September 25, 1864: Battle of Sulphur Creek Trestle

 

Nathan Bedford Forrest again demonstrated that so long as he was in the vicinity no Union supply line was safe.  On September 23, 1864, near Athens, Alabama, he and 4500 troopers were engaged in destroying a Union controlled  rail trestle.  He easily beat a Union force that sallied from Fort Henderson to stop him.   Taking Athens, he began an artillery barrage on Fort Henderson on the morning of the 24th.  Convincing the Union commander that he had 8,000-10,000 men, a common Forrest trick, the garrison capitulated.  Shortly after the capitulation, 350 men of the 18th Michigan and the 102nd Ohio had the misfortune to arrive by rail.  Forrest promptly attacked them, and they surrendered after losing a third of their numbers. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

PopeWatch: Synod Question Mark

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With the Synod on the family coming up in October, Sandro Magister at his blog Chiesa tells us what we know right now:

 

Francis began with the distribution, one year ago, of an open-ended questionnaire on all the questions concerning the family, from contraception to communion for the divorced, from de facto couples to marriage between homosexuals. And some national episcopates, with the German-speaking ones in the lead, revealed their results, igniting expectations of liberalization in the discipline of the Church.

But then, above all, Francis gathered a consistory of cardinals in Rome last February as a dry run for the upcoming synod. And to whom did he entrust the introductory presentation? To the German cardinal Walter Kasper, who back in the early 1990’s was a combative supporter of getting rid of the ban on communion for the remarried, but was defeated and reduced to silence, at the time, by John Paul II and Joseph Ratzinger.

Kasper’s talk is the only part of that consistory that has been made known, all the rest has remained secret. But to judge by the subsequent public forays of some of the cardinals, it is clear that the resistance to the changes proposed by Kasper has been and continues to be entrenched, belligerent, and authoritative.

Among the resisters who have come out into the open are cardinals Gerhard L. Müller, prefect of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith, Raymond L. Burke, Timothy M. Dolan, Marc Ouellet, George Pell, Fernando Sebastián Aguilar, Carlo Caffarra, Angelo Scola, all generally classified among the conservatives. But there are also cardinals viewed as progressive, like the Austrian Christoph Schönborn, who are joining the coalition against Kasper.

All of these will find themselves at the synod in a no-holds-barred fight against Kasper and his not equally solid supporters.

The fact that the “reactionaries” Caffarra, Scola, and Aguilar have been invited to take part in the synod by Francis himself has significantly chilled the enthusiasm for the current pope.

The American Jesuit Thomas Reese, the former director of the magazine “America” and an influential opinion maker, an all-out fan of Jorge Mario Bergoglio at the beginning of the pontificate, after this latest blow has moved definitively into the opposing camp, against what for him is a betrayal of the awaited revolution.

But the battle has just begun. The upcoming synod will not draw  any conclusions. It will have a second round in October of 2015. After which it will be not the synod, but Pope Francis, who decides what to do. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

Professor Douglas Kries on Cupich

Cupich

 

Well, this is interesting.  Professor Douglas Kries at Gonzaga University in Spokane gives his assessment of Bishop Blase Cupich, the Spokane Bishop tapped to head the Chicago Archdiocese:

Bishop White Seminary at Gonzaga, which was nothing short of an extraordinary success story until Cupich became bishop, fell quickly into desuetude after his arrival. Moreover, when Gonzaga University refused to continue club status for Gonzaga’s campus Knights of Columbus council, Cupich, it is widely whispered, told the remaining seminarians not to discuss the matter with the press. It has also been widely reported that Cupich did not want his diocesan priests involved with certain pro-life groups that he considered too strident. Cupich may not even know it, but at the time, students involved with Gonzaga’s Right to Life Club felt abandoned, even though they were not his direct target.

I once wrote to him expressing in particular my concerns about the direction of Gonzaga’s core curriculum. His reply was polite, but he made it quite clear that he had no interest in involving himself in such matters. Gonzaga adopted, and is now planning to implement, a core curriculum that diminishes the number of courses that students take in “Catholic or Christian religion” from three to one.

The formerly required course on the Bible is being eliminated and the course in applied Christianity, which often in practice meant Christian morality, is being changed to world religions. Gonzaga students, many of whom belong to Cupich’s diocese, will soon be devoting only a single semester course in four years of college (3 out of 128 credits, or 2.34 percent) to the study of “the Catholic or Christian religion.”

The local Spokane newspaper describes Cupich as “a moderate who has called for civility in the culture wars,” since he has said that Pope Francis doesn’t want “ideologues.” From what I can tell, the description is inaccurate. Real moderates engage all sides, trying to find common ground, if it is available, that will permit them to advance their principles. By not inserting his office into conflict situations, Cupich has often, whether intentionally or not, quietly ceded much ground to one side, and without advancing his principles. 

To be fair, Cupich was willing to debate publicly a local city councilman about legalization of same-sex marriage. Still, on the whole, the record is hardly a bold one. And one wonders: if he comes across as too timid to be effective in the small, rather polite, and humble diocese of Spokane, what are his chances to be effective in a large, muscular, broad-shouldered place like Chicago?

My advice to Catholics in Chicago? Your new archbishop is a very nice man; he is also very intelligent and talented. I respect him far too much to flatter him, as many of my fellow Spokanites are wont to do. And I refuse to believe that he really thinks that those of you trying to defend and advance the Church in the public forum are just “ideologues.” But he tends to be – to use a polite phrase – “conflict averse.” →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

Knife Control

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Charlton Heston never played Jesus in a film, to the best of my knowledge, but he famously was Moses and also played John the Baptist in The Greatest Story Ever Told. I so much wanted to hear him say, “You can have this sword when you pry it from my Cold. Dead. Hands!”

Deacon Michael D. Harmon

 

 

Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels so frequently for the Church that I have named him Defender of the Faith, takes a verbal axe at Midwest Conservative Journal to the latest bizarre explanation of why Christ was condemned by Pilate:

Premise: a Christian event that happened over 2,000 years ago has been pondered, studied and debated from the moment it occurred until the present day and general agreement about the significance of that event has been reached.  You, on the other hand, with the able assistance of “Christian scholarship,” have come up with a Radically New InterpretationTM of the meaning of that event:

Jesus may have been crucified because his followers were carrying weapons, according to a scholarly analysis of New Testament books.

Dale Martin, a professor of religious studies at Yale University, says that this aspect of stories about Jesus, as told in the gospels, has received too little attention, but could alone explain Jesus’s execution and also show that the man from Nazareth was not the pacifist he’s usually made out to be.

The biblical books of Mark and Luke both state that at least one (and probably two or more) of Jesus’s followers was carrying a sword when Jesus was arrested shortly after the Last Supper, at the time of the Jewish festival of Passover. One disciple, Simon Peter, even used his sword to cut off the ear of one of those arresting Jesus, according to the Gospel of John.

This militant behavior almost certainly wouldn’t have been tolerated by the Romans, led by the prefect Pontius Pilate, Martin tells Newsweek. For example, historical documents show that it was illegal at the time to walk about armed in Rome and in some other Roman cities. Although no legal records survive from Jerusalem, it stands to reason, based on a knowledge of Roman history, that the region’s rulers would have frowned upon the carrying of swords, and especially wouldn’t have tolerated an armed band of Jews roaming the city during Passover, an often turbulent festival, Martin says.

“Just as you could be arrested in Rome for even having a dagger, if Jesus’s followers were armed, that would be reason enough to crucify him,” says Martin, whose analysis was published this month in the Journal for the Study of the New Testament.

Conclusion: you’re not only wrong but you’re dumber than a bag of hammers.

Paula Fredriksen, a historian of ancient Christianity at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, says Martin’s paper has several holes “that you could drive trucks through.”

For one, she doesn’t think it’s legitimate to assume that since carrying arms was illegal in the city of Rome, the same laws necessarily applied in Jerusalem. Control of the city wasn’t too tight, she argues, and the Roman prefect visited only during Passover, to help keep the peace. And during this time it probably would’ve been impossible to police the thousands of Jews that spilled into Jerusalem.

“I can’t even imagine what a mess it was,” she says.

Furthermore, she says, the Greek word used in the Gospels that Martin interprets as sword really means something more akin to knife. And these could be easily concealed, she adds. “Only professionals,” like soldiers, “carried swords,” she says.

While we’re on the subject of weapons, people didn’t carry staffs back then only because they needed help navigating the terrain.  Staffs also offered [limited] protection against wild animals.  Or wild people, whatever the case may have been.

Dear Newsweek or the Daily Beast or the Daily Tina Brown’s Ego or whatever you’re calling yourselves this week.  Stop writing about the Christian religion.  Just stop.  You people have no idea how stupid you’re making yourselves look. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

Tiber Creek Community Church

Tiber Creek Community Church

 

Church Pop brings us the news:

 

 

ROME, Italy — Pope Francis has changed the name of St. Peter’s Basilica to “Tiber Creek Community Church,” Vatican spokesperson Fr. Federico Lombardi announced this morning.

“The greatest church of Christendom, built on the holy grave of the martyr-prince of the Apostles, has been known as ‘St. Peter’s Basilica’ for 1700 years,” Fr. Lombardi explained. “It was long overdue for a rebranding.”

He continued that this was just the next step in Pope Francis’ greater program of trying to make the church more relatable to the average person.

“How many Catholics today even know who St. Peter is?” Fr. Lombardi asked reporters, eliciting murmurs of agreement. “And besides, referencing St. Peter is a dead giveaway that we’re Catholic.” Fr. Lombardi said that naming the church after it’s geographic location without any denominational identifiers was more in line with how modern people felt about religion.

Fr. Lombardi also announced that projectors and screens would be installed throughout the basilica in the coming week, that a “totally rocking” worship band was being formed, and that Pope Francis planned on making his sermons “relevant to every day life.”

“The Trinity, the Incarnation, the Virgin Birth, these are all interesting — to dead theologians,” Fr. Lombardi said dismissively. “But how does that apply to my everyday life? How will that help me advance in my career? That’s what Pope Francis is going to be focusing on.”

According to an anonymous source within the Vatican, when some of his advisors voiced concerns about the name change, Francis informed them that he had already purchased the new sign.

“He was really proud of the sign,” the anonymous source said. “He told us he already had some great jokes to post up there.” →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

Worse Than a Black Mass?

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For those who kneel beside us
At altars not Thine own,
Who lack the lights that guide us,
Lord, let their faith atone!

Rudyard Kipling, Hymn Before Action

 

Father Paul Nicholson engages in some silliness on stilts:

 

The imagery that is being circulated of the confrontation with the diabolical at the black mass in Oklahoma city is truly moving. But there is something worse than a black mass. It is the abuse of God’s Mercy.

I have seen the images of the Society of +Marcel Lefevbre in a full demonstration against the black mass that took place on September 21, 2014. They look every bit Catholic … yet they are not submissive to the Vicar of Christ. They are Catholic protestants.
And while they decry the attack on Christ in the black mass, do they not realize that they are compounding the wound in the Heart of Christ, by attacking the Body of Christ? How can any Catholic not feel indignant as he sees this tragedy in front of him.

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PopeWatch: Why Cupich?

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Father Pio Pace at Rorate Caeli gives us the back story on the appointment of Bishop Cupich to head the Archdiocese of Chicago:

It is very necessary to understand the full measure of the nomination of the extreme liberal bishop Blase Cupich to the see of Chicago, replacing Cardinal Francis George.

Cupich’s promotion to this particularly important position, that usually entails the elevation to the cardinalatial red, was a personal decision of Pope Francis himself. More precisely, the Pope imposed his candidate on Cardinal Ouellet and the Congregation for Bishops, under the desperate suggestion of the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, Abp. Carlo Maria Viganò. We know well that those men who are particularly authoritarian, such as Francis, also are, in many cases, easily manipulated by those who learn how to read them. Moreover, it is enough to waggle before the eyes of the Pope the scarecrow called Cardinal Burke to lead him in one direction or another, because he has kept against the Prefect of the Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura an extremely strong rancor after the 2013 conclave, in which the American Cardinal was one of those who tried to thwart his path to the pontificate.
Nuncio Viganò also has lots of scores to settle. He was, at the Secretariat of State, one of the most influential members of the close entourage of Archbishop (later also Cardinal) Fernando Filoni, when Filoni was the all-powerful Sostituto at the 1st Section (General Affairs), before being named Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. First named Secretary of the Governatorate of Vatican City State, Viganò was then made, to his great displeasure, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, a high diplomatic post, and that is in itself far from being a place of exile. (We recall the “leak” of his letter addressed to Benedict XVI to denounce the “corruption” in the administration of the Vatican City State.) It is true that while the Nuncio to the United States, when retired, often enters the College of Papal Electors, that is not always the case. For Abp. Viganò, 73 years old, time is pressing, because there are almost no chances left for him to become the head of a Congregation. But to achieve a nomination such as that of Blase Joseph Cupich to Chicago makes one’s reputation.

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Cupich and Bilberries

Cupich

 

Dale Price at Dyspeptic Mutterings dishes out truth with the bark on:
Royal Air Force pilots during the Second World War reported that ingesting bilberries improved their night vision.

It’s not often that I offer health advice here, but I think it’s relevant now, what with the bombshell news that Pope Francis appointed Blase Joseph Cupich as the next Archbishop of Chicago.
Now, if you processed that news and are still the proud owner of a foam finger that says “Francis #1!” I don’t think this post is for you. In fact, it’s really not. In fact, if I post your comment, it will probably be as a sign of how far gone you are.
For those of you taken aback by the appointment of a certified hater of TLM massgoers and pro-lifers–and even Al Kresta!–to one of the most important sees in North America, this post is for you.
An eclipse is at hand, and things are about to get unpleasant for people who think being Catholic has some supernatural value. The bottom lines are four:
  1. First: B.J. Cupich is the man the post-Burke shake-up in the Congregation of Bishops came up with. *This* is the man the Pope wanted to run one of the top three sees on the continent.
*This* is the Pope’s vision of the ideal bishop for American Catholics. From that, all else follows. 
The nausea you feel is quite understandable. All the wrong suspects are celebrating his alleged inclusiveness (Disclaimer: “Inclusiveness” and “pastoral” are void with respect to Those People Who Still Believe That S–t). Cupich’s public record confirms that he’s yet another Dad more popular with other people’s children. He’s Edward Egan, only with pretensions to intellectualism and sans the charm.
Sing a new church. Actually, an old church. That 70s Church, in fact.
       2.  Second, the Pope just sent a big signal to careerist clerics: picking public fights with pro-lifers and traditionalists is no obstacle a-tall! In fact, it’s your ticket to the top.
Get ready for some unpleasant displays from priests and bishops, alas. Fallen human nature being what it is. 
       3.  If you like your bishop, storm heaven for him. 
Pray God he’s not retiring soon, or otherwise the Wuerlwind is going to deposit yet another touchy, iron-fisted “pastoral” dialoguer on your doorstep.
        4.  The hermeneutic of continuity is dead, dead, deadski.
If the Pope was really in tune with his predecessors not named “Paul VI,” Bishop Cupich would hit age 75 as the Bishop of Spokane. Pope Francis is a Reformer, and sees himself as one. Unlike Benedict, he’s just fine with everything Vatican II did. He’s never uttered a cross word about the 21st ecumenical council. Not a one. I’d love to see anything like Benedict’s criticisms about V2 (no, not that one…) from him, but they simply do not exist. It was a break with the past, and that’s a good thing in his book. To the contrary–the people dwelling in the past are the problem, as he has scolded constantly. And as BJC affirms in this love-fest interview with the National Catholic Reporter (indirect link). This part stands out.
 

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Who Needs Clown Masses?

 

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Hattip to Pat Archbold at Creative Minority Report.

From the comments:

The showboatin’ priest is Fr. Tony Ricard, pastor of Our Lady Star of the Sea parish in New Orleans. These kinds of stunts are standard fare for him. Archbishop Greg Aymond enjoys his popularity, earned largely by pandering to the vanity and worldly preoccupations of his flock. He’s not the sort of ordinary who would put a stop to these antics.

The number one problem in the Church today is that too many clergy and laity fail to give any evidence of actually believing the teachings of Christ and thus engage in this type of tripe to paper over the spiritual void that is eating the heart out of the Church.  God forgive them and God forgive us for putting up with it.

Compare and Contrast

Reagan saluting

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We did not pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.

                                         Ronald Reagan

 

 

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Coffee Cup Salute

Evil as Bad Performance Art

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To Nero, Emperor of Rome, Master of the World, Divine Pontiff.

I know that my death will be a disappointment to you, since you wished to render me this service yourself. To be born in your reign is a miscalculation; but to die in it is a joy. I can forgive you for murdering your wife and your mother, for burning our beloved Rome, for befouling our fair country with the stench of your crimes. But one thing I cannot forgive – the boredom of having to listen to your verses, your second-rate songs, your mediocre performances. Adhere to your special gifts, Nero – murder and arson, betrayal and terror. Mutilate your subjects if you must; but with my last breath I beg you – do not mutilate the arts. Fare well, but compose no more music. Brutalize the people, but do not bore them, as you have bored to death your friend,

the late Gaius Petronius

Fictional letter from Gaius Petronius to Nero in the novel Quo Vadis

 

 

Bad enough that someone has slain an innocent, but making a bad poem out of it?  At least the Nazis did not attempt to make swing tunes celebrating the glories of their extermination camps.  Ben Johnson of Lifesite News gives us the details behind the above video:

 

 

To take the second question first, The Huffington Post is promoting a video featuring Scottish “poet” Leyla Josephine, celebrating her decision to abort her daughter. The video, “I Think She Was a She,” was uploaded to YouTube a month ago.

In the video Josephine, decked out in military camouflage, justifies herself in part by saying that she would have been willing to serve as a sacrifice to abortion just as she offered her daughter to the idol of “choice.”

“I would’ve supported her right to choose – to choose a life for herself, a path for herself. I would’ve died for that right like she died for mine,” she said.

In the next rhyming line, she addresses her unborn daughter: “I’m sorry, but you came at the wrong time.”

“I am not ashamed. I am not ashamed. I am not ashamed,” she continues – a phrase she repeats a total of six times. She repeats the phrase “This is my body” three times. (She also takes the Lord’s name in vain once.) →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

What Right Wing Zealot Wrote This?

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Policy makers and the public may wish for the comfort of certainty in their climate science. But I fear that rigidly promulgating the idea that climate science is “settled” (or is a “hoax”) demeans and chills the scientific enterprise, retarding its progress in these important matters. Uncertainty is a prime mover and motivator of science and must be faced head-on. It should not be confined to hushed sidebar conversations at academic conferences.

Society’s choices in the years ahead will necessarily be based on uncertain knowledge of future climates. That uncertainty need not be an excuse for inaction. There is well-justified prudence in accelerating the development of low-emissions technologies and in cost-effective energy-efficiency measures.

But climate strategies beyond such “no regrets” efforts carry costs, risks and questions of effectiveness, so nonscientific factors inevitably enter the decision. These include our tolerance for risk and the priorities that we assign to economic development, poverty reduction, environmental quality, and intergenerational and geographical equity.

Individuals and countries can legitimately disagree about these matters, so the discussion should not be about “believing” or “denying” the science. Despite the statements of numerous scientific societies, the scientific community cannot claim any special expertise in addressing issues related to humanity’s deepest goals and values. The political and diplomatic spheres are best suited to debating and resolving such questions, and misrepresenting the current state of climate science does nothing to advance that effort.

Any serious discussion of the changing climate must begin by acknowledging not only the scientific certainties but also the uncertainties, especially in projecting the future. Recognizing those limits, rather than ignoring them, will lead to a more sober and ultimately more productive discussion of climate change and climate policies. To do otherwise is a great disservice to climate science itself.

Steven Koonin, Undersecretary For Science, Department of Energy, during Barack Obama’s first term.

PopeWatch: Urban II

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PopeWatch assumes that one day there may be a grand debate between Pope Francis and Pope Urban II in Heaven.  If PopeWatch should manage to defy the odds and become an attorney who enters Heaven, he hopes to have a ring side seat!

 

In a trip to Albania Pope Francis said:

‘Let no one consider themselves to be the armour of God while planning and carrying out acts of violence and oppression,’ the pontiff said in speech at the presidential palace in Tirana in front of Albania’s leaders.

‘May no one use religion as a pretext for actions against human dignity and against fundamental rights,’ he said. ‘To kill in the name of God is a grave sacrilege. To discriminate in the name of God is inhuman.’

Go here to read the rest.  If Pope Francis is restricting his statement to those who slay in the name of God to oppress others, then there is no contradiction with what Pope Urban II preached long ago.  If the Pope is saying that it is always wrong to kill in God’s name, there appears to be a contradiction between the popes.

 

One of the versions of the speech given by Pope Urban II at the Council of Clermont in 1095:

 

“If among the churches scattered about over the whole world some, because of persons or location, deserve reverence above others (for persons, I say, since greater privileges are accorded to apostolic sees; for places, indeed, since the same dignity which is accorded to persons is also shown to regal cities, such as Constantinople), we owe most to that church from which we received the grace of redemption and the source of all Christianity. If what the Lord saysnamely, ‘Salvation is from the Jews,’ accords with the truth, and it is true that the Lord has left us Sabaoth as seed, that we may not become like Sodom and Gomorrah, and our seed is Christ, in whom is the salvation and benediction of all peoples, then, indeed, the very land and city in which He dwelt and suffered is, by witnesses of the Scriptures, holy. If this land is spoken of in the sacred writings of the prophets as the inheritance and the holy temple of God before ever the Lord walked about in it, or was revealed, what sanctity, what reverence has it not acquired since God in His majesty was there clothed in the flesh, nourished, grew up, and in bodily form there walked about, or was carried about; and, to compress in fitting brevity all that might be told in a long series of words, since there the blood of the Son of God, more holy than heaven and earth, was poured forth, and His body, its quivering members dead, rested in the tomb. What veneration do we think it deserves? If, when the Lord had but just been crucified and the city was still held by the Jews, it was called holy by the evangelist when he says, ‘Many bodies of the saints that had fallen asleep were raised; and coming forth out of the tombs after His resurrection, they entered into the holy city and appeared unto many,’ and by the prophet Isaiah when be says, ‘It shall be His glorious sepulchre,’ then, surely, with this sanctity placed upon it by God the Sanctifier Himself, no evil that may befall it can destroy it, and in the same way glory is indivisibly fixed to His Sepulchre. Most beloved brethren, if you reverence the source of that holiness and I . you cherish these shrines which are the marks of His footprints on earth, if you seek (the way), God leading you, God fighting in your behalf, you should strive with your utmost efforts to cleanse the Holy City and the glory of the Sepulchre, now polluted by the concourse of the Gentiles, as much as is in their power.

“If in olden times the Maccabees attained to the highest praise of piety because they fought for the ceremonies and the Temple, it is also justly granted you, Christian soldiers, to defend their liberty of your country by armed endeavor. If you, likewise, consider that the abode of the holy apostles and any other saints should be striven for with such effort, why do you refuse to rescue the Cross, the Blood, the Tomb? Why do you refuse to visit them, to spend the price of your lives in rescuing them? You have thus far waged unjust wars, at one time and another; you have brandished mad weapons to your mutual destruction, for no other reason than covetousness and pride, as a result of which you have deserved eternal death and sure damnation. We now hold out to you wars which contain the glorious reward of martyrdom, which will retain that title of praise now and forever. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

Pinkos

Father Z and I have similar feelings about what is going on in the Church today:

 

 

Some wag out there used his photoshopping skills to Hello-Kitty-ize some heroes of the silver screen.

Samples:

No… I just don’t have the heart to post Batman.   Or Superman, for that matter.  I just … can’t.

These days, this is what I feel is being done to our Church right now.

Yes, I wrote “feel”.  I’ll start thinking again after a couple shots of espresso and some fresh air. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

PopeWatch: Bernardin II

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One of the chief ways of assessing any pope is to look at his appointments.  Pope Francis has picked Bishop Blase Cupich of Spokane to run the Chicago Archdiocese.  PopeWatch believes this marks a return to the policies of Joseph Cardinal  Bernardin who was in charge of the Chicago Archdiocese prior to Francis Cardinal George.  Let us count the ways.

 

1.  Seamless garment-

It’s a philosophy underscored by his previous job as bishop in Rapid City, South Dakota. Under his leadership, the “Pro-Life Committee” in the Rapid City diocese became the “Social Justice Committee.” It wasn’t a shift away from an anti-abortion message, Cupich says, but an expansion to all sorts of issues — opposition to capital punishment, support of immigration reform, concern for those in poverty. 

2.  Distancing from the pro-life cause-

As is his custom, the bishop has not responded.  I do not understand Bp. Cupich’s hostility  to the prolife movement and 40DFL, but this is not the first time I have gotten samizdat from some suffering soul in Spokane, struggling with the fact that the bishop appears to be bent on campaign of crushing and suppressing pro-life activity and punishing people for the crime of being orthodox.  I do not understand that guy.

3.  Hostility to traditional Catholicism-

RAPID CITY – A standoff between Latin-rite Catholics in Rapid City and their bishop has left the Latin Mass congregation of St. Michael’s choosing to celebrate Good Friday services on the sidewalk instead of in church.

Members of the Latin Mass community, which has met in Rapid City for the past 12 years at Immaculate Conception Church on Fifth Street, say Bishop Blase Cupich has barred them from celebrating Good Friday and Easter vigil services at the church in an attempt to mainstream them into the English-language Mass.

“We’ve been prohibited by the bishop from celebrating the Easter Triduum liturgies and locked out of our church from noon on Holy Thursday until 8 a.m. on Easter morning,” Dan Carda, 58, of Piedmont, said. Carda is a Latin Mass adherent who refuses to participate in the new-order English-language Mass that was mandated by the Second Vatican Council.

Instead, Carda and some of the other 220 members of St. Michael’s congregation will gather at 3 p.m. today for Good Friday services on the sidewalk in front of the church.

4.  Toadying to the Democrat Party-

When most bishops refused to let Catholic Charities employees serve as Navigators for the Affordable Care Act, Cupich bucked the trend: Whatever problems the USCCB had with Obamacare and its contraception mandate, he was committed to using the infrastructure of the Church to help poor people access health insurance.

Just prior to the presidential election in 2008 he wrote an editorial in America raising the spectre that it was intrinsically evil for people to vote against Obama because of his race.  The purpose of the editorial seemed to be to give cover for Obama on the abortion issue and was curious since the idea that large numbers of voters were voting against Obama simply because of his race was a mirror image of the actual role of race in that election.  Go here to read the editorial.

He was the second to the last bishop to join the fight against the contraceptive mandate. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

Politics as Religion and Moral Code

 

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Kirsten Powers, who is rapidly becoming my favorite liberal, is a liberal who actually prizes tolerance and intellectual diversity, and she is noticing that she is becoming a rather rare bird among her ideological colleagues:

 

This week, a trail-blazing woman was felled in the new tradition of commencement shaming. International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde withdrew from delivering the commencement speech at Smith College following protests from students and faculty who hate the IMF. According to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, this trend is growing. In the 21 years leading up to 2009, there were 21 incidents of an invited guest not speaking because of protests. Yet, in the past five-and-a-half years, there have been 39 cancellations.

Don’t bother trying to make sense of what beliefs are permitted and which ones will get you strung up in the town square. Our ideological overlords have created a minefield of inconsistency. While criticizing Islam is intolerant, insulting Christianity is sport. Ayaan Hirsi Ali is persona non grata at Brandeis University for attacking the prophet Mohammed. But Richard Dawkins describes the Old Testament God as “a misogynistic … sadomasochistic … malevolent bully” and the mob yawns. Bill Maher calls the same God a “psychotic mass murderer” and there are no boycott demands of the high-profile liberals who traffic his HBO show. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

Blase Cupich: Remembrance of Things Past

Cardinal George and Bishop Blase Cupich

 

Tomorrow PopeWatch will have much to say about the dismaying appointment of Bishop Blase Cupich to head the Archdiocese of Chicago.  Mark Shea back in 2011 gave some reasons why this appointment is disturbing:

A reader writes:

Dear Friends,We recently learned about a troubling decision regarding pro-life activities by our bishop, His Excellency Blase Cupich of the Diocese of Spokane.

I am emailing you because you are a parishioner in the diocese, or have a connection to the diocese, or you have the ability to make public this regrettable decision.

Bishop Cupich has informed all of his priests and seminarians that they cannot:
- pray outside of Planned Parenthood
- promote or organize peaceful protest outside Planned Parenthood in their parishes (naming 40 Days for Life specifically)
- or allow pro-life material to be distributed in their parishes unless it is published by the Washington State Conference of Catholic Bishops or the USCCB–who, ironically, support 40 DFL.

This information came to us directly from multiple Spokane priests. We were also told by these priests that Bishop Cupich identifies himself as pro-life, but disagrees with the “tactic” of praying outside of abortion clinics. The reason he gave for his decision is that he does not want his priests being identified with “extreme” pro-life persons.

We know you all understand the great concern that comes when a bishop is 1) not overtly supportive of pro-life activities and 2) will not allow his priests to fight for the pro-life cause by praying and giving witness to the sanctity of human life outside of Planned Parenthood.

My wife and I have written a letter that we will be sending to the bishop tomorrow and have copied the text below. I am asking that you also do what you can to help him change his mind, especially since we begin the fall campaign of 40 Days for Life in a few weeks.

Let us all pray for Bishop Cupich that he has a conversion of heart on this issue.

May God bless each of you as you fight for life!
****

Most Reverend Blase J. Cupich
Diocese Of Spokane
1023 W. Riverside Avenue
Spokane, WA 99210Your Excellency:
We have recently learned of facts that are highly disturbing to us. We are seeking clarification from your office.
We have been told that you have forbidden priests and seminarians of the Diocese of Spokane from praying in front of Planned Parenthood, participating in 40 Days for Life, organizing peaceful protest outside of Planned Parenthood (either as a part of 40 Days for Life or otherwise), and endorsing/allowing communication of pro-life activities involving the above two methods in a parish.
We also learned that no pro-life literature may be distributed in a parish except for those produced by the Washington State Conference of Catholic Bishops or by the USCCB. A few months ago, we learned that you declined to endorse 40 Days for Life—something Bishop Skylstad, your predecessor, did indeed endorse. Even the USCCB supports and promotes this organization.
We were concerned, but hoped you had a good reason for your decision, and that it might be a misunderstanding. With this new information, we find it hard to believe it is a misunderstanding.
As members of the Diocese of Spokane, we do not understand why our bishop, the man entrusted by the Church and by Christ to lead the flock, would not allow a peaceful protest of the destruction of human lives. The pro-life issue, which has been championed and endorsed by Popes John Paul II, Benedict XVI and the USCCB, is the most important of our age.
In the last 38 years, since abortion became legal in the United States, over 50 million children have been lost (that we know of) through the horror of abortion. While we are hoping that your denial of priests to pray for the unborn outside of the very place where children are murdered is a matter of disagreement on tactics, it seems as though you do not support the movement at all; again, we hope that is not true.
However, we do not understand how a bishop could not endorse praying the rosary, Our Lady’s prayer, for the sake of the unborn, their mothers and fathers and the workers, at the very scene of their deaths. Prayer and peaceful witness are the only ways that we will win the battle of converting hearts to believe in the sanctity of every human life. If what we heard is true, telling priests not to pray outside of abortion clinics would be equivalent to telling a priest in Germany or Poland that they should not pray outside of Death Camps. The same tragedy that happened in Germany is happening in our country today, but too many people are standing by without defending the unborn.
We need our priests and our bishops, our spiritual leaders, to take on the cause of defending the unborn! We need our priests and bishops to unabashedly proclaim the sanctity of human life! We need our priests and bishops to witness to the women who are going into a clinic and are in need of a friendly face! If they don’t lead the people of God, how will we win this battle for the lives of the unborn? How do we tell the world that the Catholic Church is the most pro-life faith when our bishops are not willing to sacrifice for the life of a baby?
We are not necessarily asking you to pray outside of Planned Parenthood or be the leader of 40 Days for Life, although we wish you would desire to do so.
But we are asking you to clarify why you would not allow your priests and seminarians to take part in this essential part of the pro-life movement. We are also asking you to publicly endorse 40 Days for Life, an important part of our witness in this diocese each year.
It saddens us that our new bishop is not overtly pro-life, let alone that he will not allow his priests and seminarians to express their own pro-life convictions.
Know that we will pray for you as the shepherd of our diocese. However, if this decision remains in effect, we will not be able to support you financially. We will be rescinding our 2011 pledge to the Annual Catholic Appeal, additionally.
It is essential that the Catholic Church be the beacon of hope in this time where our society finds it acceptable to murder innocent human life by the millions each year.
May God bless you in your ministry and give you wisdom as you lead our diocese.

I don’t get the guy. His reasoning isn’t even internally consistent since the USCCB (rightly) has no problem at all with 40 DFL, a perfectly peaceful, non-confrontational, non-gory form of civil witness for life. Plus, he’s just taken over a diocese that’s been through the ringer financially due to abuse lawsuits. So he deliberately spits in the eye of the most dedicated and loyal Catholics, provoking them to withhold their appeal funds out of conscience? What gives?

God grant him a change of heart through Christ Jesus.

 

In 2012 Mark wrote: →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

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