Pat Archbold Fired From National Catholic Register

Tuesday, March 31, AD 2015




Well this is no surprise.  Pat Archbold was repeatedly guilty of telling truth out of season which is apparently a mortal sin these days in the Catholic Church:



Yup, they fired me.

I am grateful for the five years I spent as a contributor to the Register, the online presence of which has grown immensely during my tenure and that of the other original group of contributors. There is a lot to be proud of there. I stuck with them in hard times even when they were completely broke and it looked like they would blink out of existence, only to be saved at the last minute. Alas and alack, our time together has come to an end.

There are many things I could say about why this happened and how and maybe one day I will say more. But for now, suffice it to say that my particular contributions have not been well received over the last year or so and that has lead to increasing tension. I suppose that is plain to anyone with eyes to see. I will note that upon my departure, among the top 10 posts for the last 3 weeks, you will find three of my contributions.

I am proud of my writing at the Register. I feel I have been consistent in my approach to writing and the topics I cover. I think I brought a viewpoint to the Register that is otherwise not well represented among their stable of good writers. The Church has been going through some tough times and as a consequence I have sometimes tried to tackle some tough issues. I have always tried to do so fairly and as a loyal son of the Church. I will leave it to others to decide whether the Register is better off without my writing or viewpoint. 

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91 Responses to Pat Archbold Fired From National Catholic Register

  • What a disgrace.

  • Surprised at all. Pat’s recent posts have made me very sad. He seems to openly mock Pope Francis as well as the second Vatican Council. If I were the Register, I wouldn’t want someone on my staff who chose openly mock and insult the current pope.

  • If I were the Register, I wouldn’t want someone on my staff who chose openly mock and insult the current pope.

    Well, deadpan reportage of some of Francis’ daily blurt might be mockery enough.

    Regrets the Register has had such troubles, and that the Vicar of Bray wing of the Church now owns it.

  • See, I choose not to openly insult and mock the Vicar of Christ, even if I disagree with some of his actions. I’m sorry that you seem to think it’s acceptable behavior for someone who claims to be an orthodox Catholic.

  • “Pat’s recent posts have made me very sad.”
    Oh, please. Spare us the passive aggressive nonsense. You’re just as likely to read sentiments quite similar to Pat’s from any number of people posting here. Yet, here you are, risking more “sadness”.

  • “Pat’s recent posts have made me very sad.”

    What makes me sad is that too many Catholics don’t remember this timeless admonition:

    “Peter has no need of our lies or flattery. Those who blindly and indiscriminately defend every decision of the Supreme Pontiff are the very ones who do most to undermine the authority of the Holy See—they destroy instead of strengthening its foundations” – Fr. Melchior Cano O.P., Bishop and Theologian of the Council of Trent.

  • Okay, JoAnna. This is the bit where you cite actual examples of Mr Archbold’s open mockery and insults directed toward the Holy Father. I haven’t seen anything of the sort from him, but maybe I missed something?

  • JoAnna
    “He seems to openly mock Pope Francis as well as the second Vatican Council.”
    Not true. Are you suggesting the Register published pieces openly mocking the Pope and the Council? Are you just lying?

  • Typical calumny from the likes of JoAnna. To her lot “mockery” is expressing any type of discomfort with the current Pontiff.

    And now we have two fishwraps with an NCR acronym.

  • Bingo, Pat Archbold. Consider it a badge of honor to have been let go. By the way, in all the articles of yours that I’ve read over the years, not once did I ever feel that you were “mocking” the Pope or disparaging VII. Always respectful. But thank God you pull no punches, either. Keep on doing what you do so well, at Creative Minority Report.

  • “Are you just lying?”
    Either that, or just plain ignorance as to what constitutes “open mockery and insults”. But it certainly seems that calumny is the order of the day where your reputation is concerned, Pat.

  • The tongue reflects what is transpiring in the heart.
    The utterances of Pope Francis betray a heart, at best, in conflict with its own perceptions and the Magisterium of the Church. A heart in conflict with its touted devotion to “mercy,” and a vindictive and retaliatory nature finally getting a chance for vengeance. A heart fossilized by adolescent resentments birthed in the novitiate, in conflict with the mystery of the Church. He really is the poster boy for his clique. And here it is right now, they go after another guy. Rosica, Dolan, now EWTN. Can you imagine what they are pulling off behind the scenes? Deeply saddening to see this man trashed.

  • And here I was giving them credit for not being totally off course when he was able to blog a response to the counter-Catholic-teachings Death Penalty group hug.

  • Pingback: Pat Archbold Fired From National Catholic Register | The American Catholic | Head Noises
  • So, in summary, Pat is too toxic for NCR, and yet they continue to publish Fisher and Shea.

  • Intelligent Catholic discussion could be forced underground, huh. Wouldn’t that be too bad! The NCR is inviting disaster on themselves and on their Church.

  • In the countries where the State has taken over churches– like a patriotic church in China or the Russian situation– Church media and Church leaders did not go gladly – they were forced underground by the secular State. Here today we are not at that point yet, though we do have a seriously compromised culture. But the secular transformers of society are given space to grow in influence and power by Church leaders (whether in the episcopate or the media) who do not articulate our side. They are going down before they have to. If EWTN only knew how much we and esp our children and grandchildren need those earnest voices, like Archibold, defending the Faith.

  • Would NCR have a financial reason for firing him? The opinion of big backer?

  • PZ, you beat me to the extreme irony.

    I wonder if either of them will give pause over this departure.

  • “So, in summary, Pat is too toxic for NCR, and yet they continue to publish Fisher and Shea.”
    Maybe Fisher will show up here at TAC to gloat over Patrick’s firing. There is precedent for that, after all.

  • “So, in summary, Pat is too toxic for NCR, and yet they continue to publish Fisher and Shea.”

    Yes indeed. What was is someone once wrote, sin makes you stupid?

  • I admit to not following Pat Archbold’s writings at the Register closely. Mark Shea’s writings are toxic and I don’t go to websites that publish him. Prayers for him today.

    EWTN has been accused of something close to Papal worship in the past with St. John Paul II. He appointed some real, in Pittsburghese parlance, “jagoffs” to be bishops, bit I never thought he had some agenda he wanted to shove down everyone’s throat.

    With the current pontificate, I have no doubts of his agenda. Look at what he says, what he does, who is around him and who he appoints. Is it any wonder why the Latin American Church is losing members? Not to me.

  • “Who am I to judge?” In other words::Go to hell, I cannot be bothered teaching the truth.
    Pat Archbold’s capital punishment column was right on target. The Catholic Church in America is already an underground church. This is why our Bishops and priests do not speak out. That the Pope assists in sending our Bishops into the catacombs, is reprehensible.
    At least there is still Creative Minority Report.

  • PZ: “And now we have two fishwraps with an NCR acronym.”
    Terrible, isn’t it?
    The real problem about the crisis in the RCC is that many faithful Catholics don’t yet realize how grave the crisis is. And it is going to get worse, even after Pope Francis. We need prayers.

  • How very sad. For years I would get the free copy of the NCR inside the church . Good solid conservative paper. Read it every week. Then over the years it was gone! Now we have CDs or little booklets written by the “peace and love” crowd. I dont read them . I read the Wanderer or The Remnant ….. Both excellent newspapers I get in the mail. What bothers me is that very few priests will buck this trend. We rarely get any good sermons anymore that really matter. Pablum about Job , usually a canned sermon from some company that writes them for homilies or some Old Testament story… Whoopeeee!!!

  • How interesting that Archbold was betrayed by those close to him this holiest of weeks. Welcome National Catholic Register to the ranks of the New Pharisees.

  • The NCR did Pat a favor. They threw him off the Titanic before it hit the iceburg. BTW, it was really crappy that they fired him before a major Christian holyday. To show they can be impartial, they should fire Shea and Fisher before Halloween.

  • So, my question is where will we be able to find Mr. Archbold from here on out? His writing is honest, thoughtful and refreshing. Sure, it sometimes makes us uncomfortable but in the service of truth that is to be expected.

  • Patty that sounds like a call to have Pat start cross posting his stuff on TAC here… 😉

  • He says he’ll still be blogging at CMR.

    You might harass him a bit to mention what “elsewhere” he’s got in mind. 😀

  • Yeah, some examples of Pat’s seeming “mockery” would be nice.

    Truly, making idols out of pontiffs and councils is rather silly. Some popes are poor leaders and some councils are failures. To argue otherwise is baffling to me.

  • This is the post that raised several red flags for me, in which Pat sounds like he’s denying the validity of Vatican II:

  • And here he is implying that Pope Francis is telling orthodox Catholics to “shut up,” when the Holy Father is only encouraging people not to gossip (which, last time I checked, was indeed Church teaching):

  • Patty,

    Pat has also written a couple of articles for Steve Skojec’s excellent and wholly orthodox OnePeterFive site, so we may see more of him over there.

  • IMO, Pat’s problem wasn’t so much what he wrote, but how he wrote it. An unhealthy spite grew into his sphere. Sad indeed.

  • And this one, which I think he (or the Register’s editors) may have edited after it was originally republished, because it doesn’t read like I remember — in the first version I read on the day it was published, he didn’t say that Scalfari was “putting words into the Pope’s mouth.” Rather, Pat seemed to be saying that the Pope had said the things that Scalfari claimed and no one cared.

  • PZ, are you claiming that the Register is on par with the Reporter? Can you please demonstrate where the Register has openly condoned heresy, as the Reporter has?

    Personally I do think Mark Shea should be fired as well, given that his public and flagrant vitriol of late is unbecoming to an orthodox Catholic. But I’m not the editor of the Register so it is their call to make.

  • So you claim he openly mocks the Pope… and all you can offer to substantiate it is what you read into what he’s published?

  • JoAnna really? He “sounds like,” and is “implying,” or this one must have been edited because it “doesn’t read like I remember.”

    Is that all you have? Because if it is you have nothing and your original offering was indeed a calumny.

    It just sounds to me that you are the type who definitely doesn’t like to read or hear anything that nudges you towards the edges of your comfort zone. But that type of writing, properly done and based in truth, is exactly what is needed, especially now. Mr. Archbold’s writing was worth reading for that very reason.

    The Popolatry and the council worship really needs to stop. But it is stoked because these are very useful errors for modernists, with the right pope of course.

  • Congrats JoAnna. You have managed to prove one thing through the links you provided: you do not know what the word “mockery” means.

  • This is the post that raised several red flags for me, in which Pat sounds like he’s denying the validity of Vatican II…
    What on earth are you talking about? Nothing Pat writes in that short post could possibly be construed as “denying the validity of Vatican II”.

  • I do believe that Pat is a respectful and devout person. I would hope and pray that his writing is not censored. We all must pray for humility and the love for The Truth
    As Catholics, who love our Lord and His Church, we should be mindful how we react to people like Shea and his like. It’s easy to develop that hardness of heart. Having said that I believe that most Traditional Catholics are more heartbroken than angry and Our Lord knows this.
    It’s easy to feel very alone when defending Church Teaching to others, especially in one’s own family, but we are not alone. Our Lord is our defender and we must follow Him.
    Viva Cristo Rey!

  • Sadly, lines are being drawn for the likely upcoming schism. Pat’s just been directed to his side of the playing field, perhaps for his “dissent” from the new death penalty “orthodoxy.”

  • Are all of you relatively new Catholics? This process has been going on since the 60’s. There are traditionalists and conservatives. Pat is a traditionalist writing for a conservative paper so this was bound to happen. I’ve seen it dozens of times over the years. In fact the current kerfuffle is rather tame compared to the days of JPII’s ecumenism, inter-religious dialouge, and especially when he kissed the Koran.

  • Are all of you relatively new Catholics? This process has been going on since the 60’s.

    If your definition of “new Catholic” is “everyone younger than my kids’ grandparents” you may have an issue.

    I don’t consider this:
    to be more of an outrage than a Catholic being fired from a Catholic paper for, apperently holding to Catholic teachings over prudential ones.

  • Joanna is a known Mark Shea groupie…

  • In fact the current kerfuffle is rather tame compared to the days of JPII’s ecumenism, inter-religious dialogue, and especially when he kissed the Koran.
    Since comments have touched upon the 2nd commandment [by which we are commanded to speak with reverence of God and all holy persons and things … ] the JPII should properly be addressed as Pope St. John Paul II [the Great]. Since a saint, who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies; who is to condemn? [cf. Rom 8:33-34]
    We are in Holy Week and my thinking is that those with this kind of thinking without knowing why the Pope did what they think he did, would have an issue with these words of the LORD to the good thief: “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise. [cf. Lk 23:43]

  • Personally I do think Mark Shea should be fired as well, given that his public and flagrant vitriol of late

    “Of late” in Joanna’s lexicon would be “in the last 10 years” in most people’s. Idiosyncratic usage makes for confused communications.

  • JoAnna
    You are a liar and a slanderer. Gluck with that.

  • “Joanna: Can you please demonstrate where the Register has openly condoned heresy, as the Reporter has?”

    Yes, their call for the abolishment of the death penalty (with which they aligned with the Reporter). This contradicts almost 2000 years of Church teaching which allows the state to enact the death penalty as a matter of retributive Justice.

    What will be interesting to see if the pope does the same on Good Friday, as reports say he plans to.

  • Robert, did you read what I posted about Mark Shea in this thread? He recently accused me of attempting to kill his grandchildren because of my reluctance to get my children vaccines derived from aborted fetal stem cells. Why do you assert that I am his “groupie”?

    Apparently I am not the only one who has been uncomfortable with Pat’s posts of late, hence why the Register chose to let him go. Those who have eyes to see, let them see.

  • Steve D: Catholics are allowed to have differing opinions on the death penalty. The Register believes it’s wrong. They are allowed to hold that opinion, as Catholics. Is is not heretical to believe it is wrong – unless you want to claim that JPII is also a heretic. (FWIW, I do not believe the death penalty is wrong, but I do agree it may very well be unnecessary in the U.S.)

  • Pat is a good solid catholic writer, a breath of fresh air. He calls it like it is.

  • @FMShyanguya,

    Not I “. . . would have an issue with these words of the LORD to the good thief: “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise. [cf. Lk 23:43]”


    The “good thief”, aka, St. Dismus merited Jesus’ blessing because he counted on Jesus’ mercy, and on his infinite good and compassion.

    And see the wonderful prayer St. Dismus addresses to Him: “Lord remember me when you come into your kingdom” (Lk. 23, 42). He says very humbly, “Remember me.” He does not one to dare to ask for the first place in the kingdom, by his throne — although he has that first place by his cross. He does not even dare to ask for the last one; he is nothing but a bandit. St. Dismus only says, “remember me,” or — in other words — “have mercy on me,” the way the publican did, who did not even dare look up on account of his sins. His prayer is not long. As Jesus had recommended to his disciples, he does not multiply words (Mt. 6, 7).

    And, St. Dusmus defended Jesus from the rebukes of the other condemned thief. And, St. Dismus may be the only one on Calvary (aside from the Blessed Mother and St. John) who was converted by Jesus and came to believe in His Redemptive sacrifice.

  • Catholics can indeed disagree on how and when the death penalty should be implemented. But they cannot demand the complete abolishment of the DP, for this denies the right of the state to retributive Justice, which contradicts Church teaching and is heretical. As far as I know, JPII never called for the complete abolishment of the DP.

  • In the last several decades, Big Education has failed the public in the US, Canada and Western Europe. We are at the point where criticism is considered the same as insult.
    The current Roman Pontiff’s words and actions in the Petrine office are clearly open to critique and criticism. The priest that the current roman Pontiff put in place to wreck the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculata has been convicted in an Italian court for slander against the family of the founder of the FFI, who for all we know is still virtually under house arrest and has been ordered to pay restitution. Has the current Roman Pontiff done ANYTHING to discipline Fr. Volpi? If he has, Rorate would have reported it.

    Fr. Volpi is a convicted liar and the Roman Pontiff backs him. Birds of a feather.

    I have no use for papolatry and the Second Vatican Council should be painstakingly reviewed, word for word and anything not worthy of Catholic teaching that preceded it should be revoked. Its so-called implementation has led to an abandonment of Catholic teaching and furthered the decline of the Church in the Western World.

    Jesus never promised us that the Church would be free of selfish, greedy, weak, nasty, self serving men in the clergy. Warren Carroll’s book Isabel – The Catholic Queen discloses in great detail the sleaziness of the Church hierarchy in Spain in the 15th century. Scotland threw out the Catholic Church because of a sleazebag bishop and the problems he caused. Luther, not really a sane person to begin with, went over the edge due to popes like Borgia.

    Bishops and priests who blather never endingly about immigration, “social justice”, poverty, pacifism, ecumenism and “unity” while completely disregarding Church teaching about sin, The Last Four Things and how the Church used to deal with Islam (punch it in the mouth and kick it in the ass) do nobody any favors.

    Pat Archbold was forced out because the Register “can ‘t handle the truth”.

  • I know nothing about Pat Archbold or the National Catholic Register, but there is something very disturbing when a leader – spiritual or political – is set above constructive criticism. There is only one Messiah, and He is neither President Obama nor Pope Francis. May God protect Pat Archbold and help him to find alternate means of providing his valuable insight.

  • I’m not at all familiar with Pat Archbold and his blog.
    However, I’m confident he was fired for his truthful
    analysis of Bergoglio. Telling the truth has become a mortal sin
    in Bergoglio’s Catholic Church. Being truthful, also, will destroy
    the sinner’s reputation and moral character.

    To be a good Catholic in Bergoglio’s church, one must wear
    five-dollar shoes; eat baloney sandwiches; participate in
    sodomy; have more than one lover or spouse; and worship the poor.

  • I think Pat Archbold would be happy about leaving a place that didn’t appreciate his contribution. Taking on the Church of St. Francis is a holy crusade. Jesus would give Pat and atta-boy for his good work. We look forward to what Pat will do now that he is unchained.

    Also, let us hope that Joanna gets over being scandalized by the courage and truth expressed by Pat and others. Let her take off the blindfold of political correctness and see what’s actually happening. It ain’t pretty.

  • FM Shyanguya: “JPII should properly be addressed as Pope St. John Paul II [the Great]”
    Tell that to the victims of Marcel Marcial (dear friend and collaborator of JP2).
    Tell that to the Christians who see ISIS beheading their families and friends. And the ISIS kissing the Koran just as JP2 did.
    Tell that to souls misled by the desecration(s) that took place in the holy houses of Assisi in October 1986.

  • As a new Catholic, I can see both sides of the argument. That part of the Church that happily and submissively, defends the traditional dogmas and doctrines of the Church, views any change with skepticism, and expects the right of review from the authoritative position. Oddly, those in the Church who hope to make adjustments in how to defend those same dogmas and doctrines – given a radically different world environment today – are now the ones in the authoritative position. It must be very frustrating for the traditionalists.

  • “Apparently I am not the only one who has been uncomfortable with Pat’s posts of late”

    You aren’t. I’m not a close enough follower/reader of the Register to say whether or not Pat’s “firing” was or wasn’t justified, nor do I have any desire to impugn his integrity or his intentions. I wish him nothing but the best and hope he can find an appropriate outlet for whatever he wishes to say.

    But I have to say there was something about his style and choice of topics that I personally didn’t care for, and could only take in small doses. The best way I can describe it, is a sort of pervasive doom and gloom attitude — the Pope is destroying the church, Obama is destroying the country, our future is going to be nothing but persecution and martyrdom and disaster, etc. The “problem” may have been not so much what he said, as how he said it. But, everyone’s style is different, and “your mileage may vary”.

  • But I have to say there was something about his style and choice of topics that I personally didn’t care for, and could only take in small doses.

    Again, everyone’s mileage may vary, but this is a website that continually publishes one writer who does nothing but snark away at anyone who offers even a hint of disagreement, and another writer who has basically carried out vendettas and whose husband relishes berating her interlocutors. That NCR sees fit to continue to have them in their employ while firing Pat says all you need to know about its motivations.

  • Elaine,
    Respectfully, wake up.
    Dominus vobiscum.

  • I don’t know which was funnier.

    The claim that the definition of ‘open mockery’: when the highest priest in our Church stands in the public square and tells the people we love to contradict 2000 years of Church teaching and Catholics use the Magisterium to explain the reasons it’s an error that robs them of salvation.


    The claim Pat was out of sync with the tenor of Mark Shea and Simcha Fisher’s apostolate of open mockery.

  • Elaine, I somewhat agree with your opinion on Pat’s writing style, except for one thing: I like gloom and doom when it is focused on a deserving subject. Not so much when applied with a broad brush, but yes with a pointillist’s flair.

  • Oops, I wasn’t clear: Pat Archbold was often a pointillist to me.

  • Tell that to the Christians who see ISIS beheading their families and friends. And the ISIS kissing the Koran just as JP2 did.

    This is crazy with a side of ridiculous; you’re seriously trying to draw an association between a single incident where the Pope exhibited an ill-deserved sign of respect and murderous, monstrous slaughterers of children?
    An out-of-context quote that’s about overcoming afflictions and trials because of the love of God and odd notion that not taking the Lord’s name in vain means you can’t criticize a saint is odd, but good grief! The bodies of those slaughtered for admitting they are Christians are not even cold, there are still possibly hundreds of hostage in the hands of known monsters, and you’re using this as somehow the same as kissing a book?

  • Foxfier,

    There are a number of Catholic radtrads who loathe St. John Paul II because he excommunicated Archbishop Lefebvre, met with other religious leaders at Assisi and kissed the Koran.

    Lefebvre ordained bishops, including the crazy Williamson, without approval and that is a nono – and Lefebvre knew it. The Assisi gathering is still lamented in the pages of the Remnant, 19 years after the fact. Kissing the Koran was a mistake, but the only people who never make mistakes are Catholic radtrads.

    Maicel was a serial abuser, a hypocrite and a man who did much evil. But by all means, St. John Paul II was responsible for EVERYTHING that was wrong with the Church, wasn’t he? I wanna see how Catholic radtrads would have survived in Nazi and Communist controlled Poland. Instead, they whine on and on, annoying all but their precious little clique.

    By the way, it was Blessed Paul VI who removed from the Novus Ordo Calendar the Feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary, observed on September 12. Pope John Paul II put it back, along with hanging a painting of the Hussars’ charge down Kahlenberg Mountain.

  • The koran is simply another instrument the enemy puts before our face and asks Christ’s Mystical Body to submit or be executed.

    St. John Paul II was and is a mystic. Yes, he kissed the Koran but I would invite you to consider he kissed in the same gesture as we will bend over tomorrow and kiss the wood upon which our Beloved was executed.

  • Carol,
    Now he’s a mystic, huh. 🙂 This is getting good. Should’ve brought some popcorn.

    Perhaps he should’ve exhorted St. John the Baptist to bless Islam more often [Jubilee Pilgrimage JPII To The Holy Land (MARCH 20-26, 2000) Visit to Wadi Al-Kharrar], then we wouldn’t be in this mess, am I right?

  • Carol M: I like your response

  • Penguins Fan –
    *shrug* I don’t much care about the motivations for the crazy, it doesn’t change the true or false.
    And that was not just false, it was crazy.
    I am rather hoping Don isn’t too busy today, if it were my thread I’d be doing some house cleaning. He’s been getting pretty good results with polite reminders about thread hijackings, but I somehow doubt it will work this time.

  • I’m not saying that Pat’s concerns were exaggerated or misplaced, not at all. But, there is a big difference between calmly stating “Houston, we have a problem — and here’s what we need to do about it” and shrieking “We’re doomed! We’re all gonna die!”

    It is possible, IMO, to be realistic about a threat without making the situation sound hopeless. An example of a trad-leaning Catholic blog that does this fairly well, in my opinion, is Fr. Z’s What Does The Prayer Really Say? He has plenty of bad news to report, of course, but he also frequently asks readers to share their good news, and his “Brick by Brick” posts focus on successful efforts to establish the older/traditional forms of liturgy. He doesn’t just wring his hands about how awful everything is, but offers actual advice about what we can do about it.

  • Hell Joanna,

    Re: the death penalty: “Is is not heretical to believe it is wrong.”

    If by “wrong” you mean “intrinsically evil,” then I am afraid that you would, in fact, be in direct conflict with the perennial teaching of the Church.

    John Paul II did not like the death penalty, but even he realized that he had to recognize that it remains a licit option for states in both Evangelium Vitae and the Catechism.

  • Yep, fairly busy today, but I am on my lunch hour now. This thread is a monument to how threads take on a life of their own. All, please stay on topic and no personal insults. I am tempted to close down comments on this thread, but I will keep them open for now and I trust that my wishes will be respected.

  • Mr. McClarey, your word is law here. I’ll sign off and get some things done. Have a Blessed Easter.

  • A blessed Easter to you and yours PF!

  • That Pope Francis appointed Cardinal Pell head of the new Secretariat for the Economy should afford reason to pause before sentencing the Holy Father to the Catholic dustbin of history.

    “Nakedness is uncomely, as well of mind as body.”

  • Joanna may be a Mark Shea groupie but she may also be something else. I’ve read the article she links to substantiate her allegation Pat suggests Vatican II was invalid and I do not see how any rational person could draw such a conclusion.

    The article substantiates the indisputable fact that Vatican II cheapened Church teaching, which ultimately robbed Catholics of Sanctifying Grace like Luther. Without Sanctifying Grace, the pews of the Catholic Church were emptied.

    It was the dumbing down of Christ’s elect. The Common Core of the Catholic Church. The dimming of the intellect and starvation of souls.

    Pope Francis has at numerous times made mention of V2, saying how wonderful are the fruits. The empty pews, the souls lost, the empowerment of the devil inside and outside of the Church, priests living with gay lovers and cruising the side of highways looking for an afternoon delight, women who see the vocation of motherhood as an impediment to their personal growth and happiness, people who don’t know if they are women or men, the Church tinkering on the edge of moral bankruptcy and financial insolvency, not enough priests to sustain what our ancestors built.

    He has now for two years divulged his game plan. He has instructed bishops not to ordain men who appear to be faithfully practice the Catholic religion as they are nutters. He’s told bishops when same sex men apply to seminaries they should make no judgments. Women who follow the magnificat of Mary and accept children from God are mindlessly copulating like selfish, irresponsible rabbits crowding up the planet. He’s given everyone we know, including our children and people we love, the impression that the moral teachings pertaining to sex do not apply and feeding the poor is the sacrament of absolution.

    With every moral compass broken around us, he is poised to feed mortal sin rocket fuel which the devil will use to drive that soul to its spiritual suicide.

    These are people we love. This is the Mystical Body of Christ which we love more.

    There isn’t a job or bag of cash big enough to sell out either one of them.

    Get some popcorn and lemonade and find a good seat. Bring some extra hankies for sappy women and sissies. You’re about to see a good show.

  • So Pat is accused of being doom and gloom huh? Well, I think that is a totally appropriate response. Some of us have been dealing with this for a long time and disillusionment is understandable. Maybe people could stand by when Pius XI excommunicated the faithful Catholics of Action Francaise or when Pius XII gave us the “reformed” Holy Week rites. But then Paul VI gave us the Novus Ordo and Vatican II and JPII was the biggest ecumenist in the history of the papacy not only kissing the Koran but hosting the indifferentist spectacle of Assis 1 and 2 where a statue of Buddha was placed on the tabernacle. At one time, I had hope for the traditionalist movement but it has totally fragmented into what must be dozens of different little sects like the SSPX, SSPX “resistance”, CMRI, SSPV, etc. etc. And it’s not like those traditionalist sects actually have much of a following. The biggest, the SSPX has something like 500 priests. The worldwide Catholic Church has something like 400,000! So yeah, I don’t blame Pat at all for doom and gloom. And one thing that is indisputable. After the last 50 years, nobody will ever see the Catholic Church the way people saw it in the 50’s. That’s gone forever.

  • I am wearied! [Cf. Is 7:13]
    This is what Pope St. John Paul II [the Great] says about the Qur’an and Islam [cf. Muhammad? in Crossing The Threshold of Hope. And I encourage all to read not only the entire Chapter, but the entire book]:

    […] Whoever knows the Old and New Testaments, and then reads the Koran, clearly sees the process by which it completely reduces Divine Revelation. It is impossible not to note the movement away from what God said about Himself, first in the Old Testament through the Prophets, and then finally in the New Testament through His Son. In Islam all the richness of God’s self-revelation, which constitutes the heritage of the Old and New Testaments, has definitely been set aside.
    Some of the most beautiful names in the human language are given to the God of the Koran, but He is ultimately a God outside of the world, a God who is only Majesty, never Emmanuel, God-with-us. Islam is not a religion of redemption. There is no room for the Cross and the Resurrection. Jesus is mentioned, but only as a prophet who prepares for the last prophet, Muhammad. There is also mention of Mary, His Virgin Mother, but the tragedy of redemption is completely absent. For this reason not only the theology but also the anthropology of Islam is very distant from Christianity. […]

    To my knowledge, the Vatican has not clarified the picture of the saintly Pope allegedly kissing a green book and I am not aware if they have even been asked [cf.
    – Re: the green book, cf. Did the Pope (John Paul II) REALLY kiss the Koran? [].
    In my earlier comment, I referenced the 2nd commandment. In this, it would be good for us to recall the eighth [calumny and detraction].
    To me, knowing what the Pope has said on Islam, the Qur’an, and Muhammad, and not knowing the details of the pictures nor whether or not the green book was a Qur’an, etc., and because the person so accused is not only the Pope but a saintly Pope, I honestly do not know on what basis is the alleged scandal.
    The Sacred Triduum begins today and there are plenty of lessons from these solemn days. In my earlier post, I mentioned the good thief. Even better would have been to mention the first Pope St. Peter and his brother Apostles. St. Peter denied our LORD, Judas betrayed him, and the rest fled. All but one are saints.
    We do not say, ‘St. Peter? Tell it to the people he scandalized by denying our LORD …’
    Re: @Tom M.’s That’s gone forever. Will the Church not follow her LORD, her head, whose body she is? Good Friday is not the end of the story. Easter soon follows on the third day.

  • It’s good to get a number of quotes from JPII on Islam so we’re not giving a slant. Nevertheless, could you imagine a Pope Pius X saying the following about Islam. From JPII’s addressto the people of Jordan?
    “May St John the Baptist protect Islam and all the people of Jordan, and all who participated in this celebration, a memorable celebration. I’m very grateful to all of you. Thank you very much.”
    Asking a saint to protect Islam is worse than kissing the Koran!

  • FM Shyanguya you can believe whatever you want. But in my book any Catholic who prays that St. John the Baptist should protect the heretical religion called Islam, is definitely not a Catholic saint.
    God bless! Thanks everybody.

  • “Houston, we have a problem — and here’s what we need to do about it” and shrieking “We’re doomed! We’re all gonna die!”

    Houston, we’ve a problem. The pilot of the plane is a kamikaze. Musn’t panic.

  • Tell that to the victims of Marcel Marcial (dear friend and collaborator of JP2).

    John Paul’s entire life prior to 1978 was spent in Poland and Maciel was based in Mexico. How could they qualify as ‘dear friends’ and ‘collaborators’? John Paul was indulgent toward Maciel’s order and did not believe accusations against him (in part because many of them were rather dubious).

  • Pat will land on his feet, and has indicated that he doesn’t need the NCR for financially. But God Bless him, he has had the courage to tell it like it is. Whether or not some don’t like his ‘style’ is completely irrelevant to his message. He is sounding the alarm that is so necessary for the good of Catholics everywhere no matter their stripe. Does anyone enjoy witnessing our Church being highjacked in real time? I don’t think so. But if some would only take off their rose colored glasses, maybe they could at least prepare for what’s coming. I do believe that is his goal as it should be. This business about calumny seems to be a blanket excuse for not wanting to face facts. Calumny seems to be the buzword for being in complete denial. Nothing that Pope Francis has said or done has much to do with ‘infallibility’, but they are teaching moment, that’s undeniable. When all of Hollywood wants to canonize him while he’s still alive says something, and it isn’t good. His off the cuff words and actions are harming the Church, and they are emboldening modernist Prelates. I don’t believe that it’s sinful to point that out. I think it’s necessary. Yes, he has given talks that are very orthodox, and as Catholics we are obligated to listen and obey what is truthful, but we are not to listen or obey dissent, and he has spouted quite a bit of that. Sound the alarm we must, as charitably as we know how to do, but it must be done. ‘Houston, we have a problem’? Been saying that for some time now……..’Rome, we have a problem!’

  • Joanna,

    The Catechism of the Catholic Church permits the death penalty – therefore, it cannot be wrong. They have a serious theological flaw going on. You are not uncomfortable with this theological error but you are uncomfortable by a person who pointed out the error. I’d be one scared Catholic if I found myself suffering from that affliction.

    Cenlacatholic, yes, St. John Paul II was and is a mystic. I’m guessing your exposure to him is limited to reading quotes. Pick up a copy of his enclyclical on redemptive suffering. You can find it on the internet. You better watch out for him – literally – he takes a special interest in souls struggling in the spiritual warfare that invoke his name.

    Mary – thanks for the kind words.

    Blessed Triduum to all.

  • My response to Pope John Paul II’s prayer May Saint John Baptist protect Islam […]

  • Pingback: National Catholic Register fires Faithful Author who was not afraid of Speaking the Truth | Biblical False Prophet
  • More than a little of this decision came from the article he wrote about the Church and evolution.


Tuesday, March 31, AD 2015
Ronald Reagan on Liberal Tolerance
Attorney David French over at National Review Online nails it in regard to the uproar over the Indiana Religious  Freedom Restoration Act:
Simply put, their concerns about systematic invidious discrimination are utter hogwash, and they either know it or should know it. Why? Because RFRAs aren’t new, the legal standard they protect is decades older than the RFRAs themselves, and these legal standards have not been used — nor can they be used — to create the dystopian future the Left claims to fear. After all, the current RFRA legal tests were the law of the land for all 50 states — constitutionally mandated — until the Supreme Court’s misguided decision in Employment Division v. Smith, where the Court allowed fear of drug use to overcome its constitutional good sense. And yet during the decades before Smith, non-discrimination statutes proliferated, and were successfully enforced to open public accommodations to people of all races, creeds, colors, and — yes — sexual orientations.

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29 Responses to Bingo

  • Exponential bingo!
    Indiana isn’t assaulting gays, liberal lying liars (I repeat myself again!) are viciously attacking religion.

    Because gays and florists are more dire threats to the Repuiblic than nucular Iran, Hillary destroying government documents in her email server, and ruinous Obama corruption and incompetence.

  • Did I miss the strong directives and response to this major issue coming from the USCCB? Shouldn’t theey of all persons have something to say of value about this very public abuse of religion?
    Perhaps they’re busy working on illegal immigration or even prepping for the coming Global warming events?

  • What these statutes seek to provide is small bits of protection against state harassment and sometimes private civil suits brought against merchants of various sorts for exercising what should be their legal franchise to refuse to do business with certain parties. They are favored by academics, who are nothing if not insistent on their absolute prerogatives in their own domain, and by lawyers, who are nothing if not insistent upon their prerogative to insert their sticky fingers into everyone else’s business. Freedom of contract and freedom of association is a necessity to protect us from the self-centered and the predatory.

  • WK Aiken.

    Viewed your link. Nice story she told of her brother’s use of contraception that failed, then the “choice” @ Murder Inc. to allow the fetus to live. Strange it is that she started her ( two second speech..her words.) with telling the crowd that the haters will always hate. Assuming a group of Ind. Pro-Life group was present. Strange to me is the probability that the only reason she has a new nephew IS BECAUSE of the “haters.” The haters presence in public throughout the state have been praying in front of Death Mills for years…and the sixteens year old mother may have been influenced by this “hate” group that teaches every life is precious and sacred.

    Ms. Katy is a hypocrite.

  • Religion is something you do in the privacy of your bedroom. And only then with the door locked, the shade down and the curtains drawn.
    Unlike, say, sex, which is always and everywhere to be publicly celebrated.

  • Ernst Schreiber.

    MacBeth Act 1 scene 1….Foul is fair and fair is foul. Old Bill Shakespeare. Visionary.

  • “Things have come to a pretty pass, when religion is allowed to invade the sphere of private life.”—Lord Melbourne, Prime Minister to Queen Victoria

  • God creates. Man procreates. Homosexuals do not know what they are doing.
    The homosexual hates God for creating him. The homosexual hates his parents for procreating him. The homosexual needs to blame someone for his hatred because the homosexual hates and calls his hatred love. The homosexual has begotten hemorriods for his beloved, not a very well liked expression of affection. Then there is the diverticulosis and the colonoscopy. Sometimes the expression of the homosexual’s love is a death sentence known as HIV/aids, but mostly it is wanton despair.
    The homosexual hates God. Therefore, the most appropriate person to blame for the homosexual’s hatred of God, God’s creation and himself, is the Christian.

  • In its opposition to being demonized this editorial does a pretty good job of demonizing “the Left”. Certainly some of the concerns are justified, but it’s much more likely that most of the opponents to the law are well-intentioned human beings that don’t want to discriminate against gay people and aren’t aware of widespread abuse of Christians that would justify this new legislation. Instead of promoting more spiteful rhetoric, perhaps this site would better serve the Lord by explaining why this law was so necessary. Have there been dozens of cases of Christians being forced to violate their conscience in Indiana? If so, then the public needs to be educated, not yelled at. If not, then are we guilty of the same fear-mongering and exaggeration we condemn in others? It’s getting harder to paint these kinds of issues as us against them, Right against Left, when what gave this story its legs was such quick and strong opposition from the business community. I’ve never really thought of the NCAA, for example, as a bunch of Leftists hell bent on persecuting Christians (though incidentally they happen to do a fine job of exploiting lots of minority Christian athletes). Anyway, if this isn’t about the right to discriminate against homosexuals in any way then it can easily be solved by making them a protected group against discrimination across the state. God bless…

  • Among the many depressing things about the past few days is the illustration of how corporate money, allied with mob hysteria, is able to trump the democratic process, in effect to nullify a law duly passed by a legislature duly elected by the people.

    As for Governor Pence, I’m sure his heart is in the right place. But as the poet says:
    A politician is an arse upon
    Which everyone has sat, except a man

  • “Anyway, if this isn’t about the right to discriminate against homosexuals in any way then it can easily be solved by making them a protected group against discrimination across the state.”

    Why should they have any greater protection under the Law than other Americans? What rights do homosexuals lack that other Americans enjoy?

  • Here is more food for thought on all this misery and control:

  • Why should they have any greater protection under the Law than other Americans? What rights do homosexuals lack that other Americans enjoy?

    If you’re persuaded you’re Special, you want the right to hire a lawyer and compel other people to be your bitch if they call B.S. on your displays of narcissism. Being an ordinary schlub participating in voluntary transactions in a free society is not good enough for the Special. As for the relationship between the Special and Anthony Kennedy, let’s just say its an exchange of ego satisfactions constructed around social class prejudice. (And manifest in interminable judicial opinions advancing what is a preposterous thesis).

  • Well, in fighting the good fight here in AR, I have found that folks I thought were my friends would run me out of the public square, get me fired from my job, call me a liar, tell me to never talk to them again, call me a hater, etc. because of my religious belief.

    I have found myself thinking, since I am not being buried alive, seeing my family killed/enslaved in front of me, being burned alive, being shot, being forced into slavery, or being decapitated–like those Christians in the Middle East are—U actually don’t have it that bad.

    Now that doesn’t mean I am not going to fight for our rights.

  • I have also sent a message to the LGBT crowd & the so called “Human Rights Campaign” on twitter. It basically says that if they want legislators to vote their way that they don’t need to spit on them (like they did here at the Capitol in Little Rock, yesterday. I didn’t warn them against yelling insults at legislators like they did here, yesterday, as well.

  • “Being an ordinary schlub participating in voluntary transactions in a free society is not good enough for the Special.”

    This statement wins my comment if the week award!

  • A couple of other things.

    It is downright scary to me how the average Arkansan, who is not of the conservative political persuasion, has completely mixed up the concepts of “public” vs “private” until everything in their mind is public. I tried, valiantly while taking abuse to explain to people that they have rights on public property that they don’t have on private property. For example: we can protest all day outside of a business as long as we are on a public sidewalk. As soon as we step off the public sidewalk & step onto the private property protesting, we can be hauled away by a police officer. The argument I kept hearing from those who disagreed with me was that when a private business is operating, it becomes a “public” business. I think a 3 year long friendship has been ruined over my telling one such person that what they described was Communism where the govt controlled all property. These religious freedom bills are not just about religious freedom in my mind. They are also about govt’s encroaching control of private property & the destruction of the concept of private property. Without a string concept if private property, there is no freedom.

    Some poor LGBT person somehow invited me to a Facebook page event organization page for a protest at our state Capitol this morning against the Religious Freedom Protection Bill that us now in its way to the governor of AR for his signature as of this afternoon. (He has agreed to sign it by the way.) Boy did I have some fun on that Facebook page. :-D.

    The moderator of the page let me know in no uncertain terms that if a business used the public sidewalks that “he” paid taxes for–that that private business “had Damn well better serve” him. He had no response when I pointed out to him that private dwellings as well as churches had public sidewalks running in front of them. I also got no response when I pointed out that those who did not want to participate in gay marriage also helped pay for those same sidewalks.

    One person yelled at me that she was a Christian, too, and wanted to know what sin was going to be picked on next to keep someone out of a private business like a bakery. She said us gay marriage was a sin, then so was over eating, and divorce. She got livid when I told her that eating & divorce were not religious rites and that marriage was.

    Another person told me that she knew that I was a (with emphasis) string Catholic, however she disagreed with me on the Religious Freedom bill b/c she had always taught her children to show respect for other people. Huh? I had never discussed my faith with this woman. I told her that completely apart from my faith that I had such libertarian leanings when it comes to personal property rights that I was livid when the state of AR decided a few years back that it should tell business owners that they couldn’t let people smoke in their businesses any longer. The business owners should determine those things for themselves.

    Then there was the “walking dead” look from the person that I asked, “Why should the govt be able to tell me that U have to violate my religious beliefs with my own private property, energy, & time.

    One person just could not deal with the concept of marriage being a religious rite. They told me if I believed that marriage was a religious rite that govt should get out if the marriage business all together. And I said, “Yes, govt should get out if the marriage business all together.”

    Well, I could go on. However, I’m sure y’all get the picture.

  • “I’ve never really thought of the NCAA, for example, as a bunch of Leftists hell bent on persecuting Christians”

    Welcome to the real world of amoral sports where all that matters is money and no moral judgement on sexual perversion. Let me give you a heads up. The National Foootball League is vehemently anti-Christian worldview as well.

  • It’s astonishing, the chutzpah of those crying #BoycottIndiana. I don’t
    recall any of them calling for a boycott of, say, Saudi Arabia, which actually
    does practice the sort of religiously-based anti-homosexual discrimination
    they’re trying to pin on Indiana.
    Corporations such as Apple, Nike, and WalMart are protesting the legislation in
    Indiana and Arkansas, and there’s even talk of “reducing or not expanding
    their corporate presence” in those states. Yet they all happily do business
    with markets like Saudi Arabia…

  • Below are links posted to the website of the most effective pro-life, pro-family, traditional marriage lobbying organization in the state of AR re: the Religious Freedom Bill that passed yesterday afternoon here in AR.

  • And 3rd article from the same group about Connecticut boycotting Indiana for having basically the same religious freedom protection laws that Connecticut had already inacted.

    Of course, the ironies on this stuff are endless.

  • The human being, the sovereign person, has a personal space, that you all must agree. If the personal space of a person must be transgressed to form a contract, that is criminal.
    Anyone who can read and has read the Constitutional First Amendment knows that the free exercise of religion cannot be prohibited “or prohibit the free exercise thereof” not by anyone in public office, not by anyone created equal who tries to impose a ban on the free expression of religion on any sovereign person, because every person who is a citizen constitutes government with his sovereignty.
    During the Democratic National Convention, God and the mention of God, was banned four or five times. The Democratic National Convention chose Barrabas. When Barrabas comes with his brutality, the DNC will blame God. God will then be banned anew for allowing Barrabas to murder and maim, rape and sack and plunder.
    Only “IN GOD WE TRUST” and our freedom to trust in God is one of our founding principles. For those who cannot read, they must learn. For those who hate God, too bad.
    “Lord, when did we see you naked and hungry?” “At the Democratic National Convention”
    If Governor Pence caves into political pressure and disavows our heritage, he will be inviting Barrabas and Barrabas will come.

  • Barrabas entered in 1963. Our nation has been kicking God out ever since.
    Kill the divine healer…give us the murderer! And the Father of Mercy said; So be it!

  • “Why should they have any greater protection under the Law than other Americans? What rights do homosexuals lack that other Americans enjoy?”

    Civil rights laws protect minorities based on past and present discrimination. They don’t necessarily create “greater” protection (though I suppose in cases like affirmative action you could argue that they do), but respond to discrimination that exists to explicitly prohibit it. If you think civil rights laws are unconstitutional or ineffective, fair enough. But if Indiana wants to clarify that this law is not meant to facilitate certain kinds of discrimination against homosexuals it can merely add them to the other classes of minorities that the state already protects. It appears that Republican lawmakers are planning to do something of the sort. This is relevant to your second question as well because right now (in many places) homosexuals lack the right to legal protection against discrimination afforded to others.

  • “Civil rights laws protect minorities based on past and present discrimination.”

    Well we can see that is untrue since women, a majority, are given “minority” status under such laws.

    “They don’t necessarily create “greater” protection”

    They most certainly do. Try firing a member of a protected class who works for the government.

    “If you think civil rights laws are unconstitutional or ineffective”

    Certainly unconstitutional in flagrantly violating the equal protection guarantees of the Constitution. Ineffective, no, if the intent is to make certain citizens more equal than others in Orwell’s phrase.

    “lack the right to legal protection against discrimination afforded to others.”

    In short where they are not a protected class they enjoy the same civil rights as a heterosexual white male.

  • Of course the heart of the underlying issue, when one speaks of protecting minorities against discrimination* has been lost in the cultural wars of the political forces. What constitutes a protected minority? Is it their behavior? Why can’t pedophiles, rapists, or those who practice bestiality, be considered part of that protected group?
    *BTW; discrimination is both good and bad
    a: (Bad) I would not let any black person from Detroit marry my daughter.
    b. (Good) I would never walk a back alley in Detroit alone after midnight.

  • “Well we can see that is untrue since women, a majority, are given “minority” status under such laws.”

    Fine, make that “minorities and women” if that is a meaningful distinction to you.

    “They most certainly do. Try firing a member of a protected class who works for the government.”

    You’re confusing the prosecution of the law with the law itself. You may have also overlooked the qualifying word “necessarily” in my response. That said, anecdotally I’ve seen others “try” with perfect success. But if you can cite some studies indicating an unreasonable difficulty for government employers to fire incompetent women, racial minorities, elderly, or people of faith, I’d be interested in reading some of them.

    “Certainly unconstitutional in flagrantly violating the equal protection guarantees of the Constitution.”

    Civil rights legislation may not have been the best remedy, but these “guarantees” were being ignored on a wide enough scale for certain minorities (and women) that further legislation was implemented to make them harder to ignore. This is a similar phenomenon to that which motivates the RFRA laws, despite already existing constitutional and other legal guarantees of religious freedom.

    “In short where they are not a protected class they enjoy the same civil rights as a heterosexual white male.”

    You can put it that way, although gender and race are covered under civil rights laws. Or you can say, they have fewer civil rights than we do as Catholics. I’m not particularly interested in semantic games, but if you want to say that in these places they technically have the same civil rights as heterosexuals because heterosexuals have no rights based on sexual orientation either, then I guess that’s true. Besides the point, but true.

  • “Fine, make that “minorities and women” if that is a meaningful distinction to you.”

    You were the one who claimed this rubbish was all about protecting minorities.

    “That said, anecdotally I’ve seen others “try” with perfect success.”

    Examples? At the University of Illinois library a few years ago it took three years to fire a black female staffer who made a habit of not showing up at work with no excuses for her absences. I am friends with her supervisor and followed that case with interest.

    “Civil rights legislation may not have been the best remedy”

    You do not get it do you? An unconstitutional remedy cannot be justified under a governmental system that gets its power from a constitution. Your citation of Religious Freedom Restoration Acts is not on point because those acts ban discrimination by government action.

    “You can put it that way”

    Which is the way to put it, because it is the factually correct way to put it. Sheesh, you are wedded to the whole concept of some animals being more equal than others aren’t you? Government sponsored discrimination is a truly foolish mechanism to end discrimination. Such an effort merely chooses the beneficiaries of government sponsored discrimination.

    Here is my civil rights policy, the same as Frederick Douglass:

    “In regard to the colored people, there is always more that is benevolent, I perceive, than just, manifested towards us. What I ask for the negro is not benevolence, not pity, not sympathy, but simply justice. The American people have always been anxious to know what they shall do with us… I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us. Do nothing with us! If the apples will not remain on the tree of their own strength, if they are worm-eaten at the core, if they are early ripe and disposed to fall, let them fall! … And if the negro cannot stand on his own legs, let him fall also. All I ask is, give him a chance to stand on his own legs! Let him alone! If you see him on his way to school, let him alone, don’t disturb him! If you see him going to the dinner table at a hotel, let him go! If you see him going to the ballot box, let him alone, don’t disturb him! If you see him going into a work-shop, just let him alone, — your interference is doing him positive injury.”

Screen Pilates: Keith Mitchell

Tuesday, March 31, AD 2015

Continuing our series on screen portrayals of Pilate that I began in 2011 during Holy Week.    The posts on portrayals of Pilate by Rod Steiger, Richard Boone, Barry Dennen, Hristov Shopov, Telly Savalas, Frank Thring, Stephen Russell, Greg Hicks, Cyril Richard, Stephen Moyer and Dennis King may be viewed  here, here, here, here  here , here, here, here, here , here and here.

CBS broadcast a film adaptation of Jim Bishop’s book The Day Christ Died in 1980.  Bishop hated the film adaptation, had his name removed from the credits and attempted unsuccessfully to change the name of the film.

Brian Mitchell, best known as King Henry VIII in The Six Wives of Henry VIII gives a powerful portrayal as Pilate.  Pilate is interpreted by Mitchell as a politician who, by his own admission, believes in nothing other than his career.  He is disturbed by his wife’s desire to spare Christ.  He is intrigued by Christ and views Him as a mysterious figure.  Ultimately he reluctantly decides to have Christ crucified when Caiaphas accuses him of disloyalty to Caesar, at least that is the public excuse for him literally washing his hands of the matter before the mob.  A glance by Pilate at the pitcher prior to him offering the choice between Barabbas and Christ indicates that he planned what he would do if the mob chose Barabbas.  A good portrayal of Pilate that catches what a tricky character he no doubt was, rather than the straight forward Pilate of most other retellings of the Passion.

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6 Responses to 50 Shades of Barack Obama

  • Man, I know I’m at critical nerd level when I keep cringing and saying, “That’s not the character’s name!”

    But it’s funnier because if they had gone with the actual character name, we’d get either “Christian Obama” or “Barack Grey”. Either is dripping with deep irony I think.

  • Wow. Who will rescue America?
    Our help is in the Name of the Lord.

  • Anzlyne.

    Thank you dear soul.
    I have written three posts only to erase them because they were at the core, written with hatred. The truth is God knows our frustration. He knows all hearts. He knows.
    Our help IS in God…not man.

  • God knows all hearts, mine, yours and Obama’s. So I ask the grace to leave the assessment of that man’s soul to the Lord. As a matter of practical reality, he is the worst President in our history, put there by the worst electorate in our history. Politics will not save us. Religion will. Happy Easter.

  • “worst electorate in our history”

    Apply Pogo’s famous comment about who the enemy is here? “We have met the enemy and he is us”

  • For some time now, I have come to believe that America/its Constitution was flawed from their inception. They got it wrong on Freedom, the same constitution is used to justify evil in society under the guise of “rights,” etc. Look to history, nations forgetful of God are doomed.

March 31, 1865: Battle of White Oak Road

Tuesday, March 31, AD 2015



Realizing that Grant was moving sufficient troops to flank his right, General Lee decided to launch an attack against the troops of the Union V Corps, holding a section of  the White Oak Road and preventing the linking of the Confederate right under Pickett with the rest of Lee’s army.  The Union left was in the air, separated by  three miles from Sheridan’s troopers at Dinwiddie Court House and Lee intended to take full advantage of this fact, massing four brigades to make the attack.

The Confederates routed two Union divisions, chasing them south of Gravelly Run.  At 2:30 PM the Union V Corps counterattacked across Gravelly Run, the attack spearheaded by the First Division of the V Corps.  The spearhead of the spearhead was Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain’s brigade, still led by Chamberlain although he had been seriously wounded at the battle of Lewis Farm on March 29, 1865.  The Union counterattack was successful,  recovering the lost ground and once again breaking the White Oak Road, separating the Confederate right at Five Forks from the rest of the Confederate army.  Union casualties were approximately 1407 to approximately 800 Confederate.


Here is the report of Brigadier General Charles Griffin who commanded the First Division of the V Corps:

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Various & Sundry, 3/30/2015

Monday, March 30, AD 2015

With Holy Week upon us, this will be the last V&S until after Easter.

– Gabriel Malor answers all your questions about the Indiana state RFRA. Considering that Malor often rankles the Ace of Spades commentariat with his writings on gay issues, particularly his support for gay marriage, it is significant that he is coming out against the anti-bill hysteria.

– A woman who killed an unborn child in Colorado will not be facing murder charges.

Why can’t prosecutors charge Lane with murder? Colorado is one of only 12 states that do not protect unborn children from murder. For that gap, Coloradans can thank Democrats who controlled the state legislature, and the abortion industry that controls Democrats … and themselves for buying their arguments when they had a chance to prevent this injustice

For the Democrats, it’s the abortion lobbey uber alles. That’s why this guy doesn’t have a chance in hell.

– Nicholas Frankovich defends Cardinal Burke from the smears of some intellectually dishonest critics, including one at the National Catholic Fishwrap.

Distinguishing between sinner and sin is usually easy: The sin doesn’t define the sinner, and neither does the sinner define the sin. The David who committed adultery with Bathsheba was still, after all, David the apple of God’s eye. But the adultery he committed was still adultery. Our ability to think both thoughts simultaneously may be waning, although some people only pretend that they don’t understand. Their aim is to dumb down the conversation to the point that thinking has no place in it anymore. If their opponent has won the debate intellectually, what can they do? Ignore his ideas, deplore ideas generally (oh, those “doctors of the law,” those “Pharisees”!), and push sentiments (cheap “mercy,” the Catholic version of cheap grace) that they hope will appeal to the soft-headed child in us all.

– So this Google thing might be getting a wee bit out of control.

The question for voters who are watching the ongoing regulation battles should come when you compare the two different stories above. You have a company which is clearly in bed with the Obama administration in particular and the Democrats in general. And you also have a track record which indicates that they’re not shy about manipulating their search results when it works to their favor. How much faith should you then have that they are delivering news results or political analysis about various candidates and issue oriented questions in a consistent, agnostic fashion?

Of course I read this story on a Droid, using a Chrome browser, and am typing this all up on a Chromebook. So yeah.

– And now idiots.

A selfie-obsessed tourist apologized Sunday for posting an online pic of herself grinning at the site of the deadly East Village inferno.

Modal TriggerAfter The Post exposed her with a front-page story headlined “Village Idiots,” Christina Freundlich said she was “deeply sorry for my careless and distasteful post.”

“It was inconsiderate to those hurt in the crash and to the city of New York,” she said in an email to The Des Moines Register.

– And tonight’s music video.

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15 Responses to Various & Sundry, 3/30/2015

  • – A woman who killed an unborn child in Colorado will not be facing murder charges.

    What are they going to charge her with? Practicing medicine without a license?

  • “– A woman who killed an unborn child in Colorado will not be facing murder charges.”
    The woman had a right to choose and had not a child of her own to abort so she aborted another woman’s child.
    “The David who committed adultery with Bathsheba was still, after all, David the apple of God’s eye. But the adultery he committed was still adultery.”
    David repented saying “My sin is ever before me” The child died and David was not allowed to build the Temple. Solomon’s Temple stands as proof of the perfect Justice of God.
    In a court of law only truth is allowed.

  • “For the Democrats, it’s the abortion lobbey uber alles. That’s why this guy doesn’t have a chance in hell.”
    I wasn’t aware that Jim Webb strayed from Democrat “orthodoxy” on abortion. In fact, he hasn’t strayed from the pro-abort line at all:
    “Supports Roe v. Wade and abortion rights
    “Webb says, ‘I drifted away from the Democratic Party on national security issues but I never left on social issues and issues of economic fairness.’ He opposes a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, believes trade agreements should require other nations to improve labor standards and wages, and backs abortion rights as defined by the Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade. ‘I believe the power of the government ends at my front door unless there is a compelling reason to come inside,’ he says.
    “Source: Jeanne Cummings, Wall Street Journal, p. A6 , Jun 8, 2006”

    The ONE thing on which you can ALWAYS count on a Democrat with aspirations to remain true: support for the murder of the unborn.

  • More:
    * Supports Roe v. Wade and abortion rights. (Jun 2006)
    *Voted NO on restricting UN funding for population control policies. (Mar 2009)
    *Voted NO on defining unborn child as eligible for SCHIP. (Mar 2008)
    *Voted NO on prohibiting minors crossing state lines for abortion. (Mar 2008)
    *Voted NO on barring HHS grants to organizations that perform abortions. (Oct 2007)
    *Voted YES on expanding research to more embryonic stem cell lines. (Apr 2007)
    When it comes to abortion on demand, there’s not a dime’s bit of difference between Jim Webb, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton.

  • Oh I wasn’t saying that Webb was pro-life, thought i can see how the comment might seem to imply that. It’s just that he’s comparatively sane on other issues and would seemingly be the type of guy who wouldn’t be so wedded to the abortion lobby that he would stand against otherwise sensible measures to keep them placated. Well, at least he would be less likely than his fellow Democrats,

  • “Colorado is one of only 12 states that do not protect unborn children from murder”

    In Scotland, the killing of an unborn child is not and never has been murder. In his Commentaries on the Law of Scotland, Respecting Crimes, published in 1797, David Hume (the nephew of the philosopher), the leading “Institutional Writer” on criminal law gives as a reason “it cannot with any certainty be said whether it would have been born alive or not.”

    I suspect this curious reason is based on Pomponius’s discussion of the sale of an unborn child (partus) [D. 18. 1.8 pr], which he treats as a conditional purchase (emptio rei speratae), like that of a growing crop, where the property and risk remain with the seller, the price not being due, if the child is still-born. Our old writers often treated the Corpus Juris like the Sibylline Books and wrenched some dictum out of context to cover cases never contemplated by the writer.

    However, if a child is born alive as the result of a felonious act and then dies, either from an ante-natal injury or because of the prematurity of the birth, then it is on all hands admitted that this is murder or culpable homicide, depending on the malice of the act.

  • Of course I read this story on a Droid, using a Chrome browser, and am typing this all up on a Chromebook. So yeah.

    Look on the upside: they’re losing market share to bing because they’re manipulating the results so horribly, it’s dang near useless.
    Recently noticed that Bing is doing similarly, but their news manipulation is so bad that I noticed because half the stories were from the same blogging sites. (Three guesses what the spin is, in this world where “not shouting down half the country” is spun as a huge right-wing bias.)

  • Pardon me, but permit me as devil’s advocate to ask the meaning of the “Ace of Spades” comment.

    I am the last person to be politically-correct, but in today’s racially-charged chaos, one stands likely to be accused of a racial comment with anything involving the particular named “suit” from standard playing cards. Some time ago, one of the black/African-American co-workers brought this up as a slur when someone I think innocuously commented using the word “spade”. I could see someone claiming the “Ace of Spades” is a insulting reference to Our Great Leader and using that as a Stalingrad point to launch an Alinsky-ite moment of freeze-personalize-demonize. Just the way the noon-day devil works these days.

  • It’s just that he’s comparatively sane on other issues

    His views on serialized polygamy approximate those of Newt Gingrich, down to the age differential between the Senator and the concubine of his dotage. I’ll wager partisan Democrats will argue it’s all good because Webb and Hong Le do not have snap-on hair.

  • “Ace of Spades” is a prominent starboard blogger who appeared around about 2004.

  • Thank you, AD, for the reference info. However, in these psychotic times, I still avoid certain words that the Sharpton-sect play on. “Spade” is one of them. It is the way things are.

    Perhaps some will recall the Feb. 1999 dismissal of Washington DC Public Advocate David Howard over the use of the word “niggardly”. By the time the dust settled, Ichabod Crane had nothing on him.

    In today’s institutional environment, political, religious or social, language is the front line of warfare.

  • In today’s institutional environment, political, religious or social, language is the front line of warfare.

    So why then are you peremptorily beating a retreat?

  • Ernst Shreiber – “What are they going to charge her with? Practicing medicine without a license?”
    Sounds like a Ceasarean delivery to me. An 8th month in utero baby is viable. If the baby girl drew breath, which an autopsy could prove, she wouldn’t be regarded as a stillborn; she would be a premature baby. If the baby died from hypothermia the woman should be charged with the baby’s death resulting from neglect. If the cause of death is suffocation, then homicide. Yes it’s a stretch but the killer deserves a long prison sentence. This is not the first case of a baby being cut out of a mother’s womb by a wannabee mother.

  • Yes, well unfortunately, the state of Colorado wanted to make sure it’s Kermit Gosnell’s didn’t go to jail for medical malpractice.

The rise of the neo-Lutherans: Will there be a schism?

Monday, March 30, AD 2015


Watching last fall’s Extraordinary Synod on the Family from the sidelines, what was surprising was the level of rancor (and perhaps even acrimony) manifesting itself in the debate concerning, among other matters, the Church’s prohibition of divorced/remarried Catholics receiving Holy Communion.

Media reports characterized the division this way:

  • The intelligent, sensitive, and pastoral “pro-Pope Francis” mercy faction (the theological liberals) were doing battle with the unintelligent, insensitive, and unpastoral “anti-Pope Francis” truth faction (the theological conservatives).
  • The leader of the former faction, Cardinal Walter Kasper of Germany, provided the theoretical “Call to Arms” identifying his faction’s much-desired, if not much-anticipated changes to Church teaching. If Cardinal Kasper’s faction prevails, there will be changes to Church teaching. Read: A very good outcome!
  • The leader of the latter faction, Cardinal Raymond Burke, published a chapter in the book, Remaining in the Truth of Christ, reiterating the significance of longstanding Church teaching for the world today. If Cardinal Burke’s faction prevails, there will be no change in Church teaching. Read: A very bad outcome!


That oversimplistic, pro-Kasper bifurcation of what transpired at the Extraordinary Synod distracts attention from what may really be in the offing, namely, the rise of neo-Lutherans who may cause a schism in the Church. Armed with very clever exegetical and political skills, this faction has already artfully devised a way to contort Jesus’ unambiguous teaching against both divorce and remarriage—read Remaining in the Truth of Christ to learn how—into a teaching that would allow for both divorce and remarriage. And the media is delighted.

Using divorced and remarried Catholics—who cannot receive Holy Communion—as public relations props in a strategy to stiffen opposition to Church teaching, the neo-Lutherans are, in reality, forcing Pope Francis to choose up sides in a theological battle. The outcome of that battle could end in schism:

  • If the Pope sides with the neo-Lutherans, his important words about mercy will be translated into Church teaching, all will be well with the world, and the orthodox faction will have taken quite a drubbing. At least, that’s what the Kapserites would have everyone believe.
  • If the Pope sides with the orthodox Burkites, well…er…ummm…there will be Hell to pay, as the Pope’s words about mercy will end up not being quite as generous as people have been led to believe and they will turn against Rome and the orthodox faction, emptying the pews even more. Again, at least, that’s what the neo-Lutherans would have everyone believe.

Apparently, the neo-Lutherans are as serious and as stubborn as was the Augustinian friar, Martin Luther, when in 1517 he posted his 95 theses on the door of the Wittenburg Castle Church. To wit: Consider the words of the President of the German Bishops’ Conference, Cardinal Reinhard Marx. Quoted in Die Tagespost (the original article having since been expunged from the website) stating:

We are not just a subsidiary of Rome. Each episcopal conference is responsible for the pastoral care in their culture and has to proclaim the Gospel in its own unique way. We cannot wait until a synod states something, as we have to carry out marriage and family ministry here.

Positioning himself squarely on the side of the mercy faction led by Cardinal Kasper, Cardinal Marx subsequently backtracked a bit, according to Vaticanista Andrea Gagliarducci.

Even so, the neo-Lutherans are on the march.

But, before concluding an investigation, the general rule is “Follow the money.”

Follow the money: It’s a well-known fact that church attendance in Germany (as in most Western, industrialized nations) is plummeting. What that means for the German bishops, in particular, is that income to their dioceses from the government—derived from a census of those who actually attend Mass—is way, way down.

What better way, then, to increase attendance at Mass in Germany? Extend mercy to the disaffected or alienated Catholics by changing Church teaching concerning divorce and remarriage. Then, all of those other disaffected and alienated Catholics can also be brought back to Mass by changing other Church teachings. However, that will take a bit of time. Right now, what’s imperative is to get one foot into the Porta Sancta at St. Peter’s Basilica, beginning with divorced and remarried Catholics.

porta sancta
The rationale? It’s not selling indulgences and would provide a great opening move in the larger strategy of reforming the Church…once again…via Deutschland.

All or none of that may have entered into Cardinal Kasper’s thought process or the German bishops’ discussions over which Cardinal Marx has presided.

Who’s to know? Only those who are privvy to such knowledge.

Even so, if one is to understand better what the neo-Lutherans may be up to, the facts cannot be dismissed out of hand.

Follow the money: Those coffers need to be replenished if the bishops are to be good stewards of the critical infrastructure and all the other blings in their possession. As has recently been exposed:

  • The Archdiocese of Munich and Freising, led by Cardinal Reinhard Marx, has spent $150M on a new diocesan service center.
  • Cardinal Marx’s residence was renovated at a cost of $9M, paid for by the state of Bavaria. That’s not quite the 31m euros Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst of Limburg spent to renovate his official residence, but $9M can go a long way to make a humble hermitage feel a bit more comfortable.

Follow the moneyIn his National Catholic Register article, Edward Pentin carefully lays out the critics’ argument that the German Bishops’ Conference has become more of a temporal than spiritual power.

Yes, follow the money.

Isn’t that what Martin Luther did when he initiated a schism that eventuated a Reformation?




To read about Cardinal Marx’s statement (as the original Die Tagespost article is no longer available online), click on the following link:

To read Andrea Gagliarducci’s assessment, click on the following link:

To read Edward Pentin’s articles, click on the following links:

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

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23 Responses to The rise of the neo-Lutherans: Will there be a schism?

  • I really wonder exactly how many of the divorced and remarried Catholics are clamoring to receive Holy Communion? They can always avail themselves of Confession.
    Kasper – German
    Martin Luther – German
    ‘Nuf said

  • Um….no. All prior belief, and included in every catechism and in every school religion book and in every teaching and in all prior writings by Catholics is that Catholics who have been divorced and remarried, without having obtained an annulment, may not take the Eucharist. If you like, I can prove this statement by thousands and thousands of references.

    Those who are Catholic must hold to this teaching, since it exactly what has been taught by Jesus and and the Catholic church. It cannot be changed, not even by the Pope, and certainly not by Card. Kasper.

    Those who seek to alter clear and permanent dogma are not in communion with the Catholic church, period. I pray to God we will not have a schism. But of course all who hold to the truths of the Catholic church must continue to hold to them.

  • This is a really sobering article. My thinking is that it wouldn’t happen, but as you point out, it has happened before.

  • I have read on other Catholic websites about the influence of the German speaking bishops on the Second Vatican Council. von Balthasar, Hans Kung, et al had a major influence on the documents issued from the Council.

    Catholicsm in the German speaking areas of Europe has long been in decline. The Austrian bishops are virtually in schism. The revolt against Pope Benedict was deplorable. I don’t know as much about the German speaking Swiss Catholics, but the German Catholics faced official discrimination in the 19th Century due to the Kulturkampf. Countless German Catholics made their way to the USA, my mom’s greatgrandparents, the Deckers from Frankfurt among them. As pointed out, the German Episcopate is most interested in keeping the money flowing in. I have no doubt that they warn the Holy See about the tap being shut off if Kasper’s proposals do not become reality. What’s more, the Catholic Church in Germany has long been influences by Lutheranism.

    Luther was not a schismatic. He was a heretic. There is no faith alone, no Bible alone. Man is not a dung heap, although man often acts like it. The Pope isn’t the Antichrist, despite certain Lutheran confessions claiming it. Bigmouth, blabbermouth, nasty, mean…….maybe, but no ANTICHRIST.

    The Polish bishops – all of them – condemned +Kasper’s proposals and they will NEVER become the law of the Church in Poland. In the USA, it depends on the bishop of your diocese.

  • Ah, but it IS a selling of indulgence isn’t it?

  • I’m unpersuaded by the “follow the money” assumption. If it’s all about the German Church Tax, why are there so many non-German Kasperites? Does Honduras have the Kirchensteuer? Does England? New Zealand? Italy? How about the Philippines? I believe Austria and the Netherlands do have Church Taxes, though far less remunerative than the German version.
    I don’t wish to dismiss the role of the Kirchensteuer in toto, but it seems far too easy and glib an explanation to explain what is happening in the Church today.

  • …take the Eucharist…
    Anne Moore

    Only those who believe they deserve the Eucharist take it. The rest of us who really believe the words, “Lord I am not worthy…” might, if we are properly disposed and free of mortal sin, gratefully receive the Eucharist.
    Wow. Imagine how different the Mass would be if we acted like we really believe the words we speak during the Mass.

  • Allowing the divorced and remarried, without an annulment, to receive Communion may have little net impact in the United States and probably elsewhere. My guess is that most of those who would benefit by this accommodation wouldn’t bother coming back or are happy with their new Protestant affiliation. And of those who did come back their number would be offset by those who were disaffected by this change. In other words, changing Church teachings is not the way to stop the bleeding and increase membership. The Church needs stop being a Democrat NGO and get down to their proper business on helping make people holier by obedience to God and love of neighbor.

  • In Germany the Church tax is based on religious affiliation, as stated in the Lohnsteuerkarte, not on a census of Mass attendance.

    The same rule applies in Alsace-Moselle in France, which was German at the time of the Law of 9 December 1905 Concerning the Separation of Church and State.

  • Michaels Dowd and P-S reinforce the point I was trying to make about the German Church Tax: I suspect the Kasperites know as well as anyone else that allowing the civilly remarried to receive communion is not going to reduce the outflow from the German Church, let alone increase those registering as Catholic on the Lohnsteuerkarte.

    So, if it’s not all about filthy lucre (and it can’t be, given that most Kasperites have little to no pecuniary advantage to look forward to), what’s really going on here?

  • On Mr. Murry’s question: “So, if it’s not all about filthy lucre (and it can’t be, given that most Kasperites have little to no pecuniary advantage to look forward to), what’s really going on here?”

    My guess is this has to do with the future when divorced folks need not worry about their Church status. Given that 50% get divorced this is significant.

  • I also have been finally reading from start to end the whole of the late Warren Carroll’s history of the Catholic Church, and Santayana’s warning about history repeating itself echoes like a death-knell: Duke George of Saxony writes to his ambassadors how the churchmen are morally compromised, and can be “bought out by money” and there is almost no hope to save the traditional Catholic Church (Letter, 1524, p. 68, The Cleaving of Christendom).

    I am glad Motley has highlighted again how these Great Reformers like Marx, Danneels, Kasper, and don’t forget Lehmann as the puppet-master in the background, have spent millions of euros on habitations that re-define the word “palaces”. How can they have any moral authority at all? Ahhh.

  • Each episcopal conference is responsible for the pastoral care in their culture and has to proclaim the Gospel in its own unique way.

    This is true, but… to paraphrase what Sheen said, in that delightful way of his, you are free to draw a triangle in any way you want; you still cannot draw a triangle with four angles, because then it is not a triangle.

  • We don’t want to believe it could be about “filthy lucre” -surely not just such a base explanation. but if we think a bit about Judas, we can see how such a disorientation can lead a person away from Truth.
    Judas, who committed the Big sin of selling out Jesus, practiced his vice concerning money and came gradually more inured by his Smaller sins of thieving along the way. His own thinking became more disordered and he went tragically astray from Jesus.
    And in the letter to 1 Timothy 6 we read
    9 But those who want to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.
    10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains.

  • I’m not so certain that any new thesis nailed to the church door by neo-Lutherans will cost the lost of any more souls then has the opening of the “window to the world” in Vatican II.

  • Thanks for that Foxfier- it’s only true!
    the idea that pastoral care in a certain culture can be modified (ENCULTURATION) is dangerous when it operates separate from the Teaching Authority of the Church. …” its own unique way” can not take away from unicity– unique is to be an aspect of unicity

  • Murray, it is largely about the money. There are ‘Kasperites’ everywhere, it is true, but they are nowhere as organized as in Germany.

  • One quibble “What that means for the German bishops, in particular, is that income to their dioceses from the government—derived from a census of those who actually attend Mass—is way, way down.”
    This appears to not be correct. The government collects the tax from those who are officially identified as Catholic on their tax returns (see and to avoid paying the tax the lapsed Catholic must officially notify the government they are no longer a Catholic. Simple non-attendance is not enough. According to the article, the resignations from churches has been accelerating due to a new capital gains ruling in a tax court. The wood has become very dry indeed.

  • I understand why people seize upon the money explanation, and have no doubt it plays a substantial role for some German bishops, but it is far from a sufficient explanation of the Kasperite heresy.
    I repeat: If it’s about the money, how is it that so many non-German bishops (often from far poorer countries) have so enthusiastically taken up the cause of income security for the German episcopate? How do we explain Nichols, Cupich, Dew, Baldisseri, Forte, Maradiaga, Palmer-Buckle, Tagle, Dabre, Danneels, McCarrick, Schonborn, Galantino, Mahoney, and perhaps O’Malley and Dolan, among many others?
    How, for that matter, do we explain Bergoglio?
    No doubt there’s a mixture of motives in play here: perhaps some have personal reasons for wishing to relax the Church’s discipline on (e.g.) same-sex relations, in the same way that adulterers tend to favor laxer moral standards for others: they correctly intuit that a more permissive moral environment will spread the guilt around more widely, and thus reduce their own relative culpability. Others may have fallen prey to the Anglican delusion, despite the abundant evidence that doctrinal accommodation empties churches.
    But the clincher for me is that I don’t think Walter Kasper can be bought. (Cardinal Marx is a different story.) Kasper has been advocating heretical ideas since the 1960s, since well before he was a bishop, and well before the Kirchensteuer began to run dry, and I believe he’d continue to do so for love alone. In other words, it’s quite possible that Walter Kasper intends to render the Catholic Church doctrinally impotent in order to hasten her destruction, and that many of his non-German allies share this goal in some fashion. It’s what heretics have always done. If only it were just about money!

  • Looks like the new “Kristallnacht” will cover the streets of Germany with stained glass this time.
    Again, as Ratzinger (Benedict XVI) reminded us, there is no hierarchal authority in any national bishop’s council.

  • Reinhard Cardinal Marx wants the money. Walter Cardinal Kasper is who he is and should have been sent to a monastery to spend the rest of his days decades ago.

    As for the Roman Pontiff, we at The American Catholic, both bloggers and commenters, have been trying to explain him since he was elected.

    The others….Murray, you want explanations of them? Nobody has that much time to explain them to you. Latin America, the United States, Italy, Germany…..all have different upbringings but they have something in common – to hell with Church teaching as it was taught for centuries, let’s accommodate the popular culture.

    That gets NOBODY into heaven.

  • … to render the Catholic Church doctrinally impotent in order to …
    The scoldings, derision, and censure of followers of Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture by the above cardinals and more unnamed present a disturbing trend. Could it be a competition with mega-churches to form one of global proportions?

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GenCon and the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act

Monday, March 30, AD 2015

Religious Freedom Restoration Act


Recently Indiana passed and the Governor signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.  By doing so Indiana joined a majority of states which have such protections for religious freedom. There is also a federal version of the act which was passed overwhelmingly by Congress in 1993 and signed into law by President Clinton.  Here are the operative sections of both the Federal and State Acts:


Government may substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion only if it demonstrates that application of the burden to the person—

(1) is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and

(2) is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.

And here is the text of Indiana’s RFRA:

A governmental entity may substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion only if the governmental entity demonstrates that application of the burden to the person: (1) is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and (2) is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.

Go here for the complete text of the Act.  States enacted their own version of the statute because the Supreme Court in 1997 ruled rightfully that the federal act was not applicable to state laws or local ordinances.

What does this have to do with GenCon, the gaming convention held in Indianapolis that I and my bride have been attending since 1986?

Well, homosexual activists have been busily portraying this statute as a license to discriminate against gays, and the head of GenCon decided to get on this band wagon.  Go here to read the letter by Adrian Swartout.

The ignorance contained in the letter is simply stunning.   Swartout is apparently bone ignorant as to the federal version of the act and how many states have similar acts.  Swartout also is apparently  ignorant of the fact that the Act could only be used if a government seeks to discriminate against an individual or business on the basis of their religion.  The only possible applicability to homosexuals would be if a government sought to take action against a business that discriminated against gays.  The only businesses where such a contention would survive judicial analysis would be those where the owners could demonstrate that their religious beliefs forbid providing a service, such as baking a cake for a gay wedding.   The idea that this statute would have any impact on services provided to convention attendees in downtown Indie is simply farcial.  Of course all the hoopla about the Act has nothing to do with the law or facts, but everything to do with the flexing of political muscles by gay activists.  This tempest also demonstrates that religious freedom is simply not going to be tolerated by those who shriek loudest for tolerance.

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24 Responses to GenCon and the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act

  • What does this have to do with GenCon, the gaming convention held in Indianapolis that I and my bride have been attending since 1986?

    Really??? It’s always been my dream to attend GenCon someday…

    (plots to suck up to Don for lodging)

  • I have three brief responses to hype and hysteria being flung by the gay gestapo and its lying, liberal (I repeat myself again) acolytes, “democracy” ; “The Bill Of Rights”; and “37-year-old Adam Smith is living on food stamps because he criticized Chick-fil-A in a video he posted on YouTube.”

  • As a citizen of the Hoosier State, I have seen lots of contention and hollering but little in the way of intelligent discourse, for reasons that are probably obvious. This, of course, does very little to further my understanding of the situation. I am not blessed with a strong sense of abstract, and am in need of examples, much like learning from parables and acts.
    It is worth noting that this contention is occurring at Easter, when we remember another mob that was led to hysteria by a self-serving core of power-mongers. I pray the conclusion of this contention stops short of that one’s.

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  • Find it kind of notable that you’re the first person I’ve seen quote the act. Everyone else just screams about how it’s going to do this or that…..

  • You mean it’s not a compelling state interest to see to it that very special snowflakes are serviced by the vendor(s) of their choosing, regardless of the desire of the vendor(s) to serve very special snowflakes in the first place?

    I ask you, what’s the point of being a very special snowflake if you can’t always get your way by using the state to bully others?

  • I caught a bit of Stephanopoulos’s interview with Mike Pence on the evening news yesterday, and it occured to me that “tolerance” (“acceptance” by another name) for homosexuality is rapidly become the modern-day equivalent to the pinch of incense offered to Caesar’s genius.

  • I’d have said “active support,” myself….

  • I can see such legislation having far-reaching consequences.

    I wonder how this legislation would apply to (say) the prohibition of shechita, halal and other methods of ritual slaughter of unstunned animals, or to the importation of the products of animals so slaughtered.

    Would it invalidate a ban on the ritual circumcision of minors, or female genital mutilation?

    Would it prevent a ban on the wearing of the hijab or the kippa in public schools or the wearing of the burka in public places?

  • I did give “approval” some thought. You’re certainly correct that the distinctions between “tolerance,” “acceptance,” “approval,” and “support” are collapsing.
    I wonder what word will appear in the Newspeak Dictionary?

  • I wonder how this legislation would apply….

    It all depends on how compelling the state’s interest in prohibiting those activities in the examples you gave is.

  • Wow. Just stumbled across a news report that touches alot of hot button issues around here.

  • “I can see such legislation having far-reaching consequences.”

    Yep to all three questions MPS. Thank God.

  • Pingback: Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act: What's The Deal? | Acton PowerBlog
  • Over at the Catholic League, Dr. Donohue reminds us that The Supreme Court in 1997, gave its approval of the RFRA. Probably to undo some of the ill effects of the Court having tried atheism under the penumbra of Freedom of Religion, obliterating and eradicating “or prohibit the free exercise thereof.” of the First Constitutional Amendment. What part of “the free exercise thereof” can atheism or anti-theists as they are beginning to call themselves constitutionally remove without three quarters of the states ratifying any change they impose?
    Atheism is unconstitutional because it is completely opposed to every free person’s, every sovereign person’s choice of “the free exercise thereof.”
    As unconstitutional as atheism is, the anti-theist must be tolerated and the First Amendment must be defended and understood as the freedom extended to all persons who are citizens, or taxation without representation is imposed, which is what is happening now with the Person of God evicted and rendered “persona non-grata” in the public square. Not the state, nor the Constitution gives sovereign personhood. Only God gives sovereign personhood. The state is constituted by sovereign persons to defend and protect the sovereign person.

  • Man and his freedom are created by” their Creator”. Man is PROCREATED by man. The state is constituted by the sovereign personhood endowed by “their Creator.”
    So, what can atheism give to mankind? I mean besides totalitarianism, unequal Justice, enslavement of man’s freedom and the obliteration of the people?

  • Thank you, Don McClarey, for this excellent post.

  • Love thy neighbor as thyself. and the free exercise of religion will have the effect of : You are born, so the unborn must be born. You are circumcised as a male, you wear a burka, so you must allow others the same freedom. You are an atheist, so you must allow others to be theists. FREEDOM

  • I agree that the hysteria surrounding this act is way over the top, but I am curious about an issue raised by some of its opponents, who claim that the Indiana RFRA is NOT quite the same as the federal RFRA or other states’ versions. They claim that the other acts only apply to governmental entities while the Indiana act applies also to private entities. Is there any truth to this assertion?

  • “I agree that the hysteria surrounding this act is way over the top, but I am curious about an issue raised by some of its opponents, who claim that the Indiana RFRA is NOT quite the same as the federal RFRA or other states’ versions. They claim that the other acts only apply to governmental entities while the Indiana act applies also to private entities. Is there any truth to this assertion?”

    Very little. That section is to provide for what happens when a private party seeks to enforce a state law or ordinance against a party asserting the religious freedom statute. Here is the similar provision in the federal act:

    “(c) Judicial relief
    A person whose religious exercise has been burdened in violation of this section may assert that violation as a claim or defense in a judicial proceeding and obtain appropriate relief against a government. Standing to assert a claim or defense under this section shall be governed by the general rules of standing under article III of the Constitution.”

    I would assert that the government, by creating or allowing private enforcement of the discriminatory act, is allowing the private party to stand in for the government and thus the RFRA act would apply against the private party.

    That point has been hotly litigated in Federal court as law professor Josh Blackman points out at his blog:

    “Third, and most significantly, the law provides a defense in a private suit where the government is not a party.The Indiana RFRA offers the following language:

    Sec. 9. A person whose exercise of religion has been substantially burdened, or is likely to be substantially burdened, by a violation of this chapter may assert the violation or impending violation as a claim or defense in a judicial or administrative proceeding, regardless of whether the state or any other governmental entity is a party to the proceeding. If the relevant governmental entity is not a party to the proceeding, the governmental entity has an unconditional right to intervene in order to respond to the person’s invocation of this chapter.

    In other words, the law provides a defense against a private discrimination suit. For example, Jill and Jane Doe sue a photographer for failing to photograph their wedding under a local non-discrimination ordinance. The photographer than raises the state RFRA as a defense. Even though the government is not a party, RFRA can be raised as a defense in the judicial proceeding. The court would have to determine whether the application of the non-discrimination ordinance substantially burdens the photographers exercise of religion.

    Does the federal RFRA also provide a defense? It depends on what Circuit you’re in. Shruti Chaganti writes in the Virginia Law Review about this split.

    The circuits are split as to whether RFRA can be claimed as a defense in citizen suits—suits solely between private citizens in which the government is not a party. This split is based on an ambiguity in the text: whether the phrase “and obtain appropriate relief against a government” is meant to limit the set of cases in which a “claim or defense” may be raised in a judicial proceeding, or whether the phrase simply signifies an additional right upon which a litigant may rely.

    Some circuits (CA2, CA9, CA8, CADC) hold that RFRA can be raised as a defense:

    Some circuits (hereinafter “defense circuits”) have allowed RFRA to provide a defense in citizen suits, finding the statute’s language and purpose sufficiently broad to create a defense regardless of the parties to the suit.7 Under this reading, an unambiguous version of the text would be modified to say, “A person whose religious exercise has been burdened in violation of this section may assert that violation as a claim or defense in a judicial proceeding and may obtain appropriate relief (including against a government).”8 This reading makes clear that relief against a government is merely an additional right—a subset of the more generally obtainable relief under RFRA. Thus, “claim or defense in a judicial proceeding” is freestanding and not limited by the “obtain relief” phrasing.

    It is noteworthy that then-Judge Sotomayor dissented on this issue for the Second Circuit in Hankins v. Lyght (2nd Cir. 2006), holding that RFRA could not be raised as a defense. Sotomayor dissented, and wrote “the statute does not apply to disputes between private parties.”

    RFRA by its terms does not apply to suits between private parties.

    Two provisions of the statute implicitly limit its application to disputes in which the government is a party. Section 2000bb-1(c) states that “[a] person whose religious exercise has been burdened in violation of this section may assert that violation as a claim or defense in a judicial proceeding and obtain appropriate relief against a government” (emphasis added). In the majority’s view, we should read this provision as “broadening, rather than narrowing, the rights of a party asserting the RFRA.” Maj. Op. at 103. This interpretation would be questionable even if Section 2000bb-1(c) were the only provision of the statute affecting the question of whether RFRA applies to private suits. When read in conjunction with the rest of the statute, however, it becomes clear that this section reflects Congress’s understanding that RFRA claims and defenses would be raised only against the government. For instance, section 2000bb-1(b) of RFRA provides that where a law imposes a substantial burden on religion, the “government” must “demonstrate[] . . . that application of the burden” is the least restrictive means of furthering a compelling governmental interest (emphasis added). The statute defines “demonstrate” as “meet[ing] the burdens of going forward with the evidence and of persuasion.” 42 U.S.C. § 2000bb-2(3). Where, as here, the government is not a party, it cannot “go[] forward” with any evidence.[8] In my 115*115view, this provision strongly suggests that Congress did not intend RFRA to apply in suits between private parties.[9]

    All of the examples cited in the Senate and House Reports on RFRA involve actual or hypothetical lawsuits in which the government is a party. See S. Rep. No. 103-111 (1993); H.R. Rep. 103-88 (1993). The lack Of even a single example of a RFRA claim or defense in a suit between private parties in these Reports tends to confirm what is evident from the plain language of the statute: It was not intended to apply to suits between private parties.

    This could prove interesting if this issue comes before the Court.

    Other circuits (CA6, CA7) do not permit private defendants to raise RFRA as a defense in private suits.

    Other circuits (hereinafter “nondefense circuits”) have held that the language in the judicial relief section and in the remainder of the statute suggest that RFRA meant to provide a defense only when obtaining ap- propriate relief against a government and therefore cannot apply to suits in which the government is not a party.9 A nondefense view of the text would be modified to say, “A person whose religious exercise has been burdened in violation of this section may assert that violation as a claim or defense in a judicial proceeding and obtain appropriate relief against a government and may obtain appropriate relief.”10 By moving the “ob- tain relief” phrase to the end of the sentence, this rewriting clarifies that “government” is meant to limit the types of cases in which a “claim or defense” can be asserted. This modification limits applicability of RFRA to only those suits in which a claim or defense is raised against a gov- ernment party, thus excluding a defense in citizen suits.

    And wouldn’t you know it, Judge Posner wrote the leading 7th Circuit precedent holding RFRA can’t be raised as a defense. Tomic v. Catholic Diocese of Peoria, 442 F.3d 1036, 1042 (7th Cir. 2006).

    RFRA is applicable only to suits to which the government is a party. See 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000bb-1(b), (c); Worldwide Church of God v. Philadelphia Church of God, Inc., 227 F.3d 1110, 1120-21 (9th Cir.2000); Sutton v. Providence St. Joseph Medical Center, 192 F.3d 826, 834-35 (9th Cir.1999). “A person whose religious exercise has been burdened in violation of this section may assert that violation as a claim or defense in a judicial proceeding and obtain appropriate relief against a government.” 42 U.S.C. § 2000bb-1(c).

    It is hardly to be imagined, moreover, that in seeking to broaden the protection of religious rights, Congress, dropping nary a hint, wiped out a long-established doctrine that gives greater protection to religious autonomy than RFRA does. Indeed a serious constitutional issue would be presented if Congress by stripping away the ministerial exception required federal courts to decide religious questions.

    Judge Sykes did not dissent on 7th Circuit panel. And Judge Sutton did not dissent on Judge Moore’s opinion for CA6.

    In the Elane Photograph case, the New Mexico Supreme Court, interpreting its own RFRA, ruled that it could only be invoked when the government was a party, but not when private parties were sued by state law. The Indiana bill makes clear that the defense can be raised in any case, as have four courts of appeals covering nearly half the states in the Union.

    Interestingly, as noted in this amicus brief by the Becket Fund in the Elane Photography case, DOJ has taken the position that RFRA can be raised as a defense in lawsuits brought by private parties:

    In response, the United States has formally taken the position that religious organizations can assert RFRA as a defense in lawsuits brought by private parties: “[I]f plaintiff were sued by a plan participant or beneficiary in the future, plaintiff, in its defense of such an action, would have an opportunity to raise its contention that the contraceptive coverage requirement violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (‘RFRA’).” Reply in Support of Motion to Dismiss at 3-4, Wheaton Coll. v. Sebelius, No. 12-01169 (D.D.C. Aug. 20, 2012).

    So the most controversial aspect of the Indiana law was endorsed by the Holder Justice Department. [Update: I should stress that at the time, DOJ limited the applicability of RFRA to “religious organizations,” such as Wheaton College. But following Hobby Lobby this position is no longer tenable.]”

  • When there’s are so many states with similar with RFRAs and a Federal one, I have to wonder why single Indiana out? Could it be that this brouhaha is about politically destroying a conservative Republican governor? So that Mike Pence will never be a contender on a national Republican ticket? How better to do it than applying economic pressure on his state which in turns puts pressure on him. Standard Democratic M.O. to pull the race card or rainbow card. In this case it’s the latter.

  • When there’s are so many states with similar with RFRAs and a Federal one, I have to wonder why single Indiana out?

    Because that was then and this is now. Because Democrats need to do something to gin up hatred fear and paranoia in order to keep their donors donating and their voters voting. Because “gay marriage” is in front of the Supreme Court. Any number of reasons.

  • The Constitutional First Amendment: “or prohibit the free exercise thereof.” What part of “or prohibit the free exercise thereof” do these loudmouthed, dumber than doorknobs not read?

  • “Because Democrats need to do something to gin up hatred fear and paranoia in order to keep their donors donating and their voters voting. Because “gay marriage” is in front of the Supreme Court. Any number of reasons.”

    So true. The constitutionality of same-sex marriage is before the US Supreme Court in late April. The decision should be handed down in June. The PR campaign for gay marriages has started with lies, hysteria, paranoia and boycotts.

March 30, 1865: Prelude to Five Forks

Monday, March 30, AD 2015


By the 30th it became obvious to both sides that the Confederate right at Five Forks was in jeopardy.  Grant discusses this in his memoirs:

The next day, March 30th, we had made sufficient progress to the south-west to warrant me in starting Sheridan with his cavalry over by Dinwiddie with instructions to then come up by the road leading north-west to Five Forks, thus menacing the right of Lee’s line.  

This movement was made for the purpose of extending our lines to the west as far as practicable towards the enemy’s extreme right, or Five Forks. The column moving detached from the army still in the trenches was, excluding the cavalry, very small. The forces in the trenches were themselves extending to the left flank. Warren was on the extreme left when the extension began, but Humphreys was marched around later and thrown into line between him and Five Forks.    
My hope was that Sheridan would be able to carry Five Forks, get on the enemy’s right flank and rear, and force them to weaken their centre to protect their right so that an assault in the centre might be successfully made. General Wright’s corps had been designated to make this assault, which I intended to order as soon as information reached me of Sheridan’s success. He was to move under cover as close to the enemy as he could get.    
It is natural to suppose that Lee would understand my design to be to get up to the South Side and ultimately to the Danville Railroad, as soon as he had heard of the movement commenced on the 29th. These roads were so important to his very existence while he remained in Richmond and Petersburg, and of such vital importance to him even in case of retreat, that naturally he would make most strenuous efforts to defend them. He did on the 30th send Pickett with five brigades to reinforce Five Forks. He also sent around to the right of his army some two or three other divisions, besides directing that other troops be held in readiness on the north side of the James River to come over on call. He came over himself to superintend in person the defence of his right flank.

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Palm Sunday One Hundred and Fifty Years Ago

Sunday, March 29, AD 2015

The chiefs and the captains meet,
Lee erect in his best dress uniform,
His dress-sword hung at his side and his eyes unaltered.
Chunky Grant in his mudsplashed private’s gear
With the battered stars on his shoulders.
                                         They talk a while
Of Mexico and old days.
                       Then the terms are stated.
Lee finds them generous, says so, makes a request.
His men will need their horses for the spring-ploughing.
Grant assents at once.
                      There is no parade of bright sword’s
Given or taken.  Grant saw that there should not be.
It is over, then. . . .
                       Lee walks from the little room.
His face is unchanged.  It will not change when he dies.
But as he steps on the porch and looks toward his lines
He strikes his hands together once with a sound. . . .

In the room he has left, the blue men stare at each other
For a space of heartbeats, silent.  The grey ride off.
They are gone–it is over. . . .

The room explodes like a bomb, they are laughing and shouting,
Yelling strange words, dragging chairs and tables outdoors,
Bearded generals waltzing with one another
For a brief, wild moment, punching each others’ ribs,
Everyone talking at once and nobody listening,
“It’s over–it’s done–it’s finished!”
                                      Then, order again.
The grey ghost-army falls in for the last time,
Marching to stack its arms.
                           As the ranks move forward
The blue guns go to “Present.”  Gordon sees the gesture.
He sweeps his sabre down in the full salute.

There are no cheers or words from blue lines or grey.
Only the sound of feet. . . .
It is over, now. . . .
                      The arms are stacked from the war.
A few bronzed, tattered grey men, weeping or silent,
Tear some riddled bits of cloth from the color-staffs
And try to hide them under their uniforms.

Stephen Vincent Benet, John Brown’s Body





I have always thought it appropriate that the national nightmare we call the Civil War ended during Holy Week 1865.  Two remarkably decent men, Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant, began the process of healing so desperately needed for America on Palm Sunday, April 9, 1865 at Appomattox.  We take their decency for granted, but it is the exception and not the rule for the aftermath of civil wars in history.  The usual course would have been unremitting vengeance by the victors, and sullen rage by the defeated, perhaps eventually breaking out in guerilla war.  The end of the Civil War could so very easily have been the beginning of a cycle of unending war between north and south.  Instead, both Grant and Lee acted to make certain as far as they could that the fratricidal war that had just concluded would not be repeated.  All Americans owe those two men a large debt for their actions at Appomattox.

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3 Responses to Palm Sunday One Hundred and Fifty Years Ago

  • Family members were divided and battled amongst themselves in this “civil” war. The recognition of Almighty God was equally planted in the hearts of both leaders, so I wonder if the timing was a “surrender of sorts” to His Divine authority as another form..higher form of surrender was about to be recalled throughout the nation, divided, in her churches. Just pondering aloud.

  • In the Civil War, in the Catholic Church, I do not know of decent men from the Bergoglio – Kasper camp. None of them seem to care at all about our souls. They seem to care about our groins and our feelings.

    I have had much more than enough of them.

    When they are willing to slap a proud adulterer in the face, in public, and require them to repent or to face formal excommunication, I will secure my sword in its scabbard. Until then, it is war….at least from me.


  • Stay on the topic of the post please.

Triumph of the Cross

Sunday, March 29, AD 2015

In Hoc Signo Vinces


(This is my regular post for Palm Sunday which I repost each year.  Have a happy and blessed Palm Sunday and Holy Week.)

9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Sion, shout for joy, O daughter of Jerusalem: BEHOLD THY KING will come to thee, the just and saviour: he is poor, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. 10 And I will destroy the chariot out of Ephraim, and the horse out of Jerusalem, and the bow for war shall be broken: and he shall speak peace to the Gentiles, and his power shall be from sea to sea, and from the rivers even to the end of the earth.


Thus did the prophet Zechariah, writing half a millennium before, predict the entry of Christ into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.  How many such glorious entrances into cities have there been over the ages?  Every civilization I am aware of has such ceremonies, either parades in peace time or entrances of conquest or liberation in war time.  The Romans turned this into an art form with their triumphs, with the reminder of the slave to the imperator of  fleeting human mortality: “Respice post te, hominem memento te”.

Few such triumphs have turned into utter disaster as quickly as that of Jesus:  Jerusalem at His feet on Sunday, and Christ dead on a Roman Cross before the sun had set on Friday.  Small wonder that no contemporary historian or chronicler at the time took note.  However some sort of official report probably was filed after the crucifixion.  Writing circa 116 AD, and relying heavily on official records for his history, in regard to the great fire at Rome under Emperor Nero Tacitus states:

“15.44.2. But, despite kindly influence, despite the leader’s generous handouts, despite appeasing the gods, the scandal did not subside, rather the blaze came to be believed to be an official act. So, in order to quash the rumour, Nero blamed it on, and applied the cruelest punishments to, those sinners, whom ordinary people call Christians, hating them for their shameful behaviour. 15.44.3. The originator of this name, Christ, was sentenced to torture by Procurator Pontius Pilate, during the reign of Tiberius, but although checked for a moment, the deadly cult erupted again, not just in Judaea, the source of its evil, but even in Rome, where all the sins and scandals of the world gather and are glorified.”

Tacitus, clearly hostile to the Christians, points his finger at one of the great mysteries of history.  In human terms the Jesus movement was nipped in the bud at its inception.  Yet in less than three centuries the Roman emperor bowed before the cross.  The triumph of Palm Sunday led only to disaster, and the humiliation and death of the cross led to triumph in eternity and here on Earth.

For we Catholics, and for all other Christians, no explanation of this paradoxical outcome is needed.  However there is much here to ponder for non-believers and non-Christians.  In purely human terms the followers of Christ had no chance to accomplish anything:  no powerful supporters, no homeland embracing their faith, cultures, both Jewish and Gentile, which were hostile to the preaching of the Gospels, other religions which were well-established, the list of disadvantages could go on at considerable length.  We take the victory of Christianity for granted because it happened.  We forget how very improbable such a victory was. Even more improbable is that what began on Palm Sunday, the triumph of Jesus, has continued till today in spite of all challenges that two thousand years of human folly could cast up.  How very peculiar in mortal terms!

Let us give the last word to the patron saint of paradox G. K. Chesterton:

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4 Responses to Triumph of the Cross

  • ” We forget how very improbable such a victory was…”

    Perhaps because the truth is far too uncomfortable to those who seek to be their own gods?

  • In the dark still- ignorant still- and brave
    I hope…. Signed by His Cross and beneficiaries of His Victory

  • Q: Is there any land any tribe or peoples that have not been privileged to the living Word?

    If not, then may He find His servants, His friends, toiling in His vineyard in loving unity with the Holy Spirit. May His Kingdom come and perfectly His will be done. His Triumph finally realized and complete in All of the hearts He has chosen.

  • “We forget how very improbable such a victory was…” because we fit it into a schema. The post-Enlightenment era has been trained to think of secularization as one of those great historical waves. Everyone believed in multiple gods, then everyone believed in one god, and now everyone believes in no god. Progress, right? Sure, we’re not at the point of complete non-belief yet, but we’re headed that way, because history moves inexorably in one direction.

    In truth, the great sweeps of history are steered by the individual as much as the individual is steered by the great sweeps of history. History isn’t a materialist machine; it’s animated by individual souls. All empires are toppled by one man. Of course, the rise of Christianity was due to that Power which the human soul is only an image of.

March 29, 1865: Battle of Lewis Farm

Sunday, March 29, AD 2015

General Chamberlain

Battle of Lewis Farm


 The Appomattox Campaign began on March 29, 1865, with Grant moving the V and II corps to the west to outflank Lee’s lines, while Sheridan and his troopers were sent south to rip up the rail lines linking Petersburg and Richmond to what remained of the Confederacy.  Lee, with that preternatural sixth sense he seemed to often possess regarding the intentions of his enemies, had moved his cavalry, along with infantry under Major General George Pickett to the west to beat off Union attempts to outflank his army.

The first Union objective was to cut the Boydton Plank Road.  After crossing Gravelley Run stream, the leading brigade of the first division of the V corps ran into Confederate fortifications.  The brigade was led by Brigadier Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, the heroic officer who had commanded the 20th Maine during its stand on Little Round Top at Gettysburg. In a fierce action of several hours duration, Chamberlain held his position only falling back as Union reinforcements arrived.  The reinforcements caused the Confederates to retreat to their White Oak Line.  Union casualties were 381 to 371 Confederate.

Late in the afternoon Sheridan’s cavalry occupied Dinwiddie Court House without opposition.  The end of the day saw the vital, for the Confederates, Boydton Plank Road cut in two locations, and the Confederate right dangerously exposed.  Here is Chamberlain’s account of the fighting:

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The Peacemakers

Saturday, March 28, AD 2015

The Peacemakers


A historic meeting occurred between Lincoln, Grant and Sherman on March 27-28, 1865 at City Point, Virginia.  Sherman had no idea that President Lincoln was going to be there, he having traveled by sea from North Carolina to coordinate with Grant the final campaign of the War.  This meeting was memorialized in the 1868 painting The Peacemakers, which was suggested by Sherman:

In Chicago about June or July of that year, when all the facts were fresh in my mind, I told them to George P. A. Healy, the artist, who was casting about for a subject for an historical painting, and he adopted this interview. Mr. Lincoln was then dead, but Healy had a portrait, which he himself had made at Springfield some five or six years before. With this portrait, some existing photographs, and the strong resemblance in form of [Leonard Swett], of Chicago, to Mr. Lincoln he made the picture of Mr. Lincoln seen in this group. For General Grant, Admiral Porter, and myself he had actual sittings, and I am satisfied the four portraits in this group of Healy’s are the best extant. The original picture, life-size, is, I believe, now in Chicago, the property of Mr. [Ezra B. McCagg]; but Healy afterwards, in Rome, painted ten smaller copies, about eighteen by twenty-four inches, one of which I now have, and it is now within view. I think the likeness of Mr. Lincoln by far the best of the many I have seen elsewhere, and those of General Grant, Admiral Porter, and myself equally good and faithful. I think Admiral Porter gave Healy a written description of our relative positions in that interview, also the dimensions, shape, and furniture of the cabin of the “Ocean Queen”; but the rainbow is Healy’s—typical, of course, of the coming peace. In this picture I seem to be talking, the others attentively listening. Whether Healy made this combination from Admiral Porter’s letter or not, I cannot say; but I thought that he caught the idea from what I told him had occurred when saying that “if Lee would only remain in Richmond till I could reach Burkesville, we would have him between our thumb and fingers,” suiting the action to the word. It matters little what Healy meant by his historic group, but it is certain that we four sat pretty much as represented, and were engaged in an important conversation during the forenoon of March 28, 1865, and that we parted never to meet again.

The original painting was destroyed in a fire, and what we have now is a copy found in 1922, lying forgotten in a family storehouse in Chicago.  Harry Truman, ironically a proud card carrying member of Sons of Confederate Veterans, purchased the copy of the painting for the White House in 1947.

Here is Sherman’s recollections of the meeting from his Memoirs:


The railroad was repaired to Goldsboro’ by the evening of March 25th, when, leaving General Schofield in chief command, with a couple of staff-officers I started for City Point, Virginia, in a locomotive, in company with Colonel Wright, the constructing engineer. We reached Newbern that evening, which was passed in the company of General Palmer and his accomplished lady, and early the next morning we continued on to Morehead City, where General Easton had provided for us the small captured steamer Russia, Captain Smith. We put to sea at once and steamed up the coast, reaching Fortress Monroe on the morning of the 27th, where I landed and telegraphed to my brother, Senator Sherman, at Washington, inviting him to come down and return with me to Goldsboro. We proceeded on up James River to City Point, which we reached the same afternoon. I found General Grant, with his family and staff, occupying a pretty group of huts on the bank of James River, overlooking the harbor, which was full of vessels of all classes, both war and merchant, with wharves and warehouses on an extensive scale. The general received me most heartily, and we talked over matters very fully. After I had been with him an hour or so, he remarked that the President, Mr. Lincoln, was then on board the steamer River Queen, lying at the wharf, and he proposed that we should call and see him. We walked down to the wharf, went on board, and found Mr. Lincoln alone, in the after-cabin. He remembered me perfectly, and at once engaged in a most interesting conversation. He was full of curiosity about the many incidents of our great march, which had reached him officially and through the newspapers, and seemed to enjoy very much the more ludicrous parts-about the “bummers,” and their devices to collect food and forage when the outside world supposed us to be starving; but at the same time he expressed a good deal of anxiety lest some accident might happen to the army in North Carolina during my absence. I explained to him that that army was snug and comfortable, in good camps, at Goldsboro’; that it would require some days to collect forage and food for another march; and that General Schofield was fully competent to command it in my absence. Having made a good, long, social visit, we took our leave and returned to General Grant’s quarters, where Mrs. Grant had provided tea. While at the table, Mrs. Grant inquired if we had seen Mrs. Lincoln. “No,” said the general, “I did not ask for her;” and I added that I did not even know that she was on board. Mrs. Grant then exclaimed, “Well, you are a pretty pair!” and added that our neglect was unpardonable; when the general said we would call again the next day, and make amends for the unintended slight.

Early the next day, March 28th, all the principal officers of the army and navy called to see me, Generals Meade, Ord, Ingalls, etc., and Admiral Porter. At this time the River Queen was at anchor out in the river, abreast of the wharf, and we again started to visit Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln. Admiral Porter accompanied us. We took a small, tug at the wharf, which conveyed us on board, where we were again received most courteously by the President, who conducted us to the after-cabin. After the general compliments, General Grant inquired after Mrs. Lincoln, when the President went to her stateroom, returned, and begged us to excuse her, as she was not well. We then again entered upon a general conversation, during which General Grant explained to the President that at that very instant of time General Sheridan was crossing James River from the north, by a pontoon-bridge below City Point; that he had a large, well-appointed force of cavalry, with which he proposed to strike the Southside and Danville Railroads, by which alone General Lee, in Richmond, supplied his army; and that, in his judgment, matters were drawing to a crisis, his only apprehension being that General Lee would not wait long enough. I also explained that my army at Goldsboro’ was strong enough to fight Lee’s army and Johnston’s combined, provided that General Grant could come up within a day or so; that if Lee would only remain in Richmond another fortnight, I could march up to Burkesville, when Lee would have to starve inside of his lines, or come out from his intrenchments and fight us on equal terms.

Both General Grant and myself supposed that one or the other of us would have to fight one more bloody battle, and that it would be the last. Mr. Lincoln exclaimed, more than once, that there had been blood enough shed, and asked us if another battle could not be avoided. I remember well to have said that we could not control that event; that this necessarily rested with our enemy; and I inferred that both Jeff. Davis and General Lee would be forced to fight one more desperate and bloody battle. I rather supposed it would fall on me, somewhere near Raleigh; and General Grant added that, if Lee would only wait a few more days, he would have his army so disposed that if the enemy should abandon Richmond, and attempt to make junction with General Jos. Johnston in North Carolina, he (General Grant) would be on his heels. Mr. Lincoln more than once expressed uneasiness that I was not with my army at Goldsboro’, when I again assured him that General Schofield was fully competent to command in my absence; that I was going to start back that very day, and that Admiral Porter had kindly provided for me the steamer Bat, which he said was much swifter than my own vessel, the Russia. During this interview I inquired of the President if he was all ready for the end of the war. What was to be done with the rebel armies when defeated? And what should be done with the political leaders, such as Jeff. Davis, etc.? Should we allow them to escape, etc.? He said he was all ready; all he wanted of us was to defeat the opposing armies, and to get the men composing the Confederate armies back to their homes, at work on their farms and in their shops. As to Jeff. Davis, he was hardly at liberty to speak his mind fully, but intimated that he ought to clear out, “escape the country,” only it would not do for him to say so openly. As usual, he illustrated his meaning by a story:

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4 Responses to The Peacemakers

  • I have a young friend, with a master’s in history who writes a history blog. Here him tell it, our Founding Fathers were racists and Lincoln the least honorable of men. This perversion of history is not new, but reading this recalls what injustice is being done to the memory of good men by our illiberal, progressive liberals.

  • Donald, I have spent the last week (literally day & night) helping to pass a bill through the AR Senate Ed Committee that will require relevant review of the origins of our country to the year 1890 at the high school level. The goal of the bill is provision for instruction in high school social studies/history classes in proper context & for mastery. It allows for the complete freedom of individual classroom teachers to meet the needs of their students/classes as they see fit. Our AR Dept of Ed has created social studies standards, for implementation across the state in July of this year, that literally allow for the teaching of the beginnings of US History to the year 1890 in the 5th Grade. Then 4-7 years later, they ask high school students to use analysis, comparison & contrast, & synthesis level thinking based on those same concepts. Of course the bureaucrats at large are responding to a push from the liberal college level down into the high school level that is an attempt to decrease any emphasis the great things that made our country free and how it continues to (relatively) be free–anywhere they possibly can. The usual suspects in the liberal media have gone beserk spreading misinformation even to the point of posting links to the wrong bill. They are doing all they can to kill the bill. The state educational bureaucrats are livid that we want our children learning things such as what you have posted here in context and for mastery. They have explicitly stated that they “want to teach modern American history.” An ADE assistant commissioner was reduced to blubbering over & over to the Sen Ed Committee, “what do you want us to leave out? There is too much to teach!” expecting us to accept that in the last 8 years it has suddenly become impossible for high school teachers to teach all of American history. And we know why that is. One liberal has specified on line that she does not want American Exceptionalism taught–won’t define for me what that term means for her but wants to be sure that the horrid genecidal things our country has done is taught to our students so there is what she calls balance. Anyway, I am preaching to the choir. Pray for us, please in our fight to give future Arkansans enough knowledge to maintain their freedoms. The bill goes to the full senate tomorrow and then on to the House Ed Committee which is a true lions den. The ADE has agreed to put any changes of educational standards up to public comment in the future, however Ibwould not hold my breath waiting for that to happen. Thank you for this beautiful post about the Civil War period. I thouroughly enjoyed it.

  • Barbara, Please come to Colorado and get elected to the legislature!

  • Harry Truman proud member of SCV…
    …When Harry’s mother (Mama) first came to the White House, she was very concerned that she would have to sleep in the Lincoln Room, (as her other son Vivian had erroneously told her). Told Harry that she would sleep on the floor before she’d occupy the same bed as Lincoln.
    BTW, I was gonna post all that until Barbara’s post, which made everything else seem so small. But, oh well, there it is.

PopeWatch: Liquefy

Saturday, March 28, AD 2015

6 Responses to PopeWatch: Liquefy

  • Thanks for all you do to make TAC what it is…an oasis in the parched land.
    Blessings and Peace to your family as well.

    btw….we’re still seeing the effects of St. JP II when he liquified Russia! The polar ice is still melting. Green house effect??…ha haa ha haa….

  • Thank you for your kind words Philip. May you and your family enjoy the peace and joy of the upcoming Easter to the full.

  • “I think it started liquefying for Francis until it realized it wasn’t me kissing it, and so it stopped”.

    Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI telling EOTT this sounds like a little bit of bad feeling with Pope Francis. While Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is seen by more conservative Catholics as the real pope. Many see’s Pope Francis reaching out to the people at a time when the Catholic Church was seen as becoming insular

  • Eye of the Tiber is a humor site James.

  • Eye of the Tiber and the occasional animated satire from the Lutherans bring light heartedness at a time when the world’s human populace is threatened from the Darkness. Thank you.


Saturday, March 28, AD 2015


Something for the weekend.  Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus performed as the Recessional Hymn at St. Francis Xavier Church in New York City on Easter Sunday March 31, 2013.  Although The Messiah has become identified with Christmas, the Hallelujah Chorus is clearly in the Easter section of The Messiah.  The conclusion of the film The Greatest Story Ever Told, got this right:

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3 Responses to Hallelujah

  • While this rendition of the “Hallelujah Chorus” is certainly well done
    and the church interior is also beautiful, I must point out a fly in the
    ointment. The parish where this video was made, St. Francis Xavier
    in New York City, is a Jesuit parish notorious as the “gay parish” in
    Cardinal Dolan has written to the parishes of his archdiocese asking
    them to refrain from participating in NYC’s annual “Gay Pride” march,
    but St. FX has done so anyway, with a contingent from the parish
    marching in the parade with a banner proclaiming the parish’s affiliation.
    The “Gay Pride” events have been advertised in leaflets handed out
    after Mass at the church. The parish hosts an annual “LGBT anniversary
    I’m sure there are many fine people who attend St. Francis Xavier parish,
    and they certainly know how to sing the “Hallelujah Chorus”, but some-
    thing is seriously awry there.

  • Wonderful music for Sunday morning- the Son is shining and it will be a beautiful day.

  • Speaking of LBGT, I hope after Easter TAC will comment on the new Indiana law signed by Gov Pence that is supposed to protect freedom of religion. I have not seen any reports that address religious freedom, only hysteria from the left about discrimination against the LBGT.

    Back to the Hallelujah, “the Son is shining”, well put.
    Beautiful music performed in a beautiful house of God.
    Thank you for the post. A Happy and Blessed Easter to you, and your family.

26 Responses to Who Needs a Clown Mass?

  • The only thing missing is somebody squirting some seltzer water and singing “Make ‘Em Laugh”!

  • Interminable video! I kept waiting for someone in congregation to get up and do something.

  • “The sad thing about this video…. Not one of the older Franciscan Fathers got up and left this production of craziness…”

    They might have been nostalgic which watching it! If you have a 72 year old priest, he would have been 22 in 1965. Quite a few of that generation would have been going through the seminary when the craziness within the Church was at its height.

  • Who needs a Clown Mass? Clowns, obviously.
    Was I just uncharitable? sigh

  • Tom, that’s what I was thinking, too. After all, clowns need to fulfill the commandments of the Church, including Mass attendance. Then I discovered that they’re not born like that – they dress up that way intentionally. I’m not sure what to do with that fact.

  • My first thought was some kind of neurological disorder but I’m afraid not. I suspect it’s more like, “I was having dinner with one of those cool womyprysts and she was telling me how dance is a perfect expression of love for our Lord . . .”

    Anybody else notice how “liturgical” dance is all the same? Turn, turn, lift hands, step, turn, turn, lift hands . . .

    Here’s Stephen Colbert’s take on liturgical dancing:

  • Quite a few of that generation would have been going through the seminary when the craziness within the Church was at its height.

    What do you mean was at its height?

  • People have seen worse.;_ylt=AwrB8pqoshVVm1MApCiJzbkF;_ylu=X3oDMTIzMmJkMTIxBHNlYwNzcgRzbGsDaW1nBG9pZAM4NzhjMGQ5ZjVkMGI3ZjJjMTEyNzIyZjc4OGIwMjQ2MgRncG9zAzI0BGl0A2Jpbmc-?.origin=&

  • What was that music playing? Was it even Christian?

  • St. Francis would be turning in his grave.
    The guy missed his vocation – he should have been a ballet dancer – a student of none other than the great Nureyev, complete with tights and all the bulges 😉

  • Don,

    Please forgive me. I am a child of my times.

    Gary Lewis and the Playboys

    This is not quite a perfect joke, but my heart is in the right place.
    Yes, I love this song but it is NOT a liturgical song.


  • … And yet it’s the FFI that the Vatican believes needs to be punished…

  • Liturgical dance?
    An image of a golden calf comes to mind. They worship what they do not know. If they knew Him they would listen to Him in the silence of their hearts in the spoken word and in the worthy reception of His Flesh and Blood. The Lord of the Dance gives all of us time for dancing and jumping about.
    The Sacred liturgy is not the time.

  • I just had a dream like this last night!
    Actually it was a nightmare. Very strange.. It was an awful dream , so vivid, then I saw this.
    Very very disturbing.

  • My son, one of our parish’s main altar-boys, refused to watch this. He had a painful expression when I read some of the Youtube comments.

  • DJ Hessulius.

    Your son already has a heart of a deacon. Please ask your son to listen closely to “the Call.” We need sons like yours in the priesthood!

  • HessELius…excuse my typo …please.

  • Don’t expect the Roman Pontiff to do anything about this. In another story, the Roman Pontiff has stripped Bishop Oliveri from his small Italian diocese for the terrible offense of being Traditionalist friendly.

    Mercy my #$%.

  • How sad. How tragically sad. It seems that some of these individuals have missed their calling to Saturday Night Live.

  • Holy Smoke and Mirrors!

  • You do the hhooly pookie and that’s what it’s all about….you put your right arm put your left arm fling your brown robe around..and you jump and spout like trout..when the faithful leave you’ve succeeded no doubt…tTHATS WHATt it’s all about!

  • I feel so bad for that guy. He doesn’t even realize how incredibly stupid he looks doing that. It was embarrassing. I couldn’t watch it all the way through. I fail to see how any normal man could do that and not be completely ashamed about it. And now it’s out there on the internet for FOREVER! Yet he has no clue that he’s made himself to be a total moron. You have to be pretty self-absorbed to pull off what he did and not immediately seek plastic surgery so you’ll never be recognized as “that guy”.

  • The 1st Sign of “The Silly Season of The Roman Rite”,came in 1967, with those “Instruments Of Mass Destruction”, Guitars, with the playing of “Sons Of God, Hear His Holy Word”(Which in this PC World of Today would Be Sexist). THIS was made possible in the Sacrosanctum Concilium Document on Gregorian Chant, with extra and vague language.
    So, with the Coming of the Missa Ordo, which is today called The Ordinary Form Mass, 1st called “Novus Ordo” by Alfredo Cardinal Ottaviani in “A Short, Critical Study of The New Mass”, aka “The Ottaviani Intervention”, this New Liturgy was put under the jurisdiction of “The Competent Ecchlesiastical Territorial Authority” of the various National Conferences of Catholic Bishops, who would stress “Inculturation”.
    The Great Catholic Hymns disappeared. Pretty Soon, like starting in 1971, Lite FM Style of “Music” was incorporated into the Mass(The Music You Might Vomit To, if it didn’t induce drowsiness, first). Later in the 1970s the “Clown Mass”, which I call a desecration, made its Premiere.
    Altar Rails went the way of the Edsel. People were forced to stand for Holy Communion. The Abuse called Communion A Mano(In The Hand), originally an act of Disobedience in Europe’s Low Countries, plus Germany and France, was introduced to the USA in 1977, through a Falsification of Voting Results in the USCCB, under the Leadership of the then Archbishop of Cincinatti, Joseph Bernadin.
    And the Silliness, including Liturgical Dance, was to March on.
    From 1967 into The Present, the Church doesn’t seem like The Church of Old.


  • Philip: that is fine. My typos are legendary, as is my poor spelling. I was once credibly accused of misspelling my own name back in the 3rd grade.

  • The dude in the video reminds me of “the Whirling Dervishes.”

    Note that there were no pony tails in the group, Thank God for small mercies.

  • How did the congregation keep a straight face?

    There’s a man at our Parish that sings the “Alleiluia” in such a camp way (complete with rhythm claps), my 7, 4 and 2 year old walk around the house mimicking him. At Christmas Eve mass my dad nudged me and said watch this (as if I hadn’t seen it before). This church singer gets a buzz out of his “Alleluia” rendition.

    But honest to goodness, that video takes the cake. God has a sense of humour- and I’m sure he is shaking his head in bewilderment. Like the above commenter said, If I was that Brother, I’d want the earth to open up and swallow me up, after watching myself.

Screen Pilates: Dennis King

Friday, March 27, AD 2015


Continuing our series on screen portrayals of Pilate that I began in 2011 during Holy Week.    The posts on portrayals of Pilate by Rod Steiger, Richard Boone, Barry Dennen, Hristov Shopov, Telly Savalas, Frank Thring, Stephen Russell, Greg Hicks, Cyril Richard and Stephen Moyer may be viewed  here, here, here, here  here , here, here, here, here and here.

Give us Barabbas was a Hallmark Hall of Fame tv movie shown in 1961.  Pilate makes a brief appearance at the beginning of the film, asking the mob to choose between Barabbas and Christ.    Washing his hands after Barabbas is chosen, Pilate, portrayed by Dennis King, seems very eager to end his role in what he clearly views as a very distasteful business.  Eaten up by curiosity Barabbas has an interview with Pilate in which he questions why Christ had to die.  Pilate responds that Christ spoke in riddles that puzzled Pilate and gave Pilate no grounds to spare his life.  Pilate is filled with grief over the death of Christ, but does not see what else he could have done.  King portrays Pilate with a great sense of world weariness, a man nearing the end of his career who did not want any involvement in this matter for which he is alone to be remembered.

It is almost a shame that this was not Barabbas the Musical as King was a noted singer, and for decades was  star on Broadway.  He never did much feature film work, and today is chiefly remembered for his work in early television.  He died in 1971.  The author of the screenplay, Henry Denker, who originally studied to be a rabbi, before making a ghastly error and becoming an attorney prior to finding his life long avocation of writing, often Christian themed religious dramas, lived until 2012, passing away at age 99.

Audience reception for the film was good and it was replayed for years near Easter on NBC.

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One Response to Screen Pilates: Dennis King