Something for the weekend. Spring from Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons. Until Thursday of this week I had been complaining to my wife and secretary that this was the most November looking April I could recall. Then glorious Spring burst out in Central Illinois and all was well.
When it comes to political correctness, no one can out PC most Catholic “citadels of higher education”:
DePaul University will no longer allow students to chalk political messages on the sidewalks of its campus because of the “offensive, hurtful, and divisive” nature of pro-Trump chalking found on campus last week.
“While these chalk messages are part of national agendas in a heated political battle, they appeared on campus at a time of significant racial tension in our country and on college campuses. DePaul is no exception,” Depaul’s vice president for student affairs Eugene Zdziarski wrote in a campus-wide email obtained by Campus Reform. “The university has been addressing campus climate issues in an effort to provide an inclusive and supportive educational environment. In this context, many students, faculty and staff found the chalk messages offensive, hurtful and divisive.”
Consequently, Zdziarski explained that DePaul’s status as a 501(c)3 tax-exempt non-profit organization prohibits students from participating in any political activity that could be interpreted as a reflection of the university’s “views or opinions.” Political chalking on Depaul’s grounds, Zdziarski argued, fits this description.
“However, as a 501(c)3 tax-exempt non-profit organization, the university is significantly limited in the types of political activities it can promote or support,” he wrote. “In accordance with federal regulations, DePaul may not engage in any activity in support of or opposition to any candidate for public office, federal, state or local. In practice, this means no partisan political advertising may be conducted on campus that could in any way be attributed to DePaul University.”
Last week, Depaul’s College Republicans organized a chalking
campaign on campus, during which phrases such as “Make DePaul great again,” “Blue Lives Matter,” and “Trump Train 2016” were scrawled on the sidewalks.
The campus grounds crew removed the chalkings the following morning but cited routine maintenance as one of the reasons for their removal.
“After some investigation, it turns out this happened for two reasons,” the university wrote in a statement. “First, the crew regularly cleans up chalk messages on our sidewalks. This is a part of their duties. Secondly, some among the crew considered the messages inflammatory. The crew has agreed to consult about such matters in the future.”
Although the grounds crew “regularly cleans up chalk messages,” meaning DePaul students regularly chalk their campus’ sidewalks, this appears to be the first time university officials have expressly addressed their chalking policies. Zdziarski noted, after the Trump chalkings appeared, that students are not even allowed to chalk on sidewalks at all.
“Students or student organizations may not post partisan political flyers, posters, signs or images on University bulletin board, buildings, electronic message boards, forums or sidewalks. This includes chalking on campus property,” he said. Continue reading
Part 5 of our stripped down look at Amoris Laetitia with some commentary by PopeWatch:
121. Marriage is the icon of God’s love for us.
122. Married couples do not have to reproduce perfectly the relationship of Christ and His Church. (Whew! That’s a relief!)
123. Conjugal love is the greatest form of friendship. (Too weak a term for what exists between spouses in a happy lengthy marriage.)
124. A love that is weak cannot sustain the commitment that marriage requires. (Basing a marriage all on love is always a mistake. PopeWatch has seen some marriages survive rough patches simply because both parties were fundamentally decent people, and adhered to what some would consider bromides such as “A deal’s a deal.”)
125. Marriage involves constant mutual respect.
126. The joy of love needs to be cultivated in marriage.
127. Tenderness is a sign of a love free of possessiveness.
128. Pope writes about lover’s gaze in marriage. (Parts of this Exhortation read like an old Dear Abby column from the Fifties.) Continue reading
The editor-in-chief and director of the U.S. bishops’ official news service resigned Wednesday at the request of the U.S. Bishops’ Conference general secretary.
Tony Spence, who had worked for Catholic News Service since 2004, had publicly criticized religious freedom and bathroom privacy legislation on his Twitter feed.
The news comes mere days after the Lepanto Institute issued a report highlighting Spence’s controversial tweets, wherein he had called religious freedom laws “pro-discrimination” and “stupid.” LifeSiteNews ran an article on the report Tuesday.
“The far right blogsphere and their troops started coming after me again, and it was too much for the USCCB,” Spence told the National Catholic Reporter Thursday. “The secretary general [of the U.S. bishops’ conference] asked for my resignation, because the conference had lost confidence in my ability to lead CNS.”
NCR’s Dennis Coday writes:
Bloggers from websites of The Lepanto Institute, The Church Militant and LifeSiteNews.com posted stories in the last week that accused Spence of issuing “public statements decrying proposed legislation in several states that would protect religious freedom and deny men pretending to be women the ‘right’ to enter women’s bathrooms.”
According to the newspaper, following a meeting with Msgr. J. Brian Bransfield, the general secretary of the bishops’ conference, “Spence was escorted from the conference office building without being allowed to speak to his newsroom staff.” Continue reading
Is there a favorite Bible verse or Bible story that has informed your thinking or your character through life, sir?” asked host Bob Lonsberry on WHAM 1180 AM.
Trump responded, “Well, I think many. I mean, when we get into the Bible, I think many, so many. And some people, look, an eye for an eye, you can almost say that. That’s not a particularly nice thing. But you know, if you look at what’s happening to our country, I mean, when you see what’s going on with our country, how people are taking advantage of us, and how they scoff at us and laugh at us. And they laugh at our face, and they’re taking our jobs, they’re taking our money, they’re taking the health of our country. And we have to be firm and have to be very strong. And we can learn a lot from the Bible, that I can tell you.
Indeed we can learn a lot from the Bible:
 You have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.  But I say to you not to resist evil: but if one strike thee on thy right cheek, turn to him also the other:  And if a man will contend with thee in judgment, and take away thy coat, let go thy cloak also unto him.
Matthew 5: 38-40.
“Don’t push the pink–
Let me tell you something about Hew-mons, Nephew. They’re a wonderful, friendly people, as long as their bellies are full and their holosuites are working. But take away their creature comforts, deprive them of food, sleep, sonic showers, put their lives in jeopardy over an extended period of time and those same friendly, intelligent, wonderful people… will become as nasty and as violent as the most bloodthirsty Klingon. You don’t believe me? Look at those faces. Look in their eyes.
Part 4 of our stripped down look at Amoris Laetitia with some commentary by PopeWatch:
91. Love is patient.
92. Patience takes root when we accept the right of people to live in the world just as they are.
93. Love is kind.
94. Love is shown more by deeds than by words.
95. Love is not jealous.
96. Love rejects covetousness, unless, apparently, the covetousness is in service of the welfare state to reduce inequality. (Another example of the Pope attempting to use Biblical texts to support his leftist political agenda.) Continue reading
One of the great tragedies of American history is that Abraham Lincoln was assassinated before he could implement his post war reconstruction policy. In a letter in January 1864 to Major General James Wadsworth, a wealthy New York politician and philanthropist who helped found the Free Soil Party, Lincoln set forth his basic policy:
You desire to know, in the event of our complete success in the field, the same being followed by a loyal and cheerful submission on the part of the South, if universal amnesty should not be accompanied with universal suffrage.
Now, since you know my private inclinations as to what terms should be granted to the South in the contingency mentioned, I will here add, that if our success should thus be realized, followed by such desired results, I cannot see, if universal amnesty is granted, how, under the circumstances, I can avoid exacting in return universal suffrage, or, at least, suffrage on the basis of intelligence and military service.
How to better the condition of the colored race has long been a study which has attracted my serious and careful attention; hence I think I am clear and decided as to what course I shall pursue in the premises, regarding it a religious duty, as the nation’s guardian of these people, who have so heroically vindicated their manhood on the battle-field, where, in assisting to save the life of the Republic, they have demonstrated in blood their right to the ballot, which is but the humane protection of the flag they have so fearlessly defended.The restoration of the Rebel States to the Union must rest upon the principle of civil and political equality of the both races; and it must be sealed by general amnesty. Continue reading
In regard to Amoris Laetitia most Catholic commentators have been playing a huge game of Lets Pretend. What has sparked this game is the fact that Amoris Laetitia is a stark departure by Pope Francis from what was previously taught by the Church. Afraid of admitting this obvious fact, most Catholic analysts have been bending themselves into pretzels pretending that nothing has changed, for fear of the unsettling implications that looking at reality head on will raise. I am unable to join in this game of Lets Pretend. Facts are facts and it is always harmful, and untruthful, to attempt to ignore them or wish them away. Father Brian Harrison also is refusing to join in the game of Lets Pretend:
In allowing exceptions to the ‘no-Communion’ law for those in invalid marriages, Pope Francis is acting against the clear and constant bimillennial teaching confirmed by Pope St. John Paul II in Familiaris Consortio #84, and reaffirmed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (nos. 1650 and 2390, last sentence). Also under St. John Paul II, the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, in its Declaration of June 24, 2000, has asserted unequivocally that the exclusion of such Catholics from the sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist flows from divine law, so that no human ecclesiastical law can change it, since it’s irrelevant whether the subjective imputability of remarried divorcees might in some instances be diminished. Why is this irrelevant? Because, says the Declaration, the admission to Communion of those who are publicly living in a situation which Jesus himself calls adultery will send a clear message that the Church doesn’t really take too seriously this teaching of our Lord about the indissolubility of marriage. And this will inevitably cause scandal (in the theological sense of leading others into sin). Pope Francis briefly mentions this document; but only by uncritically using the selective and deceptive citation found in the 2015 Synod Relatio (#85). Thus, both the Relatio and Amoris Laetitia omit altogether the main point of the 2000 Declaration, which is that the obligation of priests and other ministers to refuse Communion to civilly remarried divorcees “is by its nature derived from divine law and transcends the domain of positive ecclesiastical laws: the latter cannot introduce legislative changes which would oppose the doctrine of the Church” (section 1).
Also, this Declaration points out that logically, a concession to some remarried divorcees on the grounds that their subjective conscience may not be gravely guilty will open the way for further concessions, on the same grounds, to many who are living publicly in other objectively immoral situations. For instance, now that some civilly remarried divorcees are to be admitted to sacramental absolution and Communion, will not at least some same-sex couples have to be admitted these two sacraments on the same grounds (i.e., ‘diminished imputability’)?
Are we now supposed to believe that Pope Francis alone is right on this issue, and that all his predecessors, including the still living Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, and the Catechism promulgated by St. John Paul II, have been wrong and ‘unmerciful’ in allowing no exceptions in this area? If so, why should we believe that? Doesn’t it seem more likely that just one pope is wrong, and that all the other hundreds of popes have been right? Continue reading
David Griffey at Daffey Thoughts explains why the treatment of believing Christians in this country deserves the term persecution:
Without the need for Gulags or Gas Chambers. Pope Francis says so over here. All too often, when Christians object to the clear and obvious assault on the right to not be liberal, advocates of the new tyranny resort to denial if not downright mockery.
Stop whining, we’re told. There is no persecution. I’ve always wondered what their standard for persecution happens to be. This is a movement, after all, that used to declare Fascism! and McCarthyism! when a record store wouldn’t carry a Madonna song. So I’m not sure how they reconcile Christians saying they don’t want to be forced by the government to take part in a ceremony against their religious convictions as whining.
After all, as far as I know, the various cases that have arisen where a photographer here, or a bakery there, have been legally assaulted have had to do with actual gay marriage ceremonies. It’s not that the businesses in question refused to serve gay people. At least two of the owners I’ve seen interviewed said they don’t mind serving anyone. They just don’t want to be part of something that specifically cuts against the exercise of their religious conscience.
And yet, against that, all hell has broken lose. And when Christians have objected to being financially punished, to being hit with exorbitant financial penalties because of this, advocates of the Left simply shrug, wink, giggle, and act as if Christians have no reason to complain. Why not? Again, go back to the 70s and 80s and see what liberals said when religious groups tried to get a show pulled from television or a radio station wouldn’t play The Rolling Stones. It was nothing less than Big Brother all the way!
That includes Catholics and other Christians, BTW. Not just those who have embraced the gospel of liberalism, but others who want to come off as voices of reason. Perhaps afraid of looking too conservative, or afraid of being laughed at by those who want to do the persecuting, they often step forward and say, “Now let’s not be hasty. There’s really no persecution. We don’t even know what that means. Look at Syria or Iraq.” Sure. Those are cases of one extreme form of persecution. Often, it’s the final stage of persecution.
But as Pope Francis says, there are other stages, and we’re seeing those play out now. I wish he would speak more bluntly as to just who and what is behind this. When it comes to things like the historic sins of the Western Democracies or Capitalism, he has no problem dropping names. I wish he would drop names here. That would leave no wiggle room. It would leave no doubt as to just who he’s talking about. It would also keep people from trying to twist it around and say he’s really talking about those traditionalists who want to impose their values on others by committing the mortal sin of failing to embrace the true religion of the Left.
By the way, speaking of principalities and powers. The battles we fight are ultimately spiritual battles beyond the visible. But in keeping with the usual Satanic promises, have you noticed the essence of this entire religious liberty battle? The fight is over businesses who don’t mind serving anyone, gay or otherwise. They just don’t want to be forced to take part in a religious observance that is against their fundamental beliefs. Like making a Kosher deli cater a pig roast for Easter services. They aren’t even attacking gays. They simply say, in this particular case, they would prefer not to be part of the event. And yet it’s nothing less than Nazi flavored hatred and bigotry.
And how do those who want to impose their values on these business owners fight back? Why, with nuclear retribution. They come in and punish entire states. They do things that could hurt everyone in the state, allies and opponents alike. They pull out and hurt the entire flock of people: gay, straight, religious, non-religious, LGBTQ supporters, gay marriage opponents, friend, foe. They essentially carpet bomb the opposition, hurting anyone and everyone in the process.
An observation of warning. We’ve come to believe that a Christian business owner, willing to serve anyone, but asking not to be forced to take part in a morally pronounced religious ceremony fundamentally opposed to their own beliefs, is the essence of hate and intolerance. And those institutions and organizations and individuals who wield tremendous power and have billions at their disposal, who are willing to do nothing less than extortion in order to mandate conformity, and do so by harming anyone in their target range – friend and foe alike – are the champions of tolerance and inclusion. How we got there has to be a tale of unprecedented dumb. But given our cultural and educational standards over the last few decades, I’m not shocked. Not in the least.
“I am delighted to have been invited by the Vatican to a meeting on restoring social justice and environmental sustainability to the world economy,” Sanders said in the release.“Pope Francis has made clear that we must overcome ‘the globalization of indifference’ in order to reduce economic inequalities, stop financial corruption and protect the natural environment. That is our challenge in the United States and in the world.”In an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Friday morning, Sanders praised the pope when he was asked about the invitation.
But the invitation was actually made by Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, the chancellor of the pontifical academy, an autonomous institution that receives some funding from the Holy See but is not officially part of it.
In a March 30 letter inviting Sanders to the event, Sánchez Sorondo wrote, “On behalf of the President, Professor Margaret Archer, the Organizers, and as Chancellor, I am very happy to invite you to attend the meeting on ‘Centesimus Annus: 25 Years Later.’ The meeting, which is humanitarian in its objects, will be held at the Casina Pio IV, the headquarters of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, from 15 to 16 April 2016.”
But Archer, an English academic, appears not to have known about the invitation. On Friday, she accused Sanders of “monumental discourtesy” for not contacting her, telling Bloomberg that he was the one who had made the first move regarding the meeting — and “for obvious reasons.”
“I think in a sense he may be going for the Catholic vote, but this is not the Catholic vote and he should remember that and act accordingly — not that he will,” Archer said. Sanders’ use of the meeting is “clearly a pretext,” she added. “There are just 20 academics and there will be nothing of policy relevance.”
It was not clear why Archer’s account differed from Sánchez Sorondo’s letter, and requests for comment to her office were not returned.
Because we’re here lad. Nobody else. Just us.
Colour Sergeant Frank Bourne, Zulu (1964)
At the battle of Rorke’s Drift on January 22-23, 1879, some 141 men of B Company, 2 Warwickshire (24th Regiment of Foot) beat off an attack by a Zulu impi, around 4,000 men. At the time it was considered a military miracle. The officers in command had nothing in their careers before or after the battle to mark them out as in any way superior. They were typical run of the mill officers and almost all the men under their command were typical troops. The most unusual was Colour Sergeant Frank Bourne who at the battle was twenty-four years old. Two years previously he had attained the rank of Colour Sergeant, making him the youngest Colour Sergeant, the highest NCO rank in the British Army. He would rise to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel during World War I, and die at 91, last survivor among the defenders of Rorke’s Drift, on V-E Day, appropriately enough, May 8, 1945. For a secular purpose the defenders of Rorke’s Drift were willing to fight with all their being, and they won against apparently overwhelming odds.
This little excursion into military history is caused by this quotation from Father Z:
O God, who raised up a fallen world by the abasement of Your Son, grant holy joy to Your faithful; so that You may cause those whom You snatched from the misfortunes of perpetual death, to enjoy delights unending.
The great L&S indicates that erigo, giving us erexisti, means “to raise up, set up, erect” and, analogously, “to arouse, excite” and “cheer up, encourage.” The verb iaceo (in the L&S find this under jaceo) has many meanings, such as “to lie” as in “lie sick or dead, fallen” and also “to be cast down, fixed on the ground” and “to be overcome, despised, idle, neglected, unemployed.” Humilitas is “lowness”. In Blaise/Dumas, humilitas has a more theological meaning in the “abasement” of the God Incarnate who took the form of a “slave” (cf. Philippians 2:7). Blaise/Dumas cites this Collect in the entry for humilitas.
Because of the Fall, the whole cosmos was put under the bondage of the Enemy, the “prince of this world” (cf. John 10:31 and 14:30). This is why when we bless certain things, and baptize people, there was an exorcism first, to rip the object or person from the grip of the world’s “prince” and give it to the King. God is liberator. He rouses us up from being prone upon the ground. He grasps us, pulling us upward out of sin and death. He directs us again toward the joys possible in this world, first, and then definitively in the next.
Part 3 of our stripped down look at Amoris Laetitia with some commentary by PopeWatch:
61. Marriage is a gift from God.
62. Jesus mandated that marriage be indissoluble as a gift to Man.
63. Jesus restored marriage to its original form.
64. The love that Jesus demonstrated in his earthly ministry is an example to the Church.
65. Jesus becoming a member of a human family changed the world.
66. By emulating the holy family of Nazareth, any family can become a light in the darkness.
67. Cites Gaudium et Spes on the family.
68. Cites Humanae Vitae on conjugal love and procreation.
69. Cites Saint John Paul II on the family.
70. Cites the Pope Emeritus on the family.
71. The Trinity is represented in the family.
72. Marriage is a sacrament and a vocation. Continue reading
Dale Price at Dyspeptic Mutterings calls upon Orwell to explain this Orwellian time in the history of the Church:
‘You are a slow learner, Winston,’ said O’Brien gently.
‘How can I help it?’ he blubbered. ‘How can I help seeing what is in front of my eyes? Two and two are four.’
‘Sometimes, Winston. Sometimes they are five. Sometimes they are three. Sometimes they are all of them at once. You must try harder. It is not easy to become pastoral.’ Continue reading
All of his life Abraham Lincoln enjoyed poetry and would occasionally compose poetry. In the fall of 1844 he was campaigning for Henry Clay in Clay’s unsuccessful run for the Presidency in southern Indiana and visited the region where he lived as a boy. He told a friend that the terrain was the most unpoetic imaginable, but moved by nostalgia he set pen to paper:
My childhood’s home I see again,
And sadden with the view;
And still, as memory crowds my brain,
There’s pleasure in it too.
O Memory! thou midway world
‘Twixt earth and paradise,
Where things decayed and loved ones lost
In dreamy shadows rise,
And, freed from all that’s earthly vile,
Seem hallowed, pure, and bright,
Like scenes in some enchanted isle
All bathed in liquid light.
As dusky mountains please the eye
When twilight chases day;
As bugle-tones that, passing by,
In distance die away;
As leaving some grand waterfall,
We, lingering, list its roar–
So memory will hallow all
We’ve known, but know no more.
Near twenty years have passed away
Since here I bid farewell
To woods and fields, and scenes of play,
And playmates loved so well.
Where many were, but few remain
Of old familiar things;
But seeing them, to mind again
The lost and absent brings.
The friends I left that parting day,
How changed, as time has sped!
Young childhood grown, strong manhood gray,
And half of all are dead.
I hear the loved survivors tell
How nought from death could save,
Till every sound appears a knell,
And every spot a grave.
I range the fields with pensive tread,
And pace the hollow rooms,
And feel (companion of the dead)
I’m living in the tombs. Continue reading
A powerful presentation in the movie The Robe (1953), by the late great Michael Ansara, of a repentant Judas sunk in the sin of despair. Pope Francis touched upon the theme of a repentant Judas with bizarre results. Oakes Spaulding at Mahound’s Paradise surveys the damage:
Then Francis presented a novel theory on Judas and the high priests.
Pope Francis said: “It hurts when I read that small passage from the Gospel of Matthew, when Judas, who has repented, goes to the priests and says: ‘I have sinned’ and wants to give … and gives them the coins. ‘Who cares! – they say to him: it’s none of our business!’ They closed their hearts before this poor, repentant man, who did not know what to do. And he went and hanged himself.
And what did they do when Judas hanged himself? They spoke amongst themselves and said: ‘Is he a poor man? No! These coins are the price of blood, they must not enter the temple… and they referred to this rule and to that… The doctors of the letter. “
The life of a person did not matter to them, the Pope observed, they did not care about Judas’ repentance.
The Gospel, he continued, says that Judas came back repentant. But all that mattered to them “were the laws, so many words and things they had built”.
- The Jewish high priests (being Jewish high priests) had no power to forgive sins in that sense.
- Neither Judas nor the high priests believed they had such a power.
- In any case, while looking down at Judas for being sort of a rat, the priests obviously wouldn’t think that acting against Jesus was per se a sin.
- Judas’ repentance was belied by the fact of his subsequent suicide, as well as (according to most Biblical commentators) the peculiar Greek word used for “repentance” in this passage but not in other passages.
- The common understanding is that his repentance was more akin to “stupid move” than “I’m truly sorry that I betrayed my Master and friend.” (Again, see suicide and Greek word used.)
- This is reinforced by the fact that Judas did not try to save Jesus or go back to the other apostles and apologize, etc. Rather, he pulled a “poor me.”
“History tells us of many people who were judged and killed, although they were innocent: judged according to the Word of God, against the Word of God. Let’s think of witch hunts or of St. Joan of Arc, and of many others who were burnt to death, condemned because according to the judges they were not in line with the Word of God” he said.
Who will be the first bishop to stand up to this?
Part 2 of our stripped down look at Amoris Laetitia with some commentary by PopeWatch:
Chapter Two: The Experiences and Challenges of Families
31. In this chapter the Pope will look at families.
32. Pope really likes the word anthropological.
33. Extreme individualism threatens families.
34. More on that theme.
35. Christians cannot abandon the concept of families.
36. Church has had too much focus on family as a means of procreation. (Yep, the Pope really did mean his breeding like rabbits comments. The Pope claims to be a loyal son of the Church. That he may be. He certainly is a loyal son of the Sixties.)
37. Some psycho-babble about marriage as a means of personal development. Church is called to form consciences not to replace them. (This theme is one of the major ones in this dog’s breakfast of an exhortation: conscience is everything, which completely ignores the fact that many people have no difficulty in giving a thumbs up to any wretched, self-serving piece of evil they wish to undertake.)
38. Most people value families that have permanence and mutual respect. Church has wasted effort on denouncing a decadent world instead of being like Jesus with his compassion to the woman caught in adultery or the Samaritan woman at the well. (In neither case of course did Christ give the slightest sign that he condoned their sins. Quite the contrary.)
39. The culture of the ephemeral and narcissism are threats to families.
40. We need to find the right language to encourage young people to take up the challenge to form families. Continue reading