29 February 2020

Happy Bissextilis! (No, it’s not a Jesuit holiday.)

One last post on Leap Year Day!

From Fr Z's Blog

It is a Leap Year Day.  In Latin this is bissextilis, and has nothing to do with prominent Jesuits and their abetters.
When there isn’t a 29 February, the saints are observed on 28 February.  For this intercalary day in the Roman Martyrology we find this:


In 46 BC, on the advice of the Alexandrian astronomer Sosigenes, G. Iulius Caesar created a calendar system that added one day every four years to make up for the fact that the Earth’s year is slightly more than 365 days. Your planet circles your yellow Sun in slightly more time than it takes for your Earth to rotate 365 times (365.24219). Calendar years with 365 days drift from the actual year by about 1 day every 4 years.  After a while the month named after Caesar, July, occurred during the winter (in the Northern hemisphere).
Caesar’s Julian Calendar was maintained until 1582 when Pope Gregory XIII determined that in his Gregorian Calendar leap days would not occur in years ending in 00, unless the year is divisible by 400.  And we do have a Jesuit, a serious one, to thank for the Gregorian Calendar.
When the Roman Senate renamed the month Sextilis to honor Augustus, they borrowed time from February to make August longer than July (after Julius, formerly known as the fifth month, Quintilis).  So, February wound up being shortened.
Sextilis, the day, was six days before the kalends (1st) of March (inclusive) = 24 February.  Hence, in the traditional calendar St. Matthias was celebrated on 25 rather than 24 February during leap years.
The intercalary month that the Romans used to try to keep the civil calendar in sync with the solar calendar was inserted around the festival of Terminalia on the 23rd. In the reform of the calendar, one day was inserted behind the 23rd of February every three or four years. It was the “double sixth day” or bis sextilisBis sextilis and sextilis (the 24th and 25th to us) were considered as one day long day.
Whereas in most years the calendar is advanced one day at a time, in a leap year there is a week in which a day is advanced two days.  In 2012 Christmas (25 December) was a Tuesday.  In 2013 a Wednesday.  In 2014 a Thursday.  In 2015 a Friday.  In 2016 Christmas falls on Sunday, not Saturday.  You can see the “leap” in the calendar.
Anyway… it’s complicated.
Some time ago, I received a good explanation in an email from the British Library:
In 1582, calendrical reform came from Rome again, this time, from Pope Gregory XIII (1502-1585). Gregory realised that because a whole day was added to every fourth year, when in fact it should be a bit less than a day to be accurate, the Julian calendar was 11 days ahead: 15th October in Gregory’s time was, astronomically, 4th October. In order to cut out this accumulated surplus, he issued a Papal directive stating that 4th October in 1582 will be followed by 15th October and the first year of each century will not be a leap year any more, except if it is divisible by 400. So what about the leaping saint? Well, the medieval solution for the leap-year problem was generous. By doubling 24th February the following saints’ feast days could all keep their original date and – because there were two 24ths in the month – February remained 28 days long. In this way, no saint suffered the ignominy of having their feast day celebrated only one year in every four. Instead, there was a gain: in the leap year Saint Matthias was celebrated twice – on the 24th(a) and 24th(b) alike.
Yet curiously, in this overhaul the repeated 24th remained in place. It was only over time that the medieval system of two 24ths was phased out and replaced by a 29th day of the month, but the tradition of having an extra 24th with its leaping saint, the Apostle Matthias, is still preserved in the Catholic liturgy.
Finally, two items of interest.
Ash Wednesday has not yet fallen on a 29 February and it won’t until 2096.
And, as you know, tidal friction in the system of your planet and its moon slows your planet’s rotation down so that a day is lengthened by some 1.4 milliseconds per century. In about 4 million years, we can stop with the bissextilis, though some Jesuits will probably still be saying that it’s okay.
Happy Bissextilis!

Timely Advice

I want all my readers to stay healthy and safe!

Don’t Sanitize Abortion

In other words, don't let the pro-aborts control the narrative!

From First Things

By John Waters

I would like to suggest a seventh rule to add to Mary Eberstadt’s “Six Rules for Pro-Life Radicals.” This additional rule was implicit in several of the six she listed, so she may have been presuming it axiomatic—so fundamental as to not require restating. But I believe that this rule does require restating and that it should be explicit. Indeed, I think that when pro-lifers keep this rule implicit it produces problems in the larger abortion debate: One side in the argument thinks the truth about abortion too obvious to reiterate, while the other side, not wishing to hear the truth, encourages this lacuna.
Rule #7: Always state—and where possible, illustrate—the true nature of abortion.
The pro-abortionists in politics, media, and the professional agitation classes have succeeded in censoring depictions, even descriptions, of abortion, thus removing the gruesome reality of abortion from the discussion. They achieved this by constructing a culture of euphemism and evasiveness, policed by effete concepts of politeness and “good taste” that, deeper down, reveal that many of those promoting abortion know precisely what it is they are seeking to elide. Their greatest “accomplishment” has been presenting abortion as an all-but-routine procedure designed to save a woman’s life. Absent this achievement, no population of sensible humans could ever have delivered a majority for abortion.
In some countries, such as the United States, the authority of the people was bypassed by judges. But such decisions might have been subject to popular overthrow had circumlocution and euphemism not been central to their conception. In Roe v. Wade abortion was ushered in the back door by removing the process of human butchery from sight and filing it under “Right to Privacy”: the privatization of human annihilation.
Someone recently sent me a video of a child of perhaps two months’ gestation. The child had survived a botched abortion and been born alive. The still living body is in a petri dish and two women inspect it. One of them prods and mauls the child’s body with white-gloved fingers while the child seeks to evade them, moving his hands to cover his face as if already suspecting everything of the evil of the world. Rarely has Kahlil Gibran’s evocation of “Life’s longing for itself” been so heartbreakingly illustrated. What I felt watching it was not merely horror or pity, but a sense of metaphysical affront at having to observe a fellow human being in this unspeakable situation.
I have no doubt that, if it had been possible to show this video to voters on their way to the polling booths in the Irish referendum of May 25, 2018—accompanied by the question, “Is this where you wish to take us?”—Article 40:3:3 of the Irish Constitution would have remained unmolested. I submit that no judge, legislator, or voter who is contemplating adding his tick to the abortion box has the right not to look at such material. There can be no right to squeamishness in this matter.
And yet, by an extraordinary process of emotional bullying and obfuscation, abortion fanatics have successfully created a safe zone for their death culture, which has come into being without those who were duped into facilitating it having to face its actual reality. They did this by making the condemned child emotionally inaudible and invisible. In Ireland, the ideological campaign to impose abortion—conducted almost relentlessly for 35 years—involved semantic abuses of reason and language, which succeeded because we allowed human life’s longing for itself to become hermetically sealed off from the moral equation under consideration. By euphemism and elision, the “pro-choice”—we should say “pro-abortion”—side successfully focused the discussion on the circumstances and moral context relating to the woman bearing the child, depicting the “fetus” as no more than inanimate tissue, a form of malignant growth within the body of the woman who has set her heart against allowing this other person to live. This was partly a failure of the churches and the mainstream pro-life lobby. Fearful of being deemed fanatical, they acquiesced in the implicit demands of the pro-abortionists that the discussion be so sanitized.
This evasion mechanism depended upon the unborn child being deemed undeserving of inspiring emotion, which made it possible to forbid the invocation of sentiment or empathy on his or her behalf. Notably, the “debate” preceding the Irish referendum of 2018 was rigorously policed to ensure that those who spoke on behalf of the child would be confined to making abstract, theoretical, and academic arguments. This was achieved with the dedicated assistance of partisan media but also with the collaboration of many on the other side, who failed to note that they were often putting decorum before truth-telling in the prosecution of their case. Yielding to blackmail allegations about a failure to consider the mother, many pro-life activists ended up emphasizing the mother to the point of leaving the baby unrepresented. Once this happened, the argument was more or less over.
This occurred as the culmination of a long war of attrition. Back in 2013, during the parliamentary debate on the Protection of Life in Pregnancy Bill—the thin end of the abortion wedge in Ireland—one pro-life contributor, Sen. Jim Walsh, noted how sanitized the discussion was. He managed to put on the record of the Seanad (upper house) a true depiction of abortion. He read out a description of an abortion procedure taken from evidence given to a 1984 U.S. House of Representatives committee by Dr. Anthony Levantino, a U.S. obstetrician who had conducted up to 1,200 abortions. Performing a D&E (dilation and evacuation) abortion following his daughter’s death in a car accident, Levantino “got sick.” That was to be his last abortion.
Sen. Walsh provided the Seanad with extensive extracts from Levantino’s evidence, including:
The toughest part of a D&E abortion is extracting the baby’s head. The head of a baby that age is about the size of a large plum and is now free floating inside the uterine cavity. You can be pretty sure you have hold of it if the Sopher clamp is spread about as far as your fingers will allow. You will know you have it right when you crush down on the clamp and see white gelatinous material coming through the cervix. That was the baby’s brains. You can then extract the skull pieces. Many times a little face will come out and stare back at you.
During Sen. Walsh’s delivery of this description, one longtime abortion activist senator walked out. The leader of one of the governing coalition partners declared the contribution “inappropriate and over the top.” A headline in the Irish Times next day declared, “The air froze in the chamber: Walsh’s input was disgusting.” Over subsequent days, various women who had had abortions or miscarriages were wheeled out to reclaim all pain, grief, and death for women.
But since all those who objected subscribed to the view that a “fetus” is merely a “clump of cells,” why on earth were they troubled or upset? If you don’t believe a “fetus” has human properties, why object to hearing the process of its destruction described?
In the six-month campaign that preceded the 2018 referendum, I spoke many times all up and down the country, frequently at morale-boosting gatherings of pro-life canvassers. Invariably, these gatherings featured speakers offering tactical advice to door-to-door canvassers, advice that followed principles long established within the pro-life movement. One piece of advice was: Never refer to abortion as murder.
I understand. For all you know, the person on the doorstep, or her daughter, or his sister, may have had an abortion. You do not want to lose a voter before you’ve set out your stall. A standard approach in door-to-door canvassing is to start in the middle of the argument. Then, when you develop a sense of where the person stands, you can soften or harden slightly—depending on the person—until you find a solid point of engagement.
The problem is that this tactic is now almost the only strategy that the pro-life movement and the Catholic Church uses—in Ireland, at least. The emphasis is on not giving offense, on not being direct, on being as agreeable as possible in the hope of . . . what? In the hope that your mark might be so impressed by your agreeableness that he or she will vote whichever way your leaflet prompts? I don’t think so.
The regimes of death, noting this approach, have begun taking liberties. After all, if pro-lifers are no longer openly saying that abortion is the deliberate killing of an innocent child—and invariably wrong—why not hold them to that logic? Under orders from dishonest politicians, police forces are increasingly using inappropriate instruments like public order legislation or breach-of-the-peace provisions to justify gagging pro-lifers. Ironically, they are penalizing those doing what police forces are supposed to do: protect the vulnerable from attack by the strong. In the Irish campaign of 2018, An Garda Siochána (police) took to seizing graphic images of unborn babies from canvassers, even though there is no precise law entitling them to do this. In May 2018, the month of the referendum, police in the Isle of Man declared that “graphic” images of abortion “may be distasteful but they are not illegal.”
Ominously, legislators (including members of the outgoing Irish government) have been dropping broad hints about imposing exclusion zones around abortion clinics to stop protestors from conveying the truth of abortion at the front line. Belgium is currently proposing to introduce an “offense of obstructing abortion,” with penalties including jail sentences of from three to twelve months and fines of up to €500 for anyone who tries to “prevent a woman from gaining access freely at a health facility practicing voluntary termination of pregnancy.”
Abortion activists frequently try to suppress “graphic” anti-abortion material by citing concern about the sensitivities of children. The standard claim is that such “gory or obscene” images cause “distress and offense,” which no doubt they do. But such distress and offense is essential in conveying to the public that abortion is not like an operation for an ingrown toenail, but the execution of a human being. 
In my life as a working journalist, I have examined many sets of images of autopsies on the bodies of murdered persons. These do not make for easy viewing. But often, to learn something crucial about the facts of a case, it is vital that you not allow squeamishness to get in the way of understanding. And as with journalists, so it must be with legislators—which, in the event of a referendum, means every single voter and possibly every respondent to an opinion poll on this topic. There is no right to plead fragility of heart or stomach when the lives of innocents are at stake. It is one thing to vote for abortion if you have scrutinized everything and remained implacable; it is quite another if you have refused to look at what abortion is really like. 
John Waters is an Irish writer and commentator, the author of ten books, and a playwright.



What sin is opposed to magnanimity by defect?

It is the sin of pusillanimity (CXXXIII.).

Why is pusillanimity a sin?

Because it is contrary to the natural law which inclines every being to act according to its capabilities (CXXXIII. 1).

It is then indeed blameworthy not to make use of the powers and the means God has given us by the mistrust of oneself, or by taking up an unseemly attitude with regard to honours and glory?

Yes, this is indeed blameworthy and should not be confounded with true humility, about which we shall speak later (ibid.).


New Humanism Advocates Freedom from God

What they are really advocating is insanity and the freedom to go to hell in a handbasket!

From The Eponymous Flower 

By David Martin

As has been reported in the Catholic press, Pope Francis is calling upon the leaders of world religions and globalist agencies, as well as leaders in the world of politics, economics, science and education to be at the Vatican on May 14, 2020, for the signing of a Global Education Pact aimed at bringing about a “new humanism.”

In a videotaped message on September 12, 2019, in which the pope first announced his initiative, he said: "A global educational pact is needed to educate us in universal solidarity and a new humanism."

God “Withdraws” so we can be “Free”

Archbishop Vincenzo Zani, secretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education who has been tasked with organizing the event explains the theological vision behind this “new humanism,” saying that God “withdraws” in order that man might be free. Vatican Abp organizing Global Education Pact touts pope’s ‘new humanism’ where God ‘withdraws’

In an interview with LifeSiteNews Vatican correspondent Diane Montagna, Zani made reference to “God who gives man strength, liberty, and life but leaves him free. It is an encounter of freedom.”

He said that the teaching on Creation – which he says is not exclusively a Christian one – places the focus on man. “It’s the centrality of the person. God creates but then withdraws. He leaves man, saying, ‘Go!”’

Montagna interjected: “Pardon me, but is this really the Christian idea of man’s creation? As Christians we do not believe in a God who leaves us alone. We believe in His supernatural action in the world.”

Zani responded, “Yes, but in the moment when God creates man, he gives him intelligence, heart, and the capacity for activity, and he tells him: ‘Go!’”

The idea that "God withdraws" to allow for the possibility of human freedom is purely a Masonic idea. It implies that if God doesn't withdraw we are not free. It implies that our freedom consists in being away from God. It advocates the Masonic freedoms.

Our Freedom is in God

The Church teaches that God is the source of our freedom, outside of which there is no human freedom. Our freedom is in Christ, which is why He is called Savior, since He saves or liberates us from the slavery of sin. This He does, not by withdrawing from us, but by moving closer to us. The closer he moves the freer we are, provided we let him rule us. (Psalm 22)

It's like a fish in a bowl. The more surrounded it is with water, the freer it is. And if we are surrounded with an infinite ocean of crystal blue majesty wherein we breath and have our life, we are truly free, but if that ocean casts us onto the shore and recedes from us, we are left to die, with no freedom, no happiness, no life.
Now atheists, modernists, and Freemasons see God as a “boogie-man,” and accordingly, they see His Commandments as oppressive rules that we need to be "liberated" from. Their idea of freedom is to escape God and live in their own hellish zone.

Accordingly, they maintain that there is no eternal damnation after death. [Ring any bells?] It calls to mind an often-expressed line of the Freemasons that “hell is nothing more than being away from God and what's so bad about that!”

Now these snakes of the modernist school infiltrated the Second Vatican Council and they managed to gain considerable control of the conciliar drafting commissions, whereby the conciliar documents often reflect this idea that personal liberty takes precedence over God.

The Vatican II document on religious liberty, Dignitatis Humanae, is particularly pronounced in this, since it advocates the selfish rights of man, as if modern man is now a little god who can think for himself without the guidance of a divine chaperone. Consider the opening paragraph:
A sense of the dignity of the human person has been impressing itself more and more deeply on the consciousness of contemporary man, and the demand is increasingly made that men should act on their own judgment. [1]
Again, we read:
God has regard for the dignity of the human person whom He Himself created and man is to be guided by his own judgment and he is to enjoy freedom. [11]
Hence, what we’re really seeing with Pope Francis’ “new humanism” is the plan of Vatican II coming to a head.  

Unfortunately, secular humanism is condemned by the Church, since it attaches prime importance to human rather than divine or supernatural matters. Humanist beliefs stress the potential value and goodness of man and seek solely rational ways of solving human problems without divine guidance and help. Humanism is all about unity with man, not about unity with God. 

The Global Education Pact seeks to indoctrinate man with this secular humanism aimed strengthening his allegiance to the planet. The pope says an alliance is required "between the earth's inhabitants and our 'common home,' which we are bound to care for and respect.”

What about our alliance with God? Has Francis considered the admonition of the Apostle James, who says that “the friendship of this world is the enemy of God” and that “Whosoever therefore will be a friend of this world, becometh an enemy of God?” (James 4:4)


Concerned Catholics have cited the hypocrisy of the pope’s education pact, arguing that it makes no reference to the prerogative of parents to be the primary educators of their children. At a time when the educational system has become nothing more than a political forum to pollute the minds of the young, the pope has a duty to exhort parents to assume the responsibility in educating their children themselves, i.e. to homeschool them.

Instead he subjects the children to the wiles of globalists that seek to educate them in the ways of Satan. The mere fact that the global education pact will receive an estimated $26 billion a year in funding from pro-abortion globalists like Bill Gates and George 
Soros is enough reason to decry this to the heavens. https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/vatican-urged-to-partner-with-top-population-controllers-on-popes-global-education-pact

Why is Francis colluding with globalists?

Our Forgotten Father: Joseph, the Silent Saint

St Joseph, Patron of Fathers, Carpenters, Labourers, and of the Universal Church, pray for us!

From One Peter Five

By M.B. Moore

Our world has never needed a father more than now. Our shepherds are not merely absent to their spiritual children, but also often part of the pack of wolves devouring souls. Many young people are tragically confused about their sexual identity. Parents have no idea how to be sacrificial spouses. Fortunately, we have no need to despair. The greatest human father who ever lived is with us now. He has quietly waited until he was needed more than ever. St. Joseph’s time has come!
The gospels record no spoken words of St. Joseph. He received far less attention from the Church Fathers than Our Lady or even St. Paul. Like a quiet, hardworking father, he has waited in the background of history. Until now.
I recently had the pleasure of reading Fr. Donald Calloway’s book Consecration to St. Joseph: The Blessings of Our Spiritual Father. I followed the month-long consecration practice. It was the most excellent consecration experience of my life. I could not recommend this book more than I currently do. It is the greatest book on St. Joseph since the Second Vatican Council.
The previous expert on St. Joseph was the scholarly Jesuit, Fr. Francis Filas. He was a Canadian, and he wrote perhaps the definitive work on the Holy Family, and St. Joseph in particular. Sadly, his works are all out of print and very expensive. Fr. Calloway’s book, while less academic, is nevertheless the needed prayer guide that so many of us require when enduring the endless scandals in the Church.
I agree with Father Calloway that “now is the time of St. Joseph.”
March 19 is the feast of St. Joseph. It is an important day for Catholics, especially in these troubling times! St. Joseph is the Terror of Demons, the Saint of Chaste Souls, the Protector of the Domestic Church. We need his powerful intercession more than ever. This coming week is the perfect time to begin your own consecration.
St. Joseph does not speak in any of the Gospels — not because he had nothing to say, but because his mere presence said all that was necessary. Like many fathers, he spoke little but did much. Simply being there for Our Lord and Our Lady was enough. He was a very simple man. He had no education to speak of, nor any real status in society. He was not a Jewish priest or political official.
Yet, just as Our Lady was a simple woman chosen to be Christ’s mother, so St. Joseph was chosen to be Our Lord’s father on earth. This should not be surprising. God does not choose us because of our accomplishments or education, but because He has His own plans for us. How humble he must have been! How he reminds us that we abuse and ignore all the many intellectual blessings God has given us. We should not look down on St. Joseph’s shortcomings. We should marvel at what he accomplished despite them! In this, St. Joseph is a model to all men, especially to men who are fathers. Men should imitate him — and women should beg for a spouse as chaste and hardworking as he.
Our Blessed Lord learned many things from St. Joseph. He learned how to walk and talk because St. Joseph taught Him how. Christ would have spoken with the same accent as His earthly father. St. Joseph would have protected Him from the harsh Palestinian countryside and provided Him and Our Lady their “daily bread.” He taught Our Lord how to work as a carpenter, and he taught Our Lord how to provide for Our Lady.
How much we owe St. Joseph! How unappreciative we’ve been of our father! The time to appreciate him has finally arrived. He is owed very much for all he has done. Like the hard work of so many forgotten fathers, St. Joseph has been laboring in the background of the Church, going unnoticed.
In his silence, we learn that St. Joseph was, in a certain sense, the first contemplative — the first “monk,” if you will. He was the first person aside from Our Lady who contemplated the Annunciation and the Incarnation. St. Joseph has always appeared with Our Lord and Our Lady, always silently. At Fatima he held the Christ Child as Jesus blessed the world. At Knock, St. Joseph was also silent; he gazed at Our Lady along with St. John the Baptist. St. Joseph saw the wonders of Our Lord in ways no one else could have imagined — and he must have contemplated these things in silence.

athers are always concerned with protecting the family they love so much. Oftentimes, they suffer in silence rather than share their burdens with their children or wives. St. Joseph, perhaps, was no exception. He never complained or blasphemed. He never cursed or demanded comfort. His tongue was pure, as far as Scripture tells us. He was an incredible example to his son. How easy it would have been for St. Joseph to complain about his ill fortunes. He had to carry his family to Egypt and make a living there. He had no resources besides his own hands. Yet not once did he complain or curse God for what he endured. He bore the pain in silence, probably offering it up to God the Father. In this sense, not only was Joseph the most important saint behind Our Lady, but he was a perfect father on Earth as well. That is why St. Joseph has one the highest places in Heaven, just below Our Lady.
St. Joseph, you built and protected the original Church: your spouse and your foster son. Build up our church, which is in such need of repair! Sancte Ioseph, ora pro nobis!

Viganò Stands with 88-Year-Old Chinese Cardinal Against Vatican Aggression

It looks like the publicity of Francis's betrayal of the Church in China to the Communists is beginning to get under the Vatican's skin! Good!!!

From The Remnant

By His Excellency Carlo Maria Viganò, Titular Archbishop of Ulpiana

"The Vatican has done everything and more to deliver the Chinese Martyr Church into the hands of the Enemy" -Archbishop Viganò

Editor's Intro: Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò has once again taken a courageous stand in defense of Holy Mother Church, which at present is clearly in the hands of radically modernist revolutionaries.
This time Viganò has written in solidarity with Cardinal Joseph Zen who, not unlike Viganò himself, has become the target of Vatican bulling and the strongarm tactics so typical of Team Francis.
Remnant readers are aware of the debacle involving the Holy See’s sellout to the Chinese Communists, signed in 2018, at the expense of the persecuted Chinese Catholics who long ago were driven underground for their fidelity to the true Church of Jesus Christ.  
In defense of his persecuted flock, Cardinal Zen maintains that the Vatican has “done everything and more to deliver the Chinese Martyr Church in the hands of the Enemy.”
The new letter (see text below) from Archbishop Viganò, former apostolic nuncio to the United States, is written in prayerful support of Cardinal Zen, who came under vicious fire in a Feb. 26 letter to all the cardinals of the Church, signed by Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, Dean of the College of Cardinals.
In that letter, Cardinal Re rebuked Zen and then defended Francis’ China policy, even going to far as to claim that the then-91-year-old Benedict XVI had personally approved a draft of the agreement between the Holy See and Beijing.  
card zen tlmCardinal Joseph Zen offers a Solemn High Pontifical Mass in New York City
It goes without saying that we quite agree with Archbishop Viganò’ s position that the Holy See has, in fact, delivered the underground Catholic Church in China “into the hands of the Enemy” and that Cardinal Zen is quite right to raise public objections to what the Vatican is doing to his persecuted people.  
For what it’s worth, I would like to express our solidarity as lay faithful Catholic to these two loyal princes of the Church, whom we regard as living, breathing, tangible proof that God has not abandoned his Church and that he will be with us always, even unto the consummation of the world.
May God bless and Mary keep Joseph Cardinal Zen and Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò.  MJM
vigano 3Dearest Eminence,
This is Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, former Apostolic Nuncio to the United States of America.
I have followed deeply — sharing in prayer your suffering — your many heartfelt appeals to Pope Bergoglio concerning the tragic situation of the Martyr Church in China, which he himself has culpably aggravated through the treacherous and wicked secret Agreement signed by Holy See with the Chinese Communist Government.
Your heartfelt appeals, dear Brother in Christ, have systematically been unheeded and even mocked in a hypocritical and perverse way. As for Cardinal Parolin, he has acted as a mere reckless executor of an evil order from above.
I read this morning the ignominious and shameful letter that Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re has addressed to all the cardinals against you. I am deeply saddened and indignant, and I wish to express to you all my affection, prayer and fraternal solidarity in the episcopate.
zen iconYou are a courageous Confessor of the Faith and you have all my esteem and veneration!
Unfortunately, in the Vatican lying has been set into the system, truth has been totally overturned, and the most perverse deception is shamelessly practiced even by the most unexpected figures, who have now given themselves over to acting as accomplices of the Adversary. They have even gone so far as to say that “Pope Benedict XVI had approved the draft Agreement” signed in 2018, when instead we all know of his strenuous resistance and repeated disapproval of the conditions imposed by a persecutory and bloody regime.
The Vatican has done everything and more to deliver the Chinese Martyr Church into the hands of the Enemy: it did so by signing the Secret Pact; it did so by legitimizing excommunicated “bishops” who are agents of the regime; it did so by the deposition of legitimate bishops; it did so by forcing faithful priests to register with a church that has succumbed to the Communist dictatorship; it does so on a daily basis by keeping silent about the persecutory fury that has gained unprecedented strength, precisely since the signing of that unfortunate Agreement. It is now doing so with this ignoble letter to all the cardinals, which is aimed at accusing you, denigrating you, and isolating you.
Our Lord assures us that nothing and no one will ever be able to snatch from His hands those who resist the infernal enemy and his acolytes, conquering them “by the Blood of the Lamb” and by the testimony of their martyrdom (cf. Rev. 12:11).
Your example, dear Cardinal, and the very high price you are paying to defend the Cause of God and His Church, gives us a salutary jolt, it rips us from the inertia and habituation with which we are passively witnessing the surrender of the Catholic Church, at its highest levels and in its hierarchy, to heresy and apostasy, by following the Prince of this world, who is a liar and murderer from the beginning (cf. Jn 8:44).
Parce, Domine, parce populo tuo,quem redemisti, Christe, sanguine tuo,
ne in aeternum irascaris nobis.
+ Carlo Maria Viganò
Titular Archbishop of Ulpiana
Apostolic Nuncio
Official Translation by Diane Montagna

Why Is There Something Rather than Nothing?

A good look at the philosophy of being for the non-philosopher.

From Catholic Stand

By Bob Drury

The question, “Why is there something, rather than nothing?”, within the context of the Judeo-Christian revelation is answered quite simply. The answer is: Because God, as an act of love, chose to create.
The first line of the common declaration of the Catholic Faith is:
“I believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and of earth.”
In first grade, we were taught the faith from The Penny Catechism. The first question was, “Who made you?”, the answer to which was, “God made me.” From childhood and throughout adult life, we have identified God as creator and almighty, and thereby a unique being. That God is almighty and the creator implies that his nature is his existence. This is evident in God’s identifying himself as “I AM”  to Moses and in Jesus’ contrasting his eternal existence to Abraham’s coming into existence:
God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” He said further, “Thus you shall say to the Israelites, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” (Exodus 3:14)

Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, before Abraham was, I am.” (John 8:58)
However, “Why is there something, rather than nothing?” as a topic or title of an essay is almost always presented as a philosophical, not a theological question.

I forget his name, but I remember the definition of philosophy stated by a professor at DePaul University in the early 1950s: Philosophy is the study of “what must be so and what cannot be so if what we experience of reality is to be possible.”
Philosophy starts with our common experience of reality, our common experience of the existence of material entities. This is especially evident in a line of reasoning of which the conclusion is the existence of God:
There must be some being which is the cause of existing of all things because it itself is the act of existing alone. (St. Thomas Aquinas, On Being and Essence, tr. Armand Maurer, 1949, p. 47).
Notice that, in philosophy, both the existence and the concept of God (the Being whose nature is identical to His existence) initially arise simultaneously in the conclusion of the line of reasoning.
Practically speaking, we usually already understand the concept of God and affirm His existence prior to a formal and explicit delineation of the philosophical rationale and its conclusion. This prior knowledge may be due to revelation or to going through the line of philosophical reasoning previously, perhaps implicitly. A beautiful example of such implicit reasoning is that expressed by St. Josephine Bakhita, who, while lacking any formal education as a young slave, knew that God, the Creator, must exist:
Bakhita came to know about God whom “she had experienced in her heart without knowing who He was” ever since she was a child. “Seeing the sun, the moon and the stars, I said to myself: Who could be the Master of these beautiful things? And I felt a great desire to see him, to know Him and to pay Him homage ….” (The Holy See, “Josephine Bakhita”, para. 10)
A Philosophical Critique of the Grammar
The title of an argument, “Why Is There Something Rather than Nothing?”, is logically and grammatically valid. However, the phrase, “… rather than nothing,” although grammatically valid, adds no further meaning and is philosophically meaningless. This is evident when the phrase is rendered grammatically explicit, namely, “Why is there something rather than there is nothing?”
Although existence may be grammatically predicated of nothing, it has no philosophical meaning. Therefore philosophically, the question is reduced to, “Why is there something?”
A Philosophical Critique: Ultimate vs. Eccentric
The question, “Why is there something?”, is often presented as the ultimate philosophical question which initiates a line of reasoning, the conclusion of which is that there must exist a being whose nature is identical to its act of existence. But the question is not ultimate. It is eccentric. It is two circles of abstraction away from the bullseye of our experience of the existence of things.
Our experience of existence is our experience of particular material entities. We experience the existence of this dog. We do not experience dog per se. In Aristotelean philosophy, dog, as generic, is the principle of form. The nature of this dog is a composite consisting of the principle of form and particular matter. Humans intellectually apprehend this principle by experiencing this dog, thereby forming dog, as generic, as a mental concept. Dog as generic, however, has no existence in itself. In the existent dog, it is a principle. In the human mind, it is a mental concept.
Identifying a dog as “some thing,” rather than generically as a dog, is a second mental abstraction from our experience of existence. The question “Why is there something?” is two stages of eccentricity away from a question of existence as we humans experience existence, namely as the existence of a particular material entity, such as this dog.
The Yogi Berra-ism holds true: “You can’t get there from here!”, where “there” is the existence of a being whose nature is identical to its existence and “here” is the positing of the existence of a doubly abstract, doubly generic “some thing.” To be at a “here” starting at which one can rationally get to “there,” one must reverse the two eccentric abstractions from existence to get back to the actual human experience of existence, which is the experience of the existence of a particular material entity, a this dog.
The material particular exists as an entity; the generic does not. Matter is the principle of individuation of the generic and thereby an existential principle.
Common Pitfalls
A common pitfall in arguments for the existence of God, starting, “Why is there something?”, is to assume a definition for the word God prior to the conclusion of the argument. A recent essay, “Why Is There Something Instead of Nothing?” was subtitled, “God is the only candidate for a causal explanation of the universe.” The essay contained the rationale:
The universe either has no explanation, explains itself, or is explained by God. If the universe has an explanation and cannot explain itself, it follows that God explains why the universe exists. (Op. cit., para. 8)

The quotation precedes the conclusion of the argument. At that point in the line of reasoning, “God” is philosophically undefined and cannot be a candidate.
Also in the essay, the starting point of experience is the existence of the universe. However, the human experience of existence is the existence of a particular material entity. The universe does exist, but to affirm such is a generalization. That generalization, the universe, is not an entity of which we actually experience the existence. Existence is posited of the universe analogically to, not univocally to, existence as existence is posited of an entity of immediate human experience. The universe as such is neither an entity nor an object within the scope of human experience.
An Outline of the Argument for the Existence of God
Everything about each material entity within human experience is explained by the nature of that entity. The one thing that is not explained by the nature of each material entity, within human experience is its existence. Its nature, which is the source of explanation, is existentially distinct from its existence. There must exist a being without this fatal flaw, who is the explanation of the existence of each entity within the scope of human experience because its nature is its existence. This being we call God. St. Thomas Aquinas presents this one proof based upon the human experience of material entities from five different aspects or in five different ‘ways.’
In theology, the meaning of the topic question is, “Why did God create rather than refrain from creating?” The nature and existence of God are known through revelation before the question is asked. In theology, the topic question cannot be asked expecting the answer to affirm the nature and existence of God independently of God’s revealing himself to man.
Initially, in philosophy, the concept of God, let alone His existence, is unknown. The word “God” is undefined. Also, in philosophy, the topic question cannot even be asked. The question, “Why is there something, rather than nothing?”, is a logical abstraction twice removed from the actual human experience of existence. As a logical abstraction, “some thing” cannot be the starting point of a philosophical argument which reaches, in conclusion, the existence of any entity, let alone that Being whose nature is to exist. The valid philosophical starting point is the human experience of the existence of a particular material entity. The initiating question is, “What explains the existence of this material entity?” Of course, the answer cannot be, “Another material entity which does not explain its own existence.”

Don’t Sanitize McCarrick’s Legacy

I pray for Mr McCarrick every day, for him to repent, do penance, and to come back to our Holy Faith.

From The Catholic Thing

By Stephen P. White

There is a custom, still observed in some places, in which a cardinal’s ceremonial hat – the red galero – is hung from the rafters of his cathedral upon his death. There it dangles, on its ecclesiastical gibbet, until it finally succumbs to the corruption of time and falls. The ultimate disintegration of the galero is taken as a sign – in a pious bit of Catholic humor – that the old man’s soul has finally made its way out of purgatory.

Having been stripped of his rank as cardinal and dismissed from the clerical state, Theodore McCarrick’s galero will never dangle with the others in St. Matthew’s Cathedral in Washington. Indeed, more than that, a large plaque bearing McCarrick’s episcopal coat of arms has been removed from the cathedral wall, where it once held its place among those of his predecessors and successors.

A visitor to St. Matthew’s Cathedral today would find no trace, no reminder, that Theodore McCarrick was ever the Archbishop of Washington.

There are many reasons one might want McCarrick’s legacy scrubbed from the cathedral altogether. Surely, those who were betrayed by him – his victims, his friends, his priests, his flock – would not relish seeing his name and heraldry displayed publicly, especially, as in this case, in such close proximity to the tabernacle.

So prominent a reminder of McCarrick might make it more difficult for some to move beyond the anger and confusion of recent years and toward healing and restoration of trust. That is the reason, we are told, that the current Archbishop of Washington, Wilton Gregory, personally ordered the removal of McCarrick’s plaque.

With all due respect to Archbishop Gregory, I think this was a mistake.

Removing McCarrick’s name and arms from the cathedral may make things less painful for us in the short run, but I’m not sure they make anything better in the long run: for us, for him, or for the faithful who will come long after all the rest of us are gone.

First, there is the plain fact that Theodore McCarrick was the Archbishop of Washington. He was appointed to that post in 2000 by Pope St. John Paul II and remained the archbishop until his retirement in 2006. Whatever shame he has brought upon that office, whatever damage he has done to the archdiocese, is not going to be undone by sidestepping this reality and the difficult questions it raises.

The scandal of sin is a legitimate concern, and prurient obsession with sin – especially sexual sin – is morally dangerous. Protecting ourselves from the pain and scandal of sin – our own or others’ – too easily becomes an exercise in self-delusion. Too often, prelates have made a bad situation worse by their zeal to protect the faithful from the ugly reality of the sins of clergy.*

Can anyone seriously argue that the Catholic Church in this country has, especially in recent decades, been too forthcoming about the failings of her priests and (especially) bishops? An ecclesiastical culture, however well-intentioned, that sought to sanitize the Church’s failings has undoubtedly made the abuse crisis worse. Is there a clearer demonstration of this than the career of Theodore McCarrick, himself?

Some might argue that McCarrick’s name ought to be expunged from the cathedral as a just punishment. Perhaps the pain of seeing his legacy destroyed in this way is some measure of justice, and perhaps it might even do McCarrick some spiritual good. Perhaps.

But there is also value in recognizing the limits of the justice we can mete out. God’s justice comes not only in this life but in the fullness of time. If we forget this, the impulse to squeeze justice into the short span of our own lifetimes and on our own terms becomes unbearable. We deceive ourselves into thinking that all must be – or can be – set right on our schedule. When we allow the pursuit of justice to become a quest for our own satisfaction, we are no longer seeking justice, but vengeance.

This leads to the final reason I’m wary of the decision to scrub McCarrick from the cathedral: Theodore McCarrick, himself.

The old tradition about the galero’s fall being a sign that a prelate’s soul has escaped purgatory has a serious foundation. Our shepherds need our prayers, even in death. We pray for the dead, not because we are certain of their righteousness, but precisely because we are not. Reminders of our sin and weakness – and especially of the sinfulness and weakness of our shepherds – are important because they remind us to pray fervently for the salvation of souls.

Unlike the men whose red hats hang in cathedrals around the world, Theodore McCarrick is still alive. Who are we to say he is beyond hope? And if he is not beyond hope, shouldn’t we pray for him?

As we heard proclaimed just this past Sunday: “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” That seems like an easy command to obey in the abstract, but I, at least, find it very difficult to do with any conviction when we’re talking about someone like Theodore McCarrick. Pray for his victims? Of course. For his successor? Gladly. For his former flock? No doubt. But for Uncle Ted?

Something tells me the Lord had just such “hard cases” in mind.

Theodore McCarrick remains, whether we like to admit it or not, our brother. We are bound together, through our Baptism, in Christ. Christ’s Body is not made more perfect by ignoring the wounds it bears, nor by forgetting how they got there.