Vatican Weighs in On Middle East Christian Crisis

Tuesday, June 8, AD 2010

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

Continue reading...

14 Responses to Vatican Weighs in On Middle East Christian Crisis

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

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

    Hamas and extremist Jewish settler movements…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Don:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Fuji,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lars Vilks, Gay Muhammad and Freedom of Expression

Sunday, May 16, AD 2010

This past week brings news of yet another fracas involving Swedish cartoon artist Lars Vilks (CNN.com):

When Vilks entered a classroom where he was to deliver a lecture to about 250 people — all of whom had passed through a security checkpoint to gain admission — about five people started protesting loudly, Eronen said.

After Uppsala uniformed and non-uniformed police calmed the protesters, the lecture got under way at about 5:15 p.m. (11:15 a.m. ET), Eronen said.

But as Vilks was showing audiovisual material, 15 to 20 audience members became loud and tried to attack Vilks, he said.

As police stepped in, a commotion started and Vilks was taken to a nearby room; police used pepper spray and batons to fend off the protesters, Eronen said. Vilks did not return to the lecture. [Video footage of the event].

Last March, an American woman who called herself “Jihad Jane,” Colleen LaRose, was indicted in the United States for allegedly conspiring to support terrorists and kill Vilks.

In a 2007 interview with CNN he had drawn the cartoon of Mohammed with a dog’s body in order to take a stand.

“I don’t think it should not be a problem to insult a religion, because it should be possible to insult all religions in a democratic way, “ says Vilks from his home in rural Sweden.

“If you insult one, then you should insult the other ones.”

His crude, sketched caricature shows the head of Prophet Mohammed on the body of a dog. Dogs are considered unclean by conservative Muslims, and any depiction of the prophet is strictly forbidden.

Vilks, who has been a controversial artist for more than three decades in Sweden, says his drawing was a calculated move, and he wanted it to elicit a reaction.

“That’s a way of expressing things. If you don’t like it, don’t look at it. And if you look at it, don’t take it too seriously. No harm done, really,” he says.

When it’s suggested that might prove an arrogant — if not insulting — way to engage Muslims, he is unrelenting, even defiant.

“No one actually loves the truth, but someone has to say it,” he says.

Vilks, a self-described atheist, points out he’s an equal opportunity offender who in the past sketched a depiction of Jesus as a pedophile.

Continue reading...

19 Responses to Lars Vilks, Gay Muhammad and Freedom of Expression

  • This “artist” will learn the limits of free speech – the hard way.

  • Why should some peoples belief supercede the beliefs, or lack of belifs, of others?

    Why should I, or anyone else be forced to abide by the rules of THEIR faith?

    What right does religions have to put themselves above everyone else? Is it a godgiven right? Thats what they believe isnt it?

    Religions mock the entire world with their existance alone. Grown men and women believing in old fairytales make a mockery of humanity as a whole.

    Yet we shouldnt be allowed to point out the glaring flaws, the insecurities, and the barbarism their faith entails?

    The very thought is disgusting. The very reason religions are mocked is because they demand respect for their belief, while having no respect at all for those of us who do not believe in any god.

    If one imposed limits on the freedom of expression it would cease to exist.

    Freedom: the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action.

  • I really am disgusted by the abasement of religion in this manner.

    Showing a gay Mohammed is almost as repugnant to me as it is to a Muslim, and is a deliberate act of provocation.

    Things were bad enough with Comedy Central. But the reason I defended the creators of South Park is that, first of all, they already SHOWED Mohammed in an earlier episode before the Danish cartoon scandal and no one cared.

    It wasn’t a particularly vulgar depiction either. What happened this time around was absurd – they only wanted to “show” Mohammed as they do other religious figures, they’d done it before, and saw the proscription of this time around as arbitrary and irrational, which it was.

    In this case, though, I’d say we’re way outside the scope of the Danish cartoon scandal or South Park. To depict is one thing; to associate a revered prophet with sexual immorality in such a blunt way is another. This isn’t about expression because no one believes Mohammed was gay. It is about pissing off Muslims and doing a thing simply because it can be done.

    Maybe the distinction I’m making is wrong, maybe it doesn’t exist. But I do see a difference.

  • Joe, I’m not aware of the South Park depictions of Muhammad before the Danish cartoon scandal. Do you have a source?

    I think censorship, whether religious or otherwise, should be based on community standards. In America, we’re not sufficiently outraged over irreverent depictions of religion to warrant legal censorship.

    Should material of academic value that offend community standards be protected speech? Would Islamic states be justified in completely censoring (as opposed to hide behind a “spoiler warning”) drawings of Muhammad from Wikipedia?

  • Well that kind of begs the question – what academic value does this really have? That Nathan quote could be re-worded only slightly and it would apply to the artists tehmselves – living off the fruits of Christianity, they can only mock it because they do not have the talent to meet or exceed Christianity’s greatest accomplishments. Where’s our contemporary Sistine Chapel? Our Mona Lisa? Our Pieta? Our art is ugly because our society is ugly.

    Largely we are not outraged because most of this “art” is ignored, at least by the unwashed masses.

  • Art ought to be all about aesthetics and edifying the beholder. Soap boxes/op-ed pages/letters to Congressmen are venues for free speech.

    I’m a charter member (from birth) of the unwashed masses.

    Here’s the reason I ignore art that scandalizes Christ: “Forgive all injuries. Bear wrongs patiently.”

    Our Lord will come again in glory and He probably will foresake those that made fun of His Redemptive Life and Salvific Sacrifice.

    Finally, it’s not my job to bring justice to poor benighted elites.

    Er, I don’t frequently shave, either.

    OTOH, muslims must defend Muhammed. That mass murderer is not getting out of Hell.

  • Couldnt help but notice that my original comment has “Your comment is awaiting moderation” stamped on it and is hidden from view of other visitors to this page.

    Since my post contained no links, no swearwords, no racism etc the only reason I can think of is because I do not agree with the viewpoints in the article.

    The viewpoints in this article must be fragile indeed if only comments of agreement are allowed.

    Here, there is no freedom of expression, there is only the freedom to agree.

  • Couldnt help but notice that my original comment has “Your comment is awaiting moderation” stamped on it and is hidden from view of other visitors to this page.

    Imagine that.

    Since my post contained no links, no swearwords, no racism etc the only reason I can think of is because I do not agree with the viewpoints in the article. The viewpoints in this article must be fragile indeed if only comments of agreement are allowed.

    Or, it could possibly mean I’m currently dealing with a newborn and a two year old, and — operating on about 2-3 hours sleep a night — don’t have time to moderate comments with as much punctuality as you desire.

    In fact I have no idea why it was stuck in moderation, but go ahead and assume the worst of my motives if it suits you. I can understand the guilty pleasure of such conspiracy theorizing. =)

    Why should some peoples belief supercede the beliefs, or lack of belifs, of others?

    Certainly I think nobody ought to be forced to accept the tenants of Islam or Christianity or any other religion, for that matter. Faith born of coercion is no genuine faith at all. I’m actually very much in favor of non-coercion in this respect.

    However, I’d say defining freedom solely in negative terms as “the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action” offers a rather pathetic understanding of freedom. It also poses a challenge to our ability to reside together in some kind of civil community (surely you’re in favor of such?).

    Even as a self-proclaimed atheist, I’d venture that you probably find yourself upholding certain laws or norms of moral conduct — prohibitions against theft, taking the life of another, treating each other with basic respect etc. Are these simply “beliefs imposed” upon you? Do they spring from something deeper?

    John Paul II spoke of “a false notion of individual freedom at work in our culture” —

    “… as if one could be free only when rejecting every objective norm of conduct, refusing to assume responsibility or even refusing to put curbs on instincts and passions! Instead, true freedom implies that we are capable of choosing a good without constraint. This is the truly human way of proceeding in the choices–big and small–which life puts before us. The fact that we are also able to choose not to act as we see we should is a necessary condition of our moral freedom. But in that case we must account for the good that we fail to do and for the evil that we commit. This sense of moral accountability needs to be reawakened if society is to survive as a civilization of justice and solidarity.”

    What do you think about that?

    Religions mock the entire world with their existance alone. Grown men and women believing in old fairytales make a mockery of humanity as a whole.

    Spoken like a true Stalinist. But surely we can progress beyond this kind of intolerance? 😉

    Yet we shouldn’t be allowed to point out the glaring flaws, the insecurities, and the barbarism their faith entails?

    Perhaps. But if your purpose is to enlighten and educate, you might do better than simply lash out and taunt them with the artistic equivalent of a cudgel.

  • First of all, I find it hard to believe that you “had no idea why it was stuck in moderation”. Its your blog after all, even if its an automated process registering on key words, you should have some idea how it works.

    Secondly, how long it takes for you to moderate a post was not an issue at all. I reacted to the fact that it was marked for moderation in the first place.

    I used the definition of freedom together with the term “freedom of expression” spesifically because I suspected that you might try to use the definition of freedom in the way you just did.

    The concept of freedom of expression should be free of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action. Just like the definition.

    I didnt, like you imply, include concepts like “freedom of murdering people”, “freedom to steal” or “freedom to set oneself above the law” when I put down the definition of freedom.

    As for your thoughts about moral conduct:

    Laws and norms of human conduct is a result of the society one lives in.

    If you some day take a good look at the world around you, I think you will realise that in socities in parts of the world that do not have the luxuries and/or traditions of western culture, the defintions of right and wrong are vastly different.

    Surely,if “upholding certain laws or norms of moral conduct” springs from something deeper, as you say, shouldnt people in all corners of the world share the same sense of morality?

    Yet they do not.

    I also note that you are labeling me a “stalinist”.

    Indeed, atheism and stalinism are required to go hand in hand arent they? There is no way that anyone can be opposed to religion without being some sort of communist.

    Labeling any opposition communist or stalinist regardless of which issues are being discussed seem to be popular in america.

    And then you preach about intolerance. Or spesifically “this kind of intolerance”, implying “intolerance against religions”.

    Which is appropriate, since religious groups, including catholics, traditionally have a large number of things they have zero tolerance for.

    It sure is good to know that believers have the right and knowledge to define what kinds of intolerance are acceptable or not.

    The purpose with which lars vilks lash out and taunt the muslim fundementalist is obvious: Its to teach people that they cannot have their way by resorting to violence. Many religious groups, including your own, realised this a long time ago by themselves.

    But before that, catholics and other christians were just as quick to resort to violence as these muslims are now.

    Unfortunatly, with the way things are, its impractical to wait the hundreds of years it could take for muslims to reach the same level of peaceful conduct as the major christian factions.

    Lastly, from a western moral perspective, who do you think have the moral high ground? The guy who is making pictures and drawings, or the people who are trying to beat him up, kill him and burn his house down?

  • I put your comment in moderation Moozorz. If it had been in one of my threads I would have deleted it since you merely regurgitate the “I hate religion” meme and have nothing fresh to offer to the debate. Since it was Christopher’s thread I left the ultimate decision as to what to do with your diatribe up to him when he looked over the thread. He duly approved it since he has much more patience than I do for people who repeat tired cliches as a substitute for substantive argument, and is one of the most fair-minded individuals I have encountered on the internet.

  • First of all, I find it hard to believe that you “had no idea why it was stuck in moderation”. Its your blog after all, even if its an automated process registering on key words, you should have some idea how it works. […]

    See Don’s comment as to why you were in moderation.

    The concept of freedom of expression should be free of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action. Just like the definition. I didnt, like you imply, include concepts like “freedom of murdering people”, “freedom to steal” or “freedom to set oneself above the law” when I put down the definition of freedom.

    Unrestrained freedom, absent force of law, can lead to precisely that.

    I’m curious what you might say with respect to a women’s “freedom” with respect to the life of her unborn child?

    Laws and norms of human conduct is a result of the society one lives in.

    If you some day take a good look at the world around you, I think you will realise that in socities in parts of the world that do not have the luxuries and/or traditions of western culture, the defintions of right and wrong are vastly different. Surely,if “upholding certain laws or norms of moral conduct” springs from something deeper, as you say, shouldnt people in all corners of the world share the same sense of morality? Yet they do not.

    Diverse, but now wholly different. I think if you examine different parts of the world, cultures share remarkably similar moral-cultural norms. Show me a culture that specifically endorsed theft, lying, deception, murder, injustice, etc. in direct inversion to what we think of as morality?

    For example, C.S. Lewis in examining various traditions around the world pointed out how they share similar behaviors with respect to the prohibition of murder; the doing of good towards children, parents, kinfolk and neighbors; prohibitions against adultery, etc. I think history has shown as well what happens when cultures or societies abandon or deliberately ignore such ‘laws’:

    http://www.columbia.edu/cu/augustine/arch/lewis/abolition4.htm

    I also note that you are labeling me a “stalinist”.Indeed, atheism and stalinism are required to go hand in hand arent they? There is no way that anyone can be opposed to religion without being some sort of communist. Labeling any opposition communist or stalinist regardless of which issues are being discussed seem to be popular in america.

    While atheism and stalinism aren’t necessarily identical, one can point to a number of historical examples (the french revolution, the bolshevik reovlution, national socialism, etc.) where atheism and totalitarian violence have gone hand in hand. And the nature of your comment — “Religions mock the entire world with their existance [sic] alone” — wasn’t far off from that kind of thinking. What do you propose then, since the mere presence of religion itself is an abomination?

    And then you preach about intolerance. Or spesifically “this kind of intolerance”, implying “intolerance against religions”. Which is appropriate, since religious groups, including catholics, traditionally have a large number of things they have zero tolerance for.

    I’m not necessarily opposed to intolerance. I happen to think “tolerance” and “non-judgementalism” are highly overrated. As Chesterton said, “The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid.”

    It sure is good to know that believers have the right and knowledge to define what kinds of intolerance are acceptable or not.

    But there you go again — having just indicated by your example that we should all be intolerant of religion.

    The purpose with which lars vilks lash out and taunt the muslim fundementalist is obvious: Its to teach people that they cannot have their way by resorting to violence. Many religious groups, including your own, realised this a long time ago by themselves.

    As I’ve said, there is little question that many Muslim’s response to Vilks is disproportionate and extreme — at the same time, Vilks does not help the matter with his direct provocation to violence by taking what Muslims hold dear — the prophet Muhammad — and violating it.

    Unfortunatly, with the way things are, its impractical to wait the hundreds of years it could take for muslims to reach the same level of peaceful conduct as the major christian factions.

    Muslims have a ways to go, yes. But they might get there a lot faster if we didn’t resort to such tactics as Vilks. You teach toleration and respect for others by practicing it. Vilks’s desire to deliberately invoke violence by blaspheming what they hold dear is merely an echo of Muslim intolerance.

    Lastly, from a western moral perspective, who do you think have the moral high ground? The guy who is making pictures and drawings, or the people who are trying to beat him up, kill him and burn his house down?

    In this case, neither — if the guy who is “making pictures and drawings” does so with the specific intent of inciting people to violence. Come now, it’s not as if Vilks was showing photos of the Mona Lisa or Michaelangelo’s David.

  • @Donald R. McClarey

    I dont hate religion, I just oppose it :3

    Especially when some people in the various religions are attempting to put belief in god above all else, not just for themselves but for others as well.

    @Christopher Blosser

    As I was reading through your latest post, I noticed several things.

    You took my paragraph about freedom of expression and somehow try to twist it into a pro-choice/pro-life issue.

    Undoubtedly because you couldnt, at the time, think of a counter-argument that related to the actual issue that was being discussed, i.e. freedom of expression (other than groundless speculation that having freedom of expression will somehow, in a nondescript fashion, lead to a society where one can freely steal, murder, and put oneself above the law.)

    Next, funny you should mention a connection between atheism and national socialism.

    Let me quote from the The National Socialist Party program from 1920, proclaimed by Adolf Hitler, point 24:

    “We demand freedom of religion for all religious denominations within the state so long as they do not endanger its existence or oppose the moral senses of the Germanic race. The Party as such advocates the standpoint of a positive Christianity without binding itself confessionally to any one denomination. It combats the Jewish-materialistic spirit within and around us, and is convinced that a lasting recovery of our nation can only succeed from within on the framework: The good of the state before the good of the individual.¨”

    Restrictive, perhaps, but hardly atheistic.

    Your other examples are more accurate at least.

    Furthermore, in your previous post, you said “But surely we can progress beyond this kind of intolerance?” when I said that religions are old fairytales.

    Yet in your latest post, you say you arent neccesarily opposed to intolerance.

    Thanks, I guess, for demonstrating with such perfect detail that what I said previously about your brand of “tolerance” is absolutely true.

    You have the exact same mindset as the muslim fundamentalists, that your beliefs must be tolerated above all else while the religions themselves should be free to judge and comdemn and generally be intolerant towards anything they wish.

    Be honest: it is because you believe that god is on your side.

    Is it not so? What other reason could you have to justify the difference between religious intolerance against people and peoples intolerance against religion?

    Anyways, your paragraph about Lars Vilks state that he is making pictures and drawings “with spesific intent of inciting people to violence”.

    That something you made up completely on your own.

    You are basically saying he is asking for it, even though nothing has ever indicated that Lars Vilks is trying spesifically to create violence.

    In fact, saying so is an insult to the islamic people, since it implies that we should expect them to react in a violent and barbaric fashion.

    A comparable anology is to say that a woman who wear sexy clothing is asking to be raped, after all, everyone knows that men are primitive and lack the self-control neccesary to stop themselves from assaulting women who arent “properly” dressed.

    While in reality, men do in fact have the potential to control their own behaviour, and many choose to do just that.

    Similarly, I think todays muslims have the potential to control their anger and violent reactions and instead react in a modern and civilized fashion when faced with such displays.

    Unfortunatly, some of them choose not to.

  • Religions should be insulted democratically.

    Why?

    Because if you’re going to insult one, you have to insult them all.

    Oh, OK, very reasonable. Now, run by me why we just, don’t tell really unfunny jokes to “insult” religions again.

    I feel like I’m in that episode of Seinfeld, where he tells a priest that one of his former congregants starts making a lot of anti-semitic jokes, and he asks him if it offends him as a Jew, but he responds, “No, it offends me as a comedian.” That’s just not funny, and therefore, beyond the realm of cartoonists.
    I get that the Jihadists are worse, but come on, are we really going to say, “we’re OK, so long as we’re not terrorists!”?

  • By the way, Moorzorz, you sound so smart. I think you sound so convincing, as though you’re not writing generalized emotional ejaculations (funny word right?); you sound as if you’re not just some pasty white atheist teenager to mid twenty year old, “trolling” (as the “kids” say) on a Conservative Catholic blog saying nothing remotely cerebral, desparately seeking attention, even if it’s only from angry papysts over the internet- that’d be like a neglected child turning form his parents to people he’ll never meet for attention.
    Oh, and also, if you could get me a copy of Dan Brown’s latest work of history, and a t-shirt depicting our hero Che, that’d be great.

    Hipsters 4 Life!

  • You took my paragraph about freedom of expression and somehow try to twist it into a pro-choice/pro-life issue.

    I was basically operating on the assumption that if you define “freedom” as “the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action”, your definition is not merely limited to “self-expression” but freedom of action per se. Hence the question: where does such freedom from coercion begin and end with respect to the unborn?

    Undoubtedly because you couldnt, at the time, think of a counter-argument that related to the actual issue that was being discussed, i.e. freedom of expression (other than groundless speculation that having freedom of expression will somehow, in a nondescript fashion, lead to a society where one can freely steal, murder, and put oneself above the law.)

    Well, I thought we were talking about the nature of freedom per se. If only self expression, then may I assume you would define freedom otherwise — and that there are justifiable limits to freedom when living in society?

    Next, funny you should mention a connection between atheism and national socialism. [Insert quote from the Nazis]. Restrictive, perhaps, but hardly atheistic.

    National socialism was accomodating of religion only insofar as they found it expedient to do so. Ultimately it became a kind of religion of its own, elevating the ‘superman’ (ditto or the Communists). Case in point — Christians who went along with the Third Reich were tolerated; those who didn’t went to the camps along with the gypsies and the Jews. For a firsthand account from one priest, see Priestblock 25487: A Memoir of Dachau. For a broader view, I recommend Michael Burleigh’s The Third Reich: A New History.

    Furthermore, in your previous post, you said “But surely we can progress beyond this kind of intolerance?” when I said that religions are old fairytales. Yet in your latest post, you say you arent neccesarily opposed to intolerance.

    You’re getting the picture. I think it would be difficult indeed to go through life without being discriminating. Moral judgement is as elementary to existence as eating or breathing. And there are things we should quite justifiably be intolerant about.

    On the other hand, when you arrive at a sweeping judgement that religion in toto is an evil and a mockery of human existence, I think such a sweeping condemnation such as your own is a choice example of intolerance born of ignorance. I know of other atheists or agnostics who are quite capable of studying the breadth of human history and discerning positive elements in religion. An attitude that simply mocks and condemns religion strikes me as a rather stunted perspective.

    Anyways, your paragraph about Lars Vilks state that he is making pictures and drawings “with spesific intent of inciting people to violence”. That something you made up completely on your own.

    No need to impute motives here. I need only quote Lars: “It should be possible to insult all religions in a democratic way … If you insult one, then you should insult the other ones.” In the past he depicted Jesus as a paedophile. Don’t tell me he wasn’t hoping to get a reaction. In no way does it justify violence on the part of the protesters, but he certainly wasn’t seeking applause on their part.

    […] Similarly, I think todays muslims have the potential to control their anger and violent reactions and instead react in a modern and civilized fashion when faced with such displays. Unfortunatly, some of them choose not to.

    I think you and I agree on this point — our hope is that Muslims, when they find what they hold most dear insulted in this manner, should be able to restrain themselves from violence.

    That said, I don’t think Lars Vilks necessarily has the right to provocate Muslims in this manner.

  • Lars Vilks has every right to provocate Muslims if that is his wish under Swedish norms as long as he is prepared to pay the price. By what right do the crazed Muslims given residence, asylum and baksheesh in the West under the same suicidal liberal norms, now claim that their Jim Jones is above caricature? The liberal order is unwinding, some honest men Lars Vilks among them, have taken it upon themselves to bring the whole house of lies down.

  • @Clay

    I am dreadfully sorry to come all the way here to this catholic site when I was searching for news about Lars Vilks, I know that people disagreeing with your views must be terribly frightening.

    See? I can use sarcasm to apply attributes to other people too. Thank you for bringing your insight into this discussion.

    In all seriousness though, I am a norwegian, I live in norway, and up here in the north there are no “unwritten rules” that its distasteful internet behaviour to display ones views on a site where people have different views.

    If there is some kind of american unwritten rule about this, please inform me about it and I`ll stop posting.

    Also, if being norwegian somehow invalidates all my views, please inform me and I`ll stop posting.

    @Christoffer Blosser

    I am not just now “getting the picture”, you have read my previous posts, so it should be pretty obvious that I was, unfortunatly, completely right about your views on tolerance from the start.

    I was actually hoping you would disprove my preconceptions on that spesific issue.

    You choose not to address several parts of my paragraph, which is fine, you are free to address the parts you feel neccesary, but I still would like you to tell me how you justify the difference between religious intolerance against people and peoples intolerance against religion, like I asked before.

    I think its because, as I said, you believe your god gives you the right to do so, but I like to think thats not your only reason.

    Furthermore, I have never said religion is evil. Religion is regressive to society, often intolerant and I would even call it irrational.

    But I do not think religious people do what they do and say what they say just for the sake of making other people suffer. If they did, they would be evil.

    By the way, if there is no need to impute motives here, as you say, then perhaps you shouldnt impute motives onto Lars Vilks either?

    Sure, Lars Vilks was hoping to get a reaction. But you said he was spesifically trying to incite a _violent_ reaction.

    Was he trying to incite violence by displaying jesus as a pedophile? Did he except christians to physically attack him and issue death threats when he did?

    I think not.

    Your misconception about Lars Vilks seeking a violent reaction to his displays are only based in your preconcieved judgments against the muslim people.

    You expect them to answer with violence, so to you its obvious that everyone else thinks so too.

    There are several other things I suppose I could, and should, have addressed, but right now I`m out of time, Ì have to head to work.

    I will say this though, Christoffer Blosser, even though we disagree on a great many things, its refreshing to talk with a christian who is willing to argue, rather than the ones who prefer to “answer” only with moderation or bland sarcasm.

  • NOTE: This will be quick, because I think Moozorz and I have discussed this long enough and are conversation is heading into other topics not related to the actual post.

    I still would like you to tell me how you justify the difference between religious intolerance against people and peoples intolerance against religion, like I asked before.

    When speaking of “intolerance”, I think you really need to go into specific detail about what it is you are criticizing. To merely condemn religion in toto as a mockery of humanity — such a sweeping condemnation speaks rather badly and comes across as intolerant. Religions, like anything else, are a mixed bag. If you study Christianity you will find that it, like any other religion, has made positive contributions to society. (Certainly as a Christian I believe it has done more than that; I also recognize that there are many instances where Christians have not behaved in a Christlike manner). At any rate, I think there are positive goods which the religions of the world have to offer which any atheist can recognize if they tried.

    Likewise when you speak of “religion’s intolerance against people”, it may help to be specific.

    I think its because, as I said, you believe your god gives you the right to do so, but I like to think thats not your only reason.

    If you subscribe to a revealed religion, I suppose it’s natural that you will make distinctions between believers and non-believers and to be “intolerant” of certain kinds of actions. But as I’ve pointed out, you don’t have to be religious to make moral distinctions, to condemn certain kinds of behavior, to place limits on human freedom.

    By the way, if there is no need to impute motives here, as you say, then perhaps you shouldnt impute motives onto Lars Vilks either?

    There is no need, because Vilk already gave the reason. He wanted to insult Muslims. He was undoubtedly hoping to get a reaction. A necessarily violent reaction? — Perhaps he wasn’t expecting to get his house firebombed (although in light of past examples, such as the violent reaction of many Muslims to the Pope’s Regensburg address — he might have anticipated such). I do think he would have been sorely disappointed if he didn’t cause offense to Muslims.

    Your misconception about Lars Vilks seeking a violent reaction to his displays are only based in your preconcieved judgments against the muslim people.

    Oh, please. Read what I’ve written about the “Muslim people”, and then decide. (I’m far closer to Muslims than you imagine).

    I certainly don’t think all Muslims respond in the way that Vilks’ critics have done — but let’s face it, there is a subset of Muslims, those who tend to occupy the headlines, who have a propensity to react with threats or actual violence when their religion is mocked. It happens. So I don’t think the possibility of such happening was remote from Vilks’ mind when he decided to ridicule the Prophet Muhammad in the fashion that he did.

    You expect them to answer with violence, so to you its obvious that everyone else thinks so too.

    Actually, no.

    I will say this though, Christoffer Blosser, even though we disagree on a great many things, its refreshing to talk with a christian who is willing to argue, rather than the ones who prefer to “answer” only with moderation or bland sarcasm.

    Feel free to email me if you wish to talk further. blostopher @ gmail.com.

What Evil Looks Like

Saturday, April 24, AD 2010

The Face of Evil

Pure and unadulterated evil.

Attorney Jeffrey Anderson of Saint Paul, Minnesota, has had success in winning millions of dollars[1] from homosexual pedophile abuse cases against the American Catholic Church over the years.

He has stated many times that he will not be satisfied until he sues the Vatican in federal court with Pope Benedict in tow [2].

“We’re chasing them. We’re taking bites out of their a@#,” said the lawyer. “All the roads lead to Rome. What we’re doing is getting us closer every single day.”

He may have been driven in the past in pursuit of justice for many victims of homosexual pedophiles, but what was a mission to bring justice is apparently now driven by diabolical forces to take down the Catholic Church Herself at all costs and with prejudice.

Continue reading...

47 Responses to What Evil Looks Like

  • I think he’s scummy lawyer but the “face of evil?” Hyperbole is neither prudent nor helpful. Who knows why he has gone on a quest against the Church? Perhaps he was hurt by a Catholic and is seeking revenge.

    Of course we should pray for him, but let’s not demonize him.

  • but the “face of evil?” Hyperbole is neither prudent nor helpful.

    Why Michael I am being prudent in calling out evil.

    Moral conscience, present at the heart of the person, enjoins him at the appropriate moment to do good and to avoid evil. It also judges particular choices, approving those that are good and denouncing those that are evil. It bears witness to the authority of truth in reference to the supreme Good to which the human person is drawn, and it welcomes the commandments. When he listens to his conscience, the prudent man can hear God speaking (CCC 1777) & (Cf. Romans 1:32)

    Your accusation of “Hyperbole” is actually imprudent of you.

  • I don’t expect you to change your mind Tito but I agree with Michael. If you read the section of the Catechism that you just quoted, it concerns judging particular choices (actions) – not judging a particular person, which I think you would have to say you are doing in this post.

    Do you not think in some ways the Church has brought this on itself? I understand a legitimate defense of the Church against calumny, but I think this is a bit extreme.

  • This man has stated without equivocation and a clear mind he wants to bring the pope to trial.

    This is ridiculous and considering his spartan and efficient work ethic he is determined without a doubt to bring this to fruition.

    I’m reading the CCC in black and white, not with your nuanced colored glasses.

    It is explaining conscious, not action. But I suppose your not interested in this considering your previous comments.

  • You can denounce someone without calling them the face of evil. Wanting to sue the Vatican out of spite is evil, but “the face of evil?” I think you give him far too much credit and appear to be overreacting.

  • Michael,

    If you want to go against the Magisterium so be it.

    I’m not going to argue against your conscious.

    That is between you and God, not I.

  • You give Mr. Anderson too much credit Tito. He has made a ton of money by suing the Church. If there was no money to make I can guarantee you he would not be around.

    Here is some background on him.

    http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2003_01_06/2003_04_16_Schimke_TrueBeliever.htm

    He is not the face of evil, nor is he a crusader for justice. He is a fellow who stumbled into an unexploited area of tort litigation and has reaped a bonanza.

    Making much more of him than that is an insult both to great sinners and true crusaders for justice.

  • Donald,

    We can agree to disagree.

  • Bringing the pope to a civil trial is hardly the worst threat leveled against the pope or the Church. Arresting him would be more serious, but really a rather pathetic desire. More serious are attempts to kill the pope, bring down the Church, deny the sacraments, etc.

  • Michael,

    I suggest you write to the Vatican your concerns about CCC 1707 and why you disagree with it.

    I doubt anyone at the Vatican is reading this post.

  • One ought to condemn evil There is absolutely nothing in the Magisterium to suggest that the way one must go about that is to by declaring them to be the faces of evil.

    The way you are denouncing this man is imprudent and diminishes true evil.

  • Michael,

    You’re arguing semantics.

    You’re being imprudent by going against the teaching of the Church with your own personal interpretation.

    We are Catholics, not Protestants.

    I suggest you write the Vatican about your concerns.

  • Tito:

    The catechism calls the choices as evil, not people. You have entered into the dualist heresy when you call someone pure evil. As St Thomas Aquinas pointed out, not even Satan is pure evil.

  • Tito, you are not following Catholicism when you engage the dualist heresy and call someone pure evil. St Thomas Aquinas makes it clear, not even Satan is pure evil. It is heresy which you engage — condemned heresy, and through a misapplication of the catechism which talks about choices, not people.

  • Thank you Zach and Henry.

    After rereading CCC 1777 I see where it says choices.

    As far as “pure” evil, I can’t vouch for that.

    I’m using semantics when I call him evil or the face of the evil.

    What he is certainly doing is evil and that is what I am calling evil, his choice in pursuing these lawsuits.

    Thanks for the brotherly corrections Zach and Henry.

  • Tito:

    You are now accusing me and are out of control. There is nothing remotely close to supporting your position in 1707 other than that man sins and can be seduced by evil. This is true of every sin. There is no personal interpretation here; quite frankly 1707 is irrelevant. What on earth am I “personally interpreting” different to the Vatican? I quote frankly am totally baffled by your position.

    Nothing there suggests that those who are trying to make money or avenge some petty slight ought to be called by Catholics using prudence & charity “the face of evil” and “what evil looks like.”

  • Michael,

    I’m going to ignore your comments from here on out on this post since you’ve gone off the deep end.

    Like I said, take it up with the Vatican.

  • Tito:

    I’m saying the same thing as Henry & Zach! How are they doing “brotherly correction” while I’m “off the deep end!”

    I do not appreciate being called a Protestant and accused of being opposed to the Vatican when there is no basis for it.

  • It’s certainly not imprudent to say that someone’s actions are evil. However, I don’t think it’s necessarily prudent to denounce a person as “the face of evil”. That doesn’t mean his actions aren’t evil.

    It doesn’t seem to me that Michael is in any way twisting or ignoring the catechism here.

    (Maybe everyone’s just spending too much time at the computer today. Personally, I’m going to go mow the lawn, since it’s “work that Americans won’t do”. 🙂 )

  • Now, let’s explore this further, Tito.

    What is your take of St. Catherine of Sienna? She took on a pope — quite strongly; would you have called her pure evil for opposing the actions of a pope? What about popes which attacked their predecessors? Is your argument that no one can offer a complaint against a pope, or that this complaint is what is wrong?

    If you think it is possible to launch a legitimate complaint against the pope, what would be necessary for it? If you do not, what do you think of St Catherine and other popes?

  • Michael,

    I’m a Neanderthal Catholic when it comes to reading “into” statements and “nuance”.

    If what you were trying to point out was the same as Zach and Henry (I’ll take your word for it), then I to thank you for your brotherly correction.

    I appreciate the feedback. Especially when I learn something new everyday.

    For the record I have a degree in Marketing and not in Theology, Philosophy, etc.

    I read it as it is. Not what I think there is or what I want to read into it.

    Thanks Michael, I do appreciate learning from my mistakes!

    Tito

  • Yeah, lots of time on the computer and my girlfriend isn’t happy about that.

    So I want to withdraw my comments that Michael is a “Protestant” and is “going against the Magisterium”.

    I say it with love!

    Thanks guys, anymore comments I will respond to later.

    Gotta go jump in the pool and get this extra energy out of my system 🙂 !

    Tito

  • Geez though it is really nice outside.

    Although in New England there are about 40,000 mayflies per square foot, which puts a damper on things.

  • He is not the face of evil, nor is he a crusader for justice. He is a fellow who stumbled into an unexploited area of tort litigation and has reaped a bonanza.

    Right. I don’t think he has much of a case on the merits, but this is the type of thing plaintiff’s lawyers do; they drum up publicity and hope for a settlement or a sympathetic judge. If the case was stronger, then he’d be perfectly justified in bringing it. As it is, he’s just acting like a scummy tort attorney trying to make some money. That’s a bad thing, but it’s not ‘pure evil’ – and it’s certainly not as evil as the actions of many priests and bishops in this scandal.

  • Jesus seemed to consider doing harm to children to be the ugliest sin. If there’s an example of pure evil in the pedophile scandal, it’s the pedophiles.

  • I am stuck in front of a computer and paper for at least the next two weeks. Darned law exams. 🙁

  • “Maybe everyone’s just spending too much time at the computer today. Personally, I’m going to go mow the lawn, since it’s “work that Americans won’t do”.”

    That is work this American would not do if I wasn’t so cheap! I despise mowing, an activity no doubt that is mandatory in portions of Hell! I have it done by a service at the office, but I and my eldest son do the home lawn. Fortunately it is raining here so I can put it off until tomorrow!

  • Michael, I still can feel the joy that exploded within my soul when I finished my last final at law school and realized that whatever else awaited me in life I was done with finals! (Of course then there is the bar exam but anyone who can cram can pass that.)

  • Don:

    After the birth of my child, that is the next great true joy I will experience. Alas, that it comes in 2 more years.

  • The face of evil?

    I look in the mirror, and pray.

  • I heard this guy being interviewed on the radio the other day. The way he spoke didn’t impress me- he sounded like a second degree lawyer attempting to gain notoriety/publicity.
    The weather continus to be unseasonally beautiful here in my part of the world – but very little rain over the past couple of months, so the farmers are whingeing – some ares in the North Isalnd and eastern coast in the South Island have been declared drought stricken.
    As for mowing lawns, that’s a job my wife does – she claims I’m too lazy to do it, but I know she loves it for the exercise.
    (That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it) 🙂

  • It’s rainy here; a good day for a thorough spring cleaning. I’ve been bopping over the computer in between bouts of scrubbing and dusting. Just put the vaccuum cleaner away, there’s a big pot of spring vegetable soup on the stove and whole wheat bread in the oven and the place smells heavenly. I wish I could all invite you over for soup and homemade bread. You could eat off the floor, although it would be rather tricky with soup. 🙂

    Michael, good luck with your exams.

  • Henry Karlson accusing others of heresy … now THAT’S hilarious!

  • “As for mowing lawns, that’s a job my wife does – she claims I’m too lazy to do it, but I know she loves it for the exercise.”

    Don, I was unable to convince my kids that lawn mowing was fun, although I gave it a good try! As for my wife, she is firmly convinced that mowing the lawn is my job, curse the luck!

    “I heard this guy being interviewed on the radio the other day. The way he spoke didn’t impress me- he sounded like a second degree lawyer attempting to gain notoriety/publicity.”

    That is basically my opinion also.

  • Henry,

    Nice try.

    Comparing Catherine of Siena to this monster is an insult to humanity.

    Down the rabbit hole you go.

  • T. Shaw,

    Straw man.

    Although I know where you’re coming from, it is prudent to call evil evil.

  • Yeah, catching up after a dip in the pool.

    It’s about 80 degrees here near downtown Houston and not a bit humid (yet).

    Simply beautiful!

  • Jay – er, if you are going to make such a vague statement, at least actually define the heresies you are implying I follow. Otherwise, you would do well to see your confessor. I actually pointed out the heresy involved, and where one can look to see it is indeed rejected.

  • Not sure who ‘Jay Chambesr’ is – don’t think I’ve seen that commenter before. Either it’s someone using a different handle to hide their identity (which is just lame), or it’s someone who has strong opinions about Henry who has never before expressed them here. In either case, they shouldn’t throw around accusations of ‘heresy’ without some explanation.

    Of course, fwiw I think Henry’s rather tone deaf reading of the ‘pure evil’ line above – which is a colloquialism for a very bad person rather than a theological statement – is off too, but at least Henry set forth his reasoning.

  • I would definitely have to agree – mowing the lawn is a man’s job. My husband is bitterly disappointed that my son is off to college in August!

  • Pingback: British Government Shows Prejudice Towards Papal Visit « The American Catholic
  • Hmmmm.

    Looks like Kiwi chicks are cut from the same mould as kiwi blokes – mowing lawns is a breeze.

    But I’m real glad the chicks have the babies 😉

  • May I make a statement? Guess what,we are ALL going to die naked and penniless,put into the ground,embalming last aprox.four years,so the worms eventually get to us all.It’s facing God that we need to worry about,the mercy is here on earth,there’s only justice on judgement day.So this fool attorney cannot relly hurt anybody but himself.

  • I hope you are wrong, Sue. My salvation strategy is heavily dependent on mercy.

  • Pingback: Pope Benedict to be Deposed « The American Catholic

Blind Girl Saw Invisible Powers That Permeated the Vatican and Pope John Paul II

Tuesday, April 20, AD 2010

At a time when so many are down on the Church, it’s interesting to see through the eyes of a young girl — a blind girl who had mystical vision.

Let’s back up and say this comes from a book by a medical doctor named Dr. John Lerma, who specializes at the Houston Medical Center Hospice in tending to patients as they near death.

Dr. Lerma has had tremendous experiences with these patients — documenting the many who see angels or deceased loved ones and have glimpses of the eternal as they approach the threshold.

But what we’d like to focus on today is a different kind of supernatural experience that occurred when a ten-year-old girl named Sarah who had been blind since birth as a result of atrophic optic nerves was taken to St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. This was an Easter Sunday nearly two decades ago.

“I marveled at the multitude of loving sounds that Bernini’s dramatic design was exuding,” recalled Sarah nineteen years later as she lay dying of cancer. “As I walked through the towering, ornate door of St. Peter’s Basilica, I was drawn by an alluring vibration toward the chapel to my right.

“What I was allowed to hear was beyond awe.

“The vibrations and frequencies, now a part of my entire being, were the remnant echoing sounds of sadness replaced by utter joy and exuberant love from the statue where Jesus was heard to be lying on His mother’s lap after being crucified. I knew I was now standing in front of Michelangelo’s most honored statue, the ‘Pieta.’ Feeling some unfamiliar loving force take hold of my hand, I took hold of my mother’s and followed with total faith. I told my mom not to worry and to trust me, as there was an angel leading us to our next spiritual experience.”

Continue reading...

8 Responses to Blind Girl Saw Invisible Powers That Permeated the Vatican and Pope John Paul II

If You Repeat a Lie a Thousand Times…

Friday, April 9, AD 2010

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

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

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

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

Continue reading...

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

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

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

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

  • You ask,

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

    So far as I can see, you can’t.

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

    Rinse, repeat, for several days.

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

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

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

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

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

Vatican Condemnation of Halloween is False

Saturday, October 31, AD 2009

[Updates at the bottom of this post.]

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

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

And people say anti-Catholicism doesn’t exist?

Continue reading...

7 Responses to Vatican Condemnation of Halloween is False

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And So It Begins

Sunday, October 25, AD 2009

John HindThe Anglican Bishop of Chichester John Hind has announced that he is considering converting to Catholicism based on the Anglican initiative of Pope Benedict.  This is a shocker.  He is one of the senior bishops of the Anglican Church and not previously identified with Anglicans who wished to break away from the Anglican Church.

The Rt Rev John Broadhurst, the Bishop of Fulham, even claimed that “the Anglican experiment is over”. He said it has been shown to be powerless to cope with the crises over gays and women bishops.

Continue reading...

11 Responses to And So It Begins

  • I think this is amazing.

    What a beautiful thing to be able to witness on this Earth.

  • Perhaps the 21st century will be the century of Christian re-unification, as Pope John Paul II prayed it would be.

  • This is wonderful news and it will be good.

    Of course, re-unification also makes for only one target for the anti-Christians. Although, a cord is easily ripped, but a woven bundle of cords is far stronger.

  • Very interesting development. What would he mean by “his previous ministry being recognized”?

  • I’m not sure. If he wants to be ordained as a Catholic priest there should be no problem with that. I can imagine him also as one of the first Ordinaries of the Anglican Rite. Since he is married, being a Bishop would be impossible under what Pope Benedict has proposed.

  • Why is there so little [if any] discussion about religion in all these reports? Celibacy, married bishops, active homosexuals, women priests and bishops – but nothing about what were considered the major sticking points – the Real Presence [denial of which “turned a sacrament into a ceremony”] – Infallibility [without which each man had to fabricate his own creed], and such matters.

    It will be a great hardship for many of the Anglican / Episcopalian clergy to give up their careers. Let us hope it is not for negative reasons but rather for positive reasons.

  • G-
    The short answer is that theologically the debate would be over; they return to Rome by accepting the Catechesis of the Catholic Church – lock, stock and barrel.

    The missing link in your question may be the fact that the Church of England has traditionally had 2 wings: Low and High church; a simple definition might be more protestant/calvinist (low) less protestant/lutheran-ish (high). In the early-mid 1800’s a third wing evolved, Anglo-catholic.

    The Anglo-Catholics rose to prominence under the famous leadership of Pusey and Newman. The simplest way to put it would be thus: they advocated a return to the original Anglicanism of Henry VIII… that is, an English Catholic Church that had all the doctrine and continuity of the catholic tradition off of which the English branch split. Pusey remained Anglican under this rubric, while Newman followed his conscience and reason back to full communion with Rome.

    Benedict’s offer appeals to the Puseyites of the Anglican Church… those who have already accepted the “c”atholic tradition, but for varied (usually cultural) reasons were unable/unwilling to “pope.”

    That is why there is little discussion of fundamental theology, since most of the impediments are cultural and not theological.

    Perhaps the best book written on Newman and the Oxford Movement (Anglo-catholicism) is Marvin O’Connell’s _The Oxford Conspirators_ if you are interested in more.

  • Marchmaine,

    Thanks for that bit of history!

    And the book recommendation.

  • Ironic, isn’t it, that this good news follows the post about the English and Welsh Martyrs? Methinks the Lord’s work is keeping the Martyrs very busy these days,…,:-)

  • Oops, scratch that “are” in the last sentence of my post.

    (My typos always jump right out at me the second I click on “submit comment.”)

  • It struck me as quite odd Donna when I posted these on Sunday Donna! I do think there is much joy in Heaven over this move by our Pope.

Hollywood Comedienne Attacks Papa Bene

Sunday, October 11, AD 2009

Comedienne Sarah Silverman is known for her profane and vulgar humor in the Hollywood scene.  Miss Silverman, in an attempt at satire, presents a sketch on the HBO program “Real Time with Bill Maher” on  how to solve world hunger.  On the surface the sketch she offers is almost harmless, but her degrading attack on our Pope is insulting to him and all Catholics.

Sarah Silverman attacks Pope Benedict XVI

Here is a partial transcript:

Think about it, we need a hero, and who is more primed to be our hero than the Pope? He’s literally a caped crusader. What is the Vatican worth, like 500 billion dollars? This is great, sell the Vatican, take a big chunk of that money, build a gorgeous condominium for you and all your friends to live in, all the amenities, swimming pool, tennis court, waterslide, and with the money left over, feed the whole (expletive removed) world.

You preach to live humbly, and I totally agree. So, now maybe it’s time for you to move out of your house that is a city.

On an ego level alone, you will be the biggest hero in the history of ever. And by the way, any involvement in the Holocaust, bygones.(sic) […]

Why bother with something like this?

We need to be aware that we are in this world, not of it.  We need to be a witness to Christ for others.  Sometimes in our endeavors to evangelize the world we can get caught up in all its trappings and are more vulnerable to fall into sin.  One can laugh at oneself without being mean-spirited or degrading.

Miss Silverman may be funny to her fans, friends, and colleagues, but that doesn’t mean she is right or that her attempt at humor on our pope is ok.  Yes we can laugh at ourselves and even our beautiful German shepherd, but there are limits and Miss Silverman has more than exceeded these limits.

So the next time you laugh at what you think may be an inconspicuous jab at our Catholic faith, remember, does it denigrate the person it is aimed at in a mean-spirited manner?  Does it cheapen your faith in mockery?  Especially if profane language is used, it’s a good indication that the person delivering it is doing it out of hate and spite.

I will not post the video because of the vulgarity she exhibits which is her modus operandi, but you can view at your own discretion on NewsBusters here.

Continue reading...

7 Responses to Hollywood Comedienne Attacks Papa Bene

  • Jackie Mason on the no-talent sick yenta.

  • Meh. She’s just one more bigot who has no clue what she’s talking about, like rest of her political class. Best to just ignore it. It’s the one thing that hurts people like that.

  • Someone should tell the poor young idiot that the Pope doesn’t own the Vatican. He lives in a relatively small apartment.

    But he does travel and appear in public with the grandeur of any world leader – why shouldn’t he?

  • Silverman’s entire schtick is saying outrageous things. You see, she’s actually not even remotely funny. Not even a little. So she tries to compensate for that by just saying something and making the “Oh, did I just say that?” face. Yawn.

  • Actually, I kind of enjoy her when she is not discussing religous topics. Just like I kind of enjoy Don’s posts when he is not promoting his military, foreign policy or political view points.

    What she is saying is nothing new for Hollywood. I remember Hollywood making the same point in the 60’s or early 70’s in the movie Shoes of the Fisherman, where Anthony Quinn as a Slavic born Pope sells off the Vatican and its treasures to feed the world and to avert world war. Of course the trouble is what do you do a month later when the money is all gone?

  • Someone should tell her that Notre Dame University has a bigger annual budget than the Vatican.

  • Like some liberals, ie, the White House, facts often get in the way of selling your point of view.

Lenin, Stalin, and the Secret War Against the Vatican

Sunday, August 30, AD 2009

Adolph Hitler’s evil twin in terror, Joseph Stalin, once remarked “How many divisions has the Pope?”.  This was done in response to the  future saint Pope Pius XII’s[1] disapproval of his policies.

Well it wasn’t a mocking tone nor was it a sarcastic remark in reference to the Vatican.  It was a serious concern to the ‘meddling’ of the Catholic Church in thwarting Communism’s attempt at world domination.  Stalin was well aware of the tremendous moral power that the Vatican wielded and Vladimir Lenin implemented the full power of the KGB and the eastern bloc spy agencies to monitor and undermine the mission of the Catholic Church.

A new non-fiction book by John Koehler titled, Spies in the Vatican, has recently come out that documents the final twenty years of the Cold War and how it played out as the Soviet Union and their allies infiltrated the Vatican.

Continue reading...

4 Responses to Lenin, Stalin, and the Secret War Against the Vatican

  • The French Revolution must have been a pretty long lasting catalyst, I guess, as the Romonov’s fell more than a half or full century later, depending on how you count such things, with the intervention of minor things like Napolean and WWI, again depending on how you count it.
    And although 70 years of “athiestic terror” may have occured, subsequetly, I can’t say that it was much worse than the centuries of very theistic terror that occurred under the rule of the Romanovs.

  • Lenin, Marx, and most Socialists and Communists have read up and were inspired by headless French intellectuals from the French Revolution.

    It’s an invention called the Gutenberg Press that has been able to facilitate the knowledge of evil.

    As for the Atheistic terror, more people died under Stalin and the Soviet Union in 70 years than all the previous centuries combined under the Romanovs.

  • Pingback: The Secret War Against Iran « comics
  • Pingback: Condition Zero Deleted Scenes Secret War Pt. 1/2 « comics

Jesuitical 6: Latin is so pre-Vatican II.

Wednesday, June 10, AD 2009

Thomas G. Casey

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

Continue reading...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Never underestimate the power of a grudge.

  • DC

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

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

  • I respectfully disagree.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Henry,

    I disagree with your assessments.

    Latin doesn’t change at all.

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

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

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

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

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

    Indeed, in the West.

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

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

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

    Yes!

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

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

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

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

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

    Gives some info.

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

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

  • Michael

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • MZ

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Henry,

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

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

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

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

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

  • Paul

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

  • DC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • DC

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

  • Henry,

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

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

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

    THE LAITY CANNOT BE CONFUSED!!

  • Tito

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

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

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

  • Henry,

    I understand where you’re coming from.

    Michael,

    Welcome back.

  • Philosophia me vocat

  • THE LAITY CANNOT BE CONFUSED!!

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

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

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

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

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

  • See, you’re wrong!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    That one had me laughing out loud.

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

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

  • nice little straw man here:

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

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

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

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

  • …it is an exceedingly difficult language.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Pingback: Jesuitical 10: Campion Award to the Archbishop of Canterbury « The American Catholic
  • Pingback: Jesuitical 11: Jesuits and Drag Shows « The American Catholic

The Vatican's Rifles

Wednesday, June 10, AD 2009

A good friend and long time reader sent along a link to this information several months ago, and I’ve been incredibly remiss in not doing the research to put up this post sooner. However, as I did the research over the last few weeks, I found it very much worth the time. I hope you will too.

It was through a friend in the Catholic blogsphere that I was introduced to the pleasures of studying, collecting and shooting military rifles. The most common and available military rifles are the bolt action rifles carried by the major powers (other than the US, which fielded the semi-automatic M1 Garand) during World War II, in most cases little modified from the versions carried thirty years before in the Great War. This was the last great age of battle rifles with wooden stocks and large cartridges, before the high tech “ugly guns” of the modern world took over.

There are, however, significantly more rare rifles to be found of an earlier vintage, the early cartridge rifles used form the 1860s through 1900, and of these one of the rarest is the M1868 Pontificio, the only modern rifle ever manufactured specifically for the Vatican.

Continue reading...

28 Responses to The Vatican's Rifles

  • Very interesting story–thank you for posting.

  • I like that the Swiss Guard are armed halberds (even if just ceremonially), but I’ve never had a great interest in ancient weaponry. But how cool would it be to have a rifle with the Vatican seal stamped on the receiver!

  • The papacy has a long and colorful military history, and this article is a fine look at an often overlooked chapter in that history.

  • Very interesting. Good post.

  • Fidei Defensor would really enjoy reading this article.

  • I’m surprised that this, and some other recent posts, haven’t brought forth a string of obscenities from a certain regular commenter. Perhaps those comments are getting deleted, of course.

  • S.B.

    I was wondering that myself. Anyway, another fascinating historical column. I wonder what would have happened if they had managed to beat off the Italians? Ah, the ifs of history.

  • S.B./Michael D.,

    As far as I know, no comments have been deleted on this thread.

  • “I wonder what would have happened if they had managed to beat off the Italians?”

    Paging Harry Turtledove!

    Sadly, I think the Papal States would have been crushed by some form of Italian state eventually. The PS simply was not viable as a political entity by this point, not in an era of consolidation (e.g., Germany) and rising nationalism.

    I definitely agree that this was a fine article.

  • I’m surprised that this, and some other recent posts, haven’t brought forth a string of obscenities from a certain regular commenter. Perhaps those comments are getting deleted, of course.

    Or perhaps I have been busy, away, or just have better things to do than to point out the obvious pathologies and obsessions of this group of Catholic manly men?

  • Dale,

    I used to be a big Harry Turtledove fan myself.

    I’m sure Mr. Turtledove would have turned the Papal States into a ceasaro-papal empire a la the Byzantine’s but with the ruthlessness of the Ottoman Empire.

  • “…this group of Catholic manly men”

    Why thank-you Michael.

  • Tito:

    Oh, not necessarily. As between Orthodoxy and Catholicism Turtledove clearly favors the former, and I think he bought into the Hitler’s Pope nonsense from his handling of the papacy in the World War series, but I don’t know that he’d go that far overboard. Basically, I picked HT because he’s the alt-hist master right now.

  • Yeah, I tried to read a Turtledove book (it involved Racists going back in time and giving machine guns to the Confederacy, all the while the Cofnederates being puzzled by how racist they were. It got to be a bit of a stretch for me and I put it down.

    But for now I will rejoice in the recognition of my status as a “Catholic manly man.”

  • Michael,

    Turtledove’s problem is his tendency to be verbose where he shouldn’t be. Plus the sex scenes were unnecessary and didn’t contribute to the storyline at all. In addition, his characters were highly flawed and amoral with no redeeming value (most of them).

    The book you mentioned is actually one of his most popular.

    It’s called alternate history for a reason!

  • I’m happy to report Turtledove has stopped putting sex scenes in his recent work. I agree–that was a pretty offputting phase.

    As to verbosity–well, the man writes 2,500 words a day. He’s living proof that a Ph.D. in Byzantine history can really take you places. 😉

  • Dale,

    I agree with you on Mr. Turtledove.

    By verbose I meant he would describe a scene to the umpteenth detail. And do it again throughout the book since he revisits the same characters each chapter.

    I like his work, but I stopped reading with all the redundancy wearing me down.

    Yeah, I should’ve switched to History in college.

  • Tito:

    Oh, I hear you–he also had a habit of repetitively describing habits and behaviors of characters in his series. That’s why I think his standalones and lesser known shorter series should get more attention. I’d like to get my hands on his straight historical novel about the Ft. Pillow massacre in the Civil War, for example. It’s supposed to be quite good and show a deft historian’s touch for the sources.

  • By verbose I meant he would describe a scene to the umpteenth detail. And do it again throughout the book since he revisits the same characters each chapter.

    I feel like I’ve read some Turtledove, only at the time he must have been going by the pen name Tom Clancy.

  • Ah, yes, Tom Clancy. I’d love to be his editor: immediately forwarding the raw text to the printer after getting it e-mailed from the author has to be a great gig.

  • Tito:

    I know it was one of his most popular. I found out about him b/c I was working at a bookstore and came across it and tried it. I liked the alt-history, and I didn’t think the time travel would bother me too much, but it did as well the verbosity you describe so that eventually interest lost me. I hadn’t gotten to any sex scenes yet. I may try again, but alas it joins an unfortunately hefty list of books I’ve stopped in the middle of.

  • I have read a lot of Turtledove. In his alternate Civil War series there is a rib-shack and I counted over a dozen references to mouths watering as characters entered the rib shack over the course of the novels. I sometimes wondered if he paid assistants to pad some of his series books. The man is a decent writer, his Legion of Videssos series was first rate, but you wouldn’t know it from some of the later multi-volume series. As to Turtledove and sex scenes, there were quite a few sex scenes, unfortunately, in his recent After the Downfall. I stopped reading it as a result. Too vulgar and too boring.

  • I read Guns of the South and enjoyed it moderately well, and a few other Turtledove novels, but I pretty much lost patience with him after reading the first book in his series on aliens that invade during WW2. Haven’t really bothered since.

    Though that’s partly just because that’s around when I drastically cut down on reading genre stuff…

  • I loved the portrayals of Lee and Forrest in Guns of the South. The victorious Confederates learning about how the Civil War originally turned out by getting their hands on a copy of the American Heritage Golden Book of the Civil War was a hoot for me since reading that book in Grade School sparked my life long interest in the Civil War.

  • Yeah, Lee in Guns of the South was one of the few Turtledove characters that I found genuinely likable. Though of course, Lee did a lot of the work there himself…

  • Darwin I Love the ALIEN invades in WWII books. I thin they are his best:) THough I have to admit he could have shaved off a book and got to the conclusion faster

  • DC,

    a little trivia, you may not be aware of. The brave Zouaves who died to protect the sovereignty of the Holy Father are buried at the Capuchin Crypt below Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini, off of Piazza Barberini. Their they lie in honored glory along with the remains of 4000 monks arrayed in various displays.

    “What you are now we used to be; what we are now you will be…”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capuchin_Crypt

    When in Rome it’s a great site to stop by when you have a few minutes.

Miguel H. Diaz Is A Latino, Yeah!

Thursday, May 28, AD 2009

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

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

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

Continue reading...

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

  • Michael I.,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    As

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

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

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

  • Exactly, Phillip.

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

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

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

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

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

  • Stop listening to Rush Limbaugh.

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

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

  • Tito:

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

    You gettin’ all Mohammedan on us now?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Mark DeFrancisis,

    Nonconstructive comments will not be approved.

  • I thought we moved beyond race.

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

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

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

  • Michael I.,

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

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

    She did not say this.

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

Thursday, May 28, AD 2009

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

  • Pingback: Miguel H. Diaz Is A Latino – Yeah! « The American Catholic
  • Given who’s doing the applauding among Catholic pundits and journals, we can obtain some sense of what kind of service Diaz will provide to the Obama administration. (Likewise I expect our readers will be sharply divided as well).

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

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

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

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

    Nice.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Your Christian virtue glows with every word you type.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    All in good humor, of course.

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

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

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

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

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

    1.) The guy won’t be teaching.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Re: “border crossings”

    It was in JEST, Michael. Good grief.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    What do you mean by this? Please elaborate.

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

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

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

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

  • Donald:

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

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

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

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

    Iafrate:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    I’m criticizing you for your narrow worldview.

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

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

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

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

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

  • Michael Denton,

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

  • Michael I.,

    Will you pay for the beer?

  • tito[.]benedictus[@]gmail[.]com

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

  • Michael I.,

    No, you’re not banned.

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

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

    Inspired by that Obama speech or something? 😉

  • 🙂

    Inspired by St. Joseph.

  • Hi Friends,

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

  • Tony,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    “USA Hypocrisy

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

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

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

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

The Rejected Ambassadors: The Plot Thickens

Friday, April 17, AD 2009

A couple weeks ago, Tito posted on the Washington Times report claiming the Vatican has rejected several candidates for the position of U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican. It appeared the report had been satisfactorily debunked by the Catholic News Service, which quoted a statement by Father Federico Lombardi to the effect that the rumors were unreliable. Now, however, the Times Online has received confirmation of the story from “Vatican insiders”. This confirmation reconciles the two statements to a certain extent: no candidates have been officially rejected, but apparently informal rejections have taken place. Ultimately, this type of story is of little significance, but it’s always interesting to watch the interaction of the Vatican and the media. Here are some excerpts from the Times Online story:

Caroline Kennedy, the Roman Catholic daughter of the assassinated President, has been rejected by the Vatican as the next US ambassador to the Holy See because of her liberal views on abortion, stem-cell research and same-sex marriage, according to Vatican insiders.

Andrea Tornielli, the biographer of Pope Benedict XVI, said that at least two other potential ambassadors put forward by President Obama have also been blocked because they did not share the Vatican’s views on “pro-life” issues. A Vatican spokesman said that no candidates had been formally submitted “and therefore it is not true that they have been rejected”.

Continue reading...

8 Responses to The Rejected Ambassadors: The Plot Thickens

  • John Henry

    The problems I have seen with this remain.We don’t really have the names of so-called Vatican officials saying things “unofficially,” but we do have names of those who have said nothing official has been done. Asking what a former ambassador thinks is not itself an answer, either. I don’t even see any Vatican official naming Caroline Kennedy (btw, I wouldn’t want her as ambassador, either). I just think this is still on the level of rumor and gossip until something substantial is shown.

  • Henry,

    In this type of story, there will not be official confirmation because it’s not in the interest of any of the parties. If you think AC, and MOJ, and dotCommonweal, and First Things, etc. are all out of line in posting on this story, you are entitled to the view, but I think it’s a minority position. I wouldn’t have posted on it with only one source that had been contradicted, but at this point there seem to be a number of different sources corroborating it. While I think the story can be (and has been) overblown as a cheap partisan point-scoring opportunity, I think there is a legitimate issue at stake here: specifically, how is the process of appointing the next U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican going, and what does it tell us about the Vatican under Benedict XVI and the Obama Administration, respectively?

  • I think we can discuss the process without naming names, and necessarily trying to read more into it than what the facts suggest. The facts only say that talks are being had, and names perhaps are being asked about, not why the names are being asked, nor what, if some objection has been given, it actually is, nor if it would be seen, if the person truly was pushed forward officially, that the unofficial suggestion would lead to official rejection. There are many factors involved here (and we must remember,the Vatican itself, in history, has often given quite bad ambassadors to other nations without it reflecting upon the Catholic Church as a whole, or even the Popes who had those ambassadors). It’s to me being turned into too much a political story, and goes beyond prudence. Maybe it is a minority view, but I stand by it.

  • It’s to me being turned into too much a political story, and goes beyond prudence. Maybe it is a minority view, but I stand by it.

    Fair enough.

  • Speaking for myself, it appears to me there is one anonymous source that has gotten closer to the inner workings over the past year. He seems to be cited in a number of stories. If I were to be grossly speculative, I would guess the source is an assistant to one of the highly placed American officials. I have the one source theory, because the rumors eminate from the same reporters. I don’t put much credence in the source, because the source’s predictive value has been terrible. Specifically, I think the source is taking the head person’s opinion as policy and the head person isn’t involved in these particular areas.

  • Obviously, your speculations are even harder to evaluate for accuracy than the reporting in question, which isn’t your fault, it’s just a fact. I will say that the Times Online article claims it is citing more than one source, and when reporters are willing to go on record with something, they usually have evaluated the credibility of the sources involved. They also have a strong incentive to get thing right, or their relationship and credibility with other potential sources within the hierarchy will be badly damaged. All of which is a long way of saying, you may be right, but where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire.

  • Unless/until Vatican media operations come into the 21st Century, we are left with rumors and insiders and buzzbuzzbuzz on these matters. Only states the tension between this administration and the Holy See. Besides- thought of Caroline as Ambassador makes me fraidy-scared. Too much likelihood of things going poof. All a reminder of title of trashy women’s novel/movie title- He’s Just Not That Into You.

  • Nonetheless, names have been proffered a the Vatican has expressed disinterest in certain candidates.

    Caroline Kennedy and Douglas Kmiec are rightly to be rejected for their antagonistic views in regards to abortion.

    I’m quite satisfied with what has come out.

Vatican Rejected Three Obama Candidates For Ambassador

Tuesday, April 7, AD 2009

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

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

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

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

Continue reading...

17 Responses to Vatican Rejected Three Obama Candidates For Ambassador

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

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

  • M.Z.,

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

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

    Your accusation is a non-sequitur.

  • Maybe the nominees were like this:

    http://lifenews.com/nat4973.html

  • Phillip,

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

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

  • Tito,

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

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

  • e.,

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

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

  • e.,

    My apologies.

    Misread your response.

    I blame Matt for distracting me.

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Mark

    Exactly the point of one of my post this week.

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

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

  • Mark D.,

    That was funny!

    Have a great Easter to you and your family!

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

  • Michael I.,

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

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

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

  • Pingback: The Rejected Ambassadors: The Plot Thickens « The American Catholic

US Ambassadorship to Vatican Difficult for Obama to Fill

Monday, April 6, AD 2009

According to a Newsmax article from last Thursday, the Obama administration is having difficulty staffing the position of ambassador to the Vatican:

According to Massimo Franco, author of “Parallel Empires,” a recently published book on U.S.-Vatican relations, the Obama administration has put forward three candidates for consideration but each of them have been deemed insufficiently pro-life by the Vatican.

Continue reading...

25 Responses to US Ambassadorship to Vatican Difficult for Obama to Fill

  • Very interesting. Sorry, Prof. Kmiec.

  • That’s a riot:

    Franco says the administration is now looking for a professional diplomat rather than a political appointee because finding an authentically pro-life candidate within the Democratic Party is proving impossible. The task is further hampered by the administration’s desire to reward individuals who gave donations to Obama’s campaign.

  • C’mon. There clearly are “authentically pro-life candidate[s] with the Democrat[] Party”. If they were smart, they’d go with someone like John Breaux.

  • So Kmiec’s out. No Kennedys, either- pul-leeze no Kennedys. A nice Episcopalian? Nope that denomination is coming apart like thrift shop sport coat. I know there are actually some Pro-Lifers within the Dem Party. But absolutely none at the most elite level- even our own Sen. Bob Casey was disinvited by the Benedictine college that hosts the Pittsburgh Steelers in pre-season camp. Besides, Steelers owner Dan Rooney is headed for Ireland and while a good man lacks the gift of bi-locality. I would nominate Don Mac but I see problems in the hearing room- instant friction with Leahy or Reid or some other schmoe. Thus, a dilemma.

  • Being pro-life is not just talking pro-life and voting pro-abortion, so that pretty much eliminates all of Obama’s supporters, democrat or otherwise, including Bob Casey Jr.

  • I really think this has to do with money and contributions

    Though yes the stable of compentent pro-life Dems to handle this postion is a little scarce thatn usual I have to think they exist

    As mentioned I would be talking to the propsed new Envoy to Ireland. He would be good

    I am not sure if Blanco has too much baggage or that she is up for the job but heck take a look at ther

    Former Louisiana Senator John Breaux would be a perfect fit it the President can pry him away from his lobbying postion for a couple of years

    I have to think in the Hispanic community there has to be one Qualified pro-lifer in Dem circles

  • I get the feeling that Obama may have been trying to make a statement/to test the Vatican, thinking he could win over the Vatican with the charm has led other Europeans to gush about him.

    And yet, in what has become a hallmark of his young presidency, he was wrong.

  • I think the Obama administration wants to go with a professional diplomat, because they are expecting relations to worsen with the Vatican. Better to have someone over there who will do what he or she is told rather than send over a Democrat with a pro-life voting record, a sure sign of an independent mind in the current Democrat party, who might decide to resign if relations with the Vatican get too bad.

  • One of the few conditions the Vatican places on diplomats accredited to the Holy See is that they hold pro-life views in line with Church teaching.

    How intolerant and Calvinist/Jansenist/Gnostic/American Exceptionalist/Leninist/hateful/partisan/immature of the Vatican. It’s not like they would be advocating the ambassador’s anti-life positions by receiving him/her. The Vatican has a lot to learn about what it means to be truly Catholic.

  • Perhaps he should look outside of political pay-backs and outside of professional diplomats and go where no one has gone before – to the blogs.

    Although seriously, the answer is for him to simply reappoint MaryAnn Glendon, who served for Bush. She was exemplary.

  • One of my law parters is heading off to fill a high level position in Obama’s Justice Department. I have alerted her to my willingness to serve. In keeping with time-honored Democratic Party traditions, I’m willing to pay, er, ahem, make a late campaign contribution if necessary.

  • Sure, there are plenty of sufficiently pro-life Catholic Democrats, some of them somewhat prominent. Not only Breaux, but Bart Stupak or Dale Kildee (though I’m not so certain on one of the latter’s stem-cell votes) here in Michigan qualify. And neither would result in the loss of a Democratic seat (both their districts are solidly Democratic).

    The problem apparently is that the administration doesn’t know any. Which, given Obama’s ultra-liberal milieu, is the furthest thing from surprising.

    And, yes, schadenfreude–but I’d be tickled pink if Kmiec was one of the rejectees.

  • How intolerant and Calvinist/Jansenist/Gnostic/American Exceptionalist/Leninist/hateful/partisan/immature of the Vatican. It’s not like they would be advocating the ambassador’s anti-life positions by receiving him/her. The Vatican has a lot to learn about what it means to be truly Catholic.

    Just so… 😉

  • Late campaign contributions Mike, the mother’s milk of politics!

  • I think people would do well to question the article, and not just believe it just because it is what they want to hear.

    First, who are these unnamed sources? Second, why the mention of Doug Kmiec? I didn’t see his name listed in the article. In other words, the claims are 1) gossip being used for 2) defamation or calumnity. Not good.

  • Pingback: Holy Week; a moratorium on politics | The Anchoress
  • The Vatican has a lot to learn about what it means to be truly Catholic…there’s a laugh.

  • Newt Gingrich just converted to Catholicism. Maybe the big O should appoint him. It would accomplish two things, someone with half a brain would be the ambassador and Gingrich would ostensibly be out of BO’s hair.

  • mary that is one of the more brilliant comments made on this blog in many a week. Additionally it would give a shot in the arm to the risible claim of Obama that he is above the usual partisan politics, and, if Gingrich were to resign down the road in opposition to some of Obama’s policies which the Vatican opposes, Obama could write it off as mere Republican sniping. I don’t think Obama would consider it, but it has considerable merit from his point of view.

  • Gingrich–nooooo. I think converts should be allowed to season for a while before they jump into something this big. Reappointing Glendon would be great, not to mention politically deft, given the ND firestorm.

    But it won’t happen.

  • And, OK, truth be told, I’m not a Gingrich fan, even though I readily concede he’s one of the smartest men in politics.

    He writes fine alternate history, too.

  • I agree, Dale. That said, I could actually see how it might work to benefit G’s seasoning. While I’m not a fan either, he’s a smart guy who could become a more serious and informed Catholic as a consequence. Agree it won’t happen though, for a lot of reasons.

  • Pingback: Vatican Rejected Three Obama Candidates For Ambassador « The American Catholic
  • Pingback: Heading Right! » Obama just does not get it

4 Responses to Dignitas Personae

  • Thanks for the heads up, Chris. I’m a little lax in keeping track of new documents (be they Catholic or new papers in Computer Science), so I’m very grateful to everyone who brings my attention to these new releases!

  • Oddly enough, the BBC’s original treatment of the document looked relatively.. well.. fair and accurate with none of the usual snide commentary or slant.
    Very unusual for them

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7779559.stm

  • I just read it. I found it, generally, to be a good, clear read, specifically when dealing with the profoundly complicated issues brought about by in vitro fertilization. It frames its discussion with a solid grounding in natural moral law and a consistent reference to the dignity of the human person as well as the sacred nature of the sexual act, holy matrimony, and the complementarity of husband and wife.

    It also quotes Benedict extensively, “Natural law, which is at the root of the recognition of true equality between persons and peoples, deserves to be recognized as the source that inspires the relationship between the spouses in their responsibility for begetting new children. The transmission of life is inscribed in nature and its laws stand as an unwritten norm to which all must refer.”

    Now we must ensure that this instruction does not fall upon deaf ears.

  • La nueva instrucción Dignitas Personae elaborada por la Congregación para la Doctrina de la Fe y aprobada expresamente por SS Benedicto XVI indudablemente será motivo de comentarios de todo tipo, por la importancia y trascendencia del tema que trata.
    Si bien no nos corresponde evaluar su contenido debido a nuestro escaso nivel intelectual y teológico y la carencia de argumentación científica que pudiera justificar o denostar el tema de la fecundación asistida, no es menos cierto que de su lectura surgen elementos que nos mueven a reflexionar.
    Es de suponer que quienes acuden a estos métodos lo hacen impulsados por la necesidad y no por snobismo, y la posibilidad de desarrollarse como padres, cumpliendo el mandato de “creced y multiplicaos” cuesta entender que sea incompatible con la solución científica, cuando esta es una posibilidad para dar solución a problemas de infertilidad.
    Se dice que:
    El origen de la vida humana… tiene su auténtico contexto en el matrimonio y la familia, donde es generada por medio de un acto que expresa el amor recíproco entre el hombre y la mujer.
    Es irrebatible este concepto, aunque podría matizarse para hacerlo un poco más abarcativo y siendo tal cual se lo plantea,
    ¿Qué pasa con quienes dentro del matrimonio no cumplen con la castidad conyugal?
    Cuando los actos propios de los esposos, como muestra del amor recíproco no tienen el objetivo de la procreación, ya sea por cuestiones de determinación o por la utilización de cualquier medio que atente contra la fecundación, estaremos en la otra cara de la moneda del tema que estamos tratando.
    Con lo cual, si quienes utilicen o simplemente piensen en métodos no naturales para concebir, o métodos no naturales para no concebir quizás estén inmersos en situaciones similares a la de los católicos divorciados en nueva unión, cuya imposibilidad de acceder a la comunión (por citar sólo un ejemplo) es motivo de inquietud entre quienes viven todas estas problemáticas.
    La instrucción Dignitas Personae no es motivo de debate, pero indudablemente será motivo de más de una apreciación.
    Mundy
    labarca@ymail.com
    http://www.labarcaglobal.blogspot.com