Saturday, September 27, 2014

Thou Shalt Not Have Strange Gods Before Me

We've talked about America's creepy obsession with sports before. The non-stop trou-dropping over Derek Jeter's imminent retirement has called the issue to mind again.

First, let me deal with the inevitable accusations that I'm a hater. I actually like the Yankees. There aren't any major league teams around here, so I pretty much had my pick of teams to follow over the years.

Second, I don't have anything against Derek Jeter. Granted, there is this:

But that isn't really a problem with Jeter. It's the overall problem that I'm talking about in this post.

People tend to blow off the First Commandment. The typical thought process is "Hey, I'm not bowing down to a gold calf or anything, so I'm ok."

That's a pretty restricted view of what worship is, I think. If you look at this whole phenomenon surrounding Jeter's departure, it's about one half-step down (maybe) from burning incense in front of an image of Caesar. It's pretty shameful stuff.

Let's recall some words from The Master:

For where thy treasure is, there is thy heart also.
Matthew 6:21

When you watch the time, resources, expense, and energy that is being poured into the rituals of Jeter's farewell, take a moment to think about where those swept up in such euphoria have their treasure. It's not a golden calf. However, if we consider this adulation and reverence given to a baseball player and contrast it with what is offered to The Almighty, doesn't it seem a bit creepy? Consider the words of the Liturgy of St. James:

Let all mortal flesh keep silent, and with fear and trembling stand. Ponder nothing earthly-minded, Let all mortal flesh keep silent, and with fear and trembling stand. Ponder nothing earthly-minded, for the King of kings and Lord of lords advances to be slain and given as food to the faithful. Before him go the choirs of Angels, with every rule and authority, the many-eyed Cherubim and the six-winged Seraphim, veiling their sight and crying out the hymn: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia

I'm sure Jeter could demand that kind of respect.

God? Probably not so much, and therein lies the tragedy of our time.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

It's A Curious Thing

It's a weird thing to consider when you think about all the recent stuff we've seen in Church news lately. Tacit approval of homosexual behavior, advocating for Holy Communion for the remarried divorcee, ridiculous levels of praise for Islam, etc have all made headlines.

To think that every saint in the history of Christ's Church (who voiced an opinion on these matters) was on the wrong side of history with these issues but somehow made it to the right side of the Beatific Vision should be enough to give the modern proponents of such insanities pause.

It should. But it probably won't.


I've been seeing the above acronym with increasing frequency. For those who don't know, it stands for "Do I look like I give a flip?" except where "flip" is an obscenity instead of "flip."

It strikes me that the ability of people, especially young people, to use this phrase is one of our major problems. It's almost as though we are raising whole generations to have little or no idea of things like modesty, scandal, or the feelings of others.

It's on every talk show. "Whatever! I'll do what I want!" It's in the resigned "Whatever..." that makes up about 85% of the teenaged lexicon. It's in the vulgar dress of the masses. It's in the words of prelates willing to proclaim their opposition to the Magisterium. And so forth.

Now, it's good to have a detachment from the world. We certainly don't want our faith life governed by others' opinions. However, like with anything else, this can be twisted to the ends of The Adversary.

What has happened is that we have completely forgotten the concept of scandal. Nobody pays any mind to the sorts of stumbling blocks they set up for their brothers and sisters in the world. Whether it's a refusal to dress modestly and shrugging off the temptation of others as "their problem" or the raging would-be apologist who casts perpetual pearls before swine and serves to do nothing more than give atheists or anti-Catholic bigots opportunities for blasphemy and insult to God.

We have forgotten humility in all this. At some point, we have to be willing to constrain our fashion sense out of love for others. We should consider how our words and actions might damage the faith of others or even drive them to despair. We have to be willing to shake the dust from our feet and leave those poor souls to the mercy of God, hoping that we've planted a seed that can sprout with the Holy Spirit's assistance.

Remember Our Blessed Lord's words:

And because iniquity hath abounded, the charity of many shall grow cold.
Matthew 24:12

And we definitely seem to lean to the chilly side these days. Perhaps this is another case of losing our understanding of the essences of things. True charity is love for others FOR THE SAKE OF GOD. Love is the willing of good for another, with the highest good being God Himself, of course.

Sometimes the things we prefer are not good for these others and certainly aren't for God's sake. 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Thank You All

For your prayers and such. He's doing much better, but we still are having difficulty locating the origin of the problems.

Regular blogging to resume soon.

Thursday, September 18, 2014


Please offer some prayers for my father and his health.

Thank you all in advance.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


Tancred has posted some of the roster for the folks invited to the upcoming Synod on the Family. Ignoring the invites to all the non-Catholic observers, let's focus on the individuals who wear the "Catholic" label. I'm also ignoring that Cardinal Kaspar will be there, despite the fact that all of his preliminary input on the subject has been shown to be false.

Anyways, two names on the list caught my attention immediately, not just because they are on the list, but because they were personally appointed to the Synod by Pope Francis. Allegedly. These are Cardinals Danneels and Sodano.

The former presided over a country where the concept of life and family are absolutely rotting away and who has made bizarre statements about the Church sanctioning pseudo-marriage-ish unions for homosexuals. This is all secondary to the fact that he ignored the problem of child molesting priests to a pretty egregious level.

As to the latter, many indications are that Cardinal Sodano was a long-time protector of Marcel Maciel, who used the Legionaries of Christ as his own personal bank account and brothel. I get that +Sodano is the Dean of the College these days. I don't get why that merits an invitation.

On a side note, both of these guys resigned their real jobs years ago.

Anyways, I point this out to show that real "reform" as was envisioned by everyone to some extent following the last conclave still isn't going much of anywhere. In so many cases, the new help appears to be the same as the old help.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Re: Bees

Because bees are awesome.

"The bee is more honored than other animals, not because she labors, but because she labors for others." 

St. John Chrysostom

Thanks to Zenit for the quote.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Stuff Jesus Never Said

It's funny because it's true. I don't know anything about ChurchPop, but this was too good to pass up:

And a bonus from the comments:

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Since It's The Beginning Of Football Season

I wonder what ND will be "fighting for" this season, given that Catholicism hasn't made the list for so long.

On a related note, it is interesting that the school has no issue with punishing students who cheat, yet there are no negative consequences for professors who go out of their way to insult God, degrade His Church, and wreck the souls of students.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Country Music And The Signs Of The Times

First, let's provide the following video from YouTube entitled "Why Country Music Was Awful In 2013":

Anyone being honest would admit that you could basically have made that same video for any year of country music since about 1992.

Next, we invite all our readers to peruse this article (or any of the other multitude that have come out on the same subject) regarding the abomination of "bro country." Ignoring for a moment the individual crimes being committed in association with such crappy music, let's focus instead on the general theme of self-indulgence and narcissism.

Finally, let's take a look at some recent comments by Merle Haggard, known by many for making actual country music, unknown to many for the same reason, regarding the current state of the industry:

Haggard also notes that he doesn't listen much to the radio these days, saying, "Once in a while, I'll scan it and I don't understand what they're doing. I can't find the entertainment in it. I know these guys, occasionally play shows with them and they're all good people. But I wonder if that record they're making is something they can actually do. Too much boogie boogie wham-bam and not enough substance."

Let's recall how country music formerly tended to treat the issues of alcoholism, adultery, and sin overall. While there were some light-hearted efforts that treated such topics with levity ("I'm Gonna Hire A Wino To Decorate Our Home" for example), the typical flavor on these topics was one of self-loathing and the participants as pathetic losers. It wasn't a good thing to be boozed out of one's mind or partying all the time, etc. The new theme of country music is the opposite. Now, there is nothing more pleasant than getting hammered.

Anyways, we present these as illustrations of how the crap that currently gets played on country music stations reflects the shallowness of our world as a whole. The deeper thoughts driven by the more profound songs of yesteryear are abandoned in favor of the same self-glorifying drivel that has characterized rap/hip-hop for so long.

Just a symptom of the larger disease of pride that has infected pretty much everything.

For good measure:

Monday, August 25, 2014

An Odd Thought

Is it just me, or is the secular obsession with Pope Francis and casting him as the repudiation of all things Catholic (along with the +Kaspars of the world), a bizarre form of clericalism?

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Authentic Interpreters Of Pope Francis

It's hard to escape the insane mass belief that the authoritative interpretation of Pope Francis is to be found everywhere except within the parameters of Catholic thought. For example, we've previously discussed the Scalfari claims that His Holiness had "abolished sin."

The latest bit is from agnostic philosopher Massimo Cacciari, who is asserting that Pope Francis has initiated a cataclysmic shift in Church teaching by abandoning the Catholic notion of just war and entrusting the United Nations with the job of being the sole arbiter of whether or not a military action is legitimate. This, all based on a single paragraph's response to an interviewer. You can read the whole thing on Rorate.

First, let's ignore Cacciari's, shall we say, tenuous, comments like international law being "created by agreement among national positive laws," which ignores the whole role of things like custom and realpolitik in how international law actually works.

Second, holy smokes. I've had this sentiment thrown at me from multiple sources today. It is amazing to me how secularism, atheism, Protestantism, any -ism imaginable can be used for a Pope Francis hermeneutic, except Catholicism. Do these people really think what he said means overthrowing the idea of a just war? Even if he did say such, do they think it possible to re-write Church teaching in an interview?

I very much doubt they really think such things. And if they don't really think such things, their agenda is pretty clear. It's a sad state of affairs that so many people are falling for it.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Readings From A Couple Of Weeks Ago

On August 10, I was fortunate enough to be in an area where I could attend a TLM. A couple of bits and pieces from the readings then stuck with me, and I keep rolling them around in my head.

First, consider the words of St. Paul in 1 Corinthians. He basically gives a long litany of things that our forerunners, the Israelites, did in the Old Testament and how the record of all those bad things was kept so that we wouldn't do likewise. Then he drops this nugget:

Now all these things happened to them in figure: and they are written for our correction, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore he that thinketh himself to stand, let him take heed lest he fall.

1 Corinthians 10:11-12

We don't hear that line much these days. In fact, we are basically drunk with our self-assurance that we're ok. When people talk about death, the last thing that gets brought up is the condition of their
soul. People will make sure that their alma mater gets a fat check and that they are buried in a custom coffin reflecting their allegiance to their favorite NFL team, but they lack any concern at all for the afterlife.

I happen to have a job where I'm around when folks die. The presumption of salvation is staggering. And no, I'm not talking about hope. Being certain of awesomeness in God's eyes means you don't have to hope because you have put yourself in God's position as judge. It's scary stuff to listen to. So let us pray for a holy fear of death and of God's judgment.

Here's the other bit that has been nagging me. From the Gospel:

And when he drew near, seeing the city, he wept over it, saying: If thou also hadst known, and that in this thy day, the things that are to thy peace; but now they are hidden from thy eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, and thy enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and straiten thee on every side, And beat thee flat to the ground, and thy children who are in thee: and they shall not leave in thee a stone upon a stone: because thou hast not known the time of thy visitation.

Luke 19:41-44

Consider in this passage Our Lord's sorrow over the unbelief of the Jews. He is literally crying. In our age of illuminated minds, though, we have a Christianity that looks upon attempts to evangelize Jewish people as bigoted, hateful activity. Yes, a sin. What a horrible thing that we would make a virtue out of neglecting something so dear to The Master.

It is a screwed up worldview that would willingly leave an entire group of people blinded to the greatness of the Gospel.

Just A Thought On The Middle East

These things have I spoken to you, that you may not be scandalized. They will put you out of the synagogues: yea, the hour cometh, that whosoever killeth you, will think that he doth a service to God. And these things will they do to you; because they have not known the Father, nor me. But these things I have told you, that when the hour shall come, you may remember that I told you of them. 

John 16:1-4

Not a whole lot has changed, I guess.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Antidote To Trashy As Classy

I recently read a book called Nobility and Analogous Traditional Elites by Professor Plinio Correa de Oliveira, the founder of Tradition, Family, and Property. It was an interesting work on several fronts.

First, there is the structure. It began with a general discussion of Church social teaching but with a focus on what the author calls the "preferential option for the nobility," which is really just another way of saying the Church's attention to the care and formation of the noble classes for the betterment of society and the salvation of souls. It then moves on to the particular allocutions delivered by Venerable Pius XII to the Italian nobility, as well as comments made by other popes on the same theme. Finally, it moves into a summary of American and Brazilian history from the perspective of the aristocratic types of the citizenry. The rest is largely reference material supporting the overall argument.

Second, that overall argument has enormous implications for our here and now. Professor Correa makes the point that, in any given society, a certain group will inevitably be granted a higher station relative to others. After demonstrating this, he offers that much effort must be exerted to make sure that this group is of a sort that will focus on the common good and be a worthy model to the lower classes. It has a sort of Thorsten Veblenish ring to it in that sense.

Anyways, what we have done in our civilization, is to become so obsessed with egalitarianism, that we have shelved the values of greatness in the common good and instead allowed the worst of every sort to rise into these aristocratic positions, all the while denying that such positions exist.

Think about it. How is it that the Kardashians are still on TV? Why does anyone listen to what someone like Lady GaGa has to say about anything? In what sort of culture are the features of TMZ actually newsworthy? Why are so many professional athletes scumbags, yet worshiped by the masses?

It's because we've traded elevating the virtues of true greatness and the acknowledgement that those who exercise those virtues to a high degree should be honored for the crass, the crude, and the sensational. When that is accomplished, the lower classes choose to reflect that in their own lives and things decay further.

We have aristocrats without the nobility. This is all very important with Pope Francis's pontificate. Yes, the poor are a huge concern, but we so many of the virtues that were formerly associated with poverty have been destroyed by a barren culture that has been spawned and is sustained by our elite class. It is all one huge materialistic morass, with no room for beauty, charity, or even good manners. Perhaps a recollection of the preferential option for the nobility is an unexplored remedy for our current desolation.

On a side note, I'd recommend this book even if I could just get people to read the American history parts, as Professor Correa does a good job of showing what is so often forgotten in the democratic myths ingrained in our worldview. The Founders were elites and expected the nation to be governed by such a class. I know. Shocking, right? Yet, it's amazing how many people completely ignore this in their consideration of our nation's past.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

I Lost A Follower

Is that good or bad?

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Remember When?

Remember when we sent troops into Somalia on a humanitarian mission ?

Remember when we talked about "moral imperatives" before bombing Yugoslavia for almost 3 months to protect Kosovo?

Remember when we went to war just because we needed to ... I don't even know what?

Remember when helping out the Arab Spring was a good enough reason to get involved in Libya?

Remember when we at least made noise about "red lines" in Syria and called on the world to overthrow Assad?

Remember when we did all these things to prevent a genuine genocide in Iraq?

Friday, August 8, 2014

To Those Who Revel In Criticizing Venerable Pius XII

You know, the guy who gave sanctuary to thousands of Jews during the Holocaust, provided fake documents so they could escape persecution, and basically saved hundreds of thousands of lives in the process, will you be heaping similar criticisms on Pope Francis?

For clarity, I am directing this against all the proponents of the absurd "Hitler's Pope" thesis. This is not a rock thrown at the Holy Father.

For those who giggle with glee now that we have a papacy without temporal power or the means to mount a military campaign, behold the ultimate fruits of such status. Our brothers and sisters being murdered by the thousands, while the rest of the world barely even offers words of consolation, much less actual intervention. 

This is where the Church's decline has been heading. Towards death.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

A Plea From The Chaldean Patriarch

Thanks to Rorate for providing. We reproduce the germane parts below but ask that you please read the whole thing and pray for our brothers and sisters in the Middle East:

As for the Church, she finds herself completely alone, more than ever; nevertheless her leaders are strongly required to react before it is too late in applying the necessary pressure on the international community as well as those other decision-makers in view of fundamental answers necessary to the scandalous crimes and the destructive conspiracies that affect, above all, unarmed citizens in Iraq, Syria, and in Palestine - Gaza.

It should be noted that the motivation for all of these killings is the lust for everything that lies beneath the earth like oil and gas...what else explains this war so curiously radicalised and, as if following an excellently premeditated plan, does not take the least account of the destinies of the people.

We are equally shocked and indignant with the absence of a vigorous position taken by Muslims and their religious leaders, not the least because the actions of these factions represent a menace for Muslims themselves.

In fact, speeches are good for nothing, so too declarations that rehash condemnations and indignation; the same can be said for protest marches. In addition, while appreciating the generosity of our donors, we would say that donations and fundraising too are not what will solve our problems. We have to demand a large-scale administrative [governmental] operation on an international level. There is in fact the need for awareness, in conscience, regarding this simple human principle: the demand for real actions and solidarity because we are before a crisis related to our very existence, facing the fact that "we will be or we will not be."

This is an appeal from the bottom of the heart in the search for a solution that lies uniquely in the hands of the international community and above all with the great powers. We address ourselves profoundly to their consciences and that they should review their positions and to re-evaluate the impact of the situation of today.

Louis Raphael I Sako Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Pill Means Higher Risk Of Breast Cancer

As stated in a recent study. Don't worry, ladies, they say. It's only about a 50% higher risk. No big deal. Just keep on feeding the pharmaceutical machine. Not that such a study amounts to planting a flag anywhere. This link has been known for a long time. We've mentioned it in other posts, along with all the other nastiness that goes hand-in-hand with contraception. Even Ricki Lake has figured it out.

So again, we must wonder. How much worse does it have to be shown to be before women and men stop insisting on self-sterilization?

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Honesty Is The Best Policy

I wasn't going to mention this originally but recent events have changed my mind. We posted about the mutual apologies that have been offered between the Pope and a random Pentecostal minister.

In contrast to this, Rorate provided a statement from another group of Protestants who, in a striking display of intellectual honesty, made it clear that they have severe problems with the Catholic Church.

Good for them. They deserve major kudos for not falling victim to the temptation of back-slapping ecumenism where the inevitable attitude adopted is "I'm ok/You're ok." It is refreshing to see a group who is actually concerned enough with the salvation of others that they will make a statement designed to point out where someone might be led astray and risk their eternal soul.

They might be total bigots who are completely ignorant of the Church, historical fact, and simple reason, but hey, at least they seem to care about peoples' souls.

Would that we Catholics could be so honest. If only we could respect the beliefs of others to the point where we could talk about them seriously, rather than shuffling them away so that we can play at being "charitable." Instead of doing that, we will continue in the fruitless exercise of yelling in an echo chamber so that we can hear ourselves in agreement, even as the heresies widen and schisms deepen. Don't believe me? Every time you see a report on an ecclesial community sanctioning homosexual activity or the Anglicans spawning some new insane innovation or the further spread of anti-Trinitarian blasphemy, ask yourself if we are really moving closer together or if our separated brethren are indeed just flying farther and father apart.

Please Pray

For my sister and her husband.

Friday, August 1, 2014


We talk about Russia here a lot and for good reason. While we utterly reject the madness of their "Third Rome" claim, it is stupid to ignore that, while not de jure, they are the de facto leaders of Orthodoxy. That makes them important.

A couple of our main points re: Moscow can be summed up as follows:

1. The world should have been preparing itself for the return of Imperial Russia with the full backing and support of the most powerful ecclesial force in the East.

2. Ecumenism with pretty much every Christian sect in the world other than the Orthodox is worthless. Ergo, all such efforts should be directed to them and basically them only.

These topics are merged in a recent article in the Catholic Herald in very interesting fashion. First, you have the events in Ukraine birthing a new round of saber-rattling from Moscow with regards to the Eastern Catholics tied to Kiev. Never, never forget that "ecumenism" in the mind of the Russian church these days includes the idea that Stalin's attempts to annihilate Catholicism were legitimate.

Second, there is the concern that recent events in Catholicism, whether accurately reported or not, have signaled to Patriarch Kyril that Rome is looking to back off in the fight against the world's secularism. I'll add that the focus Pope Benedict had on the liturgy was probably the most positive ecumenical outreach we could have had with the Orthodox and even that is pushed to the back burner.

Overall, it's a grim picture. Read the whole thing.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

A Jesuit View Of Heresy

To avoid any confusion, remember these words if you happen to notice a member of the Society downplaying the harm done to souls by heresy:

Seeing the progress that the heretics have made in so short a time, spreading the poison of their evil teaching throughout so many countries and peoples, and making use of the verse of the Apostle to describe their progress,and their speech will eat its way like gangrene, it would seem that our Society, having been accepted by Divine Providence among the efficacious means to repair such great damage, should not only be solicitous in preparing the proper remedies but should be ready to apply them, exerting itself to the utmost of its powers to preserve what is still sound and to restore what has fallen sick of the plague of heresy, especially in the northern countries.

The heretics have made their false theology popular and presented it in a way that is within the capacity of the common people. They preach it to the people and teach it in the schools, and scatter pamphlets that can be bought and understood by many; they influence people by their writings when they cannot reach them by preaching. Their success is largely due to the negligence of those who should have shown some interest, and the bad example and the ignorance of Catholics, especially the clergy, have made such ravages in the vineyard of the Lord. Hence it would seem that our Society should use the following means to end and cure the evils which the Church has suffered through these heretics.

In the first place, sound theology, which is taught in the universities and must have its foundation in philosophy and which requires a long time to acquire, is adapted only to alert and agile minds; because the weaker ones, who lack a proper foundation, can become confused and collapse, it would be good to prepare a summary of theology dealing briefly with topics that are essential but not controversial. In matters controversial there could be more detail, but it should be accommodated to the present needs of the people. It should solidly prove dogmas with appropriate arguments from Scripture, tradition, the councils, doctors, and refute the contrary teaching. It would not require too much time to teach such theology since it would not go very deeply into other matters. In this way, many theologians could be prepared in a short time, who could attend to preaching and teaching in various places. The abler students could be given advanced courses which include greater detail. Those who do not succeed in these advanced courses should be removed from them and placed in the shorter course of theology...

Not only in the places where we have a residence, but even in the surrounding neighborhood, our better students could be sent to teach Christian doctrine on Sundays and feast days. Even the extern students, should there be suitable individuals among them, could be sent by the rector of the same purpose. Thus, besides teaching correct doctrine, they will be giving the example of a good life, and by removing every appearance of greed they will be able to refute the strongest argument of the heretics—a bad life, namely and the ignorance of the Catholic clergy. 

The heretics write a good many pamphlets and booklets, by which they aim to remove all authority from the Catholics, and especially from the Society, and set up their false dogmas. It would seem imperative, therefore, that Ours also write answers in pamphlet form, short and well written, so that they can be produced without delay and purchased by many. In this way the harm done by the pamphlets of the heretics can be set aright and sound teaching spread. These works should be modest, but stimulating; they should point out the evil that is abroad and uncover the deceits and evil purposes of the adversaries. Many of these pamphlets could then be gathered in a single volume. Care should be taken, however, that this be carried out by learned men well grounded in theology, who will adapt the content to the capacity of the multitude. 

With these measures it would seem that we could bring great relief to the Church, and in many places quickly apply a remedy at the outset of the evil and before the poison has had a chance to go so deep that it would be most difficult to remove it from the heart. We should use the same diligence in healing that the heretics use in infecting the people. We will have the advantage over them in that we possess a solidly founded, and therefore an enduring, doctrine. The most gifted students will then be able to follow a course of study in the Roman College and in other colleges of upper and lower Germany, also in France. Later, when they are sent to different places where Ours have residences, they will become the directors and instructors of others.

St. Ignatius Loyola

Poison. Evils. An emphasis on sound theology and a knowledge of the Faith. A voice crying out for Truth and for people to be protected from heresy.

Like I said, just in case there's any confusion.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

And Another Apology

Looks like we're getting one coming back our way.

Full of clanging and sentiment, signifying nothing.