Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Catholic Couture

The image of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia donning the "Thomas More hat" at the president's inauguration has sent Catholic bloggers and commentators ablaze. Are they/we reading too much into it? Who knows. Still, it is pretty cool.

The hat, an exact replica of the one worn by Thomas More in the famous Holbein portrait, was presented to Scalia by the Thomas More Society

The Disconnect: Leadership and Reality

From the National Catholic Register:
WASHINGTON — In a statement commemorating Catholic Schools Week, Bishop Joseph McFadden of Harrisburg, Pa., lauded Catholic schools for helping evangelize the nation. 
“It is a challenging education in an atmosphere where Jesus Christ is the center,” the chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Catholic Education said Jan. 29. 
“The unique atmosphere of our Catholic schools is a space and place where the New Evangelization can reach out to parents and children in a way that is respectful of the human person, presents the teachings of the Church, and supports family life.” 
He noted that Catholic Schools Week is an opportunity to “recognize and support parents” as they exercise the right to choose Catholic schools “to support the faith formation and excellent education for their children.”
Now, I don't have the transcript of the entire address, but I will make some points on the subject.

This is a topic that gets the blood boiling. Can anyone who has actually experienced Catholic education over the past 30 years (like I did) seriously argue that these schools are doing a great job when it comes to teaching the faith? Not to get this is to miss everything and it betrays a disconnect of epic proportions. There are exceptions, of course, but the overwhelming majority of Catholic schools in this nation have shamefully abjured their solemn duty to teach Catholic doctrine, while many bishops have turned a blind eye.

It just galls me to no end to hear talk about supporting Catholic education when I know from experience that diocesan Catholic schools have done so much damage precisely because they have failed in their mission. If you want anecdotes, I can provide volumes. The first step in healing is recognizing the problem, and all too often, I get the sense that here, among the leadership, there's a delusional business as usual outlook. "Things are fine. We're doing a great job. All's well in happy land."

Many of the denizens of the perverse, arch-liberal ruling class in the United States, and in Western nations, were reared in Catholic high schools and universities. A lot of good that did for our nation. How many Catholic leaders promoting abortion and gay "marriage" in Washington and state capitals attended to prestigious Catholic universities? How many Catholics in America voted for the pro-abortion president? Catholic schools...? Great work...?

(N.B. This is not to say that there aren't many wonderful, faithful people working in Catholic schools. I am speaking here more of administrative and ecclesiastical negligences, which have piled up over a generation or two, resulting in the white-washing of a conspicuous Catholic culture and identity at these schools.)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Immigration and Abortion

The populist president, attempting to rally support for immigration reform, speculated to the adoring throng that perhaps some illegal immigrant out there just might be the next tech. wiz or whatever. The point is that it serves us all to open the doors to potential talent in the United States since it would benefit everyone. I wish he'd apply the same line of argument to abortion. How many killed? What might have been?

The Gay Debate: Reason vs. Hate

The Future.

Watch as Anthony Ozimic takes on three gay "marriage" advocates. You'll see how his calm, reasoned approach in defending traditional marriage is met with the huffing and puffing and hate of the far left. He clearly has them flummoxed. His interlocutors try to pin him down with hackneyed talking points and lines of attack, but his calm retorts deflect each assault. This is so typical of the militant gay "rights" movement. When debating, immediately discredit the opposition with a torrent of venomous, tried and tested epithets and innuendo.

Even though Ozimic clearly wins the debate, you can't help but feel sorry for him, as he's so viciously attacked by the incoherent morons he faces. He seems like a genuinely kind, soft-spoken man and is met with utter contempt and condescension. That said, it is somewhat humorous watching glitteringly stupid people desperately try to act smart. Take note of the blond grown-up bobby-soxer.

Sunday, January 27, 2013


Gays and women can't get in the military fast enough, according to Obama. But God's gotta go. Don't want to offend anyone, you see. Sickening.
Military: Crosses Removed ‘Out of Respect for Other Faiths’ 
Religious liberty advocates are denouncing the U.S. military’s order to remove a steeple and dismantle Christian crosses from an Army chapel in Afghanistan. 
“We can confirm that those items were removed from the chapel,” said a spokesman for the ISAF Joint Command. “These items were removed out of respect for the beliefs of other faiths.”

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Something to notice

Hundreds of thousands of pro-lifers marched in DC yesterday and it was difficult to find any coverage of it on the mainstream media. Today, a much, much smaller number, in the thousands, march in DC for, you guessed it, gun control. And it's all over the media.

The word for today is, AGENDA.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Gay Wave Not Unstoppable

From Financial Times:
Poland’s parliament on Friday rejected laws that would have given limited legal rights to gay couples, splitting the ruling party on an issue that challenges attitudes in the Catholic country. 
Premier Donald Tusk had campaigned for a vote on the issue but did not impose discipline on his Civic Platform party’s MPs. This allowed a conservative wing under Jaroslaw Gowin, the increasingly powerful justice minister, to join the rightwing opposition to kill the measures. 
The move came as Russia’s parliament overwhelmingly approved a bill to ban so-called homosexual propaganda, illustrating the divisions between attitudes in eastern and western Europe.

Friday Surprise

Obama isn't king after all, which probably comes as a surprise to him, and quite frankly to those of us who watch him get away with one Constitutional offense after another. From ABC News:
This is a very big deal in constitutional law and contemporary politics. 
The U.S. Appeals Court for the District of Columbia handed down a major decision today, one that shifts the modern balance of power between the president and Congress—and hands a stinging political defeat to President Obama and his allies in Big Labor
The battleground: The National Labor Relations Board—the powerful independent agency that's overseen the contentious relations between Big Business and Big Labor in America since 1933. The NLRB has long been a partisan political battleground—Democratic presidents usually try to pack the board with union allies, Republican presidents usually make business-friendly appointments. 
The issue: Are President Obama's three appointments to the NLRB legal? Did he have the constitutional authority to make those appointments in the manner he did—or hid he exceed his power as president? 
The court's answer: Obama acted unconstitutionally.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Boehner: Obama wants to "annihilate" GOP

This is obvious and frightening. There's been much talk of late about Obama seeking to be the anti-Reagan, in terms of permanently realigning America on a liberal trajectory. It's heartening that the Speaker of the House gets it, and isn't living in a McCain/Christie/and, to a certain extent, Romney dream world of "reaching across the aisle."

Predictably, Obama's spokesman today rejected the claim, and offered the de rigueur appeals to compromise and working together. (Note that their favorite moniker now to define Republicans is "absolutist" which is to say, intolerant, narrow-minded, stupid, etc.)

What Obama and his minions are no doubt trying to do is annihilate the Republican Party by redefining it. They know that they will never be able to get rid of it altogether, but what they can do is co-opt the Party by marginalizing the core tenets of conservatism, portraying these views as "extreme" and out of the mainstream. In other words, in the essential things, make the Republicans like Democrats. Force Republicans to shun the conservative base for fear of being labeled "absolutist" and "extreme" and then get them to take up liberal-lite positions.

This is the classic Obama-Alinsky strategy: use the bully pulpit to isolate and preempt the opposition by defining them as crazy, irrational, extreme and so on. This, in turn, allows Obama to play the role of the mature adult, the reasonable, middle of the road guy. In dealing with his enemies, Obama, in a sort of Hegelian dialectic, creates false extremes, spins false narratives, and straw-man arguments, all of which he then pins to his opposition, while positioning himself to occupy the happy middle. This becomes infinitely easier to do with a sycophantic media helping you along and protecting you.

What is a good sign is that the leader of the Republican Party seems to be onto Obama. For far too long, Republicans (Bush I, Bush II, McCain, Romney, etc.) played with kid gloves, inexplicably thinking Democrats incapable of resorting to such cut-throat tactics.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

"Be a man" no more

In an absurd move, the Pentagon opened the doors today for women to serve in combat positions, which, according news reports "allows women to serve as infantrymen or in special ops, like Navy SEALS, if they pass physical tests". This is a joke. Women cannot pass the physical requirements of special operations training; that is, unless that training is severely altered, which will necessarily make it less lethal, less effective. It's not sexist to say this, it's simply recognizing biology. Obama praised the move (big surprise) with an asinine statement: 'Valor knows no gender.' Sure. But completing SEAL and Special Forces training certainly does. Is the president's idea of valor so narrow that it is only limited to battle on the front lines? (And how about the NFL? How would a woman hold up to a hulking Clay Matthews behemoth barreling into her?)

I am so incredibly tired of nonsensical, liberal Hallmark Card pablum that everyone takes as doctrine emanating from the oracle at Delphi. It is ironic that, in attempting to break through various gender 'ceiling' roles, feminists have conceded that only roles which males have traditionally filled are the most important in society. They ignore their natural strengths and powers and accept the premise that it is a man's world after all.

This move from the Pentagon represents yet another obeisance to the god of political correctness by yes-men disciples of Obama. Our nation's martial culture (which emphasizes authentic masculinity) has already been ravaged by the demands of liberalism, egalitarianism, political correctness and social experimenting.

I will end this post with an excerpt from an article by Kate O'Beirne, which appeared in National Review in 2003.
Overplaying women's exploits permits proponents of gender-integrated combat to discount the masculine traits that the history of warfare shows to be vital to military success. In an article for the Buffalo Law Review, Wayne State law professor Kingsley R. Browne examines the historic link between masculinity and warfare: "Be a man" was the core value by which combat soldiers judged each other, according to Samuel Stouffer's classic study of soldiers in WWII; as Browne notes, Northwestern professor Charles Moskos--America's leading military sociologist--explains that one of the few ways to get men in combat to behave so irrationally as to risk getting killed is to appeal to their masculinity. A study of the Spanish Civil War found that the greatest fear of men facing combat for the first time was that they would turn out to be cowards. Historian S.L.A. Marshall found that a man in combat will overcome his fear and do what's required because he risks losing "the one thing that he is likely to value more highly than his life--his reputation as a man among other men." Browne concludes: "If the need to prove one's manliness is an essential motivator of combat personnel, what motivates women?" 
A 1985 Navy study found that large majorities of women were unable to perform any of the eight critical shipboard tasks that virtually all men could handle...In her 2000 book, The Kinder Gentler Military, Stephanie Gutmann recounted how the harsh demands of basic training have been largely eliminated to make the experience more female-friendly. With basic training now gender-integrated in all the services except the Marines, the emphasis is increasingly on self-esteem and positive motivation. Recruits are shown videos that reassure them that "anybody can get through boot camp" and that it's "O.K. to cry." A commission appointed by defense secretary William Cohen...concluded that basic training should be separate because integrated training resulted in "less discipline, less unit cohesion, and more distraction from training programs.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

54,559,615 Dead

From Daniel Halper, writing for The Weekly Standard:
Today is the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court rulling on Roe v. Wade. The National Right to Life Committee estimates that, in that time period, there have been 54,559,615 abortions in America
"In a new document, 'Abortion Statistics: United States Data and Trends,' NRLC education director Dr. Randall K. O’Bannon estimates that there have been 54,559,615 abortions since 1973 based on data from both the Centers for Disease Control and the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, a former Planned Parenthood research arm. Guttmacher receives numbers directly from abortion centers themselves and is the prime source for more current figures because the Centers for Disease Control has never tabulated accurate numbers of abortions. The CDC relies on figures from state health departments, some of which rely on voluntary reporting — and it hasn’t had data from some states such as California and New Hampshire for more than a decade," reports.
It's staggering to think of a number so high. Given the chance to live, what might these people have accomplished? How many cures to various diseases would have been discovered? What about works of art? How many children would they have had? The impact that just one good friend can have on another's life is incalculable and, with so many lives snuffed out, who can deny the absence of a potential best friend, with all the accompanying consolations, to someone now living? The unanswered and unanswerable questions cut to the heart.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Catholic Education in Milwaukee

Saint Joan Antida, a popular all-girls archdiocesan high school in Milwaukee, is hosting An Evening with John McGivern on Saturday, January 26. Read about it here on the school's website.

Now, for those of you who don't know, Mr. McGivern is a well-known local celebrity/retread, who is also a practicing homosexual. He gains a lot of milage on the comedy circuit making light of the gay lifestyle. Read more about his work here. I'll provide an excerpt from the On Milwaukee piece:
He was last seen on television on HBO in the all-gay special, "We're Funny That Way," a comedy documentary filmed in Toronto at the world's largest gay and lesbian comedy festival. He's also seen in "Out There II," the all-gay comedy special on Comedy Central.
And here's a Q&A excerpt from, ah, The Rainbow Times:

 Q. Speaking of family issues, that also happens to be a topic discussed on the campaign trail this year, regardless of which side of the fence you are on. Grant it, “family issues” for one side can be termed differently for the other. How do you think this election will shape the future of “family issues”? 
 A. There will always be a divide. I am a 57 year-old gay man who has been with the same partner for 10 years. Steve and I are a family. My vote may change law but opinion is changed through knowledge. Those who know Steve and I can’t deny that we are a family.

So my simple question: Why is a Catholic school giving a platform to a guy like this? Much of the homosexual movement's success in America has come through the entertainment industry's efforts to normalize the behavior by making it seem ordinary and even cool. McGivern, in his own campy, has-been way, has a role to play in this.

What an utter disgrace, and a dismal reflection on the state of mainstream Catholic education.

Let's rise, people.

Bright Spot

From Catholic News Agency:
WASHINGTON — A new report finding “significant victories for life” in state-level legislation during 2012 has left a leading U.S. pro-life group hopeful about the coming year. 
“More than half of states have pro-life governors and pro-life majorities in their legislatures,” said Dan McConchie, vice president of state legislative action for Americans United for Life, “so we expect pro-life advances to replicate the high levels of success in the past couple of years across the country.” 
McConchie told CNA that he expects to see “continued interest in restraining abortion coverage” in the new health care law throughout 2013, as well as “late term abortion bans, regulation of abortion-inducing drugs, and clinic regulations.”


At the nine-second mark, Michelle O. makes a conspicuous eye-roll at House Speaker John Boehner. Nice.

Elbow on the table. Check. Hunched over posture. Check. Shoveling food in an already full mouth. Check. 

A Jackie Kennedy, Nancy Reagan or Laura Bush, she is not.

Now, I don't like pointing this kind of thing out, but the Obamas put on such affectations...

One way to look at it

The second half of a nightmare begins today. Sounds bad, but we could instead say that the glass is half-empty. The end is in sight. It's the best I can come up with to describe this unmitigated disaster, this political, moral and national embarrassment.

News reports are in: Obama went for the jugular today in his petty address. He intends to push an even more aggressively liberal agenda this go-around. Thank God that the Republicans control the House. Still, I cannot help wondering when our side will take off the gloves and finally take Obama head on?

After this catastrophe, if the GOP ever again nominates a moderate Republican who takes a soft-gloves approach to combating liberals, especially during one-on-one debates, I'm relocating to Malta. As for going forward, we need to look outside the status quo for a leader. I've been very impressed with Senator Ted Cruz. Marco Rubio is, of course, reliable. I'm also not ruling out some of our fantastic governors, like Nikki Haley, Scott Walker, etc. In any event, the DC-east coast, "working across the aisle" type of Republican is done. Over. Dead. Finished.

We could learn something from Obama here. When it comes to politics and dealing with one's opposition, delenda est Carthago. No mercy.

Earlier I was wondering if ever the day will come when we look back with utter shame and dismay that a man such as this was actually elected, not once, but twice. I concluded that yes, if we ever get to the point when we collectively see and reject abortion for the unrivaled evil that it truly is, then the Obama presidency will be viewed as a sad, dark blemish on our nation's history.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


From the National Catholic Register:
WASHINGTON — An Alabama Supreme Court decision recognizing the unborn as persons deserving of legal protections could have significant implications in ending abortion in the U.S., say pro-life advocates. 
“The Alabama Supreme Court has dealt a massive blow to the constitutional fraud of Roe v. Wade by recognizing that the preborn child is a person,” said Personhood USA legal analyst Gualberto Garcia Jones in a statement. 
On Jan. 11, the Alabama high court ruled that unborn children are protected by the state’s chemical-endangerment law.

Hypocrite par excellence

Speaking on guns and violence, and dripping with moral superiority, Obama said the following at a theatrical media spectacle today: 'This is our first task ... keeping our children safe'.

And all from the most pro-abortion president in our history, a man whose chilling voting record demonstrates no mercy, no compassion for millions of children in the womb whose lives have been violently snuffed out via abortion. Obama's comments are nauseating. This vulgar caitiff has blood on his hands stemming from his relentless pursuit of expanding abortion, partial-birth abortion and worse, and he lectures America on 'keeping our children safe.' Disgusting. No apologies from me for saying this. It's harsh, but 100% accurate.

He needs serious prayers.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Newt on Gun Control

This is excellent. Newt Gingrich at his best, that is to say, calling out and embarrassing liberal pundits.

"If gun control works, then Chicago ought to be safe." 

I have to say that it's been sad to hear some of the US bishops get on the gun control bandwagon. It's an emotional reaction that isn't rooted in any rational thought. I just love Newt's point here about Chicago, a war zone of a city, where all of these allegedly terrible weapons are already verboten. How many homicides last year? Newt just eviscerates the liberal talking points with a simple fact. Bishops should stick to the transcendent moral issues of the day (abortion, marriage, the culture war, etc.), not to mention catechizing an impoverished flock, and leave the gun issue alone.

Monday, January 14, 2013

When Secular Media Covers the Mass

Get a load of this. From NBC News:
Even Holy Communion is not immune from the flu
Some Catholic Churches across the country have stopped offering parishioners wine from a shared chalice to prevent germs from spreading as the flu continues to plague most of the nation. And that's not the only change worshippers may see at Mass. 
"To refrain from shaking hands during rite of peace, I invited them to just turn and verbally exchange a greeting," Msgr. John Darcy of St. Sebastian Church in Providence, R.I., told WJAR.
So predictable. Oh, so predictable. You Catholics who understand, you know, liturgy don't need me to unpack the bold print there.

I don't have to say it, but I will. At the traditional Mass, you don't have to worry about catching the flu. No hand-holding, no hand-shaking, no hi-fives, no "shared chalice," no hugs and kisses. Much less complicated.

If not for the sake of honoring our traditions (that would be asking too much, apparently), maybe we could get people hip to the traditional Mass using hygiene as the clincher.

Culture of Death Alive in Belgium

When I read the lead for this story, I literally did a double take. I thought I had misread the words somehow... 

From ABC News:
Belgium Euthanizes Deaf Twins Going Blind 
Two deaf twin brothers in Belgium were euthanized by their doctor after realizing they were going blind and would be unable to see each other ever again, their physician says.
The 45-year-old men, whose names have not been made public, were legally put to death by lethal injection at the Brussels University Hospital in Jette, on Dec. 14. 
The men, who were born deaf, had a cup of coffee and said goodbye to other family members before walking into hospital room together to die, their doctor told Belgian television station RTL. 
“They were very happy. It was a relief to see the end of their suffering,” said Dr. David Dufour. 
“They had a cup of coffee in the hall. It went well and a rich conversation. Then the separation from their parents and brother was very serene and beautiful,” he said. “At the last there was a little wave of their hands and then they were gone,”

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Massive pro-marriage rally in Paris

Looks like lots of young people...

Read more about the huge demonstration here.

Republican Counter-Offensive

In Wisconsin, Governor Walker is leading a quiet conservative revolution

From Reuters:
(Reuters) - Hopes for overhauling the federal tax system are fading in Washington, but in some state capitals, tax reform experiments - some far-reaching - are fast taking shape. 
Across the South and Midwest, Republicans have consolidated control of state legislatures and governorships, giving them the power to test long-debated tax ideas. 
Louisiana Republican Governor Bobby Jindal, for instance, called on Thursday for ending the state's income tax and corporate taxes, with sales taxes compensating for lost revenue. 
A similar plan is being pushed by Republicans in North Carolina. Kansas, which cut its income tax significantly last year, may trim further. Oklahoma, which tried to cut income taxes last year, is expected to try again.
And why not? Wisconsin is getting in on this as well. Let's get the state economies roaring and prove which party has the right ideas: Illinois, dominated by liberals, from the governorship to the local school crossing guard, or the Badger State, with Scott Walker at the helm of the most conservative state legislature in our history.

Seriously, I am at the point now where, if some states want to self-immolate themselves with insane, Socialist policies, and thereby impoverish their own stupid citizens who are so ignorant as to keep re-electing the same people over and over, I say, let them.

N.B., Just don't come into my state once yours is decimated, and expect us to coddle you.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Baroque Communion Rail

Communion rails...I'm a fan. 

Some shots I took of one of the most strikingly beautiful chapels in Rome, the church of San Girolamo della Carita. The stunning Communion rail is made of alabaster. 


Abortion laws in Ireland may be changing soon. The article linked here offers a summary of the sad events. I was struck by the following excerpt:
The leaders of several Protestant denominations, who represent about 5 percent of the people in Ireland, said current Irish abortion law was an ill-defined nightmare for pregnant women in medical crises. They said doctors needed clear rules so they can end pregnancies in rare cases without the fear of facing lawsuits or criminal charges. 
"It is wrong to allow a mother to die. It is wrong to take the life of a child. But in such circumstances, it may be necessary to choose what is least wrong," said the Rev. Trevor Morrow of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland.
This passes for serious thought? Remarkable.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

To Become a Benedictine

"It takes courage to face death.  It took heroic courage for young men throughout American history to give up their lives in defense of our freedom.

But dying is not enough, as the world has found to its cost. Wars and other evils are caused by poisonous ideas, which cannot be stopped by bullets or bombs. But they can be over come by more powerful ideas - such as the truth of Christ.

Christ came into the world to carry the fight against the Prince of Darkness. He founded His Church to carry on the struggle to the end of time.

There has been no lack of young men ready to sacrifice their lives in the service of their country. Why are there so few with the courage to dedicate their lives in the service of Christ?

Never before in history, perhaps, has there been such great need or such splendid opportunities to serve Christ.

In this country the need can be measured only by the mounting evils we see around us: the lust that is destroying the American home, the greed that is threatening the American economic life, the pride that ignores the injustices to so many of our fellow Americans, the falsehood and confusion in our schools that may lead to the breakdown of our democratic government.

It is time for young men of courage to stand up once more and shout with united voices and the example of their lives that these things are wrong. They will find community in the way of life laid down by young Benedict so many centuries ago.

They can find no surer means of saving souls. They may once again save civilization."

- Abbot Brendan Downey, O.S.B.
Adapted from Comrades in Christ, 1947

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Europe 4 Nothing

Nauseating. Just nauseating. From Daniel Hannan, writing for the Telegraph:
Take a close look at this promotional poster. Notice anything? Alongside the symbols of Christianity, Judaism, Jainism and so on is one of the wickedest emblems humanity has conceived: the hammer and sickle. 
For three generations, the badge of the Soviet revolution meant poverty, slavery, torture and death. It adorned the caps of the chekas who came in the night. It opened and closed the propaganda films which hid the famines. It advertised the people's courts where victims of purges and show-trials were condemned. It fluttered over the re-education camps and the gulags. For hundreds of millions of Europeans, it was a symbol of foreign occupation. Hungary, Lithuania and Moldova have banned its use, and various former communist countries want it to be treated in the same way as Nazi insignia. 
Yet here it sits on a poster in the European Commission, advertising the moral deafness of its author (I hope that's what it is, rather than lingering nostalgia). ...
Can't you just imagine the people who sit on that commission?

Monday, January 07, 2013


The era of legitimizing any form of sexual deviancy is already upon us. And the way things have been going, is anyone surprised? Pedophilia is the latest offense that loose cannon, degenerate elitists in the West are seeking to normalize. It's an act we should seek to understand, you see, and not condemn. Just another form of sexual orientation. When it comes to this latest assault, how long before we hear the diabolical chant of modernity: "Who are we to judge?"

Dark days, folks.

On The Spot

I spent today visiting classes at a high school in Saint Louis.  In one class, apologetics, the teacher asked me to go to the front of class and defend Catholicism from the students for 50 or so minutes.  That took me a little off guard.  But OK, I'm not a shy person.

The first question was this: how can you support an institution that has been responsible for so much evil (like the Inquisition, the Crusades, bigotry, homophobia, etc.)?  I gave the class four responses:

1. It is irrational to condemn an institution for isolated periods in its history, and irrational to condemn it for what some of its individual members have done.  Take the police department of Saint Louis.  They did some nasty things in the earlier part of the 20th century.  So should we shut the department down?  Should we get rid of police in Saint Louis?  Not seeing the motivation here.

2. You have to judge an institution by what is at the heart of that institution.  If the heart of the institution is good, then, when its members do bad things, their actions are really outside the institution because they run contrary to its core identity.  Take a hospital.  A hospital is good because it has a good mission.  When its doctors are negligent, and when they let people die, they are acting against the hospital.  They undermine the heart of its identity.  So you should be against those doctors, not against hospitals and their core mission.  The same goes for the Church.  The heart of the Church is faith, hope, and love.  Murder and bigotry don't make the cut to be part of its core mission.  So when Catholics murder and are bigots, they are not doing the will of the Church.  They are undermining it.  So blame them for their actions, not Catholicism.

3. The Catholic Church is responsible for an enormous amount of good.  The Church invented hospitals, universities, and charitable institutions (and I don't think this is much of an exaggeration).  The Church also does more charitable and social justice work than any other institution that world has ever seen.

4. Finally, the best response.  I believe that the Church provides us with revelation--with the most important truths in life.  And I also believe that the Church gives us contact with God, and siphons off to us his forgiveness.  It gives us a shot at eternal happiness.  If you believe these things, then being against the Church is absurd.  How can you be against an institution that gives you all of the only things that matter in life?

Sunday, January 06, 2013

The New Creed

An excerpt from a provocative article by Stanislav Mishin, appearing in Pravda:
For years, the Elites of the West have cranked up the myth of Man Made Global Warming as a means first and foremost to control the lives and behaviors of their populations. Knowing full well that their produce in China and sell in the West model and its consiquent spiral downward in wages and thus standards of living, was unsustainable, the elites moved to use this new "science" to guilt trip and scare monger their populations into smaller and more conservatives forms of living. In other words, they coasted them into the poverty that the greed and treason of those said same elites was already creating in their native lands. 
What better way to staunch protests at worsening economic and life conditions than to make it feel like an honourable job/duty of the people to save "Gia". At the same time, they used this "science" as a new pagan religion to further push out the Christianity they hate and despise and most of all, fear? Gia worship, the earth "mother", has been pushed in popular culture oozing out of the West for a better part of the past 1.5 decades. This is a religion replete with an army of priests, called Government Grant Scientists.

The True Abode of Intolerance

It's not in the Catholic Church. From Reuters:
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Benedict said on Sunday that Roman Catholic leaders must have the courage to stand up to attacks by "intolerant agnosticism" prevalent in many countries. 
The pope and the Church have come under increased attack because of their opposition to homosexual marriage and women priests. The pope has repeatedly denounced what he says are attempts to push religion out of public debate. ... 
"Anyone who lives and proclaims the faith of the Church is on many points out of step with the prevalent way of thinking," he said. "The approval of the prevailing wisdom, however, is not the criterion to which we submit." ... 
"Today's regnant agnosticism has its own dogmas and is extremely intolerant regarding anything that would question it and the criteria it employs," the pope said. 
"Therefore the courage to contradict the prevailing mindset is particularly urgent for a bishop today. He must be courageous," he said.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Ryan's Return

While we're on the pro-life theme, from Politico:
Paul Ryan has kept a low profile since Election Day — but he’ll retake the spotlight again soon as the headliner at an anti-abortion organization’s fundraiser. 
The Susan B. Anthony List announced Friday that the House Budget Committee chairman and former vice presidential nominee will be the keynote speaker at its annual gala in April. 
In a statement, Ryan said he’s honored to be giving the keynote for an organization “leading the charge to protect life at all stages.” 
“I am committed to working with the SBA List and all Americans to defend the dignity of every human life and protect the freedom of conscience and religion,” Ryan said.

On Life

Last week this amazing photo went viral (to employ a hackneyed expression). What would President Obama, the abortion president, say about this tiny hand reaching out to grasp hold of something, anything?

I think the image, and its wide circulation in the secular media, demonstrate that we are, however slowly, winning the war on abortion. Science is clearly on our side. (Although the fight against contraception, which Joseph limned so clearly in the previous post, remains daunting. While deeply related, contraception is often divorced from abortion, even by the pro-lifers.)

With the atrocities of Hitler, WWII and Stalin growing more distant, there is a dangerous tendency to think that our enlightened society will never again allow such horrors to surface. It allows us to feel good about ourselves. We are morally superior to generations past. That arrogance opened the door to blindness. It is common, when discussing those early twentieth-century nightmares, to hear, "That really wasn't that long ago, how could people have turned a blind eye to such a naked evil as the holocaust?" It is a good question. It is a mystery.

With abortion, I hope and pray that one day we come to a similar, unanimous revulsion. Before that however, the iron-willed mechanisms of denial, greased heavily by pride, will do all they can to convince people that this macabre procedure is a constitutional "right" to defend. That is where we are today. Confronted by striking images like the one here, the guilt weighing on those who have fought so hard to keep abortion legal will be so great that denial of epic proportions will be the only way to escape total despair. So instead of seeking absolution, which is hard to do when personal sin is denied, they will dig their heels in. Our job is to convince those who, by the grace of God, open a small window to their soul so that the light of truth and humility can shine in.

Read the story behind the photo here.

Friday, January 04, 2013

Really not so bad?

"Contraception" sounds mildly bad.  "Abortifacient drug" sounds much worse.  And that makes sense.  Preventing conception is different from killing a human being after it is conceived.  One is an offense against the marriage bond.  The other is an offense against the marriage bond and against the newly formed human being.

The "pill" is contraception--a standard form of contraception.  But what people don't realize is that it is also an abortifacient.  People don't realize that the "pill" often kills a newly formed human.

The "pill" contains estrogen to suppress ovulation.  Early in its history it contained a lot of estrogen, and, as a consequence, it was very effective in preventing ovulation.  The "pill," however, had some serious side effects, like blood clotting.  So they reduced the amount of estrogen.  And now the "pill" often fails to suppress ovulation.

But it still keeps you from getting pregnant, right?  Not really.  What happens is this.  The "pill" contains synthetic progesterone in addition to estrogen.  It ensures that the lining of the uterus will be inhospitable.  So when a human being is conceived, it cannot implant, and it dies.

The most standard form of "contraception" turns out to be, occasionally if not often, an abortion.  What a sad thing.  What a tragedy.

Religious Numbers

The L. C. W. R. is a group of women religious orders.  The C. M. S. W. R. is another group.  The L. C. W. R. is known for being more progressively minded, and the C. M. S. W. R. is known for a more traditional observance of religious life.  According to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, roughly the same number of women are joining both groups as religious sisters (though a little more for the C. M. S. W. R.).  So maybe liberal and conservative orders have roughly the same future in the American Church. 

But, then again, maybe not.

Take the age of women becoming sisters in both conferences.  The women that join orders in the C. M. S. W. R. tend to be in their 20s.  The women that join orders in the L. C. W. R. tend to be in their 40s or 50s.  That spells more longevity for members of the C. M. S. W. R.

Also, the L. C. W. R. is three times the size of the C. M. S. W. R.  And it represents more of the older and established American orders.  So when the L. C. W. R. is getting less than half of the vocations, that's bad news.  Almost all of its orders are unable to replace themselves.  And they are dying out quickly (the average age of women in perpetual vows is 74).

The real situation behind the numbers is this: in one conference you have a lot of aging orders that each get a middle-aged novice from time to time, while in the other conference you have a smaller  number of orders that each get many young novices every year (although not all orders in the C. M. S. W. R. witness equal success).

So should the communities in the L. C. W. R. change in order to get more members?  Maybe the market is already dried up for more traditionally minded vocations.  Perhaps the C. M. S. W. R. has already taken those women.  And besides, such women only amount to half the possible vocations.  So maybe orders in the L. C. W. R. should stay the course, and take the older, more liberally minded candidates that come to them, rather than becoming more traditional and thereby maneuvering themselves out of all new vocations.    

The trouble with this sort of thinking is that it turns vocations into a zero-sum game.  It's not.  The communities in the L. C. W. R. should not worry that there are not enough "traditional vocations" to go around if they all become more traditional.  Most of the communities have a well-developed infrastructure.  They come into contact with numerous people.  If they live a life of religious charity, faithful to Christ and his Church, then they can and will inspire people who have never even thought about religious life.  If you live genuine religious life, people will be captivated by it.  They will want to be with you, pray with you, and work with you.

From theology we know this: the good is diffusive of itself.  The upshot: Love Christ, love his Church, and others will follow your lead.  The L. C. W. R. (encompassing three fourths of our female religious communities) does not need to rest content with less than half of our vocations.  It is time to increase the demand for religious life.                 

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

About Time

Just when you thought you'd heard it all. From Reuters:
(Reuters) - The Catholic Church will stop gay-friendly Masses in the central London church that has held them for the past six years, London's archbishop said on Wednesday. 
The 18th-century church in Soho, the heart of London's gay scene, has been hosting the twice-monthly Masses with the support of the local Church hierarchy, but Archbishop Vincent Nichols said in a statement that gay Catholics should attend Mass in their local parishes rather going to separate services. 
"The Mass is always to retain its essential character as the highest prayer of the whole Church," Nichols said, stressing there would still be pastoral care to help gay Catholics "take a full part in the life of the Church." ... 
Conservative Catholics in Britain have long complained to the Vatican about the Soho Masses, saying they flouted Church teaching on homosexuality, and small groups sometimes protested outside the church during the services. 
Now, a guy like me would ask a simple question: Why is an archdiocese and, more to the point, a bishop, allowing a "gay-friendly Mass" (and we all know what that implies: rainbow stoles and "I'm okay, you're okay" ethics) in the first place? It took six years to put an end to this? And we wonder why confusion reigns in so many quarters of Catholicism. While serious, faithful, yet exasperated Catholics were peacefully demonstrating outside the church for six years during the scandalous, sacrilege-ridden "gay-friendly Masses" what was Archbishop Nichols, the shepherd of the flock, doing? Just a question.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Quiet Victories

In the Obama Dark Age, there are nonetheless significant, yet quiet victories passing underneath the radar of major news outlets. Keep 'em coming. From Life News:
The governor of Michigan has signed a major piece of pro-life legislation that will stop abortions by protecting women and holding abortion facilities accountable for following basic health and safety standards. 
The bill Gov. Rick Snyder has signed includes measures to license and inspect abortion clinics, prevent coercive abortion, and stop so-called telemed abortions are intended to protect women and unborn children and further drive down the number of abortions in the state. 
Governor Snyder signed HB 5711, an omnibus bill, also known as the Prolife Bus. The purpose of the Prolife Bus is to hold the abortion industry to the same health and safety standards as other medical providers. Patients’ safety must be put ahead of abortion profits. 
Planned Parenthood, the nation’s major abortion chain, had called on Snyder to veto the bill, saying it “creates unnecessary, burdensome and costly licensing requirements for women’s health centers and will reduce access to comprehensive care for women in rural areas via a telemedicine ban.”

Marco Rubio Rejects Deal (with good reason)

From the website of the Florida Senator:
“I appreciate all the hard word that went into avoiding the so-called 'fiscal cliff'. I especially commend Senator McConnell's efforts to make the best out of a bad situation. Nevertheless, I cannot support the arrangement they have arrived at. Rapid economic growth and spending reforms are the only way out of the real fiscal cliff our nation is facing. But rapid economic growth and job creation will be made more difficult under the deal reached here in Washington. “
Thousands of small businesses, not just the wealthy, will now be forced to decide how they'll pay this new tax and, chances are, they'll do it by firing employees, cutting back their hours and benefits, or postponing the new hire they were looking to make. And to make matters worse, it does nothing to bring our dangerous debt under control.
“Of course, many Americans will be relieved in the short term that their taxes won't go up. However in the long run, they will be hurt when employers pass on to them one of the largest tax hikes in decades. Furthermore, this deal just postpones the inevitable, the need to solve our growing debt crisis and help the 23 million Americans who can't find the work they need.”

Why is it so hard for Republican leadership to repeat the same line from the second paragraph here? Raising taxes on the wealthy will necessarily result in hardships for the middle class because business owners (i.e., people who hire other people to work for them) will always, always, always look for ways to save money for their business. If forced to pay more in taxes, they will make up for that loss by cutting down on employees. It's oh-so simple.

And Breitbart is reporting that this shambolic deal equates to $1 in spending cuts for every $41 in tax increases. Nice work Senate Republicans. What is with elected Republicans who repeatedly allow Obama to steamroll and out maneuver them? Let's hope the House GOP has more spine.

Thomas Sowell summed it up nicely in this piece, appearing in National Review, entitled Republicans Deserved to Lose. Here's an excerpt:
But, to this day, the Republican establishment still goes for pragmatic moderates who feed pablum to the public, instead of treating them like adults. 
It is not just Republican presidential candidates who cannot be bothered to articulate a coherent argument, instead of ad hoc talking points. Have you yet heard House Speaker John Boehner take the time to spell out why Barack Obama’s argument for taxing “millionaires and billionaires” is wrong? 
It is not a complicated argument. Moreover, it is an argument that has been articulated many times in plain English by conservative talk-show hosts and by others in print. It has nothing to do with being worried about the fate of millionaires or billionaires, who can undoubtedly take care of themselves.