By Dr. David Pence and A. Joseph Lynch
I. POPE FRANCIS AND THE CHURCH
I. POPE FRANCIS AND THE CHURCH
POPE FRANCIS SPEAKS: Homosexuality in the Priesthood - the Pope is speaking. Who will listen and gather round him to impress this as the central impediment to reform? Remember that Cardinal Roger Mahoney used his time at the USCCB conference in Baltimore (November 2018) to push for deeper affectivity among bishops. It is all about affectivity and brotherly love - that is for sure. Pope Francis' answer to homosexual affectivity in the priesthood or religious life? "Not that kind of affection!" Every manly American bishop and priest should answer the thoroughly corrupt Roger Mahoney the same retort. We need fraternal affectivity, Roger, but NOT YOUR KIND OF AFFECTIVITY. Christianity is a movement to restore man to the Father by building a public brotherhood of fathers in the Apostolic Church and among the territorial nations. The mission of the Apostles and the duty of bishops today will be the theme of the January retreat of the American bishops. That is exactly what they should be praying about and discussing with each other.
"Rise up o Men of God,
His kingdom tarries long,
Bring in the day of brotherhood,
and end the night of wrong."
PROMOTERS OF JUSTICE AND LAYMEN DIGGING DEEP: Investigations of the homosexual corruption among Bishops and priests in America is best done by fellow Americans. Bishops interested in reform should appoint promoters of justice who will work with various independent investigators and other promoters to produce serious reports about the corruption in both local presbyteries and national/regional networks. This video by Michael Voris showing the historical roles of John Reardon of Detroit, Joseph Bernadine of Chicago, and Theodore McCarrick of Washington DC is a very good start to the kind of historical understanding that must inform local investigations. This short ten minute video is a prime example of why serious investigations around the world must be done by local laymen, priests and bishops. The locals know the local graveyards best.
Rome is necessary to laicize and punish but each diocese and conference must prepare the dossiers of the individuals and networks who have to be removed. Local bishops can suspend and shame. Local juntas of laymen and priests can begin investigations to aid the still unappointed promoters every diocese needs. The promoters of justice and their staffs should watch movies about cleaning out corrupt police departments and national spy agencies finding traitors within. They will be good training films.
MODERNIST REVOLUTIONARIES TURN ON FRANCIS: America Magazine and James Martin misread the pope and then dismiss him because he is not a psychologist. It is time for the conservative Catholic media to circle the pope and AMPLIFY his remarks. For those of us who have never dismissed the Pope, these comments are very consistent with what he has taught in all his major writings on sexual identity as part of the created order. He has always treated gender ideology as an imposition of colonialism and an anti-ecological approach to God's gift of creation. That is not the language of American conservative Catholic capitalists but it is the way our Pope from the South explains what we all know is the fundamental teaching of the Church on sexual order and sexual abominations.
FRANCIS IN THE MIDEAST: Pope Francis will visit UAE in February as the first pope to visit the Arabian peninsula. Fraternity and Brotherhood is the theme.
II. PRESIDENT TRUMP AND AMERICA
PRESIDENT GEORGE H.W. BUSH (1924-2018), RIP: President Bush grew up in a culture when the elites were still nationalists and the sons of the elite were expected to join all the males of the nation in military service. George Bush was a patriot and a statesmen. He and his lifelong friend James Baker brilliantly continued the American Russian peace making foreign policy that led to the reunification of Germany. They were opposed by Margaret Thatcher and the Brits. They were creating a new world order based on peace between the great nations who had been allies in WWII and then enemies during the Cold War. He had been ambassador to China and was opposed to the "Contain China" crowd. He and Baker were committed to ending the old alignments and making strong relationships with Russia and China. The baby boomers who followed them never understood the new relationships among nation states that was necessary to replace the bipolar world of the West vs Soviet Union/ Communist China bloc.
A generational leader Bill Clinton and a fiscal conservative Texan Russ Perot who warned of "a great sucking noise" ( jobs being lost to Mexico and poorer countries) made Bush a one-term President. We are all the poorer for that. His grandson George Bush wrote this: "Finally, my grandfather was thankful for his God. Gampy once said: "God is good, but his love has a cost: We must be good to one another." It was his faith and his love for others that drove him, that fulfilled him, and that led him to a calling in public life."
Father and son. Two presidents. Beautiful eulogy by his eldest son.
MORE EULOGIES: "We are here in the House of the Lord..." James Baker eulogy in the Houston church. Historian Jon Meacham eloquent, humorous, patriotic and penetrating opening eulogy. The Catholic biographer knew the heart and soul of his Episcopalian subject. It is striking how different funerals are when we bury a man who prayed and believed. Senator Allan Simpson talk was also very funny and instructive. He ended with a pointed practical instruction by a statesman and a believer. Pat Buchanan on the world George Bush left behind and the baby boomer presidents who sat by President Trump at the funeral. Gorbachev remembers real Russian collusion.
PATRIARCHY, CHRISTIANITY, NATIONALISM, PROTECTIVE SEX ROLES-the story of a life.
Reba McEntire sang the Our Father. The priest anointed the body in a flag draped coffin. The brown skinned grandchildren said their prayers for the patriarch. Funerals are meant to stop us from the everyday to reflect on the whole. What a gift to us all from President Bush and those who loved him.
ELIZABETH WARREN - A PROFILE: A very interesting profile of Elizabeth Warren who actually made her way to political office by understanding and talking about the very real debt problem facing young two income families in the US. She became "famous" because of an appearance on the Dr Phil TV show. The problem of "family formation" is one that Steve Bannon and Tucker Carlson talk about as well. They should have a friendly discussion with Senator Warren. This article gave me a very different view of the Oklahoman from Massachusetts.
III. THE NATIONSFRANCE, CATHOLICS, THE RIGHT, AND THE NATION: A very encouraging article about how deep the French are thinking about the globalist troubles that surround us. There is something brewing in the Church's eldest daughter. American patriots can learn from the French again. From the New York Review of Books Article about the communal Catholic strand in the French Right by Mark Lilla. (The Lilla link leads to his web page and a terrific interview with a very well informed articulate German woman interviewer.) Lilla is America's most articulate liberal defender of the national identity of citizenship over the clientele identities of smaller grievance groups. Listen to the whole interview. At the very end, his discussion of symbols, civic memory, the blood of patriots and a national loyalty of the heart (not just constitutional rationality) is quite missing from the academy and media where he somehow still survives. Here is his own religious biography up to 2005.
From the article on France:
"Continental conservatism going back to the nineteenth century has always rested on an organic conception of society. It sees Europe as a single Christian civilization composed of different nations with distinct languages and customs. These nations are composed of families, which are organisms, too, with differing but complementary roles and duties for mothers, fathers, and children. On this view, the fundamental task of society is to transmit knowledge, morality, and culture to future generations, perpetuating the life of the civilizational organism. It is not to serve an agglomeration of autonomous individuals bearing rights.EMERGENCE OF NATIONS: Nations out of Empires. One of the better descriptions of the different nations emerging from WWI. The author describes himself as "a lifelong student of presidents, history, and sports."
Marion Maréchal used to be difficult to place ideologically. She was more socially conservative than the National Front leadership but more neoliberal in economics. That’s changed. In her speech at CPAC she spoke in culture war terms, giving La Manifas (a 300,000 people protest against changing the nature of marriage) an example of the readiness of young French conservatives to “take back their country.” And she described their aims in the language of social organicism:
"Without the nation, without the family, without the limits of the common good, natural law and collective morality disappear as the reign of egoism continues. Today even children have become merchandise. We hear in public debates that we have the right to order a child from a catalogue, we have the right to rent a woman’s womb…. Is this the freedom that we want? No. We don’t want this atomized world of individuals without gender, without fathers, without mothers, and without nation."
If all French eyes are not on Marion, they should be. Marion is not her grandfather, though within the soap-operatic Le Pen family she defends him. Nor is she her aunt (Marine Le Penn), who is crude and corrupt, and whose efforts to put new lipstick on the family party have failed."
THE YOUNG AUSTRIAN NATIONALIST-POLITICIAN: Sebastian Kurz and Austria. Sebastian Kurtz and Catholicism. Kurz was born in 1986. He is the youngest head of government in the world. He was elected Austrian chancellor in December 2017. Austria has 8.7 million people (1/10 of Germany). 90% speak German but they are a nation of their own. 75% are Catholic. The next largest ethnic group are Turkish. When he was Austrian foreign minister, Kurtz added the duties of "Social Integration" to his office. Like Orban of Hungary, Kurz sees the Christian Europe of Nations as an alternative culture to the European bureaucracy of autonomous individuals. There was a famous movie about an Austrian nationalist who stood against the Anschluss of the Germanic Reich. He sang this love song to Austria just before his family escaped the oncoming Nazis who were destroying national borders in the name of racial empire.
SAUDIS AND CHINESE IN HORN OF AFRICA: The role of Ethiopia. 105 million people 63% Christian/33% Muslim. The one nation of Africa whose nationhood did not spring from colonialism. The second largest army in Africa. A new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed - openings to democracy may unleash mobs as likely as republics.
SUDANESE IN YEMEN: Saudi Princes get the black guys to kill the Shiites; the role of Sudan in the war on Yemen.
PRESSURE ON THE SAUDIS: Muhammed bin Salman is now toxic to a longtime Saudi apologist - Lindsey Graham. Since President Trump has embraced MbS, the Democrats are suddenly in lock step against him and the war in Yemen. That is all to the good. The creative nationalism President Trump has brought to American foreign policy is being turned against our participation in wars in Yemen and Afghanistan. Right now there is one Achilles heel and it is our support for MbS and the Saudis. Whatever path it takes to break this alliance so we can look at what really has happened to us over the last 20 years will be well worth it. The Ambassador from Saudi Arabia is not much help in this crisis (Bruce Reidel on The Crown Prince's tough diplomatic task. His brother is not a lot of help here in US.). Senators, Money, and Saudi Laundering. There are long time Saudi apologists turning against the war in Yemen and MbS. That is a good start but not enough. Senators who have not examined the relationship of Saudi Arabia to Salafism and Sunni terrorism may pose as great foes of MbS. Good enough. But the deeper question is why we support Wahhabi Islam's favorite cover state. This has made our Mideast strategy incoherent for two decades.
ISRAEL AMONG THE NATIONS: New Openings.
SPANISH NATIONALIST PARTY: The strongest showing yet for a party dedicated to strong national identity against regional autonomy movements, an end to laws imposing radical feminism, a stricter regulation of immigration, a return of Gibraltar from the Brits, and a celebration of bull fighting and hunting.
INDIA: A civilization for sure, but is it a nation? This article does not address that but it does remind us of the cultural ways the other Asian giant may be a more significant force in the future than the narrow calculations of mercantilists now measure.
GOOGLE FRIENDSHIP: The friendship that made Google huge. A great article about two men, coding, search engines, and why two heads are often better than one.
PRESIDENT JACKSON: Andrew Jackson, standing armies, and citizen militias.
LITTLE WARS TV: The Germans invented wargames in the 19th century to help think though battles and campaigns before they were fought. In 1913 H.G. Wells wrote a book of war game rules, Little Wars, for civilian gentlemen to war game for education and recreation. A modern day group of men, many of whom are veterans, created a very educational YouTube channel, aptly called Little Wars TV, dedicated to teaching history through war games. Here is their short introduction to war games. And in this video, the men recreate the part of the modern day Battle of Fallujah (a battle in which some of the players took part). While giving a serious reflection on their combat and discussing the issue of creating an educational game replaying a battle that living veterans have fought, the channel keeps each battle simulation light-hearted with the losing team suffering some playful humiliation (in the above video they had to eat an MRE from 2004).