0

One of the Last of the Few

 

 

 

‘Here’s a Spitfire – fly it, and if you break it there will be bloody hell to pay’.”

Geoffrey Wellum

 

Geoffrey Wellum has died at age 97.  He had the distinction of being the youngest British pilot, at age 18, to participate in the Battle of Britain.  Go here to read about him.  Seven of The Few still remain among us.

 

The gratitude of every home in our Island, in our Empire, and indeed throughout the world, except in the abodes of the guilty, goes out to the British airmen who, undaunted by odds, unwearied in their constant challenge and mortal danger, are turning the tide of the world war by their prowess and by their devotion. Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.

Winston Churchill, August 20, 1940

 

 

 

 

 

7

PopeWatch: Canon Law

Well isn’t this special:

 

The Vatican’s former top legal advisor is calling on Pope Francis to require Catholics under canon law to care for the environment, calling it “one of the most serious duties” for the faithful today.

According to Italian journalist Andrea Tornielli, Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, is proposing that a new canon be inserted into the Code of Canon Law. The new canon would be dedicated to the “grave duty” of all the Christian faithful to not only “not harm” but even “improve” the environment.

Coccopalmerio told Vatican Insider: “The Code of Canon Law, at the beginning of the second book, in canons 208-221 under the title ‘Obligations and rights of all [Christ’s] faithful’ presents a list of these obligations and rights, and for this reason draws an authoritative sketch of the believer and his life as a Christian. Unfortunately, nothing is said about one of his most serious duties: to protect and promote the natural environment in which the believer lives.”

“My proposal,” the cardinal said, “would be to ask the Pope, on behalf of the dicastery for legislative texts, to insert into the canons I have just cited a new canon that sounds more or less like this: ‘Every faithful Christian, mindful that creation is our common home, has the grave duty not only not to damage, but also to improve, both through normal behavior, as well as through specific initiatives, the natural environment in which each person is called to live.’”

The cardinal first announced his proposal during a July 12 event in Rome titled “Dialogue on Catholic investments for energy transition.” The closed-door meeting brought together representatives of the Vatican and Catholic organizations to discuss how to invest responsibly towards a transition to renewable energies.

Inspired by Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical on the environment, Laudato si’, and by his recent address to CEOs of major oil and gas companies, participants in the July 12 event agreed on the importance of the Catholic Divest-Invest Program currently being sponsored by the World Catholic Climate Movement

According to the organization’s website, the Catholic Divest-Invest Program calls on Catholic institutions to commit publicly to completely divest from all fossil fuels within five years, and to invest in “socially and ethically responsible companies that protect creation and all who share it.”

 

Go here to read the rest.  Considering how well the Church is succeeding in commanding Catholics not to shack up, slay their offspring by abortion or simply show up at Sunday Mass, PopeWatch views this proposal as a dagger aimed at the heart of the Environmental Movement!

2

The Robe of Christ

THE ROBE OF CHRIST
(For Cecil Chesterton)

AT the foot of the Cross on Calvary
Three soldiers sat and diced,
And one of them was the Devil
And he won the Robe of Christ.

When the Devil comes in his proper form
To the chamber where I dwell,
I know him and make the Sign of the Cross
Which drives him back to Hell.

And when he comes like a friendly man
And puts his hand in mine,
The fervour in his voice is not
From love or joy or wine.

And when he comes like a woman,
With lovely, smiling eyes,
Black dreams float over his golden head
Like a swarm of carrion flies.

Now many a million tortured souls
In his red halls there be:
Why does he spend his subtle craft
In hunting after me?

Kings, queens and crested warriors
Whose memory rings through time,
These are his prey, and what to him
Is this poor man of rhyme,

That he, with such laborious skill,
Should change from role to role,
Should daily act so many a part
To get my little soul?

Oh, he can be the forest,
And he can be the sun,
Or a buttercup, or an hour of rest
When the weary day is done.

I saw him through a thousand veils,
And has not this sufficed?
Now, must I look on the Devil robed
In the radiant Robe of Christ?

He comes, and his face is sad and mild,
With thorns his head is crowned;
There are great bleeding wounds in his feet,
And in each hand a wound.

How can I tell, who am a fool,
If this be Christ or no?
Those bleeding hands outstretched to me!
Those eyes that love me so!

I see the Robe—I look—I hope—
I fear—but there is one
Who will direct my troubled mind;
Christ’s Mother knows her Son.

O Mother of Good Counsel, lend
Intelligence to me!
Encompass me with wisdom,
Thou Tower of Ivory!

“This is the Man of Lies,” she says,
“Disguised with fearful art:
He has the wounded hands and feet,
But not the wounded heart.”

Beside the Cross on Calvary
She watched them as they diced.
She saw the Devil join the game
And win the Robe of Christ.

Joyce Kilmer

 

10

Jobless Claims Lowest Since 1969

 

Back in 69 I was twelve years old, Paul VI was Pope and Richard Nixon was President.   Jobless claims are now at the lowest level since December of 1969.  Of course back then the nation had a population of 205 million and we are now a nation of 325 million.  As I confirmed this week, President Trump has a capacity to annoy me with some of his nuttiness in foreign affairs, but when it comes to the economy, he is presiding over the best one in my life time.   Take a bow Mr. President, you have earned it, and a lot more Americans are earning due to your economic policies.

2

The Ten Commandments of Leftist Policies

Always remember this about the Leftists and the  policies they advocate:

  1. The policies they advocate almost always are based on emotion rather than on rational analysis.
  2. Virtue signaling one-upmanship, and ideological purity contests, with other Leftists is always a feature of their policies.
  3. They have complete indifference to possible negative consequences of whatever they are advocating.
  4. Economics and Leftists haven’t been on speaking terms for a very long time.
  5. They tend to operate in ideological bubbles where dissent from Leftism is not tolerated, and heresy hunting for any deviation from current Leftist pieties is a popular pass-time.
  6. They continually engage in  straight line thinking and usually do not consider the impact of advances in technology on their policy means and goals.
  7. Government coercion is always their first resort.
  8. Hurting private enterprise is for them a feature not a bug.
  9. There is almost always a strong element of contempt for ordinary people who do not share their ideology.
  10. They will demonize those who oppose them as part of their normal mode of operation.

See how many of these elements are contained in straw bans:

 

4

PopeWatch: Nelson Mandela Day

Vatican News yesterday celebrated Nelson Mandela Day:

 

On 18 July we celebrate Nelson Mandela Day. The occasion was instituted by the United Nations to honour Mandela’s incredible witness and precious contribution to peace and freedom. 2018 also marks 100 years from Madiba’s birth.

Go here to read the rest.  No mention of course that Mandela was a fervent advocate of abortion on demand.  Go here to read about his record.  The people running the Church today are by and large ideological clones of the elites in the developed world.  Where they are in formal opposition to them, for example on abortion, they will occasionally pay lip service to the pro-life cause, but their actions speak otherwise.

1

July 18, 1918: Marine Mustang From Croatia Earns Medal of Honor

“I am Cukela. I attack.”

 

 

Louis Cukela immigrated to the US from what is now Croatia in 1913 at the age of 25.  His English would always be somewhat broken, but that did not prevent from becoming a Marine legend.  Initially he served in the US Army as a trooper, being honorably discharged in 1916.  He enlisted in the Marines on January 31, 1917.  By July 18, 1918 he was a Gunnery Sergeant with the Fifth Marines.  He would come out of the War with a Second Lieutenant’s Commission and a chestful of medals, including the Medal of Honor, four Silver Star citations;  from France he was awarded the Legion d’Honneur, the Médaille militaire and the Croix de guerre 1914–18 with two palms and one silver star;  Italy decorated him with the Croce al Merito di Guerra;   and the newly formed state of Yugoslavia remembered their native son after the War with the Commander’s Cross of the Royal Order of the Crown of Yugoslavia.

He fought in every engagement in which the Fifth Marines were involved in France.  He earned the Medal of Honor on July 18, 1918 near Villers-Cotterets, France.  Here is his Medal of Honor Citation:

 

 

When his company, advancing through a wood, met with strong resistance from an enemy strong point, Sgt. Cukela crawled out from the flank and made his way toward the German lines in the face of heavy fire, disregarding the warnings of his comrades. He succeeded in getting behind the enemy position and rushed a machinegun emplacement, killing or driving off the crew with his bayonet. With German handgrenades he then bombed out the remaining portion of the strong point, capturing 4 men and 2 damaged machineguns.

Technically he received two Medals of Honor, one from the Army and one from the Navy.  Cukela stayed in the Corps, rising to the rank of Major and retiring in 1946.  He became famous in the Corps for his eccentricities, his mangling of English and his rough and ready humor.  Go here to read more about him.  A Roman Catholic, following a funeral Mass at St. Jane Frances de Chantal Catholic Church, Bethesda, he was buried with full military honors at Arlington in 1956, his beloved wife joining him a few months after his death.  Apparently there was a lot to love about the old warrior.

6

Another Perspective on the Helsinki Meeting

Like Donald McCleary, I was much distressed by Trump’s press conference remarks after the Helsinki conference with Putin.  After reading David Goldman’s (“Spengler”) article in PJ Media, I wonder whether Trump may be more subtle and knowledgeable than I had thought (and, let me add, I was a Never Trumper until that final moment in the voting booth).   What Goldman is saying, I believe, is that US foreign policy with respect to Russia has gone awry over the last 20 years.   And he speaks as a former neo-con.

“President Trump offended the entire political spectrum with a tweet this morning blaming the U.S. for poor relations with Russia. “Our relationship with Russia has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of U.S. foolishness and stupidity,” the president said, and he is entirely correct. By this I do not mean to say that Russia is a beneficent actor in world affairs or that President Putin is an admirable world leader. Nonetheless, the president displayed both perspicacity and political courage when he pointed the finger at the United States for mismanaging the relationship with Russia.

Full disclosure: I was a card-carrying member of the neoconservative cabal that planned to bring Western-style democracy and free markets to Russia after the fall of Communism. As chief economist for the supply-side consulting firm Polyconomics, I got an appointment as an adviser to Boris Yeltsin’s finance ministry and made several trips to Moscow. Of course, the finance ministry really was a family office for Yeltsin’s oligarch friends, who were too busy stealing Russia’s economy to listen to advice. The experience cured me of the neoconservative delusion that democracy and free markets are the natural order of things.

Unfortunately, the delusion that the United States would remake Russia in its own image persisted through the Bush and Obama administrations. I have no reason to doubt the allegations that a dozen Russian intelligence officers meddled in the U.S. elections of 2016, but this was equivalent of a fraternity prank compared to America’s longstanding efforts to intervene in Russian politics.

The United States supported the 2014 Maidan uprising in Ukraine and the overthrow of the Yanukovych government in the hope of repeating the exercise in Moscow sometime later. Then-Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland pulled whatever strings America had to replace the feckless and corrupt Victor Yanukovych with a government hostile to the Kremlin. She didn’t say it in so many words, but she hoped the Ukraine coup would lead to the overthrow of Vladimir Putin. Evidently Nuland and her boss, Hillary Clinton, thought that the Ukraine coup would deprive Russia of its Black Sea naval base in Crimea, and did not anticipate that Russia simply would annex an old Russian province that belonged to Ukraine by historical accident.

At the time, liberal opinion evanesced with the notion that Moscow would follow Maidan. The Christian Science Monitor reported in February 2014:

Some in Russia’s liberal community see in the Maidan a hope that the Kremlin, no matter how solid it looks, could one day crack under similar popular pressure. “What we are seeing in Ukraine is the realization of the Ukrainian people’s aspiration for democracy, of the right to revolt,” says Sergei Davidis, a board member of Solidarnost, a liberal opposition coalition. “It doesn’t mean we’re ready to follow that example. Russian conditions are different. But in the long run, as the contradictions pile up, we may well come to the same pass and find ourselves with no alternatives but the Ukrainian one.”

Of course, no such thing occurred.

The Maidan coup was the second American attempt to install a Ukrainian government hostile to Moscow; the first occurred in 2004, when Condoleezza Rice was secretary of State rather than Hillary Clinton. As I wrote in Asia Times a decade ago, “On the night of November 22, 2004, then-Russian president – now premier – Vladimir Putin watched the television news in his dacha near Moscow. People who were with Putin that night report his anger and disbelief at the unfolding ‘Orange’ revolution in Ukraine. ‘They lied to me,’ Putin said bitterly of the United States. ‘I’ll never trust them again.’ The Russians still can’t fathom why the West threw over a potential strategic alliance for Ukraine. They underestimate the stupidity of the West.”

Go here for the rest.

I expect there  will be a lot of flack in response to this post; let me say that I’m still ruminating on Goldman’s article,  trying to see whether it’s an apology for a tyrant or an attempt to look at foreign policy realistically.  He does mention at the end we should make a super effort to surpass Russia defensive efforts against missiles.
9

Seven Days in May Was Not a How to Manual

 

 

 

Democrat Congressman Steven Cohen (D.TN) has called for a military coup to topple President Trump:

 

 

 

Life imitating Art.

 

 

What is it with liberals and coups?  Recently, including the obviously deranged Congressman, several liberals, including entertainer? Sarah Silverman, and Obama era Pentagon bureaucrat Sarah Brooks, have  been calling for/predicting a military coup against the Trump administration.  Such fools have no concept of our military where the officers are trained from day one of their careers in the essential fact of civilian control of the military.  If the impossible ever happened and some rogue faction of the military ever did move against Trump, the shots fired in such a coup attempt would merely be the opening shots in Civil War II.  Liberals have often fantasized about a conservative military coup against the government of the United States, perhaps most famously in the novel and film of the Sixties entitled Seven Days in May.  From current calls for a military coup emanating from the portside of our politics, such concerns about a conservative coup apparently were a case of the left projecting upon the right what the left would be tempted to do if confronted by a civilian government they viewed as a menace.

 

Hard to believe that it is more than half a century since the film Seven Days in May (1964) was released.  Directed by John Frankenheimer with a screenplay by Rod Serling based on a novel published in 1962, the movie posits a failed coup attempt in the United States, with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Air Force General James Mattoon Scott, played by Burt Lancaster, being the would be coup leader.  Kirk Douglas plays Scott’s aide Marine Corps Colonel Martin Casey who, while agreeing with Scott that President Jordan Lyman’s nuclear disarmament treaty with the Soviets is a disaster, is appalled when he learns of the proposed coup, and discloses it to the President, portrayed by Frederic March.

The film is an example of liberal paranoia in the early sixties and fears on the port side of our politics of a coup by some “right wing” general.  The film is unintentionally hilarious if one has served in our military, since the idea of numerous generals agreeing on a coup and keeping it secret, even from their own aides, is simply ludicrous.  Our military leaks like a sieve, and general officers almost always view each other as competitors for political favor, rather than as co-conspirators.

Ironies abound when the film is compared to reality:

The film is set in the 1970s.  Richard Nixon, the arch bogeyman of liberals, negotiated SALT I with the Soviets in 1972, with not a murmur from the military.

Rather than a war mongering military opposed by a pacifist President, in 1964 LBJ, the great liberal hope, was gearing up the war in Vietnam, in the face of a fair amount of skepticism by admirals and generals.

The film received encouragement from the Kennedy administration, JFK, having read the novel.  When asked by a friend if such a coup as depicted in the novel could happen, Kennedy replied:

“It’s possible. But the conditions would have to be just right. If the country had a young President, and he had a Bay of Pigs, there would be a certain uneasiness. Maybe the military would do a little criticizing behind his back. Then if there were another Bay of Pigs, the reaction of the country would be, ‘Is he too young and inexperienced?’ The military would almost feel that it was their patriotic obligation to stand ready to preserve the integrity of the nation and only God knows just what segment of Democracy they would be defending if they overthrew the elected establishment. Then, if there were a third Bay of Pigs it could happen. It won’t happen on my watch.”

While the film was in production a coup against a civilian government by that country’s military did happen, President Diem of South Vietnam being murdered in the process, and JFK helping to instigate the coup.

The film itself isn’t bad, Lancaster, Douglas and March giving fine performances.  An interesting artifact of Cold War liberal paranoia in an entertaining package.  It should not be regarded by liberals suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome as a how to manual.

4

PopeWatch: CathoCommunism

 

 

 

Journalist Hilary White, in the comboxes of One Peter Five, writes about CathoCommunism:

 

They become quite famous, these Italian commie priests, media personalities. The word for it is “Cattocommunismo”, Catho-communism. There’s a whole set of journalistic nomenclature you have to learn when you start reporting on it. You have to know what “bella ciao” means in its political context. You have to know what “the social movements” and “social centres” are and what “street priests” are.

Even outside this extreme fringe like Zanotelli, it is taken for granted that priests simply don’t have the Faith. Last Christmas it made the news when a parish priest in Turin stood up at Midnight Mass and announced they would be skipping the Creed because he didn’t believe it. The parish church of San Rocco di Torino, Fr. Fredo Olivero, replaced the Creed with a song called Dolce Sentire, a kind of hippified, sentimentalised and materialised version of St. Francis Canticle of the Creatures. This story made the news, but it is normal in Italy. In an ordinary country or suburban parish they might not drop significant parts of the Mass, (or they might, but no one cares) but you do not hear about the Catholic religion at all from the pulpit.

The biggest problem we always had with reporting on this to an American audience was the complete inability of the readers to believe this. “Why doesn’t the Church do something??” was a standard response. The only answer is, “This IS the Church in Italy.” Catholics in the Church in this country are a tiny minority and completely shut out of the structures of the institutions. “Corruption” is a word you really can’t understand fully until you’ve lived here a while.

Go here to read the rest.  Hilaire Belloc’s quote is more true than ever:

 

The Catholic Church is an institution I am bound to hold divine — but for unbelievers a proof of its divinity might be found in the fact that no merely human institution conducted with such knavish imbecility would have lasted a fortnight.

 

 

1

Real Nazis

Our friends on the Left are increasingly fond of tossing around the term Nazi.  A small reminder below of what real Nazis were like:

the most interesting—although horrible—sight that I encountered during the trip was a visit to a German internment camp near Gotha. The things I saw beggar description. While I was touring the camp I encountered three men who had been inmates and by one ruse or another had made their escape. I interviewed them through an interpreter. The visual evidence and the verbal testimony of starvation, cruelty and bestiality were so overpowering as to leave me a bit sick. In one room, where they were piled up twenty or thirty naked men, killed by starvation, George Patton would not even enter. He said that he would get sick if he did so. I made the visit deliberately, in order to be in a position to give first-hand evidence of these things if ever, in the future, there develops a tendency to charge these allegations merely to ‘propaganda.

General Dwight D. Eisenhower, cable to Chief of Staff General George C. Marshall, April 12, 1945

 

0

Ten Years of TAC: July 18, 1863: Assault on Fort Wagner

 

(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 July 18, 2013.)

 

 

 

We would not have his body removed from where it lies surrounded by his brave and devoted soldiers….We can imagine no holier place than that in which he lies, among his brave and devoted followers, nor wish for him better company – what a body-guard he has!

Response of the parents of Colonel Robert Shaw as to whether they wished to have his body exhumed and brought back to Boston.

 

 

 

The 150th anniversary of the second assault on Fort Wagner, the Confederate fort on Morris Island, guarding entry into Charleston Harbor, made immortal by the film Glory (1989) depicting the attack of the 54th Massachusetts.  The 54th sustained the following casualties out of 600 men:  29 killed, including the commander of the regiment, 25 year old Colonel Robert Shaw, 15 captured, 52 missing in action and 149 wounded.  The white regiments that participated in the attack also sustained heavy losses.  A total of 1515 Union casualties against approximately 174 Confederate casualties.   Ironically, Fort Wagner would be abandoned by the Confederates in September, it being too difficult to keep the Fort supplied in the teeth of a continual Union bombardment, and the water supply in the Fort being contaminated by the number of corpses in the soil surrounding the fort from the two unsuccessful assaults.

The courage shown by the men of the 54th put the lie to the fairly common belief, completely at variance with history, that black men could not make good soldiers.  The 54th would go on to fight in several more battles during the course of the War.

Sergeant William Carney of the 54th earned a Medal of Honor in the assault.  Despite being wounded several times he placed the national flag on the parapet of Fort Wagner, and when the 54th retreated he brought back the flag in spite of being wounded twice more.  He told the men he gave the flag to:  “Boys, I only did my duty; the old flag never touched the ground!” Continue Reading

7

July 17, 1918: Murder of the Tsar and his Family

Death by violence is an occupational hazard for leaders of nations.  The Communists a century ago left no doubt as to the squalid murderers they were and are when they also slew his wife and kids, as well as Tsar Nicholas II.  We have become so inured to horror over the past hundred years that it is hard to imagine the shock and outrage that deed aroused.  May their souls rest in peace along with the souls of all butchered in the name of an evil and insane doctrine.

 

 

6

I Don’t Know Whether to Cheer or to Weep

A Charlemagne Rubber Ducky.  A true sign of our times, although I am unsure of a sign of what.

 

Charles the Great.  He found the crown of the Roman emperors lying in the gutter of time, and by his efforts, against the odds, restored, in alliance with the popes, a Western Empire.  Charlemagne laid the foundation that allowed Catholic Europe to survive the siege by Islam and to ultimately defeat the Vikings through conversion.  In his reign Western Europe began waking from the long night described by Chesterton:

For the end of the world was long ago,
When the ends of the world waxed free,
When Rome was sunk in a waste of slaves,
And the sun drowned in the sea.

When Caesar’s sun fell out of the sky
And whoso hearkened right
Could only hear the plunging
Of the nations in the night.

When the ends of the earth came marching in
To torch and cresset gleam.
And the roads of the world that lead to Rome
Were filled with faces that moved like foam,
Like faces in a dream.

And men rode out of the eastern lands,
Broad river and burning plain;
Trees that are Titan flowers to see,
And tiger skies, striped horribly,
With tints of tropic rain.

Where Ind’s enamelled peaks arise
Around that inmost one,
Where ancient eagles on its brink,
Vast as archangels, gather and drink
The sacrament of the sun.

And men brake out of the northern lands,
Enormous lands alone,
Where a spell is laid upon life and lust
And the rain is changed to a silver dust
And the sea to a great green stone.

And a Shape that moveth murkily
In mirrors of ice and night,
Hath blanched with fear all beasts and birds,
As death and a shock of evil words
Blast a man’s hair with white.

And the cry of the palms and the purple moons,
Or the cry of the frost and foam,
Swept ever around an inmost place,
And the din of distant race on race
Cried and replied round Rome.

And there was death on the Emperor
And night upon the Pope:

More than any other single man in secular history he set the course of European history for the next 1000 years.   Even today, Western Europe might bear the stamp: “Charles made me.”

7

PopeWatch: Crystal Ball

Father Z brings us some good news:

 

 

 

  • The demographics of church participation are shifting.
  • In these USA…
  • The numbers of active priests will drop, impacting the number of parishes open.  The number of millennials going to church will drop, thus impacting parish income.  The number of conservative and traditional priests will rise, percentage wise, in presbyterates, thus impacting liturgy, preaching, and identity.  The number of children being born to practicing Catholics will outstrip those being born to liberals.   The number of conservative or traditional bishops being appointed will probably drop, thus creating a slowly growing identity rift between faithful and their local chief pastors.

Go here to read the rest.  I think the Pope Emeritus saw this coming back in 1969:

 

“The future of the Church can and will issue from those whose roots are deep and who live from the pure fullness of their faith. It will not issue from those who accommodate themselves merely to the passing moment or from those who merely criticize others and assume that they themselves are infallible measuring rods; nor will it issue from those who take the easier road, who sidestep the passion of faith, declaring false and obsolete, tyrannous and legalistic, all that makes demands upon men, that hurts them and compels them to sacrifice themselves. To put this more positively: The future of the Church, once again as always, will be reshaped by saints, by men, that is, whose minds probe deeper than the slogans of the day, who see more than others see, because their lives embrace a wider reality. Unselfishness, which makes men free, is attained only through the patience of small daily acts of self-denial. By this daily passion, which alone reveals to a man in how many ways he is enslaved by his own ego, by this daily passion and by it alone, a man’s eyes are slowly opened. He sees only to the extent that he has lived and suffered. If today we are scarcely able any longer to become aware of God, that is because we find it so easy to evade ourselves, to flee from the depths of our being by means of the narcotic of some pleasure or other. Thus our own interior depths remain closed to us. If it is true that a man can see only with his heart, then how blind we are! 

“How does all this affect the problem we are examining? It means that the big talk of those who prophesy a Church without God and without faith is all empty chatter. We have no need of a Church that celebrates the cult of action in political prayers. It is utterly superfluous. Therefore, it will destroy itself. What will remain is the Church of Jesus Christ, the Church that believes in the God who has become man and promises us life beyond death. The kind of priest who is no more than a social worker can be replaced by the psychotherapist and other specialists; but the priest who is no specialist, who does not stand on the [sidelines], watching the game, giving official advice, but in the name of God places himself at the disposal of man, who is beside them in their sorrows, in their joys, in their hope and in their fear, such a priest will certainly be needed in the future. 

“Let us go a step farther. From the crisis of today the Church of tomorrow will emerge — a Church that has lost much. She will become small and will have to start afresh more or less from the beginning. She will no longer be able to inhabit many of the edifices she built in prosperity. As the number of her adherents diminishes, so it will lose many of her social privileges. In contrast to an earlier age, it will be seen much more as a voluntary society, entered only by free decision. As a small society, it will make much bigger demands on the initiative of her individual members. Undoubtedly it will discover new forms of ministry and will ordain to the priesthood approved Christians who pursue some profession. In many smaller congregations or in self-contained social groups, pastoral care will normally be provided in this fashion. Along-side this, the full-time ministry of the priesthood will be indispensable as formerly. But in all of the changes at which one might guess, the Church will find her essence afresh and with full conviction in that which was always at her center: faith in the triune God, in Jesus Christ, the Son of God made man, in the presence of the Spirit until the end of the world. In faith and prayer she will again recognize the sacraments as the worship of God and not as a subject for liturgical scholarship.

“The Church will be a more spiritual Church, not presuming upon a political mandate, flirting as little with the Left as with the Right. It will be hard going for the Church, for the process of crystallization and clarification will cost her much valuable energy. It will make her poor and cause her to become the Church of the meek. The process will be all the more arduous, for sectarian narrow-mindedness as well as pompous self-will will have to be shed. One may predict that all of this will take time. The process will be long and wearisome as was the road from the false progressivism on the eve of the French Revolution — when a bishop might be thought smart if he made fun of dogmas and even insinuated that the existence of God was by no means certain — to the renewal of the nineteenth century. But when the trial of this sifting is past, a great power will flow from a more spiritualized and simplified Church. Men in a totally planned world will find themselves unspeakably lonely. If they have completely lost sight of God, they will feel the whole horror of their poverty. Then they will discover the little flock of believers as something wholly new. They will discover it as a hope that is meant for them, an answer for which they have always been searching in secret.

“And so it seems certain to me that the Church is facing very hard times. The real crisis has scarcely begun. We will have to count on terrific upheavals. But I am equally certain about what will remain at the end: not the Church of the political cult, which is dead already, but the Church of faith. It may well no longer be the dominant social power to the extent that she was until recently; but it will enjoy a fresh blossoming and be seen as man’s home, where he will find life and hope beyond death.

 

 

9

Vote Democrat, Mortal Sin

 

It was clear before – vote democrat, commit mortal sin –  but two things the Democrat Party has done since the last presidential election  make this crystal.

 

Ignore for the moment, for purposes of this discussion,  the state of the Catholic Church in America, the foetid, stinking, evil, corrupt  entity it has become.  Simply put, those in power at the very highest echelons in the church hierarchy should not be heard when they tell anyone to vote for democrats; and, in general, they should not be heard on any moral issue, period.  Michael Brendan Doughtery has summarized the state of the Catholic Church:

I thought I was already inured to the moral rot in the Catholic clergy . . . There is an undeniable psychological tension between my religious belief that I cannot have hope for salvation outside the visible, institutional Church and my honest conviction that of all the institutions and societies that intersect with my life, the Church is by far the most corrupt, the most morally lax, the most disillusioning, and the most dangerous for my children. In that tension, personal prayer will dry up like dew at noon. (“Off the Shelf: What Catholic Traditionalists Foresaw;” National Review, June 29, 2018 )

Two more recent developments have exposed the democrat party for what it really is, and has been.

First, proceeding initially under the guise of seeking only “toleration,” they sought to accord the legal status of “married” to those who voluntarily engage in homosexual actions. This alleged “toleration” has now morphed into a totalitarian call by democrats to label words that amount to “marriage always was, is, and always will be the  marriage of a man to a woman” as hate speech; and, by some democrats, to have any public denial that “same-sex” marriage is either not possible or, in some sense, wrong, be declared a crime. Again and again, they seek to use the power of government:  to abridge or abolish  the religious liberty of those who disagree with them;  to abridge believers’ right to free speech in saying what they believe; and to have these rights squelched with governmental power by requiring all to implicitly affirm “same-sex marriage.”

Secondly, and is some ways far more deadly, the democrats, who in the past supported, advocated for, and demanded taxpayer support of all abortions, now are openly celebrating abortions. They have implicitly admitted that their previous camouflaging mantra for abortion – “legal, safe, and rare” – was a smokescreen. All along their goal was abortion as a killing  to be welcomed, promoted, paraded, and joyously celebrated.

Prior to the 2016 elections, liberal bishops, priests, and pastors, many of them either open or closet democrats, who wanted to deliver the “catholic vote” to their beloved democrats, hid behind “we are not single issue voters” and “life is s seamless garment.” They ignored the fact that – with respect to intrinsic evils like abortion and racism, as proclaimed to us by the United States bishops – if a candidate is wrong regarding an intrinsic evil, that is a “disqualifying” issue . No matter what else a candidate says or does or stands for, if a candidate is wrong on a disqualifying issue, a catholic with a well-formed conscience cannot vote for such a candidate.  For the democrats, the Party of Death, party in toto, is disqualified

Clerical shills for the democrats may spout that “when a democrat is disqualified on abortion, but a republican is disqualified on ________ (fill in with war, poverty, immigration, justice, etc.), then a catholic can, in good, well-formed conscience,  vote for the democrat.”  But the fact is, when a candidate is disqualified because of support for intrinsic evil,  there is no issue, no consideration that then makes it moral to vote for such a candidate. Even if all the listed candidates of all parties are wrong and all are disqualified, a catholic with a well-formed conscience cannot then vote for a democrat. One option is not to vote or to vote for an unlisted “sign-in” candidate.

This must be made perfectly clear: to state the fact that it is a mortal sin to vote for any democrat is not to endorse any candidate of any other party.  Of course the democrat clergy, bishops,  priests, and pastors fear that if the truth gets out – it is a mortal sin to vote for any democrat – that some, or worse, many, such voters will vote for a republican. Their other fear is that some of those whose votes they have in the past herded 100% into the democrat fold simply will not vote at all.

What is especially feared by the democrat clergy in Texas and elsewhere in the United States is that the truth will become widely known – the truth that the republican party is now the party of family and the democrat party is now the party of baby death – not just baby death, but the party of “If-you’re-happy-killing-babies- clap-your- hands” celebrations of abortions. This truth is particularly damning for democrats among Hispanics who value family above party affiliation.

The mortal sinfulness of voting for a democrat is presented in some detail in  “Faith-Filled Citizenship Voting Catechism,”

http://sinvote.democrat/faith-filled-citizenship-voting-catechism/

 

Here are some excerpts:

 

DEMOCRATIC PARTY –  PARTY OF INTRINSIC EVIL  PARTY OF ABORTION, PARTY  OF DEATHQ.

Q. Does the Democratic Party promote abortions?

A. Yes. The Democratic Party advocates abortion, promotes abortion, celebrates abortions, and seeks to have and has succeeded in having abortions paid for with taxpayer money.

Q. Will the Democratic Party support a prolife candidate?

A.No, never. The Democratic Party has stated publicly that any candidate who wants to receive funds and campaign money from the party must be proabortion. It has stated that this position is non-negotiable.

Q. Is the platform of the Democratic Party proabortion?

A.  The Democratic Party Platform has and continues to advocate for taxpayer-funded abortion for all nine months of pregnancy; and has ignored the request of some thousands of people to amend the Party Platform to recognize the existence of pro-life members. The Party also rescinded language that abortion should be “rare.” For these and other reasons it has been called the “Party Of Abortion,” and the “Party Of Death.”

Q. Has a Cardinal Archbishop of the Church called the Democratic “Party the Party of Death”? A.  Yes.

Q. Has a Bishop of the Church resigned as a registered Democrat because of the Democratic Party’s support of abortion? A.  Yes.

Q. Is it a mortal sin for me to vote for a Democrat with the intention that the Party’s Platform be enacted and preborn babies be aborted?

A. If you vote for a Democrat so that preborn babies will be killed by abortions, you commit mortal sin.

Q. What if I do not vote for a Democrat knowing that preborn babies will be killed by abortion and this will be a result of my vote – but I vote for a Democrat to achieve some other good, such as the reduction of poverty, the end of war, the elimination of the death penalty, a fair economic system, or just treatment of immigrants?

A. Since abortion is an intrinsic evil, none of the other goods listed can change this evil and none of the other goods listed can be used to outweigh or negate this evil. So, again, in this situation, you will commit mortal sin.

Q. Does this apply to all Democrats at all levels of government?

A. Yes, this applies to all Democrat candidates. The Democratic Party does not change its program, policies, platform, or agenda for any member who disagrees with its policies and aims regarding abortion, nor does it do so for Democrats who say they are against the party’s proabortion program. No candidate for office – at any level – who is a Democrat no matter if he or she denies  individual support of intrinsic evil –  can negate the Party’s involvement in, advocacy of,  and promotion of intrinsic evil.  Therefore, a vote for any Democrat at any level of government is a vote on behalf of the Party’s program, goals, platform, policies, and agenda and a vote for its agenda of abortion.

Q. So is it a mortal sin to vote for any Democrat?

A. Yes, it is a mortal sin to vote for any Democrat.

 

This Voting catechism also deals with the racism of the democrats:

DEMOCRATIC PARTY –  PARTY OF RACISM

PARTY OF BLACK & HISPANIC GENOCIDE

Q. Does the Democratic party advance racism and racist policies?

A. Yes. The Democratic Party is a racist organization because it advocates and promotes abortion businesses that perform abortions for racist motives, such as Planned Parenthood, an organization founded on principles of eugenics and racial superiority, which intentionally locates about 70% of its locations in or near minority neighborhoods and is on record as willing to accept donations used for the killing of minority babies who be killed by abortions at Planned Parenthood abortion business locations. The Democratic Party has seen to it that millions of taxpayer dollars have been paid to Planned Parenthood and other abortion businesses, knowing full well that this money will be and has been used for racist purposes.  For these reasons, the Democratic Party is the “Party Of Racism.”

Q. What if I do not vote for a Democrat so that its racist agenda, programs, and policies will be successful, or so that minority preborn babies will be killed – even though I know my vote will result in this  racism – but I vote for a Democrat to achieve some other good, such as the reduction of poverty, the end of war, a fair economic system, or just treatment of illegal aliens?

A. Since racism is an intrinsic evil, none of the other goods you list can change this evil and none of the other goods you list can be used to outweigh or negate this evil. So, again, in this situation, you will commit mortal sin.

Q. So is it a mortal sin to vote for any Democrat?

A. Yes, it is a mortal sin to vote for any Democrat.

 

Despite the fact that all this is known and has been published;  despite the clear teachings of the Church; and despite the revelations about the living evil that is many of the highest ranking clergy in America; the  priests, pastors, bishops and cardinals who support the democrat party will, somehow, say to the faithful this Fall and in Fall 2020 “you can, in good conscience, vote for a democrat.”  Nothing will stop them because they saw what happened in 2016 – from their vantage point they failed. More than half the catholic voters voted non-democrat.

Each time they speak for a democrat, whether it be outright endorsement or an attack on a republican running against a democrat they support, they must be openly and vigorously opposed. Each time some well-meaning catholic or some yellow-dog democrat (whether family member or not) says that the Church says you can vote for a democrat, they must be publicly and openly corrected.

44

Trump Is Doing His Worst to Make Me Regret My Vote

This is an appalling tweet by Trump:

 

 

Our relationship with Russia has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of U.S. foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!

I hope he doesn’t really believe this, and it is a typical Trump tweet based on emotion and blowing off steam and rarely on fact.  The ironic thing of course is that Trump is following in the footsteps of Obama who spent most of his administration kissing up to Putin:

If the Trump administration comes a cropper it will be due to his belief that he can shmooze dictators.

7

Deep State at War With US

Democrat pollster Mark Penn, Clinton’s chief strategist and pollster during her 2008 run for the Democrat nomination for President, lays it out for us:

 

I’ve seen President Clinton deny he had a relationship with “that woman, Miss Lewinsky.” I’ve seen President Obama assure people they will get to keep their doctor under ObamaCare. And I’ve seen former press secretary Sean Spicer declare that President Trump’s inaugural crowd was larger than Obama’s.

But these falsehoods pale in comparison to the performances of a series of “deep state” witnesses who have combined chutzpah with balderdash, culminating so far in the testimony of FBI agent Peter Strzok.

Let’s review just some of the highlights.

Former FBI Director James Comey maintained he did not make any decision on the email investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton until after Hillary Clinton’s interview, even though his conclusion memo was written, edited and watered down months in advance of his announcement. We have all of the timing, the drafts of the memo, and the dates and times of the edits.

Former CIA head John Brennan denied he supplied the Steele dossier on Trump to then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in the face of mounting evidence that he did precisely that and, at least orally, gave the former Nevada Democrat a full account of the dossier, leading Reid to write a public letter demanding an investigation.

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe has flatly denied that he lied to the FBI about orchestrating a self-serving leak, even denying knowledge in several interviews with FBI investigators, including one session that Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General Michael Horowitz has on tape, if one reads the fine print of his report.

Now comes Strzok who, to the actual applause of congressional Democrats, denies he ever did anything in 26 years that contained even a hint of bias, despite the most damning evidence imaginable in the record — quote after quote indicating, at each and every phase of the Trump-Russia investigation, that he hated Trump, would create an “insurance policy” against his victory, and would “stop” him from serving as president. On a trip to Walmart, he says he can “smell” the Trump voters there. After all, he said, he expected his texts would be private communications — even as he used government devices to avoid detection of his relationship with then-FBI attorney Lisa Page, with whom he texted.

And like all the other witnesses, he does not come in contrite but with verbal guns blazing. These witnesses seem to believe they belong to a protected class. He offered no proof that he carefully acted to separate these views — which he constantly expressed to his paramour Page, who also was on the investigation — from his actions that are now under investigation. It is false, by the way, to say he was cleared of bias in the Trump-Russia investigation; the inspector general faulted Strzok’s texts and is currently investigating the origins of that investigation.

Remarkably, we learned that special counsel Robert Mueller never even made the slightest direct inquiry into Strzok’s actions and behavior, other than to remove him from the investigation. Mueller, you may recall, for five months ducked answering congressional inquiries as to why Strzok and Page were reassigned, and we only learned the reasons when the DOJ inspector general sent these text messages to Congress. Mueller, it seems, was too busy combing every single email of the transition team, and later monitoring every single call of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, to stop and review how this bias might have tainted much of the evidence of his investigation and require new interviews of witnesses or other action.

One other revelation in Thursday’s congressional hearing was really quite stunning: Strzok named fellow FBI official Bruce Ohr, whose wife was hired by the political opposition research firm Fusion GPS, as someone who handed in a version of the Steele dossier to the FBI. And Congressman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) read from an email indicating that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), journalist David Corn of Mother Jones magazine and Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson all had sent versions of the Steele dossier to the FBI. (Simpson, by the way, testified he never dealt with the FBI.) At that point, just as it was getting interesting, Strzok claimed the FBI was barring him from answering any further questions on this material.

 

Go here to read the rest.  There is a threat to the our Republic but it isn’t Trump.

 

 

12

Freedom of Speech is a Wonderful Thing to the Shock of our Bishops

For these reasons, States and public-sector unions may no longer extract agency fees from nonconsenting employ­ ees. Under Illinois law, if a public-sector collective-bargaining agreement includes an agency-fee provision and the union certifies to the employer the amount of the fee, that amount is automatically deducted from the non­ member’s wages. §315/6(e). No form of employee consents required.
This procedure violates the First Amendment and can­not continue. Neither an agency fee nor any other pay­ment to the union may be deducted from a nonmember’swages, nor may any other attempt be made to collect such a payment, unless the employee affirmatively consents to pay. By agreeing to pay, nonmembers are waiving their First Amendment rights, and such a waiver cannot be presumed.

Justice Samuel Alito, majority decision, JANUS v.AMERICAN FEDERATION OF STATE,COUNTY, AND MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES, COUNCIL 31, ET AL

It will not surprise faithful readers of this blog to learn that the USCCB was on the side of Unions coercing dues from unwillling employees.  Go here to read about it.

One of the highly watched cases of the Supreme Court’s current session, Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31, has sparked such passion that some 73 interested parties have filed amicus briefs in the matter. Among the most unusual is a brief by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops urging the court to rule against Mark Janus, an Illinois state employee who claims that a law requiring him to pay AFSCME an “agency” fee violates his rights. In an unusual move, a prominent bishop, Thomas John Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield, Illinois, has publicly disavowed the conference’s position, arguing that no consensus exists among Catholics regarding an issue “on which reasonable people can disagree.” Several Catholic scholars have also contested the bishops’ arguments, especially the prelates’ startling suggestion that a ruling for Janus would “marginalize” the church’s voice on public-policy debates in the same way that the Court’s decisions on abortion and same-sex marriage have done. The Court heard arguments in Janus on February 26 and will issue a ruling before the end of its term in June.

A social worker, Janus has sued to overturn a state law requiring him to pay AFSCME a fee to represent him, even though he had declined to join the union. He has asked the court to reverse a 1977 decision, Abood v. Detroit Federation of Teachers, which upheld state laws that give government unions the right to collect fees from nonmembers in a workplace where collective bargaining is in place. Janus contends that the activities of a government union, including collective bargaining, are political by their very nature, and that the union fee compels him to finance ideas with which he disagrees. If Janus prevails, it would likely mean the institution of right-to-work laws—prohibiting labor unions and employers from making union membership a condition of employment—across the public sector in the United States.

The bishops’ brief begins by citing the Catholic Church’s longstanding “commitment to protect both the poor and vulnerable from exploitation.” Unions, the brief observes, accomplish those aims by defending worker rights. In America, the church has a long history of supporting private labor unions, especially those composed of immigrant Catholic workers, such as the nineteenth-century Knights of Labor. At a time when many within the Church feared unions as “secret societies,” Baltimore Cardinal James Gibbons, a staunch supporter of the Knights, is thought to have persuaded the Vatican that unions could be instrumental in Church efforts to help the poor. Pope Leo XIII subsequently defended unions in his 1891 encyclical Rerum Novarum. “To enter into a ‘society’ of this kind is the natural right of man,” he maintained.

The Janus case, however, applies only to public-sector unions. Janus’s fundamental argument is that, unlike dues paid by a worker to a private union to support bargaining between laborers and an employer, the fees that he must pay “subsidize AFSCME’s efforts to compel the State of Illinois to bend to the union’s will.” That makes the act of collective bargaining political in nature, as Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito observed in Knox v. SEIU: “[A] public-sector union takes many positions during collective bargaining that have powerful political and civic consequences.”

The bishops justify their interest in Janus by contending that the lawsuit is somehow meant to “lay the foundation” for extending right-to-work nationally to private-sector unions—a dubious claim for which the brief offers no legal rationale. Bradley Lewis, a political philosopher at the Catholic University of America, observes that while the bishops’ brief “cites many passages in classic [social] encyclicals . . . none of them refer to public-sector unions nor do they concern mandatory agency fees.”

What seems like the bishops’ effort to bend over backward to support AFSCME rankles critics like Bishop Paprocki because government unions are among the most socially liberal labor organizations, using their considerable resources—generated by compelled dues—to fight against the church on issues that have little to do with representing workers. “I don’t know specifically what Janus’ objections are regarding the union’s political work, but the public-sector union supports abortion and donates to Planned Parenthood,” Paprocki has said. In 2014, the union gave $400,000 to the organization’s PAC, which works to elect pro-abortion candidates.

The USCCB can always be relied upon to view the Catholic Church in the US as the Democrat Party at prayer.

 

 

11

PopeWatch: Population Conspiracy?

PopeWatch is always skeptical of conspiracy theories but this is intriguing:

 

ROME, July 7, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — The demographic collapse of the West in recent decades was planned in order to create the necessary conditions to usher in a New World Order, and the authors of this collapse are now influencing the Vatican at the highest levels, the former president of the Vatican bank has said.

Speaking at the first international conference of the John Paul II academy for human life and the family, Italian economist and banker Ettore Gotti Tedeschi said efforts to decrease the world’s population by globalist elites have set in motion a series of predictable and intended economic, geo-political, and social catastrophes meant to “persuade” people around the world to accept a global “political vision” that would eliminate national sovereignty and institute “gnostic environmentalism” as its “universal religion.”

The recurrent themes of the present papacy are poverty, immigration and the environment, and we are led to believe that these are caused by “the greed of bankers,” war and man, the “cancer of nature,” he said. But this is “fake news” according to Gotti Tedeschi. For him, the cause behind all of these scourges is the “collapse in births.” 

The people pushing this fake news, he said, are “gnostic prophets” such as population control proponents Paul Ehrlich, Jeffrey Sachs and Ban Ki-moon who, rejecting the natural law and the divine order of creation, seek to proselytize the world with their “anti-Catholic gnosis.” 

According to Gotti Tedeschi, the “greatest enemy” of the New World Order is the family because it provides “education, autonomy and independence” from the state. Its second enemy is the Catholic Church, he said, and yet these gnostic prophets are “rewriting genesis in the halls of the Vatican.”

 

Go here to read the rest.  Well this would certainly help explain why Ehrlich was invited to speak at the Vatican, go here to read about it, not to mention the Pope’s “breeding like rabbits” slur.  The Pope and the men around him are almost indistinguishable from the secular elites they rub shoulders with each day, and it is not shocking to assume they regard population growth as anathema even while we are in a time of plunging birth rates around most of the globe.  Alternatively, if Tedeschi is a nut, what does it say about how the Vatican does business that he was head of the Vatican Bank from 2009-2012?

 

 

3

Springfield Book Haul

As usual my family and I took our annual July excursion down to Springfield to visit the Lincoln Museum and to pray for the repose of Mr. Lincoln’s soul at his tomb.  My son outside the tomb lifted up a little girl who was trying to reach the nose of Lincoln’s bust outside of the tomb so she could rub it for luck.  Thus are bits of Lincoln lore passed down the generations.  As usual I purchased books at the Museum and at the Prairie Archives bookstore.

 

 

  1. Stanton, Walter Stahr (2017)-Lincoln’s Secretary of War is one of those major figures of the Civil War who, for one reason or another, never seem to attract scholarly attention.  The research on Stanton has been truly meager, considering his importance, and hopefully this volume will spur further study of Lincoln’s “Mars”.
  2. Lincoln in the Atlantic World, Louise L. Stevenson (2015)- A look at how Lincoln incorporated knowledge from abroad both before and during his Presidency.  I will need some convincing here.  Few presidents have been more consumed by domestic considerations than Lincoln, and few presidents have been more completely focused throughout their careers on the US than Lincoln.
  3. Lincoln’s Greatest Journey, Noah Andre Trudeau (2016)- A veteran Civil War historian puts under the microscope the sixteen days that Lincoln spent with Grant at the headquarters of the Army of the Potomac at the tail end of the War.
  4. Our One Common Country, James B. Conroy (2014)- A look at the abortive peace conference on February 3, 1865 which demonstrated why the Civil War was fought:  no grounds for compromise existed between the warring parties.
  5. Grant Rises in the West, Kenneth P. Williams, (1952, 1956)-Williams died of cancer in 1958 before he could complete his five volume study, Lincoln Finds a General.  These two volumes look at Grant up through the siege of Vicksburg.  Grant was fortunate that he had a few years to master the trade of being a general before he faced Lee in the Overland Campaign of 1864.
  6. Hitler:  The Man and the Military Leader, Percy Ernst Schramm (1963-English translation 1970)-In the very top echelon of German medievalists prior to World War II, Schramm, with the rank of Major, served as staff diarist for the German General Staff during the War and had daily access to the High Command.
  7. A History of the Habsburg Empire 1526-1918 (1974)-How this rattletrap collection of odds and ends survived as an empire as long as it did is one of the miracles of European history.  Compare and contrast the immensely powerful Second Reich that endured from 1871-1918.
  8. Lawrence of Arabia, Jeremy Wilson (1990)- The authorized, by his then surviving brother, biography of T.E. Lawrence.  New studies of Lawrence show up regularly and I doubt if there will ever be one that can be claimed to be definitive.  Lawrence was a fabulist (liar) of the first order, and loved telling conflicting versions of events in his life, and that greatly increases the work of any biographer.  Additionally, the people who came into contact with Lawrence often had quite different recollections than those set down by Lawrence.  Lawrence was a scholar and artist pretending to be a great warrior and prophet of Arab nationalism, and the pretense seems to have caused him to become somewhat detached from reality.  A deeply strange man who still eludes biographers down to the present.

 

0

July 15, 1918: Second Battle of the Marne Begins

 

On July 15, 1918, the Germans began what would be their final offensive on the Western front in World War I.  The attack on the French Fourth Army east of Reims was stopped on the first day by fierce French in depth resistance.  The attack on the Sixth Army west of Reims fared better, making a breakthrough across the south bank of the River Marne.  Reinforced by British forces and 85,000 American troops, the French Sixth Army brought the German  offensive to a grinding halt on July 17.

The Germans had shot their bolt and now it was time for the Allies to launch a counteroffensive with twenty-four French divisions, four British divisions, two Italian divisions and eight American divisions.  (The American divisions were twice the size of British and French divisions and thus were the equivalent of sixteen French divisions.)  The counter-offensive was a complete success capturing 800 artillery pieces, 30,000 German troops and inflicting an additional 139,000 German casualties.  French observers highly praised the American troops for their elan and their willingness to accept high casualties in order to take ground.  German reports noted defects in American attacks due to inexperience, but also routinely mentioned that the Americans fought with great tenacity and courage.  Here is an extract from General Pershing’s report on the battle:

 

 

The enemy had encouraged his soldiers to believe that the July 15th attack would conclude the war with a German peace.

Although he made elaborate plans for the operation, he failed to conceal fully his intentions, and the front of attack was suspected at least one week ahead.

On the Champagne front the actual hour for the assault was known and the enemy was checked with heavy losses. The 42nd Division entered the line near Somme Py immediately, and five of its infantry battalions and all its artillery became engaged.

Southwest of Rheims and along the Marne to the east of Chateau-Thierry the Germans were at first somewhat successful, a penetration of eight kilometres beyond the river being effected against the French immediately to the right of our 3rd Division.

The following quotation from the report of the Commanding General 3rd Division gives the result of the fighting on his front:

Although the rush of the German troops overwhelmed some of the front-line positions, causing the infantry and machine-gun companies to suffer, in some cases a 50 per cent loss, no German soldier crossed the road from Fossoy to Crezancy, except as a prisoner of war, and by noon of the following day (July 16th) there were no Germans in the foreground of the 3rd Division sector except the dead.

On this occasion a single regiment of the 3rd Division wrote one of the most brilliant pages in our military annals. It prevented the crossing at certain points on its front, while on either flank the Germans who had gained a footing pressed forward. Our men, firing in three sections, met the German attacks with counter-attacks at critical points and succeeded in throwing two German divisions into complete confusion, capturing 600 prisoners.

The Marne salient was inherently weak and offered an opportunity for a counter-offensive that was obvious. If successful, such an operation would afford immediate relief to the Allied defence, would remove the threat against Paris and free the Paris-Nancy railroad.

But, more important than all else, it would restore the morale of the Allies and remove the profound depression and fear then existing.

Up to this time our units had been put in here and there at critical points, as emergency troops to stop the terrific German advance. In every trial, whether on the defensive or offensive, they had proved themselves equal to any troops in Europe.

As early as June 23rd and again on July 10th at Bombon, I had very strongly urged that our best divisions be concentrated under American command, if possible, for use as a striking force against the Marne salient.

Although the prevailing view among the Allies was that American units were suitable only for the defensive, and that at all events they could be used to better advantage under Allied command, the suggestion was accepted in principle, and my estimate of their offensive fighting qualities was soon put to the test.

The selection by the Germans of the Champagne sector and the eastern and southern faces of the Marne pocket on which to make their offensive was fortunate for the Allies, as it favoured the launching of the counter-attack already planned. There were now over 1,200,000 American troops in France, which provided a considerable force of reserves.

Every American division with any sort of training was made available for use in a counter-offensive.

General Petain’s initial plan for the counter-attack involved the entire western face of the Marne salient. The First and Second American Divisions, with the First French Moroccan Division between them, were employed as the spearhead of the main attack, driving directly eastward, through the most sensitive portion of the German lines, to the heights south of Soissons.

The advance began on July 18th, without the usual brief warning of a preliminary bombardment, and these three divisions at a single bound broke through the enemy’s infantry defences and overran his artillery, cutting or interrupting the German communications leading into the salient.

A general withdrawal from the Marne was immediately begun by the enemy, who still fought stubbornly to prevent disaster.

The First Division, throughout four days of constant fighting, advanced 11 kilometres, capturing Berzy-le-Sec and the heights above Soissons and taking some 3,500 prisoners and 68 field guns from the 7 German divisions employed against it. It was relieved by a British division.

The Second Division advanced 8 kilometres in the first 26 hours, and by the end of the second day was facing Tigny, having captured 3,000 prisoners and 66 field guns. It was relieved the night of the 19th by a French division.

The result of this counter-offensive was of decisive importance. Due to the magnificent dash and power displayed on the field of Soissons by our First and Second Divisions the tide of war was definitely turned in favour of the Allies.

Other American divisions participated in the Marne counter-offensive. A little to the south of the Second Division, the Fourth was in line with the French and was engaged until July 22nd. The First American Corps, Maj. Gen. Hunter Liggett commanding, with the Twenty-sixth Division and a French division, acted as a pivot of the movement toward Soissons, capturing Torcy on the 18th and reaching the Chateau-Thierry-Soissons road on the 21st.

At the same time the Third Division crossed the Marne and took the heights of Mont St. Pere and the villages of Charteves and Jaulgonne.

In the First Corps, the Forty-second Division relieved the Twenty-sixth on July 25th and extended its front, on the 26th relieving the French division. From this time until August 2nd it fought its way through the Forest de Fere and across the Ourcq, advancing toward the Vesle until relieved by the Fourth Division on August 3rd.

Early in this period elements of the Twenty-eighth Division participated in the advance.

Farther to the east the Third Division forced the enemy back to Roncheres Wood, where it was relieved on July 30th by the Thirty-second Division from the Vosges front. The Thirty-second, after relieving the Third and some elements of the Twenty-eighth on the line of the Ourcq River, advanced abreast of the Forty-second toward the Vesle.

On August 3rd it passed under control of our Third Corps, Maj. Gen. Robert L. Bullard commanding, which made its first appearance in battle at this time, while the Fourth Division took up the task of the Forty-second Division and advanced with the Thirty-second to the Vesle River, where, on August 6th, the operation for the reduction of the Marne salient terminated.

In the hard fighting from July 18th to August 6th the Germans were not only halted in their advance but were driven back from the Marne to the Vesle and committed wholly to the defensive.

The force of American arms had been brought to bear in time to enable the last offensive of the enemy to be crushed.

 

6

High Flight

Something for the weekend.  High Flight.  One hundred years ago on Bastille Day 1918, Lieutenant Quentin Roosevelt, youngest child of President Theodore Roosevelt, died in combat at 20 years old.  He shared with his father a brilliant mind, an exuberant spirit and the ability to make countless friends wherever he went.  All of Roosevelt’s  four sons served in combat in World War I, a true Lion’s Brood.

Captain Eddie Rickenbacker, America’s World War I Ace of Aces, knew Roosevelt and described him in his memoirs:

 

“As President Roosevelt’s son he had rather a difficult task to fit himself in with the democratic style of living which is necessary in the intimate life of an aviation camp. Every one who met him for the first time expected him to have the airs and superciliousness of a spoiled boy. This notion was quickly lost after the first glimpse one had of Quentin. Gay, hearty and absolutely square in everything he said or did, Quentin Roosevelt was one of the most popular fellows in the group. We loved him purely for his own natural self.

“He was reckless to such a degree that his commanding officers had to caution him repeatedly about the senselessness of his lack of caution. His bravery was so notorious that we all knew he would either achieve some great spectacular success or be killed in the attempt. Even the pilots in his own flight would beg him to conserve himself and wait for a fair opportunity for a victory. But Quentin would merely laugh away all serious advice.”

 

 

He had his crowded hour, he died at the crest of life, in the glory of the dawn.

Theodore Roosevelt on his son Quentin

 

 

On July 14, Roosevelt and three other American flyers were jumped by seven German planes:

 

September 5, 1918

FATHER DEAR,: –

You asked me if I knew Quentin Roosevelt. Yes, I knew him very well indeed, and had been associated with him ever since I came to France and he was one of the finest and most courageous boys I ever knew. I was in the fight when he was shot down and saw the whole thing.

Four of us were out on an early patrol and we had just crossed the lines looking for Boche observation machines, when we ran into seven Fokker Chasse planes. They had the altitude and the advantage of the Sun on us. It was very cloudy and there was a strong wind blowing us farther across the lines all the time. The leader of our formation turned and tried to get back out, but they attacked before we reached the lines, and in a few seconds had completely broken up our formation and the fight developed into a general free-for-all. I tried to keep an eye on all our fellows but we were hopelessly separated and out-numbered nearly two to one. About a half a mile away I saw one of our planes with three Boche on him, and he seemed to be having a pretty hard time with them, so I shook the two I was maneuvering with and tried to get over to him, but before I could reach him, his machine turned over on its back and plunged down out of control. I realized it was too late to be of any assistance and as none of our machines were in sight, I made for a bank of clouds to try to gain altitude on the Huns, and when I came back out, they had reformed, but there were only six of them, so I believe we must have gotten one.

I waited around about ten minutes to see if I could pickup any of our fellows, but they had disappeared, so I came on home, dodging from cloud to cloud for fear of running into another Boche formation. Of course, at the time of the fight I did not know who the pilot was I had seen go down, but as Quentin did not come back, it must have been him. His loss was one of the severest blows we have ever had in the Squadron, but he certainly died fighting, for any one of us could have gotten away as soon as the scrap started with the clouds as they were that morning. I have tried several times to write to Col. Roosevelt but it is practically impossible for me to write a letter of condolence, but if I am lucky enough to get back to the States, I expect to go to see him.

Edward Buford

His German foes buried him with full military honors and paid tribute to his valor:

 

“The aviator of the American Squadron, Quentin Roosevelt, in trying to break through the airzone over the Marne, met the death of a hero. A formation of seven German airplanes, while crossing the Marne, saw in the neighborhood of Dormans a group of twelve American fighting airplanes and attacked them. A lively air battle began, in which one American (Quentin) in particular persisted in attacking. The principal feature of the battle consisted in an air duel between the American and a German fighting pilot named Sergeant Greper. After a short struggle, Greper succeeded in bringing the brave American just before his gun-sights. After a few shots the plane apparently got out of his control; the American began to fall and struck the ground near the village of Chamery, about ten kilometers north of the Marne. The American flier was killed by two shots through the head. Papers in his pocket showed him to be Quentin Roosevelt, of the United States army. His effects are being taken care of in order to be sent to his relatives. He was buried by German aviators with military honors.”

His parents were of course devastated.  Theodore Roosevelt never completely recovered from the shock and it may have hastened his death.  However, he kept his private grief private and issued this statement to the press:  “Quentin’s mother and I are very glad that he got to the front and had the chance to render some service to his country and to show the stuff that was in him before his fate befell him.”  Quentin’s mother summed up Quentin’s life when he went off to the War:  “It was hard when Quentin went. But you can’t bring up boys to be eagles, and expect them to turn out sparrows.”

 

 

 

12

PopeWatch: Democratic Socialism

News missed by PopeWatch courtesy of The Babylon Bee:

 

You can’t go into a Whole Foods or indie record store without hearing somebody talk about it: democratic socialism. Is it a radical new idea that we should try out in our nation, or is it an old idea with the word “democratic” stapled to the front to make it sound more palatable? Find out in this handy explainer from your friends at The Babylon Bee:

What is Democratic Socialism?

Democratic Socialism is a growing movement in America promising every citizen the most basic human rights, including but not limited to free healthcare, a government-guaranteed job making at least $15 per hour, free college tuition, guaranteed housing, broadband internet access, and cage-free vegan lattes.

How would the government pay for all of that?

By rightfully appropriating money from terrible, evil, oppressive, hardworking, enterprising citizens who have earned wealth via the dreaded free market economy that has led to unprecedented human flourishing. Governments are known for being the most efficient spenders of money, and so surely would do an excellent job as stewards of your wealth—err, we mean, the public’s wealth.

Isn’t it immoral to take most of the money people earn?

No—actually, it’s the right thing to do. People with money only got that money because of inherent privilege, racism, sexism, bigotry, homophobia, transphobia, patriarchy, and all kinds of other unfair power structures and phobias. You know what, we’re a little concerned with all the questions you’re asking here. It sounds like someone needs to spend a little more time in a democratic re-education loyalty center! KILL THE KULAKS!

How does Democratic Socialism differ from just “Socialism”?

It has the word “Democratic” in front of it, you see, which means it is achieved by promoting identity politics, stoking class warfare, and cranking that entitlement mentality up to 11, instead of literal violent overthrow of the government. Besides, voting for the government to seize people’s wealth is totally different from the government deciding to do so on their own, right? Err… uh… DID WE MENTION YOU GET FREE STUFF?? Say it with us: Socialism good, Democratic Socialism better!

It seems like if you try to run the numbers, there’s just no way Democratic Socialism is a fiscally feasible form of government.

“Run the numbers”? “Fiscally feasible”? Have you been paying attention, like, at all? Do you want free money, or are you part of the problem? YOU GET FREE MONEY, AND YOU GET FREE MONEY—ERRYBODY GETS FREE MONEEEEEEEEEEEY!!!

Go here to read the rest.  PopeWatch is stunned to realize that the same people who write for The Bee must also write economic policy statements for the Vatican.  That explains a lot!

 

1

Ten Years of TAC: Bastille Day and the Transformative Power of History

(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 July 14, 2012.)

 

 

Something for the weekend.   The La Marseillaise scene from Casablanca.  Today is Bastille Day, the great national holiday in France, the equivalent our Independence Day.  In France it is known as La Fête Nationale, the National Celebration, or Le quatorze juillet, the fourteenth of July, rather like Independence Day is often known here as the fourth of July.  There the similarities end.  Although almost all Americans look back at the American Revolution with pride, many of us dedicated to the great truths embodied in the Declaration of Independence, the French Revolution is looked upon much more ambiguously in France.

Bastille Day recalls an event July 14, 1789 in which the mob of Paris, joined by mutinous French troops, stormed the Bastille, a fortress-prison in Paris which had in the past held political prisoners.  The Bastille fell to the mob after a fight in which some ninety-eight attackers and one defender were killed.  After the fighting, in an ominous sign of what was to come in the French Revolution, the mob massacred the governor of the prison and seven of the defenders.  The Bastille held a grand total of seven inmates at the time of its fall, none of political significance.

So began the Revolution which promised Liberty, Equality and Fraternity in theory and delivered in practice, Tyranny, Wars and Death, with France embarked on a witches’ dance of folly which would end at Waterloo, after almost a quarter of a century of war which would leave Europe drenched in blood.  Edmund Burke at the beginning of this madness, in 1790, saw clearly where all this would lead:

18

Contempt

I have spent a good part of the last 35 years asking questions of witnesses and listening to their answers.  Many of these witnesses have been hostile to the side I was representing in civil or criminal cases, and occasionally the process of asking and answering has been contentious, and sometimes acrimonious.  However, in all those years I have never encountered a witness as arrogant, and mendacious, as FBI agent Peter Strzok.  He is a perfect representative of the Deep State, with nothing but contempt for the Congress and for Americans who have different political opinions than he embraces.  That he is a high ranking member of a Federal agency with the powers of the FBI should frighten every American with the slightest concern for civil liberties, especially our greatest civil liberty, the right to rule ourselves.

 

 

6

Stop Imposing Your Catholicism on Those Poor People!

News that I missed courtesy of The Babylon Bee:

 

WASHINGTON, D.C.—In an alarming show of religious extremism and complete disregard for the separation of church and state, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was spotted by news reporters serving food to the homeless.

Kavanaugh performed the frightening display of religious devotion alongside an organized group of radicalized Catholics, whose extremist mission appears to be helping the needy. Local news crews leaped out of the bushes and caught him in the act, asking him, “What do you have to say for yourself, BIGOT?”

“It is disturbing that a SCOTUS nominee can so flagrantly practice his faith in the public sphere without fear of reprisal,” read an opinion piece published on Politico. “We want justices who don’t have an inherent bias for lifting up the poor and enacting mercy and, well, you know—justice.”

The writer went on to compare the Catholic judge’s actions to “something out of The Handmaid’s Tale,” stating that if the United States doesn’t start vetting judges for extremist positions like being a member of one of the world’s largest religions, “we will soon be living in a theonomy.”

Go here to read the rest. Nothing, absolutely nothing, is more threatening to so many vested interests in this country than a believing Christian.

17

If God can build a wall, why can’t we?

The diagram above is that of an animal cell.  I want to talk about the wall of that cell, the cell membrane,  designed by God:

  • to keep good stuff inside the cell;
  • to keep bad stuff outside the cell;
  • to manage traffic for necessary supplies to come inside the cell;
  • to manage traffic for stuff the cell wants to export to the outside, the organism.

If any of you readers see a parallel between the cell wall (shown in more detail below) and the projected wall that President Trump wants to build on our southern border, good on you!  Here’s a diagram of that cell wall, a phospholipid bilayer:

cell membrane diagram; note the phospholipid bilayer, the channels and gates composed of proteins and the guard proteins on the cell wall.
from Wikimedia Commons

There are sentinels and guards on the wall, proteins to act as immune agents;  there are protein channels, gates designed to let the good stuff in and the bad stuff out.

Hey—isn’t that just what a wall on our country’s borders should do?   And if God can design a cell with those functions for molecular biology, what’s wrong with us doing a similar thing for our country?

NOTE

This is a topic not covered in my latest essay (pardon the shameless plug), “Are We Special—The Anthropic Coincidences,” but a lot of other topics in cosmology, laws of physics, earth and planetary sciences, and molecular biology are.

5

PopeWatch: Abandoned Churches

A perfect symbol of this papacy:

That’s why the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Culture, the Italian Bishops’ Conference (CEI) and the Gregorian University in Rome have called for an international congress next November 29-30 called, “Does God not live here anymore? Disposal of places of worship and integrated management of ecclesiastical cultural assets,” to be held at the Jesuit-run campus.

Given the massive scope of Church properties around the world, it comes as no surprise that there’s no exact number of struggling and abandoned churches. Secularization, a decrease in vocations and economic mismanagement have led to significant challenges for many parishes worldwide, and speakers at the press event said that the problem exists in many countries.

“We have registered an extraordinary interest by the bishops of various countries,” Ravasi said.

The congress aims at presenting guidelines on the disposal and reutilizations of the Church’s patrimony. In the next few weeks, delegates from bishops’ conferences in Europe, North America and Oceania will discuss and approve the document.

Go here to read the rest.  One would think that in such a time the Pope would be concentrating on growing the Church, our duty under the Great Commission give to the Church by Christ:

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

Mathew 28: 19

However that seems to be the very last thing the Pope has on his mind.

 

19

Priests and Prelates, Perverts & Predators – What Is a Faithful Catholic To Do?

 

 

A plethora of priestly pedophiles, perverts, and pederasts, are and, for decades, have been attacking, raping, and abusing their victims. Priests, bishops, and cardinals have been hiding their wickedness and their demonic actions from those in the pews, while their enabler bishops and cardinals have shuttled them around the country, and around the world; knowing what they had done and that in many cases, almost certainly, with their new prelate-provided cover, they would do it again, and again, and again.

 

Bishops, archbishops and cardinals, both those guilty of these abuses and those covering up for them, have stolen billions of dollars from the faithful to pay off the victims, who were and are overwhelmingly boys and young men. In the United States alone over four billion dollars have been paid. Their clerical poison has permeated not only parishes and dioceses – by one estimate each and every diocese around the world –  but also the papal palace itself.

 

Now it is expected – based on previously proclaimed and published heresies  – that these same wolves and hirelings are going to welcome a new would-be pseudo-magisterial teaching that those voluntarily engaging in loving homosexual actions, although they do not achieve the perfect ideals of love and of marriage, have a smidgeon of the ideals, enough to make what they do acts of virtue; that, eventually, gradually, they will achieve the ideals.

 

The perverse attempt at new dogma will go on to say that, for those who freely choose to engage in loving homosexual actions, their voluntarily doing so is the will of God Almighty; that the voice of their consciences, telling them “this is not just OK, but virtuous” is the voice of God for them. Never mind that the voice of God for millions of others is directly contradicting this voice that they hear.

 

All the faithful will be required to publicly welcome them and integrate them into the ongoing life of their parish communities, with all the public adulterers already receiving Holy Communion. And those priests and bishops, known to actively and regularly engage in these actions, will smirk, smile and parade (with pride),  their sins each time they walk, or dance, to an altar.

 

What is a faithful catholic to do?

 

Suppose you do not have your own radio talk show. You do not have a regularly syndicated newspaper column or your own internet blog site. You do not write books or articles and you are not a very good public speaker. In the face of all this monstrous priestly perversion and pervasive prelatel evil, what can you do?

 

Those here on God’s good earth for some decades more than half a century will recall a TV show called “The Christophers,” whose theme song included these words:

 

“If everyone lit just one little candle, what a bright world this would be.”

 

Each faithful catholic can light such a “candle” that cannot be extinguished, not by demons and not by the wicked priests, not by the evil bishops. That candle is a single act of goodness, an act of virtue, a freely chosen act that brings into the world a good that was not there before.

 

The first principle of the natural law has often been translated from the original Latin as “Do good, avoid evil.” The Latin verb translated as “do” is the verb “facere,” which can also be translated as “make.” No human being can create in the way God creates from nothing; but each human being can freely choose to do good human actions and, in doing so, can “make” good. (for further discussion, see https://abyssum.org/2015/09/07/is-it-better-to-make-good-than-to-do-good-the-answer-is-yes/)

 

God makes each person in the divine image and likeness, giving each person free will to choose to “make good and avoid evil.”  God also made each person unique (see, e.g. my article “Each Person Is a Divine Revelation, Catholic Lane,” http://www.catholiclane.com/each-person-is-a-divine-revelation/). This means that there is good that each person can “make” that no other person can make.

 

Such good, once made, such an action once done, cannot be un-made or undone. In a sense, such good will be forever. All the powers of evil, demonic and human, within the Church today cannot destroy such a good, once made by a free person. Each such good made by a faithful catholic in today’s world will shine like that “one little candle.”

 

One such act  “makes” good, a small good, but still unique, a good that can bring God back to earth as did the Last Christian in Myles Connolly’s Mr. Blue:

 

 

“On top of that black tower of the devil in the kingdom of the Anti-Christ,” said Blue, “after all those centuries of extermination, there stood a priest in amice and alb, maniple, chasuble, girdle and stole, heir in a noble line of Christ’s servants, clad in their symbols of chastity, charity, honor and faith. The figure of Christ’s cross lay on his back. The anointment of Christ was on his soul. Before him was his altar, his case topped with altar stone and missal and chalice. On it lay the corporal with the wafer he had made from the wheat he had grown. By it stood the two cruets of water and wine. He waited until first there was a streak of light across the east. Then he bowed down before his altar. In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus sancti. Amen. The Mass had begun. He was keeping his promise to bring God back to earth.”

. . . .

“The last Christian,” said Blue fervidly, “was a priest. Can you see that heroic figure in the twilight of the world saying Mass in the citadel of the Anti-Christ?

. . . .

“It was magnificent,” exclaimed Blue as if he were telling of something he saw. “And the while he is making the sign of the cross over the wafer of bread, the powers of the Anti¬-Christ are gathering. He has been seen.

. . . .

“Veni sanctificator omnipotens, aeternae Deus. ‘Come Thou Who makest holy, almighty and eternal God…’ He is beseeching the blessing of the Holy Ghost.”

    The Mass goes on.

    “The Master of the IGW has summoned the marshal of his soldiers. ‘Stop the Mass immediately!’ he commands.

“The marshal reports that planes are speeding to the tower.

 . . . .

“The Master is furious. ‘Bomb the tower. Destroy it.  Demolish it. But stop the Mass!…’

“His face was black,” said Blue. “From his own tower he could see the silhouetted figure bending over his small altar. He tears his flesh in his rage.

“Two, three, four planes are circling above the tower. One drops a huge shell . . . Another bomb falls. Another misses. …

     “But now the priest bows low over his altar. Qui pridie quam pateretur… He begins the words of the consecration, the words that shall change the bread and wine of his altar into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.  “He approaches Christ’s own words at the Last Supper. “One plane is now low over the roof of the tower, so low that the crew can make out the figure of the Cross on the priest’s chasuble. A bomb is made ready. . .

“And now the priest comes to the words that shall bring Christ to earth again. His head almost touches his altar: Hoc est enim corpus meum…

 Blue was whispering. I think he was shivering.

     “The bomb did not drop. No. No. There was a moment of awful silence. Then, a burst of light beside which day itself is dusk. Then, a trumpet peal, a single trumpet peal that shook the universe. Then, the sun blew up like a bubble. The stars and planets vanished like sparks. The earth burst asunder…And through this unspeakably luminous new day, through the vault of the sky ribbed with lightning came Christ as He had come after the Resurrection. It was the end of the world!”

     Blue’s last words were just barely audible.

    “The Kingdom of the Anti-Christ disappeared like ashes in a whirlwind. And hastening up out of their tombs and resting places came the souls of the just, happy, hearty, wholesome, to greet their king.”

     Blue paused. Then he added: “Father White who had been No. 2,757,311 found himself a hero even in heaven.”

 

A single act of goodness can be this “burst of light,” and can initiate this shaking of the universe.

 

George Orwell spent his professional life crusading against totalitarianism in all its forms, but he never dreamed that Jesus’s Church would be infested with the worst sort of totalitarians. His last sentence of Animal Farm about how the pigs could no longer be distinguished from the farmers can be paraphrased today:

 

The faithful outside looked from priest to pedophile, from pedophile to bishop, from bishop to pederast, from pederast to archbishop, from archbishop to pervert, and then from pervert to cardinal; but already it was impossible to say which was which.

5

Quotes Suitable for Framing: Antonin Scalia

It seems to me that the more Christian a country is the less likely it is to regard the death penalty as immoral. Abolition has taken its firmest hold in post-Christian Europe, and has least support in the church-going United States. I attribute that to the fact that, for the believing Christian, death is no big deal. Intentionally killing an innocent person is a big deal: it is a grave sin, which causes one to lose his soul. But losing this life, in exchange for the next? The Christian attitude is reflected in the words Robert Bolt’s play has Thomas More saying to the headsman: ‘Friend, be not afraid of your office. You send me to God’. For the nonbeliever, on the other hand, to deprive a man of his life is to end his existence.

Justice Antonin Scalia, God’s Justice and Ours, 123 First Things 17. (May 2002).

6

PopeWatch: Bye Sacraments

Sandro Magister brings us an article which exposes how the Sacraments are being ejected from the center of the life of the Church:

 

But in this same latest issue of “Catholica” another voice is raised – not of a cardinal, but of a Benedictine monk and talented theologian – that thoroughly analyzes and criticizes what is perhaps the most radical subversion taking place in the Catholicism of today: that which assigns primacy no longer to the sacraments – “culmen et fons” of the Church’s life, according to Vatican Council II – but to ethics.

It is the subversion that underlies, in particular, both the new discipline of communion for the divorced and remarried and “intercommunion” between Catholics and Protestants.

Giulio Meiattini, the author of this critical analysis, has presented it in its most complete form in a book he published at the beginning of this year:

> G. Meiattini OSB, “Amoris laetitia? I sacramenti ridotti a morale”, La Fontana di Siloe, Torino, 2018

While in the interview in the latest issue of “Catholica” he presents its salient passages, the most significant of which are reproduced below.

Fr. Meiattini, a monk of the Benedictine abbey of La Madonna della Scala in Noci, is a professor at the Theological Faculty of Puglia and at the Pontifical Atheneum of St. Anselm in Rome.

*

“AMORIS LAETITIA” AND THE OBLITERATION OF THE SACRAMENTS

by Giulio Meiattini, OSB
(passages selected from the interview in “Catholica” no. 140)

NOT DISCERNMENT, BUT CUNNING

The situation of confusion is evident. Naturally there are those who deny that this is a matter of confusion, maintaining that this is the positive result of a style of ecclesial governance aimed at “initiating processes rather than possessing spaces” (cf. “Evangelii Gaudium” 223). Therefore, the first discernment to be made would be precisely on the nature of this situation: can confusion, disagreement among bishops on sensitive doctrinal points, be fruits of the Spirit? To me it seems not. To discern also means understanding if it is appropriate or not to initiate processes in certain fields, and also with what timing, modalities, and objectives.

Let us observe, for example, the manner in which the new discipline for the “divorced and remarried” was reached.

After Cardinal Kasper’s talk at the consistory had prepared the terrain so to speak, the two synods, with an intermediate year of heated discussions, were unable to give rise to a common approach on the problem discussed. Those who read the accounts of the “circuli minores” of the 2015 synod realize very well that on the point in question there was not a shared perspective.

But one thing is clear: that a large majority of the fathers had not developed the conviction to change the traditional discipline. So much so that the authors of the “Relatio finalis,” on the controversial point, took care not to introduce innovations.

But – here is another small step – they drafted formulas of an indefinite tone that, while not providing for access to the sacraments, changed the atmosphere so to speak. Thus the “non-opposition” to those hesitant formulas (which had trouble getting two thirds of the votes) was enough to allow another subsequent small step: a couple of ambiguous little footnotes in “Amoris Laetitia,” which do not affirm or deny but hint at a certain direction.

This further passage smashed the interpretive boundaries, until in the autumn of 2017 – another step – there came the pope’s official approval of the “Criteria” of the bishops of the region of Buenos Aires on chapter VIII of “Amoris Laetitia.”

But these criteria, if one is honest, are not a simple interpretation of “Amoris Laetitia.” They add and say things that are not to be found in “Amoris Laetitia” and that, above all, had never been approved at the synods and never would have been. […]

Thus, through small successive steps, over the course of three years a very large one was made and the discipline was slowly changed, but certainly not in a synodal manner, in my view.

I may be wrong, but this “modus operandi” is not discernment, but rather cunning. In place of reasonable and open debate (the famous “dubia” have never received a response!), the strategy of persuasion and of the fait accompli took hold.

FAITH REDUCED TO ETHICS

Among the ethical demands and the sacramental foundation of Christian existence, the center is undoubtedly the sacrament, which is the communication to the believer of the grace that saves, and, in that it is welcomed by and transforms man, is also an act of glorification, doxology. […] Ethics is neither the first word not the last.

In “Amoris Laetitia,” however, the opposite logic is followed: the starting points are categories taken from the natural law and principles of general ethics (attenuating factors, the relationship between universal norm and subjective situation, non-imputability, etc.), and from these major premises are drawn the consequences for the pastoral practice of the sacraments.

In this way, the dimension of the symbolic and the sacramental, which should anchor, embrace, and transcend the moral sphere, loses its significance and becomes a mere appendix to ethics. […] The demonstration is given by the fact that in concrete terms the sin of adultery loses its public significance linked to the testimonial aspect of the sacrament, and can be remitted in the “internal forum” without any need to explain before the community why a spouse who publicly contradicts the sacramental sign of fidelity should publicly receive the Eucharist.

In short, the result of the decisions of “Amoris Laetitia” is the reduction of the sacramental to the moral, meaning of faith to ethics, which to me does not seem to be a mere question of pastoral practice. What is at stake here is something essential to the nature of Christianity.

A “TREMENDOUS BURDEN”?

I sincerely do not understand how a bishop, above all that of Rome, could write phrases of this kind: “There is no need to lay upon two limited persons the tremendous burden of having to reproduce perfectly the union existing between Christ and his Church” (“Amoris Laetitia” 122).

Here is the glaring exemplification of what I stated before in a general way: if the evangelical ethic is isolated from the sacrament and reduced to a general norm it becomes “a tremendous burden,” like the Mosaic law, instead of “an easy yoke and a light burden.” Whatever happened, in this perspective, to the transformative effect of the sacrament? […] So then we could ask ourselves whether the encouragement of bearing witness to faith in Christ to the point of bloodshed is not an even more tremendous burden, not to be placed on the shoulders of the people. […]

One arrives at this point only if one is accustomed to conceiving of Christianity – perhaps without fully realizing it – as ethics.

 

Go here to read the rest.  Take the Sacraments from Catholicism and what is left is not Catholicism.

9

Mendacity and the Left

One Catholic blog I check in with on a regular basis is Est Quod Est.  On Monday, Pauli, the blog proprietor, had a post which gave a fine example of how the social media Left operates:

 

Mark Shea Attributes Inner City Violence to Trump and the Ku Klux Klan

In a recent public post on Facebook, Catholic commentator Mark Shea used the euphemistic spelling of America as AmeriKKKa — indicative of the Ku Klux Klan — to make point about anti-immigrant, racial violence. To this remark, a commenter points out that the man of Mexican heritage was attacked by a black person.

“AmeriKKKa? The attackers were black.”

I checked out the claim and discovered that the commenter was correct. This seems to be a good illustration of posting before you have fully thought through the implications of your assertions. I can type the words Trump’s AmeriKKKa in about 2 seconds, Whereas watching the full video took me several minutes. It is possible that Mark Shea did not even watch the video which would explain why he imagined white Southerners committing the crime.

Furthermore we are informed that this is happening in the context of “Trump’s America”, (sorry, I got tired of misspelling my country) so we are asked to dutifully accept the assertion that this is one of the 4% of black females who voted for Trump. In the Willowbrook section of Los Angeles.

We have to buy that Brooklyn Bridge.

Once again, everything goes back to white racism for Mark Shea, and Republican white racism even when in the inner city a Mexican is beaten by blacks.

Donald Trump received a paltry 24% of the vote in Los Angeles.

Exposing your own thought process in this way would seem to indicate that you are unaware of your own prejudices to a degree which would make the man with the “beam” in his own eye blush.

This is Facebook activism, not sound reason or sensible commentary. Mark Shea is not a reliable guide on moral matters nor on Catholic matters. Period.

Go here to read the comments.  Now Mark has always been a fairly lazy blogger.  He will seize an item that supports his preconceptions without doing any investigation.   That was his mode of operation back more than a decade ago, long before his turn to the hard left, and he was often called on it. My reaction to such a story that supports my preconceptions is that on the internet something too good to be true probably isn’t, and that is a very good rule of thumb.  However, that is only applicable if one is concerned about truth, and the contemporary Left and the truth are usually at war with each other.
8

That Would Be Unthinkable

News that I missed courtesy of The Babylon Bee:

U.S.—The Resistance movement, formed to oppose President Trump, has stepped up its efforts against the right’s “rapidly encroaching tyranny.” They have vowed to do whatever they can to stop Trump, other than showing even basic respect to the tens of millions of Americans who voted for him.

“This is unlike any other time in history,” said Adrienne Stokes, an activist and self-proclaimed member of the Resistance. “We have to be willing to do anything we can to bring down Trump and stop the rise of the alt-right. Spend every day protesting. Mob his cronies. Go to jail if we have to. Absolutely anything… as long as it doesn’t involve acknowledging the cares and concerns of people who don’t share our politics.”

“We will go the distance, up to the moment we’re asked to have a civil conversation—that would be a bridge too far.”

This is a sentiment widely shared by all the loudest opposition to Trump—antifa, Democrats, journalists—who see Trump as a challenge to this country unlike anything it has ever faced. To them, that means every strategy must be considered to stop the rising tide of fascism short of treating their political opponents as fellow human beings and not the cartoon villains they have dreamed up in their heads.

 

Go here to read the rest.

 

25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[a]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b]

28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Trump supporter, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

3

Enemies of the People

News I missed courtesy of The Babylon Bee:

 

 

RICHMOND, VA—In a bold move intended to battle fascist ideology, antifa activists have released the home addresses of two children who allegedly sold Steven Bannon lemonade as he walked by their house on a warm Richmond morning over the weekend.

“HERE ARE THE NAMES AND ADDRESSES OF THE TWO FASCIST SYMPATHIZERS WHO WERE SEEN FRATERNIZING WITH THE ENEMY,” one Antifa member posted on his Twitter account. “WE’RE NOT PUBLISHING THESE TO INCITE VIOLENCE. WE JUST SO HAPPEN TO BE PUTTING THE ADDRESSES UP HERE AS A PUBLIC SERVICE, SHOULD YOU WANT TO DO ANYTHING TO THEM.”

 

Go here to read the rest.

2

Commissar Inquisitors

Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts reminds us that the Catholic Left is ever watchful for the slightest whiff of heresy against Leftism:

In a way reminiscent of those old Hollywood stereotypes about the Catholic Church, it looks like a bunch of priests have been caught.  The reaction immediate.  The retaliation swift.  Caught doing what you may ask.  Molesting children?  Engaging in child porn?  Teaching false doctrine?

No!  They attended a Trump rally and responded positively, even when Trump said things that his critics were appalled by.  Alas, but the cameras caught them, and keen New Prolife Catholics were fast to jump on their error.  Calls to alert their bishop were made, and it looks like the Bishop himself got involved.

Ah, I can remember when Internet Catholics were disgusted by the idea that people would call someone’s bishop over something like politics, when a priest would suggest an ardently pro-abortion politician might be publicly chastened, or that the Church should even have an opinion on the behavior of its flock. We’re all sinners after all.

I remember Catholics laughing along with Obama, or Hillary, no matter what they advocated and it was all OK.  I remember them blowing beer out their noses over liberal late night comedians, even if they advocated intrinsic evil, mortal sin that cried out to heaven for vengeance, or even toyed with blasphemy. If you want to know what the modern Left values – and that includes the Catholic Left – you need only go back ten or twenty years and see what they condemned.  There is an ever increasing likelihood that the two are one and the same.

Not that this Catholic Left Inquisition is new.  I posted some time ago about a prominent Catholic blogger letting slip the dogs of war and calling on her readers to swoop in and derail the career of a judge who dared disagree with her.  The issue?  That would be the shooting of Harambe the gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo.  So there is precedent.  It looks like calling down the wrath of Holy Mother Church on those who dare digress from the priorities and narratives of the Political Left is becoming quite the thing.  And it looks like ol’Holy Mother Church might be more willing to comply than it was back in the day; back when it did its best Rodney Dangerfield tug-at-the-collar impersonation when asked to punish people over advocating abortion or gay sex.

The Left is in full Inquisition mode, scouring the countryside every day, seeking out those who have fallen from the purer faith of the political Left and the superiority of the latest ethics.  You will be careful if you’re Catholic.  If you are a priest.   You can never be good enough.  And all notions of tolerance and diversity and respect for other opinions are out the window.  You’ve been warned.

Go here to comment.  Catholic Leftists often seem to ape the worst aspects of some of the human adherents of Catholicism down through the ages, suspicion, intolerance and self-rightousness, while simultaneously jettisoning much of the substance of the Faith.  Getting carried away in the cause of Christ is one thing;  getting carried away in the cause of the latest Leftist folly rolling down the pike is quite another.  One of the more frightening aspects of Leftism is how something unthinkable one year among most Leftists, can become mandatory by virtually all Leftists the  next.  Thus the ever popular sport of heresy hunting among Leftists, as they seek to punish those who hold opinions they held themselves the day before yesterday.

 

But practicing homosexuals (nota bene: I have nothing but respect for those with same sex attraction who choose to live chastely) and other enemies of people of faith are eagerly pushing to make it a crime to so much as think that homosexuality is an immoral perversion. That’s what gay “marriage” is really about: creating a legal basis to punish thoughtcrime as “hate speech.”

Mark Shea July 13, 2011

 

My own highly tentative notion is that something like what Mother Teresa proposed with Hindus and Muslims is the way forward, because it appears to be what Jesus did with the Centurion and the Samaritan Woman: meet them where they are according to what they were capable of doing and not expect instantaneous impossibilities. Tell the gay person trying to live according to his or her obligations to others to do the best they can and try to help them do it. This seems to me to be in accord with the Church’s historic habit of gradualism in helping people’s moral progression. Jesus didn’t tell the centurion, “Get out of my sight, slaveowner!” He commended him for the progress in grace he had made. He didn’t tell the Samaritan woman to depart from him. He met her where she was and helped her take a step toward faith in him. At no point, does he order her to go home and break it off with her fifth husband.

I suspect something similar is where the Church will wind up with gay unions. Gay people, like everybody else, will come to the Church for spiritual help sooner or later because the Holy Spirit cannot be denied and gay humans, like all humans, hunger for God. And when they do, real shepherds are not going to slap their faces and send them away any more than Jesus slapped the centurion for daring to approach him while still owning other human beings. Shepherds are going to meet them where they are in all the complexity of their lives.

This will offend Puritans, whose first and last impulse is always to drive the impure away from Fortress Katolicus. But it seems to me that the Church is pretty much bound to take this route. It will not mean sacramentalizing gay unions. Rather, it will mean finding some way to help gay people take steps toward Jesus (who is the only one who can untangle the human heart) where they are.

Mark Shea, February 8, 2018

 

 

7

It’s Kavanaugh

President Trump has nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh, a veteran of 12 years on the Federal DC Circuit Court of Appeals, the most important of the Federal appellate courts below the Supreme Court, due to the nature of the cases that arise in the seat of the Federal government.  A Catholic, he has a long judicial paper trail which will be mined by both opponents and proponents.  Go here to read his dissents and concurrences.  A good, solid pick.  I get the impression that he is a man deeply rooted in faith and family.  He is familiar with DC, having spent most of his career there, and unlikely to go native as a result.  I largely voted for Trump hoping against hope that he would do a good job picking Federal judges and justices, and he is amply repaid my confidence in him.

 

1

PopeWatch: Not News

Father Z gives us the latest disturbing, if totally unsurprising, news about Pope Francis:

I saw the strangest story at La Stampa.

From Italian:

Pope Francis phones Gianni Vattimo, philosopher of “weak thought”

The Italian scholar sends a copy of his last book to Francis who calls to thank him.  A a short and pleasing conversation about the Church and philosophy: “With this Pope I am not ashamed to call myself Catholic”.

Perhaps someone will translate the whole thing.

This seems so very strange to me.  It leaves me a little confused, frankly.   I’ve written about this guy back in 2013.  HERE  Vattimo, if memory serves, is openly homosexual.  He had his … partner… euthanized in Holland.   Vattimo, who is pretty much against any truth claim and set against just about every moral teaching of the Church, has also spoken of Pope Francis.

I’ve gotten a couple notes asking me what this is all about.  I don’t know.  However, after a little digging around, I found once again a fascinating post that connected Vattimo with Pope Francis, as well as Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.  Have a look at THIS.

Sorondo applauded with obvious satisfaction, as the radical left, gay, Italian philosopher, Gianni Vattimo on 13 March 2015 Teatro Cervantes in Buenos Aires in front of all the prominent left radical figures, to form a new Communist International, which he dubbed the “Papal International” because was supposed to be led by Pope Francis. Vattimo said at the time:

“Pope Francis is the only one who is capable of a political, cultural and religious revolution to lead against the superior power of money in the Civil War, which is already raging in the world, and is disguised as ‘the fight against terrorism’ , but in reality is the class struggle of the 21st century against the large number of the critics of capitalism.”

You will recall that Sorondo was the one who said that Catholic social teaching is exemplified in Communist China. HERE

 

Go here to read the rest.  Of course this is not news, unfortunately, in this Pontificate.  If the Pope were to call a philosopher who defends orthodox Catholic teaching, now that would be news.  What a kidney stone of a papacy.

 

11

Abortion and the Left

I think the below neatly encapsulates what most Leftists truly think about abortion.  (Every possible advisory as to the video:)

 

 

No truck nor truce with the Left.  When the sad comedienne known as Michelle Wolf comes before God for her particular judgment, I pray that she has something grand and good about her life to counter this paean to murder of the innocents.

3

Scandalous Priest and Glorious Martyr

 

 (This post is from 2012.  I will be reposting it each July 9.)

 

When July 9 rolls around each year I am always reminded of my personal belief that before our end, perhaps especially for those of us sunk deep in sin, God gives us an opportunity to atone and turn aside from the downward path.

In Sixteenth Century Holland one of the longest wars in history began between Spain and Dutch rebels.  The war was waged on both sides with sickening atrocities.  Among the most violent were the Sea Beggars, Dutch patriots or pirates depending upon one’s point of view.  In June of 1572 the Sea Beggars took the Dutch town of Gorkum, and captured nine Franciscan priests, Nicholas Pieck, Hieronymus of Weert, Theodorus van der Eem, Nicasius Janssen, Willehad of Denmark, Godefried of Mervel, Antonius of Weert, Antonius of Hoornaer, and Franciscus de Roye, of Brussels.  Two Franciscan lay brothers were also captured:   Petrus of Assche and Cornelius of Wyk.

The Sea Beggars also captured the parish priest of Gorkum, Leonardus Vechel of Boi-le-Duc, and his assistant, Nicolaas Janssen.  Also imprisoned were Father Godefried van Duynsen and Joannes Lenartz of Oisterwijk, director of the convent of Augustinian nuns in Gorkum.  Later imprisoned was a Domincan priest Joannes van Hoornaer who bravely came to Gorkum to minister to his imprisoned colleagues and joined them in their captivity,  Jacobus Lacops of Oudenaar, a priest of Monster, Holland, Adrianus Janssen of Brielle, and last, and no doubt he would say least, the subject of this post, Andreas Wouters of Heynoord.

To be blunt, Andreas Wouters had been a lousy priest.  A drunkard and notorious womanizer,  he had fathered several children.  Suspended from his duties  he was living in disgrace when the Sea Beggars captured Gorkum.  This was his cue to run as far away as possible, based on his past history.  Instead, perhaps understanding that God was giving him maybe his last chance to redeem himself, he volunteered to join the captive priests and brothers. Continue Reading

10

PopeWatch: No Experience

Perhaps PopeWatch is just noticing it more, but in the age of Francis there seems to be a great reek of stupidity from high ranking clergy.  An example:

 

 

Catholic priests lack “credibility” to prepare the faithful for the sacrament of marriage because they have never been married, according to the leader of the Vatican’s office for ministry to the family.

Priests are not the best people to train others for marriage, said Cardinal Kevin Farrell, prefect of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life.

“They have no credibility,” Farrell said, “they have never lived the experience; they may know moral theology, dogmatic theology in theory, but to go from there to putting it into practice every day…. they don’t have the experience.”

The comments from Cardinal Farrell, who hails from the Dublin suburb of Drimnagh, came in a recent interview with Intercom magazine, a publication of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference. His remarks were covered by The Irish Times and picked up by Crux.

The cardinal’s assertion that lack of marital experience is a handicap conflicts with Pope Saint John Paul II’s pivotal 1960 work Love and Responsibility. In it, then-Karol Wojtyla said that priests have a different and “wider” experience that allows them to minister to couples. He wrote: 

It is sometimes said that only those who live a conjugal life can pronounce on the subject of marriage, and only those who have experienced it can pronounce on love between man and woman. 

In this view, all pronouncements on such matters must be based on personal experience, so that priests and persons living a celibate life can have nothing to say on questions of love and marriage. Nevertheless they often do speak and write on these subjects. Their lack of direct personal experience is no handicap because they possess a great deal of experience at second-hand, derived from their pastoral work.

For in their pastoral work they encounter these particular problems so often, and in such a variety of circumstances and situations, that a different type of experience is created, which is certainly less immediate, and certainly ‘second-hand’, but at the same time very much wider. The very abundance of factual material on the subject stimulates both general reflection and the effort to synthesize what is known. 

Go here to read the rest.  For background on Cardinal Farrell go here.   Perhaps the best way for faithful Catholics to get through this pontificate is to view it either as God’s judgement or God’s practical joke.

4

The Problem With Scotland

– A Catholic priest and several parishioners were “subjected to vile abuse” on Saturday, as a march by a Protestant group went by a Catholic Church in Glasgow, Scotland.

Father Tom White was greeting people after the Saturday vigil Mass at St. Alphonsus Church in the city when the Orange parade approached.

The Orange Order is a Protestant fraternal order based primarily in Northern Ireland, but with a strong presence in Scotland. It organizes marches in July to commemorate the victory of the Dutch-born Protestant King William of Orange, who defeated the army of the deposed Catholic King James II to secure the thrones of England, Ireland and Scotland at the Battle of the Boyne in Ireland on July 1, 1690.

Go here to read the rest.

 

 

 

3

Beauty Contest

News that I missed, courtesy of The Babylon Bee:

 

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Bowing to public pressure, Donald Trump has agreed to remove a popular mainstay of the Supreme Court nomination process: the swimsuit competition.

“This is long overdue,” said law professor Edgar Ford. “It’s time to put out the message that judges of all shapes and sizes can rule on Constitutional issues. Not just those who look good in a bikini.”

The swimsuit competition has been considered controversial ever since it caused the otherwise-qualified Robert Bork not to get a seat at the Supreme Court in 1987. More recently, the swimsuit competition was why the Republicans wouldn’t even consider Barack Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland, instead waiting for the election of Donald Trump, whom supporters consider to have a better eye for such things.

It will be a new era selecting a Supreme Court Justice without the swimsuit competition, and Trump made it clear he made this choice grudgingly. “People don’t want it anymore, so I got rid of it,” Trump told the press. “But let’s not pretend people like Supreme Court Justices for their personalities.”

Go here to read the rest.  Images of some of the current Justices in bikinis just flashed through my brain.  Time for another mind wipe!