Tuesday, September 17, 2019

A Newly-Designed Orangery

From The Gloss:
When Dublin-based architecture and interior design practice LyonsKelly recommended to their clients that they “do as little as possible” to their newly acquired 19th-century redbrick home, it chimed with the owners’ view that actually their house was pretty perfect and probably would not be enhanced by an oversized glass box or indeed an extension of any kind. So LyonsKelly delivered a series of gentle amendments, transforming the interior by moving the kitchen, amalgamating smaller service rooms into it and beautifying and modernising throughout. The refurbishments had the desired effect, but the requirement for additional space remained. 
Suggesting this challenge could be met by creating a separate structure in the garden, architect John Kelly set about working on a scheme that could serve as a guest apartment, an entertaining space with a kitchen for caterers to use, a sitting room for the kids and their friends and their computer games. Taking inspiration for the exterior from Sir John Soane’s Dulwich Picture Gallery and The Royal Hospital Chelsea – both of which combine neoclassical brickwork, arches and soft symmetry – Kelly designed an orangery to occupy the southfacing garden wall and enhance the view from the house, rather than compete with it. He explains his decision to choose this particular type of pavilion: “An orangery is a specific architectural term, a structure designed to keep plants warm over winter with a solid roof and its own heating and water system – it’s not a glorified conservatory. It’s actually a structure that can support living, leisure and work.”

The aim was to make the orangery look like it had always been there: elegant and highly detailed, ornate brickwork was chosen to match the main house, and light from large expanses of glass maximised with the use of steel-frame windows. While the footprint is modest – just 50 sq metres – inside, proportions are generous (the ceiling is almost 4m high). The layout of the main living space includes one full wall of joinery concealing dishwasher, hob, oven, TV and even drawers of file storage so living arrangements are complete. “As our practice integrates architecture and interior design, we are reminded every day that design works best when considered from all the angles – both should get equal billing but so often, one dominates at the expense of the other,” says Kelly. (Read more.)

The Essential Truths We Have Forgotten

From Andrew Klavan:
Here are some of the things we learned on 9/11 that we've forgotten. Multiculturalism is crap. There are better cultures, bad cultures, and even worse cultures. Ours is better not because we're better people, but because we've inherited better ideas like individual freedom and equality before the law. Those are better ideas than government by Allah, and dressing up women like the Spirit of Christmas Yet To Come so they can't fully participate in life. Better ideas make better cultures, and better cultures must be defended by both wisdom and force of arms — or worse cultures will conquer and destroy them. 
On 9/11, we also remembered briefly that men must be men. The policemen and firemen who charged into the burning buildings to try to save people were essential men, necessary men — men worthy of our honor and respect because they lived up to the responsibility of their manhood, which reminds us of another inescapable truth. There is only one necessary task of human life, and that is to make and nurture more human life. This is a task that nature has assigned to women. It is in order to protect and preserve that task, and the women who do it, that men must be men. Brave, protective, supportive, and dispassionately wise. (Read more.)

Songs of Ancient Egypt

From Ancient History Encyclopedia:
The best-known harper’s song from the Middle Kingdom is The Lay of the Harper which originally appeared in the tomb-chapel of a king named Intef (though which Intef this was is unknown since a number of kings from the period took that same throne name) and expresses a novel skepticism of the traditional view of the afterlife in ancient Egypt. The Lay of the Harper explores a carpe diem theme, encouraging people to enjoy life while they can because what comes afterwards is unknown, and focuses on present pleasures. 
This theme is refuted in the New Kingdom (c. 1570 - c. 1069 BCE) by the best-known harper’s song of that period, A Harper’s Song from the Tomb of Neferhotep, which dismisses the skepticism as nonsense. This piece questions what good can come from doubting eternal life in The Field of Reeds and directs an audience to rejoice and have hope in the traditional view of the afterlife. The New Kingdom is the last period in which harper’s songs were composed. 
Although the harper’s songs have routinely been interpreted as reflecting the eras they were composed in, this claim has, and should, been challenged. A far more certain interpretation is that they reflect the age-old divide between religious faith and skepticism which expresses itself in the modern day in very much the same way as in ancient Egypt or in any culture from any period. (Read more.)

Monday, September 16, 2019

The Tragedy of Lady Jane Grey

Both of Lady Jane's parents were descended from Elizabeth Woodville. From Nancy Bilyeau:
The Greys’ fate intertwined with that of England’s royal family at several fateful junctures. The first grey owner was Edward Grey, whose son John married Elizabeth Woodville. After John’s death in battle in the war of the roses, his beautiful widow married the king her husband had opposed, Edward IV. Their children included Elizabeth of York, who would become the mother of Henry VIII. 
The Grey family, though not royal, was close to power, being related to the Yorks and Tudors. One of Elizabeth’s sons by her first marriage was Sir Thomas Grey, the 1st Marquess of Dorset. “Sometime after 1490 Sir Thomas prepared the land to build an impressive house in the former medieval deer park,” according to Britain Express. “He intended his new house to replace the old Grey house at Groby. Unfortunately, he died in 1501 before the project could begin and it was left to his son Thomas Grey, the 2nd Marquess, to build Bradgate House. The house was finished sometime around 1520.” 
It was built in red brick, now a common building material but in the early Tudor period red brick was an expensive material and rarely used. “The fact that Bradgate House was built in brick is a clear sign that Grey was trying to make a statement of his wealth and prestige,” said Britain Express. “It is also one of the earliest unfortified manor houses in England, a testament to the relatively peaceful interlude following the end of the Wars of the Roses.” (Read more.)

We Should Be The Heroes Of Our Own World

From Andrew Klavan at The Daily Wire:
I was at the Hollywood Bowl — had a wonderful time, I thank Josh Kerr for bringing us and letting us share seats — and they did a tribute to John Williams, who conducts the L.A. Philharmonic and who wrote so many great soundtracks. He wrote Star Wars, that's the big one — Star Wars. I think he also did E.T., and so everybody shows up with these lightsabers, and you know it was really an interesting experience because on the one hand, it was delightful. It's delightful to have people in L.A. come together — it's a big city. It's nice that they come together to appreciate music, and it's nice that they come together to appreciate the Philharmonic, which it does as a whole — you know all through the summer, The Hollywood Bowl does all these different things which include Beethoven and ... movie themes and all this.

But at the same time, every time I see the devotion that Star Wars fans have — and this is not, believe me, this is not an attack on Star Wars fans at all. I am touched by the fact that I know that Star Wars started out as a sort of tribute to the old Flash Gordon films. George Lucas loved these Flash Gordon films, they all started — I think [it] was the Emperor Ming, when he's taking over the universe and Flash Gordon was always going to fight them. And they always started with that scroll that you're probably familiar with from Star Wars, where the story unfolds and kind of scrolls into the background just like it does in Star Wars — that's an imitation of that. (Read more.)

Women Who Emotionally Abuse Men

From Intellectual Takeout:
It’s called emotional abuse. It’s well-documented when men inflict it on female victims. Less well known is when women do it to men. While the emotional abuse of women is discussed on Oprah, in bestsellers, and everywhere in pop culture and in academia, there are virtually no resources for men who have been emotionally abused. Google searches turn up very few resources. Books on the subject are mostly broadsides that have not been properly researched and substitute academic rigor for attacks on feminism. 
And yet every person I know—and I’m betting everyone reading these words—knows a man who has been victimized by emotional abuse. All you have to do is ask around. I did just that recently when I was researching the epidemic of men and suicide, and what I found was disturbing. One man, a friend from childhood, told a story that seemed like a kind of slow emotional torture. (Read more.)

Sunday, September 15, 2019

An Idyllic Sylvan Sanctuary

From Victoria:
The verdant forests and sky-high peaks of Vermont have long drawn those who yearn for unspoiled vistas and a chance to immerse themselves in the beauty of nature. And although pitching a tent under the stars has a certain appeal, wouldn’t it be lovely to commune with the great outdoors and indulge in amenities offered at five-star hotels? In the quaint town of Barnard, Twin Farms resort offers just such an experience. The estate that once belonged to Nobel Prize–winning author Sinclair Lewis and his journalist wife, Dorothy Thompson, stretches over three hundred breathtaking acres—part hardwood forest, part wildflower-strewn meadowland. The pastoral location lends itself to a variety of summer activities, from croquet on the lawn and canoeing on Copper Pond to hiking the myriad trails traversing the property. (Read more.)

Current Elitist Threats to Our Republic

From The Epoch Times:
Just as the machinations of Comey show the dangers of “the deep state,” so do the candid remarks of another powerful, unelected wannabe kingmaker: William Dudley, the former president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. In an amazingly brazen opinion column on Bloomberg.com on Aug. 27, Dudley floated the notion that the Fed might be justified in adopting policies designed to prevent the reelection of President Donald Trump.

The chairman of the Federal Reserve system is already regarded in many circles as the second-most powerful person in the country. That’s already a troubling anomaly in a country based on a democratically accountable representative government. To suggest that the Fed act to tilt the election of the most powerful person in the country—the president—toward the candidate of its preference is an egregious affront to our system of government.

All Americans need to be alert to what is going on around us, even though much of the actual plotting is taking place behind closed doors. Partisan and ideological zealots seek to ride roughshod over the constitution and laws that have kept Americans free for over 200 years. I’m not asserting that these are evil people. They simply are in the thrall of the three meta-errors that pervade progressivism: an unjustified faith in government competence, an exaggerated confidence in what human willpower can accomplish, and the self-delusions of good intentions. (Read more.)

The Popes on Socialism

From TFP:
SAINT PIUS X (1903-1914):
The dream of re-shaping society will bring socialism.
“But stranger still, alarming and saddening at the same time, are the audacity and frivolity of men who call themselves Catholics and dream of re-shaping society under such conditions, and of establishing on earth, over and beyond the pale of the Catholic Church, ‘the reign of love and justice’ … What are they going to produce? … A mere verbal and chimerical construction in which we shall see, glowing in a jumble, and in seductive confusion, the words Liberty, Justice, Fraternity, Love, Equality, and human exultation, all resting upon an ill-understood human dignity. It will be a tumultuous agitation, sterile for the end proposed, but which will benefit the less Utopian exploiters of the people. Yes, we can truly say that the Sillon, its eyes fixed on a chimera, brings Socialism in its train.” (Apostolic Letter Notre Charge Apostolique [“Our Apostolic Mandate”] to the French Bishops, August 25, 1910, condemning the movement Le Sillon) (Read more.)

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Jackie Kennedy and Ann Lowe

My thought, after all I have read about Jacqueline Kennedy and her upbringing, is that she came from such a rarefied existence that not giving Mrs. Lowe's name to the press was (from her point of view) an attempt to protect Mrs. Lowe from what Jackie thought of as cheap publicity. Mrs Lowe, on her own admission, only catered to an exclusive clientele. It probably did not occur to Jackie that Mrs Lowe might value the publicity as a businesswoman. Jackie may have thought she was protecting Mrs. Lowe from nouvelles-riches brides from north Jersey. No doubt all Jackie's high society friends knew who her designer was. The fact that Jackie later helped Mrs Lowe financially shows her high regard for her. From The Lily:
Ann Lowe was born and raised in Clayton, Ala. Her great-grandmother, an enslaved woman, had given birth to a child fathered by her white plantation owner. Her mother and grandmother were both seamstresses to wealthy Alabama elites and as a child, she amused herself by shaping cloth flowers out of the scraps leftover in their work, she told Ebony in 1966. 
Her mother died when Lowe was only 16, leaving four ball gowns for the first lady of Alabama unfinished. Lowe completed the order. At 18, she shocked administrators at a New York fashion school when she showed up for class; they hadn’t realized they had admitted a black woman until that moment. She was segregated from her classmates; but still she excelled and graduated early. (Read more.)

Margaret Sanger, Racist and Eugenicist

The founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger, was friends with several Nazis, including those who had actually inspired Hitler in his eugenicist plans. From The Stream:
It’s a pro-life commonplace that The American Birth Control League, founded by Margaret Sanger 100 years ago and later rechristened Planned Parenthood, had ties to eugenicists and racists. This is not quite right. It’s like saying that the NBA has ties to professional sports. The birth control movement and the eugenics movement were the same movement — to the point where Margaret Sanger twice tried to merge her organization with major eugenics groups.

One eugenics expert, Eugen Fischer, whom Sanger featured as a speaker at a population conference she organized, had already run a concentration camp — in German-ruled Southwest Africa, before World War I, where he murdered, starved and experimented on helpless native Africans. It was Fischer’s book on eugenics, which Hitler had read in prison, that convinced Hitler of its central importance. Another longtime official of Planned Parenthood, Garrett Hardin, had a decades-long track record of serving in eugenics organizations, and as late as the 1980s was calling for mass forced sterilization of Americans as a necessary solution to the “population problem.”

The same people served on the boards of the American Eugenics Society and Sanger’s organizations for decades, and they worked closely together on countless projects — ranging from researching the birth control pill as a means of diminishing the African-American birth rate (they tested the early, hazardous versions of the Pill on impoverished rural women in Puerto Rico), to passing forced sterilization or castration laws in more than a dozen states that targeted blacks and other poor people accused of “feeble mindedness” or “shiftlessness” and diagnosed as “unfit” parents. Today, Planned Parenthood sets up its centers in America’s poorest neighborhoods, and continues to target the same populations via abortion. (Read more.)

Paul VI’s Response to Margaret Sanger’s Sexual Revolution

From Crisis:
Sanger referred to birth control as her “religion” and devised her own Credo of Woman’s Rights. These included: “The right to be lazy. The right to be an unmarried mother. The right to create. The right to destroy. The right to love; and the right to live.” And by love Sanger meant frequent sexual encounters with her extensive stable of partners, although sadly her right to live did not include the unborn. In fact, Sanger so zealously advocated for abortion that one sexual partner, Havelock Ellis, warned her to tone down her rhetoric and focus instead on the woman’s right “to create or not create new life.” 
After marrying into wealth, Sanger became deeply involved in eugenics, a movement to limit what she termed “human weeds,” i.e., non-white races, the poor in general, and various ethnic minorities who seemingly threatened her permissive upper class lifestyle. Like Hitler, she supported the forced sterilization of “inferior types” hoping to limit their abilities to propagate. However, after Hitler’s atrocities discredited eugenics, Sanger’s American Birth Control League adopted a more egalitarian name, the familiar Planned Parenthood brand. However benign the new name sounded, its impact on marriage and family was devastating, especially in minority communities. In fact, her Credo of Woman’s Rights became a blueprint for modern day social dysfunction, glaringly manifested in a sinister welfare system that encourages millions of poor women to embrace “the right to be unmarried mothers,” leading to a vicious cycle of poverty and dependency for their children. 
For Sanger, sex was never delimited by marriage. Even at 18 (around 1897), she engaged in “trial marriages” before marrying William Sanger in 1902. Always searching for new and more effective methods of avoiding pregnancy, her Planned Parenthood organization contributed heavily to the development of the Pill. Thanks to the Pill, sex morphed into an entitlement available to one and all, thus fulfilling Sanger’s life-long dream. By 1968, shortly after her death, an obscure conflict at Columbia University’s Barnard College over a coed cohabitating with her boyfriend in a school dorm confirmed just how deeply Sanger’s sexual revolt had infiltrated American society. (Read more.)

Friday, September 13, 2019

Extroversion Is Not the Only Way

The first weeks of college can be very lonely for students who are shy. From Washington Square News:
No matter their school or origin, almost every college student will learn about isolation at the beginning of their college career. Starting college is hard for introverts, and extroverts can also flounder when not constantly surrounded by people. The new city screams at us to socialize at any cost. But as confusing as our first year is supposed to be, this start of a new chapter shouldn’t need to be painful. Perhaps the most important lesson a first-year can learn is to appreciate their own company, and that solitude can be valuable.

We often seek the comforting presence of a friendly face. The school I attended from seventh to ninth grade forbade students from staying indoors during recess. Sitting alone in the high school cafeteria is the textbook definition of an ostracized loner. I desperately clung to my friend group formed from the convenience of seeing each other daily, even though we all had only one thing in common. Companionship was worth more than anything else in the world. 

But constant company is not always attainable, and there will be plenty of times in our lives where we are alone. We can review our goals and aspirations, refocus in the present and breathe. Being alone can be helpful, productive and calming, and we should shake off the conditioning that constantly reminds us that we need to have a best friend right here right now, when the first week has barely passed.

Welcome Week is the perfect environment to examine the social conditioning that exclaims that a functioning human must be extroverted and sociable to survive and for some of us, it can be exhausting. I packed my schedule full, trying to squeeze in as many performances and socials as possible, then took a step back. What was I so desperate for? We meet a stranger, make small talk for five minutes, then forget all about each other. (Read more.)


From Anthony Esolen at Crisis:
“There is little need to underline the fact that the Church in our day is facing many and difficult problems of every sort,” writes Fr. George L. Kane. “Persecution has never been more intense or diabolical. Secularism is taking its toll of the attitudes and the ways of living of many of her members. Neo-paganism is ever devising new methods of breaking God’s commandments. Ignorance of religion is so widespread that it has been estimated that more than 90 percent of our people are insufficiently instructed in the Faith. The decline in Christian family life is almost everywhere evident.” 
Fr. Kane is no doomsayer. The problems he lists are not insoluble. But they require that a different problem be addressed first—namely, “the acute shortage of priests, Brothers and Sisters.” You can’t run schools and hospitals without laborers, he says, and the soil in that field is growing thin. Hence he collects some of the best articles he can find on this topic in one volume: Meeting the Vocation Crisis. His hope is that “vocation directors and others charged with the responsibility of fostering vocations will find this compilation of some value.” 
The book was published in 1956. (Read more.)

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Day of the Siege: September 11, 1683 (2012)

King Jan Sobieski and his Hussars present themselves at the Imperial Court

Polish poster
An Italian-Polish production, Day of the Siege: September 11, 1683 dramatizes the months leading up to the fateful Battle of Vienna, when the Ottoman Turks were defeated by the leadership and courage of the Polish King, Jan Sobieski. While much of the story is told from the point of view of the Ottoman vizier Kara Mustafa, commander of the Turkish forces, the main character is indubitably Blessed Marco d'Aviano, portrayed with fire and gentleness by F. Murray Abraham. Father Marco, whom most people may not have heard of, was truly the spiritual adviser of Emperor Leopold I, as shown in the film. The Capuchin friar did in actuality play a part in the defense of Vienna by rallying the Christian forces and encouraging them to unite against the Ottomans. The Turks, who threatened to conquer Rome and all of Europe if once the Empire fell into their hands, vastly outnumbered the armies of the Holy League. Europe would have fallen had it not been for the unflinching faith and tactical skill of Jan III Sobieski, King of Poland, whose hussars carried the image of the Black Madonna into battle. 

 The King is magnificently played by Polish actor who fills the screen and dominates every scene that he is in, leaving no doubt about the greatness of the character who is being brought to life. I wish he could have been given more screen time. I also wanted to see more of Emperor Leopold and his family, especially his sister Eleanor of Austria, whose husband Charles of Lorraine figures prominently in the battle. I did not care for the subplot about the renegade Turk who betrays his Christian wife; it seemed to take away from the genuine historical characters. That and other strange twists in the plot keep it from being the great epic film it might have been in better directorial hands. But seeing the Polish cavalry charge down the mountain definitely makes Day of the Siege worth a watch.

F. Murray Abraham as Blessed Marco d'Aviano
Watch entire film, HERE. Share

Media Smears

Here is an article from Ross Douthat that makes many pertinent points. I do disagree about Trump being a race-baiter. Obama was the race-baiter who stirred up racial tensions in America that most of us thought were long gone. And in my personal experience, I have known more racists who were liberals, not conservatives.  The New York Times:
At the same time, the American right in the Trump era faces a liberalism that’s eager to discover and condemn racism where it does not actually exist. Positions that any de-Trumpified conservatism would necessarily hold are conflated with white nationalism, figures who opposed Donald Trump are hammered as enablers of racism, and progressives indulge a political fantasy in which the racist infiltration of the mainstream right is an opportunity to delegitimize conservatism entirely.
The coexistence of these two realities was usefully illustrated in the last two weeks. If you want evidence that bigotry on the right is a bottom-up problem as well as a feature of the president’s birtherism and Twitter wars, just read last week’s SplinterNews exposé on the email group where a cluster of youthful and not-so-youthful right-wingers gathered to play at white nationalism while holding down normal jobs for conservative publications and institutions. What was reported in the piece I can confirm anecdotally: Every extended conversation I have with 20-something conservatives includes a discussion of how to deal with racist flirtations in their peer group. But if you want evidence that unjust delegimitization is happening as well, consider that in the very same period that the email exposé appeared, a succession of mainstream media outlets served up bogus accusations of racism against prominent and not-so-prominent conservatives. (Read more.)

From The Federalist:
 A senior official in the U.S. Department of Labor who resigned last week after being wrongfully accused of anti-Semitism by Bloomberg News was reinstated Wednesday following criticism from both liberals and conservatives.  The Labor Department’s acting Secretary Patrick Pizzella “personally made this decision after carefully reviewing all the facts and circumstances,” according to a senior agency official who spoke with the Daily Caller. Leif Olson had resigned after Bloomberg asked the department to comment on a series of Facebook posts that Bloomberg labeled anti-Semitic, when the posts were clearly sarcastic. (Read more.)

The Four Founders of Fairy Tales

From the Victorian Trading Company blog:
Charles Perrault
From: France, late 17th century
History: Born to a wealthy family, Perrault studied law and had a career in the French government. He was involved in the development of art and literature during his lifetime.
Writings: Perrault spent much of his career publishing essays on art, literature, and even the development of opera. In 1686, he wrote an epic poem about the Christian saint, Paulinus of Nola. Then at the age of 67, Perrault published a collection of fairy tales, Tales and Stories of the Past with Morals, subtitled Tales of Mother Goose. Later would come to publish a French translation of 100 Fables from the Latin poet, Gabriele Faerno.
Inspiration: Perrault drew mostly from the tales that were handed down orally for generations.
Most Famous For: Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Puss in Boots, and Sleeping Beauty.
Legacy: Perrault is considered by many to be the founder of the modern fairy tale genre, even though it had existed previously. (Read more.)

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Costumes and Dress Codes

I have only just discovered a most wonderful blog! It belongs to the Countess of Carnarvon. From Lady Carnarvon:
I grew up and went to school in London. During weekends my sisters and I explored (sometimes under duress) the various museums that London has to offer. The one that I never needed to be persuaded to go to was the Victoria and Albert Museum in South Kensington. I would head straight towards any exhibition of fashion and costumes – they have an extraordinary collection depicting what we wore that spans at least four centuries. You could stare for ages at the tiny waists, beautiful, delicate lace, the velvets, dresses with enormous hoops, the shoes and the wonderful hats. Admittedly most of it belongs to women of a certain economic status since those were the garments that were most valuable and therefore carefully preserved.

However, they depict an extraordinarily different and much more constricted way of life from ours today, from running up and down stairs, to biking round the park and hurrying to yet another meeting. (The top photo is the 5th Countess’s Coronation robes from 1911, whilst below are staff liveries and uniforms from the same period.) (Read more.)

Civics and Civility

From Justice Neil Gorsuch at Townhall:
Some of this is pretty self-evident. You need to know about politicians, their views, and how they compare with others in order to elect representatives who will speak for you. You need to know, as well, about your rights in order to enforce them. You’re more likely to speak your mind freely if you know that the First Amendment protects freedom of speech. You’re more likely to protest the police rifling through your papers if you know the government cannot con- duct unreasonable searches. You’re more likely to worship as you choose if you know your prayers are protected against government interference. 
But if we are to be a self-governing people, we need to know not just our rights but the structures that protect them. Our government is one of limited and separated powers, a design deliberately chosen to secure the promise of self-rule and our liberties and to prevent the accumulation of power in too few hands. Yet, according to Annenberg, today it seems only about a quarter of Americans can name the three branches of government. Approximately a third cannot name any branch. Many do not know why the founders established this separation of powers or how it protects their liberties. Civic education is no longer a central part of the curriculum in many of our public schools. (Read more.)

Honoring the Code Talkers

From White Wolf Pack:
By definition, a “code talker” refers to a Native American who served during a foreign conflict and transmitted a secret coded message in their traditional tribal language for military operations during World War I and World War II. In 2000, Navajo Code Talkers were honored with Congressional Gold Medals for their services in developing and implementing their traditional Dine’ language as a secretive code of communication on the battle fields in both WWI and WWII.

“However, many Americans do not know that members of nearly 32 other Indian tribes served as codetalkers in World War I and World War II and have never been formally recognized for their service to our country,” said Chairman of the Committee on Indian Affairs Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell of Colorado at the Senate Hearing on Code Talkers

During this hearing on the “Contributions of Native American Code Talkers in American Military History, Senator Campbell lists 32 other tribes to serve as code talkers during both the Pacific and European campaigns as; Comanche, Cheyenne, Cherokee, Osage, Lakota, Dakota, Chippewa, Oneida, Sac and Fox, Meskwaki, Hopi, Assiniboine, Kiowa, Pawnee, Akwesasne, Menominee, Creek, Cree Seminole Tribes and Other unlisted tribes... 
Clarence Wolf Guts, last surviving Lakota code talker who passed away in 2010, testified at the 2004 Senate Hearing, “I am a full-blood Indian, and we do whatever we can to protect the United States because we love America… I was sitting there in the foxhole with a radio, trying to give the orders that were given to us to pass on to the chief-of-staff… We used our own code and we did whatever we could to protect our country… When I see young children playing without supervision, I realize why we’re over there.” (Read more.)

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

The Hair of Marie Antoinette?

There is also some question as to how close Marie-Antoinette really was with the Duchess of Devonshire. I think they were friendly but Georgiana was never part of the Queen's circle of intimate friends. From Royal Central:
In the British Museum, there is a locket containing hair traditionally said to be that of Marie Antoinette, Queen of France and Navarre. Donated to the museum as part of the Hull Grundy Gift (Gere, Charlotte; Rudoe, Judy; Tait, Hugh; Wilson, The Art of the Jeweller, A Catalogue of the Hull Grundy Gift to the British Museum, Vol 1-2, London, BMP, 1984), the locket was formerly held at the Victoria and Albert Museum and is not on display. Given the fact that the object is popularly believed to contain her hair, it is interesting that such a locket exists in London, a city which holds other items that claim an undisputed important connection with her, such as the Jean-Henri Riesener corner cupboard – from Marie Antoinette’s private study at Versailles, made by her favourite cabinet-maker – at the Wallace Collection and Madame Tussauds in London, which contains the “gruesome” relics of the French Revolution in what was once Tussauds Baker Street Bazaar, Tussaud having been forced on her release from prison to make death masks of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. So, is there anything that might support this hair belonging to her?
The heart-shaped, filigree-set locket with a padlock and matching key on a chain is late 18thC to early 19thC, but there is no evidence to support the fact that the hair was presented in this locket, though it is contemporary to the period. The piece of paper in the back of the locket could have been added at any point prior to the date when the locket was given by Lady Napier in 1853.
As the British Museum rightly states, there is nothing that directly supports the slip of paper referring to the hair, as it could have been added later at any time, into a locket which contained the hair of someone else. The provenance which the locket claims, is described in the slip, namely as a “lock of hair of Marie Antoinette Queen of France, given by her to Lady Abercorn, by whom it was given to her sister Lady Julia Lockwood, whose daughter Lady Napier gave it to W.S, 1853”. In other words, even if the lock of hair should belong to Marie Antoinette, there is nothing on the slip of paper to suggest that the hair was given in this locket. (Read more.)

The Strange Decline of Catholic Hymns

The most beautiful music ever composed was composed for the sacred liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church. But do Catholics ever get to hear it at Mass? Hardly ever. We are lucky if the hymns are even Catholic. And what about replacing the Introit or "Entrance Antiphon" with a generic hymn that may or may not have anything to do with the mystery of the day. The "Entrance Antiphon" is supposed to be recited or chanted, but instead it has disappeared.  From Dr. Esolen at The Catholic Herald:
When Pope Honorius crowned the Fourth Lateran Council (1215) by proclaiming the new feast of Corpus Christi – a triduum of joy from the Thursday following Trinity Sunday to echo the triduum of Holy Week and Easter – the Catholic world responded with a burst of artistic creativity unmatched since the days of Ancient Greece. Drama came alive again, in a folk tradition which, when it merged with the learning of the Renaissance, would culminate in the plays of somebody called Shakespeare.
When the Council of Trent closed in 1563, the Catholic world again responded with a burst of artistic creativity. What the neo-classical tea-tasters of the 18th century disparagingly called the “Baroque” was born; Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Shakespeare again, Milton, Racine, Bernini, Bach; and that quintessentially Baroque invention, with its magniloquence and its passionate action – the opera. But when the Second Vatican Council ended in 1965 – what?

I used to wonder whether Catholics outside of the Anglophone world did a better job preserving their art, their music and their prayers, even if they were not in a good cultural position to create new works. We speakers of English have put up with doggerel and “I Feel Holy” jingles and the butchering of old hymns. Were speakers of other languages not so cursed with innovation? If I were to judge by the part of French Canada where we live in the summer, I’d say the destruction was universal.

I’m looking at a copy of Paroissien Romain (1956), which I found stuffed in the closet of the choir loft of our local church, Notre-Dame de L’Assomption. It is a beautiful book, 2,000 pages cloth-bound and red-edged. The wear on the tassels for keeping your place, and some pencil marks here and there, show that the books were indeed used. Paroissien Romain contains the prayers, readings and chants for Mass and for the Divine Office for every Sunday and every feast day throughout the year, and a great deal more, along with careful instructions on how to pronounce Latin, and how to perform Gregorian chant (printed in standard G-clef notation). The prayers for the feast of the Assumption are glorious. (They aren’t heard here any more, because the feast is not a holy day in Canada.)

I’m often struck by how powerful it can be merely to place a verse from Scripture in the context of a feast. For the Gradual of the Assumption, we have a tremendous verse from Psalm 45, the great marriage psalm, in Latin: Audi, filia, et vide, etc. I will translate: “Hearken, O daughter, and see, and incline thy ear: and the king shall desire thy beauty. The daughter of the king walks forth in glory, her robe is fringed with gold, Alleluia. Mary has been assumed into heaven: the host of Angels rejoice.” I count 433 notes to chant the 32 Latin words, once. The chant is extraordinary in its tapestry, its delicate melody opening out like a rose, petal upon petal, as if you could never have enough of praise, as if you could meditate joyfully upon a single word forever.

All that is gone now. I also have before me the current French hymnal, D’une même voix (2003). It’s a third the size of Paroissien Romain. There’s no instruction on how to chant. The short section with chanted prayers gives the impression that the editors are not terribly interested. “It is not fit to chant everything,” they say. “One should strive for a balance, and a liveliness in the congregation. Sometimes you should chant less, to chant better.” Those are their last words on the matter. (Read more.)

Bill Barclay and ‘The Black Mozart’

From The Bay State Banner:
Saint-Georges was Marie Antoinette’s personal music teacher, conducted one of the most successful orchestras in Europe, and was Mozart’s roommate for three critical months after Mozart’s mother had died. “We read these stories everyday about what’s happening to immigrant culture and immigrant identity, and I suddenly realized I had a story of three immigrants on my hands,” says Barclay, referring to Marie Antoinette and Mozart, both from Austria, and Saint-Georges from Guadalupe. 
It’s the three months with Mozart that Barclay focuses on in his production. Did they get along? How did this stint impact each composer’s work? Did Saint-Georges leave his dishes in sink? These questions are lost to history, but Barclay imagines what the answers may be in a production that blends narration with actors, featuring Chukwudi Iwuji as Saint-Georges, the composer’s forgotten music, and narration by Barclay himself. (Read more.)

More HERE. Share

Monday, September 9, 2019

The Katyn Massacre: When The USSR Purged 22,000 Polish Men

From All That's Interesting:
And on March 5, 1940, Stalin signed an order to execute some 21,857 of these Poles:
“Members of various counter-revolutionary spy and sabotage organizations, former landowners, factory owners, former Polish Army officers, government officials, and fugitives – [are] to be considered in a special manner with the obligatory sentence of capital punishment – shooting.”
In all, some 14,700 Polish servicemen and 11,000 Polish high-ranking civilians were rounded up with the intent to be executed in one of three locations: Katyn, Tver, or the prison of Kharkiv.

The men’s hands were bound behind their backs with wire and then they were summarily shot in the back of the head. Bulldozers had to dig the mass grave for the many thousands killed in Katyn in April and May. Meanwhile, in Tver, the men were individually shot in a soundproof room and their bodies were deposited into a truck outside. The most prolific executioner, Vassily Mikhailovich Blokhin, said he killed 6,000 men in just 28 days. (Read more.)

Meanwhile, in Canada...

From LifeSite:
With the rollout of the Ford Government’s new sex-ed curriculum, it would seem that all hope of preventing Ontario’s children from being indoctrinated into the dangerous new gender ideologies wreaking such havoc across the Western world is now lost. Despite Ford’s promise to remove gender theory entirely, it remains firmly in place, and pre-teen children will still be introduced to the subject. The impact of this, as a chilling report from Barbara Kay in the National Post earlier this summer indicates, will be both awful and long-lasting. I know I’ve said this dozens of times already, but it is so essential that we understand this: This is a social experiment on children with devastating, permanent effects on them. 
As I’ve reported before, the numbers of Canadian children identifying as transgender are soaring at an alarming rate, and Canada’s institutions seem to be falling into line with the trans activist agenda, making it mandatory for all Canadians to believe—or at least act like they believe--that gender is fluid. That’s why Jonathan “Jessica” Yaniv is successfully putting female beauticians out of business for refusing to wax his genitals, and that’s why a Canadian judge recently stated that a father attempting to dissuade his child from physically transitioning constituted “family violence.” (Read more.)

Tolkien in a Nutshell

The connections between The Lord of the Rings and Christianity are numerous. There is a connection symbolically between the One Ring and Original Sin and, therefore, between Mount Doom and Golgotha. The elvish word for waybread, lembas, means life-bread, or bread of life, connecting it to the Eucharist. Like the Eucharist, lembas feeds the will. The date on which the Ring is destroyed is March 25, the date of both the Annunciation and the Crucifixion, connecting the destruction of the Ring (sin) with the Incarnation, and with the life, death and resurrection of Christ. 
Although Tolkien did not write a formal allegory in which characters simply represent historical figures, it is true nonetheless that several members of the fellowship represent, albeit with subtlety, significant Christian typological figures. Frodo, as the Ring-bearer, can be seen as the cross-bearer, and therefore as both a Christ figure and a figure of the Christian who takes up his cross. Sam is, in consequence, a figure of the loyal disciple. Boromir, as the only man in the Fellowship, is the representative of humanity and is therefore an Everyman figure. Aragorn, insofar as he is the true king who descends into the kingdom of the dead, having the power to release the dead themselves from their curse, and insofar as he has, in his capacity as the true king, great and miraculous powers of healing, is clearly a Christ figure. Gandalf, in his death, resurrection and transfiguration is also a Christ figure.

Many of the seven sacraments are represented in The Lord of the Rings. As we have seen, the Eucharist is present symbolically in the depiction of the elvish life-bread or bread of life (lembas). The Sacrament of Penance and the Sacrament of Extreme Unction are represented in the manner of the final exchange of words between the dying Boromir and Aragorn, the latter of whom serves in persona Christi as the absolver of Boromir’s sins. The Sacrament of Marriage is depicted beautifully in the marriages of Aragorn and Arwen, Faramir and Eowyn, and, last but not least, Sam and Rosie. The priesthood is represented insofar as Aragorn acts in persona Christi. The Blessed Virgin is represented insofar as Tolkien said that he put all of his love for the Blessed Virgin into the characterization of Galadriel.

In a panoramic sense the theme of The Lord of the Rings signifies man as homo viator, i.e. journeying man or travelling man or man on a quest. This echoes the Christian understanding of the life of man as being about nothing, ultimately, other than the need to be united with God in Heaven. Failure in this life-quest makes us miserable losers! In order to achieve this quest, we need to embrace a life of love, which means sacrificing ourselves for others, for the “fellowship” of humanity. We need to become Ring-bearers, i.e. cross-bearers, bearing the burden of the evils in the world and their destructive consequences, without becoming Ring-wearers, i.e. servants of evil. (Read more.)

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Portraits of Louis XVI, Marie-Antoinette, Louis XVII and Madame Royale

Louis XVI
Dauphin Louis-Charles (Louis XVII)
Madame Royale
Via Auction.fr. Oval portraits of the French Royal Family painted by a Neapolitan artist in the late 1790's after all had died but Madame Royale. There may be some connection of the paintings with the Queen of Naples, Maria-Carolina, sister of Marie-Antoinette, who had hoped that war against France would avenge her sister's murder. Share

How the Quest For Power Corrupted Elizabeth Warren

From Ben Shapiro at Townhall:
I first met Elizabeth Warren when she was a professor at Harvard Law School, in 2004. She was fresh off the publication of her bestselling book, "The Two-Income Trap." There's no doubt she was politically liberal -- our only face-to-face meeting involved a recruitment visit at the W Hotel in Los Angeles, where she immediately made some sort of disparaging remark about Rush Limbaugh -- but at the time, Warren was making waves for her iconoclastic views. She wasn't a doctrinaire leftist, spewing Big Government nostrums. She was a creative thinker. 
That creative thinking is obvious in "The Two-Income Trap," which discusses the rising number of bankruptcies among middle-class parents, particularly women with children. The book posits that women entered the workforce figuring that by doing so, they could have double household income. But so many women entered the workforce that they actually inflated prices for basic goods like housing, thus driving debt skyward and leading to bankruptcies for two-income families. The book argued that families with one income might actually be better off, since families with two incomes spent nearly the full combined income and then fell behind if one spouse lost a job. Families with one income, by contrast, spent to the limit for one income, and if a spouse was fired, the unemployed spouse would then look for work to replace that single income.
Warren's core insight was fascinating: She argued that massive expansion of the labor force had actually created more stressful living and driven down median wages. But her policy recommendations were even more fascinating. She explicitly argued against "more government regulation of the housing market," slamming "complex regulations," since they "might actually worsen the situation by diminishing the incentive to build new houses or improve older ones." Instead, she argued in favor of school choice, since pressure on housing prices came largely from families seeking to escape badly run government school districts: "A well-designed voucher program would fit the bill neatly." (Read more.)

Nuns and Religious Professions

Hence it must be stated that nuns are part of the earliest history of the Church. The first Catholic nun was Our Lady, the Blessed Mother. She leads the way, and was followed by others during the apostolic age, including St. Mary Magdalene, whom legend avers fled the Holy Land amid persecutions, arriving on the shores of France at the fishing village of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer where she evangelized in the Roman port of Marseille, and finally lived as a hermit high in a cave on a mountain ridge called Sainte-Baume. 
Thus the noble vocation of professed religious sisters continues to this day. In 2017 the Filiae Laboris Mariae (Daughters of the Works of Mary) community began ad experimentum in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph with the permission of Most Rev. James Johnston. Their original home was at an old convent at the church of St. Mary in Independence, Missouri. 
The Labor Mariae sisters were founded earlier that same year by Mother Maria Regina of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, a native of Holland, who had been a religious sister for over twenty-five years. She is pictured on the left, wearing the crown of thorns on her final profession day as a member of the new community. The other sister is the newest postulant, Sr. Maria Gratia of Canada. (Read more.)

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Gown from the 'Rainbow Portrait'

 From The Daily Mail:
An image on the internet showed the material at the 13th-century church of St Faith, Bacton, in 2015.  A tweaked version of the dress panel resided on the alter until 1909 when it was framed and hung in the church.  Rev Charles Brothers noted at the time that it may once have been 'worn by Queen Elizabeth'. It was sent on loan to Hampton Court Palace for analysis and its provenance was confirmed. A high-quality photographic replica now hangs in its place in the church. 

Extensive analysis found traces of Mexico-sourced red and indigo dyes which helped manufacture the material. These would have been obscenely expensive in the 17th century and would only have been available to the wealthy and the noble. What took the material to Bacton remains somewhat of a mystery but the most prominent theory is that it was given to the church either by Elizabeth herself or one of her ladies-in-waiting. It is speculated it was a gift in memory of Blanche Parry, a Bacton native, who was a close friend of Elizabeth for 57 years. Her funeral was financed by the queen and she was a regular recipient of her clothing gifts.   

Ms Lynn writes in the the journal Costume: 'There is no documentary evidence or definitive link to prove that this was one of Elizabeth's own garments, or that it belonged to Blanche. 'However, the very strong inference to be drawn is that this late 16th-century, elite, professionally embroidered court gown entered the small church of Bacton by gift of the queen in memory of Blanche Parry for use as a ceremonial textile. 

'It is a rare example of royal Tudor dress that has survived for centuries.' (Read more.)

U. S. Detention Centers and Odious Comparisons to the Nazis

My grandfather spent three years in a Japanese concentration camp and nothing makes my blood boil more than to have his near-fatal experience trivialized by the Left. From The Christian Review:
It’s now commonplace for teachers and TV talking-heads to compare our detention centers on the Southern border to the Japanese internment camps of WWII and the Nazi concentration camps.

A typical headline reads, ‘AOC was right to compare Trump’s border internment camps to concentration camps’ (NBC June 19, 2019). Was no one at NBC News embarrassed? Did no one cringe? Did not one say, ‘We can’t print that!’ Evidently not. Commenting on such an odious comparison feels like I am explaining why 1+1=2. But for those who don’t know the difference between US detention centers and both the Nazi concentration camps and Japanese internment centers, I will explain.
Point #1 – Those presently housed in border detention centers are there voluntarily: They can always go back to whatever country they came from.
Point #2 – The US is not committing genocide: 11 million persons were deliberately killed in the Nazi camps including two million-plus Catholics in addition to the Jews, gypsies, and others considered undesirable.
Point #3 – The immigrants are not being starved, subjected to forced labor, or used for medical experimentation, all a routine part of the Holocaust tragedy.
Point #4 –  Immigrants to the US are fed, clothed, housed, and given access to medical care, education, and recreation and free legal advice.
Point #5 – The unfortunate ‘caging’ of children done during the Obama administration was put to an end by the Trump administration.
Point #6 – Those who make such odious and unfounded comparisons trivialize the lives of the millions who suffered and died under the Third Reich.
Point #7 – Teachers and talking heads who make these comparisons are attempting to make Americans believe that our country is no better than Nazi Germany.
Point #8 – The media drumbeat behind these comparisons is intended to make President Trump look like Hitler and the Democrats like those soldiers who landed on Normandy Beach on D-Day.
Point #9 – The more accurate comparison to make is between how all dictators rigorously controlled news services and how mainstream media is now controlled by Alt-Left Democrats. Why else would the New York Times quickly change a headline that cast Trump in a positive light!
Point #10 – Where there is no genocide, no deliberate starvation, no torture, no medical experimentation, no forced labor it’s not possible to compare the Nazi holocaust to other types of restricted zones where people are housed temporarily. (Read more.)

A Teenager's Spiritual Diary

From The Catholic Herald:
Joe was born on December 12, 1994. He grew up in Carfin, Motherwell, with his parents, Alan and Veronica, and his younger sister Angela, whom he treasured greatly. He attended Our Lady and St Francis Primary School before going to Taylor High School. On December 20, 2011, a few days after his 17th birthday, he died of an undiagnosed heart condition at Wishaw General Hospital. 
After his death, his father discovered a diary that Joe had kept throughout his teenage years. His words stood out due to their academic and mature style which seemed unusual for someone of his age. With help from staff at Taylor High, a book called Joe’s Words was created, filled with extracts from his diaries. 
Joe’s writings are filled with a sense of determination to live by God’s will. He notes that after going to Mass he felt he had “returned home”. On September 14, 2010, Joe observed that “human beings have a gift: perseverance.” On the same day he wrote: “I am going to die one day so I may as well give my all to everything I do.” 
Joe’s Words became a huge inspiration for people of all ages. Since his death, more than 2,000 copies have been distributed. In recent weeks there have been hundreds of requests as his story travels throughout the world thanks to a new website, joesfaith.com.
On June 10, more than 200 people gathered at Carfin Grotto to pray for Joe’s intercession. Many of them had never personally met Joe but felt drawn to his words, perspective and dedication to the Catholic faith. 
In his diary, Joe wrote about increasing his prayer habit to feel closer to God. He was very aware that prayer fulfilled him with a sense of belonging. When Benedict XVI visited Scotland in September 2010, Joe wrote about the joy he experienced when attending the papal Mass at Bellahouston with his school. He described Benedict as “gentle and humble, a model of Jesus” – a description that could be applied to Joe himself. His wish in life was to help people. Through his legacy and the words he left behind, he spiritually supports more people than he could ever have imagined here on earth. (Read more.)

Friday, September 6, 2019

“Ad orientem” Worship: Help Against Clericalism

A problem with the liturgical reform of Vatican II is that great emphasis is placed upon the priest, referred to as the "presider," and upon his personality. It encourages some of our priests to be performers and entertainers. The focus, however, should be on the Lord. From Fr. Z's Blog:
[A] common turning to the east during the Eucharistic Prayer remains essential. This is not a case of something accidental, but of what is essential. Looking at the priest has no importance. What matters is looking together at the Lord. It is not now a question of dialogue but of common worship, of setting off toward the One who is to come. What corresponds with the reality of what is happening is not the closed circle but the common movement forward, expressed in a common direction for prayer. Spirit of the Liturgy by Joseph Ratzinger  US HERE – UK HERE
Ad orientem worship has nothing to do with nostalgia, or with archeologizing, or a diminution of the role of laity, the importance of their presence, at the Eucharistic Sacrifice of the Mass.
We have to “learn a new kind of seeing”, as Ratzinger said in Spirit of the Liturgy, seeking a new kind of seeing.  But in so seeking, we must avoid the disaster of sudden imposition, which was part (not all) of the problem of the errant reforms after the Council.
I am reminded Richard of St. Victor in his work on contemplation: “Love is the eye and to love is to see”, or more precisely “where your is love is, there is your eye” – Ubi amor ibi oculus – Benjamin minor 13 – sometimes cites as “Amor oculus est, et amare videre est.”
These days there is a massive effort of indirection to distract the Catholic lay faithful, who increasingly see what their power is, from recognizing the problem of active homosexuals in the priesthood. Instead, shaking their bunch of keys with one hand and pointing in the other while shouting, “Look! A squirrel!”, they are trying to impose “clericalism” as the ultra-problem.
For a moment let’s consider the negative sort of clericalism that is part of the The Present Crisis. There is a good kind of clericalism, in a healthy clerical identity. Let’s admit there is a negative clericalism. Surely it rose, in its present form, with constant focus on the priest who is forced by versus populum celebration to become the center of attention. The older form of Holy Mass kept the priest under tight control and made sure that he, as a person, wasn’t the focus.
Versus populum turning of Mass creates an expectation for the priest to perform and to become the reference point, who hectors (with the help of amplification) into a “self-enclosed circle” as Joseph Ratzinger describes, but with the priest at the center, not so much as alter Christus but as “Just Call Me Bob”, who just happens to dress up in robes and sit facing the people in a finer chair than Caesar ever had. (Read more.)

Note: Mass facing the people is not even mentioned in the Vatican II documents, but was gradually introduced by liturgists after the Council. Share

Mississippi Catholic Abuse Survivors

"Therefore do I weep, and my eyes run down with water: because the comforter, the relief of my soul, is far from me: my children are desolate because the enemy hath prevailed." (Lamentations 1:16)
 From America:
La Jarvis and two of his cousins, who have also reported that they were abused at Greenwood’s St. Francis of Assisi School, differ from most victims with sex abuse claims against the church because they are black, desperately poor and, until recently, never had a lawyer to argue their case. The abuse they say they endured at the hands of two Franciscans, Brother Paul West and Brother Donald Lucas, included beatings, rape, and other sexual violations beginning when they were nine and 10 years old.

The Franciscans tried to settle with one of La Jarvis’s cousins, Joshua K. Love, by offering to pay him up to $10,000 to cover the cost of a used car, maintenance and insurance. Joshua, who has limited reading and writing skills, rejected the offer but later signed a confidential agreement for $15,000 — something he now regrets. “They felt they could treat us that way because we’re poor and we’re black,” Joshua said of the settlements he and La Jarvis received.

Catholic officials have been promising to end the cover-up of clergy abuse for nearly two decades. In 2002, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops approved the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, pledging to respond to abuse allegations in an “open and transparent” manner. And earlier this year, Pope Francis issued a new church law requiring Catholic officials worldwide to report sexual abuse — and the cover-up of abuse — to their superiors. (Read more.)

A Historical Record

Horrific. From Good:
In September 1939, the Nazis invaded Poland. By April 1940, the gates closed on the Lodz Ghetto, the second largest in the country after Warsaw. Throughout the war, over 210,000 people would be imprisoned in Lodz. Among those held captive was Henryk Ross. He was a Jewish sports photographer before the Nazi invasion and worked for the the ghetto's Department of Statistics during the war. As part of his official job, he took identification photos of the prisoners and propaganda shots of Lodz' textile and leather factories. (Read more.)

Thursday, September 5, 2019

When St. Mary MacKillop Was Banished

 "Weeping she hath wept in the night, and her tears are on her cheeks: there is none to comfort her among all them that were dear to her: all her friends have despised her, and are become her enemies." ~Lamentations 1:2
St. Mary MacKillop, the first Australian canonized saint, is one to whom we should pray for those who have survived sexual abuse, and for those who did not survive. From an old article of ABC News (Australia):
In 1871, after only four years as a nun, she was excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church and turned out onto the street with no money and nowhere to go. MacKillop's cause for sainthood began in 1925 and has had the tireless backing of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart, the order she founded....While serving with the Sisters of St Joseph, MacKillop and her fellow nuns heard disturbing stories about a priest, Father Keating from the Kapunda parish north of Adelaide, who was allegedly abusing children. They told their director, a priest called Father Woods, who then went to the Vicar General. The Vicar General subsequently sent Father Keating back to his home country of Ireland, where he continued to serve as a priest.

Father Paul Gardiner, who has pushed for MacKillop's canonisation for 25 years, says Father Keating's fellow Kapunda priest Father Horan swore revenge on the nun for uncovering the abuse. "The story of the excommunication amounts to this: that some priests had been uncovered for being involved in the sexual abuse of children," he said. "The nuns told him and he told the Vicar General who was in charge at the time and he took severe action.

"And Father Horan, one of these priests, was so angry with this that he swore vengeance - and there's evidence for this - against Woods by getting at the Josephites and destroying them."

Father Horan was by now working for Adelaide's Bishop Shiel and urged him to break the sisters up by changing their rules. When MacKillop refused to comply, she was banished from the church at the age of 29. "Mary was not excommunicated, in fact or in law. She submitted to a farcical ceremony where the Bishop had ... lost it," Father Gardiner said. "He was a puppet being manipulated by malicious priests. This sounds terrible but it's true."

Five months later Bishop Shiel was gravely ill and dying. From his deathbed he instructed that MacKillop be absolved and restored. A statement from the Sisters of St Joseph says the events of September 1871 have "been comprehensively documented".

"There were several factors that led to this painful period for Mary and the sisters," the statement said. "The reasons for Mary's excommunication have been written about and commented on in the public domain since that time. This is consistent with the information contained in the Compass program."

In 2009, 100 years after MacKillop's death, Archbishop of Adelaide Philip Wilson publicly apologised to the Sisters of St Joseph for Mary's wrongful excommunication. "On behalf of myself and the archdiocese I apologise to the sisters, especially to the sisters for what happened to them in the context of the excommunication when their lives and their community life was interrupted and they were virtually thrown out on the streets and that this was a terrible thing," he said. (Read more.)

Let's Take Back Our Schools

From The Washington Times:
So the one thing patriots in this country should throw all their efforts into right now is taking back the schools from the far-leftists who’ve been able to dominate the direction of administration and teaching in recent years. Look at America’s schools in years past versus years present. “As recently as 20 years ago, the United States was ranked No. 1 in high school and college education,” Jon Guttman, a research director for the World History Group wrote at History Net. “In 2009, the United States was ranked 18th out of 36 industrialized nations. Over that time, complacency and inefficiency, reflective of lower priorities in education, and inconsistencies among the various school systems contribute to a decline.” That’s partly to blame.

So’s this: administrative bloat.

Between 1950 and 2009, the student population of America’s public schools grew by 96%. The growth in teachers during that same time was 252%. But the growth of administrators and other office staffers? That jumped 702%, American Enterprise Institute reported. “America’s public schools are bloated with bureaucracy and skinny on results,” wrote Benjamin Scafidi at The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice.

Oh so true.

Whereas one school, one principal used to be the norm, nowadays that same size school employs one principal, multiple assistant principals. numerous assistants to the assistant principals and principals — along with all the accompanying office staff. That doesn’t even get to the guidance department, where ridiculously large numbers of guidance personnel are needed just to keep up with all the new social justice, diversity, tolerance and anti-bullying campaigns that pass as education, occupying school hours that could be better spent — that used to be spent — on math, history, science and the like. (Read more.)

John Wayne and the KGB

So many people have been bad-mouthing John Wayne lately because he never saw military service. However, the "Duke" was seen as a threat by the KGB for his strong anti-Communist stance in a Hollywood riddled with leftists. From Military.com:
According to the book John Wayne – The Man Behind The Myth, Soviet filmmaker Sergei Gerasimov told Wayne of the KGB plot in 1949. What the Duke and his Hollywood friends did to the hit squad is mind blowing. Obviously not one to let a thing like Communist assassins get him down, Wayne and his scriptwriter Jimmy Grant allegedly abducted the hitmen, took them to the beach, and staged a mock execution. No one knows exactly what happened after that, but Wayne’s friends say the Soviet agents began to work for the FBI from that day on. 
There were other incidents. The book also alleges KGB agents tried to take the actor out on the set of 1953’s Hondo in Mexico. A captured sniper in Vietnam claimed that he was hired by Chairman Mao to take the actor out on a visit to troops there. Stalin died in 1953. His successor, Nikita Khrushchev, met privately with John Wayne in 1958 and informed him that the order had been rescinded. Wayne told his friends Khrushchev called Stalin’s last years his “mad years” and apologized. 
The entire time Wayne knew there was a price on his head, he refused the FBI’s offer of federal protection and didn’t even tell his family. He just moved into a house with a big wall around it. Once word got out, though, Hollywood stuntmen loyal to the Duke began to infiltrate Communist Party cells around the country and expose plots against him. (Read more.)