3

Saint Patrick and the Trinity

Well, the Trinity is a hard concept for human minds to grasp, something we often encounter when describing God.  Saint Patrick probably never used a shamrock to describe the Trinity, but I like to think he did state what the Trinity is when he spoke to two daughters of an Irish King:

 

 

St. Patrick, full of the Holy Spirit, responded, “Our God is the God of all, the God of heaven and earth, the God of the seas and rivers, the God of the sun and moon, and all the other planets; the God of the high hills and low valleys; God over heaven, in heaven, and under heaven; and He has a mansion, that is, heaven, and the earth, and the sea, and all things that are in them. He inspireth all things. He quickeneth all things. He enkindleth all things. He giveth light to the sun, and to the moon. He created fountains in the dry land, and placed dry islands in the sea, and stars to minister to the greater lights. He hath a Son, coeternal and coequal with Himself; and the Son is not younger than the Father, nor is the Father older than the Son. And the Holy Ghost breatheth in them. And the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost are not divided. I desire, moreover, to unite you to the Son of the heavenly king, for ye are daughters of an earthly king. Continue Reading

Post Civil War Recessions

Run_on_the_Seamen's_Savings'_Bank_during_the_Panic_of_1857

Farewell the tranquil mind! Farewell content!
Farewell the plumèd troops and the big wars
That makes ambition virtue! Oh, farewell!
Shakespeare, Othello

 

It is unsurprising that post Civil War the country entered a period of recessions.  Prior to the Civil War the nation had known periods of booms and bust, both usually short-lived.  The Civil War had been boom times in the North with war spending ensuring no recession during the War.  With the turning off of the Federal money spigot in the wake of the War, and the return of men to civilian life, the country entered a period of recession that did not end until December 1869.

The subsequent boom period was very short lived, with a new recession stretching from June 1869-December 1870.  The Panic of 1873 led to the Long Depression of October 1873-March 1879.

Demobilization after World War I led to a brief, but very sharp, recession.  With these examples, government policies in the demobilization period after World War II were geared to avoid a recession, and they were successful, although I am suspicious that other economic factors likely accounted for the lack of a recession. Continue Reading

3

Quotes Suitable for Framing: Saint Augustine

 Paul rebuking Peter

 

 

Paul therefore, as a faithful steward doubtless is to be regarded as approving his fidelity in his writings; for he was a steward of truth, not of falsehood. Therefore he wrote the truth when he wrote that he had seen Peter walking not uprightly, according to the truth of the gospel, and that he had withstood him to the face because he was compelling the Gentiles to live as the Jews did. And Peter himself received, with the holy and loving humility which became him, the rebuke which Paul, in the interests of truth, and with the boldness of love, administered. Therein Peter left to those that came after him an example, that, if at any time they deviated from the right path, they should not think it beneath them to accept correction from those who were their juniors,— an example more rare, and requiring greater piety, than that which Paul’s conduct on the same occasion left us, that those who are younger should have courage even to withstand their seniors if the defence of evangelical truth required it, yet in such a way as to preserve unbroken brotherly love.

Saint Augustine to Saint Jerome (405 AD) (Letter 82)

13

Bernie Sanders and the Pope

You know that you are living in odd times when a socialist Senator from Vermont and the Pope seem to have similar deranged economic ideas.  From Saint Corbinian’s Bear:

 

When it comes to spending, what thing in the world comes after food, clothing and medicine? The fourth is cosmetics and the fifth are pets. That is serious. Pet care is like love that is somewhat programmed; that is, I can program the loving response of a dog or a little cat, and I do not need to have the experience of love with human reciprocity. I am exaggerating, so do not take it literally, but it is to make you think.

Sorry boys, Pope said you gotta go.

 

By the way, you shall not be surprised to learn that the Pope’s rankings are bogus.

Continue Reading

8

PopeWatch: Irish Snakes

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

 

 

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

 

Ireland overwhelmingly approved a referendum to allow “snakes” back in the country on Saturday, becoming the first country in the world to allow such a move by popular vote. Though the final tally is yet unknown, the referendum achieved the support of an estimated 65 percent of the population.

Michael Fitzpatrick, prominent supporter of the “Hell No” campaign, conceded the referendum’s defeat Saturday morning.

“It is a sad day now that Ireland has approved reentry of paganism,” Fitzpatrick said, explaining how, although snakes have never actually existed in Ireland, that the referendum would now allow the “pagans,” which he believed the snakes represented in the time of St. Patrick, to take back their country from Catholicism.

Supporters of the reentry of paganism erupted with jubilation in Dublin, which has long been a liberal stronghold. But the referendum received support throughout the whole country.

As a result of the referendum, which amends Ireland’s constitution to approve of snakes “without distinction as to length or toxicity of their venom,” pagans in the country will be permitted by law to begin deconstructing everything Catholicism has built as soon as this summer. Continue Reading

14

May 29, 1865: Amnesty Proclamation

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Eventually President Andrew Johnson and the Radical Republicans in Congress would come to bitter blows over the issue of amnesty for former Confederates.  However, for now they were in agreement, and the Presidential Proclamation of May 29, 1865 outlined the oath to be taken by former Confederates and the classes of individuals excluded from taking the oath:

Amnesty Proclamation

 

Whereas the President of the United States, on the 8th day of December, A.D. eighteen hundred and sixty-three, and on the 26 day of March, A.D. eighteen hundred and sixty-four, did, with the object to suppress the existing rebellion, to induce all persons to return to their loyalty, and to restore the authority of the United States, issue proclamations offering amnesty and pardon to certain persons who had directly or by implication participated in the said rebellion; and whereas many persons who had so engaged in said rebellion have, since the issuance of said proclamations, failed or neglected to take the benefits offered thereby; and whereas many persons who have been justly deprived of all claim to amnesty and pardon thereunder, by reason of their participation directly or by implication in said rebellion, and continued hostility to the government of the United States since the date of said proclamation, now desire to apply for and obtain amnesty and pardon:

To the end, therefore, that the authority of the government of the United States may be restored, and that peace, order, and freedom may be established, I, ANDREW JOHNSON, President of the United States, do proclaim and declare that I hereby grant to all persons who have, directly or indirectly, participated in the existing rebellion, except as hereinafter excepted, amnesty and pardon, with restoration of all rights of property, except as to slaves, and except in cases where legal proceedings, under the laws of the United States providing for the confiscation of property of persons engaged in rebellion, have been instituted; but upon the condition, nevertheless, that every such person shall take and subscribe the following oath, (or affirmation,) and thenceforward keep and maintain said oath inviolate; and which oath shall be registered for permanent preservation, and shall be of the tenor and effect following, to wit:

I, _______ _______, do solemnly swear, (or affirm,) in presence of Almighty God, that I will henceforth faithfully support, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and the union of the States thereunder; and that I will, in like manner, abide by, and faithfully support all laws and proclamations which have been made during the existing rebellion with reference to the emancipation of slaves. So help me God. Continue Reading

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PopeWatch: Bear Growls

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

 

Saint Corbinian’s Bear has an explanation as to why the Pope was silent on the Irish vote on homosexual marriage:

Souls? If you put a gun to the Bear’s head (and you wouldn’t be the first) and asked him who, exactly, Pope Francis believes is on the path to salvation, this most Catholic Bear would have to confess he has no idea what self-proclaimed “loyal son of the Church” Francis believes. His public statements are often little better than a word salad of liberal soundbytes. When he recently tried to make a point about first-worlders wasting money on pets and makeup, his statistics were, to put it nicely, made up. (Or maybe he got them from La Repubblica, the far-left newspaper that is his only source of news.)

In three years your confession will be: “bless me Father, I have sinned. My carbon footprint grew by twenty meters. And I have a Golden Retriever.” Don’t bother with sins of the flesh. After sodomy was normalized they said, “What the Hell. God doesn’t care about that stuff.”
 
It must be exhilarating to take over a Church with no credibility, from an unpopular pope, and overnight turn it into a powerhouse of legitimacy courted by the movers and shakers of the world. What a sore temptation it must be to learn that you can get your face on the cover of the Rolling Stone by simply dropping an ambiguous statement about homosexuality. Obama just held him up as an example!
Back to Homosexuals
 
The Bear wishes he could forget about homosexuals, but here’s the thing. The Bear doesn’t really care what 1-2% of the population does to achieve sexual release. They’re not driving this derangement. 
After civil rights, and gender equality, someone had the stroke of infernal genius to hammer homosexuality’s square peg into the round hole of civil rights. Once gay rights was out of the closet and into the noble tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King, it all fell into place. To oppose it was not merely mistaken, but evil. Haters were beyond the pale of polite society. Soon the law will provide no wall for the normal to take cover behind. Most of this isn’t so much pro-homosexual as anti-Christian.
If the Pope is really all that popular, why isn’t he mounting the counterattack?
Easy. That popularity comes at a price. The referendum in Ireland? Did you find it odd that there was not a peep from the Vatican? The only way Pope Francis keeps his seat at the table is by going along with the world. Christians who fight are going to be mercilessly suppressed. The Church wants the Prince of the World’s favor right now. That’s why it will bend over backwards to accommodate the sin of Sodom.
In the great Christian classic Pilgrim’s Progress (yes, the Bear knows it isn’t Catholic, but he still likes it) there are two allegorical characters that the Bear is thinking of, Mr. By-Ends and one Mr. Worldly Wiseman. Mr. By-Ends sees religion as a means to an end, and does quite well for himself trimming his sails with changes in beliefs. One Mr. Worldly Wiseman keeps busy about his practical affairs and leads a well-ordered “religious” life quite subordinated to the world.
These gentlemen are in charge. Homosexuals first undermined the Church by their abusivness, and then were held out as the way for it to make its peace with a wicked generation. How sick is that?

Continue Reading

51

Jesuitical 18: Saint Louis University and Father De Smet

Father De Smet statue

 

Part 18 of my ongoing survey of the follies of many modern day Jesuits.  This story symbolizes the childish Leftism that is at the heart of much of modern Jesuitism:

Saint Louis University has removed a statue on its campus depicting a famous Jesuit missionary priest praying over American Indians after a cohort of students and faculty continued to complain the sculpture symbolized white supremacy, racism and colonialism.

Formerly placed outside the university’s Fusz Hall in the center of the private Catholic university, the statue will go to the university’s art museum, a building just north of the bustling urban campus.

The statue features famous Jesuit Missionary Pierre-Jean De Smet S.J. praying over two American Indians dressed in traditional clothing. Last Monday, just two days after graduation, it was removed from the location it has called home on campus for decades.

A university spokesperson told St. Louis Magazine the statue will be placed within the “historical context of a collection that’s on permanent display in our SLU Museum of Art.” The statue is set for the museum’s “Collection of the Western Jesuit Missions.”

“In more recent years, there have been some faculty and staff who have raised questions about whether the sculpture is culturally sensitive,” SLU spokesman Clayton Berry said.

Berry did not respond to The College Fix’s request for comment.

The De Smet statue has long drawn the ire of progressive students and scholars at the Jesuit university who argue the statue was a symbol of racism and white supremacy, among other oppressions.

In a recent op-ed published in SLU’s University News, senior Ryan McKinley stated the sculpture sent a clear, unwelcoming message to American Indians at Saint Louis University.

Go here to read the rest.  Obsessed with race?  Check.  White male bashing?  Check.  Ignorant of history?  Check.  Falling down before Leftist sacred cows?  Check. Continue Reading

23

PopeWatch: Is the Schism Here?

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

 

PopeWatch is beginning to fear that it is no longer a question of whether there will be a major schism in the current pontificate but rather a question of when.  Steve Skojec at One Peter Five believes the schism may already have started:

I was reading an article thisKasper-und-Marx-die-Gesichter-der-deutschen-Kirche1-300x216 evening at the National Catholic Register about the secret meeting (the one I told you about last Friday) in Rome yesterday in advance of the second half of the Synod. The article was so good, the reporting was so thorough, I said to myself, “This must be the work of Edward Pentin.” I scrolled back to the byline, and so it was.

You see, Edward Pentin is the same man who caught Cardinal Kasper’s racist remarks, then proved that they had actually happened when Kasper denied them by producing the audio file. He’s also the man who did the lion’s share of the the investigative journalism on the Great Catholic Book Heist of 2014 – the disappearance of some 200 copies of Remaining in the Truth of Christ that disappeared from the mailboxes of Synod fathers last October, allegedly at the hands of Cardinal Baldisseri, the pope’s hand-picked Secretary General of the Synod.

In other words: he’s doing the Lord’s work as he uncovers much of the conniving going on in the episcopacy with the aim of undermining the Sixth Commandment.

But I digress. The line in the sand I was talking about? Well, here it is:

A one-day study meeting — open only to a select group of individuals — took place at the Pontifical Gregorian University on Monday with the aim of urging “pastoral innovations” at the upcoming Synod of Bishops on the Family in October.

Around 50 participants, including bishops, theologians and media representatives, took part in the gathering, at the invitation of the presidents of the bishops’ conferences of Germany, Switzerland and France — Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Bishop Markus Büchel and Archbishop Georges Pontier.

One of the key topics discussed at the closed-door meeting was how the Church could better welcome those in stable same-sex unions, and reportedly “no one” opposed such unions being recognized as valid by the Church.

Participants also spoke of the need to “develop” the Church’s teaching on human sexuality and called not for a theology of the body, as famously taught by St. John Paul II, but the development of a “theology of love.”

One Swiss priest discussed the “importance of the human sex drive,” while another participant, talking about holy Communion for remarried divorcees, asked: “How can we deny it, as though it were a punishment for the people who have failed and found a new partner with whom to start a new life?”

Marco Ansaldo, a reporter for the Italian daily newspaper La Repubblica, who was present at the meeting, said the words seemed “revolutionary, uttered by clergymen.”

French Biblicist and Ratzinger Prize-winner Anne-Marie Pelletier praised the dialogue that took place between theologians and bishops as a “real sign of the times.” According to La Stampa, another Italian daily newspaper, Pelletier said the Church needs to enter into “a dynamic of mutual listening,” in which the magisterium continues to guide consciences, but she believes it can only effectively do so if it “echoes the words of the baptized.”

The meeting took the “risk of the new, in fidelity with Christ,” she claimed. The article also quoted a participant as saying the synod would be a “failure” if it simply continued to affirm what the Church has always taught.

The closed-door meeting, masterminded by the German bishops’ conference under the leadership of Cardinal Marx, was first proposed at the annual meeting of the heads of the three bishops’ conferences, held in January in Marseille, France.

The study day took place just days after the people of Ireland voted in a referendum in support of same-sex “marriage” and on the same day as the Ordinary Council of the Synod of Bishops met in Rome. Some observers did not see the timing as a coincidence.

I wish I could excerpt the whole thing. You’ll just have to read the rest of it for yourself. It may not be obvious yet, but I’d wager that this carefully-structured bit of reporting by Pentin is going to be one of the most important things written about the upcoming Synod. It shows the pre-planning, the forming of cabals, the willingness to undermine Church teaching, the revolutionary language, the subversion by secrecy, and the blatant disregard for the natural law as a manifestation of God’s own Divine Will.

In other words: this is what a schism looks like. Continue Reading

3

Top Popular Posts at Almost Chosen People

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The long Memorial Day Weekend gave me time to look at statistics of the blogs I am involved with.  Here are the top ten most popular posts for Almost Chosen People, the American history blog that I and Paul Zummo run:

 

Magna Carta  9,548
Jefferson and Rousseau – On Democracy  7,378
Washington at Prayer  7,085
Edmund Burke and the American Revolution  6,590
Sam Houston and Secession  4,468
Top Ten Movies for the Fourth of July  3,939
Federalist 51 – Madison 3,438
July 5th, 1775: The Olive Branch Petition  3,192
Battle of Bunker Hill  2,570
John Adams Meets King George III 2,553

9

The Vatican and the International Left

 

 

 

Oh, Social Justice, what crimes are committed in thy name!

 

According to a just-released American Life League Report, Caritas Internationalis, the Vatican’s top social justice organization, is providing leadership to a radically pro-abortion, communist organization.

Evidence, from both primary sources and explosive video, highlights ALL’s report showing conclusively that the World Social Forum is a radically communist and pro-abortion organization pushing for world revolution. According to both internal and primary documents, Caritas Internationalis has held a position of leadership in the World Social Forum from its inception.

Michael Hichborn, host of American Life League’s ALL Report, stated, “This is a very serious problem.  Given how intimately connected the World Social Forum has been with the promotion of communism, abortion, and homosexuality since the very beginning, it’s impossible to see how any Catholic can participate in it, or even speak positively about it, let alone have any involvement in its governance. But Caritas Internationalis does!”

American Life League is urging Catholics to prayerfully and respectfully contact Cardinal Maradiaga, the current president of Caritas, and ask him to completely disaffiliate Caritas from the World Social Forum.

Caritas Internationalis
Palazzo San Calisto
Vatican City State
V-00120

Reception Desk: + 39 06 698 797 99
Fax: + 39 06 698 872 37
Email:  [email protected]

The American Life League Report can be viewed in its entirety here. Full documentation and source material is also available from American Life League. Continue Reading

17

Catholicism As Hate Speech

 

Senator Marco Rubio (R.Fl.) nails it:

“If you think about it, we are at the water’s edge of the argument that mainstream Christian teaching is hate speech,” Rubio told CBN News. “Because today we’ve reached the point in our society where if you do not support same-sex marriage you are labeled a homophobe and a hater.”

“So what’s the next step after that?” he asked.

“After they are done going after individuals, the next step is to argue that the teachings of mainstream Christianity, the catechism of the Catholic Church is hate speech and there’s a real and present danger,” he warned.

Go here to read the rest.  The usual suspects are attacking Rubio for his truth telling, but, really, Hillary Clinton already gave away the next step: Continue Reading

23

Hostile Takeover

 

Pat Archbold at Creative Minority Report thinks we have crossed a line in this pontificate:

The Pope appoints the pro-sodomy heretic Radcliffe (who called sodomy “Eucharistic”) to a significant curial consulting position the same week he, along with most most Irish Bishops, said absolutely nothing about the pending Irish pilgrimage to Gomorrah and then, even while acknowledging it is a heresy (indifferentism), he goes ahead and announces that he agrees with the Devil that all Christians are one and that is doesn’t matter if they are Evangelicals, or Orthodox, Lutherans, Catholics or Apostolic.

This is not commentary or opinion. These things happened. Make of that what you will. Continue Reading

8

Evangelizing young people: The power of liturgical signs and symbols…

 

Over at Fr. Z’s blog, there’s a great photo album posted by the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius Parish (Archdiocese of Chicago). The photographs contained in the album were taken as rose petals descended from the church’s ceiling upon the congregation below.

Screenshot 2015-05-27 11.11.54

As Fr. Z explains the ritual, it developed for the Solemnity of Pentecost in the Pantheon (now a minor basilica called S. Maria ad martyres). Rose petals are dropped through the circular oculus opening at the top of the dome, which is the widest  in all of Rome.  The petals descend upon the congregation below, reminding its members of the descent of the Holy Spirit like tongues of flame.

In the picture below, study carefully the faces of the little girl and boy.

Screenshot 2015-05-27 11.14.11

Now study carefully the surprise, delight, and glee on the faces of the children in the church’s main aisle.

Screenshot 2015-05-27 11.12.43

It’s obvious this ritual has struck a sense of awe and wonder into these young people, opening their consciouness if not their souls to the mystery surrounding the birth of the Church on Pentecost Sunday.

Over the past five-plus decades, how often has Rudolph Otto’s description of the “awe and wonder” (tremendum et facinans) that is experienced upon encountering the Holy been demonstrably visible on the faces and in the behavior of young congregants?

During those decades since the Second Vatican Council, have all of those guitar Masses, puppet Masses, and even those clown Masses struck young congregants with that sense of awe and wonder that’s evident in these photographs?

When it came to evangelizing young people through the Mass, the architect of the so-called “reformed” liturgy, Cardinal Annibale Bugnini, may have made the Mass more relevant by a worldly standard by appealing to the masses (pardon the pun).

bugnini

Cardinal Annibale Bugnini

But, he very well have thrown the baby away with the bathwater by a spiritual standard.

 

 

 

To read Fr. Z’s blog, click on the following link:
http://wdtprs.com/blog/2015/05/of-the-dropping-of-rose-petals/

To view the photo album, click on the following link:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/canons-regular/sets/72157645271941293/

15

PopeWatch: Satan and Ecumenicalism

 

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

 

In a video address to the John 17 movement the Pope said something that should be highly controversial, but really isn’t because of the way that he said it.

 

 

“I feel like saying something that may sound controversial, or even heretical, perhaps,” he said in the video. “But there is someone who ‘knows’ that, despite our differences, we are one. It is he who is persecuting us. It is he who is persecuting Christians today, he who is anointing us with (the blood of) martyrdom.”

The devil, he said, “knows that Christians are disciples of Christ, that they are one, that they are brothers! He doesn’t care if they are Evangelicals or Orthodox, Lutherans, Catholics or Apostolic … he doesn’t care! They are Christians.” Continue Reading

4

Sardonic Ex Curia

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I always keep my eye out for good linking blogs which list the best posts each day on subjects I am interested in.  Commenter Jonathan runs an excellent linking blog at Sardonic Ex Curia.  Here is his description of his blog:

Welcome to Sardonic Ex Curia! The purpose of this blog is simple – provide a series of daily links to intelligent conservative, Federalist, or Catholic web content. Most of it will be current content from true blogs, although some of it may be links to good reprints, journal articles, and other web flotsam. I am modeling this on the Catholic blog the “Pulp.It”. Go check them out sometime as well!

Go here to take a look at the blog.

 

May 26, 1865: Kirby Smith Surrenders

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The last major Confederate force to surrender, General Edmund Kirby Smith, the commander of the Trans-Mississippi Department, signed the articles of surrender on May 26, 1865 in Galveston, Texas.  Consisting of Arkansas, Texas and Louisiana, the Trans-Mississippi had been cut off from the rest of the Confederacy since the fall of Vicksburg and Port Hudson in mid 1863.  Smith then conducted the War in his sprawling Department on his own initiative, his command becoming known in the rest of the Confederacy as “Kirby Smithdom”. Continue Reading

2

Greater Than We Deserve

 

Every now and then I come across something written by someone else that so perfectly encapsulates what I believe that it remains with me forever.  I suspect this piece written by David French at National Review Online will be something that I never forget:

There is a place near my home — in a rural county in middle Tennessee — that is especially beautiful. A dirt path leads off from the main road, through a hay field, up to an old barn nestled just at the base of a small hill. It’s like a scene from a painting. For some reason, every time I drive past (which is often), I’m struck by a sense of gratitude — for my family, for the church and school community that so enriches our lives, for the simple pleasures of peace at home — the meals with friends, the long treks to volleyball tournaments, and the joy of watching my kids struggle to train a new puppy. I’m grateful because I understand that there is nothing that I did to truly “deserve” the life I’ve been given.

 

For years, I tried to deserve it — to convince myself that if only I was a good enough citizen, striving to be a good husband and father, working in my community to love and support those less fortunate, and using my law degree to defend liberty, then I could one day reflect on my life with satisfaction — with a sense that I’d given more than I’d taken. 
Then I went to war and learned of debts that can’t ever be repaid. It’s one thing to read in the history books of barely trained militia staring down British regulars from the top of Breed’s Hill, or of the horrible slaughter on Burnside’s Bridge at Antietam, or to watch movie depictions of Omaha Beach or even combat footage from Fallujah. It’s another thing entirely to stand in silent attention as a friend — a brother you’d just talked to hours before — is loaded onto a Blackhawk helicopter to begin his “hero flight” home. It’s another thing entirely to embrace a grieving father next to the flag-draped casket of his son, another brother you knew and loved. 
That’s when I learned — to paraphrase a character in a recent summer movie — that there’s “red in my ledger,” red that I can never turn to black. Christians are familiar with this concept. The blood of Christ grants a gift of eternal life that we cannot possibly earn. Here at home the blood of our warriors — spilled for liberty — has granted us a nation greater than we deserve. Yes, millions of Americans have worked for more than two centuries to build the families, the businesses, and the civic institutions that make the America we live in today, but the predicate for all those actions is a combination of peace and freedom purchased at the highest price.

Continue Reading

14

PopeWatch: Holy Green

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Pope Francis gets an apparently important to him portion of his agenda under way this week:

 

When Pope Francis releases his much-anticipated teaching document on the environment and climate change in the coming weeks, a network of Roman Catholics will be ready.

There will be prayer vigils and pilgrimages, policy briefings and seminars, and sermons in parishes from the U.S. to the Philippines.

These environmental advocates — who work with bishops, religious orders, Catholic universities and lay movements — have been preparing for months to help maximize the effect of the statement, hoping for a transformative impact in the fight against global warming.

“This is such a powerful moment,” said Patrick Carolan, executive director of Franciscan Action Network, a Washington-based advocacy group formed by Franciscan religious orders. “We’re asking ourselves, ‘What would be the best way for us to support the faith community in getting this out and using it as a call to action?'”

Francis is issuing the encyclical by the end of June with an eye toward the end-of-year U.N. climate change conference in Paris. While previous popes have made strong moral and theological arguments in favor of environmental protection, Francis will be the first to address global warming in such a high-level teaching document.

The pope, who will address the U.N. General Assembly Sept. 25 when he visits the U.S., has said he wants the encyclical to be released in time to be read and absorbed before the Paris talks. Advocates are pressing for a binding, comprehensive agreement among nations to curb rising global temperatures, which scientists say are largely driven by carbon emissions.

“People are really putting a lot of weight on this,” said Nancy Tuchman, director of the Institute of Environmental Sustainability at Loyola University Chicago. “I think the real hope is that he says it like it is and tells us there has to be a call to action and it has to be immediate.”

The institute, which has been working to unite 28 U.S. Jesuit colleges and universities as a common voice on climate change, plans to collect papers from students, faculty and staff with their reflections on the document and how they can be “one of its champions,” Tuchman said. A school colloquium on the papers is planned for Sept. Continue Reading

54

Ten Thoughts on the Irish Debacle

 

Now that Ireland has voted to approve gay marriage, a few thoughts:

1.   Catholic Ireland is now Anti-Catholic Ireland-The Irish have always found scapegoats useful as an explanation for Irish failings.  Britain long played this role and the Church is now filling this role.  This vote, for many of the voters, was a joyous opportunity to give a one finger salute to the faith of their ancestors.

2.   Spineless Shepherds-With one or two exceptions, the Irish episcopate was worse than useless.  Cowardice was their most notable attribute.  Expecting these timeservers to stand up for Catholicism in a hostile environment is like expecting a wolf to become a vegetarian.

3.   Pope-MIA-The Pope has endless time to waste on made up problems like global warming, and to make snide remarks about faithful Catholics, but he uttered not a word on this vote.  In the current feeble state of the Church in the face of her enemies, the fish does rot from the head down.

4.   No Representation-All the major parties in Ireland backed gay marriage, so the 38% of the Irish people who voted against it, a huge block of voters in a proportional parliamentary system like Ireland, effectively have no political voice.

5.   Iron Triangle-In Ireland government, academia and entertainment were all overwhelmingly in favor of gay marriage.  The group think on this issue makes the old Iron Curtain countries seem diverse in comparison. Continue Reading

Memorial Day: Our Poor Power to Add or Detract

Memorial Day is a legacy of the Civil War.  Approximately 640,000-750,000 American soldiers, sailors and marines, North and South,  died in that war.  Out of a population of  some 30,000,000, the death toll would be the equivalent of the US today losing six to seven million dead in a war.  It was a rare family that was untouched by this great national tragedy and the mourning for the lives cut short went on for decades.

Immediately after the war, events honoring the fallen began to be held.   Among the first of these was on May 1, 1865 in Charleston, South Carolina where a largely black crowd honored the Union dead.  Such memorials quickly spread throughout the Country.  Usually these gatherings involved decorating and cleaning the graves of soldiers.  On May 5, 1868, General John “Blackjack”  A. Logan, an Illinois Congressman and an able combat general during the war, in his capacity as Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, issued a proclamation that commemorations of the Union war dead and the decorating of their graves should occur on each May 30.   “It is the purpose of the Commander-in-Chief to inaugurate this observance with the hope it will be kept up from year to year, while a survivor of the war remains to honor the memory of his departed comrades. He earnestly desires the public press to call attention to this Order, and lend its friendly aid in bringing it to the notice of comrades in all parts of the country in time for simultaneous compliance therewith.”

The May 30 Decoration Day events became a fixture of life in the Northern states.  The states of the old Confederacy had similar events but on different dates, varying from state to state.  The term Memorial Day was first used in 1882, but the name Decoration Day remained for the holiday until after World War II.  As Civil War veterans aged and passed from the scene, the day was broadened to remember all of America’s war dead.  The Uniform Monday Holiday Act in 1968 moved Memorial Day to the fourth Monday in May.

As Lincoln noted in the Gettysburg address, it is “altogether fitting and proper” that we honor our war dead, but in what way can we honor them?  The monuments we raise to them are really for us, to remind us of the value of valor and sacrifice.  They do not walk among us to view them.  They cannot tell us what they think of the speeches praising them or read the blog posts written about them.  Their lives are done and they have been judged by God, as we all will be judged, and are now in Eternity.  Other than the important task of praying for the repose of their souls, nothing that we say or do about them on Earth has any impact upon them.

We honor and remember them not to aid them, but to aid ourselves.  Gratitude is one of the noblest of human emotions, and it would say something appalling about us if we did not express it to our war dead.  Almost all men fear death, and we honor those who faced death for us.  Men who have had their lives taken away in our service, are entitled to all the gratitude we can muster.  If our war dead could speak to us I suspect they would echo the sentiments of the memorial to the dead of the British 2nd Division at Kohima, India:

“When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say,
For Their Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today”.
Continue Reading

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Popular American Catholic Posts

 

The long weekend has given me an opportunity to view blog statistics.  Here are the top 10 viewed posts of all time at The American Catholic:

Google’s Top 25 Catholic Websites                                                             73,094
A Map Of How Americans View Europe                                                    48,007
Our Lady of Akita: Pray for Japan!                                                             31,283
Top 25 Catholic Blogs by Technorati Authority                                       29,217
What is The American Catholic?                                                                28,420
National Atheist Day                                                                                     26,255
The Best Pro-Life Video Ever!                                                                     16,727
Last Eye Witness to the Lincoln Assassination                                        15,813
Booming Traditional Religious Orders!                                                     14,972
Top 15 Misconceptions About Catholics                                                    14,138

Here are the top ten viewed posts for the past year: Continue Reading

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Pentecost and Other Miracles

 

So ever the king had a custom that at the feast of Pentecost in especial, afore other feasts in the year, he would not go that day to meat until he had heard or seen of a great marvel.

 

When my children were small as the family drove to Mass, I offered the kids a dollar for the first one to sight the Questing Beast, tying the Arthurian legend with the great feast.  When my son died on Pentecost two years ago, the bright spot on that bleak Pentecost was when my bride gave voice to a thought that had occurred to me:  Larry has gone after the Questing Beast.

The birthday of the Church, inaugurated with the great miracles of the coming of the Holy Spirit and the tongues of fire underlining the universal nature of the mission of the Church, at Pentecost has always reminded me that since the coming of Christ we live in an age of miracles, if we only have the wit and the faith to see them.  I know this from personal experience:   since the death of Larry I have received a small miracle to assure me of his love from the other side.

We live in a time in the West of great cultural pessimism and spiritual sickness that has infected the Church.  We forget that over 2000 turbulent years Christ has never failed us and that we Christians should never give way to despair.  We do battle with Principalities and Powers, and not merely misguided or evil fellow men, and Christ is ever ready to aid us if we call on Him in humility and love.

Thirty two years ago Solzhenitsyn had this striking passage in his Templeton Address:

More than half a century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of older people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.

Since then I have spent well-nigh fifty years working on the history of our Revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous Revolution that swallowed up some sixty million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened. Continue Reading

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May 24, 1865: Grand Review-Sherman’s Army

 

 

The day after the Army of the Potomac marched in final review through Washington, it was the turn of the 65,000 men of Sherman’s Army of Georgia.  Sherman was afraid that his weathered Westerners would make a poor showing in comparison to the spit and polish Army of the Potomac.

There had long been a keen rivalry between the Union troops in the East and the Union troops in the West.  The troops in the West thought the Army of the Potomac got all of the publicity while the troops in the West were winning the War.  The informal Westerners derided the Easterners as “paper collar” toy soldiers.  The Army of the Potomac tended to look upon the Western troops as uncouth barbarians, more armed mobs than armies, and men who won victories against second rate Confederate troops and generals while they did battle with Robert E. Lee and his first team of the Army of Northern Virginia.

There was no way Sherman’s men were going to let Uncle Billy down and let the Army of the Potomac show them up.  When they stepped off their uniforms were clean and repaired and they marched as if they had spent the War doing formal dress parades.  Sherman was immensely pleased: Continue Reading

8

PopeWatch: Third Degree

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

 

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

 

New Haven, CT––The Knights of Columbus, which are made up of wealthy white men and organized into Jurisdictions, Districts, and Councils boasting of over 14,000 local units in America alone, were founded by Fr. Michael J. McGivney, who was totally a real person and whose real name was, no joke, “McGivney,” with the mission, “to prevent Catholic men from entering secret societies whose membership was antithetical to Church teaching.” Upon entrance, a new Knight is given the title “First Degree” during a ceremony to which no one who is not a member is invited. After serving in the Knights for a certain un-specified amount of time and attending their meetings (which are not closed off except to those who have not gained membership in the Knights), the member enters the “Second Degree” by partaking in a ritual service which is entirely open to all who are members of the Knights of Columbus. Similar events happen during the “Third” and “Fourth” degree ceremonies. “Joining the Knights of Columbus is quite simple,” said Second Degree Knight Robert Burkens. “One simply must be a male, over 18, and Catholic, and current Knights will seek him out and badger him to join, treating him as somehow not truly Catholic until he does. The Insurance policy is completely optional, but recommended, since soon-to-be St. John Paul II was once quoted as saying ‘The Knights of Columbus Insurance Policy is the right hand of the Catholic Church.’” Continue Reading

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May 23, 1865: Grand Review

Something for the weekend:  Battle Hymn of the Republic.  Doubtless many men who fought in the Civil War thought, and dreaded, that the War might go on forever.  Now, however, it had ended with Union victory.  Some European powers speculated that the United States would now use its vast armies to take foreign territory:  perhaps French occupied Mexico, maybe settle old scores by taking Canada from Great Britain, Cuba, held by moribund Spain was certainly a tempting target.  But no, the armies had been raised for the purpose of preserving the Union.  Now the men in the ranks were eager to get home, and the nation was just as eager to enjoy peace.

One last duty remained however:  an immense victory parade in Washington.  On May 23, 1865, the 80,000 strong Army of the Potomac marched happily through the streets of Washington on a glorious spring day.  For six hours they passed the reviewing stand, where President Johnson, the cabinet, General Grant and assorted civilian and military high brass, received the salutes of, and saluted, the men who had saved the Union.  Most of the men had hated the Army, and were overjoyed to be going home, but for the rest of their lives they would remember this day and how all the death and suffering they had endured over the past four years had not been in vain after all.    Almost all of them were very young men now, and many of them would live to old age, future generations then having a hard time picturing them as they were now:  lean, battle-hardened and the victors of the bloodiest war in the history of their nation.  When they died iron stars would be put by their graves, and each Decoration Day, eventually called Memorial Day, flags would be planted by their graves, as if to recall a huge banner draped over the Capitol on this day of days:

“The Only National Debt We Can Never Pay, Is The Debt We Owe To Our Victorious Soldiers.”   Continue Reading

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All Gay! All the Time!

The impact of a non-stop propaganda campaign in the entertainment industry and in “education”:

Fifty-three percent think gays compose at least 20 percent of the population. Huh. I don’t know what’s odder, the fact that this number has grown as the public’s paid more attention to gays over the past 13 years or the fact that guesstimates were already wildly inflated in 2002, before gay marriage had picked up national momentum. Logically, you would think the estimates would have been sharply lower as you go further back in time, when more gays were in the closet. Or, alternatively, you could argue that the estimates should be sharply lower now, as better information about gays has become more widely available. Instead ignorance abides — although maybe the source of the ignorance has changed. Maybe it used to be that people overestimated how many gays there were precisely because they didn’t know much about them and thought “20 percent” seemed like a reasonble-ish number, small enough to comport with gays’ status as a minority but large enough to comport with their visibility in celebrity culture. Now, Americans may have heard here and there that the actual number of gays is under five percent but they’re having trouble processing that figure because gays and gay-rights issues seem to be everywhere in media and on the news. Increased visibility may be overwhelming better information, ironically “confirming” the earlier 20-25 percent guesstimate. Continue Reading

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PopeWatch: Letter From The Pope

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

 

 

The Pope is noted for his personal communications with ordinary Catholics.  This is a heartwarming one:

On May 13, the very day of her son Jose’s funeral, Bernardita Vial received a letter from Pope Francis.

The Pope had learned about little Jose when he was still in the womb and not expected to survive very long after birth because he had been diagnosed during pregnancy with anencephaly, a condition that usually causes the death of the child shortly after birth. Bernardita had written to Pope Francis a few weeks previously to share her story and her Faith.

The Pope’s letter was read at the funeral. Continue Reading

A Second Review of the Grand Army

Recently I have been reading of the Grand Review of the Armies which occurred in Washington DC on May 23 and May 24, 1865.  This was a victory parade of Grant’s Army of the Potomac and Sherman’s Army.  I was struck by a banner that was spread on the capitol dome those two days: “The Only National Debt We Can Never Pay, Is The Debt We Owe To Our Victorious Soldiers.”   Indeed.    So the boys in blue enjoyed two days of being cheered as heroes and saviors of their country, before they were demobilized and went back to their homes, the War left behind to fading memories and imperishable history.

However, there were silent victors who could not march in the Grand Review, and humorist Bret Harte remembered them in this poem:

I read last night of the Grand Review
    In Washington’s chiefest avenue,–
Two hundred thousand men in blue,
    I think they said was the number,–
Till I seemed to hear their trampling feet,
The bugle blast and the drum’s quick beat,
The clatter of hoofs in the stony street,
The cheers of the people who came to greet,
And the thousand details that to repeat
    Would only my verse encumber,–
Till I fell in a revery, sad and sweet,
    And then to a fitful slumber.
   
When, lo! in a vision I seemed to stand
In the lonely Capitol. On each hand
Far stretched the portico, dim and grand
Its columns ranged, like a martial band
Of sheeted spectres whom some command
    Had called to a last reviewing.
And the streets of the city were white and bare;
No footfall echoed across the square;
But out of the misty midnight air
I heard in the distance a trumpet blare,
And the wandering night-winds seemed to bear
    The sound of a far tatooing.

Then I held my breath with fear and dread;
For into the square, with a brazen tread,
There rode a figure whose stately head
    O’erlooked the review that morning.
That never bowed from its firm-set seat
When the living column passed its feet,
Yet now rode steadily up the street
    To the phantom bugle’s warning:
   
Till it reached the Capitol square, and wheeled,
And there in the moonlight stood revealed
A well known form that in State and field
    Had led our patriot sires;
Whose face was turned to the sleeping camp,
Afar through the river’s fog and damp,
That showed no flicker, nor warning lamp,
    Nor wasted bivouac fires.
   
And I saw a phantom army come,
With never a sound of fife or drum,
But keeping time to a throbbing hum
    Of wailing and lamentation:
The martyred heroes of Malvern Hill,
Of Gettysburg and Chancellorsville,
The men whose wasted figures fill
    The patriot graves of the nation.
   
And there came the nameless dead,–the men
Who perished in fever-swamp and fen,
The slowly-starved of the prison-pen;
    And marching beside the others,
Came the dusky martyrs of Pillow’s fight,
With limbs enfranchised and bearing bright;
I thought–perhaps ’twas the pale moonlight–
    They looked as white as their brothers!
   
And so all night marched the Nation’s dead,
With never a banner above them spread,
Nor a badge, nor a motto brandished;
No mark–save the bare uncovered head
    Of the silent bronze Reviewer;
With never an arch save the vaulted sky;
With never a flower save those that lie
On the distant graves–for love could buy
    No gift that was purer or truer.
   
So all night long swept the strange array;
So all night long, till the morning gray,
I watch’d for one who had passed away,
    With a reverent awe and wonder,–
Till a blue cap waved in the lengthening line,
And I knew that one who was kin of mine
Had come; amd I spake–and lo! that sign
    Awakened me from my slumber.

15

Science Fakers

 

Law Professor Elizabeth Foley nails it at Instapundit:

THEY’RE NOT SCIENCE DENIERS, THEY’RE SCIENCE FAKERS: What is it about progressives and their manipulation of scientific data?  It’s not just global warming climate change; now it’s social science on gay marriage.

According to the study, people from communities hostile to gay marriage could have their opinions shift dramatically after spending just a few minutes speaking with a gay person who canvassed their neighborhood promoting gay marriage. . . .

The study, among other things, lent support to the notion that those opposed to gay marriage simply don’t know or interact with open homosexuals. More broadly, it was seen as an important development in the science of how people can be convinced to change their minds on ideologically-charged issues.

The study began to fall apart when students at the University of California at Berkeley sought to conduct additional research building off of it, only to find major irregularities in how its research was apparently conducted. . . . 

Donald Green, a professor at Columbia University and a co-author of the paper, made the decision to retract it after having a confrontation with co-author Michael LaCour, a graduate student at UCLA. While LaCour maintained that he hadn’t fabricated the data, he was also unable to produce the original source files supposedly used to produce it. When he failed to write-up a retraction, Green took the initiative and did so himself.

Guess some folks think they can fake it ’til they make it.  Or maybe it’s just Alinsky’s “the ends justify the means. Continue Reading

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Proportional Military Action?

Well, I guess this is newsworthy considering the neo-Pacifism that has infested the Vatican since Vatican II:

Continue Reading

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PopeWatch: Archbishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo

 VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

Regarding these responses by Argentinian Archbishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, a close friend of Pope Francis, to questions posed by Stefano Gennarini of C-Fam writing at C-Fam’s Turtle Bay and Beyond, PopeWatch has just one question:  What is in the water in Argentina?

 

Following last month’s appearance of Jeffrey Sachs and Ban Ki-moon at a Vatican conference on climate change several catholic intellectuals as well as pro-life news sources were puzzled about the Vatican giving a platform to the world’s foremost proponents of abortion and population control. I thought it could be useful to know what the organizers of the conference thought of the concerns so I reached out to them.

Below are the replies of Archishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, Chancelor of the Ponitifical Academies of Science and Social Sciences, which hosted the “Protect the Earth, Dignify Humanity” conference at the Vatican last month. Sánchez Sorondo initially apologized for the late reply, which resulted in me writing that the prelate had not replied to my enquiry last week, and then responded to my query at some length. The original questions and replies were in Italian.

Q. Were you aware before your collaboration with Sachs at the Vatican of his public position on abortion in the book “Commonwealth”, where he says abortion is a “low-cost” and “low-risk” intervention to reduce fertility in the event that contraceptives fail?

Sánchez Sorondo (S.S.) I’ve just come back from Argentina, where I attended a conference to combat new forms of slavery, like human trafficking, forced labor, prostitution, and organ trafficking, which I consider, together with Pope Francis and Pope Benedict, to be a crime against humanity. Unfortunately, there is not only the drama of abortion, but there are also all these other dramas, in which you should also be interested, because they are closely related. The climate crisis leads to poverty and poverty leads to new forms of slavery and forced migration, and drugs, and all this can also lead to abortion.

Q. Several Catholic intellectuals and media sources criticized your decision to collaborate with Ban Ki-moon and Jeffrey Sachs on climate change, because of their positions on abortion and population control. Do you have any reply to these concerns?

S.S. The Tea Party and all those whose income derives from oil have criticized us, but not my superiors, who instead authorized me, and several of them participated.

Q. Undoubtedly, you discussed Ban Ki-moon’s and Jeffrey Sachs’ position on abortion and population control in the lead up to the conference. How were any questions resolved?

S.S. Yes. We had these discussions, and as you can see, the draft SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) don’t even mention abortion or population control. They speak of access to family planning and sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights. The interpretation and application of these depends on governments. Some may even interpret it as Paul VI, in terms of responsible paternity and maternity. Instead of attacking us, why not enter into dialogue with these “demons” to maybe make the formulation better, like we did on the issues of social inclusion and new forms of slavery? Continue Reading

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Jesuitical 17: Marquette University and the Cop Killer

 

 

Part 17 of my ongoing survey of the follies of many modern day Jesuits.

John McAdams, a suspended political science professor at Marquette, go here to read about why he is suspended, at his blog Marquette Warrior, shined the light on a mural at Marquette, a Jesuit university in Milwaukee, honoring a cop killer:

 

Marquette’s Gender and Sexuality Resource Center was set up as a sop to the campus gay lobby in the wake of Marquette’s refusal to hire aggressively lesbian Arts & Sciences dean candidate Jodi O’Brien. Not surprisingly, it has consistently pursued a leftist secular agenda including, for example, the Femsex Seminar, which was so raunchy and so opposed to Marquette’s supposed “Catholic mission” that the Administration ordered that sponsorship be withdrawn.

But now we have yet another case of the extreme leftist agenda of the organization. An entry from its Facebook page:

(Click on image to enlarge)

Yes, it’s a mural, in the offices of the Center, celebrating one Assata Shakur.

(Here is a larger view of the image.)

So who is Assata Shakur? A black militant who was convicted of murder and fled to Cuba, where she is still protected by the Communist government. According to Wikipedia:

Assata Olugbala Shakur (born JoAnne Deborah Byron on July 16, 1947[1]), whose married name was Chesimard,[2][3] is an African-American activist and member of the former Black Panther Party (BPP) and Black Liberation Army (BLA). Between 1971 and 1973, Shakur was accused of several crimes and was the subject of a multistate manhunt.[4][5]

In May 1973, Shakur was involved in a shootout on the New Jersey Turnpike, in which she was accused of killing New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster and grievously assaulting Trooper James Harper.[6] BLA member Zayd Malik Shakur was also killed in the incident, and Shakur was wounded.[6] Between 1973 and 1977, Shakur was indicted in relation to six other incidents—charged with murder, attempted murder, armed robbery, bank robbery, and kidnapping—resulting in three acquittals and three dismissals. In 1977, she was convicted of the first-degree murder of Foerster and of seven other felonies related to the shootout.[7]

Shakur was incarcerated in several prisons in the 1970s. She escaped from prison in 1979 and fled to Cuba in 1984 after living as a fugitive for a few years, and received political asylum. She has been living in Cuba ever since. Since May 2, 2005, the FBI has classified her as a domestic terrorist and offered a $1 million reward for assistance in her capture. On May 2, 2013, the FBI added her to the Most Wanted Terrorist List; the first woman to be listed.[8] On the same day, the New Jersey Attorney General offered to match the FBI reward, increasing the total reward for her capture to $2 million.[9]

More information on her can be found here.

Yes, this is the sort of person the “sexuality” bureaucrats at Marquette feel deserves to be honored.

Go here to read the rest.  A storm of bad publicity resulted and the mural was taken down.  Here is John McAdams comment: Continue Reading

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PopeWatch: Ghost Written Encyclicals

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

 

Lots of furor over the apparently ghost written encyclical on the environment:

 

The Vatican has denied that Pope Francis’ forthcoming encyclical has been delayed because the Holy Father feared the first draft would not be approved by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF).

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told the Register May 14 that the “preparation procedure of the encyclical took place, and is taking place, in a completely normal way, and there has not been, and there isn’t, any delay compared to what was expected.”

He added there have “never been reliable predictions” about the time of the publication of the encyclical, which is expected to reaffirm the Church’s teaching on safeguarding the environment and controversially endorse the science of anthropogenic climate change.

Those who have claimed to know the date of its release have based their comments on “rumors and fantasies,” Father Lombardi said.

The Vatican spokesman did say he has always thought it would appear “before the summer,” but added that it has already been “announced and repeated that the final text is being translated, and it’s reasonable to expect the publication within a few weeks, probably in June.”

Father Lombardi’s comments came after veteran Vaticanista Sandro Magister claimed on his blog “Settimo Cielo” May 11 that the Pope had “binned” the first draft of the encyclical when he spent a week in March examining the document.

Magister said the Pope feared the first draft — which had been ghostwritten by his theologian friend from Argentina, Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernández  — would have been “demolished” by Cardinal Gerhard Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, “once it had gotten into his hands.”

But Father Lombardi said it is “normal and obvious” that, as with any encyclical, the CDF would check the document before publication and that he was unaware of “any cause of delays or problems.” He called the speculation “totally unfounded” and said it “seems almost unbelievable that such things are written.” Continue Reading

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Cardinal Maradiaga and worshipping at the altar of environmentalism…

 

According to Vatican Insider, Cardinal Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga of Honduras isn’t very much happy with climate change skeptics in the U.S.A. who have expressed their reservations concerning Pope Francis’ cozy relationship with those who worship at the altar of environmentalism over at the United Nations.

Cardinal Maradiaga is especially chagrined by those “movements in the United States” he apparently observed during a recent trip to the U.S.

In the Cardinal’s view, members of those movements have had the temerity to express their concern about this cozy relationship and its potential to influence the Pope’s upcoming encyclical letter concerning the environment. Those people are “absurd,” the Cardinal opined:

The ideology surrounding environmental issues is too tied to a capitalism that doesn’t want to stop ruining the environment because they don’t want to give up their profits: these criticisms make no sense! How can they criticise a text they do not even know?

Indeed, if there is climate change, it’s all due to greedy capitalists. Cardinal Maradiaga sounds like Nikita Khrushchev, Fidel Castro, and Che Guevara, all wrapped up into one, doesn’t he?

The Cardinal also apparently fashions himself to be a meteorologist and/or climate scientist. Last week at the Caritas International confab in Rome, Maradiaga challenged the debate swirling around the scientific basis for man-made climate change:

There is a big discussion about whether global warming is scientific or not, but speak to the taxi driver who drove me here today and he’ll tell you the temperature in Rome is not typical of spring; think of the Philippines where there were 21 typhoons this year and in California water is being rationed. This proves that the issue needs to be taken seriously. (italics added)

Proves?

Perhaps Cardinal Maradiaga should meet the founder of The Weather Channel, John Coleman, to discuss the other point of view.

In 2014, Coleman was a featured speaker at the Ninth International Conference on Climate Change. Listen to Coleman’s presentation about how the global warming frenzy began:

Also, check out Coleman’s two documentaries debunking the global warming scare:

Of course, those who worship at the altar of environmentalism dismiss Coleman’s facts because their dogma posits the opposite.

Some good news (perhaps). Sandro Magister is reporting that the Pope’s encyclical has been drafted, but he has rejected that text and sent it back to be rewritten. Why? Pope Francis fears the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Ludwig Müller would “demolish” it.

Let’s hope so if the first draft reflects Cardinal Maradiaga’s “proof.”

 

 

 

To read the Vatican Insider article, click on the following link:
http://vaticaninsider.lastampa.it/en/the-vatican/detail/articolo/caritas-gutierrez-41032/

To read Sandro Magister’s article, click on the following link:
http://magister.blogautore.espresso.repubblica.it/2015/05/11/e-questo-sarebbe-il-teologo-di-fiducia-del-papa/

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

7

Lawrence Charles McClarey: In Memoriam

Larry McClarey

Lawrence Charles McClarey

Birth:  September 5, 1991

(Feast day of Saint Lawrence Justinian)

Death:  May 19, 2013

(Pentecost)

38. For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor might,

39. Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8: 38-39

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PopeWatch: “Palestinian” Saints

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

 

Much publicity is being given to the Pope canonizing two “Palestinian” nuns.

New Hope for the sons and daughters of Palestine, Jordan and the Middle East: Pope Francis will announce next Sunday the canonization of four nuns. Two of them are Palestinians, namely Marie-Alphonsine, founder of Palestine’s first congregation, the Sisters of the Most Holy Rosary of Jerusalem, and Mariam of Jesus Crucified Baouardy, the founder of Carmelite Convents in Bethlehem and India. Continue Reading

May 19, 1865: Skirmish at Hodby Bridge

 

One of the odd things about the Civil War is how often statements that are assumed to be facts are not.  For example, it is usually stated that Private John J. Williams of the 34th Indiana, killed on May 13, 1865 at the battle of Palmito Ranch is the last man killed in the Civil War.  That is almost certainly incorrect.  That sad distinction may belong to Corporal John W. Skinner, 1rst Florida US Cavalry, who was killed at an ambush at Hodby’s Bridge in Alabama, by Confederate guerillas.  This skirmish would probably have been lost to history, but for a legal battle waged by the wounded Union soldiers for pensions.  The complicating factor was whether the Union soldiers returning from a furlough were on active duty at the time, in which case they were entitled to pensions, or whether they were on furlough and not entitled to pensions.  Ultimately the government ruled in favor of the soldiers in 1900 after initially rejecting the pension applications in 1896.  How many other men were killed in skirmishes completely missed by history in the closing weeks of this vast struggle?

10

Heterodox Rising

bizarro-code

 

Pat Archbold at Creative Minority Report, with tongue firmly thrust into cheek:

 

 

I had a nightmare fueled by my irrational reactionary dread of everything new that causes me to see a crisis where none exists.

I dreamed that a priest who openly and proudly contradicts Church teaching on homosexuality, a stance that previously had him banned from speaking at a Caritas event by the Vatican in another time, had just been appointed by the Pope to a prominent position as Consultor to the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

I really must stop letting my fevered imagination get the better of me.

 

From Rorate Caeli:

The Vatican Bollettino for today reports that Fr. Timothy Radcliffe OP, has been appointed by Pope Francis as Consultor to the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. The former Master General of the Dominican Order is a prominent supporter of the Kasperite proposal in favor of communion for the “divorced and remarried”. He has also spoken out in favor of the ordination of women, if not to the priesthood, then at least to the diaconate (see this.) However he is more famous for his frequent public interventions pushing for greater acceptance of homosexuality, having been a frequent celebrant of the infamous “gay Masses” in Soho, London. Rorate has noted his blatant support for homosexuality a couple of times (see this and this – scroll to the bottom of each post).

It is true that Radcliffe has “opposed” “gay marriage”, but his farcical “opposition” rests on grounds entirely contrary to those of the Church: Radcliffe opposes it because, in his words: “‘gay marriage’ ultimately, we believe, demeans gay people by forcing them to conform to the straight world.” His support for civil “same sex unions” and his lavish praise of homosexual “love” are a matter of public record, and led to repeated attempts last year by good and devout Catholics to prevent him from talking at the Divine Mercy Conference in Ireland (see this and this) and in San Diego, California (see this report on the Wanderer), as well as in the Flame 2 Youth Conference this year in London (read this). All these attempts failed — and Radcliffe’s acceptability has just received a major upgrade with this latest appointment. A tremendous slap to the face of so many good Catholics who had opposed him out of fidelity to the faith… 

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PopeWatch: Francis Effect

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Steve Skojec at One Peter Five has a column on the remarks of Father Linus Clovis about what he perceives to be the “Francis Effect”:

When a bishop — a Catholic bishop — can applaud sin publicly, it causes us to tremble. But this is essentially the ‘Francis Effect.’ It’s disarming bishops and priests, especially after the Holy Father said, ‘Who am I to judge?’ I as a priest say Mass, preaching, and I make a judgment about a sin, one breaking the ten commandments, I would be condemned for judging. I would be accused of being ‘more Catholic than the pope’. There used to be a saying — rhetorical — ‘is the pope Catholic?’ That’s no longer funny.” (in reference to Dolan’s “Bravo!” comments regarding the coming out of football player Michael Sam.)

  • “Obedience is owed to the pope, but the pope owes obedience to the word and the apostolic tradition. We have to obey the pope, but the pope himself must obey the written word. He must obey the tradition. He must respond to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Obedience is owed to the pope, but it is the duty of the pope to give the character of possibility to this obedience. The pope has to facilitate our obeying him, by himself being obedient to the Word of God. Pope Felix III told us, ‘an error that is not resisted is approved. A truth that is not defended is suppressed.’ So we have an obligation to resist error, and we must do everything that we can to promote the truth.”
  • “Once, we have had concerns about other popes, even St. John Paul, with the things he’s done which we felt uncomfortable about, I don’t think that…Pope Francis has done anything other than disconcert us. He has literally pulled the rug from under our feet. And so, he is the, the reason, the many reasons why we are concerned. Our Lord tells us in John’s Gospel, 15th chapter, ‘If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, and I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also.’ The popes are hated, and I don’t think we had a problem with that per se. We didn’t like it. But I think that I’ll be correct in saying that we prefer our popes to be hated by the world than loved by the world. Because if he’s loved by the world, it indicates that he’s speaking the language of the world. And we know that there can be no relationship, no fellowship, between light and darkness. St. Paul tells us this.”
  • “The Church’s traditional enemies — and this is vocalized, articulated in Time Magazine, Rolling Stone, The Advocate, and so on — approve of him, he appeared on their front cover many times over the past two years. I came across a quote from someone who knew him in Argentina. ‘Apparently, he loves to be loved by all and please everyone, so one day he could make a speech on TV against abortion, and the next day, on the same television show, bless the pro-abortion feminists in the Plaza de Mayo; He can give a wonderful speech against the Masons and, a few hours later, be dining and drinking with them in the Rotary Club.’”
  • “So, how can you make a decision about a man like this, who is everybody’s friend? Our Lord tells us, ‘Nevertheless,’ this is 12th chapter of St. John’s Gospel, ‘Nevertheless, many of the authorities believed in him, [that’s in our Lord] but for fear of the pharisees they did not confess it lest they should be put out of they synagogue, for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.’ Am I making judgment? I don’t think so. I’m quoting scripture. Where the die falls, let it rest.”
  • “The Holy Father has done many controversial things, and we are concerned with the major ones, not the aberrations which come up. And the one that will go down, I suppose, to the Second Judgment, is ‘Who am I to judge.’ One of the…effects that the Holy Father does is that he takes common prejudice against Catholics, and he uses it against us. So in other words, he’s accepting what is perceived, our position to be, as if it were true. The Church does not judge persons. The Church judges actions and teachings. Even the heretics. Luther wasn’t condemned for his personal moral life. He was condemned for his teaching. His doctrine. And so with all the other heretics. Arius. It was his teaching that the Church judged. And has the authority to judge. But when the pope says, ‘Who am I to judge?’, he is giving the impression that the Church judges individuals because of who they are and…what they’re doing in their personal lives. That is for the confession.”
  • “Scripture tells us very clearly in First Corinthians chapter five St. Paul is writing to the Church of Corinth because they had accepted a man among them who was guilty of immorality. And the apostle writes, ‘But rather I wrote to you not to associate with any one who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or robber—not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders?’ Aha! What have I to do with judging outsiders? ‘Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. Drive out the wicked person from among you.’ So, how can the successor of Peter say, ‘Who am I to judge?’ without contradicting Scripture?”
  • “He complains we talk too much about abortion and contraception. Well…Do we? Again, the apostle tells us ‘convince, rebuke, and exhort, be unfailing in patience and in teaching.’ So, we have an obligation to speak about those sins for which the punishment is eternal damnation in Hell. We’re talking about the salvation of souls. The Code of Canon Law ends, ‘the highest good is the salvation of souls.’ And this is why Christ founded His Church: for the salvation of souls.”
  • “The ‘rabbit-gate’ affair was an insult to all Catholic mothers. Those who have…risked their lives, offered their lives, and given their lives for their children, and above all, for the Gospel.”
  • “Our concern is of course for the upcoming synod and what appears to be favored to bring remarried divorcees to communion. This is going to be a serious blow to the Church and to the faithful. Because already it has caused a lot of confusion and misunderstanding. Even in my pastoral experience I’ve encountered women who’ve said…a mother, her son’s divorced, remarried, and says, ‘Well the Holy Father allows him to communion, doesn’t he? I don’t think it’s right, father, but the pope…’ We have that problem already. And we see the pattern, is is done for Humane Vitae. It’s up there in the air, and of course it’s going to…become the law. You can do it. So, we really do need to have eyes firmly fixed on heaven, beseeching heaven, to guide our bishops.”
  • “There are rumors of the pastoral relaxation of Humanae Vitae….it’s not going to be contradicted, it’s not going to be deleted, it’s going to be extended. Which is so much more deadly. Because we have presented something that is evil as if it were good. And we are building this evil thing on a good foundation.”

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Mark Twain’s Civil War

 

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Mark Twain, like many young men North and South, decided that the Civil War was not to his taste, and went West.  In 1887 he addressed a reunion of Maryland Union troops and gave a short, humorous, and dark, look at his war:

“When your secretary invited me to this reunion of the Union veterans of Maryland he requested me to come prepared to clear up a matter which he said had long been a subject of dispute and bad blood in war circles in this country – to wit, the true dimensions of my military services in the Civil War, and the effect they had upon the general result.  I recognise the importance of this thing to history, and I have come prepared.  Here are the details.

I was in the Civil War two weeks.  In that brief time I rose from private to second lieutenant.  The monumental feature of my campaign was the one battle which my command fought – it was in the summer of ’61.  If I do say it, it was the bloodiest battle ever fought in human history; there is nothing approaching it for destruction of human life in the field, if you take into consideration the forces engaged and the proportion of death to survival.  And yet you do not even know the name of that battle.  Neither do I.  It had a name, but I have forgotten it.  It is no use to keep private information which you can’t show off.  In our battle there were just 15 men engaged on our side – all brigadier-generals but me, and I was a second-lieutenant.  On the other side there was one man.  He was a stranger.  We killed him.  It was night, and we thought it was an army of observation; he looked like an army of observation – in fact, he looked bigger than an army of observation would in the day time; and some of us believed he was trying to surround us, and some thought he was going to turn our position, and so we shot him.

Poor fellow, he probably wasn’t an army of observation after all, but that wasn’t our fault; as I say, he had all the look of it in the dim light.  It was a sorrowful circumstance, but he took the chances of war, and he drew the wrong card; he over-estimated his fighting strength, and he suffered the likely result; but he fell as the brave should fall – with his face to the front and feet to the field – so we buried him with the honours of war, and took his things.

So began and ended the only battle in the history of the world where the opposing force was utterly exterminated, swept from the face of the earth – to the last man.  And yet you don’t know the name of that battle; you don’t even know the name of that man.

Now, then, for the argument.  Suppose I had continued in the war, and gone on as I began, and exterminated the opposing forces every time – every two weeks – where would your war have been?  Why, you see yourself, the conflict would have been too one-sided.  There was but one honourable course for me to pursue, and I pursued it.  I withdrew to private life, and gave the Union cause a chance.  There, now, you have the whole thing in a nutshell; it was not my presence in the Civil War that determined that tremendous contest – it was my retirement from it that brought the  crash.  It left the Confederate side too weak.”

Twain could see the good and bad in both sides, and after the War became a friend of General Grant.  The older he got the more cynical he got, and his final biting verdict on the enthusiasm for war that he saw as a young man at the start of the Civil War is his 1907 War Prayer: Continue Reading

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Lincoln and Pigs

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The state of Illinois has quite a few statues of Abraham Lincoln.  One of the more unusual is one erected in 2005 outside the Taylorville, Illinois courthouse showing Lincoln with a pig.  The statue is the work of noted sculptor John McClary.  According to local Lincoln lore, Lincoln was arguing a case in Taylorville when pigs were heard squealing under the floor.  Lincoln suggested to the presiding Judge that a Writ of Quietus be issued by the Court ordering the pigs to be silent!

A pig figures in another Lincoln story.  As the story goes Lincoln and other attorneys were riding on the old Eighth Judicial Circuit when they passed by a pig caught firmly in a mud mire.  The poor pig was squealing piteously, slowly sinking to its doom.  Lincoln and his fellow attorneys rode by.  After about a mile Lincoln stopped.  He couldn’t get that pig out of his mind.  Turning back he rescued the pig using two boards, the pig getting him muddy in the process and ruining the new suit he was wearing.  Lincoln noted that by freeing the pig from the mire, he had also freed him from his conscience, and that was worth a suit.

Lincoln seems to have been fond of pigs from his earliest days, at least according to this story written by Ferdinand C. Iglehart in 1902: Continue Reading

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Angel of Peace

Abbas and Pope

 

A certain mendacity tends to walk hand in hand with diplomacy, and I hope this was the case when the Pope met with Mahmoud Abbas:

 

“May the angel of peace destroy the evil spirit of war,” Francis told Abbas after presenting him a medallion as a gift, The Associated Press reported. Francis told Abbas that the gift was appropriate since “you are an angel of peace.”

In a 2014 visit to Israel, Francis called both Abbas and Israeli President Shimon Peres men of peace, according to AP.

Mahmoud Abbas, leader of Fatah and President of the Palestine National Authority is many things but an angel of peace is not one of them.  What is he?

1.  As his 1982 doctoral dissertation indicates, he believes that the Zionist movement cooked up the Holocaust with the Nazis:  The Connection between the Nazis and the Leaders of the Zionist Movement 1933 – 1945.

2.  He raised money for the terrorist attack in 1972 at the Munich Olympics that led to the slaughter of Israeli athletes.

3.  He helped organize the Achille Lauro hijacking in 1985 during which disabled American World War II veteran Leon Klinghoffer was murdered.

4.  His family has gotten very wealthy, probably due to embezzlement of funds contributed to the Palestinians.  This is an old tradition of Fatah, Yasser Arafat, his predecessor at the helm of Fatah, left an estate worth north of a billion dollars.

5.  In negotiations with Israel since 2005 Abbas has never shown any interest in actually reaching a deal, which is understandable because if he did he would likely be murdered by one of the various factions of Fatah.   Anyone expecting any courage and leadership from that human weathervane to bring about a settlement simply has not been paying attention to his career.

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PopeWatch: Eternity

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

 

Galveston, TX–Multiple sources at Prince of Peace Catholic Church in Galveston, Texas have just confirmed that parish pastor Fr. Robert Warner is “never going to wrap up his freaking homily.” 29-year-old mother of three Katrin Flores told Eye of the Tiber that Warner, whose homily was now running more than 25 minutes long, did not seem to be losing any steam whatsoever. “There was a couple times there where we thought he was about to shut it down, but then he’d say something like, ‘A couple more points I’d like to cover.’ But each of those ‘points’ had sub-points, and then there was that ten-minute span when he went off on a tangent about growing up in Warsaw with his strict-though-not-overbearing mother. Seriously demoralizing.” James Thorpe, who was on his third restroom break in just under 15 minutes, reported that Warner wasn’t a terrible speaker, but that he wasn’t Fulton Sheen either. “The man’s a time vampire,” Thorpe said as he suddenly felt an urgent desire to slowly redo his tie before returning to his pew. At press time, Warner has given the congregation a glimmer of hope by pausing for a few seconds before beginning again with the words, “In 1972…a man by the name of…” Continue Reading

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Saint Augustine on the Ascension

 

 

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I.  The Lord Jesus, the Only begotten of the Father, Co-eternal with His Parent, like Him Invisible, like Him Omnipotent, as God Equal to Him, became Man for us, as you know, and have received, and hold fast in faith; and though He took to Himself a human form, He did not give up the divine.  Omnipotence was veiled; infirmity made manifest.  He was born, as you have come to know, that we might be reborn.  He died, that we might not die for ever.  And straightaway, that is, on the third day, He rose again from the dead; assuring us that we too shall rise on the last day.
He showed Himself to His Disciples: that they might see him with their eyes, and touch Him with their hands; showing them what He had become, and that He had not put off what He always was.  For forty days He spoke with them, as you have heard, going in and coming out, eating and drinking together with them; not now from need, but wholly from power, and making plain to them the true nature of His Body: mortal upon the cross, immortal from the grave.

II. This day then we are celebrating the Lord’s Ascension.  Today there is also a festival proper to this church: the death of the founder of this Basilica of the holy Leontius.  But it is fitting that the star be overshadowed by the sun.  So let us, as we began, speak rather of the Lord.  The good servant rejoices when his Lord is praised.

III. Belief in the Ascension and its Commemoration over all the earth. 
On this day therefore, that is, the fortieth after His Resurrection, the Lord ascended into heaven.  We have not seen, but we believe.  They who beheld Him proclaimed what they saw, and they have filled the whole earth: There are no speeches nor languages where their voices are not heard.  Their sound hath gone forth into all the earth: and their words unto the ends of the world (Ps. xviii. 4, 5).  And so they have reached even unto us, and awakened us from sleep.  And lo! this death is celebrated throughout the world. Continue Reading

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PopeWatch: So We Pray

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Well, let us hope this is prophetic:

Cardinal George Pell, prefect of the Vatican’s Secretariat for the Economy, spoke this weekend on issues surrounding the family and the upcoming Synod of Bishops, saying the synod is unable to change Church teaching.

Church teaching, he said, referencing papal documents such as those of St. John Paul II on marriage and family, can’t be “abdicated, (because) it’s based on the teachings of Christ.”

“Christ is very clear about divorce, very clear about adultery; and not quite as important, but still very important, St. Paul is explicit about the conditions that are required for proper reception of communion.”

When it comes to October’s Synod of Bishops on the Family, the cardinal said he expects “the synod will massively endorse the tradition” of the Church’s teachings on these issues.

There is a great desire to help people and to be compassionate, and these are things everyone wants, he noted, saying he believes synod delegates “will recognize that the Christian tradition of St. John Paul the Great, Benedict, the Council of Trent, is well established … and I don’t anticipate any deviation of that.”

Cardinal Pell was answering questions after addressing participants of the May 9 Voice of the Family’s Rome Life Forum. Continue Reading