One Solitary Life

Sunday, December 25, AD 2016

All the armies that have ever marched All the navies that have ever sailed All the parliaments that have ever sat All the kings that ever reigned put together Have not affected the life of mankind on earth As powerfully as that one solitary life

From One Solitary Life

I am an historian, I am not a believer, but I must confess as a historian that this penniless preacher from Nazareth is irrevocably the very center of history. Jesus Christ is easily the most dominant figure in all history.

H. G. Wells

O felix culpa quae talem et tantum meruit habere redemptorem

Exsultet, Easter Vigil


One Response to One Solitary Life

  • For the many years that I was a sworn Police Officer, on the Evansville, Indiana Police Department, ( finally retired as a Sergeant ) I often witnessed things that either tested my Faith, or confirmed it.
    I belonged to a Gym called “The Pit”. And The Pit was owned and run by a devoutly Christian gentleman named Dick Connors. Connors was himself a sworn Police Officer and he did not allow any “swearing” or otherwise bawdy talk or activity in his Gym. He had signs on a couple of walls that displayed Biblical quotes in an effort to encourage a following of his wishes. But he continued to have occasional problems, UNTIL he put up a sign that quoted the anonymous “One Solitary Life”.
    After he put up that sign, things got a lot calmer, PEACEFUL !
    Timothy R

A Proclamation

Sunday, December 25, AD 2016


The twenty-fifth day of December.

In the five thousand one hundred and ninety-ninth year of the creation of the world from the time when God in the beginning created the heavens and the earth;

the two thousand nine hundred and fifty-seventh year after the flood;

the two thousand and fifteenth year from the birth of Abraham;

the one thousand five hundred and tenth year from Moses and the going forth of the people of Israel from Egypt;

the one thousand and thirty-second year from David’s being anointed king;

in the sixty-fifth week according to the prophecy of Daniel;

in the one hundred and ninety-fourth Olympiad;

the seven hundred and fifty-second year from the foundation of the city of Rome;

the forty second year of the reign of Octavian Augustus;

the whole world being at peace,

in the sixth age of the world,

Jesus Christ the eternal God and Son of the eternal Father,

desiring to sanctify the world by his most merciful coming,

being conceived by the Holy Spirit, and nine months having passed since his conception,

was born in Bethlehem of Judea of the Virgin Mary, being made flesh.


5 Responses to A Proclamation

3 Responses to December 24, 1968: In the Beginning

Norad Tracking Santa

Saturday, December 24, AD 2016



When I was a kid, perhaps because I was the son of an Air Force veteran, I always thrilled to the tracking of Santa by Norad (North American Air Defense).  I am happy to see that Norad is still doing it.  Go here to their Santa tracking website.  Sleep well tonight America!  Santa and your Air Force will both be wide awake!




5 Responses to Norad Tracking Santa

4 Responses to Hark the Herald Angels Sing

  • The rendition of Hark the Hearld Angels Sing sung by Philip Frost, playing Tiny Tim in the 1935 SCROOGE, is our favorite. Scrooge is played by Seymour Hicks.

    We will be singing this classic, as well as others, in front of an empty manger at Planned Parenthood come Wednesday the 28th. Pro-Life Action League started this tradition and we hope it catches on. No room in the womb must come to an end. Our presence and prayers will win the day, with God’s help of course.

    Peace on earth…For all..Born and unborn.
    Peace to you and yours TAC.

  • Dear Phillip-You and all those with you will be in my prayers on the 28th; and then from now on at daily Mass. Just your presence, standing there silent, can save a baby. [see below] Merry CHRISTmas and God bless us, everyone. Guy

    Sidewalk Counselors: Your Work Won’t Go Unrewarded
    New Oxford Review April 2012

    What a fine guest column Edmund B. Miller has written about the generous and amazing work done by prayer warriors and sidewalk counselors outside abortion businesses (“Abortion & The Creed of Progress,” Jan.-Feb.). He admits that “discouragement comes swiftly and heavily. Often I wonder why I should and do continue.” Anyone who has stood and prayed outside an abortion business can echo these feelings; but the unseen effects of these prayers, of this witness, are far beyond what can be imagined.

    Last fall a group of us were praying outside the last abortion business (of four) in Corpus Christi, Texas, when a car drove up and screeched to a sudden stop right by us. When this happens one usually expects the worst. But this time a man got out and approached us, weeping. “You have no idea of the good you do here,” he said to us. “Thirteen years ago my pregnant girlfriend and I drove up here and you all were praying here. This was for her scheduled abortion. We went inside and we felt the evil. I thought about you all on the outside praying. We left. And now, because of you, she is my wife and, because of you, we have beautiful twin teenage daughters. Never stop this, keep praying here.”

    All of us who were there that day 13 years ago probably felt the “discouragement that comes swiftly and heavily.” But our prayers touched this man and his girlfriend and changed the course of human history. This is why those who stand and pray “should and do continue.”

    Another time we prayed most of the day outside a Planned Parenthood abortion business in Bryan/College-Station, Texas, as 17 girls and women went in for abortions, with no “saves.” Once the “business” day was over late in the afternoon, we went to a local restaurant, depressed and gloomy. While we were there, a woman came up to us and asked if we were “the people praying at the Planned Parenthood clinic.” We told her we were, and she said, “Thank you, I saw you praying and because of you I did not go in for the abortion.” This is reason enough to continue, because even if we do not know about it, a baby might be saved because of our prayers.

    I firmly believe that when anyone who stands and prays outside an abortion business, anyone who engages in sidewalk counseling, anyone who is a conduit for God’s love to these girls and women, gets to the pearly gates and St. Peter is studying the book and checking the commandments against what the person has done, there is going to be a crowd of little children telling St. Peter, perhaps impatiently, “This is our friend. She [or he] is why you call your book the ‘Book of Life.’ You have to let her come in here with us.”

    Mr. Miller is correct when he says that those who pray and those who counsel have “not been paid to do this.” This is true, in the practical sense. But in the spiritual sense, what one gives away is what one takes to Heaven; and those who do this give God’s love, and they take with them to Heaven the embodiment of that love in the saved children and the saved mothers, fathers, and families, and the love in each caress and kiss those mothers give to their babies.

    Guy McClung
    Rockport, Texas

  • @ Guy McClung

    You’ve given us a Christmas gift that brought about tears. Thank you so much for your testimony. We see the negitive response so often, and the positive ones are quite rare. I will read your post to our group Wednesday.

    We are not about the tally. The gratification that comes in the form of immediate positive results, rather we hold fast to the knowledge that God germinates the seed. We are all asked to be witnesses “to the end of time.”
    This is our time. Our brief moment on planet Earth.

    I give thanks to God for awakening my soul to these truths. It wasn’t always awake. For years I had cast it into a deep coma, self induced, but praise be to God that He will see to the completion of His work in my life.
    “God, How great are YOUR works!”

    Merry Christmas Guy McClung.

4 Responses to Do They Know What Christmas Is?

Change of Heart

Friday, December 23, AD 2016



I think the antics of the crazed left since the election of Trump are costing them supporters.  Case in point, Rod Dreher publishes a letter from a young mother:

I’m a secular/agnostic Californian and longtime reader of your blog. I’ve enjoyed your books beginning with Crunchy Cons, and have valued your insights over the years.

Though you don’t know me, I feel like I know you and your family. And I want to share with you, from the liberal bastion of Northern California, that I am officially tired of the type of people who have surrounded me my entire life. In the wake of Trump’s election, I am experiencing “tribe fatigue.” I’m not tired of The Other, Detestable Tribe. I’m tired of my own.

A bit about me: I am a [deleted] with two young children. My parents were non-religious Democrats, and my ex-Catholic mom loathes organized religion to this day.

So I was raised a secular liberal. My college professors were secular liberals. During my journalism phase, my newspaper colleagues were secular liberals. My law school professors and peers were – in the vast majority – secular liberals. Almost everyone at my corporate law firm was a secular liberal. My California neighbors and friends are secular liberals, as are my colleagues. My mother, siblings, and their spouses are all secular liberals.

By all rights, I should be a member in good standing of their tribe, “liking” their Facebook posts and joining their candlelight vigils against the evil Trump Administration. But November 8 and its aftermath revealed to me that I am just so tired of these people. I can’t be like them, and I don’t want my kids turning into them.

I am tired of their undisguised contempt for tens of millions of Americans, with no effort to temper their response to the election with humility or empathy.

I am tired of their unexamined snobbery and condescension.

I am tired of their name-calling and virtue-signaling as signs of supposedly high intelligence.

I am tired of their trendiness, jumping on every left-liberal bandwagon that comes along (transgender activism, anyone?) and then acting like anyone not on board is an idiot/hater.

I am tired of their shallowness. It’s hard to have a deep conversation with people who are obsessed with moving their kids’ pawns across the board (grades, sports, college, grad school, career) and, in their spare time, entertaining themselves and taking great vacations.

I am tired of their acceptance of vulgarity and sarcastic irreverence as the cultural ocean in which their kids swim. I like pop culture as much as the next person, but people who would never raise their kids on junk food seem to think nothing of letting then wallow in cultural junk, exposed to nothing ennobling, aspirational, or even earnest.

I am tired of watching them raise clueless kids (see above) who go off to college and within months are convinced they live in a rapey, racist patriarchy; “Make America Great Again” is hate speech; and Black Lives Matter agitators are their brothers-in-arms against White Privilege. If my kids are like that at nineteen, I’ll feel I’ve seriously failed them as a parent. Yet the general sentiment seems to be these are good, liberal kids who may have gotten a bit carried away.

I am tired of their lack of interest in any form of serious morality or self-betterment. These are decent, responsible people, many compassionate by temperament. Yet they seem two-dimensional, as if they believe that being a nice, well-socialized person who holds the correct political views is all there is, and there is nothing else to talk about. Isn’t there, though?

I am tired of being bored and exasperated by everybody. I feel like I have read this book a thousand times, and there are no surprises in it. Down with Trump! Trans Lives Matter! Climate deniers are destroying the planet! No cake, we’re gluten-free!

These are good people in a lot of ways. But there has got to be a better tribe.

That leads me to . . . drum roll . . . the Christian Right. It is no small feat, switching tribes. It feels stressful and weird to abandon your tribe for the Detested Other Side.

Since November 8, my husband and I have been taking the kids to church. (He is politically conservative with a religious bent, so no argument there.) I have come this close to buying a giant poster of the American flag for the living room. I may do it still.


18 Responses to Change of Heart

  • The most bizarre thing about this the left is melting over someone who is not even a conservative.

  • Yes, but he is much more conservative than the Northern California echo chamber. He also lead the charge against political correctness. Just maybe this had the effect of causing some on the Left to think about arguments they’d never heard before.

  • The young mother above and her children are the refugees that we don’t hear about.
    Waking from a perpetual nightmare and walking away from a tribe filled with hate of neighbor that isn’t in their camp, contempt for all outside their tribe and apathy for things conservative. I predict that these refugees will grow in number.

  • Remember, folks, it’s liberal-ISM. It is just like alcohol-ISM. It’s I, Self and Me. That’s what causes alcoholism (“the bottle was only a symptom of our disease” – Bill Wilson in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous), and it is what causes liberalism.

  • I had a college friend from San Francisco. He established a law practice there. He was in town once, and my wife and I had dinner with him and his wife. They began talking about overpopulation, and how they think it’s selfish to have children. My wife and I have eight children. They began talking about how abortion is needed to protect the environment from overpopulation. I am a pro-life activist. On Facebook, it got worse. And worse. And worse. He was insulting to everyone outside of San Francisco who had ever been his friend, while insisting he was not. Finally, I cut ties with him. He wasn’t like that when we were in college together. It was sad. He seemed to have a compulsion to show just how great a guy he was by holding all of the right opinions, and denigrating anyone who held a different opinion. He had ZERO insight into how this looked to other people. It reminds me of the society in Brave New World, which looked with disgust at things such as natural childbirth.

  • St. Augustine wrote in the fifth century that enemies of the Faith, sinners, et al should be loved in Christian charity because as long as they live they may come to a better mind.
    Also, as LDQ above notes: liberalism is a pathology.

  • What an enchanting voice to read such a mysterious beautiful poem! Thanks for sharing. This woman’s children will be well schooled.

  • T Shaw wrote, “St. Augustine wrote in the fifth century that enemies of the Faith, sinners, et al should be loved in Christian charity because as long as they live they may come to a better mind.”

    The Doctor of Grace also says, “For the effectiveness of God’s mercy cannot be in the power of man to frustrate, if he will have none of it. If God wills to have mercy on men, he can call them in a way that is suited to them, so that they will be moved to understand and to follow. It is true, therefore, that many are called but few chosen. Those are chosen who are effectually [congruenter] called. Those who are not effectually called and do not obey their calling are not chosen, for although they were called they did not follow.” [To Simplician 2:13]

  • My impression of libelism ( oh, you meant LIBERALism ) is summed up in a picture of that great scholar, Timothy O’Leary. He’s squinting off in the distance, with one hand shading his eyes.
    And the caption reads, “I wonder if I can make it to there, from here ?”
    Maybe they’re on a noble ( Nobel ) quest like Star Trek. Only the “Final Frontier” could be
    Canada, or, Venezuela.
    Timothy R.

  • O’Leary might have been the originator of the awesome and mystical New Age quote,
    “No matter where you go, there you are”. Gives me chills.
    Timothy R

  • I hope she’s strong enough to keep at it. If you’re not use to it, social pressure is insanely hard to resist.

  • For several years here in the San Franpsycho Baytheist Area, I had a license-plate holder I had brought up from Arizona, “Operation Iraqi Freedom”. My son–in-law was USMC 1st Light Armored Recon, participated in the first wave assault on Baghdad and also helped clean out Fallujah. I was quite proud of it. The plate had migrated in time to Mrs. Phoenix’ car.
    However, it is now relegated to an honorable place in the garage: why? A few months back, she was disembarking from her car when a man, possibly in his 40’s, saw it and verbally assailed her, a-la-crazed-lefty-on-Jet-Blue-flight-vs-Ivanka-Trump, in very tony Saratoga, screaming, at her and pointing at it, “What’s that supposed to mean? Why d’ya have that?”–He was an anti-Bush, anti-war, deranged lefty, as he proceeded to make evident. (Oh, how I wish I had been there, but.. Besides these types run crying were somebody to give them a boo-boo.) “He was really brave to assail a chubby lady in her middle years,” was Mrs. Phoenix’ comment.
    After this near-confrontation (it actually was the 2nd of its type ), the license-plate – holder with the obviously incendiary message, went to the garage wall of honor. Not worth dealing with the loon-left here.
    Peace on earth.

  • 🙁 Sounds like the spiritual brother of the guy who went from complementing my (admittedly adorable) baby girl to accusing me of wishing his death and destroying the world when he saw that there were *three* car seats in the back of my van. (And one booster, but I don’t think he could see that. And he couldn’t tell I was pregnant, either.)

  • Steve Phoenix, if I meet a person like that, then one of the two of us will not be walking away. I am done with these godless leftists. Dear Lord Jesus, please grant to your unworthy servant the courage of your man of honor Caleb who at 85 years of age was ready to drive the Anakim out from the land!
    Joshua 14
    6 Then the people of Judah came to Joshua at Gilgal; and Caleb the son of Jephun′neh the Ken′izzite said to him, “You know what the Lord said to Moses the man of God in Ka′desh-bar′nea concerning you and me. 7 I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Ka′desh-bar′nea to spy out the land; and I brought him word again as it was in my heart. 8 But my brethren who went up with me made the heart of the people melt; yet I wholly followed the Lord my God. 9 And Moses swore on that day, saying, ‘Surely the land on which your foot has trodden shall be an inheritance for you and your children for ever, because you have wholly followed the Lord my God.’ 10 And now, behold, the Lord has kept me alive, as he said, these forty-five years since the time that the Lord spoke this word to Moses, while Israel walked in the wilderness; and now, lo, I am this day eighty-five years old. 11 I am still as strong to this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me; my strength now is as my strength was then, for war, and for going and coming. 12 So now give me this hill country of which the Lord spoke on that day; for you heard on that day how the Anakim were there, with great fortified cities: it may be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall drive them out as the Lord said.”
    13 Then Joshua blessed him; and he gave Hebron to Caleb the son of Jephun′neh for an inheritance. 14 So Hebron became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephun′neh the Ken′izzite to this day, because he wholly followed the Lord, the God of Israel. 15 Now the name of Hebron formerly was Kir′iath-ar′ba;[a] this Arba was the greatest man among the Anakim. And the land had rest from war.

  • I voluntarily enlisted eight days after graduating from Rex Mundi HS. I couldn’t wait because someone(s) had murdered my hero, John F. Kennedy. the news Media was predicting that we would soon catch up with the killer(s) and kick butt. And I wanted to get my licks in !
    Well, I wound up being gone for four long years. The last three years of that time I was stationed with an MP unit in Germany. I was homesick and missed my Family. I missed my Hometown too !
    When I finally arrived at our small Airport, I couldn’t wait to get off the plane and step, once more on friendly soil ! I took one step into the Terminal and some dirtbag ran up to me and spit on my uniform ! Welcome home.

  • It is a strange grace to have returned to the San Franpsychopath Baytheist Area about 5 years ago for work and family reasons, having been gone to Arizona about 20 years, to witness the “progressive” drift of the society, just like the California seismic plate and the San Andreas fault, drifting further and further left, further and further out to sea. ( But for the grace of God and the traditional Catholic Faith, which I badly drifted from by my 20’s, there go I. ) These people have no mooring, and the very darkest of spirits loves a vacuum.

    Some here are almost irretrievably self-deluded (the first victim of lying is yourself, of course). There are many good and devoted people still here of course. But they cant speak up, or they lose their job, they (by the loon-left, who once bitterly complained of John Kerry’s quite-legitimate “Swift-Boating”) will get “Facebooked” (Disgracebooked), and they often too have family to care for. I also care for my disabled brother as well, and that keeps me in check; also it isn’t fair to make Mrs. Phoenix, who was shaken by the sheer bitter viciousness of the verbal attack, the 2nd of its kind occasioned by little more than a license-plate holder, suffer along with me.

    After all, I know of one lefty-loon who walked up to a Jesuit priest in the Haight-Asbury a few years ago, and stuck a knife in the back of his head, outside St. Agnes Church where he was greeting people. Yeah, that didn’t make the news. He miraculously recovered, but he has never been the same.

    A strange grace, you say? Well, it is always good to see what the deranged left is up to, and it helps to therefore be ahead of the curve. The “Sanctuary Cities”, the public nudity (be very careful where you drive in SF: check ahead), the decades-old, laissez-faire, total ignoring of violations of law and code (that is what occasioned the Oakland Warehouse fire a few weeks ago, where 33 people died: gee, with great mayors in Oakland’s past like crack-addict Ron Dellums, toke-smoking now-gov Jerry Brown, and ultra-leftist Jean Kwan, how could anything go wrong witht that leadership and enforcement of law?), and now the movement to secede from the Union—the same people who went nuts over Texas’ and Gov. Rick Perry’s threats to secede a few years ago, isn’t it precious?

    We have our escape already planned in a few years. I still have a house in Arizona and will probably buy another in gun-loving Utah or Wyoming. But I will still maintain a foothold, here to watch. And watch California, the new Atlantis, sink into the waves of the angry Pacific. Keep lots of Jiffy-Pop ready.

  • Maybe we could chip in and get all of the Liberals in Wash.DC one of those Medic-Alert
    necklaces. Only theirs’ would say, “Help! I’m having a lucid moment. And I can’t find my
    stash !”
    Timothy R.

  • Atheism is unconstitutional, patently violating our First Amendment. The atheist must be tolerated as a deathbed convert. Aldous Huxley, cold blooded atheist, author of Brave New World had his normal Christian character hang himself in a cold-blooded act at the end of the book. Huxley died the same day JFK was assassinated and no one knew he was gone for ten years. Brave New World was Huxley’s wish for us.

Thirty Five Years Ago: Reagan Christmas Address

Friday, December 23, AD 2016

On December 23, 1981, President Ronald Reagan addressed the nation.  The video above is an excerpt from that speech.  The portion of the address dealing with the attempt by the then Polish Communist regime to crush Solidarity, the Polish labor union leading a movement for freedom that would ultimately be the spark that destroyed Communism in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, is omitted.  A few things struck me about the address:

1.  When is the last time a president quoted G.K. Chesterton?

2.   Reagan’s reference to children as a gift from God.

3.   His reference to Christ’s first miracle being His coming to humanity as a helpless babe.

They don’t make them like Reagan anymore, and more is the pity.  Here is the text of his address:


5 Responses to Thirty Five Years Ago: Reagan Christmas Address

  • They don’t make them like Reagan anymore? I don’t know. Listening to Trump supporters, you’d think the Donald is the new Ronald. Not even close, but I digress.

  • My boys love seeing things like this. Was America really like this, that a president would say things like this? they ask. Yeah, believe it or not. They say it’s like watching a movie about life on Mars.

  • “They don’t make them like Reagan anymore, and more is the pity.”

    Indeed Don. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  • Because of the assistance provided to Solidarity by the Reagan Administration, often funnelled through the Catholic Church, the people of Poland rose up again and threw off their oppressors. The land where my ancestors lived, died and are buried is free…. and is Catholic.

    I watched some of Michael Reagan’s speech at Liberty University on Newsman last night. Made me miss Ronald Reagan again.

  • Merry Christmas to you and yours RL!

The Bishop’s Wife

Friday, December 23, AD 2016


A fine Christmas movie is The Bishop’s Wife from 1947.    David Niven is an Episcopalian bishop of a struggling diocese;  Loretta Young (ironically one of the more devout Catholics in the Hollywood of her time) is his wife;  and Cary Grant is Dudley, one of the more unimportant angels in Heaven, sent by God to lend the Bishop a hand.  The film is a graceful comedy which effectively and quietly underlines the central importance of faith in God as we see in this little scene when undercover angel Dudley, Cary Grant, uses his powers to summon a tardy boy’s choir for an unforgettable rendition of O Sing to God:



2 Responses to The Bishop’s Wife

  • It never fails. When ever you present a clip from a movie from long ago and far away I inevitably go to the next one and the next and on. This is one movie I have long remembered and it saddens me not to see it presented on TV, especially during the Christmas season. Heart warming, refreshing, affirming reminder of how important the birth of The Child is, but so sad to see how commercial such an important day has become, beginning as far before as Hallowe’en. It is true that three wise men brought gifts, tokens appropriate for their time, but look at what has since happened; we prod children to compose wish lists, ask adults what they want. We were not put on earth to grant wishes. It has gotten so easy to just ‘buy’, often with little thought, finery and goods and toys that will eventually be long forgotten and sometimes not much appreciated. To give is a beautiful thing, I do it gladly, but I believe that gifts made by our hands with our hearts to God, promises to help make life sweeter and easier for another, are so much more meaningful, no matter how small, genuinely expressing personal thoughtfulness and love for the receiver. It saddens me each year to observe what we have done to Christmas, how we celebrate Jesus’ birthday.

  • Bravo, Anna ! Live long and prosper !

Quotes Suitable for Framing: Virgil

Thursday, December 22, AD 2016

Assume thy greatness, for the time draws nigh,
Dear child of gods, great progeny of Jove!
See how it totters- the world’s orbed might,
Earth, and wide ocean, and the vault profound,
All, see, enraptured of the coming time!
Ah! might such length of days to me be given,
And breath suffice me to rehearse thy deeds,
Nor Thracian Orpheus should out-sing me then,
Nor Linus, though his mother this, and that
His sire should aid- Orpheus Calliope,
And Linus fair Apollo. Nay, though Pan,
With Arcady for judge, my claim contest,
With Arcady for judge great Pan himself
Should own him foiled, and from the field retire.

Virgil, from the Fourth Eclogue (37 BC)



2 Responses to Quotes Suitable for Framing: Virgil

  • Oh memoriae linguae Latinae in scola alta!
    Adgredere o magnos—aderit iam tempus—honores,
    cara deum suboles, magnum Iovis incrementum.
    aspice convexo nutantem pondere mundum,
    terrasque tractusque maris caelumque profundum;
    aspice, venturo laetantur ut omnia saeclo.
    O mihi tum longae maneat pars ultima vitae,
    spiritus et quantum sat erit tua dicere facta:
    non me carminibus vincat nec Thracius Orpheus
    nec Linus, huic mater quamvis atque huic pater adsit,
    Orphei Calliopea, Lino formosus Apollo.
    Pan etiam, Arcadia mecum si iudice certet,
    Pan etiam Arcadia dicat se iudice victum.

  • The older I get, the more I have come to appreciate the words of Bl John Henry Newman:-
    “Let us consider, too, how differently young and old are affected by the words of some classic author, such as Homer or Horace. Passages, which to a boy are but rhetorical commonplaces, neither better nor worse than a hundred others which any clever writer might supply, which he gets by heart
    and thinks very fine, and imitates, as he thinks, successfully, in his own flowing versification, at length come home to him, when long years have passed, and he has had experience of life, and pierce him, as if he had never before known them, with their sad earnestness and vivid exactness. Then he comes to understand how it is that lines, the birth of some chance morning or evening at an Ionian festival, or among the Sabine hills, have lasted generation after generation, for thousands of years, with a power over the mind, and a charm, which the current literature of his own day, with all its obvious advantages, is utterly unable to rival. Perhaps this is the reason of the medieval opinion about
    Virgil, as if a prophet or magician; his single words and phrases, his pathetic half lines, giving utterance, as the voice of Nature herself, to that pain and weariness, yet hope of better things, which is the experience of her children in every time.”

Christmas “Nuts!” at Bastogne

Thursday, December 22, AD 2016



Seventy-two years ago at Christmas the American and German armies were fighting it out in the Battle of the Bulge, the last German offensive of the War.


Patton’s Third Army fought its way through to relieve the Americans desperately fighting to defeat the attacking German forces.  The weather was atrocious and Allied air power was useless.  Patton had a prayer written for good weather. The skies cleared after Patton prayed the weather prayer, and Allied air power was unleashed on the attacking Germans.




During the Battle of the Bulge, the 101st Airborne Division made a heroic stand at Bastogne from December 20-27 which helped turn the tide of the battle. Massively outnumbered, battle weary from already having done more than their share of fighting in Normandy and Operation Market Garden and short on food and ammo, they stopped the advancing Germans cold in their tracks.

On December 25, a packed midnight mass was held in Bastogne, with Brigadier General Anthony McAuliffe, who commanded the 101st troops at Bastogne, in attendance.  Afterwards the General listened to German POWS singing Silent Night, and wished them a Merry Christmas.

General McAuliffe issued a memorable Christmas message to his troops:


7 Responses to Christmas “Nuts!” at Bastogne

  • The Lutheran Minister aptly provides the answer to us as to what we need to do about Islam. Thanks for the clip. Battleground is a great movie, one well worth watching. I believe it is on Netflix. Thank you, Donald. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  • I think of those hard men (cold, hungry, giving them Hell) whenever I hear the Christmas song, “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas.” The older I get, the less I can stand cold weather.
    These men that had fought through D-Day and Market Garden were highly effective soldiers. Still, The Bulge was “above and beyond . . . ”
    Greet them ever with grateful hearts.

  • If any have not read the first-hand eye-witness account of “7 Roads to Hell” (which aptly describes Bastogne and the fulcrum of The Bulge battle) by Donald R. Burgett, it is highly recommended. It is a great read, actually part of a 4-part set, starting with his air-drop behind the Normandy beaches on D-Day. But “7 Roads”, for its sheer honesty, shock-effect, and rawness, is the best of them all.

    The author, at the time a 19-year-old battle-weary paratrooper (101st Airborne, 506th Parachute Infantry Reg.), and his equally worn 1st Battalion, were hustled into the Bastogne cauldron —- after having been so certainly promised a 6-week R&R—and then the Bulge offensive hit.

    They had pretty much been fighting constantly since June 6th (they also participated in the disaster of Operation Market Garden)—but because they were so effective, the US Army couldn’t leave them out of so many of the engagements that followed. Including Bastogne and the Bulge.

    Burgett was (ostensibly) a life-long atheist, but was so moved and bothered at the dead that had to be left where they were killed in the woods, strewn on the snow, that he thought that was a grave wrong to the men who gave their lives in this maelstrom. He made it a point to help the recovery corps find the snow-covered frozen dead. Even atheists respect the sacrifice of a life for a desperate cause.

    By the way, Burgett is still living, age 91, and lives in Howell, MI, and has often contributed to a number of History Channel productions.

  • The speech at 1:45-2:11 seems applicable to the American Left today.

  • Sorry, I was referring to the bottom clip from Battleground. Forgot to add that.

  • I was a K9 MP in Germany for three years during the Cold War. How cold was it ? The official rule stated that if it got down near Zero, the dog ( my K9 friend’s name was “Ex”) stayed in his nice warm kennel. We went out on Post without the dog !
    I would like very much to move to Arizona; but, we have eleven Grand children, and three
    Great Grand children here. Whenever I bring up that subject, I get “The Look” from the Misses. I describe all of this in my book, “Wings held up by Hope”

  • Pingback: CHRISTMAS DAY EDITION | Big Pulpit

December 21, 1866: Fetterman Fight

Wednesday, December 21, AD 2016

 “They made us many promises, more than I can remember. But they kept but one–They promised to take our land…and they took it.”

Red Cloud, Lakota Chief

Next to the battle of the Little Big Horn, the worst defeat of the US Army in the wars against the Plains Indians was the Fetterman Fight of December 21, 1866.  Fort Phil Kearney was built by the Army in the summer of 1866 to safeguard passage for settlers in Wyoming and Montana over the Bozeman Trail. This touched off what the Army called  Red Clouds War with an alliance of Northern Cheyenne, Lakota and Arapaho fighting to maintain the last hunting ground of the northern plains largely untouched by white settlement.   Skirmishing was constant between the Indians and the garrison at Fort Phil Kearney.

Captain William J. Fetterman arrived at the Fort in November.  He had an extensive combat record in the Civil War, rising to the brevet rank of Lieutenant Colonel of volunteers, but no experience fighting Indians.

On December 21, 1866 Red Cloud, leading a force of Indians, perhaps 1,000 in total, decided to stage an ambush.  Attacking a wagon train sent out from the Fort to cut timber, Red Cloud successfully ambushed a relief force, infantry and cavalry, of 81 men set out from the Fort under Captain Fetterman, completely wiping them out.  The Indians stripped and mutilated the corpses of the soldiers.  Here is the report of Colonel Henry Carrington who commanded the Fort:


6 Responses to December 21, 1866: Fetterman Fight

  • So much for the myth of the noble savage!

  • Red Cloud was the only War Chief the US Army never defeated in battle or forced to capitulate and he lived to old age. He was renowned warrior and a military and political genius. Only he successfully united into effective military forces that carried out winning operations over a vast area and over several years.
    I recommend a recent book: “The Heart of All That Is, The Untold Story of Red Cloud, An American Legend” by Bob Drury and Tom Clavin.
    Two things: Plains Indian males were among the finest natural light cavalry that ever existed(Mongols also come to mind). From early youth, they were one (think centaurs of Greek mythology) with their mounts. Hunting and raiding were their constant passions. Two, in some cases various tribes/bands would leave their particular “marks” (mutilate) their KIA’s similar to some (purportedly) US troops dropping death cards on KIA. Alternately, the white soldier fought in a different manner and mutilations may have been motivated both by disrespect and hatred.

  • Pithy description without compromise of the bitter grimness of war in all its savagery.

    And a powerful reminder and check to any egotistical vaingloriousness.

    However, it had no noticeable effect on a very ambitious now-Lt. Colonel Custer (he had been a brevet major general during the Civil War, but busted back down in peacetime), so that he was assigned to the Indian Wars in early 1867, partly (it seems) as a result of the Fetterman debacle.

    No wonder the Greeks believed in Fate. It sure seems “fateful”.

  • A quick observation, if you please :
    I served with a Military Police Unit, in Germany for three years, during the Cold War. I have seen pictures of Custer and he was the spitting image of a Lieutenant General named Richardson. Lt. Gen. Richardson was the Vice Commander of the USAF in Europe (USAFE).
    Anyway, the Lt. Gen. suffered from “short man’s syndrome ( he was about 5’2) and had the attitude to match. His Flight Chief told me once that his staff had to bring him his hat on a silk pillow.
    And then, one evening, Richardson had a nasty argument with his persevering wife. She left him. In a rage, the Lt. Gen. sent a flight of fighter jets to intercept his wife’s commercial aircraft and escort it back to Germany. The President fired him !
    Does that sound like something Custer would have done ?

  • I don’t know Timothy R: Custer was reputedly about 6′ tall, quite tall for the day (as you know estimated avg height of a soldier in the Civil War was about 5′ 7″), so no “little-big-man” issues, but also a notorious gambler and womanizer (quite proud of his long golden locks of course). HIs last gamble definitely didn’t pay off. The parallels to the decision-making of Fetterman are interesting: the quest for glory.

    But you know those USAF guys are SO over the top…

  • We do it higher !

Debate in the Age of Francis

Wednesday, December 21, AD 2016


Law professor Stephen Bainbridge brings to our attention the one sided nature of debate within the Catholic Church in this pontificate:


There’s going to be a third meeting at Catholic University on “the relationship of Catholicism to libertarianism.” As with the others, there are no libertarians (or, indeed, anyone remotely right of center) on the docket. Instead:

There will be three major talks. The first, by Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego, will examine three faces of erroneous autonomy in the current political climate, and author Thomas Frank will give a presentation of the political landscape from a liberal, and populist, perspective. Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston will speak about the dignity of work, and Trumka will give concluding remarks.

McElroy is a progressive unlikely to articulate libertarian or conservative views. Thomas Frank, of course, is a darling of the progressive movement and sharp critic of capitalism. And the Trumka in question is Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO.

One would have hoped that CUA would have included representative voices of pro-capitalist Catholic social thought thinkers such as Michael Novak, Fr. Robert Sirico, or, for that matter, yours truly.


12 Responses to Debate in the Age of Francis

  • Trunks is a disgusting human being. He lives off of the wages of people so actually work and he is an angry hard left bombastic blowhard. How do I know? He is from the Pittsburgh area and his brain is in a time warp. He thinks he is Walter P. Reuther.
    I would rather watch Sponge Bob than listen to Trumka, whose rank and file elected Trump.

  • The thing is, this one sided debating style long proceeds this disastrous pontificate. So, it is to some degree unfair to pin this all on Pope Francis.


    Another thing is, the “good” bishops like Chaput, Lori,, Gomez et. al. pull crap like this all the time when it comes to capital punishment and immigration. But yet the same people who rightly criticize the McElroys and the O’Malleys don’t have guts to call out Chaput et. al. by name. And until they do, what real right do they have to be taken seriously?

  • Most Bishops are company men, at best. I’ve stopped being disappointed.

  • And there are a few decent Catholic libertarians who could present well.

  • It’s reflective of the slovenly mediocrity that’s the mode in higher education today. Take their subsidies away, institute federal and state law replacing the baccalaureate degree with a series of concentrated degree and certificate programs (1-4 academic years for academic and the arts; 1 calendar year for most vocational subjects), pass state laws restricting the ambo of state arts-and-sciences faculties to a discrete set of nominated subjects, and close the state teacher-training, social work, and library schools. Punish them.

  • Would we expect anything else from folks who are essentially Communists?

  • This is how liberal progressives debate. They encourage being ignored and blocked. They set up this system of division where one side does not listen to the other. Then they wonder why there is so much hate. Civil war may well happen because of such antics – demonize the enemy and the enemy will become the demon who tears you apart.

  • A visiting Psychiatrist from another culture would diagnose all liberals as schizophrenic since the phenomena of “Word Salad” is one of the main clues when diagnosing. Like liberals, schizophrenics babble on and on and on, without saying anything.
    Eventually, the progressives will institute a Poll to prove that God does not exist. And then, they will babble on and on and on and on…….

  • It just occurred to me ! With many of our more spastic liberal politicians, we could term their babble as “Weird Salad” !
    I just kill myself !

  • I would rather watch Sponge Bob than…


  • For all you Sponge Bob fans, and frustrated Political Scientists, I think I can sum up the entire Progressive Movement’s strategy. They don’t have Bibles, so they found the section in the dictionary outlining “Hobson’s Choice” and ran with it.

  • “Why do you anarchists hate roads so much, Dorothy ?” Ummm, because they all lead to Rome ?

Of Course A Pope May Be Heretical

Tuesday, December 20, AD 2016



Edward Feser is a philosopher not a historian, but he reminds us of a piece of Catholic history that the powers that currently be within the Church seek to ignore:


The Church has for centuries allowed among theologians free discussion of the possibility of a heretical pope.  Cajetan, Suarez, and Bellarmine are among the eminent theologians who have entertained this possibility and debated its ramifications.  (Canon lawyer Ed Peters offers a primer on the matter.)   Once again to quote the Catholic Encyclopedia:

[An] exceptional situation might arise were a pope to become a public heretic, i.e., were he publicly and officially to teach some doctrine clearly opposed to what has been defined as de fide catholicâ… [I]n this case many theologians hold that no formal sentence of deposition would be required, as, by becoming a public heretic, the pope would ipso facto cease to be pope.  This, however, is a hypothetical case which has never actually occurred…

In an earlier post I discussed in some detail the conditions under which a pope speaks infallibly, the many ways a pope may fall into error when his words do not meet those conditions, and many further examples of popes who have fallen into error and done grave damage to the Church.  As I there emphasized, one cannot properly understand the authority of the pope and the doctrine of papal infallibility unless one also understands the limits of papal authority and the ways in which a pope is fallible.

I have quoted extensively from the 1910 Catholic Encyclopedia for a reason.   There is a certain kind of well-meaning but overzealous and under-informed Catholic whose theological horizon does not extend beyond the debates that have riven the Church since Vatican II.  When you tell him that it is possible for a pope to fall into doctrinal error, his hackles rise and he assumes that you simply must be either a Lefebvrist traditionalist or a dissenting theological liberal.  As the example of the Catholic Encyclopedia shows, nothing could be further from the truth.  The Encyclopedia predated by many decades Vatican II and the progressive and traditionalist movements that arose in reaction to it.  It was an ecclesiastically approved work by mainstream Catholic scholars loyal to the Magisterium, and intended to be a reliable resource for the faithful.  And it quite matter-of-factly allows for the possibility of popes committing doctrinal errors when not speaking ex cathedra.

Nor is the possibility of correction of the pope by his subordinates some post-Vatican II progressive or traditionalist novelty.  As Cardinal Raphael Merry del Val wrote in his 1902 book The Truth of Papal Claims, responding to caricatures of the doctrine of papal infallibility:

Great as our filial duty of reverence is towards what ever [the pope] may say, great as our duty of obedience must be to the guidance of the Chief Shepherd, we do not hold that every word of his is infallible, or that he must always be right.  (p. 19)

After noting that St. Paul “had resisted even Peter” and then recounted this resistance in the Letter to the Galatians, the cardinal says:

[E]ven to-day a Bishop might… expostulate with a Pope, who, in his judgment, might be acting in a way which was liable to mislead those under his own charge, and then write to his critics that he had not hesitated to pass strictures upon the action of the successor of S. Peter… The hypothesis is quite conceivable, and in no way destroys or diminishes the supremacy of the Pope.  And yet an individual Bishop does not occupy the exceptional position of S. Paul, a fellow-Apostle of the Prince of the Apostles.  Even a humble nun, S. Catherine of Siena, expostulated with the reigning Pontiff, in her day, whilst full acknowledging all his great prerogatives.  (p. 74)


20 Responses to Of Course A Pope May Be Heretical

  • Given the outrageous statements of Pope Francis on a variety of subjects it is remarkable that so few Bishops and Cardinals critique him. This is probably for the same reasons there are so few saints.

  • I bet you a hundred dollars you can’t provide an authentic source for that spurious quote from Pope Pius IX. You know why? Because there isn’t one. I have looked into it, and I assume you have not.

    Check your facts. It’s nothing but an internet meme that people keep passing around to get Francis (and Paul VI, JPII and Benedict) of the hook for being blatant heretics and keeping them as popes.

    Pius IX never said such a thing, and the Papacy doesn’t need our help by bearing false witness.

  • Mike, you are a guest on this blog so watch your tone. I will look into this when I have time to do so, my duties in the law mines being onerous for the remainder of this week. In the meantime I throw out your challenge to the readership of TAC and ask for any input they may have. I would recommend checking out Bishop Vincent Ferrer Gasser, who was Prince-Bishop of Brixen, Austria in the South Tyrol during Vatican I. He wrote the official relatio on infallibility at Vatican I. It has been translated into English and published as The Gift of Infallibility, but I do not have a copy of the book.

  • Even if those words did NOT actually come out of the mouth of Pope Pius IX, they are nonetheless true and correct.

  • Re: Mike question/accusation.

    Venerable Pope Pius IX († 1878) recognized the danger that a future pope would be a heretic and teach contrary to the Catholic Faith, and he instructed, do not follow him.

    If a future pope teaches anything contrary to the Catholic Faith, do not follow him.” (Letter to Bishop Brizen)


    And this is from the man whom under his pontificate, Papal infallibility was dogmatised
    Venerable Pope Pius IX († 1878) recognized the danger that a future pope would be a heretic and teach contrary to the Catholic Faith, and he instructed, do not follow him.

  • In 2 Peter 2 and other inspired words of God about false teachers, I cannot find an exception that says “Follow no heretic, but if the heretic is the Pope, then follow the Pope.”

    Amazing how God in His wisdom inspired 2 Peter 2-read it all – it is as if God wrote it today.

    Here is a tantalizing sample:

    ” then the Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust unto the Day of Judgment to be punished,

    10 but chiefly those who walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise governance. Presumptuous are they and selfwilled; they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities,

    11 whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord.

    12 But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not, and shall utterly perish in their own corruption,

    13 and shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as those who count it pleasure to revel in the daytime. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceptions while they feast with you,

    14 having eyes full of adultery and who cannot cease from sin, beguiling unstable souls; their hearts they have exercised with covetous practices; accursed children!

    15 They have forsaken the right way and have gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages ofunrighteousness,

    16 but was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with a man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet.

    17 These are wells without water, clouds that are carried by a tempest, for whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.

    18 For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh and through much wantonness those who had clean escaped from those who live in error.

    19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption; for by whom a man is overcome, by the same is he brought into bondage.”

    Guy McClung, San Antonio, Texas

  • Mike by your first paragraph I though you were a Francis defender, but by your last paragraph I see that you are not even a recent pope defender. I feel sorry for you – and really for many many people in this very confusing time. We have recourse to prayer. A great prayer and foundation for our thinking is legend on the bottom of the picture of Divine Mercy “Jesus I trust in You”

  • This would not be the first time that Rome has refused to clarify its pronouncements in the face of controversy.

    In 1653, Innocent X condemned the famous Five Propositions, describing them as contained in the Augustinus of Cornelius Jansen.(Cum Occasione)

    In 1656, his successor, Alexander VII declared, “Since some still insist that those propositions were not to be found in the Augustinus, or were not meant by the author in the sense in which they were condemned, we furthermore declare that they are contained in the Augustinus, and have been condemned according to the sense of the author.” (Ad Sanctam Beati Petri Sedem) He did not take this opportunity to point out the offending passages.

    Many Jansenists and their sympathizers, whilst loud in their condemnation of the Five Propositions, continued to deny that they represented Jansen’s thought. Some, like Pascal, insisted that, while the condemnation of the Five Propositions was a matter of faith, whether they were contained in the Augustinus was a mere question of fact that the pope had no authority to decide.

    Rather than issue any clarification, in 1664, Alexander VII imposed on the clergy subscription to a formula that included, “with a sincere heart, I reject and condemn the five propositions taken from the book of Cornelius Jansen entitled Augustinus and in the sense understood by that same author, just as the Apostolic See has condemned them.” (Regiminis Apostolici)

    How anyone could subscribe that formula in good conscience who had not read the Augustinus or who differed from the Pope’s interpretation is an interesting question. Were they required to make a submission of faith to the Pope’s judgment on that question?

    Clement IX withdrew the Formula in 1664 in the so-called “Peace of Clement IX,” but in 1703, some 50 years after Cum Occasione, Clement XI condemned the distinction of law (dogma) and fact (Cum Nuper). Then, in 1705, he condemned “respectful silence” as insufficient (Vineam Domini Sabaoth) and re-imposed the Formula.

  • Sorry, my tone came across as very rude. Please accept my apology. I turn up here with guns blazing and that was wrong of me.

    Michael Dowd links to a website run by schismatics and heretics, and inserts a link to prove his point. The problem is, Michael, that that quote goes nowhere. There was no Bishop Brizen. Check it out from Catholic sources. Don’t go to schismatics to prove the Faith.

    Lucius, the quote definitely did not come from a pope. There’s another quote attributed to Pope Adrian IV doing the rounds at the moment about popes teaching heresy, which is entirely false.

    How far are people willing to go to distort the papacy in order to keep Bergoglio?

    We have front row seats to this almost universal apostasy, and it started right after Vatican II and the Novus Ordo Missae – and people keep defending the revolution.

  • “Sorry, my tone came across as very rude. Please accept my apology. I turn up here with guns blazing and that was wrong of me.”

    No problem Mike. I have a deep love of history and I enjoy having a historical puzzle to solve. If the quote can’t be sourced to Pio Nono I will take it down.

  • I am the eldest of five children. I have two brothers and two sisters. And I am the only one still attending Mass; and, I am the only one left who still considers himself Catholic.
    I have seven grandsons and four granddaughters, and three great grandchildren,two girls and the youngest is a boy.
    I do not agree with everything going on with MY Church. But I am going to bite the bullet,
    and set my face like flint, and try to give all of the young ones an example. Please pray for me and my family !
    Timothy Reed

  • Timothy Reed,
    Will pray. Amy Welborn today quotes Pope Benedict Emeritus writing about St. Peter Canisius thusly:
    ” This was a characteristic of St Peter Canisius: his ability to combine harmoniously fidelity to dogmatic principles with the respect that is due to every person. St Canisius distinguished between a conscious, blameworthy apostasy from faith and a blameless loss of faith through circumstances.
    Moreover, he declared to Rome that the majority of Germans who switched to Protestantism were blameless.”
    I think we lost millions of people in the US while gaining millions in the African bush in great part and subconsciously due to the sex abuse by priests and the lack of any Pope etc. turning the tables on them as Christ did to the money changers….immediately. One might apply Canisius’ idea to our time in some cases not all.

  • The Pius IX quote is on the net: AZQUOTES, so . . . Further hits were not helpful as to the veracity. I don’t have access to an extensive library to track it down.
    Two other quotes I liked were to the effect that one, If Pius IX led an army saying the Rosary, he could conquer the World; and two, the Rosary is responsible for more miracles than any other source.
    I apologize in advance: Sometimes on hearing/reading of Francis’ renovations, I think of words spoken by some rough men with whom I spent youthful “quality” time, “Don’t urinate on my brogans and tell me it’s raining.” .

  • Bill Bannon is correct in assigning some blame to the sex scandals in the Church, combined with the Hillary Clinton cum Justice Department like slickness of abandonment of justice.
    The Nazi’s blamed the Reichstag fire on a homeless schizophrenic. Just like the Bengazi tragedy was the result of a homemade tape. Evil has no honor.
    Timothy Reed

  • One of the attractive aspects of TAC is that at any moment, there may be “guns blazing”. Intellectually, that is, but interesting nonetheless.
    Regarding Pius IX, neither do I know of any letter to a “Bp. Brizen”; but in Pastor Aeternus, part IV, there is this, which every one here I am sure has read:
    “For the Holy Spirit was promised to the successors of Peter not so that they might, by his revelation, make known some new doctrine, but that, by his assistance, they might religiously guard and faithfully expound the revelation or deposit of faith transmitted by the apostles.”

    So, no successor of Peter might disclose or “make known some new doctrine.” Rather like St. Vincent of Lerins (d. ca. 445) famous “rule” (to paraphrase, Catholic orthodoxy is what has always been taught and believed by all, everywhere, at all times). Or:

    “To preach any doctrine therefore to Catholic Christians other than what they have received never was lawful, never is lawful, never will be lawful: and to anathematize those who preach anything other than what has once been received, always was a duty, always is a duty, always will be a duty” (The Commonitorium, St Vincent of Lerins, 9.25).
    Hey, Pope Frank, peace on earth, and I hope your are listening!

  • I would recommend checking out Bishop Vincent Ferrer Gasser, who was Prince-Bishop of Brixen, Austria in the South Tyrol during Vatican I. He wrote the official relatio on infallibility at Vatican I. It has been translated into English and published as The Gift of Infallibility, but I do not have a copy of the book.

    On Amazon, search for “teach,” page 59, it describes the notion that the Pope can’t be privately heretical as “extreme” and “exaggerated,” and strongly states that it is not being advanced.

  • Regarding Pope Francis’ new approach on divorce and remarriage (which I think is heretical), please read this:
    I did not realize what immediately preceded today’s Old Testament reading from the Book of the Prophet Malachi, and the role that that had in the life of John the Baptist when he confronted Herod and Herodias. Do you think the Pope might have picked up on that?

  • “CWR also asked if a Pope could be “declared in
    schism or heresy”? Cardinal Burke said, “If a
    Pope would formally profess heresy he would
    cease, by that act, to be the Pope. It’s automatic.
    And so, that could happen.”
    If that were to happen, members of the College
    of Cardinals in the Church would have to declare
    that the Pope is in heresy, explained Burke. At that
    point, the papacy would be vacant and the cardinals
    would elect a new Pope.”

  • Thank you Franco- that is neat to know

  • I think I need to finish what I was saying on 12/21. By the way, I have been following what all of you have been saying with great interest. I feel like I am in good company. I am pleased to meet all of you.
    Anyway, I said, and meant, that Evil has no honor. So we MUST, my friends. I firmly believe that sin not only offends God; but sin makes one a dishonorable person. Yes, there is HONOR in doing and saying what is right.
    Timothy R

3 Responses to Save the Snowflakes!

Bishop Sheen on the True Meaning of Christmas

Tuesday, December 20, AD 2016


First broadcast in 1956, Bishop Sheen puts his own unique spin on the eternal mystery of Christmas, God becoming Man, Creator becoming Created.  It is interesting how philosophical and complicated Sheen’s presentation is.  Recall that his show was broadcast on commercial tv and enjoyed very good ratings.  Ah for a time when mass entertainment sought to ennoble rather than to debase!   Life Is Worth Living was the name of his show, a name worth remembering.  Many Catholics today almost seem to enjoy wallowing in despair.  Bishop Sheen would never have been in their number.



2 Responses to Bishop Sheen on the True Meaning of Christmas

  • JMJ
    Every thing Bishop Sheen said – Amen!
    In 1958 or 1959, my mother and widowed grandmother (who had to work in midtown Manhattan) took four of us little boys (from the Bronx) to see (I think) “Snow White” in Radio City Music Hall. Of course afterward we made a visit to St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The youngest, named John went scooting around the pews and was “lost”. Mom and Nana were quietly calling “John!”, when Bishop Sheen came to them and told them his mother called him, “John.” You can imagine how thrilled were these two Catholic mothers. I carry this memory today.
    Again, many years later upon Bishop Sheen’s death, I was given the grace to be able to attend his “wake” in the Cathedral and be among the thousands to pay our respects for his life of service to God’s people.

  • T. Shaw.
    Great story.

    I too have a fondness for the great Sheen.
    Great, because his wit, charisma, love of God and love of neighbor was extraordinary to say the least.

    One of my favorites quotes; “Sometimes a cloud can hide a star and sometimes our selfishness can hide God. Despite the clouds and despite our selfishness, the star still shines and God still loves.”

    He IS a treasure for all time.

Messianic Prophecies: 2 Samuel 7: 12-16

Tuesday, December 20, AD 2016


Concluding our Advent look at Messianic prophecies for this year, a series which we began in Advent 2011 and continued in 2102, 2013, 2014 and 2015, the earlier posts of the series may be read here, here, here ,here, here, here, here, here , here here, here, here, here , here, here, here , here,   here, here here, here, here ,  here, here here, and here , we come to  2 Samuel 7: 12-16:

[12] And when thy days shall be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will raise up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. [13] He shall build a house to my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever. [14] I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son: and if he commit any iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men. [15] But my mercy I will not take away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I removed from before my face.

[16] And thy house shall be faithful, and thy kingdom for ever before thy face, and thy throne shall be firm for ever.

Saint Justin Martyr says of this passage:


2 Responses to Messianic Prophecies: 2 Samuel 7: 12-16