Friday, December 14, 2018

The FBI and Clergy Abuse

From The Buffalo News:
The Associated Press reported in October that U.S. Attorney William McSwain of Philadelphia sent out federal subpoenas to eight dioceses in Pennsylvania seeking information about priests taking children across state lines for sex and viewing child pornography. McSwain also wants to know if dioceses reassigned predators or used church funds or assets to cover up sexual misconduct, and he demanded that the church turn over secret archive files, as well as financial, personnel and treatment records.

Federal law enforcement officials also were part of a Nov. 28 raid of the offices of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston in search of documents, electronic communications and other evidence related to the archdiocese’s handling of a case involving a priest accused of molesting four people. The head of the Galveston-Houston archdiocese is Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and a key spokesman on issues related to the Catholic Church in the United States.

The federal inquiry into the Buffalo Diocese appears to be wide-ranging, with agents talking to potential witnesses, as well as abuse victims. Wright, of Clarence, said she met two weeks ago with agents. The agents told her they already had spoken with 40 people about clergy abuse cases and were looking for evidence to present to a grand jury. They also told her the Buffalo Diocese was recently served with a second federal subpoena, after diocese officials responded with little information to an initial subpoena served in June, Wright said.


A spokeswoman for the Buffalo office of the FBI declined to comment. (Read more.)
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Defense of the Traditional Date of Christmas

From Dr. Taylor Marshall:
Now we move on to establishing the birthday of Christ from Sacred Scripture in two steps. The first step is to use Scripture to determine the birthday of Saint John the Baptist. The next step is using Saint John the Baptist’s birthday as the key for finding Christ’s birthday. We can discover that Christ was born in late December by observing first the time of year in which Saint Luke describes Saint Zacharias in the temple. This provides us with the approximate conception date of Saint John the Baptist. From there we can follow the chronology that Saint Luke gives, and that lands us at the end of December. 
Saint Luke reports that Zacharias served in the “course of Abias” (Lk 1:5) which Scripture records as the eighth course among the twenty-four priestly courses (Neh 12:17). Each shift of priests served one week in the temple for two times each year. The course of Abias served during the eighth week and the thirty-second week in the annual cycle.[ii]However, when did the cycle of courses begin?
Josef Heinrich Friedlieb has convincingly established that the first priestly course of Jojarib was on duty during the destruction of Jerusalem on the ninth day of the Jewish month of Av.[iii]Thus the priestly course of Jojarib was on duty during the second week of Av. Consequently, the priestly course of Abias (the course of Saint Zacharias) was undoubtedly serving during the second week of the Jewish month of Tishri—the very week of the Day of Atonement on the tenth day of Tishri. In our calendar, the Day of Atonement would land anywhere from September 22 to October 8.
Zacharias and Elizabeth conceived John the Baptist immediately after Zacharias served his course. This entails that Saint John the Baptist would have been conceived somewhere around the end of September, placing John’s birth at the end of June, confirming the Catholic Church’s celebration of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist on June 24.
The second-century Protoevangelium of Saint James also confirms a late September conception of the Baptist since the work depicts Saint Zacharias as High Priest and as entering the Holy of Holies—not merely the holy place with the altar of incense. This is a factual mistake because Zacharias was not the high priest, but one of the chief priests.[iv]Still, the Protoevangelium regards Zacharias as a high priest and this associates him with the Day of Atonement, which lands on the tenth day of the Hebrew month of Tishri (roughly the end of our September). Immediately after this entry into the temple and message of the Archangel Gabriel, Zacharias and Elizabeth conceive John the Baptist. Allowing for forty weeks of gestation, this places the birth of John the Baptist at the end of June—once again confirming the Catholic date for the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist on June 24.
The rest of the dating is rather simple. We read that just after the Immaculate Virgin Mary conceived Christ, she went to visit her cousin Elizabeth who was six months pregnant with John the Baptist. This means that John the Baptist was six months older that our Lord Jesus Christ (Lk 1:24-27, 36). If you add six months to June 24 you get December 24-25 as the birthday of Christ. Then, if you subtract nine months from December 25 you get that the Annunciation was March 25. All the dates match up perfectly. So then, if John the Baptist was conceived shortly after the Jewish Day of the Atonement, then the traditional Catholic dates are essentially correct. The birth of Christ would be about or on December 25.
Sacred Tradition also confirms December 25 as the birthday of the Son of God. The source of this ancient tradition is the Blessed Virgin Mary herself. Ask any mother about the birth of her children. She will not only give you the date of the birth, but she will be able to rattle off the time, the location, the weather, the weight of the baby, the length of the baby, and a number of other details. I’m the father of six blessed children, and while I sometimes forget these details—mea maxima culpa—my wife never does. You see, mothers never forget the details surrounding the births of their babies. (Read more.)
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Thursday, December 13, 2018

Merry Mantel



 From Southern Lady:
Magnolia accents and winter-white stockings lend Southern panache to a serene Christmas setting. Gracefully swagged across the mantel, a lush magnolia garland cloaked in festive bead-trimmed ribbon elevates the room in seasonal splendor. A lustrous wreath from The Magnolia Company made from Southern leaves adds a gleaming touch. (Read more.)
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How Democracy Is Losing

People who abuse their freedoms will lose them. From Chronicles:
"Everywhere President Trump looks," writes The Washington Times' Rowan Scarborough, "there are Democrats targeting him from New York to Washington to Maryland . . . lawmakers, state attorneys general, opposition researchers, bureaucrats and activist defense lawyers. "They are aiming at Russia collusion, the Trump Organization, the Trump Foundation, a Trump hotel, Trump tax returns, Trump campaign finances and supposed money laundering."

The full-court press is on. Day and night we will be hearing debate on the great question: Will the elites that loathe him succeed in bringing Trump down, driving him from office, and prosecuting and putting him in jail? Says Adam Schiff, the incoming chair of the House intelligence committee: "Donald Trump may be the first president in quite some time to face the real prospect of jail time."

And what will a watching world be thinking when it sees the once-great republic preoccupied with breaking yet another president? Will that world think: Why can't we be more like America? Does the world still envy us our free press, which it sees tirelessly digging up dirt on political figures and flaying them with abandon? Among the reasons democracy is in discredit and retreat worldwide is that its exemplar and champion, the USA, is beginning to resemble France's Third Republic in its last days before World War II. Also, democracy no longer has the field largely to itself as to how to create a prosperous and powerful nation-state.

This century, China has shown aspiring rulers how a single-party regime can create a world power, and how democracy is not a necessary precondition for extraordinary economic progress. Vladimir Putin, an autocratic nationalist, has shown how a ruined nation can be restored to a great power in the eyes of its people and the world, commanding a new deference and respect. Democracy is a bus you get off when it reaches your stop, says Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan. After the attempted coup in the summer of 2017, Erdogan purged his government and military of tens of thousands of enemies and jailed more journalists than any other nation. Yet he is welcomed in the capitals of the world.

What does American democracy now offer the world as its foremost attribute, its claim to greatness? "Our diversity is our strength!" proclaims this generation. We have become a unique nation composed of peoples from every continent and country, every race, ethnicity, culture and creed on earth. But is not diversity what Europe is openly fleeing from? (Read more.)

It is terrible to see a US Senator like Schumer be so insulting to the President in the White House. From The Federalist Papers:
President Trump just set three traps for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Soon to be Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi over immigration and they walked right into them, as Thomas Lifson at the American Thinker reports:

President Trump clearly shocked House Speaker-to-be Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer yesterday with his televising of the Oval Office sit-down over his demand for $5 billion funding for border security, including funding of critical mileage for his border wall. Knowing well that Pelosi had already vowed publicly that “transparency and openness” would characterize the Democrat-run House starting next month, her plaintive request to speak in private scored points for Trump and revealed her hypocrisy before any substance at all was considered.

Getting Pelosi and Schumer to reveal their hypocrisy was trap one, here’s trap two:

That was merely the first of three traps Trump had prepared for the Democrats’ congressional leadership. Trump’s second trap is his bold declaration of ownership of any “government shutdown.”Democrats have convinced themselves that what is called a “shutdown,” but really means furloughing non-essential federal workers, is a tragedy, a scar on the nation’s psyche. The fact that federal workers are now a major and solid constituency for Democrats skews their perception of the public’s concern. Aside from cancelling sleigh rides in national parks and other such photo dramas, the fact is that life goes on very well for nearly all Americans during the furlough. They learn that there are a lot of non-essential government workers. (Read more.)
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"Baby, It's Cold Outside"



Here I thought shows like Versailles and movies like Fifty Shades of Grey were violating the bounds of decency. But I have now been told that the height of depravity can be found in an Esther Williams movie, Neptune's Daughter, and encapsulated in the song, "Baby, It's Cold Outside." I have been informed that underneath the coyness and silly slapstick humor it is really a song about date rape. So I listened to it several times and watched the video in the context of the film. I never imagined that Ricardo Montauban was playing a would-be rapist and that Esther was allowing him to ply her with drink so he could exercise his nefarious intentions. I always innocently thought the film was a romantic comedy, the highlight of which was Esther dancing in the water.

Seriously, there must be a zillion songs that are more provocative and more about date rape and loss of virtue than "Baby, It's Cold Outside". I know from having watched just about every Esther Williams movie in the world that nobody is raped and nobody has sex outside of marriage, not in any of her films. Esther Williams movies had basically the same plot. They were fun and flirtatious but nobody got raped and as far as sex goes there was some kissing but that's all. Nobody had rape in mind. For one thing, when film was made when there was a strict code under the Legion of Decency about how sexuality was depicted in film. In fact, it was forbidden to show married people in bed together and even Desi and Lucy, who were married in real life, had to be shown with twin beds. So the film and song in question are leagues away from being about rape.  I really wish that people who want to demonize songs from the 1950's would focus on the very real harm caused by rap, porn, drugs, slutty fashions, violent films, and the overall disintegration of the moral and cultural fabric of our society.

Yes, the song is flirtatious. Yes, we do not want our teenage daughters sitting around at night drinking, especially not with amorous men. Although in the film, Esther is not a teen but a mature young lady. When a lady was out with a man she knew to be a gentleman, she could relax a little, knowing that he would not take advantage of her. In the film, Esther's character wants to leave because she fears for her reputation if she stays too long alone with a man at night, which would not even be a consideration nowadays. She also may fear giving in to her own feelings, that is, giving into temptation, and going "too far." It is why then, as now, people trying to live a life of virtue avoid what Catholics call "near occasions of sin." So it is a question of temptation, but not one of rape. Our time is so corrupt that people see flirting and immediately think of the bedroom. But there used to be such a thing as courtship which saved the consummation until the wedding night. It was a different world then; many couples, especially those from a religious background, waited until they were married. How sad our culture has become. 

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Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Why 100 Imposters Claimed to Be Marie Antoinette’s Son

When Louis XVII died in the Temple Prison, there was no public funeral and his body was not publicly displayed. Not even his sister, who was kept in the same prison, was allowed to see him. From History:
“There is no real and legal certainty that the son of Louis XVI is dead,” wrote the Austrian diplomat, Baron von Thugut. “His death, up to now, has no other proof than the announcement in the Moniteur, along with a report drawn up on the orders of the brigands of the Convention and by people whose deposition is based on the fact that they were presented with the body of a dead child who they were told was the son of Louis Capet.”

According to Cadbury, the mystery surrounding the “orphan of the tower” led to 500 books on the subject and an Edwardian-era monthly journal. The first book, a fictional account called The Cemetery of Madeline, about Louis-Charles’s supposed escape from the tower, came out only a few years after his death. Memoirs were also written by claimants themselves, including the Historical Account of the Life of Louis XVII, dictated by an illiterate, drunken vagabond named Charles de Navarre. Even Mark Twain got into the act, writing of a transient pretending to be “the little boy dolphin” in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

The first claimant appeared in Châlons-sur-Marne only three years after the Dauphin’s death. The charming, handsome teenager had been found wandering the countryside and put in the local prison. For months he refused to say who he was, and then said he was a member of a non-existent ducal house. Enamored villagers became convinced the seemingly aristocratic young man was Louis-Charles, and the teen did not disabuse them of this notion. (Read more.)



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Nothing To Do With Russia

From Sara Carter:
Gregg Jarrett, a Fox News legal analyst, whose book “The Russia Hoax: The Illicit Scheme to Clear Hillary Clinton and Frame Donald Trump” is a top New York Times bestseller, argued that Cohen pleaded guilty to a non-crime, a situation that happens often too frequently. He argues that Trump did not commit a crime.
“Do those payments mean Trump committed a federal crime if he directed Cohen to make the payments? Absolutely not,” says Jarrett in his column to Fox News. “Just because one person pleads guilty does not mean that another person is automatically guilty. Indeed, in agreeing to the prosecutors’ demands, Cohen actually pleaded guilty to a non-crime. Why would he do such a thing? Again, the answer is leniency. Sadly, it happens rather frequently.”
“Why are the payments to the women a non-crime – in other words, perfectly legal? First, Trump did not utilize campaign funds for the payments. Second, under the law, he is allowed to spend an unlimited amount of his own money on his campaign,” Jarrett added.
Top Democrats, who will be taking the majority in January, are jumping all over the possibility of an indictment and threatening the possibility of an impeachment. (Read more.)

Trump responds, HERE. More HERE.


Meanwhile, from Judicial Watch:
I have said all along that, in their delaying, blocking, and obfuscating our attempts to get to the truth about Hillary Clinton’s email, the Justice and State Departments have been acting in bad faith by defending the evasion of the Freedom of Information Act and other email misconduct by Hillary Clinton. Now, a federal judge is questioning their motives, as well, and ordering them to join us in rectifying this miscarriage of justice.

In a ruling excoriating both the U.S. Departments of State and Justice, U.S. District Court Judge Royce C. Lamberth has ordered both agencies to join us in submitting a proposed schedule for discovery into whether Hillary Clinton sought to evade the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by using a private email system and whether the State Department acted in “bad faith” by failing to disclose knowledge of the email system. The decision comes in our FOIA lawsuit related to the Benghazi terrorist attack. (Read more.)
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The Alice Network

A review from Lucy Bertoldi:
Have you ever read a Kate Quinn book? She writes some of the best historical fiction books ever. I just finished The Alice Network by her. Not only do I jump on all her books as soon as they’re out- but as well, this one came highly recommended by Reese Witherspoon for her book club. Reese raved about it. I love Quinn’s books, so here I am to rave about this one myself.

Set about a few years after 1945, The Alice Network (the renowned network of women spies who helped fight the Germans and end WW1), is brought to us through the retelling of Eve’s own life as a spy in that First World War. Eve, somewhere in her late 50’s when she meets the young and pregnant Charlie ( Charlotte) while the latter is on the search for her lost cousin- who is presumed to have died in WW2 ( Charlie is on a mission to prove she isn’t).

The book portrays Eve as a bitter and angry woman for all the danger, abuse and horrors she suffered as a spy. Could the retelling of the history and incidents in her life help Charlie solve the puzzle to find her cousin? There’s much that Charlie learns- about herself, life, the baby she is not sure whether she will keep…she may even find love…enter the Scottish rake, Finn;) And, finally, I can’t omit another pivotal character, the horrible and retched Rene Bordelon.

Running the lives, thoughts and experiences of both these women, by switching back and forth between characters and eras, is Kate Quinn’s specialty. This adds so much tension and need to read more. Quinn sails us through their lives from past to present while we relive both wars and the twists of fate and danger. Let’s just say it makes for an incredibly exciting read. I was totally hooked. (Read more.)
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