Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Catholic Teaching on Borders

From Scott Richert:
As the father of a family has not only the right but also the duty to protect those in his charge, the properly constituted authorities of a state have a duty to use their power to advance the common good of the nation. Should prudential considerations—such as the danger “of terrorism or the like”—suggest that restrictions on immigration are in the common good, those authorities have not only the right but also the duty to impose such restrictions.

As the Catechism of the Catholic Church notes:
Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants' duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws, and to assist in carrying civic burdens (CCC 2241).
If we follow the logic of Pope Francis's words (which echo not only those of the Catechism but those of his two immediate predecessors in their annual messages for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, as well as in their other writings on the topic), those who would deny that a country has the right to control its borders are denying that the country has a right to exist. Because a country without some control over its borders has, essentially, no borders at all.

All of this seems so obvious, not only from natural law but from common sense, that one may wonder why anyone would assume that the Church favors unrestricted immigration. Part of the answer lies in the emphasis that is often placed on a separate but related aspect of Church teaching: namely, the personal right of migration that flows from the inherent dignity of the human person. But while the right of migration speaks to the need to allow someone in straitened circumstances to leave his country of origin (and to bring with him those under his care, his family above all), it does not entail an unlimited right to settle wherever he may wish.

As the Catechism notes (again in para. 2241): "The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin" (emphasis added). (Read more.)
More HERE. Share

When Giving Offense is Unavoidable

From Monsignor Pope:
We have also seen how relativism and subjectivism have led to the shaming and silencing of politically incorrect views, especially those based on traditional biblical faith. Too many Christians have allowed themselves to be silenced by accusations such as this common one: “You are judging me.” Never mind that the conversation is about a moral issue or a particular behavior, not about “you.” Identity politics says, “I am my behavior, therefore your contrary view hurts me; this makes you a bad and offensive person.”

No one (other than a sociopath) deliberately tries to hurt or offend others. Many Christians have been effectively silenced by the fear of causing offense, even if there is no reason for offense to be taken. As our fearful silence has spread, the moral darkness has grown ever deeper.

Volumes could be written to address the problems associated with subjectivism and relativism. St. Thomas Aquinas provided a cogent response to the issue of so easily taking offense in his Summa Theologica:

It was foretold (Isaiah 8:14) that Christ would be “for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offense to the two houses of Israel.”

The salvation of the multitude is to be preferred to the peace of any individuals whatsoever. Consequently, when certain ones, by their perverseness, hinder the salvation of the multitude, the preacher and the teacher should not fear to offend those men, in order that he may insure the salvation of the multitude. Now the Scribes and Pharisees and the princes of the Jews were by their malice a considerable hindrance to the salvation of the people, both because they opposed themselves to Christ’s doctrine, which was the only way to salvation, and because their evil ways corrupted the morals of the people. For which reason our Lord, undeterred by their taking offense, publicly taught the truth which they hated, and condemned their vices. Hence we read that when the disciples of our Lord said, Dost Thou know that the Pharisees, when they heard this word, were scandalized? He answered, Let them alone: they are blind and leaders of the blind; and if the blind lead the blind, both fall into the pit (Matthew 15:12,14).

A man ought so to avoid giving offense, as neither by wrong deed or word to be the occasion of anyone’s downfall. “But if scandal arise from truth, the scandal should be borne rather than the truth be set aside” as Gregory says (Hom. vii in Ezech.). [Summa Theologica III, Question 42, Article 2] 

Not a bad reply; read it and heed it! (Read more.)

Monday, February 27, 2017

Eighteenth Century Maternity Dress

A rare brocade pregnancy dress from the 1790's.
Pale green silk sprigged overall with ivory and peach trefoils tied with tassels, comprising: petticoat with waist ties and two matching bodices, one high fashion (for early pregnancy) in ‘pierrot’ style cut low and tight with closed front, faux waistcoat panels, short tails to the back lined in striped silk, narrow curved sleeves; the other in open-robe form with inner boned closed front panels and loose deshabillé-like outer panels, the neckline outlined in cartridge pleats, with three ribbon drawstrings to allow for expansion, lined in patches of tartan and striped silk; together with a fine white lawn fichu with whitework embroidered edges.

Kerry Taylor Auctions

Our 21st Century

From Commentary Magazine:
Consider the condition of the American economy. In some circles people still widely believe, as one recent New York Times business-section article cluelessly insisted before the inauguration, that “Mr. Trump will inherit an economy that is fundamentally solid.” But this is patent nonsense. By now it should be painfully obvious that the U.S. economy has been in the grip of deep dysfunction since the dawn of the new century. And in retrospect, it should also be apparent that America’s strange new economic maladies were almost perfectly designed to set the stage for a populist storm.

Ever since 2000, basic indicators have offered oddly inconsistent readings on America’s economic performance and prospects. It is curious and highly uncharacteristic to find such measures so very far out of alignment with one another. We are witnessing an ominous and growing divergence between three trends that should ordinarily move in tandem: wealth, output, and employment. Depending upon which of these three indicators you choose, America looks to be heading up, down, or more or less nowhere. (Read more.)

Style vs Substance

From The National Review:
In substance, Trump’s administration has accomplished quite a lot in five weeks. It overturned a passel of Obama-administration executive orders issued on the falsifiable and now falsified assumption that Democrats would hold the White House indefinitely. The Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines are now headed for approval, and the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan and Waters of the United States mega-regulations are on the way out. Federal hiring is frozen, and two old regulations must be rescinded for each new one issued. The result has been some major changes in policy, as promised during the campaign — the way the political process is supposed to work. The executive order blocking travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries has been blocked by a federal appeals-court decision — labeled “totally unconvincing” by former New York top court judge and Trump critic Robert Smith — which the administration has meekly obeyed. A rewrite is being prepared. (Read more.)

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Bishop Schneider on Martin Luther

Bishop Athanasius Schneider is the Roman Catholic Bishop of Kazakistan. From Catholic Family News:
Question: A controversial document from the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity equates Saint Ignatius of Loyola and Saint Francis of Borgia with Martin Luther, calling him a witness to the Gospel. We as Catholics are aware of the serious damage Luther caused to the Church, what should be our position if our ecclesiastical authorities invite us to consider Luther as a witness to the Gospel?

Bishop Schneider. Well, this document is issued by the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, this Council has no doctrinal authority. We have no need to take seriously this document, which is objectively wrong. It is against the evidence. We cannot put on the same level Luther and Saint Ignatius. This is a contradiction. Luther cannot be a witness to the Gospel, and the Church will not ask us to accept this because it is only a statement from the pontifical Council so it need not be taken seriously.

When we examine in sincerity and honesty Luther and his work, he caused immense damage to the entire Christianity. He divided Christianity. He is not a witness of the Gospel.He denied almost the entire previous tradition from 1500 years. This cannot be a witness to the Gospel who puts himself as the authority to interpret the Word of God. This is against the Faith which Christ gave us and which the apostles transmitted to us in a basic manner – to reject the Holy Tradition as really a fount of revelation and the entire thinking of the Church which the Holy Ghost guided in the dogmatic and doctrinal issues, and this is the case. Luther did not reject [merely] the disciplinary tradition, the pastoral tradition, but he rejected the fundamental doctrinal tradition of the Church. And the doctrinal tradition of the Church
is the Gospel. This is Gospel. And when I reject the substance of the entire Apostolic and immutable constant tradition of the Church (in the case of Luther, 1500 years) I am rejecting the Gospel.

For example, in Kazakistan where I am living there was a holy martyr priest who was beatified, Blessed Oleksa Zarytsky whom my parents had known personally, he blessed me when I was a child. This priest was from the Byzantine Rite, but Catholic. And the Communist asked them not to deny Christ, not to deny the sacraments, but only to deny one point of the Gospel: the primacy of Peter, the papacy (which is in the Gospel). Blessed Oleksa told the tribunal, “If I would deny this point on the primacy of Peter, I will deny entire Gospel. I will be the anti-witness of the entire Gospel.” This is in our time, he died in 1963.

So, in the case of Luther, he rejected the heart of the Church, which is the Eucharist. He rejected the sacrificial essence and substance of the Eucharistic celebration, and this is the heart of the Church – the Eucharist. This is just one example. So how could one be a witness to the Gospel when he rejects the heart of the Church, the sacrificial nature of the Mass itself?

Luther called the Mass an invention of the devil, a blasphemy. He called the papacy an invention of Satan. How can we name this person as a witness? When we do this, we don’t believe in the sacrificial character of the Mass, or we don’t believe in the primacy of Peter, or we don’t believe in the Catholic manner of the unchangeable doctrinal tradition of the Church, or we are committing a lie and playing only a game of political correctness. This is very dishonest. Or we have an intellectual position of relativism, that truth and untruth are the same. And so in this case when this document from the Pontifical Council states that Luther is more or less the same level as St. Ignatius, they are putting truth and error at the same level. This is the position of philosophical and theological relativism. And this is very dangerous.
(Read more.)

Anonymity and Personal Responsibility​

Anonymity or pseudonymity do not remove the obligation to observe the Ten Commandments. From Mary Victrix:
Justice is not optional under any set of circumstances, though weighing the competing interests at hand may not always be easy, and men of good will may disagree over their solutions.  There are legitimate reasons to protect the identities of whistleblowers, who otherwise might suffer from the unjust use of power.   On the other hand, every man has a right to his good name and to have his accuser take personal responsibility for his potentially life-harming assertions.

All the legitimate advantages of anonymity and pseudonymity do not trump the demands of justice:  neither the benefit of the information democracy nor the breakdown of discipline within the ordinary structures of society nor the fact that some people (certainly not all) tend to discount accusations that are made by unidentifiable persons.  The argument that drastic times call for drastic measures is consequentialism.  Catholic bloggers who make it their business to defend the faith all know that for a human act to be morally good, it cannot fall short of goodness either in intention, object or circumstances. If the means we use to obtain an end are bad, then the act is morally wrong.

An analogy to anti-discrimination laws does not hold precisely because of the demands of justice.  The protection of individuals from unjust employment decisions, for example, is not comparable to the expectation that bloggers identify themselves when they freely choose to reveal information that could potentially ruin the good name of someone else.  It is a strange inversion of the burden of justice that seeks to defend the “right” of some to destroy others’ reputations against the right of every individual to protect themselves from their attacker.  The question of who is right or wrong on a particular matter under dispute is not this determining factor.  A man holds his good name in possession. (Read more.)

Saturday, February 25, 2017

A Bouquet of Gems

A gift from Empress Maria Theresa to her husband Emperor Francis Stephen. Share

The Myth of Perfect Equality

From Crisis:
By putting excellence and vulgar behavior on equal footing, we do no favor to anyone. People practice true Christian charity when they do their duty to shine in virtue and excellence. It is wrong to deprive people of their right to have models before their eyes that they might imitate and admire. Manners help bring out the best in us. Everyone, and society itself, is elevated by them.

The final problem with treating everyone equally is that the logic of this false compassion inevitably leads to adopting the lowest common denominator of manners to prevent the suffering of the lowliest. Worse, it leads to turning each person into the supreme judge of what constitutes these manners since each subjectively assesses what causes one the least suffering.

Thus, some turn manners into only that which pleases them and takes the least effort. Others retreat into an individualistic world in which they see no real need for manners beyond those serving their self-interest. In the frenetic intemperance of the world of instant gratification, so many discard manners and glorify vulgarity. This attitude embeds a universal code of rudeness that well characterizes our egalitarian society.

Indeed, I fear the day when all manners will be declared equal. There is nothing more brutal than a false compassion that suppresses all excellence. There is no greater tyrant than the self-centered individualist who does not take others into consideration. There is no worse intolerance than those claim to tolerate everything in the name of Christian charity.

All this leads to a politically correct world that refuses to recognize any superiority or inferiority—even the most obvious ones for fear of offending others with the truth. In short, it leads to the uncivil society that has so polarized and fragmented our nation. (Read more.)

St. Robert Southwell, Poet and Martyr

From Nobility:
Some six years were spent in zealous and successful missionary work, during which Father Southwell lay hidden in London, or passed under various disguises from one Catholic house to another. For his better protection he affected an interest in the pursuits of the country gentlemen of his day (metaphors taken from hawking are common in his writings), but his attire was always sober and his tastes simple. His character was singularly gentle, and he has never been accused of taking any part either in political intrigues or in religious disputes of a more domestic kind.

In 1592 Father Southwell was arrested at Uxendon Hall, Harrow, through the treachery of an unfortunate Catholic girl, Anne Bellamy, the daughter of the owner of the house. The notorious Topcliffe, who effected the capture, wrote exultingly to the queen: “I never did take so weighty a man, if he be rightly used”. But the atrocious cruelties to which Southwell was subjected did not shake his fortitude. He was examined thirteen times under torture by members of the Council, and was long confined in a dungeon swarming with vermin. After nearly three years in prison he was brought to trial and the usual punishment of hanging and quartering was inflicted. (Read more.)

Friday, February 24, 2017

Madame Victoire as a Vestal Virgin

Madame Victoire, one of the Mesdames, as a vestal. Every princess and great lady wanted to be painted as a vestal virgin. Share

A Chaldean Bishop Speaks on Immigration

From Church Militant:
A California Chaldean Bishop is speaking in favor of President Donald Trump's temporary immigration ban from seven Muslim-majority countries. On February 17, Bp. Bawai Soro told reporters, "Mr. Trump has no one to apologize to for his immigration doctrine for the simple reason that coming to America is not a right but a privilege."

 A poll by Politico released in early February reveals President Trump's executive order — temporarily banning immigrants from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan and Libya — is, so far, the public's most favored. The comments come as John Kelly, Homeland Security secretary, said over the weekend that the White House was working on a "tighter, more streamlined version of the first executive order."

The first executive order was struck down by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The notoriously liberal court wrote in its opinion that the executive order "runs contrary to the fundamental structure of our constitutional democracy."

Bishop Soro commented, "This executive order is applied to refugees coming from those seven countries, whether Muslim, Christian or Jew. This is not a Muslim ban, especially because 90 percent of the world's Muslims are not included." (Read more.)

Religious Compatibility

From Deseret News:
Religiously matched couples can draw on resources that would not exist without that spiritual bone during times of conflict or stress. For example, they might choose to pause an argument to pray together, which many religion researchers describe as a valuable way to address hurt feelings.

"The best religious predictor of being happy in a relationship is praying together as a couple," said Brad Wilcox, who authored a recent analysis on minority couples and religion, to Christianity Today. "Taking your faith directly into the domestic sphere seems to reap real benefits for black and Latino couples."

Earlier studies support his conclusion, showing that joint prayer enables couples to focus on shared needs, rather than individual concerns. A strong religious foundation can also sustain relationships through dark periods, such as the aftermath of an affair, as the Deseret News reported in September. Couples who believe their connection is sanctified, or centered on God, seem to have more success than other pairings in overcoming these difficult situations.

"Couples who believe in sanctification share a sense of purpose that goes beyond shared hobbies, self-interest (and) procreation," the article said, paraphrasing Christopher Ellison, a distinguished professor of sociology at the University of Texas at San Antonio. "The couple may believe that God has a mission for their marriage, and perhaps even brought them together."

In general, shared religious beliefs enable couples to comfortably bring religion into their relationship, facilitating conversations that are more difficult for others. (Read more.)

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Queen Claude of France

Daughter of Louis XII and Anne of Brittany. Wife of Francis I. Share

The Passing of "Jane Roe"

Norma McCorvey, rest in peace. From Life News:
February 18, 2017, Norma McCorvey passed away. Her long, hard journey on this harsh Earth behind her, she finally rests in the peace of our Lord. At last.
Norma was one of the most broken people I have ever met, but her impact on the lives around her cannot be measured.

Norma carried a crushing, unbearable weight around for most of her life. She felt the burden of the 58 million lost lives since the Roe v. Wade decision because Norma was Roe. I hate to type that because she was so much #morethanroe.

Why do I detest the pro-abort feminist movement? Norma McCorvey.

Let’s hit the Wayback Machine to 1987. I was a young impressionable university student leader. I was responsible for bringing concerts, comedians, and lecturers to the University of Nevada campus. I had the opportunity to meet many incredible people – musicians, intellects, opinion leaders and Hunter S. Thompson.

One of my all-time favorite lecturers was Sarah Weddington, the attorney who successfully argued the Roe v. Wade decision. She was articulate, gracious, funny, smart and THE FEMINIST ICON. And best yet, she took a liking to me at the many booking conferences that I attended. After a couple of years, I finally secured a date for my mentor to speak on campus. The lecture was brilliant. The event was successful, even though a few pro-life demonstrators stood quietly protesting outside the venue. After the event, a group of students and I took her to dinner and were entertained by more exciting, interesting stories. Over dessert, I asked, “whatever happened to Roe?”

Sarah’s gracious demeanor and beautiful smile changed instantaneously. “She’s a stupid piece of white trash. She’s pro-life and a Christian,” she snarled throwing in a few decidedly ungracious and unrepeatable curse words. “She’s a piece of trash. She was stupid when we found her and she’s worse now.”

I quickly paid the check and the evening ended. Her words and her demeanor hung in the air that night and honestly, I have never been able to forget them.

And that, right there, was the end of a chapter. I would no longer blindly follow a feminist agenda that defined progress on the backs of dead babies. I began a journey from pro-choice to pro-life.

Why? Because Roe v. Wade, the decision that supposedly was the rallying cry for all feminists, was achieved by taking advantage of a “stupid piece of trash” not fighting for the rights of all women. Just another example of a rich liberal white woman imposing her beliefs on those that shouldn’t be allowed to think or believe. (Read more.)

Your Romantic Search

From Convivium:
Research consistently links living together before marriage with a greater chance of divorce. Those who move in together without any clear commitment to marry report lower levels of marital quality down the road. University of Denver professor of psychology Scott Stanley says this about living together as a test of the relationship: “Testing is pretty much the worst reason you can have to live with someone before marriage… if you feel that you need to live together to test the relationship, you actually probably already know the answer.”

Living together before marriage is more problematic based on how you get there. Researchers call this “sliding versus deciding.” It’s decidedly (pardon the pun) better to decide than to simply end up living together because going home in the evening felt like a chore over time. In the same 2014 research survey, participants were asked to indicate the degree to which they “slid or decided.” Those who categorized the move as a concrete decision had greater marital happiness later on. (Read more.)

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

A Disagreement Between Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette

From author Geri Walton:
 During the reign of King Louis XVI, many Frenchmen disliked the King’s wife, Marie Antoinette. In fact, they often blamed Marie Antoinette for coercing her husband into making unpopular decisions. While Louis XVI often agreed with her and allowed Marie Antoinette’s to give gifts and rewards to her favorites, he did not allow her to coerce or sway his decisions when it came to matters of state. (Read more.)

I discuss their relationship a great deal in my biography of the Queen:


Meanwhile in Sweden...

From Angry Foreigner:
When it comes to lethal violence it has increased with 29% since 2014. What we can see is that since the 90’s there’s less violence towards children, especially within the family, and that accounts for half the decrease. But there’s an increase of lethal violence from criminals who seek retribution over beef. The number of crimes with illegal guns have increased and square-offs have moved out into the streets. It’s now more common that perpetrator and victim don’t know each other. In 9 years, gun violence has increased by 84%.

One example of this is the guy who, during a conflict with another criminal, fired a submachine gun in front of a school. Children were running away scared. This isn’t exactly the typical thing you’d see in Sweden 20 years ago.

Also, do note the following statistics from the correctional facility, during 1997-2009, page 28: 47% of prisoners serving long-time sentences were born in Sweden and still Swedish citizens. 13,1% came from a different country but became citizens, and the remainder aren’t Swedish citizens. In other words, 53% of prisoners serving long-time sentences have a foreign background. (Read more.)

More HERE. Share

Family Instability

From Family Studies:
On Monday in this space, I described findings from the 2017 World Family Map report and included the scatter plot below showing how a rising share of births to cohabiting couples corresponds to a declining share of children later living with both biological parents.

Many were less than impressed because of the wide scatter of the points and the shallow slope of the trend line. This criticism is fair: the proportion of the variance in the change in children’s living arrangements explained by the rise in cohabiting births was only 4 percent. When I did a better job of adjusting for the fact that children’s living arrangements were measured at various ages (I added an age cubed term to the adjustment equation), it didn’t change the fact that little of the variance was explained. (Read more.)

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

White Kitchens

From Southern Lady:
The striking retro Big Chill refrigerator in the kitchen was the first spark of inspiration for this waterfront dwelling in Galveston, Texas’s Crystal Beach. Designer Laura Umansky says she and the homeowner fell in love with the Beach Blue hue right away and carried it throughout the home. Generating a look reminiscent of the sea and its shore, they achieved their “casual coastal” concept with a palette of primarily neutrals with pops of the fun shade all around. (Read more.)

The Kingdom of Denmark

From the Mad Monarchist:
About the year 950 AD the Danes were finally united into one country by a chieftain known as Harald Bluetooth. It was his son, Sweyn Forkbeard (and you have to love those Viking names) who led the Danish conquest of England which was completed by 1013. King Sweyn Forkbeard was, in turn, succeeded by his son King Canute the Great who conquered Norway in 1028. This represented a high point in Danish history but it was to be rather short-lived. After the death of King Canute the Great things began to come apart, aided in so small part by the fact that various chieftains battled over the throne. While civil war prevailed at home, Denmark lost control of England and Norway as well as other territorial holdings outside Denmark itself. However, when your history is as long as that of the Kingdom of Denmark, there is time for more than one high point and, in a way that seems rather foreign to people today, the Danes were not deterred by these setbacks and as soon as the domestic problems were settled, began to expand again to build another era of power and glory for their country.

A new Danish empire stretching across the shores of the Baltic Sea was established by two particularly powerful monarchs with the same name; King Valdemar the Great (1131-1182) and King Valdemar the Victorious (1170-1241). Thanks to their successful campaigns, the lands of the Kingdom of Denmark stretched across much of northern Germany, the island of Gotland and east to what is now Estonia. It was also King Valdemar the Victorious who gave Denmark its first legal system known as the “Jutland Code”. This law code was to remain in effect in Denmark until 1683 and influenced subsequent Danish law codes far beyond that. However, the Danish empire built by the two Valdemars eventually met its match with the rise of the German merchant city-states that banded together in the Hanseatic League. Denmark lost most of its continental possessions to the League as well as absorbing an amount of German customs due to proximity and close interaction. But, you can’t keep a good Dane down and as the 1200’s gave way to the 1300’s the Kingdom of Denmark began to rise again. (Read more.)

Monday, February 20, 2017

Duchess of Burgundy

The irrepressible Dauphine, Marie-Adelaide of Savoy, mother of Louis XV. Share

When Faith Costs Everything

From Alliance Defending Freedom:
After much anticipation, the Washington State Supreme Court has punished Barronelle Stutzman for peacefully operating her business consistently with her faith. Barronelle's continuing struggle for religious freedom should be alarming not only to every Christian, but to every American who cherishes freedom. Barronelle is a floral artist … and a grandmother. You’d never expect to see someone like her at the center of a firestorm. But she is being sued both professionally and personally by the Washington State attorney general and the ACLU. This ruling could result in her losing everything she owns — her business, her home, and her life’s savings. Everything. (Read more.)

Tudor Dirt and Dung

From History Extra:
The average householder lived on a narrow street crowded with people and animals: horse-drawn carts blocked the way, flocks of geese were herded to market, sheep and cattle were driven to be sold or slaughtered, hens pecked in the yards, dogs and cats scavenged, and then there were the rats, mice and pigeons…

Together, they produced a mountain of “mooke and fylthe”: entrails, bones and scales, fur and feathers, which mingled with rotting vegetation, food scraps, general household rubbish, dust, mud, ashes, the sweepings from workshop floors and “other vyle things”.

So if you’d have been a householder in Tudor England, how would you have gone about winning the daily war with waste? Here, with some help from the city archives of 16th-century York, are some tips…(Read more.)
Via Once I Was a Clever Boy. Share

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Starry Night

From Southern Lady:
Roll out the red carpet to welcome a parade of special guests—Oscar night has arrived! Set a celebratory mood with a crisp black-and-white color scheme that evokes the golden age of cinema, as well as shimmering gilt notes in tribute to those iconic statuettes. A luxurious bouquet of white roses, anemones, and tulips, plus a handful of vintage film reels sprinkled about, lends a dash of drama. The most classic of theater snacks, tops a silken Popcorn Soup that pairs beautifully with peach-and-raspberry-kissed Prosecco Sparklers. (Read more.)

From Tennis to Terror

From The Sydney Morning Herald:
In Roberto Rossellini's film of 1966, The Taking of Power by Louis XIV, there is a scene in which the King appears in an outrageous red outfit, all frills and flounces, designed to his own specifications. He explains that with this clownish costume he is setting a dress code to keep his nobles poor, and divert their attention from politics to fashion.

It sounds absurd, but it worked. Louis XIV ruled by theatre, turning the palace of Versailles into an enormous stage set where every aspect of daily life was transformed into ceremony. Etiquette was everything in this hermetic environment, and a social faux pas could spell the end of one's brilliant career. (Read more.)

Catholic Divisions

Immigration laws are not from the Antichrist. From The Stream:
That said, the election of a populist whose program is based in the kind of hard-headed prudence that guided Catholic statesmen over two millennia has provoked an intense fight within church circles. Those Catholics who have privileged their own statist approach to “social justice” over traditional moral teaching, liturgy, and evangelization, are throwing a public tantrum. Some of them are using the institutional power which they are gaining under Pope Francis to tar the policies Donald Trump is proposing as “un-Christian,” in the hope of rallying millions of Catholic voters against the president.

Last week, in two separate pieces at The Stream, Jason Jones and I dissected the case made by prominent Jesuit Rev. James Martin that Trump’s attempts to enforce U.S. immigration law are contrary to the Gospel. We showed that Trump’s position is actually closer to the official church teaching on immigration than is Fr. Martin’s (or Pope Francis’).


The question of solidarity within the Body of Christ aside, this high-minded sounding statement willfully ignores the fact that Middle Eastern Christians are the deliberate target of religious genocide, and that (unlike Sunni Muslims) they have absolutely no safe place to go in the region — while vast and wealthy Sunni Muslim countries such as Saudi Arabia accept zero refugees, preferring to build mosques for refugees (staffed with Wahhabi Islamists) in Germany, France and Sweden.

Deal Hudson at Newsmax reports that one theologian, Prof. Charlie Camosy of (Jesuit) Fordham University in New York, has actually declared Donald Trump’s “America First” policy orientation a heresy, amounting to idolatry of our country over Christ. (Read more.)
More commentary on the political and religious divisions from The Christian Review. By the way, traditional Catholics have been marginalized for a long time. It is nothing new. To quote:
In Joseph Heller’s 1961 novel Catch 22, a character complains, “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you.”  Conservative Catholics have long felt pushed to the sidelines of the Church, but since the election of Donald Trump there has been a considerable uptick in the abuse heaped on Catholics who cling to the legacy of Saint John Paul the Great and Pope Benedict XVI.

A prime example of this concerted effort was last week when a column by an Associate Professor at Fordham, Dr. Charlie Camosy, called for the Holy Father to declare “Trumpism” a heresy. This type of hyperbole alienates at least half of self-identified Catholics who actually voted for him.

There is obviously a concerted effort by members of the progressive leaders of the Church to marginalize orthodox, politically conservative Catholics. My concern also stems from the fact that during the general election, we learned from WikiLeaks that John Podesta, the head of the Clinton campaign was conspiring with Democrat operatives to influence the Bishops of the United States and others within the Church to take a more aggressive and disruptive social justice approach.

Sometimes this initiative pays dividends in the hostility towards pro-life, pro-traditional marriage Catholics by liberal clergy and the social justice warriors in the Church. This has always been the case, but in the so-called “Age of Trump,” it’s intensifying at a disturbing rate.

Since the outset of the Trump presidency, main stream media outlets like the New York Times and Washington Post are providing leftist groups the platform to attack Cardinal Burke. His Eminence has become the de facto leader of the the conservative, traditional branch of Catholicism that are growing dissatisfied with Pope Francis while largely supporting the policies of the Trump administration.

Cardinal Burke, one of the four cardinals submitting the dubia to Pope Francis, is now being dragged through the headlines for handling of a leadership scandal within the Knights of Malta. As the appointed patron of the Knights, Cardinal Burke did not approve of a decision that used the Order’s charitable donations to fund condom distribution in Africa. When Burke acted to remove the person responsible, Pope Francis objected.

Cardinal Burke, however, has grown used to controversy: He has been a target of the liberals within the Church since 2004 when he said publicly that he would not give communion to that then Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry. Kerry was a “Catholic” candidate and a highly vocal supporter of abortion rights.

It has been well documented that Pope Francis is not fond of “rigid members of the Church and now is taking more jabs at Trump and his supporters among practicing Catholics. As he said a year ago about Donald Trump, “A person who thinks only about building walls — wherever they may be — and not building bridges, is not Christian.”

Leftist media outlets and activist groups have also become obsessed with Trump advisor Steve Bannon since he traveled to the Vatican and met with Cardinal Burke.  Bannon, the chief strategist in the Trump administration, is now portrayed as being in league with conservative Catholics who want to thwart the Holy Father’s initiatives on climate change and immigration. That demonization of Bannon and Burke is making its way into the minds of Catholics who still view the main stream media as having credibility.

Whether or not many Catholics will start seeing Catholic Trump supporters as “Trumpist” heretics remains to be seen.  What is clear, however, is that President Trump, his White House staff, and Cabinet secretaries are getting an historically rough ride not only in the secular media but also in much of the Catholic media as well. (Read more.)

Saturday, February 18, 2017

The Maxims of General George S. Patton

From The Art of Manliness:
“There is nothing more pathetic and futile than a general who lives long enough to explain a defeat.”

“You are not beaten until you admit it.”

“War is the only place where a man lives.”

“Do your duty as you see it, and damn the consequences.”

“Success in war depends on the golden rules of war: speed, simplicity, and boldness.”

“The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.” (Read more.)

St. Claude and the Oates Plot

From Jesuits in Britain:
Fr Claude’s assignment to Paray-le-Monial proved to be brief. Jesuits everywhere attempt to hold themselves in readiness to respond to new missioning, to be sent to new frontiers even when their current work appears successful; they are meant to be on the move. Claude found himself sent to England, to London where, seventy years after the Gunpowder Plot, there was still hostility to Catholics. Claude was sent to be Chaplain to the Duke and Duchess of York, both Catholics. The Duke was the younger brother and heir-presumptive of the reigning King Charles II; the Duchess, Mary of Modena, was a devout Catholic. As King James II & VIIth, he would become the last Catholic monarch of England, Scotland and Ireland until deposed in the “Glorious Revolution” of 1688. Charles II had granted the couple special permission to maintain a chapel in St. James’s Palace. English Jesuits were still, in those days, in considerable disarray and English Catholic priests would not have been permitted to occupy such a prominent posting. Fr Claude was given a modest apartment in the Palace and moved in on October 13th, 1676.

Fr Claude found it difficult from the beginning. That first London winter seems to have been severe.  Perhaps imprudently, he would not hear of any extra heating in his sparse apartment. He admits to finding London cuisine inedible. Physical hardship was not the worst of his unhappiness. The morals of the Restoration era (broadly 1660 – 1710) were lax and louche, as the contemporary literary evidence shows. Claude was distressed by what he saw but he refused to harangue; instead, he returned again and again, in his preaching, to the Eucharistic love of Christ’s heart. Another biographer notes that “he breathed good will” and that there was “nothing of Savonarola about de la Colombiere”. Fr Claude’s spiritual diary of that time records an increasing devotion to St Francis de Sales; in Claude’s preaching we find a similar emphasis on the tenderness of God’s mercy, and an amazement at the contrast between God’s unlimited love and the boundless ingratitude that people show in return. This would surely have recalled, for Claude, those spiritual conversations and discernments in the Paray-le-Monial days.

Trouble lay ahead. Seventeenth-century London was an ambiguous place and not safe for Catholics, especially Jesuits. An entirely fictitious conspiracy, dreamt up by one Titus Oates, gripped both the English and Scottish kingdoms between 1678 and 1681. Catholics, it alleged, were plotting against the life of Charles II. The Jesuits in England were to carry out the “Popish Plot” (there had been a popular, hysterical assumption that the Great Fire of London in 1666 had been ignited by the Jesuits). Oates claimed to have attended a meeting, in a pub on The Strand, which discussed the Jesuits’ tactics. Caught up in this wave of frenzy, Claude was denounced by someone whom he thought he could trust. Imprisoned in November 1678 in an unheated filthy dungeon, he suffered a rapid deterioration in his health. Claude was charged with traitorous speech against the King and parliament. He was deported back to France and, seriously ill, slowly made his way back to Paray. There, his health broken and after one final meeting with St Margaret Mary, he died, 41 years old, on February 15th 1682. (Read more.)
Via Stephanie Mann. Share

Deep and Murky Waters

From Kevin Burke's Blog:
As a professional counselor, I have seen how the inability, or lack of an opportunity to honor and grieve a very painful or traumatic loss, can impact a man’s emotional and physical health, and his relationships.   Events such as childhood divorce, sexual and physical abuse, the neglect/rejection of a parent, and job loss can inflict some very deep wounds on the heart and souls of men.

I was surprised to discover early in my counseling work with men, that abortion, like Churchill’s loss of his daughter Marigold, can also be a very complicated and confusing experience of loss for some men.  They can carry a heavy burden of regret, shame and guilt that continues to impact their lives and relationships.

This has been confirmed by the largest study on men and abortion by sociologist Arthur Shostak. (Shostak was himself part of an abortion decision and accompanied his partner to the abortion center.)  His research revealed that men frequently think about the child that would have been born.  Many men revealed guilt, confusion and openly grieved during the interview process. [3]

The grieving process is unique for each person, and there are differences in how men and women express and process emotions. But it is life giving and essential for men to be open to that experience.   Without a safe place and the necessary support to share about such deep wounds, like Churchill, men will avoid looking deeper into that murky pond.

Some men will find significant relief in just being able to share with a counselor or friend, a caring person who understands their loss, or in a men’s prayer group some of their feelings and struggles. (Men who have been part of an abortion decision and procedure can find help here and also here.) (Read more.)

Friday, February 17, 2017

Trump vs the Revolution

The disciples of Karl Marx and Saul Alinsky are trying to overthrow the government. From Breitbart:
Here are just a few examples of Alinsky’s rules being put into practice in an effort to bring down the Trump administration.

“Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” During the 2016 election, the media tried to stop Trump from winning by focusing on his personal flaws, real and imagined. That failed — so they are targeting the people around Trump.

The most unfortunate victim of this strategy is not former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who was forced to resign this week, but White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway, who is the most accessible member of the president’s media team, and one of the most effective. For making a flippant remark at the end of a Fox & Friends segment, in which she endorsed Ivanka Trump’s fashion line, she is now being singled out for investigation by the Office of Congressional Ethics. (What “investigation” is needed? She was on live television.)

The media are simply throwing whatever they can at the people around Trump, whether it is true or not. For example, bloggers and journalists smeared Deputy Assistant to the President Sebastian Gorka as a Nazi sympathizer, in keeping with the ongoing defamation of White House Chief Strategist Stephen K. Bannon (both formerly of Breitbart News) as a “white nationalist” and worse.
Sometimes the attacks are not only false, but also personally abusive, such as a recent article in Fusion targeting White House speechwriter and policy guru, Stephen Miller: “Why does Stephen Miller sound like such a dick? A voice coach explains.” MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough’s attacks on Miller have become so openly hostile to Miller, and so personal in nature (“my young, little Miller”) that even the Washington Post seemed genuinely taken aback by the Morning Joe host’s criticisms.

It is worth noting that the media did not press for the resignation of any of the Obama administration officials associated with much more serious scandals — Benghazi, the IRS scandal and the NSA scandal come to mind — even when officials admitted that they had misled Congress and the public. Now, the media are constantly searching for personalities they can pillory as proxies for the Trump administration as a whole.

“Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” In the weeks after Election Day, Saturday Night Live contented itself with weepy tributes to Hillary Clinton. Now, however, it has returned to comedic form in ridiculing President Trump and his staff. There is nothing wrong with that — and Melissa McCarthy’s impersonation of White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer is funny — but what is interesting is that mainstream news outlets, such as CNN, often spend the next several days after each new sketch reporting and re-running Saturday Night Live segments as news.

Politico recently piled on with an entirely speculative report that Saturday Night Live could actually force the dismissal of the White House staffers it has been targeting, including Spicer. The obvious goal of such “fake news” stories is turn entertainment into a political weapon against the Trump administration.

“If you push a negative hard and deep enough it will break through into its [positive] counterside.” What Alinsky meant was that tactics that would ordinarily be abhorrent — say, rioting on a university campus, or telling the public that members of the government were “Nazis” — would be tolerated, and even celebrated, once they had been proven successful.

The current Democratic Party strategy is not to reach out to the voters they have lost over the past several years, but rather to make the country appear ungovernable, hoping that voters then turn to the Democrats for relief. In recent protests at Los Angeles International Airport, for instance, Mayor Eric Garcetti not only joined demonstrators in solidarity, but did so at a time when protesters were blocking traffic and disrupting travel. He was perfectly willing to harm his own city for political gain — normally objectionable, except that it worked. (Read more.)

Does Truth Matter to the Press at All?

From Matt Walsh:
Look, if Trump is ever guilty of real abuses of power, real corruption, real scandal, I will be the first to call for his head, metaphorically. And I don’t think a Trump scandal is mitigated or made less important or more acceptable by the fact that Obama also had scandals. I’m not going to shout “But Obama!” in order to bail Trump out of whatever trouble he may bring upon himself. Leftists spent eight years shouting “But Bush” for Obama’s sake, and I don’t intend to adopt that strategy. But the fact is that Obama did have scandals — real scandals, terrible scandals, scandalous scandals — and, in the interest of truth, we can’t allow the Left to stand right in front of us and rewrite history on the fly. The truth matters.

I say it again: The truth matters.

The truth matters. It matters now just as it mattered for the past eight years. So when Dan Rather claims that Trump may already be guilty of the biggest political scandal in his lifetime, and the New York Times insists that Obama had a scandal free White House, and USA Today along with many other outlets echo that absolutely ridiculous assertion, it behooves those of us who value the truth to calmly respond: UM, WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT?

I don’t know what the future holds. Perhaps Trump will indeed eventually own the biggest political scandal in modern history, but in order to achieve that feat, he’s got a lot of work to do. He’s not there yet. Not anywhere close.

Despite what our news media says as it awakens from a coma, Flynn’s conversation with a Russian ambassador is not a bigger scandal than Obama targeting his political opponents with the IRS.

It’s not bigger than Obama’s ATF shipping guns to Mexican drug cartels.

It’s not bigger than Obama sending millions to Iran and then lying about it.

It’s not bigger than Obama’s DOJ spying on journalists.

It’s not bigger than the Obama Administration orchestrating a series of violent coups in the Middle East, funneling weapons to terrorist groups, then leaving an ambassador to die in Benghazi, and then lying about it.

It’s not bigger than Obama’s State Department, headed by a woman who conducted government business on an illegal private server, selling our foreign policy to the highest bidder.

And it’s not bigger, in my view, than Obama’s NSA conducting mass surveillance without a warrant, or Obama assassinating American citizens without a trial, or the DOJ conducting ideologically charged witch hunts against police departments across the country while Obama used his bully pulpit to push false narratives in order to foment racial chaos and division.

Trump may well seize upon the precedent set by Obama and repeat some of these same atrocities. If that happens, we’ll finally see what it looks like when the media actually reports on the types of stories listed above. We’ll also be treated to the spectacle of leftists denouncing Trump’s abuses of, say, the IRS or the DOJ, while insisting that his abuses in these areas are so totally different from Obama’s identical abuses because, well, because, you see, because of various reasons and so forth.

But as they continue with these double standards, we should remember the truth. It won’t excuse whatever Trump may do, but it matters nonetheless. The truth matters. Even if it doesn’t matter at all to the media or the Left. (Read more.)

The Bosnian Leonardo da Vinci of the Ottoman Empire

For anyone watching the Turkish series The Magnificent Century, here is an article about one of the characters. To quote:
Matrakçi Nasuh was educated and trained in the Palace school during the reign of Bayezid II (1481-1512) and studied with one of Sultan Bayezid’s teachers. During the reign of Sultan Selim I (1512-1520), he started to distinguish himself as a knight. He went to Egypt in 1520, for advanced studies and attended military games, at which he became unrivalled.He received the nickname “Matrakçi” after he created the game called Matrak. Matrak means ‘amazing’ in Turkish and ‘çi’ is a suffix. Therefore his nickname means “who plays (invents) the amazing game. The game was a contest with either a stick, a cudgel or rapier. The purpose was training for war. He also wrote a drill-book for it and taught it to the soldiers. A decree of 1529 of Sultan Süleyman praises al-Matrakî as the master knight –”ustad” or “raîs”– of his time, incomparable in the whole Ottoman Empire in the art of war and methods of using the lance. He copied this decree into his book “Umdat al-Hussab”. According to the decree, he used to play war games while he was in Egypt during governorship of Hayr Bey. (Read more.)

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Sack Back

A French gown, 1775-1780. Share

Quotas for Abortions

Yet another reason why Planned Parenthood needs to be defunded. From Live Action News:
In a new video released by Live Action, former Planned Parenthood manager Sue Thayer, and a former nurse, Marianne Anderson, reveal how the abortion giant has quotas for the number of abortions that are committed in its facilities. The two ex-workers explained how they were mandated to sell more abortions, even noting that there are no quotas for prenatal care or adoption, but there are certainly quotas for the corporation’s chief money-maker: abortion.

“I felt like I was more of a salesman, sometimes, to sell abortions,” Anderson said. “We were constantly told, ‘You have quotas to meet to stay open.'”

“Every center had a goal for how many abortions were done, so we were very goal-oriented,” Thayer said. “I trained my staff the way that I was trained, which was to really encourage women to choose abortion, to have it at Planned Parenthood, because that counts — you know — towards our goal.” (Read more.)

French Nobility

From my18thcenturysource:
How is nobility acquired?
  • By Birth. Usually from the father since 1370 (only exceptions are nobility in Champagne until the 16th century and Bar until the French Revolution). Bastards of nobles became nobles when legitimated by letters of the sovereign until 1600, after that a separate act of ennoblement was required (except royal bastards, they were always nobles even with no legitimization).
  • By Office. Depending on the office, the holder became noble either after a number of years in office or immediately. This kind of nobility could be personal or hereditary for 2, 3 or more generations. Here we have nobles for fiscal offices (tax courts and state auditors), “noblesse de robe” (for judicial offices, members of the parliament or courts that have been in office for 20 years),  “noblesse de cloche” (municipal offices, the mayors of towns), administrative offices (the places on the household of the king and the secrétaires du Roi) and military commissions (since 1750 officers reaching the rank of general would receive hereditary nobility).
  • By Letters. Meaning, by royal grant, meaning that the king could always ennoble whoever he wished.
Could nobility be lost?
Yes, it could. You lose it by failing to your failing duties (this was called “déchéance”, kind of like Athos in The Musketeers BBC series); by practising forbidden occupations (called “dérogeance”), like commerce or manual crafts or farming someone else’s land (farming your own or the King’s land was ok). Funny that medicine, glass-blowing, exploitation of mines, maritime commerce and wholesale commerce was acceptable. Also, if you were a woman and marry a commoner, your nobility is lost. (Read more.)

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A White Dress

A white cotton “Robe a l’Anglaise”, said to have belonged to Marie-Antoinette. Share

Comparing Trump to Hitler

It would be a waste of time to deign to acknowledge such a stupid comparison, except for the fact that such a comparison minimizes the fates of the millions imprisoned, tortured and murdered by Hitler and the Nazis. A woman born in Nazi Germany speaks out. From The Independent Journal Review:
Professors shouldn't be telling their students to go after freedom of speech. They should be telling them that this is the greatest country in the world. The demonstrators can't tell you why they're demonstrating. I'm not a Republican. I'm not a Democrat. I just want the country to be at peace. I see what is happening here reflecting some of the things we saw in Germany, and it's terrifying. It's sad. But it's not because of Trump. It's because of poor education. Trump is not like Hitler. The theory that he is is propaganda. Yes, I lived through some of Nazi Germany, but all you have to do is read some books about that period to see how wrong that theory is. (Read more.)

Toilets, Or the Lack Thereof

Articles like this one make me glad to live in the here and now. From Regina Jeffers:
But what excuse could a Regency guest have for excusing himself or herself during a supper party? Would he or she say they were going to “freshen up”? What would a man say, and where did he go? Believe it or not, some sources say the men never left the dining room but relieved themselves behind a screen in the same room. I do not know about you, but the thought of sitting at a table and listening to someone urinate behind a screen while I attempted to eat my meal (and not counting the obvious smell) would be a real turn off for me, but I am realistic enough to understand the necessity of such crude designs in the Regency period. If any one seriously had the need to leave the table for personal reasons, a footman would be sent to escort them to the proper facility. 

Ladies did not want to draw attention to themselves leaving the table to go to the toilet. I think most waited until the ladies left the room so the men could enjoy their drink and smoking and then went. The men often used the pot  in the room, so we have heard, as soon as the ladies left. I have often heard that women ate and drank very little at balls and social functions because they could not easily discover a means to relieve themselves at these events that lasted for hours on end. (Read more.)

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Fr. Augustus Tolton

From uCatholic:
After arriving in Quincy, Illinois, Martha, Augustus, and Charley began working at the Herris Tobacco Company where they made cigars. After Charley’s death at a young age, Augustine met Father Peter McGirr, an Irish Immigrant priest, from Fintona, County Tyrone who gave him the opportunity to attend St. Peter’s parochial school during the winter months when the factory was closed.

The priest’s decision was controversial in the parish. Although abolitionists were active in the town, many of Father McGirr’s parishioners objected to a black student at their children’s school. McGirr held fast and allowed Tolton to study there. Later Tolton continued studies directly with some priests.
Despite McGirr’s support, Tolton was rejected by every American seminary to which he applied. Impressed by his personal qualities, McGirr continued to help him and enabled Tolton’s study in Rome. Tolton graduated from St. Francis Solanus College (now Quincy University) and attended the Pontifical Urbaniana University, where he became fluent in Italian as well as studying Latin and Greek.

Father Tolton was ordained on April 24, 1886 in Saint John Lateran by Cardinal Giovanni Parocchi, and celebrated his first Mass in Saint Peter’s Basilica. Expecting to serve in an African mission, he had been studying its regional cultures and languages, but after his ordination, instead was told that he would be needed in America to minister to the communities of African-American Catholics there.
He was assigned to his home diocese in Illinois as pastor of the Church of Saint Joseph in Quincy. Under Tolton’s leadership, the church grew to capacity and included white parishioners. This angered a Quincy clergy leader, who urged Tolton to minister only to black members or leave. In 1889 Tolton requested reassignment to Chicago, accompanied by his mother, sister and 19 of his Quincy parishioners. (Read more.)

How Abortion Exploits Women

From The Public Discourse:
The exercise of power over the life of one’s offspring is not a new construct. In ancient Rome, for example, the paterfamilias, or family patriarch, maintained a legal right to dispose of children deemed unwanted or unfit after birth. Likewise, a widespread preference for male children has compelled parents in China and India to terminate the lives of their daughters for centuries. Gender-determination ultrasounds have been used more recently to terminate these lives prior to birth, but the brutal infanticide of daughters remains common.

What is startling about the “women’s rights” argument for abortion ubiquitous in modern Western culture is that it reframes the act of abortion as a means to women’s freedom, whereas historically it was, by and large, a reflection of male dominance.

The same questionable argument for abortion as a necessity for women’s freedom steered the majority opinion of Roe v. Wade. Justice Harry Blackmun found a right to abortion in an eisegetical reading of the Fourteenth Amendment. He concluded for the Court that a “right of personal privacy” could be found in the “penumbras” emanating from the Fourteenth Amendment, among other places, and that this right included a woman’s right to “terminate her pregnancy.”

Penning his concurrence with the majority decision of Roe v. Wade, Justice Potter Stewart said the Court had shown that “freedom of personal choice in matters of marriage and family life is one of the liberties protected by the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.” The irony here is that the due process clause mandates that no person be deprived of life without the due process of law—a protection that, thanks to Roe, unborn children no longer enjoy.

In order to make this argument, the Supreme Court had to reject the possibility that the preborn child was a person to be afforded his or her own rights at all. To this end, the majority decision interpreted the Constitution as not defining “personhood” as including the preborn. The opinion further concluded that, because they believed there was no consensus among doctors, philosophers, and theologians about when life began, the justices in favor of elective abortion on demand could not and did not need to resolve what they called that “difficult question.” They decided that preborn children weren’t persons simply because they didn’t see conclusive evidence otherwise. This shocking and extreme conclusion has resulted in the deaths of tens of millions of American children. (Read more.)

Monday, February 13, 2017

Portrait of the Duc de Berry

Via Tiny-Librarian. This portrait was given by Caroline of Naples, the Duchesse de Berry, to her step-daughter Charlotte Comtesse d'Issoudun, after the murder of the Duc on February 13, 1820. Charlotte was Berry's daughter by Amy Brown, as is told in the novel Madame Royale. Share

Pope Leo XIII and the Unbinding of Satan

An interesting analysis of scripture, prophecy, and history from Unveiling the Apocalypse:
With the upcoming celebration of the centenary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima in May 2017, there is a greatly renewed interest amongst many Catholics in a famous prophetic vision purportedly granted to Pope Leo XIII, in which he came to understand that Satan would soon be granted a period of greater power. According to a number of accounts stemming from highly reputable sources in the Vatican, Pope Leo XIII received this vision near the cusp of the 20th century - a century which saw war and genocide being unleashed on an unprecedented scale, bringing about a general increase of lawlessness which eventually led to the decline of the Catholic Church. The duration of this period of Satan’s greater power was generally understood to last for 100 years, an extent of time which many came to associate with the 20th century itself. However, the crux of this prophecy lies in the fact that the period of Satan’s greater power is only finite in nature, and as soon as it elapses, we should expect the amount of evil in the world to return to normal pre-20th century levels.

As the 21st century progressed, it became evident that there was no tangible sign of the decline of Satan’s increased power at the end of the 20th century. Instead, immorality continued to rapidly slide in tandem with the decreased influence of the Church. In fact, rather than seeing a reduction of evil since the end of the 20th century, many exorcists have reported a massive spike in demonic activity in recent years, leading to calls for the training of more diocesan exorcists in order to meet with the level of demand for exorcisms.

In order to explain this apparent discrepancy, while still upholding the validity of the prophecy of Pope Leo XIII, many Catholics subsequently connected this 100-year period with the celebration of the centenary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima. So instead of beginning at the start of the 20th century itself, this period of Satan’s increased power is presumed to have been marked by the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima, which directly coincided with the rise of Soviet Communism. (Read more.)

Sunday, February 12, 2017

The Home Medicine Chest

From Pen and Pension:
Many cabinets also contained patent medicines. These were usually sold with little or no information about the ‘secret’ ingredients used in them. It’s easy to dismiss all as fraudulent quackery, but it’s clear that most of those who made and sold them had an honest belief in their efficacy. Without scientific trials of any kind, all evidence for effectiveness had to be anecdotal. Of course those who peddled these items naturally seized on anything positive. Even so, given the high cost of medical attention at the time they might offer some prospect of help.

One common example was ‘Steers’s Opodeldoc’, a liniment rub made from soap, spirit of wine (pure alcohol), camphor, rosemary oil and sometimes spirit of ammonia. Others included such weirdly named substances as Daffy’s Elixir Salutis for ‘colic and griping’, Dr. Bateman’s Pectoral Drops for chest pains and lung complaints and John Hooper’s Female Pills for menstrual pains. J. Collis Browne’s Chlorodyne was still available over-the-counter when I was a child!. It claimed to cure coughs, colds, colic, spasms, bowel pains, stomach aches and sleeplessness. Its ingredients included morphine, chloral hydrate and cannabis. Even if it didn’t work in an scientific sense, it must have had quite an effect. People gave Godfrey’s Cordial, also known as Mother’s Friend, to fractious children to quiet them down. It contained opium, water and treacle. Dinneford’s Gripe Water for babies contained magnesia, but also a hefty slug of alcohol. (Read more.)