Sunday, February 29, 2004

A few words about icons
Today the Byzantine Rite commemorates their defence and restoration to the Church after the second Council of Nicæa - the 'Sunday of Orthodoxy'
More from me on The Passion
Rather than be verbose I wanted the poster and my two-word recommendation below to say it all, but Samer al-Batal has asked for a review so here is one.

Though I went with a large group from two churches - one Roman Catholic and largely 'charismatic' and the other black evangelical Protestant - I didn't see or hear any emotional reactions in the cinema, but then again I sat far in front.

About the only technical criticisms I can think of are that people in the eastern Roman Empire, especially those with different native languages, would have talked to each other in Greek and probably not Latin and as far as I know Franco Zefferelli got the carrying of the cross right - chances are a weakened prisoner only could carry the crossbeam. Where was the Greek on the sign? And to give Martin Scorsese some passing credit, the actual crucifixion may really have looked more like he depicted it, with the body and crossbeam not that far off the ground. (Aside: I agree this probably will be, and deserve to be, far more successful commercially than Scorsese's film.) Mel Gibson chose the iconic form of the crucifix recognized worldwide* - OK dramatic licence. He also chose that route with the placing of the nails - all know today that unless the victim were tied down all through the ordeal, the nails would have gone through the wrists and not the palms. (Here I disagree with Roger Ebert. Except for the much-commented-upon violence, much of the movie is like holy cards come to life, just like older movies.)

The violence was entirely necessary to do justice to the story.

I'm no biblical scholar but think it's faithful to the gospels. I understand the extra dialogue was taken from the writings of the Roman Catholic mystic Anne Catherine Emmerich (worth reading from what little I've read) - some of it did enrich the scenes, other times it seemed a little stilted but was fine and certainly orthodox.

While one might question the use of Latin here, it was wonderful to hear it spoken, often by Italian actors, giving it a natural sound, as though it were a living language and found that hearing it first and only resorting to the subtitles afterwards I could understand it fairly well. The proper church pronunciation is fine too and again brings it back to life: no-one really knows how the Romans talked. (Please, not the ugly pronunciation of classics teachers.)

(Here Samer, a native Arabic speaker from Syria, nitpicks Jim Caviezel's pronunciation of Aramaic.)

Hristo Shopov deserves a supporting-actor award as Pilate. While it's possible he and the Jews talked to each other in Aramaic as he'd been stationed in their land long enough to learn the lingo, I think it more likely they did in Greek.

The woman as an androgynous Satan was a nice touch, as were the special-effects demons. Having the latter take over little boys to taunt Judas was brilliant - I'm sure such really happens though usually less graphically. Herod the mascara'd fat swinger, obviously a puppet king while Pilate really was in charge, worked well too - he was the closest thing to comic relief in the story without distracting from the overall serious message. From him and his court to the Romans to the Jews, Gibson gives you a panorama of the world God-become-man was suffering to save.

Even in character, Monica Bellucci is attractive to the point of distraction but that fits the story, doesn't it?

I thought I could trust a traditionalist with this material and was proved right.

Did Muslims and atheists convert during the filming? I wouldn't be surprised.

My Lord and my God.

Once again: see it.

*Incidentally his production company is called Icon Productions and has an eye and the nose of the Russian icon of Our Lady of Vladimir for a logo.
From blog correspondent Samer al-Batal
French cinemas refuse to screen The Passion
Political correctness is charity knocked off its Christian foundation
From blog correspondent Samer al-Batal
And the 11th commandment is ‘thou shalt not resort to cheap gimmicks’
Mainline Protestant follies
From blog correspondent Samer al-Batal
UN staff see boy shot in back
Israeli officer suspended after incident
‘Time for tolerance, forgiveness’: Father

Saturday, February 28, 2004

Jesus Christ, true God and true man

See it
Pseudo-Catholic, Protestant religious-right spam
Big Boost for Federal Marriage Amendment; Time for Action
Well-meaning RCs are letting themselves be played. Once again, what over 90% of people want to do doesn't need federal 'protection' and unlike these Irish-American folks I'm not threatened personally by what about 1-10% of people do. Are they sinning? Of course! But that - whether one may receive Communion - is not the government's business! (Again, the state already licenses things not considered marriages by the church.) One can argue they have a right to make fools of themselves by pretending to be married! (Hardly a defence of 'gay' marriage!) Here I see a mob from a certain social background getting together to push around a minority nonthreat simply for being different (yes, wrong, but a nonthreat to me). Count me out. (Then again, can one expect political sense from the people who trashed their own church 40 years ago and brought you charismatism and the 'guitar Mass'?)

Friday, February 27, 2004

From Reuters
Mr Bliar tries to dodge accusation of bugging UN officials
That's right, it was all a Tory conspiracy. Sure.
From Reuters
Bigger long-term deficit in Bush plan
Second-term Clinton with a Republican Congress looks better and better. One more time: these people are not really conservatives.
From Reuters
Israel razes 120 Palestinian shops
From Reuters
US RC priests molested at least 10,667 minors
That's a low estimate from the bishops' conference. Most victims were boys in their teens. These offenders are g-a-y.
Weapons inspectors’ phones bugged
Kelli Carpenter
1. Who? 2. Oh. What a waste!
From blog correspondent John Boyden
2/3 of Americans support televised executions
Panem et circenses

John Boyden: Romans were into this before Christianity tempered their bloodthirst. I guess as a post-Christian society we're going back to it. [End.]

If lust and hate is the candy
If blood and love taste so sweet
Then we
Give ’em what they want.

- 'Candy Everybody Wants', 10,000 Maniacs
From blog correspondent John Boyden
The missing people-shredder
From blog correspondent John Boyden
US ‘may hold cleared detainees’

Amnesty barred from Guantánamo trials

JB: Why are stories like this only in the foreign news and never in US papers? [End.]

I get the feeling the White House and Beltway 'conservative' think tanks use the Constitution as novelty toilet paper.
Vatican: use and teach Latin again
Deo gratias. This is good because the precision of Latin, a frozen or dead language, is a good standard with which to measure all vernacular texts, just like the platinum-iridium metre stick that used to be kept in Paris was the standard metre for everybody using that system. (The modern standard, since 1960, sounds Star Wars cool: 'a multiple of the wavelength of the red krypton atomic line'. The same idea - über-precision - only better!) Can't get away with heresy that way. I suppose similarly any Eastern Orthodox or Byzantine Catholic theologian should be required to master mediæval Greek and Slavonic, even if they aren't used liturgically (in many places they are). I imagine all Christian theologians have to know koine Greek, the original language of the New Testament.
From blog correspondent John Boyden
St Mel?
I plan on seeing the movie tomorrow night. Based on what I've already heard and read I've wondered if Mr Gibson will be canonized someday.
From Forum 18
Belarus: Prots, go home
It goes against religious liberty but is understandable

Macedonian government terrorizing Orthodox church?
What I’m listening to
‘Eye in the Sky’ covered by Jonatha Brooke
Wow. What cover songs are all about - not karaoke but an original work of art. Sounds very heartfelt - the feminine touch makes it a love song and not a stalker tune.
Slavorum apostoli
by Pope John Paul II

Today is St Cyril's Day in the Julian-reckoning Byzantine Rite calendar

Thursday, February 26, 2004

A Catholic look at mental illness
by Catherine Arrowsmith

From David Brown
You are the potter, we are the clay
An article for (Great) Lent about St Gregory of Narek
Clare Short: UK spied on Kofi Annan
From blog correspondent John Boyden
From the Novus Ordo Watch site:

Jews against Zionism

Fact is, 80% of American Jews are appalled at the neo-hawkish warmongering emanating from the mouths and pens of neocons.

- Karen Kwiatkowski
From Nicholas Stanosheck's blog*
The God Makers
Protestant video exposé of Mormonism, a non-Christian religion from America's heartland

*Not a blog I approve of - Archangel has said it best about such people. Perhaps one can add 'Buena Vista' to the places he mentions.

Speaking of nutter religions in the Rockies, for the curious:

What the hell is ROAC, anyway?
The 'correspondence-course catechumen' in this thread has given me permission to say he has dropped his association with this group.

When they were handing out religions, you musta been out taking a whizz.

- Homer Simpson, cartoon character

P.S. Run, Raven, run. Seriously.
From blog correspondent Dave McLaughlin
Did Kerry betray American POWs left behind in Vietnam?
by Sydney Schanberg
Not when he protested the war but 20 years later as a senator trying to re-establish US diplomatic ties to (North) Vietnam.

Not from Dave but more Village Voice picks:

George W. Bush, make-believe president
Also by Sydney Schanberg

Bush answers questions with more questions
by Ward Sutton

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

From blog correspondent Lee Penn
Totalitarian tech: RFID may give ‘Tag, you’re it!’ new meaning
Lyrics to ‘Taxman’
by George Harrison
The late landed gentleman hippy and libertarian... but also an apostate from Christianity and free-lance Hare Krishna

Some of the good points he tried to make:

We are what we live. Keep the government out of most things, and we would be better. We who also find responsible freedom, are the best. But it is not about ego. It is about love. Full circle I have come. Others are welcome to fly too!

- pandata2000
From David Holford’s blog
More socialist theft by government in the UK

'Pa, what does "confiscate" mean?'

- James Stewart in Shenandoah
Putting part of pay into savings instead of taxes including Social Security?
I like the sound of it.

After putting Social Security reform on the back burner for several years, President Bush is making a new push for a plan that would let workers divert part of their payroll taxes into personal savings accounts.

Got to give that team some credit for this (stopped clock and all that), but 'let' workers do something they had the right to do all along?
From Virtuosity
‘His blood be upon us’: understanding what we see in The Passion
by the Revd Dr Joseph Murphy
In the post
After The Passion
by Prof Lubomyr Luciuk

Who killed Christ? The Hebrews? The Romans? All of us? Some, none, all of the above?

I have no idea. Let Biblical scholars, theologians and philosophers muse over such mysteries.

Did Mel Gibson's film, The Passion of the Christ, provoke pogroms? No.

Is Mel Gibson an anti-Semite? No. He knows Nazis murdered millions of Jews and others.

Yet there's the rub. Mr Gibson hasn't forgotten the many millions of non-Jewish Holocaust victims and those of other crimes against humanity. In the March issue of Reader's Digest he says: "The Second World War killed tens of millions of people. Some of them were Jews in concentration camps. Many people lost their lives. In Ukraine several million starved to death between 1932 and 1933. During the last century 20 million people died in the Soviet Union."

For such sentiments he is pilloried.

Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, while claiming no desire to engage "in competitive martyrdom," wanting only "historical truth" to be known, nevertheless rejected any comparison between his people's suffering and others. Rabbi Shmuley Boteach went further, denouncing any equation of the "horrible casualties of war with a government program of genocide." Abraham Foxman, of the Anti-Defamation League, was blunter: "[I]t was ignorant... it's insensitive. And... he doesn't get that either. He doesn't begin to understand the difference between dying in a famine and people being cremated solely for what they are."

Verily, it is Mr Foxman and friends who are in need of sensitivity training and history lessons. Lacking their chutzpah I will not venture an opinion as to whether being starved to death is worse than being murdered by poison gas. On matters of unnatural mortality, however, these gentlemen would do well to learn that more Ukrainians were liquidated during the politically engineered Great Famine in Soviet Ukraine than all the Jews killed in the Second World War. They were the chosen in a Stalinist terror campaign directed against the Ukrainian peasantry. And it was the Ukrainian nation that suffered the greatest loss of life during the Second World War, concluded the distinguished British historian, Professor Norman Davies.

Today we do, and should, remember the Six Million. Yet we tend to forget the Twenty Million, a conservative estimate of victims of Soviet tyranny, about whom Martin Amis wrote in Koba the Dread. Some scourged him for that.

What is troubling about the anti-Passion polemicists is that, beneath the cacophony, their agenda was not to stop Gibson's film from being shown (they couldn't), nor even to cripple its box office success (the controversy they stoked guarantees good fortune). The fount of this campaign is instead rooted in trying to get the rest of us to agree that the Jewish people's suffering was "unique" and that Christians, in particular, must feel guilt and atone for what "we" did to "them" over many centuries past.

While I disagree with any concept of blood libel, I do insist these men remain free to believe whatever they want and even to preach it, as long as the line between legitimate criticism and hate mongering is not violated. Close to that edge some have already crept. Still I champion freedom of speech over censoring that right - theirs, Mel's, and mine.

I also want them to understand something. As a Catholic, and a Canadian-born son of Ukrainian political refugees, I was raised believing all victims of evil must be hallowed. Those who persecute the innocent must be exposed and punished. How a people were slaughtered, or what the intent was of any regime, Left or Right, that orchestrated genocide, matters less. Neither my parents, priests, nor teachers ever said that a particular group of martyrs were somehow more deserving of memory than others. No one counseled us to elevate the millions of Ukrainians murdered by the Nazis and the Soviets above others who endured similar horrors. I do concede that I do not know as much as I should about the many tribes, peoples and nations who suffered mass murder before, during and after the 20th century, in Europe, Africa, Asia, and elsewhere, at least not in comparison to what I know about what happened to my own. However the Christian spirit that should inform my behaviour obliges me to pray for all victims, without preference.

Of course, I am only human, and, like most of us, flawed. Whether that is a metaphysical consequence of Original Sin or just a reflection of a basic orneriness that is all too human I have no clue. So it is hard to resist that most satanic of sentiments, the desire to take an eye for an eye. In retort to those who want to impel me to accept that the shed blood of their innocents is somehow more important than the spilled blood of mine I lust to roar: "No! More of mine died in a year than all of yours in six, and mine mean more to me and mine than all of yours!" But those are un-Christian thoughts. When provoked into harbouring them I know of only one refuge, prayerful reflection on words spoken by another Rabbi during His Passion, just before His death. Jesus, the Christ, said: "Father, forgive them; they know not what they do." I can try.

Professor Lubomyr Luciuk was once an altar boy at St Michael's Ukrainian Catholic Parish, in Kingston, Ontario.

Дуже дякую, д-р Луцюк! I plan on seeing The Passion this Saturday.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

You know those 1950s movies that thought that by now we'd have moon cities, flying cars and robots in every home? How those seem so outdated? I get the same feeling when I read the Vatican II documents - definitely reflective of the secular world, circa early 1960s.

- economan445
From David Holford’s blog
Britain’s all-time top pop star
'Devil Woman' 28 years ago wasn't exactly epoch-making in the history of rock but he is a nice fellow. To his credit or blame depending on one's point of view he started Olivia Newton-John's career. He began his career as one of several Elvis wannabes in England and has ended up rather like Pat Boone, only a lot richer.

Here again is a cooler example of a rocker - somebody world-famous - who is actually a conservative! (Sorry, you have to sign in to read it.)
From blog correspondent Samer al-Batal
Judge quits Milosevic trial
Slobo's Yugoslavia was the New World Order's backwater proving ground for crushing national sovereignty only about five years ago. Basically he filled the role that another tinpot nonthreat, Saddam Hussein, has recently - only back in those days the Muslims were being painted as the good guys.
From September 2003
Still playing the race card
Disgracefully and completely in character, Jayson Blair has titled his new autobiography Burning Down My Master's House.
‘Anglicanism is going to tip into the sea’
Damian Thompson talks to Canon Edward Norman. If you want to read the story, register at The Telegraph.
Mr Bush says he will back ‘gay marriage ban’ amendment
Not surprising at all: what it really means is 'Mr Bush's handlers will play the Protestant religious right again to get votes'.

First of all, the state already approves marriages not approved by the church, so so what? All or nothing: either theocracy or liberty.

Second, marriage doesn't need the state's protection, only freedom from its interference (like evil 'marriage taxes'). Ninety percent of all people are straight if one believes Dr Kinsey; the real number is far greater. What a microscopic part of the population does isn't going to ruin humanity and certainly doesn't threaten me, though it probably will ruin themselves and only becomes my business if/when it becomes a public health hazard (such as AIDS) - or as Mrs Patrick Campbell is said to have commented on the subject, if they do it in the road and upset the horses.
The last hours
A poem to men (and women) in grey flannel suits, yuppies or whatever they're called now.
Cardinal Walter Kasper disowns Archimandrite Robert (Taft)’s statements
An interview in Russian. In short, Taft was pugnacious to the Orthodox; the Vatican is not. Here is a translated excerpt.

On that note:

Moscow: RCs and Russian Orthodox to set up joint working group
Martha Colby
Cellist and antiwar activist. If you like flash both in the slang and computer senses you'll love this site; it's very pretty. Not easy to navigate, though - a Web design no-no.
From blog correspondent Samer al-Batal
US soldier seeks refuge in Canada
I signed up to defend my country, not carry out acts of aggression.

- Jeremy Hinzman

Monday, February 23, 2004

From blog correspondent Lee Penn
Five on the predatory-gay-priest scandal (most of them are not pædophiles) in the RC Church and the coverup of same. Not an all-consuming interest on this blog*, but Lee's right.

If an American high school were run this way

Lee’s research ideas

Pederasty a ‘crime against customs’?! (here it says that again)

Vatican report said to question zero-tolerance on abuse
Lee Penn: Does this mean that, just as dogs get 'one free bite', so do the pædo-priests?

To be fair I think some of these are witch-hunts. A priest who is homosexual (orientation is a nonissue) and had one affair with a 17-year-old years ago isn’t pædo and I think can be handled at the discretion of his bishop. (In theory, anyway. The point here is these bishops mishandled these cases!) Kicking somebody out over such that can't be proved and allegedly happened decades ago seems dodgy and unfair to me.

Denial: playing victim?
Like the Israelis bantustan-izing the Palestinians and their supporters crying 'anti-Semite' if anybody dares question it.

Not from Lee and not from political 'conservatives' I agree with but on the same topic:

When relativism becomes theology

*Unlike some others, whose preoccupation with the topic sounds like so much gay Tartuffery (syrup with seething anger not far from the surface), still making excuses for oneself and wishing the church would get off one's and one's old colleagues' backs so they can keep exercising some assumed right to 'make love to young boys' and/or each other. Somehow I don't think that's what St Paul meant by 'greet one another with a holy kiss'.
Mourning sickness
Recreational grief as substitute religion
Many good points - Dianamania (Dianolatry)* came immediately to mind. As for antiwar activism, of course I see the point but will add in my defence I believe in what I post.

Describing extravagant public displays of grief for strangers as 'grief-lite' Mr West said these activities were, "undertaken as an enjoyable event, much like going to a football match or the last night of the proms".

"Mourning sickness is a religion for the lonely crowd that no longer subscribes to orthodox churches. Its flowers and teddies are its rites, its collective minutes' silences its liturgy and mass.

"But these new bonds are phoney, ephemeral and cynical," he said.

*Sir Elton John's (Sir Reg Dwight?) song, from his ’70s glory days (when Bernie Taupin wrote his stuff?), didn't belong in church and the lyric rewrite - 'your footsteps will always fall here along England's greenest hills' was nothing but goo. It would have been much cooler if Sir Elton simply had announced at a concert that year, 'I'm dedicating this to my friend, Princess Diana' and sung the real lyrics, which fit perfectly, perhaps too much for some people.

I had the pleasure of seeing the bespectacled one live that year and was relieved he chose not to play that one at all rather than do the bowdlerized version.
LRC pick
The coming implosion of the American empire
by Gary North
LRC pick
Why are universities dominated by the left?
2. The "society as classroom" theory: Robert Nozick, in his essay "Why Do Intellectuals Oppose Capitalism?" suggested that the explanation we are seeking may lie in the formative years of the average intellectual. He is typically the sort of person who, in school, did well academically and not so well socially. That is, he was rewarded for his exemplary compliance with the directives of a central authority (the teacher) who implemented a comprehensive plan (the curriculum) within a regimented social setting (the classroom); he was not rewarded for any contributions he tried to make to the decentralized, unplanned sphere of voluntary interactions that constitutes the life of a young person outside the classroom (the playground, parties, dating situations, and so forth). He thus naturally tends to think the first sort of setting more reasonable and just than the latter, and in generalizing (perhaps unconsciously) to the level of society as a whole, will accordingly tend to favor policies that involve centralized planning by governmental authorities rather than the unplanned results of free interaction by citizens in the marketplace. Related to Nozick's theory is:

3. The resentment theory: Not only in their preparatory years, but also in carrying out their life's work, intellectuals are bound to see themselves as treated unjustly by their peers. As Ludwig von Mises emphasized in
The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality, the higher monetary rewards accruing to businessmen, athletes, and entertainers in a capitalist society -- to, we might note, the very same sorts of people who, in youth, would have been more popular on the playground and at parties than the nerdy bookworm -- are resented by intellectuals, who see their own, less lucrative work as being of far greater importance. If P. Diddy's latest album sells millions of copies and Prof. Doody's magisterial five-volume history of Liechtenstein sells precisely 106 copies, all of them going to university libraries, Prof. Doody begins to wonder whether a free market is the fairest way of distributing economic rewards.

Now someone could, of course, prefer Doody to Diddy and yet fail to see how it is
unjust (as opposed to just tough luck for Doody) that his fellow citizens do not agree.

Of course it's outrageous that entertainers such as athletes are so overpaid but I see Nozick's point too, especially because of my vantage point. When one has a disability such as Asperger syndrome and - this is very important - goes through life 'flying blind' not knowing s/he has it - one then understandably falls into the bad habit of blaming all one's problems on other people. I fell into it during my 30 years of 'flying blind', used to know people who did the same thing and of course still see it.

(Readers who use or are familiar with the Byzantine Rite, consider that my простите меня - mea culpa - as that rite begins the observance today of what it calls Great Lent - universal this year as the Roman and Byzantine Easters are in sync.)
Vatican says it will not set up patriarchate in the Ukraine
Good call!

Reaction from Ukrainian Catholic Bishop Basil (Losten)
Shortsighted - the Vatican on the other hand is thinking long-term re: relations with the Orthodox, like it should. Promoting Ukrainianness over eventual church reunion - Catholicity - (as Bishop Basil seems to be doing) is wrong.
Maybe it has been good for me to discourse with people more cruel and obsessive than myself.

- Joseph D

Re: my experience online with the kind of people he describes, I couldn't have said it better.

Sunday, February 22, 2004

LRC pick
An introduction to Aaron Russo
An excerpt from early in the article before Mark Thornton describes this worthy would-be Libertarian candidate:

With Bush being a full-blown disaster in terms of the economy, foreign policy, and social policy, my fellow economists should be dragging their tails between their legs in shame. In retrospect, Al Gore would have been far better. He probably would not have gotten us into war or increased government spending by the outrageous amounts that have occurred under Bush. He certainly would not have gone against the UN and 500 Americans would still be alive today, not to mentions thousands of Iraqis. There is even some small possibility that he could have salvaged the World Conference on Racism and produced a more tolerable result for all parties. A dimwitted Democrat and a leaderless Republican Congress would have prevented the worst excesses of both parties. Without 9/11, Greenspan might have allowed for the normal recession and correction of all the investment excesses of the late 1990s and today we would be in a real, not phony, recovery.
LRC pick
How and how not to use adjectives
I went to the university of life and got chucked out.

- Peter Cook
From Fr Anthony Ferraro
Godwardness and the Catholic vision vs. ‘wreckovators’ in the 1600s
For my owne part I take my selfe bound to worship with Body, as wel as in Soule, when ever I come where GOD is worshipped. And were this Kingdome such as would allow no Holy Table, standing in its proper place (and such places some there are) yet I would worship God when I came into His house. And were the times such, as should beat downe Churches, and all the curious carved worke thereof, with Axes, and Hammers, as in Psal. 74.6. (and such times have beene) yet I would worship in what place soever I came to pray, though there were not so much as a stone laid for Bethel. But this is the misery; ’tis superstition now adaies for any man to come with more Reverence into a Church, then a Tinker & his Bitch come into an Ale-house; the Comparison is too homely, but my Just indignation at the profanenesse of the times, makes me speake it.

And you my Honourable Lords of the Garter, in your great Solemnities, you doe your Reverence, and to Almighty God, I doubt not, but yet it is
Versus Altare, towards his Altar, as the greatest place of God's Residence upon earth. I say the greatest, yea greater then the Pulpit. For there ’tis Hoc est Corpus meum, This is my Body. But in the Pulpit, tis at most, but Hoc est Verbum meum, This is my Word. And a greater Reverence (no doubt) is due to the Body, then to the Word of our Lord. And so, in Relation, answerably to the Throne, where his Body is usually present; then to the Seate, whence His Word useth to be Proclaimed. And God hold it there, at His Word; for, as too many men use the matter, ’Tis Hoc est verbum Diaboli. This is the word of the Divell, in too many places. Witnesse Sedition, and the like to it. And this Reverence yee doe when ye enter the Chappel, and when you approach nearer to offer. And this is no Innovation, for you are bound to it by your Order, and that's not New.

- Archbishop William Laud
The Mass that should have been
The 1965 Missal. Makes an interesting side-by-side read with the 1549 Book of Common Prayer's Mass and would be a great choice for the default RC book today. All that's lacking are artistic, classic English translations - those used in the BCP, the English Missal*, the Authorized Version (King James Bible) and Miles Coverdale's translation of the Roman Canon (perhaps irrelevant with a silent Canon but good in case one uses an option to do it aloud).

*From a vagante site not approved by this blog but useful to show this missal.
A God is for life, not just for Christmas.

- Play on the animal-advocates' slogan about pets
From blog correspondent John Boyden
Archbishop admits: RC religion textbooks for young people deserve failing grade
JB: Very interesting story indeed, and kudos to Bp. Hughes, but it raises the question why this realization is occurring almost 40 years after the advent of questionable or outright heretical catechisms over most of N. America and Europe.

JB: Perhaps Bp. Hughes is newly consecrated/appointed and is rightly exercising his pastoral authority for the first time. I'm pleased he is encouraging his fellow bishops to review the religion texts in their respective dioceses; but that begs the question: who approved those questionable textbooks in the first place? Who gave them the necessary imprimatur and nihil obstat to be printed in the first place?

JB: Answer: the same bishops he is admonishing to be watchful.

Alexander Ferrari: Look for these other up-to-the-minute headlines, coming soon to CNN.

"Bishop declares to press: Kennedy's Dallas declaration 'incompatible with Catholic faith!'"

"Bishop concerned about lack of accuracy in the English-language Roman Missal"

"Bishop denounces invasion of Czechoslovakia."

Saturday, February 21, 2004

Alone, without relatedness, you atrophy and die. Related, without solitude, you suffocate enslaved.
In anticipation of (Great) Lent:

Abouna, why do we fast?
by Fr Philaret Littlefield
To which one may add giving money saved on food and luxuries to charity
From blog correspondent Lee Penn
The Da Vinci con
From The New York Times (you have to register to read)
From The Onion Dome, 7th/20th February (LOL)
Serbs continue not caring about being omitted on Orthodox website
LRC picks
Mercenaries in Iraq
William Lind has an idea what they might mean and it might not be bad in the long run.

U.S. Army colonels now have mercs, not American soldiers, providing their security. "That’s very interesting," as John Boyd liked to say.

...while at the micro level an American Army colonel has a merc security detail, at the macro level mercenaries are filling the gap between American military forces engulfed in their own war and the security units of Iraq’s Vichy regime, most of which are less than keen to fight.

As expensive as mercenaries are – and the
Post article quotes a figure of $1,000 per day for skilled bodyguards – they are still cheaper than state military forces.

Most of the [state military] money goes for overhead: [including] contractor welfare in the form of multi-billion dollar programs...

Or the kind of welfare the ersatz American 'conservatives' like, and liked when Reagan was in office plunging the country deeper into debt.

The Maginot Line cost many times more than Guderian’s panzers. Think of what an organization like al Qaeda can do with a million dollars compared to what the same money means to the Pentagon.

The neocon war on peace and freedom

Why Howard Dean ‘had to be destroyed’
Life issues story
Horror in Red China
Warning: very shocking

Friday, February 20, 2004

Well put, sir
It's ironic that much of what is hated about the pre-[Second Vatican] Conciliar [Roman Catholic] liturgy is present in Eastern Orthodoxy, as well as the better Eastern Catholic parishes. [Some] RCs have no problem with being "nice" and pc towards Orthodox, without realizing that they are being hypocrites.

- economan445
How ‘conservatives’ see it
by Tom Tomorrow
Liberal protestantism is agnosticism writ small.

- from James Barlow via Yahoo! groups
Nuns thrown off American Airlines plane
From David Holford’s blog
On (rising) taxes for food and shelter in the UK
Council tax is similar to property tax in the US, except that it is levied on the occupants of a property, not the owners. It is a personal tax based on the roof over your head. And rather than being assessed on the actual value of the property, the accommodation is placed in a one of four tax rate bands.

... But back to our single-home dwellers... 83-year-old Elizabeth Winkfield is headed for prison because she won't pay the almost 18% increase where she lives in Devon. She lives on a state pension (social security) of £312 a month. Her council tax went up by £99. By contrast, old age pension increased by 1.7% last year. Relative youngster 71-year-old Sylvia Hardy is going to jail because the increase in tax for her flat, one band lower that Winkfield's, is £91.

What was that Ray Davies said once... 'nasty little socialist country'?
Ageing rockers pose as teens to hit charts
And prove their point
Some good news for a change:

Vaccine can wipe out some cancers
Tridentine Mass banned de facto at St Peter’s Basilica
From Forum 18
Russia: Old Believer church summoned by ex-KGB before leadership election
LRC and Spectator pick
Mr Hussein didn’t really literally shred his opponents
A lie just like the British one about the 'Huns' bayonetting Belgian babies in WWI

Thursday, February 19, 2004

From the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation
Concerning the construction of the separation wall in Palestine
by Sister Marie Dominique (Croyal), director of the Home of Our Lady of Sorrows
From Pax Christi
The status of Palestinian citizens in the state of Israel
LRC pick
The opium of the professors
It is said of Woodrow Wilson that when asked what the purpose of a liberal education is, he replied "To make a person as unlike his father as possible." He was, at the time, merely the president of Princeton University, and had not yet become schoolmarm-in-chief of the United States or waged the war that ended all wars and made the world safe for democracy.

But as with his better-known schemes of social uplift and gauzy internationalism, so too with his philosophy of education, Wilson was the very model of the progressive academic.

Quite. Even scarier, Wilson was the head of a real college. For more on America's great college swindle, or colleges vs. 'colleges', read Paul Fussell, Class.

Whatever bland official statement of purpose might appear in the introduction to a modern university's college catalog, its true raison d'etre is in practice nothing other than to destroy utterly whatever allegiance a young person might have to traditional conceptions in morality, religion, politics and culture, to "do dirt" on the faith of his fathers, on his country, and on what most human beings have historically understood to be the imperatives of decency. It is, in short, to propagate Leftism.

Re: the part about one's country, 'my country, right or wrong' is not Catholic, but this is still true, both of real colleges and the jumped-up trade schools that call themselves such. (There's nothing wrong with trade schools mind - I'm talking about the lie of calling them 'colleges' or worse, 'universities', as if they were on the same level as Oxford, the Sorbonne, Yale or Chicago.)

We can note first that the de facto function of the modern university is precisely the opposite of the traditional idea of education, which was to socialize the young by instilling into them, at a higher intellectual level, the culture they have inherited from their forebears. The professor was the guardian of a tradition greater than the student and greater than himself, a tradition which it was his duty to impart -- not uncritically, to be sure, but at the same time with a reverence and humility appropriate to the grandeur of a civilization that has existed for over two and a half millennia, and for the wisdom that its institutions embody and its thinkers have articulated.

The authentic vision of a classical liberal education.

But of course, it is extremely easy to acquire a bachelor's degree from a modern university without having encountered a single one of these figures or texts.

I know. I was one of them, and it wasn't all because of my then-unknown Asperger syndrome either. I went to a 'college'; I know my degree is worthless.
It's when you "love" pro-sports is where you should begin to wonder if you might have a "problem." I've met guys who were such hard-core fans that if their favorite team lost, they'd actually get mad! I might not like it when my favorite team loses, but I know some guys who will remain in a surly mood for days just because their stupid team lost the big game!

When you stop and think about it, that's really idiotic. I mean, if your local team wins the championship, what difference does it make to you, really? Will you become a better person? Will you get money? What real benefit will you receive? None. Zero.

The only thing you might receive is a hangover. I don't know about you, but I don't need my favorite team to win in order to have my head hurt. See? That's a contradiction! Your head hurting is painful. Your team winning is not supposed to be painful.

So there are absolutely no beneficial points to having your favorite pro team win a game.

If you live for your team, then I think you've got a serious problem that may require counseling.

I used to care about pro-sports when I lived in America. But, after I moved to Japan, I lost interest. I guess the TV really does brainwash you into thinking that the big game really does matter. Well of course they promote it as important to you. The more people that watch it, the more money the TV stations and sponsors can make.

Karl Marx said, "Religion is the opiate of the masses." But in our modern world, pro-sports have become a religion of sorts for many people with the TV as the altar of worship.

- Mike Rogers
In the post, via mass e-mail from blog visitor Mike Russell
Committee recommends ending Sunday worship in Church of England
Mike Russell: In the words of humorist Dave Barry, "I swear I am not making this up."

MR: Proof that that the liberal impulse for self-destruction (and unintentional self-parody) knows no bounds.

MR: After all, since "most people prefer to use Sundays for resting, spending time with their families, watching sport or doing DIY," well, why not just have "'cafe churches' for people to gather around food and drink and worship together in alternative contexts."

MR: Er, will the last Christian to leave England (once known as Mary's Dowry) please remember to turn out the light?
From Nicholas Stanosheck’s and Juvenaly Martinka’s blog

Godwardness illustrated

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

From Joe Zollars’ former blog
Anonymous verse that can refer to seeing through bad religion and growing up

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

LRC pick
Christian morality and libertarian reality
Fun with spam
seething lucia
That would make a good band name.

grosvenor asperity perth from Eileen Yoder
A Mennonite with some disorder that has 'word salad' as a symptom?
From blog correspondent Samer al-Batal
The latest from Lambeth
Once again the British try to be British about blatant evil

Letter to Mr Bush on Valentine’s Day 2004 from September Eleventh Families For Peaceful Tomorrows

Have the neocons killed a presidency?
by Pat Buchanan

Fallen soldier’s mother says her son ‘died for absolutely nothing’
Hopewell Township relatives talk about Lt Seth Dvorin's death in Iraq

The fantasy of democracy in an Arab state
by Robert Fisk
Arab states are largely squalid, corrupt, brutal dictatorships. No surprise there. We created most of these dictators.

S al-B: The harsh predicament of three Melchite Palestinian refugees who have claimed sanctuary in a church here in Montréal:

Priest won’t wash hands of drama
Shunted about since 1948, trio say 'We have no house, no country, no passports. We just want a place to live'
In the post from Alan Roos Jnr
This woman deserves to be a star, part II
The New York City resident didn’t start out as a musician. She wanted to be an actress when she got out of college.

“I went to auditions. It didn’t work out,” [Mary] Fahl said. “I wasn’t happy doing it. I wasn’t getting a lot of joy out of it.”

That's simply incroyable, because besides being a phenomenal singer she's got stagecraft like you wouldn't believe (so dramatic and intense it was scary!), which was partly why would-be vampires loved October Project. I can't believe some people thought she can't act!

Monday, February 16, 2004

Princess Alice of Battenberg
by Fr Barry Swain
Scroll down to the article. This dazzling German beauty married into the Greek royal family (actually a branch of the Danish one), was the mother of Prince Philip and, like her aunt St Elizabeth in Russia and St Maria (Skobtsova) described in the link below, eventually became an unusual kind of Eastern Orthodox nun dedicated especially to active charitable work.
Mother Maria (Skobtsova) and companions canonized by Russian Orthodox group in Paris
From friend of the blog David Brown
The Passion and the Talmud
by Terry Mattingly
So why aren't the Jews attacked in the media or by PC types over the vicious anti-Christian bits of their religion? Seems like the same Marxist-fuelled victimology that dodges personal responsibility, basically absolving historically oppressed groups of it, hence rubbish like affirmative action or not (or under-) reporting black-on-white crime.
From blog visitor Mike Russell via mass e-mail
About The Passion
Mike Russell: Without question, this is one of the most honest and candid reviews of Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ by any secular reviewer who has seen an advance screening of the film.

MR: It's also reprinted -- with some editing and additional commentary -- on "Act One" Catholic screenwiter Barb Nicolosi's blog.

'...The Resurrection scene is perhaps the shortest in the entire movie - and yet it packs a punch that can't be quantified. It is perfect. There is no way to negotiate the meaning out of it. It simply asks, "Now, what will you do?"'

Sunday, February 15, 2004

Our present duty
by Bishop Frank Weston, from 1923
Student group offers whites-only award
I hope I don't need to say it but in case I do, the fact that one of this blogger's heroes is the late Trevor Huddleston (one of the first protesters against apartheid, entirely for Catholic reasons, who first inspired Desmond Tutu) should speak for me. That said, this is brilliant - turnabout to promote fair play, which liberals don't like.

Saturday, February 14, 2004

An anti-Valentine’s Day story?
Mattel break up Barbie and Ken dolls
Not sure what to make of this. Seems like yet another 'down with love' message from the secular world, whose only use for romance seems to be to sell condoms or (in the case of the relentless, successful marketing campaign of the DeBeers family) diamonds. Or it's just a natural marketing strategy: having these make-believe characters 'see other people' means selling more dolls and related toys, right? (Like Blaine, the boogie-boarding Aussie bloke! Ca-ching, mate.) But at the end of the day I don't think it really matters. Healthy human nature as seen in children will win. The little girls who play with them don't care what the toy companies say (other than getting their orders to nag their parents to buy, buy, buy) and in imaginations and dollhouses everywhere, I dare say Barbie and Ken are together for ever. Aww.

(Just like if well-meaning but wrong pacifist types ban all toy guns. Surprise! One then sees a lot of pencils, forks, sticks, etc. magically turning into effective imaginary M-16s and AK-47s in the hands of little boys!)
From blogforlovers
A Valentine’s Day essay

SS. Cyril and Methodius, apostles to the Slavs

More of the Patriarch of Moscow in his own words
The Tablet, a liberal, nominally RC journal, doesn't seem to like the Church of Russia very much.

Here perhaps is a reason why. The patriarch defends the Catholic, apostolic ministry and the natural law and common sense about sexuality:

Patriarch Alexei also has serious theological disagreements with the Anglican Communion. The ordination of women, he says, is a problem – “a thousand years of tradition and the word of the Bible should be respected and not changed to satisfy some temporal developments in the views of people”. And he has broken ties with the Episcopalian Church in the United States of America (Ecusa) after it consecrated the openly gay Gene Robinson as a bishop – “the ordination of a homosexual bishop makes any communications with him or those who elected him impossible”.

Patriarch Alexis II, 1; Cardinal Walter Kasper, nil.

(Of course that should say 'thousands' or 'two thousand years' of tradition; maybe it's a misprint or a mistranslation.)

Yet despite that his tone is conciliatory: “I don’t think we should lump together all the bishops of the Anglican Communion and suggest that they all approve these trends.” He speaks admiringly of the views of the Bishop of Gibraltar, who supervises the Anglican parishes in Moscow and St Petersburg, and of the Archbishop of Canterbury with whom “we had a very warm meeting and conversation”. And he concludes: “It’s hard for me to issue recommendations to the Anglican Communion. I think we should continue to meet.”

Quite right. I know (slightly) one of the bishop of Gibraltar's former canons, who has been to the recently reopened Anglican church (for British visitors and residents) in Moscow, used by the Soviets as the studio and warehouse for the famous Melodiya record company.

We disagree with the statement we hear in the West sometimes that we live in the post-Christian era.

I like the sound of that!

There was an illustration of that in the highly indignant Orthodox priest who complained to me about Baptists hiring halls to hold mission evenings which they advertised as “Christian” events. The Orthodox were outraged. “Christian” and “Orthodox” are synonymous, the Russian cleric told me, so the Baptists were perpetrating a deliberate con, tricking people into thinking they were coming to an Orthodox event.

I think in this situation I agree with the priest!

But the animus is strongest against Catholicism. Not that there is much genuine theological disagreement.

I haven't found Russian immigrants particularly hostile to other Christians, and historically the Russian Church hasn't acted like that, at least in the immigration as a guest, an ethnic chaplaincy, in other Christian countries. (A situation I think the Orthodox groups are still coming to terms with.) St Tikhon, its head bishop in late 1800s America, sat in choir for a consecration in the Episcopal cathedral in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Metropolitan Anastassy, the second-ever first hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, once preached at St Paul's Cathedral in London; this group later looked up to Pope Pius XII as an anti-Communist leader, which may be why they sent observers to Vatican II, not long after that Pope died.

But if it's true (I've never been to Russia), daniel n has something to say.

What particularly incensed Moscow was the Vatican’s decision to turn Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz, head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference in Russia, from an “apostolic administrator” into a “metropolitan archbishop” thus, according to the Patriarchate, making Russia a province of the Roman Catholic Church.

I agree. That was unnecessary and unusually vicious, out of character for RC activity in Russia. I understand, however, that Abp Kondrusiewicz, an ethnic Pole from Byelorussia, is a gentleman and does not solicit conversions from practising Russian Orthodox.

“...Many missionary orders work in Russia today, especially in the shelters and orphanages for children organised by these orders, where children who have been baptised in Orthodoxy are being converted to Catholicism.”

I really doubt that's happening. For one thing, if it were, the Russian government would find some excuse to throw them all out.

Funny, though, how Alexis II never mentions some things that do happen: the money, church buildings and clergy training Aid to the Church in Need have constructed and/or given bishops and priests of his own church. Makes His Beatitude seem more like His Ingratitude.

But he [Cardinal Kasper] has also revealed the extent to which the Vatican is wedded to the Enlightenment value system so alien to Moscow.

And that's good because... ?
LRC picks
Why I didn’t re-enlist
by Casey Khan, former US Marine
Ever since the government's Depression-ending scheme of World War II, with John Wayne propaganda movies and all that, the Marine Corps has been a form of state religion, a kind of idolatry, but I can see how especially the most recent régime in the States could turn them into real Teufelhunden.

It is God, not the soldier
Who has given us the freedom of speech.
It is God, not the soldier
Who has given us the right to demonstrate.
It is God, not the soldier
Who has given us the right to due process.
It is God the Father,
Who has given us the Commandments,
Who forgives us for breaking the Commandments.

On rejecting the heresy about the military:

I choose to no longer take part in this heresy. I’m trading in my 11 General Orders for Seven Sacraments and my pocket Constitution for a Catechism. Semper fidelis in nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.


Black Martinmas 10 years on
The scandal of the attempted ordination of women priests in the Church of England

He who marries the spirit of the age will soon become a widower.

- William Ralph Inge
Memphis man: Mr Bush a no-show at Alabama Air National Guard base in ’72
Buck Mintz on 'out-and-out dissembling on President Bush’s part':

You don’t do that as an officer, you don’t do that as a pilot, you don’t do it as an important person, and you don’t do it as a citizen. This guy’s got a lot of nerve.

Friday, February 13, 2004

From blog correspondent John Boyden
Devil in the details of Sicily’s mysterious village fires
Is Lucifer loose on Sicily? No lesser figure than the honorary president of the International Association of Exorcists believes he may be.

I agree!
Mr Bush orders release of his military records

59 years ago today
Father, forgive
The new world order’s war on freedom
A counterfeit civilisation for the world - starting in the cradle of civilisation, Iraq
LRC picks
Why the ‘Christian right’ is wrong
Mostly about the Protestant religious right but the neocons play well-meaning RCs the same way using abortion and get the same Pavlovian reaction. Add synergy/crossover between the two and you get 'I'm voting for Bush no matter what' idiocy.

Here are just two of the highlights:

The Christian Right has routinely supported the Republican Party because of its avowed support of a pro-life agenda. How many dead babies does it take to get through to you folks? If the Republicans cared about that it would be done. It has not been done.


Christians have widely supported the war of aggression against Iraq, which was waged without a declaration of war, and was waged against a country that "might" be a threat to us at some time. Under that rubric we could justify invading Bolivia or Australia. Many Christians say this is fine since Sadaam Hussein is a wicked man and so what if it had nothing to do with national defense or those elusive WMDs.

Sadaam Hussein was and is answerable to God Almighty and the Iraqi people, but he is most definitely not answerable to the United States of America. Unless of course we were suddenly to admit our culpability in creating him and announce that we were shooting our own dog.

An air stewardess’s chilling blow-by-blow account via cell-phone of 9/11 (more)
From Christendom College
The true defender of freedom, personal and political
The Catholic faith, explains H.W. Crocker. Here are only a few highlights:

"Wherever one looks in the modern world, one finds massive confusion about the nature of freedom. For example, Catholics say you can smoke cigarettes, if you want to, that's your choice," began Crocker. "Secular liberals say, no, smoking is bad. On the other hand, secular liberals say, you can kill a baby if you want to, that's your choice, because that baby is dependent upon you; you have power over it so use it and kill that baby if it's inconvenient."

Catholics say that freedom begins with the right to life, and that freedom cannot be defined as the right to kill those who are dependent on us; freedom cannot be defined as the abolition of responsibility," he said. "Let's step back for a moment and distinguish two realms of freedom, because the Catholic Church is attacked on both – the personal and the political."

Crocker then talked of the fact that it is an often said, although incorrectly, that the Western world didn't taste of freedom until the Protestant revolt of Luther. In fact, said Crocker, the Reformation Protestant critique of Catholicism was that it was too free. Catholics were seen as "drunks, layabouts, and party animals," insistent on celebrating every possible saints day with booze and brawls. The Church was full of art and luxury and pagan-book-loving sensualists who forgave all rather than condemned all, Crocker said.

"On which side is freedom: celebrating life, the joys of creation, the nativity, or banning everything to abolish sin and improve economic productivity?" questioned Crocker.

Sì, a punto! One can say so much about all this. Crocker touches on classic WASP prejudice against southern (including, by extension, Latin America) and eastern European peoples, and one can connect the dots and see that today's politically correct killjoys are the direct descendents of the kind of Protestants who banned Christmas.

(Regrettably I've heard that the college that hosted Mr Crocker isn't immune to this kind of protestantization by way of Jansenism, with ridiculous rules banning couples from kissing or even holding hands in public. Sounds more like Bob Jones University than anything Catholic.)
What I’m listening to
Annie Haslam, ‘The Dawn of Ananda’, album title track
A beautiful song with Indian flourishes (compares nicely to the Middle Eastern sound of Sylvia Tosun, 'Sleepless Dark Water', Too Close to the Sun). She's a sweetheart - saw her in concert once. It seems over time her voice has got better! A tremendous natural talent, in her Renaissance days she sounded a bit unstudied but this track is brilliant. So young, so fresh at first I thought it was Dido!

You can help support this blog and its message by buying this Annie Haslam album here.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

SSPX-affiliated priest expelled from Ukrainian Catholic Church
Like the Transalpine Redemptorists - also affiliated to the SSPX and working with Eastern Catholics - fascinating. It all seems to be well-meant reactionary stuff but thoroughly confused in practice. I've always defended the Oriental rites from encroachment by the Roman - they are traditional (sometimes but not always older than Roman Rite traditions), complete as is (entirely Catholic) and don't need any latinizations. (And never were supposed to have them - most of the time, the Eastern Catholics disobeyed that and latinized themselves - everything from sticking the filioque in the Creed to building churches without icon screens.) Funny how these SSPX-allied groups insist on Slavonic (which I like too - sounds closer to Russian than modern Ukrainian does), sharing both a mindset and a liturgical language with people they oppose (and it's mutual), the Russian Orthodox!
From Religious Information Service of Ukraine (RISU - RC-affiliated)
Church of Russia gives old church in Transcarpathia back to Ukrainian Catholics
That's the spirit! Perhaps they're finally starting to 'get' public relations.
Remembering Abraham Lincoln on his birthday
Some choice LRC links
LRC pick
Perhaps Bush didn’t intentionally lie
I'd thought of that too - he doesn't read the papers and is spoon-fed disinformation from his handlers. Reminds me of a line in Independence Day, which I saw on the TV again recently. The president asks the CIA director or defence secretary why he wasn't told about Area 51 or the movie's truth about Roswell, and the slimy bureaucrat says to him, 'Credible deniability, sir'. This might be happening here. If Mr Bush sat for a polygraph test he might pass it!
Russian church news
Old Believer church elects new metropolitan
This press release in Russian reports on the council this church's bishops (separate from the Russian Orthodox Church) had this week because their metropolitan 'of Moscow and All Rus'', Alympy, died in December. Elected on the first day of the council, the new metropolitan is Andrian (Chetvergov), until now their bishop of Kazan and Viatsk. 230 delegates came to the council from parts of the old Russian Empire/USSR (Russia, the Ukraine, Byelorussia, Moldova [really part of Romania], Kazakhstan) and Germany.

Многая и благая лета, Митрополит Андриан!
From blog correspondent John Boyden
US military may run out of money
US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld ... could not explain why the administration would allow a three-month gap in funding the war on terror, ostensibly its top priority.
From blog correspondent John Boyden
California high school’s plans to host reality-TV show end in a flash
Or, parents realize MTV is crap
RIP: Col. Ryszard Kuklinski
A Cold War hero from Poland
From Libertarians for Dean
Divided government holds spending, warmongering in check
Pope meets Palestinian PM
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope John Paul received Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurie Thursday and repeated his condemnation of the barrier Israel is building in the West Bank.

The barrier, part fence and part wall, cuts deep into West Bank territory captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East War.
From blog correspondent Samer al-Batal
Monks’ performance disrupted by protesting Catholics
I saw something about this yesterday that said the Buddhist monks were going to give a lecture/presentation about religious persecution in their homeland (occupied by Communist China since 1950), surely an issue that traditionalists and others of good will can sign onto with the monks. Breaking up that kind of event would have been foolish and rude. But if it's true that, as claimed here, they were going to pray using Buddhist chants in a consecrated church, then the protesters were right and defending the church building from profanation was an act worthy of the early church's, 'Reformation'-era English and post-revolutionary Russian martyrs. (The Dalai Lama* and his brand of Buddhists are fine people but it doesn't belong there.)

Samer al-Batal: Got these from the Novus Ordo Watch website.

S al-B: The performance of chants within the sanctuary by Buddhist monks was scheduled in a Catholic basilica within the diocese of Grand Rapids. An SSPX priest and his congregation managed to stop the event by hijacking it at the right time.

S al-B: However, it doesn't make sense when it says that the SSPX parish broke away from the RCs in the ’60s.

S al-B: You can find a televised news report in RealPlayer video format here.

S al-B: Notice in the video how, as seems to be the trend nowadays, the priest of the RC parish making apologies is an old fart from the reformers' generation, while the protesting priest is much younger.

S al-B: For more detail, here's an eyewitness account.

*He's prolife.
From blog visitor Mike Russell
Exposing the Project for a New American Century
MR: You may find Lance Brown's informative website and blog to be of interest, if you're not already familiar with it/them. This gent has done what appears to be an admirable and reasonably thorough job of compiling information on the activities of the definitive neocon
thinktank pre-eminently responsible for both the "unipolar" geopolitical strategy and agitprop for "pre-emptive war" against Iraq. [End.]

And more from tvnewslies (saw this page the other day):

PNAC neocon artists
A rogues' gallery showing who's in charge of US foreign policy - among them are some I reckon are Mr Bush's handlers (Messrs Cheney, Rumsfeld, maybe more).

From disinfopedia:

Entry on the American Enterprise Institute

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

RCs confront Kerry on abortion
Not that it made any difference but a noble effort

Prior to the Missouri primary, the new archbishop of St. Louis, Raymond L. Burke, said if Kerry stood in line for Communion, he would give a blessing but not serve the sacrament.

Exactly what he should do.

Also, the archbishop of Kerry's Boston diocese, Sean O'Malley, has urged Catholic elected officials to voluntarily not receive Communion, though he has not banned priests from giving it.

‘Pop Idol’ ‘cruel’ to would-be singers, says Sir George Martin (more)
Spoken like a Christian gentleman.
This story's been circulating through the Internet:

Church of England tries to emasculate the Three Wise Men
Not surprising at all - why wouldn't people who deny the divinity of Christ or even a personal God bowdlerize a liturgical reference to these biblical figures? (The names Gaspar, Melchior and Balthasar are from tradition and an apocryphal gospel, as are the names of Jesus' grandparents, Joachim and Ann.)

The revision committee said: "While it seems very unlikely that these Persian court officials were female, the possibility that one or more of the Magi were female cannot be excluded completely."

So the Modernists, who reject the virgin birth and resurrection of Jesus despite the plain words of scripture, expect Joe Bloggs in the pew to buy this codswollop on even thinner conjecture? Arrogant.

There is no theological dispute about the gifts they brought -- gold, frankincense and myrrh -- but the prayer has been changed to use the word Magi on the grounds that "the visitors were not necessarily wise and not necessarily men."

I expect to hear Mike Myers in character as Linda Richman say 'Discuss!'
Russian Catholic pastor honoured by Australian government
Поздравляем вас, Архимандрит Георгий (Бриянчанинов)!

St Nicholas Russian Catholic Centre, Melbourne
One of the only churches of its kind in the world - this blog's own correspondents Lee Penn and Dave McLaughlin belong to two others, this one and this one, respectively.
From blog correspondent John Boyden
Bill O’Reilly eats crow
JB: I do give him credit, however, for admitting publicly he was wrong about the administration's claims regarding WMDs and keeping his promise to ABC to make that apology.
Discovered on LRC today
Official site of the shrine at Lourdes

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Ukrainians thank Mel Gibson for championing truth
I immediately recognized the Russian word for hunger, голода, in the Ukrainian word for what Stalin did to them in the 1930s.

Dr Lubomyr Luciuk:

Mel Gibson seems to have been publicly attacked because he insisted on recalling all of the victims of the Holocaust, Jews and non-Jews alike. He has also been condemned for recalling the many millions of Ukrainians starved to death during the Holodomor. This famine was not the result of natural causes. It was man-made. For anyone to suggest that recalling those murdered during this Soviet crime against humanity somehow detracts from the Holocaust is preposterous. And to belittle the many millions so victimized, as was done by Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, smacks of genocide-denial, or worse. It is, of course, anyone's right to focus grief on their own community's woes. But to make false comparisons and suggest that somehow those who died from hunger suffered less than those who died from gas is odious. We hallow the memory of all the murdered millions and we thank Mr Gibson, a good Catholic, for having the courage of his convictions and for championing historical truth.

Mr Gibson on FDR's ally during World War II:

In the Ukraine several million starved to death between 1932 and 1933. During the last century 20 million people died in the Soviet Union.

Now where are the multimillion-dollar museum in Washington and endless movies and TV documentaries about that? This is not an anti-Semitic site. That said, I'm glad somebody had the stones to finally tell the Jews to get over themselves and stop trying to monopolize WWII history.
From tvnewslies
Exposé of Iraq war
Regrettably a pro-murder site but it has some important things to say.
From’s Yahoo group
Where Mr Bush might have been when in the military
In an Air Force Reserve 'disciplinary unit' in Colorado?
He ought to be in pictures
And now he is - online acquaintance Fr Anthony Ferraro.
From blog correspondent John Boyden
The US government at work:

American fined $10K for going to church in Canada
...The U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection recently notified him he faces two $5,000 fines for twice crossing from Quebec into Maine on a Sunday when the local border crossing station is closed.

JB: Good to know that any terrorists that try to make it into the US on Sunday mornings will be fined heavily.
Mr Bush to release military pay records
Oh, please. Such can easily be forged. The world would like to know how a deserter came to be president, when according to US law such can't even vote (if they get caught).
LRC pick
Stopped clock: a Soviet propaganda poster has come true
In 1961, I returned from the Soviet Union with a collection of propaganda posters. I used the posters to illustrate to students how government in a closed society can substitute propaganda for fact.

Now I imagine all he'd have to do is bring in a television and turn on Fox News!

The most dramatic poster in my collection depicts a fascist who has climbed the upraised arm of the Statue of Liberty. A fiery torch in the fascist's hand overlays the stone torch in Liberty's hand, sending forth the flames of war. Bombs are falling on dark-skinned, white-robed Arab women and children.

This was Soviet propaganda's portrait of the attempt in 1956 by Britain, France and Israel to reclaim from Egypt the Suez Canal, an effort that would have succeeded but for President Eisenhower's intervention. The Soviet Union was not about to credit the United States for stopping the invasion.

Looking at the colorful poster, one is struck that a half century later events have turned propaganda into truth. American bombs have been falling on Arabs, killing thousands.

And fascists - neocons - have hijacked the US government.

More truth on World War I:

In The Pity of War, Niall Ferguson concludes his history of the First World War: "It was nothing less than the greatest error in modern history." Is Bush's invasion of Iraq the second greatest error in modern history? Has Bush set into motion the unification of hundreds of millions of Muslims under religious leaders?

Michael Polanyi wrote that World War I destroyed Europe. He did not mean merely the destruction of buildings and an entire generation. He meant the war destroyed European culture. After the senseless slaughter, the values rang hollow. Commitments lost their meaning. From the ashes rose Lenin, Stalin and Hitler. With them came alien doctrines that almost extinguished European civilization in the 20th century.