Saturday, 16 January


Well, at least he's honest about it [Oz Conservative]

Justin Trudeau is the liberal PM of Canada. Here he is explaining why Canada is able to integrate Muslims better than France:

Countries with a strong national identity — linguistic, religious or cultural — are finding it a challenge to effectively integrate people from different backgrounds. In France, there is still a typical citizen and an atypical citizen. Canada doesn’t have that dynamic.

In his mind, having a strong national identity is a kind of hindrance in the modern world of open borders. And I suppose he's right in this assumption. The issue is, do you really want to give up a strong national identity in order to have open borders? Is the loss of identity and connection involved really worth it?

Something that liberals don't seem to get is that having a deep sense of belonging to such communities is part of the framework for developing our personhood (in a more fundamental way than practising tolerance is). We risk losing something significant of ourselves when the opportunity for belonging to such a community is no longer there.


Kevin Drum on Assisted Suicide [Korrektiv]

It would be unfair to call this “banging on”, but Kevin Drum of Mother Jones has written a very sad story backed up with all sorts of facts and figures, as well as charts to help marshal those facts and figures as a buttress for his argument in favor of assisted suicide.

Daniel Payne (I presume that last name is pronounced just like the word “pain”, with whatever association you’d care to make) has written a reply without as many facts or figures, let alone as much emotional punch, but with a whole lot of sound reasoning. Here’s a bolus:

It is a ghastly future in which people take their own lives to the gentle and smiling encouragement of their loved ones.
It is a ghastly future in which people take their own lives to the gentle and smiling encouragement of their loved ones who would rather just get the whole thing over with and move on.

I will pray for Drum, and you should, too. Pray his cancer disappears and he lives to be a grumpy, curmudgeonly old liberal geezer still talking nonsense about gun control and other progressive ballyhoos.

If his cancer should return, however, I pray he does not take the easier way out. I pray he gives his wife and his loved ones a final, priceless, and irreplaceable gift, a gift of himself that only he can give: the gift of needing their love, their attention, and their full and unconditional care in the twilight moments of his precious life.


Our Father Saint Antony [Vultus Christi]

anthonySaint Antony and Signor Siciliano
Isn’t this a wonderful painting of Saint Antony? Flemish Jan Gossaert painted it in Rome in 1508 as the right panel of a diptych. The left panel (not shown) depicts the Mother of God. What interests me is the tender spiritual relationship that the artists depicts between Saint Antony and the donor, one Antonio Siciliano.

The Ear of the Heart
Notice the holy abbot’s right hand gently touching Signor Siciliano’s shoulder. In his left hand Saint Antony holds the book of the Scriptures and his prayer beads. Antony’s face is sweet and gentle. Does he not have a lovely smile? His ear is exposed: that ear through which the Word of God entered his mind and descended into his heart.

Precocious Piety
The donor, in contrast, appears sincere, but stiff; he is looking toward the Madonna on the other panel. His rigid piety lacks the seasoned humanity of the old abbot, tried by temptation and marked by compassion. I have known many young men, precociously pious and fascinated by the monastic life, but harsh and rigid in their piety and perfectionism. It takes, sometimes, years — even decades — of humiliating failures and falls before one learns the secret of abandonment to the mercy of Christ that makes one patient, compassionate, and tender.  Signor Siciliano’s handsome dog is wearing a stylish red collar. He (or is it she?) is gazing at his master, fascinated by what is going on. Picture yourself in the place of Signor Siciliano. Let the hand of Saint Antony bless and guide you today.

Jan_Gossaert_-_St_Anthony_with_a_Donor_-_WGA09762A Certain Primacy Among the Saints
The sacred liturgy makes it clear that Saint Antony of the Desert holds a certain primacy among the saints. The 1970 Missal gives a complete set of proper texts; the reformed Lectionary gives proper readings. (Is there a possibility of mutual enrichment here?) Saint Antony is a primary reference, a model of how we are to hear the Word of God, an inspiration in spiritual combat, a radiant icon of holiness for the ages.

No Rest From Spiritual Combat
The feast of Saint Antony, falling between the Christmas festivities and Septuagesima, is an invitation to shake off the sluggishness that comes with winter, a bracing reminder that there is no rest from spiritual combat, and that “the monk’s life ought at all seasons to bear a Lenten character” (RB 49:1). It is the custom in some monasteries on the feast of Saint Antony to go out to the barn to bless the animals. He is the patron of horses, pigs, cattle, and other domestic animals. Icons of Saint Antony often show his little pet pig nestled in the folds of his tunic. Our little staffie, Hilda, will undoubtedly receive her Saint Antony Day blessing very meekly.

Ice on the Holy Water
Making a trip to the barn in the mid-January cold may be as much of a blessing for the monks as for the animals. It is a wake-up call. One has to use the aspergillum to break the ice that forms on the Holy Water. One sees the animals shudder when the cold water hits them. These are very physical reminders of a spiritual truth. We cannot afford to become cozy and comfortable in a spirituality of feather comforters for the soul. From time to time we, like the barn animals, need the salutary shock of cold Holy Water splashed in our face!
The Life of Antony
More than forty years ago dear Trappist Father Marius Granato (+ 10 November 2003) of Spencer introduced me to the Life of Antony by Saint Athanasius. Heady reading for a fifteen year old boy! Shortly thereafter a wise Father told me that one should read the Life of Antony once a year. These seasoned monks knew exactly what they were doing: they were proposing a model of holiness perfectly adapted to the ideals of a youth starting out on the spiritual journey. After all, the Life of Antony begins with an account of his boyhood. He was about “eighteen, or even twenty” when, going into church one day, he heard the Gospel being chanted, and understood that it was Christ speaking to him. “If thou wilt be perfect, go sell what thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come follow me” (Mt 19:21).

A Book For All Ages
Why counsel an annual reading of the Life of Antony? Because it is a text that, in some way, grows with us. If it is suitable for the eager young seeker, it is just as suitable to the Christian wrestling with the oppressive noon-day devil or with the cunning demons of midlife. For the Christian faced with the onset of old age, it is a comforting book. The Life of Antony belongs on the bookshelf of every priest; it should be within the reach of all monks,  and even of our Benedictine Oblates.

0117anthony.jpgHe Never Looked Gloomy
The portrait of Saint Antony at the end of his life shows a man transfigured: “His face,” says Saint Athanasius, “had a great and marvelous grace. . . . His soul being free of confusion, he held his outer senses also undisturbed, so that from the soul’s joy his face was cheerful as well, and from the movements of the body it was possible to sense and perceive the stable condition of the soul, as it is written, ‘When the heart rejoices, the countenance is cheerful.” Antony . . . was never troubled, his soul being calm, and he never looked gloomy, his mind being joyous” (Life of Antony, 67). This serenity of countenance is what monastic life is supposed to produce!

The Lectionary
The Proper Readings given today in the reformed lectionary provide us with a rich lectio divina. Even those who follow the 1962 Missal would do well to search out the Proper texts given in the reformed lectionary.

Spiritual combat (Eph 6:10-11).
Struggle with the powers of darkness (Eph 6:12-13).
Constant prayer in the Spirit (Eph 6:18).
Watchfulness (Eph 6:18).
God as chosen portion and cup (Ps 15:5).
God present and giving counsel, even in the night (Ps 15:7-8).
The voice of Christ calling to disappropriation (Mt 19:21).
The perfect life that leads to treasure in heaven (Mt 19:21).
The camel and the eye of the needle (Mt 19:24).

But With God All Things Are Possible
And finally, there is the very last line of the Gospel, the one line that fills us with an irrepressible hope: “With men this is impossible: but with God all things are possible” (Mt 19:26). Hold this in your heart today: “With God all things are possible.”


Matins readings for the Second Sunday after Epiphany [Lectio Divina Notes]

The readings and responsories  (where available) for Matins in the Benedictine Office for the Second Sunday after Epiphany are set out below.

Nocturn I (2 Corinthians 1)

Reading 1:   Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother: to the church of God that is at Corinth, with all the saints that are in all Achaia: [2] Grace unto you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. [3] Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort. [4] Who comforteth us in all our tribulation; that we also may be able to comfort them who are in all distress, by the exhortation wherewith we also are exhorted by God. [5] For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us: so also by Christ doth our comfort abound.

R. O Lord, rebuke me not in thine anger, neither chasten me in thine hot displeasure.
* Have mercy upon me, O Lord, for I am weak.
V. Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and darkness hath overwhelmed me.

R. Have mercy upon me, O Lord, for I am weak.

Reading 2: [6] Now whether we be in tribulation, it is for your exhortation and salvation: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation: or whether we be exhorted, it is for your exhortation and salvation, which worketh the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer. [7] That our hope for you may be steadfast: knowing that as you are partakers of the sufferings, so shall you be also of the consolation. 

R. O God, Which seatest in the throne judging right, be Thou a refuge for the poor, a refuge in times of trouble.
* For Thou alone beholdest mischief and spite.
V. The poor leaveth himself unto thee; Thou wilt be the helper of the fatherless.

R. For Thou alone beholdest mischief and spite.

Reading 3:  [8] For we would not have you ignorant, brethren, of our tribulation, which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure above our strength, so that we were weary even of life. [9] But we had in ourselves the answer of death, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God who raiseth the dead. [10] Who hath delivered and doth deliver us out of so great dangers: in whom we trust that he will yet also deliver us. [11] You helping withal in prayer for us: that for this gift obtained for us, by the means of many persons, thanks may be given by many in our behalf. 

R. The Lord is at my right hand, I shall never be moved.
* Therefore my heart is glad, and my tongue rejoiceth.
V. The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance, and of my cup.
R. Therefore my heart is glad, and my tongue rejoiceth.

Reading 4: [12] For our glory is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity of heart and sincerity of God, and not in carnal wisdom, but in the grace of God, we have conversed in this world: and more abundantly towards you. [13] For we write no other things to you than what you have read and known. And I hope that you shall know unto the end:

Nocturn II: Sermon of St John Chrysostom (Preface for the letters of St Paul)

Reading 5: As I listen intently to the reading of S.Paul's Epistles, often two or three times a week, whenever we commemorate the holy martyrs, I am filled with joy, delighting in the sound of that spiritual trumpet. And as I recognize the voice of a friend, I am roused, and enkindled with love so that I almost seem to see him present, and to hear him speaking. But nevertheless I am grieved, and am troubled, that all do not know this great man as he desrves to be known. Indeed, many are so ignorant that they do not even know how many epistles he wrote. But this ignorance is not due to a want of intelligence on their part, but because they will not carefully study the writings of this great man.

R. O Lord, Thou hast shown me the path of life.
* Thou shalt fill me with joy in thy presence, at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
V. Thou art He That shalt restore mine inheritance unto me.
R. Thou shalt fill me with joy in thy presence, at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

Reading 6: For what we know, if we know anything, we do not know it owing to any superlative talent or penetration, but, being strongly drawn towards this great man, we never cease from reading his works. For so it is that those who love any one usually know better than others what he has done, because they take the trouble to learn all about him. The blessed Paul himself shows that this is so, when he says to the Philippians: As it is meet for me to think this for you all : for that I have you in my heart; and in my bands, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel.

R. I will love thee, O Lord, my strength; the Lord is my rock
* And my fortress.
V. My Deliverer, my God, mine Helper.
R. And my fortress.

Reading 7: And if you also will diligently attend to the reading, you will have no need of other instruction. Most true are those words of Christ : Seek and you shall find : knock and it shall be opened unto you. 

R. The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof
* The world, and they that dwell therein.
V. For He hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.
R. The world, and they that dwell therein.

Reading 8: For the rest, since many of those who are assembled here are charged with the care of a wife, and with providing for a family, and with the bringing-up of children, and therefore cannot devote themselves wholly to this study; let them at least bestir themselves to receive what others have gathered; showing as much eagerness in listening to what is said about him as in acquiring wealth. For though it is unseemly to demand from you no more than this, yet it is to be wished that you do this at least.

Nocturn III: Sermon of St Augustine on John 2 (Tract 9)

Reading 9: From the holy Gospel according to John (John 2:1-11)
In that time there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee: and the mother of Jesus was there. And Jesus also was invited, and his disciples, to the marriage. And so on.

Even setting aside any mystical interpretation, the fact that the Lord was pleased to be asked, and to go to a marriage, showeth plainly enough that He is the Author and Blesser of marriage. There were yet to be those of whom the Apostle hath warned us as forbidding to marry ; who say that marriage is a bad thing in itself, and a work of the devil. Yet we read in the Gospel that when the Lord was asked, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? He answered that it was not lawful, except it were for fornication. In which answer ye will remember that He used these words : What God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

R. Unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.
* O my God, I trust in thee, let me not be ashamed.
V. O keep my soul and deliver me.
R. O my God, I trust in thee, let me not be ashamed.

Reading 10: They who are well instructed in the Catholic religion know that God is the Author and Blesser of marriage ; and that, whereas joining together in marriage is of God, divorce is of the devil. But it is lawful for a man to put away his wife in case of fornication, 8 for by not keeping a wife's faith to her husband she herself hath first willed not to be wife. 

Reading 11: They also who have made a vow of their virginity to God and have thereby attained to an higher degree of honour and holiness in the Church, are not unmarried, for they are a special part of the marriage of the whole Church, which is the Bride of Christ.

R. My sins, O Lord, are fixed in me, like arrows, but before they caused wounds in me, 
* Heal me, O God, with the medicine of repentance.
V. For I know my iniquity, * and my sin is always before me. 

R. Heal me, O God, with the medicine of repentance.

Reading 12: Lord, being asked, went to the marriage, to strengthen the marriage tie, and to shed light on the hidden meaning of matrimony. In that marriage feast the Bridegroom to whom it was said, " Thou hast kept the good wine until now," was a figure of the Lord Christ, Who hath kept until now the good wine, namely the Gospel.

R: One Seraph cried unto another
* Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God of hosts the whole earth is full of His glory.
V. There are Three That bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost and these Three are One.
R. Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God of hosts
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost.

R. The whole earth is full of His glory.

Gospel: St John 2:1-11

Et die tertia nuptiæ factæ sunt in Cana Galilææ, et erat mater Jesu ibi. 2 Vocatus est autem et Jesus, et discipuli ejus, ad nuptias. 3 Et deficiente vino, dicit mater Jesu ad eum: Vinum non habent. 4 Et dicit ei Jesus: Quid mihi et tibi est, mulier? nondum venit hora mea. 5 Dicit mater ejus ministris: Quodcumque dixerit vobis, facite. 6 Erant autem ibi lapideæ hydriæ sex positæ secundum purificationem Judæorum, capientes singulæ metretas binas vel ternas. 7 Dicit eis Jesus: Implete hydrias aqua. Et impleverunt eas usque ad summum. 8 Et dicit eis Jesus: Haurite nunc, et ferte architriclino. Et tulerunt. 9 Ut autem gustavit architriclinus aquam vinum factam, et non sciebat unde esset, ministri autem sciebant, qui hauserant aquam: vocat sponsum architriclinus, 10 et dicit ei: Omnis homo primum bonum vinum ponit et cum inebriati fuerint, tunc id, quod deterius est. Tu autem servasti bonum vinum usque adhuc. 11 Hoc fecit initium signorum Jesus in Cana Galilææ; et manifestavit gloriam suam, et crediderunt in eum discipuli ejus.

And the third day, there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee: and the mother of Jesus was there. [2] And Jesus also was invited, and his disciples, to the marriage. [3] And the wine failing, the mother of Jesus saith to him: They have no wine. [4] And Jesus saith to her: Woman, what is that to me and to thee? my hour is not yet come. [5] His mother saith to the waiters: Whatsoever he shall say to you, do ye.[6] Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three measures apiece. [7] Jesus saith to them: Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. [8] And Jesus saith to them: Draw out now, and carry to the chief steward of the feast. And they carried it. [9] And when the chief steward had tasted the water made wine, and knew not whence it was, but the waiters knew who had drawn the water; the chief steward calleth the bridegroom, [10] And saith to him: Every man at first setteth forth good wine, and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse. But thou hast kept the good wine until now.[11] This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee; and manifested his glory, and his disciples believed in him.


Just A Reminder []

The Expulsion of the Monks from Chartreux, 1903

Anti-clericalism can happen anywhere, at any time….


Fundstück: Ein Kommentar aus dem Ausland [Beiboot Petri]

Da muss man warten, bis mal was aus dem Ausland kommt, aber umso größer ist die Freude: 

Ich bin ja jedes Jahr dabei, bei der schönen Vesper, die die Corporis Christi Erzbruderschaft jedes Jahr in München feiert. Kurz hatte ich ja auch schon was dazu geschrieben. Aber dieser Artikel ist wirklich wunderschön und besonders die Fotos (die ich aus Prinzip nicht mache) sind eine Augenweide.

Wer also mal die Schönheit unseres Glaubens auf sich wirken lassen will: Hier geht's zum Artikel.


Pope Francis on the Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple [Diligite iustitiam]

Even God Needs Mercy? (A Troubling Homily by Pope Francis) by Fr. Brian Harrison, O.S.

The same homily to which Fr. Z reacted here.

Latin nestorianism?

How long has the feast of the Holy Family been around? Only since the late 19th century, as it was instituted by Leo XIII? The feast is rather a novelty in the history of the Roman rite, reflecting Latin piety and theological emphasis at that time? (Much like the addition of St. Joseph by John XXIII to the Roman canon?)

Feast of the Holy Family - December 27, 2015


Link [Diligite iustitiam]

Chiesa: When It Comes To Gay Unions, Bergoglio Doesn’t Say No by Sandro Magister

They are about to become law in Italy, but the pope is discouraging Catholics from raising the barricades. He did the same thing in Argentina. But there’s a difference in his politics on immigration, poverty, Islamic radicalism


Link [Diligite iustitiam]

Catholic World Report: Pope Francis and Catholic Traditionalists: 20 Questions for Kenneth Wolfe
The Rorate Caeli contributor offers his thoughts on the current papacy and on growing interest in the pre-Vatican II liturgical tradition.
By Sean Salai, S.J.


Epiphany in Munich [New Liturgical Movement]

Thanks to reader Dawid Patryk Szmigielski for sending in these photos and description of the Epiphany celebrations at the church of St Peter in Munich, Germany.

Epiphany was a packed day of liturgical celebrations at St Peter’s Parish in Munich, Germany. The parish is the mother of all parishes in the medieval center of the city, built is on the site of the original church where the monks from whom Munich gets its name evangelized and lived in the 8th century, on St. Peter’s Hill. Archbishop Gaenswein, secretary to Pope Benedict XVI, was parish priest here. Then-Archbishop Ratzinger celebrated morning mass Thursdays, ad orientem, at the Corpus Christi side-altar.

The parish is known for retaining the high altar without an additional freestanding altar in the sanctuary, and also for sacred music, art, liturgy, and a collection of relics, including the bejeweled skeletal remains of St. Munditia, a Roman martyr, exposed for all to venerate. The church is adjacent to City Hall and the Marianplatz Square, and minutes away from the Cathedral.

The 9:30 am weekly principal mass in the ordinary form, preceded by the Asperges, is said ad orientem in Latin, with the Liturgy of the Word in German. After Mass, the Blessed Sacrament is exposed in a monumental monstrance lowered mechanically from a niche above the tabernacle, below the Gothic and Baroque depiction of the Chair of St. Peter. The tiara atop St. Peter’s head is traditionally removed during an interregnum period, and crowned again upon the installation of the next successor of Peter.

Tradition dictates that the Archbishop visit the parish every Epiphany. This is in part due to the parish being home to the Corpus Christi Brotherhood, which celebrates its high feast on the Epiphany, following the example of the Adoration of the Magi. After the morning Masses, the Blessed Sacrament is exposed until 3pm, then temporarily reposed for a grand celebration of Vespers in Latin with the Archbishop. A Eucharistic procession through the church follows, with Benediction at the end. The last Mass of the day is at 6:30pm, with a blessing with the relics of the three magi as the final blessing. This year, unfortunately, His Eminence Cardinal Marx was unable to attend and was represented by the Vicar General of Munich and Freising.

Notably, the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter, ministers in one of the parish’s affiliated churches, St. Anne’s Damenstiftskirche, in the Extraordinary Form. Mass at St. Peter’s in Munich is offered only in the Ordinary Form, ad orientem, by both diocesan and religious priests. His Holiness Pope Pius VI celebrated Pontifical High Mass here in 1782.


Wir werden das geschafft haben [katholon]

… oder untergegangen sein.

Bundeskanzleramt Berlin

Bundeskanzleramt Berlin

Das Kanzlerinnenmantra „Wir schaffen das.“ ist nach Silvester etwas verstummt. Lauter geworden sind dagegen die Berichte über gleiche und ähnliche Vorkommnisse, wie die in Köln in der Silvesternacht. Endlich traut man sich die real existierenden Probleme offen zu berichten. Es ist ja nicht so, daß dies in der Silvesternacht vom Himmel gefallen oder spontan aus der Hölle geklettert wäre. Es ist auch nicht das ganze Problemfeld, welches sich da in einer Nacht in Gestalt kriminell übergriffiger Männer aufgefaltet hätte. Die Probleme reichen weiter und tiefer. Es ist kaum möglich alle aufzuzählen.

Angefangen bei der Tatsache, daß wir nun eine große Zahl Menschen im Land haben, die weder irgendwo registriert sind, noch daß deren Herkunft sicher bekannt wäre. Wer ist denn nun alles in unser Land geflohen? Eine Frage, die bald mal beantwortet werden sollte, wollen wir nicht in den kommenden Jahrzehnten mit einer unbekannten Anzahl illegal hier lebender Menschen zu tun haben. Auch Menschen, die sich illegal in einem Land aufhalten, müssen essen, brauchen Kleidung, Wohnung andere Dinge des täglichen Bedarfs. Wo werden sie das Geld dafür wohl herbekommen. Sicher nicht auf dem normalen Arbeitsmarkt. Ganz sicher auch nicht von den kommunalen Sozialämtern. Bekommen wir das Problem der illegalen Aufenthalte im Land nicht in den Griff, werden wir einen Boom (organisierter) Kriminalität und Schwarzarbeit erleben, den sich die meisten jetzt nicht einmal ausmalen können. Bei der derzeitigen Schwäche der Polizei wird das ein Katz und Maus Spiel werden, deren Verlierer schon heute fest steht. Es wird nämlich der Staat – und damit wir alle – sein, dem durch wachsende Kriminalität und Schattenwirtschaft Milliardenschäden entstehen. Wer Rom kennt, kennt auch die Jungs mit den Schirmen (Umbrelli, Umbrelli …), die nichts als Schrott für fünf Euro sind, den gefälschten Edelmarkenhandtaschen, den Selfiesticks (aka Deppenzepter) oder sinnlosen Spielwaren. Die meisten dieser jungen Männer leben illegal in Italien. Wollen wir in den Fußgängerzonen und an den Touristenzentren des Landes künftig auch diese fliegenden Händler? Jetzt aber bitte bloß keine moralinschwangere Empörung. Die Frage will beantwortet werden, sonst beantwortet sie sich nämlich von selber. Und es sind nicht die illegal im Lande lebenden fliegenden Händler die bösen Buben, auch das sollte klar sein. Da stehen Organisationen dahinter, für die diese arbeiten (müssen). Natürlich zahlen die alle ganz brav Steuern und Sozialabgaben. Klar, oder? Darum sind die auch ganz fix, innerhalb von Minuten verschwunden, wenn sich die Polizei am Horizont zeigt.

Es erschöpft sich nicht darin. Einen Minishitstorm löste der Bürgermeister einer westfälischen Kleinstadt mit seiner Ansicht aus, die da kämen wären ja zu einem Großteil Analphabeten und hätten nichts ordentliches gelernt. Er hat recht damit. Ein deutlicher Anteil der Migranten ist, wie man das auf Neudeutsch so schön sagt, bildungsfern. So werden wir einen großen Anteil derer, die jetzt legal in unserem Land leben und die hierbleiben wollen nahtlos in die Reihe der Hartz IV Empfänger einreihen können. Diese werden auf Dauer und nicht nur für kurze Zeit die kommunalen Haushalte belasten. Diese werde zum überwiegenden Teil nicht in den Arbeitsmarkt zu bringen sein. Neben vielen anderen unschönen Nebenwirkungen hat das Leben auf Kosten der Sozialkassen aber vor allem den Effekt der Langeweile. Die werden nicht wissen, womit sie den Tag verbringen sollen. Die Folgen kennt man: Drogen, Alkohol, Glücksspiel u.ä. Das wird nicht jeden betreffen, aber viele.

Wir haben es mit Menschen zu tun, die aus anderen Kulturen zu uns kommen. Die kommen nicht aus dem Mittelalter, die sind schon im 21. Jh. beheimatet, doch trotzdem werden nicht wenige einen Kulturschock erleiden, sich fremd und überfordert fühlen. Andere, wie man jetzt zunehmend sieht, kommen aus einem kulturellen Umfeld, in dem Frauen grundsätzlich Freiwild sind. Und sie benehmen sich auch so. Dazu kommt noch das Risiko, daß mit den vielen Flüchtlingen einige einsickern, die eindeutig der islamistischen Terrorszene zuzuordnen sind. Die tragen die IS- Fahne nicht vor sich her, die werden sich still und ruhig, angepaßt und freundlich benehmen, bis es zu spät ist. Kulturelle Unterschiede und Gefahren durch islamistische Kriminalität zeigen schon jetzt eine Veränderung der Gesellschaft. Karnevalsveranstaltungen und -umzüge fallen aus. Größere Veranstaltungen erfordern einen deutlichen Mehraufwand an Sicherheitsmaßnahmen. Auch das persönliche Sicherheitsgefühl der Menschen im Land nimmt ab. Pfefferspray und Selbstverteidigungskurse boomen.

Wirtschaftlich wird unser Land „das“ tatsächlich schaffen. Daran gibt es keinen Zweifel. Es gibt ferner keinen Zweifel daran, daß eine große Zahl der Flüchtlinge sich mittelfristig hervorragend integrieren wird. Spreu und Weizen werden sich da sehr schnell trennen. Und da es eben in der Regel, das zeigt die Geschichte der USA, Kanadas oder Australien, nicht die dümmsten sind, die eine Migration auf sich nehmen, werden wir sehr schnell merken, wer die Pfiffigen unter den Einwanderern sind.

Kulturell werden wir es vermutlich nicht schaffen, denn wir haben unsere eigene Kultur grandios versemmelt. Wir leben, wie der schöne Ausspruch von Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn sagt, nur noch vom Geruch der leeren Flasche unserer christlich-abendländischen Kultur. (N.B. Bei den selbsternannten Rettern selbiger, die dieser Tage durch deutsche Innenstädte spazieren gehen, sucht man selbst diesen vergeben. Dumpfbackige völkische Parolen suchte man in der abendländischen Kultur zum Glück vergebens.) Dieser Mangel an Kultur generiert eine Schwäche, die der Konsumismus und Hedonismus unserer Tage geradezu noch verschärfen. Worin wollen wir die Migranten denn integrieren? Was soll den Menschen, die hier Heimat suchen, an Werten, an Kultur, an Leitlinien für das Miteinander angeboten werden? Diese Frage ist unbeantwortet. Sie ist bei weitem nicht die geringste der offenen Fragen.

So reicht schon ein grober Abriß, um zu verstehen, welche Herkulesaufgabe auf unser Land zukommen wird. Diese Aufgabe zu schaffen ist nicht möglich mit einer Regierung, die sich in unscharf dahin wabernden Mantrarezitationen ergeht. Und auch den Spritpreis erhöhen zu wollen, um mehr Geld zu generieren, wirkt angesichts der Ernsthaftigkeit der Probleme mehr als nur lächerlich. Steuern anheben, wenn das alles ist, was unsere Regierung kann, sind wir arm dran. Im doppelten Sinne!

Da es für eine Umkehr zu spät ist, wir können eben nicht en passant eine Million Menschen wieder aus dem Land beamen, braucht es Lösungen. Es braucht Menschen die anpacken. Es braucht Konzepte und deren konsequente Umsetzung. Es braucht eine Menge Phantasie und Mut, unkonventionelle Wege zu gehen. Es braucht vor allem Klarheit und Wahrheit, wie aktuelle Situation wirklich aussieht. Wir brauchen keine Politiker, die nicht von der AnKst zerfressen sind, sie könnten die Bürger verunsichern. Wir brauchen keine schrulligen alt und post68er Emanzen und Gutmenschen. Selbst auf deren Gefasel können wir dankend verzichten. Geht in Rente, wir haben ein paar echte Probleme zu lösen.

Wir brauchen Problemlöser, die Menschen auch dann noch begeistern können, wenn die Begeisterung Altruismus fordert. Das! gehört zum Geist des Abendlandes. Wir brauchen Männer und Frauen, die wenn es sein muß von Blut, Schweiß und Tränen reden. Laßt Bob den Baumeister im Comic. „Jo! Wir schaffen das“ will gerade echt keiner mehr hören. Bei allem verhaltenen Optimismus, den man bei einer konsequenten, klaren und mutigen Politik entwickeln könnte -bislang sieht es leider nicht danach aus – werden wir dennoch in einem veränderten Land leben. Uns hat keiner danach gefragt, ob wir das wollen. Jetzt müssen wir. Es wäre allerdings an der Zeit, das „Wie“ mal konkret anzupacken. Dabei sollten wir eben nicht denen hinterher laufen, die uns weiß machen wollen, man die Uhr zurück drehen. Das ist Quatsch. Und denen, die vermutlich canabisgeschwängerten Verstandes  von einer überromantischen Willkommenskultur faseln drehen wir auch besser den Rücken zu. Jede radikale politische Ausrichtung, ganz gleich ob sie den nationalen oder den internationalen Sozialismus predigt, gehen wir wirklich besser aus dem Weg. Wir haben doch beides schon gehabt und beides war Mist. Wie können solche überhaupt noch Anhänger finden?

Unser Land hat eine reiche und wechselhafte Geschichte. Man hat wegen unserer Kultur, unserer wissenschaftlichen und wirtschaftlichen Leistungen schon immer mit Bewunderung und Neid auf Deutschland geschaut. Daran können wir doch anknüpfen. Eine große Integrationskraft hat unser Volk schon auf Grund der föderalen Struktur.  Wir sind kein monolithisches Volk. Das gereicht uns hier zum Vorteil. Völkerwanderungen sind in Europa nichts neues. Wir erleben gerade wieder eine. Und das ist immer eine krisenhafte Situation mit Gefahr und Chance.

Dabei sollte uns eines klar sein: Wir werden die Probleme lösen oder untergehen. Dazwischen ist nicht viel.



Value Added Mass [That The Bones You Have Crushed May Thrill]

I recently attended an evening Mass at a Church in the South East. I'm not a 'mystery worshipper' so, as is my habit, I'm not giving the name of priest or parish.

I've never been to a Mass wherein the (visiting) priest, who in this instance was senior in years, during Holy Communion, announced that he was going to play a "hymn" (which, was in fact, like all of the songs he played a kind of modern Christian 'pop' anthem about the Lord Jesus and how much he loves him).

The emotive device was also used at the beginning of Mass to serve as some kind of 'introit'. Whatever you think of modern Christian 'worship music', it really didn't flow well at all as the priest pressed a loud 'click' just 10 seconds into the 'second song'.


Followed by silence. It just doesn't work and what youths were there looked distinctly unmoved. Finally, at the end of the Mass, the exit 'hymn' was another modern 'vocals, guitar, drums, bass' Christian 'anthem'. The stereo device and its sound, its 'relevance', I think the priest thought 'added value' to the Mass. 'Click!'

However, all this modern musical innovation which I assume the priest thought added value to the worship of Almighty God, to the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, or to our 'experience' took a backseat in my mind during the homily, in which the said priest gave the congregation the distinct impression that 50 years ago the Catholic Church taught that if you were not baptised then you wouldn't be able to enter Heaven, but now... '(insert your vague belief here-_______________').

The Mass took place on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord - a fine opportunity to remind us of our Baptismal promises and the Lord's command to His Apostles to go forth making adopted children of God of those who remain in the darkness of error and in slavery to Darkness's very own Prince.

For the first time in my Mass-attending existence, I approached the priest afterwards to politely, but reasonably firmly, ask whether he had basically told us the Church no longer believed Baptism was necessary for Salvation, as She once did. I covered the expected territory:

  • This teaching on Baptism is of the Lord. Christ said it. I repeated His view on the matter.
  • That no angel came had down from Heaven to tell the Church the teaching had changed.
  • That Baptism of desire was already a possibility to those who sought Salvation but did not have the opportunity to receive it physically from a priest and that the Church already taught that.

But the more we talked, the less Catholic teaching as I understand it seemed to matter. It was simply 'vacuumed up' when raised. There had been, in his mind at least, a 'great unveiling' of hidden truth five decades ago. He assured me that his moral theology was impeccable and that he was re-iterating Church teaching. On Baptism of desire, he agreed that the Church already believed it, but that the Church had not taught it openly but had 'hidden it'. But fifty or sixty years ago, it 'all came out', I guess was his point of view. No, he said that, I am sure. He seemed to think that (I assume he was referring to the Second Vatican Council), that fifty years ago things were revealed in the Church that changed everything, even our view of the necessity of Baptism.

He cited the days Scripture reading as the reason why this should be the case:

Peter addressed Cornelius and his household: ‘The truth I have now come to realise’ he said ‘is that God does not have favourites, but that anybody of any nationality who fears God and does what is right is acceptable to him.

‘It is true, God sent his word to the people of Israel, and it was to them that the good news of peace was brought by Jesus Christ – but Jesus Christ is Lord of all men. You must have heard about the recent happenings in Judaea; about Jesus of Nazareth and how he began in Galilee, after John had been preaching baptism. God had anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and because God was with him, Jesus went about doing good and curing all who had fallen into the power of the devil.’

He treated this text as if St Peter was saying to Cornelius and his household (who I think were indeed baptised):

'The truth I have now come to realise is that God does not care whether people believe in Christ or whether they are baptised or not, just as long as the unbelievers and pagans follow their own religions and consciences as best they can'. It'll all be okay.

The priest believed that God accepts the Hindu who follows his path and who tries to be a good Hindu, the Muslim who does the same, the Jew and the unbaptised pagans. Conversion to any faith in Jesus Christ is not required. The priest really believed this. Of course, Christ never said this, but never mind. Let's not the Lord get in the way of a 70s zeitgeist perpetuating itself into 2016 and beyond.

 The priest really believed this and - irritating ad libbing and unnecessary low Mass stereo interference aside - implicitly told the congregation that the Church no longer believes in Baptism as in any way necessary for Salvation.

Oh - and he also suggested - no, said explicitly to me, that Pope Francis is the one who is 'lifting the lid' on all these hidden realities of the Church helping us all to 'see things as they really are'. This really is the dawn of the new age of the Church according to his mind, a new age that extends its love and mercy to the divorced and remarried also, who despite being, according to the words of Jesus Christ, adulterers, are simply now in "a tricky situation".

What was truly frightening in all this - oh and don't worry, we still ended the conversation with a 'Thank you, Father' handshake as one does at the end of Mass - was the way in which Christ our Lord and His actual words had been forced to so well and truly step aside. Nothing Our Lord actually said or did seemed any longer to have relevance any more. Where Liturgy was once able - or could be able - to speak of Christ's beauty and love, he had stepped in. We were not even allowed to communicate in silence.

Speaking with him, it became clear that relativism had truly come to reign while he taught me his doctrine that each person is judged not on what is objectively right and true, wrong and false, but on what a person thought was right and true, wrong and false - even if they were wrong. Extended to its logical conclusion, if the Hell Christ taught about existed, there would be very few people who would go there, rather than (in Our Lord's words) the 'many [who] go down that road', because sins and offenses only become real sins and real offenses to God when the person actually believes they are. That'll be a free pass for the unrepentant abortionist, I guess. Following his logic, every sin can become not just not a sin, but a virtue in the free exercising of conscience.

All this the priest told me, face to face, with no hint of embarrassment. He is retired and of no doubt he is of a generation of priests who were ill-informed and were not fed on Christ's truth, but modern scholars "interpretations". Not long after this Mass, I heard from another friend that the priest in his local parish has put up a picture of Adam Ant in the Presbytery for all-comers to see.

Over all, in terms of the homily, I sensed real contempt in the priest's voice for what the Church gave to Her children 60 years ago. Perhaps the message that went out to the pews on Baptism was sure and not so nuanced, but then Christ Himself didn't offer such nuance and at least the people 60 years ago knew what the mission of the Church was. No wonder people are left wondering what the mission of the Church is with homilies like the one I heard.

Yes, if you ask me, Pope Francis and this priest are singing from the same hymn sheet. The Church will only be 'relevant' in their view if She adapts to the mores and movements of the age, the 'beats of our time'. The priest was adamant that in terms of the Presence of Christ in the Church (he and I both remonstrated and pointed towards the Tabernacle) its primacy was in 'us', the body of Christ, rather than in the Tabernacle, in which is housed the very Body of Christ. In terms of 'Presence', and in terms of 'Christ', His Real Presence in the Blessed Sacrament appeared to be very, very secondary. One wonders, therefore, who is more worthy of worship? Us or the Lord Jesus?

For some reason, David Bowie - and all he represented or meant to music and our culture - has produced an industry of commentators within Catholicism since his death. Personally, I will always remember him as the guy who introduced us to 'The Snowman'. However, let us not miss an opportunity to reflect on what the artist sang and just how much he and the Church in modern times, agree....Makes you wonder whether the Church influences the culture or the culture influences the Church?  Who is mirroring whom?




The Catholic “Manly Men Movement” [AKA Catholic]

The Catholic “Manly Men Movement” may well be a good faith attempt to remedy a real problem, but it’s as much a symptom of the feminist infiltration of the Church than it is a solution. TRANSCRIPT A couple of clarion calls for men to be manly men have been making their rounds on Catholic social media of late, and to a great deal of applause, much of it from friends. One comes from a recent interview of Cardinal Raymond Burke, the other, a video produced by the Diocese of Phoenix, AZ. I get it, I suppose. The applause, that is. more »


Economics of War: Russia, Oil, and the Dollar [LES FEMMES - THE TRUTH]

I confess, I'm a little bit of a ditz when it comes to economics. Except for balancing my own home budget, the world of finance has never been my forte, especially Wall Street finance. But I found this article interesting, particularly the part about breaking of Russian oil's connection to the dollar making it harder for the U.S. to wage war. Now wouldn't that be a blessing!:

Russia Breaking Wall St Oil Price Monopoly

Here's the part I found especially hopeful:
The Russian move to price in rubles its large oil exports to world markets, especially Western Europe, and increasingly to China and Asia via the ESPO pipeline and other routes, on the new Russian oil benchmark in the St. Petersburg International Mercantile Exchange is by no means the only move to lessen dependence of countries on the dollar for oil. Sometime early next year China, the world’s second-largest oil importer, plans to launch its own oil benchmark contract. Like the Russian, China’s benchmark will be denominated not in dollars but in Chinese Yuan. It will be traded on the Shanghai International Energy Exchange
Step-by-step, Russia, China and other emerging economies are taking measures to lessen their dependency on the US dollar, to “de-dollarize.” Oil is the world’s largest traded commodity and it is almost entirely priced in dollars. Were that to end, the ability of the US military industrial complex to wage wars without end would be in deep trouble.
Perhaps that would open some doors to more peaceful ideas such as spending US taxpayer dollars on rebuilding the horrendous deterioration of basic USA economic infrastructure. The American Society of Civil Engineers in 2013 estimated $3.6 trillion of basic infrastructure investment is needed in the United States over the next five years. They report that one out of every 9 bridges in America, more than 70,000 across the country, are deficient. Almost one-third of the major roads in the US are in poor condition. Only 2 of 14 major ports on the eastern seaboard will be able to accommodate the super-sized cargo ships that will soon be coming through the newly expanded Panama Canal. There are more than 14,000 miles of high-speed rail operating around the world, but none in the United States
That kind of basic infrastructure spending would be a far more economically beneficial source of real jobs and real tax revenue for the United States than more of John McCain’s endless wars. Investment in infrastructure, as I have noted in previous articles, has a multiplier effect in creating new markets. Infrastructure creates economic efficiencies and tax revenues of some 11 to 1 for every one dollar invested as the economy becomes more efficient....

A dramatic decline for the role of the dollar as world reserve currency, if coupled with a Russia-styled domestic refocus on rebuilding America’s domestic economy, rather than out-sourcing everything, could go a major way to rebalance a world gone mad with war. Paradoxically, the de-dollarization, by denying Washington the ability to finance future wars by the investment in US Treasury debt from Chinese, Russian and other foreign bond buyers, could be a valuable contribution to genuine world peace. Wouldn’t that be nice for a change?
Of course, there is no end of politicians' ability to find ways to make war and line the pockets of a handful of elite pragmatists who have no problem trading lives to fill their bank accounts. My husband and I pray a Hail Mary after grace every evening before dinner for world peace. Think we'll offer our rosary for that tonight as well.


Definition of the universe [Just Thomism]

If we focus on the moment of causing, we couldn’t get the idea of causes being in prior in time. So why is temporal priority taken as essential to causing? Because we start seeing the cause as the initiator. But even this isn’t enough – we need to see the cause as working though subordinates, so that “the effect” is either at the end of the action of subordinate causes (like ringing the bell in the carnival strong-man game)  or the cumulative effect of subordinate causes making a whole (like a burning house being the sum of all its parts catching on fire).

Time is integral not to causality as such but to subordinate or secondary causes. Time is required when the primary agent is trying to act on one part after another either to reach an end or to form a whole. Do away with the secondary causes, and any temporal interval between cause an effect vanishes. Looking for it is like trying to find some time between pushing Joe and Joe being pushed.

We can consider the necessity of time not just through subordinate causes but though the substance of imperfect being.  By “imperfect being” I mean one that has incompossible perfections.  A person can have either the innocence of childhood, the beauty of youth, the authority of maturity or the wisdom of age, but these are incompossible, which can only be whole over an interval of time. Here again, however, we run into the subordinate causality of parts forming a whole. Time allows beings with incompossible perfections unite those perfections in a whole.

And so the domain of all time – the universe – is the totality of all incompossible perfections possessed by secondary causes.


Pope Francis granted a private audience to Google CEO Eric Schmidt ... [Abbey Roads]

Whispers in the lobbia posted commentary:
In terms of protocol, the sheer occurrence of the sit-down and its announcement alongside the usual crop of routine meetings with prelates is nothing short of extraordinary. - Monsignor Palmo
Abbey-Roads reporter Nancy Drew informed me about this yesterday, immediately after the release of Friday's Noontime Bollettino of the Holy See Press Office with the following communique:

Dateline: Fri 1/15/2016 10:26 AM 
Google is taking over the Church! Eric Schmidt had an audience with the Pope!

I of course thought she was already drunk, being the weekend and all.



That steps not slide. That holy faith be kept. [Transalpine Redemptorists at home]

The sky is beautiful this evening. 
It is clear. The sea is calm.
Ice is biting into the ground.
Welcome stillness indeed
but where steps might simply slide.

O blessed solitude where we meditate at meals
on the lives and sayings of the Saints.

Today there was an interesting statement from St Alphonsus.
We are well  through Volume II of his Life.

On 14 May 1772 he wrote to Father Blasucci:

"Naples is abandoning the faith,
people no longer go to confession,
preaching is despised,
seculars expound theology,
and everyone interprets Holy Scriptures,
the dogmas and commandments
just as he pleases!"

O Holy Father watch over us in 2016!
Pray for us that even if entire cities of souls
abandon the faith in our times,
pray that we persevere 
in keeping the same faith that you professed
and in which you died. 


The 105 ... [Fr Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment]

... 'Senior Anglicans' who wrote a letter about homosexuality before the Anglican Primates' Meeting make up an interesting list. OK, it is composed partly of sprightly old gents who having retired from their sees no longer feel constrained by office; but have a look at some of the others. All those Deans, including the deans of once 'Catholic' dioceses and cathedrals such as Truro and Exeter and


Should Any Catholic Praise Luther? (A cross-post) [RORATE CÆLI]

Blogger Dr. Christopher Malloy has written an eloquent piece on why we absolutely should not praise Luther as we draw near to the 500th anniversary of his initial public act of rebellion. Rorate thanks Dr. Malloy for his permission to cross-post this timely collection of quotations here.

We praise someone who fundamentally deserves praise. No one is without fault, and no one without some merit. But only those are worthy of praise who fundamentally deserve praise, whose pith and marrow is good.

Now, Luther certainly saw some things in the Church as evil that were evil. No one can say that his vision was totally corrupted. But was his vision fundamentally worthy of praise? We must, of course, distinguish contemporary Lutherans from Luther. Here, we are interested in the founder, in the foundation he laid.

What should be the matter upon which we judge this case? Luther’s own texts, of course.

So, in this post, we will cite Luther at length in one of his key contributions. Granted, this key contribution he did not continue explicitly to lay out. However, he never retracted it. In another post, we can lay out the theses he continued explicitly to hold.

In reading the below, ask yourself these questions: Could a saint utter the words below? Could a holy man write the following? Could a true lover of God, one in the state of grace, write the following?

First Thesis of Luther. For Luther, Divine Foreknowledge means that there is No Contingency, and that means that there is No Freedom. This thesis he lays down, so he asserts, to protect God’s foreknowledge so as to protect his promise so as to protect our confidence in salvation by faith alone. Indeed, here we see the connection between this foundation and the explicit teaching of his that endures and which will be treated in a future post. The connection: If future events are contingent, God’s promise is not as trustworthy as we need it to be. Hence, future events are not contingent.

For Luther, there is either grace or freedom (Martin Luther, Bondage of the Will, from Luther’s Works vol. 33, p. 126; hereafter, LW 33:126). There is either freedom or Christ (LW 33:279).

(Regarding Pharaoh), Luther writes: “If there had been any flexibility or freedom of choice in Pharaoh, which could have turned either way, God would not have been able so certainly to predict his hardening. Since, however, the Giver of the promise is one who can neither be mistaken nor tell a lie, it was necessarily and most certainly bound to come about that Pharaoh should be hardened; which would not be the case unless the hardening were entirely beyond the capacity of man and within the power of God alone” (LW 33:183).


If God foreknew that Judas would be a traitor, Judas necessarily became a traitor, and it was not in the power of Judas or ay creature to do differently or to change his will, though he did what he did willingly and not under compulsion, but that act of will was a work of God, which he set in motion by his omnipotence, like everything else” (LW 33:185).


It is not in our power to change, much less to resist, his will, which wants us hardened and by which we are forced to be hardened, whether we like it or not” (LW 33:187).


“I admit that the question is difficult, and indeed impossible, if you wish to maintain at the same time both God’s foreknowledge and man’s freedom. What could be more difficult, nay more impossible, than to insist that contradictories or contraries are not opposed, or to find a number that was at the same time both ten and nine?…. Paul is thus putting a check on the ungodly, who are offended by this very plain speaking when they gather from it that the divine will is fulfilled by necessity on our part, and that very definitely nothing of freedom or free choice remains for them, but everything depends on the will of God alone…. Not that any injustice is done to us, since God owes us nothing, has received nothing from us, and has promised us nothing but what suits his will and pleasure” (LW 33:188).


God’s foreknowledge and omnipotence are diametrically opposed to our free choice” (LW 33:189).


“Here, then, is something fundamentally necessary and salutary for a Christian, to know that God foreknows nothing contingently, but that he foresees and purposes and does all things by his immutable, eternal, and infallible will. Here is a thunderbolt by which free choice is completely prostrated and shattered…” (Bondage [LW 33:37]).

Luther presents as his evidence that God is unchanging. So, he concludes, is God’s will. So far, so good. But from these he deduces that therefore, nothing is contingent. Again,

“From this it follows irrefutably that everything we do, everything that happens, even if it seems to us to happen mutably and contingently, happens in fact nonetheless necessarily and immutably, if you have regard to the will of God” (Bondage [LW 33:37f]).

What have real saints said about this thesis? Well, St. Thomas More labelled Luther’s thesis on absolute determination to be:


AMEN to St. Thomas More. How can we contradict St. Thomas More here? Should we, out of human respect and errant versions of ecumenism, lose our theological heads, not in service of martyrdom, but rather in praise of such execrable doctrine? 

Let us continue the citations.

For Luther, the thesis of absolute determinism is necessary in order to Protect Faith’s Certainty. No faith is possible unless one already “knows” that because God wills all things, nothing is contingent (LW 33:42).

“For if you doubt or disdain to know that God foreknows all things, not contingently, but necessarily and immutably, how can you believe his promises and place a sure trust and reliance on them? For when he promises anything, you ought to be certain that he knows and is able and willing to perform what he promises; otherwise, you will regard him as neither truthful nor faithful, and that is impiety and a denial of the Most High God. But how will you be certain and sure unless you know that he knows and wills and will do what he promises, certainly, infallibly, immutably, and necessarily?” (Martin Luther, The Bondage of the Will, LW 33:42)

Now, this reason for humility is utterly false, since it contradicts Catholic Dogma. But St. Bernard said that giving false reasons for humility is in fact pride. Hence, Luther also takes one of the steps of pride in contending that this thesis Benefits Humility.

Luther recognizes that the notion of absolute determinism seems to make God utterly evil and perverse. Instead, then, of rejecting it as blasphemous and fideistic, he embraces it as lifting up Faith and Revelation, since it is so contrary to all reason:

“This is the highest degree of faith, to believe him merciful when he saves so few and damns so many, and to believe him righteous when by his own will he makes us necessarily damnable, so that he seems, according to Erasmus, to delight in the torments of the wretched and to be worthy of hatred rather than of love” (LW 33:62f).

Luther’s own words are the evidence. This is the testimony of his own mouth. Let the honest and decent reader judge the case.

Before the bar of every rational and decent person, does Luther not convict himself of utter inhumanity?

Before the bar of all that is reasonable in moral exhortation – from parental to educational to civil and criminal, does he not convict himself of a crime against all law? Is he, therefore, anarchical?

Before the bar of Catholic Dogma, supreme criterion on earth of what we know is and is not part of and/or in harmony with the Deposit of Faith, does he not convict himself of heresy?

Before the God whom we ought to honor, to whom we ought to ascribe only what is good and true and fitting, does he not convict himself of great blasphemies, greater even than the Gnostics who first attempted to ruin the Church? For the Gnostics distinguished two gods, one good and one evil. Does not Luther add to the evil by subtracting from the number of Gods, folding that Evil, which all right reason and right faith and common decency vomit out as execrable, into the one God?

Indeed, DOES NOT ALL OF MODERN THOUGHT — which, incidentally, is not entirely corrupt, though it is by and large no friend of Christ — REJECT SUCH VILE THOUGHT? If we, then, accept what is good and decent in Modernity – as it rebels against fideism and voluntaristic notions of God and absurd notions of justification and divine predetermination and the destruction of all legitimate autonomy of man – must we not therefore reject this foundational thesis of Luther? Finally, does this predetermination to evil harmonize with the errant notion of a mercy shorn of justice, so popular these days?

(Originally appeared at Theological Flint.)


Coptic Orthodox Bishop attends Traditional Latin Mass [RORATE CÆLI]

Bishop Arsany (or Arsenios), the Coptic Orthodox Bishop for the Netherlands, attended today a Sung Mass  (1962 Missal) celebrated at the Sint-Agneskerk in Amsterdam, where a personal parish dedicated to the Traditional Latin Mass is under the care of the FSSP. He might not be the first Orthodox prelate to attend a TLM in recent years, but as far as I know he is the first one to do so while seated on a throne inside the sanctuary.

Afterwards he gave a talk in the church rectory about the persecution of Christians in the Middle East. 

Many thanks to Mr. Jack Oostveen for the photographs and for the information. The Coptic Bishop's attendance at Mass and his talk were announced yesterday on the website of the Sint-Agneskerk


The Monastery of Saint Benedict at Subiaco [New Liturgical Movement]

After seeing yesterday’s post about St Benedict’s disciple St Maurus, reader Jordan Hainsey very kindly sent in these beautiful photographs of the monastery at Subiaco, Italy, where the famous miracle of St Maurus running over the water to rescue St Placid took place. He writes “The Monastery of Saint Benedict in Subiaco, Italy, houses the cave in which Saint Benedict lived as a hermit before he founding his monastic community.

The great Upper Church features frescoes in this section were painted by the Sienese school in the 13th and 14th centuries. Among the many fascinating pictures is a portrait of St. Francis of Assisi; labeled ‘Fr. Franciscus,’ the saint is shown without the stigmata or a halo, indicating that it was painted during his lifetime (before 1224).

Outside the monastery is the Rose Garden of Saint Benedict. A fresco in the garden depicts Saint Francis grafting roses onto the thorn bushes into which Saint Benedict threw himself to avoid temptation. The bushes still bloom today.
The terrace offers a beautiful view to flowing water where Saint Maurus rescued Saint Placid, easily connecting visiting pilgrims to one of the greatest stories associated with these early heroes of the Western monastic tradition.”


Archbishop Prendergast of Ottawa to Administer Alexandria-Cornwall - The sodomite abuser clerical chickens have come home to roost [Vox Cantoris]

Alexandria-Cornwall has a sordid history of infiltration of sodomites into the priesthood and the vile, disgusting assaults on boys by these homosexuals.

The chickens have come home to roost. The faith has been destroyed. Lives have been ruined. Souls have  been lost. Homosexual behaviour is an evil act. It must be rooted out of the Church. The priesthood must be expunged of homosexuals, every last one of them no matter the cost and no matter what colour of cassock they wear. 

Removal. Justice, Prison, Eternity.

This is the story behind this story.


Das Eine, das Gute und das Wahre. Der „vierte Weg“ [Scholastiker]

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Der vierte Gottesbeweis Thomas von Aquins stellt an den modernen Menschen vermutlich die höchsten Anforderungen. Denn hier wird vorausgesetzt, dass es eine Hierarchie des Seienden gibt. Angesichts des heute allgemein verbreiteten Egalitarismus, also der Auffassung, dass alles gleich ist oder zumindest gleich sein sollte, ist die Vorstellung einer Über- und Unterordnung nicht ganz leicht zu vermitteln. Ich will es dennoch versuchen.

Der „vierte Weg“ geht von der unbestreitbaren Erfahrung aus, dass es in unserer Welt Dinge gibt, die gut sind, die eins sind (ein Glas Wasser ist ein Glas Wasser ist eine Einheit; ein Baum ist eine Einheit, trotz seiner verschiedenen Teile usw.). Wie gesagt ist diese Erfahrung kaum zu bestreiten.

Nun ist es aber so, dass wir etwas als gut bezeichnen und etwas anderes der gleichen Art als besser. Es gibt Eichenbäume, die schöner aussehen als andere Eichenbäume. Alle Eichhörnchen sind in gewisser Weise gut, insofern sie seiend sind. Es gibt aber Eichhörnchen, die das, was ein Eichhörnchen ausmacht, besser zeigen als andere. Beim Skispringen sind einige Springer besser als die anderen, obwohl sicher alle, die an den Skispringerweltmeisterschaften teilnehmen, gut sind. Bestimmte Dinge zeigen eine größere Einheit als andere Dinge. In allen diesen Fällen und in zahlreichen anderen kann man von einer gewissen Hierarchie sprechen, denn das eine ist besser, schöner, wahrer und einheitlicher als das andere. Dies gilt nicht nur im Vergleich von Entitäten ein und derselben Art, sondern auch im Vergleich von Arten und Gattungen miteinander. Säugetiere sind Insekten deutlich überlegen, sie sind besser als Insekten. Dies zeigt sich schon daran, dass wir lästige Insekten beseitigen, während wir dies mit lästigen Säugetieren wohl nicht so ohne weiteres tun werden.

Nun behauptet Thomas von Aquin, dass etwas nur dann als besser, edler oder schöner bezeichnet werden kann, wenn es ein Maß gibt, an dem diese Qualifizierung gemessen werden kann. Es muss so etwas wie „das Schöne“, „das Gute“, „das Edle“, „das Wahre“ geben. Jede Gute unserer Erfahrungswelt ist immer ein begrenzt Gutes. Das Gleiche gilt vom Schönen, Wahren usw. Selbst das schönste Eichhörnchen und der beste Skispringer ist immer begrenzt. Man könnte sich jederzeit einen besseren Skispringer oder ein schöneres Eichhörnchen vorstellen. Wenn wir nun aber etwas als „schöner“ oder „besser“ erkennen, dann muss es ein unbegrenzt Gutes oder Schönes geben, das als Maß für alles andere gilt, denn sonst könnte jederzeit noch etwas auftauchen, was schöner oder besser ist als alles Bisherige. An diesem unbegrenzt Guten, Einen, Schönen haben alle anderen guten, schönen etc. Dinge teil, insofern sie gut, schön usw. sind.

Spätestens hier kommt nun die Transzendentalienlehre Thomas von Aquins ins Spiel. Ich kann diese hier nicht erläutern. Diese Theorie argumentiert, dass etwas, dass Seiend ist, auch gut ist, wahr ist, eines ist, ein Ding ist usw. Die Anzahl der Transzendentalien ist umstritten, spielt für unseren Zusammenhang aber keine Rolle. Die transzendentalen Begriffe sind miteinander austauschbar. Bei den Worten Seiendes und Ding ist dies noch nachvollziehbar. Vielleicht auch bei Seiend und Eines. Aber bei Wahr und Gut wird es schon schwieriger. Thomas ist aber der Auffassung, dass es sich bei Seiend und Gut bzw. Seiend und Wahr nur um unterschiedliche Hinsichten auf ein und dasselbe handelt. Man kann dies vergleichen mit Freges Unterscheidung von Sinn und Bedeutung. Der Morgenstern und der Abendstern sind ein und derselbe „Stern“, nämlich der Planet Venus. Die Worte, mit denen dieser „Stern“ bezeichnet wird, haben nur einen unterschiedlichen Sinn. „Morgenstern“ ist der Stern am Firmament, den man am Morgen am längsten sieht und „Abendstern“ ist der Stern, der am Abendhimmel als erstes und am deutlichen zu erkennen ist. So ähnlich verhält es sich auch bei den Begriffen Sein und Gut, bzw. Wahr, Eines etc. Das Seiende in Hinsicht auf den Willen ist etwas Gutes. Das Seiende in Hinsicht auf den Verstand ist das Wahre. Daher sind die Begriffe Seiend und Gut, Wahr, Eines etc. austauschbar, konvertibel, wie es bei Thomas heißt.

Wenn man dem zustimmen kann, dann folgt daraus aber, dass es ein Seiendes geben muss, dass in höchstem Maße Seiend ist. Und ein solches „in vollkommenstem Maße Seiendes“ ist dann zugleich vollkommen gut, vollkommen eins, vollkommen wahr usw. Ein solches Seiendes ist mit anderen Worten das Sein selbst, es ist das Gute selbst, das Wahre selbst. Alle Dinge unserer Erfahrungswelt haben an diesem Sein selbst in bestimmter Art und Weise, mehr oder weniger, teil. Jedes Gute ist insofern gut, als es am Guten selbst teilhat.

Im Unterschied zu dem unklaren Begriff der Teilhabe, wie er bei Platon verwendet und schon von Aristoteles kritisiert wurde, versteht Thomas die Teilhaberelation als eine Relation von Ursache und Wirkung. Die höchste Gut bewirkt dementsprechend die Gutheit der Eichhörnchen, der Orchideen oder der Menschen. Das Entsprechende gilt auch für die Einheit, die Wahrheit oder Schönheit, d.h. für alle Transzendentalien.

Dieses in höchster Weise Vollkommene, das Sein selbst, das Gute selbst usw. ist die Ursache für jedes andere Seiende, Gute, Wahre und Schöne. Und da diese verschiedenen Bestimmungen ein und dasselbe meinen, ist dieses Sein selbst: Gott.


Fundstück: ein sehr dickes Blatt Papier [Beiboot Petri]

Das hat laut Felicitas Küble bei charismatismus.wordpress der Regensburger Prälat Heinrich Wachter zwischen Papst Franziskus und dem Papa emeritus ausgemacht.  klicken
Der hatte am 14.1. dem "Wochenblatt-online" ein Interview gegeben:  klicken, in dem er nicht nur am amtierenden Papst sondern auch an Kardinal R. Marx Kritik übte.
Das ist teilweise ziemlich harter Tobak, aber was die theologischen Aussagen des Pontifex betrifft, durch das kürzlich veröffentliche synkretistische Video leider untermauert worden.

Hier ein Ausschnitt aus dem Interview:

Frage: "Herr Prälat, was ist für Sie der größte Unterschied zwischen Papst Benedikt und Papst Franziskus?"
Prälat Wachter: "Da gibt es gewaltige Unterschiede. Man kann pauschal sagen: Franziskus macht alles anders. Das ist zwar sicher nicht seine Absicht, das muss man Franziskus nicht unterstellen, aber in vielem, wie er handelt, blamiert er seinen Vorgänger. Er stellt sich grundsätzlich anders ein zu bestimmten Verhaltensweisen wie unser Benedikt. Theologisch ist Franziskus im Vergleich zu ihm aber gar nicht auf dem Laufenden. Er redet unwahrscheinlich viel, aber er gibt kaum eine klare Stellungnahme ab. Selbst Kardinal Meisner sagte zu ihm, dass seine Aussagen immer sehr problematisch sind."
Frage: "Woher kommt das?"
Prälat Wachter: "Franziskus trifft seine Entscheidungen aus dem Bauch heraus, die dann für die Menschen, die immer nach Veränderungen schreien in der Katholischen Kirche, zu ihren Gunsten interpretieren. Das hat sich sehr zugespitzt."
und zur Kontroverse Müller-Marx:
"schon als Müller Bischof in Regensburg war, war Marx sein Gegner. Man ist sich aber nicht sicher, auf welcher Seite der Papst nun wirklich steht." (.....)
alles weitere in den verlinkten Beiträgen
Quelle: Felicitas Küble,charismatismus.wordpress, Wochenblatt-online



Rationalizing the same God [Zippy Catholic]

Without getting into a full blown theory of language – as something expressed in language itself, a full blown theory of language may be intrinsically problematic, at least qua something expressed in language – I will simply observe that we often use words to refer to things out there in reality.

When we refer to a thing out there in reality using language, what we are doing is similar to pointing our finger at a bird, or a rock, a tree, another person, some numbers in a ledger, a book, a diagram, etc. We are concretely acting, using our material corporeal faculties, in order to assist another person in seeing or perceiving the objective thing to which we refer.

In this sense it is manifest that Christians and Mohammedans are both referring to God when we use our various words for God.  The notion that monotheists refer to two different gods when they each use their various words for God is self contradictory. Referring to a thing is not the same as asserting a complete or even partial theory of the thing to which one refers.  When I say “What the Hell is that?” I am referring to something or other by ‘that’: something or other about which I may know very little, and about which I may well have very mistaken beliefs or perceptions.

The question ‘do we worship the same God‘ is therefore malformed, because the emphasis is on the objective referent of ‘God’ not on the meaning of ‘worship’. The phrase ‘the same God’, understood as a reference used by monotheists, contains the contradictory notion within it that there might be more-than-one only-one God. Every monotheist necessarily refers to God when he uses his word for God.

So asking ‘do Christians and Mohammedans worship the same God?’ asserts a contradiction and then asks what follows from that contradiction.  It is no surprise to find that people disagree over what follows based on their own extrinsic commitments and biases. Anyone who reads here regularly should realize by now that a contradiction implies everything and its opposite all at once, and when people reach various conclusions from contradictory premises what they are really doing is rationalizing: presenting a putative justification for something which they believe or assert for reasons entirely extrinsic to the doctrine which they are invoking to justify that belief or assertion.

To rationalize is to present arguments for a belief or assert rhetoric in favor of a belief apart from the actual reasons for a belief.  Rationalization is a kind of lie: it proposes that we should believe Q because of P when P is not an actual reason to believe Q; or that we did Q because of P when P was not actually the reason we did Q.  Rationalization proposes, as true, an actually false causal relation between P and Q.

A truthful, non-rationalizing answer to the question ‘do Christians and Mohammedans worship the same God’ is that the question is self contradictory.  A more interesting question is ‘do both Christians and Mohammedans actually worship God?’

Modern people are post cartesian subjectivists/materialists, so when we use a term like ‘worship’ we tend to retreat to the purely subjective.  What defines ‘worship’ in these discussions tends to be the purely subjective intentions (begging the question in favor of strict post cartesian dualism) of the person doing the ‘worshiping’.  If the person thinks that his actions, including his acting by praying in a certain manner, constitute ‘worship’ in the requisite sense, well then that is ‘worship’.

But there is only one sufficient way to worship God: the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Other people, including non-Catholic Christians, may well ‘worship’ God in a sense. And if they are baptized they belong to the communion of those actually worshiping whether they themselves believe it or not — there is that distinction between subjective belief and objective reality, again.

However just because something is labeled ‘worship’ it does not follow that it has the objective qualities essential to worship. Defective worship may still be worship in a sense, just as a play-acted wedding is a wedding in a sense. A merciful Father may well generously treat something that is not actually worship as though it actually were worship.  Or He may not.

But there is certainly a sense – the most important sense – in which play-acted worship is not really, objectively, worship.


Re-Visiting a Topic []

As those who followed my old blog and this one know, the pursuit of holiness among the laity is a major theme of most of the articles. The response to God’s call to be saints has been the focus of the various blogs for which I have written since 2007.

Increasingly, the traditional Catholic press seems to have lost its way regarding the roles and the responsibilities of the laity. For example, article after article attacks the liturgical abuses and the various faults of the popes. At this point in time, those of us who have been faithful attendees at Mass understand the crises. We have read about all the problems in the Vatican. We have become familiar with the evils within the seminary system and the Church.

As I told some seminarians years ago, politics should not be the focus of either priests or seminarians. Politics in the market=place or in the world do not change men’s souls. The Catholic Faith is the means of salvation in the world, not politics.

The strident voices of many Catholics commentators reveals this confusion-the more one talks about evil does not mean that one is changing evil situations. One must become holy and bring holiness into situations, at work, in the family, in the Church.

Personal holiness changes people and those around them. St. Therese, the Little Flower, changed people by her personal sanctity.

There are some saints who have been called to be prophetic, but they were so holy that they changed the situations which they were called to reform. One thinks of St. Catherine of Siena or the great heroes of the Counter-Reformation, SS Charles Borromeo and Robert Bellarmine.

Writing to point out errors is a necessity, but harping on evils is not. I know several Latin Mass communities which have been poisoned by the constant critical attitudes which are fed by these newspapers.

Charity does not mean overlooking sin, but dealing with it in actions. Holy actions flow from holy souls, holy minds, holy imaginations, holy wills. Without the purging of evil in one’s own self, one cannot be the light in the world or the light in the Church one is called to be.

Holiness must be in one’s self, in one’s family.

Too many lay people are caught up in judgments and not acting out of tough love, which is to speak the truth in love and pray for the situation, the person, doing penance, allowing God to work. In fact, we are facing greater division in the Church from the “right” rather than from the “left”.

I have friends who have stopped going to the TLM in their areas because of the constant discussions against the Pope, the Magisterium, and particular people, as well as unceasing criticism of liturgies. They simply want to have Godly discussions about how to cooperate with God’s graces in order to become saints.

Concentrating on others’ faults does not make one a saint. Thinking that politics in the Church will bring about holiness is misplaced hope.

Christ is the only One who unites those who love Him; the sacraments of the Church impart sanctifying grace, prayer prepares one for the use of the gifts God has given each baptized and confirmed person.

Negativity, what I called the adversarial spirit years ago, destroys communities and individual souls.

We do not have to be falsely optimistic, but we cannot be constantly negative.

I re-post an old article here.


Saturday, 26 April 2014

Be sober and watch: because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about seeking whom he may devour 1 Peter 5:8 DR

Pointing out error is a good, but being caught up constantly in an adversarial spirit is not a good.
Who is called the Adversary? Satan.
More and more frequently in the Church, I am seeing traditional Catholics who are laymen stepping out of their worlds, their own spheres of influence and condemning things over which they have no authority.
Our lay world provides enough grist for the mill-we are supposed to be evangelizing our families, our friends, our workplace.
To try and pretend we have the right and duty to continually criticize the clergy, including bishops, cardinals and popes reveals hubris and the adversarial spirit.
If one is continually looking for faults and not giving real answers on how to deal with these faults, in other words, giving remedies. one has fallen into the spirit of the adversary.
The adversarial spirit is not kind, charitable nor fair. It judges and does not bear with the burdens of others. There are few who are pure enough in heart, mind and soul to be real critics.
The adversarial spirit causes hatred, dissension, and eventually, schisms and splits in the Church.
If you are finding that you argue too much and are always finding fault, look towards your own sins and failings first.
Those who want to change priests and bishops only have to raise holy boys to become holy men to go out and change the Church as holy priests and bishops
It is not only naive but wrong to think the crusader spirit must be aimed at the Church first. No. Our enemies are those of the devil and the world, as well as the flesh. If such enemies have inflitrated the Church, even at high levels, we can pray, but our words mean nothing.
Tearing down is not building up.
A person caught up in the adversarial spirit will not find peace in God, but fall into rancor,anger and depression. If you are merely tearing down, you have let satan use you. Eventually, the person with the adversarial spirit becomes a heresiarch. Those people most likely will find themselves judged as they have judged-severely and without mercy.
We are here for the building up of the Church.
In a grown man, the adversarial spirit could be connected to a male being caught up in teen-age rebellion-a sign of the peter pan. The teen thinks he knows better than the parent and rebels against imperfections, not understanding that he himself is a sinner. It is too easy to point out the evils of another, rather than looking at one’s own sin.

Ask yourself if you are constantly arguing.

Ask yourself if you are playing into the hands of the great Adversary of the Church.

He has been defeated but is still looking maliciously for souls to bring down with him in defeat.

29 Let no evil speech proceed from your mouth; but that which is good, to the edification of faith, that it may administer grace to the hearers.
30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God: whereby you are sealed unto the day of redemption.
31 Let all bitterness, and anger, and indignation, and clamour, and blasphemy, be put away from you, with all malice.
32 And be ye kind one to another; merciful, forgiving one another, even as God hath forgiven you in Christ. Ephesians 4:17-32 DR




BISHOP FRED HENRY OF CALGARY CALLS OUT GOVERNMENT AS "TOTALITARIAN!" Catholics of Alberta - Listen to your Bishop, you voted for a fascist regime, now you get to live with it, clearly, Ontario has spread her evils westward. [Vox Cantoris]

The homosexualists at the Communist (Canadian) Broadcasting Corporation say the Bishop is "under fire for opposing LGBTQRSTUVWXY and Zed" guidelines for schools thus proving correct his comments.

Harper should have killed the CBC off long ago. Instead he kept them alive and we know the rest of the story.

Alberta Catholics, are you proud of yourselves now that you've joined the idiots here in Ontario? I thought westerners had more brains. Clearly, I was wrong. 

Bishop Henry's observations on relativism and totalitarianism in our western democracies articulates that Liberalism, taken to its extreme, is fascism. Though, he would never admit it. Frankly, Liberalism is a mental illness. When it enters the Church, it is Satanic.

Look around yourself for the proof.

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ It saddens me to say but totalitarianism is alive and well in Alberta. Prior to becoming Pope, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio on May 25, 2012 gave a "Te Deum" homily commemorating the establishment of Argentina's first national government following the revolution of 1810. The major thrust of his homily was that only the commandment of love, in all of its simplicity - steady, unassuming, but firm in conviction and in commitment to others - can save us.  We need to re-root ourselves in a sovereign love that is simple and deep, to love God above all else and our neighbour as ourselves. Two forms of deception impede the realization of any plan as a nation, i.e., the madness of relativism and the madness of power as a monolithic ideology. "Relativism, under the guise of respect for differences, is homogenized into transgression and demagoguery; it allows anything, because it wishes to avoid being burdened by all the inconveniences required of a mature courage to uphold values and principles. Relativism, is curiously, absolutist and totalitarian. Relativism does not allow for any differing opinion. In no way does it differ from an attitude of "shut up" or "don't get involved."' Power as a monolithic ideology is another lie which accentuates narrow-mindedness and seeks dominance over others. Consequently,social trust, the root and fruit of love is eroded. On November 5, 2015, David Eggen, the Minister of Education issued an edict to Boards Chairs of Public, Separate, Francophone and Charter School Boards regarding learning environments that respect diversity and foster a sense of belonging. Board policies are to be shared with him, together with the required regulations or procedures by March 31, 2016. "It is important to specifically address the board's responsibility as it relates to the LBTQ community.... As part of my review, I will also be looking for evidence of policy and regulations or procedures related specifically to Section 16.1 of the School Act and the support for the establishment of gay-straight alliances (GSAs) and queer-straight alliances (QSAs)..." The Alberta Government "Guidelines" issued on January 13th show no evidence of consultation with or sensitivity to the Catholic community. They breathe pure secularism. This approach and directive smack of the madness of relativism and the forceful imposition of a particular narrow-minded anti-Catholic ideology. Such a totalitarian approach is not in accordance with the Supreme Court of Canada opinion (Loyola) delivered on March 19, 2015 and must be rejected. Catholic schools share a foundational belief that all children are loved by God, are individually unique and that the school has a mission to help each student to fulfill their God-given potential in all aspects of their persons: physically, academically, socially, morally and spiritually. Our Catholic schools are committed to supporting inclusive communities that teach care and compassion for every person, regardless of age, race, sex, gender or sexual orientation, and require that every person be treated with dignity and respect. Our teaching is rather simple and direct. God created beings as male and female. In doing so, he gave equal dignity to both man and woman. In his plan, men and women should respect and accept their sexual identity. God created both the body and sex as good. Hence, we do not approach sexuality with fear or with hostility to the flesh. It is a gift of God by which men and women participate in his saving plan and respond to his call to grow in holiness. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that sexuality involves the whole person. "Sexuality affects all aspects of the human person in the unity of his body and soul. It especially concerns affectivity, the capacity to love and procreate, and in a more general way the aptitude of forming bonds of communion with others" (CCC, no.2332).
All persons - married, single, religious and ordained - need to acquire the virtue of chastity. "Chastity means the successful integration of sexuality within the person and thus, the inner unity of man in his bodily and spiritual being."(CCC, no.2337). Chastity unites our sexuality with our entire human nature. It approaches sexuality as related to our spiritual natures so that sex is seen as more than a physical act. Sexuality affects the whole person because of the unity of body and soul. Jesus is the model of chastity. "Chastity includes an apprenticeship in self-mastery which is a training in human freedom"(CCC, no.2339). The acquisition of chastity depends on self-discipline and leads to internal freedom, which enables human beings to temper sexual desires according to God's plan for the appropriate expression of love in the marital relationship of a man and a woman.. GSAs and QSAs are highly politicized ideological clubs which seek to cure society of "homophobia" and "heterosexism," and which accept the idea that all forms of consensual sexual expression are legitimate. The view of sexuality that they espouse is not Catholic. The Supreme Court held that "to tell a Catholic school how to explain its faith undermines the liberty of the members of its community who have chosen to give effect to the collective dimension of their religious beliefs by participating in a denominational school" (para.62), "ìt amounts to requiring a Catholic institution to speak about Catholicism in terms defined by the state rather than by its own understanding of Catholicism" (par.63), and "ìt also interferes with the rights of parents to transmit the Catholic faith to their children" and the "rights of parents to guide their children's religious upbringing" (para. 64 & 65). 
✠ F. B. Henry                                                                                                                           Bishop of Calgary

They used to call him "Red Fred' at St. Peter's Seminary in London because of his economics and views on social justice. This is the problem; these Catholics, including Prelates such as Bishop Henry fed the leftist ideology in Canada and now are being eaten by the very monster they helped create.

But at least on this, he is right.


A Donkey Loaded with Latin [Laudator Temporis Acti]

Ernest Renan (1823-1892), Recollections of My Youth, tr. C.B. Pitman (London: Chapman and Hall, 1883). pp. 140-141:

As a natural consequence of my assiduity in study I was destined for the priesthood. Moreover, I was of sedentary habits and too weak of muscle to distinguish myself in athletic sports. I had an uncle of a Voltairian turn of mind, who did not at all approve of this. He was a watchmaker, and had reckoned upon me to take on his business. My successes were as gall and wormwood to him, for he quite saw that all this store of Latin was dead against him, and that it would convert me into a pillar of the Church which he disliked. He never lost an opportunity of airing before me his favourite phrase, "a donkey loaded with Latin."

La prêtrise était donc la conséquence de mon assiduité à l'étude. Avec cela, j'étais sédentaire, impropre par ma faiblesse musculaire à tous les exercices du corps. J'avais un oncle voltairien, le meilleur des hommes, qui voyait cela de mauvais œil. Il était horloger, et m'envisageait comme devant être le continuateur de son état. Mes succès le désolaient; car il sentait bien que tout ce latin contreminait sourdement ses projets et allait faire de moi une colonne de l'Eglise, qu'il n'aimait pas. Il ne manquait jamais l'occasion de placer devant moi son mot favori: «Un âne chargé de latin!»


The Golden Age [Laudator Temporis Acti]

Aratus, Phaenomena 108-113 (tr. A.W. Mair):

Not yet in that age had men knowledge of hateful strife,
or carping contention, or din of battle,
but a simple life they lived. Far from them was the cruel sea        110
and not yet from afar did ships bring their livelihood,
but the oxen and the plough and Justice herself, queen of the peoples,
giver of things just, abundantly supplied their every need.

οὔπω λευγαλέου τότε νείκεος ἠπίσταντο
οὐδὲ διακρίσιος πολυμεμφέος οὐδὲ κυδοιμοῦ,
αὕτως δ᾿ ἔζωον· χαλεπὴ δ᾿ ἀπέκειτο θάλασσα,        110
καὶ βίον οὔπω νῆες ἀπόπροθεν ἠγίνεσκον,
ἀλλὰ βόες καὶ ἄροτρα καὶ αὐτή, πότνια λαῶν,
μυρία πάντα παρεῖχε Δίκη, δώτειρα δικαίων.
Cicero's translation of the beginning of line 110 survives (Aratea, fragment XVII Buescu, my translation):
They preferred to live content with minimal effort.

malebant tenui contenti vivere cultu.
See also the version ascribed to Germanicus, lines 112-119 (tr. D.B. Gain):
Men were not yet so savage as to bare their swords in rage against each other; discord among blood relations was unknown; no one sailed the seas, men's own lands being satisfaction enough. Greed for wealth from far away did not cause them to build ships and entrust them to the hazards of the winds. The peaceful lands bore fruit unaided for those who dwelt in them. There were no boundary stones marking off their owners' small domains, for they were quite safe without them.

nondum vesanos rabies nudaverat ensis
nec consanguineis fuerat discordia nota,
ignotique maris cursus, privataque tellus
grata satis, neque per dubios avidissima ventos        115
spes procul amotas fabricata nave petebat
divitias, fructusque dabat placata colono
sponte sua tellus nec parvi terminus agri
praestabat dominis, sine eo tutissima, rura.


Commentaries for the Third Week in Ordinary Time, Year II [The Divine Lamp]

Note: we are in Year C

Year A: Commentaries for the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Year B: Commentaries for the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Year C: Commentaries for the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time.


Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 2 Samuel 5:1-7, 10.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 89.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 89.

My Notes on Psalm 89:20, 21-22, 25-26. The verses used in today’s responsorial. Also includes notes on verses 27-28.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Mark 3:22-30. On 20-30.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Mark 3:22-30.


Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 24.

Pending: St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 24.

Patristic/Medieval Commentary on Psalm 24:7-10. On today’s verses.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 24.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 24.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 2 Samuel 6:12b-15, 17-19.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Mark 3:31-35.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Mark 3:31-35.


Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

St Augustine on 2 Samuel 7:4-17. On verses 4-5, 12-14, 16. along with some stuff on Psalm 89, today’s responsorial.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 2 Samuel 7:4-17.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 89.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 89. Different from his treatment of Ps 89 above.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Mark 4:1-20.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Mark 4:1-20.


Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 2 Samuel 7:18-19, 24-29.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 132.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 132.

Pseudo-Albert the Great’s Commentary on Psalm 132.

Pope Benedict XVI’s Commentary on Psalm 132.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Mark 4:21-25.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Mark 4:21-25.


Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 2 Samuel 11:1-4a, 5-10a, 13-17.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 51.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 51.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 51.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 51.

Pseudo-Alber the Great’s Commentary on Psalm 51.

St John Fisher’s Commentary on Psalm 51:1-10. Needs some editing.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Mark 4:26-34.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Mark 4:26-34.


Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 2 Samuel 12:1-7a, 10-17.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 51.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 51.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 51.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 51.

Pseudo-Alber the Great’s Commentary on Psalm 51.

St John Fisehr’s Commentary on Psalm 51:11-21. Online book.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Mark 4:35-41.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Mark 4:35-41.

Note: We are in Year C

Year A: Commentaries for the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Year B: Commentaries for the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Year C: Commentaries for the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time.


Filed under: Catholic, Daily Catholic Lectionary, Notes on the Lectionary, Scripture Tagged: Bible, Catholic, Daily Catholic Lectionary, lectionary, Scripture


Should Any Catholic Praise Luther? [Theological Flint]

This is from Theological Flint

We praise someone who fundamentally deserves praise. No one is without fault, and no one without some merit. But only those are worthy of praise who fundamentally deserve praise, whose pith and marrow is good. Now, Luther certainly saw some things in the Church as evil that were evil. No one can say that his […]

The post Should Any Catholic Praise Luther? appeared first on Theological Flint.


Notes on II Corinthians [Lectio Divina Notes]

This week's Matins readings are from 2 Corinthians, so thirteen chapters to get through.

2 Corinthians was written around 57AD from Macedonia or Northern Greece, and very much follows from I Corinthians: some of those targeted by St Paul's previous letter seem to have responded by attacking his authority; this is his response to them.  The result is a defense of St Paul's mission, and a dissertation on the apostolic mission.

Theologically it is important in responding to the ever-present  problem of dissent in the Church.

The structure of the letter is fairly loose.  Chapters 1 to 7 review his relationship to the Corinthian Christian community, and defends his actions and conduct.  Chapters 8 and 9 solicit financial support for the church in Jerusalem.  And chapters 10 to 13 attacks his accusers.


The Problem of Chivalry: Theseus and Hippolita [LMS Chairman]

As I noted in my last post, a good number of people who regard themselves as upholding traditional, civilised values, have come to regard the cringing and self-hating subserviance of men demanded by many feminists as actually a moral imperative, under the title of 'chivalry'. There was an excellent example last October from Argentina, when a huge mob of angry feminists attacked the Catholic Cathedral in the city of Mar de Plata. (They were angry with the Church as a whole for opposing abortion and the like.) The videos and photographs of this event were truly horrifying. The cathedral was defended by a chain of young men, using the technique of passive resistance. These men were verbally and sexually abused, sprayed with paint, punched and kicked. But the line didn't break, and the feminists weren't able to get into the Cathedral itself to desecrate it.

These young men were heroic; passive resistance can be a good technique, and in the circumstances I am sure it was the best approach. The point of this story for my purposes is the contrasting and craven attitude of the police. This is an annual event; they knew what was coming. Why did the police not intervene?

The police who were present reportedly told the media that they were unable to intervene because “they are women.”

Right, so let's talk about Hippolyta. She was the Queen of the Amazons, and she was defeated by Theseus, Duke of Athens, in battle: this is the dramatic setting of Chaucer's story of chivalry, the Knight's Tale, the tale told by the verray parfit gentil knight, the paragon of chivalry, that everyone remembers from The Canterbury Tales. Theseus' triumph plays no direct part in the story, but forms a sort of preface to it. It does the same in Shakespeare's play which is based on Knight's Tale, Two Noble Kinsmen. Shakespeare was so taken by this idea, however, that it plays the same role, of backdrop or preface, in another play, A Midsummer Night's Dream, a story without any other very obvious connection with the plot of Two Noble Kinsmen. There is more: the story of Theseus' triumph over Hippolyta is then re-enacted in the Dream, in the parallel story of the fairy King Oberon and his Queen, Titania.

So this is important, right? And what is it? Hippolyta / Titania represents out-of-control femininity. This is defeated, but not simply crushed. To be really defeated, it must be brought into harmony: it must be brought into a mystical marriage with the masculine principle. Theseus marries Hippolyta; Oberon is reconciled with his queen, Titania. While the conflict lasts, the whole cosmos is thrown into chaos and groans: the seasons are disrupted, the crops fail. When the conflict is resolved, all is well again.

Shakespeare is too clever a writer to present this in a crass way. Titania's resistence to Oberon is not completely unreasonable. Nor is her reconciliation with him a matter of giving up her power. Oberon is unable to keep the show on the road by himself; hence the cosmic catastrophe of their quarrel. But it is necessary that things are resolved in his favour. Titania must give way to him, in the end.

This all makes A Midsummer Night's Dream a truly subversive play: not against the values of the time of its composition, to be sure, but against those of today. Shakespeare had plenty to say about out-of-control masculinity, and this continues to be a major theme of popular and high culture today. The possibility of dealing with out-of-control femininity, by contrast, has become almost a taboo subject.

Shakespeare's lesson is one which needs to be leant by Bishop Olmstead's target audience: perhaps he should suggest they go and watch the play. In order to be 'leaders', in order to 'man up' and 'take responsibility', men - priests and fathers especially - need to be prepared to face and deal with unjust and aggressive women, as well as unjust and aggressive men, and not accept the distorted interpretation of chivalry as giving way to oppression instead of opposing it, if the oppression happens to be female. 

But this is made very difficult by a society which teaches that male self-assertion is wrong, and this secular dogma is something we, in the Church, have to un-teach our young men. At least some of the dragons you have to fight, boys, are female.

(Dalrock's post 'A wife's best defence against a troublesome mother-in-law' is also pertinent here.)

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


Extraordinary Form ORDO, and Ordinariate directions, for the Unity Week [Fr Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment]

Unity Week starts on Monday January 18 and ends on January 25.                                               EXTRAORDINARY FORM Before the 1960s, January 18 was the Feast of the Chair of S Peter at Rome (while February  22 celebrated his Chair, that is to say, his episcopate, in Antioch). In the Good Old Days, the Wantage Sisters ... who now comprise our Ordinariate Sisters in Birmingham,


»Der goldene Faden« - Noch einmal Miterlösung [Denzinger-Katholik]

Quae altior est caelis et purior solis radiis, quae nos salvavit a maledictione, Dominatricem mundi, hymnis honoremus.
Die erhabener ist als der Himmel und reiner als der Sonne Strahlen, die uns erlöst hat vom Fluche, die Weltgebieterin, wollen wir mit Hymnen rühmen.
- aus dem ruthenischen Stundengebet

Aufgrund verschiedener Kommentare im nun nicht mehr jüngsten Beitrag auf hiesiger Seite war es mir zunächst ein Anliegen, über die Prinzipienlehre, Methoden und Grenzen der Mariologie zu schreiben. Nähern kann man sich der demütigen Magd des Herrn freilich auf verschiedenste Weise, etwa anthropozentrisch, über Marias vorzüglichste Berufung als Frau, als Mutter alles Lebendigen, ekklesiozentrisch bzw. ekklesiotypisch als Urbild und Mutter der Kirche; christozentrisch, wo die Mariologie klassischerweise verortet wird, die Muttergottes; als Tochter des Vaters, Braut des Wortes und sacrarium des Heiligen Geistes trinitarisch*, als Braut des Hl. Geistes auch insbesondere pneumatologisch ... das Thema der Mitwirkung Mariens an der objektiven Erlösung des Menschengeschlechts ist eines, welches vor allem aus theozentrischer Sicht, aus ihrer Prädestination erwächst und in die Christologie mündet. Beim aktuell behandelten Thema sind wir also genau da, wo die Mariologie sich nach Weise der Altvorderen her definiert: als Wissenschaft von der Mutter Gottes, und in der gegenwärtigen Heilsökonomie, des göttlichen Erlösers.

Aber genug davon, ich wollte oder musste doch nun zuerst einmal auf einen Einwand eingehen, den ich nicht zu lange unbeantwortet lassen möchte. Vorgebracht wurde dabei auch das Wort von der Herrenmagd, und hier sind wir gleich auf der richtigen Fährte.
Zu beachten ist nämlich, dass das geistliche connubium, welches der Logos in der Inkarnation mit der Menschheit eingeht, durch die Vertretung der Jungfrau im Ecce ancilla Domini, fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum zustande kam. In der Ehe macht der Konsens das Wesen des Sakramentes aus, und so gehörte der Konsens der allerseligsten Jungfrau wesentlich zum Zustandekommen des Ursakraments, welches die Fleischwerdung und damit auch die Gottesmutterschaft ist. Mitwirkung steht bei der neuen Eva, der Gehilfin des neuen Adam, die ihm entspricht, an an erster und höchster Stelle. Wie Christus dem Willen des Vaters folgt und so das Werk der Erlösung bewirkt, so besteht Marias Mitwirkung wesentlich in der liebenden und andauernden Annahme ihrer Berufung in Unterordnung an den Willen Gottes. Universelle Tragweite, schreibt Schmaus, musste also auch ihr Ja-Wort unter dem Kreuze haben, wie auch ihr Ja-Wort auf die Engelsbotschaft von universeller Bedeutung war - beide gesprochen nicht aus eigener Kraft, sondern in Gnadenfülle.

Es deutet sich vielleicht langsam an, dass der Titel der Coredemptrix oder Adjutrix Redemptionis nicht nur, wie ein Kommentator meinte, sich bloß als ornamenthaftes Beiwerk, als schmückender Zierrat in eine Litanei marianischer Lobpreisungen fügt. Vielmehr muss mit Manfred Hauke davon gesprochen werden, dass »die Verbindung der Gottesmutter mit der Erlösung (...) nicht irgendein Juwel im Kranz der Gnaden Marias [ist], sondern gleichsam der goldene Faden, der alle Edelsteine zusammenhält

Zum Abschluss soll dann noch einmal Johannes Brinktrine zu Worte kommen, der den hier angerissenen Gedanken in großer Klarheit und Einfachheit zusammenfasst:
»Christus hat uns durch sein ganzes Leben erlöst: Qui propter nos homines et propter nostram salutem descendit de caelis. Die Menschwerdung und damit das ganze menschliche Leben und Wirken des Heilandes hatten einen soteriologischen Zweck, ja die Inkarnation ist selbst schon soteriologisch. Mit bestimmten Akten des Lebens Jesu ist aber die allerseligste Jungfrau unauflöslich verbunden: man denke nur an die Empfängnis, die Geburt und die Kindheit des Erlösers. Durch diese Akte hat sie also sicher mitgewirkt zu unserer Erlösung. Ist dies aber der Fall, dann ist es ganz entsprechend und anzunehmen, daß auch ihr Mitleiden unter dem Kreuze und ihr Eingehen in die Opferintention des Herrn zu unserer Erlösung beitrugen und mitwirkten. Auf die durch den Kreuzestod vollzogene Erlösung ist ja, wie bemerkt, die Inkarnation und das ganze Leben des Heilandes bezogen: es kulminiert in seinem blutigen Opfertod und in der in ihm vollbrachten, vollendeten Erlösung. Es wäre ein Riß da, wenn eine Beteiligung der heiligen Jungfrau an der Erlösertätigkeit Christi während seines Lebens zugestanden, beim Tode aber geleugnet würde: Leben und Tod des Herrn bilden eine Einheit.«
Johannes BrinktrineDie Lehre von der Mutter des Erlösers. Paderborn: Schöningh-Verlag 1959, S. 104 und 
Manfred Hauke: Maria, Gefährtin des Erlösers (Lumen gentium, 61) - Die Mitwirkung Mariens bei der Erlösung als Forschungsthema. In: Sedes Sapientiae. Mariologisches Jahrbuch Jg. 6. Hrsg. von German Rovira und Johannes Stöhr. Bd. 1-2. Kisslegg: Internationaler Mariologischer Arbeitskreis Kevelaer, S. 121. Hier online einsehbar.
Bild: Maria als Tempel der Allerheiligsten Dreifaltigkeit, St. Ulrich und Afra, Augsburg.

*Nach Scheeben finden wir bei Maria die engste Verbindung, die die heiligste Dreifaltigkeit mit einer menschlichen Person eingehen konnte, sie ist also gleichsam Abbild der hypostatischen Union.


Aden Hailu starb am Montag, 4. Januar 2015 im Alter von 20 Jahren . . . [et nunc]

- im “St. Mary's Regional Medical Center” (Reno, Nevada).

Aden Hailu möge Ruhen in Frieden!

Die junge Frau war nach einer Blinddarmoperation nicht wieder aus der Narkose erwacht. Die Krankenhausärzte erklärten Aden für Hirntod. Während ihr Vater auf der Weiterführung von lebenserhaltenden Therapien bestand, wollten die Ärzte sie beenden. Ein monatelanger Kampf folgte. - Lesen Sie dazu den folgenden Bericht, der bei  "LifeSiteNews" erschien und von Renate Focke (Initiative-KAO) dankenswerterweise übersetzt wurde.

(Hervorhebungen teilweise von mir!)

Ein junges Mädchen, das im Mittelpunkt der „Kontroverse um den Hirntod“ steht, stirbt vor einer Anhörung in Nevada.

Die zwanzigjährige Studienanfängerin, Aden Hailu, wurde im April letzten Jahres ins St. Mary's Regional Center eingeliefert, weil sie unter heftigen Bauchschmerzen litt. Während eines Eingriffs, bei dem man herausfinden wollte, was genau ihr fehlte, wurde ihr gesunder  Blinddarm entfernt. In der Zeit, während sie im OP lag, wurde ihr Hirn so unzureichend mit Sauerstoff versorgt,  dass sie ihr Bewusstsein nicht wiedererlangte.

Gemäß den ärztlichen Dokumenten, die dem Gericht vorliegen, zeigten zwei später aufgezeichnete EEG-Protokolle an, dass Adens Gehirn zu diesem Zeitpunkt noch völlig in Ordnung gewesen war, dennoch führten Ende Mai  die Ärzte einen Apnoe-Test durch und entschieden, dass Aiden nicht selbständig atmen konnte. Darum erklärten sie sie für „hirntot“.  Bevor Angehörige gefragt werden dürfen wegen einer Spende von lebenden Organen, muss der Spender juristisch für hirntot erklärt werden. Sobald der Patient für hirntot erklärt worden ist - auch wenn das Herz noch autonom schlägt - dürfen lebende Organe entnommen werden.

Im Juli entschied ein Richter, dass Adens künstliche Beatmung und Ernährung beendet werden konnten. Aber im November verwarf der Oberste Gerichtshof von Nevada diese Entscheidung zugunsten des Vaters von Aden, der eine Anhörung darüber forderte, ob die Hirntod-Richtlinien der American Association of Neurology (AAN) mit dem in Nevada geltenden Gesetz für die Todesbestimmung übereinstimmen - der legalen Todesdefinition. Mit anderen Worten, das Hirntod-Konzept stand in Nevada vor Gericht.

Adens Vater Fanuel Gebreyes wehrte sich gegen die Für-Tot-Erklärung seiner Tochter: „Aden lebt, sowohl gemäß den Richtlinien der AAN als auch nach den Gesetzen des Bundesstaates Nevada“, sagte er.
Das Gesetz von Nevada besagt: „Juristisch und medizinisch ist ein Mensch tot, wenn er einen unumkehrbarenStillstand ... aller Hirnfunktionen einschließlich des Hirnstammes erlitten hat.“
Inzwischen hatte der Familienrichter Francis Doherty gegen Gebreyes entschieden und der Klinik die Erlaubnis erteilt, ein weiteres EEG durchzuführen – ohne Zustimmung der Eltern oder eines Bevollmächtigten. Gebreyes hatte  ein zusätzliches EEG abgelehnt und stattdessen auf einer  Tracheotomie  und der Fortführung der künstlichen Beatmung und einer Nahrungssonde (bei seiner Tochter bestanden), „ um mit dem Heilungsprozess anzufangen.“

Professor Dr. Paul Byrne vom Medizin-College in Toledo fasste diese Situation im November folgendermaßen zusammen: „Die Klinik hat sich bisher geweigert, Aden diese erforderliche Behandlung zu gewähren, wodurch eine normale Pflege möglich wäre, für die Adens Vater gewissenhaft  sorgen würde. Anstatt in ihrer Klinik eine junge Frau, die, während sie sich in in ihrem Gewahrsam befand, schwerwiegende Komplikationen erlitten hat,  gewissenhaft mit der notwendigen Pflege und medizinischen Versorgung zu versehen, setzen sie die Verwaltung und ihre finanziellen Ressourcen ein,  um eine juristische Auseinandersetzung zu führen.

Der Richter legte den 22. Januar als Termin fest, zu dem das Thema Hirntod erörtert werden sollte, und um ARGUMENTE zu benennen, ob zusätzliche Überprüfungen und Untersuchungen durchgeführt werden sollten.

Aden Hailu starb am Montag, den 4. Januar.  Der Familie teilte man mit, die Todesursache sei Atemstillstand. Gebreyes teilte man mit, die Todesursache sei Herzversagen.


Dieser Fall hat zu landesweiten Kontroversen  geführt, was die legale Todesdefinition „Hirntod“ betrifft und wie man ihn feststellen kann. Die Anaesthesiologin Dr. Christine Zainer erklärte bei LifeSiteNews, dass Adens Fall Fragen aufwerfe, „die sowohl die Hirntod-Diagnostik betreffen als auch die gesetzliche Definition des Todes.“

Die Nationalen Gesundheitsinstitute (National Center for Biotechnology Information) publizierten einen Artikel, in dem eingeräumt wird: „Der Tod  selbst kann niemals mit objektiven Begriffen definiert werden. Er war schon immer ein subjektives und auf  Wertvorstellungen beruhendes Konstrukt.“
Das Hirntod-Konzept wurde in den späten 50er Jahren eingeführt als Versuch, das Ende „der menschlichen Existenz“ (d.h. der Hirnfunktion) vom Ende der biologischen Existenzabzutrennen  (d.h. Herz-Kreislauf-Funktion).

Dr. Byrne kritisiert das Hirntod-Konzept: „Hirntod“ ist ein zweckgerichtetes Konstrukt, das sowohl von den Gesetzgebern als auch von der Medizin akzeptiert worden ist, um auf diese Weise einen Menschen mit  schwerverletztem Gehirn für tot erklären zu können, damit man so dieOrganexplantation legalisieren kann und/ oder für die Kliniken, die dann auch die Entscheidung treffen können, die Behandlung zu beenden.

Zwei Kriterien werden üblicherweise als Anzeichen für Hirntod gewertet: der Patient ist komatös, und er weist keine Hirnstammreflexe auf wie z.B. den Atemreflex.
„Koma“ kommt aus der griechischen Bezeichnung für „Tiefschlaf“. Es ist der Zustand einer Bewusstlosigkeit, die mehr als sechs Stunden andauert, aus welchem der Patient nicht geweckt werden kann, und in dem er weder auf Schmerzreize, Licht oder Geräusche reagieren kann und keinerlei bewusste Reaktionen zeigt, die  auf Hirnstammfunktionen hindeuten könnten.
Die Kontroversen treten bei der Analyse der Hirnstammreflexe auf. Der gebräuchlichste Test auf Hirnstammreflexe, um den Hirntod festzustellen, ist der Apnoe-Test. Einfach gesagt bedeutet der Apnoe-Test, dass jegliche Unterstützung der Atmung abgesetzt wird, um dann zu sehen, ob der Patient versucht, eigenständig zu atmen.

Es ist wichtig hervorzuheben, dass die Hirntod-Feststellung nicht bedeutet, dass das Gehirn des Patienten im wahrsten Sinne des Wortes tot ist, sondern dass der Bereich des Gehirns, der die autonome Atmung kontrolliert, zu diesem Zeitpunkt nicht mehr optimal funktioniert.

Mit anderen Worten:
„Hirntote“ Patienten 
können  in Wirklichkeit  noch leben.

Dr. Zainer teilte LifeSiteNews mit, dass „Adens Fall dazu anregen sollte, über die Zustimmungsregelungen in der Familie und mit den Nächsten zu diskutieren und darüber, ob „die Risiken, die mit dem Apnoe-Test verbunden sind, angemessen und zuverlässig sind“.
Fachleute haben die Zuverlässigkeit des Apnoe-Tests in Frage gestellt, weil es potenzielle Komplikationen gibt, unter anderem
- stark erhöhten Blutdruck
- Pneumothorax (d.h. Ansammlung von Luft im Pleuraraum)
- excessive Hypercardia (d.h. Herzvergrößerung)
- Hypoxie (Störung der  Sauerstoffversorgung der Nervenzellen)
- Acidosis (Mangelversorgung des Gewebes mit Sauerstoff)
und – Herzrhythmusstörungen, die den Untersucher dazu veranlassen könnten, den Test abzubrechen und somit die Hirntod-Diagnose aufs Spiel zu setzen.“

Erfahrene Praktiker schätzen, dass etwa jeder vierte Apnoe-Test mit Herz-Kreislauf-Komplikationen einhergeht.
Eine Studie ergab, dass bei mehr als zwei Dritteln der Patienten während des Apnoe-Tests Komplikationen auftraten, und kam zu der Schlussfolgerung, dass „Komplikationen beim Apnoe-Test häufiger als angegeben auftreten“.
Kritiker des Apnoe-Tests von der Universität Alberta, Dr. Ari R. Joffe, Dr. Natalie R. Anton,
und Dr. Jonathan P. Duff, stellen fest: „ Zwei Verwechslungen treten normalerweise auf und werden nicht berücksichtigt: eine möglicherweise reversible Verletzung des Rückenmarks im oberen Bereich“, die den Apnoe-Test widerlegen würde, und der Ausfall der endokrinen Drüsen“, die einen fälschlicherweise positiven Befund vortäuschen könnten.“

„Es gibt Fallberichte, dass Atmung auch bei einem höheren Anteil von Kohlendioxid möglich ist, und dass spontane  Atmung beobachtet wurde, nachdem der Hirntod diagnostiziert worden war“, so die Analyse von Kritikern, veröffentlicht in „The Journal of Child Neurology“.
Dr. Byrne stellte dar, dass eine falsche Hirntod-Feststellung aufgrund eines nicht optimal funktionierenden Hirns erfolgen kann, „sogar wenn die Zellen nicht zerstört oder abgestorben sind.“ In einem Artikel für „Renew America“ (oben verlinkt) schrieb er, dass der Apnoe-Test selbst die Hirnzellen schädigen könne.

„Wenn man die künstliche Beatmung abstellt und das Kohlendioxid nicht ableitet, dann bringt der Apnoe-Test dem Patienten keinerlei Nutzen“, erklärte Dr. Zainer. „In Wahrheit kann der Apnoe-Test  Teile des Gehirns noch weiter anschwellen und absterben lassen, die sich  sonst möglicherweise noch regenerieren könnten.“ „Die Angehörigen sind sich nicht dessen bewusst, dass dieser Test auch wiederholt werden kann und den Patienten noch weiter schädigt“, fügte Dr. Zainer hinzu.

Kanadische Ärzte bestätigen, dass der Apnoe-Test den Patienten gefährdet. „Der Test ist gefährlich für ein verletztes Gehirn (.) … Er kann lebendes Hirngewebe in unumkehrbar totes Hirngewebe verwandeln, dadurch dass der Druck im Schädelinneren erhöht wird.“
Der australische Intensivmediziner und Reanimator Dr. James Tibballs bestätigt,  dass der Apnoe-Test potenziell gefährlich ist: „Der Test kann schädlich sein, wenn der Hirnstamm noch reagiert, weil Kohlendioxid ebenfalls  Überdruck im Schädelinneren erzeugt und so zur Hirnschädigung beiträgt. (.) … Er wird oft … nicht fachgerecht durchgeführt.“

„Im Wesentlichen kann er das herbeiführen, was er vorgibt zu testen – abgestorbene Hirnzellen, die nicht reagieren – daraufhin darf die Diagnose „Hirntod“ erfolgen“, erklärte Dr. Byrne. „Sobald der Patient juristisch für „tot“ erklärt worden ist, dürfen die Kliniken und die Ärzte die Frage nach Organspende stellen, oder sie dürfen die lebenserhaltenden Maßnahmen beenden.

Sobald der Test durchgeführt wurde, dürfen die Kliniken allein aufgrund  neurologischer Kriterien den Tod feststellen, d.h. Hirntod (vor dem Stillstand von Atmung und Herzkreislauf)“, sagte Dr. Zainer bei LifeSiteNews.
Die Familien verlieren dadurch die Möglichkeit, selbst Entscheidungen  zu treffen oder sich für eine andere  Behandlung  auszusprechen, falls sie sich nicht entscheiden, eine Klage vor Gericht einzureichen.

Dr. Tibballs sagt, dass der Test nicht immer zuverlässig und sicher ist. „ Genauigkeit und Spezifikation des Tests sind zweifelhaft, weil einige Patienten spontan zu atmen angefangen haben bei weniger als 60 mm Hg, und eine hohe Gabe von CO 2 kann eine CO 2 - Narkose verursachen.
Zudem wenden Kritiker ein, dass sogar die Kriterien, wieviel Kohlendioxid im Blut sein darf, um den Hirntod feststellen zu können, von Klinik zu Klinik variieren. Dr. Tibballs Schlussfolgerung:
„Der Apnoe-Test ist nicht zuverlässig bei der Hirntod-Diagnose. Er ist wissenschaftlich zweifelhaft und führt (mutmaßlich) den Hirntod herbei.“

Ethiker Paul Byrne kommt zu dem Schluss:
„Es gibt Patienten, die als „so gut wie tot“ bezeichnet werden, oder „demnächst tot“, „hirntot“ … usw., wenn  Interesse daran besteht,  solche Patienten in Organspender zu verwandeln. Keiner dieser Patienten mit schlagendem Herzen, Atmung und/oder Kreislauf kann von Rechts wegen als Toter oder Leiche bezeichnet werden (. )… Einem so beschriebenen Menschen in diesem Zustand das schlagende Herz herauszuschneiden ... ist eine schwere Rechtsverletzung.

Übersetzung aus dem Englischen: Renate Focke 2016-1-08


Kritische Aufklärung über Organtransplantation e.V.(KAO) -
ist eine Initiative, gegründet von Eltern, die ihre verunglückten Kinder zur Organspende freigegeben haben, ohne die Hintergründe zu diesem Zeitpunkt genau genug zu kennen. Die KAO möchte u. a. durch Aufklärung dazu beizutragen, dass andere Eltern unter ähnlichen Umständen davor bewahrt werden, unvorbereitet mit der Frage der Organspende konfrontiert werden.

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Brazilian Femen founder apologises [Oz Conservative]

Sara Fernanda Giromini founded the Brazilian branch of the radical feminist group Femen. She has now had a major change of heart, after falling in love with a man and having a child:

That was one of the reasons that led me to abandon feminism. Hysterical women inciting hatred and violence against men day and night. When I realized that I had transformed myself into one of them I felt fear and shame. I carried a male in my belly and I couldn't hate him. A movement that makes women slaves of an ideology, it certainly isn't a movement for good and peace. Of course that's not what I was looking for. I love my husband, I love my son, I am happy and free as I ever was in feminism.

She has also said:
For the feminist sect women are not the inspiration, they are prime matter in the worst sense of the term. They are convenient objects useful for the purpose of inflaming hatred against the Christian religion, hatred against men, hatred against the beauty of women, hatred against the equilibrium of families.


Die ersten Ordinariate feiern ihr 5-jähriges Bestehen, Father Hunwicke, der von Anfang an dabei war, weiß Interessantes über Anglicanorum coetibus zu berichten. [Beiboot Petri]

Die ersten Ordinariate, die gemäß Anglicanorum Coetibus in England gegründet wurden, feiern ihren 5. Geburtstag. Father J.Hunwicke -aus dem Ordinariat Our Lady of Walsingham- hat ihnen eine Gratulation geschrieben- und einen Dank an Papst Benedikt XVI. Hier geht´s zum Original:  klicken

"Wenn wir diesen 5. Geburtstag unserer Ordinariates feiern, feiern wir natürlich auch unseren Grü sehr viel Liebe und Loyalität und mit Dank an Gott. Ich weiß nicht, ob Sie sich erinnern, wo Sie waren und wann Sie von der Wahl Benedikts hörten, ich tue das ganz sicher (eine kleine Stadt nahe Land´s End)  und ich erinnere mich an eine plötzliche Welle von Freude: Unser Freund ist Papst geworden! Jetzt kann alles passieren."

3 Dinge, die passierten, drei zusammenhängende Dinge- stechen aus dem letzten Pontifikat heraus: seine Lehre, mit Hinblick auf die Hermeneutik der Reform in Kontinuität innerhalb der Kirche; Summorum Pontificum und Anglicanorum coetibus. Ich werde gleich zu ihnen zurückkehren.

Ich wünschte, ich hätte als Viertes das Jahr des Glaubens hinzufügen können. In jenem Jahr, von dem der Hl. Vater hoffte, daß eine wirkliche Annäherung an das stattfinden könnte, was das Konzil wirklich gesagt hatte. Traurigerweise  war sein Versuch kein großer Erfolg.  Die "Traddies" hoffen einfach, daß das Konzil bald vergessen sein wird.  Die "Trendies" leiden unter einer furchtbaren Angst, die ihnen den Schlaf raubt, dem entsetzlichen Albtraum daß- sogar jetzt noch- normale Katholiken die Konzilstexte wirklich lesen könnten und so die Täuschung erkennen würden, die an ihnen nach dem Konzil von wohlmeinenden Männern vorgenommen worden war, die bereit waren, zu lügen, weil sie es eilig hatten,

Es war in niemandes Interesse den Staub von den alten vergilbenden "Abott"Paperbacks zu pusten.

Was Papst Benedikt feststellte, war, daß die postkonziliare Korruption zu tief verwurzelt geworden war, um über Nacht durch ein einfaches "fiat" eliminiert zu werden...obwohl er in lehramtlichen Dokumenten back-ups zur Verfügung stellte, auf die man zurückgreifen konnte,
Er wählte statt dessen als Waffe die interessante und moderne Idee der Subsidiarität.
Wenn Bischöfe diesen seinen Ausdruck beschwören- haben sie natürlich einen Griff nach der Macht  für die Bischöfe  und ihre Konferenzen im Sinn.
Elegant und sogar listig unterlief Benedikt das, indem er jedem Priester der Lateinischen Kirche das Recht zuerkannte, die Außerordentliche Form zu nutzen, ohne irgendwessen Erlaubnis zu benötigen. So eine empörende Frechheit!
Subsidiarität nicht gerade eine Zusatzwaffe für "Schlägertypen"-Bischöfe, sondern das unveräußerliche Recht jedermanns und jedes Priesters-wie jung auch immer; tatsächlich für jeden "coetus" von Laien. Natürlich platzten die trendigeren Gebiete innerhalb von Bischofsland vor Wut und suchten nach ausgeklügelten Wegen, um die Vorschrift zu umgehen. Sed frustra.

Es ist nebenbei bemerkt wert, das Doktrin-Element der Initiative in Erinnerung zu rufen: Benedikts klare und ausdrückliche Lehre, daß ein "durch eineinhalb Jahrtausende des Gebrauchs geheiligter Ritus nicht einfach abgeschafft werden kann" ( nicht einfach"sollte nicht" sondern "kann nicht") .
Mit anderen Worten: in liturgischen Dingen bedeutet die Tradition mehr, hat viel mehr auctoritas als einfache gesetzgebende Handlungen. Nur in Anglikanischen und Orthodoxen Kreisen hörte ich das vorher.... besonders eindrücklich als ich mit dem gelehrten Pfründner Michael Moreton von Exeter sprach. Vor 70 Jahren schrieb Dom Gregory Dix: "die Maßnahme in der Liturgie" ist nicht Gesetz sondern Brauch.

Papst Benedikts Mißtrauen in liberale Episkopate liegt auch dem Herzen seiner weisen Vorhersehungen für katholische Anglikaner nahe.
Er hatte das Debakel von 1990 erlebt (sehr gut in Dr. Oddies "The Roman Option" beschrieben) und war entschlossen, aus den Fehlern dieser traurigen Periode zu lernen,
Also vermied er es sorgfältig, lokale Hierarchien zu befragen ( und glücklicherweise brach kein "leaker" sein Vertrauen), sehr einfühlsam machte er seine Pläne im Privaten fruchtbar und präsentierte sie dann der wartenden Welt.
In ihrer gemeinsamen Schadensbegrenzungs-Pressekonferenz sah Vincent Nichols sogar noch schockierter aus als Rowan Williams!  Es war ein merkwürdiger Momente für uns, wir waren voller Freude, während der Erzbischof, den wir verließen und der Erzbischof, dem wir uns anschlossen, beide gleich entsetzt zu sein schienen.

Und als wir das Kleingedruckte lasen, entdeckten wir, daß der Papst sein Bestes getan hatte, um einen Schutz gegen die Ortsepiskopate zu errichten, die versuchen könnten, das Spiel an sich zu reißen.
"Wenn ein neues Ordinariat errichtet wird, wird die Terna nicht von einem Nuntius zusammengestellt, der in einigen Fällen vielleicht heimisch geworden sein und die Vorstellungen irgendeines Ortsbischofs angenommen haben könnte, Nein. Der Rat des Ordinariates stellt die Terna zusammen."!
Dieses Detail zeigt auch das große Vertrauen sowohl in die Rechtgläubigkeit als auch in die Vorsicht des künftigen Ordinariatsklerus, der zu der Zeit noch nicht einmal in voller Kommunion stand. Die Kontakte die wir geknüpft hatten, haben das Ihre getan. Er kannte uns. Er vertraute uns,

Benedikt versuchte, ein sorgfältig entwickeltes Lehramt bestehen zu lassen, aber die Essenz seines Plans war es, guten und treuen Männern, ob Lateinische-Messe-Katholiken oder ankommenden Anglikanern oder wem auch immer, Freiheit und Schutz zu geben, der Führung und dem sanften Atem des Hl. Geistes zu folgen, mit so wenig Risiko einer Unterdrückung durch die Ortskirche wie möglich

Ich sehe nicht, was dieser gute alte Mann mehr hätte tun können, oder wie er es hätte besser machen können, was er getan hat. Jetzt ist es an uns, die befleckten Heiligtümer zu polieren, den Ruch Satans aus dem Tempel zu vertreiben und das Volk Gottes zurück zum Glauben zu bringen, der ihre Vorfahren geheiligt und gerettet hat - pulchritudo tam antiqua quam nova,-dem Glauben unserer Väter, der an vielen Orten jetzt fast vergessen ist und der mit dem selben ideologischen Haß betrachtet wird, den Elizabeth Tudor vor Jahrhunderten gegen ihn im Zeitalter der Märtyrer entfachte.
"Gib uns die Mittel und wir bringen die Arbeit zuende " sagten wir zu Joseph Ratzinger. Er tat es. Gott ruft
uns- nicht zu jammern sondern etwas zu tun.

Meine Güte, was für ein begeisterndes Pontifikat das war, das wir erlebt haben. Quis inter doctores Benedicto sapientior? Quis inter mystagogas  sagacior?* Vivat vivat Benedictus"!
Ad multo annos, plurimosque annos!  Vivat! VIVAT!! VIVAT!!!

Quelle: liturgical notes, Father Hunwicke

* "wer unter den Gelehrten ist klüger als Benedikt, wer unter den Mystagogen scharfsinniger?"


Nebuchadnezzar’s Civil Service [RSS]

I would advise any young Christians who are considering a career in government, irrespective of branch, at any level, from low to high, that before any other study they read the first six chapters of the Book of Daniel:  Thoughtfully, very carefully, and in the context of the Exile.

Mutatis mutandis, of  course:  Making the necessary changes.  Paganism is not the same as neo-paganism; the times before Christ were not the same as the times after.  And the literary genre of the book is strange and difficult for us.  But the times for which it was written are very like the ones we are in.


Climate Modeling [RSS]

Concerning climate change, here is another lesson, which has stuck with me ever since the days when I thought I wanted to be a mathematical modeler in another field.

You can always build a model that predicts everything that has already happened.  That doesn't mean you can predict what is going to happen.


This is Ridiculous [Tea at Trianon]

Anna begins her refutation of the ridiculous assertions that Count von Fersen fathered Marie-Antoinette's two youngest children. The person most linked to her in the rumor mill was her brother-in-law the Comte d'Artois, not Count von Fersen. According to gossip, all of Marie-Antoinette's children were illegitimate, not just two. People thought she was having affairs with several men, just because she was pretty and vivacious. But real historians try to get to the facts. And even if Marie-Antoinette did secretly love Fersen in the depths of her heart, that does not mean there was a "torrid affair." She did not go to him when she could have, but stayed with Louis and her children. To quote:
Let's be clear: someone repeating gossip is not compelling evidence of anyone other than Louis XVI being the father of Louis-Charles. There is no other way to say this. There is a reason that historians are taught to develop a critical eye not only when gathering evidence, but interpreting it as well. You can find published works claiming Marie Antoinette poisoned her son Louis-Joseph--but when you use critical interpretation, you realize that you can't use those published works as evidence for a claim that Marie Antoinette deliberately made her son ill.

Farr is further quoted in The Daily Mail as saying "It [the claim about parentage] is not something you would write lightly," which reads as an attempt to strengthen the letter as key evidence in her claim.

Yet gossip about royalty, even scandalous gossip such a claim of illegitimate parentage, has never been off-limits, even when writing to someone in a position of political power. The letters written by comte de Mercy-Argenteau to Empress Maria Theresa are scattered with political and court gossip; after the birth of her first son Louis-Joseph, a Spanish diplomat passed along the rumors that the new dauphin was fathered by someone other than the king and copied down some malicious couplets (containing the quip 'Who the devil produced him?') which had made the rounds in Paris.

Craufurd, along with his lover Eleanore Sullivan, worked with Fersen on the plan to spirit the royal family out of Paris. There are many reasons why Craufurd might have chosen to include this bit of gossip in his letter, which would require more context to fully explore. Was Craufurd attempting to get British support for another escape attempt, with Fersen once again involved? His description of Fersen is not just glowingly positive, but asserts that Fersen has intimate ties with the royal family--not only does he have the complete trust of the queen as her favorite, he may be the dauphin's father. What better recommendation of Fersen's willingness to do anything it takes than that! But again, that is just one speculation without context. Another part of critical interpretation is asking yourself why the person wrote what they did and even how they did.

Yet even without context, it can't overstated: repeating rumors is not compelling evidence of anything, other than proving people in the 18th century gossiped as readily as we do today. (Read more.)
 It should also be remembered that Monsieur Crauford's mistress Eleonore Sullivan was having an affair with Fersen, and to deflect the gossip Crauford wanted to link Fersen romantically with the Queen, so as not to be seen as a cuckold. The Comte de Saint-Priest did the same thing when Fersen slept with his wife. Yes, Fersen was quite the ladies' man. That is what makes it so sad. If Marie-Antoinette did love Fersen in the secret depths of her heart then she did so while trying to be faithful to her husband, even if it meant her death. If the Queen did write the words "je vous aime à la folie", which they are now claiming she wrote under the scribbled out portions in one of the few extant letters in her own hand, then perhaps she did not know that Fersen had many lovers and was at the time carrying on with Eleonore. Let us hope that if she did love him, that she never knew.


Teenagers and the Internet [Tea at Trianon]

From Kayla Nicole's Blog:

Teenagers typically do not yet understand the importance of internet safety. Along with the age-old feeling of invulnerability that adolescence has always carried, now there is an unprecedented and intimate access to a world wide community of strangers. So instead of driving too fast or sneaking out at night, your kids might be posting naked pictures on a website you’ve never heard of to people they’ve never met.

 I know, I know. Your child would never do that! Let me tell you something: You. Don’t. Know. That. You know those tiny feelings you get every day but you cope nicely because you’re an adult? Feelings like insecurity, boredom, even the loneliness of being at home when your friends are all going out – well these feelings are massive to teenagers. A combination of hormones and inexperience create a veritable powder keg of unpredictable behavior. Insecurity might lead to seeking acceptance from strangers by posting a selfie and waiting for people to reblog, like, or comment on it. Boredom might lead to extended conversations online with someone they’ve never met about deeply personal matters. Loneliness can lead to online sex. No, really. It can. (Read more.)


Noch eine Anmerkung [totaliter aliter]

Ich habe mit PEGIDA und Ablegern nichts am Hut.

Zwar fand ich die pauschale Aburteilung aller Montagsspaziergänger in Dresden als Rechtsradikale und Nazis immer albern und viel zu dumpf. Aber ich finde ja auch die Aburteilung aller "südländisch" aussehenden Mitbürger als Islamisten und Vergewaltiger albern und viel zu dumpf. Somit durfte ich es mir dann von beiden Seiten anhören. Gut zu wissen, daß ich sowohl Rechtsradikalismus als auch Islamismus verharmlose.

Dann wende ich mich eben dem Linksextremismus zu:

    Innenminister Karl-Heinz Schröter (SPD) verurteilte die „schwersten Ausschreitungen“ seit Jahren in Potsdam scharf. „Die gewaltbereite Antifa führt keinen Kampf gegen rechts, sondern gegen den Rechtsstaat.“ Die Gewalt sei „ausschließlich und in massiver Form“ von links ausgegangen. Die „Teilnehmer an solchen gewalttätigen Protesten verteidigen unsere Demokratie nicht. Sie leisten einen Beitrag dazu, sie zu zerstören.“ Ihr Ziel sei es, „mit dem Faustrecht der Straße“ die Versammlungsfreiheit auszuhebeln. Mit diesen Extremisten dürfe es im Kampf gegen den Rechtsextremismus keine Gemeinsamkeiten geben.
Ich finde, daß man trotzdem nicht alle Antifanten als gewaltgeile, wohlstandsverwahrloste, hysterische Arbeitsscheue bezeichnen sollte. Will ich auch gar nicht. Stattdessen schlage ich eine neue Methode vor, anhand derer sich die Gefährlichkeit einer PEGIDA- (oder ähnlichen) Veranstaltung erkennen läßt: Man schaut einfach, ob (und wenn ja, wie viele) linke und autonome und bunte Organisationen sich zu einer Gegenveranstaltung angekündigt haben, um zu wissen wie brutal und lebensgefährlich es zugehen wird.


After the New Year Gang Rape in Cologne: Where is FEMEN? [Abbey Roads]

... took you for a dancer ... 

You know - those women who throw pies, along with their bare breasts, into the faces of Catholic clergy, and who stage lewd protests in Catholic churches in the Cathedrals of Europe?

Where are these tough broads when ordinary women are raped and sexually molested by Muslim fanatics?  Can they confront real-time, actual religious suppression, oppression, and Islamic ritualized rape - with any effect?

I don't think so.

Song for this post here.


HJA Sire on the Recent Church [The Rad Trad]

Bookends of an era look at each other.
Fr. Hunwicke continues to plug for H.J.A. Sire's Phoenix from the Ashes, a book about the decline and aspiring restoration of Western Catholic culture. While the book begins very factually and Eurocentric, it develops a broader and spiritual view of the Church and her influence on the West. I have only recently begun the book, but Sire's comments on the Church's last 120 years demand some reflection:
"When Leo XIII died in 1903, distinct progress had taken place in the intellectual life of the Church. Nevertheless, the revival of Thomism had among some an unintended consequence. These fell into treating St. Thomas's work not as a philosophical system but as a store from which infallible answers were to be extracted on any subject. While some were thus making Thomism the basis for innovative thought, others made it into a system that was unlikely to convince minds not predisposed to accept it. Partly for that reason, the extension of the Thomist approach beyond seminaries and its acquisition of a real influence on contemporary thought was not achieved." (137)
"The integrist frame of mind, now as a hundred years ago, may be defined as follows: its exponents are clericalist in their sympathies, and they were also strongly papalist until events since the 1960s forced them to shift their position. Their outlook is distinctly Western and relatively modern, tending to see the period from 1850 to 1958 as the norm of Catholic practice. They regard popes Pius IX, Pius X, and Pius XII as the models of what a pope ought to be, but (with due respect for their sacred office) really look upon Leo XIII and Pius XI as rather letting down the standards of papal authority. They show little sympathy with political and social pragmatism in the framing of religious policy. In philosophy, they hold to Thomism as the bastion of orthodoxy, to the extent of considering any lapse from the pure word of St. Thomas as inherently unsound." (139)
 "What can be said, however, was that [Pius X's] measures [against Modernism] were over-influenced by conditions in Italy, where Modernism was a pretentious, elusive, and even underhand phenomenon, and where there was, in parallel, a strong need to tighten standards in seminary training. In Italy, his measures may have been successful, but in the world as a whole they must be considered to have had a narrowing effect on the clerical intellect. Theologians need to be lean greyhounds, seeking out heresy and hunting it down; instead they became fat lap dogs, yapping foolishly at the enemy beyond the window. The results of Pius X's policy were seen in the Second Vatican Council, when two thousand bishops who had solemnly taken the anti-Modernist oath at their ordination were unable to recognize Modernism when it jumped up and bit them" (140)
"Journalistic opinion, remembering as always nothing beyond last week, worked to give [John XXIII's] reign the appearance of a new era, a distortion that has imposed itself ever since; but at the time those who remembered Pius XI and Leo XIII would have regarded his pontificate, apart from a certain naive optimism that distinguished it, as a return to a familiar style. Essentially, the reign of John XXIII is in the tradition of the period since 1814." (145)
"Linked with this clericalism was the dominance of a seminary-bound school of theology, losing something of the human fullness of earlier centuries. Thus, in natural theology there was a certain over-intellectualisation of the understanding of God, which lost sight of the potency of love as a divine attribute; akin to it, an over-spiritualisation of the doctrine of the Eucharist, obscuring the reality of physical union with Christ." (147)
Sire is fond of the post-Napoleonic period and even equates it with the revivals of the Middle Ages and Counter-Reformation, but also readily acknowledges that its limitations and drawbacks impeded it from influencing society and the Church in the same way.

The below documentary could be a primary source document for Sire's last observation. Ushaw, sadly, had to close a few years ago for lack of students. It had over 400 when this footage was filmed.


When God Says No [Tea at Trianon]

From Chasing Genuine:

For anyone who has read or heard of our story, you know of our bold prayers to the Lord asking for healing and health over Alisa. We had an idea from sonograms of potential health problems she might have once born, including a hole in her heart and possible digestive issues. Since she hadn't received a prenatal diagnosis of Down Syndrome, but only screened positive, we also begged God that she might be born not just healthy, but without Down Syndrome at all. We loved Alisa no matter what, but as her parents, we longed for her to born with little or no health challenges as her young life began.

And so, that morning I wrestled with the question that tumbled endlessly in my spirit as I considered our many prayers over Alisa's life: What if God says no? (Read more.)


Flip Turns and the Latin Mass [Creative Minority Report]

In my latest piece for The Remnant, I explore the similarities between learning flip-turns while swimming and going to the Traditional Mass for the first time. It can be frustrating and disorienting, but it is worth it.

Would you please give it a read?

*subhead*Worth it.*subhead*


Time – Five Minute Friday [Loved As If]

rageIt only takes one time. Just one time. And then it’s awakened. Rage. A bigger rage than any child can fathom. The desire to destroy, the desire to rend, the desire to annihilate… One molestation, one rape, one instance of sexually abusing a child unleashes forces no child ought ever experience.

Rage is for hell. Rage is for the self absorbed. God did not make a child’s heart for rage.

Sometimes friends post images of molesters being punished in horrible ways. Sometimes they make excruciating statements about what ought to happen to child rapists. Those hurt the victims. Such images and comments beckon the rage that we work so hard to keep under control. They take us back to the desire we must fight, that we must allow God to fight within us.

We were never created to do horrible things to others, even when we’ve been shattered by their actions. We don’t need more insanity. We need to know that we haven’t been made crazy by what has been done to us. The only hope is forgiveness and that takes prayer and work and time and an enormous amount of grace. We need to mark the debt paid because those who have hurt us can never undo or repay. We need to let the sins committed against us be washed away by the Blood of the Lamb.

Lock up abusers. Stop them. But don’t delight in harming them. Don’t be like them. And please, don’t tempt those of us who have been weakened to nail those who have abused us to the crosses their sins have placed upon our shoulders.


On Friday (and occasionally Saturday if Friday is filled with an excess of other activities),100s of bloggers set a timer, write for 5 minutes, and then post the results over at Kate Motaung’s blog, Heading Home. She provides the prompt on Thursday evening. We don’t edit or concern ourselves with whether our writing is flawless or worthy to be seen. We expose our incomplete, unpolished thoughts and words to each other and our readers and tweet them with the hashtag #FMFParty. Join us.

Image source:

The post Time – Five Minute Friday appeared first on Loved As If.


If you called your dad, he could stop it all [Semiduplex]

At the Catholic Herald, Damian Thompson has a very interesting piece about Father Benedict, the cloistered monk of the Mater Ecclesiae monastery in Rome, who is world famous for his great personal devotion to St. Celestine V. We have said—and said and said—that Benedict is the most interesting man in the Church today. Thompson offers a question-and-answer format. A couple of examples:

1. Why did Benedict XVI resign? This is regarded by many commentators as the greatest mystery in recent Church history. Not by me, however. The simple answer to the question is that the Pope felt that, at his age and with his health beginning to give way, he wasn’t up to the job. This isn’t a complete answer, because there are things we can’t know. If you’re looking for a “final straw”, then you can take your pick between the VatiLeaks affair, the machinations of Benedict’s enemies and the pope’s creeping awareness that he was losing his powers of concentration. Maybe he had a fit of despair brought on by the realisation that he’d inherited the papacy too late to implement long-term reforms while firefighting paedophile and financial scandals. If Ratzinger had become pope at 75, these challenges would have been less terrifying. He didn’t because St John Paul II insisted on holding office while incapacitated – the first pontiff to do so for a very long time. Perhaps this persuaded Benedict to take the plunge. I doubt that we shall ever know, so let’s move on.

2) Would Benedict have resigned if he knew Francis would succeed him? Purely hypothetical but interesting. Benedict must have known there was a chance that Cardinal Bergoglio would succeed him. My guess is that when the Argentinian emerged on the balcony the Pope Emeritus was dismayed but concluded that God works in mysterious ways. A more interesting, albeit even more hypothetical, question is whether Benedict would have resigned if he’d known Francis would call a synod that threw open the question of whether divorced and remarried Catholics should receive Communion.

(Emphasis in original.) For longtime observers of Church politics—especially the politics surrounding the Vatileaks I scandal, the Holy Father’s election, and the 2014-2015 Synod—the piece may not contain any bombshells. However, as a source to point people to, the piece is hard to beat.

For our part, the most interesting thing about the Pope Emeritus’s retirement is that he has, seemingly, maintained his silence on matters of pressing concern to the Church. In particular, Benedict is unlikely to have missed the fact that there are those who seek to dismantle many of the accomplishments of John Paul’s reign—accomplishments that he played no small part in, especially from 1981, when he became prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. When the Kasperites and their friends in the Synod secretariat go on about what Familiaris consortio meant or didn’t mean, they apparently forget that John Paul promulgated the exhortation at almost the same time that he named Ratzinger prefect (November 1981). It is likely that the exhortation came up in conversation between John Paul and his closest doctrinal collaborator. And, certainly, the subsequent skirmishes over communion for bigamists involved Ratzinger intimately.

Were we in the Pope Emeritus’s shoes, we would scarcely be able to resist taking to the air to correct certain misstatements and misquotations. But, of course, that is probably why we are not in the Pope Emeritus’s shoes.


Not All Lawful Pleasures Are Necessarily Helpful, As Seen in a Cartoon [Community in Mission]

blog.1.15.16St. Paul wrote, All things are lawful for me, but not all things are expedient (1 Cor 6:12). The word “expedient” in this context means useful, profitable, or helpful.

In this verse, when St. Paul says that “all things are lawful” he does not refer to things that violate the moral law of God, but rather to those that, while lawful, may not be helpful. For it sometimes happens that what is fine for one causes harm to another. A glass of wine may be good for most, but not for an alcoholic. A few potato chips are a tasty treat, but are not a wise choice for those who struggle to eat them in moderation. Salt and sugar are both gifts of God, but they are not helpful for those with hypertension or diabetes. I love peanut butter, but I cannot eat it in moderation so I don’t eat it at all. Extensive traveling may be fun and enriching, but perhaps not such a good idea for someone who has duties at home to care for children.

Learning that not all things are helpful or expedient saves us a lot of trouble.

Again, St. Paul is not saying that transgressions of the moral law are lawful. He is not saying that promiscuity, wrathful anger, greed, etc. are above criticism. These sorts of things ought to be critiqued, and those who engage in them should be corrected and called to repentance.

But even in the case of lawful pleasures, care should be taken. And thus St. Paul speaks of accepting the fact that not all pleasures are for appropriate for us or to be indulged in just because we want to. Other factors such as health, safety, charity toward others, cost, and the relationship of pleasure to duty may make a particular lawful pleasure inexpedient for us.

I thought of all this as I watched the video below. It features a youngster with a strange horn protruding from his head (perhaps it is the devilish horn of some sin or addiction). He sees others eating ice cream and wants some for himself. But the ice cream man warns the boy that this pleasure is not for him (for some unknown reason related to the horn). This pleasure is lawful, but for the boy it is not expedient.

The youngster has a meltdown in response and the ice cream man relents. As you will see, the boy suffers the ill effects. For as St. Paul says, “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are expedient.”

The post Not All Lawful Pleasures Are Necessarily Helpful, As Seen in a Cartoon appeared first on Community in Mission.


My New Book is Coming Out Soon! [History of Interpretation]

PICKWICK_TemplateMy new book, Three Skeptics and the Bible, is coming out soon! It’s a collection of essays I’ve written over the past several years, dealing with the biblical interpretation of Isaac La Peyrère, Thomas Hobbes, and Baruch Spinoza. I’ll post more on this when it becomes available on Amazon. It’s being published by Pickwick from Wipf & Stock, and is my first scholarly volume. At the side is the image they sent me of the cover. I’m still plugging away on my sabbatical projects, and hope to post more on those before my sabbatical is over. More to come in the not-too-distant future.


St. Marcellus Jan 16 [Traditional Catholic Priest]

St. Marcellus of Rome was Pope from the reign of Constantius and Galerius to that of Maxentius. At his suggestion the Roman lady Lucina willed her property to God’s Church. Because the number of the faithful in the city had increased, he set up new parishes and divided the City into various districts. This angered Maxentius …

The post St. Marcellus Jan 16 appeared first on Traditional Catholic Priest.


Matins readings for the second week after Epiphany [Lectio Divina Notes]

The Matins readings in the traditional Benedictine Office this week are set out below.

Second Sunday after Epiphany (Jan 17)

Nocturn I2 Corinthians 1: 1-5, 6-7, 8-11, 12-13
Nocturn II: Sermon of St John Chrysostom (Preface to the letters of St Paul)
Nocturn III: Homily of St Augustine (Tract 9 on St John n2)
Gospel: John 2:1-11

Monday (Jan 18)

2 Corinthians 3: 1-3, 4-8, 9-14

Tuesday (Jan 19)

2 Corinthians 5: 1-4, 6-10, 11-15

Wednesday (Jan 20)

2 Corinthians 7: 1-3, 4-7, 8-10

Thursday (Jan 21) - Feast of St Agnes

If Class III:

2 Corinthians 10: 1-3, 4-12; St Ambrose Concerning Virginity, from Bk I , chap 2

If Class II (monasteries of nuns):

Nocturn I: Sirach 5: 1-3; 4-7; 8-1213-17
Nocturn II: St Ambrose, Concerning Virginity
Nocturn III: Homily 12 of St Gregory on the Gospels, n1 (Common of Virgins)

Friday (Jan 22)   

2 Corinthians 12: 1-4, 5-9, 9-11

Saturday (Jan 23) - Saturday of Our Lady

2 Corinthians 13: 1-4, 5-13; from Homily 22 of St Leo (III)

Dem einfachen Glauben werden Erklärungen gegeben [et nunc]

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Wir müssen uns nun dem zweiten Stadium der Lehre zuwenden, wo dem einfachen Glauben Erklärungen beigefügt werden, die aber noch unvollkommen sind. Man kann es vor allem bei gewissen Vätern des 2. und 3. Jahrhunderts sehen, wenn sie von der Lehre der Trinität sprechen und versuchen, den Heiden oder den Juden das überaus tiefe Geheimnis irgendwie darzustellen und glaubhaft auszulegen, oder wenn sie die Sabellianer widerlegen, denen zufolge der Vater, der Sohn und der Heilige Geist ein einziger Gott sind, nicht nur weil sie eine einzige Natur haben, sondern auch, weil sie eine einzige Person sind. Und dies - man beachte es wohl - geschah vor dem Auftreten der Häresien des Arius und des Makedonius, die die göttliche Natur des Sohnes und des Heiligen Geistes ablehnten und ihnen eine geschaffene Natur zuschrieben.

(Aus: Louis Billot. Tradition und Modernismus. 2. Kap.
Die Ursache der scheinbaren Widersprüche in den Zeugnissen der Tradition)


Islam, Christianity, and liberalism again (Updated) [Edward Feser]

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Hope you won’t mind submitting to one more post on Islam (the last for a while, I hope).  What follows are some comments on some of the discussion of Islam and its relationship to Christianity and to liberalism that has been going on both in my own comboxes and in the rest of the blogosphere in the weeks since I first posted on the subject.

Referring to God and worshipping God

In my recent post on the debate about whether Christians and Muslims worship the same God, I made it clear that all that I was there addressing was the philosophical question of whether Christians and Muslims succeed in referring to one and the same thing when they use the word “God.”  In other words, I was discussing an issue in the philosophy of language.  That’s it.  In response, lots of people wanted to get into a debate about the merits of Islam as a religion, the consequences of Muslim immigration into Western countries, universal salvation, political correctness, etc.  All of that is simply irrelevant.  Someone could take an extremely negative attitude about Islam and still agree, consistently with that, that Christians and Muslims are, despite their deep disagreements about the divine nature, referring to the same thing when they use the word “God.”

That should be obvious from what I said in my later post on liberalism and Islam, wherein I discussed Hilaire Belloc’s view, developed in his book The Great Heresies, that Islam is a kind of Christian heresy.  Because Belloc regards Islam as a Christianheresy, he thinks that Muslims are talking about the same God Christians are, even if they go on to say false things about his nature.  Because Belloc regards Islam as a Christian heresy -- and he develops his interpretation in the context of what is essentially a book of Catholic apologetics -- he is by no means taking a positive view of Islam, any more than he takes a positive view of any of the other heresies he discusses in the book.  You can consistently say that Christians and Muslims refer to the same thing when they use the word “God” -- despite their differences over the doctrine of the Trinity -- and then go on to criticize Islam harshly, just as you can consistently say that Catholics and Arians refer to the same thing when they use the word “God” -- despite their differences over the doctrine of the Trinity -- and then go on to criticize Arianism harshly.

Notice that Belloc, who was writing in the 1930s and whose work is popular with Catholic traditionalists, can hardly be accused of political correctness, theological liberalism, belief in universal salvation, etc.  Nor was he saying anything that would have been considered the least bit remarkable in his day.  Consider what the 1911 Catholic Encyclopedia -- not exactly a liberal document -- has to say when it discusses the God of Islam.  In its article on “Monotheism,” it says:

The Allah of the Koran is practically one with the Jehovah of the Old Testament… The influence of the Bible, particularly the Old Testament, on Mohammedan Monotheism is well known…

In its article on “Allah,” the Encyclopedia says:

It is certain, however, that before the time of Mohammed, owing to their contact with Jews and Christians, the Arabs were generally monotheists.

The notion of Allah in Arabic theology is substantially the same as that of God among the Jews, and also among the Christians, with the exception of the Trinity, which is positively excluded in the Koran…

In response to doubts about whether the nomadic tribes of Arabia were truly monotheistic, the article remarks:

It is preposterous to assert… that the nomadic tribes of Arabia, consider seriously the Oum-el-Gheith, “mother of the rain”, as the bride of Allah and even if the expression were used such symbolical language would not impair, in the least, the purity of monotheism held by those tribes.

And in its article “Mohammed and Mohammedanism,” the Encyclopediasays that though “to the doctrines of the Trinity and of the Divine Sonship of Christ Mohammed had the strongest antipathy,” nonetheless “the doctrines of Islam concerning God -- His unity and Divine attributes -- are essentially those of the Bible.” 

Overall, the Encyclopedia’s treatment of Islam is hardly positive or politically correct.  Indeed, it is very critical.  But it never occurs to its authors to suggest that “Allah” must be the name of some false, pagan deity or that Muslims fail to refer to the true God when they use the word “God.”  The reason this doesn’t occur to them is that it simply does not at all follow from the critical things the Encyclopedia does say about Islam. 

Consider also that St. Thomas Aquinas is able both to find great value in what Muslim philosophers have to say about matters of philosophical theology -- Aquinas’s doctrine on essence and existence, which plays a central role in his account of the divine nature, was famously influenced by Avicenna -- while at the same time saying some extremely harsh things about Islam.

Really, the point isn’t difficult to see.  It seems that one of the things some readers get hung up on, though, is the word “worship.”  They seem to think that if you say that Christians and Muslims worship the same God, then you are insinuating that Christianity and Islam are both salvific, or that the differences between Christian and Muslim theology and ethics are not very important, or something along those lines.  But none of that follows at all.  To “worship” something as divine is to acknowledge that it has the highest possible status or dignity and consequently to give it the highest reverence, devotion, or adoration.  To say that Christians and Muslims worship the same God is merely to note what follows from the facts that (a) they refer to the same thing when they use the word “God,” and (b) they both worship that to which they refer.  Nothing at all follows about whether Muslim worship is sufficient for salvation, whether it is mixed with egregious theological and moral errors, etc.

Why any Christian would find this mysterious or puzzling, I have no idea, because the New Testament itself makes it clear that it is possible for a person to worship the true God and still be so deep in theological and moral error that his salvation is in jeopardy.  For example, in chapter 7 of Mark’s Gospel, Christ quotes Isaiah against the Pharisees, saying: “In vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.”  He doesn’t say: “Well, since you’re a brood of vipers and a bunch of whited sepulchres, you don’t really worship the true God at all.”  Rather, he says that even though they do worship the true God, their worship is “in vain,” because of their grave moral defects.

So, there simply is no necessary connection at all between, on the one hand, saying that Christians and Muslims worship the same God, and, on the other, taking a politically correct attitude toward Islam, affirming universal salvation, etc.  Some people have such difficulty seeing the point, or even acknowledging, much less answering, the arguments for it, that it is hard to avoid the conclusion that their thinking here (or lack thereof) is driven by non-rational factors.  It’s pretty clear with some of them that their hatred of Islam is so visceral that they desperately want it to be the case that “Allah” is the name of some demon, pagan god, or idol.

This is intellectually dishonest, pointless, and harmful.  It is intellectually dishonest because it simply isn’t true to the facts.  It is pointless because acknowledging that Christians and Muslims worship the same God in no way whatsoever commits one to political correctness, to universal salvation or theological liberalism, to taking a positive view of Islam, etc.  And it is harmful because it gives aid and comfort to those who want to shut down even the most sober and dispassionate critical thinking about Islam by shouting “bigot.” 

Conversion from Islam?

Bill Vallicella links to Alain Besançon’s excellent 2004 Commentary article “What Kind of Religion is Islam?” (an article I’ve cited myself several times over the years).  The whole thing should be read, especially by those who want to explore further the nature of Islam’s philosophical and theological departures from Christianity.  But there are two passages to which I want to draw special attention.  First, Besançon notes that:

[T]wo facts about Islam… always astonished medieval Christians… : the difficulty of converting Muslims, and the stubborn attachment to their faith of even the most superficially observant. From the Muslim point of view, it was absurd to become a Christian, because Christianity was a religion of the past whose best parts had been included in and superseded by Islam. Even more basically, Christianity was anti-natural: … its moral requirements exceeded human capacities, and its central mysteries defied reason.

End quote.  Belloc, in The Great Heresies, also commented on the difficulty Christianity has had historically in converting Muslims, and on the tremendous “marketing” advantage Islam’s simplicity gives it over Christianity.  But properly to understand the significance of these points requires attention to another observation made by Besançon:

Even if we decline to credit the Qur’an as an authentic revelation, we are still obliged to account for its unique sense of virtue; and especially the “virtue of religion”... What complicates this task is that, under Islam, and notwithstanding what I said earlier about the moderateness of the [Islamic] religious life, the domain of one’s duties can be pushed beyond what biblical religion considers appropriate.

In the latter, man is responsible for conducting his affairs within the framework of a universe -- natural, social, political -- that operates by internally consistent rules. The performance of one’s religious and moral duties is thus confined to a rationally definable area.  In Islam, by contrast, the will of God extends, as it were, to the secondary causes as well as to the primary ones, suffusing all of life.  Religious and moral obligation can thus take on an intensity and an all-encompassing sweep that, at least in Christian terms, would be regarded as trespassing any reasonable limit…

End quote.  What Besançon is talking about here is in part what I described in my post on liberalism and Islam as Islam’s absorption of the natural order into the supernatural.  And the moral and theological simplicity of Islam cannot properly be understood except in light of this absorption.  As Besançon notes, the Islamic ethos is earthy or sensual compared to the Christian moral ethos, which is at least by comparison ascetic.  But that earthy or sensual ethos is nevertheless seen as having an essentially supernatural foundation rather than a natural one.  Hence though Islamic morality is in a sense less demanding in terms of its content, its imperative force is nonetheless at the same time felt more strongly insofar as it is taken to come straight from God rather than through nature, and insofar as every aspect of life is seen entirely in the light of revelation rather than reason, the supernatural rather than the natural. 

Now, here’s one implication of this combination of views.  Our buddy Matt Briggs notes in a recent post at his own blog that Western progressives are prone to the delusion that Muslim immigrants are likely to succumb to the lures of secular consumer society, just as so many Christians have.  The idea is that over time, Muslim immigrants will, like even most conservative Catholics and Protestants, become so absorbed in acquiring the latest cell phones, watching the latest movies, ordering lattes at Starbucks, chatting with their secular friends about the latest episode of Modern Familyby the office water cooler, etc., that after a generation or two they won’t care so much about converting non-believers, much less working to make the laws of Western countries conform to the moral code taught by their religion.  

The reason many liberals are proneto this delusion is that they often foolishly suppose that religious people are pretty much all the same, so that if Christians commonly succumb to the lure of secular liberal consumerist society, so too will other religious believers, including Muslims.  The reason this is a delusion is that the Christian and Islamic systems simply differ radically, and in a way that makes Christians more liable to succumb to the lures in question than Muslims are.

In particular, Christians are far more likely to be tempted by liberal secular society for three reasons.  First, what is distinctive in Christian morality is relatively ascetic and otherworldly, and liberal secular society promises a release from its demands.  Second, Christianity nevertheless does affirm the existence of a natural order distinct from the supernatural order.  Thus, as I noted in my previous post, Christianity itself allows that at least some measure of moral behavior and political justice is possible even apart from Christian revelation.  Hence, a Christian is liable to be tempted by the thought that he can still be a morally decent person, or decent enough anyway, even if he forsakes some of the demands of traditional Christian morality.  Third, liberal secular society was an outgrowth (even if, as I noted in that previous post, essentially a “heretical” outgrowth) of Christian civilization.  Hence succumbing to the lures of secular liberal society can seem to Christians a natural transition rather than the adoption of something alien. 

None of these factors are present in Islam.  First, since Islamic morality is not in the first place as ascetic or otherworldly as Christian morality -- even if it is still austere by liberal standards -- there is much less temptation for the Muslim to seek to be liberated from its demands.  Second, since for Islam there is no clear basis for morality outside divine revelation, a Muslim is much less likely to be tempted by the thought that he can still live a morally decent life if he forsakes the traditional moral demands of his religion.  Third, since liberal secular society arose outside the Islamic context and has made inroads in Islamic countries only when imposed from outside, the Muslim is much more likely than the Christian to see it as something alien and hostile, whose mores he cannot adopt consistently with maintaining his religion.

Hence, if liberals believe they are more likely than Christians have been to succeed in converting Muslims to their point of view, they are gravely mistaken.  Certainly their position, where not grounded in basic misunderstandings about the nature of Islam or in fallacious generalizations from a few secularized Muslims they can think of, appears to be “faith-based” rather than supported by actual evidence. 

Natural versus supernatural

Bonald, at the blog Throne and Altar, commentson my post on liberalism and Islam.  Though he agrees with much of it, he suggests that since (as I there argued) liberalism and Islam both collapse the distinction between the natural and the supernatural orders, they are not quite opposites, as I claimed they are, but “really are closer to each other than either is to Christianity.”  Writes Bonald:

Christianity posits two orders, each largely defined by the opposition of the other.  Liberalism takes one, Islam the other, but if you’re just left with one order which covers everything, does it matter so much what you call it?  It’s just like we know whenever somebody starts going around teaching that everything is sacred, one knows with certainty that anyone who believes it will promptly lose his sense of the sacred entirely, since the sacred only exists for us in opposition to the profane.  Or take the idea of a “theocracy”.  What’s the difference between a priest declaring himself king and a king declaring himself priest?  We call the first “theocracy” and the second “Erastianism” and label them opposites, but they are the same thing.

I think Bonald is mistaken, though, and that what he overlooks is the way in which (as I have argued many times before) reductiveclaims are always implicitly really eliminative.  His analysis would be correct only if this were not so.

Hence, consider, for example, the claim that mind and matter are identical.  You could read this as saying that what we call mind is really something essentially material.  Or you could read it as saying that what we call matter is really something essentially mental.  The former is a materialist reading of the claim, the latter an idealist reading.  Now, materialism and idealism are hardly the same view.  To say that matter alone is real and that what is irreducibly mental is an illusion, and to say that mind alone is real and what is irreducibly material is an illusion, are incompatible claims.  Hence, those who identify mind and matter are not all saying the same thing, because what they mean by this claim is very different.  One side is really saying something like “Matter alone is real, and mind doesn’t exist” while the other is saying “Mind alone is real, and matter doesn’t exist.” 

Or consider the claim that God and the world are identical.  You could read this as saying that what we call God is really just the physical universe.  Or you could read it as saying that what we call the physical universe is really God.  The former is an atheist reading of the claim, while the latter is a pantheist reading.  Now, atheism and pantheism are no more the same view than materialism and idealism are.  Atheism essentially says that the contingent, finite, material world is all that exists, so that (from this point of view) if someone claims that God is identical to that world, then he is therefore implicitly saying that God (who is essentially necessary, infinite, and immaterial) does not really exist at all.  Pantheism, meanwhile, essentially says that God as the necessary, infinite, immaterial ground of all being is all that exists.  In claiming that the world is identical to God, then, pantheism is really implicitly saying that the world (which is essentially contingent, finite, and material) does not truly exist at all.  (Hence the tendency in pantheistic religion to regard the empirical world as illusory.)  Those who identify God and the world are thus not all really saying the same thing.  One side is saying something like “The world alone is real, and God doesn’t exist,” whereas the other is saying “God alone is real, and the world doesn’t exist.”

This sort of result follows whenever someone tries to identify two things, A and B, which are in fact distinct.  He will always implicitly either be affirming A and denying B, or affirming B and denying A.  And someone who affirms A and denies B is taking a position which is definitely incompatible with, and opposite to, that of someone who affirms B and denies A.  The fact that they may both say “A = B” simply doesn’t entail that they are really at the end of the day saying the same thing, because each of them means something radically different by this. 

So, from the fact that liberalism and Islam both collapse the natural and the supernatural, it simply doesn’t follow (as Bonald seems to think) that at bottom they are really just riffs on the same view and not clearly opposites.  That’s like saying that materialism and idealism are really at bottom the same view, or that Richard Dawkins’ atheism and Hindu pantheism are really at bottom the same view.  For the natureof the collapse is in each case radically different.  Liberalism (to oversimplify) essentially collapses the supernatural into the natural, and thus implicitly denies the supernatural.  Islam, meanwhile, essentially collapses the natural into the supernatural, and thus implicitly denies the natural.  These positions are as opposite and incompatible as materialism and idealism, or Dawkins’ atheism and Hindu pantheism.

UPDATE 1/17:  I noted above that, long before Vatican II, Catholic writers who by no means took a “politically correct” or otherwise positive view of Islam nevertheless did not deny that there is a sense in which Muslims worship the true God.  Reader Br. Matthew kindly calls my attention to a couple of other texts relevant to this issue.  In the 1908 Catechism of Pope St. Pius X we read:
Infidels are those who have not been baptised and do not believe in Jesus Christ, because they either believe in and worship false gods as idolaters do, or though admitting one true God, they do not believe in the Messiah, neither as already come in the Person of Jesus Christ, nor as to come; for instance, Mohammedans and the like.

Note that Pope St. Pius X -- not exactly a liberal, a modernist, an indifferentist, a fan of interreligious dialogue, etc. -- here distinguishesMuslims from those who worship false gods, and labels them “infidels,” not because they worship a false god but rather because, though they “admit one true God,” they deny that Jesus is the Messiah.

Pope Leo XIII’s Satis Cognitum (1896), after addressing Protestants, goes on to address non-Christians and says:

Our soul goes out to those whom the foul breath of irreligion has not entirely corrupted, and who at least seek to have the true God, the Creator of Heaven and earth, as their Father. Let such as these take counsel with themselves, and realize that they can in no wise be counted among the children of God, unless they take Christ Jesus as their Brother, and at the same time the Church as their mother.

Note that though he says that they cannot be counted as truly among the children of God if they remain outside the Church, nevertheless he allows that they do indeed “at least seek to have the true God, the Creator of Heaven and earth, as their Father.”  Obviously, then, Pope Leo did not suppose that a rejection of Trinitarianism prevents non-Christians from even referring to the true God when they use the word “God.”  That they at least know God as “Creator of Heaven and earth” makes it possible for them to seek Him as their Father despite their grave theological errors.


UPDATE: A note on where to find the text of the "Common Prayer", and the letter co-signed by Cardinal Koch promoting it.Important - Lutheran World Federation, Pontifical Council for Christian Unity launch "Common Prayer" service extolling Martin Luther and the Reformation [RORATE CÆLI]

By their fruits...

UPDATE: In my original post I neglected to mention where the text of the "Common Prayer" can be found. It can be downloaded via a link at the bottom of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) webpage containing the press release we reposted below: Press Release: A joint Catholic-Lutheran “Common Prayer” for 500 years of Reformation

And here is the letter signed by the head of the LWF and Cardinal Kurt Koch, head of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, promoting the "Common Prayer" liturgical order. (LINK)

Some apologists might try to defend this whole situation by harping on the description of the Common Prayer as a "template" that can be "adapt(ed) to local liturgical and musical traditions". To this "defense" we can easily point out that even if the scandalous prayers and readings in the original Common Prayer are treated de facto as optional -- and it is not at all clear that the foreseen adaptations are supposed to result in different prayers and readings -- they should not have been included in the first place in a "liturgical prayer" bearing the approval of a Curial dicastery headed by a Cardinal of the Roman Church.

Originally published 1/14/16 at 1:54 PM GMT:

Last year saw unprecedented expressions of "openness" on the part of some Vatican officials (including the Pope) and official Catholic structures towards Lutheranism.

First there was the support expressed by a Vatican spokesman for the renaming of a square in the central part of Rome after Martin Luther, support that was never disowned by any higher ecclesiastical authority in Rome. Adventists and Lutherans had been trying since 2009 to get a square in Rome named for Luther, but the effort garnered success -- and Vatican support -- only last year.

Then there was the publication on October 30, 2015 -- eve of "Reformation Day" -- of the "Declaration on the Way: Church, Ministry and Eucharist", which among other things calls for "the expansion of opportunities for Lutherans and Catholics to receive Holy Communion together". This document was created by a task force that was co-chaired by Bishop Denis J. Madden (Auxiliary Bishop of Baltimore) and formed by the USCCB's "Bishops' Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs" and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. (The document itself is hosted on the website of the USCCB).

Just prior to this was the Ordinary Synod of Bishops, which based its work on an "Instrumentum Laboris" that, among other things, proposed that the baptized but non-Catholic spouses of Catholics, as long as they "share the Church’s faith in the Eucharist", be admitted to Holy Communion. Fortunately this proposal did not pass muster and the Final Relatio of the Synod -- so weak and ambiguous in many other respects -- passes over it in silence. Although Lutherans were not mentioned by the Instrumentum Laboris, one can see that Lutherans -- alongside Anglicans and Eastern or Oriental Orthodox --  would have benefited the most from this proposal.

Mid-November saw Pope Francis visit the Lutheran church in Rome, during which he gave his controversial answer to a Lutheran woman who expressed her desire to receive Holy Communion in a Catholic church. Although some apologists and "conservatives" scrambled to come up with tortuous explanations that the Pope really meant to tell the woman that she should become Catholic, the pastor of the same Lutheran church where Francis made his remarks opined that "he thinks his flock feel freer, in accordance with their conscience, to receive the Eucharist in the Catholic Church after Francis’ comments."

Now comes news that the Lutheran World Federation, and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity headed by Kurt Cardinal Koch, have endorsed a "liturgical order" designed to facilitate common prayer between Catholics and Lutherans in the run-up to next year's commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. This liturgical service is based upon the document "From Conflict to Communion" jointly issued by both bodies in 2013 as a blueprint for a "common commemoration" of the Reformation in 2017.

The following is the official press release of this very significant milestone. (Emphases ours.)

Our commentary on its significance, and on salient points of this "liturgical service", comes after the text of the press release.

From the official website of the Lutheran World Federation:

Press Release: A joint Catholic-Lutheran “Common Prayer” for 500 years of Reformation

GENEVA/VATICAN CITY, 11 January 2016 - The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (PCPCU) have invited Lutheran churches and Catholic bishops’ conferences across the world to make use of a jointly-developed Common Prayer to prepare commemorations for the 500 years of the Reformation in 2017.

In a joint letter today to the Catholic Bishops’ Conferences and to LWF member church bishops, presidents and other leaders, LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr Martin Junge and PCPCU President Kurt Cardinal Koch introduce the Common Prayer for Lutheran-Catholic common commemoration of the Reformation in 2017. The document is the first jointly developed liturgical order prepared by a liturgical task force of the Lutheran Catholic Commission on Unity of the LWF and PCPCU. It is based on the recent study report From Conflict to Communion: Lutheran-Catholic Common Commemoration of the Reformation in 2017, and is calling the Catholic and Lutheran communities for joint prayer in this commemoration.

The Common Prayer includes materials that can be adapted to local liturgical and musical traditions of churches in the two Christian traditions.

This common prayer marks a very special moment in our common journey from conflict to communion. We are grateful for being able to invite you to participate in this journey in witnessing to the grace of God in the world,” Junge and Koch write to the Lutheran and Catholic Church leaders.

The two leaders express gratitude for the many joint initiatives and commitment by Catholics and Lutherans in studying together the document From Conflict to Communion, in which the two church bodies describe together for the first time the history of the 16th century Reformation and its intentions. The report developed by the Lutheran-Roman Catholic Commission on Unity in 2013 has been widely distributed to Catholic and Lutheran communities. It is available in the four LWF’s official languages – English, French, German and Spanish – and has been translated into several other national and regional languages.

The Common Prayer is a practical guide to a  process of worship for a joint Catholic-Lutheran commemoration of 500 years of the Reformation. It is structured around the themes of thanksgiving, repentance and commitment to common witness. The aim is to express the gifts of the Reformation and ask forgiveness for the division perpetuated by Christians from the two traditions.

”It offers an opportunity to look back in thanksgiving and confession and look ahead, committing ourselves to common witness and continuing journey,” states the preface of the Common Prayer.

It offers suggestions of how Catholic and Lutherans should preside and read together at a common prayer service. Examples are provided of hymns and songs from a variety of multicultural contexts, as well as biblical and confessional readings that reflect mutual joy and repentance, and the desire to serve and witness to the world together.

In their joint letter, Junge and Koch remind the church leaders that the year 2017 also marks the 50 years of global ecumenical dialogue between Catholics and Lutherans, which includes other major study processes and documents. For the LWF, the year coincides with its Twelfth Assembly, to be held in Windhoek, Namibia, under the theme ”Liberated by God’s Grace.”

In October this year, the LWF and PCPCU will host a joint Ecumenical Commemoration event in Lund, Sweden, where the LWF was founded in 1947.

It is true that since the 1960's, it has become commonplace for Catholic theologians and bishops to praise Martin Luther and the Reformers. Popes have not been exempt: witness John Paul II's 1983 letter for the 500th anniversary of Luther's birth praising his "profound religiousness" and Benedict XVI's 2011 speech to representatives of the German Evangelical Church. Joint prayer between Catholic and Lutheran (and other non-Catholic and even non-Christian) dignitaries are also not uncommon. Nevertheless, previous Popes always resisted Lutheran pressure for Catholic-Lutheran intercommunion to be normalized even without visible ecclesial unity. Under the present pontificate this resistance looks significantly weaker -- if it exists at all. This is also the first time that the drive for Catholic-Lutheran union and the glorification of the Reformation has taken a quasi-liturgical shape, intended not just for relatively rare "ecumenical encounters" but for Catholics and Lutherans worldwide. As Traditionalists know only too well, prayer and belief go hand in hand. The dangerous implications of this step are plain for us to see. 

The opening prayer of the service prays that the Lord "help us to rejoice in the gifts that have come to the Church through the Reformation, prepare us to repent for the dividing walls that we, and our forebears, have built, and equip us for common witness and service in the world". 

Another prayer runs as follows:

Thanks be to you O God for the many guiding theological and spiritual insights that we have all received through the Reformation. Thanks be to you for the good transformations and reforms that were set in motion by the Reformation or by struggling with its challenges. Thanks be to you for the proclamation of the gospel that occurred during the Reformation and that since then has strengthened countless people to live lives of faith in Jesus Christ.

One of the readings in the "Thanksgiving" portion of the service begins thus:

Lutherans are thankful in their hearts for what Luther and the other reformers made accessible to them: the understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ and faith in him; the insight into the mystery of the Triune God who gives Himself to us human beings out of grace and who can be received only in full trust in the divine promise; the freedom and certainty that the gospel creates; in the love that comes from and is awakened by faith, and in the hope in life and death that faith brings with it; and in the living contact with the Holy Scripture, the catechisms, and hymns that draw faith into life."

Another reading ends with:

"The ecumenical journey enables Lutherans and Catholics to appreciate together Martin Luther’s insight into and spiritual experience of the gospel of the righteousness of God, which is also God’s mercy.”

This "liturgical order" is characterized by the dominance of Protestant material, and the one-sided praise for the Reformation while nothing at all is said about -- or taken from -- the distinctive elements of Catholic history, theology and heritage. The Reformation and Martin Luther are repeatedly extolled, while the Counter-Reformation and the Popes and Saints of the 16th century are passed over in total silence.

The troubles that came from the Reformation are thoroughly glossed over in the "Repentance" section of the service that covers doctrinal disagreements and historical tragedies in banal generalities which equally blame Lutherans and Catholics. The overwhelming emphasis in this service is on what supposedly unites Catholics and Lutherans, while the doctrines that "divide" us -- doctrines for which innumerable Catholic martyrs and confessors suffered, bled, fought and died -- are left unmentioned and abandoned.

May God have mercy on our Church.


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