Saturday, February 28, 2015

Any Reason To Celebrate, I Guess

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. 


The latest excuse for scorn is the death of Fr. Theodore Hesburgh, former president of ND. It is astounding how many comments I have gotten eulogizing Fr. Hesburgh yet spending significant amounts of time degrading ex-popes of the last half-century plus.

Naturally, this is because, with Pope Francis, we finally have a "real" pope. 

One can never underestimate society enough, I suppose.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Again: Why We Love Cardinal Sarah

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

What Hath Feminism Wrought?

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."


Remember the days when the patriarchy really had a lockdown on stuff? Like, say, the 1950s? 

Do you think women then would have embraced and been so fascinated with such tales then? I'm going to say not. But thank goodness the modern feminist movement was able to liberate women so that they could be free to enjoy relationships where they are physically abused and understand that they should enjoy said abuse.

Huzzah for the feminist!


Saturday, February 7, 2015

Per Boniface's Suggestion

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

Re: Fathers

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

"Why Do You Hate St. John XXIII?"

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.


Whether it's the latest insane tooth-gnashing over a priest opting out of using altar girls, the vicious calumny directed at guys like Cardinal Burke, or just a repitition of standard "traditionalist" lines of thinking (Latin in the liturgy, ad orient am worship, EENS, the role of the Roman Pontiff, eg).

The popular view, being largely ignorant of Pope John's views, will ignore stuff like his absolute prohibition on women even entering the sanctuary or his liturgical views or his views on the necessity for communion with the Pope. 

So why do people hate all of these views when they have been held by so many good and saintly popes, Fathers, and Doctors of the Church, including and especially Good Pope John? And how many of these folks who have been sipping the Haterade would identify themselves as "John XXIII Catholics"?

One side note as it pertains to the altar girls thing. Have you ever noticed how so many prelates ignore the Eastern perspectives on things unless they think they can use the matter as a gateway for modernism?

Saturday, January 24, 2015

#BlackLivesMatter

I've been seeing this a lot what with Ferguson and all. 


If only those same people cared enough to assert that #UnbornBlackLivesMatter, Planned Parenthood would be shut down and Sanger's Dream would be a distant, though horrific, memory.

Alas, I don't see such a campaign anytime soon. Maybe Fr. Jenkins could start a dialogue with someone about it.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A Modest Proposal Re: Contraception

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"?


As terrifying as it might be to Protestants and Orthodox alike, they're embrace/creeping embrace of artificial methods of birth control are an aberration that was unheard of in all the annals of basic Christianity from the Fathers to the Reformers to everyone else until the early third of the 20th century. Unless you want to count complete whackjobs (like the Albigenisans, for example) who thought that all procreation was just evil anyway, this type of thinking simply did not exist.

For any Protestant interested in the question, I must recommend Dr. Allan Carlson's book Godly Seed, which traces the Protestant view on contraception back to the Reformation and all the way up to where Margaret Sanger used anti-Catholic propaganda to pretty much dupe your doctrinal forefathers into thinking this was all ok.

For the Orthodox, you know it's wrong. You can't just wave oikonomia in front of an immoral act and make it ok.

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

Help With Some Math

Thousands of Christians have been murdered, raped, sold into slavery, tortured, and so forth by Islamist forces in the Middle East. 


The world greeted this genocide largely with silence, but occasionally some offered platitudes or utterly worthless gestures. 

A dozen or so secularists at a magazine are tragically killed in a sneak attack by these same individuals. 

The world reacts with vehement outrage. Protests are held. Memes go viral. World leaders convene at Paris. The US catches flak for not sending a bigger name. Vengeance is sworn. Laws are proposed specifically permitting blasphemy. And the ripples from this event are still rolling out.

Question: What is the ratio of the value of secular cartoonist lives to the value of Christian lives?

Saturday, January 10, 2015

When Did Islam Stop Being Islam?

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.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Et Verbum Caro Factum Est



If you ever find yourself wondering how much God loves us, try to recall the last time you didn't do something because you thought it was beneath you, or that you might get yourself dirty, or that it might cause you some kind of other discomfort.

God didn't let any of that stop him. We could decide to lower ourselves to become cockroaches, and it wouldn't even begin to approach the infinite condescension that we find in the Incarnation.

Yet despite our wretchedness, we find it almost impossible to humble ourselves for anything. You think it would be easy considering how often we screw things up. God, though, never screws things up but chooses to undergo a humiliation beyond all others to be one of us.

The reality of this should both chill us sbd warm our hearts at the same time.

Merry Christmas to you all.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Pre-Christmas/Pre-Epiphany Observation

We laud the Magi for presenting Our Blessed Lord with expensive gifts like gold, frankincense, and myrrh. We belittle, scorn, and excoriate churches, art, and the official trappings of Our Lord's anointed as pretentious and wasteful. 


Does it not seem that those who would deny such gifts these days (or even claim that they are sinful) either do not believe in His Presence and/or reject the special honor and effect of Holy Orders?

Friday, December 12, 2014

What Would You Fight For?

It's an amazing thing. ND promoting some kind of bizarre seminar on white privilege is big enough news to make a segment on The O'Reilly Factor and to get me a dozen emails from alumni about it. On a different note, ND's decision to cave on the HHS mandate and its embrace of faculty who promote heresy in the class and turn students against the Faith are regarded as either (a) not news at all or (b) proof of how great of an institution the school is.


Through the looking glass, folks. We are through the looking glass.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Church Fathers Say The Darnedest Things

Another reason to like the Fathers is that, every now and then, you see a line that is just too awesome and that makes you appreciate their humanity and ability to take anything and make a teachable moment out of it. We've discussed this previously with writers like Lactantius, for example.

This time, it's St. Augustine:

We know, too, that some men are differently constituted from others, and have some rare and remarkable faculty of doing with their body what other men can by no effort do, and, indeed, scarcely believe when they hear of others doing. There are persons who can move their ears, either one at a time, or both together. There are some who, without moving the head, can bring the hair down upon the forehead, and move the whole scalp backwards and forwards at pleasure. Some, by lightly pressing their stomach, bring up an incredible quantity and variety of things they have swallowed, and produce whatever they please, quite whole, as if out of a bag. Some so accurately mimic the voices of birds and beasts and other men, that, unless they are seen, the difference cannot be told. Some have such command of their bowels, that they can break wind continuously at pleasure, so as to produce the effect of singing.

St. Augustine, City of God, Book XIV, Chapter 24

Is that not just a fantastic line or what?

Monday, December 1, 2014

The Omega Episcopalian



It's a done deal. The Barque of Elizabeth has finally gone all-in for women bishops. We knew this was an inevitability, made all the moreso by Archlayman Welby's ascension to the See of Cranmer.

The Church of England overturned centuries of tradition on Monday with a final vote allowing women to become bishops, with the first appointments possible by Christmas.

Approval of the historic change, which was first agreed to in July, was announced after a largely symbolic show of hands at the General Synod, the lawmaking body of the Church of England. The British Parliament supported the measure last month.

“Today we can begin to embrace a new way of being the church and moving forward together,” the archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Justin Welby, said after the vote.

Two decades after the first female priest was ordained, the issue of women taking senior roles in the church hierarchy remains divisive. As recently as 2012, the proposal had been defeated by six votes.

But Archbishop Welby, the spiritual leader of the church and the global Anglican Communion, who supported the vote from the start, had warned fellow church leaders this year that the public would find the exclusion of women “almost incomprehensible.”

Which public? Are you including the folks in Africa on that? I'm thinking that a behind-closed-doors confab between Archlayman Welby and Cardinal Kaspar would be a hoot.

Anyways, this is another mile marker on the path of the Anglican Death March and a significant one.

With that in mind, I direct your attention to some great articles by Philip Jenkins (who isn't Catholic in case you're looking for bias) entitled The Church Vanishes, as he focuses on the collapse of Episcopalianism in America. Part One can be found here and is noteworthy for the following comment:

In conclusion, I just offer one wholly scientific theory that I just invented: The numerical growth and success of a religious denomination is inversely proportionate to the favorable treatment it receives in major liberal media outlets (New York Times, Washington Post, Nation, New Republic). Examples? The Episcopal Church USA versus Mormons or Catholics; Episcopalians/Anglicans in North America versus Africa.

Heh. It's a pretty good observation, but plenty of people will shout about the difference between correlation and causation to ignore the obvious here. At least one of the Anglicans' own is recognizing that the road of public approval ends in self-annihilation.

The real gem from Mr. Jenkins comes in Part Two, though, in his discussion of the recent declines in Anglican faithful:

If we extrapolate that rate into the not-too-distant future, then the number of people attending Episcopal churches on a typical Sunday will be negligible by mid-century, typical of a tiny sect rather than a great church or denomination. It won’t reach zero for a while, but in effect, the church will cease to exist. We might need a new vocabulary of religious decline. How about church evaporation?

That mid-century date is really not far off. In fact, the baby baptized at my church last Sunday will by that point only be a young adult in her 30s.

Non-attending notional members will persist for a few years longer, but by the end of the century, we should be talking total disappearance.

In that scenario, America’s last Episcopalian walks among us today.

Holy smokes. I wonder if anybody has done the math on the rest of the mainline Reformed groups. I doubt they're in much better shape.

We need a History Channel production starring Katharine Schori as The Last Episcopalian On Earth, wherein she wanders around a landscape of Anglicanorum Coetibus converts, calling them freaks, and trying to burn their churches down.



Sunday, November 30, 2014

Our Relationship With The Orthodox

This post from Rorate is worth reading in order to get some perspective on the recent events surrounding Pope Francis's visit to Turkey. Mark well the quotes from Bartholomew I, as well as those we have previously mentioned from Metropolitan Hilarion from Russia.

First off, the Orthodox have enough disagreements among themselves that we shouldn't treat of them like a monolithic body.

Second, these comments should spur us to further prayer for a miracle that will bring them back into the fold.

Third, we should appreciate their frankness regarding the distance between us, as well as their posture that Truth matters. Would that Catholic ecumenists be so honest, rather than engaging in endless glad-handing with poor unfortunates outside of the Church (to use St. John XXIII's term) and repetitive self-congratulatory drivel over yet another worthless document that either does nothing but create the illusion that we really have agreement or encourages the heretic/schismatic in their errors by making them think the differences don't actually matter.

As an aside, if you want to see people stop being nice and start being real about this topic, check out what I'm sure will be some epic responses over the anniversary celebrations for the liberation of the Ukrainian Church (which is being attended by Cardinal Schonborn of all people).

Monday, November 24, 2014

Cardinal Sarah Is Now Prefect Of The CDW

No, not the network with Flash and Arrow. The Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments. 


While a good thing to see in that  Cardinal Sarah is a good, holy, and orthodox son of the Church, it is also a weird pick to the extent that he is not a liturgist. This is sort of like taking a family practice physician and then telling him to work in a Level 1 trauma center. Sure, he knows some of the stuff going on. He can figure out a lot through experience. However, the whole environment just isn't his niche or area of expertise.

We will probably have a better handle on all this when we see what happens to his old job as the head of Cor Unum. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Life Is Good

My wife and I welcomed our newest addition this morning. She is beautiful, healthy, and already such a blessing. Mom is doing well. Everything is great.


This has been a difficult pregnancy. Thank you all so much for your prayers throughout this period.

Life is so good.


Saturday, November 15, 2014

Cardinal Sarah Just Freaking Rules



We mention him every now and again here because of that simple fact. Whether it's defending the Church's teaching on marriage and the family or nuggets like the one below, he has shown himself to be a loyal shepherd and one worthy of our prayers.

Please note these recent comments from the CNA:

“It’s very important to express that the hunger we are suffering today is not having God in our life, in our society,” the cardinal said Nov. 7. He explained that Benedict XVI’s encyclical insists that charity is the way we express our faith. Although giving food is necessary, “the main food is God.”

He recounted a story from one of his two trips to Syria to visit refugees. He met a small child who asked him: “does God really exist? Why did he let my father be killed?”

This child had everything, the cardinal observed, including food and medicine, but still lacked the most essential thing, which is the assurance that God exists and is close to him.

“(So) charity today is not only to act for social work, for material assistance, but really to bring the Gospel to the people.”

In other words:

Cardinal Sarah, citing Benedict XVI, told CNA that “charity is very linked with the proclamation of the Gospel, and doing charity is not only giving food, giving material things, but giving God too. Because the main lack of man is not having God.”

How timely this message is, given the prevailing attitude that charity is essentially passing on stuff for temporal well-being, while souls are neglected. What does it profit a man that he has food for a few days (or the rest of his life) if he winds up in hell?

Social justice has long been the smokescreen of the heterodox *cough*nunsonthebus*cough*, Words like Cardinal Sarah's are a big deal because they correct against heretics co-opting the Church's message. It also helps that he's the head of Cor Unum so, you know, it's his job to lead charitable relief efforts.


Friday, November 14, 2014

Too Funny

The Eye of the Tiber does an excellent job with its latest effort:

Pope Francis Not Sure How To Make Sense Of What He Just Said

“I said what?” Francis asked those gathered. “There’s no way I just said that. OK, that’s just weird. Seriously, what the heck is it with me? Am I trying to change doctrine or something? How am I gonna explain this to my secular friends? Oh boy, I can see their faces now. I bet they’re just itching to ask when I’m gonna start allowing divorced gay Catholics to receive communion. This is great…just great. I’m so freaking pissed right now I think I’m gonna go blog about it.”

Well played.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Criticizing The Pope

Just a quick thought. We live in an odd world wherein one group calling for the Pope to defend the Church in order to resolve the faithful's confusion are considered slanderers on the verge of schism while another group who are overjoyed at the thought of the Pope agreeing with them as an outright heretic are somehow looked on as protecting his reputation.


The world no longer has any use for the concept of words having proper meanings or things having a specific essence.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Christian Pop Culture Characters

I was trying to cipher the numbers on something.


How many openly homosexual characters are on your major tv shows and movies these days?

How many openly Christian characters are in the same?

And let's add that said characters as such are shown in a positive light rather than as straw men or caricatures.

I'm not sure of the exact ratios, but on first blush, the closet for Christians seems way more crowded.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Of Vital Importance To Remember

Regardless of whom we elect, we will never see a renewal of society until we embrace the peace of Christ in the Kingdom of Christ.




Lord, have mercy.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Whither Ecumenism For The Synod?

In the course of the Synod's proceedings, we heard a lot about folks trying to warp the notion of certain settled Church teachings, particularly on things like homosexuality and the indissolubility of marriage.

While we continue to hear a lot about the importance of ecumenism, the scandal being given to those of other faiths due to the Synodal proceedings is being ignored. You can do a few internet searches to see what I mean. Generally speaking, there are two groups involved.

First, you've got the folks who are looking for something to show that Catholicism's claims are false. After all, if the Church ever shows it was wrong about something, then the rightness of anything else is open for debate. This category is inhabited by lots of different groups ranging from militant atheists to virulently anti-Catholic Protestants.

Second, you've got fellow travelers in other faiths, from Protestantism to Islam, who have a certain amount of respect for Catholicism as the global standard bearer for morality on a global scale. These people hear what Cardinal Kaspar or Archbishop Forte are saying and are confused. Why is Catholicism folding in the culture war? What are these bishops/the Pope/the Synod doing? This has the additional effect of confirming to such people that Catholicism is "just another religion" and/or turning them away from the prospect of conversion altogether.

We've talked a lot about liturgical abuse (or just the existence of the Pauline Mass itself) as an ecumenical stumbling block for the Orthodox. Sure, you might have some of them that go with "three strikes and you're out divorce," but they are going to draw the line on homosexuality. Likewise, the Protestant churches that most would call "evangelical" are becoming less and less accepting of divorce (in my admittedly anecdotal experience) and are definitely going to hold anything looking like approval of homosexuality with disdain. And rightfully so.

My point in all this comes from multiple conversations I've had in the last week where I've had to deal with these new issues arising from people who otherwise might be accepting of the Church. Unfortunately, the modern notion of ecumenism, which is largely (and coincidentally?)  embodied in the works of Cardinal Kaspar, is only interested in action that results in an abandonment or compromise of Catholicism and not in the salvation of souls. Until the latter becomes the focus, real ecumenism will be ignored, and a false message of irenicism will result in the abandonment of many who crave the clear message of Truth.

Holy Innocents Will Stay Open



This is wonderful news. We mentioned a while back that this wonderful parish and home to the TLM in New York was under threat of closure. It appears to have survived that.

If you have a moment, send a word of thanks to Cardinal Dolan. Then pray for the inhabitants of New York for a resurgence of the faith that will allow for some of the parishes that are being shuttered to be re-opened or saved.