Chinese Christians Standing Up

Tuesday, May 31, AD 2016

 

From Instapundit:

IF YOU STRIKE ME DOWN, I SHALL BECOME MORE POWERFUL THAN YOU CAN IMAGINE: The Chinese Christian Crackdown:

Between 1,200 and 1,700 crosses have come crashing down over the past two years in China’s Zhejiang Province, where the brutal repression of Christians has also seen churches demolished and pastors imprisoned, all with the blessing of top party officials. . . .

Having recognized Christianity as a potential threat to the CCP’s grip on power, Xi could be test-driving religious persecution in China’s Christian heartland before taking the policy nationwide. As we’ve said before, the ongoing persecution is not in China’s national interest; if anything, it may make Christians stronger.

Repression is turning a largely placid Christian population into deeply unhappy one. So far in Zhejiang Christian leaders have sermonized against the new policies and their parishioners have organized protests, sometimes going as far as clashing with security forces and blockading churches slated for demolition. Take this policy nationwide, and China’s government may be in for a massive showdown with a Christian community that outnumbers the Communist Party.

Onward, Christian soldiers.

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3 Responses to Chinese Christians Standing Up

  • Not really into all the women acolytes, but after all, this is quite obviously a Protestant community.
    However, on many occasions women have proven to be as strong as men, if not more so, so I totally applaud their faithfulness, and completely agree with your last paragraph.
    When is our culture going to staunch up and face off the likes of Obama and his acolytes, and there are no shortage of his ilk in our country, our neighbor brothers the Aussies, and our ancestral migrant homelands, Britain, Holland and the rest of Catholic Europe?
    The good thing is that our present migrant Filipinos, Koreans, Chinese and Indians – all form the new Church in Asia – are giving us an example in courage and commitment to the gospel and Faith in Christ. Long may it continue.

  • The freaky thing about women is that we tend to keep the home fires burning– banked ashes when the visible flames of the male leadership are…gone.
    I know that China thinks very differently than we do, but you’d think they’d be smart enough to look over at Japan and see how “well” official repression worked.

Pope Lies to Kids

Tuesday, May 31, AD 2016

 

The Pope continues his propaganda effort in support of the muslim invasion flow immigration flow to Europe.

Francis invited all the children to pray the Hail Mary out loud together with him, in memory of all the migrants who have died at sea, especially in the memory of the six-year-old Syrian girl whose life jacket he was carrying.

The Pope then entered into a lively exchange with the students regarding the acceptance of immigrants.

During the conversation, the Pope urged everyone to awaken from indifference and, leaving aside excuses, to welcome others as brothers and sisters. Invoking the parable of the Good Samaritan, the Pope said that welcoming means taking care of others.

 

“Migrants are not a danger; they are in danger,” the Pope said. He then had the group repeat several times together with him: “They are not a danger, they are in danger.”

The stranger, Francis said, is not dangerous and bad. He should not scare us just because he has a different skin color, culture or religion, since we are all children of the same Father.

Asked by one of the children how someone can call himself a Christian and go to church, and then reject migrants, Francis spoke of hypocrisy, encouraging the children not to be selfish, but to have the courage to be generous.

Another ten-year-old child, named Antonio, said that people who do not welcome migrants “are beasts.”

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20 Responses to Pope Lies to Kids

  • A true Father protects his children from harm. He never knowingly risks his children’s safety to serve some other agenda. The reason, of course, is that there is no other agenda more important than the well-being of his children. This pope is a politician first and foremost.

  • “Islam means never having to say you’re sorry.” the Pope said.

  • Father of Seven: Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion?

    Actually, the Pope is describing the proper Christian attitude to be made, before sending these people back home.

  • This Pope over the weekend always welcomed and awarded Selma Hyaek, Goerge Clooney and other liberal actors reknown for their pro-abortion stance. Additioally, he ingratiated himself with the secular group YouTube Beauty Vloggers. For such a humble man, he certainly puts himself in the limelight with secular media all the time.
    .
    Georgius Bergoglius demovendus et anathemandus est. Carthago delenda est!

  • Don, you are not being too hard on the Pope. The real problem is that the post-WW2 church (not just the Catholic Church) is too focused on interior spirituality. There is too much emphasis on the proper interior attitudes that are necessary for Christian growth, and much less on the type of moral theology that emphasizes exploring the full range of outcomes from our decisions that are driven by our attitudes. The Pope and our other leaders should not be cherry picking like this, it’s as bad as the prewar just-war theology interpretations by some that always gave the benefit of the doubt to the state.

  • Carthago delenda est. LQC, I’ve been waiting for you to post that. Nice historical parody.

  • The real problem is that the post WW2 Church gave up on preaching righteousness and holiness and started down the road of liberal tolerance and pacifism, subsituting secular values for spiritual values. Jesus came to bring a sword – Matthew 10:34. There is no room for pacifism among a people who murdered God’s own Son, and that’s all of us – every single one of us. The degree to which the Church gave up preaching righteous and holiness is the degree to which there will be no peace.

  • “The real problem is that the post WW2 Church gave up on preaching righteousness and holiness….”
    Yeah, that too, but that’s a less proximate cause. You are into to deep roots there Paul.

  • he Pope may mentally actively filter out information that does not comport with what he wants to believe.

    Most likely this; I’ve been told by some folks who are familiar with South America and with a lot of Europe that the news is, to put it politely, very tightly controlled. You really can’t trust it– the blog-common practice of multiple sources and evaluating it doesn’t happen. (Which makes sense, if basically the only source is their version of the AP, maybe re-written slightly.)

  • The Pope had to have heard about the hundreds of women in Cologne who were molested by refugees in one night and he knew of Brussels and Paris done by what he called non integrated muslims ( it was Europe’s fault in Francis’ ideology for not giving them integration…somewhat like food stamps…you can give it…the fact that they look forward to promiscuity in paradise if they kill unbelievers is not a stumbling point for Francis). The OT says, ” where there are many words, sin is not lacking.”. Francis proves that verse. He just lied to those kids about refugees being danger free and trained them to repeat a lie that was conscious on his part.

  • “Additionally if the Pope had noted that muslims make up two percent of the population in Italy but 35% of those in Italian prisons, what would the kids have thought?”

    Oh ye of little faith Don! That would be an easy one to spin. He would just say that the justice system in Italy, inspired by bigotry, disproportionately prosecutes Muslims. Just like how the U.S. Bishops falsely assert that the death penalty in the U.S. unfairly targets blacks and other minorities. So what if blacks commit capital crimes that overrepresent their population over four fold. Get with the program, man! Facts don’t mean squat when you can just appeal to intellectually and, even emotionally, shallow skulls full of mush!

  • “OT, but has Mark Shea gone Libertarian?”

    Time for a mind wipe to erase that image!

  • To add to Greg M’s view that the dear Santo Papa, like the US Bishops, would just politically “spin” the 35% Muslim criminal population of Italian prisons, it is not far from the illegal alien criminal population in US Federal prisons (36.7% according to US Sentencing Commission data for FY 2014, the most recent year yet available), or that estimates of illegal prisoner populations in California prisons are likely even higher—but California and several other states refuse to record immigration status of a criminal, since the actual facts are stunning. But, these aren’t popular views — that illegal invaders, be they Muslim or cartel gang-members, are deadly felons:

    “So, the average American is blissfully unaware of them.

    •Between 2008 and 2014, 40% of all murder convictions in Florida were criminal aliens. In New York it was 34% and Arizona 17.8%.
    •During those years, criminal aliens accounted for 38% of all murder convictions in the five states of California, Texas, Arizona, Florida and New York, while illegal aliens constitute only 5.6% of the total population in those states.
    •That 38% represents 7,085 murders out of the total of 18,643.

    That 5.6% figure for the average illegal alien population in those five states comes from US Census estimates. We know the real number is double that official estimate. Yet, even if it is 11%, it is still shameful that the percentage of murders by criminal aliens is more than triple the illegal population in those states.”
    —“Illegal Alien Crime Accounts for over 30% of Murders in Many States”, Tom Tancredo, Aug 8, 2015, Breitbart News.
    ….
    But we should all not speak of these unpleasant matters.

  • Mark Shea gone libertarian? Nah, he’s gone full looney- tunes leftist!

  • Developing story after large concert in Germany, more women molested….some by non dangerous migrants from Pakistan…

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/01/europe/germany-concert-sex-assaults/

  • “Time for a mind wipe to erase that image!”

    What has been seen cannot be unseen!

  • About that ‘Mark Shea photo’: my 17 year old son had no idea of who Mark Shea is. I showed him Shea’s photo on the National Catholic Register site, then that Libertarian photo. He really thought it was the same person!

    Another cheap shot: a few years ago Shea wrote a backhanded attack on abortion in which he parroted pro-abortion lines in a parody. One commenter mistook the parody for a real defense of abortion, and he told Shea “you don’t want to meet me in any dark alleys, you bearded orangutan”. I laughed for 20 minutes, though most of that was over the mistake and imaging the alley meeting. To his credit Shea was gentle with the commentator.

  • Delusional I think, not lying on purpose.
    HIs confusion and delusion are the products of the works of the devil. We must pray for him.
    Definition: “delusion is a belief that, though false, has been surrendered to and accepted by the whole mind as a truth”
    I have to think it is a mental and spiritual malfunction that blocks him from reality- otherwise how could any one operating in bright reality say those things while holding the dead girl’s life vest?

  • Most people in the West are now delusional.

May 31, 1916: Battle of Jutland Begins

Tuesday, May 31, AD 2016

 

It is often said that generals usually are preparing to win the last war.  That was certainly the case with admirals during World War I.  They imagined a clash of mighty battleships, dreadnaughts, and auxiliaries, that would prove decisive like the battle of Tsushima in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905.  Of course little thought was given about what would happen if the weaker side did not obligingly steam their fleet out to be obliterated.  That is just what happened in 1914-1918 where the British Grand Fleet kept the German High Seas Fleet bottled up in its ports, a bystander to the War.  One hundred years ago however, the High Seas Fleet made its major sortie of the War and the world held its breath for two days as these two mighty antagonists came to blows.

Admiral Reinhard Scheer had commanded the High Seas Fleet only since January of 1916.  Scheer reflected the general German opinion that the defensive stance of the fleet had to change in order for it to play a productive part in the War.  He hit upon the scheme of having the fleet sortie into the Skagerrak  that lay north of the Jutland peninsula that made up most of Denmark.  He planned to sink or capture many British cruisers and merchant ships and then retreat back to port.  It wasn’t a bad plan.  The problem for Scheer is that the British knew all about it.  The British code breaking wizards of Room 40 had broken the German naval code in 1914, and the British could decipher intercepted German radio communications swiftly, and thus the Grand Fleet knew precisely what the Germans were doing.  Here was a brilliant opportunity for the British to inflict a decisive defeat on their adversaries.  It did not turn out that way.

Over two days, May 31-June 1, a confused series of clashes took place during which the British lost 6,094 killed, 674 wounded, 177 captured, 3 battle cruisers, 3 armored cruisers and 8 destroyers to German losses of 2,551 killed, 511 wounded, 1 battle cruiser, 1 pre-dreadnaught, 4 light cruisers and 5 torpedo boats.  The German loss in tonnage was just over half what the British was.  The German fleet retired to its ports with the British losing a good opportunity to intercept them.  Jutland was a clear tactical defeat for the Grand Fleet and the British held plenty of commissions in the months and years following to figure out what went wrong.

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4 Responses to May 31, 1916: Battle of Jutland Begins

  • Another factor as I recall was the internal arrangements inside the British battleships and battlecruisers, and their crews’ training on their use. The German designers reportedly made a better effort to give some physical separation between turrets and powder magazines, and their crews were trained to keep the flash curtains (which prevented travel between turrets and magazines)closed except when powder was actually transferred. The British crews tended to keep their flash curtains open more often during an engagement, which turned out to be a fatal mistake.

  • Beatty’s tactical handling of his ships was also much less than. He threw away his advantages early on, and the British were probably lucky it wasn’t worse.

  • Just saw the video. An excellent work. I only wish the small part played by each side’s air arm, especially the zeppelins, was mentioned.

  • This is a fascinating video of Jutland, and for me dovetails very well with the book,
    “Jutland 1916: Death in the Grey Wastes,” by authors Peter Hart & Nigel Steel (which, now the last few years is available in paperback, FYI). This latter book presumes however that one has some knowledge of the prior years of WWI naval events, esp. between the Brits and the German Navy. This 24-min re-enactment here however brings together in much better manner the constantly fluid changes that typified Jutland and the sequential chaos involved. I am going to view it again and again: the horror and the chaos of ultimate warfare is mesmerizing.

    The authors of “Jutland 1916” place a heavy blame on the inadequacy of British gunnery training when contrasted with HIpper’s and Scheer’s constant training of their crews. In that particular category, plus as Donald McC. points out (a fact I didn’t know) that the Brits had an inferior firing-solution technology, seemed key. I also didn’t know that the Brits had cracked the German Kriegsmarine codes in 1914 (Gee: you would have thought the Germans would have had a healthy concern about this in WW2, regarding Ultra and Bletchley Park..). Yet Hipper and Scheer essentially outmaneuvered Beatty and Jellicoe overall, despite greatly inferior numbers and range of their heavy guns.
    ….
    But worst of all, like the sub-title of “Jutland 1916” (“Death in the Grey Wastes”)—over 8600, mostly very young, men dead, in the most appalling conditions, freezing to death within minutes of exposure to the North Sea waters. This plus the Grim Reaper scythe of the trenches simultaneously going on in France. Verdun. The Marne. Ypres. The Somme.
    Even on a warm June day, it makes one shudder. England, France and Germany must have been a revolving mortuary and burial detail.

    “Religio Depopulata”; has Europe ever recovered from WW1 and WW2?

Memorial Day Thoughts

Monday, May 30, AD 2016

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Are you afraid of death?
Well, I can’t say that I have
any great affection for it.
Look below you, my friend.
For 70 years,
I’ve watched the seasons change.
I’ve seen the vibrant life of summer,
the brilliant death of fall…
the silent grave of winter.
And then, I’ve seen
the resurrection of spring
the glorious birth of new life.
And my father and my father’s father
have seen it before me.
Nothing ever dies, my friend.

Prince of Foxes Screenplay, 1949

Prior to my son Larry passing away three years ago I had never spent much time in cemeteries.  That of course has changed.  Over the past three years I have been a weekly visitor, except when the snow is too thick to get in (one time I got stuck at the gate in the snow making the attempt) to Mount Olivet Cemetery here in Dwight.  I have always been struck by the peace there as I talk to my son at his grave site and pray.  A train runs along a side of the cemetery, something Larry would have enjoyed, and no doubt his spirit does, as he was fascinated by trains during life.  Each season has a special grandeur at the cemetery:  spring with its new life, lush summer, brilliant fall, and silent winter.  However, without a doubt, the most beautiful time is Memorial Day where the graves of veterans in the cemetery are decorated with flags.

Going to the graves we see veterans who lived to old age and veterans who died young in war.  Graves dating from the Civil War and graves dating from recent conflicts.  Graves where the sorrow of the loss is dimmed with the passage of time and graves where the sorrow is a fresh wound.  All the graves have in common is a small American flag marking them on this day, a sign of respect and love for their service.

Remembering our dead is a tribute to the human capacities for memory and love.  It is all too easy to forget our dead in the hurly-burly of life, but it is essential that we do not do so.  God loves each man as if there was no other.  Each life is worthy of remembrance, for good or for ill.  We are not Mayflies that live brief lives and perish.  What we are echoes both in time and in eternity and no man’s life or death should be ignored.

In a cemetery we see the panoply of life spread out before us:  infants who died at birth to people who died beyond the century mark.  Beloved wives, husbands, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, sons and daughters.  Graves of the obscure and the famous.  Graves that are frequently visited and graves where the loved ones of the departed have long since departed themselves.  All alike waiting for the Final Day when their bodies will rejoin their souls when Christ comes to judge all.

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3 Responses to Memorial Day Thoughts

  • Here are the lyrics of a song I wrote a few years back regarding the war fallen:

    At the dawn of their lives, they heard the call. Stepped right up and gave it their all.

    Brothers in arms who went into harm’s way knowing full well the price they might pay. They gave their tomorrows so we could be free today.

    This is a story that needs to be told, of these boys who will never grow old.

    But like a hero’s song left unsung, these same boys will be forever young.

    War is a time that’ll try a man’s soul. To face his own death and not lose control.

    No greater love can any man send than when he gives his life for a friend. The kind of love upon which lives depend.

    There is a time when good men go to war, when there are things they need to fight for.

    Still some say that might doesn’t make right, but there are times we’ve to fight, fight with all of our might to do what’s right.

    War is a thing one should never wish for. But you know there are things that are much worse than war. Like living’ in tyranny that robs a man of his dignity and denies his humanity.

  • “My bride and I have plots on each side of our son, we making the decision the week of his death that as we held his hands as a small boy in life, we will do so in death.”
    That made me choke up.

  • I’m a regular at Queen of Heaven in Hillside, IL. The mausoleum contains the remains of over 30,000 individuals-the largest in the US I am told. I will walk through there praying for the poor souls; I enjoy the company of the deceased better than the living. Outside several of my relatives are buried. If you are ever in suburban Chicago you need to check it out.

    Across the street Capone is buried at Mt. Carmel. Also many of the archbishops of Chicago are buried there. If you wait outside of their crypt on Sundays on the hour, custodians will unlock their crypt. The interior is covered with gold. The crypt was built in Italy, taken apart and the artisans came over to rebuild on site. It is beautiful

Black Jack Logan and Memorial Day

Monday, May 30, AD 2016

Freedom is not only a gift, but also a summons to personal responsibility. Americans know this from experience — almost every town in this country has its monuments honoring those who sacrificed their lives in defense of freedom, both at home and abroad.

                                                         Pope Benedict, April 16, 2008

John A. Logan is the father of Memorial Day.  Today he is largely forgotten except to Civil War buffs and that is a shame.  He was a fascinating man and he is largely responsible for establishing the tradition of putting aside a day in the calendar to our nation’s war dead.

Logan began the Civil War as a Democrat congressman from southern Illinois.  He was ardently anti-War even after the firing on Fort Sumter, denouncing the Lincoln administration and calling for peace and compromise.  He was attacked as being disloyal to the Union and an almost advocate of the Confederacy.

This perception changed in the twinkling of an eye at the battle of Bull Run.  Like many another congressman he went out to view the Union army launch an attack on the Confederates.  Unlike the other congressmen, Logan picked up a musket and, attaching himself to a Michigan regiment, blazed away at the Confederates with that musket.  This experience transformed Logan into an ardent advocate of the War.

He returned to Southern Illinois and gave a fiery speech in Marion, Illinois for the Union that helped swing that section of the state in support of the War.  Resigning from Congress, he helped raise an infantry regiment from southern Illinois, and was made colonel of the regiment, the 31rst Illinois.

Logan quickly made a name for himself as a fighter.  At the battle of Belmont he led his regiment in a successful charge, and was noted for his exceptional courage.  He would eventually be promoted to major general and was one of the best corp commanders in the Union army, briefly commanding the Army of the Tennessee.  He was wounded three times in the war, one of the wounds being serious enough that he was erroneously reported as killed, a report that might have been proven to be accurate if he had not been nursed back  to health by his wife.

Logan was never beaten in any engagement that he fought in during the War.  He was popular with his men who affectionately called him “Black Jack”, and would often chant his name on the battlefield as he led them from the front.  On May 24th 1865, as a tribute to his brilliant war record, he commanded the Army of the Tennessee during the victory Grand Review of the Union armies in Washington.

After the War, Logan began his political career anew, serving as a congressman from Illinois and a senator.  He was now a radical Republican and fought ardently for civil rights for blacks.  He ran for Vice President in 1884 on the Republican ticket that was defeated by Grover Cleveland.  He was considered the leading candidate for the Republican nomination in 1888, and might well have been elected President that year, but for his untimely death in 1886 at the age of sixty.

From 1868 to 1871, Logan served three consecutive terms as commander in chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, the Union veteran’s association.  He started the custom of remembering the Union war dead on May 30th when he issued General Order Eleven on May 5, 1868:

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2 Responses to Black Jack Logan and Memorial Day

  • Indebted to all Veterans.
    Thank You.

  • Very good article. I don’t think I’d ever heard of Black Jack Logan, and that’s a shame.

    However, we do have to remember that actually, visiting military graves and putting flowers on them was a pious custom all over the US. (And it was surprising how much it was picked up by otherwise extremely Protestant groups who don’t theologically believe in prayer for the dead, and how much it persists even today.)

    But when some women in the former Confederacy decorated and visited graves from both sides, and Northerners heard about it in the news, the custom spread with much more rapidity because it melted hearts and helped unify the US again through grief.

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Rocky Versace: The Bravest Man You Have Never Heard Of

Sunday, May 29, AD 2016

Captain Versace

(Republishing this from 2014.  I can think of no man whose life better exemplifies Memorial Day than the Rock’s.)

 FOR THE ROCK and the children and sugar people of NamCan

Dedication of the book The Fifteenth Pelican by Marie Teresa Rios Versace

For his entire life Captain Humbert Roque ‘Rocky’ Versace was on a mission.  His first mission was as an Army Ranger.  His second mission was to be a Catholic priest and to work with orphan kids.  He had been accepted to a Maryknoll seminary but then fate intervened.  The son of Colonel Humbert  J. Versace from Puerto Rico and his wife Marie Teresa Rios Versace, a novelist and poet who, among many other books, wrote The Fifteenth Pelican on which the TV series The Flying Nun was based, Rocky was an unforgettable character.  A graduate of West Point in 1959, he was an Army Ranger and a soldier as tough as they come.  He had an intelligence of a high order as demonstrated by his fluency in French and Vietnamese.  He loved to laugh and have a good time.  At the same time he was deeply religious and a fervent Catholic.  In short, he was a complete man.

Volunteering for service in Vietnam, he began his tour as an intelligence advisor on May 12, 1962.

Rocky fell in love with the Vietnamese people, especially the kids.  In his free time he volunteered in a Vietnamese orphanage.  He believed in his mission and regarded it as a crusade to prevent the people he loved living under Communism.  During his tour he received news that his application to attend a Maryknoll seminary had been accepted.  He planned after ordination to return to Vietnam and work with Vietnam orphans as a priest.  He agreed to a six month extension of his tour since that fit in with his plans to attend the seminary.

On October 29, 1963 he was serving as an intelligence advisor with the 5th Special Forces Group (Green Berets).  He accompanied several companies of South Vietnamese Civilian Irregular Defense (militia) that were seeking to remove a Viet Cong command post in the U Minh Forest.  They were ambushed and Rocky gave covering fire to allow the South Vietnamese to retreat and get away.  He was captured.  The Viet Cong murdered him on September 26, 1965.  What happened in between made Rocky a legend.  He was taken to a camp deep in the jungle along with Lieutenant Nick Rowe and Sergeant Dan Pitzer.  After their eventual release they told all and sundry what they witnessed Rocky do.

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Corpus Christi and Memorial Day

Sunday, May 29, AD 2016

When Corpus Christi rolls around I always think of Saint Thomas Aquinas and his great eucharistic hymn Pange Lingua Gloriosi Corporis Mysterium written by Saint Thomas at the command of Pope Urban IV to celebrate the feast of Corpus Christi instituted by the Pope in 1263.   It says something vastly significant about the Church that perhaps the greatest intellect of all time, Saint Thomas Aquinas, was not only a Doctor of the Church, but also capable of writing this magnificent hymn. 

The last portion of the hymn, Tantum Ergo, has vast significance for my family.  My wife, who is a far better Catholic in my estimation than I am, is a convert.  A Methodist when we married, she converted to the Church a few years later.  She had questions regarding the real presence, and this line from Tantum Ergo resolved them:  Faith tells us that Christ is present,  When our human senses fail.  When our kids came along she would whisper at the Consecration to them:  First it’s bread, now it’s Jesus.  First it’s wine, now it’s Jesus. 

This year Corpus Christi falls on Memorial Day and that strikes me as appropriate when we recall these words of Christ:

Greater love hath no one than this: to lay down his life for his friends.

John 15: 13

Christ took on our flesh, our blood and our mortality.  He sacrificed His flesh and His blood to save us.  He gave us the great Sacrament so that just as He took on our flesh and blood, we might consume His flesh and His blood and draw close to Him through His grace.

On Memorial Day we honor our war dead.  They lost their flesh and blood in our service and to protect us.  Just as we owe Christ a debt that can never be repaid, so too do we owe a debt to those men who have died for us and that debt can never be repaid to them.  Christ gives us His body and blood to give us grace and His teachings to allow us to lead lives that attempt, oh so imperfectly, to follow in His footsteps.  Our war dead allow us to do this in more freedom and security than most of our ancestors possessed.

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One Response to Corpus Christi and Memorial Day

  • Excellent reflections.
    My morning prayers have an added bonus this morning…. your insights, which add to my contemplation. Happy and blessed Day..today and everyday. St. Maximilian Kolbe prepare us in our day to be broken and shared with those whom Christ places before us. Help us to lay our lives down for our neighbors. Help us to be “other Christs,” so the Body of Christ may grow and conquer the body of darkness.

    To our veterans. Thank God for all of you!

Remember Them

Saturday, May 28, AD 2016

“I never moved into combat without having the feeling of a cold hand reaching into my guts and twisting them both into knots.”

Audie Murphy, most decorated American soldier of World War II

Something for the weekend.  A section of a speech of Ronald Reagan from 1964, known in Reagan lore as The Speech, set to the song Arrival to Earth.  The weather is quite nice around where I live this Memorial Day weekend and it is easy to forget why we have this three day weekend, and, indeed, to forget why we have our freedom.  The video is a nice reminder.

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Bear Growls: What Happened to the Bear?

Saturday, May 28, AD 2016

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I suspect that our bruin friend at Saint Corbinian’s Bear is being held captive by sinister forces.  Some impostor Rabbit has proclaimed this at his website:

 

Hi. I’m St. Corbinian’s Bunny Rabbit. (And not that kind of rabbit!) What, you’ve never heard of me? Figures. Leave it to a bear to hog all the attention. Someday I’ll tell you all about it. And notice that I don’t say anything stupid like “the Bunny Rabbit” thinks this, or “the Bunny Rabbit” believes that. I always hated that.

Anyway, management has decided that settling for 15% of Catholics who aren’t exactly in love with Pope Francis, while alienating the 85% of Catholics (and 50%+ of atheists) who worship him, is a bad business model. You don’t continually complain about the most popular man in the world. (Think there might be a reason for that?) So from now on, you can expect lots of fluffy news about the wonderful things Pope Francis is doing every day. I think you’ll find that the bear has been too negative. It’s time for the truth!

So, sorry, malcontents, but your precious bear is gone.

Come back home. Everybody’s joining us. We are the winning team. You can be happy. You just need to put your negativity aside and read some good news for a change.

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6 Responses to Bear Growls: What Happened to the Bear?

  • Pope Francis would not approve, if he starts breeding.

  • Reminds me of a nasty joke;
    “So a Bear and a Rabbit meet in the woods…
    They both need to relief themselves of waste, and the bear asked the rabbit if when he “goes” does his waste material stick to its fur?
    The rabbit replies; “No it doesn’t.”
    “Great,” the bear said. Then the bear reached out and grabs the rabbit and wipes itself using the rabbit.

    Moral of the story?

    Regardless of the crap being sold as flowers, you don’t have to pick them up and smell them to know the difference. Using a Rabbit to wipe up a mess is the genius of The Bear!

  • The Bear subsided forlornly on a tree-stump and tried to control himself, for he felt it surely coming. The sob he had fought with so long refused to be beaten. Up and up, it forced its way to the air, and then another, and another, and others thick and fast; till poor Bear at last gave up the struggle, and cried freely and helplessly and openly, now that he knew it was all over and he had lost what he could hardly be said to have found.

    The Rat, astonished and dismayed at the violence of Bear’s paroxysm of grief, did not dare to speak for a while. At last he said, very quietly and sympathetically, ‘What is it, old fellow? Whatever can be the matter? Tell us your trouble, and let me see what I can do.”

    –Wind in the Willows

    Bear needs Rat and the other woodland creatures. Whack those weasels masquerading as fluffy bunny rabbits, Bear. “Whack ‘em and whack ‘em and whack ‘em!”

  • “I suspect that our bruin friend at Saint Corbinian’s Bear is being held captive by sinister forces. ”
    Perhaps the same ones that abducted Sr. Lucia so that her evil double could be slipped in to the convent.
    /sarc off (not really sarcasm, I know, but I had to do that or some might really believe this post)

  • But put a bear up against a badger and you can rest assured the bear will back down.

  • “And notice that I don’t say anything stupid like “the Bunny Rabbit” thinks this, or “the Bunny Rabbit” believes that. I always hated that ”

    Someone tell Popewatch.

British World War II Sub Found

Friday, May 27, AD 2016

An appropriate story for a Memorial Day weekend.

 

“It is 100 per cent the P311, as this was the only submarine with those very special characteristics that set it apart,” said Ms Pegararo. 

“He went down Sunday with a go-pro on his helmet, but decided to go down again today with lights to take better quality video. He has made all the announcements to the competent authorities.”

Mr Bondone dove to a depth of 103 meters to explore the submarine, which he reported as intact, with some damage to the bow believed to be from a mine, but otherwise “hermetically sealed.” 

“When it sunk, it went straight down as it is intact on the seabed, and still very well preserved, with a lot of crustaceans and colourful marine life,” Ms Pegararo said. 

“It looks like it probably went down with air sealed inside, leaving the crew to die eventually of oxygen deprivation,” Mr Bondone told La Nuova Sardegna.

HMS P 311  was lost while engaged in Operation Principle, the Chariot attack on Italian cruisers at La Maddalena.

HMS P 311 left Scotland in November 1942 with sister-boats HMS Thunderbold and HMS Trooper after addition of human torpedo deck-mounted watertight containers, direct for Malta.

P 311 departed from Malta on 28 December 1942. She sent her last signal on 31 December 1942 from position 38º10’N, 11º30’E.

After this signal she was not heard from again and she is presumed sunk by Italian mines in the approaches to Maddalena on or around 2 January 1943.

 

 

 

 

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Remember: Movies For a Memorial Day Weekend

Friday, May 27, AD 2016

“When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say,
For Your Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today”

              Inscription on the memorial to the dead of the British 2nd Infantry Division at Kohima.

The upcoming Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start of summer, is a time of fun here in the US.  However, it should also be a time of memory.  Memorial day is derived from the Latin “memoria”, memory, and we are duty bound this weekend to remember those who died in our defense, and who left us with a debt which can never be repaid.  One aid to memory can be films, and here are a few suggestions for films to watch this weekend.

 1.   Sergeant York (1941)-A film biopic of Sergeant Alvin C. York, who, during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive  on October 8,  1918 , took 32 German machine guns, killed 28 German soldiers and captured another 132.  Viewers who came to see the movie in 1941 must have been initially puzzled.  With a title like Sergeant York, movie goers could have been forgiven for thinking that Sergeant York’s experiences in World War I would be the focus, but such was not the case.  Most of the film is focused on York’s life in Tennessee from 1916-1917 before American entry into the war.  Like most masterpieces, the film has a strong religious theme as we witness York’s conversion to Christ.  The film is full of big questions:  How are we to live?  Why are we here?  What role should religion play in our lives?  How does someone gain faith?  What should we do if we perceive our duty to God and to Country to be in conflict?  It poses possible answers to these questions with a skillful mixture of humor and drama.  The entertainment value of Sergeant York conceals the fact that it is a very deep film intellectually as it addresses issues as old as Man.

The film was clearly a message film and made no bones about it.  The paper of the film industry Variety noted at the time:  “In Sergeant York the screen has spoken for national defense. Not in propaganda, but in theater.”

The film was a huge success upon release in 1941, the top grossing film of the year.  Gary Cooper justly earned the Oscar for his stellar performance as Alvin C. York.  It was Cooper’s favorite of his pictures.  “Sergeant York and I had quite a few things in common, even before I played him in screen. We both were raised in the mountains – Tennessee for him, Montana for me – and learned to ride and shoot as a natural part of growing up. Sergeant York won me an Academy Award, but that’s not why it’s my favorite film. I liked the role because of the background of the picture, and because I was portraying a good, sound American character.”

The film portrays a devout Christian who had to reconcile the command to “Love thy Neighbor” with fighting for his country in a war.  This is not an easy question and the film does not give easy answers, although I do find this clip compelling.

2.   Saving Private Ryan (1998)-  “Earn this….Earn it”.  A message for us all to remember this Memorial Day and every day.

3.  The Sands of Iwo Jima (1949)-This film earned John Wayne his first Oscar nomination as best actor.  (Broderick Crawford would win for his stunning performance in All The King’s Men.)   Wayne was initially reluctant to take the role, partly because he had not fought in World War II, and partly because he saw script problems and didn’t like the character of Sergeant Stryker as initially written in the screen play.  (There is evidence that Wayne, 34 at the time of Pearl Harbor, and with 3 kids, did attempt to volunteer in 1943 for the Marine Corps with assignment to John Ford’s OSS Field Photographic Unit, but was turned down.) 

Wayne was convinced to take the role because the film had the enthusiastic backing of the Marine Corps, which viewed it as a fitting tribute to the Marines who fought in the Pacific, and to help combat a move in Congress to abolish the Corps.  Marine Commandant Clifton B. Cates went to see Wayne to request that he take the role and Wayne immediately agreed.  (Thus began a long association of John Wayne with the Marine Corps, including Wayne narrating a tribute to Marine Lieutenant General Chesty Puller.)

Appearing in the film were several Marine veterans of the Pacific, including Colonel David Shoup, who earned a Medal of Honor for his heroism at Tarawa, and who would later serve as a Commandant of the Corps, and Lieutenant Colonel Henry Crow who led a Marine battalion at Tarawa.  The Marine Corp hymn is sung in the film after the death of Wayne’s character, one of ten films in which a Wayne character died, and as the raising of the flag is recreated.

Taking part in the flag raising were Rene Gagnon, Ira Hayes and John Bradley, the three survivors of the six flag raisers who survived the battle.  (The three men who raised the flag and subsequently died in the battle were Franklin Sousely, Harlon Block and Michael Strank.)  (First Lieutenant Harold Schrier, who led the flag raising party that raised the first, smaller, flag on Mount Suribachi, and who was awarded a Navy Cross and a Silver Star for his heroism on Iwo Jima, also appeared in the film.)  The flag on top of Mount Suribachi could be seen across the island, and was greeted with cheers by the Marines and blaring horns by the ships of the Navy.  A mass was said on Mount Suribachi at the time of the flag raising and I have written about that here.  Go here to see the ending of the Sands of Iwo Jima and listen to the Marines’ Hymn.

4.  The Horse Soldiers (1959)-In 1959 John Ford and John Wayne, in the last of their “cavalry collaborations”, made The Horse Soldiers, a film based on Harold Sinclair’s novel of the same name published in 1956, which is a wonderful fictionalized account of Grierson’s Raid.

Perhaps the most daring and successful Union cavaly raid of the war, Colonel Benjamin Grierson, a former music teacher and band leader from Jacksonville, Illinois, who, after being bitten by a horse at a young age, hated horses, led from April 17-May 2, 1863 1700 Illinois and Iowa troopers through 600 miles of Confederate territory from southern Tennessee to the Union held Baton Rouge in Louisiana.  Grierson and his men ripped up railroads, burned Confederate supplies and tied down many times their number of Confederate troops and succeeded in giving Grant a valuable diversion as he began his movement against Vicksburg.  The film is a fine remembrance of the courage of the soldiers North and South who fought in our war without an enemy.

 

5.  American Sniper (2015)- A grand tribute to the late Chris Kyle and to all the other troops who served in Iraq.

“I am a strong Christian. Not a perfect one—not close. But I strongly believe in God, Jesus, and the Bible. When I die, God is going to hold me accountable for everything I’ve done on earth. He may hold me back until last and run everybody else through the line, because it will take so long to go over all my sins. “Mr. Kyle, let’s go into the backroom. . . .” Honestly, I don’t know what will really happen on Judgment Day. But what I lean toward is that you know all of your sins, and God knows them all, and shame comes over you at the reality that He knows. I believe the fact that I’ve accepted Jesus as my savior will be my salvation. But in that backroom or whatever it is when God confronts me with my sins, I do not believe any of the kills I had during the war will be among them. Everyone I shot was evil. I had good cause on every shot. They all deserved to die.”
Chis Kyle

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20 Responses to Remember: Movies For a Memorial Day Weekend

  • Q: who can issue an order to surrender? I ask because years ago I saw an interview with Kurt Vonnegut of Slaughterhouse-5 fame talking about being captured during the Battle of the Bulge.
    He said an order came down from the regimental commander to surrender but he & the group he was with “of course” rejected it because it was an illegal order. Why would it be illegal to follow regimental commands?

    PS — there’s a WW2 movie where John Wayne plays a factory manager rather than a soldier, anyone know the title? I’ve forgotten.

  • A commander of any unit can order a surrender, at least if that unit is cut off. Historically, those orders have probably been the least obeyed categories of orders in the US military.

    “there’s a WW2 movie where John Wayne plays a factory manager rather than a soldier, anyone know the title? I’ve forgotten.”

    Pittsburgh

  • If you guys have been seeing the clickbait accusing Chris Kyle of “exaggerating” his records– we have one offered piece of evidence, and one person who said things publicly. That would be the late Mr. Kyle, and his DD-214.
    The story is based on an anonymous source saying some “internal documents” list fewer awards. No name, no physical evidence offered. (good thing, I think that would be illegal…but I’m pretty sure so is going through someone’s records to slander them.)
    *****
    When you separate, they tell you to do your own work on the DD-214 because the records they have will not be complete. You have to give them paperwork to show things they forgot to list happened. It’s totally believable that there would be incomplete lists of awards somewhere– what’s less believable is that anybody with even passing familiarity with internal workings wouldn’t know that.

  • I would add “We Were Soldiers,” a contemporary but respectful portrayal of a great American hero, Col. Hal Moore, a devout Catholic, who led US forces into the first major battle against the NVA in the Vietnam War. Unlike so many movies about this war, this film portrays the American soldier in Vietnam favorably. Plus a great score, including the best contemporary hymn I’ve heard, “Mansions of the Lord,” which sounds like a 19th century hymn but was actually composed for the movie. Also a haunting rendition of “Sgt McKenzie,” a WWI song. Overall, a fine movie for a Memorial Day weekend.

  • “The story is based on an anonymous source saying some “internal documents” list fewer awards. No name, no physical evidence offered. (good thing, I think that would be illegal…but I’m pretty sure so is going through someone’s records to slander them.)”

    Chris Kyle and Clint Eastwood will always be hated by the left for American Sniper being the smash at the box office that it was.

  • You left out this one again Maister McC! 🙂

  • It is a great picture Kennybhoy. Making up the Memorial List of good films is always hard. I could easily have had a 100 films. However, I encourage additions from the comboxes!

  • Tom Doniphon. That’s all…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XXWpG8xPM10

    Astonishing lighting and camera work…

  • My favorite scene from that film:

    Print the legend.

  • Regarding the Caine Mutiny. In the book, as you point out, the takedown by Greenwald is much longer and complete. However, in the book it is also much clearer that Queeg really should not have been commanding a ship.

  • True Michael. It is ironic that Keefer after he becomes Captain of the Caine begins to act like Queeg and confesses that he now has sympathy for Queeg. I recently re-read the novel and it has stood the test of time. A true masterpiece of a time and a place that is now exiting living memory.

  • Re: The Rough Riders, I recently read a new book on the subject/title by Mark Lee Gardner. I thought it was a good one.
    .
    When I was young and a Boy Scout, we marched each Memorial Day. That was before Vietnam. A number of my scout friends/marchers gave the last full measure of devotion in Vietnam. I think every one of us served.

  • “Re: The Rough Riders, I recently read a new book on the subject/title by Mark Lee Gardner. I thought it was a good one.”

    I am looking forward to picking that up T.Shaw.

  • While I enjoy both the Caine Mutiny movie and book, the one way that the book is clearly superior is in the character of Keefer. In the book he is a well-rounded character with positives and negatives, as opposed to the simple villain he is in the movie.

  • The scene you posted from Horse Soldiers is loosely based on the Cadet Corps of Virginia Military Institute, which famously marched miles to New Market, Virginia in 1864 to participate in the battle of New Market. 10 cadets were killed and the field was called the “field of lost shoes” because the mud was so thick that many boys lost their shoes in it. The scraped-together ragtag Confederate force rebuffed Franz Sigel’s superior numbers and forced him out of the Valley.

    To this day, the Corps of Cadets of VMI marches the 80 miles from VMI to New Market to commemorate the sacrifice of the Corps in 1864.

  • Excuse me please. Wrong thread.

  • “The scene you posted from Horse Soldiers is loosely based on the Cadet Corps of Virginia Military Institute,”

    https://almostchosenpeople.wordpress.com/2014/10/16/field-of-lost-shoes/

  • Another one for the List in the WWII category is A Walk in the Sun; For Korea, Men in War.

    I have a soft spot for Memphis Belle because I like the idea of a big budget morale boosting propaganda film.

PopeWatch: Two Persons One Pope? Two Popes One Papacy?

Friday, May 27, AD 2016

PopeWatch2-199x300-199x300

Edward Pentin at National Catholic Register has a report on some fairly confusing remarks by the personal secretary of the Pope Emeritus, Archbishop Gänswein:

 

But in his speech, Gänswein insisted “it was fitting” for Benedict to resign because he “was aware that the necessary strength for such a very heavy office was lessening. He could do it [resign], because he had long thought through, from a theological point of view, the possibility of a pope emeritus in the future. So he did it.”

Drawing on the Latin words “munus petrinum” — “Petrine ministry” — Gänswein pointed out the word “munus” has many meanings such as “service, duty, guide or gift”. He said that “before and after his resignation” Benedict has viewed his task as “participation in such a ‘Petrine ministry’.

“He left the Papal Throne and yet, with the step he took on 11 February 2013, he has not abandoned this ministry,” Gänswein explained, something “quite impossible after his irrevocable acceptance of the office in April 2005.“

Instead, he said, “he has built a personal office with a collegial and synodal dimension, almost a communal ministry, as if he had wanted to reiterate once again the invitation contained in the motto that the then-Joseph Ratzinger had as Archbishop of Munich and Freising and naturally maintained as Bishop of Rome: “cooperatores veritatis”, which means ‘co-workers of the truth’.”

Archbishop Gänswein pointed out that the motto is not in the singular but in the plural, and taken from the Third Letter of John, in which it is written in verse 8: “We must welcome these people to become co-workers for the truth”.

He therefore stressed that since Francis’ election, there are not “two popes, but de facto an expanded ministry — with an active member and a contemplative member.” He added that this is why Benedict XVI “has not given up his name”, unlike Pope Celestine V who reverted to his name Pietro da Marrone, “nor the white cassock.”

“Therefore he has also not retired to a monastery in isolation but stays within the Vatican — as if he had taken only one step to the side to make room for his successor and a new stage in the history of the papacy.” With that step, he said, he has enriched the papacy with “his prayer and his compassion placed in the Vatican Gardens.”

Archbishop Gänswein repeated that Benedict’s resignation was “quite different” to that of Pope Celestine V.

“So it is not surprising,” he said, “that some have seen it as revolutionary, or otherwise as entirely consistent with the gospel,  while still others see in this way a secularized papacy as never before, and thus more collegial and functional, or even simply more humane and less sacred. And still others are of the opinion that Benedict XVI, with this step, has almost — speaking in theological and historical-critical terms — demythologized the papacy.”

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6 Responses to PopeWatch: Two Persons One Pope? Two Popes One Papacy?

  • I agree Donald. The Archbishop’s verbose analysis is not necessary. Since “Pope” is in essence “Father”, just analyze it from the perspective of what an actual, loving father would have done in regard to his own children. The answer seems rather obvious.

  • Amen. Archbishop Ganswein needs a pet, a hobby or a blue collar job. I haven’t heard that much wind since Superstorm Sandy hit the New Jersey coast. The rest of the world knows that Benedict resigned. Ask the girl at Starbucks. “Where’s Benedict?”
    “He resigned,” she’ll say and continue, ” Do you want a latte sententiae as usual?”
    Ask the cop who stops you for speeding. ” Where’s Benedict?”
    “He quit….the butler and news leaks…the lavender mafia…too much for any elderly person…where’s your registration and license?”

  • I kind of like the idea of a contemplative co-operator in the Petrine Ministry praying for the active operator.

  • Another angle on this might be that the Archbishop might be part of a group interested in the future canonization of Benedict and this speech is meant to imbue the resignation with nothing but positives. Critics of Francis might argue that the contemplation partner is not producing clarity in the active partner…so the experiment is failing. I suspect feedback like that is not allowed after a speech by an Archbishop at that institution.

  • Our Pope Emeritus and our Pope considered together provide a picture of our divided Church. They are very different from each other, as are any two Catholics you might meet today- but somehow both are Catholic and together they represent the Church right now… and they are both still leading the Catholics who willingly follow each / both

USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage

Friday, May 27, AD 2016

 

A film is being released today on the final voyage of the USS Indianapolis.  I will be seeing it on the first weekend in June, to be followed by a review from me.

 

 

The USS Indianapolis, was immortalized in popular culture by the Jaws video clip above.  The cruiser delivered Little Boy, the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, to Tinian on July 26, 1945.  On July 30, 1945 it was sunk by Japanese sub I-58.  900 of the crew made it into the water.  SOS signals, contrary to the Jaws video clip, were sent off.  Three Navy stations received the SOS signal.  At the first station the commander was drunk.  At the second station the commander had left orders not to be disturbed.    The third station wrote off the SOS signal as a Japanese prank.  The Navy denied that the SOS signals had been received for years, and only the release of declassified material revealed the criminal negligence involved.  When the ship failed to dock at Leyte as expected on July 31, 1945, the port operations director Lieutenant Stuart B. Gibson inexplicably failed to report that the Indianapolis had gone missing.

This resulted in the men of the Indianapolis being in the water for 3 and a half days until they were spotted by a routine air patrol.  Heroic efforts were then undertaken to rescue the survivors.  321 men were rescued, four of whom died soon thereafter.  Most of the almost 600 men who escaped the ship and died in the water had been killed by hundreds of sharks who swarmed about the survivors.    Among the dead was Lieutenant Thomas Conway, the ship’s Catholic chaplain.  He spent his time in the water swimming from group to group, praying with the men, encouraging them, and reasoning with men driven to despair.  When Father Conway died on August 2, 1945, he was the last American chaplain killed in World War II.

Captain Charles B. McVay III, the skipper of the Indianapolis, had been wounded in the sinking and was among those who survived to be rescued.  He repeatedly asked why it took so long for the Navy to rescue his men, a question the Navy did not answer.  Instead McVay  was court-martialed, a scapegoat for an episode that had tarnished the image of the Navy.  He was convicted for not zigzagging, which was farcical since he had been told to use his discretion in regard to zigzagging, and with high-speed torpedoes and improved aiming devices aboard subs, zigzagging was not an effective technique for a ship to avoid being torpedoed by the end of World War II.  Admiral Chester Nimitz, the commander of the Pacific Fleet, recognizing the fundamental injustice of the court-martial, restored McVay to duty and he retired as a Rear Admiral in 1949.  Although most of the surviving crewmen of the Indianapolis regarded him as a hero, McVay was eaten away by guilt over the deaths of his crewmen, guilt that was exacerbated by hate mail and hate phone calls he periodically revealed from a few of the families of some of the men who died in the sinking and its aftermath.

After the death of his wife in 1966, McVay took his own life, clutching in his hand a toy sailor given to him by his father.  In 1996 a twelve year old school boy, Hunter Scott, launched a campaign to clear McVay’s name.  The campaign to clear McVay was supported by former Lieutenant Commander Mochitsura Hashimoto who had commanded the I-58 and who noted in a letter that zigzagging would have had no impact on his torpedo attack.

In 2000 Congress passed a resolution calling for the Navy to exonerate McVay.  The resolution stated in part:

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Hiroshima Regrets

Thursday, May 26, AD 2016

 

 

The White House has stressed Obama will not apologize for America’s use of the bombs when he visits the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park — the first sitting president to do so.

An apology would please some in Japan.

Related: The State of Nuclear Weapons 70 Years After Hiroshima

“Of course everyone wants to hear an apology. Our families were killed,” Hiroshi Shimizu, general secretary of the Hiroshima Confederation of A-Bomb Sufferers Organizations, told The Associated Press.

However, it would risk alienating Americans back home — especially giving the trip’s timing just ahead of Memorial Day.

Retired Army Staff Sgt. Lester Tenney, 95, spent more than three years in Japanese prison camps, and still has the blood-stained, bamboo stick Japanese troops used to beat him across the face.

 

Go here to read the rest.  Here is a proposed apology :

 

To the people and government of Japan,

It is a pleasure to visit your beautiful land, a nation the United States has enjoyed good relations with since 1945.  The events of 1945 are upper most in my mind as I stand here in the city of Hiroshima.  It is a grand city today, a tribute to the hard work of the Japanese people and a tribute to the role that Japan has played in the world since 1945.  Hiroshima of course was largely destroyed by the United States on August 6, 1945 due to the blindness of the Imperial government in not surrendering prior to that time.  Then Nagasaki was largely destroyed by the United States on August 9, 1945 when Japan still hadn’t surrendered.  Japan finally did surrender on August 15, 1945 and the great blood letting that goes by the name of World War II finally came to a close.  Thinking about all this I have a few regrets:

 

  1.  I regret the loss of innocent lives in both Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
  2. I regret the necessity of Japan and the US going to war at all, caused by Japan waging a war of imperial expansion and making a dastardly sneak attack on the US on December 7, 1941.
  3. I regret that millions of my countrymen had to put their lives on hold for years in order to repel Japanese aggression and I especially regret those who paid the ultimate price in stopping your nation’s march of conquest.
  4. I regret that Japan in its war of aggression slew some twenty million innocent civilians.
  5. I regret that Japan treated with unprecedented savagery my countrymen luckless enough to be guests of the Emperor during the War, along with all other Allied POWs, many of whom died in captivity due to forced starvation, brutality and casual murder by their Japanese guards.
  6. I regret that your former Emperor was so drunk with power that he approved of Japan attempting to conquer Asia, that he was so blind as to think that Japan could possibly win a war against the United States and that he was so cowardly as to lack the will to call publicly for peace until after both Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
  7. I regret that the Japanese government has never forthrightly admitted the shameful record of Japan during World War II and has instead told lies to its students for generations, seeking to paint Japan as a victim rather than as the aggressor state that the historical record reveals.
  8. I regret that too many of my fellow countrymen are focused only on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and are blind as to the events that made Hiroshima and Nagasaki the sad final notes in a symphony of blood begun by Japan.
  9. I regret that blunt, honest talk such as this is so rarely engaged in between nations and peoples.
  10. I regret that truth is always in short supply in this world.
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55 Responses to Hiroshima Regrets

  • Obama is thinking that he needs to apologize for the imperialist US forcing (trying to stop Japanese aggression) the Japanese to righteously bomb/sneak attack Pearl Harbor.
    .
    Because Nanking. They should have dropped them on the emperor and the war-mongering generals. I don’t know who (probably some politician in the White House) picked (target selection) Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the cities in Japan with material numbers concentrations of Japanese Christians.
    .
    Does anybody care what that moron says? This simply is another lie. Sadly, his imbecilic worshippers won’t see it, as they have failed to see thousands of lies he’s constantly spewed since the 2008 campaign.

  • First, I agree with this post. The Japanese committed a war of aggression throughout the Pacific in the 1940s, and to end it the United States utterly destroyed two cities. Lives on both sides of the conflict were saved by this action. Should we now forgive the Japanese? The fact that we rebuilt their country after WW II demonstrates that we did forgive them. But we should never let the world forget the terrible atrocities which the Emperor committed, murdering and torturing millions throughout the Pacific rim.
    .
    Second, on an admitted tangent, consider carefully the completely successful rebuild of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the two cites on which nuclear bombs were dropped. There was no million year uninhabitable zone. The radiation decayed away, people moved back in, and reconstructed was completed. The cities are more prosperous now than they were before the detonation of the nuclear devices in 1945. Therefore, if all things nuclear are the fearsome and deadly stuff that enviro-wackoes make them out to be, why are there people living in Hiroshima and Nagasaki? In fact, why have bears, wolves, deer and other wild life returned to and prospered at Chernobyl? And why did US NRC Chairman Jaczko over-react, demanding an unnecessary 50 mile evacuation zone around Fukushima?
    .
    Folks, this is all about an agenda – a liberal progressive agenda: apologize for the necessary thing that saved lives, and emasculate any peaceful use of the technology that cauused that destruction because that peaceful use just might help people prosper and become energy-independent, building a firm technological foundation for the betterment of the nation. It’s about control: revise the historical past so that people do not know where they come from, and enslave them in the present so that they cannot do anything without help from nanny Caesar.
    .
    Therefore, I say yes to a strong nuclear weapons deterrent – the enemy (Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, etc) will know that mutual obliteration comes from initiating teminal aggression. And I say yes to nuclear energy – let’s tell the Muslims to go drown in their mineral slime, and let’s stop polluting the air we breathe by burning fossil fuel. We have enough thorium and uranium in Earth’s crust to fuel a technological civilization at the energy consumpition rate of the average American for 9 billion people or more for the next 10 thousand years or more, and with that technology we can colonize the outer planets of the solar system and not put all our eggs into one basket – Earth.

  • Does anyone think that the Japanese wouldn’t have used atomic weapons if they’d invented them first? I know that that’s not proof that a thing is moral, but the US was probably the least war-crimey of all the players. Maybe France wouldn’t have used them, but then again there wouldn’t have been anywhere they could have used one beneficially. Everyone I can think of used everything they had except for poison gas on the battlefield.

  • Hiroshima and Nagasaki were picked because they had not been wiped out by LeMay’s carpet bombing incendiary campaign.

  • I also regret the fact that your country (Japan) has not found the courage to come to terms with and atone for what the Imperial government did during that time. You can set the example for the younger generation by telling them the truth about that dark period of your history by letting that truth by taught in your schools.

    Back in 2005, I took a trip back to Japan to places I was stationed in the mid to,late 80s. One f the places I visited was Peace Park in Nagasaki. They show a video timeline of the building to the dropping of the atomic bombs. At one part, they showed the footage of Pearl Harbor. And the caption underneath read, “The United States declares war on Japan and Germany.” Nothing about the unprovoked attack by the Empire of Japan. My jaw hit the ground so hard it about knocked the floor out from under me.

    The Japanese people have an enormous capacity for honor. Despite the fact that Christianity has hardly been a statistical error in Japan, it’s martyrology is the most glorious in Church history. The Catholic in Japan survived two centuries without any clergy. The Church no where else can make anything close to that claim. And to think that many Catholics don’t hold them in high enough regard to exhort them to come clean with this part of their history is beyond insulting.

  • Love Fr. Miscamble’s defense of bombing Hiroshima. He is one of the only bright spots at Notre Dame nowadays, and they are trying to snuff him out for upholding orthodoxy.

    Is there any place left Obama hasn’t apologized to, or any dictator left he hasn’t made friends with, or any allies he hasn’t insulted or distanced? Any perversion that has not been lifted from margins of society and transformed into a brave choice? Any deal or treaty left unsigned that unleashes enemy influence and power and curbs our own? Any specialty group that hasn’t been whipped into a frenzy and ‘justifiable’ riots that police are not permitted to oppose? Any historically traditional principles or values that built up our country besides religious liberty, capitalism, marriage & family, work ethic, respect for police & for the law that hasn’t been derided, damaged or destroyed? Well get ready. You can complain all you want about Trump but the real outrage and damage is being done right now under our noses by Obama and nobody makes a peep! And there’s more coming from this- worst president ever! And worse than any to come.
    BTW- no mention of our POWs and MIAs in Vietnam? and Memorial Day around the corner… someone tell me I’m wrong on that. Please.

  • Christine says:
    “Is there any place left Obama hasn’t apologized to, …”

    Confederate States of America

  • “he Catholic in Japan survived two centuries without any clergy. The Church no where else can make anything close to that claim.”

    See, I was about to say “Chicago”, but then I realized that’d be mean.

    But I know what you mean. St. Paul Miki is one of my favorite Jesuits. How great that order could be!

  • “Christine says:
    “Is there any place left Obama hasn’t apologized to, …”
    .
    Yes, the United States of America, which he tore down.

  • A contrary view, complete with authority from the Catechism, if that matters to anyone:
    http://www.catholic.com/magazine/articles/dropping-the-atomic-bomb-was-wrong-period

  • Check’s article is a joke. Here’s a piece I wrote taking on Bp Barron’s ridiculous take on the bombings

    http://the-american-catholic.com/2015/08/13/father-barron-and-the-bomb/

  • Check’s article is a joke, a bad one. I love the America bashing that permeates the piece.

    This vice is nothing less than a heresy condemned by Pope Leo XIII in 1899 as “Americanism.” Americanism, no less virulent in our day than it was in Leo’s, combines a collective sense of Christian exceptionalism (America as the “Shining City on a Hill”) with the hubristic conviction that America can draw up her own moral code. The American myth of a Shining City on a Hill has grown more powerful since John Winthrop fired the hearts of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1630 with the idea that they were building something ordained by Scripture. Herman Melville, who penned the novel Moby Dick, in 1850 wrote:

    Americans are the peculiar, chosen people—the Israel of our time; we bear the ark of the liberties of the world. . . . God has predestinated, mankind expects, great things from our race; and great things we feel in our souls. . . . Long enough have we been skeptics with regard to ourselves, and doubted whether, indeed, the political Messiah had come. But he has come in us. (White-Jacket, ch. 36)

    The myth was used to justify our government’s treatment of the aboriginal population. When America began her westward expansion, John Dix, senator from New York, explained Manifest Destiny in religious terms, “It is the behest of Providence that idleness, and ignorance, and barbarism, shall give way to industry, and knowledge, and civilization” (Congressional Globe, 1848).

    Later, Abraham Lincoln would justify a war that claimed 600,000 lives by describing America as “the last best, hope of earth” (Annual Message to Congress, 1862) and Julia Ward Howe’s “Battle Hymn of the Republic” (regrettably sung in Catholic Churches today) invokes apocalyptic imagery casting America herself in the last battle.

    His ignorance as to both Leo XIII and American history is appalling.

    His obvious ignorance of the historical facts surrounding the dropping of the bombs is demonstrated by a supposed estimate of American casualties in an invasion of the Home Islands at 50,000. Prior to dropping the bomb we had incurred 78,000 casualties in taking the island of Okinawa alone. For more on casualty estimates, none of which included 50,000 casualties for the entire invasion, see the link below:

    http://www.upa.pdx.edu/IMS/currentprojects/TAHv3/Content/PDFs/Operation_Downfall.pdf

    If we had invaded it was planned that we would have used atomic bombs to clear the beaches. Fall out casualties alone, which no one was thinking of at the time, might well have been in the tens of thousands. Of course the US was just beginning to become aware that Japan had guessed where the invasion of Kyushu was planned to come ashore and was flooding the area with new units. An invasion of the Home Islands would have been the bloodiest undertaking of the American military in our history. Thank God and Harry Truman it never came about.

  • Speaking of devoted and Holy Jesuits;

    http://www.spiritdaily.com/A527hiroshima.htm

    Praying the Holy Rosary daily?
    If not, you may wish to start.
    A shield of love and protection.

  • It’s likely that Truman suffers torments in the fiery nether regions, but likely not for Hiroshima.
    .
    Mac provides the facts above. Brevity is the soul of wit:
    .
    Dropping the bombs saved millions of lives and ended a war that the US did not start. Any other argument is simple-minded horse hockey.
    .
    Such wrong-headed, catechetical thinking (E.G., After WWI the US and Japan were “given” Pacific island protectorates: Japan militarized its “protectorates,” the Quaker in the US White House refused to prepare for war in the Pacific) greatly contributed to Japanese massacres of millions of innocents from 1937 to 1945.
    .
    Like everything limp-wristed liberals spew, the massive, unnecessary evils attendant to their getting their way don’t matter because their intentions were “pure.”

  • Do these lavender colored clerics think that God should have apologized for nuking Sodom and Gomorrah, and for threatening to do the same to Nineveh through his prophet Jonah if they didn’t straighten up and fly right?
    .
    I slept on a foam cot next to thermonuclear tipped subrocs in the torpedo room on my sub because there wasn’t enough rack space in berthing. If push had come to shove and I was the only one alive able to follow an order to do a launch, then you can be darn sure I would have done my duty, albeit with great fear and trembling. That resolve (and the communists knowing that that resolve existed) on the part of both sailors on submarines and airman in missile silos is what kept the Cold War from getting hot.
    .
    These accursed limp wristed wimps know nothing, absolutely nothing. We don’t want to use these weapons, but rest assurred that had our enemies had them no such reluctance would have existed among the Imperial Japanese or the Nazi Germans, and certainly no such reluctance exists in today’s Iranian government.

  • “That resolve (and the communists knowing that that resolve existed) on the part of both sailors on submarines and airman in missile silos is what kept the Cold War from getting hot.”

    Comment of the week LQC! Take ‘er away Sam!

  • “Hiroshima and Nagasaki were picked because they had not been wiped out by LeMay’s carpet bombing incendiary campaign.”
    PF, that’s the cart before the horse. They and Kokura and Niigata were set aside prior to Lemay’s campaign going into high gear. They were reserved so that the effects of the new weapons on pristine targets could be studied.
    Also, aircrews were told not to overfly the four cities unless ordered to do so because there was a concern that if shot down they might become nuclear causalities.

  • Philip, I didn’t follow all of your links, but my prior research has demonstrated that some of the stories concerning Fatima and the attack on Hiroshima are untrue. Several Jesuits WERE injured in Hiroshima, two severely. They all survived, which could be considered a miracle, but writing that says they were all unharmed is false.
    See http://todaysmartyrs.org/pdf/By%20Incident%20Date/Todays%20Martyrs%201945-08%20August.pdf and then follow the links to the original sources for the evidence.

  • Yeah, those pacifist wussy libruls JPII, Fulton Sheen, and the Catechism must be wrong. Anything is justified if some inexact calculus lets us guess that directly and intentionally killing these women and children will prevent the death of some guessed at number of other women and children.
    http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Item/3293/The_Anniversary_of_Hiroshima_John_Paul_II_and_Fulton_Sheen_on_the_Bomb_and_Conversion.aspx

  • Ronald Knox and Evelyn Waugh also were lefty pacifists, too (from Waugh’s bio of Knox):

    Peace in Europe and the Socialist regime in England brought [Knox] little comfort. The destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki appalled him. The event, which others were greeting with jubilation constituted for Ronald a triple outrage on Faith, Hope, and Charity; on Faith in that the actual mechanics of the device, the discovery, as he phrased it, of ‘an indeterminate element in the heart of things’ seemed at first flush to cast a doubt on the hypothesis of causality and so on the five classical proofs of the existence of God; on Hope by ‘the prospect of an age in which the possibilities of evil are increased by an increase in the possibilities of destruction’; on Charity by ‘the news that men fighting for a good cause have taken, at one particular moment of decision, the easier, not the nobler path. At the moment of victory a sign appeared in heaven; not the comforting Labarum of the Milvian Bridge, but the bright, evil cloud which hung over Hiroshima. In this sign we were to conquer’.

    Evelyn Waugh, Monsignor Ronald Knox, Chapman & Hall, 1959.

  • Thank you TomD for passing along your research regarding this “miraculous” story.
    One does get the viewpoint from the author that only minor injuries were reported from the Jesuits housed close to ground zero.
    Utter destruction surrounded their compound.

    Was this the case?

    Please, if you will, share your research about this over exaggeration concerning the protection of these consecrated individuals.

    By the way, I am not disputing your claims, I’m just curious as to the written testimonials, since I believe a movie is soon to be released or recently was released that portrays a miraculous protection.

    Thanks in advance.

    Your previous link gave some light information as to the identification of SJ’s at Hiroshima.
    I do appreciate your work.

  • TomD.

    A Fr. Schiffer SJ, is being quoted as passing this story along. He is one of the survivors.

    http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/commentandblogs/2015/08/09/the-priests-who-survived-the-atomic-bomb/

  • Philip, Fr. Schiffer is one of the Jesuits I have listed as severely injured. In fact it was the Catholic Herald article that put me on this particular line of research.
    I got most of my info from http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/mp25.asp , which was written by another survivor, Fr. John Siemes.

  • Interesting TomD.

    Thank you so much.
    Have a great memorial weekend.

  • Tom, I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again:
    Most of the people building bombs today are not Christians.
    A number of them have made comments that go way beyond any Western bloodlust on this subject.
    If you don’t want to see more dead children, the answer is not to argue Catholic theology, it is to become a missionary and convert souls. You can argue the theology with them after you convert them.

    Philip (and all), have a good weekend too.

  • “Ronald Knox and Evelyn Waugh”

    They have a great deal in common with current critics of the bomb: they were bone ignorant of the events involved and they were not among the troops who would have to fight their way through the Home Islands if the bombs were not used.

  • “Yeah, those pacifist wussy libruls JPII, Fulton Sheen”

    Both were in favor of nuclear deterrence during the Cold War that involved nuclear weapons targeted against cities that made the atom bombs look like fire crackers. John Paul was close to a pacifist by the end of his life, and Bishop Sheen actually was a critic of the Vietnam War.

  • Actually Don, I think these two comments from the same LQC are more deserving of the comment of the week award:

    “Do these lavender colored clerics think that God should have apologized for nuking Sodom and Gomorrah, and for threatening to do the same to Nineveh through his prophet Jonah if they didn’t straighten up and fly right?”

    “These accursed limp wristed wimps know nothing, absolutely nothing. We don’t want to use these weapons, but rest assurred that had our enemies had them no such reluctance would have existed among the Imperial Japanese or the Nazi Germans, and certainly no such reluctance exists in today’s Iranian government.”

    But apparently, I don’t get to make that decision.

  • I am working on a reply to Miscamble for my blog. It will partake of Anscombe’s reasoning, in greater or lesser extent. I will post it here when I am finished.

  • I’m amazed that opponents of this war crime are accused of ignorance. So rather than continue to argue facts, such as the grossly inflated and ridiculous claim that there would be half a million US casualties in an invasion (not “millions” as I’ve seen repeated), or the obvious facts that Japan was thoroughly beaten and could have been blockaded and their military targets bombed until they surrendered or were rendered ineffectual to defend against invasion, I’ll just remind the arm chair analysts that the men who actually knew the most about the facts and circumstances on the ground, at the time, thought the bombings to be unjustified or immoral or both.

    Yes, those lefty, pacifist, wussy, America-hating libruls, Eisenhower, MacAruthur, and Chief of Staff Admiral Leahy all opposed the bombings. Were these men “ignorant of the events involved and… not among the troops who would have to fight their way through the Home Islands if the bombs were not used”? (a statement that assumes it’s morally OK to execute women and children to save combatant lives).

    Eisenhower presumably knew a thing or two about large scale invasions said of the bomb:

    In 1945 … , Secretary of War Stimson visited my headquarters in Germany, [and] informed me that our government was preparing to drop an atomic bomb on Japan. I was one of those who felt that there were a number of cogent reasons to question the wisdom of such an act…. During his recitation of the relevant facts, I had been conscious of a feeling of depression and so I voiced to him my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and second because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives. It was my belief that Japan was, at that very moment, seeking some way to surrender with a minimum loss of ‘face.’ The Secretary was deeply perturbed by my attitude, almost angrily refuting the reasons I gave for my quick conclusions.

    Admiral Leahy’s judgment was this:

    the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. … My own feeling was that in being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages. I was not taught to make wars in that fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying women and children.

    And that famous hippie pacifist MacArthur was quoted by his biographer and by his consultant Norman Cousins as saying that “no military justification for the dropping of the bomb. The war might have ended weeks earlier, he said, if the United States had agreed, as it later did anyway, to the retention of the institution of the emperor.”
    Other America haters who believed the bombings to be either unnecessary or immoral or both were Joseph Grew, the Secretary of State during the war; John McCloy, the Assistant Secretary of War; Albert Einstein, and a host of other knowledgeable officials and experts at the time.

    So please, insist if you must that killing women and children directly and intentionally is justified to save combatant lives, but don’t try to portray those who disagree (including those of us who take seriously the Church’s teaching on just war) as ignorant of the facts.

  • “I’m amazed that opponents of this war crime are accused of ignorance.”

    First, it wasn’t a war crime and second your comment, as I will demonstrate, continues to demonstrate such ignorance.

    “such as the grossly inflated and ridiculous claim that there would be half a million US casualties in an invasion”

    Considering that the nation had just incurred 78,000 casualties Tom taking Okinawa, probably a half million American casualties was well within the ball park to take the Home Islands through invasion, albeit likely on the low side, with several million Japanese casualties likely. You do know that we planned to use atomic bombings as part of the invasion, don’t you? Admiral Leahy, who you love to quote, predicted that the invasion would cause at least 268,000 American casualties.

    “or the obvious facts that Japan was thoroughly beaten and could have been blockaded and their military targets bombed until they surrendered or were rendered ineffectual to defend against invasion,”

    A blockade would have killed millions of Japanese Tom through famine. MacArthur after the surrender just barely averted famine through massive shipments of food from the US. Our incendiary campaign, which was the only way to destroy the disbursed Japanese industry, had already killed many times the number of civilians that died in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    “Yes, those lefty, pacifist, wussy, America-hating libruls, Eisenhower, MacAruthur, and Chief of Staff Admiral Leahy all opposed the bombings.”

    Eisenhower almost certainly made no statement at the time, contrary to the self-serving fabrication in his memoir,

    https://books.google.com/books?id=A2Zv3VD6ptQC&pg=PA17&lpg=PA17&dq=eisenhower+stimson+meeting+hiroshima&source=bl&ots=pkwdfvdzWc&sig=2CGzA6h_2AEphc7TENHz5ks76E4&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwis6fOy2f_MAhUCOVIKHTXwAZ4Q6AEIMjAD#v=onepage&q=eisenhower%20stimson%20meeting%20hiroshima&f=false

    MacArthur was dismayed that he would not get to command the great invasion and argued even after Hiroshima that an invasion would be necessary (during the Korean War he called for the nuking of Chinese cities in Manchuria), and Admiral Leahy predicted prior to Hiroshima that the bomb would not work, Leahy preferring to starve Japan into surrender.

    In regard to your citations, and before you inflict junk history on this blog again which I will not tolerate, please buy and read Hiroshima in History: The Myths of Revisionism by Robert James Maddox (editor).

    http://www.amazon.com/Hiroshima-History-Robert-James-Maddox/dp/0826219624

    You are merely recycling the same sort of idiocy floating around the net as to Hiroshima and I will not allow such rubbish to be argued on this blog.

  • Your blog, your rules, but facts is facts.

    More war-hating, anti-military wussies who knew the bombings were unnecessary, immoral, or both:
    Chester Nimitz, “The atomic bomb played no decisive part, from a purely military standpoint, in the defeat of Japan. . . .”
    Admiral Bill Halsey, lefty commander of the Third Fleet and hero of Guadalcanal and the Solomons campaign: “The first atomic bomb was an unnecessary experiment. . . . It was a mistake to ever drop it. . . . [the scientists] had this toy and they wanted to try it out, so they dropped it. . . . It killed a lot of Japs, but the Japs had put out a lot of peace feelers through Russia long before.
    General Hap Arnold, General of the Air Force during the war, “The Japanese position was hopeless even before the first atomic bomb fell, because the Japanese had lost control of their own air.” And, “it always appeared to us that, atomic bomb or no atomic bomb, the Japanese were already on the verge of collapse.”
    Curtis LeMay, the youngest four-star general in American history since Ulysses S. Grant and the youngest four-star general in modern history as well as the longest serving in that rank, and no philosophical opponent of nuclear weapons, also believed the war would be over in days, and said the dropping of the bombs “had nothing to do with the end of the war.” He said the war would have been over in two weeks without the use of the atomic bomb or the Russian entry into the war.
    Air Force General Claire Chennault, the founder of the “Flying Tigers” and Army Air Forces commander in China, stated that “Russia’s entry into the Japanese war was the decisive factor in speeding its end and would have been so even if no atomic bombs had been dropped. . .”

    Richard Nixon quoted MacArthur as being against the bombings on moral grounds, “MacArthur once spoke to me very eloquently about it, pacing the floor of his apartment in the Waldorf. He thought it a tragedy that the Bomb was ever exploded. MacArthur believed that the same restrictions ought to apply to atomic weapons as to conventional weapons, that the military objective should always be limited damage to noncombatants. . . . MacArthur, you see, was a soldier. He believed in using force only against military targets, and that is why the nuclear thing turned him off. . . .”

    In his memoirs, Ike, in addition to the statement I’ve provided before, said this:

    During [Secretary of War Stimson’s] recitation of the relevant facts, I had been conscious of a feeling of depression and so I voiced to him my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives….

    But keep trying to convince us that the dropping of the bomb was a good and holy thing. I’ll stick with the experts. If it’s junk history, blame these men, not me.

  • As to Nimitz Tom he was informed of the Manhattan Project in February of 1945. His response was that he hoped they would have more than two bombs to drop on Japanese cities.

    Halsey, who I am reading the latest biography about coincidentally, made his statement on September 9, 1946. He had been firmly in the starve ’em out camp, which included most naval commanders. By 1946 the Navy was battling against huge budget cuts and the belief that the atomic bomb made navies obsole.

    Hap Arnold and LeMay reflected the Army Air Corp view that their bombing campaign would have brought Japan to its knees by the end of August. There is absolutely no evidence to support that view, since the Japanese did not surrender after Hiroshima. LeMay made his comments in 1985 after supporting the use of nukes against Vietnamese cities during the Vietnam War. Lemay’s bombing campaign of course killed many times the number of Japanese civilians who died at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

  • A good look at the historiography on the decision to drop the bomb:

    http://theamericanpresident.us/images/truman_bomb.pdf

  • Shhh. Don’t tell apology-tour Obama or his imbecile worshippers that Truman, who ordered them to drop the bombs, was a democrat.
    .
    Many years ago, I read John Toland’s book, The Rising Sun, a history of WWII Pacific from the Japanese standpoint. As I remember, the same (as had brought about the war) military gangsters were able and ready to fight to the last man, even after the first A-Bomb hit. The death-before- dishonor crowd was still strong enough to keep the war going. If necessary they’d have snuffed the emperor.
    .
    Re: them generals’ comments. You need to know the arrogance of them bast . . ., er, brass hats. Le May was opposed because the A-bomb wasn’t his “show” – that BS about Japan being weeks away from capitulation . . . In VN the arc light B-52 strikes weren’t splashy – his nukes would have gotten him more press. The post-war strategic bombing survey was enlightening. Mac Arthur same same. He was such a moral guy that he forced the hangings of a couple of Jap generals that beat him. Again, he got no “laurels” for A bombs.
    .
    The Navy had suffered hugely from kamikazes off Okinawa – that would have been eyewash compared to the kamikazes off Dai Nippon. And, they couldn’t run b/c the US ground forces (as before Okinawa) would have needed them right there. But, the admirals fired salvoes of 16-inch BS b/c they feared that nukes would make the navy irrelevant. JFK moved away from nuke deterrence in his adolescent embrace of snake-eaters, which romantic bravura/façade gave us Vietnam (500,000+ non/SF troops engaged), limited war, forfeited the initiative, no fire zones, sanctuaries, and etc.
    .
    Thing is when the enemy knows you won’t hit him with everything you got, he knows you ain’t serious. Ho and Giap knew it and so were willing to suffer (a million KIA) to the end-point of American (limited) resolve. I wish I didn’t remember this the day before Memorial Day.

  • I have observed that there is a set of people who practice as a form of piety however false the ideology of anti-nuclear pacifism. That and not what Sacred Scripture actually teaches us is their religion, their defining philosophy. For them the account of Genesis 19 may never have existed and will never be stated:
    .
    24 And the Lord rained upon Sodom and Gomorrha brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven.
    25 And he destroyed these cities, and all the country about, all the inhabitants of the cities, and all things that spring from the earth.
    26 And his wife looking behind her, was turned into a statue of salt.
    27 And Abraham got up early in the morning and in the place where he had stood before with the Lord,
    28 He looked towards Sodom and Gomorrha, and the whole land of that country: and he saw the ashes rise up from the earth as the smoke of a furnace.
    29 Now when God destroyed the cities of that country, remembering Abraham, he delivered Lot out of the destruction of the cities wherein he had dwelt.
    .
    Indeed, through his prophet Jonah, God threaten to do the same to Nineveh. Was God wrong for such mass, indiscriminate destruction?
    .
    Amici, my sponsor in a 12 step program told me long ago that sadly some people have to die that others may live. I don’t like that, never have and never will. Indeed, God Himself in Ezekiel 18:32:
    .
    For I have no pleasure in the death of any one, says the Lord God, so turn and live.”
    .
    Nevertheless, we see that man sacrificing man has been the case throughout Biblical history, and God – being God – does not change His eternal, righteous and holy response. This day and age of mercy on one side of the coin has a justice even stricter than that of the Old Testament prophets on the other. It was for the sake of justice that God permitted Hiroshima and Nagasaki to have gotten nuked as Sodom and Gomorrah had been before them, so that God’s mercy to both American military men and the Japanese people might be manifest. While man’s free will mucks history up, God’s sovereign will shall always be done. Blessed be the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

  • Okay. This is not likely to be a popular (or perhaps, unpopular) post – it’s somewhat of a summary and an attempt to analogize. http://sardonicexcuria.blogspot.com/2016/05/on-bombing-of-hiroshima-and-nagasaki.html

    Enjoy!

  • While some people are pointing out the obliteration of innocent civilians in the bombing of Hiroshima, and of Nagasaki as well, as a major bone of contention in this debate, I don’t think anyone has discussed the civilians and in particular, their assumed innocence. The civilian population of Japan was highly organized as a last defense fight them with forks if we have to army. School were closed down and even children were enlisted. In preparation for Operation Downfall- or their counter Operation Ketsugo- the Patriotic Citizens Fighting Corps totaled 28Mil. They were expected to use whatever they had: bamboo spears, muskets, longbows. I don’t know if I was perhaps exaggerating when I mentioned forks. A high school girl Yukio Kasai was issued an awl and instructed to go for the abdomen. This was the last line of defense in an elaborate military plan to kill as many soldiers as possible before they even landed.
    Happy Memorial Day…Let us remember, that they did not die in vain.

  • Christine points out what may be a flaw in the analysis that large numbers of non-combatants were targeted at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. On February 26, 1945, the National Resistance Program made men 15 to 60 and women 17 to 40 subject to training for a projected final defense of the homeland if it was invaded. 20,000 such conscripts fought at Okinawa.

    If the majority of the population was militarized, were they de facto military targets?

  • Phillip, earlier on this thread I had a discussion with another Philip, and I made reference to a first person account by Fr. John Siemes SJ, a Hiroshima survivor and German missionary. This account was written only a month after the attack; here again is the URL:
    http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/mp25.asp

    According to Fr. Siemes’ account, the German Jesuit survivors, who saw firsthand the hideous effects of the bomb on human beings and who had attempted to aid the other victims, had the following debate in that first month after the attack: We have discussed among ourselves the ethics of the use of the bomb. Some consider it in the same category as poison gas and were against its use on a civil population. Others were of the view that in total war, as carried on in Japan, there was no difference between civilians and soldiers, and that the bomb itself was an effective force tending to end the bloodshed, warning Japan to surrender and thus to avoid total destruction. It seems logical to me that he who supports total war in principle cannot complain of war against civilians. The crux of the matter is whether total war in its present form is justifiable, even when it serves a just purpose. Does it not have material and spiritual evil as its consequences which far exceed whatever good that might result? When will our moralists give us a clear answer to this question?

  • Don, I have to say that I am getting rather tired of the way Tom McKenna et al debate the nuclear attacks on Japan. I am in total agreement with their objectives (no more deaths by nuclear war), but I cannot stand that way they debate. Year after year, thread after thread, they spin and misrepresent historical facts. You show that contemporary U.S. military leaders fully supported the use of nuclear weapons against Japan and Communist targets, and that their anti-nuclear comments are only driven by self-serving interservice rivalries. You repeatedly demolish their use of these military leaders’ anti-nuclear comments, and they repeatedly come back and reuse those quotes.
    I’m really tired of this game. Frankly, I think I could make a better argument against the attacks than they do.

  • TomD,

    I would welcome your thoughts on my own discussion.

  • “I have observed that there is a set of people who practice as a form of piety however false the ideology of anti-nuclear pacifism.”
    LQC, I don’t think that there is a great problem with that from a theological viewpoint, as long as it is not a false save-my-own-skin piety. Many of the Christians in the Mideast who live under the thumbs of Islamists do something rather similar. Christians before the development of just war theory are another example. And that shows the real moral problem with this anti-nuclear position: it really is not moral unless and until they have convinced the large majority of Christians to join them. If the U.S. government in 1945 had adopted their position it would have resulted in millions of Christians (and non-Christians too, of course) being forced to (more or less) knowingly dying for an anti-nuclear Christian pacifism. Without some form of consent that is not really moral either.

  • TomD,

    Thanks for your comment. I have read about similar debates among clerics present at Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the time.
    It is interesting that Father Siemes understood that Japan was involved in total war including, one may conclude, blurring the distinction between combatants and non-combatants.

  • Jonathan, are you the publisher of Sardonic ex Curia? If so I’ve already left one comment there. Let me know if that is where you want more.

  • Nevermind Jonathan, I figured out that you are. See you on your site later today.

  • Yep, Phillip. Fr. Siemes one personal comment “It seems logical to me that he who supports total war in principle cannot complain of war against civilians” is very interesting. I read it as meaning that a Tom McKenna may morally complain, but an Emperor Hirohito may not.

  • There is simply no way that modern warfare can be consistent with Catholic doctrine. Napalm, carpet bombing, cluster bombs, armed drones – all that stuff is anticipated by everyone to inevitably kill civilians, children, and the like. But see, here’s the deal: I like living in the country total war has preserved for me. I like the fact that human slavery was ended here by a war which killed half a million Americans. I enjoy living in a house which is built on land wrested from Native Americans through genocide. I am curious as to how God will judge me for my duplicity, but I am sure He will not need to judge me for sanctimoniously holding forth that all this slaughter is justified, theologically, because it benefits me. I take precious little comfort from my one moral victory amid all this perfidy from which I have profited. But there you have it – I’m fickle.

  • “There is simply no way that modern warfare can be consistent with Catholic doctrine.”

    Actually modern technology tends to be more discriminating when it comes to civilians than wars of the past. Sieges for example were grisly affairs where famine and disease could wipe out civilian populations in truly gruesome fashion. The common custom was that if a city was taken by storm, the civilian population was subject to plunder, rape and murder if they resisted. Captured soldiers were routinely enslaved if they were of a different religion. The chief slaughterer of civilians in military history is probably Genghis Khan in the thirteenth century. If modern modes of warfare are considered to be morally dubious under Catholic doctrine, than Popes were truly asleep at the switch morally in prior ages as they commanded papal armies and called for Crusades. Of course the neo-pacifism that now grips the Church has little in common with traditional Catholic attitudes or praxis towards war, probably a result of popes no longer leading secular states in war and Catholics in the West engaging in a holiday from history, along with most of the West, where all sorts of dubious utopian ideas are thought to be eternal truths rather than the passing transient residue of the unusual times in which we live.

  • Warfare, modern or not, is not consistent with Catholic doctrine. Just war theology allows for self defense from greater evils resulting from war, but it is hard to say that just war theology is consistent with Biblical doctrines such as the Beatitudes. Why Hollis Hanover would think that non-modern warfare would be consistent is beyond understanding.

    Also, Hollis appears to not understand the meaning of the word ‘duplicity’. If he cannot stop himself from wallowing in imagined guilt then he should relocate to someplace where he can avoid it, like Antarctica.

  • Don McC wrote:
    “…Of course the neo-pacifism that now grips the Church has little in common with traditional Catholic attitudes or praxis towards war…”
    Not exactly. This is true since Augustine, but probably not so before. Augustinian just war theology was a massive shift in Christian thinking on this subject, a shift that can be justified or disputed depending on how we perceive the demand to love our neighbor.

    “…probably a result of popes no longer leading secular states in war and Catholics in the West engaging in a holiday from history, along with most of the West, where all sorts of dubious utopian ideas are thought to be eternal truths rather than the passing transient residue of the unusual times in which we live.”
    Exactly right. Could not have been better put.

  • “Not exactly. This is true since Augustine, but probably not so before. Augustinian just war theology was a massive shift in Christian thinking on this subject, a shift that can be justified or disputed depending on how we perceive the demand to love our neighbor.”

    Prior to the time of Constantine the Church suffered periodic persecution from the State and service in the Legions involved pagan sacrifice. Once this changed under Constantine the Roman military within a few decades became a largely Christian organization. Augustine was reflecting the praxis of the Church which had developed in the fourth century following the conversion of Constantine.

  • True, I would just maintain that that pre-Augustine praxis was not unified by any means. It varied from place to place and from Christian to Christian. Legend or not, the story of the Theban Legion is quite instructive – see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theban_Legion

    Remember too, that Roman army enlistments were effective for many years. Converts to Christianity could not abandon their military duty, and so the pacifists among them in the early church had to tolerate their service. How tolerant are pacifists today? Back then they were Christians first, today many are pacifists first and Christians second.

  • “Pacifists first and Christians second”. Whoa, momma. Are the pages of your Bible which constitute St. Matthew chapters 5, 6 and 7 stuck together? Christianity, to the extent it consists of following the words of Jesus of Nazareth, is pure pacifism. The compromises of Augustine, intended to give us a pass on some of the more onerous suggestions of Jesus, were political. I am all for getting a pass, all for being rich, all for forgetting that death, for a Christian, is not a bad thing. I am mildly opposed to being so thick that I think I am living a holy life by doing so. Maybe I am wallowing in guilt (get the hog pen analogy, wink, wink), but I enjoy my life even though I have no illusions about what it is I am wallowing in.

  • No, Mr. Hanover, your previous comments show that you do have illusions, illusions that force you to wallow when you don’t have to. Did Jesus wallow in guilt over what his forefathers did to the Canaanites, Philistines, Amorites, etc. etc. etc.? There is no record of it (therefore it was of no concern to early Christians) and I for one doubt that he did. When YOU harm someone you can then wallow. In fact wallowing in the guilt of others is spiritually dangerous, because it can diminish one’s own perceptions on one’s own sins. I will concede that looking at the sins of the past has educational value, but that’s all.

    Your contention that Christianity is pure pacifism is contradicted by Apostles who had swords and a Savior who whipped moneychangers. I give great credence to Christian pacifism as practiced in the early Church and by holy conscientious objectors today (as many of my posts on this thread show). All I was criticizing are so-called Christian pacifists who are pacifists because their desire to not die exceeds their desire to not kill. That kind of person would not willingly put their own head on the chopping block.

PopeWatch: Ghostwriter

Thursday, May 26, AD 2016

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Sandro Magister at his blog Chiesa gives us a look at the chief Papal ghostwriter:

 

 

 

ROME, May 25, 2016 – They are the key paragraphs of the post-synodal exhortation “Amoris Laetitia.” And they are also the most intentionally ambiguous, as proven by the multiple and contrasting interpretations and practical applications that they immediately received.

They are the paragraphs of chapter eight that in point of fact give the go-ahead for communion for the divorced and remarried.

That this is where Pope Francis would like to arrive is by now evident to all. And besides, he was already doing it when he was archbishop of Buenos Aires.

But now it is being discovered that some key formulations of “Amoris Laetitia” also have an Argentine prehistory, based as they are on a pair of articles from 2005 and 2006 by Víctor Manuel Fernández, already back then and even more today a thinker of reference for Pope Francis and the ghostwriter of his major texts.

Further below some passages of “Amoris Laetitia” are compared with selections from those two articles by Fernández. The resemblance between the two is very strong.

But first it is helpful to get the broad picture.

*

During those years Fernández was professor of theology at the Universidad Católica Argentina in Buenos Aires.

And at that same university in 2004 an international theological conference was held on “Veritatis Splendor,” the encyclical of John Paul II on “certain fundamental truths of Catholic doctrine,” decisively critical of “situational” ethics, the permissive tendency already present among the Jesuits in the 17th century and today more widespread than ever in the Church.

Attention. “Veritatis Splendor” is not a minor encyclical. In March of 2014, in one of his rare and deeply pondered writings as pope emeritus, indicating the encyclicals out of the fourteen published by John Paul II that in his judgment are “most important for the Church,” Joseph Ratzinger cited four of these, with a few lines for each, but then he added a fifth, which was precisely “Veritatis Splendor,” to which he dedicated an entire page, calling it “of unchanged relevance” and concluding that “studying and assimilating this encyclical remains a great and important duty.”

In “Veritatis Splendor” the pope emeritus saw the restoration to Catholic morality of its metaphysical and Christological foundation, the only one capable of overcoming the pragmatic drift of current morality, “in which there no longer exists that which is truly evil and that which is truly good, but only that which, from the point of view of efficacy, is better or worse.”

So then, that 2004 conference in Buenos Aires, dedicated in particular to the theology of the family, moved in the same direction later examined by Ratzinger. And it was precisely in order to react to that conference that Fernández wrote the two articles cited here, practically in defense of situational ethics.

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One Response to PopeWatch: Ghostwriter

  • “..Just after he was elected pope, Bergoglio even bestowed episcopal ordination upon [his protégé] Fernández, with the title of the extinct metropolitan see of Teurnia.”
    ….
    The irony —- being named as a prelate of an extinct see—-obviously not seen by either party,… as the Catholic Church lumbers on its way, here and there, to what happened to it in North Africa and in the Middle East.