3 Responses to Spring

  • I’m hearing you loud and clear.
    We’re roughly three to four hundred miles North and East of you “flat landers,” and yesterday was truly our first Spring like day.

    Hoping the weather stays warm for trout opener in two weeks. If so, the Brook trout will be in abundance.

    The four seasons by Vivaldi is one of our favorites.

  • Consider giving Alan Hovhannes’ Anahid a try. It has three seasons – spring, summer, and autumn – in one 15 minute movement.

  • LOVE Vivaldi. ?❤️

1812 Overture

Saturday, February 27, AD 2016


Something for the weekend.  Tchaikovsky’s  1812 Overture.  Written in 1880 to commemorate the victory of Russia over Napoleon, its composition was due to the fact that the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, commissioned by Tsar Alexander I in thanksgiving for the victory, was nearing completion.  As it happens, Tchaikovsky did not think much of what would become his most famous piece, writing that it was noisy and lacked all artistic merit and was written by him without love.  Oddly enough, it has become associated in this country with the Fourth of July, as I have heard it performed on several Independence Day celebrations.

Although it has been endlessly parodied, “the cereal that’s shot from guns”, I have always liked it.  Listening to a great piece of music like this, I wonder if the below humor piece does not possess a rare insight:

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5 Responses to 1812 Overture

  • Love those canons!

  • Military pieces are rarely the composer’s best. Beethoven admitted that “Wellington’s Victory” was “sh*t” but that his sh*t was better than other composers best music.
    My reaction when I first heard it was, “Wut? Beethoven wrote ‘The Bear Went Over the Mountain’?”

  • If there’s a composer whose name can be mentioned in the same breath as Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven, it’s Tchaikovsky. He suffers from the same dilemma as Mozart: he’s often so accessible that people overlook his skill. In Mozart’s case, the more you study music, the more impressive he gets. In Tchaikovsky’s case, I think that people who study Russian music in greater depth become enchanted with later, less accessible composers.

  • “As it happens, Tchaikovsky did not think much of what would become his most famous piece, writing that it was noisy and lacked all artistic merit and was written by him without love.”

    If anyone would like to hear what Tchaikovsky considered his love, listen to his Serenade for Strings Op 48 (the 1812 Overture is Op 49, both were written in 1880). The two have similarities, but the Serenade is a very beautiful work, one of the best ever.

  • very interesting article– the “hologram” of great music seems possible ! 🙂
    I have always been drawn to pre-Soviet music, prose and poetry…that Russian spirit is also close the the heart of our blessed Mother, I think

One Response to Go Down Moses

Glory Music

Saturday, January 9, AD 2016

We bide our chance,
Unhappy, and make terms with Fate
A little more to let us wait;
He leads for aye the advance,
Hope’s forlorn-hopes that plant the desperate good
For nobler Earths and days of manlier mood;

James Russell Lowell, Memoriae Positum

Selections from the score of the movie Glory (1989), the story of the 54th Massachusetts, one of the first Union black regiments, up to their valiant assault on Fort Wagner in 1863.  A prime example of historical movies should be made, Glory performs the epic feat of bringing to life again the days of the Civil War when the fate of the nation was decided.

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Happy New Year 1958

Saturday, January 2, AD 2016

Something for the weekend.  Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians playing Auld Lang Syne.  The first year I spent on this globe was in 1957.  The above is the New Year’s Eve broadcast on CBS by Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians on December 31, 1957.  Born in Canada, Lombardo became a naturalized American citizen in 1938.  For 48 years, until his death in 1977, Guy Lombardo and his band ushered in the New Year with broadcasts, first on CBS radio and then on CBS television.  The first televised broadcast was in 1956.  Guy Lombardo and his band managed the feat of remaining popular, and highly profitable, for half a century, a difficult feat in as fickle an enterprise as the entertainment industry.  Lombardo was the heart and soul of the operation, his band surviving his death only by two years.

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4 Responses to Happy New Year 1958

  • Compare a ball drop to that sweet romantic nostalgia. When the Lord creates everything new, the ball drop will be one of the things forgotten.

  • Guy Lombardo lived in Freeport, Long Island, New York, where he kept his cabin cruiser in the canal in his backyard. He often played at Jones Beach Marine Theater, which is still popular for concerts – different name. He would go to Jones Beach by boat from his home. Mr. Lombardo’s last Jones Beach production was Finian’s Rainbow in 1977.

    I live about 30 minutes away from Freeport. Have been there many times over the years. It’s waterfront is known for seafood restaurants and pleasure boating.

  • In Kentucky in the ’50s my cousins, a few acres away, were crazy about Guy Lombardo, and everything he played, especially a song about some Mounties capturing Dangerous Dan McGrew. Since I loved Mounties I felt kindly toward The Royal Canadians but at the age of ten I was already hooked on Beethoven and Toscanini. But this did sound rather velvety today, to ears dinted by years of other hideous sounds which can in no way be called music.

  • Kmbold calls to my mind something I had wrong in the first place. I’ll tell it with a dutiful correction at the end. My father’s best friend’s father had in his youth an infatuation with opera singer Ernestine Schumann-Heink. He would leave flowers by her dressing room door at the Met. That is doubtless true but I thought it was Toscanini who said to a rehearsing orchestra,” Louder! Louder! I can still hear the Heink.” A bit of fact checking corrects me that it was actually Richard Strauss who said that. Now, how did I get that wrong? Perhaps Toscanini engaged in a little playful plagiarism.

Handel’s Advent Messiah: For Unto Us A Son Is Given

Thursday, December 24, AD 2015

The culmination of the Advent portions of Handel’s Advent Messiah.  Go here to listen to the earlier portions.


Handel heralds the coming of Christ with the immortal words of Isaiah Chapter 9, verse 6:

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

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One Response to Handel’s Advent Messiah: For Unto Us A Son Is Given

  • A beautiful rendition by the unmistakable Helen Watts of “Oh Thou that tellest good tidings to Zion,” but it brings back memories to me of Kathleen Ferrier in 1950.

    One of my earliest clear memories (earlier memories are mere snatches) is of the Messiah, with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Sir Adrian Boult in 1950. My parents took me to London for it – I was five -and this it is this passage that stands out so clearly in my memory.

    Also burnt into my youthful memory is the sound of some 5,000 seats in the Royal Albert Hall, flipping up, as the audience stood, according to the British custom, for the Hallelujah Corus. So far from being a distraction, it was a strangely appropriate and impressive introduction.

Lo How a Rose E’er Blooming

Saturday, December 12, AD 2015

Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign. Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel.

Isaiah 7:14

Something for the weekend.  Lo How a Rose E’er Blooming.  Written by the ever prolific composer Anonymous in 16th century Germany, it quickly became a favorite hymn of both Catholics and Protestants in that time and land of religious strife, and that is a good message for Christmas.

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Veni Veni Emmanuel

Saturday, December 5, AD 2015



Something for the weekend before Christmas.  Veni, Veni Emmanuel.  The words of this magnificent hymn are from the 9th century and the melody is from 15th century France.  It is more familiar these days in its English translation.  Below is a powerful version that has great meaning for me.  After the death of my son Larry on Pentecost Sunday 2013 I found it of immense comfort.  Christ is Our Way, Our Truth and Our Everlasting Life.


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2 Responses to Veni Veni Emmanuel

  • Dad was bedridden for the last weeks in November of 2013. I would kneel at his bedside and sing hymn’s from his red Christian Prayers booklet. In the back of the booklet forty or so hymn’s were ready for the novice or well seasoned singer. Fitting the former class of singer I gently sang to him.
    He was paralyzed on his right side and couldn’t speak, due to a third stroke he suffered. He smiled the best he could as I sang many hymn’s. Oh Come Emmanuel was one of his favorite’s. Mine too. Forever I will hold dear these last days of his life within my heart. I did give him what I could…song for the journey. He died on Dec. 4th 2013…yesterday and two years.

  • O come, Adonai, Lord of might,
    Who to Thy tribes, on Sinai’s height,
    In ancient times didst give the law
    In cloud and majesty and awe.

    How can priests and theologians spend their minds in denial, taking so many away from the Lord of might to enter Satan’s tyranny?

    As they hear these beautiful words year after year …

Turkey in the Straw

Saturday, November 21, AD 2015

Something for the weekend.  Turkey in the Straw seems appropriate for the weekend before Thanksgiving.  The spirited rendition above is by the Skillet Lickers, a Georgia band of the twenties and thirties of the last century. Part time musicians, they made up in enthusiasm and faithfulness to the traditional music they played, what they may have lacked in technical skill.

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One Response to Turkey in the Straw

  • Can you only email articles to one recipient at a time?
    Seems so unless I’m missing something. Tried separating with commas as usual, or with a space between, to no avail. Window pops up: ‘recipient email invalid’, even though they could be sent one-by-one.
    I love this website and like to send articles individually, not just link to the entire website.
    Any tips?

Southern Soldier

Saturday, November 14, AD 2015

Something for the weekend.  A rousing rendition of Southern Soldier by the 2nd South Carolina String Band, a group dedicated to bringing to modern audiences Civil War music played on period instruments.  Southern Soldier was immensely popular among Confederate troops during the latter part of the War and was one of their favorite marching tunes.

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One Response to Southern Soldier

Salve Regina and Hermann the Cripple

Saturday, October 10, AD 2015

Something for the weekend.  Salve Regina.  Christopher Columbus was nearing the end of his voyage across the Atlantic 523 years ago.  He had a deep devotion to the Virgin Mary.  Each night he would assemble the crew on his ship to sing the Salve Regina.  The hymn was written in the eleventh century by Blessed Hermann the Cripple, a truly fascinating figure.

Born on July 18, 1013, he was a son of Wolverad II, Earl of Altshausen.  He entered this world with maladies that would be considered overwhelming in our time and in the eleventh century entirely beyond hope: a cleft palate and cerebral palsy and spina bifida, or perhaps  Lou Gehrig’s disease or spinal muscular atrophy.  In any event he could barely move, and could hardly speak.  He was placed in a monastery at age 7, no doubt his parents fearing that all that would occur for their son for the remainder of his time in this vale of tears was that he would be made as comfortable as possible until his afflicted life came to an end.

Among the monks he flourished.   At twenty he took his vows as a Benedictine monk. He spent most of his life at the Abbey of Reichenau.  He quickly demonstrated that a keen mind, as well as a beautiful soul, inhabited his wreck of a body. He mastered several languages including Latin, Arabic and Greek.  His genius was catholic in its scope:  he wrote a treatise on the science of music, several works on geometry, mathematics and astronomy, a chronicle of events from the Crucifixion to his time and composed religious poetry.  He built musical instruments and astronomical devices.  Students flocked to him throughout Europe, drawn not only by his learning but also by his sweet demeanor.  It is impossible to overstate the importance of his role in the scientific renaissance sweeping through Europe in the eleventh century.

Going blind in his later years, he became a noted composer of hymns, including the Salve Regina.  Dying in 1054 at age 40, he was beatified by Pio Nono in 1863.

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5 Responses to Salve Regina and Hermann the Cripple

  • Pingback: Blessed Herman the Cripple | CatholicSaints.Info
  • Beautiful story.
    Thanks again for your teaching.

    How many Hermann the cripple’s would of brightened our world if they weren’t diagnosed within their mother’s womb, and prompted to abort at the suggestion of their “doctor?”
    How many? God doesn’t make mistakes when souls are created and conception is achieved.

    In these, our dark ages, please continue to pray. Please consider joining ten’s of thousands of Prayer partners in public prayer.
    We will be in front of today’s Auschwitz’.
    Join us. Please. Hermann the cripple pray for us.

  • I too am heartened by the life of Herman of Richenau! Thank you for this post.
    Imagine being immobile – dependent – but on a beautiful island in the beautiful Lake Constance under the care of the noted abbot Benno in that wonderful brilliant century!
    + some belief that the refrain ” o clement,oh sweet…” Etc was added by Bernard of Clairvaux

  • “O Mary conceived without sin pray for us who have recourse to Thee.”
    “Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God
    That we may made worthy of the promises of Christ.”

    “I fly to you O Virgin of Virgins, my Mother.”
    “To you do I come; before you I stand sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, . . . ”
    I think of Mary and my wonderful mother (RIP).

  • Pingback: Pope Francis Challenges Us to Live The Joy of the Gospel - BP

Rising of the Moon

Saturday, September 26, AD 2015


Something for the weekend.  I am in a disgusted mood at the papal events of this week, and when I am in such a mood it is time for a little Irish rebel music, and nothing fits the bill better than The Rising of the Moon.  The song, written around 1865, celebrates the Irish rising of 1798, when Protestant and Catholic Irishmen, with the help of a small French invasion force, launched a rebellion, probably the largest and most hard fought revolt against English rule in the history of Ireland.  Like all such Irish revolts, except for the last one, it was defeated and drowned in blood.  However, the Irish have ever celebrated their defeats even more than their victories, and The Rising of the Moon is a fitting tribute.

Oh! then tell me, Shawn O’Ferrall, Tell me why you hurry so?”

 “Hush ma bouchal, hush and listen”, And his cheeks were all a-glow.

“I bear ordhers from the captain, Get you ready quick and soon,

For the pikes must be together At the risin’ of the moon”.

At the risin’ of the moon, at the risin’ of the moon,

For the pikes must be together at the risin’ of the moon.

“Oh! then tell me, Shawn O’Ferrall, Where the gatherin’ is to be?”

“In the ould spot by the river, Right well known to you and me.

 One word more—for signal token Whistle up the marchin’ tune,

 With your pike upon your shoulder, By the risin’ of the moon”.

 By the risin’ of the moon, by the risin’ of the moon,

With your pike upon your shoulder, by the risin’ of the moon.

Out from many a mudwall cabin Eyes were watching thro’ that night,

 Many a manly chest was throbbing For the blessed warning light.

 Murmurs passed along the valleys Like the banshee’s lonely croon,

 And a thousand blades were flashing At the risin’ of the moon.

At the risin’ of the moon, at the risin’ of the moon,

And a thousand blades were flashing at the risin’ of the moon.

There beside the singing river That dark mass of men was seen,

Far above the shining weapons Hung their own beloved green.

 “Death to ev’ry foe and traitor! Forward! strike the marchin’ tune,

 And hurrah, my boys, for freedom! ‘T is the risin’ of the moon”.

 ‘T is the risin’ of the moon, ‘t is the risin’ of the moon,

 And hurrah my boys for freedom! ‘t is the risin’ of the moon.

Well they fought for poor old Ireland, And full bitter was their fate

(Oh! what glorious pride and sorrow Fill the name of Ninety-Eight).

Yet, thank God, e’en still are beating Hearts in manhood’s burning noon,

Who would follow in their footsteps, At the risin’ of the moon!

 At the rising of the moon, at the risin’ of the moon,

Who would follow in their footsteps, at the risin’ of the moon.

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8 Responses to Rising of the Moon

  • Donald,
    I would imagine that a majority of orthodox devout Catholics are as disgusted as you. But God wins in the end. Why He has permitted this man Jorge Bergoglio to occupy the Papal Seat we may never know in this life. But God’s sovereign will will always be accomplished. As for the occupier of the Papal Seat, Ezekiel 34:1-10 comes to mind.

  • Young men know in their heart and soul the truth about freedom.

  • One of my favorite songs arising from the ’98 rising tells the story of Fr. John Murphy who led a local uprising in the West and was brutally executed for his troubles.

    At Boolavogue, as the sun was setting
    O’er the bright May meadows of Shelmalier,
    A rebel hand set the heather blazing
    And brought the neighbours from far and near.
    Then Father Murphy, from old Kilcormack,
    Spurred up the rocks with a warning cry;
    “Arm! Arm!” he cried, “For I’ve come to lead you,
    For Ireland’s freedom we fight or die.”

    He led us on against the coming soldiers,
    And the cowardly Yeomen we put to flight;
    ‘Twas at the Harrow the boys of Wexford
    Showed Booky’s Regiment how men could fight.
    Look out for hirelings, King George of England,
    Search ev’ry kingdom where breathes a slave,
    For Father Murphy of the County Wexford
    Sweeps o’er the land like a mighty wave.

    We took Camolin and Enniscorthy,
    And Wexford storming drove out our foes;
    ‘Twas at Sliabh Coillte our pikes were reeking
    With the crimson stream of the beaten Yeos.
    At Tubberneering and Ballyellis
    Full many a Hessian lay in his gore;
    Ah, Father Murphy, had aid come over
    The green flag floated from shore to shore!

    At Vinegar Hill, o’er the pleasant Slaney,
    Our heroes vainly stood back to back,
    And the Yeos at Tullow took Father Murphy
    And burned his body upon the rack.
    God grant you glory, brave Father Murphy
    And open heaven to all your men;
    The cause that called you may call tomorrow
    In another fight for the Green again.

  • I love both songs, and the Clancys perform both on the great double album, Irish Songs of Whiskey and Rebellion.

    More Clancy Brothers, please.

  • Great Irish rebel song, here’s another:

    I was born on a Dublin street where the Royal drums do beat
    And the loving English feet they tramped all over us,
    And each and every night when me father’d come home tight
    He’d invite the neighbors outside with this chorus:

    Oh, come out ye Black and Tans,
    Come out and fight me like a man
    Show your wives how you won medals down in Flanders
    Tell them how the IRA made you run like hell away,
    From the green and lovely lanes in Killashandra.

  • Beautiful rendition of The Foggy Dew:


Heia Safari!

Saturday, August 8, AD 2015


Something for the weekend.  Heia Safari!.   The lyrics were written in 1916 by noted German painter of African wild life Hans Aschenborn, and became immensely popular.  When Paul Emil von Lettow Vorbeck wrote his memoirs, he entitled the book Heia Safari (Hurray Safari).

Paul Emil von Lettow-Vorbeck doubtless would have died an obscure retired German colonel but for the outbreak of World War I.  Taking command of the troops of German East Africa he made up his mind that he would help the German war effort by holding down as many Allied troops in Africa as possible.  This seemed like a large task for a man who commanded  2,600 German nationals and 2,472 African soldiers in fourteen Askari field companies.  The other German colonies in Africa were conquered swiftly by the Allies, but von Lettow-Vorbeck had a deep streak of military genius in him that had hitherto been unrecognized.

He defeated the initial Allied attempts to take the colony and expended to 14,000 his mostly native force.  He declared that “We are all Africans here.” and lived up to that claim by appointing native officers, mastering their language and treating his troops fairly, without loosening the strict discipline he applied to Germans and natives alike.  He proved a master of guerrilla war and improvisation, often arming, clothing and feeding his men from the stores of defeated Allied forces sent against him.  The Allies would pour 250,000 troops into a campaign that lasted the entire war.  He became a hero in Germany as news of his exploits spread, and the British grew to respect and admire a man who fought successfully against very long odds.

He ended the war undefeated, he and his men in northern Rhodesia, the only undefeated German force of the War.  He and his officers were given a tumultuous parade in Berlin in 1919.  Deeply conservative, he entered German politics after he retired from the Army in 1928 and served as a member of the Reichstag.  He fought against the rise of the Nazis and Hitler, who he despised.  When Hitler offered him the ambassadorship to Great Britain, knowing in what esteem the British held their old foe, the old soldier allegedly told Hitler to perform an anatomically impossible act.  (After World  War II a nephew confirmed this in substance, but mentioned to his British inquirer that he had heard that his uncle had not been quite that polite to Corporal Hitler.)

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One Response to Heia Safari!

  • Paul Emil von Lettow-Vorbeck seems to have been a real man all in too short a supply today. My take from this however wrong I may be is that a person can be the enemy but does not have to evil.
    Sadly today’s effeminate liberal wimps are both the enemy and evil.

The Ship That Never Returned

Saturday, August 1, AD 2015


Something for the weekend:  The Ship That Never Returned.  Written in 1865 by Henry Work, who the same year wrote Marching Through Georgia, it enjoyed immense popularity.  I can’t help but imagine that many of the listeners at the time were thinking of all the ships and men lost in the maelstrom of war in the preceding four years.  The song is sung by Tom Roush who has developed quite a following on YouTube with his heart felt renditions of 19th century songs.

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Saturday, July 11, AD 2015


Something for the weekend.  The Internationale being sung in Spanish in Havana.  This is dedicated to Cardinal Jaime Ortega, and the Babalu Blog, the go to blog for all activities in Castro’s island gulag, tells us why:

Diplomacy does not seem to be Cardinal Jaime Ortega’s strongpoint. The archbishop of Havana behaved badly to a group of anti-Castro activists who were distributing a statement on a proposed amnesty law for political prisoners to diplomats attending 4th of July ceremonies at the home of Jeffrey DeLaurentis, head of the US Interests Section in Havana.

The cardinal’s harsh comments came shortly after a musical group — clad in colorful Prussian blue uniforms with white caps — had finished playing the last notes of the national anthems of Cuba and the United States on their wind instruments and after a brief welcome by Mr. DeLaurentis.

Relaxed officials and accredited diplomats working in Havana were chatting with dissidents, musicians and Cuban intellectuals — they had been invited to Independence Day celebrations — as waiters served red wine, beer, fruit juice and canapés.

Activists Egberto Escobedo and Jose Diaz Silva approached Ortega, who was chatting with a group of bishops, to hand him a list of fifty-one political prisoners whose release the Forum for Rights and Liberties — a group led by Antonio Rodiles, Angel Moya and Berta Soler — had been requesting every Sunday for twelve weeks in the face of intense harassment by police.

“I don’t want you handing me another list. Send it to the ’worms’* broadcasting on the radio from Miami. If you keep bothering me, I’ll have them call the police,” responded Ortega angrily.

Diplomats, guests and foreign journalists were taken aback. His outburst was the talk of the evening.

“He seemed more like a Stalinist commissar than a compassionate agent of the Lord. We assumed the Catholic church was supposed to welcome all of us. But for some time now there has been a faction of the Cuban church that has not only turned its back on dissidents but has attacked us nearly as forcefully as the government,” said Victor Manuel Dominguez, a poet and freelance journalist.

An official from a western embassy, speaking on condition of anonymity, expressed the opinion of his mission that “all that is being asked of Ortega is that he at least listen to a person’s demands, even if he does not agree with them.”

The Cuban archbishop’s verbal hostility stems from statements he made on June 5 to Cadena Ser, a Spanish radio station, in which he said that there are no longer political prisoners in Cuba.

This statement provoked a harsh response from activist Jose Luis Garcia Perez, known as Antunez. Antunez and other activists — including Rodiles, Guillermo Fariñas, Angel Moya and Berta Soler — were present during the cardinal’s tantrum.

“This is what one would expect from a society in which religious institutions that supposedly welcome all believers turns its back on dissidents. But this is what is happening. Intellectuals and a certain segment of the clergy remain suspiciously silent in the face of Sunday assaults on activists and the Ladies in White,” said Rodiles.

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14 Responses to Internationale

  • Not to worry, once the global warming agenda gives the one-world UN the authority it seeks to control all nations, I’m certain the nice UN will admonish the communist nasties and the world will slip into Pax Romana mode again. Maybe the Vatican will move to Havana and live among the poor….

  • Another waste-of-space bishop. Blaise Cupich, this twerp, Msgr. Tiso and the ghastly Croat Franciscans during the war all cut from the same cloth.

  • “I am showing my age.  I can recall when cardinals were foes of Communist tyrannies instead of  toadies for them.”

    You didn’t go high enough in the chain of authority. How is Otega’s conduct different that PF whose own Academey of [pseudo]Science refused to even hear critics of global warming prior to the encyclical. Let’s pray that PF addressed the matter of political prisoners when he visits the Cuban dictatore.

  • I said earlier that I was disappointed with Cardinal Ortega. Not anymore. I am disgusted with Cardinal Ortega. I think the same of him as I do Bishop Lynch in St. Petersburg, +Cupich, +Mahony and even the ex-Pittsburgher +Wuerl.

    Most American Catholics have no clue about the Church in Latin America. Regardless of Latin American nation, the Church has had a soft spot for hard-core leftist politics. The Castros should be hated throughout this hemisphere but they are almost admired. The hatred for George W. Bush far exceeds anything aimed at the Castros.

    Imagine that – “worms in Miami”. Fidel has long labeled the Cuban exiles in Miami “worms”. The Cuban exiles in Miami are the one immigrant group that has been okay to trash by Hollywood and Big Media. PBS did a hit piece on the Miami Cubans not long after the Elian Gonzalez production.

    Every day we see more evidence of really how bad things are in the Latin American Church. Its infatuation with liberation theology and deep seated class envy cause the Church to bleed members to Protestant churches.

    Reform in the Church will come from the Remnant. Until then we must deal with the ineptitude of the Church hierarchy.

    Communism is the single worst idea in the history of mankind. It has oppressed and murdered more than any ideology in this world’s history. It has killed more than all of the plagues, diseases, and natural disasters. It denies God and freedom of man. Yet, we see what we see just in our own backyard.

    The real anti-Communist clergy came from the old Eastern Bloc and Mao’s China.

  • Communism suppressed the homeland of my dad’s ancestors for 44 years. Poland was the scratch, then the chip, then the crack, then the fissure, then the tremor, then the Krakatoa of the Soviet empire in Europe.

    Through the dark days of partition and Soviet occupation a quarter century after partition ended, the Church in Poland NEVER stopped in its labors to keep Poland alive and resistance to outside suppression.

    Ain’t happenin’ in Cuba. The Vatican has reached new lows with this papal visit and the most silly recent encyclical. The Roman Pontiff’s remarks about capitalism (really, free market economies) shows the depths of his ignorance about economic matters.

    Castro has murdered Americans. This has occurred in international waters. His regime would not last a week against the US Armed Forces, even now. All it took was a spineless, heartless, cold man in the White House to warm up to the Stalinist 90 miles from Key West.

    I am Catholic because of Christ. I would never be Catholic for any other reason.

  • Yes, the good Cardinal refers to Cuban refugees in America as “worms.” Now what if a conservative politician referred to immigrants here as worms. The hierarchical BS would hit the wall. We might get a looney Cardinal referring to him as a member of the KKK. Oh wait, they do that where there is reasoned disagreement on illegal immigration:


  • Good comments by Penguins Fan – and all.

  • I recall my parents who came from Cuba to America in 1961 told me the following: “at the very consecration of the host when the Body of Christ is physically present, at St. Francis Cathedral in Santiago de Cuba at Sunday Mass, the Communists and followers of Fidel walked from the pews and formed a conga line, and sang,’ We are Communists go forward, go forward,’ The Communists who where present at Holy Mass told the other Communists on the line about the Carmelite Nuns present at Mass at the time, ‘check under their skirts that’s where they hide their money.’ To paraphrase Our Lord, you cannot serve the Lord and the hammer and sickle.

  • The Catholic clergy has always, throughout history, shown a fear and contempt of οἱ πολλοί, the many, whom they equate with the rabble. Despots, whether of the Left or the Right, for one man can be more easily guided than many.

    The fear and suspicion of democracy and the fear and suspicion of capitalism are two sides of the same coin. De Tocqueville described the attitude of the Ancien Régime, the creaton of Cardinals like Richelieu and Mazarin: “The Old Regime, in fact, held that wisdom lay only in the State and that the citizens were weak and feeble beings who must forever be guided by the hand, for fear they harm themselves. It held that it was necessary to obstruct, thwart, restrain individual freedom, that to secure an abundance of material goods it was imperative to regiment industry and impede free competition. The Old Regime believed, on this point, exactly as the socialists of today do. It was the French Revolution which denied this.”

    Compare this with Populorum Progressio (1967): “Organized programmes are necessary for “directing, stimulating, coordinating, supplying and integrating” the work of individuals and intermediary organizations. It is for the public authorities to establish and lay down the desired goals, the plans to be followed, and the methods to be used in fulfilling them; and it is also their task to stimulate the efforts of those involved in this common activity.”

    I sometimes fancy a classical education was at the back of it and that the notion of Plato’s philosopher-king lingers on; in the ancient world, lawgivers were revered as heroes and demi-gods and as the creators of society; the legislator alone reflects, invents, acts, whilst the citizens are as clay in the hands of the potter. Thus, they believed it was Pelasges who first taught the Greeks how to eat acorns; before that, the legend says, they grazed the land like cattle.

  • I meant to write, “Despots, whether of the Left or the Right are preferred, for one man can be more easily guided than many.”

  • I doubt MPS if what you say is correct. In the Middle Ages the authority of the kings and emperors was always limited by other groups and institutions. Where a ruler became too powerful within a State he inevitably ran afoul of the Church. Catholic influence was greatest in Europe during the Middle Ages and subsidiarity, although the word would not be coined until the last century, ruled the roost in practice if not always in theory.

    If there is a bias against Democracy within the Church it comes as either a hangover from the views of 19th century popes who as the secular rulers of the Papal states tended to view all European Democrats as red revolutionaries, and a fondness for socialism which is a hangover from the last half of the last century.

  • Imagine that…..the parents of Julius Caesar’s Ghost were labeled as “worms” by Jaime Cardinal Ortega….for fleeing to the US and opposing Castro. An equivalent would have been Cardinal Wojtyla labeling Polish Americans as “dumb Polocks”.

    The church’s opposition to Communism, as with its opposition to Islam, has been nonexistent since Vatican II. Had we not had a Polish Pope, the Eastern Bloc may have not fallen. Does anyone think another Paul VI would have worked with the Reagan Administration to funnel assistance to Solidarity in Poland? Se how much help the oppressed Cubans are getting from the Church in Cuba?

    Cardinal Ortega reminds me of the wimpy English clergy who fell in line with Henry Tudor.

  • The fear and suspicion of democracy and the fear and suspicion of capitalism are two sides of the same coin. De Tocqueville described the attitude of the Ancien Régime, the creaton of Cardinals like Richelieu and Mazarin: “The Old Regime, in fact, held that wisdom lay only in the State and that the citizens were weak and feeble beings who must forever be guided by the hand, for fear they harm themselves. It held that it was necessary to obstruct, thwart, restrain individual freedom, that to secure an abundance of material goods it was imperative to regiment industry and impede free competition. The Old Regime believed, on this point, exactly as the socialists of today do. It was the French Revolution which denied this.”

    [grinds teeth]: The ‘liberal’ dispensation in Latin American politics, whether or not it actually traded in constitutional government (and see Rufino Barrios for an example of the caudillo ‘liberal’) had as its signature hostility to the Church. Ditto the entire republican dispensation in French politics prior to 1901. Ditto Otto von Bismarck and his collaborators in the National LIberal Party. Ditto the entire spectrum of republican parties in Spain in 1933 except for some Basque particularists and chameleons like Miguel Maura.

  • Penguins Fan writes: “Until then we must deal with the ineptitude of the Church hierarchy.” I am no longer willing to give them that benefit of the doubt. No one is that “inept”.

Fortnight For Freedom: Dixie

Saturday, June 27, AD 2015

Fortnight For Freedom 2015

 I have always thought `Dixie’ one of the best tunes I have ever heard. Our adversaries over the way attempted to appropriate it, but I insisted yesterday that we fairly captured it. [Applause.] I presented the question to the Attorney General, and he gave it as his legal opinion that it is our lawful prize. [Laughter and applause.] I now request the band to favor me with its performance.’”

Abraham Lincoln, requesting the playing of Dixie when a crowd came to the White House after Lee’s Surrender.

Something for the weekend.  Well, after the Confederate flag madness of this week, the only appropriate song is Dixie.  One of Abraham Lincoln’s favorite songs, it now may become an anthem of a new movement against the suffocating political correctness that is threatening the freedom of our land.  Bob Dylan’s rendition of Dixie prior to the world going crazy:

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Saturday, June 20, AD 2015


Something for the weekend.  In honor of the Green Encyclical, a bit of Tom Lehrer.  Living through the Sixties when I was a kid was bad enough.  Little did I know that I would have the “joy” of reliving the Sixties in my fifties.  The only thing that Marx, Karl not Groucho, got right was that history frequently does repeat itself:  the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.

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