10

Twenty-Eight Years Since the Fall of the Berlin Wall

 

Twenty-eight years ago today my bride and I arrived home from buying software for our Commodore 64  (Yeah, it is that long ago.) and watched stunned after we turned on the tv as we saw East Germans dancing on top of the Berlin War, tearing into it with sledge hammers.   It is hard to convey to people who did not live through the Cold War how wonderful a sight this was.  Most people at the time thought the Cold War was a permanent state of things.  Not Ronald Wilson Reagan.  He knew that Communism would end up on the losing side of history and throughout his career strove to bring that day ever closer.  His becoming President so soon after John Paul II became Pope set the stage for the magnificent decade of the Eighties when Communism passed from being a deadly threat to the globe to a belief held only by a handful of benighted tyrannical regimes around the world, and crazed American professors.  In most of his movies, the good guys won in the end, and Reagan helped give us a very happy ending to a menace that started in 1917 and died in 1989.

 

 

Here is an interview Sam Donaldson did with Reagan immediately after the fall of the wall:

Lech Walesa, a leader of that band of millions of heroes and heroines, at the head of which were Pope John Paul II and President Ronald Reagan, who won the Cold War, gave this salute to Reagan after Reagan died in 2004: Continue Reading

10

Clinton Health: The Inside Story

Remember last year when concerns about Clinton’s health were dismissed as right-wing rubbish by the mainstream media?

 

 

Former DNC chairman Donna Brazile says she doesn’t think Hillary Clinton would have remarked that half of Donald Trump’s supporters belong in a “basket of deplorables” if she was in “better health.”

Brazile reveals in her just-released book Hacked that she saw Clinton right before she made the “basket of deplorables” comment, and it was the first time she noticed “Hillary did not look well.”

Brazile “noticed her face was puffy,” “her skin looked pale and papery,” and “her eyes were glazed.” She approached Clinton about her health before the speech and observed her to be “wobbly on her feet” with a “rattled cough” so bad Brazile suggested medical attention.

Go here to read the rest.  Always remember that one of the goals of most of the media is to protect Democrat candidates during elections from true allegations.

 

3

PopeWatch: Not a Show!

 

 

PopeWatch completely agrees with the Pope:

 

And furthering his comments on how, too often, the Mass is lived in a superficial way, Pope Francis remarked on the fact that the priest who celebrates says “Lift up your hearts” not “Lift up your cellphones  to take a photo!”

“This is a bad thing” he said, “It makes me very sad when I celebrate Mass here in the Square or in the Basilica and I see many cellphones raised. And it’s not only the faithful, but also many priests and bishops. Please! Mass is not a show!” 

 

Go here to read the rest.

 

Reb Marines

 

Born on March 16, 1861 by an Act of the Confederate Congress,  the Confederate States Marine Corps had an authorized strength of 45 officers and 944 enlisted men, increased in 1862 to 1026 enlisted men.  The Marines never had more than 600 men at one time during the War.  Throughout the War the headquarters and training facilities of the CSMC was at Camp Beal on Drewry’s Bluff and at the Gosport Navy Yard at Norfolk.  The Marines were led by Colonel-Commadant Lloyd J. Beall, a former major and paymaster in the United States Army.  Much of the records of the CSMC were destroyed by a fire in Beall’s home after the War in 1887, which also killed Beall. Continue Reading

Yankee Marines

 

 

 

During the Civil War the United States Marine Corp had its authorized strength increased to 3000 men, minuscule compared to the Union Army that reached over a million men.  Marine Commandant Colonel John Harris was a traditionalist who believed that the Marines should guard ships and man artillery batteries, leaving the numerous amphibious invasions that took place during the War to the Army.  Even with this restricted scope, 17 Marines earned the newly created Medals of Honor during the War.  Go here to read a comprehensive list of Marine participation in the Civil War.

 

11

More Than Conquerors

As faithful readers of this blog know,  I have often posted humorous videos from The Lutheran Satire.  The man behind the videos, Lutheran Pastor Hans Fiene, has a profound reflection on the Sutherland shootings at The Federalist:

 

So when a madman with a rifle sought to persecute the faithful at First Baptist Church on Sunday morning, he failed. Just like those who put Christ to death, and just like those who have brought violence to believers in every generation, this man only succeeded in being the means through which God delivered his children from this evil world into an eternity of righteousness and peace.

“We do not need to fear the day of persecution that’s coming to the church, because God said it’s going to come. He warned us over 2,000 years ago the day was coming. And rather than fear it, He said just endure it. Now ‘endure it’ is a hard word. ‘Endure it’ doesn’t mean that they might take your ice cream away today. ‘Endure it’ means it may be a rough day. It may be a rough few years. But the one who endures to the end will be delivered.”

 

These are words that First Baptist’s pastor, Frank Pomeroy, preached on October 19, 2014—a little more than three years before his 14-year-old daughter and 25 other members of his congregation were murdered. Despite the immense sorrow he, his family, and his congregation are now experiencing, I pray they will still trust in these words.

Despite the horror that madman made the saints of First Baptist endure, those who endured it with faith in Christ have received his victory. Although the murderer filled their eyes with terror, God has now filled them with his glory. Although he persecuted them with violence, God seized that violence and has now used it to deliver his faithful into a kingdom of peace. Although this madman brought death to so many, God has used that death to give them the eternal life won for them in the blood of Jesus.

 

Those who persecute the church and those who mock Christians for trusting in Almighty God rather than Almighty Government may believe that the bloodshed in Texas proves the futility of prayer. But we believers see the shooting in Texas as proof of something far different—proof that Christ has counted us worthy to suffer dishonor for his name and proof that no amount of dishonor, persecution, or violence can stop him from answering our prayer to deliver us from evil.

 

Go here to read the rest.

 

31What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;

we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”j

37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,k neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8: 31-39

 

 

9

PopeWatch: Stamp

 Is the Pope Catholic?  Remember when that was an adage to indicate the affirmative of a statement?
Antonio Socci:“The Vatican in a complete mess with its celebration of Luther the Heretic in the place of Our Lady.  Never-ending shame in the dark age of Bergoglio.
November 1, 2017
Now there stood by the cross of Jesus, his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalen. When Jesus therefore had seen his mother and the disciple standing whom he loved, he saith to his mother: Woman, behold thy son. After that, he saith to the disciple: Behold thy mother. And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own”. (John 19,25-27).
 
 
This is one of the most fundamental moments in the Life of Jesus, the very apex of His redeeming mission. Mary is there and right next to Her is John. From that moment on Mary is the Mother of all those who are to come into the Church: Mater Ecclesiæ, as Paul VI called Her at the closure of the Second Vatican Council.
 
However,  Holy Mother Church, to commemorate the event of the 95 theses nailed by Martin Luther to the great door of the Wittenberg Church 500 years ago, thought well about issuing a fine stamp, through the Vatican Post Office. It is described like this in the official presentation:
“It depicts Jesus Crucified in the foreground on a gold, timeless background showing Wittenberg city. In an attitude of penance, on their knees respectively on the left and the right of the the Cross, Martin Luther holds a Bible, source and purpose of his doctrine, while Philip Melanchthon, theologian and a friend of Martin Luther’s, one of the most important protagonists of the Reformation, holds in his hand the Augsburg Confession, Confessio Augustuana, the first official exposition of the principles of Protestantism  which were drawn up by him.
Go here to read the rest at Rorate Caeli.  The Church is being led by fools and worse.
7

Every Day Heroes

The Sutherland shootings showed humanity at its worst and at its best.  Rich Lowry points out the best:

 

 

The response by the two by-standers who refused to stand by is something else entirely. It was a characteristically small-town American act of self-reliance that shows, no matter how tattered our civil society may be, it still produces people who will risk life and limb for others without hesitation, unbidden by anything other than their own sense of obligation.

When Stephen Willeford, 55, heard of the shooting, he left his house barefoot with his AR-15 and started exchanging fire with Kelley outside the church. An expert shot, Willeford hit Kelley and reportedly aimed for the gaps on his body armor.

When Kelley got in an SUV and sped off, Willeford jumped in Johnnie Langendorff’s truck and told him to give chase.

Langendorff, 27, didn’t ask any questions. He followed Kelley at 95 mph down the highway, until the perpetrator ran off the road into a ditch.

Willeford jumped out of the truck and rested his rifle on top of Langendorff’s hood and shouted for Kelley to “get out.” The murderer apparently took his own life with a gun shot.

 

Go here to read the rest.  Courage in the face of extreme evil is a valuable lesson for all of us.

3

Curse of Tippecanoe

 

 

Two hundred and six years ago, Territorial Governor of Indiana William Henry Harrison smashed the forces of the Indian Confederacy being formed by Tecumseh.  His victory would propel him into the White House three decades later.  His thirty-one day tenure, before dying of pneumonia, is the shortest presidential term on record.

 

An odd coincidence in American history is the death of every President in office beginning with William Henry Harrison and ending with John F. Kennedy elected in a year ending in zero.  A myth was developed ascribing this to a curse put on William Henry Harrison by the brother of the great Indian leader Tecumseh, Tenskwatawa, better known as the Prophet: Continue Reading

4

PopeWatch: Father Z

When Father Z is on a role, he is on a role:

 

Coyote, Wile E., (aka Michael Sean Winters… indelibly dubbed by Robbie George as the Wile E. Coyote of the catholic Left) and the National Schismatic Reporter, has fulfilled his duty as a cadre of the New catholic Red Guards today, by piling on with others in a “struggle” against Fr. Thomas Weinandy.

Here is a taste:

Hypocrisy marks DiNardo‘s inadequate response to Weinandy [Translation: Card. DiNaro is a hypocrite because he does hurt Weinandy as much as Comrade Coyote would.]

I am not sure which is worse, the fact that Capuchin Fr. Tom Weinandy, a former director of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Doctrine, could pen such a ridiculously presumptuous letter to the pope, or that the current leadership of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops could respond in such a thoroughly inadequate way [See? He’s attacking DiNardo.  He has already recently criticized the bishops – because he can criticize in his role as New catholic Red Guards cadre – because he doesn’t like the USCCB fall meeting agenda… as if they asked him.]

Mgsr. John Strynkowski, Weinandy’s predecessor at the doctrinal committee, has already published a striking response to Weinandy’s letter, with a point-by-point rebuttal. I need not repeat Strynkowski’s arguments and I most definitely wish to associate myself with them. [Strynkowski accompanied Chicago’s Archbishop Cupich as a theologian to the Synod on the Family.]

Still, I have some other concerns. Weinandy did not merely object to this or that thing Pope Francis has said or done; the whole tone of his letter, his choice of words, showed a lack of respect and humility that was appalling[And yet here we are reading Comrade Coyote remark that Card. DiNardo is a hypocrite and the USCCB is inadequate. But! The “tone” of Weinandy’s letter was lacking in respect. Go read the letter and see for yourselves.]

[…]

Weinandy and his ilk fret about all those faithful Catholics who are scandalized by Francis. Bosh. Francis is probably the most popular pope in history, [Jesus said it’s all about “popularity”] maybe not at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, [the cadre whistles and points at yet another place for the Left to attack] but in most areas where loyal Catholics [“loyal”… no, you don’t want to go against Mao Thought… believe me!] warm to the pope’s refreshing pleas for more mercy and less judgment. [Just like the mercy and lack of judgment Comrade Coyote is now showing to Fr. Weinandy.] Most conservative Catholics love this pope. There are opponents, to be sure, and they are well-funded and very noisy, but they are a sliver of the population.  [See Fr. Hunwicke’s reaction to this.  Priceless!]

[…]

Not once does DiNardo distinguish between Weinandy’s malicious ranting and the Holy Father’s magisterial teaching. [He’s already accused DiNardo of being a hypocrite.  Now comes the implication if not being “loyal” enough.] Indeed, the word magisterium does not appear even once in the statement. [COMRADE COYOTE ladies and gents!  From that perennial defender of the MAGISTERIUM the National Schismatic Reporter.] A Jewish friend, upon reading DiNardo’s statement, observed, “I thought your church was hierarchical.”  [Because the Fishwrap, which used to want popular election of bishops when JP2 and B16 were Popes, is not all about being “hierarchical”.  ]

Don’t get me wrong. I am all for civility and dialogue.  [This from Mr. Venom himself!  HERE.  Be sure to go to that link!]

[…]

It almost writes itself as self-parody.

Some time ago I was given a poster from the Cultural Revolution in 1966, when it was really getting underway.   Given the times we are now living in, I just had it framed and I’ve put it on a wall, to remind me of the violence that Catholics are up against from the liberal Left.

 

Go here to read the rest.  Catholic Leftists posing as utramontanists is akin to Catholic politicians who claim to be good Catholics while voting for abortion:  both nauseating and completely unconvincing.

38

Mark Shea Knows Who To Blame For the Sutherland Shootings

My co-blogger Paul Zummo takes a peek at the Leftist shell that was once Mark Shea:

 

The last drops of blood had not been shed before this nut and his hypocritical followers were casting all gun owners out into the eternal darkness.

https://m.facebook.com/story.php…

 

Mark Shea

15 hrs

“This is a time for thoughts and prayers, not politics”. Bunk.
Using “thoughts and prayers” as weapons against taking action to prevent future slaughter is the *real* insult to the dead and always has been. It’s also an insult to God Almighty. By 12/31/17, 35,000 more people who should still be alive will–as on December 31 of every year–be dead. They will be dead because “thoughts and prayers” were used as weapons to defend the profits of an arms industry that could not care less about their deaths. Thoughts and prayers used to defend human sacrifices to Mammon are an abomination whether Mammon receives his libations of blood from Planned Parenthood or the National Rifle Association.

It is hardly worth responding to Shea anymore, but he of course he ignores that it was  a good guy with a rifle who likely brought this fiend to Eternal Justice:

Stephen Willeford, who lives near the Texas church targeted yesterday, grabbed his own rifle and rushed to confront Devin Kelley after being told an attack was underway by his daughter.

As the 55-year-old arrived outside the church he came face-to-face with Kelley.

Mr Willeford, a plumber with no military experience, shot him in the side through a gap in his body armour, forcing the killer to flee.

Mr Willeford and another passing resident, Johnnie Langedorff, then chased him at almost 100 miles per hour in a car as the wounded killer tried to make a getaway after taking a hostage.

Kelley is said to have killed 26 people – including a child aged five – when he stormed into the church on Sunday dressed in black tactical gear and armed with an assault rifle.

Go here to read the rest.  Weapons are as good or bad as the man wielding them, no more and no less:

 

2

“Well Funded”

“You’re right, I did lose a million dollars last year. I expect to lose a million dollars this year. I expect to lose a million dollars next year. You know, Mr. Thatcher, at the rate of a million dollars a year, I’ll have to close this place in… 60 years.”

Charles Foster Kane, (Orson Welles) Citizen Kane

 

 

A favorite tactic of some of the Catholic Left is to accuse faithful Catholics who speak out in the Public Square of being “well-funded” from no doubt sinister sources.  Father Hunwicke remarks upon this:

Gimme money!

 
Don’t miss this … a wonderfully, miraculously funny piece of hysteria in The National Catholic Reporter by an individual called Michael Sean Winters, screaming his abuse at Fr Weinandy. It is a classic, a real winner!

One little factual query. Winters says that the opponents of PF (opponents whom, incidentally, he appears to invite to leave the Church or at least her Ministry) are “well-funded and very noisy”. If he would count me in this category, I would have no problem about being deemed “very noisy”.

But “well-funded”? My wife and I live off our Church of England pension, with one or two modest additions. 

“Well-funded”! How do I get my hands on all this limitless loot which is apparently swilling around? Who dispenses it? To whom should I make application? Why has nobody told me about this before? How is a poor convert supposed to know about this eldorado if nobody tells him?

I want money! And I want it now! Just tell me whom to ask! 

Go here to read the comments.  This brought to mind a post that I made on August 24, 2012 entitled “Don There’s A Nut On The Phone.”

 

 

 

I was working at my desk in the law mines Wednesday afternoon, when I heard one of my secretaries say loudly “Mr. McClarey never speaks to anyone who will not give their name!” followed by a phone being slammed down.  I sauntered into her office to see what was up.  She told me that some bitter old harpy was yelling and talking a mile a minute, demanding to speak to me and ranting about who was paying for The American Catholic, that Biden was a better Catholic than Paul Ryan, and spewing various insults aimed at conservatives.  When she wouldn’t give her name my secretary hung up on her per our standard operating procedures.  I learned long ago that if someone will not leave their name that is almost a certain sign of someone with a few screws loose, and I simply do not have the time to waste dealing with such phone calls.  My other secretary heard us and said that she had received a similar call a few minutes ago and after letting the woman vent for five minutes hung up on her after she repeatedly ignored requests to give my secretary her name.  At this time the caller called back and we put her through to voice mail.  The person began her diatribe by denouncing me as a coward, this from someone who would not give her name.  I deleted her call at this point since she was obviously merely going to repeat the tiresome rant that my secretaries had already described to me.

If she had merely given her name I would have been happy to talk to her and tell her who is paying for The American Catholic.  Fifty percent of our revenue comes from the Vatican.  I was in the midst of fingering my monthly pot of Vatican gold when she called.  This of course is in addition to the squad of albino squirrel assassins that I received from the Vatican when I helped form The American Catholic four years ago this October.  The remainder of our funds comes from the Koch Brothers.  They usually pay us in blood diamonds, although I would note that the shipment last month seemed to be of a lesser quality than they customarily send.  As a result, I am happy to report that each contributor to The American Catholic is rich, rich beyond your wildest dreams of avarice!  (Don laughs evilly:  Ha! Ha, Ha, Ha!  Chortle, snort!)

Then you wake up.  The sad and sorry truth is that we are all unpaid volunteers.  My income for four years toiling away at this blog is 0.  Next year I hope to increase it to 0.00.

A few observations in regard to my would be interlocutor.

1.  How pathetic does  a life have to be when someone, outraged over a blog, decides to work herself into a rage and call a complete stranger to vent?

2.  Other than venting what good did she think she could do by calling?  Did she think she was going to intimidate me?

3.  I blog for fun and I am always vastly amused by people who take any of this as seriously as the deranged nut who called me.  Perhaps it is my Irish blood or my profession, but although I enjoy a good verbal or written combat, I never take any of it seriously.

4.   I wonder if the deranged 83 year old Planned Parenthood supporter, who spit in the face of the Romney supporter in the video at the beginning of the post, is related to my caller?

5.   Many liberals live their life in an ideological bubble and when they encounter conservatives their first reaction is not to debate, but to lash out.  My caller obviously fits into this category.

6.  I said a prayer for my caller that something might fill her life rather than the anger that seems to have a grip on her.  Thank you guardian angel for the impulse to do so!

7.  In the law mines you tend to encounter people under stress and some are fairly loosely wired.  If my caller was intending to cause me something more than brief amusement, she failed.

8.  I trust that my caller will continue to read The American Catholic.  She may be none the wiser as a result, but she will be so much better informed.  (If she has low blood pressure, I think that reading TAC will help cure that malady for her!)

9.  Our goals at TAC are to enlighten and amuse.  However, if I have to choose, I will always prefer rage at what we write instead of complete indifference.

10. There is a scene in Citizen Kane that I have always enjoyed:

Thatcher puts on his hat.

                                    THATCHER

                        I happened to see your consolidated

                        statement yesterday, Charles.  Could I not suggest to you that it  is unwise for you to continue this philanthropic enterprise –

                               (sneeringly)

                        this Enquirer – that is costing you one million dollars a year?

                                    KANE

                        You’re right.  We did lose a million dollars last year.

          Thatcher thinks maybe the point has registered.

                                    KANE

                        We expect to lost a million next

                        year, too.  You know, Mr. Thatcher –

                               (starts tapping quietly)

                        at the rate of a million a year –

                        we’ll have to close this place in sixty years.

TAC of course has no money to lose.  As a result I promise our well wishers and detractors that we will be around for a very, very long time indeed!

8

Jesus Wept: 26 People Murdered in Baptist Church Shooting

 

 

Further demonstration, if any were needed, of the presence of sheer evil in our fallen world:

A gunman opened fire inside the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs on Sunday, killing 26 people and wounding 20 others, authorities said.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott called the attack the deadliest mass shooting in his state’s history. The youngest victim was 5 years old and the oldest was 72. Officials said 23 people were found dead inside the church, two outside, one died after being taken to a hospital.

The shooting suspect has been identified as 26-year-old Devin Patrick Kelley, federal law enforcement sources told CBS News.

Kelley is a former U.S. Air Force member who served from 2010 to 2014. He was dishonorably discharged and court martialed in May 2014, CBS News has learned.

On Sunday night, authorities only identified the suspect as a young white male. They said he was seen dressed in all black and tactical gear — including a “ballistic vest” — at a local gas station at 11:20 a.m. He then exited his vehicle, crossed the street and began firing an AR-15 style weapon at the church, officials said. The suspect entered the church and continued to fire.

As he exited the church, a local resident grabbed his gun and pursued the suspect, who dropped his weapon and fled the scene.

Go here to read the rest.  Lots of junk floating around the internet about the shooter being a muslim convert or a member of antifa.  Believe nothing for now until we have more sound information, as a lot of this seems to be produced by conspiracy theorists from the basements of their mothers.  More to follow as we learn more facts.  For now, let us pray for the dead and wounded and their families:

Almighty, Everlasting God, who hast dominion over the living and the dead, and showest mercy unto all whom Thou knowest will be Thine by faith and works: we humbly beseech Thee that they for whom we have resolved to pour forth our prayers, whether this present world still detain them in the flesh, or the world to come hath already received them stripped of their bodies, may, by the grace of Thy fatherly love, and through the intercession of all the Saints, obtain the remission of all their sins. Through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

9

November 5, 1775: Remember, Remember

 

Today is Guy Fawkes’ Day in England.  This Catholic-bashing holiday is not observed in America and the Father of Our Country is largely the reason why:

“As the Commander in Chief has been apprized of a design form’d for the observance of that ridiculous and childish custom of burning the Effigy of the pope – He cannot help expressing his surprise that there should be Officers and Soldiers in this army so void of common sense, as not to see the impropriety of such a step at this Juncture; at a Time when we are solliciting, and have really obtain’d, the friendship and alliance of the people of Canada, whom we ought to consider as Brethren embarked in the same Cause. The defence of the general Liberty of America: At such a juncture, and in such Circumstances, to be insulting their Religion, is so monstrous, as not to be suffered or excused; indeed instead of offering the most remote insult, it is our duty to address public thanks to these our Brethren, as to them we are so much indebted for every late happy Success over the common Enemy in Canada.”

Order in Quarters, November 5, 1775

General George Washington

It is good to remember just how wonderful a nation America truly is.

2

Seat of Moses

Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying,
“The scribes and the Pharisees
have taken their seat on the chair of Moses.
Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you,
but do not follow their example.
For they preach but they do not practice.
They tie up heavy burdens hard to carry
and lay them on people’s shoulders,
but they will not lift a finger to move them.
All their works are performed to be seen.
They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels.
They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues,
greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation ‘Rabbi.’
As for you, do not be called ‘Rabbi.’
You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers.
Call no one on earth your father;
you have but one Father in heaven.
Do not be called ‘Master’;
you have but one master, the Christ.
The greatest among you must be your servant.
Whoever exalts himself will be humbled;
but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”

Matthew 23: 1-12

 

When Peter first met with Christ he told Him to leave him, because he was a sinful man.  Perhaps Peter had many sins on his soul, but I think it more likely that he simply was not a learned man and was unable to keep, or even be aware of, the myriad ritual purity laws of the Jews, and thus he regarded himself as sinful and unclean as a result.  Judaism had largely been reduced to a system of avoiding ritual impurity by the time of Jesus, and only a man, a Scribe or a  Pharisee, who devoted himself to the study of the Law, could possibly keep the hundreds of laws that Jews had to observe if they were to be kept free from ritual impurity “sin”.  The greatest of the Rabbis understood that mercy and justice were much more important to God than the observance of the endless minutiae of the Law governing ritual impurity, but as the general reaction of the Scribes and the Pharisees to Jesus indicates, their voices were in the minority.

Jesus acknowledges that the Scribes and the Pharisees were the leaders of the Jewish religion.  (As usual Jesus ignores the Sadducees who ran the Temple.  Presumably they were so far from God that it was not worth His time speaking against them.)  He bids the people to do what they say but not to follow their example.  By their works they demonstrated how far their hearts were from what Moses had taught, let alone Christ.  Christ respected the office held by the Pharisees, the seat of Moses that they had assumed, but constantly attacked them for failing to live up to that office.  Words of special meaning to Catholics in this year of grace 2017.

 

1

Benjamin Franklin and Daylight Savings Time

(Enjoy the extra hour due to the temporary ending of Daylight Savings Time.  Here is a post from 2015 noting yet another idea of our Founding Father polymath.)

Throughout his illustrious, and hectic, career, Benjamin Franklin found time to write anonymous satirical pieces which he wrote as a form of relaxation.  Here is one written in 1784 in which he suggests the adoption of a rudimentary form of Daylight Savings Time:

 

 

Time 06

To THE AUTHORS of
The Journal of Paris

 

MESSIEURS,

You often entertain us with accounts of new discoveries. Permit me to communicate to the public, through your paper, one that has lately been made by myself, and which I conceive may be of great utility.

I was the other evening in a grand company, where the new lamp of Messrs. Quinquet and Lange was introduced, and much admired for its splendour; but a general inquiry was made, whether the oil it consumed was not in proportion to the light it afforded, in which case there would be no saving in the use of it. No one present could satisfy us in that point, which all agreed ought to be known, it being a very desirable thing to lessen, if possible, the expense of lighting our apartments, when every other article of family expense was so much augmented.

I was pleased to see this general concern for economy, for I love economy exceedingly.

Continue Reading

3

PopeWatch: Veneration

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

 

 

Protestants from across the globe flocked to Wittenberg, Germany Tuesday to venerate a statue of Martin Luther in honor of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.

Many in the Lutheran and Lutheran-leaning community including pastor of Torrential Downpour Church Morgan Kremin attended ceremonies that started with a morning veneration of the statue of Martin Luther located near All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg and concluded with a collection to help fund the building of several new mega-churches.

“Could the money have gone to the poor–yes,” Kremin admitted to EOTT. “But it’s important that we build these churches so that everyone, be they rich or poor, can come to worship the Lord, even though praying to Jesus is no different in a large church than it is in a home, or even though we know that, for the most part, the homeless don’t actually ever come to our church, and that asking our people, many of whom are struggling to make ends meet, to spend their hard-earned income on exorbitant churches is one of the issues we had with the Catholic Church during the Reformation. But the fact remains that building large things and paying for ridiculous salaries cost money. There’s no way around it.”

Kremin went on to clarify, saying that it wasn’t at all like the selling of indulgences since the selling of indulgences meant that people were essentially paying for their salvation, while what Kremin was saying was that being a true Christian and therefore being saved is contingent on Christian’s paying for such expenditures.

“Totally different.”

 

Go here to read the comments.  PopeWatch called the Vatican for comment, but was told that the Pope was busy polishing his statue of Luther and couldn’t come to the phone.

 

2

La Marseillaise

God of mercy and justice
See our tyrants, judge our hearts
Thy goodness be with us
Defend us from these oppressors
You reign in heaven and on earth
And before You all must bend
In your arms, come support us
You Great God, Lord of the thunder.

Rarely sung stanza of La Marseillaise

 

 

 

Something for the weekend.   La Marseillaise, sung by New Zealand born opera singer Frances Alda, the toast of New York.  Recorded on June 1, 1917, the week after the US entered World War I, the song was number 22 of the top 40 for the US that year, reflecting the crusade like atmosphere felt by most Americans to save France from the Germans.

16

PopeWatch: War

Pope Francis used an American military cemetery in Italy for his no war theme:

 

 

“No more, Lord, no more (war)” that shatters dreams and destroys lives, bringing a cold, cruel winter instead of some sought-after spring, Pope Francis said looking out at the people gathered for an outdoor Mass at a U.S. war memorial and cemetery.

“This is the fruit of war: death,” he said, as the bright Italian sun lowered in the sky on the feast of All Souls, Nov. 2.

On a day the church offers special prayers for the faithful departed with the hope of their meeting God in heaven, “here in this place, we pray in a special way for these young people,” he said, gesturing toward the rows of thousands of graves.

Christian hope can spring from great pain and suffering, he said, but it can also “make us look to heaven and say, ‘I believe in my Lord, the redeemer, but stop, Lord,” please, no more war, he said.

“With war, you lose everything,” he said.

 

Go here to read the rest.  Of course the Pope is wrong in his final sentence.  By being defeated by the US and its Allies in World War II, Italy cast off Mussolini and gained democracy.  By becoming part of Nato, Italy has had the longest period of peace for the peninsula since the time of Cato the Elder.  On a personal note, PopeWatch hopes that the Pope will not use a US military cemetery again for one of his historically ignorant pacifist screeds.  These are places of honor, and the brave men whose bodies rest there for their resurrection are not props for the Pope to use in his pacifist morality play.

 

 

 

2

Quotes Suitable for Framing: Theodore Roosevelt

 

 

In the first place we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here does in good faith become an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with every one else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed or birthplace or origin. But this is predicated upon the man’s becoming in very fact an American and nothing but an American.

“If he tries to keep segregated with men of his own origin and separated from the rest of America, then he isn’t doing his part as an American.

“We have room for but one flag, the American flag, and this excludes the red flag which symbolizes all wars against liberty and civilization just as much as it excludes any foreign flag of a nation to which we are hostile. We have room for but one language here and that is the English language, for we intend to see that the crucible turns our people out as Americans, and American nationality, and not as dwellers in a polyglot boarding house; and we have room for but one sole loyalty, and that is loyalty to the American people.

Theodore Roosevelt, January 5, 1919  (The last public statement made by Roosevelt prior to his death on January 6, 1919.)

18

Quotes Suitable for Framing: Father Anonymous

I am a Catholic priest. Sadly, I must remain anonymous out of fear. What Fr. Weinandy has written is truth. I’m quite certain that thousands and thousands of my brother priests feel the same way and are very concerned with Pope Francis. We pray for him, love his office, and want what’s best for him. Yet this pontificate is the most uninspiring thing to happen during our priestly lives. How do I know this? Because many of us talk about it with each other. Yet we are scared of retaliation if we share this with our bishops, religious superiors, or our ‘papa’. We feel like we are living in a household with an abusive father who needs an intervention but we fear he will beat us. We are trapped. We love Jesus, His Church, and the papacy so much that we are very hesitant to speak publicly about our concerns with Pope Francis. We are suffering greatly. Pray for us! We pray for better days. Days of clarity, truth, and zeal for God’s house. Those days will come again.

Anonymous Priest in the Comboxes of Catholic World Report-Go here  to read the original comment.

3

PopeWatch: Cardinal Sarah

Sandro Magister notes that the Pope’s recent slap down of Cardinal Sarah indicates how the Pope operates:

 

The letter with which Francis recently contradicted and humiliated Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the congregation for divine worship, is the latest proof of how this pope exercises his magisterium.

When Francis wants to introduce innovations, he never does so in clear and distinct words. He prefers to open discussions, to set “processes” in motion, within which the innovations are gradually affirmed.

The most glaring example is “Amoris Laetitia,” for which contrasting interpretations and applications are in fact given, with entire episcopates lining up on one or the other side.

And when he is asked for clarification, he refuses. As in the case of the five “dubia” submitted to him by four cardinals, not deemed worthy of so much as a reply.

But when a cardinal like Sarah, an authority by role and responsibilities, weighs in to give a papal motu proprio on the liturgy the only interpretation he sees as correct and therefore to be implemented by the congregation of which he is prefect, Francis does not remain silent but reacts with harshness, in defense of those passages of the motu prorio – which in effect are anything but clear – that contain the liberalizations dear to him.

This is just what has happened in recent days.

Let’s recapitulate. On September 9 Francis publishes the motu proprio “Magnum Principium” concerning the adaptations and translations into contemporary languages of the liturgical texts of the Latin Church.

In defining the role of the congregation for divine worship concerning the adaptations and translations of the liturgical texts prepared by the national episcopal conferences and submitted for the approval of the Holy See, the motu proprio distinguishes between “recognitio” and “confirmatio,” between review and confirmation.

But the distinction is by no means explained with clarity. And in fact, two sides took shape immediately among the experts.

There are those who maintain that the “recognitio,” meaning the advance review by Rome, concerns only the adaptations, while for the translations the Holy See need give simply a “confirmatio,” its approval.

And there are those who instead maintain that on the translations as well Rome must carry out a careful review, before approving them.

In effect, this is what was done before and it is why various new translations of the missals have had a troubled life – like those of the United States, Great Britain, and Ireland – or are still waiting for approval from Rome: like those of France, Italy, and Germany.

In particular, the new translation of the missal in German was an object of criticism by Benedict XVI himself, who in 2012 wrote a letter to his fellow countrymen bishops to convince them to translate with more fidelity the words of Jesus at the last supper, at the moment of consecration:

> Vatican Diary / “For many” or “for all”? The right answer is the first

Getting back to the motu proprio “Magnum Principium,” it must be noted that when this was drafted it was kept in the dark from Cardinal Sarah, prefect of a dicastery whose middle management has long been rowing against him.

On September 30, Sarah wrote to Pope Francis a letter of thanks accompanied by a detailed “Commentaire”, aimed at a correct interpretation and application of the motu proprio, one that was rather restrictive concerning its multi-purpose formulations.

In Sarah’s judgment, “recognitio” and “confirmatio” are in reality “synonymous” or in any case “interchangeable at the level of responsibility of the Holy See,” whose task of reviewing translations before approving them remains intact.

A couple of weeks later the cardinal’s “Commentaire” appeared on various websites, leading to the conclusion – given the position of the author of the “Commentaire” – that in Rome the congregation for divine worship would act according to its guidelines.

And this greatly irritated Pope Francis, who on October 15 signed a letter harshly repudiating Cardinal Sarah.

A letter in which the pope assigns the national episcopal conferences the liberty and authority to decide on translations themselves, on the sole condition of the final “confirmatio” from the Vatican congregation.

And in any case – the pope writes – without any “spirit of ‘imposition’ on the episcopal conferences of a given translation made by the dicastery” in Rome, even for “significant” liturgical texts like the “sacramental formulas, the Credo, the Pater noster.”

The conclusion of the pope’s letter to the cardinal is barbed with venom:

“Considering that the ‘Commentaire’ in question has been published on a number of websites, and erroneously attributed to your person, I graciously ask you to see to it that this response of mine be released on the same sites as well as being sent to all the Episcopal Conferences, to the Members and Advisors of this Dicastery.”

 

Go here to read the rest.  The mode of operation is abundantly clear by now:  Church liberals get a papal embrace and papal support.  Everyone else gets the back of the papal hand.

9

Prayers For Our Dead

O happy fault that earned for us so great, so glorious a Redeemer.

Exsultet

 

 

 

 

All Souls Day is a  good time to start a post where we can pray for our dead:

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

I ask Lord that the souls of Larry McClarey, Donald D. McClarey, Mary McClarey, Raymond McClarey, Thelma McClarey, Ralph McClarey, Chuck McClarey, Roscoe McClarey, Betty Taylor, Chris Bissey, Rowena Barry, Nanny Barry, Alice Moore and Dyke Moore, and some poor soul known only to You, may even now be enjoying the Beatific Vision.  May we all share in the joy of those who now see You face to face.

List the souls you wish to pray for in the comboxes.

5

Torches From God

“We are always ready to make a saint or prophet of the educated man who goes into cottages to give a little kindly advice to the uneducated. The mediaeval saint or prophet was an uneducated man who walked into grand houses to give a little kindly advice to the educated.”

G. K. Chesterton

 

 

 

 

 

 

“We are always ready to make a saint or prophet of the educated man who goes into cottages to give a little kindly advice to the uneducated. The mediaeval saint or prophet was an uneducated man who walked into grand houses to give a little kindly advice to the educated.”

G. K. Chesterton

 

 

 

All Saints Day reminds us of all those holy men and women whom God, in His infinite mercy, sends us as torches to light our path in a dark world.  Filled with God’s love and grace, they make golden the pages of our histories with their lives and witness.  Feeling the lure of sin just as much as any of us, they turned to God and reflected His love to us.  They come in all sorts of humanity:  men and women, all nationalities, wise, simple, warriors, pacifists, miracle workers, saints whose only miracle was their life, humorous, humorless, clergy, laity, old, young, united only in their Faith and their love for the Highest Love. Continue Reading

7

PopeWatch: Magisterium

Ed Feser at Catholic World Report describes the damage being done to the magisterium by attempts to paint the statement of Pope Francis that capital punishment is intrinsically wrong as a development of doctrine:

 

In fact, the opposite is the case. You cannot reinforce people’s confidence in the papal Magisterium unless you first make it clear exactly what are the scope and limits of that Magisterium. When well-meaning theologians like Prof. Fastiggi tie themselves in logical knots in order to avoid having to admit that a pope might have misspoken or made a mistake when not speaking ex cathedra – despite the fact that the Church herself has always acknowledged that this can happen! – they reinforce the slander that Catholics are committed to what I have called the Crude Protestant Caricature of papal authority.

In particular, they give (however unintentionally) the false impression that popes can reinvent doctrine at will and simply stipulate, by dictatorial fiat, that the novelties they are teaching are “scriptural” and “traditional.” They thereby make a laughingstock of Catholic claims to have preserved the deposit of faith whole and undefiled. And they thereby undermine confidence in the papal Magisterium. Non-Catholics are liable to conclude that Catholic claims about the papacy are a kind of Orwellian sophistry. Some Catholics are liable to conclude this too, and to lose their faith as a result – whereas if they were reassured instead that the Church does not require them to deny the obvious, their faith will be saved.

Here is the bottom line: In order to defend the suggestion that a pope could teach that capital punishment is always and intrinsically immoral, you have to maintain that the Church has for 2000 years been teaching grave moral error. Indeed, you have to say that the Church has for all that time been defending, as a matter of moral doctrine, a species of murder. You also have to say either that Scripture teaches moral error and that the Church has for 2000 years been wrong to claim otherwise; or you have to say that Scripture does not teach moral error but that the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, all previous popes, and indeed the Church in general for 2000 years, have misunderstood Scripture.

How on earth Prof. Fastiggi could seriously think that defending those propositions is remotely conducive to upholding people’s confidence in the papal Magisterium, I have no idea.

Go here to read the rest.  All good Catholics wish to support the Pope.  However when such support involves accepting lies and erasing out of memory 2000 years of Catholic history,  such support comes at too dear a price.  May God forgive Pope Francis for recklessly forcing faithful Catholics to stand against their Pope.

9

Worse Than Murder, Inc to Blacks: You Are Better Off Dead

Birth control is not contraception indiscriminately and thoughtlessly practiced. It means the release and cultivation of the better racial elements in our society, and the gradual suppression, elimination and eventual extirpation of defective stocks— those human weeds which threaten the blooming of the finest flowers of American civilization.

Margaret Sanger, as quoted in The New York Times, April 8, 1923

 

 

Planned Parenthood Worse Than Murder, Inc has never strayed far from its racist roots as the routine placement of their abortion clinics in high minority areas attest.  Of course today the overt racism of the days of Sanger’s youth is no longer fashionable on the Left where Planned Parenthood gets most of its support, but sometimes the mask slips.

Ed Driscoll at Instapundit sums up:

 

If this sounds like something the alt-right might tweet, as Elliot Kaufman wrote at NRO in August, “contrary to NARAL’s protestations, the leaders of the alt-right are actually pro-choice. They don’t oppose abortion because it’s good for racial minorities; they support abortion because it kills them. They hate black people and think America would be better if fewer of them were born. Though this is terrifying to contemplate, it should not be unfamiliar. In fact, the alt-right tends to praise abortion for the same reasons that Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, praised birth control: They help to rid the country of ‘undesirables.’”

Hey, it’s not like Planned Parenthood’s founder herself ever actually spoke at a KKK rally or anything.

Oh wait.

Eugenics and Planned Parenthood Worse Than Murder Inc go together like bread and butter.  Their political alliances have changed over time, but that essential reality has not changed.

17

Halloween Terror

Another atrocity from a member of the religion of peace.

 

 

 

A man in a pickup truck killed eight people when he drove onto the West Side bike path in lower Manhattan Tuesday afternoon — and then shouted “Allahu Akbar” as he got out of the car with fake guns, police sources said.

 

The suspected terror attack happened around 3:15 p.m., when a man in a flatbed pickup truck from Home Depot veered onto the bike path at West St., a few blocks north of Chambers St., police said.

The suspect, who was shot by police, then plowed his car into up to 23 people on the path, killing eight and injuring more than a dozen others, according to cops.

He continued driving south and hit another car, then got out and displayed “imitation firearms,” police said.

The man then shouted, “Allahu Akbar,” according to police sources.

Witnesses described a scene of terror, as people fled for safety.

 

Go here to read the rest.  Pray for the dead, the wounded and us.

 

9

Debate: Has Halloween Become Too Commercial?

“I got a rock.”
Charlie Brown

 

 

 

 

 

From the only reliable source of news on the net, the Onion.  My last trick or treating experience as a child was in 1969 and I reared my children in the McClarey Halloween tradition of ample candy, cheap costumes and Dad falling asleep on the couch after over indulging in candy.  May my offspring keep these hallowed traditions alive for the next generation!

12

Myths of the Reformation

“God knows the thoughts of the heart. It is well that Zwingli, Carlstadt, and Pellicanus lie dead on the battle-field, for otherwise we could not have retained the Landgrave, Strasburg and other of our neighbours [true to our doctrine]. Oh, what a triumph is this, that they have perished! God indeed knows His business well.”

Martin Luther’s reaction to hearing of the death of fellow “Reformer” Zwingli in battle in 1531, and the false report that two other “Reformers” had also fallen.

 

 

 

I find it bleakly appropriate that the Reformation began five hundred years ago on Halloween.  On this date in 1517 Martin Luther sent to his Bishop a copy of his “Disputation of Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences”, what has become known as his 95 theses.  He may or may not have nailed up the 95 theses to the door of All-Saints Church in Wittenberg.  If he did, there would have been nothing unusual about this, as this was a common custom to begin scholarly debate on propositions.  A scholarly debate, and no more, was probably what Luther initially intended, but debate swiftly became revolution with the Latin 95 theses begin translated into German by friends of Luther in January 1518 and swiftly spreading throughout Germany and then Europe.  The Reformation thus begun was a vast historical event, now shrouded in myths.  When it is recalled today, most people doing so will not be remembering the actual event but rather the popular myths that have been propagated about it.  Here are some of the myths.

  1.  The Church Was Corrupt-Actually the Church overall was in better shape just prior to the Reformation than it had been in centuries, with a better trained, educated and pious clergy.  Most revolutions occur in a time of rising expectations and that perhaps was the case with the Reformation.
  2. The Reformation Was a Victory for Freedom of Thought-Nothing could be further from the truth.  Luther and most of the other so-called Reformers stood foursquare against any idea that people had a right to freely discern truth in religion or other areas.  Luther, if he were alive today, would be appalled at the moral and intellectual anarchy he would perceive, none of which would have surprised him as he thought most men needed to be kept in constant check by State and church.
  3. The Reformation Was a Victory for Freedom of Religion-Luther thought that Christians should have the freedom to believe how Herr Doktor Martin Luther believed since he had discovered the truth of the Scriptures.  He took opposition poorly to say the least.
  4. The Reformation Stands for Separation of Church and State-This is the most laughable of all the myths of the Reformation.  Luther and his followers actually stood for the proposition that the State should be in charge of the Church, at least if the State were willing to impose Luther’s version of Christianity.
  5.  The Reformation Led to an Improvement in Morals-Luther himself would have laughed at that one.  At the end of his life he frequently lamented that people were worse than they had been when he was a young man.  He saw no improvement in morals at all and rather the reverse.
  6. The Reformation  Led to an Immense Religious Revival-We are indebted to the first generations of Protestant pastors who often kept careful records.  They frequently lamented how few people came to the new churches, although they were now legally compelled to come, and the ignorance, indifference and outright contempt of those who did come.  If a religious revival occurred during the Reformation it is very well disguised in the copious records that have come down to us.
  7. The Reformation Was a Victory for Democracy-Actually it was the Church, with quite a bit of difficulty, that had restrained the ambitious rulers.  Those rulers who turned Protestant were immensely strengthened, with the plunder from the Church at their disposal, a subservient local church under their control, and ministers who preached that they were God’s anointed.  The Reformation, taken as a whole, was a defeat for limited government and popular rule.

This list of myths could go on and on.  The point is that what people will be celebrating or mourning today bears little resemblance to the actual event.

2

PopeWatch: Luther

Sandro Magister reminds us that the cheers that the Pope is giving to Martin Luther was not always his opinion:

 

 

October 31 marks precisely five hundred years since the symbolic beginning of the Protestant Reformation. And on the part of the highest officials of the Catholic Church, the celebrations so far have been practically a one-way street: a chorus of praise for Martin Luther. “A medicine for the Church,” Pope Francis said of him in taking stock of his ecumenical journey in Sweden exactly one year ago.

“L’Osservatore Romano,” however, or “La Civiltà Cattolica” have been cautious not to republish what Jorge Mario Bergoglio wrote about Luther and Calvin before he was elected pope.

Only one of his texts on the Protestant Reformation has been preserved, from about thirty years ago. But it was republished in 2014 with a preface by the Jesuit Antonio Spadaro, director of “La Civiltà Cattolica” and one of Pope Francis’s closest confidants, without the slightest disclaimer of the crushing anti-Protestant invectives contained in it.

When the text came back to light, in fact, the eminent Protestant theologian Paolo Ricca, a Waldensian, expressed his consternation in an editorial for the magazine “Riforma”:

“I ask myself how it is possible to have still today, or even thirty years ago, such a deformed, distorted, mistaken, and substantially false view of the Protestant Reformation. It is a view with which it is impossible to begin a dialogue, or even an argument, it is so far and divergent from reality.”

Going so far as to doubt whether the anniversary of the Reformation could be celebrated together with the current pope.

“One thing is certain: on the basis of such a view, an ecumenical celebration of the five hundredth anniversary of the Reformation, in 2017, appears to be literally impossible.”

However, as is well known, Pope Francis has succeeded and then some in retying the threads of dialogue and in establishing in public opinion the image of a Catholic Church friendlier than ever with Luther and grateful for what he did.

Naturally, setting aside entirely that text of his. Which it could be useful to read and is linked here:

> Luther At the Stake. No, At the Altars. The Double Vision of the Jesuit Pope

*

But this censure of the anti-Lutheran Bergoglio is not the only one of this season of ecumenism. To it can be added another: on an author who is among the most prominent writers for “L’Osservatore Romano,” Marco Vannini, a renowned expert on theology and mysticism, especially that of Germany, and a scholar of Luther.

Vannini published a book this year that says right from the title what side he takes: “Against Luther and the false Gospel.”

Vannini calls himself “perhaps heretical but Roman Catholic,” although in an article in 2004, under the reign of pope Karol Wojtyla, “La Civiltà Cattolica” adjudged that he “excludes transcendence, suppresses the essential truths of Christianity, and by way of Neoplatonism inexorably arrives at a modern Gnosticism.”

The fact remains that with Pope Francis he has become a regular writer for “L’Osservatore Romano.”

But not this time. Not even one line on his erudite book against Luther. Curiously, it was noted in Italy only by the magazine “Il Regno,” an authoritative voice of progressive Catholicism, with an interview of the author.

 

Go here to read the rest.  In this papacy friends of the Faith are treated as enemies and enemies of the Faith are treated as friends.

19

PopeWatch: Islam

Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch notes that Pope Francis often seems to be much more friendly to adherents of Islam than he is to traditional Catholics:

Before anyone starts accusing Lifesite of “attacking the Pope” for presenting this video and article, let me provide context. Also, I must add that the opinions expressed in the video are those of Robert Spencer. They do not necessarily represent the views of LifeSiteNews.

However,  Spencer is no “Islamophobe” or hater of Muslims or of Pope Francis and the Catholic Church. Wikipedia explains that Spencer “is a member of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, the Eastern Catholic Antiochian Greek Catholic counterpart of the ancient Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch.” 

More than that, however, he has become one of the foremost experts on Islam in the English-speaking world. Therefore, what Robert Spencer has to say in relation to Islam should at least be given serious consideration.

Robert Spencer presents well-researched, verifiable facts to help readers and listeners learn the truth about the great danger of Islamic jihadists and Sharia Law to the world. There is incredible ignorance and naivete about this in the West. Spencer has been attempting, at great risk to his own personal safety, to remedy that lack of public awareness on rapidly expanding, diabolical Islamist Jihadism.

In the case of this video, Spencer calmly presents legitimate concerns about what he believes would be the logical implications or real world perceptions by Islamists of Pope Francis’ statements and actions regarding Islam and the unchecked massive invasion of Islamist young men into non-Islamic nations. Given how deeply he is immersed every day in reporting on Islamist mass slaughters, violations of women and children and many other Jihadist depravities, it is no wonder that Spencer can seem rather harsh or blunt when discussing the pope and Islamism.

 

 

 

 

Go here to read the rest.  None of this is surprising.  The Pope is in favor of mass immigration of Islam into the West.  A realistic assessment of Islam would sink this policy.  Thus we have a Pope who lies about Islam practically every time he deigns to discuss the subject.  Catholics have a right to expect better of the Vicar iof Christ.

 

4

October 14, 1947: Yeager Breaks the Sound Barrier

I was always afraid of dying.  Always.  It was my fear that made me learn everything I could about my airplane and my emergency equipment, and kept me flying respectful of my machine and always alert in the cockpit.

Chuck Yeager

 

Seventy years ago Captain Chuck Yeager, a double ace in World War II, flying the experimental X-1, broke the sound barrier.  Two days before the flight Yeager broke two ribs and was in such pain that he could not close the cabin door without assistance.  Needless to say he did not report his injury to anyone in authority who could scrub him from the flight.  George Welch, also a World War II ace, may have broke the sound barrier on October 1, 1947, flying in an XP-86, but his speed could not be verified.

As indicated by the video clip below from The Right Stuff, the life of a test pilot in those days often ended in sudden death, so while we salute Yeager’s skill we should also be mindful of his courage and those of his brother pilots.  George Welch died in 1954 when the test plane he was flying disintegrated.  The Right Stuff consists of more than courage, but it is an essential component.

 

General Yeager, who is still with us at age 94, wrote an account of his breaking the sound barrier for Popular Mechanics on the fortieth anniversary:

 

 

I had flown at supersonic speeds for 18 seconds. There was no buffet, no jolt, no shock. Above all, no brick wall to smash into. I was alive.

And although it was never entered in the pilot report, the casualness of invading a piece of space no man had ever visited was best reflected in the radio chatter. I had to tell somebody, anybody, that we’d busted straight through the sound barrier. But transmissions were restricted. “Hey Ridley!” I called. “Make another note. There’s something wrong with this Machmeter. It’s gone completely screwy!”

“If it is, we’ll fix it,” Ridley replied, catching my drift. “But personally, I think you’re seeing things.”

Go here to read the rest.

4

Zombie Democrats?

Lawrence: “You live here?”

Montgomery: “Yes.”

Lawrence: “Then maybe you know what a zombie is”

Montgomery: “When a person dies and is buried, its seems there are certain voodoo priests who … who have the power to bring him back to life.”

Carter: “How horrible!”

Montgomery: “It’s worse than horrible because a zombie has no will of his own. You see them sometimes walking around blindly with dead eyes, following orders, not knowing what they do, not caring.”

Lawrence: “You mean like Democrats?”

 

 

 

Democrat Zombies?  Well, I do know that here in Illinois, up in Chicago, Democrats do seem to frequently find their way to the polls after death!

 

 

 

9

Christ and the Law

When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees,
they gathered together, and one of them,
a scholar of the law tested him by asking,
“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”
He said to him,
“You shall love the Lord, your God,
with all your heart,
with all your soul,
and with all your mind.
This is the greatest and the first commandment.
The second is like it:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”

Matthew 22: 34-40

 

 

The first commandment recited by Christ is taken from the Shema, the prayer recited by the Jews morning and night.  All his Jewish listeners would have known it by heart and His choice of it should have been unsurprising to his interlocutors.  They would also have not been  surprised by  his addition of a second commandment which required loving your neighbor as yourself.  The commandment is taken from Leviticus 19: 18.  The great Rabbi Hillel, who died when Christ was a child, stated the commandment negatively:  What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow: this is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn.  Saint Paul, who doubtless was quite familiar with the teachings of Hillel, echoed this teaching:  For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. Galatians 5: 14.

If the answers of Christ were fairly obvious, why was the question asked?  Probably to test His knowledge.  Did this small town carpenter know the teaching of Hillel?  Perhaps to find fodder to accuse Him of heresy.  Whatever was the motivation, Christ yet again revealed Himself as completely supportive of the heart of the Jewish Law.  Normally Christ opposed it  only in regard to the Jewish ritual purity laws, at least as they had been interpreted.  Where he differed with a Jewish teaching outside of ritual purity, normally He increased the severity of the Law, forbidding divorce for example, or proclaiming that a man who looked lustfully at a woman was guilty of adultery.  Christ would add to the Jewish law and shore it up, but He came not to do away with it, but rather to perfect it.

 

“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.”

Matthew 5: 17

2

PopeWatch: Regrets, They Had a Few

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

 

 

Just days after actor Mark Wahlberg statement that he regretted portraying a porn star in Boogie Nights, fellow Catholic actor Kevin James announced today that he hopes God wouldn’t hold the movie Paul Blart: Mall Cop against him.

James told EOTT this afternoon that he hopes “that God is not a movie fan and also forgiving” because he says he’s made some “poor choices” over the years. Among those movies James listed were, Paul Blart: Mall Cop, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, Grown Ups, Grown Ups 2, I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry, Zookeeper, and Hitch.

“People make bad decisions in life,” James said. “But in my case, these bad decisions are continually aired on TV. It’s hard to come to terms with it. The money helps, I guess.”

He added that the bad decisions of his past sometimes makes it easier when speaking to at-risk youth,  as he is able to show them what lies ahead if they don’t turn their lives around.

“It’s kinda like that show Scared Straight, you know? But instead of having convicts scare the crap out of kids, it’s me showing young actors what could happen to their lives if they make the mistakes and bad decisions I made. I can only hope that this’ll be good enough to make amends with God.

 

Go here to read the comments.  PopeWatch has been unable to confirm or deny the rumor that Mel Gibson will fund a Crusade, and wear sack cloth for the rest of his life, against bad movies in atonement for The Beaver.

11

PopeWatch: Life

Hattip to Amanda Servello.  Joe Gallagher at Crisis reports that the powers that be at the Vatican are attempting to transform what it means to be pro-life:

 

Fair is foul and foul is fair at the Pontifical Academy for Life (PAV). Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the PAV, recently redefined the term “life” for the Catholic Church, stating that the PAV will now refocus its pro-life mission to include issues of migration, arms control, poverty and the environment. He suggested that to be authentically pro-life is to be pro-life in every way and everywhere. That is true, if we correctly understand the term pro-life. Correctly understood, it means defending innocent human life from targeted destruction from the moment of conception until natural death at all stages of development in every time, place and culture.

We should be extremely wary of accepting any new definition of “life.” The traditional definition only includes the issues of abortion, euthanasia, and bioethical concerns pertaining to embryonic stem cell research, cloning, IVF, etc. It excludes the death penalty, which involves those who are guilty of grotesque crimes such as murder and rape. The convicted may be put to death in rare cases as a matter of justice only after due process and especially if they remain a danger to society, which is in line with Catholic teaching despite Pope Francis’s recent statement that capital punishment always violates the Gospel. It excludes war, which may be waged after discernment for just cause, and killing in self-defense. But it also excludes the new areas of focus of the PAV. I am not suggesting that these issues are not constituent of the mission of the Church, or that they do not impinge on issues relating to human life, but they are not issues related to the Church’s traditional pro-life mission. There are other councils, institutes, academies, etc., wherein such issues should rightly be the focus, but to include them in the PAV is suspect.

This move to redefine “life” is highly disturbing for many in the Church suspicious of Pope Francis, his advisors and appointees, who believe that John Paul II’s original motive for the PAV outlined in his motu proprio Vitae Mysterium to spread the traditional “Gospel of Life” with “the specific task to study and provide information and training about the principal problems of law and biomedicine pertaining to the promotion and protection of life” is being undermined by those hell-bent on reforming Catholicism from within. It doesn’t help that Paglia is also Grand Chancellor of the recently and controversially renamed John Paul II Pontifical Theological Institute for Marriage and Family Sciences (which is now to be guided by Amoris Laetitia) who has expressed support for admitting the divorced and remarried to Communion, approved a controversial sex-education program in Spain entitled “The Meeting Point: Project for Affective and Sexual Formation,” commissioned and appeared in a mural on the façade of the cathedral church of the Diocese of Terni-Narni-Ameli that many describe as homoerotic, and, according to some critics, has equivocated on defending the Church’s position on same-sex relationships.

 

Go here to read the rest.  This attempt to transform the meaning of life calls to mind this quotation from 1984:

 

By 2050—earlier, probably—all real knowledge of Oldspeak will have disappeared. The whole literature of the past will have been destroyed. Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Byron—they’ll exist only in Newspeak versions, not merely changed into something different, but actually contradictory of what they used to be. Even the literature of the Party will change. Even the slogans will change. How could you have a slogan like “freedom is slavery” when the concept of freedom has been abolished? The whole climate of thought will be different. In fact there will be no thought, as we understand it now. Orthodoxy means not thinking—not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.

 

 

2

October 27, 1962: Black Saturday

October 27, 1962 has gone down in history as Black Saturday.  Three events pushed the world to the very brink of nuclear war.

 

 

Major Rudolph Anderson was shot down and killed during a U-2 flight over Cuba.  He was posthumously decorated with the Air Force Cross, the second highest decoration for valor in the United States Air Force.  Soviet Premier Khrushchev was furious when he heard about the shoot down and ordered that no further US planes were to be downed except on personal orders from him.  Here is the citation for Major Anderson.

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Title 10, Section 8742, United States Code, takes pride in presenting the Air Force Cross (Posthumously) to Major Rudolf Anderson Jr., United States Air Force, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving as Pilot of a U-2 airplane with the 4080th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, Strategic Air Command (SAC), from 15 October 1962 to 27 October 1962. During this period of great national crisis, Major Anderson, flying an unescorted, unarmed aircraft, lost his life while participating in one of several aerial reconnaissance missions over Cuba. While executing these aerial missions, Major Anderson made photographs which provided the United States government with conclusive evidence of the introduction of long-range offensive missiles into Cuba and which materially assisted our leaders in charting the nation’s military and diplomatic course. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of the enemy, Major Anderson reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.

The second event occurred when the US destroyer the USS Beale, enforcing the Cuban blockade, dropped warning non-explosive depth charges on nuclear armed Soviet Sub B-59.  The commander of the sub, thinking his ship was doomed, wanted to launch a nuclear torpedo at a nearby US carrier.  The launch required the concurrence of three officers. Captain  Vasili Alexandrovich Arkhipov, who would eventually rise to Vice Admiral in the Soviet Navy, refused to agree and probably saved the world from nuclear annihilation.

The third event involved another U-2 flight became lost and flew into Soviet air space.  Chased by Soviet fighters he flew to Alaska, with the US scrambling nuclear armed fighters.  Ironically, the events of the day probably helped ensure a peaceful resolution of the crisis, convincing both Kennedy and Khrushchev that the situation was careening out of control and that the standoff had to end if nuclear war were to be averted.

1

Kremlin Cola

Peripetchikoff: While they are putting Uncle Sam in cuckoo clock, we will put Soviet cosmonaut on moon.

C.R. MacNamara: Okay, so you guys may be the first to shoot a man to the moon, but if he wants a Coke on the way, you’ll have to come to us.

One, Two, Three (1961)

 

 

 

Ah, One, Two, Three (1961), a howlingly funny Billy Wilder movie and one of the most anti-Communist films ever made by Hollywood.  The last film that James Cagney made before his retirement, I do not count his ill-starred reappearance in a few films very late in life, it is a fitting cap to his career, even though Cagney personally had a terrible time making the film.  Bonus: torture scene:

 

 

 

5

PopeWatch: Apostasy

Father John Hunwicke reminds us of these prophetic words of Pope Paul VI three decades ago:

 

In 1977, Blessed Paul VI, on the sixtieth anniversary of the last Fatima Apparition, said this: “The tail of the Devil is functioning in the disintegration of the Catholic world. The darkness of Satan has entered and spread throughout the Catholic Church, even to its summit. Apostasy, the loss of the Faith, is spreading throughout the world and into the highest levels within the Church”.

I know some of you chaps out there sometimes feel a bit dubious about Blessed Papa Montini, but, really, faced with words of such prophetic discernment, how can you maintain your reservations? Come on!

By the way: have you yet read Cardinal Burke‘s very fine Buckfast Address on …  Apostasy? If not, you jolly well ought to get on with it …

Apostasy is a word we ought to be more willing to do business with. The beginning of the Catholic Revival in the Church of England is commonly dated to 1833, when  blessed John Keble preached a sermon on “National Apostasy“! Very Patrimonial! Immensely Prophetic!

 

Go here to read the comments.  Always remember that after the night of Satan there is the dawn of Christ.

13

DE CURA ANIMARUM PRO CHRISTIANIS COMMUNISMO INFECTIS

Lifesite News has a blockbuster article on the “lost” condemnation of Communism DE CURA ANIMARUM PRO CHRISTIANIS COMMUNISMO INFECTIS for Vatican II but not adopted due to the opposition of liberal German, French and Dutch bishops. Go here to read the translation prepared by Lifesite News.  Here is the background story from Lifesite News:

 

 

In 1962, as millions of Catholics languished behind the iron curtain and the Soviet Union worked to spread atheistic communism throughout the world, the Second Vatican Council was preparing to deliver an historic condemnation of Marxist and communist ideology, one that would involve a global strategy for its defeat.

Vatican II’s preparatory commissions had created three different statements that would condemn Marxism as an “exceedingly grave and universal danger” and communism as “a false religion without God” that seeks to “to subvert the foundations of Christian civilization.” They also envisioned a massive and highly-coordinated campaign to liberate mankind from communism and “shatter its audacity.”

It would be a full-scale counterattack against what Fatima visionary Lúcia dos Santos called “the greatest heresy to appear at any time in the world,” which was “carrying its errors to the ends of the earth.”

However, the documents were discarded in the early months of the Council when the liberal German, French, and Dutch-speaking bishops of the “Rhine group” out-maneuvered the conservative majority and took control of the commissions overseeing the council’s documents. They then rejected most of the preparatory schemas that had been issued to the council fathers, replacing them with schemas that generally avoided condemning the errors of the age. The schemas condemning communism and Marxism were never considered. What remained was only a timid critique of atheism in the document Gaudium et Spes, with an oblique reference in a footnote to previous condemnations to communism by the popes.

The council’s plans to combat Marxism were almost entirely forgotten, filed away and ultimately published in their original Latin form in the official acts of the council, where they can be found gathering dust in research libraries throughout the world.

In the years following the council, Marxism-inspired forms of “liberation theology” took hold among many Catholic clergy and theologians, particularly in Latin America. One such priest, the Argentinean Jesuit Jorge Bergoglio, initially resisted such influences, but began to ally himself with Marxism-inspired liberation theologians before being elected to the papacy in 2013.

In a recent interview with Pope Francis, the leftist atheist journalist Eugenio Scalfari reports that he asked the pontiff:  “So you yearn for a society where equality dominates. This, as you know, is the programme of Marxist socialism and then of communism. Are you therefore thinking of a Marxist type of society?” To which he says Francis replied, “It has been said many times and my response has always been that, if anything, it is the communists who think like Christians.” Francis has never denied nor repudiated the statement.

Francis has also engaged in other gestures expressing sympathy for Marxism, including the acceptance of a hammer-sickle crucifix from Bolivia’s Marxist president, Evo Morales, a gesture that caused much consternation in Latin America. He reportedly has requested help from Marxism-inspired liberation theologians such as Leonardo Boff in the composition of his encyclical letter Laudato Si’. Recently the Jesuit order elected a new Superior General, the Venezuelan Arturo Sosa Abascal, who has openly sought to reconcile Christianity with Marxism.

On other occasions, however, Francis has expressed disagreement with Marxism, while at the same time expressing respect for Marxists. “Marxist ideology is wrong. But in my life I have known many Marxists who are good people, so I don’t feel offended,” he told reporters in 2013 after he was accused of promoting Marxism in his apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium.

Now, LifeSite is presenting full translations of Vatican II’s discarded condemnations of communism and Marxism. We believe that this is the first time that the documents have been translated into any vernacular language. There are three documents in all: two complete schemas with their own independent systems of footnotes, and a third text that comprised part of a larger schema. Together the translations cover twenty pages of text.   Continue Reading

3

A Century of Blood

But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.

George Orwell, 1984

 

 

 

In the Julian Calendar which the Russians used in 1917 the Russian Revolution, more accurately the Russian Coup, by the Bolsheviks occurred on October 25, hence the October Revolution.  (On the Gregorian Calendar the date was November 7, 1917.)  Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts reminds us that Communism is still a favored murderous mass movement among all to many intellectuals of the West.

 

Dr. Samuel Gregg examines the 100th Anniversary of Russia’s October Revolution.  This should be bigger than it is, though the Left has always been shy about focusing too much on the horrors of Communism. 

Growing up, all the hip shows and movies cast a sympathetic glance over at the legacy of Communism and its prevailing states, whether it be MASH or Reds, you couldn’t help but get the feeling that underlying the approach was a secret ‘they’re better than us’ message in it all.

In college, it was the same.  Communism, though not without its flaws, was never as bad as – can I say it – the Capitalism of America’s industrial war machines.  More than one professor took great delight in pointing out that the Communists were often just trying to help, unlike our own government that never seemed to have a pure motive in its history.

The same for Catholics, at least those more hostile to America and the Western tradition.  More than once I’ve been informed that if you take the Trail of Tears, twist and turn the numbers just right, it’s clear the US is the most murderous nation state in history, far worse than any Communist state of the 20th century.  And that doesn’t count the millions of slaves that were murdered, the billions of Native Americans killed, and the tens of millions killed by our military during our endless imperial grabs for power.

Nonetheless, outside of that weird universe of Marxist driven leftist ideology, in what we call the real world, Communism remains perhaps the most evil, murderous, and destructive ideology in the history of the human race.  That so many on the Left either try to downplay, or outright deny, this makes you wonder just how passionate the Left is about opposing things like mass slaughter, tyranny, destruction and endless terror. 

Nonetheless, this is the big 100th anniversary.  We’ll see how much it’s covered.  Kudos to The Catholic World Report for stepping out early and getting a jump on the future reflections. 

Go here to comment.  Ironically, considering how infested with Marxism the Catholic left is, the main attraction of this superstition for intellectuals is largely the atheism that is at the core of Marxism.  There is no God, merely an inevitable historical path laid out by Marx. Traditional morality was done away with:  cooperating with the inevitable historical process, the ultimate triumph of Marxism, was moral, and anything that opposed it was immoral.  Thus morality becomes a mere matter of political labels.  How convenient that this allowed movements dedicated to Marxism to commit any crime, no matter how vile, in the scramble for supreme power.  That Marxism has never been anything but a transparent fraud, with no more intellectual validity than a tale from The Arabian Nights, is a damning indictment of the human capacity to embrace any fable if it gives an excuse to engage in wretched conduct with an ostensibly clean conscience. One hundred million corpses later it is depressing to see how popular this murderous nonsense is in the West.

 

11

PopeWatch: Editor of Christ

Sandro Magister tells us about the latest stage in the Pope’s ongoing effort to correct Christ:

 

 

In the important newspaper “la Repubblica” of which he is the founder, Eugenio Scalfari, an undisputed authority of Italian secular thought, last October 9 returned to speaking in the following terms about what he sees as a “revolution” of this pontificate, in comments by Francis that are derived from his frequents conversations with him:

“Pope Francis has abolished the places where souls were supposed to go after death: hell, purgatory, heaven. The idea he holds is that souls dominated by evil and unrepentant cease to exist, while those that have been redeemed from evil will be taken up into beatitude, contemplating God.”

Observing immediately afterward:

“The universal judgment that is in the tradition of the Church therefore becomes devoid of meaning. It remains a simple pretext that has given rise to splendid paintings in the history of art. Nothing other than this.”

It is seriously doubtful that Pope Francis really wants to get rid of the “last things” in the terms described by Scalfari.

There is in his preaching, however, something that tends toward a practical overshadowing of the final judgment and of the opposite destinies of blessed and damned.

*

On Wednesday, October 11, at the general audience in Saint Peter’s Square, Francis said that such a judgment is not to be feared, because “at the end of our history there is the merciful Jesus,” and therefore “everything will be saved. Everything.”

In the text distributed to the journalists accredited to the Holy See, this last word, “everything,” was emphasized in boldface.

*

At another general audience a few months ago, on Wednesday, August 23, Francis gave for the end of history an image that is entirely and only comforting: that of “an immense tent, where God will welcome all mankind so as to dwell with them definitively.”

An image that is not his own but is taken from chapter 21 of Revelation, but from which Francis was careful not to cite the following words of Jesus:

“The victor will inherit these gifts, and I shall be his God, and he will be my son. But as for cowards, the unfaithful, the depraved, murderers, the unchaste, sorcerers, idol-worshipers, and deceivers of every sort, their lot is in the burning pool of fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

*

And again, in commenting during the Angelus of Sunday, October 15 on the parable of the wedding banquet (Matthew 22: 1-14) that was read at all the Masses on that day, Francis carefully avoided citing the most unsettling parts.

Both that in which “the king became indignant, sent his troops, had those murderers killed and their city burned.”

And that in which, having seen “one man who was not wearing the wedding garment,” the king ordered his servants: “Bind him hand and foot and throw him out into the darkness; there shall be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth.”

*

On the previous Sunday, October 8, another parable, that of the murderous vine dressers (Matthew 21:33-43), had undergone the same selective treatment.

In commenting on the parable during the Angelus, the pope left out what the owner of the vineyard does to those farmers who killed the servants and finally the son: “He will put those wretches to a miserable death.” Much less did he cite the concluding words of Jesus, referring to himself as the “cornerstone”: “He who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; but when it falls on any one, it will crush him.”

Instead, Pope Francis insisted on defending God from the accusation of being vindictive, almost as if wanting to mitigate the excesses of “justice” detected in the parable:

“It is here that the great news of Christianity is found: a God who, in spite of being disappointed by our mistakes and our sins, does not go back on his word, does not stop, and above all does not avenge himself! Brothers and sisters, God does not avenge himself! God loves, he does not avenge himself, he waits for us to forgive us, to embrace us.”

*

In the homily for the feast of Pentecost, last June 4, Francis argued, as he often does, against “those who judge.” And in citing the words of the risen Jesus to the apostles and implicitly to their successors in the Church (John 20:22-23), he intentionally cut them off halfway through:

“Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive, they will be forgiven.”

Omitting the following:

“Those you do not forgive, they will not be forgiven.”

And the fact that the truncation was deliberate is proven by its repititon. Because Francis had made the exact same deletion of the words of Jesus on the previous April 23, at the Regina Coeli of the first Sunday after Easter.

*

Last May 12 as well, while visiting Fatima, Francis showed that he wanted to set Jesus free from his reputation as an inflexible judge at the end of time. And to do this he warned against the following false image of Mary:

“A Mary of our own making: one who restrains the arm of a vengeful God; one sweeter than Jesus the ruthless judge.”

*

It must be added that the liberty with which Pope Francis cuts and stitches up the words of Sacred Scripture does not concern only the universal judgment. Deafening, for example, is the silence in which he has always shrouded Jesus’ condemnation of adultery (Matthew 19:2-11 and parallel passages).

In a surprising coincidence, this condemnation was contained in the Gospel passage that was read in all the churches of the world precisely on the Sunday of the beginning of the second session of the synod of bishops on the family, October 4, 2015. But neither in the homily nor at the Angelus on that day did Pope Francis make the slightest reference to it.

Nor did he make any reference to it at the Angelus of Sunday February 12, 2017, when that condemnation was once again read in all the churches.

Not only that. The words of Jesus against adultery also do not appear in the two hundred pages of the post-synodal exhortation “Amoris Laetitia.”

Just as no appearance is made in it by the terrible words of condemnation of homosexuality written by the apostle Paul in the first chapter of the Letter to the Romans.

A first chapter that was also read – another coincidence – at the weekday Masses of the second week of the synod of 2015. To tell the truth, those words are not included in the missal. But in any case, neither the pope nor anyone else ever cited them while discussions were being held at the synod about changing the paradigms of judgment on homosexuality:

“Therefore, God handed them over to degrading passions. Their females exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the males likewise gave up natural relations with females and burned with lust for one another. Males did shameful things with males and thus received in their own persons the due penalty for their perversity. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God handed them over to their undiscerning mind to do what is improper. They are filled with every form of wickedness, evil, greed, and malice; full of envy, murder, rivalry, treachery, and spite. They are gossips and scandalmongers and they hate God. They are insolent, haughty, boastful, ingenious in their wickedness, and rebellious toward their parents. They are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know the just decree of God that all who practice such things deserve death, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them” (Romani 1, 26-32).

*

Moreover, at times Pope Francis even takes the liberty of rewriting the words of Sacred Scripture as he sees fit.

For example, in the morning homily at Santa Marta on September 4, 2014, at a certain point the pope attributed to Saint Paul these “scandalous” words: “I boast only of my sins.” And he concluded by inviting the faithful present to “boast” of their own sins, in that they have been forgiven from the cross by Jesus.

But in none of Paul’s letters can such an expression be found. The apostle instead says of himself: “If it is necessary to boast, I will boast of my weaknesses” (2 Corinthians 11:30), after having listed all the hardships of his life – the imprisonments, the floggings, the shipwrecks.

Or: “About myself I will not boast, except of my weaknesses” (2 Corinthians 12:5). Or again: “He said to me: ‘My grace is enough for you; strength is in fact made fully manifest in weakness.’ I will therefore gladly boast of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me” (2 Corinthians 12:9), with more references to the outrages, persecutions, anguish he has suffered.

 

Go here to read the rest.  Pope Francis seems to view himself not as the Vicar of Christ but rather as the Editor of Christ.

6

The Girl Who Reversed Agincourt

 

Joan was a being so uplifted from the ordinary run of mankind that she finds no equal in a thousand years. She embodied the natural goodness and valour of the human race in unexampled perfection. Unconquerable courage, infinite compassion, the virtue of the simple, the wisdom of the just, shone forth in her. She glorifies as she freed the soil from which she sprang.

Sir Winston Churchill

 

 

 

 

 

By the death of King Henry V in 1422 it seemed as if the English had succeeded in conquering France.  Then God chose otherwise.  Three years old at the time of Agincourt, by the time of the end of her short life on May 30, 1431, Joan of Arc had set in motion forces that would result in the utter defeat of the English.  She transformed a squalid dynastic squabble into a crusade for the French.  One of the examples of the direct intervention of God in human affairs, the brief history altering life of Saint Joan of Arc has attracted the admiration of the most unlikely of men, including the Protestant Sir Winston Churchill, and the agnostic Mark Twain who called his book on Joan of Arc the finest thing he ever wrote.  She was not canonized until 1920, but almost all of her contemporaries who met her had no doubt that she was a saint sent by God.  Some of the English who were present as she was burned at the stake cried out that they were all damned because she was a saint.   Jean Tressard, the Treasurer of Henry VI, King of England, wrote the following soon after the execution of Joan:   ”We are all lost for it is a good and holy woman that has been burned. I believe her soul is in the hands of God, and I believe damned all who joined in her condemnation”.  With Saint Joan humanity came into contact with a messenger from God, and the result to her was as predictable as it was lamentable.  However, the outcome of her mission was exactly as she had predicted.  The weak Dauphin that she had crowned would reign as Charles VII and end the Hundred Years War in victory for France, something that none of his contemporaries thought remotely possible before Joan embarked on her mission.  With courage and faith she altered the course of the history of France and of all the world.

On January 26, 2011 Pope Benedict spoke of Saint Joan: Continue Reading

3

Agincourt the Battle

 

 

October 25, 1415 was an amazing day for the English.  The English longbow had long proved during the Hundred Years War to be a devastating weapon in the hands of skilled archers, but rarely had the English faced such long odds as they did at Agincourt.  Approximately 6,000 English, exhausted and worn from their march, faced approximately 30,000 French.  About five out of six of the English were archers with the remainder men-at-arms, knights and nobility.  The French had about 10,000 men-at-arms, knights and nobility, and 20,000 archers, crossbowmen and miscellaneous infantry.

 

The English established their battle line between the woods of Agincourt and Tramecourt, which offered excellent protection to both of their flanks.  The English archers made up the front line with stakes set in the ground before them to impale charging horses.  Archers were also placed in the woods to provide flanking fire against advancing French.  The men at arms and knights and nobility, were divided into three forces behind the archers.  They fought on foot.

The terrain between the woods that the French would have to cross in their attack of the English consisted of newly ploughed, and very muddy, fields.  Having walked through muddy fields on several occasions in rural Illinois, I can attest that simply getting from point A to point B in such terrain can be exhausting, let alone fighting at the end of the tramp through the morass. Continue Reading

October 25, 1983: Operation Urgent Fury Begins

 

 

 

It is strange to realize that events one has lived through are part now of the tapestry of history.  So it is  for me with Operation Urgent Fury, the US invasion of Grenada, which is now 34 years in the past.   Arising out of a murderous factional dispute in the New Jewel Movement, which had ruled Grenada since 1979, that led to the murder of Prime Minister Maurice Bishop and some of his cabinet on October 19, 1983, the invasion was a symbol that the US had recovered from its post Vietnam malaise, and was willing to use military force.  The Grenadian army imposed martial law and placed Governor-General Paul Scoon  under arrest.  The Organization of East Caribbean States and Barbados and Jamaica appealed for assistance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Reagan administration was happy to oblige, eager for the excuse to root out Cuban influence from Grenada, Cuba and the New Jewel Movement being firm allies.  The invasion began on October 25.  Initial resistance was fierce from Cubans, but the massive superiority in troops and firepower of the 7,300 US and allied invasion force swiftly defeated all opposition.  Fidel Castro when interviewed about the invasion was asked what he would do, and admitted there was nothing the Cubans could do.

Cubans captured on Grenada were repatriated to Cuba.  US forces withdrew from Grenada by December 15, 1983.  The date of the invasion, October 25, is celebrated as a national holiday in Grenada, which has been a democratic nation since that time. Continue Reading

13

Jesuitical 21: Georgetown and Love Saxa

Part 21 of my ongoing survey of the follies of many modern day Jesuits.  It seems that defending traditional Catholic teaching at Georgetown is verboten:

 

 

A student group at Georgetown University faces defunding and other possible sanctions for defending the Catholic Church’s teaching on marriage.

Love Saxa exists to promote healthy relationships and sexual integrity.

It describes itself as a “new initiative at Georgetown to promote and celebrate authentically loving relationships.”

Love Saxa was restarted as a student group after taking a break for a year, according to the Hoya. On October 3, it hosted a talk by Dawn Hawkins, executive director of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation.  

“In a society where dating and courtship are largely forgotten, structures of marriage and family are eroding, traditional understandings of gender complementarity are distant concepts, the use of pornography is prevalent, and sexual assault is rampant, Love Saxa exists to promote healthy relationships on campus through cultivating a proper understanding of sex, gender, marriage, and family among Georgetown students,” Love Saxa says on its website and Facebook page.

“Many Georgetown students lack a space to discuss their experiences of the harmful effects of a distorted view of human sexuality and the human person,” Love Saxa’s mission statement explains. “Through programs consisting of discussions, lectures, and campaigns, we hope to increase awareness of the benefits of sexual integrity, healthy dating relationships, and the primacy of marriage & family as central pillars of society.”

Georgetown student Jasmin Ouseph submitted a formal complaint to the Jesuit-run Catholic school about the club, claiming it violates the Division of Student Affairs’ Student Organization Standards.

The presidents of GU Pride and Georgetown University Queer People of Color are complaining along with Ouseph.

 

Go here to read the rest.  The powers that be at Georgetown are about as Catholic as Karl Marx was.  Scratch that.  Old Commie Marx doubtless had more traditional views of marriage and homosexuality than the Jesuits of Georgetown.