17 May 2009

A Scene from the Twilight of Civilization

The above AP photo of Tiberius Caesar Obama granting his nausea-inducing "blessing" upon the Judases at the Notre Dame commencement wasn't the worst part.  Nor was his teleprompter's insincere dialogue-with-me meaningless pablum.  Nor was the sight of the quisling leaders of a formerly Catholic institution placing an honorary doctoral hood on the proponent of the genocide of the unborn.

My candidate for the low point, in an "it says it all" kind of way was this:

After the great one began to speak, a solitary voice raised the cry, "Stop killing our children!"

The crowd responded with a loud chant, "Yes, we can!"

Or, in other words, "Their blood be upon us and upon our children!"

Dearest God and Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ, 
For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.


Long-Skirts said...

"Their blood be upon us and upon our children!"


Fall fall
Fall the leaves
As the blood-red Autumn
Sighs and grieves

For in the gentle
Blood-fed womb
Leaves are crushed
An Autumn tomb

“And the Word made Flesh”
For “excommunication”
But flesh wouldn’t say…
So exoneration.

Nor did flesh demand
Or articulate
Only “morally-bankrupt”
Not “excommunicate!”

So fall fall
Fall the leaves
The blood-red Autumn
Sighs and grieves

In the land of the blind
One-eyed man’s king
But on his head
Autumn blood will cling!

God have mercy...

Anonymous said...

No, it's a scene from the twilight of civility.

TGL said...

Are you referring to the rude kid in the beanie who was in effect shouting: "Hey everybody, look at me!" You say: "I'm right. Everybody with a different view than mine is wrong." In the meantime, nothing changes. You would do well to heed the President's call for dialogue. It takes harder work to do that rather than heaping scorn on the President, Notre Dame, and 60% of American Catholics. Unless we all try, nothing changes.

John 6:54 said...

Yes after reading the response to those who protested in the crowd it was erie to hear how the protesters were shouted down. Words do matter.

cmziall said...

Is that the "Hi, Hitler" sign?

Anonymous said...

I think a substantial part of the problem here is that we have allowed the abortion debate to be framed as a private, moral issue. As a result, people think it does not carry the significance of "real" issues, such as the economy, and want to simply agree to disagree.
We need to frame abortion as the larger social issue that it is, affecting religious and secular alike. Consider the following: Currently we abort one out of every five of our future citizens and domestic workers. One out of every five. Were this trend due to any other cause but abortion, it would be considered a social and economic calamity, and anyone assenting to such policy would probably receive few invitations to speak anywhere.
Furthermore, these losses are not even across the country. Utah had a 2005 ratio of 67 abortions to every 1000 live births, while New York had an astounding 400+ per 1000 live births, though in the company of 300+ rates in Massachussetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. Little surprise, then, that New York is slated to lose House seats, electoral votes, and federal funding after the next census.
I think that if the abortion debate were re-framed on its demographic and economic impact, many people would realize a bad tree is, indeed, revealed by its bad fruit.

Bryan Kirchoff
St. Louis

Anonymous said...

This picture of our Pro-Abortion President says it all. Let there be no mistake about it: Obama rode into South Bend on Sunday to split American Catholicism in two and render it impotent and useless as a force to be dealt with politically for all time, AND HE WON. Thanks to Fr. Jenkins, thanks Fr. Hesburgh, thanks to Notre Dame, thanks to modern Pro-Abortion nuns, thanks to the bishops who said nothing (or who said too little too late). I imagine there is great celebrating today somewhere in the next world, but not where the Beatific Vision is being enjoyed.

Anonymous said...

Bryan, I think another problem we live with today are the consequences of earlier mistakes in the abortion war. Possibly the single most harmful attack on the Church and the Pro-Life Movement occurred in the 1980s when a number of nuns signed a pro-abortion ad in the New York Times. Rome responded and exacted a retraction process that was typically-Vatican and Catholic, that is to say, magnanimous, compassionate, quiet and dignified, so that the nuns, although expected to recant, were able to do so privately and without losing face. I believe only two refused in the end and were forced to leave religious life. The gentle and subtle way with which these former Catholics were treated, even after delivering their unambiguous message of "non serviam," sent a message of ambiguity to everyone about the Church's position on abortion. The later silence of many bishops reinforced the same. Since nuns removed and have refused to restore the habit - their sign that everything they said and did they said and did as representatvies of Christ's Church - these ladies have been doing more damage to the Church than the most pessimistic person could calculate. Surely there are holy ones among them, but as a rule, if in secular attire, trust them not!

Anonymous said...

To refer to this time as the twilight of civilization--especially when compared to other traumatic periods in our church's history--is defeatism. Where's the faith?

Anonymous said...

Amen, TGL!

TGL said...

These posts confirm my point. Demonize President Obama, President Jenkins, Notre Dame. We can't talk to them because they're evil. Pat yourself on the back. In the meantime, nothing changes.

thetimman said...

TGL, I really wonder on what planet you are living. Seriously. If you think that chit-chatting with Mr. Obama will turn him pro-life then why don't you set up an appointment to do so?

Or is dialogue a code word to make us feel better when we offer no opposition to abortion as long as the minimum wage increases by $0.03?

Please. It is really tiresome to hear the constant bleating about dialogue. Dialogue has bled this Church dry for forty years. Enough bunk.

And to the anon who asked where was faith,

I don't place faith in modern civilization. I place it in Christ and His Church. This civilization may crash and burn, but He will triumph. But our "civilization" is begging for chastisement. It doesn't belie my faith to point it out.

Anonymous said...

Theti, if you place your faith in Christ AND this church, then you have to embrace the spirit of VatII. Yes, Gaudium et spes calls us out of our comfort zone and demands that we engage the sometimes ugly, sometimes gray "civilization" of ours. But just because you might not like the challenges of the past 40 years, do you really think you are free to pick and choose which church teachings to follow? Was VatII any less blessed and inspired by the Holy Spirit than the councils that preceded it? This call to engage the world brings our church closer to fulfillment than ever before. Remember, Christ didn't come into this world for the sake of the Roman Catholic Church, he came here for all. And that's the reminder He inspired our bishops with 40 years ago. Entrenching ourselves is as unChristian an act as any other.

TGL said...

I am not talking about "dialoguing" specifically with President Obama. I am talking about talking respectfully with people who are interested in convincing men and women that abortion is the wrong choice but who do not believe that criminalizing abortion will end abortion. What good does it do to put an 18 year old rape victim (along with her doctor)in jail for the rest of her life if she knowingly chooses to abort her fetus? If you take your argument to its logical extreme, that is exactly what you advocate. Wouldn't it be better if you could win her heart and mind? If we could all agree on the latter approach, wouldn't we be better off than we are now?

thetimman said...

I suppose, then, that Vatcian II is no MORE blessed and inspired by the Holy Ghost than the ones that preceded it? So, you will acknowledge the need to follow Vatican I, and Trent, for instance?

If so, let's dialogue.

Anonymous said...

VatII builds on, does not replace, whatever came before it. So to imply that one council negates another shows that you really need some theology training. Such a dialogue would result only in our mutual frustration.

You can't say, "I don't like VatII, so I'm sticking with VatI." Well, you can say it, but then you wouldn't be fully aligned with the church.

thetimman said...

The comment above was to anon, not TGL.


Can't we start by closing abortion mills and jailing doctors who perform them? Wouldn't that be of more practical benefit to unborn babies than winning the hearts and minds of the abortionists? Or even the hearts and minds of the mothers who would kill them?

While we do that, and after we do that, we can try to win the hearts and minds of anybody you like. Can't you admit that this dialogue mantra is just an excuse to inaction?

People-- human beings with immortal souls-- are being intentionally and systematically slaughtered for the convenience of others. Dialogue, in this context, is laughable without concomitant action to save lives.

TGL said...

As long as abortion is not a crime, no, you cannot jail the doctors who perform them. So that's not very practical. Do you really think a rape victim is thinking: "To kill my child or not kill my child. That's the question?" Here we go again. You see no possibility for common ground. Again, nothing changes. And the beat goes on.

thetimman said...

anon, I gather then that you refuse to answer the question.

Anonymous said...

I did answer it, but perhaps not using simple enough language. Let me try again: Yes, VatI, Trent, Nicea I and II, etc. are to be followed. They are part of the magesterium. But what you may not understand is that with each new collection of conciliar documents, the church reveals itself as being a pilgrim church, ever-moving toward perfection, though never quite getting there. We do not freeze ourselves at some point and say, "there, no more growth. No more evolving in faith. No more openness to the Holy Spirit improving upon our understanding of what it means to be Christlike."

As I said previously, VatII has not supplanted any teachings that came before it, it has merely built upon, brought closer to perfection even, all the teachings that came before it. So to embrace VatII, as our church asks, is to "follow" all the teachings that came before, but even better than that, it is to follow previous teachings even beeter because they have been enlightened by this latest council.

In the future, there will be another council, and we will again take another step forward as a pigrim church. That future council won't say VatII was wrong, but it will say "here's an even fuller way for us, as a community of believers, to take what we know and practice and be an even clearer sign of Christ in the world."

Don't fear what's uncomfortable or hard to understand. Remember, the prophets were thrown out of town because folks were unwilling to listen to their inspired words, words that didn't replace previous teachings, but merely brought them into clearer light.

Anonymous said...


I'm unsure what "common ground" you would find without pro-lifers giving up their commitment to save lives. That is, indeed, what it is about.

The parameters available to save lives under the Supreme Court's arrogant and disrespectful decisions (disrespectful to the principles of representative government, that is) are limited, but some legal steps may still be taken. The proposed Missouri law to ban coercion in abortion decisions was a good example. Mr. Obama opposes all legal (i.e., allowed by the Supreme Court) steps to reduce abortions.

When a person has the zealous pro-abortion beliefs that Mr. Obama has (even voting against saving the lives of babies who against all odds survive abortions), and makes it clear that he is committed to those beliefs as President, what on earth is there to talk about? He mouthed empty platitudes at N.D., nothing more. We are reduced to protests because Mr. Obama will not budge an inch in his beliefs.

Jim Cole

Fenian said...

"As I said previously, VatII has not supplanted any teachings that came before it, it has merely built upon, brought closer to perfection even, all the teachings that came before it."

Too bad Vatican II is constantly invoked to defend liturgical abuses and heterodoxy. Anyone who uses the term "spirit of Vatican II", as you did earlier, is automatically suspect in my book. Vatican II was not a bad thing, its bastardization and misinterpretation by "progressives" is.

Anonymous said...

This may cause some backlash, but here goes:

You can lay the blame for legal abortion right at the feet of the bishops in this country. In other words, if the Catholic Church had been doing it's job instead of following the elusive "spirit" of Vatican II, we wouldn't be having this discussion.

One more thing. Abortion is a sympton of a much greater problem.


Anonymous said...

Fenian: It's hard isn't it? You want so badly to say VatII was terrible for our church, but you know you can't, so you resort to the next closest thing: trying to make it impossible for anyone to invoke it. You can't pick and choose your church's teachings. You're either with us or against us.

Ora et labora said...

True that Vatican II (along with almost every other church teaching) has been "bastardized," as you put it, but I don't think that automatically negates everything anyone ever says when quoting the Council's documents and teachings. If that were the case, what are we supposed to do with all the books, articles, homilies, etc., that have leaned on Vatican II teachings? Will you really tell every priest, bishop, theologian, and well-informed Catholic that they are "automatically suspect in [your] book"?

Your reply here makes you look more fearful than anything.

Just my two cents. We're all in this together.

Andy M. said...


All to often this 'spirit of Vat. II' (whatever the hell that even means) manifests itself in ways that are contrary to previous councils. It is simply not possible for something to develop into the opposite of itself. What the Church teaches can be more deeply understood to be sure, but that does not mean that it can be understood in contradition to itself. This is a very basic and undeniable truth which you seem to have some difficulty understanding.

Fenian said...

To Anon and Ora et labora-

Let me clarify. I did not say that Vatican II was bad. Its implementation and interpretation by many has been destructive. It did not have to be that way. Now we are seeing a backlash against the now gray-haired hippies that brought about these inappropriate liturgical abuses that are so commonplace. Most younger Catholics and seminarians care about what is written, not some abstract "In the spirit of...".

Furthermore, "In the spirit of Vatican II" is used to justify everything from lay homilists to woman 'priests'. It is some sort of catch-all excuse to justify everything wrong. Also,"If John XXIII had lived long enough..." is another excuse used by those that have no concept of what he stood for.

So no, to summarize my point, Vatican II is not bad. It is used, incorrectly, to justify poor behavior.

Anonymous said...

Wow. So our pro-choice president is a HUGE difference from our last several so-called "pro-life" presidents?
I so fondly remember the time when the Republicans ran the White House, had the majority in the Senate, the majority in the House, and 9 of the last 11 Supreme Court Justices were appointed by Republican 'pro-lifers.' Thankfully, they got right to work and overturned Roe v Wade. Right? What? They didn't? You mean they got their main goals pushed through, i.e. they invade oil-rich Iraq based on lies, and passed massive tax cuts for the uber-wealthy, but didn't touch Roe v Wade? You're kidding, right? Seriously, "W" was 'all about pro-life,' wasn't he???

Please, someone, tell me it wasn't so!

BREAKING NEWS: A pro-abortion country attacks and over-throws a pro-life country! That's right. Under Saddam Hussein, abortions were totally illegal in Iraq. Yet under Bush, pro-abortion America invaded it. What? And in the planning phase for the 'new Iraq,' Bush brought in Planned Parenthood?
Of course, the 'pro-life movement in America' rose up in force, standing behind Pope John Paul II's vehement opposition to this war. Right? What? Most pro-lifers like Archbishop Burke totally supported war in defiance of the Pope? Wow!

So let me summarize. The Republican 'pro-life party' ran ALL 4 branches of the government, and Roe v Wade still stands. And this same group attacks and overthrows a pro-life country???

Let me guess. The next election cycle, we'll hear the same tripe about having to vote pro-life ... and no matter who is president, as we found out under Bush, NOTHING will be done to overturn Roe v Wade.

Seems to me a lot of misplaced anger is here. Where was the outrage when the Republicans ran all 4 branches of the government? Oh, I forgot, this site is much more Rovian talking points on how to be conservative than a Catholic site.

thetimman said...

A. There are three branches of government.

B. It seems your argument boils down to this: because the more pro-life party disappointed us by not living up to many of their promised positions means that it is OK to support the party that is philosophically, politically and tangibly pro-death. That the partial success of pro-life Republicans justifies the total success of pro-abortion Democrats.

Anonymous said...

A. Right - the so-called "Pro-life" party had the majority in ALL 3 levels of government, including the House and Senate, but obviously Roe v Wade still stands. And we're supposed to believe that this is their priority? Sorry, Tim, but the strongest 'value' I continue to hear from this group is "less taxes," which isn't a value whatsoever! In his exit interview, so called "pro-life W Bush," *(who btw nominated pro-abortion Harriet Myers to the Supreme Court,) was asked what his greatest disappointment was in his 8 years of presidency. Of course, he said: "that we didn't overturn Roe v Wade," right? What? He didn't?

Nor did he say that "I shouldn't have invaded 'pro-life' Iraq." Nope.

His biggest regret? Quote: "THAT I DIDN'T PRIVATIZE SOCIAL SECURITY!" Wow, this despite a 40% drop in the stock market! Genius! But back to the point - no mentnion about unborn children.

B. You have to stop using borderline thinking. Just because I have been terribly angry/confused/hurt by the do-nothing 'anti-abortion' Republican party does NOT mean that I'm enamored with the other party. Life is far more complicated than your faulty "either/or" logic allows.

I feel disenfranchised with both parties, which I'm sure totally confounds you because this seems far more like a Republican website than a Catholic one.

Both parties can lay claim to following some of the Gospels in different areas. In general, it seems the Democrats are far more aligned to helping the poor, the disenfranchised, the hungry and ending war. Seems the Republicans are far more aligned to at least talking the talk about ending abortion (but didn't), denouncing gay marriage, and rebelling against our material culture - except when it comes to supporting an extremely wealth-ridden culture.

Maturity demands that we seek the good in all. I have a terribly hard time seeing your demonization of "others" as anything but a self-indulgent, feel-good-at-venting diatribe that puts you in the "I'm right - they're wrong" group of Pharisees.

One theologian said it best: "We don't go to heaven alone - If we go, we go as a community." Yes, I believe that dialogue is far better than demonizing, but it takes far more maturity and time.

Name-calling: feel-good childishness.

Dialogue: Hard work yet mature.

Me thinks you need to make a decision here!

Andy M. said...

To the two previous anonymous posters (can someone please attach a name to these posts? Any name? So we can account for who is saying what?): I am, quite frankly, bored by such an old and tired canard. You are clearly attempting to distract everyone from what is actually being discussed. Let me point out the obvious: to criticize Obama's anti-catholic agenda does not imply support for any previous administration. The Republican party has failed. I don't dispute that. They sold out. How does that fact lend any support to the current occupant of the White House? I did not for him. I did not vote for them in the last two elections (precisely because they have abandoned us). Your argument is beyond weak. It is desperate and pathetic.