Kneeling Before the Poor and Other Absurdities

Thursday, April 30, AD 2015

Pope Francis made one of his trademark hyperbolic statements on Tuesday:


Pope Francis said on Tuesday that poverty is the great teaching Jesus gave us and we can find his face among the poor and needy. Stressing that the poor are not a burden but a resource, he said he wished that both the city of Rome and the local Church community could be more attentive, caring and considerate towards those in need and that Christians could knee before a poor person.

Go here to read the rest.  He also said that poverty is the great teaching that Christ left us.

How is a Catholic to respond when a Pope constantly makes statements that are bunk?  If such statements were not frequent, say once a year for example, perhaps passing them over in silence might be the preferred strategy.  When the statements are frequent, I think it is the duty of Catholics to speak out, so here goes.

Saying that Catholics should kneel before the poor is as wrong as saying Catholics should kneel before the rich.  Catholics should kneel to no one but God.  If the Pope was attempting to say that Catholics should attempt to help, care and love the poor, surely he has the vocabulary to do so without making a statement that so easily can be regarded as an attempt to transform the poor into a false idol.

Likewise poverty was not the great teaching that Christ left us.  The great teaching that Christ left us is to love God and our neighbor.  We love God by following Christ and His Teachings as given to us by the Church.  We love our neighbor by attempting to do good to all mankind, which includes the poor, just as it includes the rich, our enemies and those we find personally annoying and offensive.  How this love is demonstrated can be a complex issue in myriad circumstances, but Christ’s teaching that all men are brothers is at the heart of Christianity with love of God.

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15 Responses to Kneeling Before the Poor and Other Absurdities

  • Here is what I need from the Church/clergy: the Sacraments. The Word of God, and help in savng my soul.

    I fear I will faint dead-away if the man mutters a syllable on the salvation of souls.

  • can be regarded as an attempt to transform the poor into a false idol.

    I’ve noticed in some combox discussions and posts that the poor (and even life) seem to take on almost idolistic features among some Catholics. Which then means talking to them becomes almost like the scene with the mother in the Great Divorce: One isn’t arguing against the poor (or life or motherly love, etc) but pointing out that the sort priority is amiss and there are more important things (namely: God) than even those.

    Not to mention the rather insane positions those idolators can end up adopting. If one regards poverty as an absolute scale, then even the poor in America have greater wealth than the rich man in Lazarus’ parable. So should they be treated as the Rich or the Poor? But if poor is a scale, then it becomes not Christ who take away the sins of the world, but Bill Gates and his cohorts who make us all look penniless by comparison.

    Likewise poverty was not the great teaching that Christ left us.

    WHAT? I hope to goodness something was mistranslated there because poverty being “a great teaching Christ left us” is just nonsensical. That would be like saying breathing is a great teaching Christ left us. No, He didn’t teach or leave us anything like that. It was around long before He arrived, it is the default state of mankind.

    Man that is a colossally stupid statement.

  • Who contributed more to the poor?

    The widow who gave her all?
    The wealthy who gave from their surplus?

    When it comes to the poor, I take my cue from our Savior’s birth place.

    A cold cave.

    Those that can lead good lives and use their resources for the betterment of man are blessed. Thank God for good Holy well to do Christians. They, like Tom Monahan, are blessed.

    Mother Theresa of Calcutta was moved to tears by the poor sharing the little they had with poorer neighbors. Thy smiled and praised God continually for the gifts they have.

  • Who contributed more to the poor?
    The widow who gave her all?
    The wealthy who gave from their surplus?

    More like: the widow who gave all or the wealthy who gave a job? Which is more important, for the poor to be fed or for everybody to feel better?

    This is the other problem with many christians (not just Catholics, I’ve seen it plenty among protestants) – we’re not in the 1st century any more. We’re no longer in a world of zero-sum economics. There are more options and ways out there than just throwing money at the people. You want to help the poor today? Then teach them right habits and living. Enforce upon them the seven virtues and the importance of investing in social capital.

    The problem is, all that is much harder and requires more effort. Easier to just give in to sloth and envy…

  • It’s getting to the point where you don’t want to listen to whatever Pope Francis says as you don’t know whether to laugh or cry. The latest nonsense about the “poor” being the case in point. The kind of “poor” he is talking about is the kind with no money. These are folks who are to be celebrated. God knows for what? Christ made a rather dismissive statement about the “poor”, the kind with no money. He said they are always with us. His point was that it is better to celebrate His presence with some expensive oil than sell it and give a little money to each “poor” person.

    In many places it’s not a bad deal to be poor and beats working. This kind thing, while good for vote getting, is ultimately harmful to the “poor” as we all know.

    The “poor” Christ celebrated were folks who were poor in spirit, not necessarily in the pocket book. Of course, our poor Pope doesn’t seem to believe in preaching holiness. That’s not popular and you wouldn’t get invited to the United Nations with that message. Just like any good Democrat you get votes by sharing someone elses wealth.

    Is that all you have for us Pope Francis? We are starving spiritually.

  • If Pope Francis had said he wished Christians could humble themselves before the poor instead of “kneel,” would that have made it better?

  • Yes, it would have made it better, although still wrong-headed. The poor deserve the same respect that we give to all people and not one iota more or less.

  • T. Shaw beat me to the punch; well said. This reduction of the Church to a social welfare agency is troubling. The funniest part of these statements are that Catholics of all stripes are generally real good about assisting others with their time, talent and treasure. The area where we all need work? Morality, but our clergy can’t be troubled with this-they are too busy washing feet.

  • Nate. Agreed on teaching the poor to feed themselves, work ethics and so on.
    The idea of making the poor a type of idol by the use of the word “kneel” is false. To physically kneel to help the poor is what I do everyday at my workplace. I kneel to assist them in many daily activities. My take is different than Mr. McClarey’s however the idea to kneel to aid a poor person is found in the lives of countless Saints.
    My favorite Saint, Maximilian Kolbe, called this spirit of poverty; Our Lady Poverty. Spiritually poor yes, but he looked upon the physical poor in aiding Jesus himself. “You gave me drink when I was thirsty.” “You clothed me when I was naked.”

    I am not in support of misused Govt. Welfar, never will I be, however the hands on experiences with helping the poor is more than “warm fuzzy feeling.”

    It’s humility and love in practice.

  • “You shall do no injustice in judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor.”

    –Leviticus 19:15

    “You shall not follow a multitude to do evil; nor shall you bear witness in a suit, turning aside after a multitude, so as to pervert justice; nor shall you be partial to a poor man in his suit.”

    –Exodus 23:2-3

    “And I charged your judges at that time, ‘Hear the cases between your brethren, and judge righteously between a man and his brother or the alien that is with him. You shall not be partial in judgment; you shall hear the small and the great alike; you shall not be afraid of the face of man, for the judgment is God’s; and the case that is too hard for you, you shall bring to me, and I will hear it.’ And I commanded you at that time all the things that you should do.”

    –Deuteronomy 1:16-18

    “If you have understanding, hear this; listen to what I say. Shall one who hates justice govern? Will you condemn him who is righteous and mighty, who says to a king, ‘Worthless one,’ and to nobles, ‘Wicked man’; who shows no partiality to princes,
    nor regards the rich more than the poor, for they are all the work of his hands?”

    –Job 34:16-19

    “And Peter opened his mouth and said: ‘Truly I perceive that God shows no partiality, but in every nation any one who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.'”

    –Acts 10:34-35

  • “You shall do no injustice in judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor.”
    One of my favorite passages in Scripture Dale.

  • The idea of making the poor a type of idol by the use of the word “kneel” is false. To physically kneel to help the poor is what I do everyday at my workplace.

    Ah, “kneel to help the fallen” is an idea I can get behind and will raise a toast to you there. (though you can find others drifting towards idolatry) It was nonetheless poorly phrased on the Pope’s part.

  • The Roman Pontiff comes from a nation and a continent with millions and millions of poor people – people born into poverty, live in poverty and die in poverty – because their nations and their governments HAVE FAILED THEM.

    Juan Peron was a fraud. The Roman Pontiff has never figured that out and I doubt that he will until he faces his Last Judgment. Chavez, the Sendero Luminoso, the FARC, Allende – they never made life any better for their poor citizens.

    We have millions of poor in our nation because it beats working. Free or subsidized food, medical care, transportation and housing are quite enough for those who don’t want to get out of bed in the morning. The Democrat Party knows this and counts on their votes.

    Perpetual race baiter Jesse Jackson claimed that we should “emulate the poor”. Yeah, right. I should chain smoke, eat bad food, drink cheap beer and liquor, sleep until 10AM, watch TV shows filled with ads for lawyers who will sue for me, surf the Net with my Obamaphone.

    Somebody needs to tell the Roman Pontiff to shut the hell up.

  • I kneel before no one but God. How many faithful know enough to kneel when the Blessed Sacrament is exposed in the monstrance at church, or at least genuflect when He is not. I see people walk into church as if they were entering a meeting hall and forget to give honor to Him, Who’s house it is.
    He would do better to talk and teach about kneeling to Almighty God than to the needy, who (as the rest of us) are merely made in the image of God, no matter how tarnished that image has become.
    As to: “poverty is the great teaching that Christ left us.”? I thought it was “salvation by His dying on the cross”.
    But who am I to judge, though judge, I must.

  • “Frank the Hippie Pope” says it all.

PopeWatch: Wage Disparity

Thursday, April 30, AD 2015



The Pope spoke out against wage disparity between men and women this week:

In discussing the causes of family dissolution, Pope Francis said, “The Christian seed of radical equality between men and women must bring new fruits,” in our time. “The witness of the social dignity of marriage shall become persuasive,” he continued, “precisely by this way: the way of witness that attracts.” The Holy Father went on to say, “For this reason, as Christians, we must become more demanding in this regard: for example, [by] supporting with decision the right to equal retribution for equal work; disparity is a pure scandal.”

Go here to read the rest.  PopeWatch does not doubt that there are many nations in the world, most of them Islamic, where women are treated like dirt.  However, for the United States, the idea that there is a wage disparity between men and women performing equal work is simply not true.


Christina Hoff Sommers puts the lie to this myth:

MYTH 5: Women earn 77 cents for every dollar a man earns—for doing the same work.

FACTS: No matter how many times this wage gap claim is decisively refuted by economists, it always comes back. The bottom line: the 23-cent gender pay gap is simply the difference between the average earnings of all men and women working full-time. It does not account for differences in occupations, positions, education, job tenure or hours worked per week. When such relevant factors are considered, the wage gap narrows to the point of vanishing.

Wage gap activists say women with identical backgrounds and jobs as men still earn less. But they always fail to take into account critical variables. Activist groups like the National Organization for Women have a fallback position: that women’s education and career choices are not truly free—they are driven by powerful sexist stereotypes. In this view, women’s tendency to retreat from the workplace to raise children or to enter fields like early childhood education and psychology, rather than better paying professions like petroleum engineering, is evidence of continued social coercion. Here is the problem: American women are among the best informed and most self-determining human beings in the world. To say that they are manipulated into their life choices by forces beyond their control is divorced from reality and demeaning, to boot.

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16 Responses to PopeWatch: Wage Disparity

  • In other news, a consortium of rabbits are protesting the unfairness of cougars, fox and bobcats allowed to have sharper teeth then they.

  • “The Christian seed of radical equality between men and women must bring new fruits,”

    What does that even mean? Especially given the differences in the way that Christians mean equality and moderns do.

  • The observable wage disparity is a function of domestic division of labor and the different balance of aims men and women have with regard to labor (especially married men and married women). One would think the Pope would appreciate that dimension of family life. He might, if he were not flypaper for the flotsam and jetsam of contemporary political discourse. The best we can hope for is that he shuffles off the scene before he can do any irreparable damage.

  • “What does [‘radical equality between men and women’] even mean? Especially given the differences in the way that Christians mean equality and moderns do.”
    I think he’s referring to the idea that dignity and worth are inherent to all mankind, regardless of sex. In the Greco-Roman world, women were pretty much reduced to menials & sex-objects of one sort or another; wives & mothers being the “good” kind of sex object. The book to see is Kyle Harper’s. I believe Peter Brown’s review was the subject of a post here.
    That’s a radical idea. It still is in large parts of the world.

  • I think he’s referring to the idea

    1. We do not really know, because Francis is perfectly rudderless.

    2. His stated concerns are banal and quite contemporary. I doubt he has the Classical world in mind.

  • Given other opinions on the past, I question at times exactly how badly women were treated (at least, based upon the scale of men as well). Especially given that “he doesn’t love his wife and hates his mother” is an old accusation against enemies, particularly those of the out-tribe. But is it true? Like everyone believing they are above average drivers, if everyone believes it about everyone else, it seems to make it more likely to be untrue.

  • I’ve had occasion to quote some period statistics to people who lived through a period, statistics which left them poleaxed. For example, one quarter of the wage and salaried workforce in 1930 was female; fully a third was in 1957. This was during an era when men retired in old age were a much slimmer slice of the population than today. Camille Paglia had an amusing story about conversing with Susan Faludi. Faludi was opinionated far in excess of her liberal education and professed, in this conversation, to believe that women were not taught to play musical instruments during the 19th century.
    We live softer and sweeter lives, now. I suspect it does not occur to the purveyors of feminist literature than harder and bitter lives was the lot of men as well as women because these purveyors are drawn disproportionately from the ranks of the vigorously self-centered and do not register the problems in living of the men in front of their noses (much less those four generations back).

  • “to believe that women were not taught to play musical instruments during the 19th century.”

    The ignorance of History among the self anointed elite is often stunning. My daughter attends Monmouth College in Illinois that 150 years ago had an almost entirely female student body, having admitted women from its foundation in 1853. The male students enlisted as a body to fight in the Civil War in 1861, and any able bodied male attending the college while the War was being fought would quickly have been asked by members of the distaff student body why he wasn’t in uniform.

  • The stupid, it burns.
    There are far more dire economic problems aside from abricated lies about so-called gender income inequality.

    For instance, the middle class is dying. In 1970 (President Nixon), 1 in 15 men aged 25-54 were not working, now (after six Obama famine years) it’s 1 in 6: Hope and Change!
    Another peace and justice/liberal/Obama economic miracle: Under Obama the U.S. Homeownership in Q1 (S&P 4/29/2015) was 63.7% down from 64.8% a year ago and far below the high which President Bush achieved in 2004 of 69.2%.
    It seems as if the progressive and peace and justice elites are creating more poor people to kneel before.

  • The ‘middle class’ is not dying. The problem you’re referring to is sclerosis in labor markets conjoined to changes (and delays) in the education of youth. (The middle class has been ‘dying’ for about 35 years now, and the infrastructure has been crumbling as well).

    As for Faludi, she’s the issue of Harvard University. So is Barbara Ehrenreich, who gave up her scholarly work in biochemistry to write bad pop-market political economy. I don’t blame Faludi much for not knowing cultural history. I don’t either. However, one of my great great grandmothers was a … music teacher, which gives me an unfair advantage, I suppose. I blame Faludi for substituting her prejudices for what she didn’t know.

  • I remember Rush Limbaugh’s books excoriating the likes of Eherenrich. I don’t remember if Rush skewered Faludi – it’s possible. The shelf life of the Left is far greater than it should be.

    Nothing has failed in this world as much as Leftist political attempts to create Paradise on Earth. Misery,destruction and death have always been the result and still the Left has its adherents.

    Juan Peron, the Roman Pontiff’s hero, was a fraud.

  • And why not address the economics that require women and men both to work at the cost of their family time?

  • And why not address the economics that require women and men both to work at the cost of their family time?

    ‘Economics’ does not require anything. It’s a positive social research discipline which describes a dimension of human behavior. You have two-earner couples because of the decisions people make in their matrix. You can influence those decisions with some adjustments to tax architecture. Latent in these discussions is the notion that you can generate a ‘family wage’ for every household through some sort of public policy hocus pocus (which usually involves promotion of trade unionism and state regulation of wages) and the notion that such was normal ca. 1955. A huge mass of working class women were doing shift work and the like in 1955. As for the bourgeois, most of the teachers I had in elementary school ca. 1970 were married women. You had more housewives then, but people also accepted lower living standards then as well.

  • Art Deco wrote, “one of my great great grandmothers was a … music teacher.”

    My mother was born in 1907 and her first piano teacher (a woman) was a pupil of Clara Schumann (1819-1896)

  • As a college student, belonging to the Catholic Students’ Union, we lustily sang “God save our Pope, the great the good….” Sadly my now dry mouth can only make guttural sounds.

  • I don’t remember if Rush skewered Faludi – it’s possible. The shelf life of the Left is far greater than it should be.

    She was topical when he’d been nationally syndicated for about three years. Ehrenreich is more prolific (and, I suspect, cannier) than Faludi. The book with the greatest eclat was Backlash. One female opinion journalist glancing at it summarized it thus: “basically a conspiracy theory”. Jean Bethke Elshtain reviewing it offered that a glaring aspect of it was that Faludi herself seemed to have no conception that she operated in a public life in which there were competing claims and interests at stake. The major component of its thesis – that the media were participants in a campaign to shackle women – seemed absurd. She won awards for that absurd book.

Sherman: Telegraphs and Railroads

Thursday, April 30, AD 2015


Sherman at the end of his memoirs has a chapter on the military lessons of the war.  Two of the most prescient listed by him are the impact of the telegraph and railroads on the War:

For the rapid transmission of orders in an army covering a large space of ground, the magnetic telegraph is by far the best, though habitually the paper and pencil, with good mounted orderlies, answer every purpose. I have little faith in the signal-service by flags and torches, though we always used them; because, almost invariably when they were most needed, the view was cut off by intervening trees, or by mists and fogs. There was one notable instance in my experience, when the signal-flags carried a message. of vital importance over the heads of Hood’s army, which had interposed between me and Allatoona, and had broken the telegraph-wires–as recorded in Chapter XIX.; but the value of the magnetic telegraph in war cannot be exaggerated, as was illustrated by the perfect concert of action between the armies in Virginia and Georgia during 1864. Hardly a day intervened when General Grant did not know the exact state of facts with me, more than fifteen hundred miles away as the wires ran. So on the field a thin insulated wire may be run on improvised stakes or from tree to tree for six or more miles in a couple of hours, and I have seen operators so skillful, that by cutting the wire they would receive a message with their tongues from a distant station. As a matter of course, the ordinary commercial wires along the railways form the usual telegraph-lines for an army, and these are easily repaired and extended as the army advances, but each army and wing should have a small party of skilled men to put up the field-wire, and take it down when done. This is far better than the signal-flags and torches. Our commercial telegraph-lines will always supply for war enough skillful operators.

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Presenting some eminent alumni/ae of the nation’s catholic colleges and universities…

Wednesday, April 29, AD 2015


Over at Catholic Education Daily, Kimberly Scharfenberger has done a yeowoman’s job in culling together some data concerning the nation’s Catholic colleges and law schools:

  • They boast 65 alumni who are members of the U.S. House of Representatives.
  • That’s 15% of the House’s membership, twice the number of Catholic 4-year institutions of higher education in the United States.

Is that political clout something about which the Church should be proud?

Scharfenberger reports that 50%+ of these Catholic college alumni/ae—38 to be precise—have votes on abortion that “should mortify their alma maters.”

Pro-abortion organizations such as the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) and Planned Parenthood have rated most of those 38 alumni/ae at 100%. In contrast, the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) has rated many of them at 0% when the vote comes to significant life-related issues.

Here’s the roll call of those 38 members of the U.S. House of Representatives who were educated at Catholic institutions and have consistently voted in favor of abortion rights:

  • Brad Ashford (NE)
  • Brendan Boyle (PA)
  • Mike Capuano (MA)
  • David Cicilline(RI)
  • Gerry Connolly (VA)
  • John Delaney (MD)
  • Rosa DeLauro (CN)
  • Mark DeSaulnier (CA)
  • Deborah Dingell (MI)
  • Sam Farr (CA)
  • Lois Frankel (FL)
  • Steny Hoyer (MD)
  • Jared Huffman (CA)
  • Hakeem Jeffries (NY)
  • Eddie Bernice Johnson(TX)
  • Bill Keating (MA)
  • Ann McLane Kuster (NH)
  • Ted Lieu (CA)
  • Zoe Lofgren (CA)
  • Stephen Lynch (MA)
  • Sean Patrick Maloney(NY)
  • Betty McCollum (MN)
  • Gwen Moore (WI)
  • Jerrold Nadler (NY)
  • Rick Nolan (MN)
  • Bill Pascrell (NJ)
  • Nancy Pelosi(CA)
  • Mike Quigley (IL)
  • Charles Rangel (NY)
  • Kathleen Rice (NY)
  • Bobby Scott(VA)
  • Albio Sires (NJ)
  • Adam Smith(WA)
  • Chris Van Hollen (MD)
  • Juan Vargas(CA)
  • Filemon Vela, Jr.(TX)
  • Pete Visclosky(IN)
  • Peter Welch(VT)

Another interesting factoid: Of those 38, 27 attended Jesuit institutions. 11 of them—25%—attended Georgetown University.

Something about which the Church should be proud? No.

About which the Church should boast? No.

Something those institutions should honor? No.

But, why did those obviously bright women and men choose to attend Catholic institutions in the first place? It mustn’t have been to learn to think about important matters—like the law and significant life issues—as Catholics do, to paraphrase Blessed John Henry Newman in his Idea of the University and St. John Paul II in Ex Corde Ecclesiae. Or, for that matter, natural law.

No, it must’ve been the institution’s reputation, the prestige associated with the degree awarded, and other such worldly honors and accolades.

“By their fruits you will know them” (Matthew 7:16).




To read Kimberly Scharfenberger’s article, click on the following link:

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


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9 Responses to Presenting some eminent alumni/ae of the nation’s catholic colleges and universities…

  • “Friend, how did you come here without your wedding clothes?” Matthew 22:12

    Will the fate of the (c)atholic’s by name only, be that of the man coming to the wedding dressed in soiled clothes?

    I doubt that they have even considered the possibility.

    “Then the King said to the waiters: Bind his hands and feet, and cast him into the exterior darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”13

    14-“For many are called but few are chosen.”

  • I wouldn’t attach the word “eminent” to a Congressman or woman.
    Here’s the problem as I see it from reading an annual report/statement of my so-called Catholic alam mater. The section tilted “Catholic Identity” read like a secular humanist manifesto. There was no mention of conversion, Christ, Mass, salvation, etc. Only 65 progressive buzzword like human dignity, peace, jsutice (a=whatever that is), etc.

    Finally I’m pretty sure you won’t get into Heaven if you aided/abetted the mass murders of tens of millions of God’s children, unborn or otherwise.

  • It is heartbreaking to consider how different our society would be if only our so-called
    ‘Catholic’ colleges, law schools, and universities had been fulfilling the mission for
    which they’d been founded. Instead, in the nearly fifty years since the Land-o-Lakes
    declaration severed the bond between bishops and Catholic higher education, these
    schools have been producing pagans, accelerating the decline of this nation.
    Catholics account for ~25% of the population of this country. If Catholic schools had been
    doing their job, would we still have the absolute, unfettered abortion license we see today?
    Would ‘same-sex marriage’ have been pushed on us by the courts in the way it’s been?
    In short, would we be less decadent today if our ‘Catholic’ schools had actually been
    giving catholic educations to our future social, political and cultural elites– rather than
    turning out well-connected pagans for the past fifty years?
    The Cardinal Newman Society produces an annual list of Catholic colleges and universities
    that fulfill its very basic criteria — schools that have access to the Mass on campus, whose
    theology teachers hold a mandatum from the local bishop as required by Canon Law,
    etc, etc. Their requirements to make the list are all no-brainer, minimal standards– and
    yet out of the roughly 240 so-called ‘Catholic’ schools in this country, only about 1/10th can
    make the list. I think a good case could be made that those 216 other schools posing as
    Catholic are simply frauds.
    It’s obvious that Catholic schools in this country have lost all interest in the purpose for
    which they were founded. When will it be acknowledged that rather than helping the
    Church pass on the Faith to the next generation of Catholics, these institutions’ loyalties
    lie elsewhere?

  • Clinton.

    Amen to everything you have said.

  • How many of those 38 have a “D” next to their name, and how many an “R”?
    You know. Just for the record.

  • Sigh. And how many of those public advocates of abortion have been publicly corrected by their bishops?

  • Please, let’s be part of the solution. None of these schools should ever be described as Catholic anymore. They should be identified as “formerly Catholic Georgetown University”, ect. That will help with the false advertising that lures Catholics into thinking their children are at a “Catholic” university when, in fact, they are not.

  • Father of seven.

    Why not call them by their true identity;
    Anti-Catholic Universities.

    Until they have earned the Right by demonstrating adherence too doctrinal beliefs and not opposing them.

    Until then, let them be known as Anti-Catholic!

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Wednesday, April 29, AD 2015



Father James Schall, SJ, at The Catholic Thing, takes a look at one of the more popular modern buzzwords:  sustainability:


The root of the “sustainability mission,” I suspect, is the practical denial of eternal life. “Sustainability” is an alternative to lost transcendence. It is what happens when suddenly no future but the present one exists. The only “future” of mankind is an on-going planet orbiting down the ages. It always does the exact same, boring thing. This view is actually a form of despair. Our end is the preservation of the race down the ages, not personal eternal life.

“Sustainability” implies strict population control, usually set at about two or three billion (current global population is around 7.3 billion, so many of us will simply have to disappear for sustainability’s sake). Sin and evil imply misusing the earth, not our wills. What we personally do makes little difference. Since children are rationed or even produced artificially as needed, whatever we do sexually is irrelevant. It has no real consequences in this life, the only one that exists.

Some talk of saving the race by fleeing to other planets. This leaves existing billions stuck here. The planet will disappear as the Sun cools. So the final “meaning” of the human race was that it “sustained” itself as long as possible. What is missing from this whole scenario is the notion of man’s “dominion.”

The earth and its resources, including its chief resource, the human mind, are given for the purposes for which each individual was created. Enough resources, including human mind and enterprise, are given for man to accomplish his purpose. When this purpose is accomplished, no more “resources” are needed. In this sense, the revealed doctrine that this world will end is the one that frees us from the dismal “sustaining” cycle that, presumably, goes on and on.

No doubt, while here, we should ”sustain” the world as a “garden” the best we can. But, as in the “beginning,” our key problems will not arise from the abundant Garden itself. They originate in our wills. The Garden does not exist for its own sake but for what goes on in it. This confusion is what is wrong with “sustainability.”

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17 Responses to Sustainability

  • Humanity does NOT have a sustainability problem. There is enough thorium and uranium in Earth’s crust to fuel civilization for 100 thousand years or more, by which time we will have colonized the planets in our solar, finding and extracting other reserves of uranium and thorium. Read on:
    Humanity has a moral problem:

    (1) Greed that constricts the energy supply to enrich the few
    (2) Lust that sanctifies sexual filth as normal and right
    (3) Pride that stupidifies education to produce moral and intellectual imbeciles
    When we finally stand before the Almighty, we will weep for our sins and it will be too late. Sadly however the liberal ecomodernists will remain defiant to the end.

  • They..progressives..preach sustainability and honor the unsustainable womb.
    China’s failure with abortions has created a white slavery market that thrives on whom? Children…young girls.
    Would progressives take notice to this altering Gods plan with mans plan…no?

    Instead let’s hear the vomit of Hillary Clinton telling feminist that “religions must change” to fit her and other demons agenda. Lifesite blog has her speech..I’ll find it from last week and post the link.

    They worship other Gods!
    This article from Fr. Schall is believable.

  • https.//

    Oh boy….this is one sick woman.

  • My those cunning serpents certainly have mastered dictionary reform 101.
    Let’s see just a few others they play with : homophobe, climate change, pastoral, compromise, rights, gay marriage, inequality, fairness, intolerance, insensitivity, transparency, diversity, inclusiveness, biodiversity, …even the simple definition of “science” has been diabolically altered.

  • “The only ‘future’ of mankind is an on-going planet orbiting down the ages.” Hey man, what’s so wrong with that? That’s like, awesome man. It’s the Cosmic Tortoise wedded to the Emergent Ragnarok; it’s the Space-Worm of that Götterdämmerung philosopher Martin Heidegger, who gave a Nazi salute in front of all his students. And when we die and ol’ Sol goes nova, then we’ll all turn into stardust and become One with each other and with the Universe. That’s just way cool, man. Already I can hear the Cosmic Valkyries singing. Just what kind of Jesuit does Fr. Schall think he is, anyway?

  • Paul, man was not meant to live on the other planets. There’s no earth like environments on them. Nope, I think the Scriptures and science points to man being made to live on the earth, not the other planets.

  • “Sustainability” denies Divine Providence and who gets to decide who is sustainable and who is expendable.

  • Steven,
    I do not wish to get side-tracked down the rabbit hole of debating whether or not man should colonize the planets. Rather, if the good Lord decides to tarry for a sufficient amount of time, man will colonize the planets, perhaps terraforming Mars, and erecting enclosed habitats on the moons of Jupiter and Saturn. Nuclear energy makes all this possible, ecomodernist cries for self-sustaining notwithstanding. Nevertheless, wherever man goes – in enclosed cities on the ocean floor or on the surfaces of Mars and the moons of the gas giants – man will bring with him his concupiscence, his immorality, his sin.
    Now it may be that the Lord will elect to NOT tarry and will return to Earth soon. That would make all this speculation a moot point, and all the cries for self-sustaining ridiculous. Indeed, people should remember what St. Peter wrote in one of his epistles: that the elements would be destroyed with fire, and this Heaven and Earth will pass away. That means that even if we colonize the planets, God still wins in the end for He will destroy everything to make way for the new Heaven and the new Earth.
    In conclusion, you may be correct, Steven, but it doesn’t matter for man will extend his reach to the stars. It is after all the lust of the flush, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life against which one of the Catholic epistles in the New Testament warns us.

  • “Sustainability” as used in the present day is nothing but an empty buzzword thrown about by “watermelons” (green on the outside, red on the inside).

    It means whatever the greenie weenie who uses it wants it to mean.

    I am sick of enviornmentalism. It is nauseating. I see as much litter in streets and alongside roads as I did when I was a kid. These enviro-Nazis want to control where people live (suburban development is “sprawl”), in what they live in (“McMansions”) and what they drive (“gas-guzzling SUVs”). To hell with them.

  • Ditto to Penguins Fan

  • Sustainability never can be objectively defined. It is simply an excuse for an expansion of the state and an increase in its control over individual decision making. The fact that certain Church leaders seem to be falling for it is beyond troubling.

  • Father od Seven,
    It must be asked, why so many “higher church leaders” are so focused on the things of this earth, rather than their mission of bringing souls to heaven. I fear the answer might be a question of their weak, waning, or woeful faith….which also explains the rupture in catechesis, and lay Catholic lax morality,

  • I encourage the interested reader to please review the wealth of information at the Go Nuclear web site located here – there are lots of videos by a nuclear engineer retired from a Candu heavy water reactor:
    I also encourage the reader to read about the economics of nuclear energy located here:
    At that last web site you can find information on:
    (1) Energy Density (a kilogram of uranium can supply up to a million times more energy than a kilogram of coal)
    (2) Longevity (nuclear power plants can last for 60 years)
    (3) Numbers (it takes 5000 acres of land for solar to do what one 1000 MW nuke can do, and unlike solar, the nuke has a 90+% capacity factor, working at night when there is no sun)
    (4) Environmental Record (39 million tons of Duke Energy coal ash from single plant dumped to the North Carolina River System versus one football field of canisters containing the spent fuel from all 100 of the reactors in the US)
    (5) Safety Record (guess which has the best! NUCLEAR! Even including Fukushima, Chernobyl and TMI, it has less deaths per terawatt hour than any other energy source, including so-called renewables)
    We do NOT have a sustainability problem. We do NOT have an energy problem. We do NOT have an environmental problem. God has given us enough uranium and thorium to go to the planets and beyond. Rather, we have a SIN problem. Fix the SIN problem and all the rest of the problems will get resolved.
    But that fix requires what no one wants – the Cross.

  • Paul, there are none so blind as those who WILL NOT SEE. The entire enviromnental movement (akin to a bowel movement) needs to be examined, questioned, critiqued and criticized. Their empty claims of protecting the earth are the wrapping of the totalitarian state the enviornmentalists seek to impose upon everyone else.

    To hell with them.

  • Paul has put a round right into the ten ring with his “Pride that stupidifies education to produce moral and intellectual imbeciles”. We have a “Water’s World” of moral and intellectual imbeciles who are fawned upon by the political class that seeks to transform them into subservient socialist serfs.

April 29, 1865: Johnson Postpones Day of Mourning For Lincoln

Wednesday, April 29, AD 2015



On April 29, 1865, President Johnson in his second Presidential Proclamation postpones the national day of mourning that he proclaimed in his first Proclamation:

By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation



Whereas by my proclamation of the 25th instant Thursday, the 25th day of next month, was recommended as a day for special humiliation and prayer in consequence of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, late President of the United States; but

Whereas my attention has since been called to the fact that the day aforesaid is sacred to large numbers of Christians as one of rejoicing for the ascension of the Savior:

Now, therefore, be it known that I, Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, do hereby suggest that the religious services recommended as aforesaid should be postponed until Thursday, the 1st day of June next.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this 29th day of April, A. D. 1865, and of the Independence of the United States of America the eighty-ninth.


By the President:


Acting Secretary of State.

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Pope Francis: Robert Spaemann

Wednesday, April 29, AD 2015


Hmmm.  An old friend of Pope Benedict goes public with criticism of Pope Francis:


In a recent lengthy interview with the German Catholic journal Herder Korrespondenz in an issue especially dedicated to the theme of Pope Francis, the renowned and arguably most prominent Catholic philosopher in Germany, Professor Robert Spaemann, a long-time friend of Pope Benedict, has gone public with a strong criticism of Pope Francis that is being discussed nation-wide.

At the beginning of this interview-discussion that included also another German Catholic philosopher, Professor Hans Joas, Spaemann in a calm and differentiated way first acknowledged Pope Francis’ strengths and especially what he calls his “traditional piety”: “He speaks like a Latin-American bishop who is fully rooted in the piety of his people.” Spaemann continues:

“On the other side, in my view, his cult of spontaneity is not helping. In the Vatican, some people are already sighing: ‘Today, he has already again another different idea from yesterday.’ One does not fully get rid of the impression of chaos. And it is irritating how he prepares the Synod. It is the intention that two parties meet at the synod which the Pope wants to lead into a dialogue whereby he himself plays the role of a moderator. In the same time, however, he takes sides already in advance by favoring the position of Cardinal Walter Kasper, he has excluded the John Paul II Institute for Studies on the Family from the pre-Synod consultations and tries with the help of explicit pressure to influence those consultations.”

Spaemann then also criticized Pope Francis for dismissing personnel who have been close to Pope Benedict XVI: “Pope Francis always stresses his close bond with Pope Benedict. In certain ways that certainly also exists. But I wonder why he throws so many people out of the Vatican who had been called in by Benedict.”

The 87-year old Spaemann who had taught at important universities such as the University of Heidelberg and the University of Munich, also criticized Pope Francis for his way of electing new cardinals:

“Take the recent elections of new cardinals. There have now entered into the government of the whole Church completely unknown bishops who at times only have 15,000 Catholics in their dioceses. Bishops with larger dioceses, however, were passed by, even though one must have seen in them a certain extraordinary quality when they were chosen to be archbishops. Why are they then not called to the top? I ask myself, what will be the result in the end – next to a fleeting symbolic gesture? The upcoming Synod will especially have to show what the Holy Father intends.”

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One Response to Pope Francis: Robert Spaemann

Sic Transit John Wilkes Booth

Tuesday, April 28, AD 2015

Death of Booth



Judging from his melodramatic “Sic, Semper Tyrannis!” at Ford’s Theater after murdering Lincoln, Booth perceived his role of assassin as  being his greatest role, a chance to play in real life a doomed Romantic hero, an avenger of a wronged people.  The last twelve days of his life, as he eluded capture must have been disappointing for him, as the newspapers he read, including those who had been highly critical of Lincoln, universally condemned his action.  Perhaps he perceived that instead of  being a hero, he was fated to be cast as a minor villain, remembered solely due to his slaying of a great hero.  Booth wrote in his diary, “With every man’s hand against me, I am here in despair. And why; For doing what Brutus was honored for … And yet I for striking down a greater tyrant than they ever knew am looked upon as a common cutthroat.”

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4 Responses to Sic Transit John Wilkes Booth

  • Yesterday’s WSJ published a reveiw of a recent book on the US Cavalry trooper (that had been paroled from Andersonville Prison) that shot Booth.

  • Sadly, Booth coming through Maryland in this escape route, visited a doctor to set his broken leg. That doctor, doing his medical duty and not recognizing Booth who was in disguise, was Dr. Samuel Mudd. Later Dr. Mudd, a civilian, was tried by a military court and found guilty of planning the conspiracy. He was a Catholic. He was not murdered but sent to Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas off Key West. His health was ruined there. Later on he was ‘pardoned’ but not declared innocent. The term “Your name will be Mudd” comes from this event.

    People were out for blood and even hung Booth’s land lady, Mrs. Surratt who was also a Catholic and daily communicant and almost certainly had nothing to do with the conspiracy.

  • Mudd knew who Booth was and had met him three times prior to the assassination:

    The expression “your name is mud” was long in vogue prior to Dr. Mudd:

  • In thinking of John Wilkes Booth, one cannot but recollect the words of Lamartine on Charlotte Corday, the assassin of Marat, the People’s Friend.

    “In the face of murder, history dares not praise, and in the face of heroism, dares not condemn her. The appreciation of such an act places us in the terrible alternative of blaming virtue or applauding assassination… There are deeds of which men are no judges, and which mount, without appeal, direct to the tribunal of God. There are human actions so strange a mixture of weakness and strength, pure intent and culpable means, error and truth, murder and martyrdom, that we know not whether to term them crime or virtue. The culpable devotion of Charlotte Corday is among those acts which admiration and horror would leave eternally in doubt, did not morality reprove them.”

John P. Angelos and the Rioters of Baltimore

Tuesday, April 28, AD 2015



Oh, this is rich, John P. Angelos, executive veep of the Baltimore Orioles, stands up for the rioters:


Brett, speaking only for myself, I agree with your point that the principle of peaceful, non-violent protest and the observance of the rule of law is of utmost importance in any society. MLK, Gandhi, Mandela and all great opposition leaders throughout history have always preached this precept. Further, it is critical that in any democracy, investigation must be completed and due process must be honored before any government or police members are judged responsible.

That said, my greater source of personal concern, outrage and sympathy beyond this particular case is focused neither upon one night’s property damage nor upon the acts, but is focused rather upon the past four-decade period during which an American political elite have shipped middle class and working class jobs away from Baltimore and cities and towns around the U.S. to third-world dictatorships like China and others, plunged tens of millions of good, hard-working Americans into economic devastation, and then followed that action around the nation by diminishing every American’s civil rights protections in order to control an unfairly impoverished population living under an ever-declining standard of living and suffering at the butt end of an ever-more militarized and aggressive surveillance state.

The innocent working families of all backgrounds whose lives and dreams have been cut short by excessive violence, surveillance, and other abuses of the Bill of Rights by government pay the true price, and ultimate price, and one that far exceeds the importances of any kids’ game played tonight, or ever, at Camden Yards. We need to keep in mind people are suffering and dying around the U.S., and while we are thankful no one was injured at Camden Yards, there is a far bigger picture for poor Americans in Baltimore and everywhere who don’t have jobs and are losing economic civil and legal rights, and this makes inconvenience at a ballgame irrelevant in light of the needless suffering government is inflicting upon ordinary Americans.

John P. Angelos is a poor little rich boy.  He made his money the old fashioned way:  he got it gratis from his Daddy, uber ambulance chaser Peter Angelos, the owner of the Baltimore Orioles.  He is a liberal Democrat and has worked glove in fist with the Democrat powers that be in Baltimore, who have controlled the city since World War II, with one, count them, one Republican mayor from 1963 to 1967 to prove the exception to the rule.  He is a big time donor to Planned Parenthood that wages a never ending war against urban black unborn babies.  If there is a leftist cause in America that Angelos has not paid lip service to, it must be very, very obscure.  In short, Angelos is a member in good standing of the liberal Democrat establishment that runs things in Baltimore and Maryland.  Let us examine his statement:

“That said”

Translation:  you can ignore the part of my statement that was my window dressing prelude.

“but is focused rather upon the past four-decade period during which an American political elite have shipped middle class and working class jobs away from Baltimore “

Oh, that is rich!  Baltimore, above almost all other cities in the country except for Washington, has benefitted from government largesse over that same period.  The growth of the federal bureaucracy in Washington has brought endless jobs into the areas that surround Baltimore.  What has hurt Baltimore has been a completely corrupt government, former Mayor Sheila Dixon we are looking at you, and the legacy of the Baltimore riots of 1968 that accelerated white flight from Baltimore to its suburbs.

“to third-world dictatorships”

Angelos helped negotiate a two game series in 1999 between the Orioles and the Cuban National Team in Havana.  Today, one-quarter of Oriole players are foreign, most of them from Third World nations.

 “plunged tens of millions of good, hard-working Americans into economic devastation”

True, the Obama administration, loyally supported by Angelos, has been an economic disaster for most Americans.

“and then followed that action around the nation by diminishing every American’s civil rights protections”

If Angelos were truly concerned about civil rights in Maryland, he and his Daddy have more than enough pull with the Maryland Democrat Party to make a difference in Maryland.

“of an ever-more militarized and aggressive surveillance state.”

Having rioters run wild is not the way to convince people that the police have too much authority.  Perhaps an experiment could be conducted and have the police reduce their presence today around Oriole Park?

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12 Responses to John P. Angelos and the Rioters of Baltimore

  • What about meretriciously self-delusional?

  • No, wait!!!
    Fifty-plus years of affirmative action, CRA, EEO, Great Society, trillions of dollars in welfare, job-skills training, unaudited $$$ grants to community agitators, er, groups, etc. and America (every six months!) gets in return arson and rapine.
    As with all liberal lies (I repeat myself again), two words characterize this particular numbskull’s comments: irresponsible and idiotic.

    Six years of Change and Hope!

    It’s really simple. Any good person can understand. Don’t burn down your neighborhood. Don’t mug. Don’t kill. Don’t rape. Don’t steal.

  • Almost all of the problems of black people since the end of the Civil War can be put down to unequal enforcement of the law. The extent that that is still going on is exacerbated by people like the current mayor of Baltimore and liberals like Angelos who know that their property is protected (armed guards in gated communities, heavy security around his stadium), but is not interested in extending that protection to individuals and businesses in poor neighborhoods. Liberals like Angelos and Warren Buffet hire lobbyist who write legislation which prop up the monopolistic aspects of their businesses, so that the fairways are less crowded for their tee times, and they can get their private jets in the air without waiting too long.

  • I recall the Cuba vs Baltimore baseball series. For the game in Baltimore, Angelos guaranteed his new best friend Castro as a condition of playing the game here that no Cuban player could seek asylum. Angelos provided extra security to enforce that condition. That always sickened me….that any American would be so callous toward another human being attempting to escape tyranny but of all things for a baseball game. Of course to those on the left, liberty is an obstacle not an outcome.

  • Camden Yards is a few miles away from Johns Hopkins, where you can’t buy a chicken sandwich. Support the Cause and you will be rewarded. Oppose the Cause and you will be punished.

  • Baltimore has long been a mess of a major city. There has been a heroin problem in Baltimore since the 1930s. When I lived in suburban Howard County, the Baltimore City property tax rate was almost double that of its Baltimore County neighbors (Maryland, originally a Southern state, does not have townships and cities are usually separate from counties in much of the South – a phenomenon not known in the North).

    Peter Angelos, the attorney who owns the Orioles, had a nasty conniption when Major League Baseball moved the former Montreal Expos to Washington. Typical leftist, he couldn’t handle the idea of competition.

    Maryland is held in the iron fisted grip of Baltimore City and the Washington DC suburbs of Montgomery and Prince George’s counties. Maryland makes Pennsylvania seem like Texas.

  • “Maryland makes Pennsylvania seem like Texas.” Heh. Yup.

  • Baltimore has long been a mess of a major city.

    The four counties in which greater Baltimore nestles have had adequate (not robust) demographic growth over the last generation. Income levels for the metropolis are above the metropolitan mean for the nation as a whole. Employment to population ratios of the whole area and every component thereof are above the national means. The area is not hurting (relatively speaking) regarding production and commerce. It has terrible quality of life metrics, however. The most salient of these is the dreadful slack regarding law enforcement. Homicide rates in Baltimore City are 3x what a comparable mix of neighborhoods was suffering in New York in the pre – de Blasio era. The schools are a mess, of course, and suburban land use planning is wretched as everywhere.

  • Roger Simon argues that the real problem is liberal racism:

    So what happened? I’ll be blunt, since I was once part of the problem and equally culpable — liberal racism. Ever since the days of Lyndon Johnson, social welfare programs aimed at making the lives of “colored people” better actually made them worse. The assumption behind these programs is that African-Americans — always, constantly, forever unequal and not up to the task — needed a leg up. They got the message. Wouldn’t you?
    And wouldn’t it make you pretty angry, too? Not that that’s an excuse for violence, not even faintly. The whole system is corrupt, top to bottom.

  • Except that what he refers to is a secondary problem or contributing factor. The salient factor is the refusal of what Glenn Reynolds calls ‘the administrative class’ to make more than a sloppy and haphazard effort at enforcing standards of public order and civility. What’s he’s referring to is a problem re labor force participation and development, but that’s decisive for a modest minority. The crime and the disorders in the schools affect about 2/3 of the black population and have knock-on effects on everyone else.

  • This sage commentary (sarcasm) is from a person whose family wealth was built on the politically advantageous association with and support of the Maryland Democratic machine. I would also mention their law firm and its focus on Personal Injury litigation which looks for the “deepest pockets” to pick. A family of HYPROCRITES!

  • Wonder if anyone can extract from the ranks of this front office …. the cultural make up?

PopeWatch: Morality and the Climate

Tuesday, April 28, AD 2015


Patrick J. Michaels of the Cato Institute at National Review Online raises moral questions that PopeWatch is confident will not be addressed at the Pope’s conference on the moral dimensions of climate change:
Kudos to Pope Francis for calling a conference, scheduled for tomorrow, emphasizing the moral dimensions of climate change. It’s about time we took a clear and sober look at an issue that can cause so much harm to so many, especially the poor and downtrodden. The core problem for the conference is to balance the costs and benefits imposed by climate change against the costs and benefits of a major reduction in the use of fossil fuels, with the understanding that there are only two other sources of dense energy that can effectively replace them, nuclear power and large hydroelectric dams. 

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10 Responses to PopeWatch: Morality and the Climate

  • Let him who has ears hear! As a 30+ year nuclear power professional, I agree with this post.

  • The real moral issue at hand here is the failure to condemn the reduction of scientific truth to the servitude of (leftist?) politics.
    I find it more damaging to mankind that science is not assigned its proper place as a servant of a moral and civilized peoples and not a weapon of political convenience or a untethered monster unleashing its evil without firm moral control.
    Unfortunately, I would place the salvation of souls as the real danger to mankind and avoid like the plague, these silly dog and pony shows so favored by fallen man.

  • No to Nuclear Weapons, Yes to Nuclear Technology – the Holy See’s Stance:
    “While the Holy See praised the achievements of nuclear technology but discussion remains on how the use and production of nuclear energy should be fostered. Producing nuclear energy also produces nuclear waste, which needs to be placed in and kept under special conditions for decades.”
    I worked with the man who designed this – Dr. Eric P. Loewen.

  • Dr. Eric Loewen on GE-Hitachi PRISM:
    He is still wearing the same sweater that I would always see him wear at the offices in Wilmington, NC.

  • Don L. People as pollution gives the tyrant total power over the human being.

  • Yes, Mary,and the climate change hoax works so well because climate transcends all borders, hence it becomes the perfect weapon to destroy sovereignty–the real goal of the “one-world” UN.

  • As the encyclical release comes closer, it is funny to see anthropological climate change believers, which are very often liberals, get excited about its release. For so long, they told us religion has no place in public policy and religion and science should not mix. Apparently they forgot to to amend their statements with “with it disagrees with my agenda.”
    I wonder if they’ll take up the Church’s “Save the Unborn” banner as quickly as they are to embrace this encyclical… if it turns out as expected.

  • Don L It is important to know that the “one world” UN is a God less society, a God less government. Where will our civil rights as sovereign persons be allowed if the Pope gives himself over to a Godless view of “one world” UN.
    It takes an act of the will, the free will act of the soul to bend over and pick up a piece of trash for a better world. It takes a commitment of the sovereign person to steward the environment. The question must be asked: For whom? The answer and the only answer is: For all future generations, our constitutional posterity, the unborn human beings in the womb. If Pope Francis does not tie his encyclical to the human being, born and unborn, created and procreated and to be procreated, Pope Francis will fall short of the mark. Pope Francis will fall short of God telling Adam to name everything in creation…such as climate change and the existence of man.

  • Well Pope F might want to watch his back as there was just news alert that ISIS is IN Rome. As IN Rome Climate might have to wait. You’d think we were all a bunch of 4 yr olds. There is so much more pertinent issues!

  • What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world (finite) and suffers the loss of his (immortal) soul? What a travesty it is to see all the groaning and laboring to save planet earth; for most nations, “progress” is aping the loot of the “West”. Most of the readers have seen the darkness and misery of the alleys and the slums; meanwhile the better-stocked folks (including the Hollywood “stars” and moralizers) try to goad on a dying donkey. First seek the kingdom of God (G.M.Hopkins “The world is charged with the grandeur of God!”) in all creatures, and we will respect nature and treat it kindly. Or have we forgotten Christ’s admonition that no matter how much we worry, we cannot add an inch to our stature, and that He accounts for even every hair that exists?

5 Responses to Various & Sundry, 4/27/15

  • Just as Franklin foresaw, by the way:
    “I agree to this Constitution with all its faults, if they are such; because I think a general Government necessary for us, and there is no form of Government but what may be a blessing to the people if well administered, and believe farther that this is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and can only end in Despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic Government, being incapable of any other.

  • Chick-fil-A banishment….

    The comments are spot on. It’s tolerance as defined by the intolerant.

    This suicidal culture is calling down Gods wrath. The “Year of Mercy” will be followed by Years of Devine Justice.
    Preparedness is essential.

    Sin IS NEVER TOLERATED. Correction for this culture is eminent.

  • That young man at the right of this column, being arrested and handcuffed got $30,000 for his illegal prosecution and unwarranted arrest.
    Melissa Cakes needs the money to prosecute for false persecution, criminal slander and disenfranchisement by the state of civil rights. Melissa loved her neighbor as herself…straight. This is all that is required to be considered under freedom of religion. and “free exercise thereof” and conscientious objection. Unfortunately, our courts are degenerated into partisanship. Our constitutional posterity, included in our Preamble by our founding fathers are to be handed our founding principles based on truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth…so help me God. Without God, atheism imposed by the culture, man has little but the gulag right here in River City.

  • It does not have much to do with formal institutions, but with culture.

    1.One is the corruption of the legal profession, which is now nearly worthless in certain loci for the protection of people outside a charmed circle. Read Scott Lively’s account of contending with Oregon judges a generation ago. The place has been a latrine for some time.

    2. The other has to do with bourgeois culture. The only people among my parents’ contemporaries who would have thought that these characters merited $135,000 for their trouble would have been ambulance chasers hoping for a contingency fee. The only one’s who would have thought it a criminal act to raise funds for your legal defense would have been no one day before yesterday.

    3. Something the psychiatrist GJM van den Aardweg said for some time in his public writings: the sense of yourself as an injured party is an architectural feature of the homosexual person and quite insensitive to the reality of past or present personal circumstances. We might add a hypothesis concerning a corollary: that the severity of one’s pathology in this circumstance is strongly correlated with one’s propensity to lawfare and ‘activism’. In short, public discourse about the homosexual condition is dominated by the most obstreperous and disoriented among them.

    4. The implicit and sometimes explicit asperity of the larger society kept this pathology in check. Now characters in the legal profession and the tech industry (not to mention the academy and the clergy) are throwing rubbing alcohol on an open flame. This will not end well.

  • 1. I gather from the SGA vote at Johns Hopkins that 2/3 of Johns Hopkins parents failed to impress on their children the desirability of not being a preening nitwit. So much for the skills of the professional-managerial bourgeoisie.

    2. The political class in Baltimore has, in the face of New York’s successes, failed to accomplish one bloody thing in the last 20 years. The people who run for office are ticket-punchers on a good day and the electorate therein is satisfied with that. I used to live in Baltimore and have a residual affection for the place. It has a great many assets which are idle because of stupidity on the part of the city’s politicians and public workers.

Time For Catholics to Stand Up

Monday, April 27, AD 2015


Bravo to Professor Stephen Bainbridge:

I agree with Kingsfield that secular elites at high end universities and colleges are an annoyingly self-satisfied:

To elites in his circles, Kingsfield continued, “at best religion is something consenting adult should do behind closed doors. They don’t really understand that there’s a link between Sister Helen Prejean’s faith and the workd she does on the death penalty. There’s a lot of looking down on flyover country, one middle America.

“The sad thing,” he said, “is that the old ways of aspiring to truth, seeing all knowledge as part of learning about the nature of reality, they don’t hold. It’s all about power. They’ve got cultural power, and think they should use it for good, but their idea of good is not anchored in anything. They’ve got a lot of power in courts and in politics and in education. Their job is to challenge people to think critically, but thinking critically means thinking like them. They really do think that they know so much more than anybody did before, and there is no point in listening to anybody else, because they have all the answers, and believe that they are good.”

Which is precisely why Kingsfield needs to come out of the closet. Sadly, however, he is going deeper into the closet:

The emerging climate on campus of microaggressions, trigger warnings, and the construal of discourse as a form of violence is driving Christian professors further into the closet, the professor said.

“If I said something that was construed as attacking a gay student, I could have my life made miserable with a year or two of litigation — and if I didn’t have tenure, there could be a chance that my career would be ruined,” he said. “Even if you have tenure, a few people who make allegations of someone being hateful can make a tenured professor’s life miserable.” 

He’s right. I’ve been there (albeit for saying something obnoxious unrelated to my faith). But so what? 

Polycarp wasn’t threatened with people making his life miserable. He was threatened with being burnt at the stake. And he refused to deny Christ. And he went to his death thanking God for allowing him to be counted among the Church’s martyrs.

The Christians beheaded by ISIS faced a fate far worse than a smear campaign by academic lefties and they refused to deny Christ.

Put simply, being a Christian is supposed to be hard. “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.”

It is true that Christ tells us that we are sheep among wolves and so must be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. But going into a religious closet is not shrewd.

“Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.”

I am a sinner who is far from perfect. But I refuse to be a closeted sinner. So I am going to continue teaching and writing about Catholic Social Thought. And I’m going to go on having a picture of St Thomas More in my office. And I’m going to go on having many books on religion in my office. And I’m going to go on wearing my ashes to class on Ash Wednesday. And I’m going to go on pushing back when people infringe on freedom of speech and religion, especially on campuses.

And if my colleagues don’t like that, all I can say is “Come and Have a Go If You Think You’re Hard Enough.” After all, if I may be forgiven quoting the great reformer, “Here I stand; I can do no other.”

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4 Responses to Time For Catholics to Stand Up

  • Will the Catholics who will hear arguments on so-called Same sex Marriage stand up today? Will they consider Natures Law?
    Will they defend the family, or redefine the family and scoff at the idea that a mother and father are the best forms of raising children? Or, are these beliefs to be outdated and held in contempt?
    Stand Up?
    God help us!

  • Philip: The SCOTUS must consider not only natural law by that our founding fathers intended that our founding principles be handed down to our constitutional posterity as an heritage.
    Consider too, that the taxpaying citizen must be free to be a sovereign person who requires the vote to participate in the culture, in the public square, in the democratic process…no matter what the democrats say.

  • Our public Rosary starts in an hour.
    We will include SCOTUS justices to be guided by The Holy Spirit as they ponder the arguments in the next several Weeks leading to a decision.

    As you so beautifully request from time to time, we will add “one Hail Mary.”

  • ….to Mary De Voe.

April 27, 1865: Sultana: Death on the Mississippi

Monday, April 27, AD 2015

After the massive bloodletting of the Civil War, one would have hoped that Death would have taken at least a brief holiday in the US.  Such was not the case.  On April 27th 1865, the SS Sultana, a Mississipi paddlewheeler steamer, constructed in 1863 for the cotton trade, was serving as a transport.  Its cargo was appoximately 2500 Union soldiers, many of them former POWS, some of them survivors of Andersonville.  The Union soldiers boarded at Vicksburg.  The Sultana while in port at Vicksburg had a patch put on its steam boiler.  The repair was clearly inadequate, a new  boiler being needed. 

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Quotes Suitable for Framing: Thornton Wilder

Monday, April 27, AD 2015



Two quotations from Thornton Wilder’s Our  Town at the beginning of Act III:



“Now there are some things we all know, but we don’t take’m out and look at’m very often. We all know that something is eternal. And it ain’t houses and it ain’t names, and it ain’t earth, and it ain’t even the stars… everybody knows in their bones that something is eternal, and that something has to do with human beings. All the greatest people ever lived have been telling us that for five thousand years and yet you’d be surprised how people are always losing hold of it. There’s something way down deep that’s eternal about every human being.”  


“Over there are some Civil War veterans. Iron flags on their graves…New Hampshire boys… had a notion that the Union ought to be kept together, though they’d never seen more than fifty miles of it themselves. All they knew was the name, friends – the United States of America. The United States of America. And they went and died about it.”

The first quote reminds me of this passage from CS Lewis:

“There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations – these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendors. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously – no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption.”

How different our view of humanity if we view us as being merely intelligent animals or as immortal spirits sheathed in flesh.

The second quote is indicative of the old fashioned patriot that Wilder was, as demonstrated by his serving in the Army in World War I and in the Army Air Corps in World War II.  Civil War veterans in his day were as far in time from him as World War II veterans are from us.  Both groups of veterans, and the memory of them, serve as anchors for patriotism and heroism for the generations that came after them.

We are creatures of eternity but live in time and what we do in time echoes not only in eternity but for those who come after us.

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3 Responses to Quotes Suitable for Framing: Thornton Wilder

  • “immortal horrors or everlasting splendors”

    I don’t know if there’s any shame in Hell. It’s very possible there isn’t. But I can picture Hell as being nothing but shame, the knowledge that you made yourself into an immortal horror.

  • Related, albeit mundane, thoughts from James Otteson by way of James Pethokoukis:

    Once you start thinking about human beings as members of classes–so, even if it’s classes that sound initially plausible or neutral, like the rich and the poor, immediately what you begin to do is to see human beings within those classes as being more or less interchangeable. [. . . .] [O]nce you begin to see people as being interchangeable, at least among classes, this religion, this nationality, this ethnicity, then you begin to dehumanize them. They don’t seem to you like individual centers of human dignity. [. . . .] But by contrast, when you see instead human beings as being individuals–which, by the way, I think is the correct way to view this, individual centers of human agency, individual centers of human dignity–that completely transforms our relationship to one another. [. . . .] And I think that’s captured by the individualism that you see in capitalism: that what we do is we see people, all people, any person as being unique, having dignity, and being uniquely precious in exactly this way. And when we see it that way–and this is what I call this triumph of human moral agency–that’s really a transformation in how we view other people.

    Not sure I agree with the idea that capitalists are less likely to instrumentalize people than are socialists, but then, Capitalism is a Marxist coinage.

  • Ernst, I’d put it this way: there’s nothing in the capitalist system that requires opposition to the individual. It has the potential to be just in a way that statism can’t be. It can dehumanize people by lumping them into target markets, though, and it does not necessarily elevate.

7 Responses to We’re Back

  • I was thinking you had been hacked or attacked in some way. Happy you are back.

  • I feared that you had been arrested by the Peace and Justice Inquisition. I pictured you hands and feet chained to a dank, dungeon wall awaiting the ministrations of social justice.

  • Paul and Silas – Acts chapter 16 in T Shaw’s rendering of the Greek 😉
    “I feared that you had been arrested by the Peace and Justice Inquisition. I pictured you hands and feet chained to a dank, dungeon wall awaiting the ministrations of social justice.”

  • “I feared that you had been arrested by the Peace and Justice Inquisition.”

    That I would know how to handle T.Shaw. Technical glitches on the internet on the other hand are vast mysteries to me!

  • My misplaced modifier’s, run-on sentences and unending incorrectly spelled words equally misplaced and recklessly texted was the cause of this sites crash.


    or it was the “inventor” of the internet…Al Gore’s fault.

    What ever the reason it’s great to see you back.

  • Glad to have you back.
    The url for the “Down for Maintenance” said American-catholic-suspended so I thought the forces of secular humanism had pressured your host site to drop you.

PopeWatch: Jesus

Saturday, April 25, AD 2015




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


In an unprecedented move, more than 100 prominent San Francisco based Roman Catholics signed a petition and ran a full-page ad Friday calling on God to remove Jesus from the Trinity for fostering “an atmosphere of division and intolerance.”

The plea follows months of dissent within the archdiocese over Jesus’ emphasis on traditional, conservative doctrine, including asking all Catholics to accept that both sex outside of marriage as well as homosexual relations are “gravely evil.”

In their open letter to the God, Jesus critics say his morality-clause push is not only mean-spirited, but that it “sets a pastoral tone that is closer to persecution than evangelization.”

San Francisco Catholic Leonard Nibbi, who signed the letter, said the Second Person of the Trinity “is just causing a lot of discord, especially with the young people in the diocese.”

“The crux of our worry is that the faithful are going to become very disenchanted and stop going to church because they don’t like the message that Jesus sent when he preached the kingdom of God some 2,000 years ago,” Nibbi said.

According to a source familiar with the drafting of the open letter to God, the frustrated Catholics first considered running the ad weeks ago. They held off while they appealed to saints, including John the Evangelist and Mary Magdalene, to address their concerns. When nothing came of that, they went public.

Incidentally, don’t expect Jesus to start soft-pedaling his opposition to same-sex marriage. He’s encouraging Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco to join him at a large march in Washington D.C. in favor of “traditional” marriage on April 25.

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One Response to PopeWatch: Jesus

Anzac Day 2015

Saturday, April 25, AD 2015

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

Laurence Binyon




Something for the weekend, The Last Post.  One hundred years ago the Gallipoli campaign began.  Australian, New Zealand, British and French troops would slug it out for over eight months in ferocious fighting over the Dardanelles, the pathway to Constantinople and perhaps an early end to the Great War.  Although unsuccessful, the raw courage, tenacity and resourcefulness of the Australian and New Zealand troops were sources of pride for their young nations and they are remembered each April 25 on Anzac Day.

It is remembered by me each year as a salute to the courage and self sacrifice it honors.

At the beginning of the war the New Zealand and Australian citizen armies, illustrating the robust humor of both nations,  engaged in self-mockery best illustrated by this poem:

We are the ANZAC Army

The A.N.Z.A.C.

We cannot shoot, we don’t salute

What bloody good are we ?

And when we get to Ber – Lin

The Kaiser, he will say

Hoch, Hoch, Mein Gott !

What a bloody odd lot

to get six bob a day.

The Anzac troops referred to themselves as “six bob a day tourists”.  By the end of World War I no one was laughing at the Anzacs.  At the end of the War a quarter of the military age male population of New Zealand had been killed or wounded and Australia paid a similarly high price.  Widely regarded as among the elite shock troops of the Allies, they had fought with distinction throughout the war, and added to their reputation during World War II.  Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, the German Desert Fox, rated the New Zealanders as the finest troops he ever saw. 

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4 Responses to Anzac Day 2015

  • This campaign reverberated with the colonials, and was mentioned in famous song of the 1916 Irish uprising, written by and Irish parish priest, Canon Charles O’Neill (excerpts:)

    “Right proudly high over Dublin Town they hung out the flag of war
    ‘Twas better to die ‘neath an Irish sky than at Suvla or Sud-El-Bar….

    ‘Twas England bade our wild geese go, that “small nations might be free”;
    Their lonely graves are by Suvla’s waves or the fringe of the great North Sea.
    Oh, had they died by Pearse’s side or fought with Cathal Brugha*
    Their graves we’d keep where the Fenians sleep, ‘neath the shroud of the foggy dew.”

    The campaign also inspired the moving ballad, “Waltzing Matilda.”

    My favorite version of both tunes is by the Clancys:
    The Foggy Dew:

    Waltzing Matilda (truly excellent version):

  • Foggy Dew was the first music featured on the blog in the “Something for the Weekend” series back on October 11, 2008:

  • I’ve been doing a bit of research WRT my grandfather, Don Piper in WW I. He, along with his mate and future brother-in-law, Eustace ‘Nick” Nicholson went ashore in the afternoon of 25th. April 1915 at Gaba Tepe – about a mile west down the peninsula from Anzac Cove, and apparently did not suffer as many casualties as the landings earlier in the day. Their objective was to press up the valley toward Chunuk Bair on higher ground.
    Uncle Nick was wounded fairly early in the campaign and was repatriated to England – Pop Piper also suffered a mild wound, but kept fighting, until the evacuation 8 months later. He went back to England, met up again with Uncle Nick and they both went for officer training; Uncle Nick a Sar Major, and Pop Piper a 2nd Leuie. They both went back to France and fought in the First Battle of the Somme – a bloody slaughterhouse. They both survived that, then I understand – but could be wrong – they both fought initially in the Battle of Paschendalle – Pop Piper was wounded and returned to England, then back to NZ at the end of 1917 where he married Kathleen Nicholson, Uncle Nicks younger sister in Jan 1918. They didn’t mess around – my mom was born on the 16th. October 1918 – the Black ‘flu epidemic was on then, and mum was born almost black and premature, and they though she would not survive – but she did, raised seven kids and died in 2010 aged 91 years.

  • In the words of Kipling- “Lest we forget”.

    Thank you for this Donald.