Saturday, February 15, 2003

De Virtutibus vs. Ut Unum Sint:

Professor Miller appears to argue HERE that there has been a development in just war theory since the Gulf War. Bill Cork argues HERE an opposing thesis. Rerum Novarum has weighed in HERE with the reason why I do not agree with the pope on this issue and why I can disagree in good conscience. (My outlined and detailed rationale for the position I take is linked to that link if the reader has not read it yet.)

While Kevin makes a strong case as he usually does, in this case I do not belief it is adequate enough. Bill's case is stronger and not just because he happens to agree with Rerum Novarum on the war subject. Professor Miller would have a stronger argument if he sought to oppose the war simply from the criteria of the just war rather than arguing that the criteria has developed.
"None Dare Call it a Volokh Conspiracy" Dept.

Some very good links from The Volokh Conspiracy worth a read. The first is Philippe de Croy's notes on the Estrada Nomination. Here is just a taste:

Some of the commentaries I have read on Miguel Estrada's nomination overlook a point about its historical context. Important seeds of the current filibuster were sown when the Supreme Court decided Bush v. Gore...Ironically enough, of course -- or perhaps more than ironically -- Estrada was on the legal team that helped Bush secure his victory in the Court. For more go here...

The second is from Eugene Volokh and involves the recent lawsuit filed in The Curmudgeon's neck of the woods on Second Amendment violations of the DC ban on guns. Just a small taste yet again:

Two people from the Cato Institute (though not the Institute itself) and a couple of other lawyers have filed a lawsuit challenging the D.C. gun ban on Second Amendment grounds. Here are the press release and the complaint... For more go here...

Another good link at the above is Mr. Volokh's testimony before a Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution. But you have to check the links above to read that one...
The Lidless Eye Inquisition weblog has been updated.

Friday, February 14, 2003

For those who read my war position as outlined HERE and wonder how I square it with the pope's stated position against war with Iraq, the following blog will explain it in reasonable detail I hope. To heavily paraphrase Newman on the subject of obedience to the Pope (in this case viz the war issue):

I do not speak as if I had any difficulty in recognizing and condemning the war the Pope speaks about, if the Pope did himself bid me; but he has not as yet done so, and he cannot delegate his Magisterium to another. I wish with St. Jerome to "speak with the Successor of the Fisherman and the Disciple of the Cross." I assent to that which the Pope propounds in faith and morals, but it must be he speaking officially, personally, and immediately, and not any one else, who has a hold over me. The speeches are not official acts, because they are not in any way indicated to be such.

If, indeed, the Pope should ever make a condemnation of this war directly his own, as a part of his Magisterium, then of course I should bow to it and accept it. I should take that condemnation to be of dogmatic authority, because I believe him appointed by his Divine Master to determine in the detail of faith and morals what is true and what is false - what policies are binding and which are loosed by the keys. But such an act of his he would formally authenticate; he would speak in his own name, by Apostolic Letter, Encyclical, or Apostolic Exhortation. Or, if he wished to speak less authoritatively, he would speak through a Sacred Congregation ratifying such judgment as his.

Because he has done none of these things, it cannot be said that he has made his injunctions against the war a part of his Magisterium. Therefore, as much as I do not like to do it, I do not follow him on this because he has not made it clear that he expects me to and because my conscience will not allow me to.
Professor Miller blogs more from Fr. Jerome HERE.

Thursday, February 13, 2003

Conversations With A 'Traditionalist':

This is a dialogue from another weblog with an anguished individual. I have changed the name below to protect the identity.

I find it embarrassing and counterproductive when my fellow Catholics publicly defend, if not outright malfeasance, then at least an obviously failed attempt to "update" traditional Catholic ecclesiastical discipline.

Well DDDDD, ecclesiastical disciplines have varied widely over the centuries. Your comment reminds me of the Jansenists who wanted to return discipline to the days of Augustine.{1} This idea of THE traditional discipline is too much like the idea of THE traditional mass or other myths spun by the Counter-reformation in an atmosphere of polemic. As the historian Robert Taft astutely noted:

There was a time not so long ago when some sort of proof for the universality of the Church was found in the false belief that, 'Wherever a Catholic goes, he will feel at home when he enters a Catholic church because there he will find the familiar Mass celebrated in the common language of the Church.' Not only is this untrue, but if it were true, it would be not the glorious thing we might have once imagined, but a chilling commentary on the narrowness we had imposed on the Body which Christ fashioned for all mankind. To impose one Rite on everyone does not render that Rite, or the Church, more universal. It only impoverishes the catholic expression of the Church’s life.

And imposing one rite or discipline on people is the antithesis of true ecclesiastical tradition. Yet that is what so-called "traditionalists" repine for. My Ukrainian roots are eminently offended to put it frankly.

[I]f such an approach to our ecclesiastical crisis is the result of brilliant insight into the theology of the Cross on the part of the Roman Pontiff, why won't you extend that same benefit of deep understanding to the former Cardinal Archbishop of Boston? If Cardinal George is spineless for failing to discipline Fr. Pfleger, then why isn't John Paul II spineless for failing to discipline Card. Law, or Card. Mahoney, or Abp. Weakland, or Bp. Ryan, or [insert name of any one of hundreds (thousands?) of bishops here] ......?

The same reason Pope Pius X was not "spineless" for failing to excommunicate clerics by the boatload after Pascendi. The same reason that Pius XII disciplined virtually no clerics in his reign. (Feeney was a rare exception.) I doubt you could count on more than one hand the number of clerics disciplined by Pius XII in his nineteen year reign as pope. But as I note in many places, it is okay for Pius and his predecessors to act this way while John and his successors are held to a different standard. I am sorry if I do not react kindly to this canard after addressing it innumerable times. However, as we have not conversed for some time, I will spare the details on that and focus on what I believe is of greater importance.

I can tell by your comments above that you have unfortunately imbibed a very imbalanced and untraditional notion of ecclesiology. The pope is not supposed to be the micromanager of individual dioceses. The authority in a dioceses is the local ordinary. And the traditional approach taken by the popes has been to punish a few as examples for the many. There are very sound reasons for this - including fear of creating schisms. I realize that a lot of "trads" find this fear to be absurd but then they tend to be pretty ignorant of history (much as they are theology and numerous other areas) so failing to understand the true evil of schism they dismiss it.{2} I am afraid I cannot go along with this view as it is untraditional and contrary to what has been successful in the past. And the first rule is to avoid forming or contributing to schism in any way. Problems are then much more easily dealt with - even if it takes a while.

Besides, if you do not think that Law endured greater purging by being forced to stay in office the last ten months of his term I would be surprised. Law offered his resignation and the pope refused to accept it. After going through the fire of 2002, he offers to resign and the pope accepts. I would not be surprised if the Holy Father - who is an expert on St. John of the Cross - saw this as a way of putting Cardinal Law into his own dark night of the soul. But even if this was not the "plan" Law's continued tenure was standard Church protocol. And when I say "standard" I mean historically. As much as you may want to see heads roll - and I have that temptation myself at times - I am glad that JP II is in charge and not you or I.

I very much am advocating the abandonment of failed pastoral experiments to "update" our Faith and a return to the time-tested ways of Catholic tradition.

Well sadly you are being hoodwinked my friend. It is a shame because you used to be a very good evangelist - one of my favourites actually - and I was influenced to reassess my own mirage of "traditionalism" by some of the things you wrote a few years back. Maybe this is my opportunity to return the favour:

A Prescription Against 'Traditionalism' (revised 1/26/03)

Since you are affiliated with Ecclesia Dei, you can bypass the sections on schism in the above work. The rest though would to a degree apply to your situation.

I suppose that makes me part of the Lidless Eye brigade, but at least I'm shed of the pain of trying to defend the indefensible.

You may rarely blink but you are not Lidless Eye DDDDD. Nonetheless, the Tradition has nothing in it that encourages sensual overindulgence with a shunning of the aridity of the Dark Night. The Church - though the worst of it is past - is still in the throes of the Dark Night and the self-styled 'traditionalist' is in many ways the modern day Donatist: hiving off in cloisters and refusing to interact directly with the problems of today.

"Traditionalists" as a rule do not participate in the arena of ideas. Instead, they generally go into the bunkers. Then from inside they condemn the storm and those who are out in the storm trying to fight it. Those "traditionalists" who do venture outside - and there are some that do - generally advance very impractical solutions based on revisionist fiction. I am not saying they are aware of the fact that the "trad" party line is egregiously false of course. (Indeed in most cases they are not aware of this at all.)

Nonetheless, based on their fictional constructs there is a repining for a history and a past that never existed except in imaginations of those who have difficulty in dealing with today's realities. (Converts seem especially prone to falling into this trap.) All of this is part of the root and matrix of why being a trad is spiritually immature.

I speak bluntly here without the intention of insult but to say the truth. It is a truth that had to be learned by me the hard way and I would hate to see you have to learn it the hard way too. But I fear you eventually will if you are not more careful.


{1} Or St. Hippolytus or Tertullian who thought that the looser disciplines of their times - which were stricter than the ones in St. Augustine's time - were "untraditional" or "embarrassing".

{2} Or they take the attitude that the pope should act this way anyway damn those who would as a result be implicated in a schism.
"A Day in the Life" Dept.

I read the news today oh boy
About a lucky man who made the grade
And though the news was rather sad
Well I just had to laugh
I saw the photograph...

Or in this case a mental picture which is worth a thousand words...

FROM MY SOURCES IN BAGHDAD...'s what's on TV this week:


8:00 - My 33 Sons

8:30 - Osama Knows Best

9:00 - I Dream of Mohammed

9:30 - Let's Mecca Deal

10:00 - The Kabul Hillbillies


8:00 - Husseinfeld

9:00 - Mad About Everything

9:30 - Monday Night Stoning

10:00 - Win Bin Laden's Money

10:30 - Allah McBeal


8:00 - Wheel of Terror

8:30 - The Price is Right if Osama Says it's Right

9:00 - Children are Forbidden from Saying the Darndest Things

9:30 - Taliban's Wackiest Public Execution Bloopers

10:00 - Buffy the Yankee Slayer


8:00 - Beat the Press

8:30 - When Kurds Attack

9:00 - Two Guys, a Girl, and Pita Bread

9:30 - Just Shoot Everyone

10:00 - Veilwatch


8:00 - Fatima Loves Chachi

8:30 - M*U*S*T*A*S*H

9:00 - Veronica's Closet of Long, Black, Shapeless Dresses and Veils

9:30 - Married with 139 Children

10:00 - Eye for an Eye Witness News


8:00 - Judge Saddam

8:30 - Suddenly Sanctions

9:00 - Who Wants to Marry a Terrorist Millionaire?

9:30 - Cave and Garden Television

10:00 - No-Witness News


8:00 - Sponge Bob Square Turban

8:30 - Who's Koran Is It Anyway?

9:00 - Teletalibans

9:30 - Camel 54, Where Are You?

Thanks JunkYard BLOG. I realise things are serious now with the war situation but we have to take time to laugh.
Pseudo-Athanasius exposes the hypocritical stand taken by Gonzaga University on how they pose as Catholic and Jesuit to get doners money and deceive parents but then claim that "[n]o one can define our Catholic and Jesuit nature". Here is the link:

Gonzaga Hypocrisy
Points to Ponder:

[T]he Catholic whose idea of Catholicism is limited to his own particular tradition has a distorted notion of the true nature of his Church. [Fr. Robert Taft SJ]
Hans "Inspector Clueso" Blix and Crew Stumble onto Missile System!!!

Is this the "smoking gun"???
Tom Harmon of Gonzaga University has started a weblog called Ever Ancient, Ever New. A weblog where Catholic students nationwide can discuss the good, the bad, and the ugly of Catholic higher education is a good idea. Hopefully such a grassroots movement can play a strong role in getting buffoons like Richard McBrien at various universities into hot water. One can hope anyway...

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Professor Miller's insightful commentary on Theology and Heresy gets 5 stars from this weblog.
Chris Burgwald astutely weighs in at the Lidless Eye Inquisition BLOG on one of the strawmen of the Lidless Eye brigade.
Points to Ponder:
(Courtesy of the JunkYard BLOG)

"The last time that France needed more proof, it rolled right into Paris with a German flag on it." [David Letterman]

To quote James Hetfield: "sad but true"...
Much as my friend Tim may want it, I will forego the pun from Two Suns in the Sunset which I planned to open this entry with and just focus on the sober news.

I sense that we will be at war in less than two weeks - and without NATO or the UN. We have seen the functional end of NATO I believe and the UN will be exposed for the charade it is when at least one of the five members with veto power (France or Russia) vetoes a resolution for war. (My money is on France for the veto.) Please pardon your humble webhost if he does not have sympathy for war protesters in that environment. Once the cannons start firing, the rules of tolerance change...
The Rerum Novarum February Update:

Some archive material from November and December was added along with not a few entries from January. I do not normally add really recent (meaning less than two weeks old) material to an update but I made an exception in this update with three additions:

(i) The response to Eve Tushnet on why arguments against war are at this point not sustainable IMHO.

(ii) The "Blog Tolls" entry which dealt with what appeared at the time to be a thinning of the pews at St. Blogs'.

(iii) A Tribute to the Fallen Astronauts.

As for the rest, here are the additions and deletions to the weblog by category:

General Political/Social Subjects
(New Category)

I grouped the entry on election trends here and added the following new entry to this classification:

A Tribute to the Astronauts of the Columbia

Political Miscellany

Why Bush Is Not (At Least Thus Far) "Reagan II" (Parts I-III)

On the War

Why I Am Becoming A Reluctant Hawk
Why Peaceful Solutions With Iraq Are Faulty (A Response to Eve Tushnet)

General Theological Subjects

On the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Fathers Who "Denied" Her Sinlessness (Parts I and II)

False 'Traditionalism'

'Trad' Internal Inconsistencies (Parts I and II)
A Discourse on Leisure

On the Second Vatican Council

On Deathcamps and Dead 'Traditionalism'

Authentic 'Traditionalism'

On the "Traditional" Leonine Prayers
Reform of the Tridentine Missal

Controverted Subjects

For Whom the Blog Tolls" (Random Musings on the Strain of Weblog-Website Maintenance)

Approved Weblogs Added

Jeff Miller's "Curt Jester" BLOG
Amy Welborn's "In Between Naps" BLOG
Fr. Rob Johansen's "Thrown Back" BLOG
Old Oligarch's "Painted Stoa" BLOG
Jeanetta's "De Fidei Oboedientia" BLOG
Jeff Culbreath's "El Camino Real" BLOG

Dropped Links:

Response to a Misinformed Self-Styled 'Traditionalist' (Parts I-III)

Reason: Other more recent posts were added to the "false traditionalist" category which deal with more specific issues and not simply me laying the smack down on an ignorant 'trad'. (A procedure that has its place but not when there is more irenic entries to put up in its place on the same themes.)

On the Mystical Body

Reason: To make room for more links. Besides, this was the first part of a several part series and all parts were in the margin links. After dropping this one, the second part - which links plainly to the dropped link - was retitled "On the Mystical Body (parts I and II)".

TCRNews - Stephen Hand/Jack Benedict

Reason: TCR has been closed since December. Many of its archived materials can be accessed at John Loughnan's (Sean O' Lachtnain's) website which is linked to this weblog. Should Stephen return from sabbatical and write and/or blog, we will gladly repost the link to this site as it is among our favourites.

Pillar of Truth Ministries - Mark Bonocore

Reason: I enjoy Mark's stuff but Frank Jerry the webmaster has not updated this url in ages. There is also not many items at the link - something that would mitigate against removing the link in the event of a site not being updated for months on end.

Approved Weblogs

Jeff Miller's "Atheist to a Theist" BLOG

Reason: Jeff shut this weblog down. Nonetheless this link was replaced with one to his new weblog and he links to his old weblog there.

Kathryn Lively's "Come On, Get Lively" BLOG

Reason: I do not read this weblog very often and others I do read with much greater frequency deserved a place on the list.

Other Approved Sites or Links of Interest

The Talmud Expose (aka "Antidote for Certain Bigoted, Self-Anointed 'Talmud Experts'")

Reason: This one was originally added as a means of pimpslapping CAItanic and its Antisemitic "White Tight Coat" wearing president. As similar links were removed previously and the decision was made to confine any and all commentary on a special weblog designed to deal with kooks and cranks of the Integrist fringe, there was no need to retain this link at the main weblog.

Wherefore, as all links above meet with my approval, by the authority vested in me as Sovereign Thane and Lord High Executioner of Rerum Novarum, I declare that the above links receive admission to the weblog receiving motu proprio and remain intact, stable, and valid in perpetuity all things to the contrary notwithstanding.
Anne Wilson astutely notes the advantages of a consumption tax over an income tax

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

Spiritual Instruction on Prayer (Part IV):

It has been a long time since I posted the last part of this series. (Mid November actually was the last installment.) Nonetheless, in light of recent emails and a few circumstances it seems appropriate to resume this series. The last installment of it can be read HERE. To start at the beginning go HERE. As I do with the Bastiat series or any series of posts, they are connected to one another in sequence both backwards and forwards for ease of reading. (At the top of the sections are the links going backwards and at the bottom are the links going forwards.) But enough digression and onto the instruction...

9. Prepare yourself for prayer by peaceful recollection and begin it without agitation or uneasiness. St. Francis de Sales has this to say on the subject: "Some little time before you are going to pray, calm and compose your heart, and be hopeful of doing well; for if you begin without hope and already devoid of relish, you will find it difficult to regain an appetite....The disquiet you experience in prayer, accompanied by great eagerness to discover some object that can fix and satisfy your thoughts, is of itself sufficient to prevent you finding what you seek. When a thing is searched for with too great eagerness, one may have his hands or his eyes almost upon it an hundred times and yet fail to perceive it. This vain and useless anxiety in regard to prayer can result in nothing but weariness of mind, and this in turn produces coldness and apathy in your soul".

10. Be careful not to overburden yourself with too many prayers, either mental or vocal. As soon as you feel uncontrollable weariness or distaste, postpone your prayers, if possible, and seek relief in some pleasant pasttime, or conversation. or in any other innocent diversion. This advice is given by St. Thomas and other learned Fathers of the Church and is of the utmost importance. Follow it conscientiously, for lassitude of mind begets coldness and a kind of spiritual stupor.

11. Never repeat a prayer, even should you have said it with many distractions. You cannot imagine the innumerable difficulties in which you may become entangled by the habit of repeating your prayers. Therefore, I beg of you not to do it. In St. Ignatius' time, there was a certain religious of the Society of Jesus who was a victim of this kind of scruple. The recital of the daily Office always kept him much longer than was necessary because he would repeat again and again for hours at a time any passage that he suspected had not been said with sufficient attention. St. Ignatius tried to correct him by various means, but in vain. At length the thought occurred that one scruple might be cured by another. He therefore commanded the poor Jesuit, under pain of sin and in virtue of religious obedience, to close his breviary every day at the end of a specific time, this being just enough to allow him to read the Office through once and rather quickly. The first day the religious was obliged to stop before he had half finished. This caused him such intense regret that ere long the fear of not being allowed to say the entire Office made hin contact the habit of finishing it within the allotted time.

Begin your prayer with the desire of being very recollected. This is all that is necessary. "A desire has the same value in the sight of God as a good work", says St. Gregory the Great, "when the accomplishment of it does not depend on our will." During these involuntary distractions, God withdraws the sensible feelings of His presence, but His love remains in the depths of our hearts. St. Theresa, in the midst of dryness and distraction, was wont to say: "If I am not praying I am at least doing penance." I should say: you are doing both the one and the other: you do penance by all that you are suffering, you pray by the desire and intention you have to do so.

12. You should never repeat a prayer nor a point in your meditation even if you have had the inferior portion of your soul ideas and feelings at variance with the words pronounced by your lips or with the sentiments you wished to excite in your heart. Nay, do not be induced to do it, even if these ideas and feelings [are] injurous to God. Under such conditions, be very careful not to give way to anxiety and agitation and do not try to make reparation for an imaginary offense. Continue your prayer in peace as if nothing had disturbed it, nor taking the trouble to notice these dogs that come from the devil and that can bark around you while you pray in order to distract you, if may be, but that cannot bite unless you let them.

"This temptation should be treated exactly the same as temptations of the flesh: do not dispute with it at all, rather imitate the children of Israel who made no attempt to break the bones of the paschal lamb but cast them into the fire. You need not answer the enemy, nor even pretend to hear what he says. Let the wretch clamor at the door as much as he wants to, it is not even necessary to call: Who is there? What you tell me is no doubt true, you say, but he annoys me and the uproar he makes prevents those within from hearing one another speak. This makes no difference. Have patience, prostrate yourself before God and remain at His feet. He will understand from your very attitude, although you utter no words, that you are His and that you crave His help. Above all, however, keep yourself well within and do not on any account open the door, either to see who it is, or to drive the inopportune fellow away. Eventually he will tire of shouting and will leave you in peace" (St. Francis de Sales). St. Augustine says that the devil is a formidable giant to those who fear him, but only a miserable dwarf to those who despise him. [Fr. R. P. Quadrupini: excerpts from his spiritual instruction "Light and Peace - Instructions for Devout Souls" pgs. 27-31 (c. 1795)]

To be continued...

Points to Ponder:
(Actually this is more a side splitter than a pondering point)

"[G]oing to war without France is like going deer hunting without an accordion. You just leave a lot of useless noisy baggage behind." [JED BABBIN, a former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense, on MSNBC's 'Hardball' with Chris Matthews (courtesy of the JunkYard Blog)

Monday, February 10, 2003

Courtesy of Gregg the Obscure is this quiz. The result is rather startling actually:

You're a Rusty Nail!!  A smooth, short blend of scotch whiskey and drambuie.  You're seriously cool and you love guitars, cars and the bluuuuuees, man!!
""Which cocktail are you?""

brought to you by Quizilla

The reason??? This was one of my late fathers favourite drinks. (May he rest in peace.)

Which reminds me...if y'all could along with Jeff's mother and Pete's good friend offer up a prayer or three for my father it would be greatly appreciated.
Prayer Request:

I just received an important call from back home in Canada. My friend during childhood is in a coma and not expected to last the night. Out of respect for his family, it is not my place to blog the particulars. However, please keep him in prayer.

Yes Pete, I will remember him in prayer with my evening rosary. Hopefully my readers will do likewise.
Though I mentioned Jeff Miller earlier today, in viewing his new blog, he mentioned the recent passing of his mother.

Eternal rest grant unto her soul O Lord, and may 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

Please remember her in your prayers.
Points to Ponder:

To be a true Catholic a man must have a generous loyalty towards ecclesiastical authority. [Ven. John Henry Cardinal Newman]
Oh, lest I forget the Lidless Eye Inquisition weblog was updated recently. As "Inquisitor Webmaster", I added the "regulatory norms" back on the 8th and The Curmudgeon supplied a very terse response to a certain captain of the SS CAItanic on Fr. Neuhaus as of this morning. But you have to go to the link above to read them...
I am not sure how much my post on the strains of blogging and website maintenance was a factor but I was heartened to see that two who were shutting down their blogs (Amy Welborn and Jeff Miller) are now not going to do so. (And Jeff Culbreath has returned to blogging even if at a reduced pace.)

Of the three who were going to shut down completely, Jeff Miller has now moved his blog to a private server and can now be accessed here:

The Curt Jester

I will change the links at Rerum Novarum when I do the next site update in a few days or so.

I have not heard anything from my friend Stephen Hand yet one way or the other.{1} And Amy Welborn has amended her entry after I sent the post to her and slated a return for "sometime in the fall" which is good. I was surprised that St. Blogs' Big Kahuna emailed this humble weblog host after reading the entry as I am sure she got a few hundred emails or so. Until then, she will be updating her weblog once a week on Mondays as she noted this morning. Irony of ironies that it will almost certainly be added to the next update here but I digress.

Nonetheless if We contributed one smidgen to the decisions of these fine people to return to active duty either in reduced capacity or after sabbatical, then the time spent sketching out that entry - the longest by far that I have ever spent on writing any one entry - then it was worth it :)


{1} PS to Pete Vere: Please forward a copy of the entry to our friend Stephen. I emailed him but the msn address is no longer active and that was the only address I used to use in contacting him.

Sunday, February 09, 2003

Speaking of Ecclesiastics...

We are quick to criticize those who are derelict in their duties and slow to commend those that act as a shepherd is supposed to act. With that in mind, I want to do my part to call to attention Sacramento Bishop William Weigand.

Most Catholics who follow the news are aware that His Excellency told Governor Gray Davis to either renounce his abortion position or stop receiving communion. Apparently Davis not only will not tow the line but he has also claimed that "the bishop shouldn't be guiding people in the faith". Aah the fruits of poor catechesis manifest themselves yet again but I digress.

The reason for this entry is that Bishop Weigand is considering more than an informal statement on the matter. Indeed he is considering a formal prohibition against the Governor receiving Communion. The link below goes into details but here are a few snippets of note:

We're studying that right now," the bishop said. "That time could come. That time could be very near, especially with his statements that say he doesn't have to give one inch. He has manifested publicly a hardness of heart - an in-your-face hardness of heart response."

The bishop said that because of the public controversy he does not expect Davis to attend a Red Mass, a traditional Mass celebrated for members of the legal profession, he is celebrating Feb. 12. But if the governor does attend and approach the bishop for Communion, the bishop said he will give him a blessing and ask him to see him after Mass.

Bishop Weigand said he wants to follow canon law carefully, saying it requires two official admonishments before forbidding Communion. He said he has made attempts in the past to personally counsel Davis in his faith "since he obviously doesn't understand the faith." He said it was important to do this since Davis is a public official publicly espousing Catholicism... For more go here
"On Episcopal Scandals":
(Written by John Pacheco)

John's excellent dissertation on obedience to ecclesiastical authority can be read at the link below. Here is just a small appetizer:

I can sympathize with your frustration at the current state of the Church. These are definitely difficult times for Catholics, but it is precisely during these [tumultuous] times in Church history that our Faith and Hope in the Church must not fail. During any trial, there is as much opportunity for evangelization as there is the threat of public scandal... Click here for more.
Why Those Who Hold Out For Peaceful Solutions With Iraq Are Wrong:
(Musings of your humble servant at Rerum Novarum)

[Explanatory Note: Most of this was written before General Powell's revelations to the UN. I have therefore sought to not include Powell's evidences in this analysis as a way of showing that they are not intrinsically necessary to argue for war with Iraq - ISM 2/06/03]

I was wading my way through perhaps the best series of arguments for not going to war - as posted by Eve Tushnet yesterday last week. However, I spotted a few apparent flaws in the slaw if you will with the following statements by Miss Tushnet. (However, I am throwing this together much as she claims to have thrown her entry together; thus my position here may not be free of glitches either.) Her words will be in darkgreen font, my words in regular font, and any citations from sources in shale font.

Saddam Hussein is an evil dictator who has violated UN decrees. This is absolutely, 100% true, and doesn't tell us anything about whether we should go to war.

I am about to do something I never thought I would do and that is quote liberally from UN sources. First of all, Miss Tushnet agrees that Saddam has violated UN decrees. What she does not point out though - presumably she is not aware of this - is specifically what decrees Saddam has continually flouted. Whether we like it or not, we agreed to go in with the UN on the Gulf War and they were the legislative body that sought to secure a ceasefire. I will quote from one of the longest UN resolutions in recent memory (if ever). However, first I need to set this up properly so here goes.

There are several headings that this thesis falls under. I will start with the section on chemical weapons. The primary resolution governing the ceasefire mentions the following in this regard:

Conscious...of the statements by Iraq threatening to use weapons in violation of its obligations under the Geneva Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or Other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare, signed at Geneva on 17 June 1925, and of its prior use of chemical weapons and affirming that grave consequences would follow any further use by Iraq of such weapons,

Recalling that Iraq has subscribed to the Declaration adopted by all States participating in the Conference of States Parties to the 1925 Geneva Protocol and Other Interested States, held in Paris from 7 to 11 January 1989, establishing the objective of universal elimination of chemical and biological weapons,

Recalling also that Iraq has signed the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction, of 10 April 1972,

It is worth noting that one of the provisions in this Charter specified that Each State Party to this Convention undertakes never in any circumstance to develop, produce, stockpile or otherwise acquire or retain: Microbial or other biological agents, or toxins whatever their origin or method of production, of types and in quantities that have no justification for prophylactic, protective or other peaceful purposes; Weapons, equipment or means of delivery designed to use such agents or toxins for hostile purposes or in armed conflict. Iraq signed this agreement and has for twelve years (or longer) been flagrantly violating it. (They even used chemical weapons on the Kurds in violation of this Charter.) But there is more.

Noting the importance of Iraq ratifying this Convention,

Noting moreover the importance of all States adhering to this Convention and encouraging its forthcoming Review Conference to reinforce the authority, efficiency and universal scope of the convention,

Need I remind the reader that Saddam in using mustard gas in the late 1980s violated the Geneva Protocol which Iraq signed back on Sept. 8, 1931??? That is the first piece of justification for militarily disarming him. If he does not respect his own people, why should we expect him to treat us or anyone else any better - should he develop the capability to launch weapons of mass destruction (WMD)??? Moving on with the resolution.

Recalling the objective of the establishment of a nuclear-weapons-free zone in the region of the Middle East,

Need I remind the readers that Saddam's attempts to develop nuclear capabilities is in continual violation of the aforementioned UN objective.

Conscious of the threat that all weapons of mass destruction pose to peace and security in the area and of the need to work towards the establishment in the Middle East of a zone free of such weapons,

Ditto to my previous comments.

Stressing the importance of an early conclusion by the Conference on Disarmament of its work on a Convention on the Universal Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and of universal adherence thereto,

Aware of the use by Iraq of ballistic missiles in unprovoked attacks and therefore of the need to take specific measures in regard to such missiles located in Iraq,

Concerned by the reports in the hands of Member States that Iraq has attempted to acquire materials for a nuclear-weapons programme contrary to its obligations under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons of 1 July 1968,

Another treaty violated by Iraq. Part of this treaty specified that Each non-nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty undertakes not to receive the transfer from any transferor whatsoever of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or of control over such weapons or explosive devices directly, or indirectly; not to manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices; and not to seek or receive any assistance in the manufacture of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. This is another significant treaty that they violated. Indeed they violated this one as early as the late 1970's when they constructed a nuclear reactor which - thankfully - Israel destroyed in 1981. Since that time, they have resorted to more secretive ways of acquiring materials for nuclear weapons and the treaty above expressly forbids this practice both in what I noted above.

Now this treaty is not set in stone for there is an out clause; however it specifies that Each Party shall in exercising its national sovereignty have the right to withdraw from the Treaty if it decides that extraordinary events, related to the subject matter of this Treaty, have jeopardized the supreme interests of its country. It shall give notice of such withdrawal to all other Parties to the Treaty and to the United Nations Security Council three months in advance. Such notice shall include a statement of the extraordinary events it regards as having jeopardized its supreme interests. Hussein has never sought out of this treaty by the legitimate means allowed; therefore, he is in clear and unmistakable breach of it.

Now let us see, they have (i) violated the Geneva Protocol of 1925 - which they entered into in 1931 and they have gone against the "Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction, of 10 April 1972". (A pretty self-explanatory piece of legislation.) Further still, they have (iii) violated their obligations under the "Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons of 1 July 1968". They would be in violation even if they had never built a nuclear weapon but only had the parts to build one - or sought to acquire these parts thereof.

So we have three breaches of international accords that Iraq signed and thereby is expected to comply with. And this resolution "invited" Iraq to reaffirm their adherence to these previously signed agreements as well as noted the following "decisions" to be made:

8. Decides that Iraq shall unconditionally accept the destruction, removal, or rendering harmless, under international supervision, of:

(a) All chemical and biological weapons and all stocks of agents and all related subsystems and components and all research, development, support and manufacturing facilities;

(b) All ballistic missiles with a range greater than 150 kilometres and related major parts, and repair and production facilities;

This is why Iraq's clear failure to account for stockpiles of chemical weapons is a violation of three previous agreements but also of this resolution. (More on the latter in a while.)

9. Decides, for the implementation of paragraph 8 above, the following:

(a) Iraq shall submit to the Secretary-General, within fifteen days of the adoption of the present resolution, a declaration of the locations, amounts and types of all items specified in paragraph 8 and agree to urgent, on-site inspection as specified below;

(b) The Secretary-General, in consultation with the appropriate Governments and, where appropriate, with the Director-General of the World Health Organization, within forty-five days of the passage of the present resolution, shall develop, and submit to the Council for approval, a plan calling for the completion of the following acts within forty-five days of such approval:

(i) The forming of a Special Commission, which shall carry out immediate on-site inspection of Iraq's biological, chemical and missile capabilities, based on Iraq's declarations and the designation of any additional locations by the Special Commission itself;

(ii) The yielding by Iraq of possession to the Special Commission for destruction, removal or rendering harmless, taking into account the requirements of public safety, of all items specified under paragraph 8 (a) above, including items at the additional locations designated by the Special Commission under paragraph 9 (b) (i) above and the destruction by Iraq, under the supervision of the Special Commission, of all its missile capabilities, including launchers, as specified under paragraph 8 (b) above;

What about those empty missile canisters found last month??? Are they somehow exempt from destruction of ALL their offensive missile capabilities??? I think not for if (i) you have missile canisters then (ii) you can put chemicals or other weapons in them and (iii) you have a weapon of mass destruction. This is why Hans "Inspector Clueso" Blix's B grade for Iraq was in and of itself additional justification for military action: because the resolution does not allow for grading on a curve. It is either completely comply or be in breach: pass or fail in other words.

(iii) The provision by the Special Commission of the assistance and cooperation to the Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency required in paragraphs 12 and 13 below;

Here are paragraphs 12 and 13:

12. Decides that Iraq shall unconditionally agree not to acquire or develop nuclear weapons or nuclear-weapons-usable material or any subsystems or components or any research, development, support or manufacturing facilities related to the above; to submit to the Secretary-General and the Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency within fifteen days of the adoption of the present resolution a declaration of the locations, amounts, and types of all items specified above; to place all of its nuclear-weapons-usable materials under the exclusive control, for custody and removal, of the International Atomic Energy Agency, with the assistance and cooperation of the Special Commission as provided for in the plan of the Secretary-General discussed in paragraph 9 (b) above;

Do not be fooled by the mention of nuclear weapons here. The resolution already covered chemical and biological weapons in paragraphs 8 and 9 above. Thus, even without proof of nuclear capabilities, Iraq is already in breach of three international treaties that they signed.

to accept, in accordance with the arrangements provided for in paragraph 13 below, urgent on-site inspection and the destruction, removal or rendering harmless as appropriate of all items specified above; and to accept the plan discussed in paragraph 13 below for the future ongoing monitoring and verification of its compliance with these undertakings;

It is clear by Blix's B grade that Iraq still has some of the items of the above list. Otherwise they would have an A grade and we would not be talking about going to war. Chalk this up as another area that Iraq has failed in.

13. Requests the Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, through the Secretary-General, with the assistance and cooperation of the Special Commission as provided for in the plan of the Secretary-General in paragraph 9 (b) above, to carry out immediate on-site inspection of Iraq's nuclear capabilities based on Iraq's declarations and the designation of any additional locations by the Special Commission; to develop a plan for submission to the Security Council within forty-five days calling for the destruction, removal, or rendering harmless as appropriate of all items listed in paragraph 12 above; to carry out the plan within forty-five days following approval by the Security Council; and to develop a plan, taking into account the rights and obligations of Iraq under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons of 1 July 1968, for the future ongoing monitoring and verification of Iraq's compliance with paragraph 12 above, including an inventory of all nuclear material in Iraq subject to the Agency's verification and inspections to confirm that Agency safeguards cover all relevant nuclear activities in Iraq, to be submitted to the Security Council for approval within one hundred and twenty days of the passage of the present resolution;

But lest we get ahead of ourselves here, paragraphs ten and eleven were skipped over to try to provide less bureaucratic jumble of the resolutions intentions. Here they are now:

10. Decides that Iraq shall unconditionally undertake not to use, develop, construct or acquire any of the items specified in paragraphs 8 and 9 above and requests the Secretary-General, in consultation with the Special Commission, to develop a plan for the future ongoing monitoring and verification of Iraq's compliance with this paragraph, to be submitted to the Security Council for approval within one hundred and twenty days of the passage of this resolution;

11. Invites Iraq to reaffirm unconditionally its obligations under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons of 1 July 1968;

All of this bureaucratic blather is summed up in paragraph 14 which reads as follows:

14. Takes note that the actions to be taken by Iraq in paragraphs 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 of the present resolution represent steps towards the goal of establishing in the Middle East a zone free from weapons of mass destruction and all missiles for their delivery and the objective of a global ban on chemical weapons;

And what does the cease-fire depend on to remain in force??? The resolution itself specifies in one of its last paragraphs:

33. Declares that, upon official notification by Iraq to the Secretary-General and to the Security Council of its acceptance of the provisions above, a formal cease-fire is effective between Iraq and Kuwait and the Member States cooperating with Kuwait in accordance with resolution 678 (1990);

Let us now look at what resolution 678 said about this matter:

Mindful of its duties and responsibilities under the Charter of the United Nations for the maintenance and preservation of internationalnd peace and security,

Determined to secure full compliance with its decisions,

Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter,

1. Demands that Iraq comply fully with resolution 660 (1990) and all subsequent relevant resolutions, and decides, while maintaining all its decisions, to allow Iraq one final opportunity, as a pause of goodwil, to do so;

2. Authorizes Member States co-operating with the Government of Kuwait, unless Iraq on or before 15 January 1991 fully implements, as set forth in paragraph 1 above, the foregoing resolutions, to use all necessary means to uphold and implement resolution 660 (1990) and all subsequent relevant resolutions and to restore international peace and security in the area;

3. Requests all States to provide appropriate support for the actions undertaken in pursuance of paragraph 2 of the present resolution;

This is the the resolution that the UN gave that authorized the Gulf War start after January 15, 1991. So if resolution 687 stated that (i) a "ceasefire" would be declared contingent upon Iraq's compliance with the proscriptions of that resolution and if (ii) that ceasefire was to be interpreted in light of the previous resolution 678 and if (iii) resolution 678 declared the intention to use "all necessary means" to implement its resolutions and that resolution itself was a "last resort" then (iv) violation of the above proscriptions of resolution 687 would annul the ceasefire and call the member states to support action against Iraq.

Those who wonder why I have so heavily dealt with resolution 687 will note how prominantly it factors into resolution 1441 - Iraq's "last chance" to comply:

Resolution 1441

The fact is, Iraq has been and remains to this day guilty of three distinct breaches of resolution 687 - the resolution that established the provisions required for the ceasefire. The resolution itself even states that in its resolution 687 (1991) the Council declared that a ceasefire would be based on acceptance by Iraq of the provisions of that resolution, including the obligations on Iraq contained therein, So if the ceasefire is based on criteria that Iraq has continually failed to meet, then the ceasefire is effectively over. When a ceasefire is over, war resumes. That is how wars operate for better or for worse. And considering how atrocious the UN's trackrecord has been in recent years they need to make good on their endless barrage of resolutions here. If they fiddle with Hussein, they have forfeited any hope of being viable in the future. If they force Bush to commit US troops without their approval, they are exposed as a toothless tiger that lacks the backbone to enforce their own resolutions.

[P]ressing danger from a common enemy (that's us) is more likely to drive the otherwise quite distinct Saddam and Al Qaeda breeds of hideousness into alliance.

Eve, this is slippery slope argumentation. This is akin to saying "if we go to war against Hitler, the Americans of German descent might ally with the Fatherland against us". If your approach was taken in the 1930's and 1940's, we would either be speaking German today or be lampshades. Besides, we do not know if those fellas are not already in an alliance.

I think it's a given that Saddam would have to be crazy to actually nuke us or Israel. Forget about turning the desert to glass--we'd turn him to glass. He'd be a shadow burnt onto a palace wall.

But (to turn your previous argument against you) would that not get Al Queda to come after us??? What further proof would they need that we are The Great Satan than if we nuked Iraq??? And it even would not matter if Hussein nuked someone first, he would be doing "Allah's work" and we would be tools of the devil in their view. In short, it would be a lose-lose situation for us.

This is why a lot of the pro-war arguments rest on the belief that Saddam Hussein is deranged and/or he is seeking a glorious death.

My arguments are that he is in material breach, has been for over twelve years (of UN resolutions: if we count international accords then we could go back to at least 1979 if not earlier), and we cannot continue to make a mockery of the notion of "keeping the peace" if all we issue to this guy is papers saying "this is your last warning". At some point that statement has to be treated like it means what it says. Besides, do you honestly think Hussein has not worked out contingency plans for these kinds of events??? The man was/is a student of Joseph Stalin.

Now you may want to claim that we are to some extent responsible for what has transpired with Hussein. I would of course not dispute this notion at all. If you recall, it was out of fear that another fellow would come up in the Bath party to replace Hussein who was even worse than him which is one reason that they did not try to finish Hussein in 1991. So we have gotten to where we are with him under the same premises as you are now seeking to justify not going to war. So now we have (i) left Hussein in power out of fear in 1991 (ii) watched him make a fool out of us and the international community - including three flagrant violations of international weapons accords that Iraq signed. (Two for chemical weapons and one for nuclear weapons.) And now he has gotten to where he is because of our fear of what the rest of the Middle East would do if we finished the job and (iii) he is from all appearances manufacturing chemical weapons and intends to manufacture a nuclear device. Now you want to hold out further out of fear.

I am sorry Eve, but this is how we got to where we are now with him. I shudder to think of what he would have to do before you would view war with Iraq as the necessary evil it is at this time. I am afraid that too many people opposed to war are treating Hussein's chemical and nuclear weapon development aspirations as some sort of "price to pay" to keep the peace. Need I remind my readers of how Europe treated Hitler's annexation of Austria in 1938??? Please pardon those of us who do not want to give into this modern day anschluss and believe that we have gotten to the point where this fellow needs to be dealt with without any further delays.


{1} For those unfamiliar with various blogging terms, Miss Tushnet is using a term that denotes someone on the extreme edge of whatever their viewpoint happens to be. Such people are at times referred to as "barking moonbats". Someone once said that "the definition of a 'barking moonbat' is someone who sacrifices sanity for the sake of consistency". Whatever one wants to say about Hussein he is not a moonbat though Kim Jong II of North Korea may well be. But that is another story altogether.
"Reform of the Tridentine Missal II"

This is to build upon my comments on suggested reforms of the Tridentine Missal which I listed at Envoy in December and which I blogged HERE. I would recommend reading that short entry before reading this one because I intend to build upon that one a bit here with an alternative to my original calendar proposal.

The common calendar - with moving all feasts that were initially moved unnecessarily back to their original days of celebration - is one way to provide a stronger foothold for the TM in the current liturgical climate than the using of separate calendars. It is true that a universal calendar was a seventeenth century novelty but I believe it is of assistance in bridging the gap on this issue.

Not only would this make it possible to celebrate masses for those who were canonized since 1962 (as canonization to some degree mandates veneration by the universal church) but this idea would make the TM functionally less of an "accommodation" and more of an integrated rite in the universal church. (The notion that the Tridentine worshippers are "stuck in 1962" would thus be refuted as a viable criticism.) However, there is also the reality that the typical Latin edition of the Third Roman Missal was recently approved by the pope so perhaps my idea above is for fifty years down the road. In the interim, there is another idea that would achieve virtually the same thing and could serve as a "bridge" between what we have now and what I noted in the other entry as a good idea to do.

The other option would be to celebrate separate feast days as done now but simply adding feasts to the 1962 calendar to update it and dropping certain feasts that were suppressed in 1969 from the TM calendar of feasts. The TM Missal already has certain formularies for feasts depending on the type of saint. (To name a few examples there would be "feast for a martyr not a bishop", "feast for a bishop", "feast for one or more Supreme Pontiffs", "feast for a confessor not a martyr", "feast for a widow", etc.). Thus the template feast that is applicable - including the epistle and gospel readings from the TM Missal - could be duplicated for the new feasts added. All that would be needed would be (i) a date for the feast (ii) an OT reading (iii) a written "Prayer" preceding the OT reading and a "Post Communion" prayer where the servant being venerated is mentioned by name. Other then that there would of course be a mention of the servant's name in the Canon but the Canon already accommodates in that area.

The placement of the feast would be either on or as close as possible to the celebration in the Pauline calendar. (If the feast falls on a day where there is already a saint celebrated whose feast was not suppressed by the 1969 reforms, the date would be the closest non-feast day to the celebration in the current calendar.)

Anyway, that is my proposed alternative to my original idea for uniforming the calendars. Hopefully in about fifty years time they can do my original idea - which would ironically mean retaining whatever fixed feast days are established in the TM calendar and moving all feast days unnecessarily moved previously back to their traditional days. (For example, St. Pius X would be moved from August 21st back to September 3rd, Pope Gregory the Great would be moved from September 3rd back to March 12th (which is currently open). And August 21st would be freed up to be used for another feast day, etc. It might sound confusing but a lot of feast days were unnecessarily moved and this mistake should be rectified when it is feasible to do so - say fifty years from when the Third Edition of the Roman Missal begins celebration in its (hopefully noticeably improved) vernacular text.