4

Advent Sermons of Saint Augustine: the Son Became Man

In our second look this Advent at sermons of Saint Augustine, we read in matchless prose what it meant for the Son to become Man:

 

 

In the bosom of His Father, He existed before all the cycles of ages; born of an earthly Mother, He entered upon the course of the years on this day. The Maker of man became Man that He, Ruler of the stars, might be nourished at the breast; that He, the Bread, might be hungry; that He, the Fountain, might thirst; that He, the Light, might sleep; that He, the Way, might be wearied by the journey; that He, the Truth, might be accused by false witnesses; that He, the Judge of the living and the dead, might be brought to trial by a mortal judge; that He, Justice, might be condemned by the unjust; that He, Discipline, might be scourged with whips; that He, the Grape, might be crowned with thorns; that He, the Foundation, might be suspended upon a cross; that Courage might be weakened; that Security might be wounded; that Life might die. To endure these and similar indignities for us, to free us, unworthy creatures, He who ‘existed as the Son of God before all ages, without a beginning, deigned to become the Son of Man in these recent years. He did this although He who submitted to such great evils for our sake had done no evil and although we, who were the recipients of so much good at His hands, had done nothing to merit these benefits. Begotten by the Father, He was not made by the Father; He was made Man in the Mother whom He Himself had made, so that He might exist here for a while, sprung from her who could never and nowhere have existed except through His power.

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Messianic Prophesies: Amos: 9: 11-12

Continuing our Advent look at Messianic prophecies for this year, a series which we began in Advent 2011 and continued in 2102, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016, the earlier posts of the series may be read here, here, here ,here, here, here, here, here , here here, here, here, here , here, here, here , here,   here, here here, here, here ,  here, here here, here ,   here and here, we come to Amos 9: 11-12:

 

 

[11] In that day I will raise up the tabernacle of David, that is fallen: and I will close up the breaches of the walls thereof, and repair what was fallen: and I will rebuild it as in the days of old. [12] That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and all nations, because my name is invoked upon them: saith the Lord that doth these things.

Saint Augustine saw in this passage a prophesy of the Resurrection of Christ:

 

 

The prophet Hosea speaks so very profoundly that it is laborious work to penetrate his meaning. But, according to promise, we must insert something from his book. He says, And it shall come to pass that in the place where it was said unto them, You are not my people, there they shall be called the sons of the living God. Hosea 1:10 Even the apostles understood this as a prophetic testimony of the calling of the nations who did not formerly belong to God; and because this same people of the Gentiles is itself spiritually among the children of Abraham, and for that reason is rightly called Israel, therefore he goes on to say, And the children of Judah and the children of Israel shall be gathered together in one, and shall appoint themselves one headship, and shall ascend from the earth. Hosea 1:11 We should but weaken the savor of this prophetic oracle if we set ourselves to expound it. Let the reader but call to mind that cornerstone and those two walls of partition, the one of the Jews, the other of the Gentiles, Galatians 2:14-20 and he will recognize them, the one under the term sons of Judah, the other as sons of Israel, supporting themselves by one and the same headship, and ascending from the earth. But that those carnal Israelites who are now unwilling to believe in Christ shall afterward believe, that is, their children shall (for they themselves, of course, shall go to their own place by dying), this same prophet testifies, saying, For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, without a prince, without a sacrifice, without an altar, without a priesthood, without manifestations. Hosea 3:4 Who does not see that the Jews are now thus? But let us hear what he adds: And afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king, and shall be amazed at the Lord and at His goodness in the latter days. Hosea 3:5 Nothing is clearer than this prophecy, in which by David, as distinguished by the title of king, Christ is to be understood, who is made, as the apostle says, of the seed of David according to the flesh. Romans 1:3 This prophet has also foretold the resurrection of Christ on the third day, as it behooved to be foretold, with prophetic loftiness, when he says, He will heal us after two days, and in the third day we shall rise again. Hosea 6:2 In agreement with this the apostle says to us, If you be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above. Colossians 3:1 Amos also prophesies thus concerning such things: Prepare you, that you may invoke your God, O Israel; for lo, I am binding the thunder, and creating the spirit, and announcing to men their Christ. Amos 4:12-13 And in another place he says, In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and build up the breaches thereof: and I will raise up his ruins, and will build them up again as in the days of old: that the residue of men may inquire for me, and all the nations upon whom my name is invoked, says the Lord that does this.

27

The Beauty Queen and the Priest

As faithful readers of this blog know, for my sins, no doubt, I am an attorney.  Over my 35 years at the bar I have been involved as defense counsel in more than my share of criminal cases.  In regard to what follows please recall that I am going by accounts in the media and that is a very poor substitute for actually being involved in a case.  However, what I have read, as a defense attorney, troubles me greatly, hence this post.

Back in 1960 Irene Garza had life by the tail.  She was 25 years old, a beauty queen, a teacher of disadvantaged kids, and a faithful Catholic, a daily communicant.  On Easter eve she decided to go to Confession.  A then 27 year old priest John Feit, a visiting priest at Sacred Heart parish in McAllen, Texas, said he heard her Confession at the rectory.  Two days later her body was found floating in an irrigation canal.  She had been beaten, suffocated and raped while unconscious.  Suspicion focused on Feit and he was brought in for questioning.  He was never charged, allegedly due to influence by the Catholic Church.  Feit denied that he had murdered her and has continued to deny that murder.

Feit left the priesthood in 1972, got married and had kids.  Over the years there were efforts to reopen the investigation but nothing came of these efforts until 2016 when an indictment was returned by a grand jury.  The trial was held this year and Feit was sentenced to life imprisonment.  Go here to read about the background to the trial and the trial.

I rather suspect myself that Feit was probably guilty of the murder, but his trial, as describe in the media, seems unbelievable from the way in which it tromped on the rights of the accused, and the weakness of the evidence.  Go here to read an account of the trial.  Here are some of the major problem areas that I hope an appellate court addresses.

  1.  The prosecution was allowed to bring into evidence at trial evidence of alleged pressure by the Catholic Church against prosecution of the priest back in 1960.  How in the world did that have any legal relevance to the murder charge?  Even if were relevant the prejudice clearly outweighed any probative value and the trial judge should not have allowed a second of it to come before the jury.
  2. A former monk was allowed to testify that Feit confessed the murder to him in 1963.  It flabbergasts me that the judge allowed that in.  Rule 505 Of the Texas Rules of Evidence  should have clearly banned that testimony from admission.  Go here to read Rule 505.
  3. A few weeks before the murder Feit pleaded no contest to a charge of attacking a young woman and was fined $500.00.  Once again this should not have been allowed into evidence.  The probative value is outweighed by the prejudice to the defendant.

Without these items the evidence against Feit was insufficient and the jury should have returned a verdict of not guilty.  I hope his conviction is overturned on appeal.  The murder of Irene Garza cries out for justice, but the cause of justice was ill served by this dog’s breakfast of a case.  The case had become a political football and allowed the current District Attorney to be elected against the incumbent in 2014.  Go here to read an article from 2014 which gives a taste of the politics involved.

 

How do you convict an ex-priest of a 57 year old murder?  With anti-Catholic bigotry I fear, and a judge who apparently badly needs a remedial course on Evidence.

 

Update:

Go here to read an article on the testimony allow in about the alleged history of the Catholic Church in shielding predator priests.  This alone should be sufficient for reversal on appeal.

The judge hearing this case, who denied a defense motion for a change of venue although the case of Irene Garza was clearly a political football in the county, was once suspended from practice in the federal courts for two years.  Go here to read about it.

The District Attorney was allowed by the Judge to suggest that the Catholic Church got rid of physical evidence linking Feit to the murder although there was zero evidence of this.

This case is an insult to all self respecting kangeroos.

 

 

2

PopeWatch: Saint Santa

From the only reliable source of Catholic news on the net, Eye of the Tiber:

 

After close to a decade of research, historians from the University of America announced Wednesday that the fabled third-century saint, known to many as St. Nicholas, was actually a “sort of devolution” on the present day character of Santa Clause.

“What we believe is that the Santa Clause we all know and believe in today actually inspired legends that would be told during Advent about a saint who supposedly lived around 1,700 years ago,” University of America historian Carmen Banks told the press early this morning. “This was an unusual case, obviously, since most fables evolve over years or decades—even centuries after an event, whereas this one actually began with people looking into what decedents far in the future would think of a tough, orthodox saint they invented.”

“One of the most fascinating things I personally learned was that Nicholas, as they would come to call him, was first written to be an average, run-of-the-mill saint,” research head Douglas Fitzgerald said. “But the songs and stories never really caught on, so that’s when the idea first came up about rewriting the character as someone who was not only holy and extremely zealous, but who was also a bit rowdy and who assaulted people who had heretical opinions. But what ended up happening was that they began to fear what people would say of him in a terrifying dystopia where nearly everyone was sensitive and butt-hurt about everything.”

That’s when, Fitzgerald continued, they began to concoct a “softer side” of the fabled St. Nicholas.

“That’s when they began to Photoshop, for the lack of a better word, their legend. Story tellers were given free rein to add things about the character of St. Nicholas as centuries past, such as the constant smile and jolly laugh and so on, but with one exception—that everything about the original written character, his holiness, his staunch orthodoxy and so on would be omitted, leaving only a caricature of man that everyone, whether Christian or heretic, would love.”

 

Go here to read the comments. PopeWatch called the Vatican for comment and did get through to the Pope.  Our conversation was brief.  “I have no time for this!  I am drafting my naughty and nice list for Santa, and you, Gringo, who keeps bugging me with your calls, are definitely on the naughty list!”  And with that, the Holy Father hung up.

0

Lo How a Rose E’er Blooming

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

Isaiah 7:14

 

 

 

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

5

Moore News

Yeah,  I’m tired of it, too– especially the way that stuff is getting mixed, with the news declaring that the judge denies having dated/assaulted under-age girls, and then cites gals who were not under-aged under law now or then and who only say they dated as evidence he’s lying.

That said, about a month ago Donald had an article with offered evidence from one of the two accusers.  Several of us detected something…off… about the signature.

Today, the woman admitted she “added” at least part of it.

42

PopeWatch: Pope Francis Wants to Change “The Lord’s Prayer”

Doing my morning scan of Foxnews.com, the following headline caught my eye: “Pope Francis wants to change line of ‘Our Father’ ”    Here’s the story:

“Pope Francis has suggested he wants to make a change to The Lord’s Prayer, widely known among the faithful as the ‘Our Father.’

 

Specifically, the Catholic leader said in an interview Wednesday he would prefer to adjust the phrase ‘lead us not into temptation,’ saying that it too strongly suggested that God leads people to sin.

 

‘That is not a good translation,’ the pope said, according to Reuters.

So, whaddya think?

 

20

Our “Allies” the French

Ah, that famed Gallic diplomacy:

 

The French ambassador to the United States used Pearl Harbor Day as an occasion to bash America’s position on World War II in the 1930s.

“In this Pearl Harbor day, we should remember that the US refused to side with France and UK to confront fascist powers in the 30s,” Gérard Araud wrote Thursday night in a now-deleted tweet.

The military attack on a US naval base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on Dec. 7 1941 signaled the entrance of America’s into the war.

The French ambassador quickly deleted the misguided tweet — but continued to defend the sentiment in subsequent missives.

Go here to read the rest.

In 1964 French President Charles de Gaulle withdrew France from NATO’s military structure. He ordered all American military personnel out of France. American President Lyndon Johnson directed Secretary of State Dean Rusk to visit de Gaulle personally and ask de Gaulle a single question.

“You tell de Gaulle that this question is from the mouth of the President of the United States of America,” he told Rusk. Rusk balked when Johnson told him the question, saying, “I cannot say that to the president of France.” Johnson replied, “You tell him exactly what I said.”

In Paris de Gaulle, standing behind his desk, restated his order to Rusk for American troops to be withdrawn. Rusk told him, “I am directed by President Johnson to ask you this question. It is from the mouth of the President of the United States: ‘Does your order include the bodies of American soldiers in France’s cemeteries?’”

Rusk later related that the question hit de Gaulle so hard that he collapsed into his chair and did not respond for a full minute.

 

 

 

Groundskeeper Willie, please do the honors:

 

 

 

6

Ineffabilis Deus

THE VIRGIN

Mother! whose virgin bosom was uncrost
With the least shade of thought to sin allied;
Woman! above all women glorified,
Our tainted nature’s solitary boast;
Purer than foam on central ocean tost;
Brighter than eastern skies at daybreak strewn
With fancied roses, than the unblemished moon
Before her wane begins on heaven’s blue coast;
Thy Image falls to earth. Yet some, I ween,
Not unforgiven the suppliant knee might bend,
As to a visible Power, in which did blend
All that was mixed and reconciled in Thee
Of mother’s love with maiden purity,
Of high with low, celestial with terrene!

William Wordsworth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apostolic Constitution issued by Pope Pius IX on December 8, 1854.

 

God Ineffable — whose ways are mercy and truth, whose will is omnipotence itself, and whose wisdom “reaches from end to end mightily, and orders all things sweetly” — having foreseen from all eternity the lamentable wretchedness of the entire human race which would result from the sin of Adam, decreed, by a plan hidden from the centuries, to complete the first work of his goodness by a mystery yet more wondrously sublime through the Incarnation of the Word. This he decreed in order that man who, contrary to the plan of Divine Mercy had been led into sin by the cunning malice of Satan, should not perish; and in order that what had been lost in the first Adam would be gloriously restored in the Second Adam. From the very beginning, and before time began, the eternal Father chose and prepared for his only-begotten Son a Mother in whom the Son of God would become incarnate and from whom, in the blessed fullness of time, he would be born into this world. Above all creatures did God so loved her that truly in her was the Father well pleased with singular delight. Therefore, far above all the angels and all the saints so wondrously did God endow her with the abundance of all heavenly gifts poured from the treasury of his divinity that this mother, ever absolutely free of all stain of sin, all fair and perfect, would possess that fullness of holy innocence and sanctity than which, under God, one cannot even imagine anything greater, and which, outside of God, no mind can succeed in comprehending fully. Continue Reading

4

Pope Francis: Latin

Latin is a Language,
Dead as Dead Can Be,
It Killed the Ancient Romans,
And Now It’s Killing Me.

 

 

PopeWatch is in full agreement with the Pope on this:

In a message to the Pontifical Academies on Tuesday, Pope Francis praised the study of Latin, especially for young people, and encouraged scholars and teachers to promote its study as a positive guide for students as they navigate life.

Addressing academics and Latin teachers, the pope said Dec. 5 that they should “know how to speak to the hearts of the young, know how to treasure the very rich heritage of the Latin tradition to educate them in the path of life, and accompany them along paths rich in hope and confidence…”

Francis’s message was read at the 22nd Solemn Public Session of the Pontifical Academies, which had as its theme, “In interiore homine: Research paths in the Latin tradition.”

The pope praised “the theme of interiority, of the heart, of consciousness and self-awareness” which he said is found “in every culture as well as in the different religious traditions.

“Significantly,” he continued, this theme is “presented with great urgency and strength even in our time, often characterized by concern with appearance, superficiality, the division between heart and mind, interiority and exteriority, consciousness and behavior.”

Moments of change, crisis, or transformation, whether in relationships or in a person’s identity, require reflection “on the inner and intimate essence of the human being.”

Francis also noted the many important figures, both in the classical and the Christian traditions, who have reflected on the dynamism of man, pointing especially to the Fathers of the Church and the Latin writers of the first millennium.

s

 

 

5

Saint Nicholas: Bishop of Myra, Decker of Heretics, Giver of Gifts

It has been a busy week in the law mines but I still find it hard to believe I flew right by Saint Nicholas Day!  Alas, the only hard historical fact about the man is that he was Bishop of Myra.  Legends clustered around him after his death.  Although he is not on the list of attending bishops, he is said to have decked heresiarch Arius at the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD.  His association with the giving of gifts is from this tale put in writing by Michael the Archimandrite in 1348.

10. There was a certain man among those who were recently famous and well-born, and he was a neighbor, his home being next to Nicholas’. Owing to the plotting and envy of Satan, who always has a grudge against those who prefer to live a life in accord with God, this man was squeezed by great poverty and lack of resources. He had gone from being well-off to extreme indigence. He had three daughters who were both shapely and very attractive to the eye, and he was willing to station them in a brothel so that he might thereby acquire the necessities of life for himself and his household. For no man among the lordly or powerful deigned to marry them lawfully, and even among the lower-classes and those who owned the least bit of something there was no one well-minded enough to do this. And so the man looked away from his salvation and, as it were, fainted at the thought of prevailing upon God with persistence and prayer. By this logic he came to assent to situating his daughters in the abyss of such dishonor. Continue Reading

5

Worse Than Murder Inc Under Federal Investigation

Go ahead Leftist Catholics and tell us again how elections don’t matter in regard to abortion:

 

The Justice Department is taking steps to investigate Planned Parenthood, The Daily Beast has learned.

The head of Justice’s office of legislative affairs has sent a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee asking for documents from its investigation of Planned Parenthood’s fetal tissue practices. The Daily Beast reviewed the letter, which says the requested documents are “for investigative use.”

 

Planned Parenthood for America did not immediately respond to a request for comment for this story. The organization’s website says that only a few of its affiliates share fetal tissue with researchers, and that criticisms of the practice are a “smear campaign.” In October 2015, after undercover videos highlighting Planned Parenthood’s fetal tissue programs generated outrage, the organization announced it would stop accepting any reimbursement from researchers for fetal tissue.

The Justice Department’s request refers to a report that the Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans released last December, called “Human Fetal Tissue Research: Context and Controversy.” That report discusses how biomedical research corporations contracted with Planned Parenthood affiliates for fetal tissue. It mentioned contracts between those corporations and several Planned Parenthood affiliates, including Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest, Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, and Planned Parenthood of Northern California. The report detailed the “specimen service fees” that biomedical researchers charged for tissue from a 20-week-old fetus –– $325 for a fetus’s brain, $650 for two eyes –– and questioned whether the biomedical research corporations ultimately profited from their disbursement of fetal tissue. It called for the Justice Department to investigate the matter.

 

Go here to read the rest.  Well to this news I can only think of one thing to say:

 

8

Sad Clown Departs?

 

 

 

Al Franken, Minnesota’s unfunny prank on the nation, may well depart from the Senate today.  Franken first slinked into the Senate courtesy of a stolen election in 2008.  His tenure in the Senate has been marked by a fervent devotion to the Democrat left, interspersed with occasional clueless buffoonish asides.  To be fair, and it is hard for me with the loathsome Franken, in office he has not been much more buffoonish than the usual Senator.  I would like to say that 22 of his fellow Democrat Senators, realizing that the presence of Franken in the Senate adds a bit to the bad clown act that the contemporary Senate so often evokes, have called for his resignation in some small form of reparation, but alas that is not the case.  The reason is because Franken likes to grope the hind ends of women, and prior to being in the Senate often acted like a buffoonish, groping clown around women.

As to his churlish behavior with women prior to being elected to the Senate, that was no secret for those with eyes to see and ears to hear.  As to his behavior after the election, the women involved were so damaged by his handiwork that they said not a peep, until we entered our current Salem Witch Hunt hysteria in which alleged male gropers are to be swiftly cast out into the outer darkness to wail and gnash their teeth.  Thus Franken is persona non grata now to the same people who had hitherto lauded him as an ornament to the Senate, and who have usually spent their political careers supporting and defending Bill Clinton, who did far worse than grasp the occasional part of a woman’s posterior, and his Enabler-in-Chief Hillary.  Thus this has absolutely zero to do with morality, and everything to do with politics.

If I were Franken I would announce that I was going to resign, but not before August of 2018.  I would also then announce my candidacy for the Senate in the special election that would be held in November of next year, and that the people of Minnesota could then judge if they would want me in the Senate.  I would then advise that I was currently writing a list, and checking it twice, detailing the misdeeds of every member of the Senate and the House with the opposite sex that I was personally  aware of, and would be releasing it as a Christmas present for the nation.  I guarantee that when he released the list Franken would draw a far larger audience than he ever did at SNL.

 

Update:

 

In a sad speech Franken says he will resign in a few weeks:

 

3

PopeWatch: Dictator

Lifesite News has this interesting tidbit on Pope Francis from the book Dictator:

 

The Dictator Pope, by a pseudonymous author who calls himself Marcantonio Colonna, claims to describe what Pope Francis is like when his adoring public isn’t looking: “arrogant, dismissive of people, prodigal of bad language and notorious for furious outbursts of temper which are known to everyone from the cardinals to the chauffeurs.”

Despite the hidden identity of the author, the book has hit the bestseller list and received praise from seasoned Vatican watchers.

According to the book, Francis is a master manipulator, and was fully conscious of both attempts to have him elected pope. When the 2005 Conclave elected Cardinal Ratzinger instead, the formerly conservative Cardinal Bergoglio adopted a newly progressive stance in line with the theology of his backers. And it seems that he was privy to the resurrection of their plans when Benedict cut his own papacy short. According to Colonna:

“By the middle of 2012, a few insiders in the Curia knew that Pope Benedict was considering abdication; he had confided his intention to two of his closest associates, the Secretary of State Cardinal Bertone, and the papal secretary Archbishop Ganswein, and he had named the exact date: 28 February 2013.

“Cardinal Bergoglio’s communications with Rome were abruptly stepped up from this time, rising to hectic levels as the date approached. Sure enough, on 11 February 2013 Pope Benedict made his public announcement to the cardinals, and it took almost the whole world by surprise; not Bergoglio and his associates, however, as eyewitnesses discovered.

“On the day of the announcement itself, the rector of Buenos Aires cathedral went to visit his Cardinal and found him exultant. During their interview, the telephone never stopped ringing with international calls from Bergoglio’s allies, and they were all calls of personal congratulation. One Argentinian friend, however, less well informed than the others, rang up to ask about the extraordinary news, and Bergoglio told him:’You don’t know what this means’.”

 

Go here to read the rest.

0

Seventy-Six Years Ago: A Date Which Will Live in Infamy

 

 

“War is brutish, inglorious, and a terrible waste.

Combat leaves an indelible mark on those who are forced to endure it. The only redeeming factors were my comrades’ incredible bravery and their devotion to each other. Marine Corps training taught us to kill efficiently and to try to survive. But it also taught us loyalty to each other – and love. That esprit de corps sustained us.”

“Until the millennium arrives and countries cease trying to enslave others, it will be necessary to accept one’s responsibilities and to be willing to make sacrifices for one’s country — as my comrades did. As the troops used to say, “If the country is good enough to live in, it’s good enough to fight for.” With privilege goes responsibility.”

Eugene B. Sledge, “With the Old Breed

 

0

Rousing a Sleeping Giant

At the end of the epic movie Tora, Tora, Tora, (1970), Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, the head of the combined Japanese fleet, after the successful attack on Pearl Harbor, refuses to join in the elation of his staff, and makes this haunting observation: “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.”  The line is almost certainly apocryphal.  The director of the film, Elmo Williams, claimed that Larry Forester, the film’s screenwriter, had found the line in a 1943 letter written by Yamamoto.   However, he has been unable to produce the letter, and there is no other evidence that such a letter exists.

However, there is no doubt that Yamamoto would fully have endorsed the sentiment that the line contained.  He had studied at Harvard in 1919-1921, and served two tours as a naval attache at the Japanese embassy in Washington DC.  He spoke fluent English, and his stays in the US had convinced him of that nation’s vast wealth and industrial power.  He had also developed a fondness for both America and Americans.

In the 1930’s Yamamoto spoke out against Japan allying with Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, fearing that such an alliance would lead inevitably to a war with the US that Japan would lose.  He received frequent death threats as a result from fanatical Japanese nationalists.  These were not idle threats, as such nationalists did assassinate a fair number of Japanese politicians and military men during the Thirties who were against war with the US.  Yamamoto ignored the threats with studied contempt, viewing it as his duty to the Emperor and Japan to speak out against a disastrous course.  Yamamoto wrote in a letter to one nationalist:

Should hostilities once break out between Japan and the United States, it would not be enough that we take Guam and the Philippines, nor even Hawaii and San Francisco. To make victory certain, we would have to march into Washington and dictate the terms of peace in the White House. I wonder if our politicians (who speak so lightly of a Japanese-American war) have confidence as to the final outcome and are prepared to make the necessary sacrifices. Continue Reading

30

Trump Moves American Embassy to Jerusalem

 

 

“I have determined that it is time to official recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” President Trump said. “While previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver. Today, I am delivering.”

He later added: “Today, we finally acknowledge the obvious: that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality. It is also the right thing to do. It’s something that has to be done.”  Go here to read the rest.

 

 

 

 

As faithful readers of this blog know, I very reluctantly voted for Donald Trump last year.  I must say that overall he is making that vote easier for me in retrospect with each passing day.

13

A Partisan Witch Hunt Above the Law

The more we learn about FBI Section Leader Peter Strzok, the married agent dismissed in August 2017 from the Russia investigation by Robert Mueller after the discovery of anti-Trump emails, by a DOJ internal investigation of the Clinton e-mails investigation, Strzok exchanged with his alleged mistress Lisa Page, a top FBI lawyer on the staff of Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, and his central role in the Clinton e-mail investigations and the Michael Flynn-Russia investigation, the more the current Mueller investigation looks like a partisan witch hunt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

And Mueller and the FBI both dragged their feet on sharing key info about all this with Congress.

Including the news that Strzok was the one who changed then-FBI chief Jim Comey’s draft language on Clinton’s use of that private server from “grossly negligent” to “extremely careless” in the final version.

That’s huge, because the statute specifies that gross negligence in the handling of classified info is itself a crime, whatever the intent — though Comey declared that Clinton shouldn’t face prosecution precisely because she had no “intent” to break the law.

Strzok also conducted the FBI interviews of Clinton and her top aides, Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin, in the e-mail probe.

More, he was reportedly one of the major FBI figures urging investigations on the basis of the “Steele dossier” of Russian-sourced scurrilous anti-Trump allegations, which we now know was commissioned by the Clinton campaign.

More, he signed the documents that opened the ensuing “collusion” probe. And he led the FBI interview of Gen. Mike Flynn, in which Flynn told the lies that eventually forced him out as Trump’s national security adviser, and for which he’s now pleaded guilty in a deal with Mueller.

Meanwhile, Mills and Abedin’s testimony in their interviews has been shown false in one major regard: Contrary to their denials, each had been well aware of Clinton’s private server — they had to deal with the office fallout whenever it went down. Unlike Flynn, though, they never faced charges for lying to federal investigators.

Go here to read the rest.  It should be noted that it was not revealed by Mueller as to why Strzok was dismissed from the investigation until the day after Michael Flynn on Friday of last week entered a plea of guilty to lying in the non-taped interview conducted by Strzok and another FBI agaent.  This all stinks to high Heaven, and it appears that the fix was in regarding all the highly political investigations in which Mr. Strzok, the Zelig of the FBI, was involved.  That whirring sound you hear is J. Edgar Hoover, who, whatever you could say against him, strove to keep the FBI free from being a political tool of Presidents, in his grave.  The Deep State is not a right wing fantasy but is rather a reality that poses a real threat to American democracy and our first civil right:  the right to rule ourselves.

 

Strangers of his counsel, hirelings of his pay,
These shall deal our Justice: sell—deny—delay.

Rudyard Kipling

 

1

PopeWatch: Dictator

PopeWatch has not yet begun reading Dictator, but hopes to do so this weekend.  In the meantime he found a review by “Kindle Customer” on  Amazon intriguing:

 

To be honest, the past week of hype has been a little bit exaggerated. Fr. Z seemed to be using a strange reverse psychology
whereby he cautioned his readers about the dangers of curiositas, while simultaneously providing US, UK and Italian links so
that everybody gets a Kindle and gets the book! He also said “I won’t tell Marcantonio’s name but I KNOW lol.” Nobody will be
scandalized who is a regular reader of the traddie blogs, or even First Things (Reno), Catholic World Report (Olson, Schall),
the NC Register (Pentin et al.), and even Douthat of the NY Times. It’s just a compilation of what the bloggers have been
reporting for the past 4 and 3/4 years or so. For me, the Bergoglio pontificate hit me gradually. First there was the weird thing
about the kids who donated 3,000 rosaries and I said “that’s weird for a Pope to mock their piety like that, even if he doesn’t share it”.
I mean, Ratzinger’s a high-rational guy but he wouldn’t say that. Then there was the interview in 9/13, and by 10/14 with the first session
of the synod it was clear that something wasn’t right. During the spring and summer of 14 I began regularly checking Rorate, Eponymous,
Mundabor and eventually Corbinian’s. Oddly, the trads and the mainstream liberal media tended to get Francis right, where the formerly
astute vaticanisti like John Allen and Rocco Palmo tried to keep squaring the circle (and most bishops and priests, etc., understandably
because we seek ecclesial unity). One of the turning points in the blogosphere was when the once-ubiquitous Amy Welborn, one of the
pioneers and the epitome of a center-right establishment figure, got all critical and negative on PF. By now Allen has acknowledged some
of the setbacks (gently!) and Rocco concedes there is a lot of “change”. Then we have the weird phenomenon of folks like Sean Winters,
Jim Martin, Spadaro, Ivereigh etc. etc. who are more papal-fundamentalist than almost any right wingers from the past. I don’t think many
women fall into this category, although Betta Pique comes to mind.

Perhaps the most important new information is the apparent report of Fr. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, a mainstream center-left Jesuit
who appeared to be psychologically on the mark. It’s true that there was a dispute between the Marxist and Peronist-populist
brands of liberation theology. The stuff on the cardinals and the conclave is interesting but for the most part not new to those
who have been following. Financial reform just isn’t that interesting to me, but it is tied in with other forms of corruption and
scandal. The point is that it hasn’t been successfully carried out.

The author is an Oxford-trained historian who’s well-connected in Rome and those qualifications come through from time to time. Again,
I don’t find it nearly as inflammatory as its title, but maybe that’s from reading too many blogs. Perhaps the best service this book has
done is to convert the blog post format (whether traddie or con) into a more traditional book, even if it’s only an e-book for now in English.
The Dictator Pope compiles in 141 pages a lot of the major events from the conclave, the synod, the attempted and promised reforms,
and ecclesiastical events like those with the Franciscans of the Immaculate and the Knights of Malta and various cardinals. It is a useful
marker as we approach the 5 year anniversary of this unique period in recent Church history.

0

December 6, 1941: FDR writes to Hirohito

 

An historical oddity.  The day before “the date which will live in infamy” President Roosevelt wrote a letter to Emperor Hirohito.  Here is the text of the letter:

[WASHINGTON,]

 

December 6, 1941

Almost a century ago the President of the United States addressed to the Emperor of Japan a message extending an offer of friendship of the people of the United   States to the people of Japan. That offer was accepted, and in the long period of unbroken peace and friendship which has followed, our respective nations, through the virtues of their peoples and the wisdom of their rulers have prospered and have substantially helped humanity.

Only in situations of extraordinary importance to our two countries need I address to Your Majesty messages on matters of state. I feel I should now so address you because of the deep and far-reaching emergency which appears to be in formation.

Developments are occurring in the Pacific area which threaten to deprive each of our nations and all humanity of the beneficial influence of the long peace between our two countries. These developments contain tragic possibilities. Continue Reading

7

No Truce With Kings

The history of the Catholic Church is dominated by the struggle of the Faith against competing faiths.  Currently the Church is engaged in a struggle with a relatively new religion that has managed to infect the highest reaches of the Church:  Leftism.  Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts gives us the details:

There is no compromise with the Left

 
So just stop it.  Stop trying.  Like most of what the West has produced in terms of progressive revolutions, the Left despises the world of the Christian Faith.  It’s like the Terminator.  It can’t be bargained with.  It can’t be reasoned with.  It doesn’t show sanity, decency or charity, and it absolutely will not stop, ever, until the Christian Faith is dead.

So it should be no surprise that a gay nativity scene is making the rounds at the same time Christmas messages themselves are banned for being offensive.  Go ahead all progressive believers, non-conservatives, post-conservatives, non-traditionalists, hipster faithful and all who are trying to find ways to compromises between the Faith and the modern Left.  Go ahead and try, and measure how far you have pulled the Left back to the Faith, and how far the Left has pulled you from it.

It’s tempting to think that if you throw a clean washcloth into a mud puddle, the mud puddle will become cleaner.  Chances are, however, that the puddle will stay muddy, and your washcloth will become dirty.

Unlike ancient Rome, the Left doesn’t seek to round us up and drag us off to the arena.  Nor does it seek to do what previous leftists regimes did in gulags and killing fields.  Like trying to corrupt an upstanding citizen, it seeks to destroy all the faith believes, to corrupt its dogmas, erode its foundation.  It seeks to encourage believers and their leaders to reject the universe as Christ revealed. 

After all, if it can get the Church and its leaders to admit error in such things as human nature, which is visible and able to be seen and studied, where will people find cause to believe the Church where the invisible God is concerned?

The Faith is under an assault unlike anything it has experienced in its multiple centuries of existence.  To miss this fact, or to see the progressive developments as just some normal course of action in the evolution of human society, is to make one of the most grievous mistakes in the long history of making mistakes.

Go here to comment.  Kipling long ago wrote out my policy in regard to Leftists, those who seek to make the Almighty State our ruler forever and ever amen:

Howso’ great their clamour, whatsoe’er their claim,
Suffer not the old King under any name!

Here is naught unproven—here is naught to learn.
It is written what shall fall if the King return.

He shall mark our goings, question whence we came,
Set his guards about us, as in Freedom’s name.

He shall take a tribute, toll of all our ware;
He shall change our gold for arms—arms we may not bear.

He shall break his judges if they cross his word;
He shall rule above the Law calling on the Lord.

He shall peep and mutter; and the night shall bring
Watchers ’neath our window, lest we mock the King—

Hate and all division; hosts of hurrying spies;
Money poured in secret, carrion breeding flies.

Strangers of his counsel, hirelings of his pay,
These shall deal our Justice: sell—deny—delay.

We shall drink dishonour, we shall eat abuse
For the Land we look to—for the Tongue we use.

We shall take our station, dirt beneath his feet,
While his hired captains jeer us in the street.

Cruel in the shadow, crafty in the sun,
Far beyond his borders shall his teachings run.

Sloven, sullen, savage, secret, uncontrolled,
Laying on a new land evil of the old—

Long-forgotten bondage, dwarfing heart and brain—
All our fathers died to loose he shall bind again.

Here is naught at venture, random nor untrue—
Swings the wheel full-circle, brims the cup anew.

Here is naught unproven, here is nothing hid:
Step for step and word for word—so the old Kings did!

Step by step, and word by word: who is ruled may read.
Suffer not the old Kings: for we know the breed—

All the right they promise—all the wrong they bring.
Stewards of the Judgment, suffer not this King!

17

The Case of the Black Baker

It looks as though the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) is finally going to hear about one of those cake controversies. Can a baker legally refuse to make a cake for a gay wedding or not?

If refusing to sell goods & services for a same-sex marriage celebration because of one’s personal beliefs should be illegal, then other similar refusals to other similar events should also be illegal, right?

I wonder if SCOUTS will ever hear the case of the black baker. Have you heard about it? It’s a doozy. A baker, who happens to be black, was asked to bake a nice white cake to help celebrate a successful rally for a local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan. The baker refused to do it. Should he be punished?

The baker is a Christian and does not personally hate the Klan members or white people. He just does not want to be part of this celebration in any way. It’s not that the baker would never bake anything of any Klan member at any event. For example, if a Klan member was celebrating his or her birthday, he would gladly bake the birthday cake. It’s the meaning of a particular event that is the concern; the problem is the ideology behind the “successful Klan rally” and what it represents.

Actually, there is no black baker case that I know of (I made it up), but I suppose there could be such a case one day. The linked article above mentions the following about this kind of issue, “It’s about the rights of gay people to receive equal service in business and not be afraid of being turned away because of who they are. It’s about basic access to public life.”

But could we not say the same about anyone “being who they are” and having “access to public life”? How about a feminist photographer who won’t take pictures at a strip club event? Should she be punished? The photographer believes that strips clubs are immoral and does not want to patriciate in the event. If a particular stripper wanted a professional headshot photo done, the photographer would gladly do it, but nothing for the strip club event. Could we not say the strippers are just being who they are and the photographer is unjustly denying them public access to photographic services?

In the end, it’s about the principle, not the person. The difference is vast. The more our society accepts transcendent things, like right vs. wrong, as only opinions, the more we will accept a kind of soft tyranny where the government takes on the role of “moral compass”. Tragically, this false compass now tells us that homosexual inclinations and actions are part of ones intrinsic identity, just like race or gender.

They will tell us what is just and what is unjust, fair or unfair and you will comply or be punished. Religious liberty is a founding principle of the U.S. and watching its own citizens leading the charge against people of faith into this oppression may be the saddest part of the whole mess.

12

PopeWatch: Dictator

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hattip to commenter Greg Mockeridge.  An interesting new book about Pope Francis has come out.  Rorate Caeli gives us the details:

 

This aspect of Pope Francis’ Pontificate is now the object of a book, recently published with the significant title The Dictator Pope (https://www.amazon.it/Papa-Dittatore-Marcantonio-Colonna-ebook/dp/B077M5ZH4M

The author is an Oxford-educated historian who hides under the name of “Marcantonio Colonna”. His style is sober and documented, but his accusations against Pope Bergoglio are numerous and strong. Many of the elements he has based in the formulation of his accusations are well-known, but what is new is the accurate description of a series of “historical pictures”: the intrigue of Pope Bergoglio’s election, piloted by the “St. Gallen Mafia”;  Bergoglio’s Argentinean behavior and actions before his election; the obstacles Cardinal Pell encountered after having attempted a financial reform  of the Curia; the revision of the Pontifical Academy for Life; the persecution of the Franciscans of the Immaculate and the decapitation of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.

The mass-media, always ready to lash out with indignation at any episode of bad government and corruption, are silent about these scandals. The foremost merit of this historical study is having brought them to light. “Fear is the dominant note of the Curia under the law of Francis, along with reciprocal suspicion”.  It is not only about informers who are seeking to obtain advantages by reporting a private conversation – as Cardinal Müller’s three members of staff discovered.  In an organization where morally corrupt people have been left in place and even promoted by Pope Francis, underhanded blackmail is the order of the day. A priest in the Curia said ironically: “The saying goes that it is who you know that counts not what you know. In the Vatican, here’s how it is: what you know counts more than who you know.”

Marcantonio Colonna’s book, in short, confirms what Cardinal Müller’s  interview conceals: the existence of an atmosphere of espionage and delation  which the former Prefect of the Congregation for the Faith attributes to a “magic circle” conditioning the Pope’s choices, whereas the Oxford historian reports it as Pope Francis’ modus gubernandi  and compares it to the autocratic methods of the Argentinean dictator Juan Peron, of whom the young Bergoglio was a follower.

One might respond that nihil sub sole novum (Ecclesiaste 1, 10). The Church has seen many other deficiencies in government. However, if this pontificate is actually bringing about a division among the faithful, as the three cardinals highlighted, the motives cannot be limited to the Pope’s way of governing, but have to be sought in something which is absolutely unprecedented in the history of the Church: the separation of the Roman Pontiff from the doctrine of the Gospel, which he has, through Divine mandate, the duty to transmit and guard.  This is what is at the heart of the religious problem of our times.

Go here to read the rest.  PopeWatch has obtained a copy of the book and will provide a review after it has been read.  Go here to snag a kindle copy from Amazon.

 

4

The FBI Swamp

Instapundit, Glenn Reynolds, brings us the news of just how tainted the FBI has become:

 

SO THE FBI SUPERVISOR WHO WAS TEXTING ABOUT HOW MUCH HE HATED TRUMP is the one who interviewed Mike Flynn. “A supervisory special agent who is now under scrutiny after being removed from Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel’s Office for alleged bias against President Trump also oversaw the bureau’s interviews of embattled former National Security advisor Michael Flynn, this reporter has learned. Flynn recently pled guilty to one-count of lying to the FBI last week. . . . Strzok was removed from his role in the Special Counsel’s Office after it was discovered he had made disparaging comments about President Trump in text messages between him and his alleged lover FBI attorney Lisa Page, according to the New York Times and Washington Post, which first reported the stories. Strzok is also under investigation by the Department of Justice Inspector General for his role in Hillary Clinton’s email server and the ongoing investigation into Russia’s election meddling. On Saturday, the House Intelligence Committee’s Chairman Devin Nunes chided the Justice Department and the FBI for not disclosing why Strzok had been removed from the Special Counsel three months ago, according to a statement given by the Chairman.”

This stinks to high heaven. But wait, there’s more involving shady FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe:

According to another source, with direct knowledge of the Jan. 24 interview, McCabe had contacted Flynn by phone directly at the White House. White House officials had spent the “earlier part of the week with the FBI overseeing training and security measures associated with their new roles so it was no surprise to Flynn that McCabe had called,” the source said.

McCabe told Flynn “some agents were heading over (to the White House) but Flynn thought it was part of the routine work the FBI had been doing and said they would be cleared at the gate,” the source said.

“It wasn’t until after they were already in (Flynn’s) office that he realized he was being formally interviewed. He didn’t have an attorney with him,” they added.

Go here to read the rest and the comments.  Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s wife was running for a Virginia Senate seat as a Democrat in 2015 and received 675,000 in campaign funds from the Clintons’ old hatchet man Terry McCauliffe, then Governor of Virginia, and the Democrat Party of Virginia.  In spite of this McCabe did not recuse himself from the Clinton e-mail investigation.  Peter Strzok, the anti-Trump FBI agent, was instrumental in the Clinton e-mail investigation and purportedly helped convince Comey that Clinton should not be indicted.  It would be fair to say that if the FBI were directly controlled by the Democrat Party, it is hard to see how these “investigations” would have been conducted much differently.

33

On the Appearance of Pope Francis’s Letter to the Argentine Bishops in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis

The following is a reprint of an article by Ed Peters, with permission.

Please be charitable and Catholic in the comboxes.

On the Appearance of Pope Francis’s Letter to the Argentine Bishops in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis

by Edward N. Peters, J.C.D., J.D., 4 December, AD 2017

Some three months ago I predicted that Pope Francis’ letter to the Argentine bishops, approving their implementation of Amoris laetitia, would make its way into the Acta Apostolicae SedisNow it has. An accompanying note from Cardinal Parolin states that the pope wishes the Argentine document to enjoy “magisterial authority” and that his endorsement thereof has the status of an “apostolic letter”.

Fine. Let’s work through some points.

1. Canon 915. It is crucial to understand that, today, what actually prevents ministers of Holy Communion from distributing the Eucharist to divorced-and-remarried Catholics is Canon 915 and the universal, unanimous interpretation which that legislative text, rooted as it is in divine law, has always received. Canon 915 and the fundamental sacramental and moral values behind it might be forgotten, ignored, or ridiculed, even by ranking officers in the Church, but unless and until that law is revoked or modified by papal legislative action or is effectively neutered by pontifically approved “authentic interpretation” (1983 CIC 16), Canon 915 stands and, so standing, binds ministers of Holy Communion.

Neither the pope’s letter to the Argentines, nor the Argentine bishops’ document, nor even Amoris Laetitia so much as mentions Canon 915, let alone do these documents abrogate, obrogate, or authentically interpret this norm out of the Code of Canon Law. Granted, little or nothing in these documents endorses or reiterates Canon 915, either, and the apparently studied silence that Canon 915 suffers these days is cause for deep pastoral concern. But law does not wilt under the silent treatment.

2. Apostolic letter. An “apostolic letter” is a sort of mini-encyclical and, however much attention encyclicals get for their teaching or exhortational value, they are not (with rare exceptions) legislative texts used to formulate new legal norms. Typically “apostolic letters” are written to smaller groups within the Church and deal with more limited questions—not world-wide questions such as admitting divorced-and-remarried Catholics to Holy Communion. Even where a special kind of “apostolic letter” is used to make changes to the law—such as John Paul II did in Ad tuendam fidem (1998), as Benedict did in Omnium in mentem (2009), or as Francis did in Magnum principium (2017)—the “apostolic letter” used in such cases carries the additional designation “motu proprio” (i.e., on the pope’s own initiative, and not in response to another’s action), and the changes made to the law thereby are expressly identified by canon number, not simply implied or surmised, especially not by silence.

The pope’s letter to the Argentines appears simply as an “apostolic letter”, not as an “apostolic letter motu proprio”, and it references no canons.

3. Authentic magisterium. Many people use the term “magisterium” as if it were tantamount to “Church governing authority”, but in its canonical sense “magisterium” generally refers to the Church’s authority to issue teachings on faith and morals, not to the Church’s authority to enforce discipline related to matters of faith and morals.

While Francis—albeit about as indirectly as is possible (through a memo to a dicastery official concerning a letter written by an episcopal conference)—has indicated that his letter to the Argentines and even the Argentine conference letter itself are “magisterial”, the fact remains that the content of any Church document, in order to bear most properly the label “magisterial”, must deal with assertions about faith and morals, not provisions for disciplinary issues related to faith and morals. Church documents can have both “magisterial” and “disciplinary” passages, of course, but generally, only those teaching parts of such a document are canonically considered “magisterial” while normative parts of such a document are canonically considered “disciplinary”.

Francis has, in my opinion, too loosely designated others of his views as bearing “magisterial authority” (recall his comments about the liturgical movement), and he is not alone in making, from time to time, odd comments about the use of papal power (recall John Paul II invoking “the fullness of [his] Apostolic authority” to update the by-laws of a pontifical think-tank in 1999).

But that inconsistent usage only underscores that the rest of us must try to read such documents in accord with how the Church herself usually (I wish always, but I’ll content myself with “usually”) writes them, and ask, here, are there “magisterial” assertions in Amoris, the Buenos Aries document, and Francis’ endorsement letter? Yes. Plenty, running the gamut from obviously true, through true-but-oddly-or-incompletely phrased, to a few that, while capable of being understood in an orthodox sense, are formulated in ways that lend themselves to heterodox understandings (and for that reason should be clarified for the sake of the common ecclesial good).

In any case, such teaching statements, to the extent they make assertions about faith or morals and come from bishops and/or popes acting as bishops or popes, already enjoy thereby at least some (relatively little) level of ordinary magisterial value, a value not augmented by sticking the label “magisterial” on them.

And, are there “disciplinary” assertions in Amoris, the Buenos Aries document, and Francis’ endorsement letter? Yes, a few. But as I have said before, in my view, none of those rather few disciplinary assertions, even those ambiguous and capable therefore of leaving the door open to unacceptable practices, suffices to revoke, modify, or otherwise obviate Canon 915 which, as noted above, prevents the administration of Holy Communion to divorced-and-remarried Catholics.

Conclusion. I wish that Canon 915 were not the sole bulwark against the abandonment of the Eucharist to the vagaries of individual, often malformed, consciences. I wish that a lively, pastorally-driven sense of the liberating permanence of Christian marriage, the universal need for Confession to reconcile those in grave sin, the power of the Eucharist to feed souls in the state of grace and to condemn those who receive irreverently, sufficed to make invocation of Canon 915 unnecessary in pastoral practice. But apparently, in much of the Catholic world these days, such is not the case and Canon 915 must be pointed to as if it were the only reason to bar reception of Holy Communion in these situations.

But what can one say? Unless Canon 915 itself is directly revoked, gutted, or neutered, it binds ministers of holy Communion to withhold that most august sacrament from, among others, divorced-and-remarried Catholics except where such couples live as brother-sister and without scandal to the community.

Nothing I have seen to date, including the appearance of the pope’s and Argentine bishops’ letters in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, makes me think that Canon 915 has suffered such a fate.

The article is a reprint, with permission, from the blog, In the Light of the Law.

10

Devil Take the Hindmost

James Comey, former FBI Director, is one very strange individual.  Go here to read the rest about the above image that Comey tweeted.  So now Comey is concerned about the rep of the FBI?  Perhaps he should have been concerned about the reputation of the FBI when he was prostituting it during the last administration.  The more we learn about the Clinton e-mail investigation, the more we realize that it was an elaborate dog and pony show, orchestrated by Comey, with no intention of ever  bringing before the DOJ a recommendation for prosecution.  Ironically, Comey’s pretense of performing a serious investigation probably ended up hurting Clinton worse than a prosecution would have, although there is zero chance of the Obama administration ever having initiated such a prosecution.  This type of garbage is why I find all the fake horror about Donald Trump hard to take seriously.  Smarmy con-men like Comey are held up as dedicated public servants by the media and the party establishments, and much of the real horror about Donald Trump, at least from political insiders, is that in his boastful, crude and bumbling manner, he is revealing that the Wizards behind the veils are, at best, no better than he is.  Whatever else is fake about Trump, his calling Washington a swamp is right on target.

 

 

5

PopeWatch: Magisterium

 

 

Hattip to commenter Greg Mockeridge.  The feathers have well and truly hit the fan, and Steve Skojec at One Peter Five gives us the details:

A letter from Pope Francis praising episcopal guidelines that would allow divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Holy Communion in some cases while living in a state of objective grave sin has now been added to the official acts of the Apostolic See, conferring official status on what was formerly considered by many to be merely private communication — and raising the stakes on the Amoris Laetitia debate significantly.

Of the guidelines issued by the bishops of the Buenos Aires region that would open “the possibility of access to the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist” in “complex circumstances” where “limitations that lessen the responsibility and guilt” of couples who will not make the commitment to “live in continence” despite living in an objectively adulterous situation, the pope said in his letter that “The document is very good and completely explains the meaning of chapter VIII of Amoris Laetitia. There are no other interpretations.”

In August of this year, this letter was added to the Vatican website as a papal document available for public reference. Concerns were raised that what had previously been viewed as only private correspondence — and thus, completely outside the realm of papal magisterium — was being given the appearance of an official papal act.

Others were quick to point out that the presence of such a letter on the Vatican website, while troubling in itself, did not grant the document any status, but only publicity. The concern, as I speculated at the time, was that the letter seemed likely therefore to find its way into the Acta Apostolicae Sedis  (AAS) — the journal of the official acts of the Apostolic See. Such a move would confer an official, and at least quasi-authoritative status to the document, in as much as the AAS “contains all the principal decrees, encyclical letters, decisions of Roman congregations, and notices of ecclesiastical appointments. The contents are to be considered promulgated when published, and effective three months from date of issue.”

Go here to read the rest.  When the Vicar of Christ contradicts Christ, go with Christ.  We have come to a dire time in the life of the Church when all Catholics need to be quite familiar with these words of Blessed Cardinal Newman:

 

I end with an extract from the Pastoral of the Swiss Bishops, a Pastoral which has received the Pope’s approbation.

“It in no way depends upon the caprice of the Pope, or upon his good pleasure, to make such and such a doctrine, the object of a dogmatic definition. He is tied up and limited to the divine revelation, and to the truths which that revelation contains. He is tied up and limited by the Creeds, already in existence, and by the preceding definitions of the Church. He is tied up and limited by the divine law, and by the constitution of the Church. Lastly, he is tied up and limited by that doctrine, divinely revealed, which affirms that alongside religious society there is civil society, that alongside the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy there is the power of temporal Magistrates, invested in their own domain with a full sovereignty, and to whom we owe in conscience obedience and respect in all things morally permitted, and belonging to the domain of civil society.”

 

 

5

December 4, 1942: Long Patrol Ends

In one of the most stunningly successful small scale operations in the history of the US Marines,  from November 6, 1942, to December 4, 1942, the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion, about 700 Marines, under Colonel Evans Carlson, in 29 separate engagements, killed 488 Japanese soldiers while pursuing a force of approximately 2500 Japanese troops under the command of  Colonel Toshinari Shōji on Guadalcanal, while suffering 16 killed.  Carlson was a double mustang.  He rose from the ranks while serving in the Army during World War I, ending up as a Captain of Field Artillery.  In 1922 he enlisted in the Marine Corps as a private and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in 1923.  While serving in China in the 1930’s he studied, and was greatly impressed by, the tactics used by the Chinese Communists.  Carlson’s political beliefs were always left wing, although David Shoup, a future Commandant of the Corps and who earned a Medal of Honor, noted at the time of Carlson, “He’s a red but he is not yellow.”

In 1942 he was placed in command of the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion which he trained along the lines of the Communist guerillas in China.  If this strikes the reader as unusual, it was.  The high command of the Marine Corps was not happy, but President Roosevelt was a fan, as was his son, Captain James Roosevelt, who served in the Raiders.  (Roosevelt would rise to the rank of Colonel during the War and earn a Navy Cross and a Silver Star for his courage.  A liberal Democrat, he turned conservative in later life, crossing party lines to back both Nixon and Reagan.)

The 2nd Raiders made headlines with their raid on Makin Island in August of 1942 and for their service on Guadalcanal, and were known popularly as Carlson’s Raiders.  Worn out with malaria and other illnesses, Carlson was relieved of command in March of 1943.  He served as technical advisor for the film Gung Ho, starring Randolph Scott, a World War I combat veteran, as Evans Carlson, which told the story, with the usual Hollywood indifference to history, of the Makin Raid.  Returning to active duty, he served at Tarawa and Saipan, where he was wounded while attempting to rescue a radio man.  That wound caused his retirement in 1946 with a terminal promotion to Brigadier General.  He died of coronary disease in 1947, age 51.

Here is the text of his Navy Cross, one of three he earned during his career, citation for the Long Patrol:

The Navy Cross is presented to Evans Fordyce Carlson, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism and courage as leader of the Second Marine Raider Battalion in action against enemy forces in the British Solomon Islands during the period from 4 November to 4 December 1942. In the face of most difficult conditions of tropical weather and heavy growth, Lieutenant Colonel Carlson led his men in a determined and aggressive search for threatening hostile forces, overcoming all opposition and completing their mission with small losses to our men while taking heavy toll of the enemy. His personal valor and inspiring fortitude reflect great credit upon Lieutenant Colonel Carlson, his command and the United States Naval Service.

1

Messianic Prophesies: Daniel 2: 44-45

Beginning our Advent look at Messianic prophecies for this year, a series which we began in Advent 2011 and continued in 2102, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016, the earlier posts of the series may be read here, here, here ,here, here, here, here, here , here here, here, here, here , here, here, here , here,   here, here here, here, here ,  here, here here, here , and here we come to Daniel 2:  44-45:

 

44 And while those empires yet flourish, another empire the God of heaven will bring into being, never to be destroyed, never to be superseded; conqueror of all these others, itself unconquerable. 45 This is that stone thou sawest none ever quarried, that fell from the mountain-side, bringing clay and iron and bronze and silver and gold to nothing; this was a revelation the king’s grace had from the most high God himself of what must come about; true was thy dream, and this, past doubt, the meaning of it.

 

Saint Augustine says of this passage:

And they asked him, What then? Are you Elias? For they knew that Elias was to precede Christ. For to no Jew was the name of Christ unknown. They did not think that he was the Christ; but they did not think that Christ would not come at all. When they were hoping that He would come, they were offended at Him when He was present, and stumbled at Him as on a low stone. For He was as yet a small stone, already indeed cut out of the mountain without hands; as says Daniel the prophet, that he saw a stone cut out of the mountain without hands. But what follows? And that stone, says he grew and became a great mountain and filled the whole face of the earth.  Mark then, my beloved brethren, what I say: Christ, before the Jews, was already cut out from the mountain. The prophet wishes that by the mountain should be understood the Jewish kingdom. But the kingdom of the Jews had not filled the whole face of the earth. The stone was cut out from thence, because from thence was the Lord born on His advent among men. And wherefore without hands? Because without the cooperation of man did the Virgin bear Christ. Now then was that stone cut out without hands before the eyes of the Jews; but it was humble. Not without reason; because not yet had that stone increased and filled the whole earth: that He showed in His kingdom, which is the Church, with which He has filled the whole face of the earth. Because then it had not yet increased, they stumbled at Him as at a stone: and that happened in them which is written, Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever that stone shall fall, it will grind them to powder.  At first they fell upon Him lowly: as the lofty One He shall come upon them; but that He may grind them to powder when He comes in His exaltation, He first broke them in His lowliness. They stumbled at Him, and were broken; they were not ground, but broken: He will come exalted and will grind them. But the Jews were to be pardoned because they stumbled at a stone which had not yet increased. What sort of persons are those who stumble at the mountain itself? Already you know who they are of whom I speak. Those who deny the Church diffused through the whole world, do not stumble at the lowly stone, but at the mountain itself: because this the stone became as it grew. The blind Jews did not see the lowly stone: but how great blindness not to see the mountain!”

2

Advent Sermons of Saint Augustine: the Emptying of Christ

This Advent on each Sunday we will look at portions of sermons that Saint Augustine wrote for delivery during Advent.  We begin with Saint Augustine’s meditation on one of the chief mysteries of the Incarnation:  the emptying of Christ:

 

 

 

 

 

When the Word assumed flesh in time, so that He might enter into our temporal life, He did not, in this flesh, give up His eternity, but gave immortality to this flesh. Thus He, ‘as a bridegroom coming out of his bride-chamber, hath rejoiced as a giant to run the way, who, ‘though he was by nature God, did not consider being equal to God a thing to be clung to,’but, so that for our sake He might become what He was not, ‘He emptied himself,’ not laying aside the nature of God, but ‘taking the nature of a slave,’ and by this nature ‘being made like unto men,’ not in His own nature [as God], but ‘appearing in the form of man.’ For, all that we are in soul and body constitutes, for us, our complete nature, but, for Him, only a visible nature. If we had not this soul and body, we would still exist; if He had not this soul and body, He would still be God. Remaining God, He became Man; that is, He began to be what had not been before, so that not one but two natures may truthfully be ascribed to Him. Because He was made Man, the statement, ‘for the Father is greater than I,’ is true; because He remained God, the statement, ‘I and the Father are one,’ is true. If the Word were changed into flesh, that is, if God were changed into man, only the statement, ‘for the Father is greater than I,’ would be true because God is greater than man; but the other statement, I and the Father are one,’ would be false since God and man are not one. In such a case, He could say: ‘I and the Father were one,’ but not ‘are one,’ implying that He has ceased to be what He was; that He was so in the past, but is so no longer. On the contrary, because of the true nature of servant which He had taken upon Himself, He said truthfully: ‘The Father is greater than I’; because of the true nature of God which He retained, He said with equal veracity: The Father and I are one.’Therefore, He emptied Himself among men, becoming what He had not been previously, not in such a way as to cease to be what He was, but, hiding what He was, He showed forth only what He had become. Hence, since the Virgin conceived and brought forth a Son, because of His manifest nature of servant, [we read:] ‘A child is born to us’; but, because the Word of God, which remains forever, became flesh so that He might dwell with us, on account of His real, though hidden nature of God, we, using the words of the Angel Gabriel, call e his name Emmanuel/ Remaining God, He has become Man so that the Son of Man may rightly be called ‘God with us’ and so that [in Him] God is not one person and man another. Let the world rejoice In those who believe, for whose salvation He came, by whom the world was made, the Creator of Mary born of Mary, the Son of David yet Lord of David, the Seed of Abraham.

11

Hark the Herald Angels Sing

 

Something for an Advent weekend.   Hark the Herald Angels Sing.  Written by Charles Wesley in 1739, the hymn we enjoy today developed and changed over a century with input from many hands.  No hymn I think better exemplifies the sheer joy that the coming of Christ should awake in the hearts of all Christians.

 

Continue Reading

6

PopeWatch: Saint Luther

 

From the only reliable source of Catholic news on the net, Eye of the Tiber:

In a press conference aboard the papal plane this morning, Pope Francis confirmed reports that he would be investigating the life and works of 16th century “reformer” Martin Luther, stating that it was better late than never in “the Church’s eternal quest for ecumenism.”

On October 15, Pope Francis welcomed a number of Lutherans from Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and Germany to his residence in the Vatican, and called Martin Luther a brave Christian who was trying his best to reform a financially corrupt Church, which automatically makes the person a saint in the Church’s eyes.

Francis also said that the pivotal character in the Protestant Reformation was in heaven, noting that “all Christians that fight against greed are saints.”

“From here on, paintings and statues of Martin Luther are welcome in all churches around the world, because he is blessed,” Francis told those gathered. “Christians who suffer ridicule today because they, in essence, overturn the tables of the money changers extend a reflection of Martin Luther’s courage and bravery.”

Francis went on to state that it was his hope that by this time next year, all members of the Catholic Church would be reciting the entire Ninety-five Thesis just after the Nicene Creed during Mass, and that the next Jubilee would commence by his walking through the “Holy Door” of All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg where the Ninety-five Thesis was first posted.

 

Go here to read the comments.  PopeWatch contacted the Vatican for comment but was told that the Pope was too busy watching Lutheran Satire videos to come to the phone.

9

“The American Bishops” Have NOT Weighed In On Net Neutrality

From Crisis:

Bishop Christopher Coyne of Burlington, New Hampshire (who is chairman of the Communications Committee of the USCCB) has announced his opposition to efforts by the current Republican FCC chairman to overturn federal regulation of Internet service providers imposed by the Obama administration back in 2015.

This announcement has been reported as a position of “the bishops,” but it most certainly is not. The announcement speaks to the problematic tendency of USCCB committees to speak out on way too many issues, perhaps on issues where they have no competence. And it also speaks to the resultant confusion among the laity about whether they have to take this announcement to heart as faithful Catholics, or whether than can reject it out of hand.

The article has a decent summary of what “Net Neutrality” involves, and flatly states what it is– declaring that the internet is a public utility, like land-lines and electricity. Seeing as the Phone Company is just slightly below the Post Office in terms of customer service, and that the temporary regulations they’re trying to remove were part of a power-grab by the same guys who weaponized the IRS, this is a really bad thing even before you look at specifics.

Big points to the author for being aware that “net neutrality” is being funded by big companies– even as the videos against it declare that is who they’re fighting.

The Wall Street Journal (link will paywall, but you can search the quote and find the article) points to the behavior of the subsidized and possibly paid protesters, who are part of the self-styled “resistance.” Search for phrases like “with activists putting up cardboard signs that ask if this is the world he wants his children to “inherit.” One sign says, “They will come to know the truth. Dad murdered democracy in cold blood.”” and All Mr. Pai and his colleagues are doing is restoring the freedom that existed until 2015 and allowed the Internet to become a jewel of the U.S. economy and a benefit to the world. But regardless of one’s views on the best way to encourage investment in broadband networks, he doesn’t deserve this appalling treatment. Here’s hoping a few principled Democrats will start loudly condemning the nasty people of the Resistance.

20

Kate Steinle Verdict

If you ever have a yen to commit a serious crime, do it in San Francisco:

 

Prosecutors said Jose Ines Garcia Zarate had intentionally shot the 32-year-old but a jury acquitted him of involvement in her death on Thursday.

Zarate – who had been deported five times and was wanted for a sixth deportation when the shooting took place – did not deny firing the gun but said it was a freak accident.

The case spotlighted San Francisco’s “sanctuary city” policy, which limits local officials from cooperating with US immigration authorities.

“From day one this case was used as a means to foment hate, to foment division and to foment a program of mass deportation. It was used to catapult a presidency along that philosophy of hate of others,” defence lawyer Francisco Ugarte said after the verdict.

“I believe today is a day of vindication for the rest of immigrants.”

 

Go here to read the rest.  I would have been surprised if the prosecutors had succeeded in convicting Zarate.  Let me count the ways:

  1.  The Public Defender’s Office in San Francisco wins about half its trials, which is absolutely stunning.  That points to inept prosecutors, a very leftist population inclined to vote not guilty or both.
  2. The politics behind the case.  It took the Public Defenders after the verdict about three seconds before going political.  To pretend that politics wasn’t front and center in this case is completely absurd.
  3. Legal problems in this case for the prosecution.  Go here to read an explanation of these problems.

So that leaves us with a dead young woman and the illegal alien multi felon who killed her skates.  The same political system that produced the madness of the sanctuary city in San Francisco, and now has made California a sanctuary state, made certain that the trial would be a bad farce.  Involuntary homicide should have been a slam dunk for the prosecution, especially with Zarate’s confession, but in San Francisco the jury was obviously looking for a way to send a message and they did:  illegal aliens are welcome in San Francisco, even if they manage to kill an innocent American citizen while they are here.  As noted above, there are no end of explanations for why the jury trial ended as it did, but that was the underlying political reality.  Realtors often say that when selling a house three factors are important:  location, location and location.  Those same three factors determine the success or failure of many criminal prosecutions.  In San Francisco this prosecution was doomed from the onset, and judging from the lackluster  dog and pony show the prosecutors put on at trial, they knew it too.

 

 

20

PopeWatch: Moonbeam

Pro-abort Governor Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown (D. La La Land) fits in nicely with the current crowd at the Vatican:

 

The Vatican gave social media kudos this week to California pro-abortion Governor Jerry Brown for his climate change crusade, calling him a “true leader” and extolling what it deemed Brown’s “defending the dignity and freedom of each person.”

The praise came in the form of a tweet from Casina Pio IV – an account for news from the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (PAS) and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences (PASS). It was a response to Brown’s tweet earlier this month touting his recent two-week European climate talk tour – for which the Vatican was a venue.

“Bravo Jerry,” the Vatican tweet said, “you are a true leader who seeks the good of the people defending the dignity and freedom of each person, and the good of the planet threatened by human activity that uses fossil fuel!”

The tweet concludes with three praying hands emoticons.

Brown had addressed the Vatican-conducted “Health of People, Health of Planet and Our Responsibility: Climate Change, Air Pollution and Health” conference in early November.

At the Vatican climate event, Brown said that ‘brainwashing’ was in order to get people to come around to the disputed idea of manmade climate change.

“At the highest circles, people still don’t get it,” the California Democrat said. “It’s not just a light rinse” that’s required. “We need a total, I might say, ‘brainwashing.’

“We need to wash our brains out and see a very different kind of world.”

 

Go here to read the rest.  The Pope occasionally condemns abortion with words, but the actions of his Vatican belie his words.

4

December 1, 1941: Hirohito Gives Approval for War Against US and Great Britain

In the wake of World War II a useful fiction was promulgated by the Japanese government, with the active connivance of the US Occupation under General Douglas MacArthur, that Hirohito had been anti-war and helpless to stop the militarists who controlled Japan.  It is astounding how many people, against all historical evidence, bought into this rubbish, and still buy into it.  Seventy-six years ago Hirohito gave his approval for war against the US and the British Empire, not grudgingly, but as part of a very long term plan to make Japan the undisputed dominant power in East Asia.

 

MacArthur had little doubt of Hirohito’s war guilt, but he also had little doubt that Hirohito’s cooperation was necessary for a peaceful occupation of Japan.  Hirohito thus served as a figure head while MacArthur, the Yankee Shogun, remade Japan.  This picture tells us all we need to know about the relationship between the two men:

Macarthur_hirohito

MacArthur encountered considerable resistance to his decision not to prosecute Hirohito.  Belief in Hirohito’s war guilt was an article of faith in America and in the other nations that had fought Japan.  MacArthur played along with the fable promoted by the Japanese government that Hirohito had always been a man of peace, who was powerless in the face of the militarists who ran Japan.  This myth, well bald-faced lie would be a more accurate description, was surprisingly successful.  The first major scholarly attack on it was by David Bergamini’s 1200 page Japan’s Imperial Conspiracy, published in 1971.  Read a review of it here. Continue Reading

12

Mark Shea and the Christianists

Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts takes a look at Mark Shea’s response to the sexual harassment avalanche:

 

Off the rails lunacy

 

Over at Catholic and Enjoying It.  Like many, Mark jumped on the Roy Moore accusations, not just to demand Moore’s head, but to use the scandal to attack Trump, Trump supporters, conservatives and American conservative Christians.  Like many, Mark said it was time to put aside the need for evidence, proof or due process.  When those icky types are accused, it’s enough that they’re icky types, and it’s time to hie to the gallows.

Like the overwhelming majority of modern punditry, both right and left, Mark has also been stunningly silent about the myriad accusations against liberal pundits, politicians, activists, entertainers, and high profile personnel.  Like so many who were quick to link Moore to entire swaths of American conservative culture, Mark has said nothing about these accusations against liberals and what it means about American liberalism.  The most Mark did was link to a rather nondescript article that talked of the rock era tendency to sex after teenage girls.  But nothing about rock and liberalism, liberal culture or the ideological similarities in the laundry list of recent accusations.

And that’s fine.  I’m OK with this.  I think this says something about our culture as a whole.  Both the accusations, and the fact that we have no clear understanding of what is right or wrong behavior on any given day, or a desire to even sort it out before we destroy lives.  All of those, to me, are symptomatic of a nation that long ago put punditry over principle.  So I have no problem if people aren’t saying the list of liberals accused proves X about liberalism.

My problem is that they did just that against conservatives and evangelicals.  Conservatives and liberals alike, never-Trumpers and left wing activists, all were happy to draw a straight line from Roy Moore to anyone and everything Right of center, guilty as accused.

Mark demonstrates this partisanship and, quite frankly, lunacy in spades.  Not only has he avoided anything at all about the multiple accusations post-Moore, including his own folk hero Garrison Keillor, but he has continued to funnel all wrath and hatred at Moore, Trump, Trump supporters, conservatives and American conservative Christians, as if nobody else has been accused. 

Pre-posting update:  Jonah Goldberg, hardly sympathetic to Trump and the gang, nonetheless noticed the same trend.

Go here to comment.  Here is a sample of what Dave was talking about:

A few weeks ago, the Federalist ran an incredible piece by the Lutheran Satire guy which was, alas, not satire.  In it, he tried to argue that the slaughter in Sutherland was an awesome answer to the prayers of the victims and that anybody appalled and outraged by that slaughter loved government and not God.

One could hardly have asked for a more chemically pure expression of Christianism: the false gospel that cloaks the right wing culture of death in Christian imagery to battle for such things as (in that case) arms industry profits over human life.

Yet, not to be outdone, the Federalist again publishes an article oozing great slimy lies to the effect that you should support a child molester (excuse me, “morally questionable” person) like Roy Moore because God can use such people.

What is the urgent thing that Christianists need him for?  Well, given that Planned Parenthood is already fully funded, the Party of Trump can’t really sell the “We’ll be magicking abortion away Real Soon Now” lie, so we have to just face the fact that Moore is important to help fund the Tax Budget Only a Child Molester Could Love.

It is, in essence, the greatest act of theft in American history, robbing the poor and the middle class to engorge the rich, according to the communists at Fortune.

Go here to read the rest.  Besides telling us that Shea has apparently lost the ability to read, judging from his misinterpretations of the two Federalist articles that he references, his use of the term Christianist is deeply revealing.  It is a term of abuse for Christians that Leftists hurl at Christians who have the temerity to disagree with them.  Once upon a time, long, long ago, Mark Shea was a Catholic apologist.  Now he is simply an apologist, and a very angry one, for an increasingly deranged Left.  He has chosen poorly.

4

Where the Women are Robust

 

We should be careful, though, not to make the world so fine and good that you and I can’t enjoy living in it.  A world in which there is no sexual harassment at all is a world in which there will not be any flirtation.

Garrison Keillor, Address to National Press Club, April 7, 1994

 

 

 

 

Miss Tweeden knew what the game was and played her role and on the flight home, in a spirit of low comedy, Al ogled her and pretended to grab her and a picture was taken. Eleven years later, a talk show host in L.A., she goes public with her embarrassment, and there is talk of resignation. This is pure absurdity and the atrocity it leads to is a code of public deadliness. No kidding.

Garrison Keillor in an Op Ed in the Washington Post, November 29, 2017, entitled Al Franken Should Resign?  That’s Absurd.

 

4

PopeWatch: Bishop Athanasius Schneider

Bishop Schneider channels Bishop Melchior Cano:

 

 

Bishop Athanasius Schneider, auxiliary bishop of Astana in Kazakhstan, said in an interview with Michael Matt of The Remnant newspaper that “the true friends of the Pope” are those cardinals bishops and laymen “who express their public concern about these very important issues, about the state of confusion in the Church. They are really the friends of the Pope.”

He called the concerns and calls for clarity, “an act of charity towards the Pope.” He added that he was convinced that when the Pope faces his judgment before God, “he will be thankful to those” cardinals, bishops and lay people who called on him to offer clarity.

Archbishop Schneider said that those who perform “adulation of the Pope” and “deny the evidence” that ambiguity in the Pope’s teachings is causing confusion are not helping the Pope nor themselves when they will face their final judgment. 

Regarding those who tell the Pope, “It’s all okay,” despite the “disastrous situation,” the archbishop warned that at their judgment God will ask them “what have you done when there was confusion, why have you not raised your voice to defend the truth?”

 

Go here to read it rest.  Almost 500 years ago Melchior Cano, a theologian at the Council of Trent, said it all:

“Peter has no need of our lies or flattery. Those who blindly and indiscriminately defend every decision of the Supreme Pontiff are the very ones who do most to undermine the authority of the Holy See—they destroy instead of strengthening its foundations.” 

 

29

Garrison Keillor Does the Perv Walk

The man who raised leftist sanctimony to an art form is out at Minnesota Peoples Public Radio:

 

Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) is terminating its contracts with Garrison Keillor and his private media companies after recently learning of allegations of his inappropriate behavior with an individual who worked with him.

Last month, MPR was notified of the allegations which relate to Mr. Keillor’s conduct while he was responsible for the production of A Prairie Home Companion (APHC). MPR President Jon McTaggart immediately informed the MPR Board Chair, and a special Board committee was appointed to provide oversight and ongoing counsel. In addition, MPR retained an outside law firm to conduct an independent investigation of the allegations. Based on what we currently know, there are no similar allegations involving other staff. The attorney leading the independent investigation has been conducting interviews and reviewing documents, and the investigation is still ongoing. We encourage anyone with additional information to call our confidential hotline 1-877-767-7781..

 

Go here to read the rest.  Men with octopus hands, as my bride has designated such behavior, are of course not restricted to the left, but it is intriguing how many leftist icons are falling before the wrath of allegedly abused women.  It is almost as if their paeans to the rights of women were so much hokum they dispensed to gullible stooges for years, not reflecting in the slightest how they led their lives.

15

On Climate Change

In light of a recent post of mine, I wanted to share something from my old blog on the topic of Climate Change, which is fast becoming a religion of sorts. Any denial of it and man’s direct responsibility for it is blasphemy and/or heresy for one side of the aisle. Any agreement with it is just as sacrilegious to the other side.

Because of this quandary, I took some time to look at Climate Change through the lens of the problem solving & decision making methodology we use where I work. Whatever you think about Climate Change, you might agree that people tend to first form a conclusion and then look for data to support it…and, of course, explain away or ignore any data that doesn’t support it. Why is that? Politically speaking, if we can definitively tie Climate Change to human activity (CO2 emissions), it’s a perfect opportunity for a power grab—to control a whole lot of human activity. On the other hand, refuting the aforementioned has the opposite effect if one wants to limit government involvement in human activity.

Before we can even being to address any concerns about Climate Change the situation must be made clear. Before a situation can be made clear any ambiguities and over-generalizations must be dealt with. Beginning at the beginning, we can see that the term “Climate Change” is ambiguous because both “climate” and “change” can mean too many different things to too many different people, so I went to a NASA website for clarification on what is changing and how. I found these:

  • See levels are rising
  • Ice sheets are shrinking
  • Arctic sea ice is declining
  • Glaciers are retreating
  • Snow cover is decreasing
  • Oceans are acidifying
  • Extreme weather events are increasing
  • The Earth and oceans are warming (Global Warming)

Whatta mess!!!

Next is to look at one thing at a time and tackle the most serious concern first. Which concern above would have the biggest current and future impact? I’ll go forward with the premise that Global Warming is the highest priority concern on the list above because it could conceivably be causing most of the other things on the list.

If my superiors at work were to ask our group to look into the Global Warming situation, we would look at something called “The Should” and also something called “The Actual”. For this case, “The Actual” would be the current average global temperature assuming we can get a reliable measurement. “The Should” would be the Earth’s normal average temperature range…the way it should be. What would be the upper limit of that normal range and what would be the lower limit? I can tell you that a huge difficulty we’d run into right away is defining “The Should”. This is very problematic because you cannot truly understand a problem—in terms of an abnormality—if you do not understand what is normal.

But why not just look at the rise in CO2 since that is the presumed main cause of the warming? We could, but we’d invariably be back to the same questions about the Earth’s temperature. What “Should” is good? At work we’ll define “The Should” for a product or system based on historical manufacturing records and control limits and/or established industry standards among other things. There are no such standards for the Earth’s average temperature range that I know of, but we can look at history.

Let’s suppose we have about 200 years of accurate global temperature data. My guess is that it is much less than 200 years because of the many years with no satellite temperature data from space, but we’ll go with it. Also, the Earth is about 4.5 billion years old, but I’d say the climate 4.5 billion years ago is irrelevant data for humans living today. Let’s go back an amount of time in which the first mammals were happily living on Earth, breathing clean air and drinking clean water. Mammals go back about 200 million years. Keep in mind that 200 million years is only 4% of the Earth’s lifetime, so it’s a relatively short period of time to look at, but we’ll go with it. So, 200 years of temperature data in 200 million years of history would represent .0001% of the time.

To put this in context of something we can grasp, the Dow Jones Industrial average (DJIA) has been around for about 120 years. .0001% of 120 years is about 63 minutes. Suppose that tomorrow the DJIA were to dive 1000 points from 1:00PM to 2:03PM. At 2:04PM, should we conclude a long term financial disaster and an urgent need for more industry regulation? For even more context, consider that 0001% of ten years is about 5.3 minutes. Suppose you walk into a ten year old home for the very first time with a family inside going about their business and you begin measuring the temperature. You note a warming trend of about 1°C after about 5.3 minutes and announce a domestic warming crisis and begin to regulate the families’ activity. Seems like hysteria to me without more data.

Chart taken from MarketWatch

In either the case of the family home or the DJIA, if you were to declare a crisis and an urgent need for regulation you’d likely be on the receiving end of some blank stares. This does not mean there should be no concern for Global Warming. In my profession I would need to report that there is not enough information to define “The Should”, so we would likely move this issue away from a problem analysis and into a decision analysis. Problem analysis focuses on the question “Why did it happen?” while decision analysis focuses on the question “What should we do?”

A good decision in this arena is above my pay grade, but whatever the decision, let’s be aware of two opposing extremes…

#1 Nature Worship

The view that nature is “perfect” just the way it is acts as a kind of secular “dogma”. With this as a base premise, we can see the logic that concludes the following…any unnatural interference or manipulation of nature for the benefit of man is a deprivation of nature’s perfection, and a good definition of evil is just that—a deprivation of perfection.1 Therefore, defending anything in nature against man is intrinsically “good” and promoting man’s industrialization and expansion is intrinsically “evil”.

#2 Nature’s Neglect

Beware of any ideology that says man can and should interfere and manipulate nature anyway we see fit. God wants us to take care of the temporary dwelling place he gave us. “The Lord God then took the man and settled him in the Garden of Eden, to cultivate and care for it.” (Gen 2:15) So if we are to be good stewards of all the gifts God gives us, including the Earth, should we not be trustworthy stewards? Of course we should. “Now it is of course required of stewards that they be found trustworthy.” (1 Cor 4:2)

 

  1. St. Thomas Aquinas, Aquinas’s Shorter Summa (Manchester: Sophia Institute Press, 2002), p. 125.
3

Lies, Mark Shea and Cardinal Newman

 

 

 

Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts joins Mark Shea’s noble anti-lying crusade:

 

It’s time the Church take a bold stand against illegal immigration.  After all, what is one major way people here illegally are able to carry on in life, have jobs, send their kids to Harvard, and make a living for them and their relatives back home?  Fraudulent documentation.  That is, in other words, fake or false documents – lies you might say.

Mark Shea builds a strong case for why the Church should say enough is enough.  Not that we shouldn’t reform our immigration system.  Something like that should always be reformed, since situations and conditions always change.  But the idea that just because the system is broken, people are free to be fraudulent, lie, present false documentation and any other form of deception.

Lying is a sin, as Mark boldly proclaims.  It’s time for the Church and faithful Catholics to stop justifying, excusing and tolerating a culture of lies that justifies law breaking and fraud, even if it’s one celebrated and advocated by the modern Left.

 

Go here to comment.  Gander, here is some of that goose sauce you have been eyeing.

 

 

In case some of you suspect, gasp, that perhaps Mark might be mangling Church teaching a wee bit, here is Blessed Cardinal Newman on lying and equivocation:

 

This is from Note G of Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman’s Apologia Pro Vita Sua.  It is a typical tour de force by Newman where he demonstrates his knowledge of the history, reasoning and practical application of a Church teaching on morality.  Here is the note:

ALMOST all authors, Catholic and Protestant, admit, that when a just cause is present, there is some kind or other of verbal misleading, which is not sin. Even silence is in certain cases virtually such a misleading, according to the Proverb, “Silence gives consent.” Again, silence is absolutely forbidden to a Catholic, as a mortal sin, under certain circumstances, e.g. to keep silence, when it is a duty to make a profession of faith.

Another mode of verbal misleading, and the most direct, is actually saying the thing that is not; and it is defended on the principle that such words are not a lie, when there is a “justa causa,” as killing is not murder in the case of an executioner.

Another ground of certain authors for saying that an untruth is not a lie where there is a just cause, is, that veracity is a kind of justice, and therefore, when we have no duty of justice to tell truth to another, it is no sin not to do so. Hence we may say the thing that is not, to children, to madmen, to men who ask impertinent questions, to those whom we hope to benefit by misleading.

Another ground, taken in defending certain untruths, ex justâ causâ, as if not lies, is, that veracity is for the sake of society, and that, if in no case whatever we might lawfully mislead others, we should actually be doing society great harm.

Another mode of verbal misleading is equivocation or a play upon words; and it is defended on the theory that to lie is to use words in a sense which they will not bear. But an equivocator uses them in a received sense, though there is another received sense, and therefore, according to this definition, he does not lie.

Others say that all equivocations are, after all, a kind of lying,—faint lies or awkward lies, but still lies; and some of these disputants infer, that therefore we must not equivocate, and others that equivocation is but a half-measure, and that it is better to say at once that in certain cases untruths are not lies.

Others will try to distinguish between evasions and equivocations; but though there are evasions which are clearly not equivocations, yet it is very difficult scientifically to draw the line between the one and the other.

To these must be added the unscientific way of dealing with lies,—viz. that on a great or cruel occasion a man cannot help telling a lie, and he would not be a man, did he not tell it, but still it is very wrong, and he ought not to do it, and he must trust that the sin will be forgiven him, though he goes about to commit it ever so deliberately, and is sure to commit it again under similar circumstances. It is a necessary frailty, and had better not be thought about before it is incurred, and not thought of again, after it is well over. This view cannot for a moment be defended, but, I suppose, it is very common.
I think the historical course of thought upon the matter has been this: the Greek Fathers thought that, when there was a justa causa, an untruth need not be a lie. St. Augustine took another view, though with great misgiving; and, whether he is rightly interpreted or not, is the doctor of the great and common view that all untruths are lies, and that there can be no just cause of untruth. In these later times, this doctrine has been found difficult to work, and it has been largely taught that, though all untruths are lies, yet that certain equivocations, when there is a just cause, are not untruths. Continue Reading

3

November 29, 1864: Sand Creek Massacre

 

 

 

On Novmber 29, 1864, in a stain on American honor, 700 men of the 1st Colorado Cavalry, 3rd Colorado Cavalry and a company of the 1st New Mexico Volunteer Cavalry, under the command of Colonel John M. Chivington, a Methodist minister turned soldier, attacked and slaughtered an encampment of peaceful Indians.  I cannot improve on the report of this massacre issued by the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War on January 10, 1865:

 

The Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War submit the following report:

In the summer of 1864 Governor Evans, of Colorado Territory, as acting superintendent of Indian affairs, sent notice to the various bands and tribes of Indians within his jurisdiction that such as desired to be considered friendly to the whites should at once repair to the nearest military post in order to be protected from the soldiers who were to take the field against the hostile Indians.

About the close of the summer, some Cheyenne Indians, in the neighborhood of the Smoke Hills, sent word to Major Wynkoop, the commandant of the post of Fort Lyon, that they had in their possession, and were willing to deliver up, some white captives they had purchased of other Indians. Major Wynkoop, with a force of over 100 men, visited those Indians and received the white captives. On his return he was accompanied by a number of the chiefs and leading men of the Indians, whom he had invited to visit Denver for the purpose of conferring with the authorities there in regard to keeping peace. Among them were Black Kettle and White Antelope of the Cheyennes, and some chiefs of the Arapahoes. The council was held, and these chiefs stated that they were friendly to the whites, and always had been, and that they desired peace. Governor Evans and Colonel Chivington, the commander of that military district, advised them to repair to Fort Lyon and submit to whatever terms the military commander there should impose. This was done by the Indians, who were treated somewhat as prisoners of war, receiving rations, and being obliged to remain within certain bounds.

 

All the testimony goes to show that the Indians, under the immediate control of Black Kettle and White Antelope of the Cheyennes, and Left Hand of the Arapahoes, were and had been friendly to the whites, and had not been guilty of any acts of hostility or depredation. The Indian agents, the Indian interpreter and others examined by your committee, all testify to the good character of those Indians. Even Governor Evans and Major Anthony, though evidently willing to convey to your committee a false impression of the character of those Indians, were forced, in spite of their prevarication, to admit that they knew of nothing they had done which rendered them deserving of punishment. Continue Reading

6

PopeWatch: Proclaiming Jesus

Sandro Magister brings us up to date on the Pope’s trip to Burma:

 

There was only one moment in which Jesus was named and his Gospel proclaimed, in the speeches on the first day of Pope Francis’s visit to Myanmar.

Only that the one who spoke these words was not the pope, but the Burmese state counsellor and foreign minister Aung San Su Kyi, who is of the Buddhist faith:

“Jesus himself offers a ‘manual’ for this strategy of peacemaking in the Sermon on the Mount. The eight Beatitudes (cf. Mt 5:3-10) provide a portrait of the person we could describe as blessed, good and authentic. Blessed are the meek, Jesus tells us, the merciful and the peacemakers, those who are pure in heart, and those who hunger and thirst for justice.

“This is also a programme and a challenge for political and religious leaders, the heads of international institutions, and business and media executives: to apply the Beatitudes in the exercise of their respective responsibilities. It is a challenge to build up society, communities and businesses by acting as peacemakers. It is to show mercy by refusing to discard people, harm the environment, or seek to win at any cost.”

It is true that San Su Kyi took these words from the message of Francis for the world day of peace on January 1, 2017. But it is striking that the only one to mention the name of Jesus and to make his Gospel resonate should have been she, and not the pope.

The complete text of the speech by the Nobel peace laureate, delivered at the beginning of the meeting between Francis and the authorities and representatives of civil society, can be read on this other page Settimo Cielo:

> “Jesus himself in the Sermon on the Mount…”

While this is the speech delivered immediately afterward by Pope Francis, a speech that instead was completely “secular,” except for the final invocation upon those present of “the divine blessings of wisdom, strength and peace”:

“A peace based on respect for each ethnic group and its identity”

 

Go here to read the rest.

5

A Clean Slate For Christmas

My bride, our son and I went to Confession today.  As always, I felt after Confession as if a ton of weight had just been taken off my shoulders,

Here is the formula that I have followed for Confessions since childhood:

Bless me Father for I have sinned, it has been ____________ since my last Confession and these are my sins.

I then recite my sins.  I follow the rule of three B’s in Confession:

Be Blunt

Be Brief

Be Gone

I say my sins, with no attempts to minimize or justify, no matter how much it shames me to do so, and often I do feel great shame, which I suspect is a good sign.  I end my recital with the statement that these are all the sins I can recall but that I am truly sorry for those I cannot recall.

After the priest absolves me, and what a wonderful word absolve truly is, I say an Act of Contrition:

O my God I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest of all my sins because I dread the loss of Heaven and the Pains of Hell, but most of all because I have offended Thee my God who art all good and deserving of all my love.  And I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance and to amend my life, amen.

If any of you who read this have been away from Confession, please go before Christmas.  Welcome Christ this year with a clean slate.

 

13

Rachel Weeping

Demetrius:  You talked to Peter, didn’t you?
What did you tell him about me?
Glycon:  I don’t discuss your affairs with anyone, sir.
You freed me and I am grateful.
Demetrius:  You must have told him something.
Glycon:  I asked him if one who’d killed
30 men in the arena, as I have,…
…could ever hope to sleep at night.

Demetrius and the Gladiators (1954)

 

 

Ally Bowin, national programs coordinator of Students for Life of America writes about her grief over her own abortion at the Washington Examiner:

 

 

This denial continues after an abortion is completed. Denial of grief because she doesn’t want to admit to herself there was actually a life lost. Post-abortive women will bury those thoughts with whatever they can. Data on post-abortive women demonstrate that substance abuse, depression, suicide, and a host of other problems often follow an abortion.

Due in part to well-funded marketing campaigns such as #AbortionPositive, it is common for post-abortive women to be silenced when heavy emotions arise or to have their pain covered with platitudes. I recall the nurses reassuring me with phrases like, “It’s only a 10-minute procedure,” and, “This will not affect your ability to have children later.” I remember telling myself: “Now I can be successful,” “Now I can finish college,” “Now I won’t have the burden of another life to look after.”

I fought my emotions with these platitudes for a long time. I would immediately stop myself from crying anytime memories of that day would creep in, telling myself it’s not something to cry over; I’m better off. But I couldn’t cover it up for long. My fuse was short and I was quick to anger and that anger went to rage. I remember having a couple of panic attacks one weekend because I couldn’t find any friends to go out to the Dallas nightlife and drink with me. I couldn’t handle being alone; it left room for me to think, to feel, to remember.

When I first sought counseling, it was not as helpful as it could have been, because we never once dove into my abortion being the cause of my anxiety, anger, or depression. Yet Post Abortion Stress Syndrome, like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, is a common problem among post-abortive women. I had vivid flashbacks, memories of the day of my abortion replayed for years, at any given moment. Still to this day, six years later, I can tell you the color of the wallpaper in the clinic, the color of the chairs, even the color of the nurse’s scrubs.

Last year, I had the gift of receiving loving, compassionate post-abortive healing. Post-abortive healing was probably the hardest 12 weeks I’ve had to endure in my 27 years. But, compared to a lifetime of suppressed grief and heartache, I would go through it many, many more times. I learned that feeling intense pain post-abortion is normal, feeling regret is normal. And that there is hope past that regret; there is love on the other side of that pain.

To the people who want to deny the pain and trauma of abortion for women, I ask: Why is it acceptable for women to grieve a miscarriage, but not an abortion? Wouldn’t the primal grief of losing a child be all the more devastating if the woman played a role in her loss? The facts certainly seem to suggest that many women feel unbearable grief after their abortion. If it truly had no effect psychologically, why does the suicide rate increase for women after they’ve had an abortion?

Even after going through post-abortive recovery more than a year ago, I still fight the demons of guilt and regret daily. Yet finding post-abortion recovery changed me for the better — giving me peace and the chance to feel pure joy again.

To post-abortive women, I say this: Don’t feel pressured to see your abortion as positive. There are people out there to listen to your story. There are people out there to hear about your grief. Let them in and let them help.

 

Go here to read the rest.  A funny thing about good and evil is that we can expend quite a bit of energy to claim that something evil is really good.  The one person we usually are unable to convince by such mendacity is ourselves.

6

PopeWatch: Cardinal Muller

An interesting statement from Cardinal Muller in an interview last week:

 

“There  is a front of traditionalist groups, just as there is with the progressivists, that would like to see me as head of a movement against the Pope. But I will never do this. I have served the Church with love for 40 years as a priest, 16 years as a university professor of dogmatic theology and 10 years as a diocesan bishop. I believe in the unity of the Church and I will not allow anyone to exploit my negative experiences of recent months.  Church authorities, on the other hand, need to listen to those who have serious questions or justified complaints; not ignoring them, or worse, humiliating them. Otherwise, unwittingly, the risk of a slow separation that might lead to a schism may increase, from a disorientated and disillusioned part of the Catholic world.  The history of Martin Luther’s  Protestant Schism of 500 years ago, should teach us, above all, what errors to avoid.”

“The Pope confided to me: ‘Some have told me anonymously that you are my enemy’ without explaining in what way” he recounts unhappily. “ After 40 years at the service of the Church, I had to hear this: an absurdity set up by prattlers who instead of instilling worry in the Pope they would do better visiting a “shrink”.  A Catholic bishop and cardinal of the Holy Roman Church is by nature with the Holy Father. But, I believe, as Melchoir Cano, the 16th century theologian said, that the true friends are not those who flatter the Pope, but those who help him with the truth and theological, human competence.” In all the organizations of the world, delatores of this type serve only themselves.”

 

Go here to Rorate Caeli to read the rest.

10

With Terror and Slaughter Return

But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come

That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.

Rudyard Kipling, The Gods of the Copybook Headings

 

 

 

 

Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts responds to the attack by the ghouls of ISIS on a Sufi Mosque in  the northern Sinai that left 305 worshipers murdered:

 

Horrible.  Animals and savages to be sure.  God grant peace and strength to those impacted by this, whose lives were lost, who remain behind and are left with the hurt and the pain.  God also soften the hearts of those who embrace this senseless slaughter as a means of righteousness.  Help the nations of the world find a way to eliminate this and no longer tolerate an apathy based on accepting this as some new normal. 

 

Go here to comment.  My fear is that our elites want us to accept this as the new normal.  Tut tutting about it by all the usual suspects and then nothing effective is done.  Repeat for the next one, ad infinitum.  Neo pacifism is strong among elites, our Pope being a typical example.  The murderers of ISIS give the lie to such pacifism.  They will not stop until they are stopped permanently by superior fire power.  The prophet Rudyard Kipling predicted this long ago:

 

When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “Stick to the Devil you know.”

Later in the same poem he details where the policies of the fools who currently lead the West are headed:

 

As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool’s bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;
And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!