March 25, 2023

“Words carried by an angel come not forth until the location and the recipient are such that it fulfills the will of God

For words carried by an angel are placed there by an act of God and locked inside until what has been willed by God comes to pass

But the moment this angel of which you have been told arrived on earth

Then the earth fell pregnant with the words he carried

For indeed the world was called to the travail that would come to pass

And which would culminate with the birth of this baby into the world.

And as I stood drenched in the majesty of God

That dripped from the wings of this angel,

The words that he spoke pierced the fabric of the world,

Now pregnant with anticipation.

And as the angel’s words pierced my womb,

The Spirit, which had arrived in anticipation of the angel’s arrival,

Gave life to the words which then fell upon fertile ground

Prepared for this moment,

And a wondrous union took place.

I knew not how such things could be

But the angel spoke the words given by the Father,

And the Spirit quickened at the words,

And the Son, the beloved of the Father,

Became the recipient of the creation He had himself formed.

And myself?

Why, I was an untarnished vessel, and a holder of grace,

And although I knew not how such a thing could be wrought within me,

I knew indeed that once the words were spoken, it was so.

And now to the expectant gaze of a pregnant world,

I echoed the words of the Spirit, “It is done.”

The words of an angel, carried to earth intact,

And locked away until brought forth by the perfect plan of God,

Had now been spoken.

And the world entered into the travail, although largely unsuspecting,

And animals cried, and rocks moved, and the sand blew against the door.

And I stood, and praised the name of the Lord,

For my womb had become a cradle of love,

And indeed within me was now prepared a bed of grace,

In which the Son of God would grow.

And although I knew not how this could be,

I knew that indeed it was,

And within me the words welled up,

“Oh, what I now carry will carry me,

And indeed all the world.”

And the pregnant world waited,

And entered into the travail

Which would set the stage for all of time.

And the words welled up in me,

“What now has been done unto me,

Has been done unto the world,

And the One that I carry will carry the world,

And I will be His Mother, and theirs.”

Indeed, today, angels now gather and come again to visit the earth,

And the words that they carry have been placed there by an act of God

And cannot be released until the location and the recipient are that

Which has been willed by the hand of God.

And the angels ask, “So is there one who will stand and receive these words,

And take them forth into a world that awaits in anticipation?”

And so I have come here today, and am even now among you,

And I form a conduit for the angels’ words,

For Christ comes again unto the world.

And in His eyes is the fire of justice,

And in His hands is the mercy of the ages,

And in His Sacred Heart is His love, the love of God.

The world is pregnant with anticipation,

For He comes unto man again,

And if you will come and walk with me,

I will provide the vessel of grace,

By which you may receive the words of the angels,

And I will walk with you through the travail of these last days.

For the world is pregnant, 

And reels in anticipation of the travail that now unfolds.

But walk with me,

And I will be that vessel of grace,

That will receive the Son

And bring Him even now unto you.“


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March 25, 2023

Special EditionThe Existential Seed Corn Crisis: Reproductive “Freedom;” Gender Insanity; Manipulation of Student Brain Chemistry; And Complete Loss of Rational Social Mores. There’s No Hiding It Anymore.   Ti(c)k-To(c)k; Time Is Running Out  Pogo Was A Genius: “The Enemy Is Us  

By: Pem Schaeffer pemster4062@yahoo.com 

March 19, 2023   

“We have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the obvious  is the first duty of intelligent men.” “Some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals believe them.”  – Orwell  52 years ago, 10 hours after a horrendous Southern California earthquake shook and rolled the new house we had bought less than two years before, my wife gave birth to our first child, a beautiful baby girl.  A few weeks later, this proud father had an epiphany.   I was sitting on a central open half-stairway of our Tri-Level home, our wondrous and precious new daughter on my lap. It suddenly dawned on me I was holding a miracle in my hands.  A blessing from God, given to us to nurture, protect, raise, teach, and love.  She was and is the very essence of earthly human life.  We sure have come a long way since those days that here, “in the November of my years,” I think of as impossibly innocent.  This is why I am writing this offering — in response to a recent news item here in Maine:  https://www.themainewire.com/2023/03/maine-education-chief-academic-learning-takes-backseat-to-social-emotional-gender-and-race/  The brazen clarity of the Maine State Commissioner of Education in front of Legislators makes it all too clear that there is no hiding the truth anymore, or disguising the facts.  She is more focused on new-speak and manipulating brain chemistry than on educating children.  This is like a cult leader finding new ways to get kids to drink the Kool-Aid, figuratively speaking.  Her Instagram-like glamour headshot evokes the thought of a serpent in the tree of education, disguised as a beguiling “Educator,” now Commissioner of the Maine Department of Education.  Can you imagine what the Chinese will think of this as they develop their strategic assessment of the Outlook for America?  The subject of government schools has been big in the national news for some years now, ranging from direct effects on elections (Glen Youngkin, after Terry McAuliffe “accidentally” told the truth about his ideology) to the weaponization of federal DOJ powers to control public objections at local school board meetings.  Bald-faced lying and word-mincing on the part of school officials are all too common to hide the realities from the public.  Commissioner Makin’s public testimony relayed in the linked article pierces right through the veils of obfuscation spoken, broadcast, and published everywhere.  “Seed Corn” may seem a bit in-artful to some as a way to describe our offspring….our progeny….but at the most basic level that’s exactly what they are.  We hear lots of uproar from the tender souls of our society about not wanting to consume foods that derive from “GMO” sources, which stands for Genetically Modified Organisms.  One could make a case, as I see it, that all the intellectual and bodily manipulations and mutilations being inflicted upon our children these days are akin to the dreaded “GMO”science and far more dangerous to the future of humankind.  And it’s being done by those we entrust with the care of our youngsters and at our expense!  With our tacit approval, unless we do something to stop it!  We are, after a fashion, willing accessories to the abuse taking place right before our eyes.  As Pogo said, “We have met the enemy, and it is us!”  I feel compelled to comment on a few of the widely prevalent ways in which the “existential threat to our seed corn” is now manifestly routine and ordinary in our society, ideology, and emerging moral fabric.  Before I do so, a reminder of a related reality.  We are often advised to “follow the money” when it comes to understanding various social and political pathologies.  Howie Carr, a favorite radio talk show host of mine, often repeats that there is a typical path that activists follow.  It begins with activism, which becomes a cause, which then becomes a racket, to which I add shakedowns of various forms.    Black Lives Matter is a perfect example.  They leveraged the shakedown angle at the highest levels, using systemic racism as the hammer.  The founders raised untold millions in building public empathy, only to enrich themselves in various ways before collapsing from their greed and corruption.  Still, they did lasting and serious damage, demanding the dismantling of “systemically oppressive” Police.  They convinced many of their marks to buy into that, and the damage done is lasting, and may never be reversed.  Ask yourself if the same thing isn’t happening with a thriving Consulting Industrial Complex, pushing DEI, CRT, 1619 Theory, Gender Ideology, and other bright and shiny new arrows in the Critical Social Justice quiver.  How much is new revenue stream potential driving the ground swell of Heath Care Sector support for Gender Manipulation Theory?  How much can they spend on lobbying to drive related policy evolution?  And elect sympathetic politicians?  This, in particular, is disgusting at the most basic level.  Selling drugs is one thing.  Selling body mutilation and related life-altering therapies is beyond all rational and moral justification.  Now on to subject area-specific comments:  Reproductive Rights & Freedom:  These are callous, political euphemisms for the purposeful taking of a life in the womb, right up to the moment of birth.  They are damnable abuse of common, decent use of language intended to disguise an underlying reality.  Abortion is, in fact, the polar opposite of reproduction, terminating the process itself before it completes.  It is many things but is anything but reproductive.  Furthermore, the concepts of freedom and rights, properly understood, come with attendant responsibilities. With very few exceptions, both parties to the conception have easy access to modern-day birth control, often at no cost, simply for the asking.  As well, widespread organizations are willing to help women take an unwanted pregnancy to term, and then assist in the process of putting the infant up for adoption.  There has always been a high demand for adoptable infants with willing, loving potential parents ready to take on those obligations. Abortion is in the purest sense destruction of our “seed corn”to eliminate various forms of inconvenience.  The mental health of the mother, if she had to raise the child, is a false rationale, given the ready and waiting adoptive parents.  Abortion advocates demand that we “keep our hands off their bodies;” imagine, if you will, a baby in the womb holding up a similar sign, asking that abortive hands be kept off their bodies.  Advocates also demand that pro-lifers do not impose “their own religious beliefs” upon them, yet both non-secular and secular abortion rights supporters have elevated abortion to holy sacrament status in their catechism.  They want to see this dystopian act only in the context of demands for government subsidies and protections, not in the larger perspective of human decency and spirituality.  Or the transcendence of life itself.  Gender Insanity:   Various purveyors of distorted gender conceptualization claim that “Doctors may have made a mistake when they assigned your gender at birth.”  Give me a break!  Gender is not “assigned.”  That term applies to home rooms, homework assignments, chores, and other arbitrary factors that must be administered. Gender is determined at birth.  Anyone who has seen a newborn in their “birthday suit,” is well aware of the gender of the infant, and knows full well that no one involved in the delivery process made a mistake in this regard.  Yet the more zealous of the mind-benders argue that infants only months old can sense that they are “in the wrong body.”  Use of this foolishness as a predicate for stimulating gender questioning and/or transition in young minds as young as kindergarten, especially on the part of so-called educators in government schools, should be considered criminal abuse of common sense, rational thought, scientific reality, and the individual rights of students and their parents or guardians.  Being secretive about it only magnifies the violative nature of the abuse, most often perpetrated by adults who are acting well above their expertise and “pay grade.”  They are selling toxic Kool-Aid to gain membership in an ideological cult capturing minds everywhere, to get with the latest “fashion trends” in education.  Why bother with tattoos, piercings, garish hair colors, and cuts when you can up your “look at me” quotient with gender experimentation, and be a hit on social media? Guiding unknowing child targets to puberty blockers, hormone therapy, lifestyle inversion, and eventual bodily mutilation in the hands of medical “professionals” goes well beyond the worries of GMO food products.  Amputation of various gender-specific body parts in pursuit of a new identity is near Frankensteinian in concept.  It is clearly beyond the acceptable bounds of government schools founded to ensure an educated, civilized population, and is an egregious dereliction of fiduciary obligations and “in loco parentis” public trust.  The grotesque nature of this entire pursuit should not escape us. And let’s not forget the current faves of the Woke School Boards and School Administrators.  That would be Drag Queen Story Hours and LGBTQ Soft Porn Picture Books for elementary-aged kids.  I can only imagine how much more balanced and successful I’d have grown up if I had those experiences instead of recesses in “grammar school.” Come to think of it, why did they call them that? Here in particular is where the “follow the money” side of the advocacy – cause- racket continuum comes into play, as the Health Care Sector rapidly evolves to latch onto a major new revenue stream potential.  At the same time, government agencies and other public entities, such as colleges and universities, are jumping on the bandwagon to offer psychological and surgical modifications of vulnerable teenagers and older specimens in the human seed-corn chain.  Witness this: https://www.themainewire.com/2023/03/pentagon-actively-working-to-find-doctors-who-will-provide-hormones-puberty-blockers-for-us-military-kids-abroad/   It should not escape us that this fad, now a cult, is also gaining religious stature in the Church of Woke Perversions.  Martyrs and saints to serve as examples for the unchurched are zealously sought wherever they can be found.  Fame and the status of an “influencer” are there for the taking if wanted.  Manipulation of Student Brain Chemistry:  The linked article and testimony of Education Commissioner Makin exemplify the distortion of government school charges and responsibilities from educating citizens in the necessary skills and knowledge to lead a responsible, rewarding, productive, and happy life as an adult in our society.  I remember well the classroom environment in my elementary school days, and the transition to more mature atmospheres and pursuits in junior high, followed by the adult stature granted to us in high school.  The college added to the progression by granting independence, while also placing the burden of learning on us as students.  We would sink or swim on our own, as was the expectation at the time for adult life across the spectrum of life pursuits.  All of this has changed to degrees barely recognizable to this octogenarian, and our students and society overall are clearly worse off as a result.  Better we should nurture young minds and souls to accept the teachings of the social media cosmos, and seek fame and fortune as “influencers.” Here comes Makin, brazenly articulating the real agenda of modern education theory.  Skills and knowledge once thought necessary for capable, responsible, self-reliant, and happy adult membership in adult society have been lowered to second-class status, or worse.  Instead, the primary objective of government schools, funded by taxpayers, is to manipulate student brain chemistry and to use government force via policy and funding to accomplish it.  She uses pedagogy psychobabble to argue for her intentions, no doubt glazing over many eyes that witnessed the testimony, and those of us reading about it post-facto. She preaches this in a clear attempt to condition young brains to readily accept the mantras and ideological precepts of modern-day pedagogy.  Your math is culturally flexible; mine is hopelessly oppressive.  Your English is identity-affirming; mine is racist.  Your history is enlightened and sensitive; mine is hopelessly fascist. We can’t have students questioning what we teach, let alone listening to their parents when they challenge what their kids hear in school.  Instead, we will dope their intellects using social forces to bend them in the right direction, where they will readily accept the commandments of Woke Theology. This is nothing less than an intentional and purposeful alteration of growing seed corn to accept approved Woke conceptualizations and reject all persons and ideas that challenge them.  The fact that Makin could make such statements in a public legislative setting would seem to evidence a cold and nearly hypnotic disdain for conventional human understanding and a belief that she could not be held to any account for such bizarre pronouncements regarding the charter of her high office. What more do we have to hear before alarms go off in every school and parents everywhere immediately seek alternative education settings?  Except of course, for those who drink the Kool-Aid Makin carries with her everywhere she goes.  Those parents who act on this will, of course, leave the remaining students and parents in increasingly “pure” indoctrination factories.  Collapse of Societal Moral Fabric:  This pathology reduces in simple terms to normalizing deviancy in every way imaginable; consider recasting pedophiles as “minor addicted persons,” in an attempt to increase sympathies and tolerance for their inhumane conduct, which can scar a child for life. Behaviors considered objectionable become the opposite: worthy of praise, emulation, and encouragement. Pursuing “alternative”lifestyles, dangerous bodily mutilations, and consumption of assorted drugs, intentionally or not, is increasingly adding to the death count among the young; sometimes intentionally, sometimes accidental.    Homelessness is widespread.  Yet various advocating individuals and organizations see these as worthy of societal undergirding and funding in various ways.  Revenue streams anyone? DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, for the unwoke reading this) eliminates the common-sense principles that guide the processes by which the most qualified become Doctors, Professors, Executives, Pilots, and government leaders – elected or not.  In fact, in the limit, Commissioner Makin would not qualify for her current office.  Instead, we get situations like Joe Biden’s Cabinet and prominent public staff, who collectively embarrass him, his administration, and America overall.  Add to that the contribution to Chinese and other threat assessments of our strengths and weaknesses, and you have a disaster with immeasurable consequences.  CRT (Critical Race Theory) inverts the dream of Martin Luther King, Jr. insisting that we be judged by the color of our skin rather than our character and personal behaviors.  Whites are genetically irredeemable racists, and non-whites are eternal victims.  The fact that we can allow such social understanding to take hold throughout our society further encourages enemy views that we have lost our minds, our principles, and our way overall. We are at this point doing all we can to encourage the criminal lifestyle, both through demonization and reduction in funding of Police Forces, and the widespread softening of consequences for criminal behavior.  What did they expect would happen when you could walk in and shoplift up to $900 worth of products off the shelves without fear of any consequences?  And repeat the same thing day after day as “new age entrepreneurship,” one supposes.  Again: will the world outside see us as becoming stronger and more civil, or weaker and in the throes of anarchy?  Unable to tend to the business of daily national life let alone worry about threats from elsewhere. “Higher Education,” in the person of faculty they employ with virtually no accountability, is behind much of the “enlightened” social thought describing the pathologies described above.  As Thomas Sowell has written: “Someone once defined a social problem as a situation in which the real world differs from the theories of intellectuals. To the intelligentsia, it follows, as the night follows the day, that it is the real world that is wrong and which needs to change.  Having imagined a world in which each individual has the same probability of success as anyone else, intellectuals have been shocked and outraged that the real world is nowhere close to that ideal. Vast amounts of time and resources have been devoted to trying to figure out what is stopping this ideal from being realized — as if there was ever any reason to expect it to be.” And this: “The most fundamental fact about the ideas of the political left is that they do not work. Therefore we should not be surprised to find the left concentrated in institutions where ideas do not have to work to survive.” And,  if you will indulge me,  one more: “Historians of the future will have a hard time figuring out how so many organized groups of strident jackasses succeeded in leading us around by the nose and morally intimidating the majority into silence.”   End Note:  For those of you who can abide the notion of reading further on the subjects above, I offer the following: https://www.themainewire.com/2023/03/maine-wire-schools-education-survey-poll-dei-gender-mills-makin/ https://www.themainewire.com/2023/02/maine-lgbt-gender-ideology-transgender-lgbt-doe-education-schools/ Under the heading of Never Say Now We’ve Seen It Allhttps://www.themainewire.com/2023/02/state-website-tells-public-employees-how-to-decolonize-our-dreams-use-neopronouns-and-understand-privilege/ (please contact me if you can explain the meaning of “Decolonize Your Dreams”pemster4062@yahoo.com  If you do not take an interest in the affairs of your government, then you are doomed to live under the rule of fools.PlatoTo be added to my distribution list, please click: SUBSCRIBE
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    Letter #76, 2023 Thursday, March 23: Roche    The Novus Ordo represents a “change in the theology of the Church”: Cardinal Roche    British Cardinal Arthur Roche, 73 (link) the Pope’s head of the Dicastery for Divine Worship since 2021, spoke briefly in a BBC report on Sunday, March 19 (link) on the issue of the Vatican’s limiting of the Traditional Latin Mass (abbreviated as the “TLM”) in 2021.     The BBC report also included the opinions of several British Catholics who attend and appreciate the old rite of the Mass.    Roche’s abbreviated remarks featured most prominently his claim that, in regard to the liturgy, in regard to what happens at Mass, “the theology of the Church has changed.”     This was striking, and is material for reflection.    Roche explained his viewpoint this way:     “You know, the theology of the Church has changed. Whereas before, the priest represented, at a distance, all the people — they were channeled, as it were, through this person who alone was celebrating the Mass. It is not only the priest who celebrates the liturgy, but also those who are baptized with him. And that is an enormous statement to make.”    He is right: it is an “enormous statement to make.”    Enormous, because it seems to say what very few up to now have been willing to say explicitly: that there has not been “continuity” in Catholic teaching on this matter from prior to the Council, through the Council, and after the Council, up until today, but a kind of “rupture,” a “change” in teaching.    However, it seems that it was the chief burden of Pope Benedict XVI‘s theological endeavor to express, define and defend the belief that what the Church believes about the liturgy, about the Mass, was not a rupture with the past, was not changed by the Council, but was in continuity, presenting traditional teaching at and after the Council in a way which enabled the inner, unchanging, meaning, the perennial meaning, the meaning handed down “from the beginning,” from apostolic times, of the Church’s teaching on the Mass, and the priesthood, to be presented effectively in this period of history, our present time.    Not change, but continuity.    Because it would create a theological problem to say “the teaching has changed.”    The striking thing about what Roche is saying is precisely this, that it seems to contradict the central teaching of Pope Benedict: that the new Mass is not simply a “more accessible” Mass for ordinary people in the pews (because, for example, the words are in the vernacular rather than an ancient language, Latin, that few people know) but that it actually represents a “change” in the theology of the Mass.    Is this actually what the assembled bishops at the Second Vatican Council said, or intended?     Is there any place where the Council Fathers say “we are going to have a new theology of the Mass”? (Evidently, considering what the Church had taught up to that time on the matter was in some way deficient, or incomplete.)    Is it not rather the case that Pope John XXIII and the Council Fathers said, “we would like to keep the same theology of the Mass as always, but allow the ordinary faithful to understand it better”?    And is it not the case that some of the changes made — in order to make the Mass “more accessible” — like (for example) the shift of the position of the priest, from facing the altar to facing the people, had the opposite effect from the one intended?    That is, in the old Mass, do not the people sense clearly that they indeed, along with the priest and, as it were, led by him, are, yes, participating in the offering of the Holy Sacrifice?    And is it not, rather, in the Novus Ordo, with the priest facing the people, that the assembled laity feel as if they are a passive audience at the rather unpredictable “show” that the priest presents, not according to time-honored rubrics handed down for centuries, but according to the events of the day and the whims of the particular priest?    In any case, is it not the case that Catholic theology holds that the priest is ordained to offer the very bodily sacrifice of Christ Himself, in a way that the people may participate in, but cannot accomplish without the presence of the ordained priest?    To suggest that the primary action of the ordained priest is not different from that participatory action of the people at Mass would seem not in keeping with traditional Catholic teaching on this matter; that is, it would seem to represent a change in theology… risking being a development not in keeping with perennial Catholic teaching.    Listen to the BBC report here: (link).    You must skip the first 5 minutes, and start precisely at 5:12 into the program, to hear the newsman ask Cardinal Roche about the Latin Mass, which the newsman says, quite dramatically, has become “an unexpected battleground in a Catholic culture war over the future direction of the Church.”    At 5:47, someone (evidently a priest) sings a few words from the old Latin liturgy, “vere dignum et iustum est, aequum et salutare…” (“truly worthy and just it is, fitting and helpful for salvation,” link) and then the correspondent says that, while Pope Benedict provided space for the traditional Latin Mass, Pope Francis has “changed the rules” and required bishops to seek permission from Rome before any celebration of the old Latin Mass. A Catholic speaks of the beauty of the silences in the old Mass.    The correspondent then explains how many vibrant traditional communities are being repressed.    And a priest from England who favors the celebration of the old Mass asks Pope Francis and Cardinal Roche to reverse their restrictions on the old Mass.    Catholic journalist Austen Ivereigh then defends the decision of Pope Francis, saying there are valid reasons for it.    Precisely at the 10:19 mark in this report, the correspondent introduces Cardinal Arthur Roche.    So simply begin to listen to this report by clicking in to the 10:19 mark…    Roche begins to speak at the 10:36 mark. He finishes right at the 11 minute mark. In those 24 seconds, he says the words also quoted above:    “You know, the theology of the Church has changed. Whereas before, the priest represented, at a distance, all the people — they were channeled, as it were, through this person who alone was celebrating the Mass. It is not only the priest who celebrates the liturgy, but also those who are baptized with him. And that is an enormous statement to make.”    That is the extent of his remarks. The report ends after another Catholic layman speak, at the 11:54 mark.    So, if you wish to hear the whole BBC report on the old Mass, listen from 5:12 to 11:54. If you wish to simply listen the Cardinal Roche’s words, listen from 10:36 to 11:00.    As Lifesitenews reported (link), Liturgical scholar Matthew Hazell highlighted Roche’s comments, noting that contrary to the cardinal’s claim, the teaching of the Church had not changed.    He pointed to the teaching of Pope Pius XII in his 1947 encyclical Mediator Dei, in which the pontiff outlined the Catholic teaching on the congregation uniting themselves to the priest in the sacrifice of the Mass.    ”Now it is clear that the faithful offer the sacrifice by the hands of the priest from the fact that the minister at the altar, in offering a sacrifice in the name of all His members, represents Christ, the Head of the Mystical Body. Hence the whole Church can rightly be said to offer up the victim through Christ…. The fact, however, that the faithful participate in the eucharistic sacrifice does not mean that they also are endowed with priestly power. It is very necessary that you make this quite clear to your flocks… Now the faithful participate in the oblation, understood in this limited sense, after their own fashion and in a twofold manner, namely, because they not only offer the sacrifice by the hands of the priest, but also, to a certain extent, in union with him. It is by reason of this participation that the offering made by the people is also included in liturgical worship…” (Pius XII, Mediator Dei, 1947)
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On “systemic sins.” by MICHAEL WARREN DAVISMAR 24 

SAVE▷  LISTEN The Wolf of Gubbio by Luc-Olivier MersonMy God, what is a heart? 
That thou shouldst it so eye, and woo, 
Pouring upon it all thy art, 
As if that thou hadst nothing else to do?
Everybody wants to talk about how nobody wants to talk about sin. Our newspapers, newsletters, magazines, podcasts, blogs, and vlogs are scrambling to impress upon us a sense of our own wickedness.  What’s fascinating is that, despite these heroic efforts, we don’t seem to be getting anywhere.  There’s a huge demand for guilt and self-loathing, but not much supply.  That’s why our schoolchildren read The Scarlet Letter but not The Pilgrim’s Progress, or even Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.  The Puritans founded America; more importantly, they lost it.As it happens, the latest campaign to Bring Back Sin comes from our friends on the Christian Left.  Take, for example, “The Wages of Idolatry” by Tish Harrison Warren.  For those of you who don’t know, Rev. Warren a minister of the Anglican Church of North America who moonlights as a columnist for The New York Times.  (Not a bad gig!)  In her column, Rev. Warren admits that sin is “an idea that for many bears the mothball scent of a religious relic long packed away and best left forgotten”:For some, the terms “sin” and “sinner” seem self-hating or judgmental.  For others, they sound silly, associated with things like lingerie and decadent chocolate cake, what the English writer Francis Spufford deemed “enjoyable naughtiness.”  Even those of us comfortable with these terms often think of sin as individual bad choices, like stealing and committing adultery.  All of these notions seem inadequate to describe the source of so much oppression, violence, chaos and heartbreak in our world and our lives.Yet there is a specific though less discussed category for sin that sheds light on human fault and failure that is particularly helpful in understanding our society and ourselves:  idolatry.It’s hard to think of a mothballier word than idolatry.  Never fear, though—it too is getting a facelift:With more guns in the United States than people, many see gun ownership as part of their identity and an inalienable right.  Guns take on a sacred quality among devotees.  Sometimes this is overt, such as the trend highlighted by The Atlantic last year of Catholic gun enthusiasts posting illustrations of saints holding AR-15s or photos of guns draped in rosaries.  Usually, idolatry presents with far more subtlety.  Most people would not valorize violence.  They would not profess a worship of weapons.  But our devout attachment to guns springs from a broad societal adoration of power and of individual rights.  These interact with other cultural idols, like money, in complex ways as the gun lobby buys an outsized voice in politics.  Our inability to pass meaningful gun control measures is irrational.  Idolatry, however, is impervious to rational arguments because it is driven by passions deeper than cognition.Naturally, there are other, more terrible “systemic sins.”  Racism, of course, is another.  I learned that, too, from the Gray Lady.In 2021, the Times ran an op-ed by Esau McCaulley, a professor at Wheaton College.  It’s called, “Why Christians Must Fight Systemic Racism”.  According to Dr. McCaulley,Christianity teaches that humans, left to our own devices, often pursue their own distorted interests.  We call this tendency sin.  When you add in political and economic power to get what you want at the expense of others, you have the recipe for systemic injustice. Therefore,When people point out bias or racism in structures (health care, housing, policing, employment practices), they are engaging in the most Christian of practices:  naming and resisting sins, personal and collective.  A Christian theology of human fallibility leads us to expect structural and personal injustice.  It is in the texts we hold dear.  So when Christians stand up against racialized oppression, they are not losing the plot; they are discovering an element of Christian faith and practice that has been with us since the beginning.This should give us an idea of how progressives think about the “S”-word.  And now, let me say this about that.First of all, I think it’s worth noting that neither Rev. Warren nor Dr. McCaulley ever mentions God in their articles. Rev. Warren uses the word gods (plural, with a little “g”) to talk about the false gods worshiped by conservatives, but there’s no mention of the true God worshiped by Christians. Dr. McCaulley mentions Jesus once, but only to quote Him quoting Isaiah’s call to “set the oppressed free.”This point is pretty important, because sin is not (as the good doctor claims) a tendency to pursue our disordered interests. It’s not a “tendecy” at all. Sin is an action—an action that damages our relation with the Father. It creates a wound that can only be healed by the grace of Christ. So, a sin without God is like a victimless murder. It cannot be. It’s a contradiction in terms.Secondly, Rev. Warren and Dr. McCaulley both suggest that sin can be a corporate as well as an individual act. But that’s not quite true, either. There can be no such thing as a systemic sin, because systems don’t have relationships with God. Obviously, groups of people can commit a sin in concert. Three Klansmen can burn a cross outside a black family’s house. Or (to use a more modern example) three white bankers may deny a black family a mortgage, ensuring they never have a house to begin with. Wherever there’s hatred, there’s sin. Still, either way, there are three individual sins committed by three individual sinners. There are three souls in need of grace—the grace of contrition, the grace of penance, the grace of forgiveness, the grace of love.By the same token, yes: presumably, there are Christians who love guns too much—i.e., Christians whose love of guns substracts from their love for God. Yet there are probably Christians whose love of stamp-collecting also subtracts from their love of God. Maybe one skips church on Sundays to attend philatelists’ conventions. Maybe another left his wife for a rich widow with a whole book of Black Empresses. More importantly, though, I think it’s clear that Rev. Warren isn’t really that anxious about the sin of idolatry as it exists among 21st-century American conservatives. She’s certainly not worried about the “idolators” or their relationship with God. She’s mostly concerned with the lack of “meaningful gun control measures.”That’s why think-pieces like Rev. Warren’s or Dr. McCaulley’s are just a little too clever. I understand what they’re getting at. They’re trying to inject a certain moral urgency into our debates over racism, gun control, etc.—an urgency that only the word sin really conveys. Calling something sinful is more effective than calling it bad, or wrong, or evil. It’s just not, you know, accurate.There’s a reason we’re not in the habit of using “sin” as a synonym for “systemic injustice” or “the lack of meaningful legislative action.” It’s because they’re different things.By (mis)using “sin” this way, we distort and cheapen its true meaning. And that’s a real problem. Because the story of our sins is also the story of God’s love. We can’t run from him without Him running after us. We can’t hide from Him without him seeking us out. Our falling down is nothing more than an excuse for Him to gather us up in His arms.Really, we might go far as to say that this is the only way Christians should tyalk about sin. You’ve heard the expression, “Hate the sin and love the sinner.” But St. Francis of Assisi said that we should hate the sin for the love of the sinner. “That person truly loves his enemy,” the Little Poor Man said, “who is not upset at any injury which is done to himself, but out of love of God is disturbed by the sin of the other’s soul. And,” he adds, “let him show his love by his deeds.”Let me ask you this, dear reader: when Rev. Warren talks about the NRA, does it sound like she’s concened about their souls? Does it sound like she’s being spurred, first and foremost, by the love of God? Or is she just giving a religious inflection to the usual center-left talking-points about gun control?Now, I’m sure the same could be said for us “conservatives.” We’re pretty good at hating sins; loving sinners is more of a struggle. Hating sin for the love of sinners is a whole new concept for most of us, and I do include myself in that category. As for reckoning with our own sins—being able to introduce ourselves, like the Pilgrim, as “a Christian by the grace of God, and by my deeds a great sinner”—that’s the work of a lifetime.Yet that’s all the more reason (isn’t it?) to keep our attention fixed on the romance of our redeption. No offense to Rev. Warren, but Lent isn’t the right time to “broaden” our definition of sin. That kind of broadening is always really a narrowing. Instead of opening our hearts to the mystery of divine Love, we sprinkle a few Bible quotes over our usual talking-points and call it religion.Don’t fall for it. Remember, Lent isn’t an excuse to damn our opponents instead of merely disagreeing with them. Lent is a courtship. It’s like mating season for the soul. From before time began, God has pined for us—for me, and for you. Now, through fasting and prayer (and that other one), we finally accept His advances. Like the Virgin Mary, we empty our selves to make ourselves vessels for His love. On Good Friday, He duels with His great rival, Death. Then, on Easter—at long last—He ravishes us. After aeons of patient waiting, the Bridegroom has His bride.Unless we understand the greatness of God’s love, we can never understand the gravity of refusing God, our lover. And that refusal, ladies and gentlemen, is sin—nothing more, and absolutely nothing less.
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International Child Advocate Attorney Elizabeth Yore: Francis Works for “Anti-God, Anti-American & Anti-Catholic” Soros & the UN


Elizabeth Yore served as Special Counsel to Oprah Winfrey as her child advocate, both at Harpo, Inc., and at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa. Previously, Liz held the position of General Counsel at the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, where she created the first missing children unit for runway wards, and collaborated with federal law enforcement on human trafficking prosecutions. Elizabeth was the General Counsel and Director of the International Division at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Virginia. She handled domestic and international child abduction cases there. – Yore Children

“Elizabeth Yore’s career as a lawyer has taken her to unexpected places –like The Hague and the newsrooms of MSNBC and ABC Nightly News as a guest expert.” – Legatus [https://legatus.org/news/oprahs-attorney]

Internationally respected investigator and attorney Elizabeth Yore as well as the documented facts gives us the detailed answer below on whom Francis is really working for:

Francis on September 1, 2016 said he was “gratified that on September 2015 the nations of the world adopted the Sustainable Development Goals” which calls for universal access to abortion.

Does this means that he is “gratified” about universal access to abortion because he made no qualifying exception to abortion in his endorsement then or to this day as far as we know?

Does the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals really plan universal access to abortion?

Goal 6 of the United Nations (UN) Substantial Development Goals (SDG) states that nations must:

“Ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights.”

The UN Conference in Cairo in 1994 said “abortion (as specified in paragraph 8.25)” is a “basic component of reproductive health care services.”

In simple words, Francis, in a backhanded way, endorsed universal access to abortion.

Internationally known sex abuse expert, investigator and attorney Yore at the 2016 Fatima conference in Chicago said the Francis endorsement was no surprise.

The papal approval of the UN plan for universal access to abortion and its population control scheme was planned and orchestrated well in advance by wealthy global elites according to the investigator and attorney.

At the Fatima conference Yore gave a speech that was really a presentation of the enemies battle plans and then she gave a battle cry.

On YouTube you will find her speech called “An Unholy Alliance: the UN, Soros, and the Francis Papacy.”

In her website yorechildren.com and in the complete speech she presents detailed evidence to back up the part of her talk I present below.

All Catholics need to hear her battle cry.

Here is the most important part of her speech which I hand typed with my two fingers as J.R.R. Tolkien once said:

“After spending the last three years investigating and witnessing, first hand, I am convinced this is a intentional and coordinated alliance between the Vatican, the UN and Soros.”

“The radical one world order agenda is hidden and obscured by the false and manufactured climate change movement.”

“Shockingly the movement found and secured its missing power broker: its missing link and its long sought after moral voice. The golden ring of the papacy was won and secured by George Soros through infiltration at the Vatican.”

“Folks take note, they are moving at lightning speed. The mission has been accomplished by the environmental agenda. The new world order is well underway.”

“The global warming globalists secured a perfectly timed and coordinated Vatican Apostolic Exhortation Laudato Si written intentionally in time for the UN vote on the Sustainable Development Goals.”

“Then Pope Francis spoke at the UN general assembly which was timed on the very day the vote occurred and was passed.”

“Francis repeatedly said he hoped his Exhortation would help pass the SDG and Paris treaty. The unthinkable happened: the Paris Climate Treaty passed in December 2015, a mere eight months after Laudato Si.”

“Soros operatives pulled off a miracle with the most popular men on in the world.”

“Who is George Soros? He is anti-God, anti-American and anti-Catholic. Even though he is a billionaire. He lavishly funds Planned Parenthood, Hillary Clinton, Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter and countless media outlets.”

“He seeks a one world order world governed by the elites.”

“Make no mistake: this is about tyranny.”

This is megalomaniac who bragged that he considered himself a god. This is George Soros. And he even claimed he was the boss of the pope. That was in the early 2000’s. That has become a fact.”

“Suddenly it appears his prophecy has come true. George Soros operatives are embedded in the Vatican. They have drafted Vatican documents that set up the Soros agenda which mirrors the Francis agenda.”

“Mass immigration which George Soros funds and Black Lives Matter and environmentalism. The gig is up.”

“We are in a death struggle with the secular culture and a global domination of elitists who seek to reduce the worlds population by force, redefine marriage and gender and govern by tyranny.”

“As the photo shows, Pope Francis shared the podium with Jeffery Sachs and expressed his gratitude to the UN for its partnership. Jeffery Sachs was pointed to as the Vatican Academy’s greatest supporter.”

“We now know Soros directed money to influence the USCCB and to coordinate the Vatican through Cardinal Maradiaga.”

“The mortal enemy of the Church has breached the Vatican walls and now is in encampment there.”

“The author Micheal Crichton said that the greatest challenge facing mankind is the challenge of distinguishing reality from fanasy, truth from propaganda.”

“What is the reality about our world and those who wish to control humanity by tyranny, demagoguery, nuanced language and lies.”

“The Left has given the world the sin of the century which is the sin against the child.”

“More children have been willfully killed by adults in the last hundred years than in the whole preceding history of humanity.”

“In the last hundred years, the eradication of the child is promoted by none other than the United Nations and funded by the mega-billionaire George Soros through his many Open Society Foundations.”

“It is a object horror that these two entities are given a prominent role, a sit at the Holy See; that they have infiltrated the Chair of Peter; that they have formed a unholy alliance is beyond imaginable.”

“But it is a reality we can’t deny.”

“The globalist control the media. They own the wealth. They control all the wealthy foundations. And now tragically control the Vatican and its mega-star pope.”

“We can no longer play prevent defense. It is time to go on the offensive.”

“What are we to do?”

This might be the final fight. Or it could be the definitive battle for the freedom of mankind.”

“They have the money. We have the truth. They have the power and influence. We have the truth.”

“They have the powerful United Nations. We have the Blessed Mother. No other weapon do we need.”

This is Holy Mother Church that has been invaded by marauders of death. They are inside the walls. They are issuing edicts and plotting new strategies in the cover of darkness.”

“We must shine the light on them. Sunlight is the best disinfectant. But we must speak up and do battle.”

“I presume everyone here was confirmed. You are soldiers of Christ. Well its time to reenlist. As the dark cloud envelopes the Holy See and our beloved Mother Church. You are Our Lady’s army of advocates.”

“You must understand the cautionary words of C. S. Lewis which mirrors a Chestertonian epic.”

“C. S. Lewis said ‘This is enemy occupied territory. That is what this world is. Christianity is the rightful story that the rightful King has landed. You might say he landed in disguise and is calling us all take part in a great campaign of sabotage.”

When you go to church, you are really listening in to the secret wireless from our friends. That is why the enemy is so anguished to prevent us from going. “

These has all been uncomfortable and terrifying. I know.”

“But I am reminded of St. Therese, the Little Flower. The sweet gentlee young saint discovered the words of Our Lord in St. Matthew’s Gospel:

‘I came not to bring peace, but a sword.'”

“In her letter to her beloved sister Celine, the Little Flower wrote:

‘There remains nothing else for us to do, but to fight. When we don’t have the strength, it is then that Jesus fights for us.'”

“At the end of her life, she said, with the voice of a battle worn warrior, ‘I shall die with weapons in my hands.'”

“Our Lady Queen of heaven and earth pray for us.”

Pray an Our Father now for reparation for the sins committed because of Francis’s Amoris Laetitia.

Pray an Our Father now for the restoration of the Church as well as the Triumph of the Kingdom of the Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

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

Francis Notes:

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

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

Saint Robert Bellarmine, also, said “the Pope heretic is not deposed ipso facto, but must be declared deposed by the Church.”

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

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

– If Francis betrays Benedict XVI & the”Roman Rite Communities” like he betrayed the Chinese Catholics we must respond like St. Athanasius, the Saintly English Bishop Robert Grosseteste & “Eminent Canonists and Theologians” by “Resist[ing]” him: https://www.thecatholicmonitor.com/2021/12/if-francis-betrays-benedict-xvi.html 

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

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

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

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

– On December 2, 2017, Bishop Rene Gracida:

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

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

Election Notes: 

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

– Will US be Venezuela?: Ex-CIA Official told Epoch Times “Chávez started to Focus on [Smartmatic] Voting Machines to Ensure Victory as early as 2003”: http://catholicmonitor.blogspot.com/2020/12/will-us-be-venezuela-ex-cia-official.html

– Tucker Carlson’s Conservatism Inc. Biden Steal Betrayal is explained by “One of the Greatest Columns ever Written” according to Rush: http://catholicmonitor.blogspot.com/2021/01/tucker-carlsons-conservatism-inc-biden.html?m=1

– A Hour which will Live in Infamy: 10:01pm November 3, 2020:

What is needed right now to save America from those who would destroy our God given rights is to pray at home or in church and if called to even go to outdoor prayer rallies in every town and city across the United States for God to pour out His grace on our country to save us from those who would use a Reichstag Fire-like incident to destroy our civil liberties. [Is the DC Capitol Incident Comparable to the Nazi Reichstag Fire Incident where the German People Lost their Civil Liberties?http://catholicmonitor.blogspot.com/2021/01/is-dc-capital-incident-comparable-to.html?m=1 and Epoch Times Show Crossroads on Capitol Incident: “Anitfa ‘Agent Provocateurs‘”:

Pray an Our Father now for the grace to know God’s Will and to do it.

Pray an Our Father now for America.

Pray an Our Father now for the restoration of the Church as well as the Triumph of the Kingdom of the Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.SHARE

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                   From the FEDGOV

 Questions Without Answers

 About Ukraine

Victor Davis Hanson

American Greatness

March 23, 2023

Ukrainians, and many Europeans and Americans, are defining an envisioned Ukrainian victory as the complete expulsion of all Russians from its 2013 borders. Or, as a Ukrainian national security chief put it, the war ends with Ukrainian tanks in Red Square.

But mysteries remain about such ambitious agendas.

What would that goal entail?

Giving Ukraine American F-16s to strike bases and depots in Mother Russia? The gifting of 1,000 M1 Abrams tanks? Using American Harpoon missiles to sink the Russian Black Sea Fleet?

A huge arsenal that would guarantee total victory rather than not losing?

Russia’s cruel strategy is to grind down Ukraine and turn its eastern regions into a Verdun-like deathscape.

So is a brave Ukraine really winning the war when it loses about 0.6 soldiers for every Russian it kills?

Russia plans to leverage its extra 100 million people, its 10-times larger economy, and its 30-times larger territory to pulverize Ukraine and tire its Western patrons—whatever the costs to Russia.

Yet why were only a few in past administrations calling for a joint Western effort to expel Putin’s forces from the borderlands and Crimea captured in 2014?

Why are Putin’s 2014 invasions now seen as urgent rectifiable crimes of aggression in 2022, but were not regarded as reparable during the prior eight years?

Is the United States economically capable or politically unified or socially stable enough to wage a huge proxy war on the frontiers of a nuclear Russia?

During the last comparable multibillion-dollar military efforts—the First Gulf War in 1990-1991 and the 2003 invasion of Iraq—the ratio of American debt to GDP was respectively 40 and 50 percent.

Today it hovers at nearly three times that figure at 129%, given some $33 trillion in accumulated debt.

Currently, the American economy is entering a stagflationary crisis. Banking, real estate, and financial sectors seem on the brink of imploding, especially after the near-record multibillion-dollar collapse of Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX, and the meltdowns of the Silicon Valley and Signature banks.

Around 7 million illegal entries have occurred across the southern border since January 2021 alone. Millions of new impoverished foreign nationals tax social services, spike crime, and strain relations with an increasingly antagonistic Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

An emboldened Obrador now brags that 40 million of his countrymen have cumulatively crossed the border, many illegally. He urges them to vote for Democratic candidates to ensure more open borders.

Last year, over 100,000 Americans died of opiate overdoses. Most of the deaths were attributable to Mexican cartels’ brazen export of fentanyl across an open border.

Nearly a million Americans have likely died of such overdoses since 2000—more than double the number of fatalities in World War II.

Given its shell-shocked inner cities and toxic downtowns, America is beginning to resemble mid-19th-century England that sent forces all over its global empire while novelist Charles Dickens chronicled the misery and poverty at the imperial core in London.

Is the Ukrainian war also creating the most dangerous anti-American alliance since World War II?

Ø China is buying cheap Russian oil, while stealthily supplying its weapons.

Ø India, normally a rock-solid democratic ally, keeps buying both banned Russian oil and armaments.

Ø Most of the major countries in South America have not joined the sanctions.

Ø Clients like nuclear North Korea and soon to be nuclear Iran are empowered by overt help from Russia.

Ø NATO member Turkey and once-allied Saudi Arabia appear now friendlier to Iran, friendlier to China, and friendlier to Russia, than they are to America.

Ø In terms of combined oil reserves, nukes, population, area, and GDP, this new loose coalition of apparent anti-Americans seems more powerful than the United States and its squabbling friends in Europe.

Ø Why were those now calling for a veritable blank check for Ukraine formerly quiet when the United States fled in humiliation from Afghanistan?

Ø Why were they mostly silent when an appeasing Joe Biden begged Vladimir Putin at least to spare some U.S. targets on his otherwise extensive anti-American cyberwar hit list?

Ø Or why were they indifferent when Biden said he would have fewer objections if Putin’s anticipated attack on Ukraine would be “minor”?

Ø Or why were they not so eager for confrontation when Putin earlier acquired the Eastern Ukrainian borderlands and Crimea in 2014 in the first place?

Ø Or why so subdued when the United States in 2015-16 refused to sell Ukrainian offensive weapons?

Ø Why does the United States discount the serial and ascending nuclear threats from Russia, but we remain careful not to antagonize China?

Ø After all, China sent a spy balloon brazenly across the United States to surveil and spy on American strategic locations.

Ø And why is the administration so quiet about a likely leak of an engineered deadly COVID-19 virus from a Chinese virology lab that killed 1 million Americans?

These are Ukrainian war-related questions that never seem to be answered—but should be as the carnage rises and the nuclear threshold falls.

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Stanford DEI dean escalates; Stanford law dean cowers; and more


Ed Whelan ewhelan@eppc.org via gmail.mcsv.net 10:18 AM (12 minutes ago)
to me

From NRO’s Bench Memos:
Stanford DEI Dean Escalates Battle against Law-School Dean

In a remarkable op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, Stanford law school DEI dean Tirien Steinbach escalates her battle with law school dean Jenny Martinez. Steinbach had already given Martinez ample cause to fire her. It’s difficult to see how Martinez could avoid doing so now.

Before we look at the particulars of Steinbach’s op-ed, let’s briefly sum up the context in which she wrote it: 

Two weeks ago, when Stanford law students disrupted Judge Kyle Duncan’s speech at a Federalist Society event, Steinbach seized the occasion to deliver six minutes of prepared remarks in which she chastised Judge Duncan. Two days later, Stanford’s president and Dean Martinez issued a joint letter of apology to Judge Duncan for the disruption of his event in violation of Stanford’s policies on free speech. In an obvious reference to Steinbach, the joint apology observed that “staff members who should have enforced university policies failed to do so, and instead intervened in inappropriate ways that are not aligned with the university’s commitment to free speech.” 

Just yesterday, Dean Martinez followed up with a long letter to Stanford students that reiterated that the disruption of the event violated Stanford’s policies. In her letter, Martinez revealed that she had placed Steinbach on leave. In explaining university policy, Martinez pointedly observed: 

[W]hen a disruption occurs and the speaker asks for an administrator to help restore order, the administrator who responds should not insert themselves into debate with their own criticism of the speaker’s views and the suggestion that the speaker reconsider whether what they plan to say is worth saying, for that imposes the kind of institutional orthodoxy and coercion that the policy on Academic Freedom precludes. For that reason, I stand by my statement in the apology letter that at the event on March 9, “staff members who should have enforced university policies failed to do so, and instead intervened in inappropriate ways that are not aligned with the university’s commitment to free speech.”

Now let’s look at Steinbach’s op-ed:

Steinbach never recognizes or acknowledges that the disruption of Judge Duncan’s event violated Stanford policy. Indeed, she never acknowledges that any disruption occurred. She instead says that there was merely a “heated exchange,” “a verbal sparring match,” in which “[s]ome protesters heckled the judge and peppered him with questions and comments” and Judge Duncan “answered in turn.” That is a gross distortion of what occurred and in direct conflict with Martinez’s apology and letter.

Steinbach never acknowledges or apologizes for her own gross misconduct. On the contrary, she defends her conduct in terms that directly conflict with Martinez’s criticism of her: She aimed “to give voice to the [protesting] students.” She “wanted Judge Duncan to understand why some students were protesting his presence on campus” so that he could ponder “Is the juice worth the squeeze?” So much for Martinez’s admonition that administrators “should not insert themselves into debate with their own criticism of the speaker’s views and the suggestion that the speaker reconsider whether what they plan to say is worth saying.”

Steinbach fundamentally disagrees with Dean Martinez (and with Stanford’s president) on the role of freedom of speech and on the relationship between free speech and “diversity, equity, and inclusion” (or DEI). In her apology to Judge Duncan, Martinez stated: “Freedom of speech is a bedrock principle for the law school, the university, and a democratic society.” In her letter yesterday, Martinez explained that “the commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion means that we must protect free expression of all views.” As her question “Is the juice worth the squeeze?” indicates, Steinbach instead sees a need to “strike a balance” between values of freedom of speech and DEI that are often in conflict.

Steinbach’s op-ed is titled “Diversity and Free Speech Can Coexist at Stanford.” But Martinez and Steinbach have very different ideas of what such co-existence involves. It is difficult to see how Martinez and Steinbach can co-exist at Stanford. It’s time for Martinez to realize that Steinbach’s juice isn’t worth the squeeze.

Stanford Law Dean’s Letter Responding to Student Complaints—Part 2

Having praised the free-speech principles that Stanford law dean Jenny Martinez set forth in her long letter to students, I’m sorry to say that the third part of her letter—on “next steps”—is disappointing. In particular, her categorical refusal to refer any disrupting students for disciplinary sanction and the feeble reasons she offers in support of her refusal severely undermine the principles she professes.

Martinez sets forth three “factors” that lead her to conclude that referring disrupting students for disciplinary sanction is inappropriate. None of her three factors makes any sense, and their makeshift nature suggests that Martinez is looking for an excuse not to punish students.

First, Martinez raises the concern that punishing disrupting students “may chill constitutionally protected speech.” If Stanford’s policy threatened a chilling effect on protected speech, that would be a damning criticism of the very policy that Martinez so eloquently defended in the first two parts of her letter. But there is no reason to think that punishing those who clearly engaged in disruptive activity would chill the speech of nondisruptive protestors.

Second, Martinez contends that “the failure by administrators in the room to timely administer clear and specific warnings and instead to send conflicting signals about whether what was happening was acceptable or not … renders disciplinary sanction in these particular circumstances problematic.” (Martinez’s sentence is ungrammatical, as there was not a “failure … instead to send conflicting signals”; in lieu of “instead to send,” she means something like “and their instead sending.”) But, as Martinez acknowledges, “students had been generally informed of the policy against disruptions (including by schoolwide email the morning of the event).” How much notice do law students need? What’s more, the major disruptions occurred before DEI dean Tirien Steinbach’s weird intervention, so Steinbach’s “conflicting signals” can’t be blamed for what preceded them.

Third, Martinez argues that “focusing solely on punishing those who engaged in unprotected disruptions such as noisy shouting during the lecture would leave perversely unaddressed the students whose speech was perhaps constitutionally protected but well outside the norms of civil discourse that we hope to cultivate in a professional school.” But this perverse result follows directly from California’s Leonard Law, which requires Stanford to abide by First Amendment principles in disciplining students. There is separate action that Martinez could explore regarding those who made “vulgar personal insults” that are “perhaps constitutionally protected.” (She could, for example, identify them publicly and/or ensure that their unprofessional conduct is made known to bar- admissions commissions.) Instead, she has set up a perverse incentive for disrupting students to avoid discipline by arranging for fellow students to make vulgar personal insults.

Martinez instead is requiring all students to take part in a half-day session “on the topic of freedom of speech and the norms of the legal profession.” So students who did not misbehave at all—and, indeed, the Federalist Society members who were on the receiving end of much abuse—are receiving the same punishment as the disrupting students: having to spend three or four hours of their time on a session that they may have no interest in and no need for. 

This Day in Liberal Judicial Activism—March 24

1997—By a vote of 4 to 3, the Ohio supreme court rules in DeRolph v. State that Ohio’s existing system of financing its public-school system violates the state constitution’s declaration that the General Assembly “make such provisions, by taxation or otherwise, as will secure a thorough and efficient system of common schools throughout the state.” The court orders the General Assembly to “create an entirely new school financing system.” (How a school system can ever be “thorough and efficient” so long as self-serving teachers unions have clout is a mystery that the court did not explore.) 

2009—Reviewing yet another Ninth Circuit grant of habeas relief on a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel, the Supreme Court (in Knowles v. Mirzayance) again unanimously reverses the Ninth Circuit. Perhaps it is not surprising that a court laden with so many incompetent judges is inept at determining what constitutes incompetent legal advice. __________________________________________

M. Edward Whelan III
Distinguished Senior Fellow and

Antonin Scalia Chair in Constitutional Studies
Ethics and Public Policy Center
1730 M Street N.W., Suite 910
Washington, D.C. 20036

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Cardinal Roche on the Vatican II Rupture

 Joseph Shaw, PhD March 24, 2023 0 Comments

Above: Bishop Athanasius Schneider offers the Holy Mass at St. Peter’s church in Steubenville, Ohio, United States. Photo by Allison Girone

As I recently wrote on Catholic Answers, the confusion surrounding the meaning of Traditionis custodes, and its flotilla of supplementary documents, is beginning to resemble that around Amoris Laetitia. I was talking specifically about the purpose of the document: what vision of the ecclesial landscape inspires it. Here I want to focus on the equally opaque reasoning behind it.

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Last Sunday BBC Radio 4 aired a short report on the Traditional Mass. They talked to the Catholic blogger Maria Jones (do have a look at her channel ‘One of Nine’), a priest who says the TLM, and some Traditional Mass goers they found by chance outside a church. We also heard clips from Austen Ivereigh, papal biographer, and Cardinal Arthur Roche. (Listen here, 5min to 12min.)

On the subject of why TC had been issued, Ivereigh tells us that people who attend the Traditional Mass constitute a sinister ‘movement’ opposed to Vatican II. This claim is presumably inspired by Pope Francis’ 2021 Letter to BishopsThe difficulty with it is that even the most emotional and unsophisticated supporters of the Traditional Mass that the BBC journalists could find lend absolutely no support to this idea. If the ‘movement’ Ivereigh speaks of is only found in some obscure corner of the internet, then it is hard to know why Pope Francis has caused such heartache by restricting the Traditional Mass all over the world.

Cardinal Roche, on the other hand, spoke as follows:

You know the theology of the Church has changed. Whereas before the priest represented, at a distance, all the people. They were channelled, as it were, through this person who alone was celebrating the Mass. It is not only the priest who celebrates the liturgy, but also those who are baptised with him. And that is an enormous statement to make.

This is completely unrelated to the claims made in the Letter to Bishops, and it is hard to think of such a claim being made by a Curial Cardinal before. We have often been told that the idea that ‘the theology of the Church has changed’ is the preserve of extreme progressives and extreme Lefebvrists, and that what the Council actually did was what Pope John XXIII asked it to do (Gaudent Mater Ecclesia):

What … is necessary today is that the whole of Christian doctrine, with no part of it lost, be received in our times by all with a new fervor, in serenity and peace, in that traditional and precise conceptuality and expression which is especially displayed in the acts of the Councils of Trent and Vatican I. … For the deposit of faith, the truths contained in our venerable doctrine, are one thing; the fashion in which they are expressed, but with the same meaning and the same judgement, is another thing.

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Is there any basis on the Conciliar texts which supports Cardinal Roche’s ‘new theology’? Well, the Council’s Decree on the Liturgy, Sacrosantum Conciliumtells us (n. 48):

The Church, therefore, earnestly desires that Christ’s faithful, when present at this mystery of faith, should not be there as strangers or silent spectators; on the contrary, through a good understanding of the rites and prayers they should take part in the sacred action conscious of what they are doing, with devotion and full collaboration. They should be instructed by God’s word and be nourished at the table of the Lord’s body; they should give thanks to God; by offering the Immaculate Victim, not only through the hands of the priest, but also with him, they should learn also to offer themselves; through Christ the Mediator, they should be drawn day by day into ever more perfect union with God and with each other, so that finally God may be all in all.

This is indeed the teaching of the Church. But is it new? As has been documented, the document’s footnotes were drastically thinned out at a late stage in its preparation, and this obscures the reality that this paragraph is based on two modern pre-Conciliar magisterial texts.

The first, which coined the unfortunate phrase ‘dumb spectators’ (‘muti spectatores’),  is Pope Pius XI’s Apostolic Constitution Divini cultus sanctitatem (1928) n. 9. He was talking about Catholics who weren’t singing the chants in accordance with Pope Pius X’s recommendations in Tra la sollicitudino a quarter of a century earlier.

The other source is Pope Pius XII’s 1947 encyclical Mediator Dei:

By the waters of baptism, as by common right, Christians are made members of the Mystical Body of Christ the Priest, and by the “character” which is imprinted on their souls, they are appointed to give worship to God. Thus they participate, according to their condition, in the priesthood of Christ (88).

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In this most important subject it is necessary, in order to avoid giving rise to a dangerous error, that we define the exact meaning of the word “offer.” The unbloody immolation at the words of consecration, when Christ is made present upon the altar in the state of a victim, is performed by the priest and by him alone, as the representative of Christ and not as the representative of the faithful. But it is because the priest places the divine victim upon the altar that he offers it to God the Father as an oblation for the glory of the Blessed Trinity and for the good of the whole Church. Now the faithful participate in the oblation, understood in this limited sense, after their own fashion and in a twofold manner, namely, because they not only offer the sacrifice by the hands of the priest, but also, to a certain extent, in union with him. It is by reason of this participation that the offering made by the people is also included in liturgical worship (92).

The idea that the people partake, in an important sense, of the offering of the Mass, without confusing the ordained priesthood and the priesthood of all believers, is found throughout the tradition, and is embedded in the texts of the Mass itself. Those who attend the Traditional Mass will be familiar with the word “Oremus”, “Let us pray”—an oft-repeated invitation to join in spirit with the prayer of the priest—and the words of the priest, “Orate fratres ut meum ac vestrum sacrificium acceptabile fiat apud Deum Patrem”: “Pray brethren that my sacrifice and yours be acceptable to God the Father.” The theology of the Traditional Mass, and those who have expounded it over the centuries, is incompatible with the view that the people are passive observers, having no part in the mystery.

The BBC editors linked Cardinal Roche’s comments with the traditional practice of “the priest with his back to the people for most of the Mass.” It is impossible to know if His Eminence made this link himself. But that issue was, notoriously, not debated at the Second Vatican Council. Permission for celebration “facing the people” was slipped out in an Instruction in 1964 (Inter Oecumenini), which in fact only spoke of the construction of new altars. If this heralded a fundamental change—or an ‘enormous statement,’ in Cardinal Roche’s words—that suggests that the soon-to-be abolished Congregation for Rites had more authority than is generally recognised.

I find myself, here, and not for the first time, defending the words of the Second Vatican Council against an interpretation which would impute to them theological novelties incompatible with the perennial teaching of the Church. It’s beyond the scope of this article to do the same thing for everything the Council said, but at least on this important issue, of the manner in which the faithful participate in the Mass, Austen Ivereigh should note that I am not the one criticising Vatican II. It is Cardinal Roche, by implication, who seems to be casting it as introducing an historical rupture into the teaching of the Church.

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He can’t, really, have meant this, but I do wonder what he did mean. It is clear that he is casting about for a different kind of rationale for the planned suppression of the Traditional Mass from the one offered by Pope Francis in the Letter to Bishops: one not just based on the empirical claim that its supporters are bad people, which fares so badly when a journalist takes the trouble to ask some worshippers about it. He would like an argument based on the theology of the liturgy, something that would allow him to say that it is objectively bad to allow any celebrations of the Traditional Mass to continue longer than absolutely necessary.

I’d love to hear more about this, because any such argument is going to have this difficulty: that if the Traditional Mass is bad, then the Church’s entire liturgy was bad for fifteen centuries, and most probably the Eastern Rites are bad even today. It would be intriguing indeed to discover that the Dicastery for Divine Worship is saying that celebration ad orientem is theologically problematic, while the Dicastery for the Eastern Churches is at the very same time trying to impose celebration ad orientem on the Syro-Malabars.

If that turns out to be true, we have reached a new phase in the confusion sadly associated with the current papacy.

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Joseph Shaw, PhD

Joseph Shaw, PhD

Dr Joseph Shaw has a Doctorate in Philosophy from Oxford University, where he also gained a first degree in Politics and Philosophy and a graduate Diploma in Theology. He has published on Ethics and Philosophy of Religion and has edited The Case for Liturgical Restoration: Una Voce Position Papers on the Extraordinary Form (Angelico Press). He is the Chairman of the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales and President of Una Voce International. He teaches Philosophy at Oxford University and lives nearby with his wife and nine children.


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