Site: Fr Hunwicke's Mutual EnrichmentSince the Council, an idea has been spreading that Judaism is not superseded by the New Covenant of Jesus Christ; that Jews still have available to them the Covenant of the old Law, by which they can be saved. It is therefore unnecessary for them to turn to Christ; unnecessary for anybody to convert them to faith in Christ. Indeed, attempting to do so is an act of aggression not dissimilar to theFr John Hunwickehttp://firstname.lastname@example.org
Site: Fr Hunwicke's Mutual EnrichmentS Paul loved his fellow Jews, his 'kinsmen' and believed "the gifts and call of God are irrevocable". He believed that at the End, those among them who had rejected Christ would be brought in to the chosen people. He believed that they were like olive branches which had been cut off so that the Gentiles, wild olive branches, could be grafted in. But, when the fulness of the Gentiles had entered Fr John Hunwickehttp://email@example.com
Site: Fr Hunwicke's Mutual EnrichmentLex orandi lex credendi. I have been examining the Two Covenant Dogma: the fashionable error that God's First Covenant, with the Jews, is still fully and salvifically valid, so that the call to saving faith in Christ Jesus is not made to them. The 'New' Covenant, it is claimed, is now only for Gentiles. I want to draw attention at this point to the witness of the post-Conciliar Magisterium of theFr John Hunwickehttp://firstname.lastname@example.org
Site: Fr Hunwicke's Mutual EnrichmentWe have seen that the Two Covenant Theory, the idea that Jewry alone is guaranteed Salvation without any need to convert to Christ, is repugnant to Scripture, to the Fathers, even to the post-Conciliar liturgy of the Catholic Church. It is also subversive of the basic grammar of the relationship between the Old and the New Testaments. Throughout two millennia, in Scripture, in Liturgy, in her Fr John Hunwickehttp://email@example.com
Site: Fr Hunwicke's Mutual EnrichmentThe sort of people who would violently reject the points I am making are the sort of people who would not be impressed by the the Council of Florence. So I am going to confine myself to the Magisterium from the time of Pius XII ... since it is increasingly coming to be realised that the continuum of processes which we associate with the Conciliar and post-Conciliar period was already in operationFr John Hunwickehttp://firstname.lastname@example.org
Site: Fr Hunwicke's Mutual EnrichmentIn 1980, addressing a Jewish gathering in Germany, B John Paul II said (I extract this from a long sentence): " ... dialogue; that is, the meeting between the people of the Old Covenant (never revoked by God, cf Romans 11:29) and that of the New Covenant, is at the same time ..." In 2013, Pope Francis, in the course of his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii gaudium, also referred to the Old Fr John Hunwickehttp://email@example.com
Site: Fr Hunwicke's Mutual EnrichmentContinues ... I should add that Jesse Billett gives critical editions of three unregarded liturgical fragments, relegated to 'Appendix' status but all of them important and with each detail treated with scrupulous attention. I have not checked through the tables which are a prominent feature of the book and which make it easier to follow his discussion, but, in what I have looked at, I have not Fr John Hunwickehttp://firstname.lastname@example.org
Site: Fr Hunwicke's Mutual EnrichmentI popped into the Cathedral the other day to warm my hands at what Mgr R A Kox and his chums in the SSPP would have advertised as a "Latimer and Ridley Pricket Stand". It is propped up against a modern and rather nasty statue of our Lady. Frankly, I think the flickering candles (none of that electrical technology here; modern Anglicans find Mystic Flicker more attractive) would be better placed Fr John Hunwickehttp://email@example.com
Site: RT - NewsHamas has vowed retaliation following the death of a prominent member, who was shot near his home in the Gaza Strip on Friday. He had been serving a life sentence in Israel before being released in a prisoner swap in 2011.
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Site: RT - NewsA crowd of far-right activists waving banners that read “F**k EU” protested “tyranny in Brussels,” blaming eurocrats for inflicting poverty, austerity and uncontrollable migration upon Italians as Rome marks the 60th anniversary of a landmark European treaty.
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Site: The Catholic Thing
The village of Chelm, near Poland’s border with Ukraine, is seen in Jewish folklore as the place where an angel, assigned by God to carry a sack filled with foolish souls for distribution across the globe, suddenly stumbles, dumping them all onto the village. One of them, it turns out, finds employment sitting at the gate waiting for the promised Messiah to come. When he complains to the village elders that he isn’t being paid enough for the job, they agree: “Yes, the pay is too low. But consider: The work is steady.”
There is humor here, to be sure, and the reader smiles on hearing it. But at the same time it masks a bitter sadness that survives the telling. For Jews especially, it is a dark and terrible tale. And while it may seem funny to see a fool more or less forced to wait forever, the fact that every other Jew sees it that way, that they too are fools to wait, only deepens the sense of pathos.
Here the Christian must make an effort of will and, practicing the sympathy to which our elder brothers are entitled, imagine the sheer strain imposed on those who, century upon century, await the arrival of One whom our own faith assures us has already come. Because, in truth, they had been the first, the very first, to hear the message; the first therefore to be given the promise of deliverance that the Messiah would surely come. (“Behold, a Virgin shall conceive and bear a son; and his name will be called Emmanuel.” Isa. 7:14)
Indeed, the Apostle Paul presses us to remember the high destiny of his kinsmen – who have become our kinsmen as well inasmuch as, spiritually speaking, we are all Semites – that because they are the Israelites, “to them belong the sonship, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; to them belong the patriarchs, and of their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever.” (Rom. 9:4-5)
So what can the Jews do when, by their reckoning, God never shows up? All that hope they’d foolishly invested, what do they do with it now? I mean to say, here they are, the privileged People of the Book, recipients of an absolutely singular assurance from God himself, to rescue the whole of Israel from bondage to sin and death.
How odd of God to choose the Jew, we are told. And yet for all that their oddity keeps getting in the way, endearing them to no other tribe or nation on earth, they nevertheless remain God’s dearest possession, irrevocably the choice he has made. Besides, what other beachhead save that of Judaism has God established whence to mount his re-conquest of the world?
Only now, of course, God having failed (seemingly) to deliver, they think in terms of betrayal, of having been party to an act of divine treachery, conceived by the same God who first brought them into being. What could possibly prove more damaging to a people’s trust than the prospect, in their eyes, of God refusing to honor the very covenant he had made?Christ in the Clock by Marc Chagall, 1957
Surely the temptation to harness all that energy and idealism, all the longings that shaped Israel’s soul, to turn it all into politics and ideology – “immanentizing the eschaton,” as it were – must seem nearly impossible to resist. Hence the great Zionist tug among modern, secularized Jews, who, having decided to substitute geography for God, now turn their backs on the Law and the Prophets.
They no longer wait for God to come to them. Instead, many run after the same fleshpots that have pretty much co-opted every other tribe and nation. Thus do they eviscerate their own identity, annealed in an intimacy initiated by God with Abraham and the children promised to him.
The glory of Israel, we need to remember, was never merely an ethnic or racial affair. It was always religious, an identity suffused with the sacred otherness of a God who espoused himself to a people. And that for two millennia all the revelations of the living God were entrusted to them. Can such a thing be said of any other race or people in the history of the world?
And not only words were spoken to Israel. The unheard of enfleshment of God’s own Word took place within Israel as well, within the womb of the Jewish maiden Mary. Is there any other people who can say that from the very loins of its life there once sprang into human being the Eternal Word and Son of the Father? The great theologian Jean Daniélou comments:
In this alone there is a greatness that staggers our imagination and reason. All other earthly greatness is passing. The great empires of antiquity have sunk into oblivion; their monuments – attempts to defy time – are merely tombstones of bygone civilizations. The great powers of today will decline in their turn, but Jesus Christ will live eternally and will be eternally Jewish by race, thereby conferring a unique, eternal privilege on Israel.
For us, who believe Christ came to redeem the human race – who, in fact, will genuflect on this day in grateful observance of the fact – let us not forget that, while it is true that from the flesh taken by the Son of God all humanity has been remade, it is also and equally true that it was the human race that first made Christ.
Which precisely means that the flesh of the Son of God was freely taken from a young Jewish maiden named Mary. Who remains the true and everlasting figure of the hope of both Israel and the Church.
“May this living fountain of hope,” writes Luigi Giussani, “be every morning – every morning – the most gripping and tenacious meaning of life possible. Nothing in the world is sure except this.”
Site: RT - NewsEleven young people have been detained at the notorious Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in southern Poland after they slaughtered a sheep, took their clothes off and chained themselves up, all the while giving no indication as to their motive.
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Site: RT - NewsNorway will divest its pension fund from companies associated with the Dakota Access Pipeline after the indigenous Sami parliament persuaded Oslo to support those fighting against the $3.8 billion project in the US.
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I see the Tiber foaming, or is that the Thames I spy?
It’s hard for me to tell these days – it’s all red to my eye.
That whisp of smoke a funeral pyre? What else could it be?
I cannot watch you “heaping up” – there’ll be no help from me.
I know the gods have sent you mad, but still you took their cup.
You sat down at their poison feast, and on their off’rings supp.
I stand here like the Roman, wishing you could understand.
To see you cow’ring in the corner; and who holds the whip-hand.
I can hear the echo clearly from a chorus – execration!
Yet my bones within the earth tell me, there’s lifeblood in this nation.
At times of trial like Hannibal, we see who’s fit to fight.
Perhaps one way to tell, is to see who thinks I’m right.
– Luke Torrisi is a retired legal practitioner and now an academic researcher and host of Carpe Diem, Sydney’s only explicitly Traditionalist and Paleoconservative radio programme broadcasting on 88.9FM, between 8:00 to 10:00pm, Mondays.
- This poem contains several allusions to a speech made by British Conservative MP, Enoch Powell, in 1968, to the West Midlands Area Conservative Political Centre. Extract from the speech are presented as today’s Guest Video.
Today’s Guest Video is an extract from Enoch Powell’s 1968 speech to a meeting of the West Midlands Area Conservative Political Centre. More commonly known as the “Rivers of Blood” speech, it has become a source of great embarrassment to the British establishment, initially for its blunt warnings about the problems associated with mass immigration into the UK, but now because the prophesied social catastrophe has come to pass. Note that the statistics mentioned by Powell are dwarfed by sheer scale of today’s migratory influx. Naturally, Powell’s warnings were not heeded. Today, only the most ideologically deluded activists on the political fringe could maintain that his foreboding was baseless.SydneyTrads is the web page of the Sydney Traditionalist Forum: an association of young professionals who form part of the Australian independent right (also known as “non-aligned right”).
Site: RT - NewsThe UN has urged all parties to the anti-terrorist operation in Mosul to refrain from “indiscriminate use of firepower” after reports by eyewitnesses said over a hundred civilians were either killed or buried under rubble in an alleged coalition bombing raid.
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Site: The Thinking HousewifeSTAFF Sgt. Alexandria Mae Morrow was the mother of two young children, ages two and four. “Equality” and the fraudulent “War on Terror” create two more orphans.
Site: RT - NewsThe Pope has condemned the rise of nationalism and anti-immigrant populism in Europe and has urged EU countries to show unity, as representatives from the 28-nation bloc gather to mark the 1957 Treaty of Rome.
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Site: The Orthosphere
President Trump’s betrayal of his promise to repeal Obamacare has been disconcerting, as has the GOP’s recidivism in not sending to the CEO the blanket-repeal that they sent sixty times to his precursor in office. No one objects to Obamacare relevantly. That it is piss-poor healthcare is incidental. The essential objection to the “law” is that a two-thousand-page “law” is a contradiction in terms. A two-thousand-page “law” can be nothing other than a bludgeon of tyranny, to be used against the freedom – and the discretion, and the wisdom – of the people. The Trumpmeister needs to live up to his campaign promise, the position to which he owes his election. To quote the title of the Russ Meyer’s 1965 sexploitation movie: “Faster, Pussycat – Kill! Kill!” Kill the “law” and start over. Kill it. Stomp it into the ground. Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, and kill. Trump should throw away his Pussy Hat and act like a man.
Site: Community in Mission
In preparation for today’s Feast of the Annunciation I picked up Jesus of Nazareth, Vol. 3 (The Infancy Narratives), by Pope Emeritus Benedict. I was very moved by a brief reflection that he made on Mary as the Angel Gabriel left her. His remarks consider her faith in a very touching manner.
I must say that I have always been moved—and intrigued—by the faith of the Blessed Mother. She is “a woman wrapped in silence,” a phrase that forms the title of an excellent book by Fr. John Lynch. The pope’s words capture both her faith and her mystery:
I consider it important to focus also on the final sentence of Luke’s Annunciation narrative: “And the angel departed from her” (Luke 1:38). The great hour of Mary’s encounter with God’s messenger—in which her whole life is changed—comes to an end, and she remains there alone, with a task that truly surpasses all human capacity. There are no angels standing around her. She must continue along the path that leads to many dark moments–from Joseph’s dismay at her pregnancy, to the moment when Jesus is said to be out of his mind (cf. Mark 3:21; John 10:20) right up to the night of the cross.
How often in these situations must Mary have returned inwardly to the hour when God’s angel had spoken to her, pondering afresh the greeting: “Rejoice, full of grace!” And the consoling words: “Do not be afraid!” The angel departs; her mission remains, and with it matures her inner closeness to God, a closeness that in her heart she is able to see and touch (Jesus of Nazareth, The Infancy Narratives, Kindle edition (loc 488-501)).
I am moved by this image of Mary, there all alone, perhaps wondering how it would all unfold and whether what she just experienced had really happened. The angel departs and she is alone (and yet never alone).
As background, I would like to say that I have read some accounts of Mary’s life that placed her in such rarefied air that I could no longer relate to her. I vaguely remember reading some accounts of visionaries saying that Mary did not even have to do housework because the angels swept the house, did the dishes, and so forth. Some other accounts spoke of how she had detailed foreknowledge of everything that would take place in her life as well as in Jesus’ life. I even recall one purported visionary who wrote that Mary had extensive theological discussions with Jesus even while He was still an infant. I do not remember who these alleged visionaries were or if any of them were even approved visionaries. Yet in the early 1980s a large number of books were published containing the observations of various “visionaries.”
Such accounts often left me cold and made me feel distant from our Blessed Mother. They also did not seem to comport with the Scriptures, which present Mother Mary as a woman of great faith, but one who has to walk by faith and not by perfect sight, just as all of us do. She wonders at Gabriel’s greeting, is troubled, and does not understand how it will all work out (cf Luke 1:29).
Yet she presses on and we next see her having made haste to the hill country, rejoicing in ecstatic praise with her cousin: My spirit rejoices in God my savior! She still does not know how it will all work out, but in spite of that she is content to know the One who holds the future; it is enough for now.
Years later, when she finds Jesus teaching in the Temple after days of agonized searching for the “missing” boy, she does not fully understand His explanation (Luke 2:48-50), but ponders these things within her heart (Luke 2:51).
At the wedding feast at Cana, Jesus seems almost to rebuke His mother. Although the text omits many of the details, there must have been something in her look, something of the look that only a mother can give to a son. By now, Mary’s understanding of her son has surely deepened; she has known Him and pondered and reflected in her heart over Him for more than thirty years. She simply looks at Him, and He at her—a look that only the two would have known. Something passed between them, a look of understanding. Whatever it was remains wrapped in silence; it’s none of our business, something that only she and her Son could know. Whatever it was, it prompts her to turn and with confidence, knowing the situation will be well-handled, says to the stewards, “Do whatever he tells you” (Jn 2:5).
Of the three years to follow we know very little. We know that she is not far away. We see her in Mark 3:31 as she asks after Jesus, seemingly concerned that others are saying “He is beside himself!”
Now we find her gently and supportively present at the foot of the Cross. The sword that Simeon had prophesied (Lk 2:35) is thrust through her heart. More than thirty years earlier she could only wonder what Simeon meant when he said that her child was destined for the fall and the rise of many in Israel and that a sword would pierce her heart (Luke 2:33). In the intervening years her faith had surely deepened; now, here she is at the foot of the Cross. It is her darkest hour, but surely all those years of pondering and reflecting on these things in her heart helps to sustain her.
Yes, Mother Mary is a woman wrapped in silence. We know so little, for she is reflective and quiet. She says little, silently standing by, silently supportive of Jesus in His public ministry. Now, again silently, she is at the foot of the Cross.
Yes, this is the Mary, this is the Mother that I know: a woman of faith but also a human being like you and me. As the Pope Benedict suggested, she is a woman who had to make a journey of faith without knowing how everything would work out, without the omniscience that some visionaries ascribe to her. She knew what the angel had said, but it seems clear that she did not know how it would all come to pass. She, like us, walked by faith and not by earthly sight.
Mary is the perfect disciple, the woman of faith, the one who presses on, not knowing all, but pondering and reflecting everything in her heart.
The post A Woman Wrapped in Silence – A Meditation for the Feast of the Annunciation appeared first on Community in Mission.
Site: RT - NewsExactly two years after the tragic Germanwings crash which killed all on board, the father of the co-pilot blamed for the incident has held a press conference to dispute claims that his son was depressed and plead his son’s innocence.
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Site: Home LivingHello Ladies,Around our home grows a bush of delicate looking flowers of all shapes and styles called "Love-In-Mist." In the same cluster of blossomed, some have a single layer of petals and others have double and triple layers with rounded tips or pointed tips. One seed can yield a big bush of these varied shapes and colors. They look misty because of the soft array of green leaves that grow Lydiahttp://firstname.lastname@example.org
Site: RT - NewsAt least three people, including a minor, have reportedly been injured in the city of Lille after a gunman opened fire near the central Porte d’Arras metro station. A heavy police presence is reported at the scene.
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Site: Fr. Z's Blog
As the Gorsuch Trials continue, this comes from the often amusing Eye of the Tiber:
Catechumen nominee Neil Schlesing said that “no man is above canon law” when pressed on whether Pope Francis could allow divorced and remarried Catholics to receive communion.
It was one of several exchanges Tuesday as Schlesing mostly deflected council members’ efforts to get him to reveal his views on the death penalty, global warming, and other controversial issues inside the Catholic Church.
As the grueling day of questioning wore on, council members and Schlesing engaged in a well-established tradition in recent confirmation Masses, as the nominee attempts to resist all requests to say how he feels about the Holy Father’s decisions, regardless of how many times he’s been asked.
Donohue also asked Schlesing what he would do if the pastor of the church asked him to deliver a speech about sin in front of the congregation.
“Mr. Council, I would have walked out the door,” Schlesing replied. “That’s not what Catholics do. My personal views, I tell you, Mr. Council, are over here. I leave those at home.”
The exchange with parish council member Lindsey Donohue came on the second day of Schlesing’s confirmation hearing to fill one of the final vacant seats for this round of confirmation classes.
Site: A Blog for Dallas Area Catholics
Consider yourself lucky, I’m at home. This may be a lazy Flightline Friday, but it’s better than nothing.
Two videos showing some very early Tomcat footage. Some of the earliest Tomcats built are in the first vid, the first 30 or so ships built had only the ALQ-100 ECM antenna under the forward fuselage where later appeared first an IR sensor, then an electro-optical telescopic camera, and finally both. The development of the F-14’s “chin” is shown below:
The first video is a Northrop production hyping their involvement in TOPGUN:
The second is from Grumman and is an obvious – but very early – PR effort for the F-14:
The kids are home, so that’s all you get. Whether it’s better than nothing is wholly debatable, but you get what you pay for………
Florida State University’s Catholic Student Union and St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Tallahassee, FL have teamed up for an innovative way
The post “Priest Available”: An Innovative Way to Reach College Students with the Faith appeared first on ChurchPOP.
Site: RT - NewsA trial has begun in Sweden of three men arrested in January on suspicion of gang raping a woman and livestreaming the crime on Facebook.
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Site: The Eponymous FlowerCiudad del Este: Dissolution of the Society of Saint John (CSSJ) by Bishop
Steckling(Asuncion) On March 16, the Priestly Society of St. John (CSSJ) has been abolished by Bishop Wilhelm Steckling of Ciudad del Este in Paraguay. The abolition is connected with the removal of Bishop Rogelio Livieres Plano, who was deposed in 2014 by Pope Francis. Both interventions have something in common: they were done without official naming of reasons, were accompanied by dirty media speculations and are part of a hard factional debate on the understanding of the Church. Vocations crisis is no natural phenomenonWhen Bishop Rogelio Livieres was deposed by Pope Francis in the late summer of 2014, the Holy See gave no reasons for the radical intervention. Officially, it was never disclosed what the bishop who died in 2015 during an operation had been accused of doing. This provided more space for speculation. From the Pope's decree, however, it was clear that Bishop Livieres had disturbed the "concord" in the Episcopal Conference. In Paraguay, which strongly progressive and liberation theological, lay the crux of the matter.
Bishop Rogelio Livieres (1945-2015)
Bishop Livieres belonged to Opus Dei . He was appointed by Pope John Paul II, and took over a diocese on ropes, which had hardly any priests. Until then, the seminarians of all the dioceses of the country were trained in a central national seminary in Asuncion, whose mind was formed on liberation theology. Bishop Livieres withdrew his seminarians and founded his own seminary. The education was oriented to the teachings of the Church, the sacramental priesthood was emphasized and the reverence for the sacrament of the altar was lived. In the parishes, the bishop intensified the religious instruction by founding Bible study groups and the formation of catechists. In addition, Eucharistic worship and the celebration of Holy Mass were promoted in the traditional Rite.
The diocese prospered, as the strongly increasing number of donated sacraments showed. In the diocesan priestly seminary of Bishop Livieres, almost three times as many seminarians were preparing for the priesthood in 2014, as in the national priestly seminar of all other dioceses. Bishop Livieres had thus proved that the claimed crisis of occupation and the consequent lack of priests represented no natural phenomenon, but could be overcome, and made a considerable part of it.The dismissal of Bishop LivieresIn fact, the bishops of the other Paraguayan dioceses, indeed the bishops of the whole world should
have had to travel to Ciudad del Este to study what Bishop Livieres had done and taken over this model as much as possible. The opposite occurred. Bishop Livieres was perceived by the other bishops as a trouble maker, which also had to do with his clear language. Under Pope Benedict XVI Livieres was left alone to do his work. With the election of Pope Francis, it was likewise with the traditionally oriented and equally successful young order of the Franciscans of the Immaculata.Bishop Livieres, moreover, was Argentinian, like Pope Francis. They knew each other and were obviously not fond of each other. In vain Livieres asked the Pope to receive him. He demanded the right to know what he was accused of and having the possibility of defending himself. Nothing of the kind was granted him. He was lured to Rome so they could exchange the door locks in Ciudad del Este for the episcopal residence during his absence. Pope Francis left Bishop Livieres in Rome in front of closed doors. The bishop learned of his dismissal while waiting for an appointment in the Vatican, from the media.The new bishop: seminary shut, priestly community abolished
Bishop Wilhelm Steckling OMI
Pope Francis appointed the former General Superior of the Oblates of the Immaculate Virgin Mary (Hunteel Oblates), the newly-appointed Bishop of Ciudad del Este, of the Westphalian descent, Wilhelm Steckling. In 2016 the diocesan priestly seminary, the bone of contention was finally dissolved. The seminarians of Ciudad del Este have been studying since then in the National Seminary in Asuncion. In the Bishop's Conference of Paraguay, "Unity" reigned.On the 16th of March, Bishop Steckling has raised another piece of the legacy of Bishop Livieres. He had promoted the establishment of various religious and priestly communities in his diocese, which are faithful to the doctrine of the Church, including those who cultivate the traditional rite.Among the communities supported by Livieres was the Priestly Society of St. John (Comunidades Sacerdotales de San Juan, CSSJ), founded in 2008 in the Diocese of Ciudad del Este by four priests, which was canonically recognized as a society of the Apostolic Life. The Society consisted of a parish in the diocese and had its own seminary and a branch in Argentina. In the joint seminary, almost 40 seminarians were preparing for the priesthood.Reasons for the abolition of the Society and the seminary were not mentioned by Bishop Steckling. In the diocesan press release, there is only the following lapidary statement:"We invite those who have been members of the CSSJ society to participate actively in the life of the Church, which offers many options regarding spiritual life and ministry. The seminarians have the opportunity to continue their education as future priests at the National Seminary of Paraguay or within the framework of religious congregations."Urrutigoity - the charge for all cases
The media has pointed out in the past few days that one of the founders of the Society of St. John, Carlos Urrutigoity. Urrutigoity, who previously belonged to the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X, had studied at the seminary in Argentina and was ordained a priest for the FSSPX. In 1999, he was incardinated in the US diocese of Scranton, Pennsylvania, because of "subversive behavior." He was suspected of having sexually abused a teenager in 2002 in the USA. There was no conviction.The Argentinian Urrutigoity had been admitted to Ciudad del Este under Bishop Livieres, and he had been assigned as the Vicar General in 2012-2014. In 2015, he left the diocese and returned to his native Argentina. The diocese announced his departure, without mentioning reasons. Bishop Steckling only said in general:"The Scranton diocese in Pennsylvania, where Don Urrutigoity used to be, assured me that there were no cases pending. That he does not enjoy a good reputation is another problem. "Urrutigoity has received a lot of attention in recent years. This does not have to do with his challenging personality. In Paraguay, he seems to have provided a general complaint, which is pulled out of a hat like a rabbit for every purpose. In 2014 he served in the media and behind the scenes as a main charge against Bishop Livieres. The Paraguayan juvenile court prosecutor, on the other hand, declared that there was nothing against the Argentine priest. As soon as Livieres had left, Urrutigoity also disappeared from the media in order to reappear. Again as the unofficial justification of the dismissal.Counterweight to Liberation Theology - "New Clergy"Neither the dismissal of Bishop Livieres, nor the abolition of the Priestly Society of St. John is directly connected with Urrutigoity. The reasons for the bishop's dismissal have already been explained. For the same reasons, the priestly community was also abolished, the orientation of which was disturbed by unabated faith. Above all, the majority of Society seminarians came from the diocesan priestly seminary of Bishop Livieres, who did not want to continue their studies at the central priestly seminary in Asuncion.
In reality, behind the Ciudad del Este case, is a fundamental strife in the Church involving the understanding of what the Church is, and fidelity to the Catholic doctrine of faith. Pope John Paul II had appointed Livieres as diocesan bishop to initiate a renewal of the church of Paraguay. A counterweight to the prevailing course was to have been created. Corresponding excitement prevailed when Liviere's nomination was announced in 2004. Livieres saw his primary task of creating a "new clergy" for Paraguay, with which the change of course was to be carried out. The Opus-Dei bishop was on his way. Since in 2014 90 percent of the Paraguayan dioceses had only 28 percent of the seminarians, Bishop Livieres has already trained 72 percent of the future priests.The Priestly Society of St. John tried to preserve the legacy of Bishop Livieres and at least partially became a catch basin. This is unacceptable in a country where the bishops attach such importance to Liberation Theology, witnesses such as Fernando Lugo, who resigned his bishop's office, because it was more important to be a political activist for the office of State President, and the Archbishop of Asuncion was suspected of being an active aberrosexual. Both were publicly criticized by Bishop Livieres. This is not the behavior with which one makes friends. With the return of Pope Benedict XVI. this was still possible. When the latter resigned, the retribution followed apace.
John Paul II and Benedict XVI's attempt in Paraguay of a change of course must be regarded as a failure. Seeds were nevertheless dispersed and have not yet been completely eradicated.Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Photo: ABCcolor / Cronica / Periodista Digital (Screenshots)
Trans: Tancred email@example.com
Link to Katholisches...
Site: Kevin D. WilliamsonDonald Trump, the great negotiator, failed to talk Republicans into voting for a Republican health-care bill. A few thoughts:One, Trump’s reputation as a maker of great deals has been oversold. Replacing decades of bad health-care law and bad health-insurance policy with something that is market-oriented -- while also addressing the risk aversion of Americans worried by the unpredictable nature of health insurance and health-care costs -- is, as it turns out, not very much like negotiating a zoning variance in Atlantic City.Two, Trump still doesn’t seem to understand this. Reactions to Paul Ryan’s opening gambit on health-care reform were pretty
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Site: Roman Catholic Man
Whenever I am offering spiritual direction, and the directee laments about a situation, wondering why God has not answered their prayer … I always ask, “How are you praying?” Nine times out of ten the answer comes back with something that sounds like, “I don’t know … I guess I add a petition to my rosary or something.” It is then that I speak to them about “Praying like you mean it!”
St. Bernard of Clairvaux wrote,
“Timid prayer does not pierce heaven, because immoderate fear binds the soul so that prayer, far from flying upward, can not even come out. Being lukewarm, it grows weak in its flight and falls because it has no strength. Prayer that is faithful, humble, and fervent will undoubtedly pierce heaven and it will certainly not return fruitless.”
I have witnessed countless miracles. In each case, we offered “intense prayer campaigns” … we were “begging God.” St. Bernard is correct, as we offered faithful, humble and *fervent* prayer that sought to pierce heaven. This was much more than *just* adding a petition here or there.
Here are some of the more notable miracles we’ve witnessed …
My uncle, a priest, was confirmed by two experts, that he was brain dead. After praying for him in the Holy Land, and bringing him a stone from the Pool of Bethesda, he completely recovered.
I prayed in the Holy Land for another woman who was filled with cancer, and brought her a stone too. She completely recovered.
My brother-in-law’s nephew was filled with cancer, and several of us prayed with the intercession of Padre Pio (we actually added oil blessed with intercession of Padre Pio), and he completely recovered.
My nephew was moments away from dying from pneumonia and excessive internal bleeding. We asked tens of thousands on social media to pray with the intercession of Pope Pius XII. He miraculously recovered.
A friend’s dad suffered a nine centimeter ruptured aneurysm (I’m told there is no record of anyone surviving one this size). We asked for prayer just as we did with my nephew. He miraculously recovered.
In Madison, WI, UW Clinics were threatening to implement late term abortions. We got over 200 people to pray the Stations of the Cross in front of the clinic, and ten days later they announced they are withdrawing there plans to go forward with this.
Religious freedom was suddenly under great attack, notably with the Hobby Lobby case. We got 100s of people to pray every Thursday evening in the Summer in front of the State Capitol for two years. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby.
Tens of thousands joined together with the Novena for Our Nation in the lead up to the 2016 Presidential election. The freight train of secular hedonism was stopped in its tracks.
And, here is the story of what happened just on the Western edge of Madison, WI, in the tiny town of Pine Bluff …
“As long as Moses held up the staff in his hand, the Israelites had the advantage. But whenever he dropped his hand, the Amalekites gained the advantage” (Exodus 17:11).
In the summer of 2004, I was assigned as pastor of two parishes, one of which was St. Mary’s of Pine Bluff, a Catholic parish in a small unincorporated town in southern Wisconsin, just west from Madison. The little town of Pine Bluff has one church, two bars, and a handful of homes. It is surrounded by fields and idyllic rolling hills and countryside. It’s the kind of town where people dream of raising their kids.
So it was that just months after I arrived in Pine Bluff, one of the bar owners decided to rent out his cozy establishment to a strip club owner. Neighbors were appalled, and the little town was stunned. But there was not much, it seemed, that anyone could do.
The folks in Pine Bluff, however, didn’t yet understand my resolve and my absolute trust in God’s miracle power. Lying in bed one night, I found myself in my prayer … “What in the world did you have in mind, God, by allowing this strip club across the street of my new parish?” Then one word came to me, “Mile.” It was then that I envisioned the trek from the front of our church to the end of the block, then back to the church and concluding in the cemetery behind our church. Then two words came to me, “Miracle Mile.”
These words and that image came so strong that I got out of bed at 3:00 AM in the morning and put on my sweat suit and went out in my car. I reset the odometer down to zero, and drove the path I envisioned in mind. When I reached the end of that path (up in the cemetery), the odometer rolled to exactly one mile. I knew then that God was speaking to me.
That following week, I gathered together some of the faith-filled people I had met since my arrival, and we began to make plans. Surprisingly, they did not think I had lost my rocker when I told them about my 3:00 AM drive through Pine Bluff. They, too, believed there was something to this.
We discerned that we were called to pray the Stations of the Cross along that one mile route. Some people designed little 3 foot high crosses, and we placed a roman numeral on each one, signifying each of the 14 Stations. All the neighbors allowed us to plant these crosses in their yards, near to the sidewalk. We then chose Palm Sunday to hold this Stations of the Cross. We asked people to come, and over 200 people joined us.
Participants carried their prayer sheets and a white ribbon (a symbol of purity and anti-pornography). The twelfth station found them at the entrance to the beautiful parish cemetery on a bluff with a life-size crucifix of our Lord and a one-hundred-year-old stone kneeler in front (pictured here). The participants tied their white ribbons to this kneeler as a prayer form, much like lighting a vigil candle in church.
After that first prayer walk, a container holding prayer sheets and ribbons was placed at the first station on the walk. All were invited to come, pick up a prayer sheet and white ribbon, and pray at anytime of the day or night, as they wished. Over the next seven months, prayer warriors walked the path and prayed the Stations. The white crosses on residents’ lawns served as a very tangible reminder to pray the Stations and to pray for God’s mercy.
Father Does the “Moses Thing”
While I walked and prayed that mile many times, my primary way of praying during those days of intense spiritual warfare was to wake up before dawn every morning and drive up to Blue Mounds State Park (When one looks west at my church, from a distance, they can see Blue Mounds in the background … it looks like a mighty mountain). On top of Blue Mounds (Blue? Mary’s color?
Site: Fr. Z's Blog
People are asking me in email what I think of the Pope’s alleged statements to Chilean bishops making their ad limina visit. Apparently the Holy Father told them, as reported by the UK’s best Catholic weekly The Catholic Herald (for which I write a weekly column):
The Chilean bishops were speaking to the newspaper El Mercurio, which paraphrased their remarks and included a few direct quotations. Here’s the key passage:
¿Comunión a los divorciados? Con la misma decisión, el Pontífice negó que su objetivo con el sínodo al que convocó sobre la familia haya sido autorizar la comunión de los divorciados. Les habló de que no hay “moral de situación”, dicen otras fuentes. “Nos cuesta mucho ver los grises”, les habría dicho, cuando contó un caso personal, familiar suyo. “Tengo una sobrina casada con un divorciado, bueno, católico, de misa dominical y que cuando se confiesa le dice al sacerdote ‘sé que no puede absolverme, pero deme su bendición’”.
The Pope says a few separate things here:
The objective of the Family Synod was not to authorise Communion for the remarried (“autorizar la comunión de los divorciados”).
“It’s not a matter of ‘situation ethics’.” (“Les habló de que no hay ‘moral de situación.’”)
It’s difficult for us to see grey areas. (“Nos cuesta mucho ver los grises.”)
His niece is married to a divorced man who doesn’t take Communion, but tells the priest: “I know you can’t absolve me, but give me a blessing.” (“Sé que no puede absolverme, pero deme su bendición.”)
Some are taking this as an “indirect” response to the Five Dubia of the Four Cardinals aroused by the objectively murky bits of Amoris laetitia.
My response? What do I make of this? How to make sense of this thrashing bag full of cats?
If and when Pope Francis wants clearly to respond to the Dubia, he knows how to do it.
Moreover, I respond that today is a Friday in Lent. Say your prayers, pray the Stations, examine your consciences and…
GO TO CONFESSION!
Site: Fr. Z's Blog
Today, a Friday in Lent, I re-posted my recordings of different versions of the Stations of the Cross, one of which is the classic by St. Alphonsus Liguori. I did so, as I sipped from my glorious Pope Clement XIV (Ganganelli) mug.
Did you know that there is a connection between Pope Clement, Suppressor of the Jesuits, and St. Alphonsus, Doctor of the Church?
In 1772, the second year of Clement’s glorious reign, St. Alphonsus wrote to the Pope asking to be relieved of his duties as diocesan bishop. Clement responded that it was enough for him that Alphonsus govern from his bed: “His prayers do as much for his flock as all the activity in the world.”
When in 1773 Clement finally suppressed the Jesuits – did I mention that he suppressed the Jesuits? – Alphonsus he wrote of how he prayed for the harassed Pontiff. And then on 21 September 1774, after saying Mass, Alphonsus had a prolonged ecstasy, lasting into the next day. When he came out of it, he said that he had been with Clement XIV as he way dying. And so Alphonsus bi-located and was with Papa Ganganelli at his dead bed.
Just so that you can’t say that you hadn’t been told, I’ve made available some Papa Ganganelli mugs.
For all the selections click
Site: Catholic Herald
Europe must recover the memories and lessons of past tragedies in order to confront the challenges Europeans face today that seek to divide rather than unite humanity, Pope Francis has said.
While the founding fathers of what is now the European Union worked toward a “united and open Europe”, free of the “walls and divisions” erected after World War II, the tragedy of poverty and violence affecting millions of innocent people lingers on, the Pope told European leaders gathered at the Vatican.
“Where generations longed to see the fall of those signs of forced hostility, these days we debate how to keep out the ‘dangers’ of our time, beginning with the long file of women, men and children fleeing war and poverty, seeking only a future for themselves and their loved ones,” he said.
Pope Francis welcomed the 27 European heads of state to the Vatican to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaties of Rome, which gave birth to the European Economic Community and the European Atomic Energy Community.
Signed on March 25, 1957, the treaties sought to unite Europe following the devastation wrought by World War II. The agreements laid the groundwork for what eventually became the European Union.
Entering the Sala Regia of the Apostolic Palace, Pope Francis placed his hand above his heart and bowed slightly to the European leaders before taking his seat. At the end of the audience, he and the government leaders went into the Sistine Chapel and posed for a photograph in front of Michelangelo’s fresco, the Last Judgment.
In his speech, the Pope said the commemoration of the treaty should not be reduced to “a remembrance of things past”, but should motivate a desire “to relive that event in order to appreciate its significance for the present”.
“The memory of that day is linked to today’s hopes and expectations of the people of Europe, who call for discernment in the present so that the journey that has begun can continue with renewed enthusiasm and confidence,” he said.
At the heart of the founding fathers’ creation of a united Europe, the pope continued, was concern for the human person, who after years of bloodshed held on “to faith in the possibility of a better future”.
“That spirit remains as necessary as ever today, in the face of centrifugal impulses and the temptation to reduce the founding ideals of the union to productive, economic and financial needs,” he said.
But despite achievements in forging unity and solidarity, Pope Francis said, Europe today suffers from a “lapse of memory” where peace is now “regarded as superfluous”.
To regain the peace attained in the past, he added, Europe must reconnect with its Christian roots otherwise “the Western values of dignity, freedom and justice would prove largely incomprehensible”.
“The fruitfulness of that connection will make it possible to build authentically secular societies, free of ideological conflicts, with equal room for the native and the immigrant, for believers and nonbelievers,” the Pope said.
The economic crisis of the past decade, the crisis of the family “and established social models” and the current migration crisis, he said, offer an opportunity for Europe’s leaders to discern and assess rather than “engender fear and profound confusion”.
“Ours is a time of discernment, one that invites us to determine what is essential and to build on it,” the Pope said. “It is a time of challenge and opportunity.”
Europe, he added, will find new hope “when man is at the centre and the heart of her institutions” in order to stem “the growing ‘split’ between the citizenry and the European institutions which are often perceived as distant and inattentive to the different sensibilities present in the union”.
The migration crisis also offers an opportunity for Europe’s leaders to refuse to give in to fear and “false forms of security” while posing a much deeper question to the continent’s citizens.
“What kind of culture does Europe propose today?” he asked, adding that the fear of migrants “has its root cause in the loss of ideals”.
“Without an approach inspired by those ideals, we end up dominated by the fear that others will wrench us from our usual habits, deprive us of familiar comforts and somehow call into question a lifestyle that all too often consists of material prosperity alone.”
By defending families, investing in development and peace and defending the family and life “in all its sacredness”, Europe can once again find new ways to steer its course, Pope Francis told the European heads of state.
“As leaders, you are called to blaze the path of a new European humanism made up of ideals and concrete actions,” the Pope said. “This will mean being unafraid to make practical decisions capable of responding to people’s real problems and of standing the test of time.”
Site: A Blog for Dallas Area Catholics
Some interesting considerations below, where a self-described long-time progressive admits to being shocked, flustered, terrified, and offended at the presence of an obvious male in the women’s public restroom at Disneyland in Southern California. There are a whole lot of revelations below – paralyzing fear of being called out as politically incorrect and thus having one’s credibility destroyed in the secular pagan milieu, an incoherent feeling of being violated but an inability to do anything about it, and a demand that someone must fix the situation that goes along with a steadfast refusal to take personal action to help bring that fix about.
In short, it’s a pretty good summation of where we are as a culture, with the demands of the leftist extremists becoming more and more irrational, more and more invasive every day, and yet a sense that we are somehow powerless to stop this advance. But all it takes is will, the will to act, the will to be slimed by leftist activists on Twitter and other social media and not giving a damned what they say. That is, of course, easy to say, when one recognizes that even one’s professional standing and job could be permanently ruined by one act of moral bravery. Nevertheless, we eventually must fight, as the cost of delay will be much greater penalties in future if we don’t act now:
I was off to the side waiting with the two boys, when I noticed a man walk into the restroom…He took a few more steps, at which point he would’ve definitely noticed all the women lined up and still kept walking. My next thought was, “Maybe he’s looking for his wife…or child and they’ve been in here a while.” But he didn’t call out any names or look around. He just stood off to the side and leaned up against the wall. At this point I’m like, “…Am I the only one seeing this?” I surveyed the room and saw roughly 12 women, children in tow…staring at him with the exact same look on their faces. Everyone was visibly uncomfortable. We were all trading looks and motioning our eyes over to him…like “what is he doing in here?” Yet every single one of us was silent. And this is the reason I wrote this blog.
We had been culturally bullied into silenced. Women were mid-changing their baby’s diapers on the changing tables and I could see them shifting to block his view. But they remained silent. I stayed silent. We all did. Every woman who exited a stall and immediately zeroed right in on him…said nothing. And why? B/c I…and I’m sure all the others were scared of that “what if”. What if I say something and he says he “identifies as a woman” and then I come off as the intolerant ass… at the happiest place on earth? So we all stood there, shifting in our uncomfortableness…trading looks. I saw two women leave the line with their children. Still nothing was said. An older lady said to me outloud, “What is he doing in here?” I’m ashamed to admit I silently shrugged and mouthed, “I don’t know.” She immediately walked out…from a bathroom she had every right to use without fear.
And let me be clear, my problem wasn’t JUST that there was a man in the restroom. Its that he wasn’t even peeing, washing his hands or doing anything else that you’d do in a restroom. He was just standing off to the side looking smug…untouchable… doing absolutely nothing. He had to of noticed that every woman in the long line was staring at him. He didn’t care. He then did a lap around the restroom walking by all the stalls. You know, the stalls that have 1 inch gaps by all the doors hinges so you can most definitely see everyone…
So yes… there were women and small children using the restroom and this man was walking around knowing no one would say anything. So here I am…writing this blog, because honestly I need answers. We can’t leave this situation ambiguous any more. The gender debate needs to be addressed… and quickly. There have to be guidelines. It can’t just be a feeling… this notion that we’re shamed into silence b/c we might offend someone, has gone too far.
There was a man who felt entitled to be in the woman restroom, because he knew no one would say anything. There were 20-25 people by the time I left, who were scared and uncomfortable by his ominous presence. And the only thing stopping us, was our fear of political correctness and that the media has told us we don’t know what gender is anymore. I never want to be in the position again. I’m not asking for permission to tell transgender people to get out my bathroom. I need to know it’s ok to tell a man, who looks like a man, to get…out. Gender just can’t be a feeling. There has to be science to it. DNA, genitals, amount of Sephora make up on your face, pick your poison, but as a very progressive woman…I’m sorry it can’t just be a feeling when there’s but a mere suggestion of a door with a peep hole separating your eyes from my…or my children’s genitals.
All of which, fine. I feel your pain. There is even a certain sense of I told you so.
But the title of the post was actually a tongue in cheek joke – progressives like this will never reach their limit. They (or the vast majority, anyway) are the problem. They always kowtow to whatever the more radical fringes of the Left demands of them. And they will submit this time, and channel their impotent rage onto more culturally approved targets, like Donald Trump, white males, and conservatives, generally. Somehow this will all wind up being our fault.
Of course, there are exceptions. Sometimes it is moments like those above that start a person traveling on the path from former progressive to solid conservative.
Most importantly, the “lesson” I’m trying to convey is that if we want this to stop, it’s going to be up to us and like-minded individuals to start calling these jackholes out when they try to invade the private space of the opposite sex. Don’t let them get away with it, but know you will probably wind up being the one being blamed and even victimized if you do call them to account for their perversion and effrontery. But if we want this culture, rapidly descending into a literal hell, to change, we’re going to have to be willing to suffer for it. Pay me now or pay me later, the price will only go up if we delay, when we are finally to pushed to such extremes that we have no choice but to fight back and where far weightier things – the ability to have Mass said publicly, the ability to raise your kids in the Faith – are at stake.
Of course this is just one of a thousand and more areas where pushback is needed. That’s part of the Left’s strategy, using full time paid activists they advance on a hundred fronts simultaneously, finally wearing out the outmanned and out-funded opposition. We all have to pick our battles. But maybe if you are confronted with a bearded dude in a women’s bathroom, don’t just silently fume, but wack him over the head with your purse (which should always have a nice, heavy breviary in it). Or at least scream and shout and tell him what a sicko perverted freak he is.
Site: Edward Feser
Not too long ago, Catholic writer Mark Shea and I had an exchange on the subject of capital punishment. See this post, this one, and this one for my side of the exchange and for links to Shea’s side of it. A friend emails to alert me that Shea has now made some remarks at Facebook about the forthcoming book on the subject that I have co-authored with Joe Bessette. “Deranged” might seem an unkind description of Shea and his comments. Sadly, it’s also a perfectly accurate description. Here’s a sample:
Yes. This needs to be the #1 priority for conservative Christian “prolife” people to focus on: battling the Church for the right of a post-Christian state to join Communist and Bronze Age Islamic states in killing as many people as possible, even if 4% of them are completely innocent. Cuz, you know, stopping euthanasia is, like, a super duper core non-negotiable and stuff. What a wise thing for “prolife” Christians to commit their time and energy to doing instead of defending the unborn or the teaching of the Magisterium. How prudent. How merciful. This and kicking 24 million people off health care are *clearly* what truly “prolife” Christians should be devoted to, in defiance of the Magisterium. Good call!
“Prudential judgment” is right wing speak for “Ignore the Church and listen to right wing culture of death rhetoric”.
This book will be the Real Magisterium, henceforth, for all members of the Right Wing Culture of Death on this subject. It's judgments, not that of the Magisterium, will be final and authoritative for the “prolife” supporter of the Right Wing Culture of Death.
It will do nothing but foster right wing dissent. It will be the New Magisterium for the entire right wing and give oxygen to the War on Francis.
The Right anoints a Folk Hero antipope who tells it it's okay to reject the obvious teaching of the Church and do whatever they want and then the cry “Prudential judgment!” goes up.
Etc. End quote.
No comment is really necessary. Still, I can’t help calling attention to a few points:
First, the book has not come out yet, so Shea hasn’t even read it. His attack is thus aimed at a fantasy target rather than at our actual claims and arguments. In fact, all of the concerns Shea might have about our position are answered at length and in detail in the book, and in a scholarly and non-polemical fashion. Hence Shea’s remarks are – to say the very least – ill-informed and unjustifiably vituperative.
Second, the few substantive assertions Shea makes here – and note that they are mere assertions, completely unbacked by any argumentation or evidence – have already been answered in my earlier exchange with him. For example, in the initial response to Shea I posted during that exchange, I noted that Shea’s claim that “4% of [those executed] are completely innocent” misrepresents the authors of the study from which Shea derives this claim. I also there noted the problems with Shea’s use of the term “prolife,” which is merely a political slogan deriving from contemporary American politics and has no theological significance.
As to the bogus charge of “dissent,” in my second post in our earlier exchange, I quoted statements from Cardinal Ratzinger (then head of the CDF and the Church’s chief doctrinal officer) and Archbishop Levada (then writing in a USCCB document, and later to take over from Ratzinger as head of CDF) which explicitly affirmthat faithful Catholics are at liberty to take different positions regarding capital punishment and even to disagree with the Holy Father on that particular issue. Both Ratzinger and Levada in these documents also explicitly assert that abortion and euthanasia – which, unlike capital punishment, are intrinsically evil – have a greater moral significance than capital punishment. Hence, when Shea mocks Catholics who are strongly opposed to abortion and euthanasia but who do not share his views about capital punishment, he is implicitly mocking Ratzinger and Levada – who, unlike Shea, actually have authorityto state what is and is not binding Catholic teaching.
Shea has, in several follow-ups now, given no response whatsoever to these points or others made in my earlier posts. He simply ignores the arguments and instead reiterates, with greater shrillness, the same false and already refuted claims he made in his initial attack on Joe and me.
Third, the charge that Joe and I are motivated by a desire to justify “killing as many people as possible” is not only false and groundless, but a truly outrageous calumny. Shea made this charge in our original exchange, and (as I noted in my second post in that exchange) when I complained about it he seemed to back away from it. Now he is back to tossing this smear at us.
Fourth, if Shea insists on flinging calumnies like these, he ought to consider just how many people he is implicitly targeting. On my personal web page I have posted the endorsements given our book by J. Budziszewski, Fr. James Schall, Robert Royal, Fr. Robert Sirico, Edward Peters, Fr. Kevin Flannery, Steven A. Long, Fr. George Rutler, Fr. Gerald Murray, Barry Latzer, Michael Pakaluk, and Fr. Thomas Petri. This list includes some very prominent faithful Catholics and respected scholars, representing fields such as moral theology, canon law, philosophy, and criminal justice. And unlike Shea, they have actually seen the book. It is worth noting that Fr. Sirico, who happens to be opposed to capital punishment, does not even agree with our conclusions. He graciously endorsed our book anyway simply because he regards it as a worthy and serious defense of the other side, which opponents of capital punishment can profit from engaging with.
Now, I imagine that Shea knows and respects many of these people. Of course, they could be wrong, and the fact that they endorse our book doesn’t mean we are right. But would Shea go so far as to label all of these people “dissenters,” or proponents of a “culture of death” who want to “kill as many people as possible,” etc.? If not, then perhaps he will reconsider his rhetorical excesses.
Fifth, the out-of-left-field stuff in Shea’s remarks about “kicking 24 million people off health care,” “the War on Francis,” etc. have, of course, absolutely nothing to do with the argument of our book. Shea made similarly irrelevant remarks in our earlier exchange. His seeming inability to refrain from dragging in his personal political obsessions shows just how very unhinged he is. It also manifests his lack of self-awareness. Shea accuses fellow Catholics who disagree with him about capital punishment of being blinded by their political biases – while in the very same breath bizarrely insinuating that our support for capital punishment somehow has something to do with President Trump’s health care bill (!)
Sixth, Shea’s political obsessions blind him to other and more important aspects of the debate over capital punishment, in ways I have already explained in my earlier posts – where, here again, Shea simply ignores rather than responds to what I wrote. For example, Shea appears not to realize that there is a very influential strain of thought within otherwise theologically conservative Catholic circles – namely, the so-called “new natural law” school of thought – which takes a far more radically abolitionist position than even he would. Shea has repeatedly acknowledged in the past that capital punishment is not always and intrinsically immoral and that the Church cannot teach that it is. But the “new natural lawyers” maintain that capital punishment is always and intrinsically wrong, and they would like the Church to reversetwo millennia of teaching on this point – indeed, to reverse the consistent teaching of scripture, the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, and the popes.
One of the main motivations for writing our book was to rebut this extreme position, which has very dangerous theological implications that extend well beyond the capital punishment debate. Indeed, our primary concern in the book is to demonstrate the continuity of Catholic teaching and rebut any suggestion that the Church has contradicted herself, with advocacy of capital punishment in practice being a merely secondary concern. Among the many novel things the reader will find in our book is a far more detailed and systematic response to the extreme “new natural law” position on capital punishment than has yet appeared.
Since Shea too rejects the extreme “always and intrinsically wrong” position vis-à-vis capital punishment, one would think he would see the importance of rebutting it. Unfortunately, in his apparent desire to fold every Catholic theological dispute into his obsession with current American electoral politics, Shea seems unable to understand that some of us have much larger and less ephemeral concerns in view.
Seventh and finally, judging from remarks he made in our earlier exchange, Shea appears to think that, even if a Catholic might in theorysupport capital punishment, in practicethe downside of doing so is so great that his vituperative treatment of supporters is justified. I have already explained in the earlier posts why this is a mistake, but there is a further point to be made. What Shea does not consider is that, whatever good he thinks he is doing, there is also a very grave downside to his own abusive methods. Even if Shea is correct that someCatholic supporters of capital punishment are acting in bad faith, there are very many who are not – people who sincerely believe that they are within their rights as Catholics in supporting capital punishment, and who put forward arguments for that conclusion in a sober and non-polemical way.
If Shea is going to convince these people that they are wrong, then he can do so only by actually answering their arguments and not by merely repetitively flinging insults at them. Shea only does his own side harm in behaving the way he does, confirming in the minds of his opponents the judgment that the anti-capital punishment side has no rational basis but is grounded in emotion and demagoguery. He also acts gravely contrary to justice and charity.
In this connection it is worthwhile emphasizing that Shea made his reputation – or what’s left of it at this point, anyway – as a Catholic apologist. Now, apologeticsis of its nature a rationalenterprise aimed at persuading those who do not already agree by means of sober argumentation. And Catholic apologetics has always been guided by the principle of meeting one’s interlocutors where they are, charitably finding whatever is of value in their position and using it as a basis for discussion, etc.
Shea seems in the last few years increasingly to have abandoned these ideals. He shows little interest in persuading anyone or in giving arguments. In blog post after blog post he tosses out strings of ungrounded assertions, attacks caricatures, hurls insults and abuse, seems content with the “high fives” his more rabid fans give back in response, and offers further abuse and mockery in response to critics who try to engage him substantively. I have had reason over the years to note how “New Atheist” writers and their own fan base routinely attack books and arguments which they admit they have not read, and ritualistically attack a set of phantom opponents who exist only in their imaginations and bear little resemblance to any real world adversaries. It is striking how closely Shea and his fan base resemble these people, in style, ethos, and method, even if not in content.
Site: Fr. Z's Blog
Firstly, did you know that the man who made the magnificent Garand rifle – which helped to win freedom for millions – was named John Cantius Garand?
Speaking of John Cantius, I received a note from St. John Cantius in Chicago – which is helping to win salvation of souls – where there is a magnificent music program, that they have signed a recording contract with Sony Classical.
I guess they have learned the lessons taught by the Benedictine nuns in Missouri, et al.
All is not quiet on the Sacred Music front these days.
Even Pope Francis said (HERE) that a lot of our music is “mediocre, superficial and banal”. Truer words were never spoken, and this from someone who doesn’t seem terribly interesting in liturgy.
Anthory Esolen is also on the case.
Fr. George Rutler put out a new book.
And there is a fine initiative – Cantate Domino – to promote worthy sacred music for liturgical worship. HERE
Site: RT - NewsBulgarian volunteers have begun erecting a fence on the country’s border with Turkey without authorization from the government to “prevent Turkish provocations" during elections, RIA Novosti reports.
Read Full Article at RT.com
Site: RT - NewsThe chief of the European Commission has warned US president Donald Trump against encouraging countries to copy Britain's exit from the EU, arguing that a break-up of the bloc could lead to a war in the Balkans.
Read Full Article at RT.com
Site: A Blog for Dallas Area Catholics
There were a range of options of what might come out of my son’s follow-up MRI for the brain tumor discovered after he had a massive seizure 6 weeks ago, and aside from a total miracle (the tumor being completely gone) we got about the best possible option – the tumor is smaller and certainly appears both benign and stable. The shrinkage was probably due to swelling associated with the original seizure going away, but that means this tumor isn’t aggressive and isn’t growing at any appreciable rate.
So now we’ll just keep on keepin’ on, my son will get MRIs at three month intervals now and he’ll continue on the Keppra anti-seizure medication. He’s been doing awesome, his reading has gotten at least back to baseline and in fact is probably surpassed where he was before the seizure. It was a blessed day all around. I thank all of you so much for your prayers and ask if you would continue them, since this is still a serious situation and eventual surgery remains a strong possibility. But the longer that can be put off the better, and if prayer we hope it will never be needed.
Thank you all again, from the bottom of my heart, from a terrible shock and of course worry this has turned out just about as best as could have been imagined. And we of course thank God that He has seen fit to insure that my son is at least stable and that his health can be pretty easily managed so we may – I pray – enjoy our time together for many years to come.
Site: Live Action News
Claire Farrington and her partner Andy were shocked when they learned that their son, born two months premature, had Down syndrome. Having done prenatal testing for the condition, Farrington was told that her child did not have Down syndrome, but the testing was only 85 percent accurate. Initially, she was devastated, but after bringing her son Theo home from the hospital a few months after his birth, everything changed. She appeared on the UK show This Morning to discuss how she handled the news and her fears that there will soon be no one left in the world with Down syndrome.
“I was very devastated at the time but I knew I wouldn’t always feel that way,” said Farrington. “It’s like a rainbow with a color missing then you look a little closer and see another color and that rainbow in the end becomes one of the nicest rainbows you see.”
The first few weeks of Theo’s life were scary. Not only was the first time mother dealing with a diagnosis she wasn’t expecting, but her baby was tiny – his hand the size of her fingernail – and in an incubator.
“I think it’s important to be honest: I did have flashes of shameful thoughts as we were told and the enormity of his diagnosis pressed down on every atom of my being. I remember feeling snuffed out, almost extinguished by it, then coming back to life and hitting the wall in terror and shock.
“That really was the worst half hour of our lives. Nothing prepares you for unexpected news and nothing prepares you for your reaction to it,” she said on her blog.
The hosts of the show and viewers adored Theo and it was easy to see why:
@thismorning he’s such a cutie, how could anyone consider aborting their downs baby is beyond me, they are all a blessing.
— Charlotte Stanford (@CharlotteDeni) March 17, 2017
When the host of the show Eamonn Holmes mentioned that because of prenatal testing and abortion Theo could be the last generation of people with Down syndrome, Farrington responded that this upsets her.
“I think we’re heading into a dangerous world of eugenics and why should we decide who gets to be born? And I wrote in my last blog piece last night nobody knows what their baby’s going to be like until they are born. And Andy said to me, you know, don’t write him off, he’s not his diagnosis,” she explained.
Farrington is right. In Britain, 90 percent of babies with Down syndrome are aborted, according to Dr. Peter McParland, an obstetrician from the National Maternity Hospital. In Iceland, 100 percent of babies diagnosed prenatally with Down syndrome are aborted. Denmark is expected to be “Down syndrome-free” by 2030.
What Farrington wants other mothers to know is that being a parent to a child with Down syndrome is the same as much as it is different. She said she started a blog to chart her feelings, knowing that they would change over time. She wants to be completely honest so that other mothers can relate and feel understood.
“We’re just doing the same job as any other mom,” she said about raising her son.
Each day and night she willed her tiny baby to live and now that he is one year old, she wishes she knew then what she knows now.
“If someone had told me a year ago [things would be like this] I wouldn’t have worried so much,” she explained.
The post Mother of baby with Down syndrome: ‘We’re heading into a dangerous world of eugenics’ appeared first on Live Action News.
Site: Creative Minority ReportIn an age when everyone seems to possess his own ‘truth’, there is little wisdom to be found.
On election night last November, I took great joy in seeing the glib so-called "experts" look increasingly surprised (horrified?) that everything they thought they knew was proven wrong on the most widely watched event of the year. People put up YouTube videos of it, Facebooked about it, and emailed it to each other. That reaction has many experts fretting about the lack of respect being shown to experts.
In fact, there's a book called The Death of Experts about just that. A few days ago I read a piece by Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit fame about "The Suicide of Experts." Reynold's point is that the "experts" haven't exactly covered themselves in glory the past few decades. To be honest, I'm a fan of thumbing my nose at so-called "experts." Few things bring me greater joy than a hyperinflated expert being publicly proven wrong. That' why I love climate "experts" who warn that whole cities will be submerged by next Tuesday. That makes Wednesdays so much fun.
I cheer the non-experts. I root for the Bigfoot hunters and hope that one day they'll drag a Sasquatch from out of the woods and be covered in glory for their exploits that proved all the experts wrong.
And now I read that the Flat Earth Society is back! Fun. It came to popular notice recently when NBA star Kyrie Irving said he believed the earth was flat and then some others jumped on board. I'll admit, I kind of thought it was sort of fun. Maybe it's me but I kind of like how myopic he is. The man is a genius on the court. And he's obviously put all of his mind and energy into excelling at the game he loves. And that...focus has left some, er... blind spots.
That being said, I actually have a concern here. And it's not that nobody's listening to "experts." My concern is that everyone's an expert on everything. You can hardly touch upon a subject on which anyone and everyone doesn't feel (key word there is "feel") that they have an expert opinion to offer. But, sort of like that great line from The Incredibles, if every one's an expert, nobody is an expert. And nobody likes to listen to experts anymore so nobody listens to anyone else. We don't have dialogue anymore We have competing lectures. (See Facebook for evidence.)
But this aura of immediate expertise in all things permeates every facet of our culture, sadly, including morality and faith.
Please continue reading at The National Catholic Register>>>
Site: St. Corbinian's Bear
Here is a recap of world news based on the Bear's cursory reading of stories the past few days. The Bear has been busy and may have gotten a few details wrong, but he's pretty sure the gist is accurate.
- WASHINGTON D.C. (March 24, 2017) -- Trump the Usurper hosted a hunting trip for Soviet strongman Vladimir Putin. The pair were seen on the banks of the Potomac River clubbing adorable baby river seals to death with babies. Witnesses also report Trump the Usurper backed a dump truck full of $100,000,000 bills and buried a laughing Putin. The two men spent the rest of the afternoon playing in the pile of money like children in autumn leaves.
- WASHINGTON D.C. (March 24, 2017) -- Legitimate President Dear Leader Hillary Clinton staged a lightning raid on Richmond, Virginia yesterday, freeing thousands of slaves. Trump the Usurper had last Thursday declared the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments to the constitution null and void, opening the way for the return of slavery for the first time since 1957. A Gallup poll shows 100% of Americans support the campaign of Dear Leader to restore America to the golden years when Legitimate First Partner Bill Clinton was president.
- PARIS (March 23, 2017) -- The religious harmony of France was broken by a White male using a loudspeaker to cry "Jesus is Lord" from the top of the Eiffel Tower. Witnesses say he had a distinct American southern accent and raised an enormous Confederate flag on the tip of the landmark. He mowed down thousands of curious Parisians gathered below with an automatic machine assault rifle firing bullets of depleted uranium. With a final cry of "Soldiers of the Cross do thou likewise" he detonate a 20 megaton nuclear bomb strapped to his back, destroying France.
- VATICAN (March 24, 2017) -- Today Generic Spiritual Leader of the World Pope Francis condemned frequent terrorist attacks by Christians. "Out of all religions, why do we only see Christians committing all these terrorist acts? The exclusivist nature of a religion that offers only one means of salvation can only breed hatred. Their beliefs taste like excrement in my mouth." The pontiff announced that a new bible was being prepared that eliminates all references to violence and incorporates wisdom from other faiths.
- DHARASA, INDIA (March 21, 2017) -- The 14th Dalai Lama unveiled a new campaign to retake the role of the Generic Spiritual Leader of the World and wisest, most merciful man ever from Pope Francis. Since the leader of the world's 6.7 billion Catholics was elected in 2013, his press has pushed the top Buddhist monk out of the public eye. "Sure, Francis is a nice guy," the Dalai Lama told reporters, "but the Catholic Church does not offer trendy practices like meditation and reincarnation. And I'm totally behind gay rights and shared restrooms and tolerance. Real big on tolerance." The Dalai Lama released the first of what he promised to be monthly videos. Critics panned the first video, however calling it "boring," "cheesy," and "what the Hell is this even about?"
- EUROPE (Just About Any Day) -- A White Asian man killed some people while yelling something. Experts declare he is mentally ill, "possibly bipolar or agoraphobic or something." The leaders of the country warned against any backlash against Asians. The Dalai Lama quickly issued a statement urging everyone to be nice. Authorities continue to search for a motive, but say there probably is not one. "Who knows why crazy people do things like this?" Many are calling for the banning of guns/bombs/knives/swords/cars/hate/mental illness. The Dalai Lama issued a second statement, saying, "Yes, ban all those things. And pass laws making stories about Pope Francis illegal."
Feel free to add your own stories if you think the Bear missed something. Again, he may have gotten some of the details wrong, but these are an accurate impression based on stories the Bear has glanced at.
Site: RT - NewsAustralia should not have to choose between China and the US, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said during an official visit by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.
Read Full Article at RT.com
Site: RT - NewsDoctors in Yemen have reported an increase in children born with deformities as a result of the two-year war that has left the country on the brink of famine.
Read Full Article at RT.com
Site: What Is Up With The Synod?
That post two down from this wasn’t actually a donation bleg, but there’s been a little wave from you all, so thanks for the little wave anyway.
I won’t go into details of everything that’s been going on in the last few weeks because though it seems important and interesting to me I’m sure it would be a howling bore to anyone else. But suffice to say that running around Italy on trains and staying in hotels, even in low season, hasn’t been cheap. The loss of my phone was a blow, and I’ve been too annoyed to go and get another one, but a friend has given me his loaner-phone for now, so it’s OK.
But anyway, thanks. It really does mean a lot that you guys are all out there, (even when I’m not really holding my end up so well) and it kind of makes all this feel a lot less futile and hopeless. At least we can all feel futile and hopeless together, right?
I actually sort of got a weird, backwards confirmation that I’m going the right direction with the life-stuff. One of the monks emailed me to say that there is an “agibile” flat in Norcia that’s available through a friend of the monastery, three beds, full bath and 500/month. But I got the email a couple of days after I’d gone up to sign the lease on the new place in Perugia. And when I learned that I’d missed this chance to move back home I was surprised to find I wasn’t in agony over it. I just wrote back:
Well, I’ve had a day or so to think about it, and I kind of think that this info coming as it did a few days after I signed for a year at the new place in Perugia, and paid a month’s rent, sort of seems like a sign from God, if that makes sense. Kind of confirmation that I’m going the right direction.
I think it’s going to be a good idea to go and take the Italian course, and get a driver’s license, get to know the Perugia Traddies (they’ve got weekly lectures!) make some more contacts, and do other things like this to build up a bit more of a foundation in this country. Kind of stop living like a refugee, ready to run in a moment. Stop hiding, I guess.
Might even get an Italian bank account! (Yeah, let’s not get crazy, eh?)
Really, everyone figures that Norcia hasn’t even started digging out yet.
[This was this week. It is the first time we’ve seen inside the crypt (or what’s left of it) and the “scavi” chapel we were using after the August quake. It was extremely weird to see the chair I always sat in, still in the exact spot I left it. Br. Anthony had told me the crypt had been totally destroyed, mainly because the bell tower and the upper church had collapsed straight on top of it, with everything just going right through the ceiling. But knowing and seeing were quite different. Those who have visited will remember this beautiful and valuable silver Baroque statue of St. Benedict that was in the alcove in the stairwell, opposite the little space where we had our creche at Christmas.]
They spent the very difficult winter just battening down the hatches inside the walls – covering stuff with giant tarps and building wooden scaffolding – and getting basic shelter constructed so people can stop living half outdoors. The huge task of assessing and cataloguing and figuring out what’s going to be rebuilt and how, hasn’t started. It’s still only barely spring up there until the end of March. (And Dear Lord, in your mercy, please no super-wet spring this year?) And all the work that needs doing is going to be outdoor work. So this is going to be a busy season.
And I think the Nursini in general are in similar condition to me. We’re all only just now getting things together, finding homes for the long term, figuring out what to do next. So, I think a year is a sensible amount of time to go be thinking and working on all this.
So, anyway, thanks again. And hey, I posted a thing! Kind of a lazy cop-out sort of thing, but a thing nonetheless! I always feel guilty when people donate and I haven’t been producing.
Site: Live Action News
During confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) questioned Gorsuch on his views about abortion and euthanasia. Newsbusters points out that in her questioning, she referred to a book he had written, saying, “I will refer to the part of the book that concerns a lot of people who believe in the woman’s right to choose. ‘Human life is fundamentally and inherently valuable and the taking of life by private persons is always wrong.’”
Feinstein may have believed this was part of a ‘gotcha’ question for Gorsuch, but in truth, it may have revealed something Feinstein didn’t intend.
What Feinstein is saying here is that Gorsuch’s statements about “human life” being “valuable” are concerning to abortion advocates. She is also expressing concern about his belief that “the taking of life by private persons is always wrong.”
But why should this be? Why should there be any concern from abortion advocates with regard to these statements? After all, they tell us that what’s growing in the womb isn’t really human life, ignoring all science to the contrary — science like this:
1. The preborn child, from the moment of fertilization, has his or her own DNA, distinct from the mother’s and father’s.
Distinct DNA means a distinct life. As Live Action News’ Kristi Burton Brown stated, “Countless medical textbooks – from various science specialties – agree. From the very first moment, a human being is a human being.”
2. The preborn child’s heart begins to beat at around 18-21 days post-fertilization.
However, a new study puts this milestone even earlier, writes Live Action News’ Susan Michelle-Hanson: “… [A] baby’s first heartbeat may occur as early as 16 days after conception, rather than the three weeks previously thought.”
3. By just eight weeks post-fertilization (the beginning of the fetal stage), all major organ systems have been formed.
This means that the “[s]tomach produces digestive juices. Liver makes blood cells. Kidneys begin to function. Taste buds are forming.” Remember, this is still in the first trimester of pregnancy, when most abortions take place.
To anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of fetal development, statements like “it’s not a baby at this stage,” “no, it doesn’t really look like a baby (at 23 weeks),” and “it’s not a person” seem to leave the realm of ignorance and venture into the realm of outright lies.
I could go on, but Live Action News’ Sarah Terzo has a great summary on the science about preborn life:
By a mere 22 days after conception a preborn baby has a heartbeat. You can see the heart of a four-and-a-half-week-old preborn baby here. By 60 days, the baby has brainwaves. By seven weeks, she has developed arms and legs and she can have the hiccups. She can also move her arms and legs. By eight weeks, she is fully formed and is already showing right or left hand dominance. The eight-week-old embryo also responds to touch. By nine weeks, she can grasp an object, stretch, open her mouth, roll over in the womb, and move her tongue. Her kidneys are producing urine, she makes breathing motions, and most of her organ systems are present — including, in a female preborn baby, a uterus and ovaries of her own.
All this being said, Senator Feinstein and her cohorts don’t believe any of this science really means anything at all. And they certainly don’t believe these facts lead to the conclusion that women shouldn’t be able to legally kill their preborn children. Sen. Feinstein and friends apparently find the idea that “human life is fundamentally and inherently valuable” to be a threat to their way of thinking.
And in admitting they feel threatened by this idea, they inadvertently admit that abortion takes human life.
The post Did Senator Dianne Feinstein accidentally admit that abortion takes human life? appeared first on Live Action News.
Site: Live Action News
At just 22 weeks gestation, Louise Adams was devastated when her water broke. Doctors told Adams and her husband Jakk that there was only a 5 percent chance that their preborn son would survive after birth. To make matters worse, doctors also dropped the bombshell that there was nothing they could or would do to save him.
However, Adams got to work researching and found a way she thought might be able to save her baby.
“All they could do is monitor me in hospital waiting for the inevitable miscarriage, which they said would happen in days,” Adams told The Daily Mail. “But I could feel Joseph kicking. I couldn’t just sit around doing nothing to save him.”
What Adams learned is that women in other countries, including the United States, were able to help their preborn children after their water broke too soon by drinking an excessive amount of water. When the mother drinks more water, her baby is also drinking more water and as a result, urinating more frequently, creating amniotic fluid. After six days in the hospital, Adams was sent home where she began to constantly sip water, hoping to make it to 24 weeks gestation when doctors would be more willing to help her son if he were born too soon.
“I shut myself off from the world,” she explained. “It wasn’t easy but I drank around seven pints a day.”
Adams also drank cranberry juice and ate raw cloves of garlic in an attempt to ward off an infection that is common after a woman’s water breaks.
Doctors were skeptical and provided very little hope because there was and is no research to back up Adams’ plan. In addition, drinking too much water too quickly can cause water intoxication and death. However, baby Joseph continued to grow and live in the womb for another 13 weeks. He was born healthy, weighing five pounds, 10 ounces.
“Getting past 24 weeks was the first hurdle as I knew at that point he at least had some chance of survival if born then. Doctors finally gave me steroids to mature Joseph’s lungs and antibiotics to prevent infection,” she said. “When we heard him crying his eyes out, we were overjoyed. He was absolutely perfect and did so well, he came home after just a week.”
The post Mom went to drastic measures to save her preborn baby boy… and it worked appeared first on Live Action News.
Site: Regina Magazine
March 24 Today is the feast day of Saint Gabriel, the Archangel. Ora pro nobis. Saint Gabriel rightly bears the beautiful name, the strength of God, manifesting in every apparition the power and glory of the Eternal. According to some of the Fathers of the Church, it was Saint Gabriel, Angel of the Incarnation, who invited the shepherds of Bethlehem to come to the Crib to adore the newborn God. He was with Jesus in His Agony, no less ready to be the strength of God in the Garden than at Nazareth and Bethlehem. Throughout Christian tradition he is the Angel of the Incarnation, the Angel of consolation, the Angel of mercy. (5) by Fr. Francis Xavier Weninger, 1877 That bright spirit, whom the Almighty charged with the saving message of the Incarnation of the Son of God, is called the Archangel Gabriel. His first embassy was to the prophet, Daniel. Whilst this Saint was communing with God in prayer the Archangel Gabriel appeared to him, and announced to him the epoch in which the long-expected Messiah would come into the world. These are the words of the Heavenly Spirit: “From the beginning of thy prayers, the word came ...
Site: Fr. Z's Blog
The nickname Laetare originated from the first word of the Introit chant for Sunday’s Mass, “Rejoice!”
On Laetare Sunday there is a slight relaxation of Lent’s penitential spirit, because we have a glimpse of the joy that is coming at Easter, now near at hand.
The custom of using rose (rosacea) vestments is tied to the Station churches in Rome. The Station for Laetare Sunday is the Basilica of the Holy Cross of Jerusalem where the relics of Cross and Passion brought from the Holy Land by St. Helena (+c. 329), mother of the Emperor Constantine (+337), were deposited. It was the custom on this day for Popes to bless roses made of gold, some amazingly elaborate and bejeweled, which were to be sent to Catholic kings, queens and other notables. The biblical reference is Christ as the “flower” sprung forth from the root of Jesse (Is 11:1 – in the Vulgate flos “flower” and RSV “branch”). Thus Laetare was also called Dominica de rosa…. Sunday of the Rose. It didn’t take a lot of imagination to develop rose colored vestments from this. Remember, the color of the vestments is called rosacea, not pink (especially not baby-rattle pink). This Roman custom spread by means of the Roman Missal to the whole of the world.
Our Collect is a new composition for the 1970MR and subsequent editions of the Novus Ordo based on a prayer in the Gelasian Sacramentary and a section of a sermon by St. Pope Leo I, the Great (+461). There is some similarity between this Collect with those of Advent. On the 2nd Sunday of Advent, we heard: in tui occursum Filii festinantes… “those hurrying to meet your Son.” On the 3rd Sunday (this Sunday’s fraternal twin Gaudete, the only other day for rose vestments) we heard: votis sollemnibus alacri laetitia celebrare…”, to celebrate…with eager jubilation by means of solemn offerings.”
There is rosy anticipation in today’s Collect just as there was in Advent.
Without further delay, here is the beautiful Latin followed by the current ICEL version, the atrocious but happily obsolete ICEL version, and then… a couple of surprises!
Deus, qui per Verbum tuum
humani generis reconciliationem mirabiliter operaris,
praesta, quaesumus, ut populus christianus
prompta devotione et alacri fide
ad ventura sollemnia valeat festinare.
Sollemnia is the neuter plural of the adjective sollemnis meaning “yearly”, that which is established to be done each year. In religious contexts, it comes out as “religious, festive”. As a substantive, it is “a religious or solemn rite, ceremony, feast, sacrifice, solemn games, a festival, solemnity”. Sollemne, the neuter noun, is also, “usage, custom, practice”. In legal contexts, it can be “formality”. In later, Christian Latin words related to sollemnis came to indicate the celebration of the Eucharist. Alacer is “lively, brisk, quick, eager, active; glad, happy, cheerful”. Promptus, a, um is from the verb promo. Promptus indicates, “brought to light, exposed to view” and by extension “at hand, i. e. prepared, ready, quick, prompt, inclined or disposed to or for any thing.”
O God, who by Your Word
wondrously effect the reconciliation of the human race,
grant, we beg, that the Christian people
may be able to hasten toward the upcoming solemnities
with ready devotion and eager faith.
CURRENT ICEL (2011):
O God, who through your Word
reconcile the human race to yourself in a wonderful way,
grant, we pray,
that with prompt devotion and eager faith
the Christian people may hasten
toward the solemn celebrations to come.
Note the marvelous parings of alacer fides and prompta devotio … “eager faith” and “ready devotion”. We know that fides “faith” can refer to the supernatural virtue which is given to us in baptism and also to the content of what we believe. This content must be understood as both the things we can learn and memorize with love, but more importantly the divine Person whom we must learn and contemplate with love.
There is a faith by which we believe, the virtue God gives us, and a faith in which we believe, the content of the Faith.
On the other hand, whereas fides is a supernatural virtue, devotio is an “active” virtue according to St. Thomas Aquinas in the Summa Theologica. The Angelic Doctor wrote:
“The intrinsic or human cause of devotion is contemplation or meditation. Devotion is an act of the will by which a man promptly gives himself to the service of God. Every act of the will proceeds from some consideration of the intellect, since the object of the will is a known good; or as Augustine says, willing proceeds from understanding. Consequently, meditation is the cause of devotion since through meditation man conceives the idea of giving himself to the service of God” (STh II-II 82, 3).
The Jesuit preacher Louis Bourdaloue (1632-1704) underscored devotion as especially “a devotion to duty”. What we do, including our “devotions”, must help us keep the commandments of God and stick to the duties of one’s state in life before all else. There is an interplay between our devotions and our devotion.
Each of us has a state in life, a God-given vocation we are duty bound to follow.
We must be devoted to that state in life, and the duties that come with it, as they are in the here and now.
That “here and now” is important. We must not focus on the state we had once upon a time, or wish we had, or should have had, or might have someday: those are unreal and misleading fantasies that distract us from reality and God’s will. If we are truly devoted and devout (in the sense of the active virtue) to fulfilling the duties of our state as it truly is here and now, then God will give us every actual grace we need to fulfill our vocation. Why can we boldly depend on God to help us? If we are fulfilling the duties of our state of life, then we are also fulfilling our proper roles in His great plan, His design from before the creation of the universe. God is therefore sure to help us. And if we are devoted to our state as it truly is, then God can also guide us to a new vocation when and if that is His will for us. Faithful in what we must do here and now, we will be open to something God wants us to do later.
This attachment to reality and sense of dutiful obedience through the active virtue devotio is a necessary part of religion in keeping with the biblical principle in 1 John 2:3-5:
“And by this we may be sure that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says ‘I know Him’ but disobeys His commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps his word, in him truly love for God is perfected. By this we may be sure that we are in Him: he who says he bides in Him ought to walk in the same way in which He walked.”
OBSOLETE ICEL (1973):
Father of peace,
we are joyful in your Word,
your Son Jesus Christ,
who reconciles us to you.
Let us hasten toward Easter
with the eagerness of faith and love.
This makes you want to pound your head against the table.
What would happen if we translated the ICELese back into Latin? If the ICEL were accurate, you might expect some similarities, right?
WARNING: Do not attempt this at home. Spiritual harm and damage to property can be caused by thinking about these ICEL versions. Leave this sort of thing to trained professionals and people with tough foreheads.
LATIN REVERSION of the OBSOLETE ICEL:
in tuo Verbo, Iesu Christo filio tuo,
qui nos tibi reconciliat, laetamur.
Fidei studio et amoris
ad diem Paschalis festinemus.
So, just for kicks we can see how the Google translates the Latin original.
GOOGLE TRANSLATOR MACHINE VERSION:
O God, who by your word
reconciliation of the human race dost wonderfully,
grant, we beseech Thee, that the Christian people
with ready devotion and eager faith
the formalities to come to the be able to hurry up.
Oookaayyy… ‘nuf said about that.
And there are some in the church today who want to revise the norms for liturgical translation. Talk about wanting to “turn back the clock”! The irony would be laughable if the stakes weren’t so high.