RELIGION, NATION, MARRIAGE: THE LOYALTIES OF MEN
PRAY, WORK, STUDY, PROTECT: THE DUTIES OF MEN


Monday, May 21, 2018

Mary: Mother of the Church -- Come Holy Spirit, Renew the Face of the Earth


by David Pence

Mary is the new Eve. Her willingness to be the handmaid of the Lord reversed the sin of Eve who sought to "be like God." Satan has always resented the beauty of Mary. He can't get over that the mighty Lucifer (the light bearer, Phosphorous in Greek) must bow to a human queen. Pope Francis has designated the day after Pentecost to remind us that the Body of Christ was first revealed in Mary. Today we celebrate Mary, Mother of the Church. The Church is Marian before she was Apostolic. The masculine apostolic Church cannot be understood apart from Mary, Mother of the Church. Her authority abided in her presence as a living memory of her Son. Remembering Him, witnessing the truth of his Incarnation, she nurtured and showed Mercy. Mary, Mother of the Church, Model of the Church, pray for us.

Here is a reflection on the devotion of Pope Paul VI and Pope Francis to Mary as Mater Ecclesia.   A sermon on Mary, Motherhood and Creation  by Rev. Peter Stravinskas. The Humility of Mary, the Mother of God. by Jonathan Coe.

All of these reflections show why the Pope has given this Marian mark to the day after Pentecost (Whit Monday). Our Lady as the physical perfection of femininity is the model for every soul and for the Living Church! What mighty things the Lord can accomplish in our personal and ecclesial lives if we let ourselves be a sailboat driven by the Holy Spirit instead of a motorboat driven by our own will.

                                   
       

Sunday, May 20, 2018

PENTECOST: The Spirit fills the Apostles who draw the Jews into the Church who draws humanity into the Trinity.


[first published June 8, 2014]



"The Church which, already conceived, came forth from the side of the second Adam in His sleep on the Cross, first showed herself before the eyes of men on the great day of Pentecost."      (Pope Leo XIII, 1897)
                           

David Pence writes:

St. Augustine said the coming of the Holy Spirit – exactly ten days after the 40 days of Christ’s risen presence – signifies that the Spirit fulfills the Law (Ten Commandments) in Christ. The obligatory presence of adult males in Jerusalem for the Jewish Pentecost crowded the city square with men speaking the different languages of the nations, but sharing the unified liturgical memory of Israel.

"For as of old on the fiftieth day after the sacrifice of the lamb, the Law was given to the Hebrew people on Mount Sinai – so after the sacrifice in which the True Lamb of God was slain on the fiftieth day after his resurrection, the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles and those who believed." [from a 5th-century sermon of Leo the Great]
                               

The Holy Spirit is the Soul of the Church, the Giver of Life, and the great binder of communions. He animates matter with life, draws the living to the Church, and indelibly configures the baptized to the Body of Christ. He was a co-conspirator with Christ throughout his life on earth, as they plotted to confound Satan in the desert and build the Kingdom of God on earth. The presence of the Spirit was activated on Pentecost, as it is sacramentally for us in Confirmation. That distinct Catholic sacrament of initiation “confirms in the Spirit” the soul of the Christian to the physical liturgical presence of the Bishop as the local head of the Apostolic Church. Like baptism, confirmation orders the soul with a permanent seal of character in ecclesial communion with Christ. After confirmation there is no such thing as a vocation to the single life. Baptism in one sense, and confirmation in a deeper way, calls each of us out of the single life into a new communal identity as a practicing Catholic.

In the days before Pentecost, the Twelve had been corporately restored by the election of Matthias (the opening chapter of the Book of Acts.) On Pentecost the Spirit filled the apostles, and their shouts of praise were heard in the tongues of many nations (second chapter of Acts.) An early bishop, when questioned why he couldn't talk so foreigners could understand, replied that by baptizing men of  many nations and languages, it is the Church now through her converts who speaks in tongues understood by all the nations.

It was Peter – surrounded by his apostolic brethren constituting the restored twelve tribes of Israel – who formally addressed the “Men of Judea” gathered in their holy city. He announced that the Messiah promised to them as Jews had come to deliver them from their enemies, but had been killed by those He came to save. He offered them repentance and incorporation in the new Kingdom under Christ the Lord. The universality of the Church’s Kingdom message to the nations, the fact that the Messiah was not another human prophet but the God of nature become man, and the mystery that God is One in Three Persons: these three truths became the reflections of Pentecost Sunday sermons down through the ages. Like all of us, the 3,000 baptized Jews of that day did not fully appreciate the extent of the miraculous events that engulfed them. The developing realization that this coming of the Spirit was the action of a distinct Person of a triune God gave a name and special time for reflection to the octave Sunday of Pentecost: Trinity Sunday.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Religion and Geopolitics Review: Saturday, May 19

By Dr. David Pence and A. Joseph Lynch

WEEKLY BRIEF
A Synodal Response to Corruption:  Repent, Resign, and Reconstitute.   
One distinction between corruption and scandals is that a corrupt institution can no longer reform itself. Sometimes it is not the institution that is corrupt but the present ruling body as a group. The configuration of men in that body are no longer able to reform themselves. In the United States there are certain monasteries (such as St John's Benedictine Monastery in St. Cloud, Minnesota) that are so deeply corrupted they should be dissolved as a group. They continue to harbor so many known predators that their collective existence is a crime in itself.
 The mass resignation of the Bishops of Chile in response to their meeting with Pope Francis over charges of sexual abuse and coverup is a truly earth shattering event. It is acceptable if a corrupt monastery disappears forever.  A diocesan priesthood or national episcopacy may be best transformed by massive resignations and then  a prayerful reconstituting of the Priestly Body. This drastic necessary approach has real dangers. We know that throughout the homosexual scandal in the Catholic clergy, high level homosexuals have proposed themselves as the best reformers of the problem they had caused. The most notorious of these demonic deceptions was the career of psychiatrist -priest Michael Peterson who turned St. Luke Institute in Bethesda into a homosexual-pedophilia therapy coverup center for American bishops and their lavender priests. We won't detail how Peterson and his acolytes proposed stopping pedophilia by encouraging "discreet healthy homosexuality" in a celibate clergy. We won't detail the depth of his support among American bishops, religion orders and seminary formation clerics.  His career and his continued influence beyond the grave is a disgrace from yesterday and a warning for tomorrow.  It matters who reconstitutes an episcopacy after a mass resignation. It matters who plans the therapy for the sick and the punishment for the guilty. It matters who defines what is sickness and what is crime. Beware the priest posing as doctor who ignores the venom of the serpent to medicate the symptoms of the poisoned.
 The mass resignation of the Chilean bishops is a dynamic manifestation of Synodal governance in the Church. This heroic acceptance of blame and shame is an indictment against every corporate body of priests with similar histories of abuse and coverup. If a synod or conference has allowed  years of abuse, then the synod as a corporate body shares blame for the crime.   In male groups with strong leaders, men are responsible for making the group run well under the leader. The corollary of that truth is that when the group becomes corrupted, all members are responsible for fixing how the group constitutes itself and maintains its integrity.  "At least I am a faithful priest." "At least I am one of the good bishops". "At least I am a decent monk." All of those oft repeated sayings are much less credible after the resignations of all the bishops for the corporate malfeasance of the bishops of the Chilean Church. The Church in Chile has not sinned but she has been sinned against by her hierarchy. The Chilean hierarchy has  accused itself as a body for failure to PROTECT. They have not devised  a video for new Catechists; they have accepted a punishment for themselves. They have not settled for changing procedures and policies. They are fighting principalities and powers. There is an echo here of the resignation of Pope Benedict---he could no longer rule. He could not organize the protection necessary and thus he wisely left the office whose duties he could not fulfill.
The Chilean Episcopal resignations mark  the first time the crime of corporate ruling negligence has been addressed at a deeper spiritual level than civil bankruptcy court. When a wolf attacks the sheep, kill the wolf. If a wolf disguises himself as a shepherd and goes after the sheep, kill the wolf-- don't hospitalize him. If the shepherd lets the wolves run wild amidst the sheep, then punish the shepherd, don't tax the sheep. The Chilean act is NOT "too little too late". It is a significant turning away from sin.  This priestly act of purification is deeply tied to the liturgical rhythm of  Catholic life. Every Mass begins with the Confiteor.  We must also admit this radical episcopal act of confession is inconceivable under any other pontiff of the last two centuries.  May the Spirit of Pentecost enter into this humiliation with the fire and light so necessary to cleanse our Catholic priesthood and reconstitute the Apostolic fraternity.               






I. POPE FRANCIS AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

CHILEAN BISHOPS OFFER LETTERS OF RESIGNATION: All of them. Which ones the Pope will accept is not clear. This is great model of repentance by all the individuals who failed as a collective body.

THE SIGN OF THE CROSS: This simple beautiful Trinitarian act is not approved by all Christians. A good history.

A CATHOLIC CONSERVATIVE IN ENGLAND - A SERIOUS MANJacob Rees-Mogg.

PATRICK COFFIN AND GORDON DALBEYBe a man. Fight the Devil, not each other. A good interview as part of Coffin series on manhood.

A GERMAN PHILOSOPHER AND A FRENCH PEASANT GIRLMr. Nietzsche, meet St. Theresa.

PURITY AND MARTYRDOM: Catholic Culture built on the life of Christ has always held forth an ideal of man as sacrificial warrior and yet pure as the snow. Maximilian Kolbe was born on 8 January 1894 in the Kingdom of Poland, which was a part of the Russian Empire, the second son of weaver Julius Kolbe and midwife Maria DÄ…browska. His father was an ethnic German and his mother was Polish... He died in a concentration camp as a priest offering his life for execution in place of another man who was the father of a family. Kolbe's life was strongly influenced in 1906 by a childhood vision of the Virgin Mary. He later described this incident:
"That night I asked the Mother of God what was to become of me. Then she came to me holding two crowns, one white, the other red. She asked me if I was willing to accept either of these crowns. The white one meant that I should persevere in purity, and the red that I should become a martyr. I said that I would accept them both."

II. ISLAM AND THE MIDDLE EAST

JOHN BOLTON AND THE LIBYA MODEL__TRUMP CORRECTS THE NEOCONS--AGAIN

John Bolton, the new National Security Advisor for President Trump, gave an April 29 interview with Fox newscaster Chris Wallace suggesting that we had a plan for denuclearization with North Korea based on the "Libyan model of 2003-2004."  Talk about tone deaf. Mr. Bolton and the "journalist "interviewing him apparently forgot that after Muammer Gaddafi gave up his whole nuclear program, he was killed by a mob on Oct 20, 2011. That mob was empowered by Gaddafi's ungrateful new "friends from the West." A US NATO air campaign turned the Libyan Civil War decisively for the rebels who now divide their fractured rule in the failed state of Libya.   As Hillary Clinton laughingly said, "We came , we saw, he died."  An attack by a cohort of those same rebels killed four Americans in Benghazi, Libya one year later, Sept 11, 2012.  Gaddafi betrayed, the Arab mob given an Air Force against an African leader, and American patriots killed in the aftermath. That too is the Libyan model.
Needless to say there was a strong reaction by North Korea after hearing Mr. Bolton's TV interview. They have a sense of history even if Mr Bolton and Chris Wallace do not.
Through different channels, the North Koreans  threatened the upcoming summit. President Trump was very quick to say the Korean negotiations are DEFINITELY  NOT THE LIBYA MODEL. He criticized the Regime Change which destroyed that country. He made it very clear he was  proposing a very different scenario. This was his position in Republican debates on Syria as well. He said, "Destroy ISIS, don't try to overthrow Assad." "Cooperate with Russia, don't make them your enemies."  President Trump is not a neocon.  Mr. Bolton is a very articulate man. He may eventually be a great asset to the President in defending his policy to those who will oppose him from the right.
This is very reminiscent of Ronald Reagan's negotiations with Russia's Mikhail Gorbachev. Reagan always had a vision of peace and cooperation as a new way for the two nations to live together. He loved Russian proverbs. His "hard liner advisors" were always worried that if Reagan was left alone too long with Gorbachev,  he would give away the store. The hardline conservatives shared his tough talk but they knew not his heart. Paul Kengor's book on God and Ronald Reagan is very good about this phenomenon.




INDONESIA CHRISTIANS KILLED BY MUSLIMS RETURNING FROM FAILED ISIS STATEA few lessons in this story. Indonesia is the largest Muslim country (87% of the 260 million). The first principle of their social agreement is Pancasila - "belief in the one and only God". Blasphemy is a crime. There are six recognized religions: Catholicism, Protestantism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, and Islam. 99% of Muslims are Sunni (almost all of the Shafi school of jurisprudence). The family who bombed three churches are Sunni Muslims returning from ISIS territory in Syria. These are some of the fighters the US and Saudi Arabia were supporting in their fight to overthrow Assad in Syria. Almost all Christians in Syria supported Assad against the rebels. The migration of Salafist Sunnis to Asian Muslim populations is a major post-ISIS problem. Ethnic Chinese (two million) in Indonesia are disproportionately Christian as they were disproportionate victims in the 1965 purge of Communists that killed 300,000-2 million.

ELECTION IN MALAYSIA SIGNALS A NEW ERA - MAYBEIt's complicated.

ISRAEL ATTACKS MULTIPLE IRANIAN TARGETS IN SYRIA"We will not allow Syria to be a forward base for Iran." Could Russia say that about US troops in NATO? Could China say that about US troops in South Korea? Israel's capital is Jerusalem and President Trump was absolutely right to recognize that truth. A major theme of Jared Kushner's speech at the opening of US Embassy in Jerusalem is the link between peace and truth. A profound insight. Syria is a sovereign state. Israel should recognize that truth.

US OPENS EMBASSY IN JERUSALEM: Seventy years after the founding of the State of Israel, America keeps the promise of the last four presidents and moves the American Embassy to Jerusalem. It is fitting and just.

THE EMBASSY OPENS, THE KILLINGS IN GAZA. THE SHIITES WIN IN LEBANON AND IRAQ: Israel seems triumphant but a base built on Muhammed bin Salman's Wahhabi Sunnis and Pastor Hagee's Christians is a narrow platform indeed - not really a grand alliance of Jews, Christians, and Muslims for the true good and beautiful. One writer who is able to report more than one country and one event at a time describes May 14.


III. AMERICAN POLITICS AND THE NATIONS

TA-NEHISI COATES - MEDIA'S FAVORITE BLACK INTELLECTUAL REVEALS HIS ATHEISM AMD DESPAIR: A leftist makes a surprisingly acute analysis about the revelations in Coates new book We Were Eight Years in Power.

RECONCILING KOREA: A role for Catholics - in your face or at your side?

THREE DAYS IN MOSCOW - THE REAL RONALD REAGAN CAME TO LIFT HEARTS, NOT RATTLE CAGES: From Bret Baer's new book:
"When Gilder (Reagan speechwriter for his 1988 talk to Russian students at Moscow State University) returned with a draft, it was beautiful. Reagan loved it. Once again, the nervous Nellies in the State Department and NSC hovered around, worrying about the language. But they soon realized that the speech had no single phrase that might give offense, no line that just had to be excised. Its deeper meaning was encased in respectful prose and stirring poetry. It was meant to lift hearts, not rattle cages. And it was pure, unadulterated Reagan. It might have been entitled, “Morning in Moscow.”
THE FOUR CLASSES - IN AMERICAN, IN PLATONIC AND IN VEDIC CATEGORIES: Taylor Marshall, a great Catholic thinker, does some culture work. Very worthwhile.

PROTESTANT ROOTS OF AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY: From the First Things article, Theology of Foreign Policy, by Michael Doran. Mark Tooley's excellent response at Providence magazine

PRAGER UNIVERSITY ON THE DEATH OF EUROPE: Douglas Murray who gives this video is right about German guilt leading to loss of confidence in Europe. But the problem is not that Europe doesn't believe in itself. It is that Europe doesn't believe in God. Mr Douglas is a "Christian atheist." Mr. Prager should know that men like him explain why the neoconservative project failed. This man has no sense of God, masculinity, or nation. He is a "Western conservative intellectual". He is well-spoken but he is part of the problem not the solution. The Enlightenment and the Greek philosophers have always been favored in the atheistic intellectuals' defense of the West. Less prominent are the Roman soldiers, Irish monks, German warriors, and Spanish Catholics. Christianity to the atheist highbrow is not a living organism that still breathes and fights but a past heritage of Judaic-Christian values for modern man to remember and improve upon.

DARREN ELLISOR - THE OTHER PILOT ON THE MAY 8 SOUTHWEST FLIGHT: Don't tell anyone but the pilot whose aviation skills saved lives at the time of decompression and trauma was actually a guy. The lady pilot "did her job" as well but the real story of responses to the exploding engine is much more interesting than the wonder woman cartoon. The reactions of male passenger protectors in the plane and a nurse who responded to CPR cries are also gripping. The pathetic and very real response of another man... of fear, self absorption, and resentment that he might die so young... is another contrasting feature of a very well done video story.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Our Lady of Fatima first appeared on May 13th, 1917


(originally published November 12, 2014)


                                 



When the Virgin Mary visited the three Portuguese shepherd children, she mentioned the Great War and also Russia.

(A year earlier, the trio had been visited by an angel -- who identified himself as the Guardian of Portugal).

                                                     


Timeline

World War I: Jul 1914 -- Nov 1918

Fatima appearances: May -- Oct 1917

Thus, the several appearances of Immaculate Mary occurred on the continent bearing the cross of war; and they were sandwiched between the two upheavals in Russia:

'February Revolution': Mar 1917 (the emperor abdicated; he was executed in the summer of 1918)

'October Revolution': Nov 1917 (the Bolsheviks take power)


                                                             

Two priests, who have now been canonized, each credited Our Lady of Fatima with saving their life.

Padre Pio was severely ill in 1959, when he was healed by a visiting statue of the Immaculata. And in 1981 when Pope John Paul was shot on May 13 -- the anniversary of the first Fatima apparition -- he credited the Mother of God for his survival.

(As a young priest, JPII -- Karol Wojtyla -- paid a call on Padre Pio).
                                                       




The Great War laid down storms of steel never witnessed before... On a single day during the first year of fighting, there were 27,000 French soldiers killed.

(Two years later, the British army would lose 20,000 soldiers in a day.

To put these figures in perspective, the bloodiest single-day battle in all of American history was Antietam in 1862: less than four thousand Union and Confederate soldiers died near that Maryland creek.)





During the final year of the war, a world-wide influenza epidemic broke out. In the United States, it ended up killing more than 600,000 people.

Also struck down by the disease were two of the three Fatima children: Francisco (age 10) and his sister Jacinta (9).

The fall of Soviet Communism is a miraculous event providing the possibility of a renewed Orthodox Russia to join a new Symphony of Christian nations.   Let us be open and pray. Vladimir Putin's Russia is not Vladimir Lenin's Soviet Union.  

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Religion and Geopolitics Review: Saturday, May 12

By Dr. David Pence and A. Joseph Lynch 

WEEKLY BRIEF
 HATRED FOR TRUMP MAKES NEEDED OPPOSITION HARDER
The pathological hatred of Donald Trump is the culminating manifestation of the fifty year  man hating, father dishonoring, baby killing public psychosis known as feminism. The frenzied outpouring of grief and rage at the unforeseen demise of the Witch from the West has not yet abated. She was buried by the ranches of Montana, the steel towns of Pennsylvania and those always reliable   farmhouses from Kansas. But while the Munchkins cheered and danced, the swamp cosmopolitans went berserk. A man-that man- had triumphed.  The Intelligence agencies planned a coup, the media had a meltdown, and respectable female teachers and nurses all over America went out in public with hats simulating their private parts. This spontaneous disintegration of public order came in the name of protecting democracy and respecting women. No males on the left could rise to steady the ship for they had all been trained that male initiative was white privilege. The well-funded, well-placed "resistance" couldn't unseat the new alpha male because he surrounded himself with military men and corporate executives while getting his sea legs. The feminist mob then ate their own males under the weird slogan of "me too".
  The atheistic revolt against religious order known as the Enlightenment has had multiple fronts and eras.  Ideological atheism appeared as Darwinist racism(think Nazis) and Marxist materialism(think Soviets and Mao). Its last iteration has been under the banners of  global corporate capitalism and feminist gender ideology. We are experiencing its death rattle. That is all for the good.
However their weeping and gnashing of teeth is getting in the way of a necessary life and death public debate about war and peace for the nation.  Paradoxically their hysteria is drowning out a reasoned argument against the war strategy of President Trump.
  The President is vigorous in his endorsement of the Saudi/Israel alliance against Iranian allies in Yemen and Syria soon to be followed by targeting their allies in Lebanon and Iraq. Saudi Arabia has already cut all relations with a longtime Sunni (and former fellow Wahhabi) ally in Qatar. This because they maintained economic ties with Iran. Our nationalist president is backing an alliance with an Israeli leader prepared to violate the national boundaries of multiple mideast states.  He has made an alliance with a young prince, Muhammed bin Salman,  who has alienated most of his country's  ruling family while financing the most virulent anti nationalist form of Islam in the world today. Israel as a nation with her capitol in Jerusalem is our religious ally to be protected. Israel in this doomed death duet is our drunken friend to be restrained. The Wahhabi brand of salafist and Hanbali Islam is the strategic source of the twin tower attack in America and worldwide terrorism around the world. President Trump is a true patriot who like the many American war dead of the last decade is following the generals and "our allies" into a wrongly configured battlefield, doomed to catastrophe by spiritual blindness.  
    International Diplomacy is organizing protection by assembling the largest possible retinue of friends while  recognizing the reality of necessary enemies. The most important ally we need for peacemaking in Korea is China and in Syria is Russia. In Afghanistan we need Iran, Pakistan, Russia, China and India to help bring an end to the killing.  The Cold War against Marxism is over.  Our old allies from World War Two are eager to establish a new era of international peace and regional respect in which the blood we shed together against the racial empires will not be forgotten. Russia and China  are the allies who gave the most lives to defeat Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan.  We need them again to stabilize their own regions and help stop the Mideast war between Iran and Israel. We are Israel's protector not their muscleman. They are our ally not our State Department. Benjamin Netanyahu has been a formidable and overpowering personality when dealing with Marco Rubio, Chuck Schummer, John McCain, Hillary Clinton and George Bush. He is one more strong man defending his own country when dealing with President Trump. The Israelis have treated the rise of salafism as a welcome conflict destabilizing strong states and preventing  pan-Muslim accord. They are biased and unreliable advisors in formulating American national strategy.   Russia and China are the allies we need to fight the salafist jihadists. We need an alliance of the big powers not the little people encirclements of the Marco Rubio and Hillary Clinton schools of perpetual warfare.  To build agreement among the religions, civilizations, and nations we need the masculine memory of military history and the map shaped wisdom of geography. President Trump needs our loyalty as well as our resolute and reasoned arguments against his strategy. Hatred and Hysteria won't do.


I. POPE FRANCS AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

POPE FRANCIS TELLS GERMAN BISHOPS TO COME TO AGREEMENT ON INTER-COMMUNIONThe German bishops are seriously divided and deeply corrupted. The most important issue that divides them however is not about Protestant spouses at the communion rail. The bishops definitely need to have a talk.  They need an honest behind doors debate to reveal their much more fundamental fissures. There is a large segment of German bishops who accept homosexuality as a form of love and a significant number of priests and bishops who engage in homosexual relations themselves (not pedophilia.) There is a large group who do not believe in angels in general and Satan in particular. Isn't their continued celebration of the Mass a much greater desecration of the Eucharist than someone's Lutheran wife approaching the altar? The Pope is absolutely right not to "make a ruling."  Giving communion to family members of registered Catholics (like consensual clerical sodomy) are widespread practices already in the well heeled German Church. A papal ruling would not stop either. These smokescreen peripheral mercy issues are exactly the issues the "depravity caucus " want to fight on. The German bishops need a much deeper conversation to reveal the corruption desacralizing the German priesthood and episcopacy. Enough with papal pronouncements. Let the German bishops speak to one another as men, face to face and behind close doors, about the heart of the gospel and the apostolic brotherhood which is so fractured in the country of Boniface.  We won't get all the bishops to agree but maybe we will get one Bishop Boniface to name their real differences. Problems cannot be solved if they are not first accurately named.

A welcome nuanced understanding from Crisis magazine - the German bishops must face each other. From the Catholic Thinga terrific article by Fr. Vavereck that it is the bishops who have been the sources of error for decades and it is the bishops who must clarify and contest each other for the truth. No need for papal proclamations; time for apostolic bishops.

ARCHBISHOP APURON OF GUAM SHOWS UP IN ROME. POPE FRANCIS BLAMED. CARDINAL BURKE NOT MENTIONEDIs this a fair story?  Apuron should have ben barred from saying Mass or presenting himself in any way as a Catholic priest. The failure to give him a just punishment falls on the Judge sent to preside over the case. That is Cardinal Ray Burke, not Pope Francis. Why attack the father instead of the real culprit?  It goes against the "conservative narrative" to find their lavishly bedecked heroine at fault when the black shoed grandfather Pope is at hand for more patriarchy smashing.

THE MASS WILL SAVE THE CULTURE: The power of the ancient rite among young people. Christianity is a culture of life because it is a culture of praise and cultivation - a brilliant article by a Yale graduate student. This young man is swimming deep. It is Christianity expressed in the forms of religious worship, national fatherlands, and families that will cultivate and protect life. Catholic culture has always tried to incorporate these loyalties where they are found when baptizing the different tribes and peoples. Well done!


II. ISLAM AND THE MIDDLE EAST

AFGHANISTANA soldiers tale. One of the great costs of the war against Trump is he can't really build the big power coalitions (especially with Russia) needed to get us out of Afghanistan and Syria. ...and getting out of those two countries is what we need to do and one major reason he was elected. Taliban and Iran are making agreements. Why?

THE SAUDI-ISRAELI ALLIANCE - A FEW TAKESFrom Stratford and from al Jazeera.

THE WAR ON YEMENUncomfortable necessary reports.

IRAN, ISRAEL, AND THE US: Pat Buchanan explains the situationBolton, Bibi and Impending WarWar with Iran - Can Russia save us from disaster?

REGIME CHANGE FOR IRAN AND A GROUP CALLED MEK: Iranians for Regime Change. Wikipedia description of some crucial history. This group is often cited favorably by anti-Iran politicians. This group favored Iraq in the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988). The idea that they are the liberal hope for democracy to follow a war against Iran which yearns to be free since "a dictatorship took over the country in 1979." Don't tell anyone but the Iranian religious revolution against the westernized Persian emperor (the Shah of Iran) was a pretty popular movement. From Wikipedia:
Mojahedin-e-Khalq Organization (MEK) was founded on 5 September 1965 by six Muslim students who were affiliated with the Freedom Movement of Iran; however in a coup-style ideological transformation, leftist members hijacked the Muslim group and adopted a Marxist platform in 1975.[48] The organization engaged in armed conflict with the Pahlavi dynasty in the 1970s and played an active role in the downfall of the Shah in 1979. They hailed "His Highness Ayatollah Khomeini as a glorious fighter (Mojahed)" and urged all to remain united behind him against plots by royalists and imperialists.
Following the revolution, they participated in March 1979 referendum and strongly supported the Iran hostage crisis, but boycotted the Islamic Republic constitutional referendum in December 1979, being forced to withdraw their candidate for the Iranian presidential election in January 1980 as a result. Furthermore, despite the fact that the organization's top candidate received as much as 531,943 votes in Tehran electoral district and had a few candidates in the run-offs, it was unable to win a single seat in the 1980 Iranian legislative election. Allied with President Abolhassan Banisadr, the group clashed with the ruling Islamic Republican Party while avoiding direct and open criticism of Khomeini until June 1981, when they declared war against the Government of Islamic Republic of Iran and initiated a number of bombings and assassinations targeting the clerical leadership.

The organization gained a new life in exile, founding the National Council of Resistance of Iran and continuing to conduct violent attacks in Iran. In 1983, they sided with Saddam Hussein against the Iranian Armed Forces in the Iran–Iraq War, a decision that was viewed as treason by the vast majority of Iranians and which destroyed the MEK's appeal in its homeland. In 1988, a fatwa by Khomeini led to the executions of political prisoners, including MEK members.
The group says it renounced violence in 2001. However, the MEK has been accused by numerous commentators of being financed, trained, and armed by Israel to assassinate Iranian nuclear scientists and educators.

III. RUSSIA - PAST AND PRESENT

MARXISM - A WESTERN PROJECT THAT FAILED: From Rusty Reno in First Things quoting John Gray’s little book Liberalism:
“The Soviet collapse and the Chinese project of market reform do not, as contemporary classical liberal thinkers and I myself once supposed, augur the global spread of Western-style civil societies: they exemplify the global reach of market institutions—a very different matter.” Far from the triumph of liberalism, the end of communism suggests its relative decline. “The ruin of Soviet Marxism was, after all, the failure of a universalist Western ideology, of a species of the Enlightenment project; it was not the end, but the resumption of history, in forms as little likely to be liberal as they are to be ever again Marxist.” The liberalism that participates in end-of-history, deliverance-of-reason, and state-of-nature universalism is a close cousin of Marxism. John Rawls, like Karl Marx, dreamed of the end of politics, which is another way of saying the end of history. Karl Marx, of course, envisioned an implausible withering away of the state in a socialist utopia, but Rawls and other liberal theorists live in the same mental world. In the Rawlsian scheme, we will come up with the procedural rules of justice that will be final and complete, a liberal utopia that keeps at bay the public contestations of religious and other substantive views of human fulfillment. Gray is right. The failure of communism does not mean the triumph of the modern, secular West. Marxism itself is a pure product of the West, an entirely modern secular project, which is why the terrible crimes of communism leave most Western intellectuals untroubled, and Marxism retains its allure. Marxism’s failure—which is very real—is a failure of secular modernity in the West.
Mr. Reno is today's most dynamic voice at First Things. There is no religious political understanding so urgent as understanding that the tradition we seek to defend is not the Modern West but Christianity and the nations. It is the key to making sense of Pope Francis, Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping and President Trump. Many prominent writers at First Things seem to resent these nationalist male leaders. May Mr. Reno move beyond the Republican party neocon stable to find many more voices representing the civilizations, religions and nations which constitute the international order.

DID ANY GOOD COME FROM COMMUNISM? The Communist ideology was more successful than Catholic "social teaching" in organizing states capable of militarily defeating the two great racial empires of Nazi Germany and Shinto Japan in WWII. The Communist role in those military victories protecting the national homelands of Russia, China, Korea, and Vietnam allowed the murderous ideology another fifty years of cultural hegemony over religion and nationalism. Marxism was not an opponent of the West. It is an opponent of religion, patria, and familia. But it allowed the defense of patria and thus survived long past its expiration date. It is the epitome of the Enlightenment, materialist Science and the godless West. It was a formidable foe and it defeated some formidable foes.

ANGELA STENT SPEECH ON RUSSIA: She is a serious student of Russia. She is a liberal, secular, Western apologist but she knows history. A woman we should learn from. She is the wife of the most important scholar on energy in America - Daniel Yergin. This audio is from an important national security scholarly initiative at the University of Texas.

ARMENIA HAS A VELVET REVOLUTION: Their Russian neighbors don't intervene.

VE DAY - MAY 9 IN RUSSIA. NETANYAHU IS THERE FOR THE CELEBRATION: World War Two is not fake news. It really happened and it was in all the newspapers. The greatest ally for the US in the defeat of Nazi Germany was the Soviet Union. They lost over 20 million people in the war. Three of every four German soldiers killed in the war were killed by the Red Army. The war in Russia came to be known as the Great Patriotic War as love for the homeland more than working class solidarity was the banner under which the country fought. Benjamin Netanyahu is historically literate enough to share this day with President Putin. National statesmen represent their nation to other nations in changing seas of accord and conflict. The great task of religious statesmen is to interpret the world's map of religions, civilizations, and countries informed by a historical memory aware of God's Providence and the ultimate fraternal destiny of the nations. Mr Netanyahu is an honest secularized leader representing Israel. That will not be enough to solve the present crisis. Russia's Putin may be the man to bring a larger more theocentric understanding which will include Shiite Persian Iran as a nation deserving respect and a promise of mutual peace.


IV. CULTURE OF LIFE, CULTURE OF PROTECTION

IN GOD WE TRUST IN MINNESOTA: We strongly favor efforts to reintroduce acts of prayer and piety toward God and nation in our public life. This bill has it just right and thus the opposition from the usual subjects.

CHILDREN MERCY AND G.K. CHESTERTON: “For children are innocent and love justice, while most of us are wicked and naturally prefer mercy.”

TOXIC RESTRICTIVE MASCULINITYTexan academics have a plan to rescue us.

MYANMAR KILLING FIELDSA PBS Frontline documentary A better religious-historical explanation - AOA Map on Monday: Burma


V. AMERICAN POLITICS

REST IN PEACE OR EXIT IN BITTERNESS: John McCain has fired one last salvo at President Trump in his disturbingly pathological war against the President. The public hatred for Donald Trump who broke up the bipartisan ruling elite should never be described as extreme partisanship. This is quite beyond party allegiances and the role of McCain in giving wings to the "Russian dossier" is proof that something more sinister was at play here.  John McCain has been among the worse of creatures  in the Life of the Swamp.  Hatred knows no party. He has been an organizer of hate masquerading as patriotism for three decades. He had a peculiar role with the Clintons and Ted Kennedy in the old establishment.  McCain played the warrior statesman, Kennedy was the Lion of the Senate and Hillary Clinton was to become the most qualified candidate ever to run for Presidency. Both Barack Obama and Donald Trump put an end to that charade as outsider presidents. The curtain falls on the post Cold war baby boomer era of decadence. We will see if McCain's burial has any hint of the religious reflections which should accompany the passing of a human soul. At this time it is being organized as a sequel to recent PBS specials which lionized Mr. McCain as a saintly maverick and trivialized Mr. Trump as a graceless loudmouth.

THE CHRISTIAN CASE AGAINST GINA HASPEL AS HEAD OF THE CIA: John Kiriakou spent twenty months in prison for revealing the CIA waterboard interrogation policy. His argument here is more than a brief against Haspel. It is formulating a realistic real world scenario that confronts a Christian with drawing lines or refusing to participate in the world of terrorists, torture and interrogation.

SCIENCE, THE ENVIRONMENT, AND EPA CHIEF SCOTT PRUITT: Pruitt is fighting the big war. If he is pulled down for personal excesses it will delay the much needed national debate about the nature of science, creation, man, and the environment.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

ASCENSION THURSDAY: Thus began “his participation, in his humanity, in God's power and authority.” The Restoration of Patriarchy


[first published on May 29, 2014]



"Yea, angels tremble when they see 
how changed is our humanity; 
that flesh hath purged what flesh had stained, 
and God, the flesh of God, hath reigned."

                                 



Doc Pence writes on this feast of the Ascension:


An old nun reflecting on the Ascension said it had always been her least favorite mystery of the rosary. "We wait two thousand years for the Messiah.  He comes. He is killed, but he conquers death and rises victorious from the dead. He is back for just forty days and then He’s gone again—and we call that a joyful mystery?"

But it really is such a glorious feast. We should stop the work week and devote this 40th day after Easter to contemplate this very good news. For Christ finally brings Adam where he was meant to be – in communion with the Father through the Son. "The nature of our Humanity in Christ was raised above all the host of heaven, over all the ranks of angels, beyond the height of all powers, to sit with God the Father," said Leo the Great (d. 461). Christ the alpha male who constitutes humanity into a single organism shows humans our heavenly place in the divine Plan. We will be the body of Christ at the right hand of the Father.  

The netherworld of Death has been lit up. The Prince of this world witnessed the greatest prison-break in history, as the King returned and claimed as his own not only Abraham and Moses but Adam and Eve -- the Chosen People and the human race. Christ took back the nether-world -- all that space and time where man enters the land of the dead is now a place not to be imprisoned by the Devil but to encounter the risen Christ. 

One kind of earthly absence allows His Sacramental Presence everywhere else. One Divine Person goes behind a cloud and the host, while the Person of the Spirit becomes more prominent.

There has been a righting of the spiritual universe with the Son reunited with the Father allowing human beings to come into ‘theosis’ with the Son. Humanity has returned to the Father. We have been restored to the Patriarchy. Christ now with the beginning members of his new body is returned to the right hand of the Father with these new "creature persons" allowed to participate in their Divine Communion. This restoration of the Beloved Son to the Father after his great battle creates a huge magnetic field penetrating the biosphere where men are meant to form ourselves into the patriarchal fraternity of the apostolic church. This will create a central protected space for the Marian Church where virgin mothers receive the Holy Spirit and work their works of mercy.

But even as Christians exalt in our sanctified humanity, St. Augustine in his Ascension Day sermon reminded us: "Christ is now exalted above the heavens, but He still suffers all the pain that we the members of His body have to bear. He showed this when He cried out from above,  'Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?' and when He said, 'I was hungry and you gave me food'."

The angels (who seem to appear whenever a ladder is extended from Heaven for them to ascend or descend) have the final word. As they assured Jacob that his descendants would be blessed and restored to this very Land, they designate the Apostolic Church as the site of the Lord's Return:
"Men of Galilee...This Jesus who is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come, as you have seen him going into heaven."
                     
by Benvenuto Tisi (1481-1559)