PopeWatch: Indictments

PopeWatch2-199x300-199x300

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

 

 

An imperial grand jury investigating criminal allegations against the Galactic Empire stemming from a series of undercover videos instead indicted two Rebel Alliance activists who shot the footage.

In a stunning turn of events, the imperial grand jury declined to indict officials from the Empire, and instead handed felony charges against Grand Master of the New Jedi Order Luke Skywalker and fellow Rebel Alliance activist Han Solo. Skywalker was also charged with a misdemeanor count related to having the hots for his sister, which members of his own legal team even admitted was “totally weird and deserved.”

The case sprang from a number of undercover videos in which members of the Rebel Alliance posed as Stormtroopers and captured several Empire employees appearing to discuss profiting off of the Jedi purge. However, when the videos were released online last year, the Galactic Empire claimed rebels had edited the videos to “created a misperception.”

“The Rebel Alliance uses the same undercover techniques that imperial journalists have used for decades,” Skywalker said in a statement in response to the indictment.

Galactic Empire officials hailed the indictment as vindication of the dark side, saying,  “As the Tatooine dust settles and the truth comes out, it’s become totally clear that the only people who engaged in wrongdoing are those that used the Force to produce this fraud, and we’re glad they’re being held accountable.”

At press time, seriously, why is that whole Luke being in love with his sister thing even in the movie? You’re telling me that no one, not one single person working on set said anything to George Lucas? Something like, “dude, what the heck is up with that?” Continue reading

Winter War

Something for the weekend.  Finlandia Hymn.  My Bride and I are off to Winter War 43, a war gaming and rpg convention that I have been attending since 1976.  Go here to read about it.  We usually pick up some new games from the vendors and more at the game auction.  Twenty-four years ago we brought our four month old twin baby boys through a blizzard to their first war game convention.  Ah, time is a river and the current runs fast.

For the more venturesome, or crazed, among you, here is a link to Open General, a free computer game that has dozens of campaigns and hundreds of scenarios set in various time periods in which you command various military units to achieve the victory conditions of the scenario you are playing.  If you choose to download it, follow the installation instructions carefully.  Happy gaming!

January 29, 1845: Poe’s Raven is Published

The publication of the macabre poem The Raven gave Edgar Allan Poe the literary fame he had sought all his life, although the meager financial reward of $9.00 typified his life long failure to earn a living as a writer.  Two years later his wife died at 24, replicating in Poe’s life the role of Lenore in his poem.  Poe himself would die in mysterious circumstances two years later at age 40, his sad and frequently bizarre life worthy of the pen of Poe.

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
    While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
            Only this and nothing more.”
    Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
    Eagerly I wished the morrow;—vainly I had sought to borrow
    From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore—
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
            Nameless here for evermore.
    And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
    So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
    “’Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door—
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;—
            This it is and nothing more.”

Continue reading

PopeWatch: Ephemera

PopeWatch2-199x300-199x300

 

 

David Griffey at Daffey Thoughts caught an interesting statement made to the Pope:

 

So Mr. DiCaprio, who even caused the liberal PM of Canada, Justin Trudeau, to tell him to tone it down, received a warm welcome from Pope Francis.  Now popes greet people.  That’s no problem.  And I don’t expect Pope Francis to kick Leo in the shin and knock him down over points where they might disagree.

But I found this little snippet interesting, especially in light of Pope Francis’s rather open embrace of the modern MMGW movement:

“As a child I didn’t quite understand what it all meant, but through my child’s eyes it represented a planet, the utopia we had been given, the overpopulation, excesses, and the third panel we see a blackened sky that represents so much to me of what’s going in the environment.” (emphasis mine)

See that?  Overpopulation.  This has been a pet of the new liberalism for some generations.  There are just too damn many [other] people in the world.  Now, with MMGW, there is a new reason to whittle down those pesky numbers.  Of course the question remains how do we eliminate the numbers?  How do we check population growth so it doesn’t do something like bring a civilization and its culture to its knees?
Pope Francis has clearly not accepted that part of the MMGW furor.  But in a way that seems to be the modern Catholic approach, he accepts almost every other aspect of it.  That seems to be the way the Church is going now.  Accept almost every idea and every premise of the new Leftist and secular world view…except where dogma or doctrine can’t be changed.  Continue reading

Texas Constitution: Article I, Section 8

 

 

The freedom of press provision of the Texas Constitution is worded in an interesting manner:

 

Sec. 8.  FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND PRESS; LIBEL.  Every person shall be at liberty to speak, write or publish his opinions on any subject, being responsible for the abuse of that privilege; and no law shall ever be passed curtailing the liberty of speech or of the press.  In prosecutions for the publication of papers, investigating the conduct of officers, or men in public capacity, or when the matter published is proper for public information, the truth thereof may be given in evidence.

 

The last sentence would seem to open the door to discovery against Planned Parenthood, by the makers of the videos showing that Planned Parenthood sells the body parts of their murder victims, in order to confirm the truth of the videos, obviously relevant to the charges,  may give us an opportunity to breach the wall of secrecy that has always been the first line of defense of Planned Parenthood.

PopeWatch: Pro-life Leader?

PopeWatch2-199x300-199x300

 

Do you consider Pope Francis a leader in the fight against abortion?

 

 

When it comes to challenging Catholics to protect life from abortion, Pope Francis has taken an active but sometimes subtle approach to helping unborn babies and their mothers

Richard Doerflinger, of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said the pontiff’s humble, compassionate approach to the contentious issue of abortion is one that Catholics should pay close attention to.

“The Holy Father has made some tremendous statements on the sanctity of human life,” Doerflinger told Crux. “Very often he takes a more casual approach, but this man is obviously a leader on pro-life concerns.” Continue reading

Saint Thomas Aquinas Our Contemporary

Not everyone who is enlightened by an angel knows that he is enlightened by him.

Saint Thomas Aquinas

 

 

Today is the feast day of the Angelic Doctor.  There is a timeless quality about his writings that takes him from the period in which he lived, the Thirteenth Century, and makes him a contemporary of each succeeding generation.  For example, we have this observation of Saint Thomas on the founder of Islam:

 

The point is clear in the case of Muhammad. He seduced the people by promises of carnal pleasure to which the concupiscence of the flesh goads us. His teaching also contained precepts that were in conformity with his promises, and he gave free rein to carnal pleasure. In all this, as is not unexpected, he was obeyed by carnal men. As for proofs of the truth of his doctrine, he brought forward only such as could be grasped by the natural ability of anyone with a very modest wisdom. Indeed, the truths that he taught he mingled with many fables and with doctrines of the greatest falsity. He did not bring forth any signs produced in a supernatural way, which alone fittingly gives witness to divine inspiration; for a visible action that can be only divine reveals an invisibly inspired teacher of truth. On the contrary, Muhammad said that he was sent in the power of his arms—which are signs not lacking even to robbers and tyrants. What is more, no wise men, men trained in things divine and human, believed in him from the beginning, Those who believed in him were brutal men and desert wanderers, utterly ignorant of all divine teaching, through whose numbers Muhammad forced others to become his followers by the violence of his arms. Nor do divine pronouncements on the part of preceding prophets offer him any witness. On the contrary, he perverts almost all the testimonies of the Old and New Testaments by making them into fabrications of his own, as can be. seen by anyone who examines his law. It was, therefore, a shrewd decision on his part to forbid his followers to read the Old and New Testaments, lest these books convict him of falsity. It is thus clear that those who place any faith in his words believe foolishly.

Summa Contra Gentiles, I, 6.4 Continue reading

Risen

 

Risen (2016) opens in theaters on February 19 and looks like it could be a good film for Lent.  I have long thought that there must have been some sort of official inquiry into the Crucifixion based upon the Roman historian Tacitus writing circa 100AD about Pilate condemning Christ.   He may have been referring to official Roman records.  Tacitus had no sympathy for the Christians and no knowledge of their ceremonies, which makes it highly doubtful that he gained his knowledge from a Christian source as to the trial and Crucifixion of Christ.  Pilate had every motivation to prove that Christ had not risen from the dead as did the Sadducees who controlled the Temple.  Their historical silence may be an indication that what they found out, if they conducted post Resurrection inquiries, was very much not to their liking.

Harris County Indictments: The Fix Was In

Devon Anderson

 

 

The more I dig into the background of Devon Anderson, the Harris Country prosecutor, the more red flags I see:

 

Anderson’s announcement this week was surprising. Not only do grand juries rarely turn the tables on those making the criminal accusations, but Texas Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick urged Anderson to investigate based on footage that accused a Houston clinic of illegally selling fetal tissue for profit.

When Anderson was up for election in 2014, she ran as “proud, pro-life Texan mother of two” and was backed by the wealthy GOP elite. But the case against David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt, anti-abortion activists who live in California, is now perhaps Anderson’s most visible case since she first took office in 2013.

It also has a somewhat familiar ring to it.

Anderson was barely three months into office when the anti-abortion group Operation Rescue accused a Houston doctor of performing late-term abortions. The activist behind those allegations, Troy Newman, was also a founding member of the Center for Medical Progress – the anti-abortion group headed by Daleiden, whose videos set off investigations by Congress and Republican efforts to cut off Planned Parenthood funding.

Operation Rescue had released disturbing photos and accusations from the former staff of Dr. Douglas Karpen. A grand jury declined to indict Karpen; the abortion provider’s lawyer, Chip Lewis, said Karpen was smeared by doctored pictures and false allegations made by individuals who were paid by Operation Rescue.

Lewis, a longtime political donor in Houston whose beneficiaries include Anderson, said he helped soften the political fallout for her in Republican circles.

“I told them, ‘Don’t hitch your wagon to this. They’re crooks, and it’s going to be exposed,'” Lewis said, referring to Operation Rescue.

Kansas-based Operation Rescue has denied paying informants and had questioned the evidence seen by the grand jury. Anderson’s handling of both cases is also questioned by Texas Right to Life, a prominent anti-abortion group that endorsed the district attorney in 2014.

***************************

Lewis said the assistant prosecutor who oversaw the Karpen investigation also handled the Planned Parenthood case. “I don’t think she forgot what she uncovered,” Lewis said. A spokesman for Anderson, Jeff McShan, said he could not confirm whether the same assistant prosecutor handled both investigations.

Planned Parenthood attorney Josh Schaffer said a prosecutor told him the grand jury never even voted on possible criminal charges against the nation’s largest abortion provider. Continue reading

PopeWatch: I’m Sorry!

 

 

PopeWatch2-199x300-199x300

Pope Francis is apologizing for us again:

 

 

“As the bishop of Rome and pastor of the Catholic Church, I would like to invoke mercy and forgiveness for the non-evangelical behavior of Catholics toward Christians of other churches,” he said Monday. “At the same time, I invite all Catholic brothers and sisters to forgive if today, or in the past, they have suffered offense by other Christians.

“We cannot cancel what has happened, but we don’t want to let the weight of past harm continue to pollute our relations.”

Earlier Monday, the Vatican said Francis’ visit to Sweden will “highlight the important ecumenical developments that have taken place during the past 50 years of dialogue between Catholics and Lutherans.” It will include a common worship service based on a recently published Catholic Lutheran liturgical guide to help churches commemorate the Reformation anniversary together.

The Catholic Church estimates there are about 150,000 Catholics in Sweden, including 113,000 registered members, according to Kristina Hellner of the Catholic Diocese of Stockholm.

Martin Luther’s challenge to the Catholic doctrine of indulgences in 1517 is remembered as the start of the Reformation, from which the Protestant churches originated out of criticism of the Church of Rome led by the pope.

Significantly, when Francis issued his apology Monday, he said he was doing so as bishop of Rome — a title he often emphasizes in ecumenical settings where the primacy of the pope is still a cause for tension. Continue reading

January 27, 1776: Henry Knox Delivers the Noble Train of Artillery to Washington

One of the interesting aspects of wars and revolutions is the unexpected talents and abilities that come to the fore in the most unlikely of individuals.  As that remarkable year 1775 was drawing to a close, General Washington, if he was to force the British  to leave Boston, needed a substantial artillery force, which he entirely lacked.   Twenty-five year old Colonel Henry Knox, a fat Boston book seller prior to the War, came up with the idea of transporting the artillery from newly captured Fort Ticonderoga in northern New York to the siege lines around Boston.  This was accomplished by Knox from December 5, 1775 to January 27, 1776, transporting sixty tons of artillery and ammunition, 59 cannon, mortars and howitzers, through wilderness in the dead of winter, a truly astounding feat. On December 17, 1775 Knox wrote to Washington:

I return’d to this place on the 15 & brought with me the Cannon being nearly the time I conjectur’d it would take us to transport them to here, It is not easy [to] conceive the difficulties we have had in getting them over the Lake owing to the advanc’d Season of the Year & contrary winds, but the danger is now past & three days ago it was very uncertain whether we could have gotten them untill next spring, but now please God they must go – I have had made forty two exceeding Strong Sleds & have provided eighty Yoke of oxen to drag them as far as Springfield where I shall get fresh Cattle to Carry them to Camp – the rout will be from here to Kinderhook from thence into Great Barrington Massachusetts Bay & down to Springfield There will scarcely be possibility of conveying them from here to Albany or Kinderhook but on sleds the roads being very much gullied, at present the sledding is tolerable to Saratoga about 26 miles; beyond that there is none – I have sent for the Sleds & teams to come here & expect to begin [to] move them to Saratoga on Wednesday or Thursday next trusting that between this & then we shall have a fine fall of snow which will enable us to proceed further & make the carriage easy – if that should be the case I hope in 16 or 17 days time to be able to present to your Excellency a noble train of artillery. Continue reading

Ludicrous Charges

images3JY5WL81

The indictments of the Harris County Grand Jury in Texas against David R. Daleiden and Sandra S. Merritt are the worst misuse of the power of prosecution that I have witnessed in 33 years of practicing law:

Prosecutors in Harris County said one of the leaders of the Center for Medical Progress — an anti-abortion group that made secretly recorded videos purporting to show Planned Parenthood officials trying to illegally profit from the sale of fetal tissue — had been indicted on a charge of tampering with a governmental record, a felony, and on a misdemeanor charge related to purchasing human organs.

That leader, David R. Daleiden, 27, the director of the center, had posed as a biotechnology representative to infiltrate Planned Parenthood affiliates and surreptitiously record his efforts to procure tissue for research. Another center employee, Sandra S. Merritt, 62, was indicted on a felony charge of tampering with a governmental record.

The record-tampering charges accused Mr. Daleiden and Ms. Merritt of making and presenting fake California driver’s licenses, with the intent to defraud, for their April meeting at Planned Parenthood in Houston.

Go here to read the rest.

Let us count the ways a first year law student should be able to get this trash dismissed:

1. Lack of scienter-Daleiden and Merritt were attempting to expose Planned Parenthood’s sale of fetal tissue.  They had no intent to actually purchase such tissue.

2. No sale-The grand Jury simultaneously found that Planned Parenthood was not attempting to sell fetal tissue.  They then found that Daleiden and Merritt were purchasing tissue from a vendor who was not selling tissue.  That makes no logical sense, let alone a coherent legal charge.

3.  Freedom of the press-All of the activities of Daleiden and Merritt were undertaken under the cover of the First Amendment freedom of the press.  Such sting operations are part and parcel of the normal functioning of the media in this country and an attempt to criminalize such activity raises grave constitutional questions.

4.  No intent to defraud-The California driver’s license charge indicates how the prosecutor involved was reaching to get a felony indictment, purchasing or selling fetal tissue sadly being only a misdemeanor.  This is the type of charge that only a prosecutor desperate to find anything to nail a target of an investigation on would bring.  The charge is complete rubbish since there was no intent to defraud Planned Parenthood of anything, but rather an intent to expose wrongdoing. Continue reading

Grand Jury Mystery

 

quote-any-good-prosecutor-can-get-a-grand-jury-to-indict-a-ham-sandwich-sol-wachtler-311545

 

For my sins, no doubt, I have been an attorney now for more than a third of a century.  One of the many lessons that I have learned over this great span of time, is that grand juries are the tools of prosecutors, and that other than declining to indict an occasional prospective defendant, grand juries normally proceed along the paths that the directing prosecutors wish.  What then to make of this?

A Harris County grand jury has indicted the Center for Medical Progress — specifically, David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt – while declining to indict Planned Parenthood. This comes after the Center for Medical Progress released an investigation last year into the sales of aborted baby organs at Planned Parenthood:

Secret videographers David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt were both indicted on charges of tampering with a governmental record, a second-degree felony that carries a punishment of up to 20 years in prison. Daleiden received an additional misdemeanor indictment under the law prohibiting the purchase and sale of human organs.

Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson announced the surprising indictments Monday after a two-month investigation.

“We were called upon to investigate allegations of criminal conduct by Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast,” said Anderson, a Republican. “As I stated at the outset of this investigation, we must go where the evidence leads us. All the evidence uncovered in the course of this investigation was presented to the grand jury. I respect their decision on this difficult case.”

A grand jury is formed of ordinary citizens that are presented  evidence and testimony from the prosecutor alone to form their theory of a case without any input from the defense.

From that information, the jury determines if there is enough probable cause to move the case forward in the judicial process.  The grand jury does not determine guilt or innocence. The indictment itself is a public document but it has not been made available online at the time of publication.

Absolutely no information has been released regarding what government records Daleiden and Merritt allegedly tampered with. The Center for Medical Progress responded, pointing out their free speech rights, as well as reminding all of us that Planned Parenthood was breaking the law by selling the body parts of aborted babies:

A Harris County grand jury has indicted the Center for Medical Progress — specifically, David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt – while declining to indict Planned Parenthood. This comes after the Center for Medical Progress released an investigation last year into the sales of aborted baby organs at Planned Parenthood:

Secret videographers David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt were both indicted on charges of tampering with a governmental record, a second-degree felony that carries a punishment of up to 20 years in prison. Daleiden received an additional misdemeanor indictment under the law prohibiting the purchase and sale of human organs.

Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson announced the surprising indictments Monday after a two-month investigation.

“We were called upon to investigate allegations of criminal conduct by Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast,” said Anderson, a Republican. “As I stated at the outset of this investigation, we must go where the evidence leads us. All the evidence uncovered in the course of this investigation was presented to the grand jury. I respect their decision on this difficult case.”

A grand jury is formed of ordinary citizens that are presented  evidence and testimony from the prosecutor alone to form their theory of a case without any input from the defense.

From that information, the jury determines if there is enough probable cause to move the case forward in the judicial process.  The grand jury does not determine guilt or innocence. The indictment itself is a public document but it has not been made available online at the time of publication.

Absolutely no information has been released regarding what government records Daleiden and Merritt allegedly tampered with. The Center for Medical Progress responded, pointing out their free speech rights, as well as reminding all of us that Planned Parenthood was breaking the law by selling the body parts of aborted babies: Continue reading

Festung Shea

Festung Shea

 

 

Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts brings us up to date on Mark Shea’s Facebook page, now that he has shut down Catholic and Enjoying It.  His trajectory to the left seems to have accelerated:

 

So I broke my promise and went back to visit Mark Shea’s Facebook page.  I know, I know.  I said I wouldn’t. What am I, some glutton for punishment?  I didn’t comment on anything. I just went to look.  I wanted to see if Mark was continuing with the very problematic practice of having ‘Isn’t Bernie Sander’s the cutest thing?’ posts on his very Catholic Facebook page.  The whole thing, and my banishment, came from that. 

When CAEI went offline, I decided to take a look at Mark’s Facebook Page.  I don’t typically do Facebook that much, and I had never visited his page.  I heard horror stories, but found it hard to believe them.  Well, once I was there, I believed them. 

By now, of course, Mark falls into that Orthodox Liberal Catholic group.  That is, they don’t reject traditional doctrines about God or the Trinity or the Resurrection.  They also stand with the Church on issues like abortion and gay marriage.  But in almost any other area where there is wiggle room, they tend to fall down along the modern, post-Christian liberal paradigm.  The reasons are, no doubt, many.  For some, as my boys pointed out with our parish, it’s less that they love liberalism as much as they hate American Conservatism and the GOP. 

Be that as it may, today Mark could in no way be called a conservative or traditional Catholic and have those terms mean anything.  And his Facebook page reflected that.  Moreover, those who commented were a rough brood, many of which seemed to be the sort of thing Pope Francis could have been thinking of.  It often got mean and ugly.   Quite a bit of contempt and condescension toward those who aren’t following lockstep behind the modern Left.

Nonetheless, for all his Left leaning and liberal cheering, Mark remains adamantly pro-life and passionately against abortion.  Period.  No suggestions otherwise can be entertained.  So it came as quite a shock, in those couple weeks I was visiting there, to see how many ‘Bernie Rocks’ posts Mark had uploaded.  Especially when it was set in juxtaposition to almost every other candidate Mark mentioned, who received nothing but scorn and insults from Mark and most of his readers.  Like a sore thumb, Sanders stood out above it all and Mark’s Facebook page looked like quite the Pro-Sanders Facebook headquarters. 

So when Mark posted yet another ‘Equestrian Sanders Pic’, I merely said that his page was becoming like a campaign stop for the Sanders campaign, and he might want to do a double check.  After all, Sanders goes beyond pro-choice.  He is pro-abortion, and in fact, pro-culture of death.  He is part of that secular liberalism that reminds us how so few societies that have opposed war or the death penalty have done so in the name of life’s sanctity.  Just the opposite.  They do it because things like torture, war and the death penalty run afoul of the Left’s great sinful promise: that pride is, in fact, a good thing.  The universe does rotate around me.  Things like death penalties or punishment or war suggest there are things bigger than me, and so they are clearly bad.  But things like abortion, any marriage or sex any way I want, euthanasia, assisted suicide: they serve me and a world set firmly under my whims and desires.

That is the sort of Left Sanders advocates.  As a politician, he has gone into areas that even pro-choice politicians fear to tread.  He advocates post-Christian sexuality, and further appears to support the punishment of those who don’t do likewise.  He supports gay marriage, and also the HHS mandate, thereby solidifying his opposition to multiple things that Mark holds near and dear.

In some ways, it reminded me of Mark and Ron Paul some years ago.  For a while, Mark became quite the Catholic voice for the Ron Paul campaign.  While he insisted he wouldn’t vote for him, that he was merely pointing out where he thought Paul was correct, his blog became a major boost for Ron Paul supporters.  Eventually, Mark did admit that if Paul was in the primaries by the time they came to Washington, Mark would vote for him.  When he did that, it wasn’t really a shock.

In some ways, this sudden high-five to Sanders sniffed a bit like the old Paul posts.  Sure, he wasn’t saying ‘Vote Sanders’ or ‘I Support Bernie!’  But his posts were stacking up quickly, with many having nothing to do with anything other than “Bernie Sanders: Awesome Guy!”  Sorry, but someone who pushes to loosen the restrictions for a partial birth abortion has dropped at least one rung down the awesome ladder in my book. 

So I posted my message.  And oh my, all hell broke loose.  Mark came at me with everything: mocking me, calling me names, accusing me of passive aggressively suggesting he is pro-choice.  He used the old Sea Lion cartoon against me.  Several of his readers did the same.  I tried to keep it where I was, insisting that while you can quote someone you don’t agree with (as a general rule I try to find better examples unless I’m making a specific point), there is a logical difference between a single quote and days of ‘thumbs up’ posts.

Mark and his readers would have none of it.  Mark simply repeated the charges over and over again.  Even my oldest son tried to bring some perspective, echoing a logical assessment of the current political climate being partly to do with Obama’s legacy.  That went as well as you can imagine. Continue reading

PopeWatch: Martin, All is Forgiven!

PopeWatch2-199x300-199x300

 

 

 

 

 

Pope Francis will travel to Sweden in October for a joint ecumenical commemoration of the start of the Reformation, together with leaders of the Lutheran World Federation and representatives of other Christian Churches.

The event will take place on October 31st in the southern Swedish city of Lund where the Lutheran World Federation was founded in 1947. While kicking off a year of events to mark the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, it will also highlight the important ecumenical developments that have taken place during the past 50 years of dialogue between Catholics and Lutherans. Continue reading

January 26, 1945: Audie Murphy Earns Medal of Honor

The real heroes are dead.

Audie Murphy

When Audie Murphy starred in his aptly titled World War II biopic, To Hell and Back, his battlefield exploits were downplayed.  Partially this was due to Murphy’s modesty, he had not wanted to appear in the movie and did so only after he was promised that much of the focus of the film would be on his buddies who died during the War, and partially due to the fact that what he did during the War was so unbelievably courageous that film audiences might have refused to believe it.  Here is his Medal of Honor citation that he earned in truly hellish fighting near Holtzwihr, France on January 26, 1945:

By direction of the President, under the provisions of the act of Congress approved 9 July 1918 (WD Bul. 43, 1918), a Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty was awarded by the War Department in the name of Congress to the following-named officer:

Second Lieutenant Audie L. Murphy, 01692509, 15th Infantry, Army of the United States, on 26 January 1945, near Holtzwihr, France, commanded Company B, which was attacked by six tanks and waves of infantry. Lieutenant Murphy ordered his men to withdraw to a prepared position in a woods while he remained forward at his command post and continued to give fire directions to the artillery by telephone. Behind him to his right one of our tank destroyers received a direct hit and began to burn. It’s crew withdrew to the woods. Lieutenant Murphy continued to direct artillery fire which killed large numbers of the advancing enemy infantry. With the enemy tanks abreast of his position, Lieutenant Murphy climbed on the burning tank destroyer which was in danger of blowing up any instant and employed its .50 caliber machine gun against the enemy. He was alone and exposed to the German fire from three sides, but his deadly fire killed dozens of Germans and caused their infantry attack to waver. the enemy tanks, losing infantry support, began to fall back. For an hour the Germans tried every available weapon to eliminated Lieutenant Murphy, but he continued to hold his position and wiped out a squad which was trying to creep up unnoticed on his right flank. Germans reached as close as 10 yards only to be mowed down by his fire. He received a leg wound but ignored it and continued the single-handed fight until his ammunition was exhausted. He then made his way to his company, refused medical attention, and organized the company in a counterattack which forced the Germans to withdraw. His directing of artillery fire wiped out many of the enemy; he personally killed or wounded about 50. Lieutenant Murphy’s indomitable courage and his refusal to give an inch of ground saved his company from possible encirclement and destruction and enabled it to hold the woods which had been the enemy’s objective.

* * * * *
BY ORDER OF THE SECRETARY OF WAR:
OFFICIAL:
EDWARD F. WITSELL
Major General
Acting the Adjutant General
G.C. MARSHALL
Chief of Staff

Follow The American Catholic

Bookmark and Share

Subscribe by eMail

Enter your email:

Recent Comments

Archives

Our Visitors. . .

Our Subscribers. . .