PopeWatch: Method

 

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at Monday Vatican gives us some observations to explain the method of Pope Francis:

 

 

This point of view was rejected by Fr. Piero Gheddo, a longstanding missionary. Fr. Gheddo did not directly oppose the Pope. He made his arguments when he commented on the shutting down of the only missionary magazine in Italian. That shutdown – he explained – is an outcome of the crisis of the missions. And the crisis of the vocations to missions – he went on – came from a lack of identity. Missionaries were not preaching the Gospel; they mostly dealt with social issues, leaving the announcement of the faith to the sidelines. This generated a fall in vocations to the missions and in the interest to go on mission.

A vision is likely missing now. In the end, Pope Francis gives the impression of acting in a hurry. He listens to many advisors, but then he makes decisions by himself. In some cases, Pope Francis’ choices seemed to be in continuity with those of his predecessors and with the line the Church had always followed. In other cases, there is an evident discontinuity.

In fact, one of Pope Francis’ characteristics is this swinging between two poles. For example, he appointed Cardinal Robert Sarah as Prefect for the Congregation of Divine Worship and the Discipline of Sacraments. And Cardinal Sarah certainly has a traditional sensitivity to liturgy, though he is not an expert. But before Sarah’s appointment, the Congregation was stripped of the officials in it that represented continuity in liturgy. Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera, the former Prefect, was appointed Archbishop of Valencia. And before that, with an impromptu and unexpected decision, the two under-secretaries of the Congregation, Anthony Ward and Juan-Miguel Ferrer Grenesche were dismissed. They were replaced by a single under-secretary, Corrado Maggioni, who is mostly in the (progressive) liturgical line of Archbishop Piero Marini, once St. John Paul II’s Master of Ceremonies.

Another example is given by Pope Francis’ choices at the last consistory, held in 2015. The red hat went to many bishops who in their homeland – but especially at the 2014 Synod where Pope Francis got to know them – distinguished themselves for taking a soft line on doctrinal issues, and who showed themselves to be open to innovation. Will this line be followed for the next consistory, now expected to be held in November?

Pope Francis also demonstrates a keen nose for politics. He knows when he has to wait. He is “smart,” as he admitted in his first interview that he granted to the Jesuit-run bi-monthly “La Civiltà Cattolica.” For example, Archbishop Blaise Cupich, promoted to archbishop of Chicago against all expectations, still has not received the red hat. Probably, the Pope is waiting for conditions in the American hierarchy to become more ready to accept Cupich as a cardinal. He demonstrates this same kind of waiting in the cases of other bishops. Step by step, he is carrying forward his real reform, that of the profile of bishops and cardinals.

Important indications about how Pope Francis will close the post-Synod discussion may be given by the upcoming trip to Mexico. Pope Francis will also visit Chiapas, a Mexican state characterized by the strong presence of deacons, all married. There are hundreds of them, ordained for the diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas, while the priests are just a few dozen.

The ordination of these deacons took place from 1959 to 2000, and was the work of then bishop Samuel Ruiz Garcia. When he resigned due to age limit, ordinations were suspended following a request from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The fact that the Pope is going to visit the area might be used to show that he approves the ordination to the priesthood of ‘viri probati’, that is, men of acknowledged faith who could replace priests in some of their tasks due to the lack of priests. The practice of ordaining ‘viri probati’ was widely discussed in the past, since it is a possible opening to the married priesthood. This opening would lead to the collapse of the obligation of priestly celibacy in the Latin Rite. Continue reading

“Climate Change” and the Pentagon

 

Just in case you didn’t think we are currently being governed by lunatics:

The Pentagon is ordering the top brass to incorporate climate change into virtually everything they do, from testing weapons to training troops to war planning to joint exercises with allies.

A new directive’s theme: The U.S. Armed Forces must show “resilience” and beat back the threat based on “actionable science.”

It says the military will not be able to maintain effectiveness unless the directive is followed. It orders the establishment of a new layer of bureaucracy — a wide array of “climate change boards, councils and working groups” to infuse climate change into “programs, plans and policies.”

The Pentagon defines resilience to climate change as: “Ability to anticipate, prepare for, and adapt to changing conditions and withstand, respond to, and recover rapidly from disruptions.”

To four-star generals and admirals, among them the regional combatant commanders who plan and fight the nation’s wars, the directive tells them: “Incorporate climate change impacts into plans and operations and integrate DoD guidance and analysis in Combatant Command planning to address climate change-related risks and opportunities across the full range of military operations, including steady-state campaign planning and operations and contingency planning.”

The directive, “Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience,” is in line with President Obama’s view that global warming is the country’s foremost national security threat, or close to it. Mr. Obama says there is no debate on the existence of man-made global warming and its ensuing climate change. Supporters of this viewpoint label as “deniers” any scientists who disagree.

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Dakota Wood, a retired Marine Corps officer and U.S. Central Command planner, said the Pentagon is introducing climate change, right down to military tactics level.

“By equating tactical actions of immediate or short-term utility with large-scale, strategic-level issues of profound importance, the issue of climate change and its potential impact on national security interests is undermined,” he said. “People tend to dismiss the whole, what might be truly important, because of all the little silly distractions that are included along the way.”

He said climate change is typically measured in long stretches of time.

“The climate does change over great periods of time, typically measured in millennia, though sometimes in centuries,” he said. “But the document mentions accounting for such down to the level of changes in ‘tactics, techniques and procedures’ as if reviewing how a squad conducts a patrol should be accorded the same level of importance and attention as determining whether the naval base at Norfolk, Virginia, might have to be relocated as sea levels rise over the next 100 years.”

Multipoint strategy

The directive originated in the office of Frank Kendall, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics. Final approval came from Deputy Defense Secretary Robert O. Work.

The directive is loaded with orders to civilian leaders and officers on specifically how counter-climate change strategy is to permeate planning. Continue reading

Kintsugi and Christ

There’s a Japanese technique that means “mend with gold.”

Here’s an example from a shop that offers a wide selection:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/266433009/super-red-kiss-kintsukuroi-kintsugi-vase?ref=listing-shop-header-3

A chance phrase from someone explaining salvation as a side to another point— Suffice it to say that God was not content with leaving us in our brokenness– brought the image of Him mending us.

With gold, of course.

Lovely symbols really are everywhere around us.

Have a great day, folks.

But We Have Forgotten God

As we approach Lent in this Year of Mercy it is striking to me how most who call themselves Christians have lost any sense of sin.  Christ seems to be perceived as a divine Pal, with a dog like eagerness to embrace us just the way we are.  Such a deity would seem to resemble Barney the Dinosaur more than the God of the Bible.  Forgotten is the need for sorrow for sins, repentance for sins and amendment of life.  Our ancestors tended to think much differently.  Consider Proclamation 97 of Abraham Lincoln calling for a national day of prayer and humiliation to pray for forgiveness of national sins.  Here is the text of the proclamation:

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

Whereas, the Senate of the United States, devoutly recognizing the Supreme Authority and just Government of Almighty God, in all the affairs of men and of nations, has, by a resolution, requested the President to designate and set apart a day for National prayer and humiliation.

And whereas it is the duty of nations as well as of men, to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions, in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.

And, insomuch as we know that, by His divine law, nations like individuals are subjected to punishments and chastisements in this world, may we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war, which now desolates the land, may be but a punishment, inflicted upon us, for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole People? We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!

It behooves us then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.

Now, therefore, in compliance with the request, and fully concurring in the views of the Senate, I do, by this my proclamation, designate and set apart Thursday, the 30th. day of April, 1863, as a day of national humiliation, fasting and prayer. And I do hereby request all the People to abstain, on that day, from their ordinary secular pursuits, and to unite, at their several places of public worship and their respective homes, in keeping the day holy to the Lord, and devoted to the humble discharge of the religious duties proper to that solemn occasion.

All this being done, in sincerity and truth, let us then rest humbly in the hope authorized by the Divine teachings, that the united cry of the Nation will be heard on high, and answered with blessings, no less than the pardon of our national sins, and the restoration of our now divided and suffering Country, to its former happy condition of unity and peace.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this thirtieth day of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty seventh.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln
William H. Seward, Secretary of State.

 

Continue reading

Ronald Reagan: January 28, 1986: The Future Doesn’t Belong to the Faint Hearted

And I want to say something to the schoolchildren of America who were watching the live coverage of the shuttle’s takeoff. I know it is hard to understand, but sometimes painful things like this happen. It’s all part of the process of exploration and discovery. It’s all part of taking a chance and expanding man’s horizons. The future doesn’t belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave. The Challenger crew was pulling us into the future, and we’ll continue to follow them.

                                              President Ronald Reagan, January 28, 1986

 

 

 

As regular readers of this blog know, I am honored to share my birthday, February 6, with the greatest president of my lifetime:  Ronald Wilson Reagan.  Today is my 59th birthday and the one hundred and fifth for President Reagan.  One aspect of his Presidency was the power of his oratory:  Mr. Reagan being a master of giving voice to sentiments with verbal images that could move and inspire his listeners.  One of the best short samples of his skill, is the speech that he gave on the day of the Challenger disaster.  Reagan, obviously filled with grief himself, did not allow his speech to be a mere lament.  While honoring the dead he pointed to the future, and told the hard truth that loss and disaster are the inevitable price to be paid for exploration and new frontiers.  Here is the text of his speech: Continue reading

PopeWatch: Hollywood Bear

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

 

The bear that played the role of the vicious bear in the movie “The Revenant” met with Pope Francis at the Vatican Thursday, discussing their concern over the environment.

“Your Holiness, thank you for granting me this private audience with you,” the bear growled in Italian as he arrived at the Apostolic Palace before leaning over to eat the pope’s ring and finger as is tradition.

The bear offered Francis a book of works by the early 20th-century writer of Winnie-the Pooh, A.A. Milne, and showed him the reproduction of Michael Bond’s famous portrait of Paddington Bear that had hung over his bear den as a cub.

The bear said he thought the book also represented Francis’ environmental concerns.

An assistant then handed Francis a jar and explained it was filled with honey to help feed hungry bears around the world.

The bear, snubbed for a Golden Globe for his moving portrayal of a bear trying to feed his hungry family in the unsettled wilderness of the northern Louisiana Purchase in the 1800’s,  is a longtime environmental campaigner who in 1998 launched his Yogi Bear Foundation to support initiatives aimed at helping bears learn how to maul people before they get shot in the face.

Francis gave the bear a leather-bound copy of Laudato Si, which was quickly and graciously devoured. Continue reading

TR and Spelling Reform

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I suppose that few people would disagree that the spelling of words in the English language is a mess.  Trying to impose rules, with myriads of exceptions, on a language that grew with no consensus as to spelling, has bedeviled generations of school children and foreigners attempting to learn the language alike.

Whenever a problem existed, Teddy Roosevelt optimistically assumed that a solution could be found.  Thus in 1906 as President he became a champion of what he called spelling reform, backing the efforts of the organization called The Simplified Spelling Board, founded early in 1906, which was funded by Andrew Carnegie.

On August 27, 1906 Roosevelt wrote to the head of the US Printing Office:

Oyster Bay, August 27, 1906

To Charles Arthur Stillings

My dear Mr. Stillings:

I enclose herewith copies of certain circulars of the Simplified Spelling Board, which can be obtained free from the Board at No. 1 Madison Avenue, New York City. Please hereafter direct that in all Government publications of the executive departments the three hundred words enumerated in Circular No. 5 shall be spelled as therein set forth. If anyone asks the reason for the action, refer him to Circulars 3, 4 and 6 as issued by the Spelling Board. Most of the critcism of the proposed step is evidently made in entire ignorance of what the step is, no less than in entire ignorance of the very moderate and common-sense views as to the purposes to be cahieved, which views as so excellently set forth in the circulars to which I have referred. There is not the slightest intention to do anything revolutionary or initiate any far-reaching policy. The purpose simply is for the Government, instead of lagging behind popular sentiment, to advance abreast of it and at the same time abreast of the views of the ablest and most practical educators of our time as well as the most profound scholars—men of the stamp of Professor Lounsbury. If the slighest changes in the spelling of the three hundred words proposed wholly or partially meet popular approval, then the changes will become permanent without any reference to what officials or individual private citizens may feel; if they do not ultimately meet with popular approval they will be dropt, and that is all there is about it. They represent nothing in the world but a very slight extension of the unconscious movement which has made agricultural implement makers write “plow” instead of “plough”; which has made most Americans write “honor” without the somewhat absurd, superfluous “u”; and which is even now making people write “program” without the “me”—just as all people who speak English now write “bat,” “set,” “dim,” “sum,” and “fish” instead of the Elizabethan “batte,” “sette,” “dimme,” “summe,” and “fysshe”; which makes us write “public,” “almanac,” “era,” “fantasy,” and “wagon,” instead of the “publick,” “almanack,” “aera,” “phantasy,” and “waggon” of our great-grandfathers. It is not an attack of the language of Shakespeare and Milton, because it is in some instances a going back to the forms they used, and in others merely the extension of changes which, as regards other words, have taken place since their time. It is not an attempt to do anything far-reaching or sudden or violent; or indeed anything very great at all. It is merely an attempt to cast what sleight weight can properly be cast on the side of the popular forces which are endeavoring to make our spelling a little less foolish and fantastic.

Sincerely yours,

Theodore Roosevelt

Go here for a list of words whose spelling he wished to simplify.

Continue reading

The Foggy Dew

Something for the weekend:  The Foggy Dew, written by Canon Charles O’Neill, a parish priest, in 1919 and set to the tune of a popular love song.  We are just a bit over two months before the centennial commemoration of the Easter Rising in Ireland on April 24, 1916.  A militarily hopeless venture, it was easily crushed by the British.  Yet, astonishingly, this doomed quixotic episode began the events that within five years would bring to an end in most of Ireland of almost a thousand years of English rule.  History is usually so much more dramatic, and unlikely, than fiction.

Orwellian Original Sin

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Stephanie S. at The Right Geek has some interesting thoughts on Social Justice Warriors, and what a pretentious term that is, and Original Sin.

 

 

The SJW’s version of Original Sin does not apply to everyone equally. If you’re white, you’re more guilty than a “person of color.” If you’re straight, you’re more guilty than someone who is gay. If you are “comfortable” with your “assigned gender,” you’re more guilty than someone who is trans. If you’re a man, you’re more guilty than a woman. The list goes on and on. And because identity is “intersectional,” the formulae are even more intricate than the above binaries would suggest; indeed, you basically have to sit down and explicitly rack up your “victim points” to figure out just how much sin you have to expiate. The higher your point total, the less you are required to examine yourself, purge your hidden hatreds, and control your own behavior. Thus, a white, heterosexual, “cis-male” is the lowest of scum and must flagellate himself constantly to make up for it…
 … while someone who is black, “pansexual,” and “genderfluid” is free to be as vicious and as abusive as “they” like — because, of course, “they’re” obviously “punching up.”

The SJW’s worldview is not only byzantine in its complexity; it’s also protean in its application. Just when you think you’ve finally figured it out, the SJW pulls a Lucy with her football and goes off to change the ground rules. Consider the issue of “representation.” The most reputable studies indicate that, for example, somewhere between two to six percent of the population is gay. It stands to reason, then, that in order to truly “represent the world as it is,” my writer friends should make sure that two to six percent of the characters they create are gay. Right? Right? Nope — not in SJW Land! For the SJW, the fact that gay people have appeared in virtually every modern television program that I’ve ever watched – and often in very visible roles – still does not satisfy. As John Trent reports today at The Federalist, she wants already established characters – like Captain America – to hop onto the rainbow bandwagon. And I suspect she’d find other reasons to complain even if Steve did get himself a boyfriend because, for the SJW, there is no endgame — no final objective she can clearly define.

The “social justice” movement, in short, is not True and Beautiful; instead, it has all the earmarks of an evil power grab. And as I’ve said many times before, we shouldn’t stand for it.    Continue reading

Puppy Bowl XII

 

The big game is on Sunday.  I of course refer to Puppy Bowl XII.  Go here to read about it.  Cali, my Jack Russell Terrier, is looking forward to it with eager, and barking, anticipation.

Bear Growls: Junk Charges

 

 

Our bruin friend at Saint Corbinian’s Bear brings us this news on the latest twist in the Harris County indictments of the two pro-life undercover investigators:

 

 

As predicted by the Bear, prosecutors in Texas have offered undercover videographer Sandra Merritt pre-trial diversion that could make the charge go away entirely if she behaves herself.

Two things surprise the Bear, though. First, one might say the mountain labored and brought forth a mouse. No time behind bars? Not even a conviction? Remember, this a supposedly a 20 years in prison case. They must really not want to get this anywhere near trial. Second, it is extremely unusual to present a felony defendant with a plea bargain the first time the defendant is in court! The defense has not had time to review discovery, subpoena materials (maybe), and assess the evidence.

On second thought, maybe not so strange after all.

It sounds like an offer she can’t refuse. Once you go to trial, anything can happen. The Bear was always very conservative. It appears the State of Texas has accomplished whatever it wanted to accomplish and is ready to wash its hands of the sorry mess.

David Daleiden is set to turn himself in Thursday. We’ll see if he gets the same offer. It would be unusual to treat two co-defendants who are similarly situated differently. Continue reading

Jimmy Carter Endorses Donald Trump

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Well, he would if the only choice were between Trump and Cruz.  His rationale for his choice is revealing:

 

“I think I would choose Trump,” the liberal former president said to the House of Lords, when asked about the U.S. presidential race, “which may surprise some of you, but the reason is Trump has proven already that he’s completely malleable. I don’t think he has any fixed opinions that he would really go to the White House and fight for.”

By contrast, Mr. Carter said, “Ted Cruz is not malleable. He has far right-wing policies, in my opinion, that would be pursued aggressively if and when he would become president.” Continue reading

PopeWatch: Middle Kingdom

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The Pope is coming under attack for his recent remarks on China:

 

 

Pope Francis came under fire Wednesday after lavishing praise on China in a move widely seen as part of Vatican moves to improve relations with Beijing.

Close watchers of the Holy See were taken by surprise by the content of an interview with the Asia Times in which the Argentinian pontiff said the world need not fear China’s growing power and avoided any mention of human rights or the restrictions on Catholics and other Christians’ freedom of worship in the world’s most populous nation.

“A superb example of Realpolitik pushed to the extreme,” was the verdict of Sandro Magister, one of Italy’s leading Vatican experts.

Writing on his blog for Italian weekly L’Espresso, Magister lamented Francis’s “total silence” on questions of religion and freedom and what he interpreted as an “unrestrained absolution” of the Chinese communist regime’s historical record.

In the interview, Francis said China had always been, for him, a “reference point of greatness” and “a great culture, with an inexhaustible wisdom.”

The Argentinian pope made only the lightest of allusions to China’s troubled recent history, saying a people sometimes “makes a mistake and goes backwards a little, or takes the wrong path and has to retrace its steps to follow the right way.” Continue reading

How to Vote Nazi With a Clear Conscience

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Commenter Guy McClung takes the Shea voting advice in regard to pro-abort Bernie Sanders to its logical conclusion:

Germany 1943:

Dear Friends in Christ, We encourage all faithful believers to vote in the upcoming elections which are so important to the future of our cities and of our beloved country which was once a shining star in Christendom.

 

 
You can in good conscience vote for Adolf Hitler, but you cannot vote for him for the wrong reasons, which would be a mortal sin. You, as we all do, know that his government has killed millions of people, and millions of Jews, including thousands of Jewish babies, and that this will continue for the foreseeable future since he has told us this will be so and this is his Party’s publicly stated policy. If you vote for him and his government because you want them to kill Jews, that would be a mortal sin. You cannot vote for Hitler so that more Jewish babies will be killed, that would be a mortal sin.

 
If you vote for him and his Jew-Killing government, it must be for good reasons. If you like the fact that they have made the trains run on time, and do not vote for him so Jews will be killed, that will be not only morally permissible, it will be an act of virtue. If you vote for him, not because more Jewish babies will die horrible deaths if he is elected (which, of course, is absolutely certain), knowing your own tax dollars are paying for the killing, but because he has increased employment here in the Fatherland and will continue to do so, that will be a civil good in accord with your moral duty as a good citizen. If you vote for Hitler because he has all but eradicated poverty and hunger (by his focus on preparing for the war that is now inevitable), in accord with the Savior’s Sermon on the Mount and the Gospel’s clarion call to social justice – you can proceed in good faith to vote for him and any Nazi Party candidate for any office, knowing you have followed your conscience and you will have no sin to confess. We all know that our tax money funds the Nazis killing programs, provides the money to run the Death Camps, pays for the ovens that cook away most of the evidence of the dead bodies, and pays for the fuel for the trains that bring the people to the camps. You cannot pay your taxes with the intent that these things be done. If however you pay your taxes, as all good citizens should, so that children (the children of good Germans) will be properly educated or, for example so that foreign workers here are properly housed and fed, then you can in good conscience pay your taxes and win merit in heaven for doing so. Continue reading

February 3, 1900: William Goebel Assassinated

Only one sitting governor in the history of the United States has been assassinated, which is remarkable over two hundred and forty years of history and the number of men who have served as governors.  The very unlucky man was William Justus Goebel.  A Democrat, Goebel had an abrasive personality.  He was not a glad-hander, greeting only his closest friends.  His features were described as reptilian.  Nonetheless, his championship of populist economics as a Democrat gave him the political heft to win a State Senate seat in Kentucky.

In 1895 he had a shootout with a political opponent, former Confederate General John Lawrence Sanford.  Goebel had referred to Sanford as Gonorrhea John in a newspaper article.  Witnesses were not sure who fired first.  Sanford’s bullet passed through Goebel’s coat and ripped his trousers.  Goebel’s bullet hit Sanford’s head, Sanford dying five hours later.  Placed on trial, Goebel claimed self-defense and was acquitted.

Goebel ran for Governor as a Democrat in 1899.  He was opposed by Republican William Taylor and John Y. Brown, a former Democrat governor, who ran as the candidate of a faction of the Kentucky Democrats.  Taylor won the election, beating Goebel by 2,383 votes.  The Democrat controlled General Assembly invalidated enough votes to allow Goebel to win.  Republicans were incensed and the state seemed to be heading for civil war.  William Taylor was sworn in pending a judicial determination of who won.

On January 30, 1900 Goebel, while walking near the State Capitol in Frankfort, came under fire from persons unknown.  Five or six shots were fired from the State Capitol with one seriously wounded in the chest.  The next day Goebel was sworn in as governor, dying on February 3, 1900.  The Kentucky Court of Appeals eventually ruled that the General Assembly had acted legally in having Goebel sworn in. Continue reading

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