31 July 2015

A Holy Pope's Policy towards Hegemonic Secularism in Three Paragraphs

"It was Papa Angelicus whom he was about to see; that amazing old man who had been appointed Secretary of State just fifty years ago, at the age of thirty, and Pope nine years previously. It was he who had carried out the extraordinary policy of yielding the churches throughout the whole of Italy to the Government, in exchange for the temporal lordship of Rome, and who had since set himself to make it a city of saints. He had cared, it appeared, nothing whatever for the world's opinion; his policy, so far as it could be called one, consisted in a very simple thing: he had declared in Epistle after Epistle that the object of the Church was to do glory to God by producing supernatural virtues in man, and that nothing at all was of any significance or importance except so far as it effected this object. He had further maintained that since Peter was the Rock, the City of Peter was the Capital of the world, and should set an example to its dependency: this could not be done unless Peter ruled his City, and therefore he had sacrificed every church and ecclesiastical building in the country for that one end. Then he had set about ruling his city: he had said that on the whole the latter-day discoveries of man tended to distract immortal souls from a contemplation of eternal verities—not that these discoveries could be anything but good in themselves, since after all they gave insight into the wonderful laws of God—but that at present they were too exciting to the imagination. So he had removed the trams, the volors, the laboratories, the manufactories—saying that there was plenty of room for them outside Rome—and had allowed them to be planted in the suburbs: in their place he had raised shrines, religious houses and Calvaries. Then he had attended further to the souls of his subjects. ... Then he had divided the city into national quarters, saying that as each nation had its peculiar virtues, each was to let its light shine steadily in its proper place. ... He had retained the Leonine City entirely at his own disposal. Then he had restored Capital Punishment, with as much serene gravity as that with which he had made himself the derision of the civilised world in other matters, saying that though human life was holy, human virtue was more holy still; and he had added to the crime of murder, the crimes of adultery, idolatry and apostasy, for which this punishment was theoretically sanctioned. There had not been, however, more than two such executions in the eight years of his reign, since criminals, of course, with the exception of devoted believers, instantly made their way to the suburbs, where they were no longer under his jurisdiction.

"But he had not stayed here. He had sent once more ambassadors to every country in the world, informing the Government of each of their arrival. No attention was paid to this, beyond that of laughter; but he had continued, undisturbed, to claim his rights, and, meanwhile, used his legates for the important work of disseminating his views. Epistles appeared from time to time in every town, laying down the principles of the papal claims with as much tranquillity as if they were everywhere acknowledged. Freemasonry was steadily denounced, as well as democratic ideas of every kind; men were urged to remember their immortal souls and the Majesty of God, and to reflect upon the fact that in a few years all would be called to give their account to Him Who was Creator and Ruler of the world, Whose Vicar was John XXIV, P.P., whose name and seal were appended.

"That was a line of action that took the world completely by surprise. People had expected hysteria, argument, and passionate exhortation; disguised emissaries, plots, and protests. There were none of these. It was as if progress had not yet begun, and volors were uninvented, as if the entire universe had not come to disbelieve in God, and to discover that itself was God. Here was this silly old man, talking in his sleep, babbling of the Cross, and the inner life and the forgiveness of sins, exactly as his predecessors had talked two thousand years before. Well, it was only one sign more that Rome had lost not only its power, but its common sense as well. It was really time that something should be done."

-- from Lord of the World, by Robert Hugh Benson

Ironic indeed that this book was recommended by Pope Francis.  I assume he read this section. Sometimes I wonder what exactly it is about which he intends to warn us. My guesses about that I will not discuss here at this time, and do not intend to do so later. 

30 July 2015

Just a Little "End of the World" Commentary

I like posts that talk about the end of the world.  Use the word "apocalypse" in a link and I will click.

That being said, we are certainly at the end of the world, in some sense at least.  Possibly, of course, the actual end of the actual world (Do you go to confession regularly?). 

But certainly we are near the end of the world we know, as Americans and/or Catholics who were brought up thinking we were in a certain paradigm.  That paradigm, if it really even existed as we thought, is definitively crumbling. What takes its place, we can't know, but it sure doesn't look good.

Communism, while not acknowledged as the driving force of policy by governmental policy makers, is the driving force of policy.  And the Church is mostly silent, though there are many Churchmen who cheer it on and actively assist it. Among the latter is the Pope.  Can you believe it?

The country that had historically taught its citizens (rightly or wrongly) that it was the best hope for freedom and justice on this guilty earth, has become a bureaucratic tyranny.  To wit:  Government-enforced medical "care" that requires funding of abortion, sterilization, and contraception-- and that gives government panels the right to decide if you live or die.  Government-enforced lunacy that requires citizens to call formalized, serial sodomy "marriage", and gives sodomites power to brainwash children, through allowing adoption and also through a Stalinist propaganda-style "education" regime. 

As Isaias prophesied, "The effeminate shall rule over them."  People, this is undeniably true, and the scriptures speak of it as a punishment.  Rainbow flag that.  

As an aside, the unbridled hubris and hatred of that crowd, adopting the rainbow-- the sign of God's covenant with man to spare him destruction by water--  as their banner just makes me spit.  But, as God always wins, and even His enemies unwittingly proclaim His Glory, note this:  Sodom was destroyed by fire from the sky.  The rainbow is a sign of the covenant that God will never again destroy man by flood.  Do the math.  I like to look at the rainbow flag as a sign of just how the destruction of the reign of sodomy does come about.

Don't get me wrong.  It won't be pleasant for anyone, good or bad, to stand under that rain.  Didn't Our Lady warn us about this at Akita?  We know this-- and suspect there may be something about it in the messages we have been prevented from hearing at Fatima.

Our bishops are outraged at Donald Trump about his pro-abortion statements in the past, um about his past statements in favor of "gay marriage" um, about his hair, um what?,  about his remarks on immigration.  Really?  Just when you thought he could not rouse from his chair to do anything except chuckle heartily, the Grand Marshall of the gay parade and Obama Dinner Host gets all upset about Trump.  Whatever the prudential application of Catholic teaching should be on these topics generally, it is certainly rich that the only times we hear from the hierarchy in a vigorous way is on junk science and immigration.

These topics, you know, are vehicles that the government can use against us to take our money and property.  Forced health insurance is a tax, said Chief Justice John Roberts.  Global warming requires a global tax, implies the Pope.

"The power to tax is the power to destroy," said Chief Justice John Marshall.

Print money.  Go into unrepayable debt.  Fight stupid and expensive wars everywhere. End free speech.  Encourage immorality.  Emasculate the Church. Ignore God.

This is the policy of every Western nation, the community of nations, and unfortunately, the Church's leaders.  

This is unsustainable.

Wait, no, I'm sure it will all end well.


Rereading this, it sure sounds gloomy. I was just trying to be realistic.  But I would like to end on a "bright", as they say in the local news business.  So remember this, too:

[1] And he shewed me a river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. [2] In the midst of the street thereof, and on both sides of the river, was the tree of life, bearing twelve fruits, yielding its fruits every month, and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. [3] And there shall be no curse any more; but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and his servants shall serve him. [4] And they shall see his face: and his name shall be on their foreheads. [5] And night shall be no more: and they shall not need the light of the lamp, nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God shall enlighten them, and they shall reign for ever and ever.

[6] And he said to me: These words are most faithful and true. And the Lord God of the spirits of the prophets sent his angel to shew his servants the things which must be done shortly. [7] And, Behold I come quickly. Blessed is he that keepeth the words of the prophecy of this book. [8] And I, John, who have heard and seen these things. And after I had heard and seen, I fell down to adore before the feet of the angel, who shewed me these things. [9] And he said to me: See thou do it not: for I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them that keep the words of the prophecy of this book. Adore God. [10] And he saith to me: Seal not the words of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.

Apocalypse 22: 1-21

29 July 2015

Words Have Consequences, and Logic Exists

Well, that used to be true.  This excellent story at The Remnant is a reminder of the title of this post.  

Well-meaning neo-Catholics, seeking (as is right) a refuge from governmental persecution on account of their Catholicism, have been using a campaign of "Religious Liberty" as the mechanism.  You see these campaigns from chanceries and pulpits, and not just from the usual platform of imbecility that is Patheos.

I have never been on-board with this approach because, specifically, there is no right to religious error, and the state has a duty and right to uphold the Catholic faith.  It is irrelevant that no state does this.  Giving in on terminology is inevitably a losing game.

Enter the satanist statue in Detroit.  I will spare you the uber-creepy photo.  Michael Voris, and others, are really upset by it.  Great.  Unfortunately, their own words and positions undercut them.  As Chris Jackson devastatingly explains, the neo-Catholics, if they wish to be true to their understanding of Vatican II, should be celebrating this event.  A must read.  Might make you uncomfortable.

Christ the King, have mercy on us!

28 July 2015

Not That El Camino: or, God Can Speak through Tee Shirts, Too

I wanted to write about the El Camino I saw on Saturday-- the feast of St. James the Greater, or as he is also known, Santiago Matamoros (St. James the Moorslayer).  

And I will tell you up front that this post will be rather long-- I haven't posted in eight days, so deal with it.

I speak not of the official car of 1970s Arnold, MO, but, rather, of el Camino de Santiago, the ancient pilgrimage route to the tomb of St. James the Greater in Santiago de Compostela.  I should say "routes", because there are several main ones, with the most popular one being the Camino Frances, which begins (for most) at the town of St. Jean Pied-de-Port in France.  It crosses the Pyrenees into Roncesvalles, and continues in the northern third of Spain through Pamplona, Burgos, Leon, and Astorga, finishing in Galicia. 800 km in all, or about 500 miles.

A list of famous pilgrims on the Camino would be long, but St. Francis of Assisi took it, and St. Ignatius of Loyola took it. That is inspiring. Perhaps slightly less inspiring, so did Jenna Bush.

The full Camino Frances can take five weeks or so.  That is hard for a working lawyer to arrange.  In fact, it is hard for a non-working lawyer to arrange. At best, I could arrange two to three weeks, allowing for my practice; allowing for children's care, I could allow zero.  So, though I have long had the desire to make this pilgrimage, here I am in my late forties still unpilgrimized.

Those pilgrims who can verify (through walk-acquired stamps in their pilgrim credentials) that they walked at least 100 km receive a Compostela, a document issued by the Church at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, which is rather impressive indeed.  So, many pilgrims who are pressed for time but who like validation, begin the journey at a spot along the Camino Frances to match the time they have.  The shortest distance places the pilgrim at the town of Sarria.  Some people with two weeks begin in Leon.  

I would not criticize anyone's starting point; the commitment to pilgrimage (for many on the way still hold this as a religious pilgrimage) is laudable, even for a walk of three to five days.  But since the Camino Frances is so hallowed, and because I pray to walk it from start to finish before I die, starting in the "middle" or near the end, doesn't satisfy somehow. 

But, there are other routes, as I said.  And so, I have set my sights on the Camino Portugues, which has its own famous pilgrim-- St. Isabel (Elizabeth) of Portugal.  The route can start in Lisbon, but Porto, where St. Isabel began, is also a traditional starting point.  It takes roughly twelve days of walking to go from Porto to Santiago, passing through Barcelos and crossing the Rio Minho into Spain at Tui. Hence, one can walk a "complete" route in the time of a typical American vacation.

A couple of years ago, my wife and I, and two of our friends, made tentative plans to go on this pilgrimage to ask God for a cure for a friend who was very ill.  We only had a minimum of time, and planned on a whim, so we thought to do the bare minimum walk from Sarria to Santiago on the Camino Frances.  As it turned out, we couldn't make that plan work, and so we refrained.

Now, on to the title of my post.  As I said, Saturday, July 25, 2015, the Feast of St. James the Greater, I saw a sign I believe to be from God.  Yes, it was on a tee shirt.  I was driving back home from taking my daughter to dance class, and as I neared an intersection I saw a young boy walking his bicycle, waiting to cross.  His tee shirt was yellow and red-- the color of the Spanish flag.  I looked at what was written on it: it read "El Camino".  Below some image was written "de Santiago".

I hear my brother scoffing as he reads, but I ask you: is it impossible for God to speak through tee shirts?  No, sir.  And I choose to take this unlikely tee shirt, worn by a child in St. Louis, MO, of all places, on St. James' very feast day, of all times, as a sign that time is wasting.  It is time to go walking.

It is time to make a real pilgrimage.  If I could arrange it, I would make it coincide with the Synod against on the Family this October. Certainly my sins have contributed to this mess, and a little (or more like a lot) expiation would do me good, and maybe, in God's providence, do some good for the Church.  If God wants that plan to come about, He will have to act in a practically obvious way to clear my schedule, because otherwise I see it as unlikely.

But I wanted to "go public" with my plan to walk the Camino Portugues in 2016.  If the Synod goes horribly, expiation is called for.  If it miraculously goes well, thanksgiving is in order.  And, really, I would like to dedicate it to my wife in thanksgiving for 25 years of a wonderful marriage, and to seek forgiveness of all of my failings towards her over the years.

Now, far be it from me to suggest anything to the Institute, but wouldn't it be great to have a priest to offer the traditional Mass along the way?

However it may go, I want to go.  And with God's help, I will go.

Still True

is this excellent analysis of the situation from Patrick Archbold, published last year.

21 July 2015

October Song: The Church Must Do Her Duty by the Truth

Bishops must lead and ought to lead, but we must maintain the faith in the face of everything hell can throw at us. Excellent post at Rorate Caeli:

The Catholic Church then is, and always will be, violent and intransigent when the rights of God are in question. She will be absolutely ruthless, for example, towards heresy, for heresy affects not personal matters on which Charity may yield, but a Divine right on which there must be no yielding. Yet, simultaneously, she will be infinitely kind towards the heretic, since a thousand human motives and circumstances may come in and modify his responsibility. At a word of repentance she will readmit his person into her treasury of souls, but not his heresy into her treasury of wisdom; she will strike his name eagerly and freely from her black list of the rebellious, but not his book from the pages of her Index. She exhibits meekness towards him and violence towards his error; since he is human, but her Truth is Divine.  (Msgr. Robert Hugh Benson, Palm Sunday Homily, Paradoxes of Catholicism).

October's Synod approaches...

God Bless America?

There are no words to describe the putrescence of the baby murderers at Planned Parenthood and those who cooperate with them. In any decent country they would be rounded up and executed. Yes, executed: capital punishment for capital crimes is well within the bi millennial teaching of the Church. Justly punishing the murderers of babies is pro-life.

Why in the world is God so merciful with us, still giving us time to repent? This of course shows His love and His greatness, but at some point you have to think time will run out.

20 July 2015

The Maniturgium

Congratulations to Long-Skirts, the sometime commenter poet, whose son was ordained to the priesthood this July.  She wrote several poems on the occasion, which you can read at her site.  This one spoke to me.  It concerns the maniturgium, which is used to bind the ordinands hands during the rite.* In the photo taken from her site, her son is on the right, I believe.


Linen-wrapped hands
Cloth-wrapped in tomb
First signs of life
Wrapped in the womb.

Hidden, veiled,
Cloaked away
Gold in gray.

Bursting bright
From slate shroud cloud
Gilded sun
Brilliant, proud.

Fingers anointed
Then set free
As from her womb then tomb
For thee.

The Bread of Angels
From His wheat
Seeds sown deep
In loam and peat.

Forever his fingers
Hidden Jesus

The maniturgia,
Now tucked away
To wait for mother’s
Deathly day

When in my coffin,
Hopefully shrived,
My linen-wrapped hands
When I have died

Will reach out begging,
Though I am least,
Lord have mercy
My son’s a Priest!!


MANITURGIUM: A fine linen cloth, often embroidered with fine lace or some insignia, used by a newly ordained priest after annointing with holy oils. ... This Maniturgium is then put aside by the priest to be used to place in the hands of his deceased mother before burial. (The Church Visible by James-Charles Noonan, Jr.)