VERITATIS SPLENDOR, 10-11

10. The Church, instructed by the Teacher’s words, believes that man, made in the image of the Creator, redeemed by the Blood of Christ and made holy by the presence of the Holy Spirit, has as the ultimate purpose of his life to live “for the praise of God’s glory” (cf. Eph 1:12), striving to make each of his actions reflect the splendour of that glory. “Know, then, O beautiful soul, that you are the image of God”, writes Saint Ambrose. “Know that you are the glory of God (1 Cor 11:7). Hear how you are his glory. The Prophet says: Your knowledge has become too wonderful for me (cf. Ps. 138:6, Vulg.). That is to say, in my work your majesty has become more wonderful; in the counsels of men your wisdom is exalted. When I consider myself, such as I am known to you in my secret thoughts and deepest emotions, the mysteries of your knowledge are disclosed to me. Know then, O man, your greatness, and be vigilant”.17

What man is and what he must do becomes clear as soon as God reveals himself. The Decalogue is based on these words: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage” (Ex 20:2-3). In the “ten words” of the Covenant with Israel, and in the whole Law, God makes himself known and acknowledged as the One who “alone is good”; the One who despite man’s sin remains the “model” for moral action, in accordance with his command, “You shall be holy; for I the Lord your God am holy” (Lev 19:2); as the One who, faithful to his love for man, gives him his Law (cf. Ex 19:9-24 and 20:18-21) in order to restore man’s original and peaceful harmony with the Creator and with all creation, and, what is more, to draw him into his divine love: “I will walk among you, and will be your God, and you shall be my people” (Lev 26:12). 

The moral life presents itself as the response due to the many gratuitous initiatives taken by God out of love for man. It is a response of love, according to the statement made in Deuteronomy about the fundamental commandment: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. And these words which I command you this day shall be upon your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your children” (Dt 6:4-7). Thus the moral life, caught up in the gratuitousness of God’s love, is called to reflect his glory: “For the one who loves God it is enough to be pleasing to the One whom he loves: for no greater reward should be sought than that love itself; charity in fact is of God in such a way that God himself is charity”.18

11. The statement that “There is only one who is good” thus brings us back to the “first tablet” of the commandments, which calls us to acknowledge God as the one Lord of all and to worship him alone for his infinite holiness (cf. Ex 20:2-11). The good is belonging to God, obeying him, walking humbly with him in doing justice and in loving kindness (cf.Mic 6:8). Acknowledging the Lord as God is the very core, the heart of the Law, from which the particular precepts flow and towards which they are ordered. In the morality of the commandments the fact that the people of Israel belongs to the Lord is made evident, because God alone is the One who is good. Such is the witness of Sacred Scripture, imbued in every one of its pages with a lively perception of God’s absolute holiness: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts” (Is 6:3). 

But if God alone is the Good, no human effort, not even the most rigorous observance of the commandments, succeeds in “fulfilling” the Law, that is, acknowledging the Lord as God and rendering him the worship due to him alone (cf. Mt 4:10). This “fulfilment” can come only from a gift of God: the offer of a share in the divine Goodness revealed and communicated in Jesus, the one whom the rich young man addresses with the words “Good Teacher” (Mk 10:17; Lk 18:18). What the young man now perhaps only dimly perceives will in the end be fully revealed by Jesus himself in the invitation: “Come, follow me” (Mt 19:21). 

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    The photo chosen to illustrate an article published today by Breitbart— based on another source, The Pillar — about possible blackmail of the Vatican by China.    The authors of the source article (in The Pillar, see below) claim cell phone data they have obtained shows that, on several occasions in 2018, personal cell phones accessed “hook-up apps” from “non-public areas” inside Vatican City.     This fact, the authors argue, could have been known by the Chinese government, and used to blackmail the Vatican, perhaps into signing the 2018 China-Holy See agreement on matters including the appointment of Catholic bishops in that country.     The editors of the Breitbart article, which draws on The Pillararticle, chose to illustrate their article with this photo above. It shows a bishop using his cell phone during a working session inside a Vatican meeting hall    =======================    Special note: A friend, Richard Duplantis, has a website where he sells beautiful liturgical supplies. I urge readers interested in such items to consider him: https://southernliturgicals.com/ — “Where art and beauty embrace the sacred.”
    ====================    ”But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant… holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied power–2 Timothy 3:1–5    ”And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” —Matthew 24:12    ”Blackmail is an act of coercion using the threat of revealing or publicizing either substantially true or false information about a person or people unless certain demands are met. It is often damaging information, and may be revealed to family members or associates rather than to the general public. It may involve using threats of physical, mental or emotional harm… It is also used, sometimes by state agencies, to exert influence; this was a common Soviet practice, so much so that the term “kompromat“, transliterated from Russian, is often used for compromising material used to exert control. Blackmail may also be considered a form of extortion.” —Definition of blackmail    ***    Letter #73, 2021, Wednesday, July 28: Blackmail        This is a story about blackmail.    Blackmail: “An act of coercion using the threat of revealing… information… unless certain demands are met.”    ***    I received this from a reader this morning:    “Fyi, see below. I am not sure of its accuracy but it sure does provide some plausible answers to the Vatican/China arrangement Report: ‘Extensive’ Gay Hookup App Usage Compromises Vatican Security (breitbart.com)    Bill    ***    I went to the link.     ***    I found an article, published today, July 28, by Breitbart, which alleges that the Vatican is (possibly) being subjected to blackmail, by China.     But the entire Breitbart article is based on another article, published a few hours earlier, on July 27, by The Pillar, a new Catholic web news agency founded earlier this year by two former editors at Catholic News Agency (owned by EWTN), JD Flynn and Ed Condon, from which both resigned at the every end of 2020 (see brief bios at the bottom of this letter).    The Pillar has now made itself known globally for its focus on the use of “Grindr app data” to reveal possible sexual misconduct by high-ranking Church officials.    First was its story last week about the monsignor at the United States Bishops’ Conference who used the Grindr app, then abruptly resigned as the story was about to break publicly (link).    Second is this story about the use of the Grindr app inside Vatican City (link).    ***    The article points to China as a possible blackmailer of the Vatican.    The article suggests that the Vatican’s September 2018 agreement with China (the contents of which have never been made public) — an agreement which was recently renewed — may have been entered into, or abided by, in part due to threats from China to expose certain activities in the Vatican to global view.    The (possible) blackmail is occurring, perhaps (the article is proposing a hypothesis) because — as The Pillar article reports — a number of people, from “non-public areas” inside Vatican City, in 2018 used their cell phones to connect to “location-based homosexual and heterosexual hookup apps” which facilitate the possibility of sexual encounters between homosexuals and between heterosexuals.    Still, the article does not identify who might have been using such “hook-up apps” — whether Vatican monsignors, or lay workers, or even guests in Vatican City (every October in Rome there are international meetings hosted by the Vatican which are attended by people from all over the world).    So this article is a construction of suppositions based on data that does not seem to conclusively identify a single person — unless such identification has not yet been made public.    ***    Of great interest in this account is a brief narrative of what seems to have been a sort of “journalistic negotiation” between the editors of The Pillar and… the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin.    Here is that part of the story, which my own comments in italics in brackets:    ”The Pillar met for more than 90 minutes with both Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, along with Dr. Paolo Ruffini, prefect of the Vatican’s dicastery for communications, to present its findings July 17. The meeting’s discussion was agreed by all parties to be mutually confidential, but the fact of the meeting was not itself off-the-record.”    [NoteA personal meeting between a journalist — the journalist is referred to as “The Pillar,” so it was perhaps one journalist representing The Pillar, but it seems possible that there were two, or more, journalists representing The Pillar — and Cardinal Parolin is not unheard of (I have had such a meeting)… but… but… it is really not common. In fact, a meeting with the Secretary of State, the second man in the Vatican after the Pope, lasting for 90 minutes, is extraordinary. One wonders: What was discussed? But we know what was discussed: the meeting was “to present its (The Pillar‘s) findings.” And so we may imagine a long meeting where the journalist tells Cardinal Parolin that data on the use of the Grindr app by (it seemed certain, though there was no absolute proof) by the American monsignor, and by unidentified individuals inside the Vatican (or were all the individuals unidentified? were some identified?) has been collected… that the information on the use of the app is publicly available, is reliable, and will soon be published. This is what seems to have taken nearly 90 minutes. This was a meeting at which the journalist informed the Vatican’s Secretary of State about the details of a quite delicate investigation. And, one would imagine, the cardinal may have been informed as well that such information might have fallen into the hands of the Chinese government, and so, might have exposed him and the Pope to a type of… geopolitical blackmail. What would Cardinal Parolin have said in reaction to such a presentation?]    ”After the meeting’s conclusion, Ruffini requested questions from The Pillar, which he said he would submit to Parolin for a response, and asked for a week for the formulation of a response, to which The Pillar agreed.     [NoteThis detail seems unusual. Usually a journalist comes, or journalists come, to a Vatican meeting with questions in hand, already prepared. In this case, the meeting occurs, last 90 minutes, and then the Vatican officials ask for questions to be submitted. So it does appear that there was not a normal interview, with questions during the interview, but rather a long presentation. But then, after such a lengthy presentation, why would there have been any need for the journalist to present any questions? The journalist would have presented everything in the presentation… What question might the journalist have had about his own presentation?]     ”On July 18 [Sunday], the day after its meeting with Parolin and Ruffini, The Pillar was informed that a meeting with senior USCCB officials scheduled for Monday, July 19, had been cancelled. The Pillar was asked to submit written questions instead. Overnight between Sunday and Monday, one Catholic media outlet reported the possibility of forthcoming media reports on the issue of app signal data.”    [Note: So here we learn that things were happening that seem to have had the character of… negotiations… on both sides of the Atlantic. A meeting in Rome on July 17 with Parolin; a scheduled meeting in Washington on July 19 with the USCC leadership, canceled on the 18th. (Evidently The Pillar representative was going to fly from Rome to Washington on Sunday, the 18th, or, one representative was in Rome, meeting Parolin, and one was in Washington, about to meet with the USCC leadership.)     Then the leak by another news agency (CNA, the old agency of Flynn and Condon) early on the morning of Monday, July 19. (The report, by Alejandro Bermudez, was released at 3 a.m. on the 19th. The first sentence reads: “The prospect of private parties using national security-style surveillance technology to track the movements and activities of bishops, priests, and other Church personnel is raising concerns about civil liberties, privacy rights and what means are ethical to use in Church reform efforts.”    So it was now in the public domain that The Pillar was (in all likelihood) going to publish its information on the Grinder app use — and that this information had been gathered using what someone thought was “national security-style surveillance technology.” (What?!?)    All this suggests that what was occurring in these meetings may have had some of the characteristics of a negotiation, with one side proposing options regarding the timing of the publication of the information, and the other side, perhaps, requesting that the information not be published immediately, or that it be published only on certain conditions, or that it never be published… But what conditions could any Catholic journalist propose to the Holy See’s Cardinal Secretary of State in such a situation? That if certain actions were taken, the publication would be postponed for a certain time? That if something were done, the material… might not be published at all? We do not know…]    ”Late Sunday night [July 18], The Pillar submitted written questions to the USCCB at the conference’s request, and was then asked to extend an initial Monday deadline for response until the following day, which it did.”     [Note: “Late Sunday night”? Once again, this detail is odd. Who at the bishops’ conference was working “late Sunday night” to receive the questions, which evidently were expected to be answered immediately on Monday morning? This has the appearance of a negotiation proceeding toward a deadline. But what could the deadline have been? Was it the time of publication of the material? Well, in fact, we are told that there was a deadline! The bishops asked The Pillar “to extend an initial Monday deadline for a response until the following day.” So, there was a negotiation going on, a negotiation that had a deadline. The leaders of the USCC, it appears, were being asked by The Pillar to answer certain questions before Tuesday, “or else.” And was the “or else”? The “or else,” evidently, was… the publication of the investigation.]    On Tuesday [July 20], USCCB officials offered to schedule a meeting with The Pillar in the afternoon, to which The Pillar agreed. En route to that meeting, The Pillar learned from media reports that USCCB General Secretary Msgr. Jeffrey Burrill had resigned in response to “impending media reports alleging possible improper behavior.”    [Note: The Pillar published its report on Monsignor Burrill’s use of the Grindr app on July 20.]    On July 23, Ruffini told The Pillar that “we have examined the questions you have posed to His Eminence the Secretary of State following on your meeting of 17 July. At this point, also in the light of what happened in recent days, I can say that no statement will be provided.”    [End of the interesting section of The Pillar article of July 27, yesterday.]    ***    Here is the text of the Breitbart article, with some of my own editorial notes in italics in brackets:        Report: ‘Extensive’ Gay Hookup App Usage Compromises Vatican Security    July 28, 2021     By Thomas D. Williams, Ph.D.     Sourced from: (link)    Location-based homosexual and heterosexual hookup apps are widely used within Vatican walls, an investigative report revealed late Tuesday, which can open the Holy See to blackmail and other security risks.    The report by the Pillar, an online Catholic news agency, [Editor’s Note: So, this article is drawn from another article, from another news agency, which we will have to look at to understand where all this came from; see below] raised particular concerns of vulnerability to China, which until 2020 owned the gay hookup app Grindr, one of the services whose use in the Vatican was uncovered.    The Pillar revealed that at least 16 different mobile devices emitted signals from Grindr on at least four days between March and October 2018 within the areas of the Vatican City State not open to the public.     [Note: So, the evidence in this case comes from… 16 different cell phones, on four days, between March and October, in 2018… If we include March and October, we are talking about eight months, that is, 240 days. We are bing told there is evidence on “at least four” of those days that one of 16 different cell phones connected with the Grindr app, which helps to set up dates between people.]    Vatican watchers have been at a loss to explain why the Vatican and Pope Francis himself have been so recalcitrant in not calling out the egregious human rights abuses perpetrated by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and why the Holy See entered into an unfavorable agreement with the CCP in 2018 ceding some decision-making power in the naming of Catholic bishops to Beijing.    “As more and more nations have expressed their concern about the growing evidence of concentration camps and even genocide in the Chinese province of Xinjiang, there has been silence from the one entity that has the whole of suffering humanity at the core of its mission. I refer to the Holy See,” wrote a mystified Dominic Lawson in the Sunday Times in 2020.    The Grindr app was “acquired by the Chinese gaming firm Beijing Kunlun Tech in 2016 for $93 million,” the Pillar report states, and was only sold to a U.S.-based company in 2020, under pressure from the U.S. government that had flagged Grindr’s Chinese ownership “a national security risk.”     [Note: So, the report is saying the app was owned by a Chinese company until 2020, and that, therefore, the Chinese government could have accessed the data; evidently, the report is indicating that the Chinese government could not access that data since the 2020 sale.]    The report suggests a high degree of probability that Grindr data from its 27 million users would have been shared with the Chinese government during the four years under Chinese ownership, information that could include “user details, private messages exchanged between users, and evidence of sexual liaisons arranged between users.”     [Note: So, again, the report is saying that the data was (possibly) available to the Chinese government for four years, evidently from 2017 to 2020, when the ownership was in the hands of a Chinese company.]    As Breitbart News reported in July 2020, cyber hackers tied to the Chinese government were able to successfully infiltrate the Vatican’s computer networks in the months leading up to a renegotiation of the 2018 accord on the appointment of bishops in China.     [Note: So, we will have to look at this July 2020 report.]    The U.S.-based cybersecurity firm Recorded Future found that hackers had targeted the Vatican and the Holy See’s Study Mission to China, a group of Hong Kong-based Vatican diplomats who have been negotiating the Church’s status in China.     [Note: Again, this same 2020 report.]    In June 2019, the Holy See also changed its longstanding policy of forbidding Catholic priests from joining the state-run Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association (CCPA), which was set up under the rule of Chairman Mao Zedong as a parallel church to the church in Rome.    Cardinal Joseph Zen, a vocal critic of the Vatican’s 2018 deal with the CCP over the appointment of bishops, said that deal was not nearly as destructive as the “Pastoral Guidance” issued by the Vatican allowing Catholic clerics to enlist in the CCPA.    In comparison, the pastoral guidance “is more blatantly evil, immoral, because it legitimizes a schismatic Church!” Zen wrote in March 2020.    Since the signing of the original Vatican-China deal in 2018, Catholic in China — especially those belonging to the unofficial “underground Church faithful to Rome — have suffered intensified persecution, according to numerous reports.    “While the Vatican has reached a provisional agreement with China on the issue of episcopal appointments, reports of persecution by the Chinese government persist as underground churches are closed and their priests detained, crosses destroyed, bibles confiscated, and children under 18 forbidden from attending Mass and receiving religious instruction,” the U.S. bishops said in June 2020.    Beijing has come under growing international criticism for the mass imprisonment in “reeducation camps” of more than one million Uighurs in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region, where reports of compulsory sterilization, forced abortions, torture, and ethnic cleansing have become frequent.    “The CCP has also been credibly accused of forcibly aborting and sterilizing Uyghur women in the hundreds of thousands, as well as committing infanticide of full-term babies born outside of the family planning limits,” declared human rights champion Reggie Littlejohn in March 2021.    ***    So the source of this Breibart article is a relatively new web news agency called The Pillar, founded earlier this year by two Catholic journalists and canon lawyers who both left Catholic News Agency, which is now part of EWTN, at the end of 2020, six months ago.     Here is that article:    Location-based apps pose security risk for Holy See     News: Vatican    The Pillar    July 27, 2021The use of location-based hookup apps by officials or employees of Church institutions could present serious security problems for the Church, even at the level of the Holy See’s diplomatic and international relations.    The use of such apps within the Vatican City State could be a point of vulnerability in the Holy See’s efforts to defend itself from cyberattacks and other intelligence-gathering exercises in recent years.    Analysis of commercially available signal data obtained by The Pillar, which was legally obtained and whose authenticity The Pillar has confirmed, shows that during a period of 26 weeks in 2018, at least 32 mobile devices emitted serially occurring hookup or dating app data signals from secured areas and buildings of the Vatican ordinarily inaccessible to tourists and pilgrims.     At least 16 mobile devices emitted signals from the hookup app Grindr on at least four days between March to October 2018 within the non-public areas of the Vatican City State, while 16 other devices showed use of other location-based hookup or dating apps, both heterosexual and homosexual, on four or more days in the same time period.    The data set assessed by The Pillar is commercially available and contains location and usage information which users consent to be collected and commercialized as a condition of using the app.    Extensive location-based hookup or dating app usage is evident within the walls of Vatican City, in restricted areas of St. Peter’s Basilica, inside Vatican City government and Holy See’s administration buildings including those used by the Vatican’s diplomatic staff, in residential buildings, and in the Vatican Gardens, both during daytime hours and overnight.      Signals emitted from most of the Vatican’s extraterritorial buildings, which house the offices of several key Curial departments were excluded from analysis because of the proximity of tourists, pilgrims, and the general public to those buildings on a daily basis.    The use of any hookup app within the Vatican City State’s secured areas could pose a security risk for the Holy See. And use of the Grindr app among Vatican residents and officials and within the non-public areas of Vatican City State could present a particular diplomatic security risk for the Holy See in its dealings with China.      The company was launched in California, but acquired by the Chinese gaming firm Beijing Kunlun Tech in 2016 for $93 million.     While it was under Chinese ownership, the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) deemed the app’s ownership a national security risk, over concerns that data from the app’s some 27 million users could be accessed by the Chinese government and used for blackmail.    The app was sold in 2020 to a company based in the United States for a reported $608 million, at the demand of the U.S. government.    While it was still under Chinese ownership, Grindr allowed third-party engineers access to the personal data of millions of U.S.-based users, including their personal details and HIV status, according to media reports last year.    Because Chinese law requires tech companies to provide access to national intelligence-gathering agencies, app data could be available to the Chinese government. Under intelligence and cybersecurity laws, Kunlun Tech could have been compelled to turn over the data from company servers to the Chinese government for any reason pertaining to “national security,” experts have warned.    That data could include user details, private messages exchanged between users, and evidence of sexual liaisons arranged between users.    Grindr has said that the company has “never disclosed any user data (regardless of citizenship) to the Chinese government nor do we intend to.” But one former Grindr employee told Los Angeles magazine in 2019 that “there’s no world in which the People’s Republic of China is like, ‘Oh, yes, a Chinese billionaire is going to make all this money in the American market with all of this valuable data and not give it to us.’”    China-watchers warn that the country’s government is proactive and formidable in its online-surveillance and intelligence gathering.    “There is a rampant, habitual collection of and interception of internet communication and social media communications. Members of Congress were hacked,” Nina Shea, a former commissioner on the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, told The Pillar last week.    Shea, who also served as a U.S. delegate to the United Nations’ Commission on Human Rights, told The Pillar that “since the Vatican doesn’t have a military component, the Chinese are tracking their religious ideas, spying on local Church figures in order to keep them in line. Blackmail is certainly one of the cards they have that they would have no compunction in using.”    “In terms of their engagement with the Vatican, I can understand well how they’ve targeted the Holy See through cyber attacks and everything else, and also the local church in Hong Kong and everything in the run up to the new Vatican-China deal,” Shea added.    In 2018, the Holy See agreed to a two-year provisional deal with the Chinese government, granting Beijing a role in the selection and vetting of candidates for episcopal appointment in Chinese dioceses. That deal, which was renewed in 2020, has been criticized for appearing to lend Vatican approval to efforts that force Catholic clergy in the country to acknowledge the Chinese Communist Party as the legitimate authority over Church affairs in China.    Since the deal was signed, China has come under growing international criticism for the mass imprisonment of more than one million Uighurs in Xinjiang Autonomous Region, where reports of systematic torture, sterilization, forced abortions, and ethnic cleansing have become frequent.    China has also moved to crack down on the exercise of civil liberties in Hong Kong, arresting several prominent Catholic pro-democracy activists and forcing the local diocese to issue warnings to Catholic priests and teachers to ensure sufficiently patriotic content in homilies and classrooms.    In recent years, the Holy See has been the target of several cyber-espionage attacks appearing to originate in China and apparently linked to China’s diplomatic negotiations with the Vatican.    In the months before the renewal of the Vatican-China deal in 2020, the cybersecurity media outlet Recorded Future reported that both the Vatican and the Diocese of Hong Kong had been targeted for hacks by RedDelta, a Chinese-state sponsored hacking organization. Other suspected network intrusions were identified at the Hong Kong Study Mission to China and the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions in Italy.    Internal data from Grindr users’ accounts could include personal details, including mobile device identifiers, as well as access to private messages sent across the app. Because the app’s primary function is to facilitate hookups (casual sexual encounters), the Grindr app plots users’ locations and flags other users nearby, creating a map of nearby users.    But the use of Grindr is not the only potential security threat for the Holy See.    The data analyzed by The Pillar also showed more than a dozen devices with patterns of use for other location-based apps within the secure sections of the Vatican, with Badoo and Skout the most common apps identified. Both apps use the device’s location to connect them with other individuals nearby to meet.    Skout allows children under 17 to set up accounts on the app, although with limited functionality, and has been flagged in some reports for the ease with which minors can circumvent restrictions.    Badoo is registered in Cyprus and the U.K. and was created by a Russian developer in 2006. It boasts more than 40 million users worldwide and has been repeatedly flagged as a data security risk for users. While the company claims it has tightened its security, a 2019 report found that downloading the app granted access to more than 90% of a user’s phone or device data.    In 2015, Ashley Madison, an online hookup service explicitly catering to those looking to commit adultery, was hacked and its user data stolen. Much of the data was put online, and several account holders reported receiving blackmail threats demanding payment in Bitcoin.    While actual personal data could be used to blackmail, coerce, or extort app users within the Vatican, selective use of such data could also be misrepresented to extort senior officials who are actually unconnected with location-based apps, if they live in a residence at which a guest or fellow resident has used frequently a hookup or dating app.    Selective presentation or framing of app signal data could present a blackmail or extortion risk even to cardinals in the run-up to a future conclave.    The Pillar met for more than 90 minutes with both Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, along with Dr. Paolo Ruffini, prefect of the Vatican’s dicastery for communications, to present its findings July 17. The meeting’s discussion was agreed by all parties to be mutually confidential, but the fact of the meeting was not itself off-the-record.     After the meeting’s conclusion, Ruffini requested questions from The Pillar, which he said he would submit to Parolin for a response, and asked for a week for the formulation of a response, to which The Pillar agreed.     On July 18, the day after its meeting with Parolin and Ruffini, The Pillar was informed that a meeting with senior USCCB officials scheduled for Monday, July 19, had been cancelled. The Pillar was asked to submit written questions instead. Overnight between Sunday and Monday, one Catholic media outlet reported the possibility of forthcoming media reports on the issue of app signal data.     Late Sunday night, The Pillar submitted written questions to the USCCB at the conference’s request, and was then asked to extend an initial Monday deadline for response until the following day, which it did. On Tuesday, USCCB officials offered to schedule a meeting with The Pillar in the afternoon, to which The Pillar agreed. En route to that meeting, The Pillar learned from media reports that USCCB General Secretary Msgr. Jeffrey Burrill had resigned in response to “impending media reports alleging possible improper behavior.”    On July 23, Ruffini told The Pillar that “we have examined the questions you have posed to His Eminence the Secretary of State following on your meeting of 17 July. At this point, also in the light of what happened in recent days, I can say that no statement will be provided.”    Vatican City State policy does not presently prohibit employees or residents from the use of location-based hookup apps, even within secured locations connected to diplomatic responsibilities, Vatican officials have told The Pillar.    Editor’s note: Beijing Kunlun agreed to sell Grindr in 2020. This report initially identified incorrectly the year of that sale as 2018. The report has been corrected.    [End, The Pillar piece on the security issues of apps used in Vatican City]    =====    Brief bios of the editors of The Pillar    Who we are:    JD Flynn, editor-in-chief, cofounder — jdflynn@pillarcatholic.com    Before co-founding The Pillar, JD Flynn was editor-in-chief of Catholic News Agency. Before that, he was chancellor of the Archdiocese of Denver, and a senior advisor to Bishop James Conley in the Diocese of Lincoln. He has an MA in theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville, and a JCL in canon law from the Catholic University of America.    JD is a member of the College of Fellows at the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology, has served a consultor to the USCCB, and is published in the Washington Post, the New York Post, First Things, The Lamp, National Review, and in various Catholic publications.    Ed Condon, editor, cofounder — econdon@pillarcatholic.com    Before co-founding The Pillar, Ed Condon worked as the DC editor of the Catholic News Agency and was an associate editor of the Catholic Herald. His journalistic work has appeared in publications including the Washington Post, National Review, the Washington Examiner, the Spectator, the Bulwark, First Things, as well as several academic and legal journals.    Ed is also a practicing canon lawyer, having worked in dioceses across three continents and the Holy See. Previously he spent nearly ten years working in professional politics in the United Kingdom.=====================    Note to readers    Here is a link to an interview I gave on Tuesday, July 20, to Jim Hale of LifeSiteNews.    P.S. At the 36:49 mark we begin to talk about a pilgrimage to the Shenandoah Valley. You might take a look at those few seconds and consider whether you might like to join us toward the end of October when all the Valley is ablaze with the red, orange and gold of the changing leaves. (Click here for a link to the Information and Registration Packet)    ***    “Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.”  – Psalm 31:24
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AT THIS RESTAURANT YOU CANNOT BE SERVED IF YOU HAVE BEEN VACCINATED AGAINST THE CORONA VIRUS

Washington Examiner

California restaurant vows to serve only unvaccinated diners

Jake DimaTue, July 27, 2021, 9:11 AM·3 min read

An Italian restaurant in Huntington Beach, California, that has resisted maskmandates since last year is now vowing to serve only those who have not received a coronavirus inoculation.

Basilico’s Pasta E Vino posted a sign on its front door that read, “NOTICE Proof of being unvaccinated required.” It is unclear how long the sign has been up or what would constitute “proof” of not having received doses of the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson and Johnson vaccines, though the restaurant railed against “HATERS” and “LITTLE DICTATORS” after owners said they were the subject of threats following coverage of the development from the Los Angeles Times.

“‘LOS ANGELES TIMES’ PRINTS AN ARTICLE ABOUT US, AND AGAIN HERE COME THE HATERS, AND WITH IT, THE HARASSING NON-STOP PHONE CALLS, THREATS AND HUNDREDS OF ONE STAR REVIEWS. AND GUESS WHAT? WE AT ‘BASILICO’S PASTA E VINO’ WEAR IT ALL AS A BADGE OF HONOR!” the restaurant wrote in a scathing Facebook post.

FORMER SURGEON GENERAL PREDICTS MANDATORY VACCINES IN MILITARY AFTER FULL FDA APPROVAL

“ATTENTION: TINY TYRANTS, WANNABE LITTLE DICTATORS, PRO-LOCKDOWN / PRO-MASK / PRO-MANDATORY VACCINE MINI GESTAPO AMERICAN TRAITORS AND SNITCHES, AND YES ESPECIALLY ‘GAVIN PELOSI’ AND ‘STRONZO FAUCI.’ … WE FEEL BLESSED TO GO INTO BATTLE AGAINST ALL OF YOU IN DEFENSE OF AMERICAN LIBERTY AND FREEDOM, SO BRING IT ON!” the eatery added.

HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA – JULY 26: Signs at Basilicos Pasta e vino encourage people without the COVID-19 vaccine to dine at the restaurant in Huntington Beach, CA, on Monday, July 26, 2021. While the emergence of the Delta variant of COVID-19 has many businesses and consumers proceeding with caution, Basilicos Pasta E Vino in Huntington Beach continues with its campaign of noncompliance. It recently posted a sign saying it will be asking diners for proof of being unvaccinated. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images) MediaNews Group/Orange County Re/MediaNews Group via Getty Images

In May 2020, Basilico’s commenced an anti-mask campaign and a month later issued a statement that customers who wish to dine inside the restaurant will need to “remove” their face coverings when sitting down.

“So to be clear, if you enter the restaurant for dine in, and want to wear a mask, you must remove it when sitting down. If you are standing around inside and waiting for a table, or waiting inside to pick up food for yourself or as a third party delivery driver, and you are wearing a mask, you will be asked to wait outside,” owners wrote at the time.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER

The state took notice in October 2020, and the California Department of Alcohol Beverage Control accused Basilico’s of being “disorderly premises.” The restaurant’s liquor license is still active despite pending litigation for the owners.

The threat came days after the restaurant commissioned a sign in the area that read, “Leave the mask, take the cannoli,” an homage to the classic mob film The Godfather.

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VERITATIS SPLENDOR (6-9)

6. The dialogue of Jesus with the rich young man, related in the nineteenth chapter of Saint Matthew’s Gospel, can serve as a useful guide for listening once more in a lively and direct way to his moral teaching: “Then someone came to him and said, ‘Teacher, what good must I do to have eternal life?’ And he said to him, ‘Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments. ‘He said to him, ‘Which ones?’ And Jesus said, ‘You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; Honour your father and mother; also, You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ The young man said to him, ‘I have kept all these; what do I still lack?’ Jesus said to him, ‘If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me’ ” (Mt 19:16-21).13

7. “Then someone came to him…“. In the young man, whom Matthew’s Gospel does not name, we can recognize every person who, consciously or not, approaches Christ the Redeemer of man and questions him about morality. For the young man, the question is not so much about rules to be followed, but about the full meaning of life. This is in fact the aspiration at the heart of every human decision and action, the quiet searching and interior prompting which sets freedom in motion. This question is ultimately an appeal to the absolute Good which attracts us and beckons us; it is the echo of a call from God who is the origin and goal of man’s life. Precisely in this perspective the Second Vatican Council called for a renewal of moral theology, so that its teaching would display the lofty vocation which the faithful have received in Christ,14 the only response fully capable of satisfying the desire of the human heart. 

In order to make this “encounter” with Christ possible, God willed his Church. Indeed, the Church “wishes to serve this single end: that each person may be able to find Christ, in order that Christ may walk with each person the path of life”.15

“Teacher, what good must I do to have eternal life?” (Mt 19:16) 

8. The question which the rich young man puts to Jesus of Nazareth is one which rises from the depths of his heart. It is an essential and unavoidable question for the life of every man, for it is about the moral good which must be done, and about eternal life. The young man senses that there is a connection between moral good and the fulfilment of his own destiny. He is a devout Israelite, raised as it were in the shadow of the Law of the Lord. If he asks Jesus this question, we can presume that it is not because he is ignorant of the answer contained in the Law. It is more likely that the attractiveness of the person of Jesus had prompted within him new questions about moral good. He feels the need to draw near to the One who had begun his preaching with this new and decisive proclamation: “The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the Gospel” (Mk 1:15). 

People today need to turn to Christ once again in order to receive from him the answer to their questions about what is good and what is evil. Christ is the Teacher, the Risen One who has life in himself and who is always present in his Church and in the world. It is he who opens up to the faithful the book of the Scriptures and, by fully revealing the Father’s will, teaches the truth about moral action. At the source and summit of the economy of salvation, as the Alpha and the Omega of human history (cf. Rev 1:8; 21:6; 22:13), Christ sheds light on man’s condition and his integral vocation. Consequently, “the man who wishes to understand himself thoroughly — and not just in accordance with immediate, partial, often superficial, and even illusory standards and measures of his being — must with his unrest, uncertainty and even his weakness and sinfulness, with his life and death, draw near to Christ. He must, so to speak, enter him with all his own self; he must ‘appropriate’ and assimilate the whole of the reality of the Incarnation and Redemption in order to find himself. If this profound process takes place within him, he then bears fruit not only of adoration of God but also of deeper wonder at himself”.16

If we therefore wish to go to the heart of the Gospel’s moral teaching and grasp its profound and unchanging content, we must carefully inquire into the meaning of the question asked by the rich young man in the Gospel and, even more, the meaning of Jesus’ reply, allowing ourselves to be guided by him. Jesus, as a patient and sensitive teacher, answers the young man by taking him, as it were, by the hand, and leading him step by step to the full truth. 

“There is only one who is good” (Mt 19:17) 

9. Jesus says: “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments” (Mt 19:17). In the versions of the Evangelists Mark and Luke the question is phrased in this way: “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone” (Mk 10:18; cf. Lk 18:19). 

Before answering the question, Jesus wishes the young man to have a clear idea of why he asked his question. The “Good Teacher” points out to him — and to all of us — that the answer to the question, “What good must I do to have eternal life?” can only be found by turning one’s mind and heart to the “One” who is good: “No one is good but God alone” (Mk 10:18; cf. Lk18:19). Only God can answer the question about what is good, because he is the Good itself.

To ask about the good, in fact, ultimately means to turn towards God, the fullness of goodness. Jesus shows that the young man’s question is really a religious question, and that the goodness that attracts and at the same time obliges man has its source in God, and indeed is God himself. God alone is worthy of being loved “with all one’s heart, and with all one’s soul, and with all one’s mind” (Mt 22:37). He is the source of man’s happiness. Jesus brings the question about morally good action back to its religious foundations, to the acknowledgment of God, who alone is goodness, fullness of life, the final end of human activity, and perfect happiness. 

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 Why Are Educated White People So Stupid? 
July 28, 2021
Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on the results of a new Pew Research Center survey:
All over the world, the best educated white people are also the most likely to be stupid. There are exceptions, of course, but the generalization remains true nonetheless.
By educated, I mean the number of years spent in school, and nothing more. By stupidity, I mean a lack of common sense, as in a denial of human nature. By this measure, a large swath of the well-educated white people who live in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand are plainly stupid people.
The latest evidence to support this observation can be found in the results of a Pew Research Center survey, published July 27. I hasten to add that the researchers at Pew did not come to my conclusion, but that has no bearing on my interpretation of their data.
Pew found that 56% of adults surveyed believe that “gender is determined by sex assigned at birth,” and 41% believe it can be different. Who believes the latter? “Liberal Democrats are particularly likely to say gender can be different from sex assigned at birth.” In fact, 81% believe this to be true.
Also, “those with a bachelor’s degree or more education are more likely than those who do not have a college degree to say a person’s gender can be different from sex assigned at birth.” Regarding race, white people are the most likely to accept this position; blacks are the least likely.
Let’s begin with Sociology 101. Then we can proceed to Biology 101.
The term “gender” is constantly misused these days: it means socially learned roles that are deemed appropriate for men and women. Thus, asking someone on an employment or medical form what “gender” he is makes no sense: the proper question is what “sex” the person is.
It is also inaccurate to say that someone’s sex was “assigned at birth.” No one is ever “assigned” his sex—it is a given. To be exact, every person who ever walked the face of the earth had his sex determined by his father. Period. In other words, the only person “assigning” the sex of the baby is the one keeping hospital records. Similarly, “gender-reveal” parties, which are really “sex-reveal” parties, are actually celebrations of what has been learned in utero about what the father has bequeathed.
Contrary to what so many educated white people believe, there is no such thing as a “non-binary” person. A human being is either a male or a female. He or she may deny this, but that is of no consequence. A person could, conceivably, think of himself as a giraffe, but self-identity is not dispositive. Reality matters more than subjective interpretations of it.
Here are some more basic biological facts that are resisted by educated white people.
A male carries the XY chromosomes; a female carries XX. Sorry, folks, there is no third combination—no XYZ exists. It’s a binary fact of life.
Another fact of life is that only females produce eggs. Males are incapable of doing so, and this certainly includes those biological men who identify as a woman. Here’s another reality check: a man can think of himself as a woman until the cows come home, but he will never be able to menstruate.
I have more bad news for those who have stayed in school too long.
Males have a penis, scrotum, and testicles. Females have a vagina, uterus, and ovaries. Yes, one can pay a doctor to mutilate his genitals and construct a Lego-type replacement—though many trans persons refuse to finish the job—but this is still not a game changer.  
For example, males are continuously fertile from puberty—their sperms never stop being produced. Females are fertile for 12 hours a month, until menopause. Men have more testosterone and less estrogen than women; the obverse is also true. Males have a larger brain, thinner face, and larger veins than females. And so on.
The biological differences are evident everywhere. To take one example, the Olympics are the greatest demonstration of nature-based differences in the world. Men are stronger and faster than women, and it is this fact of life that drives sex segregation in sports. Even the most ardent feminists know this to be true. Otherwise, they would scream about discrimination and demand that all events be “inclusive” of both sexes.
The fundamental question remains. Why are educated white people the most likely to swallow the moonshine that a man who thinks he is a woman is, therefore, a woman (and vice versa)? The only plausible answer is that they have been the most indoctrinated by radical egalitarian ideologies.
To rebel against one’s own nature is sick; for others to affirm it is even sicker.
Fortunately, the notion that human nature does not exist is rejected by most of those who have less schooling, and who are non-white. More good news: It has had even less effect on those who live in Latin America, Africa, Russia, or Asia.
Educated white people who deny what nature, and nature’s God, has ordained, need to be deprogrammed. Either that or they will continue to prove just how stupid they really are.
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THE CATHOLIC MONITOR

Can Black Anti-Crime Elder defeat AOC Clone Newsom as Anti-Crime Black Adams defeated Pro-Crime AOC Candidates in New York?

Most Californians aren’t aware of the fact that a former police officer and Republican who is Black, Eric Adam, defeated  Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) backed candidates in New York City. The New York Post reported “Adams’ anti-crime message resonated with broad spectrum of Dems in NYC”:

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams secured a solid first-place lead in the Democratic primary for mayor because his vow to bolster public safety resonated with a broad cross-section of voters in working- and middle-class neighborhoods throughout the city, Post interviews reveal…

…  Adams received 2,652 votes in the 27th AD, followed by Andrew Yang with 2,395 votes, Kathryn Garcia with 1,510 votes and [AOC backed] Maya Wiley with 1,208 votes. Adams and Yang presented the strongest get-touch on crime messages on the campaign trail.

Indeed, voters said they gave Adams the nod because of concerns over rising crime and a decline in quality of life.

“Normally, I’m not a law-and-order type, but there comes a time when you have to put your foot down,” said Kew Gardens resident Anthony Franzone, 67, who voted Tuesday at PS 99/The Kew Gardens School.

He referenced the shooting murder of a young man at a notorious local hotel early New Year’s morning, which rattled residents who populate suburban-style single-family homes and co-op apartments near Queens’ civic hub — Borough Hall and the state courthouse.

“We need some law and order in the city,” Franzone said…

…  Assemblyman Daniel Rosenthal, who represents the 27th AD and backed Yang, said he was not surprised by Adams’ strong showing on his turf.

“The No. 1 issue I heard from constituents who voted was public safety and quality of life. Eric ran a good race,” Rosenthal said. [https://nypost.com/2021/06/27/adams-anti-crime-message-resonated-with-broad-spectrum-of-dems/]

Fox News said “AOC influence in question after Eric Adams defeats her picks for NYC mayor”:

“Ocasio-Cortez endorsed progressive candidate Maya Wiley and ranked Scott Stringer as her second choice. Neither candidate even advanced to the final round, where Adams faced off against Kathryn Garcia in a close contest.” [https://www.foxnews.com/politics/aoc-influence-in-question-eric-adams-nyc-mayoral-race]

Fox Business reported that pro-crime Ocasio-Cortez “wants to spend $2B on protecting herself while dismissing crime surge.” [https://youtu.be/biB-SyWG9zU]

Is Gavin Newsom a clone of pro-crime AOC?

It appears that Newsom is pro-crime like Ocasio-Cortez according to Cal Matters:

Early on in his term, Newsom incensed the state’s tough-on-crime voters by halting executions statewide — a decision that got a specific call-out in the recall petition

… Meanwhile, homicides in California shot up in 2020, though they still remain low by historical standards. Whether that increase is a pandemic-era anomaly or a sign of things to come, it’s another political vulnerability for a governor who has been a stalwart liberal on crime. Recall proponents, who held a July 20 press event at the state Capitol with relatives of murder victims, certainly think so.

What he’s done:

  • End the death penalty (for now): Newsom made no secret of his opposition to capital punishment during his 2018 campaign. Sure enough, one of his first acts as governor was to place a statewide moratorium on executions. It’s not a permanent ban — there are still more than 700 people on death row and a future governor can undo the move with the stroke of a pen. Recall supporters are counting on it.
  • Put new limits on police use of force: One of 2019’s fiercest legislative battles was over a bill to make it more difficult for police to legally justify killing civilians. After helping to broker a compromise between criminal justice reform advocates and police unions, Newsom signed the bill into law calling on further action to “make this moment meaningful.” A CalMatters analysis foundthat the law hasn’t yet had the transformative impact hoped for by supporters. 
  • Move forward with two prison closures: Newsom has been flirting with the idea of closing a state prison since his inauguration. Now, he’s pushing ahead with shuttering two: Deuel Vocational Institution in Tracy by Sept. 30, and California Correctional Center in Susanville by next summer. It’s a response to a long-term decline in the state’s incarcerated population — helped along by the pandemic — but it also represents a sea change in a state once the epicenter of the “tough on crime” movement. [https://calmatters.org/explainers/newsom-recall-report-card/]

Moreover, The Epoch Times reported in an article that Newsom is “‘Criminalizing individual participation at a church, synagogue, mosque temple.” The article reported that CEO Harmeet Dhillon of the Center for American Liberty filed a lawsuit against Governor Gavin Newsom:

“‘Criminalizing individual participation at a church, synagogue, mosque temple or. other houses of worship clearly violates the First Amendment,’ Dhillon said. ‘If a Californian is able to go to Costco… then he or she must be allowed to practice their faith using the same precautions.'”
(Epoch Times, “Let’s Reclaim What is Fundamental,” April 16-22, 2020)

Can Newsom be defeated by a Black candidate like Adams who is anti-crime such as the Black Larry Elder? 

Yesterday, the Los Angeles Times reported the governor race appears to be a toss up which offers a realistic chance for the anti-crime Black candidate to win over the pro-crime AOC clone Newsom:

A new UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll co-sponsored by the Los Angeles Times found that among the dozens of candidates in the running to replace Gov. Gavin Newsom, conservative talk radio host Larry Elder leads the race, with many voters still undecided.

The poll found that 47% of likely California voters supported recalling the Democratic governor, compared with 50% who opposed removing Newsom from office — a difference just shy of the survey’s margin of error. [https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-07-27/larry-elder-leads-gop-in-newsom-recall-push-poll-shows ]

Also, the Wall Street Journal in the article “Could Larry Elder Really Replace California Gov. Gavin Newsom” said that attorney Elder who is a bestselling author and popular talk-radio host “leads all other candidates.” [https://www.wsj.com/articles/larry-elder-california-gov-gavin-newsom-recall-election-11627422240 ]

Stop for a moment of silence, ask Jesus Christ what He wants you to do now and next. In this silence remember God, Father, Son and Holy Ghost – Three Divine Persons yet One God, has an ordered universe where you can know truth and falsehood as well as never forget that He wants you to have eternal happiness with Him as his son or daughter by grace. Make this a practice. By doing this you are doing more good than reading anything here or anywhere else on the Internet.

Francis Notes:

– Doctor of the Church St. Francis de Sales totally confirmed beyond any doubt the possibility of a heretical pope and what must be done by the Church in such a situation:

“[T]he Pope… WHEN he is EXPLICITLY a heretic, he falls ipso facto from his dignity and out of the Church, and the Church MUST either deprive him, or, as some say, declare him deprived, of his Apostolic See.”
(The Catholic Controversy, by St. Francis de Sales, Pages 305-306)

Saint Robert Bellarmine, also, said “the Pope heretic is not deposed ipso facto, but must be declared deposed by the Church.”
[https://archive.org/stream/SilveiraImplicationsOfNewMissaeAndHereticPopes/Silveira%20Implications%20of%20New%20Missae%20and%20Heretic%20Popes_djvu.txt]

– “If Francis is a Heretic, What should Canonically happen to him?”: http://www.thecatholicmonitor.com/2020/12/if-francis-is-heretic-what-should.html

– “Could Francis be a Antipope even though the Majority of Cardinals claim he is Pope?”: http://www.thecatholicmonitor.com/2019/03/could-francis-be-antipope-even-though.html

 –  LifeSiteNews, “Confusion explodes as Pope Francis throws magisterial weight behind communion for adulterers,” December 4, 2017:

The AAS guidelines explicitly allows “sexually active adulterous couples facing ‘complex circumstances’ to ‘access the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist.'”

–  On February 2018, in Rorate Caeli, Catholic theologian Dr. John Lamont:

“The AAS statement… establishes that Pope Francis in Amoris Laetitia has affirmed propositions that are heretical in the strict sense.”

– On December 2, 2017, Bishop Rene Gracida:

“Francis’ heterodoxy is now official. He has published his letter to the Argentina bishops in Acta Apostlica Series making those letters magisterial documents.”

Pray an Our Father now for the restoration of the Church by the bishops by the grace of God.

Election Notes: 

– Intel Cryptanalyst-Mathematician on Biden Steal: “212Million Registered Voters & 66.2% Voting,140.344 M Voted…Trump got 74 M, that leaves only 66.344 M for Biden” [http://catholicmonitor.blogspot.com/2020/12/intel-cryptanalyst-mathematician-on.html?m=1]

– Will US be Venezuela?: Ex-CIA Official told Epoch Times “Chávez started to Focus on [Smartmatic] Voting Machines to Ensure Victory as early as 2003”: http://catholicmonitor.blogspot.com/2020/12/will-us-be-venezuela-ex-cia-official.html– Tucker Carlson’s Conservatism Inc. Biden Steal Betrayal is explained by “One of the Greatest Columns ever Written” according to Rush: http://catholicmonitor.blogspot.com/2021/01/tucker-carlsons-conservatism-inc-biden.html?m=1 – A Hour which will Live in Infamy: 10:01pm November 3, 2020: 
http://www.thecatholicmonitor.com/2021/01/a-hour-which-will-live-in-infamy-1001pm.html?m=1 What is needed right now to save America from those who would destroy our God given rights is to pray at home or in church and if called to even go to outdoor prayer rallies in every town and city across the United States for God to pour out His grace on our country to save us from those who would use a Reichstag Fire-like incident to destroy our civil liberties. [Is the DC Capitol Incident Comparable to the Nazi Reichstag Fire Incident where the German People Lost their Civil Liberties?http://catholicmonitor.blogspot.com/2021/01/is-dc-capital-incident-comparable-to.html?m=1 and Epoch Times Show Crossroads on Capitol Incident: “Anitfa ‘Agent Provocateurs‘”: 
http://catholicmonitor.blogspot.com/2021/01/epoch-times-show-crossroads-on-capital.html?m=1
Pray an Our Father now for the grace to know God’s Will and to do it. 

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 DAILY KNIGHT

COVID Vaccine an Instrument of Murder, World Slavery

David Martin | The Daily Knight

While people are running frantically to get the “jab,” it somehow has evaded them that the COVID vaccine is a bio-weapon that was concocted by population-control experts to execute their plan of eliminating human life under the guise of COVID prevention.

There is no denying that the COVID vaccine has wrought disaster throughout the world with thousands of people having died from it. According to eminent physician Dr. Peter McCullough, the COVID Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have likely caused 50,000 to 70,000 deaths already in the U.S. https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/eminent-doc-covid-vax-is-bioterrorism-by-injection-and-has-likely-caused-at-least-50k-deaths-in-the-us

Dr. Vladimir Zelenko who has successfully cured thousands of COVID patients using zinc, hydroxychloroquine, and azithromycin, suspects that the COVID vaccine has now killed up to 100,000 people and warns that everyone who receives the “jab” could die of complications in the next two to three years. https://stateofthenation.co/?p=72093

In 2020, Canadian immunologist and vaccine researcher Byram Bridle, Ph.D., was awarded a $230,000.00 government grant to join a team of international scientists in researching COVID vaccine development. The research unveiled a huge problem with all COVID-19 vaccines.

“We made a big mistake,” Bridle says. “By vaccinating people we are inadvertently inoculating them with a toxin.”

Bridle refers to the billions of pathogenic spike proteins that are generated by the COVID vaccine. The spike protein binds to 1 platelet receptors and the cells that line your blood vessels, resulting in deadly blood clots due to platelet clumping, cardiovascular problems, neurological problems, and the eventual deprivation of oxygen to every cell of the body. https://rightsfreedoms.wordpress.com/2021/06/16/researcher-we-made-a-big-mistake-on-covid-19-vaccine/

According to internationally acclaimed physician Dr. Joseph Mercola, M.D., the synthetic mRNA in the vaccine has been programmed to instruct your cells to produce an unnatural, genetically engineered spike protein, which is responsible for most of the damage wrought.

“When you get the COVID-19 vaccine, you are being injected with an agent that instructs your body to produce the bioweapon in its own cells. This is about as diabolical as it gets.” — Joseph Mercola, M.D.

Vaccine Made With Aborted Baby Parts

The foregoing is not to mention that the COVID vaccine is made with aborted baby parts, which automatically flags it as diabolical. https://www.chop.edu/centers-programs/vaccine-education-center/vaccine-ingredients/fetal-tissues Satanists see the murder of babies (abortion) as a sacrifice to the devil and the flesh of murdered babies is put in the vaccine as a means of getting man to indirectly participate with the things of Satan.

The mere fact that the COVID vaccine is being so emphatically pushed by the radical agents of the New World Order—including agents like Bill Clinton, Klaus Schwab and Satanist Bill Gates who drinks human blood—is a dead give-away as to the demonic nature of the vaccine, so why are people being so easily pushed into this? The answer is fear. People are afraid of catching COVID and are afraid of losing their benefits and livelihood, so they capitulate, which brings us to the crux of the issue.

Vaccine Passport

The key reason COVID-19 was sprung on us was to blackmail man into taking the vaccine. What is crucial to this plan is that every vaccination administered is verified so that world “health” officials can keep track of who has and hasn’t received the vaccine. Without this verification it will eventually come about that one will not have a ticket to ride in society—can’t ride a bus, can’t buy a house, can’t have medical insurance or care. Through this blackmail, globalists are moving us into that time when “no man might buy or sell, but he that hath the character, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” (Apocalypse 13: 17)

Mark of the Beast?

To this end, Bill Gates and his Luciferians developed the Human Implantable Quantum Dot Microneedle Vaccination Delivery System using a chemical enzyme called “Luciferase” that makes the vaccination readable through a special mobile device app — an app that is already in use. When the vaccinated person is scanned, this Luciferase enzyme lights up and makes the vaccination readable long after it has been injected. The number 060606 will appear on the bar-code. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ywuCRVJVDqs

Hence we see the connection between COVID-19 and the prophesied Mark of the Beast. COVID-19 stands for “Certification Of Vaccination ID,” a plan that was finalized in 2019 with funding in the $billions from Bill Gates. The table is being set for the Mark of the Beast, the “Great Reset” approaches. The mobile app will verify your vaccination, without which you will have no “passport” to ride.

Trump Must Be Reinstated

The positive side to this is that this plan will never succeed as long as President Trump remains in office, which is why the infernal snakes of the NWO ousted him via the 2020 election steal. Biden was fraudulently installed in the Oval Office to open the way to this time of world tyranny planned by the internationalists so it is imperative that patriot America act with firm resolution to indict Biden and restore Trump to office, lest we be herded like cattle to our own slavery.

1. For those who develop maladies after COVID vaccination, Dr. Mercola strongly recommends that they take Ivermectin because this compound binds to the spike protein and neutralizes its toxicity

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VERITATIS SPLENDOR

3. The Church’s Pastors, in communion with the Successor of Peter, are close to the faithful in this effort; they guide and accompany them by their authoritative teaching, finding ever new ways of speaking with love and mercy not only to believers but to all people of good will. The Second Vatican Council remains an extraordinary witness of this attitude on the part of the Church which, as an “expert in humanity”,5 places herself at the service of every individual and of the whole world.6

The Church knows that the issue of morality is one which deeply touches every person; it involves all people, even those who do not know Christ and his Gospel or God himself. She knows that it is precisely on the path of the moral life that the way of salvation is open to all. The Second Vatican Council clearly recalled this when it stated that “those who without any fault do not know anything about Christ or his Church, yet who search for God with a sincere heart and under the influence of grace, try to put into effect the will of God as known to them through the dictate of conscience… can obtain eternal salvation”. The Council added: “Nor does divine Providence deny the helps that are necessary for salvation to those who, through no fault of their own, have not yet attained to the express recognition of God, yet who strive, not without divine grace, to lead an upright life. For whatever goodness and truth is found in them is considered by the Church as a preparation for the Gospel and bestowed by him who enlightens everyone that they may in the end have life”.7

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Freedom, on a Mountain

Anthony Esolen

THE CATHOLIC THING

TUESDAY, JULY 27, 2021

In another month or so, our cheerful students will be returning to Magdalen College, up here on Kearsarge Mountain, in New Hampshire. There are three things in the center of campus that tell what we are all about. One is the main building where we study and talk about the works we are reading, where we take our meals together, and where you can play games on an enormous indoor field, or go shoot pool in the student lounge. The other is the beautiful stone chapel, and if you hear the strains of Palestrina’s Sicut cervus coming from that way, you should know that maybe half of the students are there, practicing the music for Mass on Sunday. It is glorious.

The third thing is the mountain. You look to the south, beyond the tops of the birches and the maples and the blackberry-laden slopes of Kearsarge Mountain, and you see the mountains facing you from ten or twenty miles away on the other side of the valley. On a fine afternoon they are all bathed in sunlight.

I think that they all belong together, that they all give witness to the freedom of the education to which we have devoted our love.

The professor

Let me illustrate first by counterexample. In a recent issue of The Chaucer Review, two feminist scholars, having slandered that most broadly human of poets, calling him a rapist and a racist and other things just as foul, wonder what they should do now. I might recommend their leaving Chaucer to people who love his work, and earning a living at something else. But their attitude is common in the academy. That they could write as they did without embarrassment, without fear of ridicule, is telling. They have chains on their souls, and their job, as they see it, is to forge chains for other people’s souls too.

That was the case with a pitiful young fellow I met in my last and unhappy year at Providence College. He was a native Spanish speaker, from Colombia. When I said that he should remain in our section of the college’s (mangled, but still breathing) course in Western Civilization, because we would be reading Spain’s greatest playwright, Calderón, he was if anything saddened by the news. “Still European,” he said. Chains on the soul.

At Magdalen this coming semester, in the four-year Humanities course that all students take simultaneously, we will begin with the American Revolution and take things down to the current day. Many of the readings will be friendly to the good Catholic and will feed the imagination richly. We will be in Russia with The Brothers Karamazov, and in modern Norway, in the care of the Catholic novelist Sigrid Undset, with The Wild Orchid and The Burning Bush. We will listen to the admonitory wisdom of Solzhenitsyn, in excerpts from The Gulag Archipelago. We will hear the longing in the voice of Eliot, who tries to shore up the fragments of a civilization in The Waste Land.  We will hear the songs of those most cheerful and winsome of American poets, Whittier and Longfellow, both of them friendly to the Church they were not members of.

The students

We will also be reading from great Catholic philosophers and theologians, such as Newman and John Paul II. That is just a rather small selection from the year’s offerings.

And we will have authors who most assuredly do not want the Church to survive. Most notable among them will be Marx and Nietzsche. Both of those men were titanic haters. But that does not mean they got everything wrong. Our students will have learned enough about medieval and early modern history to scout out Marx’s errors and monstrous distortions, as when he compares the state of the apprentice to that of a slave. I am more interested, though, in how they will react to Nietzsche, who could write rings around almost anybody, and who is like Kierkegaard and Newman in this sense, that he saw into the emptiness of merely cultural Christianity – and spat out the bland liberalism that was to be its replacement.

In other words, we will do more justice to Nietzsche, we Catholics who have all the reason in the world to loathe him, than the feminist scholars do to the good and wise Chaucer, or than everyone else in the academy will do to people born before yesterday, who did not profess the current secular orthodoxy. Why? First, because it is right. We do well to interpret the words and deeds of others in the mildest light they can admit; we hope that the Lord will do so for us. Second, because your enemy is not wrong about everything. But the third reason is for me the most powerful.

The chapel

Think of that mountain. The truth is a power, a dynamism. It is as senseless to call the truth a cramp on liberty as to call a mountaintop a narrowing of the sight. From it you enjoy a breadth of vision and imagination that people confined to their fluorescent-lighted political cubicles do not know exists. You are not threatened by the atheist Nietzsche, as my poor student was threatened by the priestly Calderón. You need not worry about that patch of mud a thousand feet below. You are not tangled up in a wet thicket of bittersweet and poison ivy. You can extend your arms. You can look up and down and all around.

There is a rich joy to be atop the hills of the liberal arts. Our students do not have to apologize for reading Tolstoy. Apologize, indeed! They do not have to say, “Here is the use to which we will put the man, for political advantage.” They do not wear the social manacles. Why do you climb a mountain, anyway?

Or we may put it in this fashion. Why sing, or pray? If you ask why, you do not know what singing or praying are. At Magdalen, we know.© 2021 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: info@frinstitute.orgThe Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.

Anthony Esolen

Anthony Esolen

Anthony Esolen is a lecturer, translator, and writer. Among his books are Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture, and Nostalgia: Going Home in a Homeless World, and most recently The Hundredfold: Songs for the Lord. He is a professor and writer in residence at Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts, in Warner, New Hampshire.

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What Unites Antifa And BLM
July 27, 2021
Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on Antifa and Black Lives Matter:
Antifa and Black Lives Matter (BLM) share one goal and two strategies in common. Their goal is to destroy America and their preferred means are both violent and non-violent. In this regard, they make the Jan. 6 rioters look like the Little League—the Trump supporters did not kill anyone (the only person killed was a female unarmed protester), and they are not bent on destroying the country.
Regarding this last point, the American people know this intuitively. A recent Rasmussen poll found that only 49% of voters support the Jan. 6 inquiry, while 66% want Congress to investigate last year’s protest violence. Yet Congress is doing just the opposite.
Whatever one thinks of the Jan. 6 rioters, they are not a threat to the average American; the same is not true of Antifa or BLM. To be specific, according to the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project, 570 of the left-wing protests last year resulted in a riot. Dozens were killed and many more were injured, including some 700 law enforcement officers.
Reporter Andy Ngo has chronicled Antifa better than anyone. He has also been beaten up more than any other reporter. He has the pictures, videos and testimony of Antifa protesters and their victims, capturing the kind of evidence that settles the debate: explosives, guns, knives and Molotov cocktails—this is what the Antifa cowards dressed in black (with their faces covered) are all about. Yet there are some who are still in denial.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, a radical left-wing organization that is greased by American-hating plutocrats, not only contends that Antifa is notviolent, it actually maintains that classifying it as such is “dangerous” and a “threat” to civil liberties. Nice to know which side they’re on.
The Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project determined that 95% of all the 2020 summer riots were tied to BLM. We also know that BLM is said to be responsible for 25 deaths and thousands of injuries. Yet the Marxist millionaires who run it continue to get grants from establishment foundations, so riddled with white guilt are its patrons. Nice to know which side they’re on.
The non-violent means used by Antifa and BLM to destroy America focuses on annihilating the social and cultural bases of society, namely family and religion.
In 2019, a community college professor, Jeff Klinzman, declared, “I affirm that I am antifa.” On his Facebook page, he previously expressed the desire to “stop evangelical Christians,” even going so far as to say, “Kill them all and bury them deep in the ground!” (Would Facebook have allowed someone to call for the killing of Antifa terrorists?)
Last summer, Antifa threatened to destroy a cross at a Christian college in Oregon, calling it a “racist” symbol. This was after some of them burned Bibles and an American flag in front of a courthouse in Portland. When hundreds of Christians turned out to sing Gospel music in the neighborhood taken over by rioters, Antifa showed up yelling obscenities and threatening local black pastors. Later that year, more than 100 of them vandalized a Catholic church, smashing its front windows.
Antifa’s attack on the family was recently showcased when some of its members took the side of a radical transgender person. A man who falsely claimed to be a woman entered a Korean spa in Los Angeles this month and paraded around totally naked “right in front of young girls, teens and grown women.” When a woman complained, Antifa terrorists showed up and clashed with the LAPD in defense of the pervert.
BLM is even more committed to destroying the family. It explicitly says it wants to eradicate the “nuclear family structure,” though it has since taken that post down from its website. Two of the three female founders “identify as queer,” and all of them are “committed to fostering a queer-affirming network.” One of the queers says she is “married to a trans male.”
Why does any of this matter? Because BLM is founded on Marxism, and Marxists deny human nature and want to upend the nuclear family. Similarly, Antifa is a nihilistic band of left-wing activists who also want to undermine civil society.
Antifa and BLM are not shy about boasting what their goal is and how they intend to achieve it. The only ones still not convinced are their cheerleaders in the media, education and the corporate world. At best, they are moronic. No matter, they are a danger to the wellbeing of every American.

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