Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Nine Nineteenth-century Women Painters

A Mother by Elizabeth Nourse
Echo by Ellen Thesleff
From Art Net:
France’s capital city called to artists throughout the 1800s, a beacon of light and culture that drew in  painters and sculptors from around the world its salons and academies. Among them were many women—some familiar names, such as Mary Cassatt (1844–1926), Berthe Morisot (1841–95), and Rosa Bonheur (1822–99), but many others you might not know, their names lost in obscurity.

Esther Bell, who coordinated the exhibition’s presentation at the Clark, told artnet News that “Women Artists in Paris” included “paintings that I had not seen before and that really surprised me in their quality and in their power.” She stressed that: “In many ways this exhibition is about rewriting the history of art to include those names that have fallen away over time… it’s important that our visitors are meeting artists who they have not met before.” (Read more.)

The Elephant in the Sacristy

The following article was originally published in 2002. The fact that such crimes kept happening for decades is infuriating beyond words. After the first incident it should have been nipped in the bud. But I have been hearing and reading about such abominations my entire adult life. From The Weekly Standard:
What even this brief recitation makes clear is a cluster of facts too enormous to ignore, though many labor mightily to avert their eyes. Call it the elephant in the sacristy. One fact is that the offender was himself molested as a child or adolescent. Another is that some seminaries seem to have had more future molesters among their students than others. A third fact is that this crisis involving minors--this ongoing institutionalized horror--is almost entirely about man-boy sex. There is no outbreak of heterosexual child molestation in the American church. In the words of the late Rev. Michael Peterson, who co-founded the well-known clergy-treating St. Luke Institute, "We don't see heterosexual pedophiles at all." Put differently, it would be profoundly misleading to tell the tale of Rudolph Kos--what he was and what he did--without reference to the words "homosexual" and "gay."

Of course, as the bishops and many other savvy observers of the debate will also know, just such distortion has become commonplace--indeed, is the literary norm--in the daily renditions of what the tragedies in the Church are actually "about." The dominant view in the press right now--what might be called the "anything-but-the-elephant" theory--reads like this. Whatever the scandals may appear to be about--as it happens, man-boy sex--they are actually about something else. "It should be clear by now," as the New York Times put it in a classic formulation, "that this scandal is only incidentally about forcing sex on minors." Similarly, the New Republic: "We all know that the sexual abuse of minors is horrific; but somehow the bishops did not react with horror. That is what truly shocks." And the New Yorker: "The big shocker has been not so much the abuse itself--awful and heartbreaking though it is--as the coldly bureaucratic 'handling' of it by hierarchs like [Boston's Bernard] Law and the current archbishop of New York, Edward Cardinal Egan." And, for good measure, the New York Review of Books: "The current scandal is not a sex scandal." (Read more.)

Confusion on the parish level has not helped matters. From The Stream:
 As has been obvious to many Catholics for many years, broad swathes of the American Church have been very cavalier and accepting of homosexual behavior, despite the fact that the Church is crystal clear that such behavior is gravely sinful. So, I wanted to share a brief story. When I decided I had to become Catholic, I went to a local RCIA Program. RCIA stands for “Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults.” It is the program most converts go through in order to become Catholic. So, I went to my first class. The instructor was a nice lady. But she had one major flaw: She took it upon herself to tell the students that she disagreed with the Church’s teaching. On what you may ask? You guessed it: homosexuality. Up until she said that (and no student even brought it up) I had been very engaged in the discussion. But when she said it, I went dead silent. I didn’t know how to respond. I was so disappointed that an instructor in the Catholic faith wasn’t even standing by it that I determined the most prudent course of action, for a first class, would be to simply be silent — and if God intended me to speak, He would open the door. (Read more.)

If the bishops had followed Church law to begin with in dealing with such horrendous crimes, the infamy would have been ended at once. From Cardinal Burke:
There is no need to develop new procedures. All of the procedures exist in the Church’s discipline, and they have existed throughout the centuries. What is needed is an honest investigation into the alleged situations of grave immorality followed by effective action to sanction those responsible and to be vigilant to prevent that similar situations arise again. This idea that the conference of bishops should be responsible for addressing this is misguided because the bishops’ conference does not have surveillance over the bishops within the conference. It is the Roman Pontiff, the Holy Father, who has the responsibility to discipline these situations, and it is he who needs to take action following the procedures that are given in the Church’s discipline. This is what will address the situation effectively. (Read more.)

From Church Militant:
The numbers themselves, from multiple annual reports, prove that the vast majority of clerical sex abuse is, in fact, homosexual nature. In 2004, the numbers showed 80 percent of abuse was homosexual in nature and 90 percent involved post-pubescent teens, proving this is not about pedophilia, but homosexual pederasty, a common dimension of homosexuality, where older men seek out younger males.

In 2011, the numbers are nearly identical, with 81 percent being homosexual in nature. And as in 2004, most of the abuse was committed on post-pubescent males. Unsurprisingly, those numbers were again confirmed in the 2016 John Jay Report, showing 78 percent of priestly sex abuse is homosexual in nature, again the majority of the abuse committed against post-pubescent teens.

The Pennsylvania grand jury report published last week also confirmed those numbers, showing that 74 percent of the abuse in six dioceses was homosexual predation on males, and the majority of the abuse — 60 percent — was committed against post-pubescent teens. Again, homosexual pederasty, not pedophilia, which pertains only to young pre-pubescent children of either sex. The homosexual predation exposed by the Pennsylvania grand jury report and before that, Cdl. Theodore McCarrick, has sparked new debate over the presence of gay priests in the Church. (Read more.)

The Pope responds to the scandal. From Zenit:
Looking ahead to the future, no effort must be spared to create a culture able to prevent such situations from happening, but also to prevent the possibility of their being covered up and perpetuated.’ Pope Francis stressed this in a letter he sent to the People of God today, August 20, 2018, in the wake of the findings of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report. In his message, published in seven languages, the Holy Father decried that the Church has ‘abandoned’ its children and vowed accountability.

In recent days, the Pope acknowledged: “a report was made public which detailed the experiences of at least a thousand survivors, victims of sexual abuse, the abuse of power and of conscience at the hands of priests over a period of approximately seventy years. Even though it can be said that most of these cases belong to the past, nonetheless as time goes on we have come to know the pain of many of the victims.”

These wounds “which never go away,” the Pope stressed, never disappear and require the Church to forcefully condemn these “atrocities” and “join forces in uprooting this culture of death.”

“The heart-wrenching pain of these victims, which cries out to heaven, was long ignored, kept quiet or silenced. But their outcry was more powerful than all the measures meant to silence it, or sought even to resolve it by decisions that increased its gravity by falling into complicity.” (Read more.)

 Andrew Klavan, a Protestant, responds.

The Agony in the Garden



From Townhall:
The information McGahn shared with Mueller included testimony that was both "potentially and favorable" to Trump; plus -- and this is no small thing -- he asserted that he never saw the president exceed his legal authority.  In other words, as relayed over the course 30 hours of wide-ranging interviews with the special counsel, the most senior White House lawyer (who was present for all sorts of highly sensitive private discussions, presumably including a healthy dose of Trumpian candor) attests that he never witnessed a single instance of Trump straying beyond the legitimate powers of his office. As for the third sentence in the excerpt immediately above, a legal pal on Twitter points out that the article really makes the case that McGahn is a cooperative witness, not a "cooperating witness" as that term is often understood.  Significant difference.  Then there's this extremely relevant fact, which appears near the story's 30th paragraph:
Last fall, Mr. Mueller’s office asked to interview Mr. McGahn. To the surprise of the White House Counsel’s Office, Mr. Trump and his lawyers signaled that they had no objection, without knowing the extent of what Mr. McGahn was going to tell investigators. Mr. McGahn was stunned, as was Mr. Burck, whom he had recently hired out of concern that he needed help to stay out of legal jeopardy, according to people close to Mr. McGahn. Mr. Burck has explained to others that he told White House advisers that they did not appreciate the president’s legal exposure and that it was “insane” that Mr. Trump did not fight a McGahn interview in court.
(Read more.)

Christianity Under Siege

From Peter Hitchens:
How we love fretting about the wrong thing. While the country convulses itself about Islamic face veils, a truly disturbing event, affecting our freedom and our future, goes almost unobserved. This is the creepy and totalitarian treatment of a Christian nurse, Sarah Kuteh, sacked from an NHS hospital for daring to suggest that a patient she was treating might like to go to church and (horror of horrors) ‘inappropriately gave a Bible to a patient’. The good news is that Ms Kuteh, pictured, whose abilities as a nurse have never once been questioned, has now been allowed back to work by the political commissars who increasingly control our country. But the price of this is a humiliating process of self- criticism, of the sort once usual in communist states.

Typically, the whole thing is conducted in a hideous mangled form of English which makes a supermarket checkout robot sound like Shakespeare. To regain the favour of the commissars, she has had to write a ‘reflective’ screed in which she ‘incorporated your obligations in relation to having clear professional boundaries and not expressing your personal beliefs in an inappropriate way’ and ‘set out the steps you have taken to address the deficiencies highlighted in your practice. You have addressed how you would act differently in the future.’ In other words, she has confessed her thought-crime and promised not to repeat it.

Well, that is modern Britain, a slimy, squelchy totalitarian state in which unemployment, rather than the gulag, is used to threaten people into conformism and force them to keep their deepest, beloved beliefs a personal secret while they are on state premises.

How absurd. Christianity is pretty much the origin of modern nursing. I am glad my beloved Aunt Ena, a nurse of extraordinary courage and devotion, and an exemplary Christian in thought, word and deed, did not live to see this era. But the cultural revolution has a special loathing for Christianity, perhaps precisely because it was until so recently the idea which ruled all our hearts. And I doubt the same horrible process would have been imposed on a nurse who suggested her patients attended a mosque, or gave them a copy of the Koran. For while the British State loathes Christianity, it fears Islam. So do lots of other people. (Read more.)

Monday, August 20, 2018

A Painting of the Queen

A painting thought to be of Marie-Antoinette, found in London. (Via Autour de Marie-Antoinette.) Share

The Sadness of the Church

"Sadness" might not be the right word for the pure horror most practicing Catholics feel when reading about the egregious abuse of innocents at the hands of ordained Roman Catholic ministers of God. My sadness has four parts:

1. The pain and torment of the victims and general harm to souls.
2. The deliberate cover-up by prelates.
3. The shame and ignominy heaped upon good and faithful clergy and laity.
4. The sapping of the resources of the Church, gleaned from the labors and sacrifices of clergy and laity, and the redirection of those resources from apostolic and charitable works to legal fees and lawsuits.

Some of the leaders of our Church have allowed such abominations to fester in our midst.  Those who have done so are the enemies of Christ. The damage done to our Church is far worse than anything inflicted by Nero, Diocletian, Robespierre, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, or ISIS. But Christ will reign in spite of His enemies.

From iBenedictines:
Anyone who has read the IICSA report on Ampleforth and Downside (which you can obtain here, https://www.iicsa.org.uk/reports) or the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report into sexual abuse in six Catholic dioceses in the State of Pennsylvania (which you can obtain here, https://www.scribd.com/book/386202915/Grand-Jury-report-on-sexual-abuse-in-Roman-Catholic-dioceses-in-Pa) will have been left feeling sad and probably angry as well. It is appalling that children and young people should have been treated so abominably while the depraved behaviour of some clerics is mind-numbing. No one ‘gets over’ such abuse, no matter how admirably they cope, or seem to cope, in later life. Official apologies or promises to learn lessons sound increasingly hollow, the clerical equivalent of corporate-speak.

I think we can say the whole Church is sad because of the failure of many bishops and priests to realise how the laity and good, decent clergy and religious feel about the incessant revelations of corrupt and depraved behaviour among their pastors. It is not ‘just’ that young people have been abused; not ‘just’ that there have been cover-ups; not ‘just’ the hypocrisy of promising celibate chastity then living a dissolute life; it is the enormity of the sin and, time and time again, the arrogant indifference of the response that has hurt and led to yet more suffering, especially among the poor. A few years ago I wrote about nuns in the Boston diocese who literally lost the roof over their heads because the diocese needed to pay out large sums in compensation. There was inevitably a knock-on effect on schools and hospitals for the poor. I daresay we may see more of the same in the future, with the most vulnerable suffering the most. But, and it is an important but, it is not my purpose to add to the chorus of lamentation and anger, although I must acknowledge the dreadful wrong done. We need to address the question of what to do now. What do those of us who are ordinary Catholics — priests, religious, lay — do in the light of these scandals? (Read more.)
From Fr. John Zuhlsdorf:
And let’s be clear.  This scandal is about HOMOSEXUALITY. Some of these homosexual predators are, I think, possessed.   Think about it.  If you know anything about demonic activity, and this is something that lay people should not get too involved with, then you know that certain demons specialize in certain kinds of sins.  They will attach themselves like spiritual lampreys to the souls of people who commit them and also to the places where the sins were committed.  Once a demon gets hold, they claim the right to be there, until the layers of their connection are broken one by one.  That’s what exorcism rites do: they break the legalistic claims of the Enemy to be there.

Homosexual sins are particularly grave and their demonic force is concomitantly vile.  And these sins also involve the young or those who are subject to the authority or power of the predator.  Millstones are not enough.   If you wonder about the Lord and capital punishment, HE spoke of the millstone before the Church did.

That’s the supernatural side.  There is also the natural side.  It seems to me that men with these strong disordered inclinations don’t… how to put this… act like other men.  They think differently, they work out differences differently.  I know, I know.  But that’s my sense of things.  It’s hard to articulate. (Read more.)
 From Monsignor Charles Pope:
As a priest of Jesus Christ, I am angry and dismayed that the honorable Sacrament of Holy Orders has been so besmirched and dishonored by the actions of some. I know I do not need to tell most of God’s good people that the majority of priests and bishops have been faithful and are zealous and generous servants. I had insisted until recently that the number of malefactors is very small. But frankly, I must say that, while still a minority, the number is far more extensive than I thought. And while I have at times wanted to insist that the percentage of clerical offenders is the same or lower as other groups of men, I must also say that whatever the percent, the crime is far worse. This is because people entrust to us the most precious and necessary thing they need for salvation — their faith. For any of us to mislead God’s faithful or strip them of the trust they need to attain deeper faith is the worst sort of malpractice. And there are clerics up to the highest ranks who have done this, here and throughout the world. For clergy to go so far as to seduce others to sin is a horrific crime. Jesus said of these who do not repent of such seduction and malpractice: Scandals will inevitably arise: but woe to him through whom they come. It is better for him that a millstone be hung about his neck, and that he be cast into the sea, than that he should scandalize one of these little ones. (Luke 17:1-2) (Read more.)(Via Terry Nelson.)
What is to be done? From Fr. Richard Heilman:
All of these “spiritual warfare initiatives” point to a deeper, underlying truth … This has been a secular war on the supernatural. So, we claim the Rosary as our supernatural weapon, we see acts of penance as a way to supernaturally intensify our prayers, we purify our soul and don the supernatural armor of grace through the Sacrament of Penance, and we deepen our faith in the Holy Eucharist and the power obtained by receiving it through Adoration. The counter-revolution to the counter-revolution is our belief and reliance on the power of supernatural grace. Did the good and holy Archbishop just “seal the original satanic hole (fissure)?” Recall that Our Lady promised, “In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph.” (Read more.)

Balkan Wines

From Balkan Insight:
Croatia is geographically very diverse and has two climatic regions, Mediterranean and continental, so is home to many varieties of grape and a wide range of good wines.

The country has about 60 vineyards and the majority of are small, with relatively few big wine producers.
The production of white wines dominates. Croatia’s eastern region, Slavonia, with its wine centres of Kutjevo and Ilok, is the motherland of grasevina, a dry white wine with a medium alcohol content and a strong bouquet, very similar to riesling.
Some Slavonian wine producers have opened their cellars to visitors so the impression so people can get away from the heatwave, take a rest in a chilled cellar and taste freshly-tapped wine from the barrel. Another popular wine from another part of the country, plavac mali, is the leading variety in the Dalmatia area. It has a strong taste which recalls the sweetness of blackberries or dark cherries with some notes of spice and pepper.
Although Croatian wine is very often associated with summer, the seaside and plates of seafood, the country’s biggest wine celebration happens in the autumn. St. Martin's Day is celebrated on November 11, and in Croatia is known as Martinje, “the day when must turns into wine”, marks the end of the farming year and the beginning of the harvest. Martinje is mostly celebrated in continental Croatia where people enjoy dishes such as goose with mlinci (dried flatbread soaked in water), chestnuts, sausages and sour cabbage, all accompanied by young wine. (Read more.)


Sunday, August 19, 2018

Benedictine Tea Sandwiches

From Southern Lady Magazine:
Created in the early 1900s by Louisville, Kentucky, restaurateur Jennie Benedict, Benedictine is a cool combination of cream cheese, cucumber, and onion. It makes the perfect spread for simple Benedictine Tea Sandwiches and pays homage to the Kentucky-reared author of The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver. This recipe comes from the Literary Luncheon in the September issue of Southern Lady. Pick up the issue at newsstands or online to get the entire menu. (Read more.)