Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 26 years. Small town lawyer. President of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center.

PopeWatch: Bear Growls: Worlds Thinnest Books

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Our bruin friend at Saint Corbinian’s Bear has compiled a list of the worlds thinnest books:

  1. Muslim Contributions to Western Civilization
  2. Pope Francis’ Guide to Actual Church Teachings
  3. Archbishop Blase Cupich’s Qualifications as Telepathic Psychologist
  4. Church Growth Since Vatican 2
  5. Hillary Clinton’s Guide to Computer Security
  6. The Rescue Mission in the Benghazi Attack
  7. Reasons Why We Should Invade Syria and Aid Terrorists
  8. Ways Barack Obama is Superior to Vladimir Putin
  9. Other Religions Cardinal Koch Has Not Sucked Up To
  10. Elements Within the Church George Soros has not Put a Tentacle Into

Continue reading

August 29, 1786: Shays’ Rebellion Begins

 

 

In the aftermath of American victory in the Revolutionary War, times were tough in the new nation.  In Massachusetts farmers faced financial ruin as merchants, concerned with the inflation, were demanding repayment of debts in hard currency which was in short supply.  Governor John Hancock attempted to set an example by not demanding that his debtors pay him in hard currency, and he refused to authorize prosecution of those who failed to pay their taxes to the State.  This was to no avail as more farmers began to lose their farms through foreclosure.  That most of these farmers had fought in the Revolution made their plight more poignant, and also suggested that they would not stand idle as they were reduced to poverty.

Violence broke out after James Bowdoin, champion of the merchants, was elected Governor of the Bay State.  On August 29, 1786 a rebellion broke out when a well organized force prevented the court from sitting in Northampton.  Daniel Shays who had served in the Continental Army as a Captain, and who had receive a sword of honor from Lafayette that he had to sell to help pay his debts, participated in the Northampton action.  His name became attached to the Rebellion, but he staunchly denied that he was one of the leaders of the movement.

The Massachusetts government now confronted the quandary of attempting to assert its authority when the only armed force at its disposal were militia levies and much of the militia sympathized with the rebels.   The Federal government of the Articles of Confederation was deaf to appeals for aid, having no armed forces in any case to aid Massachusetts in putting down the Rebellion.

The solution was  a 3000 man militia force under former Continental Major General Benjamin Lincoln.  The force was paid for by 125 merchants who contributed 6000 pounds.  With this force, Lincoln crushed the Rebellion in February 1787.  Casualties were minor, five killed, a few dozen wounded, but the impact of the Rebellion was profound in convincing many of the leaders in the United States of the necessity of revising the weak Articles of Confederation and forming a stronger Federal government.  Shays Rebellion had given rise to outbursts throughout New England, and although they had been quickly quashed, the alarm they raised reached Mount Vernon.

On October 31, 1786 in a letter to Henry Lee, George Washington demonstrated how deeply Shays’ Rebellion disturbed him:

Continue reading

Feast Day of the Beheading of John the Baptist

August 29 is the feast day of the beheading of John the Baptist, the herald of Christ.  Charlton Heston, in the video clip above, gave a powerful portrayal of the Baptist in The Greatest Story Ever Told, capturing the raw courage and energy that animated John the Baptist as a result of the blazing faith he had in God.  Like Elijah, John came out of the wilderness to fearlessly proclaim the word of God, but what Elijah and the other prophets could only glimpse darkly, the coming of the Messiah, John saw with his own eyes.  The last and greatest of the prophets, John fulfilled the role of Elijah as proclaimed by the prophet Malachi:

Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord. Continue reading

The Barque of Peter Sails Through History

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There is not, and there never was on this earth, a work of human policy so well deserving of examination as the Roman Catholic Church. The history of that Church joins together the two great ages of human civilisation. No other institution is left standing which carries the mind back to the times when the smoke of sacrifice rose from the Pantheon, and when camelopards and tigers bounded in the Flavian amphitheatre.

The proudest royal houses are but of yesterday when compared with the line of the Supreme Pontiffs. That line we trace back in an unbroken series, from the Pope who crowned Napoleon in the nineteenth century to the Pope who crowned Pepin in the eighth; and far beyond the time of Pepin the august dynasty extends, till it is lost in the twilight of fable. The republic of Venice came next in antiquity. But the republic of Venice was modern when compared with the Papacy; and the republic of Venice is gone, and the Papacy remains. The Papacy remains, not in decay, not a mere antique, but full of life and youthful vigour.

The Catholic Church is still sending forth to the farthest ends of the world missionaries as zealous as those who landed in Kent with Augustin, and still confronting hostile kings with the same spirit with which she confronted Attila. The number of her children is greater than in any former age. Her acquisitions in the New World have more than compensated for what she has lost in the Old. Her spiritual ascendency extends over the vast countries which lie between the plains of the Missouri and Cape Horn, countries which a century hence, may not improbably contain a population as large as that which now inhabits Europe.

The members of her communion are certainly not fewer than a hundred and fifty millions; and it will be difficult to show that all other Christian sects united amount to a hundred and twenty millions. Nor do we see any sign which indicates that the term of her long dominion is approaching. She saw the commencement of all the governments and of all the ecclesiastical establishments that now exist in the world; and we feel no assurance that she is not destined to see the end of them all.

She was great and respected before the Saxon had set foot on Britain, before the Frank had passed the Rhine, when Grecian eloquence still flourished at Antioch, when idols were still worshipped in the temple of Mecca. And she may still exist in undiminished vigour when some traveller from New Zealand shall, in the midst of a vast solitude, take his stand on a broken arch of London Bridge to sketch the ruins of St. Paul’s.

 

Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay, in his review of Von Ranke’s The Ecclesiastical and political History of the Popes of Rome, during the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries. (1840)

 

 

Sermon of Father Mapple

John Huston’s film Moby Dick (1956) is a true work of genius.  The only film version worthy of the novel, the screenplay was written by Ray Bradbury who in 10,000 words  got to the essence of the 206,052 word novel.  (Bradbury confessed when he was approached by Huston to do the screenplay that he had never been able to get through the novel.)  A deeply religious film that asks questions about God and the human condition that still  jar us, the most striking scene is the sermon on Jonah by Father Mapple, portrayed unforgettably by Orson Welles.  Enoch Mudge who served as the chaplain of the Seaman’s Bethel in New Bedford and Father E.T. Taylor who served as the chaplain of the Seaman Bethel in Boston, served as the real life models for the fictional Mapple. (At the time of Melville any clergyman of age or authority was often accorded the title “Father” by his parishioners in Protestant churches, a distinction retained today only by Catholics, the Orthodox and a few Protestant churches.)

Welles suffered from a bad case of stage fright just prior to the scene and John Huston produced a bottle to help Welles fortify himself.  Welles then did the scene letter perfect in one take.  Here is the text of the sermon as written by Bradbury for the film:

And God prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. Shipmates, the sin of Jonah was in his disobedience of the command of God. He found it a hard command, and it was, for all the things that God would have us do are hard. If we would obey God, we must disobey ourselves.
But Jonah still further flouts at God by seeking to flee from him. Jonah thinks that a ship made by men will carry him into countries where God does not reign. He prowls among the shipping like a vile burglar, hastening to cross the seas, and as he comes aboard the sailors mark him.
The ship puts out, but soon the sea rebels. It will not bear the wicked burden. A dreadful storm comes up. The ship is like to break. The bo’s’n calls all hands to lighten her. Boxes, bales and jars are clattering overboard, the wind is shrieking, the men are yelling. “I fear the Lord!” cries Jonah, “the God of Heaven who has made the sea and the dry land!”
Again, the sailors mark him. And wretched Jonah cries out to them to cast him overboard, for he knew that for his sake this great tempest was upon them.
Now behold Jonah, taken up as an anchor and dropped into the sea, into the dreadful jaws awaiting him. And the great whale shoots to all his ivory teeth, like so many white bolts, upon his prison.
And Jonah cries unto the Lord, out of the fish’s belly. But observe his prayer, shipmates. He doesn’t weep and wail, he feels his punishment is just. He leaves deliverance to God. And even out of the belly of Hell, grounded upon the ocean’s utmost bones, God heard him when he cried. And God spake unto the whale, and from the shuddering cold and blackness of the deep, the whale breached into the sun and vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.
And Jonah, bruised and beaten, his ears like two seashells still multitudinously murmuring of the ocean … Jonah did the Almighty’s bidding, and what was that, shipmates? To preach the truth in the face of falsehood! 
Now, shipmates, woe to him who seeks to pour oil on the troubled water when God has brewed them into a gale. Yeah, woe to him who, as the pilot Paul has it, while preaching to others is himself a castaway! But delight is to him who against the proud gods and commodores of this Earth, stands forth his own inexorable self, who destroys all sin, though we pluck it out from under the robes of senators, and judges. And eternal delight shall be his who, coming to lay him down, can say “Oh father, mortal or immortal, here I die. I have striven to be thine, more than to be this world’s or mine own, yet this is nothing. I leave eternity to thee, for what is man that he should live out the lifetime of his God?

 

Here is the much, much lengthier version from the novel  (Too bad that time prevented Ray Bradbury from serving as Melville’s editor!) Continue reading

Huffington Post Thinks Their Readers Are Really, Really Stupid

 

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A current post at leftist Huffington Post brings their readership the bad news that in one week the Reuters Ipsos poll has shown Clinton’s lead tumble to five points from twelve points, and in a poll listing all four candidates, including the Libertarians and the Greens, Clinton’s lead drops to three points.  (A Gravis Marketing Poll released yesterday shows Clinton’s lead dropping from five points to one point in a two way race.)

The hilarious thing with the Huffington Post piece is the edit at the end which includes this for their readers:

Editor’s Note:  Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims-1.6 billion members of an entire religion from entering the US.

Go here to read it.  The Huffington Post editors obviously think their readers are so stupid they will be unable to sort the white hats from the black hats without help.

PopeWatch: Shea and Fisher

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Eye of the Tiber’s take on the Shea, Fisher firings by National Catholic Register:

Two National Catholic Register staff writers have been fired and are now facing possible public flogging after they allegedly had opinions and were outspoken about them.

The National Catholic Register on Monday terminated Mark Shea and Simcha Fisher from their positions as staff writers from the EWTN-owned newspaper. Reports from several bloggers say that they were fired for allegedly saying stuff that kinda pissed some Catholics off, but made other Catholics happy.

According to officials at the National Catholic Register, comments from Shea and Fisher on Facebook did not conform to EWTN social media standards that require articles be “within the safe confines of the Catholic bubble from which no debate or critical thinking may be had.” 

An anonymous National Catholic Register official reported this morning that a phone call from EWTN chairman of the board and chief executive officer Michael Warsaw was made to the newspaper, asking, “Will no one rid me of these troublesome writers?”

Shea and Fisher were subsequently censured, and all Catholics who owned books by the accused were asked to burn them “effective immediately.” 

“When it came down to it, it was tone,” said the anonymous National Catholic Register official who was being closely watched by an armed EWTN agent. “As everyone knows, EWTN’s audience is mainly comprised of dinosaurs, and dinosaurs don’t like loud noises. One of EWTN’s younger readers who was born in the Cretaceous Era complained that the tone of former staff writers Mr. Shea and Mrs. Fisher was loud. She said that the tone rattled her like a ‘Triceratops hearing the roar of a Tyrannosaurus Rex.’ It had nothing to do with their positions on certain topics, which have not only conformed with the vision of our newspaper, but which have also been celebrated by us for many years.”

“Our EWTN readers,” he went on to say, “are not good with handling people with tempers. St. Jerome, for instance, was known for his temper, which is why those at EWTN, praise be their name, have opened a commission with the Vatican to investigate the possibility of de-canonizing St. Jerome.” Continue reading

Moonlight Sonata

 

Something for the weekend.  Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven.  Written in 1801 it has always been among the more popular of Beethoven’s works.

Company Way or Timeless Magisterium?

 

 

Oh good!  Dale Price at Dyspeptic Mutterings has posted a blog article for me to steal borrow:

 

One of the staples of Catholic apologetics is that the Catholic magisterium safeguards the truth and ensures a unity and clarity that Protestantism lacks.

I would not be so sure of that. In fact, I would say (and have said before) that the current pontiff is demonstrating that the magisterium is little more than the mouthpiece of the reigning pope and only safeguards whatever iteration of whichever truth he wishes to utter. In short, the magisterium is sola papam currentis.

Why no, I am not a Latinist? How could you tell?

This thought was driven home by a recent piece at the estimable One Peter Five: Amoris Laetitia and John Paul II by Josh Kusch.

In short, Kusch spells out with undeniable clarity that Amoris Laetitia expressly contradicts the magisterial statements of Francis’ predecessor, and does so in a particularly unsavory fashion–by either partial quoting or choosing to ignore prior statements altogether. For the latter, Kusch points out how the encyclical Veritatis Splendor flatly contradicts what Francis wants to say–so Francis ignored it. To wit:

The negative precepts of the natural law are universally valid.  They oblige each and every individual, always and in every circumstance. It is a matter of prohibitions which forbid a given action semper et pro semper, without exception.  (VS 52)

The negative moral precepts, those prohibiting certain concrete actions or kinds of behavior as intrinsically evil, do not allow for any legitimate exception. They do not leave room, in any morally acceptable way, for the “creativity” of any contrary determination whatsoever. (VS 67) 

When it is a matter of the moral norms prohibiting intrinsic evil, there are no privileges or exceptions for anyone. It makes no difference whether one is the master of the world or the “poorest of the poor” on the face of the earth.  (VS 96)

It would be a very serious error … to conclude that the Church’s teaching is essentially only an “ideal” which must then be adapted, proportioned, graduated to the so-called concrete possibilities of man. (VS 103)  

It is in the saving Cross of Jesus, in the gift of the Holy Spirit, in the Sacraments which flow forth from the pierced side of the Redeemer, that believers find the grace and the strength always to keep God’s holy law, even amid the gravest of hardships.  (VS 103)

As Kusch ably demonstrates, each contradicts certain central assumptions in the later text.

And yet, the Vatican’s official newspaper is at pains to assert that the later text is, in fact, authoritative.


So Veritatis Splendor–with its forceful restatement of Catholic moral teaching–has been round-filed after less than a quarter of a century?

Anyone else see the problem here?

What I have not been able to suss out is precisely why I should salute Francis’ newest flag when he burnt John Paul II’s. His actions completely undercut his claimed “authority.”

Rather than call Amoris Laetitia “authoritative,” isn’t the honest answer “wait at least a couple of popes and then see?” 

Of course, progs are brandishing it like new holy writ. To be expected, yes, but wholly dishonest if one is following McCormick’s contemptuous course. But I don’t see any honest reason why I should regard it similarly. 

If this is Catholicism, then I never really understood it. And if the magisterium is just the press office of the current officeholder, then cue Flannery O’Connor. Continue reading

PopeWatch: Soros

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If you sometimes wonder why clerics sometimes do things that seem bizarre, always follow the money:

 

Leftist Billionaire George Soros donated $650,000 to groups lobbying American bishops in favor of “progressive” domestic policies, according to emails made public by Wikileaks. Soros used his Open Society Foundation and Faith in Public Life, two liberal organizations, to use the September 2015 visit of Pope Francis to the US to “shift national paradigms and priorities in the run-up to the 2016 presidential campaign.”

The group DC Leaks has released more than 2,000 documents from groups associated with Soros.

The money was donated in April 2015 and a report on the effort says successful achievements included “buy-in of individual bishops to more publicly voice support of economic and racial justice messages in order to begin to create a critical mass of bishops who are aligned with the Pope.”

“In order to seize this moment, we will support PICO’s organizing activities to engage the Pope on economic and racial justice issues, including using the influence of Cardinal Rodriguez, the Pope’s senior advisor, and sending a delegation to visit the Vatican in the spring or summer to allow him to hear directly from low-income Catholics in America,” another document states. Continue reading

Trust in God and Keep Your Hand Grenades Primed

Then did he raise on high the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch, saying, “Bless this, O Lord, that with it thou mayst blow thine enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy.” And the people did rejoice and did feast upon the lambs and toads and tree-sloths and fruit-bats and orangutans and breakfast cereals … Now did the Lord say, “First thou pullest the Holy Pin. Then thou must count to three. Three shall be the number of the counting and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither shalt thou count two, excepting that thou then proceedeth to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the number of the counting, be reached, then lobbest thou the Holy Hand Grenade in the direction of thine foe, who, being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it.”

A Reading from the Book of Armaments, Chapter 4, Verses 16 to 20

Ah, history is ever so much stranger than fiction:

A centuries-old hand grenade that may date back to the time of the crusaders is among a host of treasures retrieved from the sea in Israel.

The metal artifacts, some of which are more than 3,500 years old, were found over a period of years by the late Marcel Mazliah, a worker at the Hadera power plant in northern Israel.

Mazliah’s family recently presented the treasures to the Israel Antiquities Authority. Experts, who were surprised by the haul, think that the objects probably fell overboard from a medieval metal merchant’s ship.

The hand grenade was a common weapon in Israel during the Crusader era, which began in the 11th century and lasted until the 13th century, according to the Israel Antiquities Authority. Grenades were also used 12th and 13th century Ayyubid period and the Mamluk era, which ran from the 13th to the 16th century, experts say.

Haaretz reports that early grenades were often used to disperse burning flammable liquid. However, some experts believe that so-called ancient grenades were actually used to contain perfume. Continue reading

Quotes Suitable for Framing: George Washington

 

 

If Historiographers should be hardy enough to fill the page of History with the advantages that have been gained with unequal numbers (on the part of America) in the course of this contest, and attempt to relate the distressing circumstances under which they have been obtained, it is more than probable that Posterity will bestow on their labors the epithet and marks of fiction; for it will not be believed that such a force as Great Britain has employed for eight years in this Country could be baffled in their plan of Subjugating it by numbers infinitely less, composed of Men oftentimes half starved; always in Rags, without pay, and experiencing, at times, every species of distress which human nature is capable of undergoing.

George Washington, letter to Major General Nathaniel Greene, February 6, 1783

PopeWatch: Cardinal Newman

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As this Pontificate has proceeded, PopeWatch has found much comfort in the writings of Cardinal Newman.  As the Pope seeks to place the Church behind various leftist crusades, this passage from the letter of Newman to the Duke of Norfolk on December 27, 1874 seems almost to have a prophetic quality to it:

 

Thus, if the Pope told the English bishops to order their priests to stir themselves energetically in favour of teetotalism, and a particular priest was fully persuaded that abstinence from wine, etc., was practically a Gnostic error, and therefore felt he could not so exert himself without sin; or suppose there was a Papal order to hold lotteries in each mission for some religious object, and a priest could say in God’s sight that he believed lotteries to be morally wrong, that priest in either of these cases would commit a sin hic et nunc if he obeyed the Pope, whether he was right or wrong in his opinion, and, if wrong, although he had not taken proper pains to get at the truth of the matter. Continue reading

Hilary White and Maureen Mullarkey Send Their Profound Condolences

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A little trip down memory lane.  Go here to see Mark Shea gloating over the axing of Maureen Mullarkey by First Things.  Then we have Simcha Fisher’s reaction, go here to see Paul Zummo’s report on that tempest, to Hilary White reporting accurately on Pope Francis at Lifesite News.  The wheel doesn’t always come round, but when it does it is hilarious.

PopeWatch: The Middle Kingdom

 

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Sandro Magister at his blog Chiesa notes the surrender of the Pope to the gerontocracy clinging to power in Peking:

 

In China, among the one hundred and nine Catholic bishops there are eight who have been consecrated at the behest of the communist authorities and who have never received the pope’s approval, thereby incurring excommunication, a couple of them with children and lovers.

But for none other than these eight, by the end of this summer or at the latest before the end of the jubilee Francis is ready to perform a spectacular gesture: a pardon.

Francis missed another stunning gesture by just a hair’s breadth last September 26, during his journey to Cuba and the United States.

That day, his touchdown in New York on his way to Philadelphia coincided with the landing of Chinese president Xi Jinping, who was expected at the United Nations. Everything had been calculated for the two to cross paths “accidentally” at the airport and exchange a greeting. Xi was aware of this ardent desire of the pope, but in the end he let it drop and the meeting did not take place.

From that moment on, however, the secret contacts between the Vatican and Beijing underwent an acceleration. In October and then in January a delegation of six representatives of the Holy See went to the Chinese capital. And in April of this year, the two sides set up a joint working group that now seems to have come to an understanding over a point that the Vatican takes very seriously: the appointment of bishops.

Since it has been in power, in fact, the Chinese communist party has wanted to equip itself with a submissive Church separate from Rome, with bishops of its own appointment ordained without the pope’s approval, beholden to a Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association that Benedict XVI called “irreconcilable” with Catholic doctrine.

A Church of the regime, therefore, on the verge of schism with its eight excommunicated bishops, contrasted with an “underground” Church with about thirty bishops earnestly faithful to the pope, which however pays all the costs of clandestinity – oppression, surveillance, arrest, abduction.

And in the middle the vast gray zone of the remaining dozens of bishops who were ordained illegitimately but then were more or less reconciled with Rome, or were ordained with the parallel recognition of Rome and Beijing but must still remain under the iron control of the communist authorities.

The bishop of Shanghai, Thaddeus Ma Daqin, ordained in 2007 with the twofold approval of the pope and the government, has been under house arrest for four years for the simple offense of having resigned from the Patriotic Association. Two months ago he retracted, but he is still deprived of his liberty. The eighty-five-year-old Joseph Zen Zekiun (in the photo), who has more freedom of speech in Hong Kong, has called “inevitable” the suspicion that this retraction was also desired by the Vatican, just to reach an agreement at any price.

That an agreement has already been reached was confirmed in recent days by Zen’s successor in the diocese of Hong Kong, Cardinal John Tong, with an open letter released in Chinese, English, and Italian that bears all the marks of wanting to prepare the faithful to make the best of a bad lot:

> Card. Tong: Communion of the Church in China with the Universal Church

Because the solution at which Tong hints is one of those against which Cardinal Zen has already raised covering fire to the point of threatening conscientious objection:

> Card. Zen: My concerns over China-Holy See dialogue and repercussions on Chinese Church

The example that is brought up most often is that of Vietnam, where the candidate for bishop is proposed by the Vatican but the government can veto him, and then on to other candidates until the government approves one of them.

But for China, the solution of which Cardinal Tong appears to have knowledge sees the roles reversed. The candidate will be selected and proposed to the Vatican by the Chinese episcopal conference. Only that this conference is a creature of the communist party, completely at the beck and call the regime, devoid of “underground” bishops and with one of the excommunicated eight as its president.

“Let us dare to believe that Pope Francis will accept nothing that could endanger the communion of the Church in China with the universal Church,” Tong wrote.

But the pope’s pardon of the eight illegitimate bishops will certainly not suffice to reassure him, Zen, and most Chinese Catholics.

____________

This commentary was published in “L’Espresso” no. 33 of 2016, on newsstands August 14, on the opinion page entitled “Settimo cielo” entrusted to Sandro Magister.

Here is the index of all the previous commentaries:

> “L’Espresso” in seventh heaven

__________

One indispensable point of reference for a detailed reconstruction of the negotiations underway between the Vatican and China is the analysis published on July 14 by the international news agency Reuters:

> After decades of mistrust, Pope pushes for diplomatic breakthrough with China

__________

Among the eight Chinese bishops ordained without papal mandate and the authors of illicit ordinations in their turn, who because of this have automatically incurred excommunication according to canon 1382 of the code of canon law, three have also been excommunicated in explicit form by the Holy See:

– Lei Shiyin, bishop of Leshan (Sichuan), ordained June 29, 2011;
– Huang Bingzhang, bishop of Shantou (Guangdong), ordained July 14, 2011;
– Yue Fusheng of Harbin (Heilongjiang), ordained July 6, 2012.

For the other illegitimate bishops, the agency “Asia News” of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions has furnished the following names:

– Zhan Silu, bishop of Mindong (Fujian), ordained in 2000, installed on May 14, 2006:
– Ma Yinglin, bishop of Kunming (Yunnan), ordained April 30, 2006;
– Liu Xinhong, bishop of Wuhu (Anhui), ordained May 3, 2006;
– Guo Jincai, bishop of Chengde (Hebei), ordained November 20, 2010.

One of these, Ma Yinglin, is also president of the council of Chinese bishops, the pseudo episcopal conference controlled by the communist regime.

___________

In the statement cited above in the body of the article, Cardinal Zen harshly criticizes the abolition of the advisory committee for China that had a de facto role at the Vatican already at the time when the prefect of Propaganda Fide – the dicastery with jurisdiction over missionary territories, including China – was Cardinal Jozef Tomko (1985-2001), sidelined during the prefecture of Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe (2001-2006) but then reactivated during the prefecture of Cardinal Ivan Dias (2006-2011) and of his successor Fernando Filoni.

The committee, made up of bishops, missionaries, and experts including Zen himself, was repeatedly convened and consulted all throughout the pontificate of Benedict XVI, author of the 2007 letter to Chinese Catholics that is the most significant pontifical document on the subject in the last few decades:

> Letter…

According to Cardinal Zen, one of the last effects of the guidelines from the committee was the courageous July 7, 2012 resignation of newly ordained bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin from the Patriotic Association, which came at the cost of house arrest:

> Shanghai, a Strong and Hard-pressed Diocese

But since then, and for the whole pontificate of Pope Francis, the committee has not been convened again, without anything having been said about its fate. With Cardinal Zen now commenting as follows:

“No death certificate, no obituary. Extreme disrespect to the members of the commission and to the one who set it up in the first place! Extreme deviation even from the tradition of formal politeness of the Roman curia! The fact is that one of the two living Chinese cardinals [meaning him, Zen – editor’s note] is barred from knowing anything about how [in the secretariat of state] they are negotiating the affair of the Church in China. There is still a Chinese in Rome, but he must be a nuisance, he was exiled to Guam.”

The “exile” to whom Zen alludes is his fellow countryman bishop and friend Savio Hon Taifai  – he too a Salesian like the cardinal – called by Benedict XVI from Hong Kong to Rome in 2011 as secretary of the congregation for the evangelization of peoples, but now dispatched by Francis to an island of the Pacific Ocean, as apostolic administrator of Guam, with an unexpected appointment last June 6.

Continue reading

Weasel Words and Theodore Roosevelt

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The more I study Theodore Roosevelt, the more I appreciate the impact he had on this nation, both in large and small ways.  He brought several phrases, for example, into common usage in this country.  One of these is “weasel words”.  Roosevelt did not invent the phrase, he noted that he first heard it used in conversation in 1879, but when he used it the phrase quickly entered American popular usage.  Roosevelt’s most famous use of the phrase was on May 31, 1916 in a speech entitled Mr. Wilson’s Weasel Words in which he attacked Wilson’s call for “voluntary universal military training”, Roosevelt viewing such a plan as inadequate and calling for a draft. Continue reading

Hillary For Sale

 The level of corruption on display in the State Department e-mails just revealed through the litigation brought by conservative group Judicial Watch, is too great for even the mainstream media to ignore:

WASHINGTON (AP) — More than half the people outside the government who met with Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state gave money — either personally or through companies or groups — to the Clinton Foundation. It’s an extraordinary proportion indicating her possible ethics challenges if elected president.

At least 85 of 154 people from private interests who met or had phone conversations scheduled with Clinton while she led the State Department donated to her family charity or pledged commitments to its international programs, according to a review of State Department calendars released so far to The Associated Press. Combined, the 85 donors contributed as much as $156 million. At least 40 donated more than $100,000 each, and 20 gave more than $1 million.

Donors who were granted time with Clinton included an internationally known economist who asked for her help as the Bangladesh government pressured him to resign from a nonprofit bank he ran; a Wall Street executive who sought Clinton’s help with a visa problem; and Estee Lauder executives who were listed as meeting with Clinton while her department worked with the firm’s corporate charity to counter gender-based violence in South Africa.

The meetings between the Democratic presidential nominee and foundation donors do not appear to violate legal agreements Clinton and former president Bill Clinton signed before she joined the State Department in 2009. But the frequency of the overlaps shows the intermingling of access and donations, and fuels perceptions that giving the foundation money was a price of admission for face time with Clinton. Her calendars and emails released as recently as this week describe scores of contacts she and her top aides had with foundation donors.

The AP’s findings represent the first systematic effort to calculate the scope of the intersecting interests of Clinton foundation donors and people who met personally with Clinton or spoke to her by phone about their needs.

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