Now America Is Against Dissent

Sunday, February 22, AD 2015

20 Responses to Now America Is Against Dissent

  • If the discussions now under way are NOT a matter of doctrine, then how can disagreement be dissent? I thought we were only discussing pastoral practice which, we are assured, is safely removed from doctrine and dogma?

  • When an orthodox like Benedict XVI or John Paul II is Pope, then dissent is required.
    .
    When a liberal progressive like Francis is Pope, then dissent is treason.

  • The pretenders to the faith view it as a giant slice of Swiss cheese. When asked about what the faith is–they cunningly point to the holes, but, when asked about what it should not be–they point to the cheese.

  • Irony squared. Was it not Cardinal Wuerl and his predecessor McCarrick who dissented from Popes JP and Benedict on the issue of the Eucharist and openly pro abort pols? Is it not Wuerl now openly suggesting that Cardinal Burke is a dissenter because Burke advocates the integrity of Church doctrine and warns against the possibility of a hierarchy bound and determine to undermine that doctrine. The left is breathtaking in its chutzpah.

  • Liberals are so predictable. Hillary Clinton famously said that dissent was the highest form patriotism. If she gets elected president, something tells me she will change that tune. The Jesuit hierarchy is no different.

  • Durbin and the rest of the pro-abort “catholic” politicians will be the first to bust hell wide open. Wuerl and the rest of the pro-abort bishops will join them in hell. When the church needs a strong, traditional leader a marxist Jesuit liberal is elected pope. Liberal, homosexuality-advocating bishops have all but destroyed the Church.
    Pray and pray a lot with leftist modernist bishops like Wuerl, Dolan and Kaspar leading the Church, with Francis signing off on any piece of anti-Catholic garbage that comes his way.

  • Go back to what I said about Donald Cardinal Wuerl. Praise from America Magazine is as damning as any criticism from anyone else. America Magazine is a left wing rag.

    I repeat that I am happy he is gone from Pittsburgh. We are stuck with a Catholic high school named for him. My boys won’t go there.

  • Cardinal Wuerl is a Democrat first and a Catholic second. If this were not true, he would long ago have refused Holy Communion to a gaggle of so called Catholic pols in his Archdiocese. Don’t need to name who these people are; we all know that list of evil people.

  • Well here’s a way Francis can get rid of “dissent”. Run off any seminarian that actually wants to teach the authentic Catholic faith. Limp-wrists little Wuerl-clones highly sought after. Godly men that actually want to model their life after that mean old Cardinal Burke, don’t bother applying. Franciscan University and Ava Maria might as well close down. Francis is on the loose. When does he speak at that bastion of Catholic teaching called Notre Damn and Georgetown? Maybe he can fit it in after he meets with Obama and Dolan in September.

    https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/was-pope-francis-warning-against-bishops-ordaining-traditionalist-seminaria

  • My comfort comes from verse 13 in Marks reading chapter #1. This mornings 2nd reading is Mark 1:12-15;
    13″..and he (Jesus) remained there for forty days and was put to the test by Satan. He WAS WITH WILD ANIMALS and the angels looked after Him.”

    It’s comforting to know that while wild beasts abound the Church will be preserved. A rabid clergyman nor a hundred will harm Holy Church since the promise of victory is given to her in the end.

    Satan is constantly putting us to the test especially pious souls because he knows what losses he can expect if they live holy fruitful lives. More will wake up from their sinfulness and repent, leading to an loss for Satan.

    Truth will not be swallowed up and eaten by beasts. Truth will win the day.
    In October we will see if Satan’s testing of PF will prove to be a disappointment for Holy Church, or a victory. I pray the doctrine will be upheld and Satan will agian be humiliated.

  • D Black.

    (sigh) I thank you for the link.
    Upsetting and disturbing!
    To falsely accuse traditionalist clergy being disturbed and inflexible is a illnesses that is blackening pf’s soul.

    Purge! May he purge the demons out of his heart….and quickly!

  • In my calm faith in Christ’s promise to Peter and the Church, I do not expect the Pope or the Synod to overturn established doctrine.
    That said, I should ask hypothetically how does one dissent from heresy?

  • D black I love the photo at the top of the linked article at Lifesite! What a Look!

    That ad for Jesuit education featuring Dick Dubin will certainly be counter productive. “America” and Durbin etal. might not realize it, but the days of the Left are winding down.

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  • I am increasingly convinced that Pascal’s assessment of the Jesuits in his Fifth Provincial Letter has lost none of its relevance:-
    “Know then that their object is not the corruption of manners- that is not their design. But as little is it their sole aim to reform them-that would be bad policy. Their idea is briefly this: They have such good opinion of themselves as to believe that it is useful, and in some sort essentially necessary to the good of religion, that their influence should extend everywhere, and that they should govern all consciences. And the Evangelical or severe maxims being best fitted for managing some sorts of people, they avail themselves of these when they find them favourable to their purpose. But as these maxims do not suit the views of the great bulk of the people, they waive them in the case of such persons, in order to keep on good terms with all the world. Accordingly, having to deal with persons of all classes and of all different nations, they find it necessary to have casuists assorted to match this diversity.”

  • If one “dissents” from doctrine one is OUT of the Church. If one “dissents” from heresy, one is IN the Church.

  • “If the discussions now under way are NOT a matter of doctrine, then how can disagreement be dissent? I thought we were only discussing pastoral practice which, we are assured, is safely removed from doctrine and dogma?”

    Fr. Andrew: to use the Catholic term–Bingo.

    The Kasper proposal is either (1) a little ol’ pastoral pastoral practice tweak–just showin’ the mercy of Jesus to a limited, penitent few–or (2) a full-bore assault on the notion of marital indissolubility. If it’s the former, there’s no possibility of dissent in opposing it. Especially before the fact.

    If it’s the latter, then the game is up and the real dissenters are Kasper, et al and those blowing smoke in their favor (i.e., Wuerl).

    I hope everyone is enjoying the last few months before the progressive schism.

  • “If the discussions now under way are NOT a matter of doctrine, then how can disagreement be dissent?”
    But there may be dissent from laws and policies, as well as doctrine, as witness the quarrel over the Temporal Power, when Catholics who defended the Unification of Italy were subjected to ecclesiastical censures.
    Even the great Catholic historian, Lord Acton was rebuked by Cardinal Manning for quoting Swinburne’s praise of the Italian patriots in a public lecture at Cambridge:

    “Only her bosom to die on;
    Only her heart for a home,
    And a name with her children to be
    From Calabrian to Adrian sea
    Famous in cities made free
    That ring to the roar of the lion
    Proclaiming republican Rome.”

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The Perfect Article for America

Sunday, January 18, AD 2015

Jesuits Everywhere

America as in the Jesuit rag, not the nation.  The Jesuits can close up shop now at America.  There is no way they can surpass this article which perfectly symbolizes the adherence of most contemporary Jesuits to the Faith, and their intellectual acumen:

 

A New Theology of the Transgendered Body by Sidney Callahan

Bravo Jesuits, you cannot possibly top, or rather bottom, that!

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13 Responses to The Perfect Article for America

  • God said: “Margaret, you have been faithful. What can I do for you?”
    Margaret answered: “I want to win a million dollars and live to be one hundred years old.” God said: “OK”. Margaret won the lottery. Margaret had her face lifted and her hair done. On her way out of the hair salon, Margaret was struck and killed by lightning. Said Margaret: “Dear God, I thought you promised that I could live to be one hundred years old? ” Said God: “Margaret, Is that you?”.
    .
    “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature.”

  • Sidney Callahan asks: “Can we hope now for an expanded theology of the body and person, to better understand gender and transgendered persons?”
    .
    “God makes us human” said Bishop Fulton J. Sheen. What happens to the immortal soul, when the rational part of the person is displaced? What happens to the soul when the way to heaven is detoured through physical surgery without recourse to the search for God? The feminine part of a man’s soul calls him to serving Holy Mother Church, the medical profession, creativity, sensitivity toward suffering, love for his neighbors and a leader of his people. The male part of the human soul brings us Saint Joan of Arc, Margaret Thatcher, Golda Meir ad infinitum… unless it is nipped in the bud through transgenderism.
    .
    Transgendered persons have surgically removed their potential for fulfilling themselves and finding their destiny as who they are created to be. It is God Who brings us to know who we are as a person, not the surgical knife wielded by a finite individual. It is the theology of the transgendered who prevent persons from achieving themselves.
    .
    Homosexuality is a vocation to celibacy.

  • Why such articles offend orthodox Catholics and Bible oriented Protestants is because in
    part, Romans 1:27 warns against the opposite sex qualities appearing in a person after
    active sodomy as punishment from God and nature…” receiving in themselves the fit recompense of their perversity”. The article in America is chaotic in that it does not bring forward a detailed scientific exception to Romans 1:27. And I believe there is one but I don’t know the solution…ie the chimeric new born …the chimera ( google it…fascinating) who results from two fraternal twin eggs merging right after conception who should have been two persons had there been no Fall. But instead one person is born with the dna of two. If the original fraternal twins were boy and girl, the resultant one person may have qualities of both the original boy and the girl. On NHK, the Japanese network recently, they followed the tragedy of a five year old Japanese boy who wanted to dress as a girl but simultaneously hated life and school and wept often because he knew he would be rejected by everyone at school. This is not what Romans 1:27 was condemning and was probably the chimeric tragedy. I was fascinated because I believe I met a chimeric person decades ago and never forgot that encounter.
    I saw it in a 9 year old boy in my camp when long ago I was a teen myself and a camp counselor. He walked in one day, his first day wearing shorts like everyone else and I said to myself that he had actual female lips, eyes and leg shape and feet. All that first day, other children would ask him the same question…” are you a boy or a girl”. I don’t remember him ever answering but rather smiling and proceeding with a camp project. I was stunned and I’ve never again knowingly seen the phenomenon. It is this group who I at least know in their scientifically noticed case have an intrinsic not willful problem (Rom.1:27) in their very body.
    I don’t know what the Vatican would say to such a person if they inquired of the Vatican
    if they could have surgery in the direction of the dominant side of them and they provably had two sets of dna.
    Wiki under chimera ( genetics) has this note:
    ” In 2002, Lydia Fairchild was denied public assistance when DNA evidence showed that she was not related to her children. A lawyer for the prosecution heard of a human chimera in New England, Karen Keegan, and suggested the possibility to the defence, who were able to show that Fairchild, too, was a chimera with two sets of DNA.”

  • I hope “theology of the transgendered body” is just a comical spoof…?

    Mary De Voe- I loved your joke.

  • Bill Bannon: This would account also, for an individual to have both sets of sex organs. Then these individuals are not transgendered but simplified. Would that really help them, as their are still owning both DNA?
    .
    Instead of invoking compassion for the individual, the article instigates a revulsion by placing the will of the person over the will of God, and casting aspersions on an innocent public even while the case may not.

  • Mary,
    Yes, there are sympathetic abnormalities ( mosaics also besides chimeras ) but the person themselves like the Japanese boy? may be the best judge of who they are predominantly.
    Pray for all such people that God shows them His will and comforts them in their feelings of being alone in their problem. I prayed for one today but forgot the other that I mentioned which I’ll make up for now. The New England Journal of Medicine has written about both chimeras and mosaics in recent years and in vitro fertilization is adding to the numbers because inter alia it produces 28 times the normal number of twins.

  • “[T]he embodied person’s whole identity”
    Without wishing to attach undue importance to a single phrase, “embodied person” has unfortunate Cartesian overtones.
    We all know what the word “person” means in expressions like “the person over there” and “Offences against the Person” ; it means a living human body. Everyone understands what “I am jumping up and down means” and how it can be verified.
    Self-consciousness is simply consciousness or awareness that so-and-so hold of oneself, of this thing here, this living human body. To speak of a “self” as the name of something is simply a misconstrue of the reflexive pronoun. “I am MPS” means “this thing here is MPS,” the thing of which I have reflexive (non-observational) awareness.
    The Cartesian Ego is at the root of a good half of the nonsense talked about “persons” or “selves”

  • Bill Bannon: Thank you so much. Thank you, so very much for putting this in perspective, that I can assume and appreciate. Now for prayers even when I know not what or for whom. Makes life exciting.

    Michael Paterson-Seymour: ““[T]he embodied person’s whole identity””
    .
    Man, the human being, homosapiens is composed of body and soul. “I AM” is the body and the soul as man.
    .
    ““I am MPS” means “this thing here is MPS,” the thing of which I have reflexive (non-observational) awareness.” because MPS has a metaphysical, immortal, rational, human soul. Not simply a spirit, but a spirit with an human body, one person, one man. This is the embodied person’s whole identity in Jesus Christ.

  • Mary De Voe

    If the principle of human rational life in me is a soul (which perhaps can survive me, perhaps again animate me) that is not what i mean by “me.” Nor is it what I am. I am a living, human body and I shall exist only as long as that exists. If people find this idea shocking, they only betray how deeply infected by dualism they are. This is what St Thomas teaches (Summa Ia q 75:4) and the Ecumenical Council of Vienne (1311-12) condemns as heresy the denial that the rational or intellectual soul is the form of the human body, of itself and essentially.

  • There is common confusion about “transgender” people. True discordance between genetic sex, hormone receptivity and external/internal organs is RARE. Most transgenders are normal men and women with none of the above mentioned abnormalities. Paul McHugh, MD, Chief Psychiatrist at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore proved in the late 1970s that most transgenders have a mental disorder; and surgically/hormonally changing appearances does NOT help their Gender Identity Disorder. While help and support for this group of people cannot be denied, it is another matter to simply consider them “normal”.

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour: “Nor is it what I am.”
    .
    Nor is it who I am.
    .
    “I am a living, human body and I shall exist only as long as that exists.”
    Sir, you have confused life and existence. Are you proposing that existence, once it has existed, become not?

  • Mary De Voe,

    MPS can correct me if I’m mistaken, but I believe the standard theological answer is that God in some fashion sustains the “disembodied” human soul prior to the resurrection and the Final Judgment. So I think that what MPS is saying, in his characteristically indirect (not to say obtuse!) fashion, is that whatever your disembodied soul might be, it isn’t properly “you” until it is once again reunited with your body.

  • Thank you bill- very informative.
    .
    What about how exceptions should effect the rule? Teaching based on unique Individual sad cases risks a bad effect for so many people who for one reason or another simply see themselves as outsiders and want to find a category or ID they think they can fit under. Surely we need to understand and affirm the theology of the body (TOB) in the main; encouraging people to accept their own body/soul configuration.
    .
    I have watched a young man from “down under” somewhere who was born with no arms, no legs, but who gives a wonderful talk and demonstration of his love and trust of God’s plan for him. Just a head and a torso moving quickly about the stage, full of life and hope for eternal life. Confident that his body and soul configuration now and in eternity will meet God’s specs. His soul seems great, it is his body that is outside the standard deviations.
    Having a specific theology for the transgendered seems an invitation to floods of people in emotional distress to take their stand under the Transgendered banner- and it seems to isolate them even more from the rest.. making them more lonely and “outside” in stead of realizing the theology of the body already applies to them,as it applies to all…. because it is not Just about sexual identity and relationships, but more importantly about identity in Christ and eternal relationship.
    We already know that some are born “eunuch”. Help us all to an acceptance of who we are. We don’t need a homosexual theology of the body- or bi-sexual, or transgendered.

America Meets Dale

Thursday, February 21, AD 2013

 

 

As long time readers of this blog know I have long been an admirer of the work of Dale Price at his blog Dyspeptic Mutterings, and I frequently go there to steal borrow blog ideas.  Dale turned his attention recently to the editorial at America, the Jesuit heterodox rag, which called for the repeal of the Second Amendement:

That their grief may not be compounded.

At long last, the editors of America endorse a constitutional buttress to the culture of life.

 

Supporting the Human Life Amendment? Surely you jest. Politics is strictly about the art of the possible when it comes to abortion.

 

No, no–one must be realistic about such things.

 

Instead, we need to repeal the Second Amendment to the Constitution. The reason: something must be done so that urban, left-leaning Jesuits can feel better about themselves:

 

The disturbing feeling that we have failed to do everything in our power to remove the material cause of their deaths, however, will no longer compound our grief.

 

For some reason, there are exceptions:

 

This does not require an absolute ban on firearms. In the post-repeal world that we envision, some people will possess guns: hunters and sportsmen, law enforcement officers, the military, those who require firearms for morally reasonable purposes.

 

As an aside, please, please, I beg you: stop pretending you give a rat’s fanny about hunting. Deep down, we know you hate it, but somehow you feel compelled to offer insincere boilerplate respect. You can stop now. Besides, hunting firearms are more devastating than ones that make you queasy. Just flop your cards on the table and admit you don’t approve of any significant private ownership of firearms. Dialogue requires openness, don’t you know?

 

Anyway, there’s a yawning logical inconsistency here: why should an off-duty approved firearm owner be allowed to keep it when he is off the clock? At the end of the day, such individuals should turn them in to a secure area until they punch back in. Even soldiers aren’t toting weapons around all the time outside of combat zones. As the editors note, original sin (!) ensures bad things will happen, and cops are quite capable of misusing firearms, as we have been recently reminded. Thus, in Americaworld, there is no reason for anyone to own a firearm off duty.

 

Go after violent media? Nah. That’s Legion of Decency, Catholic-ghetto stuff. Shudder.

 

Revisit our oft-idiotic drug war? Piffle. Nope. What it boils down to is that nobody at America owns a firearm or likes anyone who owns one. In policymaking, this is known as the It’s Time We All Start Making Sacrifices, Starting With You, Of Course! maneuver.

 

Did it ever occur to them to, you know, actually talk to an actual gun owner before promulgating this un-papal bull? Apparently not. Dialogue’s only for people the Catholic left respect, I guess. Nope–it’s time to tear an Amendment out of the Constitution and unchain Caesar to kick doors in to remove unapproved firearms from our midst. If you like the drug war, you’ll plotz over the gun war.

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16 Responses to America Meets Dale

  • There are many good points to your post. I’d like to concentrate on the parallel to the War on Drugs.

    Reagan appointed a “drug czar” – a weird choice of titles for the man who brought down the Soviet Union. Odder still is that our nation engineered Prohibition, Round Two while taking no stock of what went wrong in Round I.

    General prohibitions of activities that a large portion of society WANTS to engage in is almost always a failure. It sets up a dangerous game in which criminals capitalize on the black market profits, the general population winks at the illegality, enforcement costs skyrocket, and corruption expands.

    The War on Drugs is a failure. A War on Guns will also fail. And each time, we cede more power to the federal government.

    The Roman Republic was dead before Ceasar crossed the Rubican. Are we more astute?

  • Actually there are a good many drugs that I wish to continue to have illegal due to their deadly impact on society, so Dale and I differ in degree on that. However his analogy to the war on drugs to a hypothetical war on firearms is instructive. Attempts to enforce the drug laws have met with considerable resistance and that is with the overwhelming number of Americans supporting most anti-drug laws with the possible exception of cannabis. We have over 300,000,000 guns in private possession in this country. Most of those people who own guns correctly believe that their guns are an essential part of their liberty. Attempts by the government to take those weapons away would lead to civil unrest at best, full blown rebellion at worst. The Jesuits at America, as usual, have no idea what type of can of worms they are opening up.

  • “One can only imagine what other liberties the editors at America are willing to have the rest of us dispense with.”
    To respond to your rhetorical question: The unalienable rights endowed by our Creator, reemphasized in the Ninth Amendment, the right to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness, our destiny, our constitutional posterity, the acknowledgement of the Person of God, the acknowledgement of the human being as body and soul, the rational immortal human soul without whom there is no human life; America stamps out the acknowledgement of the human being’s human soul wherein are endowed all unalienable human rights. As America disengages man’s human call to sovereignty in body and in sovereign personhood, the reality of the existence of God in the human soul, America disavows the sanctity and dignity of the human being, starting with the created individual at America. Dyspeptic indeed.

  • Thank you, Don–you are far, far too kind.

    I don’t know that we are all that far apart on drugs, either. I agree with you on the harder drugs, but we’ve been so schizo on MJ for so long that I think legalizing it (and treating it exactly like we treat cigarettes, right down to taxing, regulating the contents and stigmatizing it–e.g., drunk driving laws) makes more sense.

  • I would not go so far as decriminalizing cannabis, but I would treat it as a finable petty offense. I do not think that legalization would be the apocalypse, but I do not think that it would bring the benefits that the libertarians contend.

  • The War on Drugs is a failure.

    Eleanor Clift screeching “we are losing the war on drugs” makes for a more entertaining tableau.

    It makes about as much sense as saying ‘we are losing the war on burglary’. Crime rates ebb and flow and most categories of crime are only spottily detected and punished. Bank robbery has long been an exception, homicide is an exception, and, with the advent of state data banks with convict’s DNA in them, rape may be an exception.

  • Is your point Art Deco that “the War on Drugs” is a meaningless phrase? I’m probably with you if you are.

    Thing is, I didn’t introduce the phrase. I’m just using the language our governments have used for about three decades to cover the myriad of anti-drug efforts.

    As for their failure, it is, admittedly a mixed bag.

    The percenntage of the population that regularly use “hard” drugs has leveled off in many areas and even declined nationally. The homicide and incarceration rates are remarkably high among black and Hispanic communities and the number of people with felony drug convictions is disturbing. Collateral damage in urban communities is frighteningly common and the trafficking is a serious and growing problem.

    The short of it is that the War on Drugs shows no signs of slowing because the demand remains strong deapite severe consequences to public safety and health and individual freedom. In this regard, the War on Drugs has a similarity to Prohibition. So too, the amount of currency flowing from the lawful to the underground economy through the drug trade is significant and there is ample evidence to show that that money is finding its way to remote sectors of violent crime and upheaval. Again, there is a parallel to Prohibition. The wink and nod of society that would elect three presidents in a row who admit to using illegal drugs while jailing kids who carry marijuana from one state to a party in another is sick and twisted. Again, there is a parallel to Prohibition.

    We can. Go on and on…

    Don says he would keep many drugs illegal and I certainly don’t think that legalizing drugs will be benefit society the way we are assured it will. However, I think the War on Drugs and Prohibition demonstrate that law has very real limitations in its ability to curb bad behavior. Where a significant protion of society does not share the view that a behavior is wrong, government can only enforce the majority’s will through brutality and will almost assuredly fail.

    If the minority who think our government can’t become tyrannical and, so, there is no need for the power to resist tyranny or the minority who think guns are just plain bad and shouldn’t be possessed y anyone get there way, we will see an increasingly draconian police presence to enforce these new gun laws. This will replay the pattern evident from Prohibition and the War on Drugs.

    We have to learn from history or we are doomed to repeat it.

  • No it does not go on and on.

    1. The use of cannabis among adolescents is not what it was when I was in high school.
    2. Heroin use is a fraction of what it was forty years ago.
    3. You hardly hear anything about LSD anymore
    4. The Sicilianate mob is being done in by the actuarial tables. That was not the case during prohibition.
    5. For about 20% of those in prison, the top count was a drug charge. Drug charges are not the main driver of incarceration rates among blacks and mestizos.

    Vice crimes are derived from the general pathology of the human condition. So are property crimes. So are violent crimes. It is not an acute problem or a progressively worsening one.

  • It is good but surprising to hear that we are winning the War on Drugs. The media depictions tell a different story.

    When I hear that 10,000 Mexicans are missing and presumed dead from kidnapping crimes, while police officers’ heads are found on the border, mayors assassinated, and ordinary citizens are gunned down daily during turf wars, I tend to accept the allegation that drugs are at the heart of the problem. Sophisticated caves under the border, semi-submersible vessals, and regular seizures at US Ports of Entry make it sound like trafficking is big, sophisticated business. Narco-terroism threat reports from successive administrations, stories about trans-national gangs like MS 13, and regular collateral damage shootings in our cities reinforce the apparently mistaken impression that drug use is high, if not as high, as before and that governments at all levels are having an hell of a time dealing with the drug problem.

    It is good to hear that this is merely alarmism, that the War on Drugs has been worth the loss of liberty that it entails, that we are rolling back the forces of evil and that, one day, a generation will pass through our schools with few users.

  • That was flippant and unseemly. I am sorry and offer no excuses.

    If I understand you rightly to be saying that the common view that pur efforts to limit the use of drugs and to discourage the drug trade have failed is wrong, I owe you the courtesy to revisit the subject with research.

    Again, I apologize for responding like a jerk.

  • Elevated homicide rates are fairly unremarkable and pervasive in Latin America. The one exception to that rule is Chile.

  • “Elevated homicide rates are fairly unremarkable and pervasive in Latin America. ”

    Most estimates put the number of deaths in Mexico related to drug violence at 60,000 since 2006. This is not a fairly unremarkable statistic. Mexico was ranked 32nd in the Economist’s 2011 Quality of Life Rankings, drug violence and all. Although perhaps there isn’t a direct causation between quality of life and homicides, I see little reason to assume that homicide rates in Mexico would be anywhere near where they are if not for drug violence.

  • JL, homicide rates in Latin America are typically between 13 and 25 per 100,000. Mexico’s fluctuate some but stay in that range, and are similar to Brazil’s. Even Costa Rica has a homicide rate of 10 per 100,000. That’s state and society in Latin America.

  • Art, I don’t think it’s helpful to simply say “that’s state and society in Latin America,” as if Latinos are more inherently violent and homicidal. Clearly there are factors in play, and perhaps some of them stem from cultural/social variables that are unique to Latin America, but we still need to attempt to identify these causative factors and how they contribute to relatively high homicide rates.

  • JL, there is immense variation in Latin America and the Caribbean as to homicide rates. Currently, they range from 3 per 100,000 (Chile) to 90 per 100,000 (Honduras). However, the median settles between 13 and 25 per 100,000. There are a great many vectors that go into that and temporal variation as to the force of each vector. By way of example, political violence is no longer a major contributor. Over the period running from 1948 to 1992, you had a mean of about 12,000 deaths each year from factional violence, insurrection, terrorism, &c. Now it is in the range of 500 deaths a year. Latin America has its abiding problems, among them malintegrated and dysfunctional labor markets, rent-seeking mercantilism, incompetence and corruption in the civil service, a messy property registry, and high crime rates. Blaming gringos snorting coke is a fine way to distract politicians and public from taking practical measures to improve the quality of life.

  • Art,

    I really don’t understand why one can’t acknowledge that both deep structural/societal factors AND narco-violence play a substantial role in Mexico’s high homicide rates. The spike in murders since Calderon took office is simply undeniable.

    http://blog.diegovalle.net/2011/12/homicides-in-mexico-2010.html

America Hates the Second Amendment

Sunday, February 17, AD 2013

 

No, not that America.  America the heterodox Jesuit rag.

Repealing the Second Amendment will not create a culture of life in one stroke. Stricter gun laws will not create a world free of violence, in which gun tragedies never occur. We cannot repeal original sin. Though we cannot create an absolutely safe world, we can create a safer world. This does not require an absolute ban on firearms. In the post-repeal world that we envision, some people will possess guns: hunters and sportsmen, law enforcement officers, the military, those who require firearms for morally reasonable purposes. Make no mistake, however: The world we envision is a world with far fewer guns, a world in which no one has a right to own one. Some people, though far fewer, will still die from gun violence. The disturbing feeling that we have failed to do everything in our power to remove the material cause of their deaths, however, will no longer compound our grief.

The Supreme Court has ruled that whatever the human costs involved, the Second Amendment “necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table.” The justices are right. But the human cost is intolerable. Repeal the Second Amendment.

Go here to read the predictable rest.  It is good to see the Jesuits at America suddenly in favor of a “culture of life”.  Considering their editorials in support of the most pro-abortion president in our nation’s history, I will take their “conversion” with a boulder of salt.

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29 Responses to America Hates the Second Amendment

  • “those who require firearms for morally reasonable purposes”

    lol. how exactly do they plan on determining this

  • “For the Jesuits of America, it is worth giving up some freedom in an attempt to gain more security. Benjamin Franklin told us long ago where that leads.”

    this is one of those quotes that’s cited a lot but kinda dodges the issue, as i doubt (though i’m open to correction) that Franklin meant that in the most general sense a lot of people use it for today. to use a hyperbolic example, we don’t let people use machine guns, and by that same token i don’t think _some_ regulation, better background checks and on ammo for instance, has to be oppressive tyranny, though the effectiveness could be debated.

    the vision laid out by this magazine, though, would essentially amount to a ban despite their qualifier.

  • For what it’s worth, here’s Cardinal Dolan’s take on gun control: http://blog.archny.org/

    To be clear, I am an outdoorsman, own several rifles and shotguns, and think people should absolutely have the right to defend themselves. Nonetheless, I’ll take Cardinal Dolan’s counsel into account as I continue to form my conscience on this matter.

  • “Whenever I mention my support for gun control, the calls and emails come in, telling me that I’m naïve, reminding me of the Second Amendment to our Constitution, and arguing that the only thing gun control measures will accomplish is to keep guns out of the hands of honest, law-abiding people.”

    The Cardinal’s critics are absolutely correct in their assessment judging from the absolute futility of gun control laws in this country in keeping guns out of the hands of criminals or the deranged.

  • Hmmm… if they really want to cut down on homicides, maybe they should advocate for the banning of bats, fists, foreheads…

  • I don’t read organs of the lying, liberal media: Obama’s praetorian press.

    Mark Levin refers to the lying, liberal media as the “praetorian press.” It serves as fell guardian of the regime, the nightmarish narrative, and the imperial person: Barack. The praetorian press operates because the masses either have been brainwashed or silenced by dependence on government for their sustenance.

    The regime hasn’t yet begun to deploy the praetorian guard.

    Why, in the past year, has the federal government (not the Department of Defense) purchased 2 billion rounds of pistol and assault weapon ammunition?

    I feel horrible about 20 children murdered, but I didn’t do it. And, I will not accept guilt for, or submit to punishment for, the acts of a deranged child murderer.

    Four weeks ago, when gangster Cuomo (he helped spawn the housing bubble) rammed through the latest extremist, useless (it will not stop one murder) gun law I became a criminal in the State of New York.

  • The problem is that the secular progressives do not think the people are worthy of individual liberty. So there will never be enough regulation until we are completely under control. There is little philosophical difference between the various forms of secular progressive political programs, whether Communism, Fascism, Nazism, or socialism, they are all Utopian ideas to be implemented by an elite supposedly more intelligent than the rest of the herd. Our species of progressive implements this program via a gradual layering of regulation upon regulation, rather than by violent revolution but the destination is the same. The current administration has accelerated the process in a bold manner. Witness the anti-religious freedom in its recent Health and Human Services order, the takeover under false pretenses of health care, the near nationalization of major industries, the curtailment of free speech by so-called political correctness and the driving from the public square and eventually the private mind of religious expression. The recent examples of mayhem committed by deranged persons are far more the result of neglect in the treatment of insanity but the raw statistics of homicide are derived from the near total breakdown of family life in the inner cities where the major industry seems to be drug-related crime. This is more the outcome of our official agnostic state religion than any other cause. Our Constitution is the primary source of the stability this country has enjoyed for over two centuries. It is the original contract under which our inherently just system of law is based. The Second Amendment not only provides individuals with the means of self defense but also provides the citizenry in general a solidarity of communal defense against a potential government turning oppressive. The question arises, is the USA exceptional? Yes, it is but not because we are racially or ethnically superior but because we have a constitution that enshrines self-government and individual rights. The left thinks otherwise. They call it a “living constitution” so they can kill it. Gun-control is no more efficacious than banning booze or drugs and they know it but it’s part of the agenda. Trust them not.

  • Cardinal Dolan – just another left wing card carrying member of the religious arm of the Democrat Party!

  • I represent a conservative viewpoint, political and religous (orthodoxy) in so many areas … but gun control is one I can find dialogue in and should be discussed. Let’s not appear as the ignoramous that the left wishes to paint us as. We have gun control now .. it’s a matter of degrees. No different than free speech.

  • “No different than free speech.”

    If the Second Amendment were treated in the same manner as the courts have treated free speech there would be very few gun “control” measures that could pass constitutional muster.

  • That is the point Don. And I agree with your statement. But whereas “speech” has not ungone the added danger of technological advancements it thus has not ungone the degree of judicial enforcement (while trying to balance our constitutional right). He can’t yell fire in the crowded cinema, he can’t scream murder to an innocent person .. without ramifications. I’m for the right to have arms … I’m not for an unlimited right. So it’s degrees that need discussed .. not blatently looked down upon.

  • “has not ungone the added danger of technological advancements”

    Actually it has. Just consider the medium by which we are communicating. I would have some small sympathy for some measure of gun regulation if it didn’t seem to frequently end up in gun confiscation, and all to no purpose. Chicago has the most draconian gun laws in the country and the highest per capita murder rate. Gun “control” I think is often seized upon by authorities to excuse the lack of effective police presence in high crime areas and to avoid examining social pathologies that lead to a high rates of violence. In any case it is poor policy to curtail civil rights for the majority due to a misuse of the freedom by criminals who would certainly not comply with new gun regulations.

  • Don, not to tit4tat — as I fundementally agree … and the ability to effectively legislate this, like so many do-gooder ideas, is problematic I admit. But I just wish the arguements centered around that consistently … i.e.) yes we admit some control is authorized (no bazooka’s after midight!, no hand grenades on Sunday please) .. but that the limit should be “here” and not “there”. I don’t sense that coming out in the arguements. It reminds me of the global warming debate. Can’t we be perceieved as agreeing the earth is warmer .. but disagree on what is causing it . We come across so lame.

  • Let’s establish context and perspective.

    Each year, approximately 3,900,000 Americans die. Of those, about 1,500,000 die from overeating Twinkies, etc. – heart disease; 1,500,000 are murdered in abortions.

    Let’s compare gun deaths to unnecessary MD deaths – “First do no harm!”

    According to US Dept of Health and Human Services:
    There are 700,000 physicians in the U.S
    There are roughly 120,000 (189,000 in toto) accidental deaths caused by physicians per year
    That means there are roughly 0.171 accidental deaths per physician per year

    According to the FBI
    There are roughly 80, 000, 000 gun owners in the U.S
    There are about 30,000 gun-related deaths (accidental/non-accidental) per year
    That means there are roughly 0.000375 deaths per gun owner per year

    We need background checks on MD’s!

    Regarding gun control advocates:

    From (translated) Friedrich Schiller’s “Die Jungfrau von Orleans”, wherein he paints the mortally wounded Saxon warlord, Talbot, lamenting St. Joan of Arc’s inspiration of the French to heroic efforts, which panicked (Ares’ fell companions: Deimos/Panic and Phobos/terror) English undocumneted immigrants into a rout:

    “Folly, thou conquerest, and I must yield!
    Against stupidity the very gods
    Themselves contend in vain.”

  • As a citizen in a sovereign nation, the state must first produce proof of my criminality to remove, first, my citizenship and only then can the state remove my 2nd Amendment rights as I would no longer be a citizen entitled to constitutional protection. To indict all citizens without just cause to remove constitutional guarantees, is indeed, in the words of Donald McClarey, a “nasty totalitarianism”. Remember, the right of citizen’s arrest has already been removed. Now, the right of self-defence is being removed.
    Some criminals were not prevented from committing homicide. The government will now penalize all decent, honest persons because they have the misfortune to be citizens under this regime.

  • I think the critical test in determining what kind of firearms the average, law-abiding citizen should have access to is made by this line of reasoning:

    1. First-responders (police, primarily…I’ll not count SWAT…though if I did, I could extend an argument for the repeal of the National Firearms Act of 1934) have access to semi-automatic firearms with high capacity magazines, including AR-15s.
    2. First-responders are charged, insofar as their possession and use of these semi-automatic firearms, with the defense of the population and keeping of the peace. In other words, police don’t have AR-15s or pistols with magazine capacities larger than 10 (7 in New York) because of some kind of obsession with firearms but rather due to an objective assessment of the efficacy of the firearm for the job.
    3. First-responders cannot be omnipresent (resisting the temptation to make a joke about bilocation and sainthood..trying to be serious and not snarky); common sense and legal precedence support this. Hence, in many situations, the individual citizen may need to be in the role of the first-responder, prior to the arrival of law enforcement.
    4. If a given firearm (AR-15, Glock 17 with a magazine over 10 rounds, etc) is appropriate for a first-responder, then by extension there is no reason that the individual citizen should not be able to use the same equipment for the same purpose, in the role of first-responder.

    I find this to be fully compatible with a comprehensive (ie, not a cherry-picking style often employed by those arguing their conscience permits abortion in contradiction of Church teaching) reading of paragraphs 2263-2265 in the Catechism. Note: an attempt to categorize an AR-15 as “more than necessary violence”, whereas a Mini-14 (fires the same round as an AR-15) with a 5-round magazine is “repel[ing] force with moderation”, would extend to police as well as citizens defending their home. An attempt to say that police are more qualified than an average citizen with respect to an AR-15 is functionally equivalent to saying that a child psychologist is more qualified than a parent to decide on child discipline. Both contradict the principle of subsidiarity. Further, US v Miller (moving to a secular and not spiritual authority) determined that the Second Amendment does relate to weapons which are in common use at the time, as opposed to sawed-off shotguns. So, if an AR-15 is commonly used by law enforcement for some first-response situations, it’s valid under this test as well. I could elaborate if necessary; otherwise my comment started to border on TL;DR.

    I greatly respect Cardinal Dolan. I’m saddened that he’s nodding in approval to anything President Obama says, given the latter’s formal cooperation in infanticide related to laws protecting partial-birth abortion. Though, I will say it was moderately encouraging Cardinal Dolan deferred to actual policy-makers in determining any legislation. I wish that the principle of subsidiarity was applied by our bishops more consistently rather than solely to the rights of conscience related to abortion-inducing drugs and procedures.

    The real question that needs to be addressed, in my opinion, is that since semi-automatic firearms have been around since 1885, why is it only recently that mass killings with firearms are seemingly more commonplace? In my reading of history, the root cause predates “violent video games / movies” which are only symptoms…they sell only because the heart is already dark. I submit the 100+ past years of moral relativism finally taking their toll.

  • Gun control means using both hands. Catholic clerics, or anyone else for that matter, who do not understand this have no business spouting off about gun ownership.

  • Cardinal Dolan’s latest on gun control just reinforces in my mind that he is an embarassment. God help us if his fellow Cardinals plant his backside in the Chair of Peter.

  • Cdl. Dolan’s remarks are rather bland and not thought through (“something must be done”). One of the difficulties the Church has in our time is compulsive verbalization on the part of bishops and the apparat they nominally supervise. Time and effort and lay attention devoted to the Cardinal’s random statements on gun regulation is time and effort not devoted to what matters.

  • Even the latest DOJ report concludes that gun-control is ineffective. Cesare Becccaria , a Milanese jurist, economist and criminologist said the same in his “On Crimes and Punishments” back in 1764. “False is the idea that sacrifices a thousand real advantages for one imaginary or trifling inconvenience; that would take fire from men because it burns, and water because one may drown in it; that has no remedy for evils, except destruction. The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm those only who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Can it be supposed that those who have the courage to violate the most sacred laws of humanity, the most important of the code, will respect the less important and arbitrary ones, which can be violated with ease and impunity, and which, if strictly obeyed, would put an end to personal liberty–so dear to men, so dear to the enlightened legislator–and subject innocent persons to all the vexations that the guilty alone ought to suffer? Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man. They ought to be designated as laws not preventive but fearful of crimes, produced by tumultuous impression of a few isolated facts, not by thoughtful consideration of the inconveniences and advantages of a universal decree”. It appears to me that legislators were more truly “enlightened” during the Eighteenth Century than they are today. It was a time when statesmen sought to unchain the common man, rather than return him to an updated form of serfdom and slavery as seems the agenda of the current Administration.

  • Let’s slap some reality into this discussion though .. gun control in some way, shape or form is here to stay. Don’t kid yourselves nor play the wild card in lobbying for none (as so appears in some posts). I’d rather take a pragmatic approach. We could argue pornography control does little … but does that mean any of us hopefully devout catholics would aruge for no porno control? I hope not. Let’s just infuse a similar rationale here.

  • Dave: I argue that pornography is intrinsically evil and a species of vicarious adultery. It is little controlled these days, and in fact celebrated as art and free speech. It is in no way equivalent to an indifferent invention and useful tool. I do agree with the Supreme Court that some reasonable restrictions can be made, such denial of the right to those guilty of violent crimes not annulled and those adjudicated as violently insane and not cured. What needs be faced is the overall agenda of the ideologically infatuated Utopians who would enslave us. ~Bill

  • I, for one, choose to argue for that which is, as best as I can determine, objectively correct. I do not feel that pragmatic concessions are prudent in the long view.

    If we are to adopt a view that “gun control in some way, shape or form is here to stay”, we can easily replace that statement with “abortion” or, historically, “slavery” or any other institutional error in our country.

    If abortion is objectively wrong, then no pragmatism in the long view has any worth (I don’t discount gradual methods which increasingly reduce the killing of innocent life…but that’s not long view). We all agree that abortion has a correct answer (ie, it’s wrong), in light of God’s order for creation. But, because we implicitly believe in an objective reality as a consequence of our belief in God, there also must be a correct answer to the appropriate access to sufficient means by which man may defend himself. Granted, the Catechism (pp 2263-2265) is more vague on this than it is on abortion, but that doesn’t change the fundamental fact that an objective answer exists, even if we don’t know it as perfectly as God does.

    Any level of pragmatism that doesn’t actually aim to address what is objectively correct is ultimately untrue to the order of creation and is, as C.S. Lewis calls it, “the poison of subjectivism.”

    “Lewis, of course, remains fiercely reactionary in his refusal to go along. How, he asks, can anyone be truly righteous, unless his mind and will conform to the objective order of value, of being itself? If the finality of all education, to recall the teaching of Aristotle, is to impart to the pupil a liking for what is likable, an aversion for what is not, it is because the universe is quite simply structured that way.”

    Full context of the above quotes here:
    http://www.crisismagazine.com/2013/in-defense-of-disgust

  • So we leaped to abortion did we? I missed that memo 🙂 I find that comparrion folly, if for no reason than the moral/natural law prevails, not objective morality. If I’m reading you right, you advocate full-fledge, unadulderated, unlimited firepower for any U.S. citizen? Kind of a Tony Stark in the public arena. Because … it appears size matters. I’m a fisal libertarian at heart .. but that strikes me as social libertarianism on steriods.

  • Bill: Agreed. Valid points. Maybe a rather poor attempt at comparing civil/consitutial liberties and unlimited freedom.

  • Dave: I’m not sure where you think I’m arguing for unlimited freedom. So, the error is somewhere in the communication. My earlier post was merely to point out that individual citizens are, generally understood, to be ultimately responsible for their own personal safety. That’s from natural law as well as U.S. law (police are not liable if they do not respond on time). That translates to a citizen adopting the role of “first-responder”. And if something is functionally appropriate for a police officer to use (a 17 round magazine in a pistol, a 30 round rifle magazine with the rifle in the trunk of a police cruiser) in the role of first-response, it’s logically appropriate for an otherwise law-abiding citizen to use for the same/similar purposes.

    If my use of the term “objective morality” confused the issue, relative to natural law, I believe both fall under the order of Creation and have the same Author, to which I was making my appeal…but my apologies for any confusion. The point I was trying to make is that there is, as I said, a correct answer to the appropriate access to sufficient means by which man may defend himself. That should, in no way, imply that I argue for unlimited access to any means of defense. I also argue in favor of, per the Catechism, “repel[ing] force with moderation and not “more than necessary violence”. But I wish to show that if a 30 round magazine is inappropriate for a citizen to use, it would, under application of the Catechism, be inappropriate for an officer to use. We do not, however, arm officers with grenade launchers as a standard issue and I’m not arguing that for citizens either. If others do argue that way, that’s their hill to defend.

    The reason I “passed out a memo on abortion” is to illustrate what I feel to be the error of arguing a principle from a position of pragmatism. If you mean pragmatism to mean prudence, or “the right action/inaction at the right time”, then we would agree. If you mean pragmatism as what I commonly interpret it as in most discussions, that of “this is some form of compromise in order to hold on to something”, then I disagree.

    If a principle (such as a position in favor of unborn life, or for the natural rights of man to defend himself and how to best guarantee those rights) must be compromised on, then it ceases to be a principle. Again, if I am misinterpreting your use of “pragmatism” with respect to the principle of self-defense, my apologies.

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  • Thanks for the clarification John. Admittedly, I was using a bit of hyperbole around the unlimited use of personal arms – only to reiterate that we all know we have some bounderies upon which we agree to live (which sometimes is what I see getting lost in the debate on the 2nd admendment (which I am for, I do not favor repeal). It becomes an issue of where the lines are drawn not if the lines exist.

  • When the Catechism tells us, “ repelling force with moderation and not “more than necessary violence”, it speaks of an act. Our level of response should be morally limited to acts sufficient to repel an act of aggression. This implies an obligation of the individual to make a proper judgment at the time of being attacked. It does not give the government or anyone else the right to decide the matter in advance by limiting the means at our disposal. All this talk of magazines and mechanisms is a distraction from the deeply rooted ideological agenda of the left to deny arms to the common man. It is a pro life response to oppose them, when they deny our right to life when we are attacked, when we are conceived, and when we grow old and infirm. Choose life.

Jesuitical 12: America and the Bishops

Monday, February 27, AD 2012

 

Part 12 of my ongoing survey of the follies of many modern day Jesuits.  For a nano second the Jesuit rag America was on the side of every Catholic bishop in this country in opposition to the HHS Mandate.  However, where your heart is so is your treasure, and America is back on the side of Team Obama.  I was going to take the Jesuits of America to task, but Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic who has taken up the cudgels so frequently in defense of the Faith that I have named him Defender of the Faith, has eloquently beaten me to the punch:

You Roman Catholic bishops have had your fun and put on your little temper tantrum, the editors of The REAL Magisterium Wannabe Episcopalian Weekly America write.  But the adults are here now so why don’t you all just look liturgically impressive, babble a little Latin and keep your stupid opinions to yourselves.  We’ll take it from here:

For a brief moment, Catholics on all sides were united in defense of the freedom of the Catholic Church to define for itself what it means to be Catholic in the United States. They came together to defend the church’s institutions from morally objectionable, potentially crippling burdens imposed by the Obama administration under the Affordable Care Act. Catholic journalists, like E. J. Dionne and Mark Shields, and politicians, like Tim Kaine and Robert P. Casey Jr., joined the U.S. bishops in demanding that the administration grant a broad exemption for religiously affiliated institutions from paying health care premiums for contraceptive services. Then, on Feb. 10, President Obama announced a compromise solution by which religious institutions would be exempt from paying the objectionable premiums but women would not be denied contraceptive coverage. A confrontation that should never have happened was over. But not for long.

Every single time we let the hierarchy think it’s in charge, the idiots completely screw things up.  Every.  Single.  Time.

After a nod to the White House’s retreat as “a first step in the right direction,” the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops rejected the president’s “accommodation” as insufficient. Their statement presented a bill of indictments on the fine points of public policy: It opposed any mandate for contraceptive coverage, expanded the list of claimants for exemption to include self-insured employers and for-profit business owners and contested the administration’s assertion that under the new exemption religious employers would not pay for contraception. Some of these points, particularly the needs of self-insured institutions like universities, have merit and should find some remedy. Others, with wonkish precision, seem to press the religious liberty campaign too far.

“Some of these points…have merit and should find some remedy?”  From where?  From the same people who wrote the initial rule and the transparently fraudulent “compromise?”  I can’t for the life of me understand why the bishops might be reluctant to take that offer.  Foxes, hen houses and all that.

And it’s difficult for me to see how the objections of the bishops constitute “press[ing] the religious liberty campaign too far” since forcing Church ministries to facilitate the acquisition of free contraceptives by any employee who wants them is the only option left on the table.  The idea of not being forced to provide free birth control at all seems no longer to be possible.

The bishops have been most effective in influencing public policy when they have acted as pastors, trying to build consensus in church and society, as they did in their pastorals on nuclear war and the economy. The American public is uncomfortable with an overt exercise of political muscle by the hierarchy. Catholics, too, have proved more responsive to pastoral approaches. They expect church leaders to appeal to Gospel values, conscience and right reason. They hope bishops will accept honorable accommodations and, even when provoked, not stir up hostility. In the continuing dialogue with government, a conciliatory style that keeps Catholics united and cools the national distemper would benefit the whole church.

I think you all know what’s going on there.  It’s the age-old story.  As long as the bishops are commenting on the issues that are important to the America editorial staff the right issues, we’re behind them 100%.  But once they move on to those…other issues(you know the ones America means), they are exercising “political muscle” and contributing to the “national distemper.”

On issues like nuclear war and the economy, the bishops should certainly take no prisoners and accept no compromises.  But on those relatively trivial issues that the laity constantly insists on whining about, Roman Catholic bishops need to “accept honorable accomodations,” they need to “not stir up hostility,” and, most importantly, they need to be “conciliatory.”

After all, we have the example constantly before us of the Author and Finisher of our faith who was always willing to accept honorable accomodations, who never stirred up hostility and Whose first name was Conciliatory.  Actually, we don’t have that at all.  What the heck was I thinking?

The campaign also risks ignoring two fundamental principles of Catholic political theology. Official Catholic rights theory proposes that people should be willing to adjust their rights claims to one another. It also assigns to government the responsibility to coordinate contending rights and interests for the sake of the common good. The campaign fails to acknowledge that in the present instance, claims of religious liberty may collide with the right to health care, or that the religious rights of other denominations are in tension with those of Catholics. But as Pope Benedict XVI wrote in “Deus Caritas Est,” the church does not seek to “impose on those who do not share the faith ways of thinking and modes of conduct proper to the faith.” Furthermore, the campaign fails to admit that the administration’s Feb. 10 solution, though it can be improved, fundamentally did what Catholic social teaching expects government to do—coordinate contending rights for the good of all.

Um…nuh-uh.  I have no idea what “Catholic rights theory” really consists of but I seriously doubt that “adjust[ing] their rights claims to one another” obligates Catholics to commit sins themselves or acquiesce in their commission.

As for the “contending rights” that America believes were coordinated by the Administration’s “compromise,” we have the long-established Constitutional right of Christian churches to order their own affairs versus the newly-created “right” to free birth control pills, a “right” which remains in place by means of an accounting trick.

Once again, there is no possibility of the Catholic Church not being forced to provide free birth control at all; the default position is the liberal one.  And that is not coordination of contending rights at all; it is soft tyranny.

By stretching the religious liberty strategy to cover the fine points of health care coverage, the campaign devalues the coinage of religious liberty. The fight the bishop’s conference won against the initial mandate was indeed a fight for religious liberty and for that reason won widespread support. The latest phase of the campaign, however, seems intended to bar health care funding for contraception. Catholics legitimately oppose such a policy on moral grounds. But that opposition entails a difference over policy, not an infringement of religious liberty. It does a disservice to the victims of religious persecution everywhere to inflate policy differences into a struggle over religious freedom. Such exaggerated protests likewise show disrespect for the freedom Catholics have enjoyed in the United States, which is a model for the world—and for the church.

What are you mackeral snappers complaining about?  It’s not like anyone’s burning down your churches or anything.  And you don’t have to pay for anyone’s abortion so chill out.

But here’s the problem.  A government that thinks it has the right to determine what are or are not Christian ministries is a government that can(and probably one day will) not only order Christian hospitals to provide free birth control but also order Christian hospitals and churches to provide free abortions for any staff member who wants one.

Were that to happen, what would America say?  That the bishops shouldn’t be so “wonkish” because this is yet anothern policy difference that doesn’t rise to the level of religious persecution?  That the bishops shouldn’t “provoke hostility” and need to take the lead toward cooling the “national distemper” over the fact that the Church is now being forced to participate in one of the greatest evils it is possible to conceive simply because somebody claims a right to access to it?

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8 Responses to Jesuitical 12: America and the Bishops

  • “Once again, there is no possibility of the Catholic Church not being forced to provide free birth control at all; the default position is the liberal one.  And that is not coordination of contending rights at all; it is soft tyranny.”

    All soft tyrannies become hard tyrannies. The cry of “Liberty, Equality and Fraternity” in France in the 1790s resulted in the murder of tens of thousands of Catholic clerics and laity alike. History will repeat itself.

  • I graduated from a Jesuit high school back in the mid-’70s. Once, when I dared contest the Godless, Marxist redistributionism of “Liberation Theology” in light of “Thou Shalt Not Steal,” I did not get a debate or even a “correction.” Instead, I was told to “shut up,” and received a disciplinary blot on my record. Such is the totalitarian bent of the Jesuits.

    Ironically, it was not until about 10 years ago that my wife and I went through RCIA and officially joined The Church. Every time I have brought up the Jesuit order during a “Stump the Priest” night at our parish, or even while we were still in formation, the replies were strained and vague. Obviously, none of the ordained is going to outrightly demean another, but it is also obvious that what restraint is shown is not out of respect for that order.

    In another vein, I have never understood how someone can claim a “right” to health care. Since when has there been that? Please tell me, o learned pastors, when it is the right of one to demand the fruits of the labors of another in any pursuit? At what point do doctors, nurses, pharmacists, therapists and all the other people whose work is in the provision of medical care become the slaves of those whose “right” it is to its access unencumbered? When will we start pressing into service unwillingly – and who will we press – when the inevitable shortages arise? And doesn’t such a right indicate that rights to the labors of farmers, well-diggers, builders and clothiers are also found somewhere? Aren’t food, water, shelter and clothing essentially much more necessary to survival than is a doctor’s visit?

    Where was this right during the 18th Century when the ideas of inalienable rights were being developed at light-speed? Was the right to leeches, cupping, bleeding and purging unquestionably argued? And if the right exists, is it not based on the idea that all health care is therefore true, beautiful and good? To what end is an inalienable right if it is for something malicious or incorrect? Speech may be hurtful or wrong, but guarantees to its freedom can never be deemed so.

    No – I will say it here. The so-called “Catholic” left is nothing more than Fascist. It cannot understand the essence of freedom or personal responsibility even while it calls for increased pastoral ministering to “the flock.”

    The last I heard, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind”, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” and “Do unto others as you would have done unto you” seem to provide a pretty comprehensive plan, and I don’t see anywhere in there a call for Government enforcement, extortion or feticide.

  • If ever I saw an edition of “America”, I would burn it.

    I refer to it as the “society of Judas.”

    But, I suffer pangs of guilt for being unfair to Judas.

    Judas’ betrayal did not prevent anybody’s Redemption. The SJ-ers are leading many into spiritual danger.

  • Campaign poster or next issue cover?

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  • PM: Neither: there are two crosses which will be purged for the 0 campaign and issue cover.

  • To tell if any Order or Group or Individual is a faithful Catholic, all you have to do is check to see if they adhere to the “CATECHISM of the CATHOLIC CHURCH, Second Edition”.

    “ The Catechism of the Catholic Church, which I approved … and the publication of which I today order by virtue of my Apostolic Authority, is a statement of the Church’s faith and of catholic doctrine, attested to or illumined by Sacred Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition and the Church’s Magisterium. I declare it to be a sure norm for teaching the faith and thus a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion. “ – Pope John Paul II. (pg 5)

    “….the Catechism has raised throughout the world, even among non-Christians, and confirms its purpose of being presented as a full, complete exposition of Catholic doctrine, enabling everyone to know what the Church professes, celebrates, lives, and prays in her daily life.” – Pope John Paul II (pg xiv)

    Any Catholic who does not do his or her best to adhere to the CCC in its entirety is a heretic or schismatic. (See # 2089).
    When are we going to start calling cafeteria Catholics by their true names – heretic or schismatic?

  • Often, when I see an heretical book in my church’s library, I’ll simply take and throw it away. No permission asked for. If I see “America” for the taking, I’ll take all copies and “down the memory hole.”

    How dare they give us s _ _ _ when Jesus mandates that we proclaim the Gospel, His precious Body and Blood.

The Coming Open Rebellion Against God Part II

Sunday, February 6, AD 2011

In my first article The Coming Open Rebellion Against God, I spoke of a time where God would reveal his omnipotence and some would simply leave their faith behind.  Why? Because just as in John 6, some would say it simply doesn’t make sense and walk away. Some have prayed that if only God would show His omnipotence; many would fall on their knees and believe. I truly believe the time is coming when some of our intelligentsia, including clergy will see the hand of God and say; “No thanks, this doesn’t mesh with my worldview.”

Father Dwight Longenecker recently wrote a review of the movie The Rite Starring Sir Anthony Hopkins, a movie somewhat inspired by a real life Italian exorcist. The movie was given praise by many Catholic writers including Father Longenecker for actually showing the Church in a positive light. Perhaps this was due to the film’s producers using a California based exorcist Father Gary Thomas who actually was present at the filming of the movie. In a key passage Father Longenecker pondered the fact that far too many in this modern rationalistic world see the idea of the devil and demonic possession as beyond them, even though if they truly followed their rationalistic approach, they would come to see that there simply was no medical or scientific explanation for some cases. Sadly, for too many the sin of pride all too often is their downfall.

Recently Father Gary Thomas was interviewed by Leticia Velazquez of Catholic Exchange; some of his remarks about the way in which the teachings of the Church with regard to evil were defiantly rebuked by some within the Church including bishops were more than a little disconcerting. This movie review of The Rite by Father Raymond Schroth SJ associate Editor of America Magazine is one such example. As you can see, the devil is so passé to Father Schroth SJ. It hardly jibes with the high mindedness of those to which he and his urbane friends associate. Check out the comments section in the article, some of the comments left are as elitist and depressing as his treatise on who God is and who He should be.

George Weigel has noted the sad state of some quasi dissident bishops that Pope John Paul II and now Pope Benedict XVI have had to confront. They came from a mindset that preferred the adulation of the dissident intelligentsia of the Ivy League rather than the working class Catholic roots from which many came.

With regard to Jesus and the devil, Jesus spent a good deal of his time fighting the devil and his minions, but alas those who don’t believe in such things seem to indicate that Jesus and the Gospel writers got it wrong, Jesus was not fighting demonic powers but those who were dealing with bouts of depression and epilepsy. According to these liberal dissident elites, Jesus was the precursor to Dr Phil and Deepak Chopra helping those poor seemingly possessed people get their groove back and find their Zen destiny. Never mind what the Church teaches on the subject or the fact that both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI have specifically spoken of evil and the needs for more exorcists in the Church, these elites know better. Talk about hutzpah, Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI have been labeled as intellectually brilliant, even by their detractors, but no matter to those who don’t believe in such archaic things as the devil. Perhaps we should ask those in the Church, especially in the Church Hierarchy, if you don’t believe what Jesus said about the devil and the manifestation of evil, what else don’t you believe?

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5 Responses to The Coming Open Rebellion Against God Part II

  • Thank you for referring to my interview of Fr Gary Thomas. When I read the book, I was impressed at how deeply their experience of the devil moved both Fr Gary and the book’s author Matt Baglio. I was therefore thrilled to hear that the US bishops had a special meeting about exorcism before their general meeting last November.
    As you assert in your book, the tide is turning. Let us pray that it is in time to save our fellow Catholics, many of whom are hostage to the enemy, thanks to poor catechesis and their own selfishness.

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  • FIRST OF ALL THE RITE WAS AN EXCELLENT MOVIE….BUT TO SAY THE DEVIL IS PASSE IS SAY FOR ANY PRIEST….BUT KNOWING FR. SCROTH, SJ HE PROBABLY THINKS THAT GO IS PASSE TOO…SAD FOR ON JUDGEMENT DAY…HE MAY HAVE TO BEG TO THE MERCY OF JESUS….

  • Slight spoiler

    The Rite was very well done. Respectful of the Church and enough spookiness to keep you on edge without overplaying ala The Exorcist. Maybe overplayed the “doubting young priest out to prove science over belief” a bit, and showed the Church to be a little too “faith over reason,” in particular I am recalling a scene where our hero challenges his exorcism instructor with scientifically based rationals for the various instances of possession, and the intsructor’s comeback was rather weak – sort of a “you gotta have faith” and left it at that.

    I also think the movie left you with the impression that the Church believes possession occurs far more often than the Church actually believes it does. But then, they gotta sell tickets, don’t they.

  • and by faith over reason, I mean portraying the Church as pitting faith against reason, as opposed to recognizing them as complementing each other.

5 Responses to USCCB Promoting Anti-Catholic Speaker This Weekend

  • Not a comment–a question:

    Does anyone ever call up the USCCB and just ask them what they have to say about this (or any of the other idiocies they inflict on us)?

  • Carol,

    They don’t return phone calls.

  • I know the USCCB isn’t open to the public but I emailed Cardinal George a very civil letter asking him basically “whassup with this?” Speaking of doing a yoeman’s job, he is & I have nothing but admiration for him & most of our bishops. What I cannot understand is why they don’t dissolve the USCCB & just start over. Do these people have tenure or what?

  • gb,

    I’m not sure why they don’t do a complete overhaul of the place.

    But it’s human nature to resist saying “I was wrong”. Pride then kicks in when the pressure mounts.

    In my opinion, nothing will be done.

    Just look at the pedophilia scandal.

    Nothing was done about that. Only when the media pressure became overbearing did “individual” bishops act.

    No bishop likes to be told what to do, especially from us plebians.

  • Cardinal Newman quoting St. Basil writing to the Western bishops on the onslaught of the Arian bishops:
    “The dogmas of the Fathers are despised; apostolic traditions are set to naught; the discoverers of innovations hold sway in the churches. Men have learned to be speculators instead of theologians… The aged sorrow, comparing what is with what was; more pitiable the young, as not knowing what they are deprived of”. [Ep. 90]

The Tide Is Turning Toward Catholicism Because Nonsensical Believers & Non Believers Are Unwittingly Showing Many the Way

Wednesday, January 20, AD 2010

Throughout the last few years and specifically the last decade or so, the voluminous number of kooky quotes and statements coming from religious believers (heterodox Catholics included) and non believers alike is mind boggling. It can’t but help push the reasonable minded into the Catholic Church. Most casual observers are familiar with the number of high profile converts and reverts to the Catholic Church in the last 25 years or so. They range from theological luminaries like Dr Scott Hahn and Dr Francis Beckwith to political figures like Deal Hudson, Laura Ingraham and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. Many like them have come to the Church after years of study and reason, but many also have come to the Church after years of seeing their particular religious denomination become unrecognizable.

The latest world calamity has given us two examples of sheer kookery coming from a religious leader and a secular voice. After the horrific earthquake that left the western world’s most impoverished nation in tatters, the Reverend Pat Robertson chimed in with a quote that was not only tragically insensitive but historically inaccurate. The onetime presidential candidate (who actually came in second in the 1988 GOP Iowa Caucus) and a leading voice of the Evangelical world blamed the earthquake on Voodoo, a cult that sadly far too many people practice in Haiti.  Robertson voiced his opinion on his popular 700 Club television program. Robertson repeated the fundamentalist canard that in the early 1800s the leaders of a slave revolt fighting against French colonial forces forged a pact with the Satan to thrown off the chains of their oppressors.

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12 Responses to The Tide Is Turning Toward Catholicism Because Nonsensical Believers & Non Believers Are Unwittingly Showing Many the Way

  • Since when is pro-abortion Brown “the truth”?

  • Who said he was? I never mentioned his name in the article. However, when the people of Massachusetts (the only state who voted for George McGovern) can see the craziness of the left, you can rest assured that they are not alone.

  • “As evidenced by the stunning results in the Massachusetts special election seat vacated following the death of Senator Edward Kennedy, even in the most liberal of locales the public will eventually clamor for the truth.”

    You didn’t have to say his name to mention him — you most certainly mentioned him through that statement. Do not confuse “naming names” as the only way to mention someone. And from all you wrote here, “a pro-choicer” is now the right and the truth.

  • “You didn’t have to say his name to mention him — you most certainly mentioned him through that statement. Do not confuse “naming names” as the only way to mention someone. And from all you wrote here, “a pro-choicer” is now the right and the truth.”

    Hmm, I didn’t get that from this statement. In any case, one doesn’t have to be impeccable to demonstrate the principle that the mind of the people is changing. Brown is obviously not perfect, but I don’t think Dave is talking about his politics or theology so much as the change that his election represents.

  • The change the election represents I don’t think is exactly as Republicans are making it out to be; while some of it might be on Obama, and other aspects of it might be on health care, another aspect people have to remember is Coakley assumed the seat was hers and didn’t campaign properly. That, I think, is the lesson all sides might want to remember: don’t assume you are a sure-win and do nothing because of it. Nothing, however, to do with “truth.” Nothing in the results shows truth wins — since abortion does.

  • I agree with Henry.

    Brown did make the centerpiece of his campaign as a referendum on ObamaCare, though other factors such as Coakley’s poor campaigning certainly played a factor into it.

  • “I agree with Henry.”

    Tito, that’s the first sign of the apocalypse!

  • The truth that believing Catholics shouldn’t be barred from working in emergency rooms certainly won.

    Brown is quite problematic (and it’s not like I sent him money), but at least we are spared the spectacle of another Massachusetts Catholic baying for abortion in DC.

    I’ll take my silver linings where I can find them.

  • Dale

    So, what silver linings do you find for Obama? Can you find some?

  • I questioned authority relentlessly. Holy Mother Church had all the answers.
    Some retreat to the Church, others flee or are driven, some even backtrack, and many seem to crawl, but, always, the door is wide open.
    Inquisitive mind + Road To Damascus (TM) moment = conversion/re-conversion. Sweet.

  • Despite the badly-concealed sneer with which you pose your question, Henry, sure. Haitian relief, support for a limited range of renewable energy sources, uniting (briefly) the country after the Fort Hood terrorist massacre, helping a limited range of distressed homeowners and credit card and equal pay protection come quickly to mind.

    But, as you know, he’s been a pro-abortion stalwart–deceptively so–when it comes to the protection of human life and issues of conscience.

    Thus, my great relief that a putative sister in the Church–one who expressly finds the Catholic faith disqualifying from life-saving work–will not be able to work on a national stage to implement her bigotry, nor be able to lend her support to the most problematic parts of the President’s agenda.

    Your mileage evidently varies.

Jesuitical 10: Campion Award to the Archbishop of Canterbury

Saturday, January 16, AD 2010

Hattip to Midwest Conservative Journal The latest in my on-going series on the follies of some modern Jesuits.  Proving yet again that they have the charism of being impervious to irony, the editorial board of America magazine announced that they were awarding the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, the Campion Award.  Considering the fact that Saint Edmund Campion, SJ, was martyred for his efforts to give spiritual succor to Catholics unwilling to desert the Faith for the Church of England, one might think that even the denizens of the editorial board of America might regard this as a trifle odd.  However, it actually makes sense when you think about it.  First, it allows them to take a backhanded slap at the Anglican initiative of the Pope, and, second, what the Church of England has morphed into, a left wing pressure group with prayers, is frankly what America has been championing for years in the Catholic Church.  Their hopes have been crushed, but they can by this award salute Rowan Williams, and give another gesture to the Pope.

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9 Responses to Jesuitical 10: Campion Award to the Archbishop of Canterbury

  • Why do Catholic sites and journals refer to Rowan Williams as the “archbishop of Canterbury”? He is not even a priest, much less a bishop.

  • Any organization Gabriel can come up with their own titles. Besides, if the Vatican uses such titles, and it does, I do not see why we cannot.

    http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/chrstuni/angl-comm-docs/rc_pc_chrstuni_doc_19660324_paul-vi-ramsey_en.html

  • In all honesty, Donald, I’ve stopped believing that the Jesuits (Sure to soon change their name to the Gaiaits) are even Catholic. I don’t count them as a Catholic order, and as soon as I see S.J. (soon to be S.G) after an author’s name, I put the book away.

    It’s too bad, really. The Jesuits used to be a powerful, orthodox order; and they had the most badass habits ever (believe it or not, Neo’s costume in the Matrix is modeled after Jesuit garb).

    Oh well, there’s always the Dominican’s, right?

  • (Sure to soon change their name to the Gaiaits)

    LOL Michael!

    In truth, what you say about the Order is all too accurate in many cases. However, there is an orthodox remnant in the Jesuits and I salute their efforts.

  • Actually, if you can find good Jesuits, they’re unbeatable. But there never seem to be more than one or two in the same place. I bet there aren’t many in the offices of America.

    What’s the award for, anyway? “A noted Christian person of letters”? Williams is a fool.

  • Donald R. McClarey writes Saturday, January 16, 2010 A.D.
    “Any organization Gabriel can come up with their own titles. Besides, if the Vatican uses such titles, and it does, I do not see why we cannot”.

    Indeed the Vatican, i.e. the Church, does use such titles. But the titles refer to something existing, something real, a power to ordain and to confirm, “the power to bind and to loose”.

    So called bishops of Protestant rites merely go through the motions. The Church definitively decided that the Church of England ordinations and the like are non-existent. It is a fraud on their followers.

  • Gabriel Austin,

    Why do Catholic sites and journals refer to Rowan Williams as the “archbishop of Canterbury”? He is not even a priest, much less a bishop.

    Excellent point.

    Are we being disrespectful when we refer to him instead as Dr. Rowan Williams or simply Mr. Williams?

    I will never call a woman priest “father”.

    For example I call the leader of the Episcopal church in America High Priestess Katharine Jefferts Schori.

    She doesn’t deserve even the designation of Bishopess.

    Is that too far?

  • “Any organization Gabriel can come up with their own titles. Besides, if the Vatican uses such titles, and it does, I do not see why we cannot”.

    Indeed the Vatican, i.e. the Church, does use such titles. But the titles refer to something existing, something real, a power to ordain and to confirm, “the power to bind and to loose”.”

    If you had read the document I linked to Gabriel, you would have seen the Vatican using Church of England titles in regard to Church of England prelates. I am not going to be more Catholic than the Pope on the question of Protestant titles.

    http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/chrstuni/angl-comm-docs/rc_pc_chrstuni_doc_19660324_paul-vi-ramsey_en.html

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Translations and Fisks

Friday, December 4, AD 2009

America, the Jesuit magazine, has an article against the new Roman Missal translation which attempts to rectify some of the truly wretched translations that the English speaking peoples of the world had foisted upon them in the Sixties.  The piece is written by Father Michael G. Ryan.  Little did he know that he was going to be subject to one of the best fisks ever delivered by the Master of the Fisk, Father Z.

“What if we, the parish priests of this country who will be charged with the implementation, were to find our voice and tell our bishops that we want to help them avert an almost certain fiasco? What if we told them that we think it unwise to implement these changes until our people have been consulted in an adult manner that truly honors their intelligence and their baptismal birthright? [What would that entail, this “consulting our people”?  Would that mean, what… having our people do the translation?  Would it involve, what… voting?] What if we just said, “Wait, not until our people are ready for the new translations, but until the translations are ready for our people”?  [How would that work, exactly?]

Heeding Our Pastoral Instincts [Two really precise terms there!]

The bishops have done their best, [But apparently, they did a pretty bad job of it, according to the writer.  Maybe “our people” can do a better job of making these decisions.  Right!  The bishops shouldn’t decide!  “Our people” should decide!  Down with the bishops!  Up with “our people”!  UNITE!  Crush the IMPERIALIST…. er um… okay… sorry…. I digress….] but up to now they have not succeeded. Some of them, led by the courageous and outspoken former chairman of the Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy, Bishop Donald Trautman of Erie, Pa., [ROFL! You knew his name would pop up, right!] tried mightily [What a Hercules, he!  What a David!  What a …  er… um…. sorry….] to stop the new translation train but to no avail. The bishops’ conference, marginalized and battle-weary, allowed itself slowly but steadily to be worn down. [By those wicked new translation loving types!  DOWN WITH THEM!] After awhile the will to fight was simply not there. Acquiescence took over to the point that tiny gains (a word here, a comma there) were regarded as major victories. Without ever wanting to, the bishops abandoned their best pastoral instincts and in so doing gave up on the best interests of their people.  [The writer is pretty worked up.]”

Go here to read the whole fisk.  It is not to be missed.

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13 Responses to Translations and Fisks

  • I have to confess being confused. Not by Fr. Z, but by the objections raised by the America writer.

    During a recent dinner conversation with friends, the issue of the new translations came up. Two at the table were keenly—and quite angrily—aware of the impending changes; two were not. When the uninformed heard a few examples (“and with your spirit”; “consubstantial with the Father”; “incarnate of the Virgin Mary”; “oblation of our service”; “send down your Spirit like the dewfall”; “He took the precious chalice”; “serene and kindly countenance,” for starters), the reaction was somewhere between disbelief and indignation.

    I could understand “disbelief and indignation” if the phrases included “go in peace, and be sure to vote Republican.”

    But “And with your spirit” and “consubstantial with the Father” gave the dinner party guests had dinner party guests reaching for their Rolaids? All of those phrases look either like expressions of basic Catholic belief or a way of injecting some grace and poetry into the Missal.

    I honestly fail to see how they can be described as “ideological.”

  • The problem for those who believe that the Church began with Vatican II is that the more accurate translation is a reminder of the vast history of the Church. I have heard consubstantial disparaged as “scholastic”. That, and the fact that most rebels eventually become reactionaries. The Mass reached perfection in their eyes in the Sixties and Seventies and must remain frozen in amber. That is why in the first decade of the Twenty-First century so many American Masses are laded with abysmal hymns from the Seventies.

  • Poor old aging hippies. Okay, I was a hippie too, but I got over it and GREW UP. Time for the bongos and felt banners to go the way of the Edsel.

  • The hippies and neophytes that hate the Church can take a flying leap into the baptismal hot-tub for all I care.

    They can quote Karl Marx, Noam Chomsky, and Bono all they want, they know that the Smoke of Satan is being cleared from the Church and them with it!

  • A theological point: the original Creed read “I believe”. The Americanist Creed changed this to “We believe”. The error is to be noted if one uses “We confess” instead of “I confess”. The simple point is that we do not sin communally; we sin individually. And likewise in professing our faith.

    The bishop who was upset at the reversion to “I believe” remarked that the Orthodox Church uses “We believe”. This is untrue. It is simple enough to check. Call a local Orthodox Church.

    [What is interesting is that none of the bishops present at his discourse called him on this. One can but suppose that they have lost all their little Greek].

    I am taking bets that the author’s “dinner conversation with friends” was in a Jesuit house.

  • The dissident Catholic Manifesto:

    “A spectre is haunting Rome–the spectre of dissident Catholicism. All the Powers of
    orthodox Catholicism have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre:
    Pope and Cardinals, Bishop’s Committees and neo-cons, radical Bloggers and Priests
    under the age of fifty.

    “Where is the party in opposition that has not been decried as “Catholic Lite” by its
    opponents in power? Where is the Opposition that has not hurled back the branding
    reproach of Pseudo-Catholicism, against the more advanced opposition party, as well as
    its reactionary adversaries?

    “Dissident Catholics of the world, UNITE!”

  • I think it’s a car, or what they used to call it in the old days of the 1970s, a “motor vehicle”.

  • The Edsel was a high end Ford model built in the 50’s. It was a major flop. So notorious of a flop that you often see it referenced as above. 🙂

  • I remember seeing Edsels as a boy. They came out shortly after we stopped using feet powered vehicles as depicted in the Flintstones. 🙂

  • What if we told them that we think it unwise to implement these changes until our people have been consulted in an adult manner that truly honors their intelligence and their baptismal birthright?

    What if you had thought of that ca. 1969????

  • There is a great hatred of Scholasticism in much modern theology. Just did a course where the major text spent a good part of its efforts denoucing Scholasticism (read Thomism). Preferred existentialism and phenomenology. The prof. talked about the problems of Scholasticism being that it was based on pagan philosophy and why should we Christians allow our faith to be based on a pagan philosophy. Of course this then led to the denial of the Eucharist as being the Body and Blood of Christ.

  • Does anyone find it odd that the Novus Ordo proponents want to wait to make a ‘change’?

    Don’t they change the Novus Ordo every week already?

    We just want to change it back. It is pretty simple really. Innovation is great! Technologically, artistically, liguistically, etc.

    Innovation in liturgy is disobedient and we all know where that leads. Liturgy changes slowly, orgnaically over a long period of time and it isn’t noticeable. Sadly we have had no organic change. The Novus Ordo was a schismatic, jarring change. We need to go back and then move slowly so that the Mass may have a slightly different form in our great-great-great-great grandkids old age.

    Dóminus vobíscum,

Anglicans And Catholics To Reunite, Reaction And News Roundup

Tuesday, October 20, AD 2009

St. Thomas More

I will be updating this post as often as I can throughout the day [Last update at 10:01pm CDT].  I’ll be reporting on reactions and news concerning this groundbreaking development that came from the Vatican this morning.  The Vatican issued a note explaining a new provision in an upcoming Apostolic Constitution that will allow for a structure to be in place to receive Anglicans and Episcopalians into the Catholic Church.  Basically a corporate reunion!

To read the full text of this announcement from the Vatican click here.

To read the full text of the joint press release of the Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Gerard Nichols, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, click here.

Reaction and news from around the world [all emphasis mine]:

Last Update of the day at 10:01pm CDT (Earlier updates further down this post)

Ruth Gledhill of the Times of London.  Offers a brief history of what transpired the last couple of years between Anglo-Catholics, and those inside the Vatican, both faithful and dissident Catholics.

Rome has parked its tanks on the Archbishop of Canterbury’s lawn [Interesting choice of words, but nonetheless accurate in my opinion] after manoeuvres undertaken by up to fifty bishops and begun two years ago by an Australian archbishop, John Hepworth [The leader of the Traditional Anglican Communion].”

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18 Responses to Anglicans And Catholics To Reunite, Reaction And News Roundup

  • Does this action reverse Apostolicae Curae?

  • A brilliant stroke on the part of Pope Benedict. He has the mental agility and energy of a prelate half his age. Disaffected Anglicans now have a home and the powers that be in the Anglican Church have a major problem. To all of our Anglican brothers and sisters who will be joining us I say that we are overjoyed to have you!

  • Might I just add that this is what Ecumenism is supposed to be about: Conversion into the Catholic Church, and not the other way around (i.e., Catholics mutating into Protestants)?

  • e.,

    In addition to what you said, Ecumenism is about conversion, not dialogue that continues without resolution.

  • Tito: I was having problems earlier at the website. Would you kindly remove the first instance of my comments above since it’s merely a duplicate?

    Also, would you happen to know if in that ordinariate in the Anglican ultimately means that a person can actually be married and yet become a priest in that rite (for lack of a better word)?

    Thanks!

  • e.,

    Yes, I read the Note that was released early this morning the same way.

    Married men can now become priests in the Catholic Church, but only within the Anglican Personal Ordinariate. Very similar to Easter Catholic Rites.

    But they may not become priests in the Latin Rite, which encompasses the vast majority of Catholics worldwide.

    I’m sure once the mainstream media gets to reading the details they’ll begin to make hay about this pretty soon.

    Take note though, only unmarried priests can become bishop within the Anglican Personal Ordinariate, just as in the Easter Catholic Rites and the Easter Orthodox Churches.

  • Tito:

    Thanks for the info!

    I’m just wondering if a person who is seeking to become a priest and yet at the same time be married, alls he need do is pursue such vocation but within that same Anglican Personal Ordinariate which you mention; in other words, will this be at long last that loophole for those married but yet feel a calling to serve the Lord in the priesthood.

    Here is The Wall Street Journal scoop:

    Vatican Opens Door for Anglican Converts

    ROME — Pope Benedict XVI introduced a fast track for Anglicans seeking to join Roman Catholicism, paving the way for conservative Anglicans frustrated by their church’s blessing of same-sex unions and homosexuality in the priesthood to enter the Catholic fold.

    The Vatican on Tuesday announced plans to create a special set of canon laws, known as an “Apostolic Constitution,” to allow Anglican faithful, priests and bishops to enter into full communion with the Vatican without having to give up a large part of their liturgical and spiritual traditions.

    With the measures, Pope Benedict is attempting to reclaim ground lost by the Roman Catholic Church in the 16th century when King Henry VIII defied papal authority to found the Church of England. The move clears the way for entire congregations of Anglicans to join the Catholic Church and makes it easier for married Anglican priests to convert without embracing Catholicism’s traditional code of priestly celibacy…

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125604916994796545.html?mod=rss_Today's_Most_Popular

  • e.,

    As much as the mainstream media hypes that the solution to a declining pool of priests is to allow married people to pursue this vocation, it won’t be anything more than a trickle.

    We all know that families that practice and teach the faith to their children, ie, foster vocations, in addition to participating in orthodox Catholic parishes will create large pools of seminarians.

    As evident in the Lincoln and Omaha dioceses of Nebraska.

    Allowing married men and wymyn priests is a band-ade at best.

  • Tito:

    Obviously, woman priests is clearly forbidden and should never be allowed — ever.

    However, allowing married priests is more of a disciplinary rather than a doctrinal matter; I don’t see how such a thing can actually even be considered subversive.

    In fact, even Fr. Corapi admitted as much in his Catechism of the Catholic Church series on EWTN.

  • e.,

    I know that it is a discipline and not doctrinal.

    I agree with you completely on this point. You may have misread my comment on this, but to be clear, I believe you and I are on the same page.

    I’m fine with allowing married priests. Especially how it will be set up in the upcoming provision in the Apostolic Constitution.

    …and I looove Father Corapi!

  • I got to see Fr. Corapi in Buffalo this past August on Our Lady’s feast. He is wonderful. A true son of the Church.

    I prefer that the Latin Rite keep the celibacy discipline. We are at a point right now where experience is teaching us that when we are orthodox we grow and when we are hetrodox we wane.

    Even though the Pope could lift this I think it diminishes the priest’s efficacy if he has to worry about the formation and protection, etc. of children of his own flesh – it is actually a freedom to be able to care for all the children in his parish.

    Nevertheless, whatever the Pope decides is fine by me. I think everyone except the Holy Spirit underestimated our German Shepherd. He rocks.

  • AK,

    I agree 100%.

    Celibacy needs to be kept for many apparent reasons, one of the most basic is he has dedicated his life to Christ. Adding a good wife would only shorten his time on earth.

  • Fr. Grandon is a distant relative of mine by marriage, whom I met for the first time when he had just become Catholic and had gone from being an Episcopal priest to a Catholic layperson. Great guy with a really interesting conversion story.

    On another blog I read that Rt. Rev. Keith Ackerman, retired Episcopal bishop of Quincy, Illinois (its cathedral, however, is in Peoria), was more or less stripped of his episcopal status by the “High Priestess” referred to above… he also is a great guy, good friends with Bishops Myers and Jenky, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him jump the Tiber now. Since he’s married and has kids he wouldn’t be able to be a bishop anymore, but given how he’s been treated by his own denomination of late, he’d probably have little to lose if he did convert.

  • Also, maybe I’m getting WAY ahead of everyone here… but could this approach to ecumenism be carried even beyond the boundaries of the Anglican or Orthodox churches? Could we someday (probably centuries from now, if ever) have a Lutheran Rite or Baptist Rite or Pentecostal/Charismatic Rite that combine their distinctive styles of worship with the sacraments, doctrines and teaching authority of the Church?

  • Elaine,

    I briefly touched on that in the next posting.

    In my opinion, I could possibly see something for the Lutherans in a Personal Ordiniate.

    But after them, there are no vestiges of any signs of an apostolic church. Maybe the Methodists, but that is stretching it a bit.

    But again, it’s strictly my opinion.

  • Tito:

    No disrespect; however, if you actually felt that way about married priests, then why did you put it up there with woman priests which, in fact, can never be allowed as it directly goes against Christian doctrine itself?

    Also, I don’t think there could ever be rites that would cater to such Protestant sects as the Baptists who clearly do not hold the same Christian beliefs that we do, like the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

    Ironically, it is folks like the Lutherans who we have more in common (relatively-speaking, of course) in comparison with those sects who are far more heretical in degree.

    Yet, I do greatly appreciate the fact that you are keeping us apprised of such news. Keep it up.

    Adding a good wife would only shorten his time on earth.

    This reminds of precisely what Saint/Sir Thomas More once said as regarding marriage; that is, once a man is married, he can never be free of worry!

  • e.,

    Now your reading into things way to much.

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16 Responses to Was Kennedy "More Right Than Wrong"?

  • Actually Kennedy was more Left than either Right or Catholic, and that was his whole problem.

  • Outstanding post, Darwin!

    Kennedy is being lauded by the Catholic left for being a far-left Democrat, but they’re trying to dress it up as something more (witness Sr. Fiedler’s “he made me proud to be Catholic”). That’s the sum total of the lionizing the so-called “Lion of the Senate” is receiving by “progressive” Catholics.

  • Abortion, and the outrageous judicial power grab that forced it from the democratic process, is the most important issue in the public sphere.

    Here, Sen. Kennedy was a grave failure – both in his lamentable treatment of Judge Bork and in the many lamentable votes he cast related to the issues of life, abortion first among them.

    Just as his detractors should respect his passing and leave the scoring of “political points” for another time, so too should partisans like Winters and various bloggers refrain from elevating Kennedy as a great “Catholic example.”

    On the biggest issue of our time, he was gravely in the wrong.

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  • To dismiss his career because of his stance on abortion is to be ignorant of the complicated way the issue of abortion manifested itself in the early 1970s: I think Kennedy got it wrong but I do not find it difficult to understand why and how he got it wrong. If the pro-life leaders would stop ranting for a second and study that history they might become more effective at advancing their cause.

    I find this paragraph fascinating. Mr. Winters apparently believes that all he has to do is assert that something is ‘complicated,’ and that ‘only ignorance’ could account for the criticism Mr. Kennedy received, and voila, it’s washed away. Moreover, if pro-lifers – you know, Catholics who agree with the Church – would stop ‘ranting,’ they would be able to more effectively advance their cause (despite the Herculean efforts of politicians like Mr. Kennedy to prevent such advancement, it is supposed).

    The fact of the matter, of course, is that Mr. Kennedy fought tooth and nail against the protection of unborn life. It was a deliberate political decision that was both tragic and reflected a near-complete rejection of the Catholic conception of the human person and the common good. His accomplishments in other areas should be given their due, but his faults were very real. Let’s not ignore either, particularly with patronizing nonsense about how ‘complicated’ abortion was in the 1970’s (through the late oughts?), or how voting along party lines was somehow a deep reflection of Catholic conviction. I should add that my intention here is to criticize Mr. Winters, rather than Mr. Kennedy. It is telling that Mr. Winters, while stating that he thinks Mr. Kennedy was wrong about abortion, shows far more sympathy to Mr. Kennedy than to either his “fellow” pro-lifers or the persons for which they seek legal protection.

  • It perplexes me that so much attention and credibility to given to a writer at AMERICA [THE Catholic weekly, except THE Catholic weekly is the Nat Cath Rep, except that Commonweal is THE Catholic weekly …].

    That journal [and the others] are quietly but vociferously declining. They are as like as peas in a pod. They have nothing interesting to say. Be kind; let them expire.

  • “I am an American and a Catholic; I love my country and treasure my faith,” Kennedy said. “But I do not assume that my conception of patriotism or policy is invariably correct, or that my convictions about religion should command any greater respect than any other faith in this pluralistic society. I believe there surely is such a thing as truth, but who among us can claim a monopoly on it?”

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32595251/ns/politics-edward_kennedy_19322009/

    Vile, pure and simple.

    What can be more wrong than facilitating and, thereby, enabling the deaths of what will amount to be so many millions of children?

    “Cruel & Unusual Punishment” has nothing on deliberate dissection of your very person while still alive in your mother’s womb!

    If only Catholics would stop trivializing abortion (and, more importantly, stop abortion altogether) as if it were some casual thing to be selected on some diner menu, then perhaps they would start acting and, even more, start being “Catholic”!

  • “I think we can be assured that such a deviation from liberal orthodoxoy would be considered far less “incidental” by Catholic progressives than his deviation from Church teaching on abortion.”

    Sadly, I believe this observation is 100% accurate.

  • A friend of mine remarked in an email that even those Catholics who didn’t have much respect for Kennedy attempted to deal initially with his death with sympathy. That it was the over the top attempt by some on the left to virtually canonize the reprobate that basically called for voices to be raised in service of truth.

    If I read something like that a couple days ago, I would have rejected the idea that we should take the bait and speak up. Not today. The attempts by the leftist ideologues to write a hagiography on Kennedy has only served to make us recall and shine a light on his true character and deeds. Let’s pray for him because if he’s going to experience the Beatific Vision it’s not going to be because of his defining deeds but in spite of them.

  • Rick,

    I have to agree. One would like to let time pass to assess the man. But at the same time, if that time is used to distort the record, then the demands of truth AND charity require speaking up.

  • Rick, you took the words right out of my mouth.

    Because Ted Kennedy’s life and legislative legacy have been so overrated and puffed up by the mainstream media and liberals, some on the other side can’t resist the temptation to go equally overboard in trashing him. I have in mind those bloggers (not here, of course) who were absolutely vicious about his cancer diagnosis and saying he deserved to suffer as much as possible, or those right now who are openly saying he is or should be burning in hell and expressing glee at the prospect.

    Gifted speaker, yes. Skilled politician, sure.
    Champion of the poor and downtrodden (provided they made it out of the womb intact), maybe.
    Lion of the Senate on a par with, say, Daniel Webster or Henry Clay — I don’t think so.
    Exemplary Catholic politician — excuse me while I go get a barf bag.

  • Has anyone read Fr. Thomas J. Euteneuer column? Check it out here

  • The fact of the matter, of course, is that Mr. Kennedy fought tooth and nail against the protection of unborn life. It was a deliberate political decision that was both tragic and reflected a near-complete rejection of the Catholic conception of the human person and the common good.

    John Henry’s point is very important in understanding Kennedy’s legacy to Catholics in America. In rejecting the human-dignity principle, Kennedy kicked the base from under the many authentic human-rights causes he espoused–and thereby rendered almost all of them suspect in the minds of Catholics loyal to the magisterium. Some of these Catholics today reject not only Kennedy’s party but every plank in its platform–sometimes just because it is in that platform. Those who remain Democrats tend to cite their support for an assortment of “progressive” causes as evidence of their faith, even as their opposition to basic tenets of Catholic teaching–and to the authorities who periodically remind them of those tenets–grows ever more strident.

    There is no way to throw holy water on the ugly divide in American Catholicism that Senator Kennedy’s cynical choices may not have caused but certain helped to entrench. Everyone who posts here today but used to post on Vox Nova surely understands and regrets it.

  • I believe there surely is such a thing as truth, but who among us can claim a monopoly on it

    What garbage. If you cannot know the truth, what good is it?

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Ted Kennedy and the "A Word"

Thursday, August 27, AD 2009

Ted Kennedy Abortion Letter

 

Hattip to the ever alert Jay Anderson at Pro Ecclesia.   Michael Sean Winters at the Jesuit publication America launched a diatribe at Patrick Madrid for his response to Sister Maureen Fiedler’s lament on the death of Senator Kennedy at National Catholic Reporter, He Made Me Proud to Be Catholic, in which Madrid pointed out the obvious:  Kennedy was a total pro-abort.  Poor Mr. Winters!  He didn’t realize he was about to enter the fisk machine of Father Z!  You may read the results here.  Here is Madrid’s response.  Note to liberal Catholics:  if you are going to lionize a person like Kennedy, who was ever deaf to the cries of the unborn since his switch on the issue, see above letter,  back in the early seventies, there are plenty of other Catholics who are going to point out this very unpleasant fact.

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47 Responses to Ted Kennedy and the "A Word"

  • Mr. McClarey:

    Did not Christ teach us not to judge???

    For shame!

    Who are you to do thus, especially when Christ taught us, his very followers, that we are not to judge our fellow man!

    Besides, who gives a squat about the screams of millions of babies being severed within their own mother’s wombs — good riddance to the innocent; they deserve to be heinously murdered.

    Kennedy was nothing more than a misunderstood wreck who was actually a good man.

    The killing of millions of children he was actually responsible for is merely a small blemish that we shouldn’t even consider.

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  • E forgets that verse of Scripture which says, “By their fruits ye shall know them.”

    Kennedy openly and publicly opposed Church teaching on every non-negotionable issue.

    What is even sadder is that the people of Massachusetts preferred a raging active alcoholic who killed Mary Jo Kopechne represent them in the Senate than a sober person who actually valued human life.

    As Thomas Jefferson said, “The people deserve the government they get.”

    It’s 1st Samuel chapter 8 all over again. It’s not God’s Prophet we reject, but God Himself.

    And that my friends is the hallmark of the putrid sickening disease known as liberal-ISM: I, Self and Me.

    There’s more here:

    What’s Wrong with Liberal Catholics
    http://commentarius-ioannis.blogspot.com/2009/08/whats-wrong-with-liberal-catholics.html

  • From the link in the last comment: “yes, if the Russians had ever attacked the U.S. and I got ordered “to push the button” (extremely unlikely since I was a reactor operator, not a torpedo man), then I would have pushed the button without a second thought”.

    There you have it — a man who professes proudly that he would commit an intrinsically evil act, all the while lambasting his fellow Catholics for not doing enough to fight another intrinsically evil act. This cognitive dissonance sums up exactly what is wrong with the noisy form of American Catholicism that seems to be over-represented in the blogosphere.

    And by the way, Donald, you are a “liberal Catholic” yourself. Your radical individualism on everything from the economy to gun ownership gives you away as a pure child of the Enlightenment, especially in its Scottish form. Embrace it!

  • I’m trying to think if MM is aware that he’s just made several arguments that all boil down to, “Oh yeah, well you’re just as bad as me, so nya!” and if so, if he thinks this is actually a good argument, even if true — which in the case of his aspersions against Donald it clearly isn’t. (Which is not to presume guilt against Paul, I just haven’t looked into MM’s claim.)

    Honestly, Winters and Minion are clearly in an untenable position in regards to Kennedy. On the one hand, they desperately want to lionize him as a great Catholic legislator of a certain era — on the other Sen. Kennedy himself, while he was eager to stand up for those elements of Church teaching which he considered to be conveniently aligned with the agenda of the party he was already a member of, never chose to buck the liberal consensus on a single major Church moral issue to which his party was opposed: abortion, euthanasia, cloning, gay marriage, etc.

    I think it’s appropriate not to make a big deal of this right now, as Kennedy’s family and friends are in mourning (and contrary to the example which, as I recall, MM himself set in viciously attacking William F. Buckley on the day he died) but that doesn’t mean it’s time to whiten the sepulcher.

  • Yes, if I recall correctly, on the day of his death, Mr. Buckley – who by any objective measure was arguably the equal in stature on the American right as Sen. Kennedy was on the American left – was deemed to be “not a great man” and “just another cafeteria Catholic who simply refused to put the Church ahead of his secular ideological leanings”.

    And what, praytell, was the reason Mr. Buckley was dressed down, while his body was still warm, as not great and insufficiently Catholic? Because he allegedly coined a phrase that he never actually coined (“Mater si, magister no”) as a cover story that was never actually a cover story, and was a proponent of free markets. For that, on the day of his death, Mr. Buckley was held up as an example of a “cafeteria Catholic” unworthy of being honored.

    Meanwhile, we are told that we are “boors” if we don’t gloss over Sen. Kennedy’s despicable record as one of the most vocal advocates for unrestricted abortion on Capitol Hill, who used his position on the Senate Judiciary Committee to oppose any effort at resticting abortion via legislative means (yes, even the PBA ban) and to oppose (even resorting to slander and innuendo) any federal judge who might even think about overturning Roe v. Wade. And that’s not even covering his record on issues such as ESCR, same-sex “marriage”, etc.

    No, we simply MUST NOT consider Sen. Kennedy to be, like Mr. Buckley, “just another cafeteria Catholic who simply refused to put the Church ahead of his secular ideological leanings”; rather, we are to agree with Sr. Fiedler that Sen. Kennedy was the very model of a modern Catholic in the public square (despite the clear problems Sen. Kennedy’s stance on abortion – a lead that was soon followed by a great many other Catholic politicans – has caused the Bishops), lest we be deemed “callous”, “inhumane”, and “indecent” by some blogger at America with his own partisan axe to grind.

  • I am grateful that Sen. Kennedy wrote this letter, and I hope it will be a good witness for him at the Judgment despite his fall. RIP.

    e. writes: “The killing of millions of children he was actually responsible for is merely a small blemish that we shouldn’t even consider.”

    Given Kennedy’s philandering, he was likely personally responsible for several dozen abortions. We should remember that many vocally pro-choice men and women have procured abortions themselves.

    We should remember this both out of compassion for their consciences and out of interest in evaluating the political and moral debate.

    On a different note, to repeat a comment I’ve posted at Mark Shea’s:

    I recently talked to a pro-life Democratic veteran of my city’s politics. He told me how much his political career has been hamstrung because he won’t go over to the pro-choice side.

    The conversation made me realize that Democrats who became pro-choice did not simply undergo a change of opinion. They became part of the political network which would otherwise suppress them. And they then aided in the suppression of their former comrades.

    Who was the last Massachusetts pro-life Democrat Sen. Kennedy threw his weight behind? Since his change of view, when has he supported a pro-life Democrat in a primary race against a pro-choice Democrat?

    I fear Kennedy helped strangle the careers of many pro-life Democrats in his state and his national party. Am I wrong?

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  • “And by the way, Donald, you are a “liberal Catholic” yourself. Your radical individualism on everything from the economy to gun ownership gives you away as a pure child of the Enlightenment, especially in its Scottish form.”

    No, Tony my political positions “give me away” as an American conservative in this century and a devotee of the Founding Fathers of this country. Of course one of my political positions is unyielding opposition to abortion, something that liberal Catholics like yourself find entirely dispensable when deciding who to vote for and who to lionize after death. Liberal Catholics in this country have a major problem in that most of them, with certain very honorable exceptions, support politicians who view abortion as a sacred right. This simply cannot be squared with Catholicism, and all the sophistry in the world will not do it.

  • Jay:

    Yes, if I recall correctly, on the day of his death, Mr. Buckley – who by any objective measure was arguably the equal in stature on the American right as Sen. Kennedy was on the American left – was deemed to be “not a great man” and “just another cafeteria Catholic who simply refused to put the Church ahead of his secular ideological leanings”.

    And what, praytell, was the reason Mr. Buckley was dressed down, while his body was still warm, as not great and insufficiently Catholic?

    Well, my dear Watson, there are several possible answers:

    1. The proponent has no shame whatsoever;

    2. The proponent suffers from an incurable dualist world view that divides people along American political lines; or

    3. If irony were iron we’d all build our houses out of steel.

    You were saying something recently about self-parody…

  • Donald, this one’s for you:

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBKBI7DOLHA&hl=en&fs=1&]

  • MM himself set in viciously attacking William F. Buckley on the day he died

    Attacking with flagrant dishonesty, by praising G. Alkon for telling the truth about Buckley even after Alkon had admitted that he was wrong in every detail.

  • My admiration of Kennedy is based on his lifetime of fighting for healthcare reform and social and economic justice – things that don’t seem to be taken that serously around here. To define him based on his awful change of mind on abortion is a bit ridiculous. (On the other hand, Bush and Cheney WILL be defined by their war and torture policies, that being central to their legacy).

    So often, it seems to be that abortion is used as a respectable cloak to hide opinions that are not so respectable. I’ve noticed that many Catholics who oppose healthcare reform hammer on the abortion issue, but are also opposed on principles of free market liberalism. Let me ask this – if Kennedy had not changed his position on abortion, and did everything else the same, would you laud his lifetime of achievements?

    Oops, I’ve juts noticed who is commenting here. I’ll not stay here and debate when one who has threatened violence against me is in the room. Perhaps some other time.

  • Another day, another lie, eh, Tony? It’s remarkable how easily it comes to you.

    By the way, I’m here *a lot*. Thus, it sounds like you won’t be. What a shame.

  • debate when one who has threatened violence against me is in the room. Perhaps some other time.

    You know, you’re not really worth the time responding to, but when you change the topic of debate and then impugn the character of someone else in an effort to avoid talking about your own deficient understanding of Catholic teaching, then you need to be called out for your bs.

    First of all, he’s not just being called out for a change of heart on abortion, though the fact that you so easily dismiss this topic is very revealing about your own lack of concern about the unborn. Frankly you’ve never expressed any sort of feeling on the issue that demonstrates that your supposed pro-life stance is simply a respectable cloak to hide a true opinion that most Catholics would find not so respectable, but that’s neither here nor there.

    Getting back to Ted Kennedy, he was a womanizing alcoholic who let a woman asphyxiate under water while he slept it off, and then later evidently joked about the whole affair. He was a virulent supporter of abortion rights, and defamed a would-be Supreme Court Justice who certainly would have voted to overturn Roe v. Wade, and did it by engaging in one of the most obscene demonstrations of demagoguery in the history of the US Senate. The fact that you can gloss over these aspects of his personal life and public persona again is more indicative of where your priorities lie. Evidently the death of a woman due to Kennedy’s negligence isn’t as important as the fact that he supported universal health care.

    And your dig at Dale is incredibly transparent. You mocked the man for relaying a personal experience, and then essentially lied about it and exaggerated it in future communications. Truly despicable, but it’s easy to be so callous when you know you are unlikely to run into Dale. You’re noticeably a little more deferential to those who you might actually have to encounter.

  • Paul Primavera:

    It seems you missed the irony in my comments that were actually a carry-over from a previous thread wherein I and all those critical of Kennedy were castigated for having criticized Kennedy for the evils he was actually responsible for.

    The last statement in my comments should’ve clued you in on that.

    In other words, to put it mildly, I regard the man with ill disrepute.

  • Kevin Jones:

    Kennedy in his official capacity as Senator affected policy, pure and simple, such that his actions carried with them severe repercussions, not therefore only limited to his personal “indiscretions” (for those like Mr. Primavera who might misconstrue this, I am of course merely employing a euphemism for outright murder), but to the vast populations of millions of United States citizens wherein he facilitated by legislative support and, thus, enabled the very murders of hundreds of other children.

    We cannot forget that those who hold such high responsibilities will also suffer the highest penalty, pursuant to Scripture, should they abuse their position of power for evil.

    And there is no greater evil, as we know from Our Lord Himself, than harming, let alone, purposely killing children!

  • Let me ask this – if Kennedy had not changed his position on abortion, and did everything else the same, would you laud his lifetime of achievements?

    Actually, there’s a pretty clear example to look at here. If you look at the conservative Catholic reaction to the life achievements and death of Sen Daniel Patrick Moynihan, it was significantly more positive than the reaction to Sen. Ted Kennedy. Moynihan was pro-choice as well, but at least he wasn’t as rabidly and unrepentantly so as Kennedy — and unlike Kennedy he opposed partial birth infanticide/abortion. Also unlike Kennedy, he actually cared about helping the poor rather than just demogauging them, and so he acknowledged the extent to which the Great Society programs which Kennedy had been a key proponent of had come to harm the very people they sought to help, and worked to mitigate those harms.

    Nor did he have all the unfortunate (to put it mildly) personal qualities which Kennedy embodied.

    The real question is: Why do partisan leftist Catholic like you and Winters not find a better target for your admiration?

  • Why do partisan leftist Catholic like you and Winters not find a better target for your admiration?

    Partisan is exactly right. This passing, like that of Sen. Wellstone, has turned into another absurd moment to preen by many on the left. (And for Catholics to lionize someone who was a strong advocate for abortion and was the direct and unrepretant cause of death of another person is distrubing – and no I am not calling for his demonization either.)

    Fortunately, the CBO and many less than politically engaged Americans are putting a big hurt on the attempts to ram through legislation, supposedly in his “honor.”

    This is also strange and sick, if true:

  • jonathanjones02:

    I take issue with your having generalized the disillusioned, if not, deluded body of mad admirers for such a murderer as he to encompass the general assembly of Catholics, as apparently indicated in your “and for Catholics to lionize”.

    It is not we “Catholics”; it is more so those who merely think they are “Catholic”.

    Clearly, those who would be so ignoble as to support the deliberate dismembering of an innocent baby in such a heinous manner, as in abortion, are not.

  • “Donald, this one’s for you:”

    I thank you Dale and my Celtic ancestors thank you!

  • Well, MM, among the Catholic crowd here, there’s almost universal admiration for Governor Casey, who was as far left as Kennedy on issues like the minimum wage and healthcare but didn’t vote like a card-carrying member of NARAL on abortion. That suggests that it is indeed abortion, and not left-wing economics, that people object to in Kennedy (who, anyway, on economic issues was much more willing to compromise or ignore left-wing orthodoxy–as when he supported transportation deregulation–than on bioethical issues)

  • Agreed Zak. I have often lauded Bob Casey, Sr. who was a hero in the fight against abortion. I have voted for pro-life Democrats in the past, including Glenn Poshard when he ran against George Ryan for governor of Illinois. I would inquire of Tony as to whether he has ever voted for any pro-life Republican.

  • Excellent point, Zak. I’d have voted for the late Bob Casey in a heartbeat.

    Another example is Sen. Kennedy’s sister, the late Eunice Shriver, and her husband Sargent Shriver, who, although old-time liberal Democrats, are universally admired by those who don’t hold Sen. Kennedy in very high esteem.

  • It was reported that our Pope was “holding close to his heart Eunice as she is called home to eternal life” and that she be rewarded for her ardent faith and generous public service, particularly for those who are physically and mentally challenged. Have we heard anything from the Vatican regarding Senator Kennedy’s death?

  • Have we heard anything from the Vatican regarding Senator Kennedy’s death?

    The much beloved Pope might have just as well mouthed in sotto voce, “God is Good!”

  • TRANSLATION: “May he rest in peace, along with all his sordidly monstrous baby-murdering policies!”

  • I get your point, e., but let’s follow the Holy Father’s eminent example in maintaining some decorum in our rhetoric.

  • Would it break decorum to suggest to Minion and Michael Sean Winters that they take up a more hygienic hobby than selling sh** sandwiches?

  • Has there actually been any eminent example set by His Holiness, especially as concerning how we should in fact conduct ourselves when it comes to either genocidal or even infanticidal despots?

    One of the principle advantages that such men like Kennedy have over Hitler is that Hitler’s atrocities were done ostensibly right out in the open while the formers’ atrocities are done under the most innocuous veil: their mother.

    Perhaps such men will suffer an eternity of tormented screams from all the souls of those innocent babies, who though while still living, their bodies were in fact so terrifyingly dismembered, suffering a most excruciating death.

  • Paul: “your own deficient understanding of Catholic teaching”. Really? Care to elaborate? Or are you one of those who aligns Catholicism with the strand of right-wing American liberalism that calls itself conservatism?

    Paul: “Getting back to Ted Kennedy, he was a womanizing alcoholic who let a woman asphyxiate under water while he slept it off”

    I find it absolutely disgusting that you bring that up. This is something that Kennedy had to live with his whole life. I know somebody who (when swerving to avoid a deer) ran head into an oncoming car, and killed the driver. Let me tell you that this guy has been seriously screwed up since that day, and will never be the same again. I pray to God that neither you nor I ever have to live with such a burden. And however negligent he was in this accident (you seem to liken it to homicide), we all know that his sin has been forgiven in confession.

    By the way, I’m still waiting for any recognition from you that Bush and Cheney were complicit in the death of innocent people — both people who were tortured to death based on policies they laid down, and civilians killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. I even remember Bush making fun of people he executed in Texas. Are they truly repentent, I wonder? I doubt it.

    Let’s take this a bit further shall, we? Both Bush and Kennedy come from wealthy, priviliged backgrounds, from families with a clear sense of entitlement. Both made some pretty bad choices when they were young, and both reformed. But Kennedy devoted his life to helping the poor and the underprivilged, while Bush devoted his public career to rewarding his rich friends and starting wars. And yet Bush is the pro-life one????

  • MM,

    I find it absolutely disgusting that you bring that up. This is something that Kennedy had to live with his whole life.

    Some might find it rather disgusting that seem to care so little for the woman killed, and for the facts. The reason Kennedy is blamed for his part in this is not that he had an accident, as anyone might. He’s blamed because his account of it is clearly at least partly a lie, because it’s quite evident part of the reason he drove off the bridge is that he was drunk at the time, and because he failed to report the accident to authorities for nearly ten hours, despite numerous opportunities to do so — which according to the rescuers might even have resulted in the victim being saved in time. What makes this gross negligence particularly galling is that for all your sympathies that “Kennedy had to live with this”, any order in citizen who behaved that way would have had to live with it from the confines of jail with a manslaughter or reckless endangerment conviction. The utter corruption of his state and family mean that Kennedy merely had his license suspended a couple months.

    Seriously, have you no shame?

    Both Bush and Kennedy come from wealthy, priviliged backgrounds, from families with a clear sense of entitlement. Both made some pretty bad choices when they were young, and both reformed. But Kennedy devoted his life to helping the poor and the underprivilged, while Bush devoted his public career to rewarding his rich friends and starting wars.

    The other differences have to do with the fact that Kennedy never reformed, but continued his carousing and womanizing thorughout his life, that he anandoned his wife for one of his numerous adulturous relationships, and that his “helping” of the poor and underpriviled involved being one of the key forces in the legal regime of mass slaugher which is “pro-choice America” — a slaughter which, of course, was heavily inflicted upon the poor and minorities. Indeed Kennedy abandoned moral principles any time it was pleasurable to him personally or convenient for his career. Some help and devotion.

    Kennedy was a loud and effective foot soldier for your party of choice, and for that you are welcome to miss him, but please do not assualt reason with claims he was any sort of Catholic hero. From a Catholic point of view he was a deeply, deeply flawed politician. Perhaps one of the worst examples of a Catholic in public life in this country in the last forty years.

  • Morning Minion:

    Your blatant hypocrisy, not to mention, your natural facility for equivocation is not only disconcertingly alarming as it is repugnant.

    For one thing, you hold Bush and Cheney to be complicit for their purportedly Churchillian belligerence when it came to foreign affairs; yet, you hold Kennedy guileless in his own mindfully deliberate pro-abortion affairs which have led to the murdering of countless innocent children!

    Just why exactly you consider your platform, let alone, yourself “Catholic” is simply beyond me!

  • Mr. Bush was a heavy drinker between 196? and 1986. He was arrested for drunk driving once; a local copper in Maine discovered his inebriation after pulling him over for driving too slowly. It is a reasonable inference he may have used LSD at one time or another between 1964 and 1974. Mr. Bush has been married just once; he has no known history of sexual misconduct. Just what is it that indicates he suffers from a pathological ‘sense of entitlement’?

    Ted Kennedy has had a number of things hanging over his head for some time; he also beat a vehicular manslaughter rap, courtesy connections. Allowing a women to suffocate while you shamble back to your cabin to brainstorm with your aides (and pass by proximate opportunities to call for help) is a rather more deliberate act than having a collision while avoiding a deer.

    It was a crime to go to war in Afghanistan? Since when has the Holy See concocted and imposed upon the whole Church an obligation to pacifism?

  • Kennedy devoted his life to helping the poor and the underprivilged…

    Problem is, some of us consider the unborn and the infirm as poor and underprivileged. We may or may not think raising the minimum wage a quarter will help many people or that it may hurt more than help. But we do consider it an obligation to guarantee that those people can be born and not killed. That they can live long enough to have to worry about making a living wage.

  • My admiration of Kennedy is based on his lifetime of fighting for healthcare reform and social and economic justice – things that don’t seem to be taken that serously around here.

    Just out of curiosity, how are you defining ‘social and economic justice’?

  • I find it absolutely disgusting that you bring that up.

    To echo what others have said, I find it disgusting that you are more concerned about his advocacy for socialized medicine than that he basically killed a woman. Again, your priorities are sad.

  • I even remember Bush making fun of people he executed in Texas.

    He made a sneering reference to a statement by one Karla Faye Tucker during an interview she gave on Larry King Live (Tucker had murdered a woman by plunging a pick axe into her again, and again, and again).

  • What is “absolutely disgusting” is how tribal political preferences, pathetic name-calling, disdain, and a persistent insistence to assume the worst of others poisons discourse.

    That a public figure of your religion agrees with your political preferences is no basis for emulation. Kennedy both personally endured was personally responsible for a lot of heartache. He should be at the end of any list for Catholics in positions of public responsibility to emulate, regardless of one’s policy positions. Any figure that refuses to advocate for the most vulnerable of our society does not deserve praise. We must instead loudly, comprehensively, and respectfully demand a change of position. Had Kennedy listened to his Church on those matters, the country would be significantly better off.

  • I find it absolutely disgusting that you bring that up. This is something that Kennedy had to live with his whole life.

    Any normal person would find it disgusting that you adopt such a preening pose about a subject that Kennedy himself found humorous: http://hotair.com/archives/2009/08/28/one-of-his-favorite-topics-of-humor-was-indeed-chappaquiddick-itself/

  • To define him based on his awful change of mind on abortion is a bit ridiculous.

    Actually, the man made this one of his defining attributes. He embraced it, proclaimed it, campaigned on it, filled his coffers on it, and he fought for it. He made it a virtue and hallmark of what he was about and he tore down those who were opposed to it.

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  • Well, MM, among the Catholic crowd here, there’s almost universal admiration for Governor Casey, who was as far left as Kennedy on issues like the minimum wage and healthcare but didn’t vote like a card-carrying member of NARAL on abortion.

    Kennedy could not possibly measure up to Bob Casey, nor even to his conservative, pro-choice successor Tom Ridge.

    Any figure that refuses to advocate for the most vulnerable of our society does not deserve praise.

    I have not been able to find out any information of Kennedy’s charitable works. Did he found any charitable foundations with his millions? Did he serve Thanksgiving dinner to the homeless in Boston?

    He made a sneering reference to a statement by one Karla Faye Tucker during an interview she gave on Larry King Live (Tucker had murdered a woman by plunging a pick axe into her again, and again, and again).

    His sneering reference was justified, as Tucker was a nithing.

    Since when has the Holy See concocted and imposed upon the whole Church an obligation to pacifism?

    Such an obligation to pacifism did not exist in the eleventh century.

    By the way, I’m still waiting for any recognition from you that Bush and Cheney were complicit in the death of innocent people — both people who were tortured to death based on policies they laid down, and civilians killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Who were these innocent people tortured to death?

    . I have voted for pro-life Democrats in the past, including Glenn Poshard when he ran against George Ryan for governor of Illinois.

    He brought up the “licenses for bribes” scandal back in the 1998 campaign.

    n the other hand, Bush and Cheney WILL be defined by their war and torture policies, that being central to their legacy

    Who were these torture victims?

    And since when was torture against Catholic teaching? You have heard of the Inquisition, right ?

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Day 2: Reaction To The Passing Away Of Ted Kennedy Around The Catholic World

Thursday, August 27, AD 2009

Ted Kennedy young

Day II of what Catholics are saying on the passing away of Edward Moore Kennedy around the web (will be continuously updated until tonight at 7:00 pm CST):

A Catholic Funeral for Ted Kennedy by Dr. Edward Peters of Canon Law

A Catholic Funeral for Ted? It’s a Lie, a Sham, a Scandal, a Pretense, an Insult to faithful Catholics by Robert Kumpel of St. John’s Valdosta Blog

Dissident Catholic America magazine doesn’t want to talk about Ted Kennedy’s stance on abortion and trashes Patrick Madrid by Father John Zuhlsdorf of What Does The Prayer Really Say?

Who can have a Catholic Funeral & more by Elizabeth Scalia of The Anchoress via First Thoughts

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One Response to Day 2: Reaction To The Passing Away Of Ted Kennedy Around The Catholic World

Notre Dame Must Answer For The Obama Scandal

Wednesday, August 26, AD 2009

Obama Notre Dame

[Updated as of 8-26-2009 AD at 6:01 pm CST, see below]

Bishop D’Arcy pens an article in the dissident Catholic Jesuit-run magazine, America, by rapping the University of Notre Dame in it’s failure in being a witness to the Gospel by honoring the most anti-life president in the history of the United States.

He goes on to single out Father John Jenkins for his failure in leading as a man of faith and to the board of trustees for their deafening silence.

Finally he asks the University of Notre Dame, but also other Catholic universities, whether they will follow the Land O’Lakes Statement, which proclaimed in ambiguous language that it was ‘ok’ to dissent from Catholic teaching, or adhere to Ex Corde Ecclesiae, where Catholic teaching and identity must be a priori.

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32 Responses to Notre Dame Must Answer For The Obama Scandal

  • Should Notre Dame have avoided teaching or even discussing evolution until the Holy Father accepted it as fact? Should any Catholic school not asked Galileo to speak if the Church leaders believed the Earth was the center of the universe?

    Sometimes ignoring those we do not agree with and at times violently opposing them, simply means leaders will have to apologize for the backwards thinking a few decades or centuries later.

    I understand abortion is less cut and dry than evolution or the basic structure of the solar system. Ethical and moral positions may not need objective knowledge in determining their validity, but often morality is seen as a means to ignore the pain of others, a means to stop thought and discourse, a means to vilify the “other.”

    Allowing President Obama to speak did not cause anyone to perform an abortion and keeping him from speaking would not have prevented any abortions.

    There is more to life and to the Life of Christ than one issue, no matter how important it is, and I would have liked to see a similar discussion take place when anyone who supported the death penalty or the war in Iraq or the torture of prisoners came to Notre Dame.

  • MacGregor,

    I’m not sure you know what you’re talking about.

  • I am sure MacGregor does not know what he is talking about. Abortion is more cut and dry, not less, than the other issues he raises.

    But putting that aside, how will ND answer for the O scandal? Will D’Arcy walk the walk? Them’s fine words, but what consequences has ND suffered, other than increased applications from liberal students and professors? Do you seriously expect that, if push comes to shove, that ND’s Catholic creds (to the extent they exist) will be removed by the Bishop?

    Heck, I haven’t even seen one deny communion to a Catholic pro-abort politician, much less yank a Catholic university’s affiliation.

  • Hi Tito and c matt

    I actually do know what I am talking about.

    I am very clear that abortion as an issue is more cut and dry as to its moral consequences than the other issues, however it is less cut and dry when it comes to being able to prove that personhood and the soul enters the body at the moment of conception/fertilization. It will never be possible to PROVE the existence of the soul much less prove that the Bible or Church Teachings are infallibly correct … that is why it is called FAITH.

    Both of you act as if your conservative views of Catholicism are the only ones that matter.

    Asking Obama to speak at ND is no different than asking Bush to speak there. That is the point.
    Capital punishment is no less a sin than abortion. That is the point.
    Not all student who go to ND are Catholic and not all Catholics believe that we should force others to believe everything that we do. Should all speakers and professors at ND take a test as to whether they believe in transubstantiation? in speaking in ex cathedra?

    My point is that reasonable and moral people can have differing opinions on matters of faith. It is unreasonable to disagree that the Earth is in the center of the solar system, but it is reasonable to disagree on at what point human life deserves legal protection or at what point a woman has control over her own body.

    ND should not merely stand for dogma, like a radical Islamic madras, as both of you seem to feel. ND as an institution of learning needs to stand for the free and honest and ethical exchange of ideas so that those who come have all of the opportunity to seek the Truth and live a moral life.

    I believe that abortion is the ending of a human life, but it is not self-evident to everybody that that is true. The Catholic Church can deny communion to anyone that the Bishops want, but the Church and they must do so for the right reasons, not just to make conservatives feel good about themselves or because they have a 3rd grade Sunday School view of theology.

    My comments are merely a voice asking those who feel the need to condemn others, to look at ourselves first. More people die because of neglect (starvation, disease) and murder (illegal wars, crime) than from abortions, yet I rarely see conservative Catholics protest these as much. They may not be as viscerally abhorrent to you as abortion or as politically significant, but they are just as important. Maybe both of you did protest the war in Iraq – I don’t know. I simply want the discussion of Obama at ND to be fair and reasonable and sometimes a quick post to a blog isn’t enough for that to occur.

    Peace.

  • Actually Capital punishment is not a sin. Sorry, as cmatt and Tito point out, you don’t know what you’re talking about.

  • Capital punishment is no less a sin than abortion. That is the point.

    Errr, no. It isn’t. The Church is very clear in its teachings that abortion is neve permissible under any circumstance, whereas the death penalty is permitted, though under strict applications. This is not the “conservative” Catholic approach – it’s simply the Catholic approach. If you disagree with that, take it up with the Pope.

    Not all student who go to ND are Catholic and not all Catholics believe that we should force others to believe everything that we do. Should all speakers and professors at ND take a test as to whether they believe in transubstantiation? in speaking in ex cathedra?

    I am beginning to agree with Tito. Clearly you do not understand what you’re talking about, or what the issues of this debate are. The question has always been whether or not it is appropriate or permissible for a Catholic institution to honor someone who holds positions that are in direct conflict with Church teachings. The answer again is no.

    My point is that reasonable and moral people can have differing opinions on matters of faith.

    You sound like my Junior year high school theology teacher, who was unsurprisingly a Jesuit priest.

    It is unreasonable to disagree that the Earth is in the center of the solar system, but it is reasonable to disagree on at what point human life deserves legal protection or at what point a woman has control over her own body.

    No, actually, you have this reversed, unless you are looking at this from a non-Catholic perspective, which I take it you are.

    a 3rd grade Sunday School view of theology.

    Considering that every single statement you have uttered indicates that you have not ever picked up a Catechism, I would refrain from such comments if I were you.

    More people die because of neglect (starvation, disease) and murder (illegal wars, crime) than from abortions

    Aside from the fact that your stats are wrong, at least as applied to the US, your comment is just silly. The fact that you think that the war in Iraq is a more pressing moral issue than abortion just confirms the fact that your viewpoint is pretty much worthless.

  • The whole quote on the death penalty from the Catechism. This is probably at a higher level then just pure Sunday school.

    2267 Assuming that the guilty party’s identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.
    If, however, non-lethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people’s safety from the aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means, as these are more in keeping with the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person.

    Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm – without definitely taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself – the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity “are very rare, if not practically non-existent.”

  • Paul, Phillip, C Matt,

    Thank you for supporting my points with examples.

    MacGregor,

    Paul made it pretty clear.

    The fact that a Catholic university gave an honorary degree to a person that implements policies that are diametrically opposed to the most important of Catholic issues is the scandal.

    Not anything else.

  • Thank you Phillip for the quote from the Catechist. I do understand the doctrine, but I also believe that maximum security prisons are quite able to “effectively defend human lives against the unjust aggressor” and that there are plenty of “non-lethal means to defend and protect people’s safety.”

    Maybe in times of war or civil strife on the battle field it is necessary to execute a guilty aggressor, but

    I agree that the Catechist IS at a higher level than Sunday school, I just think some people who read it are not and that comment was not even directed at anyone on this blog. I did make the observation that this blog seems to be as much about political conservative principles as it is about Catholic theological principles.

    As I do not know anyone in this forum, I wouldn’t presume to attach any of you as uninformed. As for myself, I went to a diocesan elementary school, a Jesuit high school, an Holy Cross university and my home parish was Franciscan. Maybe that makes me mixed up a bit, especially when it comes to donating to alumni associations, but I think it was a great education. The diocesans taught me how to respect authority, the Jesuits taught me how to think, the Holy Cross taught me how to be a college football fan and the Franciscans taught me how to love.

    I don’t have the time or the space to explain each of my points fully, and I acknowledge that I may have been a bit chavalier comparing abortion and the death penalty, but I have had a good deal of time discussing these issues with Catholic theologians, and I do believe that life is a little more complex than a few paragraphs in the Catechism. If it weren’t, we wouldn’t need the Holy Spirit to continue to guide the Church.

    Regarding the extremely limited allowance for death penalty, this is largely an acknowledgment of the position of self-defense and the defense of others who are innocent. I would hope it were obvious that the hundreds of prisoners that are executed in Texas each year would never be released and executing them is not an act of self-defense. It is an act of revenge or “justice” or some other emotion that is not clearly self-defense. No one on death row to my knowledge has ever escaped unless they were exonerated and I’m pretty sure most people in the judicial system would admit that more than a few innocent people have been executed in the last 100 years. So here simply quoting the Catechism may be a good sophist’s argument, but it isn’t particularly practical for most cases.

    As for the immorality of “any and all abortions,” I don’t have the time right now to describe my thoughts on the historical context, historical writings by Church Fathers (Didache, etc.). The supposed moral clarity of a few lines of text in old writings were never sufficient defense for the stagnant, overly conservative, “whitened sepulcher” Pharisees when Christ came to articulate the new commandments of Love so I hope that the same is true for you. Acknowledging of course that most abortions are not done in self-defense, if self-defense can be a reason to kill a prisoner, why is it not reason to kill a fetus? The logic is one-dimensional.

    Again not enough time to go over this and I do appreciate and agree with most of Donald DeMarco’s writings concerning this in http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?id=3362&CFID=14144486&CFTOKEN=20473498

    However he and many here act as if any question of interpretation or any critical thinking that may find contradictory propositions in Catholic teaching as being “liberal” and “anti-Catholic” is absurd. My issue in this thread is not with the details of the abortion debate, it is with the peculiar atmosphere of the debate as to whether President Obama deserved to be honored. And that atmosphere is one of being partisan and political and exists within the context of a vehement conservative backlash that goes beyond theology.

    How is it, Tito, that abortion is “the most important of Catholic issues?” Did the Pope tell you this? Is euthanasia and unjust war suddenly numbers 2 and 3? Are only conservative issues of life the ones that Catholics should be concerned with?

    Let’s not fool ourselves, George Bush was not protested by many of the same people who protested Obama because they only care about their social/political biases, not by theological arguments.

    No person or president is defined by one issue, no matter how important that issue is or no matter how important it is for you.

    When I was in my parishes boys choir, we went to the state capitol to sing for a pro-life rally. It was a deeply respectful and moving moment and even though I know a good deal more about life and morality now than when I was 12, I still remember it as a spiritual event. I did not see that in the fearful, ignorant, arrogant and angry faces that I saw on some at ND, nor on those at tax teaparties or at some of the latest health care town halls.

    I didn’t challenge anyone’s morality or question anyone’s education or honesty in this forum in my post. I wish you would do the same.

    If it is true, paul, that the ONLY question “has always been whether or not it is appropriate or permissible for a Catholic institution to honor someone who holds positions that are in direct conflict with Church teachings. The answer again is no.” Then I accept you opinion and I sympathize with your statement. However you and the protesters have proven that that is not the only question, and that many who hold placards really haven’t gotten beyond Sunday school level theology.

  • I would hope it were obvious that the hundreds of prisoners that are executed in Texas each year

    Texas executed 18 people last year, 16 people so far this year, and they are by far the leading state. Let’s at least start with facts, okay.
    http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/number-executions-state-and-region-1976

    Acknowledging of course that most abortions are not done in self-defense, if self-defense can be a reason to kill a prisoner, why is it not reason to kill a fetus? The logic is one-dimensional.

    Okay. If a fetus comes at its mother with a knife, we’ll grant that an abortion might be okay. So we’ll carve out a new exception to the complete prohibition against abortion: knife-wielding fetuses can be killed in self-defense.

    As an aside, you spill a lot of verbiage for someone who doesn’t “have time” to explain their positions.

    How is it, Tito, that abortion is “the most important of Catholic issues?” Did the Pope tell you this?

    Actually, yes.
    http://www.the-tidings.com/2004/0917/difference.htm

    In his letter, Cardinal Ratzinger also wrote that “Not all moral issues have the same weight as abortion and euthanasia…. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion, even among Catholics, about waging war or applying the death penalty, but not, however, with regard to abortion and euthanasia.”

    that many who hold placards really haven’t gotten beyond Sunday school level theology.

    Again, since you have repeatedly shown a complete lack of knowledge about basic Catholic teaching, you ought to quit making this ridiculous assertion.

  • If a fetus comes at its mother with a knife, we’ll grant that an abortion might be okay. So we’ll carve out a new exception to the complete prohibition against abortion: knife-wielding fetuses can be killed in self-defense.

    Perhaps MacGregor has this in mind:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000HT38B2/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_1?pf_rd_p=486539851&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=1400046416&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=1Q9W3T79BK6BRZZ4283P

  • MacGregor, the faithful here will pillory you if you don’t subscribe to THEIR version of the Catholic faith. They are all about capital punishment, as you can see by their defense of it. Abortion is the holy grail by which all matters will be weighed. If you dissent, you show a “complete lack of knowledge”.

  • MacGregor, the faithful here will pillory you if you don’t subscribe to THEIR version of the Catholic faith. They are all about capital punishment, as you can see by their defense of it. Abortion is the holy grail by which all matters will be weighed.

    To my knowledge, more of our writers here oppose capital punishment than support it, and even among those of us who think there on occasions when it is called for (a claim that the catechism supports — though it questions whether they exist in modern first world nations) that support is generally fairly quiet. What people are pointing out here is simply what the Church teaching, indeed what the pope himself has written: that the justice of a given war or issues such as capital punishment are prudential while the evils of abortion, euthanasia and gay marriage and cannot legitimately be questioned by any Catholic.

    That this does not align with your personal preferences is unfortunate, but it’s not “our version” of Catholicism but Catholicism itself that you have a problem with if you find this unacceptable.

    We are all called to accept correction and guidance by Christ’s church on earth — and this applies even when this does not align with one’s political tribe.

  • Master C,

    I abhor capital punishment.

    You need to do your research before you say anything accusing us of what we aren’t.

    The American Catholic was put together with varying points of view being represented. The one thing that unites us is our love of the triune God and fidelity to the Magisterium.

    I hope that helps you the next time you accuse us of something we clearly are not.

  • Since when do you oppose the death penalty?

  • I never commented on it until now, that’s why you didn’t know. But I’ve always opposed the death penalty. Most of my friends know this, but now you know.

    Final judgment is for God, not man.

  • remember this?

    http://www.conservapedia.com/Conservativism

    Call it an accusation if you like, but this blog has certainly stood up for it
    [the death penalty] previously.

  • Master C.,

    That is a blanket statement. You are reading too much into this particular topic.

    Just because we don’t fit into your worldview of an evil conservative doesn’t mean you need to accuse us of what we aren’t.

  • I am glad to hear you are opposed to the death penalty. Indeed, the mind of God is unsearchable.

  • My long rant of the night. Since we’re talking about the death penalty, I want to talk about the prison system.

    I oppose the entire prison system as it exists today… it makes monsters out of mere lawbreakers. The condition of prisons in states like California are a testament to how little we value human life. A non-violent criminal has no business being thrown into a jail with hardened, violent, career criminals. And no one deserves to be beaten, gang-raped, and given terminal diseases, yet it happens all the time – and the prison guards are either indifferent or the perpetrators themselves.

    With such a system in place, I would actually prefer a quick execution to a long prison sentence, especially a life sentence. As things are, I’m not sure it is even an effective deterrent.

    I do believe there is a small percentage of criminals who are incurable sociopaths/psychopaths who should be put to death. I mean, these people are going to suffer an eternity in hell (most likely); if we’re so terrible for wanting to put them to death, how does the angry liberal deal with the reality of hell? Is God just a mean old man, or has hell been effectively written out of liberal theology? Is the problem REALLY that we’re supposedly taking the judgment out of God’s hands, or is it just materialist-determinist sociology seeping through theology – they didn’t really “choose” to be criminals so they shouldn’t really be punished?

    Let’s not forget that there is an unforgivable sin, the total and willful rejection of God. It is unforgivable, I think, because forgiveness would do nothing for such a person. A psychopath/sociopath that has willfully rejected all restraint and consideration for others, I believe, can and should suffer the final punishment. They cannot be cured because they will not be cured. We have to respect their decision.

    For the other 95% of criminals, I think the death penalty should be off the table and prison reform enacted as soon as possible. We have more criminals than any other developed country in the world – over 2 million prisoners. States like NY have ridiculous drug laws. Rehabilitation programs that work are deliberately denied funding by people who want to “get tough on crime”, even if it means sending non-violent, first time offenders into a hell on earth.

    This attitude is unconscionable for a Christian. Every effort at rehabilitation must be made in a society that places value on human life, and sensible policies regarding sentencing, placement, the structure of the prison, the screening out of sadists and bullies among the guards, all must take place.

  • Indeed, the mind of God is unsearchable.

    I bet Google will find a way. 😉

    Joe, I agree, our prison system is an abomination. It’s a scandal that persists quietly in the background. Infinitely more good would be done by working to reform the prison and justice system before tackling the death penalty.

  • Looks like Joe is our google. He has already figured out which 5% should be put to death. He already knows they are going to hell. Bravo.

  • I never said I knew. It’s just an opinion, one I’m willing to defend with a reasonable argument.

    Can you say the same about anything you believe, or do you think indignation is an adequate substitute for argument?

  • Rehabilitation programs that work are deliberately denied funding by people who want to “get tough on crime”, even if it means sending non-violent, first time offenders into a hell on earth.

    Suggest that the State of New York issue brief determinate sentences specified precisely or by formula in the statute. Families and charitable organizations can work on rehabilitation after convicts are released.

  • I agree with Tito that capital punishment is wrong.

  • Master C,

    Absolutely.

    Who are we to judge a man and take his life away.

    That is for God, not man.

  • It looks like my last post on Friday didn’t make it to the thread, but I appreciate reading the discussion that has taken place since.

    First to paul:

    Thank you for actually using facts on the number of death penalty executions in Texas, my suggestion that the number was in the hundreds was incorrect and came from what I read concerning those on death row, not actually executed. Here is a graph from the US State Dept. that represents the number of exectutions by year over the last century.

    http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/glance/exe.htm

    It is interesting to see what the effects might have been of the civil rights movement and a more “liberal” slant to national politics during the 60’s and 70’s. However, paul, your data begs several questions.

    1. If Texas is on tap to execute over 20 prisoners this year, is that much different than executing 100 prisoners (beyond of course the perspective of those individual prisoners)? Meaning, is a morally questionable act moderated by how often one does it?

    2. If Texas executed 18 individuals last year and the entire US executed 37 individuals, what does this mean for Texas – that it has around 50% of all the most vicious criminals in the country? That it is 50% better at finding, convicting and then executing its most vicious criminals, or that it has a political bent that make it more likely to execute someone than in most other states?

    3. Even if you believe capital punishment is okay, do you trust the system to be fair and impartial and effective in implementing it? Many governors, those who have the most personal and public choice about allowing the death penalty in their states have found that the system is far too biased and have found too many innocent people have been on death row, though I think only a few have been exonerated after their execution.

    My point is that with capital punishment, there seems to be more than a few grey areas and many times when one side acts very self-righteous and misses their own moral relativism.

    Also, paul, you wrote:

    “Okay. If a fetus comes at its mother with a knife, we’ll grant that an abortion might be okay. So we’ll carve out a new exception to the complete prohibition against abortion: knife-wielding fetuses can be killed in self-defense.”

    You are either being overly glib or completely ignorant and callous as to what giving birth entails. Abortion as means of self-defense is an incredibly small number, but to say that the risk does not exist is too ridiculous to waste time arguing. So what is more common, to die in childbirth (600 deaths per year in the US) or for death row prisoners to escape (0 per year in the US).

    I’ll leave your comment of – “As an aside, you spill a lot of verbiage for someone who doesn’t “have time” to explain their positions.” – as just an example of snarkiness or it being a long day for you.

    As for your final quote from Cardinal Ratzinger – certainly it is obvious that not all moral issues of life and death are the same. Certainly times of war one of the greatest evils is that people are put into violently diverse grey areas regarding the morality of killing someone else – is it murder or self-defense, is it personal or political self-defense, etc., which is why war is so terrible. I am certain that the Cardinal at the time did not think World War 2 was a particularly insignificant moral issue.

    As I read the article from 2004 regarding then Cardinal Ratzinger (http://www.the-tidings.com/2004/0917/difference.htm), the author actually has to explain a series of “technical” terms to interpret the Cardinal’s remarks. The point behind the article was good, in that voters are often lazy in how they vote and in how much responsibility they take for voting.

    Again, this thread and my purpose is not to argue abortion, Roe v. Wade or liberal vs. conservative values, it is about how we should view Notre Dame’s honoring of President Obama. Those are all related, but different discussions.

    I am saying simply that I disagree with those in this forum who feel that Obama is pro-abortion and that this one issue should be the sole barometer for any university to decide upon conferring honors. I do not question the theology behind Cardinal Ratzinger’s letters, but I do question how they are used by others to act holier-than-thou and how they are applied to political decisions.

    This forum does not seem to be the place for an open, sophisticated or truly rational debate on how Catholic teachings should operate in the public sphere.

    As for the view that gay marriage is of similar evil as euthanasia, this is an example of what I mean. I respect the Church’s opinions on both, but my “fidelity to the Magisterium” does not simply give me a hall pass to ignore the fact that there is a difference between the legality of civil marriage and the grace of the sacrament of marriage. Two people choosing to live together even if they can not produce children does not need a papal blessing and it is not morally equivalent to killing an innocent person. As much as I am sure DarwinCatholic knows all about the biological and psychological and spiritual truths of homosexuality, I find space to still question those who “cast the first stone.”

    Obama is against gay marriage. I did not see any signs of support by those who picketed his speech at ND, showing that they support his views on gay marriage. THAT is my point. THEY obviously already made up their minds about Obama and THEY did so from a very narrow viewpoint.

    I agree that the justice system is broken, but also based upon medieval ideas of punishment and rehabilitation. I also believe that a just economic system and a rich cultural/familial/social system are the best means for reducing criminal behavior outside the very rare sociopaths that any population will have.

    I believe a supportive family and just economic system and a just and universally accessible health care system is the best way of eliminating abortions. Anyone who claims to be pro-Life and yet wants to continue the current system in which cut-throat competition and corporate board rooms get to arbitrate all aspects of our health system are blinded by ideology.

    In the end, in my opinion, those who protested the Presidents visit to ND may be driven by honest opinions, but in the end they will probably save more innocent lives by helping him succeed, than by holding signs in opposition.

    Thanks for your comments.

    PS That conservative website http://www.conservapedia.com/Conservativism is pretty funny. The fact that it has these two sentences at the very beginning and that the author doesn’t see the inherent contradiction is amazing:

    “Reagan said: The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom . . .

    The sine qua non of a conservative is someone who rises above his personal self-interest and promotes moral and economic values beneficial to all.”

    This shows the basic flaw in current American, neo-conservative thought. This is the notion that there is no conflict between self-interest and community values, that one can hold the Bible in one hand and Atlas Shrugged in the other.

  • “I am saying simply that I disagree with those in this forum who feel that Obama is pro-abortion and that this one issue should be the sole barometer for any university to decide upon conferring honors.”

    Has anyone ever heard the President describe abortion as a tragedy? Unlike Hillary Clinton, I have not seen him say anything like that.

    Not to get into the kerfluffle of “pro-choice” v. “pro-abortion,” but it is a significant insight into his thinking on this that he is unwilling to make even a verbal nod toward the idea that an abortion is morally problematic. It is of a piece with the statement that his administration will work to reduce the need for, but not the number of, abortions. Leaving aside the difficulty of measuring reduced “need,” as opposed to measurable numbers, the former comes from a world view where abortion is the morally responsible decision. Troubling, to say the least, and difficult to see how workable common ground can be found.

  • “…it is a significant insight into his thinking on this that he is unwilling to make even a verbal nod toward the idea that an abortion is morally problematic”

    It appears you didn’t watch the last presidential debate last year between he and McCain wherein Obama had actually mentioned that he considered abortion itself not even being a moral matter.

  • that one can hold the Bible in one hand and Atlas Shrugged in the other.

    Yeah, I love me some Atlas Shrugged. Good, perceptive analysis there.

  • Paul, you kinda take things personally, don’t you.

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Jesuitical 7: Jesuits and Polarization

Friday, June 19, AD 2009

Father Drew Christiansen, SJ-Current Editor in Chief of America

Part 7 of my continuing series commenting upon the follies of modern day Jesuits.  None of the following of course applies to Jesuits who are orthodox in their faith and are often among the harshest critics of the antics perpetrated by their brethren.  An editorial in America, the Jesuit magazine, expresses concern about the dangers of polarization in the Catholic Church in America.   Father Z, the Master of the Fisk, in one of his finest efforts, gives the editorial a fisking to remember here.

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16 Responses to Jesuitical 7: Jesuits and Polarization

Jesuitical 6: Latin is so pre-Vatican II.

Wednesday, June 10, AD 2009

Thomas G. Casey

Another segment in my series on the follies of modern Jesuits, with no slight intended to the orthodox Jesuits who soldier on under often grim circumstances.  America, the Jesuit publication, has an article by Thomas G. Casey, SJ, an associate professor at the Gregorian University in Rome in which he suggests dumping Latin as the official language of the Church for English.  Rather convenient for English speaking Jesuits, and also rather convenient for people who would like to ram down the memory hole the history of the Church up to Vatican II.  Father Z does an effective fisking of the article here.  The only addition I have is that Father Z is correct as to the Roman soldiers in Palestine speaking Latin at the time of Christ.  Wherever recruited, Latin was the language of command in the Roman Legions and auxilliary units.  The recruits, if they did not speak Latin, quickly picked up what was often referred to as soldier Latin.  That was the language they spoke while on duty.  It was a rather meaningless aside in Casey’s article, but he was wrong on that point.

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52 Responses to Jesuitical 6: Latin is so pre-Vatican II.

  • Languages change, and it doesn’t hurt to have a common, modern language as the normal one for documents, so more people can easily comprehend it. This is why Latin was chosen at one point. And English is the most universal language today, so it does make sense. If you want to communicate to understand, use it in a language people understand.

  • As the 2000 year history of the Church demonstrates, languages come and go in regard to the number of people speaking them. Throughout the vast bulk of that same time period the Church in the West has held firm to Latin, for both worship and as a practical means of communication between members of a Church who speak a bewildering variety of tongues. Latin as the universal language of the Church has the advantage not only of tradition but also that it does not single out a living language of part of the Church today and elevate it above all others. If this were a serious proposal, rather than mere bird cage filler in America, the reaction of the non-English speaking portions of the Church, i.e., the vast majority, would be swift and negative.

  • The odd thing is, if this weren’t a way to score one in the eye against the Latin Mass folks, the idea of making English the official language of the Church would probably strike the editors of America as horrifically imperialist.

  • There’s a word for what Fr. Casey is proposing here. Hmmm, could it be . . . Americanist?

  • With apologies to the Aussies, Canadians, and Brits who may be reading. Something tells me Fr. Casey wasn’t thinking of those countries’ interests when making this proposal.

  • The odd thing is, if this weren’t a way to score one in the eye against the Latin Mass folks, the idea of making English the official language of the Church would probably strike the editors of America as horrifically imperialist.

    Never underestimate the power of a grudge.

  • DC

    That’s not true. There are many reasons why one might think English is best. Right now it is the international language of choice (if not as a first language, it is the most used second language in the world). It helps for documents to have a language people use in common.

    Don’t get me wrong. I like Latin. I like how it works, and the kinds of emphasis involved in it. However, it just doesn’t really work for modern documents anymore. Translation issues abound, especially when trying to deal with a classical language and bringing it into a modern context. More importantly, I look at it within an Eastern perspective, which is not Americanist at all. It is the perspective that the language of the people is most effective. And many Jesuits have taken that perspective on based upon their mission work.

  • I respectfully disagree.

    Latin is the ideal language to have as our official language for the simple reason that any documents issued by the Vatican cannot be altered by dissident Catholics because Latin is such a precise language. It doesn’t change from age to age.

    Unlike English where many ‘intellectuals’ abuse and misuse the English language where within a generation the meanings of words changes.

    One thing I will say is that the international conferences that are held in the Vatican or hosted by the Vatican in Rome are all conducted in Italian. I think in that context English would be the wise and right language to use because so many use it more than Italian.

  • Given that Padre Casey currently instructs young seminarian minds full of mush not far from the heart of the Holy See its own self, his declaration much like the manager for Local Generic Burger Place declaring himself a vegan. Not the best location to work out one’s true beliefs. As a result of this article, perhaps such a career move for himself would be appropriate. No sense in staying unhappy in a bad job.

  • “Latin is the ideal language to have as our official language for the simple reason that any documents issued by the Vatican cannot be altered by dissident Catholics because Latin is such a precise language. It doesn’t change from age to age.”

    Wrong on all accounts. 1) Latin does change from age to age, a great deal at times. Look to More’s Latin vs, say, Augustine. Quite different. And modern Latin even moreso than More’s. 2) There is considerable hermeneutical questions involved with Latin. Just look at arguments over the Latin of VII documents. It isn’t as precise as you claim (perhaps if you learned it, you would know).

    “Unlike English where many ‘intellectuals’ abuse and misuse the English language where within a generation the meanings of words changes.”

    Study the history of Latin. Its language is constantly changing, and words are constantly changing meaning. Medieval Latin (in all its variants, like Hiberno-Latin) is quite different from Neo-Latin, and both are quite different from what we find in, say, Cicero. Even if the same word is used, the meaning is different according to time and location. All languages evolve. Why do you think there is Italian, for example?

    “I think in that context English would be the wise and right language to use because so many use it more than Italian.” We can agree there, but it still is true, also for official documents. It would help if we have a language most people can read. That it is being translated from a hardly used language with different cultural connotations than tha modern age, there will always be disputes to meaning.

  • Henry,

    I disagree with your assessments.

    Latin doesn’t change at all.

  • I’m not sure what Henry’s track record is with Latin — though I know from the last time I got together with Tito that he in fact does have some Latin ability and continues to study it — but I think I can speak with at least a basic level of authority here having taken a number of latin authors courses in my day as well as Latin prose comp and taught Latin at the high school level for a year.

    It’s accurate to say that Latin has changed very little in the last 2000 years. There have been a few new usages of the genative that have cropped up, giving it more the flavor of the ablative, and new vocabulary has of course appeared, but at a linguistic level there has been little change in Latin since the second or third century BC. There has, however, been a lot of change in Latin style and usage. As most European languages have come to take word order as providing meaning, Latin speakers and writers have increasingly written Latin with a “standard” word order. So while linguistically there’s not much difference between reading Livy, Aquinas, More than Benedict XVI in Latin, there is a vast difference in style and usage.

    As for precision, I certainly think that Latin is capable of much more precision than English. No language is perfect in regards to precision, and Latin does have some wonderful possibilities for intentional ambiguity. (Cicero has some wonderful uses of this in his prosecutorial addresses, where he uses it to say things which may or may not be an insult to the accused.) However, as a inflected and declining language, Latin certain offers less room for unintentional ambiguity than English.

    Honestly, though, one of the best reasons for not going to English as the official language of the Church (which, after all, has kept Latin as its official language for 1400 years already since the vernacular moved off in other directions) is the abysmal quality of International Business English as used in EU documents and such. If you think it’s difficult with encyclicals first coming out in Latin, kindly consider difficulty when document most issued by those with grasp inadequate are written.

  • Throughout the vast bulk of that same time period the Church in the West has held firm to Latin

    Indeed, in the West.

    Latin as the universal language of the Church has the advantage…

    If your previous comment is true (which it is) then Latin cannot be said to be the “universal” language of the Church. Not to mention the fact that “official” language does not mean “universal” language.

    There’s a word for what Fr. Casey is proposing here. Hmmm, could it be . . . Americanist?

    Yes!

    Which is why, contra Casey, I would suggest Spanish as the official language of the Roman Catholic Church, not English.

  • “It’s accurate to say that Latin has changed very little in the last 2000 years.”

    No, it is not accurate. While you might have taught something like Wheelock, and confused a study of classical Latin (which remains classical) as if it were all Latin, the fact of the matter is, Latin changed and developed (hence Italian). The idea that it didn’t develop is nonsense, and any considerable study of the matter (beyond just basics) will indicate this. And yes, I’ve explored the matter. I’ve studied the matter. And I’ve worked with Latin from different eras. It has changed. It is not universal. Where the Latin text comes from will change context. The words do change meaning. This is basic — very, very basic. And to tell me Neo-Latin is the same as Cicero is nonsense.

    Yes, there will be elements of the language which doesn’t change. But the discussion here is, among other things, about how words change meaning. And this is basic. They do. Linguistics shows this. And the words did change meaning through the centuries. And the localities would help determine this.

    http://www.orbilat.com/Languages/Latin_Medieval/Dag_Norberg/07.html

    Gives some info.

    And if you want Neo-Latin, trust me, it’s a bugbear. It was even more fluid (surprisingly enough).

  • Oh, and btw, St Thomas More (and Luther) wrote in Neo-Latin. It’s not like Cicero. It’s quite, quite different.

  • Michael

    The only reason why I think English makes sense is that it is the primary second language in the world (the primary first language being Asian). Spanish, as a whole, is used less around the world, than English. It wouldn’t help those in Asia or Africa, while English would.

  • And if Latin didn’t change, then this would make no sense:

    “Latin was the native language of the Romans, who spread it petty much throughout their empire. After the collapse of Rome, the language “died.” Actually, Latin didn’t really die, it just turned into Italian, French, Spanish, and several other languages. Or, more accurately, it turned into dozens of local dialects, which gradually merged to form those more familiar languages. This dialect formation had been going on for centuries. Indeed, educated Romans had often bemoaned the increasinly incomprehensible versions of Latin which were developing in the provinces. The dialects evolved through the absorbtion by the local Latin speakers of words and grammar from the conquered peoples. Although the barbarians who overran the empire were mostly unable to impose their own language on the, by then, romanized locals, they did effect numerous changes in the local form of Latin. As a result, by Charlemagne ‘s day (c. 800), the changes had become so great that in much of Europe the common people could no longer understand sermons in Church, albeit that they were being delivered in what was once Vulgar (low class) Latin As a result, the Emperor decreed that henceforth sermons were to be in the “lingua latina rustica” (the country-people’s Latin). In other words, preach to the people in the language spoken in the area. It is durng this period that the first writings genuinely identifiable as French, and later Spanish, and still later Italian are to be found. Of the Romance (literally “the Roman’s”) languages of Western Europe, French moved furthest from Latin, Italian the least.”

    http://www.hyw.com/Books/History/Latin_La.htm

    Or we wouldn’t have Italian. But we do. And this is a page about that:

    http://www.italian-language-study.com/latin-romance/grammar.htm

    So oops to DC. Latin did change. And we do have Italian.

    Now would books like this make sense: http://books.google.com/books?id=o8oqAAAAMAAJ&lpg=PA37&ots=xjH9YI_24h&dq=changes%20to%20latin%20language&pg=PR7&output=text

    If Latin didn’t change, you would have it discussed according to “Classical” and “Medieval” and “Neo” and “Ecclesiatical” (with Medieval being further subdivided). It’s all pure nonsense to suggest it doesn’t change.

  • To round it out, I’ll be the francophile of the bunch. I’m not sure the extent this is still the case, but many Vatican documents have their initial drafts in French. The CCC, IIRC, had French as the base translation.

  • MZ

    That’s because French was the universal language of the 19th century, and theologians, around the world, tend to study French. Then it was German, but German is just not as nice as French. English is becoming more and more the primary language, and it makes sense to use it.

  • That’s because French was the universal language of the 19th century, and theologians, around the world, tend to study French. Then it was German, but German is just not as nice as French. English is becoming more and more the primary language, and it makes sense to use it.

    Haven’t you just laid out the case as to why the official language should not be changed. Today English is the lingua franca of the world, tomorrow what, Mandarin?

  • Ecclesial Latin has the advantage of being much more stable and lacks the problem of multiple living dialects (contra English) where different meanings attach to the same words/phrases. Spanish is even worse in that respect.

    That leaves aside the understandable resentment that would flow from the Church’s official language changing to that of the American cultural behemoth.

    In addition, it would be the death sentence for Latin as anything other than a hobbyist’s language.

  • Henry,

    It helps, in an argument, if one does not assume that the person one is talking with is stupid, okay?

    Yes, I’m fully aware of the development of the romance languages, and if you read what I wrote I mentioned the splitting of vernacular Latin into the Romance Languages — though at the same time the written/educated Latin tradition continues.

    Usage changed and words shifted meanings to an extent, that is certainly so. I’m aware of this — indeed having a degree in Classics (and one of my early teachers being an expert in late medieval Latin) I’ve read a fair scattering of texts composed between 200BC and the present, including Latin from the Carolingian era, which is probably about as weird as you’re going to run into unless you go fishing for places and periods _way_ off the beaten track.

    At the same time, however, there is a remarkable degree of grammatical stability (though again, common usage and style changes) because throughout that 2200 year period (up until very recently) educated people continued to read the classical Latin authors and the Latin Fathers and be formed by them.

    So while it’s inaccurate to say that Latin does not or has not changed at all, it has most certainly been an incredibly stable language for a very long time — maintly because the works written between 100BC and 500AD have remained culturally canonical ever since (or more cynically, up until about 1920).

  • Paul

    No, I have not. There are many reasons for this. One, the internet changes how languages work and develop. Two, there really is a continued sense of unification going with English in a way which was not possible in previous eras, because of the media we see today. Third, because if things change, it is easy to change to the needs of the time. That’s the whole point. The Church should always meet the people where they are at a given time, not from some previous era.

  • DC

    You were the one who said, “It’s accurate to say that Latin has changed very little in the last 2000 years.”

    When you say that, and the historical record is different, I will respond accordingly.

  • Yes, I said that. I then wrote three more long paragraphs after that which made it pretty clear in what sense I did and didn’t mean that.

    If you read all that and got the idea that I didn’t know that Italian, French, Spanish, Romanian, etc. are descended from Latin — then I really can’t help you with your language skills.

    Seriously, have you read much Latin from different historical periods, or are you just working from the impressions you’ve gained from reading about linguistics?

  • Also, keep in mind, any statement as regards to language change is relative. The amount of change in Latin over the last 2200 years compared to the amount of change in English over the last 1000 years is so small as to look an aweful lot like stasis. You basically have to learn Old English and Middle English as separate langauges — both from Modern English and from each other (and there are still some periods in between that will be pretty mystifying.

    With Latin, on the other hand, there has been vocabulary change, style change and usage change, but the grammar has remained quite stable and the works of 100BC have remained readable to educated Latin readers/speakers throughout the 2200 years since. It’s a world of difference between the two situations.

  • DC

    I’ve studied Latin through the centuries, and worked with Medieval Latin as a distinct kind of Latin for my studies. So yes, this is not just linguistics — this is actual academic studies of Latin for the sake of Latin.

  • Henry,

    Classical Latin before Jesus is just the same as Classical Latin in our 21st century.

    I know you want to argue and confuse the laity, but it doesn’t work. Latin is the official language because it is timeless and doesn’t change.

  • I know you want to argue and confuse the laity, but it doesn’t work.

    THE LAITY CANNOT BE CONFUSED!!

  • Tito

    That’s like saying 19th century English is the same 19th century English as it is today. Clearly classical Latin (a construction) doesn’t change. But Latin is not “classical Latin.” And what the Church uses today is not “classical Latin.”

    Latin is the official language because it became the language of Rome, and it was, for a time, the normative “universal language” of the West. But then when it no longer was, Latin continued to be used. It really should not have been. After all, the West had discarded Greek when it no longer was universal.

  • Oh, and Tito, the laity don’t know Latin. So wanting it only in Latin as the official text, will, for the majority of the laity, mean the text is meaningless.

  • Henry,

    I understand where you’re coming from.

    Michael,

    Welcome back.

  • Philosophia me vocat

  • THE LAITY CANNOT BE CONFUSED!!

    Maybe the laity cannot be confused but I sure can be. Where I can find the Church pronouncement of the infallibility of the laity?

  • The laity cannot be confused. Well that is certainly a statement amply refuted by history.

  • Actually I agree. That’s why I can say Micheal’s wrong.

  • Good grief, Michael, Donald, and Phillip. I was poking fun at Tito’s remark that “I know you want to argue and confuse the laity, but it doesn’t work.”

    It is clear that the laity can be confused. One needs look no further than this blog.

  • See, you’re wrong!

  • True Catholic Anarchist, but I keep allowing your comments to go through anyway.

  • Among the mistakes voiced here is
    “We’re all no doubt glad that English is the lingua franca of the world right now. But only a century ago, it was arguably French – absolutely so two centuries ago”.

    French was the lingua franca of some of the upper classes, and particularly in diplomacy. It was certainly not spoken throughout Europe. It is an exceedingly difficult language.

    But Fr. Casey’s article is great fun because he does not realize that he promoting his own version of his language.

    I am reminded of an article on translation in an issue of AMERICA in Sept. 1997. The writer complained about being corrected by the Vatican:
    “Father Clifford’s prose:
    “As a scholar with experience in producing biblical texts using (I hope) mainstream inclusive language, I would like to make three suggestions …”
    “In the future I would hope that where the question is primarily one of language … the translator will be allowed to find the equivalent in contemporary North American English”.

    Consider:
    “producing biblical texts”. (I think the texts have been “produced” and the canon closed. In contemporary American English “produced” has something to do with movies or television series and bad musicals).

    “I would like to make …”. (Why not make them?).

    “In the future, I would hope …”. (When will he begin hoping?).

    “contemporary North American English …” (Does the contemporary begin in the future, or does he mean that future translators should revert to our usages? What exactly is “North American” English? Who will determine it?).

    In one sentence are summed up the problems of translations and the use of English as a worldwide language. What is meant is the use of bureaucratic English, aka Gobbledegook.

  • “In the future, I would hope …”. (When will he begin hoping?).

    That one had me laughing out loud.

  • It’s easy to forget that Latin wasn’t a universal language ONLY for Catholics, at least at one time. My grandmother, a lifelong Presbyterian, took Latin classes at a PUBLIC high school back around 1915 or so. The idea was that learning Latin helped you better understand the roots of many English terms, enabled you to understand classic literature and philosophy, and also made it easier to learn the so-called Romance languages (French, Spanish, Italian, Portugese). Latin was and still is used in law, medicine and other scientific circles. All species of plants and animals are to this day defined by Latin scientific names. So Latin does have many uses beyond just liturgy.

    A commenter over at Fr. Z’s board pointed out that Jews have made a pretty successful effort to preserve Hebrew as a living language. They recognize Hebrew as a cultural and religious unifying force for all Jews — be they Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Hasidic, or whatever. Ideally Latin would serve the same purpose for Catholics.

  • nice little straw man here:

    Oh, and Tito, the laity don’t know Latin. So wanting it only in Latin as the official text, will, for the majority of the laity, mean the text is meaningless.

    Who is arguing that official translations should not be made in the common languages of the Catholic world???

    Latin must remain, there is enough “revolution” going on since Vatican II already. Time to restore order and get rid of the heresy before moving on.

    Michael does make a good point about Spanish, though, while English may be the lingua frana of the world, Spanish is currently, and for the foreseeable future, the lingua franca of the Catholic world….. next may be an African language if trends continue.

  • …it is an exceedingly difficult language.

    Ce n’est pas vrai. Cette une langue belle.

  • une langue belle? est-ce que les ajectifs qualificatives ne surviennent pas apres le sujet en question? And it is “C’est” not “cette”!

  • Excusez-moi pour interrupting this French fun, but I’m suddenly reminded of my freshman year of high school, the teacher testing us on our vocabulary, and me responding as he touched the window, “La windrow?”

    My French improved thereafter, lentement, ma preferisco l’italiano.

  • (Guest comment from Don’s wife Cathy): About a decade ago, I was tutoring our oldest child in Latin after school, and switched him from an Ecclesiastical Latin curriculum to one using Reformed Classical pronunciation (which was better suited to young children) with no problem. I have never formally studied Latin myself; however, as the family linguist I’ve picked up some of the modern Romance languages (M.A. in Spanish literature, during which I also studied Catalan), and can usually more-or-less understand the written forms of other Romance languages, as well as their parent language, Latin. (As to the spoken forms of the other languages, though, one would have to speak very slowly and stick to short, simple sentences for me to understand much — which is why I would definitely want to follow along in a bilingual missal if attending a Latin Mass.)

  • I le no le speako le franche le muy le bieno.

  • Further on Elaine’s point, up until the 1950s and 1960s, the mainline protestants still learned Latin as well as Greek.

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