Thursday 18th October 2018

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

Whether Trinket Or Honorific, Ploumen Deserves Neither

February 1, 2018 Frontpage No Comments

By SHAUN KENNEY

The scandal over pro-abort Lilianne Ploumen simply will not die, with the Vatican at first effectively denying that the honorific was ever awarded, then insisting in an ironic twist that the papal medal was intended as a slight — not as an award.
That would indeed be news to Ploumen.
Of course, for those who are consistent readers of this column, there is an interesting link that is worth exploring between honor and its forms and l’affaire Ploumen.
Shakespeare’s Falstaff is quoted as observing honor as a mere scutcheon. One has to see the irony displayed here between Ploumen receiving a scutcheon of honor and Falstaff’s contempt for the same. What the Vatican bureaucrats intended or did not intend by extending this honor, I’ll leave to other minds to discern.
Yet at core is that these symbols and honorifics really do mean something. Perhaps our Falstaffs at the Vatican truly believed that Ploumen was being extended a trinket without the honors of ceremony and pomp. Certainly Willem Cardinal Eijk of Utrecht expressed his astonishment that he was not even considered in the exchange between Vatican diplomats and Dutch abortion advocates — an oddity indeed.
Let us be charitable, though. Assume for a moment that our Vatican diplomats were as fond of Shakespeare’s Falstaff as we are, and thought for a moment that they were deploying a clever device to insult the “honor” extended to Ploumen as a mere scutcheon — mere jewels and no meaning.
Herein lies the problem. The German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer remarked many years ago that honor was invisible to the man who had none. To those with honor, the Order of St. Gregory would be a humbling recognition of a lifetime of work. Invitations to the Vatican would inspire obedience, not arrogance. Ploumen — if she had a shred of honor — would have returned the medal just as quickly as any American might have returned an unearned Purple Heart. Stolen valor means something, after all.
Yet to those for whom honor is invisible, such trinkets and scutcheons only serve to embellish not only their pride but validate their opposition to the Holy Catholic Church and the Sacred Magisterium.
One truly hesitates to beat this drum too much, if for no other reason than that it is a drum well beaten by many others over the last few weeks. Yet the damage these honors do to those of us who know honor as a friend? It is a deep and lasting wound. Perhaps one may argue that such honor stems from pride. This would indeed be a false honor, as true honor is found in sacred bonds of sacrifice.
For this reason, veterans are incensed when outsiders wear honorifics intended for those who have indeed sacrificed in combat — and rightly so — because the bonds of combat and self-sacrifice give credence to John 15:13, that greater love hath no man than this; that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Within this gap lies the lacuna between the scutcheon of the Order of St. Gregory and Lilianne Ploumen; the great gap of honor that makes this entire episode either acceptable or vastly unacceptable, not because anyone has sacrificed their life in the exchange, but because it gravely dishonors two sacrifices — the babies who will die at the hands of Ploumen’s abortion advocacy, and Jesus Christ in whose name Ploumen’s work was so honored.

+ + +

Once again, I am deeply honored with further correspondence (and deep reading!) from Mr. M — in Elk River — who is indeed a kindred soul. As I am seriously delinquent in my correspondence, I beg everyone’s forgiveness and promise to respond just as quickly as I can to each of you. Believe me, I love the letters!

+ + +

Speaking of kindred souls, a gentleman whose wisdom I have come to rely upon like a steel rod offered me an almost instantaneous critique of my more political writings elsewhere: “Mr. Kenney, you are a smart man, but you have too much faith in the public square.”
Ouch.
Of course, I understand what my friend is communicating here. Human beings, though made in the image and likeness of God, fall catastrophically short of that image. This part, which I consider to be a common stem of my Catholic heritage, recognizes what J.R.R. Tolkien observed as the “long defeat of history” and the corruption of the world.
Yet there is another voice that speaks from my more Jeffersonian traditions rooted in the work of both St. Thomas Aquinas and Duns Scotus — specifically that mankind observes the natural law as a reflection of the divine law. This natural law tradition is reflected in the work of Hugo Grotius contra Thomas Hobbes, in the work of St. Robert Bellarmine in response to the Protestant-manufactured divine right of kings, and in the works of the Scottish Enlightenment — all brought to the Virginia founders through men such as George Wythe.
Jefferson’s belief that humanity did not require coercion to be fundamentally good, that error alone required the support of government, and that truth was immutable and not to be feared are all suppositions I have taken as canon.
Of course, I have no faith whatsoever in the passions of the mob. Yet I do have an overwhelming degree of faith in the human person as an individual, and moreover, when united in the Eucharist, in the Body of Christ. This public square is worth defending; to “trust implicitly” as Cardinal Newman counseled.

+ + +

Of course, I am succeeding (but not replacing) the inestimable Mr. James K. Fitzpatrick for the First Teachers column.
Please feel free to send any correspondence for First Teachers to Shaun Kenney, c/o First Teachers, 5289 Venable Road, Kents Store, VA 23084 — or if it is easier, simply send me an e-mail with First Teachers in the subject line to: svk2cr@virginia.edu.

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Twitter Feed

Load More...

Ave Maria U president who criticized Cdl. Burke, Archbishop Viganò announces resignation

AVE MARIA, Florida, October 17, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Just six weeks after he issued a statement criticizing Vatican whistleblower Archbishop Carlo Vigano, Ave Maria University (AMU) announced its president Jim Towey will step down in June 2020. Vigano’s 11-page testimony…Continue Reading

‘Just glad we ruined Kavanaugh’s life’: Pro-abortion Left responds to Supreme Court defeat

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 8, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Judge Brett Kavanaugh is now Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and the left-wing forces who pulled out all the stops to defeat him show no signs of cooling down anytime soon. The Senate voted 50-48 on…Continue Reading

Pope selects youth from pro-gay Vatican consultant’s media org to attend Synod

October 8, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — The four young people from Canada now at the Vatican synod on youth are all from Salt and Light Media. The Toronto-based media outlet is run by Basilian Fr. Thomas Rosica, who is also on…Continue Reading

Youth Synod Archbishop apologizes to young Catholics for sex abuse, ‘unbeautiful liturgies’

ROME, October 4, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Archbishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney, Australia, has issued an extensive mea culpa at the Vatican Youth Synod for all the ways in which the hierarchy and members of the Church have failed young people — whether…Continue Reading

Michigan AG seizes Catholic dioceses’ records in sex abuse investigation

(CNN)Michigan authorities have seized records from every Catholic diocese in the state as part of an investigation into possible sexual abuse by clergy, the dioceses said in separate statements released Wednesday. The Archdiocese of Detroit, and dioceses in Gaylord, Grand…Continue Reading

Vatican cardinal reproves US archbishop for criticizing Youth Synod’s working doc

VATICAN CITY, October 1, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A second prominent cardinal has publicly rebuked Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput for publishing last week a letter critical of the controversial working document being used at the upcoming Youth Synod in Rome. At a press conference at the Vatican…Continue Reading

Catholic lay leaders: We were wrong about Church, McCarrick on sex abuse crisis

In 2004, Anne Burke went before the City Club of Chicago to say the Catholic Church was beginning “to set things right” by appointing a lay board — which Burke chaired — to address the sex abuse crisis then embroiling…Continue Reading

Protesters demand resignation of Catholic University professor over Kavanaugh tweets

WASHINGTON (RNS) — Demonstrators at the Catholic University of America are calling for the resignation of a dean over tweets he published criticizing a woman who accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct. In addition, some demonstrators insisted…Continue Reading

Catholic Magazine Rescinds Endorsement of Brett Kavanaugh to Supreme Court

America, a weekly Roman Catholic magazine published by members of the Jesuit religious order, on Thursday rescinded its endorsement of Brett Kavanaugh after the Senate hearing on an attempted sexual assault accusation leveled against him by Christine Blasey Ford. “Even…Continue Reading

Pedophilia Isn’t The Main Problem With Catholic Priests, Homosexuality Is

The editorial board of the New York Times declared it had identified the source of “The Catholic Church’s Unholy Stain.” It names pedophilia and asks: “How have so many pedophiles been allowed into the priesthood?” The question was purely rhetorical…Continue Reading

A Persecuted Priest Speaks Out

Here is a link to a 10-minute on-camera Church Militant interview with Father Paul Kalchik, the Chicago priest who is now in hiding after being tossed from his parish by Cardinal Blase Cupich. Kalchik lost his position after presiding over…Continue Reading

Cardinal Cupich removes pastor for burning gay flag, wants psych evaluation

September 23, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Blase Cupich has removed a priest in his archdiocese from his parish in apparent retaliation for his decision to burn a homosexualist “rainbow pride flag” previously used by the parish to promote the homosexual agenda. According…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love

Cburke3

  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading

Catechism

Today . . .

Youth Synod group calls Church to attend to ‘realities’ of gay ‘marriage’, surrogacy, adoption

VATICAN CITY, October 16, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A group at the Vatican’s Youth Synod has called for the Catholic Church to pay more attention to homosexuals and the “realities” they face, specifically mentioning “marriage,” surrogate pregnancy, and adoption. “[…]There is the issue of what to do and how to act with homosexuals, which cannot remain outside of our pastoral activity and other realities such as marriages between homosexuals, wombs for rent, adoption on the part…Continue Reading

Cardinal Wuerl blasts Viganò testimony as ‘not faithful to the facts’

October 12, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Donald Wuerl had a few choice words to say regarding Archbishop Carlo Viganò when he was interviewed by a liberal Catholic magazine yesterday. In a long and laudatory article published by America magazine today, the Archbishop Emeritus of Washington, D.C. – and its apostolic administrator until his replacement is named – denied Viganò’s allegation

Pope Francis accepts resignation of Cardinal Donald Wuerl

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl from the pastoral governance of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. By Christopher Wells Cardinal Wuerl had submitted his resignation three years ago, when he turned 75, in accordance with the Code of Canon Law (can. 401 §1). In September, the Cardinal met with Pope Francis and requested that his resignation be accepted. At the time, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Washington D.C. said…Continue Reading

Recognition of ‘other forms of family’ called for by Youth Synod small group led by Cdl. Cupich

Vatican City, October 11, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Fourteen small groups of members of the Synod on Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment discussed the Instrumentum Laboris (IL), or working document, guiding the Synod’s deliberations this week. Divided by language groups, there were four English-language conversations, three French, two Spanish, one German, and one Port

San Diego Catholic leaders demand ‘truthful answers’ from Bishop McElroy on sex abuse scandal

SAN DIEGO, California, September 8, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — “Acting with urgency and with purpose,” local lay leaders have launched Concerned Catholics of San Diego (CCSD), a grassroots initiative spearheaded by a committee of faithful Catholics whose first order of business is to seek “truthful answers” from San Diego Bishop Robert W. McElroy about the sex-abuse crisis. “The Catholic Church, including here in

Advertisement(2)

After Holy See-China Agreement… Persecution Continues In Wenzhou, Henan, Hubei

ROME (AsiaNews) — The “provisional” agreement between China and the Holy See, signed on September 22, does not seem to have stopped persecution and violence against Catholics. The morning of October 11 in Lingkun, in the district of Yongqiang, the cross that stood on the bell tower of the Catholic church was torn down; the…Continue Reading

Bishops Of Ireland . . . Condemn Lack Of Safeguards In Irish Bill

DUBLIN (CNA/EWTN News) — The Irish bishops on October 5 lamented that the draft bill to legalize abortion in the Republic would require pro-life healthcare professionals to provide abortion referrals, calling the provision “an affront to conscience.” “The Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Bill 2018 poses a very real practical and moral dilemma for…Continue Reading

Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic . . . Truth: The Casualties In The Current Controversies

By STEPHEN M. KRASON (Editor’s Note: Stephen M. Krason’s Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic column appears monthly [sometimes bimonthly]. He is professor of political science and legal studies and associate director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is also co-founder and president of the Society…Continue Reading

Setting Things Right

By DONALD DeMARCO An ancient Chinese proverb reads as follows: “If there is righteousness in the heart, there will be beauty in the character. If there is beauty in the character, there will be harmony in the home. If there is harmony in the home, there will be order in the nation. When there is…Continue Reading

Casualty Lists From The Kavanaugh Battle

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN After a 50-year siege, the great strategic fortress of liberalism has fallen. With the elevation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, the Supreme Court seems secure for constitutionalism — perhaps for decades. The shrieks from the gallery of the Senate chamber as the vote came in on Saturday, October 4 and the sight…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

“St. Michael The Archangel, Pray for Us!”

By FR. SHENAN J. BOQUET (Editor’s Note: This article is reprinted with permission of Human Life International, www.hli.org. It first appeared at www.hli.org on October 8. Fr. Boquet is the president of HLI.) + + + “Be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able…Continue Reading

Our High Priest Sacrificed Himself

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Ninth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR B) Readings: Isaiah 53:10-11 Heb. 4:14-16 Mark 10:35-45 In the second reading St. Paul says we are to hold fast to our confession because we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God. In this statement St. Paul summarizes our reason for…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Youth Synod Repeats Old Errors

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK We are now making things up as we go along. As if the Church had been founded yesterday. This nonsense was already tried in the sixties and found wanting. Paolo Ruffini reported on Twitter that at a press conference for the 2018 Youth Synod now underway in Rome a speaker called for “a liturgy that…Continue Reading

The Sacrament Of Confession… Indulgences!

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 8 The “indulgences” of the Catholic Church have acquired a bad name ever since Luther’s Reformation. In Luther’s days, it is true, the Church was going through one of those periods of crisis. Yes, there was a great crisis, almost as bad as today. The crisis was chiefly among the decadent clergy of the…Continue Reading

The Cardinal Virtues — Fortitude

By DON FIER It was with clever astuteness that Jesus responded to the Pharisees when they tried to devise a trap for Him by asking: “Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” (Matt. 22:17). After examining a Roman coin and inquiring whose likeness and inscription was imprinted on it, His ingenious answer was: “Render therefore to Caesar…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Alexander Sauli

By CAROLE BRESLIN After the upheaval of the Protestant Reformation, the Catholic Church was blessed with many saints including a lesser known but deeply loved man, Fr. Alexander Sauli, who labored in a little-known order, the Barnabites. Alexander was born of a wealthy and highly regarded family of Lombard on February 15, 1534. His father, Dominic, was the Marquis of…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Mary Frances Of The Five Wounds Of Christ

By CAROLE BRESLIN When a holy priest was dying of cancer, racked with excruciating pain, he begged for more. He was asking for more suffering to save more souls. Such is the glory of the saints when Christ dispenses His mercy with the grace to embrace more suffering. St. Mary Frances endured more suffering than many saints and she, too,…Continue Reading