by David Pence and A. Joseph Lynch
I. POPE FRANCIS AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
CATHOLIC CIVIL WAR AND SYNOD: There is a civil war in the Catholic Church. It was not caused by Pope Francis, who is using the synods as they were meant to be - an ongoing meeting of cardinals and bishops to govern the Church. The fact is that many, many bishops and cardinals (appointed by the good popes - John Paul II and Benedict XVI) have embraced homosexuality as a form of male love. The secular media reports it and honest churchmen are finally directly naming it. Unlike any other deeply disordered appetite, we are told by the homosexual clerical subculture that the longer and more entwined men are in the sin, the more positive attributes might be found. This is like distinguishing a multi-generational drug cartel from an occasional cocaine user as seeing in one the richness of family values contrasted with the other as a cheap one-night stand. The debate in the Church has not yet been sharpened. But it really is about the bishops themselves. it is about the nature of the priesthood as a celibate brotherhood of fathers or a duplicitous protection racket for homosexual predators. Pope Francis has sped up the debate between cardinals and bishops where it belongs. How anyone can be "confused" by the deeply entrenched moral confusion that we have all witnessed for half a century is confusing to me. Let us be resolutely angered and ready to participate in a great reform which will punish this abomination at the heart of the apostolic fraternity which Christ ordained to express the love between His Father and Him. At the time of the Extraordinary Synod of 2014, we argued that neither the communio of the Trinity nor the communio of marriage can be understood by men who do not understand their own sacramental communio of Apostolic Fraternity. What we said one year ago applies today. What Pope Francis has been saying about gender ideology should comfort all who knows he will have the final say.
II. THE MIDDLE EAST AND RUSSIA
RUSSIAN STRATEGY - THE BEST EXPLANATION: We have spoken to Robert Rabil before and referenced several of his works. He is a Lebanese Maronite now studying the Salafist jihadists in Syria impinging on Lebanon. He has the clearest view we have seen of the Russian purposes in Syria. We need a statesman (and he doesn't have to be running for president) to argue in Congress that the governing states of Iraq, Syria, Iran, and Russia are our natural co-belligerents in the war against Salafist Sunnis. This clarity will allow other Sunni governments to join us in destroying ISIS and establishing a civilized Sunni state in the contested regions that were once part of Iraq and Syria.
UKRAINE - THE REST OF THE STORY: The promise of the rules and regulations of European integration are not enough to sustain the Ukrainian soul. Something ugly is coming. Crimeans are glad to be under the Russian flag. The Orthodox Ukraine of Kiev was not the principal actor in the "Maiden revolution" and it is certainly not carrying the argument today.
THE RELIGIOUS WAR IN SYRIA AND THE WAR AGAINST SHIA ISLAM IN YEMEN - SAUDI CLERICS MAKE IT CLEAR: The Saudi clerics' call to jihad in Syria against Persians, Shiites, and Christians is supplemented by the ceremonial artillery firing toward Yemen by the Wahhabist Imam of the Grand Mosque in Mecca. Why is it not clear that the center of the Salafist jihad is a longtime US "ally" - Saudi Arabia?
III. FAITH, CULTURE, AND PUBLIC LIFE
SPIRITUAL, NOT RELIGIOUS - THE OREGON SHOOTER AND HIS DEMONS: On October 1, 2015, 26-year-old gunman Chris Harper Mercer killed nine people and wounded nine others on the campus of Umpqua Community College, located near Roseburg, Oregon. He targeted the classroom of the English composition class where he was enrolled. Within minutes of a 911 call, several officers wounded him and then he killed himself. He had singled out a student to give him a package with papers and a flash drive with statements that have not yet been officially released. Matthew Downing, "the lucky one" who was deliberately spared wrote this statement about the shooting events of Oct. 1. Mercer's white father and black mother were divorced. He had not seen his father for several years. Some of Mercer's writings which have been quoted but not yet officially documented:
"I was hated ever since I arrived in the world. I was always under attack. I've always been the most hated person in the world... Ever since I arrived in the world, I've been forced to align myself with these demons and become one of them. At first it was involuntary, but now I am aligned with them. I now serve. When I die, I will become one of them. My success in Hell is assured."
His absent father and an intemperate President blamed lax gun laws. Others blamed the absent father and the intemperate President. And the Evil One could smirk again, not blamed for a crime with his DNA all over the crime scene. Satan had convinced another lonely male on the periphery that he was not loved into existence by a Loving Father God, but hated from the beginning. Like Cain, and then Judas, the murderer followed a familiar script. Meanwhile, that other Spirit of the spiritual world escaped unnoticed to "prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls." When man leaves the discipline of religion and searches for the spiritual, too often he will find someone answering... and then commanding.
SACRALIZING ABOMINATIONS: Blessing abortion clinics, sacralizing sodomy, and admiring atheists as honest intellectuals - they all fit under a single banner.
BEING TOGETHER IS BEING HUMAN: John Cuddeback of Christendom on Leisure as the basis of Culture.