Memorial Day 2009

Monday, May 25, 2009 \AM\.\Mon\.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father, let thy protection be upon all those who are in the service of our country; guard them from all harm and danger of body and soul; sustain and comfort those as home, especially in their hours of loneliness, anxiety, and sorrow; prepare the dying for death and the living for your service; give success to our arms on land and sea and in the air; and grant unto us and all nations a speedy, just and lasting peace. Amen.

— Prayer in Time of War


Father Corby Remembers Gettysburg

Monday, May 25, 2009 \AM\.\Mon\.

Father William Corby

Irish Brigade

In light of all the controversy regarding Notre Dame over the shameful honoring of Obama on May 17, 2009, it is important to remember that many Notre Dame students, faculty and graduates were appalled by this, and also to remember that Notre Dame has in the past been a great Catholic university, and may be so in the future.  This heritage of greatness was exemplified by the third president of the University, Father William Corby.

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Jesuit Grunt

Sunday, May 24, 2009 \AM\.\Sun\.

Father Aloysius P. McGonigal

On this blog I have often criticized current follies of the Society of Jesus.  However, I would never deny that the Jesuits in the past rendered brilliant service to the Church and were fearless in their determination to carry the Gospel of Christ into the World.  The history of the Church has many a glorious page detailing the deeds of the sons of Saint Ignatius Loyola, and on one of those pages we will find the story of Aloysius McGonigal.

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Catholic Chaplains

Saturday, May 23, 2009 \AM\.\Sat\.

  

One of my goals at American Catholic is to do my small part to ensure that the faith and courage of Catholic Chaplains who have served in the American military will never be forgotten.  I have written several posts about some of these remarkable men, and I trust, God willing, that I may write about many more of them in the future.  I thought this Memorial Day weekend it would be appropriate to have a post where I listed all of these prior posts for anyone caring to read them and to remember just who we honor on this long weekend.

1.       Dominus Noster Jesus Christus Vos Absolvat

2.       Father Emery

3.       Father Duffy and the Fighting 69th

4.       The Other Father Duffy

5.       Father Major General

6.       Four Chaplains

7.       Ladder to Heaven

8.       The First

9.       Sunday in Paradise

10.     The Mass on Mount Suribachi

11.     Priest of Andersonville

12.     POW Servant of God

13.     Hill 875


Taps

Saturday, May 23, 2009 \AM\.\Sat\.

Something for the weekend.  Taps.  I defy anyone who has ever been in our nation’s military to hear this haunting tune without getting a lump in the throat.  As with most veterans, my father, an Air Force veteran, was buried to the sound of Taps.  As you listen to this song please say a prayer for the repose of the souls of the members of the United States military who, through their final sacrifice, ensured that we can enjoy this long weekend in peace and freedom.


Tortured Credibility

Friday, May 22, 2009 \PM\.\Fri\.

It has become an oft repeated trope of Catholics who are on the left or the self-consciously-unclassifiable portions of the American political spectrum that the pro-life movement has suffered a catastrophic loss of credibility because of its association with the Republican Party, and thence with the Iraq War and the use of torture on Al Qaeda detainees. Until the pro-life movement distances itself from the Republican Party and all of the pro-life leadership who have defended the Iraq War and/or the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” on detainees, the argument goes, the pro-life movement will have no moral authority and will be the laughing stock of enlightened Catholics everywhere.

Regardless of what one thinks about the Iraq War and torture (myself, I continue to support the former but oppose the latter) I’m not sure that this claim works very well. Further, I think that those who make it often fail to recognize the extent to which it cuts both ways.

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Some Pictures Need No Commentary

Friday, May 22, 2009 \AM\.\Fri\.

NotreDameDialogue

Hattip to Curt Jester.


Bishop Criticized

Friday, May 22, 2009 \AM\.\Fri\.

Politician stopped at door to Church

Father Z comments on criticisms of a bishop for refusing communion to a politician.  Doug Kmiec has not yet given his opinion on the situation as far as I know.


Hands Off Our Joe!

Friday, May 22, 2009 \AM\.\Fri\.

Biden

In the time of the Great Depression the mood of the nation was lightened by the antics of Little Orphan Annie.  We have the antics of that never ending fount of unintentional humor Joe Biden.  From revealing the existence of a secret bunker, to doing his best to create a panic over the swine flu, to attempting to blow the election last year, Joe Biden has become our best hope for a daily chuckle in these dire economic times.

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Jesuitical 4

Friday, May 22, 2009 \AM\.\Fri\.

Seattle University

Part of my ongoing series on the JesuitsHattip to Dawn Eden.  Yesterday, Ascension Thursday, Seattle University, a Jesuit Institution, hosted a panel on “reproductive justice”.  Here is the campus announcement:

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TAX REVOLT!!!

Thursday, May 21, 2009 \AM\.\Thu\.

Bear Flag Republic 

California often is a trend setter for the nation, for good and ill.  In 1978 the passage of Proposition 13 in California which capped property taxes presaged a national movement against high taxes which helped sweep Reagan and the GOP into power in 1980.  On Tuesday California voters rejected by better than 60% five ballot propositions which would have resulted in higher taxes, the raiding of special funds for general budget purposes and the selling of future lottery proceeds.  Here is a good analysis, albeit from a Libertarian perspective, of the ballot propositions that went down in flames.  The only ballot proposition to pass, politicians everywhere take note!, by a 73%  vote,  would prevent salary increases for legislators and statewide officials during deficit years.

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“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and The Obama Administration

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 \PM\.\Wed\.

I would like to think that I rarely, if ever, use my privileges here to get on a “soapbox” or as a means to be politically partisan and issue an attack on any person or group. Similarly I hope the subject that I am undertaking reflects my commitment. I would like to admit in regard to the subject that I am terribly biased and I don’t think I am wrong about the matter. I am no source of infallibility, obviously; everyone is free to contradict me. I will passionately disagree, but will respect everyone’s right to intellectual freedom presupposing the same respect.

My self-identification as a Democrat is no secret. After President Obama was elected last November, I was hopeful, that despite his horrific position on life issues, a Democratic Administration and Congress would be able to go, in what I deem, a positive direction on many issues. One of these issues, I hoped, would be repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

President Obama on the campaign trail reiterated how he supported “equality” for gay and lesbian Americans. While his definition of “equality” is incompatible with my Catholic faith, I find the matter of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” one in which good Catholics may disagree on and it is one I thought the President and I agreed. Let me clarify: I do not march in GLBT parades or belong to any of their advocacy groups.

Just yesterday I learned that allegedly, 619 individuals were discharged last year from the military under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. I won’t address those 619 discharges because I do not know any of the details to cast any sensible judgments.

However, it so happens that just yesterday a White House official indicated that there were no plans in the foreseeable future to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” (cf. Barack Obama campaign promises).

So, why does this bother me so much?

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Can Women Be Deacons?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 \PM\.\Wed\.

The Ordination of Women, Pt. II

Just recently, I came across a well-written entitled Catholic Women Deacons seeking to make a case for the restoration of the female diaconate. The author, a professor of Religious Studies, makes her case by drawing largely upon the historical evidence of deaconesses in the early Church and during the Patristic era.

The presence of a female diaconate in the church is a matter of historical fact. While it is clear that the role of deaconesses in previous times differs drastically from the role of deacons today, the question remains about the nature and status of their position—whether it was an ordained ministry or a celebrated and respected non-ordained position in Christian communities.

From my knowledge of church history, sacramental theology, and ecclesiology, particularly as it relates to the Latin and Greek traditions of the Church, the author is inquiring within the boundaries of Christian orthodoxy. The position, in favor of a female diaconate, as far as I know, is legitimately an orthodox position; this does not mean, Catholics of good faith, cannot contradict this position. Admittedly, I do not fully embrace her view.

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Res & Explicatio for A.D. 5-20-2009

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 \AM\.\Wed\.

Salvete AC readers!

Here are today’s Top Picks in the Catholic world:

1. In sharp contrast to having the most pro-abortion president in the history of our great nation, my favorite prelate Francis Cardinal Arinze delivered an electrifying speech at Thomas More College which is located in Merrimack, New Hampshire.  His Eminence touched on the importance of a Catholic university shaping and forming solid Christian citizens.  Some highlights include the following [emphasis mine]:

“A Catholic college or university educates students to appreciate that moral rules of right and wrong apply also to science, technology, politics, trade and commerce, and indeed to all human endeavors.”

But what does it profit us if a student is an intellectual giant but a moral baby… if he or she can shoot out mathematical or historical facts like a computer but is unfortunately a problem for the parents, corrosive acid among companions in the College, a drug addict and sexual pervert, a disgrace to the school, a waste-pipe in the place of work and Case number 23 for the Criminal Police? It is clear that intellectual development is not enough.”

Cardinal Arinze doesn’t play the cowardly intellectual game of “nuance”.  That is why I love this man.  He speaks the truth without inhibition and with charity.

For the article click here.

2. In a recent Knights of Columbus-Marist College survey, Pope Benedict XVI is receiving a 59% approval rating from Americans.  The number jumps up to 76% when polling only American Catholics.  One interesting fact from this poll is that Americans want to hear our German shepherd speak out about abortion, embryonic stem cell research, and marriage by a margin of 2 to 1 or more!

Very impressive numbers considering the negative light the mainstream media has put his papacy.  It goes to show that Pope Benedict XVI’s communication skills are highly effective and have found a receptive audience in America.  The constant barrage of moral relativism and biased reporting from the likes such as CNN and the New York Times hasn’t been able to cloud the message of love that our Pope constantly sends out.

This is wonderful news combined with the fact that more Americans identify themselves as pro-life than pro-abortion/pro-choice for the first time since the passage of Roe v. Wade, we are making strides.

For the poll click here.

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Jesuitical 3: Of Jesuits and Donatists

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 \AM\.\Wed\.

Father Drew Christiansen, SJ-Current Editor in Chief of America

Part three of my ongoing series on the Jesuits.  The magazine America, the Jesuit journal which has tirelessly defended, with honorable exceptions such as the late Avery Cardinal Dulles, SJ, the magisterium of the New York Times for decades, has an editorial here in which they compare Catholics who protested Notre Dame honoring the most pro-abortion President in our nation’s history to the Donatist schismatics.  You might well wonder what relationship exists between schismatics from Fourth Century North Africa  and orthodox Catholics upholding the teaching of the Church on abortion.  Why none of course.  This is merely a smear employed by the Jesuit scribes at America to run interference for Obama and the Catholics who support him.

I was going to write a lengthy post on this subject but Dale Price, at Dyspeptic Mutterings, beat me to the punch in his brilliant post Seinfeldian Catholicism. Dale is one of my favorite Catholic bloggers.  He is one of those rare freaks of nature:  a lawyer who writes well.  I stop by his blog every day in hopes of reading one of his fine posts, he does not post every day,  and steal—-er, that is, borrow blogging ideas.  Seinfeldian Catholicism is, in my opinion, his finest effort and should not be missed.


The Real Scandal at Notre Dame

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 \AM\.\Wed\.

Patricia McGuire, President of Trinity

Now you may be under the mistaken belief that the scandal at Notre Dame on Sunday was the homage received by the most pro-abortion president in our nation’s history.   Silly you!  According to the President of another Catholic college, Patricia McGuire of Trinity, the real scandal was caused by those protesting Obama Day.

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Women Priests in the Catholic Church?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 \AM\.\Wed\.

On the Ordination of Women, Pt. I

The Catholic Church in the modern world has faced numerous petitions to alter her doctrine in regard to several theological and moral matters. The ordination of women is amongst such petitions, particularly after the Second Vatican Council. Several Protestant religious traditions have authorized women ministers and preachers. Many churches in the Anglican Communion already permit women to serve at the altar. The Catholic Church is virtually alone, with the sole exception of the Eastern Orthodox, in her commitment to an exclusively male priesthood. Despite these realities, the late Holy Father, Pope John Paul II solemnly declared in his apostolic letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis “…the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful.” Despite the Holy Father’s attempt to reaffirm the Church’s tradition of male-only priests, the question, at least in debate, still remains. Despite the sincerity of advocates for conferring the sacrament of ministerial priesthood on women, theologically and doctrinally it is impossible. Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) too has reiterated that the church teaching regarding women’s ordination is “founded on the written Word of God, and from the beginning constantly preserved and applied in the Tradition of the Church, it has been set forth infallibly by the ordinary and universal Magisterium.”

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What does President Barack Obama actually MEAN?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 \AM\.\Wed\.

For consideration: an excerpt from President Barack Obama’s commencement speech at Notre Dame:

The soldier and the lawyer may both love this country with equal passion, and yet reach very different conclusions on the specific steps needed to protect us from harm. The gay activist and the evangelical pastor may both deplore the ravages of HIV/AIDS, but find themselves unable to bridge the cultural divide that might unite their efforts. Those who speak out against stem cell research may be rooted in an admirable conviction about the sacredness of life, but so are the parents of a child with juvenile diabetes who are convinced that their son’s or daughter’s hardships can be relieved.

The question, then — the question then is how do we work through these conflicts? Is it possible for us to join hands in common effort? As citizens of a vibrant and varied democracy, how do we engage in vigorous debate? How does each of us remain firm in our principles, and fight for what we consider right, without, as Father John said, demonizing those with just as strongly held convictions on the other side?

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Peter Hitchens on Obama at Notre Dame

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 \PM\.\Tue\.

Hitchens Brothers

Peter Hitchens, the sober and sane brother of Christopher Hitchens, has a good column on Obama at Notre Dame.

“Some of you will have seen that Saint Barack ran into the first serious public hostility of his career on a visit to Notre Dame University, an old-established Roman Catholic college of some reputation, in South Bend, Indiana. The headline on this posting refers to the shouts which echoed across the hall as he addressed the student body and picked up an honorary degree, against the opposition of many American Roman Catholics. They are right to oppose these unjustified and mistaken compliments. I do not think Mr Obama seeks genuine compromise with this great Christian institution. I think on the contrary that he hopes to co-opt it into his machine, and compromise it so that it moderates its opposition to him.

I also do not think that ‘Yes, we can’ is much of a response to the accusations of abortion opponents. It reminds me of the general empty-headed rock-star worship which became such a feature of Mr Obama’s campaign. What, in this instance, does it mean? So far as I know Mr Obama’s attitude towards abortion is at the extreme end of permissive, as he will no doubt show when he picks his candidates for the Supreme Court, the USA’s potent and unelected third legislative chamber.”

For the article click here.


And Jenkins Thought He Only Had 79 Bishops To Worry About!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 \PM\.\Tue\.

Catholic Bishops

Father Z gives Jenkins’ paean to Obama a memorable fisking here.


Picturesque and Primative

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 \AM\.\Tue\.

From last weekend’s Wall Street Journal, an article on the not-yet-crowded heritage treasures in the world:

As dawn breaks on top of a mountain near the China-Vietnam border, hundreds of water-filled rice terraces reveal themselves, clinging to the mountainside in geometric patterns in every direction. The rising sun, reflecting off the water, turns some of the terraces bright shades of orange and gold. Then solitary figures appear, black against the rising sun — peasants with their water buffaloes hitched to wooden plows.

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Notre Dame Redux

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 \AM\.\Tue\.

Who knew that this would be the issue to bring me out of my hermitage?  After having threatened my satellite television provider with cancellation, they offered me a slimmed-down package that only has a couple of news outlets.  So, on Sunday I was ‘forced’ to watch CNN’s coverage of President Obama’s commencement address. Leading up to and afterward, the network had Fr. James Martin and Raymond Arroyo squared off against each other discussing the controversy.  Besides being a clear example of media bias (read the transcript and count how many times the host interrupted Arroyo vs Martin), it was disheartening considering how feted Fr. Martin has been on certain venues in St. Blogs.  He’s often described as a “friend of <insert blog name here>”.  After this performance? Nothing from these blogs that have lauded him and pushed his books.  Perhaps I’m on some sort of revengeful witch-hunt. I don’t know.  All I know is that I was deeply disappointed in Fr. Martin and with the silence of the blogs who have lauded him.


Chaput on Jenkins

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 \AM\.\Tue\.

Archbishop Chaput

Hattip to Catholic ReportArchbishop Chaput’s thoughts on Jenkins and Obama Day at Notre Dame:

Archbishop Chaput on Notre Dame and the issues that remain

“I have found that even among those who did not go to Notre Dame, even among those who do not share the Catholic faith, there is a special expectation, a special hope, for what Notre Dame can accomplish in the world.”

~ Reverend John Jenkins, C.S.C., May 17, 2009

Most graduation speeches are a mix of piety and optimism designed to ease students smoothly into real life.  The best have humor.  Some genuinely inspire.  But only a rare few manage to be pious, optimistic, evasive, sad and damaging all at the same time.  Father John Jenkins, C.S.C., Notre Dame’s president, is a man of substantial intellect and ability.  This makes his introductory comments to President Obama’s Notre Dame commencement speech on May 17 all the more embarrassing.

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