Saturday, January 29, 2011

Why I Think The Boycott of CPAC Is A Mistake ( A Social Conservative Viewpoint)

The famous CPAC meeting is in the news again. That is the big meeting of "grass root" conservative organizations in D.C. Now how influential the mass majority of CPAC participants is up to debate. After looking at the IRS statements of many conservative groups I often think a good many might just be scams. NOT ALL are but before you donate look that info up to see how your money is being spent.

However the perception is that CPAC is a big deal so in a sense they become a big deal.

Many groups and people who I am league in and respect have decided to boycott the CPAC meeting over the inclusion of GOPROUD. That is the up and coming gay, bisexual, etc etc Republican and Conservative group that seems to be on the path to replace the Log Cabin Republicans.

GOPROUD is conservative and perhaps libertarian at times with a bullet. Having a number of friends with deep seated same sex attractions I am not all shocked they are meeting a demand. Heck some of my gay friends have "conservative" views that even I don't take.

I also recognize the political ghetto gay friends of mine live in and for them that gets old. They in fact don't want others telling them that because they have same sex attraction they MUST think this way on assorted issues from a to z. I get that!!

The very good Gay Patriot has a post today relating to this. See Is MSM missing the real story in CPAC/GOProud kerfuffle?

Now in that piece Chris Barron (One of the Leaders of GOPROUD) is quoted and I think his statement is what has caused the alarm. The BOLDING is mine.

Now, though, gay rights issues are largely under the national political radar. And Christopher Barron, chairman of the board at GOProud, said that has worked in his favor. He said his group launched at an “unbelievably fortuitous” time in 2009, given that another movement was sprouting that was generally indifferent to social issues.

“Our organization got started at the exact same time that the tea party movement was getting started,” Barron said. “It was a natural fit, because the party has been laser-focused on fiscal issues. There’s been no interest in going back to the well on the social issues.”

Social conservatives hearing that and needless to say are alarmed. Now to be honest I think Barron is wrong there or let me say simplistic. I am not in the Tea Party but I recognize that this creature is diverse and has factions. Further a lot of people in the Tea Party wear a good many different hats. In some areas the Tea Parties chapters have a huge social conservative color. It differs no doubt by region and other factors but it is there.

Regardless when social conservative hear this it sounds like the old refrain of if you social conservatives would be quiet no doubt it would be victory victory victory. I actually rather doubt that would happen.

Also I think it fails to recognize that one side is not declaring a true on social issues. In fact GOPROUD is not taking a truce at all. I am not saying they should not make a case for gay marriage or the repeal of DOMA. I am just saying in reality there is no truce at all.

Now the people that are boycotting this event range from people you have not heard much of to those you have. The biggest shock to me was the withdrawal of the Heritage Foundation. See Heritage changes CPAC explanation.

I suspect some pretty big influential social conservative called in a lot of favors for that to happen.

Now as I will explain below I am against this boycott for many reason. One is it makes no tactical sense to me.

However it appears that the boycott folks did have a tactical reason that is emerging. See the Washington Post article CPAC boycotters respond by Rubin. She interviews the head of the American Principles Project which I link and support by the way. The bolding is mine.

What if all the 2012 presidential candidates show up? He says his group has not reached out to the candidates to ask that they not attend. But, he concedes, "We'd be very happy to have them all boycott it." He nevertheless is realistic that it's not in the cards. So, he says the next best thing would to have them appear and "take this on." Why then doesn't his group show up and take on the GOProud issue? He seems to suggest his organization doesn't have much sway. He contends, "They [the candidates] have a forum we wouldn't have." Later in the interview he comes back to the strategy of boycotting, saying that had his group shown up and argued their case "the story wouldn't have made it out of the party. We would not have been able to draw attention to the issue."

The goal here is plainly to assert the relevance of social conservative issues. He vows that candidates will "take it on the chin" if they ignore social issues or favor a "truce." Is he referring to Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels? Blom is dismissive. "We are not as confused as he is. He said he wanted a 'truce.' Then he had a stumbling explanation that he wasn't calling for a truce." Blom asserts, "The other side is not considering a truce." He argues that this phrase "sends a signal" that conservatives will give in on social issues. By doing this, he claims that candidates would be "dramatically weakening any chance they have." His group has now sent out a letter criticizing CPAC for including Daniels in the program, calling it an "affront to millions of conservatives." He even claims that "if marriage falls, the next attack will be on religious freedom." He doesn't explain how that would play out.

So there is a method to the madness it appears. In some ways I am very on their side . The constant putting down of social conservatives by some in the party and the conservative movement gets old. What people might be missing is that this boycott might be a reaction to this.

However I think this has all been a big mistake. Here is why.

(1) Social conservative have in the past worked with people that ID as gay on the pro-life issue. I am not sure why we are taking a different attitude now. Further and I think this is very important. These gay conservatives have taken a lot of grief for being in the same room with us over the years. I think that should be remembered. More on this below.

(2) It is a mistake to concede the battlefield. On twitter I see a lot of "straight" folks that are going to CPAC joke "I am going to CPAC and I am not catching the "Ghey" disease". Of course the reason the boycott is happening has nothing to do with the belief that people might become gay by hanging out with gay people. Yet by being absent this sort of things happen.

The fact that there are pro-gay marriage and Libertarians in the conservative movement and the GOP is a REALITY. There is no sense running away from that. You have to debate the ideas and make your case.

Here is the case I would make. I think Libertarians and other advocates of marriage equality in the conservative movement are deluded. To be more precise they are very naive.

I have no doubt that the gay Libertarians and conservatives in the party that wish for legal marriage equality are truly Libertarian and conservative . That is live and let live get the Government out of our lives etc etc. I have no reason to doubt that after watching them for a long period of time.

But this is the rub. It is my belief they can't deliver on that statement if gay marriage is approved and becomes the law of the land all will be well. I think this point needs to be made with great force at places like CPAC.

In other words will gay marriage being forth a world of liberation where people can associate with whom they want, rent to whom they want, educate their kids how they want, hire whom they want as we are all freed from the Big Daddy Government.


Will recognizing gay marriage as a FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT bring forth a whole new regime of laws to enforce both formally and informally under sanction this new reality. In other words is what happened in the UK a couple of weeks ago more likely to be in our future. I think the legal history of the USA shows us the UK example is far more likely. That means someone anyone needs to be at places like CPAC to make that argument.

In other words lets get of out of the Think Tank alternative universe and talk reality.

We have already seen this. From important people calling the National Organization For Marriage a hate Group to a increasing under the radar campaign to keep traditional marriage advocates off the main stream media. Which brings me to my third point.

(3) I have no doubt of the sincerity of people in GOPROUD and their conservative somewhat libertarian ethos. It should be noted that they have come under assault for being in the same room with us at times. This assault by the gay democrats and the gay left can and in fact has been quite cruel over the years.

In the immigration debate I supported pathway to citizenship. I was very hurt and wounded by the words that were directed to me by people I thought were conservative allies. In fact I almost withdrew out of politics all together. Being called a traitor was no fun. What I went through is nothing like the conservatives with same sex attraction have gone through by other gay people in positions of power and influence. They get it in spades all the time.

Whatever you think of these groups they seem to stand for our right to exist and to speak. I am not sure quite frankly we want to burn our bridges with them. I am also not sure while people are saying we have no right to speak because it's hate it's productive to tell others they shall have no platform.

(4) I know very few social conservatives that "hate" people that are gay. There needs to be a discussion among social conservatives and people with varying degrees of same sex attraction about "just" and "unjust" discrimination in the law. There needs to be a discussion about when people are free to discriminate and when not. There needs to be a discussion that shows social conservatives will stand with them that unjust discrimination will not occur against them. If we don't have it among ourselves then others will have for us and then we lose even more.

(5) GOPROUD despite their talk of not returning to the well of social issues makes some good points about common alliances. The fact for instance that there is common cause it appears on such things as the de funding of public funding of Planned Parenthood is huge. This has not only domestic implication but would ripple and disrupt Planned Parenthood international operations. Operations that sadly appears to becoming more and more the official foreign policy of the United States.

I am not quite willing to abandon those alliances.

In the end I am not so sure if this is about GOPROUD attendance or that social conservatives are just tired of being told to shut up. If I had to pick one I would say the latter.

While I respect the people boycotting CPAC I very much disagree. There is no idea that is too dangerous to be debated as they say. If social conservative groups are not there to demand debate then well I thing we are putting our head in the noose.

Comparison of Imperial Rome Culture and Todays -It's Not Promising

The Way of the Fathers has A Culture Exposed .

Two things will happen in the end:

Christ will return in the midst of this and the Church message will be vindicated


Christ will not return in the immediate future , society will fall, and the Church will there to be pick up the pieces AGAIN.

Either way the message of Christ and his Church will triumph.

The Decline of Basketball In Louisiana - Part 1

The Shreveport Times today is running part I of a series on the decline of basketball in Louisiana. See Louisiana hoops show decline .

This is a pet issue with the writer of the piece Scott Ferrell so I am glad to see him write it. Tim Brando , nationally known sports broadcaster based in Shreveport, also comments. As you can see in the piece Basketball is in crisis at all levels of the sport.

South Sudanese Christians See Independence As Fullfillment of Isaiah 18

Woe to the land of whirring wingsa]">[a]
along the rivers of Cush,b]">[b]
2 which sends envoys by sea
in papyrus boats over the water.

Go, swift messengers,
to a people tall and smooth-skinned,
to a people feared far and wide,
an aggressive nation of strange speech,
whose land is divided by rivers.

3 All you people of the world,
you who live on the earth,
when a banner is raised on the mountains,
you will see it,
and when a trumpet sounds,
you will hear it.
4 This is what the LORD says to me:
“I will remain quiet and will look on from my dwelling place,
like shimmering heat in the sunshine,
like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest.”
5 For, before the harvest, when the blossom is gone
and the flower becomes a ripening grape,
he will cut off the shoots with pruning knives,
and cut down and take away the spreading branches.
6 They will all be left to the mountain birds of prey
and to the wild animals;
the birds will feed on them all summer,
the wild animals all winter.

7 At that time gifts will be brought to the LORD Almighty

from a people tall and smooth-skinned,
from a people feared far and wide,
an aggressive nation of strange speech,
whose land is divided by rivers—

the gifts will be brought to Mount Zion, the place of the Name of the LORD Almighty.

Well this is interesting. See Some south Sudanese Christians see independence from Muslim north as fullfillment of prophecy

Friday, January 28, 2011

Are Rand Paul's Two 14th Amendment Bills In Conflict - No Rights For the "Illegal" Unborn?

Let me say I am not questioning Senator Rand Paul's pro-life attitudes or his pro-life bona fides. However I do wonder if the pro-life community is watching what people in the anti immigration movement are doing. Including Senator Paul!!

Now the reason I bring this up is well a lot of Pro-life legal reasoning is based on the 14th amendment. No matter what you think about how Citizenship is (or should be) granted this is a issue.

Catholic Vote has a good piece on a piece of legislation that Rand Paul has introduced . See Newsflash to liberal writers: Libertarians can be pro-life .

Now I actually agree with a lot of what Mercer is saying there. However I am not quite so sure there is not a real potential conflict coming up as to this and Rand Paul's resolution to deny Citzenship to children of illegal aliens.

One reason I say this is because of what Mike Huckabee went through as Governor. Mike Huckabee came under a ton of vocal criticism because he said that illegal alien mothers had the RIGHT to pre natal care. Well let me let Mike explain himself in one of the early posts I did on Mike Huckabee:

Amendment 65 of the Arkansas state constitution states that that Arkansas considers life to begin at conception. Life period. It means that life in the womb no matter who you are or where you are from is going to be to be defended under the Consitution of the State of Arkansas. That is because it is at its most vunerable. Governor Huckabee found himself under tremendous political fire for sticking to that. He had a consistent ethic that shows him to be truly pro-life.

One can get a glimpse of that
in this article Huckabee, callers go toe-to-toe on immigration.

"He also criticized Senate Bill 206 by Sen. Jim Holt, R-Springdale, that would impose new restrictions on illegal immigrants in Arkansas. The governor's comments were in response to a caller who expressed concern about the bill's effect on plans for a Mexican consulate's office in Little Rock"

As for allowing immigrants to receive free prenatal care, Huckabee said that's part of his pro-life sentiment as well as that of Amendment 65 of the state constitution, which says that Arkansas considers life to begin at conception. "I believe that because it's a human life, then by our law and by our constitution even that unborn child is an Arkansas citizen because he or she is going to be born in this state," Huckabee said. "The prenatal care for the entire pregnancy costs less than one-third of what one day in the neonatal unit at Children's Hospital would cost if the child has complications at birth."

As you can see this was not a popular position. I expect some supporters of Governor Huckabee's right now don't like it. But when the rubber hit the road he stood on the side of LIFE. He knew that it to deny these benefits for the unborn child would be to adopt the logic of the forces of evil that state personhood and dignity of the human person can be eliminated by legislative fiat. Life was Life the Governor said and if it was in Arkansas it shall be protected

Now this is not about about whether you like Huckabee or not. But I think he is right. Also how this was used against him was not something that was just a minor thing.

In other words even in pro-life Arkansas we had this conflict of values. That is life versus the controversial issue of illegal immigration.

The fact that illegal alien mothers perhaps might be the most vulnerable to the scourge of abortion is something we need to thing about. In other words when we fiddle around on the 14th on one issue we need to think how that affects pro life concerns too.

How Egypt Shut Down the Internet

Like everyone else I am following the events in Egypt. I was curious how Egypt basically managed to shut down 99 percent of the Internet so easy within it's borders.

Here is the answer

Dean and Rector of Episcopal Gethsemane Cathedral, Fargo To Become Catholic Priest (Links) (Updated)

UPDATE- Knew I should have checked out Anglo Catholic first. See Dean of Fargo's Episcopal Cathedral Set to Enter the Catholic Church .

Update II- Looking at the Angloc Catholic post again still not 100 percent clear he is going the new Ordinariate route.


Tip of the Hat to MCJ for this

See N.D. Dean Leaving Earlier than Planned.

The reason I am highlighting this is I was curious to see if this involved possible new Ordinariate activity in North Dakota.

It appears that if he is going the Ordinariate route as he crosses the Tiber it will not be in North Dakota. See end of PDF Church Bulletin where he announces he is leaving and going back "home" to Houston.

Please know that Dixie and I will hold all of you in our hearts as we move our household back
to Houston, Texas, where Dixie has been teaching elementary school music the past 18 months,
as our family has been forced to adjust to the new financial realities in this diocese and at the Cathedral.
A new avenue and opportunity for priestly ministry has been opened for me in Houston,
and I look forward to the new direction the Lord has brought into my life. Please know that we
love all of you very much.

Well we know one thing!! He is not likely going to get a PAY RAISE in the Catholic Church LOL.

Still it is sort of interesting as a side note that Episcopal are having what appears money woes in that Diocese. Wonder what is up with that. It could be that the Diocese is just very small and thus is strapped.

Returning to the good Father, I am not assuming he is going the Ordinariate route.

However; Houston has a strong Ordinariate base and Cardinal Dinardo is a strong supporter which will be critical in this transition to the new governance. I will look at what the Anglo Catholic blogs are saying to see if they have any hints.

When Both Glenn Beck and the Jews Are Wrong

I am not a big fan of Glenn Beck and rarely watch him.

However, I basically though can't avoid him because on my twitter feed liberals love to talk about him and what he is saying on his show. It is much like conservatives that give daily /hourly updates on what is happening at MSNBC.

Glen Beck appears to have got into some controversy lately (what else is new). However this controversy deal with Jews and the Holocaust.

Now I don't think one bit that Glenn Beck is anti Jewish. However I do think he is very wrong as to remarks on George Soros and his conduct as a 14 year just trying to survive in his interaction with the Nazis. People were thrust into all sort of horrible situation and a lot of very good Jews in Eastern Europe and indeed even in the death camps had to do things they were not too proud of just to survive. I know I have met them. So Beck is very wrong here.

See from the left Glenn Beck, FOX News Attacking the Memory and Meaning of the Holocaust

However see from an organ of the Jewish Right via Contentions The Difference Between COMMENTARY and the Jewish Funds for Justice Rabbis.

I tend to agree with Contentions there.

However I do wish the left (Jewish and Non Jew Alike) and Jewish groups would look at themselves in the mirror.

Blessed Pope Pius the XII saved through his efforts countless Jews. He hid them at the Vatican, at the Papal Estate, in Convents and other places all around Italy. At first he was honored for this by many Jews. But later for some wild reason many Jews starting saying that he was not a friend but a enemy. All because he did not speak out more. Of course by his speaking out the way some want him too now the Nazis would have no doubt raided Catholic Church property and those Jews (and their countless descendants) would have ceased to exist.

Many Jewish groups on the left (and indeed some on the right) either join in on the Bad Pope Pius XII theme or are silent when it happens which is about just as bad

We now come to poor ole Pope Benedict. Whose family was anti Nazi and whose own cousin was killed by the Nazis because he was defective. The fact that he at a young age he had to enroll in mandatory Hitler Youth and he got drafted at the tail end of the war is still held against him. At the very least there seems to be little objection and much silence when the Hitler's terror is somehow transferred to the character of Pope Benedict.

In this way many Jewish groups screaming now are in some cases not so much better than Glenn Beck in some of their past and present behavior.

Now I am not saying all Jewish groups and people on the left got on the Nazi Pope Benedict train. In fact sadly even those Jews on the right sometimes indulge this ant Catholic sentiment. However it has been enough(especially with Pope Pius the XII) that it is significant to note.

During World War II people (Jews and Non Jew Alike) had to make tough moral choices that were life and death. We really have no business second guessing their character now. All sides do this.

So I disagree with BECK and his observations on Soros in this instance QUITE STRONGLY. However this standard that Beck appears to be applying to Soros is not much different than what certain Jewish groups and individuals have applied to Pope Pius XII and even Pope Benedict. Both are quite wrong.

Great Interview With Priest the Movie " The Rite " Is Based on ( Exorcism )

I was watching Public Broadcasting a few nights ago and the Charlie Rose show. He had Anthony Hopkins on. I was struck about how good Charlie Rose can be in interviewing and just how wonderful Anthony Hopkins is in acting.

Of course one of the main topics was the the movie The Rite which Hopkins plays one of the main characters.

The Rite , which is based on a true story is getting some rather rave reviews from Catholic publications.

The American Catholic Priest that the story is loosely based on has a great interview at Doorways for the Devil

Tip of the Hat to Morning Reads.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

How Abraham Lincoln Used Biblical Imagery To Make Case That All Men Are Created Equal

Mirrors of Justice has a link to a wonderful Law review on this. Please don't let "Law Review" scare you off. It is very readable for non lawyer lay person and of course very well footnoted. So I would encourage you to down load it. Here is the abstract:

This article describes Lincoln’s use of biblical imagery in seven of his works: the Peoria Address, the House Divided Speech, his Address at Chicago, his Speech at Lewistown, the Word Fitly Spoken fragment, the Gettysburg Address, and the Second Inaugural. Lincoln uses biblical imagery to express the depth of his own conviction, the stature of the founders of this country, the timeless and universal nature of the principles of the Declaration, and the magnitude of our moral obligation to defend those principles. Lincoln persuaded the American people to embrace the standard “all men are created equal” and to make it part of our fundamental law. This goal was formally accomplished as a matter of law in 1868 when the Equal Protection Clause was added to the Constitution as part of the Fourteenth Amendment, but it is approached in fact only through our constant application of this ideal to our society and in our daily lives. The principle of equality is a higher law, but it need not exceed our grasp. As Lincoln called upon us – “let it be as nearly reached as we can.”

Also let me add as to the article the Biblical imagery and warning of how the North should treat the defeated South is indeed interesting .

Did the Vatican Slap Down Just Conservative Catholic Blogs?

Hmm here we go again!! Maybe!!

The Pope issued a very good message on the Internet and social media the other day. See

MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE BENEDICT XVI FOR THE 45th WORLD COMMUNICATIONS DAY -Truth, Proclamation and Authenticity of Life in the Digital Age.

I am going to comment on some parts that are not getting the most attention in the very next post. However I want to AGAIN focus on a problem. That is the secular press making stuff up is misleading or is just damn negligent in their jobs !! This might have occurred again in this situation. If so this is the second high profile time this has happened in just two weeks.

In the United States as well as the UK a good bit of the focus right off the bat went not to the what the Pope actually said . But to the remarks that Archbishop Celli, head of the Council of Pontifcal Communications said (or perhaps as we might see did not say at all).

Vox Nova is an example that set the tone of the debate and focus right off the Pope's actual words but to alleged remarks at the press conference.

They like everyone else take their cues off the AP article written by Nicole Winflied of the AP.

This is from the AP article now online (see above link):
Benedict didn't name names, but the head of the Vatican's social communications office, Archbishop Claudio Celli, said it was certainly correct to direct the pope's exhortation to some conservative Catholic blogs, YouTube channels and sites which, with some vehemence, criticize bishops, public officials and policies they consider not Catholic enough.

Now notice a difference between that and the Vox Nova piece:

The follow-up comments from Archbishop Claudio Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, are also noteworthy. He “said it was certainly correct to direct the pope’s exhortation to some conservative Catholic blogs, YouTube channels and sites which, with some vehemence, criticize bishops, public officials and policies they consider not Catholic enough”. This is uncharacteristically blunt, which tells you that the Vatican sees this online parallel magisterium as a growing problem. I’m not going to name names either, but I think we all know the blogs he is talking about! .

What is different? Well those little quotation marks!! Those quotation marks were there when the article first came out. Now they seem to have disappeared.

For example look at Mark Shea's piece on this where the " " are there but now seem magically gone in the main link. I looked at this FOX LATINO link when it first came out and I swear the quotation marks were there.

See the quote marks again at Liberal Pope Cracks Down on Conservative Catholic Bloggers

A UK blog called the Protect the Pope took notice of this. See Pope’s message on internet used to criticise ‘conservative’ Catholic bloggers. NOW take note!! I have gone to great efforts to find a English translation or a video of this press conference. There appears to be none. I asked via twitter a UK reporter that covers Catholic matters if such a thing existed. There seems not to be. Therefore we just have reporter Winfields word for it.

One thing that struck me about this quote was it would seem odd that the Archbishop would single out just "conservative" blogs. In some parts of the world liberal Catholic blogs are very tough. Alarm bells were further raised when it appeared in the European press and blogs no one seem to notice this slap down on "conservative" blogs.

See on this page the article translated from the Vatican Newspaper on the document and the press conference.This Pope uses a pencil to write but knows well what the Internet can do .

It also seems the Italian Press that covers the Pope a lot seemed to have missed this fraternal correction of just "conservative" blogs too. Via google translate I usually follow the Italian based Friends of Pope Benedict blog or in Italian Amici di Papa Benedetto. This blog usually looks and comments on the major articles in the Italian and European press .

They just today take notice of Protect the Pope article . See The Pope's Message for World Communications Day "used" to criticize the conservative Catholic blog (Protect the Pope) (which I linked and commented above)

But before that and elsewhere?

In an French article they took notice of at Patrice de Plunkett says the article in "La Croix" on blogs Catholic and in which I google translate from French to English here (no mention of the Archbishop comments though it would seem relevant to the piece if it happened.)

Proceeding on:

See The Pope and the web, innovation, truth and "fakes": comments of Father Antonio Spadaro and prof. Pier Cesare Rivoltella Pier Cesare Rivoltella (no mention)

In this Italian article they link From the Pope photo realistic digital universe (Tedeschini Lalli) and which I google translate here From the Pope photo realistic digital universe (no mention)

In this article link and translated Pope Ratzinger gives lessons to the world of Facebook (Macioce) (no mention)

In this article and Link translated Why stay in the network? L'incoraggiamento di Benedetto XVI ai Cristiani (Michele Sorice) The encouragement of Benedict XVI to the Christians (Michele Sorice. (No mention)

SEE their link from Radio Vatican translated of the Press Conference -Archbishop Celli: Pope looks positive to the Internet. Presto un portale multimediale di notizie vaticane Soon a multimedia news portal Vatican (NO MENTION)

See Pope: the virtual contact does not substitute for direct human. I giovani facciano buon uso dei social network (Izzo) Young people will make good use of social networks (Izzo) (NO mention)

See Internet, Mgr. Celli: il Papa propone stile cristiano sul web (Izzo) Celli: Pope offers Christian style on the web (Izzo) (no mention)

See Pope: the "social networking" offers new opportunities for "sharing" and "dialogue, exchange, solidarity and creating positive relationships" (Ansa) (No Mention)

See Pope: Christians involved in social networks, but with their style and witnessing to the Gospel (AsiaNews) (no Mention)

From the blogs the last few one can see the pieces from two day ago had the supposed quotations marks and newer blog posts do not.

So what is up.

First besides one reporter in the Anglo Press everyone seemed to have missed that the Archbishop at the Press Conference might have done a slap down of JUST "conservative" Catholic blogs. I am finding that doubtful.

Second in just the Anglo Press the main storyline was Catholic conservative blogs gone wild. We don't seem to see that elsewhere. Why?

Again we are very much hindered by the fact there appears to be no transcript of the event online.

Now I am not saying that there are not problems with some Catholic blogs. I am not saying that perhaps the Bishop was not alluding to them. Again we don't know. I just want truth and clarity as to what was said.

However it appears that by PERHAPS putting certain things in quotes what might have been a reporters interpretation of the Archbishop's words to a situation in the USA now has become the literal words of the Archbishop themselves.

This is very bad if that happened.

The Vatican is at fault too in this. They need to start putting transcripts and vids of these Press Conference online!! I suspect we shall never know if it is the mind of the Holy See that "conservative" blogs are a problem or not. This story will pass and we shall move on to something else. However for enough clues are present AGAIN to distrust AGAIN the Anglo press reporting on the Vatican.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Protest Over Too Religious Speaker For Air Force Academy Prayer Breakfast

First they came for the Fundamentalist
Then they came for the Evangelicals
and Then .......

Huffington Post has Air Force Academy Speaker Thinks USMC Means 'United States Marines for Christ'

There are many so called objections but here is one that have so many people upset over former Marine Lt. Clebe McClary:
Other statements from McClary make it clear that, to him, only born again Christians are "real" Christians. McClary's message not only excludes members of all non-Christian religions, but many Christians as well, making him a completely inappropriate choice for an Air Force Academy event that should be inclusive of members of all faiths.

I suspect that at the Prayer Breakfast the good former Lt will not being going off on the errors of Rome , or how the Episcopals got it wrong etc etc. I suspect he will largely focus on what unites us .

Regardless it is a PRAYER BREAKFAST and among Christians yes even Fundamentalists and Evangelicals that believe like him appear all the time . It is no big deal.

I am actually more concerned that there is an attempt to say people of a faith that represent a sizable part of the United States and it's military are person non grata.

So folks get a life.


A Catholic

Head of the Vatican " Supreme Court " Talks About His Job / Vocation

Well I cannot recall a period of time where Canon Law has been in the news so much lately. From handling sexual abuse, to marriage, to the little internet discussion we had on Deacons recently.

Well America's own Cardinal Raymond L. Burke talks about his position as head of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura in Rome, among other things. See Cardinal Burke reflects on role in Rome, topic of free will | with multimedia

Does Buddy Roemer Have A Chance To Be President Of the United States?

That is what is discussed by one of Louisiana's main political reporters today. This appears in papers across the State today. See A Louisiana governor for president doesn't have to mean Bobby Jindal: John Maginnis.

Lord Help Us- Father Alberto Cutie Might Get Another TV Show!! (Updated)

MCJ has the link at KILL ME

Father Cutie is of course the former Catholic priest that was having an affair with a woman. In short order he left not only the Catholic Priesthood but became an Episcopal Priest.

I REALLY think this bears watching. No doubt the media will build this up as a great thing. Further I think it is significant that the Episcopal Church USA will have their first nationwide voice since well I don't when. That would not be so bad if it was not for the fact that Father Cutie seems to think the Episcopal Church is now correct on all sort of matters besides married clergy. Those issues are needless to say "progressive" in nature. In other words since the TEC embraced him so fast so publicly it is natural he will not be in opposition to their positions on nationwide TV. From women Priests to perhaps even the official position of the TEC that abortion should be legal in the good ole USA.

So for the first time we might actually have a "Priest" advocating for homosexual civil unions and all sort of things in front of a nationwide audience. The fact that Father Cutie has certain Latino appeal should not be overlooked either.

In other words Father Cutie becomes much more than just a Catholic problem but a problem to a lot of Protestant and Evangelical Churches that disagree where certain faith communities are going.

Well things could get interesting fast on that front could it not? The "progressive" league of the Christianity might actually have their own TV preacher for a change.

Now I am not sure what the content of this hour long show will be. I am think this needs to be watched.

Update- Opening markets detailed here for trial run

Pope Benedict Closes Christian Unity Week By Opposing Resignation and Pessimism

I have not been very good this year highlighting the importance of Christian Unity week. Of course such thing should not just a week long affair but a YEAR long affair. So perhaps I can make up for it.

Pope Benedict close out Christian Unity week at the important St Paul outsides the Walls. This is where of course the remains of St Paul are located. See Papal Homily to Close Prayer for Christian Unity Week "We Are Still Far From That Unity for Which Christ Prayed".

He said in part:
The unity to which Christ, through his Spirit, calls the Church is not realized only on the plane of organizational structures, but is configured, at a much more profound level, as expressed "in the confession of only one faith, in the common celebration of divine worship and in the fraternal concord of the family of God" (ibid., No. 2).

The search for the re-establishment of unity among divided Christians cannot therefore be reduced to a recognition of the reciprocal differences and to the obtaining of a peaceful coexistence: What we long for is that unity for which Christ himself prayed and which by its nature is manifested in the communion of the faith, of the sacraments, of the ministry. The path toward this unity must be seen as a moral imperative, response to a precise call of the Lord.

Because of this, the temptation must be overcome to resignation and pessimism, which is lack of trust in the power of the Holy Spirit. Our duty is to continue passionately on the path towards this goal with a serious and rigorous dialogue to deepen the common theological, liturgical and spiritual patrimony; with reciprocal knowledge, with the ecumenical formation of the new generations and, above all, with conversion of heart and prayer.

That one Faith based on the deposit of Faith is of prime concern to Pope Benedict. Much more than everyone recognize the Pope as the head of the Church quite frankly which is how the media often reduces it. This is one reason Pope Benedict since the days he was a Cardinal takes extreme interest in what is happening in many mainline Protestant faith communities.

In the background of this of course are the Eastern Orthodox. The one group)s) that the Catholic Church sees officially as a CHURCH. Needless to say when people ask why can't the Catholic Church do x, y, and z it is often tied to the fact of the life giving Gospel message and Deposit of Faith we share with the Orthodox.

We pray in our lifetime that unity with them we might see more hints of in our lifetime. That is a huge priority for the Roman Church.

Will America's March For Life Inspire Such A March in the UK ?

Well I hope so. I am no expert on UK culture but I am kinda of shocked this has not occurred already. I can recall the marches to ban fox Hunting, against various conflicts, against rises in school tuition, and related matters. So it does seem that public demonstrations do not go against UK political culture.

See Let’s take courage and hold a March for Life in Britain.

These Marches , that occurred not only in DC this year but at State Capitols around the nation, serve more than just a political purpose. It is a really big morale booster too. It is important for people to know they are not alone in their cause. The chance to bond, have friendships, and network with people of the same mind on this issue is crucial.

In fact I think that has been the greatest contribution of the March. That was very true in the VERY LEAN years where society, where the media, and yes some even in our own Churches told us the cause was lost.

German Politicians Pressuring Church to Have Married Priests?

I must say as an American I guess I don't understand why it's a Germans politico's business if the Clergy is married or not. But the Church has different relationships with the State depending on culture so I understand not everything should be a cookie cutter of the United States. I also understand the Church is much more closer linked to the German State than here.

That being said I am not sure what competence this politicos bring to the debate . See German politicians pressure church to ordain married men.

The politicos helpfully note that if the Catholic Church can't do it for the whole Church they would be happy if it just applied to Germany! LIKE THAT WILL HAPPEN.

After I converted to the Catholic faith many moons ago it did not take me long to see the folly of the married Priest argument that is laid out. That is it is like trying to cure a brain tumor with aspirin.

It also gets the "Laity" off the hook as it were. Something those lay groups mentioned may not like to hear. If parents do a horrible job of passing down the faith, if you live in a culture of Death where Laws promote things contrary to the Gospel,if you have dismal Church attendance that has been in a free fall for decades, and if you don;t encourage vocations to the Priesthood where you get what you deserve.

It is strange but this whole debate often operates in an alternativeuUniverse it seems. In the United States we have Dioceses and schools that are producing a ton of vocations to the religious life and the Priesthood. Normally what would be done is those Dioceses would be examined to see what they are doing right.

YET, in the secular press and indeed in the Catholic press there seems almost an concerted effort not to do that. Maybe because those Dioceses are doing things that put obligations on the Lay Faithful themselves that have produced fruits. Maybe it is because what these Dioceses are doing , such as teaching a vibrant ORTHODOX Catholic faith gets in the way of other agendas. It is much easier to go LETS JUST HAVE MARRIED PRIESTS.

The problem with that is the Clergy shortage is a symptom of something a lot more serious. Putting a faulty bandage over it without applying medicine will cause more sickness in the end.

It is time people faced up to that.

Pope Benedict - Pastoral Care as to Marriage Is Linked To the Canon Law

I think Pope Benedict gave a rather significant address too the Tribunal of the Roman Rota that among other things works on annulment cases. See the full text here at "The Right to Contract Marriage Presupposes That One Can Marry".

This very important address for some reason did not get coverage it deserved. Maybe because it takes several reasons for a lay audience to get.

Let me recommend The hermeneutic of continuity piece this morning What did the Pope really say about marriage?

I think he lays out clearly how important this comments are to the very local Church. I also think to touches on other issues we are dealing with in the Church.

There are several lines in the Pope's speech I like.

The relationship between law and pastoral care was at the center of the postconciliar debate over canon law. The well known statement of the Venerable Servant of God John Paul II, according to which "it is not true that to be more pastoral the law must make itself less juridical" (Allocution of the Roman Rota, Jan. 18, 1990, No. 4: AAS 82 [1990], p. 874) expresses the radical overcoming of apparent opposition. "The juridical dimension and the pastoral dimension," he said, "are inseparably united in the pilgrim Church on this earth. First of all, there is their harmony that derives from their common finality: the salvation of souls" (ibid.). .

Already I love this right off the bat. There is a lot of Catholic Canon Law bashing. From Protestants to talk about all those Catholic "man-made" laws to as we saw by some Catholics even in the recent internet can Deacons have sex debate!!

Benedict sets out the theme of his speech:
I would like to pause to consider the juridical dimension that is inherent in the pastoral activity of preparation and admission to marriage, to try to shed light on the connection between such activity and the judicial matrimonial processes.

Pope Benedict makes the not too shocking claim, at least it was not shocking a few years ago, that the Law is important here because yes this is a real LEGAL contract.

Read the blog piece above and then the address and consider if this is being heard in marriage preparation classes?

The Priest blogger makes this important observation at the end of his piece on the Pope linking Pastoral care and the Law:

It is not always an easy argument to follow, especially since we live in a culture where everything is "my right" regardless of obligations and the objective character of what we claim a right to. Hence my attempt to summarise some of the more important points.

In the Church, the Pope's address may well be misused to subject couples to endless marriage preparation sessions exploring "relationship" and "compatibility". What the Holy Father is actually insisting on is closer attention to the canonical requirements for valid and authentic marriage.

Right off the bat

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Were the Church Fathers Anti Jewish?

I actually am listening to this very good Eastern Orthodox speaker's podcast in preparation for a possible post on the the Pope's latest comments on the Internet and the comments of some at the Vatican on that.

If you listen to the Was St. John Chrysostom Anti-Semite? you will catch why I making a possible connections.

However that is a possible future post.

People often think the Jews were anti semitic. That is they have a hatred of JEWS.

I think Dr. Jeannie Constantinou tell some important history and gives context to the times to show this is not the case.

Links On the 2011 March For Life and Thoughts On Governor Christie

Since about every Catholic blog in the United States was doings posts on the March For Life marches in DC and around the country , I decided not to hit on it yesterday.

The Anchoress though has perhaps the best of the links to give you an overview. See Pro-Life Marchers Roundup – UPDATED

Let me discuss this post I found. See New Jersey Governor Chris Christie Headlines Pro-Life Rally.

It must have shocked pro choice folks that a Pro-lifer got the Governor's mansion in NJ. It was shot in the arm for the pro-life movement last year.

There was theme last year that the Governor elections in VA and NJ was a message that social issues should not be discussed. We see this in Governor Daniel's call for a "truce" on social issues.

However that narrative was always false. The pro-life movement has ALWAYS been a lot more sophisticated than it critics give it credit for. Pro-lifers are smart enough to recognize that a person running for sffice does not need to make such issues as abortion their prime issue they talk about 24/7/ However they want assurances they will not be ignored.

It was missed but in a close NJ Governors race the pro-life community was very engaged. It appears Governor Christie is making good on the trust that pro-lifers gave him. The focus of Governor Christie is of course on the dire fiscal condition of his state. However he shows one can walk and chew gum at the same time on economic and social issues. In other words he has decided that too tell one crucial element of the conservative movement should not be told to shut up.

I expect that will pay off in the future.

LA Times Obit- Bishop Samuel Ruiz Versus Pope John Paul the II?

A very important and indeed controversial Mexican Bishop has passed on. That is Bishop Samuel Ruiz who was Bishop of the "Mayans".

Perhaps I should have drank my third cup of coffee before writing this post. Perhaps I am over sensitive? However a obit has rubbed me the wrong way

The LA Times has a Obit that while informative I think is a tad one sided. In the background is the issue of Liberation Theology of course.

What gets me about this OBIT is it seems to try to set up some conflict between John Paul the II and Bishop Ruiz

It was also a period of great change in the Roman Catholic Church. Reformers inspired by the Second Vatican Council that ended in 1965 sought to make the church more accessible to native populations, a trend especially strong in Latin America where "liberation theology," which favors political activism on behalf of the poor, took root (before being reined in by Pope John Paul II).

To say the least that is a very simplistic view of the situation. John Paul the II , as well as Cardinal Ratzinger, were concerned about certain extreme elements in the Liberation movement. For instance political activism that portrayed Jesus as some Marxist leading revolutionaries with a machine gun. More on this in a bit.

His promotion of the rights and culture of the indigenous put him on a collision course with the local land barons and entrenched corrupt governments that exploited them. He once said he had received more death threats than he could count. In 1993 several Vatican officials attempted to force him to resign.

Well that could very well be true.

We then learn this sinister note:

Ruiz turned 75 at the end of 1999, the mandatory retirement age for bishops. The pope sometimes makes exceptions, but not in his case. Ruiz retired in 2000 and remained bishop emeritus of San Cristobal de las Casas until his death.

It is never quite explained why Ruiz should have got an exception but one is lead to believe something sinister is going on by that sentence.

The picture is again a lot more complex. This 1999 Tablet article that highlight the John Paul II visit to Mexico paints a a different picture for instance.

Also as the Tablet mentions is one of the most important documents of the John Paul the II era that was issued on this visit.

That is ECCLESIA IN AMERICA which was addressed to all of the AMERICAS. Of note are the of course are the addresses and homilies that John Paul the II gave in Mexico.

In that document that is important on many levels John Paul the II said:

Her moral vision in this area “rests on the threefold cornerstone of human dignity, solidarity and subsidiarity”. (202) The globalized economy must be analyzed in the light of the principles of social justice, respecting the preferential option for the poor who must be allowed to take their place in such an economy, and the requirements of the international common good. For “the Church's social doctrine is a moral vision which aims to encourage governments, institutions and private organizations to shape a future consonant with the dignity of every person. Within this perspective it is possible to examine questions of external debt, internal political corruption and discrimination both within and between nations”......

58. “The Church in America must incarnate in her pastoral initiatives the solidarity of the universal Church towards the poor and the outcast of every kind. Her attitude needs to be one of assistance, promotion, liberation and fraternal openness. The goal of the Church is to ensure that no one is marginalized”. (213) The memory of the dark chapters of America's history, involving the practice of slavery and other situations of social discrimination, must awaken a sincere desire for conversion leading to reconciliation and communion.

Concern for those most in need springs from a decision to love the poor in a special manner. This is a love which is not exclusive and thus cannot be interpreted as a sign of partiality or sectarianism; (214) in loving the poor the Christian imitates the attitude of the Lord, who during his earthly life devoted himself with special compassion to all those in spiritual and material need............

BUT Later!!!

As I have already noted, love for the poor must be preferential, but not exclusive. The Synod Fathers observed that it was in part because of an approach to the pastoral care of the poor marked by a certain exclusiveness that the pastoral care for the leading sectors of society has been neglected and many people have thus been estranged from the Church. (251) The damage done by the spread of secularism in these sectors — political or economic, union-related, military, social or cultural — shows how urgent it is that they be evangelized, with the encouragement and guidance of the Church's Pastors, who are called by God to care for everyone........

Some had some very valid concerns about the Bishop's Indian Theology. However that did not mean the very "conservative" John Paul the II need not see the truth that was contained in some elements.

In the opening paragraphs of his MEETING WITH THE REPRESENTATIVES
. he said:

A thousand years ago, in the year 999 of our era, the fury of those who worshiped a violent god, calling themselves his representatives, did away with Quetzalcóatl, the prophet-king of the Toltecs, because he was against using force to settle human conflicts. As he neared death, he clutched in his hands a cross which symbolized for him and his followers the agreement of all ideas in the search for harmony. He passed on these lofty teachings to his people: "Good will always prevail over evil". "Man is the centre of all creation". "Weapons will never be companions of the word; it is the word that dispels the storm-clouds, so that we may be filled with divine light" (cf. Raúl Horta, El Humanismo en el Nuevo Mundo, chap. II). In these and in other teachings of Quetzalcóatl we can see a "preparation for the Gospel" (Lumen gentium, n. 16), which many of your ancestors would have the joy of accepting 500 years later.

In other words the thought that God was present in some form to all peoples even before the Europeans arrived was not some foreign radical concept.

At the HOMILY OF JOHN PAUL II Hermanos Rodríguez Racetrack in Mexico City
Sunday, 24 January 1999

With great affection I greet the many indigenous peoples from various regions of Mexico who are attending this celebration. The Pope feels very close to all of you; he admires the values of your cultures and encourages you not to lose hope in surmounting the difficult situations you are experiencing. I invite you to strive to achieve your own development and to work for your own advancement. Build your future and that of your children with responsibility! For this reason, I ask all the faithful of this nation to commit themselves to helping and supporting the neediest among you. Each and every one of the children of this land must have what they need to live a dignified life. All the members of Mexican society have equal dignity since they are God's children; for that reason they deserve full respect and have the right to fulfil themselves in justice and in peace.


There is much to commend to about the life of Bishop of Ruiz and indeed there is some thing to be the focus of legitimate criticism. Also see this fun post from Mark In Mexico in 2006.

There is saying the Church that the Church embraced the poor and the poor embraced the Pentecostals. Well there is some truth to that as we see. Of course the effort by some to paint the Pentecostals and the Evangelicals as agents of the rich is folly too.

However it does bring up the need of "balance" in approach. Something I think John Paul the II hits well in his Letter to the Americas.

As usual history and the characters in it are a tad more complex. I hope in the years ahead we can examine the Life of Bishop Ruiz and his teaching without having to put everyone in black versus white us versus them categories.

A Major Catholic Archdiocese Will Give Confirmation To Young Children

From across the pond as they say this notice from the Archdiocese of Liverpool caught my eye. See

Let me post out the whole text and then I shall comment


Following a number of enquiries in the last few weeks regarding the proposed changes to the Order of Sacraments I have copied some of the current information that we have received regarding this and proposed a way forward for Cathedral Confirmations during the two interim years.

In recent years in the Archdiocese of Liverpool, most Catholics have been baptised as babies, made their First Communion around age seven, and been confirmed when teenagers.

These three sacraments make up the process of belonging to the Church (called Christian Initiation). The sacraments weren’t always in that order, and adults preparing for initiation have always received them in the original order: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist (Communion).

From September 2012 in this Archdiocese, children who have been baptised will follow that same order. Those aged eight by the first of September 2012 will be invited to receive Confirmation and First Communion in the days between Ascension Sunday and the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi) in 2013, and the same pattern will be followed each year after that.

The families of these children will be invited to explore and celebrate Reconciliation with them during Advent each year, while teenagers and their families will be invited to explore and celebrate Reconciliation during Lent each year.

The bishops will preside at some of the celebrations of Confirmation and Communion (with priests delegated to confirm at the other celebrations).

At the same time the way children are prepared for these sacraments will change. Instead of teachers, catechists and priests teaching children and parents about the sacraments, they will help the parents to hand on their own faith to their children, fulfilling the privileges and responsibilities expressed in the Rite of Baptism. New resources will help parents to prepare their own children for these sacraments with the support of the local church community.

These changes are meant to help us understand that sacraments are gifts of God’s grace, that parents are the first teachers of their children in the ways of faith, and that we are all called to get to know Jesus better throughout our life’s journey.

2011 and 2012 will be years of transition from the old regime to the new. During these two years all children born before 2004 (who will be 9+ in 2013) will need to have the opportunity to be confirmed. What I propose should happen for our children (namely those living in the Cathedral parish and members of our choirs , servers and siblings) is that for this year any children from Year 6 or older should be confirmed and then for 2012 children in the then Years 4, 5 and 6. From 2013 onwards the norm will be that children in Year 4 would receive confirmation and Holy Communion during the same celebration. When we have fixed a date for our Confirmation celebration this year we will be inviting those who wish to be confirmed to put their names forward.

Canon Anthony O’Brien Cathedral Dean.

I might be very wrong on this but this is the first time I have ever heard of children of this age being confirmed AS THE NORM in the Latin Rite Catholic Anglo sphere world. If this has occurred in the USA I am not aware of it. In my neck of the woods Confirmation usually occurs to kids in their late High School years.

With that being said I like it!! In the first place in the Eastern Orthodox Churches and in the Eastern Churches in communion with Rome both Baptism and Confirmation occur together when the child is a infant. Now I am not one of these people that say if the EAST does it they must be correct so lets do it! However it does show as a theological matter this should not be a major controversy.

Further this post from wikipedia I think is actually pretty good in showing that such a practice is not foreign to the West.

That entry makes this observation:

the early Church, through the Middle Ages, confirmation was closely linked with baptism and it was often performed on infants before their first birthday.[7] Like baptism, confirmation was an act for which the parents were held responsible. Two synods held in England during the thirteenth century differed over whether confirmation had to be administered within one year after birth, or within three years.[8] Confirmation became a much more important ritual within the Catholic Church in response to the Reformation's concerns about understanding and faith, as well as the age of consent.[9].

Of course in the Church of the East where the Reformation hardly no headway at all they did not change the practice.

I am not sure the Catholic Church has been well served trying to make this Sacrament akin to a evangelical altar call. That is "OK I am am Adult I accept Jesus and Lord and Savior."I am not saying that such an approach does not have benefits. However I do wonder if this way might be better.

Big Anglican Worldwide Primate Meeting Today

MCJ as usual gets to the point as to this meeting with his usual wit. See ALL-IN?

As usual what will be interesting to watch is not the official actions or decrees that will come out but those important background players MCJ mentions.

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Book On Notre Dame and the American Civil War Is Reviewed- "Notre Dame in the Civil War"

I have to get this book called "Notre Dame in the Civil War " . It looks very promising. American Catholic gives its a nice review here.

I was very pleased via that link to discover the author has a blog himself which talks about his book and his experiences writing it!! See Notre Dame in the Civil War A blog chronicling the research and writing of my forthcoming book, "Notre Dame in the Civil War: Marching Onward to Victory" (The History Press, 2010).

In my view Catholics and the American Civil War is still one of those under researched subjects. That is strange because there are so many interesting story lines.

One reason I really want to read this book is it mentions a Holy Cross Priest by the name Joseph C. Carrier, CSC. See the authors post:
Notre Dame Civil War Chaplain Profile #3 - Fr. Joseph C. Carrier .

Father Carrier appears to have been with Grant a good part of the war . This includes the Siege of Vicksburg that has always held a great fascination to me. Whenever I am in Vicksburg I take take some time to go the Park. This is also an area where Confederates might have some real personal interaction with Catholic lay folks, clerics and especially nuns which no doubt gave a positive impression that lasted a lifetime.

Returning to Father Carrier , I am hoping very much that the book leads me to to where perhaps Father Carrier talked about his wartime life in some detail.

There was a good interview with the author that is worth a read at
Confederate Book Review at the post Interview--Jim Schmidt: Notre Dame and the Civil War.

It's a interview that hits on many topic but this part got my attention:

CBR: Can you briefly describe William T. Sherman's association with Notre Dame and the value of his papers to your research?

On his own, General Sherman might never have been connected with Notre Dame. Sherman's wife, Ellen Ewing, was related to the Gillespie and Phelan families, both of which had strong connections to the university and her sister school, St. Mary's…the Shermans sent their children Willy, Minnie, and Tommy to Notre Dame and St. Mary's during the war…Ellen Sherman arranged for Notre Dame to send one of its priests – the aforementioned Fr. Joseph Carrier - as a chaplain to Grant's army at Vicksburg…Fr. Carrier was at the bedside of the Sherman's young son Willy when he died of "camp fever" at Memphis in 1863…General Sherman gave the commencement address at Notre Dame in 1865.

1959, Miss Eleanor Sherman Fitch, the granddaughter of General Sherman, deposited the “William Tecumseh Sherman Family Papers,” in the University of Notre Dame Archives. The university archives has an excellent online finding aid for the Papers, including hyperlinks to actual images and/or transcripts of material.

The Papers were especially helpful in yielding correspondence between Ellen and the general about sending their children to Notre Dame and St. Mary’s and between the general and his children while they were at school.

*Any* serious scholarship about Sherman or his family begins with the Papers at Notre Dame.

I will be looking at those archives a lot!! I am one of those weird Southerners that is actually sort of a General Sherman apologist . I think in essence history and indeed Southern history have given him a raw deal. Besides one other important Louisiana politico no one seems rushing to correct what I view as an injustice. That is not ONE BUILDING ONE STREET ONE NOTHING is named after him at LSU where of course he was the first Superintendent. Well that is another battle for another day

I have mentioned Sherman's Catholic connections before. Those connections include his son , who had an interesting life to say as the least, who was a Jesuit Priest and is in fact buried in Louisiana.

Sherman of course goes down in history as the General that brought us the total war or what came to be know as modern warfare. If he actually was the first to do that is subject to debate.

Regardless it would indeed be interesting to see how that Catholic Priests, well educated or at least aware of a Just War tradition that includes RULES OF WAR, thought of Shermans and indeed Grants tactics. Did they view it as something new on the scene? How did they react? Did any of them at the time or more likely later in life examine the morality of military actions on both sides via the rules of war. Again an area that I think is overlooked.

Civil War history in the South seems full of stories where Yankee Catholics threaten to revolt if Cathedral X was burned or This Church to our Lady of X was destroyed. I am not saying all these stories are true but one runs across them. That brings up the interesting question of the role that priest like Carrier and others served in areas with significant Catholic populations. Did they act as liaisons at times between the Union Commanders and the local Bishop and other local Catholic authority figures?

One can just imagine the situation in New Orleans for instance which I suspect was quite tense under the not so great Union Leadership of General Butler.

For all the horror of the Civil War it did produce the good effect of lessening anti Catholic tensions in this nation to some degree. This book appears to be a good contribution in giving us insight on that story.

Scalia Talks To Members of Congress and The Republic Is Still Standing!!

Ann Althouse has thoughts on what I viewed as a very faux controversy. See The phony fuss over Scalia's lecture to members of Congress.

Catholic Earthquake Greets California This Morning- Bishop Robert Vasa To Santa Rosa

Unlike most earthquakes that are viewed as a bad thing, I think this is a much needed shaking things up that is LONG LONG LONG overdue.

Whispers has an overview at In NorCal Shakeup, Vasa Lands a Rose

New Orleans Picayune - Why Do North Louisiana Folks Need Four Year Colleges

Ok the Picayune did not say that but that mentality is lurking there. CenLamar takes a looks at a recent Times Picayune piece here.

Why don't we close UNO and SUNO in New Orleans since LSU is only a hour away. Heck why not ULL ?

Now I am not for keeping things the way it is. It is abundantly clear that we have too look at combining schools and look at duplication of degrees and mission. Still once gets a sense that for people below I-10 the solution of University Budget woes should far on people in the north.

Boy Do I Fell Old Today

Boy I wish I missed this fact today!!

Today in birthdays news: Aaron Neville is 70 and Gennifer Flowers is 61.

What????? How did that happen.

Update- Note not my Birthday today . Just saw this today and went OUCH

Alabama Governor's Comments On Christian Brotherhood Not That Radical

Now one can of course question in his role if he should have said this at this time and place. I think the fact it was linked to a public Civil holiday makes it the most controversial.

That being said there is "brotherhood" and then there is "BROTHERHOOD". What the Governor said theologically wise was really not that controversial

Get Religion has two good pieces on this. See AP: ‘Bama Christians only Baptists and note this comes up again at ‘On Faith’ offers a shot of news (with analysis) that has some good quotes from Baptist heavy hitters.

Did Marriott Hotels Pull the Plug on Porn Because of Mitt Romney?

Politico offers that as a possible reason. See Another step toward Romney 2012: Marriott bans porn

They actually don't seem to just to throw it out there but it seems assumed. I am not so sure. The campaign to get Marriott to take porn out of hotels has been a long one by many people and groups. SO while he might have been a factor I doubt he was the only one.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Theology of the Trial - Important Jewish Law Prof Tells Jews To Embrace the Death of Jesus

John Allen has a fascinating interview with a man that is a big dog in Catholic Jewish relations. He is also a big dog in the controversies in Europe right now too.

See Tackling taboos on Jews and Christians, the cross and deicide

It's a great interview and hits on a lot of subjects. However this work he is doing on the Theology of the Trial is what grabbed my eye. It will be controversial to say the least when finished in both Jewish and Christian circles.

See also Deicide and the eternal covenant

Pope Benedict's Only Official Portrait Has A Big Problem

CNS has a nice feature on Pope Benedict one and only official portrait.

However as is pointed out on this page commenting on this story there is problem.:


Here's an interesting sidelight about what turns out to be Benedict XVI's one and only 'official portrait' - Most interesting, except that no one at the Vatican seems to have considered that it has one obvious 'flaw' as an official portrait of the Pope - he is still wearing his cardinal's ring. As we learn in the story below, it was taken the day after his election, and he did not get to wear the Fisherman's Ring until the Mass that formally inaugurated his Petrine ministry.

One would think the brilliant brains at the Secretariat of State who made this initial choice would have recognized their mistake soon afterwards and chosen a picture where the Pope already wears the Fisherman's Ring! But no, they obviously went ahead and ordered hundreds, perhaps thousands, of copies to be sent everywhere around the world without waiting one week until he got the Fisherman's Ring.

It will be almost six years since then, and it's high time they replaced the portrait which is displayed in all the Nunciatures in the world - as well as most dioceses and parishes, for all we know!

Pope Benedict's Interesting Address To Roman Police

I saw the text of this last night. See Benedict XVI's Address to Rome's Police. In parts of the speech he took it as an opportunity to go into a theme he seems have been on lately.

Our world, with all its new hopes and possibilities, is suffused at the same time by the impression that moral consent is failing and that, as a consequence, the structures at the base of coexistence no longer succeed in functioning fully. Hence, in many the temptation appears of thinking that the forces mobilized for the defense of civil society are in the end destined to failure. In face of this temptation, we, who are Christians, have a particular responsibility to reawaken a new resoluteness in professing the faith and in doing good, to continue with courage to be close to men in their joys and sufferings, in happy hours as in those of darkness of earthly existence.

In our days, great importance is given to the subjective dimension of existence. On one hand, it is a good, because it makes possible to put man and his dignity at the center of consideration whether in thought or in historic action. One must never forget, however, that man finds his most profound dignity in the loving look of God, in reference to him. Attention to the subjective dimension is also a good when the value of the human conscience is put in evidence. However, here we find a grave risk, because developed in modern thought is a reductive vision of conscience, according to which there are no objective references in determining what is worthwhile and what is true, but it is the single individual, with his intuitions and experiences, who is the meter of measure; each one, hence, has his own truth, his own morality. The most evident consequence is that religion and morality tend to be confined in the ambit of the individual, of the private: that is, faith with its values and conduct is no longer to have a right and a place in public and civil life. Therefore, if on one hand great importance is given in society to pluralism and tolerance, on the other, religion tends to be progressively marginalized and considered irrelevant and, in a certain sense, foreign to the civil world, almost as if it should limit its influence on man's life.

On the contrary, for us Christians, the true meaning of "conscience" is man's capacity to recognize the truth and, the possibility prevails again of hearing its claim, of seeking it and finding it. It so happens that man is able to open himself to the truth and to the good, to be able to receive them freely and consciously. Moreover, the human person is an expression of a plan of love and truth: God has "projected" the person, so to speak, with his interiority, with his conscience, so that it can draw the guidelines to protect and cultivate himself and human society.