Do It

Wednesday, March 29, AD 2017


Representative Morris Brooks Jr. (R.Al.) has a simple solution to ObamaCare:


“Effective as of Dec. 31, 2017, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is repealed, and the provisions of law amended or repealed by such Act are restored or revived as if such Act had not been enacted.”


The mistake of Speaker Paul Ryan in regard to the fiasco over a replacement to ObamaCare was not repealing it first.  If he has any brains, a debatable proposition at this point I am afraid, he will ram this through the House and toss it to the Senate.  Grass roots pressure will be hard for the Republicans in the Senate to ignore to put a stake in this misbegotten exercise in government by wishful thinking.  What comes next?  I would suggest mandatory a la carte insurance policies being offered, no mandated coverage of any conditions and allowance of health insurance policies being offered nationally.

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PopeWatch: Ban the Bomb

Wednesday, March 29, AD 2017



Pope Francis has called for banning all nukes:


ROME – Pope Francis has called for a “collective and concerted” multilateral effort to eliminate nuclear weapons, telling a United Nations conference working on a treaty to prohibit such weapons that international peace and stability “cannot be based on a false sense of security, on the threat of mutual destruction or total annihilation, or on simply maintaining a balance of power.”

The conference took place March 27 in New York, after the UN General Assembly voted in December to negotiate a legally binding treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons, with the aim of working toward their total elimination.

Such a treaty would make explicit what is implied in the 1970 Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, which calls on declared nuclear powers to aim for complete nuclear disarmament.

The talks seemed doomed from the start, since every state with nuclear weapons – including the five veto-wielding permanent members of the UN Security Council – boycotted the congress.

Nikki Haley, the U.S. representative to the UN, said she “would love to have a ban on nuclear weapons, but in this day and time we can’t honestly say we can protect our people by allowing bad actors to have them and those of us that are good trying to keep peace and safety not to have them,” specifically mentioning the threat of nuclear-armed North Korea.

The pontiff answered these objections directly in a letter to the congress, noting the current “unstable climate of conflict” might not seem the best time to approach the “demanding and forward looking goal” of nuclear non-proliferation, and even nuclear disarmament.

However, the pope said nuclear deterrence is ineffective against the principal threats in the twenty-first century, mentioning in particular terrorism, asymmetrical conflicts, cybersecurity, environmental problems, and poverty.

“These concerns are even greater when we consider the catastrophic humanitarian and environmental consequences that would follow from any use of nuclear weapons, with devastating, indiscriminate and uncontainable effects, over time and space,” Francis writes, adding “we need also to ask ourselves how sustainable is a stability based on fear, when it actually increases fear and undermines relationships of trust between peoples.”

The pope said the world needs to go beyond nuclear deterrence: “The international community is called upon to adopt forward-looking strategies to promote the goal of peace and stability and to avoid short-sighted approaches to the problems surrounding national and international security.”

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6 Responses to PopeWatch: Ban the Bomb

  • MAD doesn’t work?

    His Holiness assumes much not in evidence.

  • I notice, Donald, you wrote you had a “few” questions. I’m certain your list could be much longer. But really, let’s just get to the heart of the problem. Why didn’t the Pope just propose a ban on mean people? That way, even if nuclear weapons existed, there would be no worries. Everyone would be nice. He’s just the man to propose something that will truly benefit all mankind. Thank God for Pope Francis.

  • It is not as if President Trump needs another reason to defund the UN.

    Mutually assured destruction worked in the Cold War. Chamberlain-style appeasement, and the so-called League of Nations’ arms restrictions on Germany, didn’t work in the first half of the 20th century, when cold reality crushed sunny theory and unicorn farts.

    There are only two outcomes of appeasement: surrender or war. The reality is that there are lunatics (Hitler, Stalin, Kim) that will never honestly respond to a generous gesture.

    Here we have a secular humanist (globalist elite) essay about perfecting the World, which is the only World we have, and which we must feverishly work to make better.

  • “Why didn’t the Pope just propose a ban on mean people?”

    Comment of the week F7!

    Take ‘er away Sam!

  • Very hard to imagine a situation in which use of such weapons could be done in a morally licit way. Yet the situation is such that many bad actors have these weapons, and the most plausible way of deterring their use is our own arsenal. Not an ideal situation, but until and unless the bad guys get rid of them in a verifiable way, our continued possession of them must continue as a deterrence.

    The Pope is merely stating the obvious, that the existence of these weapons is a tragedy, since even one use of a modern warhead would have devastating consequences on innocent noncombatants. I don’t think opposing the existence and maintenance of these wretched weapons is some kind of pacifist, tree-hugging, “librul” position, it’s the consistent Catholic position since the time they were developed. If they could be gotten rid of, it would be a net moral gain for humanity.

  • “The Pope is merely stating the obvious, that the existence of these weapons is a tragedy,”

    Nope, he is calling for their elimination without caring a fig about the practical difficulties that prevent such a policy from having an ending that does not involve the use of nuclear weapons by some very bad actors. Good intentions are never a substitute for intelligence.

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One Response to Tarzan_Son of Man

  • Oh, the power to be strong
    And the wisdom to be wise
    All these things will
    Come to you in time
    On this journey that you’re making
    There’ll be answers that you’ll seek
    And it’s you who’ll climb the mountain
    It’s you who’ll reach the peak
    Son of man, look to the sky
    Lift your spirit, set it free
    Some day you’ll walk tall with pride
    Son of man, a man in time you’ll be
    Though there’s no one there to guide you
    No one to take your hand
    But with faith and understanding
    You will journey from boy to man
    Son of man, look to the sky
    Lift your spirit, set it free
    Some day you’ll walk tall with pride
    Son of man, a man in time you’ll be
    In learning you will teach
    And in teaching you will learn
    You’ll find your place beside the
    Ones you love
    Oh, and all the things you dreamed of
    The visions that you saw
    Well, the time is drawing near now
    It’s yours to claim in all
    Son of man, look to the sky
    Lift your spirit, set it free
    Some day you’ll walk tall with pride
    Son of man, a man in time you’ll be
    Son of man,
    Son of man’s a man for all to see.

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Abortion and the Catholic Democrat

Tuesday, March 28, AD 2017



“In their directive, ‘Faithful Citizenship,’ our American Catholic bishops make clear that people don’t necessarily need to have their vote determined by a single religious issue. One could say, ‘I don’t like Hillary’s position on abortion but her social services policy should help reduce the number of abortions. I love her position on the environment and immigration reform and so I’ll vote for her.’”

Thomas Groome, Professor of Theology, Boston College

Thomas Groome, Professor of Theology at Boston College, a Jesuit research university, is a former priest and an advocate of jettisoning celibacy, he left the priesthood to get married, and an advocate of ordaining women as priests.  Coming from that perspective, I guess it is praiseworthy that he wrote an article in The New York Times entitled To Win Again Democrats Must Stop Being the Party of Abortion.

When I came to this country from Ireland some 45 years ago, a cousin, here 15 years before, advised me that Catholics vote Democratic. Having grown up in the Irish Republic, I was well disposed to Republican Party principles like local autonomy and limited government. Yet a commitment to social justice, so central to my faith, seemed better represented by the Democratic Party. I followed my cousin’s good counsel.

But once-solid Catholic support for Democrats has steadily eroded. This was due at least in part to the shift by many American Catholic bishops from emphasizing social issues (peace, the economy) to engaging in the culture wars (abortion, gay marriage). Along the way, many Catholics came to view the Democrats as unconditionally supporting abortion.

Last year’s election was a watershed in this evolution. Hillary Clinton lost the overall Catholic vote by seven points — after President Obama had won it in the previous two elections. She lost the white Catholic vote by 23 points. In heavily Catholic states like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan, she lost by a hair — the last by less than 1 percent. A handful more of Catholic votes per parish in those states would have won her the election.

Her defeat is all the more remarkable considering that Mrs. Clinton shared many Catholic social values. By contrast, Mr. Trump’s disrespect for women, his racism, sexism and xenophobia should have discouraged conscientious Catholics from voting for him. So why did they? Certainly his promises to rebuild manufacturing and his tough talk on terrorism were factors. But for many traditional Catholic voters, Mrs. Clinton’s unqualified support for abortion rights — and Mr. Trump’s opposition (and promise to nominate anti-abortion Supreme Court justices) — were tipping points.

In its directive, “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,” the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops make clear that American Catholics do not need to be single-issue voters. The bishops say that while Catholics may not vote for a candidate because that candidate favors abortion, they can vote for a candidate in spite of such a stance, based on the totality of his views. Yet despite that leeway, abortion continues to trigger the deepest moral concern for many traditional Catholics, including me.

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20 Responses to Abortion and the Catholic Democrat

  • I take issue with the energy tone, suggesting to me that we are mistaken in our view that the Democrat Party is unconditionally pro-Choice. The good professor says:

    “Along the way, many Catholics came to view the Democrats as unconditionally supporting abortion.”

    Except that the Democrat Party IS unconditionally pro-Choice. That’s not a mere perception, that is the reality.

    I WAS a Democrat and left specifically because I was repeatedly told that I was a traitor because I did not share every single idiotic notion that the national party pushed. It is a reality that the Republican umbrella is FAR broader than the Democrats can tolerate.

  • “But it is not necessary here to argue whether the other-worldly or the humanistic ideal is ‘higher.’ The point is that they are incompatible. One must choose between God and Man, and all ‘radicals’ and ‘progressives,’ from the mildest liberal to the most extreme anarchist, have in effect chosen Man.”

    The Gospels teach that one cannot serve two masters. Orwell (above) in his essay, Reflections on Gandhi, ratifies that determination.

    The phrase “catholic Democrat” is an oxymoron. The so-called cD is Democrat first, catholic last. They have chosen the party over God and the rewards of eternal life.

    I will not be lectured on virtue by anybody that thinks murdering 57 million babies is a “choice.”

    FYI the US Constitution does not give you a human right. God endows you with unalienable rights. Also, the courts do not have power to amend the Constitution.

    Finally (Thank God!), “social justice” simply is stealing from your neighbor with the government as middleman.” It has nothing to do with charity, the Gospels, or faith. They (cD’s) use it for two main purposes: to “buy” votes/seize power and to dishonestly beat up the opposition.

  • As the years have gone by I too have grown disillusioned and disappointed by the Republican party. However, in that same time I have seen the Democrat party grow even more pro-abortion making my decision easy every time I step into the voting booth.

  • This is supremely bad advice from Professor Groome, and I hope the Democrats take it.

  • This is our Civil War hot button.
    No. I’m not advocating Civil unrest.
    But this issue is far more oppressive than the right to own slaves..For obvious reasons.

    Death in the form of a licence, and via the taxpayers money!!!

    No MORE. That sentence demands all capital letters.

    We, the nation, is hanging on by the absolute ends of our fingers, and we don’t have a toe hold. The next move will allow US to regain a foot hold, or it will cause US to loose the little grip we have.

    April 28th and 29th…. Defund Planned Parenthood prayer rallies nation wide.

    Please help US get a better grip before we slip into oblivion.

  • The sovereign personhood of the newly conceived human being institutes government from the very first moment of existence. The moral and legal innocence of the newly conceived are the standard of Justice for the state and the compelling interest of the state to guard and protect the unborn PERSON. In her own words Hillary Clinton calls the unborn person a “person”. All law and our Constitution are written for the person, born and unborn. Our Constitutional Posterity are acknowledged in our Preamble. “We, the people…” are a community of persons…sovereign persons, created equal and endowed with a right to life; the innate human right to life that becomes our civil right to life. Hillary Clinton does not circumscribe our civil rights nor circumvent our innate human rights.

  • “We, the people…” are created equal, not born equal. “The rights the state gives, the state can take away” Thomas Jefferson. God creates life and sovereign personhood, moral and legal innocence; original innocence, the image of God in man. The state gives man citizenship and a tax bill at birth. WELCOME

  • No one should kill their child. No one should promote the killing of children.

  • Pingback: Canon212 Update: Don’t be a Dubia Dummy and Join the Real Resistance – The Stumbling Block
  • The notion that HRC ‘shares many Catholic social values’ or that DJT is addled by ‘racism, sexism, and xenophobia’ are evaluations so stereotyped and naive that I’d have to conclude Prof. Groome lives entirely within a certain sort of bourgeois subculture. What was that bloody PhD worth?

    It’s doubtful that HRC has consequential motors at this point other than megalomania and the welfare of her camarilla (who cycle between government gigs and slots at the Clinton Foundation). You can refer to Christopher Lasch’s critiques in 1992 of her writings up to that time, especially her notorious article in Harvard Education Review. The woman was an advocate of the social work trade.

    And that’s the Democratic Party: always promoting the interests of various cadres (and the business sectors which finance their campaigns – the media, casino banking, and tech).

  • “…and our Constitution are written for the person, born and unborn. ”

    We should think so. I honestly believe so.

    Unfortunately, the late Justice Scalia, himself a Catholic and a constitution originalist, said the Constitution guarantees personhood only on those “walking around.” That excludes the human fetus.

    Perhaps the problem is the Constitution itself?

  • It is interesting that abortion and so called same sex marriage are part of a “culture war” but peace and the economy are simply “issues”. The language is illustrative of why Catholics tend to start off any debate on the defensive. After all discussing issues is good but going to war is bad, right?

    I think a good way to bring this issue to light is to ask the pro-choice person who claims Catholics who vote first on pro-life are simply one issue voters is to ask them, “If your favored candidate came out as pro-choice for owning a slave would you still vote for that person?” The answer is always no, best follow up is, “Why not?” It gets them to understand the Church teaches all humans deserve legal protection and enlightens them that we are all, at some point, single-issue voters. It just depends on the issue.

  • from an earlier article of mine-summary: “Mortal Sin – Vote Democrat”-

    Guy McClung, San Antonio, Texas

  • These Leftists & those who lean left still cannot get over the fact that they lost the presidential election. And they seem completely incapable of understanding that Hillary list because she lost. She lost because of what a horrible president Obama was & Hillary had promised to continue his policies and strengthen them. She lost because she was a horrible candidate with all kinds of negatives. She lost because her campaign picked a losing game plan. There is nothing mystical about this.

  • “Perhaps the problem is the Constitution itself?”


    The problem most definitely is not the constitution as written. It says that we are endowed by our Creator with inalienable rights. As soon as that egg & sperm unite, a unique human being is created–everything and all that human will ever be is present. The problem is in the recognition of that created human being.

    If man can be so dead/hardened spiritually that they can enslave and murder other full grown human beings and deny those humans the rights due to them through their creation, then they will certainly deny the rights of created humans in the womb.

  • “Unfortunately, the late Justice Scalia, himself a Catholic and a constitution originalist, said the Constitution guarantees personhood only on those ‘walking around.’ That excludes the human fetus.”

    Somehow, I think that your interpretation of what you say Scalia said must include some misunderstanding. For instance, the ability to walk being a limitation on who has rights under our constitution, would exclude a lot more people than just unborn babies. Born babies cannot walk well until they are about 2 years old. Lots of adults can walk and must use a wheel chair or stay in bed. Disease can render us unable to walk at any time in life. A lot of us are temporarily unable to walk due to injuries at times, etc.

  • The Democratic Party is no only pro-choice but opposed to Catholic sexual morality. They are also in favor of open borders, an attitude they share with many bishops. I beige to think they sympathize with the rabidly nationalistic Mexican bishop who opposes Trumps’ proposal for a wall. Given that despite the rhetoric Trump’s policy seems basically to enforce laws that Obama had chosen not to enforce. Reactionary, not radical, at least so far.

  • I believe nearly every aspect of the Democrat Party platform is evil. It is a tarted up version of atheistic Communism.

  • More foolishness from a professor of an alleged Catholic university.. that’s all it is.
    As noted earlier, I, too have become disappointed in the GOP, The Democrats are the Evil Party. Anything they do is to increase their power.


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PopeWatch: Peron the Papal Role Model

Tuesday, March 28, AD 2017



John-Henry Westen at Lifesite News conveys some observations of the Pope by an Argentinian priest:


For those who knew Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio prior to his election to the pontificate, this is nothing new. I spoke to a few priests from Buenos Aires who worked with Cardinal Bergoglio in different capacities and from them learned that confusion is emblematic of his ministry. One anecdote in particular was very instructive. I was told that people from opposite camps would both come out of meetings with Cardinal Bergoglio believing he supported their position. “He’s with us but can’t say so publicly,” they would relate, as would those who met with him from the opposing camp.

While in an archdiocese this may work for a time, this learned priest told me, in the Vatican where just about everything the Pope says is trumpeted to the world, these kinds of discrepancies become evident more quickly. Francis, the priest told me, is very much a Peronist — named for former Argentina President Juan Domingo Perón. Like Perón, Pope Francis plays with both left wing and right wing factions.  

The priest tells a story about President Peron that helps to understand Francis. Once Peron was in his car and at a fork in the road his driver asked him which way he would like to go, to which Peron replied: “Put the flicker on for a right turn, but go left.” One last note about Bergoglio, related by the priest, is that when pushed, he will go left out of a great apprehension of being labeled a right-winger by the media.

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About That Apology

Monday, March 27, AD 2017


From the thread on the post where Mark Shea announced his apology to Ed Feser:


Trump remains, without any possible comparison, the worst and most dangerous crook to ever live in the White House. The issue is not how people voted. The issue is the massive scandal of Christians who still support, deny, and excuse every lie and cruelty this feckless incompetent commits at this hour.




The Christian right, in huge percentages, voted for a lying sex predator who embodies the antithesis of the gospel in almost every way and has continued to defend him with silence and acclamation to this hour. They have killed my faith in their judgment and their honesty stone dead. Until I see some signs of repentance I will regard them with the same incredulity as I regard Catholics for a Free Choice. Indeed, *more* incredulity since CFFC at least have the honesty to state clearly that they are at war with the Magisterium while the Catholic Right has the gall to claim they represent the Church better than the Pope does.

And yes, I do deeply disagree with Feser about the death penalty. The one thing this world does not need is a Catholic Defense of the Death Penalty.

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31 Responses to About That Apology

  • Shea’s issue is so obvious, even his remaining supporters have pointed out: politics! Considering that Jesus told us to cut off our arm and pluck out our eye to stop sinning, it seems like a bargain indeed that all Shea would have to do is shut up about Trump. And yet he couldn’t do it even in the main post, much less in the comments. It’s like listening to an alcoholic scream that THIS time he is definitely going to go sober… while standing in front of his favorite bar.

    In one of his replies, Edward Feser says,

    I noted that Shea’s claim that “4% of [those executed] are completely innocent” misrepresents the authors of the study from which Shea derives this claim.

    Indeed, if one reads the links Shea posts one can’t help but notice it’s not uncommon for him to misrepresent anything he has read if he read it (like the prison/gulag number comparisons he still harped on for awhile). Therefore the man has shot his own apologetics in the foot, for if he cannot read and understand that which was written for his time, and his ears, one has to wonder how well he can understand something written in a different time and context using a language not his own.

  • “And yes, I do deeply disagree with Feser about the death penalty. The one thing this world does not need is a Catholic Defense of the Death Penalty.”
    Has Shea read the Catechism of the Catholic Church?

  • He took a perfect description of Bill Clinton and just subbed in Trump’s name.

    While he accepts the UCCSB’s documents on the death penalty, he hasn’t bothered to acquaint himself with what the Church teaches–the Catechism paragraph 2267.

  • At least Mark has come out and all but admitted he is now a passionate, hardcore liberal Democrat:

    I don’t know if he ever will admit it in those words, since he seems to be a proud ‘non-conformer’ from his youth, plus his shtick as ‘the conservative Catholic who despises conservatism but loves liberalism’ has helped him garner quite a few followers on the left who enjoy the benefits that such a voice brings to the table.

    But at least in this post, he has more or less said that apart from abortion, he sees liberal Democrats and fealty to the Church’s teaching as pretty much one and the same.

    Perhaps that will help, because I’ve felt part of the reason for his rancor, personal attacks and at times slanderous approach to the debate has been rooted in the conflict between Mark Shea c. 2002 and Mark Shea c. 2017. Between the man who once declared Islamic aggression and liberal Democrats and their lust for government power to be serious threats to the Faith and liberty, but who now has become a vocal ally of those same forces. And all without admitting the change. By finally admitting where he stands on things, perhaps he will finally calm down.

  • I oppose the death penalty, in all but exigent circumstances.

    I acknowlefge that I am not competent to state a matter the Church has not spoke definitely on. I know many good people who fundamentally disagree with me about the death penalty. I listened. I considered. I remain convinced that I am right.

    There I this crazy idea out there that the Church’s teachings as a sort of moral and ethical baseline of mandatory beliefs, to which one can append one’s own beliefs and, so, paint them with the same moral certainty. I know y’all know this isn’t how it works but I see this impulse in Mark Shea’s writings.

  • Willing to make a wager on that, Dave G? 😉

    Actually you may be right. It’s a hellova thing to lie mostly to oneself. Maybe if he can finally face the truth about who he is there some hope he can find a bit of peace.

  • Mark strikes me as a man going through a conversion to the left. I suspect that he will eventually go whole hog and jettison his pro-life stance. His celebrating the ridiculous “New” Pro-life Movement, that seems to exist in order to give cover to voting for pro-abort Democrats, is a half-way house on that course. The adamant pro-abort stance of Hillary Clinton did not stop him from launching a crusade to elect her in preference to, cue evil music, Trump. Mark gives lip service to the pro-life cause now, but that is all he gives it, except for curses and calumnies.

  • Eh, I’ll bet against you on that, Don. :mrgreen:

    Mark seems to have given over to intellectual laziness whole hog. He thinks far more with his gut & heart than his brain any more. This makes him a natural prey for the Left who’s arguments innately appeal to reflexive emotion (conservatives have complained about it for years). But abortion is just too grisly for him to ever really embrace it. Although in Dave’s link we can see him using the emotional “innocent girls will suffer!” argument, babies dying is still too emotional for him to embrace. Instead he’ll probably remain on his current streak indefinitely in that if we had just a bit more welfare, one more government project, we’d finally be free of abortion once and for all.

    Ironically it’s the Democrat version of what he said the GOP do: ‘So every four years they say “Vote GOP or the baby gets it…”’ (i.e. “Support this program or babies will die!”)

    Shea’s life seems full of irony in that way.

  • Oh but he wouldn’t be embracing it. The way to fight abortion according to the “New” Pro-life Movement is to elect pro-abort Democrats and vastly expand the welfare state and the need for abortion will end. Overlooked of course is that abortion was legalized in tandem with a radical expansion of the welfare state. This is a prime example of the endless ability of humans to believe complete and utter rubbish in order to reach a desired end, which in this case is a mythical welfare state utopia.

  • ” I suspect that he will eventually go whole hog and jettison his pro-life stance.” I hope not. That said, I realized sometime around 2010 that reading his columns was a near occasion of the sin of wrath for me. No doubt this is partly due to the Internet itself, which tends to make people who use it, certainly not excepting myself, into bigger jerks than they were before. Maybe that’s all there was to it at the time, but there seemed to be something more deeply wrong. He may still have a blog entitled “Catholic and Enjoying It”, but he doesn’t seem to have actually had any joy from Catholicism for quite some time. Where there should be the Fruit of the Spirit, there seems to be bitterness instead. If I am right in sensing that — and again, the Internet is infamous for creating false impressions of this kind — he is not only useless as an apologist (no one needs an angry, bitter apologist) but is in need of our prayers (and not the kind of condescending prayers like those of the Pharisee when he prayed with himself, which we will be tempted to offer).

  • It’s worth noting that Shea didn’t write the passages you quoted. What he wrote was troubled but moving.

  • Mark strikes me as a man going through a conversion to the left. I suspect that he will eventually go whole hog and jettison his pro-life stance. His celebrating the ridiculous “New” Pro-life Movement, that seems to exist in order to give cover to voting for pro-abort Democrats, is a half-way house on that course.

    Something is odd. Since about 2005, he’s been a hideously angry man re the machinations of politicians, but not in any consistent way. The years between 47 and 60 are not typically years of hideous anger and politicians of all stripes will disappoint you. In Shea’s case, the causes of disappointment seem to be magnified and reduced 100x by whatever set of trick-lenses he’s using to look at them. I expect this from partisan Democrats, who aren’t the most perspicacious people in the world. The thing is, the term ‘partisan Democrat’ might apply to one-adult in eight in this country (and, you’d think, around about 0% of the serious Catholics). I also think few people noodle around with their worldview much past the age of 35. He is one curious piece of work.

  • It’s worth noting that Shea didn’t write the passages you quoted. What he wrote was troubled but moving.

    Wait… what? Yes, he did, Pinky. The quotes were written by chezami, who IS Mark Shea. Here’s his twitter. And his post from 2013 admitting that it’s him.

  • Nate is correct. Mark did write the passages quoted.

  • Gotcha. Didn’t know that.

  • Mark has, for the most part, all but pushed the whole ‘marriage’ issue to the side. About a year ago, he didn’t say he supported businesses being sued for not taking part in gay weddings, but hinted that it might be time for them to just buck up and go with the flow. And with abortion, he has embraced the progressive narrative that it’s mostly male pigs and oppressive capitalists who force most women against their will to have to have an abortion. Those are the only two areas left where Mark is remotely not in line with the modern secular left. In every other position I’m aware of, he echoes almost verbatim the narratives, policies, solutions, ideas, interpretations and priorities of modern liberalism. That he takes even the most radical, militant leftist publications as reliable sources is itself telling, especially since in the day a person who quoted Rush Limbaugh or Fox News was immediately smacked down by Mark as an automatic partisan.

    The irony is, in the early years, Mark was clearly the conservative who admitted the faults and flaws of secular conservatism, while conceding where he believed liberalism was correct. And yet he also stood firmly on the traditional values, morals and perspectives of Catholicism and Christian American and Western culture. He did this while pointing to the dangers to the faith of those who become partisan tribalists completely in line with one side and entirely condemning of the other. Now he has become everything he once condemned – almost blind to anything bad on the Left except a couple things that he almost dismisses a ‘blindness’, while finding almost no ability to find or acknowledge anything good to the right, except those who still say they are conservatives but spend most of their time trashing conservatives. All in all, a very unreliable source for almost anything at this point I’m sad to say.

  • A sadly accurate summary of what Mark has become Dave.

  • I have never been a fan or follower of Shea. I do know that he went ballistic over the accusations of torture allegedly committed by agents of the US Government and its allies in the war in Iraq. His smarmy description of “that thing that used to be called conservatism”, his anger at the Bush Administration and its supporters, many of whom were evangelicals, observant Catholics and pro-lifers, was the start of Shea coming unhinged. George W. Bush was a a lot of things but he was no real conservative. Since that time, most of what I have read about Shea’s rantings has been here.

    As for Shea’s Catholicism, he never has had much to say critical of liturgical abuses. He is a convert during the post Vatican II era. Catholics older than myself are quite aware of what the Church has lost since Vatican II and the implementation of the Novus Ordo Mass. Shea is unaware and doesn’t care anyway. Since Vatican II, the Church hierarchy has frequently and loudly supported the expansion of the welfare state and pacifism and little is said about sin during CCD or RCIA or at Mass during the homily. Well, Vatican II was not the start of the Catholic Church and everything that came before it does not belong in the landfill and if Shea can’t handle that then too bad for Shea.

  • Why is it important that Mark Shea be given this much attention? It appears that Mark is not even a Catholic, a believer in Catholic doctrine, but rather a another Progressive Democrat who has gone mad trying to reconcile the incompatibility of those beliefs with Catholic doctrine. Maybe an exorcism is in order for Mark.

  • I’ve come to know that the devil tempts us to despair in clever ways that allow some gap to try to pull us away from God and/or our Fellow brothers and sisters in order to pull us away from God. It can be anything, deceptively the person will not realize it. Please keep Mark in our prayers.

  • “Why is it important that Mark Shea be given this much attention?”

    Because he is taken as a solid Catholic apologist by all too many clergy and laity in this country.

  • Is Mark-who? insane in the membrane.

    To me, there’s a major problem with catholic Democrats’ and bishops’ so-called “pro-life” propaganda. They vehemently (I was going to use “violently” but the spineless squids couldn’t be) oppose several dozen (unjust?) death penalties and utterly ignore 57 million abortions. Plus, abortion is murder since the early Church. DP is prudential judgment, even after the radical re-write of the Catechism, which is the conclusion of Pope Benedict. That’s why I will not be lectured on charity or virtue by catholic Democrats like Mark-who?, who apparently believes his political opinions are ex-cathedra.

  • I believe Shea has always been a leftist. However, like a closeted homosexual, he thought it was unwise to come out. However, when the secular and religious left started to become more strident, so did he. Also, I suspect Mark has some very serious mental problems that drive his political radicalism. His cyberstalking of one individual for seven years,and his attempts to actually get people fired from their jobs because they offended him in some way seems to indicate this. Jesus said those who are sick need a physician. I think Mark is long overdue for some psychiatric care.

  • Michael, what Donald said. I stumbled on Mark years and years ago as I was on my journey into the Church. I was actually looking for Scott Hahn, but I found Mark’s webpage, or at least an article from it. I’m sure it still happens. Because he is published by Catholic publications, asked to speak at Catholic forums and parishes, interviewed by Catholics, referenced by Catholic leaders and clergy, and given a thumbs up by Catholics in the know, it makes it important and, IMHO, unfortunate.

  • Mark is not the evil himself but more like an “Everyman” character in a morality play.
    Very sad, and instructional.
    There many others who are struggling between truth and lie, not knowing g what to believe, assailed by all the tricks and snares

  • “Mark seems to have given over to intellectual laziness whole hog. He thinks far more with his gut & heart than his brain any more.”
    “I do know that he went ballistic over the accusations of torture allegedly committed by agents of the US Government and its allies in the war in Iraq.”

    Put these two statements together and you have exactly what went wrong with Mark Shea.

    Recall that the allegations of torture at the time had to do with waterboarding. Due to a fluke involving training, waterboarding was not considered to be torture under U.S. military law. Shea insisted that it WAS torture, and he had a valid point. Due to the military’s training history it was possible to say that waterboarding was ontologically torture yet not legally torture. If you accepted this then the solution was simple: change the law and define waterboarding as torture. In the end John McCain did this (though the law applied only to the military, the CIA was exempted).
    Mark Shea would have none of this. If the U.S. had painted itself into a corner on this subject, then Shea had no interest in knowing why this had happened. He maintained that waterboarding was legally torture, despite the ample legal precedent to the contrary. What was even worse was his desire to see that people who advocated this view (it’s not torture now, so let’s debate changing the law) as enablers of torture. It was the logical equivalent of calling Lincoln pro-slavery in 1860.

  • Ex. 21:14 “you must take him even from my altar (compassion and mercy). He must be put to death.” The Church, Holy Scripture and Tradition do not contradict each other.

  • Also, I suspect Mark has some very serious mental problems that drive his political radicalism. His cyberstalking of one individual for seven years,and his attempts to actually get people fired from their jobs because they offended him in some way seems to indicate this.

    I remember the d’Hippolito business. Who did he try to have fired?

  • “Who did he try to have fired?”

    I vaguely remember he tracked someone’s boss done and emailed them about their internet disagreement and tried to have him fired. But that’s as detailed as my middle aged brain can muster.

  • “Because he is taken as a solid Catholic apologist by all too many clergy and laity in this country.”

    Thanks in large part to an “orthodox” Catholic Media Complex that has enabled him for over a decade.

  • Phillip, they may be thinking of Simcha Fisher and her efforts against the lawyer & judge.

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Theodore Roosevelt and His Four Divisions

Monday, March 27, AD 2017



In 1917 a century ago Theodore Roosevelt was 58 years old.  He was not in the best of health and he had put on a fair amount of weight since his “crowded hour” leading the charge up Kettle Hill in the Spanish American War.  Nonetheless, he was eager once again to fight for the Stars and Stripes.  An advocate of preparedness, he had assembled a staff and plans to recreate his Rough Riders on a corps level to fight in France, and over a 100,000 men had indicated their willingness to join this force.  Congress in March of 1917 authorized him to raise such a force of volunteers of up to four divisions.  In May of 1917 President Wilson indicated that no such force of volunteers would be accepted by the Army, Wilson not wanting to be held responsible if the beloved ex-President died fighting.  Roosevelt was crushed and never forgave Wilson, who he despised in any case.  He kept busy making speeches in support of the War and selling war bonds, but it was not the same as fighting himself.  On April 1 we will explore the “what if” had Wilson allowed Roosevelt to take his new Rough Riders into battle.

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PopeWatch: Hmmm

Monday, March 27, AD 2017



From Pewsitter:



Speaking at a March 16th conference in Limburg, Germany, the long-time Vatican correspondent Andreas Englisch has delivered an explosive allegation: In contradiction of public appearances, Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI “are in complete disagreement” and “never speak to one another.” The Pope Emeritus has apparently stated that he only appears in public “at the explicit request of Pope Francis.” What is shown on these occasions, Englisch continues, is “only the pretense of friendship.”

No official transcript of the press conference is yet available, but Giuseppe Nardi, another well-known Vaticanist who was in attendance, says that Englisch continued his statements by describing Pope Francis as a “strong personality” who “gets what he wants,” and that he has little in common with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI but “uses him when necessary for the optics.” Englisch concluded his dramatic remarks with a remarkable statement: that, in addition to the pressure put upon the Pope Emeritus to resign, “different ecclesiastical forces” are putting pressure on Ratzinger in a different direction: “to return.”  

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4 Responses to PopeWatch: Hmmm

  • “Ordinary Catholics have been…kept in the dark” before. It is now called Good Friday, and its evil confusion and feelings of betrayal were soon dispelled by the light of the Risen Christ on Easter. We “ordinary Catholics” shall always have that gift to weather the most diabolical of storms within God’s holy Church.

  • Amen DonL.

  • It is heartening that Benedict feels this way. It would be devastating if he didn’t.

  • Like everyone here, I too have tried to make sense of this account. I went back to look at some sites, employing my journeyman German, to check his background, and he has good credentials as a correspondent with die Bild and die Bild am Sonntag. He has previously written about the impending explosion of the sexual abuse problem in Catholic Germany, and from 1995 on, often personally accompanied P JP2 on his airplane on the latter’s travels throughout his pontificate. At first a papal critic, he became an admirer of JP2 and wrote book on him entitled “JP2: The Secret of Karol Wojtyla”, as well as other pro-Catholic works. He is married (to a woman, no less 🙄 ) and has a son.

    But Englisch first came to major attention outside of Germany, predicting some months prior to his abdication that P BXVI was going to resign, the first to hint at the coming crisis.
    So, it sounds like there is more fire to this smoke than originally expected.

    Plus, years in the Holy Office for P BXVI cant be a situation where he appreciates the complete doctrinal undoing of the Catholic Church that the Angry Red from Argentina is doing to the Church.

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Congratulations Mark!

Sunday, March 26, AD 2017



I have to hand it to Mark Shea.  He has managed to get into the verbal equivalent of a fist fight with Ed Feser.  Ed is a philosophy professor, and runs a blog where he breaks philosophical concepts down to bite sized chunks for readers like me.  He is a loyal son of the Church and a true gentleman.  Getting him angry is rather like getting Gandhi to take a slug at you or being hissed at by Mother Teresa, but Mark managed that feat:


Not too long ago, Catholic writer Mark Shea and I had an exchange on the subject of capital punishment.  See this post, this one, and this one for my side of the exchange and for links to Shea’s side of it.  A friend emails to alert me that Shea has now made some remarks at Facebook about the forthcoming book on the subject that I have co-authored with Joe Bessette.  “Deranged” might seem an unkind description of Shea and his comments.  Sadly, it’s also a perfectly accurate description.  Here’s a sample:


Yes. This needs to be the #1 priority for conservative Christian “prolife” people to focus on: battling the Church for the right of a post-Christian state to join Communist and Bronze Age Islamic states in killing as many people as possible, even if 4% of them are completely innocent. Cuz, you know, stopping euthanasia is, like, a super duper core non-negotiable and stuff.  What a wise thing for “prolife” Christians to commit their time and energy to doing instead of defending the unborn or the teaching of the Magisterium. How prudent. How merciful. This and kicking 24 million people off health care are *clearly* what truly “prolife” Christians should be devoted to, in defiance of the Magisterium.  Good call!
“Prudential judgment” is right wing speak for “Ignore the Church and listen to right wing culture of death rhetoric”.
This book will be the Real Magisterium, henceforth, for all members of the Right Wing Culture of Death on this subject. It’s judgments, not that of the Magisterium, will be final and authoritative for the “prolife” supporter of the Right Wing Culture of Death.


It will do nothing but foster right wing dissent. It will be the New Magisterium for the entire right wing and give oxygen to the War on Francis.


The Right anoints a Folk Hero antipope who tells it it’s okay to reject the obvious teaching of the Church and do whatever they want and then the cry “Prudential judgment!” goes up.


Etc.  End quote.


No comment is really necessary.  Still, I can’t help calling attention to a few points:


First, the book has not come out yet, so Shea hasn’t even read it.  His attack is thus aimed at a fantasy target rather than at our actual claims and arguments.  In fact, all of the concerns Shea might have about our position are answered at length and in detail in the book, and in a scholarly and non-polemical fashion.  Hence Shea’s remarks are – to say the very least – ill-informed and unjustifiably vituperative. 


Second, the few substantive assertions Shea makes here – and note that they are mere assertions, completely unbacked by any argumentation or evidence – have already been answered in my earlier exchange with him.  For example, in the initial response to Shea I posted during that exchange, I noted that Shea’s claim that “4% of [those executed] are completely innocent” misrepresents the authors of the study from which Shea derives this claim.  I also there noted the problems with Shea’s use of the term “prolife,” which is merely a political slogan deriving from contemporary American politics and has no theological significance.


As to the bogus charge of “dissent,” in my second post in our earlier exchange, I quoted statements from Cardinal Ratzinger (then head of the CDF and the Church’s chief doctrinal officer) and Archbishop Levada (then writing in a USCCB document, and later to take over from Ratzinger as head of CDF) which explicitly affirm that faithful Catholics are at liberty to take different positions regarding capital punishment and even to disagree with the Holy Father on that particular issue.  Both Ratzinger and Levada in these documents also explicitly assert that abortion and euthanasia – which, unlike capital punishment, are intrinsically evil – have a greater moral significance than capital punishment.  Hence, when Shea mocks Catholics who are strongly opposed to abortion and euthanasia but who do not share his views about capital punishment, he is implicitly mocking Ratzinger and Levada – who, unlike Shea, actually have authority to state what is and is not binding Catholic teaching. 


Shea has, in several follow-ups now, given no response whatsoever to these points or others made in my earlier posts.  He simply ignores the arguments and instead reiterates, with greater shrillness, the same false and already refuted claims he made in his initial attack on Joe and me.


Third, the charge that Joe and I are motivated by a desire to justify “killing as many people as possible” is not only false and groundless, but a truly outrageous calumny.  Shea made this charge in our original exchange, and (as I noted in my second post in that exchange) when I complained about it he seemed to back away from it.  Now he is back to tossing this smear at us.


Fourth, if Shea insists on flinging calumnies like these, he ought to consider just how many people he is implicitly targeting.  On my personal web page I have posted the endorsements given our book by J. Budziszewski, Fr. James Schall, Robert Royal, Fr. Robert Sirico, Edward Peters, Fr. Kevin Flannery, Steven A. Long, Fr. George Rutler, Fr. Gerald Murray, Barry Latzer, Michael Pakaluk, and Fr. Thomas Petri.  This list includes some very prominent faithful Catholics and respected scholars, representing fields such as moral theology, canon law, philosophy, and criminal justice.  And unlike Shea, they have actually seen the book.  It is worth noting that Fr. Sirico, who happens to be opposed to capital punishment, does not even agree with our conclusions.  He graciously endorsed our book anyway simply because he regards it as a worthy and serious defense of the other side, which opponents of capital punishment can profit from engaging with. 


Now, I imagine that Shea knows and respects many of these people.  Of course, they could be wrong, and the fact that they endorse our book doesn’t mean we are right.  But would Shea go so far as to label all of these people “dissenters,” or proponents of a “culture of death” who want to “kill as many people as possible,” etc.?  If not, then perhaps he will reconsider his rhetorical excesses. 


Fifth, the out-of-left-field stuff in Shea’s remarks about “kicking 24 million people off health care,” “the War on Francis,” etc. have, of course, absolutely nothing to do with the argument of our book.  Shea made similarly irrelevant remarks in our earlier exchange.  His seeming inability to refrain from dragging in his personal political obsessions shows just how very unhinged he is.  It also manifests his lack of self-awareness.  Shea accuses fellow Catholics who disagree with him about capital punishment of being blinded by their political biases – while in the very same breath bizarrely insinuating that our support for capital punishment somehow has something to do with President Trump’s health care bill (!) 


Sixth, Shea’s political obsessions blind him to other and more important aspects of the debate over capital punishment, in ways I have already explained in my earlier posts – where, here again, Shea simply ignores rather than responds to what I wrote.  For example, Shea appears not to realize that there is a very influential strain of thought within otherwise theologically conservative Catholic circles – namely, the so-called “new natural law” school of thought – which takes a far more radically abolitionist position than even he would.  Shea has repeatedly acknowledged in the past that capital punishment is not always and intrinsically immoral and that the Church cannot teach that it is.  But the “new natural lawyers” maintain that capital punishment is always and intrinsically wrong, and they would like the Church to reverse two millennia of teaching on this point – indeed, to reverse the consistent teaching of scripture, the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, and the popes.


One of the main motivations for writing our book was to rebut this extreme position, which has very dangerous theological implications that extend well beyond the capital punishment debate.  Indeed, our primary concern in the book is to demonstrate the continuity of Catholic teaching and rebut any suggestion that the Church has contradicted herself, with advocacy of capital punishment in practice being a merely secondary concern.  Among the many novel things the reader will find in our book is a far more detailed and systematic response to the extreme “new natural law” position on capital punishment than has yet appeared. 


Since Shea too rejects the extreme “always and intrinsically wrong” position vis-à-vis capital punishment, one would think he would see the importance of rebutting it.  Unfortunately, in his apparent desire to fold every Catholic theological dispute into his obsession with current American electoral politics, Shea seems unable to understand that some of us have much larger and less ephemeral concerns in view. 

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12 Responses to Congratulations Mark!

  • Of course he’ll be back to his old tricks! In the long run, his leftist agenda is more important than showing Christian charity.

  • A friend of M. Shea’s in meatworld might do him a great favor and grease the skids to an ordinary wage-job (though not one where he has anything to do with the public). Something that would occupy his time and allow him to undertake a prudent (and penitential?) silence. This is just too much (though I’ve seen some of these tropes before, flung at Tom McKenna).

  • Sounds like Mark needs lots of prayer and lots of smart pills. Taking on Ed Feser proves it.

  • You cannot dialog with liberals like Mark Shea. Rather, you must either acquiesce to their irrationality or defeat, muzzle and emasculate them. Defeat so that they lose in the public eye, muzzle so that they cannot spread their lies and deceit, and emasculate so that they cannot reproduce their falsehood and heresies.

  • This:

    “That a man with his manifest issues is considered a worthy apologist for the Catholic Church in this nation is beyond belief.”

    Is the issue. Mark has issues. Serious issues. But who doesn’t? We all have our own issues. But Mark’s issues are antithetical to being a credible representative of any religious tradition, much less the Church. His use of slander and false accusation, his inconsistency and fusing the Gospel with his personal opinions, are the stuff that would keep most Protestants I know from being Sunday School teachers, much less paid apologists.

    It’s that Mark is given such a platform and supported by Church leaders, religious and Catholic organizations is the problem. He has issues that he should work through. But that he is given such praise for things that are so detrimental to the message says something is wrong with the apologetics world in the American Church at least.

  • For those curious, Ed had a third Shea post in between the two linked above.

    I will comment further on the latest topic Don posted.

  • The irony is that capital punishment is an effort by the state to protect the public and even prison populations from truly dangerous people. Further unlike war, there seldom is indiscriminate killing. It seldom happens except after a long legal process and seldom is done to innocent or incompetent persons. Finally, it offers justice that is commensurate with the crime.

    Compare this with abortion and euthanasia. A public execution is a cold-blooded thing. I shook me to the core to put down my family dog. I would hate to be the person who put down a human being no matter what his deeds. So many murderers are never caught, and with rare exceptions, his crime is lesser than those of many who escape justice. But abortion is the most callous act of which we are capable, because it denies the obvious: that the victim is a human being. Exactly the same as herding men and women into a gas chamber, made all the worse because it is the decision of those who ought to care the most. From the time of Cain, mankind became inured to slavery. But it could be justified in the name of expediency. Prisoners of war pressed into involuntary servitude;women taken to satisfy the lust of their captors. Mitigated by human compassion, but supported by customs and law as inevitable as other human acts of violence. Celebrated also as positive act by those who treated the enslaved as lesser beings. The same attitudes affect those engaged in abortion and euthanasia. Like “positive slavery” these practices rot society at its core and taint all of us who allow it.

  • Deny oxygen to aerobic bacteria and they die. I have never in my life heard a speech by BarrySoeotoroBarack Obama or by HR Clinton – I simply refuse to listen or watch-and turn them OFF. Ignore Shea and his public work dies. No audience = no paycheck. Remember Bogey to Peter Lorre in Casablanca: Ugarte: “You despise me , dont you?” Rick: If I gave yo any thought, I probably would.”. Give Mark no thought. Guy McClung, Sasn Antonio, Texas

  • ” It is worth noting that Fr. Sirico, who happens to be opposed to capital punishment, does not even agree with our conclusions. He graciously endorsed our book anyway simply because he regards it as a worthy and serious defense of the other side, which opponents of capital punishment can profit from engaging with. ”
    Capital punishment is executed through the power of attorney of the condemned. As a citizen of the state, the condemned is executed by the citizens of the state. Priests and consecrated persons do not engage any person without their consent, not even to execution. The first mission of the priest and consecrated persons is to serve God in the Catholic Church. It is the state of whom the condemned is a citizen who must execute the capital one murderer because the capital one murderer has not expired with grief over his crime.

  • Is the issue. Mark has issues. Serious issues. But who doesn’t? We all have our own issues. But Mark’s issues are antithetical to being a credible representative of any religious tradition, much less the Church.

    What’s odd is that he wasn’t a particularly troublesome figure ca. 2003, though his voice was much improved by editing. No clue what happened.

    It’s that Mark is given such a platform and supported by Church leaders, religious and Catholic organizations is the problem.

    I don’t know that I’d call Sherry Weddell, Karl Keating and Jimmy Akin ‘church leaders’. Catholic Answers had about 20 employees at one time. A diocese of ordinary size might employ 2,000. People who were once his patrons (e.g. Crisis, and, again Karl Keating) have ceased any dealings with them. I’m not sure who the progenitors of Patheos are, but it’s not a specifically Catholic apostolate.

  • AD, it’s not just them. I know Fr. Longenecker, who emerged as a pretty popular voice in some circles, spent several years giving Mark a thumbs up and defending Mark against critics. I don’t know if he still is. I don’t know if Bishop Barron is aware of Mark or not, but Mark seems linked to some who have worked with him. Certainly Mark’s own bishop has been made aware of him. I know some have contacted his diocese. Mark frequently gets visits and support from deacons and priests, both on his blog and FB page. Or at least he was. And he’s regularly asked to speak at parishes and dioceses around the country, esp. Washington. It’s enough to say that the casual net surfer, stumbling through wanting to know a Catholic who can explain the Faith, might just stumble across the name Mark Shea. And seeing a priest here or an apologist there give him a stamp of approval, that’s enough – in the world of Catholic apologetics – to warrant official endorsements.

  • You cannot dialog with liberals like Mark Shea. Rather, you must either acquiesce to their irrationality or defeat, muzzle and emasculate them. Defeat so that they lose in the public eye, muzzle so that they cannot spread their lies and deceit, and emasculate so that they cannot reproduce their falsehood and heresies.”

    As far as I can tell, this is the approach we must take with all Leftists–or waste our time & energy.

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Quotes Suitable for Framing: Daniel Webster

Sunday, March 26, AD 2017



If we work upon marble, it will perish; if we work upon brass, time will efface it; if we rear temples, they will crumble to dust; but if we work on men’s immortal minds, if we impress on them with high principles, the just fear of God and love for their fellow-men, we engrave on those tablets something which no time can efface, and which will brighten and brighten to all eternity.

Daniel Webster, May 22, 1852

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Saints of Lent: The Lion of Munster

Sunday, March 26, AD 2017

Lent is a grand time to confront evil, both that evil which stains our souls, and the evil external to us.  Throughout the history of the Church there have been saints who risked all to bravely confront the popular evils of their time.  This Lent on each Sunday we will be looking at some of those saints.  We began with Saint Athanasius.  Go here to read about him.  Next we looked at Saint John Fisher.  Go here to read about him. Last week we looked at the life of Saint Oliver Plunket.  Go here to read about him.  This week we turn to the Lion of Munster.

The Nazis hated and feared Clemens August Graf von Galen in life and no doubt they still hate and fear him, at least those now enjoying the amenities of some of the less fashionable pits of Hell.  This Lent, I am strongly encouraged by the story of Blessed von Galen.  I guess one could come up with a worse situation than being a Roman Catholic bishop in Nazi Germany in 1941, and confronting a merciless anti-Christian dictatorship that was diametrically opposed to the Truth of Christ, but that would certainly do for enough of a challenge for one lifetime for anyone.  (Hitler privately denounced Christianity as a Jewish superstition and looked forward after the War to “settling accounts”, as he put it, with Christianity in general and Roman Catholicism in particular.)

Priests who spoke out against the Third Reich were being rounded up and shipped off to concentration camps.  What was a bishop to do in the face of such massive evil?  Well, for the Bishop of Munster, Clemens von Galen, there could be only one answer.

A German Count, von Galen was from one of the oldest aristocratic families in Westphalia.  Always a German patriot, the political views of von Galen would have made my own conservatism seem a pale shade of pink in comparison.  Prior to becoming a bishop, he was sometimes criticized for a haughty attitude and being unbending.  He was chosen Bishop of Munster in 1933 only after other candidates, no doubt recognizing what a dangerous position it would be with the Nazis now in power, had turned it down.  I am certain  it did not hurt that he was an old friend of Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli, the future Pope Pius XII.

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2 Responses to Saints of Lent: The Lion of Munster

  • The shallow and hateful among us who seek to blame the Church for not doing more to stop Hitler always conveniently ignore Cardinal von Galen and his words and deeds. Facts can’t get in the way of a narrative, or as we call it now, fake news.

  • Clemens August Graf von Galen was a Count in the state and a Prince in the Church.

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Gloria In Profundis

Saturday, March 25, AD 2017

THERE HAS fallen on earth for a token
A god too great for the sky.
He has burst out of all things and broken
The bounds of eternity:
Into time and the terminal land
He has strayed like a thief or a lover,
For the wine of the world brims over,
Its splendour is spilt on the sand.

Who is proud when the heavens are humble,
Who mounts if the mountains fall,
If the fixed stars topple and tumble
And a deluge of love drowns all—
Who rears up his head for a crown,
Who holds up his will for a warrant,
Who strives with the starry torrent,
When all that is good goes down?

For in dread of such falling and failing
The fallen angels fell
Inverted in insolence, scaling
The hanging mountain of hell:
But unmeasured of plummet and rod
Too deep for their sight to scan,
Outrushing the fall of man
Is the height of the fall of God.

Glory to God in the Lowest
The spout of the stars in spate-
Where thunderbolt thinks to be slowest
And the lightning fears to be late:
As men dive for sunken gem
Pursuing, we hunt and hound it,
The fallen star has found it
In the cavern of Bethlehem.

~G.K. Chesterton

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3 Responses to Gloria In Profundis

  • More soul candy from Donald’s storeroom.

    Mmmm. Thanks Mr. McClarey.

    Finding the pearl of great price is life altering. I’m getting ready to serve them right now. They are gems. God’s choicest and most beautiful. Worth the sufferings, humiliation and death on a scaffold, so we too can behold such beauty hidden in the lowly and old.

  • The Annunciation is the singular greatest event since the creation of the Universe, per Fr. Larry Richard, and I cannot put it any better.

    “Hail full of grace, the Lord is with you…. Ave Maria, gratia plena. Dominus tecum.” No one else in either Testament is addressed in this way and the words are those of God’s choosing related perfectly by the Archangel Gabriel.

    “Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum.” With Mary’s fiat, the promises of the Old Testament become fulfilled, especially that of Isaiah to Ahaz, that a virgin shall bear a son. Filled with God’s grace means a total absence of sin…Mary’s Immaculate Conception can be inferred from God’s words.
    Thus, all of what Holy Mother Church teaches and believes about the Mother of God is validated from this small but so very important part of St. Luke’s Gospel..1:26:38.
    Yesterday was a busy day with a learn to play hockey class followed with two baseball practices. I don’t mind that kind of busy, as I got to go on the ice and the ball field to help. Before any of that, I took my five year old, who was baptized on Annunciation Day, even though the Church moves the observance to March 26 when that happens, to Mass. Charlie kept his hands in the prayer position for the entire Mass.

  • The Blessed Virgin Mary’s soul was created at the request of the Son of God, before Adam disobeyed God, then The Blessed Virgin Mary’s soul was preserved from original sin and remained in original innocence, IMMACULATE, when her CONCEPTION came in the fullness of time.
    Only The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, the perfect woman, could love Jesus Christ in Justice, as the Son of God.

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Bear Growls: That’s the Way It Is?

Saturday, March 25, AD 2017



Our bruin friend at Saint Corbinian’s Bear gives us a Bear’s view of current events as gleaned from the mainstream press:


Here is a recap of world news based on the Bear’s cursory reading of stories the past few days. The Bear has been busy and may have gotten a few details wrong, but he’s pretty sure the gist is accurate.

  • WASHINGTON D.C. (March 24, 2017) — Trump the Usurper hosted a hunting trip for Soviet strongman Vladimir Putin. The pair were seen on the banks of the Potomac River clubbing adorable baby river seals to death with babies. Witnesses also report Trump the Usurper backed a dump truck full of $100,000,000 bills and buried a laughing Putin. The two men spent the rest of the afternoon playing in the pile of money like children in autumn leaves.
  • WASHINGTON D.C. (March 24, 2017) — Legitimate President Dear Leader Hillary Clinton staged a lightning raid on Richmond, Virginia yesterday, freeing thousands of slaves. Trump the Usurper had last Thursday declared the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments to the constitution null and void, opening the way for the return of slavery for the first time since 1957. A Gallup poll shows 100% of Americans support the campaign of Dear Leader to restore America to the golden years when Legitimate First Partner Bill Clinton was president.
  • PARIS (March 23, 2017) —  The religious harmony of France was broken by a White male using a loudspeaker to cry “Jesus is Lord” from the top of the Eiffel Tower. Witnesses say he had a distinct American southern accent and raised an enormous Confederate flag on the tip of the landmark. He mowed down thousands of curious Parisians gathered below with an automatic machine assault rifle firing bullets of depleted uranium. With a final cry of “Soldiers of the Cross do thou likewise” he detonate a 20 megaton nuclear bomb strapped to his back, destroying France.
  • VATICAN (March 24, 2017) — Today Generic Spiritual Leader of the World Pope Francis condemned frequent terrorist attacks by Christians. “Out of all religions, why do we only see Christians committing all these terrorist acts? The exclusivist nature of a religion that offers only one means of salvation can only breed hatred. Their beliefs taste like excrement in my mouth.” The pontiff announced that a new bible was being prepared that eliminates all references to violence and incorporates wisdom from other faiths.

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PopeWatch: Leaving on a Jet Plane

Saturday, March 25, AD 2017


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


Roman Curia officials pulled out all the stops this year to celebrate the 4th anniversary of Pope Francis’ accession to the Throne of St. Peter after scrounging together a few hundred Euro to surprise him with an unforgettable one-way ticket to his native Buenos Aires.

“He’s been working so hard lately, we thought he could use an extended, indefinite getaway,” said Msgr. Giuseppe Bernardo, an attaché attached to the Papal Household. “Plus it’s a 14-hour flight…ample time for several meandering in-flight press scrums.”

“He’s going to love this!” honorary prelate Anotonio Vada said, trying to contain his excitement. “We even had his boarding pass printed on poster-board like those giant ceremonial checks diocesan bishops are so fond of.”


At press time, the Curia was preparing to clean the universal Church while the boss was away.

“He left behind a pretty big mess,” an unnamed Cardinal prefect whispered.  “This may take a century or more.  Some of the stains might never come out.”

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Stand Up For Uncle Sam My Boys

Saturday, March 25, AD 2017



Something for the weekend.  Stand Up For Uncle Sam My Boys sung by Bobby Horton who has waged a one man crusade to bring Civil War music to modern audiences.  A pro-Union song written in 1861 by that tireless writer of Civil War tunes George F. Root.  Sadly its patriotism may seem over the top to modern audiences.  Not so to most of the fighting men on both sides during the Civil War who liked their songs about the War to be lively and very patriotic.

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