PopeWatch: The Encyclical

 

 

 

 

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

Believe it or not the video above was put together by a group in support of the Green Encyclical.  We live in crazy times and they get a little crazier each day.

Vacation Book Haul

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As faithful readers of his blog know, I am a biblioholic.  Last week my bride and I were on vacation from the law mines, well for three of the days of last week, and we went to a fantastic book sale put on each year by the local chapter of the American Association of University Women in Naperville.  This is a big sale with approximately 40,000 books.  We purchased 45, well actually 46 because I accidentally picked up two copies of the same book, for $100.00.  Here is a list of the books with commentary.  Fortunately my bride shares to the full my biblioholism!  She will be doing the commentary for 4-12 on the list.

1.   From Savannah to Yorktown, Henry Lumpkin (1981)-Perhaps the best one volume modern study on the campaign waged by the British in the latter half of the Revolution to conquer the South.  Lumpkin does a good job of detailing the savagery of this fighting, with Northern and Southern Tories in the ranks of the British adding an air of civil war to the conflict.

2.   How to Stop a War, James Dunnigan and William Martel (1987)-Dunnigan is the founder of Simulations Publications Illustrated (dear old SPI) and the designer of numerous war games.  After SPI went bankrupt in the early eighties and was sold to TSR, he began a career of writing books about war.  This is one of his early efforts and contains his usual skillful use of historical examples to make his points.

3.   An Ordinary Person’s Guide to Empire, Arundhati Roy, (2005)-The one dud in our purchases.  Roy is a left wing loon and her tome reads like a fairly illiterate sophomore’s take on the world after having dozed through a class on Marxian Analysis of the World Crisis, while her boyfriend took occasional notes.  She is a supporter of the Naxalites, a particularly bloody and futile Maoist insurrectionary movement that has been going on in India since 1967.  This book is soon to be seen on e-bay.

4.   Saint Louis and the Last Crusade, Margaret Ann Hubbard, (1958)-This and the following 4 books are all Vision Books children’s biographies of saints, in the original hardcover editions (not the Ignatius Press paperback reprints).  Similar to Landmark Books, but on Catholic subjects and written from a Catholic perspective.  This one is a biography of King Louis IX of France.

5.   Katharine Drexel, Friend of the Neglected, Ellen Tarry, (1958)-A biography of St. Katharine Drexel (not yet canonized at the time of publication).  Cathy read this to the kids for their afterschool “mommy school” when they were in grade school.

6.  Saint Elizabeth’s Three Crowns, Blanche Jennings Thompson, (1958)-A biography of St. Elizabeth of Hungary; Cathy vaguely remembers reading about her to the kids during “mommy school” (might have been this book, or possibly a shorter account of her life elsewhere).

7.   Saint Isaac and the Indians, Milton Lomask, (1958)-A biography of St. Isaac Jogues, one of the Jesuit “Blackrobes” who worked (and died) among the Indians in North America (mostly Canada).  Cathy definitely remembers reading this one to the kids during “mommy school”!

8.   Saint Thomas More of London, Elizabeth M. Ince, (1957)-A biography of St. Thomas More, of course; Cathy thinks homeschoolers could use this alongside a family viewing of A Man for All Seasons (preferably the 1960s version) as an introduction to the Reformation in England.

9.   The Pattern Library, Crochet, Amy Carrol and Dorothea Hall, (1982)-An inexpensive crochet stitch dictionary for Cathy (if a family member knits or crochets, they’ll know what that is).

10.  Knitting into the Mystery, Susan S. Jorgensen and Susan S. Izard, (2003)-A book on prayer shawl ministries coauthored by a female United Church of Christ minister (Izard) and a Roman Catholic laywoman (Jorgensen); mostly about the spiritual side of such groups, rather than making the shawls themselves (although 2 simple patterns – 1 each knit & crochet – are included); tries hard (maybe a little too hard) to appeal to an interfaith audience.

11.  The Illustrated Afghan, Leslie Linsley, (1990)-A crochet afghan pattern book where the main panel or squares are done in plain Tunisian crochet (what Cathy says earlier generations called “afghan stitch”), and the intricate designs are cross-stitched on top.

12.  Norwegian Rosemaling, Margaret M. Miller and Sigmund Aarseth, (1974)-A book on Norwegian folk art decorative painting on wood, featuring lots of stylized flowers/leaves/scrolls/etc.; looks a lot like tole painting (but don’t let a rosemaaling fan hear you say that!).  We still have a couple of small rosemaalt items (a trinket box & a small decorative plate) Cathy acquired back in college while minoring in Scandinavian studies and connecting with distant cousins in Norway.

13.  Socrates in the City, Eric Metaxas, editor, (2011)-A collection of lectures by such luminaries as Peter Kreeft, the late Father Richard John Neuhaus, the late Chuck Colson, et al on the big issues:  God, Good, Evil, etc.  Metaxas is a man to keep your eye on.  He combines profound learning, a deep faith in God and a profound commitment to the pro-life cause.  His biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer is a grand example of using the past to help illuminate the present.

14.  Drummer Hodge:  The Poetry of the Anglo-Boer War, M. Van Wyk Smith, (1978)-Now what list of books purchased by me would be complete without some obscure tomes.  A good look at the poetry, and there was a fair amount of it, unleashed upon the world by the Boer War.  Most of it was forgettable and much of it was bad, but looking at it helps us understand the passions roused by this controversial war.

15.  Churchill’s Secret War, Madhusree Mukerjee, (2010)-Ms. Mukerjee claims in her book that Churchill’s dislike of Indians contributed to the toll of the Bengal Famine of 1943-44.  Arthur Herman, who wrote a recent joint biography of Churchill and Gandhi has written a devastating rejoinder.  Go here to read it.  I will reserve judgment until I have read the book.

16.  Platoon Leader, Thomas R. McDonough, (1985)-I have been reading this book since we purchased it last Thursday and have completed it.  It relates the story of the author as a newly graduated West Pointer, assigned as a First Lieutenant to command an understrength platoon occupying a village in a Viet Cong dominated section of Vietnam.  McDonough relates his struggles to be a competent platoon commander as he learns all the things that the Army had failed to train him about and that were vital for him to learn quickly if he and his men were to survive and prevail.  McDonough learned that when it came to stand up fights with the Viet Cong assaulting his village, American fire power would prevail and inflict heavy losses on the enemy.  What was deadly for the troops were the drip, drip losses caused on daily patrols through booby-traps planted by the Cong.  (Shades of IEDs in Iraq!)  McDonough comes to respect and like almost all the men he commands, impressed by their courage and their willingness to fight for each other.  He does not romanticize them, but he clearly shows the nobility of spirit of most of them as they stoically endure their tours.  The burden of command lays heavily on McDonough, a constant theme of the book.  This is illustrated when he sends a squad to swim in the ocean, hoping that the salt water will be good for their jungle sores, and be fun for the men.  Two of the men are caught in the tide and drown, and McDonough blames himself for their deaths, learning the old military fact of life that when you are in command, everything is your responsibility. Continue reading

Jesus Wept

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If any pro-lifers ever get tired or discouraged, please remember that the fate of “Baby Francis”, tossed away at the dawn of life like so much used garbage, is what we are fighting against:

In a simple, but dignified ceremony this morning in a section of Gate of Heaven Cemetery set aside for the repose of babies, Bishop Thomas J. Tobin presided over a Christian burial service for the unborn child he named “Francis,” fulfilling a commitment he made to officials five months ago after a fetus was found floating amid the sewage at a nearby wastewater treatment facility.

A tiny white casket, with “Baby Francis 2015” inscribed on a gold plaque affixed to one end, and flanked by flowers and a small teddy bear, rested upon a portable pine altar as the burial service was conducted under a brilliant blue sky.

“Now, we must entrust the soul of Baby Francis to the abundant mercy of God so that this beloved child may find finally a home in his kingdom,” Bishop Tobin prayed before a gathering of about 20 individuals representing the diocese and its active Respect Life Office and Human Life Guild.

Despite a five-month investigation into the case, not much is known about the circumstances in which the unborn child ended up at the Bucklin Wastewater Treatment Facility on January 12, when a worker saw what at first appeared to be a doll floating amid the slurry in a collection area of the plant’s Screen and Grit Building, according to the East Providence Police Department.

At the time, the Bishop offered a “decent and proper burial” for the unborn child, also offering prayers for his parents and the situation that led them to dispose of a child in such a tragic way. The State Medical Examiner’s Office indicated the child was a male, about 19-20 weeks gestation, but could not release the body while its investigation was ongoing.
Continue reading

Flag Day and the Army

On June 14, 1777 the Second Continental Congress passed this resolution:

 “Resolved, That the flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.”

The Flag was designed by member of Congress Francis Hopkinson who requested a quarter cask of wine for his services.  Payment was denied him on the sound ground that he was already being paid as a member of Congress.  Two years previously on June 14, 1775, Congress voted to adopt the New England militia army besieging Boston and so the Continental Army was formed.

I have always thought it appropriate that the Flag and the Army share the same birthday.  The Flag is the proud symbol of the nation but without military strength to back it up, it would quickly become a mere colorful piece of fabric.  John Wayne in a brief speech at the end of the movie Fort Apache (1948), part of John Ford’s cavalry trilogy, captured the spirit of the Army:

As did this passage the following year in the second of the cavalry trilogy, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon:

 

So here they are: the dog-faced soldiers, the regulars, the fifty-cents-a-day professionals… riding the outposts of a nation. From Fort Reno to Fort Apache – from Sheridan to Startle – they were all the same: men in dirty-shirt blue and only a cold page in the history books to mark their passing. But wherever they rode – and whatever they fought for – that place became the United States.

The song That Ragged Old Flag understands the necessity of men willing to fight for the nation, for the Flag, if the country is to endure: Continue reading

Something For Conspiracy Theorists to Sweat About!

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A fascinating piece in the New York Times which will have leftist moonbats reaching for their tin foil head gear:

When we think political influence, we think big money: the Koch brothers or Sheldon Adelson. Father McCloskey has taken a vow of poverty, but he has another kind of influence. He has helped shape the spirituality and the thinking of powerful people who have similar views about the market and social issues. Many of his converts know one another; it is a kind of club. As Pope Francis is breathing life into the Catholic left, Father McCloskey is defibrillating the Catholic right.

In Palo Alto, where Opus Dei sent him in 2013 after a period in Chicago, Father McCloskey and I shared a late-afternoon cocktail. He talked about his college years, his time on Wall Street and his calling to become a priest. I had expected to be overwhelmed by charisma and instead was drawn in by gentleness. He listened more than he spoke, asked about my family, touched my arm several times.

Then, when it was over, Father McCloskey surprised me by asking that I not quote him. Opus Dei would not let him speak on the record.

So, to learn more about him, I turned to some of the men and women whom Father McCloskey has counseled.

Several discussed the pleasure he takes in conservatives’ company, and his quiet facility with networking. He gets referrals. To take one example, before Mr. Regnery ever met Father McCloskey, he knew about him from Mr. Kudlow and Mr. Novak, converts of Father McCloskey’s who, as conservative opinion columnists, knew pretty much everyone.

And in a church whose priests are often on the left economically, Father McCloskey has a niche. He is a devout free-marketeer, a priest who defends the compatibility of pro-business policies and Catholic theology.

But more than anything, when I asked what made Father McCloskey so successful at persuading people to join the church, I heard the answer, counterintuitive in its simplicity, that he befriends people, whether they ask for it or not.

“Once Father John gets his claws into you, he never lets go,” said Mr. Kudlow, who was fighting addictions to alcohol and cocaine when he met Father McCloskey in the 1990s.

“He reaches out and gives you that kind of companionship, and stays in touch,” Mr. Kudlow, now clean for almost 20 years, added.

Shortly after he began counseling Mr. Kudlow, Father McCloskey suggested that he go to church. Mr. Kudlow found that he loved Mass, and in 1997, he was baptized Catholic.

Mr. Brownback and Mr. Lehrman did not respond to requests for comment. Nor did the presidential candidate Rick Santorum, whose son was baptized by Father McCloskey. But Mr. Regnery, whose family firm has published William F. Buckley Jr., Ann Coulter and Dinesh D’Souza, did respond, effusively.

In the 1990s, dissatisfied with the Episcopal Church, Mr. Regnery attended two weekend retreats run by Father McCloskey. They became friends, and in 2006 or 2007, he became a Catholic. Continue reading

Daffey Thoughts

 

A blog I have been reading lately is Daffey Thoughts, run by David Griffey, a Baptist minister who converted to Catholicism.  The video above is from 2006.  He is a graceful writer as demonstrated by this recent post:

This year has been a struggle, as I work things out relative to the shifts that have happened in Catholicism since I’ve been Catholic.  The last vestiges of pre-progressive culture have been swept behind us, except for those sexual issues that would likely not impact celibate men.  Everything else is increasingly along the lines of modern, Western, progressive and even secular social and political theory.

That is enough right there.  Add to it the slammed doors on any hope that I will be able to act in the capacity of a minister of the Gospel, and it’s been tough.  What to give up?  What to sacrifice?  What to commit to?

Well, I decided, a few weeks into Lent I admit, that my penance will be a daily visit to Catholic and Enjoying It.  That may sound strange.  But here is why.

In my early days of looking at non-Protestant Christianity, I stumbled on CAEI largely by accident.  I was searching for some free downloadable articles by Scott Hahn, without success.  Then I found an article by someone named Mark Shea.  It dealt with the strange aversion many Protestants have regarding Mary.  It was direct, but nice.  Even respectful.  There were some clever zingers, making the point without offending.  But the point was solid, fair, and truthful.

I went back, found his website, and gobbled up the articles.  They were almost all wonderful.  Here was a conservative American Catholic, not afraid to point out when Conservatism wasn’t following the path of Christ.  He was also fair when liberalism was correct.  His blog was a little more raucous.  But those were usually the readers.  Mark himself was often the goalie, stepping in and stopping things before they went too far.  Even telling his friends to back off.  No personal attacks or accusations were allowed.  Those would get you the door.

There you had it.  You could be conservative and Catholic.  The stereotype of Catholicism and Liberal Socialism voting Democrats as the sacramental calling of modern Catholicism was not universal.  You could love America, admit it sins, but not emphasize them (which Mark pointed out was often a very un-Christian thing to do).  You could respect the heritage of Western Civilization. You could evenly boldly declare “Why We Must Fight” following 9/11.  He even liked Tolkien, and the books I liked.  And his humor and mine were not too far off each other.

Perhaps it was my own fault that I saw in Mark’s rather balanced approach as what Catholicism was, rather than looking further.  But that was well over ten years ago.

Today, the Church has changed in just the time since we came into it.  The generation that had welcomed Protestant Clergy Converts into the fold have passed to retirement.  With some exceptions in the priesthood, most now in charge (Boomer age) seem to want little to do with us, unless we can design webpages or raise money.  And it isn’t hard to see that Oprah style liberalism and the growing pronouncements about reality from Church leaders sound increasingly the same.  The Bishops’ willingness to almost in one voice support the Democrats in all things, as long as they don’t screw the Church, and the shift toward accepting the Secular narrative are hard to miss.

True, Pope Francis is a horse of a different color.  But those who have studied liberation theology and the Marxist influences in South American Christianity will recognize at least some influences there, even if what he is willing to take a stand against other forms of radical leftist morality (again, usually where sex is concerned).

On CAEI, the change is even more pronounced.  It’s almost an entirely different world.  An entirely different blogger.  Most regulars of old have long since moved on.  The readers are either post-modern non-conformists cheering on their own superiority over all those loser “tribal Catholics”, or clearly hard to the Left progressives, with varying degrees of anti-abortion and non-gay marriage support.  In fact, opposing gay “marriage” is about the only thing that separates much modern talk about homosexuality in the Church from your average LGBT rally. And CAEI echoes this.

CAEI is a strange mixture now of Jack Chick, Glenn Beck, Huffington Post progressive thought, and a reminder that Catholics are, whether we want to admit it or not, heirs of the Inquisition.  For a couple years, many regulars tried to warn that there was little to do with enjoying anything on CAEI, and a growing discrepancy between a man who claims to be conservative, and a man who increasingly seems to love liberalism but hate conservatism.  One by one, those readers have apparently given up and moved on.  Only a handful remain.  God love them.

For me, who has been accused of horrible things by the stock readers and by Mark himself – including not caring about murdered children at Sandy Hook and desiring to increase human slaughter – there is little joy or happiness now.  The anti-Western, anti-American, anti-Traditional and anti-Conservative narrative fully embraced has made me more of an outcast there than I was at the Huffington Post.  And to be honest, I’ve been called far worse on CAEI than I was at the Huffington Post.  And it was leaving HP (as well as being banned for not being liberal) that was one of the reasons I started my blog!  Which is always a possibility at CAEI, since the thing that gets you banned now is pretty much defending traditional and conservative viewpoints, with rare exception. Continue reading

PopeWatch: Martians

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

 

 

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

New Calcedonia, Mars––Thousands of New Calcedonian martians from the northern quadrant of sector 490-3t protested outside New St. Peter’s today as bishops began talks on a number of heated issues including inter-species marriage and receiving communion in the pinchers. “The faithful and bishops alike are hoping to cover all the core issues that the average Catholic martian on the planet’s going through; issues such as understanding ‘the fall’ in regards to the martian race, and of course, receiving communion in the pinchers as opposed to one of the tongues,” spokesman for the Church in sectors 490-3t and 490-4t Androm’da Zmit told the press outside New St. Peter’s Square. “I have faith that our Holy Father Beeblebrox XV, together with the bishops, will be able to guide the faithful in these decisions…to help them better understand how he, she, or heshe can better telecommunicate the gospel.” One issue receiving lots of attention is that of intergalactic marriage. The question of whether humans could lawfully marry martians was first thrust into the spotlight when well known intergalactic space hockey player Xed Zardox fell in love with martian actress Trillion Pan Vogon, causing a storm of controversy. Other issues the bishops are considering are whether it’s admissible to form crop circles outside one’s own property and whether human probing is to be allowed during Lent. Continue reading

Flag, Country and Love

 

Something for the weekend.  Columbia the Gem of the Ocean seems appropriate for a Flag Day weekend.  Written in 1843, by Thomas a Becket, yeah, the name is correct, Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean was probably the most popular patriotic ballad of the Nineteenth Century:

O Columbia! the gem of the ocean,
The home of the brave and the free,
The shrine of each patriot’s devotion,
A world offers homage to thee;
Thy mandates make heroes assemble,
When Liberty’s form stands in view;
Thy banners make tyranny tremble,
When borne by the red, white, and blue,
When borne by the red, white, and blue,
When borne by the red, white, and blue,
Thy banners make tyranny tremble,
When borne by the red, white and blue.


When war wing’d its wide desolation,
And threaten’d the land to deform,
The ark then of freedom’s foundation,
Columbia rode safe thro’ the storm;
With her garlands of vict’ry around her,
When so proudly she bore her brave crew;
With her flag proudly floating before her,
The boast of the red, white and blue,
The boast of the red, white and blue,
The boast of the red, white, and blue,
With her flag proudly floating before her,
The boast of the red, white and blue.
 
 
 

The star spangled banner bring hither,
O’er Columbia’s true sons let it wave;
May the wreaths they have won never wither,
Nor its stars cease to shine on the brave.
May thy service united ne’er sever,
But hold to the colors so true;
The army and navy forever,
Three cheers for the red, white, and blue!
Three cheers for the red, white, and blue!
The army and navy forever,
Three cheers for the red, white, and blue

Here is a rendition by Bing Crosby of Edward Everett Hale’ s story The Man Without a Country.  Published in the midst of the Civil War in December 1863, I have always regarded it as a profound meditation on Patriotism, Home and the meaning of America.  Hale, a grandnephew of Nathan Hale, hoped to bolster support for the Union with this plea for love of country and patriotism.  Schoolchildren used to be taught it, and when I first read it as a young boy it brought tears to my eyes. Continue reading

Christopher Lee: Requiescat in Pace

 

At 93 his death does not come as a shock, but it did come far too soon on June 7.  The great underrated actor of several generations in Great Britain, Christopher Lee was something of a man for all seasons.  In World War II he fought for his country with the Royal Air Force and had adventures worthy of a book on their own.  (Prior to serving in that War he had volunteered to fight for Finland in the Winter War of 1939-1940, although he did not see combat.)  His activities with the Special Air Service are still classified.

Taking up acting after the War, he achieved fame by starring in endless horror films produced by Hammer films.  His Dracula is still considered to be the definitive portrayal.  Lee warned his fans about getting involved with the occult:

“I have met people who to claimed to be Satanists, who claimed to be involved in black magic,” Lee continued.

“I certainly haven’t been involved and I warn all of you – never, never, never – you will not only lose your mind you’ll lose your soul.”

 

He could play anything, acting in over 200 films, although he seemed to have a penchant for over the top villains.  A world champion fencer, he probably has the record for the number of sword fights in films.  He always seemed to be having  a very good time on and off screen.

In addition to his acting he had a notable career also as a singer.

He was fluent in several languages, including Mandarin Chinese, although he never recorded any Chinese love ballads, alas.

He entitled his first volume of memoirs:  Tall, Dark and Gruesome.

 

Unlike a lot of actors and actresses he had a happy home life, married to the same woman for 53 years.  Your life was a grand performance Mr. Lee and you will be missed.

 

Slobs at Mass

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Father Z, with his comments, brings us the remarks of Bishop Tobin in regard to the way too many people dress and act at Mass:

The Holy Mass – “Let the Whole World Tremble”

After attending Sunday Mass in Florida not too long ago I came across the following admonition in the Sunday bulletin: “Please come to Mass early enough not to disrupt. Leave late enough not to insult. (The Mass does not end until the final blessing). Worship reverently enough not to distract. And dress proudly enough not to offend.” [Excellent.  Fathers, jot that down.  No, wait.  You are ignoring this.]

“Now that little blurb contains some very useful reminders,” I said to myself. It addresses a recurring problem in some our churches these days – an habitual lack of reverence for the sacred mysteries taking place in our midst, especially when the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is being offered.
While all of the points in the bulletin article have merit and should be observed, the reminder to “dress proudly enough not to offend,” might be the most relevant, especially now as we enter the hot and humid, casual days of summer. The sloppy and even offensive way people dress while attending Mass is something I’ve witnessed personally and regularly receive complaints about.

You know what I’m talking about; you’ve seen it too. Hirsute flabmeisters[Well done! Just the other day I taught my altar boys the word “hirsute”.] spreading out in the pew, wearing wrinkled, very-short shorts and garish, unbuttoned shirts; mature women with skimpy clothes that reveal way too much, slogging up the aisle accompanied by the flap-flap-flap of their flip-flops; hyperactive gum-chewing kids with messy hair and dirty hands, checking their iPhones and annoying everyone within earshot or eyesight.  [Do I hear an “Amen!”?]

These displays reveal a gross misunderstanding of the sacred space we’ve entered in the church and the truly sacred drama taking place in our midst. C’mon – even in the summer, a church is a church, not a beach or a pool deck. Continue reading

PopeWatch: Green Encyclical Likely to be Worse Than Anticipated

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

 

Judging from one of the three designated presenters at the rollout of the Green Encyclical on June 18, the Encyclical appears likely to be worse than critics feared.  Rorate Caeli gives us the details:

 

The Vatican has just revealed in today’s Bollettino the line-up of speakers for the official presentation of the “Environment Encyclical”, Laudato Si, on June 18 at the New Synod Hall.

– Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace;

– His Eminence Metropolitan John (Zizioulas) of Pergamon, representing the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Orthodox Church;

– Prof. John Schellnhuber, Founding Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

 

Metropolitan John, 84 years old, is the Patriarchate of Constantinople’s leading figure in ecumenical discussions and has long been close to the Catholic ecumenical establishment. However this is the first time that an Orthodox metropolitan would be officially co-presenting a papal Encyclical. There are reports that the Encyclical will draw upon the teaching of Patriarch Bartholomew (whose interest in environmental issues is well known) and that there was even a proposal — which proved to be “not possible” — that the Encyclical be jointly promulgated by both the Pope and the Patriarch. 
Perhaps of far greater interest to most of our readership would be the presence of Prof. Schellnhuber on the panel. The father of the “two-degree target” to stave off global warming, he is the founding director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany (which is funded by the German government), Chair of the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU), and a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He was one of the experts (alongside Jeffrey Sachs) tapped by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences to write their joint statement on climate change published in April of this year, titled “Climate change and the common good: a statement of the problem and the demand for transformative solutions”. A description of the final document’s call for a “zero-carbon world” can be found here; the final published version seems to have been removed from the official website Pontifical Academy of Sciences, but to our knowledge has never been retracted.

In the words of the New York Times, Schellnhuber is “known for his aggressive stance on climate policy” and famously declared in 2009 that the “carrying capacity” of the Earth is less than one billion people:

A scientist known for his aggressive stance on climate policy made an apocalyptic prediction on Thursday.  

Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, the director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany, said that if the buildup of greenhouse gases and its consequences pushed global temperatures 9 degrees Fahrenheit higher than today — well below the upper temperature range that scientists project could occur from global warming — Earth’s population would be devastated. 

(…)

“In a very cynical way, it’s a triumph for science because at last we have stabilized something –- namely the estimates for the carrying capacity of the planet, namely below 1 billion people,” said Dr. Schellnhuber, who has advised German Chancellor Angela Merkel on climate policy and is a visiting professor at Oxford.

 At that temperature, there would be “no fluctuations anymore, we can be fairly sure,” said Dr. Schellnhuber, exercising his characteristically dark sense of humor at the morning plenary session on the closing day of an international climate change conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. 

He is also known for his intense advocacy of rapid de-industrialization in order to stave off global warming. A 2009 article quotes him as follows:

Four degrees of warming would be hotter than any time in the last 30 million years, and it could happen as soon as 2060 to 2070.

“Political reality must be grounded in physical reality or it’s completely useless,” John Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, told the conference.

Schellnhuber recently briefed U.S. officials from the Barack Obama administration, but he says they chided him that his findings were “not grounded in political reality” and that “the [U.S.] Senate will never agree to this”.

He had told them that the U.S. must reduce its emissions from its current 20 tonnes of carbon per person average to zero tonnes per person by 2020 to have an even chance of stabilising the climate around two degrees C.

China’s emissions must peak by 2020 and then go to zero by 2035 based on the current science, he added.

“Policymakers who agreed to a two-degree C goal at the G20 summit easily fool themselves about what emission cuts are needed,” Schellnhuber said.

Last but not the least he is an advocate of a very real form of “World Government”, also in the name of defeating the climate crisis. His ideas are laid out in “Expanding the Democracy Universe“, where among other things he discusses his dream of an Earth Constitution, a Global Council elected by the people of the whole world, and a Planetary Court with jurisdiction over the whole world and with the power to penalize violations of the “Earth Constitution”.

Continue reading

June 12, 1945: Guildhall Address By Eisenhower

Seventy years ago General Eisenhower was honored at the Guildhall in London by being presented with a ceremonial sword and being made an honorary Londoner.  His speech, that he gave without notes, is quite eloquent and belies his usual reputation of being a poor public speaker.  It deserves to be better known and here is the text of the speech:

 

The high sense of distinction I feel in receiving this great honor from the city of London is inescapably mingled with feelings of profound sadness. All of us must always regret that your country and mine were ever faced with the tragic situation that compelled the appointment of an Allied Commander-in-Chief, the capacity in which I have just been so extravagantly commended.

 

Humility must always be the portion of any man who receives acclaim earned in the blood of his followers and the sacrifices of his friends. Conceivably a commander may have been professionally superior. He may have given everything of his heart and mind to meet the spiritual and physical needs of his comrades. He may have written a chapter that will glow forever in the pages of military history. Still, even such a man, if he existed, would sadly face the fact that his honors cannot hide in his memories the crosses marking the resting places of the dead. They cannot soothe the anguish of the widow or the orphan whose husband or whose father will not return.

 

The only attitude in which a commander may with satisfaction receive the tributes of his friends is a humble acknowledgement that, no matter how unworthy he may be, his position is a symbol of great human forces that have labored arduously and successfully for a righteous cause. Unless he feels this symbolism and this rightness in what he has tried to do, then he is disregardful of the courage, the fortitude and the devotion of the vast multitudes he has been honored to command. If all the allied men and women that have served with me in this war can only know that it is they this august body is really honoring today, then, indeed, will I be content. Continue reading

Hath Melted Like Snow In The Glance Of The Lord

Assyrian Empire

 

 

The Destruction of Sennacherib

The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,
And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold;
And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea,
When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee.

  Like the leaves of the forest when Summer is green,
That host with their banners at sunset were seen:
Like the leaves of the forest when Autumn hath blown,
That host on the morrow lay withered and strown.

  For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast,
And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed;
And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill,
And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!

  And there lay the steed with his nostril all wide,
But through it there rolled not the breath of his pride;
And the foam of his gasping lay white on the turf,
And cold as the spray of the rock-beating surf.

  And there lay the rider distorted and pale,
With the dew on his brow, and the rust on his mail:
And the tents were all silent, the banners alone,
The lances unlifted, the trumpet unblown.

  And the widows of Ashur are loud in their wail,
And the idols are broke in the temple of Baal;
And the might of the Gentile, unsmote by the sword,
Hath melted like snow in the glance of the Lord!

George Gordon, Lord Byron Continue reading

The Ten Commandments and Freedom

And one of them, a doctor of the Law, putting him to the test, asked him, “Master, which is the great commandment in the Law?” Jesus said to him, “‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind.’ This is the greatest and the first commandment. And the second is like it, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”

Matthew 22:  35-40

 

Dennis Prager, the founder of the Prager University series of videos, notes that the structure of the Ten Commandments follows what Jesus taught:

I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

You shall have no other gods before me.

You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.

You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work; but the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your manservant, or your maidservant, or your cattle, or the sojourner who is within your gates; for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and hallowed it.

Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which the LORD your God gives you.

You shall not kill.

You shall not commit adultery.

You shall not steal.

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant, or his maidservant, or his ox, or his ass, or anything that is your neighbor’s.

The Ten Commandments begins with our duties to God and ends with our duties to our fellow men.  Continue reading

PopeWatch: Computers

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

The Pope recently spoke some common sense about computers:

Parents should not let children use computers in their bedrooms, the pope has said, while warning of the dangers of internet ‘filth’.

Pope Francis – who has 19million Twitter followers – also revealed he believed computers to be ‘bad for the soul’ as he launched into a lecture on the dangers of the internet age.

But he praised those parents who were concerned about their children’s exposure to pornographic material on the web, and only allowed the use of computers in common areas. 

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

 

Francis went on to criticise those who are ‘too attached to their computer’, which he said is ‘bad for the soul’ and amounted ‘a psychological illness’.

‘It makes you a slave to your computer,’ he added.

He said that many parents trying to have a family meal felt like children were ‘in another world’ on their smartphones Continue reading

PopeWatch: Novelty Seekers

 

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

 

 

 

 

So much for Fatima?

 

 

Francis spoke during his morning homily, three days after making a day trip to Sarajevo. En route home, Francis told reporters the Vatican would soon decide whether to formally recognize the Medjugorje phenomenon as authentic.

In his homily, Francis dismissed those “who always need novelty in their Christian identity” and say: “But where are the visionaries who tell us today about ‘The letter that the Madonna will send tomorrow at 4 p.m.?'”

“This isn’t Christian identity,” he said. “God’s last word is called Jesus and nothing more.” Continue reading

Gennarini, Archer and Shea

population%20control,%20copenhagen,%20china,%20abortion,%20save%20the%20earth%20abort%20a%20child-thumb-250x236-8013

 

Faithful readers of this blog will recall the interview that Stefano Gennarini conducted with Archbishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, go here to read all about it.  The interview has developed into a larger controversy following a First Things article by Gennarini.  Go here to read it.  Mahound’s Paradise sets the stage for us:

 

 

The President of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences (PASS), appointed by Pope Francis in 2014, just publicly dropped the “H” word on a pro-life writer at First Things.

The full saga involves the First Things writer, Stefano Gennarini, the Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (PAS), Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo and Margaret Archer, the president of PASS. It was in the context of initial criticism by Gennarini of the Vatican working closely with “population control” advocates Ban Ki-moon and Jeffrey Sachs.

Lifesite News sums the whole thing up well here. But I wanted to excerpt (with a few annotations) some of the worst parts of the letter written by Ms. Archer. The letter is extremely nasty–completely out of proportion to Mr. Gennarini’s initial calm criticisms–and often bizarrely off-subject, as when she accuses Mr. Gennarini of ignoring mass graves in Malaysia.
 
Keep in mind that this is a Vatican official appointed by the Pope, not some non-Catholic or squishy Catholic academic. And it was posted on an official Vatican website, not Salon or the Huffington Post:

Is your sole concern with human dignity confined to the period between conception and live-birth?…If so, this is a travesty of Catholic Social Teaching. [Gennarini of course never says anything of the kind, but this is a standard move.] 

Why are you so totally uninterested in vicious practices, such as human trafficking that are an offence to the human dignity and right to life that you purport to defend? [Ditto.] 

In the last two weeks of April in question, mass graves were found in Malaysia and Thailand of those killed by their intended traffickers; tens of thousands were set adrift at sea without food or water by those intending to traffic them before they feared for their own lives through the ‘civilized’ solution of a ‘blockade’. Is this of no concern to you? [Ditto again.] 

Of course, your comments imply that you are a climate change denier… [Burn him!] 

Why do you direct a hate message to Bishop Sánchez Sorondo alone? [There’s that H-bomb.] Various Cardinals were present at different meetings. Instead, blame me, blame PAS. [Well, yeah, but Sorondo is the Chancellor.] We are respected academics who take full responsibility for our actions and have, according to our Statutes, the duty and privilege of advising the Church on matters of Social Doctrine and its application. I am appointed by the Pope and responsible directly to him. I’m afraid that leaves you and your cohort out in the cold. Moreover, we work pro bono and are therefore are (sic) self-supporting, which makes me wonder which lobbyists meet your salary bill? [You dare to disagree with us? Who’s paying you?]  

Why are we not allowed to speak to Jeffrey Sachs or the Secretary General of the UN? [It’s a bit more than that.]…Well, that was not the attitude of Pope Francis who invited him to a private Audience, immediately prior to our joint PAS/PASS meeting on 28 April – to discuss climate change and human trafficking. Do you really have a higher moral standard than the Pope? Or is your own minimalistic version of the Creed, consisting of the single item: ‘’We believe in the ethical depravity of abortion’ considered to be an improvement? [Ditto for the third time.] 

It seems as if abject poverty, malnutrition, no schooling, and the prospect of no employment are of little concern to you after (children) have been born. [Well, personally, I also deeply care about employment opportunities for the unborn. But that’s just me.]

Who is Margaret Archer? As well as being the President of PASS, she is the Director of the “Centre for Social Ontology” at the University of Warwick.
Go here to read the rest. I find it rather odd that the President of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences would engage in pro-abort rhetoric rather than address the moral problem with the Vatican getting into bed with pro-aborts.  (Yes, Hitler has a terrible policy regarding the Jews, but we can work with him on ecological issues.)  Mark Shea has chimed in, and his opinion is that the controversy is all the fault of the nasty pro-lifers:

There have been a number of pre-emptive strikes against Francis and his imminent encyclical.  So…

This time, they messed with the wrong woman – Margaret Archer, world-renowned social theorist and president of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences. In the context of an all-too-typical hit piece from First Things, she issued a defiant response. She asks a sequence of questions, starting with this one:

“Is your sole concern with human dignity confined to the period between conception and live-birth? If so, this is a travesty of Catholic Social Teaching, whose concern is not confined to the newborn but extends to the development of all those potentialities and powers that exist only in potentia at birth (such as walking and talking) that develop or can be irreparably damaged throughout life.”

I’ve had people get mad at me when I’ve pointed out that things like the death penalty gun violence, unjust war, torture, or poverty are prolife issues too.  One reader furiously demanded to know why prolife activists were expected to drop everything and go protest some shooting in Detroit that killed a couple of people while a million and a half were dying from abortion, etc.  I was, I was told, placing an impossible demand on people with limited resources to do everything and be everywhere.

But that’s not what I’m saying.  I get that people have their focuses and can’t be everywhere doing everything.  Well and good.  If you are devoted to working against abortion full time and can’t fit anything else into your schedule then thank you for your hard work and may God bless and prosper it.  You are one of my heroes.

Yet here’s the  thing.  An awful lot of the “prolife” subculture, protesting that it has no time to expand its energies beyond protesting abortion, *does* have a huge amount of time and energy to work *against* the clear and obvious guidance of the Church on the issues I mention above.  Indeed, they often give every indication of having more time and energy for working against the Church on such issues than for actually doing prolife work.

Go here to read the rest.

Continue reading

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