3

PopeWatch: Faking It

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

 

Pope Francis has called the presidents from bishops conferences around the world for a February summit to discuss how to better look like they are doing something about preventing clergy sex abuse.

The summit of the presidents signals a realization that the laity do not believe that those in the highest levels of the Church are doing anything to combat clergy sex abuse.

“We are faced with a grave situation in the Church today,” Pope Francis said in a letter to bishops. “People do not believe us. This is bad—very, very bad. We must come together in a spirit of brotherhood to discuss different ways and tactics that we can begin to implement so that we may better shift blame away from the Church. And with this, we will better be able to go on doing nothing.”

Pope Francis went on to write, asking all those attending the summit to each come up with two or three different ideas that he can use when the pressure from the laity and journalists get to him.

“I will give you an example,” he wrote. “A couple weeks ago there was much pressure on me to answer questions about the Vigano claim. I simply began to talk about plastic straws and voilà, the pressure was off of me for at least a day. If we can all have a number of these misdirection at our disposal, it will be better than having to come up with something off-the-cuff, or worse yet, actually answering the questions, God forbid.”

The summit has already been called a “wild success” by many inside the Vatican, though it has yet to take place.

“It was a success from the moment the Pope called for it,” one insider told EOTT. “Remember, it’s not what happens during the summit, but the fact that he called one that matters. People will look and say, ‘finally, they are doing something.’”

 

Go here to comment.  PopeWatch called the Vatican for comment but was told by a recording that his call could not be taken until he signed ten documents swearing that he had never harmed a child, thought of harming a child or witnessed someone else harming a child.  He was also told that if he were a Bishop or higher this rule would not apply and that his call would go through if he pressed 666 followed by the pound sign.  PopeWatch hung the phone up and backed away from it swiftly.

5

Just Friends

 

News that I missed, courtesy of The Babylon Bee:

GLENDALE, CA—Writers for VeggieTales have confirmed to press that stars Bob and Larry are accountability partners and nothing more. 

The statement came after progressive outrage over Sesame Street’s confirmation that Bert and Ernie are just friends. Liberals quickly began searching for other gay couples for children to look up to in animated kids’ shows, and latched onto Bob and Larry’s friendly relationship as a possible target.

“No, Bob and Larry really are just good friends who go out for coffee and talk about their Christian walk,” said one representative. “Seriously, don’t you people have anything better to do?” The rep pointed out that Bob and Larry regularly study the Bible at coffee shops and discuss their fight against sin, closing with prayer for one another to live as good witnesses for Christ on an increasingly secularized kitchen counter.

Go here to read the rest.  Bert and Ernie have confirmed that Bob and Larry are just regular guys like them, albeit tastier.

 

6

Junk Science Leads to Junk Policies

The main intellectual prop for Michelle Obama’s disastrous school lunch program “reform” which caused much of the school lunches served in this country to end up in the trash, has finally been exposed as a fraud:

 

A prominent Cornell University food researcher resigned after an investigation found he committed academic misconduct, including misreporting data, the school announced Thursday.

Brian Wansink has been removed from all teaching and research positions and will retire at the end of the school year next June, Cornell said in a statement.

Wansink had previously helped update the U.S. dietary guidelines and is known for his research on consumer behavior, which has been widely cited including in articles by The Associated Press.

Go here to read the rest.  Here is his brilliant plan to get kids to eat the tasteless health food favored by the most former of our First Ladies:

 

Cornell University food marketing professor Brian Wansink has come under fire for employing misleading research practices in his studies that have influenced policies in nearly 30,000 school lunchrooms across the U.S.

Wansink is the co-director of the Smarter Lunchrooms Movement, a program backed by $22 million in federal funds that provides guidance to promote healthy eating in school lunchrooms.

The Smarter Lunchrooms program says its recommendations are scientifically backed in part by two research studies conducted by Wansink.

His experiments found that elementary school children aged eight to 11 are more likely to forego junk food in favor of healthy foods if given “creative, age-appropriate names” such as “X-Ray Vision Carrots,” “All-Star Apples,” and “Kooky Cucumbers.”

Go here to read the rest.  As any ad man could have told them, if the dog food tastes like crap, the dogs won’t eat it no matter what you call it.

12

PopeWatch: Deranged Pope?

The Pope continued in a homily yesterday to identify himself with Christ:

 

“But look, what a scandal! You can’t live like that! We have lost our values. Now everyone has the right to enter into the church, even the divorced, everyone. But where are we?” The scandal of the hypocrites. This is the dialogue between the great love that forgives all, [the love of] Jesus; [and] the love “by halves” of Paul and of this woman, and also our [love], which is an incomplete love because none of us is a canonized saint. Let’s be honest. It is hypocrisy: the hypocrisy of the “just,” of the “pure,” of those who believe they are saved by their own proper external merits.

 

And the Church, when it journeys through history, is persecuted by hypocrites: hypocrites within and without. The devil has nothing to do with repentant sinners, because they look upon God and say, “Lord, I am a sinner, help me!” And the devil is impotent; but he is strong with hypocrites. He is strong, and he uses them to destroy, to destroy the people, to destroy society, to destroy the Church. The workhorse of the devil is hypocrisy, because he is a liar. He makes himself out to be a powerful prince, beautiful, and from behind he is an assassin.

 

So, the Pope is Christ and his adversaries are tools of the Devil?  PopeWatch fears that the Pope may be in the middle of a breakdown.  Of course our useless Cardinals will stand by and do nothing, courage being as absent among the College of Cardinals as cowardice and careerism are plentiful.

3

September 20, 1863: Rock of Chickamauga

Chickamauga_Sep20_3

On the second day of the battle of Chickamauga the Confederates came close to destroying the Army of the Cumberland.  They were prevented from reaching this goal by a stubborn defense of Major General George Thomas, who earned that day the title of The Rock of Chickamauga.

Thomas, a native born Virginian, stood with the Union at considerable personal cost.  His beloved three sisters turned his pictures to the wall, regarded him as dead to them and had no further communications with him for the remainder of his life.  Relatively unknown today, Thomas was probably the ablest Union commander of the War not named Grant or Sherman,

Thomas commanded the Union left, and his men were involved in heavy fighting from 9:30AM to Noon on September 20, beating off a heavy two division Confederate attack.

Through a comedy of errors in miscommunication a gap appeared in the Union center when a division led by Brigadier General Thomas Wood moved out of the line.  At 11:10 AM Longstreet attacked the Union center with three divisions, one of those divisions going right through the gap in the line created by Wood’s withdrawal.  After several hours of hard fighting the Union center and right collapsed.

Thomas held the field on the Union left, forming his men into a semi-circle and beating off Confederate assault after Confederate assault.  He only withdrew after he was ordered to, and after darkness fell.  His stand deterred the Confederates from what could have been a disastrous pursuit of the retreating Union troops.

Secretary of War Edwin Stanton’s special investigator, Assistant Secretary of War Charles Dana was at the battle and he telegraphed the news to Stanton that would soon have the entire North hailing Thomas as the Rock of Chickamauga.  (Ironically on September 20, Dana, convinced that the battle was lost, and demanding an escort to Chattanooga, helped distract Union Colonel John Wilder from ordering a counterattack against Longstreet by his mounted infantry brigade that may have stopped the collapse of the Union center.) Continue Reading

12

PopeWatch: Vigano

Father Z brings us this from the twitter feed of Henry Sire:

 

From the Twitter feed of the author of The Dictator Pope.

1) IMPORTANT NEWS: my sources confirm that Archbishop Viganò is now living in fear of his life, quite literally. As everyone knows, Archbishop Viganò went into hiding after his explosive revelations. But he is not just trying to avoid canonical reprisals…

2) He has confided to his friends that he now has good reason to be in fear of his life. We need to reflect on what this implies. If, six years ago, Dan Brown had published a novel telling the present story just as it is, he would have been ridiculed as presenting…

3) … a grotesquely sensationalist picture of the Catholic Church. This is the measure of what Pope Francis has achieved in just five-and-a-half years. He has taken the Church back to the age of the Borgias, with all the disembellishments of the twenty-first century.

4) And things are only going to get worse.

CLARIFICATION: With respect to my earlier tweet, I can indeed confirm, based on impeccable inside sources, that Abp. Viganò is not only in hiding, but that he fears for his life. However, I am not privy to the reasons for his anxiety about his safety. Henry Sire

Go here to read the rest.  Ever have the feeling that you fell asleep and woke up in the sixteenth century?  The truly sad thing is that with the present gang in the Vatican one can’t reject out of hand that they might not stoop to murder.  What an ongoing disaster for the Church.

5

Patheos v. Christ

News that I missed courtesy of The Babylon Bee:

 

SEATTLE, WA—After reading several chapters from the gospels over the weekend, local progressive believer Wendy Butler reportedly published a Patheos blog post in which she criticized Jesus of Nazareth for “not being very Christlike.”

The blog post took Jesus to task for His “unloving and problematic” teachings.

“He devotes entire sections of His sermons to ranting about archaic religious concepts like hell and the last judgment instead of just coming alongside the marginalized and affirming their sins,” Butler said. “Very little of what He did on earth I would describe as life-giving. Frankly, I do a better job of being Christlike than Christ Himself.”

The woman was also agitated to find that Jesus didn’t devote any of His time recorded in the Scriptures to advocating for government-subsidized healthcare or women’s abortion rights.

Go here to read the rest.  Yeah, who does Jesus think He is!!!?  God!!!?  Well yes, actually.

0

Ten Years of TAC: September 19, 1863: Battle of Chickamauga Begins

 

 

(The American Catholic will observe its tenth anniversary in October.  We will be reposting some classic TAC posts of the past.  This post is from September 19, 2013.)

 

 

An intelligent observer of the American Civil War in early September of 1863 would have reached certain conclusions about the War thus far:

1.  The Union was losing the War in the East.  After many spectacular battles and huge casualties, the battle lines in Virginia remained much the same as they had early in the War:  the Union controlled the northern third of the Old Dominion state and the South controlled the Southern two-thirds.  A stalemate of more than two years duration favored the Confederacy.

2.  The War in the trans-Mississippi was a side show that could be ignored.

3.  In the West, between the Appalachians and the Mississippi, the Union was clearly winning, with control of the Mississippi wrested from the Confederacy, with New Orleans and large sections of Louisiana controlled by the Union, and with Tennessee largely under Union control.

4.  The northern Presidential election in 1864 would probably prove decisive.  If Lincoln could make progress in the East and continue to win in the West he would likely be re-elected.  If the Confederacy could maintain the stalemate in the East and reverse the Union momentum in the West, or at least slow it to a crawl, Lincoln would be defeated and the Confederacy would win its independence.

General Braxton Bragg, the irascible commander of the Army of Tennessee, clearly understood that the Confederacy could not continue losing in the West, and that is why he rolled the iron dice of war at Chickamauga in a desperate attempt to stop the offensive of Major General William Rosecrans and his Union Army of the Cumberland.  Bragg proved fortunate, and his hard luck army gave the Confederacy one of its great victories, and the chance to change the whole course of the War.

Below is the passage on Chickamauga from the memoir of John B. Gordon, who during the war rose from Captain to Major General in the Army of Northern Virginia.  Gordon did not fight at Chickamauga, but his wonderfully colorful account of the battle, ground he was familiar with from being reared there in his childhood,  written with his usual entertaining purple prose, captures well the facts of the battle, and how this victory was treasured by the South, even as its benefits to the Confederacy were ultimately thrown away due to a lack of pursuit and the desultory, and unsuccessful, siege of Chattanooga. Continue Reading

4

Quotes Suitable for Framing: Richard Cohen

 

or anything to do with the Clintons, clearly the most felonious couple since Bonnie and Clyde.

Richard Cohen, The Party of Lincoln is About to Drown, The Washington Post, September 18, 2018

Richard Cohen is a columnist for The Washington Post.  He joined the Post as a reporter in 1968.  During the past 50 years he has regularly written stories and columns predicting doom for the Republican party.  His latest column is more of the same, but in mocking the beliefs of the Republican party he cited or anything to do with the Clintons, clearly the most felonious couple since Bonnie and Clyde.  Go here to read the column.  As usual Mr. Cohen demonstrates the liberal bubble in which he dwells.  No self respecting Republican would ever compare the Clintons to Bonnie and Clyde.  Those two Depression era bankrobbers had two years of notoriety before they were gunned down by law enforcement.  The Clintons have had a successful career of criminality stretching back more than four decades.  One of them became President and one of them came close to being President.  They are the most successful criminals in American history.  The hapless Bonnie and Clyde would not be worthy of untying the shoes of one of Bill’s mistresses, or helping Hillary up a flight of stairs.  Sheesh Mr. Cohen, even hack columns have their standards!

 

12

PopeWatch: Alter Francis

Pope attempts to enlist Christ again to support his silence in regard to the Vigano allegations:

 

The Pope brought up that it was also the people who yelled “crucify him”. Jesus then compassionately remained silent because “the people were deceived by the powerful”, Pope Francis explained. His response was silence and prayer. Here the shepherd chooses silence when the “Great Accuser” accuses him “through so many people”. Jesus “suffers, offers his life, and prays”, Pope Francis said.

That prayer carried him even to the Cross, with strength; even there he had the capacity of drawing near to and healing the soul of the repentant thief.

Go here to read the rest.  The striking thing about Pope Francis when he speaks off the cuff is just what a small man he truly is.  His attempt to enlist Our Savior for a defense of his silence is typical of the man who single-handedly has done more damage to the office of the Pope than any one of his predecessors.  Most of our Popes, after their election, have striven to live up to the office, usually with imperfect success but with obvious sincere effort.  Pope Francis has striven instead to make his office contract to him: a weak, belligerent and petty man, and one who obviously has no love for the Tradition that guides the Church.  It is bleakly humorless that Francis, at war with so much of the Church which he now leads, demands that his adversaries give to him the deference and obedience which is owed to him only due to the traditions and laws of the Church which he seeks to transform beyond recognition.  However, the Church is not a suicide pact, and no man is greater than the Church, and that definitely includes the Pope.

35

All Women Joe?

I have missed the comic stylings of former vice-president and beloved national clown Joe Biden.  I am glad to see he is still in business:

 

“For a woman to come forward in the glaring lights of focus, nationally, you’ve got to start off with the presumption that at least the essence of what she’s talking about is real, whether or not she forgets facts, whether or not it’s been made worse or better over time,” Biden said. “But nobody fails to understand that this is like jumping into a cauldron.”

Go here to read the rest.  The following women would like a word or two with you:

 

 Juanita Broaddrick has made the most serious allegations against Clinton, accusing him of raping her in 1978 while Clinton was Arkansas’ attorney general.

Broaddrick, then a 35-year-old nursing-home administrator, met Clinton when he visited her nursing home on a campaign stop. After Clinton asked to meet with her on her next trip to Little Rock, the two set up a meeting in a hotel coffee shop.

Broaddrick, who first made the accusation publicly in 1999, told BuzzFeed News last year that when Clinton arrived at the hotel he asked to meet in Broaddrick’s room instead and, after he arrived, violently raped her. Broaddrick said he bloodied her lip by biting it.

“There was no remorse,” Broaddrick told BuzzFeed News. “He acted like it was an everyday occurrence. He was not the least bit apologetic. It was just unreal.”

The Washington Post reported that two people close to Broaddrick said she described the rape to them at the time.

 

Kathleen Willey said Clinton kissed her, fondled her breasts, and forced her to touch his crotch during a meeting in the Oval Office in 1993, while Willey was a volunteer in the White House correspondence office.

Willey made her allegations public in 1998, and Clinton “emphatically” denied that the interaction was sexual, arguing that he hugged Willey and may have kissed her on the forehead.

 

 

 

A former Arkansas state employee named Paula Jones said that in 1991, at a government quality-management conference that Clinton attended, she was approached by the state police and told that Clinton, then the governor, wanted to meet with her. Jones said that a police officer escorted her to Clinton’s hotel room in Little Rock and that Clinton then propositioned her for sex and exposed his genitals to her.

“He sat down, pulled down his pants, his whole everything and he was exposed, and I said, ‘I’m not that kind of girl, and I need to be getting back to my desk,'” Jones recalled to Hannity.

 

Leslie Millwee, a former television reporter, came forward publicly for the first time in October 2016 to accuse Clinton of sexually assaulting her in 1980.

Millwee says Clinton, then the governor of Arkansas, groped her on several occasions at the now-defunct TV station she worked at in Arkansas.

“He followed me into an editing room,” Millwee told the far-right website Breitbart News in an October 2016 interview. “It was very small. There was a chair. I was sitting in a chair. He came up behind me and started rubbing my shoulders and running his hands down toward my breasts. And I was just stunned. I froze. I asked him to stop. He laughed.”

Millwee says the incidents escalated.

She said of a second incident: “He came in behind me. Started hunching me to the point that he had an orgasm. He’s trying to touch my breasts. And I’m just sitting there very stiffly, just waiting for him to leave me alone. And I’m asking him the whole time, ‘Please do not do this. Do not touch me. Do not hunch me. I do not want this.'”

 

Go here to read the rest.  I am sure they will receive a kindly ear from Joe, ever the friend of women everywhere:

 

 

2

Great War Week by Week

 

One of the best resources on the internet during the centennial of World War I has been the Great War series on YouTube.  I highly recommend it to anyone who has an interest in the Great War, but I think it would be especially valuable to home schooling families.  Bravo to Indiana ‘Indy’ Neidell, the host of the series, and to all involved in this grand project.

9

PopeWatch: Julio Grasso

So much of what is occurring in this papacy was foreshadowed by the Pope’s actions in Argentina:

 

“Now, when it happens, you can never turn a blind eye. You cannot be in a position of power and destroy the life of another person.” “In my diocese it never happened to me,” Bergoglio added. He then described what counsel he once gave to a fellow bishop who had such a case. “I told him to take away the priest’s faculties, not to permit him to exercise his priestly ministry again, and to initiate a canonical trial.”

When Bergoglio became Pope Francis in 2013, he appears to have ignored his own advice. This is evidenced in the case of known-child molester Fr. Mauro Inzoli, whom the Pope, against the advice of Cardinal Gerhard Müller, reinstated giving back to him some of his priestly faculties.

The documentary reveals, however, how Bergoglio himself, when writing his 2010 book, had indeed had such a case of a pedophile priest in a neighboring diocese and that he was intimately involved in the case. It is the now-infamous Father Julio César Grassi who has been imprisoned for 15 years because of his abuse of children who were entrusted to his care in the “Happy Children Foundation” orphanage. 

The documentary highlighted six alleged victims of abuse who all claimed that then-Archbishop Bergoglio never answered their own specific complaints when they wrote to him as the archbishop of Buenos Aires. 

When asked by the documentary journalists whether or not they ever received an answer, they all shook their heads in the negative. Asked about the above-quoted statement that Bergoglio never having a pedophile priest in his diocese and whether he says here the truth, one abuse victim, a woman, answered: “He wants people to believe that, but it is a lie.” 

 

*********************

 

Reference was here made to Father Grassi. “The Argentinian Church did all in its power to have him acquitted,” explained the speaker. Juan Pablo Gallego, the defense attorney of the abuse victims, pointed out that the Argentine bishops in 2010 – after the first punitive sentence was spoken about Grassi – had asked a penal law professor (Marcelo A. Sancinetti) to conduct a study, which was compiled in a confidential dossier for internal use, dealing with the Grassi case.

This dossier, which was called “Studies on the Grassi Case” and contained 2,800 pages, came to the conclusion that “the court was wrong,” that Grassi was innocent and therefore should be acquitted. The author also claimed that the abused children spread “falsifications, lies, deceit and invention.”

This study, as the documentary pointed out, was made on behalf of the Argentine bishops under the leadership of Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio, who was, at that time, also the President of the Argentine Bishops’ Conference (2005-2011). This information is written on the back cover of the dossier. “So the Pope,” the speaker in the documentary concluded, “did then commission a counter-inquiry to try to have a priest who had been sentenced for pedophilia acquitted.”

“And it is said,” the speaker in the documentary continued, “that Jorge Bergoglio, the future Pope, actually sent it to the judges, with a shrewd sense of timing, before Father Grassi’s various appeal hearings.” Carlos Mahiques was one of these judges. In an interview for this documentary, he made it clear that this study, as ordered by Bergoglio, “is in some areas partial, and extremely partial in others,” and that is why he, as judge, did not allow himself to be influenced by it.

“It was clearly in favor of Father Grassi,” the judge said. “They were trying to exert a subtle form of pressure on the judges.” When asked whether he thought the Church tried to influence the judges, Mahiques replied: “That’s totally correct.”

Go here to read the rest.  As always with this Pope the trick is to pay attention to his actions and ignore his words.

8

September 17, 1787: Benjamin Franklin Speech

 

 

Mr. President:

I confess that there are several parts of this constitution which I do not at present approve, but I am not sure I shall never approve them: For having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged by better information or fuller consideration, to change opinions even on important subjects, which I once thought right, but found to be otherwise. It is therefore that the older I grow, the more apt I am to doubt my own judgment, and to pay more respect to the judgment of others. Most men indeed as well as most sects in Religion, think themselves in possession of all truth, and that whereever others differ from them it is so far error. Steele, a Protestant in a Dedication tells the Pope, that the only difference between our Churches in their opinions of the certainty of their doctrines is, the Church of Rome is infallible and the Church of England is never in the wrong. But though many private persons think almost as highly of their own infallibility as of that of their sect, few express it so naturally as a certain french lady, who in a dispute with her sister, said “I don’t know how it happens, Sister but I meet with no body but myself, that’s always in the right”—Il n’y a que moi qui a toujours raison.”

In these sentiments, Sir, I agree to this Constitution with all its faults, if they are such; because I think a general Government necessary for us, and there is no form of Government but what may be a blessing to the people if well administered, and believe farther that this is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and can only end in Despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic Government, being incapable of any other. I doubt too whether any other Convention we can obtain may be able to make a better Constitution. For when you assemble a number of men to have the advantage of their joint wisdom, you inevitably assemble with those men, all their prejudices, their passions, their errors of opinion, their local interests, and their selfish views. From such an Assembly can a perfect production be expected? It therefore astonishes me, Sir, to find this system approaching so near to perfection as it does; and I think it will astonish our enemies, who are waiting with confidence to hear that our councils are confounded like those of the Builders of Babel; and that our States are on the point of separation, only to meet hereafter for the purpose of cutting one another’s throats. Thus I consent, Sir, to this Constitution because I expect no better, and because I am not sure, that it is not the best. The opinions I have had of its errors, I sacrifice to the public good—I have never whispered a syllable of them abroad—Within these walls they were born, and here they shall die—If every one of us in returning to our Constituents were to report the objections he has had to it, and endeavor to gain partizans in support of them, we might prevent its being generally received, and thereby lose all the salutary effects & great advantages resulting naturally in our favor among foreign Nations as well as among ourselves, from our real or apparent unanimity. Much of the strength & efficiency of any Government in procuring and securing happiness to the people, depends. on opinion, on the general opinion of the goodness of the Government, as well as well as of the wisdom and integrity of its Governors. I hope therefore that for our own sakes as a part of the people, and for the sake of posterity, we shall act heartily and unanimously in recommending this Constitution (if approved by Congress & confirmed by the Conventions) wherever our influence may extend, and turn our future thoughts & endeavors to the means of having it well administered.

On the whole, Sir, I cannot help expressing a wish that every member of the Convention who may still have objections to it, would with me, on this occasion doubt a little of his own infallibility—and to make manifest our unanimity, put his name to this instrument.”—He then moved that the Constitution be signed by the members and offered the following as a convenient form viz. “Done in Convention, by the unanimous consent of the States present the 17th. of Sepr. &c—In Witness whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names.”

0

Feast of the Stigmata of Saint Francis

While he dwelt in the hermitage which, from the place in which it is situated, is called Alverna, two years before he gave back his soul to Heaven, he saw in a vision of God a man like a seraph having six wings, standing over him with hands outstretched and feet joined together, fixed to a cross. Two wings were raised above his head, two were spread out for flight, and two veiled the whole body. Now, when the blessed servant of the Most High saw this, he was filled with exceeding great wonder, but he could not understand what this vision might mean. Yet he rejoiced greatly and was filled with vehement delight at the benign and gracious look wherewith he saw that he was regarded by the seraph, whose beauty far exceeded, all estimation; but the crucifixion, and the bitterness of the seraph’s suffering smote him altogether with fear. Thus he arose, so to speak, sorrowful and glad; and joy and grief alternated in him. He anxiously pondered what this vision might portend, and his spirit labored sore to come at the understanding of it. And while he continued without any clear perception of its meaning, and the strangeness of the vision was perplexing his heart, marks of nails began to appear in his hands and feet, such as he had seen a little while before in the Man crucified who had stood over him.

His hands and feet seemed pierced in the midst by nails, the heads of the nails appearing in the inner part of the hands and in the upper part of the feet, and their points over against them. Now those marks were round in the inner side of the hands and elongated on the outer side, and certain small pieces of flesh were seen like the ends of nails bent and driven back, projecting from the rest of the flesh.  So also the marks of nails were imprinted in his feet, and raised above the rest of the flesh. Moreover his right side, as it had been pierced by a lance, was overlaid with a scar, and often shed forth blood, so that his tunic and drawers were many times sprinkled with the sacred blood.  Alas! how few were found worthy to see the sacred wound in his side while the crucified servant of the crucified Lord was yet alive!  But happy was Elias who was found worthy to see it somehow while the Saint was living; not less happy Rufino who touched it with his own hands.  For once, when brother Rufino had put his hand into the most holy man’s bosom that he might scratch him, his hand (as it often chances) slipped down to Francis’ right side, and he happened to touch that precious scar, at which touch the Saint of God was not a little distressed, and, pushing the hand away, he cried to the Lord that he might forgive him (Rufino). For he concealed the stigmata most diligently from strangers, and from those about him he hid them so carefully that even the brethren at his side and his most devoted followers were for a long time unaware of them.  (Thomas of Celano, The First Life of St. Francis of Assisi, Part II, Chapter 3)

66

Anita Hill Redux

Advisor:  And so far, the only negative thing we’ve found is from some guy who dated her when she was sixteen.

BURNS:  Ah. And?

Advisor 3:  He, uh, he felt her up.

BURNS:  Bah! Not good enough!

The SimpsonsTwo Cars in Every Garbage and Three Eyes on Every Fish (1990)

Well, the attempted high tech lynching of Judge Brett Kavanaugh proceeds apace.  His anonymous accuser has come forward.  She is Christine Blasey Ford, a Professor of Clinical Psychology at Palo Alto University in California.  Here is the letter she wrote to Senator Feinstein:

July 30 2018
CONFIDENTIAL
Senator Dianne Feinstein
Dear Senator Feinstein;
I am writing with information relevant in evaluating the current nominee to the Supreme Court.
As a constituent, I expect that you will maintain this as confidential until we have further opportunity to speak.
Brett Kavanaugh physically and sexually assaulted me during high school in the early 1980’s. He conducted these acts with the assistance of REDACTED.
Both were one to two years older than me and students at a local private school.
The assault occurred in a suburban Maryland area home at a gathering that included me and four others.
Kavanaugh physically pushed me into a bedroom as I was headed for a bathroom up a short stair well from the living room. They locked the door and played loud music precluding any successful attempt to yell for help.
Kavanaugh was on top of me while laughing with REDACTED, who periodically jumped onto Kavanaugh. They both laughed as Kavanaugh tried to disrobe me in their highly inebriated state. With Kavanaugh’s hand over my mouth I feared he may inadvertently kill me.
From across the room a very drunken REDACTED said mixed words to Kavanaugh ranging from “go for it” to “stop.”
At one point when REDACTED jumped onto the bed the weight on me was substantial. The pile toppled, and the two scrapped with each other. After a few attempts to get away, I was able to take this opportune moment to get up and run across to a hallway bathroom. I locked the bathroom door behind me. Both loudly stumbled down the stair well at which point other persons at the house were talking with them. I exited the bathroom, ran outside of the house and went home.
I have not knowingly seen Kavanaugh since the assault. I did see REDACTED once at the REDACTED where he was extremely uncomfortable seeing me.
I have received medical treatment regarding the assault. On July 6 I notified my local government representative to ask them how to proceed with sharing this information . It is upsetting to discuss sexual assault and its repercussions, yet I felt guilty and compelled as a citizen about the idea of not saying anything.
I am available to speak further should you wish to discuss. I am currently REDACTED and will be in REDACTED.
In confidence, REDACTED.
A few observations:
1.  She told no one about this at the time this allegedly occurred.  No complaint was made to the police.
2.  She does not recall the date, other than it occurred sometime in the early 1980’s.
3.  She cannot recall the address of the house.
4.  She first mentions this when she and her husband were in couples therapy in 2012.
5.  The notes of the counselor indicate that four boys were involved and no mention is made of the name Kavanaugh.  (Ford claims that the counselor was mistaken and her husband says that she mentioned the name of Kavanaugh at the time.)
6.  On the date of the incident she claims to have drunk only one beer, but she can’t recall how she got home that evening.
7.  She scrubbed her social media postings prior to coming forward.  Apparently she is a Democrat, contributed to Bernie Sanders in 2016 and has been a critic of the Trump administration.
8.  She claims that writer Mark Judge, a friend of Kavanaugh was present.  He denies that what she is alleging is true.
9.  Her parents were involved in a foreclosure action in 1996, as the Defendants, in Maryland case 156006V .  The Judge on the case was Martha Kavanaugh, the mother of Brett Kavanaugh.  The case was dismissed by the Plaintiff early in 1997.
Docket Date: 02/04/1997 Docket Number: 10
Docket Description:
Docket Type: Ruling Status: Granted
Ruling Judge: KAVANAUGH, MARTHA G
Reference Docket(s): Motion: 9
Docket Text: ORDER OF COURT (KAVANAUGH, J./RICE, M.) THAT THE VOLUNTARY MOTION TO DISMISS IS HEREBY GRANTED WITH PREJUDICE AND THAT THE BOND FILED BY HARRY J. KELLY AS TRUSTEE SHALL BE RELEASED AND RETURNED FILED. (COPIES MAILED (

Needless to say this is a very weak accusation.  However, we are currently engaged in a national hysteria called the Me Too movement, and the Democrats will attempt to use this to torpedo the Kavanaugh nomination.  Failing that they will use this as a campaign issue against the Republicans, part of their War on Women meme.  That the reputation of a very good man will be dragged through the mud over an allegation that gives every sign of being false is of course of no consequence to them.

18

Can Laity Interrupt Mass If Priest Publicly Proclaims Heresy ?

Please provide any comment or advice you may have regarding this scenario [which, so far, for our age, to your present author,  is purely hypothetical]:

Priest Proclaims Heresy; Laity Response?

A validly ordained priest is saying Mass on a Sunday at a parish, many hundreds of the faithful present, and during the homily he says, clearly and emphatically:

I believe Jesus Christ was a man, nothing more. Jesus was just a man, and nothing more. He was not God, he was not divine. He never rose from the dead. All that you are about to say about this in the Creed, you do not have to believe to be a good Catholic.

Is it OK to stand up and say, to the priest and so that all present in the church can hear: “You are a heretic and you have just proclaimed heresy.”

One could go on and say that, therefore, under Canon Law, with no further ecclesial action, the priest had excommunicated himself and now no longer had the faculties to finish the Mass. One could go on and add many things; but for this discussion, limit this to a lay person announcing you are a heretic and you have proclaimed heresy.

Your author is inclined to stand up and publicly accuse the priest of heresy so all can hear. Would this be a sin? Contrary to Canon Law?

FYI:

Canon Law

The Code Of Canon Law , 1983, deals with the strict limitation of the homily to the ordained:

“Can. 767 §1. Among the forms of preaching, the homily, which is part of the liturgy itself and is reserved to a priest or deacon, is preeminent; in the homily the mysteries of faith and the norms of Christian life are to be explained from the sacred text during the course of the liturgical year.4. It is for the pastor or rector of a church to take care that these prescripts are observed conscientiously.”

Vatican Instruction

In 1997 the Vatican issued a pertinent  instruction:

ON CERTAIN QUESTIONS REGARDING  THE COLLABORATION OF THE NON-ORDAINED FAITHFUL IN THE SACRED MINISTRY OF PRIEST

LIBRERIA EDITRICE VATICANA;  VATICAN CITY 1997

The Homily § 1. The homily, being an eminent form of preaching,  . . . also forms part of the liturgy.”

The homily, therefore, during the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, must be reserved to the sacred minister, Priest or Deacon(69) to the exclusion of the non-ordained faithful, even if these should have responsibilities as “pastoral assistants” or catechists in whatever type of community or group. This exclusion is not based on the preaching ability of sacred ministers nor their theological preparation, but on that function which is reserved to them in virtue of having received the Sacrament of Holy Orders. For the same reason the diocesan Bishop cannot validly dispense from the canonical norm(70) since this is not merely a disciplinary law but one which touches upon the closely connected functions of teaching and sanctifying.

For the same reason, the practice, on some occasions, of entrusting the preaching of the homily to seminarians or theology students who are not clerics . . .  is not permitted. Indeed, the homily should not be regarded as a training for some future ministry.

All previous norms which may have admitted the non-ordained faithful to preaching the homily during the Holy Eucharist are to be considered abrogated by canon 767, § 1.(72)

18

Astonishing

News that I missed, courtesy of The Babylon Bee:

U.S.—In a SiriusXM interview Friday, Chelsea Clinton stated it would be “unchristian” if she were to believe in God, read her Bible, or otherwise act in a way consistent with faith in God as the ultimate Judge and Ruler of the universe.

She said, “Believing in God and reading the Bible are representative of oppressive systemic structures that bring so much pain to people, it’s just unconscionable to me that some people think we should do those things, believe those things.”

Clinton claimed the sincere, biblical conviction that believing in God and reading His Word are necessary aspects of the Christian life is a belief that reveals evangelicals’ hatred toward women. “I’m a devout Christian, but suggesting that I need to believe Christian things that would go against my political platform is the very definition of the war on women.”

Go here to read the rest.  Considering the sterling upbringing she received from her parents, I am shocked, shocked that Clinton the Younger is as screwed up as she is.

0

Prelude to the Meuse-Argonne Offensive

 

 

 

A century ago the United States First Army, personally commanded by General John J. Pershing, was deep in preparation for the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, the largest battle in American history that the American public  today knows virtually nothing about.  In his report on the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, General Pershing wrote about the preparations for the campaign:

The definite decision for the Meuse-Argonne phase of the great Allied convergent attack was agreed to in my conference with Marshal Foch and General Petain on September 2nd. It was planned to use all available forces of the First Army, including such divisions and troops as we might be able to withdraw from the St. Mihiel front.

The Army was to break through the enemy’s successive fortified zones to include the Kriemhilde-Stellung, or Hindenburg Line, on the front Brieulles-Romagne sous Montfaucon-Grandpre, and thereafter, by developing pressure toward Mezieres, was to ensure the fall of the Hindenburg Line along the Aisne River in front of the Fourth French Army, which was to attack to the west of the Argonne Forest.

A penetration of some 12 to 15 kilometres was required to reach the Hindenburg Line on our front, and the enemy’s defences were virtually continuous throughout that depth.

The Meuse-Argonne front had been practically stabilized in September, 1914, and, except for minor fluctuations during the German attacks on Verdun in 1916 and the French counter-offensive in August, 1917, remained unchanged until the American advance in 1918. The net result of the four years’ struggle on this ground was a German defensive system of unusual depth and strength and a wide zone of utter devastation, itself a serious obstacle to offensive operations.

The strategical importance of this portion of the line was second to none on the western front. All supplies and evacuations of the German armies in northern France were dependent upon two great railway systems – one in the north, passing through Liege, while the other in the south, with lines coming from Luxemburg, Thionville, and Metz, had as its vital section the line Carignan-Sedan-Mezieres.

No other important lines were available to the enemy, as the mountainous masses of the Ardennes made the construction of east and west lines through that region impracticable.

The Carignan-Sedan-Mezieres line was essential to the Germans for the rapid strategical movement of troops. Should this southern system be cut by the Allies before the enemy could withdraw his forces through the narrow neck between Mezieres and the Dutch frontier, the ruin of his armies in France and Belgium would be complete.

From the Meuse-Argonne front the perpendicular distance to the Carignan-Mezieres railroad was 50 kilometres. This region formed the pivot of German operations in northern France, and the vital necessity of covering the great railroad line into Sedan resulted in the convergence on the Meuse-Argonne front of the successive German defensive positions.

The distance between “No man’s land” and the third German withdrawal position in the vicinity of the Meuse River was approximately 18 kilometres; the distance between the corresponding points near the tip of the great salient of the western front was about 65 kilometres, and in the vicinity of Cambrai was over 30 kilometres.

The effect of a penetration of 18 kilometres by the American Army would be equivalent to an advance of 65 kilometres farther west; furthermore, such an advance on our front was far more dangerous to the enemy than an advance elsewhere.

The vital importance of this portion of his position was fully appreciated by the enemy, who had suffered tremendous losses in 1916 in attempting to improve it by the reduction of Verdun. As a consequence it had been elaborately fortified, and consisted of practically a continuous series of positions 20 kilometres or more in depth.

In addition to the artificial defences, the enemy was greatly aided by the natural features of the terrain. East of the Meuse the dominating heights not only protected his left but gave him positions from which powerful artillery could deliver an oblique fire on the western bank.

Batteries located in the elaborately fortified Argonne forest covered his right flank, and could cross their fire with that of the guns on the east bank of the Meuse. Midway between the Meuse and the forest the heights of Montfaucon offered perfect observation and formed a strong natural position which had been heavily fortified.

The east and west ridges abutting on the Meuse and Aire River valleys afforded the enemy excellent machine-gun positions for the desperate defence which the importance of the position would require him to make. North of Montfaucon densely wooded and rugged heights constituted natural features favourable to defensive fighting.

When the First Army became engaged in the simultaneous preparation for two major operations, an interval of 14 days separated the initiation of the two attacks. During this short period the movement of the immense number of troops and the amount of supplies involved in the Meuse-Argonne battle, over the few roads available, and confined entirely to the hours of darkness, was one of the most delicate and difficult problems of the war.

The concentration included 15 divisions, of which 7 were involved in the pending St. Mihiel drive, 3 were in sector in the Vosges, 3 in the neighbourhood of Soissons, 1 in a training area, and 1 near Bar-le-Due. Practically all the Artillery, Aviation, and other auxiliaries to be employed in the new operations were committed to the St. Mihiel attack and therefore could not be moved until its success was assured.

The concentration of all units not to be used at St. Mihiel was commenced immediately, and on September 13th, the second day of St. Mihiel, reserve divisions and Army Artillery units were withdrawn and placed in motion toward the Argonne front.

That part of the American sector from Fresnes-en-Woevre, southeast of Verdun, to the western edge of the Argonne Forest, while nominally under my control, did not actively become a part of my command until September 22nd, on which date my headquarters were established at Souilly, southwest of Verdun.

Of French troops, in addition to the Second French Colonial Corps, composed of 3 divisions, there was also the Seventeenth French Corps of 3 divisions holding the front north and east of Verdun.

At the moment of the opening of the Meuse-Argonne battle, the enemy had 10 divisions in line and 10 in reserve on the front between Fresnes-en-Woevre and the Argonne Forest, inclusive. He had undoubtedly expected a continuation of our advance toward Metz. Successful ruses were carried out between the Meuse River and Luneville to deceive him as to our intentions, and French troops were maintained as a screen along our front until the night before the battle, so that the actual attack was a tactical surprise.

Pershing had insisted that the American forces had to fight as a unit and not be used merely to reinforce the operations of the British and the French.  Now the AEF had its chance, but against German defenses in extremely rugged terrain, and a vital area that the Germans would attempt to hold at all costs.  The AEF was about to have a classic baptism by fire.

2

Ten Years of TAC: Who Do We Say That He Is?

(The American Catholic will observe its tenth anniversary in October.  We will be reposting some classic TAC posts of the past.  This post is from December 24, 2017.)

 

 

[15] Jesus saith to them: But whom do you say that I am?

[16] Simon Peter answered and said: Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God. [17] And Jesus answering, said to him: Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven. [18] And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. [19] And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven. [20] Then he commanded his disciples, that they should tell no one that he was Jesus the Christ.

Matthew 16: 16-20

 

A good question to think about on Christmas Eve.

The all important question about Christ is the one He asked.  Who do you say that I am?  In trying to make sense of Christ and his ever present impact upon this world, that is the question that is ever addressed.

A popular answer among some atheists is that Christ never existed.  This has always been a minority position since the evidence for the historicity of Christ is so overwhelming, especially for a figure who lived in obscurity.  Written accounts by His followers were drafted within decades after His death.  Saint Paul writes about Christ within a decade of the Crucifixion.  Non-Christian accounts, notably Tacitus, mention Christ.  His followers in Rome are persecuted within thirty years after His death.  Attempts to get around all this involve large amounts of conspiracy theories, ignoring inconvenient facts and academic hand-waving.  Regarding Christ as a myth may satisfy a semi-educated atheist, but it simply is not an intellectually honest position.

Much more popular, and not simply among atheists, is that Christ was a simple preacher and healer from Galilee.  His post death reputation bears no relationship to the kernel of a completely unremarkable life.  Tall tales involving miracles are complete inventions of his followers, and, in life, Christ was a common enough type of his time and place.  An interesting little theory if it only fit the facts.  All we know about Christ indicates that Christ was regarded by none of His contemporaries as either common or typical.  Leaving aside His miracles, He spoke with authority, unlike the Sadducees, Scribes and Pharisees.  His parables are masterpieces of thought and story, unforgettable after the first telling.  Much of what He said was mysterious to His followers and recalled by them even though it bore no relationship to Judaism as practiced prior to Christ.  He was viewed by the native rulers of His people as a mortal threat.  No, unless we are willing to cast aside all written evidence about Christ, and completely ignore His passionate and ever-growing following after His crucifixion, the idea of Him being common and typical is simply laughable.

Perhaps then Christ was simply one of those great moral teachers that History casts up now an again, His followers post death transforming him into a supernatural being?  In part, certainly, Christ was a great moral teacher, but He taught that He was so much more than that.  What other great moral teacher has, as the center of his teaching, that he is God, the creator of All, and that his followers must eat his flesh and drink his blood?  If Christ is regarded simply as a great moral teacher, he is one who had at the core of his teachings a blasphemous lie.

Christ as lunatic perhaps, a madman who thought he was God?  That category simply doesn’t work either.  Could a madman have responded to the clever trap of asking whether the Jews should pay tribute to Rome, by stating that the Jews should render unto Caesar his coin while giving to God what was His?  The Christ portrayed in the Gospels is sane, humane and exceedingly original and clever.  In spite of His remarkable claims, He gives not the slightest impression of psychosis.

Christ simply does not fit into any of our neat human categories, something that His contemporaries, both followers and adversaries, understood.  He came like thunder and lightning out of a clear dawn and humanity has never been the same.

I see in Lycurgus, Numa and Mohammed only legislators who, having the first rank in the state, have sought the best solution of the social problem but I see nothing there which reveals divinity…nothing announces them divine. On the contrary, there are numerous resemblances between them & myself, foibles and errors which ally them to me and to humanity.
It is not so with Christ. Everything in Him astonishes me. His spirit overawes me, and His will confounds me. Beside Him and whoever else in the world, there is no possible term of comparison. He is truly a being by Himself. His ideals and His sentiments, the truths which He announces, His manner of convincing, are not explained either by human organization or by the nature of things.

His birth and the history of His life; the profundity of His doctrine, which grapples the mightiest difficulties, and which is, of those difficulties, the most admirable solution; His Gospel, His apparition, His empire, His march across the ages and the realms, is for me a prodigy, a mystery insoluble, which plunges me into a reverence which I cannot escape, a mystery which is there before my eyes, mystery which I cannot deny or explain. Here I see nothing human. The nearer I approach, the more carefully I examine, everything is above me, everything remains grand—and of a grandeur which overpowers.

His religion is a revelation from an intelligence which certainly is not a man. There is a profound originality, which has created a series of maxims before unknown. Jesus borrowed nothing from our sciences. One can absolutely find nowhere, but in Him alone, the imitation or the example of His life.

Napoleon

6

Pope of Mercy Getting Ready to Sell Out Faithful Chinese Catholics

 

Former Cardinal McCarrick was one of the chief architects of this abomination:

 

New reports indicate that a deal between the People’s Republic of China and the Vatican is imminent. If inked, the pact may have serious implications for the religious freedom of Catholics in China, as well as for diplomatic ties with Taiwan, which the Vatican currently recognizes as the official representative of faithful Catholics in China.

The deal purportedly grants the Chinese government power to nominate future bishops. It would also require the Vatican to recognize seven excommunicated Chinese bishops currently operating in China without recognition from Rome.

When the notion of a deal was first raised, Catholics around the world voiced concerns over the role the Chinese government would play in the appointment of Catholic bishops. Under the proposed deal, the pope has veto power over bishops nominated by Chinese authorities. In all other countries, the pope possesses sole authority to appoint bishops.

News of an impending deal comes amidst a crackdown on people of faith throughout China. A Human Rights Watch report estimates that over a million Muslim Uighurs are currently detained in re-education camps in the western province of Xinjiang. Rising persecution of Protestants in China grabbed the attention of lawmakers in Congress who condemned reports that Chinese authorities are burning Bibles, imprisoning pastors, and tearing down crosses from churches.

Religious persecution has long been a feature of Chinese Communist Party rule. Since the 19th Party Congress last October, however, religious persecution has risen substantially. New Regulations on Religious Affairs, instituted this February, represented an extension of the party’s attempts to Sinicize religious practice—essentially an effort to secularize religion so that it serves the party’s ends.

Go here to read the rest.  If Pope Francis were an anti-Pope deliberately attempting to harm the Church, in what way would he be acting differently?

17

Scandal

But anonymously posted accusations ought to have no place in any prosecution. For this is both a dangerous kind of precedent and out of keeping with the spirit of our age.

Emperor Trajan to Pliny the Younger

 

News that I missed, courtesy of The Babylon Bee:

U.S.—In a shocking, exclusive new revelation, sources have reported to us that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh may have cheated while playing “The Floor is Lava” during his childhood.

Republicans have been trying to push Kavanaugh’s nomination through, but if these allegations turn out to be true, it’s clear that any senator with a shred of ethics left must vote “no” on his confirmation.

Multiple witnesses claim a 7-year-old Kavanaugh leaped from the couch to a pillow on the floor, but his foot clearly touched the carpet, rendering him “out.” However, the boy didn’t quit, but claimed he didn’t touch the carpet, saying “Nuh-uh!” when his friends pointed out the rules violation. “I totally didn’t!” he said. “My foot was like a million miles away from the lava. I’m still in, suckers!”

Go here to read the rest.  Of course the witnesses wish to be anonymous and will not be subject to questioning.  The shade of Henry VII, under whose reign the Star Chamber act of Parliament was passed in 1487, gives two thumbs up to this procedure.

2

PopeWatch: Predator

News that PopeWatch missed, courtesy of The Babylon Bee:

 

HOLLYWOOD, CA—After resigning from his position in the Catholic Church in disgrace, ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick has reportedly signed on for a role in a sequel to The Predator, a reboot of the classic film franchise.

McCarrick will play the eponymous role of the Predator, a vicious alien who stalks and preys on innocent people for sport.

“This guy’s audition was perfect: creepy, disgusting, manipulative—everything we need in a fearsome sentient humanoid alien possessing futuristic weaponry and a predatory instinct,” said one casting agent. “He was downright intimidating in his interpretation of an extraterrestrial predator with thermal vision and large mandibles that could crush a man’s skull.”

“We expect Uncle Ted to be a Hollywood mainstay in a variety of villainous roles for years to come,” he added.

 

Go here to read the rest.  PopeWatch would note that the Vatican has refused to confirm or deny that the Pope will be appearing in a remake of Christopher Marlowe’s play Faust.

0

Triumph of the Cross

 

 

 

And then Helena said something which seem to have no relevance. ‘Where is the cross, anyway?’

‘What cross, my dear?’ [said Pope Sylvester.]
‘The only one. The real one.’
‘I don’t know. I don’t think anyone knows. I don’t think anyone has ever asked before.’
‘It must be somewhere. Wood doesn’t just melt like snow. It’s not 300 years old. The temples here are full of beams and paneling twice that age. It stands to reason God would take more care of the cross then of them.’
‘Nothing “stands to reason” with God. If He had wanted us to have it, no doubt He would have given it to us. But He hasn’t chosen to. He gives us enough.’
‘But how do you know He doesn’t want to say have it — the cross, I mean. I bet He’s just waiting for one of us to go and find it — Just at this moment when it’s most needed. Just at this moment when everyone is forgetting it and chattering about that hypostatic union, there’s a solid chunk of wood waiting for them to have their silly heads knocked against. I’m going off to find it,’ said Helena.
Helena, Evelyn Waugh
4

Remember, Wednesday, September 19, is Speak Like a Pirate Day

To all pirates I have but one thing to say:  amateurs.

Donald R. McClarey

 

 

Aye Maties, next Wednesday tis Speak Like a Pirate Day again!

 

 

25d46268e6e75bd9be02150d612c70e5

Pirate Gettysburg Address

 

 

 

Ar, it be about four score and seven years ago since our fathers made ye new nation, a liberty port for all hands from end to end, and dedicated t’ t’ truth that all swabs be created equal.

Now we be fightin’ a great ruckus, testin’ whether ye nation, or any nation so minted like it, can last through the long watch. We be met on a great boardin’ fight o’ that war. We have come t’ dedicate a spot o’ that field, as a final restin’ place for those who here swallowed the anchor forever that that nation might live. It be altogether fittin’ and proper that we be doin’ this.

But, truth be told, we can not set aside, we can not pray over, we can not hallow this ground. T’ brave swabs, livin’ and went t’ Davy Jones’ locker, who fit here, have blessed it, far over our poor power t’ add or swipe back. T’ world won’t writ what we say here, but it can never forget what those swabs did here. It be for us t’ livin’, rather, t’ be dedicated here t’  finishin’ t’ work which they who fit here have begun.   It be rather for us t’ be here dedicated t’ t’ great chore remainin’ before us—that from these honored swabs we take increased love t’ what they died for—that we here Bible swear that these shipmates shall not have went t’ Davy Jones’ locker for nothin’—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth o’ freedom—and that government o’ t’ crew, by t’ crew, for t’ crew, shall not perish from t’ seven seas. Continue Reading

13

Google Is Evil

 

Well, this comes as little surprise.  From Breitbart:

A video recorded by Google shortly after the 2016 presidential election reveals an atmosphere of panic and dismay amongst the tech giant’s leadership, coupled with a determination to thwart both the Trump agenda and the broader populist movement emerging around the globe.

The video is a full recording of Google’s first all-hands meeting following the 2016 election (these weekly meetings are known inside the company as “TGIF” or “Thank God It’s Friday” meetings). Sent to Breitbart News by an anonymous source, it features co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, VPs Kent Walker and Eileen Naughton, CFO Ruth Porat, and CEO Sundar Pichai. It can be watched in full above. It can and should be watched in full above in order to get the full context of the meeting and the statements made.

It was reported earlier this week that Google tried to boost turnout among the Latino population to help Hillary Clinton, only to be dismayed as the usually solid Democratic voting bloc switched to the GOP in record numbers. This video shows a similar level of dismay among Google’s most high-profile figures.

Go here to read the rest.  Google basically was giving massive support to Hillary Clinton, a completely illegal, unacknowledged campaign contribution.  Donald Trump often stated that the political game in this country has become rigged.  He didn’t know the half of it.  The lords of social media view the rest of us as serfs, and are dismayed when we get uppity and go against their will.  Time to break up companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter.  They pose a standing threat to any semblance of democracy.

 

6

PopeWatch: Accuse Yourselves

I would spit if I were not in God's house.
Henry II to the scheming Bishop of London who hates Thomas Becket., Becket

Pope Uriah Heep delivered another homily yesterday which reveals his thoughts in regard to the Vigano allegations:

 

Life fluctuates between two invitations: That of the Father and that of the “Great Accuser,” “who pushes us to accuse others, to destroy them”:

But it is he who is destroying me! And you cannot do it to the other. You cannot enter into the logic of the accuser. ‘But Father, I have to accuse.’ Yes, accuse yourself. You do well. For the other, only mercy, because we are children of the Father who is merciful. 

 

Go here to read the rest.  Mercy to the wicked, especially to the wicked in high office, tends to have negative consequences for the innocent.  Catholics for too long have given the benefit of the doubt to clergy in regard to the sex abuse crisis within the Church.  No longer.  Time for a reckoning and the truth.

11

Communists and Nazis: Brothers Under the Skin

 

 

A good article at The Federalist about the similarities between the Nazis and the Communists:

 

It wasn’t only theoretical. Hitler repeatedly praised Marx privately, stating he had “learned a great deal from Marxism.” The trouble with the Weimar Republic, he said, was that its politicians “had never even read Marx.” He also stated his differences with communists were that they were intellectual types passing out pamphlets, whereas “I have put into practice what these peddlers and pen pushers have timidly begun.”

It wasn’t just privately that Hitler’s fealty for Marx surfaced. In “Mein Kampf,” he states that without his racial insights National Socialism “would really do nothing more than compete with Marxism on its own ground.” Nor did Hitler eschew this sentiment once reaching power. As late as 1941, with the war in bloom, he stated “basically National Socialism and Marxism are the same” in a speech published by the Royal Institute of International Affairs.

Nazi propaganda minister and resident intellectual Joseph Goebbels wrote in his diary that the Nazis would install “real socialism” after Russia’s defeat in the East. And Hitler favorite Albert Speer, the Nazi armaments minister whose memoir became an international bestseller, wrote that Hitler viewed Joseph Stalin as a kindred spirit, ensuring his prisoner of war son received good treatment, and even talked of keeping Stalin in power in a puppet government after Germany’s eventual triumph. His views on Great Britain’s Winston Churchill and the United States’s Franklin Delano Roosevelt were decidedly less kind.

 

Go here to read the rest.  Hitler never had the time to bring his full plans to fruition.  In the Bunker he lamented that he had been insufficiently radical and he should have liquidated all German conservatives.  When it came to economics, Hitler’s ultimate goal never changed:

We are Socialists, we are enemies of today’s capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance, and we are all determined to destroy this system under all conditions. In the future there must be no ranks or classes, and you must not let them begin to grow in you!

Adolph Hitler, May 1, 1927, Berlin May Day Speech

 

7

September 12, 1918: First Army Attacks at Saint Mihiel

 

The First United States Army launches its first offensive on September 12, 1918 against the salient of St. Mihiel.  The attack force consisted of three US corps and a French corps.  By the time the battle ended on September 15, the Allies had captured the salient and inflicted 22,500 casualties on the Germans while sustaining 7,000 casualties.  Here is General Pershing’s report on the battle:

At the first operation of the American army the reduction of the salient of St. Mihiel was to he undertaken as soon as the necessary troops and material could be made available. On account of the swampy nature of the country it was especially important that the movement be undertaken and finished before the fall rains should begin, which was usually about the middle of September.

Arrangements were concluded for successive relief of American divisions, and the organization of the First American Army under my personal command was announced on August 10th, with La Fertesous-Jouarre as headquarters. This army nominally assumed control of a portion of the Vesle front, although at the same time directions were given for its secret concentration in the St. Mihiel sector.

The force of American soldiers in France at that moment was sufficient to carry out this offensive, but they were dispersed along the front from Switzerland to the Channel.

The three Army Corps headquarters to participate in the St. Mihiel attack were the First, Fourth, and Fifth. The First was on the Vesle, the Fourth at Toul, and the Fifth not yet completely organized. To assemble combat divisions and service troops and undertake a major operation, within the short period available and with staffs so recently organized, was an extremely difficult task.

Our deficiencies in artillery, aviation, and special troops, caused by the shipment of an undue proportion of infantry and machine guns during the summer, were largely met by the French.

The reduction of the St. Mihiel salient was important, as it would prevent the enemy from interrupting traffic on the Paris-Nancy Railroad by artillery fire and would free the railroad leading north through St. Mihiel to Verdun. It would also provide us with an advantageous base of departure for an attack against the Metz-Sedan Railroad system which was vital to the German armies west of Verdun, and against the Briey Iron Basin which was necessary for the production of German armament and munitions.

The general plan was to make simultaneous attacks against the flanks of the salient. The ultimate objective was tentatively fixed as the general line Marieulles (east of the Moselle) – heights south of Gorze-Mars la Tour-Etain.

The operation contemplated the use on the western face of 3 or 4 American divisions, supported by the attack of 6 divisions of the Second French Army on their left, while 7 American divisions would attack on the southern face, and 3 French divisions would press the enemy at the tip of the salient. As the part to be taken by the Second French Army would be closely related to the attack of the First American Army, Gen. Petain placed all the French troops involved under my personal command.

By August 30th, the concentration of the scattered divisions, corps, and army troops, of the quantities of supplies and munitions required, and the necessary construction of light railways and roads, were well under way.

In accordance with the previous general consideration of operations at Bombon on July 24th, an Allied offensive extending practically along the entire active front was eventually to be carried out. After the reduction of the St. Mihiel sector the Americans were to cooperate in the concerted effort of the Allied armies.

It was the sense of the conference of July 24th, that the extent to which the different operations already planned might carry us could not be then foreseen, especially if the results expected were achieved before the season was far advanced. It seemed reasonable at that time to look forward to a combined offensive for the autumn, which would give no respite to the enemy and would increase our advantage for the inauguration of succeeding operations extending into 1919.

On August 30th, a further discussion with Marshal Foch was held at my headquarters at Ligny-en-Barrois. In view of the new successes of the French and British near Amiens and the continued favourable results toward the Chen in des Dawes on the French front, it was now believed that the limited Allied offensive, which was to prepare for the campaign of 1919, might be carried further before the end of the year.

At this meeting it was proposed by Marshal Foch that the general operations as far as the American Army was concerned should be carried out in detail by:

(a) An attack between the Meuse and the Argonne by the Second French Army, reinforced by from four to six American divisions.

(b) A French-American attack, extending from the Argonne west to the Souain Road, to be executed on the right by an American Army astride the Aisne and on the left by the Fourth French Army.

To carry out these attacks the 10 to 11 American divisions suggested for the St. Mihiel operation and the 4 to 6 for the Second French Army, would leave 8 to 10 divisions for an American Army on the Aisne. It was proposed that the St. Mihiel operation should he initiated on September 10th and the other two on September 15th and 20th, respectively.

The plan suggested for the American participation in these operations was not acceptable to me because it would require the immediate separation of the recently formed First American Army into several groups, mainly to assist French armies. This was directly contrary to the principle of forming a distinct American Army, for which my contention had been insistent.

An enormous amount of preparation had already been made in construction of roads, rail-roads, regulating stations, and other installations looking to the use and supply of our armies on a particular front. The inherent disinclination of our troops to serve under Allied commanders would have grown and American morale would have suffered.

My position was stated quite clearly that the strategical employment of the First Army as a unit would be undertaken where desired, but its disruption to carry out these proposals would not be entertained.

A further conference at Marshal Foch’s headquarters was held on September 2nd, at which Gen. Petain was present. After discussion the question of employing the American Army as a unit was conceded. The essentials of the strategical decision previously arrived at provided that the advantageous situation of the Allies should be exploited to the utmost by vigorously continuing the general battle and extending it eastward to the Meuse.

All the Allied armies were to be employed in a converging action. The British armies, supported by the left of the French armies, were to pursue the attack in the direction of Cambrai; the centre of the French armies, west of Rheims, would continue the actions, already begun, to drive the enemy beyond the Aisne; and the American Army, supported by the right of the French armies, would direct its attack on Sedan and Mezieres.

It should be recorded that although this general offensive was fully outlined at the conference no one present expressed the opinion that the final victory could be won in 1918. In fact, it was believed by the French high command that the Meuse-Argonne attack could not be pushed much beyond Montfaucon before the arrival of winter would force a cessation of operations.

The choice between the two sectors, that east of the Aisne including the Argonne Forest, or the Champagne sector, was left to me. In my opinion, no other Allied troops had the morale or the offensive spirit to overcome successfully the difficulties to be met in the Meuse-Argonne sector and our plans and installations had been prepared for an expansion of operations in that direction.

So the Meuse-Argonne front was chosen. The entire sector of 150 kilometres of front, extending from Port-sur-Seille, east of the Moselle, west to include the Argonne Forest, was accordingly placed under my command, including all French divisions then in that zone.

The First American Army was to proceed with the St. Mihiel operation, after which the operation between the Meuse and the western edge of the Argonne Forest was to be prepared and launched not later than September 25th.

As a result of these decisions, the depth of the St. Mihiel operation was limited to the line Vigneulles-Thiaucourt-Regnieville. The number of divisions to be used was reduced and the time shortened. Eighteen to 19 divisions were to be in the front line. There were 4 French and 15 American divisions available, 6 of which would be in reserve, while the two flank divisions of the front line were not to advance.

Furthermore, 2 Army Corps headquarters, with their corps troops, practically all the Army Artillery and Aviation, and the First, Second, and Fourth Divisions, the first two destined to take a leading part in the St. Mihiel attack, were all due to be withdrawn and started for the Meuse-Argonne by the fourth day of the battle.

The salient had been held by the Germans since September, 1914. It covered the most sensitive section of the enemy’s position on the Western Front; namely, the Mezieres-Sedan-Metz Railroad and the Briey Iron Basin; it threatened the entire region between Verdun and Nancy, and interrupted the main rail line from Paris to the east.

Its primary strength lay in the natural defensive features of the terrain itself. The western face of the salient extended along the rugged, heavily wooded eastern heights of the Meuse; the southern face followed the heights of the Meuse for 8 kilometres to the east and then crossed the plain of the Woevre, including within the German lines the detached heights of Loupmont and Montsec which dominated the plain and afforded the enemy unusual facilities for observation.

The enemy had reinforced the positions by every artificial means during a period of four years.

On the night of September 11th, the troops of the First Army were deployed in position. On the southern face of the salient was the First Corps, Maj. Gen. Liggett, commanding, with the Eighty-second, Ninetieth, Fifth, and Second Divisions in line, extending from the Moselle westward.

On its left was the Fourth Corps, Maj. Gen. Joseph T. Dick-man, commanding, with the Eighty-ninth, Forty-second, and First Divisions, the left of this corps being opposite Montsec. These two Army Corps were to deliver the principal attack, the line pivoting on the centre division of the First Corps.

The First Division on the left of the Fourth Corps was charged with the double mission of covering its own flank while advancing some 20 kilometres due north toward the heart of the salient, where it was to make contact with the troops of the Fifth Corps.

On the western face of the salient lay the Fifth Corps, Maj. Gen. George H. Cameron, commanding, with the Twenty-sixth Division, Fifteenth French Colonial Division, and the Fourth Division in line, from Mouilly west to Les Eparges and north to Watronville.

Of these three divisions, the Twenty-sixth alone was to make a deep advance directed southeast toward Vigneulles. The French Division was to make a short progression to the edge of the heights in order to cover the left of the Twenty-sixth. The Fourth Division was not to advance.

In the centre, between our Fourth and Fifth Army Corps, was the Second French Colonial Corps, Maj. Gen. E. J. Blondlat, commanding, covering a front of 40 kilometres with 3 small French divisions. These troops were to follow up the retirement of the enemy from the tip of the salient.

The French independent air force was at my disposal which, together with the British bombing squadrons and our own air forces, gave us the largest assembly of aviation that had ever been engaged in one operation. Our heavy guns were able to reach Metz and to interfere seriously with German rail movements.

At dawn on September 12th, after four hours of violent artillery fire of preparation, and accompanied by small tanks, the Infantry of the First and Fourth Corps advanced. The infantry of the Fifth Corps commenced its advance at 5 a.m.

The operation was carried out with entire precision. Just after daylight on September 13th, elements of the First and Twenty-sixth Divisions made a junction near Hattonchatel and Vigneulles, 18 kilometres northeast of St. Mihiel.

The rapidity with which our divisions advanced overwhelmed the enemy, and all objectives were reached by the afternoon of September 13th. The enemy had apparently started to withdraw some of his troops from the tip of the salient on the eve of our attack, but had been unable to carry it through.

We captured nearly 16,000 prisoners, 443 guns, and large stores of material and supplies. The energy and swiftness with which the operation was carried out enabled us to smother opposition to such an extent that we suffered less than 7,000 casualties during the actual period of the advance.

During the next two days the right of our line west of the Moselle River was advanced beyond the objectives laid down in the original orders. This completed the operation for the time being and the line was stabilized to be held by the smallest practicable force.

The material results of the victory achieved were very important. An American army was an accomplished fact, and the enemy had felt its power. No form of propaganda could overcome the depressing effect on the morale of the enemy of this demonstration of our ability to organize a large American force and drive it successfully through his defences.

It gave our troops implicit confidence in their superiority and raised their morale to the highest pitch. For the first time wire entanglements ceased to be regarded as impassable barriers and open-warfare training, which had been so urgently insisted upon, proved to be the correct doctrine.

Our divisions concluded the attack with such small losses and in such high spirits that without the usual rest they were immediately available for employment in heavy fighting in a new theatre of operations.

The strength of the First Army in this battle totalled approximately 500,000 men, of whom about 70,000 were French.

16

PopeWatch: Stopping the Clock

First we had the silence tactic.  That proved a flat failure so now it is on to stopping the clock:

Pope Francis will summon the presidents of every bishops conference to a meeting in February to discuss preventing clergy sex abuse and protecting children, his advisers revealed Wednesday.

Go here to read the rest.  This is an obvious attempt to buy time.  It does not take six months to round up the presidents of the bishops’ conferences and get them to Rome.  Pope Francis is hoping that announcing yet another dog and pony show in which he and other bishops and cardinals can emote and proclaim about how they really, really want to protect kids now, will take the heat off him.  Not this time Holiness.  As far as you are concerned the question is really simple:  did you know that Cardinal McCarrick was a  homosexual predator when you made him a high profile member of your pontificate?  As for the larger issue, the Church needs action and not more worthless talk, and you are part of the problem and no part of the solution.  On a personal note, PopeWatch had to sign those worthless papers yet again yesterday, signifying that PopeWatch understands it is wrong to abuse kids, in order to teach, gratis, fifth and sixth graders catechism.  PopeWatch thought it was a fitting symbol for this whole bad farce.  Predator priests and the bishops who protected them created this horrifying mess, and it is left to the laity to pay the price.  At bottom what this situation is truly all about is that far too many of the clergy simply do not believe in Catholicism and are evil men playacting a role,  all the while secretly laughing at Catholics who do believe the Truth of Christ.

 

12

September 12, 1683: I Came, I Saw, God Conquered

A video clip on the charge of the winged Polish hussars on September 12, 1683, 332 years ago, that broke the back of the Turkish army besieging Vienna.  John Sobieski, the Polish King, fifty-four years old, had been fighting the Turks since his youth.  College educated at a time when that was rare, he had spent two years traveling in Western Europe.  Multi-lingual, in addition to his native Polish he could also speak Latin, German, Italian, French, Tatar and Turkish.  A scholar as well as a fighting man, he made a careful study of Turkish military methods.  His skill on the battlefield and in diplomacy led to him being crowned King of Poland in 1676.

In 1683 he gained immortality in History by literally riding to the rescue of Vienna with his Polish army.  A letter he wrote to his wife in the tent of the defeated Turkish general details what happened: Continue Reading

5

PopeWatch: Scapegoat

Remember this from the August 31, 2018 PopeWatch:

 

What is the cornered Pope Francis going to do? PopeWatch suspects he will follow the lead of some Roman Emperors who, facing an angry populace, would behead an unpopular advisor and throw his head to the angry mob. So he needs a scapegoat. PopeWatch has heard that Cardinal Wuehl has been summoned to Rome. Better start practicing your goat walk your Eminence.

Now:

Cardinal Donald Wuerl told his priests in a letter Tuesday that he will travel to Rome “very soon” to discuss his resignation with Pope Francis.

Go here to read the rest.  Hey Cardinal Tobin, better tell “Baby” not to make any long term plans.  Pope Francis is going down, and he is going to be taking plenty of people with him.

 

7

PopeWatch: The Devil He Says

Pope Francis had an interesting, yes that is the word interesting, homily yesterday:

 

“In these times, it seems like the ‘Great Accuser’ has been unchained and is attacking bishops. True, we are all sinners, we bishops. He tries to uncover the sins, so they are visible in order to scandalize the people. The ‘Great Accuser’, as he himself says to God in the first chapter of the Book of Job, ‘roams the earth looking for someone to accuse’. A bishop’s strength against the ‘Great Accuser’ is prayer, that of Jesus and his own, and the humility of being chosen and remaining close to the people of God, without seeking an aristocratic life that removes this unction. Let us pray, today, for our bishops: for me, for those who are here, and for all the bishops throughout the world.”

 

With respect Holiness, PopeWatch would not be surprised if Satan were not involved in the activities of predator priests and bishops, and those who shielded them, but doubts that the Old Tempter is involved in  the revelation of those sins.   Rather he was doubtless involved in the concealment of those activities, including those who took refuge in silence to escape the consequences of their actions.  The most charitable interpretation of all this is that either the Pope has a superb sense of truly dark humor, or that he is barking mad.

0

The Justice of God

Told by Donald R. McClarey at a meeting of the Dwight Rotary Club on September 12, 2001.

 

A thousand years ago a Caliph ruled an Eastern kingdom.  He was highly intelligent, unremittingly cruel and a man who raised evil to an art form.  Each year he would select a victim from among the wisest of his kingdom who would be ordered to give a speech on something that was always true.  The Caliph then would refute the argument and have the speaker beaten to death.  He had as his Vizier a man of conscience who did his best to thwart, or alleviate, the evil of his master.  For years it amused the Caliph to allow his Vizier to attempt to bring good from his evil, but finally he tired of this sport and ordered the Vizier to give a speech revealing that which was always true.  The Vizier was almost grateful that his time had come and now he could speak his mind.

“What is always true Sire?  Why the Justice of God of course.  It is ever the shield of the poor and weak, the oppressed and those who have no hope but God.  Tyrants tremble before it.  In this world or the next God always redresses the scales of justice and rewards good and punishes evil.  Scoffers deny that the Justice of God exists, but it is as real as the air we breathe, the love of a parent for a child, and the moral sense that lives within each of our souls, no matter our sins.  God is not mocked and His Justice is his ever present sword and shield that he wields in the affairs of Men.”

For 30 minutes the Vizier spoke and the face of the Caliph grew redder and redder, radiating hate and rage.  When the Vizier finished, the Caliph raised his right arm to begin his refutation when he was felled by a mortal stroke.  His Vizier came to his side seeking to aid him, though he knew that saving the Caliph’s life would end his own.  When  he saw that the Caliph was swiftly dying, he sent him into the next world with this observation:  “The Justice of God Sire, it is frequently delayed, it is never denied.”

17

Tom Burnett

Audie Murphy, the most decorated US soldier in World War II, always said he wasn’t a hero, and that the real heroes were the men who didn’t make it home.  Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs gives us an example supporting Murphy’s comment with Tom Burnett, a passenger on United Flight 93:

 

“We’re Going to Do Something.”

You’ve been very quiet about the Kaepernick PR disaster at Nike. Any thoughts? – Sam Wilder

Hi Sam. Nike’s free to celebrate whomever they wish, and Kaepernick is entitled to his opinion – kneeling, standing, or lying down. But if I was going to put someone’s face on a billboard – someone who epitomized bravery and sacrifice – I might have gone another way, especially this time of year. I might have gone with this guy – Tom Burnett.

Tom’s last act on earth was one of the most courageous things imaginable. And his last words to his wife, Deena, are among the most inspiring I’ve ever heard. Those exact words are at the top of this page, and the bottom. They were spoken seventeen years ago, under conditions I hope to never experience. I’ll never forget Tom’s last words. I hope you won’t either.

Transcript of Tom’s Last Calls to Deena

6:27 a.m.( pacific time) First cell phone call from Tom to Deena

Deena: Hello
Tom: Deena
Deena: Tom, are you O.K.?
Tom: No, I’m not. I’m on an airplane that has been hijacked.
Deena: Hijacked?
Tom: Yes, They just knifed a guy.
Deena: A passenger?
Tom: Yes.
Deena: Where are you? Are you in the air?
Tom: Yes, yes, just listen. Our airplane has been hijacked. It’s United Flight 93 from Newark to San Francisco. We are in the air. The hijackers have already knifed a guy, one of them has a gun, they are telling us there is a bomb on board, please call the authorities. He hung up.

6:31 Deena calls 911
6:34 The phone rang in on call waiting, Tom’s second cell phone call.

Deena: Hello
Tom: They’re in the cockpit. The guy they knifed is dead.
Deena: He’s dead?
Tom: Yes. I tried to help him, but I couldn’t get a pulse.
Deena: Tom, they are hijacking planes all up and down the east coast. They are taking them and hitting designated targets. They’ve already hit both towers of the World Trade Center.
Tom: They’re talking about crashing this plane. (a pause) Oh my God. It’s a suicide mission…(he then tells people sitting around him)
Deena: Who are you talking to?
Tom: My seatmate. Do you know which airline is involved?
Deena: No, they don’t know if they’re commercial airlines or not. The newsreporters are speculating cargo planes, private planes and commercial. No one knows.
Tom: How many planes are there?
Deena: They’re not sure, at least three. Maybe more.
Tom: O.K….O.K….Do you know who is involved?
Deena: No.
Tom: We’re turning back toward New York. We’re going back to the World Trade Center. No, wait, we’re turning back the other way. We’re going south.
Deena: What do you see?
Tom: Just a minute, I’m looking. I don’t see anything, we’re over a rural area. It’s just fields. I’ve gotta go.

6:45 a.m. Third cell phone call from Tom to Deena

Tom: Deena
Deena: Tom, you’re O.K. (I thought at this point he had just survived the Pentagon plane crash).
Tom: No, I’m not.
Deena: They just hit the Pentagon.
Tom: (tells people sitting around him “They just hit the Pentagon.”)
Tom: O.K….O.K. What else can you tell me?
Deena: They think five airplanes have been hijacked. One is still on the ground. They believe all of them are commercial planes. I haven’t heard them say which airline, but all of them have originated on the east coast.
Tom: Do you know who is involved?
Deena: No
Tom: What is the probability of their having a bomb on board? I don’t think they have one. I think they’re just telling us that for crowd control.
Deena: A plane can survive a bomb if it’s in the right place.
Tom: Did you call the authorities?
Deena: Yes, they didn’t know anything about your plane.
Tom: They’re talking about crashing this plane into the ground. We have to do something. I’m putting a plan together.
Deena: Who’s helping you?
Tom: Different people. Several people. There’s a group of us. Don’t worry. I’ll call you back.

6:54 a.m. Fourth cell phone call to Tom to Deena

Deena: Tom?
Tom: Hi. Anything new?
Deena: No
Tom: Where are the kids?
Deena: They’re fine. They’re sitting at the table having breakfast. They’re asking to talk to you.
Tom: Tell them I’ll talk to them later.
Deena: I called your parents. They know your plane has been hijacked.
Tom: Oh…you shouldn’t have worried them. How are they doing?
Deena: They’re O.K.. Mary and Martha are with them.
Tom: Good.

(a long quiet pause)

Tom: We’re waiting until we’re over a rural area. We’re going to take back the airplane.
Deena: No! Sit down, be still, be quiet, and don’t draw attention to yourself! (The exact words taught to me by Delta Airlines Flight Attendant Training).
Tom: Deena! If they’re going to crash this plane into the ground, we’re going to have do something!
Deena: What about the authorities?
Tom: We can’t wait for the authorities. I don’t know what they could do anyway.
It’s up to us. I think we can do it.
Deena: What do you want me to do?
Tom: Pray, Deena, just pray.

(after a long pause)

Deena: I love you.
Tom: Don’t worry, we’re going to do something…

Go here to comment.  Burnett was a devout Catholic. He began attending daily mass in 1998. When his wife asked him why he was doing this he told her: ‘I feel like God is calling me to do something, and I don’t know what it is. But I know it’s going to have a great impact on a lot of people.  The reason I’ve been going to daily Mass is because I feel like if I can be closer to God, then I’ll know what his plan is for me.’”

No one is born brave, but all of us can choose to be brave at a crisis and, by the grace of God, when the chips are down, we can do something and make it count.

6

Mary, In Your Mercy, Hear And Answer Me

Often, it brings instant comfort to say the prayer of St. Bernard to Our Lady, the Memorare:

 

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that any one who fled to your protection, implored your help, and sought your intercession, was left unaided.

Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto you, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother, to you I come, before you I stand sinful and sorrowful.

O Mother of the Word Incarnate! despise not my petitions, but, in your mercy, hear and answer me. Amen.

 

No doubt the comfort is associated with  our devotion to Jesus’s mother, all we have known all our lives about how our own mothers have nourished and cared for us, and what our mothers have told us about all the goodness in us.

This prayer has a very curious ending. Rather than ask the Mother of God to intercede with her Son so that He will show us His mercy, we ask for her mercy.  The Salve Regina prayer refers to Mary as the “mother of Mercy,” and it also refers to her mercy: “Turn thine eyes of mercy toward us.”

It was only recently your author here realized this, and realized that, indeed, we should beg Mary for her mercy for us. It was only recently that he realized the ultimate spiritual chutzpah  of asking Mary for anything, asking her for any intercession with her Son for us, and of asking her to “pray for us sinners.”

Imagine being there when Simeon tells a young teenage Mary, holding the baby Jesus, that a sword will pierce her heart. It is our sins that forge that sword.  It is our sins that, without any thought for her sorrow or suffering, thrust that sword into her heart.

Imagine standing in the crowd when the  priests and hierarchy of the day incite the people to yell, “Crucify Him, crucify Him;” and we either stand there silent, or, seeing Mary on the fringe of the crowd,  we join in and heartily shout for the crucifixion of her Son –  and then it is our sins that do crucify Him.

Imagine being along the road, the Via Dolorosa, the way of sorrow, and seeing her meet with her Son as He carries His cross to Calvary, and as He staggers away from her under the weight of our sins, she turns to us and we refuse to help Him.

Imagine watching Mary at the foot of the Cross, her Son nailed above in tortured agony, each of His remaining breaths bringing Him closer to death.  Try to think of  ignoring Jesus as He dies, not asking God the Father to ease His Son’s pain, but focusing on ourselves, even then.  After He has put us all in her care try to imagine asking Mary, at that moment, as her Son expires,  “Pray for us sinners.”

What kind of woman, what kind of mother, would hear our prayer? What mother would not cry out at us, screaming,

You did this to my Son, my own Son, my baby boy, my child who lived within me. Look at Him. The whip that scourged Him is your sins. The thorns that crowned Him are your sins. Each of those nails was hardened by your sins. The spear tip that pierced Him is your sins. Your sins spilled His blood. Your sins killed Him!

Not Mary.

Sinless and full of grace, she has accepted me and you, gifted to her by her Son as He died:

Mom, I am giving you now all my brothers and sisters. Do for them all you did for Me.  Take them all with you, care for them and love them as you did Me, and then bring them all back home to Me.

And Mary, now our mother, says again to her Son the “Yes” she said to Gabriel. Now in her mercy, she says  “Yes” for us, for all her children.

6

Dies Irae

DIES IRAE

Day of wrath, day that will dissolve the world into burning coals, as David bore witness with the Sibyl.

How great a tremor is to be, when the judge is to come briskly shattering every (grave).

A trumpet sounding an astonishing sound through the tombs of the region drives all (men) before the throne.

Death will be stunned and (so) will Nature, when arises (man) the creature responding to the One judging.

The written book will be brought forth, in which the whole (record of evidence) is contained whence the world is to be judged.

Therefore when the Judge shall sit, whatever lay hidden will appear; nothing unavenged will remain.

O Thou, God of Majesty, nourishing brilliance of the Trinity, join us with the Blessed.

What am I the wretch then to say? what patron I to beseech? when scarcely the just (man) be secure.

King of tremendous Majesty, who saves those-to-be-saved free, save me, Fount of piety.

Remember, faithful Jesus, because I am the cause of your journey: do not lose me on that day.

Thou has sat down as one wearied seeking me, Thou has redeemed (me) having suffered the Cross: so much labor let it not be lost.

Just judge of the avenging-punishment, work the gift of the remission (of sins) before the Day of the Reckoning.

I groan, as the accused: my face grows red from (my) fault: spare (this) supplicant, O God.

O Thou, God of Majesty, nourishing brilliance of the Trinity, join us with the Blessed.

Thou who forgave Mary [the sinful woman], and favorably heard the (good) thief, hast also given me hope.

My prayers are not worthy, but do Thou, Good (God), deal kindly lest I burn in perennial fire.

Among the sheep offer (me) a place and from the goats sequester me, placing (me) at (Thy) right hand.

After the accursed have been silenced, given up to the bitter flames, call me with the blest.

Kneeling and bowed down I pray, My heart contrite as ashes: Do Thou {, my End,} care for my end.

That sorrowful day, on which will arise from the buring coals Man accused to be judged: therefore, O God, do Thou spare him.

Faithful Lord Jesus, grant them rest. Amen.

O Thou, God of Majesty, nourishing brilliance of the Trinity, join us with the Blessed. Amen.

10

Unforgettable Flight 93

 

When they got up that morning sixteen years ago the very last thing that the 33 passengers and the seven crew of United Flight 93 expected was to be engaged in a life and death struggle to retake an airliner that was headed to Washington DC as a terrorist missile.    All they expected the day to bring was a hum drum flight from Newark to San Francisco.  Just ordinary people living their lives.  Their occupations included pilot, first officer, flight attendant, an environmental lawyer, the owner of a public relations firm,  university students, a senior vice president of a medical development company, a sales representative for Good Housekeeping magazine, a manager of a US Wildlife animal refuge, an arborist, an account manager for a corporation, an ironworker, retirees, a computer programmer, a computer engineer, a lobbyist for the disabled, a real estate agent,  an executive vice president of a corporation and a free lance medical writer.  They were wives, husbands, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters, all with unique histories and lives, with little in common except that they happened to be on board Flight 93 when the world changed.

The plane took off at 8:42 AM Eastern Time.  Four terrorists had boarded amidst the other 33 passengers.  The terrorists began to hijack the plane at 9:28 AM, soon after both the hijacked airliners had struck the Twin Towers in New York City, and just brief minutes before a fourth airliner was hijacked in Washington and slammed into the Pentagon.  At 9:28:17 AM a member of the cockpit crew shouted “Mayday! Mayday!” over the radio, with sounds of violence in the background.  35 seconds later someone in the cockpit shouted over the radio, “Mayday!  Get out of here!  Get out of here!”

By 9:31 AM the terrorists were in control of the cockpit.  They informed the passengers that they were in control of the plane and falsely told them they had a bomb.  Now began the final 30 minutes of Flight 93.

Passengers and crew during these final 30 minutes made 35 airphone calls and two cell phone calls.  They quickly learned of the other hijacked planes that had been flown into the Twin Towers.

Passenger Jeremy Glick managed to reach his wife.  He told her that the passengers voted whether to try to take back the plane and decided that they were going to attempt it.  He retained his sense of humor telling his wife that he still had his butter knife from the meal that had been served on board the plane.  Before he and the other passengers attacked the hijackers he wished her and their daughter a happy life, a clear indication that he did not expect to survive the effort to retake the plane.

Flight Attendant Sandra Bradshaw called her husband and told him that she was boiling water to throw on the hijackers.

Passenger Thomas Burnett, Jr. called his wife and she told him about the other planes that had hit the Twin Towers.  He called her back after their first conversation and told her:  “We’re going to take back the plane.  We can’t wait for the authorities. I don’t know what they could do anyway. It’s up to us. I think we can do it.”

“What do you want me to do?” Deena, his wife, asked him.

“Pray, Deena,” he said “Just pray.”

He ended the phone call by telling his wife:  “I know we’re all going to die – there’s three of us who are going to do something about it. I love you honey.”

Burnett was a devout Catholic.  He began attending daily mass in 1998.  When his wife asked him why he was doing this he told her:  ‘I feel like God is calling me to do something, and I don’t know what it is. But I know it’s going to have a great impact on a lot of people.’ He said, ‘The reason I’ve been going to daily Mass is because I feel like if I can be closer to God, then I’ll know what his plan is for me.'” Continue Reading

7

PopeWatch: Necessary Clarifications

Apparently the Vatican is realizing that the silent gambit was not working, or rather was working against them:

 

Pope Francis’ top advisers say the Vatican is preparing the “necessary clarifications” about accusations that the pope covered up the sexual misconduct of a now-disgraced American cardinal.

Francis’ nine cardinal advisers expressed their “full solidarity” Monday with the pope over the scandal, which has thrown his papacy into crisis.

The cardinals, who are meeting this week at the Vatican, issued a statement saying the Holy See “is working on formulating potential and necessary clarifications.”

Go here to read the rest.  PopeWatch does not know Italian.  In Italian do “lies and shredding” translate into “necessary clarifications”?  Bravo to the powers that be at the Vatican who have in half a decade convinced many faithful Catholics that anything that comes from this pontificate will always be subject to justified disbelief.

3

Ten Years of TAC: “We Have Met the Enemy and They Are Ours”

(The American Catholic will observe its tenth anniversary in October.  We will be reposting some classic TAC posts of the past.  This post is from October 2, 2013.)

 

A guest post by my friend Jay Anderson of Pro Ecclesia:

Perry’s Victory on Lake Erie by Currier and Ives.

On this day 200 years ago – 10 September 1813, Master Commandant Oliver Hazard Perry, United States Navy, won a resounding victory over a British fleet near Put-in-Bay, Ohio, in the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812:

At dawn on the morning of September 10, 1813, a lookout spotted six  British vessels to the northwest of Put-in-Bay beyond Rattlesnake  Island. Immediately Master Commandant Oliver Hazard Perry issued a  flurry of orders and made preparations to sail forth to engage the  British.   

Oliver Hazard Perry by Gilbert Stuart

With Perry’s fleet on Lake Erie the British supply route from Fort  Malden to Port Dover had been severed. The British had to either fight,  or abandon Fort Malden. The British squadron consisted of six ships with sixty-three cannons, while the American flotilla comprised nine vessels and fifty-four guns. The British were armed with long guns that could  throw a cannonball approximately one mile, accurately to about one-half  mile. The American ships primarily armed with carronades had less than  half the range of a long gun. The carronades could inflict much more  damage at close range. Perry needed the wind to his back to close within carronade range. When the squadron sailed from Put-in-Bay harbor at 7 a.m. the American  vessels were steering west-northwest; the wind was blowing from the  west-southwest. For more than two hours Perry repeatedly tacks his ships in an effort to put the wind to his back, but with no success. The  frustrated Perry, conceded to mother nature at 10 a.m., issuing orders  to turn his fleet in the opposite direction. But before the order could  be executed the wind suddenly shifted and blew from the southeast,  placing the wind directly behind the Americans. Perry’s opponent, Commander Robert Heriot Barclay, was an experienced  Royal Navy officer who had fought with Lord Nelson at Trafalgar in 1805, and two years later he lost an arm fighting the French. Barclay’s  options did not alter when the wind shifted, so the Scotsman pointed his bow sprits to the westward, and hove to in line of battle. With the wind at his back and the British battle line finally revealed,  Perry made his own tactical adjustments. The Schooners Ariel and  Scorpion were placed off the flagship’s weather bow to engage the first  British vessel and to prevent the enemy from raking his fleet. The  Lawrence, a 20-gun brig serving as Perry’s flagship, was third in line  and would engage the Detroit, Barclay’s 19-gun flagship. Next in line  floated the Caledonia, a small brig with only three guns. Fifth in the  American line of battle was the Niagara, Perry’s other 20-gun brig and  the Lawrence’s sistership. The Niagara, captained by Master Commandant Jesse Elliott, would engage  the 17-gun Queen Charlotte, the second largest British ship. Lastly came the smaller schooners and sloop; these would engage the smaller British vessels. Just before the engagement opened Perry hoisted his battle flag to the  flagship’s main truck. The large navy blue banner was emblazoned with  the crudely inscribed words, “DONT GIVE UP THE SHIP”. For his battle  slogan Perry used the dying words of Captain James Lawrence, a friend of the commodore who was killed on June 1, 1813. Perry’s flagship was  named for the fallen Lawrence, and the dead hero’s inspiring words  clearly indicated Perry’s determination to prevail.

Perry’s Battle Flag, “Don’t Give Up the Ship”
U.S. Naval Academy Museum, Annapolis, MD Continue Reading
4

PopeWatch: Father Peter Stravinskas

Further evidence of how widespread knowledge was about McCarrick from Father Peter Stravinskas:

 

On the McCarrick front, we are dealing with a very convoluted situation. “Everyone knew” about his strange sleeping arrangements with seminarians. So, why wasn’t something done about it? Years ago, I was questioned about this matter by a cardinal in Rome. I told him exactly what I knew – from some of the very seminarians affected, namely, that the Archbishop had invited them into his bed but – never touched them. The biggest difficulty was that no one was willing to testify against him for a variety of reasons. We shall come back to that issue as we move into the “testimony” of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò.

As you should know, Archbishop Viganò was the apostolic nuncio to the United States for nearly five years. His has been a multi-faceted ecclesiastical service, first having served in various nunciatures around the world, then actually having oversight for all nunciatures, as well as working in several capacities within the Roman Curia. His reputation is unimpeachable, universally acknowledged as competent, faithful, orthodox and honest. Indeed, he got “exiled” from the Vatican to his American post precisely because he was a “whistle-blower” in regard to financial corruption within the Vatican system. I give all this background on the man because not a few who are unhappy with his document have engaged in character assassination against him, incarnating the ancient principle of killing the bearer of bad news.

The report of Viganò is wide-ranging, spanning eleven pages. Frankly, if I had advised him, I would have counseled him to keep it to a page or two, given the inability of moderns to stay focused for more than a minute or two. That said, it is a devastating critique of corruption at the highest levels of the Church. While he does not shy away from discussing sexual immorality within the ranks of the clergy, I would submit that this is not his primary focus. Rather, he shines a laser on the abuse of power by hierarchs and the “old boy” network of ecclesiastical promotion and cover-up. That’s the real story and ex-Cardinal McCarrick features prominently on those fronts, as well as in regard to his bizarre behavior with seminarians.

According to Viganò, Pope Benedict issued sanctions against McCarrick, sanctions which – for whatever reason – were never publicly revealed and which were roundly ignored by the peripatetic McCarrick. Inexplicably, however, we are told that Pope Francis not only lifted those sanctions but used McCarrick as his personal envoy on many significant missions and gave him an outsized influence on the appointment of not a few American bishops– interestingly, the only bishops who have called into question the Viganò document.

Then we come to the heart of the matter: When a reporter posed a question to Francis on his return flight from Dublin about the Viganò testimony, he didn’t deny its validity; he simply, in great arrogance and foolishness (in my estimation), refused to engage the issue. Instead, he punted and told the media to analyze and evaluate the claims. Well, many of us have done so, and the Pope doesn’t come off very well; even the New York Times has complained of Vatican stone-walling. The Pope’s knowledge of problematic behavior and his maintenance of perpetrators of either sexual or financial corruption are the principal charges. Not to answer is a fatal blow to this already shaky pontificate, where the policy has consistently been to ignore inconvenient challenges; we have only to recall the non-replies to the dubia cardinals and the plea of the Filial Correction. That will not and cannot work in the present instance.

It is important to note that most of the criticism of the Viganò bombshell has consisted of ad hominem attacks. The Archbishop did this because he doesn’t like Francis; because he’s a disgruntled former employee; because he’s bitter that he didn’t become a cardinal. All of these are mere distractions from the weighty accusations. If I witness a murder and contact the police about it, it means nothing for the accused to say, “However, he slapped his wife two weeks ago.” The issue is whether or not the accusation is true – and that demands objective investigation. Dozens of bishops have called for this and the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, has sounded a clarion call for just such an investigation. Archbishop Bernard Hebda of St. Paul-Minneapolis, both a canon and civil lawyer, put it succinctly: “The events of these past weeks have shown that no one can be above the law, regardless of rank or privilege.”

Go here to read the rest.  This demonstrates the power of the Lavender Mafia in that McCarrick was apparently open and notorious about his predilections with the Vatican never taking effective action against him.  That Pope Francis has always been in the hip pocket of the Lavender Mafia is terrible enough.  However, perhaps even more troubling is the ineffectual role of Pope Benedict, and the role of Pope John Paul II, who oversaw the advancement of McCarrick.  Everything needs to be revealed on this, at least in regard to documents that have survived the shredding that no doubt has been a popular pastime lately in the Vatican.

28

Pope Backed Hillary

That the Pope backed Clinton does not surprise me.  The allegation that he used Church funds to support her campaign, if true, does surprise me and is a bombshell.  From The Daily Wire:

 

One of the Pontiff’s chief appointments, Cardinal Pietro Parolin to Vatican secretary of state, was reportedly selected to carry out this political plan, which would later be stifled by the election of President Trump. Basically, if Pope Saint John Paul II worked with Reagan in the fight against Communism, then Pope Francis would work with Hillary to advance the globalist agenda where not recycling your plastic straws is a sin equal to that of killing unborn babies.

“The election of Donald Trump shattered the assumptions on which Francis’ political strategy was based,” writes Sire. “With all its macho Latin American rhetoric, the plan depended on the presence in the White House of a liberal president willing to abase himself (or herself) to Latin American claims. It collapses before a president whose response to troublemakers beyond the Rio Grande is to build a wall against them.”

“That is why in 2016 Pope Francis staked all his chips on a Clinton presidency,” Sire continued. “Those around him, beginning with Cardinal Parolin, told him that Donald Trump had no hope of winning, and on Francis’ orders the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See helped finance Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.”

During the 2016 campaign, Pope Francis famously showed more hostility to President Trump, who promised a pro-life/pro-religious agenda, than the pro-abortion Hillary Clinton. At one point, the two clashed when the Pope suggested that President Trump is not Christian for seeking to build walls.

“A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian. This is not in the Gospel,” said Pope Francis of President Trump’s policies.

The Pope never described Hillary Clinton in such a way, even as she had a representative of NARAL brag about her abortion at the DNC. When asked about how people should vote in the election, the Pope said they should “vote their conscience” and not pro-life. Sire says this was Pope Francis using the power of papal rhetoric for a political agenda, which did not go as planned.

“When Trump won, Francis was furious with his advisors,” writes Sire. “This may be one reason why Cardinal Parolin has lost favor: he proved himself fallible on predicting outcomes in the United States, and he has failed to deliver the goods in Latin America.”

Go here to read the rest.  I will see if I can find anything further about Church funds going to the Clinton campaign.  God can use very odd instruments, and in this crisis in the life of the Church he may be using an orange haired foul mouth adulterer for the good of both the Church and our nation.  God has a superb sense of humor and of irony, as History demonstrates.

Update:  Edward Pentin reported this on November 15, 2016:

However, Corriere della Sera reported Nov. 10 that, according to its research, most in the Vatican were backing Hillary Clinton as the “lesser evil.” Trump, on the other hand, was considered “unelectable” due to his “aggressive chauvinism,” in addition to his threats to deport 11 million illegal Mexican immigrants and ban Muslims from immigrating to the United States.

Now that the “greater evil” has won, the Vatican is viewing the United States as “angry and radicalized,” Corriere della Sera wrote. “For the Holy See, it is a bitter defeat, cultural rather than political. Among other things, it indicates that the Catholic Church hasn’t registered the very deep upheavals taking place in the greatest Western country.” A “lot of incomprehension” and “bitter shock” were generally prevalent for many in the Vatican, agreed one U.S. official who spoke with the Register. Based on “failings of reporting,” he said, Clinton was represented as far preferable to Trump, who was portrayed as a “buffoon,” and reporting about Clinton’s shortcomings “never sunk in.” Due to a general lack of understanding in Italy of the U.S. “culture wars,” Clinton’s radical pro-abortion-rights position also hardly figured at all in media commentary.

Go here to read the rest.