Company Way or Timeless Magisterium?

Friday, August 26, AD 2016



Oh good!  Dale Price at Dyspeptic Mutterings has posted a blog article for me to steal borrow:


One of the staples of Catholic apologetics is that the Catholic magisterium safeguards the truth and ensures a unity and clarity that Protestantism lacks.

I would not be so sure of that. In fact, I would say (and have said before) that the current pontiff is demonstrating that the magisterium is little more than the mouthpiece of the reigning pope and only safeguards whatever iteration of whichever truth he wishes to utter. In short, the magisterium is sola papam currentis.

Why no, I am not a Latinist? How could you tell?

This thought was driven home by a recent piece at the estimable One Peter Five: Amoris Laetitia and John Paul II by Josh Kusch.

In short, Kusch spells out with undeniable clarity that Amoris Laetitia expressly contradicts the magisterial statements of Francis’ predecessor, and does so in a particularly unsavory fashion–by either partial quoting or choosing to ignore prior statements altogether. For the latter, Kusch points out how the encyclical Veritatis Splendor flatly contradicts what Francis wants to say–so Francis ignored it. To wit:

The negative precepts of the natural law are universally valid.  They oblige each and every individual, always and in every circumstance. It is a matter of prohibitions which forbid a given action semper et pro semper, without exception.  (VS 52)

The negative moral precepts, those prohibiting certain concrete actions or kinds of behavior as intrinsically evil, do not allow for any legitimate exception. They do not leave room, in any morally acceptable way, for the “creativity” of any contrary determination whatsoever. (VS 67) 

When it is a matter of the moral norms prohibiting intrinsic evil, there are no privileges or exceptions for anyone. It makes no difference whether one is the master of the world or the “poorest of the poor” on the face of the earth.  (VS 96)

It would be a very serious error … to conclude that the Church’s teaching is essentially only an “ideal” which must then be adapted, proportioned, graduated to the so-called concrete possibilities of man. (VS 103)  

It is in the saving Cross of Jesus, in the gift of the Holy Spirit, in the Sacraments which flow forth from the pierced side of the Redeemer, that believers find the grace and the strength always to keep God’s holy law, even amid the gravest of hardships.  (VS 103)

As Kusch ably demonstrates, each contradicts certain central assumptions in the later text.

And yet, the Vatican’s official newspaper is at pains to assert that the later text is, in fact, authoritative.

So Veritatis Splendor–with its forceful restatement of Catholic moral teaching–has been round-filed after less than a quarter of a century?

Anyone else see the problem here?

What I have not been able to suss out is precisely why I should salute Francis’ newest flag when he burnt John Paul II’s. His actions completely undercut his claimed “authority.”

Rather than call Amoris Laetitia “authoritative,” isn’t the honest answer “wait at least a couple of popes and then see?” 

Of course, progs are brandishing it like new holy writ. To be expected, yes, but wholly dishonest if one is following McCormick’s contemptuous course. But I don’t see any honest reason why I should regard it similarly. 

If this is Catholicism, then I never really understood it. And if the magisterium is just the press office of the current officeholder, then cue Flannery O’Connor.

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10 Responses to Company Way or Timeless Magisterium?

  • Laudato Si showed the same mendacity in its workmanship. And we’ve seen the handiwork of duplicity in the machinations of the synod and post synod. This article points out the real damage to Catholic evangelization. I read a while back an interesting article that the Pope actually promotes, gives fodder to, a brand of anti-Catholicism with his straw man accusations against fundamentalists, et al, and he legitimizes the soft persecution we now ascendant. This fig tree of the progressive ideological church is not producing the fruit of faith.

  • Notice how no one speaks of the Francis effect anymore as far as it being a positive for the Church. I guess we all knew there would be no stampede into the Church to find relativism. Folks who seek that don’t need the burden of entering the Catholic Church to find it.

  • “Notice how no one speaks of the Francis effect anymore as far as it being a positive for the Church.”

    I never saw the Francis effect to be a positive. From the very beginning I saw people straying from truth due to it.

  • Two wonderful nuns were stabbed to death in their home in Mississippi yesterday…nurse practitioners working with the poor….both 68 years old. Pope Francis would want their killers to not get death nor a life sentence because deep down he thinks Romans 13:4 is from Paul not from God yet Vatican II says in Dei Verbum…” both testaments in all their parts have God as their author”. Francis was not alone in this noxious trend…his two predecessors said similar things but not directly to the world press. ( cf Verbum Domini 42/ Evangelium Vitae 40).
    Pray for the nuns but I think now a plenary indulgence is automatic for any Catholics at point of death who are in sanctifying grace and having had a habit of prayer throughout life.

  • Very good stuff for sure. Given the basic theological level of most pew sitting Catholic it is doubtful that the errors of Amoris Laetitia will be noticed. The errors will just add to the miasma of Protestant ambiguity (now re-baptized as Mercy) that surrounds Catholic theology since Vatican II. As for Pope Francis himself? He is the hero of the protestantized Catholic majority and considered a breakthrough guy just like Luther.

    We are approaching a reckoning.

  • The Rorate Caeli combox went apoplectic at the election of Jorge Maria Bergoglio, and rightfully so. I need not repeat the various comments, deeds, appointments and demotions this Pontiff has made that have led us to this point.

    This Pontiff, and the sorry bunch who put him into the office of the See of Peter, will one day pass from the scene. They will again prove that the greatest enemy the Church has is itself.

    There has not been a Pontiff that is truly this bad for some time, and this will no doubt give pause to a certain number of converts wondering just what the hell is this man thinking. Catholics outside of Western Europe and South America really don’t know just what a mess the Church is in inside South America…..and most of the clergy there is clueless about it.

  • @Donald R. McClarey Yours and @Dyspeptic Mutterings posts, brilliantly brief and clear. Thank you!
    And when such clarity and truth is lacking, one ought not to be surprised by the long and meandering Amoris Laetitia.

  • Excellent post

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Classic Put Down

Friday, December 4, AD 2015



Dale Price at Dyspeptic Mutterings gives a classic response to a critic of his article, go here to read it, at One Peter Five on the Pope who didn’t like Catholicism:


There’s something purported to be a rebuttal of the 1P5 piece out there.

I’d never heard of the blog in question before, and I’m not going to give it oxygen by linking to it. However, it’s a pastiche of frenzied material taken out of context (oh, the irony!) using “WAR IS DECLARED” sized font which predictably flounces off in a snit at the end. Oh, and he first shrills at the far more estimable (not to mention reasonable) Carl Olson’s more measured criticism.

Here’s the summary of the…effort



No, really–that’s the intellectual integrity of it in a nutshell. Unable to rebut facts, he tries to punch up. For me, the only part that merits a response is where the fraud in question accuses me of suggesting that the pope should be subjected to violence.

Yes, seriously. 

My response? I’ll let Tommy Lee Jones answer for me.

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2 Responses to Classic Put Down

  • Have to commend Messrs. Price and Skojec for being patient and disciplined enough to wade through some of this. I cannot tolerate it bar in little tiny doses.

  • I file (cut/paste) liberal bullshit (I repeat myself it’s all bullshit) in two folders. One, named “Brain Farts.” Two, named “Keyboard Diarrhea.
    I am re-reading the Barnet Schecter book on the 1863 NY draft riots. That video clip and whatever else Stevens said about that Ohio Democrat is true for all Dems in an unbroken string from Andrew Jackson to Obama, Hillary et al. In fcat, I think that Thaddeus was holding back.

Dissolving Catholicism

Sunday, November 8, AD 2015




I am so glad that Dale Price is once again regularly blogging at his blog Dyspeptic Mutterings, since my motto has always been to steal borrow from the best!


A useful short history of the king’s water can be found here.

Since 1965, Catholicism has had its own version of aqua regia, and the Church has been guzzling it. It’s called ecumenism, but it has gone well beyond rational discussion to a positive hysteria–ecumania, if you will. And it appears to have made ecumaniacs of the USCCB, what with their recommendation for expanded intercommunion.

Sounds positively ecumaniacal, in fact. A better dissolver of Catholic teaching you will not find.

Look, those close to me and my handful of devoted readers know I’m a convert from mainline Protestantism. I wasn’t practicing much before I converted. Honestly, if a Religion Detector Monitor had existed and I’d been hooked up to it, it probably would have read “Deist with a healthy measure of appreciation for Christendom and the Bible.”

I like to think that I’ve spent the last sixteen years becoming a somewhat useful disciple of Christ in His Catholic Church. Lord knows, I‘ve had my spiritual bumps on the way, and my worldview has shifted from 1999–in some ways, radically.

And my beloved wife and I have had some less than smooth sailing. We dropped her income when we had our second. And then our third came along–three kids in three calendar years plus 10 days. We’ve been crammed seven of us into 880 square feet with no basement or garage–that back in 2010. My car is older than all our kids. We’ve had other financial turbulence I’d rather not discuss.

Still, discipleship costs. I can accept that.  

And then I read that we really need to share the Eucharist with the titular Evangelical Lutherans (as opposed to, say, the evangelical Lutherans in the Missouri Synod–from whom the late Fr. Neuhaus sprang). Despite the fact that, you know, they don’t believe in all that Catholic crap.

Huh.  But, apparently, that’s not enough to deny the source and summit of the Christian life, the sacrament of Catholic unity, to members of an ecclesial community which is drifting further away from us in oh-so-many-ways.

The ELCA says that abortion is often a “morally responsible choice.” And while it claims to frown on abortions after “fetal viability,” baby-killing Doctor George Tiller was a member in good standing of the ELCA, as the church website solemnly notes. [And don’t even try to jump into my face suggesting I‘m happy with Tiller’s murder. WRONG.] Yeah–can’t wait to gather around the alt–er, table and sing Kumbaya.

But, we must march ahead. Forward, forward-always forward, eh, yes? No.

I mean, really–communion with the ELCA immerses Catholic witness in a vat of aqua regia, turning her gold into powder. On what basis do we require anyone to hold to the Catholic faith–much less to be properly disposed–before approaching the altar?

If you have a daughter undergoing first communion prep, why does she have to go to confession before receiving when the Lutherans do not

Or, more topically: Lutherans remarried after divorce: come on down for this moving ecumenical moment! 

Catholics–not so fast!

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10 Responses to Dissolving Catholicism

Grant: Man of Contradictions

Sunday, October 4, AD 2015

Fate has a way of picking unlikely material,
Greasy-haired second lieutenants of French artillery,
And bald-headed, dubious, Roman rake-politicians.
Her stiff hands were busy now with an odd piece of wood,
Sometime Westpointer, by accident more than choice,
Sometime brevet-captain in the old Fourth Infantry,
Mentioned in Mexican orders for gallant service
And, six years later, forced to resign from the Army
Without enough money to pay for a stateroom home.
Turned farmer on Hardscrabble Farm, turned bill-collector,
Turned clerk in the country-store that his brothers ran,
The eldest-born of the lot, but the family-failure,
Unloading frozen hides from a farmer’s sleigh
With stoop-shouldered strength, whittling beside the stove,
And now and then turning to whiskey to take the sting
From winter and certain memories.
It didn’t take much.
A glass or two would thicken the dogged tongue
And flush the fair skin beneath the ragged brown beard.
Poor and shabby–old “Cap” Grant of Galena,
Who should have amounted to something but hadn’t so far
Though he worked hard and was honest.
A middle-aged clerk,
A stumpy, mute man in a faded army overcoat,
Who wrote the War Department after Fort Sumter,
Offering them such service as he could give
And saying he thought that he was fit to command
As much as a regiment, but getting no answer.

So many letters come to a War Department,
One can hardly bother the clerks to answer them all–
Then a Volunteer colonel, drilling recruits with a stick,
A red bandanna instead of an officer’s sash;
A brigadier-general, one of thirty-seven,
Snubbed by Halleck and slighted by fussy Frémont;
And then the frozen February gale
Over Fort Henry and Fort Donelson,
The gunboats on the cold river–the brief siege–
“Unconditional surrender”–and the newspapers.

Major-General Grant, with his new twin-stars,
Who, oddly, cared so little for reading newspapers,
Though Jesse Grant wrote dozens of letters to them
Pointing out all the wonders his son had done
And wringing one dogged letter from that same son
That should have squelched anybody but Jesse Grant.
It did not squelch him.  He was a business man,
And now Ulysses had astonished Galena
By turning out to be somebody after all;
Ulysses’ old father was going to see him respected
And, incidentally, try to wangle a contract
For army-harness and boom the family tannery.
It was a great surprise when Ulysses refused,
The boy was so stubborn about it.

Stephen Vincent Benet, John Brown’s Body




I am glad to announce that Dale Price is back to regular blogging at Dyspeptic Mutterings.  I am glad to announce that because I have ever stolen borrowed blogging ideas from him.  Here is his review of H.W. Brand’s bio of Grant:


The Man Who Saved the Union: Ulysses Grant in War and Peace is an excellent biography of one of America’s most consistently-underrated historical figures. 

University of Texas history Professor H.W. Brands does a fine job of illuminating Grant’s early life and struggles, not only with the bottle but with his failings as a provider–both despite his best efforts. As he does so, Brands presents the determined character that enabled Grant to overcome these failures and rise to become the most beloved general since Washington, and the most popular President of the 19th Century (at least in terms of electoral success).

The description of Grant’s military tenure during the Civil War is very solid, demonstrating that he was the best strategic thinker on either side, and no slouch as a tactician. Brands points out–correctly–that Grant’s casualty rates were lower as a proportion of men in combat than Lee’s despite being on the offensive much more often. That said, I still think Lee was slightly better as a tactician, especially considering that the quality of leadership in the Army of Northern Virginia declined drastically over time, and that of the Army of the Potomac increased with the rise of men like Sheridan and Ord.

None of that was a particular surprise to me, given my other reading. The real eye-opener for me was Brands’ revisionist (and I use that term advisedly) assessment of Grant’s two terms as President. Far from the failure “everyone knows” it to be, Grant’s Presidency had a remarkable number of achievements: the Fifteenth Amendment, the squelching of the attempt to corner the gold market, the settling of claims against England stemming from the giving of commerce raiders to the Confederacy and, most crucially, Grant’s dedication to civil rights for freedmen. In enforcing the Ku Klux Klan Act and related civil rights legislation and appointing determined attorneys general like Amos Akerman (who had been a Colonel for the Confederacy!), Grant was the President most devoted to civil rights and racial equality until the arrival of Lyndon Johnson. Furthermore, Grant presented the most humane policy toward the Indian tribes by an American president up to his time.

Where this reassessment (slightly) fails is in providing a thorough explanation of *why* Grant’s reputation as President went to and remains mostly in the dustbin at this late date. To be sure, Brands’ treatment of 1872-1880 is not all praise–Grant is rapped for his too-restrictive handling of the Panic of 1873, America’s first industrial depression, which cast a shadow over much of his tenure. Though, in Grant’s defense, his restrictive approach to increasing the money supply was well-within the mainstream of 1870s economic thought.

Interestingly enough, the economic doldrums did not damage his personal popularity much (as opposed to damaging the GOP)–he came close to winning a nomination for a third term in 1880, and almost certainly would have won that election, too. 

All in all, the coverage of Grant’s presidency is an eye-opener which should act as a welcome rebuttal to the Good General/Bad President canard that unjustly haunts him.

Finally, Brands deftly handles Grant’s last battle–a race against time to finish his memoirs as he was dying of throat cancer. As he did through his military career, Grant won this battle through dogged determination, dying a few days after he finished them, ensuring that his wife and family would be well-provided for. The Mutt-and-Jeff friendship that arose between Grant and Mark Twain is also well-drawn. Brands also includes a hilarious anecdote of Twain’s one “battle” on behalf of the Confederacy in 1861 that left me–and my wife–laughing out loud. I am morally certain Twain would approved.

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Prince With a Thousand Enemies

Thursday, January 22, AD 2015

Dale and Mrs. Price


All the world will be your enemy, Prince with a Thousand Enemies, and whenever they catch you, they will kill you. But first they must catch you, digger, listener, runner, prince with the swift warning. Be cunning and full of tricks and your people shall never be destroyed.”

Lord Frith, Watership Down

A picture of Dale and Mrs. Price enjoying some paintballing. Now, whatever could have inspired that!

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2 Responses to Prince With a Thousand Enemies

  • This Pope ought to see “Night Of The Lepus”. It’s a horror flick about giant, out of control rabbits on a rampage. He would learn the difference between rabbit and human reproduction overnight!

  • Why, whatever do you mean, Mr. McClarey?

    Not so by the way, a waggish commenter linked to a collection of clips from “Night of the Lepus” in my comment box. It looks like “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes” with rodents and without musical numbers.

Never Go Full Ostrich

Saturday, November 15, AD 2014



Dale Price gives us words to live by at his blog Dyspeptic Mutterings:



Never go full ostrich, son.

Yes, Burke was purged. The happy-clappy interpretations are…less than, he says as gently as possible.

Two critical facts missed in all of the “hey, it was term limits!” arguments:
First, this is the second kick from the Pope this year, with the first being from the Congregation of Bishops. After which, we got Cupich in Chicago, for starters. Anybody else gotten a double removal like Burke? Nope.
Second, Burke being shuffled to a sinecure means he won’t be able to participate in the 2015 version of the Synod. Just when his voice will be needed most, after a year of Cupich-y or Leow-ish appointments to the episcopate, he’ll be on the outside looking in.

But, you reply, what about Muller and Pell?
It is true that Muller has been a godsend on marriage, but he’s also a fan of liberation theology. I don’t know how that squares with any sensible definition of “conservative,” and his stance on liberation is no doubt a big plus in the pontiff’s book.  Pell is the best argument to the contrary, I grant. But it would be hard for the pope to boot Pell from the inner circle after inviting him there in the first place. It would reflect on his executive judgment, in much the same way a President will stick with one of his cabinet appointees, come hell or high water. Still, I think it would be worth watching to see if the Australian cardinal is gradually frozen out as the 2015 synod session approaches. And, yes, while it is nice that Melbourne got a good appointee, it’s worth noting that Australia’s Catholic population tops off at 5.6 million, whereas there are 2.3 million in the Archdiocese of Chicago alone. Put differently, Pell won’t have any say in selecting bishops for my neck of the woods.

Still, why should you care? 
Number 1, “Vatican politics” gives you your bishop. Cupich, remember. In other words, “Personnel is policy.” If it’s “clericalism” to worry about who your shepherd is going to be, then we should all be clericalists. 
Second, there’s a trend here, and it’s pretty much all bad: Pope Francis has made statements against the two tendencies of progressivism and traditionalism, without however clarifying what these two labels encompassed. Yet, if by words he distances himself from the two poles which confront each other in the Church today, by facts all tolerance is reserved for “progressivism”, while the axe falls upon what he defines as “traditionalism”.

Precisely. If you’re a solid progressive, you get high-profile invites to significant Church events even if you’re a coddler of abusive priests. [Read more about the dreadful Danneels in the reliably rad-trad Tablet.] Sadly, it appears that mercy is only for those of confirmed progressive bona fides. Whereas demotions, removals and defenestrations of entire orders are reserved only for those with the odor of Tradition.

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3 Responses to Never Go Full Ostrich

  • With six years as Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, Cardinal Burke probably
    has more expert insight into canon law and the annulment process than any
    other member of the College of Cardinals. Yet with his removal from the
    curia, His Eminence is also removed from possible participation in next year’s
    synod. His light has been put under a bushel basket.
    I’d like to think that this Pope could still appoint Cardinal Burke to a committee
    within the synod, where his good advice might be heard. But I’m not holding
    my breath…

  • I’ll wager this papacy will not end well. The institutional injury may run on for many years. You’re either going to see a hemorrhage as the Petrine ministry self-discredits or you will see the Holy Spirit’s protection confirmed in some obvious but not altogether telling way. (I’ve had occasion to wonder if it was a message to us that Andrew Greeley spent his last years unable to communicate and with his family uncertain of what he understood and what he did not).

    Keeping you all in mind, Dale.

  • One should expect purges of clergymen who are faithful to the Magisterium,
    while Francis, as the first pope of the new Catholic Church of Vatican II, will
    assign the Magisterium to the dustbin of history. The catechism will be
    discarded as an obscene relic of the old notorious church.

    One is astonished to witness such humility.

Cupich and Bilberries

Tuesday, September 23, AD 2014



Dale Price at Dyspeptic Mutterings dishes out truth with the bark on:
Royal Air Force pilots during the Second World War reported that ingesting bilberries improved their night vision.

It’s not often that I offer health advice here, but I think it’s relevant now, what with the bombshell news that Pope Francis appointed Blase Joseph Cupich as the next Archbishop of Chicago.
Now, if you processed that news and are still the proud owner of a foam finger that says “Francis #1!” I don’t think this post is for you. In fact, it’s really not. In fact, if I post your comment, it will probably be as a sign of how far gone you are.
For those of you taken aback by the appointment of a certified hater of TLM massgoers and pro-lifers–and even Al Kresta!–to one of the most important sees in North America, this post is for you.
An eclipse is at hand, and things are about to get unpleasant for people who think being Catholic has some supernatural value. The bottom lines are four:
  1. First: B.J. Cupich is the man the post-Burke shake-up in the Congregation of Bishops came up with. *This* is the man the Pope wanted to run one of the top three sees on the continent.
*This* is the Pope’s vision of the ideal bishop for American Catholics. From that, all else follows. 
The nausea you feel is quite understandable. All the wrong suspects are celebrating his alleged inclusiveness (Disclaimer: “Inclusiveness” and “pastoral” are void with respect to Those People Who Still Believe That S–t). Cupich’s public record confirms that he’s yet another Dad more popular with other people’s children. He’s Edward Egan, only with pretensions to intellectualism and sans the charm.
Sing a new church. Actually, an old church. That 70s Church, in fact.
       2.  Second, the Pope just sent a big signal to careerist clerics: picking public fights with pro-lifers and traditionalists is no obstacle a-tall! In fact, it’s your ticket to the top.
Get ready for some unpleasant displays from priests and bishops, alas. Fallen human nature being what it is. 
       3.  If you like your bishop, storm heaven for him. 
Pray God he’s not retiring soon, or otherwise the Wuerlwind is going to deposit yet another touchy, iron-fisted “pastoral” dialoguer on your doorstep.
        4.  The hermeneutic of continuity is dead, dead, deadski.
If the Pope was really in tune with his predecessors not named “Paul VI,” Bishop Cupich would hit age 75 as the Bishop of Spokane. Pope Francis is a Reformer, and sees himself as one. Unlike Benedict, he’s just fine with everything Vatican II did. He’s never uttered a cross word about the 21st ecumenical council. Not a one. I’d love to see anything like Benedict’s criticisms about V2 (no, not that one…) from him, but they simply do not exist. It was a break with the past, and that’s a good thing in his book. To the contrary–the people dwelling in the past are the problem, as he has scolded constantly. And as BJC affirms in this love-fest interview with the National Catholic Reporter (indirect link). This part stands out.

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17 Responses to Cupich and Bilberries

  • I’m not going back to those bad, bad days in the past. I cannot and I will not. I’ve seen and learned too much. The Savior has been too good to me to go back there again. How could I betray His mercy and kindness to me so? Too many souls have entrusted themselves to me. I am a Priest of the Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church. By the grace of God I, a poor sinner, offer the Unbloody Sacrifice of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ for the living and for the dead, and by His authority I absolve the sins of all who are repentant. I do not preside over the “community celebration of the assembly.” I celebrate the Holy Mysteries in the congregation of the Faithful. I am not a community organizer dedicated to “speaking the truth to power.” I, by the grace of Jesus, my Lord, am a father who is both authorized and graced to speak and to bestow healing to the broken, freedom to the captives, ransom to those who are enslaved, and redemption to other sinners like me. I will never, ever go back. I will continue to be what Jesus, through the hands of my bishop, ordained me to be: a priest of the One True Catholic Church of Jesus Christ.

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  • Fr Frank wrote, “I’m not going back to those bad, bad days in the past. I cannot and I will not.”
    I assume you are referring to the dreadful period between Lamentabili and Pascandi and the Second Vatican Council. The “bad, bad days” described by Maurice Blondel, when he wrote, in 1907, “[U]nprecedented perhaps in depth and extent–for it is at the same time scientific, metaphysical, moral, social and political–[the crisis] is not a “dissolution” [for the spirit of faith does not die], nor even an “evolution” [for the spirit of faith does not change], it is a purification of the religious sense, and an integration of Catholic truth.” He also wrote, “With every day that passes, the conflict between tendencies that set Catholic against Catholic in every order–social, political, philosophical–is revealed as sharper and more general. One could almost say that there are now two quite incompatible “Catholic mentalities,” particularly in France. And that is manifestly abnormal, since there cannot be two Catholicisms.”

  • “I assume you are referring to the dreadful period between Lamentabili and Pascandi and the Second Vatican Council.”

    Ah, yes MPS those dreadful days when the pews and confessionals were full, priests preached the unvarnished truth of Christ and clown masses would have been regarded as a poor attempt at humor. Condemning that portion of Church history, considering what we are currently living through, I will assume is your attempt at a bad joke.

  • Donald R McClarey

    A nodding acquaintance with the careers of theologians like Henri Bremond, Joseph Maréchal, Marie-Dominique Chenu, Cardinal Henri de Lubac, Cardinal Yves Congar, Cardinal Jean Daniélou, Claude Mondésert and Louis Bouyer hardly supports your rosy picture of the period.

    Writing of Blondel, Cardinal Henri de Lubac declared, “Latin theology’s return to a more authentic tradition has taken place–not without some jolts, of course–in the course of the last century. We must admit that the main impulse for this return came from a philosopher, Maurice Blondel. His thinking was not primarily exercised in the areas proper to the professional theologians, nor did it base itself on a renewed history of tradition. Still, he is the one who launched the decisive attack on the dualist theory that was destroying Christian thought.”

    “Destroying Christian thought” hardly points to a golden age.

  • “Henri Bremond, Joseph Maréchal, Marie-Dominique Chenu, Cardinal Henri de Lubac, Cardinal Yves Congar, Cardinal Jean Daniélou, Claude Mondésert and Louis Bouyer hardly supports your rosy picture of the period.”

    Who helped construct the modern Church which has witnessed a virtual collapse of the Faith in France and other countries. Thanks for calling those helpful witnesses for my case Counselor.

  • Donald R McClarey

    It is clear that St John Paul the Great would not have conferred the red hat on Congar, Daniélou and Lubac, if he had considered them heterodox, or even of doubtful orthodoxy. It was in the nature of a rehabilitation. This also holds of Hans Urs von Balthasar, whose death alone prevented his elevation.

  • “It is clear that St John Paul the Great would not have conferred the red hat on Congar, Daniélou and Lubac, if he had considered them heterodox, or even of doubtful orthodoxy.”

    Such formulations from authority are worthless. One might just as well say, for example, that Congar was of doubtful orthodoxy or else Pope Pius XII would not have forbidden his True and False Reform of the Church (1950) in 1952. In regard to Congar, he thought that Vatican II did not go far enough and John Paul II clearly did not agree.

  • The spirit of Mr McClarey’s golden age is perhaps best summarised in Blonde’s rebuke of, Pedro Descoqs, the Jesuit defender of Charles Maurras and his Action Française

    “A Catholicism without Christianity, submissiveness without thought, an authority without love, a Church that would rejoice at the insulting tributes paid to the virtuosity of her interpretative and repressive system… To accept all from God except God, all from Christ except His Spirit, to preserve in Catholicism only a residue that is aristocratic and soothing for the privileged and beguiling or threatening for the lower classes—is not all this, under the pretext perhaps of thinking only about religion, really a matter of pursuing only politics?”

  • “The spirit of Mr McClarey’s golden age”

    Only a golden age in comparison with our own. In regard to your quotation from Blondel, I think Pius X had his number quite accurately. The atheism of Charles Maurras, who in his last days returned to Catholicism, has had no impact on Catholicism long term. I wish I could say the same for the Modernists, especially the French branch of that enterprise. Your love of the diseased, and obviously dying, form of Catholicism spawned by these French intellectuals is as perplexing as your infatuation with Robespierre.

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour: ““A Catholicism without Christianity, submissiveness without thought, an authority without love, a Church that would rejoice at the insulting tributes paid to the virtuosity of her interpretative and repressive system… To accept all from God except God, all from Christ except His Spirit, to preserve in Catholicism only a residue that is aristocratic and soothing for the privileged and beguiling or threatening for the lower classes—is not all this, under the pretext perhaps of thinking only about religion, really a matter of pursuing only politics?””
    Each and every person, as individual human beings, brings with him a philosophy of his own when he comes to Catholicism. Some are grand and some are humble. Only the Pope, speaking with the Magisterium “ex cathedra”, speaks and teaches the Catholic Faith infallibly. Theologians and “prophetic critics” of Catholicism must all be open to the Vicar of Christ on earth.

  • A collapse which came after cataclysmic world wars and a global depression. It wouldn’t be the first time there was great irreligious sentiment after a period of disaster and prolonged turmoil. Children aren’t stupid, and they will work out and develop the genuine beliefs of their parents and discard what was merely supported as wrong or extraneous. How many baby boomer children quietly understood, even if it was not articulated, that their parents truly believed God or the Church or both were discredited after such a period? In Europe, we have a post-war generation that only seems to believe in exhaustion; in the United States, we have a church who became increasingly irrelevant to a majority of Catholics who were, by this time, third or fourth generation immigrants. We had a Church built upon immigrants (marginalized to varying degrees) rallying around a Catholic identity for political reasons as much as spiritual. What I suspect a majority of them passed down was not a love of God but an identity that became less coherent with greater integration.

  • Hummmmm wrote; “What I suspect a majority of them passed down was not love of God but an identity that became less coherent with greater integration.”

    This vacuum and loss of identity was, in my very humble opinion, due to misrepresentation of V2, and subsequent errors. Love of God was replaced with love of relativism.
    Example; All religions are equal. God is larger than one religious institution.

    The importance of Jesus’ establishment of His Church took back seat, and to date 30,000 protestant churches muddy the once clear living waters. Less cohesion indeed.

    Fr. Frank.
    God bless you son of Mary ever Virgin.
    Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament takes great JOY in your fidelity.
    Peace and blessings.
    St. Maximilian Kolbe, a beautiful role model for priests, will be hearing from me tonight on your account. May he deliver your prayers with Our Lady to the throne of Jesus.

  • Hmmmmm

    Excellent summation.

    I would only add that, in Europe, too, there was often a strong political component to Catholic identity, not least in France. The spiritual mission of the Church was gravely hampered, during the 70 years, beginning in 1870, by the open hostility of most Catholics to the Republic, which neatly matched the anti-clericalism of the bouffeurs de curé. Leo XIII had exhorted Catholic to “rally to the Republic,” explaining that a distinction must be drawn between the form of government, which ought to be accepted, and its laws which ought to be improved, only to be accused by the Catholic press of “kissing the feet of their executioners.”

  • I recommend to Michael Paterson-Seymour the enlightening work of Giuseppe Siri, “Gethsemane” ( wherein he ably explains how the neo-Modernist conflation of grace with nature has lead to countless errors. The luminaries mentioned by Paterson are the vanguard of this neo-Modernist movement and that is why they were (rightly) under a cloud of suspicion in the years before the Revolution of Vatican II.

  • Donald .. Michael Voris best watch out, is there a new sheriff in town?

Science Fiction and Tolerance

Tuesday, April 29, AD 2014

Nothing is so unworthy of a civilised nation as allowing itself to be governed without opposition by an irresponsible clique that has yielded to base instinct.

From a White Rose resistance pamphlet (1942)



I am happy that Dale Price is back to blogging on a fairly regular basis since it gives me a renewed opportunity to steal borrow blogging ideas from him.  He turns his attention at his blog Dyspeptic Mutterings to the insane purge going on within science fiction fandom of anyone who has political beliefs that do not coincide with the politically correct bromides du jour:

Orwellian group-think comes to real-world science fiction writing.

A little recondite, but instructive: the Hugo Awards and SFWA are the latest (if minor) institutions to have succumbed to the left’s jackbooted tolerance enforcers. The issues have risen to the attention of USA Today, so it’s newsworthy instead of merely nerdworthy.
Larry “Monster Hunter” Correia explains part of the problem (the Hugos) in a link within the USA Today column.
Finally, Sarah Hoyt (not exactly a charter member of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy herself) and John C. Wright both lower the boom.
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3 Responses to Science Fiction and Tolerance

The Deadliest Storm

Friday, November 8, AD 2013


One hundred years since a hurricane struck the Great Lakes in November 1913.  Dale Price at Dyspeptic Mutterings gives us the details:

The deadliest storm ever to strike the Great Lakes began a century ago today. Here’s my post from last year about it.
Here is the list of all the ships wrecked in the storm.

The shipwreck location map (click to enlarge). Some locations are approximate, 
as five ships have still not been found.
The overturned hull of the Charles S. Price, the  504 foot long steamer and
“mystery ship” that floated down the St. Clair River before a diver was able 
to go underwater to identify her.
A storm headline.
Finally, Psalm 107 (Douay 106). May God grant rest to the souls of the dead, and guard all who go down to the sea on ships.
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One Response to The Deadliest Storm

  • Eternal Father, strong to save, whose arm hath bound the restless wave; who bids the mighty ocean deep its own appointed limits keep; oh hear us when we cry to thee, for those in peril on the sea. Amen.

PopeWatch: Circling the Wagons

Monday, October 7, AD 2013


circling the wagons


Dale Price at Dyspeptic Mutterings, continues on with his observations regarding the reactions to Pope Francis.  I was struck by this section of his latest post:

I’ve come to the conclusion that, regardless of the actual temporal length (and may God grant Pope Francis many healthy years), this is going to be a loooooong papacy.

1. The first problem is what my crisis buddy Elliot colorfully describes as “soft ultramontanism.” To which I will add “by reflex.”

This manifests itself in instant circle-the-wagons mentality against any criticism. Sorry, Mark, but this is emblematic. The fact that Scalfari didn’t take notes is majoring in minors. No less an authority than the Vatican itself offers the interview for perusal on the official website.

That strikes me as a sotto voce endorsement of its accuracy. Not very sotto, in fact. More like a megaphone admission.

Also, it seems to me that criticism from such respectable non-fringe figures as Fr. Germain Grisez, fellow Jesuit James Schall and the very level-headed Carl Olson deserve a hearing. Ditto Robert Royal, who was clearly thrown by the first interview.

In other words, those who “get Francis” need to try to understand those of us who don’t. And, yeah, I don’t.

Frankly, the most evident fruit of the papacy thus far seems to be the willingness of orthodox Catholics to break out the cutlery and start stabbing whenever someone expresses unease over the Pope’s actions and words.

2. The substantive criticisms are worthy of consideration.

Arguments like “the Pope is acting just like Jesus” or “you’re just like the elder brother in the Prodigal Son!” aren’t really arguments: they’re declarations of the speaker’s moral superiority, QEDs that are supposed to batter the benighted sinner on the other side into repentance. Quite simply, they won’t do.

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12 Responses to PopeWatch: Circling the Wagons

  • The Devil’s gravest (most tragic) victory in his open-ended struggle to lure all souls to eternal damnation came when he convinced men that he (sin) does not exist.

  • “Frankly, the most evident fruit of the papacy thus far seems to be the willingness of orthodox Catholics to break out the cutlery and start stabbing whenever someone expresses unease over the Pope’s actions and words.”

    To me, this has been the most disturbing part of this entire episode. It appears they have adopted the position that any questioning of the pope’s statements amounts to apostasy.

  • Certainly, nothing makes me as inclined to consider a position crazy as that Mark Shea is taking it with all banners and fists flying, but FWIW: I think that the danger that the “loyal opposition” creates when it gets too eager to state that it’s in the “opposition” by looking for the worst way of looking at every little papal statement (or just throwing up hands and saying, “How can this possibly make any sense?”) is that it ends up lending aid and comfort to the progressive noise machine which is trying to turn this papacy into something of their own.

    That doesn’t mean that it’s necessary to run around explaining papal statements all the time, or to take an overly sunny view of things, but I do think it’s important not to end up going over the cliff like the folks at Rorati Caeli did shortly after Francis was elected and start taking the worst view of everything to the point of distorting and passing on rumors. I worry about those concerned about Francis’s approach heading in that direction.

  • The questioning is good. Upon closer examination, the Pope’s comments are even better, if capable of being open to misinterpretation.

    What we are all dancing around, in our worship of the great trees of Catholic Social Justice and Catholic Family Values, is the inherant dignity of Jesus Christ- a dignity that cannot be denied even by atheists, a dignity shared by every child in a mother’s womb. This fraternity of humanity under a God of Love is the root of our faith, the bedrock of morality itself. It is that forgiveness, that generosity, which Pope Francis is trying to teach by example- the root hidden by two vastly different approaches to the corporal works of mercy that need to be welded into one.

  • Moderation in all things is often not a wise maxim in this life, but in reference to opinions regarding popes it tends to be. Popes are rarely as good as their most devoted fans assume they will be, and rarely as bad as those who worry about them fear they will be. My expectations for Pope Benedict were quite high after his election, and my expectations after the interviews of Pope Francis quite modest as far as his pontificate goes. Events, as was the case with Pope Benedict, will see how my expectations of Pope Francis play out.

  • Darwin, I’d be comforted if people simply acknowledged that the Pope has given the progressive noise machine plenty to work with–obsession, small-minded rules, rebuking traditionalists, shout-outs to the progressives’ hero Martini, etc. They aren’t hallucinating here.

    Some of the counter-apologetic spin of the Pope’s words smack of the “jihad is spiritual struggle” contortions used on behalf of Islam.

    And I doubt I’m going into the same hatefest as RC, but I suppose mileage varies.

  • Dale,

    I think he has given the progressive noise machine material to work with, but I think it’s generally far less than some of his critics on the right would suggest.

    Goodness knows, the “OMG, listen to this new insight!!! If you don’t love this you hate puppies!!!” approach to Francis fandom drives me up the wall. It’s just that I’m also concerned that conservatives not get into the habit of looking for stuff to hate in whatever Francis says. Because at that point, we’ll always find it.

    And I do think that if we focus on reading things charitably, he has some very good things to say. Not to say that everything he says is the best thing he could have said, but that there is indeed very good stuff in there. While I wish Francis was the type to be far more judicious in what he says, I don’t think we’d be better off if he just said nothing.

  • I’m with you, Darwin. I am uncomfortable with the salutary comments of the secular world. Perhaps that is what makes me most cautious. Christ’s message isn’t supposed to mesh with the values of this world and it makes me uncomfortable to have the world at large say “see, he is absolutely right.” Of course it was that way for Christ too as he was led into Jerusalem on an ass. Perhaps, once the secular world figures out that the Pope is still a pope, we will find ourselves in Gethsemene.

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  • Well it was better that Our Lord was riding on the ass than acting like one. If I would have raised kids with this kind of double speak and hope that they were smart enough to figure things out I doubt I would have a family right now. As it is they are all practicing Catholics, very involved with their parishes, with what I believe is a very good understanding of the “truth’s of the faith”. Did we have our problems a long the way, you bet. But they formed a conscience that even when they strayed had given them enough wisdom and discernment to make the right judgments. That’s all I ask is that in matters of faith and morals, every Catholic knows what the Church teaches and then if they don’t want to be Catholic they can leave. As a religious education teacher for over 18 years the confusion that I witnessed among the educators themselves was so disheartening. They taught what they wanted and I believe instructed without the knowledge they needed to pass on the faith. Of course one of the great carrots dangled to get teachers was and is, “you don’t need to know anything to teach CCD you just need to be present” and that’s exactly what we have as a church. Jesus taught plain and simple.

  • I get this image of poor Jorge cum Francis being put in charge of manning the rudder, being told “just don’t steer it into the rocks” and being unable to shift his gaze away from the rocks.

  • This to be has been a continual problem, Ever since his election almost 7 months ago he has done nothing but cause controversy, first by his dress than by his words and now his actions like the FFI fiasco which four Italian Canon lawyers have said a few weeks ago are Grave violations not only of Benedict’s wishes but even going back to ST PIUS V whose tomb he visited. Benedict himself said the actions of Francis have WOUNDED or Hurt his 2007 Moto Proprio. If you recall after his election dissidents in the Church like Mahoney among others were happy now we all know why. He seems to say one thing and then do the exact opposite. I honestly think the Cardinal from Canada would have been a better choice by instead he insisted that the Pope we have now be elected. OTOH, He did manage to stop the strike on Syria with his prayer Vigil a month ago.

Dale Price Explains Why I Am Worried

Saturday, September 28, AD 2013

My friend Dale Price at his blog Dyspeptic Mutterings has often supplied me with blogging ideas that I have stolen borrowed.  Unfortunately he hasn’t been blogging much lately.  That was broken with a post on Pope Francis which sums up many of the reactions I have been having:






In which I exile myself from polite company and retreat to the margins of Catholic society.

This is basically how I feel. Like the person Sutherland is pointing at the end of Invasion. Essentially, the Catholic world I know has been seized by body snatchers and is about to notice that I am not lining up to board the F1 to the Promised Land.
Yes, this is about the interview. Quick summary of my reaction: some very good parts, some easily-soundbitten ammo I can expect to see all over the place, but is still explicable in terms of preaching the Gospel, and a disastrous, giant ticking nuke about to blow us back to the Church of the 1970s.
The Interview Was Candy Mountain Awesome, Charlie! Everyone agrees–it was full of candy, and joy, and joyness! You don’t believe that?

Yeah, well, I can live with that. Hier stehe ich. Ich kann nicht anders.
[Just to make the inevitable scream of “That’s unclean Protestant talk!” a little easier.]
As I see it, there are three serious problems, two of which are related to how it’s being received and processed, and the third is the nuke.
Problem 1: We Are All Ultramontaines Now.

Don’t drag me into this, Americain. My Papa Pius would have cracked your skulls
as the opener for the ritual of excommunication. Then he’d have gotten mean.

Including–nay, especially!–people who have spent a generation ignoring, deriding or spinning away every encyclical, apostolic letter and motu proprio that flowed forth from the pens of John Paul II and Benedict XVI.

But an interview–in America Magazine–well, my God! It’s new tablets from Sinai! And we can play historical critical whiteout with the parts we don’t like! Is it Elohist or Deuternomic? Forget it–we’ll figure it out later! Anyway–miraculously–we agree with the whole thing! (More of which later.)

A 44th Edition including The Interview! is no doubt being prepared as we speak.

As an aside, it’s good to see the Jesuits at America released from the dungeons after the long night of Benedict the Destroyer. The shackle chafe marks being no doubt hidden under the long sleeves. Some advice: sunlight and a vitamin regimen will banish the sallow complexions.

But, really, uniform praise–especially this wall-to-wall and adulatory–makes me uneasy. There’s something fundamentally off about it. In fact, the adulation being heaped on Pope Francis is general is…odd. I mean, it’s almost like he’s being given a prize for not being Benedict. That’s certainly the case on the Catholic left, which is transferring its creepy cultish adoration of Obama, the Not-Bush, to Francis, the Not-Benedict. Benedict the Rottweiler, Who Can be Safely Archived and Forgotten Like a Bad Dream In This New Age.
What the right’s deal is, I don’t know. The Pope Says We Must Re-Balance, So We Must Re-Balance. It smacks too much of a new CEO coming in, and everyone having to get with the program. At a minimum, it’s a feverish celebration that has no parallels with how it received Benedict, which was more defensive and apologetic, and less effusive in its praise.
You saw nothing in the interview heralding trouble, eh? Nothing at all?
The fact both are united in swoonery suggests that one or the other is missing something. And someone is, as we shall see in Problem 3.
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27 Responses to Dale Price Explains Why I Am Worried

  • I have to wonder if the Pope likes this confusion and swooning that he has caused in the media. Ever since that foot washing thing, it’s all been about how much public praise can be heaped on him for his humility, his understanding the poor, his turning back the clock on dogmatism and doctrine, his tolerance and kindness. It’s quite frankly cultist. But maybe I just don’t understand. 🙁

  • A few ‘points’ that hopefully could be helpful:

    1. The form of communication was an “interview” (some say a better description is really a ‘ conversation’). While not a new form of communication (Blessed John Paul and Benedict both used it with journalists) the difference is the immediacy of it. It was almost immediately published unlike the books of Francis’ predecessors

    2. No new doctrine in either faith or morals was proposed/taught ; no doctrine of either faith or morals was ‘changed’ (never mind denied)

    3 we need to keep in mind and use Benedict’s hermeneutic of continuity seeiing the continuity of substance while recognizing (and for some criticizing/complaining about) the change in emphasis/ trajectory etc

    4 while some in the Church (here I would not include America Magazine) have interpreted everything since the deat of Servant of God Paul VI as ‘discotinuity’ with Vatican II, it is not ‘helpful’ to jump to the same conclusion (especially so soon) of seeing everything discontinuous after the resignation of Pope Benedict.

    5 Some statements taken out of context-for example concerning abortion and gay marriage-were quickly picked up and misinterpreted by some forces witihin an those outside the Church. But in order to gain insight into Pope Francis take him in total context- for example his major address to the Italian doctors concerning the dignity of the unborn or Pope Francis’ excommunication of the Australian priest who among other things was a proponent of gay marriage

    6 An important read for all is George Weigel’s. Evangelical Catholic in which he speaks of the passing of the Post-Tridentine Era in which he points out both ‘progressives’. And ‘integralists’ remain rooted while a new era and new way of being Catholic is being born

  • One would have thought that “Traditionalists” would have welcomed the curbing of the power of the Roman dicasteries – Subsidiarity and all that?

    After all, the Council of Sardica in 343 provided that a bishop deposed by a provincial synod might appeal to the bishop of Rome, who might either dismiss the appeal or send the case for rehearing before a neighbouring synod; no question, there, of a rehearing at Rome.

    One of the privileges most insisted upon by the Church in France before the Revolution and valiantly defended by les rois très-chrétiens was that all ecclesiastical causes should be heard and finally determined by the clergy of France.

  • Ah, the Gallican heresy. The Church in France has usually thought that they could govern themselves better than Rome, and the anti-clericalism of the French Revolution demonstrated how well they succeeded. As for subsidiarity MPS, I do not think it means what you must think it means, at least in the instance you have raised.

  • Like all people, our new pope is a person with flaws and failings. I find it odd that a person’s humility is paraded around so proudly. I also find it odd that a person who is so humble so often ends up drawing attention to himself for his humility. I don’t know if it’s him or the people around him or the mainstream media. I suspect the MSM until proven otherwise. I think that a lot of this is culturally driven. As Americans, we have a distinct culture. Our new pope comes from Argentina and seems to be displaying aspects of that culture. I think it would be a mistake to read too much into it, either on the part of conservatives or liberals. I don’t think he’s going to be as reserved and careful as his predecessors. I think it can be understood as trying to reduce the personal space between the Church and those who need the Church’s sacraments of forgiveness.

  • Many people are “obsessed” with LIFE and the RIGHT TO LIFE. As many people are “obsessed” with the TRUTH and JUSTICE. Without TRUTH, there can be no JUSTICE. Without LIFE, there can be no free will, no FREEDOM. Without LIFE in the human body, there can be no human soul, no reason, no immortality. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, death occurs when the soul can no longer abide in a decomposing human body. Usually two days after cessation of brain waves and heart beat, the person is dead. Clinical death is a gimmick used to procure and harvest human organs. As the human body begins life with a soul, the body ends life without the soul. This is true for all of nature. In the case of the human being composed of body and soul, the soul is made in the image of God and therefore the human body takes its form from the soul in an act of free will, of consent to become a human being in the will to live. The human being comes into existence at fertilization of the human egg by the male sperm. God cooperates in procreation by creating a new individual human soul, with free ill and sovereign personhood. Those who would oppose this reality are miscarriages and idiots.
    The TRUTH is that marriage consists in the consummated marital act. Some people want equality but they refuse EQUAL JUSTICE which is predicated on the TRUTH, the whole TRUTH and nothing but the TRUTH, so that gay militants in a court of law perjure themselves by introducing fake husbands and fake wives and demand legally acknowledged marriage without the consummated marital act.
    In the case of “in vitro fertilization” of an individual of the human species, concocted by “three parents”, “their Creator” may not freely create a rational, immortal human soul for the invention, leaving the miscreation without human rights, a slave, a subhuman made of human parts but not of God’s Divine Providence, in short, Frankenstein. In the case of the human being composed of body and soul, the soul is made in the image of God and therefore the human body takes its form from the soul in an act of free will, of consent to become a human being in the will to live. Denied his free will consent to come into existence as a three parented individual miscreation, the human monster is angry and with cause having been denied his free will consent to come into existence as a three parented miscreant. The only hope is that Frankenstein destroyed his maker, but the monster also destroyed many innocent villagers. And if only monsters, devoid of human souls survive and fill the earth, there will be nobody but God to care.
    One is too many human beings who refuse to employ their humanity, their human compassion, reason and free will. One is too many human beings addicted to pride, lust, greed, cruelty and the legion of other vices without the grace to free oneself. The pride of the scientist engaged in and even inventing a monster devoid of the human soul is despicable, but the proud scientist must know that it has been done before, even before time began, and by Lucifer.
    Now, if the American Civil Liberties Union intends to grant civil rights to a miscreant devoid of the human soul, they need to start right now, procuring the consent of the three parented “in vitro fertilized” human beings being brought into existence without human souls , without free will, without informed human consent. FREEDOM

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  • The note I made in the margins of The Interview, regarding Francis’ denunciation of denunciators was, “he does not like tattletales.”

  • What are we to do Don? I’m too much of a conservative to schism with SSPX. What can I do but trust? I am a Christian and, as such, have to trust that He knows what He is doing and that I don’t and can’t. Sure I have my concerns. Heck, I even have my quick fixes for my concerns but all I can do is trust.

    All of the back and forth is just exhausting and all for something over which we have absolutely no control whatsoever.

    I appreciate the theorizing and deep thought. I really do. I just can’t begin to guess where this is going and am afraid that too much questioning of it will lead me down a road contrary to our Faith.

  • while a new era and new way of being Catholic is being born

    I am still trying to figure out what was so wrong with the old way of being Catholic.

  • c matt wrote, “I am still trying to figure out what was so wrong with the old way of being Catholic”

    Everyone has heard the old adage, “Frederick the Great lost the battle of Jena” – a system suited to his needs and his age, slavishly adhered to by his successors, was unable to adapt to changed conditions.

  • Just a further thought on Mr. Price’s piece: I wonder if His Holiness was speaking to the loyal Catholic laity and not to the clergy in his critique of being overly focussed on perversion and abortion.

    It has certainly not been my experience that those topics are covered in homilies, teaching, or public expression by our clergy. However, practicing Catholics talk an awful lot about those subjects – particularly on the internet. So I wonder if His Holiness wasn’t speaking to his fellow priests at all. Perhaps he was saying to us “you are the faithful son in the Parable of the Prodigal Son and your bitterness towards your wayward brother is keeping you from the party. Drop the bitterness and come inside. Everything I have is yours already and, now that he is back, I will work on fixing him.”

  • “What are we to do Don?”

    Wait and watch and critique respectfully when necessary. I do not think that the “mold” of this papacy has been necessarily set yet, so such critiques may well do some good. Being a pope is something that no one can ever be adequately prepared for. Popes learn as they go along and the early stages of a papacy are frequently not a good predictor of the papacy as a whole.

  • “Perhaps he was saying to us “you are the faithful son in the Parable of the Prodigal Son and your bitterness towards your wayward brother is keeping you from the party. Drop the bitterness and come inside. Everything I have is yours already and, now that he is back, I will work on fixing him.”

    I know of no conservative Catholics who are objecting to Francis’ comments because they don’t want the “wrong type of sinners” brought back to the Church. I think there are two concerns: (1) he is not going to draw anyone back because his statements could be construed as affirming people in a life that is in fact sinful (as if the father in the Prodigal Son had sent a message to his son saying, “I still love you my son and, by the way, I really think people focus way too much on idolatry, harlotry, and drunkenness”); and (2) his words are going to be used by people like NARAL, Catholics for Choice, etc., to undermine efforts to protect life, protect marriage, and protect religious freedom.

  • With respect Mr. English, I don’t think I said that we ARE objecting to sinners coming to Christ. I’m one of them so I surely understand your point. I also understand your two points and share them.

    I was solely exploring the Pope’s words and audience and seeking to apply them. I meant no offense, only to suggest an alternative audience to the one that Mr. Price had identified.

  • I wonder if His Holiness was speaking to the loyal Catholic laity and not to the clergy in his critique of being overly focussed on perversion and abortion.

    I knew a priest once who had an excessive interest in freemasonry. He alsto had some rhetorical failures when preaching on sexual topics, though I cannot say with any certainty he paid o’er much attention to it.

    That fellow aside, I cannot say I have ever met a priest whose concerns on these matters was not integrated into a tapestry of teaching. (Bar those priests you meet who avoid sexual topics entirely).

    I realize the Pope teaches and legislates for the whole Church, but this is just not our problem.

  • You are very easily dyspepticized (new word just for you). Try, try, for God’s sakes, try a little faith. It will sustain you.

  • “I was solely exploring the Pope’s words and audience and seeking to apply them. I meant no offense, only to suggest an alternative audience to the one that Mr. Price had identified.”

    No offense taken, and you might be right about Francis’ intended audience. But, if you are right, that in itself is evidence of a serious problem. Progressive Catholics certainly thinks Francis was chastising Conservative Catholics, which is why they are lauding the interview.

  • “Try, try, for God’s sakes, try a little faith. It will sustain you.”

    I have a little faith. That’s why I can critique the Pope’s words in matters not of faith and morals.

  • The longer Francis is Pope, the more I miss Benedict. The world should bend and come to Jesus truth, not the other way around.

    I see no good coming out of these councils..only more liberalism and cuddling up to the world.

  • “he does not like tattletales.” Are we not free men?

    “Everything I have is yours already and, now that he is back, I will work on fixing him.” A repentant sinner is already fixed.

    Militant feminists, Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards, Nancy Pelosi are most obsessed with abortion. Militant homosexuals are most obsessed with gay marriage.

  • I can see things developing in the minds of the faithful and priests. Last year my parish made a big deal about being involved in the ‘chain of life’ by the Planned Parenthood ‘Aboratorium’ to fight abortion. This year, barely a peep about it. Likewise, I question myself, I wonder if by protesting am I showing a judgemental, angry, and hateful face to the world that I am to help to find God. Is the Pope telling us to back off a bit on the protest and try another plan. I know that I probably won’t attend this years ‘chain of life’ because of this confusion. How many others will do likewise?

    I also fear that just as with the ‘Spirit of Vatican II’ and the changes that were allowed such as the removal of most reverencial art and actions as well as most Catholic fasting and devotion, we will not replace our pro-life activities with personal evangelization. We will just not be as involved in yet another area of works for God.

  • From “If”, by Rudyard Kipling,
    “If You can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools”

    In this case, “You” is Jesus or the Holy Spirit. And, in truth, They can bear it.

  • God bless this Pope! He is reminding the faithful that being a true Catholic and Pro-Life person is more than a few narrow issues. Sadly, our Church has been shoe-horned into only highlighting those few issues to the exclusion of others.

    When your floor boards are rotting and giving way, you don’t focus on the ceiling. The Faith in the West is dying, yet I have not heard any concern from some segments of the Church. Look at the collapse of the Church in Ireland, yet no outrage! The Center-Right Catholics have focused on abortion to the exclusion of everything else. Yes, that is a flagship issue of the Pro-Life movement, but it is not the only issue. Opposing abortion does not make one Pro-Life, because being Catholic is composed of a whole range of issues and beliefs.

    My mother went bankrupt fighting her cervical cancer; I almost lost her twice, once when I was on deployment. I can’t imagine not having her at my wedding. Where is her right to life in the conservative worldview? And the millions of people engaged in ferocious battles against deadly conditions? Life is sacred from birth to natural death, and the does mean all stages in between.

    If conservatives would find a way to provide healthcare to all (definitely WITHOUT abortion funding), and would return to its historic tradition of supporting environmental conservation, it would be a perfect pro-life movement. Sadly, it has embraced militant atheist Ayn Rand anarcho-libertarianism. That is just as anti-Catholic as Marxism.

    God bless.

  • Ben, are you sure you’re not from Nebraska or some midwestern state? The reason I ask is that surely you must have access to a limitless supply of straw in order to create that kind of strawman army.

    God bless.

    I was going to let this go, but to me there is absolutely nothing more despicable than someone who spends four paragraphs completely defaming other people, lying about their motives, and misrepresenting everything they stand for, adding a trite little “God bless” as though to fully hammer home that they consider themselves to be morally superior.

    You know what Ben – if this is the attitude you wanna take, see ya.

  • My mother went bankrupt fighting her cervical cancer; I almost lost her twice, once when I was on deployment. I can’t imagine not having her at my wedding. Where is her right to life in the conservative worldview? And the millions of people engaged in ferocious battles against deadly conditions? Life is sacred from birth to natural death, and the does mean all stages in between.

    If your mother is terminally ill, it really does not matter what conception of the right to life I endorse. My regrets about your situation.

  • Looks like the pope is at it again, another interview, another eye brow raising comment.

    The most serious of the evils that afflict the world these days are youth unemployment and the loneliness of the old.

    He goes on to say without employment, youth have no hope. Interesting perspective for a man called to bring Jesus to the world. They are bad things, but are these the most serious of evils in the world today?

    We need to include the excluded and preach peace. Vatican II, inspired by Pope Paul VI and John, decided to look to the future with a modern spirit and to be open to modern culture. The Council Fathers knew that being open to modern culture meant religious ecumenism and dialogue with non-believers. But afterwards very little was done in that direction. I have the humility and ambition to want to do something.

    Sigh. Where do I begin? I love you Francis, but you’re going to give me more gray hair. 🙂


Tell Us How You Really Feel Dale!

Wednesday, January 30, AD 2013

Priests check the firearms of Marines who will be sent to Basilan province in southern Philippines during the 110th founding anniversary of the Philippine Navy in Manila


My friend Dale Price writes insightful posts at his blog Dyspeptic Mutterings.  I stop by there regularly to steal borrow blog ideas.  Dale is always very good, but when he lets himself go he is magnificent.  Herewith is his post on the scape goating anti-NRA hysteria that some on Saint Blogs have been participating in:

Being marginalized in the culture war.

This is not directed at the people of good faith who I have spoken with about firearms since Sandy Hook. Hopefully, you know who you are. But I do have to unburden myself, and unfortunately in a burdensomely-verbose manner.
It doesn’t matter, but I didn’t sleep for s–t in the ten days after the Sandy Hook massacre. I was up until at least 1 am every night, trying to distract myself from the horror of the butchery committed by that evil garbage. It’s not much, but my wife made sure to send a card to the Newtown priests facing the horror. When I started talking about the issue, I expressed my interest in solutions like smaller magazine capacity, biometric safes and trigger locks and the like. Productive, civil conversations. Or so it seemed.
As it turned out, none of that mattered. The tone changed from one of wanting to prevent another Sandy Hook into a two-months hate against gun ownership in general and NRA members in particular. Solutions fell by the wayside, and de-legitimization began in earnest.
You see, I’m an NRA member. I do not own a Bushmaster, or any other semi-automatic weapon. As is my wife. I–and Heather–collectively own several firearms. Including–as will be set forth below–a completely-legal, bona-fide military weapon currently used by our military right now. Unlike what [damnatio memoriae] used at Newtown.
Nevertheless, because of our membership in Satan’s Own Rifles, prominent people of culture hope we get shot. Hope really hard! [Which strikes me as an odd spin on the Hope™ being offered in 2008, but I digress for the first time.]
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23 Responses to Tell Us How You Really Feel Dale!

  • It’s people like a certain self-appointed blog meister in the Catholic blogosphere whom Dale talks about and who are the worst of the lot. Hypocrites and sanctimoniously “pious” idiots without the brains to realize that Obama is trying to disarm all of us the same as his forefathers Stalin, Plutarco Calles and Hitler did before him, but they certainly have the biggest mouths of any of the primates. Maybe somebody should remind such people of gelatinous girth that mad dictators like Calles persecuted the Church to the point where the faithful had to defend themselves with guns, and that Scriptural precedence with swords has already been established in 1st Maccabees chapters 1 and 2.

  • Leaving only socialists and other criminals armed with assault rifles and large magazines is virtually insane. Only a tyrant would propose it.

  • Try over at Ricochet, where some well-meaning folks are sure that Catholics aren’t allowed to own guns.

    It’s “church teaching,” you see.

    They know because a site with “Catholic” in the title interviewed the disarmament expert for the Peace and Justice whatever at the Vatican, and found a couple of foot-notes in USCCB documents.

  • As usual, an excellent post by Dale. However, I think he lets Mark off the hook WAY too easily. At some point, he should be held accountable for his own intellectually dishonest use of strawmen and hyperbole to marginalize, delegitimize, and dehumanize those with whom he disagrees.

    Last night, Paul Zummo compiled a list of Mark’s more choice remarks about some gun advocates he had falsely accused of hectoring and heckling a grieving Sandy Hook parent:

    Of course, all Mark could manage in response was to falsely accuse Paul of running the torture-advocacy blog “The Coalition for Fog” in one of the more bizarre and out-of-the-blue examples of ad hominem argumentation that I’ve read in quite a while.

    It’s crap like that from prominent Catholics in the Catholic blogosphere that have turned me off of blogging … probably for good.

  • Dale Price is telling it like it is, and showing a good deal of restraint (compared to the less-than-charitable thoughts that have been appearing in my mind since these attacks on the Constitution/Catechism/CommonHorseSense began). Slander is afoot; Socialist panties are showing. The political left making hay from tragedy, whodathunkit, and the usual suspects all tumbling over themselves to fall into line. Bah.

  • Jay,

    One question: Mark who?

    Just kidding. I still pray for the man.

    PS: I am now a criminal in the state of NY. Thanks to new gun laws and hysterics like Mark: Me and tens of thousands of New Yorkers.

  • I still find myself reading maybe one in four Mark Shea posts, because I see them pop up on Facebook, but honestly, it’s gotten to where that blog is mostly about emotional grandstanding and constant demonization of the Enemy Of The Hour. It’s too bad. I hear Mark himself is not a bad guy, and he’s an orthodox writer with a love for the Church, but as a blogger he’s gotten downright painful to read.

  • Mark Shea, in having received many compliments for being an orthodox writer with a love for the Church has let that go to his head and now thinks he is some sort of Magisterium in the American Catholic blogosphere with the authority to make pronouncements on the Faithful. And when it comes to issues like the right to keep and bear arms, he is definitely wrong and won’t even hear much less coutnenance reasoning to the contrary. That’s what happens with receiving too much fame for the books he sells. 🙁

  • That isn’t a wholly unheard of phenomenon, of course. Who was that blogger a few years back who was a convert and a darling of the conservative/neo-con blogosphere and then went whole hog anti-Catholic. Last I knew, his blog went private and he got into soft-porn photography or some nonsense. Pity.

    Cliched movie line, but with great power comes great responsibility. Its not hard to write theologically orthodox books or blog posts. However, at this stage of the game where there are still so much silliness in the parishes that some folks eat up anything orthodox wherever they can find it and set up those folks on pedestals-with the resultant ballooned egos and unassailable correctness of position.

    Save for the grace of God there go I, granted, but I wore the cassock/collar as a seminarian for a couple years and witnessed the same phenomenon. Some folks will take any hare brained, half baked, whiskey soaked mental diarrhea that falls out of your face as Absolute Truth if they’ve decided that other more sane things you’ve written or said or your external trappings have made you a rock of orthodoxy in their minds. Personally, that taught me to shut my trap and think a lot more before going off half cocked…

  • You are referring to Gerald Naus, dominic. It was a rather sad case indeed.

  • I’m not sure it’s exactly a case of too much fame — I have to think the fame and other forms or remuneration for writing books for the Catholic market is sadly pretty small — but just that once you get into the downward spiral of mainlining on snark and srawmanning, it’s pretty hard to turn back.

    I suspect one of the things that feeds Mark’s over the top behavior is that being over the top himself, he tends to attract pretty over the top readers, both those who agree with him and those who disagree. One you’ve got a self selected group of readers who either think that we all need to climb down into the catacombs with assault rifles before the gay brownshirts come for us, or else think that anyone who claims The Thing That Used To Be Conservatism is a raving survivalist maniac who tortures Palestinians in his spare time, there’s not really much of a lifeline back to sanity.

  • Dominic, I think it’s the other side of the demonization coin. We assign white hats the same way we assign black hats.

    I’ve seen it happen in the traditionalist movement. A bishop allows an indult Mass, and he becomes Good. But someone else heard that something bad happened in his diocese, so he’s designated Bad. It must have been his auxiliary bishop who’s Good. The auxiliary moves to a new diocese and a month later a sex scandal breaks. OK, then the old auxiliary must be Bad, and it was the first bishop who was Good all along. If a seminarian in his diocese says something unflattering about the diocese, he must be one of those modernists.

    Two examples spring to mind. Cardinal Schonborn of Vienna changes perceived sides faster than a bottom-of-the-card wrestler. The other example, outside religion, is the wildly fluctuating responses to Chris Christie. I suppose it’s a healthy thing that we want to have someone to look up to; we’re not always seeking to tear people down. But if you fall in love easily you get your heart broken a lot.

  • I suspect one of the things that feeds Mark’s over the top behavior is that being over the top himself, he tends to attract pretty over the top readers, both those who agree with him and those who disagree. One you’ve got a self selected group of readers who either think that we all need to climb down into the catacombs with assault rifles before the gay brownshirts come for us, or else think that anyone who claims The Thing That Used To Be Conservatism is a raving survivalist maniac who tortures Palestinians in his spare time, there’s not really much of a lifeline back to sanity.

    Ding ding ding.

    I’m sure Mark Shea gets some very, err, interesting hate mail. It’s a natural tendency in all humans to double down when confronted with vituperative feedback, and that just perpetuates the cycle. That doesn’t excuse Mark at all – far from it, as he invites it upon his head. But I can see where the negative feedback loop doesn’t help.

    And of course I haven’t always been Mr. Charitable when it comes to Mr. Shea, so I’ll shut my fat trap now.

  • This thread is interesting. Mark Shea may be inflated. Many good Catholics have slid back a few steps, and the old foe is trying us all.
    It’s what he does best. Just ask Fr. Coropi.
    Satan wants to do harm to those especially gifted and talented to lead souls to Christ.
    All the more armor needed to defend his attacks.
    Paul. W. P…..fame is a weapon in Satan’s arsenal, and I believe your spot on with Mark Shea’s position on arms.

  • Thanks, Philip. I would rather be wrong. Before the 2008 election I had not had a gun in my hand since my Navy days some three decades ago. But after that election I bought a mini-14 specifically because of what people like Obama have always done in the past. Obviously I can make no difference as a mere individual, but having a weapon (even if I rarely use it and then only at the rifle range) is simply my way to protest against that evil son of a snake. Oh yes, many say he doesn’t rate that high, being nothing more than a Chicago gangster. Well, gangsters are evil and I don’t want a gangster running the government. And this gangster legitimatizes the infanticide of the unborn and sanctifies the filth of homosexual sodomy. Evil. Pure and simple evil.

  • Mom always said: “Don’t get your halo on too tight.” Loved the writing and especially the title.

    “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

    The Preamble to the U.S. Constitution sets forth the purpose and responsibility of our founding principles. Here I am concerned with the phrase,” provide for the common defence“ and those who would remove certain firearms and guns from “the common defence”. The U.S. Constitution may not be altered or changed without 2/3 of the states ratifying the change. The Preamble cannot change without dissolving the United States of America.

    Gun control advocates may not change the Constitution without the ratifying two/thirds of the states and they still must prove that a particular gun is not going to be used to “provide for the common defence.” The Preamble does not change, unless 2/3 of the states ratify it, and the Preamble states “provide for the common defence” Common people provide for the common defence. And what part of “WE”, “the people” does not include every person?

    My own experience with guns, with bullet holes in my door and window, the hunters refused to leave. Begging and pleading and even the police failed. I stood on the back steps and announced that if their bullets wouldn’t hit me, my bullets wouldn’t hit them. The hunters left. I think I had a rifle in my hands. (Sometimes a demonstration works)

  • Moslem Brotherhood welcomed here.
    All Religions are equal.
    Bible is just mans viewpoint on God.
    Life is not sacred.
    Marriage is need of new definitions.
    Guns kill people, not cars, knives, tired surgeons or fascist regimes.
    Paul. Welcome to Virtual Reality on steroids.
    I hunt whitetail deer in the beautiful north.
    If my home or family was under serious threat of harm I will not hesitate to protect us.
    God help us in this day of corruption.
    God guide us and protect us.
    “He who gives testimony on my behalf, I will give to them before my Father in Heaven.”
    Jesus is Lord. He and only He saves us from our sins. No other Gods shall we believe in. None. Especially self proclaimed godbamma.

  • Mary DeVoe,
    I wasn’t our clan at your door.
    You did get your point across though.
    Sometimes it takes a strong stand.
    If only to protect ourselves from rouge regimes, gangsters or stupid Hunters we must not cave in on this right. Regardless of the weapon or its clip size.
    Egypt and fighter jets, and the Big Concern is gun control in our Nation?
    Excuse me while I rant in private…..

  • Philip: No, it was not your clan at the door. Your rant is valid and thank God. Keep ranting.

  • Ditto to Mary De Voe’s last comment!

  • Paul: It is the duty of every citizen to keep his mouth open. One Ave Maria

  • Tibi gratias, Maria de Voe!

    Avē Marīa, grātiā plēna,
    Dominus tēcum.
    Benedicta tū in mulieribus,
    et benedictus frūctus ventris tuī, Iēsus.
    Sāncta Marīa, Māter Deī,
    ōrā prō nōbīs peccātōribus,
    nunc et in hōrā mortis nostrae.

  • From “don’t get your halo on too tight”…
    …to…”I think I had a rifle in my hands”

    More than a few times I have thanked our Lord for the wisdom he has granted to Mary De Voe.

    Mary, I’m sorry.
    One Hail Mary from me too. (In Latin of course)

Dyspeptic Mutterings

Monday, October 15, AD 2012


I am happy to see that Dale Price has resumed blogging regularly at his Dyspeptic Mutterings.  I stop by every day to read some of the wittiest blog writing on the internet.  Here is a recent sample:

I am building a giant cybernetic war badger in my basement.
I love the music of Marty Haugen.
I am receiving locutions from Krishna.
I think Obama is the only permissible electoral choice for Catholics in 2012.
I don’t think women should ever wear pants or breastfeed in public.
OK–they can do the latter if they’re wearing only pants.
Janeway is way better than Kirk and Picard combined.
The Dallas Cowboys are going to win the next three Super Bowls.
Or the Washington Redskins–whichever you hate more.
Yes, that outfit makes your ass look fat.
The best Stooge was Shemp.
Only Anglican orders are valid.
–I mean, seriously–is this thing on? Traffic is allegedly going up, but I’m feeling like a performance artist here.

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2 Responses to Dyspeptic Mutterings

The Church in America: Low Grade Civil War

Wednesday, March 21, AD 2012




Dale Price over at Dyspeptic Mutterings is being brilliant again:


Fr. Thomas Massaro would like you all to calm down.
I’m not going to fisk this, because it’s an admirable sentiment, as far as it goes. Which means it stagged a step or two before dropping in a messy heap.
Yes, it would be nice if things in the world were more civil and respectful. That’s fine.
But the problem with his call for civility is that he sees the white-hot anger as the problem rather than the symptom. It’s not–the real problem goes far, far deeper than that, and has been savaging the Body of Christ for decades now.
The HHS mandate is just the catalyst causing it to explode to the surface.
The real problem is that the Church in America has fractured into at least two churches. If it hadn’t been this issue, it would have been a dispute over the language of the liturgy, or the latest pronouncement from the Vatican, some university conferring honors on someone who is an open enemy of Catholic teaching or even the renovation of the local cathedral church. The struggle–more bluntly, low-grade civil war–between the churches has been going on since the last bit of incense dispersed at Vatican II. We don’t agree on how to worship, what our schools should teach, what laws should be enacted/opposed, what canons apply and when or even what our parish church should look like. In fact, we can’t even agree on whether or not Jesus actually rose from the dead.
And for forty five years, our shepherds have been trying to keep it together by careful tacking, including soothing rhetoric, trying to give everyone half a loaf or so (depending on the year, bishop and constituency) and generally trying not to see the coal pile in the ballroom.

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37 Responses to The Church in America: Low Grade Civil War

  • “…generally trying not to see the coal pile in the ballroom.”

    It’s not a coal pile. It’s a pile of Uranium-235 at 90+ percent enrichment about to go prompt critical. That’s when delta-K goes greater than beta bar. You don’t need to know what that is technically, because we’re all about to see it happen.

    The neutrons are about to fly!

  • I did not know that rancid tidbit about Fr. Massaro. I will make sure to update.

    Thanks for the hat-tip.

  • Yes. The Church has been split asunder. Only the educated and wealthy remain for Mass. That is a disservice to everyone and God will punish both the right wing and the left.

  • Pingback: The Church in America: Low Grade Civil War | The American Catholic | Church
  • That is not true Dan as I can attest at my parish, where the rich, the poor and the middle class sit in the pews, and where the members of the parish have all sorts of educational backgrounds. The divisions within the Church today are ones of faith, and the lack thereof.

  • “Opinion is not truth. ” Plato

    Some believe social justice is the alibi for all sins.

    Recently, this was about the second time I can remember in the past 45 years, one of our holy, young priests preached on sin. There was noticeable squirming in the pews.

  • Recently one of our priests (3rd year) gave his first talk on contraception. He apologized for not doing it before. He said that he, his fellow priests and bishops have failed us. He said it is a difficult topic; I suspect because it is so polarizing and ‘Catholics’ complain about hearing it. And then he laid into the whole thing and when he finished his excellent homily – men and angels clapped with resounding applause and I saw a line of people thanking him after Mass.

    Our priests need encouragement and prayer – some more than others. Some may also need a slap in the face – given as fraternal correction in a spirit of Charity – remember, we are required to do spiritual works of mercy as well, including counsel the ignorant – especially ignorant clerics.

  • First off, the Catholic Church is wrong about contraception. It is not a sin, it is not evil, and it does not become either of these things simply because you say so.

    Second, the CC is accustomed to taking positions on moral issues from a standpoint of Natural Law. You can’t do it this time- haven’t you noticed? Natural Law- a system of law determined by nature, thus universal. It refers to the use of reason to deduce binding rules of moral behavior. By way of contrast, see Positive Law, or man-made law. Right now (and for the past 50 years or so), the CC has faced a situation in which Natural Law determines that contraception (at least in most of its forms) is perfectly moral, and that conclusion is the basis and standard for judging or critiquing the Positive Law of the CC.

    Third, we must examine the relationship between the first two points and tie them together. Once more, the CC is wrong about contraception, and we the American people are using Natural Law to judge the CC and its Positive Law. You’re not used to this, nor are you used to being judged from within by other Catholics. Even more significant than the contraception issue in and of itself is the specific groups of people that it affects. No, not insurance agencies, but Catholic institutions of higher education and Catholic hospitals, both of which employ and serve non-Catholics just as much as Catholics and neither of which are cloistered from the non-Catholic realities of the country in which we live. More to the point, however, you’re looking at two groups of people that are uniquely gifted in the expertise that is required to assess Natural Law on this issue- medical expertise, along with logic, reason, philosophy, ethics, law and government, you name it and some aspect of academia covers it. These are the people who assess Natural Law and render judgment on the Positive Law of the Catholic Church. The people with relevant expertise are in charge of it- not the US College of Catholic Bishops. They don’t have the relevant expertise.

    You might not like it, but really, what are you going to do about it? Judgment is being rendered by Catholics and non-Catholics alike. Natural Law is what it is- and really, this battle was fought and won decades ago. This is an election-year kerfuffle, and it will go away just as soon as Obama wins re-election with the help of the Catholic vote- just like last time. Then things will go back to the way they’ve been- in the foreground, most of us will go on with our lives with the knowledge that contraception is moral, permissible, and generally a good thing. We might even make a snarky remark about the Catholic Church here and there, and you’ll fume but do nothing. Meanwhile, the currently-vocal minority of Catholics will fade to the background and wonder why people stopped caring about you. I can give you a preview, though- they stopped caring because it stopped being an election year. And I’ll just tell you in advance- despite the GOP’s best efforts to get the Catholic vote in 2012, it won’t work. The Catholic vote will go to Obama again. The GOP might find some other reason to go back to the well in an election year to be named later, but the Catholic response on the current attempt will disappoint them just a bit.

    These predictions will prove to be accurate, and I’m sure you won’t be pleased when it happens. If for not other reason than it will make a couple of people look foolish for the ignorance they’re about to attribute to me.

  • Mike,

    It’s so cute how you use big words to make an argument about which you know nothing. Natural Law is easily discernible by reason alone; however, if you lack that capacity, then it just becomes a cool term to use to obfuscate your confusion.

    When your reason begins and ends below the belt, it is difficult actually think; but, at least, you’re educated enough to know how to write the big words. Perhaps you may actually want to find out what they mean.

    Oh, and although our bishops all went to college, they are not a college, rather, they’re a conference. You may have confused them with the College of Cardinals, to which some of our bishops do belong, most recently Timothy Cardinal Dolan. Yet, I suspect the difference is lost for you because all you see is ‘evil clerics’. Those bastards, all they do is try to keep us out of hell and get us to heaven – how dare they!!!

  • Mike: If someone does not love you enough to want to have more of you, or if you do not love another to want more of them, it is a lie and lust, not love. Why should any citizen be forced to pay for somebody’s lust, be that they are going to hell?

  • Mike,

    So many words, and yet so much FAIL. You may want to brush up on the Natural Law. However, if that doesn’t do it for you, you might want to check out the phenomenologist approach. The truth is out there, and frankly you have missed it.

  • Mike, alas, has failed to enlighten us on the Natural Law (it’s not the product of the contemporary consensus of the Degreed in anything save his mind).

    However, he has amply demonstrated to us the deleterious effects of the emphasis on self-esteem in public education. And he feels good after his verbose exercise in condescension.

    So everyone’s a winner here–hurray!

  • I like the way in which AK, Mary DeVoe, Big Tex and Dale Price have kept this very simple for Mike. Indeed, that’s the whole issue: liberals can’t understand simple.

  • Paul,

    Thank you for including me in your comment. Pithiness is not my forte. Hoorah for spiritual acts of mercy – specifically counseling the ignorant and admonishing the sinner. Mike, you’re welcome and we love you.

  • First off, the Catholic Church is wrong about contraception. It is not a sin, it is not evil, and it does not become either of these things simply because you say so.

    Let me put Mike’s analysis in the form of a syllogism:

    I want to have contraceptive sex;
    The Church says it’s immoral;
    Ergo the Church is wrong.

    Natural Law shows that the natural end of the procreative act is… wait for it…wait for it… procreation.

    If you cannot grasp that fundamental point, then please leave Natural Law to the grownups.

  • Mike, you are making a fundamental error by confusing Catholics (individual practitioners of the Catholic faith to varying degrees of fidelity) with the Catholic Faith.

    It very may well be that the “Catholic” vote may go for Obama, if by that you mean more individual practitioners will vote for the O rather than other candidates. But that does not the Catholic Faith make. All it means is that there are probably a lot of misinformed, malformed, or outright rebelious Catholics. While that is a grave concern that needs to be addressed, it does not mean that the O or any of his positions are in conformity with the Catholic Faith. Morality is not determined by majority vote.

  • As part of my professional milieu I find that the biggest lies are told in the most civil tones, in the most civil forums, by the most civil people…..and “civility” is then demanded when caught. Otherwise, it is the use of the mask of civility to commit the most uncivil wrongs that I find most reprehensible.

  • Mike,

    Do you know the first Commandment God gave? Hint: It’s why God embedded strong sexual attractions between men and women (oops, opened another can of worms!)

    If you think consistent 2,000 years-long teachings of Holy Mother Church are erroneous, congratulations, you have self-identified as a heretic. Look it up.

    re: voting for Obama.

    How does $8 a gallon gasoline sound?

    The Obamateur Hour (or How I Keep Hearing How Stupid is Sarah Palin): “We have subsidized oil companies for a century. We want to encourage production of oil and gas, and make sure that wherever we’ve got American resources, we are tapping into them. But they don’t need an additional incentive when gas is $3.75 a gallon, when oil is $1.20 a barrel, $1.25 a barrel. They don’t need additional incentives. They are doing fine.” Oil was $107 a barrel at close yesterday.

    How much of that $3.75 a gallon is taxes?

  • Mike, you know what else is a sin in Catholic Church teaching? (I don’t think I should tell you if you’re this upset about the teaching of artificial birth control.) Oh, you are not going to like this one. It is a sin against the 5th Commandment to harbor “religious and racial prejudice.” It “is a sin against justice as well as charity.” But here is the part where it really starts getting good: “THIS IS PARTICULARLY TRUE IN THE CASE OF JOINING AN ORGANIZATION WHICH PROMOTES SEGREGATION OR ANY OTHER DENIAL OF HUMAN RIGHTS.” (my emphasis). There is more, read on.

    This is a teaching in the book, “Life In Christ – Instructions in the Catholic Faith” published in 1958 with authority of a Nihil Obstat and an Imprimatur. I just confirmed this past week with a high ranking clergy official in the Catholic Church that that is still the teaching of the Church. Do you know what the following teaching means: “This is particularly true in the case of joining an organization which promotes segregation OR ANY OTHER DENIAL OF HUMAN RIGHTS?” Are you sitting down?

    It means “joining” the Democrat Party is a sin against the 5th Commandment. The Democrat Party denies the right to life, both in word and action, to unborn children by their support and defense of keeping abortion legal in their organization platform and their votes in Congress and state legislatures. Catholics who are registered to vote in the Democrat Party are committing sin against the 5th Commandment (interesting that it happens to be THAT commandment) and remain in sin as long as they are registered in that party, besides voting for that party. I’m waiting on word of how serious a sin it is. But I think Catholic Democrat culpability is high in the continued murder of unborn children because the power the Democrat Party comes from their large numbers of registered voters, of which, Catholics are their single, largest voting block, and consequently a large number of Democrat candidates are able to be elected who defend and implement pro-abortion regulations. Abortion could not remain legal if large numbers of Catholic Democrats discover that their salvation depends on whether they choose to be Catholics or Democrats. I would think that they would choice to save themselves rather than the Democrat Party which would lose elective power with the loss of a large portion of that voting block. Consequently, the party would have a lot fewer elected representatives to defend and support their pro-abortion positions, especially in the Senate which would enable prolife nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court to be confirmed.

  • I guess that is why the closest approximation to the outer circle of hell in our country (barring the Washington Beltway) is being in the Demoncratic Party.

  • Mike, after the election year when you go back to your life, happy about your predictions, and are being a little snarky about the Catholic Church for amusement because it is your Constitutional right to speak your mind; I suggest you think about the Four Last Things which Catholics hold to be true, and, also to wonder whether, if these are true, it’ll be Heaven or Hell for you and your compatriots.

  • Wow, looks like I got a live one here.

    For the record, I am actually a moderate who tends to vote conservative. The fact that American Catholics will vote for an eventual winner rather than voting on some sort of principle is a long-standing failure that I’m pointing out, while predicting more of the same in the immediate future.

    @Stillbelieve- I encourage you to run the “Catholic + Democrat = Sin” findings past some Catholic apologists at EWTN. Your best bet is Catholic Answers Live on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6 eastern 5 central and so forth- oh, and look at this, you can also call on Monday next week. Akin and Blackburn have an extra appearance. Try to get it down to a pretty short question, though, and know ahead of time exactly how you want to word your question. The screener does write it down word for word and posts a recap of the questions for that segment on their calendar.
    If that doesn’t work, visit Catholic Answers Forums and look up PJM and anyone else that he recommends. He’ll put as much time and effort into this as you have, and he has some excellent resources as his disposal as well. See what you come up with. Also, ask him how he knew John Hardon.

    I’ve never self-identified as a Democrat, and if the CC does deem Democrat affiliation to be a sin, add it to the list of Catholic no-nos that few understand and even fewer care about. I don’t think it does, though, and you’ll find this out if you do more research and ask the right questions of the right people. As to why a non-Democrat would favor the contraception aspect of the HHS mandate- that’s what being a moderate is all about. I get to do that.

    @American Knight- you’re right in pointing out that it is rather necessary to make a distinction between Natural Law in contemporary Catholicism and Natural Law in contemporary jurisprudence. (That is what you were doing, yes?) And you’re right, I said “college” where I should have said “conference.” It’s probably best that I ignore the rest of what you wrote.

    @Mary de Voe- if I ever get married and then have sex (in that order), I won’t ever engage in sexual intercourse with the understanding that I don’t want my wife to be the mother of my babies. There is a distinction here, however- there might be some times when we decide, together, that making a baby during this particular month is not what’s best for our family right NOW. But of course we still have sex, because that is very good for a marriage- particularly during the time of the month when this hypothetical wife would be at her most aroused. Rawr.
    As far as when we might not want to have a baby- perhaps in the first year or two of being married, although this depends on a variety of circumstances financial and otherwise. Assuming we’re fertile (which doesn’t always happen, you know), we’ll basically come to an agreement on how long we need before having another one, and I’m sure we’ll have some idea of the total number of kids we’d like to have going in. Then there’s the issue of long-term financial planning and assessing the number of children we can reasonably support, and of course there’s the approximate age range of 35-45 during which women can have babies but steadily climb to an unreasonable level of risk for complications, miscarriages, birth defects and so forth. If we have a child with special needs we will obviously meet all those needs (which I happen to be uniquely well-suited to do, I might add).
    The reason I felt the need to add that is this: I’ve had this same conversation before, and I’ve had it with people like you. You’ve already told me that any use of any form of contraception for any reason is tantamount to a blanket statement like “I don’t love you enough to have more of you.” So I already know where this is going- as soon as I mention that an unreasonably high risk for a high-risk pregnancy is a legitimate reason to use contraception regularly over a long period of time, I know you’re going to accuse me of hating special needs kids and wanting to kill them. I haven’t given you a response yet and I already know you want to go there. How do I know? Because it’s evident that you’re an unreasonable person who enjoys frustrating people.

    @c matt- your summary of my analysis is a joke. I laughed. You do raise a good point, though, and it does get us down to the basics of this thing. You actually left out a couple of points pertaining to Catholic teaching on the natural end of the procreative act. It was initially presented in the following manner- a twofold purpose, as a remedy for concupiscience and for procreation. More recently, however, the unitive aspect has been introduced to the ever-Newness of Catholic tradition as it develops. It is good that the CC recognizes that sex is a unitive act, in a relational sense as well as psychological, emotional, and so forth. I can only hope that you one day begin to see that sometimes, depending on the exact situation, one of those things can get in the way of the other- and that certainly doesn’t mean a married couple is obligated to abnegate themselves of them both. For example, following the birth of a child, there’s usually about a year (or at least a few months) between the birth and physical recovery on the part of the mother to the point where the unitive act can come back into play. That doesn’t mean you stop having children, of course- sometimes, one thing gets in the way of the other, and it’s not a bad thing. Likewise, there are times in a marriage when it’s not reasonable or feasible for the couple to have another child. That doesn’t mean you need to abstain from sex, though. It’s still just as much of a unitive act when you’re using contraception.
    @thesecondpostofcmatt- I actually wasn’t confused about that. I’m just pointing out how Evangelical voters in America can be mobilized on principle to vote for someone eventually loses the general election in a presidential race, whereas the voting habits of Catholics- at least on the national stage- are consistently and notoriously anything but “set apart.” I bring this up as a chastisement to Catholics who feel the need to preach at Evangelicals, especially when it’s done without any realistic hope of meaningful engagement- perhaps you should begin with converting Catholics to Catholicism.

    @T Shaw- so I’m a heretic? I suppose you must think the OCA and the Russian Orthodox are heretics as well. I have news for you. The Catholic Church is in schism, and you only speak for the Western portion of the Church. After all, the Church- by your own definition of Church with a capital C- does include the Eastern Orthodox who maintain apostolic succession. Does. It. Not. (With qualifications, of course, in that it’s the “other lung” of the Church and it’s an imperfect unity that you hope to see in its fullness one day, but let’s stay on point, you do see them as being part of the Church. With imperfect unity, I know that. But a part of the Church. With imperfect unity, I get it. Part of the Church. There’s that part, too).
    But do you make an exception for the Eastern bishops who maintain that an Eastern Orthodox Christian, with the guidance of his bishop in the economy of salvation, may at certain times be cleared to use contraception for certain kinds of reasons provided that it’s not done for purely selfish reasons? Are those heretical bishops who lead flocks that you now call “ecclesial assemblies” because they have willfully separated themselves from the Church in the exact sort of manner that would distinguish a schismatic thing from a heretical thing?
    In other words, are you engaging in ad-hoccery with your “heretic” claim, or will you indicate an acceptable level of consistency with your assessments?
    Moving on. $8 for a gallon of gas sounds expensive. Obama has no direct control over gas prices, though, and the degree to which any president of the US can have indirect control over the price of gas is either comically exaggerated or realistically suppressed in your mind depending on who’s in office. Obama happens to know that the price of gas will continue to rise, but he’s not making it do that. What he is doing is passing energy initiatives that force American car companies to make cars more fuel-efficient. That sounds nice. I hope he’s right about how Detroit automakers will progress over the next 12+ years. They say they’re on track for cars that go nearly 55 to the gallon on average, doubling current mileage standards. If that’s accurate- and that is a big if- 8 per gallon is doable.

    @PM- who are you referencing when you say “your compatriots”? If it was my decision, I would start by saying my compatriots are “other Christians.” But if I wanted to be more specific, I would go on to say “Christians, not just in name only, for whom matters of faith and morals are of primary importance, who are primarily concerned with becoming better Christians.” I hope that includes you, in spite of the disagreements that we do have. I regret to inform you, however, that most of your compatriots- that is to say, Catholics who live in America- are not my compatriots. “Not just in name only” eliminates a majority of them all by itself.

  • Mike: You said the Church was wrong on contraception.

    Good for you!

    Tertullian defined a heretic as one who replaces Church teachings on Faith and morals with his opinions.

    I happen to agree with the Church: coincidence or the Holy Spirit?. If I did not, I would not say I’m a Catholic. There are few worldly benefits for trying to be a Catholic, sonny.

  • What exactly is wrong with the teaching of Humanae Vitae?

    As section 17 points out, contraception leads to women being treated as mere sex objects, and enables government to say who should reproduce and who shouldn’t. Furthermore, the conjugal act in marriage is supposed to be both unitive and procreative. Saying, “I have the wisdom to decide when conception may occur” is no different than Eve partaking of the Fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. We don’t have the rightfully authority to tell God when He may or may not create new life. Contraception assumes we do. That is the height of hubris and arrogance.

    BTW, calling Mary DeVoe an unreasonable person who enjoys frustrating people is unkind, intolerant and divisive. But please feel free to call me that.

  • @T Shaw- funny thing about Tertullian. He is responsible for the earliest Trinitarian language that looks anything like “three persons, one substance.” You knew this, of course, but this is what’s funny about it. Tertullian wrote this after becoming a Montanist, and his ideas were initially rejected as heresy. But later, they were accepted as Christian orthodoxy. One other funny thing- upon his death, Tertullian was not in union with Rome.
    You have aligned your opinions with those of Rome. Coincidence or the Holy Spirit? I don’t think those are the only two viable options. It’s a matter of authority, and we’ve been over this already. Authoritarian people on one hand who rely primarily on “because I said,” and people with relevant expertise on the other hand who rely on proofs of natural law in the sense that it applies to contemporary jurisprudence- not in a strictly Thomistic sense, of course.

    @Pasta Primavera- What exactly is wrong with the teaching of HV? Wow, dude, if you have some kind of problem with the way I’m talking to people that is exactly the kind of question you do NOT want to ask. Are you sure you want this? Is that really what you want me to get into?
    Wrt your assertions, there is no causative link between contraception and “women as sex objects.” This is the kind of thing that must be proven, and you cannot prove it. This has been examined and it has been debunked. As a matter of fact and not a matter of opinion, contraception- properly used within marriage- does not lead to women being treated as sex objects. It can certainly coincide with sex-object behavior outside of marriage, but contraception does not cause this. Rather, it is extramarital sex that causes women to be treated as sex objects.
    “I have the wisdom to decide when conception may occur.” All right, I didn’t actually say that, but you still put quotes around it as if I did. But since you insist, go ahead. Tell me why I don’t have the wisdom to decide when conception may occur- or, to be a bit more accurate, tell me why I don’t have the wisdom to decide when there will be a 1 in 3 chance of implantation provided that conception does actually occur, which is also something that happens less than 100% of the time even under the best conditions.

    Also, for what it’s worth, the only thing a married Christian man is “telling God” while having sex with his wife is “Thank you for this.” And then God says “You’re welcome; I’m glad that you’re enjoying this for its physical pleasure and unitive purpose.” He does Not say “You’re not truly grateful unless you are doing everything in your power to make a baby right now, and this is something disordered that I never intended to allow.” That would be you, not God.

  • The bottom line is this: if you don’t want to have a baby, then don’t have sex. Period. You have no authority to separate the unitive from the procreative. Ever. You do not get to place yourself in God’s position. It is arrogant snottiness of the most hubris sort to do so.

    Truly Yours,

    Pasta Primavera who thinks more of what Pope Paul VI said than what some self-made pontificator on theology and philosophy says.

  • I am a sinner.

    Paul P. gets it. We agree with the Church b/c bc usurps God’s Will in deciding who will live and when we will participate with Him in His creation of human life.

    There is a ton of civil authority stuff that I completely ignore.

  • @Pasta Primavera- how about this. You aren’t in charge, and you don’t get to say so. And by extension, I am saying this about the CC as well. How does that feel? I am not placing myself in God’s position; it would be far more accurate to say that I (and people who are more similar to me than to you) are preventing your religious leaders from usurping that position. Really now, do you see me going around saying I act in persona Christi? Really? Not me? Who, then? Because whoever is doing that- those are the people you need to talk to about arrogant snottiness and hubris.

  • “And by extension, I am saying this about the CC as well. How does that feel?”

    Ahistorical, since God was the founder of the Catholic Church.

    “Pasta Primavera- how about this. You aren’t in charge,”

    Dial it back with the name calling Mike if you wish to continue to comment on this site, and I am in charge of this blog.

  • Oh, good–Mike has tacitly abandoned his idiotic natural law argument.

  • Obama has no direct control over gas prices, though

    Yes he does. By restricting drilling in the Gulf, delaying Keystone XL (the Canada leg) and refusing to open up federal lands, he ensures that oil futures go up.

    Oh, and when he releases oil from the Strategic Reserve, the price immediately goes down.

    Yeah, the polls are properly taking gas out on him. I hope he refuses to listen.

  • I do agree with Mike: I am not in charge. Rather, Jesus Christ is in charge, and He told Peter, “Thou art Rock and upon this rock I shall build my Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail.” The Pope is the successor of Peter. So Christ is in charge, speaking through the Pope and the college of Bishops in union with him. Thus, Humanae Vitae, written by the successor of St. Peter, supersedes any opinion to the contrary.

    If a person engages in sexual intercourse, then that person has already made a decision to have a baby. It doesn’t matter if 6,999,999,999 people out of 7 billion disagree and think morality is different than what it really is. We human beings don’t get to determine what morality is. This is NOT a Democracy. It is a Monarchy and Jesus Christ is King absolute. Indeed, thinking that we can determine what is sin was in a sense the first sin – the eating of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Truth, however, is objective and eternal, and His name is Jesus Christ.

    Now if that person we just talked about doesn’t want a baby, then that person must abstain from sexual intercourse. All sophistry to the contrary is simply nonsense in verbosity. Does one have control over the passions of one’s lust – sexual longings or whatever else one may want to call it – or does one not have such self-control? Will we behave like mindless baboons, contracepting our way out of accountability and responsibility, or will we behave in the image and likeness of God Himself as we were created to do? God’s first command to Adam and Eve was, “Be fruitful and multiply.” It was not, “Abort and contracept.” Any pretense at being logical and rational and reasonable and scientific while maintaining a contraceptive mentality is simply oxymoronic.

    Indeed, the three sins in the Garden of Eden were (yeah, I probably got them out of order, but the order in Matthew 4 is different than in Luke 4):

    The Lust of the Eyes – Eve saw the fruit was pleasing to look on
    The Lust of the Flesh – Eve saw the fruit was good to eat
    The Pride of Life – The fruit would give Eve and Adam knowledge to be like God

    Christ had to face these temptations after 40 days in the wilderness:

    The Lust of the Eyes – Look at these kingdoms; just bow down and I’ll give them to you
    The Lust of the Flesh – Turn these stones into Bread; no need to go hungry!
    The Pride of Life – Cast Yourself down; nothing will happen! You’re special!

    Contraception is unique in all sins because it caves in to all three simultaneously.

    The Lust of the Eyes – She’s beautiful; go for it!
    The Lust of the Flesh – It’s sex! You need some pleasure in your life!
    The Pride of Life – Use contraception! No baby! No responsibility!

    1 John 2:15-16 sums this up quite well:

    16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world passes away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides for ever.

  • Goodbye Mike. Share your views at other venues. You are banned from this one.

  • Sorry. I meant to say 1st John 2:16-17. Can’t type!

  • Apology.

    In my statement of Friday, March 23, 2012 A.D. at 1:10 pm, I stated, “You do not get to place yourself in God’s position. It is arrogant snottiness of the most hubris sort to do so.”

    I apologize to Mike. I did not mean for those sentences to be a direct reflection onto him. That statement should have said, “One does not get to place one’s self in God’s position. It is arrogant snottiness of the most hubris sort to do so.”

    It is important to take the “personal” out of this as some have reminded me. As is often said in 12 Step programs, “Principles before personalities.” (Now that statement is likely to get me criticized for violating the 11th Tradition – can’t please everybody.) In our case, the principle is Jesus Christ and His Church, and that’s why we don’t get to contracept and abort our way to happiness. No one gets to tell God when He may start new life, or when life may end (the only exception being Romans 13:1-7 where God gives the State the authority to defend its citizens). Unfortunately, I sometimes (OK, too often) fail to place that principle above my own feelings (and I suspect I am not alone in that defect of character).

    PS, as far as being “Pasta Primavera,” I guess that title didn’t bother me all that much. Don’t know why. I usually take off like a ballistic missile when so “challenged”. Maybe it’s because I like “pasta primavera” as a food dish?

  • A fine example of evangelization and cool-reason, this thread is.

    Mike, if you are still reading, there are two aspects to the topic of contraception that need separation: the ends and the means. The end of contraception is not always opposed by the Church. The means of contraception is always opposed by the Church.

    The end of contraception — not conceiving a child — is sometimes approved by the Church, and is actually mandated as a duty in cases where having a child would be destructive to a marriage and to a family. So the motives for using contraception can be good and reasonable.

    It is the means of contraception — the sterilization of the sexual act — that is always opposed by the Church. There are other ways of preventing conception that do not involve the sterilization of the sexual act, nor involve complete abstinence.

    So you’ve got two different moral challenges here. One is the decision of a couple to delay the conception of a child (perhaps indefinitely). The other is in how the couple affects the delay of that conception.

    The thing is that life is hard, and the path that leads to life is narrow. The sterilization of the sexual act is an easy way to have sex without having kids. The right way to have sex without having kids is to track cycles of fertility, and ultimately, to have a little faith in God that the conception of a child is a good thing (even if requiring not a bit of personal sacrifice).


Dyspeptic Mutterings

Friday, February 10, AD 2012

My friend Dale Price is posting again regularly at his blog Dyspeptic Mutterings after something of a hiatus.  Go here to have a gander at his blog.  Dale has long written some of the sharpest commentary on Saint Blog’s.   I stop in every day looking for blogging topics to steal borrow, and I rejoice that he is writing frequently again.

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10 Responses to Dyspeptic Mutterings

  • And here I thought this was a post about the current state of politics.

    Thank you, thank you, I’ll be here all week, tip your waitress….

    Incidentally: curse it, I just got my “visit daily” list down by subscribing-via-email for a bunch of sites that offer it, and you point out a worthy blog. -.-

  • Ha! Your blog Foxfier, Head Noises, is also one where I frequently commit the blogging activity of idea theft!

  • They say to steal from the best– I guess stealing from those who steal from the best works pretty well, too. (I’d also accuse you of blarney if I wasn’t smiling too hard.)

  • LOL

    “Dyspeptic”: I think I know its meaning.

    However, my 678 page Webster’s New World Thesaurus ends the “D” section with “dysentary.”

    “Dysentary” surely describes Obama politics. The tragedy is that 54% of the people don’t see it for what it is: copious amounts of excrement produced by the male of the bovine species.

    “Stealing” is such a harsh term. I see it as “riding on the shoulders of giants.”

  • From my (wonderful!) high school English teacher, who really should’ve been in a college: “Stealing from one person is plagiarism. Stealing from many is research.”

  • Dyspeptic Mutterings is a great name for these days and today … Announcement pending from WH in DC on ” … controception controversy …”

    More dysentary.
    1. Just because the Sunday sermons are upon us – throw a wrench.

    2. It’s for people to think it’s about contraception, and cover up trying to force the Catholic Church to go against its teaching.

    3. It’s to keep minds on matters below the belt.

    4. It’s to deflect voters from being aware of their Religious Liberty.

    5. How about – will the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act (HR 1179 S.1467) be mentioned? or that it’s not about pills etc.?

    Dyspeptic about waking hours preparing a contact list/nutshell notes msg. for bulletin insert only to now have to wait for edit possibility.

  • Thank you kindly, Don!

    It’ll be mostly quick hits and links until I get my writing legs back underneath me.

    Fair warning to those unfamiliar with me–I can be rather salty with my verbiage. Not often, but it’s there.

    For those curious about the picture, it’s part of my sidebar. It is the stunning Byzantine mosaic dome in Santa Maria Assunta, on the island of Torcello in the northern end of the Venetian lagoon. I’ve been there, and no picture does it justice. The foundation stone was laid by the Byzantine exarch (military governor) of Ravenna in 632, but the mosaics date from the 11th Century.

    Another fair warning–I’m capable of droning on about Byzantium at exceptional length.

  • I used to visit Dale’s blog several years ago before he stopped blogging.

    On checking his articles, had to chuckle at the post where he call Cardinal Egan a “sack of shit.” 🙂
    Then checked the link to find out why – he is dead right – about the sack of shit, I mean.

    We could, however, use latin, where it sounds more genteel – stercus tauri

  • “Another fair warning–I’m capable of droning on about Byzantium at exceptional length.”

    Yet another reason why I love your blog Dale, as Byzantium and its relations with the West have always fascinated me!

Gutless Wonders, Petty Tyrants and Chancery Dwellers.

Thursday, October 27, AD 2011

For years I have read daily Ten Reasons, a blog run by Rich Leonardi.  Orthodox and well written, Ten Reasons was always illuminating and well worth reading.  Now Rich has shut down his blog.  The reason why he did so has me so angry that I am afraid that I cannot do a post on the subject using only language fit for a family blog.  Instead, here is what the ever eloquent Dale Price had to say about this at Dyspeptic Mutterings:

Gutless wonders, petty tyrants and chancery dwellers.

But I repeat myself. Yes, I know there are good folks laboring in the bureaucratic halls of the Church–this isn’t directed at you. As for the rest of you…

The rector of the Cincinnati seminary managed to successfully retaliate against Rich Leonardi, long-time Catholic blogger extraordinaire and pointed, but usually civil, critic of the manifold problems of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

Rich was booted off the Son Rise Morning Show in retaliation for his criticism.

Here’s the message he sent me in response to a query on Facebook:

To net it out, the seminary rector reached out to the head of the Son Rise Morning Show to have me thrown off the program. I called him out on it, and a pissing contest ensued. I shut down my site and intend to withdraw from public Catholic life.

In the meantime, Ken Overberg will continue to deny the Atonement from the pulpit, and Paul Knitter will air his doubts about the salvific significance of Christ and the historicity of the Resurrection, both undisturbed in the sanctuary of Xavier University. Because doing something about *them* would take a set of clockweights, the willingness to endure media hostility and the turning of a deaf ear to the squalling of local progressives.

Squashing a layman who criticizes the local leadership? You can do that in a snap and still have plenty of time to enjoy a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon with lunch. To applause from “the right people,” to boot.


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25 Responses to Gutless Wonders, Petty Tyrants and Chancery Dwellers.

  • I was at Rich’s site yesterday morning, before the uproar — I’m glad I got in one last visit before he took it down. Here is his comment that was, apparently, the kind of inflammatory rhetoric that Cincinnati just won’t stand for:

    “He (Archbishop Schnurr) deserves our respect — and prayers — by virtue of his office. But respect does not mean unthinking obeisance. His Excellency seems to be under the impression that he was elevated to Seminary Rector-in-Chief. Very few aspects of archdiocesan life away from Beechmont Avenue get his attention, and he appears content to let his cabal of inherited malcontents in the chancery set policy.”

    Simply beyond the pale! Using words like “cabal” and “malcontents”, and careless tossing out phrases such as, “He deserves our respect — and prayers — by virtue of his office.” Heaven forbid the faithful should be misled by that sentiment.

    We’ll miss your eloquent, incisive, and forceful commentary, Rich. I hope you’ll be blogging again soon.

  • Yeah, I think I got one of the final comments in before Rich had to shut it down. Absolutely infuriating that Rich is kicked off the air while nothing happens to these malcontents.

  • Thanks for passing along the information. Not knowing exactly what transpired in the pissing contest, I will reserve judgment to some extent, but I will drop Rich a note to let him know that I will miss his blog. It has always been for me an important source of news from my hometown diocese.

  • It’s times like this that I have to remind myself that the ONLY reason I’m here is to receive my Lord – Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. And to do that, in most instances, DESPITE the cabal of bozos, wimps, bureaucrats, charlatans, dissenters, hypocrites, and pederasts (and a good many truly holy people, as well) the Lord in His infinite wisdom has entrusted to provide me that opportunity.

  • …anybody have Rich’s email address?

  • I think I just invoked Anderson’s Law (inspired my Rich’s blog, by the way), but what the hell.

  • I’ve got Rich’s email. If you want to drop me a line, I’ll send it to you. A link to my email is in the right-hand sidebar on my blog.

  • Wait, does this mean he stops blogging about music, too?

    Post-punk Cincinnati, we hardly knew ye.

  • I’ll be e-mailing The SonRise Morning Show this morning, along with our local Catholic radio station, to let them know they’ve lost me as a listener. I’ll also mention that this Sunday I’ll be mentioning this in the announcements in my two parishes. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

  • First rate Father Frank!

    Mrs. D I envy your talent for ironic acerbic observation!

    Paul, when it comes to many of the powers that be in regard to the Church in America those who reveal the abuses are the problem and not those who commit the abuses.

    Bearing, that is one reason why I enjoyed Rich’s blog because it was a very interesting up close look at one diocese by someone who had developed an immense knowledge of it over the years.

    Jay, we will out last them and so will the Church.

    HA, a tragedy on many levels!

  • What is most distressing about this is that Rich has long been quite spirited. Must keep him and his family in mind.

  • Very sad. I wish he would fight back. By the way, I doubt that the chancery types drink Cabernet. I suspect it’s more like Chardonnay.

  • How long will it take, how often must it be said, that our bishops have succumbed to the Arian heresy? Jesus is a nice guy but not God. One can compromise nicely [I have still not figured out how one can compromise on abortion]; we should all make nice; there is no evil in the world; there is no hell afterwards; confession is not necessary; and so on.

    There is the core of the problem. Perhaps while welcoming the Anglicans and Episcopalians who wish to join the Church, we can invite so many of our bishops and their cohorts to join the Episcopalians with their gay and female bishops.

    Paul VI was not making a poetic statement when he observed that the smoke of Satan has entered the Church.

  • In Duluth, Bishop Schnurr was admired for his rectitude and orthodoxy. What happened? Has he been contaminated in Cincinnati by his predecessor? What say you who live in Cinci?

  • William, while Bishop Schnurr has made some progress (and I do not live in the Diocese of Cincinnati), it may be too much to ask to have everything made “right” ASAP. However, if vocations are growing there, he may be taking a closer look at the seminarians and their development, which may prove to be fruitful in the long run.

  • No Scott Cabernet would be accurate.

  • Ding dong the rich is done, the mean old rich the wicked rich ding dong the wicked rich is done. The hard working faith filled chancery staff can continue their faithful work for their shepherd without misinformed criticism

  • Well, it’s certainly nice to know the maturity level of Rich’s critics…

  • I would have responded to Gabriel sooner Darwin, but I assumed that he was trying to do a parody of the people who would rejoice in what happened to Rich. If his comment was meant seriously, then it is merely a sad commentary on Gabriel.

  • “Faithful work for their shepherd?” Like luncheons with Hamas-link groups?

    You’ve got to read the Bible. Hint: TRUTH wins in the end!

  • Starve the beast. If those in the pews each week or even daily simply stop giving funds until this type of problem stops, the leadership will be forced to clean out the diocese office of those with solid ties to the party of death using social justice issues as a ploy to keep abortion alive. Stop giving unless a specific need is identified in the parish school or church and then make sure it can only be used for that purpose whatever that takes. While those who seldom attend mass each week seem to be pacified in this diocese, the faithful who truly support the Church are being used a suckers. Starve the beast if you want change. I know because I have tried everything under the sun for most of my 77 years in this diocese from the time of Bernardin. But the suckers keep giving and they keep supporting all dissent. You have to make them squeal.

    As to Rich, he should get up off his but and go to work to fight this effort by Satan to shut him up. In fact, he should redouble his efforts.

    As to the sunrise show and the local radio station, I have stopped giving and let them know why. I thought that this was a good bet for donations, but now I see the evil tenacles wrapped around their neck.

  • man with black hat: Another Day at Tyburn Tree

    “The real losers in this affair are the faithful of the Archdiocese. They have the right under canon law — indeed, the duty — ‘to manifest to the sacred Pastors their views on matters which concern the good of the Church.’ (212 §3) It will not be enough to act within the bounds of prudence and charity. Those who intimidated Rich into being ostracized now have a new weapon. They are not afraid to use it …”

    (Note to William: Cincinnati is not Duluth.)

  • As to Rich, he should get up off his but

    He has six kids and a job that requires he travel hither thither and yon. His efforts are strictly and properly at his discretion.

  • I too will miss greatly the musings of Rich both in Cincinnati and Rochester. Bishops make mediocre friends and fearsome enemies. Their staffs have long memories and public humiliation is largely the norm. Most professional “Catholics” are tied to the Chancery and lack all objectivity; running for cover at the first whiff of episcopal objection. Too bad, on the whole, Rich was one of the more balanced and astute commentators out there.