7

Fortnight for Freedom, Illegal Immigration, and the Bastardization of Religious Liberty

A guest post by commenter Greg Mockeridge:

 

To characterize my view of how the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has responded to the secular left’s all out assault on religious liberty, culminating with the 2012 Obamacare mandate, as less than impressive would be a massive understatement to say the least.

Even the more positive elements of the annual Fortnight for Freedom in the context of their longstanding track record of getting into bed with Caesar is, at best, a dog and pony show, and a bad one at that!

To make matters worse, since at least 2014, the Fortnight for Freedom has listed efforts from a handful of individual states to deal with the problems they face face due to illegal immigration as a threat to religious liberty. Continue Reading

6

PopeWatch: Ordinary Magisterium

 

 

Father Z brings us the news that the Vatican is ginning up attacks on the Four Cardinals who asked for clarification in regard to Amoris Laetitia:

 

A few days ago Vatican Insider, at La Stampa, run by the ultimate Italian weather vane Andrea Tornielli, supplied a piece against the Four Cardinals of the Five Dubia (and against anyone who agrees that more clarity is needed) by one Thomas Walford.  Walford’s piece has the feeling of a collaborative effort in papolatry.  Of course it was published simultaneously in Italian and in English… because that happens all the time.  Right?

Today, Sandro Magister at Settimo Cielo supplied a piece which analyzes the Vatican Insider project.  It is published anonymously.  The reason for anonymity is that the writer is a cleric (I had a text this morning saying who it is), and in the present lib-dominated environment of mercy a cleric who writes like will be crushed like a bug.

A good question (itself a response to Walford) is in the piece’s title: “If it were so easy to resolve the dubia, then why hasn’t the Pope responded?”

In a nutshell, Walford proposed (inter alia) that virtually anything that the Pope says in his ordinary Magisterium, he says with the aid of the Holy Spirit, and that it must be accepted by the faithful.

Anonymous Cleric (my title for him) responds (my rapid translation – surely Magister’s own will soon be available):

B)  The arguments of the formal order refer to some affirmations of the Magisterium about the Petrine primacy and reach the conclusion that “Pope Francis – being the beneficiary of the charisma of the Holy Spirit, which helps him also in the ordinary Magisterium (as St. John Paul II taught) – legitimately made reception of holy Communion possible on the part of the divorced and remarried whose cases have been carefully considered.

I will try to respond to these arguments, beginning with the second series, on account of the fact that they are logically decisive: in fact, if all the acts of the Magisterium were always clear and perfect and enjoyed – for the mere fact that they were pronounced by the Pontiff – infallibility (without considering, for example, the tone of the document, the circumstances in which it was pronounced, the fact that a teaching could be relatively new or repeated, etc. etc.), or if every “flatus vocis” [mere, insignificant word] of the Roman Pontiff ought to be considered dogma and should require, always and in any case, the internal assent of the faithful, the question would be closed from the get-go.

In reality, the Magisterium of the Church certainly constitutes a unique body (containing that which the Church proposes to us for belief), of which, nevertheless, not all affirmations have the same value; in other words, not all the pronouncements – even if authentically proposed – require the same level of assent. The “dubia” of the Cardinals serve also to clarify what weight there can be in an answer in the course of the interview on an airplane and in a private letter to some bishops (indicated by Mr. Walford as if they were definitive interpretations), neither published in the Acta Apostolica Sedis. Certainly both were pronouncements of the Pope, but, as Lumen gentium 25 affirms, the level of adhesion must be deduced “from the character of the documents, from his frequent repetition of the same doctrine, or from his manner of speaking.”

Let’s ask ourselves, by way of an example: “Do the papal interviews on an airplane or do private letters of a Pontiff require – in and of themselves – the same level of assent as the teaching on contraception proposed by documents such as Casti connubi, Humanae vitae, Familiaris consortio, etc. or can one entertain some uncertainties in the face of the aforementioned interviews or letters”? The response to this is given by the Magisterium itself, beginning with the instruction Donum veritatis in 1990 “On the ecclesial vocation of the theologian”, which is also cited by Mr. Walford:

It can happen, however, that a theologian may, according to the case, raise questions regarding the timeliness, the form, or even the contents of magisterial interventions. Here the theologian will need, first of all, to assess accurately the authoritativeness of the interventions which becomes clear from the nature of the documents, the insistence with which a teaching is repeated, and the very way in which it is expressed. […]

In any case there should never be a diminishment of that fundamental openness loyally to accept the teaching of the Magisterium as is fitting for every believer by reason of the obedience of faith. The theologian will strive then to understand this teaching in its contents, arguments, and purposes. This will mean an intense and patient reflection on his part and a readiness, if need be, to revise his own opinions and examine the objections which his colleagues might offer him. If, despite a loyal effort on the theologian’s part, the difficulties persist, the theologian has the duty to make known to the Magisterial authorities the problems raised by the teaching in itself, in the arguments proposed to justify it, or even in the manner in which it is presented. He should do this in an evangelical spirit and with a profound desire to resolve the difficulties. His objections could then contribute to real progress and provide a stimulus to the Magisterium to propose the teaching of the Church in greater depth and with a clearer presentation of the arguments.

Moreover, Pope Francis, at §2 of Amoris laetitia, writes:

“The complexity of the issues that arose revealed the need for continued open discussion of a number of doctrinal, moral, spiritual, and pastoral questions. The thinking of pastors and theologians, if faithful to the Church, honest, realistic and creative, will help us to achieve greater clarity.”

Continue Reading

Fortnight For Freedom: High Worship Word

 

 

Captain James T. Kirk: [to Spock] Keep working on the window if we’re ever gonna regain our freedom.

Cloud William: Freedom?

[he gets up]

Cloud William: Freedom?

Captain James T. Kirk: Spock.

Mr. Spock: Yes, I heard, Captain.

Cloud William: That is a worship word, Yang worship. You will not speak it.

Star Trek:  The Omega Glory

Long time readers of this blog will not be surprised to see that I have managed to work a Star Trek episode into one of the Fortnight For Freedom posts!

One of the “alternate Earth” episodes that became fairly common as the original Star Trek series proceeded, as explained by Hodgkin’s Law of Parallel Planetary Development, and stringent episode budgets,  the Omega Glory episode in the video clip at the beginning of this post featured an Earth where a cataclysmic war had driven the Americans, the Yangs, out of their cities and into primitive warbands.  Chinese Communists, the Kohms, settled in America.  Their technology was a few steps higher than the Yangs.  The Yangs had been waging a war for generations to drive the Kohms from their land, and the episode coincided with the Yangs taking the last of “the Kohm places”.

Over the generations, the Yangs had forgotten almost all of their history and what little knowledge remained was restricted to priests and chieftains.

“Cloud William: Freedom?

James T. Kirk: Spock.

Spock: Yes, I heard, Captain.

Cloud William: It is a worship word, Yang worship. You will not speak it.

James T. Kirk: Well, well, well. It is… our worship word, too. Continue Reading

8

Reaping Whirlwinds

“For they sow the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind.”

Hosea 8: 7

A Dana Loesch ad for the NRA, which is two months old.  Suddenly the left discovers it and goes crazy today.  Mark Shea, that is your cue.

What the leftists really should be concerned about is that conservatives, after decades of being too gentlemanly and ladylike to confront them, are beginning to fight fire with fire.  The left, which pretty much has a death grip on most of the media, the entertainment industry, academia, and most of big business, howl like frightened banshees when conservatives answer them in their own coin.  In some ways I regret this, since it bodes ill for domestic peace.  However, for the last half century the left in this country have been assiduously sowing the wind, giving a wink and a nod when their minions engage in political violence, all while screaming that conservatives are fascists, and now they act shocked when the whirlwind at last begins to rise.  Hypocrites and fools.

 

10

Caesar Signals Thumbs Down on Charlie Gard

 

 

For deluded Catholics who believe that Moses carried down an eleventh commandment stating “Caesar picks up the tab for Healthcare!”, Dave Griffey gives some food for thought at Daffey Thoughts:

 

God bless these parents and this beautiful child.  Already facing a fatal genetic condition, the child has struggled to live during his short life.  The parents had hoped to bring the child to the US to try an experimental procedure in a last hope of saving the baby.

In a turn of events that explains the general hesitation about turning such matters over to the State, the UK courts have said the parents can’t do this.  The hospital will remove the child from life support.  The parents appealed and took the matter to the European court.  But the court refused to overturn the lower court decision.  The child will die.

Not because the child was left to die, or because the child was removed from life support.  But because the parents were forbidden to bring their child to the US for the experimental treatment.  Therefore, after hearing the case brought by the hospital and the parents as prescribed by UK law, the courts and the state have dictated that the child will die.  Perhaps he would have died anyway.  But it doesn’t take much to see why people are bothered by the fact that it was the courts, and not the parents, that had the final say.

I can’t imagine what those parents are feeling right now, and that precious child who knows nothing of this.  God grant peace and strength to all involved in the coming weeks, and bless young Charlie Gard with all your love. Continue Reading

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PopeWatch: Pontifical Academy for Death

 

Sandro Magister gives us the details as to why the Pontifical Academy for Life should be renamed:

At the Pontifical Academy for Life, the first big uproar was over the appointment of the Anglican moral theologian Nigel Biggar, a supporter of abortion until “18 weeks after conception.”

Asked to comment by Vatican Insider, Archbishop Paglia tried to justify the appointment by asserting that Biggar – apart from words he exchanged in 2011 with the staunchly pro-abortion philosopher Peter Singer – “has never written anything on the issue of abortion” and that on the end of life “he has a position absolutely in keeping with the Catholic one.”

But it didn’t take much to discover that neither statement corresponds to the truth, and that Biggar has expressed his liberal positions on abortion in a 2015 article for the “Journal of Medical Ethics,” and on euthanasia in his 2004 book “Aiming To Kill. The Ethics of Suicide and Euthanasia.”

Then it was noted that other new members of the academy are rather far from the Church’s positions:

– Katarina Le Blanc of the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, who uses stem cells taken from human embryos fertilized in vitro;
– Japanese Nobel laureate Shinya Yamanaka, who in spite of his fame for producing pluripotent stem cells artificially has by no means rules out continued research on the use of embryonic stem cells, and explains why in an article in the scientific journal “Cell & Stem Cell.”
– the Israeli Jew Avraham Steinberg, who admits in some cases abortion and the destruction of embryos for scientific use;
– Maurizio Chiodi, a leading Italian moral theologian, who in his book “Ethics of life” makes allowances for artificial procreation, if it is supported by an “intention of fertility.” Continue Reading

Fortnight For Freedom: Top Ten Movies for the Fourth

 

Posterity! You will never know how much it cost the present Generation to preserve your Freedom! I hope you will make good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven, that I ever took half the Pains to preserve it.

John Adams

 

 

 

This is a repeat from a post last year, but I think the logic behind the post still holds true.   I think the Fourth of July is a good time to recall the price paid to establish our liberties.  It is trite to say that freedom is not free, but it is also true.  Winning the American Revolution took eight years and it was a definite David v. Goliath upset.  A people who forget this eternal lesson will not remain free for long.

 

 

A number of feature films and miniseries have been made about the events of the American Revolution.  Here are my top ten choices for Fourth of July viewing:

10.  Ben and Me (1953)- Something for the younger patriots.  Disney put to film the novel of Robert Lawson, Ben and Me, which related how many of Ben Franklin’s bright ideas came from his mouse Amos.  Quite a bit of fun.   Not a classic but certainly an overlooked gem.

9.  The Crossing (2000)-A retelling of Washington’s brilliant crossing of the Delaware on Christmas 1776 and the battle of Trenton.  This film would rank much higher on my list but for Jeff Daniels’ portrayal of Washington as sullen and out of sorts throughout the movie.  Washington had a temper, and he could give vent to it if provoked, although he usually kept it under control, but the peevish Washington portrayed here is simply ahistoric and mars an otherwise good recreation of the turning point of the Revolution.

8.  John Paul Jones (1959)  Robert Stack, just before he rose to fame in the Untouchables, is grand in the role of the archetypal American sea hero.  Bette Davis is absolutely unforgettable as Catherine the Great.  The climactic sea battle with the Serapis is well done, especially for those pre-CGI days.  The only problem with the film is that many of the details are wrong.  This is forgivable to a certain extent since scholarship on Jones was badly skewed by Augustus Buell in a two-volume “scholarly biography” which appeared in 1900.  Buell was a charlatan who made up many incidents about Jones and then invented sources to support his fabrications.  Buell was not completely exposed until Samuel Eliot Morison, Harvard professor of history, and an Admiral in the Navy, wrote his definitive biography of Jones. Here is a list of the fabrications of Buell compiled by Morison.  Morison’s book appeared after the movie, which is to be regretted.

7.  The Patriot (2000) Finally, a film which depicts the unsung contribution of Australians to victory in the American Revolution!  Actually not too bad of a film overall.  Heath Ledger is quite good as Gibson’s oldest son who joins the Continentals at the beginning of the war against his father’s wishes.  Jason Isaacs is snarlingly good as the evil Colonel Tavington, very loosely based on Banastre Tarleton, commander of Tarleton’s Raiders during the Southern Campaign.  The film of course allows Gibson to carry on his over-the-top vendetta against all things English.  No, the British did not lock up American civilians in churches and burn them alive.  However, the ferocity of the partisan fighting in the South is well depicted, and Banastre Tarleton  at the Waxhaw Massacre earned a reputation for slaughtering men attempting to surrender.  The final battle of the film is based on the battle of Cowpens where General Daniel Morgan decisively defeated Tarleton.

6.  Drums Along the Mohawk (1939)-A John Ford classic starring Henry Fonda and Claudette Colbert.  Through the eyes of a young newlywed couple, Fonda and Colbert, the American Revolution on the frontier is depicted in the strategic Mohawk Valley.  Full of the usual Ford touches of heroism, humor and ordinary life. Continue Reading

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PopeWatch: Lavender Mafia

 

 

It should always be recalled that a large part of the impetus behind Pope Francis and his attempt to transform the Catholic Church into an Episcopal Church with worse music is the Lavender Mafia.  One of the poster children for the Lavender Mafia is Father James Martin, SJ.  Liturgy Guy connects the dots:

With each passing week the pace quickens. The revolutionaries continue to grow more emboldened. There is no time to lose. For those who wish to remake the Church in the image of fallen Man, instead of defending the immutable Truth of Our Risen Lord,  the time is now.

With every new tweet to his 125,000 followers on Twitter, or every pro-LGBT article shared to his half a million Facebook followers, Fr. James Martin, S.J. ups the ante. The rogue Jesuit (which might be redundant), described by some as a wolf in sheeps clothing (or Roman collar), has apparently made it his personal mission to change the faith of our fathers.

As I’ve written about before, Fr. Martin’s latest effort is Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity (Harper Collins, 2017). The book is interesting enough for the simple fact that it largely comes from an address Fr. Martin gave to New Ways Ministry in October of last year.

**********************************************

What is different now from the past, however, is Rome itself. Leading the defense of orthodoxy and doctrinal clarity back then was Pope John Paul II and Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. While Fr. Robert Nugent and Sr. Jeannine Gramick could spread their errors and ambiguities, they did so with the condemnation of the Holy See. That is not the case with Pope Francis.

To understand who is really responsible for today’s revolutionary spirit, one that seeks to make the LGBT’s agenda the Church’s own, go back to the back…of Fr. Martin’s book that is.

Who else do we find endorsing Fr. Martin’s 2017 repackaging of the New Ways message of the 1990’s? None other than three of Pope Francis’s most recent episcopal appointments: Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Newark, New Jersey; Cardinal Kevin Farrell, Prefect of the Dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life; and Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego, California. Continue Reading

4

Fortnight For Freedom: Nuns of the Battlefield

 

 

 

The Church is sometimes depicted as somehow an alien presence in this fair land of freedom.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Catholics, beginning with Christopher Columbus, have played a vital role in American history from the beginning.  Such was the case with the nuns who attended wounded and sick soldiers during the national nightmare known as the Civil War.

 

Visitors to Washington DC might be surprised at first to encounter a monument to nuns and sisters entitled Nuns of the Battlefield.  It was erected by the Ladies Auxiliary of the Ancient Order of Hibernians in 1924 to honor the some 600 Catholic nuns and sisters who during the Civil War nursed soldiers on both sides.  It bears this inscription:

THEY COMFORTED THE DYING, NURSED THE WOUNDED, CARRIED HOPE TO THE IMPRISONED, GAVE IN HIS NAME A DRINK OF WATER TO THE THIRSTY

Anti-Catholic propaganda prior to the Civil War often focused on alleged lurid misdeeds involving nuns, the completely fictional account written by Maria Monk being a typical example, thus combining both bigotry and near pornography.  A convent was burned by an anti-Catholic mob in 1834 in Charlestown, Massachusetts, their minds poisoned by just such allegations.

Nuns and sisters prior to the Civil War would not wear their habits outside of their convents for fear of insult or attack.  Then, in the words of Lincoln, the war came.

Nuns on both sides swiftly volunteered to served as nurses, and they proved superb at this task.  Mary Livermore, who served on the United States Sanitary Commission and who would later win fame as an early fighter for the rights of women, wrote this tribute after the War:

“I am neither a Catholic, nor an advocate of the monastic institutions of that church . . . But I can never forget my experience during the War of the Rebellion . . . Never did I meet these Catholic sisters in hospitals, on transports, or hospital steamers, without observing their devotion, faithfulness, and unobtrusiveness. They gave themselves no airs of superiority or holiness, shirked no duty, sought no easy place, bred no mischiefs. Sick and wounded men watched for their entrance into the wards at morning, and looked a regretful farewell when they departed at night.”

Soldiers were impressed both by the quality of the nursing they received from the nuns and their good cheer and kindness.  Generations of bigotry melted away by the ministrations of these women of God.  A Confederate chaplain recalled this incident between a soldier and a sister:

“Sister, is it true that you belong to the Catholic Church?”

“Yes, sir, it’s true. And that’s the source of the greatest happiness I have in this life.”

“Well, I declare. I’d never have suspected it. I’ve heard so many things . . . I thought Catholics were the worst people on earth.”

“I hope you don’t think so now.”

“Well, Sister . . . I’ll tell you. If you say you’re a Catholic, I’ll certainly have a better opinion of Catholics from now on.” Continue Reading

2

Project Veritas: CNN Bovine Droppings

National treasure James O’Keefe of Project Veritas proves that CNN is the home of fake news:

 

In a video released overnight by ‘Project Veritas‘ founder James O’Keefe, CNN producer John Bonifield is caught on film admitting that the network’s constant coverage of the Trump-Russia narrative is “mostly bullshit” and “the president is probably right to say [CNN] is witch-hunting [him].”

He also noted the story is “good for business.”

“I haven’t seen any good enough evidence to show that the President committed a crime,” he said. “I just feel like they don’t really have it but they want to keep digging. And so I think the President is probably right to say, like, look you are witch hunting me. You have no smoking gun, you have no real proof.”

He also said: “It’s a business, people are like the media has an ethical phssssss…All the nice cutesy little ethics that used to get talked about in journalism school you’re just like, that’s adorable. That’s adorable. This is a business.” Continue Reading

3

Quotes Suitable for Framing: Pope Leo XIII

 

18. In like manner, the other pains and hardships of life will have no end or cessation on earth; for the consequences of sin are bitter and hard to bear, and they must accompany man so long as life lasts. To suffer and to endure, therefore, is the lot of humanity; let them strive as they may, no strength and no artifice will ever succeed in banishing from human life the ills and troubles which beset it. If any there are who pretend differently – who hold out to a hard-pressed people the boon of freedom from pain and trouble, an undisturbed repose, and constant enjoyment – they delude the people and impose upon them, and their lying promises will only one day bring forth evils worse than the present. Nothing is more useful than to look upon the world as it really is, and at the same time to seek elsewhere, as We have said, for the solace to its troubles.

Leo XIII, Rerum Novarum

19

PopeWatch: Contradiction

 

 

The former head of the Vatican Bank,  Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, lets Pope Francis have it in an essay in La Verita:

 

I see two implicit messages in the Pope’s failure to answer the dubia. The first implicit message is “I can contradict myself if I want to.” At the start of the Synod on the Family (October 2014), the Pope invited the cardinals to speak openly and frankly, without fear of embarrassing the Pope (the famous parresia). And yet for months the Pope has refused to respond privately or publicly to the dubia expressed by four cardinals who represent a large part of the faithful.

The second implicit message seems to be a declaration of the intent to impose a “New Catholic Morality.” This would be founded on the awkward circumstances of the new ethical demands (or requirements) of new situations created by the secularized world, not on the Commandments, the Catechism and the Magisterium invoked by the “obsolete” Veritatis Splendor.   

In the past, the Church’s concern was to keep the faithful “strong in the Truth” in order to conserve the faith. She therefore discouraged a disposition to interpret doctrine and the magisterium in a subjective and dangerously misleading manner. Indeed, back then the task of pastors was to confirm the certainties of faith by “teaching,” not just by “listening.”

Today, it could be said that you should have subjective and unresolved doubts to demonstrate that you have an “authentic faith.” You must not try to resolve them or seek answers to questions on points of ambiguous interpretation because that would be insolent and arrogant. Doubts are necessary because it seems that we don’t want to affirm a single, absolute and objective truth. A pluralist and dialectical truth has taken its place because this latter truth, a truth based on the conclusions of a “self-taught” individual conscience, has replaced doctrine as the judge of actions (praxis).  

One might say that traditional morality has been overridden by circumstances (and not the ideal), and since we should not longer judge (that is, objectively evaluate circumstances), the Church seems to want to renounce the possession of the truth and its teaching (unless it concerns the environment, poverty and immigration). Thus, a failure to respond to the dubia confirms that doctrine is abstract and that it is of no use to salvation because truth is transitory, subjective and open to differing interpretations. It is better to dialogue, then, than to teach something that is no longer eternal. Continue Reading

8

Fortnight For Freedom: Why Do We Celebrate the Fourth?

 

 

 

Why do we observe Independence Day on the Fourth of July each year?  Is it merely a historical commemoration, or is it because the lightning words of the Declaration of Independence still have meaning and relevance today?  This is not a new issue.  In the debate over slavery which embroiled this nation a century and a half ago, the phrase “all men are created equal” from the Declaration was argued and fought over.  On June 26, 1857, Abraham Lincoln, in response to the Supreme Court decision in Dred Scott v. Sandford, contended in a speech in Springfield, Illinois, that the phrase “all men are created equal” applied to blacks as well as whites:

Chief Justice Taney, in his opinion in the Dred Scott case, admits that the language of the Declaration is broad enough to include the whole human family, but he and Judge Douglas argue that the authors of that instrument did not intend to include negroes, by the fact that they did not at once, actually place them on an equality with the whites. Now this grave argument comes to just nothing at all, by the other fact, that they did not at once, or ever afterwards, actually place all white people on an equality with one or another. And this is the staple argument of both the Chief Justice and the Senator, for doing this obvious violence to the plain unmistakable language of the Declaration. I think the authors of that notable instrument intended to include all men, but they did not intend to declare all men equal in all respects. They did not mean to say all were equal in color, size, intellect, moral developments, or social capacity. They defined with tolerable distinctness, in what respects they did consider all men created equal—equal in “certain inalienable rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” This they said, and this meant. They did not mean to assert the obvious untruth, that all were then actually enjoying that equality, nor yet, that they were about to confer it immediately upon them. In fact they had no power to confer such a boon. They meant simply to declare the right, so that the enforcement of it might follow as fast as circumstances should permit. They meant to set up a standard maxim for free society, which should be familiar to all, and revered by all; constantly looked to, constantly labored for, and even though never perfectly attained, constantly approximated, and thereby constantly spreading and deepening its influence, and augmenting the happiness and value of life to all people of all colors everywhere. The assertion that “all men are created equal” was of no practical use in effecting our separation from Great Britain; and it was placed in the Declaration, nor for that, but for future use. Its authors meant it to be, thank God, it is now proving itself, a stumbling block to those who in after times might seek to turn a free people back into the hateful paths of despotism. They knew the proneness of prosperity to breed tyrants, and they meant when such should re-appear in this fair land and commence their vocation they should find left for them at least one hard nut to crack.

I have now briefly expressed my view of the meaning and objects of that part of the Declaration of Independence which declares that “all men are created equal.”

Now let us hear Judge Douglas’ view of the same subject, as I find it in the printed report of his late speech. Here it is:

“No man can vindicate the character, motives and conduct of the signers of the Declaration of Independence except upon the hypothesis that they referred to the white race alone, and not to the African, when they declared all men to have been created equal—that they were speaking of British subjects on this continent being equal to British subjects born and residing in Great Britain—that they were entitled to the same inalienable rights, and among them were enumerated life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The Declaration was adopted for the purpose of justifying the colonists in the eyes of the civilized world in withdrawing their allegiance from the British crown, and dissolving their connection with the mother country.”

My good friends, read that carefully over some leisure hour, and ponder well upon it—see what a mere wreck—mangled ruin—it makes of our once glorious Declaration. Continue Reading

4

Trump Largely Wins One In the Supreme Court

 

In an unsigned opinion today the Supreme Court lifted stays imposed by lower courts on President Trump’s travel ban on travel for 90 days from Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia and Yemen, except for nationals of those countries who have a connection with the US, for example through relatives, etc.  The ban itself will be argued before the Court in the fall, by which time the 90 days would have expired in any case.  Justices Thomas, Gorsuch and Alito joined in a dissent written by Thomas which argued that the injunctions should have been lifted in toto.  Go here to read the decision.

6

Fortnight For Freedom: SERTUM LAETITIAE

Pius XII was the first Pope to visit the United States, albeit as Papal Secretary of State.  He visited Mount Vernon while in the country on October 22, 1936.  On  November 1, 1939 he issued the encyclical SERTUM LAETITIAE commemorating the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the establishment of the hierarchy.  His comments on America are still of interest:

SERTUM LAETITIAE

ENCYCLICAL OF POPE PIUS XII
ON THE HUNDRED AND FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY
OF THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE HIERARCHY
IN THE UNITED STATES

To Our Beloved Sons: William O’Connell, Cardinal Priest of the Holy Roman Church, Archbishop of Boston, Dennis Dougherty, Cardinal Priest of the Holy Roman Church, Archbishop of Philadelphia, and to all the Venerable Brethren, the Archbishops, Bishops and Ordinaries of the United States of America in Peace and Communion with the Apostolic See.

Venerable Brethren, Health and Apostolic Benediction:

1. In our desire to enrich the crown of your holy joy We cross in spirit the vast spaces of the seas and find Ourselves in your midst as you celebrate, in company with all your faithful people, the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the establishment of the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy in the United States of America. And this We do with great gladness, because an occasion is thus afforded Us, as gratifying as it is solemn, of giving public testimony of Our esteem and Our affection for the youthfully vigorous and illustrious American people.

2. To one who turns the pages of your history and reflects upon the causes of what has been accomplished it is apparent that the triumphal progress of Divine religion has contributed in no small degree to the glory and prosperity which your country now enjoys. It is indeed true that religion has its laws and institutions for eternal happiness but It is also undeniable that it dowers life here below with so many benefits that it could do no more even if the principal reason for its existence were to make men happy during the brief span of their earthly life.

3. It is a pleasure for Us to recall the well remembered story.
When Pope Pius VI gave you your first Bishop in the person of the American John Carroll and set him over the See of Baltimore, small and of slight importance was the Catholic population of your land. At that time, too, the condition of the United States was so perilous that its structure and its very political unity were threatened by grave crisis. Because of the long and exhausting war the public treasury was burdened with debt, industry languished and the citizenry wearied by misfortunes was split into contending parties. This ruinous and critical state of affairs was put aright by the celebrated George Washington, famed for his courage and keen intelligence. He was a close friend of the Bishop of Baltimore. Thus the Father of His Country and the pioneer pastor of the Church in that land so dear to Us, bound together by the ties of friendship and clasping, so to speak, each the other’s hand, form a picture for their descendants, a lesson to all future generations, and a proof that reverence for the Faith of Christ is a holy and established principle of the American people, seeing that it is the foundation of morality and decency, consequently the source of prosperity and progress. Continue Reading

10

What a Salon Writer Thinks Illegal Aliens Are For

 

Well, Ms. Williams, other than their Grandparents and their Aunt Cathy, my wife and I had someone else look after our three kids precisely once as they were growing up.  I have the duty of scrubbing out the toilets at my home, my Air Force Sergeant Dad having made sure I learned to do that job properly as I grew up, and I have always driven myself, although I have never owned a limo.  Go here to read other responses to Ms. Williams.

16

Fortnight For Freedom: Getting in Bed With Caesar

tiberius

If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.

Sam Adams, August 1, 1776

(This is a repeat from last year.  I can’t improve upon it, except for minor changes that I have made.)

The American Catholic is proud to participate in this year’s Fortnight For Freedom.  The Fortnights were started in 2012 by the bishops of this country in response to the unprecedented assault on religious liberty posed by the Obama administration, to remind Catholics of the preciousness of their inheritance of freedom as Americans and Catholics and the necessity of standing up to threats to it.  All well and good, and a very worthy cause indeed.  However, the leadership of the Church appears to be schizophrenic on this subject.  While Caesar seeks to limit the freedom of the Church, too many ecclesiastics respond by wanting to get into bed with Caesar.

The examples of this are legion.

It was the policy of the Church to aid the Obama administration in flouting the immigration laws of this country, acting as a virtual arm of the State in sheltering illegal aliens.  Thank heavens that administration is now one with Nineveh and Tyre.

The Church was all in favor of Obamacare, until the Obama administration targeted the Church with the contraceptive mandate.

The Green Encyclical, Laudato Si, released in 2015, is one long demand for Caesar to engage in an immense power grab, and regulate business and citizens to fight a mythical global warming threat.

The Vatican is a cheerleader of UN activities that spell a mortal danger to economic freedom in the West.

The Church through the Catholic Campaign for Human Development funds hundreds of left wing pressure groups to call for ever bigger government, and, inevitably, further restrictions on freedom.

Welfare States require huge amounts of tax money and huge amounts of government power.  The default position of the Church today when confronting any need traditionally filled by private or Church charity, is to scream for Caesar to come fix things.  This bastardized parody of the social teachings of the Church inevitably comes back to bite the Church as Caesar will always exact a price for his favors and under the Obama administration that price was for the Church to bend the knee to contraception, abortion and gay marriage.  For all too many of our shepherds that was a small price to pay to keep the government largess flowing.  There is a reason why Christ whipped the money changers from the Temple and why He uttered the phrase to render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s.   These days the Church too often seems willing to bow the knee to Caesar, no matter what Caesar demands, so long as the funds from Caesar keep flowing. Continue Reading

PopeWatch: Checkmate

 

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

 

 

Society of St. Pius X chess grandmaster Larcel Mafebvre has turned four of his pieces into bishops without approval from the World Chess Federation, officials have confirmed.

“Mr. Mafebvre has, without approval from the Federation, created bishops out of pawn pieces,” said World Chess Federation head Antonio Salamanca. “After speaking with Mr. Mafebvre regarding abiding by the new chess rules, wherein players are given the freedom to concelebrate the match, and to say the words of ‘checkmate’ in the vernacular, he has sadly decided to ignore our requests.”

Salamanca went on to tell reporters that Mafebvre had automatically incurred excheckommunication because of his disobedience.

“I must do what is in my conscience to preserve the dignity of the game,”  Mafebvre told EOTT in an exclusive interview. “Therefore, I have decided to consecrate four of my pieces into bishops to help my depleted side, for, from some Fischer, the smoke of Satan has entered the chessboard of God.”

At press time, one time follower of Larcel Mafebvre’s, Bavid Dawden, told EOTT that he has decided to become head of the World Chess Federation, though he only has three pawns to play with. Continue Reading

Fortnight For Freedom: Over There

 

 

 

 

Something for the weekend.  George M. Cohan wrote Over There, the song which will always be associated with America in World War I.  He was immortalized by James Cagney in the 1942 film biopic Yankee Doodle Dandy.  Dying on November 5, 1942 of stomach cancer, Cohan saw the film shortly before its release in a private screening.  I do not know if the ending of the film in the clip brought tears to his eyes, but it always does mine.  Cohan wrote the song in under two hours on April 7, 1917, two days after the US declared war on Imperial Germany.  Over There would be introduced to the public during a Red Cross benefit in New York City during the fall of 1917, and swiftly became the American anthem for the war effort.  Son of Union veteran Jeremiah Cohan, who lied about his age to serve as a Union surgeon’s orderly during the Civil War, Cohan attempted to enlist during World War I in the Army but was rejected due to his age.  I have always liked this song.  It has a brash exuberance matched with a determination to accomplish a hard task, traits which have served the US well in dark times.  We could use much more of that spirit today.

14

Prayer Request

 

LarryD at Acts of the Apostasy has the dreadful news that his nineteen year old nephew took his life.  I would regard it as a personal favor for prayers to be offered for LarryD, the young man’s family and the repose of the soul of the young man.  I have long believed that before we reach our end, God throws a rope to us.  Let us hope that the young man grasped it before his soul left his body.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.  Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.  Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.  Amen.

20

The Truth Always Gets Out

 

 

The ridiculous and clearly politically motivated criminal charges brought by the Democrat Attorney General of California against David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt are coming apart at the seams:

 

In a huge victory, a California court today dismissed almost all of the criminal charges abortion activists filed against the pro-life advocates who recorded undercover videos exposing Planned Parenthood selling the body parts from aborted babies.

 

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed 15 felony charges against both David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt. Becerra is a longtime abortion advocate with financial connections to the Planned Parenthood abortion company that the two pro-life Advocates exposed in the videos for selling body parts such as fetal brains and livers.

At the time, pro-life advocates said Becerra’s 15 felony charges were bogus charges meant to belittle the expose’ campaign and to cast aspersions on Daleiden and the organization behind the videos. They said the attempt was about drawing attention away from Planned Parenthood’s sales of aborted baby parts.

The San Francisco Superior Court on Wednesday dismissed 14 of 15 criminal counts but the pair are still charged with one count of conspiracy to invade privacy. However the court dismissed the charges with leave to amend — meaning Becerra could re-file the charges with additional supposed evidence against the pair.

The court ruled that counts 1-14 were legally insufficient. The state has the opportunity to amend if it can plead a more legally sufficient and specific complaint. The California’s Attorney General filed 15 criminal counts against Merritt, with counts 1-14 for each of the alleged interviews and count 15 for an alleged conspiracy. San Francisco County Superior Court Judge Christopher Hite gave the state attorney general’s office until mid-July to file a revised complaint.

In a statement to LifeNews, pro-life attorney Mat Svaer of LibertyCounsel, representing Merritt, said, “This is a huge victory to have 14 criminal counts dismissed.”

“We will now turn our attention to dismissing the final count. Sandra Merritt did nothing wrong. The complaint by the California Attorney General is unprecedented and frankly will threaten every journalist who provides valuable information to the public. This final count will also fall,” said Staver. Continue Reading

5

PopeWatch: Apostasy

 

Edward Pentin at National Catholic Register has a barn burner of interview with Monsignor Nicola Bux, a former consultor to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith:

Monsignor Bux, what are the implications of the ‘doctrinal anarchy’ that people see happening for the Church, the souls of the faithful and priests?

The first implication of doctrinal anarchy for the Church is division, caused by apostasy, which is the abandonment of Catholic thought, as defined by St. Vincent of Lerins: quod semper, quod ubique, quod ab omnibus creditur (what has been believed everywhere, always, and by all). Saint Irenaeus of Lyon, who calls Jesus Christ the “Master of unity,” had pointed out to heretics that everyone professes the same things, but not everyone means the same thing. This is the role of the Magisterium, founded on the truth of Christ: to bring everyone back to Catholic unity.

St. Paul exhorted Christians to be in agreement and to speak with unanimity. What would he say today? When cardinals are silent or accuse their confreres; when bishops who had thought, spoken and written — scripta manent! [written words remain]— in a Catholic way, but then say the opposite for whatever reason; when priests contest the liturgical tradition of the Church, then apostasy is established, the detachment from Catholic thought. Paul VI had foreseen that “this non-Catholic thought within Catholicism will tomorrow become the strongest [force]. But it will never represent the Church’s thinking. A small flock must remain, no matter how small it is.” (Conversation with J. Guitton, 9.IX.1977).

 

What implications, then, does doctrinal anarchy have for the souls of the faithful and ecclesiastics?

The Apostle exhorts us to be faithful to sure, sound and pure doctrine: that founded on Jesus Christ and not on worldly opinions (cf. Titus 1:7-11; 2:1-8). Perseverance in teaching and obedience to doctrine leads souls to eternal salvation. The Church cannot change the faith and at the same time ask believers to remain faithful to it. She is instead intimately obliged to be oriented toward the Word of God and toward Tradition.

Therefore, the Church remembers the Lord’s judgment: “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.” (John 9:39). Do not forget that, when one is applauded by the world, it means one belongs to it. In fact, the world loves its own and hates what does not belong to it (cf. John 15:19). May the Catholic Church always remember that she is made up of only those who have converted to Christ under the guidance of the Holy Spirit; all human beings are ordained to her (cf. Lumen gentium 13), but they are not part of her until they are converted.

 

How can this problem best be resolved?

The point is: what idea does the Pope have of the Petrine ministry, as described in Lumen gentium 18 and codified in canon law? Faced with confusion and apostasy, the Pope should make the distinction — as Benedict XVI did — between what he thinks and says as a private, learned person, and what he must say as Pope of the Catholic Church. To be clear: the Pope can express his ideas as a private learned person on disputable matters which are not defined by the Church, but he cannot make heretical claims, even privately. Otherwise it would be equally heretical.

I believe that the Pope knows that every believer — who knows the regula fidei [the rule of faith] or dogma, which provides everyone with the criterion to know what the faith of the Church is, what everyone has to believe and who one has to listen to — can see if he is speaking and operating in a Catholic way, or has gone against the Church’s sensus fidei [sense of the faith]. Even one believer can hold him to account. So whoever thinks that presenting doubts [dubia] to the Pope is not a sign of obedience, hasn’t understood, 50 years after Vatican II, the relationship between him [the Pope] and the whole Church. Obedience to the Pope depends solely on the fact that he is bound by Catholic doctrine, to the faith that he must continually profess before the Church.

We are in a full crisis of faith! Therefore, in order to stop the divisions in progress, the Pope — like Paul VI in 1967, faced with the erroneous theories that were circulating shortly after the conclusion of the Council — should make a Declaration or Profession of Faith, affirming what is Catholic, and correcting those ambiguous and erroneous words and acts — his own and those of bishops — that are interpreted in a non-Catholic manner.

Otherwise, it would be grotesque that, while seeking unity with non-Catholic Christians or even understanding with non-Christians, apostasy and division is being fostered within the Catholic Church. For many Catholics, it is incredible that the Pope is asking bishops to dialogue with those who think differently, but does not want first to face the cardinals who are his chief advisors. If the Pope does not safeguard doctrine, he cannot impose discipline. As John Paul II said, the Pope must always be converted, to be able to strengthen his brothers, according to the words of Christ to Peter: “Et tu autem conversus, confirma fratres tuos [when you are converted, strengthen your brothers].”  Continue Reading

3

Fortnight For Freedom: Catholics in the American Revolution

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nor, perchance did the fact which We now recall take place without some design of divine Providence. Precisely at the epoch when the American colonies, having, with Catholic aid, achieved liberty and independence, coalesced into a constitutional Republic the ecclesiastical hierarchy was happily established amongst you; and at the very time when the popular suffrage placed the great Washington at the helm of the Republic, the first bishop was set by apostolic authority over the American Church. The well-known friendship and familiar intercourse which subsisted between these two men seems to be an evidence that the United States ought to be conjoined in concord and amity with the Catholic Church. And not without cause; for without morality the State cannot endure-a truth which that illustrious citizen of yours, whom We have just mentioned, with a keenness of insight worthy of his genius and statesmanship perceived and proclaimed. But the best and strongest support of morality is religion.

Pope Leo XIII

American Catholics, a very small percentage of the population of the 13 colonies, 1.6 percent, were overwhelmingly patriots and played a role in the American Revolution out of all proportion to the small fragment of the American people they represented.  Among the Catholics who assumed leadership roles in the fight for our liberty were:

General Stephen Moylan  a noted cavalry commander and the first Muster Master-General of the Continental Army.

Captains Joshua Barney and John Barry,  two of the most successful naval commanders in the American Revolution.

Colonel John Fitzgerald was a trusted aide and private secretary to General George Washington.

Father Pierre Gibault, Vicar General of Illinois, whose aid was instrumental in the conquest of the Northwest for America by George Rogers Clark.

Thomas Fitzsimons served as a Pennsylvania militia company commander during the Trenton campaign.  Later in the War he helped found the Pennsylvania state navy.  After the War he was one of the two Catholic signers of the U.S. Constitution in 1787

Colonel Thomas Moore led a Philadelphia regiment in the War.

Major John Doyle led a group of elite riflemen during the War. Continue Reading

13

Witchhunt

 

Bad enough being sent to prison for a crime you committed.  Imagine being sent to prison for twenty-one years for a crime that you did not commit:

The only physical evidence against the Kellers was the testimony of Dr Michael Mouw, who examined the girl in the emergency room of a local hospital after the therapy session and said he found tears in her hymen that potentially indicated that she was molested.

Mouw signed an affidavit last January in which he affirms that he now realises his inexperience led him to a conclusion that “is not scientifically or medically valid, and that I was mistaken.”

In an appeal filed on behalf of Fran Keller earlier this year, her lawyer, Keith Hampton, also argued that the state presented misleading evidence about the cemetery, relied on a false witness confession and the testimony of a “quack” satanic abuse “expert”, and that suggestive interview techniques had encouraged the children to make “fantastical false statements”.

According to police reports and trial records, the children said that Dan Keller killed his dog and made children cut it up and eat it, “baptised” kids with blood and disembowelled pets, forcing children to drink the blood.

The Kellers were also said to have decapitated and chopped up a baby, put the remains in a swimming pool and made the children jump in. In one account, the Kellers were said to have stolen a baby gorilla from a park and Frances cut off one of its fingers.

The pair, who apparently liked to wear robes, were said to have dug graves in a cemetery to hide dead animals and a passer-by who was shot and carved up with a chain saw.

The children were supposedly taken to military bases and on secret aeroplane trips, including to Mexico, where they were abused and returned to the centre in time for their parents to pick them up as normal. They said they were coerced into videotaped sex acts and drugged so they would forget what they had seen.

In court, the jury heard about the extensive attempts by Austin police to substantiate the stories – and Hampton believes that lent them credibility. Police conducted inquiries at nearby airfields, took the children to a cemetery and examined graves from a helicopter using an infrared camera that they said could detect “hot-spots” on decomposing corpses.

In a letter of support for the Kellers dated March 17 this year, James Wood, a psychology professor at the University of Texas at El Paso, wrote: “There is now general agreement among reputable scholars that the Daycare Abuse Panic was a twentieth-century manifestation of ‘witchcraft fever’ of the same kind that swept Salem, Massachusetts in 1692 and Western Europe in the centuries before that.” Continue Reading

5

FBI Pretends That Political Assassin Wasn’t

 

Mollie Hemingway at The Federalist tells us that the FBI has decided that would be political assassin James T. Hodgkinson was merely a victim of poor anger management:

 

 

The FBI admits that Hodgkinson:

vociferously raged against Republicans in online forums,
had a piece of paper bearing the names of six members of Congress,
was reported for doing target practice outside his home in recent months before moving to Alexandria,
had mapped out a trip to the DC area,
took multiple photos of the baseball field he would later shoot up, three days after the New York Times mentioned that Republicans practiced baseball at an Alexandria baseball field with little security,
lived out of his van at the YMCA directly next door to the baseball field he shot up,
legally purchased a rifle in March 2003 and 9 mm handgun “in November 2016,”
modified the rifle at some point to accept a detachable magazine and replaced the original stock with a folding stock,
rented a storage facility to hide hundreds of rounds of ammunition and additional rifle components,
asked “Is this the Republican or Democrat baseball team?” before firing on the Republicans,
ran a Google search for information on the “2017 Republican Convention” hours before the shooting,
and took photos at high-profile Washington locations, including the east front plaza of the U.S. Capitol and the Dirksen Senate Office.

We know from other reporting that the list was of six Republican Freedom Caucus members, including Rep. Mo Brooks, who was present at the practice.

So what does the FBI decide this information means? Well, the takeaway of the briefing was characterized well by the Associated Press headline about it: “FBI: Gunman who shot congressman had no target in mind.” The Associated Press reported the FBI:

believes the gunman “had no concrete plan to inflict violence” against Republicans,
“had not yet clarified who, if anyone, he planned to target, or why,”
believes he may have just “happened upon” the baseball game the morning of June 14, and that the attack appeared “spontaneous,”
are unclear on the “context” of Hodgkinson’s note with six names of members of Congress,
does not believe that photographs of the baseball field or other sites “represented surveillance of intended targets,” and
“painted a picture of a down-on-his-luck man with few future prospects.”

In fact, USA Today went with “FBI offers portrait of troubled Alexandria shooter with ‘anger management problem’” for their headline, since that’s what the FBI emphasized in the briefing.

The FBI also said there was no “nexus to terrorism” in the attempted mass assassination of Republican leadership by a Democratic activist. The claim that tourists take pictures of a a completely unremarkable baseball field in a tiny neighborhood also seems odd, particularly when the pictures were taken a few days after The New York Times reported that Republican members of Congress practice baseball there with little security. Someone going by the moniker “Yoenis Cespedes” wrote, “As a guy who could arguably be called a reconnaissance manager when he was in the Army, this is reconnaissance.”

Oh, and here’s a little tidbit that didn’t interest many people in the media beyond a brief mention in the last paragraphs:

Hodgkinson also visited the office of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, whose campaign he had worked on as a volunteer, and was in email contact with the two Democratic senators from his home state.

As one Twitter wag put it, “You’d think “Congressional Shooter Visited Actual Capitol Hill Offices” would be kinda a big deal and you’d be wrong.”

I wrote last week that the media’s big problem right now is that everyone in the country knows how they’d be covering the shooting if the parties were reversed. Can you imagine if a shooter had visited the office of Sen. Ted Cruz and corresponded with two Republican senators? Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) gave emails to investigators last week but it was treated mostly as local news.

With trust in institutions at historic lows, and the bureaucracy beset by fears of politicization, the FBI made a poor decision to gaslight Americans by claiming that the assassination attempt wasn’t premeditated terrorism but a spontaneous “anger management” problem. Continue Reading

35

Dissolve Illinois!

 

John Kass, the only reason to read the Chicago Tribune, has a column calling for the dissolution of the failed State of Illinois.  Go here to read it.  I see my chunk of the State would go to Indiana.  I could live with being a Hoosier if it meant being out from under the thumb of Cook County.

 

 

My preferred solution of course would be Illinois separating into two new states:  The Land of Lincoln and Cook County.

 

Alternative names would be God’s Country and Hell.

 

11

PopeWatch: Audience

 

The four dubia Cardinals drafted a request for an audience on April 25, 2017:

 

Most Holy Father,

It is with a certain trepidation that I address myself to Your Holiness, during these days of the Easter season. I do so on behalf of the Most Eminent Cardinals: Walter Brandmüller, Raymond L. Burke, Joachim Meisner, and myself.

We wish to begin by renewing our absolute dedication and our unconditional love for the Chair of Peter and for Your august person, in whom we recognize the Successor of Peter and the Vicar of Jesus: the “sweet Christ on earth,” as Saint Catherine of Siena was fond of saying. We do not share in the slightest the position of those who consider the See of Peter vacant, nor of those who want to attribute to others the indivisible responsibility of the Petrine munus. We are moved solely by the awareness of the grave responsibility arising from the munus of cardinals: to be advisers of the Successor of Peter in his sovereign ministry. And from the Sacrament of the Episcopate, which “has placed us as bishops to pasture the Church, which He has acquired with his blood” (Acts 20:28).

On September 19, 2016 we delivered to Your Holiness and to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith five dubia, asking You to resolve uncertainties and to bring clarity on some points of the post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laetitia.

Not having received any response from Your Holiness, we have reached the decision to ask You, respectfully and humbly, for an Audience, together if Your Holiness would like. We attach, as is the practice, an Audience Sheet in which we present the two points we wish to discuss with you. Continue Reading

7

Fortnight for Freedom: Saint Thomas More and Saint John Fisher

 

A spot of blood and grease on the pages of English history.

Charles Dickens, referring to King Henry VIII

For English speaking Catholics, June 22 is a bright day on the calendar of the Saints.  It is appropriate that in the northern hemisphere it is also one of the longest days, when it is not the longest day, of the year, since no amount of sunshine is too much to celebrate the merits of Saint Thomas More and Saint John Fisher.  On this day we remember the two saints who stood against King Henry VIII, for the great principle that the State must never be allowed to control the Church.  Much that we Americans celebrate as freedom was born out of Church-State struggles down through the ages.  Sometimes those who stood against the State fell in the struggle, but the concept that the State is not absolute, that there are limits to its authority, is one of the great gifts of the Catholic Middle Ages to all of mankind.  It is only in modern times, since 1500, that the heresy that the State may exercise absolute authority has been a constant source of misery and strife in the history of the West.

When he ascended to the throne of England Henry VIII was popularly known as the Golden Hope of England.  His father Henry VII had never been loved by the people of England:  a miser and a distinctly unheroic figure no matter what Shakespeare would write in Richard III.  He had brought the end of the War of the Roses and peace to England, but that was about as much credit as his subjects would give the grasping, unlovable Henry Tudor.  His son by contrast looked like an Adonis when young, strong and athletic.  He had a sharp mind and had been well-educated, intended, ironically, for a career in the Church before the death of his elder brother Arthur.  He was reputed, correctly, to be pious.  He had considerable charisma in his youth and knew how to make himself loved with a well timed laugh or smile, and loved he was, by the nobles, commons, his wife Katherine, and the Church.  Few reigns started more auspiciously than that of Henry, eighth of that name.

By the end of his reign he was widely despised by most of his subjects.  Called a crowned monster behind his back, his reign had brought religious turmoil to England and domestic strife.  The best known symbols of his reign were the headman’s axe, the stake and the boiling pot in which he had some of the luckless individuals who roused his fury boiled to death.

It of course is small wonder for a Catholic to have little love for Henry VIII and his reign, but the distaste for Henry extends well beyond members of the Church.  Winston Churchill, the great English statesman and historian, in his magisterial History of the English Speaking Peoples, has this to say about the executions of Saint Thomas More and Saint John Fisher:

“The resistance of More and Fisher to the royal supremacy in Church government was a heroic stand.  They realised the defects of the existing Catholic system, but they hated and feared the aggressive nationalism which was destroying the unity of Christendom.  They saw that the break with Rome carried with it the risk of a despotism freed from every fetter.  More stood forth as the defender of all that was finest in the medieval outlook.  He represents to history its universality, its belief in spiritual values, and its instinctive sense of otherworldliness.  Henry VIII with cruel axe decapitated not only a wise and gifted counselor, but a system which, though it had failed to live up to its ideals in practice, had for long furnished mankind with its brightest dreams.”

 

Churchill himself was not noted for being a churchgoer.  When asked if he was a pillar of the Church of England, he quipped that perhaps he could be considered to be a flying buttress of the Church, supporting it from outside.  Perhaps this helped give him a certain objectivity regarding Henry VIII.  Here is part of his summing up of Henry’s reign:

“Henry’s rule saw many advances in the growth and the character of the English state, but it is a hideous blot upon his record that the reign should be widely remembered for its executions.  Two Queens, two of the King’s chief Ministers, a saintly bishop, numerous abbots, monks and many ordinary folk who dared to resist the royal will were put to death.  Almost every member of the nobility in whom royal blood ran perished on the scaffold at Henry’s command.  Roman Catholic and Calvinist alike were burnt for heresy and religious treason.  These persecutions, inflicted in solemn manner by officers of the law, perhaps in the presence of the Council or even the King himself, form a brutal sequel to the bright promise of the Renaissance.  The sufferings of devout men and women among the faggots, the use of torture, and the savage penalties imposed for even paltry crimes, stand in repellent contrast to the enlightened principles of humanism.” 

Continue Reading

18

Fifty Million Plus Dollars Later

 

 

Republicans are now 4 for 4 in special House elections since Trump took office:

 

Republican Karen Handel has won Georgia’s record-breaking special congressional election, dashing hopes by Democrats to pull off an upset in the run-up to the 2018 midterm elections.

Seen as an early proxy for whether Democrats can flip certain Republican-leaning districts in the President Donald Trump era, Tuesday’s election drew national attention and record cash from around the country. Democrats have aimed to leverage Trump’s dismal approval rating and opposition to the Republican health-care bill into winning Republican seats and potentially taking control of the House in 2018.

The race for Georgia’s 6th District for the seat vacated by Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price pitted Handel, 55, the former Georgia secretary of state, against Democrat Jon Ossoff, a 30-year old former congressional aide. Fueled by a rush of donors from around the U.S., Ossoff pushed for an upset in the suburban Atlanta district that Price repeatedly won easily.

 

He came up short, as Handel won by about 5 percentage points, according to incomplete returns.

The two campaigns and outside groups supporting and opposing the candidates shelled out at least $36 million as of May 31, including more than $22 million from Ossoff’s campaign. The election easily set a record for spending in a House race, according to NBC News.

 

Continue Reading

6

PopeWatch: Unholy Ghost

 

 

An article at Crisis by Julia Meloni focuses on one of the ghostwriters for the Pope:

 

 

In Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis announces: “No one can be condemned forever, because that is not the logic of the Gospel!” (297). Josef Seifert warns that it’s “nearly unavoidable” to deduce a denial of Hell—a fear echoed by others. Anna Silvas notes Amoris Laetitia’s “missing” lexicon of eternity: “There are no immortal souls in need of eternal salvation to be found in the document!”

But papal ghostwriter Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernandez is ebullient with joy because, as he declares in a 1995 article, “I rely firmly upon the truth that all are saved.” The author of Heal Me With Your Mouth: The Art of Kissing, Fernandez elsewhere rhapsodizes that extra-marital sex can express “ecstatic” charity and “Trinitarian richness.”

And Fernandez the papal ghostwriter—as Michael Pakaluk and Sandro Magister have shown—repeatedly plagiarizes his previous work in Amoris Laetitia. For instance, Fernandez’s 2006 declaration that “Trinitarian” love can be “realized within an objective situation of sin” is echoed in Amoris Laetitia 305.

Last September, the four cardinals submitted their dubia out of grave concern for “the true good of souls.” They’ve now published a letter from April requesting an audience with the pontiff—who has not responded.

As the months of papal non-engagement grow, Pope Francis’s maxim that “time is greater than space” feels increasingly ominous. Fernandez—whose cited and uncited work also appears in Pope Francis’s Evangelii Gaudium—has long claimed that we’re in an age of revolutionary “time.”

In his book The Francis Project, Fernandez laments that conservative “fanatics” can’t accept that the “Spirit”—which can “elude the supervision of the institution of the Church”—is leading us “toward a different phase.” It’s a phase where, apparently, God is “Mother” and “you should follow your conscience” and “a pope who tells us that God wants us to be happy on this earth will never ask us to be obsessed with sacrifice.” It’s a phase where, to quote Pope Francis, the Church isn’t “obsessed” with abortion or sexual ethics either. Continue Reading

Fortnight For Freedom: Bulwark of Freedom

 

 

 

On this date 239 years ago New Hampshire adopted the Constitution and the Constitution went into effect, as the “Live Free or Die State” was the ninth state to vote to ratify it.  I love the Constitution.  The Founding Fathers crafted it well.  Where this country has gone off the rails is when one arm of the tripartite government begins to operate outside of its scope.  For example, when courts act like legislatures, when administrative agencies act like legislatures, when Congress attempts to micromanage foreign policy, etc.  I have heard the Constitution praised as the bulwark of our liberties.  It is a pretty sentiment, but mistaken.  Lincoln hit the target in a speech on what is the bulwark of our liberties, after God:

What constitutes the bulwark of our own liberty and independence? It is not our frowning battlements, our bristling sea coasts, the guns of our war steamers, or the strength of our gallant and disciplined army. These are not our reliance against a resumption of tyranny in our fair land. All of them may be turned against our liberties, without making us stronger or weaker for the struggle. Our reliance is in the love of liberty which God has planted in our bosoms. Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of all men, in all lands, every where. Destroy this spirit, and you have planted the seeds of despotism around your own doors.
September, 11, 1858

 

27

Fortnight For Freedom 2017

 

As in years past The American Catholic will participate in the Fortnight for Freedom proclaimed by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.  Each day up to the Fourth of July we will have a special blog post on the subject of liberty and freedom.

I debated in my mind whether to participate this year.  With a friend of liberty in the White House, it seemed less pressing to participate than under the odious Obama regime that was a clear and pressing danger to American liberty.  However, as our history shows, eternal vigilance is the price of liberty and the issues raised in regard to the defense of our freedoms goes to the very heart of what it means to be an American.  This country was born in furious debate and thus it must continue.  And so we will take part again this year.

 

3

PopeWatch: The Vatican-German Axis?

 

It is striking the influence that Germany has had upon this papacy, far more than under the prior German Pope:

 

The pope and the German Chancellor met behind closed doors for 40 minutes.
According to the Vatican, they spoke about “the upcoming G20 meeting in Hamburg, the responsibility of the international community in combating poverty and hunger, the global threat of terrorism, and climate change.”
She said the idea is to boost multilateral collaboration, and tear down walls instead of building them.

Continue Reading

4

June 5, 1917: Alvin C. York Registers for the Draft

As millions of other American men registered for the draft, so did twenty-nine year old Tennessee mountaineer Alvin C. York.  On June 5, 1917 he filled out his registration form.  He claimed exemption with the simple words:  “Yes.  Don’t Want to Fight.”

 

York arrived in this world on December 3, 1887, the third of the eleven children of William and Mary York.  He was born into rural poverty.  Although both of his parents were quite hard-working, the Yorks lived in a two-room log cabin at a subsistence level.  None of the York children received more than nine-months education, as their labor was desperately needed to farm the few hard scrabble acres that the Yorks owned, and to hunt for food to feed the large family.

When his father died in 1911, Alvin took on the responsibility of helping his mother raise his younger siblings, and supporting the family.  Alvin early developed the reputation as both a hard-worker during the day and a drunken hell-raiser at night, something that constantly distressed his mother, a Christian and a pacifist.

Continue Reading

6

Otto Warmbier Murdered

 

Well, Communism claims another victim.  His family announced his death with grace:

 

It is our sad duty to report that our son, Otto Warmbier, has completed his journey home. Surrounded by his loving family, Otto died today at 2:20pm.

It would be easy at a moment like this to focus on all that we lost — future time that won’t be spent with a warm, engaging, brilliant young man whose curiosity and enthusiasm for life knew no bounds. But we choose to focus on the time we were given to be with this remarkable person. You can tell from the outpouring of emotion from the communities that he touched — Wyoming, Ohio and the University of Virginia to name just two — that the love for Otto went well beyond his immediate family.

We would like to thank the wonderful professionals at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center who did everything they could for Otto. Unfortunately, the awful torturous mistreatment our son received at the hands of the North Koreans ensured that no other outcome was possible beyond the sad one we experienced today.

When Otto returned to Cincinnati late on June 13th he was unable to speak, unable to see and unable to react to verbal commands. He looked very uncomfortable — almost anguished. Although we would never hear his voice again, within a day the countenance of his face changed — he was at peace. He was home and we believe he could sense that.

We thank everyone around the world who has kept him and our family in their thoughts and prayers. We are at peace and at home too.

— Fred & Cindy Warmbier and Family Continue Reading

2

C&C: Saints

Over on the Angels article I avoided digressing as far as I might by saying I’d get into saints in a later article; so here we go!

What is a saint?

Someone who is united with God; a holy one. English is actually a bit odd– we’ve got a lot of ways of saying things, and “saint” is a good example. Most languages, there’s no difference between how you say “holy one” and how you say “saint.” This can result in things that sound very strange to modern ears, like talking about “Saint Jesus.” Jimmy Akin has a great FAQ if you want to know more, but I’m going to steal from it shamelessly for a lot of this article so you might want to wait on that to avoid boredom. (Not that his writing is boring, but because reading more detail about something you’ve already read is more interesting than reading a little information about something you just absorbed a huge amount on.)

Now, when we talk about a saint, there’s a few very common ways we commonly mean it. There’s a Saint as in the title– saint Michael or Saint Joseph; there’s a saint as in the description– “my mom is a saint.”

To simplify greatly, the title is the Church officially saying “yep, you’re right– they’re holy. It’s OK to publicly hold them up as holy.”

This is, as I said, a massive simplification.

How do we know?

We “know” someone is a saint by the infallible proclamation of the Church– that’s what canonization (officially recognizing someone as a saint) is. Beyond being dead– so as to avoid a change in behavior that would change their status– there are four stages involved. Currently. The system has grown out of trying to avoid abuses, and will without a doubt end up changing in the future; here’s the EWTN over-view, which I will summarize.

Servant of God:

someone dies, and either five years pass or the Vatican officially grants a waiver of the waiting period. At that point, the Bishop of the place where they died can petition to start a ‘Cause for Beatification and Canonization’. If the Vatican says “I don’t see why not,” they go ahead. (Yes, I’m being slightly flip, but that’s not a bad translation of the sense of ‘nihil obstat,’ literally ‘nothing stands in the way.’) If this is so, the person being investigated can be referred to as “Servant of God.” For example, some of those who admire Professor Tolkien of Lord of the Rings fame started a facebook group to attempt to persuade the Archbishop of Birmingham to pursue his Cause; just this April it was forwarded to him. If the Bishop decides to pursue it, and if the Cause receives a nihil obstat, then he’d be “the Servant of God, J.R.R. Tolkien.”

Venerable:

Probably most commonly comes to mind in association with St. Bede, although he is actually a saint. Now, when used technically rather than because it’s been used forever, this is the stage beyond Servant of God– literally years of researching all public and private writings, all actions, everything to try to find any kind of a problem, and further that the Bishop is willing to vouch for the Servant of God’s heroic virtue. If he is, all the supporting information is forwarded to the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints. They go over the information, and vote, and it either dies right there or is passed on to the Pope, who has the final yes-or-no say on if there is enough cause to carry on with the Cause for Beatification and Canonization; if he grants a Decree of Heroic Virtues, the person becomes “The Venerable Sheen,” or “The Venerable Servant of God Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen.”

Confusingly, this doesn’t mean it’s allowable for them to be public venerated– but “publicly venerated” doesn’t mean that you’re in trouble if, for example, your baby is stillborn and you pray and ask others to pray for the late Archbishop Fulton Sheen to intercede on his behalf (such as for James Fulton Engstrom, the two-thirds-verified miracle for the cause of the Venerable Sheen, is now a normal and healthy three when he had no heartbeat for an hour), it means doing so in the name of the Church, as if you are speaking on behalf of the Church. Think kind of like the rules about activism in military uniform, for those familiar with the US military.

Blessed:

Once the Decree of Heroic Virtues has been received, then the search is on: has this person interceded on anyone’s behalf? I’ll do an article on miracles later, but that is what is being sought for, and tested. Official recognition of miracles goes by where it happens, rather than the bishop responsible for the saint. Something I’m sure that whichever bishop would otherwise be responsible for investigating Marian miracles is very glad of! More practically, a local power will have better access to information and make for an easier, more accurate investigation. As we all know from the internet, it’s very easy for even those of the best will to leave out information that doesn’t support what they already believe, and those without more of the picture to draw inaccurate conclusions– and that’s without worries about those who actually mean to cause others harm.

In the case of martyrs, their death can serve as their first miracle– if, after investigation, it’s found to be true martyrdom, then the Pope issues a Decree of Martyrdom. This can actually be complicated– for a recent case, the question of if Archbishop Romero of the San Salvadoran Archdiocese, was killed because he was an obstacle to those who killed him, or for his faith? What if the only reason he was an obstacle was because he was true to God? Or was he shot at the very altar because such an outrage is a powerful threat and made the death squads even more terrifying? This argument was going on for quite literally my whole life– John Paul II prayed at the tomb of the Archbishop in ’83– and only this year was Pope Francis able to recognize his martyrdom, and on May 23 he

officially became Blessed Oscar Arnulfo Romero. Being ‘Blessed’ means that local churches can officially pray for his intercession– that public veneration I mentioned. If you were able to make a long form Easter Vigil, there’s a good chance that you heard a local ‘Blessed’ in there somewhere if there weren’t enough baptismal or confirmation saints to wear out your lector.

Saint:

You do the same thing as for verifying they’re blessed all over again. Find a miracle and investigate it to be sure it’s worthy of belief by first the bishop of where it happened, then by a sub-group of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints, then by the heads of the congregation, and then the Pope. If they get a second Decree of Miracle (or a first, for verified martyrs) then the person can be canonized– recognized as a saint for veneration by the entire, universal Church.

I want to repeat again: the Pope is not making someone a saint, he is officially recognizing them as a saint. If they weren’t a saint, there would be no miracles to investigate in the first place. Just because someone is not recognized as of yet doesn’t mean they are not at the very throne– it may just mean there’s a paperwork snarl, such as the disagreement about who gets custody about the Venerable Sheen’s mortal remains.

Why do we have saints?

Because people aren’t all bad.

Sorry, my sense of humor… we recognize saints officially for two reasons, the good and the bad: the good is because they are a powerful aid in our drawing closer to God; the bad is because someone falsely portrayed as a saint would be a powerfully damaging force on faith. Good heavens, my initial inspiration for this entire series is the (possibly best wishes in the world) falsehoods that were driving folks away from the Truth.

You may have even heard of some false saints- heard of The Sainted Death? Not to be confused with artistic personifications of death, but set up in shrines rather like the ones you’d find for the Holy Mother. The Sainted Death AKA, Santa Muerte or the ‘murder saint’ in some news stories; it was fairly big in the news a few years ago, but variations in pop culture are old enough that at least one urban fantasy novel from about the early 90s or late 80s– I think it was Mercedes Lackey– used a variation as a plot point, and the author included some fascinating show-your-work on the subject.

A bit less modern, a Catholic looking into voodoo is going to be kind of surreal as things are perfectly familiar, perfectly normal…then WHAM! where did that come from? it takes a radical turn from anything that can be explained away into Catholic theology.

These similarities sometimes often provide fodder for those who are looking for a route of attack on Catholic topics, as if the truth of something is lessened by the appearance being borrowed for something else entirely. These are home brew philosophies, systems or religions– just like anyone with a

half-decent sense of history will go through “satanist” symbols and be able to identify where they were lifted from a wide variety of sources. (Seriously, St. Peter’s Cross as anti-Christian? It says a lot about the ignorance, possibly willful, of the Satanists- nothing about the sources of those symbols.)

The people making the systems are just using whatever looks interesting to them and applying it to an existing belief. Supposedly, that’s where most of these things come from– people keeping pagan beliefs and just pasting Catholic symbols on top of them.

On the flip side:

There are actually some lovely statues in Japan that are exactly the opposite of the satanists-absconding-with-whatever-looks-cool; while Catholicism was suppressed in Japan, the Christians there would hide Marian statues as that of the Buddhist goddess of mercy, Kannon, or flat-out re-purpose existing statues if they had to– standing before a statue made to honor Kannon, and praying to Mary. During the hundreds of years of quite harsh suppression, this kept the faith alive…and had wondeful fruits when the Japanese government finally allowed a church to be built for foreigners:

Inside the church, above the side altar, there was placed a statue brought from France of Mary with the child Jesus in her arms. The Japanese inhabitants called the church, the “French Temple.” When the word that “a statue of Mary was in the French Temple,” spread to the hidden Christian community of Urakami, the certainty was raised in their hearts: “If there is the statue of Holy Mary, the foreigner of the French Temple must be a “pater,” a priest!” In fact, they had awaited a priest for seven generations. On the March 17, 1865, a group of about ten members of the hidden Christian community, pretending to be tourists, entered into the church. One of them, a woman named Yuri, being anxious to know if the foreigner would be a pater, approached Fr. Petitjean, and said “We have the same hearts as yours,” and more, “Santa Maria no go-zō wa doco?”, which means “Where is the statue of Holy Mary?” This astonishing question revealed to the French missionary the miraculous survival of a Christian community in Nagasaki. Then, Fr. Petitjean, full of joy and emotion, led them to the side altar, where was placed the statue of the Virgin. Kneeling down, they couldn’t bear any more and exclaimed with emotion: “She’s really Holy Mary! Look! She brings in her arms her Son, Jesus!”

That’s basically why we recognize saints– because they can help bring us closer to God.

 

This is a reprint that I haven’t updated; my apologies, but kids come first– and I really am working on a couple of others. 

15

Americans Get Out of America!

 

After the uprising of the 17th of June
The Secretary of the Writers’ Union
Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
Stating that the people
Had forfeited the confidence of the government
And could win it back only
By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier
In that case for the government
To dissolve the people
And elect another?

Bertolt Brecht’s wry poem The Solution in regard to the suppression by the East German government of the uprising on June 16 and June 17, 1953.  Bret Stephens in The New York Times, a supposedly conservative Never Trumper, has a similar solution for Americans who do not measure up to his standard:

 

In the matter of immigration, mark this conservative columnist down as strongly pro-deportation. The United States has too many people who don’t work hard, don’t believe in God, don’t contribute much to society and don’t appreciate the greatness of the American system.

They need to return whence they came.

I speak of Americans whose families have been in this country for a few generations. Complacent, entitled and often shockingly ignorant on basic points of American law and history, they are the stagnant pool in which our national prospects risk drowning.

On point after point, America’s nonimmigrants are failing our country. Crime? A study by the Cato Institute notes that nonimmigrants are incarcerated at nearly twice the rate of illegal immigrants, and at more than three times the rate of legal ones.

Educational achievement? Just 17 percent of the finalists in the 2016 Intel Science Talent Search — often called the “Junior Nobel Prize” — were the children of United States-born parents. At the Rochester Institute of Technology, just 9.5 percent of graduate students in electrical engineering were nonimmigrants. Continue Reading

8

PopeWatch: Christ?

 

A Francis appointed Bishop shows us that under the current Pontificate the words of Christ in regard to marriage mean less than nothing:

An Argentinian bishop, inspired by Pope Francis’ Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, celebrated a special Mass for civilly-divorced-and-remarried couples in his diocese. The thirty or so couples were all invited to receive Holy Communion despite there being no indication that any of them had promised to live as brother and sister.

“Welcome back home,” Bishop Angel José Macin of the diocese of Reconquista told the couples during the Mass celebrated on the June 11th Feast of the Blessed Trinity, according to Argentinian news website Radioamanecer.com.ar

The couples were given Holy Communion in what was described as a “festive atmosphere” in the parish church of Saint Roque. Relatives took photographs. Continue Reading

7

Eliot Ness: Legend Eclipses Reality

 

I have foresworn myself. I have broken every law I have sworn to uphold, I have become what I beheld and I am content that I have done right!

Eliot Ness, The Untouchables (1987)

 

Hard to believe it is 30 years since The Untouchables (1987) movie was released.  My bride and I saw it in Joliet that year and we both loved it.  A year or two later and I was sitting next to one of the last of the surviving members of Al Capone’s gang.  A truckdriver for Capone, he had invested in Central Illinois farmland and by the time I knew him he was a grey headed and kindly great grandfather.  I never worked up the courage to ask him if Capone had asked him to bury some gangland slaying victims in the ground he purchased, as local rumor indicated.

 

The film was magnificent with the screenplay by David Mamet and the haunting, and period appropriate, musical score by Henry Mancini.  De Niro gave the performance of his career as Capone and Sean Connery, who won a best supporting Oscar for his performance, was completely believable as honest cop Jimmy Malone, joining Ness in his crusade against the corruption that sickened Malone.  Kevin Costner as Eliot Ness was superb as an innocent who learns the terrible cost that is sometimes demanded when evil is confronted. Continue Reading

5

Father’s Day

Behold, children are a gift of the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth.
How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them;
They will not be ashamed
When they speak with their enemies in the gate.

Psalm 127: 3-5

 

 

Traditionally Father’s Day was celebrated on March 19 in Catholic countries, a feast day of Saint Joseph/tt  The first Father’s Day observance in the US was on July 5, 1908 In Fairmont, West Virginia.  It was held to honor the 250 fathers who had been among the 361 miners killed in the Monongah mining disaster in Monongah, West Virginia.  The observance receive little publicity and it did not start the current Father’s Day.  Over the next few decades there would be proposals to have a Father’s Day and observances, but nothing took hold.  In 1957 Senator Margaret Chase Smith wrote a bill to establish Father’s Day, stating it was unfair to have Mother’s Day and not a Father’s Day. In 1966 President Johnson issued a proclamation establishing Father’s Day on the third Sunday in June.  President Nixon in 1972 signed a bill establishing Father’s Day as a national holiday.  Continue Reading

Panis Angelicus

Saint Thomas Aquinas composed Sacris Solemnis at the command of Pope Urban IV for the new feast of Corpus Christi in 1264.  The last two stanzas have become the hymn Panis Angelicus.  I have always viewed this as the heart of the Summa set to music.

When he was canonized in 1323 some objections were raised because of a lack of miracles relating to the Angelic Doctor.  Pope John xxii responded that every question Saint Thomas answered was a miracle.

Why we call God Father

1. He created us. We call God Father because He created us in a special way-namely, in His own image and likeness which He did not impress on other creatures here below: “He is thy Father Who made thee, and created thee.”

2. He governs us. We also call God Father because He governs us. For although He governs all things, yet He governs us as masters of ourselves whereas He governs other things as slaves of His will: “Thy providence, O Father, governs all things”. “Thou disposest of us with great favor”.

3. He adopted us. We call God Father because He has adopted us. For He endowed other creatures with trifling gifts, but to us He granted the inheritance, because (as the Apostle says) we are His sons “and if sons, heirs also”. “You have not received the spirit of bondage again in fear, but you have received the spirit of adoption of sons whereby we cry, Abba (‘Father’)”.

Saint Thomas Aquinas

 

 

8

Islam and the Church

 

 

As faithful readers of this blog know, I am not a fan of the Jesuits in their contemporary incarnation.  However, their are Jesuits alive today who bear the stamp of Saint Ignatius Loyola and who serve the Church well.  One is Egyptian Jesuit Henri Boulad who Edward Pentin interviews at the National Catholic Register.  In that interview Father Boulad quotes from a letter he sent the Pope:

“It seems to me that — on the pretext of openness, tolerance and Christian charity — the Catholic Church has fallen into the trap of the liberal left ideology which is destroying the West. Anything that does not espouse this ideology is immediately stigmatized in the name of “political correctness”. Many think that a certain number of your positions are aligned with this ideology and that, from complacency, you go from concessions to concessions and compromises in compromises at the expense of the truth.”

“The West is in an ethical and moral debacle, both religious and spiritual. And it is not by relativizing the painful reality that these societies will be helped to emerge from their disarray. By defending at all costs Islam and seeking to exonerate it from the horrors committed every day in its name, one ends up betraying the truth.”

“Jesus said to us, ‘the Truth will set you free.’ It is because he refused any compromise on this point that he knew the fate which was his. Following him, countless Christians preferred martyrdom to compromise, as is the case in Egypt and elsewhere to this day.”

“In the extreme fragility of Christians — both in the West and in the East — they are expecting something from you other than vague and harmless declarations that may obscure reality. Your predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, had the courage to take a clear and unambiguous position. His attitude has raised a lot of shields and earned him many enemies. But is not a frank confrontation healthier than a dialogue based on compromise? When the Jewish hierarchs asked the apostles to stop announcing the Gospel, they replied: “As for us, we cannot not proclaim what we have seen and heard …” (Acts 4:20).

“It is high time to emerge from a shameful and embarrassed silence in the face of this Islamism that attacks the West and the rest of the world. A systematically conciliatory attitude is interpreted by the majority of Muslims as a sign of fear and weakness. If Jesus said to us: Blessed are the peacemakers, he did not say to us: Blessed are the pacifists. Peace is peace at any cost, at any price. Such an attitude is a pure and simple betrayal of truth.”

 

 

Continue Reading

PopeWatch: Dark

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

In an effort to attract more young people, the USCCB announced today that they will begin working on a dark, gruesome, and gritty reboot of the Novus Ordo.

Speaking with EOTT, Bishop Robert Lombardo, who came up with the idea for the reboot, said that they hope to begin saying the new Mass beginning next fall.

“Right now we’re just beginning to work on the new translation, which we’re tentatively calling ‘The Mass: Rise of the Godman.’”

Lombardo also went on to explain that the reboot would skew more towards gritty priests and deacons and away from the smiling and happy priest and deacon that we’ve become accustomed to seeing.

“These days young adults are spending so much of their time and money watching dark movie reboots, so there’s no reason why we can’t do that within the context of the Mass. To say to someone in their 20’s and 30’s, ‘Hey, you enjoyed that gritty and gruesome movie last night, now come to Mass and enjoy the complete opposite of what you loved last night,’ is absurd. We have to give them what they want is what it boils down to.”

Gotham bishop Leonard Kelly told EOTT that the bishops also discussed a reboot for all the sacraments, including Confirmation, which will be called The Sacrament of the Blood Oath, Anointing of the Sick, which will be called The Sacrament of Bodily Annihilation, and Matrimony, which will be called The Sacrament of Mental Annihilation.

We also plan to change the vestments so that they’re simply red mantles and hoods, with the red symbolizing blood, all the blood Christ spilled for our transgressions.

At press time, Kelly has cryptically stated that it is time for the youth to heed the calling of the Light, saying “You either die a saint or live long enough to see yourself become the devil,” before throwing the hood over his head and leaping off the top of a church spire. Continue Reading

Good-bye Broadway, Hello France

Something for the weekend.  Good-bye Broadway, Hello France.  Like the Civil War, World War I produced endless songs, most of which were never heard of again after the  War was concluded.  Quite popular during the War was Good-bye Broadway, Hello France, written in 1917 by by Billy Baskette, with lyrics written by C. Francis Reisner and Benny Davis.  Whenever a World War I documentary has ever been produced, this song is often played as US troops are shown being shipped to France.

8

Dymphna’s Road

 

I have come to loathe some of the attorneys and co-workers at my job. They haven’t changed. I have. Either my tolerance level has lowered or it’s because they have become completely unhinged since the election and are not careful with what they say. I come from a working class family and it is unnerving to hear how much my Harvard and Yale bosses despise normal people. Whenever they have to go on trial outside of the East or West Coasts they moan and groan as if they are going to Calcutta. I over heard two attorneys talking about how they ventured beyond Whole Foods, Trader Joes and their favorite farmer’s market —gasp— went to a regular grocery store as if they went on safari. I think if they went to Walmart or Sav-a-Lot they’d have a stroke. It’s like the Floating World of Edo era Japan. The inhabitants have their drivers, their cheap illegal nannies, gardeners and to Hell with everybody else. I guess I need to start looking for another job.

We have a new blog in the blog role, Dymphna’s Road.  I always appreciate writing that packs a lot of meaning into a few words, and the above quote is a sample of what Dymphna at her blog can do.  Go here to have a look at the blog and I think you will put it on your regular blog reading list as I have have.

2

June 14, 1917: Pershing Arrives in France

On June 14, 1917 General John J. Pershing and 190 of his staff, military and civilians, arrived in France.  The first American combat troops would land on June 26, 1917.  America would not have a full division in France until the arrival of the last elements of the First Division in October 1917.  Eventually two million doughboys would serve in France but the buildup was initially a slow process.  No doubt many Allied leaders were wondering if the Americans would arrive in time to turn the balance against a Germany that was in the process of winning the War in the East.  Perilous times for America and its allies a century ago.  We forget today what a monumental task it was to raise an army of millions, train and equip it and to ship it across the Atlantic, and to do this from a starting stop in about a year’s time.  No wonder that some Allied leaders were skeptical, as Winston Churchill noted after Pearl Harbor: Continue Reading

6

PopeWatch: Lavender Mafia

 

 

The Lavender Mafia is alive and well at the Vatican:

 

Cardinal Joseph Tobin told the New York Times that it would have been “backhanded” of him to mention anything about sin to the “LGBT pilgrims” who he personally welcomed to a Cathedral Mass last month.

On Sunday, May 21, the Cardinal was on hand at Newark’s Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart to personally welcome homosexuals on a so-called “LGBT Pilgrimage.”

When asked by the New York Times if he should have used the event to call the “LGBT pilgrims” out of sin, Cardinal Tobin replied: “That sounds a little backhanded to me.” 

“It was appropriate to welcome people to come and pray and call them who they were. And later on, we can talk,” he said. 

The Cardinal said that to “combine his welcome with a criticism would not have been a full welcome at all.”

**********************************************************************************

Some other high profile priests and bishops pushing the envelope on the acceptance of homosexuality within the Church include: 

  • Fr. James Martin, SJ, editor-at-large for the Jesuit magazine America and recently appointed to the Vatican as a communications consultant, who just published his pro-homosexual book, Building a Bridge.
  • Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, now at the helm of both the Pontifical Academy for Life and the Pontifical Pope John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, who paid a homosexual artist to paint a homoerotic mural in his cathedral church in 2007. The mural includes an image of the archbishop himself clasped to a semi-naked man.
  • Cardinal Kevin Farrell, recently appointed by Pope Francis to head the Vatican office on laity, family, and life issues, who has called on his city’s priests to embrace “LGBT families.”
  • The Diocese of San Diego, under Bishop Robert McElroy, recently announced that Fr. John Dolan, a priest with an LGBT-positive record, had been appointed by the Vatican to be an auxiliary bishop. Fr, Dolan had previously gone on record suggesting that there is no problem with homosexual “marriage” within the Catholic church.

Catholic parishioners in some major urban centers may also have noticed a creeping incrementalism of the acceptance of homosexuality within their parishes. 

For instance, in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, St. Matthew’s Parish has been promoting homosexuality and its so-called “compatibility” with Catholicism for years.

In the Archdiocese of New York, leaders of “gay and lesbian ministries” in three separate parishes openly flout Catholic teaching on sexual morality, saying that their lifestyle choices are part of how God made them.  Continue Reading