Donald R. McClarey
1. Captive audience for my bad jokes.
2. Relief from the strain of having too much money.
3. Lots of practice in learning to count to ten.
4. Lots of practice in asking, “What did your Mom say?”
5. An ever growing appreciation for my old man. Continue reading
If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.
Sam Adams, August 1, 1776
The American Catholic is proud to participate in this year’s Fortnight For Freedom. The Fortnights were started in 2012 by the bishops of this country in response to the unprecedented assault on religious liberty posed by the Obama administration, to remind Catholics of the preciousness of their inheritance of freedom as Americans and Catholics and the necessity of standing up to threats to it. All well and good, and a very worthy cause indeed. However, the leadership of the Church appears to be schizophrenic on this subject. While Caesar seeks to limit the freedom of the Church, too many ecclesiastics respond by wanting to get into bed with Caesar.
The examples of this are legion.
It is the policy of the Church to aid the Obama administration in flouting the immigration laws of this country, acting as a virtual arm of the State in sheltering illegal aliens.
The Church was all in favor of Obamacare, until the Obama administration targeted the Church with the contraceptive mandate.
The Green Encyclical released this week is one long demand for Caesar to engage in an immense power grab, and regulate business and citizens to fight a mythical global warming threat.
The Church through the Catholic Campaign for Human Development funds hundreds of left wing pressure groups to call for ever bigger government, and, inevitably, further restrictions on freedom.
Welfare States require huge amounts of tax money and huge amounts of government power. The default position of the Church today when confronting any need traditionally filled by private or Church charity, is to scream for Caesar to come fix things. This bastardized parody of the social teachings of the Church inevitably comes back to bite the Church as Caesar will always exact a price for his favors and under the Obama administration that price is for the Church to bend the knee to contraception, abortion and gay marriage. For all too many of our shepherds that is a small price to pay to keep the government largesse flowing. There is a reason why Christ whipped the money changers from the Temple and why He uttered the phrase to render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s. These days the Church too often seems willing to bow the knee to Caesar, no matter what Caesar demands, so long as the funds from Caesar keep flowing. Continue reading
On Fathers’ Day it is easy to recall and honor all the good fathers. However, even a very flawed father can have a positive impact on a child. Case in point Jack Reagan, the father of Ronald Reagan.
To be blunt, Jack Reagan was a drunk. At eleven years old Ronald Reagan came home from school to find his father passed out on the porch, dead drunk to the world. In a small town the shame of that moment for a boy would be clear. An alcoholic, one would think that the only impact that Jack could have on the life of his son was to be a negative example, but such was not the case.
Jack was gregarious and a born story teller, traits he passed on to his son.
He and his wife were always deeply in love, and his wife Nellie made sure that their sons knew that Jack was a good man in spite of his addiction to drink.
An Irish Catholic, he hated racial and religious bigotry. He refused to allow his kids to see the film Birth of a Nation, because of its racist theme. One cold winter night when he was on the road selling shoes, he slept in his car, rather than taking a room in a hotel that discriminated against Jews.
Reagan said of his father:
As in years past, The American Catholic will take part in The Fortnight Freedom proclaimed by the USCCB:
The Fortnight for Freedom: Freedom to Bear Witness will take place from June 21 to July 4, 2015, a time when our liturgical calendar celebrates a series of great martyrs who remained faithful in the face of persecution by political power—St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher, St. John the Baptist, SS. Peter and Paul, and the First Martyrs of the Church of Rome. The theme of this year’s Fortnight will focus on the “freedom to bear witness” to the truth of the Gospel. Continue reading
From the only reliable source of Catholic news on the net, Eye of the Tiber:
“The thing is like 180 pages long or something like that,” McHenry told EOTT. “And since I’m not a big fan of Francis or the whole global warming thing, or reading long posts, I thought the best thing to do was to simply read what other commentators were saying and to eloquently regurgitate what I read, form a nice little narrative that would make my readers happy, and then to post it with a bunch of bold words everywhere.”
McHenry went on to say that after diligently and thoughtfully reading almost 88 comments on another post about Laudato Si, that he was “absolutely flabbergasted” at how utterly pathetic and pedestrian the idiotic encyclical was, and that he felt sorry that the Church was being headed by such a weak minded man.
Something for the weekend. In honor of the Green Encyclical, a bit of Tom Lehrer. Living through the Sixties when I was a kid was bad enough. Little did I know that I would have the “joy” of reliving the Sixties in my fifties. The only thing that Marx, Karl not Groucho, got right was that history frequently does repeat itself: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.
A succinct, and, on the whole, accurate assessment of Pope Francis, at least so far, by Saint Corbinian’s Bear:
Pope Francis — this is his. There are no surprises to the man. We can all sit back and stop obsessing over everything he says and does. There’s nothing to figure out any more. He’s a Latin American bishop with naive, confused and passionate politics and a constricted view of the world. He idealizes the poor, not because they are needy, but because they are The Poor. The Catholic Church is being repurposed into something strange, vague. The tone of this Papacy is anger.
One of the reactions of PopeWatch to the Green Encyclical is bloat. The whole thing could have weighed in at 50 pages without any loss of content. The committee who put this together needed a good editor. As a public service, PopeWatch will now provide a slimmed down version of the Encyclical.
1.Saint Francis liked the environment and so should we.
2.The world is in a sad shape from pollution and it is our fault.
3.This encyclical is as important as Pacem in Terris that was released in 1963.
4.The Pope cites Pope Paul VI on the environment so that you won’t think he is a hippie Pope off on his own hook.
5.Ditto as to Pope John Paul II.
5.Ditto as to Pope Benedict.
6.The Pope cites Patriarch Bartholomew because he is an environmental alarmist like the Pope and because modern pontiffs never miss an opportunity to suck up to the Orthodox, even though they all tell us to take a hike eventually when it comes to reunification.
9.Let’s drag Saint Francis back in and ahistorically paint him as an enviro-nut.
10.More Saint Francis.
11.More Saint Francis.
12.More Saint Francis.
13.Man made harm to environment is a big problem and we all need to work together to solve it.
14.If you think this whole environmental doom and gloom is idiocy you are in denial and part of the problem. Continue reading
I have been viewing with some mirth the joy of the Left in regard to the release of the Green Encyclical. Prior to Pope Francis, most of those celebrating were intensely hostile to the papacy, viewing it as enemy number one on their path to the ever elusive socialist utopia. Now they think they have a pope on their side. Of course, in regard to the Green Encyclical we have Pope Francis being celebrated by the Left for doing something which was anathema to them before he came on the scene: a pope judging science. Leftist accusations aside, that is something the Church has rarely done, for sound reasons. Most ecclesiastics lack the education to make sound judgments on science. Plus, the conclusions of science are always being modified as new data is studied, and for an institution that exists to expound the Timeless Truths of Christ, it is dangerous to seek to mix in with those Truths opinions on science which are bound to be wrong in part in the fullness of time. Thus the Pope is being celebrated by the Left for agreeing with them, although his manner of agreeing with them can just as easily be turned against them when a future pope has different opinions on science, if a future pope is foolish enough to wish to do what the Pope has just done. It is one of the features of our time that the clergy, doing a lousy job by and large in expounding the Gospel, are eager to give their opinions on subjects they are frequently bone ignorant about, merely parroting, in the main, beliefs of the Zeitgeist popular among the chattering classes, and the clergy are always members in good standing of that group.
Father George Rutler at Crisis Magazine explains why having the Church sit in judgment on the conclusions of science is a very bad idea indeed:
Pope Francis’ encyclical on the ecology of the earth is adventurously laden with promise and peril. It can raise consciousness of humans as stewards of creation. However, there is a double danger in using it as an economic text or scientific thesis. One of the pope’s close advisors, the hortatory Cardinal Maradiaga of Honduras said with ill-tempered diction: “The ideology surrounding environmental issues is too tied to a capitalism that doesn’t want to stop ruining the environment because they don’t want to give up their profits.” From the empirical side, to prevent the disdain of more informed scientists generations from now, papal teaching must be safeguarded from attempts to exploit it as an endorsement of one hypothesis over another concerning anthropogenic causes of climate change. It is not incumbent upon a Catholic to believe, like Rex Mottram in Brideshead Revisited, that a pope can perfectly predict the weather. As a layman in these matters, all I know about climate change is that I have to pay for heating a very big church with an unpredictable apparatus. This is God’s house, but he sends me the ConEd utility bills.
It is noteworthy that Pope Francis would have included in an encyclical, instead of lesser teaching forms such as an apostolic constitution or motu proprio, subjects that still pertain to unsettled science (and to speak of a “consensus” allows that there is not yet a defined absolute). The Second Vatican Council, as does Pope Francis, makes clear that there is no claim to infallibility in such teaching. The Council (Lumen Gentium, n.25) does say that even the “ordinary Magisterium” is worthy of a “religious submission of intellect and will” but such condign assent is not clearly defined. It does not help when a prominent university professor of solid Catholic commitments says that in the encyclical “we are about to hear the voice of Peter.” That voice may be better heard when, following the advice of the encyclical (n.55) people turn down their air conditioners. One awaits the official Latin text to learn its neologism for “condizione d’aria.” While the Holy Father has spoken eloquently about the present genocide of Christians in the Middle East, those who calculate priorities would have hoped for an encyclical about this fierce persecution, surpassing that of the emperor Decius. Pictures of martyrs being beheaded, gingerly filed away by the media, give the impression that their last concern on earth was not climate fluctuations.
Saint Peter, from his fishing days, had enough hydrometeorology to know that he could not walk on water. Then the eternal Logos told him to do it, and he did, until he mixed up the sciences of heaven and earth and began to sink. As vicars of that Logos, popes speak infallibly only on faith and morals. They also have the prophetic duty to correct anyone who, for the propagation of their particular interests, imputes virtual infallibility to papal commentary on physical science while ignoring genuinely infallible teaching on contraception, abortion and marriage and the mysteries of the Lord of the Universe. At this moment, we have the paradoxical situation in which an animated, and even frenzied, secular chorus hails papal teaching as infallible, almost as if it could divide the world, provided it does NOT involve faith or morals. Continue reading
Go here to read it and put your initial thoughts in the comboxes.
Saint Corbinian’s Bear discusses something that PopeWatch has been musing about: the Green Encyclical may be the high water mark of Pope Francis:
We may be witnessing the high water mark of Pope Francis. The Bear has a feeling it’s downhill from here.
Why would the Bear say such a ridiculous thing now, of all times? The whole world has turned its gaze toward the Man in White.
First of all, what does he bring to the party, if it is permissible to put it like that? The only so-called science will be second-hand. Nothing new here. It’s not like he’s an expert in the field. The people who have been impressed with the climate change pseudologia fantastica thus far will continue to believe, and those who don’t, won’t. How many people do you think will really say, “Oh the Pope has come out on the subject of global warming, so I’m going to change my mind! Honestly, the Bear doesn’t think it will be very many.
The Bear does not expect many to actually read a 200-page encyclical. Sorry, but that’s the price you pay for writing a 200-page encyclical. The juiciest parts will be cherry-picked by talking heads. The shelf-life will be mercilessly short. The Bear does not expect this to have legs.
The release of the encyclical gives those playing along with global warming an opportunity to talk about it, and even do so in moral terms, which the encyclical will certainly include. And the climate realists will also get to sound off. Again, no big change. In order to be impressed by the moral implications of a scientific theory, one must be persuaded by the science.
Catholics will not change their minds. Expect liberal Catholics to bring up Humanae Vitae inappropriately, and type the phrase “cafeteria Catholic” a lot. The Bear does not recommend engaging them because they’re not really listening to your reasoned explanation.
The Bear believes it is unfortunate for a pope who is already suspect in some ways in the minds of many, to so unambiguously align himself with a goofy political fad and all its hangers on. The Bear’s theory is that global warming “ticks all the right boxes” for the Pope, economically and politically. He was powerless to resist. That’s about the most you can say. Continue reading
- The cannibal has left his lair.
- Le Moniteur Universel, March 9, 1815.
- The Corsican ogre has just landed at the Juan Gulf.
- Le Moniteur Universel, March 10, 1815.
- The tiger has arrived at Gap.
- Le Moniteur Universel, March 11, 1815.
- The monster slept at Grenoble.
- Le Moniteur Universel, March 12, 1815.
- The tyrant has crossed Lyons.
- Le Moniteur Universel, March 13, 1815.
- The usurper was seen sixty leagues from the capital.
- Le Moniteur Universel, March 18, 1815.
- Bonaparte has advanced with great strides, but he will never enter Paris.
- Le Moniteur Universel, March 19, 1815.
- Tomorrow, Napoleon will be under our ramparts.
- Le Moniteur Universel, March 20, 1815.
- The Emperor has arrived at Fontainbleau.
- Le Moniteur Universel, March 21, 1815.
- His Imperial and Royal Majesty entered his palace at the Tuileries last night in the midst of his faithful subjects.
- Le Moniteur Universel, March 22, 1815.
Napoleon was such a world spanning figure that it was fitting that he return for one last bow before he departed the stage of history. As Wellington said, the battle was a “damn close run” thing, and it is quite conceivable that Napoleon could have won, but for blunders by him and his subordinates. Would it have made any difference if he had prevailed? Likely not. Massive Allied armies were on their way, and a victory by Napoleon in 1815 in the Waterloo campaign would likely have meant as little as the many victories he won in 1814 prior to his forced abdication. By his return from exile Napoleon had demonstrated that he still posed a danger to the status quo in Europe, and after more than two decades of war Europe was not going to tolerate that.
However, let’s play pretend for a moment. Let us assume that Napoleon had stayed on his self-made throne, what then? He was prematurely old and he believed his time for war was past. If he kept France, I think he would have been content. France would doubtless have benefited from the good government that he could have bestowed on it, especially when he was no longer distracted by wars and rumors of war. The Austrians, ever the political realists, probably would have been willing to have allowed the return of his son and heir.
What would Napoleon have done with the time remaining to him, especially if that time were greater than what he achieved on Saint Helena? Assuredly he would have written his memoirs, and what books those would have been, especially if he chose to be honest! Perhaps he would have played schoolmaster of Europe, and conducted classes on the art of war. Such classes would have drawn officers from around the globe, eager to sit at the feat of the master.
Perhaps he would have put his spiritual affairs in order, as perhaps he did historically during his last years.
Alas for Napoleon he had none of these opportunities. In the immortal phrase of Victor Hugo, God was bored by him, and 200 years ago Napoleon’s stunning career came to an end. Let us give the last word on his career to the Emperor: Continue reading
After the issuance of the Green Encyclical today I assume that Catholics will be debating global warming. I thought we would kick off the debate here on TAC with Mark Shea representing both sides:
As you probably know, I’m skeptical of the Global Warming hype, not least because its marketers and packagers keep changing the name. First, it was “Global Warming,” then “Climate Change” (as if climate does anything besides change) and lately it’s “Global Climate Disruption.” I’m also skeptical that it is man made, and I think the dishonesty of some of the scientists in the field, not to mention the packagers and marketers, leaves me cold (clever pun, eh?). So, for instance, when I see evidence of rising sea levels that doesn’t always refer me back to the same remote island nobody knows anything about except that it might be a case of erosion and not rising sea levels, I will begin to take our melting ice caps more seriously.
Go here to read the rest.
I have always expressed ignorance of the science for the very good reason that I am not a scientist. I have always granted the premise that there is climate change for the very good reason that change is what climate does. Beyond that, I have always left the matter in the hands of experts to hash out because what do I know?
Go here to read the rest.
Now that the Green Encyclical is about to be released, a good question to ask is why is the Pope doing this? The answer is obvious and disheartening. The Pope, with a few notable exceptions, most significantly in regard to abortion, shares the prejudices of most left of center educated people in the West. For them the environment is the cause of causes, and they embrace it with a religious devotion. The added bonus of course is that global warming, or climate change, or whatever name the scam goes under, is an excellent excuse for more government. For the left of center the answer to virtually any problem is to scream for more government. Our Pope has a naïve faith in government and a distaste for free enterprise. This is not unusual when one considers his background. Argentina is largely an economic basket case because its political class has overwhelmingly embraced heavy government intervention in the economy, that has led to stagnant growth, crony capitalism and immense corruption, all in a country that is blessed with natural resources that should largely ensure prosperity. Thus we have the Green Encyclical which seeks to make the globe Argentina writ large.
John Hinderaker at Powerline points out that the Encyclical is as wrong in its premises as it is in its conclusions:
First, the Pope has no idea what he is talking about. His letter is full of factual errors. For example:
Scientific consensus exists indicating firmly that we are in the presence of a worrisome warming of the climate system.
This is false. There has been no net global warming for something like 18 years, according to satellite data, the most reliable that we have.
In recent decades, that the heating was accompanied by the constant rise in the sea level….
Sea level has been rising for approximately 12,000 years, first dramatically as the Earth warmed rapidly at the end of the last Ice Age, and much more slowly in recent millennia. Currently, the rate of rise of sea level is not increasing.
…and is also hard not to relate it to the increase in extreme weather events, regardless of the fact that we can not attribute a cause scientifically determined to each particular phenomenon.
Wrong again. Extreme weather events are not increasing. This isn’t an opinion, it is a fact: there is no plausible empirical claim to the contrary. In fact, for what it is worth, the climate models that are the sole basis for warming hysteria predict fewer extreme weather events, not more, because the temperature differential between the equator and the poles will diminish.
It is true that there are other factors (such as volcanism, and the variations of the orbit of the Earth, the solar cycle), but numerous scientific studies indicate that most of the global warming of recent decades is due to the large concentration of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and other) issued mainly because of human activity.
Putting aside the fact that there hasn’t been any net warming during the last two decades, this is precisely the issue that is the subject of intense scientific debate–a debate that, it becomes increasingly clear, the realists are winning. For the Pope to wade into this controversy would be nearly inexplicable, absent some overriding motive.
That motive is, apparently, hostility toward free enterprise and the prosperity that it creates. Francis has manifested such hostility in previous statements, and it comes through again in his anti-global warming letter. Francis sounds like just another leftist: the solution to global warming is more state control to dictate how people live, and new international organizations to direct vast transfers of wealth and power. Continue reading
Rorate Caeli brings us this interview from 2008 by Tele Radio Padre Pio with Cardinal Carlo Caffara :
Q. There is a prophecy by Sister Lucia dos Santos, of Fatima, which concerns “the final battle between the Lord and the kingdom of Satan”. The battlefield is the family. Life and the family. We know that you were given charge by John Paul II to plan and establish the Pontifical Institute for the Studies on Marriage and the Family.
More detail from Jimmy Akin in regard to the leak of a draft of the Green Encyclical by Sandro Magister. (PopeWatch’s Italian is far too shaky for him to quote Magister until Magister comments in English):
6) How did Magister get the text?
This is unknown at present. In his article, he refers to the text having a “troubled” history and alludes to the first copies that the Vatican publishing house made having been pulped (destroyed) because of various places where they needed to be corrected.
It is possible that someone rescued one of the copies meant to be pulped and gave it to Magister. If so, he may have gotten it from a lower level person, such as a worker tasked with arranging for the copies to be pulped.
On the other hand, they could have come from someone higher placed.
If Magister’s text came from the batch that was pulped then that could explain why the Vatican Press Office said that it wasn’t the final version.
On the other hand, Magister may have been given a copy from a different batch, after some corrections were made. In any event, the Holy See Press Office says it isn’t the final copy.
7) How different will the final version be?
There is no way to know until Thursday.
Assuming that Magister is correct that a batch was pulped, this may have been due to nothing more than typos that needed to be corrected.
It is not at all uncommon for publishers to pulp runs of a publication that have typos which are caught at the last minute, assuming that the typos are significant enough. In my own experience with publishers, I’ve seen it done.
On the other hand, there may be more than typo fixes. This could happen, for example, if Pope Francis asked for certain editorial changes to be made and then, in the editorial process, these fell through the cracks and their absence was caught only at the last minute.
8) Why was the text leaked?
Without knowing who leaked it, there is no way to tell.
If it was a janitor who plucked a copy from a batch that were on their way to be shredded, it may simply have been that he knew Magister would be interested in a scoop and he wanted to be part of an exciting story (or possibly even be paid for his efforts).
Such an employee may not have read the text and there may be no larger agenda on his part.
On the other hand, if a person of higher stature leaked it—someone who had been entrusted with working on the text and read the content of the document—then there might be a deliberate intention to undermine the encyclical and its message.
9) How could the leak undermine the encyclical?
Part of the point of having an official release, with a press conference and everything, is to create on opportunity to get the document off on the best footing.
The media hops on it all at once, creating something of a saturation effect in different news channels, and the Holy See has the chance—via the press conference and associated materials given out to the press—to frame the story its way.
For a text to appear early can let some of the air out of the official release, and it can allow the text to be framed in ways contrary to the spin that the Holy See wants put on it.
In this case, because we have a pre-final draft, it will also cause attention to zero-in on the changes that were made between this draft and the final one, which may cause people to speculate about why those changes were made and what significance they might have (if they’re just typos or edits that were accidentally omitted and later caught: not much).
Further, this event raises the specter of the VatiLeaks scandal, in which Benedict XVI’s own butler was funneling private Vatican documents to the press as part of his own agenda.
This event raises the question of whether there are additional leakers—or new leakers—who are in some way seeking to undermine Pope Francis. Continue reading
The unshrinking defence of the Holy Scripture, however, does not require that we should equally uphold all the opinions which each of the Fathers or the more recent interpreters have put forth in explaining it; for it may be that, in commenting on passages where physical matters occur, they have sometimes expressed the ideas of their own times, and thus made statements which in these days have been abandoned as incorrect. Hence, in their interpretations, we must carefully note what they lay down as belonging to faith, or as intimately connected with faith-what they are unanimous in. For “in those things which do not come under the obligation of faith, the Saints were at liberty to hold divergent opinions, just as we ourselves are,”(55) according to the saying of St. Thomas. And in another place he says most admirably: “When philosophers are agreed upon a point, and it is not contrary to our faith, it is safer, in my opinion, neither to lay down such a point as a dogma of faith, even though it is perhaps so presented by the philosophers, nor to reject it as against faith, lest we thus give to the wise of this world an occasion of despising our faith.”(56) The Catholic interpreter, although he should show that those facts of natural science which investigators affirm to be now quite certain are not contrary to the Scripture rightly explained, must nevertheless always bear in mind, that much which has been held and proved as certain has afterwards been called in question and rejected.
Leo XIII, PROVIDENTISSIMUS DEUS