Vatican Weighs in On Middle East Christian Crisis

Tuesday, June 8, AD 2010

The Vatican  released a working paper during Pope Benedict XVI’s pilgrimage to Cyprus to prepare the way for a crisis summit of Middle East bishops in Rome. What I take away from this- along with the Holy See’s call for lifting the blockade of Gaza- is something of a vindication for my more raw views urging for a sea change in American Catholic opinion and action regarding the overall situation in the Middle East, and in Israel-Palestine in particular.

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14 Responses to Vatican Weighs in On Middle East Christian Crisis

  • We really need to get even-handed if we even want to have credibility in the larger Arab world- something the polls indicate we are sorely lacking- to be it mildly.-Tim Shipe

    “Even-handed” in relation to the Arab world of progrom-states and their target is… what, exactly?

    Hamas and extremist Jewish settler movements…

    Conjoining those two categories leads one into a muddle. Let’s have a look at how many missiles, homicide bombers, etc. the two groups, normal Hamas supporters and ‘extremist’ Jewish settlers, have used to terrorize their neighbors.

  • Bravo. There won’t be peace in the Middle East until Americans, including Catholics, stop spoiling Israel and start treating it like we treat every other nation.

    I think this is the one area of Obama’s presidency where I think Obama has been more positive than negative-though he still does too little.

    Conjoining those two categories leads one into a muddle. Let’s have a look at how many missiles, homicide bombers, etc. the two groups, normal Hamas supporters and ‘extremist’ Jewish settlers, have used to terrorize their neighbors.

    The settlers have no need of such tactics since they’re supported by the Israeli military. If they need force, they don’t strap on a bomb; they have the planes drop a bomb instead. It is unquestionable that settlers, at the behest of the government, have continued to expand and continued to take Palestinian land. This is clearly not a motive of peace but one of a desire to usurp and it ought to be opposed.

  • “The settlers have no need of such tactics since they’re supported by the Israeli military.”

    The body count would seem to indicate that the Israeli military then is doing a poor job. From 2000-2008 I believe 45 Palestinians have been killed at the hands of Settlers while 238 Settlers have been killed at the hands of Palestinians. In regard to umbrage at the Settlers, I am a bit puzzled. I have heard some people here at AC condemn Arizona’s law against Mexican illegal aliens as Nazi-like. Perhaps any moral difficulty with the Israeli Settlers could be cured if we simply consider them to be illegal aliens on the West Bank?

    Of course I believe the preferred term would be undocumented immigrants. Someone else on the net has already taken the Israeli Settlers as undocumented immigrants concept and ran with it:

    http://bikyamasr.com/wordpress/?p=12393

  • Tim, the political leadership in the West Bank, Gaza, and the camps want no settlement that is not constructed on the ruins of the Jewish state. Deal with it, please.

  • The body count would seem to indicate that the Israeli military then is doing a poor job. From 2000-2008 I believe 45 Palestinians have been killed at the hands of Settlers while 238 Settlers have been killed at the hands of Palestinians.

    Don:

    Here is an opposing view which objects to the stats you and your favorite paper, the NYT, toss about.

    http://www.ifamericansknew.org/media/nyt-report.html

    Statistics are like “you know whats”. Everybody has one.

  • Art Deco – I agree with your post whole-heartedly.

    The Pope is wrong here. Israel can give up its blockade after he sends the Swiss Guard home. Before this flotilla stunt, did anyone know that Gaza was being blockaded? A response like this from the Holy See indicates that the stunt has worked.

    The Jews have built a beautiful, thriving country in the desert within the span a 50 years. A feat the Arabs have not managed to do in their own countries for centuries. This whole thing is about envy.

    Arab Christians are being routed by whom exactly? This is not a difficult question to answer.

  • Fuji, your calling the New York Times my favorite newspaper is almost as humorous as your citing If Americans Knew, an organization which is bitterly hostile to Israel. Paul Findley is on its board. Findley was the pro-abort and pro-PlO Republican Congressman from Springfield in my state of Illinois. Thanks to my efforts, along with the efforts of many others, he became an ex-Congressman in 1982.

    I would as soon accept a press release from Hamas as a credible source, as I would anything put out by If Americans Knew.

  • The ADL has some interesting information linked below on Alison Weir who runs If Americans Knew.

    http://www.adl.org/Israel/anti_israel/alison_weir/anti-Semitism.asp?m_flipmode=3

  • Fuji,

    You’ve completely misunderstood the purpose of the If Americans Knew “study” — it doesn’t deal at all with whether the statistics which the NY Times publishes about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict are accurate, it deals with how often deaths on each side are mentioned in the headline or the first paragraph of an article. Its claim is not that the NY Times presents false information, but that it talks more about the deaths of some people than those of others.

    An example of this would be, if one news story said, “A Hamas suicide bomber blew himself up in a shopping center, killing three Israeli adults and two children.” and then the next day another story began, “The Israeli defense minister promised to take ‘strong action’ in retaliation for the attack Monday which killed five Israelis, including two children, at a crowded shopping center,” this ‘study’ would consider that to be reporting 200% of the number of Israeli dead, since they were mentioned in two separate stories.

    Nor is the statistic that Palestinians kill more Settlers than Settlers kill Palestinians inconsistent with the fact that overall far more Palestinians have died in the conflict than Israelis, since obviously not all Israelis are settlers and not all Palestinians killed (indeed, very few) are killed by settlers.

  • You can take your rose-colored spectacles off when viewing Israel and still conclude that Hamas and other Islamofascist groups are evil. Not blindly supporting Israel is not a tacit approval of all things Arab and/or Muslim.

    In regards to this so-called peace flotilla – it is obvious that it was a false flag operation designed to denigrate Israel and it is working. In regards to Israel – they are a far better friend than Arab/Muslim states – but they are not a very good friend.

    Israel has a right to exist and to defend herself and I would argue to occupy territories the UN and the British gave to Egypt and Jordan for her defense. Who constantly gets screwed as Muslims and Arabs use the Palestinian Arabs as a tool to beat the West with? Not Israel – the Palestinian Arabs do. The people, especially the children and most especially the Christians suffer at the hands of so-called Palestinian leadership, a secular Jewish state that engages in horrible behavior and the UN and other Arab states.

    Now that we have allowed the Isalmofascists to indoctrinate generations it is practically impossible to work for peace and no one wants it anyway – no one save for possibly the Pope and the poor Christians who live in the Holy Land.

    Can peace be brokered – we can hope – but it is doubtful until the King returns. Muslims specifically never enter a permanent peace with anyone in Dar Al Harb (the House of War). They certainly won’t enter a permanent peace with Jews – Mohammad practically built his religiology on capture of booty, imperialism and slaughter of Jews. Not to mention copious copies of the Torah and Nestorian heresies.

    Strategically speaking, the USA would be fools to turn our backs on Israel – but having blind support for her is just as foolish. I don’t necessarily fault Israelis for their bad behavior, historically speaking – they were coming from a very frightening place and fear makes you do stupid things – they are nevertheless, still responsible but that does not absolve the British for solving their Jewish-problem with better PR than the Nazis. Instead of killing the Jews, the British shipped them out of England to their own homeland – neglecting to tell them they promised the same land to the Arabs that had lived there since the 7th century.

    What did they think was going to happen? Had a different and more balanced solution been developed between 1917 and 1947 – the current mess could have been avoided. I doubt that is what those who want a weak and unstable mid-East wanted. Lebanon and Palestine had the best chance for Christianizing the rest of the Arab and Muslim lands – however, just like the Crusader Kingdoms – the West dropped the ball on supporting them and the price is war and the shrinking of the Christian population and the ascendancy of Islam. Make no mistake – Islam is an imperial totalitarian ideology and will align with the subversive Left in the West to gain entry and then turn on their tolerant, peace-loving, pot-smoking friends.

    If anyone can broker an honest peace in the Middle-East it would be the Pope, but he may need American guns.

  • How would the gallant Turkish (NATO member) army/navy respond to the following? A bunch of Armenian-Americans (two Israeli humanitarian groups already are planning such) get up a couple tons of humanitarian aid and stage a huge guerrilla theater propaganda extravaganza of bringing it to the six Armenians not yet murdered in Turkey. Or better analogy, do it for the Kurds fighting for their independence.

    Hamas, Hizbollah, etc. will end the terror war against Israeli civilians, women and children (and the Arab women and children they use as human shields) when the last Israeli is either murdered or driven into the sea.

    The Pope ought to denounce the Holy See bureaucRAT that came up with this hateful paper.

  • I don’t think you can figure out the justice of a conflict simply by counting up bodies. However, it is a fact that far more Palestinians than Israelis have died in the conflict.

  • I’ll take the Vatican seriously on matters concerning the Middle East, if they would express themselves in the same forthright manner on other wars and conflicts that plague the globe, in particular those that concern Catholics and Christians. The Catholic Church’s hollowness in these matters could be seen most clearly at work in early 2009. In December of 2008 the Israelis invaded Gaza to put an end to the constant rocket barrage, and my how the Catholic press and heirarchy waxed eloquent, counterpoising each other with elavated talk about ‘just war’, ‘human rights’ and the rest of it, not stinting to blame the Israelis by name for all manner of wrongs real and imagined. The bishop here in Singapore (where I live) got on the bandwagon and launched an appeal for Gaza.

    Three months later, in March the Sri Lankans launched their final push into Jaffna, when the dust settled more than 20,000 civilians were dead. Given the proportion of Catholics in Jaffna, it is reasonable to surmise that the number of Catholic dead alone exceeded the total death toll in Gaza. Yet where was the Vatican in all this? Why was no appeal launched for them? Does the criteria of ‘just war’ not apply to the darker nations? Apart from generalised handwringing, nothing much was heard from our Vatican friends. No one tagged the Sri Lankan army with brutality. Their reticence doubtless owed much to the restraining hand of Msgr Malcolm Ranjith, himself a Ceylonese and thus in a position to know that the government would take out any displeasure on the Catholic Church in Sri Lanka.

    This in essence is the well established pattern of Vatican hypocrisy; when it comes to Israel, break out the tomes on jus ad bellum and set them terms that no nation in history has been able to follow, and thereby not incidentally burnish the Vatican’s own street cred with the Muslims at the expense of Jews. On the other hand, when it comes to countless attacks against Christians, from Nigeria to Pakistan to Indonesia, put out a pro forma declaration hoping that the problem goes away.

  • An aside. But perhaps an example of how diplomacy doesn’t work, or at least works poorly:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/08/AR2010060805406.html

If You Repeat a Lie a Thousand Times…

Friday, April 9, AD 2010

Archbishop John Nienstedt of St. Paul-Minneapolis has defended Pope Benedict in his column in the archdiocesan weekly newspaper.

In reporting on the column, the Associated Press closed their story with this:

Critics of the church’s handling of abuse cases are citing Benedict’s tenure as head of the Vatican office charged with disciplining clergy. The office halted a mid-1990s investigation into a Wisconsin priest accused of molesting some 200 deaf boys.

Dear Associated Press: the CDF did not stop the investigation. If you’d actually do some journalism you’d know that.

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5 Responses to If You Repeat a Lie a Thousand Times…

  • The communists succeeded in branding His Holiness Pius XII as a virtual agent of Hitler because of his alleged silence in the face of Nazi atrocities. The facts suggest otherwise, but they have been buried over time, and the mud sticks. Now, secularists (and others, including some in the Church herself) are trying to do the same to His Holiness Benedict XVI with regard to the priest sex scandal. The facts tend to exonerate him, but I fear the mud will stick. It will take a persistent and forceful defense if there is to be any hope for his legacy.

  • So, did you try to contact MPR to address their error?

  • I tried to contact the AP, but there’s no writer in that or other bylines, so I have little idea who to reach. And given that it’s been picked up elsewhere, merely trying to communicate with MPR seemed pointless.

  • You ask,

    “If they [AP] can botch this story this poorly, how can I trust their reporting on other issues?”

    So far as I can see, you can’t.

    All you can do is trace the facts about any given story that AP presents in a broad-brush kind of way, compare those to the facts presented from other sources, find the commonalities, then go seeking criticism from bloggers who specialize in the relevant topics to get a sense of which commonly-reported facts are open to debate or alternative interpretation, and which are thought by the bloggers to be missing.

    Rinse, repeat, for several days.

    Then you ruminate, allowing that picture simmer and stew until you come to some kind of conclusions about what actually happened.

    That’s how one “checks the news” these days. AP is just mono-sourced data. If you want information, even minimalist “satisficing” (let alone detailed knowledge) will require individual collation of data from multiple inputs.

    The darkly amusing thing to ponder is this: Were the MSM always this bad, and we just didn’t have enough sources of alternative opinion to know about it? Or has the failure of intellectual and moral standards brought us gradually to this point from some earlier state of being in which media organs were moderately trustworthy?

  • “Were the MSM always this bad, and we just didn’t have enough sources of alternative opinion to know about it? Or has the failure of intellectual and moral standards brought us gradually to this point from some earlier state of being in which media organs were moderately trustworthy?”

    Bad reporting there has ever been, and the access of the internet to multiple sources displays such reporting in bold relief. However, I doubt if there has been a time before when the ink stained wretches were so ideologically committed in one direction and so uncaring about their professionalism.

Vatican Condemnation of Halloween is False

Saturday, October 31, AD 2009

[Updates at the bottom of this post.]

In what is a common occurrence that happens more than you think, the media again has done a poor job of reporting the news that emanates from the Vatican.  If it came from the Vatican at all.  The new one today is that the Catholic Church condemns Halloween, or some variation there of.

Various news outlets have reported that the Pope, the Catholic Church, or the Vatican have condemned, blasted, slammed, or as the Times of London said, “reserved their venom for the millions of parents who allowed their children to celebrate this “pagan” festival.”

And people say anti-Catholicism doesn’t exist?

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7 Responses to Vatican Condemnation of Halloween is False

  • I’m kinda curious how folks are celebrating Halloween in Spain, that they were able to find two quotes that could be shoe-horned into this story.

    The Times story says:
    José Sánchez González, the Bishop of Sigüenza-Guadalajara, in central Spain, went further, suggesting that Hallowe’en parties had a “background of the occult and anti-Christianity”. He said that he saw the dark influence of Hollywood playing with the young minds of Spanish children as they danced innocently around pumpkins, little realising that they were attending a pagan festival.

    “Due to this influence, Hallowe’en started being celebrated several years ago and it is spreading more and more, without people knowing what it is that they are celebrating,” he said.

    Sounds to me like they might actually have a problem– same way that the GB Christian group they quote to support their article is trying to deal with the real problems of vandalism and kids getting hit by cars while they’re out trick or treating.

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  • And who wrote this article “Vatican Condemnation of Halloween is False” ?? There is no author under the title … so we don’t know who to respond to, but going to the Contributors list, I realized that not one of the contributors is a Church Official or a priest. So, how could YOU be the authority on what the Church teaches? I would rather go with the priest from Spain than your opinions. Hope you can find the Truth and discern spirits .. especially during this time of occult and satanic rituals.

  • So, how could YOU be the authority on what the Church teaches?

    The Church publishes her binding teachings, and I don’t mean in a newspaper.

    Thus, it’s not a matter of the person posting having authority or not– it’s a matter of truth, which requires no authority to share.

    It doesn’t matter if someone is a Priest or “Church Official,” if they’re saying something is true when it isn’t, or if they’re being quoted as “the Vatican says” when it’s their view.

    (BTW, while there isn’t an author listed, you could go to the trackback right above your comment, go through and notice the first comment there is “Bravo, Tito.”)

  • I would rather go with the priest from Spain than your opinions.

    So that means I can follow whatever Richard McBrien says? After all, he’s a priest and dresses like one when he’s on TV.

Jesuitical 6: Latin is so pre-Vatican II.

Wednesday, June 10, AD 2009

Thomas G. Casey

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Never underestimate the power of a grudge.

  • DC

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

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

  • I respectfully disagree.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Henry,

    I disagree with your assessments.

    Latin doesn’t change at all.

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

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

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

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

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

    Indeed, in the West.

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

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

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

    Yes!

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

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

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

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

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

    Gives some info.

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

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

  • Michael

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • MZ

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Henry,

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

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

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

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

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

  • Paul

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

  • DC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • DC

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

  • Henry,

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

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

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

    THE LAITY CANNOT BE CONFUSED!!

  • Tito

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

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

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

  • Henry,

    I understand where you’re coming from.

    Michael,

    Welcome back.

  • Philosophia me vocat

  • THE LAITY CANNOT BE CONFUSED!!

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

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

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

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

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

  • See, you’re wrong!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    That one had me laughing out loud.

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

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

  • nice little straw man here:

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

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

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

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

  • …it is an exceedingly difficult language.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Miguel H. Diaz Is A Latino, Yeah!

Thursday, May 28, AD 2009

Miguel H. Diaz has been chosen by President Obama, peace be upon him, as the new ambassador to the Holy See.  The Miguel H. Diazsecular media and Catholic Left has been hailing Mr. Diaz as a Rahner scholar and “pro-life” Democrat.  Jesuit Father James Martin of America magazine, who recently claimed that Obama is not pro-abortion, has praised Mr. Diaz for being a Latino, in addition to being a “faithful” Catholic and for receiving a degree from the University of Notre Dame.

Abbot John Klassen of St. John’s Abbey had this to say about Mr. Diaz’s Latino and theological credentials [emphasis mine]:

“He is a strong proponent of the necessity of the Church to become deeply and broadly multi-cultural [I guess we need priestesses to be more multi-cultural], to recognize and appreciate the role that culture plays in a living faith [sounds too much like a living, breathing constitution]. Born in Havana, Cuba [Being born in Havana, Cuba is a good start in creating his Latino credentials.], he is a leading Hispanic theologian in United States.”

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22 Responses to Miguel H. Diaz Is A Latino, Yeah!

  • Michael I.,

    What part of “satire” don’t you understand?

    I asked the question if Mr. Diaz holds fidelity to the teachings of the Church not because he doesn’t, but because I want to know if he does. It was a question.

    Your comments will not be approved if you continue to insult people.

  • 1. Bad sign- he wears a t-shirt under his sport jacket. Sorta like the flipside of the aging dissident priest- badly mismatched sport jacket and tie. The Diaz Look- so 2003.

    2. “Born in Havana, Cuba-” on to Abbot Klassen’s glowing review. Only means that Mama and/or Papa had the good sense to raise their offspring outside of a Marxist dictatorship.

    3. “A leading Hispanic theologian-” the good Abbot sets both himself and Prof. Dr. Diaz as butts of jokes here so we will proceed further.

    4.”The need for the Church to become deeply and broadly multi-cultural…..” There’s a ringing endorsement. I would think Prof. Dr. Diaz would understand the need to preach Christ Crucified, in season and out, as both a personal and professional priority. Perhaps I am too insensitive.

    5. So is he pro-life? Or is he the best that Dear Leader can find in an increasingly limited pool of likely candidates- Dear Mother of God, he might have actually considered Caroline Kennedy? Hope Prof. Dr. Diaz- married? Ex-priest? Metrosexual?- doesn’t do the t-shirt and jacket number in official meetings. Might be a little too multi-cultural for the Vatican.

  • Let’s see he worked actively to have the most pro-abortion President in our nation’s history elected. He signs on to a letter supporting the fanatically pro–abortion Sebelius, the friend of Tiller the Killer, to be Secretary of HHS. With “pro-lifers” like Mr. Diaz, who needs pro-aborts?

  • TO be honest the least of our concenrs should be his Theology.

    Is he competent!! I am relieved that it is not Kmiec. Kmiec showed in his actions the last couple of monthys he had no business beingan Enoy to the Island Nation of Naru or the Artic for that matter with his temperment

    What sort of strikes me about this pick is that it is much much lower profile name than usual compared to Envoys that we have sent in the past.

    As

  • Question: why would it be that important to Obama for the Vatican ambassador to be a pro-choice or even pro-Obama person? Or a dissident Catholic?

    If he’s really a uniter, why can’t he just take his lumps on this particular position and install a practicing/ faithful Catholic to the job? Is it really that unacceptable?

  • Perhaps, contra some who think otherwise, it is to develop a liberal Catholic and Hispanic voting bloc for the Dems. for the forseeable future.

  • Exactly, Phillip.

    I’ll assume that the Hispanic vote was lacking in his first campaign–as a politician (and nothing more) he always looks to the future; his own.

  • If the Catholic left is hailing him, his ‘Catholicism’ is immediately questionable, and more likely than not, contrived.

  • Is it not somewhat racist to applaud the nomination of Mr. Diaz [as also that of Judge Sotomayor] because they are Hispanic?

  • Is it not somewhat racist to applaud the nomination of Mr. Diaz [as also that of Judge Sotomayor] because they are Hispanic?

    No, of course not. What an impoverished (or ideologically tainted) definition of “racism” you must have. Stop listening to Rush Limbaugh.

  • Stop listening to Rush Limbaugh.

    The hard left has found its new bogeyman in the post-Bush era.

  • No, they still use Bush. But even they know they need a new object for division.

  • Tito:

    “Miguel H. Diaz has been chosen by President Obama, peace be upon him…”

    You gettin’ all Mohammedan on us now?

    (On another note, why in heavens name do I yet remain a 2nd class citizen on this here blog?)

  • Be glad for that, I’m a third class. 🙂

  • I haven’t even been assigned a class; my wife says it’s because I have none…

  • Well, it seems even the Ever Infamous Iafrate, in spite of his seemingly horrid presence, retains a much higher standing than we few, we happy few, we Catholic band of brothers so grievously persecuted by The Guardians of this Realm simply because we are, at bottom, classless… oh well.

  • No e., the Catholic Anarchist is continually in moderation.

  • Is it not somewhat racist to applaud the nomination of Mr. Diaz [as also that of Judge Sotomayor] because they are Hispanic?

    No, of course not. What an impoverished (or ideologically tainted) definition of “racism” you must have.

    I thought we moved beyond race. Didn’t Martin Luther King say we should judge someone based on the content of their character and not of there skin? Oh, that only applies to conservatives, while liberals get to be racists.

    Mark DeFrancisis,

    Nonconstructive comments will not be approved.

  • I thought we moved beyond race.

    Who is “we”? How the heck do we “move beyond” race? “Colorblindness” is a false “solution” to racism. We should see and appreciate racial diversity, not “move beyond” it.

  • We should see and appreciate racial diversity, not “move beyond” it

    I’m glad you feel that way. Since Sotomayer believes that Latino’s are superior to everyone else, I hope you recognize my intellectual superiority to you and your race.

  • Michael I.,

    Personal insults will not be tolerated. Keep up your unChristian behavior.

  • Since Sotomayer believes that Latino’s are superior to everyone else…

    She did not say this.

President Obama names theologian Miguel H. Diaz U.S. ambassador to the Vatican

Thursday, May 28, AD 2009

41 Responses to President Obama names theologian Miguel H. Diaz U.S. ambassador to the Vatican

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  • Given who’s doing the applauding among Catholic pundits and journals, we can obtain some sense of what kind of service Diaz will provide to the Obama administration. (Likewise I expect our readers will be sharply divided as well).

    Personally, Diaz’s advisory role to the Obama campaign, his service to a professed “non-partisan” but actively pro-Obama organization ‘Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good’, and his explicit support of Kathleen Sebelius’ nomination for HHS is disconcerting — howbeit not at all surprising.

    In what I think would appeal to various members of Vox Nova, Diaz, in a keynote address for a conference on intercultural ministry, highlighted “the identity of Jesus, the Galilean, as someone who engages in border-crossings for the sake of transforming and creating inclusive communities within the Church and society.” 😉

  • “the identity of Jesus, the Galilean, as someone who engages in border-crossings for the sake of transforming and creating inclusive communities within the Church and society.”

    That’s straight Rahnerian. Fr. Karl Rahner called it “anonymous Christian”.

    Nice.

  • “the identity of Jesus, the Galilean, as someone who engages in border-crossings for the sake of transforming and creating inclusive communities within the Church and society.”

    That’s straight Rahnerian. Fr. Karl Rahner called it “anonymous Christian”.

    That quote from Diaz actually bears little resemblance to Rahner either in general or with reference to his notion of “anonymous Christians.” “Border-crossing” language is post-Rahner. You clearly have no idea what you’re talking about.

    I’m curious, Blosser, what precise problem you have with the quote you’re slinging? You’re not getting back into your cut-and-paste quote slinging again, are you? I find it disappointing, too, that you’re lowering yourself to guilt-by-association judgments. Lately I have thought you’re above that nonsense. I guess you’re not.

  • I’m curious, Blosser, what precise problem you have with the quote you’re slinging?

    No need to get your panties in a bunch. I was merely alluding to our frequent delightful discussions we had on VN over immigration. (Didn’t you notice the wink and a smile?)

  • You clearly have no idea what you’re talking about.

    Your Christian virtue glows with every word you type.

  • I did but I also assumed you were trying making a point but am unclear what that point was. What were you “alluding to”?

  • Seriously, apart from his support of Sebelius’ nomination, advisory role to Obama and work with Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, not much otherwise that stands out as objectionable. Definitely a ‘dark horse’ nominee.

    Overall, a relatively “safe”, liberal run-of-the-mill theologian who’ll, together with Sotomayor, help garner the Hispanic vote for Obama’s second term.

    I wonder if he’ll tangle at all with Archbishop Burke in Rome? =)

  • I did but I also assumed you were trying making a point but am unclear what that point was. What were you “alluding to”?

    I confess when I read his address summarized as “Jesus, the Galilean, as someone who engages in border-crossings for the sake of transforming and creating inclusive communities within the Church and society” the (admittedly) knee-jerk impression I had was “oh, great — another liberal theologian’s paean to Jesus in the context of the national debate over illegal immigration’ — quickly followed by ‘Vox Nova would SO totally love this.’ =)

    All in good humor, of course.

    I am actually curious about the content of ‘Hispanic-Latino theology’. Myself being an avid proponent of dead white male heterosexist theology of the Ratzingerian variety. Perhaps you can enlighten me someday, over a beer.

  • Perhaps you can enlighten me someday, over a beer.

    Count me in. I’d be interested in hearing his views over a beer as well!

  • I’d explain to you gentlemen the mysteries of Lawyer Theology, but I’d be compelled to charge you $300.00 an hour while doing so!

  • This strikes me as being similar to Sotomayor appointment – an Obama pick is of course likely to be bad, but this could have been a lot worse. In fact, I’d say there are some real positives to this one.

    1.) The guy won’t be teaching.

    2.) Having more exposure to the Vatican than the narrow clique of enlightened liberationists of academe he’s likely to learn that if anything can be called multicultural it’s the Catholic Church.

    3.) With a transparent and meaningless defense like, “Obama was “committed to working” with people who defend “life in the womb” and deeply respects people who hold positions he does not agree with.”, he’ll reveal much about the nature of his boss – and himself.

  • As I mentioned in the other thread who cares about his Theology. He is the United States Envoy he is not going to be giving talks on Latino Theology at the Embassy

    I am more worried if he is competent for other matters. THis is a muc much less profile name than the United States generally sends and most have had some substantial poltical experience or were old State Dept hands

  • Why don’t you guys just look up his books and check them out?

    Latino/a theology is a very lively part of Catholic theology these days. It shares some concerns with liberation theology but is more about engaging culture than politics (that’s a very very broad generalization though).

    I have the collection of essays he edited w/ Orlando Espin (he has an essay in it) and another book edited by Espin which contains another Diaz essay. Maybe I’ll blog about his work at VN.

    In theologies of culture (and postcolonial theologies), the term “border-crossing” often has so little to do with literal crossing of borders that that never occurred to me, Christopher. It has to do more with transgression of societal norms, such as Jesus’ association with “sinners,” women, Samaritans, etc.

  • Re: “border crossings”

    It was in JEST, Michael. Good grief.

  • No one’s remarking on the fact that we now HAVE an ambassador. Regardless of who he is (I’m not amazingly encouraged or discouraged; he sounds like a carbon-copy Kmiec to me with his parroting of the “politics of hope” garbage, but I think I’ll hold off final judgment…then again, Iafrate owns one of his books-and that’s a joke), America now has one, setting up the stage for an Obama meeting with the pope in Rome this summer that a week ago had looked dead in the water.

    With the rejects, the Vatican made its point to Obama and now begins on trying to have a conversation with this administration. Indeed, the Vatican did win on the point of having a pro-lifer in the post, even if the pro-lifer supports pro-choicers. This is something that shouldn’t be understated in Vatican/US relations. Furthermore, the opportunity for the man of the politics of hope to meet the man who wrote “Saved by Hope” is a interesting event, one that might have important ramifications for American Catholicism and Obama himself.

    Indeed, Obama’s about to get the dialogue he requested at Notre Dame. We’ll see how he and his supporters like it.

  • “Indeed, the Vatican did win on the point of having a pro-lifer in the post, even if the pro-lifer supports pro-choicers.”

    I respectfully submit that this is a contradiction in terms. For example, would we take seriously a statement of someone who claimed to be against racial prejudice and yet actively campaigned for a racist candidate? A pro-lifer who votes for pro-aborts is in no meaningful sense a pro-lifer.

  • …parroting of the “politics of hope” garbage…

    Has it ever occurred to you that Barack Obama does not hold the copyright on “politics of hope” language, and that such images might be very central to theologies coming out of marginalized communities and not be “parroting” at all? Benedict’s second encyclical is about hope too, for Christ’s sake. You going to dismiss him — and the Vatican for that matter who have been very positive about Obama’s “hope” language — as “parroting” just a bunch of “garbage”?

    I suppose that if you’re a young male college student attending an expensive Jesuit university you might not really “get” the idea that the vast majority of human beings on this planet truly need “hope” language and a “politics of hope.” Perhaps the only thing you “hope” for is that your school wins the big game. There’s a bigger world out there, Michael Denton.

  • Obama isn’t the pope Catholic Anarchist, much, I suspect, to your regret.

  • Obama isn’t the pope Catholic Anarchist, much, I suspect, to your regret.

    What do you mean by this? Please elaborate.

  • Quite simple really Catholic Anarchist. When the Pope speaks about hope he is speaking about our hope in Christ. When Obama speaks about “hope and change” he is merely repeating a campaign mantra which gulled people into voting for a man who is well on his way to wrecking our economy for at least a decade, to promoting a pro-abort agenda, and to engaging in foreign policy fecklessness that will leave this country open to attack. To compare the Pope’s Hope with the snakeoil being sold by Obama is ludicrous.

  • I see. Well what you said in your last comment about the differences between various visions of “hope” is painfully obvious.

    So the comment about me wishing Obama was the Pope was just another one of your screwed up nonsensical comments to make you feel better about yourself? Judging from the statistical frequency of the subjects of your posts, you must think Reagan was a former pontiff.

    And how dare you place the economy above abortion in your list of concerns about Obama. Shows where YOUR priorities lie. You care nothing for the unborn.

  • Donald:

    I respectfully submit that this is a contradiction in terms. For example, would we take seriously a statement of someone who claimed to be against racial prejudice and yet actively campaigned for a racist candidate? A pro-lifer who votes for pro-aborts is in no meaningful sense a pro-lifer.

    I agree in the sense that I find it difficult to justify an Obama vote with a coherent pro-life ethic, and I think people unreasonably diminished the importance of his abortion stands and overinflated his commitment to other social justice issues.

    However, just b/c Diaz is not as firm in pro-life as he should be, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t count at all. The Vatican’s preference of that position over the personal pro-life but public pro-choice positions of Kennedy and especially Joe Biden is a clear signal, and the Obama capitulation to that is certainly noteworthy.

    Diaz could be better, but like Sotomayor he’s probably as good as we could have hoped for.

    Iafrate:

    Has it ever occurred to you that Barack Obama does not hold the copyright on “politics of hope” language, and that such images might be very central to theologies coming out of marginalized communities and not be “parroting” at all?

    The quote he gave above: “to moving beyond the politics of fear to the politics of hope.” is a copy of Obama’s exact phrasing. Diaz is not uplifting the marginalized; he’s playing suck-up to Obama. Give me a break.

    Benedict’s second encyclical is about hope too, for Christ’s sake.

    Really? I wouldn’t have known. Not like I talked about that same encyclical in my comment or anything. I really just get all my Catholicism from Hannity and Scalia; I don’t bother mentioning encyclicals.

    You going to dismiss him — and the Vatican for that matter who have been very positive about Obama’s “hope” language — as “parroting” just a bunch of “garbage”?

    I love the continuing vague abstract references to the Vatican. Either way, just b/c the Vatican is hopeful that Obama takes his politics of hope into a truly hopeful vision for America, I’m pretty sure the Vatican isn’t too thrilled about Catholic theologians endorsing Obama’s positions as “the politics of hope.”

    Furthermore, I dismiss Obama’s politics as being truly hopefully

    I suppose that if you’re a young male college student attending an expensive Jesuit university you might not really “get” the idea that the vast majority of human beings on this planet truly need “hope” language and a “politics of hope.” Perhaps the only thing you “hope” for is that your school wins the big game. There’s a bigger world out there, Michael Denton.

    Where on earth did this diatribe against me come from? I agree that the world needs a philosophy of hope and I hope that a powerful member of that world hears it when he visits the Vatican. Obama’s politics do not hope in Christ; they hope in man/government and are doomed to fail. I would think as an anarchist and a strong critic of Americanism would have had strong reservations about associating Obama’s language of hope with the pope’s language of hope in the same way you have strong reservations about the language of sacrifice used on Memorial Day.

    I am going to ignore your snide attacks on my education and background. Suffice it to say you know precious little about that area or why I went to school where I went or how my finances work, etc. Such is not your business, and your laughable caricatures of me need to cease. Besides, having glanced at Wheeling Jesuit’s financial aid calculator ($12,195 tuition and fees per semester at minimum), I don’t quite understand why you think you have room to condemn others on the subject of expensive Jesuit education.

  • Besides, having glanced at Wheeling Jesuit’s financial aid calculator ($12,195 tuition and fees per semester at minimum), I don’t quite understand why you think you have room to condemn others on the subject of expensive Jesuit education.

    I’m not criticizing you for where you go to school. I’m criticizing you for your narrow worldview.

  • I’m not criticizing you for where you go to school.

    Interesting. Because when discussing the US Ambassador to the Vatican, randomly throwing out sentences like: “I suppose that if you’re a young male college student attending an expensive Jesuit university you might not really “get” the idea…” and “Perhaps the only thing you “hope” for is that your school wins the big game.” sounds like you’re criticizing me for where I go to school.

    I’m criticizing you for your narrow worldview.

    Fine. You use criticism of my education as a lead-in to criticism of my “narrow worldview,” narrow worldview defined as not buying Obama’s politics of hope as being particularly hopeful from a Catholic point of view.

    Either way, you had no business taking a personal shot at me like that. I didn’t take one at you.

  • “So the comment about me wishing Obama was the Pope was just another one of your screwed up nonsensical comments to make you feel better about yourself?”

    No Catholic Anarchist. I believe that your Leftist politics is effectively your religion as the title of your website Catholic Anarchy indicates.

    As for my priorities, all one has to do is to google Donald R. McClarey and abortion to see what has always been the issue of most concern to me, or to read the well over 100 posts that I have on this blog which deal with abortion.

  • Michael Denton,

    When the Catholic Anarchist starts personally attacking you that is because he lost the argument and is resorting to the secularist left tactic of politics of personal destruction. As Donald says he is clearly all politics and no charity.

  • Michael I.,

    Will you pay for the beer?

  • tito[.]benedictus[@]gmail[.]com

  • Tito – Please email me. I’d seriously like to have a conversation with you, if you can tolerate it.

  • Michael I.,

    No, you’re not banned.

    Most, if not all, of us like you Michael. We have enough patience to keep in dialogue with you.

  • We have enough patience to keep in dialogue with you.

    Inspired by that Obama speech or something? 😉

  • 🙂

    Inspired by St. Joseph.

  • Hi Friends,

    Your interesting conversations prove to me that no matter who the democrats pick for any public post, people among you will oppose him/her because he/she is a democrat, not because he/she is not pro-life. May I ask you a few questions?
    In your view, can democrats go to heaven?,
    Is the Catholic Church and the Republican Party the same organization?, can republicans go to hell?, can Obama overcome purgatory?
    Thanks, I’m interested in your answers.

  • Tony,

    Your interesting conversations prove to me that no matter who the democrats pick for any public post, people among you will oppose him/her because he/she is a democrat, not because he/she is not pro-life. May I ask you a few questions?
    In your view, can democrats go to heaven?,
    Is the Catholic Church and the Republican Party the same organization?, can republicans go to hell?, can Obama overcome purgatory?
    Thanks, I’m interested in your answers.

    You may not realize it, but a substantial number of the posters here are pro-life Democrats. Now, I as a pro-lifer who leans Republican, can’t for the life of me understand why they are so fixated on the Dems, but I don’t question their pro-life bona fides — because of their words and actions.

    Your questions are, to be blunt, idiotic, and beneath any legitimate discussion.

    Let me ask you this, have you ever opposed any politician because they are not opposed to the legal murder of the unborn?

  • I am originally from New Mexico, as far as I can see, Hispanics have always been a large voting block for the Democrats, just one of those things.

    My first thought when looking at this, was the way, Pope John Paul II went to Cuba. Sometimes, it’s not easy going but it’s things that need to be done. I don’t call this appointment but that was what I first thought of.

    I would venture furthermore, that if people say “Oh dear, we Catholics voted in favor of Obama”, Obama and his cohorts I’m sure can look at the data and say as I did right after the election, a lot of the Catholics that voted for Obama were in fact, the Hispanics.

  • Daniel Ortega is one of the pillars of the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. The Clash had an album called “Sandinista”: Is it true that Daniel Ortega banned bortions again in Nicaragua??

    Here is a good commentary I found coming out of Latin America on the topic. I really thought this was very well written seeing how Abortion is largely illegal in these countries.

    “USA Hypocrisy

    The hypocrisy of the USA is amazing–it promotes abortions for a device to try & spread its feminist colonialism–look at Brasil–where abortion are illegal–or even in NIcaragua–where Presidnt Daniel Ortega just banned abortions—infruiating usa feminists like Gloria Allreds & NOW etc–

    This USA man Tiller who killed many babys in aboritons–was similar to the famous Nazi–Dr Mengele–who was stated to have done abortions in his days as a fugitive–was Mengele a great “humanitarian” like Tiller?? People of South America remember that USA jewish feminist–Lori Berenson & her colonialist crimes–we reject such a disgrace

    The USA can please–keep the Allreds–Berensons–& Tillers–in the USA– we of the South American naitons are happy with our own cultures–without USA Tiller types trying to colonize –gracias por su bondad” – Lejos of XX

    http://www.usnews.com/blogs/erbe/2009/06/04/atlantic-monthly-essay-calls-tiller-murder-ok–that-is-crazy.html

Res & Explicatio for A.D. 4-22-2009

Wednesday, April 22, AD 2009

Salvete AC readers!

Here are today’s Top Picks in the Catholic world:

1. The HOT rumor of the day is that “Father John Jenkins, the president of Notre Dame, is in Washington today (Tuesday) for an unannounced meeting at the White House.”

Is he personally visiting with President Obama to offer his sincere apologies for rescinding the invitation to speak at the commencement?  Rescind the honorary law degree?  Ask for a job after he gets fired?

Your guess is as good as mine.

Phil Lawler of Catholic World News received a report from a reliable source of Fr. Jenkin’s unannounced visit to the White House and they cannot confirm this report yet.

In other news, this past Monday Fr. Jenkins expressed his profound pride in honoring the most pro-abortion president in U.S. history.

2. Have you seen Fr. Dwight Longenecker’s updated and revised blog?  It is awesome!

3. Even though the 2012 U.S. presidential elections are three years away we can dream and speculate who we would like to run for office between either a Democratic or Republican candidate (or even a legitimate third party candidate).  One name that has become quite intriguing to me is the former U.S. Representative from Georgia, Newt Gingrich.  His mea culpa of his previous marriages, his incredible intellect, speaking skills, and his recent conversion to our beautiful Catholic faith makes him my favorite for now.

Continue reading...

77 Responses to Res & Explicatio for A.D. 4-22-2009

  • Newt Gingrich has a hundred ideas a day, at least three of which are sound! Bright guy but he would be a disaster as a candidate. Too many skeletons, too many bitter ex-wives and a tendency not to be trusted within the party. I could imagine him as a possible veep, but I don’t think he will ever be elected to the top job.

    In regard to Hitler, rumors constantly swirled during the War that he planned to imprison Pius and set up a puppet papacy. Wiser heads in the Third Reich realized this would be a disaster for them, and Hitler in his saner moments agreed, but the risk was real enough at the time. Hitler often spoke of “settling accounts” with the Church after the war, and I could easily imagine him in a moment of high anger deciding not to wait.

  • That is frightening to hear about “settling accounts”. If Hitler had won the war it may have well been one of the darkest periods for the Church since the French Revolution.

  • Because of your excellent points on Mr. Gingrich I still have inadequate information to be completely convinced of his candidacy.

    I’m still distraught over Senator Brownback’s support of Governor Sebelius so I don’t have anyone as of now that I really like.

    I hear from insiders of the Baton Rouge political scene that Governor Jindal so far has ‘mixed reviews’ on his performance, so I’m hesitant to jump on that bandwagon.

    And Governor Palin’s appointment of a pro-choice judge to the Alaska State Supreme Court has made my stomach turn.

  • To answer the question headline of one of the related posts:

    “Should Pope Pius XII Become a Saint?”

    Yes!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Myth_of_Hitler%27s_Pope

  • As Donald said Gingrich is an ideas guy, but he is saddled with too much baggage. This is the land of second chances, but the presidency isn’t a second chance job.

    Tito,

    I’d recommend you do some more research before you let your stomach turn. This non-issue was debunked a while back. Alaska Supreme Court Justices, unlike the US Supreme Court, are not chosen by the executive branch. In Alaska the state Judiciary Council submits nominees to the governor who has to pick one of the nominated individuals. A previous governor fought this requirement and lost. Unless the Alaska state constitution is modified the process will remain as is.

  • In regard to Hitler here are some of his diatribes against the Church contained in his “Table Talk” compiled following the war from notes taken at the time he spoke:

    ‘The war will be over one day. I shall then consider that my life’s final task will be to solve the religious problem. Only then Will the life of the German native be guaranteed once and for all.”

    “The evil that’s gnawing our vitals is our priests, of both creeds. I can’t at present give them the answer they’ve been asking for, but it will cost them nothing to wait. It’s all written down in my big book. The time will come when I’ll settle my account with them, and I’ll go straight to the point.”

    “I don’t know which should be considered the more dangerous: the minister of religion who play-acts at patriotism, or the man who openly opposes the State. The fact remains that it’s their maneuvers that have led me to my decision. They’ve only got to keep at it, they’ll hear from me, all right. I shan’t let myself be hampered by juridical scruples. Only necessity has legal force. In less than ten years from now, things will have quite another look, I can promise them.”

    “We shan’t be able to go on evading the religious problem much longer. If anyone thinks it’s really essential to build the life of human society on a foundation of lies, well, in my estimation, such a society is not worth preserving. If’ on the other hand, one believes that truth is the indispensable foundation, then conscience bids one intervene in the name of truth, and exterminate the lie.”

    “Once the war is over we will put a swift end to the Concordat. It will give me the greatest personal pleasure to point out to the Church all those occasions on which it has broken the terms of it. One need only recall the close cooperation between the Church and the murderers of Heydrich. Catholic priests not only allowed them to hide in a church on the outskirts of Prague, but even allowed them to entrench themselves in the sanctuary of the altar.”

    “The fact that I remain silent in public over Church affairs is not in the least misunderstood by the sly foxes of the Catholic Church, and I am quite sure that a man like the Bishop von Galen knows full well that after the war I shall extract retribution to the last farthing. And, if he does not succeed in getting himself transferred in the meanwhile to the Collegium Germanium in Rome, he may rest assured that in the balancing of our accounts, no “T” will remain uncrossed, no “I” undotted!”

  • LargeBill,

    Thanks for that bit of information. I was unaware of how Alaska politics works.

    Henry Karlson,

    No personal attacks and insults will be tolerated anymore. You are given your first warning before being placed on moderation.

  • Tito:

    I’m no insider but I do live in Baton Rouge. For my view, Jindal still has a lot of respect for his handling of Gustav as well as telling Obama to keep some of the money and being one of the first to do so.

    However, Louisiana does face a budget deficit (our problem is the oil revenues have gone down, just like Alaska) and there have been cuts, which rarely make one popular. Not to mention he did a pretty poor job in the response to Obama.

  • Michael,

    I do not doubt what you are saying is true. I like Mr. Jindal very much and I have heard many, many good things about him. I am just being cautious in my praise since he is a neophyte.

    I don’t want to get excited about someone with so little experience, especially after watching President Obama create one disaster after another in his “on the job training”.

  • Henry Karlson,

    You are hereby placed on indefinite moderation until you have a change of heart.

    [ed.-in fairness to Henry, I have edited out my accurate adjectives]

  • “Even though the 2012 U.S. presidential elections…”

    2012?

    Isn’t the world supposed to end in 2012?

  • “Henry Karlson…May God help you in your struggles [ed.].”

    Is this the very same Henry Karlson who authored a series on ‘lies’ at the blog Vox Nova?

    [ed.-sorry e., in fairness to Henry, I edited out my accurate adjectives]

  • Phillip et al,

    We’ve received numerous complaints from many of our good readers of the ‘distractions’ that people like Karlson have become to constructive debates and engagement in dialogue.

    The final straw came when we were being accused of tolerating insults and hate speech at the expense of good Catholics and dialogue.

    I have seen across the Catholic blogosphere these same culprits use their political agenda to cloud their Catholic sense of being because of their hate towards orthodoxy in general and Pope Benedict specifically.

    Many, many well meaning Catholics have been patient and charitable in tolerating these malcontents in their comboxes and we here at American Catholic have decided to draw a line in the sand against such hate speech.

    Henry Karlson exemplifies the liberal extremists who disguise themselves as Catholics to push President Obama’s agenda of abortion on demand. [conservative extremists can be just as awful. There is a distinction between liberals and liberal extremists. I count many friends with center-left leanings as good friends and model Catholics that I myself strive to be to follow in their footsteps.]

    The TIDE IS TURNING against them and they know it. Hundreds of seminarians are more orthodox than their predecessors. Orthodox parishes are thriving while the Spirit of Vatican II churches are shrinking in number.

    They know their days are numbered and they are frantically attacking anyone and anything that is bringing the Church closer to Christ.

    ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

  • e.,

    Yes. That’s if you follow Mayan paganism.

    In reality what it really means is ‘time will reset itself’. Like when you jump forward in Spring or turn back the clock in the Fall.

    Many people take it to mean something more sinister.

    But we as Catholics do not know the time nor the place of His return.

  • Tito,

    Thanks for the info!

    On the other matter, I’m fairly disappointed at Karlson’s behaviour. I never knew he could sink so low.

  • Now I’m just curious. What did he say?

  • When the world ends is unknown, though if the Saints draft well enough to win the Superbowl this year, it will most certainly end in Feb. 2010. 😉

    Tito:

    This is true, though Jindal does have more experience than Obama (House of Reps for I think 3 years).

    Donald:

    Thanks for the Hitler quotes; they are very chilling and important to keep in mind.

    Joe:

    I just finished that book. It was very convincing that Pius has been unfairly marginalized and should in fact be canonized. I hope that when he is sainted, the calumny against him will subside and he will be honored as a “righteous Gentile.”

  • Perhaps: “Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelt of elderberries.”

    Or even just, “Ni!”

  • Darwin,

    Now those are fighting words.

    Tito,

    Okay, just saying ouch.

  • Michael D.,

    I have a soft spot for people like Sam Brownback, Newt Gingrich, and Bobby Jindal. I love hearing and reading about conversion stories. These stories fill me with inspiration and joy while simultaneously they motivate me to turn closer to God.

    Though they have many flaws I am reminded of Jesus’ mission that he came for these sinners so they may have eternal life. This particular passage is very soothing and I reflect on it right before the consecration during Mass.

    Just awe-inspiring!

  • I know I’ll regret this, but part of me just cannot let this [ed.-your lies will not be tolerated] pass. I would advise Tito Edwards to get a better handle on the term “liberal” [ed.-I said liberal extremist] before he throws it around (hint: it’s not what Limbaugh and Hannity say it is). For the record, Henry Karlson is one of the most conservative people [ed.-I view Catholicism as to whether one adheres to the teachings or as one who does not] I have ever met. He had a deep love of the traditional faith [ed.-in the many insults that Henry has given me through the years, not once has he ever mentioned his love of Catholicism, Jesus, or the Church], and he has described himself as a monarchist. He does not fit in well with the American political debate, because both sides in that partisan divide are heavily influenced by liberalism (and that includes your hero, Mr. Gingrich [ed.-I said I favor him. Much different than hero. Another lie from a Vox Nova contributor, par for the course]).

    Liberalism as manifested in politics neatly always boils down to the individual over the community, the focus on individual rights over the common good, the satisfaction of individual wants and needs. The US constitution is a deeply liberal document (I’m being descriptive, not pejorative). A second dimension of liberalism is a utopian approach to society, and both sides of the US debate share this zeal, especially when it comes to the role of the US and its institutions.

    On the left, liberalism manifests itself by insisting on the right to satisfy one and all sexual needs, by the right to marry whoever one wishes, by placing one’s rights above those of the unborn, by belief in a that all the ils of society that can be guided by good government.

    On the right, liberalism manifests itself as belief in the virtues of individuals maximizing utility in the free market, as an emphasis on keeping government off one’s back, on the right to own guns without restriction, on the right to consume as much material goods as one wishes regardless of its effect on the planet, and as a belief in the ability of the United States to impose democracy on the world through the barrel of a gun or the door of a torture chamber.

    You need to understand these points. You need to understand that your politics are as liberal as a partisan Democrat, and have the exact same fault lines. But the problem is not really your politics– you are entitled (as are we all) to support who you think will do the least harm in the public square. Your problem is that your political error translates into how you see Catholicism, for you are quick to denounce any who do not share your politics (not your theology) [ed.-I am a Catholic first, political last] as somehow heterodox. Not that I want to get into a [ed.-typical liberal extremist always using vile language to prove a point. Such language will not be tolerated on AC] context, but I would safely bet that the average Vox Nova contributor agrees with the Church far more on the issues than the average contributor over here [ed.-an opinion emanating from a false Catholic such as yourself from Vox Nova, nice]. Your heterodoxy is against Republican party orthodoxy (liberalism of the right), not the faith. You really need to see the sharp difference between your politics and your faith– the former is deeply flawed, while the latter embodies the truth.

  • Henry Karlson exemplifies the liberal extremists who disguise themselves as Catholics to push President Obama’s agenda of abortion on demand.

    I do not think Henry is a liberal extremist, much less someone who is Catholic as a ‘disguise…to push President Obama’s agenda of abortion on demand.’ [ed.-inappropriate comments that do not deal with the posting will be deleted.]

  • Henry Karlson exemplifies the liberal extremists who disguise themselves as Catholics to push President Obama’s agenda of abortion on demand.

    Tito, Lord knows I have my disagreements with Henry, but I would beg to differ with your characterization of him in this manner.

  • A second dimension of liberalism is a utopian approach to society, and both sides of the US debate share this zeal, especially when it comes to the role of the US and its institutions.

    I have never encountered someone so intelligent who is nonetheless so completely ignorant of basic political theory. The idea that classical liberalism is in any way utopian is so wide of the mark that one wonders if you have even read an elementary book on political philosophy. The utopian strain is clearly prevalent in totalitarian systems, all of which are antithetical to classical liberalism and modern American conservatism.

    On the right, liberalism manifests itself as belief in the virtues of individuals maximizing utility in the free market, as an emphasis on keeping government off one’s back, on the right to own guns without restriction, on the right to consume as much material goods as one wishes regardless of its effect on the planet, and as a belief in the ability of the United States to impose democracy on the world through the barrel of a gun or the door of a torture chamber.

    Does this even resemble the actual beliefs of, well, anyone? Liberal or conservative. Also, while it is possible that a fetish for free market economics could have a utopian overtone, it’s sort of difficult to square that particular circle.

    Your problem is that your political error translates into how you see Catholicism, for you are quick to denounce any who do not share your politics (not your theology) as somehow heterodox.

    Unlike say, yourself? BTW, isn’t it curious that you boys at Vox Nova are all so cozy with one Gerald Naus now that he’s not a practicing Catholic but is a practicing leftist. I think your sudden coziness towards that particular individual reveals all too much your own blatant partisanship.

  • Paul:

    There is most certainly a utopian thread within classical liberalism. Locke and Rousseau view their states of nature as utopian (or close enough in Locke’s case). Now to be sure, it is much stronger in communism and fascism, but that is because building off the liberal tradition they came to the notion that science and the right amount of government will lead to an improve of society.

    Indeed, liberalism holds that man is always rational and tends to deny the notion that man is fallen and therefore doomed to imperfection. This failure to emphasize the fallen nature of man made it prone to the utopian direction that its descendants have taken it.

    Furthermore, while I agree that sometimes Naus is treated too sympathetically at VN, it’s not as if the “boys” at Vn (poor Katerina and RCM) never disagree. think it’s true that we have a tendency to downplay the faults of those who disagree with us less-whether they are our friends or usual allies. For more on that, see the McCain love-fest before November in conservative circles.

    Minion:

    I would point out that before Iraq, the other side was just as willing to promote democracy with guns and judging by Obama’s foreign policy that hasn’t changed a whole lot (see Israel, in a situation I know you sympathize with).

  • Labels are problematic over the Internet, for many reasons: as wannabe writers, we like to call attention to ourselves, we “say” things we wouldn’t normally “say” in a different medium, labeling is cheap and easy and we all tend to be lazy, ect.

    That said, I enjoy TAC and hope that our blogs will continue to comment mutually. We should also all leave labeling behind as much as possible – like name-calling, which is also too easy to do – and engage points and substance with counter points and substance.

  • Contrary to popular belief, ‘labels’ aren’t in themselves an injustice; indeed, many times they are a ‘must’.

    It is by such means that we call evil ‘evil’ and good ‘good’.

    The injustice comes in when certain individuals come to call evil ‘good’ and good ‘evil’ or would leave the rather impressionable public believing thus.

  • There is most certainly a utopian thread within classical liberalism. Locke and Rousseau

    I would reject the classification of Rossueau as a classical liberal. If he can labeled thusly, then the term has no meaning. And I have no brief for Locke, but I’m not quite comfortable branding him a utopian. Yes, his state of nature musings were idealistic, but at the same time he acknowledges the imperfections of such a state – after all, what else can justify the social contract other than the very imperfections of such a state?

    Indeed, liberalism holds that man is always rational and tends to deny the notion that man is fallen and therefore doomed to imperfection.

    What then of pretty much all of the Founding Fathers – men like Adams, Madison and Hamilton, in particular – who had a pretty good understanding of the fallen nature of mankind (If men were angels . . .) Unless you deem them to be outside of the classical liberal tradition, then it’s hard to justify that claim.

    That being said, there certainly is a utopian strain in some current of liberal thought, exemplified in the American sense by Thomas Jefferson. That I would not deny, and I’d enjoy the opportunity of hashing this argument out further one day, but perhaps we’ll save that for another day.

    . think it’s true that we have a tendency to downplay the faults of those who disagree with us less-whether they are our friends or usual allies.

    The Closed Cafeteria

  • I have to agree with Paul – ‘utopian’ is a poor choice of word to describe classical liberalism.

    If the state of nature is a utopia, why the need for government? Locke’s state of nature is no where near as chaotic and violent as Hobbes’, but to say it is utopian, I think, is a stretch. Government still comes along to fix the problems of the state of nature, which are ultimately the results of flaws in people and their ‘private judgment’. Perhaps this isn’t an explicit recognition of a fallen nature, but it still seems far from a utopian conception.

    Rousseau on the other hand is not really a liberal; he is more a classical republican following in the tradition of Machiavelli. Republicanism and liberalism might have some overlap, and I think they are co-parents of 19th century socialism, but they’re distinct enough that no one should confuse them.

    Finally, I think MM just mis-spoke; modern liberalism insofar as it has socialist parentage does have a Utopian streak. We do have to make the distinction between modern and classical liberalism.

  • John Henry,

    I do not think Henry is a liberal extremist, much less someone who is Catholic as a ‘disguise…to push President Obama’s agenda of abortion on demand.’ That is a very serious and uncharitable accusation, and, in my opinion, calumnious, particularly since Henry made it quite clear he could not vote for Obama. If a commenter left such an accusation on one of my threads, I would delete it.

    His whole point is to disrupt the discussion on the content of my post.

    Henry K. has failed over and over to show any prudence, charity, or any semblance of practicing his Catholicism. If you have witnessed this then he is an even worse person than I thought. Purposely showing one face while in another instance leading sheep to the slaughter.

    Anymore comments that doesn’t pertain to the original posting will be deleted from here on out.

  • Sorry, got cut off:

    The Closed Cafeteria Gerald was almost literally hounded by the Vox Novaites on a daily basis. Now that Gerald has done a 180, they are eminently more accepting of him. So they’re basically showing by their actions that it is more tolerable to be a heterodox, politically left quasi-Catholic than an orthodox, politically conservative Catholic.

    For more on that, see the McCain love-fest before November in conservative circles.

    Umm, if by “love fest” you mean the “hold your nose and vote for him because he’s better than Obama” thread that ran through such circles, then maybe you have a point.

  • Paul,

    My reasons for placing Henry Karlson on indefinite moderation. His goal as well as his cohorts are to do the same to unwitting Catholics here at AC.

  • We do have to make the distinction between modern and classical liberalism.

    Exactly. And even then I think we have to make distinctions within the world of classical liberalism itself.

  • Tony in regard to your definition of liberal, Tito is correct in regard to modern American usage. In the 19th century sense of the term I am a political liberal. In today’s usage in this country I am a conservative. However, in neither usage am I a statist or a socialist. In terms of economics and the role of the state in the economy that is the true dividing line between most of the contributors of American Catholic and most of the contributors of Vox Nova. The exceptions to this dividing line are not insignificant. For example, Blackadder as a libertarian makes me look Leftist on economic matters, and Joe, who is a contributor to both blogs, is a Distributist I believe. (Please correct me if I am mistaken Joe.) However I think in general the role of the state in society is the general line of division between the Left and the Right in contemporary America.

  • Well its like Robert Bork said, liberalism was a good idea when it was tempered with other ideas and forces that prevented its less desirable tendencies from running amok.

    But then, so was conservatism.

    Now we simply have shrillness.

  • I am a Distributist 🙂

    But more importantly, I just try to follow Catholic social teaching as best I can, regardless of where that puts me on the secular political map.

  • Paul,

    I think you are missing the connections. Liberalism and socialism are intimately related. The Church always tended to condemn both in the same breath – and here I think we can draw a very interesting parallel between Pius IX’s authoritarian hatred of liberalism and its socialist step-sister, and Leo XIII’s condemnation of both from an economic perspective.

    My point remains: both sides of the debate in the United States are deeply grounded in the liberal tradition. There are very few true conservative voices. It’s always been a pet peeve of mine that people use these terms inappropriately. And no, you can’t just lump a bunch of unconnected and often contradictory beliefs together– free market liberalism, huge spending on military, small spending on everything else, nationalism, traditionalist sexual norms, opposition to abortion — and ascribe any consistent political philosophy to it, let alone “conservative”.

  • “I am a Distributist.

    In other words, “Communist”.

  • I think you are missing the connections.

    Yes, MM, please lecture me about the genesis of political thought in America, and the various influences on it. This is just a topic way beyond my pay grade.

  • e., Joe is not a Communist. Joe and I do not see eye to eye on economics, but there is nothing of the Bolshevik about him.

  • Mr. McClarey,

    It’s just I don’t see how distributism, if actually implemented, would not ultimately end up being, in the end, “Communism”.

  • E,

    Seeing as how I don’t believe in a command economy, nationalization of the means of production, or violent class warfare, I’d have to be one strange communist.

    That, or you don’t know what the h**l you’re talking about, once again.

  • “It’s just I don’t see how distributism, if actually implemented, would not ultimately end up being, in the end, “Communism”.”

    How do you define communism?

  • e, I have my doubts how Distributism would work in the real world. However, as Joe has pointed out he disavows the characteristic elements of most Communist movements and I take him at his word.

  • Herr Hargrave,

    Yes, I do not find it (i.e., distributism) exceptionally inviting for the very fact that it will merely result in the same sort of tyrannical coercion by the State not unlike that infamously found in your so dearly beloved Marxist system.

  • John Henry & Christopher Blosser,

    Reflecting on my comments I see my error.

    Henry Karlson exemplifies the liberal extremists who disguise themselves as Catholics to push President Obama’s agenda of abortion on demand.

    Henry isn’t pushing for abortion on demand. I assume he isn’t for that matter.

    What I dislike are his distraction techniques of taking the discussion away from the intent of the post to something frivolous as to what the definition of “is” is (as an example).

    I’m sure he’s quite a decent human being, though he makes it hard for me to see that part of him.

  • Distributism does work in the real world. There are thousands of successful workers, consumers, housing and credit co-ops all over the world. I just think it needs to be spread further.

    It’s the ‘free market’ that no one can seem to agree upon – does it exist, is it an ideal, has it existed? What we’ve only ever had is either command economies, or varying degrees of state-capitalism.

    E,

    I’m not going to let you continue slandering me. Your comments are entirely without foundation, I have never advocated anything close to ‘tyrannical coercion’, I have made it clear more than once that Distributism is a voluntary system.

    If there is some thing I have said that makes you think otherwise, quote it, and we will discuss it.

    If you can’t do that, I’m going to start throwing out the garbage – by that I mean, your posts.

  • What’s interesting about several of the comments above is that Tito went overboard in attacking Henry, and then was immediately criticized himself by several other bloggers here.

    What a sharp contrast from the conduct at Vox Nova, where Michael I. gets away with all kinds of slanderous comments and no one disagrees; where Gerald openly dissents from the Magisterium but no one disagrees (far from it: Henry pretends to believe — but he couldn’t possibly be that dumb — that Gerald’s comments are all faithful to the Church’s teachings); where commenters like Digby and Mark D. and Kurt say even more outrageous things and are never called to account.

  • Joe,

    I must’ve gotten you confused with some petty tyrant who actually wanted to impose this incredibly idealistic Chester-belloc vision on the whole world regardless of what anybody else had to say about it and would compel entire societies and even nations to do so on the simple basis that he knew what was best for them on a grander scale.

  • e,

    That would involve an awful lot of confusion. Joe shows no signs of being a petty tyrant. Still, if we’ve cleared up any confusion, one hopes we can move on.

  • e., not sure how you made that confusion, given Joe’s regular m.o. of proposing, not imposing.

  • I don’t particularly buy Newt’s “conversion”. Lets give it some time to see how it plays out.

    To be blunt I see no one in the field right now that is particularly appealing. I was a Paul supporter, and I don’t see any true “Old Right” guys coming into replace his voice in the Republican field. Its possible Mark Sanford, Bobby Jindal or Gary Johnson might run, but a lot depends on the policy direction they advocate.

    I would be more optimistic about Republican chances today if they would renounce Bush foreign policies and return to being the party on non-intervention and diplomacy, as opposed to a party of blind militarism.

  • I would gladly and happily vote for Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska if he were to run for President.

  • 1). I agree with MM about the confusions of political labels. The Australians have it correct: the U.S. center-right / libertarian infused economics and Wilsonian adventure-ism that passes for center-right (it’s not; Robert Taft was) should have it’s home in the Liberal Party.

    2). The American Conservative magazine / Pat Buchanan / Steve Sailer / Oakeshott – Scruton ect. is much more in line with what it means to be of the Right. This died more or less in the 70s as liberals upset with Lyndon Johnson’s statist projects – who never left their idealisms behind – came to dominate the political Right (the borderline ant-Semitic stuff from the “paleos” is based in truth – there were and are a lot of very sharp and active Jews who abandoned the Left.

    3). That said, ALL of our discourse and political activity is inescapably under the umbrella of Enlightenment liberalism. There is no other way – it was an earthquake.

  • Whoops – minor typos above. That’s annoying.

    And let it be on record that I have written “I agree with MM”.

    Ha!

    I strongly recommend getting ahold of some Oakeshott and Roger Scruton. The basic idea is that to be of the Right is a temperment, a sentiment against all totality and ideology, against all utopia, and for local community and family as the basic foundations of society. Any harm to these (including industrial capitalism and the “elevation” of markets over society) are to be opposed.

  • e.,
    Yes, I do not find it (i.e., distributism) exceptionally inviting for the very fact that it will merely result in the same sort of tyrannical coercion by the State not unlike that infamously found in your so dearly beloved Marxist system.

    I think the difference is that distributism is more of a free association model, rather than a state coercive model which would make it socialist. While Joe disavows the label socialist, he hasn’t found a state intervention he doesn’t like so, if his political views defined distributism, it would be very close to socialism, but I think that view is flawed.

    Anthony,

    I don’t particularly buy Newt’s “conversion”. Lets give it some time to see how it plays out.

    I see. Do we speak of everyone’s conversion the same way, or just Newt? Do you think he did it for political reasons??? Oh, yes, there’s a strong precedence for conservative Catholics as successful national candidates.

  • Hey Tito,

    I will end this discussion right now about liberalism…

    http://www.ewtn.com/library/theology/libsin.htm

  • Bret, the Publisher’s Preface states, By definition, Liberalism is the mistaken notion that “One religion is as good as another.”

    I don’t think that’s how liberalism is being used in the context of this combox.

  • Matt,

    “While Joe disavows the label socialist, he hasn’t found a state intervention he doesn’t like”

    This is another slander. On what do you basis this ridiculous claim? You first brought it up when I merely said I agreed with Obama’s ideas on clean energy and health care. Those are two ‘interventions’.

    Distributism has to do with property ownership. It doesn’t exclude government leadership on issues that affect the entire country. I evaluate each proposed ‘intervention’ on its individual merits.

    I am opposed, for instance, to gun control and a state monopoly on education. I am opposed to attempts to interfere with home schooling. I am opposed to big businesses forcing their way into small communities where they are not welcome. I am opposed to religious communities being forced to tolerate pornography and gay pride parades. These are only a few examples.

    In short I believe communities should be given a much wider range of freedom to determine their own standards, provided they don’t violate actual Constitutional rights of individuals and not made up ones (like the ‘right to privacy’ conjured up by the Blackmum court, or the ‘right to obscenity’ that is falsely derived from the first amendment). And I believe Distributism is the best economic base for a strong community, because it centers economic and political power at the local level and grants more people the opportunity to directly control their own lives, their own political and social environments.

    So I would call myself, in addition to being a Distributist, a communitarian. As for socialism, I stand with the Church: socialists have made some just demands. Yet it isn’t necessary to actually be a socialist to make those demands, and in becoming so, one professes agreement also with many other unjust demands.

    On the other hand, people such as yourself like to tar and feather people whose ideas sound unappealing to you with a negative label that some people will feel bound to reject without ever actually exploring the content of what is being proposed. It’s a cheap, dirty tactic, it smothers rational discourse and it feeds into the stupidity and hysteria of the mob.

  • I mean, Matt, you don’t even know me. I’ve only been here for a few weeks. And yet you have the bloody nerve to say I’ve ‘never met a government intervention’ I didn’t like, as if you’ve known me my whole life?

    Shame on you!

  • Matt,

    Your comments about Joe was unnecessary and in my view, entirely untrue. I personally find the majority of your comments to be condemning and not personable, or charitable in diction. Perhaps, it isn’t intentional. But, if you could, for the sake of civil dialogue, be more charitable toward others and consider your comments before posting, I’m sure everyone would be more appreciative. Thank you.

  • I don’t know a whole lot about Distributism, but from what I do know, it hardly seems communist. It’s more in line with the “conservative” ideals of individuals being self-sufficient instead of depending on someone else to provide them with a paycheck (be that the government or some mega-corporation). In other words, “give them a hand up, not a handout.”

    It’s also more in line with the very Catholic concept of subsidarity — doing things at the lowest level of societal organization that can handle it, e.g. the individual, family, parish, neighborhood, or community.

    I really wish more political conservatives would pick up on the idea of subsidarity. Instead of just constantly hammering on the notion that ALL government and taxes are bad, promote the idea of keeping government and taxation as localized (and as accountable) as possible instead of handing everything off to the state or the feds.

    As for GOP prospects for 2012, well, nobody’s perfect and conservatives had better stop expecting a “perfect” candidate. Beggars can’t be choosers and we’re pretty much beggars right now. Bear in mind, though, than inexperience is a problem that tends to get better with time. The longer Jindal, Palin, et al. stay in office the more experienced they become.

  • S.B.,

    Thank you for pointing the difference.

    Though I disagree that my comments went overboard, I do recognize the charitable correction from my fellow writers and combox buddies and understand to withdraw such comments since others deem them offensive.

    I want AC to be a forum of constructive and if possible positive dialogue on even the most contentious issues.

    Please do not hesitate to email any of us or post a comment in the combox if any one of us have crossed the line.

    Regardless of where anyone stands as a Catholic, we should all treat each other as brothers in Christ. I want AC to be welcome to those that care about helping the poor and the homeless as well as protecting life in all stages of life.

    We are all Catholics first, Americans of whatever political persuasion second.

    Sugar goes much farther than vinegar as they say.

  • I tried posting this on Fr. Longnecker’s website but couldn’t get signed into Word Press to do so, so I’ll summarize it here.

    Basically, Fr. argues that priestly celibacy was easier for men to live with years ago because many good Catholic men saw the life of a priest as being much easier and more secure than that of a married man who would have to support a wife and lots of kids (because they weren’t practicing birth control) and carefully save up to pay for everything the family needed (because it wasn’t as easy to borrow money then). Today, he says, marriage looks like a much better life because women work outside the home, most couples only have two kids, and they can own two cars, a house in the suburbs, and pay for everything on their credit cards.

    All that is true but I wanted to add some further observations.

    In those days (early Baby Boom era) just about any able-bodied man who was able to read and write (and even some who couldn’t) could usually find a manufacturing job at pretty good wages, and count on it to be there until he retired, at which point he could expect at least a small pension to live on. In many communities in the Midwest and Northeast such jobs were readily available, and men didn’t have to move out of town or very far away to find them. (I used to live in one such town in northern Illinois that had a large clock factory, which closed in the early 1980s, throwing the local economy into a tailspin that lasted well into the next decade.)

    Plus he could expect to have dinner on the table every night, and count on his wife to handle nearly all the details of child-rearing. A high school diploma was generally all that was needed to get a decent job; there was no need to go into debt for years or decades to get a college or professional degree. He could also continue to live near his parents, brothers, sisters, etc. and his children would grow up in close contact with them.

    Today any man who expects to be the sole support of a large family would pretty much have to obtain a college degree in a highly paid professional or technical field (incurring lots of debt in the process, unless he did a stint in the military first to get GI Bill benefits) and then, perhaps, move to a part of the country where his skills are needed (e.g. Silicon Valley), away from his family of origin (no siblings, grandparents, aunts or uncles around to help babysit the kids).

    And even after all that, he would have no confidence that his job would not disappear after the next boom-bust cycle, nor can he count on any kind of retirement security. Plus, he has to be prepared to pay his children’s way through college if they are to have any kind of decent living. And, since his wife works they have to worry more about finding decent child care and supervising their kids’ after school activities.

    So when you add it all up, I’m not so sure that marriage is an “easier” choice today.

  • Paul,

    Yes, I know your Ph.D topic was on early American political philosopy, and I am most assuredly not getting into that debate with you! However, you miss the big picture, the sense that what calls itself American conservatism is deeply deeply liberal. It is the same way that many constitutional legal experts (many of them brilliant) are mired so deeply in legal positivism that they miss the bigger natural law picture.

  • ou miss the big picture, the sense that what calls itself American conservatism is deeply deeply liberal.

    Actually, no, I haven’t denied that American conservatism is the stepchild in some ways of classical liberalism. In fact, I cherish the fact that conservatives are greater expositors of true liberalism than the people that we call liberal today – so, we actually agree to a point on this issue. My point of departure is your classification of classical liberalism as a utopian political ideology.

  • …the sense that what calls itself American conservatism is deeply deeply liberal.

    Umm, I think everyone gets that. However, we also understand there are contexts in which terms are used (as someone above pointed out). MM, you continually use the terms left and right. We give you enough credit to assume that you’re railing against the right, it’s not because you think they’re sympathetic to French monarchy or sitting on the right side of the National Constituent Assembly. Wouldn’t you think I looked either ignorant or like a condescending ass if I complained every time someone used the terms left and right outside of the context of the French Revolution?

  • Sorry for using a little hyperbole to illustrate why e. is confused about distributism, frankly I think a lot of people are a little hypersensitive.

    To be totally direct without any ‘license’. I have not ON THIS BLOG seen a discussion with Joe in which he did not defend government intervention into the economy which could be considered a socialist policy. If I have missed one, then please post it and I will stand corrected.

    My point is that distributism is not communism or socialism because it is not controlled by the state. The confusion comes because of what I stated above, we hear that distributism is good in the same breath as endorsement of government control of the economy and it’s easy to conclude that distributism is that… it is not.

    Joe: why not make some more posts on distributism as endorsed by champions like Chesterton and Belloc? This might alleviate the confusion, and further your cause.

  • Well, you have not see me on this blog argue once against government intervention policies, so I suppose there isn’t capitalist policy, I do like?

    I’m sure you see the point. Simply because I haven’t done so, doesn’t mean I despise every stripe of capitalism. Same case here. Though, I’d suggest two things: Either read up personally on distributism, ask Joe what he thinks of ‘this’ or ‘that’ idea you encounter. Or, surely, as Joe might, ask him to post on distributism (as you have done) and maybe he can clarify some things for you.

    Thanks Matt.

  • Eric,
    Well, you have not see me on this blog argue once against government intervention policies, so I suppose there isn’t capitalist policy, I do like?

    nor did I suggest this about Joe.

    I’m sure you see the point. Simply because I haven’t done so, doesn’t mean I despise every stripe of capitalism.

    Nor did I suggest this about Joe.

    I’m sure you see MY point, if the biggest defender of distributism is seen as a big defender of government intervention in economy, that some readers may get the mistaken notion that distributism is like socialism. I’m suggesting that that this conflation be disavowed.

    Same case here. Though, I’d suggest two things: Either read up personally on distributism, ask Joe what he thinks of ‘this’ or ‘that’ idea you encounter. Or, surely, as Joe might, ask him to post on distributism (as you have done) and maybe he can clarify some things for you.

    I have read about distributism thank you very much, I am well aware of it and that it is a morally good economic system and that it is not socialist or communist in it’s nature. I am not a huge proponent of it on a wide scale because I don’t really see how it could be implemented without massive personal conversions, I’d be delighted to hear and discuss more about how it could be done in the current milieu, I’ve suggested this before on this blog and again today.

  • “I see. Do we speak of everyone’s conversion the same way, or just Newt? Do you think he did it for political reasons??? Oh, yes, there’s a strong precedence for conservative Catholics as successful national candidates.”

    Matt,

    I certainly do not profess an ability to peer into any man’s soul. However, its worth noting Tony Blair made the leap and it hasn’t amounted to much. There were rumblings of a W. Bush conversion.

    My concern is mainly with Newt’s own rocky track record in Congress and as Speaker of the House. He comes from a brand of Republicanism that loves the State. He seems to try and waffle between constitutional convictions and political trendiness. In short, I don’t really know what to think of him.

    If I had to guess, he would have appealing rhetoric during a presidential run and then promptly keep this fat American Empire on its destructive trajectory once in office.

    How does it relate to his conversion? It doesn’t, and thats precisely the problem. I would expect a lot from a constitutionally conservative, Catholic president and I don’t think Newt’s really up to the burden.

  • Anthony,

    I certainly do not profess an ability to peer into any man’s soul. However, its worth noting Tony Blair made the leap and it hasn’t amounted to much.

    That’s a fair point, but there’s a big difference between Blair and Newt. So far as government policy is concerned, there is little that Newt is obliged to reform in order to be consistent with the Catholic faith, while perhaps in some case it ought to.

    There were rumblings of a W. Bush conversion.

    I’ve heard this too, and I would say the same as I did about Newt.

    My concern is mainly with Newt’s own rocky track record in Congress and as Speaker of the House. He comes from a brand of Republicanism that loves the State. He seems to try and waffle between constitutional convictions and political trendiness. In short, I don’t really know what to think of him.

    I would suggest his conversion to Catholicism should not change your healthy skepticism.

    If I had to guess, he would have appealing rhetoric during a presidential run

    I really doubt it would be all that popular of a move, especially among the evangelical base of the GOP. While they might be comfortable with a Catholic, it seems less likely they would really want one who was a recent defector from their own denomination.

    and then promptly keep this fat American Empire on its destructive trajectory once in office.

    How does it relate to his conversion? It doesn’t, and thats precisely the problem. I would expect a lot from a constitutionally conservative, Catholic president and I don’t think Newt’s really up to the burden.

    You’re right on this. I guess my main point is we need to carefully separate his faith conversion from any political expectations.

  • Joe & Matt:

    Yeah, right.

    This highly noble system of distributism of which you speak could never ultimately end up being an even distribution of property by force of law.

    Far be it for me to consider Chesterton’s ideas in this regard romantic (let alone, extremist) when, in fact, they are achievable and, what’s more, without any such coercion by the State.

  • GK Chesterton:“That economic condition in which there is a class of capitalists, roughly recognizable and relatively small, in whose possession so much of the capital is concentrated as to necessitate a very large majority of the citizens serving those capitalists for a wage.”

    I’m not sure that what Chesterton describes is accurate to the current situation here in the US. Small business ownership and stock ownership directly or via mutual funds held in 401k’s and pensions is incredibly broad here. While there is much wealth concentrated in a relatively small group, there is massive opportunity for independence here, far more so than any place.

    Derived from: http://www.census.gov/epcd/www/smallbus.html

    20% of US workers own their own business, or are employed at a firm with less than 5 workers.

    45% of US workers own their own business, or are at a firm with less than 100 workers.

    42% of US workers are employed at firms with more than 500 workers

    Keep in mind that many of those in the latter category are completely free and capable of becoming small business owners but find the safety of corporate life preferable however many of them do, including me.

    It would be interesting merge this with a study of stock ownership by those employed, as it would further move the “concentration” down.

    I don’t think there’s any of the more conservative poster’s here that would argue that more small business and more broadly distributed ownership of enterprise would be a good thing. We are the ones advocating for measures which have shown or can reasonably be demonstrated to aid people in building their own business or becoming owners of shares.

    To me, the change to broader ownership can only be done through coaxing, and leadership, not through coercion. Frankly much of it can be accomplished from the ground up, and I think you’ll find that within the conservative movement it largely has…Go Joe the Plumber!

    It’s actually my theory that preferential treatment by government is part of the reason that ownership concentrates in large corporations as much as it does. The complexity of government regulation makes economies of scale more significant than they ought to. Last summer’s law requiring testing of virtually every product intended for children is in the process of destroying virtually every small manufacturer in that market.

  • Matt,

    What government interventions or what have you have been proposed, that I agree with?

    I can only recall TWO things that I’ve said I agree with, when did the rest of this happen?

    Do you think I’m lying when I pointed out in an earlier post, right here on this thread, all of the government interventions I don’t agree with?

    You don’t seem to understand that the issue of Distributism is separate from the issue of government regulation. If we had an economy based on workers cooperatives, if the majority of firms were structured in just the way I think they ought to be, even then I would STILL be for government regulation and oversight. Why?

    First of all, because I’m a Catholic and I believe, as Pope Pius XI wrote, that the economy must be ordered and guided by an effective principle – an ethical principle, the common good. The economy exists to serve man and not the other way around. Government regulation of the economy is completely and wholly endorsed by CST and does not negate the principles of Distributism.

    Meanwhile economic liberalism – the idea that the economy should not be regulated, that each individual has unlimited economic freedom, that their cumulative efforts over time will generate the best economic result – has been unambiguously, clearly, condemned.

    The key as always is finding a balance – between economic anarchy and command economies. The most powerful economies the world has ever seen have existed because of extensive private-public collaboration. This ‘free market’ doesn’t even exist, it never has existed. We know that because its most ardent defenders, whenever markets are blamed for any problem, immediately step forward and declare, ‘that’s not the free market’. Ok, so where is it? What does it do? Nowhere and nothing.

    For me the choices are not ‘free market’ versus distributism, but rather economic oligarchy in a state-capitalist framework, or economic democracy in a distributist framework. The ‘free market’ isn’t an option, a totally deregulated economy isn’t an option and most of us do not proceed on the naive assumption that it is.

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Vatican Rejected Three Obama Candidates For Ambassador

Tuesday, April 7, AD 2009

Today the Washington Times is reporting that the Vatican has rejected at least three candidates for ambassador.  Could one of those candidates been Doug Kmiec?  Mayor Richard Daley of Chicago?  Caroline Kennedy? 

The Headline Bistro is reporting that Senator John Kerry is pushing for Caroline Kennedy for the position.  A left-leaning Italian daily, Panorama, is speculating of the ‘glamorous’ benefits of having Miss Kennedy as the Holy See’s ambassador.

Caroline Kennedy?  You’ve got to be kidding me!  What is interesting to note is the sheer lack of understanding on behalf President Obama of what the Catholic Church stands for.  It is not a political entity, but Christ’s church on earth.  Abortion is not one of a myriad of policy differences that can be pushed under the rug when it comes to appointing a U.S. ambassador to the Vatican.

The U.S. has a right to appoint whomever they want, but the Pope has the right to reject any ambassador that will not “improve relations” with the Vatican.  If President Obama appoints a pro-choice (pro-abortion) candidate, one who promotes the death of innocent children, how can this candidate  improve relations with the Holy See that defends the rights the most vulnerable among us?  Logic and reasoning seem to be lacking in finding a candidate from the Obama administration.

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17 Responses to Vatican Rejected Three Obama Candidates For Ambassador

  • So now we have 3 articles with the same source. The Wash Times didn’t report anything.

    If I’m not mistaken, the US didn’t have a Vatican ambassador prior to 1980, so I’m not sure how “embarassing” it would be.

  • M.Z.,

    The U.S. did not have formal (diplomatic) relations until President Reagan recognized this need in 1984 to help in the battle with communism (which Pope John Paul II help to bring down).

    The Washington Times and Headline Bistro offered different sides to the news of the Obama administration’s folly in finding an ambassador to the Vatican using different sources.

    Your accusation is a non-sequitur.

  • Maybe the nominees were like this:

    http://lifenews.com/nat4973.html

  • Phillip,

    If President Obama is offering such type candidates, it says a lot about his lack of depth and intellect. His failure to see other perspectives and thinking that abortion is just a part of a myriad of other policies that two people can disagree upon.

    When President Obama arrogantly and disrespectfully told Pope Benedict that we have to agree to disagree on abortion, he ended any possibility of further dialogue and discussion. It’s his way or the highway and he will only fail in the end in everything that he does if he continues down this road.

  • Tito,

    Didn’t you watch the debates between him & McCain?

    I believe it was in the last one where he had stated to the effect that abortion was not actually a moral issue and is entirely (and quite legitimately — at least, in his opinion) up to the individual.

  • e.,

    He told Pope Benedict we must agree to disagree on what abortion is. He was opposed from budging from his position that a woman has a right to choose to kill her child. What part of ‘dialogue’ am I missing here?

  • What I was alluding to is the fact that this incident should not strike you at all surprising given the bold-faced response Obama gave during his last debate with McCain where Obama basically said that abortion was not a moral issue and that it is up to the individual decide accordingly.

  • e.,

    My apologies.

    Misread your response.

    I blame Matt for distracting me.

  • Just a bit more about one of Obama’s recent appointees:

    http://www.cnsnews.com/public/content/article.aspx?RsrcID=46192

  • Much of this has sounded like jumping on the Obama-as-unpopular-with-Catholics bandwagon.

    And now John Thavis at CNS has a pretty definitive debunking:

    “No proposals about the new ambassador of the United States to the Holy See have reached the Vatican, and therefore it is not true that they have been rejected. The rumors circulating about this topic are not reliable,” the spokesman, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, told Catholic News Service April 9.The spokesman’s comments echoed off-the-record remarks by informed diplomatic and Vatican sources in Rome, who said the reports appeared to be unfounded.

    “It’s possible names have been circulated inside the U.S. administration, and perhaps rejected for some reason or other, but not because of any Vatican veto. It’s also quite possible that the whole thing is conjecture,” said one source.

  • Mark

    Exactly the point of one of my post this week.

  • Coming from a Jesuit, I wouldn’t put any credence at all.

  • I did not realize that you sprung from a Jesuit.

  • Mark D.,

    That was funny!

    Have a great Easter to you and your family!

  • Tito – You can delete my comments, but you can’t run from the truth. You have to stop running sometime! Maybe not this Easter, but soon!

  • Michael I.,

    I didn’t delete any comments. It must have been someone else. Unless of course, you are ‘m’?

    By the way, I am on permanent moderation over at VN. What’s up with that? I don’t really care, but I don’t understand how you continue to complain to everyone how your comments are being moderated, yet you get off moderation after a day or two, while I’ve been on moderation for about two years now.

    Just comparing the discrepancy between your rhetoric and mine, which is as wide and deep as the Grand Canyon.

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To The "Traitor," Go The Spoils? Kmiec & The Ambassadorship

Friday, December 5, AD 2008

kmiec

There has been some talk in Catholic circles recently of Douglas Kmiec being appointed U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican. Many American Catholic contributors have expressed their opinions of Mr. Kmiec during the recent election. To be clear, the problem with Kmiec was not that he supported Obama, it was that he consistently advanced disingenuous or highly questionable arguments, arguably distorting Catholic teaching, to make the case. Apparently, rumors have surfaced that many in the Vatican are similarly displeased with Mr. Kmiec, and that the Vatican might take the unusual step of vetoing Mr. Kmiec’s nomination should he be appointed.

John Allen, one of the best reporters on Church matters, argues here both that vetoing the appointment of Mr. Kmiec would be unwise, and that President-elect Obama would be unwise to appoint Kmiec:

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3 Responses to To The "Traitor," Go The Spoils? Kmiec & The Ambassadorship

Cardinal: Obama "Aggressive … and Apocalyptic"

Monday, November 17, AD 2008

His Eminence the polite and soft-spoken James Francis Cardinal Stafford head of the Supreme Tribunal of james-francis-cardinal-staffordthe Apostolic Penitentiary gave a lecture on November 13 at the Keane Auditorium at Catholic University of America last week titled, “Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II: Being True in Body and Soul“.  In it Cardinal Stafford critiqued President-elect Obama as “aggressive, disruptive and apocalyptic,“ and he further added that Obama ran an “extremist  anti-life platform”.

Here are some highlights of his lecture:

“Because man is a sacred element of secular life,” Stafford remarked, “man should not be held to a supreme power of state, and a person’s life cannot ultimately be controlled by government.”

“For the next few years, Gethsemane will not be marginal. We will know that garden,” Stafford said, comparing America’s future with Obama as president to Jesus’ agony in the garden. “On November 4, 2008, America suffered a cultural earthquake.”

Cardinal Stafford said Catholics must deal with the “hot, angry tears of betrayal” by beginning a new sentiment where one is “with Jesus, sick because of love.”

The lecture, hosted by the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, pertained to Humanae Vitae, a papal encyclical written by Pope Paul VI in 1968 and celebrating its 40 anniversary this year.

Stafford also spoke about the decline of a respect for human life and the need for Catholics to return to the original values of marriage and human dignity.

“If 1968 was the year of America’s ‘suicide attempt,’ 2008 is the year of America’s exhaustion,” said Stafford, an American Cardinal and Major Penitentiary of the Apostolic Penitentiary for the Tribunal of the Holy See. “In the intervening 40 years since Humanae Vitae, the United States has been thrown upon ruins.”

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12 Responses to Cardinal: Obama "Aggressive … and Apocalyptic"

  • Interesting. I wonder if the Pope was sending a sharp message to Obama via Stafford?

  • Message sent loud and clear. One wonders if the first assault by Obamaites will be on all forms of human life protection or packing the FCC to snuff out the Fairness Doctrine. In truth, most of those allegedly terrible talk hosts are pro-life. Thanks to Cardinal Stafford for heads-up from The Boss.

  • Apparently the good Cardinal didn’t get the memo. Obama was the true pro-life choice and that far from being apocalyptic and extremist, he is our great hope for the end to abortion in this country and a great promoter of life. After all, we are told that nobody is really for abortion – leaving aside those who choose to abort their children, the doctors and staff that perform the procedure, those who consider it a right, and those who would prefer their grandchildren be aborted lest their child be “punished” with a child of their own – it’s pretty much true.

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  • Cardinal Stafford is indeed typically soft-spoken… that he would come out *so* strongly speaks volumes.

    And he can’t be dismissed as a wingnut in clerics… he was fairly strong against the invasion of Iraq.

  • Speaks great volumes indeed.

    Something is afoot and I don’t believe that the recent boldness of American bishops along with Obama winning the presidency is pure coincidence (being a Catholic nothing is coincidence).

    I can’t put my finger on it, but we may be experiencing something akin to the tumultous 60’s, but towards a virtuous path, not that demonic path back then.

  • T- methinks you are sniffing out something real. There will be a humdinger of a kerfuffle between Pro-Life and Anti-Life (Obamaites) in the next three years. Time for American Catholics- aka America’s Happy Middle Managers- to do something they are reluctant to attempt in any endeavor. Choose.

  • Should Roman Catholics be single issue voters? Both of these candidates supported issues in conflict with catholic doctrine. Should McCain supporters repent also?

    McCain supports the death penalty for federal crimes. McCain says we should extend use of the death penalty and implement stricter penalties for violent felons. McCain supported legislation to prohibit the use of racial statistics in death penalty appeals and supports banning it for persons under eighteen.

  • Jamel,

    One issue carries more weight than the other and more grievious.

    I can understand the reasoning that you are stating.

    Though “one-issue” Catholics is a straw man argument.

  • Jamel – Catholics are not required to be single-issue voters. Many Catholics, however, feel that the moral significance of abortion outweighs many of the other issues.

    For instance, there are 1.3-1.4 million abortions every year in the U.S., whereas about 55-65 people are executed. It is hard to make the case that these are of equal significance if you believe that abortion takes a human life.

  • Moreover, people often overlook the fact that Democrats are not monolithic on capital punishment. Both Clinton and Obama support capital punishment.

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