January 11, 1989: Reagan Farewell Address

Tuesday, January 17, AD 2017

 

My fellow Americans, this is the 34th time I’ll speak to you from the Oval Office, and the last. We’ve been together eight years now, and soon it’ll be time for me to go. But before I do, I wanted to share some thoughts, some of which I have been saving for a long time.

It’s been the honor of my life to be your President. So many of you have written the past few weeks to say thanks, but I could say as much to you. Nancy and I are grateful for the opportunity you gave us to serve.

One of the things about the Presidency is that you’re always somewhat apart. You spend a lot of time going by too fast in a car someone else is driving, and seeing the people through tinted glass – the parents holding up a child, and the wave you saw too late and couldn’t return. And so many times I wanted to stop, and reach out from behind the glass, and connect. Well, maybe I can do a little of that tonight.

People ask how I feel about leaving, and the fact is parting is “such sweet sorrow.” The sweet part is California, and the ranch, and freedom. The sorrow? The goodbyes, of course, and leaving this beautiful place.

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Quotes Suitable for Framing: Frederick Douglass

Monday, January 16, AD 2017

 

 

In regard to the colored people, there is always more that is benevolent, I perceive, than just, manifested towards us. What I ask for the negro is not benevolence, not pity, not sympathy, but simply justice. The American people have always been anxious to know what they shall do with us… I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us. Do nothing with us! If the apples will not remain on the tree of their own strength, if they are worm-eaten at the core, if they are early ripe and disposed to fall, let them fall! … And if the negro cannot stand on his own legs, let him fall also. All I ask is, give him a chance to stand on his own legs! Let him alone! If you see him on his way to school, let him alone, don’t disturb him! If you see him going to the dinner table at a hotel, let him go! If you see him going to the ballot box, let him alone, don’t disturb him! If you see him going into a work-shop, just let him alone, — your interference is doing him positive injury.

January 26, 1865-Frederick Douglass

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PopeWatch: Beyond Parody

Monday, January 16, AD 2017

 

 

PopeWatch does wonder at times if this pontificate is a divine practical joke:

 

Life and family experts are calling it “scandalous,” “shocking,” “confusing,” and “perplexing” that the Vatican would invite Dr. Paul Ehrlich, the undisputed father of the modern, pro-abortion population control movement, to present a paper at an upcoming Vatican-run conference.

“The fact that Paul Ehrlich is advertised as a speaker at the Vatican’s ‘Biological Extinction’ conference is scandalous,” Maria Madise, manager of Voice of the Family, told LifeSiteNews.

“Through its choice of speakers, the Pontifical Academies running the event are giving an unmistakable message of sympathy for the radical environmental agenda, despite it going hand in hand with abortion, birth control, and a total lack of compassion for the real poor in today’s world, the unborn children,” she said.

Ehrlich, author of the 1968 bestseller The Population Bomb, is scheduled to speak in Vatican City during the February 27-March 1 conference that will discuss “how to save the natural world,” a story LifeSiteNews broke earlier this week. 

The Stanford biologist champions sex-selective abortion as well as mass forced sterilization as legitimate methods to curb population growth. It is impossible to calculate the possible millions of deaths globally the man and his population control ideas might indirectly be responsible for over the past five decades — ideas that are forcefully employed in countries such as China, India, Kenya, and many others.

Ehrlich called for “compulsory population-control laws, even including laws requiring compulsory abortion” in his 1977 book Ecoscience, as a way to fight population growth.

He once said that allowing women to have as many children as they desired was like letting people “throw as much of their garbage into their neighbor’s backyard as they want.”

The conference, jointly sponsored by the Pontifical Academies of Sciences (PAS) and Social Sciences (PASS), will address what Vatican organizers call an unsustainable “imbalance” between the world’s population and what the earth is capable of producing.

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January 15, 1943: Pentagon Dedictated

Sunday, January 15, AD 2017

Leslie Groves was not a pleasant man to work for, but if you wanted to get something done, he was the man to accomplish the seemingly impossible.  He demonstrated this twice during World War II:  spearheading the Manhattan Project and overseeing the construction of the Pentagon.  A ruthless driver of men, and a born problem solver, he managed to build the Pentagon under budget and in sixteen months, a project that was estimated initially to take four years.

Major General Kenneth Nichols, who worked under Groves summed up the man:

First, General Groves is the biggest S.O.B. I have ever worked for. He is most demanding. He is most critical. He is always a driver, never a praiser. He is abrasive and sarcastic. He disregards all normal organizational channels. He is extremely intelligent. He has the guts to make difficult, timely decisions. He is the most egotistical man I know. He knows he is right and so sticks by his decision. He abounds with energy and expects everyone to work as hard or even harder than he does. Although he gave me great responsibility and adequate authority to carry out his mission-type orders, he constantly meddled with my subordinates. However, to compensate for that he had a small staff, which meant that we were not subject to the usual staff-type heckling. He ruthlessly protected the overall project from other government agency interference, which made my task easier. He seldom accepted other agency cooperation and then only on his own terms. During the war and since I have had the opportunity to meet many of our most outstanding leaders in the Army, Navy and Air Force as well as many of our outstanding scientific, engineering and industrial leaders. And in summary, if I had to do my part of the atomic bomb project over again and had the privilege of picking my boss I would pick General Groves.

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Truth From an Archbishop

Sunday, January 15, AD 2017

 

 

I guess these days archbishops have to be retired before we can expect to here truth from them:

 

Monsignor Carlo Liberati, Archbishop Emeritus of Pompeii, said that Islam will soon become Europe’s main religion thanks to the huge number of Muslim migrants alongside the increasing secularism of native Europeans.

Speaking to Italian Catholic journal La Fede Quotidiana, the archbishop said: “In 10 years we will all be Muslims because of our stupidity. Italy and Europe live in a pagan and atheist way, they make laws that go against God and they have traditions that are proper of paganism.

“All of this moral and religious decadence favours Islam.”

“We have a weak Christian faith,” he added. “The Church nowadays does not work well and seminaries are empty.

“Parishes are the only thing still standing. We need a true Christian life. All this paves the way to Islam. In addition to this, they have children and we do not. We are in full decline.”

 

The archbishop added that the problem is not just Muslim immigration. The number of Eastern Europeans arriving over the past few years has also hit the quality of life for native Italians, he said.

“We help without delay those coming from outside and we forget many poor and old Italians who are eating from the trash,” the archbishop said. “We need policies that take care of Italians first: our young people and the unemployed.

“I am a protester. If I were not a priest, I’d be out there demonstrating in the squares. What is the point of so many migrants that instead of thanking for the food we give them, they just throw it, spend hours with their cell phones and even organise riots?”

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The Worth of Man

Sunday, January 15, AD 2017

 

These communities, by their representatives in old  Independence Hall, said to the whole world of men: “We  hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are  created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with  certain unalienable rights; that among these are life,  liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” This was their majestic  interpretation of the economy of the Universe. This was their  lofty, and wise, and noble understanding of the justice of  the Creator to His creatures. [Applause.] Yes, gentlemen, to  all His creatures, to the whole great family of man. In their  enlightened belief, nothing stamped with the Divine image and  likeness was sent into the world to be trodden on, and degraded,  and imbruted by its fellows. They grasped not only the whole  race of man then living, but they reached forward and seized  upon the farthest posterity. They erected a beacon to guide  their children and their children’s children, and the countless  myriads who should inhabit the earth in other ages. Wise  statesmen as they were, they knew the tendency of prosperity  to breed tyrants, and so they established these great  self-evident truths, that when in the distant future some man,  some faction, some interest, should set up the doctrine that  none but rich men, or none but white men, were entitled to life,  liberty and the pursuit of happiness, their posterity might look  up again to the Declaration of Independence and take courage to  renew the battle which their fathers began — so that truth,  and justice, and mercy, and all the humane and Christian virtues  might not be extinguished from the land; so that no man would  hereafter dare to limit and circumscribe the great principles  on which the temple of liberty was being built.

Abraham Lincoln, August 17, 1858

 

 

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Requiescat In Pace: William Peter Blatty

Saturday, January 14, AD 2017

 

William Peter Blatty died this week at age 89.  He had a long career as a screenwriter and an author.  Despite his multiple marriages, his latest in 1983 and which would last to his death, Blatty remained a Catholic and in the latter part of his life a fervent one.  Best known as the author of The Exorcist Blatty often complained that the work was misunderstood.  He viewed its themes as being that there is a God and that the universe has a happy ending.  Most recently, he spearheaded a drive to have the Vatican find that Georgetown University, his alma mater, was in violation of its papal charter.  The Vatican in 2014 stated that the petition sent in by Blatty was well founded and then promptly did nothing.

 

 

“There it lies, I think, Damien … possession; not in wars, as some tend to believe; not so much; and very rarely in extraordinary interventions such as here … this girl … this poor child. No, I tend to see possession most often in the little things, Damien: in the senseless, petty spites and misunderstandings; the cruel and cutting word that leaps unbidden to the tongue between friends. Between lovers. Between husbands and wives. Enough of these and we have no need of Satan to manage our wars; these we manage for ourselves … for ourselves.”

William Peter Blatty, Father Lankester Merrin in The Exorcist

 

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PopeWatch: Meryl

Saturday, January 14, AD 2017

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

 

Just moments after being honored at the Golden Globes for her lifetime of work, actress Meryl Streep took the opportunity to make a sustained attack on Cardinal Burke’s dubia.

In her four-minute address while accepting the award, the actress denounced Burke’s traditionalist rhetoric and criticized him for trying to bully the Pope.

“There was one performance this year that stunned me,” Streep said. “It sank its hooks in my heart. It was that moment when the person who once sat in one of the highest seats in the Vatican questioned Pope Francis. It kind of broke my heart when I read about the dubia and I still can’t get it out of my head because it wasn’t in a movie, it was real life. This instinct to humiliate and fraternally correct someone who hasn’t the power to answer the questions posed…it filters down into everyone’s spiritual life because it kind of gives permission for other people to dubia the Pope.”

Streep also went on to use her speech to highlight the importance of Catholic culture, pointing out how important it is, especially when it does not “in any way” intrude on the personal lives and choices of others.

“The Church is crawling with outsiders and foreigners, people they call nominals, and if you kick them all out of the communion lines, you’ll have nobody in your churches,” Streep said to huge applause from the room. “When the intellectually powerful use their position to bully others into justifying their actions, we all lose.”

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Hail to the Chief

Saturday, January 14, AD 2017

 

 

 

Something for the weekend.  Hail to the Chief.  The Presidential anthem, it was written by James Sanderson in 1812 and became associated with the Presidency in 1815 to honor George Washington and the ending of the War of 1812.  Andrew Jackson was the first living president for which the song was played.  During the Civil War it was played for both Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis.  Chester A. Arthur did not like the song and had John Philip Sousa write a replacement, the Presidential Polonaise.  After Arthur’s term of office the Marine Corps Band went right back to playing Hail to the Chief to announce the President.  Here are the almost never sung, thank goodness, lyrics:

Hail to the Chief we have chosen for the nation,
Hail to the Chief! We salute him, one and all.
Hail to the Chief, as we pledge cooperation
In proud fulfillment of a great, noble call.

Yours is the aim to make this grand country grander,
This you will do, that’s our strong, firm belief.
Hail to the one we selected as commander,
Hail to the President! Hail to the Chief!

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And So it Begins Again

Friday, January 13, AD 2017

(I ran this post on February 10, 2015.  An appellate court in Germany has affirmed the ruling of the trial court, finding that the arson attack on the Synagogue was a justified expression of criticism of the policies of Israel.  An appellate court in the Third Reich could not have improved on this justification of  violence against Jews.)

 

My advice to Jews in Germany, get out while you can:

 

A German court in the city of Wuppertal convicted two German Palestinians on Thursday of an arson attack on a Synagogue but denied the crime was motivated by anti-Semitism, prompting Green Party deputy Volker Beck to urge the court to designate the act as anti-Semitic.

The Wuppertal court sentenced the two men, ages 24 and 29, to a suspended prison term of one year and three months. The two men, along with an 18-year-old juvenile, in July tossed Molotov cocktails at the synagogue in Wuppertal, a city in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia with a population of nearly 344,000. The court ordered all three to perform 200 hours of community service.

Beck said on Saturday the “attack on the Synagogue was motivated by anti-Semitism” and blasted the court for issuing a decision stating that the goal of the attack was to bring “attention to the Gaza conflict.” Israel, last summer, was involved a 50-day war in the Gaza Strip.

“This is a mistaken decision as far as the motives of the perpetrators are concerned. Therefore, I have written the prosecutor and called for the filing of a legal objection,” he said, adding that the burning of a synagogue in Germany because of the Middle East conflict can be attributed only to anti-Semitism.

“What do Jews in Germany have to do with the Middle East conflict? Every bit as much as Christians, non-religious people or Muslims in Germany, namely, absolutely nothing. The ignorance of the judiciary toward anti-Semitism is for many Jews in Germany especially alarming.”

The three German Palestinians caused €800 damage to the synagogue. The original synagogue in Wuppertal was burned by Germans during the Kristallnacht pogroms in 1938.

Go here to read the rest.  In the days of the Weimar Republic, Nazis who committed crimes, Hitler was a prime example of this, were given slap on the wrists sentences if their offenses could be interpreted as having a political motivation that the court thought praise-worthy.  This is precisely what happened in this case.  Europe in general is becoming a dark place for Jews as Islamic “immigrants” make their lives a living hell, often aided and abetted by home grown anti-Semites.  So, I think the Jews of Europe in general should be looking for a place of refuge.  This advice I would also give to believing Christians in Europe.  The hateful forces that use Jews as scapegoats never stop with Jews, but sooner or later attack Christians.

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PopeWatch: Boss

Friday, January 13, AD 2017

 

 

 

 

 

Damian Thompson at The Spectator notes that many of the clerics working at the Vatican are not friends of Pope Francis;

 

Again, this is an opponent speaking. There is no evidence that the Pope is mentally ill. However, plenty of Vatican employees will testify to his outbursts of temper, rudeness towards subordinates and vulgar language.

He can also be genial, funny and compassionate. But this side of his personality is increasingly reserved for his inner circle and his allies.

All popes have inner circles, it goes without saying. What distinguishes Francis from his recent predecessors is the nature of the alliances he forms. He is far more brutal in the exercise of his power than, say, Pope John Paul II, who certainly had an authoritarian streak in him.

‘Bergoglio divides the church into those who are with him and those who are against him — and if he thinks you’re in the latter camp then he’ll come after you,’ says a priest who works in the curia.

 

‘Bergoglio’, note: he doesn’t even call him ‘Francis’. Tellingly, this priest used to be a fervent supporter of some of the Pope’s administrative reforms and he doesn’t look back nostalgically at the reign of Benedict, whom he blames for neglecting his papal duties.

But, like so many Vatican employees, he’s sick of Francis’s habit of telling the entire Roman curia that they are modern-day Pharisees — an analogy that casts the Argentinian pontiff in the role of Jesus.

Clearly Francis believes that relaxing the rules on communion for Catholics in irregular marriages is an act of Christlike compassion. This is also the view of the venerable liberal cardinals who campaigned to elect him. It is often said that he is enacting their agenda — and it’s true that Francis is well disposed to liberal demands for women deacons and married priests.

He is not, however, their instrument. In the words of a Vatican observer who held an important position in Rome for many years, ‘He hasn’t taken on the old progressive mantle so much as created his own personality cult.’ Theological niceties bore him. Personal loyalty obsesses him — ‘and if the cardinal electors had done due diligence they would have discovered that he was an extraordinarily divisive figure among the Argentinian Jesuits’.

It’s not hard to detect a Latin American flavour to the deal-making and settling of scores that has become blatant over the past year. Most Catholic bishops had thought Francis was a plain-spoken and perhaps touchingly naive reformer. Instead, they are confronted by a pope who is simultaneously combative, charming, bad-tempered, idealistic and vengeful.

Does that remind you of anyone? The Trump-Francis analogy has been doing the rounds in Rome for months, and not just among the Pope’s opponents.

‘It’s not meant entirely seriously,’ says a well-placed source. ‘No one is suggesting that Jorge Bergoglio is tempted by the same sins of the flesh as Donald Trump.

‘And there’s another difference. The Americans can kick out their old rogue after four years. Francis doesn’t have to stand for re-election by the conclave. Which, believe me, is lucky for him, because after the misery and nonsense of the past couple of years he’d be eliminated in the first ballot.’

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Our Present Discontents

Thursday, January 12, AD 2017

 

Father James V. Schall, SJ, in a brilliant essay at Catholic World Report, examines the current sickness that afflicts the Church:

 

Vatican II presented itself as a massive effort to retain tradition but also to reconcile the Church with the modern world in such a way that they harmonized with each other. It was not noticed at the time, as Tracey Rowland pointed out in her Culture and the Thomist Tradition, that the word “culture” was not neutral. Modern “culture” already contained some good things, but it also had with in it principles and techniques that could eliminate both faith and even the structure of man as we had known him. In many ways, “to conform oneself to the culture” was a form of religious and intellectual suicide. 

In this mix, the thought of both John Paul II and Benedict XVI stood as a corrective. They carefully sorted out the subtle principles and tendencies motivating the modern mind. They identified where these ideas and customs were leading. Under their guidance, it was clear that the mind of Catholicism knew what it was about. Neither of these two popes had many intellectual peers. Those who were their peers usually recognized their genius. Catholicism understood where it came from in history and tradition. It clarified what it meant in relation to basic modern ideas, ideas that the two popes often defined more clearly than their advocates. 

This papal teaching was profound and incisive. Not a few, however, came to think it was over the heads of most people, even most bishops. There is a kind of clericalism, as Fr. Mark Pilon has pointed out, that assumes that the laity cannot think. The request for clarification, which is their due, is often taken for disobedience. We needed a return to the original Gospels, it is said, to the simple life of faith.

Catholicism did not have to present itself before the world as understanding it. It is better to leave things more open, undefined. In this light, however, with Pope Francis’ more recent emphasis on mercy and the poor, his many off-handed remarks, his hesitancy about explaining doctrine, the Church now, to many, seems confused, unsure of itself. It no longer seems to be a “rock” on which we can build.

The faithful are told that they are too “rigid”. The divorced and the homosexuals are, rightly or wrongly, convinced that the Church has changed its doctrine at least implicitly, if not explicitly. Divine positive law does not seem to hold against what people “do” do. Everything must be discerned. Every act seems an exception, which in a way it is. But there can be no “law” of only exceptions. 

Many recent converts begin to wonder whether the Church is not reverting to positions that they thought, in the name of truth, that they had left. It is difficult to see why anyone should convert or even be preached to. To many, the Church seems to present itself as a kind of modern humanism in culture and socialism in political preference.

In the meantime, some three thousand mosques, with much Saudi money, have been built in the United States, probably more in Europe. They are mostly closed enclaves. The decline of population of European citizens has been often noted. Traditional European  national populations are being replaced by a more fertile group of Muslims who, for the most part, do not assimilate or convert, either culturally or religiously. Some predict that Sweden will be Europe’s first Muslim country; others think it will be England. And if there is a first, there will be a second. 

Islamic thinkers themselves shrewdly seem to opt both for terrorist and for democratic means to expand into Europe and America. The martyrdom and expulsion of so many Christians from the Mideast have gone largely unaccounted for. They appear more as an embarrassment than as objects of justice. Their specific witness seems almost lost. 

It is a rare commentator or politician who notes the connection between Humanae Vitae, the decline of population, and the rise of Islam in Europe and America. “Refugees” fleeing into Europe can probably more accurately be described as “invaders” than immigrants, however sad their tale.

We are now experiencing something new, an incipient reaction. With Pierre Manent and Joshua Mitchell, we see that the nation-state and the family are the heart of true civilization. Globalism and world-state notions constantly reveal totalitarian tendencies. Emphasis on the poor has neglected the old Aristotelian notion of the middle-class, by far the majority in any decent society.

What are we to conclude from these considerations? The title of these opinions, and opinions they are, concerned “confused Catholics”. The conclusion is that the confusion of Catholics about the unity and consistency of their faith has dimmed or even taken out of the public order a firm voice that has connected in our civilization the present and the past, time and eternity.

Few seem certain about where the Church stands on many core issues that once were thought to be settled. Practice does not really replace thought. It merely produces another kind of practice that seeks justification in a different line of thought. Practice, overtly or covertly, depends on thought. The origin of all deviant practice is deviant thought. The knowing why it is deviant is a function of mind based on a standard of reason. It is the steady “knowing why” that, before anything else, we are missing.

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January 12, 1847: Treaty of Campo de Cahuenga

Thursday, January 12, AD 2017

Also known as the Capitulation of Campo de Cahuenga, it brought to a close fighting in Alta California during the Mexican War.  Widely praised at the time for its liberal terms, the treaty promised equal rights for Mexicans residing in California, freed all prisoners of war, and allowed the Mexicans to return to their homes, with their property protected.  I wonder if General Grant some eighteen years later had this treaty in the back of his mind when he drafted the generous surrender terms for the Army of Northern Virginia.  Here are the terms of the Treaty:

The Treaty of Campo de Cahuenga
TO ALL TO WHOM THESE PRESENTS SHALL COME, GREETING:
Know ye that, in consequence of propositions of peace, or cessation of hostilities, being submitted to me, as commandant of the California Battalion of United States forces, which have so far been acceded to by me as to cause me to appoint a board of commissioners to confer with a similar board appointed by the Californians, and it requiring a little time to close the negotiation; it is agreed upon and ordered by me that entire cessation of hostilities shall take place until tomorrow afternoon (January 13th), and that the said Californians be permitted to bring in their wounded to the mission of San Fernando, where, also, If they choose, they can remove their camp, to facilitate said negotiations.
Given under my hand and seal this twelfth day of January, 1847.
J. C. Fremont
Lieutenant-Colonel United States
Army, and Military Commandant of California
Articles of Capitulation made and entered into at the Rancbo of Cahuenga, this thirteenth day of January, Anno Domini, eighteen hundred and forty-seven between P. B. Reading, Major; Louis McLane,.Ir, Commanding Artillery; Wm. H. Russell, Ordnance Officer, Commissioners appointed by J. C. Fremont, Lieutenant-Colonel United States Army and Military Commandant of the Territory of California; and Jose Antonio Carillo, Commandante de Esquadron, Augustin Olivera, Diputado, Commissioners, appointed by Don Andres Pico, commander-in-chief of the California forces under the Mexican flag.
Article 1. The Commissioners on the part of the Californians agree that their entire force shall, on presentation of themselves to Lieutenant-Colonel Fremont, deliver up their artillery and public arms, and they shall return peaceably to their homes, conforming to tile laws and regulations of tile United States, and not again take up arms during the war between the United State’s and Mexico, but will assist and aid In placing the country in a state of peace and tranquillity.
Art. 2. The Commissioners on the part of Lieutenant-Colonel Fremont will agree and bind themselves on the fulfillment of the first article by the Californians, that they shall be guaranteed protection of life and property whether on parole or otherwise.
Art. 3. That, until a treaty of peace be made and signed between the United States of North America and the Republic of Mexico, no Californian or other Mexican citizen shall be bound to take the oath of allegiance.
Art. 4. That any Californian or other citizen of Mexico desiring, is permitted by this capitulation to leave the country without let or hindrance.

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PopeWatch: Liturgy

Thursday, January 12, AD 2017

 

 

Father Z alerts us that ominous changes are afoot:

 

From Sandro Magister:

A Firing, a Demolition: Behold the New Curia

The reform of the Vatican curia that Pope Francis is carrying out is being done partly in sunshine and partly in shadow. [Mostly shadow.  There is a lot that doesn’t reach the light.]

Among the provisions recently adopted in shadow, there are two that are emblematic.

*

The veil was lifted on the first by the vaticanista Marco Tosatti, when on December 26 he broke the news of an order the pope had given to a dicastery [CDF] head to summarily fire three of his officials, an order given without explanations and without accepting objections. [He has the power to do that.]

It is now known that the dicastery in question is not second-tier, it is the congregation for the doctrine of the faith. [CDF] And the three officials fired enjoyed the full approval of their prefect, Cardinal Gerhard L. Müller, in his turn made the target of repeated acts of humiliation, in public, on the part of the pope.

But which of the three rejects is the official whom Francis personally – as Tosatti has reported – reprimanded harshly by telephone for having expressed criticisms against him, which had come to the pope’s ear through an informant? [True.  One of them was called personally.]

It is the Dutch priest Christophe J. Kruijen, 46, in service at the congregation for the doctrine of the faith since 2009, a theologian of acknowledged expertise, awarded with the prestigious Prix Henri De Lubac in 2010 by the French embassy to the Holy See, unanimously bestowed upon him by a jury made up of the cardinals Georges Cottier, Albert Vanhoye, and Paul Poupard,…

[… read about him there…]

*

The second measure taken in shadow concerns the congregation for divine worship, [CDW] the prefect of which is Cardinal Robert Sarah, he too the object of repeated public humiliations on the part of the pope, and now condemned to preside over offices and men who are pulling against him.

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The Crusades: Now and Then

Wednesday, January 11, AD 2017

 

 

Our knowledge of the Crusades has been expanding rapidly in the past few decades.  A good starting point is to read some of the numerous works of Dr. Riley-Smith.

http://www.crusades-encyclopedia.com/jonathanrileysmith.html

Here is a link to a First Things Article in which Riley-Smith explains what the Crusades were:

http://www.firstthings.com/article/2007/01/rethinking-the-crusades-35

A good examination of myths about the crusades, linked below, by Thomas F. Madden, one of the foremost historians of the Fourth Crusade.

http://www.ignatiusinsight.com/features2005/print2005/tmadden_crusades_print.html

His “A Concise History of the Crusades” is a must read for anyone interested in this period in history:

http://www.amazon.com/Concise-History-Crusades-Critical-Issues/dp/0847694291

 

The Crusades were a tardy, and defensive, response to militant Islam by the Catholic states of the West.  By bringing Western military power against Islam the fall of Constantinople to the Turks was delayed until 1453. The Byzantine Empire had suffered a severe defeat at the battle of Manzikert at the hands of the Turks in 1071. They were no longer able to hold the line in the East against Islam and were desperate for military aid from the West. Absent the Crusades I doubt if Constantinople would have survived much beyond 1150. This would have led to Islam taking over the Balkans three centuries before it did historically. These three centuries were crucial in that by the time the Turks marched against Vienna in 1529 the West was already beginning to surpass Islam technologically. Vienna besieged in 1229 might have been the beginning of a process that would have seen the conquest of Europe by Islam.

It is important that we understand this history, because the West today is under siege again by Islam and too many people in the West, blinded by Leftism and a fashionable scorn, if not outright hatred for, Christianity, paint a false picture of the past and the present in which Islam is a religion of peace and Christians are the evil agressors.  Such madness will kill us all if are not constantly reminding people of the truth.

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