Monthly Archives: March 2016

The Church Needs Their Level of Testesterone!

gladius sotto luna

By Allan Gillis

Don’t get me wrong – I think at some level; Islam is from Satan himself – as a distortion of true religion. But, I sure do admire the level of testosterone that emanates from the adherents of this faith.
I wish…somehow, that Catholics demonstrated the fervor, the insistence on orthodoxy and the veneration of their tradition as do the Muslims. Oh! …and the balls to stand up for their faith!

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I found a few interesting photos on the internet. I here offer them as a study in contrast. Islam vs. Neo-Catholicism.

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Islam 1

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epaselect epa04605615 Filipino Muslims pray at a mosque prior to their rally for peace in Manila, Philippines, 06 February 2015. The group called for peace in Mindanao and condemned the possible all out war following a deadly clash between police and Muslim rebels in the southern Philippines which left at least 50 people dead, a police report said. Police were trying to arrest two suspected Jemaah Islamiyah terrorists in the town of Mamasapano in Maguindanao province, 960 kilometres south of Manila, when the clash erupted. The rebels belonged to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), which signed a peace deal with the government in March, and to its breakaway faction the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, which opposed the agreement.  EPA/DENNIS M. SABANGAN

 

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Oh! For the days of William Marshal and Godfrey de Bouillon! Where’s my sword?!

“May God shower his wrath upon these attackers. What kind of people target little children in a park?”

 

By Augustinus

The title of this post is a quote from one of the victims of the latest Islamist atrocity. A Taliban offshoot targeted woman and children in a park in Lahore Pakistan today killing some 60 woman and children and injuring hundreds of others. There are picture of screaming children covered in blood and gore clutching at the mangled bodies of their dead mothers. All for what? The Taliban spokesman who claimed responsibility said it was to send a message to the world and the Pakistani government… ” that we have entered Lahore”.

I am so disgusted, outraged and sickened by this satanic act that words fail.

What will it take to wake up the West and what is left of Christendom?

“May God shower his wrath upon these attackers.”

Quid est Veritas?

By Allan Gillis

Pontius Pilate asked…

Jack Nicholson as Colonel Jessep (in “A Few Good Men”) told us we couldn’t handle it…

and this bloke tells us we’re still starving for it. I like this guy… tho’ I’m NOWHERE NEAR endorsing a Trump candidacy.  I find The Donald a most interesting character.

I whole-heartedly agree with my colleague Augustinus.   This idea of Islam being touted as a “religion of peace” …in my humble opinion, is quite honestly bullshit.  The sad part for me especially is that many churchmen advocate this dangerous and suicidal notion as well.

With all the grim news…     we know Christ is Risen!   Happy Easter all of you!

 

The latest Islamist atrocity

by Augustinus

While European (and it now turns out American) citizens are slaughtered by Islamic jihadis in the capitals of Europe, both American leaders and European leaders spout the same old sickening bromides in response. They tell us that it is not really Islam that is the issue; that we need diversity, that poverty is the problem, that immigration from Islamic countries should continue unabated and so on. Meanwhile the perpetrators of the latest massacre this past week in Brussels were not poverty stricken, oppressed muslims. They were fully educated, middle class, naturalized European citizens.

Some muslims, those that hate the West, will never assimilate. In addition, even if well meaning Muslims assimilate to western culture when their numbers grow large they will start to win political posts. When they win political posts there will be demands to impose sharia laws.

If people think that Islam and Christianity and Judaism etc can co-exist in the same polity then the experiment has to be slow. You cannot import a million muslims into a a secular country over one or two decades and expect no consequences.

Europe is committing suicide before our very eyes and the heart of Christendom for more than a thousand years is vanishing.

Therefore The World Hateth You

Brought to you from BBC News – by Allan Gillis

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Pope more popular than world leaders – poll

24 March 2016

Pope Francis is more popular than any political world leader, an opinion poll has suggested.

The poll by WIN/Gallup International indicates that Roman Catholics and Jews have the most favourable opinion of the Pope.

More than half of the world’s protestants and even the majority of atheists and agnostics view him favourably.

About 1,000 people were questioned in 64 countries.

BBC religious affairs correspondent Caroline Wyatt says that, three years into his papacy, Francis has enjoyed enormous goodwill and won the hearts and minds not just of Roman Catholics but also of people from other religions and the non-religious.

Those taking part in the poll were asked: “Irrespective of your own religion, do you have a very favourable, somewhat favourable, somewhat unfavourable or very unfavourable opinion of Pope Francis?”

The Pope was most popular with Roman Catholics, of whom 85% said they had a favourable opinion of him, and among Jews questioned the figure was 65%.

Among the 64 countries polled, Portugal and the Philippines were most enthusiastic, with 94% and 93% thinking favourably of the Pope respectively.

‘Transcends his religion’

Pope Francis’s lowest ratings came in Tunisia, Turkey and Algeria, while most people in Azerbaijan said they did not know much about him.

WIN/Gallup said that the Pope heads the rankings when compared to the global popularity of political world leaders.

It gave him a net score – the difference between favourable and unfavourable opinions – of +41 ahead of US President Barack Obama on +30; German Chancellor Angela Merkel on +13; UK Prime Minister David Cameron on +10 and French President Francois Hollande on +6.

WIN/Gallup International President Jean-Marc Leger said: “Pope Francis is a leader who transcends his own religion. Our study shows that an ample majority of citizens of the world, of different religious affiliations and across regions, have a favourable image of the Pope.”

An Answer to Augustinus Concerning Pope Francis

vINCENZO A sAN pIETRO

By Allan Gillis

A renowned Jewish “historian of ideas” and “raconteur” wrote the introduction for the publication of Joseph de Maistre’s “Considerations on France” by Cambridge University – translated by Richard A. Lebrun.

In it, Isaiah Berlin – trying to capture the essence of Maistre writes the following:
“Latin is the language which we must teach our children. Why? Because it is unclear. People argue against prejudice, against superstition. What is prejudice? It is merely the beliefs of the centuries, tested by experience. History is, after all, the only teacher we have, and politics is only experimental history. Here Maistre talks rather like Burke, who defended prejudice in exactly the same way. Prejudice is simply the kind of skin which humanity has acquired in the course of centuries , traditionally, which has been tested against many diverse situations , and to throw it away is to remain trembling and naked before the destructive forces of life. Latin is a language of an irregular kind. Latin is a language whose grammar is not rational. It embodies all kinds of prejudices, all kind of ancient superstitions, blind faith, unconscious experience, everything which science is against. That is why it is the language to which we must cling, for there are only two things which are ever good in the world – one is antiquity and the other is irrationality. Only the combination of these two creates a force sufficiently powerful to resist the corrosive influence of the critics, the askers of questions, the scientists. (!)

Step aside Scientist!   See the forest through the trees!  De Maistre had you guys figured out almost two hundred years ago!  He even advised the Russian Tzar to keep your ilch out of his empire…  sadly the Tzar didn’t listen.  “Ratio” must be subjected to “Fidei”.  …or revolution will roll on.

Berlin continues on behalf of Maistre:

“…but of all these Maistre hates scientists the most. They are the people who have the least capacity for understanding life, and for government…”.  He further warned the Tzar  …”in extremely solemn tones, not to commit the fatal blunder of allowing the arts and sciences to dominate the country”. He says: “Take the greatest nation that ever was, at any rate the greatest in the art of government , the Romans. They knew very well, that they would merely make fools of themselves as scientists. They hired Greeks because they knew they would merely be undignified if they tried to do the job themselves”. No great statesman , he [Maistre] says, from Suger to Richelieu, was ever a scientist, or knew anything about science. “There is something about science, about its dry, abstract, unconcrete nature, something about the fact that it is divorced from the crooked, the chaotic, the irrational texture of life with all its darkness, which makes scientists incapable of adapting themselves to the actual facts, and anyone who listens to them is automatically doomed.”  Take that you scientist – you!

I have this problem – which you try to convect as a petty dialectic between “liberals” and “conservatives”, clearly figured out  –  despite what you say.  The evidence is there for BOTH the “conservatives” and the “liberals”.   I shall hope in my heart that this pontificate shall pass quickly.  It is a real problem for the Catholic faithful. You on the other hand are throwing smoke-bombs to obfuscate the reality of the crisis – in what seems to be an effort to sound “reasonable” and find a “middle way”.  You are a clever man and you know better.  Shall we call a spade, a spade mon frere?  Francis’s pontificate IS a problem.  Admit it! – and join those of us who seek a solution to this crisis.  Speak and write to it!  Address the malady!

…and you know I’d die for you if God needed me to.

…or at least I would hope to have the courage to – as one who aspires to be a Catholic gentleman.

 

Review of Storck’s “From Christendom to Americanism and Beyond”

By Augustinus

Review of Thomas Storck’s “From Christendom to Americanism and Beyond: The long jagged trail to a postmodern void.” Angelico Press, Kettering OH, 2015.

Thomas Storck is a familiar name among hard identity Catholics. He has served as a contributing editor for Caelum et Terra from 1991 until the magazine closed in 1996 and the New Oxford Review from 1996 to 2006. Since 1998 he has been a member of the editorial board of The Chesterton Review. He is the author of three previous books, The Catholic Milieu (Christendom Press, 1987), Foundations of a Catholic Political Order (Four Faces Press, 1998) and Christendom and the West (Four Faces Press, 2000). The current book, under review here,”From Christendom to Americanism and Beyond” is a collection of previously published essays written for various Catholic journals over many years up to about 2015. You can read many of his excellent essays at www.thomasstorck.org

Any Catholic concerned about the current Church crisis should read Storck. In Storck you will find insights into everything from why Christendom has declined in Europe and then throughout the world; what happened at Vatican II, how Catholics should think of America; how to evaluate the 60s; Catholic social teaching, what to think of the catholic intellectual rennaissance of the early 20th century, the nature of modernity and post-modernity, the role of Church vis a vis culture, philosophy of history, political theory and what the relation should be between church and state. He is an astute observer of the political world and has a discerning eye for long term historical trends.

In “From Christendom…” we get essays on all these topics and so it is a must read for any Catholic seeking to rebuild the church and the surrounding decadent culture. In what follows I will summarize what I took away from reading these essays. My “take” on Storck’s ideas will necessarily over simplify his positions. The reader is advised to read Storck directly. But I need to summarize his positions and some of his insights so that the reader can gauge my critique of those positions. In fact I agree with most of what Storck says but will disagree on some key and very fundamental claims he makes concerning the root of the problem and the solution to the crisis.

So lets begin with Storck’s insights or claims: Storck agrees with many Catholic intellectuals who claim that the root source of modernity and the unremitting hostility to the Church in the modern period lies in nominalism or the idea of late medieval philosophers that universals do not exist, only particulars exist. If there are no universals, then there are no standards against which we can compare particulars. The loss of standards leads inevitably to a loss of intellectual rigor and ultimate truths. Similarly, if individuals or particulars or instances are the only realities then individuals should be free and unconstrained. The nominalists also overly valorized the will of God putting it before God’s other attributes (such as his logos). God’s will and power according to the nominalists has no limits—he is utterly unconstrained. This idea had the effect of portraying God as arbitrary and absolutely free. Freedom understood as no barriers became the primary value for an emerging modernity at the waning of the middle ages and the birth of the renaissance and enlightenment.

The nominalist rejection of standards and universals and its elevation of freedom as the primary characteristic of God had the effect of severing the link between reason and faith that the Church had labored to build over many centuries via the syntheses of Athens and Jerusalem by the early Church Fathers and in the work of Thomas Aquinas in the high middle ages.

Once reason was severed from faith a Luther could claim that faith was primary and that only scripture contained God’s word—not the logos inherent in reality. Sola scriptura meant that scriptures were interpreted not by the church but by the individual conscience and thus the individual conscience  (not the mystical body of Christ) was the route to God. Protestantism was born and largely facilitated the cultural conditions for modernity.

i will return to a critique of these claims below.

What should Catholics think of Church and state and America according to Storck? Storck sides with Aquinas who takes the common sense approach that some combination of monarchy, democracy and republicanism is probably best. Storck sees these elements in the American polity but argues America and every other political system needs to be guided by the Church. He holds up the 1922 Irish constitution as an example of a Church guided democratic republic with a strong executive. That Irish constitution outlawed divorce and abortion, explicitly placed itself under God’s protection, provided absolute protections for religious liberty and so forth.

In America the church, according to Storck never really influenced American government. The New Deal coalition was the height of Church influence on America as catholics were key to the coalition. It gave us all the presidents from FDR to Nixon and enacted a pro Vatican and Catholic policy internationally and all the great social legislation domestically…from social security to civil rights to environmental protections—all consistent with catholic social doctrine according to Storck. The peak of the New Deal influence culturally came in the 1950s. The New Deal coalition ended when the other groups in the coalition accepted abortion legislation in the early 70s. The catholics then gravitated to the republicans but the republicans were never effective defenders of catholic positions. Today Catholics are not included in any stable political coalition in America. the Church’s social positions on some issues such as immigration and the environment are “leftist” while its cultural positions are “rightist” and its international positions unclassifiable on a right left spectrum.

Storck takes his philosophy of history from the Bible seeing the incarnation as the key event in world history. He takes the line in revelation that the apostasy of the gentiles will signal the beginning of the end of history. He sees modernity as this beginning of the end of history.

Storck says that in order to reverse the decline in Church influence and to rebuild Christendom we need to recall Pope Leo XII political and social teachings. There is NO INHERENT RIGHT to error. Only the church can preserve a polity from error so the Church has a right and duty to be the preeminent leader in a culture and polity. That does not mean we have to have a theocracy as Islam proposes. But it does mean that we need to work for political conditions that obtained in countries such as the 1922 Ireland before its recent apostasy; Spain before its apostasy, the Latin American countries before their apostasy and so forth to serve as models.

There is much else in Storck’s essays than these few remarks convey. I strongly recommend this book to every concerned catholic. It is a must read in order to think clearly about the current crisis.

Now what are my criticisms of Storck? I do not agree with Storck and the many other Catholic intellectuals who argue that nominalism was the source of the intellectual errors of modernity. This vastly overstates nominalisms influence. While Protestantism and many of the modernist philosophers share some nominalist assumptions, it is just not accurate to think that nominalism shaped their entire philosophies or even major portions of their philosophies.

The sources of modernity are complex. I think Storck is on firmer ground when he argues that severance of the link between faith and reason was characteristic of Protestantism and Protestantism was the major cultural force that ushered in modernity.

When science came on the scene during later stages of the renaissance and the beginning stages of the reformation it encountered a Christendom that either exalted irrationality (Protestantism) or could present only a hackneyed version of Aristotle’s philosophy as a guide to investigation of reality. Science, in short, found no partner among official Christian circles when it was struggling to be born.

The enmity between science and Christendom was briefly relaxed when the Jesuit order emerged in the 1500s and produced some of the best scientists in the world. The counter-reformation church had re-seized the cultural leadership during this period but it was not to last. The Jesuits were suppressed by the Pope (under pressure from despotic monarchies) in 1750 right when the enlightenment was emerging. With the Jesuits out of the picture secular intellectuals in alliance with scientists (who had previously aligned with the Jesuits) now took center stage and they have yet to be challenged for cultural leadership.

In short, Storck, like most other Catholic intellectuals has not yet grappled with science as key to modernity. For the Church to recover its cultural leadership its needs to assimilate science and it needs to produce the best scientists in the world….just as it did with the early Jesuits.

 

 

Its not about Pope Francis

The conservative Catholics keep sounding the alarm about Pope Francis while the liberal Catholics keep celebrating his every utterance. Neither group sees the man or his office clearly. In this the conservatives and liberals do the Church a dis-service as what the Church needs is people who can see clearly in this time of acute crisis.

Like every other Pope before him Francis has and will make huge mistakes and these mistake have and will damage the church. Like every other Pope before him Francis has and will make some positive contributions to the Church and these contributions have and will advance the protection and growth of the Church in this time of crisis.

The Pope is a product of his years of training in a jesuit order that both benefited from the the post Vatican II changes and damaged by those changes. Similarly, the modern Church will continue to produce people like Pope Francis…people who combine the best and the worst of the modern intellectual landscape.

To save the church, the task is to learn to discern the times; to learn to identify the gold within the dross, to learn to nurture what is theologically sound from what is heretical and unsound. But there are very very few individuals who can do this. Most people in the church cannot see past “conservative” vs “liberal” labels and rush to identify themselves with those labels and then all too readily “agree” or consent or acquiesce to seeing the entire world through those labels. It is a form of spiritual and intellectual bankruptcy to do so.

In past ages, in past Church crises the people who saved the church were the great anti-heriesiarchs, the great doctors of the Church. They were not necessarily saints. in times like these it is necessary to strive NOT to be saintly but to see clearlyas you will have no chance of becoming a saint unless you can first see clearly.

I Think Francis DOES Understand The Danger!

brought to you from Reuters by Allan Gillis

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Three years on, pope leaves Catholic conservatives feeling marginalized