Friday, January 30, 2009

Dogs and Children

From a homily by St. John Chrysostom:

"But do not be surprised that I called the Jews pitiable. They really are pitiable and miserable. When so many blessings from heaven came into their hands, they thrust them aside and were at great pains to reject them. The morning Sun of Justice arose for them, but they thrust aside its rays and still sit in darkness. We, who were nurtured by darkness, drew the light to ourselves and were freed from the gloom of their error. They were the branches of that holy root, but those branches were broken. We had no share in the root, but we did reap the fruit of godliness. From their childhood they read the prophets, but they crucified Him whom the prophets had foretold. We did not hear the divine prophecies but we did worship Him of whom they prophesied. And so they are pitiful because they rejected the blessings which were sent to them, while others seized hold of these blessings and drew them to themselves. Although those Jews had been called to the adoption of sons, they fell to kinship with dogs; we who were dogs received the strength, through God's grace, to put aside the irrational nature which was ours and to rise to the honor of sons. How do I prove this? Christ said: 'It is not fair to take the children's bread and to cast it to the dogs.' Christ was speaking to the Canaanite woman when He called the Jews children and the Gentiles dogs.

But see how thereafter the order was changed about: they became dogs, and we became the children. Paul said to the Jews: 'Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the mutilation. For we are the circumcision.' Do you see how those who at first were children became dogs? Do you wish to find out how we, who at first were dogs, became children? 'But to as many as received Him, He gave the power of becoming sons of God.'"

St. John Chrysostom--pray for us.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Oh noes

From yesterday's Jerusalem Post

Chief Rabbinate cuts ties with Vatican
Jan. 27, 2009

Pope Benedict XVI insisted on Wednesday that he felt "full and indisputable solidarity" with Jews.

Benedict spoke days after his decision to revoke the excommunication of a bishop who says no Jews were gassed during the Holocaust provoked an outcry among Jews.

Benedict said Wednesday that he hoped the memory of the Holocaust would also serve as a warning against the "unpredictable power of evil when it conquers the hearts of men."

He spoke during a public audience at the Vatican.

The Vatican had already distanced itself from comments by bishop Richard Williamson, who has denied that 6 million Jews were murdered during World War II. The Holy See said that removing the excommunication by no means implied the Vatican shared Williamson's views.

But on Tuesday the Chief Rabbinate of Israel broke off official ties with the Vatican indefinitely in protest over the Pope's decision to reinstate a known Holocaust denier.

The Chief Rabbinate also canceled a meeting scheduled for March 2-4 in Rome with the Holy See's Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews.

In a letter to the commission's chairman, Cardinal Walter Casper, Chief Rabbinate Director-General Oded Weiner wrote that "without a public apology and recanting, it will be difficult to continue the dialogue."

According to a Chief Rabbinate source, the letter was leaked to the Israeli press before it was received by the Vatican, which might further complicate relations between the Chief Rabbinate and the Catholic Church.

Last week, in an attempt to heal a decades-old rift between the Church and a group of ultra-conservative breakaway group of clergymen, Pope Benedict XVI lifted the excommunication of four bishops. The four Catholic bishops belong to the Society of Saint Pius, which opposed changes in Catholic doctrine made in the 1960s under the Second Vatican Council.

One of them is Britain's Bishop Richard Williamson, who is being investigated for Holocaust denial in Germany, according to the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

In a recent interview with Swedish state television, Williamson denied the murder of six million Jews by the Nazis.

"I think that 200,000 to 300,000 Jews died in Nazi concentration camps, but none of them in gas chambers," Williamson told the interviewer.

"The historical evidence is hugely against six million Jews having been deliberately gassed in gas chambers as a deliberate policy of Adolf Hitler. I believe there were no gas chambers," Williamson reportedly said.

He has also reportedly endorsed the anti-Semitic Protocols of the Elders of Zion and claimed that Jews are bent on world domination.

In a parallel development Tuesday, Bishop Bernard Fellay, the superior general of the Society of Saint Pius, distanced himself from Williamson's comments.

Fellay said he has forbidden Williamson from speaking publicly about any historical or political questions and that his views "don't reflect in any way the position of the society."

"We ask forgiveness of the Supreme Pontiff and all the men of good will for the dramatic consequences of this act," Fellay said.

Haifa Chief Rabbi Shear Yishuv Cohen, chairman of the Rabbinate's commission, told The Jerusalem Post that he expected Williamson to publicly retract his statements before meetings could be renewed.

"I understand the Pope's efforts to bring about unity in the Church, but he should be aware that, indirectly, he hurt Jews. We expect him to do the best to repair the situation." Weiner's letter called Williamson's comments "odious" and "outrageous."

Rabbi David Rosen, Director of the American Jewish Committee's Department for Interreligious Affairs, and an advisory member of the Chief rabbinate's commission, said that the Pope's decision has created an atmosphere of "bad faith."

Rosen reckoned that the Pope's move to lift Williamson's excommunication, which was made public just days before International Holocaust Day, was made due to a lack of proper consultation.

"I tend to believe that the Pope simply was not informed about Williamson in advance and now he is in a very uncomfortable situation."

Rosen said that the Pope had a history of improper preparation, leading to large-scale blunders. He cited a speech made in Regensburg, Germany, in which he quoted a medieval emperor who called Islam "evil and inhuman," comments that sparked a wave of Islamic-led violence against Catholic churches around the world.

Rosen said that the Rabbinate expected the Pope to take tangible steps against Williamson.

"I don't think it is my place to tell the Church precisely what to do. But Williamson should be censured in some way or forced to retract his statements.

"Until that happens, we may be in contact with the Vatican on an individual level, but there will be no official meetings."


Chief Rabbi scandalized? Uh, oh. How will the Church endure now? Quick, someone call the

But seriously, His Chief Rabbi-ness crying over some imprudent remarks by one individual catholic bishop amidst a sea of thousands of bishops scattered all over the world, many of whom have spoken scandalously for generations concerning the traditional doctrines and practices of the Catholic Church? Well, in keeping with such crying, I would like to point out that I am officially severing all diplomatic ties with a certain bishop of Los Angeles (who will remain nameless) until he apologizes for the systematic disintegration and wholesale destruction of the One Catholic Faith in said diocese. He must be censured for his devious tactics in purposefully and maliciously impeding vocations to the holy priesthood in his diocese, all to further his modernist vanguard progrom of instituting lay administration of parishes, namely, those which have not been sold, desecrated or despoiled to cover the sex-abuse scandal of his own clergy.

He must apologize, retract, and beg forgiveness for every liturgical dancer and modernist heathen who has plagued his annual abomination of a Religious Education Congress. This will not be tolerated! He is bent on world domination! He has spoken lies and has encouraged lies to be spoken! He has, from the beginning, created an "atmospehere of bad taste" in what was once the glorious throne of the late great Cardinal McIntyre. He must be stopped! We appeal to the Holy Father to take appropriate steps and condemn the teachings of one who has been shown his favour for years, and thus bring him back in line with the enduring and immortal Spirit of Vatican One!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Ready to laugh it all away?

I guess, not quite yet.

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the calling of the Second Vatican Council by His Holiness, Pope John XXIII. On that fateful day, wherein he addressed the cardinals in attendance at St. Paul's Outside the Walls, the Holy Father prayed and desired from his proposed Council that the Church may be infused with great "clarity of thought...and the livelier fire of Christian fervor."

Well, at least he looks good in this picture here.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

SSPX Vindication

Press release from the Superior General of the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X:

The excommunication of the bishops consecrated by His Grace Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, on June 30, 1988, which had been declared by the Congregation for Bishops in a decree dated July 1, 1988, and which we had always contested, has been withdrawn by another decree mandated by Benedict XVI and issued by the same Congregation on January 21, 2009.

We express our filial gratitude to the Holy Father for this gesture which, beyond the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X, will benefit the whole Church. Our Society wishes to be always more able to help the pope to remedy the unprecedented crisis which presently shakes the Catholic world, and which Pope John Paul II had designated as a state of “silent apostasy.”

Besides our gratitude towards the Holy Father and towards all those who helped him to make this courageous act, we are pleased that the decree of January 21 considers as necessary “talks” with the Holy See, talks which will enable the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X to explain the fundamental doctrinal reasons which it believes to be at the origin of the present difficulties of the Church.

In this new atmosphere, we have the firm hope to obtain soon the recognition of the rights of Catholic Tradition

Menzingen, January 24, 2009

+Bernard Fellay

Read the Decree from the Congregation of Bishops here and in translation here.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

509B Violation

Funny stuff from yesteryear.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

"Active participation...

is nothing more than a bunch of noise." (spoken during the interventions on the schema of the liturgy at the Second Vatican Council by H.E. James Francis Cardinal McIntyre, Archbishop of Los Angeles, 1948-1970)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Scrape Guitar

Daniel Lanois. This son of Canada is one of my favorite guitarists. Very innovative and original.

"Here Is What Is (live)"

Another, short and sweet lullaby called "Pour Ton Sourire"

give me your heart
give me your lips
give me your eyes, your smile
for your smile I want to give you
A beautiful ring.
etc. for your smile, I want to give you all my nights , days and dreams
(rough translation from newbliss3/youtube comments)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

"Ordinary men...

will always be sentimentalists: for a sentimentalist is simply a man who has feelings and does not trouble to invent a new way of expressing them." (GK Chesterton)

Just in time for the new semester

Good Guys STILL Wear Black

In this morning's mailbox:

Obama's First Act as President
by Chuck Norris

Barack Obama emphatically promised more than a year ago, "The first thing I'd do as president is sign the Freedom of Choice Act." Will he keep his word?

The Freedom of Choice Act is a sweeping bill that would abolish all pro-life regulations across the nation, from parental notification laws to bans on federal funding of abortions. The Office of the General Counsel for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops identified 13 categories of pro-life laws that would be stampeded and nullified by FOCA. As far-reaching as the decision of Roe v. Wade is into the states' jurisdictions and our lives, even it, for example, showed certain respect for state laws and limits on infringing regulations in the medical field. FOCA shows no such restraints; it nails shut the coffin on pro-life choices and safeguards.

And why has Obama pledged his allegiance to pass FOCA? Not only because he has the most passionately liberal pro-choice record of nearly any politician but also because, as he told a meeting of Planned Parenthood during his campaign, "it is time to turn the page" to a new day, when pro-life views and laws and debate on abortion are passé. And if he and the Democratic majority have their way, America will have that new day, one in which hundreds of thousands more abortions will be performed annually. (I still think it is utterly hypocritical that a president and a political party who pride themselves on providing and protecting minorities don't include the unborn among those minorities.)

The fight to pass FOCA is being waged despite a new nationwide survey revealing that about 4 in 5 U.S. adults would limit abortion's legality. About 1 in 3 would limit abortion to rape, incest or saving a mother's life. One-third also would limit abortion to either the first three months of pregnancy or the first six months. Only 9 percent said abortion should be legal for any reason at any time during pregnancy. These statistics are in stark contrast to the goals and objectives of FOCA, which would close the culture debate on abortion in an unprecedented way for any piece of legislation.

America doesn't need to "turn the page" on culture battles, such as abortion; it needs to reopen the pages of its history to our Founders' heightened views about the rights of all human beings in the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution. And we need to revive and re-instill that value of humanity back into society, our children and our children's children.

Under our Constitution, the federal government should protect that right to life. But besides affirming that foundational human right, the details and debates of the laws governing abortion should be left to the states. Despite the Supreme Court's unconstitutional striking down of abortion laws nationwide in 1973 and instituting a completely unconstitutional federal right to abortion, there is still much we can do at the state level to protect human life by promoting pro-life legislation and education. That is, unless FOCA is enacted into law.

After 35 years of ceaseless controversy since the Supreme Court's ruling in Roe v. Wade, some people think that abortion is an "old" issue better dropped. But as my friend and prolific author Randy Alcorn wrote in his small book "Why Pro-Life? Caring for the Unborn and Their Mothers": "Abortion has set us on a dangerous course. We may come to our senses and back away from the slippery slope. Or we may follow it to its inescapable conclusion -- a society in which the powerful, for their self-interest, determine which human beings will live and which will die."

Abortion is not about a woman's "right to choose"; it is about a more fundamental "right to life," which is one of three specifically identified unalienable rights in the Declaration of Independence (and the Constitution, through Article VII and the Bill of Rights). And it is a violation of government's primary purpose: to protect innocent life.

Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1809, "The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government." He was not, of course, writing about the America of today, with state-sanctioned and even subsidized abortion and a movement to promote the killing of the elderly through euthanasia. But he could have been. And his belief in what should be "the first and only legitimate object of government" still should stand, and that includes for the president of the United States of America. But if he and his administration won't protect the rights of the living (even in the womb), then who will? Pelosi? Reid? A left-leaning Congress?

All of our elected officials should uphold that pre-eminent objective of government and strive to get us back to the view of humanity that emphasizes the immortal worth of every human being. Without that, we never can believe that all people (including those in the womb) are created equal, that they have inherent, unalienable rights and that the protection of those rights is "the first and only legitimate object of good government."

And if our politicians won't protect unborn human life, then we must. With Sanctity of Life Sunday on Jan. 18, Obama's inauguration Jan. 20, the annual March for Life pro-life rally in Washington, D.C., Jan. 22 (the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision), and FOCA looming on the legislative precipice of Congress and the White House, now is the time to march and take action again to defend the unborn. (That's why I devoted an entire chapter to "Reclaim the value of human life" in my new cultural manifesto, "Black Belt Patriotism," and why my wife, Gena, passionately entreated for the unborn in our most recent interview, which you can watch online on GodTube.)

Please, before FOCA flies onto the congressional floor in the upcoming days, sign the online petition to fight FOCA (, and then contact your representatives and senators to tell them how you expect them to vote on the bill. You can write to them online by simply going to and entering your ZIP code.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

This woman is funny

This weekend past was the season 7 premiere of "24" which, unlike some other so-called "fans of the show", I have not grown tired of following. Anyway, check it out on Monday nights. Jack Bauer (played by Kiefer Sutherland) is doing what Jack does best (and--yes!--Chloe O'Brien is back!). However, I could not stop laughing at the comment made by one of the new characters, FBI Special Agent Renee Walker. Talking with her superior at the FBI, who is extremely skeptical about allowing Jack Bauer to help them with their investigation on a domestic terrorism case, Walker responds: "I can handle Jack."

ROFL. Sorry, sweetheart, but no you can't.

Godollo, Hungary

During my European studies, I had the opportunity to visit St. Stephen University in this small town northeast of Budapest.

Beautiful, ain't she?

Well, it's also good to know that this state-run university was at one time a great Premonstratensian Abbey (The Canons Regular of Premontre, O.Praem.). This monastery was founded by 160 Norbertine Canons in exile from the Abbeys of Nagyavarad and Yasov, which exile was occasioned by the 1923 treaty which ate away at 60% of the old Austrian-Hungarian Empire, gobbled-up by Romania, Slovakia, and Croatia. The Abbey building (see picture above) was constructed with amazing rapidity, requiring only eight years to complete, and thus the common life of the canons was resumed without further interruption. It was also designed along the lines of the abbey at Nagyavarad, with the gimnazium (school) built right into the Abbey structure.

(Canons of Godollo, c. 1928/29)

(The Abbot of Godollo with students from the gimnzaium, 1930)

Enter the Reds (not Cincinnati)
During the communist occupation of Hungary, the monastery was seized (Viva Communism!), forcing the canons out of their home and into exile once more. After the fall, however, the Hungarian government did offer to return the abbey building to the Premonstratensians (Hungary, unlike certain other former iron-curtain countries **cough**Romania**cough** were actually quite eager to make restitution to the Church for all injustices commited by communism), but they refused, opting to build a smaller, more "manageable" Priory in the vicinity.

I do not have a picture of the new Priory. I did not take one. On purpose. Not after seeing what they could've gotten back and what they decided to build instead.

St. Ladislaus, pray for us.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Dominus, uh, vobiscum?

Amazing that such things actually occurred.

Monday, January 12, 2009

"Break the conventions...

keep the commandments." (GK Chesterton)

Sunday, January 11, 2009


From the essay "In Defense of Baby Worship" by GK Chesterton. (read)

The two facts which attract almost every normal person to children are, first, that they are very serious, and secondly, that they are in consequence very happy. . .

The most unfathomable schools and sages have never attained to the gravity which dwells in the eyes of a baby of three months old. It is the gravity of astonishment at the universe, and astonishment at the universe is not mysticism, but a transcendent common sense. The fascination of children lies in this: that with each of them all things are remade, and the universe is put again upon its trial. As we walk the streets and see below us those delightful bulbous heads, three times too big for the body, which mark these human mushrooms, we ought always to remember that within every one of these heads there is a new universe, as new as it was on the seventh day of creation. In each of those orbs there is a new system of stars, new grass, new cities, a new sea.

. . . If we could see the stars as a child sees them, we should need no other apocalypse. . . We may scale the heavens and find new stars innumerable, but there is still the new star we have not found - [the one] on which we were born. But the influence of children goes further than its first trifling effort of remaking heaven and earth. It forces us actually to remodel our conduct in accordance with this revloutionary theory of the marvellousness of all things. We do actually treat talking in children as marvellous, walking in children as marvellous, common intelligence in children as marvellous. . . [and] that attitude towards children is right. It is our attitude towards grown up people that is wrong. . .

Our attitude towards children consists in a condescending indulgence, overlying an unfathomable respect; [we reverence, love, fear and forgive them.] We bow to grown people, take off our hats to them, refrain from contradicting them flatly, but we do not appreciate them properly. . . If we treated all grown-up persons with precisely that dark affection and dazed respect with which we treat [the limitations of an infant, accepting their blunders, delighted at all their faltering attempts, marveling at their small accomplishments], we should be in a far more wise and tolerant temper. . .

The essential rectitude of our view of children lies in the fact that we feel them and their ways to be supernatural while, for some mysterious reason, we do not feel oursleves or our own ways to be supernatural. The very smallness of children makes it possible to regard them as marvels; we seem to be dealing with a new race, only to been through a microscope. I doubt if anyone of any tenderness or imagination can see the hand of a child and not be a little frightened of it. It is awful to think of the essential human energy moving so tiny a thing; it is like imagining that human nature could live in the wing of a butterfly or the leaf of a tree. When we look upon lives so human and yet so small. . . we feel the same kind of obligation to these creatures that [God] might feel. . .

But [it is] the humorous look of children [that] is perhaps the most endearing of all the bonds that hold the cosmos together. . . [They] give us the most perfect hint of the humor that awaits us in the kingdom of heaven.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

"Birth Control...

is the name given to a succession of different expedients by which it is possible to filch the pleasure belonging to a natural process while violently and unnaturally thwarting the process itself." (GK Chesterton)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Con-Celebrate Good Times, C'mon!

From Wuppenau, Canton of Thurgau, Switzerland:

You're never too young.

Always the First

Could be any local parish, really.

Got Heresy ?

This 3rd of January past was the 488th anniversary of the Papal Bull Decet Romanum Pontificem by Pope Leo X, the letter which officially declared Martin Luther a heretic. Though many things can be said about aforementioned Pope and heretic, I will save that for yet another useless blog entry. For now, here's a little taste of Decet:

"Martin [Luther] himself--and it gives us grievous sorrow and perplexity to say this--the slave of a depraved mind, has scorned to revoke his errors within the prescribed interval and to send us word of such revocation, or to come to us himself; nay, like a stone of stumbling, he has feared not to write and preach worse things than before against us and this Holy See and the Catholic faith, and to lead others on to do the same.
He has now been declared a heretic; and so also others, whatever their authority and rank, who have cared nought of their own salvation but publicly and in all men's eyes become followers of Martin's pernicious and heretical sect, and given him openly and publicly their help, counsel and favour, encouraging him in their midst in his disobedience and obstinacy, or hindering the publication of our said missive: such men have incurred the punishments set out in that missive, and are to be treated rightfully as heretics and avoided by all faithful Christians, as the Apostle says (Titus 3, 10-11)."

Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam

Viva Jeanne, Viva La France!

The Holy Father's address to the Vatican Diplomatic Corps this New Year included the following bit:

"My apostolic journeys, beginning with my visit to the United States, also allowed me to assess the expectations of many sectors of society with regard to the Catholic Church. In this sensitive phase of the history of humanity, marked by uncertainties and questioning, many people expect the Church to exercise clearly and courageously her mission of evangelization and her work of human promotion. It was in this context that I gave my address at the headquarters of the United Nations Organization: sixty years after the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, I wished to stress that this document is founded on the dignity of the human person, which in turn is based on our shared human nature, which transcends our different cultures." (Read the whole thing here)

To that, I respond with:

"The world has heard enough of the so-called 'rights of man'. Let it hear something of the rights of God."
- Pope Leo XIII, Tametsi Futura Prospicientibus

"A man's open-mindedness...

is usually the most narrow thing about him." (GK Chesterton)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Dies Irae, Dies Illa

So what have we learned from the Assisi World Day of Prayer 1986? Well, apparently nothing at all.

Praying alongside the leaders of the world's false religions, the Holy Father certainly did not fear to offend Almighty God, the Catholic Hierarchy, the Catholic Faithful, and ultimately, St. Francis himself.

We trust that the Holy Father John Paul II (oft-labeled "The Great" by his most beloved devotees) had the best of intentions. But then again, we know all about intentions.

Certainly God was pleased with what He witnessed that day. The terrible earthquake which struck Assisi a year later--to the day!--was an obvious coincidence.

But seriously, folks, as light-hearted as I've attempted to deal with this great moment in history, I shudder to think what the blessed apostle Paul would say on that day:

"Bear not the yoke with unbelievers. For what participation hath justice with injustice? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath the faithful with the unbeliever? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God; as God saith: ‘I will dwell in them, and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people." (II Cor. 6, 14-16)

I would've paid real money to have seen St. Paul at Assisi in 1986. Don't think he would've approved. Then again, I may be exaggerating this whole mess. Earthquakes do have a nasty habit of sneaking up on us here in sunny SoCal.


is a never-ending glory...getting out of bed is a never-ending nuisance." (GK Chesterton)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

In Memoriam

fr. Quintin Turiel, O.P.

Great Dominican scholar, faithful son of St. Dominic, ardent teacher and defender of St. Thomas, enemy of modernism, bane of Rahnerites, my professor of formal logic. You are always missed.


This month, on the 27th, will mark the 50th anniversary of the passing of my great uncle, His Excellency Don Jose Maria Gonzalez y Valencia, former Archbishop of Durango, Durango, Mexico. As a young seminarian, he had studied in Rome and was ordained to the holy priesthood by Pope St. Pius X in the chapel of the Collegium Germanicum. Priestly ordinations were indeed a rare event for the saintly pontiff. My uncle would eventually earn triple doctorates in philosophy, theology, and canon law. He had the honor of being consecrated as the 4th archbishop of Durango. During the time of the persecution of the Church in Mexico (1925-1929), he was an ardent defender of the rights of the Church. He was the first bishop in Mexico to write a pastoral letter to his diocese regarding the new anti-Catholic laws, encouraging the faithful not to give up the Faith, and to defend their families, their parishes, and especially their priests.

Requiem Aeternam, Dona Ei, Domine.