I. POPE FRANCIS AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
PRIVILEGED OR PERSECUTED? Are Christians Privileged or Persecuted? This perceptive essay by Ross Douthat of the NYTimes reminds us that Christianity really isn't the West and the people who know this best are non-Western Christians who keep getting killed. Our essay answers: Global Christianity and the West are not the same. The faces of Christian persecution. In this Religious War - the two authority centers of Salafist Sunnis are 1) the caliphate of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and ISIS. (They have been seriously degraded by losing their territorial claim of authority. Sunni caliphs are not supposed to be occult.) 2) the Wahhabi cleric/Saudi royal clan Guardians of the Holy Places-Mecca and Medina. The funding and ideology of the most murderous brand of the Hanbali school comes from here and will not cease until this regime is broken. Their greatest rivals for authority are Shiite led states (Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Lebanon), other national Sunni governments not at war with Shiites (like Qatar and Turkey), and Hashemite rivals for religious legitimacy (Jordan's King Hussein)
DARKNESS DESCENDS ON GOMORRAH: A Christian essay for our times by RV Young.
EVELYN WAUGH, THE HOMOSEXUAL TRADITIONALIST: Bemoaning Vatican II as a source of evil.
CARDINAL DONALD WUERL: Building a case against one of the slickest most destructive clerics in America. Donald Wuerl, thy name is clericalism.
SCHOLARS ACCUSE POPE FRANCIS OF HERESY AND MORE: An open letter to bishops.
62 page document. A story from LifeSite News. The compilation of bad people around Pope Francis is a good and helpful summary. The charges of heresy are ridiculous. They reveal the deeply anti Catholic propositional spirit of elite Western intellectualism. The global Church has a great opportunity for clerical reform and fraternal witness to the nations after the bloodbath of the 20th century. Catholic priests and laymen must become a template for the nations of public fraternity and protection. But it's hard to see the diocese and parish in front of you and the nations beyond when you are so consumed with resentment toward the Father. This latest screed is pathetic at one level and deeply troubling at another. Is it sad or bizarre that so many intellectual Catholics are using modern communication technology to project public personas as papal scolds. Is this Catholic witness or hundreds of Martin Luthers "speaking truth to power" by blog posts? The Accusers started with gay ray burke and the "Dubia." The conversation turned decisively to "get Pope Francis" when the venomous vigano used a spectacular bilingual PR manifesto of accusations against Pope Francis. This was to reverse Italian stories about Vigano's failure to deal with McCarrick when he was papal nuncio in America. It also veiled Vigano's disgraceful shutting down of diocesan priests and auxiliary bishops investigating high flying homosexual Archbishop John Nienstedt. Vigano exposed a great deal of truth about the "homosexual parish" at the heart of Vatican governance. But like the master deceiver, he used that truth telling to divert attention from his own multiple sins to start a movement to shoot at Pope Francis. Many decent "conservative catholics" took the bait and have spent months of their own heads and hearts undermining the Holy Father. All of this has strengthened the hand of those who see Vatican Two as a demonic catastrophe, the Novus Ordo as false worship and Pope Francis as a heretic. Truly this is the work of Satan.
GETTING CHRISM MASS WRONG IN CHILE: Welcoming Judas on the day Our Lord washed him out. Holy Thursday Chrism Mass should be a diocesan cleansing of the Apostolic Priesthood as it was when Christ ordered his apostles to do what He had done. It was not a command to pile up service hours but to exercise the office of the High Priest in expelling traitor clerics.
“When Thy glorious disciples were enlightened at the washing of their feet before the supper, then the impious Judas was darkened …” FROM EASTERN HOLY THURSDAY LITURGY
II. PRESIDENT TRUMP AND AMERICA
MIND BEHIND PROTECTIONISM: Economic Nationalism, Frederick List and Breaking the Free Trade Economist Monopoly.
AMERICA'S CHURCHES AND HOMOSEXUALITY: A conference of the United Methodist Church held homosexual practice incompatible with Christianity and said no to homosexual ministers - their high court agrees. The Catholic Church, the Southern Baptists, and the Methodists are the three largest church groups in America. All judge homosexuality as a serious violation of natural law, biblical teaching, and church discipline. The "churches" of the elite and university professors from Unitarians to Episcopalians see gender differences as oppressive and homosexuality as a form of love. As always the theories and theology of the upper classes dominate the educational establishment and mainstream media. Remember the culture war really is a debate about God and what are the fundamentals of our civic religion. What shall we protect at home and abroad? In this corner we have : Drug Use, Profanity, Pornography, Sodomy and Abortion. In this corner we have: Religious worship, prayer, national interracial brotherhoods, marriage, feminine coverings and virginity.
III. THE NATIONS
VENEZUELA: Juan Guaido called for a military uprising and didn't get one this week. He seems like a Latin Beto O'Rourke--not enough substance to contend for serious political rule. Boris Yeltsin is the last man we saw stand unarmed against a military and change their loyalties. He did it as a staunch Russian nationalist in the twilight of the USSR. Before that we saw the worker Lech Walesa who was really acting as a Catholic Polish nationalist. Guadio does not seem deep enough as a nationalist or a religious man to navigate the currents needed in this time of disintegration. When we see groups praying they are praying for Maduro more often than Guaido. Maduro is discredited but the military men who have not deserted him know what Guaido may soon learn--if you shoot at the King, be sure you kill him. A profile of the northern Bolivarian countries of South America including Venezuela (pop-30 million) and Bolivar-the Liberator. Some current history on the collapse of the economy.
EAST TIMOR: A Catholic profile of Asia's most Christian nation who won independence from their huge Muslim neighbor, Indonesia. They are the most Catholic nation in the world. Their Portuguese language and Catholic faith and the rise of their martial arts clubs made assimilation in Muslim Indonesia impossible and their national independence(2002) possible. There is a deep disconnect here because of a deficit in Catholic theology and social teaching that will consecrate the young male Maccabees who helped win national independence and Church freedom, but now are spiritually adrift and civically outlawed.
THE TRUCE OF GOD: 989AD-1300AD The Church limited the victims and times for war.
LIBYA: The alliances behind the eastern-western clash.
RUSSIA: From an excellent website Russia Matters, is a short review of career US Diplomat William Burns book - The Back Channel. In it, he shows how he warned Condoleeza Rice and George W. Bush that trying to integrate Georgia and Ukraine into NATO would lead to serious Russian intervention in those countries. An interview with Burns and Graham Allison on Diplomacy.
IV. CULTURE OF LIFE, CULTURE OF PROTECTION
PAT BUCHANAN ON SANDERS AND THE DIVINATION OF DEMOCRACY: "Under the Sanders reform, if someone murders you, he is still entitled to an absentee ballot. The right to vote is apparently more sacred than the right to life. Truly, this is the divination of democracy."
MARTIN BUBER: The Jewish philosopher and theologian (1878-1965 Born in Austria: Died in Israel) on the I-Thou relationship with God and fellow humans: "At the heart of Buber’s theology was his theory of dialogue—the idea that what matters is not understanding God in abstract, intellectual terms but, rather, entering into a relationship with Him. Such a relationship, he believed, is possible only when we establish genuine relationships with one another. “Whoever goes forth to his You with his whole being and carries to it all the being of the world, finds Him whom one cannot seek,” he wrote. (The New Yorker, April 29, 2019). Buber contrasted this interpersonal dialogue with I-it relations. Trinitarian Christians were much more receptive to Buber than Jewish thinkers who were always skeptical. There was much to be skeptical about but the title of his book pierces to the heart of religious life. I And Thou was published in 1970.
THE MALE MILITIA: The basic American political agreement is a covenant by the adult males that we will protect our country beginning with participating in our local unit of polity and accepting the officer corps of our local policing agency. A modest proposal on local mandatory militias which we don't advocate because we think this relationship among adult American men already exists in common law and American custom.