Wednesday, September 30, 2009

End of the world getting you down too?

One of the best things about one of my favourite films, True Romance, was the music.

That and that scene with Christoper Walken and Dennis Hopper. You know the one.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Don't play along.


Fighting is the Christian thing to do.

I think that is the whole gist of this blog, and what I have been doing with my life for ten years.

Fight. Don't take it lying down. Don't take it on the chin. And never mind that other cheek.

Tell the apocalypse, "Oh yeah? come over here and say that!"

There is something about having Irish blood. During a little personal contretemps recently, a good friend here who knows me very well indeed, and who was trying to defuse things, said, "Hilary, everyone has the fight or flight response, but in you, it seems to be a little more weighted towards fight than flight."

Yeah. I guess so. What's your point?

Here is something I wrote a while ago about not giving in that I thought was worth saying again.
Several years ago, I went through a phase of reading the Greeks. I ploughed through the Odyssey and then went systematically through the plays that dealt with the aftermath of the Trojan war, the pivot around which almost all Greek literature revolves. I remember quite distinctly coming away with the impression that the very worst thing that could happen to you is to be noticed by the horrible, fickle and perverse Greek gods. It never goes well.

If Apollo hates you, you're toast. If he falls in love with you, some other god will become jealous and...toast again. Even if no one else gets upset, and you happen to fancy the village blacksmith instead of the guessed it...toast. Even if some other god comes along and tries to rescue you. Look what happened to poor old Daphne. A tree!? That's the best he could do?

The theme "You can't win" is the guiding principle in Greek thought, pagan fatalism. Once you are noticed by the gods, you're toast. It was the thing that finally put me off any sort of modern revival of paganism. It isn't all sipping absinthe and dancing around trees to Enya CDs.

The whole mindset is alien to me. Gods shouldn't do bad things and problems ought to be solvable. There ought not to be traps like these and I'm infuriated when people just shrug and say, "what can you do?"

I'll tell you what you can bloody well do!

Take the case of Iphigenia, the daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra, sister to Orestes. Now there's a disaster that everyone always thinks was "fate". Inescapable. But the solution was perfectly obvious to me, a Christian and a fighty white Westerner.

Agamemnon (who in this production was not played by Sean Connery) wants to go to war with Troy. This has Artemis quite annoyed because she heard Agamemnon, after shooting a deer, boasting about how he's a better hunter even than the gods, and she has raised a lot of storms and things to prevent the fleet from setting out. He asks his soothsayers what to do and they say, sacrifice Iphigenia to the goddess.

OK, right there, Agamemnon had a chance to do the right thing, but, being a pagan fatalist, he blew it.

So he kills his daughter, the storms drop and he sails happily off into legend. But the string of events leads to disaster after disaster. He comes home, Cassandra in tow, to be greeted ten years later by a still furious Clytemnestra who murders him and poor old Cassandra (who has, herself, annoyed Apollo, if I recall, who cursed her with the worst thing I can imagine as a blogger,) and triumphs over his blood in a most grisly and exciting way. Orestes, the good son, and also an idiot, hears this and decides that in order to avenge his father he must murder his mother... which he duly accomplishes, thus incurring the wrath of the furies who pursue him to his miserable end.


Who spotted the flaw in all this?

The one thing that could have been done right from the start that would have solved everything?


It's obvious.

Kill the soothsayers.

Don't play along.

The gods are thugs. The gods are fascists. Don't grant them the moral authority. Don't be a dhimmi.

There's no such thing as fate. Fate is pagan nonsense and it's another way in which the CHRC and all their little minions, friends and relations, are opposed to the stoic manly Christian virtues. They expect everyone to just shrug, say, "it's the will of the gods" and sacrifice Iphigenia.

DO NOT sacrifice Iphigenia.

Kill the effing soothsayers and go to war anyway.

don't play along.

Cool to live at the centre of the world

I don't really like Rome, to tell the truth. Big noisy dirty cities never really did it for me. I miss the fields and crab apple trees and cows of Cheshire.

But there is one thing about living in the most important place in the world, and I've said it before, that eventually, everyone shows up. If you want to meet people, Rome's the place to be.

Just got a note from Binky of the WebElf Report, Free Mark Steyn and Free Canuckistan! who said he wants to go see the Shroud of Turin when they display it next year and is giong to come down here to look at our monuments.

It turns out that I have actually met him. He lives in Nova Scotia and I remember chattering away to him once about the end of the world or something. Weird little internet world.

I wonder what will happen when two bloggers actually get into the same room. Does the universe implode or something?

Cooking with Christopher Walken

Yep. Just what it says.

Winner and still champion of our annual King of Weird contest.

So gracious

Ah the left. Always to be counted on for good manners and graciousness:

Terry Sanderson, President of the National Secular Society, said: “This is dismal news indeed. Why Britain should seek to laud such a nasty extremist is beyond me. We should not forget that his ‘teachings’ have resulted in the banning of condoms in developing countries where HIV is decimating the populations. He encourages population growth in places where starvation is common. He persecutes homosexuals, treats women as second class citizens, has colluded in the large-scale cover up of child abuse. His Church interferes illegitimately in politics and undermines democracy. It siphons huge amounts of money out of poverty-stricken economies – what is there to celebrate about such a bigot? The NSS will be joining other groups in protesting against the celebration of this ghastly man’s presence here.”

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Random JPII Platitude Generator

One of my favourite internet toys

"The profound Incarnation of ethical values will illuminate , in some sense, our human condition."

"The ancient and rich unspeakable exhilaration of peace will transform tomorrow's remarkable gifts."

"The brotherly inspiration of peace will penetrate , in some sense, our enculturation."


Hours of fun.

Catholicism: still the biggest and the baddest

...can one really imagine Dan Brown selling millions of copies of a potboiler novel about the Lutheran World Federation?

...then you're a racist

Oh, I love these things.

Another "If you ______, then you're a racist" list.

If you're against socialized medicine, it's really because our president — who's for it — is black. If you're against the redistribution of wealth, it's because Obama is black. If you believe global warming dogma is hypothetical hooey, that belief is now racist, since Obama buys into climate change hysteria. So everything you believe in, is now proof you're a bigot.

and if I had been thinking about it more (and been cleverer) I might have said something like...
In fact, most of the racism that hits the black community comes from the left, whether it is slavery backed by Southern Democrats, lynchings by friends of Democratic Senator Robert Byrd, or the soft racism of low expectations that comes from affirmative action. Welfare is a bigger form of racism than anything that comes from the so-called racist right.

This reminds me of something I was thinking about on Friday.

I have seen a lot of Christians, and pro-lifers and people like that often become horrified or embarrassed at the suggestion by our enemies that we are "all a bunch of rightwingers" or squirm when we are accused of being "racist!" for opposing Islam or "anti-choice" when we say abortion is bad or whatever it happens to be this week.

I have seen them desperately backpedalling away in response to these "accusations". "No no!" they squeak in a panic, "I'm really nice, just like you...really!".

More, lately they've been trying to get in on the game. They talk about "growing Christianophobia" and do a lot of blithering about "equal rights", and "freedom of religious expression" and do silly things like launch Canadian Human Rights Commission complaints. They think they can play the game too, and "use the system against them".

This, I suppose, is a result of the error of so many Christians in buying into the world's democratic tosh. They think that there is only one good system and that it is being corrupted by bad people, but that the idea of Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité was a great one, if only we can get it, somehow, on the right track.

I've seen them get so flustered at the idea of being thought "nasty" or "right wing" or "racist!" that they hastily start repudiating their beliefs. Stockholm Syndrome.

And it's not new. The embarrassing thing is that now we are squeaking and skipping away from our convictions and the worst that is being threatened is getting called a nasty name on a blog. And nary a red-hot poker in sight.

The error, however, is something that few of them suspect: they have forgotten that Christianity, including its political implications, is True.

The things that oppose it are false and wicked. We're right, and they're wrong.

...Say it with me now. Come on, don't be afraid...

We don't need "equality" with falsehood or wickedness. We just need to denounce it from the perspective of simply being right.

We don't need to start with any kind of weasel-principle of "equality" or "rights" that assumes there is no right answer to that whole "Who do you say that I am" question.

The world says something patently idiotic like, "All truths are equally valid, therefore everyone has an equal right to be wrong, so you people aren't allowed to say you're right," and the poor befogged, fuzzbrained postmodern Christians seem to think that the only thing they're allowed to do is nod dumbly and pass another biscuit at the interfaith dialogue conference.

I got the following email from a nice lady in the US who is on our side, but seems not to have learned this simple lesson: we are right, and the people who oppose us are wrong.

I am hoping you will be able to either answer this question or point me in a direction to find the answer. The other day a feminist, whom I work with, made a dismissive statement that the pro-life movement is all right wing Christians.

I told her I didn't think that was true, but was really not able to define my answer with any fact! Is there any information as to the demographics of the pro-life community? If you could give me some sources of information, I would really appreciate it.

I would like to be able to state with some conviction the diversity of this community by backing up my statement with some facts! Has there ever been a survey done?

"Diversity"? Is that really what's worrying you?

I responded, essentially, "You need to look your coworker dead in the eye and say, 'You say that like it's a bad thing'."

Friday, September 25, 2009

Twilight plot update

Actually, nothing much.

At least, I think so.

Having trouble concentrating on it. Can't quite remember.

Finding it easy, for some reason, to be distracted

by things like,

a bug...

my nails...

a leaf...

some guy walking down the street...

paint drying...

Must. Try. Harder...

Steyn Funny

I mean, Canada surely doesn’t need one more delicate flower shrieking “Racism!” at every affront to the multiculti pieties. That hypersensitivity is what’s helped deliver more and more of the European vote to “fringe” parties. You want to talk about immigration? Whoa, racist! Crime? Racist! Welfare? Racist! Islam? Racistracistdoubleracist!!! Nya-nya, can’t hear you with my two anti-racist thumbs in my ears!

Shouldn't be read on the bus

I shouldn't read Mark Steyn where anyone else is in earshot. He's got a column on the often amusingly ironic differences among MEPs in Brussels:
The SNP is antipathetic to homosexuals, whereas Krisztina Morvai, the attractive blonde Jobbik member just elected to the Euro-parliament, is a former winner of the Freddie Mercury Prize for raising AIDS awareness. I can’t be the only political analyst who wishes that, instead of a victory speech last Sunday, Doktor Morvai had stood on the table in black tights and bellowed out, “We Are The Champions.”

Of course, none of these political differences make the slightest difference to what the European Union actually decides and does. People who think the EU is run by its Parliament, and that its parliamentarians have any kind of power to effect anything that it decides and does, aren't paying attention.

But it's fun to watch them sometimes anyway. A bit like watching old episodes of Yes Prime Minister while Britain crumbles.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Feminism: deadly social disease

Yay! I'm not the only person in the world who thinks that feminism is an evil social disease.

Why I loathe feminism... and believe it will ultimately destroy the family

ERIN PIZZEY set up the world's first refuge for battered women in 1971 - and went on to establish an international movement for victims of domestic violence.

...Having escaped the brutality of the war, we were introduced to a new brand domestic cruelty.

Indeed, my mother's explosive temper and abusive behaviour shaped the person I later became like no other event in my life.

Thirty years later, when feminism exploded onto the scene, I was often mistaken for a supporter of the movement. But I have never been a feminist, because, having experienced my mother's violence, I always knew that women can be as vicious and irresponsible as men.

Indeed, I would go so far as to say that the movement, which proclaimed that all men are potential rapists and batterers, was based on a lie that, if allowed to flourish, would result in the complete destruction of family life.


Feminism, I realised, was a lie. Women and men are both capable of extraordinary cruelty. Indeed, the only thing a child really needs - two biological parents under one roof - was being undermined by the very ideology which claimed to speak up for women's rights.

This country is now on the brink of serious moral collapse. We must stop demonising men and start healing the rift that feminism has created between men and women.

Harriet Harman's insidious and manipulative philosophy that women are always victims and men always oppressors can only continue this unspeakable cycle of violence. And it's our children who will suffer.

Hey, let's start a sharing meme:

"Why I hate feminism: a personal revelation that I've never written before."

I'll go first.

People often comment to me about how much I hate feminism. How much I have consciously rejected its tenets and proposals, its invidious temptations, its poisonous suggestions. Sometimes the violence of my loathing for it spills over into my writing. People have noted how sometimes I seem almost racked with hatred for it, with an anger that seems far beyond any merely intellectual rejection of a repellent and evil ideology. I've been told that I sometimes seem like those people who fled Soviet countries and spent their lives in a dedicated campaign against communism. There is a kind of fury that motivates me that other people who also may reject feminism don't have.

Well, I'll tell you why.

I hate feminism, and leftism and hippie-ism (if there is such a thing) and the collective new ideology that seems to have no name but has taken over the world since the 1970s because it destroyed my mother's life and her ability to fend for herself by turning her into a professional victim, rendering her incapable of normal human relationships and robbing me of the one person in the world I loved the most.

That ideology, whatever it's name is, corroded her personality and fed upon her innocence until there was nothing left of her. It enslaved her will and her intellect for forty years and reduced her in the end to a kind of shell of a person. It poisoned her and crippled her emotional and intellectual and spiritual life and left her in the end, to die alone and penniless in a government-sponsored cancer paliative care home. It turned her into a wraith.

My mum was raised in England after the war and was trained and educated in the traditional middle class manner for girls to prepare her for a normal life as a wife and mother. She could cook, sew, knit, crochet, she knew all about gardening, she could draw and play the piano and make any domestic thing needed. She was also sweet tempered and had a great empathy and love for little innocent things like small children and little animals. She was a great cat lover and was great with dogs too. She was a gentle person, and very feminine in the old-fashioned way that was normal before feminism got its evil hooks into everyone's minds.

And she was brilliant. She learned eight languages, taught herself music theory in her 40s and did calculus problems the way other people do the crossword. I've got her CV and it is a thick binder of qualifications from the Canadian government certification for French, to 1st class engineering tickets, to grade 10 piano, to her undergrad mathematics degree.

When she fell into it in the 1970s, feminism and the trendy pop-psychology theories that eventually were to congeal into the festering clot that we call the New Age movement, began to unravel everything that had created her personality and to leave nothing behind but chaos and psychopathology. It taught her (and this was partly the work of the RCIA programme in the Catholic Church in Victoria at that time,) that everything she had been raised to know and do was worthless and wrong, that everything she had been taught to expect was bad and that she would only be happy in the work force after years of university.

She went to university, did degrees in mathematics and biology, studied languages and then became an engineer. None of this ever made her happy. She spent years being told that all her problems came from her evil patriarchal upbringing. She tried to throw it all off, adopted the fashionable vulgar manners and ideas of the time, that conflicted starkly with her gentle and kindly and commonsensical polite upbringing. She started to lose the sense of who she was. Feminism kept trying to provide her with a new identity that never fit her. She continued to be unhappy as her personality eroded away.

When she did finally get married, the conflict continued. Graham wanted a wife and loved her for what she really was. Feminism told her that wasn't good enough, so she left him to go to engineering school. She became more miserable after the divorce and hated being an engineer. When Graham died she lost all interest in anything, left her job, retreated into fantasy and delusion, became addicted to various conspiracy theories and psychotropic medication and finally died of cancer, having alienated herself from the Faith which she had been told was too patriarchal, and the rest of her family who hardly knew who she was. Before she died, my uncle in England begged her to come there and be at peace. She refused.

A year before she died, I sent her a last letter pleading with her to give up what we both knew was her addiction to falsehoods, fantasies and emotional evasions and to devote herself to the Real. She never replied.

My mother's vast confusion in life was characterised by the perpetual name changes. In her life, she had six surnames, only two of which came from marriages, the rest were the result of her desperate lifelong search for an identity. She spent her whole life fighting her nature, her upbringing and what she knew was true with a deep natural conviction, to keep trying to embrace an alien and logically contradictory false creed.

When I read this article about the incredibly fast destruction of the IHM nuns in Los Angeles by unleashing the demonic doctrines of Carl Rogers, I know in close personal intimate detail exactly what happened. I watched it being done to my mother with her "dream workshops" and "encounter groups" and "realness training" and "gestalt therapy" and the endless navel-gazing rubbish she brought home and tried to foist on me. By the time I was nine I had learned to make up plausible sounding stuff to tell her about my inner life, stuff that fit the trendy pop-psych template, to keep it all out. It was just instinct, but even then I knew enough to hate and fear it.

My violent rejection of it all, like the body's rejection of poison by vomiting, was painful and alienating like a deprogramming, and took decades. But it has resulted in the end in my desperate (and sometimes fragile) white-knuckle grip on The Real, that ultimately led me into the Faith-That-Is-About-The-Real. No matter how hard and unforgiving it can be, no matter how many times I have failed to live it in daily life, it is the only thing that can make meaning in a life and a world that would otherwise look like an absurdity.

When I see these anti-nuns going to their risible conferences and issuing their media releases, I would laugh if I didn't know from personal experience how truly deadly these apparently childish theories can be. If only they were really childish, children would reject them as idiotic.

As I believe I've said before, it's all a big laugh, these ridiculous old ladies, until someone loses her soul.

Finally, some vestigial instinct for self-preservation prompted my mother to ask for a priest to see her before she died, and that priest told me she recieved the sacraments, so something of The Real remained in her even at the very end.

But her life and death have taught me a grim lesson: things don't always work out in the end. Sometimes there is just failure and tragedy and no kindly or wholesome resolution.

Feminism has taught me these things.


someone else's turn now.

Twilight plot updates

Book 1

1) Edward Cullen is broody and really cute. Must be a vampire.

2) Bella falls for him and starts thinking how great it would be to be a vampire too.

3) Edward falls in love with Bella and broods.

4) Bella frets.

5) Some bad vampires show up and there is brief Conflict.

6) Conflict resolved with a brief flash of violence. Bella still not a vampire because Edward is too broody.

The end.

Book 2

1) An accident involving a paper cut makes Edward think it's time to go brood somewhere else.

2) Bella depressed.

3) Bella really depressed.

4) Bella really really really depressed.

5) Cute Jacob is nice to Bella. Completely fails to brood for at least a hundred pages.

6) Bella cheers up but thinks Jacob isn't as interesting on account of not being a vampire.

7) Jacob turns into werewolf and Bella reconsiders.

** 1st plot development ** - Vampires and werewolves are mortal enemies.

8) Figuring that girls like broody guys, Jacob tries out a new personality trait, and adds a dash of whineyness. Grows really tall and moderately handsome for a guy with a heartbeat.

9) Bella has hallucinations of Edward brooding over her new thrill-seeking extreme sports kick.

** 2nd plot development ** - there are bad vampires in Italy who rule the vampire world and get really mad when the humans find out about them.

9) Alice, Edward's nice vampire sister shows up, says Edward thinks she's died and they fly off to Italy to stop him from killing himself. Apparently, Edward has perfected his brooding technique.

10) Sorry Jacob.

11) Bella and Alice rescue Edward from some bad vampires in Italy.

The end.

Book 3 (a plot begins to form, and it only took a thousand pages! Woo!)

1) Bella extracts promise from Edward's dad, the nice doctor vampire, to make her a vampire after graduation. This makes Edward mad.

2) Jacob broods.

3) Bad vampire shows up and starts making little vampires in Seattle.

4) Bad vampires from Italy threaten to kill Bella if the Cullens don't turn her into a vampire.

5) Edward broods.

6) Jacob broods.

7) Bella frets.

I'll keep you updated on the riveting developments.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Deathless dialogue

Been reading some great trashy vampire novels lately. Yes yes, I know, I'm the last to catch on and it's all a huuuuuge international marketing scheme aimed at 14 year-old girls...whatever. I just can't stop myself. It's like popcorn, you kind of eat it while you're waiting for dinner to finish cooking and then you find you can't eat dinner.

Oh well.

The first one is really bad. It is more or less 300 pages of the Anakin and Padme dialogue in those interminable scenes in the new Star Wars films:

"Oh Edward, I love you soooo much."

"No Bella, I love you more."

"No, I love you more."

"But Bella, I'm so bad, you shouldn't love me..."

"Oh but Edward, I love you too much to stop."

Then about page 320 something happens that is kind of like a plot with some conflict and villains and it gets briefly interesting. The end.

The second one is more like;
"Oh Bella, I'm so bad for you, I'm leaving."

"But but but Edward, I'll just die and get really depressed without you."

Doh! He left, now I'm really depressed.

Really really really really depressed.

So depressed I can't hardly talk.
100 pages later (we're learning something about pacing) Jacob the Coast Salish Indian werewolf steps in and forms a triangle and the Anakin/Padme dialogue starts again:

"Oh Bella, I love you so much and that Edward guy was a creep who left you. An undead creep to boot. If you love me instead I'll promise not to be undead."

"Oh Jacob, you're so nice to me and I was so depressed and I feel really bad that I don't love you as much as I loved Edward, but you'll do for now."

"Ooops, sorry Bella, turns out I'm a werewolf. But at least I'm not undead."

"Don't worry about it, Edward's back anyway, so I gotta go. See you.

I'm about 2/3s of the way through and I'm really hoping that something will happen soon that involves a Plot and perhaps some Villains.

I've already bought volume 3 in case I have trouble sleeping tonight.


I've been saying it for years...
Pandas: let's just eat the idiot-bears

Let’s look at the facts here. A lot of conservationists argue that pandas are the victims of man’s actions, that urbanisation and industrialisation is killing the precious bamboo they need to live.

Eh? Bamboo? They are bears, but they eat leaves. Hello, excuse me? Panda bear. Bear. You know, large, aggressive carnivore. Big teeth, claws. Grrrr. You’re supposed to eat meat. What on earth is with the bamboo thing?

A panda’s digestive system is still set up to digest meat. The reason they can only eat only one of the hundreds of different types of bamboo the world has to offer is that their guts aren’t supposed to break down bamboo. It’s elevating fussiness to the level of suicide. It’s like me eating only car tyres and gravel and then asking for sympathy when I starve to death. Idiots.

As I've said, any animal that refuses to reproduce and only eats one kind of food deserves to get voted off the genetic island.

I don’t see foxes complaining about cities. Rats seem able to cope with cities rather well. Countless other species seem to be able to deal with a changing world without going bleating to the WWF. This is evolution: adapt or die. Being cute and fluffy doesn’t give you any special rights, fatso.

And I don't like baby seals either.

Difficult questions

Some discussion around here in the last couple of days on ethics. See what y'all think.

What are we to say to a woman in a "crisis pregnancy" who is considering abortion, when she tells us that she would rather the child be killed than risk being adopted by homosexuals. In Britain, for example, there is no such thing as legal private adoption. All adoptions are regulated by the state and the state says that even Catholic organisations must allow homosexual "partners" to adopt children.

Now that we know a great deal about the human genome, and scientists are growing more able to find genetic predispositions to genetically transmitted illnesses, is there a case to be made to restrict marriage between people who have a high risk of transmitting, say, diabetes to their children?

Can there be an ethical case made for the germline genetic alteration to eliminate the possiblity, before the are conceived, of children with such illnesses?

What is life for?

I sometimes mention a few talks I gave once at some Ontario high schools about the "life issues". In all that I read and write about, it is easy to forget what the overall point of all this is.

But look at the expression "life issues" for a moment. It would, upon a moment's reflection, seem all-encompassing. The "Life Issues" should be about everything in life. And it kind of is. It is about all the goods that can only be found in life. Mercy. Friendship. Self-sacrifice. Loyalty. Generosity. Kindness. Fun.

When I talked to the kids, sometimes it would be obvious that they had already inculcated, but never examined, the abortion slogans. You know the ones, all about "rights" but never about whose rights exactly. Rights.

I used to ask them if they could define "rights" for me, but the answers were usually pretty muddled. I would sometimes ask them if they could explain some of the slogans about abortion rights, and often these answers were merely circular: a woman has a right to an abortion because she has a right to choose.

It didn't matter, really, what angle I took because the destination was always the same. The kids may have soaked up the slogans but could not defend them reasonably. No one could.

But sometimes I would go into the class and ask an even more awkward question: "What is life for?"

"Does anyone know the meaning and purpose of life?"

Is life for the avoidance of suffering?

What word do we have in the English language, and you all know it, for someone whose every effort in life is oriented toward avoiding suffering?

Is it possible that there is some value in life that would make suffering worth enduring?

Is it possible that suffering itself, dealt with correctly, could have some value?

These were Catholic schools.

I asked them what things in life were the most valuable. I asked them if the most valuable things were available only in certain circumstances, like in health or wealth or only when the weather is good, or if they are available all the time to everyone.

What is life for? In what circumstances is it sometimes useful to put up with suffering?

But often they were too scared to try to think about these thigns. Of losing what they thought they had; too scared to trade their already established and enjoyed license for a possible, theoretical happiness that no one knows anything about. A happiness that our culture has refused to discuss.

That's RACIST!!!

Apparently the only motive anyone could have had for objecting to Obama's appearance at Notre Dame was "racism".
The relative dearth of black Catholic leadership in the Church at the time the pastoral was issued was due to “subtle racism,” he charged.

Since that time tremendous strides have been made, and he cited the election of Barack Obama as president as an example.

“Most of us probably believed that would never happen in our lifetimes,” he said. “To say the world has not changed is to dishonor all of those who fought the battles for us.”

Some racism still exists, he said, and cited the recent furor in Catholic circles over the honorary degree awarded by Notre Dame University to Obama, who supports abortion on demand.

Other presidents have had disagreements with the positions of the Catholic Church, for example, in war policies and capital punishment, but have received honorary degrees without similar objection, he noted.

My first reaction to seeing the pic, being an evil racist myself, was "Oh, I now I get it."

Diogenes still cracks me up:
If only racism can explain public opposition to the Obama appearance at Notre Dame, then Bishop Steib has more than 80 racist colleagues. Shouldn't he denounce them? And probably he shouldn't accept invitations to speak in an archdiocese whose leader, Cardinal Justin Rigali, referred to the Obama invitation as "most unfortunate."

The last Tory

Daniel Hannan is one of those people with whom it would clearly be fun to disagree. I disagree with him on loads of things, but the thing that makes me like him is the complete absence of weaselness. You can't like a weasel, even one who agrees with you. But Hannan is someone you can disagree with over a pint, get into all kinds of fights with, and still like.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Word of the day

Quisling. It means "traitor".
after Norwegian politician Vidkun Quisling, who assisted Nazi Germany to conquer his own country and ruled the collaborationist Norwegian government, is a term used to describe traitors and collaborators. It was most commonly used for fascist political parties and military and paramilitary forces in occupied Allied countries which collaborated with Axis occupiers in World War II, as well as for their members and other collaborators.

The term was coined by the British newspaper The Times on 15 April, 1940, entitled "Quislings everywhere." The editorial asserted: "To writers, the word Quisling is a gift from the gods. If they had been ordered to invent a new word for traitor... they could hardly have hit upon a more brilliant combination of letters. Actually it contrives to suggest something at once slippery and tortuous."

There's no consistency like politically convenient consistency

I don't know if the whole Berlusconi vs. Avvenire vs. L'Osservatore Romano vs. la Repubblica thing has made international headlines. I've mostly been ignoring it, but I thought this
The campaign of accusations against Berlusconi's private life was ignited in mid-June by his second wife – from whom he is separating – and above all by "la Repubblica," the leading newspaper of the Italian left, which, paradoxically, has always preached liberation from the bonds of Catholic morality.
was funny.

Ah the left: wouldn't know a principle if one jumped up and bit them on the nose.

Telling it straight up

Western Civilisation was founded and nurtured by the Catholic religion, everything good in it is based on Catholic doctrine and the thing it replaced was wicked and horrible.

And the thing that is replacing it now, is going to be even worse.

The only thing I might have added is, perhaps, some decent clothing. Way to undermine the message guys.

(And on a personal note... good grief! "Gaaahhhd". Can't we teach teenagers to speak clearly? Is it too much to ask?)

Overheard on the train into Rome this morning:

"...that's because Trads know that real love isn't about feeeelings."

"Yeah, real love is a silk necktie before we light the pyre."

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Cognitive Dissonance

Fr. Blake gives this little note about cultural perceptions of men.

"Psychology is hate, at least as it is practiced in western culture." I wonder how many young men who have been through the seminary psychobabble mincing machine, invariably run by these "nurturing" females, would agree.

When I listened to this video, I paused for a moment to give a list of things that popped into my head to complete the second sentence...
"...small minded, petty, boring, manipulative, vindictive, vain, self-serving, illogical, emotion-driven, self-aggrandizing professional victims."

I used to wonder why I didn't get on with the cool kids in high school. Of course, in school, the sexes are usually naturally self-segregating and the "cool kids" in question were girls. It took me many years to notice that my friends in school were mostly boys and as a grown-up, men. It took quite a few more to realise that the very few women I had as friends, real friends that is, people I actually trusted with the inside part of me, were also women who mostly had men as friends. They are also, nearly invariably, those women who have seen through the feminist trap.

I won't venture to judge whether it is feminism that has made women so unpleasant, in the way that spoiling a child will make him into a monster, or whether women are naturally this way, but in our times, with feminism as ubiquitous as smog in a city, I think the question is moot.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Just get over it

David Cameron, apparently, has said that the UK should retain its membership in the EU. As he put it, to be "in Europe, not ruled by Europe".

It occurred to me that this is a bit like telling a rape victim that since he has already had his wicked way with her, she ought to just get over it and marry the guy.

"The total scale of EU legislation is enormous. Last year, the EU passed 177 directives, which are more or less equivalent to our Acts of Parliament, and 2,033 regulations, which become directly enforceable in this place, not to mention 1,045 decisions. Even that huge tally ignores the extent to which our powers are diminished by our inability to do things that we would like to do because they would conflict with European law. When I was a Minister, officials would frequently say, “No, Minister, you can’t do that”, because something was within the exclusive competence of the European Union. -
Peter Lilley, House of Commons, Daily Hansard, 3 Jun 2008, 3.35 pm.

Bioethics: the science of figuring out who we can kill

I often mention the name Leslie Burke as a kind of paradigm, what to watch out for in the future. Burke was a postman until he was struck with a type of motor neurone disease that would eventually render him incapable of communicating. Knowing that the courts and bioethics experts had decided that people can be killed by doctors who decide that a patient's life is no longer worth sustaining, he, perhaps somewhat optimistically, went to those same courts (and all the way to the EU Court of Human Rights) to ask for the right not to be killed by his doctor when his turn came.

He lost.

But another case is actually the seminal one that marked the turn of the tide in medicine against trying to figure out how best to treat people and towards trying to figure out how to get away with killing them...for their own "best interests" of course. Nothing to do with money...

Tony died nine days after the tube was removed. Alison highlights the reinterpretation by the judiciary of the traditional medical meaning of the patient’s “best interests” to now include death by removal of food and fluids. More disturbingly, that reinterpretation represents a shift from considering the burdensomeness or futility of treatment to the burdensomeness or futility of a person’s life.

Two names to remember then.

Tony Bland: the first man to be deliberately killed by doctors using the now-favoured method of dehydration (no need for Deep Sedation in his case).

Leslie Burke: the first man to be told that there is no such thing in Britain as a right to decide ahead of time that he does not want to be killed this way.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


No postyposty today. Just got a big story done and it was pretty absorbing.

Sometimes I actually work at work.

Who knew?

Back tomorrow.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Oh Rain!

I'm so glad you're back.

I missed you so!

Current weather in Rome
Current: Thunderstorm
Wind: W at 5 km/h
Humidity: 78%


The misery of some British children’s lives could come straight out of a Dickensian novel, according to the head of a teaching union. Many do not know the identity of the father figure in their home from month to month, said Lesley Ward, the President of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers.

It is “next to impossible” for schools to counter the effects of family breakdown, bad parenting and deprivation in some areas, she warned.

The pleasures of home life...


Had Soviets on the brain lately.

This is interesting. The photo above is of Ivan Burylov, a bee keeper.

Seeking the appearance of democracy, the Soviet Union held elections, but only one Communist Party candidate appeared on the ballot for each office. Fear of punishment ensured that nearly all Soviet citizens “voted” by taking their ballot and ceremoniously placing it into a ballot box. In 1949, Ivan Burylov, a beekeeper, protested this absurd ritual by writing the word “Comedy” on his so-called secret ballot. Soviet authorities linked the ballot to Burylov and sentenced him to eight years in camps for this crime.

How quickly we forget

Someone, some time said something along the lines of "To know history is to be Catholic". Well,I don't know, but apparently to know no history is a requirement of being a believing Atheist.

Fr. Tim has a photo of the latest thing in Atheistwear. A T-shirt bearing the logo, "No one has ever been stoned to death by atheists."

The last word, so to speak.


The latest buzzword, apparently, in trendy sex-education circles is "pleasure". Some people who have been teaching the kiddies about the birds and the bees are becoming upset at all the negativity out there. Come on people! Lighten up! This is the post-sexual revolution world. It's supposed to be all about the fun you can have. Safely, of course.

Jansen and some of her colleagues visited the Toronto classrooms and tried to get a feel for what students knew, what they didn’t know, and moreover, what they wanted to know. The more workshops they conducted—she guesses they’ve done 12 to 15 so far—the more convinced they became that high school students are navigating a huge information gap, and that in many schools, the current sex ed curriculum is woefully inadequate. “Kids are taught to death about all the bad things that can happen to them if they have sex,” she says. “They’ve said, ‘We’ve heard about sexually transmitted infections, we know you can get pregnant, but we want to know about pleasure and we want to know about healthy relationships.’ ”

Now I am just wondering if anyone has explored the distinction to be made between "pleasure" and "happiness" and if anyone is asking if the one can tend to obstruct the other.

6. Q. Why did God make you?

A. God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him forever in the next.

Here's a thought, maybe we, as a culture, have given up on happiness. Maybe the sexual revolution - the Divorce Wave, the severing of connections within families, the idea of people as disposable commodities, the nearly universal sense that we are all, really, essentially alone out there, like corks bobbing around on an immense and unconscious ocean - have left us collectively incapable of imaginging happiness.

When the Baltimore Catechism says we are made for happiness, what if we moderns cannot conceive of what that means. If God is offering us something we are constitutionally incapable of imagining, something for which our brains simply have no slots to receive, is it any wonder that we generally choose "pleasure" over it?

Perhaps we have had the capacity for belief in happiness, even earthly happiness in this life, the pursuit of natural goods (laying aside anything wildly weird like eternal beatitude) entirely beaten out of us. How many of the kids in these squelch-fest workshops come from single parent "families"? How many of them see their fathers more than once a month? How many of them have had to school their expressions to greet a succession of men coming out of mum's room in the mornings? How many of them have been separated from beloved grandparents because mummy and daddy aren't speaking, or because daddy's new family gets to go there for Christmas this year?

Pleasure is certainly a great deal easier than happiness in our world.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Canadianness in Italy

I haven't got a picture yet (computer still on fritz), but I thought it was interesting to note that the trains that take me every day from Santa Marinella to Rome are made by a company that is a household name in Canada.

Bombardier Inc. The parent company of the guys who make the good old Bombadiers we used to drive around in the snow.

My parents had a Bug in the NWT. You put your nets and gear, as well as diretion finding equipment and a couple of thermoses of hot tea in it, and you drive out on the Great Slave Lake about a mile or so, and you can sit inside its heated luxuriousness while the nets fill up with money...I mean fish. It was great.

(BTW: The direction finding stuff is expensive but important. There's this thing that happens in the snow called "white-out" where you can't see anything. This means that if you have gone out onto the lake and are planning on navigating by the tree line, that is, by keeping the line of trees in sight and pointing your Bug back towards them when you want to go home, and there's a white-out, you won't be able to see the trees. You won't know if you are just driving around on the ice in circles and you will probably die. The north has lots of interesting and tricky ways to kill you, and is more or less trying to do that all the time.)

OK, I admit it...

I'm a freakin' Canadian.


That feels better.

Pilgrimage to Ireland

I'm thinking of taking a trip to Ireland. It's where my genes come from, so I thought I'd go see if Jung's theories are right about racial memories. (Was that Jung? Maybe it was someone else.)

Anyway, I really have a funny hankering to go to Cork and then up to Galway. I thought I'd visit Archbishop O'Donohue at his new job and then go check out those nice looking Poor Clares on Nun's Island in Galway. I ought to go visit my long-lost Doloughan/Jenkins cousins in Limerick too.

But I need some help. I'm poor. Not broke, but not rolling in enough dough to pay for things like hotels. And who wants to stay in hotels anyway?

So, I'm swallowing my pride and asking readers in Ireland if they know of cheap lodgings or friendly Traddies or mad pro-lifers who might let me sleep on their sofa while I'm whirlwinding around. I'm never fussy when travelling, just need a horizontal surface out of the soft Irish rain.

I could also use a little travel advice. Never been to this part of the world before, and want to see good bits.

I'm thinking the best way to do it is a flight from Rome to Liverpool and then either a flight from LP or the ferry and then the train down south. There are direct Aerlingus flights to Cork from Rome, but they're horribly expensive.


Update: looks like Ryan Air flies directly from Ciampino to Dublin and the fares are weirdly cheap. €4.99 from Dublin to Rome. Odd.

Washed up on unknown shores

This is where I'm from. Land of the Big Trees.

This is Third Beach in Stanley Park. There was a time, which seems like a dream now, when I could be reliably found here in the afternoons after getting off work in a bakery; the best part of starting work at 3 am is getting off in time to go to the beach every afternoon and go to the movies with my friends in the middle of the day for cheap. The directions to Hilary at 3rd Beach are, "Middle staircase, centre row, second log to the right".

What do I want? Not just to go back to the place, but to go back to the time when I didn't know what I know now. If I'd known ahead of time what I was going to know in ten years, I would have given it a pass and not known it. Maybe the world was coming to an end, but at least I would have been spared knowing it was coming.

Oh, that's a song.

"Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then. "

A country song.

H/T Vicky's pic.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Look out, he's behind you!

A friend just brought over from the States the DVDs of the entire series of Due South, the second best thing the CBC ever made. (Oh, wait. It wasn't the CBC. That explains a lot.)

But it's going to be confusing to watch. Callum Keith Rennie is in it.

How hard is it going to be to watch the show without shouting at the screen "No!! He's a Cylon! He's a Cylon!!!"

Why isn't TV more like Vaudeville? It would be way more fun.

In Today's Science is Cool News

Land of the Lost Discovered Inside Papua New Guinea Volcano
A volcanic crater in Papua New Guinea revealed never before seen species of rats, frogs, fish and other tiny bear-like creatures.

Good for Them! Neanderthals ate Seals and Dolphins


NASA has published new photos taken by the Hubble Telescope

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Sedia Gestatoria "Democratic"

Two articles in today's Italian L'Osservatore Romano quotidiana on how great and cool the sedia gestatoria. Calling it "democratic".

Hmmm... well, it doesn't look terribly democratic to me. Looks kind of more "monarchical".

But it's two articles. In L'Osservatore Romano.

Two thoughts pop in there: The pope is going to bring it back.

And, how did it get into L'Osservatore Romano?

More Hannan


Hannan on the "far-left BNP"

The single reason for voting for them, is that when they hear the Margaret Hodges...and the Harriet Harmons...saying "oh, whever else you do, you mustn't mustn't vote for this party," there are some people who say to themselves, "Right, well if that's what you swine least want us to do, I'll bloody well go and do it".


Is this the last real Tory?

Daniel Hannan

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Dumb leftist moans about democracy

"Why are mayors causing so much trouble?"

Peter Davies, a retired schoolteacher who was recently elected mayor of Doncaster, believes the UK should learn lessons in family values from the Taliban – saying they encourage order and enjoy decent "family affairs". In charge of a £586m budget, Davies also believes climate change is a con and councils should scrap their support for everything from bus lanes to gay pride festivals.

Well, in the case of this one, mostly because he was elected by a majority of the voting public instead of being appointed by an oligarchy of southpaws.

It used to be loony left local government that attracted ridicule. Now it is the outpourings of mad mayors.

No. It still is the loony left.

But still no Rain

Oh Rain! My long lost lovely soothing friend!

I'm so sorry for all the things I said.

Come back Rain,

all is forgiven.

We now return you to our normal weather

On Saturday the temperature took a sudden drop, back down to the merely warm and summery after three months of life on the surface of the sun. On Saturday night we fired up the barbeque, ate some burgers and chicken and then spent one of the most pleasant evenings I have yet experienced in Italy, keeping the fire going until midnight, watching the moon rise over the Etruscan hills bathing us in a cool light to go along with the newly cooled breezes off the Tyrhennian Sea.

Just sitting with a couple of friends, late into the night, staring into the fire and occasionally vocalising the Thoughts that came...bliss.

Or at least, if not actual bliss, then at least a gigantic mental and emotional sigh of relief that It is finally over.

The humidity was abruptly gone, as if some weather god has come home from vacation and, having discovered that he had left it running all summer, finally shut off the switch.

Over. It's over. It's finally OVER.

Thanks be to God!

Ah, Italian summer. Spending every night with the fan on full blast pointed directly at your face while curled around a pop bottle of frozen water wrapped in a tea towel; waking up every morning feeling like you have spent the previous day drinking heavily; walking an hour every day to and from the train station while covered in a thick layer of sweat and dust; daily feeling oily, filthy, stinking, slime-coated and beaten to a pulp.

This summer has made me realise that there are distinct differences between the constitution typical of someone from a Northern Temperate climate and that which has become, over a period of several millenia, accustomed to the Mediterranean climate. People like me, in other words, are just not meant to live here.

I don't remember ever being so miserable for so long.

For a while I thought I was going a bit mad, and at dinner on Sunday night with some friends (one of whom spent the summer in Winnipeg and Edmonton) I was informed that this was showing on the blog a little. In case I got annoying or boring, sorry.

One thing has become clear; I will not be spending another August in this country.

Every now and then,

I like to re-view the Ezra Tapes

reminds me of why I keep doing all this.

Vocation call

I gotta admit, it looks really really good.

They need vocations. I'd be the last one to suggest it outright, and as they are new to the Real, I imagine they've got a sharp learning curve ahead of them. Anglicanism is a deeply confused and confusing creed and a round of instruction, by a Novusordoist no doubt, and formal reception are going to be just the start of the journey, but they've started and that is an unqualified Good Thing.

I am not being the least facetious when I say that the bringing in of the Anglo-Catholics may be something that will contribute perhaps more than anything else to the liturgical salvage operation being undertaken by Bennie and some other friends. At least in the English language sectors.

Worth checking out
, at the very least.

Friday, September 04, 2009

"Oh baby! did I image the Trinity for you?"

Lately I've been seeing a lot of this kind of thing

Book encourages prayers before sexual intercourse

and it is making me think there is a good reason why people outside the Faith think we are looney about sex.

Joyful Mysteries as foreplay probably not going to do it for most people.
Silk Vestments and Fishnet Stockings
All kidding aside, in a poignant moment, my mother once admitted concerning marital sex, "I mean I enjoyed it, but I never stopped feeling guilty about it." To which I muttered silently, "Poor dad."


In recent decades, we have heard far more than we used to about the virtue of Chastity as practiced within a marriage -- faithfulness to the spouse, openness to life, and self-sacrificing love between the spouses...We need more role models of Chastity than poor Maria Goretti, or monks who tamed their flesh by wearing hairshirts and refusing to bathe.

Still, I know that I'm not the only person who feels a little . . . squeamish when speakers wax eloquent about the Theology of the Body...

What makes me squirm in my seat is when Catholic writers try to laying really heavy emphasis on the theological realities of marriage -- more emphasis than ordinary human experience will bear. It may well be true, as one Theology of the Body writer likes to emphasize, that in some sense marital intercourse helps both partners to enter into the "inner life of the Holy Trinity." But is that kind of thinking . . . sexy? I'm single, so readers can correct me here, but the last thing I want to hear about on my wedding night is Trinitarian theology. If the Sorrowful Mysteries make lousy foreplay -- sorry, Mom -- the Joyful ones won't do much better.

Or, as the inimitably succinct Kathy once put it to me in an email, what is wrong with this picture: a young woman who, as she was preparing for marriage, was looking around the internet for a pair of flannel bloomers to wear to bed "to preserve his chastity".

Sonnen's New Site

Orbis Catholicus secundus

Everyone change your links for your daily Romish pick-me-up.

Pro-lifers "divisive"

Ho hum...

same NewChurch, different day.

"At times, even in the Church, zeal can lead people to issue harsh judgments and impute the worst motives to one another. These attitudes and practices do irreparable damage to the communion of the Church," he wrote. "If any cause is motivated by judgment, anger or vindictiveness, it will be doomed to marginalization and failure."

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Are we killing our elderly?

I've said it many times,

Never, ever ever forget the name Leslie Burke.

Are we killing our elderly?
Care of Britain’s elderly is under intense scrutiny, with a number of reports in recent days highlighting the risks and suffering of patients at the hands of the NHS or family members.

Speaking as someone who once had my very own Old Person, I can say that I am heavily biased in favour of little old ladies and anything that threatens them makes me very very angry indeed.


The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms or whatever it's called, was put together a few years ago by a bunch of mediocrities, none of whom were smarter than I am, and some of whom were actually French.

It. Doesn't. Matter. What. It. Says.

The Charter has as much import and impact upon my life as the instruction manual that came with my microwave.

Stop living your life as if this useless scrap of paper has any power or meaning.

There. Don't you feel better already?

What? You're too sucky to take that leap? WHY?

Who cares why, come to think of it. Just get off my blog and go read some tremulous careerist party hack lawyer's mental masturbation. I'm afraid I'll catch cooties from your eyeball rays if you don't leave.

Thanks Kathy. I needed a laugh.

Deadly Serious

Is there an ironic joke in here somewhere?

The EU Parliament's committee on the environment is acronymed ENVI.

No, really.

How dare they!

It's a funny thing about "liberals". I was raised hearing the refrain every day, "You have the right to do anything you want."

...except the things you're not allowed to do, of course. But who'd want to do any of that stuff anyway?!

"Funny how my fellow liberals preach tolerance and choice until they disagree with someone else's decisions."

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Speaking of the end of the world,

new disaster movie!

It's got three of my very most favourite things in a film: Famous things falling down, really big explosions and John Cusack.

Can't wait.

Church of Traitors II

Finished reading the Wynn article on the train last night. It holds the key to the Great Riddle of Ted Kennedy's Funeral. It was not Cardinal Sean, or any American bishop who started the Catholic Church's ongoing... ah... flirtation with the left.

During that first, brief trip [to the Eastern Bloc countries], the shrewd Vatican diplomat [Casaroli] was more impressed by the weakness of the Communist sustem than its strength. The very fact that those governments found it necessary to deal with the Holy See was a sign of their internal weakness. Casaroli compared those regimes to a great oak tree with a powerful trunk and covered with green leaves, giving the extermal appearance of health and strength, but completely rotten inside.

"I sensed that the whole system was decaying and heading for collapse. They had failed to capture the imagination of their youth, they had failed completely to create the new 'Socialist Man'. And the erosion of the system was accelerating as a new, disaffected generation of young people grew up."

Ok, so, why "deal" with it? Why not work against it? Why not give that rotten tree a shove and see if it goes down any quicker?

Later, Wynn, who is himself totally uncritical of Casaroli or his policies, relates that Casaroli was worried, after the death of Paul VI, that his successor would not want to continue his work. This was to prove a well- founded fear. JPII, for all his failings, had no time for appeasement of communists.

Casaroli continues,
"We were not trying to overthrow Communist regimes, we were trying to negotiate with them and to find a way of living with them. We had hope because we knew the Soviet system was weakening and tiring internally. What we did not know was how long it would last and what form its collapse would take, whether peaceful or bloody. But we knew its collapse was inevitable. Now, given that fact, the question naturally arose as to why we should negotiate with tehm at all, why not sit back and wait for the collapse, supporting the underground Church and continuing to resist?

"We opted for negotiations, because we didn't know how long those regimes would last, and in the meantime we had a moral obligation to insure that the Church had priests, that the faithful could receive the Eucharist and go to Confession. If we lost the hierarchical institution, we would lose the Church..."

Now, this is interesting, because I have known some priests who were underground in Soviet bloc countries and their stories are illustrative. Had the Vatican supported their efforts, would the Faith have died or flourished? Would the Church have been "lost" as Casaroli said? Hard to say at this distance in time.

But from what I have been told, the Church was flourishing. And one of my informants was a Slovak priest who was ordained secretly in Czechoslovakia, one of the countries that Casaroli described as a "hardline" state in which the Church would have "died out" without his "careful step-by-step diplomacy".

The difference, perhaps between men like Casaroli in the Vatican and the men actually baptising and marrying and saying Mass in secret in these countries was that the latter knew and accepted the possibility of martyrdom. It seems that Casaroli and his popes rejected that possibility utterly and were more interested in creating comforts, a typical Novusordoist goal.

But it seemed that there were limits even to Casaroli's capacities for dhimmitude. At one point there was a negotiation with Tito's Yugoslavia in which the Church was being told to admit that priests had taken part in "right wing terrorist" activities during the war.

Casaroli said, "Naturally most Church leaders in Croatia were totally against putting this item into the agreement. They said it would be an admission of guilt by the Church," and Paul's Secretary of State agreed with them. But the pope, having suggested some ambiguous wording, insisted the deal be struck. Casaroli relates, "I was deeply saddened when I signed that agreement," so maybe he's just in Purgatory.

The end to the Mindszenty and Beran stories is pretty dismal.

Wynn says that Casaroli "succeeded in negotiating the release of Mindszenty and Beran and bringing them to Rome...
Neither of whom, you will recall, had the slightest desire to be 'released' because they knew it would mean exile and that the Vatican would cease resisting the regime and put communist-approved replacements in their sees.
Unfortunately, he recalls, "they were both rather bitter at having to leave their countries, and both felt they had been betrayed."

They aren't the only ones.
It took eight years to persuade Mindszenty to leave Budapest, and only after the Vatican promised the Hungarians that the cardinal would remain in Rome and would not speak out publicly against their regime.

Mindszenty, of course, would have no part in this kind of deal and once out of Budapest, he visited Rome long enough to tell Paul exactly what he thought and removed to Vienna where he spent the remainder of his life writing against what had been done. Or, as Wynn puts it, "he spoke out loud and clear writing anti-Communist articles and publishing his memoirs (in which, of course, he savagely attacked the Hungarian regime)."

But in the end, the pope dug that knife right in.

"Pope Paul felt it was unacceptably damaging to the Church in Hungary not to have a Primate on the scene," Casaroli told me with a bit of sadness in his voice. "And so he had to relieve Mindszenty of his titles and appoint someone in his place."

Beran suffered a similar fate and he never complained of betrayal by the Vatican, though he said that the Czech government had lied to him, telling him that he had the right to return.

Despite the "bitterness" of the two prelates, Casaroli went on to greater triumphs in his ongoing negotiations with the Devil regimes, culminating, as Wynn puts it, in the "big moment" when "none other than the President of the Supreme Soviet, Nikolai Pogorny, called on Pope Paul, the highest Soviet official ever to visit the Vatican up to that time."

Indeed a triumph.

Wynn and Casaroli both admitted, despite such high points in the history of the Church's relations with states, that there was "a price to pay" for their series of compromises and concessions. He notes,
One important, and little publicized concession the Vatican made was to agree not to attack publicly the Communist regimes with which Casaroli was negotiating. As he defended the policy to me:

"We were obliged to accept certain 'rules of the game' imposed on us by the demands of diplomacy. If we were to negotiate meaninfully, we had to be constant. We couldn't make agreements with those regimes one day and insult them the next."

Well, naturally.

These compromises and agreements, also naturally, led to the Vatican allowing communist regimes to decide who were and were not acceptable candidates for their sees.

As well, Wynn refers to a 1966 agreement with Yugoslavia in which the Church agreed to muzzle its clergy, ushering in, perhaps, our own times when it seems the policy of the Church to ensure that priests never declaim against any of the evils of the New GramsciistCommunism that has since then taken over the world (oddly enough, quite in keeping with the predictions made by Our Lady at Fatima).

I know that this kind of negotiation continues in the Church around the world. It is common knowledge,for example, that the reason no Canadian priest ever talks about contraception was out of a deal struck by the Cardinal Archbishop of Toronto with Pierre Trudeau who wanted to abolish laws against it. (And divorce, and homosexual activity, and abortion, but who's counting?)

The Cardinal was promised government-supported Catholic schools in exchange. A neat deal for the government, it turned out, since these schools could then be controled directly with threats of loss of funding should they become to overtly Christian.

"Was it worthwhile?" Casaroli asked rhetorically after citing these compromises. "It's hard to say."

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Whoopie! The New Springtime! Yay!

Just discussing Canadian Catholic demographics with a correspondent from the east coast.

He writes:

The Church here is hitting a wall. My family's home parish in Halifax is full of "cottontops", to use one of Tom Wolfe's words. The Basilica is basically 20-25% full at best for the Masses to which I go. [A young Halifax priest] said a few years ago we will be down to two parishes on the old peninsula in 20 years.

The old parish church in L'Ardoise (really a pocket basilica built by impoverished fisherman in the 1880s, and which eventually had an affiliated convent up to 30-35 years ago) burned down in '71, replaced by a small bland church with a now-rotten spire. Now, it's a mission not a true parish.

The collapse of the Catholic Church is THE salient event in the West in the past 40 years, yet it's a basically ignored fact.

Yep, Novusordoism.

Really packs 'em in, don't it?

"in line with Catholic teaching"

"Cherie Blair Attacks Catholic Church..."

Sometimes saying "I told you so" is a downright pleasure.

Nasssty judgemental pro-liferses, preciousss...

Fr. Williams’ went on, saying that the reason he was paying “special attention” to her remarks on human life, was that “the way you came across was decisively contrary to the way you have been pictured recently by a number of websites that describe you as pro-abortion and anti-family and which protested against our university giving you a platform.

“What you have just said inclines me all the more to think that those accusations were at the very best rash, if not outright calumnious, and I regret that you were subjected to that.”

Fear the Light

The problem for the ruling political class with the BNP is not their policies, but the fact that the BNP lays bare their moral and philosophical poverty, and indeed criminal levels of corruption and anti-democratic impulses.

And apparently, I'm not the only one to have noted this.

Dr. Sean Gabb is a writer, academic, broadcaster and Director of the Libertarian Alliance in England.

The party believes in the expulsion of illegal immigrants, an in some voluntary repatriation of non-whites who are legally here, and in dismantling the Equal Opportunities police state from which people like Mr Wadham benefit. Other than this, a BNP Government might easily show more respect for the forms of a liberal constitution than have the Labour governments of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown—after all, this would not be difficult.

If I can have no longing for a BNP breakthrough at the next but one general election, neither can I regard the legal proceedings against it as other than a classic illustration of how to run a post-modern tyranny.

The British State has no Gestapo, no KGB. But why would it need one when it has the Equality and Human Rights Commission?

Church of Traitors

I was just reading the latest edition of the new magazine from Roger McCaffrey (interestingly, a friend of the late Lord Muggs the Great).

Titled, perhaps somewhat magniloquently, The Traditionalist, the magazine has only produced two issues so far, and I paid little attention to the last one. But the Summer 09 issue has a long and quite riveting article about the life and career of Cardinal Casaroli, Paul VI's Secretary of State and the author of the Vatican's Ostpolitik policies.

One of the things I get emails about occasionally is the distinction I make between Catholicism and Novusordoism. What makes a Trad different from a Novus Ordo Conservative? I have said for years it is not really about the Mass or the liturgy. Here is an example of what I mean below. Mindszenty was a Catholic. Casaroli was a Novusordoist, like his mentor Paul VI.

What is amazing about it is the frankness with which Casaroli admitted the betrayal by the pope and by himself of such giants as Mindszenty and the lesser-known Beran in Czechoslovakia.

The article was written by Wilton Wynn, who was Time Magazine's Vatican correspondent and later bureau chief and described as the "dean" of English-language Rome correspondents. In the first half, he discusses being thrown into the world of Vatican and Italian politics in the early 60s (before there was a Vatican press office) and being expected to more or less make it up as he went along, becoming an "expert" on Vatican affairs by the hardest possible methods.

But it really heats up when he starts relating Casaroli's experiences in the first person, working, presumably from tapes or notes of his conversations with him.

That Wynn is not one of us is made abundantly clear by a single note about Giovanni Battista Montini's early career.
In the 'fifties when Pope Paul was still Giovanni Battista Montini, he was appointed archbishop of Milan, the biggest diocese in Europe. Almost everyone who knew anything about the Vatican assumed he would be the next pope, succeeding his old mentor, Pius XII. But for some strange reason, Pius neglected to make Montini a cardinal (even though for 600 years archbishops of Milan had been made cardinals). And so, when Pius died in late 1958 and all the world's cardinals were summoned to a conclave in Rome to choose a successor, Montini was not among those present.

...'for some strange reason'...maybe it was because Pius knew him.

Anyway the good bits are later, as Casaroli describes his first trip to the Eastern Bloc, and the days when Ostpolitik was born, and the era of rapprochement between the Catholic Church and Communism started. April 1963.

Casaroli spoke to Mindszenty in a combination of Latin and English, since the Italian did not speak Hungarian and the Cardinal did not speak enough German.

Casaroli found Mindszenty absolutely uncompromising, preferring prison [in the American Legation in Budapest] to making a deal with the Communists. He considered himself legally the acting head of the Hungarian state; under the pre-communist constitution

meaning the actual legal constitution of the country. The assumption here is telling; that both Wynn and the Vatican in the early 60s under Paul VI, and presumably John XXIII, believed that the communist regimes in Hungary and elsewhere were the legitimate governments that had legally supplanted the previous states. This assumption and acceptance of communism as anything other than a criminal gang of thugs bent on the destruction of the legitimate state and natural ruling bodies as well as the Christian culture of Europe, was and still is the essential error of most of the Church's diplomacy. It is to Ostpolitik that we can look for the origins of the Vatican's current love affair with Obama, et al.
the Primate of the Catholic Church acted as head of state in the absence of the king or his regent. He even referred to himself as the "Prince Primate".

which was in fact his actual title. Mindszenty was the head of state. It was a fact established by the constitution. But, as will be revealed, it was too inconvenient a fact for both the Americans and the Vatican who were both anxious to establish relations with the previously mentioned gang of thugs.
To him, it was unthinkable to negotiate with the regime; he obviously still hoped for another World War in which the Americans would destroy the Communist empire.

Now here is an interesting point. I was raised in a heavily leftist-influenced cultural environment and was given to believe, mostly through media propaganda, that a world war was the very worst possible thing that could happen. It is interesting that both Mindszenty and later Beran are shown to have been hoping for exactly that. And, as it was later revealed, had there been a nuclear exchange between the US and allies and the Soviets, the US would have won neatly and in very little time. It certainly would not have been the apocalypse we were led by the leftist-controlled media to believe.
He went into a rage at any hint that the Americans might raise the level of their Legation to that of Embassy. And he was furious when he learned that the United States and Canada had sent surplus wheat to the Hungarians, an act which, he told Casaroli, would only help the regime, not the people. The pope's envoy was a shrewd enough diplomat to know that he must treat softly with that irascible old man and not press him too obviously.

There it is. For his loyalty to the Faith and to his country, for his refusal, with supernaturally heroic steadfastness after imprisonment and torture, to compromise with a brutal and patently evil illegal regime that had destroyed his country, he was regarded by his own Church as "an irascible old man".

One who had to be gently cozened and coddled along, and finally bullied, into giving up his position as the last bastion of freedom and the Truth of Christ in Hungary. So that Paul and Casaroli could replace him with someone who would be more friendly to the same evil thugs. More compliant. Easier to get along with. A player.

More later.

Someone please tell me

that the guy with the beard standing at the far left

is not a Franciscan of the Immaculate.