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.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christ is born!

Merry Christmas and a blessed feast to everyone!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Blog Break

Barring something very important, blogging will be thin until Christmas.

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.


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.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

For the spiritual masochists among us...

May I suggest this. I am not sure I have read anything quite that depressing in a while. Lots of bad people, behaving very badly. There must be fodder for at least a dozen sermons in there.

Bulgarian Orthodox Church: "The Council in Crete is neither Great, nor Holy, nor Pan-Orthodox"

Oh my.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Holy Trinity Seminary Appeal

Holy Trinity Seminary needs help. Thanks to a generous benefactor any donations received by midnight tomorrow will be tripled. Sadly seminaries do not operate out of thin air. They have real bills and expenses. If your circumstances permit, please consider giving.

Orthodox Patriarch Praises Dead Atheist Dictator

We’ve all had a good laugh at the pathetic and obsequious statement that Canadian PM
Pajama BoyJustin Trudeau issued in praise of Fidel Castro, but I can’t let these official remarks by the most powerful church leader in the Orthodox world pass unnoticed.

Patriarch Kirill, leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, sent this statement to Raul Castro:
 I learned of the death of your older brother, Fidel Castro Ruz, with deep sorrow. I express to you, to the families and relatives of the deceased, as well as all the people of Cuba, my sincere condolences. Comandante Fidel was one of the most famous and prominent public figures of our time, he won international prestige, and he was a legend even during his own lifetime. As the embodiment of the Cuban people, he expended all his strength to attain his country’s genuine independence to ensure that it took its rightful place in the global family of nations. The Russian Orthodox Church will always say Fidel Castro’s name with respect and gratitude. With his personal involvement, we erected a parish church in Havana dedicated to the Wonderworking Icon of the Mother of God “of Kazan” , and Fidel, in his own words, made himself the “building inspector”. I have fond memories of my meetings with Comandante Fidel. the scale and acuteness of his mind always amazed me, as did his ability to speak with knowledge on a variety of topics. Our last conversation took place  on 13 February of this year at his home, the day after my meeting with Pope Francis. In my heart, I’ll always enshrine a good memory of this courageous and charismatic person, a man who was a sincere friend of the Russian Orthodox Church. In these mournful days, may the Lord bestow upon you and the whole family of Comandante Fidel Castro solace and composure to carry on.
Read the rest here.

To say that this is disappointing is inadequate. Nauseating is a good descriptor. Even the Red Pope didn't go this far.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Ross Douthat: The Pope Declines to Answer

“This is not normal” — so say Donald Trump’s critics as he prepares to assume the presidency. But the American republic is only the second-oldest institution facing a distinctively unusual situation at the moment. Pride of place goes to the Roman Catholic Church, which with less fanfare (perhaps because the papacy lacks a nuclear arsenal) has also entered terra incognita.

Two weeks ago, four cardinals published a so-called dubia — a set of questions, posed to Pope Francis, requesting that he clarify his apostolic exhortation on the family, “Amoris Laetitia.” In particular they asked him to clarify whether the church’s ban on communion for divorced Catholics in new (and, in the church’s eyes, adulterous) marriages remained in place, and whether the church’s traditional opposition to situation ethics had been “developed” into obsolescence.

The dubia began as a private letter, as is usual with such requests for doctrinal clarity. Francis offered no reply. It became public just before last week’s consistory in Rome, when the pope meets with the College of Cardinals and presents the newly-elevated members with red hats. The pope continued to ignore it, but took the unusual step of canceling a general meeting with the cardinals (not a few of whose members are quiet supporters of the questioners).

Francis canceled because the dubia had him “boiling with rage,” it was alleged. This was not true, tweeted his close collaborator, the Jesuit father Antonio Spadaro, though he had previously tweeted and then deleted a shot of the wizard Gandalf, from “Lord of the Rings,” growling his refusal to “bandy crooked words with a witless worm.”

Read the rest here.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Fidel Castro

One of the great tyrants of modern history and an icon of the political left, has died. Lord have mercy.

P.S. The Red Pope has expressed his sadness and grief at the news. 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Sources: Baseball's 21-year run of labor peace could be in jeopardy

Baseball’s streak of 21 consecutive years of labor peace is in jeopardy.

The owners will consider voting to lock out the players if the two sides cannot reach a new collective-bargaining agreement by the time the current deal expires on Dec. 1, according to sources with knowledge of the discussions.

A lockout would put baseball’s business on hold, delaying free-agent signings and trades until a new agreement is reached. The winter meetings, a joint venture between the majors and minors scheduled to take place from Dec. 4 to 8 near Washington D.C., might still transpire, but without the usual frenzy of major-league activity.

The possibility of a lockout stems from the owners’ frustration with the players’ union over the slow pace of the discussions, sources said. The two sides still have more than a week to complete a deal, but a number of significant issues remain unresolved.

“We don’t negotiate in the press,” commissioner Rob Manfred said. “We remain committed to the idea that we’re going to make an agreement before expiration.”

Read the rest here.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Report: Pope Francis to End Excommunication for Abortion

The Pope’s decision to make the ability of priests to absolve the “grave sin” of abortion permanent, means Canon Law is to be updated too. Francis had granted priests this power as an exception during the Jubilee Year. The man in charge of co-ordinating the Holy Year of Mercy, Mgr. Rino Fisichella, explained this in his presentation of the pastoral letter “Misericordia et Misera”, with which Francis concluded the Jubilee that ran from 8 December 2015 to 20 November 2016.

“Canon Law currently stipulates that absolution for the sin of abortion is a faculty that lies with the bishop of the diocese concerned and in some instances, the bishop may delegate some or all priests in his diocese to absolve this sin,” explained the President of the Pontifical Council for New Evangelisation. “During the Jubilee, Pope Francis had granted all priests the power to absolve this sin, as a concrete sign that God’s mercy is boundless. Therefore, even people who commit this sin – which the Pope reiterates, is extremely grave – will have no trouble obtaining God’s forgiveness if they are repentant. Canon Law is a body of laws and whenever the Pope introduces a measure that alters the dictates of the law, the article that specific measure concerns, necessarily needs to be changed”. More specifically, Fisichella explained, responding to journalists questions, “a latae sententiae excommunication is revoked”. The provision, Fisichella added, does not only apply to women but also to “doctors, nurses and those involved in carrying out the abortion”, as long as they repent: “The sin applies to everyone, so forgiveness of this sin also applies to everyone practically involved.”

Read the rest here.

‘Western laws now clash with moral nature of man’ – Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill

Patriarch Kirill lays it on the line.

HT: Blog reader JL

Saturday, November 19, 2016

From the grapevine

This much is more than rumor. It appears that Pope Francis is to publish an Apostolic Letter on Monday entitled “Misericordia et Misera.” Beyond which multiple sources are suggesting, with no details, that the SSPX will be at least mentioned in the letter.


Update on the Patriarchate of Alexandria and "Female Deacons"

It appears they are talking about the ancient (and all but extinct) lay office of "deaconess." Due to some vagueness in the early reports there were concerns that they were contemplating the attempted ordination of female deacons.

See this.

Friday, November 18, 2016

For the record

Martyn Percy thinks Justin Welby is preparing an about face on sexual morality. If there is anyone who is surprised by this all I can do is ask what the weather is like on your planet.

Uh oh

I hope this gets dealt with quickly and decisively. That sort of thing can rapidly become an open scandal if attempts are made to sweep it under the rug.

Trump the Supreme Court and the Opposition

Once he assumes office, President Donald Trump is expected to promptly nominate someone to replace Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. This, along with subsequent nominations to the Supreme Court and lower courts, will be among his most consequential decisions.

During the campaign, Trump initially identified two appellate court judges — Diane Sykes of the 7th Circuit and William Pryor of the 11th Circuit — as the sort of individuals he would name to the high court to replace Scalia. Later during the campaign, Trump released a list of 11 names — later expanded to 21 — of potential nominees.

Senate Democrats are unlikely to be particularly pleased with any Trump nomination, particularly after Senate Republicans refused to consider President Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland. Given Republican control of the Senate, however, they may not be able to do much about it. (And, just for the record, let me reiterate that President Obama lacks the power to bypass the Senate on the Garland nomination.)

Back in 2013, after Republicans filibustered Democratic nominees as Democrats had filibustered Republican nominees, then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) invoked the “nuclear option,” eliminating the filibuster for lower court and executive branch nominees. As a technical matter, Reid’s move (accomplished by a simple, party-line majority vote) left the filibuster in place for Supreme Court nominees, but there was little question that such a filibuster would not last.

Read the rest here.

The End of Identity Liberalism?

...But the fixation on diversity in our schools and in the press has produced a generation of liberals and progressives narcissistically unaware of conditions outside their self-defined groups, and indifferent to the task of reaching out to Americans in every walk of life. At a very young age our children are being encouraged to talk about their individual identities, even before they have them. By the time they reach college many assume that diversity discourse exhausts political discourse, and have shockingly little to say about such perennial questions as class, war, the economy and the common good. In large part this is because of high school history curriculums, which anachronistically project the identity politics of today back onto the past, creating a distorted picture of the major forces and individuals that shaped our country. (The achievements of women’s rights movements, for instance, were real and important, but you cannot understand them if you do not first understand the founding fathers’ achievement in establishing a system of government based on the guarantee of rights.)

When young people arrive at college they are encouraged to keep this focus on themselves by student groups, faculty members and also administrators whose full-time job is to deal with — and heighten the significance of — “diversity issues.” Fox News and other conservative media outlets make great sport of mocking the “campus craziness” that surrounds such issues, and more often than not they are right to. Which only plays into the hands of populist demagogues who want to delegitimize learning in the eyes of those who have never set foot on a campus. How to explain to the average voter the supposed moral urgency of giving college students the right to choose the designated gender pronouns to be used when addressing them? How not to laugh along with those voters at the story of a University of Michigan prankster who wrote in “His Majesty”?

This campus-diversity consciousness has over the years filtered into the liberal media, and not subtly. Affirmative action for women and minorities at America’s newspapers and broadcasters has been an extraordinary social achievement — and has even changed, quite literally, the face of right-wing media, as journalists like Megyn Kelly and Laura Ingraham have gained prominence. But it also appears to have encouraged the assumption, especially among younger journalists and editors, that simply by focusing on identity they have done their jobs.

Recently I performed a little experiment during a sabbatical in France: For a full year I read only European publications, not American ones. My thought was to try seeing the world as European readers did. But it was far more instructive to return home and realize how the lens of identity has transformed American reporting in recent years. How often, for example, the laziest story in American journalism — about the “first X to do Y” — is told and retold. Fascination with the identity drama has even affected foreign reporting, which is in distressingly short supply. However interesting it may be to read, say, about the fate of transgender people in Egypt, it contributes nothing to educating Americans about the powerful political and religious currents that will determine Egypt’s future, and indirectly, our own. No major news outlet in Europe would think of adopting such a focus.

Read the rest here.

The latest from Rome

Whether by coincidence or otherwise, on US election day, Pope Francis welcomed one of Hillary Clinton’s political soulmates — albeit well to the left of the Democrat candidate — to the Vatican.

Emma Bonino, 68, is a former Italian Foreign Minister, abortionist and abortion activist, founder of the Transnational Radical Party that embraces notions of one world government and a board member of George Soros’s Global Foundation.

She is also, in Francis’s words, “among the great ones of today’s Italy’’ for her work as a refugee advocate, especially for Africans.

Fallout from the US election has drawn several civil wars — political and theological — being waged at the highest levels of the Vatican to boiling point. In a complex chess game, one has even drawn Francis into public conflict with a group of four cardinals.

Barack Obama’s departure and Clinton’s defeat prompted Rome-based professor and Vatican commentator Roberto de Mattei to describe Francis this week as “the only point of reference for the international left’’, especially over climate policy and open borders. The pope is doing little to play down that impression. In a newly published book-length interview, he was asked whether he favoured a Marxist society: “It has been said many times and my response has always been that, if anything, it is the communists who think like Christians’’.

At a Vatican Mass for prison inmates last week, one of the pope’s personal altar servers was a young Muslim, in jail for sexual offences and stalking. He brought his prayer rug. A week earlier, greeting leaders of “grassroots’’ movements (promoting various green, “human rights’’ and anti-development causes) who met at the Vatican from five continents, Francis denounced “the basic terrorism that derives from the global control of money’’ and promised “I make your cry mine’’.

He has also lent support and encouragement to the left wing presidents of Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela.

Read the rest here.
Emphasis mine.

Additionally Vaticanist Giuseppe Nardi is reporting that the “Theological Hypothesis of a Heretical Pope by the Brazilian jurist Arnaldo Xavier da Silveira is making the rounds in the Vatican, an Italian translation of which was published by Marco Solfanelli last June and which is being studied attentively by theologians and prelates in Rome."

This latter is translated into English by NovusOrdoWatch. Caution: This is an openly sede-vecantist website. Consider the source.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Potentially Alarming News from Alexandria

The Patriarchate of Alexandria is to "restore the female diaconate." What does this mean? Are we discussing the return of the "deaconess" (an obsolete and purely lay office) or is this an attempt to promote heresy via the pseudo-ordination of women to one of the three ranks of Holy Orders?

HT: Dr. Tighe

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Asked and Answered

In the previous post concerning the current Pope I asked "Is there no one with courage in the Roman Church to call this man out?"

Apparently there is. Cardinal Burke has become sufficiently alarmed by at least one of his recent pronouncements to raise the possibility of a formal "correction" of the Pope by Catholic hierarchs.

HT: Dr. Tighe

Saturday, November 12, 2016


“It it has been said many times and my response has always been that, if anything, it is the communists who think like Christians..."

-Pope Francis (from here)

I'm done with restraint in expressing my views of this heretic. Communism occupies the exact same spot on the moral plane as Nazism. This Pope just spit on the graves of millions of martyrs.

Forget the Orthodox. How about the Catholics of Spain, Poland, Hungary, what used to be Czechoslovakia and Ukraine, especially the Greek Rite Catholics? "Scandalous" does not even begin to describe this pontificate. Where are the bishops and cardinals? Is there no one with courage in the Roman Church to call this man out? Is there no one who is willing to confront this man and demand for the good of their church his immediate abdication?

This is who to blame for Trump

A lefty gets it, or at least some of it. I think I agree with about 80% of this (though I might choose a more civil way of expressing it).  On which note... caution: language

Furious Liberals Demand Changes in the Democratic Party

The Republican civil war was supposed to start this week.

Instead, a ferocious struggle has erupted on the left over the smoldering remains of the Democratic Party.

Liberals are seething over the election and talking about launching a Tea Party-style revolt. They say it’s the only way to keep Washington Democrats connected to the grassroots and to avoid a repeat of the 2016 electoral disaster, which blindsided party elites.

Progressives believe the Democratic establishment is responsible for inflicting Donald Trump upon the nation, blaming a staid corporate wing of the party for nominating Hillary Clinton and ignoring the Working Class voters that propelled Trump to victory.
Liberals interviewed by The Hill want to see establishment Democrats targeted in primaries, and the “Clinton-corporate wing” of the party rooted out for good.

The fight will begin over picking a new leader for the Democratic National Committee.

Progressives are itching to see the national apparatus reduced to rubble and rebuilt from scratch, with one of their own installed at the top.

And there is talk among some progressives, like Bill Clinton’s former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, about splitting from the Democratic Party entirely if they don’t get the changes they seek.

Read the rest here.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Memo to the political left...

Yes, he is going to be your president, just like Barrack Obama was mine.

All of this hysteria is going to backfire. and it is only serving to reinforce the opinions of the vast majority of people that voted for Trump about the weirdos on the far left. But more importantly is that it is certain to alienate moderates. The huge numbers of people who tend to lean a little right or a little left but basically hover near the political center, are going to look at all the moonbats, the rioting, the crybaby college students climbing street lamps and waving red flags and recoil with disgust. This demonizing of Donald Trump is only going to lay the foundation for his future success. When you reduce someone to a caricature and they don’t live up to your horror story predictions, they end up looking remarkably good.

I haven’t seen this many lefties lined up for the fainting couch since 1980. Back then, based on what we were being told on the news and in countless editorials, it would be nothing less than a miracle of God if the world was not reduced to nuclear ash within six months of Ronald Reagan becoming president. Now we have people talking about putting him on Mt. Rushmore.

Some thoughts on Merrick Garland

The Supreme Court Justice who wasn't. Merrick Garland is not a man I would have appointed to the Supreme Court. But he was light years better than what I expected from a President Clinton and at the time I thought rejecting his nomination was a political mistake. I was wrong.

That said, I feel rather badly for the man. Everything I have heard about him suggests he is basically a decent guy who was used as a pawn by the Obama Administration and got caught in the middle of a Washington power war. And while I am glad he is not sitting on the SCOTUS I will also admit that I do think he kinda got the shaft. The man was treated with what I believe could be called calculated rudeness by Republicans and I don't think he deserved that.

If I could presume to make a suggestion to a president-elect that I did not vote for, this is a great opportunity to score some points in the magnanimity department. No, I don't think Donald should renominate him to the top court. But there are lots of plum (and prestigious) jobs that are still purely political appointments and understood to be essentially the President's prerogative to give to whom he wants. Why not offer him the post as US Ambassador to the Czech Republic or Portugal or somewhere else (not Mongolia or some remote island state in the Pacific)? It doesn't have to be London or Paris but a post that is seen as a sincere expression of appreciation for the man's service and a tacit apology for his rough treatment over the last year.

Such a move would be certain to be seen as extending an olive branch while showing  Mr. Trump's better side.

The Dreaded Filibuster

On Tuesday morning Democrats, anticipating Republican obstruction of President Clinton's nominees to the Supreme Court among other things, were in deep discussions over how to kill the Senate Filibuster. For some reason that is no longer a topic of discussion on that side of the aisle. However, the future of the filibuster has just as suddenly become something of a topic among Republicans.

Oh the irony.

Pope: Pontifical Academy for Life members no longer required to sign pro-life declaration

ROME, Italy, November 10, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — Members of the Pontifical Academy for Life will no longer be required to sign a declaration that they uphold the Church’s pro-life teachings.
In new statutes for the Vatican body promulgated on November 4, Pope Francis has also expanded its mandate to include a focus on the environment.

Pope Francis approved the statutes last month, the Vatican website announced.

Previous statutes were issued in 2004 and enumerate the “specific tasks” (§2) of the Academy in three points: to “study questions and issues connected with the promotion and defense of human life from an interdisciplinary perspective,” to “educate in a culture of life,” and to “inform the Church and the public […] about the most relevant results of its study and research activities.”

In the new statutes, §3 has received an addition: whereas the paragraph previously stated that research of a scientific character must “be directed towards the promotion and defense of human life,” the new paragraph reads:

Read the rest here.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Dewey Defeats Truman

The cover of New York Magazine

George Will Reflects on the Upsides and Dangers of the GOP's Electoral Triumph

At dawn Tuesday in West Quoddy Head, Maine, the easternmost point of the United States, it was certain that by midnight in Cape Wrangell, Alaska, the westernmost fringe, there would be a loser who deserved to lose and a winner who did not deserve to win. The surprise is that Barack Obama must have immediately seen his legacy, a compound of stylistic and substantive arrogance, disappearing, as though written on water in ink of vapor.

His health-care reform has contributed to three Democratic drubbings. The 2010 and 2014 wave elections, like scythes in a wheat field, decapitated a rising generation of potential party leaders. Then came Tuesday’s earthquake, which followed shocking increases of Obamacare’s prices. This law has been as historic as Obama thinks, but not as he thinks: It might be the last gasp of progressivism’s hubris expressed in continent-wide social engineering imposed from the continent’s Eastern edge. Hillary Clinton’s proposed solution to Obamacare’s accelerating unraveling was a “public option”: intensified government manipulation to correct the consequences of government manipulation of health care’s 18 percent of the economy. Her campaign’s other defining proposal, “free” tuition in public higher education, insulted the intelligence of voters aware that “free” means “paid for by others, including you.”

Obama’s foreign policy legacy, aside from mounting chaos worldwide, was the Iran nuclear agreement. By precedent and constitutional norms, this should have been a treaty submitted to the Senate. Instead, disdainfully and characteristically, he produced it as an executive agreement. Because the agreement lacks legitimizing ratification by senators, the president-elect will feel uninhibited concerning his promise to repudiate it.

The simultaneous sickness of both parties surely reveals a crisis of the U.S. regime. The GOP was easily captured, and then quickly normalized, by history’s most unpleasant and unprepared candidate, whose campaign was a Niagara of mendacities. And the world’s oldest party contrived to nominate someone who lost to him.

To an electorate clamoring for disruptive change, Democrats offered a candidate as familiar as faded wallpaper. The party produced no plausible alternative to her joyless, stained embodiment of arrogant entitlement. And she promised to intensify the progressive mentality. “If you like your health-care plan, you can keep it”? Actually, you can’t even keep your light bulbs.

Read the rest here.


The President-Elect of the United States

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Pope Francis Receives Italy's Foremost Abortionist

As day at last dawns on the Westernmost regions of the United States of America, her people face a stark choice: while neither candidate has a positive track record on abortion, one promises to be the most pro-abortion, anti-life president in the nation’s 240-year history, while the other makes a newly-minted promise to defend life. The decision made today in the elections of the waning but still-most-powerful nation on earth will have ripple effects throughout the remainder of our lifetimes.

It is on this momentous occasion that Pope Francis, an astute master of symbolic gestures, has chosen to meet with Emma Bonino, Italy’s most famous (and unrepentant) promoter of abortion — and his personal friend. If you are unfamiliar with the name, Bonino is a radical politician and former abortionist who claims to have performed as many as 10,000 abortions in a single year. As Hilary White wrote earlier this year...

Read the rest here.


This man is a scandal and by far the worst Pope in half a millennium. Arguably longer. If there was a worse Pope in the last 500 years I can't name him. For all their corruption, the Borgias were in the end, merely corrupt. Would Alexander VI have received, for any money, someone who boasted of murdering 10,000 unborn children in a single year?

Election Day

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Nikolai Tolstoy: Consider a Monarchy, America

Southmoor, England — As a foreigner with dual British and Russian citizenship, it is not for me to comment at length on the merits of the rival candidates for the presidency of the United States. But it seems uncontroversial to say that neither appears to be a Washington or a Lincoln, and that the elective presidency is coming under increasingly critical examination.

That their head of state should be elected by the people is, I imagine, the innate view of almost all American citizens. But at this unquiet hour, they might well wonder whether — for all the wisdom of the founding fathers — their republican system of government is actually leading them toward that promised “more perfect union.”

After all, our American cousins have only to direct their gaze toward their northern neighbor to find, in contented Canada, a nation that has for its head of state a hereditary monarch. That example alone demonstrates that democracy is perfectly compatible with constitutional monarchy.

Indeed, the modern history of Europe has shown that those countries fortunate enough to enjoy a king or queen as head of state tend to be more stable and better governed than most of the Continent’s republican states. By the same token, demagogic dictators have proved unremittingly hostile to monarchy because the institution represents a dangerously venerated alternative to their ambitions.

Reflecting in 1945 on what had led to the rise of Nazi Germany, Winston Churchill wrote: “This war would never have come unless, under American and modernizing pressure, we had driven the Hapsburgs out of Austria and Hungary and the Hohenzollerns out of Germany.”

“By making these vacuums,” he went on, “we gave the opening for the Hitlerite monster to crawl out of its sewer on to the vacant thrones.”

Read the rest here.

Yes, I'm a monarchist. But I am not naive. A monarchy in the United States is a non-starter. Monarchies don't work well in countries that are not homogeneous. We lack any kind of history or shared national culture that would make a monarchy a viable option. And then there is the question of who would we put on our throne?

Archivists asked Virginians for any family papers from the Civil War...

They expected a few hundred. They got tens of thousands.

The opening line still hurts across the years.

“Dear Mother — I am here a prisoner of war & mortally wounded.”
John Winn Moseley was writing home from the Gettysburg battlefield on July 4, 1863. He was a 30-year-old Confederate from Alabama being cared for by his Yankee captors.

“I can live but a few hours more at farthest,” he wrote. “I was shot fifty-yards of the enemy’s line. They have been extremely kind to me.”

Moseley died the next day. His letter — on delicate blue paper, stained with what might be blood — made it to his mother in Buckingham County, Va., and the family kept it ever after. Now it has come to light in a trove of Civil War documents that the State Library of Virginia discovered in a surprisingly straightforward way: It asked state residents to bring them out of their homes.

From 2010 until last year, as Virginia observed the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, archivists traveled the state in an “Antiques Roadshow” style campaign to unearth the past. Organizers had thought the effort might produce a few hundred new items. They were a little off. It flushed out more than 33,000 pages of letters, diaries, documents and photographs that the library scanned and has made available for study online.

Read the rest here.

Friday, November 04, 2016

How the Internet Is Loosening Our Grip on the Truth

Next week, if all goes well, someone will win the presidency. What happens after that is anyone’s guess. Will the losing side believe the results? Will the bulk of Americans recognize the legitimacy of the new president? And will we all be able to clean up the piles of lies, hoaxes and other dung that have been hurled so freely in this hyper-charged, fact-free election?

Much of that remains unclear, because the internet is distorting our collective grasp on the truth. Polls show that many of us have burrowed into our own echo chambers of information. In a recent Pew Research Center survey, 81 percent of respondents said that partisans not only differed about policies, but also about “basic facts.”

For years, technologists and other utopians have argued that online news would be a boon to democracy. That has not been the case.

More than a decade ago, as a young reporter covering the intersection of technology and politics, I noticed the opposite. The internet was filled with 9/11 truthers, and partisans who believed against all evidence that George W. Bush stole the 2004 election from John Kerry, or that Barack Obama was a foreign-born Muslim. (He was born in Hawaii and is a practicing Christian.)

Read the rest here
HT: T-19

120 Years Ago: McKinley Wins!

UPRISING OF A GREAT PEOPLE: Anarchy and Repudiation Trampled Under Foot

-The headline of the New York Tribune (November 4, 1896)

Thursday, November 03, 2016

A Rare Win for Religious Liberty in Canada

An appeals court in Canada has ruled that an evangelical Christian law school cannot be denied accreditation because it officially opposes homosexuality.

A five-judge panel from the British Columbia Court of Appeal ruled Tuesday that denying Trinity Western University's law school accreditation was a religious liberty violation.

In a unanimous decision, the five judges concluded that the Law Society of British Columbia was "unreasonable" in denying accreditation to TWU for its position against homosexuality.

"In our view, the detrimental impact of the Law Society decision on TWU's right to religious freedom is severe. The legal education of TWU graduates would not be recognized by the Law Society and they could not apply to practise law in this province. TWU's religious freedom rights as an institution are also significantly impacted by the decision," concluded the Court of Appeal.
A Canadian-based Christian university, TWU has found itself in legal battles in multiple Canadian provinces over its theologically conservative stance on sexual ethics.

At specific issue is the university's Community Covenant, which requires students and faculty to "voluntarily abstain" from "sexual intimacy that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman."

Read the rest here.


Lord, you can take me whenever you are ready.

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Pope proposes ‘new beatitudes for a new age’

MALMO, Sweden, November 1, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Pope Francis posed a new list of beatitudes for modern Christians today during his Mass at the end of the papal trip to Sweden for the Protestant Reformation’s fifth centenary. Among the issues he promoted through the list were his high-profile concerns for the environment and ecumenism.

The pope’s “new beatitudes for saints of a new age,” as the U.S. Bishops’ Catholic News Service dubbed them, came during his All Saints Day Mass homily at an open-air stadium in Malmo, during which he also invoked Sweden’s most celebrated saint to highlight the ecumenical purpose of his trip.

Though widely taken by media in the sense described by Catholic News Service, the pope’s prepared text for the homily does not describe as “new beatitudes.” However, Vatican Radio’s own report on the homily refers to them similarly as the pope’s “suggested list of modern Beatitudes.”

The beatitudes are “in some sense the Christian’s identity card,” he told those present at the Mass, and they “identify us as followers of Jesus.”

Read the rest here.

Jesus clearly forgot these. I'm sure He appreciates the Pope's editing.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Clinton Campaign Was Fed Debate Questions in Advance

I am shocked! Shocked to discover that the Clintons were being fed debate questions in advance. The Clintons have a long history of abiding by the absolutely highest ethical standards. By the way I am also selling a bridge at a bargain basement price. Please contact me for details.

Catholics and Lutherans pledge to work for inter-communion

At the conclusion of a historic ecumenical celebration in Lund, Sweden, Pope Francis and the general-secretary of the world's Lutheran churches agreed to work together for a shared Eucharist.

Pope Francis and the global Lutheran leader have jointly pledged to remove the obstacles to full unity between their Churches, leading eventually to shared Eucharist.

They made the commitment in a joint statement signed before a congregation of Catholic and Lutheran leaders at the conclusion of a joint service in Lund, Sweden, to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the start of the Reformation.

The statement was signed by Pope Francis and Bishop Munib Younan, who is president of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), which was founded in Lund in 1947. After they finished signing, the congregation stood for a long round of applause as the two leaders hugged each other.

The two leaders appeared to single out married couples where one partner is Catholic and the other Lutheran. “Many members of our communities yearn to receive the Eucharist at one table, as the concrete expression of full unity,” they noted.

“We experience the pain of those who share their whole lives, but cannot share God’s redeeming presence at the Eucharistic table,” they said, adding: “We acknowledge our joint pastoral responsibility to respond to the spiritual thirst and hunger of our people to be one in Christ.”

“We long for this wound in the Body of Christ to be healed,” they continued. “This is the goal of our ecumenical endeavors, which we wish to advance, also by renewing our commitment to theological dialogue.”

Read the rest here.


The Cubbies hang on in a nail biter to win their first World Series game at  Wrigley Field in 71 years. Game 6 is on Tuesday. The Cubs are not dead yet.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

The Latest From Lutheran Satire

One of the better ones IMHO.

Australia Ratchets Up Anti-Illegal Immigration Policy

CANBERRA, Australia - Australia on Sunday announced plans to ratchet up its tough policy against refugees by banning any asylum seeker who attempts to reach its shores by boat from ever visiting the country.

A previous government introduced a policy on July 19, 2013, banning refugees who arrive by boat from Indonesian ports after that date from ever being resettled in Australia.

Under legislation to be introduced to Parliament next week, thousands of asylum seekers who have returned to their homelands in the Middle East, Africa and Asia would be banned for life from ever traveling to Australia as tourists, to do business or as an Australian’s spouse, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said.

“You need the clearest of clear messages,” Turnbull told reporters.

“This is a battle of will between the Australian people, represented by their government, and these criminal gangs of people smugglers. You should not under estimate the scale of the threat,” he added.

Read the rest here.

This is an excellent idea.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Revesting the Incorrupt Relics of King St. Stefan Milutin of Serbia

Color Home Movies of San Francisco on the Eve of World War II

Starring classic cars (and planes) and lots of well dressed people wearing hats.

Pope Francis Purges Congregation for Liturgy- installs liberals

In a stunning move, Pope Francis has replaced all of the members of the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship, the body in charge of liturgical questions.

It is routine for the Roman Pontiff to appoint a few new members to each Vatican congregation, rotating out members who have served for several years. But on October 28 the Vatican announced that Pope Francis has appointed 27 new members to the Congregation for Divine Worship, completely transforming the membership of that body.

The new appointments give a distinctly more liberal character—as well as a more international complexion—to the congregation. The changes seem likely to curtail the work of Cardinal Robert Sarah, the prefect of the Congregation, who has been a leading proponent of more reverent liturgy and of “the reform of the reform.”

Among the prominent new members of the congregation will be Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Secretary of State, Cardinal Beniamino Stella, the prefect of the Congregation for Clergy, and Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, the president of the Pontifical Council for Culture. Probably the most controversial new appointment is that of Archbishop Piero Marini, who clashed frequently with liturgical conservatives during the years when he served as master of ceremonies for papal liturgies under St. John Paul II. The only American prelate named to the congregation is Bishop Arthur Serratelli of Paterson, New Jersey, who chairs the US bishops’ committee on liturgy.

The more conservative prelates who have been removed from the congregation include Cardinals Raymond Burke, Angelo Scola, George Pell, Marc Ouellet, Angelo Bagnasco, and Malcolm Ranjith.


Report: Two Bishops Abducted in Syria in 2013 Are Alive

Prayers that this is true.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Jury Nullification

Like it or loathe it, jury nullification still pops up in our country's legal system from time to time. And tonight a jury in Oregon just gave the Bronx salute to the United States Government.

Heaven Forbid

Heaven Forbid over at Gabriel Sanchez's blog is a good read. It contains some pointed criticisms of Orthodoxy, especially American Orthodoxy, with which I really can't disagree. At least not very strongly. Orthodoxy is balkanized with all sorts of confusion on various, usually pastoral, issues. In too many cases it still has the unfortunate odor of being an ethnic social club. But on the upside, blatant heresy is not commonly preached in its churches. This is sadly not the case in the Roman Catholic Church.

From time to time I get emails from people thinking of swimming the Bosporus in the hopes of escaping the crisis (is there anyone who can seriously deny the existence of a major crisis?) in the Roman Catholic Church. My advice is to take a deep breath. Too many are looking for some mythical slightly Byzantine version of the pre-Vatican II RCC with great liturgy but without a Communist and almost certainly heretical Pope. That is not what we are.

We have many of the same problems that Catholics do, and a few that are kinda unique to us. Corrupt clergy, poisonous church politics, in some cases an unwillingness by clergy to preach an uncompromising position on some of the hot button issues of the modern age, and the pervasive issue of ethnophyletism. But as Gabriel noted, overt heresy is not (usually) on the menu, though I have been seeing a few worrying signs.

All of which brings us back to the great aphorism that the grass is always greener over the septic tank.

Does this mean I don't want Catholics (or anyone else) to convert? No! I want EVERYONE to become Orthodox. But I want them to do it for the right reasons and with their eyes wide open. It took me 25 years before I finally took the plunge. In my ten years in the Church I have made a few observations about converts. Only about half are still Orthodox after three years. And that is a serious problem because apostasy is much worse than schism or heresy. It is far better that you stay outside the Church than join, only to leave later on.

Beyond which, see this post.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Justice Stevens (ret.) On Growing Up a Chicago Cubs Fan

...Stevens first visited Wrigley Field as a nine-year-old during the 1929 World Series pitting the Cubs against the Philadelphia Athletics.

“I had listened to the Cubs games all summer on the radio,” Stevens said. “There was Hal Totten for WMAQ, and Pat Flanagan for WBBM. He broadcast the out-of-town games, pretending he was an actual spectator.”

A young Ronald Reagan took a similar approach as a broadcaster in Iowa, as it was common during that era for announcers to take play-by-play developments off a ticker tape and relate them as if they were present.

At that first game of the 1929 series, Stevens and his father sat behind home plate, where the future justice was thrilled to see Cubs greats such as Hack Wilson and Charlie Grimm. And when Philadelphia manager Connie Mack started a veteran pitcher, Howard Ehmke, instead of his younger, fastball aces, Stevens thought the Cubs would have an easy game. Instead, Ehmke struck out 13 straight Cubs and the A’s won the game, 3-1.

“That was a tragedy for a young fan,” Stevens said. (It should really go without saying that the Cubs lost that series, four games to one.)

Stevens never tires of discussing his most famous brush with baseball—the 1932 World Series between the Cubs and the New York Yankees, when Yankees great Babe Ruth hit his much-debated “called shot.” The short version is that during the fifth inning of Game 3, Ruth pointed to center field, then hit the next pitch out of the park.

As Stevens has explained, Ruth was jawing with a pitcher in the Cubs dugout, Guy Bush, evidently over the Cubs’ decision not to give a full World Series bonus share to Mark Koenig, a former Yankee teammate of Ruth’s who was with the Cubs in 1932. Stevens once told an interviewer that he clearly remembered Ruth and Bush engaging in a “colloquy” on the issue (“colloquy” not being a common term for trash talking on the baseball diamond).

Describing the events to me, Stevens said, “You probably remember, they were in an argument as to whether Mark Koenig was entitled to a full share for the World Series.” (I’m pretty sure he meant that I recall the historical accounts, not that I was also there in 1932.)

“What was Ruth’s motive, no one knows for sure,” said Stevens, who was a 12-year-old sitting behind the Cubs dugout on the third-base line during that game. “He did point at the scoreboard, and then hit the ball out of the park the next pitch. But I think he was in an argument with Guy Bush at the time. And I didn’t know if he wanted to hit the pitch there or he wanted to hit Guy Bush.”

Stevens kept a scorecard from that 1932 game at Wrigley Field in his chambers, among other Cubs memorabilia. He was still serving in the U.S. Navy as a codebreaker in 1945 when the Cubs last appeared in a World Series.

Read the rest here.

I recall watching a show on Prohibition where Justice Stevens was being interviewed and he told some very colorful stories about growing up in Chicago during the Roaring 20's and the Depression.

Jennifer Rubin: It's time for sane Republicans to leave the GOP

Read it here.

I am pretty much done with the GOP. (For the record I haven't been a registered Republican since 2012.) Unfortunately there is not much out there that fits my own views. At one time I took a hard look at the Modern Whig Party, but they are too wishy washy on some important issues for my comfort. That, and any party with the word "Whig" in its name tends to trigger my gag reflex.

I guess the best that I can say is that it is looking like a good year to be a monarchist. Maybe I should just refuse to vote in the future as a matter of principle.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

It is truly meet to bless you, O Theotokos, ever-blessed and most pure, and the Mother of our God. More honorable than the Cherubim, and more glorious beyond compare than the Seraphim, without defilement you gave birth to God the Word. True Theotokos we magnify you!

Jack Chick is dead

He passed over at the age of 92.
Kyrie eleison.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

What Will You Do When the Persecution Comes?

I know there are plenty of Catholics who are, in one way or another, looking forward to the relentless institutional persecution that is coming our way unless we surrender the One Thing Needful to the secular left, and that is the family-destroying and state-feeding beast called the Sexual Revolution, with its seven heads and ten horns and the harlot squatting atop it. As I see it, these Catholics belong to four groups.

The Persecutor
First are the Persecutors. These people hate the Church, and that is why they remain ostensible members of it. They desire from within to punish the Church for what they perceive to be her sins, which these days have nothing to do with her teachings on the Trinity or the nature of Christ, but with sex—so tawdry are our heresies. O Arius, Arius, would that we had such as you for our enemy! The Persecutor has unbridled contempt for Pope John Paul II, the too-lenient father whom the Persecutor, like a spoiled brat, portrays as a tyrant, and for Benedict XVI, whose broad-ranging and penetrating intellect makes the Persecutor feel puny by comparison.

In all conflicts between the State and the Church, the Persecutor will not only side with the State; he will be glad to lead the charge. He will, to give one recent example from Connecticut, push a bill designed to subject the governance of Catholic parishes to state oversight. He will, to give a current example from New York, attempt to compel Catholic crisis pregnancy centers to refer women to the nearest abortorium. He will be eager to threaten Catholic schools with loss of government funds if they remain Catholic—if, for instance, they think it is not a good idea to sponsor groups committed to Sodom, and let them massage the minds of children. But why do I use the generic masculine pronoun here? Sheshe will want to compel Catholic interns to assist in abortions, or even to perform one; she will want to compel Catholic parishes to allow their grounds and their halls to be used for the celebration of pseudogamy. Religious freedom? The Persecutor respects neither God nor the conscience of man...

Read the rest here.
HT: Dr. Tighe

I have received word via Bill Tighe's email group that the author, Tony Esolen, has been getting a lot of abuse over this at the school where he works. Liberals are of course the most illiberal and intolerant people around. Prayers would be appreciated.

The Chicago Cubs Are Going to the World Series

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Schema-Archimandrite Gabriel (Bunge) on Monasticism and Relations with the Roman Catholic Church

The outstanding Swiss theologian and patrologist Schema-Archimandrite Gabriel (Bunge) has met with the brethren of the Dormition Kiev Caves Lavra. The meeting took place on October 18 as part of Archimandrite Gabriel’s pilgrimage to the Holy places of Ukraine, reports

The distinguished guest was introduced by Archimandrite Amvrosy (Makar), rector of the Church of St. Ambrose of Milan in the Italian city of Milan. The priest told the brethren about the life of Schema-Archimandrite Gabriel, his thirty-six years of ascetic life in the mountains of Switzerland and that today he is abbot of the Monastery of the Exaltation of the Cross in Lugano (southern Switzerland), and author of a number of books on monasticism, and pastor to many spiritual children.

The talk began with questions on Fr. Gabriel’s life in the mountains. The schema-archimandrite related how he got acquainted with the Orthodox tradition and Orthodox monasticism.

“My first contact with Orthodoxy was in 1961 in Greece. By that time I had already joined a Benedictine monastery and nearly half our brethren followed the Eastern liturgical tradition. That monastery wanted to become a bridge between the East and the West. I studied a great deal and read the writings of the holy fathers. With the blessing of my confessor I became a hermit in the ‘80s and I still live in a skete which is located 900 meters (c. 2952.76 feet) above sea level. I tried to imitate the fathers of olden times in my life. I wrote and published books to inspire Western people—all of us need to return to our roots. From the very beginning I realized that the West was separated from the East. Even many hierarchs of the Roman Catholic Church referred to the teachings of the fathers of the Eastern Church, but, nevertheless, the Roman Church went its own way,” said Schema-Archimandrite Gabriel.

In 2010 Fr. Gabriel (Bunge) was received into the Orthodox Church, but, according to him, in spirit he had always been Orthodox before and had always wanted to partake in the holy sacraments of the Orthodox Church.

“I stood with one foot in the East, the other in the West. For many years I longed to visit the Kiev Caves Lavra, and to venerate the Kiev Caves fathers, and to pray to them. Once in some antique shop I bought a cross with particles of relics of twelve Kiev Caves saints in it. Their names were written there. The cross dated back to 1791. It is a mystery how that cross ended up in the West, but the relics which it contained were of no particular value for the shop staff. Now that cross stands on my table and I pray to the Kiev Caves fathers every day. And today I am very happy and delighted to have this opportunity to visit the Kiev Caves Lavra,” he continued.

Answering the question on the prospects of the reunification of the Eastern and Western Churches, Fr. Gabriel emphasized that “there is no theological sense in the dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church. Catholics must return back to the Church. My teacher and professor who later became Pope Benedict XVI understood many things but did nothing. The Orthodox Church has preserved the Liturgy and the monastic tradition, while the Roman Catholic Church is currently moving towards Protestantism rather than returning to Orthodoxy. The real problem of this division is not in the differences—it is in the incompatibility. The Greek and Roman cultures in the first millennium were different yet compatible with each other.”

The theologian also drew the brethren’s attention to the vital topic of the place of monasticism in the modern world: “Modern people want monks to answer their spiritual questions, not national and political ones. Monks are separated from this world and they live their own lives which are different from the life in the world. Such life enables them to gain wisdom which is not of this world—and this is precisely what people are waiting for. Many come to me too and expect me to answer their questions. And I have to tell them what they need to do and what not to do.”

Speaking on whether modern monasticism should take the anchoretic or cenobitic path, Schema-Archimandrite Gabriel explained: “Monasticism began not with the cenobitic tradition. The first monks were anchorites, but they always had a teacher. Both paths are good. It all depends on the calling from God in each case. The Church has a place for everybody! And the Lord saves us not individually, but all together!”

At the end of the meeting assistant abbot of the Kiev Caves Lavra Archimandrite Anthony thanked Fr. Gabriel for his visit and for answering the topical questions and conveyed to him greetings from the monastery’s abbot, Metropolitan Paul. After that a general picture was taken to remember the meeting.