Saturday, February 14, 2004

An Interview With Mel Gibson

Despair led him back to the Faith (after a fashion). Personal crisis has brought more than one soul back.

For Those Concerned About the Feminization of the Priesthood and the Church...

...Here is a priest to look up to, the late Father Vincent Capodanno, USMC. I mentioned him last year on February 14th in the run-up to the war. I think it might not hurt, now that things have calmed down, to look at this heroic priest again.

It Is Also the Feast of Saints Cyril and Methodius

American Catholic On Saint Valentine's Day

While you are visiting the site, don't forget to leave a prayer for your Valentine, or anyone else who needs it.

Saints Valentine

There may have been two Saint Valentines. Their stories are rather similar. The first was a Roman priest arrested for practising the Faith under the Emperor Claudius II around 290 A.D. He refused to waver from his belief. He was placed under the custody of a certain Asterius, who had a blind daughter. Valentine cured the daughter and converted the entire family. After learning this, the Emperor had Valentine beaten and decapitated on the Flaminian Way. Pope Julius I had a church built on the site of his martyrdom in the 4th century.

The second Saint Valentine was believed to be bishop of Terni around 233 A.D. He apparently had a reputation as a miracle worker, for a senator named Crato asked Valentine to come to Rome to cure his son, who was stricken with a seemingly incurable illness. Valentine agreed on condtion that Crato and family convert. Valentine cured the boy, and Crato's household became Christian. A prefect named Abundius heard of the cure, and had Valentine beheaded. Valentine's body was carried back to Terni, where he is patron saint of the town.

The stories are so similar that we might be dealing with a single person.

Friday, February 13, 2004

De-Bunking The Da Vinci Code

I Tend To Agree With Dale On This One

Dale Price at Dyspeptic Mutterings discusses a story I saw yesterday in Seattle Catholic but didn't have the time to talk about here.

I pretty much agree with Dale's take. If these had been gay Catholics tossing condums around to disrupt a Mass, there would be next to nothing said about it, because the homosexual activists are privileged to be disruptive. After all, as the press sees it, gay activists are a "progressive" force. And Lord knows the mainstream media is endlessly in love with anything they consider "progressive."

But if you have traditionalists, who at least still consider themselves Catholic (though being out of communion with Rome is fatal in my view to being genuinely Catholic), praying the rosary loudly to prevent Buddhist monks from doing some pagan song and dance at the altar of a Catholic Church (Great Scott, man, why were they ever invited to do that around the altar of a Cathoic church???) the establishment comes down on the "intolerant" and "disruptive" traditionalists.

Catholics are expected to surrender their most sacred places to the whims of every whiny minority that comes along without complaint. In fact, in this case, it looks as if the local authorities not only surrendered, but invited the enemy (one of many enemies) in for a little casual rape and pillage on their own initiative (that's what liberals do).

You know, you don't have to be infinitely open to all the tom-foolery that can come down the pike. In fact, the time has come to draw a line in the sand as far as all this ecumenism is concerned. You can debate exactly where that line ought to be. But Buddhist monk frolics around the altar is absolutely over any conceivable line.

Nothing Accomplished

The Massachusetts legislature, meeting as a Constitutional Convention, failed to do anything to protect marriage from the judicial tyranny of the SJC.

The queer lobby owns the Democrat Party, and that party is far too strong on Beacon Hill. There are a few Democrats who have felt the heat and have broken ranks with the pervert lobby, but not enough. And the Republicans, themselves strapped with a number of openly queer members, have been AWOL on this issue, and would be meaningless even if they were not, so few are their numbers.

The solution? More socially conservative Republicans in the legislature, but that isn't going to happen, since the Massachusetts GOP does not exist below the level of state-wide office. Thanks to the legacy of Weld, Cellucci, and Swift the Massachusetts GOP is hopelessly liberal on social issues, far to the left of the Republican Party nationally.And it takes a long time to recruit candidates and train them to run successfully. The apparatus is not in place now. It will not be in November, or even in time for the next election. Why bother having a Republican Party in this state at all? And I say that as someone who once held local party office here.

So here we go rapidly down (and I do mean down) another slippery slope caused by the liberal vision of what society should be like. The Vision of the Anointed, as Thomas Sowell calls it, or the Unconstrained Vision of Human Nature, as he also has dubbed, it rules in the judiciary, legal profession, journalism, entertainment industry, organized labor, the "helping professions," and academia. They are the leaders who shape opinion. And they are solidly behind this, and much more to come, too. The traditional Christian view is being submerged. Moral relativism wins another one, a big one.

Is there hope? No.

Without a federal constitutional amendment stating that marriage can only be contracted between one man and one woman, one state (it happens to be Massachusetts, but it could have been Hawaii, or Vermont, or California, or Alaska [which is pretty libertarian, not conservative] inevitably would have gone down this path and the Full Faith and Credit clause of the Constitution requires that all the other states recognize the validity of a gay marriage legally performed in any state. And a federal constitutional amendment will take too long. By the time it is in place, thousands of gay marriages will have been performed by sanction of law. And people will be used to it then. There will be no hope of ending the practice.

As I said the other day, there is no safe place to retreat to from this barbarism. They will not let us alone should we find some Skellig Michel to retreat to. They will seek us out and impose their nostrums on us even there. Civilization as we have known it is doomed. It will not just collapse on the mainland, but everywhere. Is Ireland safe? No. Australia? No. Canada? Certainly not.

For those who think Robert Bork was overly pessimistic in Slouching Towards Gommorah, think again. The trends he identified there are coming to fruition yet again with a vengeance. If it wasn't so terribly sad and depressing, Bork could pat himself on the back.

Maybe President Bush, seeking office, was not wrong to distance himself from Bork's view. After all, that tone is not a winning one. But the trick is to combine a positive view of what America is, as Ronald Reagan did, with an understanding of the deadly social pathologies that have taken root, and a determination to wipe them out. That Reagan never could do for all his success with the economy and national security policy.

There is little sign, however, that Bush understands how vital this issue is. Where Reagan would have been right out front organizing a constitutional amandment in resistance to the vision of the anointed, Bush has been slow to react, worried that he might bring queers/perverts out to the polls against him in droves. He is playing for another tie in his re-election, and will be satisfied with another narrow win. Instead, he should be galvanizing support for traditional morality and going for the big sweep.

Saint Benedict (or Benet) Biscop

From the Catholic Encyclopedia:

An English monastic founder, born of a noble Anglo-Saxon family, c. 628; died 12 January 690. He spent his youth at the court of the Northumbrian King Oswy. When twenty-five years old, he made the first of his five pilgrimages to Rome. On his return to England, Benedict introduced, whenever he could, the religious rites as he saw them practised in Rome. Soon afterwards he made a second pilgrimage, stopping on his return at Lérins, in 666, to take the religious habit. When, two years later, he returned to Rome, Pope Vitalian sent him and the monk Adrian as advisers with Theodore, the newly appointed Archbishop of Canterbury. After two years, in 671, he resigned this office and made another pilgrimage to Rome. During this and his two succeeding pilgrimages to the city of the Apostles he collected numerous relics, books, and paintings for the monasteries of Wearmouth and Jarrow, the former of which he founded in 674, the latter in 682. He also engaged Abbot John, Arch-cantor of St. Peter's in Rome, to teach Roman chant at these monasteries. Benedict was the first to introduce into England the building of stone churches and the art of making glass windows. His festival is observed on 12 February.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Lincoln's Birthday

Monday is of course a hybrid holiday called Presidents' Day, combining the celebrations of Washington and Lincoln. But today, February 12th, is Lincoln's actual birthday.

If I get a chance, I may post more on Lincoln later.

Maybe not.

But here is one quotation from Lincoln that I have always liked:

"What is conservatism? Is it not adherence to the old and tried, against the new and untried?"

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Two Similar Experiences of the Latin Mass

Confessions of a Recovering Choir Director offers two similar positive experiences of the Latin Mass. One is at an SSPX chapel. The other is apparently an indult Mass. These are the experiences of younger people, like myself under 40, who have never been to a Latin Mass (except maybe as babies) and are dissatisfied to some extent with the Mass as they experience it on a weekly basis.

The experiences are close to what I felt attending my first Latin Mass a couple of months ago. There is a deeper sense of reverence there. That is, I think, not disputable. All the things that make you want to grind your teeth are absent. There is a sense of peace, order, tradition, that things are the way they ought to be.

My own view is that the Latin Mass is head-and-shoulders above the vernacular Novus Ordo Mass aesthetically. But since both Masses are conveyors of grace so long as they are said by a priest in union with St. Peter's successor, they are equally valid. I don't buy the John Birch-like conspiracy theories on the Catholic far right that say there has been no valid papal election since 1939, or that the Second Vatican Council was illegitimate.

The Second Vatican Council is absolutely legitimate. At fault is the way it has been implemented, often at variance with the documents of the Council itself, and far over-reaching into the "Spirit of Vatican II" (which reminds me of nothing so much as the "Penumbra emanating" from the 4th and 14th Amendments that gave us Roe v. Wade- a standard infinitely flexible to serve the latest whim of the liberal agenda.

I do prefer the Latin Mass. But I attend whatever Mass is convenient. There are many Novus Ordo Masses said very nicely. There are many that are very reverent. My home parish at Salem, St. James under the late Father Flaherty was an example, with only the music and youth ministries making me want to grit my teeth. The Franciscans at St. Leonard of Port Maurice in the North End, and the Oblates of the Virgin Mary at the Prudential chapel do I great job (though I don't care for the music at the Pru's Sunday Masses). The Society of Saint James does a nice job with St. Stephen's on Hanover Street.

But all things being equal, if I can get to it, I prefer the Latin Mass at Holy Trinity, said pursuant to the Holy Father's indult of 1988.

But I would caution readers interested in experimenting that it would be wisest to stick with licit Latin Masses, or Indult Masses (or Masses said by FSSP priests in dioceses in which they have permission to operate, and according to the limitations placed on that ability by the local ordinary). For the sake of aesthetics, there is no point jumping off the deep end into schism.

Don Feder On The Passion

From FrontPage Magazine. Thanks to Patrick Sweeney at Extreme Catholic for calling it to our attention.

At least Foxman has the intellectual honesty to follow his argument to its logical conclusion. “You know, the Gospels, if taken literally, can be very damaging, in the same way if you take the Old Testament literally,” the ADL leader observes. By the way, Abe, your Bible isn’t called the Old Testament but the Torah, and – yes – there still are some Jews who take it quite literally, including the parts that make you uncomfortable.

So, if not literally, how are Christians to interpret their Scriptures – metaphorically, symbolically, allegorically? Why can’t a Christian (one of the few in Hollywood) make a movie about his faith, which is true to his faith, without provoking charges of bigotry or insensitivity?

There’s a major flaw in the reasoning of Foxman and Friends. If the movie and the Gospels on which it’s based are anti-Semitic, then why are those Christians most faithful to the New Testament among the strongest supporters of Israel?

You may recall that Feder is a former Boston Herald columnist, and one of the most reliable prescient commentators on the state of the culture we boast. His take is steady and does not shrink from the argument that critics of the movie have a basic argument not with Mel Gibson, but with the Gospels themselves. Feder, by the way, is Jewish.

Portland, Maine Gets A New Bishop

New England is full of new bishops, and with good reason. Auxiliary Bishop Malone of the Boston Archdiocese has been appointed the 11th Bishop of the Diocese of Portland. Don't know much about Bishop Malone, except that his name has not come up in any of the Scandal documents I have seen.

Chris at Maine Catholic and Beyond has more on the appointment here.

BC Wins the Beanpot

I have a lot of issues with BC. Its theology deprtment has refused to take the required oath. It annually stages the Vagina Monologues. And it unabashedly invites pro-abortion figures to get honorary degrees.

But it was the scene of the 7 happiest years of my life. I remember a fair number of great professors, who have almost all retired now (and two have died: Father Mahoney who taught me two semesters of Modern European Diplomatic history, and Sam Miller, who I had tea with along with my faculty advisor Professor Bill Daly and who taught me Europe in the 17th Century, Europe in the 18th Century, and History of the Reformation-serious history courses now replaced with shlock like Womens 'Perspective on the Catholic Church, and African-American Views On The Civil War). I recall being one of founding staffers of the Observer, the Reagan-era conservative newspaper, as well as being active in YAF and the College Republicans, as well as what was then called the "Pro-Life Coalition." I founded the Federalist Society at the Law School during my three years there, fondly recall our weekly study group meetings over a burger or a Ruben at the Ground Round in Cleveland Circle or at Appleby's in Gateway Center. I got my Phi Beta Kappa key there.

So I am still a loyal BC alum happy to see our team winning the local college hockey bragging rights of the Beanpot, though if I have money to spare from now on, it would probably go to Ave Maria, or Saint Thomas More.

Pop Goes the General

Another pair of primaries, and another Democrat casualty has occurred. General Wesley Clark, the Candidate Without a Clue, who has been all over the lot on almost every important issue, is out after failing to win either of the southern primaries held yesterday.

John Forbes Heinz Kerry, the fellow who let everyone in Massachusetts think he was half-Irish for 30 years, who sounds like Thurston Howell III and votes for the most part the will of the French government on US national security, Gigalo John who has managed to marry two heiresses, including the Heinz ketchup fortune looks much closer to the Democrat nomination.

Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes

Read about it here in the Catholic Encyclopedia.

Constitutional Convention Today

Massachusetts legislators met today in constitutional convention to consider an amendment to the Massachusetts Constitution that would prohibit gay marriage. The language most likely to be considered would limit marriage to a man and a woman, but would enshrine a civil union in the Constitution for homosexuals. That is hardly any better than the act of judicial tyranny from the SJC.

The last two times the legislature has met in a concon, the issue of defending marriage was prevented by the leadership from being considered. I don't think they will be able to get away with stonewalling the will of the voters this time. But what they will produce may not be satisfactory either. The only thing that would be satisfactory would be preservation of the status quo. No gay marriage. No civil unions. No recognition of other states' gay marriages or civil unions. Not one millimeter of retreat. No giving in to the queer lobby. Let them go to Vermont and be damned with their damnable behaviour.

But this being liberal Massachusetts, we will certainly not get that from the profiles in courage who make up the state legislature. We will get, at best, a half-assed compromise that puts the camel's whole head into the tent. And we can expect litigation again and again and again to try to hammer the camel all the way into the tent. That is what we get when we are plagued with liberal judges and a Democrat-dominated legislature that bends over backwards, and forwards, for the queer lobby.

And what are people who hold to normative values to do? Flee Massachusetts? No. It will follow to all the states shortly enough without a federal constitutional amendment. Buy an island off the coast and settle in for the coming collapse of civilization. No. There are no Skellig Micheals for this barbarian takeover. There are no safe places here or abroad.

Springfield Bishop Resigns

The Vatican announced this morning that the Holy Father had accepted the resignation of Bishop Dupre of the Diocese of Springfield, MA. Bishop Dupre is about 5 years younger than the usual retirement age, but suffers from back and heart problems.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

It Looks As If There Have Been More Pervert Priest Cases Than Previously Believed

The AP has come up with numbers that seem to eclipse what even SNAP has thought.

We'll know more in a couple of weeks when the bishops release their survey.

Saint Scholastica

From Catholic.org:

St. Scholastica, sister of St. Benedict, consecrated her life to God from her earliest youth. After her brother went to Monte Cassino, where he established his famous monastery, she took up her abode in the neighborhood at Plombariola, where she founded and governed a monastery of nuns, about five miles from that of St. Benedict, who, it appears, also directed his sister and her nuns.

She visited her brother once a year, and as she was not allowed to enter his monastery, he went in company with some of his brethren to meet her at a house some distance away. These visits were spent in conferring together on spiritual matters. On one occasion they had passed the time as usual in prayer and pious conversation and in the evening they sat down to take their reflection. St. Scholastica begged her brother to remain until the next day. St. Benedict refused to spend the night outside his monastery. She had recourse to prayer and a furious thunderstorm burst so that neither St. Benedict nor any of his companions could return home. They spent the night in spiritual conferences. The next morning they parted to meet no more on earth. Three days later St. Scholastica died, and her holy brother beheld her soul in a vision as it ascended into heaven. He sent his brethren to bring her body to his monastery and laid it in the tomb he had prepared for himself.

She died about the year 543, and St. Benedict followed her soon after. Her feast day is February 10th.

Sunday, February 08, 2004

Blogger Trouble

I'm having some difficulty this morning checking the site myself. Really odd. It almost looks as if my site was hacked, since I can access other Blogger sites like Maine Catholic and Irish Elk. We shall see.

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