, January 30, AD 2015



On this day Sherman began his march through the Carolinas, with his ultimate destination Lee’s army, trapping it between his army and Grant’s army.  Most Union troops had very little love for the Palmetto State, blaming it for starting the War, and Sherman’s boys were strictly on their worst behavior in South Carolina, as this diary entry by Lieutenant Colonel George Nichols, a Union staff officer, indicates:

January 30th-The actual invasion of South Carolina has begun. The 17th Corps and that portion of the 15th which came around by way of Thunderbolt Beaufort moved out this morning, on parallel roads, in the direction of McPhersonville. The 17th Corps took the road nearest the Salkahatchie River. We expect General Corse, with the 4th Division of the 15th Corps, to join us at a point higher up. The 14th and 20th Corps will take the road to Robertville, nearer the Savannah River. Since General Howard started with the 17th we have heard the sound of many guns in his direction. To-day is the first really fine weather we have had since starting, and the roads have improved. It was wise not to cut them up during the rains, for we can now move along comfortably. The well-known sight of columns of black smoke meets our gaze again; this time houses are burning, and South Carolina has commenced to pay an installment, long overdue, on her debt to justice and humanity. With the help of God, we will have principal and interest before we leave her borders. There is a terrible gladness in the realization of so many hopes and wishes. This cowardly traitor state, secure from harm, as she thought, in her central position, with hellish haste dragged her Southern sisters into the caldron of secession. Little did she dream that the hated flag would again wave over her soil; but this bright morning a thousand Union banners are floating in the breeze , and the ground trembles beneath the tramp of thousands of brave Northmen, who know their mission, and will perform it to the end.

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2 Responses to January 30, 1865: Sherman’s March Through South Carolina Begins

Smedley Butler and the Plot Against FDR

Thursday, January 29, AD 2015


In November 1934 Major General Smedley Butler made headlines by alleging that he had been in contact with businessmen since July 1, 1933 who wanted him to lead a coup attempt against FDR.  The allegations became known as the Business Plot.  Congressional hearings concluded that there might be some substance behind the allegations, but that they could not be confirmed.



Contemporary press accounts indicate a wide spread belief that Butler fabricated the whole thing. Butler was passed over as Commandant of the Marine Corp in 1931 because he publicly accused Mussolini, falsely, in a speech of having run over a child. He never got over it and he ran unsuccessfully for the Senate in 1932 as a Republican. He then turned hard left, attacking capitalism and the military as being gangsters for the capitalists. That is what makes his entire idea of a fascist plot against FDR so laughable. By 1934 he was known as an ardent supporter of FDR and yet shadowy plutocrats wanted him to command a coup against Roosevelt? FDR obviously thought it was rubbish as there were no criminal prosecutions by the Feds of anyone named by Butler. Butler was a very brave man as attested by his two Medals of Honor. He was also a fabulist, to put it politely, of the first order.

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8 Responses to Smedley Butler and the Plot Against FDR

  • An old French diplomat once told me that there would never be a military coup in the United States; there is no American embassy in the United States.

  • Well MPS, the French certainly have the expertise when it comes to military coups.

  • Ego and guts (arete and hubris in Greek tragedy) but, apparently, he had little or no moral courage/foundation. How could a morally grounded person flip from early-twenth-century Republican (unsuccessful Senate candidate) to uber-bolshevist – one more “useful idiot”? The conspiracy theory contra FDR may shed light.

    He remains a darling of the post-modern, American useful idiot, aka Obama-worshipping imbecile.

  • “Well MPS, the French certainly have the expertise when it comes to military coups.”

    Ouch! What a double edged dagger! The French may have one type of expertise overseas, but another at home! Considering the aftermath of the Dreyfuss Affair and the OAS attempts on De Gaulle, the home grown attempts look more like Inspector Clouseau on steroids.

  • Ah, but one of the first military coups was one of the most successful: Napoleon toppling the Directory.

  • True, but the Directory may have been easy pickings after all of its fratricidal violence and anarchy. As a relief, Napoleon Bonaparte then becomes the exception proving the rule, as the saying goes.

  • 🙂 I thought it funny Michael

  • TomD wrote, “Considering the aftermath of the Dreyfuss Affair and the OAS attempts on De Gaulle, the home grown attempts look more like Inspector Clouseau on steroids.”
    Who can forget the coup of 2 December 1851, when Prince Louis-Napoléon, then President of the Second Republic, organised a successful military coup to overthrow himself, leading to the establishment of the Second Empire?
    Marx sardonically observed, “Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.”
    John Clerk’s words to the second Lord Meadowbank are equally applicable to the uncle and the nephew; on that judge doubting the distinction between “also” and “likewise,” Clerk retorted, “Your Lordship’s father was Lord Meadowbank ; your Lordship is Lord Meadowbank also, but not likewise.”

Belated Feast Day of the Angelic Doctor

Thursday, January 29, AD 2015

As a highly Pagan poet said to me: “The Reformation happened because people hadn’t the brains to understand Aquinas.”

GK Chesterton


I can’t believe I forgot to post on the feast day yesterday of the Angelic Doctor!  (Too much work in the law mines was the culprit!)  I try to always remember his perfect synthesis of faith and intellect every January 28.  Too many people think these attributes are opposites which helps to explain why the world is in such a mess today.  I think what is appealing most to me about Aquinas is his optimism.  He lived in the thirteenth century, nicknamed the Glorious Century, a true turning point in history when Christendom began to assert traits that would lead to revolutions in so many fields.  Aquinas never doubted that the new knowledge about the World was no jeopardy to the Faith, and it has not been, so long as faith and reason work in alliance.  We go badly astray when these two essential components of a complete human are viewed as adversaries.


At the end of his life, the Angelic Doctor had a mystical experience before the Eucharist and stopped writing.  When asked about it, he said that what he had seen made all of his writings seem like mere straw in comparison.  His writings will endure as long as Man endures, a tribute to what the human mind, enlightened by Faith, can accomplish.  However, it is his sublime and victorious faith in Christ which is his real monument.

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7 Responses to Belated Feast Day of the Angelic Doctor

  • Would St. Thomas Aquinas agree with this quote on Dante?

    “His (Dante’s) purpose is to put such (secular) wisdom in its proper place by making it subservient to God, by whom it was ordained to serve man’s practical intellectual needs, and by excluding it from all questions touching matters of faith.” Archibald T. MacAllister, July 7, 1961, in his Introduction to The Purgatorio, Dante Alighieri, translated by John Ciardi.

  • Since the quote is completely untrue as to Dante, I am certain that Saint Thomas would disagree. The Angelic Doctor would of course disagree that there is any distinction between secular wisdom and wisdom and he would always contend that wisdom is in no way antithetical to the Faith.

  • Thomas addressed this question on page one of the Summa.

    “Sciences are differentiated according to the various means through which knowledge is obtained. For the astronomer and the physicist both may prove the same conclusion: that the earth, for instance, is round: the astronomer by means of mathematics (i.e. abstracting from matter), but the physicist by means of matter itself. Hence there is no reason why those things which may be learned from philosophical science, so far as they can be known by natural reason, may not also be taught us by another science so far as they fall within revelation. Hence theology included in sacred doctrine differs in kind from that theology which is part of philosophy.”

    I love that. Not only is it intellectually perfect, it disproves the myth that people thought the earth was flat before Columbus. I love…every word Aquinas wrote, really. He didn’t lack passion, but he wrote for the purpose of transmitting knowledge without relying on emotional appeal. I’ve never much cared for writers like Augustine.

    A tangent – I don’t know if any of you are familiar with Myers-Briggs, but to my thinking, Aquinas is the patron saint of NT’s. It speaks to something that Chesterton wrote, that since we can only be fulfilled by Christ, He is fulfilling to every type of person. The Church is filled with people of different personalities, strengths, interests, et cetera, because she truly is universal. Chesterton was an SP, and was naturally drawn to Francis of Assisi.

    And to go big picture on this, let me go back to the passage from the Summa. Just as all of our true personal needs can be fulfilled only in Christ, so all of the our intellectual pursuits inevitably lead to Truth. There’s a harmony that the 13th century understood that we really don’t understand today.

  • One step I forgot to include in that comment – Aquinas saw all methods of pursuing truth as compatible, because he believed in one Truth. He wouldn’t have divided types of wisdom, as implied in T. Shaw’s quote, although he would have recognized that they use different methods and may be more or less applicable to a particular problem.

    And that quote seems like a terrible description of Dante, as well. Maybe it makes more sense in context.

  • “…The Angelic Doctor had a mystical experience before the Eucharist and stopped writing. When asked about it, he said that what he had seen made all of his writings seem like mere straw in comparison.”

    And now, I cannot but help but think of the recently late Fr. Richard D. McBrien, and what must have been his experience in relationship to his much-revered writings, say, about 30 seconds after he passed beyond this early veil.

  • “I can’t believe I forgot to post on the feast day yesterday of the Angelic Doctor!”
    I am amazed at how much you must accomplish in the 24 hrs. of your day.
    Thank you for providing such interesting stories, articles and video clips on a variety of subjects and always with the One True Faith in mind.

The Left Eats Their Own

Thursday, January 29, AD 2015


Well this is interesting.  Jonathan Chait, uberliberal, writes an article for New York Magazine decrying political correctness:

But it would be a mistake to categorize today’s p.c. culture as only an academic phenomenon. Political correctness is a style of politics in which the more radical members of the left attempt to regulate political discourse by defining opposing views as bigoted and illegitimate. Two decades ago, the only communities where the left could exert such hegemonic control lay within academia, which gave it an influence on intellectual life far out of proportion to its numeric size. Today’s political correctness flourishes most consequentially on social media, where it enjoys a frisson of cool and vast new cultural reach. And since social media is also now the milieu that hosts most political debate, the new p.c. has attained an influence over mainstream journalism and commentary beyond that of the old.

It also makes money. Every media company knows that stories about race and gender bias draw huge audiences, making identity politics a reliable profit center in a media industry beset by insecurity. A year ago, for instance, a photographer compiled images of Fordham students displaying signs recounting “an instance of racial microaggression they have faced.” The stories ranged from uncomfortable (“No, where are you really from?”) to relatively innocuous (“ ‘Can you read this?’ He showed me a Japanese character on his phone”). BuzzFeed published part of her project, and it has since received more than 2 million views. This is not an anomaly.

In a short period of time, the p.c. movement has assumed a towering presence in the psychic space of politically active people in general and the left in particular. “All over social media, there dwell armies of unpaid but widely read commentators, ready to launch hashtag campaigns and circulate petitions in response to the slightest of identity-politics missteps,” Rebecca Traister wrote recently in The New Republic.

Two and a half years ago, Hanna Rosin, a liberal journalist and longtime friend, wrote a book called The End of Men, which argued that a confluence of social and economic changes left women in a better position going forward than men, who were struggling to adapt to a new postindustrial order. Rosin, a self-identified feminist, has found herself unexpectedly assailed by feminist critics, who found her message of long-term female empowerment complacent and insufficiently concerned with the continuing reality of sexism. One Twitter hashtag, “#RIPpatriarchy,” became a label for critics to lampoon her thesis. Every new continuing demonstration of gender discrimination — a survey showing Americans still prefer male bosses; a person noticing a man on the subway occupying a seat and a half — would be tweeted out along with a mocking #RIPpatriarchy.

Her response since then has been to avoid committing a provocation, especially on Twitter. “If you tweet something straight­forwardly feminist, you immediately get a wave of love and favorites, but if you tweet something in a cranky feminist mode then the opposite happens,” she told me. “The price is too high; you feel like there might be banishment waiting for you.” Social media, where swarms of jeering critics can materialize in an instant, paradoxically creates this feeling of isolation. “You do immediately get the sense that it’s one against millions, even though it’s not.” Subjects of these massed attacks often describe an impulse to withdraw.

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5 Responses to The Left Eats Their Own

  • Q: What is public about NPR? It seems to be a sounding board for DNC. Are govt. funds commingled with the donations to support and propagate leftist views? If our tax dollars do support NPR then views contrary to the left should have equal air time.

  • Virtually all media discourse is liberal no matter the outlet. I now avoid all of it because it is so dull and insipid resulting from the base of lies on which it is based. The only media outlets I frequent are from an orthodox Catholic point of view. I just have no interest in engaging. My liberal friends miss fighting with me but I’ve passed through that phase thanks to the Holy Spirit. You really have to have a fourth grade mind to partake of mainstream media and find it satisfying at all, or the deluded mind of a liberal. Gotcha, name calling, made up “isms” and “ists” is all they have.

  • Back in November there was a bit of a kerfluffle where they found out one of their loudest voices was…well, just being a nasty bully against people who weren’t really doing bad-think. People who were on their own side. What the heck they expected out of someone called “Required Hate,” I have no idea. (Link is to Mrs. Hoyt’s reaction to some loon trying to shift the blame on to an acceptable target. Herself.)

  • Regulating discourse by defining opposing views as bigoted and illegitimate …
    to assume a towering presence in the psychic space of …
    ” Political correctness, like most forms of language policing, is all about winning debates not through persuasion and argument but by getting other people to shut up. ”
    The loudest, or most influential power, ‘wins’. It seems that ‘religious correctness’ can now be a phrase for some current discourse. This also seems to be a connection to writings about the Church becoming small and to Someone wondering whether there will be found any faith found on earth.

PopeWatch: Cardinal Maradiaga

Thursday, January 29, AD 2015




Of all the men surrounding Pope Francis, PopeWatch finds Cardinal Maradiaga the most interesting.  (Perhaps it is because the tune of the Imperial  March from Star Wars seems to be a fitting accompaniment whenever he makes an appearance.)



Father Z directs our attention to Father John Hunwicke’s observations on some recent statements by the Cardinal:

A post by the distinguished scholar Fr. John Hunwicke caught my eye. Here it is, in toto, but do check the comments over there as well.  My emphases:

Cardinal Rodriguez [That’s Oscar Card. Rodiguez Maradiaga… Archbp. of Tegucigalpa, sometimes referred to only by the second (matronymic?) of his parental, family names.]
I have tried to read carefully a paper by a Cardinal Rodriguez. [Not in Tegucigalpa, but in California at Santa Clara Univ, run by, who else, Jesuits.  Coincidently, around the same time, Card. Marx, speaking in California, did an interview with American Magazine, Jesuit run.  HERE] There are entire paragraphs that I actually don’t understand. Perhaps there are problems of translation; Fr Lombardi will know. But three points do strike me: (1) Christology. The Second Person of the Glorious and Undivided Trinity is referred to in phrases like “The God of Jesus” [I believe Card. Kasper has a book called “The God of Jesus Christ”.] and “God through Jesus”. I did not identify language clearly affirming that our Redeemer is God. [Odd.] (2) “Mercy” seems to be construed as being at the heart of theology. [I wonder if “mercy” can be entirely disconnected from justice and truth.] But any attempted reconstruction of Christianity which concentrates singlemindedly on one word or slogan (“Justification by Faith Alone”, for example, or “Sola Scriptura”) has tended, throughout history, to have disastrous effects. [A key phrase in the Cardinal’s talk: “The Pope wants to take this Church renovation to the point where it becomes irreversible. The wind that propels the sails of the Church towards the open sea of its deep and total renovation is Mercy.”] (3) The Roman Pontiff’s role is to protect the Tradition and to define and exclude heresy. [NB] This paper seems exclusively concerned to prepare the way for an agenda of radical but unspecified change centred upon the non-Magisterial utterances of just one pope during a ministry of less than two years. This is accompanied by a bizarrely curious suggestion that the Holy Father’s public style and personal gestures are his Magisterial Encyclicals.  [Have you noticed that on the Vatican website there is now a page dedicated to his non-Magisterial, off the cuff, fervorini at daily Mass? HERE]

Even during the pontificate of Pius XII and his canary, did papolatry go quite as far as this?


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12 Responses to PopeWatch: Cardinal Maradiaga

  • This mercy over emphasis began with both his predecessors who both stated that we could not be certain Judas was in hell whereas Augustine and Chrysostom said he was in hell because they saw Christ as constantly dire on Judas’ future…ie ” it were better for that man had he never been born”…” those whom thou gavest me I guarded and not one of them perished except the son of perdition”. That last phrase was said by Christ to the Father PRIOR to Judas’ several sins being completed. So Christ used the past tense about something that had not happened yet. Justin Martyr noted that such past tense prophecy is certain not conditional. When Jonah said, ” Forty days and Nineveh will be overthrown”…it did not come true because Nineveh repented. It was a conditional prophecy posed in the future tense. Now go to Isaiah 53 which has the certain to happen past tense prophecy:
    ” But he was pierced for our sins,
    crushed for our iniquity.
    He bore the punishment that makes us whole,
    by his wounds we were healed.
    6 We had all gone astray like sheep,
    all following our own way;
    But the Lord laid upon him
    the guilt of us all.”

    Christ used such certain past tense prophecy about Judas…” not one of them perished but the son of perdition”. But Judas had just begun going to his first sin and was no where near his final sin of despair.
    Francis is in line but more ostentatious with the excessive mercy emphasis of his two predecessors.
    They erroneously undermined all death penalty legislation while Francis would overturn life sentences if he could. None of the three mercy Popes seems to have noticed that the two largest Catholic populations…Brazil and Mexico…have porous prisons, no death penalty, murders galore…both 20+ per 100,000. Each Pope seems to have noticed only his own country as to murder…Poland, Germany and Argentina are fine….northern Latin America from Brazil to Mexico are far from fine.

  • Bill Bannon thanks for your insights.

  • Philip,
    You’re welcome.

  • bill bannon, you didn’t complete the thrust of your argument!

    “None of the three mercy Popes seems to have noticed that the two largest Catholic populations…Brazil and Mexico…have porous prisons, no death penalty, murders galore…both 20+ per 100,000. Each Pope seems to have noticed only his own country as to murder…Poland, Germany and Argentina are fine….northern Latin America from Brazil to Mexico are far from fine.”

    And which country is absolutely the worst in the entire world? Honduras! The home of Cardinal Maradiaga.

    It’s no wonder that the hope of most Honduran parents for their children is that they escape it.

  • TomD,
    I’m aware of Honduras….270 times the murder rate of Japan…c.90 per 100,000 versus .3 per 100,000….and Japan makes great cars….
    Hondurans not so much.

  • Regarding “the God of Jesus,” Paul speaks of “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” in Ephesians 1:3 (Εὐλογητὸς ὁ Θεὸς καὶ Πατὴρ τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ). 2 Corinthians 1:3 is word for word the same, as is 1 Peter 1:3. In Colossians 1:3 we have Εὐχαριστοῦμεν τῷ Θεῷ καὶ πατρὶ τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ
    It would seem to be a stock phrase.

  • Don, what is that black object in the lap of the good Cardinal? At first glance it looked like a ninja weapon of some kind. I hate to point this out, since I don’t like to engage in humor at the expense of clergy (at least humor that the cleric probably wouldn’t like, it’s OK if he laughs with us), but someone with Photoshop could have a lot of fun with that photo.

  • Let’s clear up some confusion about the man’s name. In Spanish countries, a person’s formal (it communicates the family connections) name is presented in this order: given name, father’s family’s name, and mother’s family’s name. So, it’s Cdl. Rodriguez, not Cdl. Madriaga.

    Anyhow, I watch “Imus” on FOX Business (to see the various futures) and this AM one of his comics did an irrevent bit on PF. One iota of truth was found among the farcical. The mimic suggested that they are now renovating the gays approach b/c of the numbers of them in the “bunch” . . . Tragedy.
    I know. I need, post-haste to get my sorry behind to Confession.

  • It is not unusual in Hispanic countries for a person to be known by his or her mother’s name if the father’s name is overly common. That is certainly the case with Rodriguez, the “Smith” of the Hispanic world.

  • “Don, what is that black object in the lap of the good Cardinal?”

    No doubt a folder. Or a death ray! 🙂

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  • The Catholic world is learning what I found out about long ago. That is, what a mess the Catholic Church is in Latin America.

    People are leaving the Church in droves throughout Latin America and the princes of the Church are clueless about it. Often they give the impression that they don’t care and I’m certain some of them don’t.

    Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga has witnessed the Church in Honduras lose half of its membership with him in charge of it. This is who the Roman Pontiff listens to – not +Burke, not the FSSP.

    Cardinal Rodriguez is less effective than Slowpoke Rodriguez. Slowpoke Rodriguez is Speedy Gonzalez’ cousin, the slowest mouse in all of Mexico..and he packs a gun, which would drive Obumbler mad.

PopeWatch: Meeting With Sinners

Wednesday, January 28, AD 2015




Rorate Caeli brings us this little tidbit:



Spanish periodical Hoy reveals the private meeting in the Vatican of “Diego” Neria Lejárraga, a woman from Plasencia, Spain, and her “wife”[“fiancée”, see second Update.]

[Hoy, in Spanish. Tip: reader. ]

[Update: information confirmed in Italian reports in Corriere della Sera, Repubblica, Il Giornale, etc.]

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24 Responses to PopeWatch: Meeting With Sinners

  • Compare the Pope’s reaction to this confused woman to the pregnant mother of seven he berated. Both deserved kindness but only the woman engaged in heroic Catholic virtue gets the back of his hand.

    The Church of Francis in a nutshell, ladies and gentlemen. You can have it.

  • We are missing key data. Is this Diego a real female with a mental disorder and an obstinate will toward making herself a man. Sin big time materially…and the usurpation of the Godhead’s dominion. Or is Diego really a chimera…ie a person with two genders and diverse organs in him/her due to fraternal twin (boy/girl) eggs merging into one person after fertilization? In which case, the CDF should have a person assigned to this rare but increasing problem thanks to in vitro which multiplies twinning’s occurrence greatly.?…and the CDF should make a public statement on the morality of such surgeries in the exact instance of the chimera, mosaics etc. who in some cases have partial sex organs of both genders. The Pope once again should clarify which situation is this because he and all he does has macro repercussions in the sense of moral example. There is no private meeting in the full sense when he does anything.

  • Let us hope the pontiff was able to show where the “peace” came from. From Jesus’ compassion yes, and to continue reception of His peace the free will gift of celibacy from each partner is vital.

    The teaching moment and lesson given is unknown to us. The man reached out to pf. If pf used this moment as PR only than shame is on him. If he Sheppard the lost sheep then God bless him.

  • Among the Spiritual Works of Mercy:

    Admonish the sinner.
    Counsel the doubtful.
    Instruct the ignorant.

    It seems as if PF, and many liberals, favor the things of this world over the rewards of eternal life, which exceed all transitory delights.
    “Jesus turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.’”

    Matthew 16, 23

  • The more I read about this Pope, the more I’m convinced he’s the Apostle to the fruits and nuts!

  • They were invited and met at the Vatican, but what happened at the meeting? Did Pope Francis condone the situation? What did he say or do specifically?

  • I am sure Father Lombardi will explain it all Kyle. Or not.

  • “Lejárraga told the Spanish newspaper Hoy: ‘It was a marvelous, intimate and unique experience. What happened in that meeting, what was said, is something that will remain between us, the ones that participated, since this is something I want to live with the utmost intimacy.'”

  • I thought it was already explained since judgment that he is condoning the situation has come. I would hope the pope took the opportunity to start Lejárraga on a course correction. Describing the visit as “marvelous” isn’t what I would expect from someone who has been corrected. (It’s possible though.) Not a good sign and also not proof of what was condone or condemned.

  • Oh man, I don’t know which is more entertaining: watching Patriot fans squirm trying to defend Brady and Bellicheat, or neoCats trying to explain this one away.

  • In 1st Corinthians Chapter 5 St. Paul commanded the Church at Corinth to hand over to Satan for the destruction of his flesh a man who was sleeping with his father’s wife. If St. Paul commanded that for incest, then what would he command for this sexual perversion?
    This is all about creeping totalitarianism as a recent article at Crisis Magazine explains:
    Our view – natural law – will be denigrated as hate speech, and on that basis we will be marginalized, then sued in court, then imprisoned and finally executed. This is the beginning. And this time the problem isn’t relegated to a single country but spans the globe.

  • I should image the meeting involved a discussion about
    the “Devil’s Daughter’s” parish priest who had offended
    D.D. and what remedy Francis should seek to change
    attitudes within the Church. No doubt Francis was invited
    to attend the great event, their wedding. And I assume he
    will bless their wedding with his presences.

    Further, Francis has called on all Catholics to reject apologetic
    So defending the Faith is now frowned upon.

  • Some recent remarks of Cardinal Rodriguez at Santa Clara University may be in point here: “And so, this is why it is never going to be approved, a marriage between persons of the same sex. This is not the plan of God. We read it clearly from the first pages of Genesis, marriage is the union of a man and a woman. Okay, but that doesn’t mean that we are going to be excluding persons who live their faith and would like to be parts of the Church. One thing is defining marriage, another thing is pastoral care. This is what I believe will make road in the Synod.”
    I would be surprised, if the Holy Father said anything about the meeting in public, until he had conferred with the local ordinary.

  • “So defending the Faith is now frowned upon.”

    For the Church of the Left it has been for a long time. That because the Faith did not represent their faith – that is material progress and social reconstruction.

    That is why my diocese did away with teaching the Faith in RCIA a number of years ago. The purpose of RCIA was, they claimed, was to teach people to love and imitate Jesus. Of course Jesus was a “social justice” Jesus who sought to end income inequality etc.

    Nothing new under the sun here. Only now one of them is Pope.

  • Paul Primavera’s link may be the crystal ball and if it is the future of America be prepared to celebrate Holy Mass as the early Christian’s did, in secret.

    The late Fr. John Hardon predicted this for America if good Catholics didn’t return to the Sacraments and partake of them worthily. It’s possible his prediction will be realized. The forces of evil will swell up prior to the battle of battles. The stolen Rainbow will be recognized for what it originally symbolized. The sign from and of God.
    Poor choice for the gay proud. Very poor choice.

  • “I would be surprised, if the Holy Father said anything about the meeting in public, until he had conferred with the local ordinary.”

    MPS, I thought that in Rome the Pope IS the local ordinary.

  • bill bannon, ambiguous genitalia is simply that. True hermaphroditism has never been documented in a human being. Ultimately everyone is either male or female, and these characteristics exist in the brain regardless of genitalia. We have seen how sex reassignment therapy is largely a failure in such cases.

  • “Our view – natural law – will be denigrated as hate speech, and on that basis we will be marginalized, then sued in court, then imprisoned and finally executed.”

    Paul, if secular democracies hold true to their ideals there will be no imprisonment and execution. Christianity will be seen as a mental illness, it’s adherents treated and medicated, perhaps in asylums but also possibly in home care settings. And when the inevitable brain damage occurs they will be euthanized. It will all be done with compassion, you see.

    Then again, perhaps not, since our view is not only natural law but the Gospel itself. Can secular democracy survive without the Gospel?

  • TomD

    You omit to mention cases of mosaicism, where some cells have XX and some XY chromosomes (46, XX/XY) Such individuals may have both testicular and ovarian tissue (ovotestes) with associated hormonal production. The phenotype is variable.

    “Male” and “Female” are labels and whether we use the external genetalia, the internal genetalia or the chromosomes as our criterion is ultimately a matter of choice – a gerealisation, not a law (invariable regularity) and, still less a “cause” (whatever that much-abused word means)

  • I would deny that mosaicism really constitutes a difference with regards the brain function. In nearly every case one type of cells would predominate over the other with regards to neurological activity, and so chromosomes do not determine gender. An even more interesting such situation is Complete Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome, which results in a person who is 100% genetically male and nearly 100% physically female (lacking only ovaries and a uterus). For our purposes here it would not make any sense to describe these individuals as anything other than female.

    The real issue is that ambiguous genitalia situations can make childrearing difficult in the absence of a clear diagnosis. I guess this is where our vaunted ‘compassion’ really gets a workout.

  • Oh man, I don’t know which is more entertaining: watching Patriot fans squirm trying to defend Brady and Bellicheat, or neoCats trying to explain this one away.

    I think at this point you will not find many commentators Christopher Ferrara described as ‘neo-Catholic’ making excuses for Francis, leaving aside those on the payroll at Catholic Answers and the Register. And I’m not even sure about all of them.

  • *headdesk* Of course there’s a place for her in God’s house, but that doesn’t mean throwing things at Himself is going to be alright!

    How very sad.

  • Compare the Pope’s reaction to this confused woman to the pregnant mother of seven he berated.

    I’d missed that one. P.U. I’m beginning to think the Borgia crooks were less troublesome.

Prisoner 16670

Tuesday, January 27, AD 2015

(Today is the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.  I am taking this opportunity to rerun this post from All Saints Day 2009.)

Today we celebrate all the saints who now dwell in perfect bliss before the Beatific Vision, seeing God face to face.  All the saints love God and love their neighbor, but other than that they have little in common.  We have saints who lived lives of quiet meditation, and there are saints who were ever in the midst of human tumult.  Some saints have easy paths to God;  others have gained their crowns at the last moment, an act of supreme love redeeming a wasted life.  Many saints have been heroic, a few have been timid.  We number among the saints some of the greatest intellects of mankind, while we also venerate saints who never learned to read.  We have saints with sunny dispositions, and some who were usually grouchy.  Saints who attained great renown in their lives and saints who were obscure in life and remain obscure after death, except to God.  Among such a panoply of humanity we can draw endless inspiration for our own attempts to serve God and our neighbors.  For me, one saint has always stood out as a man with a deep meaning for this period of history we inhabit:  Saint Maximilian Kolbe.  Why?

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7 Responses to Prisoner 16670

PopeWatch: Peace Balloon

Tuesday, January 27, AD 2015



Faithful readers of PopeWatch will no doubt recall this incident from January of last year:

Alfred W. Klieforth, US consul general at the Vatican, had a conversation with Pius XII soon after he became Pope in 1939.  He reported the conversation to his superiors, including this statement by the Pope:  ”He said that he opposed unalterably every compromise with National Socialism. He regarded Hitler not only as an untrustworthy scoundrel, but as a fundamentally wicked person. He did not believe Hitler capable of moderation.”  This type of clear eyed analysis is sometimes missing today in the Church which since World War II has often seemed to adopt a de facto pacifism.  A small symbolic event yesterday reminds us of why prayers for peace alone are often not sufficient in this Vale of Tears:


Two white doves that were released by children standing alongside Pope Francis as a peace gesture have been attacked by other birds.

As tens of thousands of people watched in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday, a seagull and a large black crow swept down on the doves right after they were set free from an open window of the Apostolic Palace.

One dove lost some feathers as it broke free from the gull. But the crow pecked repeatedly at the other dove.

It was not clear what happened to the doves as they flew off.


Always remember that Christ admonishes us both to be as innocent as doves and as wily as serpents. 

Go here to view the post.  That incident has caused a change in policy:

The doves were replaced by balloons on Sunday. Alongside Pope Francis, children released pink, purple, white and green balloons, including a hot-air balloon filled with messages promoting peace. “Here’s the balloons that mean ‘peace,’” Pope Francis said. He is the first pope to take the name belonging to Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals, according to news reports.

The Vatican did not mention last year’s dove debacle.

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19 Responses to PopeWatch: Peace Balloon

  • “Sometimes missing” and “often seemed” are perhaps not “clear eyed”enough, as far as analysis goes, when it comes to the hierarchy of the Church, particularly as it is constituted under Francis.

  • 🙂 strum of genius to you McClarey 🙂
    I needed a good laugh this morning!
    Thanks. peace balloons……wow.

  • Balloons are not good for the environment. I am glad you remembered those doves who lost their lives trying to symbolize peace for the Vatican.

  • I wonder…

    No seriously, part of me really wonders if the dove attack was a prophetic warning (is the crow Islam and the gull leftism? Or are they specific nations? Times of war and famine? etc) and we’re “too smart” to heed what God’s trying to tell us.

    Like I said, I don’t know, but part of me finds it interesting how well that moment would have fit in a story of David or Solomon from the Old Testament.

  • Nate, my thoughts exactly. I thought of the ill omens Julius Caesar received right before he was stabbed to death in the Senate just a short distance from the Vatican. I’m not normally superstitious, but it makes me uncomfortable.

  • Don, you forgot, “Up, up, and away in my beautiful ballon!”

  • I could not help recalling Vergil’s dreadful pun about the pigeon
    Decidit exanimis, vitamque reliquit in astris – Falling to earth dead and leaving its life in the air.
    Alexander Pope copied it in Windsor Forest
    “Oft, as in airy rings they skim the heath,
    The clam’rous lapwings feel the leaden death:
    Oft, as the mounting larks their notes prepare,
    They fall, and leave their little lives in air.”
    Vergil, I fancy, got it from Homer – ώκύς δ’ έκ μελέων θυμός πτάτο,

  • (Long time lurker)

    So.. lightening strikes the Vatican when Pope Benedict resigns… crow/seagull attack the doves that Pope Francis releases…. the synod of the Family was a roller coaster of a ride… and finally His Holiness states that Catholics should not breed like Rabbits…
    I can’t help but think of Mathew 7:16 but maybe I’m crazy….

    I have faith in the Holy Spirit and all shall be well… eventually 🙂

  • I like Nate’s comment “how well that moment would have fit in a story of David or Solomon from the Old Testament. ” Sometimes today people reading the OT ask why God doesn’t “speak” to us today like He did then… I think He does.

  • If signs are fascinating to you then the timing of Pope Emeritus retirement and the lightning strike on the dome was one interesting sign.

    I tend to believe that these times are sobering to say the least. You know who wins. Keep at prayer!

  • I saw the attack on the doves as symbolic of this papacy and what’s happening in the Church, and we saw that play out particularly at the Synod. The balloons may symbolize that this papacy is full of hot air, or maybe that the real “surprises” are going to be unleashed later this year.

  • “The balloons may symbolize that this papacy is full of hot air”
    Is time on our side? balloons will naturally deflate eventually-

  • Why weren’t there any primary colored balloons, and wouldn’t the Square be more fitting for such activity if balloons must replace the classic symbol to avoid possibility of a repeated message?
    That last verse is creepy, in keeping with the memory of the doves attacked.
    Thunder and lightening are also in the heavenly message category … thinking of a memory causing wonder in that locale.
    I don’t know whether the saying that seeing a robin is a sign of spring is particular to New England. Today, after the winds of the blizzard called Juno quieted, I saw a flock of at least a dozen robins crowd into the small holly shrub for berries. There is no thaw, the ground is covered by snow and ice, and they won’t find a place to hunt for bugs, but – they were beautiful and alive.

  • “And a balloon landed upon him and voice from Heaven said, “This is my Son with whom I am well pleased.”

  • Soon after Francis praised Paul VI for Humanae Vitae,
    he contradicted himself by advising Catholics to be
    responsible parents by having smaller families, which
    strongly suggests the use of contraception. Will the
    real Pope Francis please step forward?

    Today Francis had a private meeting with the, “Devil’s Daughter”
    a male transsexual, who was shunned by his parish priest
    in Spain, and his fiancée. Apparently D.D. was deeply offended
    by his priest, who will be severely punished for being a faithful Catholic.

    For what it is worth Jorge Bergoglio was elected on 3/13/13. Yikes!!

  • Franco wrote, “Soon after Francis praised Paul VI for Humanae Vitae, he contradicted himself by advising Catholics to be responsible parents by having smaller families, which strongly suggests the use of contraception.”
    No, it does not, for Bl Paul VI says, “If therefore there are well-grounded reasons for spacing births, arising from the physical or psychological condition of husband or wife, or from external circumstances, the Church teaches that married people may then take advantage of the natural cycles immanent in the reproductive system and engage in marital intercourse only during those times that are infertile, thus controlling birth in a way which does not in the least offend the moral principles which We have just explained.”
    When an objective can be pursued by licit means, why assume the Holy Father is recommending illicit ones?

  • “De facto pacifism” is an interesting way to describe the proper application of Just War theory.

  • It would be if the Church determined when a War is just, an authority never claimed by the Church.

  • M.P-S.

    My problem with Francis is his strong emphasis on smaller
    Catholic families, which will require the use of contraception.
    Francis did mention Natural Family Planning to reduce the
    Catholic population. However, he did so without the strong
    emphasis he used to encourage Catholics to reduce their numbers.
    Young Catholic couples under the impression that Francis wants
    smaller Catholic families may seek different and more reliable
    methods of contraception because the pope demands smaller
    Catholic families. The issue as argued by Francis is fewer
    Catholics and smaller families, not Natural Family Planning.

    Also, I understand Francis is an environmentalist, who intends
    to state his position on the environment soon. One of the major
    positions for environmentalists is population control. I believe
    Francis’statements to reduce the number of Catholics is
    motivated by the need for environmentalists to reduce the human

Pope Francis the Leftist?

Monday, January 26, AD 2015

Pope Francis the Leftist




Maureen Mullarkey is back!  You might recall her blog piece on the Pope in First Things that caused Mark Shea a conniption fit, and led the editor of First Things to disavow what she wrote.  Go here to read all about it.  Now, at The Federalist, she is making her case that Pope Francis is a Leftist:


Let us be honest. Conservatives are damned if they do, damned if they don’t. While deferential observers are measuring their tones, Francis drives ahead with a demagogic program which makes the state the guardian and enforcer all values. To suppress challenge to a pope’s political biases or erratic behavior is no favor to the Church. It is little more than a failure of nerve that will earn no reward in the press. Silence is a form of collusion.

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27 Responses to Pope Francis the Leftist?

  • Well, yes, PF is by default, a leftist: as the quote from Evangelii Gaudium which electrified me the first time I read it, demonstrates.

    But also, he is not much of a deep thinker, as his confused and almost-stream-of-consciousness writing shows, and as his academic history shows. So, he likes to coin what he thinks are glittering [actually bizarre] metaphors (ex. trads are “self-absorbed Promethean neo-pelagianists”; his own curia he calls “procedural machines” afflicted by “spiritual Alzheimers”) and which are not helpful for him nor helpful at all to his opponents, and are much more telling of his shallow level of analysis. This way he sees himself as a “visionary” when I actually think King Lear on the moors makes more sense and evidences a deeper empathy.
    Speaking of bizarre Vat 2 visionaries: I hope Mr. McClarey will discuss at some point the passing of the famed prophet of post-V2, Richard D. McBrien, today, formerly chairperson of Notre Dame’s once-proud theology dept.

  • Sometime after a decent interval of De mortuis nihil nisi bonum.

  • That Francis is a man whose heart is on the Left politically I doubt that most honest people could deny with a straight face. His off the cuff remarks all aim in that direction, and when he talks or writes about political and economic issues it is almost always with a perspective that comes from the Left. Is that all he is? Of course not. His Catholicism makes him persona non grata on the Left in regard to such issues as abortion and gay marriage. However, I think that Pope Francis has come to the conclusion that differences with the Left on these issues do not preclude alliances with the Left on issues where his views coincide with theirs.

    Wait, I lost track, are you talking about Francis or Shea? 😉

    Seriously though, that so many religious folk (not just Catholics) align themselves with leftism even as they condemn rightists for a fraction of the sins the left pulls is a baffling riddle. (well besides the answer of, “The Devil invests everything in PR.”)

  • God Bless Maureen. She won’t be silenced. It never ceases to amaze me how Francis’ criticisms apply accurately to himself. I mean, talk about opinions that hold a “crude and naive trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power.” In fact, I think we’re about to get a global warming encyclical that “has never been confirmed by the facts.”

  • “Those who leave the tradition of truth do not escape into something which we call freedom; they only escape into something else, which we call fashion”.
    – Chesterton.

    The desire to be fashionable is a dominant theme in the Left. To hell with truth as long as your liked and admired.
    The poor bastards.

  • “Meanwhile, the excluded are still waiting” for Catholic Truth.

  • Those who are getting ready to deny Church doctrine and steal Jesus’s Church should write their schemes in pencil-God has the eraser and it is the eraser of the ultimate term limits power. Guy McClung, San Antonio

  • Of course, Francis is a leftist. Mark Shea luvs him!

  • Sad thing is, only arguments against the Pope being a Leftists that I can think of boil down to “but the Left in America has too many explicitly counter-to-binding-teachings beliefs that I think the Pope doesn’t share.”

  • It’s pretty obvious he’s a leftist. He also seems to suffer from some CINO afflictions. Seems he is personally opposed to abortion and such, but does not want to push his opposition to it that far, for fear of losing contact with fellow leftists on other “more pressing” issues. He probably does personally see poverty as the “root cause” of abortion, and therefore believes fighting poverty is more effective than outlawing it, as many “pro-life” leftists do. I get the impression that he sees practical results as more important than principle.

    As for economics, it seems corruption is the problem, not necessarily capitalism per se. A marxist economy run by angels might work – but there are no angels to run it. Capitalism, subject as it to corruption as anything else, seems to be the least damaging system around. Distributism is intriguing, but not sure how it could play out in the current milieu without a heck of a lot of disruption.

  • The protection the Holy Spirit offers is spare. Trying to make sense of the succession of papal statements on usury would be challenging enough.

    The thing is, there are large masses of people who do not have good native judgment. They have to be taught something explicitly to grasp it. (I think Ronald Reagan would be a satisfactory example of someone who often made good decisions without much schooling). If they have to be taught something, they have to have an affinity for that department of knowledge. Clerics are verbalizers whose work involves a great deal of personal interaction and who live within a donation economy. That’s not an ideal matrix for grasping and talking sense on the subjects related to economic activity. Add to this Francis’ intellectual deficits vis a vis John Paul and Benedict and his long residence in Argentina (a country which vies with Greece for the title of occidental nation with the stupidest political society) and you get quite a witches brew there.

  • How sad it is that because of this Pope’s meanderings and babbling I am forced, for the first time in my life, to throw out the baby with the bath-water: I have quit reading all his homilies, pronouncements etc. More time to read more salutary tracts.

  • Ahahaha ““Please, Max, don’t make waves.” Good one Maureen!
    Thanks for this post Donald.

  • Anzlyne: ” Ahahaha ““Please, Max, don’t make waves.” Good one Maureen!
    Thanks for this post Donald.”
    My sentiments exactly.

  • Shea is wetting his pants big time on this one, he never disappoints. I don’t think most rational people would think Maureen was comparing the pope to Hitler, but since when are lefties rational?

  • Steve D; My eyes are aching and my dander is up. I followed your link.

  • I see TAC got honorable – and hateful – mention in the com boxes at Marks Shea’s leftist blog regarding Pope Francis being a leftist. I usually read works by neither Pope Francis nor Mark Shea. The Bible and the Church Fathers are much better resource material.

  • Hmmm… *check’s the link*

    Congratulations, The Federalist! You’ll be very happy with such a readership. And with luck, you’ll keep them away from the rest of us.

    Ah, so when it doubt, don’t attack the source, attack the followers. I wonder how Shea would like it if I started employing that tactic on the Church…
    [post crazy things Shea has said]
    “Congratulations Catholicism! You’ll be very happy with such a flock and with luck you’ll keep them away from the rest of us.”

    …Somehow I don’t see that going over well with him.

    Let’s see what comments he’s left in reply to others…

    Sorry. I meant sane, well-meaning, calm, agenda-free, rational, reasonable, loving, wise, and totally *orthodox* people who call Peter an apostate communist and compare him to a Nazi camp guard. What was I thinking?

    *checks original article* Weird, I don’t see anyone calling the Pope a nazi, just a joke. Then again I guess in Shea land if someone used a joke about ducks to convey an idea, he’d then ran about them comparing the Pope to water fowl.

    This being the man who used to rail about people needing “insensitivity training.”

    They cain’t quit me over at TAC, if you get my drift.

    Because it’s one of the few places where you can be honestly debated. It’s not our fault you’d rather stay in your own echo chamber than face challenges to your own ego. I’d say come over here and debate like a friar but we know how unlikely that is.

  • *shrug* If he’s got to make stuff up to have something to object to, he’s clearly not got a point.

  • But Foxfier, making stuff up is a lie. And we all know how much Shea is against lying! Why otherwise it’s totally consequentialism.

  • I think that Mark Shea’s problem is one that he shares with Pope Francis, and it is, much to their mutual chagrin, that most faithful Catholics are closer in alignment of their belief, faith practices, and prayer-life to those of Willie Robertson and the Duck Dynasty family than to Shea, PF, Blaise Cupich, Card. Kasper, etc.

    They simply dont grasp the divide between them and “us”..

  • “The Bible and the Church Fathers are much better resource material (than the Pope’s writings and teachings.)”
    Few things are more hilarious than watching self-styled Super Catholics inadvertently embrace Protestantism.

  • The Church Fathers were Protestants? The things one learns on the internet!

  • Whatever happened to Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical Libertas which expressly condemned liberalism (i.e., leftism) in paragraphs 15 and 16 if I recall rightly? Yes, I read the Popes too – Leo XIII, Pius XII, JP II and B XVI. And even the encyclicals of the very 1st Pope – 1st & 2nd Peter of all things!

  • Paul W Primavera: “I see TAC got honorable – and hateful – mention in the com boxes at Marks Shea’s leftist blog regarding Pope Francis being a leftist. I usually read works by neither Pope Francis nor Mark Shea. The Bible and the Church Fathers are much better resource material.”
    The Church Fathers are the Church Triumphant. In heaven to help us get to heaven too.
    Donald McClarey: The Church Fathers came before and stayed before Protestantism. When we say:”Saints preserve us” The Church Fathers say: “Yes”.

  • I doubt Smith 187 has read and analyzed the 80+ circumambulatory pages of Evangelii Gaudium: were he to have done so, early on in this pontificate one would have seen the lack of analytical depth or historical ground work of Bergoglio that was typical of the prior two pontiffs. P Francis certainly dismisses “all that” as some form of “spiritual Altsheimers” in one of his now-typical off-hand insults.

    Having some fair amount of experience with the Glass – Bead Game Circles of university Jesuits, they are particularly afflicted by a fatal attraction for “Visionary Prophets” that emotionally thrill them. Those who are pre-anointed as these visionary – types become self-fulfilling in their role: Everyone falls in line with the cooing praise of the nutty visionary. Now we have consensus for some foolishly fatal decision. Voices of criticism are silenced as “divisive”, today’s ultimate curse-word. Decisions are thus made that are “irreversible”: institutions fail, mysteriously, support drifts away, and all the little monkeys sail off in the little brass boat.

    Yay for Visionaries and their fevered adherents!

  • c matt: “It’s pretty obvious he’s a leftist. He also seems to suffer from some CINO afflictions. Seems he is personally opposed to abortion and such, but does not want to push his opposition to it that far, for fear of losing contact with fellow leftists on other “more pressing” issues. He probably does personally see poverty as the “root cause” of abortion, and therefore believes fighting poverty is more effective than outlawing it, as many “pro-life” leftists do. I get the impression that he sees practical results as more important than principle.”

    Excellent analysis, now I see why he told us not to push the abortion issue. Of course the contraceptive mentality is the root cause of abortion, but then again tnat would alienate his fellow lefties. Seems kind of devious,