Tuesday 13th April 2021

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Meets Familiar Resistance . . . Vatican’s Strong Affirmation Of Humanae Vitae

April 12, 2021 Frontpage Comments Off on Meets Familiar Resistance . . . Vatican’s Strong Affirmation Of Humanae Vitae

By CHRISTOPHER MANION

As the secular crusade against faith and family continues to roil the West, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has stepped in to affirm and clarify the Church’s fundamental moral teaching.
On February 22, the congregation issued an authoritative Responsum (response) to “a question that has been advanced with increasing frequency”: “Does the Church have the power to give the blessing to unions of persons of the same sex?”
The congregation does not judge the motives of those posing the question. In fact, the question is “not infrequently motivated by a sincere desire to welcome and accompany homosexual persons,” who should, of course, “receive the assistance they need to understand and fully carry out God’s will in their lives.”
But that assistance must be provided in harmony with the truth.
The congregation helpfully uses the Responsum to articulate and to emphasize the “singular importance” that blessings have in their role as “sacramentals,” as well as their relationship to the sacraments themselves.
In a welcome catechetical reminder, the Responsum explains that sacramentals, are “sacred signs that resemble the sacraments. . . . Blessings are signs above all of spiritual effects that are achieved through the Church’s intercession.”
Due to that essential nature, “when a blessing is invoked on particular human relationships…it is necessary that what is blessed be objectively and positively ordered to receive and express grace, according to the designs of God inscribed in creation, and fully revealed by Christ the Lord.”
Here the Responsum echoes the Church’s timeless teaching that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2357), and that the homosexual “inclination” is “objectively disordered” (CCC, n. 2358).
In that light, the Responsum concludes: “It is not licit to impart a blessing on relationships, or partnerships, even stable, that involve sexual activity outside of marriage (i.e., outside the indissoluble union of a man and a woman open in itself to the transmission of life), as is the case of the unions between persons of the same sex” because such unions are “not ordered to the Creator’s plan.”
Here the Responsum faithfully resonates the words of St. Paul VI, when he writes that Marriage is “in reality the wise and provident institution of God the Creator, whose purpose was to effect in man His loving design. As a consequence, husband and wife, through that mutual gift of themselves, which is specific and exclusive to them alone, develop that union of two persons in which they perfect one another, cooperating with God in the generation and rearing of new lives” (Humanae Vitae, n. 8).

We Must Defend These Vital Moral Truths

The language of the Responsum is careful but clear. It offers solace and hope to the faithful who celebrate marriage in its fullness and beauty in this troubled age. It also challenges us to go forth and defend marriage against all those who would defile this precious gift of the Creator.
Of course, as Knute Rockne observed a century ago, “the best defense is a good offense.” But first that offensive must target a clearly identified enemy. In the case of faith, marriage, and family, that enemy is none other than Satan.
Satanic forces in our time do not foment chaos only in the political sphere; they also attack Christ and His Truth in the intellectual and spiritual realm. Following its publication, the Responsum quickly fanned the burning coals of passion among advocates of “homosexual unions” who peddle their perverted palaver in the guise of “Catholic” teaching. Their “rainbow banners” hang over our altars. Their pompous parades are led by prominent pastors and prelates. Their powerful secular allies force-feed the culture with a Satanic brew of filth. They are the enemy.
These slavish followers of the Prince of This World are grimly determined to force the Church to accept “homosexual marriage” and bestow upon that vile canard the same status as the sacrament of Holy Matrimony. Like Satan, they are committed to the destruction of marriage, and of Holy Mother Church who teaches, defends, and confers the sacraments.
But why did the calmly stated Responsum foment such anger and hatred among Satan’s hordes?
Well, all along, they thought that they were winning. For years, opponents of Humanae Vitae have declared victory regarding contraception. After all, rare are the Catholics, lay or cleric, who will speak out with clarity and defend the Church’s timeless teaching on the dangers posed to married love by the contraceptive mentality. Indeed, the more damage to marriage that has been wrought by the defiance of God’s law in the past fifty years, the louder and more triumphant have been the calls for perpetuating that defiance.
Consider for a moment their view: doesn’t the campaign for “homosexual unions” rely on the same rebellious spirit of denial that celebrates contraception? Why accept one but deny the other? And for years, many among them saw Pope Francis as an ally. Yet, he betrayed them and personally approved the Responsum! That so angered one disillusioned group that they vented their outrage at Pope Francis himself.
“This is the same man who said, ‘Who am I to judge’ in 2013,” the distraught dissenters wrote. The Responsum “risks making Francis into a hypocrite,” they snarled.
Prominent leaders in the hierarchy quickly rose in defense of the Responsum. Raymond Cardinal Burke told EWTN that he saw the outrage as a sign that the “the aggressive homosexual agenda is now dominating even in certain ecclesial circles and even among certain bishops.” But his defense of truth was not unanimous, even among the College of Cardinals.
Chicago’s Cardinal Blase Cupich begged to differ, expressing his “disappointment” with the document. Austria’s Cardinal Christoph Schonborn went even further: “God will not deny same-sex couples a blessing,” he said.
In a daunting and perilous move, Reinhard Cardinal Marx of Germany and hundreds of other bishops and priests in Germany and Austria openly vowed to defy the Responsum.
Rainer Maria Cardinal Woelki of Cologne joined several other bishops to welcome the Responsum, shedding unwelcome light again on the growing split in the German hierarchy, already treading on the thin ice of schism.
In the United States, the usual suspects, also known as Jesuits, rose to the occasion. Fr. James Martin, SJ, tweeted to his 300,000 followers “a message from Holy Trinity Church, in Washington, DC, to its LGBTQIA+ members.” Its title: “In Christ, we make up one body, where all matter and all belong.”
This meandering gibberish, written “in support of our LGBTQIA+ community,” laments the “pain and frustration…caused by last week’s statement regarding the blessing of same-sex unions by the Vatican. This statement opened yet another wound that leaves our LGBTQIA+ parishioners and their families and friends wondering: what is my place in the church?”
Given such insipid treacle, it’s no wonder that Holy Trinity is Joe Biden’s favorite parish. Holy Trinity ignores the Responsum’s affirmation that “homosexual persons should receive the assistance they need to understand and fully carry out God’s will in their lives.” Instead, it evades the truth while affirming the objectively evil acts that the “LGBTQIA+” stalwarts at Holy Trinity gamely defend. But not even these miscreants will openly claim that Christ blesses their depravity. So why should the Church bless it?
Because their feelings are hurt, that’s why. The less said about Divine Truth, the better.
Like all moral truths, those expressed in the Responsum are simple, clear, and profound. We must all prayerfully prepare to defend them in coming days. Satan never sleeps, and the relentless attacks by the Culture of Death will continue.

Cardinal Burke Raises Idea . . . Excommunication Would Be Appropriate Rebuke To Biden

April 11, 2021 Frontpage Comments Off on Cardinal Burke Raises Idea . . . Excommunication Would Be Appropriate Rebuke To Biden

By DEXTER DUGGAN

It’s publicly obstinate pro-abortion politicians themselves who use the Eucharist as a political weapon when they persist in receiving Christ in this sacrament, despite the damage inflicted on their own souls and the public scandal they give with this unworthy reception.
That was one of the points that emerged in a 25-minute video interview released in late March with Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke that was conducted by Thomas McKenna, president of Catholic Action for Faith and Family, based in San Diego. (See The Wanderer, April 8, 2021, p. 1A.)
Burke, formerly the head of the Vatican’s Supreme Court, said the question thereby is raised about such a politician being “in a state at least of apostasy,” for which a canonical penalty needs to be considered that would be excommunication.
Pro-abortionists often have claimed that to deny such a politician the Eucharist is to “weaponize” the sacrament, but the cardinal said the truth is exactly the opposite, and to be denied the Eucharist actually is in the good interest of the politician’s own spiritual welfare.
Shortly after this video was released, the bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Phoenix, Thomas Olmsted, issued a 30-page apostolic letter on the reality of Christ in the Eucharist, an extended reflection that also directly addressed the necessity to deny the sacrament to unrepentant Catholic pro-abortion politicians.
In Veneremur Cernui — Down in Adoration Falling, Olmsted wrote that “the Church requires Catholic leaders who have publicly supported gravely immoral laws such as abortion and euthanasia to refrain from receiving Holy Communion until they publicly repent and receive the Sacrament of Penance. Not all moral issues have the same weight as abortion and euthanasia.”
During the video with Burke, McKenna began this topic at 13:13 when he said that as president, Joe Biden “is professing and highlighting that he’s a practicing Catholic,” a claim echoed by his press secretary, who says “Biden takes his faith seriously.”
This is despite Biden’s strong activism to promote and expand massive permissive abortion and tax funding for it both in the U.S. and around the world, as well as his promoting other serious moral evils in nations.
Archbishop Joseph Naumann, head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, “has made some very good statements calling him out” on promoting abortion while claiming to be a devout Catholic, McKenna said as he asked Burke what else might be done.
The cardinal replied there are “two things that should be done immediately.”
First, a politician who obstinately and publicly denies the truths of the faith or the moral law shouldn’t come forward for the Eucharist, and the sacramental minister should decline to administer it, Burke said, because the “crime of procured abortion is a grievous violation against the first precepts of the moral law.”
There are other such issues, too, Burke said, including “the integrity of the family. Also, he’s threatened to act against religious freedom.”
Burke cited Biden’s insistence on legally hounding the Little Sisters of the Poor for their opposition to providing contraception and abortifacients in their health insurance.
The nuns simply are practicing conformity to Church law in administering their community.
Because receiving the Body of Christ knowingly in a state of serious sin is a sacrilege, Burke said, the recipient “eats his own condemnation” — a reference to St. Paul’s words in the Bible — and gives public scandal.
This raises the second aspect, Burke said, the recipient’s “aggressive way” for a crime like procured abortion, putting the politician “in a state at least of apostasy,” for which a canonical penalty needs to be considered that would be excommunication.
Two conservative Catholic commentators contacted by The Wanderer for their reaction applauded the cardinal for raising the prospect of excommunication due to the grave scandal Biden causes as president.
Northern California television and radio media veteran Barbara Simpson said on April 7: “Finally! It’s refreshing that Cardinal Burke is considering excommunication for public figures who flout Catholic rules and guidelines and still wear their religion like a badge. I hope he goes through with it and that other clergy do the same. ‘Average’ Catholics need to know the clergy is ‘with’ us!”
Mary Ann Kreitzer, who runs the Virginia-based Les Femmes — The Truth blog, said on April 5: “Excommunication of Biden, Pelosi, Tim Kaine, and all the other Catholic pro-abortion politicians who generally support same-sex sodomy, same sex ‘marriage,’ etc., is long overdue. The problem is that many of the shepherds responsible for the souls of these apostates either support leftism or don’t want to create an unpleasant situation for themselves.
“Since Biden lives in the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., Wilton Gregory is his spiritual father,” Kreitzer said. “Does anyone think Gregory, a longtime champion of many moral evils, will act? Of course he won’t! So Biden goes on calling himself a ‘devout Catholic’ and scandalizing the flock. But even more horrifying for Biden himself is that he is digging a deeper and deeper hole directly to Hell. Does no one care about his eternal destiny?
“Excommunication is a strong medicine and he needs it! Many of our bad bishops say they don’t want to ‘politicize the Eucharist,’ but that’s exactly what they do by allowing the ongoing sacrilege against the Body and Blood of our Savior,” she said. “And who were/are those bishops? Theodore McCarrick is a most egregious example. Can anyone believe McCarrick, sunk in his own depravity, would call out powerful members of his flock?
“In 1990 Bishop René Gracida of Corpus Christi formally excommunicated an abortionist and the director of an abortuary,” Kreitzer said. “He urged his fellow bishops to directly confront this serious moral evil in their own dioceses by taking similar action against their local Catholic abortionists. The response? Crickets! Sadly, we do not have a manly clergy defending us on the battlefield.
“We mostly have clerical politicians more interested in protecting their own turf, especially the collection basket,” she said. “And so they pay human respect to rich and powerful public sinners. It’s our modern equivalent of selling indulgences. The laity need to start inundating Wilton Gregory’s chancery with letters demanding Biden’s excommunication and having Masses said for both Cardinal Gregory and President Biden.
“Some demons can only be driven out by prayer and fasting,” Kreitzer said. “Let’s do it!”
During his video with McKenna, Burke said many people ask him — and they’re not only Catholics or even those who agree with the Church on abortion — “How can this be? It doesn’t make sense” to give the Eucharist to such a defiant public figure. How can the Church give this sacrament “to a public promoter of this evil?. . . It’s not only a sin against faith . . . but even against reason.”
Burke and McKenna agreed on the need to pray for Biden’s conversion, wishing for “his ultimate good.”
Denying politicians the Eucharist in the current circumstances is not at all a political weapon, Burke said. He added that instead the sacrament is used for their own political ends by public figures who falsely claim to be devout Catholics, “so as to gain support of Catholics.”
Pro-life official Archbishop Naumann “is giving wonderful leadership” here, Burke said. “Let’s hope we hear a whole chorus of bishops . . . giving the same message to their faithful.”
Naumann, in an interview posted February 13 at The Catholic World Report, was asked, “Mr. Biden professes to be a devout Catholic, yet is 100 percent pro-choice on abortion. How do you think America’s bishops ought to respond to this situation?”
The archbishop replied, in part: “I can tell you how this bishop is responding. The president should stop defining himself as a devout Catholic, and acknowledge that his view on abortion is contrary to Catholic moral teaching. It would be a more honest approach from him to say he disagreed with his Church on this important issue and that he was acting contrary to Church teaching.
“When he says he is a devout Catholic, we bishops have the responsibility to correct him,” Naumann said.
Such correction was evident in Veneremur Cernui (pp. 17-19), the apostolic exhortation on the Eucharist by Olmsted, the Phoenix bishop, who said that a common error these days is to presume that everyone has a right to receive Holy Communion because Jesus “welcomed all sinners.”
However, Olmsted cited the teaching of the Twelve Apostles and of St. Paul against unworthily receiving the Eucharist, and of St. Thomas Aquinas saying unworthy reception makes the Bread of Life into the bread of death.
“When one receives Holy Communion unworthily,” Olmsted said, “the sacrament becomes a sacrilege; the spiritual medicine becomes for that person — it is frightful to say — a form of spiritual poison.”
“The Church teaches that abortion or euthanasia is an intrinsically grave sin and that there is a grave and clear obligation for all Catholics to oppose them by conscientious objection,” Olmsted said.
He cited the words of St. John Paul II in the encyclical Evangelium Vitae: “In the case of an intrinsically unjust law, such as a law permitting abortion or euthanasia, it is therefore never licit to obey it, or to ‘take part in a propaganda campaign in favor of such a law or vote for it’.”
Regarding showing proper respect, Olmsted offered the example of a woman who “was living in an irregular marriage” and conscientiously declined to receive the Eucharist, because she didn’t want to show irreverence or contempt, even though she attended weekly Mass with her children and was a Eucharistic adorer.
“There are situations when we can honor God more by abstaining from Holy Communion than by satisfying a personal desire to sacramentally receive Him in Communion,” Olmsted said.
Meanwhile, in an entirely separate issue with serious implications for Biden, the Republican-majority Arizona State Senate continued to spar with the Republican-majority Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, whose county seat is Phoenix, over an audit of the reported 2.1 million county votes cast in the 2020 presidential election.
Biden officially was declared narrowly to have won Arizona. The possibility that an audit would reverse the results and declare Donald Trump the winner here stirred speculation that other battleground states where Biden was called the victor under debatable circumstances might reexamine their results, too.
The Maricopa board of supervisors’ reluctance over the audit was considered an effort to maintain Biden as the winner. Arizona’s powerful McCain Machine supported Biden in 2020. John McCain’s widow, Cindy, and his former Senate teammate, Jeff Flake, both backed Biden, and Arizona GOP Gov. Doug Ducey, long in the McCain orbit, rushed to help have him named as winner.
The independent Capitol Media Services reported: “Senate President Karen Fann said Maricopa County officials may be balking at cooperating with an audit of the 2020 presidential election results because they fear what it might turn up. ‘I’m beginning to wonder if they’re not as confident in their (election) system as they say they are,’ Fann told Capitol Media Services on Friday (April 2).”

Securely Maintained?

The Wanderer asked two Republican activists if they were confident the ballots had been securely maintained during the five months since the election.
GOP political consultant Constantin Querard said that “I do think the ballots have been securely kept. Maricopa County keeps the ballots under lock and key, and they know the eyes of the world are on their actions, so I’d wager they have been fairly meticulous in how the ballots have been stored prior to any sort of outside audit.”
However, Rob Haney, a retired chairman of the Maricopa County Republican Party, said he had no confidence the ballots had been preserved accurately, or that an audit will be accurate.
Haney also was pessimistic over the United States’ future. “I already believe that we have lost our country, and it’s just a matter of time,” he said. “It’s Germany in 1933 or 1935,” a reference to when Adolf Hitler’s National Socialists assembled their power.
“I don’t believe God is going to save our country,” said Haney, adding that if God intended to do so, He would have in the 2020 election, and courts would have come to the defense of accuracy.

Christ Is Risen, Alleluia!… But The Rest Of The News Is Fake

April 10, 2021 Frontpage Comments Off on Christ Is Risen, Alleluia!… But The Rest Of The News Is Fake

By CHRISTOPHER MANION

An unfettered Joe Biden was on full display last week, conjuring up ghosts from the Jim Crow days, celebrating (sort of) Easter, speaking “regularly” with Obama (but hardly anybody else), and acting as a placeholder while Democrats prepared a revolutionary agenda that would make FDR wince.
Two weeks ago Biden continued the Democrats’ perpetual campaign against “voter suppression” by lashing out at the Georgia legislature as it passed SB 202. The election reform law is designed to ensure election integrity by requiring voters to produce identification.
“This is Jim Crow on steroids,” he said on March 26th. “It must end.” He went on to “strongly support” punishing Georgia by urging a boycott against the Peach State.
Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp signed the bill into law last Thursday, claiming that Biden was trying to “destroy the sanctity and security of the ballot box.”
Biden was apparently unaware of the bill’s requirements, which are more permissive than those of his home state of Delaware. The Bidenized media provided Joe’s misinformation (formerly known as “lies”), which he faithfully repeated, alleging that the bill shortened voting hours (it lengthened them), that it was unconstitutional (the Constitution places responsibility for elections in the state legislatures), and it prohibited voters from drinking water while waiting to vote (the law allows election officials to supply water to those waiting).
That was too much even for The Washington Post, which gave Biden’s lies “four Pinocchios” — the paper’s highest rating. The Atlanta Constitution also issued a correction on its own story; so far, Biden has not issued one.
But the racism ball was already rolling, and last Friday it landed in the lap of Major League Baseball (MLB) Commissioner Rob Manfred. Manfred, invoking Biden’s erroneous criticism, moved this summer’s All-Star game from Atlanta to Denver, saying that “the decision . . . was the best way to demonstrate our values as a sport.”
Unfortunately for Manfred, Colorado’s voting requirements are more strict than those in Georgia’s new law. So are those in New York, where Manfred’s office is located.
Executives from two Georgia concerns also weighed in. Coca Cola CEO James Quincey quickly hailed Manfred’s move (like the MLB, Coke has extensive business ties with China, and its executives routinely lavish praise on the Chinese Communist Party). Delta CEO Ed Bastian joined in, contradicting the airline’s own public relations department, which had praised the new law just days before (“Delta is committed to being the most Chinese-friendly U.S. airline,” the company’s website boasts).

“So What If It’s Fake?
It Works!”

Then the issue blew up. Georgians discovered that losing the All-Star game would cost their state some $100 million in revenue. Donald Trump condemned the move and urged a counter-boycott. Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.) also condemned the MLB. “If they want to boycott us, let’s boycott them,” he said.
Obama, who did all he could to perpetuate racial discord as president, congratulated the MLB for its move. The New York Times followed suit, calling the move a warning to state legislators who “are trying to restrict voting.”
As usual, CNN blatantly pushed the “racism” narrative: “As hundreds of new proposals to scale back voter participation in elections make their way through state legislatures, the parallels with the past are inescapable,” it reported. The cable channel even dug up a 1941 Warner Brothers blackface minstrel show to push the Biden line: “Jim Crow is making a comeback,” it crowed.
Like the rest of the Left, CNN has pushed the “racism” canard for years, but its own case represents an All-Star case of media hypocrisy.
We recall how the family of Covington Catholic student Nick Sandmann sued CNN for defamation for calling Sandmann and a group of his classmates “racists” two years ago. A group of Black Israelites and a fake Viet Nam veteran had confronted them during the March for Life.
In its arguments submitted to the court, CNN didn’t valiantly defend its reporting with proof of Sandmann’s racism. There wasn’t any.
Instead, CNN’s lawyers suddenly reversed course and admitted the dirty little secret that race hucksters have perpetuated for decades. “Statements characterizing people as ‘racist’ [are] nonactionable opinion,” CNN’s lawyers argued, “because they cannot be proved true or false.” Calling someone a racist “offers an expression of opinion so subjective as to be unprovable,” they “explained.”
The court didn’t buy CNN’s argument, and CNN settled the case rather than go to trial. But the network quickly returned to claim primacy of place as America’s leading race huckster channel, calling President Trump and his supporters “racists” thousands of times per year. And they have a lot of company. The Washington Post settled the Sandmann case as well, and other cases are still pending.
It will never end. Like the religious Left, including our unanimous Catholic bishops, the political Left is going to push “racism” forever, as long as they never have to define it.

Roles Reversed, Media Silent

On Good Friday, a man drove his car into a barricade on the perimeter of the Capitol, striking two policemen, one of whom later died. The driver was also killed.
As soon as authorities revealed that the killer was a Black Muslim follower of Louis Farrakhan, the incident quickly dropped off the media screen. While some on the Left couldn’t resist trying to blame the murder on Donald Trump, there was no instant replay of the endless cacophony that had followed the coverage of the events at the Capitol on January 6.
That might be a good thing, since the killer’s family openly described his long decline into depression. But while there was no widespread “black terrorist kills white Capitol Policeman” narrative, some promoters of racial strife pretended that there was. Bishop Talbert Swan, who has called Donald Trump an “unrepentant racist” and compared the MAGA hat to a “Klan hood,” tweeted that “I see the white supremacists are overjoyed to report that the suspect in the Capitol incident was a Black man.”
Since it was Good Friday, Swan — apparently referring to the Crucifixion — added, “What do you think a Black man lynched by white colonizers for being a revolutionary was about?”
Meanwhile, Kamala Harris, whom Biden has put in charge of his border crisis, has not been to the border, has not spoken to the press or the public about the border, and doesn’t want anyone to know about the border.
The White House has imposed a full media blackout there, but we do know that Catholic Charities is one of the NGO’s “processing” the chaotic throngs of illegals, providing them with food, debit cards, and transportation to the interior of the United States (whether or not they test positive for the China virus).
And as if there weren’t enough fake news already, the Biden administration is manufacturing more. Last week Pete Buttigieg, Biden’s secretary of Transportation, rode his bicycle to a cabinet meeting at the White House to demonstrate his desire to reduce America’s reliance on fossil fuels.
Unfortunately for the former Rhodes Scholar, a passerby filmed Buttigieg as he parked two blocks from the White House and alighted from a large black gas-guzzling SUV. His security team unloaded Pete’s bicycle from the SUV and followed him as he rode to the White House, to the excitement, no doubt, of the fawning media lapdog contingent waiting there.
Of course it was April 1.
And if that staged charade doesn’t remind you of Plato’s Cave, perhaps this will: YouTube has deleted about 2.5 million “dislikes” from videos on Joe Biden’s official channel. The White House has posted more than 300 videos that have garnered nearly 3.7 million dislikes, of which nearly 2.5 million were removed, the Epoch Times reports.

Two Painters

April 9, 2021 Frontpage Comments Off on Two Painters

By JOE SIXPACK

This week I’d like to tell you the story of two painters. The first story is one I couldn’t verify for veracity, but it is a great story nonetheless. The second story is certainly a true one of Leonardo da Vinci. Both stories apply well to this week’s topic.
There was once a French artist who had been commissioned to paint a picture of the crucifixion for the Cathedral of Notre Dame. He spent more than a year working on the painting. He hired a poor young French woman from the streets to pose as the figure of Mary Magdalene. When she came to the studio the first time, the still unfinished painting caught her eye and her fancy.
She was so interested and asked so many questions that the painter found it impossible to paint her into the scene. She kept asking question after question: “Who is He? What has He done? Why does He have to suffer so? Why did they nail Him to a cross?”
Realizing that he couldn’t go on until the girl knew the entire story, he said, “I’ll tell you the whole story, but then you must promise to stop talking and look at me while I’m trying to paint.”
As briefly as possible he told her the story of the crucifixion. She hung on every word, and when he finished, she asked in tears, “He do that for you? And did He do that for me?”
“Yes,” replied the painter, “He did it for you and me, and for all of us, because we have all committed sin.”
“Oh!” she exclaimed. “If He’s done that for me, I always want to love Him. And how you must love Him, because you’ve known the story for so long!”
Long after she left, the girl’s words continued to ring in his ears, “How you must love Him, because you have known the story for so long.” For the first time in his life he realized how terrible sin really is and how great is the love of the Redeemer.
This first story of the unnamed artist reminds us that we’ve all committed actual sin. Jesus died because He loves us, and He doesn’t want us to suffer the consequences of our sins. Yet we don’t love Him nearly enough for the length of time we’ve known the story. How we should hate every willful thought, desire, word, action, or omission forbidden by the laws of God! How deeply we should love Jesus in return for what He has done for us!
There are countless stories of men who went to war and threw themselves on live grenades to save their comrades in arms, or otherwise sacrificed their lives to save the lives of their buddies. A survivor returns home with a deep love and devotion to the fallen hero, spending the rest of his life feeling guilty for having returned to loved ones when the man who gave his life for him couldn’t do the same.
If veteran soldiers can feel that way about the sacrifice of a mere man, why is it we can’t feel that way about Christ’s sacrifice for us? Look at the crucifix! The young woman in this story reminds us of how we should feel about Jesus’ sacrifice for us! Yet we take Him for granted nearly every day of our lives.
We’re all familiar with Leonardo da Vinci’s great painting called The Last Supper. Da Vinci spent years painting this most revered work of art. He used a man named Pietro Bandinelli as his model for Christ. He’d found Bandinelli in the choir of the cathedral of Milan. Da Vinci admired the young man’s face because of its beauty, innocence, and kindness, all of which came from Bandinelli’s deeply religious and noble character. The image of Jesus in The Last Supper is a masterpiece.
Years after painting Jesus, when he was nearly finished with the painting, Da Vinci had but one character left to paint — Judas Iscariot, the traitor. One day he met a man on the streets of Rome who would be perfect as a model for Judas. The man was incredibly ugly, and evil and greed were written all over his face. When they got to the studio and Da Vinci began painting this horrible face, he suddenly stepped away from the canvas in surprise, and his brush dropped from his hand. He recognized the lines in the man’s face, and asked, “Haven’t I seen you somewhere before?”
“Yes,” replied the ugly man. “You’ve painted me before. I am Pietro Bandinelli.”
For whatever reason, Bandinelli turned from the deep piety of his youth to live a life of sin. Chronic mortal sin changed the man’s appearance from a face of innocence to one of evil and greed. Mortal sin is its own punishment because it brings sadness, sorrow, and misery into our lives. It does indeed make bad changes in our appearance, but that’s nothing to the change it makes in our souls.
I recall a girl I knew in high school. She was sweet and pretty and popular. I admit that I had a crush on her. She seemed so innocent and caring and devout in her Baptist faith. Then I saw her thirty-eight years later. If she hadn’t told me who she was I’d have never known her. She’d had several husbands, some of her children had been born out of wedlock, and she had become coarse and crude. I suspect there was also a lot of alcohol and drug abuse as well.
She didn’t resemble the pretty and innocent girl of my teenage dreams at all. A life of mortal sin had changed her appearance and manner until she seemed to be the same person in name only.
At our Baptism, Jesus removes the stain of original sin, and if we happen to be converts baptized after having reached the age of the use of reason, the stain of all our personal sins is removed as well. This means our souls are whiter than the purest snow. But all sin — venial and mortal — changes the appearance of our souls. Venial sin adds a grayness to our souls. Mortal sin makes them blacker than the deepest, darkest moonless night.
St. John Bosco was one of many saints whom God would allow to see a soul as it really was. He said the souls of people who have mortal sin on them were not only black and exceedingly ugly, but that they had a stench worse than anything you could imagine. Don Bosco also said that when such a person would confess to him, as he granted absolution he could see that soul return to its former baptismal purity of bright whiteness.
It’s bad enough that any of us should permit the grayness on our souls caused by venial sin, a grayness that requires God’s justice with the pains of Purgatory. But to risk living for even one day with a mortal sin, for which God’s justice requires an eternity in Hell, is foolish and arrogant and prideful. We should work to avoid venial sin and the occasions of sin at every moment of our lives, but we should all develop a horror of mortal sin, because not one of us is guaranteed another breath.
Jesus warned us to be vigilant in how we live. “‘And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; take your ease, eat, drink, be merry.’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you; and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’” (Luke 12:19-20). You should learn to fear sin above all else because of its effects and its punishments.
If you have a question or comment you can reach out to me through the “Ask Joe” page of JoeSixpackAnswers.com, or you can email me at Joe@CantankerousCatholic.com.
Hey, how would you like to see things like this article every week in your parish bulletin as an insert? You or your pastor can learn more about how to do that by emailing me at Joe@CantankerousCatholic.com.

The Easter Glory Of Our Lord In The Holy Eucharist

April 8, 2021 Frontpage Comments Off on The Easter Glory Of Our Lord In The Holy Eucharist

By JAMES MONTI

When our Lord asked the apostles, “But who do you say that I am?” (Matt. 16:15), it was clear that He was not looking for an answer saying that He was just a great teacher or prophet, or just a man like the rest of us. The apostles had already mentioned to Him how others saw Him in this merely human way — “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, Jeremiah or one of the prophets” (Matt. 16:14). It is only Peter’s answer that suffices: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matt. 16:16).
The grandeur, splendor, and glory with which the Church celebrates the sacred liturgy, the precious gold and silver, the jewels and brocades, with which she encompasses our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament are her living reply to this same question of Christ, her reiteration of Peter’s answer. For as our Lord says elsewhere, “. . . behold, something greater than Jonah is here . . . something greater than Solomon is here” (Matt. 12:41-42).
The inauguration of this age of the public solemn worship of Christ as the Son of the living God came with His Passion, death, and Resurrection: “Now is the Son of man glorified . . . Father, the hour has come . . . glorify thou me in thy own presence with the glory which I had with thee before the world was made” (John 13:31; 17:1, 5). The visual manifestation of this glory which Christ revealed beforehand to Peter, James, and John in His Transfiguration was not to be publicly unveiled until His Resurrection:
“Tell no one the vision, until the Son of man is raised from the dead” (Matt. 17:9). It is therefore a false notion of our Lord and a false piety to think that He eschews the glory that the Church so lovingly pours upon Him like the precious aromatic nard with which Mary the sister of Martha and Lazarus anointed His feet, a scandal only to those who like Judas fail to understand Him.
In the Church’s annual celebration of the Resurrection, the Holy Eucharist stands at the center, for “It is the Lord!,” as the Apostle St. John exclaimed upon recognizing the Risen Christ standing on the shore of the Sea of Galilee (John 21:7). After abstaining for two days from the celebration of Mass, out of grief for the death of Christ, the Church, on that “blessed night that alone merited to know the time and the hour at which Christ rose from the dead” (Exsultet), resumes this “Sacrum Convivium” in a blaze of glory.
For centuries, this sacred drama of the mournful cessation and jubilant resumption of the Mass that liturgically denotes the Easter Triduum has been vividly expressed in the Holy Week rites of Spain. Late medieval Spanish missals, including that of Toledo, speak of putting away on Holy Thursday one or more of the implements of Mass — an altar missal, a sacring bell, the cruets, a thurible, an incense boat — enclosing them with the reserved Blessed Sacrament within the special tabernacle of the Repository that was seen as representing the Tomb of the Lord.
Everywhere in the Roman Rite, there has been since ancient times a stripping of the altars following the Mass of Holy Thursday, an action that for most of its history has been carried out as a solemn liturgical ceremony accompanied by prayer and symbolic gestures denoting the Passion of Christ and in particular the stripping of His garments at the crucifixion.
Yet this action has also expressed the cessation of Mass, the altars denuded of their “Mass vestments,” as it were. Thus during the hours from Holy Thursday night through Holy Saturday the Church confronts us with the stark vision of what a world without Christ and a world without the Holy Eucharist would be — an empty and death-filled void.
Yet the Church is no less eloquent in manifesting the return of the Mass throughout the world that Easter brings. During the Easter Vigil, a liturgical rite brimming with evocative words and actions, there comes the moment that perhaps more than anything else expresses the Church’s ecstasy in returning to the altar of God. It is when the Gloria is to be sung that in an instant everything is transformed, as vividly described in a ceremonial for the Portuguese Benedictine monastery of Tibaes dating from 1820:
“All the litanies having been concluded, the cantors, standing up, will sing three times Accendite [i.e., “Light everything”] with the tone of the lesson of Matins, raising their voice a degree each time, and this having been sung, the convent [the monastic community] rises, the sacristan gives the branch [a “large and beautiful” branch] to the abbot, and the other sacristan tosses flowers to the convent, and the people; the monks kiss the hand of the Abbot, and congratulate the others, all the bells ring, and at the end, three tolling peals of the greater Mass bell in the tower; the organ plays, the acolytes remove the purple frontal from the main altar, leaving the white one, the retables are uncovered, the main altar thus, as well as all the others, and if the small windows are covered with little bands of cloth, they are also uncovered, so that the Church is bright, and unshaded, the candles of the altar are lit, and all the others that will burn at the Mass, but not those of the candlesticks of the candle-bearers, nor are these taken away from the top of the credence table. All of this is done simultaneously, and not successively….” (Ceremonial Monastico Reformado da Congregacao de S. Bento de Portugal, Congregation of Tibaes, Lisbon, 1820, p. 313).
From the tenth century onward, there has been a tradition of marking the arrival of Easter Sunday with a Eucharistic procession. We find this for the very first time in a biography of the bishop of Augsburg, Germany, St. Ulrich (+973):
“The most holy and very much longed-for day of Easter arriving, after Prime he [Ulrich] entered the Church of Saint Ambrose, where on Good Friday he had placed the Body of Christ with a stone superimposed, and there with a few clerics he finished the Mass of the Holy Trinity. Whereupon the Mass having been completed, the clergy, having gathered in the meantime on the porch situated next to the same church, vested in the most solemn vestments, went before him, he having carried with him the Body of Christ and the Gospel book, with both candles and incense; and with the fitting salutation of verses sung by choirboys by the vestibule, he proceeded to the Church of St. John the Baptist, and there sang Terce” (Vita S. Udalrici Augustani episcopi, chapter 4, PL 135, columns 1020-1021).
As can be seen in the above text, this solemn bringing forth of the Blessed Sacrament for a procession with candles and incense most often came as the sequel to a symbolic “burial” of the Holy Eucharist in a representation of the Holy Sepulcher on Good Friday.
During the centuries that followed, this Easter custom spread far and wide in northern and central Europe. In a 1722 ritual for the Polish Diocese of Wroclaw, the priest upon arriving before the Blessed Sacrament enshrined in the “Holy Sepulcher” would kneel and pray:
“Lord Jesus Christ, King of glory, humble in Thy Passion, mighty in Thy resurrection, destroyer of death and Hell, this day you have accomplished what you promised long ago through Thy prophets in the Scriptures, having conquered by rising from the dead; by reason of which all the heavenly armies of the [Holy] Spirit, and all the earth with profuse joy of mind, adore and glorify Thee rising, with exultation. Truly too, the powers of Hell tremble and quake. But behold, we by Thy condescension Thy humble servants stand together, most devoutly celebrating the memorial of Thy glorious resurrection in united prayer, and mindful of Thy overflowing love for us, cannot contain our tears of devotion. Regard and receive our humble homages, we beseech Thee, that with the defilements of our sins wiped away, we may merit to rise again unto Thee, and be fit for the fruits of Thy most holy Passion and Resurrection. Who live and reign, God, unto ages of ages. Amen.”
In the procession that followed, the priest would carry the Blessed Sacrament in a monstrance in a procession that would circle the interior of the church three times, with the laity following, as small hand bells carried by altar boys and the large bells in the church steeple were sounded continually, “festively resonating” (Rituale Wratislaviense, Wroclaw, Poland, Caspar Rudolph Muller, 1722, pp. 495-499).

The Lord Upon His Throne

By the sixteenth century, the custom of an Easter Eucharistic procession had also been established in Spain and Portugal, and in the lands of the New World and the Far East to which their missionaries brought the Gospel. A manual of liturgical rites for the Discalced Carmelites of Portugal published in 1778 provides extremely detailed rubrics regarding the preparations for this ceremony, celebrated at dawn on Easter Sunday, which climax when the procession begins:
“Then the celebrant rises, and with the ministers changing in their place, he stands himself with them on the top step of the altar turned toward the people, they [the ministers] with the fringes of his cope, and . . . supporting his arms. Then the following antiphons are sung by the choir, still kneeling:
“Arise, O Lord, into thy resting place; thou and the ark, which thou hast sanctified. Alleluia. Alleluia” (Ps 131:8 Vulgate). “Arise, O my glory; arise psaltery and harp. Alleluia” (Ps 56:9 Vulgate). Cantors: “I will arise early” (Ps 56:9 Vulgate). Choir: “Alleluia, alleluia.” Another [chant]: “Queen of Heaven, rejoice, alleluia. . . .
“The antiphons having been completed, and the following hymn [Aurora Coelum purpurat] having been intoned by the cantors, all rise, and the celebrant with his ministers go under the baldachin, and the procession is begun. The crucifer with the cross between the acolytes with lighted candles; then the community by their order with lit candles in their outermost hand [i.e., the right hand for those on the right side of the procession, the left hand for those on the left], and their manuals in their innermost hand. Then the thurifers, continually and tenderly swaying their thuribles with incense; lastly the celebrant between the sacred ministers, elevating the fringes of his cope, and reciting with him the hymns, or psalms….” (Manuale ad usum Fratrum Discalceatorum Beatae Mariae Virginis de Monte Carmelo Congregationis Lusitanae, volume 1, Lisbon, 1778, pp. 121-124).
May Our Lord this Easter arise and take again in our churches His throne upon the Cherubim in our Tabernacles and reign over us forever.

Special Interests Coach Her To Defeat?… South Dakota Governor Thrown For A Loss Over Fairness Measure

April 7, 2021 Frontpage Comments Off on Special Interests Coach Her To Defeat?… South Dakota Governor Thrown For A Loss Over Fairness Measure

By DEXTER DUGGAN

South Dakota’s Kristi Noem seems to be the latest conservative Republican governor to fall afoul of powerful interests that apply pressure to promote what they consider the proper “woke” social or political attitudes.
Noem surprised people across the nation when she altered her support for a state legislative bill to protect female athletes from having to compete in sports against biological males who think they’re women and enjoy an unfair advantage because of male physical attributes.
This recalled then-Gov. Jan Brewer’s surprise veto of an Arizona bill in 2014 to protect religious conscience, and then-Gov. Mike Pence’s troubles in 2015 over clarifying a state Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) in Indiana that he signed.
In both the Arizona and Indiana firestorms, where powerful interests threatened to wreak economic damage against the states in retaliation, the false media drumbeat was that the bills would authorize businesses to refuse customer service to homosexuals — a sort of “no hamburgers and Coke for you today!” at restaurants.
Brewer and Pence were early victims of power plays where left-wing activists would visit corporate boardrooms and feign to have weight to throw around to make business executives align with them in order to apply political pressure. The mere suggestion of meanness from the political left seemed sufficient to make the business guys and gals quiver.
I wrote in March 2014 in The Wanderer about threats against Arizona: “American Airlines and Apple, Delta Airlines, Petsmart and Yelp warned Brewer to veto the bill or else subject the state to serious damage. Major League Baseball chimed in. The National Football League raised the specter of yanking next year’s Super Bowl from the Phoenix area.”
Reuters reported in March 2015 about Indiana: “Pence, who was brought up Catholic but is now an evangelical Christian, faced massive pressure from businesses over the bill, which passed with an overwhelming majority in the state’s legislature.”
Today, however, it’s nothing unusual to see corporations being told to throw punches to advance some leftist program or else suffer the consequences.
After Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed into law a bill to improve voting security in the Peach State after the 2020 election debacle, pressure campaigns arose against both Delta Airlines and Coca-Cola, two of the largest companies based in Atlanta, urging their strong opposition to it. Exhibiting familiar “progressives’” “tolerance,” far-left pundit Keith Olbermann tweeted, “Boycott Delta. Ruin Delta.”
Coca-Cola rushed to accept the validity of left-wing activists’ position that election security is bad and wrong. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Coke issued a statement to employees saying, “While we are disappointed in the outcome, we don’t see this as the final chapter,” vowing to push for “greater access to voting.”
Last year I was shocked to see my former major-player financial employer, where I labored for 15 years in a worker-friendly environment, proclaiming its celebration of LGBT. As the twenty-first century began, I never would have dreamed of asking it to proclaim, say, Right to Life Month, but activists of a different stripe later concluded they had a right to make this traditionalist business toe their social line.
While Noem continued to try to find a way to recover lost ground over the sports legislation as this article was written on March 30, she had damaged some of the wide following she enjoyed with conservatives only a few weeks earlier as a principled officeholder with national potential.
Conservatives look to support politicians who actually work for their principles instead of merely talking a good game. They don’t reflexively support some Pied Piper who just gives them a flashing smile. That’s why many were dubious at first about Manhattan billionaire Donald Trump, but strongly got behind his presidency when he showed he intended to deliver.
Arizona’s Brewer had seriously damaged herself in 2014 when she vetoed the conscience bill after sudden big-business pressure. That, along with her ramming through an overnight state Medicaid expansion with support from big business and Democrats but not conservative Republicans in 2013, ended her political horizons then. She knew the peril to herself but bought into it.
Brewer earlier won widespread admiration, in 2010, when she signed into law a border-protection bill that sent the open-borders establishment into fainting fits. President Barack Obama scorned it and in 2012 U.S. Supreme Court liberals, joined by Chief Justice John Roberts, seriously restricted it.
As for Pence, when Trump announced the former Indiana governor as his vice-presidential running mate in 2016, the Hoosier’s history of wobbling on the state RFRA gave some conservatives pause, although they generally liked Pence’s record.
But when Pence went wobbly again about verifying suspicious 2020 election results, conservatives could imagine the same kind of clout-wielding “moderate” corporatists paying him a visit who had done so in 2015.
A March 29 news release from the nationally active conservative Family Research Council (FRC) said Noem had failed to listen to South Dakotans, who strongly favored the women’s-sports bill, and instead aligned with “the NCAA and the tentacles of big business that pressured Gov. Noem to retreat from her earlier support of the bill in the first place.”
FRC President Tony Perkins said Noem “failed to listen to South Dakotans and is siding with big business, the NCAA, and the rest of the woke mob on the left.”
Perkins said the FRC “will continue to support efforts in other states pushing back against destructive gender ideologies that threaten our young people, our families, and our freedom.”
On March 26 The Wanderer asked national conservative commentator Quin Hillyer what he thought of Noem’s backing away from support for the bill. Hillyer replied: “I think when someone has as good a conservative record as Gov. Noem does, other conservatives should withhold final judgment.
“Let’s see what comes back from the legislature and what she ultimately signs into law before writing her off as a rising star of the conservative movement and the Republican Party,” Hillyer said. “She still has a chance to redeem herself by signing a good piece of legislation.”
On March 30 the WORLD Christian website posted that “Noem is attempting to repair damage to her conservative reputation after she changed her mind about signing a bill to protect girls and women’s sports.
“Early in March, Noem tweeted her excitement to approve House Bill 1217, which protects girls and women in kindergarten through college from having to compete against boys and men in school sports,” the WORLD article said. “But 12 days later, Noem balked and sent the bill back to the state House for major changes, virtually gutting it.
“After conservatives across the country expressed outrage, she offered a different solution that has garnered only limited support,” the article said.

Fear Of Amazon?

An article posted March 23 at the National Review website said, “Following the announcement of her veto, Noem faced significant criticism from conservatives at the national level, including from groups such as Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the Family Research Council, and the American Principles Project.
“Citing a comment from a Democratic lawmaker in South Dakota,” this article said, “some critics have suggested that Noem fears Amazon might back out of an agreement to open a fulfillment center in Sioux Falls if she signs the legislation.”
ADF general counsel Kristen Waggoner was a regular critic of Noem’s faltering approach. In a March 22 news release, Waggoner said that “Noem has offered a hollow substitute for the urgent protections for women’s sports that the South Dakota Legislature sent to the governor’s desk in the form of HB 1217.
“By stalling her support, attempting to dodge the legal conflict, removing protections for collegiate athletes, and eliminating a female athlete’s legal remedy when her rights are violated, Gov. Noem, through her actions, has downplayed the injustices that girls and women are already facing when they are forced to compete against males,” Waggoner said.
And Idaho state legislator Barbara Ehardt, a former athlete and 15-year-long basketball coach, posted at the Washington Examiner on March 30: “The governor has been twisting herself into a pretzel trying to explain her sudden change of heart, and none of her proffered explanations make a whole lot of sense.
“Just two weeks ago, she tweeted about how eager she was to sign the bill,” Ehardt said. “This week, she says she’s been hearing for months from legal and constitutional scholars that the bill promises legal disaster for South Dakota and its families. What changed?”
Meanwhile, Noem’s South Dakota news site on March 26 reported on one of the factors that already had won her strong traditionalist support: “Gov. Noem has signed four pro-life bills into law, including HB 1110, which bans abortions based on a diagnosis of Down syndrome.”
It quoted her, “The Declaration of Independence summarizes what we all know in our hearts to be true: God created each of us and endowed all of us with the right to life. This is true for everyone, including those with an extra chromosome.”

A Beacon Of Light . . . “My Lord And My God!”

April 6, 2021 Frontpage Comments Off on A Beacon Of Light . . . “My Lord And My God!”

By FR. RICHARD D. BRETON JR.

(Editor’s Note: Fr. Richard D. Breton Jr. is a priest of the Diocese of Norwich, Conn. He received his BA in religious studies and his MA in dogmatic theology from Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Conn.)

  • + + Jesus Christ is Risen, He is truly Risen, Alleluia, Alleluia! We have begun the celebration of the Easter Season and are basking in the glory of the Resurrection. The seven weeks of Easter are an invitation to a renewed relationship with the Risen Lord. Throughout the Easter Season, we read in Sacred Scripture that Jesus appears, or reveals Himself, several times to His disciples. On Easter Sunday, the Risen Lord appears five times. These revelations are an occasion for us to rejoice that the promise of the Lord has been fulfilled. The Resurrection of Christ opens for us the gateway to the heavenly Kingdom.
    Each year on Easter Sunday, I reflect on how the followers of Jesus must have felt. For three years prior, they participated and accompanied Jesus everywhere as He preached the Kingdom of God. During these teachings, Jesus often gave subtle clues to His pending death, but the apostles didn’t really understand. Little did they know, while in Jerusalem for the Feast of Passover, the very fabric of discipleship would be challenged. They saw Jesus arrested, they saw Him crucified and die, and they saw His limp body laid in a tomb for burial. Their faith had been shaken to the core! The anticipation is haunting!
    Suddenly, three days after His death there is word that He has risen. There is joy, but there is also a bit of skepticism. There is some uncertainty. How will they continue the work of the Lord?
    The Easter Season is filled with moments where Jesus alleviates the doubts and fears of His followers. These people resemble a cross-section of humanity. Each could represent us in some way. How does Jesus transform the drama of the prior days? He simply begins by appearing to those who were struggled most with the events surrounding His death.
    The first appearance Jesus made was to Mary Magdalene. Mary was the one who went to the tomb early in the morning to anoint the body of Jesus. When she arrived at the tomb it was empty. Mary was afraid they had stolen the body of Jesus. Soon her eyes are opened.
    Scripture reminds us of this: “Now when she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?’ She, supposing him to be the gardener, said to him, ‘Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Mary!’ She turned and said to him, ‘Rabboni!’ [which is to say, Teacher]” (John 20:14-16). This appearance was totally unexpected. Mary failed to recognize the Lord! Jesus spoke, and she recognized Him.
    Jesus appeared next to Mary, the mother of James, Salome, and Joanna. This happened after the appearance to Mary Magdalene. After an angel told them Jesus had risen, they were on their way to tell Jesus’ disciples when they met the risen Christ. “And behold, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him” (Matt. 28:9). Again, we have another unexpected appearance. As was true with Mary Magdalene, these women touched the body of Jesus. They believed because they held the Lord.
    Next Jesus appears to Peter. Peter is the first of the apostles to see the risen Christ. This appearance might have been to reassure him that the Lord still loved him, considering he had just denied His Lord. The Gospels are completely silent as to the details of this meeting. The Gospel of Luke merely wrote: “The Lord is risen indeed and has appeared to Simon!” (Luke 24:34). Jesus’ appearance to Peter is a reminder to us that even in our denial of faith, Jesus still wants a relationship with us.

Jesus Never Doubts Us

Later during the day on Easter Sunday, Jesus appeared to two disciples on the road to Emmaus. These two were conversing about the tragedy they had witnessed regarding the death of Jesus. Jesus approaches and walks with them, but their eyes are shielded from seeing the Lord.
“And behold, two of them were going that very day to a village named Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem. And they were conversing with each other about all these things which had taken place. And it came about that while they were conversing and discussing, Jesus himself approached, and began traveling with them. But their eyes were prevented from recognizing him” (Luke 24:13-16).
I love this story of the journey on the road to Emmaus. It reminds me that we are often blinded by the allure of the earthly life. Our eye is closed to the Lord even when He is walking beside us. Like these two disciples, we recognize Jesus in the life-giving gift of the Eucharistic meal. As was true with the women, these two disciples were not expecting Jesus to rise. In fact, they were leaving Jerusalem because they had lost hope in Him. And yet, Jesus appeared in their midst and they failed to recognize Him.
The last of the five appearances of Jesus on Easter Sunday took place in the evening, probably in the Upper Room in where Jesus had celebrated the Passover Meal with His disciples.
“When therefore it was evening, on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst, and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ And when he had said this, he showed them both his hands and his side. The disciples therefore rejoiced when they saw the Lord….But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came” (John 20:19, 20, 24).
Eight days later, however, the Risen Lord appeared again — this time with Thomas present: “And after eight days his disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, ‘Peace to you!’ Then he said to Thomas, ‘Reach your finger here, and look at my hands; and reach your hand here and put it into my side. Do not be unbelieving but believing.’ And Thomas answered and said to him, ‘My Lord and My God!’” (John 20:26-28).
This moment of the Resurrection encourages us that even our doubts can be transformed into reality. Like Thomas, we may have at times doubted Jesus, but Jesus has never doubted us.
Jesus appeared once more to seven disciples on the Sea of Galilee: “After these things Jesus manifested himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias, and he manifested himself in this way. There was together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples” (John 21:1, 2). Coming back from a fruitless night of fishing, they did not recognize Jesus standing on the shore. It was only when He told them to cast their nets again that recognition took place.
There is also the account of Jesus appearing before His eleven disciples in Galilee: “But the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated. And when they saw him, they worshiped him; but some were doubtful” (Matt. 28:16, 17).
The appearances mentioned above regarding Jesus’ Resurrection, caused His disciples to believe that He had risen from the dead. Luke says that Jesus showed Himself alive with many convincing proofs: “To these he also presented himself alive after his suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God” (Acts 1:3).

A Common Theme

In all the appearances of Jesus after His Resurrection, there is one common theme that exists each time. As Jesus approaches the persons chosen to experience the Resurrection, at first that person cannot recognize Jesus. Their eyes are blinded by the Lord. This is intentional because Jesus wanted them to do their part. Jesus was looking for a yearning within them, a kind of crying out to the Lord.
Each of us is called to experience the same peace and joy of the Resurrection. How that happens is up to Jesus. We might be alone, walking down the street, with friends or even feel like we are not even worthy of the Lord’s love because we betrayed Him. The disciples who ministered with and followed Jesus were all destined to receive the Lord’s merciful love, even despite their own unworthiness. Their eyes and hearts had to be opened to recognize the Lord.
May the Easter Octave afford us the opportunity to recognize Jesus! May our eyes and hearts be opened again to the glorious love the Father bestows on us every day! Happy Easter!

One-Party Press In America

April 5, 2021 Frontpage Comments Off on One-Party Press In America

By DEACON MIKE MANNO

Anyone who has been even a casual reader of this column knows of my affinity for the profession of journalism and my deep disdain for the manner in which it is practiced today. Naturally, then, I was pleased and surprised that a federal appeals court judge also took aim at the press, and social media, while ruling on a case before him.
The judge is Laurence H. Silberman, a Reagan appointee to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals who took senior status in 2000 but is still eligible to hear and rule on appellate cases. The case was an unremarkable one involving Liberian officials who were suing an international human rights organization for defaming them in a report by implying that they had accepted bribes. The lower court had dismissed the case
This issue on appeal was whether or not the plaintiffs had sufficiently alleged actual malice by the defendant company. The issue of malice, as articulated by the Supreme Court in its legendary ruling in the 1964 case of New York Times v. Sullivan, was a key issue. In Sullivan, the court ruled that for a public official to prevail in a defamation case, the official must not only prove the legal elements for defamation, but must also prove that the defamatory statements were made with “actual malice” — meaning that the defendant knew the statements were not true or published them with reckless disregard for their truth.
Sullivan came out of the civil rights era of the 1960s when a local official in Montgomery, Ala., sued the Times over a full-page advertisement which criticized the local police for mistreatment of civil rights protesters which contained several inconsequential factual errors. Nonetheless a local jury found against the paper and awarded the plaintiff $500,000 in damages. The Supreme Court overturned the trial court award 9-0, holding that it violated the First Amendment and establishing the “actual malice” standard for such suits.
Subsequent cases expanded the protection beyond public officials to public entities, such as the defendant in the case being heard by Judge Silberman.
In his partial dissent to the panel’s affirmation of the lower court, Silberman objected to what was considered “actual malice.” From there he went on to criticize the Sullivan decision as “policy driven” and having “no relation to the text, history, or structure of the Constitution…the actual malice requirement was simply cut from whole cloth,” he wrote.
But then he went further, criticizing the press, social media, and, by implication, the Democratic Party.
“I recognize how difficult it will be to persuade the Supreme Court to overrule such a ‘landmark’ decision. After all, doing so would incur the wrath of press and media. But new considerations have arisen over the last 50 years that make The New York Times decision a threat to American Democracy. It must go,” he wrote.
“I readily admit that I have little regard for the holdings of the Court that dress up policymaking in constitutional garb. That is the real attack on the Constitution, in which — it should go without saying — the Framers chose to allocate political power” to the political branches. “The notion that the Court should somehow act in a policy role as a Council of Revision is illegitimate,” he said before going off on the press and one-party rule by the Democrats.
Pointing out that the original suit against the Times was to curb its criticism of local officials by the northern press, he noted that the day after the jury verdict was announced, “The Alabama Journal (a Montgomery paper) celebrated the result. An editorial trumpeted that the case would cause the ‘reckless publishers of the North…to make a re-survey of their habit of permitting anything detrimental to the South and its people to appear in their columns’.”
Continuing he opined that the Sullivan case increased the power of the media, which initially needed that protection to cover the civil rights movement. But, he warned, “As the case has subsequently been interpreted, it allows the press to cast false aspersions on public figures with near impunity. It would be one thing if this were a two-sided phenomenon.” Citing statistics and reports of press accusations predominately target conservative and Republican politicians, he noted that over the years since, cities, especially those controlled by Democrats, have been served only by a liberal press.
“Although the bias against the Republican Party — not just controversial individuals — is rather shocking today, this is not new; it is a long-term, secular trend going back at least to the 1970s. Two of the three most influential papers (at least historically), The New York Times and The Washington Post, are virtually Democratic Party broadsheets….The orientation of these…papers is followed by the Associated Press and most large papers across the country (such as The Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, and Boston Globe). Nearly all television — network and cable — is a Democratic Party trumpet. Even the government-supported National Public Radio follows along.”
Then he turned his attention to Silicon Valley which “also has an enormous influence over the distribution of news. And it similarly filters news delivery in ways favorable to the Democratic Party.” He noted how Facebook and Twitter have also curbed Internet free speech on their platforms.
“It is well-accepted that viewpoint discrimination raises the specter that the government effectively drive certain ideas or viewpoints from the marketplace.”
He noted there are a few exceptions to “Democratic Party ideological control” of the media such as Fox News, The New York Post, and the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page. Yet, he observed, there are attempts to muzzle Fox News and some of the other conservative networks that have emerged in recent years. The Democratic Party’s dominance in the press and social media has been estimated at adding between eight and ten percent to its vote in a typical election, he said.
“It should be borne in mind that the first step taken by any potential authoritarian or dictatorial regime is to gain control of communications, particularly the delivery of news. It is fair to conclude, therefore, that one-party control of the press and media is a threat to a viable democracy,” he penned.
“The First Amendment guarantees a free press to foster a vibrant trade in ideas. But a biased press can distort the marketplace. And when the media has proven its willingness — if not eagerness — to so distort, it is a profound mistake to stand by unjustified legal rules that serve only to enhance the press’ power.”
Two footnotes Judge Silberman placed in his opinion are worth noting: “The First Amendment is more than just a legal provision: It embodies the most important value of American Democracy. Repression of political speech by large institutions with market power therefor is — I say this advisedly — fundamentally un-American. As one who lived through the McCarthy era, it is hard to fathom how honorable men and women can support such actions.”
And finally, another dig at the current state of society: “The reasons for press bias are too complicated to address here. But they surely relate to bias in academic institutions.”
Thank God for Judge Silberman. Unfortunately, however, you won’t find much about this argument in either the media or academia. Such is the world we live in today.
(You can reach Mike at: DeaconMike@q.com and listen to him every Thursday at 10 a.m. Central Time on Faith On Trial on IowaCatholicRadio.com.)

With Joe The Joke President . . . No Sweets For Lent, But Lots Of Abortion

April 4, 2021 Frontpage Comments Off on With Joe The Joke President . . . No Sweets For Lent, But Lots Of Abortion

By DEXTER DUGGAN

PHOENIX — Back on February 18, just after Ash Wednesday, the satirical Christian website The Babylon Bee joked that Joe Biden was giving up one of the things he loved best for Lent, executive orders.
The Bee facetiously quoted Biden, “I thought about giving up sniffing hair, fumbling over my words, or angrily shouting at reporters who question me for Lent, but no, in the end, it had to be executive orders — my true love.”
However, the Bee said, “really devout Catholic” Biden definitely was not giving up abortion for Lent — “there’d be no way he could give up his support for baby murder for that long.”
And alas, in a moment of weakness, Biden signed 47 new executive orders anyway, but vowed to “do better tomorrow,” the Bee said.
Lo and behold, in hard reality and no satire on March 29, NBC’s Today reported that Biden actually had just been asked what he’d given up for Lent.
There were more serious questions that could be stressed at a time when the border-invasion crisis had exploded and kids were crammed into Biden’s government cages in Texas the likes of which Donald Trump had never even dreamed of.
Biden was trying to prevent even U.S. senators from exposing this scandal, with a Bidenette government lady literally using her up-close face to try to block Texas Sen. Ted Cruz from making a video of a sardine-like scene.
Instead, Today indulgently chuckled over what the Christian Biden was denying himself for the penitential season. The forbidden pleasure was “all sweets for Lent. You have no idea how hard it is for me,” Biden said. And what would he gobble down first as Lent ended? Ice cream.
Scooping up another fact, Today said Biden regarded ice cream as his “performance enhancer,” with the Salted Peanut Butter Chocolate Flecks flavor consumed before presidential-campaign debating last year.
Strange, but a year ago another member of the Catholic Democrat Abortion Royalty, Nancy Pelosi, enthused about having her luxury refrigerator stocked with gourmet ice cream that gives her “a lot of energy. . . . I don’t know what I would have done if ice cream were not invented.” The very wealthy Pelosi said this just after Easter Sunday 2020, as most Americans suffered through pandemic lockdowns.
If multimillionaire Biden really thinks luxury ice cream enhances his performance, he’d better start eating about 80 gallons of it a day so he can stop falling down, fumbling around, and forgetting what he’s saying while wanting to get the heck away from any reporter who’d dare ask him a serious question — like regarding the pain that non-Catholic aborted babies feel when being torn apart.
It was beyond bizarre that blatantly bad Catholic Biden engaged in a classic Catholic penitential practice for Lent while insisting on enforcing and expanding every immoral atrocity he could, imposed on all America through his brute government.
An article in The Irish Times in August 2018 would apply to Biden when it said: “The phrase ‘cultural Catholic’ can thus legitimately be seen as a euphemism to describe many who are simply lazy hypocrites who treat Catholic sacraments as festive conveniences and do not engage in any meaningful debate about faith.”
Remember that as March began, Biden soon began talking about his rosary during a virtual meeting with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, even though the context was secular. It’s almost as if Biden asked Lopez Obrador to start reciting 20 novenas for people to be polite just after Biden revoked the “Mexico City Policy” against funding massive wicked international abortions.
But these are weird times indeed under faux Catholic Biden. Forget about non-Catholic President Trump issuing pro-life proclamations. Biden hardly had been inaugurated when he and Kamala Harris issued a White House statement on January 22 celebrating permissive abortion despite its being “under relentless and extreme attack.” Never fear, the “Biden-Harris Administration” will impose judges on the nation to protect this atrocity.
And so we see, when Biden has put radical Vice President Harris’ name together with his as a sort of co-presidency when he speaks, it was no accident. He is the cognitively declining figurehead, and she is snorting like a wild horse next to him, raring to go. Snorting? What is that sound? More on that in a moment.
Just before Holy Thursday, Biden issued a White House statement spewing filth about “stamping out” the freedom of those who dare oppose disordered transgenderism, although he cloaked his knives in people’s backs as progress toward “equality.”
This is to be attained, he said, by passing the “Equality Act” — federal legislation explicitly intended to crush religious conscience and practice while enshrining serious mental disorder. The March 31 White House text was titled, “A Proclamation on Transgender Day of Visibility, 2021.” It was attributed to “the Biden-Harris Administration.”
As for Harris’ snorting, as March drew toward a close, she delivered a talk in Connecticut on children and schooling that occasionally was punctuated by what is becoming her familiar and unpleasant cackling laughter. Has Hillary Clinton been giving her lessons on how to laugh?
Harris’ cackling generated some comments about how inappropriate this sounds, and whether it might have been one personality factor that forced her to withdraw from the Democrats’ 2020 presidential-nomination race before facing the voters in even one contest.
Maybe it’s a nervous laugh, or a way she has to fill gaps in her thought processes, like some people say “you know, you know.” But imagine her bursting out this way across the table at some sensitive international meeting with, say, Vladimir Putin or Xi Jinping. Harris did it recently when a reporter seriously asked if she’d be making a trip to the overstressed border, and, in answering negatively, the vice president gave a big laugh.
Perhaps the most glaring recent example was when she appeared with talk host Stephen Colbert in June 2020. Colbert recalled some scathing criticism Harris had made of Biden at a candidates’ debate, but Harris burst out with hysterical-sounding laughter for Colbert while repeatedly saying that had been only “a debate, a debate” as if debates are meaningless exchanges of lies.
Meanwhile, during her Connecticut talk on schools and children, Harris revealed her strong-arm big-government thinking, expounding her philosophy that it’s up to the rulers to plan, arrange, order, and provide everything for their lowly subjects.
Well, not quite everything. It was revealed at almost the same time in San Diego that newly arrived illegal immigrant children already were receiving in-person instruction from teachers, although the California school district’s own children had been denied this for a year due to the pandemic.
Fox News reported that a parent in the San Diego Unified School District, Emily Diaz, said by email, “The system is broken when San Diego teachers are teaching migrant children in person, but the 100k students of taxpaying families at San Diego Unified School District are stuck learning in Zoom school.”
And look at the result from Biden enforcing his “climate” fantasies to attack U.S. energy, with resulting jumps in transportation and production costs. When I did a little shopping on March 31, house-brand bread cost 51 cents more a loaf, house-brand dry cereal jumped 30 cents a box, and regular gasoline was 70 cents a gallon higher.
If personally insulated multimillionaire Biden can do this in a few weeks, how bad will it be if the American people allow him to stay in the White House for even one full year?
Perhaps frail, faltering Biden is jealous of U.S. energy because it has more oomph than his own fragile frame, and he hopes to cut it down to size. But what really needs to be reduced is his own foolish vision of his grandeur.
He needs to be sent kindly to a retirement home where the worst mistake he can make is punching the wrong button on the day room’s remote control, not on the nuclear football.

Rambling Around

On March 25, Biden’s first formal press conference, carefully scheduled during early Thursday afternoon, when fewer people might be watching, demonstrated why he had ducked this format for more than two months, and probably wouldn’t face reporters too often this way, even though he stage-managed them as if he were some kind of Soviet leader conducting the proceedings from a wax museum. Or in a mortuary’s viewing room.
Except that if Biden actually were a Soviet leader so slow-witted, his Politburo rivals would have stuffed him in a trash can long ago.
Openly consulting a seating chart and mug shots so he could call on only the reporters more or less in his pocket, Biden rambled around, lost his train of thought, told obvious lies, claimed that he was a good guy and a uniter while despising those who disagreed with his plans.
And come to think of it, having been in Washington nearly half a century, had Biden not yet become sufficiently familiar with reporters’ faces?
Biden told the presser he wasn’t going to let a child starve at the border, unlike Donald Trump, and that Republican attempts to protect the security of people’s ballots are “un-American” and “sick . . . sick.” Amid his insults, Biden claimed he wanted to restore the soul of the nation, restore dignity, and continue uniting the country. “We have to come together.”
He slipped up by referring to “global warming,” apparently having forgotten that scientific facts disproved this notion and thus it was replaced by “climate change” — because, after all, who can deny the climate changes? “Winter, summer, spring and fall, I love you the most of all,” as a Valentine card said that I gave to a girl way back in Indiana grade school.
No reporter that Biden deigned to call on had any icky old embarrassing questions about forcing people to pay for permissive abortion with their tax dollars, or having their consciences trampled by Biden’s sexual-radical bureaucracy, or what his abortion-fanatic pal and lawyer Xavier Becerra running the Department of Health and Human Services might do to Christian health care.
The immense suffering and confusion that Biden personally was responsible for creating at the border — and intends to continue creating unless, apparently, someone drags him out of the White House — was of no more angst to Biden than any other outrage he commits that imperils this nation’s very existence over the next few years.
National radio talker Sean Hannity said on March 31 that if an American ran a day-care center like Biden is running the migrant camps, he’d be brought up on charges.
The lawless cartels are rolling in dough thanks to Joke Biden opening the border so they can expand their criminal activity in human and sex trafficking. Individuals mean nothing to these scoundrels. On March 30 it was reported that U.S. law enforcers in Texas were able to rescue a six-month-old girl thrown into the Rio Grande by smugglers who had assaulted her mother.
Phoenix-based AzFamily.com reported on March 31 that a nighttime video by a security camera showed a smuggler atop a 14-foot-high border fence drop two toddlers into New Mexico and then run off, leaving the little Ecuadoran girls alone in the dark desert. Was he going to report to their family that he succeeded at getting them onto U.S. soil?
A statement by El Paso Sector Chief Patrol Agent Gloria I. Chavez said: “I’m appalled by the way these smugglers viciously dropped innocent children from a 14-foot border barrier last night. If not for the vigilance of our agents using mobile technology, these two tender-aged siblings would have been exposed to the harsh elements of desert environment for hours.
“We are currently working with our law-enforcement partners in Mexico and attempting to identify these ruthless human smugglers so as to hold them accountable to the fullest extent of the law,” Chavez said.

The Throne Of Judgment

One piece of good news amid the Biden administration’s degeneracy and evil is that nations that had joined with former President Trump’s pro-life policies stood in the gap against the “Catholic” Satanism from the White House now.
The Center for Family & Human Rights, based in New York City, headlined on March 26, “Brazil and other pro-life countries thwart Biden administration on abortion at UN.”
“Abortion groups made no progress at UN headquarters in the first UN conference on women since Joe Biden was sworn in as U.S. president,” the accompanying story said.
“Countries who aligned with U.S. pro-life diplomacy only a few weeks ago when Donald Trump was in the White House blocked efforts of the Biden administration and the European Union to include controversial abortion-related terms and explicitly pro-abortion language in the annual agreement of the UN Commission on the Status of Women,” the story said.
It added: “. . . Just weeks into his presidency Biden adopted an executive order directing U.S. diplomats to promote abortion at the United Nations. The order commits the U.S. government to promote ‘sexual and reproductive health and rights,’ a phrase coined by the global abortion lobby to get around established UN policy against an international right to abortion.”
Biden may have deprived himself of Cherry Vanilla since the middle of February. Why ever he thinks this is more important to God than his promoting mass slaughter of innocent infants will be an interesting question whenever the Joke president totters over to face the Throne of Judgment.

U.S. Military Targeted By Worldwide “Woke” Campaign

April 3, 2021 Frontpage Comments Off on U.S. Military Targeted By Worldwide “Woke” Campaign

By CHRISTOPHER MANION

For over two centuries, United States Marines have fought our country’s battles “From the Halls of Montezuma to the Shores of Tripoli.” Today they face attacks from a new foe — not a foreign tyranny, but their own government — and they’ve been ordered not to defend themselves.
In fact, it’s not only Marines, but all U.S. military personnel, who have been ordered to “stand down” — a better term might be “grovel” — as they are force-fed Marxist propaganda by Joe Biden’s Woke Brigades.
On February 9, the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) ordered fleet commanders to “eliminate extremist behaviors from our Navy.” If they don’t, he continued, “then racism, injustice, indignity, and disrespect will grow and keep us from reaching our potential.”
“If we must first question the intentions of our Shipmates, standing the watch with us,” the CNO warns, “now, and especially when taking fire, we will fail when the Nation needs us most in combat.”
Not so fast, Admiral. Active duty Marines tell The Wanderer that the Biden administration’s orders are destroying the very unit cohesion that they pretend to support. Officers and enlisted service members are subjected to mandatory “struggle sessions” in which they are told specifically to “question the intentions of [their] shipmates.” They are told to watch one another for signs of “racism” and “extremism,” and to report those guilty of these Thought Crimes immediately to their superiors.
Some of this sounds eerily familiar. Traditional military training includes sessions on the past experiences of POWs regarding ideological indoctrination. Most brilliantly depicted in The Manchurian Candidate, these psychological warfare techniques are designed to turn prisoners against one another, to discourage loyalty and trust in the camp, and, ultimately, to persuade some of them to spy on their companions.
In his best-selling book When Hell Was in Session, the late Admiral (and later Senator from Alabama) Jeremiah Denton describes these tactics in chilling detail. This writer had the good fortune to work with him and his Senate staff in the 1980s. We never knew when a discussion of defense or pro-family issues might be put on hold as he reminisced about his years enduring physical and, what was even worse, psychological torture. One Communist interrogator in particular, a Cuban whom the POWs in the Hanoi Hilton nicknamed “Fidel,” was especially devious and cruel.
For POWs who suffered such horrific torture at the hands of the enemy the experience was indeed a “living Hell.” And today, half a century later, someone in Joe Biden’s Chain of Command has targeted the members of the U.S. military with the same strategic goals as those of “Fidel”: to destroy their ability and ours to “to fight for right and freedom/And to keep our honor clean.”

Don’t Criticize
Government, Comrade!

Just what is “extremism,” anyway? Since the days of Barry Goldwater 60 years ago, the Left has commandeered the lexicon: It’s always conservatives, not the Liberals/Progressives, who are the “extremists.”
Since the Bidenizers are looking for extremists, military commanders need a working definition in order to find them. Naturally, Google Search is happy to provide. The term “right-wing extremist” renders 585,000 results, while “left-wing extremist” renders some 126,000.
Memo to commanders: If you’re looking for extremists in the Armed Forces, you should expect to find about five times as many right-wingers as left-wingers.
Do your duty!
Like “racism” and other ThoughtCrime epithets wielded by the Left, “extremism” has conveniently changed its stripes when Marx’s “correlation of forces” shifts, almost magically, as the dialectic marches on. In 2002, Dale L. Watson, of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division, told the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence: “In the 1990s, right-wing extremism overtook left-wing terrorism as the most dangerous domestic terrorist threat to the country.”
And who are these “right-wingers”? “They “often adhere to the principles of racial supremacy and embrace anti-government, anti-regulatory beliefs.”
Notice the “and”: critics of the government and its Deep State regulators are lumped together with advocates of “racial supremacy,” a term that the Thought Police assiduously refuse to define. After all, as T.S. Eliot points out, “to define” means “to set limits,” and the Left demands that no limits be placed on its Anti-Extremism Search and Destroy missions.
We notice that the violent and deadly riots of the past year have been perpetrated not by “right-wingers,” but by self-proclaimed left-wing groups like Black Lives Matter (BLM) and Antifa. In BLM’s case, the Marxist convictions of its founders are clear, but have been safely deposited down the Memory Hole. It is forbidden, and possibly even “racist,” to mention them. But what about Antifa?
The Associated Press reports that on September 17, 2020, FBI Director Chris Wray told lawmakers that Antifa “is an ideology, not an organization.”
House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler chimes in, claiming that Antifa is a “myth.” Well, since you can’t arrest an ideology, Antifa’s not a problem for the FBI!
That was easy.
Of course, Wray & Co. will happily supply the military with data on suspicious “right-wing extremist” opponents of Big Government and the Deep State, but why bother with those leftist revolutionary ideologues?
After Wray’s testimony, President Trump tweeted that Antifa was “a bunch of well-funded ANARCHISTS & THUGS who are protected because the Comey/Mueller inspired FBI is simply unable, or unwilling, to find their funding source, and allows them to get away with ‘murder’.”
A week later Wray reversed course, telling Congress that the FBI considers antifa a “threat” and the movement is the “subject of multiple investigations.”
But Trump isn’t president anymore. So it looks like the Bidenizers will have clear sailing, as they Pearl Harbor the U.S. Military on land, sea, and air, all without firing a shot.

Detritus

Nancy Pelosi claims that as Speaker she can expel any member of the House she likes. Most recently, she targeted pro-life Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks, MD, who won a close race in Iowa last fall. Pelosi suddenly backed off this week, when members of the Democrat caucus feared for their own reelections in 2022.
Meanwhile, Nancy’s junior partner, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.), hails the return of Big Government. “The American people know we need big, bold change. COVID has shown that the private sector can’t do it alone,” he says. Schumer winks at his Democrat colleagues nationwide who locked down the private sector for a year — with quiet gratitude to Big Business and Big Finance that engineered Democrat victories last fall.
And last week Joe Biden held what his handlers called his first “press conference.” Questioners were pre-selected by White House staff, and questions were submitted and cleared in advance. Joe was given a comic-book style folder with circles around the pictures of approved “reporters,” carefully numbered one through ten indicating whom to call on first. In “response” to most of the “questions,” Joe read his answers from cards provided by his staff.
Well, Joe might not be awake, but he’s fully woke. And the fawning “journalists” were thrilled.
Saturday Night Live couldn’t have done it better.
In Washington on March 23, two teenage girls, ages 13 and 15, carjacked an UberEats driver and killed him as they fled. After the crime, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser tweeted a warning to drivers with tips on how to avoid being carjacked. “Auto theft is a crime of opportunity. Follow these steps to reduce the risk of your vehicle becoming a target,” she wrote (the tweet was later removed).
Bowser quickly followed up with a demand for D.C. statehood.
Joe Biden is usually bribed, not bribing, but he’s going after West Virginia’s Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin. Manchin calls himself pro-life and a “conservative Democrat,” but for Chuck Schumer he’s the 50th vote crucial to pulling off the revolution.
So Biden has appointed Manchin’s wife Gayle to the Appalachian Regional Commission, a plum position that pays upward of $160,000 annually.
And in the face of his most pressing challenge, Biden has bailed out. He has ordered his staff not to call the border crisis a “crisis.” Journalists have followed suit.
Kamala Harris is now in charge. Harris has compared members of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) with the Ku Klux Klan, so it’s probably fortunate that she, like Joe, won’t do anything either. However, she promises to study the “root causes” of immigration.
What a relief.

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VICTORY!

23rd Texas City Bans Abortions, Becomes “Sanctuary for the Unborn” https://t.co/v9JKt68xhF

The goal of much of the modern American left is to celebrate public sin and to disparage traditional values as bigotry.

Abortion on demand, open borders, four dollars a gallon gasoline, churches and schools closed - what's not to love?

Chris Manion . . . Introducing A New “Reality” By Legislative Fiat - https://t.co/fUiS6S0oft

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Vatican observes ‘Earth Hour’

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Catechism

Today . . .

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">Conversations with Cardinal Burke March 2021

Only one third of US Catholics plans to attend Mass for Easter: poll

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Should Government Track The Miles You Drive?

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The Plight Of The Author

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By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN If Joe Biden’s American Jobs Program, outlined in Pittsburgh, is enacted, then the federal government will take a great leap forward toward irreversible control of the destiny of the Republic.To finance this leap, to subsidize this giant stride toward socialism, U.S. corporations are to be forced to turn over to the…Continue Reading

Like Clockwork… Mass Shooting, Then Demands For Gun Control

By BARBARA SIMPSON (Editor’s Note: This article first appeared on WorldNetDaily, www.wnd.com, on March 26. All rights reserved. Barbara Simpson has a 20-year radio, TV, and newspaper career in the Bay Area and Los Angeles.) + + Here we go again — or rather, “here we still are.” The news is filled with horrific reports…Continue Reading

Senators Demand Investigation . . . Into Planned Parenthood Getting PPP loans

WASHINGTON, D.C. (CNA) — A letter signed by 25 Republican senators is demanding an investigation into Planned Parenthood affiliates illegally accessing emergency small business loans.“We write to request an investigation concerning how affiliates of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (‘Planned Parenthood’), a national organization with central control over its affiliates which has nearly $2…Continue Reading

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Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Remember The Suffering Of The Messiah

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Third Sunday Of Easter (YR B) Readings: Acts 3:13-15, 17-191 John 1-5aLuke 24:35-48 In the fourth week of Lent we had a break and looked forward to the joy that was coming in Easter. That day reminded us to be joyful and spurred us on to continue with our Lenten penances, knowing we had made it…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. Can you explain what righteous anger is? I thought anger was one of the seven deadly sins, so how can it ever be righteous? — T.S., via e-mail.A. The glossary at the back of the Catechism of the Catholic Church defines anger as “an emotion which is not in itself wrong, but which, when it is not controlled by…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World . . . Freedom Of Faith Vs. Social Control

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The world doesn’t know how to use power. Like addicts, those unrestrained by any humility or faith believe that, if a little feels good, then more must be better.We may be in masks to buy groceries for the rest of our lives. We may not be able to do anything about that. It’s the world.…Continue Reading

Cardinal Sarah Asks Pope Francis . . . To Reinstate Individual Masses At St. Peter’s Basilica

By HANNAH BROCKHAUS VATICAN CITY (CNA) — Robert Cardinal Sarah has asked Pope Francis to reinstate the celebration of private Masses at the side altars in St. Peter’s Basilica, after individual Masses were suspended earlier in March in favor of concelebration.“I humbly beg the Holy Father to order the withdrawal of the recent norms issued by the secretariat of state,”…Continue Reading

Love God And Love Neighbor

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Second Sunday Of Easter (Divine Mercy) (YR B) Readings: Acts 4:32-351 John 5:1-6John 20:19-31 In the first reading today, we are told that the first Christians were of one heart and mind. Such unity can only exist when there is no selfishness. What the first believers show us is that their minds were united in the…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Jeanne Jugan

By DEB PIROCH “The Seventh Commandment implies the obligation of assisting the poor and needy as far as we are able. . . . Our Lord declares the omission of alms deeds will be punished by eternal damnation (Matt. 25:46). . . . For many persons, without their own fault, are pitiably destitute, e.g. orphans, widows, the sick and disabled,…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Pope St. Pius X

By DEB PIROCH “He saith to him again: Simon, son of John, lovest thou me? He saith to him: Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee. He saith to him: Feed my lambs. He said to him the third time: Simon, son of John, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved, because he had said to him the third time: Lovest…Continue Reading

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