Perhaps Pope Francis can read this, courtesy of Rorate Caeli, if he can take time out from his climate change encyclical or dealing with the two greatest problems confronting the world in his opinion: lonely geezers and youth unemployment:
Ancient Statues and bas-reliefs were toppled down by bearded men who then proceeded to destroy them by using jackhammers. This is the latest video released by ISIS in Mosul. It is the continuation of a campaign against remnants of the past. Islamic State militants have been blowing up places of worship, feeding flames with books taken from libraries, and destroying a part of Nineveh’s city walls, the ancient Assyrian capital in the outskirts of present-day Mosul. These images, spread by a Twitter account used by the Caliphate, show the methodical destruction perpetrated in the rooms of what looks like a museum in Mosul. During the five-minute long video, we notice museum labels in Arabic and English describing exhibited artefacts. It is because of this that we have recorded the comments of Mons. Luigi Negri, the Archbishop of Ferrara-Comacchio.
I hope that the technological means which our society uses – and oftentimes abuses – can vividly preserve for future generations the images of such terrible scenes of barbarism which we have been able to see “live” in different parts of the world. This is rage, much more demented than barbaric, against the artistic expressions of one of the greatest ages of world culture, which have been handed down with devotion and respect from one generation to another, from one culture to another, from one civilization to another. And so culture and civilization are not exclusive, unlike the case of this horrendous ideology, even if it is religious. Culture and Civilization are inclusive and even know how to incorporate cultural and historical realities not born from the limitations of their proper milieu; thereby becoming all the more enriched.
It has rightly occurred to those few men of culture who yet still exist in this weak society, the great Catholic tradition which for ages and ages has welcomed the expressions of classical culture, both Greek and Roman, and then later on of other traditions even of the Far East.
It is enough to recall the passionate dedication, for example, with which the Benedictine school and later on, the Cistercian, have received, guarded, copied, recopied, and commented on the documents of classical tradition. It is this movement of reception and greater understanding that has produced the great culture of monasteries, of convents, and then of great universities, as taught to us in an incomparable manner by the great Fr. Chenu, and in Italy by the renowned Don Inos Biffi.
This capacity of reception, of respect, of greater understanding has been crushed. Its vilest expression is the destruction of the diverse. In reality as well, we Europeans have experienced this. We have seen before our very eyes the destruction of preceding traditions perpetrated, for example, by the French Revolution which European secularism still considers an undisputed point of departure. Regrettably, it is not only the secularists but it is also a certain sector of the Catholic world that considers the French Revolution as an unsurpassable event for the good.
In advance, the West has seen its own end. In the tragedy brought to completion within Mosul’s beautiful museum which preserved the highest masterpieces of artistry from a great culture; the West sees the death of its very own civilization which was called to mind in an unequalled manner by Benedict XVI in his misunderstood Regensburg address. The great Western Civilization is a civilization in which myriad ways of life, of thought, of customs have known and know how to encounter, understand, value, and contend with each other if necessary, for the sake of developing human life and history which is the mark of a civilization.
This civilization, whether we like it or not, is now ending if it has not truly and already ended. The horizon is marred by the black flag of the Caliphate, under which lies dead the freedom of conscience and of the heart, of movement, the liberty to live in a dignified way, and to profess one’s own convictions in a free and responsible manner.
This atrocity, all atrocities have been transformed into casual occurrences by the surreal fantasies of western man. He can quickly read of them in newspapers or on social networks; news headlines flashing at the bottom of the television while he eats tranquilly; as if they were current events from another world.
Civilization has ended. A society on the brink of death would not even have the capacity to initiate an authentic and critical examination of its own life. If it would do so, what shall be unveiled are all those who, knowingly or unknowingly, have arranged and continue to prepare in more diverse ways its own death. These are all those who have persecuted dialogue beyond all limits; all those who deep inside themselves have more fear of the Christian Faith than the barbarism of fundamentalist Islamic Ideology. Maybe, the responsibility can be claimed, above all, by all those who have apostatized; while apostatizing from Christ, they have apostatized from themselves. Since man is always intimately linked to a society; by apostatizing from themselves, they have destroyed civilization.
Rich Lowery has a post at National Review Online which explains why Rick Santorum drives the Mainstream Media crazy:
Santorum is a standing affront to the sensibilities and assumptions of the media and political elite. That elite is constantly writing the obituary for social conservatism, which is supposed to wither away and leave a polite, undisturbed consensus in favor of social liberalism. Santorum not only defends beliefs that are looked down upon as dated and unrealistic; he does it with a passionate sincerity that opens him to mockery and attack.
If Santorum had the social views of a Barbara Boxer, he would be hailed in all the glossy magazines as a political virtuoso. He has fought a front-runner with all the advantages to a jump ball in Michigan. His aides can’t provide advance texts of his speeches because he always extemporizes and speaks from a few notes. He is indefatigable, willing to lose on behalf of what he believes and committed to trying to convince others of his positions.
In the wake of his surprise showing in the Iowa caucuses, news coverage focused on Santorum arguing about gay marriage with college kids at his New Hampshire events. It was taken as a sign of his monomania. Yet he genuinely — if naïvely — wanted to convince them. If the cauldron of a presidential campaign is not the best place for Socratic exchanges on hot-button issues, Santorum was trying to do more than repeat sound bites back at youthful questioners.
Although his critics will never credit him for it, Santorum’s social conservatism brings with it an unstinting devotion to human dignity, a touchstone for the former senator. The latest position for which he’s taking incoming is his opposition to a government mandate for insurance coverage of prenatal testing often used to identify handicapped babies who are subsequently aborted. For his detractors, his respect for the disabled is trumped by his unforgivable opposition to abortion. Continue reading
Hattip to Matt Archbold at Creative Minority Report. The United States Army has a long and proud history of defending this country, often engaged in combat in the most deadly situations imaginable against very tough adversaries. I was proud in my misspent youth to wear Army green for a few years. Today the Army finds itself facing severe financial cuts from the Obama administration, troop strength is at its lowest ebb since the Fifties, and it is entirely possible that a war with Iran might occur anytime this year. Not to worry! The Army has time for this:
This week, 14 noncommissioned officers at Camp Zama took turns wearing the “pregnancy simulators” as they stretched, twisted and exercised during a three-day class that teaches them to serve as fitness instructors for pregnant soldiers and new mothers.
Army enlisted leaders all over the world are being ordered to take the Pregnancy Postpartum Physical Training Exercise Leaders Course, or PPPT, according to U.S. Army Medical Activity Japan health promotion educator Jana York.
Nothing I could possibly say is half so apropos as what was said by Hilaire Belloc long ago: Continue reading
The month of October is dedicated to the Holy Rosary — by personal recommendation of Pope Leo XIII:
In a letter of September 1, 1883, mindful of the Rosary’s power to strengthen faith and foster a life of virtue, he outlined the triumphs of the Rosary in past times and admonished the faithful to dedicate the month of October to the Blessed Virgin through the daily recitation of her Rosary in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, in order to obtain through her intercession the grace that God would console and defend His Church in her sufferings.
Beginning on September 1, 1883, with SUPREMO APOSTOLATUS OFFICIO, Pope Leo wrote a total of eleven encyclicals on the Rosary, ending with DIUTURNI TEMPORIS in 1898. (Source: Rev. Matthew R. Mauriello, Catholic.net).
The spread of the devotion of the rosary is attributed to the revelation of Mary to St. Dominic, who sought her help in battling the heresy of the Albigenses. Robert Feeney’s “St. Dominic and the Rosary” gives a detailed account,
Despite their obvious potential advantages, employee owned businesses tend to be rare. In 2004, there were an estimated 300 worker owned cooperatives in the United States. If that sounds impressive, consider that in 2001, there were over 18.3 million nonfarm proprietorships in the U.S. Nor is the situation much different overseas. The Mondragon Cooperative Corporation is typically cited as an example of a successful worker cooperative, and it is indeed quite successful . . . for a co-op. Compared to other types of businesses, however, Mondragon performs well, but not stellar. It is the seventh largest corporation in Spain, and despite being a conglomeration of more than a 100 different companies, it accounts for less than 4% of the GDP of the Basque region of Spain where it is located. When one considers that Mondragon is in all likelihood the most successful worker cooperative on the planet, the idea that the co-op’s success proves the viability of worker cooperatives generally begins to seem doubtful.
There’s nothing legally preventing people from choosing to start a workers-owned cooperative rather than some other form of business, and in fact cooperatives receive more favorable tax treatment than do standard business corporations. Why then, aren’t they more common? The question has actually inspired a fair amount of research, which has identified at least four obstacles to the success of worker owned businesses.
The things that you find on the internet! Bishop Sheen gives a brilliant exposition of the miracle of Fatima.
Bishop Sheen believed that our Lady of Fatima would lead to the conversion of Islam. Here are his thoughts on that subject:
Moslemism is the only great post-Christian religion of the world. Because it had its origin in the seventh century under Mohammed, it was possible to unite within it some elements of Christianity and of Judaism.
Moslemism takes the doctrine of the unity of God, His Majesty, and His Creative Power, and uses it as a basis for the repudiation of Christ, the Son of God.
Misunderstanding the notion of the Trinity, Mohammed made Christ a prophet only.
The Catholic Church throughout Northern Africa was virtually destroyed by Moslem power and at the present time (circa 1950), the Moslems are beginning to rise again.