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


Monday, November 19, 2018

November 19: “Give rest, O Savior, to the soul of thy servant”

“…whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet…”   
                           (Ishmael in Moby Dick)



Entering this week of high anniversaries of President Lincoln’s words at Gettysburg (Nov 19, 1863) and of John Kennedy’s death in Dallas – as well as the liturgical year drawing to a close, with the Church bowing before the authority and power of Christ our King – the opening scene of Pasternak’s Doctor Zhivago came to mind:
They walked and walked and sang “Memory Eternal,” and whenever they stopped, the singing seemed to be carried on by their feet, the horses, the gusts of wind. Passersby made way for the cortege, counted the wreaths, crossed themselves. The curious joined the procession, asked: “Who’s being buried?” “Zhivago,” came the answer. “So that’s it. Now I see.” “Not him. Her.” “It’s all the same. God rest her soul. A rich funeral.” The last minutes flashed by, numbered, irrevocable. “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof; the world, and those who dwell therein.” The priest, tracing a cross, threw a handful of earth onto Marya Nikolaevna. They sang “With the souls of the righteous.” A terrible bustle began. The coffin was closed, nailed shut, lowered in. A rain of clods drummed down as four shovels hastily filled the grave. Over it a small mound rose. A ten-year-old boy climbed onto it. Only in the state of torpor and insensibility that usually comes at the end of a big funeral could it have seemed that the boy wanted to speak over his mother’s grave. He raised his head and looked around from that height at the autumn wastes and the domes of the monastery with an absent gaze. His snub-nosed face became distorted. His neck stretched out. If a wolf cub had raised his head with such a movement, it would have been clear that he was about to howl. Covering his face with his hands, the boy burst into sobs. A cloud flying towards him began to lash his hands and face with the wet whips of a cold downpour. A man in black, with narrow, tight-fitting, gathered sleeves, approached the grave. This was the deceased woman’s brother and the weeping boy’s uncle, Nikolai Nikolaevich Vedenyapin, a priest defrocked at his own request. He went up to the boy and led him out of the cemetery.
   
                                                 



“Alleluia. Weeping at the grave creates the song.”

Sunday, November 18, 2018

The Dedication of the Basilicas of Saints Peter and Paul


[first published November 18, 2015]


by David Pence


The Catholic Church on this day each year  celebrates the dedication of the churches of St Peter and St Paul in Rome.  St. Peter and St. Paul drank of the Lord's Chalice and were both martyred in Rome.  “Those two famous shoots of the Divine Seed burst forth in a great progeny.” Their sacral brotherhood of blood served as the foundation stones of the apostolic Church.
 Their tombs were pilgrimage destinations from the beginning. The basilicas were built over their sacred remains by Constantine in the 4th century, and then refurbished and rededicated in later centuries. Christianity’s priesthood  is centered in Rome where the graves of the martyred blood brothers signal the early development of Christ's Body as surely as Bethlehem and Nazareth. The reclamation project of winning back territory from the Prince of this world is celebrated especially when a sacred space is carved out of the land and stone to consecrate a church.  


Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls



                                       
Interior of St Paul's




Basilica of St Peter




The Chair of Peter upheld by
Saints Ambrose, Athanasius, John Chrysostom, and Augustine


Saturday, November 17, 2018

Religion, Nations and Geopolitics Review: Saturday, November 17

Weekly Brief
The Lesson of WWI : Nationalism, Patriotism and Empires

 
40 year old French President Emmanuel Macron used the memorial visit of Americans to lecture our President 100 years after the Armistice ending the Great War on 11-11-1918.  He warned of "old demons coming back to the surface... ready to wreak chaos and death."  "Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism. Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism. By saying our interests first, who cares about the others, we erase what a nation holds dearest, what gives it life." 
 A few maps to remind President Macron of France that WWI was about overthrowing empire not nations. It is true that only the losing empires (Ottomans, Austria-Hungarian and German) were divided into nations. France and Britain kept their colonies until they lost them during WWII to the Japanese and after WWII to the nations themselves. The history of the 20th century is the emergence of religion and nationalism as the fundamental  group loyalties by which we organize humanity for either war or fraternity. Nationalism does not mean we love our countrymen and despise every other nation any more than marriage means I love my wife and despise all other women. Patriotism is a form of love for a land and people. Nationalism is the object of patriotic love.  Faith is an act of intellect and heart  but it needs God as its object. Faith is not set against Religion (the binding of men in practice and creed to God) any more than patriotism should be set against nationalism.  Can there be a love of nation to the exclusion of all others? Of course. That can be very dangerous because nations can be very powerful actors. Can a man love his wife to the exclusion of all other duties. Of course. Moderns  call it being " ..whipped." The medievals called it uxoriousness-an excessive love of wife and domestic concerns.  Because there can be an exclusionary kind of love do we say with President Macron that amor and marriage are opposites? Of course not.
The heart of the patriot burns for the soul of his nation. If he burns too exclusively hot, he can injure humanity. If he burns too universally cold,  brotherly love becomes an abstraction.
It is not nationalists but the Social Darwinist "foreign policy realists" who  argue that members of nation states have no fraternal tie to other countries. It is the think tanks who argue  international politics is about eternal war and keeping down other "hegemonies" because there is no transcendent authority for humans and nations. The atheists recognize only the competing nations and the ever-changing "balance of power." Christian nationalists like Americans love our country like we love our wives- with a particular intensity in the context of that deeper love of God and a wider love for humanity that Christ taught so clearly.
On the one hundredth anniversary of the end of WWI, Polish veterans filled American airwaves with thank you messages to Americans for Polish national freedom and independence won by WWI. Their nation had disappeared for a century between Russian and German empires. Poland reappeared on Europe's map as one of Wilson's Fourteen Points. The Poles remembered what Macron never knew--the indissoluble link in political life of independent nations and free men.
Here are some excerpts of President Trump's remarkable speech to the UN on September 25, 2018. Read the words of President Trump-- not the hysterical caricatures of his enemies. Which President understands the relationship of patriotism to nations better-the suave Frenchman or the "buffoon American."

"Each of us here today is the emissary of a distinct culture, a rich history, and a people bound together by ties of memory, tradition, and the values that make our homelands like nowhere else on Earth.

We will never surrender America’s sovereignty to an unelected, unaccountable, global bureaucracy.
America is governed by Americans. We reject the ideology of globalism, and we embrace the doctrine of patriotism."

"We recognize the right of every nation in this room to set its own immigration policy in accordance with its national interests, just as we ask other countries to respect our own right to do the same — which we are doing. That is one reason the United States will not participate in the new Global Compact on Migration. Migration should not be governed by an international body unaccountable to our own citizens. Ultimately, the only long-term solution to the migration crisis is to help people build more hopeful futures in their home countries. Make their countries great again."

"The whole world is richer, humanity is better, because of this beautiful constellation of nations, each very special, each very unique, and each shining brightly in its part of the world.
In each one, we see awesome promise of a people bound together by a shared past and working toward a common future.

Inside everyone in this great chamber today, and everyone listening all around the globe, there is the heart of a patriot that feels the same powerful love for your nation, the same intense loyalty to your homeland.

The passion that burns in the hearts of patriots and the souls of nations has inspired reform and revolution, sacrifice and selflessness, scientific breakthroughs, and magnificent works of art.
Our task is not to erase it, but to embrace it. To build with it. To draw on its ancient wisdom. And to find within it the will to make our nations greater, our regions safer, and the world better.
To unleash this incredible potential in our people, we must defend the foundations that make it all possible. Sovereign and independent nations are the only vehicle where freedom has ever survived, democracy has ever endured, or peace has ever prospered. And so we must protect our sovereignty and our cherished independence above all.

When we do, we will find new avenues for cooperation unfolding before us. We will find new passion for peacemaking rising within us. We will find new purpose, new resolve, and new spirit flourishing all around us, and making this a more beautiful world in which to live.

So together, let us choose a future of patriotism, prosperity, and pride. Let us choose peace and freedom over domination and defeat. And let us come here to this place to stand for our people and their nations, forever strong, forever sovereign, forever just, and forever thankful for the grace and the goodness and the glory of God.

Thank you. God bless you. And God bless the nations of the world."




I. POPE FRANCIS AND THE CHURCH


U.S. BISHOP MEETINGNo Proposals yet says Vatican to US Bishops. Don't feel bad if we are going to miss a US Bishop's Policy Statement on clerical abuse. There is nothing in the proposed Bishops' Code of Conduct  that declares sodomy as incompatible with offering the Mass. There is nothing that says "since homosexual personalities can't be allowed in the seminary, they should resign from the episcopacy". The American bishops need a debate - a searing debate - among themselves that states "there are many among us who must be washed out." Instead Cardinal Mahoney is saying we have to all bond together. The narrative of the U.S. Bishop's sorry homosexual history will have to be delivered as a major speech. Names will have to be named. The house must be divided. The temple must be cleansed before the fraternity can be reformed. This is no time for policies - we haven't even had an honest public discussion. Pray, fast, and then talk straight. DON'T VOTE ON POLICIES AND PROCEDURES UNTIL YOU FACE THE PRINCIPALITIES AND POWERS IN YOUR MIDST.

It will be easier for bishops to excuse themselves with an anti-Rome story then face each other. Liberal secular media and Catholic conservative media can all come together in their shared sport of  patricide--"it must be the head man who is at fault."   That has been the fallback position of Bishop Barron who is deathly afraid of looking his brother bishops in the eye. The bishops must look at the adult "consensual" homosexual acts which deform and pollute the sacramental practice of so many bishops and priests. Cardinal Cupich alludes to "consensual sex among adults" as different than minor abuse. He does not make this distinction to spotlight the homosexual network and exorcize sodomites.  This is his way to excuse them and get such acts off the radar of concern as graviora delicta. We need honest speeches right now - from bishop to bishops - not more policy votes. Consensual Sodomy is an abomination which should render a man incapable of acting as a priest. Sodomy is qualitatively different than heterosexual sins against the sixth commandment. The public brotherhood must sweep out the sodomite closet. If this is not done first in word,  it will never be done in deed.

Catholics are not Presbyterians - we don't need a board of lay elders to oversee our work. Which laymen shall we have? Last time the Bishop's Conference recruited the old Democratic party excuse makers like Bob Bennett and Leon Panetta. As Secretary of Defense, Panetta oversaw initiatives to have open homosexuals serve in military and extend benefits to their partners. On his last two days of office he removed all combat barriers to women. There we have is the bishops' great lay expert on the consecrated masculine brotherhood of father protectors.

We need bishops to emerge and act as bishops. That has not yet happened. Let's hear the bishops tell the truth to each other about the corruptions everyone knows about. When the great conservative hero Bishop Chaput was asked in an interview for his diocesan newspaper about the Vigano allegations, he said it was beyond his pay grade. If that is so, he should resign as an episkopos. The best preparation for the world wide meeting of bishops in February will be prayer, fasting and and an honest debate among the Americans. People say that February meeting is too far away. Not at all. We shouldn't have that meeting until a lot more bishops learn to speak truthfully about the huge cleaning that has to happen among priests and bishops. There is plenty of evidence readily available about double lives being lived as we speak.

The conversation has not yet ripened. It has barely begun except for Vigano and few snippets from American bishops at the October Baltimore meeting. We don't need a document from all the bishops. We need an honest speech from one bishop. Don't ask that Pope Francis resign.  Don't ask him to hurry up with his investigations. Hurry up yourselves and tell the truth about the predator perverts infesting the American clergy. Don't wait for journalists to expose them, attorney generals to discover them or popes to investigate them.  American bishops and 100 top priest bureaucrats know the situation best. Write it down and publish the ugly tale so bishops can agree, add to or correct. The American bishops or a Maccabean minyan of ten can present to their fellow bishops and the Pope a dossier sin the story. Here is an example of a deliberately limited set of charges about specific priests in a white paper for one diocese.  A small group of American bishops could easily compile a list of 100 open homosexual American clerics to be laicized. Rembert Weakland should head the list.
 Don't silence Jesuit James Martin. Ask him why he is targeting young confused homosexual men. Don't silence him -debate him, confront him. Ask him why he is recruiting homosexual males to come into the gay parishes and  homosexual infested Jesuit living spaces filled with 50-70 yr old predatory chicken hawks?

The Vatican has saved the American bishops from being inconsequential - now get down to an honest conversation between Judas priests and the faithful apostles. Bring Pope Francis a list of 20 bishops and a hundred priests who need to be laicized. That would be a real American contribution to the world wide meeting. But hurry - February is almost here! (Laymen are invited to help make a few hundred laicization dossiers.) Don't hold a vote - fast, pray, and hold an honest conversation.

COUNCIL OF EIGHT: Chilean Bishop Barros is off Council of Nine and soon to see Chilean police.
                         

VIGANOViganĂ² and His brother - Court orders payment. Vigano profile

AFFECTIVE VS EFFECTIVE RESPONSESCardinal Mahoney was allowed to speak and says the bishops must look not at effective response but affective relations with each other. The difference between apostolic fraternity and clericalism is exactly what the bishops should discuss. Put Mahoney in the clericalism camp. His clericalism  message, "we are all together guys--we have to cover".  The Apostolic message:  "Judas has to go...and there are a lot of Judas priests." The priesthood is a sacred brotherhood meant as an icon of the love of the Father for the Son and the Son for the Apostles. The reason clerical homosexuality is such an abomination is precisely because the priesthood is the sacred form of masculine  love that is meant as the primal glue to rebind a fallen humanity into the Body of Christ.

SPEAKING TRUTH TO THE IMPOTENTIt is not clericalism vs homosexuality but how the two feed each other. The bishops cannot talk straight. They cannot tell the truth to each other. Their mission was to be reliable witnesses preaching the Word of God. Thank God they are not voting on practices and policies. While the bishops look pathetic, the commentary is sharpening for the better. There is a prophetic role for the laity - speak clearly; speak the truth. We have to recognize this is not the sixties adolescents speaking truth to power. This is a new situation in which adults are speaking truth to the impotent.

SALVATION FROM THE EVIL ONEWhere have all the devils gone? by Michael Pakaluk. A truly brilliant article.  Christ came as one who finally had true authority over the Evil One. The first thing he did after his baptism was to be led by the Spirit to confront Satan in the Desert. The Apostles were given authority to cast out demons. This is central to the identity of the priesthood and the apostolic church. His authority over demons was actually referred to as "Christ's teaching." We are trying to establish the Kingdom of God - that involves casting out and separating. When we say Christ came to save the world, we can ask "Save us from what?" It is not just "our sins". He is saving us and our fellow humans from the Evil One. Let us assemble in proper formation to be rid of him - no salvation till the Evil One is cast out for good. Let's start with the priesthood.

THE NUNCIO'S LETTERThe nuncio to the bishops. The Church cannot reform by using secular models or asking some other authority to replace our own. The Pope will not let the American bishops hide behind a lay panel. The conservatives scream he doesn't care. Frauds like Cupich and Wuerl become the Pope's defenders.

THE BISHOPS SPEAKReport on what Bishops said. The two interventions receiving applause were the most forthright about homosexuality in clergy. This is much closer to what must happen. Regarding the code of conduct for bishops, one bishop said they already had a code and signing a new set of statements left him "chagrined." (chagrin: distress at having been humiliated). Bishop Barron was very weak and misdirectional. Bishop Cozzens from St Paul said the issue is fraternal correction. Several bishops said the metropolitan archbishop should assert a corrective role over brother bishops. The strongest statement on homosexuals in priesthood came from Bishop Strickland in Texas. Cardinals Levada and Mahoney both dared speak - the Maccabees are not yet ascendant. The new bishop in Guam showed legitimate dissatisfaction with utterly inadequate punishment of Apuron, his sodomitic predecessor. That was the disgraceful work of Cardinal Ray Burke whose prissy orthodoxy seems immune to criticism by the enraged conservative media stars.

SERIOUS PROBLEMS WITH PROPOSED USCCB ACTIONS: It is lucky they were saved by Congregation of Bishops advice: Take no Votes. An Independent Commission of 6 laymen and 3 clerics to oversee crimes of bishops? The Pope's alternative. Go on retreat and ponder with Raniero Cantelemessa: The Mission of the Apostles and their Successors. There has been serious discussion of Metropolitan Bishop oversight in different provinces. The rush to establish a new bureaucracy instead of facing the spiritual degeneracy of the apostolic body is American management vs. Catholic penance and renewal. The matter is too urgent not to take time to pray. The next big meeting for American bishops is not the worldwide February head of national conferences but the January retreat. That is where brave bishops must hear and respond to the Holy Spirit and renew the apostolic fraternity. We have escaped the bureaucratic model, now let us pray our bishops show a Pentecostal one.


II. PRESIDENT TRUMP AND AMERICA

BUCHANAN RESPONDSBuchanan answers Macron on patriotism and the nation.

THE CARAVANHonduras and the caravanCaravan Report. Nov 12 in Guadalhara, Mexico. 1,500 miles to the US border. 1,200 miles traveled from Honduras. Headed up Pacific coast land to Tijuana. 6500 souls.

GARY HARTExcellent Review of the meaning of Gary Hart campaign (in 1987 for 1988 Democratic Party presidential nomination) and new movie about him. Gary Hart understood the techs were replacing the industrials.

U.S.-SAUDI RELATIONSA real debate on Saudi Arabia? Starting with arms to Bahrain. Will it comfort Americans who want a "moral policy" in Yemen to know that Saudi apologist and American statesman Bob Menendez (D-NJ) may soon be the head of the foreign relations committee as Democrats take power? Menendez, probably the most corrupt member of the US Senate, may not quite organize the foreign policy review needed that Senator William Fulbright offered in 1966.



III. THE NATIONS


JAPAN AT 150Japan looks back 150 years as a nation amidst empires. Read this to see an adult look at history vs. the embarrassing historical illiteracy of Macron.

MUJAHEDIN-E KHALQ (MEK): The Iranian opposition. Cult or Freedom Fighters. Be wary. Here is one view. There are others

INDONESIAN ELECTIONIndonesia - not all Muslims look alike. An important election in the world's largest Muslim country.

TWO GREAT WARRIOR EMPIRESThe Mamluks (1200-1500). Genghis Khan and the Mongols.

TWO WAHHABI STATESQatar and Saudi Arabia: two Wahhabis - one of the land and one of the sea.  Did the UAE set up Qatar?

YEMEN: The Shiite Houthis in the North have faced a brutal blockade of port cities where most of their food arrives. The Hodeidah siege may end. In the south the UAE, Al Qaeda, and the Yemen government vie for power in the Sunni region. The Saudis aid the fight against the Shiite Houthis with bombing and the US acts inside the South against al Qaeda with drones. UAE has a ground game looking toward a southern regime who will be their client/ally. The more the war becomes Sunni south vs. Shia north, the more the warriors of ISIS and Al Qaeda (AQAP) gain influence. The Saudis are always more interested in killing Shia than jihadist Sunnis.
The US fear AQAP as the most likely Jihadist group to plan an attack on our homeland. The Houthis have been their most effective enemy and now we are aiding the Saudis killing Shiites under their usual cover story-"they are proxies of Iran".   This war is a direct project of Muhammed bib Salman who wanted to show Wahhabi clerics he would use the state to rid the Mideast of armed Shiites.   Historical overview of Yemen and maps.


Patriotism Good; Nationalism Bad.                          Where did that idea start?
One candidate-George Orwell. Another is Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Christian martyr in Nazi Germany said the same . From American Thinker article:
"In the analysis of the two terms, patriotism and nationalism, an essay Notes on Nationalism by George Orwell written in May 1945 has been influential. He identified nationalism as the habit of identifying oneself with a single nation or unit, placing it beyond good and evil and recognizing no other duty than that of advancing its interests. Patriotism he saw as devotion to a particular place and way of life which one believed to be the best in the world, but has no wish to force on other people.  He concludes that patriotism is of its nature defensive both militarily and culturally. Nationalism is inseparable from the desire for power."




IV. CULTURE OF LIFE, CULTURE OF PROTECTION


THE INTELLECTUAL DARK WEB: A space where serious political and philosophical thought is expressed without fear of political correctness squelching truth or soundbite journalism preventing coherent thought. It is an overwhelming masculine enterprise but Claire Lehmann of Quillette has a room of her own. A profile.