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  1. Site: Fr Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment
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    Since the Council, an idea has been spreading that Judaism is not superseded by the New Covenant of Jesus Christ; that Jews still have available to them the Covenant of the old Law, by which they can be saved.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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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: Mises Institute
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    Author: Murray N. Rothbard

    The fifth volume of Conceived in Liberty highlights the most important battle of the American project — one that continues to this day — the conflict between those who want to centralize power, and those who choose to stand to defend the American heritage of liberty.

    This book features a foreword by Judge Andrew Napolitano, a preface by Dr. Thomas E. Woods, and an introduction by Dr. Patrick Newman. Narrated by Millian Quinteros.

    Download the complete audiobook (41 MP3 files) in one ZIP file here. This audiobook is also available on Soundcloud, iTunes, Google Play, and via RSS.​

  8. Site: Mises Institute
    0 sec ago
    Author: Murray N. Rothbard

          Since World War II, mainstream neoclassical economics has followed the general equilibrium paradigm of Swiss economist Leon Walras (1834-1910).1 Economic analysis now consists of the exegesis and elaboration of the Walrasian concept of general equilibrium, in which the economy pursues an endless and unchanging round of activity—what the Walrasian Joseph Schumpeter aptly referred to as “the circular flow.” Since the equilibrium economy is by definition a changeless and unending round of robotic behavior, everyone on the market has perfect knowledge of the present and the future, and the pervasive uncertainty of the real world drops totally out of the picture. Since there is no more uncertainty, profits and losses disappear, and every business firm finds that its selling price exactly equals its cost of production.

         It is surely no accident that the rise to dominance of Walrasian economics has coincided with the virtual mathematization of the social sciences. Mathematics enjoys the prestige of being truly “scientific,” but it is difficult to mathematize the messy and fuzzy uncertainties and inevitable errors of real world entrepreneurship and human actions. Once one expunges such actions and uncertainties, however, it is easy to employ algebra and the tangencies of geometry in analyzing this unrealistic but readily mathematical equilibrium state.

         Most mainstream economic theorists are content to spend their time elaborating on the general equilibrium state, and simply to assume that this state is an accurate presentation of real world activity. But some economists have not been content with contemplating general equilibrium; they have been eager to apply this theory to the real world of dynamic change. For change clearly exists, and for some Walrasians it has not sufficed to simply translate general equilibrium analysis to the real world and to let the chips fall where they may.

         As someone who has proclaimed that Leon Walras was the greatest economist who ever lived, Joseph A. Schumpeter (1883-1950) faced this very problem. As a Walrasian, Schumpeter believed that general equilibrium is an overriding reality; and yet, since change, entrepreneurship, profits, and losses clearly exist in the real world, Schumpeter set himself the problem of integrating a theoretical explanation of such change into the Walrasian system. It was a formidable problem indeed, since Schumpeter, unlike the Austrians, could not dismiss general equilibrium as a long-run tendency that is never reached in the real world. For Schumpeter, general equilibrium had to be the overriding reality: the realistic starting point as well as the end point of his attempt to explain economic change.2

         To set forth a theory of economic change from a Walrasian perspective, Schumpeter had to begin with the economy in a real state of general equilibrium. He then had to explain change, but that change always had to return to a state of equilibrium, for without such a return, Walrasian equilibrium would only be real at one single point of past time and would not be a recurring reality. But Walrasian equilibrium is a world of unending statis; specifically, it depicts the consequences of a fixed and unchanging set of individual tastes, techniques, and resources in the economy. Schumpeter began, then, with the economy in a Walrasian box; the only way for any change to occur is through a change in one or more of these static givens.

          Furthermore, Schumpeter created even more problems for himself. In the Walrasian model, profits and losses were zero, but a rate of interest continued to be earned by capitalists, in accordance with the alleged marginal productivity of capital. An interest charge became incorporated into costs. But Schumpeter was too much of a student of Böhm-Bawerk to accept a crude productivity explanation of interest. The Austrian approach was to explain interest by a social rate of time preference, of the market’s preference for present goods over future goods. But Schumpeter rejected the concept of time-preference as well, and so he concluded that in a state of general equilibrium, the rate of interest as well as profits and losses are all zero.

          Schumpeter acknowledged that time-preference, and hence interest, exist on consumption loans, but he was interested in the production structure. Here he stressed, as against the crude productivity theory of interest, the Austrian concept of imputation, in which the values of products are imputed back to productive factors, leaving, in equilibrium, no net return. Also, in the Austrian manner, Schumpeter showed that capital goods can be broken down ultimately into the two original factors of production, land and labor.3 But what Schumpeter overlooked, or rather rejected, is the crucial Böhm-Bawerkian concept of time and time-preference in the process of production. Capital goods are not only embodied land and labor; they are embodied land, labor, and time, while interest becomes a payment for “time.” In a productive loan, the creditor of course exchanges a “present good” (money that can be used now) for a “future good” (money that will only be available in the future). And the primordial fact of time-preference dictates that every one will prefer to have wants satisfied now than at some point in the future, so that a present good will always be worth more than the present prospect of the equivalent future good. Hence, at any given time, future goods are discounted on the market by the social rate of time-preference.

         It is clear how this process works in a loan, in an exchange between creditor and debtor. But Böhm-Bawerk’s analysis of time-preference and interest went far deeper, and far beyond the loan market for he showed that time-preference and hence interest return exist apart from or even in the absence of any lending at all. For the capitalist who purchases or hires land and labor factors and employs them in production is buying these factors with money (present good) in the expectation that they will yield a future return of output, of either capital goods or consumer goods. In short, these original factors, land and labor, are future goods to the capitalist. Or, put another way, land and labor produce goods that will only be sold and hence yield a monetary return at some point in the future; yet they are paid wages or rents by the capitalist now, in the present.

          Therefore, in the Böhm-Bawerkian or Austrian insight, factors of production, hence workers or landowners, do not earn, as in neoclassical analysis, their marginal value product in equilibrium. They earn their marginal value product discounted by the rate of time-preference or rate of interest. And the capitalist, for his service of supplying factors with present goods and waiting for future returns, is paid the discount.4 Hence, time-preference and interest income exist in the state of equilibrium, and not simply as a charge on loans but as a return earned by every investing capitalist.

    Schumpeter can deny time-preference because he can somehow deny the role of time in production altogether. For Schumpeter, production apparently takes no time in equilibrium, because production and consumption are “synchronized.”5 Time is erased from the picture, even to the extent of assuming away accumulated stocks of capital goods, and therefore of any age structure of distribution of such goods.6 Since production is magically “synchronized,” there is then no necessity for land and labor to receive any advances from capitalists. As Schumpeter writes:

    There is no necessity [for workers or landowners] to apply for any “advances” of present consumption goods. . . . The individual need not look beyond the current period. . . . The mechanism of the economic process sees to it that he also provides for the future at the same time. . . . Hence every question of the accumulation of such stocks [of consumer goods to pay laborers] disappears.

         From this bizarre set of assumptions, “it follows”, notes Schumpeter, “that everywhere, even in a trading economy, produced means of production are nothing but transitory items. Nowhere do we find a stock of them fulfilling any functions.” In denying, further, that there is any “accumulated stock of consumer goods” ready to pay laborers and landowners, Schumpeter is also denying the patent fact that wages and rents are always paid out of the accumulated savings of capitalists, savings which could have been spent on consumer goods but which laborers and landowners will instead spend with their current incomes.

         How can Schumpeter come to this conclusion? One reason is that when workers and landowners exchange their services for present money, he denies that these involve “advances” of consumer goods, because “It is simply a matter of exchange, and not of credit transactions. The element of time plays no part.” What Schumpeter overlooks here is the profound Böhm-Bawerkian insight that the time market is not merely the credit market. For when workers and landowners earn money now for products that will only reap a return to capitalists in the future, they are receiving advances on production paid for out of capitalist saving, advances for which they in effect pay the capitalists a discount in the form of an interest return.7

         In most conceptions of final equilibrium, net savings are zero, but interest is high enough to induce gross saving by capitalists to just replace capital equipment. But in Schumpeter’s equilibrium, interest is zero, and this means that gross saving is zero as well. There appear to be neither an incentive for capitalists to maintain their capital equipment in Schumpeterian equilibrium nor the means for them to do so. The Schumpeterian equilibrium is therefore internally inconsistent and cannot be maintained.8

         Lionel Robbins puts the case in his usual pellucid prose:

    If there were no yield to the use of capital . . . there would be no reason to refrain from consuming it. If produced means of production are not productive of a net product, why devote resources to maintaining them when these resources might be devoted to providing present enjoyment? One would not have one’s cake rather than eat it, if there were no gain to be derived from having it. It is, in short, an interest rate, which, other things being given, keeps the stationary state—the rate at which it does not pay to turn income into capital or capital into income. If interest were to disappear the stationary state would cease to be stationary. Schumpeter can argue that no accumulation will be made once stationary equilibrium has been attained. But he is not entitled to argue that there will be no decumulation unless he admits the existence of interest.9 (emphasis added)

         To return to Schumpeter’s main problem, if the economy begins in a Walrasian general equilibrium modified by a zero rate of interest, how can any economic change, and specifically how can economic development, take place? In the Austrian-Böhm-Bawerkian view, economic development takes place through greater investment in more roundabout processes of production, and that investment is the result of greater net savings brought about by a general fall in rates of time-preference. Upon such a fall, people are more willing to abstain from consumption and to save a greater proportion of their incomes, and thereby invest in more capital and longer processes of production. In the Walrasian schema, change can only occur through alterations in tastes, techniques, or resources. A change in time-preference would qualify as a very important aspect of a change in consumer “tastes” or values.

         But for Schumpeter, there is no time-preference, and no savings in equilibrium. Consumer tastes are therefore irrelevant to increasing investment, and besides there are no savings or interest income out of which such investment can take place. A change in tastes or time-preferences cannot be an engine for economic change, and neither can investment in change emerge out of savings, profit, or interest.

         As for consumer values or tastes apart from time-preference, Schumpeter was convinced that consumers were passive creatures and he could not envision them as active agents for economic change.10 And even if consumer tastes change actively, how can a mere shift of demand from one product to another bring about economic development?

         Resources for Schumpeter are in no better shape as engines of economic development than are tastes. In the first place, the supplies of land and labor never change very rapidly over time, and furthermore they cannot account for the necessary investment that spurs and embodies economic growth.

          With tastes and resources disposed of, there is only one logically possible instrument of change or development left in Schumpeter’s equilibrium system: technique. “Innovation” (a change in embodied technical knowledge or production functions) is for Schumpeter the only logically possible avenue of economic development. To admire Schumpeter, as many economists have done, for his alleged realistic insight into economic history in seeing technological innovation as the source of development and the business cycle, is to miss the point entirely. For this conclusion is not an empirical insight on Schumpeter’s part; it is logically the only way that he can escape from the Walrasian (or neoWalrasian) box of his own making; it is the only way for any economic change to take place in his system.

         But if innovation is the only way out of the Schumpeterian box, how is this innovation to be financed? For there are no savings, no profits, and no interest returns in Schumpeterian equilibrium. Schumpeter is stuck: for there is no way within his own system for innovation to be financed, and therefore for the economy to get out of his own particularly restrictive variant of the Walrasian box. Hence, Schumpeter has to invent a deus ex machina, an exogenous variable from outside his system that will lift the economy out of the box and serve as the only possible engine of economic change. And that deus ex machina is inflationary bank credit. Banks must be postulated that expand the money supply through fractional reserve credit, and furthermore, that lend that new money exclusively to innovators—to new entrepreneurs who are willing and able to invest in new techniques, new processes, new industries. But they cannot do so because, by definition, there are no savings available for them to invest or borrow.

         Hence, the conclusion that innovation is the instrument of economic change and development, and that the innovations are financed by inflationary bank credit, is not a perceptive empirical generalization discovered by Joseph Schumpeter. It is not an empirical generalization at all; indeed it has no genuine referent to reality. Suggestive though his conclusion may seem, it is solely the logical result of Schumpeter’s fallacious assumptions and his closed system, and the only logical way of breaking out of his Walrasian box.

         One sees, too, why for Schumpeter the entrepreneur is always a disturber of the peace, a disruptive force away from equilibrium, whereas in the Austrian tradition of von Mises and Kirzner, the entrepreneur harmoniously adjusts the economy in the direction of equilibrium. For in the Austrian view the entrepreneur is the main bearer of uncertainty in the real world, and successful entrepreneurs reap profits by bringing resources, costs, and prices further in the direction of equilibrium. But Schumpeter starts, not in the real world, but in the never-never land of general equilibrium which he insists is the fundamental reality. But in the equilibrium world of stasis and certainty there are no entrepreneurs and no profit. The only role for entrepreneurship, by logical deduction, is to innovate, to disrupt a preexisting equilibrium. The entrepreneur cannot adjust, because everything has already been adjusted. In a world of certainty, there is no room for the entrepreneur; only inflationary bank credit and innovation enable him to exist. His only prescribed role, therefore, is to be disruptive and innovative.

         The entrepreneur, then, pays interest to the banks, interest for Schumpeter being a strictly monetary phenomenon. But where does the entrepreneurinnovator get the money to pay interest? Out of profits, profits that he will reap when the fruits of his innovation reach the market, and the new processes or products reap revenue from the consumers. Profits, therefore, are only the consequence of successful innovation, and interest is only a payment to inflationary banks out of profit.

         Inflationary bank credit means, of course, a rise in prices, and also a redirection of resources toward the investment in innovation. Prices rise, followed by increases in the prices of factors, such as wages and land rents. Schumpeter has managed, though not very convincingly, to break out of the Walrasian box. But he has not finished his problem. For it is not enough for him to break out of his box; he must also get back in. As a dedicated Walrasian, he must return the economy to another general equilibrium state, for after all, by definition a real equilibrium is a state to which variables tend to return once they are replaced. How does the return take place?

         For the economy to return to equilibrium, profits and interest must be evanescent. And innovation of course must also come to an end. How can this take place? For one thing, innovations must be discontinuous; they must only appear in discrete clusters. For if innovation were continuous, the economy would never return to the equilibrium state. Given this assumption of discontinuous clusters, Schumpeter found a way: When the innovations are “completed” and the new processes or new products enter the market, they out-compete the old processes and products, thereby reaping the profits out of which interest is paid. But these profits are made at the expense of severe losses for the old, now inefficient, firms or industries, which are driven to the wall. After a while, the innovations are completed, and the inexorable imputation process destroys all profits and therefore all interest, while the sudden losses to the old firms are also ended. The economy returns to the unchanging circular flow, and stays there until another cluster of innovations appears, whereupon the cycle starts all over again.

         “Cycle” is here the operative term, for in working out the logical process of breakout and return, Schumpeter has at the same time seemingly developed a unique theory of the business cycle. Phase I, the breakout, looks very much like the typical boom phase of the business cycle: inflationary bank credit, rise in prices and wages, general euphoria, and redirection of resources to more investment. Then, the events succeeding the “completion” of the innovation look very much like the typical recession or depression: sudden severe losses for the old firms, retrenchment. And finally, the disappearance of both innovation and euphoria, and eventually of losses and disruption—in short, a return to a placid period which can be made to seem like the state of stationary equilibrium.

         But Schumpeter’s doctrine only seems like a challenging business cycle theory worthy of profound investigation. For it is not really a cycle theory at all. It is simply the only logical way that Schumpeter can break out and then return to the Walrasian box. As such, it is certainly an ingenious formulation, but it has no genuine connection with reality at all.

         Even within his own theory, indeed, there are grave flaws. In the Walrasian world of perfect certainty (an assumption which is not relaxed with the coming of the innovator), how is it that the old firms wait until the “completion” of the innovation to find suddenly that they are suffering severe losses? In a world of perfect knowledge and expectations, the old firms would know of their fate from the very beginning, and early take steps to adjust to it. In a world of perfect expectations, therefore, there would be no losses, and therefore no recession or depression phase. There would be no cycle as economists know it.

          Finally, Schumpeter’s constrained model can only work if innovations come in clusters, and the empirical evidence for such clusters is virtually nil.11 In the real world, innovations occur all the time. Therefore, there is no reason to postulate any return to an equilibrium, even if it had ever existed in the past.

         In conclusion, Schumpeter’s theory of development and of business cycles has impressed many economists with his suggestive and seemingly meaningful discussions of innovation, bank credit, and the entrepreneur. He has seemed to offer far more than static Walrasian equilibrium analysis and to provide an economic dynamic, a theoretical explanation of cycles and of economic growth. In fact, however, Schumpeter’s seemingly impressive system has no relation to the real world at all. He has not provided an economic dynamic; he has only found an ingenious but fallacious way of trying to break out of the static Walrasian box. His theory is a mere exercise in equilibrium logic leading nowhere.

         It is undoubtedly at least a partial realization of this unhappy fact that prompted Schumpeter to expand his business cycle theory from his open-cycle model of the Theory of Economic Development of 1912 to his three-cycle schema in his two-volume Business Cycles nearly three decades later.12 More specifically, Schumpeter saw that one of the problems in applying his model to reality was that if the length of the boom period is determined by the length of time required to “complete” the innovation and bring it to market, then how could his model apply to real life, where simultaneous innovations occur, each of which requires a different time for its completion? His later three-cycle theory is a desperate attempt to encompass such real-life problems. Specifically, Schumpeter has now postulated that the economy, instead of unitarily breaking out and returning to equilibrium, consists of three separate hermetically sealed, strictly periodic cycles—the “Kitchin”, the “Juglar,” and the “Kon-dratieff”—each with the same innovation-inflation-depression characteristics. This conjuring up of allegedly separate underlying cycles, each cut off from the other, but all adding to each other to yield the observable results of the real world, can only be considered a desperate lapse into mysticism in order to shore up his original model.

         In the first place, there are far more than three innovations going on at one time in the economy, and there is no reason to assume strict periodicity of each set of disparate changes. Indeed, there is no such clustering of innovations as would be required by the theory. Secondly, in the market economy, all prices and activities interact; there therefore can never be any hermetically sealed cycles. The multicycle scheme is an unnecessary and heedless multiplication of entities in flagrant violation of Occam’s Razor. In an attempt to save the theory, it asserts propositions that cannot be falsifiable, since another cycle can always be conjured up to explain away anomalies.13 In an attempt to salvage his original model, Schumpeter only succeeded in adding new and greater fallacies to the old.

         In the years before and during World War II, the most popular dynamic theory of economic change was the gloomy doctrine of “secular stagnation” (or “economic maturity”) advanced by Professor Alvin H. Hansen.14 The explanation of the Great Depression of the 1930s, for Hansen, was that the United States had become mired in permanent stagnation, from which it could not be lifted by free market capitalism. A year or two after the publication of Keynes’s General Theory, Hansen had leaped on the New Economics to become the leading American Keynesian; but secular stagnation, while giving Keynesianism a left-flavor, was unrelated to Keynesian theory. For Keynes, the key to prosperity or depression was private investment: flourishing private investment means prosperity; weak and fitful investment leads to depression. But Keynes was an agnostic on the investment question, whereas Hansen supplied his own gnosis. Private investment in the United States was doomed to permanent frailty, Hansen opined, because (1) the frontier was now closed; (2) population growth was declining rapidly; and (3) there would be hardly any further inventions, and what few there were would be of the capital-saving rather than labor-saving variety, so that total investment could not increase.

         George Terborgh, in his well-known reputation of the stagnation thesis, The Bogey of Economic Maturity, concentrated on a statistical critique.15 If the frontier had been “closed” since the turn of the century, why then had there been a boom for virtually three decades until the 1930s? Population growth too, had been declining for many decades. It was easy, also, to demolish the rather odd and audacious prediction that few or no further inventions, at least of the labor-saving variety, would ever more be discovered. Predictions of the cessation of invention, which have occurred from time to time through history, are easy targets for ridicule.

         But Terborgh never penetrated to the fundamentals of the Hansen thesis. In an age beset by the constant clamor of population doomsayers and zero-population-growth enthusiasts, it is difficult to conjure up an intellectual climate when it seemed to make sense to worry about the slowing of population growth. But why, indeed, should Hansen have considered population growth as ipso facto a positive factor for the spurring of investment? And why would a slowing down of such growth be an impetus to decay? Schumpeter, in his own critique of the Hansen thesis, sensibly pointed out that population growth could easily lead to a fall in real income per capita.16

         Ironically, however, Schumpeter did not recognize that Hansen, too, in his own way, was trying to break out of the Walrasian box. Hansen began implicitly (not explicitly like Schumpeter) with the circular flow and general equilibrium, and then considered the various possible factors that might change—or, more specifically, might increase. And these were the familiar Walrasian triad: land, labor, and technique. As Terborgh noted, Hansen had a static view of “investment opportunities.” He treated them as if they were a limited physical entity, like a sponge. They were a fixed amount, and when that maximum amount was reached, investment opportunities were “saturated” and disappeared. The implicit Hansen assumption is that these opportunities could be generated only by increases in land, labor, and improved techniques (which Hansen limited to inventions rather than Schumpeterian innovations). And so the closing of the frontier meant the drying up of “land-investment opportunities”, as one might call them, the slowing of population growth, the end of “labor-investment opportunities,” leading to a situation where innovation could not carry the remaining burden. And so Hansen’s curious view of the economic effects of diminishing population growth, as gloomily empirical as it might seem, was not really an empirical generalization at all. Indeed, it said nothing about dynamic change or about the real world at all. The allegedly favorable effect of high population growth was merely the logical spinning out of Hansen’s own unsuccessful variant of trying to escape from the Walrasian box.

         And so Hansen’s curious view of the economic effects of diminishing population growth, as gloomily empirical as it might seem, was not really an empirical generalization at all. Indeed, it said nothing about dynamic change or about the real world at all. The allegedly favorable effect of high population growth was merely the logical spinning out of Hansen’s own unsuccessful variant of trying to escape from the Walrasian box.

    The author learned the basic insights of this article many years ago from lectures of Professor Arthur F. Burns at Columbia University.

    • 1. Before World War II, the dominant paradigm, at least in Anglo-American economics, was the neo-Ricardian partial equilibrium theory of Alfred Marshall. In that era, Walras and his followers, the earliest being the Italian Vilfredo Pareto, were referred to as “the Lausanne school.” With the Walrasian conquest of the mainstream, what was once a mere school has now been transformed into “microeconomics.”
    • 2. In maintaining that Schumpeter was more influenced by the Austrians than by Walras, Mohammed Khan overlooks the fact that Schumpeter’s first book, and the only one still untranslated into English, Das Wesen und der Hauptinhalt der Theoretischen Nationalekonomie (The Essence and Principal Contents of Economic Theory) (Leipzig, 1908), written while he was still a student of Böhm-Bawerk, was an aggressively Walrasian work. Not only is Das Wesen a nonmathematical apologia for the mathematical method, but it is also a study in Walrasian general equilibrium that depicts economic events as the result of mechanistic quantitative interactions of physical entities, rather than as consequences of purposeful human action—the Austrian approach. Thus, Fritz Machlup writes that Schumpeter’s emphasis on the character of economics as a quantitative science, as an equilibrium system whose elements are “quantities of goods,” led him to regard it as unnecessary, and, hence, as methodologically mistaken for economics to deal with “economic conduct” and with “the motives of human conduct” (Fritz Machlup, “Schumpeter’s Economic Methodology,” Review of Economics and Statistics 33 (May 1951: 146-47). Cf. Mohammed Shabbir Khan, Schumpeter’s Theory of Capitalist Development (Aligarh, India: Muslim University of India, 1957). On Das Wesen, see Erich Schneider, Joseph Schumpeter: Life and Work of a Great Social Scientist (Lincoln, Neb.: University of Nebraska Bureau of Business Research, 1975), pp. 5-8. On Schumpeter as Walrasian, also see Schneider, “Schumpeter’s Early German Work, 1906-17,” Review of Economics and Statistics (May 1951): 1-4; and Arthur W. Marget, “The Monetary Aspects of the Schumpeterian System,” ibid. p. 112ff. On Schumpeter as not being an “Austrian,” also see “Haberler on Schumpeter,” in Henry W. Spiegel, ed., The Development of Economic Thought (New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1952), pp. 742-43.
    • 3. Thus, Schumpeter wrote that in the normal circular flow the whole value product must be imputed to the original productive factors, that is to the services of labor and land; hence the whole receipts from production must be divided between workers and landowners and there can be no permanent net income other than wages and rent. Competition on the one hand and imputation on the other must annihilate any surplus of receipts over outlays, any excess of the value of the product over the value of the services of labor and land embodied in it. The value of the original means of production must attach itself with the faithfulness of a shadow to the value of the product, and could not allow the slightest permanent gap between the two to exist. . . . To be sure, produced means of production have the capacity of serving in the production of goods. . . . And these goods also have a higher value than those which could be produced with the produced means of production. But this higher value must also lead to a higher value of the services of labor and land employed. No element of surplus value can remain permanently attached to these intermediate means of production (Joseph A. Schumpeter, The Theory of Economic Development: An Inquiry Into Profits, Capital, Credit, Interest, and the Business Cycle. New York: Oxford University Press, 1961, pp. 160, 162).
    • 4. See the attack on this Austrian view from a Knightian neoclassical perspective in Earl Rolph, “The Discounted Marginal Productivity Doctrine,” in W. Fellner and B. Haley, eds., Readings in the Theory of Income Distribution (Philadelphia: Blakiston, 1946), pp 278-93. For a rebuttal, see Murray N. Rothbard, Man, Economy, and State vol. I (Los Angeles: Nash Publishing Co., 1970), 431-33.
    • 5. On this alleged synchronization, see Khan, Schumpeter’s Theory, pp. 51, 53. The concept of synchronization of production is a most un-Austrian one that Schumpeter took from John Bates Clark, which in turn led to the famous battle in the 1930s between the Clark-Knight concept of capital and the Austrian views of Hayek, Machlup, and Boulding. See ibid., p. 6n. Also see F.A. Hayek, “The Mythology of Capital,” in Fellner and Haley, Readings, pp. 355-83.
    • 6. In Khan’s words, for Schumpeter “capital cannot have any age structure and perishes in the very process of its function of having command over the means of production” (Khan, Schumpeter’s Theory, p. 48). Schumpeter achieves this feat by sundering capital completely from its embodiment in capital goods, and limiting the concept to only a money fund used to purchase those goods. For Schumpeter, then, capital (like interest) becomes a purely monetary phenomenon, not rooted in real goods or real transactions. See Schumpeter, Economic Development, pp. 116-17.
    • 7. See Schumpeter, Economic Development, pp. 43-44.
    • 8. Clemence and Doody attempt to refute this charge, but do so by assuming a zero rate of time-preference. Capitalists would then be interested in maximizing their utility returns over time without regard for when they would be reaped. Hence, capital goods would be maintained indefinitely. But for those who believe that everyone has a positive rate of time-preference, and hence positively discounts future returns, a zero rate of return would quickly cause the depletion of capital and certainly the collapse of stationary equilibrium. Richard V. Clemence and Francis S. Doody, The Schumpeterian System (Cambridge, Mass: Addison-Wesley, 1950), pp. 28-30.
    • 9. In the excellent critique of Schumpeter’s zero-interest equilibrium by Lionel Robbins, “On a Certain Ambiguity in the Conception of Stationary Equilibrium,” Economic Journal 40 (June 1930): pp. 211-14. Also see Gottfried Haberler, “Schumpeter’s Theory of Interest,” Review of Economics and Statistics (May 1951): 122ff.
    • 10. Thus, Schumpeter wrote: “It is not the large mass of consumers which induces production. On the contrary, the crowd is mastered and led by the key personalities in production” (italics are Schumpeter’s) in “Die neuere Wirtschaftstheorie in den Vereinigten Staaten” (“Recent Economic Theory in the United States”) Schmollers Jahrbuch (1910), cited in Schneider, Joseph A. Schumpeter, p. 13.
    • 11. See Simon S. Kuznets, “Schumpeter’s Business Cycles,” American Economic Review (June 1940).
    • 12. Joseph A. Schumpeter, Business Cycles: A Theoretical, Historical, and Statistical Analysis of the Capitalist Process, 2 vols. (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1939).
    • 13. This does not mean that all propositions must be falsifiable; they can be selfevident or deduced from self-evident axioms. But no one can claim that the alleged Kitchin, Juglar, and Kondratieff cycles are in any sense self-evident.
    • 14. See Alvin H. Hansen, Fiscal Policy and Business Cycles (New York: W.W. Norton, 1941). For a clear summary statement of his position, see Hansen, “Economic Progress and Declining Population Growth,” in G. Haberler, ed., Readings in Business Cycle Theory (Philadelphia: Blakiston, 1944), pp. 366-84.
    • 15. George Terborgh, The Bogey of Economic Maturity (Chicago: Machinery and Allied Products Institute, 1945).
    • 16. Schumpeter, Business Cycles, p. 74.
  9. Site: Steyn Online
    0 sec ago
    The Corner post that launched a lawsuit...
  10. Site: Sputnik Opinion
    2 hours 26 min ago
    While Canada has confirmed only 12,400 cases of COVID-19 and 179 deaths from the disease, its southern neighbor the US is topping the world's coronavirus tally, with more than 275,500 infections and over 7,000 fatalities registered, the count by Johns Hopkins University shows.
  11. Site: Public Discourse
    2 hours 33 min ago
    Author: Matthew J. Franck

    Like a great many other people in these days of plague, I am “locked down” in my home, venturing out only on the strictest necessity. I am fortunate, unlike many others, that the current norms for work have not cost me my livelihood. And I am fortunate in another way: I have a house full of books. Here, I will recommend some of those books as good ones to turn to in moments of idleness. Some may be available as e-books. But for those who want hard copies, I will link to search results for them at abebooks.com, where decent used copies can be acquired inexpensively—and from small booksellers who need our support more than Amazon does.

    Our thoughts have often turned in recent days to accounts of similar times in our history, such as the 1918-19 influenza pandemic. And then there is the folk memory of World War II, recalled as a time of collective sacrifice, herculean effort, great losses, and final victory. The enemy today is a virus, but can we learn something from those days? To “apply” what we can learn from the Second World War may be more than we can reasonably expect. But reading good history also takes us out of ourselves and places us, for a time, elsewhere and elsewhen. In our isolation, with our minds so preoccupied with the pandemic and its economic and social effects, such an escape to times and places when human beings were under equal or greater stress can be just what the doctor ordered.

    I am no historian or scholar of the Second World War, but here are five books on the subject that I recommend. None is a standard attempt at a comprehensive history; all are wonderfully written; most are relatively brief. And each one may prompt reflection on how our situation is both like and unlike a great war.

    Paul Fussell, Wartime: Understanding and Behavior in the Second World War (1989).

    Fussell, a professor of English at Penn, was an infantryman during the war, and turned back to examine that formative experience decades later. In this profound, often acerbically funny book, he considers an extraordinary range of subjects, yet weaves them into an integrated reflection on the ways the war changed the societies embroiled in it. From wartime propaganda, to what people were reading, to what they were writing during and after living through the war, to the (frankly obscene) language of common soldiers, to the death of naïveté in the face of abject fear and horror, Fussell is unsparing, vivid, and brutally honest about our ability to blind ourselves to the realities of war.

    Michael Burleigh, Moral Combat: Good and Evil in World War II (2011).

    Avoiding both the amoral so-called “realism” sometimes affected by historians and the arid moral abstractions too often employed by philosophers, Burleigh approaches the grim international conflict of the Second World War with both moral seriousness and a historical understanding of the vicissitudes of strategy and the stresses human beings were under. Battlefield behavior and bombing campaigns, the treatment of prisoners and civilian populations, the decisions of statesmen and the conduct of men on the front lines, are all weighed in Burleigh’s balance. One of the virtues of this book is the author’s candor and transparency about his judgments, which are presented in such a way as to give the reader sufficient information to agree or disagree with Burleigh’s conclusions. Few books convey more fully the impact of war on morality—and vice versa.

    John Lukacs, Five Days in London, May 1940 (1999).

    Lukacs, the author of many works of history, including several others on Winston Churchill, gives us a concentrated lesson in statesmanship. He describes the days from May 24 to May 28, 1940, as the time in which the new prime minister “saved Britain, and Europe, and Western civilization.” How Churchill saw his way through a miasma of uncertainties—in his own cabinet, on the beach at Dunkirk, in the plans of the enemy—and snatched survival from the teeth of disaster, makes for a riveting, fast-paced story.

    David Brinkley, Washington Goes to War: The Extraordinary Story of the Transformation of a City and a Nation (1988).

    Later famous as a television news anchor, Brinkley was mustered out of the army on a medical discharge and arrived in Washington as a radio reporter in 1943. The book he published forty-five years later is rich with anecdotes, a detailed portrait of the sleepy capital city on the Potomac that mushroomed in just a few years into the bustling bureaucratic center of the universe that we know today. If, as has famously been said, war is the health of the state, what Brinkley gives us often looks rather like a tumescent growth, often malignant and rarely benign. But it’s the city’s life that he really makes fascinating.

    Marie Vassiltchikov, Berlin Diaries, 1940–1945 (1987).

    I defy any any heterosexual male reader to make his way through this book without falling in love with the author, a White Russian princess who found employment in the German Foreign Office. Never in sympathy with the Nazi regime, she began to keep this secret diary in English. As the war churned on and the author was witness to the city’s destruction by allied bombing, she found herself on the fringes of the circle responsible for the attempt on Hitler’s life in the summer of 1944, but was not implicated in it. Her diaries have a fresh and detailed immediacy, surveying the social scene of an aristocratic class, and the struggle to survive total war. They show us how a human being can just keep going in the midst of collapse.

    Books as good as these can put our own plight in perspective. We must help each other face the fears and uncertainties of the crisis we are in. But we must also resist the temptation to view the present as the worst of times, or the most heroic. Human beings have seen and survived worse.

  12. Site: From Rome
    2 hours 57 min ago
    Author: From Rome Editor
  13. Site: LifeSite News
    3 hours 16 min ago
    Archbishop Samuel Aquila wrote that there are a few bishops who 'sadly ... should know better' than to downplay the critical importance of human life.
  14. Site: Sputnik Opinion
    3 hours 33 min ago
    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Serbia is ready to follow the recommendations of highly qualified Russian specialists in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic to prevent the situation from sliding into worst-case scenarios, city of Belgrade parliamentarian Draginja Vlk said.
  15. Site: LifeNews
    3 hours 38 min ago
    Author: Micaiah Bilger

    President Donald Trump received strong praise from Catholic leaders Thursday when they helped launch the new Catholics for Trump coalition.

    Leaders of the coalition touted the president’s pro-life record during a broadcast kicking off the effort to recruit and activate Catholic voters to support Trump in November.

    Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life is among the advisory board leaders. He told the AP that Trump has been “trying to protect the right to life” and his actions on many issues have been “completely consistent with Catholic teaching.”

    “He’s protecting our people by strengthening borders, not to stop immigration but to stop crime, to protect families, to protect neighborhoods,” Pavone said.

    The coalition plans to highlight how Trump has kept his promises, especially on pro-life issues and religious freedom. Other pro-life leaders involved in the coalition include Kristan Hawkins of Students for Life of America and Marjorie Dannenfelser of Susan B. Anthony List.

    “Through his pro-life policies, his judicial appointments, and his fight for religious freedom, President Trump is our country’s most staunch defender of the Catholic faith,” said Mercedes Schlapp, a senior advisor for the president’s 2020 election campaign. “We are focused on energizing, engaging and activating the Catholic community to support President Trump who has kept his promises and strongly leads our nation during this difficult time.”

    SIGN THE PETITION: Stop Infanticide! Stop Abortions Up to Birth!

    Leaders of the coalition also plan to contrast Trump with likely Democrat contender Joe Biden, who claims to be Catholic. Schlapp said Biden is “extreme” on abortion and will not protect religious liberties. Last year, Biden flip-flopped on taxpayer-funded abortions and now supports them. He also was part of the Obama administration when it fought to force Catholic charities to pay for abortion-causing drugs through Obamacare.

    In contrast, Trump has lived up to his promises to religious and pro-life voters. In one of his first acts as president, Trump defunded two of the world’s largest abortion chains, the International Planned Parenthood Federation and Marie Stopes International, of about $170 million in American tax dollars.

    His administration has been pushing back aggressively against the United Nations’ pro-abortion agenda as well, insisting that countries support women and children, born and unborn. In 2017, Trump stopped giving tax dollars to UNFPA. The UN agency pushes abortions on other countries and has worked with China for decades to implement its forced abortion population control policies. Trump renewed the order again in 2018 and 2019. The decision cut $32.5 million in funding from UNFPA.

    At the national level, Trump also has taken steps to defund Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, of millions of taxpayer dollars. However, some of these efforts have been thwarted by lawsuits and pro-abortion state leaders who are giving state taxpayer funds to the abortion chain to replace Trump’s cuts.

    Last year, his administration also introduced new restrictions to stop taxpayer dollars from funding research using aborted baby body parts.

    He also appointed conservative judges to courts throughout the U.S., including the U.S. Supreme Court, and promised to sign a law banning late-term abortions if it reaches his desk.

    He has been a strong voice for life as well. Repeatedly, Trump has called out Democrats for blocking a bill to protect newborn babies from infanticide. Earlier this year, he became the first president to speak in-person at the March for Life. The Republican president also has surrounded himself with strong pro-life leaders, including Vice President Mike Pence.

  16. Site: PaulCraigRoberts.org
    3 hours 39 min ago
    Author: pcr3

    This is a posting by experts explaining the transmission of Covid-19 by aerosol and an explanation of what that means.  Some European health ministers and prime ministers do not seem to understand the concept.  

    We are a multidisciplinary and international group of experts who conclude that neglecting the transmission of COVID 19 by aerosol is the source of the difference between the countries which control or do not control the spread of the new coronavirus.

    When a person carries a respiratory virus, his cough, sneezing, but also his talking or singing will produce a cloud of droplets from his mouth or nose.

    The modes of contamination of respiratory viral diseases can be classified into three categories according to the size of these droplets:

    • For large droplets if you are at a short distance (less than the famous 6 feet) they can be directly projected on you (the healthy person).
    • These same droplets can fall on a surface and contaminate it. If you touch it and bring your hands to your face there is a high risk of being contaminated.
    • But for very small droplets, they stay airborne and propagate over distances well over 6 feet, and this infectious aerosol can be inhaled, leading to contamination.

    The recommendations currently given to the population to slow down the epidemic are exclusively based on the first two modes of transmission of COVID-19 described above and exclude the third possibility.

    What is an aerosol

    An aerosol consists of microdroplets that remain suspended in the air. In fact, the smaller the drop, the greater the resistance force of the air relative to its weight and the more the droplets settles slowly, possibly at almost zero speed. In addition, these microdroplets can decrease in size by evaporation of water, which allows them to remain almost indefinitely in suspension.

    The movement of droplets of different sizes produced during normal conversation, or a cough or sneeze, can be visualized by laser illumination as shown in the figure below, adapted from an article published by one of the authors of this column in the Journal of Fluid Mechanics in 2014. It is shown that the aerosol cloud can propagate much further than isolated droplets thanks to the interactions between the droplets and the gas phase of the cloud. And that a sneeze can send droplets up to 6 meters away.

    A recent video made by Japanese scientists also shows very well how these microdroplets can remain in suspension in the air and travel very far, see https://www.ccn.com/japan-scientists-find-new-transmission-route -of-coronavirus-in-breakthrough-study

    When a person is infected, whether symptomatic or not, microdroplets can contain virus that remains infectious for a long time (the viability of the virus is measured in hours), and they are therefore capable of infecting the people who breathe them.

    In still air, the smallest particles will reach, after emission, distances of several meters over times of the order of a minute, but the overall movements (convection) of the air are likely to transport them over much longer distances. large in a very short time and much less than an hour.

    Our social distancing measures are therefore not adequate to the reality of the mode of aerosol transmission of this new coronavirus.

    The importance and usefulness of the different masks.

    Besides the detection of infected persons associated with containment, the best way to prevent aerosol transmission at the level of the individual is well known, the use of personal protective equipment, in particular masks of the N95 or FFP2 types which effectively protect against aerosol transmission. Even though surgical masks are much less effective against aerosols than FFP2, they are nevertheless scientifically proven to be effective, both in limiting transmission by infected individuals and in limiting the contagion of uninfected people.

    In fact, the cities and countries that have best controlled the spread of the virus are Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong (despite their proximity to the epicenter of the pandemic), followed by China and South Korea. They were able to flatten the curve and thereby attenuate and then control the spread of the virus. These countries recognize the importance of minimizing all modes of transmission, including droplet and aerosol transmission, where the role of a mask is critical to the protection of the individual.

    Figures from China demonstrate the importance of aerosol transmission and the essential protective role of masks, N95/FFP2. In fact, more than 3,000 people in the medical profession were infected in Wuhan this year during the first wave of COVID-19 and all the images show us the staff with simple isolation masks (surgical type) and not FFP2. On the other hand, 42,000 health professionals were sent in for reinforcement, but equipped with FFP2, and not a single infection was deplored among them!

    The wearing of masks by all citizens.

    In Asian countries, wearing a surgical mask is the minimum requirement for citizens in public and the effectiveness of these masks in reducing the transmission of respiratory diseases is widely demonstrated. It is therefore particularly disturbing to hear public authorities in France, Belgium and the US repeat since the beginning of this crisis that masks are useless for the public and that they would give a false sense of security. These public authorities insist that aerosol transmission would not be an important element for COVID-19, but these assertions are without scientific foundation and distance us from the actions that we can all take to flatten the progression curve of the virus and to stop it. infection. Masks should play a key role in helping us out of the crisis.

    These comments seem to be motivated by the shortage of FFP2 masks in particular, which must of course be reserved as a priority for nursing staff and other front-line staff, which all adults understand perfectly, and there is therefore no need to hide the reality of the situation. This only creates confusion and a feeling of helplessness among the general public. On the contrary, informing the public of the reality of the situation would allow them to adapt as best they can to the danger we face.

    While the WHO continues in its absurd recommendation to say that masks are not necessary for the general public, France persists in the same direction, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) in the United States reconsider this position: “Up to 25% of people infected with the new coronavirus may not have symptoms,” warns Redfield, director of CDC. The agency had said on several occasions that ordinary citizens do not need to wear masks unless they feel sick. But knowing that people can be infected and contagious without feeling sick, Redfield said the advice is “being critically reviewed”.

    However, the position of the Chinese government, represented by George Gao, the director general of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, could not be clearer: Not wearing a mask to protect yourself from coronavirus is a “big mistake “

    Wearing a mask is compulsory in public in several Asian countries in the current situation, countries which have the best control over the spread of the virus on their territory. In Europe, the city of Prague is the only one to have mandated the wearing of a mask or scarf in public since March 18, why?

    The city of Prague, an example to follow.

    Petr Ludwig, had produced an educational video on the importance of wearing masks, not as protection for oneself, but to protect others in case one is contagious without knowing it. The video cites a study by researchers at the University of Cambridge which concludes that surgical masks are 3 times more effective than homemade masks, however they recommend homemade masks as a last resort when surgical masks are not available.

    As the shortage of masks supplied by the Czech government continued, hospitals used social media to ask if people could sew masks for them. In an unprecedented demonstration of support, many people started making masks, not only for hospitals but for everyone. The effort was both individual and organizational – theaters, non-profit organizations, small businesses and factories that normally produce clothing, linens and accessories have shifted their focus to full-time sewing . Local businesses sewed, supplied hospitals, homes for the aged, police and firefighters. The masks were delivered to hospitals or to friends and neighbors who often found them in their mailboxes. In some areas, people have created “mask trees” to make additional masks available to others.

    Of course, the badly worn FFP2 and surgical masks do not offer perfect protection. But the stated objective is “to flatten the curve” and we must adopt all measures to reduce contamination, including homemade masks which offer significant protection when shopping. We must stop pretending that masks are not effective, even if they are imperfect; the best should not be the enemy of good.

    Beyond the necessary flattening of the curve, it is the mass production of masks to N95/FFP2 standards for the public that will allow the fastest return to an almost normal economic activity.

    Organizational implications of aerosol transmission

    Confined spaces favor aerosol transmission and can be the site of episodes of super-contagion, as was the case in evangelical gatherings in France (Mulhouse) and in South Korea (Daegu). Indeed, the phenomenon can be exacerbated by an air heater or air conditioning system, where the air is recirculated inside the premises for the sake of saving on heating (or cooling). It is therefore recommended to stop any device of this type, which contributes to circulating the ambient air. On the other hand, the massive and frequent aeration by outside air in premises still frequented by the public, pharmacies, the post office, small food stores and supermarkets, contributes by dilution to a reduction in the number of infectious particles to which the public is exposed.

    The space heater systems of many buildings obviously include a supply of fresh air to maintain indoor air quality, but they have only been designed for ordinary pollutants and maintaining an acceptable humidity level. Even more serious, autonomous air heater systems, essentially consisting of a simple heat exchanger fitted with a fan, are widely used for heating workshops, garages, food stores, etc. Their users (craftsmen, small industrialists, traders, etc.) must be aware of the danger they present and the need for immediate shutdown.

    The safety distance.

    Finally, the work carried out by researchers in Japan, and by a signatory from this article in the United States, shows that the safety distance of 6 feet is largely insufficient, the communication on “barrier measures” suggests to the population that this distance is sufficient to greatly reduce the risk of contamination. This is not the case in the absence of a mask and this communication causes the population to be confused and not to understand the value of social distancing!

    The dangers of continuing non-essential economic activities

    Containment measures in Italy, Belgium and other countries are showing their effects, with an increase in the doubling time visible after a certain delay since the implementation of containment. The flattening of the curve, combined with a hospitalization time shortened by the treatments available, may allow us to avoid saturation of hospitals, but we must avoid a second wave of propagation in the population that remains active.

    This is why we recommend that all governmental and private organizations suspend all activities which are not absolutely essential or carried out by teleworking, because in the absence of FFP2 masks, the virus will continue to spread in our institutions and our companies. The larger the population, the larger the second wave, and the greater the risk of congestion in our hospitals.

    We pleaded for the respect of the principle of reality, for the application of the necessary measures of public health and the principle of precaution in medicine, which enjoin us to act while protecting us by all possible means from all possible modes of transmission of COVID-19. Instead of covering our eyes so as not to see this reality, wrongly considered as anxiety-provoking, let us take our destiny in hand by covering our mouth and nose as effectively as possible.

    In summary, let’s be adults and accept the reality of the risk of aerosol transmission, limit all non-essential activities, use all means of protection for our respiratory tract, from N95/FFP2 to the humble shawl, while waiting to develop the tools to return to full activity, namely a massive nucleic and serological screening capacity for this virus associated with confinement of infected persons, and a capacity for local production of N95/FFP2 masks for the entire population.


    Marc Wathelet, Ph.D. (doctor of science) specialist in coronaviruses.

    Giovanna Borsellino, M.D., Ph.D., Neuroimmunology Unit, Santa Lucia Foundation IRCCS, Rome, Italy.

    Etienne Decroly, Ph.D., Directeur de recherche CNRS, Laboratoire AFMB, Membre du conseil scientifique de la société française de virologie.

    Nathanael Goldman, Pediatrician, MSc Public Health, MSc Clinical Trials (LSHTM).

    Philippe Koch, M.D., Ph.D., ophtalmologue, Professeur à l’Université Orsay-Paris Sud.

    Bertrand Rowe, docteur ès sciences, Directeur de Recherche CNRS retraité, consultant, lauréat du prix Descartes 2000 de la recherche européenne.

    Yang Zhao, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Mississippi State University

    Nora Zekhnini, M.D., General practitioners

    The post Transmission of COVID-19 by aerosol, implications for public health appeared first on PaulCraigRoberts.org.

  17. Site: LifeNews
    3 hours 44 min ago
    Author: Micaiah Bilger

    United Nations leaders are pushing through a $2 billion spending plan for the coronavirus that includes funding to abort unborn babies in elective abortions.

    According to C-Fam, abortions are considered “essential” in the new proposal by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

    The plan is supposed to provide funding for developing countries to buy medical supplies, food and other basic resources during the pandemic. However, C-Fam discovered that “sexual and reproductive health and rights” also are listed as a key priority in the plan.

    “[The plan] calls on the humanitarian response to be guided by ‘Minimum Initial Service Package’ or MISP, for reproductive health in emergencies,” according to the pro-life organization. “The UN manual which contains the MISP says that medical personnel should refer for abortions even against their consciences. Guterres’ plan also allocates $140 million to the pro-abortion UN population fund.”

    The World Health Organization also is promoting non-essential, elective abortions as an “essential service” during the health crisis.

    Here’s more from the report:

    “Women’s choices and rights to sexual and reproductive health care should be respected irrespective of COVID-19 status, including access to contraception and safe abortion to the full extent of the law,” the WHO manual reads, after pointing out that there are no known complications related to pregnancy from the novel coronavirus.

    Last week, a WHO staffer said the WHO has been working to ensure abortion drugs are considered “essential”during a webinar hosted by a pro-abortion journal. She praised abortion groups urging governments to designate abortion “essential.” She also promoted the WHO’s official view that where access to abortion is difficult, women should self-administer abortions.

    America gives huge amounts of money to the United Nations. However, President Donald Trump and his administration have been pushing back aggressively against the United Nations’ pro-abortion agenda, insisting that countries support women and children, born and unborn.

    Follow LifeNews.com on Instagram for pro-life pictures and videos.

    In 2017, Trump stopped giving tax dollars to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) because it pushes abortions on other countries and has worked with China for decades to implement its forced abortion population control policies. Trump renewed the order again in 2018 and 2019. The decision cut $32.5 million in funding from the UNFPA budget.

    Still, it appears that more needs to be done. Abortion groups receive funding from many different sources, both government and private; and cutting off taxpayer funding to abortions entirely is not easily done. And while the Trump administration has been working to restore a culture of life at the United Nations, there are many other countries and activists trying to do the exact opposite.

    There is nothing essential about aborting an unborn baby. Abortions destroy unborn babies’ lives and often put their mothers at risk. The world’s response to the coronavirus pandemic has been to devote huge amounts of resources and sacrifice greatly to save human lives. If only society would make similar efforts to save babies in the womb.

  18. Site: LifeSite News
    3 hours 48 min ago
    The virologist wrote that he has seen a spiritual transformation -- a time of grace and self-awareness -- in patients and caregivers.
  19. Site: LifeNews
    3 hours 49 min ago
    Author: Joseph Meaney, PhD

    We are experiencing the kind of massive cultural and social shock that makes people ask themselves the deeper questions that are easily put off or ignored in day-to-day living. Many people will give pro-life and procreative answers to those questions. Seeking out positive tidings is important when so much news is negative and fear-inducing.

    An urban legend says that the great blackout of New York City in 1965 led to a miniature baby boom nine months later. Certainly many other events, such as the end of World War II and World War I, the Great Flu that accompanied the latter, and natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy were followed by increased pregnancies. It is not true that simply being confined at home will automatically push couples to have more procreative sexual relations. But the more we think about what really matters, when the noise of modern living is stripped away, the more God, marriage, and family become clearer priorities.

    In my over twenty-two years as a pro-life leader travelling to eighty-one countries to spread the Gospel of Life, I have made the same observation across cultures. Human beings are naturally pro-life and religious. Babies are viewed as a blessing until some anti-life “education” is applied with “experts” proclaiming overpopulation or the tremendous burden and cost of raising children and so on. Much of the media tries to make abortion seem reasonable and beneficial to some women when it is objectively a terrible injustice to the child and his or her mother. Those who are in crisis and confused can be taken in by the supposed “quick fix” offered by abortion promoters.

    SUPPORT LIFENEWS! If you like this pro-life article, please help LifeNews.com with a donation!

    A huge shock like the one we are currently experiencing can break through the conditioning and propaganda of the culture of death. We are reminded of the precious value of every human life when we see it threatened. For the first time in forty-seven years, elective abortions are no longer taking place in Texas and several other states. Though this is being mandated merely as a public health measure by some state governments, it is very beneficial on so many levels. It shows abortion is something some choose to do, not a vital activity when health services are being prioritized to save lives.

    I confidently predict that people will choose to have more children as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. I believe that the healthy soul-searching going on around the country will result in a concrete manifestation that the culture of life is more powerful than the culture of death. The deepest core of our human natures rebels against death as the solution to our problems. The sophisticated and wealthy, but also cynical and perverted, culture of death will not satisfy the yearnings and needs of our hearts. Babies and life are blessings from God, and more and more people will see this, providing an unexpected benefit from this health crisis.

    LifeNews Note: Joseph Meaney, PhD is the president of the National Catholic Bioethics Center

  20. Site: PeakProsperity
    3 hours 54 min ago
    Author: Adam Taggart

    This is an updated version of Peak Prosperity’s guidance on resilient relationships, made even more relevant now due to the inter-personal stresses of the coronavirus lockdown.

    Lockdown Stress = Relationship Stress

    Under the best of conditions, relationships have their ups and downs.

    But confine people indoors for weeks/months during a deadly pandemic with no clear release date in sight? You’re going to see plenty of issues erupt.

    Anyone who’s already been under home lockdown for more than a few days ‘gets’ this.

    Living on top of each other without a break makes it easy for the smaller usually-manageable differences between you and your partner to start chafing uncomfortably.

    And your kids — argh! Could they try to be a little less irritating? Maybe a little more respectful? Or at least find something better to do than zombie-out all day on their devices?

    Add to this mix the heightened anxieties of dealing with the worst pandemic in 100 years (fear of getting sick/dying/job loss, etc), and serious inter-personal conflict is sure to follow.

    We want you to help avoid and reduce as much as this conflict as possible, so that your relationships can be a source of support and solace — instead of toxic rancor– during this trying moment in history.

    The Danger Is In The Damage Done

    We’re already seeing early examples of people hitting their breaking point.

    Divorces in China spiked once the mandatory home quarantine was lifted. Incidences of domestic violence there also multiplied during the lockdown period. (Source: Bloomberg)

    Suicide hotlines across the world are reporting surges in calls related to coronavirus-created issues. A German finance minister just killed himself over concern his efforts to protect his countrymen would prove inadequate.

    When emotions run this high, it’s easy to become unhelpfully triggered.

    As an example, many readers report struggling to find common ground with housemates and family members who don’t take the covid-19 threat seriously enough. That’s a difference with potential life-or-death consequences.

    But even smaller disagreements, over mundane things like how to handle chores or the kids, have now become overly-magnified by the pandemic’s looming existential threat.

    These differences in outlook can be incredibly frustrating. Both for you as well as for the other person, who’s just trying to get through another challenging day. And it often results in dysfunction that festers, further sabotaging the relationship.

    At odds, both parties retreat. Communication suffers, and oftentimes folks respond critically when conversation is attempted.

    That dynamic leads to bitterness, confusion and anger, which then spills into other areas of the relationship. Suddenly other small forms of rejection can feel like part of a coordinated affront.

    The danger is this can morph into a larger “You don’t understand me!” or “You don’t care about me!” mindset that, once taken root, colors future interactions with suspicion and cynicism. A vicious cycle of negativity and hurt then builds that can alienate friendships and end marriages.

    We’ve heard of dozens — probably hundreds — of relationships that have fallen casualty in this way from our readers over the past decade. And this was long before the additional stresses added by covid-19.

    Those who have read our book Prosper! understand the critical importance of Social Capital — being in supporting, trusted relationships with those around us. Social Capital nourishes us emotionally as well as makes us, and our communities, more resilient.

    But it requires repeated interaction over long periods of time, and building bonds that can withstand stress. And times are highly likely to get more stressful from here.

    Can we prevent this scary, challenging time under lockdown from straining further the isolation/frustration many of us already have with key people in our lives? Is there a way to navigate our close relationships in a way that can prevent creating irreparable rifts when disagreements arise?

    The answer is “yes”, and it’s grounded in decades of scientific research.

    It’s All About How We Approach Relationship Problems

    John Gottman and his wife Julie have been studying relationship stability for over 40 years. Gottman’s research, including the famous “Love Lab” he created at the University of Washington, led to the development of the now-standard industry practice of sequential analysis in couples therapy.

    Specifically, he discovered that there are patterns of behavior (i.e., sequences of interactions) that discriminate happy couples from unhappy ones.

    If you read Malcolm Gladwell’s best-seller, Blink, Gottman is the therapist featured at the start of the book, who can predict with 91% accuracy whether a married couple will divorce within 5 minutes of meeting them. That’s because Gottman has put in well over his “10,000 hours” developing mastery in this field, personally conducting 12 longitudinal studies with over 3,000 couples (the longest were followed for 20 years!)

    Gottman is a very big deal in the world of couples therapy. I know this first-hand because I’m married to a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist trained in the Gottman Method.

    There’s a deep toolkit of Gottman practices for persevering through conflict. My wife reaches into it every time we have a protracted disagreement…

    And as weirdly clinical as it may sound, deconstructing an argument while still in the heat of it and applying the defusing and repairing techniques developed by the Gottmans is extremely effective. It can really reverse a “me against you” confrontation into a “we’ll get through this together” collaboration.

    The success of this is rooted in an important realization: It isn’t about being right. It’s about finding resolution you can live with.

    Everyone is different and sees through their own lens. In many cases, you’re never going to see eye to eye on every issue.

    In fact, research shows that 69% of conflict in a relationship is unresolvable and perpetual. It’s not going to get “fixed” — ever.

    Gottman discovered that it’s not the disagreements themselves that predict whether partnerships remain healthy, what matters is how the partners deal with those disagreements.

    Relationship longevity depends on whether the parties prioritize finding positive ways to understand and accept these differences, or instead focus on trying to force the other to accept their side.

    Gottman’s research is very clear that the former approach is far superior. But it’s not always easy to take for most of us, especially when arguments get heated.

    What Dooms Relationships: The 4 Horsemen

    Over his decades of research, Gottman found that some couples were exceptionally good at managing conflict, and some were spectacularly bad at it. But studying these “Masters and Disasters Of Relationship” closely, best practices and worst practices for nurturing valued long-term relationships became clear.

    Couples who fail to stay together, especially the “Disasters”, all exhibit at least one of the following toxic behaviors, termed “The 4 Horsemen” by Gottman:

    • Criticism
    • Defensiveness
    • Stonewalling
    • Contempt

    Criticism is finding fault in your partner’s character. Rather than having a rational basis, you frame the cause of a disagreement as due to a deficiency in the other person (e.g., “You’re so stubborn.” “You never try to understand me.” “You just don’t get it.”) Understandably, this comes across as an attack, and emotionally riles up the person on the receiving end.

    Defensiveness is expressed as an attempt to protest against a perceived injustice. The most common expressions of defensiveness are adopting a victim mentality and counter-attacking. The former exasperates, the latter escalates.

    Stonewalling occurs when one listener mentally withdraws from interaction. It’s basically an abandonment of any attempt to repair the situation. Common signs are no/monosyllabic responses, not appearing to be listening, avoiding eye contact, and arm crossing. Stonewalling sends a strong signal to the other party that you don’t care enough (about their feelings, about being in relationship with them) to fight through the discomfort of the moment.

    Contempt is feeling or expressing resentment towards your partner. This is the worst offense: its presence is the best predictor of divorce/break-up. Once contempt is present in a relationship, the parties see each other’s qualities and motives in a negative light by default. When you feel contempt, you feel the other person is ‘below’ you, oftentimes undeserving of you. It’s a very difficult mindset to reverse once it’s ingrained.

    To see clips of each of these ‘worst practices’ in action (taken from actual couples therapy sessions), watch this short video:

    How To Strengthen Your Relationships To Last

    When watching the above video, each of us probably sees behavior that looks familiar. We’re all guilty at some time or another of these transgressions in our interactions with close family and friends.

    But that’s not a death sentence for these relationships.

    Gottman’s findings show that even the Masters Of Relationship fight. Hey, we’re all human.

    But what they do exceptionally well is focusing on repair during and after a disagreement. This attempt at attenuation of injury, of demonstrating care for your partner’s well-being even while arguing with them, is the “key to relationship success” according to Gottman.

    By studying the successful strategies of these “Masters”, the Gottman Institute has developed a time-proven framework and series of practices for defeating the 4 Horsemen — avoiding hurtful behavior when possible, repairing the damage when not, and using conflict when it arises to strengthen relationship bonds vs weakening them.

    Applying these techniques to the areas of conflict in your marriage, your friendships and your workplace — especially when done under the guidance of a licensed therapist — can be transformative in returning strained relationships back into flourishing ones.

    In Part 2: How To Manage Conflict & Build Relationships That Last we detail out the specific conflict resolution progression prescribed by the Gottman Method in a way that you can immediately start applying in your life.

    This report is one of the most valuable resources we have to offer folks living together in lockdown. It’s worth every penny of the subscription. And you’ve sure got the time and incentive to read it.

    And lucky you; you’re getting these gems without having to sit through the long couples weekend workshops I’ve had to. My wife drags me to one every few years to meet her continuing education requirements. (That, plus we often genuinely can use the relationship tune-up.)

    Click here to read Part 2 of this report (free executive summary, enrollment required for full access).

    The post Don’t Let The Coronavirus Infect Your Relationships appeared first on Peak Prosperity.

  21. Site: non veni pacem
    3 hours 57 min ago
    Author: Mark Docherty

    Have you or a family member been exposed to the Corona? You will enjoy forced isolation, adorned with ankle monitor, imprisoned in your home (or eventually real prison). Coming soon to a city or state near you.

    Two Louisville coronavirus patients and a family member have been ordered by circuit judges to isolate and wear tracking devices after health officials learned they’d been in public against medical advice.

    Issuing health-related civil orders is new territory for the courts, according to Judge Charles Cunningham, who issued two Friday. The third was issued earlier this month when a South End resident who tested positive for coronavirus refused to self-isolate.


    But the orders are essential for keeping the community safe when infected patients refuse to self-quarantine, officials said during Mayor Greg Fischer’s Facebook Live briefing Tuesday.

    “Essential for keeping the community safe” … as in,

    Committee of Public Safety?



  22. Site: LifeSite News
    4 hours 19 min ago
    Live updates on the coronavirus crisis and how it relates to pro-life issues, faith, and freedom.
  23. Site: From Rome
    4 hours 48 min ago
    Author: From Rome Editor
    Perpetual Supplica THESE PRAYERS ARE SAID EACH MIDNIGHT IN FRONT OF THE BASILICA OF SANTA MARIA MAGGIORE AT ROME This devotion is inspired by the request made by Our Lady Herself in Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich’s Vision of August 25, 1822: “I know not now how I went to Rome last night, but I found … Continue reading Salus populi romani: April 4, 2020 →
  24. Site: Catholic Herald
    4 hours 49 min ago
    Author: Catholic News Agency

    Communist authorities in China are using efforts to control the coronavirus pandemic to step up enforcement action against Christians who worship in house churches, government insiders have told the human rights and religious freedom publication Bitter Winter.

    China has been battling coronavirus since late 2019, and the virus is believed to have emerged from a “wet market,” selling both living animals and butchered meat, in the city of Wuhan. Since then, multiple Chinese cities have been placed under lockdown in order to stem the spread of the virus.

    According to the journalist An Xin, writing in Bitter Winter on Wednesday, the city of Nenjiang, in the northeastern Heilongjiang province, has offered incentives to residents for reporting their neighbors if they are known or suspected to host religious services in their homes.

    On February 20, the city’s coronavirus control group, which was created by the Chinese government, released an order that specifically banned providing a location for “illegal religious activities.”

    The coronavirus control group said that this was designed to prevent further people from contracting COVID-19. If a house church was discovered, it would be “resolutely shut down,” per the report in Bitter Winter.

    Residents of Nenjiang were offered a reward of 5,000 RMB (about $700 U.S.) if they reported suspected illegal religious activity to the authorities.

    In January, the leader of a house church in Daqing city in Heilongjiang province was photographed by Chinese officials, and was forced to write and sign a pledge to stop holding religious services.

    “Since 2018, community officials have been coming to film me and my house,” the church leader told Bitter Winter.

    “They always know where I go,” she told the publication. “Every time I visit a fellow believer, they follow and harass me. I’m monitored wherever I go.”

    Local government officials have ramped up their prosecution of house churches in the past six months, and have shut down at least 12 of these churches since late October.

    Since coming to power in 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping has mandated the “sinicization” of all religions in China, a move which the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom called  “a far-reaching strategy to control, govern, and manipulate all aspects of faith into a socialist mold infused with ‘Chinese characteristics.’’

    The Chinese government is in the midst of implementing a five-year “sinicization plan” for Islam, a religion that has faced increased persecution in the country with at least 800,000 Uyghur Muslims held in internment camps.

    Vatican accomodation of the “sinicization” program was a much discussed topic during the formalization of a 2018 agreement between the Vatican and China that regularized the country’s government-appointed bishops with the Holy See.

    Previously, bishops affiliated with the “Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association” were consecrated illicitly and previously held to be out of communion with Rome.

    China is home to more than ten million Catholics, with six million registered as members of the state-sanctioned Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, according to official statistics. Millions of Catholics belong to the underground Church, which, unlike the CPCA, is not overseen by the Communist party and has always been in communion with the Holy See.

    The Vatican-China agreement, reached in September of 2018, was intended to bring the CPCA into communion with Rome and unify the Church in China. According to some reports, the government’s persecution of the underground Church has intensified after the agreement was signed.

    A January report of the U.S. China Commission found that Chinese Catholics suffered “increasing persecution” after the deal, where the government was “demolishing churches, removing crosses, and continuing to detain underground clergy.” Priests and bishops have reportedly been detained or have gone into hiding.

    In November last year, the head of the state-sponsored CPCA, Bishop John Fang Xingyao, said that Catholics in the country must put their loyalty to the state before the faith.

    “Love for the homeland must be greater than the love for the Church and the law of the country is above canon law,” said Fang.

    The post Coronavirus brings crackdown on house churches in China appeared first on Catholic Herald.

  25. Site: Catholic Herald
    4 hours 52 min ago
    Author: Carol Glatz

    Google searches for “prayer” have surged worldwide in step with the surge of emerging cases of COVID-19, according to a European researcher.

    The rising interest in seeking information about “prayer” on Google “skyrocketed during the month of March 2020 when COVID-19 went global,” wrote Jeanet Sinding Bentzen, an associate professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, and executive director of the Association for the Study of Religion, Economics and Culture.

    Using Google Trends data on internet searches for “prayer” for 75 countries, she said she found that “search intensity for ‘prayer’ doubles for every 80,000 new registered cases of COVID-19.”

    The findings were part of a preliminary draft study titled, “In Crisis, We Pray: Religiosity and the COVID-19 Pandemic,” released online March 30 for public comment. The working paper was to be updated with new data “regularly,” she wrote.

    Bentzen, who authored a paper in 2019 looking at the impact natural disasters had on “religiosity,” said she wanted to study whether the COVID-19 crisis was impacting “one of the deepest rooted of human behaviours — religion.”

    Specifically, she said she wanted to know whether the pandemic “has intensified the use of religion” globally, given that the coronavirus has affected more than 200 countries to date.

    The data-timeline showing “search intensity on ‘prayer’ is flat before a country registers its first case of COVID-19,” and then drastically rises after the first case is registered in a country for all regions of the world, including Muslim majority nations, she wrote.

    “The increases in prayer intensity documented here are the largest the world has experienced since 2004, the earliest date for which the Google Trends data is available,” she wrote. Google Trends measures keyword searches as a share of all total searches so any increase in internet activity doesn’t skew the data.

    Bentzen concludes that “we humans have a tendency to use religion to cope with crisis. The COVID-19 has proven no exception.”

    “The rise in prayer intensity supersedes what the world has seen for years” and may likely continue to rise as the crisis worsens, she added.

    In response to Bentzen’s request for comments, some researchers cautioned against her assumption that “an increased share of Google searches for religious terms thus reveals an increased demand for religion.”

    One U.S. professor of sociology said the data only proved that more people were googling “prayer” and, without knowing people’s motives or background, it was not necessarily evidence of “an increase in religiosity.” The searches could “very well be the people who would normally have attended religious services but now can’t,” so rather than representing a net increase in a “demand for religion,” it may reflect a growing need to access resources and services online.

    But whatever the motives or reasons for the surge in searches, the online demand is real and massive with some Catholic outlets already responding to the huge increases they have seen on their own platforms.

    James L. Rogers, chief communications officer at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, told Catholic News Service that, as of March 23, “mentions for the USCCB on Twitter increased 2,783% and the number of Facebook followers increased 172%, the second straight week of triple-digit increases.”

    “Correspondingly, the number of incoming messages to our Facebook account increased 177%. Many of the messages were prayer requests or advice on prayers,” he wrote by email April 3.

    Rogers said it made him think of the 2015 Synod of Bishops on the Family “and how prophetic its focus on the domestic church now seems.”

    “Practical advice for how best to start or strengthen the prayer space in your own home does seem to me to be driving a lot of the traffic. That’s why our social media has tried to focus on simple ideas that anyone could try to get them started,” he added.

    John Grosso, director of digital media at the Diocese of Bridgeport, Connecticut — one of many states with active stay-at-home executive orders — told CNS by email he has seen “an online tidal wave of new social media followers, website views, email newsletter sign up, video views and podcast listeners.”

    There are a lot of “new names” appearing on their social media and he is hearing from new people, he wrote.

    “I am anecdotally hearing many stories from people who said they have not been in church, to church or connected with their church in some time, but something about this pandemic drew them in,” he added.

    Responding to the Bentzen research, he said just because the word “prayer” is being searched more does not mean that people are “behaving” more religiously.

    However, “online traffic is most certainly up in religious circles. Whether that is because we cannot meet in person, or because we are attracting new or returning Catholics is anybody’s guess. Personally, I think it is a bit of both.”

    He said he uses a third-party company that analyzes all of their social media, website and email commentary “and helps us identify trends and thus we can tailor our message.”

    Grosso also interprets the data, “identifying key trends based on the time period and then making sure we are messaging appropriately.”

    For instance, if a keyword identifier says “prayer” has been referenced a number of times, he takes a random sample to get some specific details and “get a sense of what they really want and where they are asking — social, web, otherwise.”

    Then he will try to offer various options: post a video of Bishop Frank J. Caggiano talking about prayer practices; make prayer practices his podcast topic for the following week; request the bishop write a blog-reflection on prayer; or offer links on the website to various prayer practices.

    He said he tries to “take a deeper dive into (data) because keywords tell a story” and not project his own thinking or make too narrow an interpretation of a general topic.

    With the COVID-19 crisis, he said, “the best thing I can do is allow the data points to represent our constituents, their wants, their needs, their asks. I then do my best to balance that with the messaging” the diocese wants to share with the faithful.

    The post Googling ‘prayer’ has skyrocketed with coronavirus spread appeared first on Catholic Herald.

  26. Site: Catholic Herald
    4 hours 56 min ago
    Author: Mark Pattison

    Pope Francis’ favorability ratings among Americans of virtually all stripes are up from their low in 2018, according to a report released April 3 by the Pew Research Center.

    Among Catholics themselves, 77 per cent have a “very” or “mostly” favourable opinion of the pope, based on responses by 270 Catholics during Pew telephone surveying in January.

    That’s five percentage points up from his low of 72 per cent in September 2018, when the U.S. church had been buffeted by revelations of sexual misconduct by then-Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick and the issuance of a Pennsylvania grand jury report that detailed sex abuse by more than 300 priests and other church workers in six of the state’s dioceses over a 70-year period starting in 1947.

    In all, 1,504 U.S. adults were surveyed.

    Pope Francis’ favorability numbers are up among Catholics who are, or lean, Democratic, as well as those who are, or lean, Republican. He registered 87% approval among Catholic Democrats but 71 per cent among Catholic Republicans, indicating a partisan divide within the church that Pew has found deepening in its recent polling on the question.

    He also registered gains among non-Catholics. While Pope Francis had enjoyed majority support among white evangelical Christians in the past, a plurality of 43 per cent now view him favourably, while 39 per cent view him unfavourably. In the September 2018 survey, more evangelicals saw the pope unfavourably, 34 per cent-32 per cent.

    White non-evangelical Protestants’ favorability jumped from 48 per cent in 2018 to 62 per cent in January. Americans who consider themselves unaffiliated with any denomination gave the pope a 58 per cent favorability mark, up from 52 per cent.

    Because of the relatively small number of Catholics surveyed, no breakdowns are available on such demographic characteristics like age, race and language, according to Claire Gecewicz, a Pew researcher and co-author of the report.

    By comparison, Pew asked the “favorability” question of about St. John Paul II three times between 1987 and 1996. His net favorability rating was between 91 per cent-93 per cent. Pew asked the question five times during Pope Benedict XVI’s 2005-13 pontificate, ranging from a low of 67 per cent shortly after his election as pontiff to 83 per cent during his 2008 pastoral visit to the U.S. The other three times he achieved 74 per cent.

    The same question has been asked about Pope Francis 10 times during his seven years as pope. His highest mark was 90 per cent in February 2015. Prior to the two most recent polls, his previous low was 79 per cent in September 2013, six months after he became pope. Otherwise, he has reached 81 per cent-87 per cent in polling.

    The margin of error for the January survey is 3.0 percentage points for all respondents, 7.0 percentage points for Catholics, 11.5 percentage points for those who said they go to Mass weekly, and 8.8 percentage points for Catholics who said they go to Mass less often.

    The post Pope’s favorability ratings move up from their 2018 low appeared first on Catholic Herald.

  27. Site: Real Jew News
    4 hours 59 min ago
    Author: Brother Nathanael

    Is COVID Martial Law Coming?
    April 3 2020

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  28. Site: LifeNews
    5 hours 3 min ago
    Author: Alex Christy

    Hey, guess who MSNBC and the New York Times think are to blame for the coronavirus? If you guessed Christians, you’re right! Author and journalist Katherine Stewart joined MSNBC Live host Ayman Mohyeldin on Friday to push an argument she made last week in the New York Times that the real bad guys of the coronavirus pandemic currently that is impacting the entire world are members of “the religious right.”

    Also using the scary sounding, but ill-defined phrase “religious nationalism,” Mohyeldin asked, “You’re arguing there’s more to the responses we’re seeing which is religious nationalism. You have a New York Times op-ed titled ‘The Religious Right’s Hostility to Science is Crippling our Coronavirus Response.’ Walk us through you thinking a little bit. What do you mean by that?” 

    Click here to sign up for pro-life news alerts from LifeNews.com

    Before widely condemning an entire religious movement, Stewart laughably claimed, “My concern here is not with any particular religious creed, but with a political movement that often cloaks itself in religious rhetoric.”

    She then tried to provide evidence for her assertion that “there are a number of ways in which the religious right bears some responsibility for the current incompetence in our national response.” She claimed, “First and foremost the movement promotes an anti-science culture that rejects the evidence of science, rejects expertise and critical thinking, and that has obviously contributed to our ability to address this issue and this crisis in an evidence based fashion. Misinformation is rife in these sort of hyper-conservative and highly politicized religious communities that were all in for Trump.”

    Speaking of evidence, is Bill de Blasio a science denying right-winger for refusing to close schools or the subway system until it was too late? or the Democratic mayor of New Orleans who blame-shifted when asked about her decision to not cancel Mardi Gras? Are the Spanish and Italians, who are doing worse than we are on a per capita basis, also run by the science denying right-wing religious nationalists?

    Counterfactuals notwithstanding, Stewart continued blaming “religious nationalists” for the current crisis because they have formed a political alliance with economic libertarians, “The movement has allied itself completely with a kind of libertarian far right economic wing of the Republican Party. So it shares some of the blame that falls on that group. Religious nationalists have also supported politicians and policies that have led to the privatization of health care.”

    Stewart did not prove any examples of health care that was once public that is now private, but all Mohyeldin could do was agree with a simple “right.”

    LifeNews Note: Alex Christy writes for Newsbusters, where this originally appeared.

  29. Site: Catholic Herald
    5 hours 5 min ago
    Author: Cindy Wooden

    From the moment he was introduced to the world after his election, Pope Francis has emphasized his identity as “the bishop of Rome.”

    The 2020 Annuario Pontificio, the official Vatican yearbook, has made the same emphasis typographically by listing other descriptions of the papal office as “historic titles.”

    Like the 2019 edition, there is a page that says simply, “Francis, bishop of Rome.”

    But unlike last year’s edition, the new yearbook does not precede the biography of “Jorge Mario Bergoglio” with the titles: “Vicar of Jesus Christ. Successor of the Prince of the Apostles. Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church. Primate of Italy. Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Province of Rome. Sovereign of Vatican City State. Servant of the Servants of God.”

    Matteo Bruni, director of the Vatican press office, told Catholic News Service that unlike in 2006 when Pope Benedict XVI had the title “Patriarch of the West” removed from the list, this time “there has been no suppression” of a title.

    “The definition of ‘historic’ in relation to the titles attributed to the pope on one of the pages dedicated to him in the Annuario Pontificio of 2020 seems to me to indicate the bond with the history of the papacy,” Bruni said. All of the other titles “are understood to be tied historically to the title of bishop of Rome because at the moment he is designated by the conclave to guide the church of Rome, the one elected acquires the titles tied to this nomination.”

    Pope Francis’ first words to the public after his election March 13, 2013, were: “Brothers and sisters, good evening. You all know that the duty of the conclave was to give a bishop to Rome. It seems that my brother cardinals have gone almost to the ends of the earth to get him … but here we are.”

    The post Did Pope Francis really drop the ‘Vicar of Christ’ title? appeared first on Catholic Herald.

  30. Site: LifeSite News Blogs
    5 hours 11 min ago
    What better time than now to go to a cemetery and pray for the dead, and contemplate the four last things – death, judgement, heaven, and hell?
  31. Site: LifeSite News Blogs
    5 hours 16 min ago
    Law enforcement officials have been instructed to 'not have homophobic attitudes' in enforcing the order.
  32. Site: Catholic Herald
    5 hours 19 min ago
    Author: Catholic News Agency

    Cardinal Peter Turkson visited Rome’s largest hospital on Friday, encouraging staff and handing out rosaries blessed by Pope Francis.

    “I bring you the Pope’s embrace. You are not alone in the fight against the coronavirus!” Turkson, who is prefect of the Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development, told hospital staff and chaplains April 3, according to a press release.

    The cardinal, who was accompanied by the two undersecretaries of the dicastery, met with staff and told them he was bringing the greeting of Pope Francis to all of the coronavirus patients and their families.

    The three Vatican officials also handed out rosaries blessed by Pope Francis and assured hospital personnel of “the prayer and support of the Church in this difficult moment of struggle against the pandemic and of physical and spiritual trial,” the release stated.

    Agostino Gemelli University Policlinic is Rome’s largest general hospital and a teaching hospital for the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan.

    During the coronavirus outbreak, the Gemelli hospital is working in partnership with one of Rome’s dedicated COVID-19 hospitals, the nearby Columbus Hospital.

    The hospital’s foundation started a COVID-19 research unit to help fight the virus and to coordinate the research efforts throughout Italy.

    As of April 3, there are more than 3,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Rome’s region of Lazio, with nearly 1,400 of these patients being treated in the hospital. The reported number of deaths is 199.

    A rosary for an end to the coronavirus was broadcast live on national Italian television from the St Joseph Moscati chapel of the Gemelli hospital April 2. The rosary concluded with a prayer for the intercession of Pope St John Paul II on the anniversary of his death.

    The post Cardinal Turkson brings rosaries to Rome hospital treating coronavirus patients appeared first on Catholic Herald.

  33. Site: Catholic Herald
    5 hours 24 min ago
    Author: Catholic News Agency

    Pope Francis on Friday sent a video message to Catholics around the world, urging them amid the global coronavirus pandemic to hope, solidarity with those who suffer, and to prayer.

    “In the risen Jesus, life conquered death,” Pope Francis said in an April 3 video, speaking about the upcoming Holy Week which will begin on Sunday, and culminate with Easter.

    “We will celebrate Holy Week in a truly unusual way, which manifests and sums up the message of the Gospel, that of God’s boundless love,” the pope said.

    “And in the silence of our cities, the Easter Gospel will resound,” Pope Francis said. “This paschal faith nourishes our hope.”

    Christian hope, the pope said, is “the hope of a better time, in which we can be better, finally freed from evil and from this pandemic.”

    “It is a hope: hope does not disappoint, it is not an illusion, it is a hope. Beside each other, in love and patience, we can prepare a better time in these days.”

    The pope expressed solidarity with families, “especially those who have a loved one who is sick, or who have unfortunately experienced mourning due to the coronavirus or other causes.”

    “These days I often think about people who are alone, and for whom it is more difficult to face these moments. Above all I think of the elderly, who are very dear to me. I cannot forget those who are sick with coronavirus, people who are in hospital.”

    “I also remember how many are in financial straits, and are worried about work and the future, a thought also goes out to prison inmates, whose pain is compounded by fear of the epidemic, for themselves and their loved ones; I think of the homeless, who do not have a home to protect them.”

    “It is a difficult time for everyone,” he added.

    Amid that difficulty, the pope praised “the generosity of those who put themselves at risk for the treatment of this pandemic or to guarantee the essential services to society.”

    “So many heroes, every day, at every hour!”

    “Let’s try, if we can, to make the best use of this time: let’s be generous; let’s help those in need in our neighborhood; let’s look for the loneliest people, perhaps by telephone or social networks; let’s pray to the Lord for those who are tried in Italy and in the world. Even if we are isolated, thought and spirit can go far with the creativity of love. This is what we need today: the creativity of love.”

    More than one million people worldwide have contracted the coronavirus, and at least 60,000 have died. The pandemic has led to a global financial crash, in which tens of millions have lost jobs in recent weeks. While some parts of the world are now thought to be on the downslope of the viral spread, many nations have locked themselves down in the midst of the pandemic, or in the hope of quelling it early in its spread within their borders.

    In Italy, one of the countries hardest hit by the virus, more than 120,000 people have contracted it, and there have been almost 15,000 recorded deaths from the virus.

    To conclude his video, the pope urged tenderness and prayer.

    “Thank you for allowing me into your homes. Make a gesture of tenderness towards those who suffer, towards children, and towards the elderly,” Pope Francis said. “Tell them that the pope is close and pray, that the Lord will soon deliver us all from evil.”

    “And you, pray for me. Have a good dinner.”

    The post ‘In the risen Jesus, life conquered death,’ Pope Francis says in Holy Week video appeared first on Catholic Herald.

  34. Site: Fr. Z's Blog
    5 hours 27 min ago
    Author: frz@wdtprs.com (Fr. John Zuhlsdorf)

    I am at a point where I can react now, in a measured way, to the astonishing chutzpah of Bp. Peter Christensen of the Diocese of Boise since 2014.  Some time back he told priests of that diocese that they cannot celebrate Mass ad orientem and that they should inform him of the use the 1962 Missale Romanum.  The paper of the Diocese of Boise has this:

    Now that the story is out and about, I think I can write about it, because priests of that diocese had written to me about it. I didn’t want to give them up.  Peter Kwasniewski – who has already forgotten more about liturgy than 99.99% of bishops ever knew – reacted HERE.

    The first thing Bp. Christensen notes is something from GIRM 387, namely, that bishops should “regulate” and be “vigiliant” over the liturgical life of the diocese.  Fine.   I wonder how he has dealt with liturgical abuses in the Novus Ordo over the last years, or how he has respected Redemptionis Sacramentum in matters of kneeling and reception of Communion.  Just wondering.  I wonder, to that end, how vigilant he has been in insuring that the seminarians of the diocese all seven of them in total) have been in a) learning Latin according to the dictates of Sacrosanctum Concilium and the 1983 Code of Canon Law, can. 249, which requires that all in priestly formation be “very well trained” in the Latin language.  I wonder if he has qualms when someone attests to him during an ordination that seminarians were well-trained when they don’t know the language of their Rite.   So you suppose he will be equally concerned about priests using the short Second Eucharistic Prayer on Sundays?  GIRM 365 says it should be used on weekdays.   Surely Bp. Christensen saw that when gazing with admiration at GIRM 387.

    Rhetorical questions.  Perhaps people in his former see of Superior and present see of Boise know.  I don’t.

    GIRM 387 does make the diocesan bishop into a demi-god.

    Next, the bishop says that there is “disinformation regarding liturgical matters” in the diocese and he is – the irony is thick – addressing that…. with his own disinformation.

    He goes on.

    Under point #1 he says that priests must form the faithful.  Okay.   However, he adds this: “Sources such as independent websites and social media platforms that are unaffiliated with the Holy See or the USCCB are not to be considered trustworthy or appropriate for catechesis.”  Risible.   Frankly I and a few others have over the years done a hell of a lot more than either the Holy See or the USCCB in liturgical catechesis.   Couple that with the fact that the USCCB still can’t get a key paragraph, GIRM 299, translated correctly – even after Rome explained the Latin to them, leads me to purse my lips and to move along.

    Under point #2 he attempts to impose versus populum worship in the Ordinary Mass according to that same GIRM 299.   This is a howler.   He quotes a faulty translation that the USCCB used and then stuck to – mendaciously – after Rome explained the grammar of the Latin.  I know I am “unaffiliated” but I’ve written about that many times over the years.  HERE  Christensen – or whoever advised him – ignorantly or duplicitously – depended on that faulty and long-exposed translation of GIRM 299.    This is not a good situation.  If the bishop of a diocese wants to claim powers beyond his station, he would do well to know what he is doing.  However, maybe he just consulted a staffer.  He picked the wrong guy.

    Going on Christensen claims: “[T]he overwhelming experience worldwide after Vatican II is that the priest faces the people for the Mass, and this has contributed to the sanctification of the people.”


    Can anyone, anywhere, looking around at the state of the Church today, especially in wealthy Western countries, and at the Pew Research survey about belief in the Eucharist, read that claim and not simply laugh aloud?   Furthermore, gratis asseritur gratis negatur.  There is zero proof to back that up and a heck of a lot of evidence to the contrary.

    Christensen goes on with an attempt to parse the rubrics of the Mass, and say: “There has been at attempt to justify the ad orientem practice because the Order of Mass indicates places when the priest should face the people.  (However, it never asks him to turn away, as the preconciliar Missal did).”  Puhleze.  As if he knows the pre-Conciliar Missal.  If the bishop read Latin with the comfort that can. 249 requires – and he was ordained in my native place at the disastrous St. Paul Seminary of the day – when the 1983 CIC was in effect, he might be a little less sure of himself.

    Later he delivers the chestnut about the priest having his “back to the people” which is too facile for a response here.

    And then he lets fall a good one: “It was clearly the mind of the Council that the priest should face the people.”  It was?  It was also the mind of the Council that Latin and Gregorian chant should be retained, that priests read their office in Latin.  The missal used at the Council was John XXIII’s 1962 Missale Romanum.  And get this: “During funeral rites the coffin of a deceased cleric is to be positioned in the way he was in life at Mass: facing the people.”   PUHLEZE!   NO.  That’s not why, for centuries, priests and bishops lay in state with their heads toward the altar.

    Think about this.  The custom of orientation of the body of priests, which has been done for centuries in a certain way, has its origin in the newfangled, modern imposition of Mass facing the people?  Does that sound right?

    In the Latin tradition, deceased laypeople are usually placed before the altar with their feet toward the altar, that is, their bodies facing toward the liturgical East, whence for some two millennia Christians have believed Christ would return. This orientation of laypeople results from at least the 12th c. The 13th c. liturgist Durandus affirms this usage. For clergy, it is otherwise.

    Priests are usually placed in church with their heads toward the altar. This would not have been the way that the priest said Mass, but rather the way that the priest taught and conferred blessings. Also, in the Greek East, the bodies of laypeople and priests and monks were placed in different locations, lay even outside the sacred space. It could be that the Greek use influenced the Latin Church usage through S. Italy, which had a strong Greek presence. However, even in the Catholic Encyclopedia we read: “the bishop (or priest) in death should occupy the same position in the church as during life, i.e. facing his people whom he taught and blessed in Christ’s name.” Again, this was NOT the priest’s position celebrating Mass! Greek priests were, of course, behind a screen, the iconostasis, and Latin priests were at the ad orientem altar, facing together with the people the liturgical East. But they preached and blessed facing the people, to whom they had to turn around to preach and to bless.

    But Christensen warns about disinformation.

    In #3, Christensen completely blows off the rights of people under the Church’s universal legislation in Redemptionis Sacramentum to kneel for Communion.  He says that there should be no prie dieus for people or Communion rails.

    In #4, he misses the accurate way of citing Benedict XVI’s Summorum Pontificum and then asks priests as a “matter of courtesy” to be made aware of such celebrations.   This on the surface seems reasonable.  However, I think there is something else behind it.  More later.

    In #5, priests are not to add elements of the Extraordinary Form to the Ordinary Form.  Okay.  However, I would be far more interested in how he is handling the abuses of his priests in celebrating the Ordinary Form, introducing their innovations with no history, rather than fretting about things that priests did at the altar for centuries.

    Send this man some emergency drinkware!

    Yes, I am piling on a bit here.  But for pete’s sake when is the episcopal bullying going to end?

    Lemme sum up a few things.

    After talking with some canonists and having seen these attempts again and again over the years, this bishop is obviously wrong about a lot of things and he cannot do what he is attempting to do.

    However, as one canonist friend said, and this is surely the truth, “he owns all the cards, the dice, the table and the room.  It’s not right, but it is what it is.”

    About informing the bishop about saying Mass with the 1962 Missale Romanum.

    As I have put it, it doesn’t make any difference if the bishop is wrong and operating outside his powers.  A priest can have the law and reason and tradition on his side all day long and twice on Sunday.  In the end, a bishop who is a bully can crucify a priest in a thousand ways.   It comes down to power and the imposition of will through threat of reciprocity.  Priests, in the end, barely have the right to Christian burial (with their heads toward the altar), but that’s about it.

    Let’s leave this sorry mess and move to happier thoughts, like worldwide pandemic.

    I’ll turn on the moderation queue for this.


  35. Site: Catholic Herald
    5 hours 28 min ago
    Author: Catholic News Agency

    A Japanese news agency reported on Thursday that an investigation by the country’s bishops’ conference has found 16 cases of sexual abuse of minors by clerics, which occurred from the 1950s to 2010s.

    The findings have not yet been made public, but sources familiar with the matter spoke with Kyodo News on April 2.

    Acts of abuse occurred in rectories, church buildings, and foster homes.

    The Japanese bishops announced the inquiry a year ago, and committees were established in each of the 16 dioceses to receive claims and consultations about abuse.

    In 2002 an internal survey made inquiries with the leading priest in each diocese. This resulted in two reported cases of sex abuse.

    A 2012 survey aimed to be a reference point in a manual for internal use. It did not aim to investigate facts or to resolve sex abuse. Five sex abuse cases were reported then.

    A 2004 survey on sexual harassment found 17 cases of “coercive physical contacts,” mostly by priests. The victims included minors. That survey had 110 respondents.

    In February 2019 Pope Francis held a meeting with bishops from around the world on the sexual abuse of minors.

    “Let it be clear that before these abominations the Church will spare no effort to do all that is necessary to bring to justice whosoever has committed such crimes. The Church will never seek to hush up or not take seriously any case,” he said in his 2018 Christmas greetings to the Roman curia.

    The post In Japan, Church finds 16 cases of child sex abuse appeared first on Catholic Herald.

  36. Site: LifeSite News
    5 hours 31 min ago
    Fr. Chad Ripperger said a priest's 'obligation is the person’s salvation over his own physical well-being'
  37. Site: Catholic Herald
    5 hours 33 min ago
    Author: Hannah Brockhaus/CNA

    The bishop at the epicentre of Italy’s coronavirus outbreak has said churches are serving as makeshift mortuaries as there are so many dead bodies “you do not know where to put them anymore.”

    In an interview with CNA’s Italian-language partner agency ACI Stampa, Bishop Francesco Beschi of the Diocese of Bergamo said the use of churches “is an act of tenderness towards people who die alone and [whose] bodies are likely to remain piled up.”

    The presence of the bodies in the church “is a gift of respect and concern,” he added.

    The confirmed number of COVID-19 deaths across Italy as of April 2 was 13,915, according to Italian health officials. Of these, 2,060 deaths confirmed to be from the coronavirus occurred in the wider Bergamo province during the month of March.

    The bishop said deaths are “multiplying,” and while many people are dying in hospital, there are also many who die at home, and who are not registered in official coronavirus death counts.

    According to an analysis from the Wall Street Journal on April 1, the number of COVID-19 deaths in Italy is likely much higher than official counts show.

    Especially in the hardest-hit northern regions of the country, many people who have died outside the hospital were not tested for the coronavirus, especially large numbers of elderly living in nursing homes.

    According to the WSJ report, in the city of Bergamo in March 2020 there were 553 deaths overall, among these, 201 confirmed coronavirus deaths. By comparison, in March 2019 there were only 125 total deaths in Bergamo.

    “All of this is accompanied by very deep feelings,” Beschi noted.

    He said one of the priests of his diocese confided in him the difficulty of losing his father to the coronavirus while his family is separated and under quarantine: “there is no funeral, he will be taken to the cemetery and will be buried, without anyone being able to participate in this moment of human and Christian piety which is now so important because it is missing.”

    “Furthermore, when the patient is taken away from home with an ambulance and hospitalized among the infected or placed in intensive care, family members no longer see him, no longer hear from him, they cannot even speak to him by phone,” he added.

    “The sorrow is immense.”

    Among the many victims of COVID-19 in Bergamo are priests, the bishop said, stating that at least 25 priests of his diocese have died from the virus since March 6.

    He said he finds it a comforting sign, however, that 60 priests with the coronavirus seem to be on the mend.

    The Bergamo diocese has more than 700 priests and Beschi said he is “in constant contact” with them through messages of support and paternal affection.

    “There is an inner force even wider and deeper than evil: this is the faith that is the sap in the roots of the people of Bergamo,” the bishop said, addressing Catholics and victims of the coronavirus.

    The faith, he said, “will be the firmness on which to rebuild families, on which to restart work, on which to force the lever to lift an economy crushed to the ground, on which to have the strength to heal emotional wounds, on which to lean to revisit a grief that has only been swallowed up, on which to stand to look toward the horizon and start again.”

    Offering a word of hope, Beschi said “these days extend shadows of death over our common life and our families and, at the same time, we cannot help but recognize the signs of spring.”

    “The resurrection is the flower that blooms and anticipates the joy of being able to taste its fruit one day. It is the bud that is blooming.”

    “To die like Christ and with Christ, in the events of our life, is to make the power of love dwell in our dead,” he stated. “We do not have the strength of the love of Christ but he confers it on us.”

    The bishop said Italy has been through many crises, and people always say “we must learn from mistakes, we must not repeat them.”

    He added that he does not have an answer for the many losses the families of his diocese are facing and will face after this pandemic.

    The two decisive elements, he said, are solidarity in sharing and the exercise of personal responsibility. “If we manage to grow, at least a fruit will have come from this terrible story.”

    The post Bergamo bishop: In coronavirus, churches as mortuaries an ‘act of tenderness’ appeared first on Catholic Herald.

  38. Site: PaulCraigRoberts.org
    5 hours 43 min ago
    Author: pcr3

    Shutdown Society or Not

    Paul Craig Roberts

    A leading microbiologist gives the opposite view of virologist Marc Wathelet whose approach to controlling the virus I have posted on this website.


    Both scientists make a lot of sense.  As I understand them, Dr. Wathelet’s recommendations stem from the West’s unpreparedness.  The lack of masks, tests, hospital capacity, and ventilators, together with the high infection rate of the virus, means that the health care system can be easily overwhelmed by the numbers of sick people.  As the virus progresses further in some people than in others, it is not predictable who among the sick are in the most danger, except generally—the aged with prior conditions.  Therefore Wathelet focuses on controlling the spread as people of all ages die from the virus.

    Dr. Bhakdi focuses on the downsides of isolating the population—the social and economic disruption and the state of fear that it creates.  He believes that many who have the virus and are dying could be dying from other existing illnesses. If the overall morbidity rate is not rising, the isolation might be counterproductive.

    This could be one of those situations in which both scientists are correct.  Perhaps if the West under the influence of neoliberal economics had not let their health care systems run down with so many hospitals closed, had heeded the Chinese warnings and moved quickly into production of masks and ventilators and hospital preparation, and removed the prohibitions against using the successful anti-malarial drugs and ozone treatments, the extent of social and economic shutdown would not have occurred.

    It is difficult not to wonder if the restraints placed on treatments reflect Bill Gates’ and Big-Pharma’s emphasis on developing a vaccine.  If successful low cost treatments are available, people should not be allowed to die while awaiting a vaccine, assuming one is possible for a rapidly mutating virus.

    Too bad the West was focused on war, privatization, and paper profits for the one percent. We are now paying the cost of our erroneous public policies.  These costs will rise as various interest groups use the health and economic crises for their selfish ends.

    The post Shutdown Society or Not appeared first on PaulCraigRoberts.org.

  39. Site: LifeSite News
    6 hours 34 sec ago
    Greensboro police arrested several pro-life activists for walking and praying outside an abortion center during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  40. Site: Fr. Z's Blog
    6 hours 1 min ago
    Author: frz@wdtprs.com (Fr. John Zuhlsdorf)

    From a reader…


    The solita oscula are deeply ingrained in the roman rite, however should these still be given in times of disease, like this coronavirus? Thanks for any answer you can provide.

    Solita oscula or “usual kisses” refers to the kissing of objects and hands as they are handed to or taken from the celebrating priest or bishop.   This is also done on Palm Sunday by the faithful as they receive palms from the priest.

    My suggestion:  Either just omit them or just sort of make a gesture in that direction without touching.

    While these solita oscula are symbolic and meaningful, they are not of the essence of the rites.

    So, for the duration of the coronavirus challenge, just kiss the solita oscula goodbye.



  41. Site: LifeSite News
    6 hours 7 min ago
    'It is deeply disturbing to find out ... Wisconsin’s abortion clinics (have a) special dispensation to remain in operation,' legislators wrote.
  42. Site: LifeSite News
    6 hours 10 min ago
    As CNN threatens to cut away from Trump during his daily coronavirus briefings, LifeSite has begun streaming them live.
  43. Site: From Rome
    6 hours 18 min ago
    Author: From Rome Editor
          This Canonical Study is the first Scholarly work towards the International Inquest which is preparing the way for a Special Synod to restore Pope Benedict and depose Bergoglio THIS IS THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE IMMINENT PUBLICATION OF 4 VIDEOS EXPOUNDING THE ENTIRE LEGAL ARGUMENT FromRome.Info will publish each of the 4 videos, … Continue reading Definitive Canonical Study of the Renunication of Pope Benedict: Spanish →
  44. Site: southern orders
    6 hours 19 min ago
  45. Site: Zero Hedge
    6 hours 19 min ago
    Author: Tyler Durden
    AOC Demands COVID-19 "Reparations" For Black+Brown People

    Update (1615ET): AOC is making further headlines as a NYPost report exposes her lavish "locked-down" lifestyle:

    “While Queens and The Bronx have lines down the block at hospitals and grocery stores, AOC is holed up at a brand new luxury apartment where she shops at Whole Foods in her lobby,” Democratic primary opponent Michelle Caruso-Cabrera said.

    “That’s shameful. No wonder voters think that she is out of touch. She has a golf-simulator and infinity pool and Peloton Cycle room as well as other luxuries while families in the Bronx and Queens are worried about how long the lines are at the grocery store and where they are going to get their next paycheck. AOC isn’t even here to see their desperation and their struggle to survive with her own eyes,” the challenger said.

    As Kyle Bass tweeted after the report: MCC is a friend and a great Democrat who should rep the Bronx in Congress.

    *  *  *

    Authored by Paul Joseph Watson via Summit News,

    Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has called for coronavirus “reparations” for black and brown people, claiming that “environmental racism” is an “underlying health condition.”

    Yes, really.

    “COVID deaths are disproportionately spiking in Black + Brown communities,” tweeted the Democrat lawmaker. “Why? Because the chronic toll of redlining, environmental racism, wealth gap, etc. ARE underlying health conditions. Inequality is a comorbidity. COVID relief should be drafted with a lens of reparations.

    COVID deaths are disproportionately spiking in Black + Brown communities.

    Why? Because the chronic toll of redlining, environmental racism, wealth gap, etc. ARE underlying health conditions.

    Inequality is a comorbidity. COVID relief should be drafted with a lens of reparations.

    — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) April 3, 2020

    AOC provided no source to substantiate the claim that COVID-19 deaths were spiking in black or brown communities (coronavirus deaths would naturally be higher in any densely populated area), nor did she explain how the environment can be racist.

    One of her supporters responded to the tweet by suggesting there was some kind of conspiracy amongst store owners in black areas not to enforce social distancing properly.

    I've also noticed that stores that mostly serve white customers are enforcing social distancing more than those in some black and brown communities. I have no idea why, it was just something I noticed while driving past grocery stores in different areas.

    — Alexandra MacArthur (@alexgoesthere) April 3, 2020

    However, another respondent suggested that black and brown people were deliberately flouting social distancing rules and putting themselves at greater risk.

    Is it that? Or maybe they're not heading the warning and still filling up streets and local parks en-mass?

    — Bigbenisdaman (@bigbenisdaman) April 3, 2020

    Another individual suggested that black bodies “work differently” and that this was also the fault of white supremacy.

    Their bodies also WORK DIFFERENTLY, and we blatantly IGNORE THIS in medicine and don't study the differences and then adjust treatment for. White supremacy pervades EVERYTHING.

    — Mainely Liberal (@MainelyLiberal) April 3, 2020

    Ocasio-Cortez previously waded into the coronavirus debate by demanding the FDA relax rules on blood donation, allowing homosexuals to donate blood despite a greater risk of infection. The rule was subsequently relaxed.

    *  *  *

    My voice is being silenced by free speech-hating Silicon Valley behemoths who want me disappeared forever. It is CRUCIAL that you support me. Please sign up for the free newsletter here. Donate to me on SubscribeStar here. Support my sponsor – Turbo Force – a supercharged boost of clean energy without the comedown.

    Tyler Durden Fri, 04/03/2020 - 16:15
  46. Site: LifeNews
    6 hours 29 min ago
    Author: Micaiah Bilger

    Alicia Keys had already achieved massive success and fame when she became pregnant with her second child.

    But an abortion came to her mind when she thought about her busy career and her husband’s Harvard Business School plans, The Blaze reports. As abortion activists often tell women, she thought another baby would get in the way of their plans and add to their already overwhelming schedules.

    Then, the lyrics of a song made her rethink her decision, and she chose life for her unborn baby, according to the report.

    The Grammy Award-winning singer recently described her struggle and her ultimate decision to choose life for her son in her new book, ““More Myself: A Journey.”

    Thinking back to 2014, Keys said she felt she “wasn’t ready” for another baby and told her doctor that when she learned about her second pregnancy.

    “’This is the worst time ever. I’m working on my next album. My husband just got into Harvard Business School. And I’ve been drinking—a lot.’ I left her office feeling so torn,” she remembered, according to an excerpt from her book published at People magazine.

    “The music I was creating felt more important and urgent than just about everything. I’d have to put off its release for at least a year if I chose to have the baby,” she continued.

    One night, her perspective changed when she went to the studio to think. She said she began listening to a song that she and her husband wrote, “More Than We Know,” and the lyrics spoke to her.

    Click Like if you are pro-life to like the LifeNews Facebook page!

    (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.10"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

    “The lyrics are about how we’re capable of so much more than we can ever imagine,” Keys wrote. “My eyes filled with tears. How could I take away the potential for this beautiful child, this light that could touch others in ways I couldn’t dream of. For me, the song was a powerful message that I should go on with the pregnancy.”

    In December 2014, Keys and her husband welcomed their son Genesis, according to the report.

    Keys also may have been inspired by her own mother who chose life for her in much more difficult circumstances. Terry Augello was single and working as a paralegal when she became pregnant with Keys. Though she struggled financially, she ultimately rejected abortion, making huge sacrifices to give her daughter a chance at life.

    “I am so grateful to her for choosing me,” Keys said. “And I really appreciate her.”

  47. Site: Zero Hedge
    6 hours 34 min ago
    Author: Tyler Durden
    Oil Jumps, Stocks Dump As 'Helicopter Money' Sends USA Risk Soaring

    The story of the week is fourfold:

    1. Helicopter money begins... and the sovereign risk of the USA soars

    2. Oil has best week ever on hopes of supply cut.

    3. Stocks sink as any rebalance flow support evaporated.

    4. Lockdown effects are starting to be seen in labor and survey data

    'Helicopter Ben' unleashed hell...

    Source: Bloomberg

    As the trillions in bailout booty starts to get handed out to the public, markets did not "love the smell of helicopter money in the morning"...

    As USA Sovereign risk accelerated further...

    Source: Bloomberg

    Hopes of a supply-cut sparked the single-biggest daily gain ever and the biggest weekly gain ever in crude oil...

    Source: Bloomberg

    But in context, there's a long way to go...

    Source: Bloomberg

    And despite energy's gains, US equity markets were carved up this week, with Small Caps clubbed like a baby seal (5th weekly loss of last 6), as any month-/quarter-end rebalance flow support evaporated entirely... (NOTE broiadly speaking US markets rallied into the EU close then sold off every day this week),,,

    Over the past two weeks however, The Dow is still up around 9% and Small Caps just over 2%...

    And finally, the impact of the lockdowns is starting to hit as US Macro Surprise Index crashes by the most ever

    Source: Bloomberg

    *  *  *

    The 'Virus-Fear' Trade is back in a big way...

    Source: Bloomberg

    After last week's hope-filled bounce, big banks bloodbath'd this week...

    Source: Bloomberg

    And virus-impacted sectors were also slammed...

    Source: Bloomberg

    "Most Shorted" stocks are down 6 days in a row

    Source: Bloomberg

    VIX and the market decoupled this week (VIX notably lower as stocks sank)...

    Source: Bloomberg

    Credit markets were sold all week, despite The Fed's support...

    Source: Bloomberg

    Treasuries were bid this week with 10Y outperforming, 2Y underperforming...

    Source: Bloomberg

    10Y Yields fell back below 60bps...

    Source: Bloomberg

    Note - yields did spike at the end of the day after The Fed announced another taper...

    Source: Bloomberg

    The week's yield drop pushed everything across the curve back near cycle yield closing lows...

    Source: Bloomberg

    The Dollar was up 4 of the 5 days this week (and 3rd week of last 4)

    Source: Bloomberg

    A late-week bid pushed most of the cryptospace into the green with Bitcoin Cash leading the week...

    Source: Bloomberg

    Commodities were practically unchanged on the week despite the dollar gains, but obviously oil was the outlier with its best week ever...

    Source: Bloomberg

    Interestingly, oil's surge coincides with its price relative to silver dropping below 2x (2 ounces of silver / barrel of oil) once again...

    Source: Bloomberg

    Gold Spot and Futures have started to decouple again as physical delivery fears resurface...

    Source: Bloomberg

    Where does gold go next?

    Source: Bloomberg

    Finally, the question is - is this bounce still viable?

    Source: Bloomberg

    Not if fun-durr-mentals have anything to do with it...

    Source: Bloomberg

    Tyler Durden Fri, 04/03/2020 - 16:00
  48. Site: LifeSite News
    6 hours 48 min ago
    'While [Andrew] Belanger was exercising his First Amendment rights, eight City of Detroit police vehicles and fifteen City police officers arrived. Belanger was the only pro-lifer engaging in expressive activity at the time of their arrival.'
  49. Site: Novus Motus Liturgicus
    6 hours 49 min ago
    From 1727 to 1960, the Friday of Passion week was kept on the general calendar of the Roman Rite as the feast of the Seven Sorrows of the Virgin Mary. This devotion originated in German-speaking lands in the early 15th-century, partly as a response to the iconoclasm of the Hussites, and partly out of the universal popular devotion to every aspect of Christ’s Passion, including the presence of His Mother, and thence to Her grief over the Passion. It was known by several different titles, and kept on a wide variety of dates. Before the name “Seven Sorrows” became common, it was most often called “the feast of the Virgin’s Compassion”, which is to say, of Her suffering together with Christ as She beheld the Passion. This title was retained well into the 20th century by the Dominicans, who also had an Office for it which was quite different from the Roman one, although the Mass was the same. It also appears in many missals of the 15th to 17th centuries only as a votive Mass, with no corresponding feast; this was the case at Sarum, where it is called “Compassionis sive Lamentationis B.M.V.” Its popularity continued to grow in the Tridentine period, until Pope Benedict XIII finally extended it to the whole of the Roman Rite in 1727.

    The Virgin of Sorrows; the central panel of the Van Belle triptych by Pieter Poubus (1523 ca. - 1580); in the church of St James in Bruges, Belgium. There were different traditions as to which events in Our Lady’s life counted as Her Seven Sorrows; here they are (clockwise from lower left) the Circumcision, the Flight into Egypt, losing the Child Jesus, meeting Christ on the road to Calvary, the Crucifixion, the deposition from the Cross, and the entombment. The Roman version of the Passiontide feast contains no specific list. (Public domain image from Wikimedia Commons.)One of the greatest treasures of Latin hymnody, the Stabat Mater, is sung in two different forms on the feast. (Text and translation here.) Divided into three sections, it was sung as the hymn of Vespers, Matins, Lauds; in Italy, this version, in the 6th mode, is still very often sung when the Via Crucis is done. The same text is also sung with a different melody in the 2nd mode, as a Sequence in the Mass.

    It was also commonly used as a motet for the ceremonies and devotions of Holy Week; Josquin des Prez’s version is one of the finest among pre-Tridentine composers.
    Palestrina’s version was composed a few years before his death in 1594, and traditionally sung on Palm Sunday in Rome.
  50. Site: Zero Hedge
    6 hours 49 min ago
    Author: Tyler Durden
    Distraction? Trump Sends Warships To Venezuela For "Counter-Narcotics Operation"

    In late February we detailed how President Trump is not giving up on pursuing military options for Venezuelan socialist strongman Nicolas Maduro's ouster — even as Washington was forced to increasingly turn its attention to the growing coronavirus threat in its midst — now a full-blown pandemic radically altering the fabric of American society and the economy.

    And Bloomberg had also confirmed at the time :"President Donald Trump is frustrated that pressure is building too slowly on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and is still considering military options in the country, including a naval blockade, a senior administration official said." It's long been reported that Trump favors the naval blockade idea even as his generals have pushed against it on grounds of practical execution of such a bold plan.

    Amazingly, considering the timing, the president announced Wednesday that he's ordered Navy ships to move toward Venezuela as part of broader counter-narcotics operations in the Caribbean

    AFP via Getty

    This follows the White House last week issuing a $15 million bounty on Maduro and his inner circle over drug trafficking charges, amid sweeping indictments against what Washington dubbed a vast narco-state criminal enterprise orchestrated by the regime.

    Considering all of this is being executed at a moment the United States now leads the world in numbers of confirmed coronavirus cases, which threatens to decimate an economy still on "pause" and extreme uncertainty still on the horizon, it must be asked: is this move on Venezuela (and it should be added - recent moves against 'Iranian proxies' in Iraq) all but a big attempt at coronavirus and record unemployment distraction? 

    * * *

    Ron Paul certainly thinks so: President Trump and his advisors announced that the US military would begin conducting a “counter-narcotics operation” in the eastern Pacific and Caribbean.

    Perhaps not coincidentally, Trump’s Justice Department indicted Venezuelan president Maduro on drug trafficking charges. Is the US about to “do a Noriega” on Maduro based on half-baked charged that the Venezuelan leader is some kind of drug kingpin?

    Have the president’s war-braying neocons convinced him that the best thing to get our minds off of coronavirus is a “nice little war”? Today on the Ron Paul Liberty Report:

    Tyler Durden Fri, 04/03/2020 - 15:45


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