Saturday, September 20, 2003
This Army chaplain was of Chinese descent, was raised as a Christian, converted to Islam, left the Army, studied in Syria, returned to the Army, and was detailed to attend to the spiritual needs of the Gitmo prisoners.
We don't know yet, we may never know, what sort of damage he has done to US interests. Since he was working with al Qaeda and Taliban prisoners, who he was working for seems obvious.
I finished Kirk's The Surly, Sullen Bell, and recommend it, though you will have to get it at the library or a used bookstore, as it is out of print. Now I have started a re-read of Evelyn Waugh's Sword of Honour trilogy. I last read it in college, more than 15 years ago.
Men At Arms, Officers and Gentlemen, and The End of the Battle are not the brilliantly honed work that is Brideshead Revisited. But they do incorporate a great deal of traditonal Catholicism. And there are some carry-overs that give one a chuckle. Who does not read Guy Crouchback as a Catholic Charles Ryder (reserved, middle-aged, loveless, homeless, hopeless)? Box-Bender sometimes reminds one awfully of Rex Mottram. And the headquarters of the Hazardous Offensive Operations Command is Marchmain House.
I am reading them in a compendium that Waugh had published in the early 1960s (shortly before his death in 1966). In an introduction, he says that he did not write them as "Catholic novels." However, he noted that they do contain a great deal of what was wiped out in the Church in Britain in the 1960s. So far though, even though I was born in 1964, raised with the "butterfly catechism" of the 1970s, attended Mass reluctantly in the 1980s, and pretty much stopped in the early 1990s before I returned with much greater enthusiasm after 1996, I find much that is familiar to me in the novels.
Giving things up for Lent, ashes on Ash Wednesday (though with the Latin admonition), not re-marrying after a divorce, the notion that your ex-spouse is the only person on earth one can have sexual relations with without sin, confession before receiving the Eucharist, the idea that Catholics see things entirely differently from everyone who is not Catholic, are all in the novels I have got to so far. And it is all familiar to me. Maybe that is just because my parents were more than a little old fashioned. Dad followed along with the Novus Ordo in the missalette, but Mom, though she rose, sat, and knelt with everyone else, said her rosary throughout Mass. So Waugh's statement that this was all pushed aside in the 1960s is something of a mystery to me.
No, The Sword of Honour novels are not "Catholic." But Catholics can read them with great pleasure, finding many familiar practices mentioned, relishing Waugh's prose, and enjoying many happy reflections from Brideshead days.
Friday, September 19, 2003
Remember Father Zigrang, the Texas priest who decided to say only Tridentine Latin Masses at his parish on the spur of the moment, and angered a sizable portion of his congregation, as well as his bishop? He has decided to decamp for the Pius X Society.
I wonder why he opted for the schismatics, and not the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter, which is fully in communion with the Holy Father.
A group of Milwaukee priests, fresh from questioning the norm of priestly celibacy, will now form a group that sounds awfully like the Boston Priests' Forum.
Is it just me, or does the formation of groups like this, in defiance of, or at least outside the authority of, the local ordinary strike others as similar to the moves that lead to the Tennis Court Oath as the Estates General turned their back on royal authority in 1789?
Are the rebel Catholics now preparing to break away on the issues of celibacy, an all-male priesthood, openly homosexual priests, contraception, abortion, remarriage after divorce, and papal authority? If so there is a group already in existence that they can join: The Anglican Communion.
Today in National Review On Line, he sums up very nicely where we are today in the war on Moslem terrorism: victorious, and waiting for the next phase to being.
Thursday, September 18, 2003
Domenico Bettinelli is reporting that the Archdiocesan ban on Our Lady Help of Christians parish in Newton, headed by well-known dissenter Father Walter Cuenin, is no longer in effect.
This is weak. This is just "Can't we all just get along?". Even worse, it is a mark of approbation on Cuenin's leadership. Dissent in the church is something that needs to be discouraged, not encouraged, as it is one major source of the Scandal. You know my dictum: "homosexuality and dissent go hand in hand in the Church; dissent encourages homosexuality in the priesthood, while homosexuality in the priesthood feeds and nurtures dissent."
And Father Cuenin and his sort are utterly without a clue as to the true cause of the Scandal we in Boston are still emerging from. Apparently, so is Archbishop Sean.
Today's National Review On Line features an interview with Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos on the subject of Mel Gibson's The Passion. The Cardinal gives it a pretty enthusiastic thumbs-up.
The more I hear about this movie, the more I want to see it.
Wednesday, September 17, 2003
Saw the above sign in my travels today. My spirits, so hipped lately, surged a moment. It brought to mind notions of "hic, haec, hoc", "amo, amas, amat," "Arma virumque cano..," "Gallia est omnia divisa in partes tres...," and even "veni, vidi, vici." Is there going to be a "Latin Day?" Maybe I could be there for it.
But no. It was Hispanic culture, not Latin culture, the sign was urging people to celebrate. Too bad folks advertise things with euphemisms.
Tuesday, September 16, 2003
You will recall that it is the Circuit which gave us the ban on the Pledge of Allegiance. It's make-up is too colored by the preferences of California's two incumbent Democrat senators, Feinstein and Boxer (both far-left extremists, one with some talent, the other a hopeless idiot elected only because she is a she), who have had a great deal to say, especially for the 8 years under Clinton, about who gets appointed to the federal bench in their state.
The recall was set for October 7. The Supreme Court does not go back into full session until the first Monday in October. There is no chance for a review by the full court before the October 7th date. So the merry-go-round ride in California gets crazier and crazier.
Monday, September 15, 2003
It was the 9th Circuit, the most liberal of the circuits, that threw this monkey wrench into the election, at the behest of the ACLU.
From other sources, it seems as if the bishops did not get it, or were just there to placate another interest group, and not a very important one at that.
Hurricane Isabel, currently a Category 4 storm, may hit Thursday or Friday. Its probable area of impact will be somewhere between the Carolinas and New Jersey, but that can change. Right now, they are saying that New England will only get some tropical winds and surf, but the ultimate path taken by a hurricane is anybody's guess. Watch your local news very closely. Pray for the people who find themselves in the path of this storm.
On the one hand, what did they expect after buggering young children? But on the other hand, no inmate should be in fear of his life.
I have advocated keeping violent offenders away from less harmful inmates. I also have suggested that prison sentences resemble solitary confinement more. Slip the food in through the door, provide books as requested, but don't allow mingling with other prisoners. People get hurt and killed that way, because a fair number of the people behind bars are too vicious for guards or non-violent inmates.
The settlement of the Boston pervert priest cases may be on its way to becoming established fact. However, this weekend Archbishop Sean still had to run a gauntlet of protestors at the Cathedral.
Just what are they protesting Archbishop Sean for? What did he do, except put a settlement on a fast track for the benefit of the victims, and the Church in Boston? At some point, these people have to get over public protest. Their time in the spotlight ends with the finalization of the settlement. The Church owes them compassionate care, and the same pastoral consideration it owes everyone. But they are going to have to learn to adjust to life after the controversy is over. They are private people with private lives to lead, hopefully made somewhat easier by the settlement, and especially the counselling the Archdiocese will provide via its medical resources for the rest of the victims' lives.
I am proud that the lifetime counselling was included in the settlement. To my mind, it was much more vital than the money. And I think Archbishop Sean responded to the protestors with gentle compassion and consideration. Now he has to follow up and de-frock the molestors who have not already been laicized.
Today's National Review On Line features a piece by Bruce Bartlett which, in some respects states the obvious, that an overwhelming majority of college and university faculty members nationwide consider themselves liberal, or are Democrats or even further to the left.