Friday, July 23, 2021

Briefly...

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]
THE POPE’S MOTU PROPRIO: WHAT NEXT?

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

Briefly...

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. 

Notes:

{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.

Progressives Are Livid at Kyrsten Sinema Because She Understands Long-Term Consequences

Senator Krysten Sinema is seemingly one of the very few Democrats in either chamber of Congress who realizes that the same filibuster the Democrats want to quash in the majority is what they will want when in the minority. 

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Church implosion right on schedule

This is a very interesting article. However, as the title alone might lead to some confusion, here is a snippet that highlights what is meant by the article's title. To wit:

...Francis seems to be deliberately hastening its inevitable collapse by implementing the principles and methods outlined in Evangelii gaudium (EG), his vision and blueprint for Church renewal and reform.

Let's be clear, we're not talking about the demise of the Catholic Church.

God is not dead and the Holy Spirit will never leave Christ's faithful people. This we all believe.

No, it's about the crumbling of the present governing and organizational structure, which continues to mirror certain features of the Roman Empire more than it reflects the organizational model of ecclesial life that is found in the New Testament or was experienced in the first couple of centuries of the Christian Church.

Francis is effectively laying the foundation for the deconstruction of the current model by patiently planting the seeds for the Church's structural conversion by baptizing and employing four, key sociological principles (EG 222-237):

- Time is greater than space

- Unity prevails over conflict

- Realities are more important than ideas

- The whole is greater than the parts

Ultimately the pope's goal is to make the structures and mentality of the Church more reflective of the Gospel and person of Jesus Christ and to liberate it from a codified system of rules and philosophical ideas still deeply wedded to the culture of the ancient Greco-Roman world...

Points to Ponder:

The reverence you pay to [priests] is not actually paid to them but to me, in virtue of the blood I have entrusted to their ministry. If this were not so, you should pay them as much reverence as to anyone else, and no more. It is this ministry of theirs that dictates that you should reverence them and come to them, not for what they are in themselves but for the power I have entrusted to them, if you would receive the sacraments of the Church…

So the reverence belongs not to the ministers, but to me and to this glorious blood made one thing with me because of the union of divinity with humanity. And just as the reverence is done to me, so also is the irreverence, for I have already told you that you must not reverence them for themselves, but for the authority I have entrusted to them. Therefore you must not sin against them, because if you do, you are really sinning not against them but against me. This I have forbidden, and I have said that it is my will that no one should touch them. [St. Catherine of Siena: From Her Dialogues With God the Father]

Friday, June 18, 2021

Remember Donald Trump-touted hydroxychloroquine? Study in India backs it as Covid-19 cure

I wanted to get hydroxychloroquine for my father in law Frank Barone as a last ditch effort to try and save him and was unable to. Why? Because those who cared more about playing politics got in the way. 

It bears endless repetition but something is not true or false based on who said it but instead on objective criteria. What that means is that even a complete jabronie can be right at times and persons who have real integrity will recognize this. But those playing politics do not. And among them were those who were much less concerned about truth on this vital matter than in "beating Trump." They had a hand in Frank Barone's death and I will neither forget nor forgive this.

They can all go to hell!

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Pope Francis rejects Cardinal Marx' resignation: 'Continue as Archbishop of Munich'

I cannot say I agree with this position; nonetheless, it seems Pope Francis wants Cardinal Marx to stay in his post and help fix what he had a hand in messing up. 

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Today is the 20th anniversary of the passing of my father Richard Dunn McElhinney. If readers could offer some prayers for the eternal repose of his soul, I would appreciate it.




Eternal rest grant unto his soul oh Lord and may thy perpetual light shine upon him...May his soul and all the souls of the faithfully departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Saturday, June 05, 2021

Points to Ponder:

Perhaps the single best example of the common lack of high standards in question of honesty is our tendency to think in labels. Terms like "existentialism", "pragmatism", and "empiricism", "liberalism" and "conservatism" are, more often than not, so many excuses for not considering individual ideas on their merits and for not exposing one's self to the bite of thought. For less educated people, words like "Jew", and "Catholic", "Democrat", "Republican" and "Communist" do much the same job. These labels have some uses that are perfectly legitimate, but frequently they function as an aid to thoughtlessness and permit people to appear to think when they are merely talking. [Walter Kaufmann]


Thursday, June 03, 2021

Points to Ponder:

The test of your fairness is how fair you are to those who are not. [Author Unknown]

Perseverance is necessary for prayer, pope says

Wednesday, June 02, 2021

Seahawks odds-on favorites to trade for Julio Jones

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Points to Ponder:

Where has the enemy not sown weeds? Where has he not found wheat and not strewn it with weeds? Has he sown only among lay people and not among the clergy or among bishops? Has he sown only among married men and not among the chaste professed? Has he sown only among married women and not among nuns? Has he sown only in the homes of lay people, and not in congregations of monks? The enemy has strewn seed everywhere, sowed everywhere–where has he left seed not mixed with weeds?

But, thank God, the one who has deigned to separate cannot err–your charity is not hidden from him. Weeds are found in the loftiest, most exalted harvest, even in the professed life weeds are found, and you say, “Even there wicked people are found, even in that congregation there are wicked people!” But the wicked will not reign forever with the good. Why are you surprised that you have found bad people in a holy place? Don’t you know that in paradise the first sin was disobedience, and an angel fell because of it? Did that stain heaven? Adam fell, and did that stain paradise? One of the sons of Noah fell, and did that stain the home of the just one? Judas fell, and did that stain the choir of Apostles?

Sometimes by human judgment some are thought to be wheat who in fact are weeds, and some are thought weeds who in fact are wheat. And because these things are hidden, the Apostle says: “Do not judge before the time, until the Lord comes and casts light on things hidden in darkness, and he will reveal the thoughts of the heart, and then there will be praise for each one from God” (1 Cor 4:5). Human praise passes: sometimes a person praises a bad man and doesn’t know it; sometimes he accuses a holy man, and doesn’t know it. May God forgive those who do not know, and come to the aid of those who are toiling. [St. Augustine of Hippo: Ser 73A, 1.5,3]

Friday, May 28, 2021

The Bismarck was sunk 80 years ago yesterday. Here is a tale of the tape between the Bismarck class battleships and the Iowa class battleships in a hypothetical matchup:

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Points to Ponder:

It is very helpful to confess with a certain regularity. It is true our sins are always the same; but we clean our homes, our rooms, at least once a week even if the dirt is always the same, in order to live in cleanliness, in order to start again. Otherwise, the dirt might not be seen, but it builds up. [Pope Benedict XVI]

Monday, May 24, 2021

Today is the 80th anniversary of the mighty German battleship Bismarck sinking the British ship The Hood.




Sunday, May 23, 2021

Today would have been the 49th anniversary of the birth of my childhood best friend Chris DiSomma who passed on back in 2005. Here are a couple links which reference older material from this site on him:

Chris DiSomma: A Birthday Commemoration Posting (circa May 23, 2018)

Remembering Chris DiSomma: A Simple Man (circa November 23, 2019)

If readers could offer some prayers for the eternal repose of his soul, I would appreciate it.

Eternal rest grant unto his soul oh Lord and may thy perpetual light shine upon him...May his soul and all the souls of the faithfully departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Friday, May 21, 2021

In light of the recent attacks on the state of Israel by Hamas and the continuing issues with Hezbollah and the Palestinians, I want to take a moment to remind readers of some of what I have said in the past regarding this geopolitical situation on this site. My overall view is the same and can be aptly summarized in this phrasing from social media posted ten years ago yesterday:

If a group seeking more land cannot run what they already have without screwing it up royally, then they are incapable of handling greater land responsibility and should be refused!

This is in a nutshell what I referred to in the thread link above as The McElhinney Gaza Scholastic Postulate. And it explains why I view the Middle East situation as I do, especially in light of the recent Abraham Accords which gives even less reason to care a whit about groups who have already wasted far too many people's time and energies on their irrational idiocies. But I digress.


Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Today is the 19th anniversary of the passing of my uncle David Kanski. If readers could offer some prayers for the eternal repose of his soul, I would appreciate it.

Eternal rest grant unto his soul oh Lord and may thy perpetual light shine upon him...May his soul and all the souls of the faithfully departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Points to Ponder:

History in its completion and incompletions is written by the winners while the losers invent conspiracy theories in 'rebuttal'. [Me]

Supreme Court Rejects Home Searches to Seize Firearms by Police Under "Community Caretaker" Doctrine

This 9-0 ruling by the high court is encouraging.

Monday, May 17, 2021

Points to Ponder:

The moment you give up your principles, and your values, you are dead, your culture is dead, your civilization is dead. Period. [Oriana Fallaci]

Friday, May 14, 2021

Pope Francis' process for investigating accused Catholic bishops clearly requires reform

I agree that lay experts are needed at every level on this because there needs to be a check on the clergy. Furthermore  lay expert involvement should be more than just recommended but instead mandated. Otherwise many bishops will simply ignore the recommendation.

Seahawks 2021 NFL schedule official release: Dates, game times, networks, more

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Canon Law - Strict Interpretation Helps Avoid Harshness

A lot of apologist sources like to utilize canon law to push their agendas rather than seek to properly understand the principles of proper interpretation. For this reason, the above article written by a titan in the canon law world can be of aid in correctly understanding how various canons{1} are to correctly be applied.

Note:

{1} There is one typo which got missed before publication. Namely, the reference in the article to Canon 925 is actually intended to reference Canon 915. 
Here Is Why the Democrats Are Totally Panicked About the Arizona Audit

Queen’s speech: voters will need photo ID for general elections

To be blunt, only a complete moron has a problem with voters in an election having to provide photo ID. 

Monday, May 03, 2021

My father in law Frank Barone passed away a year ago this morning. If those who read these words would say a prayer for him, it would be most appreciated.

Eternal rest grant unto his soul oh Lord and may thy perpetual light shine upon him...May his soul and all the souls of the faithfully departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Points to Ponder:

A feeble executive implies a feeble execution of the government. A feeble execution is but another phrase for a bad execution; and a government ill executed, whatever may be its theory, must be, in practice, a bad government. [Alexander Hamilton]

Pete Carroll and John Schneider are not who they once were

Thursday, April 29, 2021

One year ago, I prayed this prayer for my father in law Frank Barone who was in the hospital. As today would have been his wedding anniversary to my mother on law Raffaelina Barone, I repost it anew at this time and request prayers for the eternal repose of their souls...

Do not go gentle into that good night,

Old age should burn and rave at close of day;

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,

Because their words had forked no lightning they

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright

Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,

And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight

Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,

Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Rage, rage against the dying of the light [Dylan Thomas (published 1951)]


Wednesday, April 28, 2021

It's empty now, no friendly face
And nothing lives within
I look around and I find no trace
To tell me what has been
So far I've come to find there's no one here
No life and fear
I came for nothing, they have gone
And nobody's home


I am contemplating a name change for this site. Whether it will be as an add-on to the current name or sonething different altogether, on that I do not currently know. But something will be changing, it is only a question of when on that front, not if.

I came to learn, perhaps to teach
But I can tell somehow
The world that I was sent to reach
Has got no future now

All things change and this site even in its nearly nineteen years of existence{1} has undergone numerous changes in layout, topics covered, etc. 

The one constant is that this site has served as a kind of journal of sorts where subjects of interest to me were published here. I referred to written projects once as writing photographs and this site in its older materials does serve as a kind of writing photo album. As with picture albums, there are non flattering shots in the book along with the more favouring ones but that is life. And life has a way of going on and in directions one does not expect. I have certainly had probably more than my share of that over the years. But I look at several things differently now than when this site began. 

Across the galaxy to spread the word
And no one heard
I came for nothing, I'm alone
And nobody's home

Muhammed Ali once said "a man who looks at the world at fifty the way he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of their life." I have certainly avoided that and thank God I am not like those who have not if which there are sadly, many.{2}

A requiem was never sung, no elegy was read
No monument was carved in stone in memory of the dead
For those who made this place do not remain
They feel no pain
A stranger fate was never known


This site started as a part of a community that basically does not exist anymore. Whatever one thinks of that or wishes, it is what it is. And for that reason, one must operate in accordance with what is and not on the basis of what one wishes. 

Notes:

{1} We debuted on August 22, 2002 and were in operation until an indefinite suspension in operations on December 19, 2009. We then resumed operations on April 4 2017 to the present day.

{2} To the degree I have avoided this is due to grace and I therefore cannot claim the credit.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Insomnia 3: Beyond Thunderdome!

As the rain tapdances on the roof and I lay wide awake, today's shipwreck is the SS America. Built in 1939 and launched in 1940 by United States Lines, the 723 foot 11 deck luxury liner had a brief stint before being commandeered by the military in 1941 after Pearl Harbor. Renamed the USS Westpoint, the ship served in many roles until discharged in 1946 when it resumed the name SS America under United Stated Lines and its luxury liner status. For a brief period, the SS America was the queen of the American fleet until 1952 when the much larger and faster SS United States was launched. 

The SS America remained in service cruising the transatlantic routes from 1946 until 1964 when it was bought by Chandris Group who renamed it the SS Australis. It then ran the circuit from Southampton, England to Australia from 1964-1977 when it was sold to Venture Cruise Lines in 1978 where it was renamed the SS America but attempts to relaunch the ship were an abysmal failure. Chandris Group reacquired the ship in 1978 renaming it the SS Italis where after a few renovations, it was chartered in 1979 for three 14 day cruises out of Genoa and Barcelona to Egypt, Israel, and the eastern Mediterranean. After those cruises, it was laid up in Piraeus, Greece in September of 1979. 

From there, the ship was bought by Intercommerce Corporation in 1980 and renamed the SS Noga underwent a dizzying array of name changes and plans for use while the ship was laid up in port. (Including converting it to a prison ship to be anchored in Beruit.) It was then bought by Silver Moon Ferries who got nowhere with it except to change one side of the ship to Alferdoss and after a busted bilge pump had to move the ship to avoid it sinking while it could be repaired. Once fixed, it was taken back to its original mooring place in Piraeus. The ship was then sold for scrap in the late 1980s but after they barely got started, the scrappers defaulted on their loans so they pulled out. So the now-named Alferdoss or Noga (no one knows which!) remained until 1993 when it was bought a final time.

Now the plans were ambitious: refit her to become a five-star hotel ship off Phuket, in Thailand. Despite years of drydock neglect, the hull was found to be in remarkably solid condition so her propellers were removed, the remaining funnel painted red, and she was renamed American Star. She left Greece under tow in late December 1993 but bad weather forced a return to dock. After things calmed down, American Star left Greece under tow. It was estimated that the tow would take 100 days but not long after, the tugboat and liner ran into an Atlantic storm and the tow lines broke. Six crew members were sent aboard the American Star to reattach the tow lines while two additional tugs assisted. The crew members were rescued by helicopter on January 17, 1994 while the ship was left adrift.

On January 18, American Star ran aground at Playa de Garcey, off the west coast of Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands. While the owners were furiously deciding what to do, the ships bow got wedged in a sandbar. Two days of pounding sea broke the hull in half and the ship was declared a total loss. The stern collapsed to port and sank in 1996 while the now section remained intact and deteriorating. 

The port side collapsed in November of 2005 which caused the remaining hull to break up and nearly collapse the ship to port side. In April 2007, the starboard side collapsed and the remaining wreck broke in half and sank at sea. A very small section of the bow and keel are visible now at low tide but after thirteen years of pounding waves, the remaining wreck of the once great SS America is no more.












Saturday, April 24, 2021

Points to Ponder:

A renegade apologist can do grave damage to the Catholic Church and Her reputation. [Dr. Art Sippo (circa 2006)]

Friday, April 23, 2021

Briefly...

I have two principles which have long guided how I view economic matters of commerce and trade. The first is simple: Buy quality wherever that quality comes from. The second is a bit more complex: When you cannot for logistics or other reasons make a product yourself, do business with those countries who are your friends first and give them preference over more neutral nations which should get preference over those nations which have proven to not be trustworthy.
BREAKING: Sources Confirm Shock G Of Digital Underground Dead At 57 

"All right! Stop whatcha doin' 
'Cause I'm about to ruin 
The image and the style that ya used to 
I look funny 
But yo I'm makin' money, see 
So yo world I hope you're ready for me 
Now gather round 
I'm the new fool in town 
And my sound's laid down by the Underground 
I drink up all the Hennessey ya got on ya shelf 
So just let me introduce myself..."  

#RestInPeace "Humpty Hump"!


Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Points to Ponder: 
(On Banking and Investments) 

Does not the social function of the bank consist in making it possible for the individual to render his money fruitful, even if only in small degree, instead of dissipating it, or leaving it sleep without any profit, either to himself or to others? That is why the services that a bank can render are so numerous: to facilitate and encourage savings; to preserve savings for the future, at the same time rendering them productive in the present; to enable savings to share in useful enterprises that could not be launched without them; to make as simple and easy as possible the regulation of accounts, exchanges, commerce between the State and private organisms and, in a word, the entire economic life of the people. [Pope Pius XII: Address to Italian Bankers (circa April 25, 1950)]

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Briefly...

On the Chauvin verdict, I thought second degree manslaughter was most likely, third degree murder feasible, and second degree murder would be unlikely. I was wrong on the latter, Chauvin was found guilty on all counts.

Insomnia 2: Electric Boogaloo!

Here is another of the shipwrecks, the Ozlem. Built in 1969 and originally named the Christina I, it was a tanker which went through a few owners and name changes (including the Charles Cruz) until it was wrecked near the Georgian coastal town of Batumi in 2005 where it has remained and slowly decomposed ever since. 





Sunday, April 18, 2021

I had a bit of insomnia this morning so I was awake looking at pictures of shipwrecks. This is the SS Maheno beached at Frasier Island off the coast of Australia in 1935. A former luxury liner, it was converted into a hospital ship and served during the Gallipoli campaign in 1915




Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Points to Ponder:

I can relate to so much of this and have for quite some time. But 2020 sharpened my perceptions if you will. Without further ado...

It’s all dead to me. Celebrities. Sports. Concerts. Bars. Travel. None of it matters anymore. During 14 days to stop the spread, which turned into 7 weeks of lockdown, I would have done ANYTHING to go to a concert.

But now? I count it as loss. It means nothing to me anymore. The people I once idolized are puppets. The politicians I once applauded are imbedded in their own interests and have sold us out. The companies I once shopped with are colluding against us.

The celebrities I once looked up to I know [I] can’t look at. It’s all gone. 2020 changed me. And I don’t miss any of it. I only wish I had ditched all of these false idols sooner.

The truth is is that I’d give up any of these things sooner if I had truly understood. But now I do. And it set me free. I’ll walk the narrow road with my eyes fixed on the finish line. None of what is here matters. The earth and everything here is temporary.

There is life after death. So I count this all as loss. 2020 was the year that separated the wheat from the chaff. There are still people straddling the line, soon they will have to choose where they stand too.

"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it." 1 Corinthians 9:24

If disagreeing with what is happening causes me to lose my seat at the table and to lose my status in society, I’m willing to sit alone. [Nina Leone]

Monday, April 12, 2021

Four Questions For Distributist/Distributivist Apologists...

This is the text of an unfinished Facebook note primarily composed on April 12, 2012. As it seemed appropriate to revisit the subject, the thread below was finished in roughly the form originally envisioned for publication at this time.

As one who has over the years interacted may times (and often in depth) with distributist/distributivist (D/D) apologists, inevitably you hear these sorts of responses such as I have heard earlier this year from a couple advocates when writing yet another lengthy critique of D/D philosophy:

Shawn, you know nothing of distributism to make such claims.

Shawn, I don't think you know what Distributism is.

Now this is what D/D love to say when their economic weltanschauung is challenged in any detail. So before I get to the four questions I have, here is how some D/D apologists describe their own system on one of their advocacy sites:
While in a socialist society none are owners, and in a capitalist society only a few are owners, in a Distributist society most are owners of productive property. This is the defining characteristic of Distributism: the widescale distribution of productive property throughout society, such that ownership of it is the norm, rather than the exception. Such distribution is the best way of ensuring that the economic rights of man are respected; that men can pursue their livelihoods with the greatest possible independence; and that society can exist as a single harmonious whole, without the vicissitudes of class hatreds and constant economic unrest which plague all of our current systems.{1}
Notice that the describe the way their society looks but not how they actually get there and therein lies the rub!

For this is the same problem the atheist has in accounting for how existing systems came into being in the absence of creation by some higher Intelligence. In like manner, D/D sorts have to explain exactly how their system that they envision becomes a reality instead of merely fantasizing about what they think it would look like. That is the core problem that both of those sorts of advocates have for their respective systems when you take it down to brass tacks.

So I will ask now (albeit in shorter form) essentially what I always have asked D/D but boiled down to four question that they need to answer before I can invest any serious effort or energy into such a hypothesis. Without further ado...
  • Tell me how you get Distribution without some kind of "Distributor."
If this cannot be done, then the proposed system could not be implemented at all and that would make all the advocacies for it nothing but pious nonsense.

Of course if we assume that the D/D recognizes that some sort of "Distributor" (however it is constituted) is needed to make their system work in reality instead of just some nostalgia driven fantasy land, that brings us to this question:
  • Who is empowered to be the "Distributor" and how (and by what authority) are they so empowered?
Once this question is answered, then there is the issue of how those who took issue with the proposed system would be treated as we can assume such a radical overhaul of the existing order would prompt no small degree of opposition. Ergo:
  • What would be recommended to be done with those who have land and other resources that they claim is theirs and who tell the "Distributor" and their advocates{2} to take their ideas for attempting to coerce public behaviour (and/or said property from them) and blow it out their collective pie holes? 
That is a reasonable question to ask because the system they are advocating would in a number of cases do just that and if they are going to complain about being compared to socialists and the latter's redistributist schemes, they will have to explain that in some detail and in a fashion that is logically coherent and not purely arbitrary. And finally, there is the issue that so many of those who advocate for this system happen to be those who would not have to or actually do not live in it themselves:
  • When are we going to see those who advocate for this "glorious lifestyle" actually practice what they preach? 
For those who endeavour to try to advocate for this sort of system or otherwise push it onto others can start by divesting themselves of all the trappings of the economic system they despise, get a farm plot in the middle of BFE, and eke out some subsistence living in all the splendour of the Middle Ages they so longingly wish they were a part of.{3} I am not talking about doing this as some part time thing or jovial little experiment{4} but instead to actually live the life they preach that everyone should be living.

That means:
  • Do not buy food from the market, grow/raise it all yourself. 
  • Do not buy clothes and shoes, make them all yourself. 
  • Etc.{5}
This sort of thing in the overwhelming majority of cases can only be lionized by those who have never had to live it but those of who would advocate for such a system or bemoan the current system or misrepresent it egregously{6} to push their pet notions{7}, how about they go about making a living via the one they claim everyone should be living in.{8} For until I start seeing D/D moving en masse to buy farms and making a lot of (if not all of) their own stuff, do not be surprised if such apologists are summarily (and properly) dismissed as unworthy of consideration in the arena of ideas.

Notes:

{1} Donald P. Goodman: Excerpt from An Introduction to Distributism (circa August 9, 2011)

{2} Who basically try to invent fancy ways to steal it from them under the guise of some "higher morality" or whatever.

{3} And any who actually do try to do this at the very least have my respect for endeavouring to practice what they preach. (If nothing else, they deserve credit for walking the talk unlike most of their comrades who talk in a similar fashion and do not back their words up with deeds.)

{4} For example, my time on a cousins farm one vacation.

{5} I suppose in some aspects they could argue that a kind of collective could be established wherein those who are either better equipped resource-wise or in some fashion more proficient in some areas than others could form reciprocal arrangements with like-minded folks with different skills and better function societally that way. However, as that notion is simply much too close to David Ricardo's Enlightenment era theory of comparative advantage and therefore any who would smear or demean economic theories or principles from the Enlightenment era would be best to leave such things out of their calculations lest they "pollute" their "pristine civilizational model." Or to be blunter: make the damn shit yourselves!

{6} To note five postings from 2007 on the subject:

Revisiting "Distributivism" (circa May 25, 2007)

"The Empire Distributivist Strikes Back" Dept. (circa May 27, 2007)

On Fundamental Rights, Private Property, and Authentic Dialogue (circa May 31, 2007)

On the "Phantom Menace" of Distributivism (circa September 8, 2007)

{7} For example, the historically ignorant who preach the idiotic idea that capitalism started either in the Enlightenment period or in the post-reformation when in reality its earliest developments preceded both of those periods.

{8} Whether they want to or not!

Saturday, April 10, 2021

My mother in law Raffaelina Barone passed away a year ago this evening. If those who read these words would say a prayer for her and her family, it would be appreciated.

Eternal rest grant unto her soul oh Lord and may thy perpetual light shine upon her...May her soul and all the souls of the faithfully departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen

Friday, April 09, 2021

Points to Ponder: 
(Circa January 9, 2007)

He who tells the people revolutionary legends, he who amuses them with sensational stories, is as criminal as the geographer who would draw up false charts for navigators. [Ralph E. Luker]

Tuesday, April 06, 2021

Points to Ponder:

We shall soon be in a world in which a man may be howled down for saying that two and two make four, in which people will persecute the heresy of calling a triangle a three-sided figure, and hang a man for maddening a mob with the news that grass is green. [GK Chesterton (circa 1926)]

Sunday, April 04, 2021

As today is Easter Sunday{1}, it seems fitting to revisit some material posted to this site last year. It was originally composed for a Facebook post years ago after being used in a comments thread discussion with self-proclaimed "Bible Christians." As will be evident in a moment, these folks were not that familiar either with their Bible or with the traditions and practices of the Apostolic Churches from the very beginning. Without further ado...

Texts on the Sacrament of Penance (circa October 12, 2020)

Note:

{1} In the west anyway.

Saturday, April 03, 2021

Points to Ponder:

It has been years since I had a truly bad Lent --last year was not great but all things considered was not bad. I found myself last night when out walking pondering my disgusting Lenten performance this year and it dawned on me that maybe this had to happen.

For often when things go well or pretty well, we can lose perspective to some extent and maybe laying such a stinky egg this Lent was needed to remind me in a fundamental way that there but for His grace go I. 

Or maybe I am just trying to rationalize my own failures.

Or perhaps it is a bit of both?

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

On NFP...

This is the text of an unpublished Facebook Note From March 31, 2014. My words will be in regular font.

And no I am not adding to Catholic's burdens by raising people from NFP to Providentialism

Actually, if one looks at your rationale, this is precisely what you are doing. Just because you do not subjectively recognize it does not change the objective import of where your purported arguments inexorably go.

The Church never ever taught that NFP is meant to be used as a contraception.

This is true. However, as NFP cannot be used as a contraceptive, your statement is pretty pointless. (This is not to say that NFP cannot be used with a contraceptive mentality mind you but even if that happens, it is not the same as engaging in contraception because the mechanics of the completed act via NFP are not impeded.)

It was only be used in exceptional cases.

This is not the Church's teaching but instead is your own. At no point does the Church say NFP is only for exceptional cases. The verbiage is actually just causes and the latter are hardly exceptional or extraordinary.

And yes, NFP is still contraception. That is precisely what it is doing.

How is abstaining from sex during fertile periods contracepting? Simple, it is not. If you are contracepting by abstaining from sex during fertile times, then you have to accuse Mary and Joseph of contracepting because guess what: they abstained from sex during Mary's fertile times!{1} So Mary and Joseph engaged in contraception and thus sin by your absurd "logic" and as we know via the faith that Mary remained sinless, your argument not only does not hold water but you have engaged in blasphemy and arguably espoused heresy.{2} I suggest with all due respect that you take pause and rethink your position here and cease accusing Bill or anyone else of a clouded irrational post considering the objective import of your own statements!

As for the second part of your position, how is having sex during infertile times contracepting? Simple, it is not. God is the author of the fertility cycle and there is no commandment that couples are required to abstain during it. Furthermore, if following God's own laws, there is no wrong committed whereas contraception obstructs or frustrates God's laws. The end may be the same but the means are both objectively and morally different in the eyes of the Church.

What else is contraception but preventing life.

This is ridiculous. By your foolish "logic" if you are married and abstaining from sex with your wife right now, you are "contracepting" because you are preventing life. Better get yourself to confession on the double because by this "mortal sin" you are consigning yourself to hell if you are not having sex with your wife right now! :::rolls eyes:::

It is not artificial but it is still contraception.
No it is not. You obviously do not understand what contraception is and is not.

The aim of both techniques whether natural or artificial is to prevent life from forming (contra-caption, against life). Whether the reason is grave or not, that is it's immediate intent.

Two points: (i) the reason to use NFP does not have to be grave according to Catholic teaching -just reasons is the criteria the Church sets down, and (ii) there is no impediment to conception with NFP during an infertile part of the cycle. By your "logic" an infertile couple is "contracepting" every time they have sex and thus sinning: again your "logic" betrays you as does your ignorance of Catholic teaching.

That is why it is only be used on grave situations -e.g. because of the health of the mother and only temporarily.

Nice try but you are wrong again. The Church does not teach that NFP can only be used in "grave" situations: that is a mistranslation from the Latin text probably originally committed by an overly scrupulous scribe.{3} The actual meaning of the Latin is just causes and again, these are not exceptional or extraordinary.

The principle to be followed is that the reasons should not be trivial or light for the usage of NFP but regulated by real reasons of a serious nature. And the determinants of this criteria are the couple themselves with the assistance of their confessors/spiritual directors not you, me, or anyone else. The Sacred Penitentiary from the earliest of days when they begin addressing these issues{4} down to the present day has said the same thing: "After mature examination, we have decided that such spouses should not be disturbed [or disquieted], provided they do nothing that impedes generation." I suggest that you do as the Church advises on these matters including making the same distinctions they do. Otherwise, you are not thinking with the mind of the Church on these matters


Notes:

{1} They also abstained in non-fertile periods too but my issue here is your flawed argument.

{2} Either way, if St. Jerome were in the room he would smack your face for such inferences!

{3} I will presume for the sake of charity that their error was not intentional.

{4} Their first intervention on these matters was in 1853.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Points to Ponder:

In John 3, when John the Baptist is asked whether Jesus is the Messiah, John says quite clearly that Jesus is the important one: 'He must increase, I must decrease.'

He must increase, I must decrease. Everybody needs to hear that. It's not about me, it's not about you. It's about something infinitely more important than us. [Fr. Robert Taft SJ]

Monday, March 29, 2021

The following was an interesting comment from Facebook on the subject of the word perfidious in light of some self-styled traditionalists who are eager to celebrate not just the pre-1970 Good Friday liturgy but the pre-1955 one. Basically, they just want to refer to the Jews as perfidious and try and cloak their noxious behaviour with the veneer of appeals to antiquity. The poster here really nails the subject well so I post it here for consideration as Good Friday is approaching. Without further ado...


 

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Proposed Good Friday Prayer For The Perfidious Apologists:

Though to be fair, this is only aimed at certain radical apologist reactionary sorts. Nonetheless... 

"Let us pray also for the perfidious apologists that the Lord our God may take the veil from their hearts and that they also may acknowledge the damage their ignorant hamhanded theologically stunted proselytizing does to the honour of our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us pray: Almighty and everlasting God, you do not refuse your mercy even to the apologists; hear the prayers which we offer for the blindness of those people so that they may acknowledge in authentic dialogue the light of your truth, which is Christ, and be delivered from their darkness."

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Points to Ponder:

[O]ne who strives to ascend to the highest place must needs rise by steps or paces, and not by leaps. [St. Gregory the Great]

Friday, March 26, 2021

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Points to Ponder:

A fool's mouth is his ruin, and his lips are a snare to his soul. [Proverbs xviii,7]

Grassley to DoJ: Why has no one been charged with crimes over false Kavanaugh allegations?


Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Quite disappointed
Am I with my Lent this year
Need to do better

Points to Ponder:

Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure, when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice can not sleep forever [Thomas Jefferson]

Friday, March 19, 2021

Thermopylae

Honour to those who in their lives
are committed and guard their Thermopylae.
Never stirring from duty;
just and upright in all their deeds,
but with pity and compassion too;
generous whenever they are rich, and when
they are poor, again a little generous,
again helping as much as they are able;
always speaking the truth,
but without rancor for those who lie.

And they merit greater honor
when the foresee (and many do foresee)
that Ephialtes will finally appear,
and in the end the Medes will go through.
[Constantine P. Cavafy]

Monday, March 15, 2021

Points to Ponder:

Cigars bridge all kinds of gaps, ideological, political…they promote harmony and a feeling of getting along. [Rush Limbaugh (circa April 2017)]

Responsum of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to a dubium regarding the blessing of the unions of persons of the same sex

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Points to Ponder:

As a dog returns to his vomit, so a fool repeats his folly. [Proverbs xxvi,11]

Saturday, March 13, 2021

I saw this article and a few of the Usual Suspects publicly critical about this policy and have decided to weigh in about it here.

As for how to interpret this, it bears noting that mass is intrinsically a public devotion. This has always been the correct understanding of liturgical worship even if in the west various legal fictions have been devised at times to try and circumvent this understanding. For example, the intrinsically public nature of the liturgy is witnessed to by church custom, laws, regulations, etc.{1} There is a reason for example that even in an ostensibly private mass a priest has at least one server and since time immemorial this one server could even be female provided certain stringent requirements were followed.{2} This principle is even enshrined in the Catholic Church's Code of Canon Law under section 906:

"Nisi iusta et rationabili de causa, sacerdos Sacrificium eucharisticum ne celebret sine participatione alicuius saltem fidelis."{3}

A translation from the Vatican website renders this as follows:

"Except for a just and reasonable cause, a priest is not to celebrate the eucharistic Sacrifice without the participation of at least some member of the faithful."{4}

Even this standard is more relaxed than the equivalent provision from the old 1917 Code which itself was a relaxation from centuries of more stringent rules in this area.{5} All of this points to the normal or operative presupposition that liturgy is intrinsically or by its nature a public devotion. The regulation from canon law basically says this while providing exception clauses for some cases. What are those exceptions? The wording is Nisi iusta et rationabili de causa translated as Except for a just and reasonable cause

How should we interpret this? As probably all of those griping about this are self-proclaimed traditionalists, I propose an eminently traditionalist reading; namely, only in grave situations should private masses be permitted. Here much as with Humanae Vitae (HV) we see the words iustae causae used though here rationabili (reasonable) also appears. But if iustae causae is to be interpreted as grave (or serious) in HV, then by that interpretation, only for grave or serious reasons (as well as rational) should private masses be allowed and anything more is being selfish and having a kind of ecclesial contraceptive mentality by seeking to frustrate a kind of ecclesial procreative function.

So why do traditionalists promote liturgical contraception and criticize Pope Francis for insisting that all liturgical observations at St. Peters be open to the life of the faithful?

As for the restriction of the extraordinary form liturgy, it bears noting that extraordinary by its very nature means out of the ordinary or less common. As many traditionalists when it comes to subjects pertaining to the salvation of others like to interpret concepts like extraordinary so narrow as to be nearly non-existent, it seems to me this should be how allowances for the extraordinary form should be approached for those same persons as the Lord says in the Gospels "whatsoever ye measure unto others shalt be measured unto you"{6} so like it or lump it{7} and that is the bottom line!

Notes:

{1} The late and esteemed Right Rev. Archimandrite Fr. Robert Taft SJ of eternal memory liked to quip "There are two things you do not do alone: liturgy and sex."

{2} Namely, if there were no males to perform the function and as long as she stayed away from the altar.

{3} Code of Canon Law 906 (Latin)

{4} Code of Canon Law 906 (English)

{5} A subject perhaps for another time if I feel inclined to discuss it.

{6} Cf. Mark iv,24

{7} To use another quip from the late and esteemed Right Rev. Archimandrite Fr. Robert Taft SJ of eternal memory.