Saturday, June 18, 2005

I Noticed This While Doing the Work On My Links

St. Clement's Eucharistic Shrine has a new website.

It is also the oratory for the seminary for the Oblates of the Virgin Mary, which is attached to the shrine.

American Life League Keeps the Pressure On the Bishops

Because many of them have not followed through regarding pro-choice politicians.

Here is a full-page ad aimed at Senator Durbin. It is in pdf format.

Link courtesy of Amy Welborn.

Led By the Church, the Spanish People Are Trying To Preserve Civilization

Led by Catholic bishops, hundreds of thousands are demonstrating in Madrid against the government effort to legalize gay "marriage."

More Sad Pictures

Detailing the decline of the Catholic Faith in Europe.

More items formerly used in Catholic worship now being sold in antique shops.

The builders did not know the uses the building would be put to.

Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do.

The Result of the Democrats Doing Their Best To Drive White Christians Out

Is that the Republican party tends to be more white, and more Christian than they are.

This response to Howard the Duck's latest tirade is very good.

I found it courtesy of Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam.

Hey, You PETA Cretins, Listen Up

I found this over at The Shrine of the Holy Whapping.
I love animals. They're delicious.

I Did Say Earlier This Week That St. Blog's Was A Moving Picture

Just as I had finished the links, and began looking around, I found that Bill Luse is ending his run at Apologia.

If he has not changed his mind in a while, Apologia will head south to the Gone Fishin' category. And will be missed.

Raising Men

There are differences between boys and girls, and it is reprehensible to try to take the "maleness", often dirty, oten messy, sometimes somewhat violent out of little boys. The correct idea is to channel these impulses into what it takes to be a man, refine them, civilize them, Christianize them.

Don't try to make little boys into well-behaved little girls, who are sensitive, etc.

I am reminded of something George Will wrote in a column about 25 years ago. He mentioned that Vince Lombardi (I think), the father of several boys, and also the proud possessor of a nice lawn, was accosted by his neighbor, who told him he should not let his boys tear up the lawn so, in their play. Lombardi's response was that he was raising boys, not grass.

This entry that I found via Dale Price has the right idea.

At Long Last

The links are done.


Friday, June 17, 2005

While the US Bishops Are Doing Nothing Constructive

Diogenes makes some excellent points.

230th Anniversary of the Battle of Breed's Hill

This is the anniversary of the bloodiest single battle of the American War of Independence. It happened quite early in the war, and its outcome colored British tactics for the next 8 years.

Penned up inside the town of Boston after the retreat from Concord, the British under General Gage and the newly arrived Generals Howe, Clinton, and Burgoyne planned to make their position more secure by seizing the heights of Charlestown and Dorchester, and then converging on the main rebel force at Cambridge. The New England rebels pre-empted this plan by secretly fortifying Breed's Hill in Charlestown on the night of June 16-17.

The next day, with frigates and shore batteries bombarding the rebel positions and burning Charlestown, General Howe landed on the Charlestown shore with an eventual force of 2,500 redcoats. The New England rebels under Massachusetts' Colonel William Prescott, New Hampshire's Colonel John Stark, and Connecticut's General Israel Putnam were not impressed and held their ground atop Breed's Hill.

The British plan was not to launch a a frontal assault, but have the fast-moving light infantry strike quickly along the Mystic River beach, get up behind the rebel fortifications, and attack from the rear, while the rest of the assault force kept them pinned in front. Efforts to land troops in the rear of the rebel works were impossible because of the tide. By the time the troops were landed, and General howe had a chance to see how things looked on the ground, the rebels had fortified the beach that the light infantry was to use. The emphasis of the first attack was still trying to get a column of light infantry to hammer a way through the hastily-constructed stone wall on the beach. But the cost proved too high, and the light infantry recoiled after company after company had been decimated.

Two frontal assaults were driven back with huge British losses. Howe's third assault only succeeded when the rebel defenders ran out of ammunition. Fierce hand-to-hand fighting erupted in the redoubt as the Massachusetts men there withdrew. Doctor Joseph Warren, the leading figure of the Massachusetts rebel government was killed at the end of the battle as he and other volunteers tried to cover the retreat.

Howe, who had lost 1,054 killed and wounded, including 10 of his 12 aides, found his troops too decimated and exhausted to pursue. The plan to sweep from Charlestown on to Cambridge and Roxbury was abandoned. The rebels lost some 300 killed and prisoners and a few hundred wounded. Recriminations followed in the Rebel camp, with courts martial the order of the day. Not all the New England troops or leaders had behaved as well in the fighting as had Prescott, Putnam, and Stark.

Howe, who succeeded Gage in the supreme command later in the year, was transformed by the bloody experience. He would win a knighthood and much praise for his handling of the army, driving Washington from position after position in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Never again, even when his subordinates told him that all he need do was press an attack on a dispirited American force crouching behind makeshift entrenchments to finish Washington off, would he commit his forces to a direct frontal attack. He would use flanking movements, coups de main, amphibious landings. But never again would he hurl his army against defended positions. Because of that, the Continental Army would live to fight another day, again and again.

Today, the battlefield, except for the block-sized area where the monument is located- the site of the redoubt- is covered over by highways and row houses. Authentic re-enactments of the battle on the site are impossible because of this, and because of National Park Service regulations.

But a perversion of the spirit of Bunker Hill is perhaps the battle's most enduring living legacy. Many state workers and city workers in Suffolk County have long had the day off as a result of union contracts. So Bunker Hill Day is primarily comemmorated in Massachusetts as a Hack High Holy Day. It is most unfortunate that this is the most we do to remember the bravery of those Yankee rebels and the intrepid redcoats, whose descendants are now our staunchest allies.

The Massachusetts Historical Society has an exhibit on the battle on-line.

Talk About The Culture of Death!

This is obscenely gross.

The true face of abortion.

The Goldilocks Theory Of New England Weather

The last 4 days, it has been raw, windy, damp, around 50 F. Before that, it was around 90F and very humid for 4 days or so.

This weather is "too cold." What we had before was "too hot." When will we get a few weeks of weather that are "just right?"


Santa Maria Antiqua opens in Rome.

Thanks to Catholic Church Conservation for the heads-up on this treasure.

Please Pray For Dom Bettinelli's Brother

Dom has all the details here.

John, like me, turns 41 next month. Unlike me, he has 6 kids.

A heart attack at 41 is a very, very serious matter. It is a frightening prospect. But with modern medication and techniques, persistence, and prayer it can be overcome.

Blessed Mother, please intercede in favor of John's good health and his family's well-being.

"Christ Has Died, Christ Is Risen, Christ Will Come Again" Likely To Be Dropped

From the same article linked below, we see that Bishop Trautman, whose appointment as the bishops'pointman on liturgy and translation issues was a predicatably bad thing, has nothing better to do with his time than stamping out the simplest, quickest, most traditional and widely used of the memorial acclamations.

What is "theologically incorrect" about it?

Christ did die, an horrific death for all of our sins. He did rise from the dead and ascended into heaven (if not, then our whole faith is in vain). And He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead. Was my grade school catechesis so bad that I'm off on any of these essential points?

Better to just skip the Novus Ordo Mass and visit your local Indult parish, and then you don't have to worry about memorial acclamations.

Cardinal George: Seminary No Place For Men From the Gay Subculture

Cardinal George has gleaned the correct lesson from the last 3 years. What about the rest of the US bishops?

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Burgoyne Again

Burgoyne likes his puppy treats, and likes to be played with. Experiment.

I see Mark Sullivan at Irish Elk now has a virtual pet tiger, called Tammany.

We are witnessing a virtual pet population explosion here at St. Blog's.

Be sure to have your virtual pet spayed or neutered.


Hope everyone is OK.

We know this area pretty well. We used to walk or drive by the Beebe School on Pleasant Street from time to time.

Gosh--desperadoes with AK-47s who held up an armored car!

Just pray that this ends peacefully.

Belloc's Poetry

I'm adding some of Hilaire Belloc's poetry to the Files, Quotations, Hilaire Belloc section of Recta Ratio: The Yahoo Group (which, by-the-by, is free to join and strongly encouraged: try it, you'll like it).

I wanted to share this very Goreyish poem called:

Henry King
The Chief Defect of Henry King
Was chewing little bits of String.
At last he swallowed some which tied
Itself in ugly Knots inside.

Physicians of the Utmost Fame
Were called at once; but when they came
They answered, as they took their Fees,
"There is no Cure for this Disease.

"Henry will very soon be dead.''
His Parents stood about his Bed
Lamenting his Untimely Death,
When Henry, with his Latest Breath,

Cried, "Oh, my Friends, be warned by me,
That Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch, and Tea
Are all the Human Frame requires...''
With that, the Wretched Child expires.

St. Blog's Really Is A Moving Picture, Not A Still Snapshot

As I have been working on the links for the new blogroll, I keep coming across other good Catholic blogs that are linked to by others. Many of them I had never heard of. These are blogs that had not been in my daily reading, but might deserve a daily look. So, they are making the blogroll.

And, of course, there are always departures and blogs being put on hiatus. Mark Shea is still on hiatus, but The Mighty Barrister is back with a revamped new look. Still no word from Chris of Maine Catholic and Beyond after 14 months. And Otto-da Fe has left the building in wonderfully eccentric fashion. Becoming A Missionary Benedictine has dropped off the face of the earth, as has The Smiling Friar.

When I roll out the new blogroll, there will be many additions, and some sad departures. But I think the blogroll will be as strong as it ever has been, full of as much good insight and writing, as much prayerful reflection and hot-button analysis as when I started it.

And one trend I see and want to give every encouragment to is younger Catholic bloggers. If you have not visited them yet, check out Jaimie McMorrin'sThe Moral High Ground, Brian's In Pectore, Robert Diaz' Caritate Dei, and Jeanetta Twardzik's De Fidei Oboedientia, as well as the almost-venerable and very well-known Shrine of the Holy Whapping. While we are mentioning The Shrine, don't forget Emily's younger brother's blog, But I Digress. And don't overlook Fiddleback Fever, another college student group blog, this one from young people at Christendom College. And Kevin K. has a blog called Proud To Be A Papist, which I have been proud to include in the blogroll. Try your hand at his catechesis exam. LOL!

Like any family, St. Blog's has its comings and goings, births and deaths. Recta Ratio, just past 3 years of blogging, is now an elder statesman in the family. Who'd'a thunk it?

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Compendium of the Catechism Coming June 28th

The shorter question-and-answer version of the Catechism which Pope John Paul the Great had then-Cardinal Ratzinger oversee, will be presented at a Mass on June 28th.

But it sounds like translations are not ready yet, and they will involve the "respective episcopal conferences." So expect delay and watering down to be the order of the day. Don't plan on it as a Christmas present in this decade.

What Profiles In Courage They Are

Our US bishops are meeting again this week, the third annual June meeting since the pervert priest scandal became big news. And they are determined to sidestep the homosexual priest issue, instead waiting for the Vatican to issue a definative ruling.

Don't they make you so proud, our bishops?

New Jersey Constitution Does Not Require Gay "Marriage"

So says a panel of the New Jersey Court of Appeals.

I'm not an expert on New Jersey law, but it would take a goal-oriented, outcome pre-determined-by-political-preferences panel of judges to say that any state's constitution requires recognition of gay "marriage".

Meanwhile, here in Massachusetts, the only state (so far, but there will be more) where liberal goal-oriented, outcomes-predetermined-by-political-preferences judges have determined that the state constitution requires recognition of gay marriage, there is a move to get a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage before the voters in 2008. It can't happen any faster. Meanwhile, every day, more and more gay "couples" are turning into "married couples" under this unreasonable interpretation of the Massachusetts Constitution.

But the downside is that the version most likely to get to the voters would establish civil unions, which is marriage in all but name.

Right-thinking folk will reject both full gay "marriage" and civil unions to the last breath, now, 50 years from now, 100 years from now, 1000 years from now.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

The Left's Hatred of Pope Pius XII Had Its Origin With Radio Moscow In 1945

That would explain why so many lefties take the story as gospel, and why Pope Pius has become a hate figure for them, despite all the evidence to the contrary. It is a leftist article of faith. Leftists have an enormous capacity for denying obvious truths, from the bloody record of communism to the freedom and prosperity of the capitalist West.

Radio Moscow said it, so it must be true. Not.

Meet Burgoyne

I have a dog again.

adopt your own virtual pet!

Well, a virtual dog, anyway. He does not need to be taken for walks, and that is a good thing in the city. I've decided to name him Burgoyne. Ain't he just cunnin'?


That is the only way I can characterize Amy Welborn's response to Michael Jackson's acquittal.

And I agree with her, though I find this whole celebrity trial thing quite beneath notice.

I was a little too blase in my response yesterday.

OK, I was milquetoast.

Frankly, I did not expect a conviction. Enough money buys the best lawyers, who will find a way to create a reasonable doubt. And Jackson has that kind of money.

The chief accuser was a skank. I did not follow things at all closely, but that much I gleaned from unwillingly being exposed to headlines. Little wonder that good lawyers made her look the part, and got the reasonable doubt they needed.

But Michael Jackson is not just weird, as I said yesterday. The actions that have been attributed to him and some of which are undeniable, like having little children in bed with him, dangling children out of windows, and behaving in an infantile manner are those of a PERVERT.

That is what he is, whether he was convicted or not.

Setting the Record Straight About the Inquisition

Vittorio Messori takes on a Communist newspaper's absurd assertions about the Inquisition in this CWN piece.

As someone deeply read in the history of Europe from 400AD to the present, I am certain that he is correct in stating that a single year of the Terror of the French Revoultion claimed more victims than the Inquisition did in its centuries of operation. A few thousand heretics were killed, at most, by the Inquisition in all the time it existed. The French revolutionaries made more martyrs in a year. And we don't even need to talk about the tens of millions of Europeans murdered by the Communists between 1917 and 1989 (sixty million in the former Soviet Union alone).

Good Take On The Great Facade

From Julian over at The Julian Calendar.

I have not read it yet myself, but I must say that I have always found the Council's most ardent defenders, those who not only want to defend what the Council did, but go beyond it and enact the "spirit of Vatican II" which is whatever liberals want it to be, rather too shrill by half in their assertion that "The Holy Spirit cannot be wrong!"

True, the Holy Ghost is never wrong. But men can be wrong in interpreting what it is that the Holy Ghost wants them to do. Even Cardinals can be wrong when they act in an ill-considered manner, vote like a herd in favor of things they don't understand, and don't consider the consequences at the local level of what they are voting on.

In fact, an examination of the documents of Vatican II will find little for most traditionalists to object to. It is what came after the Council, and what was done in its name, and in its "spirit" that has brought the Church in Europe, the US, Canada, Australia, etc. to the point of near ruin, depopulated parishes, thinned the ranks of the priesthood, sisterhood, and monastic life to crisis proportions, and cheapened and secularized Catholic worship, and destroyed Catholic education.

I think that the Holy Ghost is using the Council and the trevails of the Church to this day to teach some sort of lesson. What that lesson is, we must be open to discovering.

Modern Catholic Hermits

Check this out in Newsweek.

I admire those who can handle that lifestyle in the service of God.

Still Working On the Links

They work in the meantime, so if you want to use them to surf, they should be fine.

My latest experiment with html, which I just did this morning, was the insertion of meta tags, a lot of them. You won't see that, but web crawlers will. That should get Recta Ratio more notice in search engines.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Reading The Website of La Abbaye Sainte Madelaine du Barroux

I found out that then-Cardinal Ratzinger celebrated the tradtional Latin Mass there in 1995. At least, that is what my limited French gets out of that. That is what they celebrate at Barroux.

Liberals are doing a lot of whistling past the graveyard lately, about how Cardinal Ratzinger was only such a hard case as head of the Divine Office because that was his job (implying, as that does, that the truly harsh one was his boss, Pope John Paul the Great) and how that, now that he is his own man, he will not be the same person. He will be more "pastoral", which is a codeword for "progressive".

I don't think there is much to that. What he wrote in his books and articles, is what he thought. John Paul wrote his own books, and didn't need Cardinal Ratzinger writing essentially "me, too." He wasn't writing just what John Paul wanted to read, and not his own opinions. Neither did the Pope dictate what Cardinal Ratzinger wrote. What he issued as official decrees as head of the Congregation was what he did as his job.

Similarly, what he did while only a Cardinal was an expression of what he thought. Notice, John Paul wasn't going around celebrating the traditional Latin Mass. In fact, he never publically did that. But in at least 2 places, that is what Cardinal Ratzinger did. That is outside the job of a prefect of the Congregation For the Doctrine of the Faith. He did not have to do that. It was his choice to do that, and an expression of his preference. And it reflects an openess to the Latin Mass expressed in his writings.

I think traditionalists have a great ally in Pope Benedict. And liberals are showing that their propensity of self-delusion continues to be astonishing.

Michael Jackson Verdict

Not guilty.

Not a big surprise. It is hard to reach the level of "beyond a reasonable doubt" as to specific allegations.

But whether he is legally guilty of a crime or not, the man is still, to say the least, wierd.

I Think This Thread Will Have Legs

Over at the PPK Blog there is a posting about "What I Wish They Had Taught Me In CCD."

I didn't know about PPK, but I found out about it via Dom, whose issues are similar to mine.

I would add that going to Catholic school was not any better than CCD. I am a product of 19 years of "Catholic" education. I graduated having never heard of the Sacred Heart, the Immaculate Heart, the Miraculous Medal, the Brown Scapular, the Shroud of Turin, incorruptible saints, monasticism, without knowing much about any of the saints, without knowing, or ever having heard of the Memorare, or the Salve Regina, with no idea about the gret tradition of Catholic art, music, philosophy, etc.

Don't get me wrong. It was a great education. But it wasn't very Catholic.

I think I sense a short essay coming on regarding that topic.

Confessions Of An Inveterate Bathroom Reader

There was a time, when my bathroom...

Pearls Before Swine by Stephan Pastis 06/13/05 Distributed by United Features Syndicate

Pearls Before Swine is, I think, one of the best, funniest comics. It's right up there with Calvin & Hobbes, Dilbert, and Get Fuzzy.

I Think You Can Chalk Bishop Adamec Up As An Enemy of the Traditional Latin Mass

He says that:

"It has been allowed (with permission of the diocesan bishop) to facilitate the return of some to the Roman Catholic Church.

Unfortunately, its usage has been misused."

Read: It was just supposed to be there to mollify the old crones who had either stopped attending Mass, or were giving their money to the schismatic Pius X Society. We never thought it would catch on with young people, grow, and become permanent.

I have found that hatred for the traditional Latin Mass often goes along with being an unworthy shepherd and a poor leader. Look at Bishop McCormack in New Hampshire one of the most culpable in the entire hapless bench of bishops, who has also refused to grant an Indult to his diocese. Given some of the pervert priest scandals that have come out of Johnstown-Altoona and Bishop Adamec's handling of them, it is not surprising that his views on the traditonal Latin Mass are as they are.

The Holy Father, as we have quoted him here in this blog, thinks quite differently on this matter and does indeed envision the traditional Latin Rite being said side-by-side with the Novus Ordo, and not as a transitional crumb tossed to old traditionalists until they die off.

Saint Anthony of Padua

An early Franciscan confessor who died at a young age.

There is a legend, recounted in part in The Catholic Encyclopedia, which describes one of his miracles:

The first is that of a horse, which, kept fasting for three days, refused the oats placed before him, till he had knelt down and adored the Blessed Sacrament, which Saint Anthony held in his hands. Legendary narratives of the fourteenth century say this miracle took place at Toulouse, at Wadding, at Bruges; the real place, however, was Rimini.

Another version of the story is that a well-known heretic had refused to adore the Blessed Sacrament, but that St. Anthony offered to prove his mistake by saying even animals understand that Christ is truly present in the Sacrament. He held up a consecrated Host before a horse, and it knelt before the Sacrament, while refusing hay proferred by the heretic. The heretic understood the error of his ways, and repented.

I would have liked to post this image of this miracle, but it is too large. It comes from Les Tres Riches Heures du Duc de Berry.

Now Saint Anthony is the resource for those seeking what is lost.

The Italian Politicians Provided The Voters With 2 Morally Unacceptable Alternatives

The Church called for Italians to not vote.

And it appears that turnout has been so low that the referendum will be void because of a less-than-50%-turnout.

It looks as if Italians did the right thing, and you can chalk one up for the Church.

Odd Situation At Catholic Seminary In the Philippines

Hard to say who is telling the truth. I don't know enough about the situation to make that judgment. But anytime government troops and police lay siege to a seminary in a Catholic country, it is odd.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

New Oxford Review Joins the Cyber Age

Finally, The New Oxford Review has a savvy on-line look. The old site was painfully behind the current issue, and painfully antiquated in style.

Michael Rose is taking a greater role in the on-line edition, merging Crux News with NOR on-line.

Archives are now for subscribers only. So if you want to read that article of mine they published 3 years ago (that long ago?) you need to subscribe.

I have not found the marvelous Salvation Aptitude Test yet.

But all the ads that appeared in The American Spectator and National Review, which first drew my attention to NOR, are now available in a gallery. Whatever NOR does wrong, like spending more time nitpicking allies (Father Fessio, Father Neuhaus, Deal Hudson) than going after the enemy, the ads have always been spot-on.

Michael Rose has the right ideas, but his problem is that he does not know when enough is enough. Beats dead horses. Continues debates long after they ought to be dropped and new projects started. That is also the institutional problem of NOR, so they will be a good fit. But Rose is much better at the image and the rapid response, so I would look for NOR on line to be much better, but still much the same, weaknesses with strengths.

Some Monastic Images

Not much striking my fancy today in the news, Catholic or secular.

So here are some interesting views of monks over the centuries. The death of Trappist Father Pennington got me thinking about monasticism again, and this little photo essay is the result.

St. Benedict, founder of Western monasticism

Dining in silence in the refectory

The Lector reading while the other brothers eat

Work in the scriptorium

The cloister of Moissac, built around 1100 A.D.

Copyist at work

Monastic work-product: a detail from a Book of Hours

Typical layout of a monastery

Food may sustain the body, but reading, or lectio divina
sustains the contemplative life even today, as for this
young Trappist monk at a monastery in the US

A Jolly Cellarer

The monks often maintained a school for local boys who would either
join the order or take important places in society

But the main work of the monk, then and now, was to pray

Facing each other in choir, the monks assisted at the daily Mass

and chanted the Opus Dei, or Liturgy of the Hours, as we now call it

The last duty a monk performed for a soul, whether a member of the
order or a layman, was to chant the Office of the Dead over the corpse
the night and morning before the Requiem Mass

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