Alexander Dugin



Vladimir Putin & Donald Trump

by Robert Zubrin


June 18, 2014 4:00 AM

{Emphasis and {commentary} in red type by Abyssum }

His Eurasianism is a satanic cult.

Men of action cut a large figure in the history books, but it is the ideas placed in their heads by men of thought that actually determine what they do. Thus the scribblings of mad philosophers can lead to the deaths of millions.

As the modern-day heir to this tradition, Alexander Dugin bids fair to break the record. Most Americans don’t know anything about Alexander Dugin. They need to, because Dugin is the mad philosopher who is redesigning the brains of much of the Russian government and public, filling their minds with a new hate-ridden totalitarian ideology whose consequences can only be catastrophic in the extreme, not only for Russia, but for the entire human race.

In recent months, as the embrace of Duginist ideas by the Putin regime has become ever more evident, a number of articles have been written calling attention to the threat. But now, with the appearance of “The American Empire Should Be Destroyed”: Alexander Dugin and the Perils of Immanentized Eschatology, by James Heiser, we finally have a book-length treatment. It is well worth reading.

Heiser is a bishop of the Lutheran church, and, accordingly, he deals with both the political and the theological aspects of Dugin’s allegedly conservative but actually neopagan “Eurasianist” ideology. The subtitle of the book may put off a number of readers, but as a plain-spoken engineer who would cross the street to avoid terms like “immanentized eschatology,” I found the writing to be clear enough overall, and in some places elegant.

Heiser follows Dugin’s career, moving from his expulsion from the Moscow Aviation Institute for involvement in proto-Nazi mystical circles in the early 1980s, through his continued development in association with various Thule Society–like organizations through the late Eighties, his contacts with the anti-democratic European Nouvelle Droite, his co-founding and career with the National Bolshevik Party in the 1990s, and his subsequent move into the Russian political mainstream following from his realization that he could gain far more influence as an adviser to those in power than he ever could operating as a splinter party on his own.

Heiser then proceeds to dissect Dugin’s political and geopolitical ideology of Eurasianism. The core idea of this is that “liberalism” (by which Dugin means the entire Western consensus) represents an assault on the traditional hierarchical organization of the world. Repeating the ideas of Nazi theorists Karl Haushofer, Rudolf Hess, Carl Schmitt, and Arthur Moeller van den Bruck, Dugin says that this liberal threat is not new, but is the ideology of the maritime-cosmopolitan power “Atlantis,” which has conspired to subvert more conservative land-based societies since ancient times. Accordingly he has written books in which he has reconstructed the entire history of the world as a continuous battle between these two factions, from Rome vs. Carthage to Russia vs. the Anglo-Saxon “Atlantic Order” today.

If it is to win its fight against the subversive oceanic bearers of such “racist” (because foreign imposed) ideas as human rights, Russia must unite around itself all the continental powers, including Germany, Central and Eastern Europe, the former Soviet republics, Turkey, Iran, and Korea, into grand Eurasian Union strong enough to defeat the West. In order to be so united “from Lisbon to Vladivostok,” this Eurasian Union will need a defining ideology, and for this purpose Dugin has developed a new “Fourth Political Theory” combining all the strongest points of Communism, Nazism, Ecologism, and Traditionalism, thereby allowing it to appeal to the adherents of all of these diverse anti-liberal creeds.

He would adopt Communism’s opposition to free enterprise. However, he would drop the Marxist commitment to technological progress, a liberal-derived ideal, in favor of Ecologism’s demagogic appeal to stop the advance of industry and modernity. From Traditionalism, he derives a justification for stopping free thought. All the rest is straight out of Nazism, ranging from legal theories justifying unlimited state power and the elimination of individual rights, to the need for populations “rooted” in the soil, to weird gnostic ideas about the secret origin of the Aryan race in the North Pole. What Russia needs, says Dugin, is a “genuine, true, radically revolutionary and consistent, fascist fascism.” On the other hand, “Liberalism, is an absolute evil. . . . Only a global crusade against the U.S., the West, globalization, and their political-ideological expression, liberalism, is capable of becoming an adequate response. . . . The American empire should be destroyed.”

Heiser then provides a chilling analysis of Dugin’s theology: It would be our contention that Dugin’s fusion of Traditionalism and Eurasianism has become a “gnostic mass movement” of the third type, “activist mysticism.” It is not an exaggeration to state that Dugin’s intended goal, his telos, is the End of the World, and that the accomplishment of that end is dependent, he believes, on the implementation of his ideology. As Dugin has proclaimed in his recent book, The Fourth Political Theory: “The end times and the eschatological meaning of politics will not realize themselves on their own. We will wait for the end in vain. The end will never come if we wait for it, and it will never come if we do not. . . . If the Fourth Political Practice is not able to realize the end of times, then it would be invalid. The end of days should come, but it will not come by itself. This is a task, it is not a certainty. It is an active metaphysics. It is a practice.” This desire to bring about the end of the world is not a sudden development in Dugin’s thought. As noted in the quotation at the beginning of this chapter, as early as 2001, Dugin’s intentions were being published abroad, and could be read by an English-speaking audience.

In 2001, [Stephen] Shenfield observes that Dugin’s eschatological view is “Manichean” — which is to say, a dualistic form of Gnosticism which views the world as a battleground of equally matched forces of good and evil, in which spiritual forces of light contend with material forces of evil. Into this Manichaenism, Dugin admixes Christian concepts, oft repeating the notion that the West is the realm of “Antichrist.” As Shenfield quotes Dugin: “The meaning of Russia is that through the Russian people will be realized the last thought of God, the thought of the End of the World. . . . Death is the way to immortality. Love will begin when the world ends. We must long for it, like true Christians. . . . We are uprooting the accursed Tree of Knowledge. With it will perish the Universe.” Shenfield then observes: “Alexander Yanov, quoting these lines, concludes that Dugin’s ‘real dream is of death, first of all the death of Russia.’

In his reply, Dugin avoids dealing directly with the substance of Yanov’s critique, but observes that he fails to appreciate the positive significance of death . . .” It is hard to know how to react to someone who claims to want to bring about the end of the world. When that desire is expressed with a thick Russian accent, the hearer is all the more likely to simply dismiss the speaker as some sort of “super villain” from a bad “action/adventure” movie. It is a claim which evokes the snicker — until one realizes that the man who thinks that the “meaning of Russia” is “the End of the World” is the man whose geopolitical doctrine is being implemented by the ruler of Russia.

Heiser continues: Dugin is quite keen on the notion that the coming age is the third, and final, age. As Dugin wrote in “The Metaphysics of National-Bolshevism”: “Beyond ‘rights’ and ‘lefts,’ there’s one and indivisible Revolution, in the dialectical triad ‘third Rome — Third Reich — third International.” The realm of national-bolshevism, Regnum, their Empire of the End, this is the perfect accomplishment of the greatest Revolution of history, both a continental and universal one. It is the angels’ return, heroes’ resurrection, the heart’s uprising against the reason’s dictatorship. This last revolution is a concern of the acephal, the headless bearer of the cross, sickle and hammer, crowned by eternal sun fylfot.” This “Empire of the End” is marked by the “dialectical triad” which combines “Third Rome — Third Reich — Third International.” All the expectations of historic Russian messianic delusions, combined with the Joachimite aims of Nazism and Soviet Bolshevism, purportedly find their highest expression in this new ideology, according to Dugin.

Finally, Heiser comments on Dugin’s worship of Chaos, and the adoption of the occult symbol of the eight-pointed “Star of Chaos” as the emblem (and, when inscribed in gold on a black background, the flag) of the Eurasianist movement. “For Dugin, logos is replaced by chaos, and the very symbol of chaos magic is the symbol of Eurasia: ‘Logos has expired and we all will be buried under its ruins unless we make an appeal to chaos and its metaphysical principles, and use them as a basis for something new.’ Dugin dressed his discussion of logos in the language of Heidegger, but his terminology cannot be read outside of a 2,000-year-old Western, biblical tradition which associates the Logos with the Christ, and Dugin’s invocation of chaos against logos leads to certain inevitable conclusions regarding his doctrines.” In short, Dugin’s Eurasianism is a satanic cult.

This is the ideology behind the Putin regime’s “Eurasian Union” project. It is to this dark program, which threatens not only the prospects for freedom in Ukraine and Russia, but the peace of the world, that former Ukrainian president Victor Yanukovych tried to sell “his” country. It is against this program that the courageous protesters in the Maidan took their stand and — with scandalously little help from the West — somehow miraculously prevailed. It is on behalf of this program that the Putin regime has created a bloodbath in eastern Ukraine, which, following Dugin, it now terms “New Russia.” It is on behalf of this program that Dugin, with massive support from the Russian government, has organized a fascist international of European fringe parties, and on behalf of this program that the Quislings leading those parties are willing to betray their nations to Kremlin domination.

Without Ukraine, Dugin’s fascist Eurasian Union project is impossible, and sooner or later Russia itself will have join the West and become free, leaving only a few despised and doomed islands of tyranny around the globe. But with Ukraine underfoot, the Eurasianist program can and will proceed, and a new iron curtain will fall into place imprisoning a large fraction of humanity in the grip of a monstrous totalitarian power that will become the arsenal of evil around the world for decades to come. That means another cold war, trillions of dollars wasted on arms, accelerated growth of the national-security state at home, repeated proxy conflicts costing millions of lives abroad, and civilization itself placed at risk should a single misstep in the endless insane great-power game precipitate the locked and loaded confrontation into a thermonuclear exchange. Only this time, our cold-war opponents will not be secular Communists, but true believers of a death-worshipping cult that would like to bring about the end of the world.

Every victory for their expansionist program abroad enhances the Eurasianists’ power within Russia. As a result of the Western capitulation so far, the Duginite movement is growing exponentially, while the forces of sanity are being cowed or crushed. If Ukraine falls, Vladimir Putin may discover that, like the German generals who empowered Hitler, he has fostered the birth of a monster he can no longer control. Maybe he should read Heiser’s book too.

{ I hope that you will forgive an old man this reflection on his 93 years on this earth.  I was born shortly after the Russian Revolution which had its inspiration in the writings of Marx and Lenin.  I grew up during the rise of the Third Reich which had its inspiration in the writings of Adolph Hitler (Mein Kampf) and I fought in the Second World War  caused by the clash of these to ideologies and now as I prepare to leave this world I read of the growth of a new radical ideology that has taken root in Russia, Eurasianism, that yearns for the Apocalypse, which is set forth as the goal in the writings of Alexander Dugin.  We have seen the Islamization of Europe and America under our Muslim President, Barack Hussein Obama, and now we are faced with faced with the prospect that Donald Trump who is a great admirer of Vladimir Putin who is a great admirer of Alexander Dugin may unwittingly facilitate the realization by Putin and Dugin of the goals of Eurasianism and bring on World War III.  Perhaps now you will understand why I have said that under no circumstances can a Christian vote for Donald Trump.  It is not that he is an evil man, because he is not an evil man.  But there is no question but that he will not be equal to the challenges that will face the United States in the next Decade.  Of course it should not really be necessary for me to state that Hillary Rodham Clinton does not belong in the White House, she belongs in prison.  It was the votes of the ignorati in the Spring Primaries that gave us this impossible-to-resolve dilemma for November 8, 2016.   God help America, God help us !!!  


— Robert Zubrin is president of Pioneer Energy of Lakewood, Colo., and the author of Energy Victory. The paperback edition of his latest book, Merchants of Despair: Radical Environmentalists, Criminal Pseudo-Scientists, and the Fatal Cult of Antihumanism, was recently published by Encounter Books.

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Genghis Khan

Genghis Khan Monument, Sukhbaatar Square, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia


Can There Be Any Right to Life Without a Right to Self-Defense?

May 1997
By David C. Stolinsky


David C. Stolinsky, M.D., who is of the Jewish faith, lives in Los Angeles. He is semi-retired after 25 years of medical school teaching at the University of California at San Francisco and the University of Southern California.

{ Emphasis and {commentary} in red type by Abyssum }

Washington, D.C., has strict gun-control laws that virtually prohibit bit private ownership of handguns. In addition, rifles and shotguns must be registered and kept disassembled and unloaded. That is, the laws forbid residents from using effective means for self-defense. Some time ago, three women were attacked by a group of men who broke into their home. One woman managed to phone the police, who arrived and knocked on the door, but the police got no response, so they departed. The women were repeatedly raped and beaten for 14 hours. Later they sued the police for negligence, but lost their case. The court held that the police have a duty to protect society but no duty to protect any individual. Courts elsewhere have made similar decisions. Thus in our nation’s capital, the police have no duty to protect individual citizens, but the citizens are forbidden to protect them- selves effectively. Despite its strict gun-control laws (or perhaps in part because of them), Washington has an extremely high rate of homicide and other violent crimes.

Is this bizarre situation merely some temporary aberration or legal quirk? Or is it symptomatic of a deeper malady? What possible basis could there be for denying the right of self-defense? Isn’t the right to life the most basic of all rights: And how can anyone have a right to life if his life is constantly at the mercy of any criminal who wishes to take it? How can anyone have more concern for the violent criminal than for the law-abiding citizen who simply wishes to remain alive? What is the explanation for this turn of events? Is it pacifism?

Until recently, pacifists have come in two varieties. The strict variety holds that all violence is wrong. Overcoming a violent evildoer often requires force, but strict pacifists reject this approach as unethical. Still, one can respect the sincerity of their beliefs. The second variety of pacifist allows certain exceptions. Particularly horrible examples of evil may be opposed with force if absolutely necessary. Unfortunately, these horrible examples usually seem to he in the past. In the 1930s the horrible example was often Genghis Khan, and in the 1980s it was Hitler. Thus isolationists in the 1930s opposed rearmament, despite the rise of Hitler, by pointing out that no Genghis Khan was at the gates. Similarly, isolationists of the 1980s opposed rearmament, despite the growth of the Soviet empire, by pointing out that there was no Hitler on the horizon. Thus the second variety of pacifist hardly differs from the first; the exceptions are irrelevant to current problems.

Recently, a third variety of pacifist has appeared. This type differs from the others in two important respects. First, this new type holds that while all violence is wrong, defensive violence is worse than offensive violence. {This is not what Jesus Christ taught when he told us to “turn the other cheek”.}  Second, rather than being mere bystanders in the struggles of humanity, these new pacifists are forced by their beliefs to become participants, but on the wrong side. The following examples may suffice to show that such persons actually exist and hold such odd beliefs.

Some time ago, I was talking to a friend about a liberal chief justice of the California Supreme Court. My friend defended the justice, including her opposition to the death penalty. My friend added that he favored strict gun-control laws. “But wait,” I said. “How can you favor both the chief justice and gun control?” I explained that she had voted to overturn the “use a gun, go to jail” law. My friend was perplexed. I asked why it was “gun control” to further restrict ownership of guns by law-abiding citizens, but somehow it was not “gun control” to require jailing of armed criminals. My friend remained perplexed, unable to see any contradiction in his views.

On another occasion, I attended a seminar on a proposed law that would allow doctors to kill incurably ill patients at their request. Even those opposed to the law voiced mainly practical objections; not one mentioned the Hippocratic Oath, the Ten Commandments, or any other source of ethical principles. Apparently they felt that such fundamental questions could be settled by majority vote, without reference to any ethical standard. Some of those in favor of the law had expressed opposition to the death penalty. Their beliefs included, without conflict, both approval of doctors killing their patients and disapproval of the state killing convicted murderers.

Newscasts carried the story of an 11-year-old boy who was home alone and found two men removing valuables. He retreated to the back of the house but could not escape. Only then did he get the .22 rifle he had been given for Christmas and kill the two intruders. Following the news a talk show was aired. A man called in great distress. “What was the boy doing with a gun anyhow?” he demanded. The host did not dispute him. It occurred to neither of them that had the two men brutalized and killed the boy, it would have been merely local news. The story was of national interest only because it is unusual for a child to kill two criminals rather than vice versa. Neither caller nor host saw any conflict between their outrage at the boy’s killing the criminals and their silence at the men’s crime, which caused the problem. At best, they could not distinguish cause from effect, criminal from victim, or aggression from self-defense.

The final example occurred when my wife and I attended a film. After waiting in line for almost an hour, we finally began to move when a group of teens ran forward to get to the front. I called out, “The line forms at the rear.” A girl shouted, “Shut up, you old —.” My wife grabbed the girl and made her apologize. The girl looked shocked that anyone would object to her rude behavior. Perhaps no one ever had. Those around us in line, who had been wronged as much as we had, were almost unanimous in criticizing us. “Never touch them,” one said. “It’s you who made the trouble,” another added. Only an old man supported us saying, “You did the right thing.” Note the difference in emphasis. The majority criticized us for making trouble; this man praised us for doing right. Sometimes it is necessary to make trouble in order to do right, but some people seem unable to grasp this fact.

One could argue that these examples illustrate not a new form of pacifist but merely different aspects of the old types. It is true that any pacifist has a greater effect on good persons than on evil ones, and on democracies than on dictatorships. The isolationists of the 1930s had a significant effect in slowing the rearmament of the democracies, but they had no effect at all on Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan. If Gandhi had lived in Germany rather than British India, few would recall his name. Pacifists must choose their opponents with care. Perhaps their greatest error is to generalize local success into a universal principle. Even Gandhi fell into this error when he used his success against the British as a basis for urging European Jews to use his nonviolent methods against Hitler — perhaps the worst advice in history. As has been said, it does not matter how many resolutions the sheep pass in favor of vegetarianism; the only thing that matters is whether the wolves are hungry.

Despite the fact that any pacifist has more influence on law-abiding persons or nations than on violent aggressors, I would argue that the above examples illustrate a new kind of pacifist. Conventional pacifists at least try to influence both sides; the new type confines his activities to one side. Thus the new pacifist hopes that if law-abiding citizens are disarmed, eventually fewer guns will be available to criminals, but he opposes heavier penalties for armed criminals. The new pacifist sees nothing wrong with doctors killing their patients, but he opposes capital punishment for convicted murderers. The new pacifist deplores all violence, but he is moved to phone a talk show only when a law-abiding citizen uses violence against criminals. The new pacifist remains silent when intruders push ahead in line, but he speaks up to criticize those who object.

The new pacifist is zealous for the rights of criminals, but he neglects the rights of crime victims. A governor reportedly insisted that even convicts serving life sentences be allowed furloughs. During one such furlough a prisoner went on a notorious crime spree. In the same state, a storeowner was robbed at gunpoint. He identified the robber, who threatened to kill him. Despite this, the store owner was denied a gun permit. Later he used an illegal gun to shoot the robber, who tried to carry out his threat. The store owner was given a year in jail. A civil-rights leader appealed to the governor, who is white, on behalf of the store owner, who is black, but to no avail. Unlike many poor and minority citizens, the governor did not live or work in a high-crime area, so self-defense was not vital to him. He spent his sympathy on criminals; none was left for victims. Later he ran for president. Had he won, what kind of defense and foreign policy would he have pursued? Would he have reacted when Saddam Hussein began to ingest his neighbor? Confusing aggressors with defenders nearby is poor training for distinguishing them at a distance. Of course, this is as true for the public as it is for their leaders.

The new pacifist declares that all life is precious, but what does this mean? In the U.S. in 1993, there were 38 executions and 24,530 homicides — that is, 646 times more homicides than executions. If all life is precious, why are there more candlelight vigils at prisons where murderers are executed than at the homes of their victims? I have seen the police photographing a corpse on a Los Angeles sidewalk, and two coyotes tearing apart a cat in the middle of the street. Every year coyotes kill many pets and occasionally attack a child, yet hunting or trapping coyotes is illegal. In reality, “all life is precious” means that the life of a murderer is more precious than the life of his victim, and the life of a coyote is more precious than that of a cat or dog. I do not object if others hold such beliefs. I do object when they use the law to force their beliefs on me. I cannot accept as my moral superiors those who stand aside in smug neutrality while predators roam free.

The conventional pacifist believes that any use of force is wrong, a belief that is unrealistic but consistent. The new pacifist somehow twists this into a belief that defensive force is worse than aggressive force. The new pacifist opposes the “star wars” defense against nuclear missiles, not because it may not work but because it may. He favors gun confiscation, not despite the fact that it will prevent effective self-defense but because it will. For him, interference with self-defense is not an unwanted side effect; it is what he wants to accomplish. Some admit this openly. Others confuse the issue by claiming that self-defense is useless: “Resisting a criminal will only get you killed.” In fact, an unarmed victim who resists is most likely to be injured; one who does not resist is next most likely, and a victim who resists with a gun is least likely to be injured. The same principle holds in international relations: Those who resist aggressors with adequate weapons are most likely to survive.

Rather than a coherent system of beliefs, the new pacifist possesses merely a desire not to cause trouble — i.e., trouble for himself. Does a criminal want your property, or worse? Give him what he wants and don’t cause trouble. Were a million Afghans killed in a Soviet invasion? Don’t send arms to the rebels and cause trouble. Were the Sandinistas building Soviet air and naval bases in Nicaragua? Aiding the Contras would only cause trouble. Did Saddam Hussein devour a member of the United Nations? Intervention would surely cause trouble. Indeed, the Afghan and Nicaraguan rebels were referred to in the media as the “cause” of the violence in their nations. Similarly, storeowners defending their lives and property during a recent Los Angeles riot were called “vigilantes.” Those who react to a problem are confused with those who caused it. By this reasoning, the signers of the Declaration of In- dependence, not British tyranny, were to blame for the deaths in the American Revolution.

Perhaps one should not dignify such behavior with the term pacifism. Pseudo-pacifism might be a more apt description. The goal of true pacifists is an overall reduction in violence, even though in the real world their actions rarely lead to that goal. On the contrary, the purpose of pseudo-pacifism is simply to be left alone for the moment: “Don’t bother me now.”

Does anyone seriously believe that ignoring violence and injustice will make them go away? The problems usually continue to grow until they reach a level that can no longer be ignored but may no longer be manageable.

A wise man once said, “If not now, when?” if one opposes aid to the Afghans after one-third of them were killed or forced to flee, when would one take action? If one votes against preventing establishment of hostile military bases in Central America, how close must the danger be before something is done? If one opposes the use of force to prevent a megalomaniac from seizing control of world oil supplies, when would force be appropriate? If one tolerates offensive behavior by teenagers, how old must they be before corrective action is taken? If one complains when an 11 — year-old defends himself against two adult criminals in his own home, when will one approve of self-defense? For the pseudo-pacifist, the answer is never. That is the essence of pseudo-pacifism: Do nothing regardless of the severity of the problem, and prevent others from doing anything, while cloaking indifference in the mantle of nonviolence.

How is it possible for citizens of a democracy to hold such views? There are two possible causes. A common thread running through the above examples is an absence of ethical principles based on any permanent source. If one holds dear no permanent values, but adjusts his views to suit each situation, then there may be nothing that seems worth standing up or fighting for. The second factor is television news, which shows brief, eye-catching snippets of videotape that are often violent but rarely explained in any meaningful context. Many viewers were taught little history or geography in school; they cannot find Vietnam or Iraq on a map. Thus they cannot provide a context for world events by themselves, leaving them to view the news as unconnected, violent events with- out any meaning. No wonder they want to avoid what seems to be meaningless violence.

Sound ethical systems of various types, as well as news analyses of various slants, are available.  But one does not miss what one never had  one does not seek what one was never taught to value. One wonders how long a free nation can survive when many of its citizens possess an elastic and rootless morality, as well as a shallow and apathetic view of the world.

What can we do to remedy this situation? No battle was ever won by defensive means alone. Perhaps it is time to go on the offensive. When pseudo-pacifists oppose aiding rebels against oppression, oppose defense against nuclear missiles, oppose private ownership of firearms, and in fact oppose self- defense in any form — by individuals, families, or nations — they should be attacked on their own ground. They claim to have a greater respect for life than their opponents, but the reverse is true.

If human life is really precious, then any necessary means {I would be very careful here, the means used should not only be deemed necessary but should also be morally good, not evil}  should be used to defend it. The pseudo- pacifist cheapens life by claiming that it is not worth defending against criminal attack. If peace is really precious, then any necessary means should be used to establish and preserve it. But true peace is a condition in which people can live together in freedom. Life under tyranny is peaceful only in the sense that a prison or a cemetery is peaceful. To truly love peace is to oppose enemies of freedom, whether they are criminal gangs in our cities or dictators abroad. Yet the alternative to moral passivity is not mindless bellicosity. When nonviolent methods do not work we must use common sense and technical expertise to decide whether the use of force is likely to accomplish our objective at an acceptable cost. If the answer is yes, we are morally obligated to use the amount of force that is necessary, no more and no less. Otherwise, we inevitably will leave criminals and dictators with a monopoly of weapons and the will to use them.

Of the two quotations at the beginning of this article, which reflects a more realistic view of human nature? Which is more likely to lead to a better and less violent world? On the other hand, which sounds more caring? God is love. But God is also justice. Perhaps one must be divine in order to integrate these two ideals perfectly. But being human carries the obligation to try.


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St Nicholas: He Who Punches Heretics in the Face (and Gives Gifts to Children)

{Emphasis and {commentary} in red type by Abyssum}

When President Teddy Roosevelt was a college student, he taught a Sunday School class for elementary school children. During this time, Roosevelt awarded a dollar to a boy in his Sunday School class for beating a bully who tormented little girls.

“You did exactly right,” said Roosevelt with pride. However, the congregation disagreed. They immediately dismissed Roosevelt for teaching the “un-Christian” principle of laying the smack down on those who have it coming to them.

The painting above depicts St Nicholas
punching the heretic Arius at the Council of Nicea


Well, if tradition is true, that little boy was also richly rewarded by Jolly Old Saint Nicholas since the good Saint Nick allegedly “h-slapped” (“heretic slapped”) the heresiarch Arius. You see, Arius wrongly taught that Christ was not fully divine. Rather, Arius taught that Christ had been created by God the Father.

During the First Ecumenical Council of Nicea (AD 325), Arius was called upon to defend his position on the inferiority of Christ. Saint Nicholas just couldn’t listen to all of Arius’ nonsense and so he stood up and laid in to Arius with his fist.

The Emperor Constantine and the bishops present at the Council were alarmed by Nicholas’ act of violence against Arius {it was considered a crime against the Emperor to engage in violent behavior in the presence of the Emperor}. They immediately stripped Nicholas of his office as a bishop by confiscating the two items that marked out a man as a Christian bishop: Nicholas’ personal copy of the Gospels and his pallium (the vestment worn by all bishops in the East).

Now if that were the end of the story, we probably wouldn’t know about Saint Nicholas, and our children wouldn’t be asking him for presents. However, after Nicholas was deposed, the Lord Jesus Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary visited Nicholas who was being held in a prison cell for his fist-fight with the heretic.

Our Lord Jesus Christ asked Saint Nicholas, “Why are you here?” Nicholas responded, “Because I love you, my Lord and my God.”

Christ then presented Nicholas with his copy of the Gospels. Next, the Blessed Virgin vested Nicholas with his episcopal pallium, thus restoring him to his rank as a bishop.

Traditional icons of Saint Nicholas depict this miracle. as below:

Icon:  Christ (left) holding out the book of the Gospels,
and Mary (right) holding out the episcopal pallium,
Nicholas (center) holding the Gospels and wearing the pallium

When the Emperor Constantine heard of this miracle, he immediately ordered that Nicholas be reinstated as a bishop in good standing for the Council of Nicea. Today we recite the Nicene Creed every Sunday so we know how the controversy played out. The bishops at Nicea sided with Saint Nicholas and Saint Athanasius and they condemned Arius as a heretic. To this very day, we still recite in the Creed that Christ is “God from God, Light from Light, True God from True God, begotten not made, one in being with the Father.”

Here is a painting of Saint Nicholas punching Arius:

Nicholas is on the left holding up his fist, Arius is on the ground with his hands up. The guy on the throne is Constantine.

Saint Nicholas, pray for us.

A Pure Distillation of 1970s Catholicism

I vividly remember my graduate studies at Yale, in the heady and tumultuous days immediately following the Second Vatican Council. A number of young Catholics, priests, religious, and lay people embarked upon doctoral studies in theology in a non-Catholic university – one of the countless post-Conciliar innovations.

One of my professors, a committed Lutheran, with great respect for the Catholic tradition, issued a friendly caution. He said (in words to this effect): “I pray that the Catholic Church is not destined to repeat in twenty years the same mistakes it took us Protestants 200 years to make.” He was referring, of course, to Liberal Protestantism, whose nadir was masterfully summed up by {Lutheran pastor and scholar} H. Richard Niebuhr, for three decades a Yale professor: “a God without wrath brought men without sin into a Kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a cross.”

A recent article in The National Catholic Reporter brought these memories flooding back. The author, Jim Purcell, was ordained in 1965, the year the Council ended, and resigned from ordained ministry in 1972. He went on to work in Catholic Charities and as a vice president at Santa Clara University. He’s currently a member of NCR’s board.

Purcell calls for “a redistribution of power and authority” in the Catholic Church – “power” and “authority” seemingly indistinguishable, despite the scene of Jesus before Pilate, where Pilate’s power is ultimately futile before the truth of Jesus’ authority. (Jn. 19:11)

Aside from the predictable call for the ordination of women, Purcell aims at a deeper “revolution.” This would entail disconnecting the roles of priest and pastor, so that one, either woman or man, could be the canonical pastor of a parish without being a priest, thus striking “clericalism” (that dread foe!) a mortal blow.

Purcell then discloses the desired theological consequences of this revolution: “it would have the potential to shift the emphasis of pastoral leadership from the celebration of the Eucharist back to the preaching of the kingdom.” Echoing that well-worn mantra of the seventies, Purcell solemnly assures us that “Jesus preached the coming of the kingdom of God, not himself.”

Julian the Apostate burns the relics of John the Baptist (Legend of the Relics of St. John the Baptist) by Geertgen Tot sint Jans, c. 1490 [Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna]

Emperor Julian the Apostate burns the relics of John the Baptist (Legend of the Relics of St. John the Baptist) by Geertgen Tot sint Jans, c. 1490 [Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna]

He then contrasts this perspective with the (presumably baneful) “emphasis on the consecration of the bread and wine and [Jesus’] ‘real presence’ – that developed over time.” In a stunning leap of logic (not to say theo-logic) we are informed that “Jesus taught his disciples the ‘Our Father,’” not how to “preside at the Eucharist” or “say Mass.”The mandatory, if ritualized, reference to “faith journey” follows, accompanied by the author’s confession that, though “the Eucharist is a very special food for my journey. . .the journey is primary not the food.” So much for “unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you!” (Jn 6:53)

What is striking and symptomatic about such essays is their Christological minimalism, so sadly reminiscent of liberal Protestantism, now embedded, wittingly or unwittingly, in some institutions that persist in brandishing their “Catholic” pedigree.

One sorely misses that robust proclamation of the absolute primacy of Jesus Christ that lies at the heart of the New Testament and the apostolic tradition. One hears no hint, for example, of Jesus’ declaration “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (Jn 14:6) Or Peter’s avowal: “Jesus Christ is the stone rejected by you the builders, which has become the cornerstone. There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved.” (Acts 4:11-12)

One searches in vain for the stupendous claim at the close of that hymn in Philippians that “Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.” (Phil 2:11) The rampant and truncated Christology passes over – in embarrassed silence – “all things were created through Jesus and for Jesus” and that “in him all things hold together.” (Col 1:16-17) And there is little sense that God’s entire salvific intent for the universe is to “recapitulate all things in Christ” (Eph 1:10) – a vision that inspired countless generations of martyrs and teachers of the faith.

Instead, we get a bloodless Jesus, made to our measure, rather than our being challenged by the living Lord to grow into that “mature manhood, measured by the full stature of Christ.” (Eph 4:13)

No wonder that, despite papal exhortations from Paul VI to Francis for a “new evangelization,” missionary zeal appears enervated, while the “nones” in our midst continue to proliferate. For if Jesus is just another voice, hawking his wares in the secular wilderness, who will set the fire of faith ablaze?

Now it happens that, just as the Council was opening, the Jesuit theologian, John Courtney Murray, delivered a series of lectures at Yale, later published as The Problem of God. Murray included a fine chapter on the development of doctrine in the early Church.

He defended, in his usual polished prose, the legitimacy of such development, in particular the dogma of the Council of Nicaea that the Lord Jesus Christ is “homoousios: consubstantial with the Father.” He did so in part to counter the great liberal Protestant historian, Adolf von Harnack who criticized the alleged “hellenization” by the early Church of the simple Gospel. Indeed, Murray went so far as to claim that the key question facing the nascent ecumenical movement was: “What think ye of homoousion?” Does Nicaea authoritatively convey and safeguard the authentic sense of Scripture?

In those halcyon and hopeful days, Murray could put the question within ecumenical discussion. Today, integrity demands it be also put to those who continue to identify ourselves as Catholics: “What think we of homoousion?”

Is Jesus Christ the preacher of the Kingdom, one in a line of the prophets, perhaps even the last and greatest? Or is he the only begotten Son, consubstantial with the Father, the eternal Word, the Light of the Nations, the universal Savior?

{I am surprised that Father Imbelli does not point out that the heterodoxy of Jim Purcell and The National Catholic Reporter is a reincarnation of the heresy of Arius.  In the Fourth Century Arius preached that Jesus Christ was a man chosen by God to proclaim the Gospel but that Jesus Christ was not God; he denied the Trinity of Persons in God.  Today, the de facto disrespect shown to our Eucharistic Lord is tantamount to manifesting a rejection of homoousion, a rejection of the divinity of Jesus Christ with tragic consequences for individuals and for many Catholics.}

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“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.”

Lord Acton



[ Emphasis and {commentary} in red type by Abyssum ]

The first sign that Donald Trump was a real presidential candidate was his announced position on immigration.

He allied himself with an ignored portion of the electorate, the roughly one third of voters who believe that illegal immigrants ought to be deported, and embraced their message with verve. But what was notable about his policy at the time was that despite his vocal support for deportation, it wasn’t even included in the bullet points of his immigration paper, which sounded a Jeff Sessionsesque note without going all the way into round them up territory.

Trump, fading in the polls and frustrated by his lack of winning, is now embracing an immigration position that is arguably the same as Jeb Bush’s, and perhaps even softer than the Gang of Eight in some respects (though the vagueness allows for wiggle room). This position would be closer to the American median on the issue, but as a strategy, it seems like a great raised middle finger to his most loyal fans – none moreso than Ann Coulter, whose Breitbart-hosed book party last night for her latest tome, In Trump We Trust, was a mix of denialism and uncertainty.

The danger for immigration hawks is that Trump could end up undermining everything they believe in by 1) going soft on their key issue after championing it, 2) not losing the support of most of his biggest fans, and 3) still losing in November anyway. If those three things happen, expect the likelihood of a Clinton-McConnell comprehensive immigration reform package within the next two years to increase exponentially.

Heather Wilhelm.  “I have to give credit to Ann Coulter: It takes some serious cojones to come out with a book titled “In Trump We Trust” at this point in 2016. The enthusiasm! The bright-eyed faith! The beaming cover photo, featuring Coulter grasping a cheery Trump sign! The subtitle—“E Pluribus Awesome!”—which, if you squint hard enough, could be a clever-yet-subtle indicator that this is all an elaborate joke!

“Sadly, there is nothing awesome about this election, e pluribus or not, and the problems with Coulter’s title choice are myriad. First, replacing “God” with “Trump” seems a bit premature, at least until he’s won the election and tells us all that this is the case. Second, conservatives—Coulter is supposedly one, I guess, if that’s still her favored brand—are supposed to be skeptical of politicians in general, not the political equivalent of the pom squad captain at Path to Power High.

“But, seriously: “In Trump We Trust?” Look, I understand if you want to vote for Donald Trump, but please don’t tell me he’s trustworthy. In the past year alone, he may have managed to shamelessly out-lie Hillary Clinton, which is a herculean feat. In fact, in a delightfully ironic twist, Trump appears to be breezily selling out his stances on Coulter’s favorite policy topics—those would be immigration and mass deportation—on the very week of her “In Trump We Trust” book release.
 “I don’t care if @realDonaldTrump wants to perform abortions in the White House after this immigration policy paper,” Coulter tweeted last August, calling Trump’s immigration plan “the greatest political document since the Magna Carta.” At the time, due to my longtime understanding that Coulter is 85 percent ratings-and-book-sales-related shtick and 15 percent the amalgamated ghosts of old cigarettes, I shrugged and rolled my eyes.

“But wait, and be alarmed: It appears Coulter might actually believe her own bologna. In her new book—titled, I will remind you again, “In Trump We Trust”—Coulter praises Trump’s calls for mass deportation: “If some Republican wants to impress me by saying shocking things, do it on immigration,” she writes. She goes on to bash “Jeb!” (her exclamation point, not mine) for being “smug and self-righteous whenever it came to enforcing immigration law” and questioning the feasibility of carting out 12 million illegal immigrants.

“Drumroll, please. Maybe even pair it with the Benny Hill theme song “Yakety Sax.” Here’s where things get really awkward, because Trump has spent the last week—again, the week of Coulter’s book release!—signaling there’s no way he’s going to deport 12 million illegal immigrants, either. On Wednesday night, after days of announcing he is open to “softening” his immigration positions, Trump told Sean Hannity illegals would stay, but they’d “pay back taxes.” We’ll “work with them,” he said. Spoiler alert: This is not what Coulter’s new book said he would do.”


{ Pro-lifers please note that if you think for one minute that a man, Donald Trump, who has given donations to Planned Parenthood in the past will become pro-life as President, you are practicing the worse kind of self-deception. }

{ Pro-lifers please note that if you think for one minute that a man, Donald Trump, who has said, when asked who he would appoint to the United States Supreme, said “Maybe my sister; she would be a great Supreme Court Justice !”  The problem is that his sister is a Federal District Judge in New York State with an extreme pro-abortion record. }


Hitler Runs for President

Just three weeks after the suicide of his beloved niece, Adolf Hitler met the 84-year-old President of Germany, Paul von Hindenburg, for the first time.

Hitler pulled himself out of the severe depression he fell into after her death. Twice before he had sunk into the abyss of despair, only to emerge stronger – in 1918, lying in a hospital, blinded by poison gas, after hearing news of the Germany’s defeat ending World War I – and in 1924, in prison after the failed Beer Hall Putsch.

In October 1931, the former Austrian Corporal was presented to the former Field Marshal. Hitler was a bit unnerved by the Old Gentleman and rambled on at length trying to impress him. Hindenburg was not impressed and later said Hitler might be suited for Postmaster, but never for a high position such as the Chancellorship of Germany.

October of 1931 marked the beginning of the political intrigue that would destroy the young republic and ultimately make Hitler Führer of Germany.

Hitler seen in the midst of tough negotiations with Chancellor Bruening about extending President Hindenburg’s term. Below: After the negotiations failed – the race for the presidency is underway. Left: Nazis tack up a stark-looking Hitler poster that only shows his face and name. Right: A large handshake billboard for President Hindenburg that says “With Him.”
Below: A radio broadcast by the elderly Hindenburg who limited his campaigning to a few radio speeches and select social gatherings.
Below: A speech by candidate Hitler to a large crowd in Berlin’s Lustgarten in April 1932.

Constant political squabbling among the numerous political parties in the Reichstag resulted in ineffective government.

Adding to the problem, there were now over a hundred elected Nazis in the Reichstag  {Think, Congress}. Under the leadership of Hermann Göring, they regularly disrupted proceedings with vulgar, rowdy behavior to help undermine democracy in Germany.

The German people were desperate for relief from the tremendous personal suffering brought on by the Great Depression, now two years old. Millions were unemployed, thousands of small businesses had failed {Think, the United States in 2016}, homelessness and starvation were real possibilities for everyone.

Civilization itself was unraveling in Berlin where people were fighting in the streets, killing each other in the chaos {Think, Milwaukee, Detroit, Baltimore, etc.}.

But from their elected leaders, the people got nothing but indecision. In ever growing numbers they turned to the decisive man, Adolf Hitler, and his promises of a better future.

The republic now faced another problem. In 1932, there was supposed to be a presidential election, according to law. But Hindenburg, the glue holding the floundering democracy together, was getting too old and said he was not interested in running again.

Even if he could be convinced to run, he would be 92 by the time the seven-year term ended, with Hitler looming in the background the whole time. If he didn’t live the entire term, considered likely since he was failing, then Hitler would have his chance even sooner.

Early in 1932, Adolf Hitler received a telegram from Chancellor Bruening inviting him to come to Berlin to discuss the possibility of extending Hindenburg’s present term. Hitler was delighted at the invitation.

“Now I have them in my pocket! They have recognized me as a partner in their negotiations!” Hitler told Rudolf Hess.

He went to the meeting and listened to the proposal, but gave no response. There was no reason to help the chancellor and thus help keep the republic alive.

In February 1932, President Hindenburg reluctantly agreed to run again and announced his candidacy for re-election. Hitler decided to oppose him and run for the presidency himself.

“Freedom and Bread,” {Think, illegal immigration}  was the slogan used by Hitler to great effect during the Nazi campaign against tired old President Hindenburg.

Joseph Goebbels waged a furious propaganda campaign on behalf of Hitler, outdoing the previous election effort of 1930. Nazi posters were plastered everywhere. There was a whirlwind schedule of speeches for himself and Hitler. The Nazis held thousands of rallies each day all across Germany. They gave out millions of pamphlets and extra copies of Nazi newspapers. Goebbels also used new technology {Think, social media like Twitter and Facebook}, making phonograph records and films of Hitler to distribute.

President Hindenburg essentially did nothing. He was content to ride on his reputation and counted on the votes of Germans who wanted to keep the radicals out of power. Goebbels had high hopes that Hitler might pull an upset and sweep into office. Hitler, however, had his doubts. He campaigned knowing he was unlikely to unseat the Old Gentleman. But the campaign was also an opportunity to win support for himself and his Party and extend Nazi influence.

Many in Germany saw the Nazis as the wave of the future. After the stunning success of the 1930 election, thousands of new members had poured into the Party. Now, in the spring of 1932, with six million unemployed, chaos in Berlin, starvation and ruin, the threat of Marxism, and a very uncertain future – they turned to Hitler {Think, Donald Trump} by the millions.

In the presidential election held on March 13, 1932, Hitler got over eleven million votes (11,339,446) or 30% of the total. Hindenburg got 18,651,497 votes or 49%.

Hindenburg failed to get the absolute majority he needed, making a run-off election necessary. Goebbels and many of the Nazi leaders were quite disappointed.

But Hitler immediately urged them to start a vigorous campaign for the run-off to be held on April 10, less than a month away.

In the campaign that followed, Hitler criss-crossed Germany in an airplane {Think, Trump in his private plane}, descending from the clouds into the arms of growing numbers of fanatics, at ever larger rallies. He gave them a positive message, promising something for everyone, then ascended back into the clouds. “In the Third Reich every German girl will find a husband!” Hitler once promised.

But like any politician, Hitler was subject to scandal {Think, Trump casinos in New Jersey, his serial adultery, his abuse of eminent domain, etc.}. A newspaper run by one of the opposition parties, the Social Democrats, somehow got hold of letters between SA Chief Ernst Röhm and a male doctor, concerning their mutual interest in men. Hitler knew Röhm was a homosexual and had ignored it for years because of Röhm’s usefulness to him.

The issue as far as Hitler was concerned was whether Röhm had abused any underage males. Nazi lawyer Hans Frank investigated this and assured Hitler he had found no evidence. Hitler was a little more at ease. Thus, Ernst Röhm, the battle scarred, aggressive storm trooper leader would stay, at least for now, as leader of the SA, now numbering over 400,000.

The campaign for president continued with the Nazis mounting another furious campaign effort with Hitler making several campaign stops a day. President Hindenburg did less than before and didn’t make a single speech, causing rumors about ill health.

On a dark, rainy Sunday, April 10, 1932, the people voted. They gave Hitler 13,418,547 or 36%, an increase of two million, and Hindenburg 19,359,983 or 53%, an increase of under a million.

The Old Gentleman, now 85, was elected by an absolute majority to another seven-year term. But no one was at ease. Hitler and the Nazis had shown massive popularity.

Berlin was now a swirling mess of fear, intrigue, rumors, and disorder. Out of that mess arose a man named Kurt von Schleicher, a highly ambitious Army officer, driven by the idea that he, not Hitler, might possibly rule Germany.

The German republic was now as unsteady as the teetering Old Gentleman leading it and up against Schleicher and Hitler, was soon to be buried.


The Republic Collapses

Amid the swirling mess in Berlin of political intrigue, rumors, and disorder, the SA, the Nazi storm troopers, stood out as an ominous presence. In the spring of 1932, many in the German democratic government came to believe the Brownshirts were about to take over by force.

There were now over 400,000 storm troopers under the leadership of SA Chief Ernst Röhm. Many members of the SA considered themselves to be a true revolutionary army and were anxious to live up to that idea. Adolf Hitler had to rein them in from time to time so they wouldn’t upset his own carefully laid plans to undermine the republic.

Hitler knew he could not succeed as Führer of Germany without the support of existing institutions such as the German Army and the powerful German industrialists, both of whom kept a wary eye on the revolutionary SA.

Above Left: Chancellor Heinrich Bruening – the last in a long line of noble politicians who tried to preserve the Republic. Above Right: General Kurt von Schleicher – contemptuous of the struggling Republic and determined to grab power for himself. Below: Franz von Papen who became deeply involved in the political intrigue that brought Hitler to power.

In April of 1932, Heinrich Bruening, Chancellor of Germany, invoked Article 48 of the constitution and issued a decree banning the SA and SS all across Germany. The Nazis were outraged and wanted Hitler to fight the ban. But Hitler, always a step ahead of them all, knew better. He agreed, knowing the republic was on its last legs and that opportunity would soon come along for him.

That opportunity came in the form of Kurt von Schleicher, a scheming, ambitious Army officer who had ideas of leading Germany himself. But he made the mistake (that would prove fatal) of underestimating Hitler. Schleicher was acquainted with Hitler and had been the one who arraigned for Hitler to meet Hindenburg, a meeting that went poorly for Hitler.

On May 8, 1932, Schleicher held a secret meeting with Hitler and offered a proposal. The ban on the SA and SS would be lifted, the Reichstag dissolved and new elections called, and Chancellor Bruening would be dumped, if Hitler would support him in a conservative nationalist government. Hitler agreed.

Schleicher’s skillful treachery behind the scenes in Berlin first resulted in the humiliation and ousting of General Wilhelm Groener, a longtime trusted aide to President Hindenburg and friend of the republic. In the Reichstag, Groener, who supported the ban on the SA, took a severe public tongue lashing from Hermann Göring and was hooted and booed by Goebbels and the rest of the Nazis.

“We covered him with such catcalls that the whole house began to tremble and shake with laughter. In the end one could only have pity for him. That man is finished,” Joseph Goebbels wrote in his diary in 1932.

Groener was pressured by Schleicher to resign. He appealed without success to Hindenburg and wound up resigning on May 13. Schleicher’s next target was Chancellor Bruening.

Heinrich Bruening was one of the last men in Germany who stood up to Hitler with the best interest of the people at heart. He was responsible for getting Hindenburg re-elected as president to keep out Hitler and preserve the republic. He was also hard at work on the international scene to help the German economy by seeking an end to war reparations. But his economic policies at home brought dismal results. As Germany’s economic situation got worse, with nearly six million unemployed, Bruening was labeled “The Hunger Chancellor.”

Bruening had also continued the dangerous precedent of ruling by decree. He invoked Article 48 of the German constitution several times to break the political stalemate in Berlin.

To Schleicher and Hitler, he was simply in the way and had to go. Schleicher went to work on him by undermining the support of Hindenburg. Bruening was already in trouble with Hindenburg, who blamed him for the political turmoil that had made it necessary to run for re-election at age 85 against the ‘Bohemian Corporal’ Adolf Hitler.

Bruening also made an error in proposing that the huge estates of bankrupt aristocrats be divided up and given to peasants, sounding like a Marxist {Think Hillary Clinton’s advocacy of increasing the Inheritance Tax}. Those same aristocrats, along with big industrialists {Think, big Wall Street banks, Hollywood, Silicon Valley}, had scraped together the money to buy Hindenburg an estate of his own. When Hindenburg took his Easter vacation there in mid-May, he had to listen to their complaints about Bruening. All the while, Schleicher was at work against Bruening as well.

On May 29, 1932, Hindenburg called in Bruening and told him to resign. The next day, Heinrich Bruening handed in his resignation, effectively ending democracy in Germany.

Schleicher was now in control. He chose as his puppet chancellor, an unknown socialite named Franz von Papen who had grave doubts about his own ability to function in such a high office. Hindenburg, however, took a liking to Papen and encouraged him to take the job.

May 1932 – A mass gathering of the unemployed outside a government-run job office in Berlin. Such gatherings sometimes led to street riots. Below: Chancellor Papen (third from right) with his befuddled Cabinet in June 1932.

The aristocratic Papen assembled a cabinet of men like himself. This ineffective cabinet of aristocrats and industrialists {Think, big Wall Stree banks, Hollywood, Silicon Valley, etc.}presided over a nation {Think, United States of America} that would soon be on the verge of anarchy.

When Adolf Hitler was asked by President Hindenburg if he would support Papen as chancellor, he said yes. On June 4th, the Reichstag was dissolved and new elections were called for the end of July. On June 15, the ban on the SA and SS was lifted. The secret promises made to the Nazis by Schleicher had been fulfilled.

Murder and violence soon erupted on a scale never before seen in Germany {Think, United States} Roaming groups of Nazi Brownshirts walked the streets singing Nazi songs and looking for fights {Think, “Black Lives Matter” and other groups pushing violence}.

“Blut muss fliessen, Blut muss fliessen! Blut muss fliessen Knuppelhageldick! Haut’se doch zusammen, haut’se doch zusammen! Diese gotverdammte Juden Republik!” the Nazi storm troopers sang.

Ttranslation: “Blood must flow, blood must flow! Blood must flow as cudgel thick as hail! Let’s smash it up, let’s smash it up! That goddamned Jewish republic!”

The Nazis found many Communists in the streets wanting a fight and they began regularly shooting at each other. Hundreds of gun battles took place. On July 17, the Nazis under police escort brazenly marched into a Communist area near Hamburg in the state of Prussia. A big shoot-out occurred in which 19 people were killed and nearly 300 wounded. It came to be known as “Bloody Sunday.”

Papen invoked Article 48 and proclaimed martial law in Berlin and also took over the government of the German state of Prussia by naming himself Reich Commissioner. Germany had taken a big step closer to authoritarian rule.

Hitler now decided that Papen was simply in the way and had to go.

“I regard your cabinet only as a temporary solution and will continue my efforts to make my Party the strongest in the country. The chancellorship will then devolve on me,” Hitler told Papen.

The July elections would provide that opportunity. The Nazis, sensing total victory, campaigned with fanatical energy. Hitler was now speaking to adoring German audiences of up to 100,000 at a time. The phenomenon of large scale ‘Führer worship’ had begun. On July 31st, the people voted and gave the Nazis 13,745,000 votes, 37% of the total, granting them 230 seats in the Reichstag. The Nazi Party was now the largest and most powerful in Germany.

On August 5th, Hitler presented his list of demands to Schleicher – the chancellorship; passage of an enabling act giving him control to rule by decree; three cabinet posts for Nazis; the creation of a propaganda ministry; control over the Ministry of the Interior; and control of Prussia. As for Schleicher, he would get the Ministry of Defense as a reward.

Schleicher listened, didn’t say yes or no, but would let him know later.

With gleeful anticipation, Hitler awaited Schleicher’s response and even ordered that a memorial tablet be made to mark the place where the historic meeting with Schleicher had occurred.

Meanwhile, the SA began massing in Berlin anticipating a takeover of power. But old President Hindenburg soon put an end to Hitler’s dreams. Hindenburg by now distrusted Hitler and would not have him as chancellor, especially after the behavior of the SA.

On August 13, Schleicher and Papen met with Hitler and gave him the bad news. The best they could offer was a compromise – vice chancellorship and the Prussian Ministry of the Interior.

A determined-looking Hermann Göring enters the Reichstag building in August 1932 – helping to stifle the democratic government for Hitler. Below: Hitler is cheered and saluted as he heads into a big meeting with President Hindenburg in November 1932.
Below: Hitler’s car is mobbed by admirers after his meeting with Hindenburg on November 19th.

Hitler became hysterical. In a display of wild rage that stunned Schleicher and Papen, he spewed out threats of violence and murder, saying he would let loose the SA for three days of mayhem all across Germany.

Later that same day, Hitler was called on the carpet by President Hindenburg. The former Austrian Corporal got a tongue lashing from the former Field Marshal after once again demanding the chancellorship and refusing to cooperate with Papen and Schleicher.

In the presence of the steely-eyed old Prussian, Hitler backed down. The gamble for total victory had failed. He put the SA on a two week furlough and went to Berchtesgaden to lick his wounds. They would all have to wait, he told them. Just a little longer.

On September 12, the Reichstag under the new chairmanship of Hermann Göring gave a vote of no confidence to Papen and his government. But just before that vote was taken, Papen had slapped an order on Göring’s desk dissolving the Reichstag and calling yet again for new elections.

This was a problem. Everyone was getting tired of elections by now. Goebbels had a hard time getting the Nazi effort up to the same level of a few months earlier.

In the middle of the campaign, Hitler’s girlfriend Eva Braun shot herself in the neck during a suicide attempt. Hitler was still haunted by the suicide of his beloved niece a few years earlier. Eva Braun was deeply in love with Hitler but didn’t get the attention she craved. Hitler rushed to the hospital and resolved to look after her from that moment on.

This distraction served to slow down the already sluggish Nazi campaign. More problems came after Goebbels and a number of Nazis went along with the Communists in a wildcat strike of transport workers in Berlin, thus alienating a lot of middle class voters.

Bad publicity from siding with the Reds plus the bad publicity Hitler got after his meeting with Hindenburg combined to lose them votes. Adding to all this were the wild antics of the SA. On November 6th, the Nazis lost two million votes and thirty four seats in the Reichstag. It seemed the Nazis were losing momentum. Hitler became depressed.

But there was still no workable government in Berlin {Think, Washington, D.C.. Papen’s position as chancellor was badly weakened. And Schleicher was now at work behind the scenes to further undermine him. On November 17, Papen went to Hindenburg and told him he was unable to form any kind of working coalition, then resigned.

Two days later, Hitler requested a meeting with Hindenburg. Once again Hitler demanded to be made chancellor. Once again he was turned down. This time however, Hindenburg took a friendlier tone, asking Hitler, soldier to soldier, to meet him half way and cooperate with the other parties to form a working majority, in other words, a coalition government. Hitler said no.

On November 21st, Hitler saw Hindenburg again and tried a different approach. He read a prepared statement claiming that parliamentary government had failed and that only the Nazis could be counted on to stop the spread of Communism. He asked Hindenburg to make him the leader of a presidential cabinet. Hindenburg said no, and only repeated his own previous requests.

The Government of Germany had ground to a halt.

Meanwhile, a group of the country’s most influential industrialists, bankers, and business leaders {Think, Wall Street, big banks, Hollywood, Silicon Valley, et al }sent a petition to Hindenburg asking him to appoint Hitler as chancellor. They believed Hitler would be good for business.

Hindenburg was in a terrible bind. He called in Papen and Schleicher and asked them what to do. Papen came up with a wild idea. He would be chancellor again and rule only by decree, eliminate the Reichstag altogether, use the Army and police to suppress all political parties and forcibly amend the constitution. It would be a return to the days of Empire, with the conservative, aristocratic classes ruling.

Schleicher objected, much to Papen’s surprise. Schleicher said that he, not Papen, should head the government and promised Hindenburg he could get a working majority in the Reichstag by causing a rift among the Nazis. Schleicher said he could get Gregor Strasser and as many as 60 Nazi deputies to break from Hitler.

Hindenburg was dumbfounded and finally turned to Papen and asked him to go ahead and form his government. After Hindenburg left the room, Papen and Schleicher got into a huge shouting match.

At a cabinet meeting the next day, Schleicher told Papen that any attempt by him to form a new government would bring the country to chaos. He insisted that the Army would not go along and then produced a Major Ott who backed up his claims. Schleicher had been at work behind the scenes to sway the Army to his point of view. Papen was in big trouble.

He went running to Hindenburg, who, with tears rolling down his cheeks, told Papen there was no alternative at this point except to name Schleicher as the new chancellor.

“My dear Papen, you will not think much of me if I change my mind. But I am too old and have been through too much to accept the responsibility for a civil war. Our only hope is to let Schleicher try his luck,” President Hindenburg told Papen.

Thus Kurt von Schleicher became Chancellor of Germany on December 2, 1932. There now began an incredible amount of behind-the-scenes political intrigue and backstabbing that would put Hitler in power in only 57 days.

To begin with, Schleicher made good on his promise to try to split the Nazis. He held a secret meeting with Gregor Strasser, a Nazi who had been with Hitler from the start, and offered him the vice-chancellorship and control of Prussia.

To Strasser, the offer was quite appealing. The Nazi Party’s recent decline, losing millions of votes and now experiencing terrible financial problems, seemed to indicate that Hitler’s rigid tactics might not be the best thing for long-term success. Strasser had also acquired a distaste for the brutal men who now made up Hitler’s inner circle.

Through Papen, Hitler found out what was going on. On December 5th, Strasser and his infuriated Führer met, along with other Nazi leaders, in a Berlin hotel. Strasser insisted that Hitler and the Nazis cooperate or at least tolerate the Schleicher government. Göring and Goebbels opposed him. Hitler sided with them against Strasser.

Two days later, Strasser and Hitler met again and wound up getting into a huge shouting match. Strasser accused Hitler of leading the Party to ruin. Hitler accused Strasser of stabbing him in the back.

The following day, Strasser wrote a letter to Hitler, resigning all of his duties as a member of the Nazi Party. Hitler and the Nazi leaders were stunned. One of the founding members and most influential leaders had abandoned them. The Nazi Party seemed to be unraveling. Hitler became depressed, even threatening to shoot himself with a pistol.

Strasser headed for a vacation in Italy.


“Whatever happens, mark what I say. From now on Germany is in the hands of an Austrian, who is a congenital liar (Hitler), a former officer who is a pervert (Röhm), and a clubfoot (Goebbels). And I tell you the last is the worst of them all. This is Satan in human form,” declared Gregor Strasser in 1932.

As for Hermann Göring:

“Göring is a brutal egotist who cares nothing for Germany as long as he becomes something.”

Regarding Strasser, Goebbels wrote in his diary: “Strasser is a dead man.”

Hitler assigned his trusted aid, Rudolf Hess, to take over Strasser’s duties. Over the Christmas season, Hitler became quite depressed over the failing fortunes of his Party.

And it seemed to many political observers that the danger of a Hitler dictatorship had passed.

But the new year brought new intrigue. The big bankers and industrialists who had petitioned Hindenburg on behalf of Hitler still liked the idea of Hitler in power. And Papen was now out to bring down Schleicher. On January 4, 1933, Hitler went to a meeting with Papen at the house of banker Kurt von Schroeder. Papen surprised Hitler by offering to oust Schleicher and install a Papen-Hitler government with himself and Hitler, both equal partners.

Hitler liked the idea of ousting Schleicher but insisted that he would have to be the real head of government. He would, however, be willing to work with Papen and his ministers. Papen gave in and agreed.

When Schleicher found out, he went running to Hindenburg, charging Papen with treachery. But Hindenburg had a soft spot for Papen and would not go along.

Schleicher’s position was already badly weakened. He was unable to get the government moving because nobody trusted him enough to join him in a working coalition. The German government remained at a standstill with the people and Hindenburg getting more impatient by the day. Something had to be done. Hindenburg authorized Papen to continue negotiating with Hitler, but to keep it secret from Schleicher.

In the small German state of Lippe, local elections were scheduled for January 15. Hitler and the Nazis took this opportunity to make a big impression. They saturated the place with propaganda and campaigned heavily, hoping to win big and prove they had regained momentum.

They received a small increase in votes over their previous election total. But they used their own widely circulated Nazi newspapers {Think, The New York Times, The Washington Pose, et al }to exaggerate the significance and to once again lay claim that Hitler and the Nazis were the wave of the future. It worked well and even impressed President Hindenburg.

On Sunday, January 22, 1933, a secret meeting was held at the home of Joachim von Ribbentrop. It was attended by Papen, Hindenburg’s son Oskar, along with Hitler and Göring. Hitler grabbed Oskar and brought him into a private room and worked on him for an hour to convince him that the Nazis had to be taken into the government on his terms. Oskar emerged from the meeting convinced it was inevitable. The Nazis were to be taken in. Papen then pledged his loyalty to Hitler.

Next, Schleicher went to Hindenburg with a proposal – declare a state of emergency to control the Nazis, dissolve the Reichstag, and suspend elections. Hindenburg said no.

But word of this proposal leaked out, bringing Schleicher the wrath of the liberal and centrist parties. Schleicher then backed down, bringing him the wrath of anti-Nazi conservatives. His position was hopeless.

On January 28th, he went to Hindenburg and asked him once again to dissolve the Reichstag. Hindenburg said no. Schleicher resigned.

Papen and the president’s son, Oskar, moved in on the Old Gentleman to convince him to appoint a Hitler-Papen government. Hindenburg was now a tired old man weary of all the intrigue. He seemed ready to give in. Hitler sensed his weakness and issued an additional demand that four important cabinet posts be given to Nazis.

This did not set well with the old man and he started having doubts about Hitler as chancellor. He was reassured when Hitler promised that Papen would get one of those four posts.

On the 29th, a false rumor circulated that Schleicher was about to arrest Hindenburg and stage a military takeover of the government. When Hindenburg heard of this, it ended his hesitation. He decided to appoint Adolf Hitler as the next Chancellor of Germany.

However, a last minute objection by conservative leader, Alfred Hugenberg, nearly ruined everything. On January 30, while President Hindenburg waited in the other room to give Hitler the chancellorship, Hugenberg held up everything by arguing with the Nazis over Hitler’s demand for new elections. He was persuaded by Hitler to back down, or at least let Hindenburg decide. With that settled they all headed into the president’s office.

Around noon on January 30, 1933, a new chapter in German history began as a teary-eyed Adolf Hitler emerged from the presidential palace as Chancellor of the German Nation. Surrounded by admirers, he got into his car and was driven down the street lined with cheering citizens.

“We’ve done it! We’ve done it!” a jubilant Adolf Hitler exclaimed.

Copyright © 1996 The History Place™ All Rights Reserve

{In the next 12 years (1933-1945) twenty million people died in Europe and around the world in Hitler’s Final Solution of purging the world of “subhuman” persons (Jews, Gypsies, Slavs, Catholic Priests, et al) and in World War II which Hitler started in 1939.}


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The Left Wins because It Fights Politics on the Field of Morality
 by Ben Shapiro August 24, 2016 4:00 AM
Americans must relearn political {?} morality.
This week, President Obama headed down to Louisiana to view the flood damage in Baton Rouge. He’d resisted doing so for weeks; according to political ally Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post, Obama “believes he can monitor the situation as well — or better — from where he is. And that the sole reason to go to Louisiana is for the theatrical piece of politics, a piece that he not only rejects but detests.” Of course, Obama didn’t detest such politicking in 2012, when he flew to New Jersey to view Hurricane Sandy damage — and then took Chris Christie for a romantic stroll along the boardwalk. And he didn’t detest visiting Louisiana flood areas when he blasted George W. Bush for seeing the victims of Hurricane Katrina “from the window of an airplane instead of down here, on the ground.” This, of course, is why only about half of Americans consider Obama honest. And that’s a higher number now than it has been in years.
Obama isn’t the only dishonest national politician, of course. Hillary Clinton lies routinely to her own supporters. She campaigned on the ridiculous pledge to stop crony politicking — but meanwhile, she’s been plagued by allegation after allegation of pay-for-play corruption at the State Department, where she traded access for donations to the Clinton Foundation Official Slush Fund. Hillary says she wants to take the rich down a peg, but she and her husband turned their “dead broke” status into a $100 million fortune on the back of backscratching from friends at firms such as Goldman Sachs — companies she pretends to hate.
Just 11 percent of Americans think Hillary Clinton is honest and trustworthy. Then there’s Donald Trump, who spent the early part of this week walking back his hardline position on illegal immigration. After flip-flopping positions on every issue from due process for gun removal to punishment for abortion, Trump has reportedly decided to renege on his central campaign promise: to deport 11 million illegal immigrants. Just 16 percent of
Americans think Trump is honest and trustworthy. Americans know our politicians lie to us. And yet we’re more loyal to politicians than we’ve been any time in recent history.
Honesty and trustworthiness are now seen as obstacles to political success. Personal unpopularity, as pollsters have noted, now seems completely disconnected from election results. Voters know they’re pulling the lever for liars and charlatans, but they don’t seem to care. In fact, they seem averse to candidates who tell them precisely what they’re going to do.
The most truthful candidates in the Republican primaries did the worst: According to a February 2016 Quinnipiac poll, for example, 72 percent of Republicans said that Marco Rubio was honest and trustworthy; 70 percent said that Jeb Bush was; 65 percent said John Kasich was; 62 percent said Ted Cruz was; just 60 percent said Trump was. Among Democrats, 87 percent said Bernie Sanders was honest and trustworthy, while Hillary Clinton clocked in at just 61 percent. Guess who won.
There are two reasons for that. First off, honesty and trustworthiness are now seen as obstacles to political success. Americans think that the government is so corrupt that we need corrupt people to fix it — people who won’t work within the system, but who will instead shatter it. New Trump campaign CEO Steve Bannon, a bona fide former Goldman Sachs Beltway insider turned faux-political outsider, expresses the sentiment well: “Lenin wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.”
Democrats nominated Hillary Clinton to use her corruption on behalf of leftism. Republicans nominated Donald Trump to use his corruption on behalf of nationalist populism. Then there’s the second reason: In the absence of loyalty to political principle, Americans instead fall into god-worship for their politicians. Most Americans believe in certain political solutions: higher taxes or less regulation, more military funding or criminal-justice reform. But few Americans have a coherent political worldview.
Why is one solution better than another? Why should we respect some rights while quashing others? For decades, both Left and Right have answered: Certain policies are better because certain policies are more effective. But effectiveness isn’t a foolproof argument, thanks to the complexity inherent in politics. For example, which was responsible for the 1990s economic boom, Ronald Reagan’s tax cutting, or Bill Clinton’s tax increases? Who was more responsible for the economic collapse of 2008, Clinton for his sponsorship of subprime lending, or George W. Bush for not restricting investments by banks? Policy experts battle these issues out daily, but there’s no clear-cut answer (though some arguments are significantly stronger than others).
In the end, most Americans decide which policies they prefer on the basis of morality. And because Americans no longer learn political morality {or any kind of morality}— they no longer learn about the moral framework that supports the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution — they fall back on bumper-sticker morality. Democrats believe in “Stronger Together.” Republicans believe in “America First.” These slogans have little meaning in a vacuum.
Political leaders must give them meaning. And so Americans fall in behind politicians they don’t trust to impose slogans that mean nothing, but give them a sense of meaning. The politicians need not fulfill any philosophic worldview — they need only offer an agglomeration of policy positions under their broadly agreeable rubric. Hillary’s flip-flopping on the Trans-Pacific Partnership doesn’t threaten her “Stronger Together” sloganeering. Trump’s flip-flopping on immigration doesn’t change that he believes in “America First.” And so we get politicians who lie — and we celebrate their lies, since only liars can win in a corrupt system. The only corrective to this perverse marriage of cynicism and star-worship lies in a revival of principle.
Imagine a world in which we hold our politicians to the standard of God-given rights protected by a government designed not to invade those rights, in which interest checks interest, in which states and the federal government balance each other in a great ongoing battle for power. That was the vision of the Founders. And that vision meant that Americans demanded that our politicians not lie to us — that they cohere to our worldview, and stand for that worldview in the eternal grinding of gears that the Constitutional structure represents. Until we have such a vision again, we’ll get petty, corrupt politicians we worship as saviors from our petty, corrupt system. We’ll cheer them because they mouth dumbed-down slogans three generations removed from any real philosophic underpinning. And then we’ll wonder why our politics continue to degrade. —
Ben Shapiro is the editor-in-chief of the
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One of my favorite blogs is the one maintained by Hillary White, a North American expatriate, who has chosen to live the rest of her life in the birthplace of Saint Benedict and his sister, Saint Scholastica: Norsia. Hillary is a wonderful writer, her posts are full of information, humor,wit,irony and satire.

An American Benedictine restored the ancient monastery that contains the actual birthplace of the saints and Hillary is close to the monks, attending the choral recitation of the divine office.

The link I have provided above contains Hillary’s description of the earthquake that did so much damage and caused so much death on Italy this morning.

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Pope Francis Says Catholics Don’t Need To Breed ‘Like Rabbits’

January 20, 20151:41 PM ET
Jasmine Garsd.

On his return trip from Asia, Pope Francis made strong statements supporting the church’s ban on artificial means of birth control. He also said Catholics should practice “responsible parenthood” and don’t have to breed “like rabbits.”

Speaking with reporters on a flight Monday from the Philippines to Rome, Francis encouraged the use of church-approved contraception.

The National Catholic Reporter says Francis “made what appears to be an unprecedented statement that Catholics may have a moral responsibility to limit the number of their children.” It describes the pope’s remarks this way:

“Telling the story of a woman he met in a parish in Rome several months ago who had given birth to seven children via cesarean section and was pregnant with an eighth, Francis asked: ‘Does she want to leave the seven orphans?’

” ‘This is to tempt God,’ he said, adding later: ‘That is an irresponsibility.’ Catholics, the pope said, should speak of ‘responsible parenthood.’

” ‘How do we do this?’ Francis asked. ‘With dialogue. Each person with his pastor seeks how to do that responsible parenthood.’

” ‘God gives you methods to be responsible,’ he continued. ‘Some think that — excuse the word — that in order to be good Catholics we have to be like rabbits. No.’ ”

Francis’ comments in defense of the 1968 Humanae Vitae seem to show a more conservative side of a leader often perceived as more liberal than his predecessors.

Catholic News Service’s Francis X. Rocca tells NPR: “I think partially the image of him as being more liberal is a mixed bag. To some extent it’s accurate if we say liberal to mean more socially progressive, more egalitarian, more interested in social justice … when it comes to social and moral issues, which are so touchy for a lot of people. Certainly Francis struck a note very early on when he talked about ‘who am I to judge’ [regarding gay priests] — which is a statement you have to read in context. But nevertheless he used the word ‘gay,’ and he did strike a note of new tolerance.”

But Rocca says Francis also has aimed to reassure members of the flock that he is still in line with traditional Catholic values. “I think perhaps there is more of a new emphasis — and on this trip we saw it — on reassuring people that he is orthodox on these things.”


9:17 AM (22 minutes ago)

Jeff Jacoby

Have more kids; save the world

      by Jeff Jacoby
      The Boston Globe
      August 24, 2016

      FROM TIME IMMEMORIAL, humankind has regarded it as a blessing to be fruitful and multiply.

      Not Travis Rieder.

      A philosopher and bioethics instructor at Johns Hopkins University, Rieder was the focus of a recent NPR story, in which he argued that having children is immoral and should be discouraged with government penalties. It’s not that Rieder dislikes children — in fact, he has a 2-year-old daughter of whom he’s quite fond. But with “dangerous climate change” approaching a tipping point “very, very soon,” he says, bringing more children into the world is unethical. After all, every additional baby means additional carbon emissions, and more carbon emissions mean rising global temperatures. Without drastic change, the planet will soon be “largely uninhabitable for humans.” So the natural human urge to procreate, Rieder insists, must be suppressed.

      “It’s not the childless who must justify their lifestyle,” he tells NPR. “It’s the rest of us.” And no, it’s not enough for would-be parents to adopt a rigorously “green” lifestyle. Rieder says that no amount of conservation — driving less, recycling faithfully, using energy-efficient light bulbs and appliances — comes remotely close to the level of CO2 reduction achieved by having one fewer child. (On its website, NPR helpfully supplies a sidebar with statistics confirming the point.)

      Curiously, Rieder seems to believe he is saying something fresh and unusual. “Here’s a provocative thought,” he announces. “Maybe we should protect our kids by not having them.”

      Provocative? The notion that too many people are having kids, and that “overpopulation” spells doom for life on Earth, has been an article of faith among environmental extremists since at least the 1960s.

      Babies are more than carbon footprints. They grow up not merely to consume, but to produce. With more people a society gets more innovation, more acts of kindness, more social welfare, more enterprise, more prosperity. To say nothing of more entertainment, like the hit 1970s TV show, “The Waltons.”

      David Brower, the longtime executive director of the Sierra Club, insisted decades ago that childbearing should be “a punishable crime against society, unless the parents hold a government license.” The current White House science adviser, physicist John Holdren, was writing in the 1970s about the catastrophe that would result if governments didn’t turn to forcible sterilization, compulsory abortion, or anti-fertility drugs in the water supply to shrink the population. “If the population control measures are not initiated immediately and effectively,” wrote Holdren in a book co-authored with ecologist/alarmist Paul Ehrlich, “all the technology man can bring to bear will not fend off the misery to come.”

      Population misanthropes were freaking out about the disasters sure to come from making too many babies as far back as ancient Greece. But though babies keep being made — at present, some 130 million of them every year — the disaster never comes. The number of men, women, and children on the planet has exploded from 2.5 billion in 1950 to 7.4 billion today, yet humanity is better off than ever. People live longer, healthier, and more comfortable lives than at any time in human history. By and large, they have more wealth, more education, more food, more medical care, more energy, and more natural resources than their forbears could have dreamed of.

      Never have there been so many people in the world. Never have the world’s people been so well off. Coincidence? Not at all. When people are fruitful and multiply, they tend to make the world better, not worse.

      Population doomsayers get lots of attention, but the doom they predict invariably fails to materialize. That is because babies are more than carbon footprints. They grow up not merely to consume, but to produce. They think and create and explore and imagine — and they inspire others to do so as well. With more people a society gets more innovation, more acts of kindness, more social welfare, more enterprise, more caregiving, more discovery, more growth, more prosperity.

      When parents bring a baby into the world, they do a wonderful thing — both for the baby and for the world. You really want to save the planet? Ignore the gloom-and-doomers, and have more children.

      (Jeff Jacoby is a columnist for The Boston Globe).

      — ## —


      CANDIDE: “Is this the best of all possible worlds ???”

      DR. PANGLOSS: “Yes, indeed it is the best of all possible worlds !!!”

      What do you think ???

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Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, better known by the alias Lenin, was a Russian communist revolutionary, politician, and political theorist, shown here addressing Russian troops in 1919.

Leaked e-mails show George Soros paid $650K to influence bishops during Pope’s US visit

    1. by John-Henry Westen


      catholic , george soros , pope francis , us bishops

      Updated Aug. 23, 2016 at 9:10 pm EST

      August 23, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Leaked emails through WikiLeaks reveal that billionaire globalist George Soros – one of Hilary Clinton’s top donors – paid $650,000 to influence Pope Francis’ September 2015 visit to the USA with a view to “shift[ing] national paradigms and priorities in the run-up to the 2016 presidential campaign.” The funds were allocated in April 2015 and the report on their effectiveness suggests that successful achievements included, “Buy-in of individual bishops to more publicly voice support of economic and racial justice messages in order to begin to create a critical mass of bishops who are aligned with the Pope.”

      The monies were granted to two US entities that have been engaged in a long-term project, according to the report, of shifting “the priorities of the US Catholic church.” Grantees were PICO, a faith-based community organizing group, and Faith in Public Life (FPL), a progressive group working in media to promote left-leaning ‘social justice’ causes. Soros has funded left-wing causes the world over and was just found to have been funding an effort to eliminate pro-life laws around the globe.

      Board Minutes from the May 2015 meeting of Soros’ Open Society Foundation in New York reveal that in the planning stages of the papal visit initiative, the group planned to work through one of the Pope’s key advisors, Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, naming him specifically in the report. In order to seize on the opportunity provided by the Pope’s visit to the US, says the report, “we will support PICO’s organizing activities to engage the Pope on economic and racial justice issues, including using the influence of Cardinal Rodriguez, the Pope’s senior advisor, and sending a delegation to visit the Vatican in the spring or summer to allow him to hear directly from low-income Catholics in America.”

      In 2013 Cardinal Rodriguez endorsed PICO’s work in a video during a visit from PICO representatives to the cardinal’s diocese. “I want to endorse all the efforts they are doing to promote communities of faith,” he said, “… Please, keep helping PICO.”

      The post operative report on the funding to influence the papal visit comes in the 2016 report entitled, Review Of 2015 U.S. Opportunities Fund. The Soros group was pleased with the result of their campaign and saw statements by various bishops against presidental candidates who are using “fearmongering” – likely a reference to the GOP lineup, and perhaps Trump specifically – as one outcome of their efforts. “The impact of this work and the relationships it has fostered can be seen in the broad range of religious leaders hitting pointedly back at presidential candidates for their use of fearmongering,” the report said.

      Additionally, the summary report says their funding was helpful to counter “anti-gay rhetoric” in the media. The “efficacy of the media campaign can be seen in the team’s ability to react to and counter the anti-gay rhetoric following the Kim Davis story (the Kentucky county clerk who was jailed for defying a federal court order to issue marriage licenses to gay couples whom the Pope visited),” the report states.

      The grant specifically targeted the ‘pro-family’ agenda, redirecting it from defending marriage to being concerned with income equality. “FPL’s media, framing, and public opinion activities, including conducting a poll to demonstrate that Catholic voters are responsive to the Pope’s focus on income inequality, and earning media coverage that drives the message that being ‘pro-family’ requires addressing growing inequality,” says the May report.

      Attorney Elizabeth Yore, who served on the Heartland Institute Delegation that traveled to the Vatican in April 2015 to urge Pope Francis to re-examine his reliance on UN population control proponents who promote climate change, spoke to LifeSiteNews about the Soros initiative. “Catholics serve as a huge and influential voting block in the U.S. election,” she said. Soros, she said, is “using the head of the Catholic Church to influence this key voting block,” with the “bully pulpit of the papacy” to ensure Hilary Clinton’s election.

      Yore pointed out “this is not the first time that the unholy alliance of Soros and the Vatican successfully collaborated on a political project.” In 2015, she recalled, “the Soros operatives, embedded in the Vatican, directed Pope Francis’ Environmental Agenda, by delivering for Soros and the UN, an Apostolic Exhortation on Climate Change, and a prized papal endorsement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Pope’s apostolic blessing on the Paris Climate Treaty.”

      In terms of the Soros goal of shifting the priorities of the Catholic Church away from moral absolutes, two US bishops stand out as champions of the move. San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy has repeatedly stressed changing the Church’s priorities and has had the backing of Pope Francis’ ‘favored son,’ Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich. McElroy created a furor at the U.S. Bishops Conference meeting last November over his attempt to change a document instructing Catholics on how to vote.

      McElroy made a pointed argument that the document was out of step with Pope Francis’ priorities — specifically, by putting too much emphasis on abortion and euthanasia, and not enough on poverty and the environment. Cupich later praised McElroy’s intervention as a “real high moment” for the conference and supported the move to put degradation of the environment and global poverty on par with abortion and euthanasia.

      Concluding their report reflecting on the success of the grant to influence the papal visit, the Soros group was very pleased with the results. Looking to the future, they are excited that the long-term goal of shifting the priorities of the Catholic Bishops in the United States “is now underway.”



      Idiota útil

      En la jerga política, el término idiota útil o tonto útil (ruso: Полезный идиот, transliterado como Polieznyi, Polyeznyi o Poljeznyj idiot) era usado para describir a los simpatizantes de la Unión Soviética en los países occidentales, y la supuesta actitud del régimen de ésta hacia ellos. La implicación era que aunque la persona en cuestión tontamente se veía a sí misma como aliada de la URSS y de otros comunistas, en realidad era tratada con desdén por parte de aquélla y de éstos, a la vez que esa persona era cínicamente utilizada.[cita requerida]

      Este vocablo compuesto es ahora usado más ampliamente para describir a alguien que es manipulado por un movimiento político, generalmente de tendencia extremista, un grupo terrorista o un gobierno hostil, sea esa agrupación de naturaleza comunista o no lo sea.[cita requerida]


      1 Supuesto uso del término por parte de Lenin
      2 Otros
      3 Uso moderno
      4 Tonto útil
      5 Referencias
      6 Véase también
      7 Enlaces externos

      Supuesto uso del término por parte de Lenin
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      El término es originalmente atribuido a Lenin, fundador de la Unión Soviética, a veces en la forma compuesta de “idiotas útiles de Occidente”, para describir a aquellos intelectuales escritores y reporteros occidentales que viajaban a la URSS y que regresaban a sus respectivos países de origen hablando de forma entusiasta acerca de los “logros soviéticos en educación y salud”, los “avances técnicos en agricultura e industria” y “la construcción de una nueva sociedad”. El término “tonto” se refería a la ingenuidad o credulidad que mostraban esos visitantes cuando el gobierno soviético -a través de visitas guiadas- les hacía ver diversos hospitales, granjas, escuelas y fábricas, cuyas instalaciones habían sido especialmente preparadas o maquilladas con fines propagandísticos. Un “idiota útil” que ejemplificó esta actitud fue el periodista estadounidense Lincoln Steffens, quien al regresar de la URSS escribió que “He visto el futuro, y funciona” (I’ve seen the future, and it works).

      No obstante, en los Estados Unidos no se hizo pública referencia a los simpatizantes comunistas como “idiotas útiles” hasta 1948, es decir, hasta décadas después del uso de la frase por parte de Lenin respecto de los “compañeros de ruta” occidentales. Recién en ese año la frase en cuestión sería comentada por un medio estadounidense de gran circulación, al ser utilizada en un artículo del tradicional diario The New York Times relacionado a la tendencia izquierdista que se estaba notando en la Italia de post-guerra. Los críticos del término aseveran que la expresión en cuestión nunca ha sido descubierta en ningún documento publicado por Lenin en vida, además que nadie nunca dijo haberlo escuchado decirla. En la primavera boreal de 1987, Grant Harris, bibliotecario de la biblioteca del Congreso estadounidense (The Library of Congress), dijo al respecto que “No hemos podido identificar esta frase [idiotas útiles de Occidente] entre las obras publicadas [de Lenin]”. 1

      El escritor Edvard Radzinsky, en su libro “Stalin”, atribuye al artista Yuri Annenkov, quien dijo haber visto algunos papeles dejados por Lenin, mientras trabajaba en el instituto que llevaba el nombre del líder soviético, antes de emigrar hacia Occidente en 1924, el mismo año de la muerte del fundador de la URSS. La reproducción de memoria de Annenkov fue publicada en 1961. 2

      Radzinsky conjeturó que eso era una parte del texto completo del testamento original de Lenin, que éste habría deliberadamente ocultado, mandando sólo un nuevo texto al entonces nuevo secretariado del Partido Comunista soviético.

      “Los así llamados elementos culturales de Europa Occidental y de los Estados Unidos son incapaces de comprender el estado actual de los asuntos [internacionales] y el equilibrio real de fuerzas, por lo que aquéllos deben ser tratados como sordomudos y tratados en consecuencia…”

      Una revolución nunca se desarrolla a través de una línea directa de tiempo, por expansión continua, sino que forma una cadena de explosiones [es decir, “avances”) y retiradas, ataques y [posterior] quietud, durante la cual las fuerzas revolucionarias ganan fuerza para la preparación de su victoria final…

      “Debemos (1) Para aplacar a los sordomudos, proclamar la ficticia separación de nuestro gobierno… del Comintern [la Internacional Comunista], declarando [oficialmente] que esa agencia es un grupo político independiente. Los sordomudos se lo creerán (2) Expresar un deseo de inmediata reanudación de las relaciones diplomáticas con los países capitalistas, sobre la base de la completa no interferencia en sus asuntos internos. Otra vez, como sordomudos se lo creerán. Inclusive estarán encantados y abrirán sus puestas de par en par, a través de las cuales los emisarios del Comintern y las agencias de inteligencia del Partido [Comunista soviético] rápidamente se infiltrarán en estos países, disfrazados como nuestro personal diplomático, cultural y representantes de comercio. Los capitalistas de todo el mundo y sus gobiernos, en su deseo de ganar [el potencialmente grande] mercado soviético, cerraran sus ojos a a las actividades mencionadas anteriormente y se volverán ciegos y sordo-mudos. [Por lo que] Suministrarán créditos, que servirá como un medio [indirecto] de apoyar a los partidos comunistas de sus [propios] países y, al suministrarnos a nosotros, reconstruiremos nuestra industria de guerra, lo que nos será esencial para [realizar] futuros ataques sobre nuestros proveedores. En otras palabras, ellos trabajarán para preparar su propio suicidio”

      Desde la antigüedad (como ya se podía ver en el legendario Código de Hammurabi), hasta tiempos recientes, los términos “sordomudo” y “sordo-mudo” eran análogos al de “idiota”. Varias versiones de lo que podría ser traducido como “idiotas útiles” también ha sido utilizado respecto de algunos estadounidenses y de algunas sociedades capitalistas.
      Uso moderno

      En los Estados Unidos, el término es a veces usado despectiva o peyorativamente contra los liberals (traducibles como “centroizquierdistas” o “socialdemócratas”), y hasta contra los radicales. El tono utilizado al definir a un “idiota útil” sugiere que éste último es en realidad un ignorante de las motivaciones ocultas de quienes se aprovechan de él, a tal punto que termina involuntariamente por favorecer el avance de una causa (usualmente política) adversa a sí mismo o a sus propias creencias, la que obviamente no apoyaría si estuviese mejor informado o analizase más a fondo esos hechos subyacentes.

      Asimismo, el término ganó una renovada popularidad después de la publicación de un libro por parte de la columnista conservadora Mona Chare.3

      También es a veces usado por anarquistas y otros radicales para describir a grupos e individuos cuya ideología, según alegan ellos, es excesivamente deferente hacia un gobierno o movimiento político autoritario.

      Desde los ataques terroristas del 11 de septiembre de 2001 en Nueva York y Washington, el término “idiota útil” también ha sido utilizado por parte del analistas políticos para describir a individuos que proponen acciones o medidas más blandas contra el islamismo militante y el terrorismo de ese origen. Por ejemplo, Anthony Browne escribió en el periódico británico The Times:

      “Elementos del Establishment británico sentían una notable simpatía hacia Hitler. Hoy, los islamistas disfrutan de un apoyo similar. En la década de 1930 era Eduardo VIII, los aristócratas y el Daily Mail, esta vez son los activistas de izquierda, el The Guardian y secciones de la BBC. Ellos no desean una teocracia global, pero son como los apologistas de la Unión Soviética, los idiotas útiles”4

      De manera similar, Bruce S. Thornton, profesor de Classics en la facultad regional de Fresno de la Universidad de California, reveladoramente escribió al respecto:5 :

      “Lenin los llamó ‘idiotas útiles’, aquella gente que vivía bajo democracias liberales quienes, al brindar apoyo material y moral a una ideología totalitaria, en efecto estaban entretejiendo la soga con la que serían ahorcados. El porqué gente que disfrutaba de libertad y [una relativa] prosperidad, trabajaba apasionadamente para destruir a ambas es una pregunta fascinante, que aún está con nosotros hoy en día. Ahora los idiotas útiles pueden encontrarse en el coro del apaciguamiento, reflexivo antiamericanismo, e idealismo sentimental que trata de inhibir las respuestas necesarias hacia otra ideología que odia la libertad, el Islam radical.”

      En países de habla hispana se ha utilizado el término para referirse a los seguidores del líder cubano Fidel Castro suelen viajar a La Habana como turistas o invitados a congresos y que repiten la propaganda del gobierno comunista encabezado por su hermano Raúl, aunque probablemente no tolerarían que políticas similares fuesen aplicadas o implementadas en sus respectivos países de origen.[cita requerida]
      Tonto útil

      Es una expresión política generada en los escritos de Karl Marx y describe a personas que al luchar por un ideal pueden transformarse en instrumentos de otros grupos políticos. Se refiere a personas que colaboran involuntariamente con los intereses creados de terceros.

      Ese término compuesto en cuestión puede ser empleado para designar a personas que colaboran con cambios, reformas o revoluciones lideradas por otros o por personas que mantienen un sistema que no les beneficia.

      Boller, Jr., Paul F.; George, They never said It: A book of fake quotes, misquotes, and misleading attributions, Oxford University Press, Nueva York, 1989, ISBN 0-19-505541-1.
      Vospominaniya o Lenine, Novyi Zhurnal [transliteración del término francés journal], número 65, Nueva York, 1961 (en ruso). Después sería publicada en inglés, en The Lufkin News, King Featurers Syndicate, Inc., 31 de julio de 1962, página 4, para ser luego reproducida por el Freeman Report (“Informe del hombre libre”) del 30 de septiembre de 1973, en la página 8.
      Charen, Mona Useful idiots: How liberals got it wrong in the Cold War and still blame America first (“Idiotas útiles: Cómo los liberals se equivocaron en la Guerra Fría y aún primero culpan a los Estados Unidos”), Regnery Publishing, 2003, ISBN 0-89526-139-1.
      Traducido de Anthony Browne, Fundamentaly, we’re all useful idiots (“Fundamentalmente, todos nosotros somos idiotas útiles”, The Times, primero de agosto de 2005: [1]

      Traducido de Bruce S. Thornton, The chorus of useful idiots (“El coro de los idiotas útiles”), Frontpage magazine, primero de noviembre de 2002: [2]

      Véase también

      Compañero de ruta
      Intelectual orgánico

      Enlaces externos

      Esta obra proviene de la traducción de Useful idiot de Wikipedia en inglés, publicada por sus editores bajo la Licencia de documentación libre de GNU y la Licencia Creative Commons Atribución-CompartirIgual 3.0 Unported.


      Terminología política

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Bergoglio Too Has His Nonnegotiable Principles

    They are the four postulates with which he continually inspires his governance of the Church, the first of which says that “time is greater than space.” The trouble is that they do not hold up. An erudite Benedictine monk explains why

    by Sandro Magister


    ROME, August 23, 2016 – That “Amoris Laetitia” has not resolved “all the doctrinal, moral, or pastoral discussions” on communion for the divorced and remarried is plain for all to see. On the contrary, it has reignited them more than ever.

    But this is precisely what Francis wanted, according to what he himself wrote at the beginning of the post-synodal exhortation:

    “Since ‘time is greater than space,’ I would make it clear that not all discussions of doctrinal, moral or pastoral issues need to be settled by interventions of the magisterium.”

    Further on, in the same exhortation, Francis translated his assertion as follows: “It is more important to start processes than to dominate spaces.”

    And with this he referred for the umpteenth time to what is the cornerstone of his thought: to the first of the four postulates that act as his compass, which he listed in the agenda-setting document of his pontificate, the apostolic exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium.”

    It is the very same postulate that says that time is greater than space. While the other three are that unity prevails over conflict, the reality is more important than the idea, the whole is greater than the part.

    Jorge Mario Bergoglio has clung to these four guiding thoughts for a lifetime, and above all to the first:

    > The Four Hooks On Which Bergoglio Hangs His Thought

    And he continues to draw inspiration from them even as pope, in his magisterium. Without ever forcing himself to explain their reasonableness – which to an expert eye immediately appears highly fragile – but instead insisting each time on their practical purpose, which is mainly that of “starting processes.”

    It therefore comes as no surprise that these postulates should be the object of critical analysis today, in part because they do not stem in any way from divine revelation nor have any foundation in the Sacred Scriptures, but are a mere product of the human mind, which Pope Francis however is audaciously elevating as driving principles of the life of the Church.

    A first extensive critical analysis, philosophical in nature, of the four Bergoglian postulates was formulated last spring by Fr. Giovanni Scalese, 61, a Barnabite, since 2014 head of the “sui iuris” mission in Afghanistan, the only outpost of the Catholic Church in that country, and previously a professor of philosophy and rector of the Collegio alla Querce in Florence:

    > I postulati di papa Francesco

    But now comes a second analysis, no less acute. The work this time of Fr. Giulio Meiattini, of the order of St. Benedict, a monk at the Abbazia della Madonna della Scala in Noci and a professor at the Theological Faculty of Puglia and at the Pontifical Atheneum of Saint Anselm in Rome.

    The complete text of the analysis, clear and well-written, is on this other webpage:

    > Il tempo è superiore allo spazio? Intorno a una tesi di papa Bergoglio

    In it, Fr. Meiattini lays bare above all the inconsistency of the postulate “time is greater than space” from the point of view not only of philosophy but also of linguistics, since Bergoglio systematically understands space as “space of power.”

    And then he takes head on the purpose to which the pope bends his postulate: that of “generating processes.” Emphasizing its contradictions, including those inherent in “Amoris Laetitia.”

    Which has certainly started “processes”: “debates, controversies, diametrically opposed interpretations, polarizations, perplexities of faithful and priests, uncertainties in the episcopal conferences.”

    But “that this is a matter of virtuous processes is something no one can say for now.”

    Below is reproduced an extract of this second and concluding part of the analysis.


    “That this is a matter of virtuous processes is something no one can say for now”

    by Giulio Meiattini OSB

    One gets the impression that the affirmation of the superiority of time over space serves an interest: that of starting processes. [. . .] But in spite of appreciating the stimulus of Pope Francis, is starting processes truly so vital today, so much so as to become a priority? Is aiming at this objective and recalling it in a pressing way truly what man and society need today, and Catholics in particular? Is this what is most needed at this global juncture of the life of the Church?

    Allow me to express a strong doubt in this regard. Today there is already a huge number of processes underway, and in addition to this they are overwhelming and often of gigantic proportions. The much-cited “fluidity” of our society and our cultures, the migrations from south to north, the displacement of geopolitical balances, the changes in values, and the transformations brought by technology to the sphere of ethics fully justify the apt expression of the pontiff himself: “We are living not in an epoch of changes, but in a change of epoch.”

    The changes are already underway, they are numerous, of enormous impact and planetary extension. [. . .] So much so that to me it seems possible to say that the main problem of contemporary man is not so much that of immobility as it is that of no longer having markers and measurements for the processes underway. The movements in course are highly self-referential: that is, they have no relatively stable externalities that could measure or orient them to some extent. They have no purpose or meaning. [. . .] If everything is in motion, and if “change” as an end in itself seems to be the only thing that remains, everything is made equivalent. [. . .] The very word “process,” which the pope uses, appears so neutral that in and of itself any change can be defined as a process. But if the important thing is to processualize and change, and I am not told the where and the how to which the process-change must lead, nor its wherefore, then in the multiplication of changes everything is equivalent. [. . .]

    My opinion is that today the word to be expected from the Church is not: begin processes. These, as I have said, are already underway to the nth degree, both positive and negative, and are not waiting for us Christians to continue their course or to regulate themselves.

    The processes begun at the time of the fall of the Roman empire and of the invasions of the new Eurasian peoples were not begun by Christianity: but this was able to make them less devastating and gradually to channel them thanks to an oriented vision of the world.

    Today as well one would expect that in the transience and impermanence of social and cultural, economic, political and ethical configurations, criteria of evaluation and discernment should be offered, references and topographies that could serve to understand whereabouts we are and where we may be going. In short, compasses and maps to orient the faithful and the men of our time.

    Contemporary humanity, above all in countries that have their origins in Western culture and its influence, does not suffer from immobility, but from disorientation because of excessive mobility. Even the great lobbies of power not rarely use the strategy of destabilization – starting processes, would you look at that! – to obtain specific reactions in their favor. Starting processes is not innocent in principle, doing so can also be in the interest of the power toward which the pope rightly warns us we should be on guard. [. . .]

    The conclusion to which I come personally is that magisterial statements should be expected to display more guarded language and greater lucidity of thought. For the good of all, since a correct exercise of reason is a good service not only for the theology and life of the Church, but also for a virtuous communication with the world of culture. Because more than a greater importance of reality over the idea, it should be remembered that the idea is part of reality, since thought is a mode of being and the “medium” through which being is knowable to us and becomes “verum.”

    Not caring about the idea and the process of ideation (which is also a process!), meaning thought, would risk estranging us from the being that comes to the idea. Imprecision in the use of concepts and in the exercise of thought does not create understanding, but uncertainty and confusion. The conciliar constitution “Dei Verbum,” the expression of a rich theology of salvation history and in full conformity with the sacramental nature of the Church, reminds us of the inseparability of actions and words, facts and language. There is no superiority of actions over words, or vice versa.

    It concerns me to point out that the principle-postulate examined here is also used enigmatically in the context of a document like “Amoris Laetitia”:

    “Since ‘time is greater than space,’ I would make it clear that not all discussions of doctrinal, moral or pastoral issues need to be settled by interventions of the magisterium” (no. 3).

    I wonder: what connection is there between the principle recalled and the consequence drawn? Perhaps what is meant is that the statements of the magisterium (including of “Amoris Laetitia”?) are a symptom of immobilist fixation or the preservation of “spaces of power”? The implication sincerely escapes me.

    In any case we can say that, under the banner of this principle, the effect has taken hold: there has begun, following the post-synodal exhortation on the family, a series of “processes”: debates, controversies, diametrically opposed interpretations, polarizations, perplexities of faithful and priests, uncertainties in the episcopal conferences.

    That this is a matter of virtuous processes is something no one can say for now. Personally I dare to say that perhaps this was not what was needed most on the issue of the family today.

    Why, after no fewer than two synods, was not even a page expended in this exhortation on preparation and formation for Christian marriage? And to say that the “relatio finalis” of the second synod had dedicated significant attention to it, even if not yet entirely sufficient, in my view. Are we really sure that today the sacraments are being given to “Christians”?

    I am convinced that this is the true process that the Church has urgent need of starting: generating to Christian faith and life authentic believers through baptism and Christian initiation. Then comes the rest, including marriage, including the construction of social peace and the common good.

    But is there anyone left who still thinks seriously about baptism and the catechumenate? Baptism is not a postulate, nor is it an abstract idea. Baptizing and making disciples of the peoples is the heart of the Church’s mission, it is the mandate of Jesus.


    English translation by Matthew Sherry, Ballwin, Missouri, U.S.A.


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When I was a priest of the Archdiocese of Miami, I learned an important lesson that has served me well throughout the years as priest and bishop. I learned that the wishes, the intention of persons requesting certain things be done by the Church and its ministers following their death should be done unless what has been requested by the person would clearly be immoral, contrary to divine or positive law, or result in scandal for the faithful and that this principle is enshrined in the Church’s Code of Canon Law in many canons.

At the time I was the Administrator of a parish in the Archdiocese. I was approached by a man who stated that he was the executor of the estate of a deceased member of the parish who had provided in his will that he wanted a large bequest be made to the Parish on the condition that the Parish would construct a statue of the Blessed Mother in front of the Church and dedicate it to the memory of the individual who was reputed to have been a Mafia Don. I approached the Archbishop and asked whether I could accept such a large donation under the prescribed condition. The Archbishop replied that ordinarily such a donation could be accepted and the statue of the Blessed Mother could be erected even though such erection was done in memory of a Mafia Don as long as the dedication was only a mental dedication in the mind of the donor, but since the donor wanted a plaque affixed to the base of the statue with the name of the Mafia Don I could not accept the donation. The wishes of the donor must be respected, the Archbishop said, unless those wishes would cause scandal and in this case he thought they would cause scandal.

Later, in another parish where I was Pastor, a wealthy woman wanted to give property valued at over $1,000,000 to the Archdiocese and also to give the funds for the construction of a retirement home for priests. I approached the Archbishop and he instructed me to take up a survey and determine the interest in priests in the Archdiocese and in northern arch/dioceses in living in such a retirement home.
Unable to find any interest among priests for such a home, the Archbishop told me to thank the woman but to tell her he could not accept the gift under her conditions.

In the last decade of the 20th Century a group of bishops challenged the Board of the John G. and Marie Stella Kenedy Foundation over the administration of the Foundation, seeking to gain control of the Foundation and make it a Texas-wide foundation under the control of all the bishops of the State, even though the Foundation Board had for ten years regularly given grants to their dioceses. The Holy See appointed a Commission consisting of Cardinal John O’Connor, Cardinal Bernard Law and (then) Bishop Raymond Burke to mediate the dispute. A meeting was held with all of the bishops of Texas and the Commission. (Cardinal Burke later told me that Cardinal O’Connor never invited him to another meeting of the Commission after this meeting.) At the meeting I insisted that the Foundation Board was acting properly in making over half of its grants to entities in South Texas since that is what Sarita Kenedy East had in mind when she established her Foundation in memory of her parents because in her lifetime the majority of her generous giving was to entities in South Texas. Cardinal O’Connor replied that no one could know what Sarita Kenedy East had in mind. I, and the other members of the Board were shocked to hear a Cardinal of the Church say such a thing since the documentary evidence was so plain as to what the mind of Sarita Kenedy East had been.

More recently, a priest I know was asked, in writing, by an elderly priest to preach the homily at his funeral Mass when he died. Months later the elderly priest died and when the priest showed up at the church prepared to preach the homily, as he had been asked by the deceased to do, the bishop told him that he would preach the homily. The priest showed the bishop a copy of the deceased priest’s letter, but it made no difference. The bishop preached the homily, clearly against the wishes of the deceased priest, who did not like the bishop.

Even more recently, another priest I know was asked, in writing by an elderly priest to celebrate his funeral liturgy using the Extraordinary (Tridentine) Form of the Mass. The elderly priest died and when the priest who had been asked to celebrate the funeral liturgy attempted to do so he was forbidden by the bishop who himself celebrated the funeral liturgy using the Novus Ordo Form of the Mass.

0I cannot explain these cases. Clearly the Church has always believed and taught and the Revised Code of Canon Law promulgated by Saint John Paul II in 1983 clearly gives basic rights to all members of the Church. Surely among those rights that Catholics have are some that pertain to the reasonable, lawful requests that they make of us regarding the disposition of their mortal remains and their property after they die.

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