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  1. Site: Fr Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment
    0 sec ago
    Since the Council, an idea has been spreading that Judaism is not superseded by the New Covenant of Jesus Christ; that Jews still have available to them the Covenant of the old Law, by which they can be saved.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://www.blogger.com/profile/17766211573399409633noreply@blogger.com11
  2. Site: Fr Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment
    0 sec ago
    S 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://www.blogger.com/profile/17766211573399409633noreply@blogger.com3
  3. Site: Fr Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment
    0 sec ago
    Lex 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://www.blogger.com/profile/17766211573399409633noreply@blogger.com13
  4. Site: Fr Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment
    0 sec ago
    We 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://www.blogger.com/profile/17766211573399409633noreply@blogger.com7
  5. Site: Fr Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment
    0 sec ago
    The 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://www.blogger.com/profile/17766211573399409633noreply@blogger.com0
  6. Site: Fr Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment
    0 sec ago
    In 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://www.blogger.com/profile/17766211573399409633noreply@blogger.com10
  7. Site: Steyn Online
    0 sec ago
    We're honored to present a brand new live-performance edition, with a very brooding ballad from 12-time Grammy winner Cheryl Bentyne:
  8. Site: ABYSSUS ABYSSUM INVOCAT / DEEP CALLS TO DEEP
    2 hours 16 min ago
    Author: abyssum
    If Francis Should Resign, What Then?

    William Kilpatrick

    THE CATHOLIC THING

    SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2019

    Note: The pope’s appointment of controversial Cardinal Kevin Farrell as the new camerlengo – the man responsible for administering the Vatican in the event of the pope’s death or resignation – raises questions about the future of the Church once Francis is no longer pope. The following article discusses some of the possibilities.

    After providing evidence for the existence of widespread corruption in the hierarchy – corruption that, he claims, Pope Francis knew about and enabled – Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò called on Pope Francis to resign:  “He must acknowledge his mistake and. . .must be the first to set a good example for cardinals and bishops who covered up McCarrick’s abuses and resign along with all of them.”

    Without getting into the thorny question of whether or not popes should resign, it’s worth considering some of the scenarios if Francis did choose to resign.  At this point, it seems unlikely that he will, but if more revelations accumulate he might change his mind.

    If Pope Francis did resign, much would depend on the manner of his resignation.  The reasons he gives for resigning will help determine the direction that the Church takes after he steps down.  If the pontiff fails to “acknowledge his mistake,” and simply claims age and failing health as an excuse, then there will be no resolution and no indication that the next pope should take the Church in a different direction.

    Francis could also choose to continue to present himself as a victim of the “Great Accuser.” Like Christ before Pilate, he will make no answer to his accusers. But in order to lift the cloud of doubt raised by “reckless” accusations, he will consent to step aside for the good of the Church.  In short, Francis might decide to present himself as a martyr for the Church, thus likely ensuring that the man elected to succeed him will be someone who will carry on the “martyr’s” mission.

    Or suppose, on the other hand, that the pope does admit his errors, and has a complete conversion of heart of the type that Viganò is calling for.  He then steps down on the grounds that he is unworthy to lead the Church.

    Problem solved?  Not quite.  This is an improvement over the other two scenarios, but it still leaves unresolved the question of what kind of person would succeed Francis as pope.

    This is why Viganò calls not only for the pope’s resignation, but also for the resignation of “all of them” – that is, all the “cardinals and bishops who covered up Mc Carrick’s abuses.”  It’s not clear whether he is referring only to American bishops and cardinals or whether he also includes “a network of bishops promoting homosexuality who, exploiting their favor with Pope Francis, manipulated episcopal appointments so as to protect themselves from justice and to strengthen the homosexual network in the hierarchy.” [Viganò’s third testimony].  That “network of bishops” would include a number of Latin American and European bishops and cardinals several of whom are named in his first testimony.

    *

    The reason that the resignation of the pope alone is not sufficient to bring about reform is that, as things stand now, the election of the next pope will be largely in the hands of cardinals created by Francis. Of the cardinal electors, 59 have been appointed by Francis, 47 by Pope Benedict XVI and 19 by Pope John Paul II.  And those appointed by Benedict and John Paul are quite probably near the cut-off age for voting.

    Moreover, if Fr. James Martin is to be believed, Pope Francis has purposely “appointed gay-friendly bishops and archbishops and cardinals.”   Like Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Pope Francis seems to choose his “team” with an eye toward ideological conformity

    The presence of so many Francis appointees in the College of Cardinals puts a crimp in another scenario. Some Catholics who have given up on the hope that Francis will seriously tackle the abuse crisis, think that all that is necessary is to wait him out.  They reason that he is getting along in years, and is unlikely to reign much longer.  But this too ignores the fact that Francis has already stacked the College of Cardinals with prelates who are made in his own image, and who are therefore likely to elect someone like him.

    Of course, that’s not inevitable.  Pope Francis is not the most liberal Catholic prelate in the world, but he leans further to the left than most.  Many, if not most, of the cardinals Francis has appointed are in all probability more moderate than he is.  And while they might be reluctant to speak their minds in public about whatever dissatisfactions they may have, they will be less afraid to express themselves in a secret ballot.

    Still, one shouldn’t bet too heavily that enough cardinals will do the right thing at the next conclave without a good deal of prompting.  One particularly powerful prompt is the threat of removal from office.  Although resignations are not in the power of the laity to demand, the laity should make it clear that, in some cases, resignations are what they expect.

    Forced resignations are not the only solution to the abuse crisis, but they are a key part of the solution.  Justice must be seen to be done.  And removal from office provides a visible sign that something is being done.  Justice demands that scandalous behavior should be met with serious public consequences. Requiring offenders to step down would clearly show that the Church understands the gravity of the crimes and is taking concrete action.  Two dozen key resignations accompanied by penance would do more to clear the air than 200 hours of conferences or 2,000 pages of documents.

    Without removal from office or even – as some have suggested – excommunication, talk of reform and adoption of new protocols will strike many as nothing but window dressing.  If badly compromised cardinals and bishops remain on the scene, it will be taken as a signal that no real reform is intended.

    Forced resignations are the most efficient and permanent way of removing some very bad actors from powerful positions.  An added and obvious benefit is that it also removes their ability to vote in the next conclave.

    *Image: The Mystic Marriage of Saint Catherine; Saint Celestine V Renouncing the Papacy; Saint Catherine Touched by Divine Love by Nicolas Bernard Lépicié, c. 1780 [The Met, New York]

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    © 2019 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: info@frinstitute.orgThe Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.

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    TWELVE VALID CARDINALS, i.e. CARDINALS APPOINTED BY POPES BENEDICT XVI AND SAINT JOHN PAUL II, MUST ACT SOON TO REMOVE FRANCIS THE MERCIFUL FROM THE THRONE OF SAINT PETER BEFORE HE DAMAGES THE INSTITUTIONAL CHURCH EVEN MORE THAN HE HAS ALREADY DAMAGED IT. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++AN OPEN LETTER TO THE CARDINALS OF THE HOLY ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH AND OTHER CATHOLIC CHRISTIAN FAITHFUL IN COMMUNION WITH THE APOSTOLIC SEE Recently many educated Catholic observers, including bishops and priests, have decried the confusion in doctrinal statements about faith or morals made from the Apostolic See at Rome and by the putative Bishop of Rome, Pope Francis. Some devout, faithful and thoughtful Catholics have even suggested that he be set aside as a heretic, a dangerous purveyor of error, as recently mentioned in a number of reports. Claiming heresy on the part of a man who is a supposed Pope, charging material error in statements about faith or morals by a putative Roman Pontiff, suggests and presents an intervening prior question about his authenticity in that August office of Successor of Peter as Chief of The Apostles, i.e., was this man the subject of a valid election by an authentic Conclave of The Holy Roman Church? This is so because each Successor of Saint Peter enjoys the Gift of Infallibility. So, before one even begins to talk about excommunicating such a prelate, one must logically examine whether this person exhibits the uniformly good and safe fruit of Infallibility. If he seems repeatedly to engage in material error, that first raises the question of the validity of his election because one expects an authentically-elected Roman Pontiff miraculously and uniformly to be entirely incapable of stating error in matters of faith or morals. So to what do we look to discern the invalidity of such an election? His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, within His massive legacy to the Church and to the World, left us with the answer to this question. The Catholic faithful must look back for an answer to a point from where we have come—to what occurred in and around the Sistine Chapel in March 2013 and how the fruits of those events have generated such widespread concern among those people of magisterial orthodoxy about confusing and, or, erroneous doctrinal statements which emanate from The Holy See. His Apostolic Constitution (Universi Dominici Gregis) which governed the supposed Conclave in March 2013 contains quite clear and specific language about the invalidating effect of departures from its norms. For example, Paragraph 76 states: “Should the election take place in a way other than that prescribed in the present Constitution, or should the conditions laid down here not be observed, the election is for this very reason null and void, without any need for a declaration on the matter; consequently, it confers no right on the one elected.” From this, many believe that there is probable cause to believe that Monsignor Jorge Mario Bergoglio was never validly elected as the Bishop of Rome and Successor of Saint Peter—he never rightly took over the office of Supreme Pontiff of the Holy Roman Catholic Church and therefore he does not enjoy the charism of Infallibility. If this is true, then the situation is dire because supposed papal acts may not be valid or such acts are clearly invalid, including supposed appointments to the college of electors itself. Only valid cardinals can rectify our critical situation through privately (secretly) recognizing the reality of an ongoing interregnum and preparing for an opportunity to put the process aright by obedience to the legislation of His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, in that Apostolic Constitution, Universi Dominici Gregis. While thousands of the Catholic faithful do understand that only the cardinals who participated in the events of March 2013 within the Sistine Chapel have all the information necessary to evaluate the issue of election validity, there was public evidence sufficient for astute lay faithful to surmise with moral certainty that the March 2013 action by the College was an invalid conclave, an utter nullity. What makes this understanding of Universi Dominici Gregisparticularly cogent and plausible is the clear Promulgation Clause at the end of this Apostolic Constitution and its usage of the word “scienter” (“knowingly”). The Papal Constitution Universi Dominici Gregis thus concludes definitively with these words: “. . . knowingly or unknowingly, in any way contrary to this Constitution.” (“. . . scienter vel inscienter contra hanc Constitutionem fuerint excogitata.”) [Note that His Holiness, Pope Paul VI, had a somewhat similar promulgation clause at the end of his corresponding, now abrogated, Apostolic Constitution, Romano Pontifici Eligendo, but his does not use “scienter”, but rather uses “sciens” instead. This similar term of sciens in the earlier abrogated Constitution has an entirely different legal significance than scienter.] This word, “scienter”, is a legal term of art in Roman law, and in canon law, and in Anglo-American common law, and in each system, scienter has substantially the same significance, i.e., “guilty knowledge” or willfully knowing, criminal intent. Thus, it clearly appears that Pope John Paul II anticipated the possibility of criminal activity in the nature of a sacrilege against a process which He intended to be purely pious, private, sacramental, secret and deeply spiritual, if not miraculous, in its nature. This contextual reality reinforced in the Promulgation Clause, combined with: (1) the tenor of the whole document; (2) some other provisions of the document, e.g., Paragraph 76; (3) general provisions of canon law relating to interpretation, e.g., Canons 10 & 17; and, (4) the obvious manifest intention of the Legislator, His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, tends to establish beyond a reasonable doubt the legal conclusion that Monsignor Bergoglio was never validly elected Roman Pontiff. This is so because:1. Communication of any kind with the outside world, e.g., communication did occur between the inside of the Sistine Chapel and anyone outside, including a television audience, before, during or even immediately after the Conclave;2. Any political commitment to “a candidate” and any “course of action” planned for The Church or a future pontificate, such as the extensive decade-long “pastoral” plans conceived by the Sankt Gallen hierarchs; and,3. Any departure from the required procedures of the conclave voting process as prescribed and known by a cardinal to have occurred:each was made an invalidating act, and if scienter (guilty knowledge) was present, also even a crime on the part of any cardinal or other actor, but, whether criminal or not, any such act or conduct violating the norms operated absolutely, definitively and entirely against the validity of all of the supposed Conclave proceedings. Quite apart from the apparent notorious violations of the prohibition on a cardinal promising his vote, e.g., commitments given and obtained by cardinals associated with the so-called “Sankt Gallen Mafia,” other acts destructive of conclave validity occurred. Keeping in mind that Pope John Paul II specifically focused Universi Dominici Gregis on “the seclusion and resulting concentration which an act so vital to the whole Church requires of the electors” such that “the electors can more easily dispose themselves to accept the interior movements of the Holy Spirit,” even certain openly public media broadcasting breached this seclusion by electronic broadcasts outlawed by Universi Dominici Gregis. These prohibitions include direct declarative statements outlawing any use of television before, during or after a conclave in any area associated with the proceedings, e.g.: “I further confirm, by my apostolic authority, the duty of maintaining the strictest secrecy with regard to everything that directly or indirectly concerns the election process itself.” Viewed in light of this introductory preambulary language of Universi Dominici Gregis and in light of the legislative text itself, even the EWTN camera situated far inside the Sistine Chapel was an immediately obvious non-compliant act which became an open and notorious invalidating violation by the time when this audio-visual equipment was used to broadcast to the world the preaching after the “Extra Omnes”. While these blatant public violations of Chapter IV of Universi Dominici Gregis actuate the invalidity and nullity of the proceedings themselves, nonetheless in His great wisdom, the Legislator did not disqualify automatically those cardinals who failed to recognize these particular offenses against sacred secrecy, or even those who, with scienter, having recognized the offenses and having had some power or voice in these matters, failed or refused to act or to object against them: “Should any infraction whatsoever of this norm occur and be discovered, those responsible should know that they will be subject to grave penalties according to the judgment of the future Pope.” [Universi Dominici Gregis, ¶55] No Pope apparently having been produced in March 2013, those otherwise valid cardinals who failed with scienter to act on violations of Chapter IV, on that account alone would nonetheless remain voting members of the College unless and until a new real Pope is elected and adjudges them. Thus, those otherwise valid cardinals who may have been compromised by violations of secrecy can still participate validly in the “clean-up of the mess” while addressing any such secrecy violations with an eventual new Pontiff. In contrast, the automatic excommunication of those who politicized the sacred conclave process, by obtaining illegally, commitments from cardinals to vote for a particular man, or to follow a certain course of action (even long before the vacancy of the Chair of Peter as Vicar of Christ), is established not only by the word, “scienter,” in the final enacting clause, but by a specific exception, in this case, to the general statement of invalidity which therefore reinforces the clarity of intention by Legislator that those who apply the law must interpret the general rule as truly binding. Derived directly from Roman law, canonical jurisprudence provides this principle for construing or interpreting legislation such as this Constitution, Universi Dominici Gregis. Expressed in Latin, this canon of interpretation is: “Exceptio probat regulam in casibus non exceptis.” (The exception proves the rule in cases not excepted.) In this case, an exception from invalidity for acts of simony reinforces the binding force of the general principle of nullity in cases of other violations. Therefore, by exclusion from nullity and invalidity legislated in the case of simony: “If — God forbid — in the election of the Roman Pontiff the crime of simony were to be perpetrated, I decree and declare that all those guilty thereof shall incur excommunication latae sententiae. At the same time I remove the nullity or invalidity of the same simoniacal provision, in order that — as was already established by my Predecessors — the validity of the election of the Roman Pontiff may not for this reason be challenged.” His Holiness made an exception for simony. Exceptio probat regulam in casibus non exceptis. The clear exception from nullity and invalidity for simony proves the general rule that other violations of the sacred process certainly do and did result in the nullity and invalidity of the entire conclave. Comparing what Pope John Paul II wrote in His Constitution on conclaves with the Constitution which His replaced, you can see that, with the exception of simony, invalidity became universal. In the corresponding paragraph of what Pope Paul VI wrote, he specifically confined the provision declaring conclave invalidity to three (3) circumstances described in previous paragraphs within His constitution, Romano Pontfici Eligendo. No such limitation exists in Universi Dominici Gregis. See the comparison both in English and Latin below:Romano Pontfici Eligendo, 77. Should the election be conducted in a manner different from the three procedures described above (cf. no. 63 ff.) or without the conditions laid down for each of the same, it is for this very reason null and void (cf. no. 62), without the need for any declaration, and gives no right to him who has been thus elected. [Romano Pontfici Eligendo, 77: “Quodsi electio aliter celebrata fuerit, quam uno e tribus modis, qui supra sunt dicti (cfr. nn. 63 sqq.), aut non servatis condicionibus pro unoquoque illorum praescriptis, electio eo ipso est nulla et invalida (cfr. n. 62) absque ulla declaratione, et ita electo nullum ius tribuit .”] as compared with:Universi Dominici Gregis, 76: “Should the election take place in a way other than that prescribed in the present Constitution, or should the conditions laid down here not be observed, the election is for this very reason null and void, without any need for a declaration on the matter; consequently, it confers no right on the one elected.” [Universi Dominici Gregis, 76: “Quodsi electio aliter celebrata fuerit, quam haec Constitutio statuit, aut non servatis condicionibus pariter hic praescriptis, electio eo ipso est nulla et invalida absque ulla declaratione, ideoque electo nullum ius tribuit.”]Of course, this is not the only feature of the Constitution or aspect of the matter which tends to establish the breadth of invalidity. Faithful must hope and pray that only those cardinals whose status as a valid member of the College remains intact will ascertain the identity of each other and move with the utmost charity and discretion in order to effectuate The Divine Will in these matters. The valid cardinals, then, must act according to that clear, manifest, obvious and unambiguous mind and intention of His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, so evident in Universi Dominici Gregis, a law which finally established binding and self-actuating conditions of validity on the College for any papal conclave, a reality now made so apparent by the bad fruit of doctrinal confusion and plain error. It would seem then that praying and working in a discreet and prudent manner to encourage only those true cardinals inclined to accept a reality of conclave invalidity, would be a most charitable and logical course of action in the light of Universi Dominici Gregis, and out of our high personal regard for the clear and obvious intention of its Legislator, His Holiness, Pope John Paul II. Even a relatively small number of valid cardinals could act decisively and work to restore a functioning Apostolic See through the declaration of an interregnum government. The need is clear for the College to convene a General Congregation in order to declare, to administer, and soon to end the Interregnum which has persisted since March 2013. Finally, it is important to understand that the sheer number of putative counterfeit cardinals will eventually, sooner or later, result in a situation in which The Church will have no normal means validly ever again to elect a Vicar of Christ. After that time, it will become even more difficult, if not humanly impossible, for the College of Cardinals to rectify the current disastrous situation and conduct a proper and valid Conclave such that The Church may once again both have the benefit of a real Supreme Pontiff, and enjoy the great gift of a truly infallible Vicar of Christ. It seems that some good cardinals know that the conclave was invalid, but really cannot envision what to do about it; we must pray, if it is the Will of God, that they see declaring the invalidity and administering an Interregnum through a new valid conclave is what they must do. Without such action or without a great miracle, The Church is in a perilous situation. Once the last validly appointed cardinal reaches age 80, or before that age, dies, the process for electing a real Pope ends with no apparent legal means to replace it. Absent a miracle then, The Church would no longer have an infallible Successor of Peter and Vicar of Christ. Roman Catholics would be no different that Orthodox Christians. In this regard, all of the true cardinals may wish to consider what Holy Mother Church teaches in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, ¶675, ¶676 and ¶677 about “The Church’s Ultimate Trial”. But, the fact that “The Church . . . will follow her Lord in his death and Resurrection” does not justify inaction by the good cardinals, even if there are only a minimal number sufficient to carry out Chapter II of Universi Dominici Gregis and operate the Interregnum. This Apostolic Constitution, Universi Dominici Gregis, which was clearly applicable to the acts and conduct of the College of Cardinals in March 2013, is manifestly and obviously among those “invalidating” laws “which expressly establish that an act is null or that a person is effected” as stated in Canon 10 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law. And, there is nothing remotely “doubtful or obscure” (Canon 17) about this Apostolic Constitution as clearly promulgated by Pope John Paul II. The tenor of the whole document expressly establishes that the issue of invalidity was always at stake. This Apostolic Constitution conclusively establishes, through its Promulgation Clause [which makes “anything done (i.e., any act or conduct) by any person . . . in any way contrary to this Constitution,”] the invalidity of the entire supposed Conclave, rendering it “completely null and void”. So, what happens if a group of Cardinals who undoubtedly did not knowingly and wilfully initiate or intentionally participate in any acts of disobedience against Universi Dominici Gregis were to meet, confer and declare that, pursuant to Universi Dominici Gregis, Monsignor Bergoglio is most certainly not a valid Roman Pontiff. Like any action on this matter, including the initial finding of invalidity, that would be left to the valid members of the college of cardinals. They could declare the Chair of Peter vacant and proceed to a new and proper conclave. They could meet with His Holiness, Benedict XVI, and discern whether His resignation and retirement was made under duress, or based on some mistake or fraud, or otherwise not done in a legally effective manner, which could invalidate that resignation. Given the demeanor of His Holiness, Benedict XVI, and the tenor of His few public statements since his departure from the Chair of Peter, this recognition of validity in Benedict XVI seems unlikely. In fact, even before a righteous group of good and authentic cardinals might decide on the validity of the March 2013 supposed conclave, they must face what may be an even more complicated discernment and decide which men are most likely not valid cardinals. If a man was made a cardinal by the supposed Pope who is, in fact, not a Pope (but merely Monsignor Bergoglio), no such man is in reality a true member of the College of Cardinals. In addition, those men appointed by Pope John Paul II or by Pope Benedict XVI as cardinals, but who openly violated Universi Dominici Gregis by illegal acts or conduct causing the invalidation of the last attempted conclave, would no longer have voting rights in the College of Cardinals either. (Thus, the actual valid members in the College of Cardinals may be quite smaller in number than those on the current official Vatican list of supposed cardinals.) In any event, the entire problem is above the level of anyone else in Holy Mother Church who is below the rank of Cardinal. So, we must pray that The Divine Will of The Most Holy Trinity, through the intercession of Our Lady as Mediatrix of All Graces and Saint Michael, Prince of Mercy, very soon rectifies the confusion in Holy Mother Church through action by those valid Cardinals who still comprise an authentic College of Electors. Only certainly valid Cardinals can address the open and notorious evidence which points to the probable invalidity of the last supposed conclave and only those cardinals can definitively answer the questions posed here. May only the good Cardinals unite and if they recognize an ongoing Interregnum, albeit dormant, may they end this Interregnum by activating perfectly a functioning Interregnum government of The Holy See and a renewed process for a true Conclave, one which is purely pious, private, sacramental, secret and deeply spiritual. If we do not have a real Pontiff, then may the good Cardinals, doing their appointed work “in view of the sacredness of the act of election” “accept the interior movements of the Holy Spirit” and provide Holy Mother Church with a real Vicar of Christ as the Successor of Saint Peter. May these thoughts comport with the synderetic considerations of those who read them and may their presentation here please both Our Immaculate Virgin Mother, Mary, Queen of the Apostles, and The Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.N. de Plume Un ami des Papes __________________________________________


  9. Site: Zero Hedge
    3 hours 26 min ago
    Author: Tyler Durden

    We have previously discussed extensively (here, here and here) how a decade of ultra low rates ushered in by central banks has spawned a generation of "zombie companies": corporations which under any other conditions would not survive due to their massive debt load and subpar cash creation, yet which continue to thrive thanks to ZIRP and NIRP, which make their interest expense sustainable preventing inevitable defaults, which in turn lead to subpar productivity and a general contraction in economic and corporate output.

    And while we won't spend more time on a topic that has been extensively dissected here in the past, we'll point out several observations from a recent presentation by Goldman which details the creeping zombification of the world, as increasingly manifest in both economic and market indicators, starting with the collapse in long-term real global GDP growth, which is now at a "historical low." Whereas much of investor focus in recent months has been on cyclical growth risks, spurred by concerns over rising interest rates, a slowing US fiscal boost, QT and US/China trade relations, Goldman's Peter Oppenheimer points out that we are already in if not growth hell, then certainly purgatory, as "there is a more important structural story on growth that is likely to have a meaningful impact on equity and asset market pricing over the medium term: trend growth has slowed."

    Indeed, despite the move towards zero interest rates, the large expansion of central banks’ balance sheets and the substantial fiscal expansion in the US, the outcome has been the opposite of that desired by central banks as long-term growth forecasts have continue to decline, and as the chart below shows, this has been a fairly consistent pattern since the financial crisis. Meanwhile, actual nominal GDP has continued to weaken in the US, and even more so in Europe and Japan.

    This secular decline in global growth is consistent with the message sent from interest rates, as nominal bond yields have also continued to decline despite central banks now collectively owning about a third of global sovereign debt. As Goldman notes, "in the UK, where we have a very long history, 10-year bond yields have fallen back towards record lows since the 1700s. Meanwhile, in Germany, 10-year yields have collapsed and could fall further." As a result, nominal yields back below zero cannot be ruled out – during the QE period, both 2-year and 5-year Bund yields fell deeply into negative territory.

    While one can argue if the ongoing secular decline in global economic output and the increasing deflationary pressure is the result of "zombifiction" or various other reasons, such as demographics, the impact of technology, excess global saving and a fall in term premia, whatever the reasons, the trend is clearly consistent with the prospects for a long period of weak growth.

    Yet one place where corporate "zombification" is quite obvious, is in the parallel drop in corporate revenue growth. Indeed, the abovementioned declines in GDP and interest rates, both nominal and real, are consistent with Goldman's recent view that "profit growth is likely to remain modest for a long time and, with it, stock returns." For the impact of low nominal growth look no further than nominal sales growth, which has not only been slowing since the financial crisis, but is now the lowest on a 10 year rolling average basis, in history (excluding the great depression). 

    This is especially true in Europe, where one look at corporate revenue growth in just the past century shows a dramatic reversal: whereas at the start of the 21st century, high growth companies - those with revenue growth > 8% - dominated, the trend has reversed drastically in the past two decades, and as Goldman notes, there is clearly a lack of growth both economically and within the stock market in Europe, and currently the proportion of higher top line growing companies has contracted relative to those growing slowly.

    As a direct consequence of this declining economic and revenue growth, overall earnings have been weak and getting weaker. As Goldman further notes, the deep falls in profits during the financial crisis were followed by a strong rebound in 2010. But in the case of both Europe and Asia, the growth rate in earnings has stalled since then. As Exhibit 14 shows, for the World ex the US, there was a brief reprieve in 2017, when a strong synchronised global economic recovery resulted in strong earnings growth, but the bank
    now expects a reversion to a period of low-single-digit earnings growth without the driver of higher valuation, which was a key driver of returns in recent years. As a result, Goldman is increasingly confident that there is little if any upside to stocks.

    There is one silver lining to this secular growth decline: US tech stocks, which have stuck out like a clearly differentiated "thumbs up" amid a dreary "flat profits" landscape.

    To be sure, a small part of why the US has been a global profit outlier can be attributed to the boom in buybacks. As Goldman explains, the earnings yield approximates the boost to EPS in excess of earnings, and has averaged 2.6% over the past 5 years. More importantly, overall profit growth has been boosted by a boom in technology earnings (Exhibit 15). Shockingly, global profits ex technology are only moderately higher than they were prior to the financial crisis, while technology profits have moved sharply upwards (mainly reflecting the impact of large US technology companies), driven by a combination of  strong sales growth and sharply rising margins (Exhibit 16).

    As discussed previously, much of the strong earnings growth has been a function of sharply rising margins in the technology industry. Half of the rise in S&P 500 margins since the crisis has been driven by the technology sector. As Exhibit 16 shows, the gap between US and European margins is cut in half when we exclude technology. So without such strong margins and earnings moving forward, aggregate index earnings are likely to progress more slowly. And while Goldman is still a fan of the tech sector, claiming that unlike 2000, it is not "in a bubble", at the same time, margins and revenue in this sector are unlikely to rise at the same rate going forward, which is another reason for expecting lower earnings growth and returns at the index level.

    One final profit growth constraint is found in margins in general: as one would expect, profits as a percentage of GDP have risen consistently over the past two decades, supported by the impact of technology and globalization (hence the violent blowback against globalization as increasingly more people comprehend the unfair trade off between wages and shareholder gains). As a result, the future path for margins is unlikely to be as strong, for the following two reasons:

    • First, tight labor markets and more populist governments could lead to higher wages; logically, the is an inverse relationship between margins and wage costs.
    • Second, as mentioned above, the sharp rise in technology margins is not likely to be repeated - especially following Apple's shocking profit outlook cut- and, given higher regulatory and tax costs, are likely to come under some pressure.

    What can be done to reverse these disturbing trends? The answer is simple: end the zombie companies, and allow "natural selection" among corporations and competitive capitalism to return, however for that to happen, rates will have to increase dramatically beyond the threshold that keeps most unviable companies alive currently. This is a problem because two years ago, the IMF found that some 20% of all US companies would fail if rates rise notably, a finding that was certainly noted by the Federal Reserve and is among the drivers behind Powell's recent dovish reversal. Alas, as long as central banks keep pushing on a string, keeping rates artificially low, and perpetuating the existence of "zombies", GDP, revenue, and profit growth will only continue to sink as scarce resources and capital continue to be misallocated, eventually resulting in a "Japanese" style singularity, where central banks needs to monetize all debt issuance only to prevent the financial system from imploding.

  10. Site: RT - News
    3 hours 31 min ago
    Author: RT
    A major blaze has broken out in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone – the site of the worst nuclear disaster in human history. The fire hit a forest some 20 kilometers away from the ill-famed nuclear power station.
    Read Full Article at RT.com
  11. Site: Novus Motus Liturgicus
    3 hours 40 min ago
    When, dearest brethren, you begin a new season, you must renew your lives. … For this does the Apostle admonish, saying “Be renewed in the spirit of your mind (Eph. 4, 23), and again, “though our outward man is corrupted, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.” (2 Cor. 4, 16). For just as he is renewed who passes from evil to good, so also is he renewed who passes from good to better. He who passes from wantonness or any sort of impurity to chastity, has renewed his life. He who was wont to take unjustly what belongs to another, if he begins to distribute in mercy what is his own, renews his life. The proud man who passes to humility, the detractor of his brethren who begins to love them, without a doubt renews his life; since he who was a member of the devil by living badly, begins to be in the body of the new man, that is, Our Lord Jesus Christ, through right faith and good works.

    The Creation of the World and Expulsion from the Garden, by Giovanni di Paolo, 1445. These passages from the first chapters of Genesis are read in the traditional Roman form of the Divine Office on Septuagesima and the following week.You have frequently heard, dearest brethren, that there are two men, that is, Adam and Christ: the former is called the old man, the latter is called the new. And therefore, he who was evil, was old, by imitating him who in paradise was proud and disobedient; but he that is good, is new, by following Him who said, “Learn from me, for I am meek and lowly of heart,” (Matt. 9, 29); of whom also the Apostle said “He became obedient unto death.” (Phil. 2, 8). …

    Let none of us be sure (of his spiritual condition, merely) because he is baptized; for, just as not all those who run in the stadium receive the prize, (1 Cor. 9, 28, from the Epistle of Septuagesima), that is, the intended reward, but he who in the running arrives first; so also not all who have faith are saved, but only those who persevere in the good work who they have begun. And just as he who fights against another abstains from all things, so also you must abstain from all vices, so that you may be able to overcome the devil who persecutes you. … Since you have already been called through faith unto the vineyard, that is, to the unity of the Holy Church, live and abide in such a way that you may be able to receive the denarius, that is, the happiness of the heavenly kingdom, from the bounty of God. (Matt. 20, 1-16, the Gospel of Septuagesima). … Far be it from (even the inveterate sinner) to despair of God’s mercy, for some are called to His vineyard at the first hour, some at the third, some at the sixth, some at the ninth, some at the eleventh; that is, some in childhood, some in adolescence, some in youth, some in old age, are drawn to God’s service. …

    The Workers in the Vineyard, by Christian Wilhelm Ernst Dietrich (1712–74), ca. 1750 (Public domain image from Wikimedia.)May almighty God grant that you be not of that number, who crossed the Red Sea on dry land, ate manna in the desert, and drank the spiritual drink, and because of their murmuring, perished in the desert. May He grant rather that you be of that number who entered the promised land, and by working faithfully in the vineyard of the Church, may merit to receive the reward of everlasting blessedness; so that with Christ our Head, you who are His members may reign for the infinity of ages.

    This sermon on Septuagesima by an anonymous author was traditionally included among the works of St Ambrose, but, as noted in the Patrologia Latina (XVII, 631A-632C) is certainly not his, since Forelent had not yet been instituted in his time.
  12. Site: Zero Hedge
    4 hours 10 min ago
    Author: Tyler Durden

    House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, one of the most visible purveyors of the narrative that Trump and his associates engaged in a criminal conspiracy with Russia to rig the 2016 election, apparently no longer believes that Trump committed a crime by "colluding" with the Russians.

    During an appearance on CNN's State of the Union on Sunday, Schiff ticked off a litany of suspicious activities involving Trump and his associates that he said suggest that collusion did take place - but instead of labeling the behavior as evidence of a criminal conspiracy, Schiff declared that "there's a difference between seeing eidence of collusion and being able to prove a criminal conspiracy beyond a reasonable doubt" and that it would be "up to Mueller" to determine whether Trump or senior members of his campaign team broke the law.

    Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff: “You can see evidence in plain sight on the issue of collusion, pretty compelling evidence. Now, there’s a difference between seeing evidence of collusion and being able to prove a criminal conspiracy beyond a reasonable doubt” #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/Ep6Cj4u7Mu

    — CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) February 17, 2019

    Schiff was responding to a question about the Senate Intelligence Committee's recent decision to wind down its probe into whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians. Senate Intel Chairman Richard Burr - whom, as CNN said, hasn't "exactly been a rapid partisan" on this topic - declared that the committee didn't find sufficient evidence of collusion.

    Thouigh Schiff said that both he and Senate Intel Ranking Member Mark Warner disagreed with this assessment, he conceded that it would be "up to Mueller" to reach a final conclusion.

    BASH: This week, the chair, your counterpart in the Senate, the Republican chair of the Intelligence Committee, Richard Burr, said that his committee has found nothing to suggest collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

    You said - quote - "That's not our view in the House."

    But, you know, Burr hasn't exactly been a rabid partisan on this. Until the last couple of weeks, he's been working very closely with the Democrats. So, why do you think he's wrong?

    SCHIFF: Well, it's not just that I think he's wrong. Mark Warner, the vice chair of the Intel Committee in the Senate, also disagrees with that assessment.

    But, look, you can see evidence in plain sight on the issue of collusion, pretty compelling evidence. Now, there's a difference between seeing evidence of collusion and being able to prove a criminal conspiracy beyond a reasonable doubt.

    But Mr. - Chairman Burr must have a different word for it, because, when you look, for example, at the e-mails to set up the meeting in Trump Tower, it was offered to the Trump campaign, to the president's own son, dirt on Hillary Clinton as part of what was described as the Russian government's effort to help Donald Trump in the campaign.

    And the response from the campaign was, we would love to have the help.

    Now, that's an offer of help. That's an acceptance of help. There's an overt act in the Trump Tower in furtherance of that. And, of course, that's not even contemplating the discussions with George Papadopoulos or the information about the efforts that Mike Flynn made to work with the Russian ambassador secretly to undermine sanctions and then lie about that.

    All of this is evidence of collusion. And you either have to look the other way to say it isn't, or you have to have a different word for it, because it is a corrupt dealing with a foreign adversary during a campaign.

    But, again, it will be up to Mueller to determine whether that amounts to criminal conspiracy.

    As CNN producer Marshall Cohen pointed out in a tweet, Schiff's phrasing suggested he was "moving the goalposts a bit" as Mueller prepares to wind down his investigation.

    Schiff is moving the goalposts a bit here as Mueller winds down, saying there is proof of collusion but not not necessarily in a criminal sense. https://t.co/dhE7NimsUM

    — Marshall Cohen (@MarshallCohen) February 17, 2019

    Schiff's comments followed the revelation by Mueller that his team had come into possession of copies of Stone's correspondence with Wikileaks, which hadn't been concluded in the original indictment. When asked about this, Schiff said that it's just more evidence that there's more going on behind the scenes in the Mueller probe than has been revealed in the indictments.

    But whether that includes any actual evidence of criminal wrongdoing will likely remain a mystery until Mueller's final report is released.

  13. Site: Zero Hedge
    4 hours 40 min ago
    Author: Tyler Durden

    Authored by Simon Black via SovereignMan.com,

    Amazon made big headlines yesterday when it announced it was walking away from its plan to build a new headquarters in New York City.

    The company was under intense pressure from the media and politicians who were angered that New York City’s local government was giving away too many tax incentives, purportedly worth around $1.5 billion.

    (Including the state government, the total tax break was around $2.8 billion.)

    People had some ridiculous idea that NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio was going to hand a check for $1.5 billion over to Jeff Bezos, already the richest man in the world.

    That’s complete nonsense.

    The biggest part of the package was a tax credit that would vary based on how much Amazon paid its employees; it was capped at $1.2 billion over ten years.

    Let’s assume it’s the maximum level– that works out to be $120 million per year.

    Now, in exchange for that incentive, how much tax would Amazon pay?

    There’s been a lot of media attention about the fact that Amazon has hardly paid a dime in federal income tax over the past few years.

    In both 2017 and 2018, Amazon’s federal tax bill was precisely $0.00.

    But state and local tax laws are different than federal laws. And tax breaks that can reduce a company’s federal bill don’t always apply at the state and local levels.

    In 2017, for example, Amazon paid $250 million in state and local tax in Washington, its home state.

    New York tax rates are MUCH higher than they are in Washington. In fact, New York City has three different methods of calculating corporate tax, just to make sure that big companies pay up.

    So even if Amazon’s New York tax bill were just HALF of what it paid in Washington, then New York City would have been recouping more than 100% of its tax incentive EVERY YEAR.

    On top of that, the city would have reaped additional tax revenue from countless other sources.

    For example, many of the new Amazon jobs would have gone to people relocating to the city.

    Even if just 10% of the 25,000 workers (earning $150,000 per year) would have become residents of New York, the city would have earned another $12 million per year in individual income tax revenue.

    Property tax revenue would have been another $20 million per year– JUST on the Amazon campus.

    Then there’s the city’s nearly 6% hotel occupancy tax. According to company data, Amazon employees and guests accounted for 330,000 hotel room-nights in the Seattle area in 2017.

    At roughly $300 per night for a decent New York City hotel, that would have been nearly $6 million in additional annual tax revenue.

    None of this, of course, accounts for the gargantuan, indirect economic activity that would have been generated.

    Just think about all the real estate agents who would have earned commissions on sales or rentals. Or the waiters and waitresses who would have earned tips at nearby restaurants. Or the countless small businesses that would have benefited.

    25,000 Amazon employees would have brought billions in annual disposable income to the city, resulting in tens of millions of dollars in additional tax revenue.

    The company itself estimated that they it generate an average $500 million per year in tax revenue for New York City.

    Even if Amazon wildly overestimated, and the real benefit was less than half of that figure, New York City would have still earned more than a 100% return on its tax incentive investment.

    (And that doesn’t even count the non-financial benefits from the primary school Amazon would have helped build, the tech incubator they were planning, parks and green spaces, or environmentally friendly construction.)

    This is incredible. To put that in context, New York City’s pension funds earned an 8.7% return in Fiscal Year 2018. And they’re practically doing a victory lap for knocking out such stellar results.

    Yet while they’re pumped beyond belief to earn 8.7%, they had a chance to earn literally 100% or more with Amazon.

    And New York City wouldn’t have even had to put up much money; remember, the vast majority of the incentive plan was a tax CREDIT, i.e. Amazon would have merely paid less in tax each year to the local government.

    So in terms of a ‘cash on cash’ return, it was nearly infinite. It’s hard to see this as a bad investment.

    Yet somehow Socialism won the day.

    Ignorant masses, idiotic reporters, and their devious political heroes banded together to thwart prosperity in an endless Shock and Awe campaign against Amazon until the company finally pulled the plug on New York.

    What’s probably more revolting is that these people are actually excited. They think that chasing away a near infinite return on investment is a major victory.

    This is the direction that the country is turning.

    Your fellow comrades don’t make decisions anymore based on facts. There is no rational analysis. It’s all emotion.

    They get fired up because a rich guy might benefit. It doesn’t matter that the Amazon deal would have been a much-needed economic boost. They don’t even bother to think. It’s just straight to Twitter.

    The same people are quick to say that New York doesn’t need Amazon… the city is going to be just fine.

    Wrong again.

    As we’ve discussed before, New York City is in a bad place financially. The pension is underfunded by about $70 billion, and the city government runs a multi-billion dollar budget deficit.

    Just a few weeks ago, in fact, city officials announced that tax revenues so far this fiscal year were $500 million below forecasts.

    Well isn’t that ironic! New York’s $500 million budget hole is the exact estimate of what Amazon would have contributed each year to the city’s treasury.

    Congratulations, comrades. Another victory in your war on prosperity.

    And to continue learning how to ensure you thrive no matter what happens next in the world, I encourage you to download our free Perfect Plan B Guide.

  14. Site: ABYSSUS ABYSSUM INVOCAT / DEEP CALLS TO DEEP
    4 hours 58 min ago
    Author: abyssum

    A regular reader of abyssum.org wrote to me as follows:

    “What should I do when everything within me recoils from Pope Francis as from Satan himself?

    What should I do when everything within me wants to FLEE, as from Satan himself, the apostate church he is (knowingly or unknowingly) leading?

    How is it possible that the Sacrament of Pope Francis is the true Sacrament? (If our Lord still comes to Francis then I too must stay).

    I BELIEVE in God’s right ordering of the family, Church, Society.  I BELIEVE that God – AND Satan – work through the HEAD of any human community.  So I BELIEVE that whatever spirit is flowing through & from Francis IS flowing to & through me IF I receive the headship of Francis.  Well, I DON’T!  It’s one thing to be subject to the rule of a sinful man… (that I can absorb in prayer & reparation as an even greater sinner)… it’s quite another to be subject to Satan.

    I recently deactivated my Twitter so I could focus on a life of prayer. Then, when Francis signed the Human Fraternity document in the name of the Catholic Church & ALL Catholics, I went back to publicly renounce that signing in my name.  

    But now I realize that I want to renounce EVERYTHING from this man.  We’re not just talking about a fallen man – we’re talking about the ANTI-CHRIST! I want to RENOUNCE his headship over me.  I don’t want ANYTHING to do with him OR his “church.” This is how I FEEL!  I simply don’t know what to THINK!

    I cleave, spiritually, to Saint Peter & the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass of All the Ages… but otherwise I am in total confusion.

    All I know is, is that there are profound spiritual laws/realities in operation here & I barely know what I am asking.”

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    I reply:

    Do not allow yourself to be plunged into despair, trust in the Lord Jesus Christ!

    Remember the words of Our Lord to his disciples when, as they were crossing the Sea of Galilee after the miracle of the feeding of the 5000 with the loaves and fishes. Their small boat was caught in a storm and the disciples in terror awakened Jesus asleep in the boat.  


    Matthew 8:23-27 New International Version (NIV) Jesus Calms the Storm 23 Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” 26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. 27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”

    It is natural for us to feel somewhat panic-stricken even as the disciples were panic stricken in that storm, because in many ways the storm in which the barque of Peter is now being tossed about is far worse than that storm on the lake.

    I know for my own personal experience that one must cultivate trusting in the Lord for a long time before it become habitual.  If you have read my autobiography, AN ORDINARY’S NOT SO ORDINARY LIFE, you will recall the time I was alone piloting my Cessna single engine airplane on an instrument flight plan and air traffic control put me through two thunder storms at 9,000 feet and I blacked out each time.  The airplane did not have an autopilot.  When I regained consciousness each time I found that I flying straight and level BUT WAS TWO THOUSAND FEET LOWER THAN I WAS BEFORE I ENTERED THE STORMS.

    Emotionally I now feel as I did then, emotionally “washed out” by what is happening.  It does not seem possible that the Church will survive the present chaos in which it finds itself.  But I believe, and you should believe also, that Christ is REALLY IN CHARGE OF HIS CHURCH AND NOT EVEN “THE GATES OF HELL” WILL PREVAIL AGAINST THE CHURCH.

    My experience in surviving my periods of blackout during those two storms has enabled me to remain calm during this present crisis in the Church.  I know that Our Lord Jesus Christ is in charge and I MUST TRUST HIM.

    I URGE YOU TO TRUST HIM ALSO.

    +Rene Henry Gracida

  15. Site: Gloria.tv
    5 hours 3 min ago
    Author: Jungerheld
    .
  16. Site: RT - News
    5 hours 4 min ago
    Author: RT
    The militia groups relying on US support in Syria will be sold out by Washington, which sees them as a token chip in a political bargain, President Bashar Assad said, while apparently referencing the Syrian-Turkish border.
    Read Full Article at RT.com
  17. Site: RT - News
    5 hours 6 min ago
    Author: RT
    Tel Aviv has decided to deduct some $138 million from the amount of taxes it collected on behalf of Palestine. It comes in retaliation to stipends the Palestinian Authority pays to families jailed over violent anti-Israeli crimes.
    Read Full Article at RT.com
  18. Site: southern orders
    5 hours 10 min ago

    Anthony Cusack writes this in a tweet. I happen to agree with him but I also know that there were scandals in the pre-Vatican II Church but kept quiet from the faithful:

    The fall of McCarrick from the greatest rank of power in the Church sounds the death knell of something much larger: the whole Vatican II mania with accompanying Catholic amnesia forgetful of the moral law along with the liturgy. Lex orandi est lex vivendi.

    My comments: 

    LET'S FACE IT, CONCUPISCENCE IS A HUMAN PROBLEM RESULTING FROM THE DISORDERS THAT FLOW FROM ORIGINAL SIN. IT SEEMS TO ME THAT THE PRE-VATICAN II CHURCH KNEW THIS AND OFFERED ACTUAL MEDICINE TO COMBAT THIS SPIRITUAL DISEASE, DISCIPLINE, ASCETICISM AND STRICT MORAL TEACHINGS.
    VATICAN II TRIED TO BUILD A TOWER TO HEAVEN AND MAKE HEAVEN ON EARTH AND ILLIMINATED MUCH OF THE CHURCH'S GREAT DISICIPLINE, ASCETISM, MORAL CERTITUDE AND MERCY WITHOUT JUSTICE.
    IT IS A POLYANNA CHURCH WHICH HAS FAILED CATHOLICS MISERABLY AND LED TO THE LOSS OF MORAL AUTHORITY OF THE MAGISTERIUM OF THE CHURCH AND THE BLEEDING OF CATHOLICS TO OTHER RELIGIONS OR NON.
    IT IS TIME FOR A RESTORATION AND TIME IS RUNNING OUT TO DO IT!
  19. Site: Fr. Z's Blog
    5 hours 26 min ago
    Author: frz@wdtprs.com (Fr. John Zuhlsdorf)

    Preserving Christian Publications has reprinted a 1962 Parish Ritual.  Hooray!   This book includes what the Collectio Rituum had but it includes more items and moments useful for parish life.  It’s like the British Sacristy Manual, but it is set up for use in these USA.

    US HERE – UK HERE

    I am so glad to see this book!  WELL DONE!

    Just a while ago I had a post in which I dealt with the Collectio Rituum and what the priest had to say in Latin and what he could say in English.  The problem is, while the later, post-62 versions of the Collectio were available, the 1962 wasn’t.  And there were significant changes by 1965 in what had to remain in Latin.

    This volume solves the problem.

    Fairly sturdy cover, to the point of being a little stiff.  But it will be durable.

    Two ribbons.

    This supremely useful book should be ready at hand in every sacristy.  It has common blessings, the rites of sacraments, the prayers for the blessing of Holy Water, for the lifting of censures, for burials and for visits to the sick and the dying.

    In the inside cover are emergency forms of sacraments, etc.

    In the back, there is the rite for the blessing of Holy Water.  Of course, traditional Catholics are using and, therefore, blessing Holy Water all the time.  As a matter of fact a couple short hours ago I did so myself before Sunday Mass, which has an Asperges.   But people wanted Holy Water back in the day, and so the rite was quickly found in the book.

    I note with a bit of a cringe the train-wreck name of the long-time dominating liturgist, in the spirit of V2 liturgist, the late Freddy McManus.  Oh well, being an editor isn’t that hard.

    Notice this… the New Latin Psalter was replaced in this volume by the Vulgate Psalter!  HURRAY!

    Not so auspicious a beginning, but entirely trivial, is the typo on this page – the first of the intro.  Can you find it, like Waldo?

    See how practical this is.  From the onset it indicates the stole color.  The rubrics are translated.  If something can be said in English, you are double columns.  When something must be said in Latin, there is only one column (a small type English translation at the bottom in the footnote area).

    I think Homer’s editor might have nodded here.  The Rite indicates “White Stole” but the rubric goes on to say, “The priest, vested in surplice and violet stole…”.

    There are a few little things to correct in the subsequent printing.

    The rites for FORTY HOURS!   If there were a parish moment to be revived far and wide, I would have to be FORTY HOURS DEVOTION, specifically intended for prayer to avert disaster and/or beg forgiveness from God.

    Common and happy rites.  I am glad they call it “Churching”.

    Here is one people might not know about!

    I enjoyed paging about in this new volume and exploring, reviewing things I haven’t done or haven’t done for a while.

    This is a really tool for a priest.  Every priest should have this, just as a carpenter has a hammer and measure on his belt.

     

  20. Site: Gloria.tv
    5 hours 31 min ago
    Author: Don Reto Nay
    Malawi Another albino killed in Malawi: Kwenda brutally murdered in presence of son, 7 Nyasa Times (Tiwonge Kumwenda) A dark crowd has...
  21. Site: RT - News
    5 hours 34 min ago
    Author: RT
    A terrified French policewoman was left in tears after an astonishing and violent attack on a police van by a swarm of Yellow Vest protesters in Lyon.
    Read Full Article at RT.com
  22. Site: Biblical False Prophet : Cardinal Bergoglio - "Pope Francis"
    6 hours 7 min ago
    Author: remnantclergy
    First, the specific prophesy: October 7, 1820 “As I was going through Rome with St. Francis and the other saint, …
  23. Site: ABYSSUS ABYSSUM INVOCAT / DEEP CALLS TO DEEP
    6 hours 29 min ago
    Author: abyssum
    Sunday, February 17, 2019 
    INSIDE THE VATICAN Viganò VindicatedThis morning, on the day after the news that the Vatican has reduced former Cardinal and Archbishop Theodore McCarrick to the lay state(McCarrick, 88, has been staying in a small friary in western Kansas; I mistakenly wrote that he was in Oklahoma in my last email; thank you to those who brought this mistake to my attention), I received the following email letter, in both English and Italian, from Italian journalist Marco Tosatti, an Italian colleague of mine. He has been covering Vatican affairs with distinction for 40 years. The letter is entitled: “Astonishing. Sodom. Martel Writes that the Pope Knew about McCarrick.”Tosatti then gives the passages from a new book, Sodom: In the Closet of the Vatican, by French author Frederic Martel which seem to confirm one of the central statements made by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganòin his August 2018 Testimony: that Viganò told Pope Francis in 2013, at the very outset of Francis’ papacy, that McCarrick had a decades-long reputation for “corrupting generations of seminarians” by his homosexual molestations, but that Francis, evidently not considering the information important or disqualifying of McCarrick, continued to listen to McCarrick’s advice on Church appointments, and to employ him, though retired, as a sort of informal Vatican ambassador to countries like China, Armenia, Iran and Cuba, lifting restrictions on his travel that Pope Benedict had imposed.Tosatti calls this evidence confirming Viganò’s account “astonishing” because the confirmation comes from a professedly “pro-Francis” source. Tosatti terms it a type of wound against Pope Francis from “friendly fire.”And it does appear — though tracing out all the motivations of this matter is a difficult and delicate task, not yet complete — that the source, the new book Sodom: In the Closet of the Vatican, officially to be published on February 21 but already being widely cited from advance copies, was in fact written, at least in part, to support Pope Francis and his declared policy of “greater openness” and “greater mercy” toward many, especially those who identify as homosexuals, who are said to have been “marginalized” in the past by the Church.Yet this very “supportive” book, in the passages in question, seems to confirm a devastating part of Viganò’s 2018 Testimony. The point: the new book, written over 5 years by a self-described French homosexual activist who tells us he was invited to stay a week every month in a Vatican residence inside Vatican City and so was able to speak with dozens of high-ranking Vatican officials, a man writing ostensibly to bring about greater acceptance of homosexuality in the Catholic Church and in the Vatican (see in this regard the review and analysis by Italian Catholic Prof. Roberto de Mattei below), confirms, citing high-ranking Church officials very close to Francis, that Archbishop Viganò did not lie, but told the truth, when he said he informed Francis about McCarrick’s reputation in 2013.Here below is Tosatti’s email.================“Astonishing. Sodom. Martel Writes that the Pope Knew about McCarrick.” By Marco Tosatti, Sunday, February 17, 2019Sodom, the book by [French self-described homosexual activistFrederic Martel we have been dealing with in recent days, reserves sensational news. According to the author, in the English version of the text, and we offer here our translation, Pope Bergoglio was really informed by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò of the past of predation towards seminarians and young priests, but he did not consider the fact so important. And consequently not only did he relieve him of the restrictions that Benedict XVI had imposed on him (whose existence was confirmed, as well as by Viganò, by Cardinal Marc Ouellet) but he also used him as an advisor for appointments in the United States (the promotion of Kevin Farrell to Camerlengo and entrusting Blase Cupich with the organization of the summit on child abuse are the more recent confirmations, if ever they were needed) and he used him as his personal representatve both in the United States (with Obama) and abroad in China, Armenia, Iran and Cuba.In our opinion, this is a case of an extraordinarily interesting “friendly fire”; because if there is someone of whom Frederic Martel speaks well, when not enthusiastically, in his long work, it is really Pope Bergoglio. Martel, as we know, was helped and hosted by prelates in the Vatican, to carry out his task. In a television interview, he mentioned at least four high prelates close to the Pope who favored and encouraged him. He said he had met the Director of Civiltà CattolicaAntonio Spadaro sj several times; in the book there is an interview with Spadaro, and an interview with Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, the great director of the Synods (more or less pre-arranged) about the family and the young. He is a “famiglio” of the Pontiff, a man of his trust. So we have to believe Martel, particularly because he puts the central phrase in quotes. Here is a little portion [of Martel’s new book] we have translated [with the key quotation at the end in italics]:”…[Viganò names] cardinals and bishops of the Roman Curia and  the American episcopate who, according to him [Viganò], took part in this huge cover-up: it is an endless list of names of prelates, among the most important in the Vatican, who were thus ‘outed,’ whether right or wrong. (When the Pope dismissed the allegations, his entourage indicated to me that Francis ‘was initially informed by Viganò that Cardinal McCarrick had had homosexual relations with over-age seminarians, which was not enough in his eyes to condemn him’).”If Martel writes the truth — and there is no reason to believe the opposite, since he is certainly not a conservative homophobe Pharisee moralizing and hypocritical — some considerations are required.The first: even though  the seminarians were not under age, if a person hierarchically in a high position, and who can decide the fate of one of his subordinates, sexually harasses him, it is no longer a question of sex between consenting adults: there is a form of violence. Now we know that this fact does not seem important to the Pontiff. Or at least, not so important, at least not to favor and use the abuser until this bond becomes too embarrassing, and then sacrifice him to the public opinion.Second: it is months and months that the Catholics are waiting for an answer: Did Viganò lie, or not? It seems that according to Martel, and according to the entourage of the Pontiff, he has told the truth.So why not admit it? Why not to say, as a man and a Christian, “it’s true I was warned, but I thought it was not so serious. I was wrong in my judgment, forgive me”?Such behavior would have a very different effect from the savage reactions with which the Pope’s hand and pen men, assisted by obliging mass media, were unleashed in the aggression of the person of Viganò, trying to ascribe the responsibilities of the ascent and of the glory of McCarrick to previous popes, trying to deny that Benedict XVI had imposed the restrictions that could be imposed on the state of affairs, and that these restrictions had in fact been canceled by Pope Bergoglio. Let us not forget that the Nuncio Viganò wrote to Cardinal (Pietro) Parolin, Secretary of State, a letter asking whether the sanctions against McCarrick should be considered abolished. Without ever receiving an answer (…)[end of the Tosatti email]===================Here is an Associated Press report on the new book and its author.Bombshell Book Alleges a Vatican Gay Subculture, HypocrisyA gay French writer has lifted the lid on what he calls one of the world’s largest gay communities — the Vatican.Feb. 15, 2019, at 2:26 p.m. BY NICOLE WINFIELD AND ANGELA CHARLTON, Associated PressPARIS (AP) — A gay French writer has lifted the lid on what he calls one of the world’s largest gay communities, the Vatican, estimating that most of its prelates are homosexually inclined and attributing much of the current crisis in the Catholic Church to an internal struggle.In the explosive book, “In the Closet of the Vatican,” author Frederic Martel describes a gay subculture at the Vatican and calls out the hypocrisy of Catholic bishops and cardinals who in public denounce homosexuality but in private lead double lives.Aside from the subject matter, the book is astonishing for the access Martel had to the inner sanctum of the Holy See. Martel writes that he spent four years researching it in 30 countries, including weeks at a time living inside the Vatican walls. He says the doors were opened by a key Vatican gatekeeper and friend of Pope Francis who was the subject of the pontiff’s famous remark about gay priests, “Who am I to judge?”In an interview Friday in a Paris hotel, Martel said he didn’t tell his subjects he was writing about homosexuality in the Vatican. But he said it should have been obvious to them since he is a gay man who was researching the inner world of the Vatican and has written about homosexuality before. He said it was easier for him, as a gay foreigner, to gain the trust of those inside the Vatican than it would have been for an Italian journalist or Vatican expert.”If you’re heterosexual it’s even harder. You don’t have the codes,” he told The Associated Press. “If you’re a woman, even more so.”Martel says he conducted nearly 1,500 in-person interviews with 41 cardinals, 52 bishops or monsignors, and 45 Vatican and foreign ambassadors, many of whom are quoted at length and in on-the-record interviews that he says were recorded. Martel said he was assisted by 80 researchers, translators, fixers and local journalists, as well as a team of 15 lawyers. The 555-page book is being published simultaneously in eight languages in 20 countries, many bearing the title “Sodom.”The Vatican didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.Martel appears to want to bolster Francis’ efforts at reforming the Vatican by discrediting his biggest critics and removing the secrecy and scandal that surrounds homosexuality in the church. Church doctrine holds that gays are to be treated with respect and dignity, but that homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered.””Francis knows that he has to move on the church’s stance, and that he will only be able to do this at the cost of a ruthless battle against all those who use sexual morality and homophobia to conceal their own hypocrisies and double lives,” Martel writes.But the book’s Feb. 21 publication date coincides with the start of Francis’ summit of church leaders on preventing the sexual abuse of minors, a crisis that is undermining his papacy. The book isn’t about abuse, but the timing of its release could fuel the narrative, embraced by conservatives and rejected by the gay community, that the abuse scandal has been caused by homosexuals in the priesthood.Martel is quick to separate the two issues. But he echoes the analysis of the late abuse researcher and psychotherapist A.W. Richard Sipe that the hidden sex lives of priests has created a culture of secrecy that allowed the abuse of minors to flourish. According to that argument, since many prelates in positions of authority have their own hidden sexual skeletons, they have no interest in denouncing the criminal pedophiles in their midst lest their own secrets be revealed.”It’s a problem that it’s coming out at the same time (as the summit),” Martel acknowledged in the AP interview, adding that the book was finished last year but its release was delayed for translation. “But at the same time it’s, alas, the key to the problem. It’s both not the subject, and the subject.”The Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest and author of “Building a Bridge” about how the Catholic Church should reach out more to the LGBT community, said that based on the excerpts he had read, Martel’s book “makes a convincing case that in the Vatican many priests bishops and even cardinals are gay, and that some of them are sexually active.”But Martin added that the book’s sarcastic tone belies its fatal flaw. “His extensive research is buried under so much gossip and innuendo that it makes it difficult to distinguish between fact and fiction.””There are many gay priests, bishops and cardinals in ministry today in the church,” Martin said. “But most of them are, like their straight counterparts, remaining faithful to a life of chastity and celibacy.”In the course of his research, Martel said he came to several conclusions about the reality of the Holy See that he calls the “rules,” chief among them that the more obviously gay the priest, bishop or cardinal, the more vehement his anti-gay rhetoric.Martel says his aim is not to “out” living prelates, though he makes some strong insinuations about those who are “in the parish,” a euphemism he learns is code for gay clergy.Martin said Martel “traffics in some of the worst gay stereotypes” by using sarcastic and derogatory terms, such as when he writes of Francis’ plight: “Francis is said to be ‘among the wolves.’ It’s not quite true: he’s among the queens.”Martel moves from one scandal to another — from the current one over ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of Washington to the priest-friendly gay migrant prostitute scene near Rome’s train station. He traces the reasons behind Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation, and devotes a whole chapter to the cover-up of the Mexican founder of the Legion of Christ, the pedophile Rev. Marcial Maciel. In each, Martel parses the scandal through the lens of the gay-friendly or homophobic prelates he says were involved.Equal parts investigative journalism and salacious gossip, Martel paints a picture of an institution almost at war with itself, rife with rumor and with leaders struggling to rationalize their own sexual appetites and orientations with official church teachings that require chastity and its unofficial tradition of hostility toward gays.”Never, perhaps, have the appearances of an institution been so deceptive,” Martel writes. “Equally deceptive are the pronouncements about celibacy and the vows of chastity that conceal a completely different reality.”Martel is not a household name in France, but is known in the French LGBT community as an advocate for gay rights. Those familiar with his work view it as rigorous, notably his 90-minute weekly show on public radio station France Culture called “Soft Power.” Recent episodes include investigations into global digital investment and the U.S.-China trade war.As a French government adviser in the 1990s, he played a prominent role in legislation allowing civil unions, which not only allowed gay couples to formalize their relationships and share assets, but also proved hugely popular among heterosexual French couples increasingly skeptical of marriage.His nonfiction books include a treatise on homosexuality in France over the past 50 years called “The Pink and the Black” (a sendup of Stendhal’s classic “The Red and the Black”), as well as an investigation of the internet industry and a study of culture in the United States.Martel attributes the high percentage of gays in the clergy to the fact that up until the homosexual liberation of the 1970s, gay Catholic men had few options. “So these pariahs became initiates and made a strength of a weakness,” he writes. That analysis helps explain the dramatic fall in vocations in recent decades, as gay Catholic men now have other options, not least to live their lives openly, even in marriage.Martel said no special interests financed the book, other than his advance from the publisher.===============Here, from Rorate Caeli, is a review of the new book by Italian Catholic Professor Roberto de Mattei. De Mattei warns that the work is part of a larger effort seeking to “mainstream” homosexuality and homosexual activity in the teaching of the Church.De Mattei: An LGBT Pamphlet against the ChurchBy Roberto de MatteiCorrispondenza RomanaFebruary 14, 2019An LGBT pamphlet against the Church. The title is “Sodom” and the author a well-known French LGBT activist. The book however, was hatched in Italy, during a conversation between the author and the publisher, Carlo Fetrinelli, son of Gian Giacomo, the publisher-terrorist who died in 1972, while placing a bomb on an Enel (Italian Electric Company) pylon in Segrate. “Sodom” will be presented within the next few days in eight languages and in about twenty countries.The official launching of the book will take place on February 21, in conjunction with the Vatican conference dedicated to the sexual abuse of minors. What we are dealing here with then, is a powerful media operation, which has the Catholic Church as its target.  The author of the book, Frédéric Martel, presented in the press at times with different titles  i.e.  sociologist,  researcher and  historian, has achieved a certain amount of fame for his last paper, Global Gay, translated into various languages (published  in Italy by Feltrinelli), dedicated to the current triumphant march of the homosexual movement all over the world. Involved directly in numerous associations active in the diffusion of the LGBT agenda, Martel has been engaged, for years, at the forefront, of the process  in promoting and “normalizing” homosexuality. The LGBT “militancy”  of the author of “Sodom”  made him one of the leading promoters of  Law n. 99-944 ( November 15, 1999) (Dupacte civil de solidarité et du concubinage), the so-called PACS, which introduced civil unions in France. Over the following years, the LGBT activist continued his involvement in the homosexual cause, dedicating numerous articles in favor of  introducing pseudo-homosexual marriage in France, until its complete legalization on May 18, 2013.Martel is now addressing sodomy in the Church, stating that he had conducted an “in situ” investigation over a period of 4 years, interviewing around 1500 people in the Vatican and various countries.  In reality what the book is lacking is precisely documentation.  After reading, we know nothing more than what we already did about the diffusion of homosexuality in the Church.This extremely grave problem, brought to light by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò’s testimony, has been analyzed in a scientific and documented manner by two Polish scholars, Father Dario Oko and Father Andrzej Kobyliński, authors of studies that have been ignored by the international press. But Martel is not looking for the truth. He has an ideological thesis to display and in his pages he doesn’t reveal, but suggests, insinuates, calumniates and denigrates.Monsignor Battista Ricca, called by Sandro Magister “the prelate of the gay lobby” opened the doors of the Vatican to him. “He explains painstakingly how to pass the  control of the gendarme and the Swiss Guards. I am to meet a prelate with watery eyes, a ‘sniper’ close to Francis, who has known glory and downfall. As we shall see, he is the one I’m obliged to for being able to stay in one of the Vatican residences.” The author recounts that he was installed in Rome for a week every month., “staying regularly inside the Vatican, thanks to the hospitality of  high-level prelates who often revealed themselves as “part of the clique” ; about forty cardinals and hundreds of bishops, monsignors, priests and nuncios (the Pope’s ambassadors) agreed to meet me. Among them, purported homosexuals, there every day in the Vatican, allowed me to penetrate their world of insiders.” Among his informers, we have Father Antonio Spadaro “a Jesuit considered one of the Pope’s eminence grise with whom I had regular discussions at the headquarters of the periodical La Civiltà Cattolica, of which he is the director.” He is the one who explains that “Cardinal Burke is at the head of the opposition to the Pope.” Cardinal Raymond Burke, to whom Martel dedicates a chapter of his book, is logically, one of his targets. His fault? That of categorically condemning homosexuality.Martel’s thesis is that behind every “homophobe” in reality there lies a homosexual, but since nothing of this sort can be demonstrated against the American Cardinal, the French activist settles for a detailed caricatural description of the Cardinal’s very normal apartment. “The Cardinal – he writes –in his style of dressing and unusual gait, calls irresistibly to mind a drag-queen.” However, Martel admits, “Burke is one of the few who has had the courage of his opinions” as indeed has Monsignor Viganò, who seems to him “a trustworthy witness, his letter irrefutable; it appears to me nonetheless” – he adds – “that Viganò’s act is more irrational and solitary  than one would want to believe; a desperate act; a personal vendetta which is first of all – fruit of a deep interior wound.”   What then are the homosexual churchmen guilty of? Not for having violated the moral law, but of being hypocrites and of not having given public witness to their vice. “Let me be clear; a priest or a cardinal should not be ashamed of being homosexual; I think rather that it should be a possible  social status among many others.” “[So] the men of the Church should say: we are homosexual and proud of it; the Church [should] say: I was wrong in condemning homosexuality.”This is why Martel is a supporter of Pope Francis’ “reform”: “Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation  and Pope Francis’ resolve to reform, help set free the ‘word’. This Latin-American Pope is the first to have used the word ‘gay’ – not only the term ‘homosexual’ – and may be considered, in comparison to his predecessors,  the most ‘gay-friendly’ among the modern Pontiffs. He has used both magical and contorted words about homosexuality. ‘Who am I to judge?’ And one might also think that this Pope doesn’t even have the tendency nor the inclination, which were instead attributed to four of his recent predecessors. Yet Francis is today the object of a violent campaign, due to his presumed liberalism on questions of sexual morality, pursued by conservative cardinals who are very ‘homophobic’ – and for the most part, secretly homophiles.” “What Francis cannot bear, is not so much widespread homophilia, but the vertiginous hypocrisy of those who sustain an austere morality, despite having a companion, adventures and sometimes even escorts. For this reason he incessantly whips the fake devout, the insincere bigots and the Pharisees. This duplicity, this schizophrenia, have been frequently denounced by Francis in his morning homilies at Santa Marta. His formula merits being at the forefront  of this book: ‘Behind the rigidity, there is always something hidden; in many cases a double life.’”Martel, like Pope Francis, is convinced that behind every “homophobe” there hides a “homophile,” a man attracted, or obsessed by homosexuality, whether he practices it or not. “It might also be said that there is an unwritten rule which is practically always true in Sodom: the more a prelate is a homophobe, the more the probability that he himself is homosexual.” “The more a prelate is vehemently against ‘gays,’ the stronger his homophobic obsession is, the more probability that he is not sincere and that his vehemence is hiding something.”The aim of the book? To destroy the Bastille of Catholic morality. “Fifty years after Stonewall — the gay revolution in the United States — the Vatican is the last bastion to get rid of! Many Catholics have now grasped the deception even before reading the description of Sodom.”The steps to follow are: support and encourage the “Bergoglian Reform”; disqualify the Churchmen faithful to Tradition; impede the discussion inside the Church on the plague of homosexuality, above all, at the upcoming conference.It must be noted, however, that the LGBT’s support of Pope Francis will not help him at all in the gravely difficult situation he finds himself; the cardinals and bishops demonized in this book, will emerge much stronger after this badly-conducted attack; and if the Presidents of the world  Episcopal Conferences do not deal with the theme of homosexuality, the meeting of February 21-24 will be a [total] failure.What can be considered a fiasco as of this moment however, is Frédéric Martel’s pamphlet.

    Translation: Contributor Francesca Romana
    [end, analysis of Prof. Roberto de Mattei]
  24. Site: The hermeneutic of continuity
    6 hours 38 min ago
    My health deteriorated steadily during the second half of last year, and with my Archbishop’s blessing (and kindly encouragement) I am currently staying with my sister in Bournemouth while undergoing various tests and procedures. There is much still to be done, but am making some progress thanks to the good medical and other care that I have received. The medical problems are complex and not yet fully diagnosed so I will not attempt to summarise them. I am mainly under the care of the gastro-enterology department, and the GP is also keeping an eye on my cardiac health.

    Your prayers are very much appreciated; many thanks indeed. Special thanks to Fr Z and to the Latin Mass Society who publicised requests for prayers.

    The good news is that I have to take things easy, so there might be a little time for writing ...
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  26. Site: PeakProsperity
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  27. Site: Home Living
    7 hours 7 min ago
    No matter how you plan it or slice it, Sunday is not much of a "day of rest" as people insist it should be, especially for a country preacher's wife! I have been up while it is still dark, and unlocked the meeting house, turned on the heat, unlocked the side doors and handicapped areas,  placed the communion trays on the communion table, and laid out a few things for the church dinner:  Lydiahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/15530969871397361970noreply@blogger.com0
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    A rare and fleeting stellar blackout is being hailed by astronomers as the perfect opportunity to ask budding stargazers for help in accurately plotting the brightest object we can see from Earth.
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    Sacred Architecture and Brexit
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  31. Site: Bonfire of the Vanities - Fr. Martin Fox
    7 hours 50 min ago
    Lent begins in three weeks. 

    For the next three Sundays, 
    you and I will hear from Saint Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, 
    from chapter 15, where he talks about resurrection.
    This is a great transition to Lent.

    Let’s recall what we believe as Catholics.
    At the moment our life in this world comes to an end, 
    you and I will immediately face Christ as our judge.
    We call this the “particular judgment.”

    And in that moment, Christ will weigh our faith: 
    did we respond to his grace? Did we obey his commands? 
    Did we repent of our sins and turn to him for mercy?

    And one of two things will happen.
    If we die without God’s friendship, having rejected his grace; 
    refusing to change, or, perhaps giving mere lip service, then what? 
    Remember what he said: “Not everyone who cries, ‘Lord, Lord!’ 
    will enter the Kingdom.” 

    And they will say, “but look what we did in your name!” 
    And Jesus will say, ‘Depart from me! I never knew you!’”
    So if that’s where we are in that moment before Christ, 
    then we will go to hell, precisely because we refused the grace 
    and the conversion of our lives that would prepare us for heaven. 

    On the other hand, if we “die in God’s grace and friendship” 
    (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1030),
    Then we enter into heaven. 

    But at that point, you and I may need some further brushing-up, 
    so that we are truly ready for heaven. 
    This is purgatory.

    That said, if we made this life a time of conversion, 
    of breaking bad habits, of self-denial, 
    purgatory will have little or even nothing to offer us.
    Here’s a prayer that you may want to pray each day:
    “Lord, send me here my purgatory.” 

    The point Saint Paul wants to make is simple:
    Do not make the mistake of thinking this life is all there is.
    You and I are meant to live forever.
    Moreover, our bodies are not just something 
    we throw away or leave behind. 
    We will have our bodies back in the resurrection.

    And in the Gospel, Jesus warned us not to put too much confidence 
    in the usual measures of success: 
    Having lots of stuff, being comfortable, 
    and having the praise of others.
    None of these things will matter in the long run.

    Someday, when Christ chooses to draw this phase of history to an end,
     this world will be remade: a new heavens and a new earth.
    All people – redeemed or damned – will have their bodies back.
    If we are among those who submitted to the Kingship of Jesus Christ, 
    then it is a resurrection to life. Otherwise, it is a terrible fate.
    Scripture refers to the fate of the damned as a “second death.”

    We don’t talk about hell very often. But Jesus talked about it a lot! 
    He wants us to take it seriously when he says, 
    “Repent, and believe in the Gospel. The Kingdom of God is at hand.”

    So Lent is coming, and we have three weeks to gear up.
    Since I mentioned purgatory, that’s a good way to understand Lent: 
    You and I are seeking our purgatory here and now.
    Our sacrifices, penances and extra prayers are tools, 
    in service of what Lent truly is about:
    Conversion. Change of heart. Change of life. Getting ready for heaven.

    The origin of Lent is that it was a time of intense preparation 
    for those who were going to be baptized at Easter – 
    and that is why they fasted, and prayed intensely, 
    and examined their lives so closely.

    And for those of us who have been baptized,
    Lent is our time to re-embrace our baptism.
    So notice: at Easter you will be asked to renew those vows.
    It's not a mere ritual; it’s a very solemn moment we take weeks to prepare for.
    Those of you who are married -- do you remember the day you made your vows?
    Was that a powerful moment? Of course it was!
    And I remember the day I was ordained, 
    and especially the hour before as I prayed very intensely.
    Well, our baptism is far more solemn and important than those events.
    And that preparation for renewing our baptism 
    parallels what our life on earth is about:
    Preparing very seriously and intentionally for heaven.

    So, Lent is near. It’s time to get ready.

    I want to issue everyone in the parish a challenge:
    Let’s make this the best Lent you’ve ever had.
    I’m asking that we all unite in that desire – 
    and help each other make it happen.

    So I want to ask you – every single person here – 
    to do two special things.

    First: now is the time to think about what your plan for Lent will be.

    And, second, I ask everyone to begin praying that this Lent 
    will indeed be a powerful time of conversion for our parish. 
    Pray for yourself, your family, and for each other. 
    Let’s pray for our parish to experience conversion. 
  32. Site: Biblical False Prophet : Cardinal Bergoglio - "Pope Francis"
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    Cardinal Müller: “I was not happy at all when the Masons praised” Francis Of course the Freemasons praise Francis, as …
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    More than 65 Russian companies are scheduled to participate in the IDEX 2019 defense tech expo, which kicked off in Abu Dhabi, UAE on Sunday. RT breaks down the top entries, ranging from kamikaze drones to bulletproof limos.
    Read Full Article at RT.com
  34. Site: Biblical False Prophet : Cardinal Bergoglio - "Pope Francis"
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    9 hours 10 min ago
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  38. Site: Traditional Catholic Priest
    9 hours 29 min ago
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  39. Site: Mises Institute
    9 hours 35 min ago
    Author: Troy Vincent

    There is no more recent example of the many theoretically apparent pitfalls of socialism coming to life than in Venezuela. The South American nation is but the latest example on the long list of countries to have fallen victim to the siren’s song of a socialist utopia. While over the past decade journalists like Michael Moore, politicians like Bernie Sanders and economists like Joseph Stiglitz have praised the so-called socialist “economic miracle” in Venezuela, with hyperinflation now leading to starvation and millions fleeing the country, it is inarguable that these praises were premature and wholly unwarranted.

    Unfortunately, economist turned political hack Paul Krugman still to this day carries on the tired line that the Venezuelan government simply “mismanaged” and are corrupt, and will not admit that this situation arose from problems inherent to socialist ideals and policy. I aim to show how feeble this line of thinking is. What’s more, what may be the final months of the Maduro government are serving as a reminder of how even socialist regimes ironically rely heavily on the successes of capitalism to maintain the last vestiges of their socialist society.

    Political Philosophy Has Consequences

    The Bolivarian Revolution, led by the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, began in 1999 under the guise of snuffing out imperialism, corruption, and inequality. In practice, this meant implementing nationalist politics and a state-run socialist economy. With a slogan like, “Motherland, socialism, or death,” it would seem that the Bolivarian Revolution should have been seen for what it was from the very outset – the beginning of the end for the Venezuelan economy. The failure of the aforementioned journalists, politicians, and economists to foresee economic and political ruin as the necessary outcome of such a “revolution,” despite the long list of historical evidence that would make such optimism clearly undeserved, speaks not only to their ideological bias but also to their poor understanding of the very foundations of economic and institutional success.

    Many still to this day will not admit that the devastation witnessed in Venezuela is a problem inherent to Socialism. They claim that Venezuela is not a model of “true socialism”, but of autocracy, and blame the ills of the government and economy on corruption. However, it has long been evident that the historical correlation between the rise of tyrannies and state-run socialist economies are actually causal relationships. As Mises stated, “The idea that political freedom can be preserved in the absence of economic freedom, and vice versa, is an illusion.” Decades before Venezuelan’s were planning their revolution Mises had already observed that, “Tyranny is the political corollary of socialism, as representative government is the political corollary of the market economy.” To suggest otherwise is to ignore economic and political history.

    In lieu of capitalism, socialism puts the fate of individuals in the hands of bureaucracies. Bureaucracies cannot be managed by economic calculation like businesses in a capitalist economy and are therefore destined for bloat, inefficiency, and mismanagement. As Mises wrote, “Bureaucratic conduct… is conduct bound to comply with detailed rules and regulations fixed by the authority of a superior body. It is the only alternative to profit management. . . . Whenever the operation of a system is not directed by the profit motive, it must be directed by bureaucratic rules.”

    The alternative philosophy of economic and political liberalism, which originated from the age of enlightenment and places the rights of the individual over that of society at large, has thus been in the crosshairs of socialist do-gooders and unabashed tyrants since its origins. The relationship between political philosophy and material wellbeing is not a mystery given that the political philosophy of a nation is the foremost determinant of its economic policies. A political philosophy rooted in foundational principles of private property rights and individualism promotes the market exchange and innovation that allows for an abundance of material comforts like food, shelter, and medicine. Only a legal framework built on the sovereignty of private property rights allows individual citizens to own the means of production, to negotiate and depend on enforceable contracts, and gives rise to the capital accumulation and investment that causes entrepreneurship and capitalism to flourish.

    Ironically for the socialists, the absence of the very profit motive for which they vilify under capitalism leads to the perverse incentives and lack of accountability in socialist bureaucracies which sow the seeds of corruption and tyranny in government. Inefficiency, corruption, graft, and tyranny are therefore features of socialism, and are not something that can be avoided if only “true socialism” were tried once more. It’s not that “true socialism” – the socialist utopia of prosperity under shared ownership of the means of production – hasn’t been the goal of many failed states like Venezuela, it’s just that it’s an inherently impossible outcome from enacting socialist policy.

    The Myth of the Venezuelan Resource Curse

    One such Venezuelan bureaucracy that plays a key role in the Venezuelan economy is Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A., which is more commonly referred to as PdVSA. PdVSA is Venezuela’s state-owned oil and natural gas company that serves as the largest source of government revenues due to its production and exportation of crude oil. Venezuela has the largest proven oil reserves in the world, accounting for nearly 300 billion barrels of oil. The nation is also rich in other precious natural resources such as gold. This may lead one to ask, why then does a country so rich in natural resources continue to suffer such economic hardship?

    Beginning in the mid-1990’s academic literature began to hone in on a so called “resource curse,” wherein the relationship between natural resource abundance and economic growth was closely examined. Some researchers have concluded that many countries have not only squandered their natural resources, but that economic performance has actually suffered as a result of the rise of natural resource discovery and production. People are therefore quick to point to Venezuela as yet another example of the “resource curse” in action rather than attributing blame to socialism. Some recent research, however, has found evidence that it is not likely the fault of simply having an outsized natural resource industry that starves the economy of investment elsewhere. After all, there are many historical examples where this curse did not arise.

    It is no accident that nations that have been largely immune to the resource curse despite their large natural resource sectors have been those that arose from foundations of property rights, individualism and capitalism. Property rights, which allow for the rise of private contracts and the private accumulation of the means of production, preclude the mass confiscation and government management of resources which is present under socialist control. As Mises so concisely stated, “Economic calculation can only take place by means of money prices established in the market for production goods in a society resting on private property in the means of production.” By nationalizing industries, and then making bloated government budgets dependent on the revenue of said industries, the government is then necessarily exposed financially to its largest industries. In a socialist state such as Venezuela, where government revenues are increasingly dependent on a single highly volatile commodity like oil that is priced in the global market, it is little wonder that the economy would be marred in instability.

    The supposed resource curse in Venezuela, properly described, is then nothing more than another example of the failure of socialist bureaucracies in their effort to try and function like market economies. Placing resources in the hands of “the people,” really means placing it in the hands of the government and its cronies. Furthermore, in centrally planned socialist economies such as Venezuela, where many individuals obtain their incomes in groups that compete over government revenue, it would seem to necessarily follow that corruption, graft, and a class of politically connected elites would grow at the expense of the rest of society. In political science terms, it breeds clientelism, or the exchange of goods and services for implicit or explicit political support. In fact, recent research has suggested that not only may the resource curse not exist, but that a clientelist economy may actually be a prerequisite for supposed resource curse outcomes.

    It is not merely a coincidence that even as global oil demand and production has risen in recent decades, a nation so rich in oil reserves saw its oil production peak just before the nationalization of the oil and gas industry began in the early 1970’s. Venezuelan oil production rose once more throughout the 1990’s as PdVSA began to employ private contractors, but that all changed with the election of Hugo Chávez and the start of the Bolivarian Revolution. During the Venezuelan general strike of 2002–2003, Chávez fired 19,000 employees of PDVSA and replaced them with employees loyal to his government. Since then, Venezuelan oil production has plummeted by 70 percent. This is clearly not the result of a curse that naturally arises from the laws of economics, but one that follows from government trying to ignore those laws.

    Monetary Policy and Hyperinflation

    A socialist economic meltdown would hardly be complete without a collapse of the currency. After all, like corruption and graft, inflation of the nation’s money supply under a socialist state should be expected. The collapse of the Venezuelan currency, the bolivar, is particularly tragic given that it was one of the strongest currencies in South America during the time of Venezuelan economic success from the 1950’s to 1970’s. Inflation began taking hold in the 1980’s following the Venezuelan government increasingly nationalizing industry and politicizing the central bank in the 1970’s.

    Predictably, the expansion of government led to growth in spending, deficits, and debt. As has typically been the case throughout history, instead of admitting failure and reversing course, the government began fleecing the people of Venezuela through the initially hidden, but now obvious, tax of inflation – by printing more bolivars at the expense of the purchasing power of the currency. This policy allows governments to inflate away their debts as they drive the currency toward worthlessness. As Mises so aptly noted in The Theory of Money and Credit, “Inflation has always been an important resource of policies of war and revolution and why we also find it in the service of socialism.”

    For consumers, a policy of monetary inflation has led to staggering price hikes throughout the economy. In a failed effort to compensate, Maduro ordered six minimum wage hikes in the country throughout 2018, and in 2019 has already issued an additional 300 percent increase. This brings the minimum wage to 18,000 bolivars per month, or less than 7 US dollars. Coupled with government price controls, this has led to mass shortages of basic goods like food, water, and toilet paper. At this point, the bolivar is literally not even worth the paper it is printed on. Indeed, it makes more financial sense to use the bolivar as toilet paper than to use it to try and buy toilet paper. Enormous stacks of cash are needed for basic goods given the currencies worthlessness. A cup of coffee, which a year ago cost 0.45 bolivars, now costs 1,700 bolivars.

    Best estimates show that Venezuelans saw prices rise at an annualized rate of 160,000% by the end of 2018. Venezuelans have no access to medical services, children and the elderly are starving to death, and millions of people are fleeing the country in mass as a result. The tragedy is that this suffering is the direct result of something that is completely avoidable. As Mises described in the 1950’s, “The most important thing to remember is that inflation is not an act of God, that inflation is not a catastrophe of the elements or a disease that comes like the plague. Inflation is a policy.” Indeed, as has been proven throughout history, it is a policy that follows from the growth of government under socialism.

    Trade in the Final Days of the Revolution

    Last July, Major General Manuel Quevedo – the career military officer who had been made president of PdVSA – met with a Catholic priest and a gathering of PdVSA workers and officials at the PdVSA headquarters for a prayer ceremony in hopes that God would help boost Venezuelan oil output. But not even calls to God could reverse the economic misfortune that follows when you place industry in the hands of military officials and socialist sympathizers.

    What followed was increasing economic and political disarray throughout 2018. With little choice left, the Venezuelan government quietly reversed the two-decade drive to nationalize the oil industry and began hiring outside firms to help maintain the last bit of operations at the state owned oil giant. This comes less than a year after Maduro was quoted saying, “I want a Socialist PDVSA. An ethical, sovereign and productive PDVSA. We must break this model of the rentier oil company.”

    While it is true that the Venezuelan government and economy has grown dependent on loans from their more ideologically aligned geopolitical allies China, India, and Russia over the past decade, their ideological adversary – the US – has been by far the largest buyer of the oil that finances the Venezuelan government. The US imported nearly 500,000 barrels per day of Venezuelan crude in 2018, accounting for nearly 40 percent of total Venezuelan exports and up from 34 percent of total Venezuelan exports in 2017. Given that Venezuela is greatly indebted to many of its other largest buyers like China and India, exporting oil to these countries only pays down debts and does not help meet needs for additional funding. As such, the US is thought to account for 75 percent of the total cash that Venezuela receives for their crude exports.

    What’s more, Venezuelan oil is far too heavy or thick to flow through pipeline and export infrastructure without having diluent - or refined light oil products like gasoline - to blend with its crude to reduce its viscosity. In the past, PdVSA created their own diluent at their own refineries. But with nearly the entire refining base going offline after years of bureaucratic mismanagement, in 2018 Venezuela increasingly turned to refiners in the US to supply the oil products that would allow them to continue to produce and export crude. The US supplied nearly 80 percent of the total diluent imported into Venezuela in 2018. While Venezuela can source this from elsewhere globally, it would come at a higher cost than procuring the geographically proximate US supply.

    So, what happened when socialist Venezuela ran up debts to their socialist allies globally and were starved of income and the inputs their industry depends on? Ironically, but not surprisingly, they turned to the supposed evil capitalist country that Maduro blames for their economic misfortune. As global pressure mounts against Maduro and his government, we can only hope for the people of Venezuela that the country will truly turn away from the anti-capitalistic mentality that led them to this point. The true problem in Venezuela will not simply resolve with a bail out by the IMF or World Bank. There must be a resolution from within the Venezuelan people to turn away from socialism. As Mises so astutely observed, “The problem of rendering the underdeveloped nations more prosperous cannot be solved by material aid. It is a spiritual and intellectual problem. Prosperity is not simply a matter of capital investment. It is an ideological issue.”

  40. Site: Mises Institute
    9 hours 35 min ago
    Author: Titus Gebel

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    Narrated by Scott R. Pollak.

     
  41. Site: Mises Institute
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  42. Site: Mises Institute
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  43. Site: Mises Institute
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  44. Site: Mises Institute
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  45. Site: Mises Institute
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  46. Site: Mises Institute
    9 hours 35 min ago
    Author: Titus Gebel

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    Narrated by Scott R. Pollak.

     
  47. Site: Mises Institute
    9 hours 35 min ago
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    Part III. Implementation. Pages 176–188 in the text. 

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  48. Site: Mises Institute
    9 hours 35 min ago
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  49. Site: Mises Institute
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  50. Site: Mises Institute
    9 hours 35 min ago
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    Part III. Implementation. Pages 168–175 in the text. 

    Narrated by Scott R. Pollak.

     

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