Wednesday, October 12, 2016

John Podesta And Canon 1374

If you haven't heard about it yet, Hillary Clinton's campaign manager, John Podesta, has had a bunch of his emails published on Wikileaks. There had been some offensive stuff about Catholics earlier this week, but the latest stuff points to a direct attack against the Church, with Mr. Podesta claiming involvement with creating groups meant to promote a de jure schism among Catholics. Let's face it, the schism is already there de facto.

You can read the latest emails here.

Now, none of this really comes as a surprise to anybody who has been paying attention for the last couple of decades. The fact that it's in black and white raises an interesting question, though. Canon 1374 is most often considered with regards to Freemasonry (and yes, Freemasonry is still bad). However, it's actual language is much broader.

Can. 1374 
A person who joins an association which plots against the Church is to be punished with a just penalty; however, a person who promotes or directs an association of this kind is to be punished with an interdict.

The linked emails certainly indicate (a) a person who (b) has joined, even created, (c) an association that is (d) plotting against the Church.

I really need someone to explain why this law doesn't apply to Mr. Podesta, who claims to be Catholic, and any other Catholic who is a member of the organizations mentioned in these emails. If there is a way around it, I'd very much like to know what it is.

Of course, this is totally separate from a bishop having the guts to enforce it.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

If Contraceptive Commercials Were Honest

Surfacing briefly to post this pretty hilarious, albeit not work friendly, video. Of course, it isn't COMPLETELY honest, as it leaves out a ton of other risks from the hormonal products. Fortunately, we mention them in this post, so you can take a look at them there.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Why Do Cardinal Kasper & His Followers Hate Vatican II?

I apologize for the lack of activity. My health and occupation have not allowed for a lot of blogging (or anything else for that matter), but I felt the need to get back in the saddle for this particular issue.

So by now, there’s been tons of fallout from the Synods and Amoris Laetitia and the near-infinite number of interpretations that have been applied to both. I’m not going to get into those so much, as there has been plenty of ink and metaphorical blood spilled by the relevant parties already. Besides, this is another one of those cases where the Catholic teaching is actually quite simple and known to be unchangeable. That being the case, I’m not that worried about it all, though I wouldn’t want to be a priest in these times.

No, what I want to talk about is an undiagnosed malady that helps form the root of these problems and pretty much every one of the attacks on basic moral theology in our time. 

When Cardinal Kasper and his disciples talk about ideals in the moral life and how heroic it is for any Catholic to live out the Church’s teachings in their day-to-day situations, what they are actually saying is:

“We hate Vatican II.”

Now this might come as a surprise to many, but even a minimalist review of the Council, it’s aftermath, and the current crisis in morality will demonstrate its truth.

Consider, for a moment, the catch-all phrase that is used to describe the Council’s legacy. Whether it’s EWTN or the ramblings of Cardinal Mahony, the Council is said to have brought to the Church the idea of the “universal call to holiness.” For the remainder of this discussion, let’s ignore the oft-repeated slander against our forerunners in Faith that laity were never instructed on such a thing prior to Vatican II.

Instead, let us focus on the Council itself, like when Lumen Gentium says:

The Lord Jesus, the divine Teacher and Model of all perfection, preached holiness of life to each and everyone of His disciples of every condition. He Himself stands as the author and consumator of this holiness of life: "Be you therefore perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect". Indeed He sent the Holy Spirit upon all men that He might move them inwardly to love God with their whole heart and their whole soul, with all their mind and all their strength and that they might love each other as Christ loves them. The followers of Christ are called by God, not because of their works, but according to His own purpose and grace. They are justified in the Lord Jesus, because in the baptism of faith they truly become sons of God and sharers in the divine nature. In this way they are really made holy. Then too, by God's gift, they must hold on to and complete in their lives this holiness they have received. They are warned by the Apostle to live "as becomes saints", and to put on "as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved a heart of mercy, kindness, humility, meekness, patience", and to possess the fruit of the Spirit in holiness. Since truly we all offend in many things we all need God's mercies continually and we all must daily pray: "Forgive us our debts"

Thus it is evident to everyone, that all the faithful of Christ of whatever rank or status, are called to the fullness of the Christian life and to the perfection of charity; by this holiness as such a more human manner of living is promoted in this earthly society. In order that the faithful may reach this perfection, they must use their strength accordingly as they have received it, as a gift from Christ. They must follow in His footsteps and conform themselves to His image seeking the will of the Father in all things. They must devote themselves with all their being to the glory of God and the service of their neighbor. In this way, the holiness of the People of God will grow into an abundant harvest of good, as is admirably shown by the life of so many saints in Church history.When it says these things, or when subsequent writers focus on this overarching message of the Council, it is done in contrast to the thinking that only those in the priestly or religious vocations are called to and can aspire to true holiness. It is magnifying the obligation of the laity to strive for sainthood.

When we look at the theories propounded by Cardinal Kasper and his cohorts, we find a rejection of this. Rather than a call to holiness, we find a call to comfort. Holiness, as spoken of in Kasperite lingo, is an “ideal” and one that is good but hardly necessary to enjoy God’s favor. In reading Cardinal Kasper’s views, there is almost a quasi-Lutheran core wherein he seems to insist that holiness really doesn’t exist. We are instead broken people who, by virtue of God’s mercy, are given a free pass for our behaviors. This is because holiness is admittedly difficult, and God, by His mercy, would not want to have His children enduring anything difficult. Holiness, then, can and should be discarded in appreciation of mercy.

What then of the “universal call”? Is it not an absurdity? If holiness is only meant for that rare heroic Christian, how can there be any sort of “universal call” to it? In more practical terms, of what true value is holiness at all if it can be so easily dispensed? You can extrapolate these into innumerable similar questions, but the problem is clear.

The consequences of all this doubt about holiness are very sad. First, we run the risk of substituting license for penitence. After all, if we can assume the safety of our salvation without regard to our individual actions, why not “sin boldly” (to use Luther’s phrasing)? Second, those grasping after holiness are insulted as being Pharisaical, with the implication being that such efforts are not just irrelevant, but also harmful, perhaps even to the point of being per se hypocritical. On a side note, this makes for interesting discussion in light of Exsurge Domine #6.

I could go on, but again, you get my drift. You can’t have a universal call to holiness if the terms of holiness are limited to the uncommon, the ideal, and the heroic. It’s precisely because we are broken that we need God’s grace to overcome our difficulties and be more like Him. Otherwise, the “central message” of Vatican II is a sick joke, played upon the wounded of the world to deceive them into thinking that His grace is sufficient for them.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Captain America Discusses The Catholic Church

Well, not exactly. He's not specifically talking about the Church here, but this is an incredibly succinct description of exactly what the Church's role in the world is:

Monday, December 28, 2015

Planned Parenthood: The New Herod

May the Holy Innocents intercede for our wicked world before the Throne of God.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Monday, November 2, 2015

Judaizers And All Souls Day

Just an observation. Our current crop of Protestant Judaizers are pretty much all-in on anything Jewish these days. They sell prayer shawls on their tv shows. They make the entire eschaton about God dealing with Israel, hence the rapture. Many long for a third Temple to be built so they can do the animal sacrifice thing. 

Basically, if you can paint a specific activity as remotely Jewish, they are all over it (whether it has anything to do with Biblical Judaism or not).

Except praying for the dead. They'll have no part of that.


Saturday, October 31, 2015

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

So Let's Talk About The Synod

First, as to why I haven't been keeping track of it till now. Frankly, there comes a time when you have to kind of step away from things. There are more than a couple of folks who follow this blog who have had their calm and their faith extremely disturbed by recent events, and I did not want to contribute to that. Staying informed can be a bad thing.

Second, the proceedings themselves were just bizarre. Rules changing by the minute. Confirmation by some that things were being rigged. Denial of those confirmations. Papal denials. All with smiles to the public and reassurances that all was well. The reporting was just weird all by itself and trying to sort through all that probably would have only exacerbated the unease of those I mentioned above.

Anyways, let's talk about some of the highlights.

Initially, Cardinal Erdo came out with a gas can and a blow torch directed at the Kasper Proposal and everybody else who was espousing heresy and other offensive doctrines. This was a big deal because (a) he's the synod's relator general and therefore holds a position of authority and (b) he's the one wh exposed Archbishop Forte's shenanigans at the previous meeting by inserting the now-infamous paragraphs regarding homosexuality into the final draft.

So Cardinal Erdo blasts the heretics in a speech for the ages. You should read the whole thing here. Interestingly enough, this was the last time I recall hearing anything from Cardinal Erdo for the rest of the proceedings. Whether he thought he had done all he could or whether he was silenced, I don't know.

Cardinal Pell worries about conspiracies to rig stuff. Pope Francis says that conspiracy theories are not welcome.

Interventions are given. Some are utterly and completely insane like the suggestion of Jose Luiz Cardinal Lacunza Maestrojuan that we bring back the Mosaic Law. Really. Why don't we just bring back animal sacrifice at the Temple too in the name of full and active participation?

Others were freaking awesome, like that of Cardinal Sarah.

Oh, and Cardinal Danneels was there. Tell me again how all that great curial reform is coming along.

A letter was written to the Pope with concerns that the deck had been stacked. All types of hilarity ensues over who wrote and signed the letter and what it actually said. We are told again that all is well.

Cardinal Marx is claimed to be living up to his reputation as the real bling bishop by wining and dining synod Fathers in lavish style.

Nobody ever really makes the observation of how arrogant these proceedings are against a background of humility being emphasized so consistently. Every pope, saint, Father, and Doctor of the Church who has ever expounded on these matters utterly refutes anything the heretical agenda is promoting. This refutation includes words by God Himself, whether by Our Blessed Lord Jesus or by the Holy Spirit via St. Paul. Yet these mean presume to be their masters and teachers. How prideful can you get?

Coming down to the brass tacks, the final relatio contains no heresy, and we have Cardinal Muller and Cardinal Pell both saying so. And they're right. Yet Cardinal Kasper is also claiming victory as he feels the door is now open for the implementation of his proposal.

They are both right, which is why the final document passed by the barest of margins.

You can read the final relatio if you want. I wouldn't if I were you. Like so many such documents, it uses a lot of words to say very little. It avoids heresy largely by avoiding clarity. It's worthless. The rubber will hit the road in the post-synodal exhortation written by the Pope, who gave a really weird speech after the synod decrying closed minds and hearts and those who didn't like mercy. Make of that what you will.

Here's what it comes down to. If Pope Francis punts this stuff to the local conferences, he hasn't committed heresy, although he could be accused of disastrous policy likely to encourage sacrilege and dangerous to souls. That's about it. The homosexual lobby is probably pretty disappointed right now, but the good news for them is that giving the  Eucharist to the remarried is a step in their direction as well.

My prediction is that, unless Pope Francis really starts packing the College of Cardinals, the next conclave is going to be a hardcore backlash against all this sort of stuff. When that pope tries to restore order and Truth, then we will have our schism and the complicit media will be more than happy to stoke the fires.

My suggestions. You know what the Church teaches and what it doesn't. Don't let CNN convince you otherwise. For that matter, don't let otherwise reliable Catholic apologists who can't imagine a pope making a bad decision about anything convince you otherwise.

Fast. Pray. Write letters to the good bishops defending Our Lord from accusations that He is a liar (which is what the Kasper proposal is). PRAY FOR GUYS LIKE CARDINALS KASPER AND MARX. We probably have a greater obligation to offer prayer and sacrifice for them than for guys like Cardinal Sarah. The well have no need for a physician, after all.

One way or another, all this will pass. Heaven triumphs. Hell loses. Don't ever forget that. Don't forget our brethren dealing with real persecution all over the  world.

Pray. Fast.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Update On Stuff

I ask for your prayers please. I've been revisited by some old health issues once thought long gone.

I will get a synod post up tonight. Thank you to all those who have asked about my absence. On a side note, I'm still fairly active on the twitter feed.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

So Cardinal Danneels Is Back For The Synod

Per Rorate's latest report.

Somebody remind me again of all the wonders wrought by the "reforms" we were promised.

Anybody? Anybody?

Would anyone care to go through Pope Francis's laundry lists of all the bad things that cardinals, priests, and bishops can so and then compare those with Cardinal Danneels's activities? 

Or better yet, would anyone have the guts to compare Cardinal Danneels's record on anything to that if Cardinals Burke, Bagnasco, or any of the other prelates sent into exile over the last couple of years?

I'm guessing no. 

Lord have mercy.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

A Curious Thing About The New Annulment Stuff

Everywhere I go, I hear people wanting the authority of bishops to be reduced.

"The bishop shouldn't have so much control over finances."

"The bishop should let us do Mass the way that best suits our community."

"The bishop needs to stay out of our religious education and faith formation activities. He doesn't even know what's going on here."

Yet there seems to be well-nigh universal ecstasy over the bishop now bearing the onus for determining the validity of a marriage. Now that he doesn't have the benefit of the replay official (for lack of a better analogy), he's got to make sure the call on the field is correct every time. 

If he takes this as seriously as he should, what a horrible burden! If he doesn't, what a dreadful judgment to be under! Yet the laity seem happy enough because they think they are getting what they want. 

What a spoiled culture we are.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

A Note On Southern Culture

I thought this should be mentioned given the controversy recently over the Confederate Battle Flag. If you are from the South, and you think that this guy:

Or this guy:

Would have had anything to do with or shown any approval for activities like this:

Or this:

Then you should have your head examined. Whatever you mean when you talk about flags and "heritage," acting like an ill-mannered, drunken, (insert redneck cliché here) is just being an obnoxious ass, regardless of what part of the country you are from.

That being said, please don't pretend like it has anything to do with the men you claim to revere and idolize. Whatever flaws they may have had, they could and would recognize simple boorish behavior for what it is and would probably beat any man engaging in such activities based on an alleged sanction by the Confederacy.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

New Photo Surfaces Of Planned Parenthood Clinic

It's ok, though. They are making a profit, so it must be good for the country.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Anonymous Satanists

I'm coining a new term today. Lots of people are familiar with the term "anonymous Christianity." This is basically the theory that people who have never heard of Christ or even who have explicitly rejected Him could still be saved through a general orientation of their lives toward Christian values. While I frankly believe the notion to be rife with Pelagianism and fundamental option morality, the only thing relevant to the discussion at the moment is this basic 30,000 foot definition.

In my opinion, there is a problem with the willingness to consider anonymous Christianity without also being willing to consider its opposite number, namely, anonymous Satanism, a phenomenon which utterly saturates our world but is largely ignored. It's getting harder to look the other way, though, as we are given more and more examples of its workings every day.

I doubt very much that the Planned Parenthood folks that we've seen on these videos or the politicians who support them believe in Satan. There's a better than average chance they don't believe in God. 

However, there can be no question about whom they serve. They serve the Prince of Darkness. Sure, they may have never even heard of him. They are more than likely to prideful to admit they serve anyone (other than "the people" of course). They would no doubt claim to reject him if asked about it.

That shouldn't matter. Whether they admit it or not, he is their master, and we shouldn't have a problem saying so.

With this as the case, as hard as it may be, we must pray for these evil people. They are consumed by darkness and are so depraved as to enjoy their status. Ultimately, they are in the grip of the Evil One, and our willingness to ignore that is a shame.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Ven. Pius XII Vs. Modern World Leaders

One thing we can say about the resounding inaction of the world to halt the extermination of Christianity in the Middle East is that it should pretty much puts to rest any criticisms of Venerable Pius XII during WWII.

Well, unless the criticizing party doesn't mind looking like an utter hypocrite, which I concede isn't a problem for a lot of people these days.

Granted, anybody who has paid attention since 1945 knows that the "Hitler's Pope" stuff is a load of crap, but that hasn't kept guys like Wills, Cornwell, and Foxman from amassing a mob of useful idiots to promote their lies.

Still, it's incontrovertible now that His Holiness did act to save hundreds of thousands of Jews during the War. The more recent criticisms usually take the form of "Well, he should have done MORE." 

Given how the world has pretty much gone on record as being ok with a Christian-less Middle East, Papa Pacelli would now seem to have the moral high ground. I think it's certainly obvious that every first-world nation in the world could be doing more right now. And they aren't having to deal with being encircled by a major ally of the genocidal party and being utterly defenseless from military action.

Here's my point. The next time you hear one of the aforementioned idiots slandering the Pope who did so much to save Jews from death and horror, ask them to contrast Pius XII with what we are seeing on the global stage right now. 

There's a way stronger argument that we are dealing with a mass of Mohammed's Presidents, Prime Ministers, Chancellors, etc. than that there was a Hitler's Pope.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

"Is This The End Of Christianity In The Middle East?"

So asks the New York Times.

Gee, guys, how nice of you to notice, much less care.

A a couple of observations about the article.

First, it's somewhat striking that the word "genocide" is used a grand total of twice in the whole article. Once is a reference to the Armenian massacres conducted by the Turks. The other is mentioning the ISIS "threat" of genocide against the Yazidis. You would think that the entire crux of the article, that Christianity is being wiped out in the region of its birth, would merit at least a token use of the term, right?

Second, in its brief discussion of Islamic history, the article basically makes two points. Point A is that Christians were worse to religious minorities than Muslims. It must have been pretty awesome to live under Muslim rule since the article mentions that in such arrangements that "for 1,500 years, different religions thrived side by side."

Point B is made by the utter silence of the article regarding the centuries of Muslim aggression towards the West, specifically Christianity. It literally jumps from the above-mentioned conquest of the Middle East to World War I. Nothing about Spain, Eastern Europe, or that it was well-nigh unrelenting war until Jan Sobieski broke the Mohammedans at Vienna in 1683. Oh, and that whole Armenian genocide thing? It was just a coincidence that pretty much all those people being murdered happened to be Christian. Damn shame how that worked out.

There are a few more points I could make in the same vein, but you get the picture. It's actually a pretty good piece otherwise. You should read it. Maybe download it and save a copy so that future generations will have an understanding of how we knew exactly what was going on while these peoples were exterminated. After all, isn't that part of what made the Holocaust so bad? That people everywhere supposedly knew what was going on and did nothing?

Who am I kidding? The future generations will be so secularized that they won't care either. They'll probably celebrate over how these awful Christians got what they deserved.

This is the face of peace in our time. So when people wax poetic and drop trou about "brave" things like the Vatican's stance on global warming, the Pope's criticisms of capitalism, or the latest presidential candidate's stand on anything, let's remember our persecuted brothers and sisters. Let's recall the Holy Land and the patrimony of the Church, the repeated blasphemies and sacrileges being committed against God at this very moment by the Mohammedans. And let's recall how little to nothing was done to help them. When you see the next great ecumenical gathering sponsored by the Church at which absolutely nothing happens (*cough*ARCIC*cough*), consider what could have been done to maybe airlift out brethren to sanctuary or ransom some families from captivity.

Then wonder at the bravery of the martyrs.

May Our Lady shield them and protect them, and may God Almighty deliver repentance and justice to their tormentors.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Breaking Down Laudato Si (In One Post)

Ok, I know it's been a while, and lots of stuff has gone on, but let me start with this issue.

I’ve gotten a bunch emails asking about the encyclical.

I didn’t read it and won’t be. After Caritas in Veritate and Evangelii Gaudium, I just don’t have it in me. This practice of spending thousands and thousands of words to say very, very little of substance is exhausting, and in modern internet parlance, ain’t nobody got time for that. Moreover, reactions to the encyclical seem to fall into just a couple of different categories:

1. “There’s nothing new or profound here. The Pope is just reiterating a lot of prior teachings under one umbrella. Sure, he buys into global warming, but that’s a small portion of the encyclical, and those parts, while relevant in their overall view of how we understand our role in Creation, don’t obligate us to believe a certain scientific theory.”

2. “The Pope is a Marxist/Modernist/both Marxist and Modernist.”

3. “What did I just read?”

If the first item is true, then I’m not sure why I should take the time to read it. I’m familiar with the Church’s teaching on this subject, so if there’s no new profound study on the matter here, I’m good.

If it’s the second, the above still holds. Why should I disturb my calm? I’m familiar with Church teaching and assent to it. No need to slog through thousands of words to wind up with confusion or simply time that was wasted.

If it’s the third, then I must simply admit that I don’t understand and acknowledge that I’m willing to assent to the Church’s teaching whatever it may be.

I continue to go back to the Pope’s words in EG. He calls for a more simplified presentation of the Faith, yet he produces documents (allegedly written to everyone!) so bloated and convoluted that they are worthless to the average person, of which I am one.

As to the global warming bit, I personally don’t buy into the anthropogenic global warming stuff. If the Pope does and put it in an encyclical, I kind of put that in the same category as the bizarre comment about what “true Islam” is from EG. Anyways, the main difficulty I see most folks having with it is the ability of the Church to pronounce on economic issues.

With all this in mind, I offer the following items that are oft-repeated features of the Church's social doctrine. When confronted with allegedly novel ideas from Laudato Si, my advice is to recall the Church's constant teaching on such matters and take refuge there (emphasis added).

Many believe in or claim that they believe in and hold fast to Catholic doctrine on such questions as social authority, the right of owning private property, on the relations between capital and labor, on the rights of the laboring man, on the relations between Church and State, religion and country, on the relations between the different social classes, on international relations, on the rights of the Holy See and the prerogatives of the Roman Pontiff and the Episcopate, on the social rights of Jesus Christ, Who is the Creator, Redeemer, and Lord not only of individuals but of nations. In spite of these protestations, they speak, write, and, what is more, act as if it were not necessary any longer to follow, or that they did not remain still in full force, the teachings and solemn pronouncements which may be found in so many documents of the Holy See, and particularly in those written by Leo XIII, Pius X, and Benedict XV.

There is a species of moral, legal, and social modernism which We condemn, no less decidedly than We condemn theological modernism.

Pope Pius XI, Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio

In other words, the Church has every right to talk about these things, and it's inappropriate to separate our economic actions from our other moral principles.

Pope Pius XI further emphasized the fundamental opposition between Communism and Christianity, and made it clear that no Catholic could subscribe even to moderate Socialism. The reason is that Socialism is founded on a doctrine of human society which is bounded by time and takes no account of any objective other than that of material well-being. Since, therefore, it proposes a form of social organization which aims solely at production, it places too severe a restraint on human liberty, at the same time flouting the true notion of social authority.

St. John XXIII, Mater et Magistra

Remember this when people try to suggest that the crap of liberation theology can ever be granted sanction by the Church.

Differences of opinion in the application of principles can sometimes arise even among sincere Catholics. When this happens, they should be careful not to lose their respect and esteem for each other. Instead, they should strive to find points of agreement for effective and suitable action, and not wear themselves out in interminable arguments, and, under pretext of the better or the best, omit to do the good that is possible and therefore obligatory.

In their economic and social activities, Catholics often come into contact with others who do not share their view of life. In such circumstances, they must, of course, bear themselves as Catholics and do nothing to compromise religion and morality. Yet at the same time they should show themselves animated by a spirit of understanding and unselfishness, ready to cooperate loyally in achieving objects which are good in themselves, or can be turned to good. Needless to say, when the Hierarchy has made a decision on any point Catholics are bound to obey their directives. The Church has the right and obligation not merely to guard ethical and religious principles, but also to declare its authoritative judgment in the matter of putting these principles into practice.

St. John XXIII, Mater et Magistra

There isn't just one way of talking about these things or remedying problems of social justice, so we should be charitable to each other in our discussions and recognize the legitimacy of these different opinions.

Many other people, while not completely marginalized, live in situations in which the struggle for a bare minimum is uppermost. These are situations in which the rules of the earliest period of capitalism still flourish in conditions of "ruthlessness" in no way inferior to the darkest moments of the first phase of industrialization. In other cases the land is still the central element in the economic process, but those who cultivate it are excluded from ownership and are reduced to a state of quasi-servitude. In these cases, it is still possible today, as in the days of Rerum novarum, to speak of inhuman exploitation. In spite of the great changes which have taken place in the more advanced societies, the human inadequacies of capitalism and the resulting domination of things over people are far from disappearing. In fact, for the poor, to the lack of material goods has been added a lack of knowledge and training which prevents them from escaping their state of humiliating subjection...

In this sense, it is right to speak of a struggle against an economic system, if the latter is understood as a method of upholding the absolute predominance of capital, the possession of the means of production and of the land, in contrast to the free and personal nature of human work. In the struggle against such a system, what is being proposed as an alternative is not the socialist system, which in fact turns out to be State capitalism, but rather a society of free work, of enterprise and of participation. Such a society is not directed against the market, but demands that the market be appropriately controlled by the forces of society and by the State, so as to guarantee that the basic needs of the whole of society are satisfied...

It is the task of the State to provide for the defence and preservation of common goods such as the natural and human environments, which cannot be safeguarded simply by market forces. Just as in the time of primitive capitalism the State had the duty of defending the basic rights of workers, so now, with the new capitalism, the State and all of society have the duty of defending those collective goods which, among others, constitute the essential framework for the legitimate pursuit of personal goals on the part of each individual...

Returning now to the initial question: can it perhaps be said that, after the failure of Communism, capitalism is the victorious social system, and that capitalism should be the goal of the countries now making efforts to rebuild their economy and society? Is this the model which ought to be proposed to the countries of the Third World which are searching for the path to true economic and civil progress?

The answer is obviously complex. If by "capitalism" is meant an economic system which recognizes the fundamental and positive role of business, the market, private property and the resulting responsibility for the means of production, as well as free human creativity in the economic sector, then the answer is certainly in the affirmative, even though it would perhaps be more appropriate to speak of a "business economy", "market economy" or simply "free economy". But if by "capitalism" is meant a system in which freedom in the economic sector is not circumscribed within a strong juridical framework which places it at the service of human freedom in its totality, and which sees it as a particular aspect of that freedom, the core of which is ethical and religious, then the reply is certainly negative.

The Marxist solution has failed, but the realities of marginalization and exploitation remain in the world, especially the Third World, as does the reality of human alienation, especially in the more advanced countries. Against these phenomena the Church strongly raises her voice. Vast multitudes are still living in conditions of great material and moral poverty. The collapse of the Communist system in so many countries certainly removes an obstacle to facing these problems in an appropriate and realistic way, but it is not enough to bring about their solution. Indeed, there is a risk that a radical capitalistic ideology could spread which refuses even to consider these problems, in the a priori belief that any attempt to solve them is doomed to failure, and which blindly entrusts their solution to the free development of market forces.

The Church has no models to present; models that are real and truly effective can only arise within the framework of different historical situations, through the efforts of all those who responsibly confront concrete problems in all their social, economic, political and cultural aspects, as these interact with one another. For such a task the Church offers her social teaching as an indispensable and ideal orientation, a teaching which, as already mentioned, recognizes the positive value of the market and of enterprise, but which at the same time points out that these need to be oriented towards the common good.

St. John Paul II, Centesimus Annus

Don't believe some of the popular hype of the above writings of JPII. He's just as critical of capitalism as other popes. If anything, he's writing against socialism, rather than for capitalism, which he only grants in a limited form. He's certainly not advocating for what you hear from modern libertarians and such.

Just as a side note, take the economics out of it for a moment. Ask yourself if a "radical capitalistic ideology" in terms of our autonomy in every other area isn't how we got into the state of utter moral freefall that we find ourselves now. After all, if it's laissez faire with regards to our economic life, how does that remain separate from everything else? 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Help Me Out With This

Eugenio Scalfari makes scandalous comments about how Pope Francis doesn't believe in sin and admits that the interviews he recounts aren't all that representative of the truth, causing confusion for Catholics all over the world.

He is subsequently rewarded with further interviews and access to the Pope.

Sandro Magister "violates" some vaguely worded "embargo" on an encyclical's publication, and his press credentials with the Vatican are revoked altogether.

How does that makes sense from a perspective of justice or mercy?

Thursday, June 11, 2015

RIP Christopher Lee

He lived a truly extraordinary life. And, as far as I can tell, kept the Faith until he died. I offer the following because I've already seen it referenced in at least one other place.

Christopher Lee was most definitely not an occultist and offered sober words for those who would dabble in such things.

Rest in peace, Sir Christopher.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

An Exercise In Neo-Nominalism

I offer the following items ripped from today's headlines.

Examine the following image/caption pairings? Consider if said pairing conforms with reality.


If you take the position that either actually makes for anything other than nonsense, then you have successfully reduced the essences of things to mere labels.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Random Thought

Is there really any reason to believe anything that Cardinal Kasper says about anything?

Other than that he wishes that Africans and Asians would stop doing what God wants, I mean.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Top News Stories

A few things that seem to be more important than the ongoing annihilation of Christians in the Middle East:

1. Gay people's access to baked goods.
2. Fake monarchs having kids.
3. Reality tv stars' criminal pasts (whether adults or kids)
4. The normalcy of a former athlete mutilating himself.
5. Presidential ambitions of people you've never heard of more than a year before the election.

It's an odd world when these things stir up so many passions, while genocide is treated as a fait accompli.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Super-Hero Movies, Cultural Genocide, And Fr. Zuhlsdorf's Mistake

Given the latest media backlash, I guess you can have too much of a good thing. Super-hero movies are coming under an odd assortment of criticisms lately. Well, odd until you consider the sources, I suppose. As a Catholic, amateur film critic, and promoter of comic book literature, I feel I have to respond to some of these.

First, there's the outrage over Black Widow's treatment in Age of Ultron.


I had trouble finding articles that were somewhat family friendly about this topic. This one is the best I could do. Has anyone noticed that so many of these secularist hipster darlings can't write about anything without f-bombs and such? Anyways, people are mad at Joss Whedon (the same guy who gave us Buffy, Faith, and Firefly) mainly because of two things:

1. He portrays Natasha Romanov as being willing to fall in love.
2. He portrays Natasha Romanov as sad over the fact that she can't have children.

These set her up as a natural contrast to her friend Hawkeye who has done both of these things. But yes, this is why so many people now hate Joss Whedon and the Avengers. They dared to show a woman who wanted to have a family.

This is what our reality has come to. A woman who wants these things is considered boring, weak, and worthless.


Second, you have guys like Simon Pegg, a fan of the genre and one of my favorite actors, accusing super-hero movies, sci-fi, and the like of "infantilizing" and "dumbing down" the population. In his mind, these things are distracting us from "real world issues," and he specifically desires more "amoral" movies to help with that.

Worse than that, you have Alejandro Inarritu, who just won the Oscar as director of Birdman (which won a whole bunch of other Oscars too), saying stuff like this:

They have been poison, this cultural genocide, because the audience is so overexposed to plot and explosions and shit that doesn't mean nothing about the experience of being human.

He also makes the claim that such movies are about "killing people because they do not believe in what you believe, or they are not being who you want them to be." Let's just ignore the fact that most super-heroes are bitterly opposed to killing anyone. It's also quite plain from his language here that Alejandro is extremely tolerant of opposing views.

Finally, you've got Fr. Zuhlsdorf, who has discovered that Daredevil is Catholic in the Netflix show, just as he is in the comic books. Fr. Z comments thusly:

As with any “comic book”, for that’s what this is, don’t expect depth.

I've got bad news for Fr. Z. If you go to the local Benedict Option Cinema, it's pretty much super-hero movies making up about 1/2 of the releases of the last decade. Look at what the secularist mavens are worried about with these films. They teach a concrete and traditional moral message, and a lot of people are going to see them.

What do the secularists want? Movies that lack this and show no moral compass at all. I daresay that super-hero movies are the only consistent productions nowadays that have any true depth at all. What currently passes for such is usually a banal relativism or simple nihilism. Which is deeper, the struggle for virtue against all odds or the white flag of surrender wherein the feature concludes, "Eh, who cares about that crap? We all die in the end anyway."

On a side note, I'm sure if someone made a movie about any of the exponentially proliferating homosexual super-heroes (Really DC/Marvel? Alan Scott? Iceman? Really?) that the above critics would be raving about how fantastic it was.

Wake up, Father. The war is being fought in this very arena, and our best weapons are coming under attack.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Abortion And Political Morality

I saw a report on the news this weekend about how Nebraska's legislature has voted to abolish the death penalty in that state. There were clips of some speeches and an interview with one guy about why he was pushing this issue.

It was mentioned several times that capital punishment is of questionable morality and that this was a reason for many a vote to get rid of it. 

We hear this all the time from death penalty opponents, and I have no problems with their making such an argument. Likewise, I don't have a problem with individuals saying that deficit reduction, specific tax policies, minimum wage increases, and so forth are items that should be pursued/not pursued because "it's the right thing to do" (as the President is often saying). I might not agree with these arguments, but I don't think they are invalid simply because they invoke morality. I daresay most other people do the same.

Unless it's abortion. When abortion is the subject, all of a sudden, we have to check morality at the door. How many times have we heard a politician justify child murder by saying "I can't impose my morals on other people"?

Yet this same politician will be more than willing to defend a certain perspective on entitlement spending or military action based entirely on what they themselves perceive as moral. There is no concern whatsoever on imposing one's view of what the moral wage rate, tax rate, or drone strike etc happens to be on the rest of the population.

Why is abortion different? Not only is it different, it is sacrosanct among the American left. 

I guess the morality of child murder just isn't all that important.