One Response to Quotes Suitable for Framing: GK Chesterton

Horror Movies Redone With Kittens

Saturday, October 31, AD 2015

A cute PSA from ASPCA; it features The Purring (1980), The Texas Chainpaw Meowsacre (1974), Psycat(1960) and Cattie (1976).  (Only possibly nasty part is the paper cutout of the mask for the second one– my preschooler didn’t have an issue with any of it, so probably only disturbing if you know what it’s supposed to be.)

Continue reading...

5 Responses to Horror Movies Redone With Kittens

PopeWatch: Futbol

Saturday, October 31, AD 2015



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


A source close to Pope Francis this week reported to the media that His Holiness met privately in Washington last week with Tom Brady, the quarterback in New England who defied an NFL order to not deflate balls and cheat during games.

Senior Vatican officials initially did not confirm that the meeting had occurred until Wednesday afternoon, though they refused to discuss any of the details.

Mr. Brady, the star quarterback in Foxborough, Massachusetts, has been at the center of a nationwide controversy over whether quarterbacks of private football franchises have a legal right to deflate footballs used during NFL games.

On Tuesday night, Brady’s lawyer, Benjamin D. Alexander, said that Mr. Brady was sneaked into the Vatican Embassy by car on Thursday afternoon. Francis gave Brady his rosary and told him to “stay strong,” the lawyer said. Brady met for about 15 minutes with the pope, who was accompanied by security guards and aides.

“I put my hand out and he reached and grabbed the football I was spinning in my hand, and I hugged him and he hugged me,” Brady said Wednesday in an interview with EOTT. “He thanked me for my courage, then began to deflate the football. We both started laughing and we high-fived.”

“I had tears coming out of my eyes,” Brady went on to say. “I’m kind of a big deal, so it was really humbling for him to think I would want to meet or know him. It made me feel good to do something like that for somebody who’s not as good looking as I am.”

For the most part, Francis avoided any inflammatory talk about NFL controversies during his U.S. trip, and early in his papacy even signaled a tolerant attitude about cheaters with his now famous comment, “Who am I to deflate?” In his final Mass in Philadelphia just hours before his departure back to Rome, Francis said that God is revealed through the “covenant of one man and one ball.”

Continue reading...

6 Responses to PopeWatch: Futbol

Twas a Dark and Stormy Cthulhu

Saturday, October 31, AD 2015

Something for a Halloween weekend. Hey there Cthulhu.  A minor vice of mine is a love for old pulp science fiction and fantasy.  One of the authors I treasure is H.P. Lovecraft, best known for his cycle of horror science fiction\fantasy stories centering around the Old Ones, evil supernatural entities that lurk in dark dimensions, waiting to unleash unspeakable horror on unsuspecting humanity.  The best known of these demonic creatures is Cthulhu.  I have always found these stories gut-bustingly funny due to the fact that Lovecraft, in these stories, has to be the worst writer of fiction, at least fiction that does not contain phrases like “Love’s Savage Unending Fury”, “The Davinci Code”, “Based On A True Story”, and “Stephen King”, since Bulwer-Lytton shuffled off to the world beyond.  Some things are so spectactularly bad that I find myself liking them due to how hair-raisingly inept they are.

Continue reading...

13 Responses to Twas a Dark and Stormy Cthulhu

  • Derleth? Derleth can’t hold a foetid tallow taper to Lovecraft. Derleth’s work always sounds like an imitation of HPL, his writing some how neater, tidier, lighter. Lovecraft’s work is thick, dark, dripping like the beings it described. His writing oozes over you, every sentence another heavy step, every phrase rumbled up through catarrh-wracked lungs, every paragraph bespeckled in fungus. So what that there’s no characterization, that character growth is measured in leaden paces toward the mad-house, that plotting is a thing he tried and cast aside. To read Lovecraft is to spend time in a world where it’s always an overcast day in early autumn, where healthy growth is a concept never seen in man, beast or plant, and where the only reason you have kept your sanity till now is that They haven’t taken notice of you. Good stuff! 😉

  • Don, have you ever seen the two movies made by the HPLS of “Call” and “Whisperer In The Darkness”? Both should be available though Netflix, and here

  • I wouldn’t say that Lovecraft is a bad writer, only that he wrote one story over and over. Some writers are all about dialogue, or characters; some write for the perfect kiss or the moment that the hero says “I love you”. Lovecraft writes for the moment when the lead character’s sanity is crushed by the unutterable. Everything else in his stories is in service to that moment. I think he does a great job of it most of the time, but after a while it loses all its impact, because you should never be able to expect the incomprehensible.

    He’s also the most racist writer I’ve ever read. I know, these days it’s stylish to accuse dead white male writers of racism, but wow, he was racist. Everything good and wholesome is embodied by New England whites, and evil creeps forward from places occupied by minorities with unappealing faces (usually sailors). You start to realize that the realm of humanity is whiteness, and the scary unfathomable is any other culture.

  • “character growth is measured in leaden paces toward the mad-house”


  • “A writer who is a poor writer is a waste of time to read, right?”

    Not necessarily. It depends on how one defines “poor writing”. If it means “not High Literary Art worthy of the Nobel Prize for Literature and not likely to be included in future English Lit classes,” then about 99.99% of the fiction currently in print fits that description — including numerous books that we have probably enjoyed reading and maybe even learned something from.

    If it means “written in such an obtuse or muddled fashion that it becomes more of a burden than a pleasure to read,” then it is IMO a waste of time — and there are a number of works hailed as “classics” and even taught in English Lit classes (e.g. James Joyce’s “Finnegans Wake”) that fit this description. And actually, even this type of bad writing can serve a useful purpose if it inspires one to say “Heck, I could do better than that” and start cultivating one’s own literary talent.

  • Lovecraft was the first of many authors in this vein for me. When I got my Kindle, I began downloading a bunch of authors of early “weird” and “horror,” such as:

    1. Algernon Blackwood
    2. Arthur Machen
    3. M.R. James
    4. Robert Hugh Benson
    5. Bram Stoker
    6. H.R. Haggard
    7. William Hope Hodgson
    8. Clark Ashton Smith

  • “but wow, he was racist”

    Pretty much. For most of his life Lovecraft adopted the pose of an upper crust Tory who thought this country went to Hell in 1776. Then FDR was elected and he flip-flopped to become a socialist which I guess fitted in at least with his life long atheism.

    “As for the Republicans—–how can one regard seriously a frightened, greedy, nostalgic huddle of tradesmen and lucky idlers who shut their eyes to history and science, steel their emotions against decent human sympathy, cling to sordid and provincial ideals exalting sheer acquisitiveness and condoning artificial hardship for the non-materially-shrewd, dwell smugly and sentimentally in a distorted dream-cosmos of outmoded phrases and principles and attitudes based on the bygone agricultural-handicraft world, and revel in (consciously or unconsciously) mendacious assumptions (such as the notion that real liberty is synonymous with the single detail of unrestricted economic license or that a rational planning of resource-distribution would contravene some vague and mystical ‘American heritage’…) utterly contrary to fact and without the slightest foundation in human experience? Intellectually, the Republican idea deserves the tolerance and respect one gives to the dead.”

  • “Don, have you ever seen the two movies made by the HPLS of “Call” and “Whisperer In The Darkness”? Both should be available though Netflix, and here”

    Not yet.

  • “When I got my Kindle, I began downloading a bunch of authors of early “weird” and “horror,” such as:”

    It’s an interesting genre Jonathan, chock full of striking personalities. Their lives are often as interesting as their writings.

  • “Heck, I could do better than that”

    Which is precisely how James Fenimore Cooper got into writing after his wife challenged him to make good on his claim that he could write a better novel than the one they had been reading.

  • I actually wrote an artcle (see blog search function) about how the immediate and maddening terror of Cthulhu was a superior reaction to the deity than the careless service and banal hymns we give to the Holy Trinity. At least that’s how I remember it.

  • We also had many memorable role playing games of Call of Cthulhu. Elder Sign may be the best Cthulhu games: not too hard, or long, but lots of meaningful choices and flavor. It’s even available as an iPad game. Good group game in the boxed version. Fantasy Flight, I think.

  • He wasn’t much of a writer, but he was GREAT at painting with words. I read the bit that you quoted and I can see it. (I don’t like horror, but I can see it, and it inspires the desired reaction.)

Ghosts of the Library

Saturday, October 31, AD 2015


One of my favorite stops at the Abraham Lincoln Museum in Springfield.


The Thirty-third Infantry Illinois Volunteers was organized at Camp Butler, Illinois, in the month of September, 1861, by Colonel Chas. E. Hovey, and mustered into the United States service by Captain T. G. Pitcher, U. S. A.

Continue reading...

4 Responses to Eomer/Mulan Open Thread

An E-Mail Going Around Catholic Theological Circles

Friday, October 30, AD 2015



Colleagues, it is time for us to take a stand.  It has come to our attention that some of our members have come under attack from a group of right-wing Catholics who have no academic credentials:  not a theological degree among them.  As far as we can tell, none of them are even college graduates.  They are all white (of course) and all male (of course).  Some of them have produced texts that have been used against our fellow Catholic academics, often resulting in cries of heresy being raised by people who share their narrow, blinkered view of Catholicism.  This is intolerable in the twenty-first century for brilliant scholars to be held to account by ignorant yahoos.  We therefore ask you to append your names to the attached open letter and e-mail it back to us for future publication.  United, we can prevail over this assault of anti-intellectualism masquerading as Catholicism!

Continue reading...

37 Responses to An E-Mail Going Around Catholic Theological Circles

  • Time for the Schism?

    These self-inflated, egotistical buffoons would not know mercy if they experienced it!

  • 27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself.

    Who does this Paul character think he is anyway?

    As for the letter, it is to laugh. Maureen Dowd writes about the Church all the time, where’s the letter citing her lack of a degree in theology?

  • It is amazing that this James Martin can condemn his critics for not having a theological degree when most the the disciples of Christ were themselves unlearned men.

  • “Colleagues, . . . . United, we can prevail over this assault of anti-intellectualism masquerading as Catholicism!”

    I can’t tell if that’s satire or not.

  • Credentials! I don’t need no stinking credentials.
    I can discern errata in post-modern heterodox opinions and rank speculations, which lack Scriptural or Magisterial bases.

  • Sounds like the result of bad potty training ,

  • Heresy is a serious charge. And if the shoe fits, you need to wear it.

    “Hater” on the other hand is an unserious charge. When Fr. Martin results to categories employed by Taylor Swift, he proves how lightly we should take his protests.

  • The opinions of theologians outside their own area of expertise, like those of scientists, are entitled to no particular respect.

    When they talk about the D, E, J and P sources in the Pentateuch, the priority of Mark, the authorship of the Pastorals or the Comma Johanneum, the speak as experts on topics where an non-expert’s opinion is worthless. But on political and ethical questions, their erudition gives them no special advantage.

    Indeed, it is remarkable how seldom they apply those talents that made them first-class palaeographers, textual critics or comparative philologists – assiduity and minute and painstaking accuracy – to questions that lie outside their own field.

  • “I agree with this letter[.] Heresy is a grave charge.”

    Unlike hate I suppose. Or suggesting Cardinal Burke is a schismatic, for that matter.

  • “When Fr. Martin results to categories employed by Taylor Swift, he proves how lightly we should take his protests.”

    Now I wish I had said that.

  • “Sounds like the result of bad potty training.”
    Hank, when I read that comment of yours, I laughed so hard
    I frightened the dog. As for Fr. Martin, perhaps he could
    remind us where St Therese of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church,
    got her theology degree?

  • Michael P-S I love you like a rock but I’m sticking to my autodidact opinion on JDEP junque hypothesis. 🙂

  • Saint Tarcisius pray for us.

    “Anxious to view the Christian mysteries, the Mob turned upon young Tarcisius with fury,He went down under the blows and it is believed that a fellow Christian drove off the Mob to rescue the young acolyte.”

    The boy died on his way back to the catacombs.

    Why is this relevant?

    Because a boy of twelve in the third century had more respect and love for God and neighbor than many so-called learned men of theology of today. This boy paid the price with his life. Learn from him Fr. M.

  • What kind of commie leftist is this guy, Martin.
    When one smears his opponent one should do it right.
    Just defining one’s opponent as a hateful person isn’t enough.
    There is the racist, misogynistic, homophobic smear or the
    truther or birther or conspiracy theorist smear or returning
    to the evil bigoted ‘50s smear, or the climate change deniers
    smear. And the ultimate smear used by every fanatical
    commie leftist, the Nazi and KKK smear. This Jacobin is
    arguing to replace the truth with intellectualism.

    Was watching Raymond Arroyo this evening with Cardinal
    Wuerl who explained the synod’s approach to divorce and
    remarried Catholics. Of course the teachings of the Church
    will not change, nor will the statements made by God on the
    indissolubility of marriage. However, the approach to Catholics
    in difficult situations by the Church will be change. They
    must be brought to God’s love and mercy where a solution
    to their difficulties can be achieved (no mention of repentance)
    God’s love is free and for all. Everyone has a right to God’s love
    and mercy. Or in other words everyone has a right to the sacraments
    no matter the difficulties they may find themselves in. So Wuerl
    is saying a Catholic living in sin can receive Communion, because
    his has a right to God’s love and mercy. Yet somehow this will not
    alter the teachings of the Church.

  • The story goes as such.

    So the bridge fell into the river bed.

    The local peasants reported this to the capital.

    The Engineers in said “what do a bunch of peasants know” and made no effort to fix it.

    The local governor sent a protest to the capitol, You idiots, “a bunch of peasants” may not know how to rebuild it; but hey are perfectly qualified to say it is in the river”.

    Some of the blogger is question may not know how to put the truth kn proper academic form – but they certainly know enough to recognize heresy when they see or hear it.

  • What ?! from the letter signed by catholics and academics ” … We therefore urge all Catholics to reject these men: Simon (who is called Peter), his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; and Simon the Zealot. There is also a Saul who goes under the alias of Paul. Too many Catholics read what these men have written, and, ignorant of the latest Catholic … ”
    There’ s inclusiveness in the short piece for the above signers. ‘h’ is for humor, too.

  • Patricia.

    Good find!
    Thanks for the link. 🙂

  • “Heresy is a serious charge.”

    Yup, but it’s an even far more serious behavior.

  • Check out Ann Barnhardt on Fr. James Martin below. Pope Francis should defrock him immediately. Maybe someone will start a petition asking the Pope to take care of this.

  • Arrogant, haughty, conceited, elitist….. aka Liberal.

  • Poor, Ann. She is so meek.

  • “Poor, Ann. She is so meek.”

    There does come a point when even Christ “loses it” and cleans our the temple area of vermin.

  • Karl.

    Meek Ann, the “call ’em like you see ’em,” Catholic. As for me, I like her. Her distaste for fraudulent speakers of TRUTH is not a hindrance to her spirit, rather a complementary asset in this, a cloud of witnesses we call the body of Christ.
    Mercy is lost enabling the disordered soul.
    Clear teaching and abstinence from sinful actions is Mercy.

  • “Check out Ann Barnhardt on Fr. James Martin below. Pope Francis should defrock him immediately. Maybe someone will start a petition asking the Pope to take care of this.”


    Where has this woman been all my life?!? This is freaking awesome!

    It is best she not reveal where she lives–the LGBT Mafia would put a contract out on her.

  • That should read “Douthat.” Autocorrect strikes.

  • Thanks Phillip.
    I made a comment on Ross’s rebuttal:

    Michael Dowd Venicel

    Ross is right! It is common sense and not liberal academic mumbo-jumbo designed to obscure the truth. Of course, liberal academics unfortunately no longer can even recognize the truth. Pity.

  • “2 + 2 = 4.” Excuse me, but you cannot say that publicly unless you have at least an MA in Math. And not just an MA-you also have to be on the approved list of progressive mathematicians. Without doubt, whether or not you have a BA. MA, Or PhD in theology, you can know and understand heresy when you hear it and see it. Tell a believing Catholic sophomore at a truly Catholic university that “Jesus is not divine,” and they will know you are a heretic – even without completing a degree. Thomas Aquinas said that he who says fornication is not a sin is a heretic. These current “mercy bullies” who say Jesus got it wrong, St. Paul writing the inspired words of God got it wrong, and they – bless their hearts, flaunting degrees like a modern-day inquisition-have it right when they say “Go and sin on more” – these who call themselves “theologians” are heretics. Note: 1 Cor 6:9 includes “men who have sex with men”. Guy McClung, San Antonio, Texas


    Thus, God forbids adultery both to men and women. Now, it must be known that, although some believe that adultery is a sin, yet they do not believe that simple fornication is a mortal sin. Against them stand the words of St. Paul: “For fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” And: “Do not err: neither fornicators, . . . nor adulterers, nor the effeminate, nor liers with mankind shall possess the kingdom of God.”[12] But one is not excluded from the kingdom of God except by mortal sin; therefore, fornication is a mortal sin.

    But one might say that there is no reason why fornication should be a mortal sin, since the body of the wife is not given, as in adultery. I say,however, if the body of the wife is not given, nevertheless, there is given the body of Christ which was given to the husband when he was sanctified in Baptism. If, then, one must not betray his wife, with much more reason must he not be unfaithful to Christ: “Know you not that your bodies are the members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them the members of a harlot? God forbid!”[13] It is heretical to say that fornication is not a mortal sin.”

  • Guy McClung.

    Mercy bullies…spot on description!

    Hell is a fabrication of ancient writers… at least that’s what they must believe, these mercy bullies. If they only realized that the doctrine of hell is real, they might “straighten up and fly right.”

  • Pingback: Letter by Ross Douthat to the Catholic Academy - Big Pulpit
  • An inside look at our theologians. Not pretty:

    But the money quote to counter Fr. Martin is near the beginning:

    “All believing Catholics who seek to understand what it is they believe are Catholic theologians, which means that Ross Douthat is a Catholic theologian.”

  • “Nooooobody expects the Theological Inquisition!!!”

  • Philip-And one of those “ancient writers” they are correcting happens to be . . .drum roll, angels bow, devils cringe, . . .God Himself!

  • Am I wrong in thinking that the U. S. bishops are mistaken in their interpreting of the motto they are using for supporting “comprehensive immigration reform” – Mt 25; 35? “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me.”

    See the following footnote in my Catholic bible, The New American Bible 1989-1990 Edition, from which the bishops’ quote comes from.

    “Mt. 25; 31-46 : The conclusion of the discourse, which is peculiar to Mt, portrays the final judgment that will accompany the parousia. Although often called a ‘parable,’ it is not really such, for the only parabolic elements are the depiction of the ‘Son of Man’ as ‘a shepherd’ and of ‘the righteous’ and the wicked as ‘sheep and goats’ respectively (32-33). The criterion of judgment will be the deeds of mercy that have been done for the ‘least of Jesus’ ‘brothers’ (40). A DIFFICULT AND IMPORTANT QUESTION IS THE IDENTIFICATION OF THESE ‘LEAST BROTHERS.’ ARE THEY ALL PEOPLE WHO HAVE SUFFERED HUNGER, THIRST, ETC. (35,36) OR A PARTICULAR GROUP OF SUCH SUFFERERS? (my emphasis) Scholars are divided in their response and arguments can be made for either side. BUT leaving aside the problem of what the traditional material that Mathew edited may have meant, IT SEEMS THAT A STRONGER CASE CAN BE MADE FOR THE VIEW THAT IN THE EVANGELIST’S SENSE THE SUFFERS ARE CHRISTIANS; PROBABLY CHRISTIAN MISSIONARIES WHOSE SUFFERINGS WERE BROUGHT UPON THEM BY THEIR PREACHING OF THE GOSPEL. THE CRITERION OF JUDGMENT FOR ‘ALL THE NATIONS’ IS THEIR TREATMENT OF THOSE WHO HAVE BORNE TO THE WORLD THE MESSAGE OF JESUS, AND THIS MEANS ULTIMATELY THEIR ACCEPTANCE OR REJECTION OF JESUS HIM SELF; cf10, 40, ‘WHOEVER RECEIVES YOU, RECEIVES ME.'” (my emphasis. Phrases set off by ‘ marks were words italicized in the footnote.

    “Illegal aliens,” their legal name in the law, are not Christian missionaries coming to spread the word of God. How in the world could the bishops be so wrong in using that bible verse on this issue? And why?

    I think one of several other biblical supports for the footnote interpretation above besides the one given (Mt. 10, 40) is Lk. Chapter 10 – “The Mission of the Seventy-two.” Lk 10; 1: “After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others whom he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit. v4 Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals; and greet no one along the way. v5. Into whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this household.” v6 If a peaceful person lives there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you. v7 Stay in the same house and eat and drink what is offered to you….” Jesus sent out 72 in pairs telling them to take no supplies with them, therefore depending on people in places Jesus sent them to, to show care for their coming to witness to them, care they give in response to God’s touching them.

  • I’m all in favor of feeding and clothing illegals until we deport them back from whence they came.

Bear Growls: Lawyers as Bloggers

Friday, October 30, AD 2015


Alas, I must part company with our bruin friend in his most recent tongue-in-bear-cheek post at Saint Corbinian’s Bear:

Blogs are essential to the well-informed and motivated Catholic. Therefore, it is important to know which blogs are edifying, while avoiding the gimcrack offerings of slipshod shysters. To this end, the Bear offers the following qualifications you should demand from anyone who seeks your valuable time and attention. If you follow the Bear’s advice, you will avoid bloggers who are just sensationalistic click-prostitutes out to make a buck.

The kind of blogger you want must combine the following education and experience.

A blogger must be able to persuade people to follow the right course of action. Someone equally skilled in forensic debating and arguing before regular folks is required. To give an example of someone who should not be in Catholic media is a journalist. Journalists strive to maintain a detached objectivity. Is that who we’re looking for in these dark days? No. We need advocates!

A good blogger should be able to sort out competing claims using a well-developed instinct. He should be able to employ relentless questioning to wring the truth out of unwilling witnesses. He must have a razor sharp intellect.

A good blogger, it goes without saying, should be more than a pretty face. In fact, good looks are definitely not a requirement, because, after all, this is not television! He should be capable of writing his own material, employing all the tools of the wordsmith: interview, narrative, analysis, and even humor and irony. He must be persuasive, even as he remains fair and accurate.

A good blogger is capable of doing his own tireless research. He must be able to put together the jigsaw puzzle of complicated situations, and determining the means, motives and opportunities of the various actors.

If you look at these qualifications, you’ll see that there is really only one profession that should be allowed to blog:


The blogger must have a JD. Lawyers are even licensed, so you know they’re legit. Are journalists licensed? No. Anybody can call himself a journalist and scribble for whoever will hire him.

But, still, something is missing. Not just any lawyer will do. Not even a good one. He must have an appeal that combines scary and cute.

When necessary, he should have the talent to employ the Old Razzle Dazzle. This requires extensive experience in secular show business:

It’s all show business kid,
These trials, the whole world, show business.
But kid, you’re workin’ with a star, the biggest!

So, unless your blogger combines all of these qualifications, he’s just in it for the money and should be avoided at all costs. 

Continue reading...

15 Responses to Bear Growls: Lawyers as Bloggers

4 Responses to Preach it, Mr. Hope!

  • Democrats seem to come in four varieties nowadays: those for whom it is an identity affiliation, but not one which gets their juices flowing because they do not really follow public affairs; those who have a fundamentally sentimental or silly attachment to one or another nostrum or posture and who make a habit of not thinking anything through, those who constitute something of a contempt group (if not hate group) whose entire advocacy is a set of postures and status games; a few wonks like Mark Kleiman; and a few reasonably pleasant old men like Mark Shields. Most of the crew attempting to make a name for themselves as commentators are type 3.

  • I always thought that Democrats were people who felt that anything that got their panties should be national policy .

  • I intend to share that video with all my Democrat acquaintances (as a matter of policy I have no Democrat friends – one doesn’t befriend baby murderers and sodomy sanctifiers).

  • “Democrats seem to come in four varieties nowadays: those for whom it is an identity affiliation, but not one which gets their juices flowing because they do not really follow public affairs; those who have a fundamentally sentimental or silly attachment to one or another nostrum or posture and who make a habit of not thinking anything through, those who constitute something of a contempt group (if not hate group) whose entire advocacy is a set of postures and status games; a few wonks like Mark Kleiman; and a few reasonably pleasant old men like Mark Shields. Most of the crew attempting to make a name for themselves as commentators are type 3.”

    Where do those who think they are entitled to the money made by the sweat of other citizen’s brows fit in?

PopeWatch: Left-Wing Catholic

Friday, October 30, AD 2015



George Neumayr at The American Spectator holds nothing back in regard to his assessment of Pope Francis:

All the tortured throat-clearing from pundits about the “nuances” of Pope Francis is very unconvincing. He is not nuanced at all. He is an open left-wing Catholic, perfectly comfortable with the de facto heretics within his own order and inside his special cabinet of cardinals. Cardinal Walter Kasper, whom Pope Francis has identified as one of his “favorite” theologians, and Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Germany, who is one of his closest advisers, stand to the left of Martin Luther.

Well, say the pope’s desperate propagandists, Francis may not possess a deep mind but at least he has a big heart. If so, it seems to bleed for everyone but orthodox Catholics, whose fidelity to the faith under secularism’s ceaseless encroachments is treated with contempt.

Like many modern Jesuits, Francis often sounds like he loves every religion except his own. Could anyone imagine him every talking about imams, rabbis, or even a feminist witch, in the same caustic style that he disparages Catholic traditionalists? If he did, he would have an “ecumenical” crisis on his hands.

Early in his pontificate, video footage captured him teasing a blameless altar boy for holding his hands together piously. Were they “stuck” together? the Pope asked the bewildered boy. That is what passes for humor in the liberal Jesuit order. Visit almost any Jesuit college or school and you will soon encounter similar instances of anti-Catholic gibes presented as “reform.”

In his final remarks at the synod, Francis ripped into the orthodox and praised the heterodox, identifying the latter as the “true defenders of doctrine” for preferring “people” to “ideas,” for “overcoming the recurring temptations of the elder brother (cf. Lk 15:25-32) and the jealous labourers (cf. Mt 20:1-16).”

If future popes are to take these cheap polemics seriously, they will have to rewrite the parable of the prodigal son, excising any condemnations of him for cavorting with prostitutes. It turns out that sex outside of indissoluble marriage is no big deal. The story could be retitled the parable of the progressive son, who stands as a forerunner of the “Christian Newness” that granting Communion to those in a state of adultery promises. In the parable of the progressive son, the sin-obsessed father would cry at his own rigidity and FedEx the fatted calf to the son’s brothel.

Continue reading...

25 Responses to PopeWatch: Left-Wing Catholic

  • The Society has changed little in the past 350 years, when Pascal gave this description of it.
    “Know then that their object is not the corruption of manners- that is not their design. But as little is it their sole aim to reform them- that would be bad policy. Their idea is briefly this: They have such a good opinion of themselves as to believe that it is useful, and in some sort essentially necessary to the good of religion, that their influence should extend everywhere, and that they should govern all consciences. And the Evangelical or severe maxims being best fitted for managing some sorts of people, they avail themselves of these when they find them favourable to their purpose. But as these maxims do not suit the views of the great bulk of the people, they waive them in the case of such persons, in order to keep on good terms with all the world. Accordingly, having to deal with persons of all classes and of all different nations, they find it necessary to have casuists assorted to match this diversity. On this principle, you will easily see that, if they had none but the looser sort of casuists, they would defeat their main design, which is to embrace all; for those that are truly pious are fond of a stricter discipline. But as there are not many of that stamp, they do not require many severe directors to guide them. They have a few for the select few; while whole multitudes of lax casuists are provided for the multitudes that prefer laxity.” (lettre V 20 mars 1656)

  • Well he’s merely saying what a whole lot of Catholics immersed in their faith have been thinking. We knew after the first sentence or two that this wasn’t from Michael Voris.
    Is it all true? Is it partially true? Is it just the “smoke” of confusion?
    The fact that we even have to ponder such questions about our shepherd tells us the answer is not a good one. Shepherds, by definition, cannot function as such with a herd of underlings having to explain to the sheep what he really meant to say. By then they’ve become wolf fodder.

  • Latin American Jesuits are the biggest reason for the decline of the Church in Latin America. No single order, not even the Legionnaires of Christ, deserve suppression more.

  • Penguin Fan,
    In October of 1979 a new Polish pope (your favorite and mine) went down to Medellin, Columbia and, pounding his fist on the table, told the Marxist Liberation-theology loving Jesuits loudly and clearly “No more.”
    Who would have guessed that their evil would be resurrected to contaminate men’s souls for the diabolical?

  • With all due respect, DonL, what does “No more” even mean? How many left wing radical priests or bishops were laicized over the last 30 years because they weren’t remotely Catholic? How is it possible that Cardinal Daneels still has priestly faculties? Because the popes have not been willing to police the shepherds. History shows that “No more” really just meant, “Bide your time.”

  • Father of Seven
    My point is that some laxity in defending the faith, is much different than having an agenda that, in confusion, seeks to alter, corrupt, confuse the truths of the faith.
    JPII is a saint!

  • I am still not sure what to make of this Pope, though I am troubled by some of his words and actions. I am sure of one thing, though: the more anyone is convinced that the Pope is leading us astray, the more he ought to pray for the Pope’s conversion. Our Lord said: to whom more is given, more will be expected. The Pope faces a terrible judgement if he is not faithful, so we ought to pray for him for his sake as well as for the sake of the Church.

  • Father of Seven you are so right.
    What does “No more” mean?
    And after that did they stop?
    The problem is the majority of faithful Catholics dont realize that all the popes in the last 50 years or so have had and have the same strategic agenda.
    They see most of us as not being too smart so they adopt different tactical methods and means to stay hidden.
    Open your eyes, folks
    We all need to open our eyes.

  • Give us Barabbas!

  • I recall when JPII was booed by thousands of “Catholics” in Nicaragua, as arraigned by the Cardinal brothers–two of the many Marxist liberation Theology Jesuits, that believed using UZIs and warfare were the appropriate means of bringing the preferential option for the poor into reality.
    I recall no other recent pope booed by the Marxist who have entered and captured large portions of the Church. He must have been doing something right.

  • That’s a great quote from Pascal, MPS.
    It’s long past time to suppress the Jesuits again. Fathers Schall, Hardon, and Fessio (etc.) will land on their feet; the rest can go hang.

  • they do not require many severe directors to guide them. They have a few for the select few

    You just identified the select few.

  • Like I’ve always said about the Jesuits – don’t let the other 99 bad apples spoil the one good one.

  • Folks,
    The Pope is going full throttle liberal:
    Just wait till his Apostolic Exhortation on the Synod on the Family comes out.

  • The poor and oppressed that the Roman Pontiff cares for the most come from his native part of the world, except Cubans.
    The poor and oppressed Catholics in Africa, the Middle East, China, India, Pakistan……..where there is no garbage theology……they are on their own.
    This pontificate stinks like a Georgia cow pasture in July.

  • Today, to ask, Is the Pope Catholic? in order to make the point about something obvious is not longer rhetorical and no longer funny. Or if one were to ask, is the Pope a Communist? or is the Pope a heretic? it would not raise eyebrows among orthodox Catholics. Such is the reign of our dear Pope Francis and it could get worse. But if it came to a schism all but a few would stay with him. Why? Since Vatican II the Catholic Church has effectively become mostly Protestant and the Pope agrees with them and is one of them. That’s why he’s so popular. The devil has to lovin’ all of this.

  • I loved saint JP1. Our current pontiff is nothing like him. However, just because he is a saint does not mean that everything he did or didn’t do in his life was saintly. The only point I wanted to make was that our recent popes have not done their job to police the shepherds they entrusted to guard over us. If an openly heretical person such as Daneels still has full faculties and a position of honor in the Church, it’s no wonder the faithful are stuck with so many faithless shepherds.

  • Father of seven
    Rome has always been circumspect in its dealings with the Belgian Church. The clergy are wedded to the national establishment, suspicious of Rome and jealous of their privileges and immunities. Moreover, as salaried civil servants, with the pensions and emoluments that go with that position, they are financially independent of their congregations.
    In a conflict with the Holy See, there is a good chance that the government would back the dissenters and refuse to recognise (or pay) any replacements appointed by Rome. The Church buildings, rectories &c are state property and maintained out of the ecclesiastical budget, as are the Catholic schools, whose teachers, too, are civil servants.
    The Vatican dreads a schism above all things and will go to great lengths to avoid it, especially in a country where the ordinances of religion are free to every Catholic, without any contribution on their part, at the expense of the general taxpayer.

  • Mark Belgium down as exhibit number one as to why the “wall of seperation” (q.v.) is there to protect the religion from the state, and not, as the American Left would have it, vice versa.

  • And mark Germany down as exhibt number two.

  • Ernst Schreiber wrote, “Mark Belgium down as exhibit number one as to why the “wall of seperation” (q.v.) is there to protect the religion from the state…”

    Yet a cardinal principle of Conservatism has always been “the sacred and indissoluble alliance of Throne and Altar” and separation a tenet of Liberalism

  • “Yet a cardinal principle of Conservatism has always been “the sacred and indissoluble alliance of Throne and Altar” and separation a tenet of Liberalism”

    Not in America. One of many reasons why American conservatives are a different breed from those who call themselves conservative elsewhere.

  • I’m not well-versed enough in the political philosophy undergirding Throne and Altar conservatism to offer a ground opinion. That said, I have to wonder if Throne and Altar haven’t both dissolved in the solute of Blood and Soil?
    Would, for example, Joseph de Maistre (in M P-S’s sense of Conservatism, the only Conservative political philosopher I’m even slightly acquainted with) either state-throne or state-altar as Throne and Altar in the traditional sense?
    And, since I’m already spec’latin on a hypotissis, knowin’ I don’ know nuttin’ as it were, I’ll toss out one more: I wonder if Whig, were it not archaic to the point of anachronism, wouldn’t serve as a shorthand descriptor for Conservatism, American Style.

  • Would Joseph de Maistre recognize either state-throne or state-altar as Throne and Altar in the traditional sense?
    (Serves me right for traipsing through the parentheticals)

  • Ernst Schreiber wrote, “ I have to wonder if Throne and Altar haven’t both dissolved in the solute of Blood and Soil?”
    Blood & Soil (Blut und Boden) was a watchword of Romantic Nationalism, a liberal movement. Fichte’s famous dictum that frontiers should be based, not on dynasties and treaties, but on language and nationality was directed against both the dynastic state and the confessional state, dear to Conservatives.
    Thus, in the Dual Monarchy, it was Conservatives who defended the “indivisible Habsburg Monarchy” against the Pan-Germanists. They need not have worried; Bismarck, an arch-conservative, would never agree to the incorporation of Austria’s German lands into his German Empire – for that would have given it a Catholic majority.
    Belgium is the reverse of a nation-state; the only bondof unity between its Flemish and Walloon populations was Catholicism (the old Catholic South Netherlands) and the Crown. Northern Ireland is another example of a confessional state

    All the Counter-Revolutionaries, like de Maistre, Bonald, Chateaubriand and the rest, believed only a national establishment of religion could give a state legitimacy.

Halloween Articles

Thursday, October 29, AD 2015

It’s a little late, but there have been several rather good blog-articles about Halloween not being evil and nasty and a thing unsuited for polite company this year.

SuburbanBanshee did a Christian Halloween FAQ that I found very amusing, focusing on variations on the pagan issue.

Father Augustine Thompson did one with a really nice focus on the early years called The Catholic Origins of Halloween, which is more history-aimed. (names, dates, that kind of thing)

Mrs. Hull did a more heavy, serious one on the Catholic Origins of Halloween, which is more tradition-aimed.

Bridget Jones did a nice, light one called Don’t Be Spooked, it’s Catholic.

I did a rather scattershot one that includes debunking claims about black cats being killed on the Pope’s orders.

And now I need to go finish my kids’ costumes.  They’re all embodying virtues… in the form of pop culture characters they love.

(Kindness, generosity and bravery.)

Continue reading...

3 Responses to Halloween Articles

Father Martin Meet Father Martin

Thursday, October 29, AD 2015



Father James Martin, SJ, is concerned about a lack of civility in discourse among Catholics, judging from a post in America, the Jesuit rag not the country:

I’m disgusted with malicious slandering that passes itself off as thoughtful theology.  I’m disgusted with mean-spirited personal attacks that pass themselves off as Christian discourse. I’m disgusted with the facile use of words like “heresy” and “schism” and “apostate,” passing itself off as defenses of the faith.  Basically, I’m disgusted with hate being passed off as charity.  Needless to say, this is not entirely Mr. Douthat’s doing, or Mr. Reno’s doing, or Mr. Dreher’s doing.  And I know that they are good and loyal Catholics (and in Mr. Dreher’s case, formerly-Catholic, now Orthodox). Obviously. But they and others–who are far more culpable–have engaged in enough of that kind of uncharitable behavior to have fostered an atmosphere of hatred and mistrust in our church. Instead of Thomas Merton’s famous “Mercy within mercy within mercy” we get “Hate piled on hate piled on hate.”

Invective.  Disdain.  Contempt.  Attacks.  Insinuations.  And hate.  An endless river of hate that is the result of these kinds of articles and essays and speeches and tweets.  

That is not theology, and it does not flow from the love of Jesus Christ.  It is a malicious desire to wound people and to score points. To “win.” And if you think it’s amusing, then you’re missing Jesus’s point about not calling people names and praying for our “enemies.”  And by the way, if you take Jesus as your model, and feel the need to judge people, and call them names as he did, like “hypocrite,” feel free to do so when you are the sinless Son of God.  We risk being so Catholic that we forget to be Christian.  

So I wholeheartedly support fully anyone’s right to write whatever he or she wants, including Ross Douthat, whom I respect.  And, as an educated and faithful Catholic layperson, much of what he writes is thoughtful, insightful and deserving of our full attention.  But be sure that whenever you’re reading ad hominem comments, thinly veiled attacks on people’s fidelity to the faith, snide insinuations and malicious twisting of words, you are not reading theology. 

You are reading hate.  


Bravo!  He needs though to have a good talk with Father James Martin, SJ, at least judging from this post last year by Father Z:



Just in case you were wondering what sort of people were on the other side of the issue, this is a Twitter exchange between the Jesuit James Martin and Massimo Faggioli, a liberal academic in St. Paul:

Card. Burke is compared to the late Archbp. Marcel Lefevbre. They invoke “schism”.


Will they next say that St. John Paul II was a Lefebvrite?

St. John Paul issued Familiaris consortio and the Catechism of the Catholic Church and everything that Card. Burke has said can be found in both.

For a liberal, Lefebvre is the equivalent of the bogeyman, Hannibal at the gates, the monster under the bed.

If “ideologue” is now liberal code for “faithful”, I suppose that “schismatic” is now their code for “believer in the Magisterium”.

I hope that these guys have a fainting couch.

Continue reading...

18 Responses to Father Martin Meet Father Martin

  • For a man who says he’s all about the mercy, there seems to be an incongruous lack of charity for those whose opinions differ from his own. And then there’s the “hate” thing. Fr. Martin wields that word the same way a professional feminist wields “sexism,” or a professional race agitator wields “racism.”
    My guess is that the upset isn’t so much about what’s in the final relation, but about what’s not in it.

  • It sometimes seems that religion faculty, divinity faculty, and seminary faculty are all con men whose object is word play, cushy employment, and, as Mr. Price puts it ‘virtue signaling’. It’s exceedingly demoralizing. Our separated brethren are coping with a mess of sinecure holders at evangelical institutions spreading the line that upon reflection homosexual pseudogamy is totes okay. It seems part of the corruption of the age that every academic and professional discipline outside STEM is suffused with humbug. Law, theology, literary criticism, art criticism, sociology. The value of academic life is near on ruined.

  • I don’t waste eye sight reading “America” (not our country) or the NYT.
    I saw this (below) at Instapundit. It seems to be appropriate. I believe it is wrath which is both an emotion (ergo irrational) and one of the seven capital sins.
    Rod Dreher: “The tempest-in-a-theological-faculty-teapot over the pissy letter an (ever-growing) list of Catholic theologians are sending to The New York Times to complain about the traitor-to-his-class Ross Douthat is most revealing for what it says about the rank intolerance of the Catholic academic left, and the fragility of theologians, who fall to pieces in the face of the tiniest microaggression.”

  • “If the omnipresent Rev, Jim Martin from A___a magazine praises you for some
    thing you say about the Faith and you don’t have a collar or letters after your
    name, it’s worthless.”

    I must apologize in advance to any readers here who’ve slaved to earn their
    degrees in Catholic theology, but I’m of the opinion that the title of ‘Catholic
    theologian’ has become worthless, at least in this country. Consider that our
    bishops have renounced pretty much all meaningful oversight over Catholic
    universities. Theologians are required by Canon Law to obtain a mandatum
    from their bishop before they may teach– but our bishops have decided that
    whether or not a theologian has actually done so is a private matter, not
    public record. As a result, we faithful have a hard time knowing if in fact
    a theologian actually has a bishop’s permission and approval to call himself
    a ‘Catholic theologian’. Our bishops, in effect, refuse to tell us.
    So who is putting the stamp of approval on Catholic theologians if not our
    bishops? It appears to be the hiring and tenure committees of our increasingly
    decadent Catholic universities, and the editors of the increasingly loopy
    theology journals who are deciding who is a ‘Catholic theologian’. (And
    keep in mind that it isn’t necessary to be Catholic to be either an editor or
    on a tenure committee). In my opinion, that’s why we’ve come to the point
    where there is no sin so perverse one cannot find a ‘Catholic theologian’ to
    advocate for it, nor a Dogma of the Faith so fundamental there isn’t a
    ‘Catholic theologian’ to deny it.
    Theology was once the “Queen of the Sciences”. Now she’s a laughingstock.

  • Three progressive mathematicians had a highly complex dispute about the value of 2+2.
    They decided to enter dialogue which always handles things properly without the usual conflict and bitterness..
    Math man 1 ventured 2+2 to equal 5, while Math man 2 said he was wrong and claimed that it equaled 6, the third, call them well-schooled, but wrong and stated emphatically that 2 plus 2 effectively equaled 3. They dialogued some more, and as progressives, in the spirit of compromise, they agreed to accept as the correct answer the average, in order to offend no one. And so, ever since in the progressive world 3 plus 3 equals 4.66666666666667.
    To any that might disagree, they could submit their own equations to a “blue ribbon” committee of experts who would dialogue in order to resolve their concerns.
    I file the call for dialogue, alongside my files about “free lunches” and “survey’s prove.”

  • Clinton suggested something noteworthy: that every Catholic theologian is required by Canon Law to obtain a mandatum from his bishop to teach theology. That reminded me of the practice for qualification as a reactor operator on board my old submarine. There were the usual academic subjects to study and exams to pass, as well as the qualifcation cards to fill out and the final oral exam board. Everyone did that – mechanical operators, electrical operators, technicians, etc. But for three people – reactor operators, engineering officers of the watch, and engineering watch supervisors – there was one extra step: the final oral examination by the ship’s captain, which everyone dreaded. It didn’t matter if you passed all your exams with flying colors. What finally qualified you to pull rods and bring the reactor critical without adult supervision was the captain’s mandatum. And he had a vested interest that you knew your stuff inside and out, because if you didn’t, then both you and he and about 100 other people would be breathing seawater sooner or later.
    These bishops have no vested interest in whether a theologian does or teaches the right thing or not. Maybe if they had the experience of captaining a nuclear submarine with 100 sailors age 18 to 20, realizing that without providing the required adult supervision, their lives would end horribly, then maybe they would wake up an do their freaking job.
    And as far as I am concerned, overseeing the state of the souls of the faithful is orders of magnitude MORE important that overseeing the state of a submarine nuclear reactor at power with young men barely out of their teens at the rod control in-hold-out switch.

  • “We risk being so Catholic that we forget to be Christian.”

    A fascinating sentence, speaking volumes. However unintentionally.

  • Back in the 90’s, there was a fascinating article in the National Catholic Register
    about the mandatum and our bishop’s decision to render it meaningless
    by refusing to make it public. In the article, I recall, a priest-theologian at the
    Jesuit-run University of San Francisco referred to the mandatum as “a joke”,
    and declared that he didn’t know of anyone on the faculty that had bothered to
    seek one. I wasn’t amazed at the priest’s attitude– we all know those folks exist–
    but I was astonished that he had the chutzpah to go on record in a
    nationally-circulated Catholic publication and give the game away.
    In addition to making a mockery of the mandatum, our bishops have also
    largely gone out of the business of issuing an imprimatur and nihil obstat
    for theology texts. Whereas all theology texts once had to obtain such clearance
    from a bishop prior to publication, current Canon Law only requires that texts used
    in theology classrooms obtain episcopal approval. Is anyone out there so naive
    as to believe that theology faculty are using only materials cleared for use by
    our bishops? It is to laugh.
    Our bishops have, Pilate-like, washed their hands of any meaningful oversight of
    the theologians out there calling themselves “Catholic”. These people are shaping
    formation of our future priests and bishops and are spreading their views amongst
    the laity. They are remaking what passes for “Catholic theology” along their own
    lines, without any meaningful connection to the Church outside the faculty lounge.
    As Paul Primavera put it above, there is no adult supervision.
    So, Fr. James Martin SJ and the dozens of ‘Catholic theologians’ who signed the
    letter to the NYT objecting to Mr. Douthat’s column object that the man has no
    professional qualifications to be writing about a matter involving Catholic theology.
    I think if I were Mr. Douthat, I’d take that as a compliment.

  • I apologize for my badly justified margins above– I unthinkingly posted
    before I checked to make sure the margins fit. *sigh*

  • Anthony Esolen has what I think is an apropos parable on mercy without justice over at The Catholic Thing:

    One day [the prodigal son] recalled the holy feasts he had enjoyed at his father’s house, and he shed a tear, which he wiped soon, and said to his bedfellow, “Pedophilus, let us arise and go now unto my father’s house, for there they enjoy holy feasts, which this land is empty of.” So they set forth.

  • I am not apologizing to philosophers or theologists. Philosophy is the study of making up stuff about stuff. Theology is a system of making up stuff about God. I’ll cleave to revealed Truth as found in Holy Scripture and 2,000+ years of Catholic Teachings, thank you very much. The Truth is not subject to opinion (is not truth: Plato) and speculation.
    To paraphrase Dr. Sheldon Cooper, “I have no respect for the fields.”

  • Father Martin is not all that upset about Douthat. What Father Martin is upset about is that he has been discovered. He and Rosica and their little team of people who try to cheerlead for homosexual causes, for changes in church doctrine, etc. And now he is getting flack for it, and he is lashing out like a little girl, calling everyone haters.

    What a child.

  • Timely exposition. I see that the wolves in sheep’s clothing like to howl as Halloween looms–

  • One year of false mercy v. eternity of damnation. Math is not Martin’s strong suit. Although, on the bright side, SSPX confessors are included in this year of mercy – can’t wait for Martin to spread his love to them.

  • I actually do respect philosophers and theologians – true ones. Not the vast majority of present day ones who spew garbage. To some extent, the “publish or perish” maxim has ruined these disciplines, forcing candidates to come up with new garbage, when, in fact, “there is nothing new under the sun.” But, if done right, theology is the Queen of the Sciences, and philosophy the Queen’s hand maid.

  • Isn’t it amazing that the progressives, such as Fr. Martin, take issue with clerics and Catholics who adhere to church teachings? The pope, another progressive, said after the synod that the conservative clerics were hiding behind the teachings of the church. Hiding behind them? I would think that they were reaffirming the teachings of the church.

  • There is no way to coexist with folks who are content to advance & practice evil while attacking those who live & believe what is right. A house divided shall not stand. In my mind it is just a question of when & who keeps the physical assets.

  • Pingback: The Long, Twisted Story of All Hallows Eve - Big Pulpit

Bear Growls: Voris to Bloggers: Drop Dead

Thursday, October 29, AD 2015



Our bruin friend over at Saint Corbinian’s Bear has been on a roll lately:


Michael Voris is once again under the Bear’s scrutiny, because once again he has done something noteworthy. Since the Bear is not a Professional Broadcaster, he will go with an easy-to-understand, lawyerly chronological outline at the risk of burying the lede.

Voris’ Premise

Voris’ premise is that the bad guys are playing a game of pointing fingers of blame at conservatives when conservatives criticize Pope Francis. This is a welcome clarification of his recent “Failed Papacy?” Vortex, which the Bear found impossible to understand. Voris’ premise depends upon the idea that ordinary folks follow ecclesiastical politics and care. Voris gave three examples of how this has been tried.

First: “The Letter.” The letter circulated by some prelates was spun into an attack on the Pope. Some of them who had supposedly signed it, denied signing it. Voris apparently supposes this had traction with the man on the street.

Second: “The Tumor.” There was some speculation that the story released by an Italian newspaper was planted by evil conservatives to undermine Pope Francis’ papacy, although there were never any names suggested to the Bear’s knowledge. Again, Voris imagines that people follow this sort of “inside baseball.”

Third: “The Pope’s Enemies.” Cardinal Wuerl speculates about the Pope’s enemies. Once again, people are supposed to hear this, know who Cardinal Wuerl is, and agree with him. Thus we, the good guys, take heavy damage, according to Voris.

Liberals and Modernists use these tactics because they know they work, Voris says. In secular politics, criticize President Obama and liberals will call you a racist. Similarly, criticize the Pope and Modernists will say you, well, criticized the Pope. (A quibble: America has a built-in race factor bubbling under the surface that liberals can tap into in a way Cardinal Wuerl can’t in ecclesiastical politics.)

Now the reason we should not attack the Pope is because it is a bad tactic. For this reason, according to Voris, we should attack the evil men around the Pope.

Voris’ Solution: Ditch Blogs and Rely on the Professionals

This is where it gets interesting. It reminds the Bear of the scene in Ghostbusters where Venkman tells the guy at the library, “Back off, man. I’m a scientist.” Except now it’s “Back off, man. I’m a Professional Journalist.”

First, you have to have a real theological education to detect “subtleties and nuances.”

Second, you have to have professional, secular media experience.

Why, what do you know! We’re in luck! Michael Voris has both of these qualifications. In case you have failed to connect the dots, Voris actually states Church Militant TV has these ingredients. And they’re no fly-by-night blogs sensationalizing things for a few extra clicks.

And then he immediately asks for money: to buy a Premium Membership.

So do you get this? Don’t bother with a bunch of amateurs who will hose it all up. Stick with professionals, like, why, me! It’s like the famous 1975 Daily News headline, “FORD TO CITY: DROP DEAD.” Except this time it’s “VORIS TO BLOGGERS: DROP DEAD.”

The Bear’s Reaction
The Bear can’t help but observe that if you allow the other side to control the debate, you’ve already lost. When the Bear practiced trial defense, he would always pick the prosecution’s most shocking piece of real evidence, maybe the murder weapon, to pick up and use before the jury. It showed everyone that the Bear was not afraid of anything the prosecution could present. It also desensitized them, thus eliminating the shock value.
The other side is going to do their thing, period. There are givens. You can’t let that dictate your strategy.
So the Bear is not sure he even agrees with Voris’ premise. This just sounds like the same old lyrics of “don’t criticize the Pope,” set to a different tune. The Bear is not convinced that most people are attuned to ecclesiastical politics as are we visitors, friends and woodland creatures, or Michael Voris’ Premium Members.
But that’s not even the main thing that moved the Bear to put paws to keyboard.
In case you missed it, unless you’re Michael Voris, you bloggers should take your cheap quest for clicks somewhere far from Catholic news. You don’t have a degree in theology? You don’t have extensive secular broadcast experience? Then you don’t have what it takes to be in the big boy’s game. You’ll miss the subtleties and won’t know how to present the story. And you don’t even have a rich backer to send you to Rome where you can look like a journalist, “live from Rome,” even though you have said you don’t act as one. (Which makes one wonder what the use of that formidable professional experience is, since Voris apologized for acting like a journalist in the “Harming the Pope” incident with Cardinal Burke on October 22 of last year.) 

Continue reading...

3 Responses to Bear Growls: Voris to Bloggers: Drop Dead

  • Voris has put himself into a “Never speak any unkind truth about this pope” box, so he has first, he blamed the Kasperites only, then when the synod final report failed, he tried to blame previous popes, then he tried to blame his bloggers and catholic parents for the failures, and even uttered this gem; never fail to tell the truth.
    He would provide a great service to truth if he didn’t ignore his own advice, and play the game Adam played. “Lord, it was that woman You made…”

  • Michael Voris never seems to tire of shooting himself in the foot – or even a little further up. The first place I go to for Catholic News: TAC, Father Z, Toronto Catholic Witness, One Peter Five – NOT the Vortex. I like Father Hunwicke’s Mutual Enrichment too now that I have stumbled on it. That doesn’t mean that I don’t watch the occasional Vortex or like some of the things that Michael Voris says. But save us, Lord Jesus, from ourselves, I do wish he would stop shooting himself in the genitals! Arrrggghhh!

  • PWP: I only read TAC for Catholic news. Without YAC, I may read the NYT or “America” (not our Country). If I did that, I may wind up blind. Luckily I own only one ice pick . . .

Ted Cruz Refuses to Play by the Media’s Rules

Thursday, October 29, AD 2015

9 Responses to Ted Cruz Refuses to Play by the Media’s Rules

  • “Why Republicans put up with it every four years is beyond me.”

    Rush says they want to be liked.

    My take is that both parties (with very few exceptions) are of one blood underneath the smooth pretense at opposition. Both parties play a good cop, bad cop, game with the electorate with but one goal. their entrenchment in an ever growing government controlled from above by them, of course.

    Cruz was magnificent, putting class to the takedown of the media/big government complex. I fairness, we have to thank the Donald for opening that “fight back” door first, however crudely.

    Remember that Cruz was attacked by the entire GOPe from the second he announced, but they failed to stop him as they did with Palin. Reformers, and non-compromisers are not allowed to have full status in the party of 30 pieces of silver.

  • Just like Obama wanted to “fundamentally transform” this country, most of the media do as well. Both want to see us continue on an unsustainable path. Why all Republicans don’t do what Ted Cruz did in the debate is beyond me. So refreshing.

  • Republicans put up with it every four years is beyond me.

    Aye. Completely unforced errors that they commit again and again like Charlie Brown with Lucy’s football. One problem the Republican Party in Washington has had for about a generation now is execrable leadership.

    My take is that both parties (with very few exceptions) are of one blood

    The problem with your thesis is that’s it’s a reasonable wager these people still want the bright shiny objects you only get when you win elections, and they’re going out of their way to trash their own candidates. Incompetence is the explanation that fits.

  • This “debate” format is insane.

    Why not let a university host, like Liberty University? Open it to all media, livestream it, post it directly to YouTube. Have a non-MSM host who would be able to ask substantive questions thoughtfully, e.g., Jonah Goldberg or someone like that.

    It’s beyond me why we allow hostile media outlets set the tone and content of these “debates.” Sad to say, I was far more impressed by the grown up atmosphere of the Canadian PM debates, which were thoughtful and calm, instead of clownish and juvenile like our here in the US. Sample of what Canada does here:

  • What gets you is that Reince Priebus is a partner (presumably on leave) at a Milwaukee biglaw firm. Presumably he was passably effective at advancing his clients’ interests or the firm would have let him go with the other associates they indubitably cut in 2006. Why can’t he function that way in this setting?

  • All this is occurring because the GOP failed to learn that the old professions of journalists and TV Anchor exists as such no more. In fact , the media is acting more like the oldest of professions.
    Why submit yourself to them, when your take ought to be that it is they that are helping to destroy a civil nation to further the left’s agenda?

  • Faux pas ala media hack.

    The left is worse than gangrene.
    Before the country rots a serious amputation is needed….not wanted, but needed for the sake of the children.


  • Calling out the lying liars about 50 years late. Cowering before the masses of professional liars is a major reason why McCain (dope) and Romney (liberal) lost to a lying, idiot.

  • The Republican primary process is masochistic and suicidal. How anybody thinks this process is smart is beyond me. Here’s how it looks. A dozen or so candidates beating up on each other, doing debates where they get beat up by the media, doing TV interviews where they get beat up some more, spending all their money on staff and advertising, and than all but one quitting the race. The primary “winner”, beat up and half broke, gets to face a fresh Democrat who the media loves, for more beatings. Have they lost their minds? Shouldn’t we reconsider the smoke filled rooms of yesteryear to figure who should be the candidate?

PopeWatch: Cardinal Pell

Thursday, October 29, AD 2015




Edward Pentin, who is rapidly establishing himself as the standard by which all Catholic journalists should measure themselves, has an interesting Q and A with Cardinal Pell about the Synod at the National Catholic Register:


Your Eminence, what was your overall assessment of the synod?

I’ve been to seven synods, I think this was certainly the most interesting and also was very hard work. I think the final document is immensely better than the instrumentum laboris, in every way. It’s elegantly written, it’s more clearly structured, the level of argumentation is not embarrassingly low, and it’s a consensus document. There was massive consensus on 92 of the 94 paragraphs and there is nothing in the set of paragraphs that is heretical or opposed to current Church practice.

Paragraphs 84-86 on divorce and remarriage only just got enough votes and have drawn criticism for being ambiguous. Is this a problem?

No it’s not ambiguous, it’s insufficient. There’s really no ambiguity in the text. If you closely examine the text in 85, it’s very clear. The basis for all the discernment must be the “insegnamento complessivo”* – complete teaching – of John Paul II. Then it goes on to repeat that the basis of discernment is the teaching of the Church.

A lot of the fathers would have liked it spelled out a bit more explicitly but there is no mention anywhere of Communion for the divorced and remarried. It’s not one of the possibilities that was floated. The document is cleverly written to get consensus. Some people would say it’s insufficient. It’s not ambiguous.

The headlines in some Italian newspapers, and an Irish website, implied the Church was now allowing all remarried divorcees to receive Holy Communion on a case-by-case basis. What’s your view of this?
That is completely unjustified. There is nothing in the document to justify that, and the Polish bishops came out today I believe to say very explicitly that such an understanding is not justified by the text. Now you might like the text or dislike it. You might think it’s good, bad or indifferent, but at least let us read it accurately and justly, and judge it on its own terms. So those headlines are inaccurate and misleading. They’ve probably been fed a line. I’m not sure there was or is an official English text so there’s some excuse for them misunderstanding it, but such headlines are not justified. People should go to those paragraphs and judge for themselves.

Some were critical that Familiaris consortio was cherry picked, and its clear position on not admitting remarried divorcees omitted, thereby diminishing the integrity of the apostolic letter. How do you respond to that?

Well the full text is not quoted, but they did add the word “complessivo” – it’s the entire teaching of John Paul II which is the basis, not the incomplete citation that was given.

What’s your view on other parts of the document, such as the fact that the same-sex issue that was left off?

It wasn’t left off, it was emphatically rejected that there was any comparison between homosexual marriage and same-sex unions. There was explicit rejection of the theory of graduality of the law. There’s a reaffirmation of the teaching of Humanae Vitae, there’s an adequate presentation of the teaching on conscience. All these things are significant reinforcements of the present doctrine of the Church.

What do you hope the Holy Father will do with this report. Do you think there will be a post-synodal apostolic exhortation?

I don’t know. That would be a normal expectation but we don’t know.

Do you think that more clarity is needed, if not now then after the Jubilee Year of Mercy perhaps?

I don’t know — the Holy Father’s business is his business. What we do want, and this is one of the great benefits of the papacy, is not to have years of struggle as there was in the Anglican Communion over the ordination of women. There will be another synod, another theme, so it’ll be good to move on from this. [It’s] quite clear that the synod has not broken with essential Catholic tradition in either doctrine or practice.

At last year’s synod, there was manipulation and clearly an agenda being pushed. Are you more content with what has happened at this year’s meeting?

Yes, we voted paragraph by paragraph and, in most ways, the document did represent what was discussed in the groups whereas the interim relatio last time bore little relationship with the discussion in most groups. The Holy Father said there would be no manipulation and so we were substantially reassured on that.

You had this year 45 papal-appointed delegates who appeared to swing the vote. It’s said those controversial paragraphs on divorce and remarriage probably wouldn’t have passed without those papal appointees.

That’s very possible.

Do you think that’s a problem?

It’s a fact.

Continue reading...

One Response to PopeWatch: Cardinal Pell

Hero Pope: Church of Spies

Thursday, October 29, AD 2015


“The election of Cardinal Pacelli is not accepted with favor in Germany because he was always opposed to Nazism and practically determined the policies of the Vatican under his predecessor.”

Berlin Morgenpost, March 3, 1939

Of all the historical controversies that I have examined over the years, the one over Pius XII has to be the most mendacious.  Everyone, the Nazis, the Allies and the Jews, knew where Pope Pius XII stood during the War.  Pope Pius was regarded as a hero by all who opposed the Nazis and the Nazis regarded him as a bitter enemy.  The controversy arose after his death, instigated by playwright Rolf Hochhuth and his historically worthless anti-Catholic diatribe The Deputy (1963), a play which sought to cast Pius XII as coldly indifferent to the fate of the Jews, a reverse mirror image of the actual historical record.  Haters of the Church eagerly seized upon this thesis as a club to belabor the Church for her stances in current controversies.  There has never been any historical validity to the thesis:  zilch, zero, none.  Its persistence has much to do with anti-Catholicism and nothing to do with History.

Truth usually has a way of catching up with lies, and in regard to Pius XII, a new book, Church of Spies:  The Pope’s Secret War Against Hitler by Mark Riebling in which the author details the involvement of the Pope in plots within Germany to overturn Hitler:
“When the pope arose the next morning, he had made up his mind. He would engage the German military resistance and encourage a conservative counterrevolution. He would serve as secret foreign agent for the resistance—presenting and guaranteeing its plans to the British. He would partner with the generals not just to stop the war, but to eliminate Nazism by removing Hitler.”
Pius XII was even willing to be involved in plots to assassinate Hitler:

Continue reading...

4 Responses to Hero Pope: Church of Spies

Will the Real Pharisees Please Stand Up?

Wednesday, October 28, AD 2015

It’s always nice when you are set to write on a topic but find yourself with a lack of time to discover that somebody else has already covered the issue. So, thank you C.C. Pecknold for doing the heavy lifting so that I don’t have to. Writing about the troublesome paragraphs of the final report of the synod on the family, Pecknold observes:

Jesuits, in fact, have a reputation for just this kind of casuistry that is so apparent in the ambiguous paragraphs. All signs point to Pope Francis’s interpreting them in the way progressives hope. But I’m on record as being a hopeful conservative with regard to this pope, often reading him against the liberal narrative rather than with it. I am obedient to the Office of Saint Peter, and I love this pope. I pray for him as I pray for my own father. And I trust that the Holy Spirit will guard and protect the pope insofar as God uses him as an instrument of the Church’s unity, as a guardian of the deposit of faith, and as our chief evangelist. But as Saint Paul reminds us, our obedience must be rational (Rom. 12.1–2). And thus far rational obedience impels me to ask the Holy Father questions.

What sort of legalism does the pope have in mind? When the pope condemns the Pharisees, does he realize that they were the ones who were casuistical and loosely legalist in allowing for divorce? Does he know that Christ responded to the Pharisees’ legalism with a radical gospel challenge that renewed the creation of man in grace, and the indissolubility of marriage? Does he see that Kasper’s proposal is itself at one with the Pharisees? Does he really think conservatives are teachers of the law rather than of virtue and truth? Does he really think that progressives wanting to accommodate the Church to liberal values, or comply with secular mores, are the vital source of newness for the Church?

Even if Pecknold’s hopefulness with regards to the Pontiff is a tad naive, the observation about Phariseeism is spot on. Heterodox, dissenting Catholics are the quickest to use the term “Pharisee,” mainly because that’s about the only argument their poor brains can muster. When applied to the issue of civilly divorced and remarried Catholics receiving Communion, this label is horribly misapplied. Jesus was highly critical of the Pharisees not merely because they were legalistic, but because their legalism in essence became their religion, and they missed the forest for the trees in their approach to faith. If Catholics were in the habit of suggesting that people could not receive Communion if their shirts were not buttoned up to at least the penultimate button, that would be a more apt description of Phariseeism. Insisting that we adhere to the strict words of Jesus quoted in the Gospels with respect to Catholic couples cohabitating in a state of sin is most certainly not a form of Phariseeism. The true Pharisees will be the ones who use the language of the final synod report to permit couples living in this state of sin to receive the Eucharist absent true repentance. Get ready to see just how many camels they will be trying to fit through the eye of the needle.

Continue reading...

10 Responses to Will the Real Pharisees Please Stand Up?

  • I spent the past several decades working at correcting liberal (whatever the client wants) interpretations of generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) in entities’ financial reports. The other side consistently cited sentences in the over-written accounting literature to support the nefarious acts. I see that here.
    O, by the way, your byline insults Pharisees.

  • Very good point made by Peckford that it was the Pharisees who were the defenders of divorce and it was Jesus who issued the clear statement of marriage indissolubility.

    Pope Francis is pretty good at innuendo and name calling of conservatives. He should rewind a few of his comments and listen ever so little more intently. That’s right, Frankie, that’s you being nasty.

    Nice pope, in the judgment of a lot of people. Including myself, much of the time. But he’s only human, with his own peculiar blind spots.

  • As we all know, the Pharisees were tainted because they pushed man-made law over God’s law. The chastisement from the pope appeared to be clearly aimed at those who adhere to and love the words of God, and His truth as expressed in His Church’s well formed doctrine.
    To conflate the two–(one good one bad ) and chastise only the good, is at best confusion, at worse, a misunderstanding of God’s Church, or even worst, poorly thought out actions of a good shepherd.
    Pray hard for our Pope, that the Holy Spirit will help him to speak with clarity about God’s truth faith. May it thrive under his care.

  • Good post, Paul Z. It is ironic that the Pharisees whom the Pope decries were the ones who supported the position that he currently maintains. Is an Argentinian Marxist Peronist capable of perceiving irony?
    I have alluded to some of this here at the TAC forum, but not the details (which will go left unsaid). A few years into sobriety 3 decades ago I changed sponsors, and went from one who insisted on Mass and Confession to a weak-kneed liberal progressive because his mesage of mercy seemed so nice and tolerant and non-divisive. That was some 20+ years ago.I then fell in love and married an atheist via a civil instead of religious cermony, having put my faith on the back burner. My sponsor said I was breaking free of my religious straight-jacket. He should have told me to remain chaste. This woman and I had two children. Then in 2005 I had a nervous breakdown of sorts (that’s what happens to alcoholics who don’t go to meetings and don’t stay active in church, but remain dry – they go nuts). So I returned to what had worked in the beginning – my 12 step program, and Mass and Confession. I started to recover again. Two years later this woman, seeing my return to the faith, demanded a divorce. She left me, taking the children with her. It was worse than heroin withdrawals, and believe me that I know all about heroin withdrawals. Of course the first marriage wasn’t valid, and was null. But that ain’t the point. Rather, by having left the Church in apostasy for someone beautiful to the eyes, I had wrecked my life. Yes, late in life I was able to get really married “again” or rather for the first time. But I have no recourse to my children whom I fathered in a null and void relationship. I love and terribly miss my darling little daughter (well, she is a teenager now) and my handsome son. But what I did has resulted in my estrangement from them (it’s a very long story that I won’t explain here), and almost resulted in my loss of sobriety (though I have often wondered if I was just dry during all those years and not really sober).
    So here’s my lesson to everybody: do what 2000 years of Church teaching and the Bible say to do even if it is freaking hard as stone to do, because the alternative is orders of magnitude harder and worse, and the feeling of guilt over the children does not leave.
    As far as I am concerned, Cardinal Kasper and Archbishop Cupich and all their kind can stick it where the sun doesn’t shine. Their freaking theology has almost killed me and left me without my kids.

  • That’s a timely reminder that too often “mercy” is an exercise in self-congratulation and pity without compassion on the part of the merciful(think of “kind” Xerxes in 300) that you’ve got there Paul.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • I recall a discussion I had with a priest back in February, in which i called Cdl. Kasper a heretic, to which he responded that we must be careful how we label people (without disagreeing with me)

    I am completely justified in what I said, because last month Cdl. Sarah said exactly the same thing. 🙂

  • Mr. Primavera, I could not agree with you more. Kasper, Marx, Wuerl, Cupich, Danneels, Maradiaga and the rest of them nauseate me.

    Most of the Church hierarchy refuses to teach about the evil of sin and the need for repentance. The Catholic bishops of the US and Canada, among other places, refuse to excommunicate Catholic politicians who support abortion. They refuse to certify that Catholci theologians teach real Catholic theology in so-called Catholic colleges and universities in their dioceses.

    it is not entirely the work of the bishops, but……places such as Quebec, Ireland, Guatemala and honduras (with Brazil not far behind) have seen a meltdown of the Church. These formerly Catholic strongholds have grown indifferent or hostile to the Church.

    This papacy is a disaster. Heretics such as Kasper, who should have been sent to a clostered monastery by John Paul II, travel the world seeking to destroy Catholic doctrine for the sake of continued easy living at the expense of the German taxpayers. Cupich is a buffoon who has no business being a bishop is the Archbishop and soon to be Cardinal of Chicago. The train wreck that is the FFI, the demotion of Cardinal Burke, the petty insults….I have no respect for the current Pope. None. His worldview is pathetic, that of a whining loser, which is to be expected coming from a country with such abundant resources and yet such dysfunction among its citizens.

    Oh, now Pope Francis knows who his “enemies” are – Burke, the African bishops and the Polish Episcopal Conference.

    Next year is another World Youth Day, this time in Krakow, the hometown of Karol Wojtyla, the home of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska, St. Maximillian Kolbe and the resting place (Wawel Cathedral) of numerous Polish heroes and saints. The Pope’s words about dialouge with Islam will ring hollow in the resting place of Jan III Sobieski. The Pope’s words about Communists will be found irritating, if not sickening, in the resting place of Josef Pilsudski and the native land of Fr. Jerzy Popieluszko (the Servant of God has cousins in the Pittsburgh area).

    Maybe the trip to Poland will force the Holy Father to open his eyes and ears to what it really means to be Catholic. Given his words and deeds so far in this pontificate, he has little if anything to teach Poland.

  • T. Shaw, I labor as an accountant.

    In my first professional job was in an office for a company that owned four retail stores that sold expensive designer brand clothes. They did not pay their vendors, their withholding taxes and sometimes even their utilities. The CFO, who screamed at and insulted everybody, collected a check (not a paycheck) each week as a consultant. I quit when I found out that the company owed a combination of back taxes, interest and penalties of $150K.

    My second professional job was at a company in Our Nation’s Capital that had a CEO who flew around the world in the Concorde. One of his officer buddies had a $10K chandelier in his office and bought a watch for a sales award. He wore the watch until it was time to give it away. Every time he went on a business trip there were invoices from country club pro shops. The controller treated the senior auditor like the proverbial red headed step child.

    I took a buyout and left.

    My sons are NOT going to be accountants. The work is tedious, the pay stinks and the responsibility for everything always rests on the poor schmuck who puts together the financial statements, which isn’t management.

  • I’ve been wondering lately whether, as in the political death of our nation, we get the leaders we deserve, if not seek….if we got a Pope and hierarchy we deserve, if we got a president we deserve. After all, most, or at least I, don’t speak about these matters until the full frontal assault takes place. Obama is not a cause, he’s a symptom; Pope Francis is not a cause, he’s a symptom…..

  • Let me go with the thought that first occurs to me. The son the father loves, he chastises. I think God loves the United States and he certainly loves His Church. Therefore, we are rightly chastised. It gives me hope, that I too am chastised with various stripes in my old age. Thank you Paul, for telling us a bit of your own journey. We all bear our own burden but few are we who so willingly share it.