Wednesday, October 30, 2019

The Clinton Led US Swindling of Haiti

Port du Prince Cathedral Post-2010 Earthquake Ruins

That is the title I would give to a recent article in The Guardian which outlines how the Clintons used Haiti to further their own interests, at the rate of many millions of dollars. The post-earthquake US policies in Haiti over the past decade, largely led by the Clintons, have served US interests and done great further harm to Haiti. Haiti has gotten practically none of the money or other help which was supposedly for Haiti. Farms were destroyed and people displaced, thus depriving them of their only livelihood, and nothing has been done to fill the breach.

Haiti and the failed promise of US aid, Friday October 11, 2019, The Guardian
After an earthquake struck in 2010, the US pledged to help rebuild the Caribbean country. A decade later, nothing better symbolises the failure of these efforts than the story of a new port that was promised, but never built. By Jacob Kushner.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

"Truth is the bread without which the mind cannot live."

"[Gaudium et spes, Article 14]... sees the affirmation of the soul (i.e. man's spirituality) as an affirmation of metaphysics and therefore as the affirmation of man's capacity for truth, man's openness to truth. And contact with truth is not only possible to man, it is as necessary as love. Truth is the bread without which the mind cannot live." 130

"The conciliar statement... [points] to the fact that man only attains the real truth of being when he goes beyond the zone of what is merely verified to be correct. The soul cannot be found in the realm of purely observable facts. Anyone who restricts himself to the latter may come to regard the soul as an abstract collective term for a multiplicity of elements which can be accounted for as the reflex of physical (biological) and social factors. In fact to reject metaphysical statements on principle in this way, posits an anti-metaphysics, it makes a principle out of the methodical renunciation of truth in the exact sciences, which have to be positivist and therefore restricted to what can be correctly established. Consequently it does the most inhuman and destructive thing possible; it robs man in principle of the capacity to attain truth..." 130

"...[T]he theme of the two Councils [Vatican I and II] is ultimately the same; the question of metaphysics and the question of God are fundamentally the same. The problem of God is not a supplementary section of metaphysics, but is posited simultaneously with the question of being itself, while conversely, the question of being implies the question of God. Consequently the present text [Gaudium et spes, Article 15] simply deepens the statements of Vatican I by inserting the problems connected with the question of God into the context of the relation between scientia and sapientia. In this way it exhibits the specific form of knowledge of God in contradistinction to the world of modern science. At the same time the reference to sin as endangering knowledge of God only assumes its full meaning in this light, for purely objective, demonstrative knowledge is of course not hindered by sin. With sapientia, on the other hand, what is involved is man's very humanity, and this is hampered by his tendency to be inhuman or less than human. Only where he is light can he see the real light; but since so often he is darkness and aversion from the light, he sees nothing. The dynamic character of the metaphysics of light, in which knowing and being are inseparable and both are envisaged as vital activities, makes plain the demands made on man in his totality by knowledge of God (and by the knowledge of 'truth' generally). The affirmation of metaphysics which Articles 14 and 15 formulate with regard to the question of man and of God, in one of the fundamental positions of the schema. Where the metaphysical question is definitively rejected, the 'death of God' is the inescapable consequence. But equally inescapable is the mutilation of man of the dimension of wisdom, and any theology which survives is inconsequential chatter." 132-133

Joseph Ratzinger, "The Dignity of the Human Person" in Herbert Vorgrimler editor, Commentary on the Documents of Vatican II, Vol. V, New York: Herder, 1969.

Theology without truth is no theology at all, it denies the Logos and the Theos.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

"A Ministry of Abominable Ruin" --S. Claret

Saint Anthony Mary Claret (Dec. 23, 1807, Oct. 24, 1870), Apostle of Cuba

Today is the traditional feast of Saint Anthony Mary Claret (in the new calendar, tomorrow). Below are some passages from a page of The Autobiobraphy of the Saint, who dedicated his apostolic life to extending the knowledge and love of God, including through his publishing work. Saint Anthony Mary Claret exposes, condemns and challenges the unjust position, the evil work, and wrong-headed intention of a modern mass media which presumes to place itself above the Word of God.

"The right to speak and to teach, which the Church received in the persons of the apostles from God Himself, has been usurped by a mob of dark journalists and of most ignorant charlatans."

"Every intention of salvation will be sterile if the great catholic word is not restored in all of its fullness."

"The ministry of the word, which, is, at the same time, the most august and the most invincible of all, since by it the world was conquered, has converted itself everywhere from a ministry of salvation into a ministry of abominable ruin. And just as nothing could contain its triumphs in apostolic times, so nothing and no one will be able to contain its havoc if an attempt is not made to confront it by means of the preaching of Priests and of a great abundance of good books and other holy and salutary writings."

Autobiografia, Barcelona: Claret, 1985, 225.

Saint Anthony Mary Claret's tomb is in the Church bearing his name in Vic (Catalonia), Spain.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Discito Graece

Saint John Henry Newman's Library

De utilitate Graecae linguae

Quisquis Grammaticam vis discere, discito Graece.

Ut recte scribas, non prave, discito Graece.

Si Graece nescis, corrumpis nomina rerum.

Si Graece nescis, male scribis nomina rerum.

Si Graece nescis, male profers nomina rerum.

Lingua Pelasga vetat vitiosos scribere versus.

Lectio quem Plinii delectat, discito Graece.

Hieronymum teneas vigilans tu discito Graece.

Ne versus scribas vitiosos discito Graece.

Argumentari quisquis vis, discito Graece.

Quisquis Rhetoricen vis discere, discito Graece.

Scire Mathematicam quisquis vis, discito Graece.

Artibus es medicis qui captus, discito Graece,

Morbis nam cunctis sunt indita nomina Graeca.

Argolicum nomen cunctis liquet esse figuris.

Artes ingenuae Graio sermone loquuntur,

Non alio; quibus haud nomen dat lingua latina,

Ad summam doctis sed debent singula Graecis.

Catholicum eucologium

Here is a slavishly literal translation of the Greek Bible and other Greek texts.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

My Cassock and I

Here is a short apology for the long-standing custom of the cassock, based on its history in my life.

My first thoughts about being a priest go back to my first days in grade-school seeing the parish priest, Msgr. Jones, wearing his cassock at that parish in Wilmington, NC. I remember him in his black house cassock as my first inspiration towards a priestly vocation, and the cassocks we altar boys wore to serve Mass. I wanted to be a priest from the first time I saw the priest wearing the cassock. The school nuns (Sisters of Mercy, Belmont Province) still wore habits throughout the 1970's. The pastor of that same home parish during my high-school and college years also wore his cassock for Sunday Mass. Surely I had seen the cassock before those school-day years, along with the religious habits of sisters, at religious shrines and churches which I frequented with my family from the time I was conceived in the womb in upstate NY. My first living memory, in fact, is of a nun, in full habit, taking me joyfully and tenderly by the hand to the lollipop jar. I was probably three.

In my catholic university/seminary years in the North Eastern US there were some senior priests who regularly wore the cassock, and, by that time I was frequenting the Traditional Latin Mass of a priest from another parish of my NC hometown, for which, of course, he wore the cassock. In the diocese of my seminary there were priests who always wore cassocks for ministry, and gave monthly days of recollection for seminarians and clergy. And there was an annual seminar for seminarians/priests in the Boston area which I attended from the late eighties throughout the nineties and there we, the seminarians, also freely wore cassocks. Throughout my eleven years of seminary we wore cassocks to serve Mass and we loved to wear it such that even after Mass we would often leave it on for breakfast at the University dining hall with all the students. Everyone seemed to love the cassock (except perhaps a few of the seminary faculty who were suspicious of it because of some personal hangups).

In 1999, the year after I was ordained a priest, the Conference of Bishops of the United States specified that the cassock was considered legitimate clerical attire. Of course my contemporaries and I knew that from the universal norm of the Church and the immemorial custom of the clergy, which I had witnessed throughout my life, and which was also influential in my vocation to the priesthood. I have worn the cassock habitually for over two decades of parish priesthood, continuing the tradition of many men whom I admire and strive to follow. The cassock is a normative and simple yet elegant and supernatural and eminently practical priestly attire. And the saturno (the distinctively clerical street hat) goes very well with it! The only people that seem to have a problem with the cassock is a certain number, ever decreasing, of clerics. The faithful and the unbiased love it, not to mention the majority of the younger clergy.

Lest we forget the obvious, the most visible priest in the world during my lifetime is always in his cassock, even, at times, heroically so: the Successor of Saint Peter, the Bishop of Rome, the Holy Father, the Pope. Along with all things traditional and Roman, we love the cassock. It is a sign of "romanitas," and we follow the good example of the Holy Father in this. Pope John Paul II even wore the cassock to Mexico when it was still illegal for any priest to do so. Pope Benedict humbly, yet boldly, even wore the red papal saturno on occasion, for the glory of Holy Mother Church and the furthering of the Catholic faith in the world, boosting the number of priestly vocations world-wide! We are ambassadors of Christ, dispensers of the mysteries of God, that supernatural office, with the cassock, is obvious for everyone to see.

Question. Why do some clergymen despise the typical and traditional attire of the priest while never seeming to mind the religious attire and headdress of Muslims or Jews, etc.? Shall we call it self-hating Catholicism, or simply anti-clericalism? It is the tyranny of a false pluralism, a symptom of religious and doctrinal relativism, that everything is good except, of course, Christian/Western/European civilization. That all started with the Black Legend, the mocking, despising, smearing and destroying of all things Roman, Catholic and/or Spanish, which continues to our own day.

Saint Francis Borgia, SJ, pray for us!
N.B. "[Saint Francis Borgia] was typical of the patrician saints, self-effacing, determined, enterprising, winning people of all ranks by his kindness and courtesy." Donald Attwater, A Dictionary of Saints, Penguin, 1965, 139.

Thirteen Reasons I Wear the Cassock Rather Than the Clerical Suit

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Three Witnesses to the Truth of the Catholic Faith

The Orthodox Church provides a separate Christian witness to the truth of the Catholic religion.

The Jewish religion provides a separate Monotheist witness to the truth of the Catholic religion. Islam provides a similar type of testimony.

And, of course, you have the testimony of the Church Herself in Her profession of faith.

The Protestants are, ex professo, just bad Catholics, a witness by defect of the Catholic faith.

Non-believers are simply bad men, because the first commandment requires all men to worship the one true God. "I am the Lord your God..." that is the first commandment. God must be your Lord. They also, therefore, are a witness by defect of the Catholic faith.

"Catholic" means the religion of/for all men.

Sacred Heart Basilica, Barcelona

I saw it from far away on my first day in Barcelona, for it occupies the highest peak of the city, Mount Tibidabo, and is quite visible in the distance when standing at the shore. It is run by the Salesians and has perpetual adoration.

This grand shrine reminds me of another worthy though much less grand Salesian monastery in another iconic city, the monastery overlooking the city of Nazareth in the Holy Land, the Church of Jesus the Adolescent.

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