Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year


Concerns for the Queen's Health

The Queen may miss the annual New Year's Day church service at Sandringham, with a decision expected to be taken on Sunday morning on whether she is well enough to attend.

The 90-year-old monarch has not been seen in public for 11 days since she and Prince Philip fell ill with what was officially described as "heavy colds".

The illness forced the Queen to miss the Christmas Day service at St Mary Magdalene church in Sandringham for the first time in 28 years.

Philip, 95, who is known for his robust health, was well enough to attend and walked briskly to the church as usual on Christmas morning with Prince Charles, Prince Harry and other family members.

But a Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said she was unable to confirm or deny if the Queen would be going to the 16th century church today on New Year's Day, adding: "The Queen is continuing to recover from her heavy cold and is still in residence at Sandringham."

"We probably will not know what is happening until the morning."

Read the rest here.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Constantinople to the Greek Church: Defrock and Excommunicate Critics of the Council

Unbelievable. The hubris of this man knows no bounds. Clearly he sees himself as an Orthodox Francis. I wonder if he intends to break communion with the churches of Antioch, Bulgaria Georgia and Russia.

Anaxios!

Friday, December 09, 2016

Quote of the day...

"There is a crackpot quality to this pontificate. Nothing is gained by tripping over our own tongues trying to disguise, excuse, or justify it. The Church was healthier under Alexander VI. A sinner, for sure. Yet the Borgia pope was still an impressive man in many ways. The Church would be better served by a pope who had all his wits plus a mistress on the side than an erratic, mercy-mongering pretender to virtue."

From here.
HT: Bill Tighe

Rome in Eye of A Storm- An interview with Edward Pentin on the crisis in the Catholic Church

He is a veteran Vatican-watcher, the Rome reporter for the USA’s National Catholic Register. He’s also that rarity among journalists – a practicing Catholic.

He’s a real pro, too.  In 2014 Edward Pentin’s journalistic integrity came under fire from a Pope Francis favorite, German Cardinal Emeritus Walter Kasper. The liberal Cardinal’s disparaging comments about African prelates attending the Synod had been captured on Pentin’s Iphone recorder. Kasper publicly denied ever making such remarks – and then had to retract his denial when Pentin quietly published the audio. The resulting furore quickly derailed attempts to hijack the Synod by Kasper and his cronies.

Now it seems that once again, all eyes are on Rome. A group of high-ranking prelates have made public a ‘dubia’ they had sent to Pope Francis with questions on Amoris Laetitia. This, because the Pope ignored  the same dubia, sent privately two months before.

All quite proper under Canon Law. But the move has set off a firestorm of controversy, even involving the Pope himself, who this week made the astounding comparison of journalists covering Vatican scandals to people with a sexual interest in feces. Now, rumours are swirling that the Pope is unwell, and one British journalist has even called for his retirement. Most recently, 23 scholars have signed a public letter supporting the Cardinals, warning of a ‘metastasizing crisis’ in the Church.

What is going on in the Vatican? In an attempt to get some clarity amidst a storm of spin, REGINA asked Edward Pentin to report on what he’s seeing, from his vantage point in Rome.

Read the rest here.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Semper Fidelis

From a speech delivered by General John Kelley USMC...

Two years ago when I was the Commander of all U.S. and Iraqi forces, in fact, the 22nd of April 2008, two Marine infantry battalions, 1/9 “The Walking Dead,” and 2/8 were switching out in Ramadi. One battalion in the closing days of their deployment going home very soon, the other just starting its seven-month combat tour.

Two Marines, Corporal Jonathan Yale and Lance Corporal Jordan Haerter, 22 and 20 years old respectively, one from each battalion, were assuming the watch together at the entrance gate of an outpost that contained a makeshift barracks housing 50 Marines.

The same broken down ramshackle building was also home to 100 Iraqi police, also my men and our allies in the fight against the terrorists in Ramadi, a city until recently the most dangerous city on earth and owned by Al Qaeda. Yale was a dirt poor mixed-race kid from Virginia with a wife and daughter, and a mother and sister who lived with him and he supported as well. He did this on a yearly salary of less than $23,000. Haerter, on the other hand, was a middle class white kid from Long Island.

They were from two completely different worlds. Had they not joined the Marines they would never have met each other, or understood that multiple America’s exist simultaneously depending on one’s race, education level, economic status, and where you might have been born. But they were Marines, combat Marines, forged in the same crucible of Marine training, and because of this bond they were brothers as close, or closer, than if they were born of the same woman.

The mission orders they received from the sergeant squad leader I am sure went something like: “Okay you two clowns, stand this post and let no unauthorized personnel or vehicles pass.” “You clear?” I am also sure Yale and Haerter then rolled their eyes and said in unison something like: “Yes Sergeant,” with just enough attitude that made the point without saying the words, “No kidding sweetheart, we know what we’re doing.” They then relieved two other Marines on watch and took up their post at the entry control point of Joint Security Station Nasser, in the Sophia section of Ramadi, al Anbar, Iraq.

A few minutes later a large blue truck turned down the alley way—perhaps 60-70 yards in length—and sped its way through the serpentine of concrete jersey walls. The truck stopped just short of where the two were posted and detonated, killing them both catastrophically. Twenty-four brick masonry houses were damaged or destroyed. A mosque 100 yards away collapsed. The truck’s engine came to rest two hundred yards away knocking most of a house down before it stopped.

Our explosive experts reckoned the blast was made of 2,000 pounds of explosives. Two died, and because these two young infantrymen didn’t have it in their DNA to run from danger, they saved 150 of their Iraqi and American brothers-in-arms.

When I read the situation report about the incident a few hours after it happened I called the regimental commander for details as something about this struck me as different. Marines dying or being seriously wounded is commonplace in combat. We expect Marines regardless of rank or MOS to stand their ground and do their duty, and even die in the process, if that is what the mission takes. But this just seemed different.

The regimental commander had just returned from the site and he agreed, but reported that there were no American witnesses to the event—just Iraqi police. I figured if there was any chance of finding out what actually happened and then to decorate the two Marines to acknowledge their bravery, I’d have to do it as a combat award that requires two eye-witnesses and we figured the bureaucrats back in Washington would never buy Iraqi statements. If it had any chance at all, it had to come under the signature of a general officer.

I traveled to Ramadi the next day and spoke individually to a half-dozen Iraqi police all of whom told the same story. The blue truck turned down into the alley and immediately sped up as it made its way through the serpentine. They all said, “We knew immediately what was going on as soon as the two Marines began firing.” The Iraqi police then related that some of them also fired, and then to a man, ran for safety just prior to the explosion.

All survived. Many were injured … some seriously. One of the Iraqis elaborated and with tears welling up said, “They’d run like any normal man would to save his life.”

What he didn’t know until then, he said, and what he learned that very instant, was that Marines are not normal. Choking past the emotion he said, “Sir, in the name of God no sane man would have stood there and done what they did.”

“No sane man.”

“They saved us all.”

What we didn’t know at the time, and only learned a couple of days later after I wrote a summary and submitted both Yale and Haerter for posthumous Navy Crosses, was that one of our security cameras, damaged initially in the blast, recorded some of the suicide attack. It happened exactly as the Iraqis had described it. It took exactly six seconds from when the truck entered the alley until it detonated.

You can watch the last six seconds of their young lives. Putting myself in their heads I supposed it took about a second for the two Marines to separately come to the same conclusion about what was going on once the truck came into their view at the far end of the alley. Exactly no time to talk it over, or call the sergeant to ask what they should do. Only enough time to take half an instant and think about what the sergeant told them to do only a few minutes before: “ … let no unauthorized personnel or vehicles pass.”

The two Marines had about five seconds left to live. It took maybe another two seconds for them to present their weapons, take aim, and open up. By this time the truck was half-way through the barriers and gaining speed the whole time. Here, the recording shows a number of Iraqi police, some of whom had fired their AKs, now scattering like the normal and rational men they were—some running right past the Marines. They had three seconds left to live.

For about two seconds more, the recording shows the Marines’ weapons firing non-stop…the truck’s windshield exploding into shards of glass as their rounds take it apart and tore in to the body of the son-of-a-bitch who is trying to get past them to kill their brothers—American and Iraqi—bedded down in the barracks totally unaware of the fact that their lives at that moment depended entirely on two Marines standing their ground. If they had been aware, they would have know they were safe … because two Marines stood between them and a crazed suicide bomber.

The recording shows the truck careening to a stop immediately in front of the two Marines. In all of the instantaneous violence Yale and Haerter never hesitated. By all reports and by the recording, they never stepped back. They never even started to step aside. They never even shifted their weight. With their feet spread shoulder width apart, they leaned into the danger, firing as fast as they could work their weapons. They had only one second left to live.

The truck explodes. The camera goes blank. Two young men go to their God.

Six seconds.

Not enough time to think about their families, their country, their flag, or about their lives or their deaths, but more than enough time for two very brave young men to do their duty … into eternity. That is the kind of people who are on watch all over the world tonight—for you
.

Four days before delivering these remarks General Kelly's own son was killed in Afghanistan.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

75 Years Ago

Memory eternal!

Monarchy done right

Thailand's Prime Minister (center) and other cabinet members are received by the new sovereign, King Rama X. By royal concession former Prime Minister and current President of the Privy Council, Prem Tinsulanonda was permitted to make his obedience while seated in consideration of his age (96).

Monday, December 05, 2016

Dutch bishops update wording of the Lord's prayer

November 30, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Dutch Catholics are raising alarm bells after the bishops of the Netherlands and Belgium changed the words to the Our Father in a way that they believe amounts to an "ideological reinterpretation of the text."

Dutch Catholics who still attend weekly Mass heard a newly-worded Our Father last Sunday that no longer asked God the Father, as Jesus taught, “to lead us not into temptation” but, instead, “not into trial.”

Vox Populi, an orthodox Catholic lay group, is organizing a petition advocating the traditional translation. “Why would this ‘reform’ be necessary now? There is not a single pastoral need to come up with a ‘new common Dutch-Flemish translation’ of the ‘Our Father.’”

Recent Dutch Catholic history is so marked by destructive innovation that in 1996 one faithful scholar declared the situation had long passed the “crisis” phase and achieved “ruin.”

The former translation of the Latin “temptationem” was “bekoring,” or “temptation.” The new version replaces that with “beproeving,” which means in English, “test,” “ordeal,” or “tribulation.”

Read the rest here.

And the hits just keep on coming...

Sunday, December 04, 2016

France outlaws pro-life websites

PARIS, December 2, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) --The socialist government of France passed a bill after one day's debate that criminalizes websites that might dissuade women from abortion.

The “digital interference” bill is aimed at cracking down on French websites that would, in the words of the bill, "deliberately mislead, intimidate and/or exert psychological or moral pressure to discourage recourse to abortion."

Convicted website owners could face two years in prison and fines up to 30,000 euros ($31,799 USD).

The majority left voted in a block for the bill while the minority right formed a block against it.

Bruno Retailleau, who heads the Republicans party group in the Senate, told French radio Thursday that the bill "is totally against freedom of expression,” adding that it contradicts the 1975 law that legalized abortion and which called for women to be informed of alternatives.

Christian Democratic Party member Jean-Frederic Poisson also blasted the bill  on Twitter for what he saw as the government's double standard in banning sites that propose “alternatives” to abortion but not “jihadist websites.”

Read the rest here.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Reuters: Slovakia bans Islam from official recognition as a religion

Wow. I checked and today is not April 1st on any calendar that I could find. It appears that at least in Eastern Europe, the multiculturalism Kool-Aid is losing its appeal.