by Dr. David Pence and A. Joseph Lynch
WEEKLY BRIEFNatural disasters bring out the natural law. The State of Texas and America are primary communities "of loyalty and love." Our nation and our States are organized political communities. We remind anarchists and libertarians that organized agencies of the public(that would be government) reduce death tolls in tragedies. Our nation is built on a Christian people who are mandated to love our neighbor. This is a handy source of social capital in times of travail. In the face of natural powers greater than our own works, we turn to the greatest of all powers and bond in our natural adult protective roles under Him to protect life.
President Trump is not talking much about North Korea. That is because he is going to act. What action will he take? We don't know. That is one of his cardinal principles in conducting hostilities. But after the hostile act, he will establish some limit (as he did in Syria) which will offer a path of negotiation.
I. POPE FRANCIS AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
JESUIT SUPERIOR ON THE SYMBOLIC DEVIL AND OPENING CLERICAL ROLES TO WOMEN: This is more evidence that Pope Francis is not a typical modern Jesuit, though sadly Fr. Sosa is. Pope Francis has a clear and abiding sensibility of the reality of Satan. Satan is a spiritual personal reality. He is a being-a fallen angel and he has powerful legions with him. The conversations of Pope Francis are peppered with references to the demonic. Fr Sosa on the other hand is utterly a modern in treating evil as real but the devil as a symbol. Pope Francis considers any talk of women priests to be clericalism and degrading of the true role of women as virgins, mothers, and the Queen. His openness to a discussion of the early role of "woman as deaconess" is not to find a pathway to female ordination but a fuller history of women's roles in the church which now are evidenced by the vibrancy of women religious orders. The modern Jesuits like Fr Sosa and Fr Jim Martin are intellectual creatures of the desacralized culture they mimic. They have lost grasp of the reality of the invisible - of God and Satan. This has lead to their confusion about the physical - the sacral distinctions of male and female.
JPII AND REAGAN, NOW FRANCIS AND PUTIN: The Vatican is not reading US media on the evil empire of Russia. Quite the contrary.
TURNING THE ALTAR, BENDING THE KNEE: Bishop Robert Morlino of the Diocese of Madison has begun celebrating the Mass ad orientem and has asked his priests to consider doing so as well. Beginning this month he asked all parishes to start giving Communion on the tongue while kneeling. This return to liturgical piety will do his diocese greater good than the more common tendency of US bishops to issue statements on Congressional legislation rather than teach, sanctify, and govern their diocese. Read the full text of the announcement, made during his Chrism Mass homily to all diocesan priests. Here is a quote:
"There are liturgies that are less than reverent, especially in the way that Communion is received. It’s hard to believe that some people actually believe that that’s the Body of Christ the way they handle it. You’d think it was an M&M... Now just to get concrete here at the end, beginning next school year, (that means beginning in the Fall of 2017) I’m going to ask that we move together towards greater reverence when receiving Holy Communion. I’m going to ask that people be encouraged to receive Communion on the tongue and kneeling. There is no question that Communion on the tongue is more reverent. And it doesn’t lend itself to a casual kind of behavior. I’m going to ask, beginning in the Fall, that our students are taught to receive Communion on the tongue."ONE GOD, TWO SEXES - THE NASHVILLE STATEMENT. EVANGELICALS AND POPE FRANCIS TOGETHER: A beautiful, no-nonsense, scripturally-inspired celebration of God's creation. This statement of evangelicals should be endorsed by Catholics as a very Pope Francis-way of speaking. Pope Francis has treated the war against gender as a colonial project of imposing ideology on poor countries by the developed "West." He treats this aberration as fundamentally an ecological crime. It is a failure by technologically advanced moderns to treat what has been given in nature with the proper respect.
It looks like the alliance of evangelicals and Catholics which has been condemned by certain Church bureaucrats and clerics (but not Pope Francis) is alive and well in the fight to protect the gifts of Nature against the forces of gender ideology.
II. ISLAM AND THE MIDDLE EAST
ONE OF THE BEST MUSLIM COMMENTATORS ON POLITICAL ISLAM IS SHADI HAMID: Reflections on Political Islam and the Muslim Brotherhood. Mr. Hamid is a sophisticated thinker on Islam. Like most of the east coast chattering class, he is mostly wrong about Donald Trump and Steve Bannon. But he has a nuanced well studied understanding of Islam and he can teach us all some crucial distinctions. Within the Sunni world, the monarchies of UAE and Saudi Arabia condemn the Muslim Brotherhood not for their interpretation of Islam but for their opposition to monarchs in an age of Islamic republicanism. The Brotherhood knows it can usually win elections. The monarchs know they no longer govern with the consent of their people. Military coups are often favored by the monarchs as a suppression of this popular impulse(see Egypt). Hamid teaches us to appreciate this crucial distinction. There is a significant war between "populist Islam" and the oil oligarchies. We should be careful not to label every form of the Muslim Brotherhood as terrorist.
TURKEY AND IRAN TWO NON-ARAB MUSLIM NATIONS: Often at odds but together in their opposition to an independent Kurdistan. The Kurds are the Serbs of the Mideast.
NO SILENCE FOR THE SAUDIS: After the terror attacks in London last June, a moment of silence was observed at a World Cup qualifying match in Australia between the Saudi Arabian and Australian soccer teams - except the Saudis decided not to observe the silence. Despite the official position of the Saudi government and the apology from the Saudi Arabian soccer federation, this is another reminder of how the general Salafist-Saudi population feels about Salafist terror.
III. PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS AND AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY
NORTH KOREA MISSILE OVER JAPAN: It is hard to see how this is not going to evoke a justified military response. The US wants the battle against North Korea to pit Americans as the defenders of the stability of Asian nations. A missile over Japan is the best casus belli possible. Our sensibility is that a limited and forewarned (to South Korea, China and Japan) military strike or a promise to shoot down any more missiles will be the American response. This will be very different than the last three administrations. North Korea did fire a missile over Japan in 2008 but some say that was a failed attempt for another purpose. Wikipedia turns out as a better source for the facts of the story than most news accounts. Who, what, when, where, why.
SECULARISM, RELIGIOUS NATIONALISM AND: American civic religion.
IF YOU WANT TO BE OFFENDED... George Will in a video answers the question about statue banning that Trump asked, "Where will it end?" Will helps us answer by showing logically where it should start. Oklahoma, the Washington Post, the Minnesota state seal and the city of Corpus Christi are obvious offenders he exposes.
INVESTIGATING RUSSIA - LET'S TRACE THE TRUMP DOSSIER THAT JOHN MCCAIN GAVE TO INTELLIGENCE SERVICES: It's peculiar which stories live and which stories die. It is also peculiar which stories still have real tales to tell us. Let's think. Who was using Russian intelligence information to influence the election?
SO MUCH WATER: If you ignore the global warming inserts, this is a good explanation of major atmospheric and ocean contributors to the Texas water event.
RUSSIAN NATIONALIST AND CHRISTIAN: Excellent introduction to Ivan Ilyin.
IV. CULTURE OF LIFE, CULTURE OF PROTECTION
THE DEATH OF EUROPE: A lesson for America. Book alert by Chuck Chalberg.
IN OLD AGE THE BABY-BOOMERS CAN MAKE REPARATIONS, NOT RETIREMENT: De Senectute.
PROTECTIVE ALL-MALE GROUPS ARE PART OF NATURE, HISTORY AND CHRISTIAN CULTURE -- WHY DO WE STUTTER SO IN DEFENDING THEM? Special forces - lies, alibis, and women graduates.
WHY WE SHOULDN'T GET RID OF FOOTBALL: An old priest tells a timeless truth.