The Omega Glory

Tuesday, June 30, 2009 \AM\.\Tue\.

Shatner the Canadian explains the preamble of the Constitution to us!  Regular readers of this blog will not be surprised to see me drag Star Trek into my posts leading up to the Fourth of July!

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Pope John Paul II Comments on Rerum Novarum

Monday, June 29, 2009 \PM\.\Mon\.

I am going to provide everyone with a nice blast from the past- everyone I know respects Pope John Paul II- most orthodox Catholics refer to him as John Paul the Great. So I think what he thought officially as Pope on the question of Capital/Labor/State as part of the tradition deriving from Pope Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum- is incredibly interesting and relevant. Here is Chapter One of Centesimus Annus with no personal commentary- let the “man” speak without any interference from me:

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Simply Filthy

Monday, June 29, 2009 \PM\.\Mon\.

With all the discussion of whether British behavior in the Colonies justified the Revolutionary War, I can’t help being reminded of an exchange in one of my favorite books, 84, Charing Cross Road:

August 15, 1959

sir:

i write to say i have got work.

i won it. i won a $5,000 Grant-in-Aid off CBS, it’s supposed to support me for a year while I write American History dramatizations. I am starting with a script about New York under seven years of British Occupation and i MARVEL at how i rise above it to address you in friendly and forgiving fashion, your behavior over here from 1776 to 1783 was simply FILTHY.

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Pope Benedict XVI & John Paul II on America’s founding

Monday, June 29, 2009 \PM\.\Mon\.

My friend & colleague Donald McClarey has proposed that we celebrate the 4th of July with a reading of the Declaration of Independence — a custom I also share, and which I think every citizen of the United States should cultivate.

And to those scornful cranks so quick to dismiss such an appreciation of the principles of our founding as “worshipping at the temple of Enlightenment liberalism,” I would remind them of the example set by none other than Pope Benedict XVI and his predecessor, John Paul II:

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The Case for Pius XII Grows Stronger

Monday, June 29, 2009 \AM\.\Mon\.

Following up an earlier post I made here at The American Catholic, I wanted to see how the beatification process for Pope Pius XII was coming along. The Catholic News Agency reported on June 22:

Fr. Peter Gumpel S.J., the priest leading Pius XII’s beatification process, said at a conference in  Rome last week that Pope Benedict XVI was “impressed” by concerns that Jewish relations could be marred by a declaration of the World War II era Pope as a Servant of God.

I understand the necessity of playing this delicate game, but at the core of this controversy is historical truth. It saddens me to no end that so many Jews – and plenty of Catholics and secular commentators as well – are willing to believe the worst about Pius XII when there is so much evidence that not only casts doubt on the “Hitler’s Pope” argument, but actually obliterates it. There have been some new developments this year that only make the defense of Pius XII easier, and the complaints of his critics even more detached from honesty and reality.

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Iran: The Resistance Lives

Monday, June 29, 2009 \AM\.\Mon\.

No doubt the mullahs who rule Iran had begun to think that they had successfully crushed the resistance.  They thought wrong as the above video of a protest yesterday at the Ghoba Mosque in Tehran amply demonstrates.  Reports indicate that between 7,000-20,000 protesters participated.

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Read The Declaration on the Fourth

Monday, June 29, 2009 \AM\.\Mon\.

In my family each year we have a group reading of the Declaration of Independence.  The kids enjoy it and so do Mom and Dad.  Each year I am struck by a timeless quality of the words. 

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

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Catholic View of the Political Community (part 4)

Sunday, June 28, 2009 \PM\.\Sun\.

We continue the test of our Catholic worldview on the subject of the role of the Political Community- drawing upon Chapter 8 in the authoritative Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church. We have looked at the Old Testament (#377-378) and Jesus’ interaction with political authorities #379) to see the development of doctrine relating to how we are to regard the political community. Now we turn to “The early Christian communities”.

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“Caritas in Veritate” Soon To Be Released

Sunday, June 28, 2009 \PM\.\Sun\.

After a few delays, Pope Benedict’s long-awaited third encyclical on economic and social issues is set to be signed tomorrow, June 29, and released to the public on July 6 or 7, according to Catholic News Agency.

We here at American Catholic have had our share of lively debates over the meaning and application of Catholic social doctrine. I anticipate that they will continue following the release of this encyclical. This is a historical event of great importance to Catholics all over the world. Like some of his predecessors, and particularly Pius XI, Pope Benedict will be addressing the world on social and economic matters in the midst of a world wide economic crisis.

It was the crisis itself that reportedly caused the delay in the completion of the encyclical, and as it would be reasonable to assume, it is now clear that much of it will deal directly with the breakdown of the financial system in particular, and with the phenomenon of globalization in general.

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No Opinion

Sunday, June 28, 2009 \AM\.\Sun\.

Mr. Jackson and colleague

Farrah fawcett

When you are a blogger, opinions, usually strong ones, are your stock-in-hobby.  Regular readers of this blog know full well that I am never short of opinions.   However, in regard to the deaths of Farrah Fawcett and the volcanic media eruption upon the death of Michael Jackson, I confess to having no opinions.  I recall Farrah Fawcett vaguely from Charlie’s Angels, a show that sometimes came on when the tv was providing background noise during my college and lawschool years, but if I ever watched more than a few minutes I would be surprised.  Her poster was ubiquitous in the dorms at the time, but the attraction eluded me, something about the smile I found off-putting.  Other than that, nothing as far as I was concerned.

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Stars and Stripes Forever

Saturday, June 27, 2009 \AM\.\Sat\.

Something for the weekend.  Let’s start getting in the mood for the Fourth with a little SousaStars and Stripes Forever performed by Vladimir Horowitz  in 1945.


The Greatest in the Kingdom

Friday, June 26, 2009 \PM\.\Fri\.

“At that time the disciples approached Jesus and said, ‘Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’ He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said, ‘Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me. Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.'” (Matthew 18:1-6)

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Staying Rooted in Parish Life

Friday, June 26, 2009 \AM\.\Fri\.

I suspect that my family was hardly unique among serious Catholics in the 80s in that my parents often found working around our parish to be key to bringing their children up with a strong appreciation of the Catholic faith. When I was in 2nd and 3rd grade my mother helped teach CCD for a while, until the point where a fiat was handed down from the DRE on lent: There will be no discussion of Christ’s suffering and death and crucifixes should not be on display in any classrooms for the younger kids — that would be too scary. (I believe this was the same DRE who gave an inspirational talk about how one of her deepest spiritual experiences was cutting shapes out of construction paper. Nice lady, but not what you’d call a deep thinker in matters of religion.)

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Banned in Iran

Friday, June 26, 2009 \AM\.\Fri\.

A bit repetitious of Darwin Catholic’s earlier post on this subject, but I think this is a movie very much worth seeing.  Topical doesn’t begin to describe the film The Stoning of Soraya M. that is opening this weekend.  Starring Shohreh Aghdashloo and James Caviezel, and based on the novel of the same name, the film describes in harrowing detail the story of the stoning of a young bride in Iran.  I would like to be able to say that such things do not really occur under mullah-ruled Iran.  Alas, such stonings are very much a grim reality.  Worthy of a Monty Python skit, stonings have been defended by the head of the Iranian Judiciary’s Human Rights Committee.

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Blood in Iran

Thursday, June 25, 2009 \AM\.\Thu\.

On June 24, the Iranian regime learned a, to them ominous, lesson.  The protests continued in the face of savage brutality from the ruling mullahs.  Atlas Shrugs has first rate coverage here. Gateway Pundit here has been on top of this story from day one.  Ed Morrissey has coverage here of what happened when protesters march on the Parliament building in Tehran today:

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A Miracle For Father Kapaun, the POW Servant of God?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009 \PM\.\Wed\.

KAPAUN

In April of this year I wrote a post about the remarkable POW Servant of God, Father Emil Kapaun, a heroic Catholic Chaplain who died in a Chinese POW camp during the Korean War.  Now, and a grateful hattip to reader Rick Lugari, the Vatican is investigating a miracle attributed to the intercession of  Father Kapaun.

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Will Health Care Reform Create (More) Health Care Shortages?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009 \PM\.\Wed\.

MSNBC recently did an interesting piece on the shortage of primary care practitioners, which has become particularly acute in rural and low-income areas. As a result, many older doctors feel that they cannot retire because there is no one to take their place:

There are not enough general care doctors to meet current needs, let alone the demands of some 46 million uninsured, who threaten to swamp the system.

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Book Review: Empires of Trust (Part II)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009 \AM\.\Wed\.

[Empires of Trust, review Part I]

Review of: Empires of Trust: How Rome Built–and America Is Building–a New World

My apologies for taking so long to get back with a second part to this review. In the first installment, I covered the history of Rome’s early expansion, and how its commitment to establishing a safe horizon of allies, and defending those allies against any aggression, led the city of Rome to effectively rule all of Italy. From southern Italy, Rome was drawn into Sicily, which in turn made it a threat to Carthage and drew those two superpowers of the third century BC into a series of wars that would end with the total destruction of Carthage as a world power.

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France and the Burka – An Assault on Religious Freedom

Wednesday, June 24, 2009 \AM\.\Wed\.

As some of you may know, the French government is currently considering banning the burka altogether from public life. French President Sarkozy created something of a controversy when he said the following to French lawmakers:

“The problem of the burka is not a religious problem. This is an issue of a woman’s freedom and dignity. This is not a religious symbol. It is a sign of subservience; it is a sign of lowering. I want to say solemnly, the burka is not welcome in France”.

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Channeling His Inner Reagan?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009 \AM\.\Wed\.

Obama-Iran

Well maybe not, but he is getting closer.  President Obama spoke out strongly yesterday against the attack by the Iranian regime on the Iranian protestors crying out against the transparently  rigged presidential election in Iran.

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Pope Benedict XVI To Meet With President Obama

Tuesday, June 23, 2009 \PM\.\Tue\.

In news reports released today from the Vatican, it has been confirmed that His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI will welcome  President Barack Obama for an audience scheduled to begin at 4 p.m on July 10. As expected, speculation has began about what the Roman Pontiff and the American president will discuss behind closed doors. The most obvious expectation is for the Holy Father to raise concern about the state of life issues in the United States, as well as address economic concerns and challenges facing the international community.

This is certainly something to pray for, even if any changes are not immediate; I believe profoundly in God planting seeds and I will pray for both my Pope and my President.


USCCB Issues A Statement of Support For Bishop D’Arcy

Tuesday, June 23, 2009 \PM\.\Tue\.

Bishop John M. D'Arcy

Hattip to reader Rick Lugari.  The USCCB* has issued this statement of support for Bishop John D’Arcy, the Bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend:

“The bishops of the United States express our appreciation and support for our brother bishop, the Most Reverend John D’Arcy.  We affirm his pastoral concern for Notre Dame University, his solicitude for its Catholic identity, and his loving care for all those the Lord has given him to sanctify, to teach and to shepherd.”

Bishop D’Arcy had been in the forefront of protesting Notre Dame honoring Obama on May 17, 2009.

* United States Conference of Catholic Bishops


Pity and Fear

Tuesday, June 23, 2009 \AM\.\Tue\.

Aristotle taught that the purpose of tragedy is to inspire pity and fear in the audience, thence causing catharsis, a purging of emotion. I’ve always found his explanation of tragedy compelling, but as I get older (queue laughter at the thirty-year-old getting “older”) I find that I want to achieve catharsis much less than I used to. Not that my life is layered in tragedy or anything, indeed, far from it. But somehow, one just doesn’t feel as much like seeking out pity and fear at thirty as at twenty.

This has been running through my head as I’ve been reading about The Stoning of Soraya M.

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