Picking sides in Ukraine

I'll admit that I have not been following what has been happening in Ukraine. For some reason though, the protests have made a lot of coverage on Swedish media outlets (T.V., which are the only ones which catch my attention). I generally avoid the news, since I firmly believe that it is better to be uninformed than misinformed, and I have come to the conclusion that the media is more interested in misinformation than truth. By and large the only times I watch the media are when I know of something that has happened and I am keen to see how it will be reported.

The protests in Ukraine have been a good example of what I normally press home (no pun intended) - that one really ought not to watch anything on T.V., or read about it in mainstream newspapers, that one is not interested in following up later through other outlets. I know for certain that there have been protests in France - through alternative outlets and thanks to a parishioner who is French. I know that many of these have been far larger than anything that we have seen in Ukraine. Over the last few weeks whenever I have heard of a protest in France, I have tried to watch the news and see if it will be covered. Not a single time have I seen them reporting on the protests in France, yet the Ukraine makes news daily. I am not implying that this event has not been covered, but simply that whenever I have tuned into news, there has been nothing about France and much about Ukraine, even when the protests in France have been much larger. Today, for instance, TV4 reported that the protests in Ukraine were large - around 70,000 (it didn't look like it on the images they showed, and I am in no mood to take them at face value). Evidently, over the past week we had protests which the French government estimated at 80,000 but which protesters seem to claim were far larger. Nonetheless, if we take the government figure, we still have something which is still larger than the figure we have on the Ukraine, yet I have heard not a word of what has happened in France.

Since I have not been following events in Ukraine much, I have been unwilling to pick sides. I am, however, generally sceptical about 'popular' protests, knowing as I do how crowds are often manipulated and how the media often spins a narrative totally different than the truth. I do know that some Catholic bishops in the Ukraine have more or less taken sides with the protesters, but I have long given up trusting blindly in bishops (although the bishops in Ukraine seem to be at least very orthodox in terms of faith and morals, from what little I have read of the situation in Ukraine, and I particularly like the current leader). That Cardinal Dolan of New York, who has so pussy-footed arround the gross moral violations of his own country's government would come out in support of the Ukrainian protesters I found very strange indeed. Here is a man who claims that he would not bar politicians from receiving Holy Communion, in direct contravention to what the Church teaches, mind  you.

Anyway, back to the point: The situation in Ukraine has not been described to me. What the Swedish media claim is that the protesters are protesting against moves by the Ukrainian government to move Eastwards towards Russia - evidently the government signed some agreements a few months ago with Russia. They seem to want it to move Westwards towards the EU. What I cannot fathom is why foreign agents should support protesters who are trying to scupper government policy in an area in which the government has full competence, legitimacy and authority to decide. If it really is as bad as they claim, why can they not wait until the next elections and depose the government? It is not as though the government is trying to defy natural law - redefining what a man and a woman is, when life begins, what a family is, invading on the rights of the family and so on, all areas in which the government has zero competence and where protest (even violent, I would argue) would be legitimate.

From what little I know, it seems as though the protests are being orchestrated by foreign agents, agents which wish to keep Ukraine as a pawn in their power game with Russia. This was indeed confirmed over the past week with the leaking of a tape recording between American diplomats, in which they seem to openly discuss how to raise the profile of the opposition and how to get the American foreign minister involved to rile up the troops (presumably U.S. diplomats, and not the protesters on the ground). This really only confiemed what I have been thinking all along - that the protests are by and large manipulated from abroad, or at the very least that the EU and the U.S. are instigators.

It seems to be a clear case of interfering with the domestic politics of a country which has chosen a different path than the one prescribed by the globalists of the U.S. and the EU, and only for that reason.

To be honest, the penny had dropped for me earlier than that. Only a few days before that both he U.S. and the EU publicly decided to support the opposition and if there is anything that history has taught us over that last 15 or so years, it is that whenever the U.S. or the EU take a side in another country, we can pretty much be guaranteed that the side they have chosen is the one of greater evil (especially with the current U.S. administration but really this pattern is administration-neutral). If both the EU and the U.S.  pick the same side then you have...

Something is rotten with the state (of the Church) in Germany

I stumbled upon a link from Supertradmum through the blog - Ethereldasplace - which I highly recommend. The post was titled " Aren't "pre-marital unions" fornication? Moving out of the Church....." and linked to a Catholic News Service piece called "Surveys: German, Swiss Catholics reject many church teachings on family", written by one Cindy Wooden. I later learned that the Catholc News Service is owned by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

I had determined to find out who owned the outlet because the piece made me suspicious and I wanted to find out if the author had an agenda. It turns out I was being unfair on Miss/Mrs. Cindy Wooden, because all of the questionable statements had actually been direct quotations from the German Conference of Catholic Bishops' "Summary of the responses from the German dioceses and archdioceses to the questions contained in the preparator". If I can fault her for anything, it is that she did not link to the document because this meant I was forced to spend considerable time trying to locate the English translation of the summary. Had it not been for the Web browser's translate function, I might never have found it since the English version of the German bishops' conference leaves a lot to be desired.

The report makes for grave reading, and that is the subject of much of my post. My complaint is with both the content and the style of the summary. Before that, in the interest of fairness, I would just like to quote from the Catechism of the Catholic Church some sections which I deem relevant.  For sake of completeness, and to avoid the accusation of seletivity, the qutations are rather long.

On the natural law:

1954 ...The natural law expresses the original moral sense which enables man to discern by reason the good and the evil, the truth and the lie...
1955 The "divine and natural" law6 shows man the way to follow so as to practice the good and attain his end. The natural law states the first and essential precepts which govern the moral life.... Its principal precepts are expressed in the Decalogue. This law is called "natural," not in reference to the nature of irrational beings, but because reason which decrees it properly belongs to human nature...
1956 The natural law, present in the heart of each man and established by reason, is universal in its precepts and its authority extends to all men. It expresses the dignity of the person and determines the basis for his fundamental rights and duties...
1958 The natural law is immutable and permanent throughout the variations of history...

On marriage:

1603 "The intimate community of life and love which constitutes the married state has been established by the Creator and endowed by him with its own proper laws. . . . God himself is the author of marriage."87 The vocation to marriage is written in the very nature of man and woman as they came from the hand of the Creator. Marriage is not a purely human institution despite the many variations it may have undergone through the centuries in different cultures, social structures, and spiritual attitudes. These differences should not cause us to forget its common and permanent characteristics...

1605 Holy Scripture affirms that man and woman were created for one another: "It is not good that the man should be alone."92 The woman, "flesh of his flesh," his equal, his nearest in all things, is given to him by God as a "helpmate"; she thus represents God from whom comes our help.93 "Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh."94 The Lord himself shows that this signifies an unbreakable union of their two lives by recalling what the plan of the Creator had been "in the beginning": "So they are no longer two, but one flesh."

1614 In his preaching Jesus unequivocally taught the original meaning of the union of man and woman as the Creator willed it from the beginning permission given by Moses to divorce one's wife was a concession to the hardness of hearts.106 The matrimonial union of man and woman is indissoluble: God himself has determined it "what therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder."107
1615 This unequivocal insistence on the indissolubility of the marriage bond may have left some perplexed and could seem to be a demand impossible to realize. However, Jesus has not placed on spouses a burden impossible to bear, or too heavy - heavier than the Law of Moses.108 By coming to restore the original order of creation disturbed by sin, he himself gives the strength and grace to live marriage in the new dimension of the Reign of God. It is by following Christ, renouncing themselves, and taking up their crosses that spouses will be able to "receive" the original meaning of marriage and live it with the help of Christ.109 This grace of Christian marriage is a fruit of Christ's cross, the source of all Christian life.
1646 By its very nature conjugal love requires the inviolable fidelity of the spouses. This is the consequence of the gift of themselves which they make to each other. Love seeks to be definitive; it cannot be an arrangement "until further notice." The "intimate union of marriage, as a mutual giving of two persons, and the good of the children, demand total fidelity from the spouses and require an unbreakable union between them."

1652 "By its very nature the institution of marriage and married love is ordered to the procreation and education of the offspring and it is in them that it finds its crowning glory."

2357 ... Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,141 tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered."142 They are contrary to the


More on pro-child-killing feminist idiocy

I had previously written about an article from Metro regarding how a few feminists stages a protest inside a Church during Mass. This incident has also been convered by a Swedish tabloid/daily called Aftonbladet.

In this piece - which contains more pictures - the journalist speaks with a priest, the protesters and a woman photographer who was in on the whole stunt. We are told that some women (could be the very same) were on trial for a similar action at the Russian embassy last August. The journalist also explains that the women were doing this as  their "contribution" towards supporting the "right to legal abortion" in Spain (the Spanish government has introduced legislation to revert to its old abortion laws after the socialists had expanded them).

To illustrate the thoughtless nature of their minds, one of the feminists says "Jag tycker inte de har rätt att bli så arga" with translates to "I don't think they have a right to be so angry" or more directly to the meaning "My opinion is that they do not have a right to be so angry". To her mind, she has a right to get angry about the fact that the governemnt in Spain wants to lower the number of children who are killed and dismembered, but Catholics do not have a right to get angry when their holy Mass is attacked. By analogy that would mean that she holds abortion to be holier to her (and fellow feminists) than the Mass is to Catholics. In charity, I am forced admit that perhaps she had simply confused the Catholic cathedral with the Spanish embassy.

It is safe to assume these feminists do not understand the concept of rights(which must always flow from more fundamental towards more peripheral, with the right to life being the most fundamental) and it is even safer to assume that they cannot distinguish between authentic (negative) rights (which we are owed by virtue of being human beings and can only ever be recognised, not granted) and state-granted privileges (rather lazily called 'rights', which can be granted and taken away at the state's pleasure) or else she would not utter something as brainless as "I don't think they have a right to be so angry".

It is worthwhile considering what their position would be when confronted with the reality of sex-selective killings of the unborn. Might it be safe to assume that since abortion seems more sacred to them than anything else, they would support this so-called right of elder females to kill  younger females? Judging by the near-silence on this issue by feminsists whenever it is brought to debate (as in the U.K. recently), it is fair to say that their attitude is that sacrificing younger females at the altar of care-free carnal pleasure is a sacrifice well-worth paying if it allows older females to sex-binge.

One positive from the article is that the journalist actually referred to one of the men who 'escorted' these women out of the church as a "ministrant", which is actually the proper term for alter servers in Swedish, short of actually using the equivalent of "alter server". I was rather impressed that he bothered with using the right terminology - he even linked to Wikipedia for those wishing to find out what the word means. This can be compared to the writter of the earlier article who referred to the congregants as "spectators".




Pro-child-killing feminist idiocy strikes a cathedral again!

So we had this feminist group Femen invading the Cathedral in Stockholm and staging a semi-nude protest just before Mass. Evidently, these women have just about enough brains to strip topless and show off their mammaries, although not always enough to spell out their protest properly. At least they managed to spell properly this time.

The slogan "Catholic Church out of my body" - I am at a loss to know what that means. Has the Catholic Church ever been inside a woman's body? I'm just curious.

We had a similar protest in Russia a while back and while a lot of people - including our mainly thoughtless celebrities - were making all sorts of stunts urging for the release of the protesters on that occasion, I was very keen to stress that violation of sacred space is one of the most egregious crimes we can have against a population. The Russian protesters received only about 2  years for their crime, and I argued it should have been much more because a hard precedent needs to be set. For the religious person, violation of sacred space is a more vicious crime than breaking and entering into one's own  home, and unless a government wants to send the message that it's a free-for-all on attacking each other's religious sites, tough punishments have to follow, and short of destroying a place of worship there can be no hardly be a greater violation than a protest of the kind that those women staged.

In fact, protests inside churches seem to be the fashion nowadays as similar sacrilege has been observed in Spain and France over recent years, and the authorities seem intent on encouraging it, or at the very least maintaining an undignified silence over it.

With that in mind, I was intrigued to see that the comment on the Metro piece was "Metro har sökt Katolska Kyrkan i Stockholm för en kommentar", which translates roughly to "Metro has sought the Catholic Church in Stockholm for comments". I was struck that it was not something on the lines of "Metro has sought the police department for comments" because I would have thought that this at the very least qualifies as an act of public disturbace - in which case the police should be sought out to find out what they are going to do about the crime - but the comment is quite telling because the media has come to accept the Catholic Church as fair game and its followers as people who more or less can never be seen as victims.

Another text worthy of comment is "Efter ett tag tvingades kvinnorna ut ur kyrkan av personal och åskådare" which translates roughly to "After a while the women were forced out of the church by personnel and spectators/onlookers". I do wonder whether the standards of journalism have sunk so low that we cannot even expect a journalist for a major outlet to know that when believers congregate, they do it to worship and not merely to spectate over an event, and that the proper term for Christians gathered in worship is worshipper, congregant, believer or something of the like; words which do not lack Swedish equivalents.

In fairness, with the banalisation of Christian worship over the last 60 or so years - although it has to be admitted that the Catholic liturgy in Sweden is generally of a high calibre -, it is not that surprising that somebody not raised a Christian (which I presume he wasn't) would equate Christian worship with just any old secular event. Nonetheless, I would still expect someone with any decent amout of professional integrity to make the proper distinction between a mere spectator event and a Catholic Mass, or at the very least be curious about why people were gathered in the first place - a 5-minute Internet search would certainly be enough to form that impression and having formed that impression, the congregants would surely not be labeled mere spectators.

The proper response to this kind of incident, would of course, have been to detain these women until the police came to take them away. Alas, this does not appear to have happened and they were simply escorted outside, no doubt so they can prepare for more rebel-rousing desecration, seeing as it is a consequence-free act. In any case, given the queerness of the Swedish legal system, detaining them would probably have seen the Catholic church hit with an abduction charge, so maybe the congregants were right to take the 'safe' option.

Obviously this was nothing other than a publicity stunt - the Catholic Church is quite small in Sweden, and its leadership not particularly vocal against anti-life and anti-family measures, and the text was even in English to ensure maximum exposure (pun intended) - and for that reason, it almost pains me to afford it any attention, but with thoughtless feminism on the march we can expect more and more of this kind of non-sense, and the sort of righteous outrage I have over this kind of of demonic demonstration implores me to at the very least catalogue it whenever it happens.



Misinformation is the rule of the game

I chose to make this my first real post because it illustrates very well what can happen if we're imprudent or if we allow ourselves to be taken in by first impressions. The prudent man evaluates all facets of a situation, reflects, disects then acts. Sometimes, our emotions can get the better of us and that is even more the case when the first view of a situation seems to shock us.

Case in point: I recently found this video through my a feed. It came through Fr. Blake titled "The Humiliation of a Pope". He had reblogged it from someone else who had in turn found the link through someone else. I attach the link below:


It shows footage of Pope Benedict in Germany, and the caption was that the German bishops refused to shake his hand. The first thing I did, of course, was notice Cardinal Bertone, who of course, is not a German bishop and never has been. I don't speak German so I couldn't understand what the commentators were saying. Cardinal Bertone does not shake the Pope's hand but the first few of the rest do. Then we have about half a dozen who decline to shake his hand and then we get to the middle of the line where the president of the German bishops conference shakes his hand, followed by about 2 more but the rest - about 5 - then decline. So there we have it, a Pope humuliated in the most public way.

Except that is not what the video was showing!

The video shows Pope Benedict appears to show Pope Benedict, in fact, presenting members of the German church and the Vatican delegation to the politician whose hands they were shaking. That Pope Benedict had his hand held out was entirely natural since he was pointing at the various members. In fact, I had seen Pope Benedict do this many times previously but I was not in the right frame of mind to recognise this, having been misled by 2-3 different links on my way there.

The original link from which I viewed the video was then removed. I managed to find the link to the video on youtube though and even there the link was titled "Berlin, Germany: Catholic Cardinals and Bishops refuse to shake hands with Benedict XVI 22-09-2011". As I often do, however, I read the comments below and out of all of some 20-something comments, we had one who pointed out that Pope Benedict was in fact introducing members of his staff to the politician in question. Well, at least I was not the only one who had been misled! This was, rather comically, just a short while after I had sent the link to several of my acquaintants.

So, 2 important lessons here:

  • Don't take everything at face value, even when it comes from a normally-reliable source!
  • Read comments if the article or video allows this

Above all else, always reflect on what you have just seen!

Whatever problems we have in the church in Germany - and there are many - this is not proof of them. It is, however, proof that we should always try to be charitable towards others and not rush towards animus assumptions.

In this case, the misinformation was almost certainly not willful. However, in many other cases, the misinformation will be willful and it is up to  you to do the heavy leg-work if you want a proper understanding. My intention is to help anybody who reads this blog understand how to do that.



My first post

This has been a long time coming. For a long time I have wanted to have a blog about my general reflections.

The first domain I registered along these lines was called "destinationprogress". It was meant to be more political than anything else. As time has gone on, however, I have come to realise that the discussion needs to be had at a far more basic level. Most lies today are spread through either blurring or disregarding important distinctions, which allows the deceiver to use words from one contextin a context in which they are not at all appropriate. In the worst cases, it allows the deceiver to completely subvert the meaning of the word while keeping the actual letters. This is done in no small ways through the help of lazy journalists, who are helped in no small way by lazy readers.

I can't claim to be a very active reader myself, but I am not as gullible as most seem to be. I have found that whenever a story seems fishy, there is always a distinction lacking. This is most evident when it comes to dicussions on religion, and especially that which has to do with the Catholic Church, of whom I am a proud son. The Christian faith is founded on truth itself, but for truth to exist, distinctions have to be made. It is my intention to point out when they are not being made, and to point out which have been ignored. Along the way, I hope to learn a lot about pretty much everything, including the Catholic faith, and I hope you the reader will learn quite a bit as well. Thank you for taking the time to read my first post and please feel free to contact me!


Subscribe to Distinctions Matter RSS