Saturday, May 26, 2018

Religion and Geopolitics Review: Saturday, May 26

By Dr. David Pence and A. Joseph Lynch


Both Pope Francis and President Trump were elected to positions of authority in their respective institutions as men very much outside the "parties" that had formulated the factions and terms of debate within the Church and nation. This week it was painfully obvious that neither leader has a well developed inner circle which can magnify their voices and explain the bold initiatives they are undertaking for Church and nation.

After a century of domination and division beginning with the first Sino-Japanese war, there is a  possibility of reconstituting the Korean people as a unified nation. This is nationalism at its best and would restore a political community which has suffered the bloody wars of the 20th century long before and long after most other countries. This breakthrough begins with denuclearization talks between President Trump and President Kim Jong-Un.  These talks were almost derailed by the inflammatory statements of NSC advisor John Bolton and Vice President Mike Pence. The North Koreans were justifiably angry toward Bolton and then Pence for  citing "the Libyan model"(which ended with the complete denuclearization of Libya and the street slaughter of Muammar Khaddafi). The North Koreans made some inflammatory statements of their own about VP Pence.  President Trump sensed that the good will engendered by Secretary of State Pompeo's initial meetings and the President's statements was being eroded. He cancelled the June 12 meeting to insure  the North Koreans didn't beat him to it. This will be repaired.

It is a preview though of the severe limitations of the ideological people President Trump has needed around him in the vicious battle with the Democratic party/national media/deep state/Hollywood crowd. His pugnacious allies are exactly the wrong people to help him in international diplomacy. Throughout the Presidential campaign, Mike Pence was always on a different page than Trump about Russia. The Russians did not swing our elections (James Clapper, call your psychiatrist.) They certainly judged that the unelectable Donald Trump would be a better president for their interests than Hillary Clinton. The equally unelectable Bernie Sanders would have been the best of all. But the truth is that there is no precinct in America that voted for Donald Trump instead of Hillary Clinton because of some Russian campaign maneuver.   Donald Trump wants to make a real alliance with the Russians. It is one of his two really big foreign policy ideas. He has made this clear since the Republican primaries. It distinguished him from the "Assad regime change"  candidates.  Donald Trump wants to truly end the Cold War the way President Reagan and the subsequent Secretary of State James Baker wanted to end it--with a new configuration of powers. Mike Pence, John Bolton, and Nikki Haley are loyal to a President besieged but they do not understand his diplomatic vision--not with Russia and not in North Korea. The President will need a whole new band of diplomat brothers to reconfigure a post Cold War world in which Russia and China are big power allies not encircled foes. If Democrats and Americanists are best at thinking this through, they should volunteer their services for strategic reformulation. A great opportunity beckons but the President needs a new posse.

Pope Francis is not a free market globalist. He thinks of international finance as a problem not the solution. He rejects centering the presentation of the Gospel on a series of "issues"-homosexuality, abortion, contraception. He is not trying to win (or even enter into) debates about doctrine and fundamental moral principles.

He is a great disappointment to faithful Catholics who fought corrupt local bishops and priests as well as deeply depraved male religious orders on those very issues. Often times the best way for the the faithful to battle the wolf shepherds was by quoting Popes  John Paul II or Benedict XVI. Suddenly the enemies of sacral and sexual order were flinging papal quotes of their own.

But the Pope is no ally of the homosexual/careerist wing of the Charmin (soft and white) episcopacy and priesthood.  He is their worst nightmare but they don't know it yet. He knows how to fight the devil dressed as an angel of light.

Conservatives this week criticized the Pope for a reported quote by a homosexual victim of repeated sodomy by Catholic priests. The pope was quoted as saying "God loves you and He made you the way you are." But of course God did make the man the way he was-- whatever that was. Maybe he is without a leg or has an extra chromosome or a deficient pancreas, or confused sexual identity or disordered appetite--lots of disorders out there. Come to our family reunion if you don't think so. It has always been the wrong debate to ask "if God made people that way." But when conservative commentators heard the Pope was comforting a sodomized man without enough theological clarity in statements reported third hand, they attacked the Padre loud, hard and often.  Meanwhile the unprecedented resignation of a whole national episcopacy and a very clear speech by the Pope about not letting homosexuals in Italian seminaries wasn't amplified by that same internet megaphone.

Pope Francis is appointing cardinals from Muslim lands. Does that sound like the best way to promote gender ideology? Remember...Rainbow flags are the banners of  US embassies and international corporations not Global Christianity. It is German and Italian bishops who want to share the lessons of longterm "gay love"--not the shepherds from Iraq and the Global South.  Pope Francis is turning the abuse crisis into a question of failed authorities, failed fathers, failed fraternities, and most of all-- failed episcopal synods. He needs his Catholic men to pick up this fight and help clean out the predators. Let us quit the emphasis on which parishioners are going to communion or how many catechists are filling out human resource forms. The priests and bishops AS COLLECTIVE BODIES are the problem. The papal light is shined upon them. Let's fill in some details and ask for collective action, penance and punishment. If the episcopal bodies as presently constituted cannot clean out the homosexuals who have desacralized the fraternity of fathers, then en masse resignation as a Bishop's Conference has just been introduced as a viable option.  Do the Yankee Bishops think only the Chileans are so corrupt? Do the German bishops believe they can reign in comfort and disunity forever because they have German government subsidies.  The conversation should be sharpening with these dramatic new developments. Let brother Catholics muster our forces and rush into this strategic opening. We have been waiting for years. If the new line of repentance and renewal  has been proposed by an Argentinian  gaucho not a European professor, then let us give glory to God. The Pope needs his posse.               


THE PRECIPITOUS DECLINE OF MEN IN ORDERS OF RELIGIOUS MEN - THE ELEPHANT IN ROOM: Nowhere has the public acceptance of homosexuals in the priesthood devoured Christian brotherhood as in religious orders. CARA research will tell us the data. They will miss that elephant.

"Gregory (of Palamas) claimed he was practicing the prayer of the heart. He was taking literally the advice coming by way of the psalmist David: “Be still and know that I am God.” (Ps. 46:10) In the stillness, the hesychia in Greek, God speaks to us, he claimed. The darkness did not lead to blindness. In fact, it was “a dazzling darkness.” The light that shown was like the light that the Apostle Peter, James, and John saw on Mt. Tabor when Christ was transfigured."
CATHOLIC TEACHING ON MARRIAGE AND CONTRACEPTIONA new paradigm?  What the NCR is calling a new paradigm looks a lot like the old failed argument.

FRANCIS SELECTS NEW CARDINALS: On the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, Pope Francis will elevate fourteen new cardinals to the red. Among the fourteen are archbishops from Pakistan, Madagascar, and Japan. With these new cardinals, Francis is raising the number of eligible papal electors from 120 to 125. Since electors age out of voting rights when they turn 80, the number of eligible papal electors will not fall below 120 until July 31, 2019 - so it is unlikely that another consistory will take place until late 2019 or summer 2020. During the same Mass, newly appointed archbishops from across the globe will also be present to receive the pallium from Francis. (The pallium is a woolen vestment marked with the five crosses that symbolize Christ's five wounds. The evening before the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, they are placed overnight on the tomb of St. Peter. A sign of loyalty and fraternity with the Pope, palliums are only worn by archbishops as provincial heads of regional episcopacies).

FRANCIS REJECTS HOMOSEXUALS FOR THE PRIESTHOOD: In a meeting with the Italian bishops, Pope Francis reaffirmed the rejection of homosexuals for the priesthood, telling the bishops, “if you have even the slightest doubt, it’s better not to let them enter.” We hope all the bishops of the Church listen to the Holy Father in this regard.


ISRAEL - A COUNTRY WITHOUT AGREED UPON BORDERS REMAINS IN A STATE OF PERPETUAL WARThe Golan Heights is a big problem as Syria wins back more of the buffer zone (between Syria and Israel) that ISIS and other rebels have controlled and Israelis have supported over the last several years. On another border men, women, and children gathered in a kind of threatening "suicide riot" at the interface of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip and Israel. These protests were heightened on Nakba. Nakba means "The Catastrophe" and is remembered every May 15 by Palestinians and Israel's Arab neighbors. The massing of men, women, and children at the border of Gaza and Israel is meant as an ominous sign of "peaceful invasion" - THE RETURN of all those Palestinians who fled their homes in 1948-9 in the first war that established the State of Israel. (An excellent analysis of this strategy of social warfare policy). No-one in Israel favors such right of return knowing the influx would overwhelm the Jewish State. Consider the 100 refugees from Central American caravans that were properly stopped at the US border in the same month.

Muslims (Arabs, Turks, and Persians) all over the world have generally sided with the Palestinian claims against the State of Israel on this day of remembrance. The White House blamed the protests on Hamas - the elected Sunni ruling authority in the area. However Nicki Haley (the US UN representative) emphasized the whole set of protests and killings as another Iranian inspired plot from the Mullahs. Hamas, like Yemen, are yard are pawns of the Iranian monster. Her historical ignorance and geostrategic misdiagnosis is mind boggling. Nikki seems confused or maybe she is trying to exploit any conflict available to get Americans ready for a war against Iran. We know Nikki doesn't get confused, so these must be war drums.

IRAN - A TALK BY SECRETARY OF STATE, MIKE POMPEOHe begins with a promise that Iran will send no more missiles to Riyadh and the Golan Heights. He sees Hezbollah as an Iranian proxy aimed at Israel. He sees Iran as the ground troops for "murderous Assad" regime in Syria. He sees Iran as arming the Houthi rebels in Yemen. He says Iran has backed Al Qaeda since 9/11. Iran through its IRG threatens Israel in its march across the Mideast as the largest exporter of terror. Iran upsets Iraq by supporting Shiite militias there. The goals of policy is unrelenting sanctions on Iran - the strongest ever seen. Iran will have no path to nuclear weapons - never. Finally, Pompeo appeals to the people against "the regime". This includes a call to defend the complete equality of all women in Iran. The US Senate needs a serious debate - shall we make war on Iran? Is it "protecting the American people" to insure that only Israel and Pakistan have nuclear weapons and missiles in the Mideast? A debate is needed - Secretary Pompeo has made a de facto declaration of war. One hopeful sign at the end of his talk is that the Trump administration wants real Congressional involvement in Iranian policy by concluding a treaty with Iran. Good idea!


TOM WOLFE RIP: Like Machiavelli he saw virtu - manliness - as the key to public life and America as a nation. Here is a good reflection on his book The Right Stuff. Here is an anecdote about him as a writer and a student of STATUS. His brilliant essay from Harper's on the New Journalism - realistic narrative reporting. All young writers should read that instruction from a great writer. I had a brief correspondence with Mr. Wolfe after he published Man in Full. He was very kind and direct in his handwritten notes. I told him no one described the problems of manliness and American life better than he. However since he recognized no fundamental telos - no final end for men found in religion - his books would always be marked by incredible bodies of text and dialogue but always marred by disappointing endings. He responded that Man in Full had a brilliant ending. May Our Lord surprise and welcome him.

CHILEAN BISHOP SUSPENDS 20% OF PRIESTS IN HIS DIOCESE: he tenders his own resignation. The depth of corruption in the Catholic priesthood is stunning. The Chilean Bishop's resignation and this kind of wholesale diocesan purge is unprecedented and absolutely necessary. Maybe because it is happening in South America the homosexual-laden dioceses and episcopacy in the US don't see this could apply to them. Meanwhile the Catholic internet is aflame with the reports of a report of the Pope's comforting words to a man repeatedly sodomized by a priest.

A STORY ABOUT FATHERLESSNESSFlannery O'Connor sees what many in the "men's movement" are missing. A dad in the home with no Father in heaven is a fatherless home.

IN ITALY A NEW COALITION IS ANTI-EURO, PRO-RUSSIA, AND PRO-US: Populist left and nationalist right finding ways to talk with each other. Will they be able to govern? A new manifesto.

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