A New President, and Continuing Questions, for Honduras

Monday, December 7, 2009 \PM\.\Mon\.

A week after Honduran elections were held, with conservative candidate Porfirio Lobo Sosa the clear winner, the US is recognizing the president-elect as legitimate, while some countries in South America and Central America are hesitating. Turnout in the election — which it is hoped will bring stability and legitimacy to the country, which has been in legal and international limbo since it ousted President Zelaya for unconstitutional attemps to prolong his time in power — was slightly higher than in the previous Honduran election (initial official estimates were higher, but CNN currently projects voter turnout was 56.6%, vs. 55% in 2005 when Zelaya was elected). However, some countries (not only Zelaya allies such as Hugo Chavez, but also regional power Brazil) have not yet decided whether to recognize the elections as valid.

While the ouster of Zelaya had no effect on the slate of candidates available on the ballot (under the Honduran constitution he was not eligible to run for reelection), many countries including the US had expressed hope that the Honduran congress would vote to re-instate Zelaya for the remainder of his term. However, the Honduran congress voted overwhelmingly not to return Zelaya to power for the rest of his term, and Zelaya urged supporters to boycott the elections, insisting that any elections held under the interim government were illegitimate.

Brazilian representatives have voiced the possibility that evidence that voter turnout was similar to in past years would sway them towards recognizing the elections as valid, as the US already has. However, it remains to be seen how widely accepted Honduras’ newly elected leadership will be within the international community.

Pope Benedict Warns Against Marxist Liberation Theology

Monday, December 7, 2009 \PM\.\Mon\.

As he has on other occasions, Pope Benedict last Saturday cautioned a group of Brazilian bishops about the dangers of Marxist Liberation Theology and the grave consequences for ecclesiastical communities which embrace it.   The Pope noted that it has been 25 years since the issuance of Libertatis Nuntius which highlighted the dangers of theologians uncritically using Marxist theses and methodologies.

Father Z has some pertinent commentary here.

I have always found it bleakly amusing that some Catholics on the Left have been attracted to an ideology which martyred so many Christians in the last century.  Here is the text of Libertatis Nuntius:

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A Date Which Will Live In Infamy

Monday, December 7, 2009 \AM\.\Mon\.

I guess for most Americans living today the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, seems like ancient history.  It does not seem like that to me.  As I was growing up in the Sixties I was surrounded by adults who recalled Pearl Harbor.  My father, who was 8 years old at the time of the attack, remembered the long lines the next morning in our small town of men waiting outside of the recruiting offices of the Army and Navy to join up.  He also conveyed to me the shock of a nation one moment at peace, and the next morning at war.  Until September 11, 2001, I really didn’t fully comprehend what my father was talking about. 

It is important to recall Pearl Harbor to remember that the safety and security we enjoy can be wrenched from us so easily if we are not vigilant, and also to recall the 2350 Americans who died that day.  I have written about one of them here, Father Aloysius Schmitt, a Navy chaplain, who died on the USS Oklahoma saving other men.  These men deserve to be remembered and to have prayers said for their souls and today I will do both, and I hope you will join me.

Update:  15 men were awarded the Medal of Honor for their valor that day, 10 of  the recipients dying that day.   One of the Medal of Honor winners, John Finn, is still alive recently turning 100.  Go here to read about these very brave men.