In a letter dated January 31, 1917 the German ambassador to the United States, Count Johann von Bernstorff, informed Robert Lansing, the US Secretary of State, that Germany was resuming unrestricted submarine warfare:
Pope Francis notes that the Church is losing clergy:
“We are dealing with a ‘hemorrhage’ that is debilitating to consecrated life and the very life of the Church,” the Pope said, noting that the number of desertions from the consecrated life is “worrisome.”
In his speech Saturday, the Pope cited three chief factors contributing to the loss of clerical and religious vocations: a society allergic to commitments, the worldly aspirations of many young people and the bad example of priests and religious.
We live in “an era of change,” Francis stated, “in which it is hard to take on serious, lifelong commitments” when everything around us seems temporary.
The present social and cultural context makes fidelity difficult, Francis said, since it is a culture of “the fragmentary and the provisional,” leading many to make choices “à la carte” while always “leaving ‘back doors’ open to other possibilities.”
The Pope said that this culture is rooted in “a strong practical relativism,” according to which everything is judged in terms of one’s personal fulfillment.
A second factor, the pontiff proposed, is the complicated world of young people today. While recognizing that there are many generous and committed young people in search of a deep spiritual life, many succumb to a secular logic entailing “a quest for success at any price, easy money and easy pleasures,” he said.
This logic “seduces many young people,” he added.
A third and final factor comes from within consecrated life itself, in which “there is no shortage of counter-witness that make fidelity difficult.”
When priests or religious sisters and brothers allow “routine, weariness, administrative burdens, internal divisions and careerism” to take root, there is little motivation to keep going when consecrated life becomes trying, Francis said.
In order to maintain its “fascination,” consecrated life must keep the “freshness and novelty of the centrality of Jesus,” which nourishes the “attractiveness of spirituality and the strength of the mission.”
I am old enough to recall when quite a few liberals were very unwilling to take in refugees fleeing from a totalitarian state where hundreds of thousands were being placed into “reeducation” camps and tens of thousands were being summarily executed:
The Democrat complaints in 1975 appeared to center on the fact that the refugees were escaping communism, an ideology, analysts say, liberals did not find that objectionable.
Leading the effort to ban the Vietnamese refugees was California’s Gov. Jerry Brown. Other prominent Democrats calling for the ban were Delaware’s Sen. Joe Biden, former presidential “peace candidate” George McGovern, and New York Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman.
Julia Taft, who in 1975 headed up President Gerald Ford’s Inter-agency Task Force on Indochinese refugee resettlement, told author Larry Engelmann in his book, “Tears Before the Rain: An Oral History of the Fall of South Vietnam” that “the new governor of California, Jerry Brown, was very concerned about refugees settling in his state.”
National Public Radio host Debbie Elliott retraced Brown’s refusal to accept any refugees in a January 2007 interview with Taft. According to a transcript, which was aired on its flagship program, “All Things Considered,” Taft said, “our biggest problem came from California due to Brown.” She called his rejection of Vietnamese refugees “a moral blow.”
Taft recalled another reason liberals opposed the refugees: “They said they had too many Hispanics, too many people on welfare, they didn’t want these people.”
“They didn’t want any of these refugees, because they had also unemployment,” she told NPR.
“They had already a large number of foreign-born people there. They had – they said they had too many Hispanics, too many people on welfare, they didn’t want these people.”
Author Larry Clinton Thompson recounted in his book, “Refugee Workers in the Indochina Exodus,” that Brown said, “We can’t be looking 5,000 miles away and at the same time neglecting people who live here.”
The CQ Almanac shows New York’s Elizabeth Holtzman – who was one of the House’s most visible liberal congresswomen — opposed helping the Vietnamese refugees. She said, according to CQ Almanac, “some of her constituents felt that the same assistance and compassion was not being shown to the elderly, unemployed and poor in this country.”
Rep. Donald Riegle, a liberal representative from Michigan who later would serve as its senator, offered an amendment that would have barred funds for the refugees unless similar assistance was given to Americans. The amendment was rejected by the House, 346 to 71, according to the Almanac.
Another House Democrat even tried to slow down the airlift of Vietnamese orphans. The Almanac reported that Rep. Joshua Eilberg, the Democratic chairman of the House Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship and International Law, accused the Ford administration of having acted “with unnecessary haste” in the evacuation of the orphans.
Quick, someone get the smelling salts for Mark Shea. Pope Francis sent out a message of support for the March for Life:
His Holiness Pope Francis sends warm greetings and the assurance of his closeness in prayer to the many thousands of young people from throughout America gathered in the Archdiocese of Washington and the Diocese of Arlington for the annual March for Life. His Holiness is profoundly grateful for this impressive testimony to the sacredness of every human life. As he has made clear, “so great is the value of a human life, and so inalienable the right to life of an innocent child growing in the mother’s womb, that no alleged right… can justify a decision to terminate that life” (Amoris Laetitia, 83). He trusts that this event, in which so many American citizens speak out on behalf of the most defenseless of our brothers and sisters, will contribute to a mobilization of conscience in defense of the right to life and effective measures to ensure its adequate legal protection. To all present the Holy Father cordially imparts his Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of strength and peace in the Lord.
Congresswoman Mia Love’s speech to the March for Life. Keep your eye on this lady. She may well be the first female president of these United States. Here is the text of her speech:
41 YEARS AGO, A STRUGGLING COUPLE ARRIVED IN AMERICA. THEY LEFT THEIR COUNTRY, ENTRUSTED THEIR TWO CHILDREN THAT THEY WOULD NOT SEE FOR ANOTHER FIVE YEARS IN THE CARE OF FAMILY MEMBERS TO COME HERE TO THE LAND OF OPPORTUNITY. IT WAS INCONVENIENT FOR THEM TO FIND OUT THEY WERE PREGNANT WITH THEIR THIRD BECAUSE BOTH HAD TO WORK MULTIPLE JOBS TO MAKE ENDS MEET. SOME WOULD SAY IT WOULD HAVE BEEN EASIER TO HAVE AN ABORTION, BUT THIS COUPLE HAD TO MAKE A DIFFICULT CHOICE, PROTECT THE LIFE OF THEIR CHILD OR ALWAYS WONDER WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN. OF ALL THE SAD WORDS OF THE TONGUE OR THE PEN, THE SADDEST ARE THESE, IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN.
EACH CHILD BORN AND UNBORN HAS THE POTENTIAL TO OPEN UP OUR WORLD AND TAKE US TO PLACES AND SPACES WE HAVE NEVER IMAGINED. [CHEERS] [APPLAUSE] >> EACH LIVING CHILD CARRIES WITH HIM OR HER THE POTENTIAL FOR GREATNESS. A CHILD BORN TODAY MAY BECOME A DOCTOR THAT CURES CANCER OR ALZHEIMER’S. THAT CHILD MAY BE THE AFTER NOT — ASTRONAUT THAT TAKES THE WORLD TO MARS OR LEADS A GLOBAL BUSINESS. THAT CHILD MAY BECOME A FRIEND THAT SAVES A PEER FROM SUICIDE OR STRENGTHENS HER FAMILY AND NEIGHBOR THAT VOLUNTEERS AND ERADICATES HUNGER, OR A TEACHER WHO INSPIRES A STRUGGLING STUDENT. EVERY TIME WE KILL A CHILD THROUGH ABORTION WE KILL OUR POTENTIAL. [CHEERS] [APPLAUSE] >>
One of the foremost British actors of his generation, John Hurt has passed away at age 77. He played everything from Caligula to Winston Smith to the Elephant Man, but he will always perhaps be best known for his first major role, that of his portrayal of the villainous Richard Rich who betrayed Saint Thomas More for an office in Wales. Hurt had the knack of all great character actors of disappearing into his roles. He was always the character, and not John Hurt playing a character. Unlike most British actors and actresses, he did not talk much about his politics, but he did view political correctness with disdain, calling it a threat to freedom.
From the only reliable source of Catholic news on the net, Eye of the Tiber:
Tensions have escalated between conservative and liberal Catholics today as Knights of Columbus members amassed on Malta’s border, which was recently annexed by the Vatican.
Maltese U.N. Ambassador Marcallino Galea told EOTT this morning that the Knights of Columbus had amassed more than 40,000 knights on the border of Malta.
“These numbers may reflect some very bad intentions and this is the last thing we would like to happen,” Galea said. “Our hope is that the Vatican will come to its senses and that they will come to understand that they cannot continue order us around and to tell us where we can or cannot park in our own parishes.”
Pope Francis has pledged to take counter-measures against Malta, which he accused of sending saboteurs into the Vatican to carry out liturgical-terrorist acts in which priests say the Latin Mass in Rome.
Pro-Vatican separatists have been fighting near Malta’s border for months now, with hundreds of Maltese civilian casualties from shelling, mines, and tickling people to death with fluffy ostrich plumes from their stupid hats.
“Casualties are horrific, yes, but what is worse than death is that they are infiltrating our churches and nagging parishioners about becoming members of the Knights of Columbus. They are torturing innocent bystanders by continually reiterating how good their life insurance policy is. Please send help.”
Something for the weekend. Finlandia Hymn. My Bride and I are off to Winter War 44, a war gaming and rpg convention that I have been attending since 1976. Go here to read about it. We usually pick up some new games from the vendors and more at the game auction. Twenty-five years ago we brought our four month old twin baby boys through a blizzard to their first war game convention. Ah, time is a river and the current runs fast.
For the more venturesome, or crazed, among you, here is a link to Open General, a free computer game that has dozens of campaigns and hundreds of scenarios set in various time periods in which you command various military units to achieve the victory conditions of the scenario you are playing. If you choose to download it, follow the installation instructions carefully. Happy gaming!
Jefferson bought the entire Louisiana Purchase for two cents an acre. It was an incredible steal. Smartest decision in American history.
Trump is buying the complete cooperation of prolife Christians even more cheaply. For the cost of a few words from Mike Pence and KellyAnne Conway at the Prolife March in Washington, prolifers will henceforth reliably go to bat for every evil he wants to do. Torture? Fantastic! Scapegoating immigrants? We are on board! Destroying access to health care for the poor! Great!
Christian Trump supporters have completely bought a false soteriology that opposition to abortion taketh away the sins of the world.
And a special hello to all of you in this room who have known and loved me for many, many years. It’s true. The politicians. They’ve had me to their homes. They’ve introduced me to their children. I’ve become their best friends in many instances. They’ve asked for my endorsement and they’ve always wanted my money. And even called me really a dear, dear friend. But then suddenly, decided when I ran for president as a Republican, that I’ve always been a no-good, rotten, disgusting scoundrel. And they totally forgot about me.
Donald J. Trump, Al Smith Dinner, October 20, 2016
Hattip to Powerline. Since the election of Trump, the left around the country has been having a collective breakdown, especially on college campuses. The gentleman in the above video gave the perfect response to some of the loons.
These communities, by their representatives in old Independence Hall, said to the whole world of men: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” This was their majestic interpretation of the economy of the Universe. This was their lofty, and wise, and noble understanding of the justice of the Creator to His creatures. [Applause.] Yes, gentlemen, to all His creatures, to the whole great family of man. In their enlightened belief, nothing stamped with the Divine image and likeness was sent into the world to be trodden on, and degraded, and imbruted by its fellows. They grasped not only the whole race of man then living, but they reached forward and seized upon the farthest posterity. They erected a beacon to guide their children and their children’s children, and the countless myriads who should inhabit the earth in other ages. Wise statesmen as they were, they knew the tendency of prosperity to breed tyrants, and so they established these great self-evident truths, that when in the distant future some man, some faction, some interest, should set up the doctrine that none but rich men, or none but white men, were entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, their posterity might look up again to the Declaration of Independence and take courage to renew the battle which their fathers began — so that truth, and justice, and mercy, and all the humane and Christian virtues might not be extinguished from the land; so that no man would hereafter dare to limit and circumscribe the great principles on which the temple of liberty was being built.
Hard to believe it has been fifty years. I was ten years old and watching the television show Time Tunnel when a news flash interrupted the show to convey the grim news that Apollo 1 astronauts Pilot Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom, Senior Pilot Edward H. White II, and Pilot Roger B. Chaffee had died in a fire in the space capsule during a simulated practice launch. Subsequent investigation indicated that the fire probably started due to faulty electric wiring in the capsule, but the exact cause of the fire ignition has never been pinpointed, which has created a fertile ground for conspiracy theorists usually centering around an alleged plot to kill Grissom. A sad day for the American Space Program fifty years ago.
Pope Francis is attempting to take over the Knights of Malta. Father Z gives us the details:
The Holy See issued a press release about the SMOM (aka Knights of Malta) dust up. HERE
Traduzione in lingua inglese
Yesterday, 24 January 2017, in audience with the Holy Father, His Highness Fra’ Matthew Festing resigned from the office of Grand Master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.
Today, 25 January, the Holy Father accepted his resignation, expressing appreciation and gratitude to Fra’ Festing for his loyalty and devotion to the Successor of Peter, and his willingness to serve humbly the good of the Order and the Church.
The governance of the Order will be undertaken ad interim by the Grand Commander pending the appointment of the Papal Delegate.
[00139-EN.01] [Original text: Italian – working translation]
This leaves me perplexed.
Let’s break it down into manageable bites.
So, it seems that, the Grand Master offered his resignations to Pope Francis. Then, Francis accepted the Grand Master’s resignation. Now, Francis will appoint a delegate to lead the SMOM.
On the other hand, the SMOM is SOVEREIGN. It is the Sovereign Military Order of the Knights of Malta. They are a separate entity from the Holy See that, like Vatican City State, has sovereign nation status.
Moreover, as I have been instructed, article 6 of the constitution of the SMOM says that the Sovereign Council alone accepts or rejects the resignation of the Grand Master.
In fact, the Pope is informed only by the Council, for validity of the acceptance or rejection of the resignation. The Pope does not accept the resignation.
In addition, the SMOM’s Constitution does not foresee a “pontifical delegate”. There is no such critter in the life of the SMOM. There is a pontifical delegate in canon law for religious institutes. But, though there are aspect of the religious life to the SMOM, the SMOM is not a religious institute. SMOM is a sovereign nation.
Is this a play by one state to take over the SMOM?
How would His Holiness react were, say, Italy to decide that it is time to absorb the Vatican City State. “Your Holiness, we are appointing a ‘civil delegate’.” If you erode the sovereignty of one, is it possible that you are eroding your own sovereignty?
I could use some schooling by someone who is well-versed in international law and who understands the SMOM.
Surely in the vast readership here, there is somebody who gets this.
Is it a play for the money they control?
I just read that there is involved in this mess a bank account with many millions. HERE