Health Care is a Commodity

Tuesday, May 16, AD 2017


The usual suspects are outraged that the new Miss USA, Kara McCullough, thinks that health care is a privilege not a right.  Her father is a retired Marine and she holds a BS in Chemistry from the University of South Carolina.  She works as an emergency preparedness specialist for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.  (No, that does not make her a nuclear scientist as some of the press hasreported.)

Health care of course is neither a right nor a privilege but a commodity.  Someone always has to pay for it.  To say that health care is a right is to say that person A has a right to compel other people to pay for A’s health care under all circumstances, and such a “right” has never existed and will never exist on this planet.  Government schemes for “free” healthcare always involve the rationing of health care and the denial of it under certain circumstances.  A privilege may be taken away and health care is almost never denied if it is paid for.  Kudos to Ms. McCullough, nonetheless, for actually thinking about her answer instead of rattling off the politically correct canned response.

Her answer about feminism was also a cut above the usual mindless platitudes expected of would be beauty queens:

8 Responses to Health Care is a Commodity

  • “To say that health care is a right is to say that person A has a right to compel other people to pay for A’s health care under all circumstances, and such a “right” has never existed and will never exist on this planet. Government schemes for “free” healthcare always involve the rationing of health care and the denial of it under certain circumstances.”
    I’ve heard ‘rights’ explained thus, so that every right for someone entails a duty from someone else to provide it. I’m don’t agree. The 2nd amendment recognizes the right to have and bear arms. But it doesn’t detail a duty for someone (the government?) to provide them if an individual can’t afford them. It just says that an individual has a right to acquire them and the government can’t prevent him from acquiring them. I ‘ve been re-reading Adler’s “10 Philosophical Mistakes”, he says the same thing. Rights are any good thing that encourages human flourishing. But a ‘right’ doesn’t mean that someone else has a duty to provide that ‘right’, but that a person has a right to try to acquire. His success in acquisition will be dependent on fortunate circumstances.

  • “But a ‘right’ doesn’t mean that someone else has a duty to provide that ‘right’, but that a person has a right to try to acquire. His success in acquisition will be dependent on fortunate circumstances.”

    I understand what you are saying BPS but that is not how a “right to health care” is commonly understood.

  • Then we need to shift the common understanding of what a right is, Don. If we allow others to constantly play shell games with definitions then we will end up with rights that weak and flaccid if not altogether destroyed.

    BPS is correct. Health care is a human right, and it is not a civil right. The U.S. government is not violating my human rights under any current healthcare financing arrangement. If I lived in Venezuela (a place that claimed to uphold healthcare as a right) then my human rights would be violated, since the government there has impeded and destroyed nearly the entire healthcare marketplace with its socialist policies. Those who have blurred the definition of rights have loved Venezuela, up to now.

  • “She works as an emergency preparedness specialist for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. (No, that does not make her a nuclear scientist as some of the press hasreported.)”

    Correct. Thank you, Donald. E-Plan specialist was one of my former job hats at a nuclear utility. I was the radiation monitoring system engineer and the radilogical E-Plan specialist. That’s a very different role than Reactor Engineer or nuclear scientist.

    BTW, I am teaching reactor engineers / nuclear scientists all this week and next. Specifically, I am teaching the requirements that exist in ASME Standard NQA-1 for safety-related analytical and calculational software. Again, that’s not nuclear engineering or nuclear science. But my students need to know the requirements that the US NRC has endorsed so that they can develop their safety-related codes to do their nuclear engineering jobs.

    The public – and especially the liberal progressive feminist Democrat news media – is so abominably ignorant about all things nuclear. And all things science. And all things historical. And all thing religious. Stupid dumb idiot news journalists without an ounce of integrity or objectivity.

  • Sadly, the debate is rife with the anecdotes and emotions that are antithetical to resolving the actual health care crisis.

    It’s economics 101. Prior to the post-modern subversions, economics was the study of allocating limited commodities, resources, goods and services among relatively unlimited demands for said economic “goods. In the good old days, markets and prices were studied. Now, economists are in bed with demagogue politicians to replace with government diktat the market/price mechanisms for allocation of goods: here health care.

    There are many weaknesses with this approach – see Venezuela, the DMV, The VA.

    THE most glaring weakness is the near 100% failure rate for voodoo central planning. Milton Friedman said that if the government took over the Sahara Desert in five years there would be shortages of sand.

    If Trump can’t reverse the Obamacare death spiral, we are in big trouble.

  • The commodity of health care is not equally accessible to all. It is impossible for it to be equally accessible to all despite life circumstances including location, education, mobility etc etc. There would be a necessity of an overarching regulator and provider who could ameliorate those circumstances and make equitable organizational decisions and cut off points.

    Our Petrie culture of death is not likely a good place for growing top down general universal “health care”. The tendency would just be to the management of resources concerning health decisions- not particularly responsive to individual needs.
    The whole idea reeks.

  • Here are some economic facts:

    1) Healthcare is a commodity at only the basic public health level, such as with vaccines and other commonly needed items from the DME (durable medical equipment) and Pharma industries. As Anzlyne points out, response to individual needs in more complex cases exists and this works against commodification.

    2) Healthcare is not a free market. In a free market a seller does not have to sell and a buyer does not have to buy. Illness that is not trivial, that MUST be treated is what is called a diseconomy. One purpose of insurance is to reduce this diseconomy.

    3) Health insurance is better privatized, because a competitive market will result in about a 30% reduction of operating costs over a government insurer. Plus, operating costs don’t get buried in government deficits (yeah, some see that as a feature, it’s not).

    Could add a lot more…

  • One sailor with bubonic plague stepped off the boat in Marsailles, France, and two thirds of Europe died. There are cases in the United States of bubonic plague but they have been contained as has been eboli. New diseases are entering from the third world of which doctors cannot contend. Death, war, famine and PESTILENCE will always be with us. It may be prudent to help cure the neighbor and Thank God.

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PopeWatch: Que?

Tuesday, May 16, AD 2017


Phil Lawler at Catholic Culture notes that Pope Francis uses Jesuit doublespeak when he wishes to avoid endorsing Catholic teaching:

As the question-and-answer session was coming to a close, a Portuguese journalist was given the opportunity for a final question. He asked the Holy Father to comment on the fact that in Portugal, an overwhelmingly Catholic country, the political trend is favorable to recognition of same-sex marriage, acceptance of abortion, and now perhaps even euthanasia. Here is the Pope’s reply:

I think it’s a political problem. And that also the Catholic conscience isn’t a catholic one of total belonging to the Church and that behind that there isn’t a nuanced catechesis, a human catechesis. That is, the Catechism of the Catholic Church is an example of what is a serious and nuanced thing. I think that there is a lack of formation and also of culture. Because it’s curious, in some other regions, I think of the south of Italy, some in Latin America, they are very Catholic but they are anti-clerical and ‘priest-eaters’, that … there is a phenomenon that exists. It concerns me. That’s why I tell priests, you will have read it, to flee from clericalism because clericalism distances people. May they flee from clericalism and I add: it’s a plague in the Church. But here there is a work also of catechesis, of raising awareness, of dialogue, also of human values.

So, given an opportunity to comment on the collapse of Catholic moral principles in a Catholic society—it could easily be described as a softball question—the Pope said… What?

Read that answer again, and tell me what the Pope thinks of Catholics who, in public life, betray Catholic principles. Good luck.

10 Responses to PopeWatch: Que?

  • Only liberals love what he says. God, we don’t want Jorge Bergoglio dead or wish him any ill will, but for the sake of your Holy Church, please end this Pontificate in Your way and by Your will, in Jesus’ Holy Name, Amen.

  • I had my good wife read his response just to see she could make heads or tails out of it. No luck. PF is an evil clown. Pope Chastisement.

  • Curiously, we don’t have the expression “priest-eaters” in English. One does in French; « bouffeur de curé » is a common term for an anti-clerical, especially an anti-clerical politician, of the stamp of Jules Ferry, Emile Combes or George Clemenceau.

    It should not be confused with secularism (although the two often go together). Anti-clericalism, in the sense of wishing to curb the powers and privileges of the clergy, was common enough throughout the Middle Ages and the clergy were often the butt of satire.

    There was a streak of anti-clericalism, too, in Jansenism, as witness the Synod of Pistoia in 1786. Many of the supporters of Joseph II’s ecclesiastical legislation were Jansenists and a number of the deputies on the committee that drew up the Civil Constitution of the Clergy (1790) during the French Revolution were Appellant Jansenists.

  • The man never fails to disappoint. He is all doubt and confusion all the time.

    He acts like liberals in this respect he only cites Jesus and the Gospels when needed to support his liberal agenda.

    Finally (Thank god!), “que” (accent over the e) is literally translated “what?” I have known Spanish speakers to use the word “como” or “how” in such situations.

    Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.

  • “No Pope would be better than this Pope.”

    Pope Francis: Creating wannabe sedevacantists since 2013.

  • What relationship does that answer have to the question? I’m afraid our Holy Father is nuts – the Japanese brain surgeon is right in his diagnosis. Can you ever imagine Benedict XVI, or St. JP II, or Pius XII ever giving a response like that ?

  • I think he said it is caused by a lack of formation and of culture. He noted that people consider themselves Catholic, but they are against priests and authority structures, priests being the very ones who bring them the sacraments and the faith–so in other words it doesn’t make sense, there is a hole in their buckets. Claiming to be Catholic while being antiCatholic is incoherent.
    Unfortunately he also seems to me to be a priest-eater- so many things he says seems to make the priesthood more and more marginal

  • The Pope was trying to say hypocritical Priests who overstate their priesthood for their own personal gain , I think this Pope uses a dialogue that challenges all when he speaks without really condemning directly
    Which is a good thing only real conservative Catholics to the point of being fanatical in their views will take offence ,

  • “I think this Pope uses a dialogue that challenges all when he speaks”

    The Pope only challenges those who seek to uphold the teachings of the Catholic Church and/or those who differ with him politically. His mode of operation is perfectly understandable after four years.

  • Seems like the usual meaningless gobbledygook indicating he didn’t want to answer the question because he doesn’t really believe in Catholic doctrine. Bad answer from a bad guy.

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Powers Boothe: Requiescat In Pace

Monday, May 15, AD 2017

Perhaps the greatest American character actor of his time, Powers Boothe passed away in his sleep at age 68 on Pentecost this year.  An anomaly in Hollywood, he was married to his one and only wife since 1969 and he was a Republican.  He could play anything:  from insane villains like Jim Jones to heroes like Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Tanner in Red Dawn (1984).  Like most great actors and actresses he made it look easy.  The son of a Texas sharecropper, Boothe had a down to earth quality he brought to most roles he was playing.  I will miss him.

3 Responses to Powers Boothe: Requiescat In Pace

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May 15, 1864: Battle of New Market

Monday, May 15, AD 2017


“And New Market’s young cadets.”

Southern Birthright, Bobby Horton


John C. Breckinridge, fourteenth Vice-President of the United States and current Confederate Major General, had a big problem.  His task was to hold the Shenandoah Valley, the bread basket of the Army of Northern Virginia, for the Confederacy, and he was confronted with two Union columns seeking to rendezvous at Staunton, Virginia and place the Valley under Union control.  One column under George Crook was coming from the West Virginia.  The second column under Franz Sigel was coming down the Valley.  Sigel had twice the men that Breckinridge could muster, 9,000 to 4000, but Breckinridge saw no alternative but to march north and engage Sigel before the two Union columns could join against him.

The Confederacy by this time was robbing the cradle and the grave to fill out its ranks.  In the cradle contingent with Breckinridge were 257 cadets of the Virginia Military Institute, who ranged in age from 15-24.

Breckinridge brought Sigel to battle at mid-morning on May 15, 1864 south of New Market.  With detachments Sigel’s force was down to 6,000 men.  However, 2 to 3 was still very poor odds for an attacking army.

6 Responses to May 15, 1864: Battle of New Market

  • The New Market National(?) Battle Field can be accessed off US Route 81. We passed there a number of times coming and going to Forts Campbell and Polk to visit our son. Next time we head south, will stop there. Also, Antietam isn’t that far off our route, need to stop there.

    Likely, John Ford in his movie “The Horse Soldiers” used the VMI/New Market theme for the
    scene where the military school cadets charged the US Cavalry – great scene. Note the young soldier who had been relieved b/c he was sole surviving son, absconding out of his mother’s home to join the fight . . . ‘The Bonnie Blue Flag”

  • The Cadets of VMI still make the march from the Institute to New Market every year to commemorate their forbears’ march down the Valley Pike. Sigel came “up” the valley in the somewhat unexpected way of referring to directions in the Shenandoah Valley (due to the fact that the Shenandoah runs north).

  • Astonishing heroism, astonishing victory. Breckinridge was one of the finest “amateur” soldiers of the war, and Davis’ finest Secretary of War (albeit too little, too late).

    Sigel? Well, he was superb at Pea Ridge–and nowhere else. Who knows? He might even be a reason why Americans weren’t particularly afraid of the Kaiser’s legions in the Great War…

  • I think it’s Interstate 81 that runs by the battlefield. US 81 runs from North Dakota to Texas.

  • Yes, I-81 unfortunately cuts right through the Valley, parallel to US 11, the original, macadamized Valley Pike, that bisected the original New Market battlefield.

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PopeWatch: Pontius Pilate

Monday, May 15, AD 2017



Sandro Magister wonders why the Vatican is silent on the persecution by the Venezuelan government against the Church:


The number of dead is now around forty, the wounded number a thousand. It is the price of a month of popular demonstrations, even of only women dressed in white, against the presidency of Nicolás Maduro, in a Venezuela on the brink.

A Venezuela in which a new factor has recently taken the field, and this is the growing, systematic aggression against properties and personnel of the Catholic Church.

Vatican sources – starting with “L’Osservatore Romano” – as detailed as they are in covering the developments of the crisis, are sparing with news about aggression against the Church.

There is not a single reference to this even in the letter that Pope Francis wrote on May 5 to the Venezuelan bishops, who on the same day published a vibrant declaration against the announcement made by Maduro of a “constitutional convention” to reform the state for his use and consumption, meaning in practice – the bishops charge – to impose “a totalitarian, militaristic, violent, oppressive police state system” even worse than the “21st-century socialism” set up by Maduro’s predecesssor, Hugo Chávez, a leader still praised by many leftist populist groups in Latin America and elsewhere.

For Sunday, May 21, the bishop have called a “Day of prayer for peace in Venezuela.” But meanwhile, here is an initial survey of the aggression against the Catholic Church, published by the Venezuelan journalist Marinellys Tremamunno in La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana of April 2:

> Venezuela, inizia la persecuzione della Chiesa

Nothing is off-limits. Death threats and blasphemous graffiti on the walls of churches. Masses interrupted by incursions of Chavist “colectivos.” Caracas cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino silenced during the homily and forced to leave the church. The venerated image of the Nazarene in the cathedral of Valencia smeared with human excrement. The chanceries of the dioceses of Guarenas and Maracay plundered. Thefts of consecrated hosts in Maracaibo. The headquarters of the episcopal conference devastated. One priest killed in Guayana and another abducted.

But it doesn’t end there. On May 4, the doors of the cathedral of Caracas were damaged and its walls were covered with graffiti in praise of the government. That same day, a crowd of students from the Catholic university marched on the episcopal residence, as a sign of solidarity.

Because by now the bishops too are an “enemy” against whom the Maduro presidency is lashing out with vehemence. Especially after the failure at the outset of the attempt at mediation between the government and opposition groups supported at the end of last year by pope Jorge Mario Bergoglio through his envoys:

> Venezuela, a Nation on the Brink of the Abyss (7.11.2017)

The stance adopted by the Vatican authorities to foster a reconciliation among the parties was that expressed by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, formerly the nuncio in Caracas before his appointment as secretary of state, in the letter he sent to the parties in mid-December, “in the name and at the behest of the Holy Father.”

In it, he identified four conditions for the opening of dialogue:

– humanitarian channels to guarantee the population food and medicine;
– restitution to the parliament (in which the opposition groups are in the majority) of the prerogatives stipulated by the constitution;
– the liberation of political prisoners;
– new free elections.

But the Maduro presidency has not wanted to meet any of these conditions. On the contrary, it has made additional decisions that have ramped up the repression.

And Pope Francis has been punctually informed about everything. Also through direct conversations with Venezuelan bishops, including the president of the episcopal conference, Cardinal Baltazar Porras Cardozo, archbishop of Mérida, who met with the pope in Rome on April 27, on the eve of his journey to Egypt.

So one can understand the disappointment and anger of many Venezuelans, including bishops, when two days later, on April 29, during the customary press conference on the flight back to Rome from Cairo, Francis said this about the crisis in Venezuela:

“There was an effort by the Holy See, but this did not produce results, because the proposals were not accepted, or were diluted with a ‘yes, yes, but no, no.’ We all know the difficult situation in Venezuela, which is a country that I love very much. I know that now there is insistence – I believe on the part of the four former presidents [of Colombia, Spain, Panama, and Santo Domingo – editor’s note] – to restore this facilitation. I believe that conditions have already been presented. Very clear conditions. But part of the opposition does not want this. Because it is curious, the opposition is divided. And, on the other hand, it appears that the conflicts are intensifying all the time. There is something astir, I am informed about it, but it is very much up in the air. But everything that can be done for Venezuela must be done. With the necessary guarantees. If not, we are playing ‘tintìn pirulero’ [where everyone wants to get out of paying the pledge – editor’s note], and this is no good.”

The next day, Sunday, April 30, speaking at the “Regina Caeli,” Francis moderated somewhat the dismissive words he spoke on the plane against the Venezuelan opposition groups, practically blamed for being the ones who ruined the agreement. He addressed “a heartfelt appeal to the government and to all the components of society that every further form of violence be avoided, human rights be respected, and negotiated solutions be sought for the grave humanitarian, social, political, and economic crisis that is devastating the population.” But this correction has by no means calmed the waters. Twelve hours later, in fact, the opposition groups wrote a letter to the pope in which “not divided but unanimous” they said that they agree to the conditions set by Cardinal Parolin – unlike the government, which has always rejected them – and indicated free elections as the only way out of the crisis.

The fact is that between Pope Francis and the Venezuelan bishops, concerning the crisis that is ravaging the country, there is an abyss. The bishops stand with the population that is protesting against the dictatorship, and are respected and listened to as authoritative guides. While Bergoglio is judged on a par with Pontius Pilate, unforgivably reckless with Maduro and Chavism, in addition to being incomprehensibly reticent on the victims of the repression and on the aggression that is striking the Church itself.

3 Responses to PopeWatch: Pontius Pilate

  • This outcome was inevitable in Venezuela. Chavez, like Castro, was a criminal who should have stayed locked up. Chavez got himself elected, blamed the US for all of Venezuela’s problems, praised Castro and has sought to turn Venezuela into another Cuba. Mauro is an extension of Castro. As I was not yet born when Castro seized power, how much did the Church protest? Not much, I’ll bet. In the Pontiff’s mind, only the Right persecutes and only the Right is a tyranny. Venezuelans should expect no help from him. What can you expect from a man who has praised Communism and Communists?

  • I meant to say Mauro is an extension of Chavez.

  • For the Pope to speak about the situation truthfully is to undermine his Communist views which are his entire reason for being. What is truth, indeed. Truth must be tailored to fit the Pope’s view.

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My Bride and Mother’s Day

Sunday, May 14, AD 2017


Her children rose up, and called her blessed: her husband, and he praised her.

Proverbs 31:28

My mother loved my bride from their first meeting.  They enjoyed shopping together, and my bride was the daughter she never had. My mother died on Easter Sunday 1984.  She never saw, in this life, her grandchildren.  My bride and I were married for eight years before our twin boys appeared.  We were afraid we were never going to have children.  When they were born, I was 34 and my bride was 33.  After we brought the boys home, my initial thought was:  “What’s next”?  After being married for such a long time as a childless couple, I was concerned that perhaps parenthood would prove a challenge we were ill-prepared to meet.  Fortunately my bride, from the outset, proved herself a superb mother.

Changing endless diapers and making endless bottles of formula she did like a pro, as if her entire life had been preparation for these tasks.  When the toddler stage entered, she was constantly on the go, chasing after two inquisitive little boys who could cover a great deal of distance in a small amount of time.  I helped as much as I could, but the law mines often meant that for large portions of the week my bride was on her own.  This was especially a challenge with Larry as he always ranked among the boldest of spirits.  One morning my bride took the boys to Renfrew Park a few blocks from our home.  Toddler Larry loved that park.  He loved it so much that during the afternoon he slipped from the house and began a toddler trek to the Park.  My bride was frantic until a policeman returned Larry to our house safe and sound to the vast relief of Mom.

The boys were both late talkers and thus my bride began her relationship with various governmental “helping” agencies, who soon decided that something was wrong with both boys.  Well, they were half right:  Larry it turned out was autistic.  He began to speak about the same time as his brother, but he would always speak with difficulty and with a limited range of words.  I was crushed about this initially, alarmed for Larry’s future.  My bride’s optimism never faltered.  She, from their earliest days, began to teach the boys in “Mommy School”, tailoring Larry’s lessons to his abilities.  She continued to do this after our kids began to attend public school, with Mommy School ending with High School.  I largely attribute the academic success of our two other children to my brides’ patient instruction of them as they grew.

Our boys were joined by our baby girl three and a half years after their birth.  Tending the boys while pregnant was often a challenge to my bride, especially on one interesting, that would be the word, day when I came home and was advised that the boys had displayed their artistic skill, by painting on the white walls of their room in poop.  Life was rarely dull for my bride as our kids were growing!  With the advent of our daughter my bride had an inquisitive, and talkative, mini-her, who for the first years of her life often would say what her Mom had said just a few minutes  before, as if the words were thought up by her.  Donnie quickly reacted to this little prodigy by learning a new phrase, “I scared of sister.”

6 Responses to My Bride and Mother’s Day

  • What a beautiful tribute to your wife. God bless you both!

  • Truly a Proverbs 31 wife you have, Mr. McClarey.

  • Larry taught me: “First it is bread. Now, it is Jesus.” Simple, beautiful and true.

  • It is apparent that you make a beautiful couple and wonderful parents. Happy Mother’s Day to the Mrs. And… Happy Father’s Day, in advance, to the Mr. May God continue to richly bless you all.

  • What a beautiful tribute to your wife. May God bless you both!

  • There are no coincidences. I was standing glum and feeling sorry for myself, when all of a sudden someone came up behind ,me and touched me. There crouching down a bit was a lady friend of mind with a newspaper his her hand. Were at a base in Labrador, and she had gone on a trip with friends to civilization, and brought back a New York Dailey News with Comics. I had read it weekly growing up in an East Texas oil town. When she left she asked if I needed anything and I asked her to bring a NY paper. I was expecting g the Times, not this tabloid. I saw her looking slightly crosseyed at me, and I was immediately overwhelmed with two feelings: that she looked so cute at that moment, and that by this little gift showed that she cared. I deeply needed that at that moment, and God provided. It was a sign. That was fifty years ago and we are still man and wife, with four children. One is mentally challenged and she live with us, an adult child who nonetheless who amazes us sometimes with her special gifts, including a sharp memory. At out age that alone is a gift. God knows out hearts, and helps us see what our eyes cannot always see and hear what our ears often are draft to. Praise by his name.

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Pentecost and Renewal

Sunday, May 14, AD 2017


So ever the king had a custom that at the feast of Pentecost in especial, afore other feasts in the year, he would not go that day to meat until he had heard or seen of a great marvel.


When my children were small as the family drove to Mass, I offered the kids a dollar for the first one to sight the Questing Beast, tying the Arthurian legend with the great feast.  When my son died on Pentecost four years ago, the bright spot on that bleak Pentecost was when my bride gave voice to a thought that had occurred to me:  Larry has gone after the Questing Beast.

The birthday of the Church, inaugurated with the great miracles of the coming of the Holy Spirit and the tongues of fire underlining the universal nature of the mission of the Church, at Pentecost has always reminded me that since the coming of Christ we live in an age of miracles, if we only have the wit and the faith to see them.  I know this from personal experience:   since the death of Larry I have received a small miracle to assure me of his love from the other side.

We live in a time in the West of great cultural pessimism and spiritual sickness that has infected the Church.  We forget that over 2000 turbulent years Christ has never failed us and that we Christians should never give way to despair.  We do battle with Principalities and Powers, and not merely misguided or evil fellow men, and Christ is ever ready to aid us if we call on Him in humility and love.

The Holy Spirit, Saint Thomas Aquinas teaches us, brings us renewal:

2 Responses to Pentecost and Renewal

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Mother ‘O Mine

Sunday, May 14, AD 2017

If I were hanged on the highest hill,

Mother o’ mine, O mother o’ mine!

I know whose love would follow me still,

   Mother o’ mine, O mother o’ mine!

If I were drowned in the deepest sea,

Mother o’ mine, O mother o’ mine!

I know whose tears would come down to me,

Mother o’ mine, O mother o’ mine!

If I were damned of body and soul, 

I know whose prayers would make me whole,

   Mother o’ mine, O mother o’ mine!

Rudyard Kipling

3 Responses to Mother ‘O Mine

  • So very beautiful and so very true. A Mother never leaves… only God calling her Home could accomplish that. Thank You for this beautiful tribute.

  • “….I know who’s prayers would make me whole.”

    Thanks to my two mother’s prayers a broken version of me became whole.

    Now that my two mom’s are together, I pray, allow me to say from my heart, Happy Mothers Day. Joan and the Blessed Virgin Mary. What a triumphant combination.

    To all the mother’s praying for their children. Never give up! Keep at it.
    Your prayers will be answered for the conversion of your sons and daughters.
    Trust in God.

  • “To our Lady.
    Lovely Lady dressed in blue –
    Teach me how to pray!
    God was just your little boy,
    Tell me what to say!

    As nearly as anything in this fallen World, mother’s love comes closest to God’s eternal, unconditional love.

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Bishop Sheen on Fatima

Saturday, May 13, AD 2017


The things that you find on the internet!  Bishop Sheen gives a brilliant exposition of the miracle of Fatima.

Bishop Sheen believed that our Lady of Fatima would lead to the conversion of Islam.  Here are his thoughts on that subject:

Moslemism is the only great post-Christian religion of the world. Because it had its origin in the seventh century under Mohammed, it was possible to unite within it some elements of Christianity and of Judaism.

Moslemism takes the doctrine of the unity of God, His Majesty, and His Creative Power, and uses it as a basis for the repudiation of Christ, the Son of God.

Misunderstanding the notion of the Trinity, Mohammed made Christ a prophet only.

The Catholic Church throughout Northern Africa was virtually destroyed by Moslem power and at the present time (circa 1950), the Moslems are beginning to rise again.

10 Responses to Bishop Sheen on Fatima

  • A fantastic man and gifted theologian.
    I love his wit and delivery. His messages….all of his tapes should be considered National Treasures.
    Thank you.

  • Note the older “Moslem” appellation versus “Muslim.”

    That was then. This is now.

    The church seems to be overpopulated by some aggressively advancing apparent untruths (“all religions are the same/we believe in the same things). To some, those persons may be seen as traitors and knaves.

  • Looking at the situation from today’s perspective Bishop Sheen, it seems, was having moment of extravagant optimism. Hopefully, the future will render him correct.

  • I saw Mark Shea posted an interesting statement about Fatima. He said, for ‘a lot of people’, it has passed its sell by date. He attributes it to people who have obsessed over it or strange theories, comparing it to the Nehushtan in the biblical tradition. I wonder if this is accurate and represents where ‘a lot of’ the Church is regarding Fatima today.

  • Dave Griffey.

    For what it’s worth, the Fatima message is a lifeline thrown to a world sinking.
    It’s “passed the sell date,” says much more about the author, M.S., than the actual event.

    The relevance of the messages are found simply in the faces of our two newest Saints. The scowl is appropriate. They visited hell. They became so serious and attentive to Our Lady’s warning that they spent each moment up to their very last making sacrifices and praying for the conversion of our world.

    To say, as Shea-ster said, about the people obsessing over it means the messages have completely flown over his inflated head.
    Some poor souls in the lowest pits of Purgatory will have wished they studied and prayed over our lifeline from 1917.
    I hope Mr. Shea reevaluates his assumption.

    As you already know, I’m not with “a-lot of the church,” might be regarding Fatima today. Nor is 100% of our parishioners at Holy Rosary.

  • Suffering up to the end of life for the conversion of sinners;

  • Dave Griffey: “He [Mark Shea] said, for ‘a lot of people’, it has passed its sell by date.”
    No, Fatima has not passed its sell by date. For a lot of people it is Christianity and Catholicism that have passed their sell by dates. Fatima has nothing to do with it.

    “He attributes it to people who have obsessed over it or strange theories, comparing it to the Nehushtan in the biblical tradition.”
    There are such people, but they are a very small number. One, a really lovely person, did show up at MrsD’s ladies rosary group yesterday morning, and everyone else disagreed with her. Fatima was not past its sell by date by anyone present. No, we can better attribute it to the general apostasy that is underway.

    “I wonder if this is accurate and represents where ‘a lot of’ the Church is regarding Fatima today.”
    No, it’s not accurate. Mark Shea reversed cause and effect in his desire to criticize the ‘obsessed’ and the ‘strange’. Last night my parish had a commemorative dinner with Portuguese food and dancers. We had to turn people away at the door. Everyone I knew there believes Fatima is not past its sell by date, and none follow strange theories in any way, obsessively or not.

    Mark Shea is straining at gnats.

  • How despondent I feel reading Bishop Sheen vision of Muslim conversion. Nearly 70 years ago I venerated the original statue of Our Lady of Fatima in Bombay(Mumbai) India and almost died trampled in a stampede. How much zeal there was then for her message.
    Today, boys and girls know virtually nothing about her or her message.
    Meanwhile, Islam is about to conquer the West again, this time resoundingly and completely so, because the Western world have forgotten Christ and His mother. Bishop Sheen had better storm heaven.

  • I don’t know about Fatima, but Mark Shea certainly passed his sell-by date! :mrgreen:

  • Nathaniel Nehushtan.

    Salt that has lost it’s flavor.

    On the positive, we had Deacon Brad Nursery ordained into the priesthood on the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, Saturday. His first Mass was yesterday, TLM, and the veil between heaven and earth was so very thin one could almost sense the myriad’s of angelic hosts filling the Church. What a great day. A great gift to our celestial Mother and Queen. Please place Fr. Nursery in your prayers. Another great jewel in Mary’s crown.
    Thank you in advance.

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8 Responses to Pomp and Cirumstances

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PopeWatch: Offensive Catholics

Saturday, May 13, AD 2017



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


A Catholic university is under fire this week after school administrators accidentally hired 37-year-old Todd Alguire, a practicing Catholic, to head their Department of Theology.

Diocesan bishop Kevin Sterling  has now demanded an investigation into the ‘offensive’ hiring after rumors spread that students would need to “brush up on the fundamentals of the Catholic  faith” before beginning this upcoming semester.

Ryan Gurley, a sophomore who described himself as ‘devoutly spiritual,’ told EOTT that his refusal to participate in any further religion classes might lead to his suspension.

“I understand that I’ll eventually either be suspended, or I won’t ever be able to graduate, but I have to stand my ground. I’ll never cave when it comes to my faith. I’m a spiritual zealot, which means I faithfully believe in every religion – so long as it isn’t Christianity, of course.  And that’s why I now stand on my rights as an American citizen and Catholic to not be forced to have to learn the tenets of Catholicism in a Catholic school. What next, having to learn the fundamentals of analytic geometry in Calculus class?”

School officials say that the accidental hiring of Mr. Alguire came after someone in the administration’s office neglected to perform a competent background check.

“This is a major oversight and, as you can probably imagine, a very embarrassing moment for the university,” said one school official. “The background process is pretty simple and straight forward. As a proud Catholic university, we do not ask for resumes or any other official documents proving competency. The only thing we do is to make sure that the applicant is either an anti-Catholic Protestant, an atheist, or an agnostic, and that if the applicant does happen to be a Catholic, that he attends no more than two masses a year, preferably none. When it comes to nearly all other departments outside of History and a couple of others, the door is wide open to practicing Catholics. That’s what makes us a Catholic university. Also, we just put up some bland, random crosses around the university so that parents of potential students may feel proud and comfortable not only sending their children here, but for paying the outrageous tuition we charge to do so.”

3 Responses to PopeWatch: Offensive Catholics

  • Don
    I thought Eye was a satire sight not anew sight.

    When I attended a Major Catholic University (late 60’s early 70 ) It’s Catholicism rested on three pillars

    recruited students as a Catholic University.
    Solicited donations as a Catholic University.

    Enough other stuff so the first two did not violate the Civil Statute of Frauds.

    Otherwise an excellent secular University.

  • I attended a secular, non-Catholic, university … hence the likely reason I remain a practicing, orthodox, Catholic more than forty years afterwards. Mind you, Marxism had not prevailed everywhere in academia and beyond back then, so the Church had a fighting chance.

  • My husband’s favorite saying on the subject: “Why let a “Catholic” university send your kid to hell when a secular one can do it just as well, and for less?” Pretty cynical but true.

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PopeWatch: Fatima

Friday, May 12, AD 2017


The Pope is going to Fatima:


Pope Francis heads to Fatima on Friday, May 12, on a pilgrimage that will see him canonize two child shepherds who reported apparitions of the Virgin Mary 100 years ago.

Some 400,000 pilgrims from around the world will welcome the Argentine pontiff on the giant esplanade that faces the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima as he arrives in his “Popemobile”, while countless others will follow proceedings on television.

The Virgin is said to have appeared 6 times in Fatima, north of Lisbon, between May and October 1917 to 3 impoverished, barely-literate children – Jacinta, 7, Francisco, 9, and their cousin Lucia, 10.

She apparently shared 3 major prophesies with the trio at a time marked by the ravages of the First World War and Church persecution in a relatively new Portuguese republic.

According to interpretations of what Lucia revealed much later on, the first secret gave a vision of hell, while the second warned of a second devastating war and the rise of communist Russia.

The third secret, which Lucia kept to herself for years, is believed to have been a prediction of the 1981 assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II.

His successor Benedict XVI, however, later said she had foreseen the “suffering” of the Church, which at the time was racked by pedophilia scandals.

13 Responses to PopeWatch: Fatima

  • PSA…. please.

    We are at the public square again.

    Thus far we have over 4200 cities praying the Rosary in public for our nation. The Senate will be deciding the fate of the latest version of the health care proposal. Within it contains the measure to redirect funds away from Planned Parenthood for a year. After that first year it’s possible that it could become permanent… far as permanent goes in DC.

    On Saturday you might see a group gathered together praying the rosary. It would be from noon to one pm.

    Please consider stopping by and joining us.

    In October of this year we have plans to exceed 20,000 cities. Our Lady our Queen of the Holy Rosary, Pray for us.

  • My wife’s father was 13 and living on Madeira Island in October 1917. He saw the Miracle of the Sun.

  • My Rosary booklet is related to Our Lady of Fatima.

    The intro prayer states that our Lady “deigned” to come to Fatima to reveal to the three shepherd children the treasures of grace contained/hidden in the Rosary.”

    Also, between the decades, in addition to the “Glory Be” is the prayer, “O my Jesus, forgive us our sins; save us from the fire of Hell; take all souls to Heaven; and especially help those most in need of Thy Mercy.”

    “Therefore, I fly to You O virgin of virgins, my Mother.”

    Daily, pray the Rosary.

  • “His successor Benedict XVI, however, later said she had foreseen the “suffering” of the Church, which at the time was racked by pedophilia scandals.”

    The Fatima secrets specifically refer to, among other “sufferings”, the Holy Father praying in a room while angry demonstrators vented their fury in the street outside. This actually happened twice during St John Paul II’s travels, once in the Netherlands and once in San Francisco, both times due to homosexual protesters.

    And now we officially will have another San Francisco! Pray for us, San Francisco Marto!

  • Interesting, PF! Did he say anyone else saw it? Up to now I’ve only hear about reports of the Miracle sightings from about 40 kilometers away. If confirmed this would push the sighting out to 1,065 kilometers.

  • TomD, I will ask the missus. She was adopted at three days of age and her dad was 62.

  • Assuming the Miracle was not something directly impressed upon the mind, but rather something with a physical nature, then a sighting at Madeira would force us to consider that it was not solely an atmospheric phenomenon. The curvature of the earth would require that part of the physical manifestation occurred above the atmosphere, in fact several hundred kilometers up.

  • LOL! Yeah right! Like the vipers in the Vatican are going to release the REAL third secret. The real third secret is too incriminating for the hierarchy in Rome. It’ll NEVER happen

  • I’ve already known the Third Secret for years: “It’s in the Gospels and the Apocalypse! Read them!” – Sr. Lucia

  • Let us hope Our Lady appears in person to Pope Francis and straightens him out before he undoes everything the Church represents.

  • TomD, in reference to your post of 5/12/17 at 10:39am, regarding a possible distance of sighting of the Miracle of the Sun out to 1,065 km – my family knew an elderly Portuguese priest in the 1970’s, who lived in the Azores as a child, saw the phenomenon in the sky, and discovered what it was after he entered the seminary — this would push the sighting out to 1,490 km, per this website:

  • Hi, Tom. I asked the missus. Her father never said if he was the only one who saw the Miracle or where he saw it.

  • Thanks KayS
    This is all fairly interesting. A priest with a scientific background once stated that the Miracle was not supernatural, that is was a natural phenomenon, and that only the revealed foreknowledge was supernatural. I understand the motive behind this stance, but it seems so limited. Already we knew of the perceived dance of the sun in a suddenly cleared sky and the drying of the wet clothes. Even if natural they must have two separate causes. Now we have possible sightings on distant islands where the only possible naturalistic answer is something outside the atmosphere. We are now up to three naturalistic miracles which all had to line up just right.
    The odds of ‘naturalistic’ miracles is just getting longer and longer. Simple divine intervention would seems much simpler.

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One Response to Resisting Enemy Interrogation

  • Once I read a story of a couple of American POWs who had seen this film. When the Germans drove them up to the requsitioned French chalet they remembered the film and burst out laughing at the sight of it. Everything that happened after paralleled the film so much that they continued to lose their composure and laugh. One later said “The Germans thought we were a couple of nutcases”.
    Hey, victory by any means, right?

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Latin Is Not Dead Yet

Thursday, May 11, AD 2017

Latin is a language,
Dead as Dead Can Be,
First it Killed the Romans,
Now It’s Killing Me.

All are dead who spoke it.
All are dead who wrote it.
All are dead who learned it,
Lucky dead, they’ve earned it.

My bride and I teach CCD to fifth and sixth graders.  Last night was the last CCD class for the year and we gave a small impromptu lesson on Latin to the kids during the class.  They seemed to enjoy it.  Time to revive learning of the traditional language of the Church.


12 Responses to Latin Is Not Dead Yet

  • I have been torturing my co-workers at “Neutrons ‘R Us” with Latin for decades now. I usually arrive into work first in the morning and make the coffee, affixing to the coffee flasks post-it notes labelled with the days of the week in Latin so that everyone will know the coffee has been freshly made:


    And when we work weekends (remember, you like your nuclear-generated electricity on weekends):


    And from time to time I teach either nuclear systems training (for boiling and pressurized water reactors) or nuclear software QA for (a) embedded software in digital instrumentation and controls, or (b) analytical codes for reactor engineering. Word etymology has become such fun, especially with the young millennials recently graduated from college who really don’t know what English words and phrases mean, like Commercial Grade Dedication, Quality Assurance, Requirement Specification, etc. It is as though I spend much time teaching not nuclear-related matters, but basic English word meaning. Such is the result of today’s liberal progressive feminist Academia! In ullo evento, gaudeatis! (PS, there are a few Greek words below).

    To take, grasp, receive, accept, undertake, admit

    To loosen again

    Not the same

    Ad + Securus
    To, towards, next to + safe, secure

    Trade, traffic, commerce

    To mold, shape, fashion, form

    To consecrate, devote, commit

    To fail, desert

    To describe, draw, mark, trace out, copy, transcribe, write down

    To mark, point out, trace out, outline, describe

    Docere + Mens
    To teach, show, point out + Mind, reason, intellect, judgment

    To wander, go astray, make a mistake, vacillate, err

    Step, position

    To look within

    Soundness, chastity, integrity

    Plumb line, level

    Manus + Mens
    Hand + Mind, reason, intellect, judgment

    μετά ‎+ ὁδός
    After + way, motion, journey

    Level flat surface

    To proceed, advance, appear

    Character, nature, characteristic, distinguishing quality

    To carry back, report

    To require, seek, ask, need, miss

    To see / consider / look at again

    Specere + Facere
    To look at or see + To make or do

    Earthen pot filled with water in which metals were tried

    Tractus + Habilis
    Having been drawn, dragged, held + Handy, easy to manage

    To verify, confirm the truth / authenticity, show to be true

  • Thank you, Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus;
    I was not so good in Latin but as you have demonstrated here, the Latin language gives one a vocabulary and comprehension of words unlike any other language. It is the basis for the Romance languages, Italian, Spanish and French
    At one time it was the only language spoken in the universities of Europe. About 40% of the Polish tongue is straight from the Latin.
    Again, Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus, your exposition of the Latin is brilliant

  • Homeschoolers, the ones who tend to go for things “Classical” at least, are already reviving Latin, as well as Greek. Memoria Press has been leading the charge, and their items are very user (parent/student) friendly, as well as solid (reprints of Henle’s are available for advanced students. Ironically, I bought my hard bound set–all four volumes, unused–in a bookstore in Tokyo.) The last I heard, the numbers of students who have been taking the National Latin Exam has been increasing each year. The graph is here:

  • I’m under the impression that studying Latin assists in organizing one’s thoughts for oral/written communication and advances logical thought processes. Obviously, I took Spanish.

    Does anybody have the Latin word for “taxes?” I have googled but can’t seem to find a good one.

    Anyhow, you don’t resort to Latin to show up liberals. They are far too stupid. So stupid that they don’t realize they’ve been shown up. Smugness/arrogance are merely symptoms of stupidity for which there is no cure.

  • For T. Shaw, this may have already been posted here at TAC:

    Also, from William Whittaker’s [Latin] words:

    vectigal, vectigalis N N 3 4 N [XXXCX]
    tax, tribute, revenue;

    tributum, tributi N N 2 2 N [XXXCX]
    tax, tribute;

    portorium, portori(i) N N 2 4 N [XXXCX]
    port duty; customs duty; tax;

    inlatio, inlationis N F 3 1 F [EXXCP]
    |contribution/pension; tribute/tax; offering/sacrifice; petition; offer (oath);

  • I have had no instruction in Latin, but I love it anyway. The greatest Catholic hymns are in Latin. A massive amount of the English language comes from Latin and most people don’t know it. The preface to the University of Chicago Spanish English dictionary rightly points out that Latin is not really dead. Castillo Spanish is simply a modern form of Latin. The Church in the West, rightly referred to as the Latin Church, gave glory to God and still does in Latin. It is our birthright and duty to know enough Latin to worship God.
    A favorite poem from Hilarie Belloc.. Wherever the Catholic sun does shine, There’s always laughter and fine red wine At least I’ve found it to be so Benedicamus Domino.
    Veni, vidi, Deus vicit…Jan III Sobieski.

  • Thanks, Gaius Lucius!

    How does “Dulce Tributum Inexpertis” work as a canned response to liberals constant demands for higher taxes?

  • Dulce = sweet (nominative singular neuter 3rd declension)
    Tributum = tribute, tax (nominative singular neuter 2nd declension)
    Inexpertis = to or for the inexperienced or untried (dative plural masculine 2nd declension)

    Sweet tribute for the inexperienced! I like it, T. Shaw!

  • It’s made a comeback at the two local public high schools. Both my children are taking it, and surprisingly, quite a few others . Unfortunately most of the diocese high schools don’t offer it. But they offer Chinese. Can’t make this stuff up.

  • A major reason for our homeschooling our children is to teach them Latin and Greek (and, if possible, a bit of Hebrew). We are very far from alone in that.

    However, Latin is not altogether absent from the public schools. It’s offered in our area. The wife of one of my colleagues is a high-school Latin teacher. Her classes are permanently oversubscribed.

  • Shows also the utility of French. Without knowing much French, one can look at a French text and recognize the meaning of so many words. Our English is a blend of the Anglo-Saxon in place in 1066, medieval French a,d Latin, Plus words taken in from other nations owing to trade with many countries. Not to forget the Greek that flows in owing to it being the language of philosophy.

  • My Finnish wife once had a tape produced by a Finn: Elvis in Latin. I believe it must have been Dr. Ammondt covers. Here’s a sample. (And you haven’t lived until you have heard “Achy Breaky Heart” in Finnish.)

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2 Responses to PopeWatch: Open Thread

  • I feel like I’m back in college with that puffed up intentionally confusing Jesuit priest/professor I had, worring about those whose faith might be hurt by the nonsense that comes out of the man’s mouth.

  • The human being, because of his transcendent nature must be reverenced. Only a God-fearing people are capable of reverencing the sovereign person in his transcendent nature.
    While the atheist, who refuses to acknowledge his “Creator”, is capable of respecting the sovereign person, the atheist, incapacitated by his refusal to acknowledge his “Creator”, is incapable of reverencing the transcendence of the human being, body and soul, the transcendent nature of man.
    Mankind, deprived of reverence, is thusly delivered a fatal blow to his pursuit of Happiness, the truth about his sovereignty, his personhood as well as his identity and his destiny.
    Atheism manifests itself in the eradication of truth and in the absence of good will for the common good.
    The transcendent nature of man reveals itself in truth and in good will for the common good.
    Thank you.

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PopeWatch: Dialogue

Wednesday, May 10, AD 2017



Dialogue:  our contemporary equivalent of a shaman waving his enchanted sticks:


Pope Francis sent a message to Venezuelan bishops, amid a wave of protests across the country, against the government of President Nicolás Maduro, which has left more than 30 dead.

“I assure you that I am following with great concern the situation of the beloved Venezuelan people in the face of the grave problems that afflict it,” said the Pontiff in his letter Friday. “I feel a deep sorrow for the confrontations and violence of these days, which have caused numerous deaths and injuries, and which do not help to solve the problems, but only cause more suffering and pain.”

The Catholic leader called on Venezuelan church leaders to warn against”any form of violence,” adding that “the serious problems of Venezuela can be solved If there is a will to establish bridges, to dialogue seriously and to comply with the agreements reached.”

The Pope, who has repeatedly urged dialogue between sectors in Venezuela, recently criticized a section of the opposition for not being disposed to talks.

Despite Pope Francis’ calls, Venezuelan opposition leaders said they would not participate in the National Constituent Assembly convened by President Nicolas Maduro to rewrite the constitution.

“(The process) is not a Constituent, we could hardly go to an absolutely fraudulent process, we Venezuelans will not be part of a fraud,” leader of the opposition MUD coalition, Henrique Capriles, said Sunday.

21 Responses to PopeWatch: Dialogue

  • Oh, if only Pope Francis would spend the rest of his pontificate on silent retreat!

  • When the only tool you have is dialogue everything looks to be the same.

  • Fatuous and immoral. Yes. That sums him up.

  • Pope Francis could say; “This crisis is the Mother of all difference in unity.”

    Of course the waving of the enchanted sticks is always a good plan B.

  • Somewhere George Orwell is saying, “You did not read my book.”

    Once the richest nation is Latin America, Venezuelans are starving. Voodoo central planning. The totalitarians nationalized the farms and placed currency and price controls.

  • But Pope Jorge, they are just ¡ haciendo un lio! [making a mess]: You urged young people to do that for change, did you not? (July 12,2015)
    Is it “no mess against the Left?”
    Or could make a greater mess of things than you, PF?

  • “Once the richest nation is Latin America, Venezuelans are starving. Voodoo central planning.”

    These countries are mostly catholic,,,, it’s embarrassing.

  • “These countries are mostly catholic . . . ”
    A Protestant, I grew up believing the poverty/poor economic state that seems to be very common in (majority) Catholic countries was due to the prohibition on birth control (which I actually believed Catholics avoided). Catholics were poor because they were all having 10 children in a family, too many mouths to feed, and all the usual population control fictions. I didn’t know that it was because most Catholic countries seems to prefer the socialist/high regulation/governmental control economic model.
    The prohibition on birth control was not a deal breaker for me, and I converted (my spouse is cradle Catholic). If I had known the Church seems to prefer socialism (despite an encyclical to the contrary), I don’t think I would have bothered to continue with the dreadful RCIA program I had to sit through.

  • DJH.

    Not always the case;

    St. Pope Pius the X!
    Hitting it square on the head.

    Don’t throw in the towel DJH.
    We just happen to have “seductive confusion,” at the wheel house.
    Fear not. He won’t last long enough to sink the ship. Just don’t abandon the ship.

  • Latin American poverty has long been blamed on the fact that Latin American nations are majority Catholic. It goes back to the Black Legend. I have read a few books about Latin American history. The relative Catholicism of those nations are not the reason for their poverty. Independence was achieved differently for Mexico, northern South America, Argentina, Chile and Brazil just declared itself independent and went on its way. Bolivar and San Martin were not practicing Catholics. I think San Martin was a Mason. The Epic of Latin America, written by USC professor John David Crow, is over 900 pages. The Latin American nations were full of poor people when they became independent. Unlike the United States, they had little experience in self government. The Church frequently found itself being bullied by the government (this is especially true in Mexico). Many of their priests came from Spain or in Brazil’s case, Portugal. To make a very long story short, the wealthy of Latin America were usually landowners who were not exemplary Catholics and cared mostly about preserving their families’ holdings. Hard work, thrift, innovation….these are not Latin American hallmarks.

  • Hard work, thrift, innovation….these are not Latin American hallmarks.

    In truth,they aren’t hallmarks of southern Catholic Europe, either. It may very well be that if you promote large families in cultures lacking those skills, socialism is more appealing. Likewise, or may be that if socialism is appealing, one never develops the self control that is necessary for thrift, innovation, hard work, or smaller family size sans contraception.

    The Poles are more northern European in genes and still Catholic. They did not appreciate socialism being forced upon them. Vikings however are strongly socialist…it is interesting what’s different about religion and values in these cultures.

  • “Hard work, thrift, innovation….these are not Latin American hallmarks.”
    They are hallmarks in Costa Rica. You can see from the air that Costa Rica is different, day or night. No haciandas, just family farms. Lots of hydropower, lots of streelights. The Ticos (as they call themselves) were isolated from much of the colonial system due to geography. They are ardently Catholic and fought a brief revolution in 1948 to oppose additional socialism beyond their New Deal style safety net. Costa Rica is proof the root of the problem is not Spanish ancestry.

  • Philip Nachazel: to SAY one is against Socialism and to BE against Socialism is a different thing. My father, while admiring Pope John Paul II somewhat (and at the time said the Catholic Church was the only Church left with any standards) , considered JPII to be “a good Socialst.” (He would have said the same of Benedict, but my father died shortly before JPII died.
    The biggest part of the problem is in the definitions. Very, very few people would consider such items as PBS and mandatory public education Socialist. Or Social Security/Medicare/Medicaid. Or basic welfare programs, or the like. But they are certainly seem to be part of the Socialist entry gate. And in the long run, these things likely aren’t as helpful to society as they seem.

  • “John Paul II a good socialist.”


    When I think of all the oppression he endured as a young man under the National Socialist German Workers Party having invaded his beloved Poland and studying the for the priesthood in clandestine settings…well I shudder at the thought of Karol being a good socialist.

    As you mentioned, there are levels and my example is extreame, but his heroic defense against the communist machine helped to topple the eastern block. Socialist lite…ok, maybe…but a “good” socialist?

  • Tom, I contend that Costs Rica, and more recently Panama, are the exceptions to the rule.

  • Between Benedict XVI and the Pope, the wrong man is quiet.

  • Pingback: Canon212 Update: Stealing Our Church and Running Away with it Like Pigs Off a Cliff – The Stumbling Block
  • Bracketing out natural resource rents and the hypertrophied portion of the share accruing to the most affluent decile, Latin American countries tend to have per capita product (in chained dollars) characteristic of the United States just before and just after the Depression. Life expectancy at birth is generally at levels not reached in this country until the 1970s and literacy rates are generally above 90%. Latin America has many problems, and is less affluent than the United States by a considerable margin, but it does not qualify as poor on a historical or global scale.

  • Philip: Well, “good Socialist” meaning more like “Well, he is an European. Of course he is Socialist.” My father did not think all Socialists violent, and JPII (or Benedict, or the others) certainly were not. But even in praising the markets, surely they did questioned such things as mandatory tax payer funded schools, mandatory tax payer funded social programs, all manner of government regulations, including the minimum wage and the “right” to a “living wage.” And of course gun control.
    As an idea–that being important. These tax payer funded “public goods” are good ideas, it is just bad people who run the show. Those beliefs are as natural to them as the beliefs/knowledge the Sun rises in the East, sets in the West. For the Sun to do otherwise would be, well, impossible. So a civilized society must absolutely have gov’t funded schools, Social Security/Medicare, gov’t paid for health care, etc. No society can be called civilized without those things.
    I’m thinking rather the reverse may be true: society starts to loose its civility once those things creep into it.

  • “a good socialist” is an individual who refuses to acknowledge the individual person. “A good socialist serves the state instead of the sovereign persons who institute the state with good will for the common good.
    The patriot, the statesman and the Pope pray for all people. The socialist prays, if he prays for the group. Man has God as his “Creator”. The state has man as its creator. The state may be a legal, sovereign person. The state is not a human person.

  • “The state has man as it’s creator.”
    Good points Mary and DJH. A machine that needs constant fuel…and it’s increasingly consuming more and more fuel and having adverse effects from where it’s intentions arouse to what it has become.

    In our local government I see this machine playing disingenuous, while subjecting taxpayers to burden more weight at programs that attract abusers of systems.

    DJH. I see what your saying. Agreed that taxpayer funded programs to assist neighbors would be considered a positive work of mercy by Pope’s present and past. I was looking at it when the pet becomes the monster. Out of control, so to speak.

    Sharing our time, treasures and talents is a good and honorable thing of course, but being forced to support programs, good or bad, is a form of loosing civility.

    Thank you both.

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