Celebrating Racists

Sunday, August 20, AD 2017

“I shall never fight in the armed forces with a Negro by my side … Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds.”

From a letter by Robert Byrd to Mississippi United States Senator Theodore Bilbo, December 11, 1945




One amusing aspect of the current flap over Confederate statuary is the omission of the memorials to the late Senator Robert Byrd (D.WV).  Go here to read a list of institutions named after him in his native West Virginia.  A former Exalted Cyclops of the Ku Klux Klan, Byrd was the longest serving member of Congress when he died in 2010, having been a member of the House and Senate for almost 58 years.  A fierce proponent of segregation when first elected to Congress, his position moderated over time as he amended his beliefs to fit changing political realities within the nation and his Democrat Party.  Nicknamed the Prince of Pork, he succeeded, due to his seniority in the Senate, in getting endless Federal pork for his state.  Since it seems to be an article of faith on the left that memorials to racists must be expunged from the public square, and that arguments that the racists changed are to be rejected out of hand, the omission of Byrd’s tax supported memorials to himself from targeting by the left is curious, until one recalls that the latest hoorah over such monuments has nothing to do with race and everything to do with contemporary political battles, and that highlighting the sins of a contemporary Democrat like Byrd, who was hailed during his lifetime by many liberal Democrats still active in politics, would be politically inconvenient for the puppet masters who pull the strings of the leftist groups who seem to be outraged by racists dead for over a century, but seem quite willing to tolerate recent racists so long as they were members in good standing of the contemporary Democrat power structure.

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3 Responses to Celebrating Racists

  • It’s simple: a racist is not a racist if he is a leftist. Evil is no longer defined by that which is always and everywhere good or bad, but had now been squeezed through the left’s selective ideological filter.

  • Re Byrd: nearly his entire adult life was given over to seeking and retaining elective office. He won his first office at age 29 and held office until his death at age 92. He earned a law degree in his middle 30s, but never practiced. He had desultory wage jobs prior to 1946. If I’m not mistaken, he was not in the military during the 2d World War, something fairly atypical for someone of the 1917 cohort.

    His Klan organizing was a bizarre excursion, rather like organizing War Bond rallies in Los Angeles in 1963. The 2d incarnation of the Klan was absolutely passe at the time, having gone from a 7-digit membership in 1922 to a 5-digit membership a dozen years later. (It formally dissolved in 1944). He was trying to build klaverns in West Virginia, a state with a small black population (3.5% of the total, or about 70,000 people) among upland Southerners (who were the segment of Southern society the least concerned with racial questions). A number of Democratic pols said when he died that his klan membership was necessary to get elected; they’re either lying or hopeless. It was never necessary anywhere bar for a brief span of years in the 1920s. Byrd’s predecessor was not an antagonist of the blacks. Neither was Jennings Randolph, who served alongside him. I do not think any other post-war member of Congress from W. Va. was hostile to blacks.

    Now, what are all those statues and building dedications indicative of? One, the use of public funds to advance his electoral fortunes and (2) ego. Conscience owes it to taste not to feed the latter and the public interest is ill-served by the former. There is nothing more to be said about him. Bob Dole was close to a pure career politician, but with him you could talk about his military service. Tributes to Byrd are parody tributes, and are properly removed to avoid Gresham’s law.

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One Reason We Didn’t Have Unending Civil Wars

Sunday, August 20, AD 2017





Last Salute

One reason we didn’t have unending civil wars after the one that ended in 1865 is because of the generosity of spirit by Abraham Lincoln, Lieutenant General Grant and by Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, he of Little Round Top Fame:

The choice of the two officers to oversee the surrender ceremony at Appomattox, Union General Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain and Confederate General John Brown Gordon, was quite appropriate.  In a War where the vast majority of soldiers were volunteers and not regular soldiers, both these Generals were volunteers, not professional soldiers.  They both during the War saw more combat than most professional soldiers see in an  entire career.  After the War both became active in politics and both often spoke of the need for love of the reunited nation and a forgetting of the angry passions of the Civil War, while ever remembering the courage of the men who had fought it, especially the courage of those who never came back from the War.



Chamberlain helped begin the healing of the dreadful wounds to the nation caused by the War  at Appomattox.  As the Confederates passed by, Chamberlain ordered a salute to them by the Union troops. He explained why he did this:

“I resolved to mark it by some token of recognition, which could be no other than a salute of arms. Well aware of the responsibility assumed, and of the criticisms that would follow, as the sequel proved, nothing of that kind could move me in the least. The act could be defended, if needful, by the suggestion that such a salute was not to the cause for which the flag of the Confederacy stood, but to its going down before the flag of the Union. My main reason, however, was one for which I sought no authority nor asked forgiveness. Before us in proud humiliation stood the embodiment of manhood: men whom neither toils and sufferings, nor the fact of death, nor disaster, nor hopelessness could bend from their resolve; standing before us now, thin, worn, and famished, but erect, and with eyes looking level into ours, waking memories that bound us together as no other bond;–was not such manhood to be welcomed back into a Union so tested and assured?”

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3 Responses to One Reason We Didn’t Have Unending Civil Wars

  • These sentences said it all:

    “My main reason, however, was one for which I sought no authority nor asked forgiveness. Before us in proud humiliation stood the embodiment of manhood: men whom neither toils and sufferings, nor the fact of death, nor disaster, nor hopelessness could bend from their resolve; standing before us now, thin, worn, and famished, but erect, and with eyes looking level into ours, waking memories that bound us together as no other bond;–was not such manhood to be welcomed back into a Union so tested and assured?”

    Liberal progressives cannot forgive because they refuse the forgiveness that comes from Him Who is the Great Emancipator of all Mankind. They will not surrender their own slavery to the current litany of sexual sins (LGBTQ), so they cannot accept the surrender of slavery of race by the Confederacy. They doom themselves to the eternal fiery furnace of hell.

  • Part of it is also that this is a generation of narcissists. For them it is not enough to win, but to humiliate the foe.

    Informed consent for the sovereign person can only be operative in innocence, total moral and legal innocence.
    All human beings, sovereign persons, are created and endowed with original innocence. All human beings, sovereign persons are accorded to opportunity to access their original innocence in the Sacraments of Baptism and Penance. With the Sacraments of Baptism and Penance affording total innocence, a clear mind and a clear conscience is attained enabling the sovereign person to have an informed consent to give to any choice. His discernment is purified by his will to maintain his innocence and avoid sin and the near occasion of sin.
    All other Sacraments requiring informed consent of the sovereign person are Holy Eucharist, Holy Orders, Matrimony and Confirmation. The Sacrament of the Sick usually involves the Sacraments of Penance and Holy Eucharist with anointing of the human being, all require informed consent of the sovereign person.
    And again, all informed consent of the sovereign person requires innocence, the rejection of sin and evil. The Prince of Darkness must be rejected.
    This brings us to Holy Communion of Divorced and remarried, the transgendered human body and the individuals addicted to sodomy, the vice of lust and the other capital sins, pride, gluttony, sloth, hatred and the love of money called avarice and envy, the hatred of another’s happiness.
    Innocence is the singular path to informed consent for the sovereign person.
    Pope Francis’ call for Holy Communion for divorced and remarried, addicts to sodomy and transgendered individuals must be HOLY, that is innocent.
    The informed consent of the sovereign person in the newly begotten morally and legally innocent human being is his free will act to survive, to live his life, to grow, to be born, to know to love, and to serve his Creator and his brother: “We, the people, and our Constitutional Posterity.
    There is no reason that Our Lord, Jesus Christ, must suffer our offenses and our arrogance in refusing to acknowledge and repent of our offenses. Grace is not free. Christ bought and paid for our grace. The rest is disgrace.

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Saint Augustine and the Canaanite Woman

Sunday, August 20, AD 2017

At that time, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon.
And behold, a Canaanite woman of that district came and called out,
“Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David!
My daughter is tormented by a demon.”
But Jesus did not say a word in answer to her.
Jesus’ disciples came and asked him,
“Send her away, for she keeps calling out after us.”
He said in reply,
“I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
But the woman came and did Jesus homage, saying, “Lord, help me.”
He said in reply,
“It is not right to take the food of the children
and throw it to the dogs.”
She said, “Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps
that fall from the table of their masters.”
Then Jesus said to her in reply,
“O woman, great is your faith!
Let it be done for you as you wish.”
And the woman’s daughter was healed from that hour.

Matthew 15: 21-18





1. This woman of Canaan, who has just now been brought before us in the lesson of the Gospel, shows us an example of humility, and the way of godliness; shows us how to rise from humility unto exaltation. Now she was, as it appears, not of the people of Israel, of whom came the Patriarchs, and Prophets, and the parents of the Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh; of whom the Virgin Mary herself was, who was the Mother of Christ. This woman then was not of this people; but of the Gentiles. For, as we have heard, the Lord “departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon, and behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts,” [2593] and with the greatest earnestness begged of Him the mercy to heal her daughter, “who was grievously vexed with a devil.” Tyre and Sidon were not cities of the people of Israel, but of the Gentiles; though they bordered on that people. So then, as being eager to obtain mercy she cried out, and boldly knocked; and He made as though He heard her not, [2594] not to the end that mercy might be refused her, but that her desire might be enkindled; and not only that her desire might be enkindled, but that, as I have said before, her humility might be set forth. Therefore did she cry, while the Lord was as though He heard her not, but was ordering in silence what He was about to do. The disciples besought the Lord for her, and said, “Send her away; for she crieth after us.” And He said, “I am not sent, but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” [2595]

2. Here arises a question out of these words; “If He was not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel, how came we from among the Gentiles into Christ’s fold? What is the meaning of the so deep economy [2596] of this mystery, that whereas the Lord knew the purpose of His coming — that He might have a Church in all nations, He said that He was not sent, but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel’?” We understand then by this that it behoved Him to manifest His Bodily presence, His Birth, the exhibition of His miracles, and the power of His Resurrection, among that people: that so it had been ordained, so set forth from the beginning, so predicted, and so fulfilled; that Christ Jesus was to come to the nation of the Jews, to be seen and slain, and to gain from among them those whom He foreknew. For that people was not wholly condemned, but sifted. There was among them a great quantity of chaff, but there was also the hidden worth [2597] of the grain; there was among them that which was to be burnt, there was among them also that wherewith the barn was to be filled. For whence came the Apostles? whence came Peter? whence the rest?

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One Response to Saint Augustine and the Canaanite Woman

  • After Jesus died and was raised from the dead, Jesus presented all creation to his Father in heaven. Christ’s Father in heaven had given Jesus all authority in heaven and on earth.
    After the Resurrection, Jesus instructed his Apostles to go to all nations.
    After the Resurrection all creation is given to God, Jesus’ Father in heaven, where souls will see cats and dogs, trees, all creation. Where souls will see the Beatific Vision.
    Jesus had not yet died and been raised when He encountered the Canaanite woman. She became a Catholic right then and there.

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Joan of Arc, Ignorance and Hate

Saturday, August 19, AD 2017

Joan was a being so uplifted from the ordinary run of mankind that she finds no equal in a thousand years. She embodied the natural goodness and valour of the human race in unexampled perfection. Unconquerable courage, infinite compassion, the virtue of the simple, the wisdom of the just, shone forth in her. She glorifies as she freed the soil from which she sprang.

Sir Winston Churchill





Never underestimate human ignorance.  The base of the stunning statue of Saint Joan of Arc in New Orleans was recently, in May of this year, vandalized with a spray painted “Tear it Down” message.  Iconoclastic movements are usually notable for their stark ignorance.  Like their ISIS contemporaries, the fascist left in this country knows little about history and could care less.  I assume that the Joan of Arc statue was, incredibly, mistaken for some sort of Confederate monument.  However, perhaps I am mistaken and the statue was deliberately targeted.  Certainly the red fascists have little reason to love the Maid of Orleans.  Let us count the reasons why monuments to Saint Joan could become the latest targets of the unhinged left:

  1.  She is a Catholic saint.  Little time needs be spent at most leftists sites, before it is clear that the denizens of such sites have little love for the Catholic Church.
  2. She believed that her actions were commanded by God.  For leftists, at best Joan was a religious fanatic, at worst a delusional fool.
  3. She fought to place the Dauphin, the future Charles VIII, on the throne of France.  Fighting for a monarch?  How retrograde.
  4. Instead of fighting the patriarchy, Saint Joan was a pillar of the patriarchal order.
  5. Saint Joan was not a lesbian, and that is sufficient in some left wing circles to make her suspect.
  6. She rallied the poor, not to fight against their class enemies, but to support a right wing King.
  7. She was a patriotic chauvinist.
  8. Her equestrian statues are celebrations of specieism.
  9. Her belief in God obviously makes her suspect of being a right wing fundamentalist.
  10. All of her followers were white.

Saint Joan of Arc, and the other great men  and women of history, are a standing rebuke to the mindless yahoos who largely staff the Antifa and other leftist groups.  They demonstrate that our time has much to learn from the past and that is anathema to current leftists who seek to destroy Western culture and achieve political power through endless strife and chaos.  Ignorance and hate are their dogmas and violence is their mode of worship.  Pray for them.

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4 Responses to Joan of Arc, Ignorance and Hate

  • Islam hates Catholic Saints.

    Liberalism hate Catholic Saints.

  • What these lunatics are is not liberals. They have gone far beyond liberalism. They are hard core leftists such as the SDS, the Weather Underground, Black Panthers and other left wing terrorist groups. Trump better have the backbone to go after them as much as going after MS19.

  • Reading 1 Is 56:1

    “Thus says the LORD:
    Observe what is right, do what is just;
    for my salvation is about to come,
    my justice, about to be revealed.”

    One portion of today’s first reading and the behavior of pagans bent on anarchy.
    The tolerant Left is choosing a lake of fire for itself.

    So be it!

  • Infused with Wisdom and Grace, St. Joan of Arc instilled sovereignty in the people and in France.

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PopeWatch: Homily-cide

Saturday, August 19, AD 2017



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


A man whose body was found in a pew at St. Cecila’s Church Friday died from blunt trauma to the heart, the San Bernardino County medical examiners office found after autopsies performed this morning. “We can’t say much at this time,” one examiner said at a press conference “but what we can say is that the cause of death wasn’t trauma to the actual, physical heart, itself, but to its very nature…the essence that dwells within the recesses of the heart, if you will. I’ve never seen anything like this in all my years.” Many parishioners at St. Cecelia’s are blaming the death on a overly fluffy homily given by Fr. Ron Gustafson the morning of the death. “It was terrible,” one parishioner who attended the Mass said. “He kept using terms like ‘coming together,’ ‘one family,’ and ‘we are church.’” The homily reportedly took a tragic turn when Gustafson began to speak about personal holiness, “He was nearly canonizing the entire parish…we begged him to stop, but he wouldn’t listen.” Gustafson is in custody with the San Bernardino Police department at this hour.

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Because Shut Up, They Explained

Thursday, August 17, AD 2017

Crux has announced a new “prime directive” regarding their editorial policy, which they have seemingly established in light of the Austen Ivereigh commentary piece I blogged about the other day. Here’s Crux explaining:

“While Crux will always foster vigorous discussion, we will not tolerate attacks on persons. If the nature of a piece requires that specific individuals be named in a critical light, it must always be for their ideas or policy positions, never for their backgrounds, personalities, private lives, supposed dysfunctions or failures, etc.”

Which proves Crux doesn’t quite get the anger over the Ivereigh piece. In other words, they seem to be under the impression that it had more to do with “name-calling” than the actual substance. As further proof that they just don’t get it, they allowed another stinker of a “converts, oh what you please shut up” piece, this time by a convert himself: David Mills. In fairness, Mills doesn’t say that converts should keep silence, at least not forever. As he explains:

For a long time, and perhaps a very long time, the convert will see the Catholic Thing as you see a garden through a bay window, not as you see it when you’re standing amidst the flowers. He sees its design and beauty, but doesn’t feel the sun or smell the flowers or enjoy walking barefoot on the grass. Nor does he know what it is like to get caught in the rain or stung by a bee, or to spend hours weeding. He has to spend many years outside to know what life in the garden is really like.

Jay Anderson takes Mills to task. Jay concedes that Mills has a point when he suggests converts should take their time and “get their feet wet” before speaking out on matters of the faith. But:

This is fetishizing the cradle Catholic experience as being the *REAL* Catholic experience, and holding up any alternative to that as somehow less than. I used to do this exact same thing that Mills is doing when I was a new Catholic. I used to lament that I would never be able to experience the Faith with the instinct and the ethos of a cradle Catholic. That I would somehow always be an “incomplete” or not “REAL” Catholic like all my brethren born into the Faith and that I had somehow been “deprived” of my “birthright” as a “true” Catholic.

Now I recognize that for the utter horse

Well, I won’t spoil the rest, so as Don would say, read the rest here. Needless to say I agree with Jay.

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9 Responses to Because Shut Up, They Explained

  • And they’ll embrace a floating standard for ‘attacks on persons’ which excludes their pet commenters (but somehow manages to include anyone who demonstrates some fallacy said pets have promoted). Rod Dreher plays these games. Glenn Reynolds has coined a term for it, “civility bull****”. Popular among higher ed apparatchiks too.

  • Sure, a convert and a cradle will have somewhat differing perspectives simply because they have different experiences. There is really no way around that, I suppose, other than time. I don’t doubt that Jewish converts such as the apostles had a different experience than their gentile brethren converts. But it is not like Catholicism is an esoteric religion whose ways are known only to the inner circle. Pretty much anyone with decent reading comprehension can figure it out, and compare the professed teachings to , ahem, the conduct of certain persons, reaching a reasonable conclusion as to said person’s adherence (or lack thereof) to said teaching. Don’t need to be cradle – heck, don’t even need to be Catholic.

  • I doubt David Mills would speak in bad faith, and the excerpt you offer is unobjectionable. The trouble with the analogy is that Francis has hired a bunch of ruffians and they’re stomping all over the garden, something you can see perfectly well from the bay window.

  • All of this internecine bickering is so very tiresome. Where is the peace in the Catholic Church? I attribute most of the current problem to the current Pope.

  • Speaking as a cradle Catholic, I would say that converts have opened themselves to the Holy Spirit in an extraordinary way which has allowed them to make many painful and life-changing decisions in response to the grace of God. That makes them different from most of the rest of us who have been born in the faith and find it familiar and even obvious. Fidelity to Christ involves for us a daily conversion and purification rather than a change which upsets the apple cart of our whole identity and existence. Let us admire and respect the converts whether or not we always agree with them.

  • David Mills, who is usually rational, offered a piece of idiocy. His pieice made no sense. He says convers should shut up because they are incapable of understanding Catholicism, as if Catholicism was some secret mystical cult that can only be understood by insiders -Gnostic much? If you examine what he said, he was telling people like Father Longenecker – a former Anglican to shut up because FAther Longencker, a PRIEST, does not and cannot understand Catholicism. His example is such things as understanding Mary is hard to do for Protestants. But no one is talking about the Marian dogmas. They are talking about the silly and stupid things that Pope Francis does, which are OBVIOUSLy in conflict with church doctrine. And converts are only a tiny portion of those who criticise Francis. Pope Francis defenders are desperate. They want to find some reason why they are under attack all the time, and it has to be some sort of bias against them. No, it is because they are stupid and say stupid Non Catholic things. You don’t need a super secret society of nasty converts who just don’t understand to explain this. Pure stopidity on the part of Pope Francis defenders is quite enough.

  • Cardinal Sarah has defined the devil as one who first divides and then sets one against the other. Sounds like St Paul was so predictably right when he spoke of the “powers and principalities roaming the earth….”

  • The apostles, overheard shortly after Paul’s road to Damascus experience, “Who’s this new guy Paul think he is? The next thing you know he’ll be telling Peter he’s wrong about letting gentiles into the new faith….geeez.

  • Pingback: FRIDAY CATHOLICA EDITION | Big Pulpit

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Did Government Meddling Bring About the Great Depression?

Thursday, August 17, AD 2017


The above video says yes, and attributes the bad policy to Herbert Hoover.  Considering the cycle of boom and bust that America had long seen, the Great Depression stands out for both its length and severity.  Perhaps this is not the answer, but it it is certainly more accurate than the historical myth that says that Hoover did nothing in the face of the Great Depression.

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7 Responses to Did Government Meddling Bring About the Great Depression?

  • Interesting post. As far as length and severity a book published in recent years claims that FDR was responsible for that. Unfortunately I don’t have the title in mind.
    I do know that my MN grandparents, great grandparents, grand aunts and uncles turned Republican
    because of FDR. One relative of my mother’s generation didn’t change over until high interest rates in Carter’s administration seriously affected his small business. My second cousins are conservatives with the exception of one who was graduated from the liberal U Wisconsin in Madison.

  • If not the Great Depression, it clearly set the stage for our near-permanent Nanny State mentality. “The government will save us” is the most pleasurable of all aphrodisiacs.

  • Interesting post. As far as length and severity a book published in recent years claims that FDR was responsible for that. Unfortunately I don’t have the title in mind.

    The Forgotten Man?

  • No. Inflexible monetary policy turned an ordinary business recession into a severe Depression. The gold standard wasn’t an initiative of the Hoover Administration and the academic and policy mentalities which promoted its maintenance were not Hoover Administration initiatives, either. The British government went off the gold standard in September 1931 and began to recover within a matter of months. The succeeding 18 months were horrific for American business. Our recovery began when the Roosevelt Administration was able to engineer a devaluation of the currency in the Spring of 1933, as well as some salutary measures to stabilize the banking system.

  • The inflexible monetary policy combined with a policy designed to keep nominal wages high (as described in the video) would have worked in tandem to make the situation must work. Both would have combined to cause real wages to rise, cutting any chance at recovery.

    The video doesn’t cover this but there was a pretty strong recovery that started in 1933 following the removal from the gold standard. However, that stalled and we had a second recession during the Great Depression (1937). Ohanion attributes this to wages being kept high through the strengthening of unions. Also to keep businesses happy the government cut back on antitrust regulation to appease businesses. So again prices and wages couldn’t fall to allow the recovery to continue. This combo was exacerbated by a shift back to tighter monetary policy.

  • The inflexible monetary policy combined with a policy designed to keep nominal wages high (as described in the video) would have worked in tandem to make the situation must work. Both would have combined to cause real wages to rise, cutting any chance at recovery. The video doesn’t cover this but there was a pretty strong recovery that started in 1933 following the removal from the gold standard. However, that stalled and we had a second recession during the Great Depression (1937).

    There were no policy tools to prevent nominal wage cuts during the period running from 1929 to 1933. I’m not sure if the literature in labor economics has settled on an explanation for the resistance to nominal wage cuts during that period (as opposed to 1920-21). Hoover did promote nominal wage maintenance, but that was hortatory. As for the 1937-38 recession, it was a modest affair compared with 1929-33. The year-over-year decline in production (comparing 1938 to 1937) was 3.5%. That comparing 1933 to 1929 was 30%. Conventional Keynesian accounts of that secondary recession attribute it to contractionary fiscal policy. A more recent thesis has concerned monetary policy. The thing is, empirical studies of the effect of fiscal policy suggest weak multipliers are the norm, so the fiscal explanation is not the most plausible.

    The economy resumed rapid growth in the latter half of 1938.

    The trouble with the Roosevelt Administration was that they adopted a series of measures which damaged the labor market, and made a hiring recover (as opposed to a production recovery or an income recovery) quite slow.

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The Country Dodged A Bullet

Wednesday, August 16, AD 2017

No, Mitt. If you don’t think the antifa demonstrators are equally morally repugnant and guilty of violence, then you’re simply ignorant, no matter what they claim to be fighting.


Mitt Romney fired back at President Trump for saying “both sides” were responsible for violence at a white supremacist rally over the weekend, claiming…

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26 Responses to The Country Dodged A Bullet

  • Two unfortunate opportunists–McCain being the other.
    Just how complicit–by ideological design, by ignorance, or by misguided loyalty to the establishment–are many of the very leaders who pretend to guard the traditional values of the people?
    As far as the neutered police are concerned, standing down in the face of planned anarchy is the purest of disloyalty to the very purpose for which your profession exists. Law and order become the fodder of political chicanery, and everyone’s freedom becomes the ultimate victim.

  • No significant corps of people has ‘fought bigotry’ since I was of an age to read a newspaper. It’s invariably competing collections of retromingent blowhards marking the trees.

  • The swiftness and ferocity with which Antifa has been defended and shielded from criticism by not only the left and their media allies, but by certain elements within the institutional right is somewhat interesting. Perhaps it suggests the necessity of a little investigative snooping to see if there is a money trail to follow.

  • You cannot buy Romney. It’s just an indication of the degree to which elite opinion is a monoculture. I bet Ted Cruz was pretty lonely at Jones, Day.

  • Our governor, John Kasich, came out and called Trump an embarrassment and said there is no moral equivalency to the KKK and Nazis. I suppose the hundreds of millions tortured and murdered by anyone who wasn’t KKK and Nazis should find comfort in that. That’s why he’s not President Kasich. The whole ‘anything to the left of center is by default not bad’ should cause people to run screaming into the night. And yet how many Republicans, Pundits, and Catholics are buying it. As my boys said, “It’s not going to be pleasant for those who don’t conform to the Left, is it?” I’d like to tell them not to worry.

  • It takes ZERO moral courage for Romney to say what he said. Repugnant to the core.

  • By the (ahem) logic of these people who insist that ONLY the alt-right bears any responsibility for what happened in Charlottesville, and that any attempt to state otherwise is tantamount to being a Nazi sympathizer, I suppose that everyone who fought in the Pacific during WWII must have been a Nazi sympathizer because they weren’t fighting Hitler? I guess it’s now morally impossible to have more than one enemy or to fight a battle on more than one front.

  • Our governor, John Kasich, came out and called Trump an embarrassment and said there is no moral equivalency to the KKK and Nazis.

    Of course Kasich’s embarrassed. Trump whooped is a$$. Kasich’s entire adult life up to age 48 consisted of political office and his time in business was likely derived from being able to work the phones.

  • Yeah Mitt, nothing says “I oppose racism.” like baseball bats, rocks, and urine bombs!

    Now, I think the blowhardish ashatted way President Trump conducted himself at Tuesday’s presser merits criticism, his pointing out there was blame on both sides is just a plain fact.

  • Fascist elements were trying to seize control of the streets (as they always do). They were met with heroic resistance from peace-loving workers and students determined to stop them. Where is the moral equivalence?-

  • TRump chiefly and Haley at the UN and Xi of China with Russian help just contained Kim Jun Un. You’d never know it since
    an obsession by the pro abortion culture..NY Times/ comedians on late night/ dems and gop’ ers beaten in the primary fills half of the US.

  • The “ANTIFA” are communist, and should be considered the “alt-left”. As Nazis and communists are two-sides of the same bloody coins, so are the alt-left and alt-right.
    Like the Battle of Stalingrad, I hope they both lose.


  • “They were met with heroic resistance from peace-loving workers and students determined to stop them. Where is the moral equivalence?-”

    I truly hope you are being facetious, because even you have to be aware of the violent nature of the antifa thugs. These masked cretins have been intimidating – and in some cases, have beaten up – individuals whom they deem to be “fascist.” While in some cases (like Saturday in Charlottesville) this does indeed include actual fascists, but this really means just about anyone holding political views to the right of Bernie Sanders. While some (maybe even most) of the counter-demonstrators truly did have peaceful intent, a very large segment included these disgusting vermin who are truly no better than the KKK/Nazi idiots who marched.

  • Fascist elements were trying to seize control of the streets (as they always do).

    How is acquiring the proper and necessary permits for a demonstration march seizing control of the streets? I’ve never heard of anybody claiming that following proper red tape as “seizing” anything. Are you sure you’re not confusing these guys with BLM?

  • A funny flashback that’s relevant from twitter.

  • I truly hope you are being facetious, b

    You’re talking to the same fellow who referred to UKIP as a ‘neo-fascist’ party.

  • Art Deco wrote, “You’re talking to the same fellow who referred to UKIP as a ‘neo-fascist’ party.”
    The fact that Anne Marie Waters is a leadership candidate for UKIP shows the party’s true colours

  • The fact that Anne Marie Waters is a leadership candidate for UKIP shows the party’s true colours

    The party’s true colors are what it has advocated since its founding. As for Waters, she’s a lapsed Labour Party member best known for her lesbianism and an antagonistic stance toward Islam. The term ‘fascist’ does not mean what you wish to pretend it means.

  • BLM has aided/abetted the assassinations of 20 POs’. Antifas has committed scores of acts of violent crimes. and, the media – chirps. The Democrat/KKK and neo-nazis have no body count in the 21st century.

    Art, DOn’t hold back. let us know how you feel. Did you mean “virtue signaling”? Good stuff! Anyhow: “It’s invariably competing collections of retromingent blowhards marking the trees.”

    We have met he enemy and they is: the lying media, Mitt, and establishment Republicans who can’t see that antifas, BLM, KKK and neo-nazis are all the same species of cockroach.

  • Kasich can’t take it that Trump kicked his ass in the primaries and won Ohio in the general election. I used to respect him but he is becoming another Romney..a complete wuss.

    Meanwhile, the Pakistanis who worked for Wasserman Schultz and were arrested…and the failure of Muller to come up with anything connecting Trump to the Russians…..is totally ignored, which is what the MSM wanted to do when Rep. Scalise was almost murdered by a loony leftist.

  • I used to respect him but he is becoming another Romney..a complete wuss.

    Romney is a very capable man with many accomplishments in the realm of business and family life. Kasich is almost pure politician. Take away the time in office, Romney is still a man of consequence with 20 grandchildren. Take away the politics, Kasich is….well, nobody knows. The two men are not equivalents.

  • New today: “Mitt Romney on Friday urged President Trump to take ‘remedial action in the extreme’ following his response to the Charlottesville violence.” ” An apology would be a defining moment of Trump’s presidency.”
    Agree, Romney is a good businessman and family man, but it’s obvious that his recent pronouncements are for settling a score with Trump. The media, complicit with far left, seizes upon Romney’s words not because Romney is some sage but, because it keeps the C-ville incident in the national spotlight and is negative to Trump.
    Meanwhile, as noted above in several comments, events of more import are happening domestically and internationally and are under reported..

    Meanwhile terrorist attacks in Spain and one in Finland

  • Sixty-two percent of Americans polled oppose tearing down Confederate memorials. That is heartening: a majority of Americans know that tearing down statues and assaulting extremist, right-wing nuts won’t end racism or depose trump or . . .

    Noam Chomsky may, for once, be correct. He writes that Antifas is a huge gift to the right. Don’t believe what you hear from the lying media and swamp/donor-bought/lobbyist-owned GOP squids.

    Consider the potential worst-case, boys and girls. Soros’ $15 an hour isn’t nearly enough.

  • Sixty-two percent of Americans polled oppose tearing down Confederate memorials.

    Normal people aren’t collecting sorosphere rent-a-crowd stipends. Out of a mixture of stupidity and malice, the media are peddling the idea that these cretins are something other than astroturf, and partisan Democrats believe it.

  • It appears to becoming a national hysteria…distressing.

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Colonel Roosevelt Testifies

Wednesday, August 16, AD 2017



It has been a splendid little war, begun with the highest motives, carried on with magnificent intelligence and spirit, favored by that Fortune that loves the brave. It is now to be concluded, I hope, with that fine good nature, which is, after all, the distinguishing trait of the American character.

John Hay, US Ambassador to Great Britain, letter to Theodore Roosevelt, July 1898


In many ways, Theodore Roosevelt’s  future Secretary of State was correct.  The War was short and victorious for the US, with the divisions of the Civil War largely forgotten by white Americans, North and South,  unified in the fight against Spain.  This was symbolized by the rapturous reception the 6th Massachusetts received from the citizens of Baltimore as it passed through on its way to ship out, box lunches were given to the men in a huge celebration, a stark departure from the bloody greeting received by the regiment from the citizens of Baltimore on its way to Washington in 1861 at the onset of the Civil War.

However, in the aftermath of the War journalists and returning veterans told tales of rampant mismanagement, of appalling rations, inadequate uniforms and chaotic transport.  A political storm arose and President McKinley appointed a commission to investigate the conduct of the War.  Colonel Theodore Roosevelt, who had been unsparing in his private comments about the mismanagement of the Cuban campaign, appeared before the Committee on November 22, 1898, a few weeks after his election as Governor of New York.  Go here to read his testimony.  Roosevelt was restrained in his testimony, noting that the rapid expansion of the Army was bound to encounter problems, and that these problems could be partially alleviated by large scale maneuvers in peace time.  

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Will No One Rid Us Of These Turbulent Converts

Tuesday, August 15, AD 2017

Like some ghoul in a late night horror movie that repeatedly sits up in its grave and shuffles abroad, after being repeatedly killed and buried, Paul Zummo stalks The American Catholic once again, frightening the heterodox Catholics and leftist agitators of the Catholic blogopshere. -Antonin Scalia, horribly paraphrased.

So what could have awoken me from a nearly year-long stupor to return to these pages? If you guessed interminable, poorly reasoned, strawmen-laden, intellectually dishonest, bilge spewed by certain Catholic bloggers furious about any criticism leveled against the precious Pope Francis, you are not only right, you are eerily specifically right.

In light of continued concerns expressed by certain Catholics about the current pontificate, his most fervent defenders have fought back with well-reasoned, well-articulated, substantive rebuttals calmly and meticulously pointing out flaws in those concerns.

Wait, my bad. In fact they’ve engaged in baseless character destruction. The latest group to come under attack are those dastardly converts – you know, the people who have bravely answered Christ’s call to conversion, in many cases forsaking the religious faith of their childhood and of their families because they have discovered and embraced the truth. Well, it seems they are a bit of a problem.

Austen Ivereigh is the latest, spewing forth 1,200 words of bile against converts, who, because they bring with them the baggage of their previous faith (or lack thereof), have come to become foolishly critical of Pope Francis. Ivereigh takes his cue from the “sage,” Michael Sean Winters. Winters, model of Catholic living for all, had whined: “I am so tired of converts telling us that the pope is not Catholic.”

Ivereigh, though, assures us: “I don’t want to be seen to be sniffy and condescending towards people who become Catholic.” Naturally, he proceeds to be sniffy and condescending towards people who became Catholic for the remainder of his article. Here’s a sampling of his writing:

“But still, I hesitate even now to write about convert neurosis, and how it conditions critiques of Pope Francis.” – Convert neurosis is certainly a great way to show that one is not being demeaning in the slightest

“Now, Schmitz never actually said the pope wasn’t Catholic, but his narrative and that of many of Francis’s angry, vociferous critics adds up to something rather like it.” – Ah, the angry young Catholic convert, a touching image.

“The Church is missionary, and exists to spread the Gospel, and some of those it touches will want to become Catholic, and that’s wonderful. People who have thought and prayed their way to faith are special, and bring great gifts with which they have been showered. We love converts.” – Yeah, I don’t know how anyone could interpret that as condescending at all.

“But it is a lot more likely that their baggage has distorted their hermeneutic, and they are suffering from convert neurosis.” – There’s that term again: convert neurosis, with some additional baggage thrown in.

“A friend in Ireland writes: “I keep seeing people who seem to have converted mainly because the Church teaches things that match their ideological outlook, whereas when I came back it was a case of doing so because I thought the Church had historical authority to teach things even if they sounded mad or were inconvenient.” – Again, what is sniffy and condescending about alleging that many who convert do so for ideological reasons?

Of course not only is Ivereigh sniffy and condescending, he fails to adequately address what precisely is wrong with the criticism coming from converts and cradle Catholics. Oh, you didn’t know cradle Catholics could also be critics? Well, let’s not worry about our concerns because that would get in the way of this narrative. Ivereigh is also profoundly ignorant about papal elections:

And if the many retweets of my retweet of Winters’s complaint is anything to go by, many share his view not just that this stance is not just incongruous, but annoying, because rather than consider the possibility that there may be something deficient in their own view of the Church and its tradition, they prefer to assume that it is the successor of St. Peter – chosen by the Holy Spirit in a conclave free from outside interference – who is lacking.  (Emphasis mine)

This is pure theological error, and it being spread in the pages of an ostensibly Catholic publication. (I guess new regalia is not the first poor decision made by the Knights). The Holy Spirit does not choose the pope. The Holy Spirit guides the Cardinal electors, but that does not mean they are incapable of error in their selection.

Unfortunately Ivereigh bases most of his attack on converts on the proposition that the Holy Spirit knows better than those ignorant converts. Indeed, his basic attitude is one of dismissiveness:

Conversion is an act of humility. It involves a renunciation of sovereignty, the idea that I know best. It involves trust – in Jesus Christ, and in His Church, and in the successor of St. Peter – even when they challenge my preconceptions.

Certainly all good Catholics should prayerfully reflect on all matters, and should not spout off angrily against the pope or against any prelate without carefully considering all arguments. Yet is similarly insufficient to reply to these criticisms with rhetorical hand waving. Pretending that converts were wrongfully being neurotic about the papal enclave, and using Amoris Laetitia as a cudgel to prove that neurosis is, well, rather odd considering  the many problems with the document.

Ivereigh later posted an apology, but this is pathetically weak. Essentially he’s apologizing for using poorly chosen terminology. He doesn’t, however, recant of the substance of his remarks, rendering his apology meaningless.

Ivereigh and Winters are hardly alone in being suspect of converts. Mark Silk also offers up a bit of dismissive snark:

“Here we are getting really close to what really bothers Matthew,” scoffed Ivereigh. “He wants the red shoes. He wants the popes to be carried on a sedia gestatoria [the ceremonial throne on which popes were carried until 1978]. He wants a church which no longer exists.”

What’s new, this time around, is the readiness of conservative converts to come right out and criticize what principally distinguishes Roman Catholicism from the rest of Christianity — the pope. You’d almost think they were still Protestants.

Silk approvingly quotes Iverigh’s contention that what motivates certain converts is their desire for appropriate regalia, then misrepresents the position of Francis critics. Convert (and cradle Catholic) critics do not dispute the authority or legitimacy of the pope or his office. What distinguishes us from the ultramontanists is recognizing that the pope is not an infallible human being, and is thus capable – GASP! – of being less than perfect, and capable being wrong when he is not speaking ex cathedra. In other words, we are not Rex Mottram Catholics.

And where did I even find this Silk article? Why from none other than our good pal Anthony Annett, the artist formerly known as Morning’s Minion, who linked to Silk via his twitter page. I deleted my twitter account (again) in part because of the nastiness of, well, pretty much everyone (including myself). Twitter is just not a place for rational discourse. Yet Tony’s twitter page is especially full of nasty invective. A quick perusal of his twitter page that evidently detraction and calmuny are not sins, at least according to Tony, but failure to hue 100% to his environmental policies and/or working for Heritage are.

It’s odd that the biggest fans of Pope Francis – the pope who is supposedly bringing in all these converts due to his willingness to open dialogue – are so hostile to converts and their ability to engage in theological dialogue. It’s almost as if they have another agenda.

It also suggests that if anyone is demonstrating signs of neurosis, it is them.



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17 Responses to Will No One Rid Us Of These Turbulent Converts

  • When you couple the following with what you quoted above, Ivereigh, et al., have gone beyond ultramontanism to “Ultra-Montanism,” with the papal office a half-step removed from being an ecstatic oracle:

    “Yet the Church’s tradition has always been made up of the new things brought by the Holy Spirit revealing ‘new aspects of Revelation,’ as Evangelii Gaudium puts it. Francis approaches the past as all popes must do, with discernment, preserving what must be protected, and removing what has become an obstacle to evangelization.”

  • Right, Dale. And it also puts to lie the assertion made by so many Francis defenders that “doctrine won’t change.” No, it will only be modified so as to remove “obstacle(s) to evangelization.”

  • I’ve seen quite a bit of trashing the old ‘evangelical converts’ in recent years. Throughout the blogosphere, where it used to be the ‘rad trads’ who were guilty of making converts feel unwelcome (or so the narrative went), today it’s the defenders of Pope Francis. Some, BTW, who once condemned those rad trads for supposedly making converts feel unwelcome.

  • As I have noted in the past my bride is a convert and a much better Catholic than me. In regard to criticizing the current Pope, this cradle Catholic takes a back seat to no one.

  • As others have pointed out, the very fact of converts in the Church is an embarrassment to those practitioners of a form of ecumenicism (including, I would argue, This Pope™ and his minions) that holds that Protestants are just fine right where they are.

  • “Ah converts! These actually believe that Teachings on Faith and Morals are infalliable.
    – Can’t they just let us contracept and die!”

  • Conversion is an act of humility. It involves a renunciation of sovereignty, the idea that I know best. It involves trust – in Jesus Christ, and in His Church, and in the successor of St. Peter – even when they challenge my preconceptions.”
    HELL NO. The sovereign person embraces his sovereignty over himself in the embrace of The Supreme Sovereign Being and our Sovereign King, Jesus Christ. JUST HELL NO.

  • I am a convert. I almost didn’t survive RCIA at our very . . . I can’t in good conscience say Protestant . . . parish. Indeed, I was not sure the nun in charge of the program would let me be confirmed at Easter. Maybe they were afraid I’d take my husband elsewhere. Lack of parishonners means lack of cash.
    (That parish was once quite large. They had a full time liturgist on staff. She lost her job due to declining attendence a few years ago.)
    And in retrospect, I rather wish she had not. I would not have skin in the game then. Perhaps I would not be angry over what is occuring.
    As for dragging my husband elsewhere-I did not put that thought in his head. He thought about it long before I came into his life.

  • Converts are in a real sense immigrants. All of this just shows a very age old hatred of the immigrant.

  • This seems like a good thread to ask this. Is there a book that contains all the things that Catholics believe that are not in the Bible? I am talking about things like all the ranks of angels, (Hosts Cherabim, Seraphim, Principals etc), that the names of the Wise Men were Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar. My priest says these are things that are part of tradition but I would like to have a book that lists these things and where the tradition started. I looked on Amazon and book called, “The Everything Catholicism Book, Discover the Beliefs, Traditions and Tenets of the Catholic Church.” sounded like what I was looking for but the sample they provided has this about the 12 apostles: ”Paul would join the Christians later and become an honorary apostle, making their number 12 again.”
    If this book doesn’t even know that Mathias replaced Judas I have no faith in its content. So is there a volume that lists the things that are accepted but not found in the Bible?

  • George Haberberger asks, “Is there a book that contains all the things that Catholics believe that are not in the Bible?”
    Such a book would be impossible to compile, given the nature of Tradition, as Bl John Henry Newman describes it:
    “It is latent, but it lives. It is silent, like the rapids of a river, before the rocks intercept it. It is the Church’s unconscious habit of opinion and sentiment; which she reflects upon, masters, and expresses, according to the emergency. We see then the mistake of asking for a complete collection of the Roman Traditions; as well might we ask for a full catalogue of a man’s tastes and thoughts on a given subject. Tradition in its fullness is necessarily unwritten; it is the mode in which a society has felt or acted during a certain period, and it cannot be circumscribed any more than a man’s countenance and manner can be conveyed to strangers in any set of propositions.”

  • Welcome back Paul. Good column. Well said. I like it that Austen Ivereigh, et al., are helping spread the idea that there are critics of Pope Francis. The take-way, at a minimum, is that our dear Pope is controversial and has enemies within the Church on whom Austen is conferring credibility and a certain respect.

  • Perhaps we need a new term: “UntraMottramism”!

  • George Haberberger:
    I’d like to second Jay Ansderson’s mention of the CCC, the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
    Another item is the 1912 Catholic Encyclopedia (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Encyclopedia for a list of links to online versions) and the 1967 New Catholic Encyclopedia (second edition 2002).

  • To surrender our sovereignty to the Supreme Sovereign Being and our Sovereign King, Our Lord Jesus Christ PERFECTS our sovereignty over ourselves; our sovereign personhood PERFECTED with which “We, the people” institute the state and establish our sovereign nation PERFECTED, our legacy and our duty to our constitutional Posterity.
    Our constitutional Posterity are begotten in perfect moral and legal innocence, as “their Creator” creates all souls and endows all souls with free will, intellect, all unalienable, innate human rights, sovereign personhood and perfect moral and legal innocence.
    It is JUSTICE to our constitutional Posterity, all future generations, to inherit our perfected sovereignty and ours and their perfected sovereign land.
    The newly begotten, perfectly innocent sovereign souls of our Posterity establish our sovereign land from the very first moment of existence as “We, the people” forever do.
    “Conversion is an act of humility. It involves a renunciation of sovereignty, the idea that I know best. It involves trust – in Jesus Christ, and in His Church, and in the successor of St. Peter – even when they challenge my preconceptions.”
    This statement implies derogatory and deficient effects of our surrender of our free will and sovereignty to The Supreme Sovereign Being. Our Founding Principles reject this implication: “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”
    Divine Providence is the Holy Spirit of The Supreme Sovereign Being, the perfect Love between the Father and the Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ. Ratified by every state THE UNANIMOUS DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE speaks to all Posterity, “We, the people” of every generation.

  • “It involves a renunciation of sovereignty, the idea that I know best.” Sovereignty is NOT pride or “the idea that I know best.” Sovereignty is a maintenance of our original innocence into which “We, the people” are created by “their Creator”, virginity and discipline over the self. Sovereignty over the self is our legacy to our constitutional Posterity.

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Tuesday, August 15, AD 2017


1. The most bountiful God, who is almighty, the plan of whose providence rests upon wisdom and love, tempers, in the secret purpose of his own mind, the sorrows of peoples and of individual men by means of joys that he interposes in their lives from time to time, in such a way that, under different conditions and in different ways, all things may work together unto good for those who love him.(1)

2. Now, just like the present age, our pontificate is weighed down by ever so many cares, anxieties, and troubles, by reason of very severe calamities that have taken place and by reason of the fact that many have strayed away from truth and virtue. Nevertheless, we are greatly consoled to see that, while the Catholic faith is being professed publicly and vigorously, piety toward the Virgin Mother of God is flourishing and daily growing more fervent, and that almost everywhere on earth it is showing indications of a better and holier life. Thus, while the Blessed Virgin is fulfilling in the most affectionate manner her maternal duties on behalf of those redeemed by the blood of Christ, the minds and the hearts of her children are being vigorously aroused to a more assiduous consideration of her prerogatives.

3. Actually God, who from all eternity regards Mary with a most favorable and unique affection, has “when the fullness of time came”(2) put the plan of his providence into effect in such a way that all the privileges and prerogatives he had granted to her in his sovereign generosity were to shine forth in her in a kind of perfect harmony. And, although the Church has always recognized this supreme generosity and the perfect harmony of graces and has daily studied them more and more throughout the course of the centuries, still it is in our own age that the privilege of the bodily Assumption into heaven of Mary, the Virgin Mother of God, has certainly shone forth more clearly.

4. That privilege has shone forth in new radiance since our predecessor of immortal memory, Pius IX, solemnly proclaimed the dogma of the loving Mother of God’s Immaculate Conception. These two privileges are most closely bound to one another. Christ overcame sin and death by his own death, and one who through Baptism has been born again in a supernatural way has conquered sin and death through the same Christ. Yet, according to the general rule, God does not will to grant to the just the full effect of the victory over death until the end of time has come. And so it is that the bodies of even the just are corrupted after death, and only on the last day will they be joined, each to its own glorious soul.

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Saint of the Assumption

Tuesday, August 15, AD 2017



Since the time of the Reformation, the lack of devotion to the Mother of God has been a sign of the dying of Christendom.  Saint Maximilian Kolbe had been dedicated to the Virgin Mother since he had a vision of her when he was a boy.  She offered him the red crown of martyrdom or the white crown of purity, and he chose to take both.  By his founding of the Immaculata  Militia and his devotion to the Immaculata, our Blessed Mother found a knight and champion in Kolbe willing to proclaim her message in the teeth of the indifference and hostility of a world that so desperately needs precisely the love and compassion of the Queen of Heaven.

After the Nazi invasion of Poland, Saint Maximilian Kolbe threw open the doors of the monastery at  a Niepokalanów and gave assistance to thousands of refugees, including 2000 Jews.  Even the wife of a Nazi Gauleiter was moved by the endless compassion that Kolbe had for all who sought his assistance.  Facing a seemingly hopeless situation he gave hope and love to all he encountered.  Hope and love have always been in short supply on this planet and perhaps never more so than today.

A man carrying out the precepts of the Gospels under Nazi rule was a marked man, and so I am sure it came as no surprise to Father Kolbe when he was arrested by the Gestapo on February 17, 1941.  After a short stay at Pawiak prison, on May 28, 1941 he was sent to the extermination camp of Auschwitz to die.  Adolph Hitler was not the Anti-Christ, but it is hard in light of the death camps not to see him, along with his colleague in mass murder Joseph Stalin, as a developer of methods that might be utilized by the Anti-Christ.  Auschwitz is as close as humanity has come to creating a literal Hell on Earth, and into this industrial slaughter camp strode Father Kolbe, Prisoner 16670.  Whatever terrors await us in this century it is hard to believe we will manage to surpass the nihilistic worship of mass death that went on at Auschwitz.  The reaction of Father Kolbe?  Subject to the same beatings, starvation and brutality as his fellow prisoners, Kolbe moved among them at night, telling them that he was a Catholic priest.  He prayed with them and heard their confessions.  A constant theme for him was that the prisoners must pray for their persecutors and return evil with good.  When he was beaten, Father Kolbe would not cry out but would pray for the man beating him.  I confess that I could not do that, but I recognize the perfection of Christian love that Saint Maximilian achieved by doing so.  In the midst of his sufferings he was able to send a last letter to his dear mother.

“Dear Mama, At the end of the month of May I was transferred to the camp of Auschwitz. Everything is well in my regard. Be tranquil about me and about my health, because the good God is everywhere and provides for everything with love. It would be well that you do not write to me until you will have received other news from me, because I do not know how long I will stay here. Cordial greetings and kisses, affectionately. Raymond.”

I think that when he wrote that letter he already suspected that the ultimate sacrifice might soon be required of him.

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10 Responses to Saint of the Assumption

  • Excellent Mr. McClarey.

    God bless your work.
    Have a rewarding vacation.
    St. Maximilian Kolbe pray for us.

    Knights of the Immaculata…pray for the complete and total reign of the Sacred Heart to blanket the entire world as soon as possible.

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  • My dad worked with a fellow who was born in Auschwitz. Somehow he and his mother survived and made their way to Northeast Ohio.

    It is taken as Gospel truth that six million Jews died during the Holocaust. I am not disputing that. About six million Poles were killed in WWII. About half were Jews and half were Catholics. Timothy Snyder puts the number at about five million, but in the end what matters is that they were killed by murderous regimes whose ultimate goal was to create their version of Paradise on earth. All such schemes are doomed to fail.

  • A beautiful and unexpected gift occurred yesterday afternoon before our Rosary began. An 83 year old Episcopalian who has been sitting in on our devotion for almost a year asked me if she could convert to Catholism. This makes our second conversion from this nursing home. When I asked her why she wants to become Catholic she said; “Because I want to belong to the first Christian Church founded and receive the Eucharist.” She has been sitting in on the Communion services and Holy Mass for the past year as well. Not coincidental is the fact she asked me yesterday on our Lady’s Great feast! My seventeenth anniversary belonging to the Knights of the Immaculata.

    God is so good.

    She has her faculties about her and Fr. Libby has given me the green light to start preparing her for entrance into our Holy Catholic Church next spring.


  • Two more things about August 15, as it pertains to St. Maximilian and Our Lady:

    August 15 is Polish Armed Forces Day, in commemoration of the Miracle at the Vistula, where the Polish Army counterattacked the Red Army, handing the Communists a crushing defeat and chased them back halfway to Moscow.
    August 16 is the Feast Day of St. Joachim, father of Our Lady.

  • “Fr. Libby has given me the green light to start preparing her for entrance into our Holy Catholic Church next spring.”
    But she is 83! Why is Fr. Libby waiting?!

  • TomD

    I can’t speak for my priest however I will post your concern to him today.
    At this moment in time she is healthy.
    Nothing is prompting a fast track introduction. Kay, our most recent convert, was elated to be received into Holy Church along with the other catechumens two years ago. She was 85.

    If Anne’s health was to deteriorate I am certain that her wishes and Fr. Libby’s abilities to expedite the process would be accomplished.

    Kay loved the moment of our Bishop laying his hand upon her head. The photo of which we used for her memorial
    prayer card at her funeral.

    Thanks TomD for your comment.
    I will inquire about the possibility of the need to expedite the process. No one knows what hour we will be called home.
    For her it could be months prior to Easter.

  • Philip, I am sure Fr. Libby is taking the position that the salvation of Episcopalians is not at risk merely because they are Episcopalians (and I would concur), but hey, every little bit helps.

  • TomD.

    It’s what the action might have on another…(might).

    If a employee of that nursing home gives thought to the rosary devotion and the conversion of two residents making the change to Catholism in their twilight years…well, like I said, it might be a seed planted into a heart. The ripple effect.

    Who knows?

    What I do know is that the two elder women made a decision without being prodded or coerced into it. Something, rather, someone inside their hearts was/is calling them to himself.

    The Eucharist is calling.
    The real presence.
    The true God.
    Every little bit indeed.

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August 15, 1945: The Voice of the Crane

Tuesday, August 15, AD 2017



Allied bombers had been used on August 13, 1945 dropping leaflets over Japan which described, in Japanese, the surrender offer and the Allied response.  On August 14, 1945 Hirohito met with his military leaders, several of whom spoke in favor of continuing the War.  Hirohito urged them to help him bring the War to an end.  Meeting then with the Supreme Council for the Direction of the War and heard out those who recommended a rejection of the Allied offer unless there was a guarantee that the Emperor would continue to reign.  Hirohito then spoke:

I have listened carefully to each of the arguments presented in opposition to the view that Japan should accept the Allied reply as it stands and without further clarification or modification, but my own thoughts have not undergone any change. … In order that the people may know my decision, I request you to prepare at once an imperial rescript so that I may broadcast to the nation. Finally, I call upon each and every one of you to exert himself to the utmost so that we may meet the trying days which lie ahead.

In normal times in Japan that would have been that.  It was quite rare for the Emperor to so overtly intervene in a decision of the government, indeed it was forbidden under the then current Japanese constitution, but when he did, it would have literally been unthinkable for any Japanese not to instantly obey.  However, these were far from normal times.

The rest of the day was taken up with Hirohito preparing an address to his people and having a recording played to be broadcast on August 15, 1945.  Washington was advised that Japan had surrendered via the Japanese embassies in Switzerland and Sweden and the Allied world went wild with joy.

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Thirsty Priests

Monday, August 14, AD 2017

Rather cute little story– a group of priests went to the bar to lift a pint or two in honor of a newly ordained member…and were mistaken for a bachelor party, because they were dressed “formally.”
You know, in cassocks.

Thankfully a manager overheard them praying before they left and figured out what was up, and then to make up for it they renamed a beer.

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2 Responses to Thirsty Priests

  • If I ever get back to Cardiff, must check it out, being a beer connoiseur. 🙂

  • Cute. On the flip side of that, almost 30 years ago, my then 9 year old son was having blood drawn by a blue eyed phlebotomist in a white habit named Miriam. He asked her what order of sister she was. A little taken aback, she replied she was a Balkan Muslim. Nowadays in Northern Virginia nuns in habits are a rarity and veiled Muslim women are everywhere.

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August 14, 1917: Food Administration Grain Corporation

Monday, August 14, AD 2017


One of the frequently overlooked aspects of American involvement in World War I, is the massive shipments of food from the United States to the Allies that kept them from experiencing the type of dearth of food that afflicted Germany in the latter years of the War.  Behind the success of this effort was one of the greatest geniuses of organization in American history, future president Herbert Hoover.  Since the onset of the War he had organized food relief for occupied Belgium, and is still honored there, for his central role in preventing mass famine in that war devastated country, where the German conquerors had little concern of whether the Belgian civilians had food to eat.   Hoover performed similar  miracles of humanitarian relief in occupied France.

I his Executive Order of August 14, 1917 President Wilson established the Food Administration Grain Corporation with Herbert Hoover on the Board.  This was part of the United States Food Admninistration which Wilson appointed Hoover to lead.  Future posts will explore Hoover’s actions in charge of this organization.  Here is the text of the Executive Order of August 14, 1917:



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6 Responses to August 14, 1917: Food Administration Grain Corporation

  • Thank you for the post with video. Hoover and the American relief to Belgium were and may still be overlooked in text books thanks to historians coverage of the Great Depression – Hoover bad, FDR good. The video referred to America (Americans) as almoners, quaint but apt as we are a very generous nation then and now. Many NGOs for famine relief can be traced back to Hoover’s (pre and post presidency) worldwide efforts to alleviate or prevent hunger.
    The American Catholic posts on such a variety of subjects that encourages its readers to research further.

  • Surely not the same paragon of philanthropy Hoover who threatened to withhold food aid from Hungary if its citizens supported Blessed Kaiser Karl’s attempt to assume his rightful throne as King there? That Herbert Hoover???

  • A fairly accurate rendition of the comic opera attempt of Charles to reverse his abdication and take back the throne of Hungary:

  • So what??? Whether one thinks the plight of Karl and Hungary a comedy or a tragedy, the fact remains that food was used as coercion to achieve a short-sighted political end, the detrimental ramifications of which affected eastern Europe to the end of the last century.

  • “the detrimental ramifications of which affected eastern Europe to the end of the last century.”

    Charles had little support either internally or externally to take back the throne of Hungary. Any sort of attempt by the US to cut off food aid for Hungary would have been a very minor factor indeed. The time of the Hapsburgs was brought to an end by WWI, and even if Charles had managed to become King of Hungary I think it would have made very little difference in how the history of Eastern Europe would have played out over the next quarter of a century. Nationalism and ideologies were the major factors in the last century and the Hapsburgs monarchy had no role to play in that age.

  • and even if Charles had managed to become King of Hungary I think it would have made very little difference in how the history of Eastern Europe would have played out over the next quarter of a century.
    The east European states had internal disorders of varying degrees of severity. Given the type of disorder involved, it’s difficult to understand how cobbling a selection of them together in a dynasitc assemblage would have been prophylactic. It’s conceivable, I suppose, that Charles as King of Hungary could have put the brakes on some of the disagreeable features of public policy in Hungary (the escalating official antagonism to the Jewish minority). However, eastern Europe’s most horrendous problems were derived from international relations and the motor of what tormented them was located abroad. I’m not getting what is posited to be the prophylaxis of that other than maintenance of the Hapsburg Monarchy in toto, and that wasn’t an option when the restoration of Charles in Hungary was attempted. (Charles was a good man. It’s a pity he was not on in a position of influence after 1918).

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