PopeWatch: Peace Brawl

Diego Maradona had to be restrained by security staff after he clashed with Juan Sebastian Veron during Pope Francis’ Match for Peace on Wednesday night.

The Argentina legend showed he’s still got the fire in his belly after an altercation with the former Manchester United midfielder.

Veron played under Maradona for the Argentine national team between 2008-10, but the pair exchanged verbals during the game in Rome and the situation soon became heated.

As the players trudged off towards the tunnel for the half-time break, Maradona is caught on camera looking visibly distressed and had to be held back by staff.



Go here to read the rest.  Perhaps the Pope might wish to host a Boxing Match for Peace next.

Democrat Attempts to Control the Church




Hattip to commenter Hmmm.  Latest from WikiLeaks:


Re: opening for a Catholic Spring? just musing . . .


Vote Fraud? What Vote Fraud?

People who complain about vote fraud are more correct than they can possibly imagine.  That this is ignored by the media, is because vote fraud almost always benefits one party, the party that members of the media overwhelmingly belongs to.  Trump speaks a lot of rot, but when he says the system is rigged he is on target.

Beatnik Version of the Story of Columbus

From the 1958 film High School Confidential.  The actors and actresses in the film, if they are still alive, would be in their eighties.  How swiftly the latest fads become historical curiosities.


Update:  Several of the actors and actresses are still alive.  Ray Anthony is still going strong at 94!

Trump Against the Establishment


Now, listen to me, you hicks. Yeah, you’re hicks too, and they fooled you a thousand times, just like they fooled me. But this time, I’m gonna fool somebody. I’m gonna stay in this race. I’m on my own and I’m out for blood. Now listen to me, you hicks! Listen to me, and lift up your eyes and look at God’s blessed and unfly-blown truth. And this is the truth. You’re a hick, and nobody ever helped a hick but a hick himself!

Willie Stark, All the King’s Men, Robert Penn Warren



I was talking yesterday with a client about the election.  We both agreed that it was a poor choice.  I told him that I think it essentially came down to either a third term for Obama, since I doubt if Clinton would do much differently, or voting for someone who might be half crazy, but who would roll the dice and probably bring change.  He told me that was the way he saw it and why he was voting for Trump.

Rumors are rife that a top aide to Speaker of the House Ryan, Dan Senor, leaked the audio tape of Trump’s conversation with Billy Bush.  Go here to read all about it.  If this is true, and if Ryan knew, two big ifs, then it illustrates the fact that plenty of elite Republicans in Washington and around the country would prefer Hillary Clinton to win rather than Donald Trump.  This would also explain why Ryan decided to go to war with Trump after the second debate, a decision which otherwise strikes me as bizarre.  Trump tends to be a fan of conspiracy theories, but this time I could not blame him for assuming that this is precisely what happened.

Trump is now in effect running as an independent against the corrupt powers that be in Washington.  Trump of course is the ultimate insider.  However, the old maxim that it takes a thief to catch a thief, or in this case thieves, comes to mind.  I promised you a wild campaign.  Buckle your seat belts.  The conclusion of this campaign promises to be a roller coaster ride like nothing seen before in American political history.

PopeWatch: Deutschland


The hun is always either at your throat or at your feet.

Winston Churchill



One could make an argument that since the 19th century, and Karl Marx, much of the man made evil afflicting the world on a global scale has had its roots in Germany.  Under Pope Francis the Catholic Church in Germany is a pet, its leadership assuming strong roles in the Vatican, a new Argentina-Germany axis around the Church will revolve.  The Pope Emeritus however had a skeptical eye on the Church in his Fatherland.  Sandro Magister at his blog Chiesa gives us the details:

ROME, October 11, 2016 – “In Germany some persons are always trying to destroy me,” pope emeritus Benedict XVI has said in the book-length interview released in recent days.

And he has cited the example of the “fabrication” mounted against him by some of his countrymen when he changed the old prayer of Good Friday against the “perfidi Iudaei.”

But in the same book Joseph Ratzinger has lodged against the German Church an accusation much more general in its scope: that of being too “worldly” and therefore of having disregarded the strong appeal for “de-mundanification” that he issued during his last journey to Germany as pope, in the memorable address in Freiburg on September 25, 2011:

> Meeting with Catholics engaged in the life of the Church and society

The key passages of that “revolutionary” address – his definition – of the pontificate of Benedict XVI are reproduced further below.

But first there is another point of the book-length interview that calls for attention. It is the one in which Ratzinger speaks out against the system of ecclesiastical taxation in Germany and its nefarious effects:

“In effect I have serious doubts about the correctness of the system as it is. I do not mean that there should not be an ecclesiastical tax, but the automatic excommunication of those who do not pay it, in my view, is not sustainable. [. . .] In Germany we have a Catholicism that is structured and well-paid, in which Catholics are often employees of the Church and have a union mentality in regard to it. For them, the Church is only an employer to be criticized. They are not motivated by a dynamic of faith. I believe that this represents the great danger of the Church in Germany: there are so many collaborators under contract that the institution is turning into a worldly bureaucracy. [. . .] This situation saddens me, this excess of money that yet again is not enough, and the bitterness that it generates, the sarcasm of the circles of intellectuals.”

There is a striking contrast between this tough criticism and the favor that the German Church itself enjoys today from the pope who succeeded Benedict, as if this were the avant-garde of the desired renewal of Christianity worldwide under the banner of poverty and mercy, when instead it is plain for all to see that in Germany the Church is for the most part neither poor nor merciful, but if anything suffocated by its own apparatus and above all on its knees to the world on many crucial questions of morality and dogma.


In order to understand Ratzinger’s criticisms better, it must be kept in mind that in Germany the Kirchensteuer, the ecclesiastical tax, is obligatory by law for all those who are registered as members of the Catholic Church or the Protestant Churches.

This tax brings the German Catholic Church more than 5 billion euro per year. An imposing sum, more than five times as much, for example, than the revenue brought in by the Italian Church with a state system of contribution – the “eight per thousand” – that is not obligatory but voluntary, and with a constituency of Catholics more than double that of Germany.

But since in Germany those who do not want to pay this tax must cancel their membership in the Church with a public act before a competent civil authority, and since these cancellations have been increasing in recent years, with the effect of reducing revenues, the German Catholic Church has implemented a countermeasure to discourage this attrition.

It did so in 2012 with a decree that stipulates for the leave-takers a series of deadly canonical sanctions, as if they were excommunicated and infected, without sacraments or even burial:

> Decreto generale della conferenza episcopale tedesca

To begin with, those who cancel their membership in the Church “may not receive the sacraments of penance, of the Eucharist, of confirmation and of the anointing of the sick, except in danger of death.”

And if then, after an attempt at reconciliation made by the local pastor, the restoration of the reprobate to the fold should fail, there could be even worse in store for him:

“When in the behavior of the believer who has declared his departure from the Church there should be seen an action that is schismatic, heretical, or of apostasy, the ordinary will see to taking the corresponding measures.”

A long way from mercy. In Germany, the divorced and remarried receive communion everywhere with no worries, homosexual marriages are increasingly blessed in church, but woe to anyone who removes his signature from the payment of the Kirchensteuer.

In an interview in the “Schwäbische Zeitung” of July 17, Archbishop Georg Gänswein, Ratzinger’s prefect of the pontifical household and personal secretary, also denounced this glaring contradiction:

“How does the Catholic Church in Germany react to those who do not pay the tax for the Church? With automatic exclusion from the ecclesial communion, which means: excommunication. That is excessive, incomprehensible. Dogmas can be called into question and no one is driven out. Is it perhaps that the non-payment of the Kirchensteuer is a more serious infraction than transgressions against the truths of faith? The impression is that, as long as faith is at stake, the matter is not so tragic, but when money comes into play, the time for joking around is over.”

Not to mention the influences that the German Church can wield over many dioceses in the southern hemisphere, which it finances with its revenues, in addition to the Holy See itself, of which it is a prominent benefactor.

But now let’s hear from Ratzinger and his “revolutionary” address in Freiburg of September 25, 2011, as unheeded as it is of extraordinary relevance, not only for the Church of Germany. Continue reading

Viva Christo Rey!



Blessed Jose Sanchez del Rio will be canonized on October 16, 2016.  A martyr for the faith during the Cristeros Rebellion, go here to read about him.  Go here to read about the Cristeros Rebellion.  Saint Jose, you who had the heart of a lion in the form of a boy, give us the courage to ever face the enemies of Christ with a faith that can never be conquered.

Stupid Catholics




Well, that is how the people at the top of the Clinton campaign view us.  Matt Archbold at Creative Minority Report brings us the news:

So yeah, the Clinton campaign picked Tim Kaine as the vice presidential nominee but a recently leaked email displays the animus and disdain which the campaign views conservative Catholics.

WikiLeaks released an email chain that included Clinton campaign chair John Podesta, Clinton campaign communications director Jen Palmieri, and Center for American Progress fellow John Halpin.

Halpin wrote:

Ken Auletta’s latest piece on Murdoch in the New Yorker starts off with the aside that both Murdoch and Robert Thompson, managing editor of the WSJ, are raising their kids Catholic. Friggin’ Murdoch baptized his kids in Jordan where John the Baptist baptized Jesus.

Many of the most powerful elements of the conservative movement are all Catholic (many converts) from the SC and think tanks to the media and social groups.

Halpin also says of conservatism among Catholics:

It’s an amazing bastardization of the faith. They must be attracted to the systematic thought and severely backwards gender relations and must be totally unaware of Christian democracy.

Palmieri reportedly said that Catholicism is “the most socially acceptable politically conservative religion” and adds “Their rich friends wouldn’t understand if they became evangelicals.”

Podesta then chimes in saying,

Excellent point. They can throw around “Thomistic” thought and “subsidiarity” and sound sophisticated because no one knows what the hell they’re talking about.

Yup. This is disgusting but it is how the Clinton campaign views Catholicism. And if you’re hoping the media will cover this in the way it deserves, think again. I’d bet it’ll hardly get a mention on MSM. Continue reading

Hillary Clinton Campaigns With Sex Predator Not Her Husband



The surreal campaign of 2016 continues with Al Gore joining Hillary on the campaign trail.  This is an unusual development in light of the fact that Gore and Clinton have long cordially detested each other.  However, when it comes to power Democrats are always able to swallow their bile and unite.

It does surprise me however due to Hillary’s shock and horror at what Donald Trump said back in 2005.  I guess she is forgetting what Gore was accused of doing just a few years later:

Former Vice President Al Gore has been hit by new allegations of sexual assault. This time, it’s two more massage therapists bringing the charges.

The former VP is already in hot water, fighting abuse claims in Portland, where another masseuse said Gore groped her in ’06 and asked her to perform a “chakra release” (massage-speak for “hand job”.) He denies everything.

The new allegations are said to have taken place at two hotels – one in Beverly Hills in 2007, when Gore was in Hollywood for the Oscars, the other in Tokyo in 2008.

A source from the luxury hotel in Beverly Hills told The Enquirer: “The therapist claimed that when they were alone, Gore shrugged off a towel and stood naked in front of her.” He then propositioned her for a sexual act, according to The Enquirer.

Molly Hagerty, the Portland victim, has also recently piped up with some new evidence: a pair of stained black pants and the remains of some candy supposedly gobbled by Gore. Continue reading

Hillary Clinton Seizure Disorder




If the mainstream media can tear themselves away from running endless loops of Donald Trump making a jackass out of himself on an eleven year old audio recording, they might want to look at this claim that Hillary Clinton has a seizure disorder:


Later in the segment, Cole caught a flash in the face as the rest of the PIX 11 team snapped picitures with disposable cameras.

“Whoa, God. This is why it was banned apparently,” Cole stated. “The Secret Service did not trust people to disable the flashes on they’re cameras, and they were afraid it would sort of inspire Hillary’s seizure disorder.” Continue reading

PopeWatch: Galatians


When the Pope engages in exegesis of Scripture, PopeWatch has the sick fascination of someone viewing an impending car crash.  From Vatican Radio:


The Pope pointed out three “attitudes” that we can have with regard to the Spirit. The first is that which Saint Paul rebuked in the Galatians: the belief that one can be justified through the Law, and not by Jesus, “who makes sense of the Law.” And so they were “too rigid.” They are the same kind of people who attack Jesus and who the Lord called hypocrites:

“And this attachment to the Law ignores the Holy Spirit. It does not grant that the redemption of Christ goes forward with the Holy Spirit. It ignores that: there is only the Law. It is true that there are the Commandments and we have to follow the Commandments; but always through the grace of this great gift that the Father has given us, His Son, and the gift of the Holy Spirit. And so the Law is understood. But don’t reduce the Spirit and the Son to the Law. This was the problem of these people: they ignored the Holy Spirit, and they did not know to go forward. Closed, closed in precepts: we have to do this, we have to do that. At times, it can happen that we fall into this temptation.”

The Doctors of the Law, the Pope said, “bewitch with ideas”:

“Because ideologies bewitch; and so Paul begins here: ‘O stupid Galatians, who has bewitched you?’ Those who preach with ideologies: It’s absolutely just! They bewitch: It’s all clear. But look, the revelation is not clear, eh? The revelation of God is discovered more and more each day, it is always on a journey. Is it clear? Yes! It is crystal clear! It is Him, but we have to discover it along the way. And those who believe they have the whole truth in their hands are not [just] ignorant. Paul says more: [you are] ‘stupid’, because you have allowed yourselves to be bewitched.”

The second attitude is grieving the Holy Spirit. This happens “when we do not allow Him to inspire us, to lead us forward in the Christian life,” when “we don’t let Him tell us, not with the theology of the Law, but with the liberty of the Spirit, what we should do.” That, the Pope said, is how “we become lukewarm,” we fall into “Christian mediocrity,” because the Holy Spirit “cannot do great works in us.”

The third attitude, on the other hand, “is to open ourselves to the Holy Spirit, and let the Spirit carry us forward. That’s what the Apostles did, [with] the courage of the day of Pentecost. They lost their fear and opened themselves to the Holy Spirit.” In order “to understand, to welcome the words of Jesus,” the Pope said, “it is necessary to open oneself to the power of the Holy Spirit.” When a man or a woman opens themself to the Holy Spirit, it is like a sail boat that allows itself to be moved by the wind and goes forward, forward, forward, and never stops.” But this happens when we pray that we might be open to the Holy Spirit:

“We can ask ourselves today, in a moment during the day, ‘Do I ignore the Holy Spirit? And do I know that if I go to Sunday Mass, if I do this, if I do that, is it enough?’ Second, ‘Is my life a kind of half a life, lukewarm, that saddens the Holy Spirit, and doesn’t allow that power in me to carry me forward, to be open?’ Or finally, ‘Is my life a continual prayer to open myself to the Holy Spirit, so that He can carry me forward with the joy of the Gospel and make me understand the teaching of Jesus, the true doctrine, that does not bewitch, that does not make us stupid, but the true [teaching]?’ And it helps us understand where our weaknesses are, those things that sadden Him; and it carries us forward, and also carrying forward the Name of Jesus to others and teaching the path of salvation. May the Lord give us this grace: to open ourselves to the Holy Spirit, so that we will not become stupid, bewitched men and women who grieve the Holy Spirit.” Continue reading

Trump on Lincoln

My personal favorite in the debate last night.  Clinton’s attempt to invoke Lincoln deserved Trump’s comeback.  It reminds me of the politician who said that his opponent reminded him of Abraham Lincoln, if one could imagine a short, fat, corrupt and lying Abe.

Quotes Suitable for Framing: Christopher Columbus

“No one should fear to undertake any task in the name of our Saviour, if it is just and if the intention is purely for His holy service. The working out of all things has been assigned to each person by our Lord, but it all happens according to His sovereign will, even though He gives advice. He lacks nothing that is in the power of men to give Him. Oh, what a gracious Lord, who desires that people should perform for Him those things for which He holds Himself responsible! Day and night, moment by moment, everyone should express their most devoted gratitude to Him.”

Christopher Columbus

Scott Adams’ Take on the Debate





Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, has had probably the most acute analysis on this strange campaign this year.  Here is his take on the debate:


I just watched the debate on replay. Trump won bigly. This one wasn’t close. And keep in mind that I called Clinton the winner of the first debate, and I now endorse Gary Johnson, primarily to avoid being called an alleged enabler of alleged sex abusers and their alleged enablers. That basket of deplorables includes both Bill and Hillary Clinton (the alleged doer and the alleged cleaner-upper) plus Trump and his alleged misdeeds.

Some quick reactions…

1. When the Access Hollywood tape came up, Trump dismissed it as locker room banter that he regrets. You expected that part. The persuasion move was that he quickly contrasted that “small” issue with images of ISIS beheadings, and cage-drownings. It was a high ground maneuver, a powerful visual anchor (like the Rosie O’Donnell move from his first primary debate), and a contrast play. In this framing, Trump cares about saving your life while Clinton cares about your choice of words. I realize the issue is Trump’s alleged deeds, not his words. But in terms of debate persuasion, Trump nailed it hard.

2. Clinton’s body language was defensive. Trump is physically larger and prowled the stage. He won the optics. It only got worse when a fly landed on Clinton’s face mid-answer. Both candidates looked perfect in terms of wardrobe and hair, given what they have to work with.

3. Trump threw in enough random details about Syria to persuade viewers that he knows more than they thought he knew. And he did a great job selling the idea that he knows more than the generals (as ridiculous as that sounds), at least in terms of not announcing where we plan to attack. I agree with the moderator who said there might be good reasons for announcing attacks – such as giving time for civilians to leave – but it wasn’t quite a counter-argument. Trump succeeded in looking informed on Syria, and at the same time reinforced the “can’t keep a secret” theme for Clinton.

4. Trump’s pre-debate show with Bill’s alleged victims dismantled Clinton’s pro-woman high ground before the debate even started. I didn’t see the pre-debate show, but I assume it was impactful. It had to be. Clinton looked shaken from the start.

5. The best quotable moments from the debate are pro-Trump. His comment about putting Clinton in jail has that marvelous visual persuasion quality about it, and it was the laugh of the night, which means it will be repeated endlessly. He also looked like he meant it.

Clinton’s Abe Lincoln defense for two-faced politicking failed as hard as anything can fail. Mrs. Clinton, I knew Abe Lincoln, and you’re no Abe Lincoln. You know that was in your head. Or it will be. 

6. Most of the rest was policy stuff that no one understands or cares about. We don’t know how to fix Obamacare or what to do with TPP. But by acting competent on these and other policy issues, Trump gains more than Clinton in persuasion.

7. Trump attacked Clinton on emails, and did a good job. His base needed that.

8. Clinton had to defend her “deplorables” comment. She said she regretted it. Regret isn’t what the public wanted to hear. That’s about her. They wanted to hear that she doesn’t think that way. She failed to address the emotional part of that topic, and that’s a persuasion fail. Continue reading

PopeWatch: Bear Growls: Leftist Cardinals



Our bruin friend at Saint Corbinian’s Bear takes a look at the three new US cardinals appointed by Pope Francis:

Cupich, Tobin, and Farrell new U.S. Francis Cardinals, signaling a switch away from culture wars. Actually, it signals a switch away from Catholicism. And the Bear shall continue to be right when he says again and again that things are far worse than you think in Jorge Bergoglio’s Church. Now he is consolidating his gains.

The Church in America shall be more the Democrat PAC. It shall continue to sacrifice ecclesiastic physiology for ecclesiastic pathology. It will perpetuate the anti-Catholic leftist party who will elect the next pope in Francis’ image. More Muslim refugees; more running cover for renegade nuns; and more excuses for Muslim terrorism. More support for women deacons; even women deacons delivering homilies.

Read the jubilation at America magazine. BTW the author wants us to take him seriously, when he touts a book, “The Tweetable Pope: a Spiritual Revolution in 140 Characters.” That pretty much says it all about everything, the Bear reckons. Continue reading

Columbus, Catholicism and Courage


“This, indeed, is probably one of the Enemy’s motives for creating a dangerous world—a world in which moral issues really come to the point. He sees as well as you do that courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means, at the point of highest reality. A chastity or honesty, or mercy, which yields to danger will be chaste or honest or merciful only on conditions. Pilate was merciful till it became risky. “

C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

This is one of those years in which the government decreed Columbus Day, the second Monday in October, does not fall on October 12, the date, under the Julian calendar, when Columbus discovered the New World.  Columbus Day is observed also in Spain as Dia de la Hispanidad and Fiesta Nacional and as the charmingly unpc Dia de la Raza in most Latin American nations.

In this country Columbus Day used to be an uncomplicated celebration, especially for Italian Americans.  Now it has become controversial with Columbus blamed in some quarters for genocide against Indians and being the founder of the American slave trade.  As Dinesh D’Souza pointed out in this article in 1995 in First Things, the condemnation of Columbus today tells us far more about current political battles than it does about the historical record of Columbus.  From a modern standpoint there is indeed much to criticize Columbus for since, in most ways, he was a typical man of his time, as we are, in most ways, typical children of ours.  Among other views inimical to our time,  he saw nothing wrong about establishing colonies and bringing native peoples under the rule of European powers.  He had little respect for the religions of native people and wanted them to be Catholic, as, indeed, he wanted all the world to be Catholic.  (I see nothing wrong in this myself, but rest assured most of our contemporaries in this country would.)

Prior to ascending the pulpit to launch a jeremiad against someone of a prior time however, it might be useful to consider the criticisms that Columbus might have of our time.  The embrace of nihilistic atheism by so many in the West in our time would have appalled him. The easy availability of the most degrading types of pornography would have sickened him.  Our weapons of mass destruction he would have seen as a sign of the reign of the Anti-Christ.  Ecumenicalism he would have viewed as a turning away from the True Faith.  The celebration of abortion as a right would have seemed to him as the ultimate covenant with death.  The Sixties of the last century popularized the term generation gap, describing the difficulty that parents and their teenage offspring had in understanding each other.  Between our time and that of Columbus there is a generations’ chasm and the use of Columbus as a whipping boy in current political disputes only increases our problem of understanding him and his time. Continue reading

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