Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Clarifications From Ecclesia Dei

The story broke not long ago about some new clarifications on Summorum Pontificum from the Pontifical Council Ecclesia Dei. I got it from the New Liturgical Movement folks, and I thank them for helping to get this story out. Here are the clarifying items, as summarized by the NLM guys:

1. If there is no other possibility, because for instance in all churches of a diocese the liturgies of the Sacred Triduum are already being celebrated in the Ordinary Form, the liturgies of the Sacred Triduum may, in the same church in which they are already celebrated in the Ordinary Form, be additionally celebrated in the Extraordinary Form, if the local ordinary allows.

Not sure how big a deal this is. You have the bishop still with some discretion over the EF but in a very limited fashion, especially considering what follows.

2. A Mass in the usus antiquior may replace a regularly scheduled Mass in the Ordinary Form. The question contextualizes that in many churches Sunday Masses are more or less scheduled continually, leaving free only very incovenient mid afternoon slots, but this is merely context, the question posed being general. The answer leaves the matter to the prudent judgement of the parish priest, and emphasises the right of a stable group to assist at Mass in the Extraordinary Form.

Wow. That is pretty huge. This is a huge restriction on a bishop's ability to interfere with the offering of the EF, which has been unfortunately way too widespread a phenomenon.

3. A parish priest may schedule a public Mass in the Extraordinary Form on his own accord (i.e. without the request of a group of faithful) for the benefit of the faithful including those unfamiliar with the usus antiquior. The response of the Commission here is identical to no. 2.

No need for the bishop. No need for a specific number of people to ask. The priest can do so whenever he wants, including apparently, for the purpose of introducing the laity to the EF. This is even more a gift than #2.

4. The calendar, readings or prefaces of the 1970 Missale Romanum may not be substituted for those of the 1962 Missale Romanum in Masses in the Extraordinary Form.

This is good and was something that bothered me for a while. The EF does not need to be merged with the OF. It's a separate thing and trying to integrate the OF stuff into the EF isn't going to do anything but cause a further diminishing of the EF's whole foundation and structure. If we're going to have it and promote it's use, let's be honest about it and do it right.

5. While the liturgical readings (Epistle and Gospel) themselves have to be read by the priest (or deacon/subdeacon) as foreseen by the rubrics, a translation to the vernacular may afterwards be read also by a layman.

I also don't know that this is a big deal. Wasn't this already being done?

Some folks were wondering why I hadn't reported on this. The reason is because I'm not sure what real effect it's going to have. We're already seeing folks freaking out and advocating de facto schism over the new translation of the Pauline Mass. I can't imagine what the effect is going to be if some of these priests who have been struggling against bishops who have rejected the motu proprio try to avail themselves of these new provisions. I wonder what my bishop here will do.

I guess I'll have to write him another letter and find out.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

They are going to do it anyway!

Philip asks in a comment for my thoughts. Here they are:

If you decide that the fact that people will do bad things means that one ought to take steps to make it easier for people to bad things, you then take away any necessity for virtue.

Why need I be chaste, if there is no danger of pregnancy or disease? If the social safety net makes sure that my misdeeds won't hurt anyone, then are they even misdeeds? Free condoms and needles for all!

The problem: without virtues, none of us will ever be pure of heart. None of us will ever see God, as is promised to the pure of heart by Jesus Christ.

So, it may seem like the compassionate thing to do for us to make sure our children are adequately contracepted, but it is only a seeming. The compassionate thing to do is to teach chastity, that is, self-control, so that we may approach God more easily.

Gay Sex Is Only Bad If You Aren't Gay

What did logic ever do to Gene Robinson to make him abuse it so? Gene, if you'll recall, was the Episcopalians first openly gay bishop. We've mentioned his utter lack of coherent thought in prior posts like this one. From this article in CNS, it looks like he's still pushing the idea of "gay Christianity" (whatever that means). This time, he's talking about St. Paul's words in Romans:

Wherefore, God gave them up to the desires of their heart, unto uncleanness: to dishonour their own bodies among themselves. Who changed the truth of God into a lie and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause, God delivered them up to shameful affections. For their women have changed the natural use into that use which is against nature. And, in like manner, the men also, leaving the natural use of the women, have burned in their lusts, one towards another: men with men, working that which is filthy and receiving in themselves the recompense which was due to their error. And as they liked not to have God in their knowledge, God delivered them up to a reprobate sense, to do those things which are not convenient.

Romans 1:24-28

According to Gene, everybody who has ever read this passage in the history of Christianity up until now has had it all wrong. Paul isn't condemning homosexuality except when it's practiced by heterosexuals.

“We have to understand that the notion of a homosexual sexual orientation is a notion that’s only about 125 years old," Bishop Robinson told "That is to say, St. Paul was talking about people that he understood to be heterosexual engaging in same-sex acts. It never occurred to anyone in ancient times that a certain minority of us would be born being affectionally oriented to people of the same sex.”

Where is that in the text? Nowhere, of course. Gene is relying on this idea of "orientation" to somehow make a whole new category of non-culpability for sin. It sounds a bit like a case of Immaculate Corruption. Does the same go for every other sin? After all, Paul himself sure seemed to struggle with some sinful orientations of some kind:

For I do not that good which I will: but the evil which I hate, that I do. If then I do that which I will not, I consent to the law, that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it: but sin that dwells in me. For I know that there dwells not in me, that is to say, in my flesh, that which is good. For to will is present with me: but to accomplish that which is good, I find not. For the good which I will, I do not: but the evil which I will not, that I do.

Romans 7:15-19

Not to mention that Jews seem to have some concept of homosexuality in general:

You shall not lie with mankind as with womankind: because it is an abomination.

Leviticus 18:22

But maybe Gene addresses this later:

“The other thing about St. Paul,” Robinson said, “is that he was also speaking out against a practice known to him and both the Roman and the Greek world, and would have been known in the Palestinian culture there of an older man taking a younger boy under his wing, using him sexually, and so on. No one’s—that’s child abuse. No one is arguing for that today. We would all be against that. We would all agree with St. Paul on that.”

No, instead he's chosen to change the subject completely. First, Paul was talking about heterosexuals performing homosexual acts. Now, he's talking about child abuse. Which is it? Or perhaps the better question- Where the hell is Robinson getting this crap?

“So the real question when you look at scripture is, ‘What did it mean to the person who wrote it?’” said Bishop Robinson. “’What did it mean for the audience to whom it was written?’

I'm pretty sure it meant what Paul said it meant in the context of his being a Jew familiar with such condemnations and writing to an audience living in a culture with rampant homosexuality. Read up on Nero and Sporus if you doubt this.

And only then can we ask, ‘Is it eternally binding?’ And in this case, I would say, the things that St. Paul was against, I’m against, too.” Robinson added, “The question is, are there any answers there for what we’re asking today, which is the rightfulness of faithful, monogamous, lifelong-intentioned relationships between people of the same sex, and the Bible simply does not address that.”

Translation: "I'm Gene Robinson, and I'm gay. Since I can't possibly be wrong, there's no way what Paul said can pertain to me." asked the follow-up question, “So you would say then that St. Paul is incorrect in this passage?”

Bishop Robinson said, “No. I think St. Paul was absolutely correct in his own context given what he knew, and given the behavior which he was describing. The questions we’re asking today are about a completely different set of circumstances.”

More like in Gene's own context.

Friday, February 19, 2010

First Crop Of Anglicans Get Tickets For The Barque Of Peter

The Times had the story:

Forward in Faith Australia, part of the Anglo-Catholic group that also has members in Britain and America, is setting up a working party guided by a Catholic bishop to work out how its followers can cross over to Rome.

It is believed to be the first group within the Anglican church to accept Pope Benedict XVI’s unprecedented offer for disaffected members of the Communion to convert en masse while retaining parts of their spiritual heritage.

So far only the Traditional Anglican Communion, which has already broken away from the 70 million-strong Anglican Communion, has declared that its members will become Catholics under the Apostolic Constitution.

Somebody tell Rowan. The last thing he needs is more surprises. However, we have to be careful here. It's not all roses and rainbows:

The Rt Rev David Robarts OAM, chairman of FIF Australia, said members of the association felt excluded by the Anglican Church in Australia, which had not provided them with a bishop to champion their conservative views on homosexuality and women bishops.

"We're not shifting the furniture, we're simply saying that we have been faithful Anglicans upholding what Anglicans have always believed and we're not wanting to change anything, but we have been marginalised by people who want to introduce innovations. We need to have bishops that believe what we believe."

I hope this second paragraph is a paraphrase or something because from a Catholic perspective it's completely inacceptable. The whole point here is that these Anglicans can't just keep "upholding what Anglicans have always believed" and not "change anything." Read the apostolic constitution. This isn't Cardinal Kaspar's party anymore. The very fact of becoming Catholic means abjuring Anglican errors, in other words, a change. I hope Mr. Robarts understands this. He's going to have to be ordained again. He's going to have to accept the primacy of the Holy Father. And so on, and so forth.

St. Augustine of Canterbury, pray for them (and us).

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Observation On Ash Wednesday

Why do so many folks show up for Ash Wednesday, yet are nowhere to be seen on the Feast of the Assumption?

I think we had more people at Mass yesterday than at the Feasts of the Immaculate Conception, Mother of God, and All Saints Day combined. Why?

I'm not knocking Ash Wednesday, but it's not a Holy Day of Obligation. You know, one of those days where if you miss Mass, it's a mortal sin. As in, one of those sins that purges your soul of sanctifying grace, destroys your friendship with God, and renders you worthy of damnation.

Is it that much more important to get some ashes on your head than to obey the Church and treat as important what She teaches to be important?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Vatican Has Crappy Taste In Music

There. I said it. Granted, it's from Osservatore Romano, so it probably doesn't count, but geez, I'd like to know who came up with this (from The Register):

The Vatican has prescribed the perfect iPod playlist for Catholics looking to spend their summer trailing between carefree rock festivals rather than scouring their soul on foot-lacerating pilgramages.

The list, published in Vatican freesheet Osservatore Romano, is noticeable for having no overtly religious leanings. While it does feature sometime Gloria singers U2, Bono is these days more famous for acting as if he is Jesus than for singing about him.

Thank goodness. Who knows what sorts of apocalyptic hijinks might erupt if allegedly Catholic newspapers actually leaned towards religious stuff. Or even Catholic stuff.

Check out what's on the list, though:

The Beatles- Revolver


David Crosby- If I Could Only Remember My Name


Pink Floyd- Dark Side of the Moon

Sucks (unless you are watching it with The Wizard of Oz)

Fleetwood Mac- Rumours


Donald Fagen- The Nightfly


Michael Jackson- Thriller

Doesn't suck, but come on. Is this really an album or singer that should be promoted by a Vatican journal?

Paul Simon- Graceland


U2- Achtung Baby

Doesn't suck

Oasis- (What's the Story) Morning Glory?

Really sucks

Carlos Santana- Supernatural


Looking at this, it's pretty easy to see how liturgical music has been devastated over the last few decades.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Follow-Up Re: Divine Chastisement

I found a good illustration of my prior point on divine punishment and the suffering of innocents that we talked about here.

My kids were watching Prince of Egypt and the plagues scene came up. Take note of what Moses says around the 1:07 mark.

People aren't suffering because of any badness on God's part. They are suffering because of Ramses's sin. Sure, it's easy for him to try and shirk the blame off on Moses, but it's pretty clear that all the devastation and blood spilled (including and especially the death of the first-born) is all on Ramses.

Anyways, just thought it was a good example of what I was trying to say.

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Dominican Sisters On Oprah

As mentioned earlier, Oprah did a show with some Dominican sisters to discuss their way of life. Since it really didn't have any of Oprah's typical blasphemy when dealing with religious topics, I was very happy to find them on YouTube for posting. Enjoy:

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Promotion For Archbishop Ranjith?

Archbishop Ranjith has had some pretty bold statements lately, especially about the liturgy. Most folks know his opinion on communion in the hand, and we've detailed his other ideas here. Now, Rorate has posted a report from the Union of Catholic Asia News that he might be up for a red hat.

This would be great for more than just the above reasons. His comments there are great, but they are more powerful coming from a guy from Sri Lanka. A lot of the liturgical nonsense I've heard comes from people who think the Mass needs to be a free-for-all so that people from different cultures can change it the way they want so they can "fit in" better. A guy like +Ranjith taking the opposing view is a blow to that perspective.

Cardinal Mahony's Successor

Who will it be?

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles said Thursday a search is under way for a successor to Cardinal Roger Mahony, who has spent 25 years as the spiritual leader of the nation's largest diocese and presided over a record-breaking clergy abuse settlement.

Does it even matter?

It's hard to imagine someone farther off the reservation. Whether it's the above-mentioned handling of the abuse scandal, his complete lack of reverence for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, or his incredibly bizarre views on the priest shortage, I can't say that I'll be sad to see him go.

Pray for the Holy Father in appointing his replacement.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Breaking News: Hitler Has Been Briefed On The Pope's Popularity

There are a million variations of this scene on youtube, but this one was especially fitting for distribution here. I don't share the Fuhrer's optimism regarding the Orthodox, nor do I think he properly characterizes the Regensburg speech, but it's too funny to let these minor disagreements get in the way:

Thursday, February 11, 2010

How Clueless Is Rowan?

You have to wonder sometimes, especially when he makes comments like this:

The Archbishop of Canterbury warned yesterday that damaging infighting over women bishops and gay priests could result in a permanent split in the Anglican Communion.

No freaking way. Somebody call Geraldo. This could be the story of the century.

Was he not at the press conference when the new Anglican structures were unveiled? You know, the ones set up to enable the conversion of potentially hundreds of thousands of Rowan's nominally existent flock.

Dr Rowan Williams stressed that he did not “want or relish” the prospect of division. He called on the Church of England and Anglicans worldwide to step back from a “betrayal” of God’s mission and to put the work of Christ before schism.

Tell me, Rowan, what is this God's mission of which you speak? Might it be a small problem that your peeps in the "Communion" can't even agree on what that is?

Referring to the unity document currently being developed as a way of finding a common doctrine, Dr Williams admitted: “It may be that the covenant creates a situation in which there are different levels of relationship between those claiming the name of Anglican. I don’t at all want or relish this, but suspect that, without a major change of heart all round, it may be an unavoidable aspect of limiting the damage we are already doing to ourselves.”

Interesting how he is preaching about unity, but basically lays down the reasons for why unity among Protestants is impossible. "Finding common doctrine" is an impossibility for those who find their true authority in their own wills.

The best that Rowan can do is propose multiple levels of common ruin:

In such a structure, some churches would be given full membership of the Anglican Communion, with others on an outside, lower-level track with only observer status on some issues.

Sort of like having different tiers of mileage points or discounts at Sears. For all practical purposes, it sounds to me like acknowledging there is a schism, but being imaginative enough to come up with a bunch of different labels for the schismatics to avoid actually using the s-word. It's not that there is one Lord, one Faith, and one baptism. There are multiple shades of each. How could something this brilliant not work?

It reminds me of Stripes where Bill Murray points out that it's erroneous to claim that a shirt is clean or dirty. There are many subtle levels to be considered.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Oprah Can Be Good For Something

She was talking to the Dominican (yay!) Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist today.

Some of the stats they gave were amazing. You can find them on the web site, too. Almost 100 sisters, with the AVERAGE AGE OF 26!!!!!

This is after starting with 4 sisters back in 1997. Holy smokes.

How inspiring. It almost makes you want to cry.

God bless these wonderful women and all of our faithful religious.

I Had To Go To Comment Moderation

The porn-mongers were getting on my nerves.

Sorry for any inconvenience this might cause.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Am I A Bad Person?

My son was watching ESPNews on Friday. Yes, I realize that I shouldn't let him watch idiots pretend to know things about sports, but that's not the topic of this post.

The story at the time was about a New Orleans priest (not naming names) and his devotion to the New Orleans Saints. Some focus was given to the team fanfare given at Mass, which ranged from the priest donning a Darren Sharper jersey for his homilies to dual-meaning songs associated with the team (eg- When the Saints Go Marching In), to cheers and such amongst the laity at Mass.

I cannot help but find this conduct offensive. Watching the video of this made me nauseous.

Should this not bother me? Is this really all that different from clown Mass?

I'm sure the people above were very "nice" and "had good intentions." You could say the same things about the folks in the Unholy Crap video. Does good intention make it ok? I don't think so. In all three instances, everybody is having fun and well-entertained. I'm sure that all parties involved would tell you that the experience "brought them closer to God" and was "wonderful" in every imaginable way.

It's still wrong. It's the warm-and-fuzzies that make it so hard to correct, though. When the Mass ceases to be focused on God, it becomes an instrument to satiate the emotions of the participants. God's work is ejected in favor of the people's creation. And anybody wanting to see a reverent Mass actually conducted according to the mind of the Church and all the real saints of the Church Triumphant are condemned as Pharisees and integrists.

I don't think that's the case, but it seems like this would be the minority opinion.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Best Start Prepping For Lent This Week

Oh, and Go Colts.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Sacrsanctum Concilium, Pt. 4

Mother Church earnestly desires that all the faithful should be led to that fully conscious, and active participation in liturgical celebrations which is demanded by the very nature of the liturgy. Such participation by the Christian people as "a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a redeemed people (1 Pet. 2:9; cf. 2:4-5), is their right and duty by reason of their baptism.

In the restoration and promotion of the sacred liturgy, this full and active participation by all the people is the aim to be considered before all else; for it is the primary and indispensable source from which the faithful are to derive the true Christian spirit; and therefore pastors of souls must zealously strive to achieve it, by means of the necessary instruction, in all their pastoral work.

Here we again see the emphasis on participation that has been the foundation for probably 100% of the liturgical abuses seen today, as well as the rationale for disregarding a large part of what the liturgy constitution actually says. Remember, participation has basically already been defined, and it isn't all about saying stuff, doing things, or speaking in the vernacular.

Yet it would be futile to entertain any hopes of realizing this unless the pastors themselves, in the first place, become thoroughly imbued with the spirit and power of the liturgy, and undertake to give instruction about it. A prime need, therefore, is that attention be directed, first of all, to the liturgical instruction of the clergy. Wherefore the sacred Council has decided to enact as follows:

Pay attention, clergy. The Church is going to instruct you on something. The very fact that you are being instructed should indicate that making the Mass up as you go is not an option.

Professors who are appointed to teach liturgy in seminaries, religious houses of study, and theological faculties must be properly trained for their work in institutes which specialize in this subject.

The study of sacred liturgy is to be ranked among the compulsory and major courses in seminaries and religions houses of studies; in theological faculties it is to rank among the principal courses. It is to be taught under its theological, historical, spiritual, pastoral, and juridical aspects. Moreover, other professors, while striving to expound the mystery of Christ and the history of salvation from the angle proper to each of their own subjects, must nevertheless do so in a way which will clearly bring out the connection between their subjects and the liturgy, as also the unity which underlies all priestly training. This consideration is especially important for professors of dogmatic, spiritual, and pastoral theology and for those of holy scripture.

I think this is important, given some of the phenomenon we are seeing that orients the liturgy away from God and towards being some sort of social gathering. Vatican II says that all seminary topics are to illustrate their connections to the liturgy. The liturgy then directs us to God. You'd think something described as this significant would command more respect.

In seminaries and houses of religious, clerics shall be given a liturgical formation in their spiritual life. For this they will need proper direction, so that they may be able to understand the sacred rites and take part in them wholeheartedly; and they will also need personally to celebrate the sacred mysteries, as well as popular devotions which are imbued with the spirit of the liturgy. In addition they must learn how to observe the liturgical laws, so that life in seminaries and houses of religious may be thoroughly influenced by the spirit of the liturgy.

There are those pesky popular devotions again.

And laws? The liturgy has laws? Who knew?

Priests, both secular and religious, who are already working in the Lord's vineyard are to be helped by every suitable means to understand ever more fully what it is that they are doing when they perform sacred rites; they are to be aided to live the liturgical life and to share it with the faithful entrusted to their care.

With zeal and patience, pastors of souls must promote the liturgical instruction of the faithful, and also their active participation in the liturgy both internally and externally, taking into account their age and condition, their way of life, and standard of religious culture. By so doing, pastors will be fulfilling one of the chief duties of a faithful dispenser of the mysteries of God; and in this matter they must lead their flock not only in word but also by example.

This is a sorely lacking area. The faithful are supposed to RECEIVE liturgical instruction. Instead, we've made this whole thing bass-ackwards. The laity are now giving the liturgical instruction to the priest. Parish committees are whipping out liturgical aberrations on a regular basis with many of them thinking that they have the right and/or authority to do so. And they'll probably say that it's Vatican II that lets them do it.

Transmissions of the sacred rites by radio and television shall be done with discretion and dignity, under the leadership and direction of a suitable person appointed for this office by the bishops. This is especially important when the service to be broadcast is the Mass.

An interesting tidbit, especially given the increased frequency of such instances with places like EWTN or the ND Mass that shows (used to show?) on the Hallmark Channel.

The rest of the constitution's first chapter deals with the norms laid down for the liturgical reform itself, so we'll work on that in our next entry.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Sin On The Silver Screen

Boniface over at Unam Sanctam had an interesting post on Hollywood actors and their reproduction of sinful activities on camera. This is something I've always kind of wondered about. I have a lot of vices associated with the media that I find entertaining. I like horror movies, for example. Lots of sin in those and usually in graphic fashion.

Especially interesting was his treatment of blasphemy and sex. And I should also mention that he uses Catholic actors as his examples.

The saddest thing is that, from a strictly thematic viewpoint, sexuality and blasphemy never add to the plot of a film (unless the film itself is about blasphemy or sexuality, in which case it should have never been made). Think about it - was it necessary in order to move the plot of Braveheart along to see Mel Gibson nude with another woman? It the storyline of Back to the Future benefitted or deepend by having Marty say "GD"? How does it add to the themes of revenge and justice in the The Count of Monte Cristo to see a half-clothed Jim Caviezel two times simulating sex with another woman? In all of these cases, the films would have lost nothing by simply omitting these scenes; in fact, they would have gained much. Depicting sins like this add nothing to the plot and only make the film more difficult to watch for Christians who are embarassed and scandalized by this behavior.

Make sure you check out the whole thing.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

This Has Nothing To Do With The Church

But some things are so awesome that they deserve mention anyway.

Cardinal Pell Getting A Promotion?

Rorate seems to think maybe so:

There is currently much talk in the blogosphere that George Cardinal Pell is a strong candidate to be the replacement of Cardinal Re in the Congregation for Bishops.

In addition to the Congregation for Bishops, Cardinal Pell is also being mentioned as a possible Prefect for the Congregation of the Evangelization of People.

Cardinal Pell is one reason I've considered Australia as my primary alternative to the US should things here ever get really bad.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

And Society Reaches A New Low

The pace at which we accomplish this feat is clearly accelerating. Kathleen Parker at the Washington Post fills us in on this one:

At first glance, bump-the-show sounds like a reasonable response to "Bump," the show -- a new, faux-reality Web-based docudrama featuring actors trying to decide whether to have an abortion.

God help us.

Although the idea is to humanize the debate, none of the characters is especially sympathetic. Each of the three women ostensibly selected from a "pool" of 300 is pregnant under varying circumstances with which viewers are expected to relate. To be clear, no one is really pregnant. The actors are all young and white, despite the fact that blacks have abortions at five times the rate of whites. The doctor, however, is African American -- a man who combines the reassuring manner of Marcus Welby with the ethereal wisdom of Bagger Vance.

Oh, nobody is really pregnant? I guess that makes this ok, then. We're just going to PRETEND that a whole group of people will be deciding whether or not to kill babies. Thank goodness. For a second, I thought that we had crossed a line or something.

You might be wondering what sparked the creation of this show.

The idea for the "show," which launches Monday, was inspired, of all things, by Barack Obama's commencement address at Notre Dame University last year. When the president said he wanted "to find ways to communicate about a workable solution to the problem of unintended pregnancies," executive producer Dominic Iocco conceived "Bump."

There you have it. I'm sure that, by the time all the great fruits of the Obama speech are measured, we'll have so much dialogue that we won't have a pot to urinate in. Sure, a bunch of babies might die in the interim, but with all that common ground, dialogue, and secular common good we'll be spreading, it will all be worth it.

And people wonder why God would punish a nation.