Eugenio Scalfari makes scandalous comments about how Pope Francis doesn't believe in sin and admits that the interviews he recounts aren't all that representative of the truth, causing confusion for Catholics all over the world.
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Thursday, June 11, 2015
He lived a truly extraordinary life. And, as far as I can tell, kept the Faith until he died. I offer the following because I've already seen it referenced in at least one other place.
Christopher Lee was most definitely not an occultist and offered sober words for those who would dabble in such things.
Rest in peace, Sir Christopher.
Sunday, June 7, 2015
I offer the following items ripped from today's headlines.
Examine the following image/caption pairings? Consider if said pairing conforms with reality.
Thursday, June 4, 2015
Tuesday, June 2, 2015
A few things that seem to be more important than the ongoing annihilation of Christians in the Middle East:
1. Gay people's access to baked goods.
2. Fake monarchs having kids.
3. Reality tv stars' criminal pasts (whether adults or kids)
4. The normalcy of a former athlete mutilating himself.
5. Presidential ambitions of people you've never heard of more than a year before the election.
It's an odd world when these things stir up so many passions, while genocide is treated as a fait accompli.
Sunday, May 31, 2015
Given the latest media backlash, I guess you can have too much of a good thing. Super-hero movies are coming under an odd assortment of criticisms lately. Well, odd until you consider the sources, I suppose. As a Catholic, amateur film critic, and promoter of comic book literature, I feel I have to respond to some of these.
First, there's the outrage over Black Widow's treatment in Age of Ultron.
SPOILERS TO FOLLOW*****
I had trouble finding articles that were somewhat family friendly about this topic. This one is the best I could do. Has anyone noticed that so many of these secularist hipster darlings can't write about anything without f-bombs and such? Anyways, people are mad at Joss Whedon (the same guy who gave us Buffy, Faith, and Firefly) mainly because of two things:
1. He portrays Natasha Romanov as being willing to fall in love.
2. He portrays Natasha Romanov as sad over the fact that she can't have children.
These set her up as a natural contrast to her friend Hawkeye who has done both of these things. But yes, this is why so many people now hate Joss Whedon and the Avengers. They dared to show a woman who wanted to have a family.
This is what our reality has come to. A woman who wants these things is considered boring, weak, and worthless.
Second, you have guys like Simon Pegg, a fan of the genre and one of my favorite actors, accusing super-hero movies, sci-fi, and the like of "infantilizing" and "dumbing down" the population. In his mind, these things are distracting us from "real world issues," and he specifically desires more "amoral" movies to help with that.
Worse than that, you have Alejandro Inarritu, who just won the Oscar as director of Birdman (which won a whole bunch of other Oscars too), saying stuff like this:
They have been poison, this cultural genocide, because the audience is so overexposed to plot and explosions and shit that doesn't mean nothing about the experience of being human.
He also makes the claim that such movies are about "killing people because they do not believe in what you believe, or they are not being who you want them to be." Let's just ignore the fact that most super-heroes are bitterly opposed to killing anyone. It's also quite plain from his language here that Alejandro is extremely tolerant of opposing views.
Finally, you've got Fr. Zuhlsdorf, who has discovered that Daredevil is Catholic in the Netflix show, just as he is in the comic books. Fr. Z comments thusly:
As with any “comic book”, for that’s what this is, don’t expect depth.
I've got bad news for Fr. Z. If you go to the local Benedict Option Cinema, it's pretty much super-hero movies making up about 1/2 of the releases of the last decade. Look at what the secularist mavens are worried about with these films. They teach a concrete and traditional moral message, and a lot of people are going to see them.
What do the secularists want? Movies that lack this and show no moral compass at all. I daresay that super-hero movies are the only consistent productions nowadays that have any true depth at all. What currently passes for such is usually a banal relativism or simple nihilism. Which is deeper, the struggle for virtue against all odds or the white flag of surrender wherein the feature concludes, "Eh, who cares about that crap? We all die in the end anyway."
On a side note, I'm sure if someone made a movie about any of the exponentially proliferating homosexual super-heroes (Really DC/Marvel? Alan Scott? Iceman? Really?) that the above critics would be raving about how fantastic it was.
Wake up, Father. The war is being fought in this very arena, and our best weapons are coming under attack.
Monday, May 25, 2015
I saw a report on the news this weekend about how Nebraska's legislature has voted to abolish the death penalty in that state. There were clips of some speeches and an interview with one guy about why he was pushing this issue.
Saturday, May 9, 2015
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Sunday, April 12, 2015
Pope Pius VII has long been one of my favorite popes (a list I need to finish up for this blog, along with about 50 other items I started here but never completed).
It turns out that he's had a cause for canonization going since 2007, thanks to Pope Emeritus Benedict. I had no idea.
I'm going to suggest that everyone needs to invoke the name of this holy and venerable pontiff and pray for his intervention, specifically against the shadow of secularism and the ever-increasing and blatant malice of governments all over the world, including the US, against the Church. If you don't know why he's the perfect guy to address this sort of petition, I strongly recommend you do some research about Pope Pius's treatment at the hands of Napoleon, as well as his perseverance in defense of the faith and his mercy when Bonaparte was defeated.
Pope Pius VII, please pray for us!
Monday, April 6, 2015
One thing I've noticed in all this religious liberty talk is the number of people who announce their utter disdain for Catholicism, who insist that the faithful be compelled to provide service for morally repugnant activities, but who simultaneously announce that they would be will to "go to the barricades" if the government ever tried to compel the Church to conduct homosexual weddings, ordain female clergy, and so forth.
Saturday, March 28, 2015
When Indiana passes a law that is basically a reiteration of a federal law and based on a right explicitly discussed in the Constitution, all kinds of corporations and groups call for boycotts.
Sunday, March 22, 2015
I hope you watched it. There was a report on the genocide of Christians in the Middle East. The story largely speaks for itself, but a couple of things struck me that weren't really part of the discussion.
Saturday, March 21, 2015
It occurred to me during the recent St. Patrick's Day how many great stories we have surrounding the Apostle of Ireland. Which made me think about all the other great stories we have about saints in general.
After that, I tried to imagine what the reaction would be like to these sorts of personalities if they were with us today. For example, consider the impressions people get when they hear about folks in Opus Dei who wear a cilice or use the discipline. Typically, they are horrified. If not horrified, they at least take the view that such people are weirdos and possibly even mentally ill.
Now compare that to this guy:
This is St. Symeon the Stylite. St. Symeon lived on top of a pillar for 37 years. The space at the top was about 1 meter square. This was how he did penance for the world.
This is Catherine of Siena.
Tuesday, March 3, 2015
A couple of things I've been told in the last few days:
Saturday, February 28, 2015
I am amazed at how so many people will take any and every opportunity to express their disdain and even hatred for our popes of recent history. It doesn't matter which one: Benedict XVI, JPII, Paul VI, and so forth. Yes, even John XXIII from some.
Saturday, February 21, 2015
Sure, sure, I can always just boldly declare that he freaking rules. While true, that doesn't exactly explain things. In addition to his willingness to accurately label our current issues as apostasy, he has re-affirmed the Church in Africa's devotion to God, rather than the gold-plated filth passed off by the modern world as virtue.
Thanks to Phil Blosser for circulating this latest quote from His Eminence:
"The idea that would consist in placing the Magisterium in a nice box by detaching it from pastoral practice -- which could evolve according to the circumstances, fads, and passions -- is a form of heresy, a dangerous schizophrenic pathology. I affirm solemnly that the Church of Africa will firmly oppose every rebellion against the teaching of Christ and the Magisterium."
May God grant him many blessed years!
Saturday, February 14, 2015
From the looks of things, it's given us a widespread perspective that stories where a guy and gal in a fornicative relationship wherein he beats her with a belt can be regarded as "romantic" and "empowering."
Saturday, February 7, 2015
As an appendix to the post below re: St. John XXIII, we invite you to head over to Unam Sanctam and check out this entry that lays out some specifics on what we're talking about when we contrast the real John XXIII with the fabrication that is so often invoked these days.
Wednesday, February 4, 2015
The Pope has been on a big run lately in talking about the importance of fathers. Take these comments today from Zenit, for example.
In his address, Pope Francis continued his catechesis on the role of the father saying that he wanted to reflect on its positive aspects. Every family, he said, needs a father in order to transmit "what truly counts in life, namely a wise heart."
"A father knows wells how much it costs to transmit this heritage: how much closeness, how much sweetness and how much firmness," he said. "But, what a consolation and what a reward you receive, when children honor this heritage! It is a joy that redeems all labor, which surpasses all misunderstanding and heals every wound."
As I read these comments, I couldn't help but think of those whom we call "fathers" all through our lives. Not just the biological ones or even our priests, but the Church Fathers and a connection made in our prior post regarding St. John XXIII.
Do we have any comprehension of how revolting these Fathers are to the sensibilities of the modern Catholic? Take "inter-religious dialogue" for example. The Fathers, to a man, would happily tell you that non-Christian religions are essentially the worship of devils who have deceived people into thinking them gods. Consider how fast a priest would be reported to his bishop these days for making an observation that is bedrock Catholicism, transmitted to us at great cost, to use the Holy Father's words.
Heresy and schism within the definition of Christianity? Would the Fathers have held endless big money "conferences" and "seminars" with the Pelagians, iconoclasts, Donatists, and so forth? Would their have been an infinite number of self-congratulatory statements about non-existent "progress" and "mutual enrichment"?
Of course not.
Yet these perspectives are anathema to our modern minds. How sad that, as we have a pope emphasizing the role of fathers and the respect due to them, we, their spiritual children, have chosen to forsake their wisdom in exchange for banal platitudes.
Thursday, January 29, 2015
I've decided that the above caption is going to serve as my response to the standard "progressive" outrage over anything that passes for Catholicism these days.
Saturday, January 24, 2015
I've been seeing this a lot what with Ferguson and all.
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Can we just ditch the standard line about the Church's beliefs on the subject as "the Roman Catholic position on contraception"? Would it be possible simply to acknowledge it as "the Christian position on contraception"?
For Catholics, understand that, until the 20th century, there were probably fewer questions about prohibiting contraception than about the Divinity of Our Lord. That's how readily accepted this teaching was.
In other words, rejecting the use of contraception is a hallmark of Christianity in general. That so many have abandoned it in the last century will not and cannot change this. Allowing the exception to swallow up the rule as it pertains to labeling something like this strikes me as absurd and not something we should succumb to.
And yeah, I ended that sentence with a preposition.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
Thousands of Christians have been murdered, raped, sold into slavery, tortured, and so forth by Islamist forces in the Middle East.
Saturday, January 10, 2015
Recent events have prompted a discussion about what makes a Muslim a Muslim. Take, for example, Howard Dean's recent comments that the murderers in Paris are not Muslim terrorists. This line of thought usually is backed by the argument that Islam is a religion of peace, ergo engaging in violence is not authentic Islam.
In examining this argument, I want to start with a couple of background items. First, the ongoing annihilation of Christianity in the Middle East didn't just start yesterday. Second, violence has been tied to Islam since it's inception. Mohammed destroyed the pagan religions of the Arabian peninsula and his followers continued the practice of conversion by sword after that.
My main question is when did this element of Islam which was present from its initial founding stop being a part of Islam? Was the Islam that offered consistent aggression and/or invasion against the West from the 8th to the 17th centuries somehow unauthentic? Was that violence somehow just politically motivated without any reflection on converting the Christian masses to Islam or reducing them to dhimmi status?
The most common response to this will be to avoid the question altogether and assert something like "Well, violence has always been a part of Christianity as well, especially among you papists." Of course, this isn't true. Anybody want to compare the first couple of centuries of Christianity to the first couple of centuries of Islam?
Moreover, there is a weird sentiment among the masses that is willing to brand anything negative associated with the Catholic Church as a product of Catholicism, whilst anything negative associated with Islam is either "not Islam," some sort of "misunderstanding," or basically something that Christianity/The West had coming to them all along. When was the last time you heard a media source give that kind of moral leeway to Catholicism? Hell, popular opinion would have you believe that only the most tolerant of pro-abortion Catholics are remotely faithful to Christ, whereas everyone else is just a Pharisaical dogmatist. Anyways, the point is that, even when you hear accurate reports (which are rare enough) about the bad stuff in Church history, it's always directly attributed to the Church, rather than bad people carrying the Catholic label.
Yeah, I know. Islam doesn't have a single authority figure. The Church does. Under the prevailing logic, that means if the Pope was doing bad things, it was automatically Catholic. Muslims who do bad things are just misinterpreting the Koran (more on that shortly). The thing about this is that it presumes the same sort of ultramontane thinking that the Church has rejected. Nobody, even his contemporaries, thought Benedict IX was being Catholic with all his evil hijinks as pope. Nobody defends the Cadaver Synod. And so forth. Yet all such evils are considered distinctly Catholic, rather than their perpetrators being regarded as rogues committing decidedly non-Catholic actions.
Back to Islam and the actual question at hand. First, I am consistently amazed at the hubris of those who demand that the peaceful interpretation of the Koran is the correct. How do they know? Who died and made them Mohammed II?
Second, if we consider violence as opposed to Islam, we have to be able to reconcile this with Islam's historical roots. I'm open to any arguments on this point. When did this sort of stuff become unacceptable in Islam? The fall of the Ottoman Empire perhaps? Before then? I don't know. I'm not asking this as a rhetorical question. I really do want some theories about it. Again, preferably those that don't dodge the question by talking about violent Christians, Hindus, etc.
I'm also open to hearing arguments that its the Middle Eastern cultural milieu that is the source of Islam's violent DNA, rather than anything intrinsic to the religion itself. I have to credit WilfordBrimley of NDNation for first introducing me to this concept.
Or we can just assume that there is no longer any such thing as actual Islam. The word no longer has any meaning and there are now just a bunch of folks running around with the label. The problem with this line of thought is that we'd have to stop asserting that there is a "true Islam" that is peaceful. There would just be the Islam that allows for co-existence and the kind that doesn't. That doesn't mean we can consider one to be the "real" version without sacrificing our intellectual honesty.