Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Video Tuesday: The Old Mass vs. The New Mass

This brilliant video has been on YouTube for over two years now, though it doesn't have as many "views" as I would have expected. In a span of ten minutes it contrasts clips of a "typical" New Mass with those of a "typical" Old Mass (actually more than one Old Mass is shown).

Some would claim that the video creator stacked the deck somewhat. I'm not so sure this is true. Though I am a parishioner at a traditionalist Church, I have attended numerous New Masses for one reason or another. To me, the one shown in the video is sort of an average of what I have witnessed. There are no glaring irregularities such as liturgical dancers, puppets or clowns. It is arguably reverent in its way. And I would say it is 90% similar to the Mass my family and I attend every now and then in the Chicago Loop when we can't get the family out in time to make the 12:30 at St. John Cantius.

Similarly, the Old Masses shown are 95% similar to the Masses we assist at at St. John Cantius.

But the differences between the two experiences are stark.

No doubt some die-hard Novos Ordo partisans would say they would still prefer the first Mass. There's no "fake" pomp or pretentious glitter (which after all is not what Jesus was really about, etc., etc.). Just ordinary people gathering together for their communion meal.

But I've shown this video to some of my non-Catholic friends and they're amazed when I tell them that 98% of Catholics attend the New Mass, not the Old. "That's what you guys have to go through?" some seem to be thinking. It's certainly not what they might have seen in the movies with Montgomery Clift or Robert DeNiro presiding at the foot of a beautiful and towering alter.

Yes, that's what many of us have to go through.

Just so there's no misunderstanding. I like Ashokan Farewell. It's a lovely piece of music. Then again, I like Miles Davis and Led Zeppelin too. Just not at Mass.

Also, just so there is no misunderstanding, I have nothing against the anonymous New Mass priest. That he comes off as sort of frumpy is true but not really the point. Many of us middle-aged Catholics are probably headed in that direction, after all. I would say, though, that one of the virtues of the Old Mass is that it is much less about (or rather, not really about at all) the appearance, personality or "style" of the priest. Perhaps a New Mass with Montgomery Clift or Robert DeNiro presiding would be more riveting. Most priests don't look like that. But in the Old Mass, it doesn't matter. You're standing in your respondent vestments, at the head of, if you will, an army. A holy army, there to offer up a Sacrifice to God. And for a few moments you in a sense become Christ Himself. That's better than being any movie star.

I don't know who made the video. "Nina A"--whom I have never met--uploaded it to YouTube. But little information is posted with it, and she turned off the comments. The brief credit at the end lists the catholiclatinmass.org as a resource, but there's no sign of this video on the current site, and I'm not sure whether it might not be referring to another entity that formerly occupied the address. Perhaps a reader can enlighten me as to the video's origin. In any case, it deserves a wider audience.

Enjoy (sort of) and pray that more and more Catholics will experience the "real thing"--not a quasi-pennance that one attends partly out of duty, but "the most beautiful thing this side of heaven".

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Atheists Draw Muhammad in France. In Response, Muslims Torch 70 Christian Churches in Niger

Let's burn a truck in front of our mosque to complain about the Frogs

Did you know that besides being a religion of peace, Islam is a religion of rationality?

From Stoyan Zaimov at the Christian Post, July 24, 2015:
'Life Has Stopped:' 70 Niger Churches Struggle to Rebuild After Islamist Revenge Rampage for Charlie Hebdo Cartoons 
Christian churches in Niger are facing a lack of resources and difficult conditions in rebuilding six months after the wave of angry Islamist attacks destroyed at least 70 houses of worship in revenge for Charlie Hebdo's drawings of the Muslim prophet Muhammad. 
"Since these incidents, it is as if life had stopped," said Rev. Jacques Kangindé, leader of the Baptist "Roundabout" church in Niamey. "The church has become a source of curiosity for passers-by and a hide-out for idlers. Unfortunately our current church finances don't allow us to begin the reconstruction." 
World Watch Monitor noted that most of the 70 churches destroyed in the attacks, as well as several Christian schools and an orphanage, have still not been rebuilt. 
"We feel that, as the emotion of the first days has now passed, our case is no longer of interest to our political leaders," Kangindé added. 
"They seem more concerned with preparations for the elections [due in 2016] and the fight against Boko Haram. The churches are abandoned to their fate." 
Beside the property damage, Islamic mobs killed at least 10 people during the rampage back in January. The attacks sought to punish Christians for the cartoons published by French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo — despite the fact that Hebdo is a secular magazine that has openly mocked Christians and is no way affiliated with any churches. 
Hebdo itself suffered a terror attack in January in its offices in Paris, when Islamic gunmen shot down 12 of its workers for the Muhammad drawings. 
Niger's churches have been trying to survive and rebuild since the attacks, but it has proven to be a hard task, added Rev. Zakaria Jadi of the Salama church in the capital's northern district of Bani Fandou 2. 
"It is a blow to our church. For nearly a month, there was neither water nor electricity. We have done our best to allow our worship activities to restart, but we have now reached our limit. The reconstruction work may probably take some time," Jadi said. 
The pastor lost both his house and his church on the same day, and spoke of the pain he felt coming back to Salama to see the damage. 
"I felt very bad, such an indescribable feeling when I saw my ripped-up Bible on the ground. For a pastor, it was like my entire life was torn apart. I could not stop shedding tears," he added. 
Jadi said, however, that he has sought to move on: 
"It was truly hurting, but I was well supported by brothers and sisters who have encouraged me a lot. And I received my greatest encouragement from God, he has really strengthened me in order to overcome that ordeal. And he also allowed me to support those who were in tears."

Satan Statue Unveiled in Detroit

You may think you're not worshipping him, but he has other ideas

Last night, Satanists unveiled a one-ton eight-foot tall bronze statue of Baphomet, a goat-headed Pagan deity often used as a stand-in for Satan, at an invitation only event in an industrial building near the Detroit river.

According to Reuters, members of the crowd gave cheers of "Hail Satan!" before rushing up to the statue to pose for photographs.

Most members of the Satanic Temple say they don't actually worship Satan but rather are anti-Christian and see the statue as a symbol of religious freedom. Their goal is to eventually move the statue to the grounds of the Arkansas Statehouse to take up residence next to the Ten Commandments monument.

A photo of the statue is at the bottom of the post where it won't foul up any links. You will of course first notice the incredibly sick presence of the two adoring children.

This local news report is interesting, in part for the serious looks.

And here's the hellish object:

What to say of these people, like the woman in the blog title photo above? In one sense, they're simply giving physical representation to someone whose presence has been well in evidence recently. No doubt most of them are clueless, which is of course part of the problem. Consider offering your Mass attendance for them.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

That New World Meeting on Families Postage Stamp

Talk about big carbon footprints

The Vatican just released its design for a postage stamp to commemorate the upcoming Eighth World Meeting on Families. Of course, the usual suspects (like me) are already snarking about it.

Three racially diverse sets of parents are standing on a globe in front of the Philadelphia skyline (predictably, there have been complaints that the white people are in the foreground). Note that the average number of children is 1.33, with the white parents being the only ones to have more than 1. One could argue that from an artistic perspective, more kids would probably make everyone fall off. Maybe that's the point.

There is debate as to who the blond fellow is on the left. He doesn't seem to belong to the darker skinned couple. Is he lost? To me he looks like a mischievous urchin who is picking the pocket of the colorful coiffed mom in the red dress. What is that in his hand? A stylized crucifix? A book? A jar holding "the good wine"? Perhaps he represents orphans.

Except for the very subtle allusion to the Holy Family and the presence of the Vatican coat of arms, the design is completely secular. Of course, it has that Happy People in the Barrio Mural look that became popular in the 1970's and unfortunately has never left us. There's one like it on the wall of my local McDonald's.

This is only the second time the Vatican has commemorated the Meeting with a stamp. Here is the one from three years ago. I guess families were a bit larger then:

And here are two Filipino stamps in honor of the Fourth Meeting in Manilla:

Compare the new Vatican stamp with three "family planning" stamps from various countries including the United States (yes, we had one):

Geez, even those stamps had an average of 2.67 kids.*

But if you want to see Christian children from diverse ethnicities, I like this one from 1969:

I think if you drew this in Canada today, you would get ten years in a re-education camp.

Please pray for the family.

*CORRECTION: It was pointed out to me that the faces on the Indian stamp were probably two parents and a kid, not three kids. That brings the "family planning average" down to 2.00. But that still beats FrancisChurch.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

ISIS Planning Drone Attacks on Sporting Events and Concerts

"My name's Abdul. Can I get prime shipping on those drones, please?" 

Happy Thursday!

From Nick Gutteridge of the Express:
ISLAMIC STATE (Isis) are plotting to use toy drones to bomb major events like football matches and music festivals in Britain, it emerged today. 
Terrorists want to use the unmanned machines - available for as little as £100 on the high street - to drop explosives on large crowds at popular sporting and cultural gatherings. 
Defence chiefs fear they could launch a multi-drone attack carrying several bombs, even using airborne cameras to film the bloody carnage below for twisted propaganda videos... 
A counter-terrorism source said: "...Isis is obsessed with re-creating the horror of 9/11 and believes this may be possible by launching a multi-drone attack on large numbers of people in a synchronised attack.
In truth, drones capable of carrying a payload of more than a few ounces cost thousands of pounds, not hundreds. But presumably this would not be a serious expense for ISIS, assuming they did not simply assemble them themselves from a kit or whatever. In addition, you don't need much of a payload capacity to inflict casualties within a crowd, to say nothing of the terror and panic that would be caused by multiple drones, even if many of them were not actually armed.

This short MythBusters video demonstrates the effect of even a small amount of C4 plastic explosive--a few ounces to a few pounds. You don't want to be standing next to it when it goes off:

So what's holding ISIS back? Well, perhaps nothing--drone terror attacks may be only a few months away. But at the risk of being perceived as going all Bill Maher on this, let me say that most Muslim terrorists do seem to be possessed of certain standards (I hesitate to call them ethical standards), which just might mitigate against such a scenario. Among other things, most (though not all) are either suicide attacks or attacks that carry with them a high probability of death or capture. And generally there's a personal element to it--you carry or wear the bomb, or if you use a gun, you (obviously) pull the trigger yourself. I can't think of a prominent recent Muslim terror incident where murder was, so to speak, inflicted at a distance.

Then again, they've been shooting rockets into Israel for years...

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Video Tuesday: Brit Hume Slams Abortion

Say what you like about Fox News--and I should confess that opinions among my Catholic friends are mixed at best--they have a much greater proportion of Christians among their broadcasters and journalists than any other major network. Among other things, this in part leads them to do things no other network would.

Here is Brit Hume, the former long-time anchor of Fox News, and now "Senior Political Analyst" discussing abortion in the wake of the recent and sickening "selling of body parts over salad" revelations:
Whatever comes of the revelations about Planned Parenthood and its participation in the traffic in fetal body parts, those revelations will have achieved one thing--they have parted the veil of antiseptic tidiness behind which the abortion industry has for so long operated. The sight of a senior Planned Parenthood official--and a doctor to boot--discussing the market for fetal body parts, in between bites of salad and sips of wine was stomach turning. That's because it laid bare the essentially brutal nature of abortion. 
Let's be blunt--abortion involves the extraction and killing of a human life, which within a couple weeks of pregnancy has a beating heart. Five weeks in, its hands and legs begin to grow. It is these tiny creatures, and too often ones that are far more developed that are pulled from a mother's womb and crushed with forceps, oh but oh so carefully lest body parts that can later be sold are preserved. 
This gruesome procedure shows the extent to which we as a people have been anesthetized by the estimated fifty-five million--fifty five million!--abortions performed since the Supreme Court discovered a Constitutional right to that procedure, forty-two years ago. 
Will we as a nation not someday come to look upon that decision and what it has done to us, not to mention the fifty-five million, with horror and regret? One can only hope we will.

-Hat tip: Jeremiah Rauwolf

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Flashback: The Horror!

The future pope being blessed by a televangelist

I wasn't a regular reader of Rorate Caeli when Pope Francis was elected, but I remember this post, largely because it seemed so out of step with the cautious optimism of the time. The opinion itself was soon mixed up in accusations that the author was SSPX or some such, and so was dismissed by many as biased and uncharitable. And while Rorate itself called the author a "cherished friend", even that traditionalist site qualified the contribution with, "(this post) is a personal assessment by the author and does not indicate any opinion of this blog or its contributors."

But what faithful Catholic could today dispute any of this? Every single claim below has been borne out by Bergoglio's words and actions as Pope. Indeed, the piece is almost a perfect summary of his pontificate. Mr. González and Rorate Caeli got it right.

By Marcelo González, of Panorama Católico Internacional, March 13, 2013:
The Horror! 
Of all the unthinkable candidates, Jorge Mario Bergoglio is perhaps the worst. Not because he openly professes doctrines against the faith and morals, but because, judging from his work as Archbishop of Buenos Aires, faith and morals seem to have been irrelevant to him. 
A sworn enemy of the Traditional Mass, he has only allowed imitations of it in the hands of declared enemies of the ancient liturgy. He has persecuted every single priest who made an effort to wear a cassock, preach with firmness, or that was simply interested in Summorum Pontificum. 
Famous for his inconsistency (at times, for the unintelligibility of his addresses and homilies), accustomed to the use of coarse, demagogical, and ambiguous expressions, it cannot be said that his magisterium is heterodox, but rather non-existent for how confusing it is. 
His entourage in the Buenos Aires Curia, with the exception of a few clerics, has not been characterized by the virtue of their actions. Several are under grave suspicion of moral misbehavior. 
He has not missed any occasion for holding acts in which he lent his Cathedral to Protestants, Muslims, Jews, and even to partisan groups in the name of an impossible and unnecessary interreligious dialogue. He is famous for his meetings with protestants in the Luna Park arena where, together with preacher of the Pontifical House, Raniero Cantalamessa, he was "blessed" by Protestant ministers, in a common act of worship in which he, in practice, accepted the validity of the "powers" of the TV-pastors. 
This election is incomprehensible: he is not a polyglot, he has no Curial experience, he does not shine for his sanctity, he is loose in doctrine and liturgy, he has not fought against abortion and only very weakly against homosexual "marriage" [approved with practically no opposition from the episcopate], he has no manners to honor the Pontifical Throne. He has never fought for anything else than to remain in positions of power. 
It really cannot be what Benedict wanted for the Church. And he does not seem to have any of the conditions required to continue his work. 
May God help His Church. One can never dismiss, as humanly hard as it may seem, the possibility of a conversion... and, nonetheless, the future terrifies us.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Pope Condemns Entire Mining Industry

Evita was foxier

Yesterday, in front of a meeting of political activists sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, the Pope attacked the mining industry:
You wished to meet in Rome...to echo the cry of numerous people, families and communities that suffer directly or indirectly from the too often negative consequences of mining activity. A cry because of lost lands; a cry because of the extraction of riches of the soil that, paradoxically, has not produced wealth for the local populations which have remained poor; a cry of pain in reaction to the violence, threats and corruption; a cry of anger and help because of the violations of human rights, blatantly or discreetly trampled with regards to the health of the populations, the conditions of work, at times the slavery and traffic of persons that fuels the tragic phenomenon of prostitution; a cry of sadness and of impotence for the pollution of the waters, of the air and of the soil; a cry of incomprehension because of the absence of inclusive and supporting processes on the part of those civil, local and national authorities, which have the fundamental duty to promote the common good. 
...The entire mining sector is undoubtedly called to carry out a radical paradigm change to improve the situation in many countries...
Of course, the Pope has now become a full-blown socialist demagogue, emboldened by the secular praise for Laudato Si and the noise of the South American crowds. Let me make only a few brief comments.

That mining "paradoxically, has not produced wealth for the local populations which have remained poor" is an empirical economic statement so patently false and absurd that even Karl Marx wouldn't have agreed with it. Only a demagogue would make such a claim.

What exactly is the Pope recommending? More regulations? Nationalization (or in many cases, re-nationalization)?  Or is it deeper than that--a "paradigm shift", to quote from the above, perhaps in how people think. So we (or "we" in the mining industry) should now, I suppose "put people over profits", as if after hundreds of years of merrily extracting minerals from the earth under capitalism, socialism and everything in between we need to be told that by, well, by Pope Francis.

But what does that mean? Does it mean paying the workers 10% more? 20% more? Voila, 20% more and finally we will have heaven on earth (or at least heaven on earth in communities surrounding mining operations). 25% more? Oh, damn, the company just went broke, bummer.

Or maybe it just means being nicer, you know, not calling your workers "boy" and not whipping them all the time. And get those company prostitutes out of the cantina.

Is the Pope well?

There's a growing controversy about that.

Does he mean well?

Of course not. If he meant well, he would be shepherding his flock, not pretending to be the frumpy second coming of Juan Peron.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Charlie is Dead

There is a satirical French weekly magazine that will go on publishing for the indefinite future. The cover contains the label, "Charlie Hebdo." 

But Charlie is dead.

From today's Washington Post (via Pamela Geller):
The top editor and publisher of Charlie Hebdo, the satirical French newspaper that suffered a deadly terrorist attack in January, said the publication would no longer draw the cartoons of the prophet Muhammad that have garnered it worldwide notoriety. 
“We have drawn Muhammad to defend the principle that one can draw whatever one wants,” said Laurent Sourisseau, in an interview this week with Stern, a German magazine. 
But Sourisseau, who goes by the cartoonist nickname “Riss,” said that it was not Charlie Hebdo’s intent to be “possessed” by its critique of Islam. “The mistakes you could blame Islam for can be found in other religions,” he said.
Now that France appears to be on the  one-terrorist incident a week, Sharia or bust track, the central symbol of the resistance has surrendered.

I can't say this is a complete surprise, given what we reported on a few weeks ago.

On the one hand it's easy to be critical. Sourisseau (who survived the attack of six months ago by playing dead) owns 40% of Hebdo's stock. And Hebdo is now flush like it never was before, enriched by eight-million purchases of the initial post-attack issue and by multi-million dollar donations, many of which were implicitly made with the expectation that the paper would continue in its pre-attack form.

On the other hand, I'm sure Sourisseau didn't enter the satire profession to become an actual martyr for a principle. Who does enter a profession for that reason? I assume (though I don't know) that he has a family. Any prominent Frenchman (especially an employee of Charlie Hebdo) who continues to draw funny pictures of Muhammed, is all but signing his or her own death warrant. Did I mention that he probably has a family?

But whatever we say about Sourisseau and the other Hebdo employees (not all) who are going along with him, that doesn't mean we shouldn't weep.

Charlie is dead.

Long live his spirit.

Or does that already ring hollow?

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Frodo Tells a Fib

Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich just gave an interview with (of all things) Laura Ingraham's new website LifeZette. It was somewhat wide-ranging and part of it was actually quite strange (more on that in another post). But what jumped out at me the most was the Archbishop saying something that could be most accurately described by using the L word. Or to be more charitable, it was a fib.
What role do traditional communities, like parishes that celebrate the Tridentine Mass, have in attracting people? 
People come at their own expression of faith in different ways, and I’m respectful of that. I’ve never tried to interfere in how people relate to God. The church does allow for a wide expression of the faith. People who are more “traditional,” as you call them, celebrate the liturgy much differently than, say, in Africa. We should be respectful of people’s own religious piety if it is life-giving for them. 
I would also challenge whether or not a group can really call themselves “traditional” if they cannot take the period that’s in recent history and call themselves “traditional” when we are a 2,000-year-old church. Maybe there has to be another name for that. All of these various expressions of the faith are within the tradition.
There's a fair amount to unpack there, but I'm not inclined to do that now. The most important takeaway is,
People come at their own expression of faith in different ways, and I’m respectful of that. I’ve never tried to interfere in how people relate to God...We should be respectful of people’s own religious piety if it is life-giving for them.
In fact, one of the most notorious and well-known actions to suppress Traditional worship was made by Cupich in 2002. From the Rapid City Journal:
Bishop bans Latin services 
March 27, 2002 11:00 pm • Mary Garrigan, Journal Staff Writer 
RAPID CITY - A standoff between Latin-rite Catholics in Rapid City and their bishop has left the Latin Mass congregation of St. Michael's choosing to celebrate Good Friday services on the sidewalk instead of in church. 
Members of the Latin Mass community, which has met in Rapid City for the past 12 years at Immaculate Conception Church on Fifth Street, say Bishop Blase Cupich has barred them from celebrating Good Friday and Easter vigil services at the church in an attempt to mainstream them into the English-language Mass. 
"We've been prohibited by the bishop from celebrating the Easter Triduum liturgies and locked out of our church from noon on Holy Thursday until 8 a.m. on Easter morning," Dan Carda, 58, of Piedmont, said. Carda is a Latin Mass adherent who refuses to participate in the new-order English-language Mass that was mandated by the Second Vatican Council. 
Instead, Carda and some of the other 220 members of St. Michael's congregation will gather at 3 p.m. today for Good Friday services on the sidewalk in front of the church. 
Cupich sees his decision to not allow Good Friday Latin services at ICC as an invitation to unity, not a denial. 
"We're just looking for an opportunity on an annual basis for us to all worship together, for one moment of unity as a Catholic church," 
Cupich said. "I'm looking for one time each year to do that, and it seems the day the Lord died for us all would be a good day to do it. That's all that this is about."
We'll let Cupich have the last word, at least for this excerpt. Read the rest here. Whatever you think of Cupich's justification for his actions (no traditionalist I've ever met thinks much of them), they do seem to contradict his recent words.  

Have you ever been locked out of your own church by your own bishop for the Easter Triduum? Does that count as interference? By the way, they did celebrate that service on the sidewalk. I'm sure it was the most beautiful thing this side of heaven.
I’ve never tried to interfere in how people relate to God...
Blase Cupich is a liar.

This man hates the Traditional Mass. He despises it. Catholics celebrated it for four-hundred years, and before that in a substantially similar form for a thousand more.

He hates that Church. And if you love that Church and therefore the Catholic Church as you do, then, sorry to say it, but I think he hates you.

And of course he hates everything about how Mass was celebrated by the vast majority of Catholics who ever lived--Communion on the tongue, priests leading their parishioners in facing the Altar of God...

In a discussion about Cupich a few months ago, someone wrote,
In his first Mass as our new Pastor in Omaha, Father Cupich publicly chastised our teenage daughter for genuflecting, as was her practice, along with many others in our parish, before receiving the Blessed Sacrament. He said loudly so that all in the communion line could hear: “don’t do that in my church again”.
What would you think if a priest yelled at your daughter for kneeling to God?

It's not your Church, Archbishop Cupich. It's Christ's Church.

I shall be calmer about this in the morning.

And you will still be Frodo.

ISIS Tweets on Chattanooga Terror Attack

[This blog post was originally titled: "BREAKING: ISIS Tweets Warning Simultaneous With Start of Chattanooga Terror Attack". See below for why I changed it.]

It is still not clear whether the "warning" was issued before the attack, or a few minutes after it began.

It was recently confirmed that 4 U.S. Marines were killed.

Update (3:13 PM CST): Two law enforcement sources told CBS News that the shooting suspect was identified as Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez.

He was born in Kuwaiti but was possibly a naturalized American citizen. It appears he was 24 years old and according to News9 may have graduated from the University of Tennessee with an Electrical Engineering Degree.

Update (4:24 PM CST): There is now controversy as to whether the time stamp on the tweet was in fact Pacific Time, which would indicate it was sent three hours after the start of the attack.

Update (12:09 PM CST, July 17): That the time stamp was Pacific Time, and therefore that the tweet was sent out two or three hours after the attack had been made public, has now been confirmed

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Golden Dawn Parliament Members Are Tough Dudes

I assume this crew is the complete Golden Dawn contingent of the Greek Parliament.

God grant there will never be more than ten of them. That's probably enough to keep Islam out of Southern Europe anyway.

Man these dudes are tough.

Suit and tie. Casual Friday look. Or sports v-neck. It's all good.

To them.

Look at the expressions and body language. As one of the deputies rips up that bill, the one on the left manages a short smile. Then back to that implacable scowl.

Okay, whatever they represent (and in sum, it's probably not good), the ripping up the bill thing is cool. It makes me want to become a politician if only to do that. Just once.

Bald or short hair only. Unless you're a girl. As long as you have the same scowl.

One of the two girls has biceps as big as a guy.

Give them 100 billion drachmas or whatever they want, as long as they just stop scowling.

Allright, 200 billion drachmas. Plus I surrender.

Tough dudes.

I hear that Golden Dawn members are racists. They don't like Africans and probably most other people. I can imagine them as waiters at a Greek restaurant, shouting "Opa!"

When they light you on fire.

Golden Dawn Parliament members are tough dudes.

Obama to be Greeted by 5,000 Nude Kenyans

I'm happy so many of you are glad to see me

This is from the It's a Strange World Department. Of course, it could all be (later edit: probably is) a put-on or publicity stunt by the "little known" Republican Liberty party (emphases mine):
Kenya: Nude Protest Against Homosexuality Awaits Barack Obama Next Week 
By Nancy Agutu (The Star, AllAfrica Global Media) 
A little-known party has sought permission to show US President Barack Obama the differences between a man and a woman through a nude protest. 
The peaceful demonstration against homosexuality will begin at 10 am at the Freedom Corner, on July 22 and 23, said Republican Liberty party leader Vincent Kidala. 
"The procession shall be carried out by approximately 5,000 totally naked men and women to protest over Obama's open and aggressive support for homosexuality," Kidala said in a letter to the county commander on Monday. 
"In fact our party has a network of prostitutes in Nairobi, Nakuru and other counties. This is where we shall get all these people whose number we expect to increase," he told the Star on phone. 
He said the prostitutes agreed to participate free of charge since they will lose customers if homosexuality is legalized.
Re: "our party has a network of prostitutes." Well, don't they all?

Re: "the prostitutes agreed to participate free of charge since they will lose customers if homosexuality is legalized."  Let's hear it for family values.

The letter also claims:
“The party’s main objective is for (Obama) to understand the difference between a man and a woman."
I'm not going to comment on this (beyond the above). I'm just not. This is partly because there are a few things about the above fringe party that are, shall we say, not funny. And I'm not keen, for the purpose of this particular post, on discussing, say, gay marriage or related issues.

I'm more interested in imagining what President Obama would say upon opening the door of his plane and discovering 5,000 waiting naked prostitutes (assume the airport let them gather on the tarmac):
No, no, I'm Obama. You're thinking of Bill Clinton.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Why Didn't God Pay Her Restaurant Tab?

Should she have cleared it with Him before ordering?

From News2 (NBC Affiliate, South Carolina):
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) – A woman was arrested Sunday night after refusing to pay her dinner tab at a Myrtle Beach seafood restaurant because, as she explained to police, “Jesus” was going to cover the cost of her meal. 
Myrtle Beach Police were called to Bennetts Calabash just after 9 p.m. Sunday night when, according to the incident report, 51-year-old April Lee Yates was asked to leave by management, but refused to do so. The report states that Yates was in the restaurant for nearly four hours before she started to cause a disturbance with other patrons. Management asked Yates to pay her dinner tab and leave, but she refused to pay the $26 bill. 
When the officer asked Yates if she had any money to pay, Yates said she did not. The officer then asked Yates what she planned to do with the bill came, and Yates explained that “Jesus” was going to pay her tab. 
Yates was arrested for defrauding a restaurant and booked into the Myrtle Beach jail.
I hope I'm not being irreverent with the post title. But after all, God could have paid her tab (He's God), and not even in an obvious or dramatic way--perhaps by causing a "forgotten" $26 to be found in her pocket, for example, or in softening the heart of the manager on duty so that he would have prevailed on the police to give her a pass or whatever--but He didn't.

Don't laugh, but I actually think it's an interesting question to ask why, especially given the Pope's recent homily on the miracle of the loaves and fishes. And no this isn't (thank God) an anti-Francis post.

Don't answer if you don't believe in God, because then the answer's obvious and trivial. But if you do believe in God, then seriously,

Why didn't God pay her tab?

Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Judas Pope

More than two years into his pontificate, opposition to Francis is growing among many Catholics. Of course, polls still show that a majority of "Catholics" count themselves as very favorable to the current Pope. But the more you narrow the group to faithful and practicing Catholics--those who attend Mass every week, for example, or to narrow it more, those who go to regular Confession or say the Rosary--the proportion of the disaffected increases greatly. The more Catholic you are the more you don't like this Pope.

As I've said before, at my traditionalist (non-SSPX) church, you would today be hard-pressed to find anyone who likes Francis. I'm not saying we're saints. But we are Catholics.

Among those who are unfavorable, it is still a live question as to how that opinion should be expressed publicly, or if it even should be expressed at all. And there is also a range of views as to what's wrong, as it were. Is Bergoglio a weak man who has put himself under undue influence from bad associates and advisors? Is he simply out of his league, as they say? Is he a narcissist, addicted to secular praise? A careerist going with the flow of what is now an institutionally "liberal" Church? Or is he an ideologue who wants to entrench that liberalism and thus, in a sense, permanently "change" the Church? Of course, even more disturbing and sinister possibilities have been raised.

Accusations of possible heresy are made almost constantly now. And as I and others have argued, they are not unfounded. There are by now all sorts of claims and statements made informally, formally and officially (in the encyclicals, among other places) by this Pope that certainly border on heresy--whether it's denying the existence of hell, denying the reality of Gospel miracles, casting doubt on the essential role of Christ and His Church for salvation, elevating "the poor" to a quasi-divine status while simultaneously implying that the Church's primary job is to help to eliminate poverty, abandoning the traditional social doctrine of the Church in favor of outright socialism and class warfare, and so on.

So, people ask whether the Pope may be a heretic. Few serious Catholics have as yet publicly uttered the phrase "anti-Pope" but that thought is clearly percolating underneath polite speech, fed, among other things by the odd and unprecedented situation of a former Pope in a white cassock--"the only color cassock I had available at the time"--living on the Vatican grounds.

And then, of course, for the especially excitable, there is that other label that begins with "anti-". But it is best not to think about that.

I propose another way of looking at the problem and an alternative way of characterizing Francis, who is in the process of inflicting such harm on the Church.

The Judas Pope.

Judas betrayed Jesus. That is one of the central facts of the Gospel narratives. But it is telling that opinions differ on why he betrayed Jesus. Was it for the money--those thirty pieces of silver? Was he jealous of his Master or of some of the other disciples, as might be suggested by the incident with Mary Magdalene and the costly perfume? Was he disappointed in discovering that Jesus' agenda did not include violent political opposition? Or is the explanation as "simple" as Luke and John's "Satan entered him"?

Was Judas a heretic? Simply uttering that question confirms it's the wrong question to ask.

The other important thing to note about Judas is the obvious fact that he was an "insider", and this of course made his betrayal all the more meaningful. Judas was one of the original twelve Apostles and remained a "full" Apostle right up until the betrayal. That he perhaps retroactively lost that status may I suppose embolden the Pope as anti-Pope crowd. But the point is there was nothing "irregular" or "invalid" about his status. After all, Judas was chosen as an Apostle by Christ himself.

The current Pope is in the process of betraying the Church in multiple ways and on many fronts. His rehabilitation of liberation theology--more and more it seems by actually becoming a mouthpiece for it--is a direct betrayal of the work of his two predecessors John Paul II and Benedict XVI. More disturbingly, he has betrayed ordinary Catholics by lending his support to the madness of secular crowds--climate change, "unconventional" families, etc.--while incessantly criticizing the standard norms of Catholic worship and practice. This at a time when Christians and Catholics are coming under unprecedented attack by secular forces.

Christ said that the gates of hell would not prevail against the Church. But nowhere is it guaranteed that a Pope could not be a bad or immoral man or even bad for or harmful to the Church. Indeed, there are a number of diverse and pointed examples of this in Catholic history among the 266 men who have occupied the Chair of St. Peter, not including the numerous anti-popes not counted in that number.

In an odd sense this should be partly reassuring. The Church has survived for close to 2,000 years despite always containing evil and harmful men, even some who made it, as it were, to the top. That we currently seem to have a Judas Pope does not mean he is the last Pope or that the Anti-Christ or End Times will be soon upon us.

On the other hand, that Francis is a Judas Pope does not mean they we aren't entering some awful time of tribulations, either. Nor, whatever the future might hold, should it make us complacent about the very real harm currently being inflicted on very real human beings. And of course, we all know it's not just about one man. Whether or not Francis ever ends up being formally outed as a heretic, he certainly represents a sort of high-water mark for a a particular heresy--that usually given the title of Modernism. Had the Modernists not already been in many ways in the ascendant, this Pope would probably not have been elected, nor would he have had the ability or the willingness to push so quickly and so fast with his agenda.

This blog has obviously been pretty hard on those who continue to go through mental and moral contortions to defend Francis. I think a policy of not publicly and directly criticizing the Pope is not unreasonable (though I obviously haven't followed it), especially for those in certain positions. But actively covering for and, yes, in effect lying for this Pope, and at the same time attacking the faith and character of the "dissidents" is not merely unreasonable, it's unchristian and uncatholic. And I say that while at the same time acknowledging that many of those doing it are otherwise good Christians and faithful Catholics.

Catholicism, while recognizing the obvious and legitimate Christ given claims of authority, is not a Dear Leader cult. Nor is it a suicide pact for our reason.

When you see the Church being betrayed, you fight that. How you fight it is another question. And there is room for reasonable people to disagree. But there is no room (for a Catholic) to obstinately side with and actively collaborate with its betrayers.

The Judas Pope.

There are a number of prophecies, many associated with appearances of Our Lady, that would appear to have increasing relevance in these fast moving times. No doubt they contain truth, albeit truth only half-understood. But God alone knows how this will end.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Jeffrey Mirus is Unwell


SOHO — I’ve tried ignoring this Pope but the bastard won’t go away. He's not good for my income stream. Yes, I’m going to have a right old moan today — and this month we hit only 17% of our fundraising goal. Pope of Mercy? You must be joking. Tell that to my broker. But at least I had a booze blowout with a few fellow Neo-Caths to sanitize our sorrows. Last night I poured gin into my computer keyboard and it nearly blew up. There aren’t any prizes for shills but that's just what I am. If I don't play ball regarding Frankie, I get kicked in the balls. Which reminds me, I’m somewhat choked at not having been invited for a drink by the Patheos Women’s Guild. I have been invited to take a drink with Mark Shea though. Bollocks the thought. But [redacted], who betrayed his college for 30 silvers, went berserk in TGI Fridays yesterday and bought me two drinks. He asked me for a loan and I pretended he was joking. Could this be some sort of honey trap?

Anyway, I think I may have cracked it this year. The website spend account is sending me to Cuba where I shall be once again lying about Frankie. This could lead to suicide, I fear, if the self-pity and sentiment sets in and I really don’t want to be found dead wearing a "who am I to judge?" button. It looks quite silly enough as it is. Incidentally, do you think I can trot out my "Pope thinking outside the box" argument again? I've already used it fifty-nine fucking times. When they get wise to it, I'll try something different. What?

But by far the worst thing about the shilling, apart from the suicidal tendencies, is the business of acting the clown. This is what my doctorate was for? Snowing the donors. But who else will Help Keep Jeff Out of the Nick.

Now if Bergo could read, I’d sit right down and write him a letter. Dear Super Pope, it would start too. He likes a little sycophancy, as we all know, as do all idols, gods, features editors, publicans, bank managers and anybody else in the nursing business. For one thing I’d ask for a German Cardinal to drop in twice a week and pass me an envelope. Secondly I’d like a return ticket to Disney for the rest of the Papal Mystery Tour plus a one-way ticket out of Londonistan to anywhere. Then I’d like an introduction to one of those extraordinary Irish women who’ve been brought up to tolerate the most appalling five-thousand word blog posts on Vatican II and even come back for more.

So, over there, Simon Bolivar's birthday is coming up, which I hear is sort of like Christmas but for Masons. That puts me in the mood. If you should be Catholic enough — sorry rich enough — to think that it’s better to give than to receive, then I suppose we must consider the wonderful blog readers who’ve put up with a lot from me this past year. I’d very much like to take all the female staff on this web rag out to lunch. Not that I have any. But still. 
I’d like to buy Crabby Trad a colour telly and then make her watch it and I’d like to get Snotty Trad a dictionary of slang so as to enrich his abuse of me. I’d love to give Ignatius Press the book they commissioned me to write in 1897 and I’d like to give my landlord April's rent. As it is, I’m afraid that all I’ll be giving this year is a hard time to my barman. At least I can tell him my true feelings about Frankie. Not that he cares. He's a Low Anglican. I shall also bung my doorman who amazingly deludes himself that I’m a professor and a gentleman. The poor fool probably thinks I’m Cardinal Newman too.