Monday, August 20, 2018

Rare Painting of the Queen

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

The Sadness of the Church

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Balkan Wines

From Balkan Insight:

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

The country has about 60 vineyards and the majority of are small, with relatively few big wine producers.

The production of white wines dominates. Croatia’s eastern region, Slavonia, with its wine centres of Kutjevo and Ilok, is the motherland of grasevina, a dry white wine with a medium alcohol content and a strong bouquet, very similar to riesling.

Some Slavonian wine producers have opened their cellars to visitors so the impression so people can get away from the heatwave, take a rest in a chilled cellar and taste freshly-tapped wine from the barrel.

Another popular wine from another part of the country, plavac mali, is the leading variety in the Dalmatia area. It has a strong taste which recalls the sweetness of blackberries or dark cherries with some notes of spice and pepper.

Although Croatian wine is very often associated with summer, the seaside and plates of seafood, the country’s biggest wine celebration happens in the autumn.

St. Martin's Day is celebrated on November 11, and in Croatia is known as Martinje, “the day when must turns into wine”, marks the end of the farming year and the beginning of the harvest.
Martinje is mostly celebrated in continental Croatia where people enjoy dishes such as goose with mlinci (dried flatbread soaked in water), chestnuts, sausages and sour cabbage, all accompanied by young wine. (Read more.)


Sunday, August 19, 2018

Benedictine Tea Sandwiches

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

John Brennan: A Danger to National Security

From Townhall:
“Mr Brennan has a history that calls into question his objectivity and credibility.” (President Donald Trump, Aug.15, 2018.)

“Cuba is not a threat to the United States…They don’t implicate our national security in any way…The government of Cuba has not provided any support for international terrorism during the preceding six-month period; and the government of Cuba has provided assurances that it will not support acts of international terrorism in the future.” (President Obama after meeting with Raul Castro in Panama and recommending that Stalinist Cuba be removed from the list of state sponsors of terrorism, April 14th, 2015.).

Presumably the head of the CIA at the time John Brennan, who had been a close national security advisor to Barack Obama since his 2008 campaign, signed-off on (and maybe even encouraged) Obama’s decision to whitewash and legitimize the Castro-Family-Crime-Syndicate. Never mind that this whitewash required taking one of modern history’s most infamous liars at his word.

But in fact, only a few weeks before Obama’s (and presumably Brennan’s) giddy acceptance of Castro’s promise (“cross my heart and hope to die!”), Castro got caught red-handed supplying Chinese-made arms to the Western hemisphere’s oldest, biggest and most murderous terror-group: Colombia’s FARC. The terror-death toll from these Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) exceeds 200,000, and includes more U.S. citizens than were murdered by ISIS. (Read more.)
Will Brennan's text messages and emails be next? From Sara Carter:
Former CIA Director John Brennan has dominated the headlines this week after President Trump revoked his security clearance on Wednesday due to national security concerns. And, while many intelligence officials–like former FBI Director James Comey, former FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok, and Department of Justice attorney Bruce Ohr–have all had some of their Trump-Russia communications exposed, thus far, Brennan has been spared. This may soon change. (Read more.)
More HERE. Share

János Hunyady

From Nobility:
Governor of Hungary, born about 1400; died 11 August, 1456; the heroic defender of the Catholic Faith against the advance of the Osmanli; father of King Matthias I (Corvinus) of Hungary. The origin and parentage of his family was not ascertained until recently, when modern investigation cleared up the numerous legends which surrounded the Hunyadi family. The historian Bonfini derived the family from the Roman gens Corvina, or Valeriana, in order to flatter his king, Matthias Corvinus. Gáspár Heltai in his chronicle makes Hunyady the illegitimate son of King Sigismund and a Wallachian peasant-girl. Others try to establish the purely Hungarian origin of the family; others again put in a plea for its Serb or Wallachian origin. In view of modern investigations it may be taken as proved that the family of Hunyadi was of Rumanian origin; János Hunyady himself, however, may be regarded as a Hungarian from his birthplace; probably he spoke the Wallachian language only during his youth, and no doubt was born in the Catholic faith, which his father Vajk (Voik, Vuk) probably had already professed. The oldest ascertained member of the family was called Serbe, whose son, Vajk, the father of János Hunyady, was already in possession of the hereditary seat of the family, the castle Hunyad, before 1407. The parentage of the mother of Hunyady underwent an exhaustive scrutiny at the hands of modern critics. While formerly his mother, Elizabeth, was supposed to belong to the family of Morzsinay, it was recently shown by János Karácsonyi, that for various reasons the marriage of Hunyady’s father with a member of the family of Morzsinay is inadmissible. However, the name of Hunyady’s mother has not been ascertained up to the present time. The year of Hunyady’s birth is either one of the last years of the fourteenth, or one of the first years of the fifteenth century. According to Count Joseph Teleki, the historian of the House of Hunyady, he was born in 1387. The birthplace of Hunyady is equally unknown. (Read more.)

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Jane Austen: Facts, Life and Literature

From History Extra:
In letters to her sister, Jane described Pride and Prejudice (1813) as her “darling child” and wrote “I am never too busy to think of S & S (Sense and Sensibility). I can no more forget it than a mother can forget her sucking child”.This is an interesting analogy because, like pregnancy and childbirth, the creation of her novels was a long and laborious process. Pride and Prejudice, for example, was a long time in the making – she started the first draft in October 1796 but the book wasn’t published until January 1813. The (unread) manuscript was rejected by the first publisher to whom it was sent.
In regarding her novels as her children Jane may also have been acknowledging that if she had followed the traditional path of women of her class and become a wife and mother she would probably not have written them. Her letters contain no indication that she regretted not having children but, if she did, at least she had the compensation of her many nephews and nieces, to whom she was a devoted and much-loved aunt. (Read more.)

The Devil in the Details

Michael Knowles is worth listening to anytime but particularly in regard to the horrific crisis in the Catholic Church. I understand that sexual abuse is everywhere. However, the sexual abuse of innocent children and teens by ordained Roman Catholic ministers of God is worse than any other kind of abuse. It is worse because of what we Catholics believe about the sacred ministry of the priesthood. Even if there had only been one case of clerical abuse in the whole history of the Church, it would be matter for intense penance and reparation until the end of time. Share