Victims of Communism Day: Year of Miracles

Sunday, May 1, AD 2016

 

Today is the Victims of Communism Day  on which we remember the one hundred million and counting butchered by Communist regimes and movements.  Twenty-seven years ago in 1989 I lived through the Year of Miracles in which nation after nation in Eastern European threw off the shackles of the Soviet imposed Communist regimes that had enslaved them in the wake of World War II.   It was a year that seemed like a dream come true.

In 1982 President Ronald Reagan laid out a blue print for what was to come:

Some argue that we should encourage democratic change in right-wing dictatorships, but not in Communist regimes. Well, to accept this preposterous notion — as some well-meaning people have — is to invite the argument that once countries achieve a nuclear capability, they should be allowed an undisturbed reign of terror over their own citizens.

We reject this course.

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8 Responses to Victims of Communism Day: Year of Miracles

  • This article needs to shoved right into the Pharasitical face of Jorge the commie Bergoglio.

  • The Pontiff is no Communist. He is an Argentine Peronist, which is one of the most confused and stupid ideologies a person can believe in. He is limited by his upbringing and his enviornment. What happened in Poland and the rest of the former Warsaw Pact is beyond his understanding. It is like trying to teach a pig to appreciate Mozart. This is why I have pointed out that the Pontiff’s upcoming trip to Krakow, Poland for World Youth Day will be his first visit to a Catholic nation….in his life.

    Communism is man’s greatest evil he has inflicted upon himself. Even after its failure it has its adherents all over the world. Usually they want to be the ones to install some sort of Marxism and be the ones pulling the strings.

    We have a political party that is a mix of Marxism and organized crime, and another run by weak, spineless Washington quislings.

  • Their opposition to the Vietnam War was not about peace. It was about aiding and abetting the communist, evil empire. It was the same in the early 1940’s when US reds (useful idiots) stridently opposed US intervention in WWII until Hitler attacked Stalin and their orders changed.
    .
    I apologize in advance. Daniel Berrigan, aged 94 years, notorious communist sympathizer, Society of Judas member, and America-hater, has died. Which event provides evidence that only the good die young.

  • “Communism is man’s greatest evil he has inflicted upon himself. ”
    PF, are you implying that the Religion of Peace was not inflicted by man? In death toll alone it exceeds Communism by 3:1, and that is a conservative estimate. Another causative agent? Hmmmm.

  • TomD may have a valid point:
    .
    http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2014/05/the_greatest_murder_machine_in_history.html
    .
    Nevertheless, to be a communist is to be a murderer.

  • Islam, bad as it is, did not wipe out a hundred million people in a century.

    More nations were ruled by Communists than by Muslims in the 20th Century.

    The crimes of Islam have been perpetrated over nearly a millenium and a half. Really, so what if Islam has caused more deaths than Communism? Does that make Islam worse, or simply point out that Islam has been around longer?

    Communism did its worst in the 20th century and has more adherents in academia and popular entertainment.

    Poland fought both Islam and Communism. Beat ’em, both, too.

    A debate over which is worse is a debate for another day. Today is Victims of Communism Day.

  • “Islam, bad as it is, did not wipe out a hundred million people in a century. ” True PF. At Islam’s worse the death rate per century was about half that of Communism.

    It’s your “inflicted upon himself” part that I was really homing in on. I think you are right, but only because we don’t know the extent of diabolical influences on Marx, Engles, Lenin, etc. With the ‘angel Gabriel’ appearance in that cave near Mecca, we can speculate a bit more reasonably on his origins.

  • In any case, 1989 was truly a miracle. So was 1991. I recall driving to work that year and hearing of John Paul II’s call for the world to pray as the tanks were rolling into Moscow. His words were to the effect “This is the moment!” Yes it was. I wonder if there has been a time since then when so many prayed together.

REDEMPTORIS CUSTOS

Sunday, September 6, AD 2015

Saint-Joseph-the-Worker-and-Christ

 

 

APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION REDEMPTORIS CUSTOS OF THE SUPREME PONTIFF JOHN PAUL II ON THE PERSON AND MISSION OF SAINT JOSEPH IN THE LIFE OF CHRIST AND OF THE CHURCH

 

To Bishops To Priests and Deacons To Men and Women Religious And to all the Lay Faithful

INTRODUCTION

  1. “Joseph did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took his wife” (cf. Mt 1 :24).

Inspired by the Gospel, the Fathers of the Church from the earliest centuries stressed that just as St. Joseph took loving care of Mary and gladly dedicated himself to Jesus Christ’s upbringing,(1) he likewise watches over and protects Christ’s Mystical Body, that is, the Church, of which the Virgin Mary is the exemplar and model.

On the occasion of the centenary of Pope Leo XIII’s Encyclical Epistle Quamquam Pluries,(2) and in line with the veneration given to St. Joseph over the centuries, I wish to offer for your consideration, dear brothers, and sisters, some reflections concerning him “into whose custody God entrusted his most precious treasures.”(3) I gladly fulfill this pastoral duty so that all may grow in devotion to the Patron of the Universal Church and in love for the Savior whom he served in such an exemplary manner.

In this way the whole Christian people not only will turn to St. Joseph with greater fervor and invoke his patronage with trust, but also will always keep before their eyes his humble, mature way of serving and of “taking part” in the plan of salvation.(4)

I am convinced that by reflection upon the way that Mary’s spouse shared in the divine mystery, the Church – on the road towards the future with all of humanity – will be enabled to discover ever anew her own identity within this redemptive plan, which is founded on the mystery of the Incarnation.

This is precisely the mystery in which Joseph of Nazareth “shared” like no other human being except Mary, the Mother of the Incarnate Word. He shared in it with her; he was involved in the same salvific event; he was the guardian of the same love, through the power of which the eternal Father “destined us to be his sons through Jesus Christ” (Eph 1:5).

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Fortnight For Freedom: John Paul II on the Constitution

Thursday, June 25, AD 2015

Fortnight For Freedom 2015

 

 

 

Interesting reflections on the Constitution courtesy of remarks made by Pope John Paul II to President Reagan on September 10, 1987 during the Pope’s visit to the US:

 

Mr President,

1. I am grateful for the great courtesy that you  extend to me by coming personally to meet me in this city of Miami. Thank you  for this gesture of kindness and respect.

On my part I cordially greet you as the  elected Chief Executive of the United States of America. In addressing you I  express my own deep respect for the constitutional structure of this  democracy, which you are called to “preserve, protect and defend”. In  addressing you, Mr. President, I greet once again all the American people with their history, their achievements and their great possibilities of serving  humanity.

I willingly pay honour to the United  States for what she has accomplished for her own people, for all those whom she  has embraced in a cultural creativity and welcomed into an indivisible national  unity, according to her own motto: E pluribus unum. I thank America and all Americans – those of past generations and those of the present – for their  generosity to millions of their fellow human beings in need throughout the  world. Also today, I wish to extol the blessing and gifts that America has  received from God and cultivated, and which have become the true values of the  whole American experiment in the past two centuries.

2. For all of you this is a special hour in your  history: the celebration of the Bicentennial of your Constitution. It is a time  to recognize the meaning of that document and to reflect on important aspects of  the constitutionalism that produced it. It is a time to recall the original  American political faith with its appeal to the sovereignty of God. To celebrate  the origin of the United States is to stress those moral and spiritual  principles, those ethical concerns that influenced your Founding Fathers and  have been incorporated into the experience of America.

Eleven years ago, when your country was  celebrating another great document, the Declaration of Independence, my  predecessor Paul VI spoke to American Congressmen in Rome. His statement is  still pertinent today: “At every turn” he said, “your Bicentennial speaks to you  of moral principles, religious convictions, inalienable rights given by the  Creator”. And he added: “We earnestly hope that… this commemoration of your  Bicentennial will constitute a rededication to those sound moral principles  formulated by your Founding Fathers and enshrined forever in your history” (Pauli VI, Allocutio ad civiles Auctoritates Foederatarum Civitatum Americae  Septemtrionalis, die 26 apr. 1976: Insegnamenti di Paolo VI, XIV [1976] 288ss.).

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2 Responses to Fortnight For Freedom: John Paul II on the Constitution

  • I miss having a Pope who knew how to write and communicate clearly.

  • Beautiful. A lot has changed over the past two years. From free enterprise is the root of all ecological evil and we must be controlled by a super state, to this beautiful expression of what was once our ideal:

    This is the freedom that America is called to live and guard and to transmit. She is called to exercise it in such a way that it will also benefit the cause of freedom in other nations and among other peoples.”

Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II

Friday, February 6, AD 2015

 

Today is my 58th birthday.  I have always been pleased to share my birthday with one of the greatest of our presidents:   Ronald Wilson Reagan.  One of the fascinating aspects of his Presidency was the alliance established between him, Pope John Paul II and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to help bring about the demise of Communism in Eastern Europe.  Carl Bernstein chronicled what he called The Holy Alliance which began with a meeting between Reagan and the Pope in the Vatican Library on June 7, 1982, the first meeting of the two men:

According to aides who shared their leaders’ view of the world, Reagan and John Paul II refused to accept a fundamental political fact of their lifetimes: the division of Europe as mandated at Yalta and the communist dominance of Eastern Europe. A free, noncommunist Poland, they were convinced, would be a dagger to the heart of the Soviet empire; and if Poland became democratic, other East European states would follow.

“We both felt that a great mistake had been made at Yalta and something should be done,” Reagan says today. “Solidarity was the very weapon for bringing this about, because it was an organization of the laborers of Poland.” Nothing quite like Solidarity had ever existed in Eastern Europe, Reagan notes, adding that the workers’ union “was contrary to anything the Soviets would want or the communists ((in Poland)) would want.”

According to Solidarity leaders, Walesa and his lieutenants were aware that both Reagan and John Paul II were committed to Solidarity’s survival, but they could only guess at the extent of the collaboration. “Officially I didn’t know the church was working with the U.S.,” says Wojciech Adamiecki, the organizer and editor of underground Solidarity newspapers and now a counselor at the Polish embassy in Washington. “We were told the Pope had warned the Soviets that if they entered Poland he would fly to Poland and stay with the Polish people. The church was of primary assistance. It was half open, half secret. Open as far as humanitarian aid — food, money, medicine, doctors’ consultations held in churches, for instance — and secret as far as supporting political activities: distributing printing machines of all kinds, giving us a place for underground meetings, organizing special demonstrations.”

At their first meeting, Reagan and John Paul II discussed something else they had in common: both had survived assassination attempts only six weeks apart in 1981, and both believed God had saved them for a special mission. “A close friend of Ronald Reagan’s told me the President said, ‘Look how the evil forces were put in our way and how Providence intervened,’ ” says Pio Cardinal Laghi, the former apostolic delegate to Washington. According to National Security Adviser Clark, the Pope and Reagan referred to the ) “miraculous” fact that they had survived. Clark said the men shared “a unity of spiritual view and a unity of vision on the Soviet empire: that right or correctness would ultimately prevail in the divine plan.”

At first blush Reagan and Pope John Paul II had little in common, but that was deceptive.  Both had acting backgrounds and well understood the importance of how a message was conveyed as well as the substance of the message.  Both were outdoorsmen.  Both were men who were strangers to the seats of power of the institutions they led, who found themselves called to lead at moments of crisis, after the institutions they headed had gone through rocky times.  Both were simultaneously traditionalists of those institutions and yet also reformers.  Both had warm and winning personalities, but neither allowed more than a select handful of people to get emotionally close to them.  Both were exceptionally strong-willed men, not to be trifled with, yet day to day management of their institutions was not their strong point.  Both shared the attribute of all great statesmen:  the ability to see beyond the travails of their time to better days, and that is how both of them viewed the seemingly intractable problem of Communism, which they understand, in contrast to almost all of their contemporaries, as a problem to be solved and not a permanent feature on the world stage.  A strong President and a strong Pope, a fortunate combination for the World at that time.

Here is the text of President Reagan’s public remarks at the June 7, 1982 meeting:

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Twenty-Five Years Since the Fall of the Berlin Wall

Sunday, November 9, AD 2014

Twenty-five years ago today my bride and I arrived home from buying software for our Commodore 64  (Yeah, it is that long ago.) and watched stunned after we turned on the tv as we saw East Germans dancing on top of the Berlin War, tearing into it with sledge hammers.   It is hard to convey to people who did not live through the Cold War how wonderful a sight this was.  Most people at the time thought the Cold War was a permanent state of things.  Not Ronald Wilson Reagan.  He knew that Communism would end up on the losing side of history and throughout his career strove to bring that day ever closer.  His becoming President so soon after John Paul II became Pope set the stage for the magnificent decade of the Eighties when Communism passed from being a deadly threat to the globe to a belief held only by a handful of benighted tyrannical regimes around the world, and crazed American professors.  In most of his movies, the good guys won in the end, and Reagan helped give us a very happy ending to a menace that started in 1917 and died in 1989.

Here is an interview Sam Donaldson did with Reagan immediately after the fall of the wall:

Lech Walesa, a leader of that band of millions of heroes and heroines, at the head of which were Pope John Paul II and President Ronald Reagan, who won the Cold War, gave this salute to Reagan after Reagan died in 2005:

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Victims of Communism Day

Thursday, May 1, AD 2014

 

 

Today is the Feast Day of Saint Joseph the Worker and Victims of Communism Day.

Today we recall the two champions who led the charge that led to the downfall of Communism in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union:  President Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II.  It is either an odd coincidence or the Hand of God, that these two men came to power at precisely the time when the edifice of Communism began to crack.  Most people viewed Communism as a permanent geopolitical feature in the world.  Neither Reagan nor the Pope shared that view.  Reagan assumed that the spirit of freedom would ultimately triumph and that Communism, sooner rather than later, would end up on the ash heap of History.  John Paul II was certain that Christianity would triumph over Communism.  John Paul II’s election as Pope, proof that God had not forgotten Poland was the inspiration for Solidarity, which Reagan vigorously supported.  Reagan embarked on an arms build up that the Soviet Union could not match, pushing their tottering economy over the brink.  John Paul II spoke out against Liberation Theology in the Third World, reminding Catholics that Marxism and Christianity were antithetical.  Together, Pope and President gave hope to all those who struggled, ultimately successfully, to overthrow their Communist regimes, which happened one after another in the Year of Miracles of 1989.

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6 Responses to Victims of Communism Day

  • “It’s the first of May again and … Obama, Holder, Kerry, the IRS et al are commemorating … somewhere … something.
    20 Million Kulaks starved to death by Stalin.
    A million Russians killed in the “Great Purge”.
    50,000 Mongolians killed by Stalin in 1937.
    21,000 massacred by the Soviets at Katyn Forrest.
    A million killed in Mao’s land reform.
    45 Million killed during the “Great Leap Forward”.
    15 Million murdered during the Cultural Revolution.
    20,000 Tortured to death at Tuol Sleng by the Khmer Rouge.
    2 Million killed by the Khmer Rouge in Kampuchea/Cambodia
    100,000 killed during forced collectivization in Bulgaria.
    100,000 murdered by the East German regime.
    100,000 killed during forced collectivization in Romania.
    800,000 tortured and murdered during “land reforms” in Vietnam.
    500,000 killed during the Red Terror in Ethiopia.
    250,000 Crimean Tartars forcibly deported during Stalin’s ethnic cleansing (almost half died).
    100,000 Tibetans murdered by China.
    27,000 murdered by the Communist Democratic Republic of Afghanistan at Pul-e-Charkhi prison.
    1 million murdered by the Russian Cheka during Lenin’s Red Terror.
    3 million ethnic minorities deported to Siberia by Stalin. About 45% died.
    350,000 Poles died during Stalin’s deportations after invading Poland.
    500,000 Cossacks killed by Lenin in 1919-20
    14 Million Russians who went through the Gulags and millions who died there.
    4 Million killed by the North Koreans.
    10,000 people die every year in North Korean re-education and slave labor camps.
    6,500 Catholic clergy murdered by Communists during the Spanish Red Terror in 1936.
    50,000 murdered during the Spanish Red Terror.
    Over 100 Million people have been intentionally starved to death, tortured and murdered by Communists in the last 100 years.
    Communism kills every time it’s tried.

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  • T. Shaw: “Communism kills every time it’s tried.” Without God, communism cannot raise the dead or heal the sick or praise God. Murder is all that communism has. Communism denies the individual person and substitutes the state as God…a finite God.

  • Communism is an incoherent cobbling of nonsense written by a man who led a disgusting personal life. Marx treated his wife and kids like garbage and sponged off of others all of his adult life. His theories are the grossest failure in the history of man and only brain dead slugs would look upon them for inspiration.

    Man, without God, is full of himself and falls for garbage like Hitler, Robespierre and Marx.

  • “Reagan assumed that the spirit of freedom would ultimately triumph and that Communism, sooner rather than later, would end up on the ash heap of History. John Paul II was certain that Christianity would triumph over Communism.”
    —–
    Christianity IS Freedom. Everything else is slavery to sin, with death and decay being the consequence. Communism along with its close cousins Nazism and Fascism, is the epitome of that slavery.

  • PS, do not forget about the contribution of Lady Thatcher to the defeat of the USSR. It took the three of them – JPII, President Reagan and Prime Minister Thatcher – to bring the USSR to its knees.

April 2, 1983: Reagan on Passover and Easter

Sunday, April 20, AD 2014

My fellow Americans:

This week as American families draw together in worship, we join with millions upon millions of others around the world also celebrating the traditions of their faiths. During these days, at least, regardless of nationality, religion, or race, we are united by faith in God, and the barriers between us seem less significant.

Observing the rites of Passover and Easter, we’re linked in time to the ancient origins of our values and to the unborn generations who will still celebrate them long after we’re gone. As Paul explained in his Epistle to the Ephesians, “He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. So then you were no longer strangers and aliens, but you were fellow citizens of God’s household.”

This is a time of hope and peace, when our spirits are filled and lifted. It’s a time when we give thanks for our blessings-chief among them, freedom, peace, and the promise of eternal life.

This week Jewish families and friends have been celebrating Passover, a tradition rich in symbolism and meaning. Its observance reminds all of us that the struggle for freedom and the battle against oppression waged by Jews since ancient times is one shared by people everywhere. And Christians have been commemorating the last momentous days leading to the crucifixion of Jesus 1,950 years ago. Tomorrow, as morning spreads around the planet, we’ll celebrate the triumph of life over death, the Resurrection of Jesus. Both observances tell of sacrifice and pain but also of hope and triumph.

As we look around us today, we still find human pain and suffering, but we also see it answered with individual courage and spirit, strengthened by faith. For example, the brave Polish people, despite the oppression of a godless tyranny, still cling to their faith and their belief in freedom. Shortly after Palm Sunday Mass this week, Lech Walesa faced a cheering crowd of workers outside a Gdansk church. He held his hand up in a sign of victory and predicted, “The time will come when we will win.”

Recently, an East German professor, his wife, and two daughters climbed into a 7-foot rowboat and crossed the freezing, wind-whipped Baltic to escape from tyranny. Arriving in West Germany after a harrowing 7-hour, 31-mile journey past East German border patrols, the man said he and his family had risked everything so that the children would have the chance to grow up in freedom.

In Central America Communist-inspired revolution still spreads terror and instability, but it’s no match for the much greater force of faith that runs so deep among the people. We saw this during Pope John Paul II’s recent visit there. As he conducted a Mass in Nicaragua, state police jeered and led organized heckling by Sandinista supporters. But the Pope lifted a crucifix above his head and waved it at the crowd before him, then turned and symbolically held it up before the massive painting of Sandinista soldiers that loomed behind. The symbol of good prevailed. In contrast, everywhere else the Holy Father went in the region, spreading a message that only love can build, he was met by throngs of enthusiastic believers, eager for Papal guidance and blessing.

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Pope John Paull II on the US Constitution and Freedom

Tuesday, September 17, AD 2013

 

 

 

Interesting reflections for a Constitution Day courtesy of remarks made by Pope John Paul II to President Reagan on September 10, 1987 during the Pope’s visit to the US:

 

Mr President,

1. I am grateful for the great courtesy that you  extend to me by coming personally to meet me in this city of Miami. Thank you  for this gesture of kindness and respect.

On my part I cordially greet you as the  elected Chief Executive of the United States of America. In addressing you I  express my own deep respect for the constitutional structure of this  democracy, which you are called to “preserve, protect and defend”. In  addressing you, Mr. President, I greet once again all the American people with their history, their achievements and their great possibilities of serving  humanity.

I willingly pay honour to the United  States for what she has accomplished for her own people, for all those whom she  has embraced in a cultural creativity and welcomed into an indivisible national  unity, according to her own motto: E pluribus unum. I thank America and all Americans – those of past generations and those of the present – for their  generosity to millions of their fellow human beings in need throughout the  world. Also today, I wish to extol the blessing and gifts that America has  received from God and cultivated, and which have become the true values of the  whole American experiment in the past two centuries.

2. For all of you this is a special hour in your  history: the celebration of the Bicentennial of your Constitution. It is a time  to recognize the meaning of that document and to reflect on important aspects of  the constitutionalism that produced it. It is a time to recall the original  American political faith with its appeal to the sovereignty of God. To celebrate  the origin of the United States is to stress those moral and spiritual  principles, those ethical concerns that influenced your Founding Fathers and  have been incorporated into the experience of America.

Eleven years ago, when your country was  celebrating another great document, the Declaration of Independence, my  predecessor Paul VI spoke to American Congressmen in Rome. His statement is  still pertinent today: “At every turn” he said, “your Bicentennial speaks to you  of moral principles, religious convictions, inalienable rights given by the  Creator”. And he added: “We earnestly hope that… this commemoration of your  Bicentennial will constitute a rededication to those sound moral principles  formulated by your Founding Fathers and enshrined forever in your history” (Pauli VI, Allocutio ad civiles Auctoritates Foederatarum Civitatum Americae  Septemtrionalis, die 26 apr. 1976: Insegnamenti di Paolo VI, XIV [1976] 288ss.).

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  • G K Chesterton described America as “a nation with the soul of a Church,” by which he meant that it was founded on and united by a political principle.

    Contrast that with Mazzini’s language about the Risorgimento, “They speak the same language, they bear about them the impress of consanguinity, they kneel beside the same tombs, they glory in the same tradition.”

    This, I believe, means that Americans have a rather different concept of freedom to Greeks, Bulgarians and Romanians, to Czechs, Bohemians, Poles and Irish. To them freedom meant, primarily, self-government; to the American, it can almost be said to mean freedom from government, at least, government interference. That is a caricature, of course, but caricature works by exaggerating a truth.

  • Who in the Constitution for the United States of America is not included? “We, the people” includes all men for all time. “ourselves and our posterity” include all men for all time. Our duty as citizens and people is to hand our freedom to all men for all time. The purpose and duty of government is inscribed in The Preamble. When government refuses to acknowledge that the sovereign personhood of each and every human being constitutes our nation from the very first moment of existence of human life, then government ceases to be government.

  • The term “self-government” can have parallel connotations that differ only in scope. Those nations listed have a natural connection to “self-government” in the patriotic or nationalist sense of not being ruled by Mohammedans, Godless Cossacks, The Hun or Perfidious Albion.

    An American sense of “Self-government” can be more personal; a commitment by the individual to governing himself or herself, placing the responsibilities of an ordered and productive life over whatever rights – however crucial – may be claimed, in the knowledge that the perpetuation of such rights are dependent upon their responsible exercise.

    This was once taught widely, but has been tragically lost of late. As a child, in such institutions as the Boy Scouts, my church (even though I was Episcopalian in those early days) and YMCA Indian Guides, we were dipped elbow-deep in the conviction that liberty is not throwing oneself at whatever one pleases without prohibition, but rather committing oneself to the responsibility of living correctly without coercion.

    As this idea fades, so with it does the idea of Self-government. Hence the rise of the statist influences whose sole purpose is the subjugation of a previously free people. No happier slaves are there than those who have forgotten how to be free.

  • WK Aitken

    Puts me in mind of Montesquieu (a very popular author in the Founders’ day
    « la servitude commence toujours par le sommeil »- (Servitude always begins with sleep)

Pope Benedict XVI, A Pontificate Steeped In Humility

Monday, February 11, AD 2013

Pope Benedict XVI has taken the ultimate step in humility and has decided to resign, because he felt the duties of the Petrine Ministry were too important to continue in a diminished state. I have no doubt that this will be the wave of the future for successive popes. Our previous Holy Father, Pope John Paul II soldiered on to help the show the world that disability was no disgrace. However, Pope Benedict XVI must have felt that since that example was already shown to us, he would chart a different path.

The humility of the Holy Father was first seen when then Father Josef Ratzinger had his sister listen to his homilies and his college seminary lectures for he did not want to go over the heads of his parishioners and seminary students. The Holy Father was somewhat of a prodigy as a child. Though he liked to play soccer with the rest of the boys in Traunstein, a small town in Bavaria, he realized he would never become a great athlete, so he throw himself into his studies and into the History and workings of religion in general and Catholicism in particular.

During the eight years of his pontificate, Pope Benedict XVI reached out to everyone, the poor, the marginalized, the wealthy and creative, those of other faiths, schismatic Catholics as well as those whose world views were totally different than his. However, the man from Bavaria never compromised on the issue of truth; he railed against the Dictatorship of Relativism and against the idea of social engineering which seems to have engulfed the Western world.

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  • The last pope to resign was Gregory XII in 1415, at the Council of Constance

  • Many great saints have tried their best to shun power. Francis of Assisi and Martin of Tours avoided becoming priests. Ambrose was cornered into being a bishop. Frances de Sales did everything he could think of to avoid promotion to the Archdiocese of Paris. Philip Neri set up the Oratorians with an eye to making sure that he didn’t have power over the other houses. Francis of Assisi stepped down from leadership of his order as soon as he could.

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Wanted: Orthodox Catholic Political Leaders (Time To Get Serious)

Thursday, May 10, AD 2012

My adult conversion to Catholicism came about through many converging spiritual streams, but one of the things I remember that had perhaps, the biggest positive impact, was my introduction to the Papal Social Encyclicals. I was immediately impressed by the non-ideological, Biblically-consistent worldview expressed by the Catholic Magisterium. As my initial conversion led to graduate Theological studies, teaching in Catholic high schools around the world, and a run for Florida State House; I have remained an ardent admirer of the Social Doctrine of the Church.

It is one of my lifetime goals to find ways to promote the social teachings of our Catholic Magisterium, and to find practical ways to cultivate Catholic political leaders who are similarly dedicated to the work of building civilizations of love founded upon the principles of our complete corpus of social doctrine teachings. As a candidate I discovered that most parishes are ill-equipped to nurture future Catholic leaders or even assist in the process of educating and informing the laity of how they can better influence elections on the basis of the many important moral issues (which have specific Magisterial guidance). It is great to pray for Christian Justice in our world, and it is necessary to take up the responsibility of voting when given that opportunity. But grace builds upon nature, and there is so much more that we could be doing as Catholics to better organize ourselves to have more positive collective impact on our communities and American society.

I urge that we work on two fronts simultaneously-1. Educating the Catholic laity to the Catholic social teachings and the guidance given by our Pope and Bishops’ 2. Use our religious freedoms more effectively at the parish level. I often make use of the story of William Wilberforce, a Christian politician who fought tirelessly to stop the slave trade in Great Britain- he was eventually successful utilizing organizational tools which we could use today (as the Civil Rights Movement here in America demonstrated). I hope my practical advice will be of some use for all those interested in maximizing our public Catholic witness in the social (temporal) realm.

Here are some specific practical proposals:

1. Every parish should organize “Social Doctrine Nights” where specific issues are discussed in the context of the social doctrine, as taught in official sources like Papal Encyclicals, the Compendium of Social Doctrine, the Catechism, US Bishop Pastoral Letters, and so forth. The parish priest should be front and center publicizing the Nights from the pulpit and being present for the meetings to put teeth into the promotion.

2. It would also be good if every parish started a “Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church book club”. This would help to locate a core group of lay persons who are truly interested in fulfilling their responsibility to the Temporal Order, to reform the world according to Christ’s teachings and will, as revealed by our Church’s authoritative documents. These hardy souls will go far in sharing their knowledge on those Social Doctrine Nights. At the least, we will give the laity many chances to inform their consciences on public policy matters.

3. As the election cycle nears, every parish should start scheduling town hall meetings and Candidate Forum events. Political candidates should be held accountable before the election takes place. They need to go on record with their thoughts on the issues that our parishioners deem important. The only requirement for such forums is that all candidates are invited with no
obvious bias during the event. Town hall meetings should be convened on singular issues of great importance, and local leaders and potential leaders should be invited to participate or attend.

4. Documents from the U.S. Bishops’ Conferences should be distributed widely in every parish. These documents can easily be inserted into every Sunday Bulletin.

5. Questionnaires for candidates from Catholic Conferences and reputable Catholic Pro-Life organizations should be distributed with information on the issues providing the reader with a clear idea of what the official Church is advising/teaching on the political issue being raised. These questionnaire results should be widely distributed well in advance of the actual Election Day.

6. Potential Catholic political leaders need to be groomed and supported by the Church by all legal means. We cannot be hamstrung by laws that seem bent on keeping an artificial (and false) wall of separation between Church and State. Both the Church and State have particular functions in society, they are not the same, but they are not to be pitted against one another. One way to cope with the reality here, in the United States, is to help private Catholic action groups and organizations, to form apart from the official dioceses and Catholic conferences. These private Catholic organizations could form PACS and contribute directly to Catholic individuals who are seeking to serve the common good first and foremost. They should be committed to serving the official Church social doctrine.

7. Catholic schools should also do more to promote the social doctrine among the youth. I once organized a debate for all congressional candidates in the Catholic high school where I was teaching. The students wrote the questions and had a chance to mingle with the candidates afterwards. It was the only such debate for those candidates in the entire election cycle and many students were positively impacted by the experience. Another area of improvement would be in the development of textbooks with a Catholic perspective, and that covered such areas as Literature, History, Media, Social Studies and so forth. The Catholic worldview and social doctrine have been confined to religion classes, and this has contributed to the compartmentalization of Catholic understanding and expression. Catholic students, with rare exceptions, are not graduating and moving the public debate beyond the narrow partisan/ideological confines of Political Left/Right.

I offer these suggestions because I believe that, as Catholics, we have the blueprint for building a civilization of love at every level of human society. The blueprint is our social doctrine and the gift of our Magisterium in guiding the principles and teachings of Christ into our complex world. As a candidate for public office I discovered a huge void in our Catholic parishes for offering a

place of contact between budding political leaders and the Catholic laity. Nurturing orthodox Catholics to become political leaders in our society is something that also seems missing from the average parish. Having a unique Blueprint (our Social Doctrine) but not having sound organization to carry out the plan is a terrible waste of potential. It is time to go from the drawing phase to building and implementing- to make visible this civilization of love our beloved popes write about with such strong conviction. This is our potential, this is an essential part of our Catholic evangelization. There are a lot of Catholic groups and organizations who lobby politicians after the fact of their election, but we should be intervening in the process from the beginning- nurturing leaders, educating every generation of voter, and providing candidate forums and town hall meetings in our churches (all perfectly legal!).

Once again, these strategies involve the following precepts:

– social doctrine promotion
– town hall meetings
– candidate forums
– encouragement of private Catholic PACS
– Catholic youth mentoring

Pope John Paul II insisted that was necessary for Catholics “to seek the Kingdom of God in dealing with temporal realities and in ordering them in accordance with the divine will.” And he urged us to be courageous in giving witness to our faith in the public arena.

Quoting from “Lumen Gentium”, No.36, Pope John Paul II said that lay men and women, after receiving a sound catechesis and continuing formation, have a clear mission “to extend the Kingdom of God in and through their secular activity, so that ‘the world will be imbued with the Spirit of Christ and more effectively attain its purpose in justice, in love and in peace” (No.3). Hence, the faithful need to receive clear instructions on their duties as Christians, and on their obligation to act in accordance with the Church’s authoritative teachings, the Pope added. And to those who object that such instruction has overly political tones John Paul II stated clearly: “While fully respecting the legitimate separation of Church and state in American life, such a catechesis must also make clear that for the faithful Christian there can be no separation between the faith which is to be believed and put into practice and a commitment to full and responsible participation in professional, political and cultural life” (No.3).

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10 Responses to Wanted: Orthodox Catholic Political Leaders (Time To Get Serious)

  • Good thoughtful post Tim; definitely good considerations to ponder. All who seek to be faithful to the magisterium should have the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, along wth the Catechism, and work to be familiar with both in their entirety; not cherry picking a favorite section here or there. For most of us their will be plenty that will challenge our political orientation. What I we should encourage others to work for is building The Faith, as a secure foundation first, with politrical involvement and activism following. Building that foundation is a must, and can seem tedious. It is indispensable for any social activism which follows to bear fruit for Christ. Your ideas are a good start.

  • I have emailed this to our St. Philip Neri Oratorio ministry chair (whose name is also Tim, so he should be pretty receptive.)

    This is exactly the kind of thing that we should be doing, as Americans, as Christians, as Catholics and as free men & women. Excellent on all fronts, Tim.

  • I would love to tack this article to the doors of all the churches in my Deanery…hmmmm…perhaps I will…:)

  • Thanks for the feedback and follow-ups- this is my companion piece to the Catholic Education Vision- http://the-american-catholic.com/2012/04/16/a-vision-of-catholic-education-from-the-front-lines/ I would like to see faithful Catholic make a deeper impact than we are currently- we have schools and parishes- why not maximize their potential for good? What are we afraid of?

  • Thank you– that is well thought out and should be do-able for many many parishes and parish clusters.

  • The problem with the USCCB when it comes to socio-economics is that their approach is often more ideological than pastoral. Their leftist tilt on issues like economics, immigration, capital punishment and the like often does more to distort an authentic Catholic understanding of how the faithful are to form their consciences on these matters than it does to inform.

    Catholic teaching on these matters admits of a much greater diversity than the USCCB often portrays them. In so far as they function in their official capacity they need to remain neutral, thus allowing them to hold both sides accountable to Catholic moral principles. their taking sides leaves them vulnerable to exploitation by one side and needlessly alienates the other. A recent example was the unjust USCCB attack on Paul Ryan’s budget. I am not saying they should endorse it, but they should defend it as legitimate from a Catholic point of view.

    Instead of inserting USCCB letters into parish bulletins, excerpts from papal encyclicals that stress the importance of the principles of subsidiarity as it pertains to economic issues as one example.

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  • I Love You!!! Yes, yes, yes!!! As a religious education instructor for over eighteen years I thought I would lose my mind trying to deal with other teachers and administrators who threw all knowledge of the faith out the door, and some who had NO knowledge of the faith to throw but just made it something up as they went along and that sufficed as educating our children. One of my main pleas was to “educate the educators”. We cannot pass on the true faith when the “flock” has such little knowledge of it. This is why I feel we have such a crisis of faith today. Big shock. Anyway we all could use on going education of the truths of the faith. Then if you don’t want to be a Catholic you shouldn’t be one.

  • Here’s one easy way I have helped strengthen the Church in my state:

    Donate subscriptions to the Knights of Columbus magazine Columbia to every Catholic high school & college library and to every Catholic student center on secular campuses.

    If you’re a knight in a good council, you should organize this project and propose that the council fund the subscriptions.

    Work to get it into the public libraries in Catholic parts of town, too.

    It was fantastic to see the Columbia issue on the HHS mandate at my lukewarm local Catholic college’s periodicals section.

    I am working on taking this project nationally, more will be forthcoming.

  • I realized today: All Catholic Doctrine is Social Doctrine.

    While hearing the readings at Sunday Mass today (May 13, 2012), I realized that ALL of Catholic Doctrine is Social Doctrine! Social Doctrine is not some off-to-side sub-specialty of interest only to a few. It is all there is! Listen to some verses from today’s Mass readings:

    Reading 2 1 Jn 4:7-10:
    Beloved, let us love one another,
    because love is of God;
    everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God.
    Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love.
    In this way the love of God was revealed to us….

    Gospel Jn 15:9-17:
    Jesus said to his disciples:
    “As the Father loves me, so I also love you.
    Remain in my love.
    If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love,
    just as I have kept my Father”s commandments
    and remain in his love.”
    “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you
    and your joy might be complete.
    This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.
    No one has greater love than this,
    to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
    You are my friends if you do what I command you….
    It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you
    and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain,….
    This I command you: love one another.”

    So, why do I think that ALL Catholic Doctrine is Social Doctrine?

    Because all Doctrine has but one purpose: To lead and guide and help and inspire and attract us to fulfill this from Jesus: “This I command you: love one another.” (Jn. 15:17).

    Learning or holding or adhering to doctrine for its own sake is not the end or purpose of the Catholic life on earth.

    Rather, the end and purpose of life on earth is to fulfill that from Jesus: “This I command you: love one another.” (Jn. 15:17).

    Even the Catholic Doctrine about the Holy Trinity is Social Doctrine, since the Trinity is a unity of three divine Persons who love each other. Even the Catholic Doctrine about the Holy Eucharist is Social Doctrine, for reasons that are all too obvious.

    Consider this from America magazine: “As Pope Benedict made clear in his encyclical Caritas in Veritate, life issues are social justice issues and social justice issues are life issues.” See https://www.americamagazine.org/blog/entry.cfm?id=74835840-3048-741E-7052836844684028

    But I would go much further. Yes, Life Issues are Social Justice Issues. But there are nothing but Social Issues, ultimately, if you define “Social” as embracing all the relationships that pertain to Life on Earth and Eternal Life: The Holy Trinity; The Catholic Church; The Communion of Saints; The Works of Mercy; The Unity of Humankind; The “Greatest Commandment” according to Jesus, having two parts, love God with all of your mind, heart, soul and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself; loving strangers; loving enemies; loving your spouse and remain faithful to him or her for life; and so on.

    In sum, Social Doctrine is all that the Church has.

    The fact that people don’t think of things this way shows, I respectfully propose, how far we are from where God wants us to be.

Divini Redemptoris

Tuesday, May 1, AD 2012

“Over half a century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of older people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: ‘Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this is happening.’ Since then I have spent well-nigh fifty years working on the history of our revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some sixty million people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat; ‘Men have forgotten God; That’s why all this happened.'”

Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Today is the feast day of Saint Joseph the Worker, instituted by Pope Pius XII on May 1, 1955  as an alternative to the Communist May Day marches.  Today is also the Victims of Communism Day.  Hattip to Ilya Somin at The Volokh Conspiracy who began the campaign to make this day a day to remember the some one hundred million men, women and children murdered by Communist regimes and movements.

On this day we honor the victims of applied Marxism, but we also honor  Pope John Paul II, Ronald Reagan, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Lech Walesa, Cardinal Mindszenty, Harry Truman, the American fighting man and his gallant allies, and all those other men and women, many known only to God, who led the ultimately successful fight against this abominable tyranny.

This is a good day to reread Divini Redemptoris, the encyclical, issued on the feast day of Saint Joseph in 1937, in which Pope Pius XI set forth that Communism and Christianity were completely antithetical.

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4 Responses to Divini Redemptoris

  • Since The Universal Declaration on Human Rights of the United Nations was accepted in 1948, it has supplanted America’s founding principles, causing the Sovereign Person of God, the Holy Name of God and the mention of God to be removed from the public square and the American people. It has caused the abortion of our constitutional posterity, the innocent human life in the womb, the human being who is the standard of Justice. It has brought about the experimentation on embryonic stem cells, IVF, and transhumanism, all without informed consent, the standard of civilization. The U.N. Declaration refuses to recognize and acknowledge the person procreated in the womb as a human being, respect due to the human person in existence from conception. Read more at http://www.rosaryvictory.com

  • “Divini Redemptoris” – It’s been 75 years and counting … now claiming educated and programmed young, yet living. There is a difference today: people are not rebelling against God, they don’t even know Him.

    ” 78. Those who act otherwise, and at the same time fondly pretend to attain their objective with purely political or economic means, are in the grip of a dangerous error. When religion is banished from the school, from education and from public life, when the representatives of Christianity and its sacred rites are held up to ridicule, are we not really fostering the materialism which is the fertile soil of Communism.? Neither force, however well organized it be, nor earthly ideals however lofty or noble, can control a movement whose roots lie in the excessive esteem for the goods of this world. ”

    Widely heard voices pointing out every which way, the infernal:

    ” For there are some who, while exteriorly faithful to the practice of their religion, yet in the field of labor and industry, in the professions, trade and business, permit a deplorable cleavage in their conscience, and live a life too little in conformity with the clear principles of justice and Christian charity. Such lives are a scandal to the weak, and to the malicious a pretext to discredit the Church. ”

    St. Joseph had dreams. Divine revelations guided this man’s life. His ‘faithful performance of everyday duties’ is something for which to be ever thankful.
    There is Word of eternal life.

    ” 81. To hasten the advent of that “peace of Christ in the kingdom of Christ”[48] so ardently desired by all, We place the vast campaign of the Church against world Communism under the standard of St. Joseph, her mighty Protector. He belongs to the working-class, and he bore the burdens of poverty for himself and the Holy Family, whose tender and vigilant head he was. To him was entrusted the Divine Child when Herod loosed his assassins against Him. In a life of faithful performance of everyday duties, he left an example for all those who must gain their bread by the toil of their hands. ”

    in-fernal/ex-ternal

  • “75. It must likewise be the special care of the State to create those material conditions of life without which an orderly society cannot exist. The State must take every measure necessary to supply employment, particularly for the heads of families and for the young. To achieve this end demanded by the pressing needs of the common welfare, the wealthy classes must be induced to assume those burdens without which human society cannot be saved nor they themselves remain secure. However, measures taken by the State with this end in view ought to be of such a nature that they will really affect those who actually possess <b<more than their share of capital resources, and who continue to accumulate them to the grievous detriment of others.”

    Hence, confusion. Sounds like Police State redistributionism.

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Jimmy Carter, Ex-President and Anti-Catholic Bigot, Attacks Pope John Paul II

Saturday, March 24, AD 2012

31 Responses to Jimmy Carter, Ex-President and Anti-Catholic Bigot, Attacks Pope John Paul II

  • Carter – a creep. Pure and simple.

  • A great post, suffused with righteous anger against a self-righteous ex-president.

    -Theo

  • Evangelicals are often accused of being “anti-Catholic”, but the accusation is generally aimed at the more fundamentalist-leaning of the Evangelicals (i.e. the conservative ones, with whom, interestingly enough, Catholics most often find themselves allied on matters of both traditional theology and politics).

    But I can attest that there is no more anti-Catholic Evangelical than the left-leaning Evangelical. They have a disordered view of “liberty” and the so-called “priesthood of the believer” that causes them to have a visceral reaction to ANY authority over individual conscience, be it evangelical fundamentalism or the Catholic Magisterium. They see an ordained priesthood and religious hierarchy, especially that of the Catholic Church, to be fundamentally a threat to liberty of conscience (i.e. their “right” to make up out of whole cloth theological justifications for their personal and political predilictions).

    Jimmy Carter, as a left-leaning Evangelical, has always been a bigot. The only people he despises more than Catholics are Jews.

  • And, indeed, an excellent post, Don!

  • “Carter – a creep. Pure and simple.”

    Unfortunately the future if Democrats continue to win.

  • You just can’t make this stuff up, can you, Don?

    http://www.zondervan.com/Cultures/en-US/Product/ProductDetail.htm?ProdID=com.zondervan.9780310950813&QueryStringSite=Zondervan

    And there’s more!

    Through the Year with Jimmy Carter: 366 Daily Meditations from the 39th President by Jimmy Carter

    Gift of Peace: The Jimmy Carter Story by Elizabeth Raum

    How low Zondervan has sunk for the almighty dollar – they are trying to get liberals to buy their wares, but liberals really don’t believe anyways!

  • Wow, this man sounds seriously deranged. Jimmy Carter certainly came across as a petty and peevish man, but I thought his derangement had more to do with jealousy over R Reagan’s success and his later break with the Baptists over their strong support for Israel. Now it appears that the man was crazy from the beginning. Imagine lecturing JP11 and comparing him to the genocidal maniac Khomeini after having failed to provide succour to the Shah. A man with some decency would have kept his mouth shut after that.

  • Incompetence+senility=Carter

  • Well, this post is going into the home school curriculum school in my household so that my children will be able to appreciate some of the contributions of JPII’s Papacy. It will also serve nicely to have Carter as a backdrop on how far one go astray from the truth when unhinged from Mater et Magistra.

  • Two observations.

    The current occupant of the White House is worse: his corruption and ineptitude are destroying us.

    This is reason 665 that you won’t be going to Heaven if you vote democrat.

  • I see no reason to accept his account of angry exchanges with JP II. The Vatican isn’t that secretive. Much of the substance and almost all of the tenor of discussions between a Pope and other public figures is known within hours. If Carter’s account is to be believed, it was a carefully guarded secret for more than three decades. Not likely says me. Even the timing of the discussions is off… Liberation Theology didn’t get real purchase until the early Eighties. I’m sure the seeds were sown in the Seventies but it hadn’t become an issue while Carter was President. Finally, this is the first time I’ve heard the word “harshness” applied to JP II. We are being asked to believe that a man who actively petitioned to have his would-be assassin released was “harsh” in his assessment of his fellow priest’s misguided but well-intentioned attets to right economic injustice in the Americas.

    Carter is lying. It cannot have happened as he says it did.

  • “Carter is lying. It cannot have happened as he says it did.”

    I suspect you are correct G-Veg. This may well be another example of Carter’s ever active fantasy life.

  • Liberation theology was well underway in the seventies; Carter, who was, if nothing else, an avid reader, would likely have known about it. I’d bet that some such conversation did occur between him and the Pope, though he might be “embellishing” it after all these years.

    I can vouch for the fellow-feeling among loyal Catholics and conservative evangelicals; I witness it all the time. Check out the homeschooling movement, for example. Or the pro-life movement. A loyal Catholic and a loyal Baptist have far more in common with one another than either of them has in common with those among their churches who worship the secular god Belial.

  • A woman priest cannot espouse the Bride of Christ.

  • I particularly like the eight things the author lists as accomplishments of Pope John Paul II, but in terms of Encyclicals, the Pope’s work was much more noteworthy than was mentioned here. I also think that JPII also had a major positive impact on non-Catholics, including non-Catholic Christians, Jews and Muslims. JPII presented a different image of Catholicism to the world. One of his Encyclicals I like the most is Fides et Ratio, although there were many that could be cited.

  • With respect Mr. Esolen, an avid reader he is but I doubt that the narrow subject of Liberation Theology was high on his reading list in 1978. Even if it was, I seriously doubt he confronted JP II on anything. That just isn’t how those conversations “go”… Not with Pelosi, not with the Soviets, and not with Mugabe. Are we to believe that Carter was such a forceful personality as to school the Pope on anything? Carter may be so senile he belives his own tales but I don’t believe them.

  • Carter always was incredibly narcissistic and I while his attempts to project himself as humble, fair, and caring largely failed with most observers, IMO his facade born more out of pathology rather than mere political marketing.

    I agree with those who believe he likely lying or taking great license with many of these statements. However, I can believe he understood the Liberation Theology movement in the 70’s. As president he had to deal with policy matters regarding Latin America and was surely briefed often on happenings there. You simply could not escape any discussion of events and power struggles in Latin America without knowing about the underpinnings behind how some Catholics could justify to themselves being Marxist revolutionaries and why other dictatorial regimes would view those people as enemies.

  • That the poor man wrote his own version of the Bible is a great scandal.

  • I think it’s telling that many people refer to the late Pope as “John Paul the Great”,
    but no one has ever seriously suggested that Jimmy Carter bear such a distinction.

    C-Veg’s take on Carter’s account strikes me as the most reasonable– it’s highly unlikely
    such a remarkable exchange could be buried for decades.

  • G-Veg– I doubt the veracity of this account as well. At the height of the cold war, with Carter essentially surrendering our moral superiority over Marxism, Carter betrayed a strategic ally in the struggle against communism. Carter then saw to the return of Khomeini from his exile in Paris, a move which in a series of tightly related events leading directly to the current state of affairs in Iran. Hundreds of thousands of Iranians, once part of a pluralistic society, have been killed and tortured, and a diaspora ensued.

    In 1978 Carter didn’t see Khomeini as he now claims. He held that judgment for the Shah. As for Catholics, as opposed to leftist who claim the faith, I am sure Carter does and did hold such bigoted views. So, 32 years later, nothing has changed and we once again have another Carter on roids as president.

  • Cthemfly makes an excellent point above, about Iran. I was an undergraduate at Princeton during the years when Britain and the United States were busy betraying Iran into the hands of the mullahs. One of the stupidest moves the Left ever made was to engineer the ouster of the Shah of Iran in favor of Khomeini, who I believe spent much of his time in exile in France. One Richard Falk, a Princeton leftist and professor of political science, was instrumental in the coup. I don’t hold any brief for the Shah as a good man, but will only note that he had personally bankrolled Britain in the early seventies when that country was broke. In this life you don’t often get to deal with allies who are both saintly and powerful. Carter did well with Sadat and Begin, but flubbed badly with the Soviets and with Iran. Ronald Reagan would not make the same mistakes, for which the Left in America never forgave him.

  • Breathtaking. Really beautiful, the post and the comments.

  • I can imagine how his Old Testament introduction begins:

    “Bear with me–this part’s pretty Jew-y.”

  • Professor Esolen,

    Thank you for responding to C-Veg with the facts. Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi went into exile on 16th January 1979, in the middle of the following a series of militantly anti-Shah demonstrations the first of which occurred in October 1977, in the middle of the Carter administration. He did not come to the United States until late October 1979, and was allowed into the country to undergo surgical treatment.

    On a related note, as a former enlisted submariner in the U.S. Navy, subsequently commissioned, I would have to rate Mr. McClarey’s assessment of Mr. Carter as a bit on the generous side. Carter repeatedly demonstrated an inability to think beyond a limited set of fixed policies and procedures.

    Pax et bonum,
    Keith Töpfer, LCDR, USN [ret]

  • Ronald Reagan spoke of the oil off the continental shelf, that is, three miles off the coast, in international waters. Our Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, signed the LOST (Law of the Sea Treaty. See Eagle Forum, Heritage Foundation, Obama has signed an Executive Order giving the U.N. the ocean) the LOST treaty with the U.N. giving the United Nations all mineral rights under the sea and imposing a fee for sailing upon the ocean. Who owns the ocean that it is given away to entities not favorable to America? Certainly, the country does not own the ocean that it can “give it away”. All free public lands and waterways are owned by each and every person, in joint and common tenancy, and held in trust for all future generations, our constitutional posterity, our global posterity, by a free people.
    Congress ratifies treaties at the will of the people. These monsters in office need to be exorcised.

  • One of the stupidest moves the Left ever made was to engineer the ouster of the Shah of Iran in favor of Khomeini, who I believe spent much of his time in exile in France. One Richard Falk, a Princeton leftist and professor of political science, was instrumental in the coup.

    I have to say that is the strangest interpretation of events in Iran over the period running from October 1977 to February 1979 that I have ever heard. The regime suffered a catastrophic loss of confidence in the face of massive public protest. That is not something terribly unprecedented. People in the Shah’s camarilla later accused Mr. Carter’s envoy Gen. Robert Huyser of putting the kibosh on a supposed military coup intended to forestall the fall of the interim ministry the Shah had left in place. Gen. Huyser was career military, not a cat’s paw of ‘the Left’. Richard Falk was producing insipid articles for The Nation and the Institute for Policy Studies. It is difficult to believe he had any influence on anyone but their subscribers.

    —-

    The babble about liberation theology is a clue that Carter retrospectively re-imagined his exchanges with the Holy Father.

    What is pathetic about all this is that an old man long steeped in the milieu of Southern protestantism and in the Bible as it is used in that milieu should

    1. Have a habit of using the same prism to view quite disparate phenomena, in fact the same prism a creature like Ellen Goodman might use; and

    2. Have so little in the way of a critical assessment of the inanities of the age.

    With eighty-seven years of living and a grounding in Sacred Scripture, he should be able to offer the young something better than this.

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  • I wrote to Zondervan Publishing about its publishing the Jimmy Carter Study Bible and how I would now boycott their products in the future. I also gave them a link to this blog post. A person at that organization gave me the following response, but did not identify him / herself. I find the lack of personal responsibility very telling. No name. No “Sincerely Yours, XXXXXX Y.” No nothing.

    “As with any public figure, it is to be expected that equally sincere Christians will have different assessments of Jimmy Carter’s presidency and his efforts to promote peace and justice in his post-presidential years. Zondervan respects the fact that, like no other president in recent memory, Jimmy Carter has sought to express in words and live out in deeds his profession of “born-again” Christian faith. It’s for these reasons we are proud to publish these titles. This is fully consistent with our 80-year mission to  publish books by leading voices in the evangelical Christian community, books that glorify Jesus Christ and promote biblical principles.”

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  • Blessed Pope John Paul II or Jimmy Carter, who you gonna call! Bl JP II we love you. If Ford hadn’t pardoned Nixon, a move that history has judged to be the correct decision but which cost him the election, there would have been no Carter presidency. When we’ve been dead ten thousand years the name of Bl, Saint by then, JP II will be praised in litany and prayers of intercession and God will still be granting miracles through his intercession while Jimmy’s only claim to fame will be he is listed as one of the long ago presidents of the late sometimes great United States of America. JP II we love you, JP II we love you.

  • …Khomeini, who I believe spent much of his time in exile in France.Tony Esolen

    Khomeini spent most of his exile from Iran in neighboring Iraq.

HHS Mandate Hastens The Demise Of Liberal Catholicism & Ensures The Growth of Catholic Orthodoxy

Tuesday, February 14, AD 2012

In a bizarre way President Barack Obama, through his Health and Human Services Mandate (HHS) has united religious orthodoxy across the spectrum as never before. In its wake liberal religiosity is going the way of striped pants, bell bottoms and lava lamps; something that is only seen on rare occasions usually when too much alcohol is flowing. At the precipice stands liberal Catholicism, for soon there will be no need for them to retain any religious presence. Liberal Catholic mouthpieces like the National Catholic Reporter are destined to go the way of so many other products whose users outgrew the usefulness of what they read and believed.  Mainline liberal churches have imploded all the while the numbers of Catholics and Evangelicals continue to grow. Apparently the liberal religious elite are so smart, they have disappeared into the mists of history.  Even if the current baby boomers remain religious, their liberal minded children have by and large abandoned the faith to the whims of Hallmark and Deepak Chopra styled spirituality.

In my last book The Tide is Turning Toward Catholicism, I noted that having worked in the Church with a good deal of liberals I cannot think of a single instance in which their children retained their liberal views and also practiced their Catholic faith. I have met their children and while some have become Evangelicals and others have seen the light and come over to orthodox minded Catholicism; those who have remained liberal would only darken a church door if a close relative passed away. Sadly not only have they left their faith but many can’t find a single good thing to say about it. Their compliments are reserved for Big Government and Libertinism.

I am not writing this to sound clever or flippant or negative, simply to relate what I see. In many ways, the tide is turning like never before, and we can’t say that Jesus didn’t tell us that wheat would be separated from the chaff. Indeed we can’t serve two masters and the liberals by and large have thrown their lot in with the Herod’s of the world. While the liberal elite pretend to live oh so sophisticated lives; they in reality are nothing more than a fallen character in a 1980s hair band ballad video, succumbing to the vices on Sunset Boulevard that the liberal elite relegated to some degenerative red state tourist. As angry as we may be at the religious left’s venom and their apostasy, they most certainly need our prayers and we should never forget that supposedly wise people can be fooled as much as anyone by the dark side.

In my previous article, I noted the striking metaphor of the pall of smoke hanging over the Acropolis in Athens caused by rioting Greeks who could no longer pay for their extravagant lifestyle. They are merely the first example of a culture that has aborted and contracepted itself into oblivion, prophetically predicted by Pope Paul VI in his encyclical Humanae Vitae. For the Greeks, Big Government had the answers and their Epicurean ancestors had the lifestyle that seemed oh so appealing. However in reality they couldn’t pay the bills because charged with the simple mission of reproducing they felt it too complicated of a task.

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9 Responses to HHS Mandate Hastens The Demise Of Liberal Catholicism & Ensures The Growth of Catholic Orthodoxy

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  • when they get rid of the carol keehans and all the clowns running our
    institutions their own way i’ll believe the tide is turning.

  • The Holy Spirit is truly at work here to rejuvenate our One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church by separating wheat from the chaff just as Jesus Christ Himself promised us, oh so, so long time ago. + Laudetur Iesus Christus +

  • Good essay, Doug. But Donald’s essay on “The Catholic Left Falls into Line” is sadly depressing because the regime in charge will listen only to the Catholic Left. The Bishops have to start public excommunications. 1st Corinthians chapter 5 comes to mind.

  • How will this affect our Catholic universities?
    Wouldn’t it be great if a Catholic college taught Catholic faith, doctrine and morals. Girls living in an all girls dorm. No overnight visitors. Religion classes, including Catholic philosophy and Church history be taught for 4 years. Wouldn’t it be great to have Catholic universities that teach science AND morals.
    .
    And I agree with Paul P above, the Church REALLY needs to address the Liberal Left, anti-Church Catholics who work against the Church Monday-Friday, but go to communion on Sunday and publicly call themselves good, devout Catholics. This would be HUGE for us folks in the pews – I find it hard to talk to my children about the faith when Catholics in public life (politics) promote ideas opposite of the Church teachings but call themselves good Catholics (“I will punch you in the face with my rosary”)

  • too many gifted and talented individuals are not even attempting to dip their toe in the waters of entrepreneurialism because it may be too much work.

    And: too much financial punishment — high taxes, in other words — for those who do dip their toe in that water.

  • Amen. Amen. Amen. I can sense the shift in the air… a slow grinding shift building momentum… the teeth gnashing from the enemy is sentient also.

  • Mr. Hartline, I would love to read your books. Have you considered formatting them for kindle?

  • Vicki I hope that when my new book tentatively titled; “The Tide Continues to Turn Toward Catholicism” comes out, we should have a kindle option available for my books. Thank you for your interest. Honestly all of you out there who fight the good fight in your special way are all part of that turning tide.

The Militant Secular Left Shows Their Cards, Proving That The Tide Continues To Turn Toward Catholicism

Monday, February 13, AD 2012

The militant secular left thinks they have won a victory with President Barack Obama’s “Accommodation” with regard to the Health and Human Services (HHS) Mandate ordering religious based institutions to provide contraceptives, sterilizations and the morning after abortion pill. Some of the left couldn’t contain their glee, one guest on MSNBC described President Obama’s move as “brilliant.” In their distorted thinking they surmise that since not all Catholics adhere to the Church’s teachings, especially on birth control, they can cause a split in the Church.

First of all, the militant secular left continually cites the Guttmacher Institute’s polling, which is about as accurate as the daily pronouncements of Syria’s Bashar Assad. Secondly, it is one thing for Catholics to go against the Church’s teachings, it is quite another to say they are proud of it and want more Big Government telling them what they and the Catholic Church to do. The sheer nuttiness of this was illustarted in a discussion which occurred on Sean Hannity’s the Great American Panel seen on Fox News last week. One of the participants Jehmu Greene told fellow panelist Andrea Tantaros that without birth control she wouldn’t be here. When the incredulous Tantaros wondered how that could logical be, Greene went on a tirade that demeaned women who have children and or decide to work at home.

For years the militant secular left has treated pregnancy as a disease and families as inconvenient truths interfering with their own narcissistic ends. Powerhouse television shows like Sex and City helped to illustrate this point. Katharine Jean Lopez of the National Review wrote some time ago how disgusted she felt seeing men demeaned as objects in the Sex and City movie, the very treatment feminists have railed about for years.

However with the narcissistic Sex and City lifestyle comes another reality playing out in the streets of Athens, Greece and soon to come to a city or country near you in the western world. The declining birth rate means the youngest among us will have to eventually have to pay for a culture that aborted or contracepted itself into oblivion. The generous benefits demanded by those cultures, especially from the militant secular left can only last so long. As the old saying goes; “The problem with Socialism is eventually you run out of other people’s money.” The ancient Greek world gods who hailed narcissism and hedonism and whose lifestyle was proselytized by the Epicureans seem as irrelevant as ever as the pall of smoke hangs over the Acropolis, a fitting metaphor for what the militant secular left has wrought.

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11 Responses to The Militant Secular Left Shows Their Cards, Proving That The Tide Continues To Turn Toward Catholicism

  • November 2012 cannot come soon enough!

    Here is additional evidence (as if it were needed) that one is repreating oneself when one uses the words liberal and idiot in the same sentence.

    This rank stupidity is the reason the economy continues to flounder and why government should be limited so that it can inflict limited harm on us.

    With his talents, Obama ought to be on an urban street corner dealing “three card monty.”

  • T. Shaw – but instead liberalies are letting the executive branch play monopoly in the WH with other people’s money and no rules because cheating etc. is easier. The jail corner says send someone you don’t like directly to court. The community chest cards are awards for using racist and bigot on opponents.
    What a waste.

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  • Regarding – The Militant Secular Left Shows Their Cards, Proving That The Tide Continues To Turn Toward Catholicism
    Published Monday, February 13, 2012 A.D. | By Dave Hartline

    I agree with everthing the writer has said, but I have trouble with one thing.
    Are we willing to fight as hard for the living child after birth as we are for the child in the womb? Are we willing to provide a higher level of education, of health care, of food and housing OR do we prefer to pay in the back end when the unwanted, uncared for, fatherless child becomes a miscreant; someone on drugs, alcohol or at least in poor health or pertetuates more unwanted pregnancies…
    I would rather put the same energy and money to providing the programs the child would need to be a caring, involved citizen rather than a fatherless child in a broken home with little love and education. I hope to see Catholics turn a cheek and start realizing that if we want to lower the abortion rate holistically, the best way to do it is to educate and provide the necessary programs so woman don’t find themselves in an unwanted pregnancy to begin with. It does start at home, but the home alone will not win the battle…we must help, with love.

  • My friend, I have no doubt that you mean well and sincerely believe that old canard that the Militant Secular Left has been pushing concerning not caring for those who have been born. Let me tell you why it is a canard. My wife and I have been blessed with the gift of adoption. I can tell you first hand what a great gift it is and how long it took. Sadly parents wait untold lengths of time and spend untold amounts of money to adopt, jumping through all kinds of hoops.

    Years ago when we decided to adopt, we sat down with an adoption specialist who told us that before Roe v Wade there were about two million couples who couldn’t have children and wanted to, and about two million women who didn’ think they could raise a child in their current situation. It was a Providential give and take, something that Roe v Wade took away. Adoption wait times and costs continue to grow because millions of parents who want nothing more than to love a child have to wait while millions of unborn babies are aborted.

    Sadly ever since Roe v Wade, and most notably now the militant secular left treats pregnancy as a disease, all the while children are called “punishments” by our very leaders. We are also told that we are ignorant because we “cling to religion.” God help those who will have to answer for that.

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  • “In their distorted thinking they [the Militant Secular Left] surmise that since not all Catholics adhere to the Church’s teachings, especially on birth control, they can cause a split in the Church.”

    The split is already present in the Church in America, and has been since Vatican II. Many “liberal” Catholics feel more animosity toward the Church, and her Bishops, than they do toward the militant secularists who oppose the teachings of the Church. Obama is merely using that split in an attempt to secure his political base for 2012. You may think this will not work, but many “liberal” Catholics, in the end, will side with Obama versus the Bishops.

    I hope I am wrong, but the political calculation that Obama has made may work. Those who oppose his HHS mandate, did not vote for him in 2008 and will not vote for him in 2012. However, many on the Left who voted for him in 2008, who have recently had serious doubts about Obama, will now be MORE inclined to support him in 2012, not less inclined. It is a classic divide-and-conquer electoral strategy, based on the very theological and ideological split that already exists in the Church.

    President Obama is merely exploiting what already exists. Again, I hope and pray that I am wrong, but he may very well succeed in exploiting the divisions that already exist in the Church.

  • Tom D, I have no doubt that militant secular left who call themselves Catholic will rally behind President Obama, including those who work within the Church. Having worked for the Church in various capacities, I know their names, believe me. However, the rank and file Catholic will be upset by this, even those who voted for President Obama, believe in contraception and attend Mass here and there. Those Catholics who have a nagging suspicion of Big Government will also find this more than a little disturbing.

    However, I must reiterate this point again. There are people who vocally call themselves Catholics who haven’t attended Mass regularly since the Ford Administration. Yet, they proudly they say they are Catholic. Take for example someone who is a lukewarm Methodist or Lutheran; they will probably say they are Christian but won’t attach a demoninational tag behind their name, thus taking their church off the hook when it comes to matters that may look heretical to their respective churches. This doesn’t take place with Catholics because of our strong sacramental and ethnic identity. In the depths of their soul, they know what is right but their flesh is weak.

    The only Catholics who will openly rally to President Obama are those who wear their heresy on their sleeve as a badge of honor. Even though far too few of the faithful actually follow the Church’s teachings, in their heart of hearts they know the Church is right and thus will abandon those who openly want to stick it to the Church.

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  • I think the joke is on the Left–because the mandate is not only unconstitutional but also illegal; see this long article: http://www.eppc.org/publications/pubID.4654/pub_detail.asp. It made me realize the mandate really was an assault on the Catholic Church–and a stupid one, blatantly violating the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, for no rational reason because contraception IS readily available. You wonder whether the most powerful man in the world ever listens to the numerous lawyers he has available (never mind the people in his inner circle who give him contrary advice, like, in this case, Joe Biden and Bill Daley). I think many Catholics will still vote for Obama, but hope and believe fewer than in 2008, and I hope that people of other faiths will stand and work with us in turning him out of the White House.

Divini Redemtoris

Sunday, May 1, AD 2011

“Over half a century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of older people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: ‘Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this is happening.’ Since then I have spent well-nigh fifty years working on the history of our revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some sixty million people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat; ‘Men have forgotten God; That’s why all this happened.'”

Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Today is the feast day of Saint Joseph the Worker, instituted by Pope Pius XII on May 1, 1955  as an alternative to the Communist May Day marches.  Today is also the beatification of John Paul II.  (I will have much more on Blessed John Paul II tomorrow.)  Today is also the Victims of Communism Day.  Hattip to Ilya Somin at The Volokh Conspiracy who began the campaign to make this day a day to remember the some one hundred million men, women and children murdered by Communist regimes and movements.

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9 Responses to Divini Redemtoris

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  • I had completely forgotten about Commie Holy Day until I took a walk earlier this afternoon and noticed some people with SEIU and AFSME jackets and T-shirts on and “Recall Scott Walker” buttons heading down to the Milwaukee lakefront. There was a stage set up but the size of the crowd was really pitiful. In fairness, I was down there at 3 p.m. and so I might have missed the main festivities. Still, I got the idea from the cars parked along Lincoln Memorial Drive – most of them festooned with numerous leftist bumper stickers – that these were the hard-core believers. Not an impressive turn-out at all.

    Then I started to wonder: when did it become acceptable for AMERICAN union members to celebrate May Day? I grew up in a blue collar, unionized neighborhood and certainly none of the union folks I knew as a child – staunch patriots, church-going Catholics and strong anti-Communists (many of them had relatives behind the Iron Curtain, like my family did) – would have dreamt of celebrating May 1. Maybe that was acceptable behavior among the far-left unionists of Western Europe, but certainly not in the States.

    Obviously, at some point after Nov. 1989, that attitude changed. I wonder if it is because unionists are now so much further left than they were 40 years ago that they are unfazed by the association of May 1 with Communism or if many of them are just ignorant. To many Americans, the Cold War is now ancient history.

  • To many Americans, the Cold War is now ancient history.

    Let me add to my own post: most of the union folks I saw headed toward May Day celebrations were at least my age if not older. Therefore, they are certainly of an age to recall the Cold War. So I’m leaning toward my first thesis – that union true believers have moved so far left that they are no longer embarrassed to be associated with Communism.

    I’m surprised I didn’t see any Che T-shirts.

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  • Since we already have a Labor Day in September, I’m all for having a Victims of Communism Day on May 1. I’d forgotten the association until Raymond Arroyo brought it up during the beatification ceremony. But once he said it, all the associations came back. How could I forget? Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago was an eye-opening, absorbing work.

  • Yes, we should promote the Victims of Communism Day. Many have never known or forgotten what Communism is. I say is because it is still quite alive in many faculty lounges, union halls and even a few clerics’ hearts.

    We must work to see that Communism is scorned as National Socialism is.

  • I tip my hat to you. Great! Yesterday the Bishop read a letter before the end of Mass with the usual “the machinery of of Capitalism is oiled with the blood of the workers” tripe. The prayer intentions were full of “may politicians see the folly of free markets”, “may the rich nations see their errors and stop the exploitation of the 3rd world”, etc. Nice to see this for a change.

  • Today is the feast day of Saint Joseph the Worker, instituted by Pope Pius XII on May 1, 1955 as an alternative to the Communist May Day marches.

    Just for the record, May Day as a labor holiday originated not with the Communist Third International, but the social-democratic Second International. Both the Catholic Church and the Commies followed the social-democratic lead and used the same date to honor labor. While the USA and Canada observe Labor Day in September, most of the rest of the world does so on May 1st, enacted as a public holiday by Christian Democratic and Social Democratic governments across the globe.

    However, I am all for including a commemoration of the victims of Communism as part of the holiday.

  • It’s happening right here, right now in our own country.

Why Do Popes Bother?

Wednesday, March 2, AD 2011

Last fall, Pope Benedict issued the post-synodal apostolic exhortation Verbum Domini, On the Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church. With a handful of exceptions, the response of the American Catholic blogosphere (and the Catholic commentariat in general) was crickets.

It seems that unless a papal document somehow touches on an issue of the culture wars, near-silence is the response.

So, why do popes bother?

The question is rhetorical, of course. The fact of the matter is, Catholics ought to be reading these documents, and not just “professional Catholics” or clerics, but all of us. Look at whom Verbum Domini is addressed to, for example: bishops, clergy, the consecrated, and the lay faithful. Virtually every other major magisterial text is similarly addressed (curiously, one of the more technical ones which does get greater attention — JPII’s Veritatis Splendor — is addressed only to bishops), yet all too often, even informed, orthodox Catholics seem to fail to read them.

Why is that?

Look at the documents of Vatican II… both before and after they were elected to the See of Peter, Popes John Paul II and Benedict were emphatic that the renewal of the Church which the Council hoped for would not happen unless the members of the Church actually read the documents and internalized them. Even in his apostolic letter closing the Great Jubilee (Novo Millenio Ineunte), John Paul called for the further implementation of the Council, again, with the actual reading of the texts. Have these calls been heeded?

With Lent nearly upon us, now seems an appropriate time to prayerfully discern which one of these gifts of the Magisterium we might take up and read.

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5 Responses to Why Do Popes Bother?

  • Why do Popes bother?

    Well, because eventually all of their writings will be posted on TAC! 🙂
    With the advent of the internet and Catholic blogs, my guess is that Papal writings are probably reaching more readers than any other time in the history of the Church. This is a very new development and it will take time to see what the impact of this will be.

  • Actually have been reading Verbum Domini for about six weeks now as spiritual reading. Taking so long as might only read a paragraph need to stop and think/meditate. Also like to look up the biblical references. Suspect I might take most of this year to finish it.

  • Phillip – Cardinal Arinze recommends doing exactly that with the CCC.

    Chris – Thank you for reminding us on what is really important. That’s a great idea about implementing some type of Lectio Divina during Lent. Too often I find myself distracted by secular topics, i.e. politics. God help me during the upcoming election cycle.

  • I actually read through the whole CCC. Wasn’t given it as spiritual reading by my spiritual director. Read alot of the footnotes but to my shame didn’t look up many of the biblical references. What can I say, I was young.

  • That should read “Was given it as spiritual reading…”

The Coming Open Rebellion Against God Part II

Sunday, February 6, AD 2011

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

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

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

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

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

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5 Responses to The Coming Open Rebellion Against God Part II

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

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

  • Slight spoiler

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

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

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