15

Think of the Children!

The latest contemptible effort of leftists within and without the Catholic Church to use kids to batter down the borders of the US is put into proper context by Rich Lowry at National Review Online:

 

The Trump administration isn’t changing the rules that pertain to separating an adult from the child. Those remain the same. Separation happens only if officials find that the adult is falsely claiming to be the child’s parent, or is a threat to the child, or is put into criminal proceedings.

It’s the last that is operative here. The past practice had been to give a free pass to an adult who is part of a family unit. The new Trump policy is to prosecute all adults. The idea is to send a signal that we are serious about our laws and to create a deterrent against re-entry. (Illegal entry is a misdemeanor, illegal re-entry a felony.)

When a migrant is prosecuted for illegal entry, he or she is taken into custody by the U.S. Marshals. In no circumstance anywhere in the U.S. do the marshals care for the children of people they take into custody. The child is taken into the custody of HHS, who cares for them at temporary shelters.

The criminal proceedings are exceptionally short, assuming there is no aggravating factor such as a prior illegal entity or another crime. The migrants generally plead guilty, and they are then sentenced to time served, typically all in the same day, although practices vary along the border. After this, they are returned to the custody of ICE.

If the adult then wants to go home, in keeping with the expedited order of removal that is issued as a matter of course, it’s relatively simple. The adult should be reunited quickly with his or her child, and the family returned home as a unit. In this scenario, there’s only a very brief separation.

Where it becomes much more of an issue is if the adult files an asylum claim. In that scenario, the adults are almost certainly going to be detained longer than the government is allowed to hold their children.

That’s because of something called the Flores Consent Decree from 1997. It says that unaccompanied children can be held only 20 days. A ruling by the Ninth Circuit extended this 20-day limit to children who come as part of family units. So even if we want to hold a family unit together, we are forbidden from doing so.

The clock ticking on the time the government can hold a child will almost always run out before an asylum claim is settled. The migrant is allowed ten days to seek an attorney, and there may be continuances or other complications.

This creates the choice of either releasing the adults and children together into the country pending the ajudication of the asylum claim, or holding the adults and releasing the children. If the adult is held, HHS places the child with a responsible party in the U.S., ideally a relative (migrants are likely to have family and friends here).

Even if Flores didn’t exist, the government would be very constrained in how many family units it can accommodate. ICE has only about 3,000 family spaces in shelters. It is also limited in its overall space at the border, which is overwhelmed by the ongoing influx. This means that — whatever the Trump administration would prefer to do — many adults are still swiftly released.

Why try to hold adults at all? First of all, if an asylum-seeker is detained, it means that the claim goes through the process much more quickly, a couple of months or less rather than years. Second, if an adult is released while the claim is pending, the chances of ever finding that person again once he or she is in the country are dicey, to say the least. It is tantamount to allowing the migrant to live here, no matter what the merits of the case.

 

Go here to read the rest.  With thirty six years at the Bar, I find this all vastly amusing.  Kids are separated from parents all the time in legal proceedings:  by criminal proceedings where a parent goes to jail or prison, by juvenile proceedings where a child is placed in juvenile detention,  by intervention by child protective services, by orders of protection usually initiated by one parent against another, by divorce proceedings.  If the idiots who have compared the usually brief separation of parents and kids at the border to actions of the Nazis were serious, there would be much to be outraged over by the way our legal system handles hundreds of thousands of cases each and every day.  Of course these are not serious people, but rather Leftists attempting to use ginned-up outrage to accomplish what they could not accomplish at the ballot box.  That our Bishops in the US have signed on to this unfunny farce says all that needs to be said about our hapless bench of Bishops.

 

Yep, just like a concentration camp if you squint real hard and remove your brains.

5

PopeWatch: Bravo

Now if he had only said something as devastatingly on target as this prior to the Irish abortion vote:

 

“I have heard that it’s fashionable, or at least usual, that when in the first months of pregnancy they do studies to see if the child is healthy or has something, the first offer is: let’s send it away,” Pope Francis was reported as saying.
“I say this with pain. In the last century the whole world was scandalized about what the Nazis did to purify the race. Today we do the same, but now with white gloves.”
Go here to read the rest.
4

The Mother of Father’s Day

 

 

 

One windy March night in the late ’90s, Mr. Smart, a grief-stricken father just returned from burying his wife, sat with bowed head in the front room of this farmhouse in the rolling hills of the Big Bend, near Spokane. Knowing nothing of the finality of death, the children looked toward the door, expecting their mother’s return momentarily. Finally one lad, frantic, rushed out into the snow to seek her in the woods. His father roused himself, went out into the snow to seek the boy, and finding him, brought him back to mother him before the fire. From that moment, he became both mother and father to the six children.

Sonora Smart Dodd, 1942

 

 

 

Sonora Smart Dodd always admired her father.  One of six children, her mother died giving birth to her sixth, and her father, Civil War veteran, he fought on both sides, and farmer, William Jackson Smart, was left to rear the children.  Eldest child, sixteen at her mother’s death, and only daughter, Sonora helped, and the task of raising her five brothers was accomplished in grand style.  Sonora never lost her admiration for her father, and on June 19, 1910 in Spokane, Washington she held the first Father’s Day.  The observance attracted the attention of such luminaries as William Jennings Bryan and Woodrow Wilson, but the date was not officially established until 1966 by Presidential Proclamation as being held on the third Sunday in June.  Sonora Smart Dodd lived to see it, dying in 1978 at age 95.

 

3

Ten Years of TAC: 20 of my Dadisms

(The American Catholic will observe its tenth anniversary in October.  We will be reposting some classic TAC posts of the past.  This post is from August 6, 2012.)

 

Ah, Dadisms, the short hand that many fathers use as they attempt to navigate life with their families.  Here are some of my favorite:

 

 

1.   Clean up this dump!

2.   You are not going outside like that!

3.   When I was young and dinosaurs ruled the earth…

4.   I’m proud of you!

5.   Always get it in writing.

6.   Can’t I trade you in for a new kid?

7.   Because I said so, that’s why!

8.   Did you ask Mom?

9.   Take this twenty, it might come in handy.

10.  Careful, there are lots of loosely wired people out there. Continue Reading

4

Jesuitical 22: Georgetown and Planned Parenthood

Part 22 of my ongoing survey of the follies of many modern day Jesuits.   If anyone doubts that religion of Georgetown University is Leftism rather than Catholicism:

 

 

Georgetown University, America’s oldest Roman Catholic institution of higher learning and located in the U.S. capital of Washington, D.C., actively encouraged visitors to its website to contribute to a vast array of left-wing activist groups in the name of supporting “civil rights.” A page on the website for Georgetown’s law library asked visitors to give to Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America, the leftist attack dog Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), LGBT law group Lambda Legal, and others.

“One way to resist oppression is to strengthen the organizations that fight against oppressors. You can make a change, even if it’s just an hour a week or a dollar a week. If we all give just a little, it adds up and it keeps our civil rights, our environment — our nation — from being destroyed,” the page, entitled “A Brief History of Civil Rights in the United States,” urged visitors.

The page listed all sorts of left-wing advocacy groups, including the SPLC, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), NARAL, Planned Parenthood, EMILY’s List, and Lambda Legal. It also solicited requests for organizations users “would like to see added to this list.”

 

Go here to read the rest. This is not a one off situation.  Georgetown brought Cecile Richards, the former head of Planned Parenthood, to campus as a speaker back in 2016.  This year pro-abort “Catholic” Democrat Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois received the Timothy S. Healy, SJ award from Georgetown President  John DeGioia who lauded Durbin for devoting “his life to the core Jesuit value of service to others.”   Faithful Catholic parents who send their offspring to places like Georgetown are either innocent dupes or willfully blind.

1

PopeWatch: Mercy Me

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

 

The Vatican announced today that they will be opening a second Year of Mercy.

The initiative is intended to address the crisis in the sacrament of confession and is being called, “The Year of Mercy: A Second Helping.”

“Over half of the confessions in the Church today are invalid because the faithful actually do not believe any of their actions are sinful,” Cardinal Thomas Olvelli explained. “Without an actual sin confessed, the sacrament is invalid.”

“Many penitents find the confessional line burdensome and are not able to wait for confession. That is not mercy,” The Cardinal went on to say. “During this new round of mercy, an individual will simply have the ability to have a deep, inward conversation with the Lord. Then with prudent and mature reflection, that individual will determine, in the sanctity of his or her own conscience, that he or she has never actually committed any sins, and thus maintaining the sanctity of the sacrament.”

In addition, Olvelli announced that 10,000 newly appointed “Agents of the Second Helping” will begin circling the globe this January to close down all remaining confessionals.

One Agent of Mercy, Monsignor Alejandro Pipetti, explained the initiative, saying, “Let’s face it, the confessional is a medieval torture chamber, designed to instill fear of the Lord into the faithful. How can the faithful begin to grow closer to the Lord if they fear Him? I believe it is better to have fear of one’s own conscience, especially since it can so easily be manipulated and told what is right and what is wrong. After all, there is no fear in that which you control.”

 

Go here to comment.  PopeWatch would be afraid to confess to himself.  Saying perpetual Paternosters on his knees would make blogging problematic for PopeWatch.

1

The Incredibles

Something for the weekend.  The theme song from The Incredibles (2004).  My bride and I saw The Incredibles with our kids back in 2004 and greatly enjoyed it.  We will be seeing Incredibles 2 this weekend with our now adult kids, and a close friend of the family who has been an unofficial “aunt” of the kids since their birth.  Time is a river and in this Vale of Tears we can simply enjoy the view.

 

 

Full review of the movie to follow later next week.

21

PopeWatch: Canonical Penalties

The Pope can ignore a vote to bring abortion to Ireland, but his man in Tucson wants to go Innocent III on those trying to uphold the immigration laws of our nation:

 

Tucson Bishop Edward Weisenburger raised the possibility of implementing canonical penalties for Catholics involved in implementing the Trump administration’s asylum rules.Canonical penalties could range from withholding the sacrament of communion to excommunication.

Bishop Weisenburger and other leading U.S. Catholic bishops escalated their criticism of the Trump administration’s immigration policies, calling the separation of mothers and children at the border “immoral.”

The comments came as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the organizing body of bishops, gathered at their biannual meeting on Wednesday in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Bishop Weisenburger stated the following: “In light of the canonical penalties that are there for life issues, I’m simply asking the question if perhaps, our canonical affairs committee could give recommendations, at least to those of us who are border bishops, on the possibility of canonical penalties for Catholics who are involved in this. I think the time is there for prophetic statement. I also think, even though what I’m saying could be a little risky or dangerous, I think it’s important to point out the canonical penalties are there in place to heal.  First and foremost, to heal.  and therefore, for the salvation of these people’s souls, maybe it’s time for us to look at canonical penalties.”

 

Go here to read the rest.  Before the Bishop begins excommunicating members of ICE he might wish to read this provision of the Catechism:

2241 The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin. Public authorities should see to it that the natural right is respected that places a guest under the protection of those who receive him.

Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants’ duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens.

 

These clowns are doing their best to convince people that if you are not a Leftist you have no place in the Catholic Church.  That is a lie.  Our Church has endured over 20 turbulent centuries and it will endure and outlast the current idiots in charge of the Bride of Christ.  May God forgive them.

 

0

Ten Years of TAC: A Priest Born on Flag Day

(The American Catholic will observe its tenth anniversary in October.  We will be reposting some classic TAC posts of the past.  This post is from August 6, 2012.)

One of the most highly decorated chaplains of World War II, Father Elmer W. Heindl used to joke that his decorations were simply due to him being in the wrong place at the right time.  Born on June 14, 1910 in Rochester, New York, the oldest of six children, Heindl decided at an early age that he was meant to be a priest and was ordained on June 6, 1936.  He said that being born on Flag Day indicated to him that during his life he would do something to honor the Stars and Stripes. Continue Reading

6

Newspapers and Time

Hattip to Ed Driscoll at Instapundit.  Any work of entertainment becomes a cultural artifact that historians may use to analyze a point in history:

How quickly new technology can radically alter societies.  In three decades newspapers have gone from being an essential part of daily life, to being an industry on life support, kept alive by the inertia of a rapidly aging readership.  My father would pore over our local daily paper each day, and usually work the crossword puzzle and the cryptogram contained in each paper.  After I grew up I subscribed to The Chicago Tribune.  After the Trib endorsed Obama in 2008 I cancelled my subscription.  However, I realized at the time that I hadn’t been reading much of it in years, the paper usually arriving after I went to the law mines.  Almost all of my daily reading of the news was being done over the internet.  When my partner retired from the law mines in 2010, I immediately cancelled the firm’s subscription to the local regional paper that the firm subscribed to, and which I hadn’t been reading in several years.  I still get the local town paper, which is a weekly freebie, and where I place my legal notices, but it is usually my secretaries who bring any local story of note to my attention.  In some ways it is sad seeing an enterprise with such a long pedigree being one with Nineveh and Tyre, and in some ways I think most of the ink-stained wretches richly deserve their fate, but like it or not, we can do many things with time in this Vale of Tears, but we cannot freeze it.

1

Ten Years of TAC: Dagger John and Honest Abe

(The American Catholic will observe its tenth anniversary in October.  We will be reposting some classic TAC posts of the past.  This post is from February 11, 2009.)

Archbishop John Hughes (1797-1864) of New York, was a titan within the Catholic Church in America in the nineteenth century.  Overseeing with skill the explosive growth of the Church in New York, and helping lead generations of Catholic immigrants out of poverty,  he also found time to take part in the public affairs of his day, and was probably the best known Catholic churchman of his time.  He was also a very tough and fearless man.  After the anti-Catholic riots in Philadelphia in 1844 he called on the mayor of New York, an anti-Catholic bigot, and informed him that if a single Catholic church were touched in New York, New York would be a second Moscow.  (The reference was to the burning of Moscow in 1812 during Napoleon’s occupation of the city.) Not a Catholic church was touched.  On another occasion when a threat was made to burn Saint Patrick’s cathedral the Archbishop had it guarded within hours by 4,000 armed Catholics.  No wonder his enemies and friends nicknamed him “Dagger John”! Continue Reading

0

Ten Years of TAC: The First PopeWatch

(The American Catholic will observe its tenth anniversary in October.  We will be reposting some classic TAC posts of the past.  This post is from October 6, 2013.)

 

 

Announcing a new series at The American Catholic:  PopeWatch.  I think it is obvious that Pope Francis will be making the headlines on a regular basis,  and I will be commenting on him fairly frequently as a result, hence the new series.  First up, a statement by papal press spokesman Father Federico Lombardi.  I have a soft spot in my heart for press flacks.  They have tough jobs, especially in the wake of feathers hitting a fan.  Then they come out to meet the media, and often have to say the most absurd things with a straight face, and it would take a heart of purest granite not to feel some sympathy for them at such times.  In the wake of Pope Francis’ colorful interviews, Father Lombardi explained what the problem is:

Perhaps the most insightful take on all this came from Lombardi himself, who said we’re seeing the emergence of a whole new genre of papal speech — informal, spontaneous and sometimes entrusted to others in terms of its final articulation. A new genre, Lombardi suggested, needs a “new hermeneutic,” one in which we don’t attach value so much to individual words as to the overall sense.

“This isn’t Denzinger,” he said, referring to the famous German collection of official church teaching, “and it’s not canon law.”

“What the pope is doing is giving pastoral reflections that haven’t been reviewed beforehand word-for-word by 20 theologians in order to be precise about everything,” Lombardi said. “It has to be distinguished from an encyclical, for instance, or a post-synodal apostolic exhortation, which are magisterial documents.” Continue Reading

1

Ten Years of TAC: 800 Dead Kids, Irish Catholic Bashing and the Truth

(The American Catholic will observe its tenth anniversary in October.  We will be reposting some classic TAC posts of the past.  This post is from June 9, 2014)

 

Catholic bashing has become the national sport of Ireland.  Blaming the Brits for every ill that has ever afflicted Ireland has become passé, and in the former land of saints and scholars the Church is the whipping boy du jour.  This of course suits the politicians who lead Ireland, eager to transform it into a carbon copy of every other European state with divorce, contraception and abortion ever available and with atheism as the de facto state religion.  Irish leftism, always of the most infantile variety, has eagerly joined in, along with academia and entertainment.  The attitude of the Church in Ireland has been, by and large, “Please sir, may I have another!” with most priests and prelates seeming to desire to become a Catholic Lite Church that will not utter a word troubling to their new lords and mistresses, the chattering classes in government and out.

Realizing this, I turned a jaundiced eye to endless stories about nuns supposedly casting the bodies of  some 800 children into a septic tank at a home for unwed mothers in Tuam, County Galway, between 1925-1961.

Go here to Salon to see a prime example of the Catholic bashing way the story was played.

Besides the anti-Catholic hysteria, the thing that struck me about the stories was the sheer ignorance displayed:  ignorance of the death rate of children in Ireland in pre-antibiotic days, ignorance that homes for unwed mothers run by religious orders were often used for caring for kids with mortal illnesses, ignorance as to the difficulties involved in  using a septic tank to hold even a small number of bodies, let alone 800.

Well, the truth is starting to come out.  Ironically it is from the local historian Catherine Corless, who was cited in all the stories for bringing this to light, but apparently wasn’t listened to very carefully by a media eager to hear what they wished to hear:

What has upset, confused and dismayed her in recent days is the speculative nature of much of the reporting around the story, particularly about what happened to the children after they died. “I never used that word ‘dumped’,” she says again, with distress. “I just wanted those children to be remembered and for their names to go up on a plaque. That was why I did this project, and now it has taken [on] a life of its own.”

In 2012 Corless published an article entitled “The Home” in the annual Journal of the Old Tuam Society. By then she had discovered that the 796 children had died while at St Mary’s, although she did not yet have all of their death certificates.

She also discovered that there were no burial records for the children and that they had not been interred in any of the local public cemeteries. In her article she concludes that many of the children were buried in an unofficial graveyard at the rear of the former home. This small grassy space has been attended for decades by local people, who have planted roses and other flowers there, and put up a grotto in one corner. Continue Reading

7

Jordan Peterson: Dangerous People Are Teaching Our Kids

Jordan Peterson explains what a sham much of higher education today is:

 

 

The Left poisons everything it touches.  Higher education is largely in the hands of a cult that substitutes indoctrination for education, and hates traditional Western Civilization.  Race and sex obsessions rank at the head of what is transmitted to youth at great expense under the guise of education.  Thus our colleges and universities produce graduates who know little about the subjects they were purportedly being taught, but who are experts on Leftist grievances and a view of the world that bears little resemblance to reality.  A German radical, the late Alfred Willi Rudolf “Rudi” Dutschke, came up with the plan of a long march by the Left through the institutions they wished to control, and so it has come to pass.  Leftists are almost always Leftists first.  Everything else takes a back seat to the political prism through which they view the world.  Leftism is an aggressive substitute religion, highly dogmatic and intolerant.  David Burge, Iowahawk, has summarized the usual mode of operation of the Left:

 

1. Identify a respected institution.

2. kill it.

3. gut it.

4. wear its carcass as a skin suit, while demanding respect.

 

Leftism is a deadly enemy of freedom.  No truck or truce with it.

6

PopeWatch: Six Counties

The Pope will not be visiting Northern Ireland during his visit to the Republic:

 

Arguably, the most significant item in the papal programme, at least from the secular viewpoint, will be the Missing Item, namely that oft-discussed papal visit to Northern Ireland.

This comes as no surprise. When Pope Francis officially confirmed the trip in a general audience in March, senior Vatican spokesman Greg Burke categorically told the Sunday Independent that there would be no “diversion” to the Six Counties.

The two main movers behind the visit – Cardinal Kevin Farrell, Prefect of the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life, and Archbishop Diarmuid Martin in Dublin – have always been very cautious and circumspect about the possibility that he would include the North on his travels.

He will make a pastoral visit to the World Meeting of Families on August 25-26.

The visit – the first by a Pontiff since Pope John Paul’s Mass at Phoenix Park in 1979 – will include a series of events.

It includes a national opening, simultaneously in the 26 dioceses on August 21, followed by a three-day pastoral congress at the RDS, Dublin, on August 22-24.

However, most attention will focus on the weekend – the Festival of Families in Croke Park on Saturday, August 25, and the centrepiece of the visit – the closing Mass for the World Meeting of Families on the following day.

Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims from around the world are expected to flock to the Phoenix Park.

The feeling remains, however, that this is an opportunity missed.

Go here to read the rest.  Well why shouldn’t he visit Northern Ireland?  As the abortion vote indicates, Northern Ireland no longer has a monopoly on virulent anti-Catholicism.  Abortion remains illegal in Northern Ireland and the contrast could have been made by the Pope.  Better to face the honest hatred of Protestant fanatics in the North than the hatred of the Faith expressed by the “Catholics” in the Republic who celebrated, and that is not too strong a term, the abortion vote.  From a Catholic point of view there is little to choose now between the Six Counties and the rest of that island.

14

Grace in the Face of Death

As faithful readers of this blog know, I am a great admirer of the virtue of courage.  Nowhere does this virtue shine brighter than when someone meets death with grace and hope:

 

Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts gives us a current example of this grace:

Last week was a bad week for celebrities.  The suicides of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade shed light on a problem that has been well known, if not overly covered, for several years now.  Suicides have been growing fast in the US, and continue to increase.  And it’s not just in the United States either.  Countries around the world, in and out of Europe, are seeing increases in suicide.  It’s almost like the same factors that have brought the new phenomenon of mass killings might somehow be linked to suicide.  It’s almost as if something in the last half century or so isn’t working.

I know, I know.  Suicides have always happened, are complex, and can impact those in and out of religious circles.  But here’s the thing.  We can appeal to past suicide rates all we want.  Never in human history has there been such an emphasis on psychological and emotional well being as now; never has there been so many safeguards erected for the sole purpose of preventing such mental spirals as that which could lead to suicide.  And yet, once again, we’re seeing that after tearing down almost everything the old world said was right and wrong, good and bad, we’re left at best with problems as bad as they ever were.  In some cases, we could argue they are worse.

I’ll leave others to scramble for a cause.  Suffice to say I’ll listen to materialists insist it’s all physical, and Christians and other religious individuals look to spiritual causes.  I will not listen at all to Christians, no matter how trained in mental health, act as if they never heard of God or the Holy Spirit, it must all be a matter of chemicals or biological deficiencies.  Nope.  Not going to go there.

As if the suicide news wasn’t enough, Charles Krauthammer announced that he has weeks to live, owing to a terminal case of cancer.  He has been Nazi and Commie to so many who themselves have a history of being disastrously wrong, I can’t help but think he brought something of value to our national discourse.  Unlike the previous two celebrities I mentioned, however, Mr. Krauthammer chose to endure.  Despite receiving a life altering injury that left him crippled for good, he persevered and chose life.  And like Lou Gehrig before him, he departs this earthly stage with grace and class, not self pity or resentment – at least none he has shown.

I don’t know.  Perhaps it’s a matter of perception, of attitude, of the way in which we look at life and the world around us.  I became a Christian almost 30 years ago, and in that time, Christians sound more like the world of agnosticism I left than the world of agnosticism sounds like any traditional manifestation of Christianity.  Yet there are still those who hearken back to a world in which our place is within it, not above it; an age when we had jobs to do and duty to ideals higher than ourselves.  Not a world in which the only reason God decided to exist in the first place was to create a universe centered around the awesomeness of me getting whatever I want, as soon as I want, with whomever I want, as often as I want, free of charge and if things go wrong it’s everyone else’s fault.

A clash of world views I suppose.  I get what I want, others be damned, or I don’t always get what I want, because I have other things to consider. Who knows?  Perhaps that ‘me’ focused approach isn’t something new, nor is the idea that we owe to others above ourselves.  And you never know.  Perhaps looking at the history of those differences could reveal something when considering suicide through the ages.  I dunno, just thinking out loud.

But prayers for the loved ones left behind.  I will not celebrate or make martyrs of those who killed themselves and left their loved ones behind to agonize for the rest of their lives.  Early on I was told that suicide is the most selfish of all sins, and I’ll keep that.  Nonetheless, I do pray for their souls and their loved ones who must shoulder the burden they were given.  I will pray for all who take their own lives, as well as their loved ones, in that manner.

I will also pray for, and give thanks for, those who through no fault of their own are smitten with ill fortune and decide to make all of the gift of life they can, thinking of their contributions to the world, of their loved ones, and all who know and care for them. May God bless them and give them the strength they need to die well, and shower blessings and grace upon those who benefit from their example.

Go here to comment.  We bring nothing into this Vale of Tears but ourselves, and we take nothing out.  However, each of us leaves behind an example of how we lived our lives, and for many of us what will be most remembered is how we meet our own death.  May we all meet it with grace and courage, as Christ did.  Before the battle of Lepanto the priests of the Christian fleet preached sermons on the theme of no Heaven for cowards.  Christians are meant to be brave, and must be brave, something we have lost sight of over the past half century.

 

Cowards die many times before their deaths;
The valiant never taste of death but once.

William Shakespeare

0

Joseph Girard

When I was a boy and I first saw the film Sergeant York, I wondered if John J. Pershing, who was still alive in 1940, had played himself in the scene in which Sergeant York is presented with the Medal of Honor.  It was an honest mistake.  Joseph Girard portrayed Pershing, as he had many times, due to his uncanny resemblance to Pershing.  The role was not credited in the film.  Girard was ten years younger than Pershing and would die in 1949, one year after the General.  Girard appeared in more than 280 films.

 

 

Pershing called Sergeant York “The greatest civilian soldier of the war.”  Field Marshal Ferdinand Foch, commander in chief of the Allied Forces said of York:  “What York did was the greatest thing accomplished by any soldier of all the armies of Europe”.

0

Quotes Suitable for Framing: John J. Pershing

 

 

 

The deadliest weapon in the world is a MARINE and his rifle!

General John J. Pershing

Like most soldiers General Pershing had little fondness for the Marine Corps, viewing them as competitors and headline hunters.  He attempted and failed to keep all Marine units out of the American Expeditionary Forces. However, he was impressed by the combat prowess of the Marines who fought in France.  After a less than satisfactory inspection of an Army unit on February 12, 1918 he wrote in frustration “Why in hell can’t the Army do it if the Marines can; they are all the same kind of men, why can’t they be like Marines?”

3

PopeWatch: Sell Out

One of the few points of certainty in the current Pontificate is that we can always rely upon our Pope to sell out the interests of Catholics around the globe.  Sandro Magister gives us the details on the latest sell out:

 

The words addressed by Pope Francis to the delegation of the patriarchate of Moscow, received in audience on Wednesday, May 30 (see photo), evidently were supposed to have remained confidential.

But on June 2, the press office of the Holy See released the transcription of the discourse. Which at that point could no longer remain secret, because right away the website Rome Reports posted a video with the key passages from it, and above all the official website of the patriarchate of Moscow featured it prominently, with complete satisfaction over what the pope had stated.

An understandable satisfaction, seeing how Francis espoused the ideas of the patriarchate of Moscow and instead condemned, in very harsh terms, the positions of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.

Here in fact is what Francis said to the delegation of the patriarchate of Moscow, headed by its powerful “foreign minister,” Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk:

“Before you I would like to reiterate – in a special way before you, my dear brother, and before all of you – that the Catholic Church will never allow an attitude of division to arise from her people. We will never allow ourselves to do this, I do not want it. In Moscow – in Russia – there is only one Patriarchate: yours. We will not have another one. And when some Catholic faithful, be they laypeople, priests or bishops, raise the banner of Uniatism, which does not work anymore, and is over, then it causes me pain. The Churches that are united in Rome must be respected, but Uniatism as a path of unity is not valid today.”

And further on:

“The Catholic Church, the Catholic Churches must not get involved in internal matters of the Russian Orthodox Church, nor in political issues. This is my attitude, and the attitude of the Holy See today. And those who meddle do not obey the Holy See.”

To a non-specialist, these words of Francis may appear cryptic. But they become perfectly clear as soon as their backstory is known.

First of all, there is an ambiguity that must be cleared from the field. When the pope seems to say that he does not intend to create any Catholic “patriarchate” as an alternative to the Orthodox one of Moscow, he is not thinking about Russia – where Eastern-rite Catholics barely number 2,000 and are served by a Latin-rite bishop – but about Ukraine, where the Greek Catholic Church has 4 million faithful and has strongly aspired for some time to be established as a patriarchate, and in fact already often considers itself and acts as such.

In 2003, the elevation of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church to a patriarchate seemed almost like a done deal. And curiously, it had its promoter in Rome in Cardinal – now an ultra-Bergoglian – Walter Kasper, who at the time was the president of the pontifical council for Christian unity and sent the patriarch of Moscow a letter to announce the imminent turning point to him.

Look out below. When the ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew, also saw that letter, he wrote a fiery response to Rome, threatening a complete rupture in the ecumenical dialogue. Bartholomew’s letter to the pope, dated November 29, 2003, was made public in the international Catholic magazine “30 Giorni,” and the Vatican made a U-turn.

But the Orthodox camp also has its internal conflicts, with their epicenter in Ukraine.

Ukraine is the birthplace of Orthodox Russia and it is there that the patriarchate of Moscow has a large portion of its faithful and finds many of its vocations and much of its economic support.

Today, however, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church that is part of the patriarchate of Moscow is only one of the three Orthodox groups present in that country and is the only one that is canonically recognized by all of Orthodoxy, with Metropolitan Onufry.

There have in fact arisen in Ukraine, in recent decades, first a patriarchate rival to and declared schismatic by Moscow, with its patriarch a former top-level hierarch of the Russian Church, Filaret, and then another autocephalous Ukrainian Orthodox Church, with Metropolitan Methodius.

So then, for some time there has been a growing push – also political, with the government of Kiev very active – to unify these three Churches in an autonomous new reality, under the aegis of the ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew.

Who has been working hard in this direction. And has personally kept Pope Francis informed, meeting with him in Rome last May 26.

The solution designed by Bartholomew is similar to the one that put an end to the Western schism at the end of the Middle Ages, when the three popes in office resigned in order to bring about the election of a new pope recognized by all.

In Bartholomew’s plan, the three Orthodox Churches now present in Ukraine would have to give up the jurisdiction they now exercise in order to allow the creation of a new Orthodox ecclesial subject in which the respective bishops, priests, and faithful would converge.

This new unified Ukrainian Orthodox Church would not necessarily be a patriarchate, but it would still enjoy its own autonomy and autocephaly.

And for the patriarchate of Moscow this would be a high price to pay, because it would lose any jurisdiction in Ukraine that it is now guaranteed by the Orthodox Church under its rule.

In Moscow, Patriarch Kirill and his deputy Hilarion are therefore understandably very distrustful in the face of this operation. And Russian President Putin is even more hostile, being at war with Ukraine and not wanting to see any decrease in his dominion over the region by autonomist religious as well as political movements.

But it is not out of the question that Constantinople patriarch Bartholomew may want to bring the operation into port anyway, even with the opposition of Moscow. There would be a repeat, in this case, of what happened in 2016 with the pan-Orthodox council, strongly backed by Barhtolomew and ultimately celebrated in spite of the defection of the patriarchate of Moscow.

And the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, what role is it playing in this affair?

It is certainly very active in supporting the reunification of the three Orthodox Churches, in agreement above all with the most anti-Russian one, which has in Filaret its self-proclaimed patriarch. But the officials of the patriarchate of Moscow are accusing it of something much more serious: of wanting to surreptitiously lead this reunified Ukrainian Orthodox world back into unity with the Greek Catholics as well, and therefore into obedience to the Church of Rome.

This is the “uniatism” that Pope Francis as well has condemned in no uncertain terms, in his discourse on May 30 to the delegation of the patriarchate of Moscow. “Uniatism” is the most intolerable thing there is for the Orthodox. It stands for the mimicry of those who display a resemblance to them in everything, in the Byzantine Greek liturgies, in customs, in the calendar, in the married clergy, but in addition to this obey – and want to make others obey – the pope of Rome.

At the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, with the title of major archbishop, is Sviatoslav Shevchuk, 48, a dynamic figure of great intelligence, whom Jorge Mario Bergoglio knows personally on account of a period of time that he spent in Buenos Aires caring for Ukrainian emigrants in Argentina.

This does not change the fact that Pope Francis addressed against none other than him, without mentioning him by name, the harshest words of his discourse on May 30, ordering him “not to meddle in internal matters” of Orthodoxy.

Among Shevchuk, Kirill, and Bartholomew, therefore, in this matter the pope is clearly distancing himself from the first of these, as he has also done with regard to Russian aggression against Ukraine.

While between Kirill and Bartholomew he is trying to be friends with both. With a greater preference for the Russian patriarch, in the event of a tie between the two.

*

It can be pointed out, in confirmation of this last preference of the pope, that Francis has declined to grant a place of worship in Rome to the Orthodox faithful of Russian tradition who fall under Bartholomew’s jurisdiction.

 

Go here to read the rest.  Bang up job on choosing Pope Francis in 2013 Cardinals.  No Pope would have been preferable.

16

It Says So In Your Dossier

I have been reading a biography of Lawrence of Arabia the past few days, Hero by Michael Korda, and it has directed my attention back to the magnificent film, Lawrence of Arabia (1962).  I have always thought highly of the below scene:

 

 

 

 

Veteran British actors Donald Wolfit and Claude Rains were at the top of their games.  Wolfit portrays General Archibald Murray as a military martinet.  Claude Rains is the cynical, intelligent and slightly sinister British civil functionary, Mr. Dryden, a fictional amalgamation of several historical figures.  Peter O’Toole, in his first major film role, gives the performance of his career as T.E. Lawrence, a mysterious messianic figure for the Arabs, driven more than half mad by what he experiences in the film.  Throughout his career O’Toole would specialize in characters who were close to being crazy.

The interesting thing about the scene is that Murray, clearly meant to be an unsympathetic character, says nothing but the truth.  The war against the Turks was a sideshow, and the revolt among some of the Bedouin against the Turks was  a sideshow of a sideshow, with all of it having close to zero impact on the outcome of World War I, which was decided by the fighting in France.

The scene also demonstrates the ability of film to mangle history.  Murray, rather than contemptuous of Lawrence, thought highly of him, and it was largely due to Lawrence’s reports that Murray supported the Arab Revolt.  Murray also, rather than being a military buffoon, was instrumental in amassing the forces that his successor General Edmund Allenby utilized with such smashing success.

The scene, as does the entire film,  rewards careful observation.  I have always regarded the following back and forth as wryly personally meaningful to me:

MURRAY
Now, the Arab Bureau seem to think you
would be of some use to them in Arabia.
Why? I can’t imagine! You don’t seem able
to perform your present duties properly.

LAWRENCE
I cannot fiddle, but I can make a great
state from a little city.

MURRAY
What!

LAWRENCE
Themistocles, sir. A Greek philosopher.

MURRAY
I know you’ve been well educated,
Lawrence. It says so in your dossier.

If any readers have not seen this film, they should remedy that lack as quickly as they can.

0

June 1918: The High Tide

 

Looking at a map of the Western Front a hundred years ago would have been depressing for a supporter of the Allied cause.  The Germans were only 39 miles from Paris, and they had made huge gains in Flanders and Northern France since the beginning of the year.  However, the German losses in assault troops were immense and the momentum of the offensives could not be maintained long enough to prove decisive.  This week a hundred years agp the Germans would begin Operation Gneisenau and make an impressive gain of nine miles along the Matz River.  An impromptu French counter-offensive at Compiegne on June 11 under French General Charles Mangin, however, brought the German offensive to an abrupt end after two days.  The Germans had one more offensive scheduled for July 1918.  If that did not bring them victory, the fortunes of war would swing to the Allies.

10

Twofer of Incompetence

Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he hold to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods and on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion. [1 Timothy 1.7]

Saint Augustine, On the Literal Meaning of Genesis

No doubt because of the Pope’s immense expertise regarding the oil industry and as a climatologist:

 

Pope Francis on Saturday issued a dire warning to top oil executives, saying that climate change could “destroy civilization.”

At a two-day conference at the Vatican, the pope called climate change a challenge of “epochal proportions,” according to Reuters.

He also said that the world must move toward using clean energy and a reduction in the use of fossil fuels.

“Civilization requires energy but energy use must not destroy civilization,” Francis said.

The conference, organized by the University of Notre Dame in the United States, brought together executives from asset manager BlackRock, BP and Norwegian oil and energy company Equinor, among others.

 

Go here to read the rest.  The Pope is the head of a Church that, in his own words, is hemorrhaging vocations.  The Irish, once among the most ardent of Catholics, have just embraced the child-murder that goes by the name of abortion.  Catholics face persecution and murder in many parts of the globe.  There is more than enough there to keep a Pope busy if he lived a hundred years.  Instead, Pope Francis, and he is sadly not unique in this, squanders the moral capital of the Church on issues which clerics clearly have no expertise.  It often seems as if our clergy, having done a lousy job in running the Church, seek secular plaudits by embracing causes trendy among Western elites, while the Gospel of Christ goes un-proclaimed and the People of God perish for lack of a shepherd truly concerned about the spiritual well-being of his flock.  If you are a member of our clergy and bored by the Gospel you are paid to proclaim and defend, do yourself and the rest of us a favor and resign your position.

11

The Death of Hope

The gallows in my garden, people say,

 Is new and neat and adequately tall;

 I tie the noose on in a knowing way

 As one that knots his necktie for a ball;

 But just as all the neighbours–on the wall–

Are drawing a long breath to shout “Hurray!”

The strangest whim has seized me. . . . After all

 I think I will not hang myself to-day.

To-morrow is the time I get my pay–

My uncle’s sword is hanging in the hall–

I see a little cloud all pink and grey–

Perhaps the rector’s mother will not call– I fancy that I heard from Mr. Gall

 That mushrooms could be cooked another way–

I never read the works of Juvenal–

I think I will not hang myself to-day.

The world will have another washing-day;

 The decadents decay; the pedants pall;

 And H.G. Wells has found that children play,

 And Bernard Shaw discovered that they squall,

 Rationalists are growing rational–

And through thick woods one finds a stream astray

 So secret that the very sky seems small–

I think I will not hang myself to-day.

ENVOI

Prince, I can hear the trumpet of Germinal,

 The tumbrils toiling up the terrible way;

 Even to-day your royal head may fall,

 I think I will not hang myself to-day.

G.K. Chesterton, The Ballad of Suicide

 

 

 

 

 

(With all the recent news of celebrity suicides I decided to repost this post from 2014.  The simple truth is that despair comes to most of us during our travail here below, and without a strong faith an ever growing number of people engage in self-murder as a result.  There is no suicide problem per se, but rather a problem, and an increasingly critical one, of all too many, many people who live lives devoid of faith, hope and charity.)

 

My view on suicide is the traditional one, that absent insanity it is usually the coward’s way out.  Contemporary views on suicide of course would view that attitude as harsh and Neanderthal and usually blame everyone but the suicide for their act of self murder.  I therefore found refreshing this article on suicide by Emily Esfahani Smith, the managing editor of The New Criterion:

The rise in suicide has been accompanied by a loss of the moral questions that once surrounded it. G. K. Chesterton was one of our last full-throated critics of suicide. His insistence that suicide is immoral sounds strange to our individualistic ears: “Not only is suicide a sin, it is the sin,” Chesterton wrote: “It is the ultimate and absolute evil, the refusal to take an interest in existence; the refusal to take the oath of loyalty to life. The man who kills a man, kills a man. The man who kills himself, kills all men; as far as he is concerned he wipes out the world.” Chesterton goes on to say that the act of suicide is selfish: “A suicide is a man who cares so little for anything outside him, that he wants to see the last of everything.” It would be difficult to imagine anyone writing such a polemic today. We do not consider suicide the moral catastrophe that people like Chesterton once thought it was.

Rather, our contemporary culture treats suicide as a medical problem—a “public health concern,” as Joshua Rottman, a psychological researcher, recently told The Atlantic. According to his new research, religious and non-religious people have a moral bias against suicide, and the bias stems from “disgust reactions” they have when confronted with stories of suicide. Committing suicide, people think, taints the soul. To Rottman, this is a problem. These reactions are irrational and, therefore, harmful: “The million-dollar question,” Rottman says, is “how to de-stigmatize suicide as impure.” Continue Reading

2

PopeWatch: The Great Escape

News that PopeWatch missed, courtesy of The Babylon Bee:

 

VATICAN CITY—Pope Francis again eluded his security detail Monday, this time quickly releasing statements which seem to cast doubt on the Catholic Church’s longstanding positions on polygamy and Unitarianism before he could be secured again, sources confirmed.

Francis was reportedly able to trick his handlers into thinking he was still in bed by stuffing pillows under his blankets early in the morning and leaving a CD of snoring sounds on repeat in the papal apartment. By the time his head of security discovered the ruse, Francis had already given an interview to an Italian television station possibly affirming polygamy, saying, “Listen, I don’t want to come down too heavy on that. Just seems kind of harsh—and who am I to judge?”

The Pope then led his security detail on a wild chase through St. Peter’s Square, weaving in and out of the Swiss Guard, losing his pursuers in the cheering throngs. However, he did stop long enough to give a quick, scandalous statement to the Catholic News Syndicate on Unitarians, saying he thought they were “maybe, you know, not too far off.”

Go here to read the rest.  A confidential source of PopeWatch among the Swiss Guards denied the story.  “Once they isued us the tranquilizer darts, he no longer can elude us.”.

 

4

PopeWatch: Maradiaga

Small peanuts when you consider everything the Cardinal is accused of, but why was he giving financial advice?

The widow of a former dean of the Vatican diplomatic corps has called on Pope Francis to intervene after she lost her life savings with a fund manager recommended to her by one of the Pope’s chief advisers.

Martha Alegria Reichmann, the widow of Alejandro Valladares who was Honduran ambassador to the Holy See for 22 years, alleges she and her husband were advised in 2012 by Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, the archbishop of Tegucigalpa, to make the investment with London-based investor Youssry Henien. 

But Henien then disappeared with all their life savings.

In this May 14 email interview with the Register, Reichmann says Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga, who is coordinator of the C9 Group of Cardinals advising the Pope on curial reform, assured them that the investment was safe and that he too had invested archdiocesan money through Henien.

She explains that her motive for going public with her losses is simply to seek “justice.”

Reichmann says she is one of many victims of the Church in Honduras which, she says, is “governed by terror toward anyone who dares to question the cardinal’s bad decisions or, even more dangerously, to rub up against the auxiliary [Bishop] Juan Jose Pineda.”

The Register recently reported that Bishop Pineda, who often runs the archdiocese in the cardinal’s absence, has been accused of sexually abusing seminarians as well as financial misconduct. 

The cardinal and the bishop have yet to respond to Register inquiries about the allegations. The Vatican also has declined comment.

 

Go here to read the rest.  Go here for a good overview of the allegations made against the Cardinal.  Maradiaga might as well have a sign hanging around his neck saying “I’m a bad guy.”.  Judas might be the Patron Damned for all crooked clerics.

 

3

Quotes Suitable for Framing: Victor Davis Hanson

The Western world is in turmoil largely because of the widening gap between what the people see as true and the “truth” that their governing classes impose on them for the purported greater moral good. The result is a schizophrenia like that seen before the collapse of the Soviet Empire, in which no one believed that the reality they lived had anything to do with the reality delivered by the media and the state. Trumpism and popular movements in Europe are simply symptoms of another problem—that what the ruling elite said was true was often a lie.

Victor Davis Hanson

8

PopeWatch: Vamoose

One of the features of Pope Francis that must be kept in mind is that he is a remarkably petty man.  Case in point:

 

It is a story that reads like a passage from The Dictator Pope: Pope Francis recently accepted the age-related resignation of Héctor Aguer, the Archbishop of La Plata, Argentina — the capital city of the Buenos Aires province — and will replace him with his close confidant and ghostwriter, Archbishop Víctor Manuel “Tucho” Fernández. Not only did the pope accept the resignation of Archbishop Aguer within just a few days of its mandatory submission, he also ordered him, through the nunciature, to immediately leave the diocese and not to remain there for his retirement.

Go here to read the rest.  Like many Leftists, the Pope loves people, but only in the abstract.

0

Battle of Belleau Wood

“We have Americans opposite us who are terribly reckless fellows.”

German Private, Belleau Wood, June 11, 1918

 

Prior to World War I most Americans were barely aware of the existence of the Marine Corps.  The Navy’s army made the papers only when landed in incursions on foreign soil, usually, although not always, brief, and America has always been a nation that usually pays only and brief and passing attention to most foreign events, unless some great disaster occurs like Pearl Harbor or 9-11, before returning to a concentration on domestic concerns.  The Marine Corps, a minuscule force of some 17,000 prior to US entry into World War I, had survived various attempts to abolish it throughout its history, most recently by Theodore Roosevelt, but bare survival on the periphery of American society seemed to be all that it was ever fated to accomplish, until the battle of Belleau Wood was fought.

 

 

 

With the US entry into World War I, the Corps expanded to 70,000 men.  Remaining a volunteer force, the Marines chose the cream of the 239,000 men who volunteered to be Marines, emphasizing youth, athletic prowess and intelligence.  They received the traditional Marine Corps training with a strong emphasis on physical fitness, discipline and marksmanship.

Along with their traditional duties, the Marines were going to have a piece of the war in France.  Earmarked for this assignment was the newly created 4th Marine Brigade, consisting of the Fifth Regiment, made up of hard case veterans of the Marine engagements in the Caribbean, and the Sixth Regiment, made up of newly recruited Marines, leavened with 50 veteran NCOs and commanded by career officers of the Corps for all ranks of Captain and above.  Sixty percent of the men in the Sixth Regiment were college graduates or had attended college, which was exceptional considering that only four to eight percent of the college age population at the time attended college.

The beginning of June 1918 saw the Marine brigade attached to the Army 2nd Division, rushed to the front to stem the German offensive, Operation Blucher, that had brought the enemy troops within thirty-nine miles of Paris and caused a sense of panic among the civilian population of the City of Lights.  The Americans held twenty kilometers of the front to the east of the town of Lucy Le Bocage and opposite the German  occupied Belleau Wood, a 200 acre forest which the Germans were using as a jumping off point for new attacks.  Countermanding French orders that the 2nd Division retire and dig trenches to the rear, General James Harbord, commander of the 2nd Division, who would later be made an honorary Marine by the Corps, ordered his men to hold in place.

The Germans attacked on June 3, and were repulsed by heavy Marine fire power.  Retreating French units urged the Marines to retire.  The response of the Marines was uttered by Captain Lloyd W. Williams of the 5th Marines:  “Retreat? Hell, we just got here!”.  (Captain Williams would die in Belleau Wood on June 18, 1918.)  Over the next two days the Marines repulsed numerous German assaults.

On June 6, the 5th Marines attacked Hill 142, preempting German preparations for an attack.  After a hard fight the Marines took Hill 142, suffering over 325 casualties.  The Marines made the mistake initially of advancing as the French had taught them, in long lines, bayonets fixed, perfect targets for the German machine gunners.  The Marines quickly abandoned this lethal approach and began to attack in squad rushes supported by fire, which proved much more effective and safer.  The 6th Marines to the south, under heavy fire, battled their way into Belleau Wood.  First Sergeant Dan Daly, an 18 year veteran of the Marine Corps, who had earned Medals of Honor in China and Haiti, and turned down promotions to Lieutenant twice, roared to his men, “Come on, you sons of bitches, do you want to live forever?” (Daley later recalled his statement as being, “For Christ’s sake, men, come on! Do you want to live forever?” For his actions on June 6, Daly was put in for his third Medal of Honor, but someone in the chain of command thought no man should have three Medals of Honor and instead Daly was decorated with the Distinguished Service Cross, the Navy Cross and French Médaille Militaire.)

US correspondents flocked to the story of the fight the Marines were raging and the story made headlines throughout the US.  French correspondents also celebrated the courage of the Marines, and for the remainder of the War any Marine visiting Paris was sure to have his face kissed by Frenchwomen and his hand shaken by Frenchmen.

Now began a long and grim struggle for Belleau Wood for the next 20 days.  The Marines, supported by Army units, would battle with elements of five German divisions.  The fighting often involved hand to hand combat, fists, knives and entrenching tools often being of more use at close quarters in the forest, smashed into a tangled labyrinth by artillery, than rifles.  On June 26, the Marines were able to announce that “Woods now U.S. Marine Corps entirely”. 

The ground was purchased at a high cost:  almost 2000 Americans killed and almost 8,000 Americans wounded.  The Marines sustained more casualties at Belleau Wood than they had in their entire history before Belleau Wood.  At Belleau Wood the Marines earned their claim to be among the elite combat troops of the world, and that if the US needed to seize an objective, sending the Marines was always a good option.

 

The French renamed Belleau Wood “Bois de la Brigade de Marine”.

 

3

Seventy-Four Years Ago

In 1982 when I graduated from law school, and went to work at a law firm, I was reminded of just how living a memory D-Day still was at that time.  The senior partner had lost his son on Omaha Beach.  Another partner, who had been elected a judge and left the firm before I arrived, had been severely wounded at Omaha Beach and still walked with a pronounced limp as a result.  A third partner in the firm had been a ground officer with the Eighth Air Force, and had helped to co-ordinate air support on D-Day.  In the intervening years all of those men have died, and soon the events of D-Day will leave living memory as the last of the veterans depart.  It is important that we remember this day that began what Eisenhower called the Crusade in Europe.

Eisenhower demonstrated his true greatness when he secretly had this letter prepared to be released in the event the Normandy landings failed:  “Our landings in the Cherbourg-Havre area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops. “My decision to attack at this time and place was based upon the best information available. The troop, the air force and the navy did all that bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt, it is mine alone.”  Italics added.  A willingness to shoulder all the blame in the event of such a colossal defeat is something rare in history.  Eisenhower idolized General Robert E. Lee and Lee showed precisely this same rare quality.  After Pickett’s Charge he met the defeated Confederate troops and told them that it was all his fault.  He tendered his resignation to Jefferson Davis, which the Confederate President wisely refused to accept.  It is easy to be noble in victory, far harder in defeat.

In the event D-Day did not fail. 2,499 Americans and 1,915 from Great Britain, Canada and the other Allied Powers, paid the ultimate price for the victory gained that day.  They deserve to be remembered for helping to remove a terrible evil from the world 74 years ago.

 

3

PopeWatch: Monty Python Skit

Life in the current pontificate often seems to resemble a Monty Python skit.  Case in point, the choice by the Pope of Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernandez  to head the Archdiocese of La Plata in Argentina:

On December 15, 2009, Cardinal Bergoglio appointed Fernandez as rector of the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina. However, much to the frustration of Cardinal Bergoglio, Fernandez was not able to take the oath of office until May 20, 2011, after he had answered objections to his appointment raised by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which assessed concerns about the orthodoxy of certain elements of his scholarship.

An avid writer, by the time Fernandez was chosen by Cardinal Bergoglio as the UCA rector, he had written more than 100 articles and books, including, “Incarnated Spiritual Theology” (2004), a book that was featured in the Argentinean soap opera “Esperanza Mía,” about an illicit love affair between a priest and a nun.

The book commonly regarded as his most unusual is the 1995 work “Heal me With Your Mouth: The Art of Kissing.” Regarding the book, Fernandez explained that: “in these pages I want to synthesize the popular feeling, what people feel when they think of a kiss, what they experience when they kiss… So, trying to synthesize the immense richness of life, these pages emerged in favor of kissing. I hope that they help you kiss better, that they motivate you to release the best of yourself in a kiss.”

The book has disappeared from most official lists of Fernandez’ works.

 

Go here to read the rest.  Our Church is governed by fools and worse.

2

June 6, 1944: The Great Crusade

 

 

SUPREME HEADQUARTERS
ALLIED EXPEDITIONARY FORCE

Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force!

You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.

Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle hardened. He will fight savagely.

But this is the year 1944! Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats, in open battle, man-to-man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground. Our Home Fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men. The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to Victory!

I have full confidence in your courage and devotion to duty and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full Victory!

Good luck! And let us beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.

(Signed, ‘Dwight D. Eisenhower’) Continue Reading

2

D-Day on Film

There have been surprisingly few movies on D-Day, as indicated by the fact that three out of the five videos looked at below are from television miniseries.  Here are the five best from  a scarce lot:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Ike: The War Years (1978)

Robert Duvall as Eisenhower gives his usual riveting performance.  The late Lee Remick  gives a good performance as Captain Kay Summersby, the British driver/secretary assigned to Eisenhower.  Unfortunately the miniseries centers around the relationship of Eisenhower and Summersby, a relationship which is subject to historical dispute.

4.  Ike: Countdown to D-Day (1995)

Tom Selleck gives a very good portrayal of Eisenhower in the days leading up to D-Day.  The video does a first rate job of portraying the problems that Eisenhower confronted:  getting prima donnas like Montgomery and Patton to work as a part of a team, concerns about the weather, the deception campaign to convince the Nazis that Calais would be the invasion site, etc.  The video also shines a light on the weight of responsibility which Eisenhower bore, especially when we see him write out a note just before the invasion taking full responsibility on his shoulders if it failed.

3.  Band of Brothers (2001)

The epic miniseries covering the exploits of Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne, captures well the chaos of the parachute and glider operations behind German lines that were so critical a part of the Allied victory on D-Day. Continue Reading

9

Father Flakey and the Armed Guard

 

 

 

 

One of the truisms of Catholic journalism in this country is that it is never a waste of time to inquire what “Father Flakey”, as he was christened long ago by legendary Chicago columnist, the late and great Mike Royko, is up to:

 

 

An armed security guard associated with staunch anti-gun and nationally known social activist, Father Michael Pfleger, was arrested on May 27 outside St. Sabina’s Roman Catholic Church on the South Side where Pfleger is a senior pastor. 

The Chicago Police (CPD) charged Henry Eugene Hale, 35, with possessing a firearm without a valid Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card. He was released on $150 bond.

Go here to read the rest.  Like most gun control activists Father Flakey wants you to be unarmed while he has an armed guard at his back.  Makes perfect sense as long as one is not bothered by blatant hypocrisy.  Time to take a trip down memory lane for a few of Father Flakey’s greatest hits:

“Pfleger generated controversy by inviting Al Sharpton to speak at a Mass during Black History Month celebrations. Cardinal Francis George disapproved of Sharpton’s appearance, due to Sharpton’s support of abortion. Sharpton was also a presidential candidate at the time, and archdiocese officials were concerned that having a political candidate speak in church would cause them to lose their tax-exempt status. However, George decided that trying to stop Sharpton from coming “would be a futile gesture and a waste of effort”.”

“In May 2007, During a Rainbow/PUSH Coalition protest outside a suburban Chicago gun shop, Pfleger was accused of threatening the life of the owner, John Riggio. The Illinois State Rifle Association released a tape where Pfleger was heard telling the assembled crowd, “He’s the owner of Chuck’s. John Riggio. R-i-g-g-i-o. We’re going to find you and snuff you out… you know you’re going to hide like a rat. You’re going to hide but like a rat we’re going to catch you and pull you out.” Pfleger later claimed his use of the phrase “snuff you out” was misinterpreted.”

“Cardinal George rebuked Pfleger, saying, “Publicly delivering a threat against anyone’s life betrays the civil order and is morally outrageous, especially if this threat came from a priest.” Pfleger claimed that he did not intend to use the word “snuff” as a slang term for “kill”, but rather as a substitute for “pull”, as he used later in his statement.”

“On May 25, 2008, Pfleger gave a sermon at Trinity United Church of Christ, then Presidential candidate Barack Obama’s church, where he made controversial statements concerning Senator Hillary Clinton, Obama’s opponent for the Democratic Party nomination. Pfleger said, “I really believe that she just always thought, ‘This is mine. I’m Bill’s wife. I’m white, and this is mine. I just gotta get up and step into the plate.’ Then out of nowhere came, ‘Hey, I’m Barack Obama,’ and she said, ‘Oh, damn! Where did you come from? I’m white! I’m entitled! There’s a black man stealing my show!’” He then pretended to wipe tears from his face, a reference to Clinton’s emotional speech before the New Hampshire primary, and added, “She wasn’t the only one crying. There was a whole lot of white people crying.”

“After hearing about Pfleger’s remarks, Obama said he was “deeply disappointed in Father Pfleger’s divisive, backward-looking rhetoric”. Pfleger later released a statement through St. Sabina that read, “I regret the words I chose Sunday. These words are inconsistent with Sen. Obama’s life and message, and I am deeply sorry if they offended Sen. Clinton or anyone else who saw them.” On May 31, 2008, Obama resigned his membership in Trinity Church, saying that his campaign had caused the church to receive excessive media attention. On June 1, 2008, Pfleger released a longer apology to the St. Sabina parish regarding the incident and its aftermath.”

“On June 3, 2008, Cardinal George asked Pfleger to take a disciplinary leave of absence from St. Sabina. George said in a statement, “I have asked Father Michael Pfleger, Pastor of St. Sabina’s Parish, to step back from his obligations there and take leave for a couple of weeks from his pastoral duties, effective today. Fr. Pfleger does not believe this to be the right step at this time. While respecting his disagreement, I have nevertheless asked him to use this opportunity to reflect on his recent statements and actions in the light of the Church’s regulations for all Catholic priests. I hope that this period will also be a time away from the public spotlight and for rest and attention to family concerns.” Pfleger resumed his parish duties on June 16, 2008.”

“On April 11, 2010, Pfleger delivered a 70-minute sermon in which he said the Apostles “had run out on” Jesus. “They had turned their backs on Him. They had left the One they had been with for three years, 24/7, and they ran away from Him when He most needed them. Only John, at the foot of the Cross and the women. That’s why there should be woman priests. That’s why there should be married priests. That’s why there should be women bishops and women cardinals.” The Archdiocese of Chicago later issued a statement by Pfleger in which he apologized for his remarks but reaffirmed his support for women’s ordination. Pfleger said on his Facebook fan page that he was told to apologize, despite still holding those opinions. Pfleger denounced critics of his comments as “ignorant haters” who took his homily “out of context” and used them “for their own particular motives.”

Will Rogers used to say that he was not a member of any organized political party, he was a Democrat.  In viewing the colorful career of Father Flakey, and how he remains a priest in good standing, I often reflect that I must be no member of any organized religion, I am a Catholic.

 

7

Democrats Bring the Crazy

Perhaps the most salient feature of the Trump era is how crazy he makes most Democrats:

Why is this?  Democrats during the Obama years kept telling themselves that they were now the majority party of the future, thanks to demographic change, even as they lost control of Congress and became the weakest at the State level that they have been since before the New Deal.  When Hillary lost, Democrats suddenly woke up from their Obama trance to a hostile political environment.  Their reaction was to go hard left and to attempt to shout down any voices within their party that told them this was madness.  They are aided and abetted in this trek over the cliff by the entertainment industry and academia which are also captives of the hard left.  We shall see how this strategy works for them in November.  Thus far the Democrat lead on the generic Congressional ballot has plummeted from a high of fifteen points, and now stands at three points.

1

June 5, 1944: Patton Delivers The Speech

“There is one great thing that you men will all be able to say after this war is over and you are home once again. You may be thankful that twenty years from now when you are sitting by the fireplace with your grandson on your knee and he asks you what you did in the great World War II, you WON’T have to cough, shift him to the other knee and say, “Well, your Granddaddy shoveled sh-t in Louisiana.” No, Sir, you can look him straight in the eye and say, “Son, your Granddaddy rode with the Great Third Army and a Son-of-a-G-dd—ed-B—h named Georgie Patton!”

General George S. Patton, Jr., June 5, 1944

General George S. Patton, Jr., not only had high military skills, he was also a skilled actor, using that skill to inspire his troops and sometimes to terrify his immediate subordinates.  After Patton was placed in the dog house due to the slapping of a private on Sicily, Army Chief of Staff George Marshall came up with the idea of using Patton as a decoy:  Marshall wrote to Eisenhower on October 21, 1943: “It seems evident to us that Patton’s movements are of great importance to German reactions and therefore should be carefully considered. I had thought and spoke to [Eisenhower’s chief of staff, Walter Bedell] Smith about Patton being given a trip to Cairo and Cyprus but the Corsican visit appeals to me as carrying much more of a threat [to northern Italy].” Eisenhower responded, “As it is I am quite sure that we must do everything possible to keep [the Germans] confused and the point you have suggested concerning Patton’s movements appeals to me as having a great deal of merit. This possibility had not previously occurred to me.”

Ironically, although the Germans after his dash across France at the head of Third Army would regard Patton as one of ablest Allied generals, prior to that time his name figures little in German intelligence reports, while constant attention was paid to the movements of Montgomery.  The plan to use Patton as a decoy was therefore based on a faulty premise, but of course Eisenhower and Marshall were completely unaware of that. Continue Reading

1

PopeWatch: Pressure

Something to remember for the remainder of this pontificate.  When the Pope encounters enough resistance he can be slowed down, if not stopped.  Sandro Magister brings us the details:

 

In receiving this morning, Monday June 4, a delegation of the German Lutheran Evangelical Church, Pope Francis cautioned against the “eagerness to run ahead” and was at pains to say that “some issues, I think of the Church, the Eucharist and the ecclesial ministry, deserve detailed and thoroughly shared reflection.”

In these words there can be glimpsed a veiled allusion to the controversy, which has exploded among the Catholic bishops of Germany, of whether or not to admit Protestant spouses as well to Eucharistic communion.

But that’s not all. Because this same morning the German bishops received a letter from newly created cardinal Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer (in the photo), prefect of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith, which establishes firm guidelines on this very question.

The letter is reproduced in its entirety further below, translated from the original German. It bears the date of May 25. And the day before, on May 24, Francis had met with Ladaria to compose the definitive draft.

The background to this letter is the document approved last February by a majority vote in the German episcopal conference, headed by Cardinal Reinhard Marx, archbishop of Munich, which says how and when to allow communion for Protestant spouses.

An appeal against this document was made to Rome, to the congregation for the doctrine of the faith, by seven bishops including the cardinal of Cologne, Rainer Maria Woelki:

> One Cardinal, Seven Bishops, and Four New “Dubia.” This Time on Intercommunion

After this a summit was convened in Rome by the pope on May 3, with the Vatican authorities in charge of doctrine and ecumenism and German representatives of the two conflicting sides.

The summit had concluded with a statement informing that Ladaria had communicated to the German bishops Pope Francis’s request that they “find, in a spirit of ecclesial communion, a unanimous result if possible.”

And this made the dispute continue in an even more heated way, not only in Germany but all over the world:

> Communion For Protestants. The Bomb Went Off In Germany, But It’s Shaking the Whole Church

Now, however, this letter from the prefect of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith, written and sent “with the explicit approval of the pope,” blocks the publication of the document of the German bishops that ignited the controversy and reassigns the question to a more mature reflection at the level of the “universal” Church and of ecumenical relations with other Churches, apart from the Protestants.

 

Go here to read the rest.

 

1

June 4, 1989: In Memoriam: Tiananmen Square

 

“The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it.”

Thucydides

Today is the twenty-ninth anniversary of the beginning of the brutal suppression of the pro-Democracy protests in Tiananmen Square in Beijing.  Over 3000 of the protestors were murdered by the Communist government of China.  Tyranny won that round, but I have absolutely no doubt that Democracy will ultimately prevail in the Middle Kingdom.  When it does, the heroes and heroines of Tiananmen Square will be remembered and their murderers forgotten.

 

0

June 4, 1940

May it not also be that the cause of civilization itself will be defended by the skill and devotion of a few thousand airmen? There never has been, I suppose, in all the world, in all the history of war, such an opportunity for youth. The Knights of the Round Table, the Crusaders, all fall back into the past-not only distant but prosaic; these young men, going forth every morn to guard their native land and all that we stand for, holding in their hands these instruments of colossal and shattering power, of whom it may be said that:

Every morn brought forth a noble chance
And every chance brought forth a noble knight,
deserve our gratitude, as do all the brave men who, in so many ways and on so many occasions, are ready, and continue ready to give life and all for their native land.

Winston Churchill, June 4, 1940

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

June 1918: Germans at the Gates of Paris

 

As June dawned a hundred years ago, the crisis of the War was unfolding for the Allies.  The offensive code named Operation Blucher undertaken at the end of May had been a success with the Germans now only thirty-nine miles from Paris at Belleau Wood.  The French government began planning for the evacuation of government officials and offices to Bordeaux.  The Germans were now back on the river Marne where they had been repulsed in 1914.  Having taken 50,000 French troops prisoners, the German offensive initiated a sense of panic in Paris, exacerbated by random bombardment of the City of Lights by German long range guns.  The iron dice of war were rolling and the situation was in flux after four years of stasis on the Western Front.

4

PopeWatch: Venezuela

The socialist idiots who run Venezuela have a slogan:  Socialism or Death!  They seem to have modified the slogan to Socialism and Death, since violent death, or death by starvation, seems to be the only thing being produced by that country currently.  The Pope has largely remained silent, and Sandro Magister gives us an example of the indulgent attitude of the Pope to the Venezuela regime:

 

One of these concerns Venezuela. Against the background of the disaster into which the country has plunged and in the run-up to the false elections for reconfirming in power the heir of Hugo Chávez, Nicolás Maduro, there erupted last week a revolt – which was harshly repressed – in the El Helicoide prison in Caracas, a place of detention and torture for political prisoners who crime is that of having opposed the regime.

At the news of the revolt the archbishop of Caracas, Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino, and then the Venezuelan episcopal conference appealed “to the state, to its responsibility for the life and well-being of all persons imprisoned.” And at the Vatican, the secretariat of state judged it opportune for Pope Francis to speak out as well, at the end of the Regina Caeli on May 20, the Sunday of Pentecost.

In fact, here is the text of the appeal as provided for the journalists accredited to the Holy See one hour before the pope spoke, naturally under embargo until the moment when the text was spoken and with the obligation of comparing it with the words actually said:

“I would like to dedicate once again a special consideration to beloved Venezuela. With the help of the Holy Spirit, may all work to find just, effective, and peaceful solutions for the grave humanitarian, political, economic, and social crisis that is exhausting the population, and avoid the temptation of resorting to any kind of violence. I encourage the authorities of the country to guarantee respect for the life and well-being of every person, especially those who, like the imprisoned, are under their responsibility.”

But then, when he addressed the crowd present in Saint Peter’s Square, Francis did not read the text he was holding in his hands. He looked up and improvised these words:

“I would like to dedicate a special consideration to beloved Venezuela. I ask that the Holy Spirit give the whole Venezuelan people – all, leaders, people – the wisdom to find the path of peace and unity. I also pray for the prisoners who died yesterday.”

Very disappointing words for Venezuelans, precisely because they are so indulgent – like other times in the past – toward the regime of Maduro, for which the pope avoided any direct call to responsibility, which instead was explicit in the severe words that the secretariat of state provided and that he set aside.

Go here to read the rest.  Like most leftists the Pope clearly believes in the maxim:  No enemies on the Left.

5

PopeWatch: Too Catholic

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

 

Congregants of a Baptist church in South Carolina yesterday unanimously voted to remove all bibles from their church because many believe it’s too “Catholic” for their place of worship.

In a letter written to his congregation, Pastor Don Ringle said the bibles would be removed this week.

“We have discovered that there are people that view the bible as Catholic in nature,” Ringle wrote, going on to say that the bible was beginning to bring into question “the theology and core values of the church.”

“I’ve tried for years to remove certain passages from the bible, telling people to tear out this book and that, this chapter and that, until we were basically left with a pamphlet. After some consideration and dialogue with my congregants, as well as prayer, we decided the whole bible that was left to us still smelled a little too papist.”

The letter also stated that Catholic churches around the South Carolina area had until Friday to pick up the bibles if they wanted to keep them, and that if not, they would be destroyed.

A spokesman for the Catholic Church in the area thanked Ringle, but said that they have no use for abridged versions of the bible.

 

Go here to comment.  PopeWatch has been unable to confirm that in response the Pontifical Council on Interreligious Dialogue is contemplating a statement of concern that the Bible is un-ecumenical.

3

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

 

 

0

A Time For Us

Count Marc Antonio Verano:

For 70 years,
I've watched the seasons change.
I've seen the vibrant life of summer,
the brilliant death of fall...
the silent grave of winter.
And then, I've seen
the resurrection of spring,
the glorious birth of new life.
And my father and my father's father
have seen it before me.
Nothing ever dies, my friend.
You don't believe that,
do you?

 Andrea Orsini:
I don't have your wisdom,
my lord.
I believe that I was born
and that I must die...
and that I must make the best of what
lies between the two extremes.
Screenplay, Prince of Foxes (1949)



 

 

 

 

 

Something for the weekend.  A Time For Us, also known as The Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet (1968) and What is a Youth. Written by Henry Mancini for Franco Zeffirelli’s take on Shakespeare’s immortal tale of doomed love.  I know of no other song that better conveys the passage of time, and what a joyous, sad and wondrous thing the life that God grants us is.

 

 

 

13

Father Paddy McCafferty

Think the fight over abortion is ended in Ireland?  It has just begun, if Father Paddy McCafferty has anything to say about it:

You cannot be a Catholic and be in favour of abortion. Deliberate abortion is so grave a sin that those who procure an abortion, those who carry out the procedure, those who participate in it, or facilitate it, are excommunicated with immediate effect. People who reject such a vitally important teaching of Christ need to be spiritually and morally honest. The sacraments of Jesus Christ, for example, are not mere rites of passage. Therefore, choose a secular education for children, avail of other rites of passage and/or invent new ones.

 

Go here to read the rest.  Father McCafferty has promised to protest outside abortion clinics when they open in Ireland.  In him burns bright the spirit of the Catholic priests down through the centuries who upheld the cross of Christ for their oppressed countrymen and the dream of a free Ireland.  He is as different from the spineless leaders of the Church in Ireland as it is possible to be.  Go here to read more about this fascinating and fearless priest.