Saturday, April 30, 2005

Pia de Solenni makes sense

she even helps the Washington Post make sense

I remember seeing her as a guest on Scarborough Country. She held her own with Pat Buchanan (a sympathetic ally) and Bernard Lewis (an atagonist). She speaks eloquently and truthfully about the Faith's true teaching on women.

More of her, please. We need less stereotypical drivel about oppressed women under medeval papists and more insightful truth about the importance of women and men together.

Global Catholic News - The Risks of Relativism

Pope Benedict XVI insight on The Risks of Relativism

Perhaps it is an irony you noticed as well: The more committed one appears to become to relativism, the more that person becomes an absolutist about. The "truth is what you make of it" crowd that finds expression in the Media on both sides of the Atlantic have an attitude towards the "ultraconservative", "God's Rotweiller", "reactionary", "Enforcer", "Panzer Pope" Benedict XVI that can only be described as anathemaic. Weren't anethemas uttered at the council of Trent by that absolutist institution known as the Roman Catholic Church? Gasp!

Who says the Holy Spirit is without a sense of humor.

Indeed, the power of the reasonable to so quickly contradict themselves through the labyrinth of their complex oversimplifications has not failed to be a source of hilarious entertainment. When the bodies aren't adding up, that is.

Unfortunately, they do. Millions of innocents die, many in the womb, others in third world villages trapped in failed, corrupt socialist states. Genocide has once again made the world lie about "never again", this time in the dafur region. Again. the innocent die. Millions more suffer needlessly as a crass culture collides with a growing global market economy that respects only what the consumer will pay. Whether or not a culture is ready for it or not.

The relativists, particularly in the developed West, argue the superiority of their philosophical and moral worldview while the less fortunate around them and beyond them plead for action. The only action they seem to agree upon is worship of a State that will subsize all their needs, if only the US would capitulate all its wealth and Christians surrender their abhorrant and distatesful insistence on some absolute Truth out there. They pontificate literally on the backs of the miserable.

No wonder they are so absolutist about absolutists. They might have to take responsibility for a truth they haven't constructed. As in the Truth that they've stubornly set out not to see.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Suprise! the Pope is Catholic, redux

Benedict XVI, as Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, believes in Just War Doctrine, God and Church

Perhaps those Roman Catholics that most celebrate him may be the ones in time that feel most disappointed by him. Some of them see in him a man that will finally "shake up" the Church. They seize upon excerpts from his interviews like "creative minority" and "smaller Chruch" and assume that showing dissidents the door is on the agenda.

I don't believe that is the man Benedict XVI is. More importantly, I don't think that's the man Jesus Christ wants him to be. If He did, Benedict XVI would not be Pope.

I know it sounds suspiciously like circular reasoning. Bare with me.

Benedict XVI introduced himself to the world as a "humble servant in the vineyard of the Lord." He takes seriously his responsibility as the Pastor of the Universal Church. That means he looks to the care of all God's children. Caring, if it means anything at all, means staying with. Consider this excerpt from the interview:

Q: Your book ["God and the World"] came out in Italy two days after the terrorist attacks in the USA. If it had come out a little bit later, what would you have added in hindsight?

Cardinal Ratzinger: I would probably say that abusing the name of God would have been the problem, because these attacks were carried out in the name of God. Religion here is being abused for other ends; it has been politicized and made a factor of power.

On the other hand, perhaps I would have spoken more about the need to know God's human face. If we see Christ's face, our Lord who suffers for us and showed how much he loved us in dying for us, we have a vision of God that excludes all forms of violence.

And so it is Christ's face that seems to me to be the perfect answer to the abuse of a God who is turned into an instrument of our power.

His answer to those that would turn the abuse of God into an instrument of power is to demonstrate the face of Christ. This is a mystic's response. This is the response of a shepard. This is the response of a man whose heart is so filled with the love of the Lord that he must Love every man and woman in his path. This is not the shepard who drives off the spotted sheep, or the bleting sheep, or the sheep too interested in snuggling with the others to determine the shepards first hundred days. This is the shepard who will leave the ninety-nine and go after the lost. The dissidents may leave him; he will not leave them.

Need more convincing?

Consider this:

Q: An expression that is sadly used today is "God yes, Church no." In this book you respond to that with a note of concern. Can you clarify this?

Cardinal Ratzinger: Yes, because by saying "God yes, or perhaps even Christ yes, Church no," I create a God, based on what I want him to be, based on my own ideas and desires.

The true God, the real judge of my being and the true light of my life, lives in me. God is not changeable according to my ideas or desires. If I can change this God according to my needs and wishes, it means I don't take him seriously -- and I find this artificial.

Q: You speak in the book also about a tendency to agree with the expression "God no, religion yes."

Cardinal Ratzinger: This is another aspect of the problem today: We look for something religious, something religious that gives us a certain degree of satisfaction. Humanity wants to understand the infinite, to have the answers about that other dimension, that "other side" that exudes the sweetness and hope that material things cannot give.

I really think this is a big trend today: separating yourself from the need of faith, from a concrete "yes" to God that is full of meaning.

People are looking more for immediate satisfaction without the need to truly commit themselves. While it can be very nice to enter into this mystical dimension -- without any commitment -- you end up merely satisfying immediate wants and you are imprisoned in your sense of self.

These are not the words of a Judge about to deliver a sentence of exile. This is the diagnosis of a doctor, a master surgeon, as Monsignor Lorenzo Albacete descibed him. He understands what the poison of relativism has done to humanity. He sees how it has affect Christians, even Roman Catholics--perhaps especially us. He makes it clear that he knows what the disease is. If this drives the sick away because they are in denial, that is their choice. It is not his intention.

Keep in mind. These were his words as cardinal and prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith when Zenit interviewed him a few days after 9/11.

Consider his homily during his installation mass. How about his words to the cardinals?

The good news about all this" It is as it should be.

Who doesn't get frustrated at inane liturgies? Who isn't tired of the likes of Curran and Kung and Fox and all the other ninnies that won't stop naying long enough to learn some authentic theology? Who hasn't nearly stained their shoes after another groaner homily that either ignored or stomped on the Faith? That frustration is real.

It is not a reason to relish showing others the door.

Are there not those relatives that you can't stand to visit? Are you looking forward to kicking them out of your family?

Like it or not, the Foolable are part of our family. Christs' first apostles included Peter ("I do not know the man!") and Judas (6 pieces of silver and Satan). Not to mention doubting Thomas. He threw none of them out of His fellowship. Judas was the only one that left and never returned.

The great disappointment of John Paul the Greats magnificient papacy was to not see the day when Christianity would breathe with two lungs again. Are we who revere him to now praise the possibility of new schism within Christ's body on earth? Are we to hope for, and perhaps even demand, that our new Holy Father initiate such harm?

If we do, how long until we are the dissenting ones that are asked to leave?

Wednesday, April 27, 2005


breathtakingly brilliant!

Hat tip and a bow to Jimmy Akin for pointing the way. And can I add with just a note of pride that we blogged the same Dale Price fisk?

update: Apparently I owe that bow to Jimmy's new blogging partner Michelle Arnold.

Hold on to your seat and Laugh!Laugh!Laugh!

Looking for a good Fisk?

Dale Price is your guy. Watch with breath-taking delight as he slices and dices the tired old pendactic blathering of a don't-get-it spent theorevolutionary. It's a marvel to see.

This is an example of the need to exaggerate the situation in order to see it as it is. Otherwise we'd be too dense due to all of the reasonable people that continue to make Curran and his ilk seem like sensible fellows.

For a slightly more balanced response to Pope Benedict XVI, try The New York Times. No, you're not misreading that. Yes, it's late, but not that late. For some peculiar reason, the NYT actually sounds a touch foolish. Of course, they make the usual reasonable mistakes like saying the Chuch used to condemn pleasure in sex, but considering their usual record, this is amazing. It almost reads like...well, journalism. Hat tip to Kathy Shaidel and Get Religion on this one, too.

If your ready for more laughs after this sobering back story, then Secret Agent Man is so your guy. Can he get Russerts attitude down any better? Too bad Amy beat me to this!

May looms, he comes forth...

I admit it. I was a big Star Wars fan. Not being the guy that wears the cheese, paints the face or travels after Jerry in an RV, I did not become one of those Lucus disciples. I was a Star Wars version of a trekkie. However, I caught the magic of the original trilogy in my youth. It may have been the first film I saw as a kid.

Like many other 1st generation Star Wars fans, the new trilogy has disappointed me so far. Part of it is the realization that I may have liked the original three because I was a kid. Part of it is a certain burnout with Lucus', ahem, tin ear. (I wonder if he picks up satellite radio with that thing.) The last part is best explained here:

Boundless-Love, Sacrifice and Free Will in Star Wars

In terms of a mythology that somehow touches on something resembling a transcendent, yes, I think he's on to something. He also diagnosis the problem Americans have in this post-modern fashion of culture. Lucus' popular reinvention of the Wheel of Life shatters what Thomas Cahill ( loathe as I am to commend him for it) identifies as The Gift of the Jews. That would be the capacity of civilization to reckon life in linear time, allowing for acceptance of personal responsibility, and the power to people to influence their destiny. Without this gift, a response to God's gift of Grace is as absurd as drowning in the saharah.

At some level, enough people understand this. That's why we know that Lucus' moral universe fails to match our own. Love as the path to the anti-christ? Puh-lease! The de-nutered, new-ageified pop psychologically recyled eastern mythology peddled in the Star Wars Trilogy offers me nothing. I say this as one who, in less of a loving relationship with the Lord then I strive to enjoy now, flirted with taoist philosophy and zen buddhist meditation. G.K. Cherston has it right when he says there's nothing like living a fantastic mythology that happens to be true.

Still, Roberto Rivera y Carlo is right about the human hunger for story. John Paul the Great understood that. The heart of his theological understanding of our place in relation to God was that of incredible drama, the struggle between who we are and who we ought to be. Its no accident that the first of the gospals to be preached was the story of Christs passion, death and ressurection. Story has been a blessed tool the Lord has used to communicate his presence to us since time immemorial.

I hope to see the new evangelization fostered by JPG and carried forth by BXVI inspire many of us to revitalize our own story of Faith. Let's bring it to ones crying out about Catholicism's irrelevance. Let's bring it to the ones yearning for the truth story brings that await Lucus' final installment.

Wouldn't it be something if the Greatest Story Ever Told outsells him?

Hat tip to Eve Tushnet and Get Religion

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Intrinsic Evil vs. prudential judgement

This is an old confusion. Many scarcely literate Catholics suffer from it. Some of those that understand the difference obfuscate it to support their political agenda (I'm thinking of all those Catholic supporters of John Kerry in 04 that seemed to advocate some secularized interpretation of the flawed "Seamless garment" theory. Some how prolife to them meant keeping medicaid benefits up with inflation, not protecting all persons from womb to tomb.)

Some of this confusion occurered over at Amy's, on a reflection of a Mirror of Justice Post concerning Conscience and Governor Jeb Bush

Other said it there fairly well, but lets review, shall we.

Intrinsic evil means an act in and of itself is evil. There is no proportional circumstance under which such an act may be good. Such intrinsically evil acts drive a nail into our Crucified Lord during his passion, and all such grieve him today. Intentional murder is one of these acts. Abortion is the intentional murder of an unborn child. Thus, abortion is always wrong.

Other acts are not intrinsically evil. That means there are certain circumstances when an act may occur and it would not be evil. Here, a person must consider whether the object of such an act is good, whether his intention in commiting such an act toward a good objective is good, and finally whether the consequences of such an act do not result in greater evil than good. (If anyone can re-catechize me on this point, I'm all ears. Provide citations from CCC and Papal Enclyclicals, however.)

Thus, we come to capital punishment. According to the catechism:

2267 Assuming that the guilty party's identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.

If, however, non-lethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people's safety from the aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means, as these are more in keeping with the concrete conditions of the common good and more in conformity to the dignity of the human person.

2267Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm - without definitely taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself - the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity "are very rare, if not practically nonexistent."68

Capital punishment may be moral if it is used by the state to distribute justice to the guilty in order to protect society, since no other way exists to secure justice and protect society. If Capital punishment is used in any other way, such as part of a re-election campaign or to feed our desire for vengeance, then it would be immoral in that use of it.

Contrast this with abortion:

2270 Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person - among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.72

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.73

My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately wrought in the depths of the earth.74

2271 Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law:

You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish.75

God, the Lord of life, has entrusted to men the noble mission of safeguarding life, and men must carry it out in a manner worthy of themselves. Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes.76

2272 Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. "A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae,"77 "by the very commission of the offense,"78 and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law.79 The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society.

Abortion is never permited. Ever. There is no circumstance in which it can be performed as a moral act.

In summary then:

Abortion=intrinsic evil
capital punishment=prudential decision

Any questions.

Oh, in case you're wondering, I hold to the Faith on the matter of Capital punishment. If someone is to be executed for his crime, show me that there is no other way to meet justice and protect society simultaneously. Make sure its indisputable. Otherwise, lock him up for life without parole, if his crime is that heinous.


A husband that is the light to his disabled wife, the opposite of Michael Schiavo

Hat tip to Kathy Shaidel

If my mother had listened to the reasonable medical professionals of her time, I would have grown up in an institution. My brother, who has a mental handicapping condition (laymen's term: he's retarted), would have been picking used bananas out of their peels down on the Bowery, since these same professionals said he was just fine.

If anyone needs to see the witness of a Fool, look to this husband. May God in his infinite mercy grant healing and peace to Tova Tikva Machla bas Chaya Bina. Amen

Monday, April 25, 2005

Someone and Nothing

Nothing is wrong with the world today. Nothing is the void of our own alienation. It’s the absence that will not admit the One from whom we have alienated ourselves. It crushes our culture with the mirage that anything of our own making will quench our existential thirst. Then it sings as we collapse in a pool of our own tears. Nothing is anonymous iniquitas, evil unnamed.

Theologian George Weigel made this prophetic observation in his biography of Pope John Paul II, Witness to Hope: evil has its agents, and they are legion. A little over a century ago until perhaps the 1960s, many of these agents were known as Nihilists. Existentialist philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche made their case: God was dead, for we had killed him. We then knelt upon the shards of our shattered existence, and we trembled as we reassembled them into an order of our own uncertain making.

The nihilist has become something of a cliché. That’s a shame, for their philosophy lives on like an undiscovered tumor in the consciousness of humanity. At least Nietzsche’s shocking and maniacal worldview was self-apparent. Today’s anonymous Nihilism refuses such honesty. It masquerades as the privatization of morality and the relativity of situational ethics. It hides itself within the ubiquitous emotive reasoning that passes for prudence. Today’s celebration of Nothing is the corpse of Nero’s bread and circuses, embalmed with contemporary comforts such as Welfare State aspirations and American Idol. The 2005 Easter season has witnessed how destructive this contemporary nihilism can be when practiced by our elites.

Two events in particular reveal how some of our elites have lived out their new devotion. Terry Schiavo died of starvation and dehydration imposed upon her by judicial fiat. The ACLU, the NY Times and LA Times applauded this administration of “justice”. The word of Ms. Schiavo’s compromised husband about her desires was enough for them. However, when Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger ascends the throne of Peter as Benedict XVI, Maureen Dowd, Andrew Sullivan and other progressives condemn the decision. They call the new leader of 1 billion Roman Catholics an “arch-conservative” and “Nazi” that “brutally suppresses” those with whom he disagrees.

The common denominator in these elites’ reaction to Terry Schiavo and Benedict XVI is their worship of Nothing. Since there is nothing, only humanity exists as the sole criterion of meaning. Therefore, anything humanity determines must be valid and good. Human society’s colossal apparatchik, the State, may make these decisions. Thus, the law may be deployed as the executioner’s axe against the most defenseless because the State finds their lives are wanting. When Benedict XVI has the unmitigated gall to proclaim Some One and then oppose the State’s judgments, then he must be reviled. How dare he challenge the orthodoxy of Nothing? How dare he stand in arrogant judgment and declare those things wrong that society deems right? What Hubris! What intolerance! What exclusiveness!

The irony of these elites’ attitude toward the new Holy Father’s “exclusiveness” is that they protest the path to what’s right in the world. Benedict XVI presents everyone with an opportunity to encounter the Right. Everyone may take it or not. Those who don’t take it find the Pope exclusive because they’ve excluded themselves.

The truth is that there’s only one answer for what’s wrong with the world. That is to acknowledge and live in what’s Right with the world, who is Some One. His brilliant yet invisible presence embraces us with the arms of the joyous ones that have embraced him. He unites Himself with us in the Eucharist, in a union so intense that any shadow of isolation evaporates like dew in the light of day. He whispers to us, through the compassion of His disciples, about the greatness we can achieve in him. He offers us through the doctrines of our Catholic faith the truth about ourselves. We matter. We’re important because we are. He fulfills every longing we have and could ever imagine having. He waits for us to return his abundant love and become whole again.

His Presence annihilates the absence of Nothing. Still, the world struggles in labor pains. The temptation to believe in Nothing threatens to overwhelm us when we experience these pains. I experienced such temptation one day.

It was not an extraordinarily bad day, just one that got away from me. All of the worthy aspirations I had wanted to accomplish went unfulfilled. Feeling frustrated, I stood on my deck and looked across my yard. The late afternoon breeze danced with our wind chime as I opened my heart in prayer to the Lord. Even in this moment, however, my frustration and anger overcame me. I heard a voice that disappointingly sounded like my own ask, “what if there really is nothing?”

This temptation strikes on even such an ordinary day. Imagine how seductive its song was when I picked up my office mail after another day teaching at the suburban High School of my dreams, and found a pink note from my Principal. The same week in which my uncle died I sat in a conference room with her and watched my career come to an end. Imagine how enticing Nothing is to those who suffer even more.

That’s why it’s so important for others to know the solution. We must live our witness to His presence. Even those willing agents of Nothing are our fallen brothers and sisters. They need our example, not our sentence. Jesus Christ is the solution to what is wrong with the world. We must bring Him to all those who have Nothing. Only then can there truly be nothing wrong with the world.

Audio Post: a talking-point truth

I. Shawn McElhinney at Rerum Novarum makes an interesting point

He draws a parallel to the opposition to John Bolton's nomination as US ambassador to the UN and liberal Catholics "opposition" and concern over the elevation of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger to Pope Benedict XVI. According to Mr. McElhinney, John Bolton demonstrates an unorthodox interpretation of the nature of the UN, and therefor is found wanting by progressives. Apparently, only WONDERFUL things are to be thought of in regards to the UN.

Mr. McElhinney then goes on to note that the liberal Catholics that may be among Mr. Bolton's opponents claim the right to dissent from the orthodox doctrine promulgated by Cardinal Ratzinger and, presumebly, by Pope Benedict. Apparently, in regards to Catholic morality, theses enlightened souls are entitled to dissent from teachings in which they believe well-reasoning people may disagree.

He then draws the knife and carves up these progressives' position with the expertese of the master butcher that liberates tender meat from a veal vertebrae. Accepting the progressive premise as true--the enlightened may dissent from orthodoxy--he asks, in so many words, why Mr. Bolton's nomination--as a dissent from orthodoxy--should not be celebrated as an act of diversity. Brilliant.

Listen to the whole post.

Of course, he illustrates the "hypocracy" of the progressive position quite effectively. How they hate that word. Such a negative connotation. Poor taste, definately. It could actually call into question their reasonableness. Most regrettable.

Thank God. For the reasonable have reasonably concluded how unreasonable the existance of some supernatural being can be. Therefore, humanity must be the only appropriate center of dignity and power in the world. Naturally, then, anything that promotes the hapiness of humanity must be good. This means condoms and abortions must abound. They make others happy, after all

Except for those salicious holy Fools. Too bad for them, really. Maybe they'll just grow up and realize how reasonable they need to become.

Unfortunately, some catholic "progressives" seem to want to be thought of as reasonable while being regarded as Fools. To such tearing down the middle, they plead with the Fools, "look, can't we just be reasonable about this?"

This, being, whatever bone of contention the Reasonable place between them and utter and blissful acceptance.

Of course, Fools could be reasonable about such things. Then, they'd become reasonable. And no longer be fools.

They'd also no longer be living in the Truth. Funny, how Fools want to live honestly like that. Maybe that's why they won't be reasonable about this.

Maybe the "progressives" could try that sometime. Then they could stop being so foolable.

(hat tip to Amy Welborn and Teofilo)

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Abandon all Hope, all Ye who enter here!

Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog. May God have mercy on us all!

What Tyranny of Relativism?

Russle Shaw on Pope Benedict XVI's coming struggle

Shimmering mirage
Lies told as truth time and time
A lost world awaits

Friday, April 22, 2005

John Allen: Not a transitional pope: Benedict may surprise

This is most definitely not a “transitional” papacy. To put it bluntly, there isn’t a transitional bone in Joseph Ratzinger’s body.

More money quotes here:

"Benedict XVI is thus seen as a man tough enough to make hard political choices, but profound enough to grasp the deeper theological currents that run underneath the political terrain.

Pope Benedict XVI is a man with a keen vision of the realities facing the Catholic church, especially in the West, along with the courage to proclaim remedies that fly in the face of much conventional wisdom and political correctness. A hero to some and villain to others, the man who will lead the 265th papacy in the history of the Catholic church is likely to surprise and outrage, inspire and provoke sectors of opinion both within the Catholic church and in the wider world."

read the whole thing.

hat tip to Amy Welborn


From Diogenes over at Off the Record on Catholic World News Service. I couldn't get the link, so I copied the whole thing. Here it is:

If the NYT had covered the Main Event


by Ian Pecheur

CAESAREA PHILIPPI (20 Kislev) Yesterday's surprise announcement that doctrinal hardliner Jesus of Nazareth had been anointed "Messiah" provoked mixed reactions in the diverse and sometimes fractious Israelite community, ranging from cautious disappointment to frank despair.

"I see it as a missed opportunity," said Herodias Schneidkopf, a Galilaean incest rights activist. "May of us were hoping for someone more open to leadership roles for women and more appreciative of our experience. I don't feel valued."

Respected Archpriest Caiaphas Bar Nun agreed. "Above all, the Messiah should be a good listener. How can we as a faith community keep credibility among the youth of today if we cling to every jot and tittle of an outmoded social code while thousands die of leprosy and hunger? Today's highly educated Judahite community isn't satisfied with the old answers. This was a missed opportunity."

Even some members of the Messiah's personal entourage expressed misgivings. The Rev. J. E. "Dimples" Iscariot, S.J., media consultant and associate editor of Marble Thighs magazine, did not hide his regret. "A missed opportunity, I'm afraid. We in the Society of Judas traditionally enjoy a special relationship to the Messiah, but we'll find this choice very hard to explain to gays and lesbians -- I mean, of course, to gomorrhaists and sodomitesses -- as well as to the divorced and the marginalized. Why just the other day I saw 300 denarii, which might have been used to help find a cure for leprosy, squandered on wholly unnecessary ritual excesses."

Fighting the spread of leprosy is a vexed issue among contemporary Israelites, many of whom support tetrarchy-funded prevention programs that encourage nuptial relations with livestock so as to reduce the risks of transmitting the disease to an uninfected partner. Most polls show Israelites widely ignore official teachings on ethical matters, preferring to follow their own conscience. Some see Jesus' moral conservatism as a rigidity that leads to disfigurement and death in at-risk populations -- and that may ultimately doom his movement to irrelevance.

"Yesterday's unction-function was an opportunity missed," insisted real estate broker Sapphira Glass, "Today's young professionals don't find their own experience reflected in a one-size-fits-all morality that limits options and encodes patriarchal bias. I mean, sacrificing one's newborns to Moloch is a tragic but often necessary choice, and many of us find the language of apostasy alienating and judgmental."

need some quote from supporter

"It all comes down to power," countered maverick theologian Fr. Richard Maccabeus, retired Professor of Applied Autolatry, who pointed out that the successful candidate had almost no pastoral experience. "What we're seeing is a right-wing restorationist fantasy in its death throes. Intelligent Israelites aren't buying. We want to be heard. We want someone who speaks not with authority but like us academics -- I mean of course, like the scribes and the pharisees. One can only call it a missed opportunity."

The Procurator of Judea was unavailable for comment.

Liberal Catholics Lose it!

The Reasonable rage against the dying of the light!

Tom at Disputations notes an emotional release by jcecil3, a liberal catholic blogger whom he has read. It's quite a ride.

It deserves a true fisk. jcecil's will be in red, and mine in black.

All day yesterday into my prayer this morning, I am reminding myself that the Holy Spirit is ultimately running the Church.

Yes. Isn't that reassuring? You talk to yourself while in prayer with God. I'm sure that must do wonders for your relationship.

I am reminding myself that whatever I have felt about Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger as Prefect for the Sacred Congregation for the Faith, the man is intelligent and may surprise all of us with some necessary changes I will love.

So he may be a successful Pope, if you love the changes he will make. Well, it's great to know that you've been incorporated into the Trinity already. Does this make us all Quadrinians now? How should we address you?

I never expected women's ordination even if a liberal Cardinal made it to Peter's chair, and there is no particular reason to get upset if Pope Benedict XVI does not make this particular change, since it wasn't going to happen anyway.

Yes, how terribly unreasonable that, right? Just because Jesus is a man, and the ordained offer him in sacrifice in persona Christi, why shouldn't women get a shot. It's not as if our genders actually mean anything.

I am actively struggling to keep reminding myself of similar thoughts - trying to remain optimistic and see the hand of God in the election of our new Pope. This is a moral duty of any faithful Roman Catholic.

Well, practicing the virtue of hope, instead of the attitude of mere optimism, might help fulfill your duty. Of course, that might require Faith, as opposed to deconstructive textual analysis.

But these types of thought are the voice of reason as I try to submit the will to the intellect, the intellect to God and my passions to the will. Yet, I need to express my emotions as they are as part of the process of doing this. I have to get my feelings off my chest.

The election of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger as Pope Benedict XVI while George W. Bush is in the White House feels like the world is collapsing.

Oh, no! The sky is falling! The sky is falling! Mama hen! Mama hen!

It feels as though Adolf Hitler is in the White House in control of the world's sole superpower, and Benito Mussolini is in the Papal Palace in charge of the largest religious institution on earth.

Yawn. The Bush=Hitler trope is so pre-election. Apparently Iraqis, defying the decapitating "liberators" the media calls "insurgents" in order to vote in the first true election in 30 years, suffer the same fate as 6 million Jews railed to Auschwitz and the like. Ratzinger as Mussolini? Sure. The Prefect that praises the American model of religious and political coexistance over European Altar-and-throne schems would elevate the state above all. The Defender of orthodoxy that believed roman catholics could vote for pro-choice candidates to political office--as long as they weren't supporting their abortion views--for proportionate reasons is calling for an Roman Catholic totalitarian theocracy. Ladies, warm your ovaries. Gentlemen, if you like men, get in the closet immediately. Next stop, 760. Can I laugh any harder?

It feels as though a dark cloud has settled over the whole earth as we prepare for the final confrontation between good and evil.

Hear any hoofbeats lately? Maybe the Four Horseman will stop by your place first.

In stating these feelings, I need to make it very clear that I am open to Pope Benedict surprising me and being far more pastoral, sensitive, intelligent, loving, holy and compassionate than I ever dreamed possible.

Because it's not pastoral to make sure the faithful aren't misled by agenda axe-wielders clothed as theologians and Chauncery staff. It's not sensitive to dialogue with dissenting theologians for nearly a decade. It's not intelligent to discern the philosophical malaise that chokes civilization. It's not loving, holy and compassionate to help solidify agreements with Lutherans, promote Jewish-Christian relations and help make sure the Faithful have a deposit to pass on to their children.

I also need to be clear that I cannot point to some specific act or word of his that makes him comparable to Mussolini, and I do not mean in any way to imply that Pope Benedict XVI is literally a Fascist. To the best of my knowledge, he is not a Fascist, and has done nothing to earn a reaction quite this strong.

Well, Good for you. The erstwhile new Person of our Quadrinity acknowledges that the emotion outweighs the fact. Can he tell us why?

Nor can I judge the heart of George W. Bush to say that he has the heart of Adolf Hitler - though in the case of Bush, I do believe that we can point to specific policies and actions of his Administration and point out a direct parallel to a specific action or policy of the Hitler Administration in Nazi Germany.

If we're dealing in facts, now, and not just opinions, then let's have them, please.
Did the President parallel Hitler when he rushed back to Washington, D.C. to sign legislation that authorized the Federal Courts to review Terry Schiavo's case? Outside of my mentally handicapped brother's supported apartment residence is a fountain. It's dedicated to the 200,000--those mentally disabled people that the Nazi's eliminated.

Or is this just the war again? Perhaps letting a civil war rip apart a society that we upended would be just the sort of unhitleresque policy Bush should adopt.

Evidence, please.

While the correlations between the actions Bush and Hitler may be somewhat stronger than any action of Pope Benedict XVI would correlate to Mussolini, there is a question of "tone" - a feeling evoked by style rather than substance.

Oh, here we go again. I can just here that geko warm up the kareoke machine. "feelings, nothing more than feelings..."

This post is not rational. I confess my own irrationality in saying what I am saying. This post is an expression of feeling - feelings that may have nothing to do with reality as it is in the eyes of God.

Dear I see a sign of hope that he glimps reality?

Yet, I feel a strong need to get this feeling off my chest, perhaps as part of the process of opening my heart to accepting Pope Benedict XVI with a more open mind.

Ah, yes. Process. Mustn't forget process. Where would our society be without everlast process? It's become our own theraputic version of the Stations. Only there's a lot more than 14. And often, the priests of this sacramental charge a wee more than Parishes expect.

The most critical question running through my mind over the last day is whether the Cardinals of the Church realized that in electing Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger as Pope, that he would evoke such a reaction in many of us Catholic faithful?

Did the Cardinals intend to piss off millions of lay Catholics, and if so, why?

Of course! It's not like they had to consider the exortion of Jesus to follow him. It's not as though the growing menace of libertarian lifestyling across the West, hostile Islamofacism from the Muslim world, and deep divisions within the body of Christ stood foremost in their minds. No, they just got together so that they could piss jcecil3 and his ilk off. Exactly.

It would not surprise me in the least if the number of pissed off Catholics is in the range of 500,000,000 (literally half the Church).

Can we be any more west-o-centric if we tried? 65 million catholics in the US make up 6% of Catholics throughout the world. If recent ridiculous polls have even some validity, then only half of the US catholics desire the changes Pope Benedict XVI is least likely to implement. That's generously placing the number of pissed off catholics at 32 million. In one country. Compared to 1.2 billion Catholics throughout the world! Even if all of Europe, Canada and Australia agreed with jcecil and were "pissed off", would still count for less than 10% of the world's catholics.

On the other hand, if the number is smaller, I am convinced this is largely because many people are not paying enough attention to the Church to know who Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger is. And I am equally convinced that even if literally half the Church is not angry, the number of angry people is still in the millions.

That's right. If you're not outraged, your not paying attention. The "you stupid/me smart, so hulk smash" defense is so eighties. Really, you need a new routine.

To Pope Benedict, though I doubt very much he will be reading my blog, I still want to say that you have your work cut out for you. Whether you ever intended it or not, your actions as Prefect for the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith have stirred very strong feelings in many of us - perhaps millions of us - perhaps even half the Church. dare you tell us how to be catholic. Who appointed you, God? Oh, really? Well, yeah, I know I said the Holy Spirit ultimately runs the Church, but...well, that's semantics, right? I mean, how could Jesus not simply be about "cawing and shawing"?

Your election to the papacy does not automatically vindicate everything you have ever said or done in our minds. We will not be persuaded to your way of thinking simply because you hold the keys. You must earn our trust by making it clear how your way of thinking and acting is consonant with the founder of the Roman Catholic Church: Jesus Christ.

And don't bother us with Christ's "I am the gate" and all that. Jesus was an inclusive guy, you know. He welcomed everyone. So there. See?

Having got this off my chest, I already feel a little more open to allowing you a chance to earn our trust. Please look to Christ and imitate him!

Well, I'm so glad that jcecil3 feels better and can actually allow the Holy Father the chance to earn his trust! Does this mean that Benedict will actually get to make the pitch to jcecil? Does he have to make an appointment with him or something? Perhaps jcecil would accept an all-expenses trip to Vatican City for a private sit-down or something.

Or perhaps he should reconsider all this "process of feeling", really pray to the Lord in the Spirit, then read: the gospals, the early Church fathers, the catechism, then all of Cardinal Ratzinger's work. Then, he might not have to fear the imminent arrival of the apocolypse. And waste bandwith warning us all that the sky is falling.

Catholic Analysis reflects on "The Importance of the Name 'Benedict'"

Uh...Yeah! What he said!

He confirms my hope in Pope Benedict XVI. A very Foolish hope, this. That's why we can count on it.

Holy Warrior
A crushed heart, thy burning sword
Daylights the darkness.

Evangelizing a hostile homeland

Europe apparently hates religion

"Although there is plenty of religious apathy in Europe, it is far less powerful than the antipathy directed not just at the Catholic Church in Europe but at religion in general. An influential group of intellectuals and politicians heartily despises everything about it.

Some of this was visible Tuesday. Within hours of his election a BBC profile had already speculated that the new pope had honed his rhetorical skills in Nazi Germany (he deserted the Wehrmacht at age 15) while some on the German left were describing his election as a "catastrophe."

The Catholic scholar George Weigel calls this phenomenon "Christophobia" (a phrase he borrowed from the South African-born American legal scholar J.H.H. Weiler, who happens to be Jewish). Weigel began investigating the phenomenon after being struck by the European Union's fierce resistance to any mention of the continent's Christian origins in the draft versions of the new, and still unratified, European constitution."

I've seen first-hand what the worship of secularism has done to Europeans. A Twenty-something college student, on recess from studies and home without a job, gets up at 2 in the afternoon almost everyday. He sees his pregnant aunt enter his house struggling with groceries. When she asks for his help, he responds, "go ask my brother."

This would be his younger brother, the one that works every day, and wasn't home at this time. This is just a small sampling of what secular post-modernism has done to the character of a continent. Now, imagine the international policy implications when participants in this culture bring their agendas to the fore. Consider:

1. France, which strives to rival the US as a geo-political superpower, faces the prospect of being the nation that destroys the institution it has struggled to create: the European Union. The French president has had to delay a key vote on the EU because polls indicate the people will not support it.

2. Sweden's "human rights" legislation threaten imprisonment to faithful christians that witness to their faith against the current of the Politically correct. Ask the Lutheran Minister facing time for condemning homosexuality.

3. Spain's socialist government appears determined to strip western civilization out of the Iberian Peninsula. Gay "marriage" and other moves to reinforce the "I am the Lord, my God" thinking that run rampant throughout the post-modern world.

"In any case, when Benedict XVI finishes his glass of champagne -- or whatever popes drink to celebrate their election -- he'll find his work cut out for him."


Hat tip: Fr. Sibley

"I Beg You, Never Fail to Give Me Your Support!"

From ZENIT News Agency--The World Seen from Rome

Of course, it's just the stuffy mutterings of a rigid doctrinaire old man, a Rotweiler of God, the Reasonable will say. A Fool might say that he honestly appeals to his brother cardinals for support, signalling his view on collegiality. He also makes it clear that He intends to continue the work committed by John Paul the Great.

The wonderful thing about the Reasonable is that they often fail to consider the law of unintended consequences. In the case of Pope Benedict XVI, the more they hound him--in unfair overtones a mere hours into his Papacy--the more they will experience a serious backlash. Personally, I can't wait.

Because then the Fools will have a chance to actually tell the Truth. And the people will actually get to listen.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

The Yawning Repetition

TCS: Tech Central Station - Papal Condom-nation

It's incredible how the reasonable come to their conclusions. Africans catch aids as a result of promiscuity. Africans did not use condemns. Married African men who had extramarital affairs and caught AIDs infected their wives. Many die. They didn't use condoms because the Catholic Church forbids condemns. Therefor, their deaths are on the Pope's hands.

Don't just take my word for it:

"First, Terry Eagleton, known more generally as a near parody of the Marxist deconstructionist:'The greatest crime of his papacy, however, was neither his part in this cover up nor his neanderthal attitude to women. It was the grotesque irony by which the Vatican condemned -- as a "culture of death" -- condoms, which might have saved countless Catholics in the developing world from an agonising Aids death. The Pope goes to his eternal reward with those deaths on his hands.'"

Of course, a Fool like me wonders if, perhaps, these people had followed Catholic Teaching regarding sex, then maybe no one would have caught HIV in the first place. Apparently I believe that people can overcome unhealthy desires and discipline healthy ones. How Foolish of me.

BTW, Mr. Worstall does an excellent job slicing such reasonableness apart.

Some commentaries on the new Holy Father

The good:

Peggy Noonan. Sigh. Yet another irrelevent right-winger that just doesn't know how to get with the times. Doesn't she understand how suppressed she is? And this Pope will do nothing to change that. No, she'll never have the opportunity to exert her power to absolutely reshape Church Doctrine as a priest. She just isn't reasonable.

A Pertinacious Papist. Another wailer. It must be an epidemic. Doesn't he understand that Ratzinger will ruin everything. He's Catholic, for God's sake. The Catholic Church can't have that. How can it possibly survive like that? It's just not reasonable.

Gerald Baker. Oh, when will it end? Another Fool dares to value a conservative. Progressives are always right. Resistance is futile. So Episcopals and other that got on board are slipping off the demographic board. So Europe is on the edge of Population oblivion. You have to break some eggs if you want to make an omlet. Let's be reasonable.

(hat tip to Jimmy Akin for the last one.)

The bad:

Mark Shea. He lists some complainers here:

"Usual Suspects say Usual Stuff. Victor Morton kindly summarizes the posts into Twelve Barbaric Yawps of Rage and Threats:

op 12 Stupid and/or Outright False Statements in This Forum. Not ranked in any order, as they all deserve to be No. 1:

Women -- and not only in the United States -- are very angry at the church. It is no exaggeration to say that many of them, devout Catholics to the core, will tell you they hated John Paul because he hated women.

gay and lesbian Catholics will find it difficult to forgive him for his comment that they are 'objectively' disordered.

The time for nuance is over. Let the unholy war begin.

He thinks that Catholic Christianity is the answer. All religious traditions may embody some truth, but somehow Catholics have got more of it.

But the cardinals quickly settled on a man who would forcefully continue John Paul's approach to governing the church.

Instead, he has pushed the church away from social justice and peace concerns."

Well, at least some people understand the disaster that's happened. Can't have Women Priests, Married Priests, Gay Marriage, and Abortion forgotten about. What Does the Catholic Church think it is--divinely established. Ha! How unreasonable!

The ugly:

At Last! Someone that truly knows how to be reasonable! No Fool, this guy. Hope he learns how to breathe, though. It'd be a pity if we lose the one reasonable man around!

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Amy says it perfectly


Listen to it:

"An authentic understanding of what this inclusive, sinner-filled Body is sees the whole dynamic rooted in love and mercy. I'm part of the Church, but that doesn't mean I'm perfect. It doesn't mean that I labor under the delusion that all of my choices are perfectly consistent with the Gospel. It means that I'm trying to live with the love of Christ in the center of my life, trying to figure out what that means day by day, trying to change, getting closer and closer to the point where I am more wholly defined by Christ rather than continually seeking to define Him."

Then go hear the rest. You read that right. Read it, and pay attention as you read it. Listen to the narrator in your mind as you read it. Such Foolishness must never be missed.

Mark Shea the wise

An excellent round of observations

He and Tom make important observations about our proper reception of Benedict XVI.

Perhaps one of the easiest parables of the Gospels to forget is the one that tells of the Wheat and the Chaffe. Too often we want to second-guess the Master of the field and pull out the weeds before harvest. I have sometimes found myself in this position, especially when those Reasonable Catholics are all over the media and preaching distortion as doctrine.

However, I'm not the one entrusted with loosening and binding sins. I'm not the one empowered to decide who rides this Baroque and who swims. That honor belongs to Peter's successor, and to his brother Bishops in union with him. Do I surely wish some of them would grow some "episcopal spines"? Of course! And I can call for that here and elsewhere. What I can't do is enforce my concept of Spine on any of the Faithful. I can only present my foolishness before the Reasonable and receive the same welcome they gave my Lord and Savior (to whatever extend God allows).

I am delighted that Cardinal Ratzinger has been elevated to the Papacy. I believe he will continue to guide the Church along the path John Paul the Great blazed, a path that we truly need to walk. I'm confident that he will foster the unity and spirit of evangelization that we all need to catch in order to bring Christ to this Reasonable world. Perhaps he may ratchet up some discipline within as part of this phase of our mission. I do not need Pope Wyatt Earp, because this world isn't the OK Corral. I'm happy to Have Benedict XVI instead.

Hat tip to Mark Shea, Amy Welborn, and Mere Comments

Excellent commentary from Mr. Sobrino

Benedict will open the mind of the secular world.

I'm looking forward to reading more of his earlier works. I did not have the maturity in the Faith to carefully follow the works of JPG. I will not make a similar mistake this time.

Ah, technology!

Urbi Et Orbi: Pope Benedict XVI greets Rome and the World

This is the picture I wanted to upload yesterday. Courtesy of Fox News. Still getting the hang of this Hello program from Picasso.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Habemus papam!

Urbi Et Orbi: Pope Benedict XVI greets Rome and the World

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger has been chosen by his brother Cardinals. As Pope Benedict XVI, may he shepard the Church according to the lead of the Holy Spirit. Thanks be to God that such a loyal and faithful servant has been called to follow in the footsteps of Peter. We could not ask for a better man to solidify the legacy of John Paul the Great.

May the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI be fruitful. May the foolishness of God humble the wisdom of men through our Holy Father's work and our faithful response. May His Holiness bear witness to the Truth, which humbles the stupidity that the Reasonable call enlightenment. And may we Fools stand with him!

Monday, April 18, 2005

Conclave Day 1

The First Night: No Pope yet

Hat tip to Jimmy Akin

There's more Conclave coverage than you can gorge on all over here, here and here.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Roundup of Pope John Paul the Great coverage

Against the grain
Amy Welborn
Catholics in the Public Square
Catholic Exchange
Mark Shea

I will blog more on my impression of John Paul the Great (as if that alone doesn't give it away, right?) later. For now, I agree with George Weigel, Papal biographer and orthodox theologian extraordinaire: I understand him best when I understand him from the inside. That means I understand him best when I understand him as he understood himself. I also agree with Mr. Weigel that John Paul the Great understood himself best as a disciple. As Cardinal Ratzinger said in his homily during the late Pope's funeral mass, John Paul truly acted on Christ's command to Peter, and through him, to us all: Follow Me! John Paul did just that. May we all continue to do the same!

Monday, April 04, 2005

Joannes Paulus Magnus 1920-2005

Hat tip to Mark Shea

and Oswald Sobrino

I had two opportunities to see the Pope live. When I was sixteen, I made a trip to Italy with my high school. Being good Salesians of Don Bosco, and having an Italian-born Salesian Priest moderate our trip, we wound up in Saint Peter's Square for an audience. That is, we and the dozens of other visitors who had arrived. I couldn't nearly appreciate him then.

Years later, I had another opportunity to see John Paul II. I was in my mid-twenties, a full-blown relapsed catholic that had volunteered to chaperon a group of teenagers from my local Parish. They were headed to NYC--Central Park, to be exact, for Mass! The weather couldn't have been more Irish--just enough steady drizzle to notice, but not enough to care. There we were, along with the other 300, 000 faithful that had shown up.

I'll never forget his expression as he prayed. It was as though he were in the extreme pain of his eventual future. He almost appeared to groan, as if he literally was carrying the weight of us all, as well as the world. Of course, he was. That was the sense any one who had met him came away with most of all. He absolutely cared. He personally loved and cared deeply about each and every one of us, even though he could not meet us personally. That was his presence. That was how he evangelized.

Thank you, Holy Father, for living the Gospal so well. Thank you for bearing such personal witness to all of us. May we continue to follow your example, that we may come to know Christ as you have. Lord, grant your faithful servant his well-deserved rest at your side.

We will miss you, John Paul II.