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  1. Site: Fr Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment
    0 sec ago
    Since the Council, an idea has been spreading that Judaism is not superseded by the New Covenant of Jesus Christ; that Jews still have available to them the Covenant of the old Law, by which they can be saved. It is therefore unnecessary for them to turn to Christ; unnecessary for anybody to convert them to faith in Christ. Indeed, attempting to do so is an act of aggression not dissimilar to theFr John Hunwickehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17766211573399409633noreply@blogger.com11
  2. Site: Fr Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment
    0 sec ago
    S Paul loved his fellow Jews, his 'kinsmen' and believed "the gifts and call of God are irrevocable". He believed that at the End, those among them who had rejected Christ would be brought in to the chosen people. He believed that they were like olive branches which had been cut off so that the Gentiles, wild olive branches, could be grafted in. But, when the fulness of the Gentiles had entered Fr John Hunwickehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17766211573399409633noreply@blogger.com3
  3. Site: Fr Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment
    0 sec ago
    Lex orandi lex credendi. I have been examining the Two Covenant Dogma: the fashionable error that God's First Covenant, with the Jews, is still fully and salvifically valid, so that the call to saving faith in Christ Jesus is not made to them. The 'New' Covenant, it is claimed, is now only for Gentiles. I want to draw attention at this point to the witness of the post-Conciliar Magisterium of theFr John Hunwickehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17766211573399409633noreply@blogger.com13
  4. Site: Fr Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment
    0 sec ago
    We have seen that the Two Covenant Theory, the idea that Jewry alone is guaranteed Salvation without any need to convert to Christ, is repugnant to Scripture, to the Fathers, even to the post-Conciliar liturgy of the Catholic Church. It is also subversive of the basic grammar of the relationship between the Old and the New Testaments. Throughout  two millennia, in Scripture, in Liturgy, in her Fr John Hunwickehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17766211573399409633noreply@blogger.com7
  5. Site: Fr Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment
    0 sec ago
    The sort of people who would violently reject the points I am making are the sort of people who would not be impressed by the the Council of Florence. So I am going to confine myself to the Magisterium from the time of Pius XII ... since it is increasingly coming to be realised that the continuum of processes which we associate with the Conciliar and post-Conciliar period was already in operationFr John Hunwickehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17766211573399409633noreply@blogger.com0
  6. Site: Fr Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment
    0 sec ago
    In 1980, addressing a Jewish gathering in Germany, B John Paul II said (I extract this from a long sentence): " ... dialogue; that is, the meeting between the people of the Old Covenant (never revoked by God, cf Romans 11:29) and that of the New Covenant, is at the same time ..." In 2013, Pope Francis, in the course of his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii gaudium, also referred to the Old Fr John Hunwickehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17766211573399409633noreply@blogger.com10
  7. Site: Fr Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment
    0 sec ago
    Continues ...  I should add that Jesse Billett gives critical editions of three unregarded liturgical fragments, relegated to 'Appendix' status but all of them important and with each detail treated with scrupulous attention. I have not checked through the tables which are a prominent feature of the book and which make it easier to follow his discussion, but, in what I have looked at, I have not Fr John Hunwickehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17766211573399409633noreply@blogger.com2
  8. Site: RT - News
    1 hour 3 min ago
    Author: RT
    Washington’s plan to create a Space Force could lead to catastrophe, a Russian Senator has warned. Moscow’s ready to “strongly retaliate” if the US violates the outer space treaty by putting weapons of mass destruction into orbit.
    Read Full Article at RT.com
  9. Site: The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network
    1 hour 13 min ago
    Author: Matthew Eppinette, CBC Executive Director

    BREAKING: As I finished writing the post below, Jennifer issued the following challenge:

     

    Friend,

    Can you give $10?

    As I’m sure you know, we are running a Kickstarter campaign to fund our latest film. The $12,500 we are raising will help us to finish the editing and post-production process, market and distribute the film, and premiere it in key locations.

    As of this writing, 47 people have already given, many of them anonymously, and we are very, very grateful for each and every gift. THANK YOU!

    We are 52% funded! We need to raise an additional $5,879 in the next 11 days to meet our goal.

    So many people tell us that they have benefited from our work—our films, our writing, our speaking, etc. If everyone who follows us on social media or reads our website or receives our emails would give $10—just $10—we would completely blow this fundraising campaign out of the water.

    My challenge, then, is this: can you give $10?

    Let me also note, the way Kickstarter works, if we do not raise the whole $12,500, we won’t receive anything (and you will not be charged). I know you won’t let that happen!

    What this means, though, is that you’re making a pledge. You won’t be charged until the campaign closes on June 30 at noon. So if you’re waiting for your credit card billing to cycle or whatever, please go ahead and make that pledge so we’ll know it’s coming.

    Can you give $10? Will you give $10?

    Again, thank you to all who have already given, and thank you in advance to those who will give!

    Photo by Adrian Curiel on Unsplash

     

    The post Just $10 appeared first on The Center for Bioethics and Culture.

  10. Site: Ron Paul Institute - Featured Articles
    1 hour 19 min ago
    Author: Daniel McAdams
    President Trump surprised his audience at the National Space Council yesterday when he announced that he would create a new "Space Force" to be "separate but equal" to the US Air Force. Congress must act to create a new branch of military service, but will the power of the military lobbyists win the day? Is "dominating" space really a matter of critical national security, as Trump claimed, or is this another costly boondoggle? Tune in to today's Liberty Report:

  11. Site: The Orthosphere
    1 hour 57 min ago
    Author: JMSmith

    I was pleased to find Orthosphere friend Bruce Charlton among the commenters at the Z Blog, and to see that he had donned the armor of God and was laying about with some deft strokes of the sword of the spirit.

    The question of the moment was the nature of conservatism and the superabundance of spurious answers to the same. In the United States, for instance, and as we all know, a “conservative” is actually a liberal, a “liberal” is actually a socialist, and anyone who cannot be so classified is a deplorable.

    I hope you will forgive a digression on this word deplorable. To deplore originally meant to “give up as hopeless,” as the word is derived from a Latin root that meant to weep over a loved one who had been lost and would never return. It was originally, in other words, an expression of grief rather than scorn. Regret is an exact synonym that also has the etymological meaning of weeping over someone (or something) that was loved and lost.

    I do not suppose that Hillary Clinton ever loved the lost sheep that she designated as deplorables, but believe she would have loved their votes. That she (and the Democratic party) had no hope of securing these votes certainly caused them to gnash their teeth, but their governing emotion seems to have been hatred rather than grief. Clinton’s deploring of the deplorables was like the grief of the jilted lover that curdles into a homicidal thirst for revenge.

    To Mrs. Clinton and her ilk, deplorable means odious. And they deplore as odious something that exists, rather than something that exists no more. Under the old meaning, a man deplored (or regretted) a person or thing whose absence left the world a poorer place. Under the new meaning, a man deplores (or regrets) a person or thing whose presence renders the world a poorer place. To deplore a man once meant to weep at the thought of how much better life would be if he were here, whereas it now means to weep at the thought of how much better it would be if he were gone! To deplore once meant to cry out

    “Please come back!”

    whereas now it means

    “Please go away (and die)!”

    This digression is not altogether irrelevant to Charlton’s comment on the Z Blog, which was that the true nature of conservatism is to defend the claims of reality against the assaults of overweening humanism. Charlton correctly identifies defense of supernatural or transcendent reality as the schwerpunkt of conservatism, but I trust it is obvious that humanism has also launched flanking movements against the reality of nature and human nature. This is because a humanist must see God and Nature (sometimes nowadays known as Gnon) as deplorable in the new sense of that word.

    To the humanist, Gnon is deplorable because the world would be a better place if Gnon did not exist. To the humanist, Gnon is an affront to what Charlton calls “the hedonic states of mortal persons,” and that is why the humanist says to them

    “Please go away (and die).”

  12. Site: RT - News
    2 hours 13 min ago
    Author: RT
    Mohamed Salah has been deemed fit enough to start Egypt's must-win game in St.Petersburg against the World Cup hosts, after sitting out his team's opening-day defeat against Uruguay.
    Read Full Article at RT.com
  13. Site: Fr. Z's Blog
    2 hours 15 min ago
    Author: frz@wdtprs.com (Fr. John Zuhlsdorf)
    The Fishwrap (National Schismatic Reporter) is all excited about a visit His Holiness will make soon to the World Council of Churches in Geneva for its 70th anniversary.  John Paul II and Paul VI both visited the institution.  In turn, … Continue reading →
  14. Site: Taylor Marshall
    2 hours 35 min ago
    Author: Dr Taylor Marshall

    Today was the most difficult day on the Camino de Santiago in Spain. I fell down (while still clipped into my bike) at the summit below the Cruz de Ferro (Iron Cross) where pilgrims place a stone from home to signify their burdens and sins.

    Here is an audio file of me recounting the experience and explaining the Iron Cross tradition:

    Here is the Cruz de Ferro surrounded by pebbles placed their by pilgrims over time:

    The post Camino de Santiago 3: Embarrassing Fall at the Iron Cross appeared first on Taylor Marshall.

  15. Site: ABYSSUS ABYSSUM INVOCAT / DEEP CALLS TO DEEP
    2 hours 43 min ago
    Author: abyssum
    The Pope’s Ticona Problem: Bolivian Cardinal-Designate Continues to Court Controversy June 18, 2018

     

    OnePeterFive

    A new scandal is continuing to develop for Pope Francis, regarding one of the men he plans to make a cardinal at the 29 June consistory. The Bolivian bishops’ conference has just distanced itself from one of their own, Bishop Toribio Ticona Porco, whom he announced as a cardinal-designate last month. The Bolivian bishops now say that Ticona does not speak in their name.

    The background for this unusual episcopal move is that Ticona is a friend of the controversial Socialist Bolivian President Evo Morales, who appears to be seeking re-election to a fourth term in violation of Bolivian Constitutional law – a move the Bolivian bishops’ conference opposes. Ticona has also come under fire after allegations surfaced that he has been living in concubinage with a woman with whom he has two children, and that he sold land from the Bishopric of Potosí to her in 2014.

    Discord in the Bolivian Episcopal Conference

    On the matter of the growing episcopal conflict in Bolivia, the German bishops’ news website Katholisch.de published a report on 16 June. The news agency ACI Prensa also published an article on the matter on 13 June.

    According to these reports, the conflict began after Cardinal-elect Toribio Ticona Porco (81), the retired Bolivian bishop of Corocoro, gave an interview on 6 June in which he made some encouraging comments about Evo Morales, saying that he hopes the Church hierarchy of Bolivia would work together with him on certain grounds. Morales had tried in 2016, with the help of a referendum, to receive permission from the Bolivians to be re-elected as President in 2019, but the people rejected his idea. However, Morales has recently indicated that he might nevertheless try to get re-elected for a fourth time.

    Cardinal-elect Ticona commented in the 6 June interview on this conflict situation with regard to Morales, saying that he would prefer not to comment on whether or not Morales should be re-elected because “we are friends.” With regard to the 2016 referendum which rejected Morales’ re-election, Ticona abstained from a commentary. Ticona then insisted that Morales and the Bolivian bishops should “mutually respect one another.” “In matters that unite us, we can work together,” he added. These words as spoken in this recent interview seem to have been seen as an episcopal endorsement of President Morales. Since Ticona is soon to be a cardinal, some media present this interview as the opinion of the highest Church authority in Bolivia, thus undercutting the official resistance against Morales coming from the Bolivian bishops’ conference.

    Since the Bolivian bishops’ conference had rejected Morales’ attempt at getting permission to be re-elected, they responded soon after this Ticona interview. In their 13 June statement, they refer to “misinterpretations of some statements of the cardinal” which “have been able to create confusion in the public.” The bishops direct the public to the different media statements and pastoral letters that they have previously published. “We reject any attempt to divide or manipulate the Catholic Church [in Bolivia],” they add.

    Moreover, the Bolivian bishops also make it clear that the “legitimately elected authorities” of the bishops’ conference – i.e., its President, Vice-President, Secretary General and Permanent Episcopal Council – are “the official voice of the Catholic Church in Bolivia.” Cardinal Ticona, however, “is a member of the Bolivian bishops’ conference,” and he, therefore, has the “right to speak, as a bishop emeritus, in accordance with the bishops’ conference’s own statutes.” But not as the highest authority of the Church in Bolivia, one could add.

    As Katholisch.de reports, Evo Morales himself has now also intervened in this matter. While in Russia for the World Cup, he put on twitter some of his specific comments: “My respect, affection, and admiration for my brother Toribio Ticona, Cardinal of Bolivia. Strength! The bishops and Catholics of the base [from the “base communities”], who defend the poor and who work with you, are with you.”

    That Morales and Ticona are close could also be seen when Ticona said, at the end of May, that Morales had congratulated Ticona upon his appointment to the cardinalate; the President even announced that he would accompany Ticona to Rome for the ceremony. “He congratulated me and declared that, finally, someone has appointed an indigenous cardinal.” Ticona and Morales had earlier worked politically together and they even even marched together in manifestations. Ticona himself also recently made reference to his stemming from an indigenous farming family, and that this fact might be the reason that he is now being criticized. President Morales, who also stems from an indigenous background, is a revolutionary Socialist politician who once, in 2015, even gave Pope Francis during his papal visit a hammer-and-sickle crucifix as a gift. At that time, this gesture caused much turmoil among faithful Catholics, especially in light of the fact that Pope Francis did not seem to be troubled at all by this symbolic Marxist gift, even though so many Catholics had gravely suffered under Communism.

    Additionally, in 2017, Morales had caused much controversy when he started to set up a ban on evangelization (or “proselytization”), something which he later quite ambiguously withdrew. The planned new law had foreseen a penalty of up to 12 years imprisonment if a person tries to convince another person to join a religious organization.

    It is noteworthy that Pope Francis and President Morales met each other in person at least five times since 2013.

    Allegations of a Double Life

    Next to this emerging conflict between Bishop Ticona and the Bolivian bishops’ conference, Ticona has also recently come under pressure due to allegations concerning his private life. As OnePeterFive reported recently, Bishop Ticona came under pressure after the Spanish-speaking website Adelante la Fe revealed allegations that the bishop also has a “wife” and children. While he himself denied such allegations, Adelante la Fe, as well as as other websites such as LifeSiteNews, confirmed the truthfulness of that initial report.

    In a new report dated today, 18 June, Miguel Ángel Yáñez of Adelante la Fe has revealed additional information regarding the testimony of “direct witnesses” who knew Ticona and his female companion — named only as “Leonor RG”. The Bolivian newspaper Página siete has now also published an investigative report into the matter, saying that the cardinal designate had sold church-owned land to the aforementioned “Leonor RG”, who “in public…would have presented herself as the ‘wife’ of the cardinal.”

    Yáñez also alleges in his new report that Ticona has been using his name in differing combinations for different purposes. While he shows up in the initial decree of convocation of the consistory as “HE Mons. Toribio Ticona Porco”, his official identification card lists him as “Toribio Porco Ticona”. “How important is this?” asks Yáñez. “So much, and it is another element [that is] more indicative in all [that has been] exposed. We have consulted with various legal sources in Bolivia, and all confirm that this practice is not only not common in the country, but is highly irregular and characteristic of people who want to hide things and play with confusion.” [emphasis in original]

    Yáñez includes, in his report, highlights taken from the testimonies of various people — including a priest and others from the town of Oruro, where Ticona is said to have lived with his “wife” — making allegations based on first hand knowledge. Among these is the observation of a neighbor of the “couple” (Ticona and Leonor RG), who claims that having been in the house shared by the two, where he saw a “photo where the man that everyone thought was the ‘husband’ appeared…dressed as a bishop with John Paul II.”

    No Reaction From Rome

    Cardinal-elect Ticona is one of fourteen prelates who is soon to receive the red hat from Pope Francis at the Consistory on 29 June. The next two weeks will show how Pope Francis will try to deal with this grave public estrangement between Cardinal-elect Ticona and the entire Bolivian bishops’ conference, as well as the potential scandal of his alleged double life — a scandal which has, as yet, not been denied by the Vatican even though it has prompted a “discreet” investigation by the Apostolic Nunciature in Bolivia.

    This awkward situation at the coming Consistory reminds us of the Consistory of 2017 where one of the Cardinals-elect, Archbishop Jean Zerbo, of Bamako (Mali) was accused of embezzlement of funds, and this was reliably reported only a few weeks before his installment as a cardinal. According to a Catholic Herold report, there had also been been speculations “that Francis might not make Archbishop Zerbo a cardinal following reports that he and two other Mali bishops had opened Swiss bank accounts totalling 12 million euros ($13.5 million).” Archbishop Zerbo did, in the end, attend that consistory, and Pope Francis nonetheless made him a cardinal.

    “After the French Le Monde broke the news, Pope Francis did not show any signs of rethinking his nomination of Cardinal Monsignor Jean Zerbo,” says a report of Vatican Insider. Thus, this Pope appears to be somewhat indifferent toward such serious accusations against his Cardinals, as can also be seen in the fact that he still keeps both Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga and Cardinal Francisco Errázuriz in his Council of Nine Cardinals, despite grave allegations of misconduct against both men. Indeed, he just met them again, from 11-13 June in Rome, for their Council meetings.

    Time will tell if the pattern of special treatment for prelates favored by Pope Francis will repeat itself at the June 2018 consistory.

    Steve Skojec contributed to this report. 

  16. Site: Theological Flint
    3 hours 4 min ago
    Author: chrismalloy70@gmail.com
    Here follows a lengthy post. I hope that it is read in the sense intended, as offering food for thought and reflection, not for knee-jerk reactions and hasty analytic belching. The Old Testament presents a number of difficulties for the rational person. Among these: God chooses one people for his own, not other peoples. God … Continue reading The Old Testament God Rational: Response to Porphyry →
  17. Site: RT - News
    3 hours 10 min ago
    Author: RT
    US Senators have voted to block the sale of F-35s to Turkey, slamming their NATO ally for plans to buy Russian S-400 missile batteries. Ankara warned of “an alternative” should the deal be called off.
    Read Full Article at RT.com
  18. Site: RT - News
    3 hours 11 min ago
    Author: RT
    Wasps in the remote Siberian town of Lensk have found a cozy place to build their nest: right between the iron cheeks of Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin himself.
    Read Full Article at RT.com
  19. Site: RT - News
    3 hours 12 min ago
    Author: RT
    Tired of the Swan Lake? This amusing video shows a thief at a Russian supermarket jazz up his robbery routine with some hallmark hip moves.
    Read Full Article at RT.com
  20. Site: RT - News
    3 hours 17 min ago
    Author: RT
    A heavy dust storm is gripping the Red Planet, making visibility incredibly poor even in the middle of the day. But it didn’t stop NASA’s Curiosity rover taking an amazing selfie on the surface of Mars.
    Read Full Article at RT.com
  21. Site: Ron Paul Institute - Featured Articles
    3 hours 32 min ago
    Author: Adam Dick


    Over the weekend, delegates at the Texas Republican Party’s statewide convention voted by wide margins in favor of several roll-backs of marijuana prohibition. With over 80 percent support, the delegates approved three state party platform planks calling, respectively, for decriminalizing possession of up to an ounce of marijuana, moving marijuana from Schedule 1 to Schedule 2 of the United States government’s Controlled Substances Act, and urging the Texas legislature to “pass legislation allowing cultivation, manufacture, and sale of industrial hemp and hemp products.” A fourth plank, calling for some expansion of the state’s rather limited low-THC cannabis oil medical program, received over 90 percent support.

    So what is up next for the state’s marijuana laws? Will the state government adopt the delegates’ proposals? Might legal marijuana even be coming soon to the Lone Star State?

    This action by the Texas Republican Party state convention delegates is an indication of how far the movement toward ending the war on marijuana has come in America. Republican politicians, in contrast with the younger segments of Republican voters, tend to oppose rolling back marijuana prohibition. And Texas, where no Democrat has been elected to any of 29 statewide elective offices since 1994, has been reluctant to join the trend of states enacting recreational or medical marijuana legalization.

    Polling suggests there is majority public support in Texas for legalization. Further, the state House of Representatives Criminal Jurisprudence Committee’s approval in 2015 of legislation that would treat marijuana the same as tomatoes for adults — a proposal much more radical than anything adopted in any state so far — indicates there is even potential for Texas to leap to the lead in rolling back the war on marijuana, though that legislation did not receive a floor vote by the entire House.

    “Everything is bigger in Texas,” the saying goes. Maybe the Republican-majority Texas legislature, looking to the public support for legalization, will decide to bring the 2015 legislation to the state House and Senate floors for votes and live up to that saying.

    Whether Texas next adopts radical legalization of marijuana or takes the more moderate steps recommended by the Republican Party state convention delegates, it seems inevitable that Texas will continue, as are other states, to take steps to roll back marijuana prohibition. Indeed, on the local level, roll-backs have been occurring in Texas in recent years, with local prosecutors increasingly deciding to significantly reduce the number of prosecutions they pursue for alleged marijuana law violations.

    These and other local action may be the primary course by which much more marijuana prohibition roll-backs will occur in the state. After all, over 80 years after the end of the US government’s alcohol prohibition, a small portion of Texas local governments still have “dry” status due to their restrictions on alcohol sales, though more localities continue moving from “dry” to “wet.”

    One thing holding back the liberalization of marijuana laws in Texas is the lack of the ability of voters, via petition, to put binding ballot measures on the Texas statewide ballot. Ballot measures are the means by which medical marijuana and recreational marijuana legalization have been adopted in most states. In two other “conservative” states — Oklahoma and Utah — that do have the means for voters to put such measures on their statewide ballots, we see medical marijuana ballot measures poised to win voters’ approval this year.

    Politicians in Austin — the Texas capital — can likely hold out against the countrywide movement for major roll-backs in marijuana prohibition for only a short time longer, especially now that state convention delegates of the state’s dominant party have voted, by wide margins, for taking several significant steps to roll back the prohibition. Further, the days of countrywide marijuana prohibition are numbered, with likely five years or less remaining. Replacing marijuana prohibition, similar to what occurred with alcohol after its countrywide prohibition ended, will probably be a “patchwork quilt” of laws differing from state to state and even from county to county and city to city, with some laws more restrictive than others, but none totally prohibitive. The proper question seems not to be whether or not Texas will legalize marijuana. The question instead is whether Texas will legalize big, small, or local.
  22. Site: Corpus Christi Watershed
    3 hours 36 min ago
    iPhone Clip • From Sacred Music Symposium 2018
  23. Site: southern orders
    3 hours 47 min ago

    We know that the Pontifical Mass in the Ancient usage celebrated by Cardinal Robert Sarah allowed some things that EF purists simply can't digest.

    However, I think that Cardinal Sarah knows that more people will be engaged in the EF Mass if some minor changes are allowed.

    Thus, "Jake" on the post on Cardinal Sarah's liberties tells us that there were other liberties taken too.

    I think these liberties would open the door to more bishops celebrating this Mass as it is a form of "noble simplicity" that Vatican II actually endorsed.

    Here is Jake's comment:

     It appears that Cardinal Sarah followed the 1968 Instruction 'Pontificales ritus', i.e. he pontificated sans gloves, buskins and sandals, gremial, and restricted himself to the use of a single mitre.

    Moreover, the Cardinal encircled the (rubrically correct) freestanding altar (without gradines or faux tabernacle!) during the incensations. In doing so, the Cardinal, intentionally or not, highlighted that the concept of a freestanding altar (rubrically correct according to the Tridentine books) and the position of the priest vis-à-vis the altar and congregation are two separate issues, which are often conflated. 


    My final comment: If we want the EF Mass to have more parishes celebrating it, some common sense adjustments should be allowed and Cardinal Sarah is preparing the way!
  24. Site: Fr. Z's Blog
    3 hours 49 min ago
    Author: frz@wdtprs.com (Fr. John Zuhlsdorf)
    Quotes from the article that follows: Freely to assent to truth is the heart of what it means to be civilized. A human order is built on fidelity to tradition and principle. While there are signs of life in various places in the … Continue reading →
  25. Site: Steyn Online
    3 hours 52 min ago
    Today, Tuesday, I'll be taking questions from Mark Steyn Club members live around the planet on a brand new Clubland Q&A, at our usual hour - 4pm Eastern in North America. We'll try to pin down the rest of the time zones below, but do, as they say, check
  26. Site: RT - News
    3 hours 58 min ago
    Author: RT
    French police made an unexpected arrest while investigating the ‘Black Hand’ dark web forum known for selling drugs and guns – a suburban housewife.
    Read Full Article at RT.com
  27. Site: Catholic Herald
    4 hours 21 min ago
    Author: Catholic News Service

    Sexuality, the role of women and the desire for a Church that listens are among the main concerns for young people, the working document for the upcoming ‘youth synod’ says. Young people are living in a time of increased cultural instability, and are divided over Church teaching on contraception, homosexuality, abortion and marriage, the document adds. The ‘instrumentum laboris’ – as the document...

    Source

  28. Site: The Thinking Housewife
    4 hours 27 min ago
    Author: Laura Wood
    “Attribute to God every good that you have received. If you take credit for something that does not belong to you, you will be guilty of theft.” — St. Anthony of Padua
  29. Site: Ron Paul Institute - Featured Articles
    4 hours 35 min ago
    Author: Philip Giraldi


    I had coffee with a foreign friend a week ago. The subject of Donald Trump inevitably came up and my friend said that he was torn between describing Trump as a genius or as an idiot, but was inclined to lean towards genius. He explained that Trump was willy-nilly establishing a new world order that will succeed the institutionally exhausted post-World War 2 financial and political arrangements that more-or-less established US hegemony over the “free world.” The Bretton Woods agreement and the founding of the United Nations institutionalized the spread of liberal democracy and free trade, creating a new, post war international order under the firm control of the United States with the American dollar as the benchmark currency. Trump is now rejecting what has become an increasingly dominant global world order in favor of returning to a nineteenth century style nationalism that has become popular as countries struggle to retain their cultural and political identifies. Trump’s vision would seem to include protection of core industries, existing demographics and cultural institutions combined with an end of “democratization,” which will result in an acceptance of foreign autocratic or non-conforming regimes as long as they do not pose military or economic threats.

    Sounds good, I countered but there is a space between genius and idiocy and that would be called insanity, best illustrated by impulsive, irrational behavior coupled with acute hypersensitivity over perceived personal insults and a demonstrated inability to comprehend either generally accepted facts or basic norms of personal and group behavior.

    Inevitably, I have other friends who follow foreign policy closely that have various interpretations of the Trump phenomenon. One sees the respectful meeting with Kim Jong-un of North Korea as a bit of brilliant statesmanship, potentially breaking a sixty-five year logjam and possibly opening the door to further discussions that might well avert a nuclear war. And the week also brought a Trump welcome suggestion that Russia should be asked to rejoin the G-7 group of major industrialized democracies, which also has to be seen as a positive step. There has also been talk of a Russia-US summit similar to that with North Korea to iron out differences, an initiative that was first suggested by Trump and then agreed to by Russian President Vladimir Putin. There will inevitably be powerful resistance to such an arrangement coming primarily from the US media and from Congress, but Donald Trump seems to fancy the prospect and it just might take place.

    One good friend even puts a positive spin on Trump’s insulting behavior towards America’s traditional allies at the recent G-7 meeting in Canada. She observes that Trump’s basic objections were that Washington is subsidizing the defense of a wealthy Europe and thereby maintaining unnecessarily a relationship that perpetuates a state of no-war no-peace between Russia and the West. And the military costs exacerbate some genuine serious trade imbalances that damage the US economy. If Trumpism prevails, G-7 will become a forum for discussions of trade and economic relations and will become less a club of nations aligned military against Russia and, eventually, China. As she put it, changing its constituency would be a triumph of “mercantilism” over “imperialism.” The now pointless NATO alliance might well find itself without much support if the members actually have to fully fund it proportionate to their GDPs and could easily fade away, which would be a blessing for everyone.

    My objection to nearly all the arguments being made in favor or opposed to what occurred in Singapore last week is that the summit is being seen out of context, as is the outreach to Russia at G-7. Those who are in some cases violently opposed to the outcome of the talks with North Korea are, to be sure, sufferers from Trump Derangement Syndrome, where they hate anything he does and spin their responses to cast him in the most negative terms possible. Some others who choose to see daylight in spite of the essential emptiness of the “agreement” are perhaps being overly optimistic while likewise ignoring what else is going on.

    And the neoconservatives and globalists are striking back hard to make sure that détente stays in a bottle hidden somewhere on a shelf in the White House cloak room. Always adept at the creation of new front groups, the neocons have now launched something called the Renew Democracy Initiative (RDI), with the goal of “uni[ting] the center-left and the center-right.” Its founders include the redoubtable Max Boot, The Washington Post’s Anne Appelbaum, the inevitable Bill Kristol, and Richard Hurwitz of Council on Foreign Relations. RDI’s website predictably calls for “fresh thinking” and envisions “the best minds from different countries com[ing] together for both broad and discrete projects in the service of liberty and democracy in the West and beyond.” It argues that “Liberal democracy is in crisis around the world, besieged by authoritarianism, nationalism, and other illiberal forces. Far-right parties are gaining traction in Europe, Vladimir Putin tightens his grip on Russia and undermines democracy abroad, and America struggles with poisonous threats from the right and left.”

    There are also the internal contradictions in what Trump appears to be doing, suggesting that a brighter future might not be on the horizon even if giving the Europeans a possibly deserved bloody nose over their refusal to spend money defending themselves provides some satisfaction. In the last week alone in Syria the White House has quietly renewed funding for the so-called White Helmets, a terrorist front group. It has also warned that it will take action against the Syrian government for any violation of a “de-escalation zone” in the country’s southwest that has been under the control of Washington. That means that the US, which is in Syria illegally, is warning that country’s legitimate government that it should not attempt to re-establish control over a region that was until recently ruled by terrorists.

    And then there is also Donald Trump’s recent renunciation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), eliminating a successful program that was preventing nuclear proliferation on the part of Iran and replacing it with nothing whatsoever apart from war as a possible way of dealing with the potential problem. Indeed, Trump has been prepared to use military force on impulse, even when there is no clear casus belli. In Syria there have been two pointless cruise missile attacks and a trap set up to kill Russian mercenaries. Washington’s stated intention is to destabilize and replace President Bashar al-Assad while continuing the occupation of the Syrian oil fields. And in Afghanistan there are now more troops on the ground than there were on inauguration day together with no plan to bring them home. It is reported that the Pentagon has a twenty-year plan to finish the job but no one actually believes it will work.

    The United States is constructing new drone bases in Africa and Asia. It also has a new military base in Israel which will serve as a tripwire for automatic American involvement if Israel goes to war and has given the green light to the Israeli slaughter of Palestinians. In Latin America, Washington has backed off from détente with Cuba and has been periodically threatening some kind of intervention in Venezuela. In Europe, it is engaged in aggressive war games on the Russian borders, most recently in Norway and Poland. The Administration has ordered increased involvement in Somalia and has special ops units operating – and dying – worldwide. Overall, it is hardly a return to the Garden of Eden.

    And then there are the petty insults that do not behoove a great power. A friend recently attended the Russian National Day celebration at the embassy in Washington. He reported that the US government completely boycotted the event, together with its allies in Western Europe and the anglosphere, resulting in sparse attendance. It is the kind of slight that causes attitudes to shift when the time comes for serious negotiating. It is unnecessary and it is precisely the sort of thing that Russian President Vladimir Putin is referring to when he asks that his country be treated with “respect.” The White House could have sent a delegation to attend the national day. Trump could have arranged it with a phone call, but he didn’t.

    Winston Churchill once reportedly said that to “Jaw, jaw, jaw is better than war, war, war.” As one of the twentieth century’s leading warmongers, he may not have actually meant it, but in principle he was right. So let us hope for the best coming out of Singapore and also for the G-7 or what replaces it in the future. But don’t be confused or diverted by presidential grandstanding. Watch what else is going on outside the limelight and, at least for the present, it is not pretty.

    Reprinted with permission from Unz Review.
  30. Site: RT - News
    4 hours 40 min ago
    Author: RT
    The contents of a sandwich sparked a heated debate onboard a Wizz Air flight, with footage capturing a Muslim passenger branding a flight attendant a “stupid f***ing b***h” because he thought he was served ham.
    Read Full Article at RT.com
  31. Site: Catholic Herald
    5 hours 1 min ago
    Author: Staff Reporter

    A bone of Pope St Clement I that was found by a waste disposal company has been given to Westminster Cathedral. The relic, which is contained in a red and gold, wax-sealed case, was discovered by Enviro Waste during a routine collection last year. Company owner James Rubin launched a campaign to find a new home for the relic and eventually agreed to give it to the cathedral after Sophie Andreae...

    Source

  32. Site: southern orders
    5 hours 9 min ago

    I've been at Saint Anne's now exactly two years on June 22nd and all by my lonesome as a priest.

    That will change on July 1st when newly ordained Father Drew Larkin is assigned as St. Anne's first parochial vicar.

    Fr. Drew is from Macon, Georgia's St. Peter Claver Church, thus I have known him for years.

    He will be ordained at our Cathedral on June 30th at 10 AM. He won't begin in the parish until July 6th.

    He studied at the North American College in Rome where he was ordained a deacon in the photo above.
  33. Site: southern orders
    5 hours 28 min ago
    Yes, I was wondering the same thing that this CNS story alleges and it tells you how the news  media is controlled by architects of the new world order that leaves authentic, orthodox Christianity out of it:


    Pope Francis Says Gay Couples Are Not a Family CNS News
    Pope Francis says gay couples cannot be considered a family. The media know he said this, but with few exceptions, they refused to run this story. The blackout, it is easy to prove, was intentional. On June 16, Pope Francis spoke to an Italian family association, and following his scripted remarks, he made some unscripted comments. He denounced those couples who screen for abnormalities in the womb, likening the decision to a Nazi-like tactic. “Last century,” he said, “the whole world was scandalized by what the Nazis did to purify the race. Today, we do the same thing but with white gloves.” The following media outlets covered this story: AP, UPI, ABC Online, NBC NY, CNN, Chicago Tribune, New ...  Read more

  34. Site: RT - News
    5 hours 40 min ago
    Author: RT
    As many as 85 percent of the world's one billion legal and illicit firearms are held by civilians – far exceeding the number of those held by modern armed forces and law enforcement agencies, a Swiss-based think tank revealed.
    Read Full Article at RT.com
  35. Site: RT - News
    5 hours 46 min ago
    Author: RT
    Japan’s Princess Hisako has travelled all the way to Russia’s Saransk to cheer on her national team at the FIFA World Cup. She is the first member of the Imperial family to come to Russia since 1916.
    Read Full Article at RT.com
  36. Site: Novus Motus Liturgicus
    5 hours 52 min ago
    Building the Way to Heaven: The Tower of Babel and Pentecost 
    The End of the Fiery Sword: Adam and Eve and Jesus and Mary 
    Into the Sea, Out of the Tomb: Jonah and Jesus

    These are the first in the Old and New Series, all written by Maura Roan McKeegan and illustrated by T. Schluenderfritz. Their goal is to introduce to children to the principle of biblical typology, that is, how the Old Testament people, symbols, and events foreshadow those in the New Testament. I do not know of any other children’s books that approach these topics in this way. It’s a great idea and it has been executed well.

    There are attractive illustrations which use some of the visual vocabulary of Christian tradition (e.g. halos, and a mandorla) and the two streams of narrative are placed side by side so that the parallels cannot be missed.

    I would certainly recommend all of these as part of Scriptural education for all children. Thank you to all involved for this project!

    Reading through them, it seems to me that they would work best for those children who have a prior knowledge of the Biblical passages, and sufficient intellectual formation to be able to understand the concept of literary symbolism. The publisher recommends 7 years old; I wonder if for most it might be a little older than that. You can order them on the publisher’s website, here. Thanks to Peter K. for bringing these books to my attention, by the way, (Peter recently featured a wonderful book that does the same for grown-ups, Jean Danielou’s From Shadows to Reality)

    There are so many reasons which the study of Scripture is
    important, but here are some that relate to the value of biblical typology in particular, which these books address.

    The first is that the themes in salvation history are a pattern of events that relate to each of us in our personal pilgrimage of salvation. Once we grasp the idea of the interrelatedness of all things, by understanding how particular and significant episodes in Scripture are related to each other, it facilitates a mode of thinking by which we more naturally place our own story, and hence ourselves, into that picture. So, for example, the crossing of the Red Sea relates to the Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan and the descent of the Spirit, and then also to our own sacramental Baptism and Confirmation, by which each of us dies and rises spiritually and receives the Spirit (1 Cor, 10, 1-5). Our foretaste of eternal life to come, like Israel eating manna in the desert on the way to the promised land, is our reception of Holy Communion, the pledge of our own future life and resurrection (John 6, 54). Each of us has a story by which we die with Christ, and as Christians are raised up with him too. I am reminded that this applies to me every time I walk into a church and cross myself with the holy water - ‘Jordan water’.

    The second is that this can be the basis of a formation that is, in my estimation, more likely to help children retain their faith when they get older, and see them through the teenage years. This goes further than simply teaching the truths of the Faith, which is, of course, vitally important too. Those that develop this way of thinking will then be more inclined to read the Book of Nature and those aspects of the culture, including the natural hierarchies in society, allegorically, and take delight in it. For such people, all that they see points to the unseen, and all that is good points to God. They will perceive a pattern in the world around them and be able to fill in the missing piece of the jigsaw puzzle, so to speak. Except that this piece is not missing exactly; rather, it is real and present, but invisible. I wrote about this mode of thinking in greater depth in an earlier article, here: The Good the Better and the Sunday Best: Using St Thomas’s Fourth Way to Evangelize and Retain Faith in the Young.

    The place where all of this comes to together and is illuminated most powerfully for us in the liturgy. The actions of the liturgy are powerfully symbolic. These books, therefore, will help to enrich participation in the liturgy, both through the content learned and the stimulation of this mode of thought by which we start to read what is happening, even relating to those aspects not directly taught in the books. I need hardly describe to readers of this website how beneficial this will be, in turn, to all aspects of human life if realized.

    In a matter relating to my own particular focus of interest, in my opinion, the study of Biblical typology is something that should be mandatory for all people who wish to paint sacred art. Danielou’s book is more likely to be appropriate for the training of the artist, but all artists should be able to create art, intended for children or adults, which reflects such a training and communicates the truth of the Faith through beautiful art. In the Roman Church, we are at the early stages of re-establishing this as a living tradition, but once done (and I remain hopeful that it will be done), then a book could connect the themes described even more directly to the traditional liturgical art of the Church. I look forward to the day when a seven-year-old could walk into the Baptistry in Florence and instantly understand what he or she is seeing, because it not only reflects the lessons learned in a book such as this, but also the images they see in their recently built hometown parish church!

  37. Site: Catholic Herald
    6 hours 13 min ago
    Author: Fr Raymond de Souza

    Relations between the largest of the eastern Catholic Churches, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC), and the Holy See have been frayed in recent years, as the former has found the latter’s support lacking in the face of Russian aggression against Ukraine in general and the UGCC in particular. Ukrainian Catholics believe that the Holy See wants to maintain good relations with the Russian...

    Source

  38. Site: RT - News
    6 hours 24 min ago
    Author: RT
    A 70-year-old Jewish Israeli business owner was arrested for selling 20,700 fireworks to a man in East Jerusalem in an alleged plot against Israeli security forces.
    Read Full Article at RT.com
  39. Site: RT - News
    6 hours 27 min ago
    Author: RT
    The Eierlikoer, or egg liqueur, has been too heavy for a couple of hedgehogs who dared to finish a leaking bottle near a children’s playground in central Germany. Fortunately, local police came to rescue.
    Read Full Article at RT.com
  40. Site: Rorate Caeli
    6 hours 51 min ago
    by Fr. Richard G. Cipolla Duc in altum.  Set out into the deep water.  (Luke 5:4) Those words of Jesus to Peter and his companions are his exhortation to these en to embark on a life that they little dreamed of, far from their fishing boats an the land and family they knew.  Set out into the deep water, the deep water far away from the safety of the land, the deep water of the sea Richard Cipollahttps://plus.google.com/115115943310477624730noreply@blogger.com
  41. Site: RT - News
    7 hours 18 min ago
    Author: RT
    The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights urged the US officials to stop separating children from their parents who illegally cross the border with Mexico. 
    Read Full Article at RT.com
  42. Site: RT - News
    7 hours 42 min ago
    Author: RT
    Created to satisfy the sexual desires of their owners, sex robots could soon be able to turn down unwanted advances, according to a trailblazing inventor designing the lovemaking machines.
    Read Full Article at RT.com
  43. Site: Call Me Jorge...
    7 hours 51 min ago



  44. Site: Rorate Caeli
    8 hours 52 min ago
    The quiz at the end of the St Catherine's Trust annual Summer School, attended by about 50-50 home-educated and school-educated children. Details of this year's here. A while ago the Catholic Herald journalist Michael Davis thought he'd do a good turn to the Traditional Catholic movement (with which he apparently identifies) by describing us as hateful bigots and antisemites. Now he's decided Joseph Shawhttps://plus.google.com/108813357300379165984noreply@blogger.com0
  45. Site: Catholic Herald
    8 hours 59 min ago
    Author: Rhina Guidos

    From Denver to New York City, the country’s Catholic bishops have joined a chorus of organisations, institutions and high-profile individuals urging the Trump administration to stop separating children from their parents as they seek respite in the US from dire conditions in their home countries, largely in Central America. None has been more outspoken, however, than the bishops with...

    Source

  46. Site: RT - News
    9 hours 14 min ago
    Author: RT
    Video footage has captured powerful images of a man being swept off his feet and badly injured as he was downing a tree in Calgary, Canada.
    Read Full Article at RT.com
  47. Site: RT - News
    9 hours 49 min ago
    Author: RT
    Two young men were killed and four people were wounded in a shooting in the Swedish city of Malmo. Up to 20 rounds were fired, according to witnesses, and police are still looking for the perpetrators.
    Read Full Article at RT.com
  48. Site: Crisis Magazine
    10 hours 16 min ago
    Author: Rev. James V. Schall, S.J.

    On a recent book review TV interview program called Q/A, Ross Douthat, author of To Change the Church, was asked about his own beliefs. He responded quite frankly that he was a Catholic. When asked why, Douthat replied that, as far as he could see, a divine intervention did take place in this world around the time and appearance of Christ. He added that the essence of this intervention has been best preserved down the subsequent ages by the Catholic Church. This sensible view is one that many Catholics would also accept as valid for them. Indeed, probably the best way to see this view of the divine intervention spelled out step by step is in Benedict’s Jesus of Nazareth. After reviewing most of the scholarly literature on this topic, Benedict concluded that the evidence seems to show that Christ was “who He said He was.”

    But few are much concerned with the intellectual facts of the matter. Something else is going on. Not many really seem to worry about the truth of these issues, though that is where the real drama lies. Freely to assent to truth is the heart of what it means to be civilized. In a way, however, our culture is beyond truth. We make up our own universe. The Supreme Court tells us it is our “right.” Such a development, wherein we impose our ideas on reality rather than let reality instruct us about what it is, usually means to opt for one or other current fantasy or ideology that is custom-designed to explain away things that we choose not to accept, no matter what evidence can be given for them.

    Many millions of words have now been written about the meaning of the Irish abortion vote, one foreshadowed by a similar change in Quebec decades ago. In both cases, areas that had been proudly Catholic for centuries, suddenly decided to ditch its tradition to join the secular world, its principles and practices. Such a radical change in these cultures had already taken place, just as Plato thought, in the souls of the citizens of these areas. From that viewpoint, the change was not so surprising. A human order is built on fidelity to tradition and principle. It is not immune to change as if it were a material object. Indeed, reasonable change is part of its stability.

    Likewise, many Catholic churches, orphanages, hospitals, and schools in Europe and America are closed. Muslims are willing to move into these edifices if allowed to do so. Many famous churches have long been national monuments or museums under government support. I read somewhere that, on visiting the churches in Dublin, the only people there were American tourists, often looking for their ancestors. While there are signs of life in various places in the Church, a survey of the whole, to be frank, is rather bleak. Whether Scripture or tradition gives us many grounds for expecting anything too much different is doubtful. Christ himself asked the disciples whether, on his return, they thought there would be faith on earth (Luke 18, 7-8). This passage is always a testimonial to the powers that are in constant opposition to what Christ put into the world.

    In the past several years, I have perceived a noticeable loss of intellectual acumen that the Church gained with John Paul II and Benedict. Many are upset by this lack of depth, especially more recent converts who came into the Church with the help of the vigorous thinking we still see in these two popes. But the main reason for the decline of Church membership is the desire to be like others in modern society. Many want Catholic teaching to be viewed and interpreted through a modern lens.

    We no longer speak of “heretics.” Heretics insist on staying in the Church so that they can change it from the inside. On the surface, everybody is nice, with a “right” to his own opinion. Nothing seems definite, precisely so that nothing binds. In the end, freedom of opinion ends up with everyone having mostly the same opinions, now politically enforced. Things that once seemed unchangeable are now changed or expected to change in the near future. The clergy and the bishops are not much help as they seem—to many at least—to betray the same symptoms.

    II.

    In the light of these comments, in spite of scandals and confusions in Rome, we still need to ask: “Why should we continue to be Catholic?” Much of the controversy that swirls around the Holy Father has, at its origin, the feeling that certain basic—once-thought non-negotiable—principles and practices have been denied or at least implicitly allowed to pass away. Under the aegis of finely tuned “mercy” and “discernment,” a method has been developed that would justify this accommodation of the Church to that modernity and its principles that everyone seems eager to embrace.

    Recent remarks and decisions, often coming from Archbishop Luis Ladaria, the current Prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith, however, have been more careful. We have seen a firm statement that women cannot be priests. The German formula for the interfaith communion at a wedding is set aside. A renewed interest in the centrality of doctrine appears in CDF documents. These are welcome signs. The dubia are still not answered. Good Catholics are still seen as rigid. The papacy often appears to act in the public eye like a political party of the left. Christianity is seen as a force to lead sundry crusades over ecology, poverty, or immigration. Such initiatives are difficult to square with good economics, science, and politics.

    Not a few have also pointed out that an indirect papal input in the various pro-abortion and gay marriage votes in Ireland and Portugal occurred when Catholics were advised to deal with more “important” things. Their enemies, to give them credit, do not think these issues are among the lesser important things. Many wonder whether the Church does not now see itself as simply a this-worldly socio-political movement instrumental primarily in curing our temporal ills. The irony is that the methods recommended in these areas have almost invariably, when tried, made things worse. We do find considerable talk of sanctity and holiness but again this is often of an activist kind. The contemplative life, the life that is needed to keep our souls in touch with the transcendent, seems to be minimized.

    III.

    Let us ask again: “Why be, or continue to be, Catholic today?” The only sensible reason is that what the Church teaches is true to its immediate origin in the divinity itself. Has the Church on any major issue contradicted its own mandate? This is a delicate point. Only the Church believes that it is the sole deposit of this mandate.

    In thinking about these things, I again take my cue from the “heretics” who refuse to leave the Church but stay in it to transform it, as they say, into their image of modernity. In the end, they can find no place else to go. They are already wrapped within modernity’s orbit. The effort from within to transform Christianity into modernity, to align its basic premises with those of the modern world, seems like a plausible, shrewd tactic. Many have already made this transition.

    The Catholics who remain in the Church because the Church is consistent over time with its founding often find themselves perplexed. Practically no one is excommunicated for holding any position associated with modernity. They see people, in apparent good standing, continuing in the Church who accept and practice most of the aberrations of modern social living. Indeed, it seems like we find two Churches holding contradictory views within the same Church. The division liberal/conservative is practically useless as a way to understand the difference. The issue is a matter of truth, not interpretation.

    To many, both inside and outside the Church, there seems to be much ecclesiastical confusion. Upsetting new interpretations constantly appear. Previously, many considered the Church wrong, but no one thought it did not hold or articulate what it affirmed on basic points of practice and doctrine. The primary argument that the Church teaches the same things over time does not seem valid for many any longer. The same things do not seem to be taught and affirmed in its many dioceses, schools, seminaries, and institutions. Various attempts have been made to explain how the Church can be both loyal to its tradition and, without contradiction, accept the basic premises of modernity.

    For instance, Jesus was said in his time to look at current events and see what needed to be changed. So he changed them according to what was needed at the time. “Loyalty” to tradition thus means doing the same for our time. First we do what needs to be done; then we can develop a theory to justify it. The word “discernment” has come to mean the ability to see almost directly into temporary things or situations the action of the Holy Spirit. On the basis of what we think we discern, we can act with confidence that we are not following our own wills but that of the Holy Spirit.

    Or we can say that we do not know exactly what Jesus said or did. He really did not lay down basic principles that needed to be maintained over time to protect the authenticity of his teaching and revelation. He was merciful and compassionate. The best we can do is to read the “signs of the times” and accommodate ourselves to where the Spirit is leading all men into the future. This approach would allow us to put aside our “absolutes” and embrace the pastoral changes that the culture has already put into place.

    However plausible these positions may seem, if indeed they do seem plausible, they clearly avoid facing the central issue of whether a definite revelation in Christ was to be maintained for the human good down the ages in spite of persecution, disagreement, and other cultural conditions in other places and times.

    Can we continue to be Catholic today? Only if one thing remains true and upheld. Only if the same teachings and practices that were handed down and guaranteed down the ages remain the basis of what the Church is. This revelation in all its ramifications is what best explains human meaning and destiny. If the substance of this revelation is not upheld, the question is no longer a merely human problem of loyalty to a tradition. It is the breakdown of revelation itself since it is no longer credible on its own terms. The guarantee of Christ is to be with us till the end, with the central teachings and practices of his life at the center. If this content and sequence is not maintained in a living way, in a thoroughly nuanced but plain way, we really have no reason still to be Catholic.

    What is unusual about our time is not opposition to or rejection of the truth of this revelation. Adversaries have been found in every era. What is new is the worry that radical changes have been made in an official way that would cause us to doubt the integrity of the original revelation. At least some of us can still affirm with Douthat that a divine intervention did take place in Christ and that it is best preserved in the Catholic Church. The same intervention also gives us the criterion for judging when it is itself not credible—namely when the Church as guardian of revelation clearly changes its own truths and does not uphold them before the nations down the ages. This is why contemporary writers like Douthat carefully watch for changes that take place in Roman.

    (Photo credit: CNA / L’Osservatore Romano)

  49. Site: Crisis Magazine
    10 hours 22 min ago
    Author: Tom Jay

    Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles Robert Barron recently gave a pair of quite interesting talks at Google and Facebook. Now approaching 30 million views Bishop Barron’s Word on Fire is the most influential Catholic evangelization ministry online. Bishop Barron is the ideal teacher, and this for two reasons: mastery of his subject and a genuine love (in the Augustinian sense) of his listeners. These qualities allow him to communicate complex ideas in comprehensible ways and, like his hero Aquinas, to dispassionately consider objections on their own merit without demonizing anyone. In a mass media world awash with anti-intellectual polemics, Bishop Barron is manifestly reasonable and pastoral.

    All of this being said, I was surprised by Bishop Barron’s unqualified affirmation of the Internet as a great good for us all. I understand it would not do for an honored guest to note the pernicious features of his host’s profession. But while allowing for noble endeavors such as Word on Fire and Crisis and other good things, the Internet also makes possible virtually unrestricted mass communication of the basest inclinations of our sinful nature. It is debatable that the Internet is an unqualified good. It is more often the case that the Internet promulgates the worst that has been thought and said, not the best.

    Besides obvious moral risks, are there cognitive risks to those growing up in a personalized, voice-activated, high-speed, ever-changing, always “tweeting,” incessantly “following,” electronic environment? Neuroscientists speak of the neuroplasticity of the human brain, meaning the brain can undergo physiological changes as it adapts to circumstances in the environment, such as the development of a new tool. When a technology performs tasks previously performed by the brain, our brains gradually change accordingly as the need for certain neural functions becomes obsolete. We might consider the impact of calculators on American students’ ability (or willingness) to learn mathematics. Why bother using our brains when a device will do things for us?

    Is there something about the technology itself that, over time, impacts the way we think? In a very interesting article in The Atlantic in 2008, Nicholas Carr wondered if Google is making us dumber. He noticed that for some time he was feeling something “remapping the neural circuitry” of his brain. Carr believes it’s the Internet. He observed a change in the way he thinks, most in evidence when he tried to read a book. Citing 1960s media theorist Marshall McLuhan, Carr asserts of media that

    They supply the stuff of thought, but they also shape the process of thought. And what the Net seems to be doing is chipping away my capacity for concentration and contemplation. My mind now expects to take in information the way the Net distributes it: in a swiftly moving stream of particles. Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski.

    McLuhan also observed that technology is often the mechanism used to advance utopian ideals under the guise of enhancing physical or neural functions. This was the promise made by the inventors of the Internet. But McLuhan notes that mechanization ends by supplanting human functions rather than enhancing them. Bookless curricula and inquiry-based learning are now the watchwords of mechanized schooling that increasingly diminishes the need for actual teaching or learning.

    Carr cites a study of search habits undertaken by scholars from University College London. Over a five-year period they documented the search behaviors of people using two popular research sites. The study concluded that a new kind of reading is emerging which they characterized as a “skimming activity.” Visitors to the sites would “power browse” in order to “avoid reading in the traditional sense.” If the Internet is changing our reading habits, it is also indirectly changing our thinking habits because reading well precedes thinking well.

    Though a consensus about long-term effects of Internet use is still forming, a phenomenon called “the Google effect” is widely acknowledged. In general terms, “the Google effect” means people are understanding the Internet as an extension of their intellects, alleviating them of the responsibility to really know anything.

    If this seems overstated, consider the following data collected by journalist William Poundstone:

    • According to a 2010 poll, a quarter of Americans don’t know from which country we fought to gain independence.
    • In 2011, Newsweek gave the U.S. citizenship test to 1000 Americans. 40 percent had no idea which nations we fought in WWII.
    • Another study found that only half of Americans could recognize Thomas Jefferson from a picture, despite the fact his countenance has been on our nickel since 1938.

    Results are even more dismal for millennials, the most schooled generation in American history. In 2015, the Educational Testing Service “compared the verbal, mathematical and digital-media skills and knowledge of US millennials to those of their peers in 22 other nations. The US scores were among the lowest in all categories.” Is it coincidental millennials are also the most technologized generation to date?

    We are only now beginning to see the troubling effects of supplanting books and maps with screens and apps. Ignorance of geography among the American populace can have deleterious implications because it can shape public opinion and, potentially, foreign policy. Poundstone reports, “In 2014, as Russian troops entered the Ukraine and America debated how (or if) to react, three political scientists took a survey to see if Americans knew where Ukraine was. Asking people to find it on a map, only one in six could.” This circumstance drove political perception. “The researchers found that, the farther a person’s guess was from the actual location of Ukraine the more likely it was that the person supported a US military intervention in Ukraine.”

    Another regrettable feature of the Internet is the ability it provides users to fortify themselves against irksome intrusions from those with different opinions and tastes. Internet technology has made it possible to customize our own individualized world. This situation retards the development of reason and inflates egos. It is totally opposed, for instance, to the scholasticism of Aquinas. The medieval university would horrify most American college students and professors because it was ordered around discussion of disputed questions. Nothing was off the table. Consider the massive temper tantrum thrown by college students after the last presidential election. Those students had been duped by social media echo chambers into believing they are entitled to a world of their own making, as though they could simply command, “Alexa, elect Hilary Clinton,” and it would be done. The minds of millennials, conditioned by years of technologically personalized experience, are easy targets for demagogues posing as teachers who view students’ incapacity for independent thinking as their long-awaited fait accompli.

    The Internet makes everything easy, which is one of its greatest attractions. We want things easy. But things easily attainable are often cheapened and neglected. This is why in Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Prospero assigns Ferdinand to a period of hard labor before allowing him to marry his daughter Miranda, who has quickly fallen in love with Ferdinand. “But this swift business / I must uneasy make, lest too light winning / Make the prize light” (I.ii.449-452). The Internet makes knowledge swift business won lightly. It removes incentive to learn and know anything by making everything perpetually available. Students are less likely to remember information they believe will be available to them on the Internet. Such an ethos gives to the Internet an unmerited epistemological advantage because it discourages knowledge gained in any other way, such as through literature or contemplation.

    It seems apt that the Internet used to be called the World Wide Web. Webs can be quite beautiful when sunlight and dew play upon them. But they are death traps that slowly kill off any living thing that touches them. What happens when kids have electronic devices placed in their hands at the age of two, who before Kindergarten learn, like little princesses and princes, to command an always acquiescent servant called Alexa or Siri, who have flickering screens in front of their faces every time mom or dad straps them into the car seat, who never have to figure out their own way around town when they start driving because an app was invented to spare them that responsibility? What happens is what we see in a Liberty Mutual ad on TV where an infantilized teenage boy needs his mom to call the insurance company because he couldn’t figure out how to change a tire. If ads reflect the culture, then it is clear Google is not making us smarter.

    There are also growing concerns about the spike in clinical depression among teens, which happens to coincide with the rise of social media. Baby boomers would like us to believe this is because teens are more open with their parents. As a former middle school teacher I can tell you that’s naïve. Again consensus is unsettled on this issue but it is not unreasonable to examine possible connections between the rise of anxiety and depression among adolescents and the empire of social media that subjugates them.

    The above is not intended to diminish the good work of Bishop Barron. Other notable Catholic leaders, such as Archbishop Fulton Sheen and Mother Angelica, have used modern media to evangelize with great effect. The Internet is here to stay. Genies are notoriously resistant to being forced back into their lamps. Bishop Barron should be commended for sharing his great gift for teaching with the world. The saints in heaven rejoice over one reclaimed soul. Visiting Word on Fire or reading an essay on Crisis each day will not result in a diminished capacity for thought or contemplation. As with so many things, maybe it’s a question of moderation. It is not good that, even in their own homes, millennials and those growing up behind them have been abandoned to a world given to immoderate reliance upon mass media. It is a world characterized by Eliot’s phrase: “distracted from distraction by distraction.” We are creating generations of Pinocchios who are incapable of focusing their minds on any one thing, such as a book or a prayer.

    A cautionary analogue for all of this can be found in the Davy lamp. In 1812 a terrible mine explosion killed nearly a hundred men and boys. Sir Humphrey Davy invented new technology that he claimed would provide adequate illumination in the flammable environment of the mines while reducing the risk of explosions. The Davy lamp lived up to its promise. The number of explosions decreased. However, the new technology led to another unforeseen result. With the risk of costly explosions decreased, avaricious mine owners greatly expanded their enterprises. Mines began proliferating which meant more and more men and boys were lowering themselves into the dangerous bowels of the earth to feed the nation’s growing demand for “black gold.” The expansion of the mines made possible by the new technology resulted in fewer explosions, but more deaths from other mine-related illnesses and accidents.

    Whatever blessings the tech industry may afford must be weighed prudently against the manifold curses to which it makes us vulnerable.

  50. Site: Mundabor's blog
    10 hours 42 min ago
    Author: Mundabor
    The interventions of various US Bishops against enforcement of existing, perfectly reasonable laws, constantly practiced in the history of Christianity is a very clear sign of the decay of religious values in the West at large, and of the loss of faith of Catholic clergy more in particular. It is as if your priest would […]

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