30 June 2020

Disturbing News Trends in Turkey: What if Hagia Sophia Returns to Being a Mosque?

'What if Hagia Sophia returns to being a mosque?' My answer is simple. DEUS VULT!

By Terry Mattingly

In recent years, Orthodox Christians around the world have watched as headlines kept appearing on obscure websites that mainstream journalists rarely visit.
Rumors grew that the famous Hagia Sophia sanctuary in Istanbul — a 6th Century wonder of Byzantine Christianity — would once again be claimed as a mosque, after decades of protection as a neutral-ground museum. Gradually, the rumors turned into symbolic actions by the Turkish government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan suggesting that this strategic move might become a reality.
Recently there was this headline at OrthoChristian.com (all caps in the original headline, along with alternative spelling “Agia”):
The question, of course is this: Is this a news story? Other questions flow out of that: Is this a “religious” media story? Is it a “conservative” media story? One more: Is it a story for hard-news media in Europe, but not America?
Meanwhile, it would be hard — from the Orthodox point of view (I have twice visited Hagia Sophia) — to offer a more distressing overture than the top of that latest OrthoChristian.com report::
As Turkish officials await the court hearing on the possibility of converting the world-famous Agia Sophia Museum back into a mosque, preparations for the change are reportedly already underway.
In this vein, the leader of the Saadet Partisi Islamist political party, Abdullah Sevim, called for Turkey to immediately take action and paint over the faces of the seraphim in the dome of the 6th-century Orthodox cathedral-turned-mosque-turned-museum, reports the Orthodoxia News Agency.
“There’s no need to wait for the decision of the State Council. We’ve already purchased the lime,” Sevim wrote on his Twitter page, calling everyone to join in a Muslim prayer to be held at Agia Sophia by President Erdogan.
The State Council will review the possibility of changing the status of Agia Sophia from a mosque to a museum, thus canceling the presidential decree of 1934 that turned it into a museum in the first place, on July 2.
Other preparations towards converting it back into a mosque are reportedly underway already. According to Turkish historian and writer Ahmet Anapali, more than 75,000 sq. ft. worth of carpets used in Islamic prayers have already been purchased, paid for by a private individual, reports Romfea with reference to the Turkish newspaper Yeni Akit Gazetesi.
These reports led to a recent opinion piece in the Washington Post, written by Asli Aydintasbas, a senior fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations. The headline: “Why Istanbul’s historic Hagia Sophia could be in a fight against time.”
Here is some crucial historical background about Hagia Sophia from that piece:
For centuries, the terra-cotta-colored building served as the largest church in the Christian world. When Ottomans conquered Istanbul in 1453, they carefully covered the mosaics and turned it into a mosque. In 1934, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the modern Turkish state, turned it into a museum — both as a testament to the country’s new secular principles, but also as a signal of its desire to be anchored to the Western world.
Not surprisingly, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan now wants to turn it back into a mosque and has instructed aides to find a legal formula. Hagia Sophia has long been a coveted symbol for Islamists who resented Ataturk’s desire for a West-leaning and secular society, but no Turkish government had so far touched his legacy.
Who knows. At some point this might be worthy of mainstream news coverage. Maybe if Donald Trump blasted out a tweet or two? Then again, Orthodox Christians are pretty conservative — in terms of doctrine — so that would probably just be seen as another effort by Trump to rile up believers.
However, the religious-liberty scholar Paul Marshall — for 20 years a colleague at The Media Project — has written an essay for Religion Unplugged that sums up several alarming trends in Turkey, including the reports about Hagia Sophia. The headline: “Turkey Is Moving Toward A Neo-Ottoman Regime With Calls To Convert Hagia Sophia.”
Marshall has combined all kinds of information about developments in Turkish politics and economic policies, many clearly intended to disturb Greece. Like what?
That anger increased when, on June 16, it was revealed that the Turkish military had developed plans for a possible invasion of Greece. The overall plan was named after a famous 11th century Turkish military commander, Caka Bey, and was reportedly part of a PowerPoint presentation by the Turkish general staff for internal planning review.
In terms of Hagia Sophia, here is some crucial information — with specific dates and sources — that U.S. journalists might want to know about:
In 2016, Muslim prayers were held in Hagia Sophia for the first time since 1931, and there have been periodic Islamic rites there since. On March 31, 2018, Erdoğan himself recited the first verse of the Quran there, dedicating the prayer to the "souls of all who left us this work as inheritance, especially Istanbul's conqueror (Mehmet)." In 2019, in perhaps a prelude, the historic Chora church was converted to a mosque.
In its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, Turkey had originally planned to reopen its mosques on June 12, but Erdoğan asked that the reopening take place May 29 instead. One reason for bringing the date forward was no doubt part of a general drive to get the economy moving, but the selection of this date suggests that there were also other powerful motives. May 29 was the 567th anniversary of Constantinople’s capture by Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II, so the mosque reopenings would simultaneously be a celebration of the conquest of the Byzantine city.
This perception was reinforced when, on May 27, Ali Erbas, the head of Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate, said the public square next to Hagia Sophia would be the location for the first Friday prayer celebrating the opening of the mosques. This location is where thousands gather annually on May 29 to recite morning prayers and ask for the conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque.
A few weeks prior to Erbas’ statement, Erdoğan’s own communications chief, Fahrettin Altun, tweeted a photo of Hagia Sophia with the words: “We miss her! But a bit more patience. We will accomplish this together. ...”

Feasts of the First Part of July

Woke Racism

'Think of it as Marxism for the well to do.' Brilliant!

From The American Catholic

By Donald R. McClarey

An odd anti=white racism where the perpetrators are lily white.  Some Leftists see this for the dangerous nonsense it is:
A core principle of the academic movement that shot through elite schools in America since the early nineties was the view that individual rights, humanism, and the democratic process are all just stalking-horses for white supremacy. The concept, as articulated in books like former corporate consultant Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility (Amazon’s #1 seller!) reduces everything, even the smallest and most innocent human interactions, to racial power contests.

It’s been mind-boggling to watch White Fragility celebrated in recent weeks. When it surged past a Hunger Games book on bestseller lists, USA Today cheered, “American readers are more interested in combatting racism than in literary escapism.” When DiAngelo appeared on The Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon gushed, “I know… everyone wants to talk to you right now!” White Fragility has been pitched as an uncontroversial road-map for fighting racism, at a time when after the murder of George Floyd Americans are suddenly (and appropriately) interested in doing just that. Except this isn’t a straightforward book about examining one’s own prejudices. Have the people hyping this impressively crazy book actually read it?

DiAngelo isn’t the first person to make a buck pushing tricked-up pseudo-intellectual horseshit as corporate wisdom, but she might be the first to do it selling Hitlerian race theory. White Fragility has a simple message: there is no such thing as a universal human experience, and we are defined not by our individual personalities or moral choices, but only by our racial category.
Matt Taibbi, via Ed Driscoll at Instapundit. Go here to read the rest. As Instapundit has noted, in America culture wars tend to be class wars in disguise. The fight against “white supremacy”, almost non-existent in contemporary America except for a handful of powerless crazies, is mainly a way for upper class whites to pour vials of hate on the heads of middle and working class whites, and feel good about themselves as they do so. Think of it as Marxism for the well to do. They get to cosplay as revolutionaries as they demand that people, usually far worse off than themselves financially, give up their “white privilege”. As class was an excuse for Communists in the last century to do terrible things and still feel good about themselves, race today is an opportunity for whites locked into the top levels of our society by birth and going to all the right schools, to feel good about themselves as they conduct what can only be called a class war against whites usually less fortunate in life’s lottery than themselves. This is a true revolution of the haves against the have nots, aided by academic grifters getting rich peddling this truly racist bilge.

Keep Losing, Or: The Summer Of Blood

The  death toll in CHAZ keeps rising. (Stewie's voice from Family Guy) 'How's that no police thingy workin' out for ya? Huh? Huh?

From Mundabor's Blog

Even the hard-left BBC does not manage to conceal the utter failure of the Seattle Autonomus Anarcho-Communist Hate Zone known as CHAZ or CHOP.

Almost every day I see newspaper with news of a shooting, but no one seems interested in keeping count. BBC is no exception, but I’d say we are at two dead and four wounded in 9 days.

Basically, Liberia.

The chief of police whines that people are “not cooperating”. Hey, Ms Sherlock: they kicked your people out! Why exactly do you expect them to cooperate?

This is more damaging to the Dems every day. Violence continues unabated. The police are unable to do anything meaningful about it. The Mayor of the “Summer of Love” has to answer all this.

This is only the beginning. When the CHAZ is, at some point, dismantled, people will come out of the woodwork with tales of violence, intimidation, perhaps rape. Serves them right, of course, but it will make other people think.

Concrete road blocks are now frequent. The occupiers have said they will not go “peacefully”. Even a Libtard understands this is now a free republic for drug trafficking and who knows how many other horrible things.

Every day they do not act, they look more impotent. When they are forced to act, they will look like losers, forced to resort to violence to cut their losses. If Trump intervenes in the end, he will be hailed as the saviour from incompetent politicians.

This is a lose-lose for the Dems. They know it, and they know they need to choose how they lose, fast. But the choice is very painful.

So, for the moment, they choose to just keep losing.



Whose duty is it exclusively to consecrate the Holy Eucharist?

It is the duty of the priest exclusively, who has been validly ordained according to the rite of the Catholic Church (LXXXII. 1).

Is it also the priest's duty to dispense this sacrament?

Yes. But a deacon has the power to dispense the precious blood in a chalice on those occasions when the Church permits communion under both species; he is also able in case of need and in extraordinary circumstances to dispense communion under the species of bread (LXXXII. 3).

Can a priest who is in the state of mortal sin consecrate and dispense this sacrament?

He can do so validly, but he sins gravely in doing so (LXXXII. 5).

Has the Mass of a bad priest the same value as that of a good priest?

The value of the Mass is absolutely the same in either case in so far as it is of the sacrament of Christ's Passion. But as regards the prayers said during the Mass, those of the good priest have an efficacy such as those of the bad priest have not. But all these prayers have the same efficacy on the part of the Church in whose name they are said (LXXXII. 6).

Next - The Catechism of the Summa - Tertia Pars - XXXV. OF THE MINISTER OF THE SACRAMENT OF THE HOLY EUCHARIST (B)

/Satire/ Get Your Black Market Tickets for Mass! /satire/

Scalping tickets for Mass? Eccles looks at the 'new normal'. Warning! There is a picture NSFC (Not safe for Catholics). Remember this is satire!

From Eccles is Saved

In England and Wales, we can all go to Mass again on Sunday 5th July, BUT we are limited by social distancing to about 1/6 of our normal attendance. Some churches will ask you to book in advance to get a ticket, and you may have missed out.

Del Boy
£100 squire, or you'll have to watch Fr Phil on television!

However, as a service to worshippers, we are offering black market tickets to those who couldn't get them. Since the alternative is to queue for standing tickets, starting at 4 a.m., you know it makes sense to support Eccles Ticket Touts Eccles Worship Services.
  • £100 buys you a good seat in St Daryl the Apostate's, or £50 if you'll settle for a seat behind a pillar. Specially sterilized cushion included.
  • For £200 we lend you some vestments and you can sit in the chancel.
  • For £500 we lend you a mitre and crozier and you can sit on the bishop's throne in our local cathedral!
woman bad vestments
Only £200, and I get to preach the homily as well!

We are negotiating with the Vatican for the loan of white papal robes, so that you can have the best seat of all, with the option of doing your own sermon. Warning: this will need to be vetted by us beforehand, to make sure that only insults, ambiguous statements, and incomprehensible remarks are used. We don't want to make it too obvious that there is a cuckoo in the chair of St Peter!

Pope Francis ‘Appreciates’ the ‘Synodal Way,’ Says German Bishop After Private Audience

Francis is playing both ends of the pitch on this. He started the whole 'synodality' thing and one day he opposes it, the next he 'appreciates' it.

From Catholic World Report

By Catholic News Agency

Saturday’s private audience was Bätzing’s first meeting with Pope Francis since he was elected bishops’ conference president in March, succeeding Cardinal Reinhard Marx, the archbishop of Munich and Freising.

Vatican City, Jun 27, 2020 / 11:30 am (CNA).- Pope Francis “appreciates” the German Church’s “Synodal Way,” the president of the German bishops’ conference said after meeting with the pope Saturday.
In a statement following his private audience with the pope June 27, Bishop Georg Bätzing said: “I feel strengthened by the intensive exchange with the Holy Father to continue on the path we have taken. The pope appreciates this project, which he associates closely with the concept of ‘synodality’ which he coined.”
He continued: “It was a matter of concern to me to make it clear that the Church in Germany is following this path and always knows that she is bound to the universal Church.”
Bätzing traveled to the Vatican the day after the German Church released figures showing that it lost a record number of members in 2019.
The statistics, issued June 26, showed that 272,771 people exited the Catholic Church last year, a significant increase on the 2018 figure of 216,078.
In Bätzing’s own diocese of Limburg, 9,439 people left the Catholic Church in 2019, 1,459 more than in 2018.
Bätzing said Saturday: “We must find answers to urgent challenges facing the Church, ranging from coming to terms with sexual abuse of minors to the dramatic numbers of people leaving the Church.”
Referring to a 28-page letter that Pope Francis wrote last year to German Catholics, Bätzing said: “With his letter to the pilgrim people of God of the Church in Germany in June 2019, he encouraged and gave indications. He will continue to accompany us attentively.”
The pope’s letter was prompted by the German bishops’ decision to launch a two-year “Synodal Way,” bringing together lay people and bishops to discuss four main topics: the way power is exercised in the Church; sexual morality; the priesthood; and the role of women.
The German bishops initially said that the process would end with a series of “binding” votes — raising concerns at the Vatican that the resolutions might challenge the Church’s teaching and discipline.
In his letter, the pope suggested that participants in the “Synodal Way” faced a particular “temptation.”
“At the basis of this temptation, there is the belief that the best response to the many problems and shortcomings that exist is to reorganize things, change them and ‘put them back together’ to bring order and make ecclesial life easier by adapting it to the current logic or that of a particular group,” he wrote.
Saturday’s private audience was Bätzing’s first meeting with Pope Francis since he was elected bishops’ conference president in March, succeeding Cardinal Reinhard Marx, the archbishop of Munich and Freising.
A press statement from the German bishops’ conference said that the bishop and the pope discussed the situation of the Church in Germany, the impact of the coronavirus, and the progress of the “Synodal Way.”
The first synodal assembly took place in Frankfurt at the end of January. The second meeting is expected to go ahead despite the coronavirus crisis in September.
The press statement added that Pope Francis urged the “Synodal Way” and the German Church to be attentive to the poor, the elderly, refugees and others in need.
“The Pope specifically asked that the implications and experiences of the coronavirus pandemic be considered as we continue to move forward,” said Bätzing.
During his two-day visit to Rome, Bätzing met with Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, and his successor, Archbishop Mario Grech.
He also had meetings with Cardinal Luis Ladaria, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, and Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
In May, Bätzing expressed the hope that the results of Germany’s “Synodal Way” would be discussed at a synod in Rome.
He said he was “very much in favor of transporting to Rome, to the level of the whole Church, the insights and decisions that we garner from the Synodal Process — also with regard to [the role of] women and ecclesial ministry.”
After his meeting with Pope Francis, he said he looked forward to a meeting of the world’s bishops in Rome in October 2022, which will be dedicated to the theme “For a synodal Church: communion, participation and mission.”
He said: “I hope that with the experiences of the Synodal Way we can make a contribution to the world Synod of Bishops in October 2022, which will deal with the question of synodality.”

What Were the Crusades?

Real Crusades History #219. And don't forget the Real Crusades History website!

During the Middle Ages, what defined a particular campaign as a Crusade?

Archbishop Identifies ‘Five Wounds’ Afflicting the Church

Speaking of the effects of driving the Faith out of the public square, His Excellency argues that the healing must begin IN the Church.

From LifeSiteNews

By Jeanne Smits

In a secularized culture that is rejecting the Catholic Church, the specificity of Aguer’s point of view lies in the fact that he considers the danger to come mainly from within. This also means that the answer lies within the Church, which needs to heal those wounds in order to play its true role.

June 25, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Archbishop Hector Aguer, former Archbishop of La Plata in Argentina, has offered a meditation on the “five wounds” that are presently affecting the Catholic Church that he has always served and loved on the Spanish website InfoCatolica.com.
Archbishop Aguer, following the example of the Blessed Antonio Rosmini (1789-1855), priest and founder of the Institute of Charity, sought which wounds are affecting the Mystical Body of Christ, His Church, today. At the time of Rosmini’s writing of his book “The Five Wounds of the Holy Church” the text was condemned by the Holy See. It would later be rehabilitated at the same time as Rosmini himself.
Hector Aguer, who was “exiled” from his diocese from one day to the next in order to make way for Pope Francis’ appointee to the see of la Plata, Archbishop Victor Manuel “Tucho Fernandez,” ghostwriter of the most controversial passages of Amoris laetitia, has often been vocal in his condemnation of the culture of death and the distorting of children’s consciences by faulty teaching.
In his most recent column, Aguer named five contemporary “wounds” that are directly affecting the Church and not only the surrounding culture: relativism, the devastation of liturgy, secularization of priestly life and flawed formation in the seminaries, ruin of the Christian family and of the natural family order, and lastly, the de-Christianization of society, which Aguer attributes to the lack of true Christian life on the part of Catholics, “Christians who do not live as such.”
In a secularized culture that is rejecting the Catholic Church, the specificity of Aguer’s point of view lies in the fact that he considers the danger to come mainly from within. This also means that the answer lies within the Church, which needs to heal those wounds in order to play its true role.
Hector Aguer’s conclusion is particularly forthright: “The Catholic absence from those areas where new cultural vigor is emerging leaves the world in the hands of the Father of lies.”
Here below is LifeSite’s translation of the part of Archbishop Aguer’s op-ed in which he describes the contemporary wounds to the Catholic Church.
I venture to present a hypothesis regarding the actualization of the wounds of the Church, those that she suffers in these days; I do so modestly, as an expression of the respect and love that I profess for Catholicism, and of the pain that it causes me to recognize them. These are not my own ideas; many authors with greater wisdom and authority than I have expressed their anxiety, and countless faithful, at times with outbursts of indignation, give their opinion on the ecclesial situation and do not even hide ideological positions. The “social media” constitute a world tribune, a confused areopagus. I will not locate the wounds, as Rosmini did, which one on which hand or which foot, which one on the side. I will only list five evils, about which I have spoken on various occasions, or which have been the subject of my writings.
1. I begin with the wound that I consider the most comprehensive and profound: relativism, an evil with historical roots that spread in the 20th century, permeating the culture, thought and attitude of the multitudes. Relativism has penetrated the Church, and manifests itself in her as doubt, neglect and omission of the doctrine of the faith. One of the main causes has been, in the opinion of many, a biased interpretation of the Second Vatican Council, the denial of its homogeneous continuity with the previous magisterium. The masters of relativism often claim that that great Assembly was a revolution that determined a change of era. From the metaphysical point of view, the relativist position is equivalent to the negation of the Absolute, and is camouflaged in ambiguous propositions. As an attitude of thought it means the abandonment of objective criteria and the primacy of subjectivism. In fact, anyone says what comes to mind, and there is no one to correct it; worse, those who should correct it promote confusion. During the last decades, numerous authors have expressed theological relativism, with the subsequent damage to the formation of priests and in the pastoral orientation of the clergy. Ethical relativism includes the denial of nature, from which objective, universally valid principles of behavior are followed: neither the natural law nor the commandments of God’s law are expressly reminded and urged upon the faithful as a norm of personal life and relationship with others. Sociological reductionism insists on emphasizing the conditioning of epochal factors and cultural validity. The spread of relativism and its current consequences frustrate the intention of Vatican II: “The whole Church must work vigorously in order that men may become capable of rectifying the distortion of the temporal order and directing it to God through Christ” (Apostolicam Actuositatem, 7). Cardinal Robert Sarah wrote in his book The Day Is Now Far Spent: “It is decisive that fundamental values should govern the life of societies. Relativism feeds on the negation of values to affirm its deleterious intent.” We have extraordinary resources to overcome the temptation of relativism: the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and the complete and clear magisterium of St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI.
If relativism is permanently installed in the Church, the world will go to ruin.
2. The devastation of the liturgy. A stern warning from Vatican II was not heeded: “No other person, even if he be a priest, may add, remove, or change anything in the liturgy on his own authority” (Sacrosanctum Concilium, 21§3). It is true that many priests celebrate Mass with dignity and succeed in incorporating the faithful into “a full and active participation” (ibid.). But there is no denying, and I am referring to what happened in Argentina, that the most sacred rite of Catholicism has been widely manipulated, and improvisation, the abolition of beauty – especially in music –, gestures and attitudes such as shouting, applause, dancing, have been imposed, that are completely alien to the sacred nature of the celebration. The sacred is undermined or has disappeared. I myself have heard my fellow bishops say that there is no longer any distinction between the sacred and the profane, and that they were pleased with this development. The one-sided conception of the Mass as a fraternal gathering has obscured its sacrificial nature; one does not see that what unites the faithful is a supernatural reality: the common participation by faith and charity in the Lord's Paschal Sacrifice which becomes sacramentally present in the Church's rite. In some cases the celebration becomes a show or a little party for children; the worship of God disappears, it is only satisfaction, the “feeling good” of those present that is sought. With that decline that I am briefly describing, faith is placed in parentheses and the reference to God is replaced by the centrality and primacy of man. The phenomenology of religion shows the error of such a posture; probably a man of the Stone Age would be scandalized by some Catholic celebrations today; he would not find in them the indispensable reference to “that which is other,” to transcendence, to the world of the gods. The loss of the sense of worship has a cultural effect that is destructive of man's authentic humanity. Cardinal Robert Sarah has written: “The sense of the sacred is at the heart of every human civilization.” I stop here; readers can surely add to the above details their own reflections and experiences.
3. Secularization of priestly life and flawed formation in the seminaries. This has been one of the most striking chapters of the crisis that followed Vatican II. The causes and meaning of that crisis will have to be clarified by historians, but it is not possible to deny that, as Paul VI lamented, “we expected a flourishing spring and a harsh winter came instead.” Jacques Maritain, a great friend of Pope Montini, evokes in The Peasant of the Garonne “the contagious neo-modernist fever, at least in the so-called ‘intellectual’ circles; in comparison, the modernism of Pius X’s time was a modest cold.” He also speaks of “a kind of immanent apostasy that had been in preparation for years, and whose manifestation was accelerated by certain dark expectations of the lower parts of the soul, attributed at times, mendaciously, to the spirit of the Council.” The clergy was particularly affected; thousands of priests abandoned the ministry; a form of “liberation” led many to neglect the spiritual life; numerous were also those who dedicated themselves to social and political “activism”; priestly celibacy, with which noncompliance can be registered with greater or lesser intensity in any epoch, was criticized on principle, and today the campaign to achieve its abolition is growing.
The luminous magisterium of Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict XVI, which was the cause of a certain recovery, no longer counts for much, and not only regarding celibacy. Experiments in reorganization of the seminaries have proliferated, and agitation and doubts continue. I have noticed that sometimes ridiculous attention is paid to disqualifying and persecuting students in whom an attachment to tradition can be found, such as those who would like to study Latin well and wear a cassock (and some are even forbidden to wear it), but the correctness of the doctrinal, spiritual and cultural formation is not looked after. Study is often opposed to “pastoral care,” and there is a rush of supposedly pastoral experiences for which young people are not prepared, and which lack educational value. How can the Church flourish with the neglect of serious philosophical, theological and spiritual preparation of her future ministers? Humbly, I can display a certain authority on this subject: I was the organizer of a diocesan seminary and its rector for a decade, as well as a professor in the Faculty of Theology, where seminarians from various dioceses studied. During my 20-year archdiocesan ministry, I went to the seminary every Saturday and always spent my vacation with the seminarians. One thing I have learned. Ek toû kósmou ouk eisìn, “they are not of the world” (Jn 17:16), said Jesus of the Apostles in his intimate conversation with the Father. Nor are priests “of the world;” their secularization – worldliness is an open wound in the heart of the Church.
4. Ruin of the Christian family and of the natural family order. Never has the Church had such a wide teaching on conjugal love, marriage and the family as in these last decades. However, the current culture is imposing itself with overwhelming force. The generalization of divorce, favored by the law, has led to many people not getting married, but to live in concubinage, which is no longer frowned upon. Now we do not speak of husband and wife, husband and wife, but of a “partner.” In almost all femicides, the murderer is the boyfriend or ex-boyfriend, the partner or ex-partner. We must also deplore the fact that marriages – when they exist – do not last; the terrible examples of people in “show business,” to which I add sportsmen and politicians, and the media with its continuous hammering, have led to the devaluation of conjugal love and family stability; many children are orphans of living parents, or “single parent” children. Sexual abuse occurs, in eighty percent of the cases, in the family setting, and the culprit is usually the mother’s partner. The sacrament of marriage is not properly appreciated, and the grace that flows from it is not known. Artificial birth control has become a common practice. The encyclical Humanae Vitae was resisted by vast sectors of the Church, and its fiftieth anniversary went unnoticed.
The pastors of the Church do not duly reiterate a teaching that is valuable not only for Christian life, but that has a cultural, social and political dimension. The legal approval of “same-sex marriage” and other iniquitous laws inspired by gender ideology alter the constitution of the family order, and the legalization of abortion is extended. The faithful are subjected to unprecedented pressure. A very serious phenomenon is the imposition by the State of school sex education programs that are contrary to the natural and divine law and that violate the rights of parents. Young people need to be accompanied so that they can recognize the value, beauty and usefulness, both personal and social, of the virtue of chastity, but this does not seem to be a pastoral priority. In Catholic schools, it is very difficult to form young people to these essential realities, and generally families do not collaborate; in many cases, for all that has been said, they are not in a position to do so.
In short, it is an open wound that bleeds abundantly; with this blood the life of society drains away. Is it a wound of society? Certainly, but it is also a wound of the Church. That is the tragedy.
5. The de-Christianization of society. The process thus described is, at the same time, a process of dehumanization. Its cause is, first of all, of an internal, religious nature: Christians who do not live as such; baptized persons who either have not completed Christian Initiation, or after completing the rite of “only communion” do not persevere in sacramental practice. They have not received a formation to the truths of the faith, and have been devoured by the pagan culture. Saint Paul already noticed this problem, for example, in the community of Corinth; he went so far as to say that not even among the pagans were there such grave vices (cf. 1 Cor 5:1; 6:8 ff.). This intrinsic weakness of the Church, the spiritual fall of its members from the level befitting a Christian community, prevents its vital presence in culture and in the structures of society. It makes it impossible for the faithful to shine in it, hos phosteres in kosmos, like lights in the world, as the Apostle himself taught (Phil 2:15). De-Christianization is not identified with the change in the forms of political organization. Leo XIII stated that “The right to rule is not necessarily, however, bound up with any special mode of government. It may take this or that form, provided only that it be of a nature of the government, rulers must ever bear in mind that God is the paramount ruler of the world, and must set Him before themselves as their exemplar and law in the administration of the State” (Encyclical Immortale Dei opus, 4).
In that document of 1885, he recalled that “There was once a time when States were governed by the philosophy of the Gospel,” and the energy proper to Christian wisdom had permeated the laws, institutions and customs of peoples; it permeated all classes and relations in society.
A homogeneous development of the Church’s Social Doctrine has been observed; the Compendium promulgated by John Paul II in 2004 includes a complaint against secularism, which in democratic societies is “hostile to granting any kind of political or cultural relevance to religious faiths. Such intolerance seeks to exclude the activity of Christians from the social and political spheres because Christians strive to uphold the truths taught by the Church and are obedient to the moral duty to act in accordance with their conscience. These attitudes even go so far, and radically so, as to deny the basis of a natural morality” (No. 572). As this last statement points out, the denial of the higher order of the spirit leads to dehumanization, to the denial of human nature and its demands.
The Church must recover, first of all, from the internal crisis that affects her, in order to become more relevant in the cultural and social order, so that she can help man to orient himself towards his authentic destiny. The Catholic absence from those areas where new cultural vigor is emerging leaves the world in the hands of the Father of lies (cf. Jn 8:44). There is a need for a reaction and a coherent and determined work to forge a counter-culture as a true alternative.

Falling Headlong Into the Destruction They Have Voluntarily Chosen

Leo XIII warned of what would happen if the 'wall of separation' drove Christianity out of the public square. We are reaping the fruits.

From La Salette Journey

By Paul Anthony Melanson

In his Encyclical Letter Annum Sacrum, No. 10, Pope Leo XIII warned that, "In these latter times especially, a policy has been followed which has resulted in a sort of wall being raised between the Church and civil society. In the constitution and administration of States the authority of sacred and divine law is utterly disregarded, with a view to the exclusion of religion from having any constant part in public life. This policy almost tends to the removal of the Christian faith from our midst, and, if that were possible, of the banishment of God Himself from the earth. When men's minds are raised to such a height of insolent pride, what wonder is it that the greater part of the human race should have fallen into such disquiet of mind and be buffeted by waves so rough that no one is suffered to be free from anxiety and peril? When religion is once discarded it follows of necessity that the surest foundations of the public welfare must give way, whilst God, to inflict on His enemies the punishment they so richly deserve, has left them the prey of their own evil desires, so that they give themselves up to their passions and finally wear themselves out by excess of liberty."

This punishment, this chastisement, is in evidence everywhere in our latter times.  We have forgotten that when moral liberty is detached from Natural and Divine Law, it degenerates into license. Pope Leo XIII reminds us in his Encyclical Letter Libertas Humana that, "Liberty, the highest of natural endowments, being the portion only of intellectual or rational natures, confers on man this dignity - that he is 'in the hand of his counsel' and has power over his actions. Yet he is free also to turn aside to all other things; and, in pursuing the empty semblance of good, to disturb rightful order and to fall headlong into the destruction which he has voluntarily chosen...

Pope Leo XIII reminds us that how our dignity is exercised, "is of the greatest moment, inasmuch as on the use that is made of liberty the highest good and the greatest evil alike depend. Man, indeed, is free to obey his reason, to seek moral good, and to strive unswervingly after his last end.

Therefore, the nature of human liberty, however it be considered, whether in individuals or in society, whether in those who command or in those who obey, supposes the necessity of obedience to some supreme and eternal law, which is no other than the authority of God, commanding good and forbidding evil. And, so far from this most just authority of God over men diminishing, or even destroying their liberty, it protects and perfects it, for the real perfection of all creatures is found in the prosecution and attainment of their respective ends, but the supreme end to which human liberty must aspire is God."

Americans who have succumbed to license, to their own base desires, have fashioned a Chastisement with their own hands.  That Chastisement is a dictatorship of relativism which Pope Benedict XVI warned of.  We are witnessing its fruits.

Snatching Defeat from Victory: Chalk Up Another One for the Conciliar Church

NY's Bishops have decided to cravenly follow Cuomo's and DeBlasio's 'rules' even tho' a Federal Judged ruled them unconstitutionally discriminatory.

From Catholic Family News

By Dr John Rao

Chris Ferrara’s victory in the case he represented against the City and State of New York was the first really happy moment I have experienced in these three-and-one-half months of medico-media mayhem. I could not wait to enjoy that victory with my fellow traditionalists at Mass the Sunday after the judge’s decision.
But once again I was, as a friend frequently chastises me, “surprised by the obvious”. Why, in Heaven’s name, should I have thought that the bishops of the State of New York would be thrilled by Chris’s victory and make proper use of it? Sure enough, they were not, and did not. Twenty-four hours had not gone by before the following announcement was published: “The New York State Catholic Conference, which represents the bishops of the state, told CNA on Friday that churches would probably continue to follow state health guidelines for reopening, even though they are no longer bound by law to do so.” The only thing that seems not to have been accurate in that statement was the word “probably”. It was definitely true. Our noble prelates had snatched defeat from victory.
There seem to be only two reasons for this craven episcopal sell-out, both of them rooted in a fear that does no honor to their noble position. The first is fear of lawsuits on the part of unscrupulous fortune hunters claiming that the Church authorities, allowing bigger crowds than the State deems suitable, created a situation where they fell ill with the Plague. The second is a deeper fear: that of offending the Zeitgeist and the Cuomos and Di Blasios that administer its ever more willful, ignorant, perilous, and anti-Catholic demands. Supermarkets do not seem to be terrified by the lawsuits in question; the successors of the Apostles in the United States are. Quite frankly, there is not a single opportunity for secular bootlicking that the bishops seem capable of resisting and which the grotesquely materialist and legalist world in which we live can provide some “practical” explanation for justifying.
Toeing the State line inevitably meant that my first Sunday Reopening Mass was accompanied by a spiritually demoralizing discussion of mask and social distancing etiquette, congregational singing prohibition, and traffic regulations for movements to and from reception of Holy Communion. Surveillance of the behavior of church attendees was obvious, and pews were dutifully sanitized when the Mass was over. Believers were clearly doing exactly what the Governor and the Mayor wanted them to do, victorious court case or not.
Once again, the contrast of this humble, unquestioningly obedient Catholic comportment with what I witnessed later in the afternoon in my neighborhood in Greenwich Village was mindboggling. For unbeknownst to me, what I had seen advertised as a “virtual” Gay Pride Parade had evolved into a massive outdoor spectacle involving thousands upon thousands of provocative marchers representing each of the ever-expanding component elements of the LGBT+ Alliance. I must admit that masks – although not much else – were worn by the members of this grotesque crowd. Nevertheless, the social distancing that we Catholics were ordered to respect even in the favorable decision handed down last Friday, and which the authorities at my parish were insistent on being observed, was totally non-existent here. The large number of police that accompanied the carnival were as zealous in demonstrating that they were not bothered by gay, lesbian, and transgender lack of compliance with the supposedly oh-so-important six-foot rule as the overseers at my Mass had been in ensuring that we good little Catholic boys and girls bow to its pointless requirements.
If our bishops had not been so keen to snatch defeat from Chris Ferrara’s victory, they might have realized that they could have “had their cake an eat it too”. They could have continued to maintain the tyrannical State’s 25% congregation limitation with all the utterly irrational anti-virus gyrations intact. Then, they could have redeemed their gutless behavior by organizing a massive procession with the Blessed Sacrament through the streets of New York, celebrating the return of the Mass to the faithful whom they had abandoned during the last three-and-one-half months. This would have “flown the flag of Christ” in the most dramatic manner possible, and prevented the day from being dominated by the banners and soldiers of Sodom and Gomorrah. But to do that, they would have needed some truly Catholic spine. And 55 years of bootlicking to the Zeitgeist and its Autocrats has seemingly blinded them to what that could possibly mean.
Chalk up another one for the Conciliar Church. At least the sell-out is consistent.

The Douai Catechism, 1649 - CHAPTER VI. - The Third Part of the Hail Mary. of the Hail Mary, or Angelical Salutation.

The Third Part of the Hail Mary.
Q. WHAT is the third part of the Hail Mary?
    A. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and in the hour of our death. Amen.
Q. Who made this part?
    A. The holy Catholic Church in the Council of Ephesus, the year of our Lord 431, (Pope Celestine presiding,) against Nestorius, the heretic, who denied our blessed Lady to be the Mother of God, and would only have her called the Mother of Christ. See Baronius, tom. 5. An. 4. 31.
Q. What means, Pray for us sinners now?
    A. It means, that we need divine assistance every moment.
Q. What means, And at the hour of our death?
    A. It meaneth that we then especially shall need the aid of the blessed Mary, and her Son Jesus, and therefore do daily beg it. The word Amen, signifies, let it be done, or be it so.

Next - The Douai Catechism, 1649 - CHAPTER VII. Charity Expounded.

Word of the Day: Generationism

GENERATIONISM. A theory that traces the origin of the human soul, as well as the origin of the body, back to the act of generation performed by the parents. Parents are therefore the originators of both body and soul. The cruder form of generationism, called traducianism, teaches that with the bodily semen a part of the soul substance of the parents (tradux) is transmitted to the child. A less crude form, taught by St. Augustine to be possible, holds fast to the spirituality of the soul but makes the soul of the child emerge from the spiritual semen of the parents. Generationism of any kind is incompatible with the simplicity and spirituality of the soul and has been several times condemned by the Church (Denzinger 1007, 3220).

A Morally Empty Jurisprudence

An attorney and professor emeritus of jurisprudence looks at the Bostock decision.

From First Things

By Hadley Arkes

Conservatives were bracing for the defection of Justice Gorsuch on the cases dealing with the “transgendered” and “sexual orientation.” But even the anticipation of the jolt did not diminish its depressing force. The reactions, coming with disbelief and anger, have not been understated. For make no mistake, this case of Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC will be the Roe v. Wade for transgenderism, with effects that will ripple out widely in our country, touching and disfiguring our private lives. After all, the Court has pronounced it quite wrongful to cast an adverse judgment, a disapproving judgment, on people who affect to shift their “genders.” As we saw in the case of same-sex marriage, children will have to be instructed in school on this new civic culture that the Court has ordered into place. The companion cases of Bostock v. Clayton County and Altitude Express v. Zarda bring the same force to the side of discriminations based on “sexual orientation” or homosexuality. What Congress failed persistently to add to the Civil Rights Act, Neil Gorsuch and John Roberts managed to accomplish in a stroke, with the reliable help of the four liberal justices, who could always be depended on to vote in a phalanx for the ethic of sexual liberation. 
But in his opening remarks on the Harris case, Justice Gorsuch already made a radical move that ran well beyond anything made explicit in the body of his opinion. He said that Aimee Stephens, the one who had been known to the world and his own wife as Anthony Stephens, had “presented as a male” when “she first got the job.” Without the slightest strain, Gorsuch had simply incorporated as his own the predicate of Stephens’s claim: that he had in fact become a woman. That this was no trifling move had been made clear in that graceful and compelling brief written for this case by Michael Hanby, David Crawford, and Margaret McCarthy of the John Paul II Institute. What was at issue, as they pointed out, was not the freedom of Anthony Stephens to dress as he wished and present himself as a woman. For the Court to come down on his side the judges would have to do nothing less than confirm, as a matter of controlling fact, that in the eyes of the law Stephens was indeed a woman if he regarded himself as a woman. And the effects would instantly radiate outward: Stephens’s colleagues would be obliged to accept his definition of himself, and the pronouns that came along. If they did not, they and their employer could be accused of sustaining a hostile work environment and put themselves at legal hazard. 
Justice Alito did not hold back from unfolding the ramifications here: There were about 100 statutes forbidding discriminations based on sex, whether in construction, housing, hospitals. Small religious schools may have a serious concern for the kinds of lives they model to their students in the people they hire, and yet for jobs other than ministers they could be punished from turning away from the transgendered. 
Gorsuch noted that this decision said nothing about locker rooms and bathrooms, for those matters were not raised in this case. But as Justice Alito pointed out, the Court had pronounced any turning away from the transgendered as a wrongful discrimination. What could be cited then by the people of either sex who professed to be deeply uncomfortable about sharing those private quarters with people of the other sex? What would they be able to say then that they could not have said even now if Justice Gorsuch and his colleagues had been willing to engage their awareness of what plausible and legitimate things ordinary people could indeed say to explain their discomfort, anchored by their dubiety, grounded in science, that people are free simply to will away their sex with a flick of their feelings?
What makes the decision all the more disappointing and demoralizing for conservatives is that Justice Gorsuch was the highly celebrated successor to Justice Scalia. He was vetted and heralded as an “Originalist” and a “textualist” by the reigning authorities at the Federalist Society, along with votaries in the Administration. But the mirage of textualism should have been evident as we found liberal professors, who favored gays and the transgendered, quite content to argue on the basis of the text of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. 
The statute has barred discriminations based on “sex” as well as race. As Justice Alito pointed out, virtually no one in 1964 could have dreamed that the statute barred those who would have an aversion to the homosexual life or the transgendered. But I warned myself, in an earlier piece, that it just would not do for the conservatives to cite the dictionaries on the meaning of sex in 1964. The liberals would be free to play the trump card of Lyman Trumbull. Trumbull had steered the Fourteenth Amendment to passage in the Senate, and he had to assure his colleagues up and down that there was nothing in the Equal Protection Clause that barred those laws in Illinois as well as Virginia that barred marriage across racial lines. But now we have an amplified and clearer sense of why that principle on racial discrimination would bar those laws on miscegenation. Judges could easily argue now in the same way that we must bring to the Civil Rights Act a more amplified view of what “sex” has come to mean. The only way to deal with that argument is to make the move that conservative judges have been so averse to making: to move beyond the text of the statute to those objective truths, confirmed in nature, on the differences that must ever separate males from females.
That was the understanding of “sex” that Justice Alito had in mind as he countered every case and example cited by Gorsuch. Justice Gorsuch noted the many ways in which the meaning of discrimination on the basis of sex could extend to sexual harassment or simply treating people differently on the basis of sex. A woman is refused a job because she has children at home, while the job is not refused to a man with children at home. But as Alito points out, at every turn the discrimination pivots on the difference between men and women, as that difference has been plain enough for millennia. The Western States had long established policies barring discriminations based on “sex” in education, and the Nineteenth Amendment had drawn on the same understanding when it barred the denial of the right to vote “on account of sex.” It was understood in all cases that the laws were assuming the biological definition of sex.
Ryan Anderson, drawing on the full range of texts in biology, condensed the truth of the matter in this way: “Sex, in terms of male or female, is identified by the organization of the organism for sexually reproductive acts.” The Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith noted years ago that there has not always been an Italy or Hungary, but as long as there are human beings, there will be males and females. That is the purpose, or the telos, or the very reason that we have males and females. This was the understanding that Justice Alito was seeking so artfully to defend. But he defended it entirely as the meaning of sex contained in a long list of statutes and the Constitution. What he could not quite move himself to say was that this was indeed the inescapable truth of the matter, the only coherent way of explaining what sex must really mean. There is something, in the shaping of conservative judges, that makes them deeply reluctant to make that move beyond “tradition” and statutes to the moral truth of the matter.
Our friend Carrie Severino declared that this decision by Gorsuch was “the highjacking of textualism.” But it was there to be hijacked by the liberals—along with anyone else—because it had no anchoring truth. She is left then to explain this: Gorsuch was recruited and vetted—and endorsed—by the most credentialed spokesmen for “textualism.” How did they not manage to see that his principles offered no barrier to this kind of judgment? What was it they neglected to ask him?
In the aftermath of the wreckage, as we start assembling the pieces, we discover that we have now Originalists who defend the rights to abortion, same-sex marriage, and transgenderism, while others have long resisted these moral novelties. But if Originalism is divided on questions of this kind, is it indecorous to pronounce the plain truth?: That Originalism indeed has nothing to say on matters of real consequence. It is a morally empty jurisprudence. If there is any lingering doubt on this matter it was swept away by one young professor, who looked on the decision in these cases and pronounced it a proud day after all for conservative jurisprudence: “One can agree on method,” he cheerily said, “and still disagree in particular cases. That all the opinions were textualist is a huge victory in and of itself!” I suppose that if the justices had decided to take out pen and quill and write the opinions in longhand, he could have pronounced this a grand day for Penmanship. But to attend precisely to what he was saying, he has given us the latest, ringing affirmation of Justice Holmes: For what he celebrates is a style of jurisprudence, so serene now in its detachment from moral judgment, that it is proud to have nothing to say, as a system of jurisprudence, on the things that are right or wrong, just or unjust.
Hadley Arkes is the Ney Professor of Jurisprudence Emeritus at Amherst College and the Founder/Director of the James Wilson Institute on Natural Rights & the American Founding in Washington, D.C. He was an architect of the Born-Alive Infants' Protection Act of 2002, and of the sequel, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. Among his books is, most notably, First Things (1986).