PopeWatch: Perpetual Innovation

 

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Steve Skojec at One Peter Five has some interesting thoughts on Pope Francis and the hermeneutic of perpetual innovation:

Yesterday, I can’t count the number of people who sent me the story about the female deacon issue and asked me what I thought. I’ve read a the whole transcript of that part of his address. Francis treats of the problem fairly accurately as I understand it, describing the non-ordained role of “deaconnesses” in the early Church, which dealt with propriety and modesty in cases like full immersion baptism rather than any sacramental or preaching role. It does appear that the question was pre-planned — not many people would have a fairly obscure reference to the Council of Chalcedon ready to go off the top of their head, not even a pope — so that’s a consideration. Why include that question if you don’t want to open a door?

In that respect, I would suggest to you that it’s yet another thing thrown at the wall. And the things being thrown at the wall seem to be coming in increasingly rapid succession. Here, a quote of Apb. Fernandez strikes me as having greater relevance:

“You have to realize that [Francis] is aiming at reform that is irreversible. If one day he should sense that he’s running out of time and doesn’t have enough time to do what the Spirit is asking him, you can be sure he will speed up.”

Ultimately, I don’t expect much movement on female deacons. They’ll dredge it up and look at it all over again, and very little will come of it, despite the excitement of Fr. James Martin and company.

What will happen, though, is the continued battering down of any certainty that the Catholic faith is divinely revealed and immutable. The sense of constant change, perpetual flux, in something that is supposed to be unyieldingly stable is a huge problem. Cardinal Kasper may be “always open to and ready for innovation”; he may like to think that “anything is possible” — but most of the faithful are not and do not. 

There is a curious unmaking of some of the more important accomplishments in the pontificate of John Paul II happening here. First, the synods on family which then produce an exhortation that snubs and all but replaces his Familiaris Consortio. Now, a commision to revisit what was so well established in JPII’s  Ordinatio Sacerdotalis that it is referred to as “infallible.” You’ll see a particular syntax around the Catholic web about this “not being a question of opening a door; there is no door.” Continue reading

Like a Crucifix to a Vampire

 

Hattip to Matt Archbold at Creative Minority Report .  A Democrat introducing Cruella de Vil  Hillary Clinton caught herself before she repeated Lincoln’s phrase from the Gettysburg Address, “under God”.  Modern Democrats would sooner chew ground glass than acknowledge God as being the source of our unalienable rights.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

The  contemporary Democrats are much too reactionary, much too beholden to an all-powerful State, to sign on to such truly revolutionary sentiments.

 

Of Peter and Pentecost

And in the last days it shall be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
    and your young men shall see visions,
    and your old men shall dream dreams;
 even on my male servants and female servants
    in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.
And I will show wonders in the heavens above
    and signs on the earth below,
    blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke;
the sun shall be turned to darkness
    and the moon to blood,
    before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day.
 And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Acts 2:  17-21

 

 

I have always found it striking that Christ decided to call as His Apostles the plainest of men.  As His Vicar he chose Peter, a humble fisherman, whose courage failed him when Christ needed him most.  In human terms Peter’s desertion of Christ, along with that of the other Apostles except for John, is just what we would expect.  Christ had taken these men from their lowly lots in life, and told them that they would be the chiefs of what He called His Church.  Christ was the linchpin.  When He was executed these former apostles would quickly scatter and resume their previous lives as best they could, the dreams of glory inspired by Christ forgotten in the horror of His execution.  In human terms that is just what should have happened, but it did not.

At Pentecost we recall the great miracle by which the Holy Spirit came down on the Apostles, granting them the charism of being understood speaking in the native tongues of all who heard them:

“Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?” Continue reading

May 14, 1916: Patton Shootout

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The Punitive Expedition had been an exercise in frustration for General John J. “Blackjack” Pershing.  Pancho Villa, predictably, had eluded the Americans, refusing to stand and fight.  Thirty year old Second Lieutenant George S. Patton had been an aide to Pershing.  Requesting a chance to command troops, he was assigned by Pershing to Troop C of the 13th Cavalry.  In that capacity Patton took part in efforts to locate Captain Julio Cardenas, commander of the elite bodyguard of Villa, the Dorados, “Golden Ones”.

On May 14, 1916 Patton was on a mission to buy corn, his force consisting of a corporal, six privates and a civilian interpreter, all in three Dodge touring cars.  Learning from locals that Cardenas might be present at a ranch, which Patton had searched the previous week, near the town of Rubio, Patton decided to investigate.  Leaving two cars to block the southwest exit from the ranch, Patton, a driver, the civilian interpreter and a private took the remaining car to the northwest exit.  Patton advanced on the ranch with the civilian interpreter.  He spotted  an old man and a boy butchering a steer near a fence.  Suddenly three horsemen charged out from the ranch.

Initially they rode to the southwest.  Encountering Patton’s soldiers they then charged to the northwest, estimating presumably that the odds were in their favor against the lone American officer.

The Mexicans opened up at 20 yards.  Ignoring their fire, Patton coolly aimed his Colt single action pistol at the lead rider, knocking him off his horse.  Patton fired at the two remaining riders as they rode past him.  He then ducked around a corner of the ranch house and reloaded. Patton brought down the second horseman.  Patton waited while the bandit freed himself from his dead horse, Patton only shooting him when the Mexican attempted to fire rather than surrender.  The third bandit was brought down in a hail of fire from Patton and two of his soldiers who were now joining the fight.

The first bandit Patton had shot, got to his feet, made the mistake of going for his pistol, and was quickly brought down by the Americans.

The first bandit was identified as Captain Julio Cardenas, the second as Juan Garza and the third was never identified. Continue reading

PopeWatch: Keys

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

 

 

Saying that he could’ve sworn he put them right there on top of the cabinet beside his bed, Pope Francis is reportedly frantically tearing up his apartment in search of his pair of keys to the Kingdom of Heaven that he misplaced sometime this afternoon.

“Oh, come on, Francis, you always do this!” an angry Francis berated himself as he tossed sheets to the floor, looked inside his freezer, and in the inside pockets of all of his vestments.  “Great, now you’re gonna be late for the General Audience. Ok, don’t panic. Just retrace your steps. You came home from Krav Maga, opened the door, threw the gym bag to the floor, and then went to shower. Where the heck did I put the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven? Man, today’s Purgatory transfers to Heaven are gonna be pissed when they find out they’re locked out.”

 

After looking for the keys for more than an hour, Francis reportedly made a call to Pope Emeritus Benedict, with whom he had breakfast before Krav Maga, to check whether or not he might’ve forgotten them with him.

“Nope, not with him,” Francis told EOTT after hanging up the phone. “Benedict hasn’t seen them since 2013. Pope Michael called ten minutes ago claiming he had them, but he’s just insane. Well, I suppose I’ll check beneath the bed for the twentieth time. Continue reading

I Didn’t Raise My Boy to Be a Soldier

 

Something for the weekend.  I Didn’t Raise My Boy to Be a Soldier. A hit in the US in 1915, the song reflected the isolationist sympathy of a large segment of the American people.  Former President Theodore Roosevelt detested it, saying that the fools who applauded it presumably would also applaud a song saying “I didn’t raise my girl to be a mother.”  Future President Harry Truman, who would serve in combat in World War I, said that women who liked the song belonged in a harem and not in the United States.  The song tied in with the 1916 slogan, which must have seemed quite ironic in 1917, of the Wilson re-election campaign:  “He kept us out of war.”

Totalitarian Tolerance

 

Language advisory for the video.  Orwell saw this coming long ago:

At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed that all right-thinking people will accept without question. It is not exactly forbidden to say this, that or the other, but it is ‘not done’ to say it, just as in mid-Victorian times it was ‘not done’ to mention trousers in the presence of a lady. Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with surprising effectiveness. A genuinely unfashionable opinion is almost never given a fair hearing, either in the popular press or in the highbrow periodicals.

Scratch a Social Justice Warrior, and a Grand Inquisitor will emerge.

 

 

Potty War

 

The Obama administration has declared war on all Americans who believe that public rest rooms should be divided by sex. Ostensibly to accommodate the estimated, likely an over estimate, 0.3% of Americans who are mentally ill and who desperately wish to pretend that they are the opposite sex, the increasingly Orwellian Department of Justice and Department of Education sent out a letter to all public school districts requiring them, with the implicit threat of taking away public funding, to allow such individuals to use the bathrooms they wish to use.  Thus a boy who wishes to be a girl must be allowed to use the girls’ restroom.  Schools may not require any proof that the individual wishing to use an opposite sex restroom has any medical history indicating that they are “transgender”.

You will frequently hear from the Left that no crimes have been committed as a result of allowing biological men access to female restrooms.  Go here to read proof that they are lying.

Is all this upheaval really about making allowance for such a small percentage of the population?  Of course not.  This is part of the ongoing war of the Left against the reality that God made us male and female, and that the vast majority of men and women are quite happy with that Divine arrangement.  Any stick that can be wielded against the reality of sex differences is eagerly seized upon by an increasingly deranged Left to reshape reality to match their ideology.  If women and girls are raped in the process, well that is just too bad.

 

PopeWatch: Bear Growls: Eye of the Bruin

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Our bruin friend at Saint Corbinian’s Bear seems intent on giving Eye of the Tiber a run for its money:

 

In other Vatican news, a pope known for firsts announced today that he was starting a blog. “This way, I can reach more people,” Pope Francis explained. However, he took pains to make it clear that the blog — named “Ex Cathedra” —  had nothing to do with the Church. “This is just a guy named Jorge sharing his thoughts,” the Pope explained. “What is on my mind, you know, my, how do you say, ‘take’ on the Church, world politics, economics, whatever.”

The Pope said that it would feature polls to see what people thought about Church teachings on topics such as women priests and contraception. But he insisted the polls were “just for fun.”

When asked if the first papal blog might confuse Catholics, he responded, “No. That is why I am doing it this way. Since it will be on the internet, there will be no possibility of misunderstanding or being quoted out of context. And it says, right under my papal coat of arms, ‘not affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church.'”

Other planned features include an Amazon Wish List, a regular “Ask the Holy Father” feature, “Kasper’s Korner,” and a recurring talking capybara character named, “the Capybara,” who will always refer to himself in the third person. Insiders say the Pope made the decision after his “Pope Videos” flopped. Continue reading

Quotes Suitable For Framing: John Adams

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Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide. It is in vain to say that democracy is less vain, less proud, less selfish, less ambitious, or less avaricious than aristocracy or monarchy. It is not true, in fact, and nowhere appears in history. Those passions are the same in all men, under all forms of simple government, and when unchecked, produce the same effects of fraud, violence, and cruelty.

John Adams (1814)

PopeWatch: Decline

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Hmmm, the Pope has experienced a steep decline in his popularity:

 

 

Three years into his papacy, a recent study shows global admiration for Pope Francis is in sharp decline.

The pontiff fell seven spots in 2016, from sixth down to 13th among the world’s men, the biggest drop for anyone on last year’s list, and is now no longer either the planet’s most admired spiritual leader (the Dali Lama) or even the most admired Argentine (soccer star Lionel Messi).

However, Pope Francis remains the second-most admired man in the United States after President Barack Obama.

That’s according to a study released by YouGov, an international internet-based market research firm headquartered in the UK, which ranks the world’s 20 most admired men and women separately.

According to YouGov, the pope’s drop may be explained by expectations of reform that distanced Francis from his predecessors, which have dimmed as the Argentine pontiff becomes “institutionalized”. Continue reading

May 12, 1935: First Meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous

On May 12, 1935 the first meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous was held in Henrietta Sieberling’s Akron, Ohio home.  From that humble beginning, tens of millions of alcoholics have found a path to sobriety over the past 81 years.  Their 12 step program is well known:

1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.

2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs. Continue reading

PopeWatch: Galloping Infallibility

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Sandro Magister at his blog Chiesa notes that Pope Francis has placed greater emphasis on infallibility than his immediate predecessors:

 

There was an uproar in recent days over the announcement by the theologian Hans Küng that Pope Francis has given an effective green light to “an unrestricted discussion of the dogma of infallibility”:

> Fr. Hans Küng says Francis responded to request for free discussion on infallibility dogma

But curiously, to the contrary of what one might have expected, Küng did not make public the letter that the pope wrote to him in response to one of his previous appeals. He only described it. Perhaps because the letter was not as affirmative as he would like to have believed.

Francis, in fact, turns out to be anything but a pushover when he asserts his papal authority as “supreme, full, immediate, and universal,” both in governing and in teaching.

On the contrary, he is certainly the pontiff who over the past half century has exalted more than any other this supreme authority, not only over the Catholic Church but over all of Christendom, citing in support of this none other than the 1870 dogmatic constitution “Pastor Aeternus” of Vatican Council I, which proclaimed the pope’s infallibility “ex cathedra.”

But first things first.

Küng’s appeal to Pope Francis came out simultaneously in multiple languages last March 9 in various newspapers around the world, for example in Italy in “la Repubblica,” the country’s most important secular and progressive newspaper, ultra-Bergoglian:

> Aboliamo l’infallibilità del papa

No surprise there. Küng has spent a lifetime trying to demolish the dogma of papal infallibility. The process that concluded in 1979 with the revocation of his license to teach Catholic theology was prompted by two of his books from about ten years before, entitled: “The Church” and “Infallible? A Question.”

And it was the whole body of essays that he has written on the topic, collected in the fifth volume of his complete works being published this year in Germany, which provided the cue for him to ask Pope Francis publicly for the opening of “a free, unprejudiced and open-ended discussion in our church of the all the unresolved and suppressed questions connected with the infallibility dogma.”

Küng sent the appeal personally to the pope by letter, in Spanish. And shortly after Easter he received at his home in Tübingen, through the nunciature in Berlin, the  letter in reply, dated March 20.

The pope’s letter began with a friendly “Lieber Mitbruder,” dear brother, and was written by hand. But these remain the only words cited by Küng in quotation marks in reporting the content of the missive. It is unclear to what extent the rest of it might correspond to the narrative presented by the theologian.

Because it is true that Pope Francis can be relied on to issue exhortations to discuss everything, even the most delicate topics. But it is also his established habit to alternate these “openings” of his with reaffirmations of traditional doctrine, with that continual and never definitive “stop and go” which characterizes his magisterium.

On the dogma of infallibility, however, there is no comparison between his feeble and hesitant support for the reconsideration of the dogma on the one hand and on the other the powerful, thundering proclamation of his own supreme authority that he has made more than once, and always on occasions of great significance.

Continue reading

Trump and Clinton Tied in Three Key States

 

Faithful readers of this blog know that while I detest Trump and will not vote for him, I also believe that he likely will beat Clinton in the fall.  Polling evidence is beginning to indicate this:

 

In Florida, Clinton leads Trump, 43 percent to 42 percent, while Sanders earned 44 percent to Trump’s 42 percent. While Clinton holds a 13-point advantage among Florida women — 48 percent to 35 percent — Trump’s lead among men is equally large, at 49 percent to 36 percent. Independent Florida voters are split, 39 percent to 39 percent, while along racial lines, white voters said they would vote for the Republican candidate 52 percent to 33 percent. Among nonwhite voters, 63 percent to 20 percent said they would vote for the Democrat. Clinton’s favorability in Florida is a net negative 20 points (37 percent to 57 percent), though Trump earned the same numbers. For Sanders, 43 percent said they had a favorable opinion of him, 41 percent unfavorable and 14 percent said they did not know enough to have an opinion.

In Ohio, registered voters preferred Trump to Clinton, 43 percent to 39 percent, while Sanders edged Trump 43 percent to 41 percent. Trump leads among men in Ohio, 51 percent to 36 percent, while women prefer Clinton in the state 43 percent to 36 percent. While 49 percent to 32 percent of white voters go for the Republican candidate, a whopping 76 percent to 14 percent of nonwhite voters said they will go for the Democratic candidate. Among voters ages 18 to 34, Clinton leads 43 percent to 39 percent, while voters older than 65 preferred Trump 46 percent to 40 percent. Among independents, 40 percent said they would back Trump and 37 percent would go for Clinton.

In Pennsylvania, Clinton leads 43 percent to 42 percent, mirroring the gender and racial gaps in the other swing states. Among women, Clinton leads 51 percent to 32 percent, while Trump leads with men 54 percent to 33 percent. Clinton holds a 7-point lead among voters ages 18 to 34 (49 percent to 42 percent), while Trump commands the same level of support among voters 65 and older. White voters said they would support the Republican candidate 48 percent to 37 percent, while nonwhite voters said they would support the Democrat, 74 percent to 14 percent. Continue reading

Who Is He to Judge?

 

Like most leftists Pope Francis tends to be judgmental, so long as the judgment has nothing to do with sexual morality.  Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts fills us in regarding this aspect of the current

pontificate:

 

Pope Francis.  The pope who does not judge.  By that, the popular liberal culture means he’s taken issues like homosexuality and LGBTQ rights and abortion and set them aside, declared he has no real desire to judge those things or those who indulge in them, and is moving onto other, juicier topics.

Topics like Man Made Global Warming, abuses of Capitalism, the failures of the Western Democracies, those who hold varying opinions on immigration or simply those Catholics, never clearly defined but often referenced, who fall short of the ideal and are blameworthy for the problems in the Church as well as the world.  Against these things, Pope Francis hurls judgement after judgement, often taking the worst possible interpretations of the events, and doing so with a passion and zeal that wouldn’t disgrace a KJV only fundamentalist Baptist preacher in a tent revival.

So when speaking to his vision of a beautified Europe, he suggested that those countries not entirely embracing the immigration crisis as he expects them to were doing so for ‘quick and easy short term political gains.’  If you think about it, that’s pretty tough.  It’s not just saying they’re wrong.  It’s saying they’re wrong because of their wicked, evil ways and purposes.  That there could be other concerns or legitimate differences isn’t open for debate.  Just like his willingness to accept the idea that opposition to MMGW is the result of corrupt researchers at the behest of evil corporate conspiracies. I’ve noticed he does that sometimes.  Not only does he says X is wrong, but he goes on to suggest those who are guilty are not just wrong, but wrong because of some ulterior motive or bad purpose.

Now there is precedent for this.  The Bible itself hold no brief for those outside of the will of God, and is often quite happy to ascribe to the offenders the worst motives.  So contrary to modern spins on Judas for instance, in the Scriptures Judas is not just a fellow who falls away from the purer faith, he’s a greedy, miserly fellow who wiggles his way into the role of treasurer just to pinch some extra coins into his pocket.  Or take the book of James.  Why are their quarrels among believers?  Why, because of the desires that battle within them.  Not just disagreements, is’t the essence of spiritual warfare that is to blame.

Of course we can pardon Scripture since it is the word of God.  But what of others?  Space doesn’t permit referencing all the times in which Christian leaders, Church Fathers, saints and others throughout the ages who didn’t only judge, but judged harshly those they were against.  As some on the Catholic blogosphere pointed out over the years, judging, calling names, and even accusing motives is a time honored approach to defending the Gospel of Christ.  The Gospel is, after all, the Truth against which our very salvation is measured, and sometimes some butt-kicking is needed.

So is there anything wrong with Pope Francis doing this? No.  This isn’t to say he’s right about the topics at hand.  I’m not saying I agree with his conclusions. I’m saying that this level of judging is merely a time-honored way of Christians defending the faith, the widow and orphan, and those who would defend the Truth against error both deliberate and accidental.  So it’s time to reclaim the joy of judging – when rightly done – as well as perhaps a few other practices that have fallen under the treads of the Leftist assault tanks.

For instance, for too many decades Christians let a post-Christian paganism demand Christians stop converting others so that it could convert Christians.  For too long, Christians allowed a secularized, hedonist society insist there were no absolute morals to be hoisted on others, only to watch those same secularists hoist their morals on the Faithful with a zeal that would embarrass Joe McCarthy.  And for too many generations, Christians were told to stop judging, that judging is wrong and evil and the cause of all suffering in the world, and that despite the Left’s well documented track record of judging anything and anyone in its way, Christians should sit down, shut up and accept everything since judging is so wrong.

  Continue reading

PopeWatch: Archbishop Bruno Forte

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The bald faced mendacity behind Amoris Laetitia was recently confirmed by Archbishop Bruno Forte, crony of the Pope, and chosen by the Pope to be Special Secretary for the recently concluded Synod.

 

Archbishop Forte has in fact revealed a “behind the scenes” [moment] from the Synod: “If we speak explicitly about communion for the divorced and remarried,” said Archbishop Forte, reporting a joke of Pope Francis, “you do not know what a terrible mess we will make. So we won’t speak plainly, do it in a way that the premises are there, then I will draw out the conclusions.

“Typical of a Jesuit,” Abp Forte joked, attributing to that suggestion a wisdom that has allowed the maturation necessary to conclude that Amoris Laetitia, as Abp. Bruno Forte explained, does not represent a new doctrine, but the “merciful application” of that [the doctrine]of all time.

Continue reading

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