Monday 20th March 2023

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Dumping On The Confessional

March 20, 2023 Frontpage Comments Off on Dumping On The Confessional


Several years ago, I served as chaplain at a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center. The interesting thing about the center – besides that it was located in the county jail — was that all involved had some problems with the law outside of their addictions. I would usually spend parts of three days a week there, one of them just meeting those newly arrived.
Most of our “clients” were willing to give me the benefit of the doubt and actually listened to what I said. Naturally many were churchless and needed help finding a denomination that suited them and I tried to help them find one. Others already had a background in some congregation and I tried to help them get to its services on Sundays. And, of course, there were a number who were Catholic and I would arrange for them to be picked up for Sunday Mass.
However, there were a few who were baptized Catholics who had fallen away from the faith. Often, they would come to me and ask how they could return to the Church. Go to Confession, I would tell them, but don’t wait in the Confession line on Sunday morning, let me make an appointment with a priest and do it privately, without being rushed, in his office.
My routine was simple: I would make the appointment and go to the jail, pick up the individual, take him or her to the priest’s office and transport them back to the jail afterwards. It may sound routine, but with each trip I noticed a miracle was taking place right before my eyes. The person I took back to the jail was not the same person that I took to the priest: They had been changed, their life had a new meaning, those who had never been confirmed enrolled in our RCIA program to become confirmed, and most, when released from the program continued their spiritual journey within the Catholic Church.
I saw firsthand how that sacrament could change people’s lives and why Jesus gave His apostles the power to forgive sins.
That is why I was saddened this week to read that two states — and possibly others — had bills filed in their legislatures to eliminate the civil protection priests have which protects the confidentiality of the communication that takes place in the confessional. In Canon Law we call that the Seal of the Confessional, in civil law it is called the priest-penitent privilege.
The Democrats in Delaware and Vermont who are supporting this claim it is in reaction to the child abuse crisis. Teachers, they claim, doctors, the clergy, and many others are mandatory reporters, that is, they are required to notify the authorities if they see or suspect a child is being abused. That, of course, is good. All of those listed often are able to make observations that others cannot.
But the bills in Delaware and Vermont go further: They require a priest who hears a sacramental Confession to report what they hear concerning child abuse, thus rendering the seal of the confessional null and void. It is, according to the sponsors, necessary to remove that protection from the clergy to ensure that those so involved can pay the price in court.
Delaware’s legislature gave this synopsis of its bill:
“This Act abrogates the privilege between priest and penitent in a sacramental confession relating to child abuse and neglect. It requires priests to report child abuse and neglect or to give or accept evidence in a judicial proceeding relating to child abuse or neglect.”
Now no one in either legislative body has suggested eliminating the attorney-client privilege. That would be bound to reap a harvest of criminals who said the wrong thing to their attorney. As it stands now, a client could walk into my office, give me a gun and tell me where the body is buried and that information remains with the client and me alone and I could be disbarred if I breach that confidence.
But a penitent who seeks the consolation of the Church to cleanse his soul for eternity would not be accorded the same privilege as a hardened criminal who is only trying to save himself from jail. Think maybe this shows a lack of concern for the spiritual well-being of those they govern? Or, perhaps, an animus against the Catholic Church?
I do know that one of the concerns that those whom I took from the jail to Confession was “would the priest tell anyone?” Of course, the answer is a firm no; the priest would go to jail first. And if he did violate that confidentiality, he would suffer automatic excommunication which could only be reversed by the Pope himself.
But jail is the threat that the Dems in those two states are proposing, for if a priest fails a court order to reveal what was told to him in the confessional he could be held in contempt and jailed. Nice knowing ya, Father, enjoy your bread and water.
The priest-penitent privilege has a long history in the United States. The first case I found was in New York in 1813, People v. Philips, in which a priest, Fr. Anthony Kohlmann, was asked to divulge the contents of a Confession in a case involving a jewelry theft. The priest asked to be excused from testifying, citing the confidentiality of the confessional. Attorneys made the argument that requiring the priest to do so would not only violate common law precedents but the state constitution as well.
The court, holding that “religion is an affair between God and man, not between man and man” ruled that requiring the priest to testify would also violate the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Numerous cases have followed suit and states have added this privilege to its statutory codes and expanded it to include all clergy acting with a religious purpose.
One of the last cases on the issue, which I covered back in 2015 on my radio program, came from Louisiana where a priest from the Diocese of Baton Rouge was subpoenaed, and later sued for refusal to reveal the topic of a Confession of a young girl who allegedly told the priest about abuse from a parishioner. Her parents were suing the estate of the parishioner for the abuse and the priest for failure to report it.
Naturally the priest refused and the case went up and down the judicial chain making a stop at the Supreme Court which sent the case back down for further hearings. The trick in this case was that the girl, now an adult, wanted to waive the privilege so the priest could testify.
Now in civil law, if the guy who gave me the gun and directed me to the burial place waived attorney-client privilege I would have to testify, since that privilege — as most others are — was established to protect the client, not the attorney. Thus, you would think that the girl could waive it and force the priest to testify.
Not so. Under Canon Law the seal cannot be waived by the penitent. In fact, the priest is not even allowed to confirm the identity of the individual; nor can he ask the penitent about it outside of the confessional afterwards. Ultimately in Louisiana the diocese and the priest were dismissed from the case.
Anyway, leave it to politicians who do not appreciate or understand it to try to gum up the works. May God enlighten them: If not, I’m sure a court will.

  • + + (You can reach Mike at: and listen to him every weekend on Faith On Trial or podcast at

Reflections On Pope Francis’ Anniversary

March 19, 2023 Frontpage Comments Off on Reflections On Pope Francis’ Anniversary


For the average person, the fact that Pope Francis — the 266th Pope — has been Pope for 10 years is something they probably hadn’t noticed. It has been a papacy marked by many issues that have been covered by mainstream media.
Whether he intends it or not, Pope Francis makes news, and often headlines, and definitely, that makes history!
From the beginning, Francis indicated that he didn’t think his Papacy would be a long one — a couple of years at the most, he said — but as time has passed, it is longer than that, and it isn’t over yet. Not too long ago, he referred to the Papacy as a job for life, but then he also made comments that his retirement might depend on how he feels and the state of his health. He gave no details.
It’s a given that he has health problems, although there are no public statement on the details of his condition. He’s had surgery, has weight issues, and walks slowly with a cane. There are times when he uses a wheelchair. He has referred to the fact that he is tired, but for a man of 86, these conditions are not unusual.
While there are many issues that Catholics can focus on to criticize Pope Francis, the most recent is his current stand on the Traditional Latin Mass, the Tridentine Rite. He reversed the decisions on that Mass by his Predecessor, Pope Benedict, who liberalized the practice of the Mass in Summorum Pontificum in 2007. Francis dropped the hammer on current, growing practice and has undermined it worldwide!
There has been increased support for the Traditional Latin Mass across this country, if not throughout the world, and for a while, the Vatican did nothing to stop it. Until now, when Francis recently imposed broad restrictions on it — who can celebrate it, where and when.
Special permission from the Vatican must be obtained before the Mass can be celebrated anywhere, worldwide. Catholic News Agency explained it clearly in an article last month:
“Some Catholics who attend the Traditional Latin Mass are awaiting the next steps from their bishops after the Vatican ordered the dioceses to get approval from the Holy See before they can authorize Latin Mass celebrations within parish churches.
“After Pope Francis issued an apostolic letter on July 16, 2021, to restrict the Latin Mass, bishops from across the country enforced the mandate in a variety of ways. The letter, titled Traditionis custodes, directed bishops to designate one or more locations in which priests can celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass. However, the letter states those locations cannot be within an existing parish church and the bishop cannot erect a new ‘personal’ parish for those celebrations.
“In some dioceses that already had thriving Latin Mass communities within parish churches, bishops granted broad dispensations that allowed parishes to continue offering the Latin Mass as before. Many of these bishops invoked Canon 87 of the Code of Canon Law, which allows a bishop to dispense the faithful from certain disciplinary laws within his jurisdiction ‘whenever he judges that it contributes to their spiritual good.’ In some cases, the dispensations were temporary; in other cases, they were meant to be permanent….
“Even though many bishops believed they had this authority, Canon 87 adds that a bishop cannot invoke this authority when dispensations are reserved to the Holy See. On Tuesday, February 21, the Vatican issued a clarification to Traditionis custodes to halt this approach. Arthur Cardinal Roche issued a rescript, a form of official clarification in response to a question or request, on behalf of the Vatican, which states that any dispensation to use or erect a parish church for the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass is ‘reserved in a special way to the Apostolic See,’ which means bishops alone cannot dispense these parishes.”
The preference for the “Old Mass” is not a rejection of the religion, but it is a visible showing of the preference of many Catholics for it over the Novus Ordo Mass, the Mass which came about after Vatican II. In fact, this conflict is the most visible point of disagreement between “traditional Catholics” and those who are comfortable with the simpler version of Catholic worship. At this point, we know where Francis stands on this issue and so far, he isn’t relenting.
As if this isn’t enough to stir the waters of the Church, Francis has been welcoming towards LGBTQ Catholics. Remember his statements of a while back which got an enormous amount of publicity in the secular press: “Who am I to judge?” and also, “Being a homosexual is not a crime.”
For traditional Catholics, statements like this from a Pope are unsettling and they search for the real meaning and intent behind them. And certainly, his tendency toward ambiguity has created confusion on many important issues.
Francis has been outspokenly against “gender ideology,” however.
The issue of clergy sexual abuse is one that Francis has faced — at first, not seriously, and then with great intent. He has admitted that the reality of the scandal hit him after a trip to Chile, where it was a rampant problem.
He is quoted as telling the Associated Press, “That was my conversion. That’s when the bomb went off when I saw the corruption of many bishops in this.”
The AP reports that the abuse of adults by clergy as well as the abuse of clergy by those in the Church are areas that Francis has recognized. At this time, apparently nothing is being done to rectify the situation. There seems to be a resistance to defrocking clergy abusers, even though Pope Benedict defrocked some 400 priests within two years during his pontificate.
Francis has been a great supporter of “synods” — a gathering of bishops who listen to each other as well as to the laity. He wants the Church to be a place where the faithful are welcomed, accompanied, and heard.
One result has been opening the door to letting divorced and civilly remarried couples receive Communion. In addition, the question of the role of women in the Church has been discussed as well as allowing priests to marry. As for the possibility of women priests — Francis continues to uphold the Church doctrine forbidding that.
Francis is the first Latin American Pope and there is no doubt he has made his mark. With widespread media coverage of his every move, meetings, speeches, travels, and comments — Francis is clearly the first Pope to have his every move recorded for history.
He not only has taken positions on religious and church issues, but he has made his mark on climate and environmental issues as well. While many Catholics hold that he has overstepped the bounds in doing that, it hasn’t stopped him.
It would be an understatement to say that Francis is man who speaks his mind.
Traditional Catholics want the Pope to be firm on definitive Church teachings and are confused and upset that Francis moves according to his own music. What that means for the future of the Church and how other Popes will deal with the pattern Francis has set remains to be seen.
There is no doubt, it will not be a smooth transition. Hang on, there might be some rough rides ahead!

Merrick Garland’s Catholic Problem

March 18, 2023 Frontpage Comments Off on Merrick Garland’s Catholic Problem


It must not be easy to be Joe Biden’s attorney general. In that capacity, AG Merrick Garland is Biden’s chief lawyer, charged with carrying out the mission of the Department of Justice, on the one hand, and the agenda of Joe Biden, on the other.
That’s an impossible task. Consider: According to its website, “the mission of the Department of Justice is to uphold the rule of law, to keep our country safe, and to protect civil rights.”
The values of “independence,” “impartiality,” “the public’s trust,” and “honesty and integrity” — these are paramount.
They are also prime targets of homewrecker Joe Biden’s agenda.
And Garland has to defend him.
When Garland was sworn in some two years ago, he had a decision to make. Would he support the stated mission of the Department of Justice and confront Biden on the countless occasions where Biden has violated the law? Or would he serve as Biden’s hatchet man, using the consummate power of the Justice Department to further the Biden agenda?
Unfortunately, Garland chose to go with Joe.
Since then, the rule of law has become politicized, equal justice is passé, and public trust in the Department has collapsed. Garland’s Justice Department has waged an open and hostile war against parents, families, and religion.
Two years ago, Garland told a Senate hearing that White Supremacist terrorism was “the top domestic violent extremist threat we face.” He then sent FBI spies to monitor parents who dared to speak at meetings of their local school boards, because they were apparently the “white supremacists” that Garland was constantly looking for, but could never find.
When the FBI accused pro-life demonstrator Mark Houck, Houck offered to turn himself in. Instead, the Justice Department sent an FBI SWAT team to raid Houck’s home and terrorize his family. After Houck a federal jury cleared Houck of the concocted charge, Sen. Ted Cruz berated Garland: “This wasn’t law enforcement. This was theater. This was the Biden DOJ saying, ‘If you’re our political opponent, we’re sending stormtroopers after you’,” Cruz said.
Garland said it wasn’t his fault. He blamed the FBI.
Sen. Mike Lee asked Garland, “DOJ has announced charges against 34 individuals for blocking access to or vandalizing abortion clinics, and there have been over 81 reported attacks on pregnancy centers, 130 attacks on Catholic churches since the leak of the Dobbs decision, and only two individuals have been charged. So how do you explain this disparity?”
“We apply the law equally,” Garland answered — but the pro-lifers were evidently easier to catch. “Seeing the person who did it is quite easy,” he said. “Those who are attacking the pregnancy resources centers, which is a horrid thing to do, are doing this at night in the dark.”
Earlier this year the FBI’s Richmond office developed a classified strategic plan (featuring a domestic terrorist from the Southern Poverty Law Center as a major source) to spy on “radical” orthodox Catholics and recruit informers from among the faithful. The Special Agent in Charge undoubtedly considered the policy to be consistent with Garland’s other bigoted moves. But when the plan was leaked, attorneys general from twenty states raised the roof.
Exposed, an embarrassed Garland called the operation “appalling.”
He blamed the FBI.
When pro-abortion mobs threatened Supreme Court justices who had joined the majority decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization and demonstrated illegally in front of their residences, the FBI never sent SWAT teams to break down the doors of their homes.
They weren’t even arrested.
“Why not?” asked the senators.
Garland blamed the federal marshals.

Revenge, Envy’s Silent Partner

In my years on Capitol Hill, I staffed hearings on hundreds of presidential nominations that required Senate confirmation. Once in a while, a nominee’s hearing would be delayed, even repeatedly. It was an aggravating experience for all of them.
But some nominees never got a hearing at all. Merrick Garland was one of them. And he was aggravated indeed.
Garland had served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia since 1997. A month after Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died on February 13, 2016, Obama nominated Garland to succeed him.
But it was not to be. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that the choice should lie with the next president.
At the time, Garland was serving on a Federal Appeals Court that is considered to be second in importance only to the Supreme Court itself. His position was secure, but that was not enough. To be denied a seat on the Supreme Court by something as frivolous as the timing of a presidential election undoubtedly troubled him. It might have even aroused a modicum of quiet rage.
An example comes to mind. About a month ago my wife met a fellow tennis player at a practice class. When the gentleman heard her last name and found out that I was her husband, he erupted.
This fellow’s dear friend, one Richard Viets, had been a career ambassador in the 1980s. In 1987, he was nominated to be ambassador to Portugal, a very plum job.
But a member of Viets’ own embassy staff contacted us with proven allegations of malfeasance. My boss at the time, Sen. Jesse Helms, blocked Viets’ nomination, and Viets never went to Portugal. (Note: And the Deep State at State made sure that that honest employee never got another promotion.)
Thirty-five years later, the rage continues.
Seven years ago, when Sen. McConnell blocked his nomination, Garland stayed on the Court of Appeals while President Trump named Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. The nominations of Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett soon followed.
One can only imagine Judge Garland, a staunch pro-abortionist, seething in his chambers on Constitution Avenue while, five blocks away, these three inferior entities not only sat on the Supreme Court, but eventually joined in the opinion that overturned Roe v. Wade!
And five of the pallbearers for Roe v. Wade were Catholic! How dare they impose their religious beliefs while sitting in such an august position that should have been Merrick Garland’s!
When the Senate confirmed Merrick Garland as Joe Biden’s attorney general, thirty Republicans voted against him.
But they couldn’t stop him this time, and now he’s getting his revenge.
“A covetous person…is a serving of idols” (Eph. 5:5), says St. Paul.
Merrick Garland serves an idol. It’s not the Constitution. It’s Merrick Garland.
Envy is a sin against the Tenth Commandment. The Catholic Catechism calls it a capital sin.
Augustine saw envy as “the diabolical sin” from which “are born hatred, detraction, calumny, joy caused by the misfortune of a neighbor, and displeasure caused by his prosperity” (CCC, n. 2539).
Marxists use envy as the engine of revolution. While the kommissars use envy to tempt the masses, envy can also tempt the kommissars as well.
In fact, it always does.
“Through the devil’s envy death entered the world,” the Good Book says (Wisdom 2:24).
But wait — what about “Diversity”? “Equity”? “Inclusion”?
Equity doesn’t apply to folks like Garland. Hey, he graduated summa cum laude from Harvard!
Thomas Sowell calls such people “the anointed.” They are by definition deserving. And when they don’t get what they “deserve,” they are just as susceptible to the deadly vice of envy as the rest of us.
And then they get revenge.
Vladimir Lenin’s brother Alexander was shot in 1887 by the Czar. Revenge!
Merrick Garland was denied his seat on the Supreme Court, while Catholics got confirmed. Revenge!
And “Catholic Joe” Biden? If Satan showed him all the kingdoms of the world, would Joe even let him finish before he ran and told “Dr. Jill” of his good fortune?

Lent, The Holy Cross, And The Current Crisis In The Church

March 17, 2023 Frontpage Comments Off on Lent, The Holy Cross, And The Current Crisis In The Church


The arrival of Lent each year always sets before our eyes in the Gospel of its first Sunday the three futile attempts of Satan to tempt our Lord. It is in the third of these that Satan makes his ultimate offer:
“. . . the devil took him to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them; and he said to Him, ‘All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.’ Then Jesus said to him, ‘Begone, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve”” (Mt 4:8-10).
The devil’s insane project to tempt the Son of God ended in a totally humiliating defeat, but it has not deterred him from making the same wicked offer to every one of our Lord’s disciples down through the centuries. And he has not hesitated to make this offer even to the Church herself. It comes in the guise of a plan to make the Church harmonize her message, her teachings, with the spirit of the world: that the vast media-dispensed treasures of the world’s admiration and applause will be emptied at the Church’s feet if she would only bring her message into alignment with what contemporary secular culture craves.
The Devil has even found some priests and prelates to make the pitch for this conformity to the world, cleverly couched in the vocabulary of “Church reform.” The Bride of Christ would thus be reduced to being the toiling slave of the world’s mediocrity.
In his 2019 book Roman Encounters, His Eminence Gerhard Cardinal Muller astutely identifies this counterfeit “reform” of the Church for what it really is, stating:
“What is currently understood by reforms that are held to be necessary is much more a secularization of the Church…. The Church no longer serves the world on its journey to God but rather offers Her services to it so as to make Herself useful as one of many social initiatives” (Roman Encounters: The Unity of the Faith and the Holy See’s Responsibility for the Universal Church, Irondale, AL, EWTN Publishing, 2019, p. 165).
Nearly a half-century earlier, the illustrious philosopher and champion of Catholic orthodoxy Dietrich von Hildebrand (1889-1977) warned of the grave danger from those wanting the Church to imbibe the spirit of the world:
“Hand in hand with the illusion of progress goes the most fatal disease ravaging the Church: this-worldliness. By this-worldliness I mean the emphasis on the amelioration of this world and the earthly welfare of man in contradistinction to the glorification of God and the eternal welfare of man. According to this deplorable error, the Church should now concern herself above all with the social order, with social justice, peace among nations and ecumenism, instead of the sanctification of the individual soul and the glorification of God through the conversion of all men to Christ and His holy Church.… No, the real mission of the Church is not to strive for an earthly paradise, not to humanize the world together with atheists and communists, but to establish the reign of Christ in every individual soul” (“The Illusion of Progress,” in The Charitable Anathema, Ridgefield, CT, Roman Catholic Books, 1993, pp. 127-128).
If the Church is to remain totally faithful to the Gospel message entrusted to her by Christ, then conflict with a world addicted to pleasure and self-gratification is inevitable. Our Lord foretold this at the Last Supper when He declared, “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you” (John 15:18-19).
The liturgical season of Lent affords us a prime opportunity to renew our personal commitment in this battle to uphold the immutable truths of Christ. It is a battle to stand fast beneath the Cross of Christ, the trophy of victory that will defeat the spirit of the world, the spirit of the Antichrist. In a treatise on the Antichrist written about 200 AD, the Church Father and priest St. Hippolytus of Rome (+c. 236) describes in vivid symbolic detail the Church in her battle against the Antichrist as a ship in stormy seas, assured of ultimate victory by her Captain, her crew, and the mast that towers over her deck:
“But we who hope for the Son of God are persecuted and trodden down by those unbelievers…the sea is the world, in which the Church is set, like a ship tossed in the deep, but not destroyed; for she has with her the skilled Pilot, Christ. And she bears in her midst also the trophy (which is erected) over death; for she carries with her the Cross of the Lord. For her prow is the east, and her stem is the west, and her hold is the south, and her tillers are the two Testaments; and the ropes that stretch around her are the love of Christ, which binds the Church; and the net which she bears with her is the laver of the regeneration which renews the believing, whence too are these glories. As the wind the Sprit from heaven is present, by whom those who believe are sealed: she has also anchors of iron accompanying her, viz., the holy commandments of Christ Himself which are strong as iron. She has also mariners on the right and on the left, assessors like the holy angels, by whom the Church is always governed and defended. The ladder in her leading up to the sailyard is an emblem of the passion of Christ, which brings the faithful to the ascent of heaven. And the top-sails aloft upon the yard are the company of prophets, martyrs, and apostles, who have entered into their rest in the kingdom of Christ” (St. Hippolytus of Rome, Treatise on Christ and Antichrist, n. 59, in The Anti-Nicene Fathers: Volume V: Hippolytus, Cyprian, Caius, Novatian, Appendix, ed. A. Cleveland Coxe, New York, Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1886, pp. 216-217).
This imagery of the Church as a ship, first found in the writings of the Church Fathers, flourished in late medieval art, with the image of the Cross as the ship’s mast fully developed into a depiction of the mast as a crucifix, the “antenna crucifixi” as the art history scholar Achim Timmermann identifies it in his comprehensive recent study of this naval imagery of the Church. Describing the underlying message of these ship images, Timmermann concludes, “. . . centered as they are by the victorious crucifix mast, these vessels sail straight through the whirlpools of moral contamination to eventually arrive at the Port of Salvation” (“Cathedrals and Castles of the Sea: Ships, Allegory and Technological Change in Pre-Reformation Northern Europe,” Baltic Journal of Art History, volume 18, Autumn 2019, pp. 7-74; quotation on 72-73).

The Heroism Of St. Ursula And Her Companions

A significant number of the examples of this ecclesial ship imagery cited by Timmermann are portrayals of a maritime scene from the life of the virgin martyr St. Ursula and her companions; thus the ship in these pictures represents both the vessel in Ursula’s own story and Holy Mother Church as a ship. What is of particular interest here is how the theme of martyrdom represented by Ursula relates to our reflection upon Lent and the battle against the spirit of the world. In a Dresden altarpiece painting of the 1520s entitled The Ship of Saint Ursula, the German artist Jorg Breu the Elder (+1537) depicts the arrival of Ursula and her virgin companions in fourth-century Cologne, where their persecutors immediately wreak their bloody vengeance upon them.
Much has been written to discredit the story of Ursula and her companions as nothing more than a pious myth, yet harsh critics of this and other early accounts of the Christian martyrs have often enough overplayed their hand. Fantastic elements and embellishments in the written Acts of the Martyrs don’t mean that there isn’t a basic historical reality underlying the exaggerations and accretions. The 2004 Roman Martyrology, the latest official edition of the Church’s book of recognized saints and martyrs, still commemorates Ursula and her companions on their traditional feast day of October 21 as real martyrs, stating:
“At Cologne in Germany, the commemoration of the holy virgins, who consummated their lives in martyrdom for Christ where afterward a basilica of the city was constructed in honor of the hallowed maiden Ursula, an innocent virgin, considered as their leader” (Martyrologium Romanum, Vatican City, Typis Vaticanis, 2004, p. 582 — Latin text, ©2004 Libreria Editrice Vaticana; the English translation is my own).
So as far as Holy Mother Church is concerned, there was a real young woman of the fourth century named Ursula who together with her companions died as virgin martyrs for their faith. In his altarpiece panel painting Jorg Breu captures the utter pathos of what this means. As the maidens disembark from a ship at the center of the picture, a band of armed men butchers them to death, one of the soldiers ruthlessly thrusting his lance down into his victim as another throws down a young woman he is about to slay with his sword. One of the virgins covers her face as a soldier pulls her by the hair.
On the ship’s deck can be seen Ursula seated at the foot of the ship’s mast, already stricken with an arrow through her throat yet calm in the face of death. Immediately beside her a young girl in a white dress strives to comfort a terrified companion as the two of them are about to be pierced by the arrows flying toward them.
It is the ship’s mast that testifies as to how Ursula and her companions are finding the courage to suffer this very cruel fate. For the mast is the Cross of Calvary in all its stark reality, with Christ hanging in death from its arms. An iridescent corona surrounding our Lord gives visual expression to the invisible strength that He is imparting by His own sacrificial death upon the women dying below.
With the noxious din of those who want to give the Church a radical makeover growing ever louder, let us steel our own resolve to stay the course with Christ Crucified through our Lenten prayers and sacrifices, finding in the Cross the strength to believe as strongly as the martyrs believed, and to love as deeply as the martyrs did, with a love strong as death.

The Natural Law And The Redemption Of America

March 16, 2023 Frontpage Comments Off on The Natural Law And The Redemption Of America


America needs to return to the natural law and God in its individual and public life. America needs Christ. I was asked at the last minute unexpectedly to fill in for the teacher of a class on the Ten Commandments and the moral law before Sunday morning Mass. As I reviewed my teaching of the class and the ensuing debates in the class, I saw the answer to many of the questions on the Ten Commandments, morality, and law, both human and divine, was Christ. Christ is the answer. Live Christ.
At the beginning of his Summa Theologiae, the great saint and theologian St. Thomas Aquinas said that no philosopher, with all his efforts before the coming of Christ, can know as much about God and what is necessary for life as an older woman does through her faith.
No person or nation can deny who they are and the natural law and expect to grow, flourish, or survive. The natural law as the foundation of positive state laws points to the transcendence of God as the source of the rationally known moral order of good and evil, as revealed in the story of Genesis and the fall of our first parents with the loss of original justice, and the need for knowledge and strength to know and achieve personal good, the common good of all, and make positive state law. The founders of this blessed nation in the Declaration of Independence felt compelled to call on our “Creator,” “laws of nature and of nature’s God,” and the “reliance on Divine Providence.”
The natural law based on the nature of the person as a rational incommunicable substance is needed so that the positive laws of the state can exist as right laws that express the truth of the human person as a reasoning and knowing person who knows the truth and acts according to the truth and the good, rather than laws that are expressions of the political power of a pack of vicious snarling dogs attacking those who have the temerity to disagree with them.
Persons with their ability of self-reflection and the knowledge of ideal and universal justice to do right to others according to their conscience of right and wrong must rightly recognize themselves as part of the order of nature to see and achieve personal happiness, fulfillment, and the common good as our founders recognized.
This self-evident recognition of the truth of the natural law is well testified in the negative consequences of the lack of understanding and actions that are contrary to the natural law, as witnessed in the failure to protect the natural boundaries of a nation while recognizing the need for charity for those seeking immigration, the violence, crime, and chaos witnessed on streets and cities, the undermining and attacks on the responsibilities and rights of parents for their children, the propagandizing of the media and the news according to the principles of socialism, individualism, and relativism that deny any objective moral truth as known and lived according to the conscience of right and wrong that denies the nature of the human person and their dependence on their Creator.
The natural law is an analogical expression of the transcendent causality of the first immaterial unmoved first mover, God, as observed in the natural order around us with its material and physical goods that are experienced in facing the challenges of life by those who give to others their rightful due as all seek to fulfill their responsibilities while recognizing the conflicts of fallen nature as revealed in the Garden of Eden.
The early great medieval saints, philosophers, and theologians Albert the Great and Thomas Aquinas were concerned about the connection between happiness and wise decisions, prudence. Aquinas wrote that the natural law is founded in the seeking of the objective truth and good according to emotionally healthy, rightly ordered inclinations and reasonable and practical judgments according to the nature of a human person in the fulfillment of those healthy and rightly ordered inclinations in the gifts of God’s redemptive and merciful love of Faith, Hope, and Charity.
The government can enact positive laws that further abortion in every way possible, carry out secret liberal policies of government employees that protect the secularism of a society with no God, further erroneous individualism of socialism based only on empirical materialism, and promote relativism based on a skeptical agnosticism and emotional sentimentalism. Still, no government law says a man should love a beautiful woman, that the woman sets the moral standard of the man’s attraction to her and their relationship, and that spiritual standards and eternal law safeguard and prevent the decline and sinking of morality to that level lower than that of a beast.
Not recognizing nature in our reasoning and emotions in making wise decisions and making positive state law based on natural law as coming from the eternal law of God shatters and disconnects the material from reason. Reason is the basis of law. The failure to know reality in the order of existence in law according to reason in the natural law, positive state law, and the eternal law of God destroy the person and the survival and flourishing of the common good. Christ in His Person in His soul, mind, and body in the Incarnation of God in His sacrificial suffering on the cross, suffering and death, and victorious resurrection from the grave of death is the establishment of the new law in the ordered unity of virtuous and right living in human nature that leads to the peace of the beautiful, the good, and the truth.
In the living of Christ as found in union with His Church that our Lord founded, God’s transcendent virtues of Faith, Hope, and Charity, and in the descent of the Holy Spirit’s gifts of wisdom, science, understanding, and counsel, for the mind, and the gifts of fortitude, piety, and fear, for our desires and feelings further are added to us so the Christ can be lived in a person, and this nation’s laws and governing can exist, grow and flourish as a shining light in the darkness of a fallen world.
(George Angelich is a married permanent deacon in Atlanta, Ga., with an MSW from Atlanta University, and a master of pastoral studies from Loyola University, New Orleans, and he is a systematic philosophy post-master’s certificate student at Holy Apostles College & Seminary in Cromwell, Conn.)

Rising Tide Of Climate Fantasy . . . Scowling Greenie Giant Plans Pigeonholed Lives For Herded Humans

March 15, 2023 Frontpage Comments Off on Rising Tide Of Climate Fantasy . . . Scowling Greenie Giant Plans Pigeonholed Lives For Herded Humans


PHOENIX — The Jolly Green Giant was born as a twentieth-century symbol for a brand of vegetables whose towering image later was rated one of that time period’s top 10 advertising icons. He had a booming laugh that invited you to enjoy the product. Little kids running through the family room with the television prattling in the 1960s likely remember hearing that “Ho, ho, ho.”
The Scowling Green Giant, from a different line of gargantua, started towering over our lives in the twenty-first century. He extended no friendly invitations to enjoy, but ugly threats of force and catastrophe if you didn’t swallow his nasty nostrums without question. You weren’t being enticed to savor but ordered to gag down mandates cooked up by globalist bureaucrats wearing Soros toques.
This bad giant was born in 1970 with the first Earth Day. Although capping belching smokestacks seemed reasonable to anyone, the scowling giant already had malign intent. His underpinnings were grim and false, including the 1968 book The Population Bomb, by radical alarmists Paul and Anne Ehrlich, whose predictions were spectacularly wrong.
Petrifying predictions aren’t subject to proof because they haven’t been fulfilled yet, and the left wing doesn’t punish its loony apostles when they err on the side of the movement’s copacetically pleasing extremism.
As with other aspects of leftism, environmentalism serves as a substitute for religion, although they’ll accept the help of clergy-persons adrift in their wake. Or woke.
The environmentalist crusade that began decades ago didn’t seem so moderate after all, but it wasn’t ordering everyone at that time to submit to the totalitarian tyranny becoming all too evident today.
A few years ago, radical leftist politicians like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez burst forth their Green New Deal notions that seemed too foolish to anyone — except to powerful left-wing Democrats who brook no opposition, and dominant-media members who admire them for doing so.
Before you knew it, supposed answers for weather catastrophes that only were projections of fantasies were being injected through politics oppressing us in the present and propaganda to shape the future.
Left-wing politicians and corporatists showed they actually didn’t believe a word of it but sought every avenue to make us live as if it’s real, including imposing financial suffering and diminished freedom.
They built mansions right by beaches like Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and their friends, with the knowledge that their tragically rising seas were hokum. They darkened the skies with the shadows of their flocks of roaring private jets carrying the likes of disaster-monger Klaus Schwab while ordering us out of our modest gas-fueled cars.
Within a few decades their phony weather warnings went from a New Ice Age to Global Warming to Climate Change. They knew less about upcoming weather than an Arctic resident who knows he’ll get snow or a desert-dweller who knows he’ll get heat.
The more they warn of higher temperatures, the more snow on their doorsteps.
An Earth Day website ( recalls that Wisconsin’s U.S. Sen. Gaylord Nelson (a liberal Democrat and population controller) was inspired by the contemporary movement that opposed resistance to expanded Communist aggression in Vietnam in the 1960s.
With this inspiration, the website says, “Sen. Nelson wanted to infuse the energy of student anti-war protests with an emerging public consciousness about air and water pollution. Sen. Nelson announced the idea for a teach-in on college campuses to the national media, and persuaded Pete McCloskey, a conservation-minded Republican congressman, to serve as his co-chair.
“They recruited Denis Hayes, a young activist,” the website adds, “to organize the campus teach-ins and they choose [sic] April 22, a weekday falling between spring break and final exams, to maximize the greatest student participation.”
What occurred, in other words, wasn’t spontaneous but carefully planned. The website includes a dated video of the CBS network’s ideologically committed anchor of that time, Walter Cronkite, giving a reverentially correct presentation that the enviro message was “act or die.” Reliably apocalyptic even back then.
The Green Agenda publicly has become shameless, anticipating a totalitarianism to “save the planet” that means treating most humans — although not the elite — as third-rate serfs.
All those years that the welfare of California’s Central Valley farmers was treated as highly inferior to minnows and weeds were preparing the way for today.
Today the Green Agenda reveals its actual globalist plan under the cloak of sustainability to herd almost everyone into urban centers and to control how they earn, eat, drive, learn, hear, move about — just about how everyone around the globe suddenly was told to reorder their lives beginning in 2020.
That was due to a surprise virus sprung from a totalitarian Communist Chinese laboratory and excused in the U.S. by wealthy, lying globalist Anthony Fauci, MD. Tough words? Hard reality.
Today one of the voices of fact and moderation against the rising tide of fantasy and compulsion is Francis Menton, a retired attorney who lives in the West Village neighborhood of Manhattan and thus sees abundant nonsense of left-wingers up close. He blogs as the Manhattan Contrarian (w
It’s a wonderful place to live, Menton says, except for “a stifling political and ideological orthodoxy. The central tenet of that orthodoxy is that all personal problems of the people in society can be solved by government taxing and spending. The obvious corollary is that since all problems can be solved by taxing and spending, therefore they must be solved by taxing and spending, and anyone who stands in the way of those solutions is immoral.”
He often blogs about bureaucracy and energy. On March 7, under the headline “Bureaucracies Utterly Incapable of Making Reasonable Tradeoffs,” Menton posted:
“Often I focus on bureaucratic regulation of energy because the ability to restrict use of energy is the ultimate societal control. Once they have obtained the ability to restrict use of energy, bureaucrats could, if they choose, take away most of our freedom to enjoy life and return us to the income levels of the Stone Age.
“Will they stop before going that far,” Menton asked, “making reasonable tradeoffs to enable the people to flourish economically? Or will they instead pursue environmental purity without concern for the well-being of the populace?. . .
“In the U.S., battle is currently joined on multiple fronts as to whether unaccountable bureaucracies get to declare the non-toxic beneficial gas CO2 a ‘danger’ to human health and welfare and thereby claim the ability to shut down the entire fossil-fuel-energy economy and force a multi-trillion-dollar (and probably impossible and impoverishing) energy transition on the people.”
A person contemplating the rigid thinking of the Biden administration and its international allies sees ample evidence of an intentional desire to harm the United States and its people.
A person may wonder about the reasons — Biden’s Marxism-friendly theoreticians thinking that Beijing has a better way to govern? Biden’s sexually twisted pals being blinded by their serious sins? — but the damaging direction is undeniable.
The Wanderer asked two sources to comment on the damaging plans being made.
National conservative commentator Quin Hillyer said on March 8: “Everybody ought to be a good conservationist. Today’s ‘environmental activists,’ though, act like a cult — a cult not just content with living in certain ways themselves, but in forcing their views, whether actually based on science or not, on everybody else.
“Worse, their left-wing authoritarianism can actually hurt the environment itself, punishing responsible entities for not being cult-like enough, while leaving others, including massively polluting foreign entities, to pick up the slack without any significant environmental controls or incentives,” Hillyer said.
“By destroying freedom and by completely ignoring human context, left-wing environmental activists contribute to human poverty while, counterintuitively, acting as true menaces to Planet Earth,” Hillyer said.
Conservative Republican political consultant Constantin Querard said on March 8: “In the case of most major causes, the right and the left come at them very differently. Where the right tends to look for solutions to whatever the challenge is (the environment, improving health care, product safety, etc.), and tries to incentivize the private sector and individuals to not only find the solution but to be a major part of the solution, the left sees each challenge as an opportunity to acquire greater control.
“So their solution to environmental concerns is to micromanage how we live and consume products,” Querard said. “Their solution to health-care concerns is to nationalize it and over-regulate it. Their solution to product-safety issues is to add layers upon layers of hurdles to the introduction of new products and over-regulate it as well.
“So we can’t be surprised that the ‘trees before people’ crowd would love to take control over our lives and dictate where and how we can live,” he said.
It’s not that there’s an absence of warnings about the wretched future being planned for us. It’s that the planners don’t care about opposition to them, as long as they prevail somehow.
Joel Kotkin, a veteran writer on demographic, economic and social trends, posted on March 3 at the Sp!ked website under the headline “A neo-feudal war on the people — The elites are steadily impoverishing the working and middle classes.”
Kotkin wrote: “The pandemic and its aftermath also expanded an already evident class divide. With ever fewer middle-class neighborhoods, Americans have become increasingly economically segregated. But two classes have benefited.
“One was the government clerisy, a class of professional bureaucrats who gained and exercised a level of power unprecedented in peacetime,” Kotkin said. “This power will not willingly be surrendered, with many viewing lockdowns as a test run for addressing climate change.”
Power for the elite to do as they please can be ever-expanding, with shocking implications. On March 2 the left-wing Guardian news site, based in the UK, headlined, “UN urged to intervene over destruction of U.S. abortion rights.”
Not that the UN has a very good record on a number of fronts, but are we to contemplate its parachuted-in soldiers ordering rural Texans to get some suction machines pumping along? As for the piquant phrase “destruction of U.S. abortion rights,” that apparently is worse to pro-abortion journos than the destruction of actual U.S. babies.
Another facet is the emerging term “15-minute city,” where everything can be conveniently near to where you live. But there’s another way of looking at it, like the European ghettoization of Jews. The government gets to keep you in your neighborhood, where you’re easier to watch, control, and be recognized.
At one point when a new east-west freeway was being considered through a developed area of Phoenix, the dominant newspapers raised the roof in protest, resulting in the defeat of the proposal in a public referendum. However, this outcome denied commuters the speed of a freeway. What to do?
The City of Phoenix devised the concept of the “urban village” — do you hear “15-minute city”? — where office buildings would be brought right into neighborhoods and you could work nearby.
My neighborhood was presented with a plan to have a row of buildings about 20 stories high just north of us, putting our suburb in the heart of a mini-downtown and cutting off a mountain view. Once again, the big guys who think they know best were exposed as foolish.
Neighborhood protest cut the proposed heights about in half, but what I called a “Berlin Wall” still got built, although those buildings never supplied me with a job. For 14 years I drove about a 22-mile roundtrip to work. The city forgot to mandate where I was hired. As if I’d want it to have that power.

Kari Lake In The Spotlight

Arizona Republican gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake noted some elitist goals as she delivered the keynote address to the Ronald Reagan Dinner at the national Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on March 3 near Washington, D.C.
I covered the speech for my “Sunrise Sunset” column posted March 4 at It included these two paragraphs:
“ ‘Today we face an evil that operates in our own government…an evil that seeks to strip us of our religious freedom’ and freedom of speech, [Lake] said, adding that it aims to eliminate the middle class and nuclear family.
“ ‘I don’t know about you guys but I’ll be damned if I bow down to George Soros,’ she said, going on to comment that she doesn’t want to see U.S. farmland being bought up by the Chinese Communist Party — as it has been doing.”
Later in the story I cited her: “She said she’s not willing to tell her children, it’s been a great life for me, but good luck with Communism and globalism for you.”
The story was headlined, “Kari Lake says no to U.S. young people fighting for Zelensky.”
The Phoenix area’s deceitful little men thought they could suppress Lake, but she was awarded this spotlight role far beyond the control of local politicians Bill Gates and Stephen Richer.
Lake won a straw vote as the CPAC 2024 vice-presidential selection, beating both Ron DeSantis and declared GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley. Lake has said she still is focused on being governor and has appealed the 2022 election for consideration by the Arizona Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, it would be refreshing if DeSantis ruled out any talk of his running for president in 2024. A few months ago, he won a smashing victory to serve a second four-year term as governor of Florida. Did he believe his own campaign words then, or was it just a ruse to give himself a platform for declaring his presidential candidacy within a few months?

A Beacon Of Light… Standing At The Foot Of The Cross With Mary And St. John

March 14, 2023 Frontpage Comments Off on A Beacon Of Light… Standing At The Foot Of The Cross With Mary And St. John


(Editor’s Note: Fr. Richard D. Breton, Jr. is a priest of the Diocese of Norwich, Conn.)

  • + + Today we still find ourselves standing at the foot of the Cross. We are not there as mere spectators, but along with Mary, the Mother of Jesus, the Apostle John, and many other of Jesus’ followers, we actively participate in the actions taking place.
    With the “fourth words” spoken by Christ there exists a transition. In the first “three words” spoken, Jesus is assuring the faithful, and really the entire human race, that the actions taking place are necessary for our redemption. Beginning with the “fourth words,” Jesus positions His gaze on the Father.
    As Jesus speaks these words, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46), Jesus embraces His suffering by speaking to the Father with the Word. In this moment Jesus is praying Psalm 22 from the Book of Psalms from the Old Testament. We must remember this was not uncommon because, as a devout Jew, Jesus would follow the customs of the Jewish people. Let’s take a look at Psalm 22 and see its significance in why Jesus chose to speak it at this time.
    Psalm 22 is a lament psalm, attributed to King David, that expresses deep anguish and distress, but also contains expressions of trust and hope in God. Here is a breakdown of the psalm: Verses 1-2: The psalm begins with a cry of abandonment and despair, with the psalmist feeling forsaken by God and crying out for help. Verses 3-5: The psalmist recalls God’s faithfulness to previous generations and expresses confidence that God will answer their prayer. Verses 6-8: The psalmist describes their current state of suffering, and the way others are mocking and insulting them. Verses 9-11: The psalmist reflects on their past experiences of God’s protection and care, and asks for God’s continued help and deliverance. Verses 12-18: The psalmist vividly describes their physical and emotional suffering, as well as the violent attacks of their enemies.
    This section contains several phrases that were later seen as prophetic of the suffering of the Messiah, including “they divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing” (v. 18).
    Verses 19-21: The psalmist appeals to God for help and protection, expressing confidence that God will answer their prayer. Verses 22-24: The psalmist declares their intention to praise God and testify to God’s faithfulness, even in the midst of their suffering. Verses 25-31: The psalm concludes with a declaration of trust and hope in God, expressing confidence that God will ultimately save and restore the psalmist, as well as all who trust in God.
    Psalm 22 is a powerful expression of the human experience of suffering, but it also points forward to the hope of deliverance and restoration through God’s faithfulness and saving power. This Psalm resolves in triumph and hope, as will Christ’s suffering. The Father doesn’t abandon Christ; rather, Christ abandons Himself to the Father. The psalm begins with a cry of anguish, but it ends with a declaration of faith and victory. In fact, many Christians believe that Jesus was not actually abandoned by God on the cross, but rather He was expressing His deep agony and suffering as He took on the sins of humanity. In this interpretation, Jesus was fully aware of the outcome of His suffering and death, which would ultimately lead to His Resurrection and victory over death.
    By quoting Psalm 22, Jesus was not only expressing his own personal agony but also fulfilling prophecy and demonstrating His identification with the suffering of humanity. It is a powerful reminder of the depth of Jesus’ love for us and His willingness to endure immense suffering in order to save us.

He Understands Our Suffering

The fourth words of Christ on the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46 and Mark 15:34), have significant meaning for Christians and can influence our lives in several ways.
First, they remind us of the depth of Jesus’ love for us. Jesus willingly endured immense suffering, even feeling abandoned by God, in order to redeem us and reconcile us to God. This demonstrates the extent of His love for us and should inspire us to love others sacrificially.
Second, they assure us that Jesus understands our suffering: Jesus’ cry of abandonment reflects the depth of His humanity and His identification with the suffering of all humanity. This means that when we suffer, we can find comfort in knowing that Jesus understands and empathizes with us.
Third, they inspire us to trust in God even in the midst of suffering. Despite feeling abandoned by God, Jesus continued to address God as “my God.” This demonstrates His trust in God’s faithfulness and goodness, even in the darkest of circumstances. As Christians, we can likewise find hope and strength in trusting in God’s steadfast love and faithfulness, even when we are struggling.
Fourth, they fulfill prophecy and demonstrate Jesus’ identity as the Messiah. Jesus’ quotation of Psalm 22 on the cross is seen by many as a fulfillment of Messianic prophecy, which points to Jesus as the suffering servant who would redeem God’s people. This reinforces our faith in Jesus as our Savior and Lord, and inspires us to follow Him more closely. Overall, the “fourth words” of Christ on the cross serve as a powerful reminder of the depth of Jesus’ love and the hope that we have in Him, even in the midst of suffering and hardship.
The “fourth words of Jesus” are significant in our lives, because they represent Jesus’ feeling of abandonment and separation from God at that moment. It is a cry of desperation and anguish. To imitate this phrase in our daily lives, we can reflect on its meaning and apply it to our own experiences. We can use it as a reminder to turn to God in times of distress or when we feel alone or abandoned. It can be a prayerful expression of our own struggles and a way to connect with Jesus on a deeper level.

Internal Conversion

We know Lent is a time for an internal inventory of our spiritual lives. This internal inventory enables us to see where we need to make changes. More important, it calls us to an internal conversion where we can grow in spiritual maturity in our relationship with God.
Additionally, we can also strive to imitate the selflessness and love that Jesus demonstrated throughout His life. We can seek to put the needs of others before our own and show compassion and kindness to those around us. By living in this way, we can imitate the example that Jesus set and make a positive impact in the world.
This week’s words spoken by Jesus on the cross have reminded me that all of our earthly struggles are necessary to prepare us in experiencing heavenly joy. How we process the struggles and crosses of life influences our outlook on life. Meaning, if we allow earthly struggles to control us, we cannot grow in the spiritual life. But, if we use earthly struggles as a means to learn and grow, then we turn the corner toward spiritual growth. Agony, despair, and feelings of abandonment potentially distort our understanding of life. All of these, however, if united in hope, can turn a seemingly difficult moment into one of possibilities.
I pray these reflections are giving us an opportunity to use this Lenten Season for growth and understanding of the Faith.
Next week we move on to the “fifth words” of Christ on the cross. These “fifth words” show us a twofold participation: God’s thirsts for us, while in turn, we thirst for God.

Déjà Vu All Over Again

March 13, 2023 Frontpage Comments Off on Déjà Vu All Over Again


It was only a few weeks ago in this column that I wrote about my radio interview with Kyle Seraphin, the FBI whistleblower who released the bureau’s field report which impugned “radical traditional Catholics” as some sort of hate cult.
He noted that the report, apparently written by a left-wing activist, was based, in part, upon accusations by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which he described as a non-reliable source for an FBI investigation. The SPLC, as discussed in the interview, was once a well-respected civil rights organization that has warped into a left-wing institution that characterizes many on the right as facilitating hate.
Thus, I was surprised when, in the aftermath of a riot over the location — and apparent existence — of a new police training facility outside Atlanta, Ga., one of those arrested and charged with domestic terrorism was an SPLC staff attorney by the name of Thomas Jurgens. He was one of twenty-three so charged after “demonstrators” threw rocks at police and started fires at the site of the proposed training facility.
In response to Jurgens’ arrest, the SPLC issued a statement confirming his employment and told the news media that Jurgens was at the riot as a “legal observer” for the National Lawyers Guild (NLG). The guild issued its own statement claiming Jurgens was present “supporting movement organizers and activists.” It added that Jurgens and other NLG legal observers are “trained witnesses of police conduct.”
Okay, let me understand this: The NLG, which could easily be classified as a left-leaning entity, has trained and is using an SPLC attorney to attend violent events carried out by “movement” supporters to watch for a potential overreaction by police, apparently for use in subsequent legal proceedings.
That would imply, seemingly, a recognition that the “demonstration” was not only planned ahead of time, but that the mob of protesters might be inclined to do something that would require a police response. That leads me to question the integrity of the individual attorney, and the two organizations to which he belongs; the whole thing sounds like a set-up to me: Provoke the police by pelting them with rocks and set the surrounding area on fire. Of course, it was probably only a peaceful fire as we’ve seen before.
Now this takes me back to the SPLC whose investigations the Biden administration’s Department of Justice relies upon to get the skinny on those nefarious folks who support such hate organizations as the Latin Mass.
The SPLC, as mentioned before, was once a legitimate civil rights organization that gave legal representation to those who had, for whatever reason, little or no access to legal assistance. In that, it had done well. But now it stands as an entity that is looking for hate under every rock in sight. Now in doing so it has pointed its finger at many groups that could legitimately be called “hate groups.” Many would be readily recognizable, but many more are small groups that have only limited ability to cause much mischief.
On the other hand, the SPLC seems to find that any person or groups who oppose same-sex marriage, the use of schools to condition children in the great delusion of transgenderism, oppose abortion, and embrace traditional values such as family, are, in fact, hate groups.
Let me give you a rundown of some of the prominent haters, according to the SPLC:
First and foremost is the Family Research Council and its president, Tony Perkins, who is listed personally in a hate profile. Why? According to the SPLC’s web page: “FRC helped launch the religious right as an overt political movement in the 1980s and remains one of the largest anti-LGBTQ organizations in the U.S.” Hmmm, and we thought they were the good guys.
Also included is the Alliance Defending Freedom which we know as a very significant legal player defending religious liberty (which apparently now is bad) not only against government interference, but in the workplace, the military, and even in the schools. They do a lot more, but what seems to be held against them is the claim that “men who self-identify as women are still biological men.”
And we find listed the Pacific Justice Institute and its president Brad Dacus. Another religious liberty supporter; I guess they didn’t get the message that this was all wrong now. PJI was cited for supporting California’s Proposition 8 which would have banned same-sex marriage and for such other sins as opposing reparative therapy which is being used to “affirm” your child’s belief that he might really be a she.
Liberty Counsel is another pro-bono legal group coming to the assistance of Christians who are being denied their religious freedoms by intrusive action by government, schools, workplaces, and the military. Its sin is that it is classified as “anti-gay,” apparently because it doesn’t support transgender classrooms, among other evils.
Also caught up in this dragnet is the Thomas More Law Center in Ann Arbor, Mich. Many of these and similar legal organizations have appeared on my radio program, Faith on Trial, to discuss cases that they are taking, and winning at all levels of the judicial system. They all have one thing in common: They support traditional Christian and family values.
Other organizations receiving SPLC condemnation include: the Illinois Family Institute and the Fatima Crusader and Rosary Crusade, the latter two for radical traditional Catholicism. Apparently publishing opinions which the SPLC finds hateful will put you on the hate list as well, such as The Catholic Family News and The Remnant, all radical traditional Catholics.
Also on the list are many individuals, including retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, apparently for his work with the Family Research Council; former Trump aide Stephen Miller who now is chief counsel for America First Legal, a conservative legal defense group defending conservative political principles; and Brian Fisher of the American Family Association, which, according to the illuminaries at SPLC, is anti-gay.
Okay, so now we know who these people are. They obviously disagree with many Christian, Catholic, and traditional values held by the American people. And, needless to say, they have a right to make their views known. And in their efforts, we must concede that they have noted several groups who are well-known for hate, although many they finger are only remnants of what they used to be in the times of KKK and Jim Crow.
But this all begs the question: Why is the Justice Department — under a man who was once promoted as a nominee for the Supreme Court, Merrick Garland — relying on these people for advice on whom to investigate? I’m sorry, but in my mind both Garland and FBI chief Christopher Wray need to be given the heave-ho. The last thing we need in this country is to be governed by the instincts of a bunch of wing nuts from the political left who have no compunction in making accusations against people with whom they disagree.
If you think I’m wrong, just ask any parent who is now afraid of speaking up at a school board meeting.

  • + + (You can reach Mike at: and listen to him every weekend on Faith On Trial or podcast at

“Killing The Unborn. Murder Or…?”

March 12, 2023 Frontpage Comments Off on “Killing The Unborn. Murder Or…?”


The question of abortion has been in the headlines for years, not to say the least because of the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973.
Some people have argued that abortion is “killing,” and others have denied that. The disagreement goes along with political positions and religious positions — arguments that seemingly would never get settled.
Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe, saying that since the Constitution doesn’t contain that “right,” individual states could regulate abortion. Needless to say, that ruling set off an explosion of arguments across the country as individual states got into the fray trying to decide what should be the law in their jurisdictions. There have been no consistent rulings across the states as to how each will handle the question.
As that has gone on, another stunning court decision has been released that changes the whole picture of the value of the life of a preborn human. In this case, it is a state ruling. The issue, this time, comes from the Massachusetts Supreme Court. It has ruled that “someone who kills an unborn baby capable of living outside the mother’s body can be charged with homicide since that child is considered ‘a person’ under state law.”
Much of what follows about that Massachusetts ruling comes from Liberty Counsel.
In Commonwealth v. Ronchi, the highest state court in Massachusetts recently upheld two first-degree murder convictions of a man who stabbed his girlfriend to death which caused the death of their nine-month unborn child from loss of blood circulation from the mother. The defendant argued that since he had not actually stabbed the baby, he should not be held responsible for its death. However, the court rejected this argument and held that “infliction of prenatal injuries resulting in the death of a viable fetus, before or after it is born, is homicide.”
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court upheld the two consecutive life sentences that a lower court had given the defendant. The State Supreme Judicial Court agreed with the trial court’s instructions to the jury which included: “Killing is not murder unless a human being has been killed. A viable fetus is a human being under the law of homicide. A fetus is viable when there is a reasonable likelihood of the fetus’ sustained survival outside the womb, with or without artificial support.”
The State Supreme Judicial Court followed its precedent in a 1984 case Commonwealth v. Cass in which a driver was convicted of motor vehicle homicide after his vehicle struck a woman who was eight and a half months pregnant, resulting in the death of her child. In that case, the court decided that “infliction of prenatal injuries resulting in the death of a viable fetus, before or after it is born, is homicide. . . . We believe that our criminal law should extend its protection to viable fetuses.”
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court often used the word “child” to refer to the unborn baby in Commonwealth v. Ronchi. Yet in a tragic irony, in the 1981 decision in Moe v. Secretary of Administration and Finance, the same court recognized a “fundamental right of choice” when it comes to abortion, and that the state constitution “affords a greater degree of protection to the right” than previous U.S. Supreme Court decisions of the time.
Currently in Massachusetts, abortion is legal through 24 weeks. After that, “only if it is necessary, in the best medical judgment of the physician, to preserve the life of the patient, if it is necessary, in the best medical judgment of the physician, to preserve the patient’s physical or mental health or, in the best medical judgment of the physician, an abortion is warranted because of a lethal fetal anomaly or the fetus is incompatible with sustained life outside the uterus.”
Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “Abortion has distorted the law. It makes perfect sense to charge a person with murder who kills an unborn child. It makes no sense to call this ‘choice’ when the mother does the killing. Homicide can only be committed against a person — a human being. Homicide cannot be committed against property or a non-person. Plain and simple — abortion is homicide because the act of killing the child is the same whether it is done by a violent actor or a doctor in a white lab coat.”
So then, essentially, that Massachusetts ruling establishes the “personhood” of the unborn child and it is protected by the Constitution. It’s a position that pro-life supporters have argued for years — that an unborn child is a “person.”
The issue has been raised when a pregnant woman dies — either in an accident or intentionally in an attack. If she is killed and her baby dies, does that constitute two deaths? Two “accidental” deaths? Two “intentional” deaths — two murders?
The Massachusetts ruling, at this time, limits the “personhood” designation to infants capable of living outside the mother. The ruling came about as a result of the Court upholding two, first-degree-murder convictions of a man who stabbed his pregnant girlfriend to death. Her death caused the death of their nine-month unborn child from loss of blood from the mother.
As reported in WND Daily, the defendant argued that he hadn’t actual stabbed the child and so he should not be held responsible for its death. The court rejected this argument saying that “infliction of prenatal injuries resulting in the death of a viable fetus, before or after it is born, is homicide.”
The jury instructions included the statements: Killing is not murder unless a human being has been killed. A viable fetus is a human being under the law of homicide. A fetus is viable when there is a reasonable likelihood of the fetus’s sustained survival outside the womb, with or without artificial support.”

Its Lies Exposed, The Left Screams

March 11, 2023 Frontpage Comments Off on Its Lies Exposed, The Left Screams


It’s “Pull Back the Curtain” time in Washington, as new and crucial revelations rock the Capitol.
And speaking of rocking the Capitol, among those revelations is proof that the Left’s entire “January 6th Insurrection” narrative was a concoction that would make Dzerzhinsky proud.
A couple of weeks ago, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy gave Tucker Carlson of Fox News thousands of hours of video captured by security cameras throughout the Capitol.
Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi had kept the videos under secrecy so tight that it was withheld from lawyers representing hundreds of January 6th defendants against charges brought by Merrick Garland’s Justice Department.
The appearance of this vital evidence, which appears to disprove the entire “insurrection” narrative, will undoubtedly throw into chaos those “January 6th” cases already tried in various federal courts.
But, as Bill Clinton used to say, “Hey, so what? That’s old news!”
While this new “Capitol Video Scandal” is still in its early stages, the walk-back has already begun. Cong. Bennie Thompson (D., Miss.), the dependable Democrat Pelosi named to chair the “January 6th Committee,” has already pleaded ignorance.
Last Thursday, CNN’s Alayna Treene reported that “Thompson said he doesn’t think any of the January 6 members themselves ever had access to the footage — they let only staff view it. ‘I’m actually not aware of any member of the committee who had access. We had a team of employees who kind of went through the video’.”
Unbelievable — but classic: Ignoramus Chairman blames unnamed “employees.”
It’s always fascinating to enjoy such a close-up view of the Ministry of Truth’s “Rewrite Department.”
Why, any minute now, the staff will be gathering in the Capitol Lobby for the daily “Two Minutes Hate” directed at Big Brother’s perpetual enemy — not “Goldstein,” as George Orwell would have it, but — you guessed it — Donald Trump.
Time to stock up on popcorn.

Vindication Is Sweet — But Don’t Expect An Apology

Speaking of revelations, we reported last week that the U.S. Department of Energy and the FBI now admit that the most likely source of the coronavirus was the Chinese Defense Ministry’s Level-4 Bio-Safety Lab in the city of Wuhan. That determination took so long, FBI Director Christopher Wray said, because the Communist Chinese were doing their best “to thwart and obfuscate the work” of the FBI and others seeking to prove the origins of the virus.
But the ChiComs had important allies in their disinformation campaign: For three years, their denials were echoed by a unanimous establishment media.
China scholar Steven Mosher was one of the key targets of that campaign. This week, we had the opportunity to ask him about it, and it’s now clear why China apologists universally blacklisted him: Mosher’s banned reporting identified not only the source of the virus — the Wuhan Lab — but the reason it was created.
“Way back in February 2020, I published articles arguing not only that the China Virus came from the Wuhan lab, but that it was a bioweapon created using Gain-of-Function techniques,” Mosher tells The Wanderer.
“I was instantly slammed as a conspiracy theorist, and my articles disappeared from the Internet. It was clear to me that, since I was taking so much flak, that I must be over the target.
“Now, three full years later, we have Deep State actors like Christopher Wray engaging in a ‘limited hangout.’ They now admit that it ‘leaked’ from the lab, hoping that this partial truth will quell the controversy.
“It won’t,” Mosher said — and he’s determined to make sure that it won’t.
“The China Virus was not only created in the Wuhan lab — using U.S. Gain-Of-Function techniques and U.S. funding — but it was created for use as a bioweapon and deliberately unleashed on the world,” he said.
“That’s a pretty explosive charge, isn’t it?” I asked.
In response, Mosher posed a “what-if” featuring Dr. Anthony Fauci, who served as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) from 1984 to 2022, and as chief medical adviser to the president during 2021 and 2022.
“What would you say if the U.S. (think ‘Fauci’) had trained Chinese scientists how to enrich uranium, helped to fund their enrichment program, and actually provided them with some enriched uranium?” Mosher asked.
“Then they built a bunch of nuclear weapons and deliberately detonated them in every country around the world. Now replace the words ‘enriched uranium’ with ‘the China Virus’ and you will know what really happened. And why the Deep State is so desperate to cover up its involvement by covering up for China.”

A Tale Of Fear And Desperation

Mosher’s nightmare scenario shocks the imagination, but consider: If China’s Dear Leader Xi Jinping intentionally unleashed the virus on an unsuspecting world, it would constitute the greatest bioweapons attack in world history.
Maybe that’s why Dr. Fauci is desperate to avoid an investigation of his federal office’s funding of Chinese Communist biological research, and why his ignorant lapdogs in the “mainstream media” have gone along.
Fauci’s façade continued to collapse on March 8, when explosive details of the media campaign engineered to perpetuate the China Virus coverup were revealed in testimony before the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic.
There, Nicholas Wade filled in the blanks.
Wade’s media experience includes years as a science writer, editor, and author working on the staff of Nature, Science, and, for many years, as science editor of The New York Times.
In his testimony, Wade asked, “if the evidence for the lab leak is so strong, why do so many people still believe the virus came from nature?”
“The reason,” he testified, “is that the natural origin camp got its story out first. . . . It very successfully painted the lab leak as a ‘conspiracy theory’ before anyone [had even] opposed [the natural origin camp] publicly.”
No contest: It was a masterstroke of deception.
Mr. Wade continued:
“The national media swallowed the natural origin story unskeptically, and, once committed to it, failed to report important contrary evidence. . . . Science journalists in particular, it seems to me, fell down on their job by failing to check out the virologists’ self-serving claims.” (Wade’s written testimony painstakingly details media malfeasance of a historic magnitude.)
“The natural origin theory did not prevail by accident,” Wade said. “It was promoted by science administrators in the United States and England, including Francis Collins and Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health. The NIH is a national treasure and Collins and Fauci, the most prominent leaders at the time, are well known to the public and on Capitol Hill.
“It’s hard to believe that in the twilight of their long careers, they would seriously mishandle an issue as important as the origin of the COVID virus. Yet that is what the evidence seems to point to.
“The campaign to discredit lab leak,” Wade continued, “began on the evening of January 31, 2020, when Fauci received an email from four virologists led by Kristian Andersen of Scripps Research.
“They had all concluded that Sars 2 . . . could not have been made in nature,” Wade said. “Fauci was probably not too pleased to hear that the virus might have escaped from research that his agency has funded.”
And then came the bombshell:
“A strange thing happened to the virologists’ conclusion,” Wade testified. “Within four days, Anderson, in an email on February fourth, repudiated, deriding the lab leak as a crackpot theory.
“What made him change his mind?” Wade asked. “No new scientific evidence about the virus came to light between January 31 and February fourth, but from that 180-degree reversal, a whole campaign was able to be developed including highly influential articles placed in Nature, Medicine, and The Lancet.”
Any sane and responsible U.S. president would call out Communist China for this most grievous of war crimes.
Will Joe Biden?

Twitter Feed

Biden administration pats itself on the back for shooting down China balloon - meanwhile southern border is wide open to the Chinese.

House Republicans approved 2 #ProLife measures.

The first measure would ban #Abortion on babies born alive and require the babies be given medical care and treatment. The other measure condemned a spurt of growing attacks against crisis pregnancy centers.

House Republicans Pass Pro-Life Bills

House Republicans on Jan. 11 approved two pro-life measures. The first measure passed by the House would ban abortion ...

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Today . . .

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Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

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