Thursday, October 30, 2014

Synodal Hijinks (The Aftermath)



I'm a little late coming with this, but it's probably a good thing because there has been more of a chance for the information to sink in, and I haven't really had the time to throw anything up on the subject anyway.

By now, pretty much everybody knows that this whole thing followed the Vatican II playbook. Tight media control. A warping of perception. Sly maneuvering of document drafts. All this was set up for the final declaration of victory and return home to re-interpret sacramental dogma to fit the whims of the Prince of This World.

Then reality hit. Bishops began complaining about the media spin. Cardinal Erdo disavowed the interim relatio. The dominoes fell from there. Cardinal Kaspar lost his mind and basically said that the African and Asian churches had to be limited in the whole synodal discussion (that's my charitable way to put it), then lied about saying it, then apologized when caught in his lie. Cardinal Pell's demanded publication of the "small group reports" was the biggest deal, and I encourage everyone to read the efforts from Cardinal Burke's group, as well as that of Cardinal Sarah (a huge thank you to Stomachosus for the translation) who I gain more and more respect for daily.

Since that time, we've had much wailing and gnashing of teeth about how this is a set-back for the "updating" of the Church," albeit only a temporary one. With that summary, I give you my thoughts on the biggest things to come out of this.

1. First, for all the hand-wringing about the final votes on some of the more controversial language, keep in mind that this was a cherry-picked crowd. If ever there was a field ripe for the planting of this crap crop, it was there at the Synod. And it still didn't work.

2. Cardinal Dolan came back with strength. Whether or not he might "go wobbly" under the glare of spotlights again is up for debate, but his comments this time around were a far cry from his applause of Michael Sam or his posture on the St. Patrick's Parade.

3. I am in wholesale agreement with fellow blogger Boniface at Unam Sanctam re: his point #7 on Cardinal Kaspar. Is he racist? I doubt it. This is the same type of attitude he's always had with people who have dared to disagree with him. Is he a jerk? I think so. But now, he can go back to the hole Pope Benedict had buried him in. His entire reputation has been blown to hell right where his theology belongs.

4. Given that Cardinal Kaspar spent this whole time talking about how tight he is with Pope Francis and how any disagreement with him is an attack on the Pope, I figure Pope Francis has some fences to mend with those same African and Asian churches that were smeared.

5. Given Point #4, I think the ripples from this are going to last all the way to the next conclave. No way are the Africans going to throw their votes to anyone who is going to put them in this kind of position again. Ditto for the Asians. These are prelates who have spent a lot of time and energy to combating the regularization of homosexuality and the difficulty of the Church's teaching on marriage. They aren't going to let the Catholic Church go the way of the Anglican Communion. They will be looking for someone speaking with clarity and prudence on these matters.

6. We've seen the Pope come out with some pretty strong verbiage in the last few days. I assume some of this is in response to the backlash from the Synod.

7. While much attention has been given to Cardinal Muller's role in all this, I am much more fascinated by what Cardinal Erdo was doing. In a lot of ways, it was his action with the relatio that definitively proved that there was funny business going on with the drafting. I wouldn't say it forced the other bishops' hand to rise up, but it was a big step in clearing the way for them. We'll probably know more depending on what happens to His Eminence going forward. If he's tagged as Cardinal Burke's roommate in Malta, that will be a clear sign. Regardless, I think Cardinal Erdo is important. If he can be a European counter-weight to guys like Cardinals Marx and Schonborn, that would be a huge deal.

8. Speaking of Cardinal Burke, I'm not sure people are really appreciating what has happened to him. The level of his proposed demotion is ridiculous. Really, that is probably an understatement. Consider every prelate you know who has been implicated in sexual abuse and cover-up. None of them got a gut-punch like this one.

9. As we alluded to in another post, the notion that any substantive reform of the Curia is actually happening or going to happen is a pipe dream. If anything, the wolves are going to dig themselves in deeper and continue their war against the orthodox. Malta is going to get awful crowded before this is all over. The bottom line, though is that it's pretty difficult to see guys like Cardinal Danneels and Sodano getting special treatment or an institution like the German church being so influential in promoting heresy just to secure its cash flow, while guys like Cardinal Burke or the FFI or whoever are essentially cast into exile. Sure, we might get some reforms of the Vatican Bank, but this is all window dressing while the rot spreads.

So that's the way I see it for now. Pray for our bishops. Fast. Do penance. The recipe hasn't changed.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

WWJD?

Well, there's always this:





Thanks to Matt Kozak for putting this on twitter.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

An Interim Post And Prediction



We all know that Pope Paul VI is to be beatified at the close of the Synod.

I'm making a prediction now. Write it down. Remember where you heard it first.

After Pope Paul is beatified, new evidence will be "discovered" or old evidence will "resurface" to resurrect the rumors alleging that he was a homosexual.

I hope I'm wrong.

How We Got Where We Are



First, it's become obvious that the Synod wasn't some kind of modernist carnival with non-stop heretical hijinks. There were good things being said. They were just all being ignored in favor of giving free rein to The Adversary.

Hey, it happens.

Before we get into the more explosive events of recent days, I offer a few tidbits from the lead-up, per Zenit.

Humanae Vitae got great affirmation from some of the married couples asked to speak. Consider the testimony of Olivier and Xristilla Roussy from France:

When we were engaged, we chose to conform to the natural regulation of births. After the arrival of our third child, Xristilla was exhausted. We could no longer live peacefully our conjugal unions. So we decided that Xristilla should take a contraceptive pill for some months. The choice of contraception was supposed to calm us down; it had the opposite effect. We lived that period very badly. Xristilla was often in a bad mood, desire was absent and joy disappeared. In truth, we had the impression of no longer being ourselves. We were not united. We understood that we had closed a door to the Lord in our conjugal life. So we decided to take up again a natural regulation of births. It was seemingly a more difficult way that invited us to be continent during fertile periods at the same time that we desired more strongly to unite ourselves. It is often hard to accept and to choose it each time. However, we live it together. It is a joint adventure that pushes us to want the happiness of the other. Much more than a method, this way of life enables us to receive one another each day, to communicate, to know one another, to await one another, to have confidence, to be delicate. We chose this way, we do not suffer it, and we are profoundly happy despite the efforts it requires.

And then here from the Zamberlines, a Brazilian couple and the supporting comments from Cardinal Vingt-Trois:

At a Thursday morning session on the “Pastoral Challenges Concerning an Openness to Life,” Brazilians, Arturo and Hermelinda Zamberline gave a testimony on contraception. They concluded by calling on the Holy Father and the synod to help Catholics understand and obey Humanae Vitae, Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical that affirmed Church teaching against birth control, reported CNS.

The couple, who have been married 41 years with three children, are also country leaders of “Teams of Our Lady,” an international Catholic movement.

Saying that "often, contradictory advice only aggravates their confusion," they noted: "If couples, as well as clergy, could at least find illumination and support, that would already be a great encouragement."

"We ask, may the magisterium hasten to give priests and faithful the major lines of a pastoral teaching programme to help people adopt and observe the principles laid out in ‘Humanae Vitae,’” the Zamberlines said.

Then there was some great commentary about the connection between family life and vocations and the threat of secularism to both.

Africa, of course, looms large. Let's take a look at some of the initial comments. There are those here:

From various quarters there emerged the tendency of several states and organisations based in the Western world to present, especially in the context of Africa, various concepts (including abortion and homosexual unions) as "human rights", linked to economic aid and strong pressure campaigns for the promotion of such concepts. In this respect, it was highlighted that the expression "rights to sexual and reproductive health" does not have a precise definition in international law and ends up encompassing mutually contradictory principles such as the condemnation of forced abortion and the promotion of safe abortion, or the protection of maternity and the promotion of contraception.

And here:

Numerous interventions, especially in relation to Africa, drew attention to the many challenges the family must face in this continent: polygamy, levirate marriage, sects, war, poverty, the painful crisis of migration, international pressure for birth control, and so on. These are problems that undermine family stability, placing it in crisis. In the face of such challenges, it is necessary to respond with in-depth evangelisation, able to promote the values of peace, justice and love, an adequate promotion of the role of women in society, thorough education of children and the protection of rights for all victims of violence.

More on Africa in a later post, thanks to Cardinal Kaspar.

This didn't keep there from being a certain amount of mushiness in how the proceedings were reported and summarized. Keep in mind that the individual interventions have been basically censured. We know very little about the specifics. Consider this particular item from the 7th General Congregation:

Firstly, it re-emphasised the indissoluble nature of marriage, without compromise, based on the fact that the sacramental bond is an objective reality, the work of Christ in the Church. Such a value must be defended and cared for through adequate pre-matrimonial catechesis, so that engaged couples are fully aware of the sacramental character of the bond and its vocational nature. Pastoral accompaniment for couples following marriage would also be useful.

At the same time, it was said that it is necessary to look at individual cases and real-life situations, even those involving great suffering, distinguishing for example between those who abandon their spouse and those who are abandoned. The problem exists – this was repeated several times in the Assembly – and the Church does not neglect it. Pastoral care must not be exclusive, of an “all or nothing” type but must instead be merciful, as the mystery of the Church is a mystery of consolation...

And then:

Similarly, while emphasising the impossibility of recognising same sex marriage, the need for a respectful and non-discriminatory approach with regard to homosexuals was in any case underlined.

Who is doing all this emphasizing and underlining? How much of it is there in each case? For example, Fr. Lombardi, at one point, went on record saying that out of around 265 interventions that had been given that he remembered one that mentioned homosexuality.

Likewise with this language from the 6th Congregation:

It was remarked that it is important to carefully avoid moral judgement or speaking of a “permanent state of sin”, seeking instead to enable understanding that not being admitted to the sacrament of the Eucharist does not entirely eliminate the possibility of grace in Christ and is due rather to the objective situation of remaining bound by a previous and indissoluble sacramental bond.

How absurd is it for the Church, Mother and Teacher on all things relating to faith and morals, to avoid making moral judgments?

By now, I'm sure most readers have heard the controversy over the Relatio that was circulated at the mid-point of the proceedings. It's a remarkable document that with all the theological promise of a Charles Nelson Reilly performance. If you are overly masochistic, the parts with the most disturbing language are #50 et seq,

Just keep those in mind for now. I will post on the more explosive events later. It is worthwhile to have in mind the above, though, to understand why things have happened how they have happened.



Thursday, October 16, 2014

Bishop John Chrysostom Lan Shi, RIP

His Excellency, Bishop John Chrysostom Lan Shi has passed away. This brave shepherd has passed away at the age of 89. He spent 14 years as a prisoner in a Communist labor camp. 


What with ISIS and Boko Haram and such, it's sometimes easy to forget our bretheren in other places who are still being persecuted. Reminiscent of the AntiChrist, China has set up a fake church to deceive the people. Those who resist do not care well.

When you pray for our brothers and sisters suffering for the Truth, please remember the Chinese faithful in their number.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Synod At The Half Way Mark



A couple of things should be noted from the outset, First, remember that you are only hearing from the Synod scraps and bits and pieces. This echoes what happened at Vatican II. Why would it be any different? This model has worked well for the revolutionary elements in the Church. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Second, it is truly audacious to see these kinds of comments:

This morning we will concentrate our attention and our debates on Chapters 1 and 2, which concern, more particularly, eight well-defined topics. First of all, in the framework of Chapter 1: God’s Plan on Marriage and the Family (1-7), a first topic addresses The Family in the Light of Biblical Gifts (1-3). Thus this permits a rereading if the gifts of Revelation on the family, from Genesis to its perfecting in the teaching of Christ, which offers as the foundation of spousal love irrevocable divine fidelity and participation in God’s creative work.

We are given a second topic on considering The Family in the Documents of the Church (4-7). In the course of the centuries, the Church has not failed to offer her constant teaching on marriage and the family. Closer to us, Popes Paul VI, John Paul II, and Benedict XVI recalled the fundamental lines of a family pastoral and of the presence of the family in society. Even more recently, His Holiness Pope Francis also addressed the bond between the family and the faith in his Encyclical Lumen Fidei.

Chapter 2: Knowledge and Reception of Holy Scripture and the Documents of the Church on Marriage and the Family, offers us the six following topics. First of all Knowledge of the Bible on the Family (9-10) and that of Documents of the Magisterium (11), which form the counterpart of what is presented in chapter 1 and completes it by combing faithfully the situation within the People of God.

When you look at the arguments posed by the revolutionaries, they pay absolutely no heed to Scripture as understood by the Church, the magisteria of any of the popes mentioned, or the Church's magisterium in general. What you do have is a thoroughly Protestant notion of revelation going on as Scripture texts are re-interpreted according to the whims of the speaker, rather than the Church. It's shades of Gene Robinson. This isn't a new thing:

As also in all his  [St. Paul's] epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are certain things hard to be understood, which the unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, to their own destruction.

2 Peter 3:16

Notice what is the grounding of all this talk:

From many quarters, however, there has emerged the need to adapt the language of the Church, so that doctrine on the family, life and sexuality is understood correctly: it is necessary to enter into dialogue with the world, looking to the example offered by the Vatican Council, or rather with a critical but sincere openness. If the Church does not listen to the world, the world will not listen to the Church.

Wait a minute. Last time I checked, we've been "dialoguing" with the world for the last five decades. Is the world listening the Church any better? When does the world get to teach the Mother and Teacher? I suggest that it is irrational to think that the world has anything to offer that the Church hasn't been able to glean to this point. What more openness can the Church offer and what has that openness wrought? Good fruit or bad fruit?

Consider this also:

Furthermore, it was underlined that even imperfect situations must be considered with respect: for instance, de facto unions in which couples live together with fidelity and love present elements of sanctification and truth. It is therefore essential to look first and foremost at the positive elements, so that the Synod may infuse with courage and hope even imperfect forms of family, so that their value may be recognised, according to the principle of graduality. It is necessary to truly love families in difficulty.

Notice the classic formulas of ambiguity raising their head again. "Imperfect situations" rather than "sinful" just like "imperfect communion" took over from "outside the Church." "Positive elements" supplant the call for conversion. "Graduality" is the mechanism for holiness rather than penitence. It's a fantastic 1970s glossing over of Church teaching and straight from the revolutionary playbook. Again, if it ain't broke...

Finally, there was this marvel of rhetorical craftmanship:

Like yesterday afternoon, the debate focused on the need to renew the language of the proclamation of the Gospel and the transmission of doctrine: the Church must be more open to dialogue, and must listen more frequently (and not only in exceptional cases) to the experiences of married couples, because their struggles and their failures cannot be ignored; on the other hand, they can be the basis of a real and true theology. Again, in relation to language, some perplexity was expressed at the suggestion – included in the Instrumentum Laboris – to deepen the concept, of biblical inspiration, of the “order of creation” as a possibility of rereading “natural law” more meaningfully: it was added that it is not enough to change the vocabulary if a bridge to effective dialogue with the faithful is not then created. In this sense, the much foretold and widespread need for change may be understood, it was said, as pastoral conversion, to make the proclamation of the Gospel more effective.

The reason this is such a great paragraph is that it is pure modernism. It doesn't even try to hide it. Basing theology on sentiment and experience? Hell, why not just say "vital immanence" and get it over with? What "biblical inspiration" is in all this? One that allows a "re-reading of natural law." And all in the name of dialogue. Not Truth. Not salvation. Just talking.

We'll have more up later today that should bring us entirely up to speed. I do ask for your prayers, bytthe way. My wife's pregnancy has been a difficult one. We are nearing the end, so any prayers offered would be most appreciated.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

The Looming Synod

A couple of items as the Synod draws nigh.

First, in the interest of some of the items we posted here, we are going to try to step back from some of the focus given to ecclesiastical politics. Scandal is easily spread, and there are many who flirt with despair because of the corruption/naivete/blindness of churchmen.

Second, I want to throw out these recent words of Pope Francis to the bishops of Chad with regards to the doctrines of the Faith vis a vis the focus many have on "pastoral" issues or matters of social justice:

“The civil authorities are very grateful to the Catholic Church for her contribution to society as a whole in Chad. I encourage you to persevere along this path, as there is a strong bond between evangelisation and human development, a bond that must be expressed and developed in all the work of evangelisation. Service to the poor and the most disadvantaged constitutes a true testimony of Christ, Who made Himself poor in order to be close to us and to save us. Both the religious congregations and lay associations who work with them play an important role in this respect, and they are to be thanked for this”. 

“However”, he observes, “it is certain that this commitment to social service does not constitute the entirety of evangelizing activity; the deepening and strengthening of faith in the hearts of the faithful, that translates into an authentic spiritual and sacramental life, are essential to enable them to withstand the many trials of contemporary life, and to ensure that the behaviour of the faithful is more coherent with the requirements of the Gospel. … This is especially necessary in a country where certain cultural traditions bear considerable weight, where less morally demanding religious possibilities are present everywhere, and where secularism begins to make headway”. 

Therefore, “it is necessary for the faithful to receive a solid doctrinal and spiritual formation. And the first locus of formation is certainly catechesis. I invite you, with a renewed missionary spirit, to implement the catechetical methods used in your dioceses. First, the good aspects of their traditions must be considered and accorded their due value – because Christ did not come to destroy cultures, but rather to lead them to fulfilment – while that which is not Christian must be clearly denounced. At the same time, it is essential to ensure the accuracy and integrity of doctrinal content”.

So there's that.

Third, there have been some questions coming in about the Synod itself.

We will report on events there to the best of our ability. However, everybody should prepare for Humanae Vitae, The Sequel. We aren't the only ones making that comparison, so I doubt anybody is seeing it here for the first time. The amount of hype given the Synod has been ridiculous and worthy of mockery from anyone familiar with Catholic teaching. But most have no such familiarity or either ignore what they do know in favor of the gods of their bellies.

Pray. Fast. Then pray and fast some more. And when you think you've prayed and fasted enough, redouble your efforts to pray and to fast.

On another question as to a good saint for intercessory prayer for the Synod, there's always the Blessed Mother, St. Joseph, and St. Michael for these kinds of things. Outside of them, I offer the example of St. Leo the Great, or our more recently canonized pope, John Paul II. Consider that the wolves promoting the Synod as one of "change" have as their primary goal the complete overthrow of the moral laws that were most championed by him.

Just my suggestions.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Thou Shalt Not Have Strange Gods Before Me

We've talked about America's creepy obsession with sports before. The non-stop trou-dropping over Derek Jeter's imminent retirement has called the issue to mind again.

First, let me deal with the inevitable accusations that I'm a hater. I actually like the Yankees. There aren't any major league teams around here, so I pretty much had my pick of teams to follow over the years.

Second, I don't have anything against Derek Jeter. Granted, there is this:



But that isn't really a problem with Jeter. It's the overall problem that I'm talking about in this post.

People tend to blow off the First Commandment. The typical thought process is "Hey, I'm not bowing down to a gold calf or anything, so I'm ok."

That's a pretty restricted view of what worship is, I think. If you look at this whole phenomenon surrounding Jeter's departure, it's about one half-step down (maybe) from burning incense in front of an image of Caesar. It's pretty shameful stuff.

Let's recall some words from The Master:

For where thy treasure is, there is thy heart also.
Matthew 6:21

When you watch the time, resources, expense, and energy that is being poured into the rituals of Jeter's farewell, take a moment to think about where those swept up in such euphoria have their treasure. It's not a golden calf. However, if we consider this adulation and reverence given to a baseball player and contrast it with what is offered to The Almighty, doesn't it seem a bit creepy? Consider the words of the Liturgy of St. James:

Let all mortal flesh keep silent, and with fear and trembling stand. Ponder nothing earthly-minded, Let all mortal flesh keep silent, and with fear and trembling stand. Ponder nothing earthly-minded, for the King of kings and Lord of lords advances to be slain and given as food to the faithful. Before him go the choirs of Angels, with every rule and authority, the many-eyed Cherubim and the six-winged Seraphim, veiling their sight and crying out the hymn: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia

I'm sure Jeter could demand that kind of respect.

God? Probably not so much, and therein lies the tragedy of our time.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

It's A Curious Thing

It's a weird thing to consider when you think about all the recent stuff we've seen in Church news lately. Tacit approval of homosexual behavior, advocating for Holy Communion for the remarried divorcee, ridiculous levels of praise for Islam, etc have all made headlines.


To think that every saint in the history of Christ's Church (who voiced an opinion on these matters) was on the wrong side of history with these issues but somehow made it to the right side of the Beatific Vision should be enough to give the modern proponents of such insanities pause.

It should. But it probably won't.

DILLIGAF

I've been seeing the above acronym with increasing frequency. For those who don't know, it stands for "Do I look like I give a flip?" except where "flip" is an obscenity instead of "flip."


It strikes me that the ability of people, especially young people, to use this phrase is one of our major problems. It's almost as though we are raising whole generations to have little or no idea of things like modesty, scandal, or the feelings of others.

It's on every talk show. "Whatever! I'll do what I want!" It's in the resigned "Whatever..." that makes up about 85% of the teenaged lexicon. It's in the vulgar dress of the masses. It's in the words of prelates willing to proclaim their opposition to the Magisterium. And so forth.

Now, it's good to have a detachment from the world. We certainly don't want our faith life governed by others' opinions. However, like with anything else, this can be twisted to the ends of The Adversary.

What has happened is that we have completely forgotten the concept of scandal. Nobody pays any mind to the sorts of stumbling blocks they set up for their brothers and sisters in the world. Whether it's a refusal to dress modestly and shrugging off the temptation of others as "their problem" or the raging would-be apologist who casts perpetual pearls before swine and serves to do nothing more than give atheists or anti-Catholic bigots opportunities for blasphemy and insult to God.

We have forgotten humility in all this. At some point, we have to be willing to constrain our fashion sense out of love for others. We should consider how our words and actions might damage the faith of others or even drive them to despair. We have to be willing to shake the dust from our feet and leave those poor souls to the mercy of God, hoping that we've planted a seed that can sprout with the Holy Spirit's assistance.

Remember Our Blessed Lord's words:

And because iniquity hath abounded, the charity of many shall grow cold.
Matthew 24:12

And we definitely seem to lean to the chilly side these days. Perhaps this is another case of losing our understanding of the essences of things. True charity is love for others FOR THE SAKE OF GOD. Love is the willing of good for another, with the highest good being God Himself, of course.

Sometimes the things we prefer are not good for these others and certainly aren't for God's sake. 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Thank You All

For your prayers and such. He's doing much better, but we still are having difficulty locating the origin of the problems.

Regular blogging to resume soon.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Request

Please offer some prayers for my father and his health.


Thank you all in advance.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Reform?

Tancred has posted some of the roster for the folks invited to the upcoming Synod on the Family. Ignoring the invites to all the non-Catholic observers, let's focus on the individuals who wear the "Catholic" label. I'm also ignoring that Cardinal Kaspar will be there, despite the fact that all of his preliminary input on the subject has been shown to be false.

Anyways, two names on the list caught my attention immediately, not just because they are on the list, but because they were personally appointed to the Synod by Pope Francis. Allegedly. These are Cardinals Danneels and Sodano.

The former presided over a country where the concept of life and family are absolutely rotting away and who has made bizarre statements about the Church sanctioning pseudo-marriage-ish unions for homosexuals. This is all secondary to the fact that he ignored the problem of child molesting priests to a pretty egregious level.

As to the latter, many indications are that Cardinal Sodano was a long-time protector of Marcel Maciel, who used the Legionaries of Christ as his own personal bank account and brothel. I get that +Sodano is the Dean of the College these days. I don't get why that merits an invitation.

On a side note, both of these guys resigned their real jobs years ago.

Anyways, I point this out to show that real "reform" as was envisioned by everyone to some extent following the last conclave still isn't going much of anywhere. In so many cases, the new help appears to be the same as the old help.


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Re: Bees



Because bees are awesome.

"The bee is more honored than other animals, not because she labors, but because she labors for others." 

St. John Chrysostom

Thanks to Zenit for the quote.


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Stuff Jesus Never Said

It's funny because it's true. I don't know anything about ChurchPop, but this was too good to pass up:

























And a bonus from the comments:


Saturday, August 30, 2014

Since It's The Beginning Of Football Season

I wonder what ND will be "fighting for" this season, given that Catholicism hasn't made the list for so long.


On a related note, it is interesting that the school has no issue with punishing students who cheat, yet there are no negative consequences for professors who go out of their way to insult God, degrade His Church, and wreck the souls of students.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Country Music And The Signs Of The Times

First, let's provide the following video from YouTube entitled "Why Country Music Was Awful In 2013":




Anyone being honest would admit that you could basically have made that same video for any year of country music since about 1992.

Next, we invite all our readers to peruse this article (or any of the other multitude that have come out on the same subject) regarding the abomination of "bro country." Ignoring for a moment the individual crimes being committed in association with such crappy music, let's focus instead on the general theme of self-indulgence and narcissism.

Finally, let's take a look at some recent comments by Merle Haggard, known by many for making actual country music, unknown to many for the same reason, regarding the current state of the industry:

Haggard also notes that he doesn't listen much to the radio these days, saying, "Once in a while, I'll scan it and I don't understand what they're doing. I can't find the entertainment in it. I know these guys, occasionally play shows with them and they're all good people. But I wonder if that record they're making is something they can actually do. Too much boogie boogie wham-bam and not enough substance."

Let's recall how country music formerly tended to treat the issues of alcoholism, adultery, and sin overall. While there were some light-hearted efforts that treated such topics with levity ("I'm Gonna Hire A Wino To Decorate Our Home" for example), the typical flavor on these topics was one of self-loathing and the participants as pathetic losers. It wasn't a good thing to be boozed out of one's mind or partying all the time, etc. The new theme of country music is the opposite. Now, there is nothing more pleasant than getting hammered.

Anyways, we present these as illustrations of how the crap that currently gets played on country music stations reflects the shallowness of our world as a whole. The deeper thoughts driven by the more profound songs of yesteryear are abandoned in favor of the same self-glorifying drivel that has characterized rap/hip-hop for so long.

Just a symptom of the larger disease of pride that has infected pretty much everything.

For good measure:


Monday, August 25, 2014

An Odd Thought

Is it just me, or is the secular obsession with Pope Francis and casting him as the repudiation of all things Catholic (along with the +Kaspars of the world), a bizarre form of clericalism?

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Authentic Interpreters Of Pope Francis

It's hard to escape the insane mass belief that the authoritative interpretation of Pope Francis is to be found everywhere except within the parameters of Catholic thought. For example, we've previously discussed the Scalfari claims that His Holiness had "abolished sin."

The latest bit is from agnostic philosopher Massimo Cacciari, who is asserting that Pope Francis has initiated a cataclysmic shift in Church teaching by abandoning the Catholic notion of just war and entrusting the United Nations with the job of being the sole arbiter of whether or not a military action is legitimate. This, all based on a single paragraph's response to an interviewer. You can read the whole thing on Rorate.

First, let's ignore Cacciari's, shall we say, tenuous, comments like international law being "created by agreement among national positive laws," which ignores the whole role of things like custom and realpolitik in how international law actually works.

Second, holy smokes. I've had this sentiment thrown at me from multiple sources today. It is amazing to me how secularism, atheism, Protestantism, any -ism imaginable can be used for a Pope Francis hermeneutic, except Catholicism. Do these people really think what he said means overthrowing the idea of a just war? Even if he did say such, do they think it possible to re-write Church teaching in an interview?

I very much doubt they really think such things. And if they don't really think such things, their agenda is pretty clear. It's a sad state of affairs that so many people are falling for it.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Readings From A Couple Of Weeks Ago

On August 10, I was fortunate enough to be in an area where I could attend a TLM. A couple of bits and pieces from the readings then stuck with me, and I keep rolling them around in my head.


First, consider the words of St. Paul in 1 Corinthians. He basically gives a long litany of things that our forerunners, the Israelites, did in the Old Testament and how the record of all those bad things was kept so that we wouldn't do likewise. Then he drops this nugget:

Now all these things happened to them in figure: and they are written for our correction, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore he that thinketh himself to stand, let him take heed lest he fall.

1 Corinthians 10:11-12

We don't hear that line much these days. In fact, we are basically drunk with our self-assurance that we're ok. When people talk about death, the last thing that gets brought up is the condition of their
soul. People will make sure that their alma mater gets a fat check and that they are buried in a custom coffin reflecting their allegiance to their favorite NFL team, but they lack any concern at all for the afterlife.

I happen to have a job where I'm around when folks die. The presumption of salvation is staggering. And no, I'm not talking about hope. Being certain of awesomeness in God's eyes means you don't have to hope because you have put yourself in God's position as judge. It's scary stuff to listen to. So let us pray for a holy fear of death and of God's judgment.

Here's the other bit that has been nagging me. From the Gospel:

And when he drew near, seeing the city, he wept over it, saying: If thou also hadst known, and that in this thy day, the things that are to thy peace; but now they are hidden from thy eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, and thy enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and straiten thee on every side, And beat thee flat to the ground, and thy children who are in thee: and they shall not leave in thee a stone upon a stone: because thou hast not known the time of thy visitation.

Luke 19:41-44

Consider in this passage Our Lord's sorrow over the unbelief of the Jews. He is literally crying. In our age of illuminated minds, though, we have a Christianity that looks upon attempts to evangelize Jewish people as bigoted, hateful activity. Yes, a sin. What a horrible thing that we would make a virtue out of neglecting something so dear to The Master.

It is a screwed up worldview that would willingly leave an entire group of people blinded to the greatness of the Gospel.

Just A Thought On The Middle East

These things have I spoken to you, that you may not be scandalized. They will put you out of the synagogues: yea, the hour cometh, that whosoever killeth you, will think that he doth a service to God. And these things will they do to you; because they have not known the Father, nor me. But these things I have told you, that when the hour shall come, you may remember that I told you of them. 

John 16:1-4

Not a whole lot has changed, I guess.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Antidote To Trashy As Classy

I recently read a book called Nobility and Analogous Traditional Elites by Professor Plinio Correa de Oliveira, the founder of Tradition, Family, and Property. It was an interesting work on several fronts.

First, there is the structure. It began with a general discussion of Church social teaching but with a focus on what the author calls the "preferential option for the nobility," which is really just another way of saying the Church's attention to the care and formation of the noble classes for the betterment of society and the salvation of souls. It then moves on to the particular allocutions delivered by Venerable Pius XII to the Italian nobility, as well as comments made by other popes on the same theme. Finally, it moves into a summary of American and Brazilian history from the perspective of the aristocratic types of the citizenry. The rest is largely reference material supporting the overall argument.

Second, that overall argument has enormous implications for our here and now. Professor Correa makes the point that, in any given society, a certain group will inevitably be granted a higher station relative to others. After demonstrating this, he offers that much effort must be exerted to make sure that this group is of a sort that will focus on the common good and be a worthy model to the lower classes. It has a sort of Thorsten Veblenish ring to it in that sense.

Anyways, what we have done in our civilization, is to become so obsessed with egalitarianism, that we have shelved the values of greatness in the common good and instead allowed the worst of every sort to rise into these aristocratic positions, all the while denying that such positions exist.

Think about it. How is it that the Kardashians are still on TV? Why does anyone listen to what someone like Lady GaGa has to say about anything? In what sort of culture are the features of TMZ actually newsworthy? Why are so many professional athletes scumbags, yet worshiped by the masses?

It's because we've traded elevating the virtues of true greatness and the acknowledgement that those who exercise those virtues to a high degree should be honored for the crass, the crude, and the sensational. When that is accomplished, the lower classes choose to reflect that in their own lives and things decay further.

We have aristocrats without the nobility. This is all very important with Pope Francis's pontificate. Yes, the poor are a huge concern, but we so many of the virtues that were formerly associated with poverty have been destroyed by a barren culture that has been spawned and is sustained by our elite class. It is all one huge materialistic morass, with no room for beauty, charity, or even good manners. Perhaps a recollection of the preferential option for the nobility is an unexplored remedy for our current desolation.

On a side note, I'd recommend this book even if I could just get people to read the American history parts, as Professor Correa does a good job of showing what is so often forgotten in the democratic myths ingrained in our worldview. The Founders were elites and expected the nation to be governed by such a class. I know. Shocking, right? Yet, it's amazing how many people completely ignore this in their consideration of our nation's past.


Saturday, August 16, 2014

I Lost A Follower

Is that good or bad?

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Remember When?

Remember when we sent troops into Somalia on a humanitarian mission ?

Remember when we talked about "moral imperatives" before bombing Yugoslavia for almost 3 months to protect Kosovo?

Remember when we went to war just because we needed to ... I don't even know what?

Remember when helping out the Arab Spring was a good enough reason to get involved in Libya?

Remember when we at least made noise about "red lines" in Syria and called on the world to overthrow Assad?

Remember when we did all these things to prevent a genuine genocide in Iraq?


Friday, August 8, 2014

To Those Who Revel In Criticizing Venerable Pius XII

You know, the guy who gave sanctuary to thousands of Jews during the Holocaust, provided fake documents so they could escape persecution, and basically saved hundreds of thousands of lives in the process, will you be heaping similar criticisms on Pope Francis?


For clarity, I am directing this against all the proponents of the absurd "Hitler's Pope" thesis. This is not a rock thrown at the Holy Father.

For those who giggle with glee now that we have a papacy without temporal power or the means to mount a military campaign, behold the ultimate fruits of such status. Our brothers and sisters being murdered by the thousands, while the rest of the world barely even offers words of consolation, much less actual intervention. 

This is where the Church's decline has been heading. Towards death.