Sunday, October 15, 2017

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s speech at the International Consultation on Christian Persecution

Your Holiness, Your Excellencies and Eminences, Esteemed Church and Secular Leaders,

Welcome to Budapest. Today I do not wish to talk about the persecution of Christians in Europe. The persecution of Christians in Europe operates with sophisticated and refined methods of an intellectual nature. It is undoubtedly unfair, it is discriminatory, sometimes it is even painful; but although it has negative impacts, it is tolerable. It cannot be compared to the brutal physical persecution which our Christian brothers and sisters have to endure in Africa and the Middle East. Today I’d like to say a few words about this form of persecution of Christians. We have gathered here from all over the world in order to find responses to a crisis that for too long has been concealed. We have come from different countries, yet there’s something that links us – the leaders of Christian communities and Christian politicians. We call this the responsibility of the watchman. In the Book of Ezekiel we read that if a watchman sees the enemy approaching and does not sound the alarm, the Lord will hold that watchman accountable for the deaths of those killed as a result of his inaction.

Dear Guests,

A great many times over the course of our history we Hungarians have had to fight to remain Christian and Hungarian. For centuries we fought on our homeland’s southern borders, defending the whole of Christian Europe, while in the twentieth century we were the victims of the communist dictatorship’s persecution of Christians. Here, in this room, there are some people older than me who have experienced first-hand what it means to live as a devout Christian under a despotic regime. For us, therefore, it is today a cruel, absurd joke of fate for us to be once again living our lives as members of a community under siege. For wherever we may live around the world – whether we’re Roman Catholics, Protestants, Orthodox Christians or Copts – we are members of a common body, and of a single, diverse and large community. Our mission is to preserve and protect this community. This responsibility requires us, first of all, to liberate public discourse about the current state of affairs from the shackles of political correctness and human rights incantations which conflate everything with everything else. We are duty-bound to use straightforward language in describing the events that are taking place around us, and to identify the dangers that threaten us. The truth always begins with the statement of facts. Today it is a fact that Christianity is the world’s most persecuted religion. It is a fact that 215 million Christians in 108 countries around the world are suffering some form of persecution. It is a fact that four out of every five people oppressed due to their religion are Christians. It is a fact that in Iraq in 2015 a Christian was killed every five minutes because of their religious belief. It is a fact that we see little coverage of these events in the international press, and it is also a fact that one needs a magnifying glass to find political statements condemning the persecution of Christians. But the world’s attention needs to be drawn to the crimes that have been committed against Christians in recent years. The world should understand that in fact today’s persecutions of Christians foreshadow global processes. The world should understand that the forced expulsion of Christian communities and the tragedies of families and children living in some parts of the Middle East and Africa have a wider significance: in fact they threaten our European values. The world should understand that what is at stake today is nothing less than the future of the European way of life, and of our identity.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We must call the threats we’re facing by their proper names. The greatest danger we face today is the indifferent, apathetic silence of a Europe which denies its Christian roots. However unbelievable it may seem today, the fate of Christians in the Middle East should bring home to Europe that what is happening over there may also happen to us. Europe, however, is forcefully pursuing an immigration policy which results in letting extremists, dangerous extremists, into the territory of the European Union. A group of Europe’s intellectual and political leaders wishes to create a mixed society in Europe which, within just a few generations, will utterly transform the cultural and ethnic composition of our continent – and consequently its Christian identity.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We Hungarians are a Central European people; there aren’t many of us, and we do not have a great many relatives. Our influence, territory, population and army are similarly not significant. We know our place in the ranking of the world’s nations. We are a medium-sized European state, and there are countries much bigger than us which should, as a matter of course, bear a great deal more responsibility than we do. Now, however, we Hungarians are taking a proactive role. There are good reasons for this. I can see – and I know through having met them personally – how many well-intentioned truly Christian politicians there are in Europe. They are not strong enough, however: they work in coalition governments; they are at the mercy of media industries with attitudes very different from theirs; and they have insufficient political strength to act according to their convictions. While Hungary is only a medium-sized European state, it is in a different situation. This is a stable country: the political formation now in office won two-thirds majorities in two consecutive elections; the country has an economic support base which is not enormous, but is stable; and the public’s general attitude is robust. This means that we are in a position to speak up for persecuted Christians. In other words, in such a stable situation, there could be no excuse for Hungarians not taking action and not honouring the obligation rooted in their Christian faith. This is how fate and God have compelled Hungary to take the initiative, regardless of its size. We are proud that for more than a thousand years we have belonged to the great family of Christian peoples. This, too, imposes an obligation on us.

Dear Guests,

For us, Europe is a Christian continent, and this is how we want to keep it. Even though we may not be able to keep all of it Christian, at least we can do so for the segment that God has entrusted to the Hungarian people. Taking this as our starting-point, we have decided to do all we can to help our Christian brothers and sisters outside Europe who are forced to live under persecution. What is interesting about this decision is not the fact that we are seeking to help, but the way we are seeking to help. The solution we settled on has been to take the help we are providing directly to the churches of persecuted Christians. We are not using the channels established earlier, which seek to assist the persecuted as best they can within the framework of international aid. Our view is that the best way to help is to channel resources directly to the churches of persecuted communities. In our view this is how to produce the best results, this is how resources can be used to the full, and this is how there can be a guarantee that such resources are indeed channelled to those who need them. And as we are Christians, we help Christian churches and channel these resources to them. I could also say that we are doing the very opposite of what is customary in Europe today: we declare that trouble should not be brought here, but assistance must be taken to where it is needed.

Dear Friends,

Our approach is that the right thing to do is to act virtuously, rather than just talk about doing so. In this way we avoid doing good things simply in order to burnish our reputation: we avoid doing good things out of calculation, as good deeds must come from the heart, and for the glory of God. Yet now it is my duty to talk about the facts of good deeds. My justification, the reason I am telling you all this, is to prove to us all that politics in Europe is not necessarily helpless in the face of the persecution of Christians. The reason I am talking about some good deeds is that they may serve as an example for others, and may induce others to also perform good deeds. So please consider everything that I say now in this light. In 2016 we set up the Deputy State Secretariat for the Aid of Persecuted Christians, which – in cooperation with churches, non-governmental organisations, the UN, The Hague and the European Parliament – liaises with and provides help for persecuted Christian communities. We listen to local Christian leaders and to what they believe is most important, and then do what we have to. From them I have learnt that the most important thing we can do is provide assistance for them to return home to resettle in their native lands. We Hungarians want Syrian, Iraqi and Nigerian Christians to be able to return as soon as possible to the lands where their ancestors lived for hundreds of years. This is what we call Hungarian solidarity – or, using the words you see behind me: “Hungary helps”. This is why we decided to help rebuild their homes and churches; and thanks to Hungarian Interchurch Aid, in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon we also build community centres. We have launched a special scholarship programme for young people raised in Christian families suffering persecution, and I am pleased to welcome some of those young people here today. I am sure that after their studies in Hungary, when they return to their communities, they will be active, core members of those communities. And we are also working in cooperation with the Pázmány Péter Catholic University on the establishment of a Hungarian-founded university. The Hungarian government has provided aid of 580 million forints for the rebuilding of damaged homes in the Iraqi town of Tesqopa, as a result to which we hope that hundreds of Iraqi Christian families who now live as internal refugees may be able to return to their homes. We likewise support the activities of the Syriac Catholic Church and the Syriac Orthodox Church. I should also mention something which perhaps does not sound particularly special to a foreigner, but, believe me, here in Hungary is unprecedented, and I can’t even remember the last time something like it happened: all parties in the Hungarian National Assembly united to support adoption of a resolution which condemns the persecution of Christians, supports the Government in providing help, condemns the activities of the organisation called Islamic State, and calls upon the International Criminal Court to launch proceedings in response to the persecution, oppression and murder of Christians.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

When we support the return of persecuted Christians to their homelands, the Hungarian people is fulfilling a mission. In addition to what the Esteemed Bishop has outlined, our Fundamental Law constitutionally declares that we Hungarians recognise the role of Christianity in preserving nationhood. And if we recognise this for ourselves, then we also recognise it for other nations; in other words, we want Christian communities returning to Syria, Iraq and Nigeria to become forces for the preservation of their own countries, just as for us Hungarians Christianity is a force for preservation. From here I also urge Europe’s politicians to cast aside politically correct modes of speech and cast aside human rights-induced caution. And I ask them and urge them to do everything within their power for persecuted Christians.

Soli Deo gloria!

Source.

Axios!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Coptic Orthodox Bishop Killed outside Cairo, Egypt

CAIRO (Morning Star News) – A Coptic Orthodox bishop from Upper Egypt was slain outside Cairo, Egypt yesterday.

The assailant struck Bishop Samaan Shehata in the head, neck and torso with a machete in the El Salam area near El Marg District on the outskirts of Cairo, according to local reports. Shehata was born in 1972.

While a security spokesman said the suspect, Ahmed Saeed Ibrahim, was mentally ill, neighbors reportedly denied this, saying he was a Muslim who had been “radicalized” a year ago. Since then, they said, Ibrahim had begun praying in the street, shouting loudly and calling Christians infidels.

The suspect walked calmly out of the warehouse after killing Shehata, according to security camera footage. Captured by people on the street and now in custody, Ibrahim had reportedly approached Shehata wielding the large knife while the bishop was waiting for another clergyman in his car.

Visiting from his Church of St. Julius Akfazi in Ezbet Girgis village, in Beni Suef Governorate, Shehata was waiting for another priest, the Rev. Beimen Moftah, when Ibrahim accosted him and attacked him, eyewitnesses told local press. Reports conflicted on whether Moftah, of the Church of the Arch Angel Malak in Ezbet Francis, Mattay village, was injured, but he did reportedly confront the assailant.

Stabbed in the neck and torso near the Virgin and Bishop Shenouda El Daeiry church, the wounded Shehata fled on foot into the warehouse, according to security camera footage obtained by El Youm el Sabe News agency, which shows the assailant following with the machete.

Police said eyewitnesses reported that the assailant had seen Shehata in his car, forcibly stopped him, ordered him out and then started to stab him in the neck and torso. Shehata fled, and the attacker followed him into the warehouse and finished his attack there with several blows to the head, they said.

Shehata’s driver, identified as Gerges Kamel, reportedly said the bishop had gotten out of the car to retrieve his cell phone at the warehouse when the assailant stopped him and stabbed him in the side, neck and skull. Kamel said the assailant used the bishop’s blood to form a cross on his forehead, according to a local newspaper.

An ambulance didn’t arrive until 90 minutes after the assault, according to Kamel, who added that the bishop was alive for half an hour after being struck and could have been saved if the ambulance had arrived timely. He denied that the suspect was mentally ill.

Read the rest here.

Memory eternal!

Bishop Athanasius Yevtich: discusses Fr. George Florovsky's "The Limits of the Church"

It will be difficult for me to duly expound on the magnitude and importance of Fr. George Florovsky, the “ecumenical first-priest”, as he was referred to by his student, bishop Daniel (Krstich).[1] Nonetheless, with great love and gratitude to God and to Fr. George, I will always remember when as a Priestmonk I served Divine Liturgy with this great father, celebrant and theologian, in a 9th C Byzantine church, in the monastery of Saint Nicodemus in Athens, which later became known in the 19th C as the “Russian Church”. Afterwards, with the providence and grace of God, I had the honor to succeed him for three years (1970-1972) at the Orthodox Theological Institute of Saints Sergius in Paris, as chair of Patristics, along with Fr. Andrew Fyrilla. Before I met him, however, and got acquainted with him on a personal level, Fr. Justin Popovich spoke frequently about Fr. George Florovsky, with whom he spent years together during the German invasion in Serbia, when they would meet and discuss. Fr. Justin Popovich would call Fr. George Florovsky an “icon on the iconostasis of orthodox theology of the modern age”.

The organizers of this present colloquium asked me to speak on the subject, “Fr. George Florovsky on the Boundaries of the Church”. It concerns a very difficult subject and I will try to speak as objectively as I can, with complete respect towards Fr. George Florovsky, but with a critical approach towards the position that he formulated in his article. In previous sessions, there were already some presentations about Fr. Florovsky’s ecclesiology, which happens to be rich and multi-dimensional. His article on the “Boundaries of the Church”2, in my opinion constitutes an early phase in Fr. George Florovsky’s evolution. It was written in Paris on the feast day of Saint Sergius in 1933. It was published in English, then in Russian, and even then, in French and Serbian. There exists a translation in Greek3. Without a doubt, the article of Fr. Florovsky is written within the framework of the ecumenical movement, which also is a leading subject for his time as well as in our own. This fact is highlighted by the author himself, as he refers to an article of his, “On the Reunification of Christians”, which was published in a volume collection in 1933 in Paris, just as another older article of his, “The Problems of Christian Unification”4.

We will not [sic] continue the exhaustive analysis of this article by Fr. George Florovsky. The author briefly mentions in the text the apostolic and patristic events concerning the unity of the Church, by giving special emphasis on Saint Cyprian of Carthage. He presents and exercises criticism on the positions of Cyprian, and then goes to Saint Augustine and the practice of the Church in relation to the acceptance of heretics. Subsequently, the author refers to modern Russian theologians. Thus, on the one hand there is a mention of Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky) and of Archbishop Hilarion (Troitsky) who considered that the charismatic boundaries of the Church coincide with the canonical. On the other hand, he refers to (Aleksey) Khomyakov and Philaret (Drozdov), the Metropolitan of Moscow, who considered that the charismatic and canonical borders of the Church did not coincide. I also remember Fr. Justin Popovich, who would say that the more correct and theologically orthodox position was held by Metropolitan Anthony and Archbishop Hilarion, that in other words, the charismatic and canonical boundaries of the Church coincide. It is interesting that in the same year, of 1933, an article was published, written by bishop Sergius (Stragorodski), the later Patriarch of Russia, which Fr. George Florovsky most likely did not have a chance to consider. These two theologians [Metropolitan Anthony and Archbishop Hilarion], although they wrote independently from each other, almost echo the same views word for word, resulting in concurring opinions on the limits of the Church. Fr. George Florovsky elicits the Greek theologians, [Christos] Androutsos and [Konstantinos] Diovouniotis, – rather old and conservative theologians, and mostly refers to them in relation to a commentary of his concerning economy of the Church. We must note that this commentary in particular was also weak. Fr. Florovsky does not proceed to analyze the great Fathers of the Church, although in approximately the same period he writes some of his greatest and famous works on Patristics, such as, “The Eastern Fathers of the 4th C”5, and “The Byzantine Fathers of the 6th- 8th Cs”.6

Read the rest here.
See also Fr. George Florovsky's actual essay here.

Many thanks to Fr. Peter Heers for posting this excellent translation.

Monday, October 09, 2017

Papal adviser: We can no longer ‘judge people’ based on moral norms

BOSTON, Massachusetts, October 6, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) -- Jesuit priest and papal confidant Father Anthony Spadaro said that Pope Francis holds that the Catholic Church can no longer set down general norms that apply to entire groups of people.

Spadaro, editor of the Italian magazine La Civiltà Cattolica, made the comment today at a conference at Boston College where liberal Cardinals met with dissident theologians to discuss strategies for implementing Pope Francis’ controversial teachings on marriage and family in dioceses across the United States.

The Jesuit priest told attendees that Amoris Laetitia, the Pope's 2016 teaching on marriage and family, recognizes that people living in "irregular" family situations, such as the divorced and remarried living in adultery, "can be living in God's grace, can love and can also grow in a life of grace."

"We must conclude that the Pope realizes that one can no longer speak of an abstract category of persons and ... [a] praxis of integration in a rule that is absolutely to be followed in every instance," he said, according to a report by National Catholic Reporter.

"Since the degree of responsibility is not equal in all cases, the consequences or effects of a rule need not necessarily always be the same," he added.

"It is no longer possible to judge people on the basis of a norm that stands above all," he concluded.

Jesuit Fr. James Keenan, a dissident theologian at Boston College and one of the main organizers of the October 5-6 event, said the conference will “fortify and further the ongoing reception of Amoris in the U.S."

Read the rest here.

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

The Madness of Saint Woodrow: Or, What If the United States Had Stayed out of the Great War?

On April 2, 1917, Woodrow Wilson rose before a joint session of Congress to make the case for a declaration of war on Germany. Summoning his considerable eloquence, Wilson intoned: “the right is more precious than peace,” “make the world safe for democracy,” “a universal dominion of right by a concert of free peoples,” “America is privileged to spend her blood,” and, in a conscious echo of Martin Luther, “God helping her, she can do no other.”

But the sentence that really proclaimed a global crusade was this:
Neutrality is no longer feasible or desirable where the peace of the world is involved and the freedom of its peoples, and the menace to that peace and freedom lies in the existence of autocratic governments backed by organized force which is controlled wholly by their will, not by the will of their people.

The Truman Doctrine would be moderate by comparison.
During the Senate’s cursory two-day debate, William J. Stone (D-Mo.), chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, warned that to enter this war would be “the greatest national blunder in history.” George W. Norris (R-Neb.) rejected Wilson’s rhetoric as moral gloss obscuring financial interests, declaring: “We are putting the dollar sign on the American flag.”

The noted Independent from  Wisconsin, Robert “Fighting Bob” La Follette,  rebutted the President’s arguments in a tearful address to his colleagues that lasted four hours. If, as Wilson said, Germany was waging a war against all of humanity, how come the United States was the only neutral nation to object? If, as Wilson said, this was a war to make the world safe for democracy, how come the British refused it to the peoples of Ireland, India, Egypt? If, as Wilson said, the United States meant to wage war on a militaristic government and not on the German people, how come more Germans supported their Kaiser than Americans had voted for Wilson in 1916?
Nevertheless, the Congress, which had bowed to the White House on issues of war and peace ever since 1812, did so again. To be sure, the Senate voted 82 to 6 in favor of war on April 4, and the House, two days later, approved the war resolution 373 to 50, but British Ambassador Cecil Spring-Rice cabled back to London his judgment that the Americans had gone to war “with the greatest reluctance.”[1]

Read the rest here.
HT: Fr. David

Many Years!

To the Archpriest David Thatcher on the 20th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood.

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Putin to target Russia's abortion culture

MOSCOW — On a recent windy afternoon, members of a prominent Russian religious group were busy laying out 2,000 pairs of children’s shoes in the corner of a park — each representing an abortion performed on an average day in Russia.

Fighting the elements to keep the tiny slippers and rubber boots in place, the organizers from “For Life” took to loudspeakers to reel off the reasons why Russia should make abortion illegal. Simultaneously, two men unfurled a long red-and-white banner with a quote by President Vladimir Putin, reading: “Demography is a vital issue… Either we’ll continue to exist, or we won’t.”

“If we don’t illegalize abortion, we cannot grow our population, and how can Russia retain its strength and greatness without that?” asked Maria Studenikina, an organizer from the Moscow faction of “For Life.” The group’s shoe project, called “If Only They Could Go to School,” has been staged in recent months in 40 cities across Russia. The shoes are accompanied by blackboards, cheery children’s backpacks, and squishy fetus dolls.

Russia’s anti-abortion movement has gathered momentum in recent months, as activists — usually devout members of the influential Russian Orthodox Church — have started seizing on the country’s demographic crisis as an urgent reason for banning the practice. They have also started citing Russia’s newfound commitment to a more forward-leaning posture on the global stage, from the wars in Syria and Ukraine to the diplomatic crisis over North Korea.

Both reasons seem designed to appeal to Putin, who, despite a growing alliance with the church — which critics say he uses as an extension of his administration — has yet to speak out about the abortion debate gripping the country. But he may soon be obliged to take a stand.

In August, “For Life” announced they had collected 1 million signatures in favor of banning abortion, including from Patriarch Kirill, head of Russia’s Orthodox Church and Putin’s close ally. That permits them to present their petition to the State Duma, or lower house of parliament, and then, if it gains a majority there — which seems likely — to the upper house and eventually Putin himself. The group, which says it receives no financial backing from the church, helped draft a bill two years ago that aims to remove abortions from the free national health care system; it is still being reviewed by parliament.

Read the rest here.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

A quick update and reminder

I am wrapping up my visit to the 1970's and will be returning to the modern world sometime in the next couple of weeks. Mom has more or less recovered from her surgery and I am no longer needed here. Also please remember that comment moderation will remain in place until I get home. Sorry for the inconvenience but in the past there have been attempts to post inappropriate comments so as long as I'm only popping in every few days this will have to continue. Once I am home and able to monitor things more regularly comment moderation will be limited to threads that are over ten days old.

Monday, September 25, 2017

A "Filial Correction" of Pope Francis is issued

A handful of laymen, academics and brave clergy have issued a formal correction to the Pope of Rome. I am saddened that the only bishop who has signed it (thus far) is Mgr. Fellay of the SSPX. That said, it is a beginning.

Read it here.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Belgian Brothers of Charity defy Vatican over euthanasia

The Belgian Brothers of Charity have defied the Pope and announced they will continue offering euthanasia at their hospitals despite being ordered to stop.

The group said in a statement that it “continues to stand by its vision statement on euthanasia for mental suffering in a non-terminal situation” and that they “emphatically believe” the practice is compatible with Catholic teaching.

The group also claimed the decision had “come about starting from the Christian frame of thought” and that they “always take into account the shifts and evolutions within society”.

Last month, Pope Francis approved a Vatican demand that Brothers must stop offering euthanasia by the end of August.

Read the rest here.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Irma (Updated)

I am still up north helping with mom's recovery, which is going extremely well, but I live in the southwest corner of Florida. As you can probably guess, I am keeping one eye on the Weather Channel almost continuously. Because I flew up even my car is in the potential line of fire. Of course a lot of other people are in the same boat and some have already lost everything in the Caribbean.

Kyrie eleison.

(Update: 09-11-2017 1425 EDT)
No specific word on the house yet, but everything I am reading from local news sources suggests that Fort Myers pretty much dodged a bullet. It sounds like the much feared storm surge was pretty much a no show and the wind damage locally sounds like your typical nuisance stuff... downed power lines, lots of tree limbs, some debris here and there etc.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Guardian is wondering...

Why is Colin Kaepernick still unsigned?

That's not hard to answer. He engaged in political grandstanding while on the job and wearing the uniform of his employers. That's not a legally protected form of freedom of speech. If you choose to do that sort of thing, there are likely to be consequences. I know that if I did something like that I would have been sacked on the spot and quite correctly. This has nothing to do with the correctness (or lack thereof) of the message he was trying to communicate. It has to do with respect for your employers and maintaining a professional deportment when you are on the clock and wearing the company uniform. If you want to protest something, you do it on your own time and in your own clothes.

Quick update

I'm still alive. Mom's surgery went well and to my surprise, I am rather enjoying my partial vacation from the internet. With luck I will be back home towards the end of September - early October.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Long Break Ahead

We are rapidly approaching the point where I will be temporarily relocating back to the year 1975 (mentioned here). As much as I hate doing it, during this period I will have to enable comment moderation. So if you are leaving comments it could be a while before I get a chance to approve them.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Anthony Scaramucci’s vulgar New Yorker interview is beyond words (PG-13)

I'm not going to excerpt this but I will confirm that it is completely over the top. This isn't a presidential administration. It's a political coup d'état executed by escapees from a lunatic asylum.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Technology



It is my heart-warmed and world-embracing Christmas hope and aspiration that all of us, the high, the low, the rich, the poor, the admired, the despised, the loved, the hated, the civilized, the savage (every man and brother of us all throughout the whole earth), may eventually be gathered together in a heaven of everlasting rest and peace and bliss, except the inventor of the telephone.
~ Mark Twain, Christmas 1890

Friday, July 21, 2017

Conservative Anglicans are close to despair. Is the CofE about to split?

As an Anglican, I used to think theological liberalism was on the wane. Not any more

Anyone with a lick of sense can see that the Church of England is in serious trouble. Congregational decline, child abuse scandals, and financially desperate cathedrals are just the most obvious symptoms of a very broad disease. As an Anglican, I have been confident that the Church would manage to turn things around in a few decades. After the most recent meeting of General Synod, however, I am no longer so confident.

On the face it, the Synod’s changes were all fairly minor. For all the fuss, the proposal to write official liturgies affirming the new gender identity of transgender people may well be ignored even by Church’s own bishops; and the changes on regulation of vestments merely rubber-stamps what already takes places across swathes of the Church.

But the most significant thing about the Synod was the manner in which it was conducted. The bishops stayed largely silent as Synod did theology by endless anecdote. The only notable episcopal contributions came from the liberal northern prelates (especially Paul Bayes of Liverpool). An outburst of anti-capitalism from the Archbishop of York provided comedy value amongst the general dour air of neo-Puritanism. The monotonous drumbeat of socialism and sexual liberalism was only broken by the ecumenical contribution of Bishop Angaelos of the Coptic Orthodox Church, who warned Synod that it’s bad for PR and the soul to spend so much time talking about sex. His plea fell on deaf ears.

Leading conservative Synod members seem to have left in a state of mind verging on despair. They have suffered no major defeats, but seem confident that it’s only a matter of time. The general consensus is that the “middle third” of Synod has no more appetite for gruelling fights or media uproar, and will quietly acquiesce to liberal demands for church blessings of same-sex marriage, to be shortly followed by same-sex marriage itself.

Read the rest here.

I feel badly for Mr. Sabisky. Not so much because he is right in his despair about the future of his religious confession, but rather because he does not grasp it's current state. The CofE is, and has been for quite some time, deeply and profoundly heretical by any metric of small "o" orthodox Christianity. Arguably it is simply apostate. That he, as a self professed "conservative" Anglican, does not grasp this pretty much says all that needs to be said about how bad things have gotten there.

Monday, July 17, 2017

RIP Martin Landau

Probably best remembered for his Oscar winning performance in Edward Wood where he brilliantly played the aging Bela Lugosi and also for his role in the 1960's TV series Mission Impossible. However, I  remember him for his role in the campy 1970's sci-fi series Space 1999. At the time I was a kid  and loved the show. Ok ok. So they were a little off in predicting that people in 1999 would all be wearing two tone uni-suits and platform shoes. I've no idea what became of it, but I remember getting a giant sized play model of one the show's space eagles for Christmas one year. I bet that thing would be worth a mint today. Anyways, thanks for the memories Mr. Landau. Memory eternal.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Bastille Day

For a Frenchman to celebrate the Revolution is akin to celebrating the day your mother contracted cholera. All of the great calamities of the modern world are the fruit of the Revolution. The two world wars. Social violence and class warfare. Communism and Nazism, the two most murderous ideologies in the history of the world are the bastard children of the French Revolution. The history of the French Revolution is written in blood and it is still being written. Gravilo Princip, Lenin, Mussolini, Franco (and the Spanish Republicans- two sides of the same coin), Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, any of the various Kims, Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, & etc. are the spiritual heirs of Robespierre. The true symbols of modern liberalism are not liberté, égalité, fraternité, they are the guillotine and the abortion clinic.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Pope Francis is behaving like a Latin American dictator – but the liberal media aren’t interested

At the end of June, Pope Francis dismissed Cardinal Gerhard Müller from his position as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) – arguably the most important position in the Catholic Church after that of the Pope himself, since the CDF is in charge of doctrine.

Müller was given no notice that the Pope was breaking from tradition by not renewing his five-year mandate – and no explanation. A few days later, on July 4, he explained what had happened in a long phone call to his friend Cardinal Joachim Meisner, one of four cardinals who had challenged Francis on the question of Communion for divorced and remarried Catholics.

Meisner was horrified to hear the details of Müller’s humiliation. And, that night, he died in his sleep at the age of 83.

Now Müller – who has always been careful never to question the Pope – has also broken with tradition. He has spoken angrily about the way he was treated – drawing attention to the fact that a pope who never misses an opportunity to uphold workers’ rights plays by very different rules inside the Vatican.

This is what Müller told the Bavarian newspaper Passauer Neue Presse...

Read the rest here.

The Church of Modern Lunacy

I have a passing interest in the Church of England and its American variation, the Episcopal Church. An old friend is in the church so I get some first hand descriptions of what it is like to be in a dying institution. That’s the only way to describe the Episcopal Church. Attendance declines every year as old members die off and new members never materialize. Go into an Episcopal service and you can’t help but notice that most everyone is a senior. The actuarial tables are the church’s greatest enemy.

Of course, church attendance has always skewed a little older. Young people tend not to be attracted to the faith, even if their parents regularly attend services. As people get older, have families and begin to sink roots, they get more involved in their faith and attend services regularly. That’s the trouble with the mainline Protestant religions. The young are not coming back once they start having families. That means their children are not raised in the faith. As a result, these churches are now in a death spiral.

The story is familiar to anyone who has been paying attention. These churches made the decision to chase the latest social fads in the 70’s and 80’s, hoping to make themselves more appealing to the young. The only thing they did was make themselves less attractive to people interested in being part of a traditional Christian sect. It was not just in the pews, but in the clergy as well. Those feeling the call found that the church in which they were raised was not interested in defending and maintaining the faith.

The result is the clergy slowly radicalized. First came the women and then the feminist women. Soon they invited in the homosexuals and the clergy started looking like the faculty of a liberal arts college. That’s when the pews started to empty out. Why bother going to church, when you can get the same liberal lecture from television? That’s what started the decline in church attendance. Instead of offering a shelter from the storm, they decided to chase an over-served market – radical Progressives.

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Shroud of Turin bears blood of torture victim according to latest research

New atomic resolution research indicates that the mysterious Shroud of Turin does in fact contain the blood of a torture victim, thus undermining theories that the shroud was painted, reports Catholic News Agency.

“On the basis of the experimental evidences of our atomic resolution TEM studies, the man wrapped in the [Shroud of Turin] suffered a strong polytrauma,” reads the conclusion of the new study. The research was carried out by the Instituo Officia dei Materiali in Trieste and the Institute of Crystallography in Bari, both under Italy’s National Research Council, as well as the University of Padua’s Department of Industrial Engineering, with the results published in the article “New Biological Evidence from Atomic Resolution Studies on the Turin Shroud” in the multidisciplinary open access, peer-reviewed journal PLOS ONE. 

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Russian Orthodox Church Launches New Missionary Radio Channel In North America


Of course it's only in Russian... sigh.

More here.