Thursday, 07 January

22:30

No time to end the blog [The Sensible Bond]

You see how impossible this job has become? I have not even found the time to take the blog down when I promised!

A valedictory post is still in the making, and will possibly be delivered by the end of this weekend. We'll see.

Meanwhile, thanks for the various messages of support. Oremus pro invicem.

20:50

The Church’s Future, Always Brighter Than It Looks [Ethika Politika]

mills 7

A few days ago The Guardian ran an article titled “Drowning in commitments? It’s time to stop giving a damn.” An excerpt from an upcoming self-help book, it mixed good advice about setting boundaries with the promotion of narcissism and selfishness in defining those boundaries. It promised freedom from guilt in an attractively bright and breezy style. It wasn’t satisfying. The writer had no clear idea what man is for and therefore what we should do for others and what we should do for ourselves. Her argument wasn’t founded on any coherent anthropology. It left unanswered the question of by what criterion we can decide how to treat others, and it left unsatisfied both the human instinct for self-sacrifice and the human desire for the friendship and community that depends upon mutual deference. Her answer was mostly “If you don’t want to do what other people want you to do, screw ’em.” A Reason for Hope It isn’t satisfying, and thereby gives one small example of the Church’s continuing appeal, and a reason for hope when anxious Catholics are wringing their hands and triumphant secularists are crowing. People find themselves overwhelmed by the demands other people make on them, yet also want the community mutual sacrifices enable and want to be the kind of people who sacrifice for others, because they believe the good life requires it. Look at most movie heroes. The best the world—weirdly enough the same world that produces and consumes the movies—can typically provide is spirited instruction to stop giving a damn. In this case, the Church provides the criteria the world wants. It helps you see what you, as a human being and as a particular individual, are for, what you were made to be and do. It helps you discern and order the demands placed upon you. It helps you see what sacrifices are good and needed and which divert you from doing what you are called to do. It doesn’t directly answer every specific question, but it can come close to doing so. It does so with a depth and coherence the Guardian’s writer and her peers, even the more sophisticated and less selfish ones, can’t match. Philosophy could provide this as well, but far fewer people will turn to philosophy than turn to religion. And the Church has the great advantage over philosophy of incorporating philosophy’s insights into a greater and deeper understanding of the world, and providing the sacraments, the practical aids to purification and holiness and therefore greater insight. Philosophy can offer its own version of “Take up your cross,” but not the life in Christ that can also say—and consistently with the cross-bearing—“for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Wherever you look, the typical worldly answers fall short, and even the best answers, like those we get from the great philosophers, can’t give man everything he wants and needs. The Church is always in the world saying to the first (the typical answers) “Not exactly, try this” and to the second (the philosophers’ answers) “Yes, but there’s more.” The Antidote the World Needs This is a broader application of a point Chesterton made about the saints. “The Saint is a medicine because he is an antidote. Indeed that is why the saint is often a martyr; he is mistaken for a poison because he is an antidote,” he wrote in his book on St. Francis. “He will generally be found restoring the world to sanity by exaggerating whatever the world neglects, which is by no means always the same element in every age. Yet each generation seeks its saint by instinct; and he is not what the people want, but rather what the people need.” This is the reason Jesus spoke of his people as salt, Chesterton writes, and continues: “Therefore it is the paradox of history that each generation is converted by the saint who contradicts it most.” St. Francis, of all people,
had a curious and almost uncanny attraction for the Victorians; for the nineteenth century English who seemed superficially to be most complacent about their commerce and their common sense. ... St. Francis of Assisi was the only medieval Catholic who really became popular in England on his own merits. It was largely because of a subconscious feeling that the modern world had neglected those particular merits. The English middle classes found their only missionary in the figure, which of all types in the world they most despised; an Italian beggar.
The Church always has reason for hope because she always has—and she alone has—the complete and exact life and truth the world needs. Her answer to the pressing question “What should I do for others?” is just one example. The world will always know, at some level, that it needs what only Christianity can provide. The world may often turn away because it mistakes the antidote for a poison, but when it is sick enough some will always come to the Church to be healed. See also the author’s The Catholic Church’s Painful, Joyful Hope.

The post The Church’s Future, Always Brighter Than It Looks appeared first on Ethika Politika.

19:14

Invitation to faith. [Catholic Sacristan]

The message of Christianity is simple, is it not?

Iesus Christus Dominus est. Jesus Christ is Lord.
Laudetur Iesus Christus! Praised be Jesus Christ!

Christianity is about a person—Jesus Christ. Through His Church, Jesus invites you to enter into a loving communion with Him and the Church He founded. The Catholic family embraces all people in the name of Christ.
  1. Faith is a gift of God. There is hope, and joy and peace which only Jesus can give. Know that Jesus forgives all sins. No matter what you've done in the past, Jesus loves you and wants you to be with Him. The way to life is to trust in Jesus for the help to leave behind every obstacle to His free gift of love.
  2. Pray! Ask Jesus to reveal Himself to you. Ask for the gift of faith (Hint: if you're willing to ask, you're already halfway there!). Pray and really mean what you say. Ask for forgiveness for any and all wrongs you have committed. Leave your old life behind. Be ready to follow Jesus wherever He leads you.
  3. Meet with a priest and ask to be instructed in the Faith.
  4. Read the Holy Bible. Start with the Holy Gospel according to Saint Mark. Read Holy Scripture with the constant thought that God is speaking to you. Savour every word. Find yourself, your story, in the various stories told in Scripture. There are lots of versions of the Bible available. Find a Catholic Bible that is not a paraphrase. The Revised Standard Version-Catholic Edition is a fine version. Read the Bible along with a reliable Catholic commentary on Holy Scripture [link]. Read the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church [link].
  5. Accept Jesus as Lord of your life. Strive to be like Him in all things. Love God and love your neighbour. Love your enemies; pray for your persecutors (St. Matthew 5:44; St. Luke 6:28; Romans 12:14). Ask God for the grace to grow in holiness, in likeness to Jesus.
  6. Enter into an intimate communion with Jesus Christ and the Church that He founded on the Apostle Peter by being baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
  7. Attend Holy Mass and, once you have been received into the Church, receive the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.
  8. Embrace the Gospel on a daily basis.
  9. When you stumble, go to confession and ask for forgiveness and be restored to a closer friendship with God and His Church. Have the honesty to examine your life and to make the necessary course corrections as often as necessary as you seek to grow in holiness (Catechism 1422).
  10. Ask the saints in heaven, and friends on earth, to pray for you. Ask your guardian angel for help (Saint Matthew 18:10).
The message of Catholic Christianity is simple. That is not to say it is simplistic. People have hearts and heads. One does not abandon one's head (sense of reason) nor one's heart when one accepts the Faith. Rather, faith and reason belong together. Faith illuminates reason.

Proof that Catholics love reason and reason with love.

The Catholic Church is the home of many if not most of the greatest scientists and saints, philosophers, mathematicians, engineers, astronomers, physicists, musicians, artists, architects, poets, doctors, nurses, etc. Catholics invented the scientific method. The Catholic Church is the largest non-governmental relief, service and educational organization in the world. Catholics invented hospitals and universities. The chant and sacred polyphony of the Catholic Church form a treasury of artistry which is the foundation of all great western music.

The Catholic Faith is not the prisoner of liberal theologians or some elite cadre of academics who think themselves the sole mediators of God's truth. The gift that Jesus Christ offers—freedom from sin and a joy filled everlasting life—is available from Jesus for the asking. The Church mediates Jesus' forgiveness and, like her Lord and Saviour, welcomes all who repent of their sins. The Church baptizes and forgives sins in Jesus' name.

The Holy Spirit is our Teacher. He teaches us through the Magisterium of the Church, all those faithful bishops in union with the Bishop of Rome who hand on the Catholic and Apostolic Faith.

Catholics are everywhere, in every nation, on 'the ground' and online. The Catholic Church and her Gospel, that is, the Gospel entrusted to her by the Lord Jesus, is for everyone, from the humble farmer to the homeless person to the police officer to the president of a multinational corporation to the abandoned widow to the repentant murderer. Mary Magdalene, who we call Saint Mary Magdalene, was a repentant prostitute and a disciple of the Lord who walked and talked with Jesus and the Apostles. If you think you're too good to join us, or not good enough, stop right there! There's plenty of room in the house of the Lord for those who want to change. Come home to the Church!

Seek out a Catholic priest or a faithful layperson and ask to know more about Jesus and His Gospel of love.

19:02

What is the Authentic Catholic Teaching on Love and True Dialogue? [Theological Flint]

This is from Theological Flint

Love is willing the good for one’s neighbor. But Jesus Christ is the only way to Salvation. Hence, the Catholic knows that true love demands that we will each neighbor to encounter Jesus Christ. This is fully done in the Catholic Church, with the whole truth and all the Sacraments. Hence, the Catholic knows that […]

The post What is the Authentic Catholic Teaching on Love and True Dialogue? appeared first on Theological Flint.

18:33

Ein Skandal von ungeahnten Ausmaßen [katholon]

Die  Meldungen aus Köln reißen nicht ab. Nach einem fast viertägigen Schweigen und einer erlogenen Pressemeldung der Polizei in Köln kommt zunehmend das ganz Ausmaß ans Tageslicht.

Noch einmal zur Erinnerung, am 1. Januar 2016 lautete die Pressemeldung unter anderem:

Kurz vor Mitternacht musste der Bahnhofsvorplatz im Bereich des Treppenaufgangs zum Dom durch Uniformierte geräumt werden. Um eine Massenpanik durch Zünden von pyrotechnischer Munition bei den circa 1000 Feiernden zu verhindern, begannen die Beamten kurzfristig die Platzfläche zu räumen. Trotz der ungeplanten Feierpause gestaltete sich die Einsatzlage entspannt – auch weil die Polizei sich an neuralgischen Orten gut aufgestellt und präsent zeigte. [Quelle.]

Erst nach einem Bericht am 2.1.2016 auf nrwjetzt.de unter Berufung auf den „Express“ und den Kölner Stadtanzeiger, der sich recht schnell durch die sozialen Medien verbreitete, kam Bewegung in die Berichterstattung. Noch gab es keine andere offizielle Stellungnahme als die oben zitierte Pressemeldung. Ab dem 4.1.2016 überschlug sich die Berichterstattung über die Geschehnisse in der Silversternacht in Köln.

Nach einem erzwungenen Ende der Schweigespirale setzte unvermittelt die Beschwichtungsspirale ein. Es wurde darüber diskutiert, was man denn über die Täter sagen darf und was nicht. Sehr schnell war die Rede von nordafrikanisch oder arabisch aussehenden Männern. Von den Opfern sprach so gut wie niemand.

Mehr und mehr kam ans Tageslicht, so gestand der Polizeipräsident von Köln dann am 4.1.2016 im Rahmen einer Pressekonferenz die Vorgänge am Hauptbahnhof ein. Weiterhin war jedoch die Rede davon, es handele sich sicher nicht um Flüchtlinge, vielmehr seien es Kriminelle, die sich immer am Bahnhof herumtrieben. Widersprüchliche Meldungen sprachen davon, die Täter seien bekannt, andere sprachen davon man könne keine Aussage zu den Tätern machen. Es blieben mehr Fragen offen, als beantwortet wurden. Mit Vehaltensregeln für Frauen setzte sich die OB von Köln noch zusätzlich in die Nesseln.

Heute morgen platze dann die nächste Skandalbombe. Zunächst „Bild“ und „Express„, später dann auch andere Medien veröffentlichten aus einem ihnen vorliegenden Polizeibericht, der so die Information, den Redaktionen vorliege. Die „Welt“ hat ebenfalls einen umfassenden Bericht dazu veröffentlicht. Hier wird dem Kölner Polizeipräsident erneut widersprochen. Der interne Bericht der Polizei in Köln und die Stellungnahmen in der „Welt“ machen es deutlich, daß die Öffentlichkeit auch am 4.1.2016 von Polizeipräsident Wolfgang Albers hinters Licht geführt wurde.

Dramatisch springt einem geradezu die Verzweiflung der Beamten entgegen, die bei aller Sorgfalt und maximalem Einsatz der Lage nicht Herr werden konnten, da sie personell unterbesetzt waren.

Ob das schon alles war, ist bei weitem noch nicht klar. Schon jetzt allerdings kann man sagen, daß es sich um erschütternde Berichte handelt, die diese ganze Beschwichtigungsshow der letzten Tage übel ins Wanken bringen. Langsam, ganz langsam kommt Stückchenweise die ganze schreckliche Wahrheit über diese Horrornacht in Köln ans Tageslicht. Und es scheint noch viel schlimmer, als man es ohnehin schon ahnen konnte. Die jetzt vorliegenden Meldungen dürften noch nicht das Ende der Fahnenstange sein.

Es stellen sich weitere Fragen. Wie zufällig sind die Ähnlichkeit und Gleichzeitigkeit der Vorfälle von Köln, Hamburg, Stuttgart, Bielefeld und anderen Städten. Auch aus der Schweiz und Österreich wurden nun ähnliche Vorfälle bekannt.

Ungeklärt ist aus meiner Sicht auch, welche Hinweise es in München gab. Was war da geplant? Etwas ähnliches wie in Köln? Waren es vielleicht gar keine Anschlagspläne, in der bislang gedachten Art? Da war doch auch noch was. In der jetzigen Nachrichtenflut geht das völlig unter.

Je mehr ans Licht kommt, über die Horrornacht zum Jahreswechsel, umso mehr Fragen gehen offensichtlich auf und harren der Beantwortung.

Man versucht allerdings weiterhin die Öffentlichkeit auf eine Armlänge entfernt zu halten, denn Teile der Wahrheit könnten die Menschen im Land verunsichern. So stärkt man radikale Kräfte im Land. So heizt man Verschwörungstheorien an. So! verunsichert man Menschen. Nicht aber mit der Wahrheit.

Auch die Beschwichtungsspirale, die sich derzeit noch mit voller Kraft dreht, wird ebenso wie die Schweigespirale an der Wirklichkeit zerbrechen. Wir müssen der Wirklichkeit ins Auge sehen:

„Nur bei einer kleinen Minderheit handelte es sich um Nordafrikaner, beim Großteil der Kontrollierten um Syrer.“ [Quelle.]

So zitiert die Welt Kölner Polizisten. Diese Wirklichkeit wird sich in Politik niederschlagen müssen, wenn es nicht die Politik an sich niederschlagen soll. Dabei sollte endlich die Umerziehungs- und Gehirnwäschepolitik der Bundeskanzlerin und die gleichschwingende Informationspolitik der meisten Medien nun endlich mal auf einen Wirklichkeitskurs einschwenken. Die Menschen im Land können sehr wohl unterscheiden, wo nötige Hilfe geleistet werden muß und wo eine verfehlte Politik betrieben wird. Die nicht nachlassende Hilfsbereitschaft der Menschen in unserem Land bei gleichzeitiger dramatischer Zunahme der Ablehnung der derzeitigen Flüchtlingspolitik sprechen eine deutliche Sprache.

Auch von anderer Seite erhielt die Beschwichtungsspirale noch einmal eine peinliche Drehbewegung. So sprach der Hamburger Weihbischof Jaschke in einem Interview mit Radio Vatikan von

Opfer – in Anführungszeichen –

Zynischer geht es gar nicht mehr. Zeitgleich warnte der Weihbischof

„irrationalen Stimmung“ gegen Flüchtlinge und vor politischem Missbrauch der Vorfälle.

Allein diese Wortwahl ist ein weiterer Skandal. Mißbraucht worden sind nämlich die Frauen, die Opfer sexueller Gewalt geworden sind, nicht aber die Täter, die zum großen Teil tatsächlich Asylanten sind. Dieser unschönen Wahrheit gilt es ins Auge zu sehen. Der Weihbischof sollte sich überlegen, die betroffenen Frauen um Entschuldigung zu bitten und sich künftig besser in barmherziges Schweigen zu hüllen.

Als erstes wäre jetzt allerdings personelle Konsequenzen zu ziehen. Der Polizeipräsident von Köln und der Innenminister von NRW müssen nach diesem Skandal ihren Hut nehmen. Der Skandal muß gründlich untersucht werden. Es muß eine Ende mit dem Personalabbau bei der Polizei haben. Öffentliche Sicherheit und Ordung sind Grundaufgaben der Politik. Die Landesregierung von NRW hat ihren Kurs zu korrigieren.

Auch die Bundeskanzlerin hat jetzt Hausaufgaben zu erledigen. Mit „Wir schaffen das.“ ist es jetzt nicht mehr getan. Es gilt Maßnahmen zur Prävention von Asylantenkriminalität zu entwickeln, Straftäter zeitnah zu ermitteln und zu bestrafen. Es gilt zu überlegen, was unser Land wirklich zu leisten in der Lage ist, sonderbare Mantras zu erfinden und bei jeder Rede vor sich hinzumurmeln ist in dieser Lage wenig hilfreich. In dieser Situation braucht unser Land klare Konzepte und die Mittel diese umzusetzen. Wollen wir nicht hilflose Helfer werden, die von einer Welle des Terrors wegespült werden, dann braucht es einen wehrhaften demokratischen Rechtsstaat mit einer starken politischen Führung. Es gibt nämlich in der Tat Flüchtlinge, die unsere Hilfe dringend benötigen. Steuern auf Sicht oder konzeptloses Treibenlassen müssen der Vergangenheit angehören. Denn das hieße am Ende sowohl das eigene Volk ins Chaos zu stürzen, als auch die Hilfsbedürftigen im Stich zu lassen.

Frau Bundeskanzlerin. das Volk murrt!

Und in diesem Falle murrt es zu Recht.

17:57

Poll: Iron Man or Captain America [Creative Minority Report]

*subhead*Put Your Blurb Here.*subhead*
I am collecting data for my next commentary by taking an informal poll of Catholics. I would be very much obliged if you would comment with your opinion on this question:

Who is a better role model, Iron Man or Captain America?

If you happen to read my stuff and know how I would answer, please don't let that influence your comment.

Thank you in advance!

Rebecca Taylor blogs at Mary Meets Dolly

17:11

Satan ist überall [Denzinger-Katholik]

»Wer ist Herr auf dieser Erde, Gott oder der Teufel? Der Heilige von Lumbres, der Pfarrer Donissan, hat von Gott die Gabe der Herzensschau, einen sechsten Sinn erhalten für die verborgene Sünde, die er aus allen Schlupfwinkeln vertreibt; aber siehe da, dieser von Gott bestellte Jäger Satans wird selber vom Satan wie ein armes Wild gejagt, und er läßt ihn nicht einmal dann in Ruhe, wenn er von den Stufen des Altars zum Kreuz aufblickt. Denn Satan findet sich nicht nur in geilen Blicken, in ruchlosen Händen, in Ohren, die voll Wind sind, ja, mitunter sucht man ihn im Fleisch, das die elende Lust durchdringt, vergebens. Satan ist überall, ›auch im Gebet des Einsiedlers, in seinem Fasten und seiner Kasteiung, im Innern der tiefsten Verzückung und im Schweigen des Herzens. Er vergiftet das Weihwasser, er brennt in der geweihten Kerze, atmet im Mund der Jungfrauen, verwundet mit dem Büßerhemd und der Geißel, und wohin er kommt, ist alles vergiftet. Man sah ihn auf den Lippen lügen, die sich öffneten, um das Wort der Wahrheit zu verkünden, man sah ihn, wie er den Gerechten durch Donner und Blicke seligen Entzückens bis in die Arme Gottes verfolgte ...‹ Und so wird der nach beseligender Gnade dürstende Gottesknecht von Lumbres selber von Satan durch sein Leben und noch durch seinen ihn überfallenden Tod hindurch gehetzt bis in die Arme Gottes hinein‹, und auf dem Gesicht des im Beichtstuhl Gestorbenen starrt Höllengraus.«
Pfr. Herbert Hug über den Roman Die Sonne Satans von Georges Bernanos.

16:25

Our Visit to the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception [LES FEMMES - THE TRUTH]

Enter by the Jubilee door of mercy.
Well, I've accomplished my first resolution of the new year. On Monday we traveled with our youngest daughter and her three little children to the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. Considering it takes us two hours to get there, the children were incredibly well-behaved in the car, even the 21-month-old. And nobody took a nap!

We started our pilgrimage in the crypt church with the noon Mass which included Christmas carols. The shrine cafeteria was closed so we "lunched" on junk food from the vending machines before going upstairs to walk through the Jubilee Door of Mercy.
The children enjoyed putting their change in the machines and watching the chips and cookies be pushed forward until they fell down where they could be collected. How charming to see the excitement generated by something so simple. It reminded me of the time my Aunt Marie took me and my sister to the Automat in New York where we could pick out anything we wanted for our lunch, put in our money, and open the little doors to retrieve the goodies. I think I was eleven. Funny the memories triggered by little things. Thank you, Lord, and bless my Aunt Marie.

St. Elizabeth Seton, pray for us.
In order to receive the plenary indulgence for the holy year of mercy, the pilgrim performs the act of entering through the door, fulfills the customary conditions of receiving sacramental Confession and Communion while reflecting on God's mercy, and prays the Creed and offers at least an Our Father for the intentions of the pope. Pilgrims are also advised to pray the Jubilee Prayer of Pope Francis. We offered these prayer in the chapel of Our Lady of Guadalupe where the saint for the day, Elizabeth Seton, is included in the mosaic of saints approaching her miraculous image.

The last and most difficult part of gaining a plenary indulgence is detachment from sin, even venial sin. I think of how we embrace our little sins: the gossip and detraction, the unkind thoughts, the puffed up idea of our own importance, the resentments toward those who have wronged us. We're justified, we tell ourselves, and lose the graces of making the painful break with our pride. But as Fr. Simon Tugwell once wrote,  "Part of the cross we carry is the fact we carry it so badly." I may be misquoting but that's how I recall it. And it really is true. God certainly knows our weakness. Simon of Cyrene is our model. He was not enthusiastic about helping Christ carry the cross, but later he and his sons became Christians. Sometimes, maybe even most times, conversion is a process rather than an event like Paul being struck down on the road to Damascus.

Our Lady of Ireland chapel
We visited many of Mary's chapels and how I love praying decades of the rosary along the way. that was somewhat abbreviated this trip with the little ones, with single Hail Mary's taking the place of decades.

Walking around the shrine is like a living litany to Our Lady. We walk with the saints. With St. Catherine Laboure we say, "Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, pray for us." We kneel at the prie dieu where Pope John Paul II knelt and say, "Our Lady of Czestochowa, pray for us." In the little chapel to Our Lady of Lourdes where a priest is kneeling in prayer, I tell Anya who will make her first Communion this year, that Bernadette is her mommy's confirmation saint. "Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us."

I love Mary's many titles and images and the various shrines built by donations of the faithful from all over the world. Images of Our Lady from India and China and so many countries of both the East and West. They remind me that Mary is Our Mother and she is for all people everywhere bringing us together as brothers and sister.

Blessed Sacrament chapel
I particularly love the chapel to Our Lady of Ireland and the Blessed Sacrament chapel. My mother's adoptive father was born in Ireland although his parents were American citizens. We know very little about my mom's birth family. Adoptive records were sealed in those days. But, as one friend said to her, "You wear the map of Ireland on your face." She was freckled and, as a young girl, was a strawberry blonde. When I visit that chapel I think of her and my own Irish heritage. Our Lady of Ireland, Our Lady of Knock, pray for us.

We missed Confession times at the Shrine, so I will complete my pilgrimage this weekend and finish fulfilling the indulgence requirements. It seems appropriate to me because it brings me full circle from the beginning of our pilgrimage as we set out from Woodstock to its conclusion with Confession in my home parish reflecting on the Sacred Heart of Jesus and His great mercy for us.

For those unable to make a pilgrimage to one of the official Jubilee doors, there are other ways to fulfill the requirement for the plenary indulgence. Visit the Jubilee of Mercy website for more information.

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us, on our families, and on our poor country.


16:01

From the "Autonomous Church" to the "Amazon Priest"? Pope Francis and the Married Clergy [The Eponymous Flower]

Bishop Ruiz With Zapatista Guerrillas in 1996 



(Rome) From the 12th to the 20th of February, Pope Francis will visit Mexico. While numerous media have identified the focus of his pastoral visit as the migration issue, the Vatican expert Sandro Magister has referred to the visit to the southern Mexican diocese of San Cristobal de Las Casas. There, from 1959-2000 the reigning diocesan Bishop Samuel Ruiz tried stealthily doing away with priestly celibacy. Instead of celibate priests,  he only consecrated married deacons. It's a form of the diaconate that was allowed by the Second Vatican Council to address the shortage of priests, but has also been criticized as a first step to lift the priest celibacy. At the end of Ruiz Garcia's tenure, the priesthood of his diocese had overaged and with each priest there were four married deacons.

In addition to his practice, the bishop complained of  a pressing shortage of priests and prepared the next step for the ordination of married deacons to the priesthood. Bishop Ruiz Garcia was also the showpiece of a church that had good contacts wth the extreme left, giving him international attention in certain circles.  With the retirement of Ruiz Garcia the Vatican pulled emergency brake and  forbade the consecration of other viri probati, the blessing of their women and the use of the term "indigenous deacons".


Bishop Ruiz Garcia's creeping abolition of priestly celibacy

Since the Pope will visit San Cristobal de Las Casas among the many Mexican dioceses,   Magister sees this as one of several indications that Pope Francis could allow the end of priestly celibacy by the ordination of married deacons (see  Pope Francis will invoke the subject of the abolition of celibacy and women priests for the next Synod? ). As a first step, the rehabilitation of priests who have abandoned their priesthood for a woman and were laisized would be conceivable. They are organized in different groups and they try, with the sympathizing parts of the clergy and the bishops, to put pressure on the Church. Media support is you safely. The abolition of celibacy and the sacramental priesthood was one of the main program points of the Protestant schism.



As Bishop Ruiz Garcia Liked to See Himself

Msgr. Felipe Arizmendi, the now reigning Bishop of San Cristóbal de las Casas,  spoke to Magister's suggestion. He has reported how - that he has improved the situation in the diocese - since the retirement of Bishop Ruiz Garcia. Meanwhile, there are local priests which Ruiz Garcia had claimed to be impossible (see The Other Chiapas of the Celibate Indigenous Clergy ).
Magister's thesis is now receiving new sustenance  through the report of Rome correspondent Andres Beltramo from Notimex. Betramo is among other things an associate of Vatican Insider, which is the news site operated by Andrea Tornielli, the House news portal and correspondent of Pope Francis. On Epiphany  Beltramo reported that Pope Francis is to visit the grave of the controversial Bishop Ruiz Garcia and he therefore wants to express his special appreciation. The visit of Bishop's graves is a rarity which will donate a signal effect for Pope's visit.

"Amazon Workshop" is working on a model of the married "Amazon priest"

On February 15, the Pope will visit the Cathedral of San Cristobal de las Casas, to pray at the grave of the   bishop, deceased in 2011, who is criticized within the church because of his anti-celibacy course and outside, because of his closeness to the socialist guerrilla organization Ejercito Zapatista de Liberacio n (EZLN ). Pope John Paul II had ​​initiated an investigation against Bishop Ruiz Garcia  because he was suspected of wanting to build an "autonomous Church" separate from Rome. "The planned visit to the grave of Ruiz Garcia can be interpreted as supporting the idea of a married clergy," said Secretum Meum Mihi.
The Brazilian Cardinal Claudio Hummes and the Austrian Mission Bishop Erwin Kräutler are pushing with their "Amazon workshop".  Kräutler has in common with Ruiz Garcia not only good relations with the political left, but also calls for a "solution" for the shortage of priests, the abolition of priestly celibacy.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Image: Red Mexicana / Papalrevolucion (Screenshot)
Trans: Tancred vekron99@hotmail.com
Link to Katholisches...
AMDG

15:23

Fundamentalism of the Sources: Problems with Some Practices of Source Criticism – Part 6 [Theological Flint]

This is from Theological Flint

Does this mean that a priori all practices of Source Criticism fall afoul of the Catholic Tradition? No. Why not? Because it is not inimical to the faith to suggest that this or that text from the bible has prior sources. Just see the opening remarks of the Gospel according to St. Luke. But it […]

The post Fundamentalism of the Sources: Problems with Some Practices of Source Criticism – Part 6 appeared first on Theological Flint.

15:13

Aquinas on the Beatitudes (I): Merit and Reward [Siris]

Rob has been discussing Augustine's account of the beatitudes (Part I, Part II), so I thought I would say something about Aquinas's account of the beatitudes and, in a later post, how he uses and modifies Augustine's account.

Aquinas, as one might expect, finds a lot of structure in the beatitudes. The beatitudes are concerned with objective happiness, but what is more St. Thomas takes them to be systematically so. There are three major accounts of what happiness is. Some say it is a life of pleasure; some say it is an active life; and some say it is contemplative life. Aquinas argues, independently, that happiness is properly attributed to the contemplative life (more precisely, to completeness of contemplative life), and that the active life is something that disposes us to this happiness, while the life of pleasure, since it tempts people to go no further, is an obstacle to happiness. This provides the basic structure of the beatitudes.

A life of pleasure involves two things: abundance of external goods (of some kind) and satisfaction of one's passions. The first beatitude, "Blessed are the poor in spirit", links happiness to humility and in particular nonattachment to external goods. The second beatitude, "Blessed are the meek", links happiness to restraint in matters of the irascible passions (like anger), and the third beatitude, "Blessed are those who mourn", links happiness to restraint in matters of concupiscible passions (like desire).

Active life is a life concerned with one's neighbor, in matters either of obligation or of graciousness. The fourth beatitude, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice", concerns the former, and the fifth beatitude, "Blessed are the merciful", concerns the latter. This active life disposes to contemplation by certain effects, one concerned with ourselves and the other concerned with other people. First, it purifies our passions, which is identified by the sixth beatitude, "Blessed are the pure of heart", and second, it brings us to good relations with other people, which is identified by the seventh beatitude, "Blessed are the peacemakers".

But what of the eighth beatitude, "Blessed are those who are persecuted for justice"? This is the summary beatitude, indicating the point at which all the others have achieved their full and complete form: when you hold to them even in persecution.

And what of the contemplative life? Each beatitude consists of a merit and a reward. The merits all have to do with removing obstacles or the active life that disposes us to contemplation; but the goal, contemplative life, being itself the happy life, is the reward of these eight merits.

The merits of the first three beatitudes consisted of withdrawing from false happiness. People pursue false happiness, however, because they confuse it with something suggestive of true happiness. The rewards of the first three beatitudes, then, are the features of true happiness that false happiness only mimics. We pursue external goods like wealth and honor as if they were happiness because we confuse them with excellence and abundance of good. Thus the reward for poverty in spirit is the Kingdom of Heaven, which is precisely this abundant excellence in God. People seek retaliation as if that could give happiness because they want security for themselves; thus the meek get the security of inheriting the earth. People treat self-indulgence as happiness because they are aiming for consolation or comfort; thus the reward for mourning, which opposes self-indulgence, is comfort.

The next two merits required working toward the good of others, either through justice or mercy. People shirk the former in order to increase their own good; so the reward for not shirking is to have one's fill of good things. People shirk the latter in order to avoid increasing the bad things they have; so the reward for being merciful is having one's own misery relieved through mercy.

The next two merits were concerned with disposing us directly to contemplation both internally and with respect to others. Purity of heart is rewarded with the clear vision of God, and peacemaking is rewarded with union with God as children of God (through, of course, the Son of God who is perfectly united to God). And the eighth, of course, being a summary merit, gets a summary reward; thus we get the same reward as the beginning to indicate that we go around again.

None of this requires on its own that the beatitudes be seen as an ascent; eternal happiness, which the beatitudes describe, is one thing. We just need to break it up to understand it, according to how it is merited and the way in which it aptly rewards those merits. But Aquinas does accept the Augustinian notion that the beatitudes do indicate some kind of ascent. The rewards of the beatitude are also in ascending order of excellence:

For it is more to possess the land of the heavenly kingdom than simply to have it: since we have many things without possessing them firmly and peacefully. Again, it is more to be comforted in the kingdom than to have and possess it, for there are many things the possession of which is accompanied by sorrow. Again, it is more to have one's fill than simply to be comforted, because fulness implies abundance of comfort. And mercy surpasses satiety, for thereby man receives more than he merited or was able to desire. And yet more is it to see God, even as he is a greater man who not only dines at court, but also sees the king's countenance. Lastly, the highest place in the royal palace belongs to the king's son.

This ascent will be relevant (as in Augustine) to the association of each beatitude with a gift of the Holy Spirit, which I'll talk about in the next post in this series.

The eight beatitudes are, in Aquinas's view, completely exhaustive. Whenever we find another makarism or beatitude in Scripture (and possibly elsewhere), we can reduce it to these eight. Thus Aquinas gives three examples from the Old Testament: "Blessed is the man whom the Lord corrects" (Job 5:17) is reducible to the beatitude of mourning; "Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly" (Psalm 1:1) is reducible to the beatitude of purity of heart; "Blessed is the man who finds wisdom" (Proverbs 3:13) is reducible to the beatitude of peacemaking.

Besides the beatitudes in Matthew (the Sermon on the Mount), however, the most prominent makarisms in the Bible are a clearly related list of beatitudes in Luke (the Sermon on the Plain). Aquinas takes the standard Matthaean list to be adapted specifically to the disciples of Christ, i.e., those who had already spent a fair amount of time learning for Jesus, while he takes the Lucan list to be an adaptation of the beatitudes for the common multitude, who have spent less time improving their understanding of happiness. What does the multitude tend to treat as the good or happy or successful life? A life that has an abundance of external goods, a sufficiency of what the body requires, a joyfulness of heart, and the favor of others. Since treating the life of pleasure is the primary obstacle to genuine happiness, we have the four paradoxes corresponding to these four common assumptions about happiness: happy are the poor, happy are the hungry, happy are those who weep, happy are you when men hate you. Why? Because now you can seek true happiness instead of becoming mired in false happiness.

to be continued

14:40

Online first ed. available: “Charles De Koninck and the Sapiential Character of Natural Philosophy” [John G. Brungardt, Ph.L.]

Now available via the “online first” section of the ACPQ’s website for January 6, 2016, is my article “Charles De Koninck and the Sapiential Character of Natural Philosophy.” The abstract follows:

30951_DeKoninck_CharlesIn his early career, Charles De Koninck defended two theses: first, that natural philosophy (understood along Aristotelian-Thomistic lines) and the modern sciences are formally distinct; and second, that natural philosophy is a qualified form of wisdom with respect to those particular sciences. Later in his career, De Koninck changed his mind about the first thesis. Does this change of mind threaten the coherence of his second thesis? First, I explain De Koninck’s original position on the real distinction between natural philosophy and the sciences and his reasoning for why natural philosophy possesses a qualified sapiential office. Second, I consider De Koninck’s change of mind and defend the conclusion that, even if the modern sciences are a dialectical extension of natural philosophy, the latter is still wisdom in relation to the former. Finally, I discuss both examples of this sapiential function and its limitations. (DOI: 10.5840/acpq20161570)


14:21

Yeah, a Bill To Defund Planned Parenthood is A Big Deal [Creative Minority Report]

The U.S. House passed a pretty major budget reconciliation legislation that would defund Planned Parenthood and reallocates taxpayer dollars to comprehensive health care centers. It is a big deal.

I don't really care that it ended up on the president's desk like Paul Ryan does. I mean, we all know where the president stands on this. The main thing is that the GOP used the reconciliation process to defund Planned Parenthood. A few years ago this wouldn't have happened. Pro-lifers have relentlessly pushed this action and finally (FINALLY) the GOP seems to have made this a priority.

Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser said, “For the first time since America’s largest abortion business began receiving public funding – nearly five decades ago – the president will have to decide up or down on legislation to defund Planned Parenthood. It is the first bill ever to get to the president’s desk that would achieve this longtime pro-life goal, and reallocate taxpayer funding to comprehensive health care centers,” said SBA List president Marjorie Dannenfelser.

“The reconciliation process established an important precedent for the next administration,” she continued. “If Americans elect a pro-life president this year, and safeguard our pro-life majorities in Congress, this bill – and many others – could be law by 2017.”

Now, of course, Republicans are still unwilling to shut down the government over this which is a disappointment but hey, progress is progress. And let's face it, we're not going to see anything like that in an election year.

But the key is that the Republicans ran an end around on the Democrats ability to filibuster so that if we get a bill to a pro-life president's desk, this could actually happen.

So, to be clear, this isn't so much a big deal as it says that a big deal is possible. Which is a big deal.

*subhead*Big deal.*subhead*

14:01

Jorge Bergoglio the Video Star - the Pope's pure, unadulterated, blasphemous syncretism, for all to see! [Vox Cantoris]

Who will stand up to Jorge Bergoglio for what he has written and said in the video below. One can sit down with those of other religions but one cannot do it without preaching that there is only one, true religion. Only one Faith that is ultimate truth, only one path to salvation. 

Who would dare equate Our Lord Jesus Christ come to Earth as a baby, the WORD MADE FLESH with a pagan such as the Buddha or the false religion of Mahomet. The Menorah, we can accept as an ancient symbol of our Faith, as Catholicism is Judaism fulfilled. The rest is a mockery, a blasphemy to equate them as equivalent to an image of the baby Jesus. 

Our Lord Jesus Christ commanded His Church to convert the world and preach the "good news" of salvation to all people. Through baptism by water and the Holy Spirit and by believing in Our Lord Jesus Christ  and following the teachings of the Church and a sacramental life. 

There is no salvation outside the Catholic Church. Period. Can those not baptised and living a life with the Sacraments be saved? That is up to God. not us. We cannot know of any who have been. It is simply not possible. Baptism of Desire or Blood are concepts, not scriptural and not doctrinal. If someone is saved by Desire or Blood or Ignorance, it is not because of their false religion or no religion, it is up to God. He is not bound by His Sacraments, we are. But, we cannot know of anyone being saved outside of the Catholic Church. To proffer this, is heresy. It is to call Our Blessed Lord a liar. It is to call the Jewish Apostles liars and fools.

Jorge Bergoglio, with this video, has crossed a line. To say more would be to call him a material heretic, objectively speaking. If he believes that all religions and a way of life such as Buddhism are all equal with Christ, then that is heresy. The words of Jorge Bergoglio, Bishop of Rome are unadulterated syncretism and religious indifferentism.

Bergoglio is simply wrong and is frankly, dangerous to the Faith. He must be denounced for this scandalous action. 

Which Prelate will stand up to this abomination and blasphemy?

Watch the video below and comment at will.



The above is not funny.

What Louie Verrecchio has done with it, is.


The Pope Video: UPDATED with translation provided by akaCatholic.com from Louie Verrecchio on Vimeo.

13:56

Instant Gratification [CatholicCulture.org - Commentary on Catholic News and World Affairs]

The consumer society has given us new phrases that lack subtlety. When you’re filling up at a gas station, it is presumed you’d be attracted to a “Big Gulp” beverage, going beyond the usual soda bottle size and providing a gallon or so of flavored sugar water (perfect for the kids on road trips). Order a hamburger at a fast food place and the attendant is trained to ask, “Would you like to supersize that?” Marketing strategies inflame not only the vice of lust, but that of intemperance as well. But this essay is not about intemperance per se.

13:39

"The Pope's agonising dilemma" - all of his own making [Vox Cantoris]

This joyful Christmastide now breaks into Epiphanytide until a few short weeks to Purification coming just after the Gesimas begin, - or you can just call it, Ordinary Time.


Without setting all the beauty of this season aside, we cannot forget the horrendous attack on the Catholic Faith from her own hirelings in fine robes last October and the one before, a horror story that began in March of 2013 and ramped up in February of 2014 with the heretical propositions put forward by a heresiarch from Germany named Kasper.

We await the action of Pope Francis and the Apostolic Exhortation arising out of the Synod on the Family. We well remember the manipulations and machinations of Forte, Baldisseri and the gang under the watchful glare of the Bishop of Rome; the inane verbosity of Thomas Rosica, CSB, and the insulting, degrading and puerile stamping of the papal feet at its close.

As we have said before and will say it again, these men are out to change the doctrine of the Catholic Church on marriage, homosexuality and the discipline of the Faith and the Holy Eucharist is the tool they will use. We have only had a short retreat over Advent and Christmas from their insanity except for their heretical statement on the salvation of Jews and Jorge Bergoglio's idea that Jesus was a bad boy and needed scolding and to make reparation.

The Catholic Herald has an important article by Father Mark Drew, a priest in charge of the parish of Hornsea in Middelsborough Diocedse in Engliand, at least for now. Fr. Drew lists the four options that Francis has, as observed by John Allen of Crux. They are worth pondering.  
First, he can postpone the decision, saying that there needs to be more reflection and study on the matter.
 Second, he can give a clear yes. All the signs are that this would be the option he personally favours. Yet this course is fraught with difficulties, being potentially the last straw for conservative critics whose resentment is already simmering dangerously and whose open rebellion he must want to avoid. It would, moreover, be an unprecedented break with former teaching which would essentially redefine the nature of the papal Magisterium by making it clear that what has in the past been presented as binding and irreformable teaching is in reality no more than a potentially shifting policy choice.
 A clear no, the third possibility, would disappoint and perhaps alienate many, such as Cardinal Walter Kasper, whom Francis has encouraged and whose support in return is important to him.
 The fourth and final option is to leave the ambiguity unresolved and, in effect, leave it to local bishops to choose the interpretation which suits them. The huge implications of such regional variation for the unity of the Church hardly need underlining.
Francis has created a disaster for himself and for all of us. If he comes down on the side of the Magisterium then there will be a falling away of many, perhaps even a formal schism. If he goes with the radicals such as Kasper, there won't be a schism because we know better, but there will be all out war on him and those others who undertook such a calamity.If he devolves the power to decide, he will have set in motion a congregationalist church which is not Catholic. 

Praying for the Pope to do the right thing goes without saying. Confronting him directly by Bishops and Cardinals who are prepared to be Shepherds, not hirelings, is paramount as are the voices of the faithful on forums such as blogs.

This is a disaster of his own doing. Jorge Bergoglio is proving to be the "authoritarian" of his Jesuit Superior past. He has really not changed. He is a Peronist, something he learnt in the perpetually failed-state of Argentina - a land blessed by God with Faith and resources and climate and which has been a land of corruption in Church and State.

Read the whole article at:


13:29

A Gnu Year [The TOF Spot]

TOF has purchased a new computer, one that actually boots up without any back-talk or hesitation, one whose keyboard evinces no reluctance to express the space bar, one which does not freeze over the display of moving images.

Unfortunately, it does exhibit an inordinately large number of warnings regarding threats to its integrity, and when these warnings are dealt with, they reappear on the instant. TOF tries to SKIP and to DEBUG AND RESTART, all to no apparent effect. Is this due to Kaspersky replacing Norton? Was TOF sold an inferior warden by agents of the KGB? And what is with all these REGISTER NOW invitations. TOF was never before so popular. As Homer once wrote:

As Herakles did the many-headed hydra fight
And the son of Acoetes among the serpents writhe

So too does TOF war upon dread adware wage

 Also the keyboard spacing differs from that to which the TOFian fingers are accustomed, resulting in sundry misspellings of a manic nature as the muscles must now learn new memories.

Also, TOF must fall to considering as he contemplates how to get all his browsing bookmarks -- and there are more than a few -- from the old machine, which we will call Grumpy after its disposition -- to the new one, which is called Asus by its maker. Pronounced ay-SOOS, somewhat as the Spanish pronounce the name of Jesus.

His musical files and photographs also languish behind. Mr. Backup Drive did not evidently back everything up.

In any case all of TOF's skiffian works are now in their new home and yesterday marked the first new fintertaps on those paragons of Western literature since the onset of Christmastide.

13:13

Doubting one's marriage [LMS Chairman]

With apologies for the long break from blogging, here is something I saw via Mary's Advocates (who promote a proper understanding of Catholic marriage). This married permanent deacon, on being trained in the matter of marriage anullments, made the unpleasant discovery that his happy, successful, 17-year marriage could easily be annulled - that is, it would clearly be possible to gain a declaration of nullity, given the circumstances of their getting married. (See the video at 3 1/2 minutes in.)

I suspect that this will be the case for a good number of Catholics with happy marriages. It doesn't necessarily mean that these marriages are actually invalid. Some might be, and the best response might be to make them valid, which should not be difficult to do. But the idea that the current legal procedures of the Church, coupled with the current practices in relation to marriage preparation, combine to mean that vast numbers of couples could walk away from their marriage vows, is vertiginous.

If this isn't something that Bishops and priests should do something about, urgently, I don't know what is.


Support the work of the LMS by becoming an 'Anniversary Supporter'.

13:00

2000 Jahre vergebliche Missionierung? [et nunc]

In der aktuellen Video-Botschaft des Papstes

- sagt die Buddhistin „Ich setzte mein Vertrauen in Buddha“, der Jude „Ich glaube an Gott“, der Muslim „Ich Glaube an Gott, Allah“ und der katholische Priester „Ich glaube an Jesus Christus“.


Und Franziskus sagt: 
„In dieser Vielfalt, in dieser Auffächerung der Religionen gibt es eine einzige Gewissheit, an der wir für alle festhalten: wir alle sind Kinder Gottes.“ Und aus diesem Grund ist das Gebetsanliegen für Papst Franziskus im Januar „der aufrichtige Dialog zwischen Männern und Frauen der verschiedenen Religionen“. Er solle Gerechtigkeit und Frieden bringen, so Franziskus.


Und ich frage mich, ob es nur um Frieden geht, dann: um welchen Frieden und welchen Preis.
Und ich frage mich weiter, wo der Auftrag Jesu zur Missionierung geblieben ist:

"Die elf Jünger aber gingen nach Galiläa auf den Berg, wohin sie Jesus beschieden hatte. Und da sie ihn sahen, beteten sie ihn an; einige aber zweifelten. Da trat Jesus vor sie und sprach zu ihnen: "Mir ist alle Gewalt gegeben im Himmel und auf Erden. Geht darum hin und macht alle Völker zu Jüngern, indem ihr sie tauft auf den Namen des Vaters und des Sohnes und des Heiligen Geistes und sie lehrt, alles zu halten, was ich euch aufgetragen habe. Seht, ich bin mit euch alle Tage bis zum Ende der Welt." 
(Mt 28,16-20; siehe auch: Mk 16,15-18, Lk 24,47-49  Joh 20,21, Apg 1,4-8).

(Produziert werden die Videos vom vatikanischen Fernsehzentrum CTV in Zusammenarbeit mit einer italienischen Agentur für Kommunikation. Bislang veröffentlichte der Papst bereits zu besonderen Anlässen Videobotschaften, etwa vor Auslandsreisen an die Bevölkerung des Besuchslandes.)


Radio Vatikan

09:24

Wieder aktuell? Kirsten Heisigs Buch „Das Ende der Geduld“ [Mathias von Gersdorff]

Quelle: Herder Verlag Die Berliner Jugendrichterin sorgte mit ihrem engagierten Buch über jugendliche Gewalttäter im Sommer des Jahres 2010 für erheblichen Medienwirbel. In einer Kombination von Sachbuch und Streitschrift schildert sie das Leben einer Großstadt, in der der Rechtsstaat zunehmend die Kontrolle über das öffentliche Leben verliert. Viele Passagen könnten genauso gut den Untergang

08:00

Our Society’s Throw-Away People [The Jesuit Post]

 

“Yeah, you know, it’s just like what Hegel says, right?” Wait, what? I run a mental checklist: Am I still in San Quentin?1 Yep. Did I just hear Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel name-checked by a tattooed man wearing a state-issued jumpsuit? Yep.

Huh. I guess the inmates of San Quentin continue to surprise.

***

Getting a mid-day philosophy lesson from a man in blue — only new prisoners yet to be permanently assigned to a cell block wear the orange popularized by Netflix — was a surprise, but I knew enough by then that it wasn’t as strange as I may have thought at one time.

I had been volunteering at San Quentin for over a year and saw that  one of the fixtures of the prison was the large library and education building. Many of the inmates had spoken to me about the Prison University Project and the college correspondence courses they had participated in.2 And one of the harsh realities of prison life is that one has lots of time at one’s disposal and not much to fill it with. Books, teachers, time… all the makings of a hard-core philosopher right there.3

So, after I got over the initial surprise, it made total sense that I should be thrust suddenly into a conversation about Hegel. It was just another moment where I had to be reminded of the normalcy of the men who were here imprisoned at San Quentin.

***

Our society does not encourage us to see the normalcy of prisoners. At best, they are shrouded in mystery. For many people, prison is the ultimate black box. They have never been inside, they have no idea how it works, and they associate it with a sense of indeterminate danger.  

This lack of experience is then reinforced by other factors. Most often, prisons are placed far away from major urban centers, limiting the amount that people can visit even if they want to.4 We are not encouraged to think at all of the 2.4 million men and women currently incarcerated in our country.

This neglect is tragic, but it certainly is preferable to the second most common attitude toward prisoners. When they are thought of, prisoners are commonly viewed as a moral blight on our land, a threat to good, law-abiding citizens (like us), someone who deserves anything that comes their way—in a word, scum. Prisoners are the ultimate “throw-away people.”  

It is safe to revile prisoners, to look down on them, to get angry at them, to remove their rights, to deny them anything, to say anything one wants. We know that they won’t be showing up in our conversation anytime soon asking for their rights or our respect. We won’t have to look them in the eye the next morning.  

But it is also safe to do these things because they are “criminals.” This label excuses all because, in the minds of many, it makes someone permanently other.  

In this way, we make prisoners our modern scapegoat. We take a particular segment of the population, the criminal, and cast all our wrongs on them and drive them out of the community. By making them something other than us, this does something for me as well.  If they are criminals and they are evil, then I can show that I am not. I can’t be scum, because all the scum are corralled in an institution in the desert wearing blue. I am a “law-abiding citizen.”5

Nor does the scapegoating of prisoners end with negative attitudes. It has real impacts on those we treat this way.  

Take, for example, the right to vote. For most of my life, I didn’t think much of the fact that in 48 of 50 states, people imprisoned for a felony lose their right to vote, and many of them remain off the voting register even after their sentence. It might seem fitting that there would be some real consequences to breaking a serious law. But, of course, not all felonies are equal. Murder and the possession of seven-tenths of an ounce of marijuana both trigger the same loss of civil rights in the state of Florida.  

This takes an even more disturbing turn when placed in the context of the racial disparities present in the War on Drugs. Despite higher rates of drug use among white Americans, black Americans are arrested for drug crimes three times as often and comprise over 40 percent of those incarcerated for drugs. In the context of these discrepancies, denying prisoners the right to vote has enormous civil rights implications that have led some to describe our prison system as “the new Jim Crow.

This legalized discrimination exists on an economic level, too. It’s perfectly legal for employers to require job applicants to disclose previous criminal convictions and to discriminate against ex-felons in hiring.  

Public housing and welfare programs are similarly closed to felons. When prisoners are released, they are told to become productive members of society in the absence of fair access to employment or any chance at public assistance for feeding or housing themselves.

The deck is stacked against them.  

 

These and countless other harsh realities—overcrowding, eternal solitary, the death penalty—point to a systematic dehumanization of prisoners by our society. They can be thrown away and forgotten about as if we did not have any human obligation to them at all.  

Of course, this can be a delicate line to tread. Justice demands that we not forget the victims of crime either. Correction, even firm and unyielding correction when appropriate, must be applied; physical and social isolation will likely always be a part of that.  

Most of the men in San Quentin knew that themselves. They knew that they owed a debt that they could never repay.

Every week during the petitions at Sunday mass, I would listen for the prayers of “Alex.” Amidst prayers for families, friends, and world events, I could always count on hearing his voice pipe up and pray the same prayer each week: “I pray for the victims of my crime and for all the victims of crime.”  

He knows that this prayer does not make everything all better and that he can’t wave his hands and make his past go away. Yet every time I heard that prayer, I heard the unstated desires that went along with it. The desire not to be captive to his past and to make restitution in the weekly — even daily — commitment to a different way of life.    

So am I suggesting that we throw open the prison doors and let everyone go free? Hardly. In addition to holding amateur philosophers and lawyers, San Quentin has many who are professional con men and bullies. Many who are a danger to others and even to themselves. These men in blue are not saints.  But they are not scum, either.  They are human beings. They are human beings trying to make their way in the world — often a world far more violent and disturbing than any I have had to deal with.  

***

One day “Sandro” came up to me after mass and told me, “I grew up in a scary place, and I was always afraid. I figured that the one way I could make sure nobody messed with me was to make sure that I was always the craziest guy on the block. If they were afraid of me, then maybe I didn’t have to be afraid of them.”  

By the time I knew him, decades into his sentence, it was hard to believe these words. He was one of the nicest, cheeriest guys I knew, in or outside the walls. But I believed him when he said that that growth came from a ground fertilized with lots of pain and real transgressions.  

Sandro is free now, allowed to leave because of sentencing reform that has slowly spread through the California prison system after a federal judge ruled that the degree of overcrowding there was unconstitutional.

If you passed Sandro on the street, you might notice a few more tattoos than is usual or a bit more robust facial hair than the norm, but you also might not notice anything different at all. That is because he is a human being: flawed, imperfect, yet also graced and gracious.

In short, he is just like you and me.

06:57

Köln... [totaliter aliter]

Für Köln und Hamburg und Stuttgart und alle vergleichbaren Situationen gilt: Nur Idioten gehen hin und sagen "Aha! Und so sind sie alle, die männlichen Ausländer, Flüchtlinge und Moslems!"

Ich will damit nicht sagen, daß es keine Idioten gibt. Ich will damit auch nicht sagen, daß man diesen Idioten nicht beibringen muß, wie die Welt tatsächlich funktioniert. Aber muß man sich die Arbeitseinteilung wirklich so sehr von diesen Idioten diktieren lassen, daß man zuerst bei ihnen am Tisch steht und das von ihnen bestellte Menü aus Beschwichtigung und Mahnung bringt, wenn einen Tisch weiter begrapschte und quasi vergewaltigte Frauen im Schockzustand sitzen und zwei Tische weiter heitere Täter die Tatsache feiern, daß sie aus der Überforderung bzw Unterbesetzung der Polizei Kapital schlagen konnten?

Für den Augenblick hätte ich gerne nur Antworten auf zwei Fragen: Wie kann man verhindern, daß sich solche Vorfälle künftig wiederholen? Und wie sicher kann ich sein, daß entsprechende Maßnahmen auch umgesetzt werden?

Ich befürchte aber, daß ein Teil dieser Antworten die Bevölkerung um circa eine Armlänge verunsichern würde.

06:00

The Ambitions of Young Franciscus [The Rad Trad]


The question from the altar girl ("How do you get to be so good always, never angry?") is milk-spittingly funny. One wonders which of the cardinals coached her.

As to the ambitions of young Franciscus to be a butcher, one could argue that he has actually achieved his dreams in an unforeseen way.

"The world can improve!" All it needs is a good butcher's cleaver!

(video via Churchpop)

05:50

Barbara Kay on "useful idiots". [Catholic Sacristan]

Barbara Kay raises an interesting point at her National Post site regarding speech-restrictive actions in Canada. Policies which, intended or not, will, if enacted, certainly affect journalists' and others' ability to exercise their inalienable right to freedom of expression.

Fair and responsible commentary is a hallmark of our democracy, and when people attempt to restrict such commentary in order to avoid criticism of their own or others' highly questionable behaviour, people of goodwill who value inalienable rights and the rule of law should make known their objections and call for the rejection of any actions which impinge upon our inalienable rights that form the heart of our democracy.

Kay's essay begins:
Islamism proved a growing threat to Western nations in 2015. But while massacres rivet our attention, they constitute only the most flamboyant tactics in the jihadists’ triumphalist program, which calls for the infiltration of our institutions and the eventual domination of our culture.
That can’t happen so long as we exercise our freedom of speech to denounce Islamism and shame those who support it. Which is why Islamists invented the myth of Islamophobia in Western countries to justify their call for a tightening of the noose on this precious freedom. They certainly can’t do it alone, but they have “useful idiots,” as Vladimir Lenin used to call Western supporters of communism, to help them by furthering the absurd notion that criticism of Islam — a belief system like any other — is a form of defamation, which in our jurisprudence is speech that can only harm an individual.
One of these useful idiots, Jacques Frémont, president of the Quebec Human Rights Commission (QHRC) and president-elect of the University of Ottawa, is the father of Quebec’s Bill 59, which will give offended individuals the power to have writers they perceive to have criticized Islam censored and punished by onerous fines. This dreadful initiative marks a Canadian watershed in Islamist appeasement, but attention paid to it in English Canada has been shamefully sparse. (A dreaded HRC being used as a cane to strike at critics and deter them from exercising a Charter right? Say it isn't so!)
Read the rest at the National Post:
http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/barbara-kay-appeasing-the-islamists-in-quebec
Barbara Kay taught English Literature and Composition for many years both at Concordia University and in the Quebec CEGEP system. She is a Woodrow Wilson fellow. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Barbara was a board member of the magazine Cité libre and a frequent contributor to its pages. Barbara has been a National Post columnist since 2003. Barbara is the co-author of Unworthy Creature: A Punjabi Daughter's Memoir of Honour, Shame and Love, published May 2011. Barbara's latest book, ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS, A cultural memoir and other essays, was published in 2013 by Freedom Press Canada.
Why should Canadians surrender a legitimate tolerance for authentic diversity to those who, using tolerance as a whip, are attempting to bully people of goodwill into silence in an attempt to squelch criticism of behaviour or ideologies that, to many concerned citizens, represent grave threats to our inalienable rights?

Surely, in a free nation, citizens should have the right to speak their minds, to raise their voices in protest against dangerous ideologies which threaten peace-loving people of goodwill? If people are concerned about islamophobia, homophobia or whateveraphobia, surely the best way to counter certain ideas is not to limit free speech but to counter bad ideas with better ideas, i.e., more free speech not less, is it not? Are those attempting to limit free speech concerned that your average Canadian is not capable of thinking for himself or herself?

Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms
Catholic Civil Rights League
Canadian Charter of Rights & Freedoms

05:30

Russian Thought from the Enlightenment [Eastern Christian Books]

Augustine Casiday drew to my attention this recent hefty volume, remarking that he finds it very odd that the works of Andrzej Walicki have not garnered greater attention. I confess that I am not familiar with him at all, but Augustine (whom I have interviewed here and here about several of his recent landmark publications) has read all kinds of wonderful sources and is always generously lessening my ignorance about many things, including: Andrzej Walicki, The Flow of Ideas: Russian Thought from the Enlightenment to the Religious-Philosophical Renaissance, Hilda Andrews-Rusiecka and Jolanta Kozak trans. (Peter Lang, 2015), 876pp.

About this book we are told:

This history of Russian thought was first published in Polish in 1973 and subsequently appeared 2005 in a revised and expanded publication. The current volume begins with Enlightenment thought and Westernization in Russia in the 17th century and moves to the religious-philosophical renaissance of first decade of the 20th century. This book provides readers with an exhaustive account of relationships between various Russian thinkers with an examination of how those thinkers relate to a number of figures and trends in Western philosophy and in the broader history of ideas.

04:00

All the Mysteries of the First Sacrament. Unveiled [Chiesa -]

Collected here for the first time are the fifteen baptismal homilies delivered by Benedict XVI at the Easter Vigil and on the first Sunday after Epiphany, when he baptized adults and children

03:59

I believe in love. [The Paraphasic]

In the wake of the October darkness, I basically gave up writing about the Pope, and have tried to think less about him.  Please add this to the file, though.




03:36

One covenant or two? (Update) [Musings of a Pertinacious Papist]

For those interested, my colleague has just updated his remarks in the last half of my post, "One covenant or two? The Jewish-Catholic question briefly revisited" (Musings, January 5, 2016).

A blessed feast of the Epiphany to all our readers: "20 + C + M + B + 16" (for those who understand the tradition)!

02:40

Foxes and Sunshowers [Siris]

I was thinking about sunshowers today, and the ways they are described. A sunshower, of course, is when it is raining while the sun is shining. Growing up, we always had a saying for a sunshower: "The devil is beating his wife". As it happens, that is a quite common tag for sunshowers in the American South, and is apparently the saying for the same phenomenon in some places that speak French, Dutch, or Hungarian, as well. But folk sayings associated with sunshowers are extraordinarily common, and some of the most common are animal-linked. One of the animals that keeps coming up is the fox. Just looking at Wikipedia, here are some of the fox-and-sunshower sayings from around the world:

In Bangladesh: "shial mamar bia hoce" -"Uncle Fox is getting married"
In Brazil, "Casamento da Raposa" (Fox's Wedding)
In Finland, it is called "ketut kylpevät" or "foxes are taking bath"
In Galician, the traditional belief is that the vixen or the fox are getting married: casa a raposa / casa o raposo; sometimes the wolf and the vixen: estanse casando o lobo coa raposa.
In Japan, it is known as "kitsune no yomeiri", or "the kitsune's wedding", and means a fox's wedding ceremony is being held.
In Korea, a male tiger gets married to a fox.
In Nepal (Nepali), it is called "the fox's wedding" or "gham-paani, gham-paani shyal ko bihe" which literally translates to "Sunshine-rain, sunshine-rain, the fox is getting married".
In Sinhala, it is called "the fox's wedding"
In Bengali, it is called "the blind fox's wedding".
In Kannada, it is called "Kaage Nari maduve" which means Crow and fox getting married"
In Malayalam, it is called the Fox's wedding
In Oriya, it is called "the foxes wedding"
In Tamil, it is called the fox and the crow/raven are getting married
In Telugu, it is called "Yenda Vanala, kukkala nakkala pelli" which means "Dogs and Foxes getting married in the sunshowers"

This is extraordinarily widespread, too widespread to be coincidence, but nobody knows why foxes and sunshowers are linked together in the imaginations of so many cultures. Given how common it seems to be in Indian languages, I wonder if it started in India and spread from there, but it's anyone's guess. On the other hand, the culture that seems to have the most elaborate folktales associating foxes and sunshowers is Japan; but whether this is because they got the saying from the folktales or they developed the folktales because they had the saying, nobody knows.

01:49

Las dos espadas. Conferencia de José Miguel Gambra [Comunión Tradicionalista]

9 enero, 2016
20:00a21:30

 

Arnolfo_Bonifacio.2

 

 

 

Dentro del ciclo de conferencias La sociedad tradicional y sus enemigos, José Miguel Gambra, Profesor de la Universidad Complutense y Jefe Delegado de la Comunión Tradicionalista, pronunciará la tercera conferencia del programa titulada:

 

Las dos espadas

Tendrá lugar, D. m., el próximo

9 de enero de 2015, a las 20:00 h. en la Salón de actos San Pío X

(Capilla Santiago Apóstol, calle Catalina Suárez 16, Madrid)

Metro: Pacífico.  Autobuses: 10 y 37

 

cartel.sociedad trad. y enemigos.FSPX.3

 

 

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27282930310102
03040506070809
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
June 2012
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
28293031010203
04050607080910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293001
May 2012
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
30010203040506
07080910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031010203
March 2012
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
27282901020304
05060708091011
12131415161718
19202122232425
26272829303101
February 2012
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
30310102030405
06070809101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282901020304
December 2011
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
28293001020304
05060708091011
12131415161718
19202122232425
26272829303101
November 2011
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
31010203040506
07080910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293001020304
July 2011
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
27282930010203
04050607080910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031
April 2011
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
28293031010203
04050607080910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293001
March 2011
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
28010203040506
07080910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031010203
November 2010
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
01020304050607
08091011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
29300102030405
August 2010
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
26272829303101
02030405060708
09101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30310102030405
June 2010
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
31010203040506
07080910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293001020304
January 2010
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
28293031010203
04050607080910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031
December 2009
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
30010203040506
07080910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031010203
November 2009
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
26272829303101
02030405060708
09101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30010203040506