Friday, July 31, 2015

Chamber of the Dauphine

Where Marie-Antoinette first lived when she came to Versailles. Share

Planned Parenthood: The New Nazis

I wish that people understood that Planned Parenthood, originally called the Birth Control League and founded by Margaret Sanger, was part of the eugenics movement of the 1920's and 30's, the same eugenics movements that top Nazis were involved in. The experimentation upon prisoners in the concentration camps was a direct result of the eugenics movement which strove to root their ideas about race superiority and inferiority in scientific experiments upon live humans. That Planned Parenthood would continue to harvest human beings for more experimentation should not come as a big surprise to us. It is what the Nazis did to the Jews and other persons they thought to be inferior.

Here is a tape about harvesting the parts of a baby boy. (WARNING: This could be disturbing to expectant mothers.)

Here is commentary from LifeNews:
New undercover footage shows Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains’ Vice President and Medical Director, Dr. Savita Ginde, negotiating a fetal body parts deal, agreeing multiple times to illicit pricing per body part harvested, and suggesting ways to avoid legal consequences.

In the video, actors posing as representatives from a human biologics company meet with Ginde at the abortion-clinic headquarters of PPRM in Denver to discuss a potential partnership to harvest fetal organs. When the actors request intact fetal specimens, Ginde reveals that in PPRM’s abortion practice, “Sometimes, if we get, if someone delivers before we get to see them for a procedure, then we are intact.”

“We’d have to do a little bit of training with the providers or something to make sure that they don’t crush” fetal organs during 2nd trimester abortions, says Ginde, brainstorming ways to ensure the abortion doctors at PPRM provide usable fetal organs.

When the buyers ask Ginde if “compensation could be specific to the specimen?” Ginde agrees, “Okay.” Later on in the abortion clinic’s pathological laboratory, standing over an aborted fetus, Ginde responds to the buyer’s suggestion of paying per body part harvested, rather than a standard flat fee for the entire case: “I think a per-item thing works a little better, just because we can see how much we can get out of it.”

Ginde also suggests ways for Planned Parenthood to cover-up its criminal and public relations liability for the sale of aborted body parts. “Putting it under ‘research’ gives us a little bit of an overhang over the whole thing,” Ginde remarks. “If you have someone in a really anti state who’s going to be doing this for you, they’re probably going to get caught.”

Ginde implies that PPRM’s lawyer, Kevin Paul, is helping the affiliate skirt the fetal tissue law: “He’s got it figured out that he knows that even if, because we talked to him in the beginning, you know, we were like, ‘We don’t want to get called on,’ you know, ‘selling fetal parts across states.’” The buyers ask, “And you feel confident that they’re building those layers?” to which Ginde replies, “I’m confident that our Legal will make sure we’re not put in that situation.”

As the buyers and Planned Parenthood workers identify body parts from last fetus in the path lab, a Planned Parenthood medical assistant announces: “Another boy!” (Read more.)
 Kathryn Jean Lopez on the call to prayer over this infamy.

The reaction of Planned Parenthood.

On the lack of merits of the lawsuit.

A temporary restraining order has been issued against the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) which prohibits the group from releasing any future videos which include leaders of StemExpress, the biotech company that receives fetal body parts from Planned Parenthood; however additional videos have been turned over to the Texas Attorney General’s office in conjunction with their investigation of Planned Parenthood.

According to The Blaze, the pro-life group is prohibited from releasing any video shot during a luncheon discussion in May which shows a Planned Parenthood doctor discussing the procurement and sale of fetal body parts until after an August 19 hearing.
The ruling is very narrow and applies only to footage shot during the luncheon; it is not yet clear what impact this will have on the release of future tapes.
The CMP issued the following response to the court order:
“StemExpress, a for-profit company partnered with over 30 abortion clinics, including Planned Parenthood, to harvest and sell aborted baby parts and provide a “financial benefit” to Planned Parenthood clinics, is attempting to use meritless litigation to cover-up this illegal baby parts trade, suppress free speech, and silence the citizen press reporting on issues of burning concern to the American public. They are not succeeding—their initial petition was rejected by the court, and their second petition was eviscerated to a narrow and contingent order about an alleged recording pending CMP’s opportunity to respond.
“The Center for Medical Progress follows all applicable laws in the course of our investigative journalism work and will contest all attempts from Planned Parenthood and their allies to silence our First Amendment rights and suppress investigative journalism.”
However, more tapes have been released by the CMP to the office of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton who says they are “consistent” with those that have been released thus far.
During testimony in the Texas State House, Paxton gave a grisly description of what he saw during a tour of a Houston Planned Parenthood clinic.
The following are excerpts from his testimony:
“Our investigators are working across Texas to gather information and evidence relevant to the case. Last week, after a meeting at a Houston Planned Parenthood clinic, officials there invited our team to take a look around, including a stop at what they call the ‘POC Room.’ POC stands for ‘Products of Conception.’ There, lab technicians receive the remains of aborted children – also known as ‘the products’ – which are washed, examined, bagged, refrigerated, accumulated and every week taken away by a contractor that burns their bodies as medical waste.
“As my staffers watched, a technician took an aborted child from a jar, rinsed it in a colander, and placed the body parts in a tray. Fingers and toes, exceptionally tiny but fully-formed, were clearly visible. The remains were eventually deposited in a red plastic bag, about the size of an average grocery sack. According to the people at the facility, they average at least 260 pounds of “medical waste” a week, every week. . . .
“Even if their body parts are never sold, or never used for research, for the babies who are killed in abortion clinics – more than 54,000 last year in Texas and more than 57 million in the United States since 1973 – their fate is a plastic bag in a refrigerator, and anonymous disposal in an incinerator somewhere.
“For us, when we pass on, our bodies will be treated with reverence and respect, even those of us who choose to donate our remains to science. Even the remains of our most vicious criminals are treated with respect. For the children who never had a chance at life, however, they become so-called medical waste, or – alternatively – a commodity to be bargained for. Neither fate is an appropriate end for any human being.
“At a minimum, the people involved project a cold, calculating, almost inhuman indifference to the lives they treat as a product they’re attempting to sell. At worst, they may represent a violation of state and federal laws. My office will continue to investigate these issues, and – if necessary – we will seek to bring any Texans that might be involved to justice.”
- See more at: http://www.womenofgrace.com/blog/?p=41967#sthash.yhQSApuO.IuwUEBop.dpuf
A temporary restraining order has been issued against the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) which prohibits the group from releasing any future videos which include leaders of StemExpress, the biotech company that receives fetal body parts from Planned Parenthood; however additional videos have been turned over to the Texas Attorney General’s office in conjunction with their investigation of Planned Parenthood.

According to The Blaze, the pro-life group is prohibited from releasing any video shot during a luncheon discussion in May which shows a Planned Parenthood doctor discussing the procurement and sale of fetal body parts until after an August 19 hearing.
The ruling is very narrow and applies only to footage shot during the luncheon; it is not yet clear what impact this will have on the release of future tapes.
The CMP issued the following response to the court order:
“StemExpress, a for-profit company partnered with over 30 abortion clinics, including Planned Parenthood, to harvest and sell aborted baby parts and provide a “financial benefit” to Planned Parenthood clinics, is attempting to use meritless litigation to cover-up this illegal baby parts trade, suppress free speech, and silence the citizen press reporting on issues of burning concern to the American public. They are not succeeding—their initial petition was rejected by the court, and their second petition was eviscerated to a narrow and contingent order about an alleged recording pending CMP’s opportunity to respond.
“The Center for Medical Progress follows all applicable laws in the course of our investigative journalism work and will contest all attempts from Planned Parenthood and their allies to silence our First Amendment rights and suppress investigative journalism.”
However, more tapes have been released by the CMP to the office of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton who says they are “consistent” with those that have been released thus far.
During testimony in the Texas State House, Paxton gave a grisly description of what he saw during a tour of a Houston Planned Parenthood clinic.
The following are excerpts from his testimony:
“Our investigators are working across Texas to gather information and evidence relevant to the case. Last week, after a meeting at a Houston Planned Parenthood clinic, officials there invited our team to take a look around, including a stop at what they call the ‘POC Room.’ POC stands for ‘Products of Conception.’ There, lab technicians receive the remains of aborted children – also known as ‘the products’ – which are washed, examined, bagged, refrigerated, accumulated and every week taken away by a contractor that burns their bodies as medical waste.
“As my staffers watched, a technician took an aborted child from a jar, rinsed it in a colander, and placed the body parts in a tray. Fingers and toes, exceptionally tiny but fully-formed, were clearly visible. The remains were eventually deposited in a red plastic bag, about the size of an average grocery sack. According to the people at the facility, they average at least 260 pounds of “medical waste” a week, every week. . . .
“Even if their body parts are never sold, or never used for research, for the babies who are killed in abortion clinics – more than 54,000 last year in Texas and more than 57 million in the United States since 1973 – their fate is a plastic bag in a refrigerator, and anonymous disposal in an incinerator somewhere.
“For us, when we pass on, our bodies will be treated with reverence and respect, even those of us who choose to donate our remains to science. Even the remains of our most vicious criminals are treated with respect. For the children who never had a chance at life, however, they become so-called medical waste, or – alternatively – a commodity to be bargained for. Neither fate is an appropriate end for any human being.
“At a minimum, the people involved project a cold, calculating, almost inhuman indifference to the lives they treat as a product they’re attempting to sell. At worst, they may represent a violation of state and federal laws. My office will continue to investigate these issues, and – if necessary – we will seek to bring any Texans that might be involved to justice.”
- See more at: http://www.womenofgrace.com/blog/?p=41967#sthash.yhQSApuO.IuwUEBop.dpuf
Thirteen quotes from Margaret Sanger:
8) She believed that large families were detrimental to society.
“The most serious evil of our times is that of encouraging the bringing into the world of large families. The most immoral practice of the day is breeding too many children,” she wrote.
“The most merciful thing that the large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it,” she continued. Woman and the New Race,” 1920, Chapter 5: The Wickedness of Creating Large Families

9) She argued that motherhood must be “efficient.”
“Birth control itself, often denounced as a violation of natural law, is nothing more or less than the facilitation of the process of weeding out the unfit, of preventing the birth of defectives or of those who will become defectives,” Sanger wrote. Woman and the New Race,” 1920, Chapter 18: The Goal

10) Population control, she wrote, would bring about the “materials of a new race.”
“If we are to develop in America a new race with a racial soul, we must keep the birth rate within the scope of our ability to understand as well as to educate. We must not encourage reproduction beyond our capacity to assimilate our numbers so as to make the coming generation into such physically fit, mentally capable, socially alert individuals as are the ideal of a democracy,” Sanger wrote. Woman and the New Race,” 1920, Chapter 3: The Materials of the New Race

11) Sanger wrote that an excess in population must be reduced.
“War, famine, poverty and oppression of the workers will continue while woman makes life cheap,” she wrote.
Mothers, “at whatever cost, she must emerge from her ignorance and assume her responsibility.” —Woman and the New Race,” 1920, Chapter 1: Woman’s Error and Her Debt

12) “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population,” Sanger wrote. —Letter to Dr. Clarence Gamble on Dec., 10, 1939

13) In an interview with Mike Wallace in 1957, Sanger said, “I think the greatest sin in the world is bringing children into the world, that have disease from their parents, that have no chance in the world to be a human being practically.”

“Delinquents, prisoners, all sorts of things just marked when they’re born. That to me is the greatest sin—that people can—can commit,” she said. (Read more.)


 
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Silence on Contraception

From Homiletic and Pastoral Review:
This surprising lacuna likewise regards an “imposing, enduring, pervasive historical phenomenon of the 20th century,” the phenomena of contraception, and the contraceptive mentality, which undoubtedly has gravely impacted the individual human family, and the family of man now for decades. It is simply a matter of fact that the family, including the Christian family, is under ever grave attacks in the 21st century from decadent cultural forces unleashed in the 20th century. Among those powerful forces is the contraceptive juggernaut which has resulted in a contraceptive culture throughout the world in just a half century.

In 1930, Pius XI declared that contraception was intrinsically evil, and warned that it’s practice would accelerate the “moral ruin of society,” undermine the stability of marriage, and lead to the terrible temptation of abortion. In 1932, the secular editor of the Washington Post warned that the moral acceptance of contraception in marriage would mean “the end of marriage as a holy institution” and “lead to indiscriminate immorality.”  Who can seriously doubt today that those warnings have come true in spades, and that the institution of marriage, as understood in natural law and in revealed religion, is in the gravest trouble. Moreover, there has been yet another grave consequence of the contraceptive mentality, which was not foreseen by the Church itself, or by the secular society, and that is the fact that much of the human family now finds itself threatened by a demographic crisis caused by being seriously below replacement birth rates.

How strange it is, then, that a Special Synod called by the Pope precisely to counteract the contemporary negative forces undermining marriage and the family, and to strengthen the family as the basic institution of human society and the Church, should say little or nothing about the role that the virtually universal practice of contraception has played in causing this crisis. This virtual ignoring of the tremendous impact of contraception on married life and societal stability was confirmed by the absence of a single question in the 2015 Synod lineamenta which deals directly with the problem that contraception plays in the crisis facing marriage and family life in our day.

So how can one explain this peculiar blindness in the Church today regarding the evil of contraception, and its impact on marriage and society, especially given the great intellectual and theological contributions of three great popes, Paul VI, John Paul II, and Benedict XVI? These popes made abundantly clear the moral and social consequences of the evil of contraception, its devastating impact for the perfection and stability of married love, and the stability of the family and human society at large. How their brilliant teaching could be so ignored is not easy to understand.

It’s been nearly 50 years now since Pope Paul VI issued what was certainly his most important encyclical, Humanae Vitae, and 35 years since Saint John Paul II gave us Familiaris Consortio. Both of these great magisterial teachings made it crystal clear how contraception, and the contraceptive mentality, damage marriage, undermine married love, family life, and human society. Yet, those responsible for the preparation of the coming 2015 Synod, for some reason, chose not to submit a single study question in the  lineamenta, directly dealing with the problem of artificial contraception. Obviously, these Church leaders did not see this moral and practical issue as a significant factor in the collapse of marriage and family life over the past half century. It was as if the extensive papal magisterium of Pope Paul, John Paul II, and Benedictin brilliantly analyzing the devastating impact of contraception on married love and marriage stability, as well as on demographic survival of societyhad never taken place. (Read more.)
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Thursday, July 30, 2015

A Relic of the 18th Century

From The Monarchist:
 After much searching. I actually found a picture of an 18th century person still wearing their wig. Gentleman and Ladies, I present Martin Routh, born in 1755 and died in 1854. He was president of Magdalen College, Oxford from 1791 until his death. This daguerreotype was made in his final years, and it shows him still wearing a Dress Bob wig that looks to be of white horse hair. (Read more.)
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Shooting the Messenger

Instead of prosecuting Planned Parenthood for breaking the law by selling human body parts, the authorities are shooting the messenger. From Life Site:
The California Superior Court has issued a narrow temporary restraining order preventing the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), a pro-life group, from releasing further undercover video footage taken of three top-level staff of StemExpress.

CMP is the organization behind the series of three videos released over the past three weeks exposing the alleged harvesting and sale of body parts from aborted babies by Planned Parenthood – body parts that are then purchased by StemExpress.

CMP has alleged that the fees paid by StemExpress to Planned Parenthood violate federal law prohibiting the sale and trafficking of human tissue.

While Planned Parenthood has claimed that the fees paid to them by StemExpress merely cover their costs, and fall within the bounds of the law, the video footage released so far has appeared to show Planned Parenthood employees seeking profit as part of the transaction.

In the most recent video, released Tuesday, a Planned Parenthood affiliate vice president was caught on video describing how the abortion organization can maximize profit. “I think a per-item thing works a little better, just because we can see how much we can get out of it,” Dr. Savita Sinde said of the aborted baby.

The Associated Press, which broke the news about the court order, reports that the undercover videos of the Stem Express staff were filmed at a restaurant in May.

It is unclear just how significant an impact the court order will have on the release of subsequent videos in the series. David Daleiden, the lead researcher with CMP, has said that at least nine more videos are slated for release. (Read more.)
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The Romance of the Tower

From Nancy Bilyeau:
On a December night in 1840, a sizable group of writers, editors, publishers, printers and illustrators gathered at the Sussex Hotel, in the fashionable town of Royal Tunbridge Wells, for a dinner party. It is possible that Charles Dickens, the young author of Oliver Twist and The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby,  was invited to the party. Most definitely in attendance was George Cruikshank, the talented illustrator of Oliver Twist. 

The host of this lavish affair was the famed 35-year-old novelist William Harrison Ainsworth. The occasion: the successful serialization over the last year of his fifth novel, The Tower of London: A Historical Romance, which told the story of the tragic Lady Jane Grey, beginning with her arrival by barge at the Tower to launch her nine-day-reign and ending with her decapitation on Tower Green on July 10, 1553. (Read more.)
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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Lady in the Tower: The Fall of Anne Boleyn




I posted on Alison Weir's The Lady in the Tower when it first came out, before I was able to read it, HERE and HERE. Since then I have learned a great deal more about Henry VIII's tragic second wife, the mother of Elizabeth I. I now appreciate what Gareth Russell was trying to explain to me in the first post about the papal dispensation from the pope for Henry to remarry, which made the entire situation a good deal more muddled. I once likened the fall of Anne Boleyn to a Greek tragedy. After reading Weir's book on the subject, I see it as more than tragic; it is positively occult. It is as if a Pandora's box had been opened by Henry's lust for Anne; the evil released inundated the entire country, including Anne herself.

Weir's book gives an almost day by day account of Anne's fall, beginning with the loss of her baby boy, which set off the series of events. The accusations against Anne of adultery with five men, including her own brother, as well as plotting to kill the king, were invented by Cromwell, who knew his job was to get rid of Anne so Henry could marry his new love, Jane Seymour. The heinous charges, of which Anne was almost certainly innocent, not only destroyed her but the five men, innocent as well. The fact that Cromwell enabled so much blood shed makes any lionization of him in novels or films an obscenity.

The most moving part of the book was Anne's time in prison, in which she showed herself to be a Catholic, hearing Mass, confessing and receiving communion. She asked that the Blessed Sacrament be reserved in her rooms and she spent hours in prayer. She said before she died that while she was not guilty of the charges of which she was accused, she did believe that God was punishing her for her treatment of Princess Mary, whom some claim she planned to poison. She wanted to send word to the "Lady Mary" of her repentance. Ironically, Mary was one of those who had been waiting upon Anne's daughter Elizabeth, and Mary cared for the toddler with great love.

The book sifts through every breath of rumor, every possibility of guilt or innocence, and every nuance of the trials, so as to make it a monumental work and one which is a must-read for Tudor scholars. The heaviness of the horror which befell one raised so high is conveyed by quotations of contemporaries, a few friends but mostly enemies. Although Anne's arrogant and haughty ways had made enemies even of relatives and former friends, it is still impossible for me not to pity her, but mercifully she received the grace to die with courage and piety.


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More Horror from Planned Parenthood

The third video. God have mercy on us. To quote:
The video features Holly O’Donnell, a licensed phlebotomist who unsuspectingly took a job as a “procurement technician” at the fetal tissue company and biotech start-up StemExpress in late 2012. That’s the company that acts as a middleman and purchases the body parts of aborted babies from Planned Parenthood to sell to research universities and other places.

I thought I was going to be just drawing blood, not procuring tissue from aborted fetuses,” says O’Donnell, who fainted in shock on her first day of work in a Planned Parenthood clinic when suddenly asked to dissect a freshly-aborted fetus during her on-the-job training.

For six months, O’Donnell’s job was to identify pregnant women at Planned Parenthood who met criteria for fetal tissue orders and to harvest the fetal body parts after their abortions.

O’Donnell describes the financial benefit Planned Parenthood received from StemExpress: “For whatever we could procure, they would get a certain percentage. The main nurse was always trying to make sure we got our specimens. No one else really cared, but the main nurse did because she knew that Planned Parenthood was getting compensated.”

In the video, O’Donnell describes her work and the profit motive behind Planned Parenthood’s sale of aborted babies.

David Daleiden, Project Lead for The Center for Medical Progress, which has released also three videos, told LifeNews.com, “Planned Parenthood’s sale of aborted baby parts is an offensive and horrifying reality that is widespread enough for many people to be available to give first-person testimony about it.”

He added: “CMP’s investigative journalism work will continue to surface more compelling eyewitness accounts and primary source evidence of Planned Parenthood’s trafficking and selling baby parts for profit. There should be  an immediate moratorium on Planned Parenthood’s taxpayer funding while Congress and the states determine the full extent of the organization’s lawbreaking.” (Read more.)
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Taking a Stand

One family takes a stand. From The National Catholic Register:
When Paul and Teresa Wieland, Catholic parents of three daughters, filed suit against the Health and Human Services’ contraceptive mandate, MSNBC ridiculed their legal challenge.

“One Missouri lawmaker has taken the fight against birth-control coverage to a new and very personal place: his own daughters, two of whom are adults,” reported MSNBC, in a September 2014 story that referenced then-Missouri state Rep. Paul Wieland.

Wieland, of Imperial, has since won a seat in the Missouri state senate, where other pro-life lawmakers have also been forced onto a health plan that provides cost-free contraception, surgical sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs, as required under the HHS mandate.

But while the cable network framed the lawsuit as an attempt by the Wielands to ask “the federal government to enforce their parental guidelines on their daughters,” Wieland offered a different take.
“My daughters are free to make any choice they want, but my wife and I should not be required to enroll in a plan that includes these drugs,” he told the Register.

Now, more than a year after the Wielands filed their initial lawsuit in November 2013, their attorney will get a chance to test that argument in court.

The Wielands’ legal challenge stalled after a lower court ruled that the couple did not have standing to challenge the mandate. But on July 20, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the couple did have “standing to sue.”

Tom Brejcha, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Society, which represents the Wielands, celebrated the unanimous decision as a key milestone in the ongoing legal battle to broaden the mandate’s narrow religious exemption.

After Hobby Lobby, a closely held company run by a Christian family, won its lawsuit against the mandate at the U.S. Supreme Court in June 2014, said Brejcha, it was past time for individual believers to step up and defend their right to opt out of health plans that violated their sincerely held beliefs.

The issue of standing did not arise when Hobby Lobby filed its lawsuit, because the plaintiff was an employer challenging a federal law that required business owners to provide the new coverage authorized under the Affordable Care Act. But the Wielands are not employers, so their standing posed a challenge to their lawyer. (Read more.)
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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Duc de Penthièvre and Family

From Vive la Reine: "From left to right: the prince de Lamballe; Marie Victoire de Noailles; the princesse de Lamballe; Marie Adélaïde de Bourbon; the duc de Penthièvre."

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Interview with Dr. Janet Smith

From Homiletic and Pastoral Review:
There are many situations in this world where it is tempting to think that truth and love are incompatible. Christians, however, know that it is never loving to compromise on the truth. We are concerned not only with people’s “happiness” in this world, but with their eternal happiness.  Christ made it very clear that we will not attain eternal happiness unless we live in accord with the truth. His life made it clear that confronting those who are living lives incompatible with the truth is not easy: people easily dismiss the truth-teller, and can actually hate the truth teller, because those living lives incompatible with the truth often don’t want to know the truth, for they would then have to change their ways. (Read more.)
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Planned Parenthood and Screams in the Night

Dymphna weighs in on the latest abominations. To quote:
Whittaker Chambers once told a story of talking to a young European woman who told him how her father finally gave up Communism. It wasn't an intellectual argument that swayed him. One night he was in Moscow and heard screams coming from an apartment after the secret police went in. He heard the screams and the scales fell from his eyes.  He realized that although he had never lifted a finger of violence towards anyone, his support of Communism was contributing to the torture of another human being. I don't know what's going to happen now for many of the people who saw the videos. Whether they continue to support Planned Parenthood or whether they flee it's evil and work to get it defunded they've crossed a line. Nobody can say they didn't know. (Read more.)
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Monday, July 27, 2015

The Five Beasts of St. Hildegard: Prophetic Symbols of Modern Society

The Five Beasts of St. Hildegard by Reid J. Turner is a concise, highly readable work which applies a prophecy of St. Hildegard to the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. St. Hildegard's five beasts, representing five periods which would precede the Anti-Christ, first appeared in her great work Scivias, and are among many of her prophecies. St. Hildegard, the thirteenth century Abbess of Bingen, combined mystic and prophetic gifts with a love of science, philosophy, horticulture, medicine, poetry, and music. She was a polymath as well as being a saint. Mr. Turner skillfully demonstrates how each of the beasts represent a stage towards the growing mystery of iniquity and the coming of the son of perdition. One is able to view the past on a grand scale and see the progression of events. At the same time, hope is offered for a future revitalization of the Church, armed with new strength to do battle with evil. The book is a must-read for all those interested in prophetic literature and anyone who is worried about the future, for all is in God's hands and He is the ultimate victor.


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James I and Witches

If James VI and I had been brought up by his mother Mary Queen of Scots, I doubt that would have been so obsessed with the dark side. From author Linda Root:
The king’s unhealthy concern with witchcraft and the occult began with his marriage to Anne of Denmark. They wed by proxy in August 1589 at Kronborg, Denmark, with George  Keith, 5th Earl Marischal, sitting in for James in their bridal bed. North Sea storms nearly left Queen Anne shipwrecked as she sailed to Scotland to meet her spouse. As it was, instead of sailing to her coronation, she ended up marooned in Oslo.  The already daemonophobic Danes were convinced witches were to blame.

In what one of his biographers has called the one romantic episode of his life, the King of Scots braved both witches and the North Sea, commandeered a less than enthusiastic Chancellor Thirlestane and sailed to Scandinavia to fetch his bride.  It was less than smooth sailing, but he made it safely to a Scandinavian port. While in Denmark, he shared his apprehensions concerning interference from the Underworld with his brother-in-law the King of Denmark and apparently got an earful from King Christian. Then he learned that a congregation of covens had been held at North Berwick where they tossed tortured feral cats into the surf and offered incantations to the Devil to churn the seas. There is ample evidence a group of Scottish witches indeed congregated on All Hallows Eve in a North Berwick churchyard, harboring a malicious intent. (Read more.)
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Sunday, July 26, 2015

Tea at Trianon Radio: A King Maligned

My latest podcast on #BlogTalkRadio. Share

The Liturgical Movement

On the genuine movement of liturgical renewal which preceded Vatican II. From A Conservative Blog for Peace:
I'm reading a recent gift (thanks, Bill Tighe), the book From Silence to Participation: An Insider's View of Liturgical Renewal, the 1972 memoir of Dom Bernard Botte, a monk of Mont César Abbey in Louvain (he died in 1980). A fast and fun read for non-scholars who generally know about the legitimate Catholic liturgical movement in the 40-50 years before Vatican II.

When you're a traditionalist after the council it's easy to fall into an echo chamber of your fellows and romanticize the past. That's a reason I value the fact that we're still a living tradition: people I call living links to before the council help us keep it real.

You'd think that seminarians and theologians have long studied liturgical texts and their history but according to Dom Bernard you couldn't be more wrong. He and others, including Anglo-Catholic emulators before the council (the late Fr. Ivan Clutterbuck in Marginal Catholics; shame he didn't come into the church), have written that the liturgy was sort of taken for granted, while being treated practically like a sacred text; it was just something you did as you received it, so the only liturgy course was to learn the rubrics. That has its good points but was also a wasted opportunity for the clergy and laity alike.

(But wasn't part of the charm of Anglo-Catholicism that Oxford dons and other "amateur Catholics" fell in love with the liturgy and its history? Did they study the liturgy like they did the church fathers, so many/most traded the Book of Common Prayer for the Roman Rite? As many of you know, in the beginning it wasn't about liturgy or ceremonial; the Tractarians used the liturgy they were told to, as Catholics did theirs, and "high church" originally meant church authority, as in a high ecclesiology and a high view of the episcopate.)

Dom Bernard starts interestingly with a portrait of Catholic life in his Belgium as he remembered it in 1910, untouched by the movement. You have to factor out liberal bias (he was orthodox like his old movement but enthused over the changes after the council) but you have to admit there was a need for reform, for those who might benefit from it. As in centuries past there were no hand missals for the laity (at one point in the church they were banned, but he doesn't say that); the movement came up with those. You had lots of Low Masses in slurred, mumbled Latin, at which the Bible was neither really heard nor sermonized about, leaving the laity to an unliturgical, devotional (me: even voodoo-ey) Catholicism or just bored and tuned out. The laity's knowledge of the liturgy or directly of the Bible was zilch, according to him. Communion and Mass were viewed and done separately: something I've never seen, Communion (for the few who were prepared, rightly) every 15 minutes on Sunday, interrupting Masses to have a priest in cotta and stole open the tabernacle and commune people at the rail. Not just non-communicating High Masses; people didn't receive at the part of the Mass where we do it now. Instead of going to the sources, the Bible and the rite, priests and laity got most of their religion from theology manuals (me: copies of copies of St. Thomas Aquinas?) and devotions, a copy of a copy. And rather than the ideal of a devout community being edified by the Bible and the liturgy, you had an individualistic faith about avoiding mortal sin, true but one-sided. (Small-o orthodoxy, well-rounded Catholicism: "the old religion" and the emphasis on community are not mutually exclusive.) (Read more.)
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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Princess Tatiana von Metternich

 From The Telegraph:
Princess Tatiana Von Metternich, who died at Schloss Johannisberg, her home in Germany, on July 26, [2006] aged 91, was the widow of Prince Paul Alfons, last Prince von Metternich-Winneburg; she was one of the most beautiful women of her day, highly cultivated and well known in international society. 
Living in Berlin, Bohemia and later on the Rhine during the Second World War, she witnessed the effect of Nazism on Germany, was close to those involved in the unsuccessful plot to kill Hitler in 1944, and was forced to make a 600-kilometre trek across Germany to escape the Russian advance. This she described in her memoirs, Tatiana - Five Passports in a Shifting Europe, and the story of those times was later re-told in the memorable Berlin Diaries 1940-1945 by her sister, Princess Marie Wassiltchikov. 
She was born Princess Tatiana Wassiltchikov in St Petersburg on January 1 1915, the second daughter of Prince Illarion Wassiltchikov, a member of the Russian Imperial Parliament, and his wife, Princess Lydia Wiazemsky. 
Her childhood was overshadowed by the deaths of many of her parents' friends and relations, victims of the Revolution. She owed her departure from Russia to King George V, who sent a British warship to rescue his aunt, the Dowager Empress of Russia, from the Crimea. The Empress refused to leave unless those who wished to escape accompanied her, and the British fleet obliged by sending as many ships as possible. 
Before sailing, the young Tatiana waited with other Russian children and their English nannies at Alubka, the grand folly of the Vorontzovs near Yalta, and sat patiently on a stone lion on the terrace. (The lion was still there when she returned with a group from Serenissima in 1982.) 
Thus, in April 1919, the Wassiltchikov family sailed in Princess Ena. All the children took with them were one toy and a few books, some of them lesson books. In due course they arrived in France, and Tatiana's early years were spent as a peripatetic refugee in France, Germany and Lithuania.

When she was 10 she went with her sister Missie (from whom she was inseparable) to the French Lycée of St Germain-en-Laye, on the outskirts of Paris, but money was short and they were quite often kept out of school due to unpaid school fees. Amongst their friends was Prince Felix Youssoupoff, murderer of Rasputin, of whom their mother rather disapproved.

The outbreak of the Second World War found Tatiana in Germany with Missie. In January 1940 the two sisters moved to Berlin in search of work, finding the city surprisingly normal, despite the nightly blackouts and food rationing. Within days Tatiana had been employed by the Auswärtiges Amt (German Foreign Ministry) because she spoke good French. (Read more.)
 Via Nobility. Share

A Brave Young Journalist

From The National Catholic Register:
IRVINE, Calif. — With the façade of a fictitious biotechnology company, David Daleiden and his fellow investigators from the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) infiltrated the bowels of the abortion industry at its ugliest.

For 30 months, as part of their “Human Capital” investigation, they followed the trail that led to aborted babies whose parts are earmarked for sale, even while their little hearts are still beating.
“It is a paradox that we can’t have laws that recognize unborn babies as human, and yet, it is their very humanness that makes them valuable for experimentation,” Daleiden said in an interview last week with the Register.

“It is as if they [the biotech companies] are going on a treasure hunt for the heads or hearts of babies, but how much more valuable would those heads and hearts be if they were allowed to grow up and be a part of society?”

As leader of the project, Daleiden schmoozed and lunched with people at the top of Planned Parenthood — abortionists, administrators and directors. Acting as if he wanted to procure the valuable parts of aborted babies, Daleiden secretly videotaped the perpetrators so they would be admitting their own guilt in front of what certainly would be a shocked public.

It was mission accomplished on July 14, when Daleiden released the first of a dozen videos. In just a few days, more than 2 million people had viewed the video, and five investigations were opened: three congressional and two state. And this week, his organization released a second video that has further intensified the public questioning of Planned Parenthood’s fetal-tissue policies and calls for defunding and more investigations.

But Planned Parenthoods’ callous disregard for the bodies of innocent babies should have surprised no one, according to Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia. 

“No one should be shocked by this video,” Archbishop Chaput said in a statement for the Register. “This is who Planned Parenthood is and what it does. It’s been part of the organization’s gene code from the start. The logic of its disdain for new life is just working itself out. And it won’t stop until the money and the media adulation are cut off.” (Read more.)
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Friday, July 24, 2015

Louis XVI on the French Constitution

From Vive la Reine:
I feel all the difficulties of governing so great a nation. I might say I feel its impossibility, but any obstacle I had placed in the way would have caused the war I was anxious to avoid, and would have prevented the people from judging of the Constitution, because they would have seen nothing but my constant opposition. By adopting their ideas and following them in all good faith they will learn the cause of their troubles; public opinion will change; and since without this change one can hope for nothing but fresh convulsions, I shall bring about a better order of things by my acceptance than by my refusal … I wished to let you know the motives for my acceptance, so that your conduct should be in accord with mine.
–excerpt from a letter written by Louis XVI to his brothers, 2 days after he accepted the French Constitution of 1791. [translation by Nesta Webster.]
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The Worship of Moloch

It has long been among us. From Red State:
Moloch was the Middle Eastern idol to whom many pagans sacrificed children. The sacrifices were often propitiatory, that is they were designed to avoid divine retribution for things like population control, global warming, white privilege, etc.
We see this in the press’s lack of coverage of Planned Parenthood. Many of the whores are under the delusion that the videos have been edited. In fact, the unedited videos have been released. Two now have been released and more are coming. The first two not only show the Medical Director of Planned Parenthood discussing harvesting organs from children for sale, but then goes on to talk about altering abortion procedures to insure certain parts of children are not crushed. (Read more.)
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Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Truth about "Bloody Mary"

From Nancy Bilyeau:
Those new to the 16th century sometimes have trouble keeping the “Mary”s straight. There is Mary, Queen of Scots, the beauty who married three times, lost her throne and was eventually executed by Elizabeth I. She was romantic. The Mary I write about in this post is the other one—the “Bloody” one who, in her zealousness to turn England back into a Catholic country had 284 Protestant martyrs burned at the stake. While more than 300 Catholic martyrs died during the reigns of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, Mary is the one who carries the reputation of being a merciless, bigotry-filled killer. How that reputation evolved over the centuries is very interesting.

Mary Tudor was a woman of her time. While that may seem obvious, she was followed by a half-sister who was in some ways ahead of her time. Mary took a husband to secure the succession by having children, as every monarch was expected to do. Elizabeth refused to marry. Mary upheld the Catholic religion and did not recognize the opposing point of view. Elizabeth famously said, “There is only one Christ, Jesus, one faith, all else is a dispute over trifles.” Mary and Elizabeth, while close when young, distrusted each other by the time Mary took the throne. The relationship went downhill from there. When Elizabeth succeeded, she did not honor Mary’s request to be buried with her mother, Katherine of Aragon, and rarely spoke well of her older sibling.

But it wasn’t Elizabeth who ensured that Mary would be detested for centuries. The first person to push her toward infamy—hard—was John Foxe, the Protestant author of The Book of Martyrs. Most English people did not witness the burnings of condemned heretics. But thanks to Foxe’s widespread book, first published in 1563, the horror of being burned at the stake was made starkly clear. These descriptions make for harrowing reading, then and now. (Read more.)
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Sex Addiction as a Disease

From Porn Harms:
The journey of addiction treatment is marked with significant societal, clinical, and scientific advances over the past few decades. Not too long ago, addiction was viewed as a moral failing and those suffering with addiction were treated harshly and with great prejudice and fear. One thing remains evident, significant change is difficult to come by is met with resistance, and it takes the perseverance and vision of a collective force of individuals to bring about the change. Addiction is one disease that has been maligned and misunderstood historically, as it presents in its myriad forms, yet clarity has emerged over the last 50 years to the recognition that it is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory, and related circuitry, with manifestations along biological, psychological, social, and spiritual domains. (Read more.)
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Helicopter Parenting

From The Federalist:
Modern society also cherishes its shrinking violets. The contemporary flowers in question are those individuals whom we do not yet deem adults. Children and adolescents are no longer required or allowed to labor alongside their parents. The modern schedule of school, sports, extracurricular activities, and media consumption is busy, of course; but these activities are not essential to survival.

They can even be a way to turn one’s children into status symbols. A child born at the appropriate moment in his parents’ careers, dressed in suitably adorable clothes for Facebook photos, driven to correct educational activities, and admitted to a proper Ivy League school, is a child who demonstrates the genteel rank to which his parents belong.
Our children may know more about deviant sex than the average Victorian lady, but we guard other aspects of their development. From the best of motives, we urge teachers not to grade in red pen lest they wound the self-esteem of their pupils. We try to ban the word “bossy” lest girls lose their ability to lead. We speak as if young people will be damaged by anyone who either acknowledges or fails to acknowledge their cultural and racial background. We warn parents not to impose their will upon children with any kind of punishment, lest they damage their child’s ability to assert his own will against molesters, bullies, and friends. We treat our children’s psyches as fragile flowers. (Read more.)
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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Great Plague of Marseille, 1720

From Geri Walton at Madame Gilflurt's salon:
For a time nothing stopped the plague: no amount of city intervention—walls, troops, or burials—nor regal or priestly intervention slowed it, and it terrified Europe. As the Marseille plague raged on, it touched everyone living in Marseille and beyond. One eighteenth century newspaper reported in October 1720 (the height of the plague) that "Marseilles is entirely ruin'd, above 80000 Persons have died there, and abundance die daily still, so mortal and so stubborn a Plague was never seen." However, the newspaper appears to have exaggerated the death toll. Although the plague devastated the city, today's estimates are that about 50,000 Marseille inhabitants died, which was more than 50% of it 90,000 inhabitants. Moreover, another 50,000 people died as the plague moved northward through France.

When at last Marseille was declared free of contagion (which took about two years), one person wrote, "We owe our deliverance, the cessation of this terrible scourge, to the mercy of the Lord, who was pleased to relent in his anger at the prayers of our bishop...to the zeal of the magistrates and citizens who assisted his efforts...and, above all, to the liberality of the illustrious prince who governs us...Happy will it be the remembrance of our past misfortunes serve us as a warning for the future, and inspire us with wisdom to use all human means to guard against the renewal of a catastrophe so deplorable...and to entertain a just fear of exciting once more the anger of the Lord against us, and drawing down on our heads a judgment yet more dreadful." (Read more.)
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Evil with Salad and Red Wine

Now we know what it was like to live in Nazi Germany. From Townhall:
When we think of evil, we think of something violent or demonic, something filled with hatred and wretchedly hungry to devour the good. But what if evil eats a salad at lunch and is polite, speaking rationally with nice table manners? I've just seen a video where evil casually spears lettuce on a fork and calmly, scientifically, discusses the market for the body parts of aborted fetuses, while sipping a glass of wine.

"I'd say a lot of people want liver," Dr. Deborah Nucatola, senior medical director for Planned Parenthood, says in the video.

She was speaking of the livers of aborted fetuses and then she popped more greens into her mouth and gestured with her fork. She explained to her luncheon companions -- people she apparently thought were buyers of body parts for research but who were secretly recording her -- why ultrasound images are so important.They're important because they help doctors harvest the organs they want without damaging them.

Who wants a crushed liver?

"And for that reason, most providers will do this case under ultrasound evidence," she said, picking up her wine glass, "so they'll know where they're putting their forceps."

This absolutely horrific video was recorded last year by investigators from the Center for Medical Progress, a California-based group that is opposed to abortion. They allege that federally subsidized Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider and abortion rights advocate, is illegally selling body parts in violation of the law. The group said it plans to release other video in coming days.

Planned Parenthood denies the charge, says the video is heavily edited and says that women seeking abortions may volunteer to provide fetal body parts for research that furthers medical science.
What's chilling is the absolute calmness in her voice.

I'm certain Dr. Nucatola -- enjoying a nice lunch of salad and red wine and discussing organ harvests of the unborn -- doesn't consider herself to be evil. Perhaps you don't either.

But I do. I have no other way to see it. (Read more.)
Brit Hume has one of the best commentaries on abortion ever on network news.

And the second video. To quote:
 In the newly released video, which was obtained by the Center for Medical Progress, another top official with Planned Parenthood is caught on camera haggling over the prices of aborted baby parts and admitting that she’ll alter the method of abortion used in order to harvest organs for eventual sale.
“What would you expect for intact tissue?” a prospective buyer of fetal remains asks Dr. Mary Gatter, the medical director for Planned Parenthood Los Angeles, over what appears to be a meal in a public restaurant.

“Why don’t you start by telling me what you’re used to paying?” Gatter replies.

At the time the video was filmed, in February of 2015, Gatter was serving as the president of the Planned Parenthood Medical Directors Council. (Read more.
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Jane Austen at School

From Madame Gilflurt's blog:
Some Austen biographers suggest that the girls’ parents scraped together the money to send them to this larger, more well-established school for the express purpose of acquiring genteel “accomplishments” considered desirable on the marriage market. If so, it may well have been a shrewd initiative, given that Cassandra and Jane would have no money of their own, sharply limiting their appeal in a world where such deficiencies mattered.

Off they went to the Abbey School in Reading, twenty miles away, presided over by one Sarah Hackitt, a cheerful, gossipy woman sporting a mysterious cork leg, who despite the fact she was neither French nor spoke French dubbed herself “Madame La Tournelle” — thus lending her little school a certain fashionable cachet.

What do we know about this interval in young Jane’s life? How are we to think of it? And what was most urgent to me, in working with the illustrator of Young Jane Austen, was how to visually present Jane’s experience at the Abbey School in a single evocative image.

Jane herself is silent on the subject, aside from a glancing remark in a letter to Cassandra, ten years after the event: “I could die of laughter at it, as they used to say at school.”

In her mature work as a writer — at a safe remove from the experience — she would issue some scathing little comments about girls’ schools; we come across them in Emma and in Sense and Sensibility. (Read more.)
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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Colorful Cathedrals

From ChurchPop:
Well, back in the 1990s, there was a cleaning program underway on the exterior. Midway through the project, scientists discovered something pretty intriguing on the western facade: traces of paint. Further tests were done, and they were able to determine how the western facade was painted back in the 13th century! Then they figured out a way to project the light of the colors very precisely onto the building.
The result? A breath-taking view of how the cathedral looked when it was first finished. (Read more.)
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Why Live Action Did Right

From Dr. Peter Kreeft:
Readers of the Gospels do the very same thing when they meet the Pharisees, who could put up strong arguments for a literalism and legalism about the Sabbath and against Jesus' apparent disregard for it. I think we should have the same reaction to the critics of Live Action. These people are of course far, far better people than either Euthyphro or most of the Pharisees. (But remember Nicodemus, Joseph of Arimathea, and Gamaliel!). But they are wrong, and wrong not just logically but "you gotta be kidding"ly.

Most of my students, however confused their abstract philosophical and ideological principles may be, are ordinary people of normally sane and fairly healthy consciences (except, of course if it has anything even remotely to do with sex). When they are confronted by a moral legalist like Kant who holds that all lying is morally wrong, they instinctively sense that he is wrong, though they cannot explain why – just as most students, when confronted by St. Anselm's 'ontological argument,' instinctively know it is wrong somehow, though they cannot refute it logically. Similarly, most (though not all) pro-lifers instinctively side with Live Action even if they cannot answer the arguments of its critics. (Is it an accident that its critics are more Kantian than Aristotelian?)

Similarly, when we discuss Kant and the issue of lying, most of my students, even the moral absolutists, are quite certain that the Dutchmen were not wrong to deliberately deceive the Nazis about the locations of the Jews they had promised to hide. They do not know whether this is an example of lying or not. But they know that if it is, than lying is not always wrong, and if lying is always wrong, then this is not lying. Because they know, without any ifs or ands or buts, that such Dutch deception is good, not evil. If anyone is more certain of his philosophical principles than he is that this deception is good, I say he is not functioning as a human being but as a computer, an angel, a Gnostic, or a Kantian. He is a Laputan, like Swift's absent-minded professors who live on an island in the sky in Gulliver's Travels, and who make eye contact with abstractions but not with human beings.
But can't we solve the problem of the Dutchmen and the Nazis by saying that all lying is wrong but the Dutchmen don't have to lie to save the Jews because they could deceive the Nazis without lying by a clever verbal ploy? No, because effective deception by clever verbal ploys cannot usually be done by ordinary people, especially by clumsy Dutchmen. I know; I'm one of them. Our moral obligations depend on abilities that are common, not abilities that are rare.

Besides, the Nazis are not fools. They would suspect clever prevarications and sniff out duplicitous ploys. They could be reliably deceived and deterred from searching every inch of the house only by an answer like "Jews? Those rats? None of them in my house, I hope. Please come in, and if you find any, please give them rat poison. I hate those vermin as much as you do."

You promised the Jews to hide them from their murderers. To keep that promise, you have to deceive the Nazis. Physical hiding and verbal hiding are two sides of the same coin, whether you call it lying, or deception, or whatever you call it. What it is, is much more obvious than what it is to be called. It's a good thing to do. If you don't know that, you're morally stupid, and moral stupidity comes in two opposite forms: relativism and legalism. Relativism sees no principles, only people; legalism sees no people, only principles.

The closest analogy I can think of to Live Action's expose of Planned Parenthood is spying. If Live Action is wrong, then so is all spying, including spying out the Nazis' atomic bomb projects and saving the world from a nuclear holocaust.

If you say that morality changes in wartime, I reply that police 'sting' operations are an example of legitimate peacetime spying. An undercover policeman saves children from becoming drug addicts by pretending to be a drug customer to expose the drug dealer. Is this pretending 'lying' or not? I don't much care, except as a professional philosopher and logician. I do much care that the 'sting' works and my kids are protected. Do you care more about protecting your own moral correctness than protecting your kids' lives?

If lying is always wrong, then it is wrong to lie to a nuclear terrorist (the "ticking time bomb" scenario) to elicit from him where he hid the nuclear bomb that in one hour will kill millions if it is not found and defused. The most reasonable response to the "no lying" legalist here is "You gotta be kidding" – or something less kind than that. Thomas Aquinas said that even torture is sometimes justified; in emergency situations like that; if torture, then a fortiori lying. (Read more.)
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Kitchens, Sculleries and Larders

From Geri Walton:
Kitchens were used for cooking and usually connected to Larders, Entrances, Sculleries, Dining-rooms, Sideboard-rooms, Servant-Halls, Steward-rooms, Housekeeper's room, and Still-rooms. The most important features of a good Kitchen was coolness, dryness, and good lighting. Ventilation was also of primary importance because people did not want odors or cooking smells permeating into a family's living quarters or greeting guests at the front door.

There were also several other things to consider when it came to Kitchens. These things included floors, entrances, and size. Stone floors were considered the best and the most practical because they helped keep the Kitchen dry and cool, but wood floors were also acceptable. Kitchens also usually had several entrances or exits that included one from a Corridor, one to the Scullery, and one to the Larders. If a Kitchen garden was present, it was also nice to have a door that opened onto it. A Kitchen for a small house might be no larger than 15 feet square with its ceilings at least 10 feet high. However, in mansions the Kitchen was usually somewhere between 18 and 30 feet with a ceiling height of 20 feet not considered too high.

It was always important to think about placement and access to a Kitchen. If a Kitchen was on a lower floor, there was always the danger of overheating the floors above. Entrances from the Kitchen to the Dining-room also needed to be as direct as possible, which meant no interfering traffic as direct routes allowed meals to be delivered to the Dining-room as quickly as possible, thereby ensuring they remained hot and fresh.(Read more.)
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Monday, July 20, 2015

Marie-Antoinette's Charities

Listen to my new episode "Marie-Antoinette's Charities" at #BlogTalkRadio. In our seventh broadcast we discuss the charitable works of Marie-Antoinette on behalf of the poor, which were more extensive than most people realize. Both Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette made caring for the disadvantaged of society a priority throughout their years in power and even before. Share

Bay Trees

From The Independent:
No one who cooks can be without bay. Even before Elizabeth David and Jane Grigson started going on about bouquet garni (a bay leaf, a sprig of thyme and a stalk of parsley tied in a little bundle), bay had long been used in English dishes, mostly as an infusion. It's unusual in that you don't eat it, as you do most other herbs (indeed, it can in some circumstances even irritate the stomach if ingested). You just borrow its flavour and its mouth-watering aroma.

If you have a good-sized tree, you can cut a branch to throw on a barbecue, which gives a superb flavour to grilled lamb. But mostly you'll be using it a leaf at a time, so a small tree in a pot may provide all you need. Bay is particularly good infused in the milk with which you are going to make a cheese sauce. I generally crush or twist the leaf first so that it releases more of its flavour.
Although bay trees look wonderful in pots, they will grow more happily in the ground. Choose a place with some protection from wind. If you have a trained tree, such as a lollipop or pyramid, clip it to shape any time this month or next. (Read more.)
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The Early Church Was the Catholic Church

From ChurchPop:
Chief among the intellectual appeals stand the towering figures of the Early Church Fathers. Christians who lived, and wrote, some of them contemporary with the writings of the New Testament. Many of them, in the earliest Fathers known as the Ante-Nicene Fathers, were taught themselves by the apostles.

It was the strong appeal and clear theology of these, some of the earliest and most foundational Christians, that contributed strongly to my intellectual conversion to Catholicism. To do anything otherwise, I’ll argue, would be utterly foolish.


I’ve written before, in a tongue-and-cheek article, that a surefire way to avoid becoming a Catholic is to avoid, altogether, reading from the Church Fathers.

The reason is simple. If you do venture a risk at reading the ancient Church Fathers something becomes alarmingly apparent fairly quickly in the history of the Church: the clarity of some very, particularly Catholic doctrine.

Take two examples: the Eucharist and Baptism. (Read more.)
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Sunday, July 19, 2015

Abelard and Heloise


One of the great romances of all time is that of Abelard and Heloise. Peter Abelard was a twelfth century French scholar who was hired to tutor a gifted young Parisian maiden named Heloise. He seduced her; they had a child and there was a public scandal. They were secretly married. However, the girl's outraged guardian hired ruffians to attack Abelard. He was mutilated and the couple separated. Abelard became a monk and Heloise, a nun. They both grew into accomplished scholars and influential religious. They never ceased to love each other, although they stayed apart, being under solemn vows. Heloise was particularly tormented by the memories of her lost love and grief over the disaster that had befallen them. She poured out her sorrow to Abelard in letters; he placated her by telling her that although he would always love her, what had happened was God's will. He enjoined her to forgive him for taking advantage of her innocence and that he, Abelard, accepted their separation as a penance. They are buried together at the Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris.

Alexander Pope composed a long poem based upon a letter of Heloise to Abelard. Here is an excerpt:

Of all affliction taught a lover yet,
'Tis sure the hardest science to forget!
How shall I lose the sin, yet keep the sense,
And love th' offender, yet detest th' offence?
How the dear object from the crime remove,
Or how distinguish penitence from love?
Unequal task! a passion to resign,
For hearts so touch'd, so pierc'd, so lost as mine.
Ere such a soul regains its peaceful state,
How often must it love, how often hate!
How often hope, despair, resent, regret,
Conceal, disdain — do all things but forget.
But let Heav'n seize it, all at once 'tis fir'd;
Not touch'd, but rapt; not waken'd, but inspir'd!
Oh come! oh teach me nature to subdue,
Renounce my love, my life, myself — and you.
Fill my fond heart with God alone, for he
Alone can rival, can succeed to thee.

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Who Funded the Study?

From The Catholic View for Women:
The six authors of a recently published research paper titled “Decision Rightness and Emotional Responses to Abortion in the United States: A Longitudinal Study” asserted that “the authors have declared that no competing interest exists.”

That is a blatant lie.

All six of them are on the faculty of or otherwise associated with the pro-abortion University of California San Francisco, its pro-abortion Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health, and the organization ANSIRH – Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health. None of them has ever published a study that painted abortion in an unfavorable light. At least one of the authors has been a paid consultant to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

The “Decision Rightness”study was funded by the Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation, which has also granted money to NARAL, the ACLU and seemingly every group they could find with the word “choice” in its name: Medical students, law student, physicians, nurses, etc.

Another grant was received by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, which is dedicated to reducing population. From the foundation website: The Population and Reproductive Health program seeks to promote women’s reproductive health and rights and to stabilize population growth.

The third grant that funded “Decision Rightness” was from an anonymous donor, and after reading the study, I conjured an image of Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards writing a personal check. But perhaps she’s being more careful with her $590,000 annual salary these days, now that Planned Parenthood’s baby-parts-for-sale scheme has been exposed.

But back to the study.

This latest exercise in proving that abortion is fabulous followed 667 women for three years after their abortions, checking in by phone twice every year, and sending them each a $50 gift card after each conversation. The conclusion: “Women experienced decreasing emotional intensity over time, and the overwhelming majority of women felt that termination was the right decision for them over three years. Emotional support may be beneficial for women having abortions who report intended pregnancies or difficulty deciding.”

What they’re saying, basically, is that if you’re fine with your abortion decision beforehand, you will be fine after. But at the Silent No More Awareness Campaign and at Rachel’s Vineyard, we beg to differ. Between the two ministries we have been in contact with, ministered to and marched beside more than 3,000 women who not only regret their abortions but do so publicly after going through post-abortion recovery programs.

Many of them speak of an initial feeling of relief that gives way over time – sometimes a decade or more – to much darker emotions and accompanying masking behaviors like alcohol and drug abuse, sexual promiscuity, eating disorders and other problems. Sometimes the child they aborted will be the only one they ever conceive.

Post-abortion healing programs like Rachel’s Vineyard and dozens of others would not exist if women were not experiencing emotional turmoil after abortion.

We don’t expect honesty from pro-abortion researchers, and we are not surprised when the pro-abortion mainstream media runs headlines like this one in Time magazine: Hardly Any Women Regret Having an Abortion, a New Study Finds.

But the danger in this skewed research and slanted reporting is that it gives abortion-vulnerable women, especially young women, another reason to make the wrong choice.

We don’t need a study to confirm what we see every day: Women do regret abortion. (Read more.)
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