Sunday, October 17, 2021

Points to Ponder:
(On Charity)

Always be ready and willing to excuse the faults of your neighbour, and never put an unfavourable interpretation upon his actions. The same action, says St. Francis de Sales, may be looked upon under many different aspects: a charitable person will ever suppose the best, an uncharitable person will just as certainly choose the worst. [RP Quadrupani (circa 1795)]
Thirty Pieces of Evidence Pertaining to the Decision in Traditionis Custodes:
(A Rerum Novarum Recapitulation Posting) 

I published a note of explanation yesterday as to why I have decided to start a formal response on the apostolic letter Traditionis Custodes. The thread before you is the first of what will be three planned installments. 

This thread is not of an expository nature. Instead, it comprises content spanning roughly 2.5 years out from the issuance of Pope Francis' motu proprio. So in order from oldest to newest and without further ado, here are thirty pieces of evidence pertaining to the motu proprio of July 16, 2021:

Remembering John and Bill (circa January 7, 2019)

Points to Ponder on the Pope From Cardinal Giuseppe Sarto (circa February 6, 2019)

On Papal Dissent, Argumentation Fallacies, Etc. (circa February 9, 2019)

More on Popes, Heresy, Theology, Church History, Etc. (circa February 11, 2019)

To Address the So-Called "Fraternal Correction" and its Signatories (circa April 14, 2019)

On the Malta Dioceses Application of the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia (circa April 16, 2019)

On Correcting the So-Called "Correctio Filialis", Addressing Its Accusations, Etc. (circa April 18, 2019)

On Correcting the Pretentious "Open Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church", Addressing its Accusations, Etc. (circa May 14, 2019)

Points To Ponder On Obedience From Pope Paul VI's Ecclesiam Suam (circa November 14, 2019)

On the Controversy of Amoris Laetitia Amongst The More Faithful Than Thou Crowd (circa December 5, 2019)

Saturday, October 16, 2021

As I have finally decided to respond to the issue of Pope Francis' apostolic letter Traditionis Custodes (TC), the purpose of this posting is to explain in part my reluctance to do so up to this point.

When the news of this event first came out, I knew with the absence of context, this move would be ripe for misinterpretation. So before I did anything else, I carefully read the texts involved. I then compiled on July 18, 2021 a list of threads from this site going back 2.5 years prior to TC to point out a longstanding and undeniable pattern of actions and behaviour by various folks both lay as well as clerical claiming to be traditionalists. That list was compiled within days of the motu proprio's publication. 

At that point, an examination of the apostolic letter itself along with the accompanying text was appropriate so a text was drafted in preliminary form on July 23, 2021 and after additional prayer and reflection, extensively revised on August 6, 2021. Finally, I came up with the idea for a third piece to complete the subject and drafted the initial text August 6, 2021. A reread of all three texts took place on August 13, 2021 with modifications being made to all of them at that time, most notably in the introduction of the main response. 

I was considering a late August-early September 2021 publication of the threads but was really demoralized by the fall of Kabul and to be honest, the motivation to finish and publish the texts at that point subsided. I also was hoping that after an initial furor from the Usual Suspects that things would more or less die down and publication of the threads could be put off indefinitely. That unfortunately has not happened.

I have been seeing in the past couple of months not only nothing from the so-called traditionalists and their allies of a truly Traditional attitude on the matter in question, but in general completely tone deaf responses oblivious to the objective reality involved. Therefore, I have decided that there is no point in sitting on these texts any longer. They were given a final review on October 5, 2021 and as nothing of substance was deemed in need of changing, the three texts will be published in sequential order starting tomorrow. 

Friday, October 15, 2021

Points to Ponder:

He speaks in vain who tries to persuade me of the orthodoxy of those who, like himself, refuse obedience to his Holiness the Pope of the most holy Church of Rome: that is to the Apostolic See. [Pope Leo XIII: Excerpt from the Encyclical Letter Satis Cognitum §13 (circa June 29, 1896)]

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Points to Ponder:

Convincing someone to change their mind is really the process of convincing them to change their tribe. If they abandon their beliefs, they run the risk of losing social ties. You can’t expect someone to change their mind if you take away their community too. You have to give them somewhere to go. Nobody wants their worldview torn apart if loneliness is the outcome.

The way to change people’s minds is to become friends with them, to integrate them into your tribe, to bring them into your circle. Now, they can change their beliefs without the risk of being abandoned socially. [James Clear]

The truth about Galileo and the Catholic Church

This is one of those things that "everybody knows about" that in reality almost no one does. As the article above adequately covers the subject, in the interest of both reason and ethics, I post it here for the reader's consideration.

Apologists Must Embrace Charity Not Argumentation As The Foundation Of Their Work 

The above piece is well done. To add slightly to what was written above, I have long believed that spiritual instructions should take precedence for anyone wanting to get involved in apologetics. Unfortunately it usually gets neglected and the results are often tragic.  

Democrats Melting Down: GOP Flips Long-Held Blue Seat in Iowa Special Election

Between this and the powerful head of the House Finance Committee deciding to not seek reelection in a pretty safe blue district in Louisville, these would seem to be canaries in the coal mine portending an election bloodbath next year.

Saturday, October 09, 2021

BOMBSHELL—New internal CDF information shows Pope Francis flagrantly lying about bishops’ TLM survey

The time for me to fully weigh in on Traditionis Custodes is nearly at hand. That said, the purpose of this posting is to address only the accusation made at the link above. I read the thread and it was more conspiratorial trad outrage porn. However, for the purpose of this posting, let us assume that the claim is true.

If Pope Francis did ignore a report favourable to the Tridentine liturgical form to publish Traditionis Custodes, it would be no different than Pope Benedict XVI ignoring the bishops of the world episcopate in issuing Summorum Pontificum back in 2007. Or Pope John Paul II twice ignoring the world episcopate in issuing Quattuor Abhinc Annos in 1984 and Ecclesia Dei Adflicta in 1988. 

Yet the same people getting their undies in a wedge about Pope Francis supposedly ignoring a favourable trad survey to rule against them were not similarly outraged by Pope John Paul II (twice)  and Pope Benedict XVI (once) ignoring unfavourable episcopal feedback to issue rulings trads liked. You cannot have it both ways without being a flaming hypocrite.

So even if Pope Francis went against episcopal consensus in issuing Traditionis Custodes, so did Pope Benedict XVI and Pope John Paul II with their indults of 1984, 1988, and 2007 respectively. And need I mention that Pope Paul VI ignored a nearly unanimous consensus on his Birth Control Commission to side with the 4 commission dissenters in issuing Humanae Vitae? I do not hear conservatives so outraged about that. Or that Pope Leo XIII's commission examining the validity of Anglican orders was split but mostly favouring validity but the Archbishop of Westminster persuaded the Pope to rule in Apostolicae Curae that they were invalid lest a favourable ruling undermine Catholic efforts amongst the Anglicans. I do not hear anyone on the right getting their knockers in a twist over that.

The bottom line is this: the Pope can consult with whomever he wants but he is not required to follow the advice given if he does not want to. Irrespective of what individuals may think about the issues involved, that is his prerogative as Supreme Pontiff.

Friday, October 08, 2021

Points to Ponder:

Sunrise lies beyond the setting sun. It cannot be reborn in the east unless it dies in the west. And once it dies, there's nothing to keep us here. Only darkness remains. Unbelievers rage against the dying light. But for the saints, our light must die below to then ascend to the zenith of meridian glory. Before we rise to light everlasting, our sun must set. [Steve Hays]

I cannot imagine going through life constantly pissing on people while claiming to be some high falutin defensor ecclesia. Unfortunately there are those who do this stuff on at least a weekly (if not seemingly daily) and in the process remind myself and others of "sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal" (cf. 1 Cor xiii,1). And when such folks attack other people under the guise of being a true Christian, they do great harm to Catholic evangelization.

I thought of going against my usual policy of not "answering a fool according to his folly" (cf. Proverbs xxvi,4) but fortunately, Providence intervened and a couple of other folks more or less encapsulated at least to a macro extent what I would have said. Their responses can be read below.{1} As for the fool, they are not even worth acknowledging except in rebuke and the footnote below handles that adequately enough. 


{1} See these links for details:

I apologize

The substance of my criticism

Tuesday, October 05, 2021

Points to Ponder:

Frantic orthodoxy is never rooted in faith but in doubt. It is when we are not sure that we are doubly sure. [Reinhold Niebuhr]

Sunday, October 03, 2021

Points to Ponder:

Do you really believe what you are proclaiming? Do you live what you believe? Do you really preach what you live? The witness of life has become more than ever an essential condition for real effectiveness in preaching. [Pope St. Paul VI: From Evangelii Nuntiandi (circa 1975)]

Friday, October 01, 2021

I have not mentioned a planned response to Traditionis Custodes in a while. Suffice to say, I have a main response and two subsidiary ones that were more or less completed as of my last mention of them. They need a final review before being published but I simply have not been able to motivate myself to do that yet. I do anticipate getting to that before the end of the month of October with all likelihood.

Anyway, I am just posting this blurb to notify folks who have wondered about that if anything would ever be forthcoming from me. The answer is yes, the question is a matter of when not if at this point.

Thursday, September 30, 2021


When extreme liberals have lost Mother Jones...

9 high-stakes issues the Supreme Court will take up this coming term

Though written from a left wing perspective, this article is useful in outlining some significant cases on the docket in the upcoming Supreme Court term.
House May Pull Infrastructure Bill as Manchin Deals Knock-out Blow on Reconciliation: "Fiscal Insanity"

This is the second time a vote has been scheduled and postponed.  

Friday, September 24, 2021

Points to Ponder:

A nation which can prefer disgrace to danger is prepared for a master, and deserves one.[Alexander Hamilton]

Thursday, September 23, 2021

New York Post Pens Delicious 'Toldjah So' After Politico 'Confirms' Some Hunter Biden Laptop Emails

They knew this was true last year but tried to bury and/or discredit it for political reasons. The media in this country is even worse than it was sixteen years ago when I referred to "[t]he depravity to which the journalistic profession has fallen since the days of Watergate" and other such statements in a lengthy expository musing on the death of Deep Throat and the problems in journalism that were wrought in the wake of what Woodward and Bernstein did. Here is just a sample:
The depravity to which the journalistic profession has fallen since the days of Watergate can be to some extent pinned on Woodward and Bernstein...not as much them personally as what they ushered in in the aftermath of the Nixon resignation.[...] The journalistic profession has become one where you "make it" by finding someone whose reputation you can destroy. Ethics are often not a factor, indeed morals and ethics often get the screw from journalists who are trying to "make it" and then (for those who "make it") the same tactics are utilized to try and stay "on top." The same is the case with the legal profession and the political profession: oftentimes those who "make it" do so by screwing other people. So the parallel to prostitution is an apt one. The only difference of course is that prostitutes are somewhat honest about it. But enough on that subject for now. 

To summarize these musings, Woodward and Bernstein by their approach to "Deep Throat" ushered in a new era of journalism which is rotten to the core. It is comprised of people who seek to create news and who are interested in spinning the facts to advance an agenda rather than report on what is happening and letting the readers draw their own conclusions. The ethics in this field are abysmal and a strong reason why the MSM is slowly becoming more and more irrelevant in this new age of alternative media is because they are no longer a monopoly.{1}
If I can criticize myself a bit from the vantage point of more than sixteen years, I was a bit too optimistic back then about alternative media. Yes it does serve to a certain extent as a hedge against the mainstream media but as the coverage of the last election showed, they are just as susceptible to being corrupted as the mainstream media to an escalated degree has been in recent decades. 

The bottom line here is potentially damaging information for the Biden presidential aspirations was deliberately ignored, downplayed, or covered up by the lions share of mainstream media outlets as well as by those running social media platforms. This was done in a coordinated attempt to benefit one political candidate over another with absolutely no possible claim of plausible deniability being possible. For those who wonder why some of us put an asterisk next to President Joe Biden*, it is not without good reasons for doing so.


{1} Excerpt from the Rerum Novarum Posting On the Subject of "Deep Throat", the Correlative Ramifications Thereof, Etc. (circa June 1, 2005)

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Points to Ponder:

I am sure there are many things better than a good cigar, but right now, I can't think of what they might be. [Richard Carleton]
Fugees reunite with Lauryn Hill as they announce first tour in 25 YEARS to celebrate critically-acclaimed 1996 album The Score

Cigar Thoughts, Game 2: Derrick Henry kicked our asses, man

Saturday, September 11, 2021


Wednesday, September 08, 2021

Guest Editorial On Masks, Mandates, and Jesus:


By Mike Ryan 

Masks to me are not saviors.  Vaccines are not going to save the world.  If they help, they will only help get us to the next plague.  As a Christian I really do not care about the cloth on your face.  I care about the pride and rebellion that keeps us from wearing something so small.  (I am not speaking about those with special medical conditions, as verified by competent medical professionals. You have a reason to refrain from wearing masks.)  

Many Christians refuse to wear masks for political reasons.  Personal rights and freedoms are more important than lives.  Christians refusing expert medical advice from the majority leaves many within wider society feeling there are more deaths than there should have been.  America, the most medically advanced nation, could have knocked out this virus by April of 2020 and showed the world how it is done.  But, we rebelled.  We argued over whether the virus was real instead of being part of a solution.  We pointed fingers at China instead of getting ahead of the pandemic.  We cared more about where the virus came from, whose fault it was, and whether it was a covert military strike, than we cared for our brothers and sisters dying around us.  

I watched as fellow Christians triviliazed deaths as age or pre-conditions.  Many denied it was actually Covid killing people.  There seems to be no sympathy or compassion for those hurt and dying.  Only screaming preachers, pundits, and politicians  declaring at the top of their lungs that we are sheep and masking is the beginning of communism.  

I DON'T care about your mask.  I care about your heart.  

Jesus said the love of many would grow COLD.  I am seeing this before my eyes.  It is the reason Donald Trump was a train that could not be stopped in 2016. We are filled with anger and frustration.  Ready to bash anything.  Give us a target.  Trump gave us targets daily.  

Now we need something new to be angry at.  We christians could choose to be angry at flesh, sin, satan, death, lost lives, lost souls dying without Christ. Instead we are angry that society asks us to wear cloth over our mouth to save lives.  

Why are we CHRISTians upset about saving lives? Paul circumcised Timothy JUST so they could minister to Jews about Christ. These early Christians loved people so much that they allowed a knife to be put to their manhood; yet we modern Chrisitans cry about a cloth mask with our favorite sports team on it?  

This is why we are hated now by the lost.  Our intolerance and anti-science stance makes us look like fools.  And hateful.  We will be declared 'dangerous' soon because we quite literally help cause death. We spread it willy nilly as its preachers and apostles, and we do not care.  

We could have been done with this pandemic months ago.  Because, as many of us claim...its just a little flu...right? We say 'God is in control'.  Yes He is.  He is the one giving us opportunity to love our neighbors.  An opportunity to preach the Gospel by our actions, to the sick and to the lonely. To show the world how to love each other and show the love of God.  

We could be God's helpers in the eyes of the world, willing to place ourselves in danger to help and love others.  We could be God's hands and feet.  Instead we are too caught up in our freedoms and rights to care about how non-believers see us right now. We fear communism--not God.  

We are losing our Christian witness and have for years.  Do you not understand? The world does NOT see us following Christ. The world sees us as hateful and intolerant--not of sin, but of everyone and everything.  

They do not hear us preaching Jesus to the lost and the hurting.  They hear us preaching "CONSPIRACY!"  "FREEDOM!"  "No-MASKS!"  "No Mandates!"  "Vaccines are the mark!"  "Science lies!"  "Government takeovers!"  "Run for your lives!"  "People are not really dying!"  "Your loved ones were going to die anyways!" "Sheep..You are all Sheep!" (And why should Christians be ashamed to be called sheep anyway? Isn't sheep the bilblical image Christ uses to describe His true followers?)  

Mandates.  There should not have to be mandates for a Christian.  We are to be servants of all for the sake of ministering the Gospel. Christ calls us to gladly walk two miles when the government only asks for one.  

But, that day is gone. Our witness is dying.  We have forgotten that Jesus commands us to act a certain way in front of non-believers.  Because if we act unrighteously, no one will hear a righteous message from us. 

Pope Francis is preparing a radical reform of the church's power structures

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Chief Justice Roberts's Long, Longer, and Longest Games

I have been saying something eerily similar about Chief Justice John Roberts for a long time. One point this article notes that I had not considered is reading the Chief Justice's concurrence on Citizens United as a template for how he would approach cases like Casey and possibly Roe as well. 

Monday, August 30, 2021

Points to Ponder:

No cigar-smoker ever committed suicide. [William Maginn]
Huge study supporting ivermectin as Covid treatment withdrawn over ethical concerns

As I am seeing some in social media tout Ivermectin for Covid, it is worth pointing out that the study often used to endorse Ivermectin has issues of ethics involved.

Friday, August 27, 2021

Court won’t block order requiring reinstatement of “remain in Mexico” policy

I have been telling folks that complain about SCOTUS procedurals that on merits cases when the rubber meets the road, cases like this will usually be at least 6-3. And when the eviction moratorium issue became a case based on merits rather than procedural, I figured when we got past procedurals and to merits it would go precisely this way. 

SCOTUS also refused to hear a Biden administration plea for reprieve on a district court's order requiring it to reinstate the Trump administration's "remain in Mexico" policy requiring asylum seekers to stay in Mexico while they wait for a hearing in U.S. immigration court. That one was also 6-3. I am not surprised there either. I was kinda amused that DHS vs Regents was cited to bolster the ruling since conservatives whined a lot on the Chief Justice John Roberts rationale there; namely, that the Trump administration had not properly explained its decision to end DACA. Well, the court just struck the Biden administration with the same sword ruling that the Biden administration was unlikely to prevail in court in demonstrating that its decision to end the "stay in Mexico" policy was not "arbitrary and capricious" rather than reasonable and reasonably explained. 

I wonder of those cheering the Chief Justice's application of the Administrative Procedures Act on the Trump administration's attempts to end DACA will be similarly euphoric on Biden's administration getting its wings clipped on its attempts to end the Trump era "stay in Mexico" policy. Or if those booing the DACA case and Chief Justice Roberts on DACA will similarly boo on this one. In neither case is that likely since the hyper partisans among us are rarely consistent and non-hypocritical. But I digress. 

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Guess who may be the last hope for Roe v Wade

I do not see either Roberts nor Kavanaugh going against gutting Casey's undue burden criteria. Whether they would overturn Roe is another issue but Roe is a toothless symbol now. The power is in Casey and the lynchpin to Casey is undue burden. 

Chief Justice Roberts in a dissent from the 2020 term more or less laid out for the right the way to go about this and it is by going after the undue burden doctrine. Will the right finally get a clue and do this or will they continue to beclown themselves by wasting time and energy on Roe for a symbolic "gotcha" more likely to blow up in their face than not? 

Ignore Roe, focus on Casey, and aim at undermining undue burden or getting it clarified to where it is so strict it is functionally next to useless. That is the smart way to play chess on this. 

Monday, August 23, 2021

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Points to Ponder:

Demoralized and overmastered people think
The quickest way to end a war is lose
Dictatorship ends starting with tyrannicide
You must destroy the cancer at its root. [Dave Mustaine]
Op-Ed: As a doctor in a COVID unit, I’m running out of compassion for the unvaccinated. Get the shot

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Between the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban and the news surrounding Cardinal Burke's battle with covid, I have been delayed on responding to Traditionis Custodes. I am simply not in the mood at the moment. I will however eventually get to it even if I am not at the moment sure when.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Report: Seahawks, Jamal Adams agree to contract extension

Miscellaneous Musings:
(On the Fall of Kabul)

This is a combination of scattered points I made on social media over the past day...

--At least the ARVN held out for two years after we left Saigon, the Afghans did not even make it to Summerslam.

--Well we might as well burn the opium fields in Afghanistan and salt the earth afterward now since the old "if we destroy the fields the farmers will just align with the Taliban" argument is no longer valid.

--It is hard to find a silver lining to Kabul but I will try nonetheless. Here goes...

The disaster in Afghanistan and the Kabul 2021 repeat of Saigon 1975 will hopefully turn the public away from prolonged foreign military adventurism for at least a generation.

This might also mean that Bill Kristol and others of his outlook ultimately become depressed and commit seppuku but such would benefit the common good of society in general at this point.

--Haiti or Afghanistan? Suddenly Haiti has an "at least I am not them" situation.

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Points to Ponder:

With respect also to spiritual sloth, beginners are apt to be irked by the things that are most spiritual, from which they flee because these things are incompatible with sensible pleasure. For, as they are so much accustomed to sweetness in spiritual things, they are wearied by things in which they find no sweetness. [St. John of the Cross: Excerpt from The Dark Night of the Soul on Spiritual Sloth, Book I (circa ante-1582)]

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Letter from Pope Paul VI to Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre:
(Part III of III)

Part II is viewable HERE
Part I is viewable HERE

3. Specifically, what do We ask of you?

A.—First and foremost, a declaration that will rectify matters for Ourself and also for the people of God who have a right to clarity and who can no longer bear without damage such equivocations.

This declaration will therefore have to affirm that you sincerely adhere to the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council and to all its documents—sensu obvio—which were adopted by the Council fathers and approved and promulgated by Our authority. For such an adherence has always been the rule, in the Church, since the beginning, in the matter of ecumenical councils.

It must be clear that you equally accept the decisions that We have made since the Council in order to put it into effect, with the help of the departments of the Holy See; among other things, you must explicitly recognize the legitimacy of the reformed liturgy, notably of the Ordo Missae, and our right to require its adoption by the entirety of the Christian people.

You must also admit the binding character of the rules of canon law now in force which, for the greater part, still correspond with the content of the Code of Canon Law of Benedict XV, without excepting the part which deals with canonical penalties.

As far as concerns Our person, you will make a point of desisting from and retracting the grave accusations or insinuations which you have publicly leveled against Us, against the orthodoxy of Our faith and Our fidelity to Our charge as the successor of Peter, and against Our immediate collaborators.

With regard to the bishops, you must recognize their authority in their respective dioceses by abstaining from preaching in those dioceses and administering the sacraments there: the Eucharist, Confirmation, Holy Orders, etc., when these bishops expressly object to your doing so.

Finally, you must undertake to abstain from all activities (such as conferences, publications, etc.) contrary to this declaration, and formally to reprove all those initiatives which may make use of your name in the face of this declaration.

It is a question here of the minimum to which every Catholic bishop must subscribe: this adherence can tolerate no compromise. As soon as you show Us that you accept its principle, We will propose the practical manner of presenting this declaration. This is the first condition in order that the suspension a divinis be lifted.

B.—It will then remain to solve the problem of your activity, of your works, and notably of your seminaries. You will appreciate, brother, that in view of the past and present irregularities and ambiguities affecting these works, We cannot go back on the juridical suppression of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X. This has inculcated a spirit of opposition to the Council and to its implementation such as the Vicar of Christ was endeavoring to promote.

Your declaration of November 21, 1974, bears witness to this spirit; and upon such a foundation, as Our commission of cardinals rightly judged, on May 6, 1975, one cannot build an institution or a priestly formation in conformity with the requirements of the Church of Christ. This in no way invalidates the good element in your seminaries, but one must also take into consideration the ecclesiological deficiencies of which We have spoken and the capacity of exercising a pastoral ministry in the Church of today. Faced with these unfortunately mixed realities, We shall take care not to destroy but to correct and to save as far as possible.

This is why, as supreme guarantor of the faith and of the formation of the clergy, We require you first of all to hand over to Us the responsibility of your work, and particularly for your seminaries. This is undoubtedly a heavy sacrifice for you, but it is also a test of your trust, of your obedience and it is a necessary condition in order that these seminaries, which have no canonical existence in the Church, may in the future take their place therein.

It is only after you have accepted the principle that We shall be able to provide in the best possible way for the good of all the persons involved, with the concern for promoting authentic priestly vocations and with respect for the doctrinal, disciplinary and pastoral requirements of the church. At that stage, We shall be in a position to listen with benevolence to your requests and your wishes and, together with Our departments, to take in conscience the right and opportune measures.

As for the illicitly ordained seminarians, the sanctions which they have incurred in conformity with Canon 985, 7 and 2374 can be lifted, if they give proof of a return to a better frame of mind, notably by accepting to subscribe to the declaration which We have asked of you. We count upon your sense of the Church in order to make this step easy for them.

As regards the foundations, houses of formation, “priories” and various other institutions set up on your initiative or with your encouragement, We likewise ask you to hand them over to the Holy See, which will study their position, in its various aspects, with the local episcopate. Their survival, organization and apostolate will be subordinated, as is normal throughout the Catholic Church, to an agreement which will have to be reached, in each case, with the local bishop—nihil sine Episcopo—and in a spirit which respects the declaration mentioned above.

All the points which figure in this letter and to which We have given mature consideration, in consultation with the heads of the departments concerned, have been adopted by Us only out of regard for the greater good of the church. You said to Us during our conversation of September 11: “I am ready for anything, for the good of the church.” The response now lies in your hands.

If you refuse—quod Deus avertat—to make the declaration which is asked of you, you will remain suspended a divinis. On the other hand, Our pardon and the lifting of the suspension will be assured you to the extent to which you sincerely and without ambiguity undertake to fulfill the conditions of this letter and to repair the scandal caused. The obedience and the trust of which you will give proof will also make it possible for Us to study serenely with you your personal problems.

May the Holy Spirit enlighten you and guide you towards the only solution that would enable you on the one hand to rediscover the peace of your momentarily misguided conscience but also to ensure the good of souls, to contribute to the unity of the Church which the Lord has entrusted to Our charge and to avoid the danger of a schism.

In the psychological state in which you find yourself, We realize that it is difficult for you to see clearly and very hard for you humbly to change your line of conduct: is it not therefore urgent, as in all such cases, for you to arrange a time and a place of recollection which will enable you to consider the matter with the necessary objectivity?

Fraternally, We put you on your guard against the pressures to which you could be exposed from those who wish to keep you in an untenable position, while We Ourself, all your brothers in the episcopate and the vast majority of the faithful await finally from you that ecclesial attitude which would be to your honor.

In order to root out the abuses which we all deplore and to guarantee a true spiritual renewal, as well as the courageous evangelization to which the Holy Spirit bids us, there is needed more than ever the help and commitment to the entire ecclesial community around the pope and the bishops. Now the revolt of one side finally reaches and risks accentuating the insubordination of what you have called the “subversion” of the other side; while, without your own insubordination, you would have been able, brother, as you expressed the wish in your last letter, to help Us, in fidelity and under Our authority, to work for the advancement of the Church.

Therefore, dear brother, do not delay any longer in considering before God, with the keenest religious attention, this solemn adjuration of the humble but legitimate successor of Peter. May you measure the gravity of the hour and take the only decision that befits a son of the Church. This is Our hope, this is Our prayer.

From the Vatican, October 11, 1976.


Friday, August 13, 2021

Letter from Pope Paul VI to Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre:
(Part II of III)

Part I is viewable HERE

Tradition is not a rigid and dead notion, a fact of a certain static sort which at a given moment of history blocks the life of this active organism which is the Church, that is, the mystical body of Christ. It is up to the pope and to councils to exercise judgment in order to discern in the traditions of the Church that which cannot be renounced without infidelity to the Lord and to the Holy Spirit—the deposit of faith—and that which, on the contrary, can and must be adapted to facilitate the prayer and the mission of the Church throughout a variety of times and places, in order better to translate the divine message into the language of today and better to communicate it, without an unwarranted surrender of principles.

Hence tradition is inseparable from the living magisterium of the Church, just as it is inseparable from sacred scripture. “Sacred tradition, sacred scripture and the magisterium of the church. . . . are so linked and joined together that one of these realities cannot exist without the others, and that all of them together, each in its own way, effectively contribute under the action of the Holy Spirit to the salvation of souls” (Constitution Dei Verbum, 10).

With the special assistance of the Holy Spirit, the popes and the ecumenical councils have acted in this common way. And it is precisely this that the Second Vatican Council did. Nothing that was decreed in this Council, or in the reforms that we enacted in order to put the Council into effect, is opposed to what the 2,000 year-old tradition of the Church considers as fundamental and immutable. We are the guarantor of this, not in virtue of Our personal qualities but in virtue of the charge which the Lord has conferred upon Us as legitimate successor of Peter, and in virtue of the special assistance that He has promised to Us as well as to Peter: “I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail” (Lk 22:32). The universal episcopate is guarantor with us of this.

Again, you cannot appeal to the distinction between what is dogmatic and what is pastoral to accept certain texts of this Council and to refuse others. Indeed, not everything in the Council requires an assent of the same nature: only what is affirmed by definitive acts as an object of faith or as a truth related to faith requires an assent of faith. But the rest also forms part of the solemn magisterium of the Church to which each member of the faithful owes a confident acceptance and a sincere application.

You say moreover that you do not always see how to reconcile certain texts of the Council, or certain dispositions which We have enacted in order to put the Council into practice, with the wholesome tradition of the Church and in particular with the Council of Trent or the affirmations of Our predecessors. These are for example: the responsibility of the college of bishops united with the sovereign pontiff, the new Ordo Missae, ecumenism, religious freedom, the attitude of dialogue, evangelization in the modern world…

It is not the place, in this letter, to deal with each of these problems. The precise tenor of the documents, with the totality of its nuances and its context, the authorized explanations, the detailed and objective commentaries which have been made, are of such a nature to enable you to overcome these personal difficulties. Absolutely secure counselors, theologians and spiritual directors would be able to help you even more, with God’s enlightenment, and We are ready to facilitate this fraternal assistance for you.

But how can an interior personal difficulty—a spiritual drama which We respect—permit you to set yourself up publicly as a judge of what has been legitimately adopted, practically with unanimity, and knowingly to lead a portion of the faithful into your refusal? If justifications are useful in order to facilitate intellectual acceptance—and We hope that the troubled or reticent faithful will have the wisdom, honesty and humanity to accept those justifications that are widely placed at their disposal—they are not in themselves necessary for the assent of obedience that is due to the Ecumenical Council and to the decisions of the pope. It is the ecclesial sense that is at issue.

In effect you and those who are following you are endeavoring to come to a standstill at a given moment in the life of the Church. By the same token you refuse to accept the living Church, which is the Church that has always been: you break with the Church’s legitimate pastors and scorn the legitimate exercise of their charge. And so you claim not even to be affected by the orders of the pope, or by the suspension a divinis, as you lament “subversion” in the Church.

Is it not in this state of mind that you have ordained priests without dimissorial letters and against Our explicit command, thus creating a group of priests who are in an irregular situation in the Church and who are under grave ecclesiastical penalties? Moreover, you hold that the suspension that you have incurred applies only to the celebration of the sacraments according to the new rite, as if they were something improperly introduced into the Church, which you go so far as to call schismatic, and you think that you evade this sanction when you administer the sacraments according to the formulas of the past and against the established norms (cf. 1 Cor 14:40).

From the same erroneous conception springs your abuse of celebrating Mass called that of Saint Pius V. You know full well that this rite had itself been the result of successive changes, and that the Roman Canon remains the first of the eucharistic prayers authorized today.

The present reform derived its raison d’être and its guidelines from the Council and from the historical sources of the liturgy. It enables the laity to draw greater nourishment from the word of God. Their more active participation leaves intact the unique role of the priest acting in the person of Christ. We have sanctioned this reform by Our authority, requiring that it be adopted by all Catholics.

If, in general, We have not judged it good to permit any further delays or exceptions to this adoption, it is with a view to the spiritual good and the unity of the entire ecclesiastical community, because, for Catholics of the Roman Rite, the Ordo Missae is a privileged sign of their unity. It is also because, in your case, the old rite is in fact the expression of a warped ecclesiology, and a ground for dispute with the Council and its reforms under the pretext that in the old rite alone are preserved, without their meaning being obscured, the true sacrifice of the Mass and the ministerial priesthood.

We cannot accept this erroneous judgment, this unjustified accusation, nor can We tolerate that the Lord’s Eucharist, the sacrament of unity, should be the object of such divisions (cf. I Cor 11:18), and that it should even be used as an instrument and sign of rebellion.

Of course there is room in the church for a certain pluralism, but in licit matters and in obedience. This is not understood by those who refuse the sum total of the liturgical reform; nor indeed on the other hand by those who imperil the holiness of the real presence of the Lord and of his sacrifice. In the same way there can be no question of a priestly formation which ignores the Council.

We cannot therefore take your requests into consideration, because it is a question of acts which have already been committed in rebellion against the one true Church of God.  Be assured that this severity is not dictated by a refusal to make a concession on such and such a point of discipline or liturgy, but, given the meaning and the extent of your acts in the present context, to act thus would be on Our part to accept the introduction of a seriously erroneous concept of the church and of tradition. This is why, with the full consciousness of Our duties, We say to you, brother, that you are in error. And with the full ardor oimf Our fraternal love, as also with all the weight of Our authority as the successor of Peter, We invite you to retract, to correct yourself and to cease from inflicting wounds upon the Church of Christ.

To be continued...

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Letter from Pope Paul VI to Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre:
(Part I of III)

When We received you in audience on last September 11 at Castel Gandolfo, We let you freely express your position and your desires, even though the various aspects of your case were already well known to Us personally. The memory that We still have of your zeal for the faith and the apostolate, as well as of the good you have accomplished in the past at the service of the church, made Us and still makes Us hope that you will once again become an edifying subject in full ecclesial communion. After the particularly serious actions that you have performed, We have once more asked you to reflect before God concerning your duty.

We have waited a month. The attitude to which your words and acts publicly testify does not seem to have changed. It is true that We have before Us your letter of September 16, in which you affirm: “A common point unites us: the ardent desire to see the cessation of all the abuses that disfigure the church. How I wish to collaborate in this salutary work, with Your Holiness and under Your authority, so that the church may recover her true countenance.”

How must these few words to which your response is limited—and which in themselves are positive—be interpreted? You speak as if you have forgotten your scandalous words and gestures against ecclesial communion—words and gestures that you have never retracted! You do not manifest repentance, even for the cause of your suspension a divinis. You do not explicitly express your acceptance of the authority of the Second Vatican Council and of the Holy See—and this constitutes the basis of the problem—and you continue in those personal works of yours which the legitimate authority has expressly ordered you to suspend. Ambiguity results from the duplicity of your language. On Our part, as We promised you, We are herewith sending you the conclusion of Our reflections.

1. In practice you put yourself forward as the defender and spokesman of the faithful and of priests “torn apart by what is happening in the church,” thus giving the sad impression that the Catholic faith and the essential values of tradition are not sufficiently respected and lived in a portion of the people of God, at least in certain countries. But in your interpretations of the facts and in the particular role that you assign yourself, as well as in the way in which you accomplish this role, there is something that misleads the people of God and deceives souls of good will who are justly desirous of fidelity and of spiritual and apostolic progress.

Deviations in the faith or in sacramental practice are certainly very grave, wherever they occur. For a long period of time they have been the object of Our full doctrinal and pastoral attention. Certainly one must not forget the positive signs of spiritual renewal or of increased responsibility in a good number of Catholics, or the complexity of the cause of the crisis: the immense change in today’s world affects believers at the edge of their being, and renders ever more necessary apostolic concern for those “who are far away.”

But it remains true that some priests and members of the faithful mask with the name “conciliar” those personal interpretations and erroneous practices that are injurious, even scandalous, and at times sacrilegious. But these abuses cannot be attributed either to the Council itself or to the reforms that have legitimately issued therefrom, but rather to a lack of authentic fidelity in their regard. You want to convince the faithful that the proximate cause of the crisis is more than a wrong interpretation of the Council and that it flows from the Council itself.

Moreover, you act as if you had a particular role in this regard. But the mission of discerning and remedying the abuses is first of all Ours; it is the mission of all the bishops who work together with Us. Indeed We do not cease to raise our Voice against these excesses: Our discourse to the consistory of last May 21 repeated this in clear terms. More than anyone else We hear the suffering of distressed Christians, and We respond to the cry of the faithful longing for faith and the spiritual life. This is not the place to remind you, brother, of all the acts of Our pontificate that testify to Our constant concern to ensure for the church fidelity to the true tradition, and to enable her with God’s grace to face the present and future.

Finally, your behavior is contradictory. You want, so you say, to remedy the abuses that disfigure the church; you regret that authority in the church is not sufficiently respected; you wish to safeguard authentic faith, esteem for the ministerial priesthood and fervor for the eucharist in its sacrificial and sacramental fullness. Such zeal would, in itself, merit our encouragement, since it is a question of exigencies which, together with evangelization and the unity of Christians, remain at the heart of Our preoccupations and of Our mission.

But how can you at the same time, in order to fulfill this role, claim that you are obliged to act contrary to the recent Council in opposition to your brethren in the episcopate, to distrust the Holy See itself—which you call the “Rome of the neo-modernist and neo-Protestant tendency”—and to set yourself up in open disobedience to Us? If you truly want to work “under Our authority,” as you affirm in your last private letter, it is immediately necessary to put an end to these ambiguities and contradictions.

2. Let us come now to the more precise requests which you formulated during the audience of September 11. You would like to see recognized the right to celebrate Mass in various places of worship according to the Tridentine rite. You wish also to continue to train candidates for the priesthood according to your criteria, “as before the Council,” in seminaries apart, as at Ecône. But behind these questions and other similar ones, which We shall examine later on in detail, it is truly necessary to see the intricacy of the problem: and the problem is theological. For these questions have become concrete ways of expressing an ecclesiology that is warped in essential points.

What is indeed at issue is the question—which must truly be called fundamental—of your clearly proclaimed refusal to recognize in its whole, the authority of the Second Vatican Council and that of the pope. This refusal is accompanied by an action that is oriented towards propagating and organizing what must indeed, unfortunately, be called a rebellion. This is the essential issue, and it is truly untenable.

Is it necessary to remind you that you are Our brother in the episcopate and moreover—a fact that obliges you to remain even more closely united to the See of Peter—that you have been named an assistant at the papal throne? Christ has given the supreme authority in his Church to Peter and to the apostolic college, that is, to the Pope and to the college of bishops una cum Capite.

In regard to the pope, every Catholic admits that the words of Jesus to Peter determine also the charge of Peter’s legitimate successors: “…whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven” (Mt 16:19); “…feed my sheep” (Jn 21:17); “…confirm your brethren” (Lk 22:32). And the First Vatican Council specified in these terms the assent due to the sovereign pontiff: “The pastors of every rank and of every rite and the faithful, each separately and all together, are bound by the duty or hierarchical subordination and of true obedience, not only in questions of faith and morals, but also in those that touch upon the discipline and government of the Church throughout the entire world. Thus, by preserving the unity of communion and of profession of faith with the Roman pontiff, the church is a single flock under one pastor. Such is the doctrine of Catholic truth, from which no one can separate himself without danger for his faith and his salvation” (Dogmatic Constitution Pastor Aeternus, Ch. 3, DZ 3060).

Concerning bishops united with the sovereign pontiff, their power with regard to the universal church is solemnly exercised in the ecumenical councils, according to the words of Jesus to the body of the apostles: “…whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven” (Mt 18:18). And now in your conduct you refuse to recognize, as must be done, these two ways in which supreme authority is exercised.

Each bishop is indeed an authentic teacher for preaching to the people entrusted to him that faith which must guide their thoughts and conduct and dispel the errors that menace the flock. But, by their nature, “the charges of teaching and governing…cannot be exercised except in hierarchical communion with the head of the college and with its members” (Constitution Lumen Gentium, 21; cf. also 25). A fortiori, a single bishop without a canonical mission does not have in actu expedito ad agendum, the faculty of deciding in general what the rule of faith is or of determining what tradition is. In practice you are claiming that you alone are the judge of what tradition embraces.

You say that you are subject to the Church and faithful to tradition by the sole fact that you obey certain norms of the past that were decreed by the predecessor of him to whom God has today conferred the powers given to Peter. That is to say, on this point also, the concept of “tradition” that you invoke is distorted.

To be continued...

Wednesday, August 11, 2021


I have no intention for the foreseeable future to involve myself in discussions pertaining to a common incendiary August issue until those who regularly virtue signal on it respond honestly and completely to the ethical challenge issued in the link below.

Here is just a few small samples, click on the aforementioned link below for more...

The kernel or germ of this ethical challenge can be found in the very first thread Imo ever published on this subject about fifteen years ago. It was an offhand comment on my part at the time and I certainly have in mind a more developed version of it at this time...


At some point, the addict needs to seek treatment for their addiction or it will do them in. Likewise, those who return to this subject again and again need some kind of treatment for both rational as well as spiritual reasons. So to aid in that manner, an ethical challenge will be extended to those with the guts to take it up...


To set up the intention of this posting, it is necessary to encapsulate in a syllabus format, various facts on the subject...I will not undertake anew the defense of any of these points as they have been often written on and more than adequately sustained by your host in years past. It is not my fault that they have been regularly ignored by the (at best) vincibly ignorant but that is neither here nor there...[Excerpts from Rerum Novarum (
circa August 16, 2020)]

Monday, August 09, 2021

Points to Ponder:

Such persons expend all their effort in seeking spiritual pleasure and consolation; they never tire therefore, of reading books; and they begin, now one meditation, now another, in their pursuit of this pleasure which they desire to experience in the things of God. But God, very justly, wisely and lovingly, denies it to them, for otherwise this spiritual gluttony and inordinate appetite would breed in numerable evils. It is, therefore, very fitting that they should enter into the dark night, whereof we shall speak, that they may be purged from this childishness.

These persons who are thus inclined to such pleasures have another very great imperfection, which is that they are very weak and remiss in journeying upon the hard road of the Cross; for the soul that is given to sweetness naturally has its face set against all self-denial, which is devoid of sweetness. [St. John of the Cross: Excerpt from The Dark Night of the Soul on Spiritual Gluttony, Book I (circa ante-1582)]

Sunday, August 08, 2021

Saturday, August 07, 2021

Points to Ponder: 
(From the Archives)

[Vladimir] Soloviev was one day a guest at a monastary and had talked very late with a pious monk. Wishing to return to his cell, he went into the corridor onto which opened cell doors all exactly similar, and all shut. In the dark, he could not identify the door of his own cell. Impossible, on the other hand, in this dark, to return to the cell of the monk he had just left. Nor did he wish to disturb anyone at night during the strict monastic silence. So the philosopher resigned himself to spending the night walking slowly, absorbed in his thoughts, up and down the corridor of the monastery suddenly become inhospitable, mysterious. The night was long and tiring. But finally, it was over. And the first rays of dawn allowed the philosopher to identify without difficulty the door to his cell, in front of which he had passed so many times without recognition. And Soloviev commented "It is often like this for those who seek truth. They pass quite close to her during their vigils without seeing her until a ray of sunlight..." Had I a single critical remark to make, I would say that the philosophers who I have known believe they opened the door in their youth, and by no means resign themselves to wait for the light. [Pope Paul VI to Jean Guitton: Taken From Dialogues of Paul VI with Jean Guitton by Jean Guitton (c. 1966)]

Friday, August 06, 2021

I will have my own response on Traditionis Custodes ready for publication soon but in the meantime, here is Pope Francis responding to his critics.

Tuesday, August 03, 2021

Bill Maher is on point here and not just about the Olympics.

Monday, August 02, 2021

Prayers for the eternal repose of Fr Angel Sotelo.

Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei. 🙏🏻❤️🕊

Saturday, July 31, 2021

Points to Ponder:

These persons likewise find it irksome when they are commanded to do that wherein they take no pleasure. Because they aim at spiritual sweetness and consolation, they are too weak to have the fortitude and bear the trials of perfection. They resemble those who are softly nurtured and who run fretfully away from everything that is hard, and take offense at the Cross, wherein consist the delights of the spirit.

The more spiritual a thing is, the more irksome they find it, for, as they seek to go about spiritual matters with complete freedom and according to the inclination of their will, it causes them great sorrow and repugnance to enter upon the narrow way, which, says Christ, is the way of life. (St. Matthew vii, 14.) [St. John of the Cross: Excerpt from The Dark Night of the Soul on Spiritual Gluttony, Book I (circa ante-1582)]

Friday, July 30, 2021

Points to Ponder:

These persons, in communicating, strive with every nerve to obtain some kind of sensible sweetness and pleasure, instead of humbly doing reverence and giving praise within themselves to God. And in such wise do they devote themselves to this that, when they have received no pleasure or sweetness in the senses, they think that they have accomplished nothing at all.

This is to judge God very unworthily; they have not realized that the least of the benefits which come from this Most Holy Sacrament is that which concerns the senses; and that the invisible part of the grace that it bestows is much greater; for, in order that they may look at it with the eyes of faith, God oftentimes withholds from them these other consolations and sweetnesses of sense.


And many of these would have God will that which they themselves will, and are fretful at having to will that which He wills, and find it repugnant to accommodate their will to that of God. Hence it happens to them that oftentimes they think that that wherein they find not their own will and pleasure is not the will of God; and that, on the other hand, when they themselves find satisfaction, God is satisfied.

Thus they measure God by themselves and not themselves by God, acting quite contrarily to that which He Himself taught in the Gospel, saying: That he who should lose his will for His sake, the same should gain it; and he who should desire to gain it, the same should lose it. (St. Matthew xvi, 25.) [St. John of the Cross: Excerpts from The Dark Night of the Soul on Spiritual Gluttony, Book I (circa ante-1582)]

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Points to Ponder:

You will find that many of these persons are very insistent with their spiritual masters to be granted that which they desire, extracting it from them almost by force; if they be refused it they become as peevish as children and go about in great displeasure, thinking that they are not serving God when they are not allowed to do that which they would.

For they go about clinging to their own will and pleasure, which they treat as though it came from God; and immediately their directors take it from them, and try to subject them to the will of God, they become peevish, grow faint-hearted and fall away. These persons think that their own satisfaction and pleasure are the satisfaction and service of God. [St. John of the Cross: Excerpt from The Dark Night of the Soul on Spiritual Gluttony, Book I (circa ante-1582)]

Saturday, July 24, 2021

O God, Shepherd and Ruler of all Thy faithful, look mercifully upon Thy servant Francis, whom Thou hast chosen as shepherd to preside over Thy Church: grant him, we beseech Thee, that, by word and example, he may edify those over whom he hath charge, so that together with the flock committed to him, he may attain everlasting life. Through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Friday, July 23, 2021


Having noted last week that I had many thoughts on the motu proprio, I have been pondering how to respond to it. I have also seen no shortage of public and private takes which frankly are disturbing to no small degree. I have began sketching out a response for this site which hopefully will be done and published at some point next week.

Excerpt from Pope Leo XIII on Obedience to Church Authority:

By certain indications it is not difficult to conclude that among Catholics – doubtless as a result of current evils – there are some who, far from satisfied with the condition of “subject” which is theirs in the Church, think themselves able to take some part in her government, or at least, think they are allowed to examine and judge after their own fashion the acts of authority. A misplaced opinion, certainly. If it were to prevail, it would do very grave harm to the Church of God, in which, by the manifest will of her Divine Founder, there are to be distinguished in the most absolute fashion two parties: the teaching and the taught, the Shepherd and the flock, among whom there is one who is the head and the Supreme Shepherd of all.

To the shepherds alone was given all power to teach, to judge, to direct; on the faithful was imposed the duty of following their teaching, of submitting with docility to their judgment, and of allowing themselves to be governed, corrected, and guided by them in the way of salvation. Thus, it is an absolute necessity for the simple faithful to submit in mind and heart to their own pastors, and for the latter to submit with them to the Head and Supreme Pastor. In this subordination and dependence lie the order and life of the Church; in it is to be found the indispensable condition of well-being and good government. On the contrary, if it should happen that those who have no right to do so should attribute authority to themselves, if they presume to become judges and teachers, if inferiors in the government of the universal Church attempt or try to exert an influence different from that of the supreme authority, there follows a reversal of the true order, many minds are thrown into confusion, and souls leave the right path.

And to fail in this most holy duty it is not necessary to perform an action in open opposition whether to the Bishops or to the Head of the Church; it is enough for this opposition to be operating indirectly, all the more dangerous because it is the more hidden. Thus, a soul fails in this sacred duty when, at the same time that a jealous zeal for the power and the prerogatives of the Sovereign Pontiff is displayed, the Bishops united to him are not given their due respect, or sufficient account is not taken of their authority, or their actions and intentions are interpreted in a captious manner, without waiting for the judgment of the Apostolic See.

Similarly, it is to give proof of a submission which is far from sincere to set up some kind of opposition between one Pontiff and another. Those who, faced with two differing directives, reject the present one to hold to the past, are not giving proof of obedience to the authority which has the right and duty to guide them; and in some ways they resemble those who, on receiving a condemnation, would wish to appeal to a future council, or to a Pope who is better informed.

On this point what must be remembered is that in the government of the Church, except for the essential duties imposed on all Pontiffs by their apostolic office, each of them can adopt the attitude which he judges best according to times and circumstances. Of this he alone is the judge. It is true that for this he has not only special lights, but still more the knowledge of the needs and conditions of the whole of Christendom, for which, it is fitting, his apostolic care must provide. He has the charge of the universal welfare of the Church, to which is subordinate any particular need, and all others who are subject to this order must second the action of the supreme director and serve the end which he has in view. [Pope Leo XIII's Apostolic Letter Epistola Tua (circa June 17, 1885) Acta Sanctae Sedis 18 (1885): pp. 3-9 as translated by Mother Eileen O'Gorman, RSCJ (circa 1962)] 

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Statement Regarding “Traditionis Custodes” 

The FSSP has one of the very few reasonable responses to this situation that I have seen thus far.
Points to Ponder:

[T]he Modernists express astonishment when they are reprimanded or punished. What is imputed to them as a fault they regard as a sacred duty. Being in intimate contact with consciences they know better than anybody else, and certainly better than the ecclesiastical authority, what needs exist—nay, they embody them, so to speak, in themselves. Having a voice and a pen they use both publicly, for this is their duty. Let authority rebuke them as much as it pleases—they have their own conscience on their side and an intimate experience which tells them with certainty that what they deserve is not blame but praise. [Pope St. Pius X: Encyclical Letter Pascendi Dominici Gregis § 27 (circa September 8, 1907)]
Axios: Anyone else notice Dems running away from their party?

Monday, July 19, 2021

Points to Ponder:

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child. But, when I became a man, I put away the things of a child. We see now through a glass in a dark manner; but then face to face. Now I know in part; but then I shall know even as I am known. And now there remain faith, hope, and charity, these three: but the greatest of these is charity. [1 Cor xiii,11-13]

Sunday, July 18, 2021

In light of recent events and to guide my reflections on an upcoming matter I previously mentioned would be forthcoming, I want to at this time reiterate anew the Profession of Faith first posted to the Miscellaneous site back in late 2002 (and linked to this site as well) not long after I started this present site. Without further ado...

Profession Of Faith

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Points to Ponder:

Do not allow yourselves to be deceived by the cunning statements of those who persistently claim to wish to be with the Church, to love the Church, to fight so that people do not leave Her...But judge them by their works. If they despise the shepherds of the Church and even the Pope, if they attempt all means of evading their authority in order to elude their directives and judgments..., then about which Church do these men mean to speak? Certainly not about that established on the foundations of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the cornerstone (Eph. 2:20)." [Pope St. Pius X: Allocution of May 10, 1909]

Friday, July 16, 2021


I have a number of thoughts on the motu proprio promulgated today. I also anticipate that some of what I will say will make not a few folks unhappy. Nonetheless, having read both pertinent texts, I want to ponder over the matter a bit before saying much publicly. 

To be read in conjunction with the newly published Motu Proprio Traditiones Custodes is the following Letter to Bishops whereby Pope Francis explains his reasons for making the modifications that he did.

Apostolic Letter Traditionis Custodes Issued Motu Proprio By The Supreme Pontiff Francis

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Points to Ponder:

An ecclesiastic, even the Roman Pontiff, can legitimately be corrected, and even accused, by subjects and lay persons. [Pope Gregory XI, Errors of John Wycliffe, n. 19, Condemned in the Letter Super Periculosis to the Bishops of Canterbury and London, May 22, 1377; Denzinger 1139]
Pre-Snap Reads 7/11: Has the Seahawks defense improved this offseason?
Democrats Start to Panic After They Realize They've Screwed up in Florida

It is never wise to try and be soft on Cuba and communism in Florida.

Saturday, July 03, 2021

Points to Ponder:

[W]hen you confess, you come forth. For what does ‘come forth’ mean if not emerging from what is hidden, to be made manifest. But for you to confess is God’s doing; he calls you with an urgent voice, by an extraordinary grace. And just as the dead man came out still bound, so you go to confession still guilty. In order that his sins be loosed, the Lord said this to his ministers: ‘Unbind him and let him go’. What you will loose on earth will be loosed also in heaven. [St Augustine, *In Ioann. Evang.*, 49, 24]

Reality Takes a Holiday, as Kamala Claims Credit for Getting People Back to Work 

With the posting of this link, I am adding a new sub tag for posts involving this absolute embarrassment of a human being.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

There has been an update to the Rerum Novarum Miscellaneous page whereby a recently enunciated term was defined

Monday, June 28, 2021

Points to Ponder:

If, even as the price to be paid for a fifth vote, I ever joined an opinion for the Court that began: 'The Constitution promises liberty to all within its reach, a liberty that includes certain specific rights that allow persons, within a lawful realm, to define and express their identity,' I would hide my head in a bag. The Supreme Court of the United States has descended from the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie. [Justice Antonin Scalia (circa June 26, 2015)]

Poll: Majority believe US Government and media tried to cover up Wuhan lab leak theory

This is good news to see because it shows that the attempts of the combined mainstream media, social media, and the government (aka the government media complex) to attempt to suppress this hypothesis have failed and failed badly. To wit:
Fifty-seven percent (57%) of voters think it’s likely that U.S. government officials actively tried to cover-up the possibility that the coronavirus was created in a Wuhan, China, Laboratory. A Scott Rasmussen national survey found that 26% consider it unlikely and 17% are not sure.

That total includes 35% who say it’s Very Likely and 11% who think it’s Not at All Likely.

Seventy-four percent (74%) of Republicans consider a cover-up to be at least somewhat likely. Independent voters, by a 52% to 22% margin, tend to agree. Democrats are more evenly divided: 45% believe U.S. government officials actively engaged in a cover-up while 39% disagree.
I am not about to go into this again as I recently did in so HERE. Suffice to say, I was heartened by this thread today because sometimes you wonder just how much the attempts of the government media complex to try and cover this up and shame anyone who dared to not accept the officially sanctioned story were succeeding. The evidence of the latter would seem to be on the side of "not very well."

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Biden Goes Over the Slide With Incredibly Offensive Comment Plus More Confusion

You would figure no politician who spent close to 50 years in DC would confuse the Tuskegee Airmen with the Tuskegee Experiment. However, in Mr. Biden's case, you would be wrong.

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Points to Ponder:

By not paying me reverence in the persons of my ministers, they have lost respect for the latter and persecuted them because of the many sins and faults they saw in them. If in truth the reverence they had for them had been for my sake, they would not have cut it off on account of any sin in them. For no sin can lessen the power of this sacrament, and therefore their reverence should not lessen either. When it does, it is against me they sin. [St. Catherine of Siena: From Her Dialogues With God the Father]
Mailchimp suspends the Babylon Bee for "harmful information"

Why #FreeBritney Matters

A.U.D.I.T. of Elections: Is the Dam Breaking?

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Points to Ponder:

[N]o one has excuse to say, “I am doing no harm, nor am I rebelling against holy Church. I am simply acting against the sins of evil pastors.” Such persons are deluded, blinded as they are by their own selfishness…. It is me they assault, just as it was me they reverenced. To me redounds every assault they make on my ministers: derision, slander, disgrace, abuse. Whatever is done to them I count as done to me. [St. Catherine of Siena: From Her Dialogues With God the Father]

More on Wars Fought Without A Formal Declaration, Implied Powers, Early Supreme Court Precedents, Etc.

This is a draft from social media mostly composed on December 12, 2011.

This is written to in some respect complement two previous notes written which pertain to the subject of declaring war and the Constitutional issues contained therein.{1} My previous words will be in italics.

Having noted those things at the outset, it is interesting to note in a brief ado how so many writings in this medium are either written or republished{2} to address issues that come up in the standard stream of status line conversations and the like. The one you are reading now was occasioned by implication when I spotted the following typical misunderstanding of the Constitution as it pertains to the subject of war late last week. Without further ado...

‎Well, let's look at the facts. Are we "at war"? The congressional authorization allows operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, in response to terrorism.  

Never mind the questionable Constitutionality of that, as the Constitution only contemplates formal declarations of war,

My initial response was somewhat curt and read as follows:

No it does not. Few things annoy me more than so-called "Constitutionalists" who evince such ignorance of what the Founders intended and not a few completely misunderstand what is constitutionally permissible where war is concerned under the Constitution. 

On the Constitutional Standing of Wars Fought Without A Formal Declaration of War (circa December 26, 2007)

Not that the Founders themselves who wrote the Constitution would have any idea (and demonstrate through their actions in governing) what their own creation actually allowed or did not of course ;)


I received the following response from the party the latter text was addressed to earlier today:

Shawn, with the exception of the Barbary Wars, which were authorized under the Constitution's "Piracy" clause, I believe I am correct in saying that the wars mentioned in your article which preceded 1812 were all on US soil.

Now it is not often that I am given an answer that completely surprises me but this one achieved that. Here is the problem with what was asked above in a nutshell: the reference to US soil is ambiguous. If we are talking about what currently exists as part of the United States then sure, that would be true but we cannot approach this matter anachronistically. Having noted that, let us consider all the wars I noted in the Ron Paul note{3} that preceded the War of 1812 as per your question starting with The Chicamunga Wars (1776-1794).

The Chicamunga Wars (1776-1794) were a series of wars technically spanning back to the end of the French and Indian War (1755-1763) but where the United States is concerned they are dated from 1776 when the colonies declared their independence from Great Britain. They were fought both in areas which were not part of the colonies though some of the battles and raids were fought in the western parts of some of the colonies.{4} But most of the fighting was west of the Appalachians, an area that the British in agreeing to the Treaty of Paris of 1763{5} in had ruled was off limits to colonial expansion. So if we were to access this matter technically and comtemporary to the time in question, the answer as to whether these wars were fought on US soil would be "yes and no." But either way, the parts of these wars that spilled over into the administration of President George Washington (1789-1797){6} were in no cases whatsoever fought under a formal declaration of war.

With the Northwest Indian Wars (1785-1795), they were fought in part because the Indians of various tribes and nations in those territories contested the claims to the land that the United States made. For that reason, to call the wars fought on that soil US soil is extremely anachronistic to no small degree. As with the Chicamunga Wars, the parts of these wars under the administration of President George Washington{7} were not fought under a formal declaration of war. So to answer your question with something that recognizes the state of thing at that time, the answer to your question would be "no" as those territories were not settled jurisdiction-wise between not only the Indian nations but also with Great Britain{8} at the time of the conflicts in question.

The Quasi-War with France under the administration of President John Adams was fought almost entirely on water so the answer where that one is concerned is a resounding no. And finally, the Battle of Tippecanoe (1811) could be answered with a "yes" to your inquiry because it was fought in the Indiana Territory after a pair of treaties were signed in 1795{9} which settled the jurisdiction questions of that area. So with all the wars noted prior to 1812, virtually none of them were fought on US soil if we judge the latter by what it was in its day rather than what it has become.{10} Having looked briefly at the wars you mentioned, let us now consider the First Barbary War along with the nature and purpose of the war powers in the Constitution of the United States.

You had stated that the Barbary Wars were were authorized under the Constitution's "Piracy" clause. Of course if this was so, then you need to ask yourself why this did not occur to the Founders who were operating government at the time? But anyway, let us touch on the First Barbary War now and see if what happened corresponds to what you have claimed. Among the first in President Jefferson's State of the Union address on December 8, 1801{11}, he apprised the congress of certain defensive measures he had taken:
I sent a small squadron of frigates into the Mediterranean, with assurances to that power of our sincere desire to remain in peace, but with orders to protect our commerce against the threatened attack. The measure was seasonable and salutary. The Bey had already declared war. His cruisers were out. Two had arrived at Gibraltar. Our commerce in the Mediterranean was blockaded and that of the Atlantic in peril. 
The arrival of our squadron dispelled the danger. One of the Tripolitan cruisers having fallen in with and engaged the small schooner Enterprise, commanded by Lieutenant Sterret, which had gone as a tender to our larger vessels, was captured, after a heavy slaughter of her men, without the loss of a single 1 on our part. The bravery exhibited by our citizens on that element will, I trust, be a testimony to the world that it is not the want of that virtue which makes us seek their peace, but a conscientious desire to direct the energies of our nation to the multiplication of the human race, and not to its destruction.
He then went on to mention that he had gone as far as he could without congressional authorization of further action:
Unauthorized by the Constitution, without the sanction of Congress, to go beyond the line of defense, the vessel, being disabled from committing further hostilities, was liberated with its crew. 
The Legislature will doubtless consider whether, by authorizing measures of offense also, they will place our force on an equal footing with that of its adversaries. I communicate all material information on this subject, that in the exercise of this important function confided by the Constitution to the Legislature exclusively their judgment may form itself on a knowledge and consideration of every circumstances of weight.
Notice how President Jefferson mentioned "authorizing measures of offense" and not specifically "a declaration of war"? And if you look at the entire text of his State of the Union address, there is never a mention of pirates anywhere in the text. The reason is this was not a matter of a stray ship or two but instead an actual state or nation we were dealing with here{12} and the piracy clause is not something that dealt with nations. Furthermore, the piracy clause was offensive in nature insofar that it allowed for not only defining piracy but also punishing it which involves an active or offensive element. But if you read Presdient Jefferson's State of the Union, he took merely defensive actions. Therefore, President Jefferson did not have recourse to the Constitution's "Piracy" clause or feel that he was authorized to act under it in this instance. It stands therefore to look at if the Congress authorized any offensive action under the Constitution's "Piracy" clause since we all know they issued no formal declaration of war. Here is the relevant text of the Congress' authorization of President Jefferson to take offensive measures against the regency of Tripoli and its Bey.

The declaration of war feature is for the United States to initiate war. However, if there is an attack on the United States by another nation or group that has declared war on us{13}, a formal declaration is not required. That said though, since The First Barbary War it has been customary to issue authorizations to use force and even at times lesser statues for much more limited military engagements. Hamilton explained the way out of Jefferson's dilemma as I noted here and will cite at the present time:
An early controversy revolved about the issue of the President's powers and the necessity of congressional action when hostilities are initiated against us rather than the Nation instituting armed conflict. The Bey of Tripoli, in the course of attempting to extort payment for not molesting United States shipping, declared war upon the United States, and a debate began whether Congress had to enact a formal declaration of war to create a legal status of war. President Jefferson sent a squadron of frigates to the Mediterranean to protect our ships but limited its mission to defense in the narrowest sense of the term. Attacked by a Tripolitan cruiser, one of the frigates subdued it, disarmed it, and, pursuant to instructions, released it. Jefferson in a message to Congress announced his actions as in compliance with constitutional limitations on his authority in the absence of a declaration of war. Hamilton espoused a different interpretation, contending that the Constitution vested in Congress the power to initiate war but that when another nation made war upon the United States we were already in a state of war and no declaration by Congress was needed. Congress thereafter enacted a statute authorizing the President to instruct the commanders of armed vessels of the United States to seize all vessels and goods of the Bey of Tripoli "and also to cause to be done all such other acts of precaution or hostility as the state of war will justify . . ." But no formal declaration of war was passed, Congress apparently accepting Hamilton's view. [LINK]
It was not long after Congress voted on what we would call today an "authorization to use force" to give President Jefferson the sanction to take offensive measures against the Dey. The aforementioned measure included authorizing President Jefferson to instruct armed American vessel commanders to seize the vessels of the Dey as well as all his goods and also "to cause to be done all such other acts of precaution or hostility as the state of war will justify."

In other words, Congress circa March of 1802 recognized a state of war existed between the Pasha of Tripoli and the United States and accepted Hamilton's rationale on what the Constitution allowed for in the implementation of the war contained therein. Later on August 11, 1801, the Supreme Court handed down a decision in Talbot vs. Seeman{14} and in the ruling stated the following:
"The whole powers of war being by the Constitution of the United States vested in Congress, the acts of that body can alone be resorted to as our guides in this inquiry. It is not denied, nor in the course of the argument has it been denied, that Congress may authorize general hostilities, in which case the general laws of war apply to our situation, or partial hostilities, in which case the laws of war, so far as they actually apply to our situation, must be noticed."
Notice the delineation that Marshall makes between "general hostilities"{15} or "partial hostilities."{16} 

And while Hamilton's exposition{17} was the most influential explanations on this matter -in part because of Marshall's reforms of the Supreme Court decision process synthesizing the opinion writing process to make it more focused, they hardly innovated the concept. Indeed the pre-Marshall Supreme Court on August 15, 1800 with regards to another matter from the Quasi-War with France handed down a ruling in Bas vs. Tingy which set the first markers in place for this matter judicially.

In reviewing the above link, you can read all four Justices who ruled in favour of the lower court on the matter and interestingly enough, Justice Bushrod Washington{18} who was involved in Bas vs. Tingy was the justice who handed down the circuit ruling in Talbot vs. Seeman which at that point was on appeal to the supreme court.

In summary, there is ample cogent evidence from the early days of the Republic to refute the position of the so-called "Constitutional Conservatives" that a war requires a formal Declaration of War by Congress to thereby by considered constitutional. 


{1} The notes were published both to Rerum Novarum and then later to Facebook. The first note in its Facebook version was published on January 13, 2009 with the title On Ron Paul and Wars Fought Without a Formal Declaration. It had previously been published to this site on December 26, 2007 with the title On the Constitutional Standing of Wars Undertaken Without a Formal "Declaration of War". The second note in its Facebook version was published on November 14, 2009 with the title Clarifying a Previous Facebook Note Posting on a Constitutional Issue. It was previously published to this site on March 7, 2009 under the title Clarification of a Previous Posting In Lieu of a Recent Posting.

{2} Often subjects repeat themselves later on in different print communication mediums and in those cases, if either time is not on my side to write anew on a subject or something previously written addresses the matter to at least a macro extent, oftentimes I will republish such a writing either from other writing mediums or within the various notes that have been posted to Facebook in my time here.

{3} See the first link of footnote one.

{4} Such as a bit of western Virginia and parts of North Carolina and Georgia.

{5} This was the treaty signed between Great Britain, France, and Spain in Paris formally ending the French and Indian War.

{6} That also goes for the parts of the war fought under the old Articles of Confederation (1777-1788) whereby the Continental Congresses at no time called for any formal declaration of war in any of these instances whatsoever.

{7} See footnote six.

{8} The British had not conceded the territories outside of the original colonies and they still had a claim of sorts on the Northwest Territory areas themselves. And though I am loathe to quote anything frok Wikipedia, on this matter they have a very succinct paragraph that explains it well so I will go against my ordinary inclinations and reference them at this time. To wit:

The Ohio territory was subject to overlapping and conflicting claims by the states of Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, and Virginia, in addition to those by the Shawnee, Mingo, Lenape and other actual inhabitants, who were no longer considered tributary to the Six Nations. While the British had suffered a major defeat at the Battle of Yorktown (1781), there had been no decisive defeat for their Indian allies in the Northwest Territories. In addition, the Indian tribes in the Old Northwest were not parties to the treaty. Many leaders, especially Little Turtle and Blue Jacket, refused to recognize United States claims to the area northwest of the Ohio River. The British remained in possession of their Great Lakes forts, through which they continued to supply Indian allies with trade items and weapons in exchange for furs. Some in the British government wished to maintain a neutral Indian territory between Canada and the United States, but most agreed that immediate withdrawal was not possible without sparking a new Indian war.[2] The lingering British presence was not formally ended until their withdrawal from the Great Lakes forts pursuant to the Jay Treaty negotiated in 1794, and it would continue informally afterward until the War of 1812. [Wikipedia: Excerpt from their article The Northwest Territory]

{9} I refer here to The Jay Treaty (ratified by the Senate on June 24, 1795) and Treaty of Greenville (signed on August 3, 1795) which ended Northwest Territory jurisdictional questions with regards to the British and the participants in the Northwest Indian War respectively.

{10} The Quasi-War  being fought almost excluslvely on the ocean excepted of course.

{11} President Thomas Jefferson: State of the Union Address (circa December 8, 1801)

{12} Tripolitania was roughly one fifth of what is present day Libya.

{13} As the Dey of Tripoli did in the weeks after Jefferson's inauguration.

{14} A controversy from the previous Quasi-War with France under President John Adams circa 1798 under which no formal declaration of war was declared.

{15} Which is basically total war either initiated by the United States or responding to a threat where the nature is total and thus and requiring a formal declaration.

{16} Which is less than total war often initiated by other nations or peoples and does not require a formal declaration.

{17} Followed by that of Chief Justice Marshall's.

{18} A nephew of George Washington.