Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Facing possible schism, Methodists reject liberal assualt on morals

Whatever they did, schism was and remains the all but certain result. But for a change it is the revisionists who failed in their attempt at a hostile takeover of one of the larger mainline Protestant denominations.


Sunday, February 24, 2019

Archdiocese of Russian Churches in Western Europe votes against dissolution- considering where to go

The extraordinary General Assembly of the Archdiocese of Russian Orthodox Churches in Western Europe met in Paris yesterday to decide the fate of the Archdiocese after Constantinople suddenly and unexpected revoked the 1999 tomos that established it as an exarchate in late November.

The Patriarchate of Constantinople explained that the parishes of the Russian Exarchate were to simply move under the Patriarchate’s local Greek bishop, though this directive was received unfavorably by the Exarchate’s hierarch Archbishop John of Chariopoulis and the clergy who met on December 15 and resolved to hold the General Assembly in late February to decide on an official response.

The Archdiocese was largely in favor of staying together as a group, and it was reported that they were considering joining the Moscow Patriarchate, the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, or the Romanian Patriarchate, among other options.

As Orthodoxie reports, Abp. John opened the Assembly with a sobering word on the need for unity and canonicity:

Today, we need to choose between life and death. Choosing life will mean the continuity of our Archdiocese in its own space in communion with the Church. Another option might be to say, yes, we stay in our own space, but we remain in a kind of terra incognita, and I think this is not the right path. So today, we must keep unity, that’s the most important, and choose a path of life. Therefore, I urge you, let not this meeting be a split between us, rather, let it be a sign of unity and a strong ecclesial sign.
And reporting on the results, Orthodoxie states that of the 206 voters, 191 voted against the dissolution of the Archdiocese, with only 15 voting to remain within the Ecumenical Patriarchate in its main Western European dioceses.

Read the rest here.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

A Brief Reflection on Male Headship

If then, you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth (Col. 3:1-2). 

I commend you because you remember me in everything, and you maintain the traditions even as I have delivered them to you. But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a woman is her husband, and the head of Christ is God (1 Cor. 11:2-3).

Male headship: “The head of a woman is her husband.” I suppose there’s nothing as infuriating to modern feminists as this concept. But I wonder if this ordering would be at least a little less infuriating if it were understood in all its sublime glory as another of the multitudinous patterns that the Creator God has wondrously and wonderfully woven into His glorious Creation, and which even reflects the very being and life of God Himself, as He exists forever in Holy Trinity. 

As we all are well aware, patterns of order exist everywhere in our Lord’s glorious Creation, from the paths of electrons and other subatomic particles, to the paths of planets, stars, and galaxies; from the ordering of the seasons to the planting, growing, and harvesting of crops; and in the growth and adulthood of all animate beings, from the insects and fish to the birds and mammals, from the moment of conception to their last breath on this earth. For the Church fathers, all these countless patterns of order all point to the existence of God, the Creator of all this order that is so essential to the peaceful ongoing existence of all things. 

Since human beings are also part of the created realm, we can scarcely be surprised that our own existence would also partake of patterns of order—which, when abided by, greatly contribute to our ongoing, peaceful existence while we live on this earth. This is self-evident, even with no reference to the Lord our Creator. Just imagine the chaos that would ensue if there were no patterns of order—no directional signposts—for cars and trains and airplanes to be governed by. Or if one day every driver and train conductor and airplane pilot decided to disregard all the rules and regulations, and drive and direct the train and fly wherever he or she happened to want to! 

One such pattern of order in nature is male headship, whereby in marriage, the husband has the duty to be ultimately responsible for the physical, emotional, and spiritual well being of his family, along with having the ultimate responsibility for guiding the ongoing mutual decision-making processes that are necessary for this purpose. The man, generally being the physically stronger, taller, heavier, and deeper-voiced of the two, very naturally has been given this role. The Apostle Paul (1 Tim. 2:13) and the Church Fathers also see a certain preeminence in the authority and responsibility of the husband due to the fact that Adam was created first, and then the woman from his side. 

Of course, every husband, as the servant-head, should always be seeking the input of his wife in the decision-making processes, which should always be decidedly mutual, with decisions being reached virtually always by consensus. Similarly, the husband should also be steadily encouraging his wife to contribute greatly to the marital enterprise as a whole, with all her particular strengths and gifts as well. 

Read the rest here.

Friday, February 22, 2019

German [Catholic] bishop: female priests ‘will come’, tradition won’t stop it

February 14, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – A German bishop has stated that it is no longer convincing to argue against female priests because tradition does not allow it, adding that it is only a matter of time before they will come.

Bishop Gerhard Feige of Magdeburg made these comments in a Feb. 12 interview with German news service Katholische Nachrichten-Agentur (KNA). He claimed about the female priesthood that “it is not convincing anymore to rigorously reject it and merely to argue with the help of tradition.” While Feige suggested that currently the female priesthood is still improbable due to resistances in the Church, he is convinced that “it will come, however.”

“Not too long ago, I could not have imagined it this way,” the prelate added. Here, Bishop Feige referred to Pope Francis, saying that one cannot preserve the Church's teaching as is, without allowing for some development. Much has been changed in the past, and not only in details, he explained.

“Could the Spirit of God not also today lead us to new insights and decisions,” Feige said.

Commenting on the question of celibacy, the Eastern German prelate — who grew up under Communism — said he could imagine that there will be more married priests in the future. Celibacy, he said, “can over time become a burden.” He added that celibacy “is not a Divine law.” Therefore, married priests “are well possible, and they do exist already, after all –  with the same dignity and sacramentality – in the Catholic Eastern rites.” The question, however, is how the Universal Church can come to a decision in this points, Feige explained.

For him, it is important that the profile of the priest will be changed, away from an “archaic-bourgeois” style and toward a “dynamic-alternative” one. In the face of high numbers of non-Christians in his surroundings in Magdeburg, Feige argued that it is important for priests “not to instruct anyone from a superior position or to discipline him, but really to serve.”

Bishop Feige is not the only German-speaking prelate in favor of female priests. Cardinal Christoph Schönborn published last year his idea that one day there would be female priests and bishops. On another occasion, he said that he hoped for the day when he would ordain female deacons.

Read the rest here.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

The 1527 Sack of Rome

For history enthusiasts. On which note, IMO this is one of the better channels on YouTube.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

British Government Report Slams Facebook as "Digital Gangsters"

Facebook deliberately broke privacy and competition law and should urgently be subject to statutory regulation, according to a devastating parliamentary report denouncing the company and its executives as “digital gangsters”.
The final report of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee’s 18-month investigation into disinformation and fake news accused Facebook of purposefully obstructing its inquiry and failing to tackle attempts by Russia to manipulate elections.
“Democracy is at risk from the malicious and relentless targeting of citizens with disinformation and personalised ‘dark adverts’ from unidentifiable sources, delivered through the major social media platforms we use every day,” warned the committee’s chairman, Damian Collins.
The report:
  • Accuses Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s co-founder and chief executive, of contempt for parliament in refusing three separate demands for him to give evidence, instead sending junior employees unable to answer the committee’s questions.
  • Warns British electoral law is unfit for purpose and vulnerable to interference by hostile foreign actors, including agents of the Russian government attempting to discredit democracy.
  • Calls on the British government to establish an independent investigation into “foreign influence, disinformation, funding, voter manipulation and the sharing of data” in the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, the 2016 EU referendum and the 2017 general election.

    Read the rest here.

RIP- Bruno Ganz

He was perhaps the greatest actor that most English speaking people have never heard of. To the extent he is well known among anglophones it is for his masterful performance as Adolf Hitler in the German film Downfall (Der Untergang), which spawned scores of satirical YouTube parodies using clips from the movie showing some of the Fuhrer's infamous rants. For a good part of his life though, the Swiss native was recognized as one of the finest German speaking actors in the trade. In recognition of which he was the most recent holder of the famed Iffland-Ring for more than twenty years. Mr. Ganz has reposed at the age of 77.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Investigation finds no evidence of ‘racist or offensive statements’ by Covington Catholic students

An investigation released Wednesday into an encounter between Covington Catholic High School students and Native American activists at the Lincoln Memorial last month largely supports the students’ accounts of the incident, which prompted immediate and widespread condemnation of the boys after a video of the encounter went viral.

A short video clip showed Nathan Phillips, playing a traditional drum, in an apparent standoff with student Nick Sandmann, who was wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat. The Diocese of Covington and Covington Catholic High School, which arranged the trip, were among those who initially condemned the boys’ actions in the video.

The report, prepared by Greater Cincinnati Investigation, Inc. and dated Feb. 11, employed four licensed investigators for approximately 240 hours to take statements from students and chaperones, as well as to interview third-party witnesses and review about 50 hours of video. Investigators were not able to interview either Phillips or Sandmann in person and instead reviewed the student’s written account.

The investigators said they found no evidence that the students responded in an offensive manner to the black Hebrew Israelites or that they chanted “build the wall.” After asking chaperones, they performed a school cheer, according to the report, to drown out the black Hebrew Israelites.

Read the rest here.

I think there are more than a few people who owe these kids an apology. Not holding my breath though.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Catastrophic Flooding in Australia

Large tracts of rural Australia, primarily Queensland, have been stricken with flooding of biblical proportions after enduring a prolonged drought. There have been severe losses among wildlife and livestock.

Warning: The linked story has images that may be disturbing.

California abandons $77 billion high-speed rail plan

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday he’s abandoning a plan to build a high-speed rail line between Los Angeles and San Francisco, a project with an estimated cost that has ballooned to $77 billion.

“Let’s be real,” Newsom said in his first State of the State address. “The current project, as planned, would cost too much and respectfully take too long. There’s been too little oversight and not enough transparency.”

The idea championed by Newsom’s predecessor, Jerry Brown, is years behind schedule. The latest estimate for completion is 2033.

Newsom, though, said he wants to finish construction that’s already under way on a segment of the high-speed train from Bakersfield to Merced, through California’s Central Valley, arguing it will revitalize the economically depressed region.

He’s also replacing Brown’s head of the state board that oversees the project and pledged more accountability for contractors that run over on costs.

Read the rest here.

Orbán announces major family protection package for Hungary

Prime Minister Viktor Orban announced a seven-point family protection action plan in his state-of-the nation address in Budapest.

“This is Hungary’s answer to challenges, rather than immigration”, the prime minister said.

Listing the points of the action plan, Orban said

  • every woman under 40 years of age will be eligible to a preferential loan when they first get married.
  • The preferential loan of the family home purchase scheme (csok) will be extended; families raising two or more children will now also be able to use it for purchasing resale homes.
  • The government will repay 1 million forints of the mortgage loan of families with two or more children. This measure was first announced in August 2017 for families with three or more children, with the government paying off 1 million forints of families’ mortgages for every third and subsequent child from January 2018. The measures has now been extended to include families raising two children.
  • Women who have had and raised at least four children will be exempt from personal income tax payment for the rest of their lives.
  • The government will launch a car purchase subsidy programme for large families. Families raising at least three children will be eligible to a grant of 2.5 million forints to buy a new car seating at least seven people.
  • The government will create 21,000 creche places over three years.
  • Grandparents will also be eligible to a child-care fee and look after young children instead of the parents, the prime minister added.
Read the rest here.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Bulgarian Church calls for abortion ban, religious education in schools, no sex education

The Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church has called for an overhaul of the government’s National Strategy for the Child 2019-2030, arguing for a ban on abortion and for compulsory religious education in schools and the removal of sex education from the curriculum.

The strategy was posted on the government’s strategy.by website for comments from January until February 8. The Synod published their comments on the patriarchate’s website which were then added to the governmental website, reports the Sofia Globe.

In taking the Orthodox stand against abortion, the Synod said that banning such murder would allow for society and children in particular to have a full chance at existence and “blessed progress,” giving society the chance to overcome its demographic crisis.
Abortion is “unworthy of the Bulgarian nation,” the bishops’ statement reads.

The bishops also called for religious education in schools, saying:
Religious education in kindergartens and schools educates not only the minds but also the hearts of the smallest members of our society, which means that religious activities (in particular: Orthodox Christianity) reveal to children the sacred secret of this, that man is created in the image of God, and that to educate means to develop not only intellectually, but also to be perfected in faith, hope, love, charity and godliness. This is and should be the highest goal of any education, of any education-form, that man should be likened to the image of his Creator,
The Synod also voiced its opposition to the teaching of sex education in schools, calling for students to instead learn about true love, and not “sexuality that is taken out of the context of love,” and that abstinence is the best contraceptive. Such education should not be left in the hands of those who push an LGBT agenda, the bishops write.

“Children’s rights, parents’ rights, and the protection of the traditional family have a direct bearing on national security, state prosperity and eternal salvation in God,” the bishops also said.

The bishops also addressed issues of child violence and drug abuse, protecting parental rights, and the elimination of familial policies imported from outside Bulgaria that are impractical for Bulgarian society.


Friday, February 08, 2019

My Hero (for at least the next 12 hrs give or take)

I am not in the habit of cheering for billionaires. But I'm making an exception here. Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon is the world's richest man, with a personal net worth exceeding the GDP of more than a few countries (combined). Yesterday he struck a blow for all of us, great and small. Being confronted with what looks to my layman's eye to be a pretty naked attempt at extortion, he turned the tables on a bunch of thugs and character assassins masquerading as journalists. And he did it at not inconsiderable cost (not money wise) to himself. The press and pundits are having a field day with this. One can only imagine what the late night comedians are going to do with it.

But it really is serious stuff. There are all kinds of rumors running around about who may have been behind it, and why. For now I will just say that I hope Jeff sues these SOBs right down to their boxers.

But no farther please.

The details can be found here. (Caution- some of the material is salacious.)

God Agrees To Spare Virginia If Just 10 Democrats Who Never Wore Blackface or a KKK Hood Can Be Found

VIRGINIA—In a statement issued from on high, the Almighty has agreed to spare the state of Virginia from His imminent wrath if state officials can locate just ten Democrats who never wore blackface or a KKK costume at some point in their lives.

God had announced His plan to immediately destroy Virginia, but Democrat leaders quickly begged him to spare the state if they could locate just 50 Democrats who never dressed in blackface. Being unable to do so, they managed to get the Lord to reduce the requirement to 40, then 30, then 20, and finally just 10.

Virginians' relief, however, quickly turned to panic as Democrat lawmakers announced they couldn't find a single leftist politician who hadn't dressed in a horrifically racist costume in their college years. They thought they found one but he was accused of sexual assault and so didn't count.

The state's citizens immediately began gathering their things and fleeing for other states, being careful not to look back.


Thursday, February 07, 2019

Washington State Braces for Potentially Severe Measles Outbreak

VANCOUVER, Wash. — Amber Gorrow is afraid to leave her house with her infant son because she lives at the epicenter of Washington state’s worst measles outbreak in more than two decades. Born eight weeks ago, Leon is too young to get his first measles shot, putting him at risk for the highly contagious respiratory virus, which can be fatal in small children.

Gorrow also lives in a community where she said being anti-vaccine is as acceptable as being vegan or going gluten free. Almost a quarter of kids in Clark County, Wash., a suburb of Portland, Ore., go to school without measles, mumps and rubella immunizations, and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) recently declared a state of emergency amid concern that things could rapidly spin out of control.

Measles outbreaks have sprung up in nine other states this winter, but officials are particularly alarmed about the one in Clark County because of its potential to go very big, very quickly.

The Pacific Northwest is home to some of the nation’s most vocal and organized anti-vaccination activists. That movement has helped drive down child immunizations in Washington, as well as in neighboring Oregon and Idaho, to some of the lowest rates in the country, with as many as 10.5 percent of kindergartners statewide in Idaho unvaccinated for measles. That is almost double the median rate nationally.

Libertarian-leaning lawmakers, meanwhile, have bowed to public pressure to relax state laws to exempt virtually any child from state vaccination requirements whose parents object. Three states allow only medical exemptions; most others also permit religious exemptions. And 17, including Washington, Oregon and Idaho, allow what they call “philosophical” exemptions, meaning virtually anyone can opt out of the requirements.

All those elements combine into a dangerous mix, spurring concern about the resurgence of a deadly disease that once sent tens of thousands of Americans to hospitals each year and killed an estimated 400 to 500 people, many of them young children.

Read the rest here.

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Beseeching the Mother of God for protection from schismatics in Ukraine


MLB is considering a series of rules changes including making the DH universal.


Some of these ideas I can live with. But if they force that candy @$$ DH rule on the National League I am going to just give up and start watching golf or ping pong. And putting someone on 2nd base who didn't get there by swinging a bat is pure 100% Grade A fertilizer.

Update on Richie Bonillas (Latest Update:03-22-2019)

The latest update from the family...

Richie has taken a downturn.

Doctors are holding off Richie’s move to rehab until his lung improves. He had a partial lung collapse yesterday and another episode where his heart rate dropped significantly. Brian (Richie's dad) is hoping he will go to the rehab floor either today or tomorrow.

Doctor plans to do an MRI to try to determine the cause of his heart rate dropping into the 30’s and 40’s. They think it could be neurological. I’m not sure why they are holding off on the MRI. They may want to do it when his heart rate drops.

Further updates will be posted to this thread as I receive them.

Update: 02-14-2019
After almost 2.5 months in ICU, Richie was moved to Rehab yesterday. New doctors, nurses and support staff. One step at a time.

Update: 03-22-2019
I have received the following update...
Richie has Acute Flaccid Myelitis. It is similar to polio but not polio. Basically no treatment for it but supportive care. They said it may be a virus but don’t know for sure. It is very rare.
Because it damages the spinal cord it also damages the heart by sometimes causing the heart rate to drop to a rate that can be fatal. Local doctors and doctors from Stanford are all in agreement to put in a pacemaker but say it does not always work.
Brian is at odds about putting his son through all of this but Grandpa thinks Brian is in shock and is very angry. Brian and Shannon will need to make this decision.

Monday, February 04, 2019

American Expatriates in Russia

Rod Dreher has an interesting, and I suspect some will find it controversial, post on an American family that decided to take the ultimate leap. They emigrated to Russia. I am not going to excerpt this as there is a lot to digest.

Read it here.

Sunday, February 03, 2019

Good News


Richie Bonillas is making slow but steady progress. The latest word is that if all goes well he will be moved from ICU to rehab on Monday. The family is somewhat exhausted as to be expected. Your prayers have been and remain deeply appreciated.

Saturday, February 02, 2019

Concelebrated hierarchical liturgy on the Feast of St. Mark of Ephesus

On the Feast of St. Mark of Ephesus the Patriarchs of Antioch, Moscow and Belgrade concelebrate the Divine Liturgy.

(Hello Constantinople... anyone paying attention?)

Friday, February 01, 2019

UK: Just one in ten babies is baptised into the Church of England

Only one in ten babies is baptised into the Church of England – and in London, the figure is even lower at three in every 100, a national breakdown of the Church’s strength has revealed.

The tiny minority of infants who are introduced to Christianity by the CofE in London is mirrored in other major cities.

In Birmingham, only 5 per cent of babies are christened by the Anglican church; in Bristol it’s 6 per cent; in Manchester 8 per cent; and in Nottingham 9 per cent.

But the proportion of newborn children who are baptised is much higher in provincial towns and rural areas. In the Hereford diocese, for example, one in four babies is christened by the CofE.

The figures come from an analysis of churchgoing in 2017 in the CofE’s 46 dioceses. It shows that across England an average of 10 per cent of babies under one were baptised – down from 14 per cent in 2007.

Less than 50 people attend Sunday services at a typical English parish church. The figures for the London diocese do not include the capital south of the Thames, which is the Southwark diocese, where 5 per cent of babies under one are baptised into the CofE.

Read the rest here.

This is hardly surprising when the CofE has devolved into little more than a left-wing social club. Albeit one with very nice stained glass windows. It is not exactly surprising that a "church" is unlikely to attract people who are looking for articles of faith beyond whatever is currently trendy or politically correct.

Quote of the day...

"It is, the most disgraceful, atrocious, unjust, detestable, heathenish, barbarous, diabolical, tyrannical, man-degrading, woman-murdering, demon-pleasing, Heaven-defying act ever perpetrated in any age of the world by persons claiming to have consciences and a belief in a just God!"

 -Rodney French (1850 in response to the Fugitive Slave Act)

Hello New York...