Monday 26th September 2022

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Looking Ahead For Life

September 26, 2022 Frontpage Comments Off on Looking Ahead For Life

By CHRISTOPHER MANION

The prospects for life received a historic boost this year when the U.S. Supreme Court returned to the States and the people “the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States.”
That phrase comes from the “forgotten Tenth Amendment” in the Constitution’s Bill of Rights. Its restoration is central to the recovery of the proper relationship of the States and the Federal Government enshrined in the Constitution.
The powers of the Federal Government are limited. The Supreme Court’s refreshing reminder of that fact opens the door to a historic countrywide effort at the State and local level.
When State legislatures meet in January, they should invoke that vital anchor of the Bill of Rights and exercise those powers in a wide range of issues.
The opportunity is challenging — for fifty years or more, State legislatures have been forbidden by rogue Supreme Court justices from even addressing these issues.
But in 2023, laws regarding abortion, marriage, religion, and the entire “gender ideology” will be debated by legislators and senators at the State level for the first time in years.
And they’re going to need our help.
Roe v. Wade (1973) and Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992) were in error, the Supreme Court said last June in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health. It is now up to individual States and local communities to address the issue of abortion.
But the State powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution range far and wide. And this revival of the Tenth Amendment regarding life offers promising opportunities in other fundamental areas to take back the culture and cure it.
In McCollum v. Board of Education (1948), the Court ruled that “use of tax-supported property for religious instruction…violated the Establishment clause.”
But in June’s Carson v. Makin decision, the Court found that Maine could not exclude families who send their children to religious schools from its State-funded tuition reimbursement program.
Does that mean that children who attend religious schools — even home-schooled children — can enjoy State and local funding?
The answer is yes. But we have to fight for it.
In Engel v. Vitale (1962), the Court banned public schools from sponsoring a voluntary, nondenominational prayer.
But in June, in Kennedy vs. Bremerton School District, the Court found that the State may not suppress an individual from engaging in personal religious observance on public school grounds.
Does that mean can children pray publicly inside a third-grade classroom?
The answer is yes. But we have to fight for it.
The constitutions of 49 of the 50 States in the Union give thanks to God for the liberties enjoyed by the people. Can public school students and teachers now be permitted to read their State constitution out loud in class?
How about the Declaration of Independence, which mentions God no fewer than five times?
The answer is yes. But we have to fight for it.
In Stone v. Graham (1980), the Court declared that posting the Ten Commandments on the wall of public school classrooms was unconstitutional.
Can local school boards now address the violence in public schools by reposting the Ten Commandments on every classroom wall in their district?
The answer is yes. But we have to fight for it.
And how about “gender”? Where does that appear in the Constitution?
Sure, the Nineteenth Amendment forbids denying the right to vote “on account of sex,” but there are only two sexes. “Male and female He created them” and all that (Gen. 1:27). When we last looked, there were 81 “genders,” if anybody’s counting.
Let’s face it. Isn’t it time for State legislatures to revisit the entire “Gender Ideology” agenda, and refuse to comply with Joe Biden’s Federal Perversion Program that he’s trying to force into every aspect of public life, including any schools receiving Federal lunch subsidies?
The answer is yes. But we have to fight for it.
In Obergefell v. Hodges (2015), the Court declared that State laws defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman were unconstitutional.
But the word “marriage” doesn’t appear in the Constitution either. Can States now reclaim their proper jurisdiction over family law?
The answer is yes. But we have to fight for it.

What We’re Up Against

“No one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it” — George Orwell.
St. Augustine, on the first page of his City of God, identifies the libido dominandi — the lust for power — as the ruling vice of the City of Man, whose ruler is Satan.
Before Augustine, there were no limits on the power of earthly rulers. It was for Augustine to interpret “Render unto Caesar” as a principle that limits earthly power and a principle that liberates individual freedom. Man’s pilgrimage to eternal life is his highest goal, and government cannot achieve that for him.
For Augustine, government’s sole task was limited to providing a modicum of peace, freedom, and order for man to work out his salvation through Christ and His Church.
And ever since, of all civilizations, only the Christian West has acknowledged any limits on government power at all.
Our Founding Fathers were intimately familiar with that history. For them, it represented a perpetual battle for freedom and virtue against the powerful temptation of the lust for power.
In the closing days of the Constitutional Convention in 1787, George Mason of Virginia proposed adding a Bill of Rights to the text. That proposal was soundly defeated. Those who prevailed opposed naming particular rights because no list could be complete, and thus, it was better to have no list at all.
But in December 1787, Thomas Jefferson wrote to James Madison that “A bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against any government on earth.”
After the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia adjourned, each of the thirteen States had conventions of their own to debate their adoption of the Constitution. As they met, several of them were reluctant to vote in favor of adoption without the guarantee that the First Congress would adopt a Bill of Rights.
To satisfy that demand, in December 1791 Congress passed the Bill of Rights, stating in the Preamble that their purpose was “to prevent misconstruction or abuse of [the Federal government’s] powers,” and to extend “the ground of public confidence in the government.”
The Tenth Amendment drives home the principle that the Federal government has certain delegated powers, and no others.
Since Marbury v. Madison (1803), Americans learned that the Supreme Court is not always a friend of liberty. As it has overseen, approved, and often proclaimed novel new powers of the national government (including the Court itself) the Tenth Amendment has been stowed in the bottom desk drawer.
But the principle of limited government offers America its last defense against the Left’s Leviathan. The Supreme Court can restore the rights of the States and the people, but the States and the people have to embrace those rights, celebrate them, and act on them.
Today the Left’s abuse of powers has not only transgressed the Constitution’s limits on power, it has targeted them for utter destruction. While there is little the citizen can do to curb the crimes of a rogue unelected bureaucracy in Washington, the opportunities on the State and local level abound.
America’s Secular City is allied with the Democrat Left to drown our children in a sea of moral rot. The Supreme Court has opened the door to our using our rights protected by the Tenth Amendment to fight back in the place we can be most effective — our own backyard.

Shelter For Muslim Illegals

September 25, 2022 Frontpage Comments Off on Shelter For Muslim Illegals

By BARBARA SIMPSON

Kamala Harris, the U.S. vice president, has a strange idea of what border security means. When asked about it by Chuck Todd of NBC News, she said, “We have a secure border in that it is a priority for our administration.”
Oh.
So, the administration of Joe Biden says what it wants, and just the saying of it, makes it so.
Really?
It makes you wonder what kind of make-believe world Joe and Kamala live in. It certainly isn’t the world the rest of us inhabit, especially the Border Patrol and those responsible for securing our Southern border. Those are the people who report that they are apprehending more than 200,000 people crossing our Southern border illegally, every month! It’s a record and it’s getting worse. Buried in the reporting is the fact that many are criminals, most are not from Mexico, and many are Muslims.
The usual news coverage we see about the illegals, portray them as “just people like us” who only want a good life. That may be the case for some, but certainly not for all, and telling the difference is a challenge.
For instance — Juan Rodriguez Alfaro. He’s 32 years old and from Honduras. Police report that he’s been arrested in Fairfax County, Va., for possibly 21 sexual assaults on women and girls in the area.
Before this arrest, he was wanted for attempted rape and sexual assault in Suffolk County, N.Y. At that time, he had already been deported from the U.S. three times!
Fairfax County, Va., and Suffolk County, N.Y., are both sanctuary jurisdictions which means they are not allowed to turn illegal aliens over to ICE for deportation.
According to a report in Breitbart, police in Virginia have filed a detainer with Fairfax County requesting that Alfaro be turned over to them, but the request is likely to be denied because of their sanctuary policies.
As all this is going on, it has been learned that a shelter for Muslim migrants has been opened in Tijuana, Mexico. The eight-thousand-foot facility, built by the Latina Muslim Foundation, can accommodate up to 150 migrants with housing, medical care, halal means, and legal services. The report by Judicial Watch follows its tracking the flow of Muslims across our border, which according to it is increasing monthly.
An Arab news outlet reported early this year that thousands of Muslims from the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Africa try to reach the U.S. through Mexico every month. The head of a religious immigrant organization in Brazil was quoted as saying that 20 percent of the people moving toward Mexico were Muslims.
While U.S. news reports tend to focus sympathetically on Mexicans and Central Americans moving toward the border, it’s interesting to note that more countries than that are involved in the migration. The news outlets ignore that. There has been a large increase in the number of people from countries responsible for the recruiting of terrorist groups.
In the first month of fiscal year 2022, The Border Patrol’s Del Rio Sector in Texas recorded 28,111 illegals from more than 50 countries — which include Syria, Lebanon, Eritrea, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan. The Taliban is in control in many of those states. These are just the people they apprehended. There is no accounting of how many are the “got aways” and where they went.
Judicial Watch has followed this issue for months and reports that Mexico has become a hotbed of Islamic terrorism which is concentrated at our border. It was found that Islamist jihadists are training in border towns near American cities. They’ve joined forces with the drug cartels to help terrorists stationed in Mexico cross the border and target American cities for possible future attacks.
A number of the leaders of these groups live in varied Mexican cities and while the FBI knows of many of them, and where they are, there is little they can do about it.
Given this situation, the fact that there now is a sanctuary for Muslims near our border, makes the danger even more grave.
The fact that our government is not acknowledging the fact of this situation, and not even showing any real concern about the border situation in general, leaves the average American in a quandary.
We have a president who does not seem concerned about the border situation. We have a vice-president who is supposed to be in charge of the border, yet she has not even been there, and she does not admit there are problems.
The latest figures show that Mexicans account for the largest number of illegal border crossers, followed by Cubans, Guatemalans, Hondurans, Colombians, Nicaraguans, Haitians, Salvadorans, Brazilians, Venezuelans, Russians, and Ecuadoreans. This list does not include those from Muslim countries even though the Border Patrol encountered thousands from Muslim countries.
The headlines over the last week were filled with the news that illegals were sent from Texas and Florida to sanctuary cities in the Northeast — and everyone was shocked! Shocked, I tell you!
I admit, I don’t know why. Those same people have no problem with the fact that towns in the Southwest are inundated with illegals being delivered into their midst and they get no financial help from the feds to care for these people. They don’t seem to be concerned about the dangers to American citizens living there. Yet, when these same illegals are sent to Northern cities that claim to be “sanctuaries” — all “you know what” breaks loose! It’s turned into a political issue and judging by the current situation, promises to last until the election, which isn’t very far away!
I have family and friends living in a border country and I know the dangers they face daily from illegals crossing their property and causing damage, to say nothing of their safety.
What will it take to make our government do what is required to protect our citizens and our country? I don’t know, but it had best happen soon.

Pope Francis Leaves Cardinal Zen Twisting Slowly In The Wind

September 24, 2022 Frontpage Comments Off on Pope Francis Leaves Cardinal Zen Twisting Slowly In The Wind

By CHRISTOPHER MANION

“Cardinal Who?” you might ask.
We refer to Joseph Cardinal Zen Ze-kiun, bishop emeritus of Hong Kong, raised to the Red Hat by Pope Benedict XVI in 2006, and now the moral leader of not only Catholics, but of all freedom-loving Chinese subjects of Communist China’s new Great Leader, Xi Jinping.
Cardinal Zen has been under house arrest in Hong Kong since July, awaiting trial on trumped-up charges. His trial, originally scheduled for this week, has been postponed, reportedly because the judge has contracted the China Virus.
Cosmic justice.
China’s Communist regime today will have no other gods than Xi Jinping. All religion is thus political, and as a political leader (and thus immoral, by Xi’s tyrannical standards), Cardinal Zen is a light that must be hidden, and then quietly snuffed out.
And that’s just fine, it seems, with Pope Francis.
In the recent Consistory of Cardinals — the first in eight years — Cardinal Zen was absent — “unpersoned,” as the Thought Police might say.
“The extraordinary consistory would have been an opportunity to declare full solidarity with Zen on the part of all the cardinals of the College,” Gerhard Cardinal Mueller, former prefect of the Congregation of the Faith, told Il Messaggero earlier this month.
But what happened instead? “Nothing at all,” Cardinal Mueller says. “There are obviously political reasons on the part of the Holy See that prevent such initiatives. I am referring to the agreement for the renewal of bishops recently signed with the government of Xi. I am sorry to say this but we cannot submit the interests of the Holy See and the Vatican State to the ecclesial dimension and to the truth.”
“Next month there will be an unfair trial. No one has raised the very serious issue of our Brother Zen. It has not been done by the Dean [of the College of Cardinals], Cardinal Re, nor by the secretary of state, Parolin, nor by the Pope. There has been no document of solidarity, no prayer initiative for him.”
Well, the Vatican has another agenda. Archbishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, who heads the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, tells La Stampa that “those who best realize the social doctrine of the Church at this time are the Chinese. They seek the common good, subordinating all things to the general good.”
All things including Cardinal Zen, apparently.
Mired in such mindless blather, everyone in the Vatican, including Pope Francis, has abandoned Cardinal Zen. Anxious to preserve Cardinal Parolin’s secret deal struck with Xi in 2018, Francis refused to defend Cardinal Zen as recently as last week, when he refused to call Zen’s arrest a violation of religious freedom. The Pope complained instead that “it is not easy to understand the Chinese mentality….To understand China takes a century, and we won’t see a century.”
Babble as he may, the Pope understands Cardinal Zen’s mentality, and he doesn’t like it. “Cardinal Zen is going to trial these days, I think. And he says what he feels, and you can see that there are some limitations there,” he said.
Profound. But he is quick to add that he “respects” the Chinese Communist regime, and that the Holy See in its engagement with them has chosen “the path of dialogue.”

The Chinese Church
Is Dying For Dialogue

For years the Vatican has quietly wished that Cardinal Zen would shut up, but His Eminence won’t. Three years ago this month, he wrote a letter to all the members of the College of Cardinals, “because we cardinals have the grave responsibility to help the Holy Father in guiding the Church.”
“It is quite clear,” he wrote, that the Vatican’s “Pastoral Guidelines” (written after the secret agreement with Xi) “encourage the faithful in China to enter a schismatic church (independent of the Pope and under the orders of the Communist Party)…why must such an agreement be secret, and why is it not granted even to me, a Chinese cardinal, to see it?” he asked.
He didn’t stop there. In July 2019, Cardinal Zen submitted to the Pope his own Dubia. It was a scathing attack that exposed the duplicity of the Vatican’s entire approach to dealing with Xi’s regime.
His argument goes straight to the source of the evil — the Vatican’s Secretary of State.
“Cardinal Parolin quotes a sentence from Pope Benedict’s letter completely out of context — indeed, diametrically opposed to the whole paragraph. This manipulation of the Pope Emeritus’ thought is gravely disrespectful; indeed, it is a deplorable insult to the person of such a meek Pope, who is still alive.”
“But it also disgusts me,” he continues, “that they often declare that what they are doing is in continuity with the thought of the previous Pope, while the opposite is true. I have reason to believe (and I hope one day to be able to prove with archival documents) that the agreement signed is the same one that Pope Benedict had, at the time, refused to sign.”
“Your Eminence, can we passively witness the murder of the Church in China by those who should protect and defend her from her enemies?”
“Begging on my knees, your brother,” the letter ends.
Basta! Enough! “Archival documents” that might prove how Francis has betrayed the beloved Pope Benedict XVI, as indicated above?
This man is dangerous. He must be disappeared.
When Cardinal Zen was given permission to leave Hong Kong for three days to visit Rome two years ago, Pope Francis refused to see him.
“Too busy.”

Down Is Up

While the Vatican has shoved Cardinal Zen down the Memory Hole, support for Communist China’s most prominent political prisoner has come from a most surprising direction: Strasbourg, and the European Parliament.
When Cardinal Zen was arrested in July, that body passed a Resolution “condemn[ing] the arrests of Cardinal Joseph Zen, one of the strongest advocates of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement, and of the other four trustees of the 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund,” the body said. The Resolution noted that these and similar repressive actions “constitute an attack on the freedoms guaranteed in the Hong Kong Basic Law, including the freedom of religion or belief.”
Curious. Dr. Carlos Beltramo, who heads the European office of the Population Research Institute, reports that the Parliament, elected by the member states of the European Union, passed another resolution that same month, this one condemning the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization!
Parliament “Strongly condemns once again the backsliding in women’s rights and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) taking place globally, including in the U.S.,” it read, recommending that the EU “use all instruments at their disposal to strengthen their actions to counteract the backsliding in women’s rights and SRHR, including by compensating for any possible reduction in U.S. funding to SRHR globally, and by strongly advocating and prioritizing universal access to safe and legal abortion and other SRHR in their external relations.”
The European Parliament “supports, likewise, the calls for the U.S. Congress to pass a bill protecting abortion at federal level,” it concluded.
It is painful indeed to see the radical pro-abortion, pro-population control European Parliament filling in the vacuum that should be overflowing with the outrage of a Holy Father blasting the Communist persecution of the Catholic Church throughout China, in the person of its most valiant Catholic prelate.
We must pray for Joseph Cardinal Zen and his persecutors — both in China and in the Vatican.

Yankees Is Differ’nt

September 23, 2022 Frontpage Comments Off on Yankees Is Differ’nt

BY JOE SIXPACK

I was once having a conversation with a friend from the Deep South. I made the mistake of telling him something that wasn’t quite clear enough for him, and he seemed very surprised by what I said. I clarified for him what I meant, then followed my clarification with, “What on earth did you think I meant?” He replied, “Well, I weren’t fer shore, ‘cause ya know Yankees is differ’nt.”
Yeah, I guess from his perspective, Yankees are certainly different. And his definition of Yankees includes anyone not from Alabama, Mississippi, or Louisiana. Even people from Georgia are suspect to him.
But this got me thinking about how we tend to classify people. I’m not at all saying classifications are wrong or bad. Indeed, classifications are often quite useful. Without them we’d have to give people long explanations when trying to describe someone or something. With classifications, all we have to do is say a word or two. And perhaps the classifications most in the forefront these days are in the political and religious spectra. We often hear about the political left and right, or the religious left and right. Let’s talk about both.
The political left are all about equality. I’m not on the political left, but I’m all about equality too. I think the vast majority of people are in favor of equality. Equality and liberty actually go hand-in-hand. Unfortunately, though, the political left’s idea of equality is with the use of government enforcement, always favoring the “protected class” at the expense of the personal liberty of others. For example, equality in education means allowing minorities into an institution of higher learning on the basis of race, creed, or color. Without this “equality,” those students could not otherwise be admitted to the institution. The problem with that is, the students who would qualify on their own, without relying on their race, creed, or color, are actually being forced to forfeit a part of their liberty. They applied for admission to the institution because of its reputation for academic excellence, but because of the government enforced “equality,” what these students end up with is an education from an institution that had to lower its academic standards. So the liberty to get a fine education is forfeited in favor of “equality.” This is neither equality nor liberty.
Then there’s the political right. They believe in equality just as strongly as the political left. The difference is the manner of application. But the political right, allowed to run amok, would bring about the exact opposite and equal consequence as we currently see in the political left. Neither side wants to be unfair in any situation. This is just the nature of the way things are, and that’s because of our fallen human nature.
That leads me to the religious left and right. When we talk about the religious left and religious right, the reference is usually meant to describe Christians. The problem with these labels is, you really can’t tell the difference between the religious left and right from the political left and right. Each side has some valid merit in the various arguments, I suppose, but these “sides” really don’t apply to all Christians.
To whom do the religious left and right labels not apply? Catholics, of course! Because Jesus left the entire deposit of faith with the apostles, and because nothing can be taken away from or added to that deposit, all of the Church’s teachings are perennial. Unlike Protestant churches, our doctrines aren’t open to the left or right opinions, and no one can come along and change them. So rather than use the labels assigned by society of left or right, the Church has always had her own terminology. She calls these classes of people orthodox or heterodox.
A person who adheres to heterodoxy is someone who believes something contrary to the perennial teachings of the Catholic Church. For example, people who think women can be ordained, or think non-Catholics can receive Communion, hold heterodox views that are clearly in contradiction to the constant 2000 year teachings of the Catholic Church. Although the proper ecclesiastical authorities seem to fear calling a spade a spade in these contentious times, such persons are heretics.
There are two types of heretics: formal and informal. A formal heretic is someone who obstinately holds heterodox views (heresy), and they’ve been declared such by a bishop or a pope. These people are outside the Roman Catholic Church and, absent of a good confession and renunciation of their heresies, they will end their lives going before Almighty God already judged by His Church.
Informal heretics are no less heretics, and I’ve known even some bishops, priests and deacons, as well as a good many lay people who are informal heretics. This classification of heretic just hasn’t been declared such officially, but they equally place themselves outside the Church. And they will have the very same experience at death, assuming they knew that the heterodoxy they held to was indeed contrary to the Catholic faith. Therein lies the biggest difference between a formal and informal heretic: the formal heretic knows he’s a heretic because proper ecclesiastical authorities have told him so. An informal heretic may adhere to heresy out of ignorance.
The only way to be assured you are free of heterodox (heretical) views is to learn the Catholic faith well. Of course, since you can also be a heretic in actions as well as words, you need to apply what you learn. For instance, if you’re practicing contraception, you’re in trouble. I know a man who claims to believe the use of contraception is a sin, yet he allows his wife to use it — thus making him equally guilty of her sin. And I can only assume the wife believes the use of contraception is morally acceptable, despite that I’ve heard the same preaching against it she has. So we need to determine if we are (1) in willful disagreement with the Church, and (2) do whatever we have to in order to correct the situation. Learn the faith in my weekly free webinars. You can only register through an invitation. In order to get an invitation, you have to be on my email list. If you’re interested, visit JoeSixpackAnswers.com. On the right hand side of the home page is a form asking for your name and email. Just enter that information and you’ll begin getting invitations to the free webinars. And you can attend these free live events on all devices — computer, tablet and cell phone. I’d love to have you join us.

Artifacts Of An Imperishable Faith

September 22, 2022 Frontpage Comments Off on Artifacts Of An Imperishable Faith

BY JAMES MONTI

Part 1

Recently I was exploring for the first time with two friends the “American Wing” of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. In gallery after gallery there were masterful landscape paintings that conveyed a powerful sense of transcendence and the beauty of God’s creation. There were likewise lovely depictions of the beauty of family life, the greatest source of natural happiness that God has bestowed upon man in this valley of tears. Yet in these “American” galleries there was almost nothing of an expressly religious nature — nothing, that is, until I happened to turn into the entrance to Gallery 757.
Suddenly before my eyes was a glittering gold crown studded with over four hundred emeralds, ensconced in the middle of a room teeming with otherworldly wonders. In the same field of vision when entering this gallery, mounted on the wall directly behind the crown of gold, a large painting depicts Our Lady with the Christ Child, both clothed in gold and both wearing crowns that seem to mirror the design of the crown in the foreground. Our Lady is seated before a large tree, the branches of which are populated with colorful tropical birds. Kneeling to her right is a man in penitential garb, and to the left there is a domed church, with mountains in the background.
What I had stumbled into was a new gallery of Latin American art that the Met Museum has added to its American galleries. The publicly stated rationale for this addition is that the museum’s definition of “American art” ought to be broadened from exclusively Anglo-Saxon American art to embrace the art of Latin America as well. The bottom line is that this redefinition has opened the door to a whole world of Catholic art from the countries to which the Spaniards and the Portuguese brought the Catholic faith.
In fact, virtually every item in Gallery 757 is a work of Catholic religious art or a Catholic liturgical object. The life-sized gold crown that serves as the centerpiece of this room was made to adorn the head of a statue of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception enshrined for centuries in a church of the Columbian city of Popayan. In a video about this object popularly known as the “Crown of the Andes” (ca. 1660-1770), a representative of the museum explains that to understand the stunning splendor and wonder of this crown wrought from over five pounds of gold, it must be borne in mind that it was conceived as a crown “made for the Queen of Heaven.”
What this museum curate has stated so extremely well is for us as believing Catholics an overwhelming thought when contemplating this crown in person. The sheer physical reality of this object brings home to the soul the truth that Our Lady is very, very real — our sculptures and paintings of her are in and of themselves inanimate objects, but they communicate through our senses the invisible reality of Mary and her immeasurable and very personal love for us. The crown was fashioned as a palpable expression of love and reverence for her by the people of Columbia. Visually juxtaposed with the painting of Our Lady wearing a virtually identical crown that hangs behind it, the crown conveys a powerful sense of the Blessed Virgin’s majesty as Queen of Heaven.
Exhibited on a mount of its own to the left of the “Crown of the Andes” stands what is an even more wondrous encounter with heavenly majesty — a silver monstrance dating from the 1640s. For many visitors, it may well seem to be simply an artistically crafted piece of silverwork. But for the believing Catholic, the large open aperture at the center of this monstrance brings to mind the lunette that was placed within it countless times, centuries ago, containing a treasure greater than the entire universe — the Body and Blood, soul and divinity of Almighty God Incarnate. To draw near to this object is to feel oneself close to what was once the throne of God. Centuries ago, priest after priest, on one feast day after another, held this monstrance aloft as plumes of incense rose before the Sacred Host that would have been enshrined within it.
An inscription on the hidden underside of the monstrance reveals that in addition to being a gift of love to God this sacred vessel was also made as a gift of love from a grateful holy man to the people of his place of birth. The inscription relates that Fray Pedro Urraca Garcia of the Trinitarian Order (1583-1657), a missionary who labored for souls in Peru and Ecuador, donated the monstrance to the church in which he was baptized in his native town of Jadraque, Spain. Fray Urraca is in fact a candidate for canonization, having been declared Venerable by Pope St. John Paul II in 1981.
On yet another freestanding mount to the right of the “Crown of the Andes” is displayed a 1709 edition of the Missale Romanum bound in chased silver, the text of the missal having been published in Antwerp by the printing house of Christophe Plantin, with its magnificent silver-on-wood binding handcrafted in Peru. The missal rests in its closed position, but the missal’s title page, depicting a gathering of angels adoring with enraptured awe the Blessed Sacrament enshrined in a monstrance, can be viewed in a photo provided on the Met Museum’s website. This particular title page design for Plantin’s editions of the missal dates back to the 1640s. Also evident from the website photos is that this missal was bound together with a 1707 edition of the Franciscan Proper of Saints, a printed collection of Mass prayers for feast days celebrated within the Franciscan Order. Clearly the missal was intended for use at a Franciscan church or friary.
Here as with the monstrance on the opposite end of the room, the silver is silently preaching a visual gospel about what it was fashioned to enclose, in this case the priceless words by which the sacrifice of Our Lord on the Cross would be re-presented and the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist wrought anew at the altar, day after day, some three centuries ago. Many a saint, many a martyr and many a faithful soul have been ready and willing to suffer and die in defense of what is contained within this silver binding. When about the year 1581 the English Catholic laywoman Cecily Stonor, a niece of the Carthusian martyr St. Sebastian Newdigate (+1535), was put on trial for her adherence to the Catholic faith, she told her judges:
“I was born in such a time when Holy Mass was in great reverence, and brought up in the same Faith. In King Edward’s time this reverence was neglected and reproved by such as governed. In Queen Mary’s, it was restored with much applause; and now in this time it pleaseth the state to question them, as now they do me, who continue in this Catholic profession. The state would have these several changes, which I have seen with mine eyes, good and laudable. Whether it can be so, I refer it to your Lordships’ consideration. I hold me still to that wherein I was born and bred; and find nothing taught in it but great virtue and sanctity; and so by the grace of God I will live and die in it” (quoted in Henry Clifford, The Life of Jane Dormer, Duchess of Feria, Quarterly Series, vol. 62, London, Burns and Oates, 1887, pp. 38-39). The paintings that line the walls of Gallery 757 take the viewer still deeper into the faith-filled spiritual landscape of seventeenth and eighteenth century Catholic Latin America. Five of the paintings offer vibrantly colorful praise to the Mother of God. The most introspective and intimate of these artworks, an eighteenth century Peruvian canvas entitled “The Soul of the Virgin Mary,” provides a visual reflection upon the indwelling of the Holy Spirit within the soul of Mary as the Temple of the Holy Spirit par excellence. As the Christ Child rests peacefully in her arms, Our Lady gazes heavenward, lost in contemplation, with the Holy Spirit depicted as a dove hovering within her. Beneath, two angels hold a cartouche that places upon the lips of the Blessed Virgin the opening words in Latin of Psalm 103, “Bless the Lord, O my soul; / and all that is within me, bless his holy name!” (Psalm 103: 1). But the unknown artist has also put words on the lips of the believer who looks upon this image, words that form an outer halo round about the head of Mary: “Through Mary, with Mary and in Mary,” a perfect expression of the spirituality of Marian consecration.
During her life on earth, Our Lady embraced a largely hidden existence during the public ministry of her Divine Son and even during her later years, as the Apostles set out to preach the Gospel following Pentecost Sunday. But over the two millennia since her Assumption, she has by no means remained hidden. From her place in Heaven, Our Lady has become a virtual missionary to the entire face of the earth, going wherever her children are, continually intervening in their daily lives through her very potent intercession. The four other Marian artworks in Gallery 757 testify to this Post-Assumption role of Mary in salvation history. Among these, a painting entitled “The Pilgrim of Quito” (ca. 1730-1740) seems to embody quite literally the concept of the Blessed Virgin roaming about for the salvation and sanctification of souls. Mounted upon a mule and clothed in a white dress and blue mantle brocaded with flowers, holding the Christ Child in her right arm, she and Our Lord are depicted as most definitely on the move, wearing plumed pilgrims’ hats as a monk of the Mercedarian Order leads the mule by its harness. The painting imaginatively commemorates the pilgrimage tour of a miraculous statue of Mary with the Christ Child that the Mercedarian friars brought with them on their journeys to preach missions in town after town across colonial Peru and beyond.
As for the painting of Our Lady clothed in gold, mentioned earlier, which first greets the visitor when turning into Gallery 757, the story behind this image is so amazing and inspiring that we will defer to our next “Restoring the Sacred” essay the narration of its history and meaning, along with the stories of the other artworks of Gallery 757.

A Book Review… Anthony Esolen Offers “No Apologies”

September 21, 2022 Frontpage Comments Off on A Book Review… Anthony Esolen Offers “No Apologies”

By PAUL KRAUSE

No Apologies: Why Civilization Depends on the Strength of Men, by Anthony Esolen. Available as hardcover and as Kindle at amazon.com.

Anthony Esolen is one of the finest cultural and literary critics currently alive. His Catholicism and traditionalism, though, mean he doesn’t receive the accolades of the city of man despite being far more insightful, witty, and eloquent than those barbarous butchers of language and culture who win prizes from prestigious universities and book clubs. But for Catholics, Esolen’s writings are unrivaled.
In his new book, No Apologies: Why Civilization Depends on the Strength of Men, Esolen wades into stormy seas to offer an apologia for the need of strong men and duty to God, family, and country — all the things scorned by our cultural and intellectual establishment.
What makes a good writer and public intellectual is their command of language, eloquence, and wit, and ability to weave the great treasures of culture together for a compelling story. That is what made Dr. Samuel Johnson great. That is what made G.K. Chesterton great. That is what made C.S. Lewis great. And that is what makes Anthony Esolen great.
Esolen’s book is not just a salvo in the ongoing culture and gender wars, it is also a work of literary criticism and intellectual engagement with three millennia of culture and what culture informs us about questions of manhood, gender, and bravery. “I am writing a book that should not have to be written,” Esolen writes. But we are certainly thankful that he did.
In our age when feminists and their male-feminist allies assault the family, assert that most — if not all — social evils are the product of “toxic masculinity,” and that women and society would be better off without men, Esolen returns to the beginning. “Men and women are made for one another,” he reminds us after discussing John Milton’s Paradise Lost and the relationship of Adam and Eve. “Male and female stand and fall together.”
A century ago, virtually everyone knew this. Today, not so much. While older generations of Americans still agree with these basic truths, this is why Esolen’s work is so sorely needed — many younger Americans do not. This book is not just written for the choir. It is written for young adults and adults with children who must be safeguarded from a pernicious education system.
The reason why our sick and dying education system venomously targets children, young boys especially, with its gender and transgender ideology, is because boys are weak and vulnerable where men are strong and determined. “When you can’t persuade the men [of toxic masculinity], you go for the little boys confined to the classroom.” As Esolen rightly rebuts, “Enough.”
Over the course of six chapters and just under 200 pages, Esolen provides a tour-de-force pilgrimage through culture, literature, and Bible about the nature of manhood: strength, agency, the team, family, vision, and God the Father. In doing so, he seamlessly weaves these seemingly disparate aspects of masculinity into a cohesive and logical vision of how male energy is directed to the Good, True, and Beautiful rather than the erotic self which often leaves destruction and despondency in its wake. Uniting with others is the ultimate goal.
Because humans are social creatures, Esolen also deconstructs and demolishes the usual feminist and transgender talking points that are pontificated without opposition as if universal truth in classrooms.
Far from boys being socialized into toxic males, male nature leads them to team competition with positive rules and regulations to teach them the value of competitive companionship which has implications for “the team,” the family, the nation, and spiritual leadership. This is something to be celebrated, not condemned and dismantled.
Much of what Esolen says has resonance with me, a millennial, who often invented and played games outdoors with my younger brother, cousins, and neighbors.
We would, as Esolen observes, invent games with rules so that all could enjoy which implicitly promoted the value of teamwork and companionship. This, in turn, would manifest adventure and leadership; adventure and leadership, of course, are two hallmark traits of masculinity. This prepared me for high school athletics.
Part of the general thesis of the book is how natural masculinity, the spirit of adventure, action, and conquest, eventually gets channeled into productive civilizational pursuits. The taming of nature and the creation of infrastructure from which civilization arises are all positive creations of the male drive acting on behalf of others.
This, though, doesn’t mean women and children are not involved. Au contraire, precisely because men are married and have a family, or looking for a family, they embrace public service creation. We all benefit from this spirit of self-sacrifice for others, for our community, for our family — like Aeneas and so many other great figures in our cultural poetry and literature.
Esolen is also at his best, befitting the fact he is a professor of literature, when drawing on the rich oasis of Western poetry and what it tells us about civilization and the spirit of men, women, and the family. Not only is “No Apologies” an apologia for civilization and masculinity in an age of anti-civilization and hatred and belittling of all things male, but it is also an apologia for Western culture and literature and why it matters and what truths these texts tell us.
In the end, the order of love that arises from masculinity serving others is what is communicated by Christianity and its theology of God the Father as the origin and starting point of creation. The imitation of God the Father, by men, is an orderly love that creates and directs all to the orderly love that gave rise to the cosmos and the beautiful things the heavens hold.
Recovering this spirit is needed for the rescuing of civilization. Or, perhaps, the spirit needed for building a new civilization out of the ashes of our current dying civilization.
Sometimes Troy is already lost, but the new city that awaits us is even greater than the old. This is a challenging task, an adventurous task, one that demands the very best in us. But especially of men and the lives they live and work they do for others. Esolen reminds us of this noble and heroic call.

A Beacon Of Light … The Renewal Of Civilization, Rests On The Restoration Of The Sacred

September 20, 2022 Frontpage Comments Off on A Beacon Of Light … The Renewal Of Civilization, Rests On The Restoration Of The Sacred

By FR. RICHARD D. BRETON JR.

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

  • + + In every age, there are moments a society or culture can either contribute or diminish the experiences of social life. Usually, as in times past, this is often accomplished through social interaction, but more importantly through the birth of social media. In today’s world, the boom of social media, I dare say, have hurt the growth and integrity of the masses. There no longer exists an opportunity where our social interaction is a cause for education. Rather, we find ourselves moving farther and farther from the values of human existence. Social media has become the means through which a “super relativism” has emerged in our times. The existence of temporal and spiritual elements of human life have been replaced with a solely modern interpretation of life. Understanding this phenomenon can be daunting, and hard to comprehend at times, but if we look carefully its immergence is not that far off.
    The past can offer us glimpses into the future and help to explain how we have reached the difficulties of today. Today, I would like to return to the year 1959, as The Sound of Music debuts on the stage of the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in New York City. This beloved musical ran on Broadway for a total of 1,443 performances. It won six Tony Awards, including Best Musical. In 1960, Twentieth Century-Fox purchased the film adaptation rights and made it into the blockbuster film so many have come to love.
    The Sound of Music offers three allegories, I believe, that need to be restored in order for us to return to an acceptable society. These include a sense of the Sacred, a true understanding and respect of innocence, and the staunch distinction between boys and girls, men, and women.
    Throughout the movie, there are signs of the sacred. In the opening scene, we experience a sense of the wonder of God’s creation as Maria dances in the sprawling hills and fields. Soon we hear the ringing of the Abbey’s church bells calling the nuns to prayer, a sound Maria hears and realizes she will be late again to vespers. In another scene, we hear in the distance the men’s choir of the church of St. Ignatius, as Captain von Trapp drives home with his fiancée, the Baroness Schroeder. The sounds of the men’s choir is fighting against the worldliness of the people in the car, almost as if they were calling Captain von Trapp back to the faith he has never quite abandoned. In another way, the movie reminds us of the importance the Church played in the culture. In Salzburg, as in many European cities, the parish church was built at the center of the town and the architecture was heavenly. The Church played a central role in the lives of the townspeople, who recognized the sacredness of their faith. The “music” itself was used in dramatic ways to transport the experience, a kind of heavenly reality.
    In another way, The Sound of Music, reminds us that there exists something we call innocence. There is such a thing as innocence, unfortunately, society has snatched this away.
    We do not understand innocence, because there is a distortion in our understanding of sin. When the eldest daughter Liesl and Rolf meet in the gazebo, see the danger that the girl is running, even though she herself does not see it. The two sing about how Liesl is only 16, going on 17, whereas Rolf is all of 17, going on 18, and he will take care of her. The irony is that Rolf is a callow boy confused and brainwashed by Nazism and does not understand. Liesl, on the other hand, still innocent, is the aggressor in their dance. There no longer exists this kind of innocence. The innocence of our children is being snatched away by the un-orthodox and progressive pressures being forced by the schools. The fact of the matter is, if we keep pushing the idea of sexuality in 2nd grade, we become complicit in stealing the innocence from our children. This is a distortion of the dignity of the person, and we must fight against it.
    Lastly, this movie does a wonderful job in distinguishing between boys and girls, men, and women. There exists such a thing as these distinctions, they and are God given. The Sound of Music reminds us that true romance flourishes when men and women delight in the various confusions often caused between them. Even more, they delight in the resolution of these difficulties. But we live at a time when masculinity and femininity are held up as lies, as objects of pleasure. Who could now play the role of Captain von Trapp? Christopher Plummer was manly. If not, why would we have cheered when he proposed to Maria? She was attracted to the man in him. Today our children, and many men, no longer know how to exercise the masculinity because they have been feminized by women not knowing how to be true woman. Who could now play the role of Maria, as Julie Andrews did? She was womanly and properly submissive. She knew that there exists a complementarity between man and woman, and that the two must be exercised in particular ways. What if she had been emotionally unruly or a doormat? Why on earth would any sane man propose to marry her? Captain von Trapp is attracted to the woman in her. Here is where we find the major problem with today’s culture. There no longer exists a healthy understanding of the roles of men and women. Unfortunately, today’s culture is exposing our children to a “confusion of gender identity.” Our schools and progressive society, is pushing our children to “become” anything they want, rejecting who God created them to be. Our children no longer are being taught the differences between men and woman, boys, and girls. This confusion has infiltrated the Boys and Girls Scouts of America. Now the Boy Scouts are allowing girls to their ranks, in order to “be with the times.” Being with the times, isn’t necessarily the best course of action for our children. This has the potential to cause even more psychological harm than we know. There are even states that have taken away the parents right, to be the parent, if they do not follow what the school has convinced their child to be. In certain places, if a parent doesn’t accept and allow the child to undergo surgically gender changing surgery, they can be arrested and put in jail. There is something wrong with this picture! It would seem to me, that, forcing a child to undergo a surgical change should not be awarded and celebrated, but considered unlawful and punishable.
    The renewal of civilization, rests on the restoration of the principles above. We need a restoration of the Sacred. Such a restoration attunes us and keeps us focused on the need for God. We also need to restore the idea of innocence in our times. Without it, our children are destined to experience insurmountable difficulties in life, especially in relationships and within themselves. Third, we must, and should recover the physiological, psychological, and emotional distinctions between men, woman, boys, and girls. Even, Pope St. John Paul II, saw the need to recapture this understanding. He was so strong in his resolve of this need, that he wrote an apostolic letter entitled, Mulieris Dignitatem, on the dignity and vocation of women. In this letter, John Paul II, focuses extensively on the need to understand the complementarity of man and woman. Man and woman cannot exist and flourish on their own, they need each other in order to fulfill their highest potential. We, as a Church, must continue to work diligently in society to eradicate the confusion over gender. The future of humanity, and the souls entrusted to our care, need our help! If we do nothing, we fail in our responsibility of being the only moral voice left in the world.

Sweet Cakes By Melissa

September 19, 2022 Frontpage Comments Off on Sweet Cakes By Melissa

By DEACON MIKE MANNO

It seems, sometimes, that we have entered into a permanent crazy season that keeps getting worse and worse. And the hallmark of that season is the growing cultural chasm that has gripped our nation.
When I studied journalism and first entered that profession the rules were fairly defined: politics was a fairly rough game but it could be played by friendly advisories who, at least, were willing to give a more-or-less grudging respect to their opponents, and while the issues of the day could provoke sharp debate, they were overshadowed by those issues to which all Americans of good faith could agree.
That’s not true today. Somehow society has fostered a growing divide in American life that will take years to patch, if it ever does. And where did this divide originate? Well, my guess is that we won’t find that answer for several decades when a group of clear-minded sociologists (if that’s not an oxymoron) are finally able to explain this bit of our history to our grandchildren … or maybe our great-grandchildren.
So while the final answer evades us at this time, let me offer a theory about what widened the breach to the point we are at and where even our president has no tolerance for disagreement and will roundly condemn those who disagree with him. Of course it happens on the other side, too, but for some reason most of the vitriol seems to come from the president’s side.
Let me venture a guess as to why this is happening. It is because our political disagreements have turned to cultural disagreements which have turned political, and worse, legal.
Let me explain this way: I think the story of Melissa and Aaron Klein is a good representation of what has happened.
The Kleins owned and operated a bakery in Oregon called “Sweet Cakes by Melissa.” She designed and baked custom wedding cakes, among other things, and he delivered them to the appropriate wedding venues at the designated time. They were both devout Christians who believed in the biblical view of that institution: one man and one woman.
In January of 2013 Melissa and Aaron were approached by a same-sex couple, Rachel Cryer and Lauren Bowman, who asked if they could order a wedding cake for their upcoming nuptial. The initial contact was made by Rachel and her mother. When the Kleins explained why they could not do so, Rachel and her mother left. Mom, however, returned later and tried to reason with Aaron, calling this a “teaching moment” since her own belief about marriage, her “truth” about the subject, had changed.
Aaron quoted Scripture back, “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination,” which later came back to haunt the case. Four days later Rachel and her mother met with another baker and arranged for a wedding cake.
Despite the fact that the cake was quickly procured at another venue, Rachel filed a complaint with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) claiming that the Kleins violated the state public accommodation law by refusing to bake their cake. The agency, rejecting the Kleins’ First Amendment defenses of Free Speech and Religious Freedom, held against them, and ordered them to stop discriminating, and entered judgment against them for $75,000 and $60,000, respectively, for Rachel and her partner.
The Kleins appealed claiming the agency action was motivated in part by religious bias but the court of appeals rejected their arguments, and confirmed the monetary judgment against them. An appeal to the state supreme court failed when the court refused to hear the case.
An appeal went to the U.S. Supreme Court which vacated the court of appeals judgment and remanded the case back to the state courts to re-consider it in light of its ruling in the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Civil Rights Commission, and to make a determination on the Kleins’ claim of religious discrimination and animus by BOLI.
Masterpiece was a Colorado case in which a baker was found to have a protected right to refuse to bake a same-sex wedding cake. We’ll come back to Masterpiece in a moment, but for now that sounded like it should have ended the Kleins’ legal problems.
But that was not to be. The case went back to the Oregon state courts to determine if there had been any religious animus on the part of BOLI. On remand the court of appeals concluded that the only religious animus was citing Aaron’s use of the biblical statement about lying with a man as you would a woman. Once again the state supreme court denied review.
On remand to the agency, BOLI reduced the cash judgment only.
Earlier this month the Kleins filed another appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court in which they hope that the court will issue a definitive ruling in their favor, since the state court and BOLI seem to be unwilling to drop the matter.
Which now brings us back to Masterpiece. Shortly after its victory in the top court, another litigant tried another approach to persecute Masterpiece’s owner, Jack Phillips. This time an individual asked the baker to create a gender transition cake with the colors blue and pink to signify — and celebrate — the client’s sexual transition. Naturally the request was refused and naturally the Colorado civil rights commission found probable cause to open a new investigation against the bakery.
Now what does all this have to do with my thesis at the beginning of this column? It’s simple. You never saw this kind of vengeful legal action when society was only dealing with broken contracts, allegations of financial fraud, or other routine civil matters. But since the nation’s attention has been turned to cultural matters, those issues that cut to the heart of who we are, the lid of civility has come off.
You see this everywhere. In the wedding cases numerous bakers, photographers, printers, florists, and others have been chased and hounded by angry mobs seeking only to punish, and too often local and state officials help promote this conduct, which all too often resulted in the closing of the offending business, such as was done to Sweet Cakes by Melissa.
We now see repeated suits against Catholic hospitals who refuse to allow abortions or gender reassignment surgery to take place on their grounds. Lawyers have faced discipline for refusing to represent certain litigants. Other professionals and tradesmen have been repeatedly attacked when they are only standing up for their God-given rights, rights that before this generation were universally considered sacred.
But that is not how much of society looks at these things anymore. Here the Kleins were not being thought of as being just wrong legally, they were evil oppressors who must be punished. Same with Jack Phillips and all the physicians, and trades people who simply refuse to do something against their conscience.
We are no longer dealing with rational people who are seeking to expand what they believe are their rights. We are dealing with civil avengers who will stoop to anything to have their way and to disparage the traditional ideals which they seek to replace, and to punish their “oppressors.”
They are seeking not only new rights but to fundamentally change the nature of society by rejecting the traditions of the past and foisting their counter cultural beliefs on the unsuspecting and a largely unwilling public.
The new rules become if you do not comply you do not deserve a place in our new society. We see this everywhere now.
The Marquess of Queensberry has left the field to the bare knuckle brawlers. Is there any wonder now why the division is so deep?
(You can reach Mike at: DeaconMike@q.com and listen to his weekly program at https://iowacatholicradio.com/faith-on-trial/.)

“9-11 Again”

September 18, 2022 Frontpage Comments Off on “9-11 Again”

By BARBARA SIMPSON

These last few days have been filled with news of such import that for anyone with a heart, it’s simply overwhelming. Part of the news comes from across the ocean, with the death of 96-year-old Queen Elizabeth II. The other, from our side of the ocean, is the 21st anniversary of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center in New York City.
The emotion involved in those events — both filled with death and heartache — are enough to tear a normal person apart. Media are filled with news, pictures, and commentary concerning the Queen, which is to be expected of a monarch who has been in the public eye for decades. The reports of her life and the reaction of her family are being covered with great detail and will continue long after her funeral on September 19.
The anniversary of 9/11 is another issue, and I will tell you, I am not happy with much of what I have heard and seen. Consider — I live in the notoriously liberal San Francisco area and media here disappointed me. You can forget local radio — news and talk. Then take my local newspaper — the Eastbay Times. It used to be a conservative paper — no more!
On the Sunday edition of the paper, 9-11-22, there was less than 1-inch mention in a small column on page 2, upper right corner but no further mention of the 9/11 attack, until you got to page B-15. Yes, that was a full-page accounting of what happened, and it was a nice presentation of the details of the attack, but really, page B-15! Talk about burying the story!
I don’t know why that is the case. What happened to the newsworthiness of the event? Where are the editors who have a sense of their job — to bring us the news, to focus on newsworthy events, and to give us perspective? It appears those editors don’t exist, and their bosses don’t seem to care.
What concerns me is that because of the passage of time, there are too many Americans who don’t realize that the destruction of the World Trade Center towers was in fact, an act of Islamic terrorism against us. The United States.
I know that’s not politically correct to say these days, but is it is the truth. Many Americans have become so politically correct that they refuse to say anything negative about Islam or Islamic terrorists. They pretend that they don’t exist and that they are not a threat to the United States. In my opinion, they are fools and because of that, they are themselves a threat to our country.
It is a fact that the 19 hijackers were part of al-Qaeda, a militant Islamist group. Fifteen were Saudi Arabians, two from the United Arab Emirates, and one each from Lebanon and Egypt. Their elaborate plan involved the hijacking of 4 U.S. planes – – American Flights 11 and 77, and United Flights 175 and 93.
They deliberately flew the planes into the two Trade Center Towers and the Pentagon. Two planes went into the two towers, one into the Pentagon and the fourth, which was headed to the White House, crashed in a field in Shanksville, PA.
It was a bloody chaos. There were nearly 3,000 fatalities and more than 25,000 injuries. The towers were destroyed and property and infrastructure damage totaled more than $10 billion.
It was the single deadliest incident for firefighters, 340, and for law enforcement officers, 72. Three thousand children lost a parent in the destruction. The brokerage Cantor Fitzgerald lost 658 of its employees in the disaster, the largest number from one firm in the towers.
Genelle Guzman, who was rescued from the 64th floor of the North Tower, was the last of 18 people trapped in the rubble to be found alive. It is known that a number of people jumped from the towers rather than be killed in the fire and collapse. One photograph of a man, upside down, falling to his death, sticks in my mind. I can’t forget it. No one knows who he was.
The search for survivors was intensive and the debris they faced was massive. Thousands of construction workers, first responders and volunteers joined to move debris to search for victims. Later they were joined by searchers assigned by the city. They all were hampered by the fact that fires continued to burn in the debris and that hundreds of crushed cars, fire engines, and trucks were buried in the rubble. They were confronted with at least 1.8-million tons of debris.
Because the area around the towers was also residential, at least 37,000 people were displaced from their homes. Volunteers helped with serving meals at St. Paul’s Chapel and joined with organizations like the Salvation Army, the Red Cross, and others to help with survivors by operating relief centers.
In the aftermath, both the air and the water in that part of New York were tested to be certain that they would be safe for residents.
The cleanup took months but finally it was completed. A permanent memorial was constructed where the towers once stood. It consists of two waterfalls cascading into reflecting pools and the names of the victims of the attack are etched in bronze around the edges of the pools. Every year, on the anniversary of the attack, the names of the victims are read aloud in memoriam.New York City continues the memorials of what happened that September 11, but that isn’t necessarily the case across the country.
I’m concerned that many are forgetting what happened. I believe that’s tragic and dangerous. I have no doubt that terrorists who DO exist and who DO want to hurt the United States are watching us. If they think we are forgetting 9/11, it would please them and set us up for more danger.
As time passes, it’s important that Americans not forget that this attack on the World Trade Center was the deadliest terrorist attack in human history. It could happen again.
We must remember that, and we must remember who was behind it.
Never forget and be prepared.

Satan’s Dirty Little Secret

September 17, 2022 Frontpage Comments Off on Satan’s Dirty Little Secret

By CHRISTOPHER MANION

After our story last week on the compulsory genderfication of Notre Dame’s class of 2026, I dropped a line to Mr. John Johnston, who works at the school’s Gender Relations Center. The Center is evidently very busy these days, so I asked Mr. Johnston some pretty simple questions — about the annual budget for the GRC — staff salaries and benefits, facilities, and programs. With Notre Dame’s tuition and fees amounting to over seventy-seven thousand dollars a year, I wondered how much of that sum was devoted to the Center’s work.
I received a speedy reply from Mr. Dennis Brown, longtime University Spokesman: “this is not information that we share,” he wrote.
Curious. The administration has made such a big deal out of its defiance of fundamental Catholic teaching about sex, marriage, and family, you’d think they’d want to brag about how much money, effort, and manpower they’ve poured into the campaign.
Uh-oh.
OK, “personpower”? “Peoplepower”? “Humanpower”?
Yes, it’s a challenge when you’re trying to change reality.
But the university has bravely done its best to bypass the pestering fact that there are only two sexes — you know, “male and female He created them” (Genesis 5:2). And the task clearly calls for new ideas. After all, facts often grind the creative juices to a halt at the very moment that college freshmen need them most!
So these days, “gender” has replaced “sex” in the Fighting Irish Lexicon of Woke, and the neologism has been enshrined for quite a while — the Gender Relations Center was founded in 2004.
Since then, a look at the record would suggest that the university has been racing to implement the “Mystery Passage” that Mr. Justice Kennedy coined in Planned Parenthood v. Casey thirty years ago: “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe and of the mystery of human life.”
Creative juices indeed!
But the problem goes back even further. According to University Provost John McGreevy, Notre Dame in the 1960s suffered from a “mediocrity” that today’s Notre Dame has left in the dust. And clearly the major defect of that benighted era was the absence of a “Sex Relations Center” on campus.
We didn’t have rainbow flags in those days, but the seeds had been planted — and unhappily, Notre Dame provided fertile ground.
In 1967, a group of Catholic educators, led by Notre Dame President Theodore M. Hesburgh, met at Notre Dame’s retreat center in Land O’Lakes, Wisconsin. There they formally declared their independence from the Catholic Church.
Alas, their motives were less than noble. Just two years before, LBJ’s Omnibus Education Act had opened the floodgates to federal funding of higher education, and Catholic colleges wanted a place at the government trough.
In a 2007 Wanderer interview, Archbishop Raymond Burke zeroed in on Land O’Lakes as a central catalyst of decline in Catholic education at Notre Dame and fard beyond. “So much was undone,” he said, “and there’s a mentality [ that] entered into the universities by which those people who dedicated their lives to Catholic education believe that they could not be an excellent university and at the same time be faithful to the Church’s teaching and discipline. That is a fundamental error, and it takes a lot to undo it.”
Notre Dame quickly adopted a lay board of trustees. Being no longer a “religious” institution, it could receive federal money. In the years since, that sum is in the billions.
A year later the other shoe fell when numerous Notre Dame faculty and religious roundly denounced Humanae Vitae. In that prophetic document, Pope St. Paul VI warned of the consequences of embracing The Pill and the contraceptive mentality that celebrated it: “human beings — and especially the young, who are so exposed to temptation — need incentives to keep the moral law, and it is an evil thing to make it easy for them to break that law. Another effect . . . is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.”
“If a person can violate the natural integrity of the moral act with moral impunity,” said Dean William J. Kenealy, S.J., of Boston College Law School two decades before HV, “then I challenge anyone to show me the essential immorality of any sexual aberration.”
Today’s Notre Dame has proven him right. Entering freshmen are ordered not only to embrace sexual sin, but to be their allies.
“Americans have exhausted the cultural capital stored up by believing Christians and Jews who came before them,” Notre Dame Law Professor Gerald Bradley writes. And yet, he continues, “A Catholic ministry must always bear acute witness to moral truth, and never lead people to act immorally.”
Is Notre Dame exhausted?

Why Not?

In those pre-Woodstock years, Notre Dame students had “mock conventions” each in presidential election season. In 1968, while I was slaving away for California Governor Ronald Reagan, Chuck Nau was Bobby Kennedy’s campaign manager. On his dorm room wall hung a huge poster picturing a thoughtful Bobby contemplating his favorite campaign slogan:
“You see things and you say ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were, and ask ‘Why not?’ ”
Bobby had borrowed the line from George Bernard Shaw — a fact his fawning biographers generally acknowledge. What they don’t mention is its origin: it comes from Shaw’s 1921 play, Back To Methuselah. Bobby actually borrowed his beloved slogan from Shaw’s Satan.
Satan offers the eternal lie — “Ye shall be as gods” — to tempt Eve to reject God, His creation, and His commands. Satan promises Eve that she can create a better world all by herself, out of her own imagination — which she could continually create anew as easily as a serpent sheds his skin.
Bobby Kennedy parroted Satan’s line verbatim. And in his PP v. Casey opinion, Justice Kennedy enshrined it.
But even the socialist Shaw knew it was a blasphemous lie. The serpent was offering Eve the megalomania of Marx’s dialectic, a bloodthirsty dagger of denial and destruction aimed at the heart of Christendom, the Incarnation, and all of reality.
Socrates recognized long ago that the tyrant longs to impose his worst nightmares during his waking hours. The tyrant, then and now, owes no obedience to Jefferson’s “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God,” because, you see, they don’t exist. Those were Jefferson’s dreams, not Kennedy’s.
That was then, and this is now. We can all be just as free as Satan! We can create our own reality, conforming perfectly to our vision of whatever Hell on earth we want to live in.
Please recall that Satan’s temptation succeeded. It did then, and it does now.
Notre Dame’s “Pastoral Plan for the Support and Holistic Development of GLBTQ and Heterosexual Students at the University of Notre Dame” states that individuals who experience same-sex attraction are called to chastity because, “All must learn to govern their passions in disciplined ways on the road to lasting freedom.” “The call to chastity,” it continues, “is God’s invitation for all to be in loving relationship with others according to the demands of the moral virtues.”
And to accept that invitation, Notre Dame students must be “Beloved Friends and Allies” of those who have succumbed to Satan’s call to sexual perversion.
By telling them the truth?
Not a chance.
Professor Bradley says, “by now Americans have exhausted the cultural capital stored up by believing Christians and Jews who came before them.”
Why must the same go for Notre Dame?

Vatican and USCCB leave transgender policy texts unpublished

While U.S. bishops have made headlines for releasing policies addressing gender identity and pastoral ministry, guidelines on the subject have been drafted but not published by both the U.S. bishops’ conference and the Vatican’s doctrinal office, leaving diocesan bishops to…Continue Reading

Biden says Pope Francis told him to continue receiving communion, amid scrutiny over pro-abortion policies

President Biden said that Pope Francis, during their meeting Friday in Vatican City, told him that he should continue to receive communion, amid heightened scrutiny of the Catholic president’s pro-abortion policies.  The president, following the approximately 90-minute-long meeting, a key…Continue Reading

Federal judge rules in favor of Gov. DeSantis’ mask mandate ban

MIAMI (LifeSiteNews) – A federal judge this week handed Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis another legal victory on his mask mandate ban for schools. On Wednesday, Judge K. Michael Moore of the Southern District of Florida denied a petition from…Continue Reading

The Eucharist should not be received unworthily, says Nigerian cardinal

Priests have a duty to remind Catholics not to receive the Eucharist in a state of serious sin and to make confession easily available, a Nigerian cardinal said at the International Eucharistic Congress on Thursday. “It is still the doctrine…Continue Reading

Donald Trump takes a swipe at Catholics and Jews who did not vote for him

Donald Trump complained about Catholics and Jews who did not vote for him in 2020. The former president made the comments in a conference call featuring religious leaders. The move could be seen to shore up his religious conservative base…Continue Reading

Y Gov. Kathy Hochul Admits Andrew Cuomo Covered Up COVID Deaths, 12,000 More Died Than Reported

When it comes to protecting people from COVID, Andrew Cuomo is already the worst governor in America. New York has the second highest death rate per capita, in part because he signed an executive order putting COVID patients in nursing…Continue Reading

Prayers For Cardinal Burke . . . U.S. Cardinal Burke says he has tested positive for COVID-19

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — U.S. Cardinal Raymond L. Burke said he has tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19. In an Aug. 10 tweet, he wrote: “Praised be Jesus Christ! I wish to inform you that I have recently…Continue Reading

Democrats Block Amendment Banning Late-Term Abortions, Stopping Abortions Up to Birth

Senate Democrats have blocked an amendment that would ban abortions on babies older than 20 weeks. During consideration of the multi-trillion spending package, pro-life Louisiana Senator John Kennedy filed an amendment to ban late-term abortions, but Democrats steadfastly support killing…Continue Reading

Transgender student wins as U.S. Supreme Court rebuffs bathroom appeal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed a victory to a transgender former public high school student who waged a six-year legal battle against a Virginia county school board that had barred him from using the bathroom corresponding…Continue Reading

New York priest accused by security guard of assault confirms charges have now been dropped

NEW YORK, June 17, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — A New York priest has made his first public statement regarding the dismissal of charges against him.  Today Father George W. Rutler reached out to LifeSiteNews and other media today with the following…Continue Reading

21,000 sign petition protesting US Catholic bishops vote on Biden, abortion

More than 21,000 people have signed a letter calling for U.S. Catholic bishops to cancel a planned vote on whether President Biden should receive communion.  Biden, a Catholic, supports abortion rights and has long come under attack from some Catholics over that…Continue Reading

Bishop Gorman seeks candidates to fill two full time AP level teaching positions for the 2021-2022 school year in the subject areas of Calculus/Statistics and Physics

Bishop Thomas K. Gorman Regional Catholic School is a college preparatory school located in Tyler, Texas. It is an educational ministry of the Catholic Diocese of Tyler led by Bishop Joseph Strickland. The sixth through twelfth grade school provides a…Continue Reading

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Catechism

Today . . .

Bishops, priests and scholars correct Pope Francis’ statement on Holy Communion

(LifeSiteNews) — Four bishops, several priests, and numerous Catholic scholars have signed a statement rebuking Pope Francis for a recent statement about the reception of Holy Communion, according to which “everyone is invited to the supper of the wedding of the Lamb (Re 19:9). To be admitted to the feast all that is required is the wedding garment of faith which comes from the hearing of his Word.” The Pope wrote these words in his…Continue Reading

A futuristic Nur-Sultan ready welcomes Pope Francis to Kazakhstan

As Pope Francis prepares to depart for Kazakhstan on Tuesday, our correspondent in Nur-Sultan takes a look at his upcoming participation in the 7th Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, as well as the small Catholic community’s great joy to receive the Holy Father.

Joe Biden Calls MAGA Americans Violent, Ignores Leftist Violence Against Churches, Pregnancy Centers

Illuminated with blood-red lights, draped in inky shadows, and flanked by U.S. Marines, President Biden launched into an angry screed Thursday night, using dangerous and inciting rhetoric to attack so-called “MAGA Republicans.” It was a terrifying sight that drew praise and flowery language from the “journalists” of CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 as they lauded the “full frontal attack” and asserted he was “reclaiming patriotism.” “President Biden finishing a 24-minute speech at Independence Hall in Philadelphia. He said as…Continue Reading

Pope Francis creates 20 cardinals for the Catholic Church

Rome Newsroom, Aug 27, 2022 / 08:31 am Pope Francis created 20 new cardinals for the Catholic Church during a liturgy in St. Peter’s Basilica Saturday. “Jesus calls us by name; he looks us in the eye and he asks: Can I count on you?” Pope Francis said in a homily addressed to the College of Cardinals and its new members on Aug. 27. “The Lord,” he said, “wants to bestow on us his own…Continue Reading

Toyota Sponsors Lesson on ‘First Steps’ of Drag Artistry for Children

Toyota sponsored an event for “LGBTQ+ Youth” that featured a performance from a drag performer and a workshop on “the first steps of becoming a fabulous drag performer.” The event, called “Models of Pride,” was hosted by the Los Angeles LGBT Center and was intended for those 24 years and younger. No minimum age was listed on the website. The Los Angeles LGBT Center described it as “the world’s largest free conference for LGBTQ+ youth…Continue Reading

Biden Is Losing The Race For The Cure

By STEPHEN MOORE President Joe Biden recently announced, with great fanfare, his Cancer Moonshot initiative. Biden used soaring and promising rhetoric about, at last, finding a cure for one of the world’s leading killers.Speaking at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston on September 12, the president declared:“Beating cancer is something we…Continue Reading

Becoming Pro-Life The Hard Way

By DONALD DeMARCO “Aujourd’hui Maman est morte. Ou, hier, peut-etre; je ne sais pas.” (Today my mother died. Or was it yesterday, I don’t know.) + + This is the celebrated opening of Nobel Laureate Albert Camus’ novel, The Stranger. It immediately establishes the main character as a person who, being emotionally unmoved by the…Continue Reading

The Queen: End Of An Era

By JOHN J. METLZER The Queen has died; the page of history has turned. The passing of Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest serving monarch, has shocked and saddened much of the world despite the sovereign’s declining health and her 96 years of age. Just months after having joyfully celebrated her platinum Jubilee commemorating 70 years…Continue Reading

The “Secure Border” Of Kamala Harris

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY When Donald Trump was president in fiscal 2019, the Border Patrol did not encounter a single individual on the terrorist watchlist trying to illegally cross the U.S.-Mexico border between the legal ports of entry.In the first ten months of this fiscal year, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, they encountered…Continue Reading

Welcome to the Green New Deal, California

By DAVID HARSANYI If California, our most populous state, were its own nation, it would rank as the world’s fifth largest economy and boast the highest average household income (outside a handful of “countries” like Monaco or Luxemburg). And, yet, the governor is begging its citizens to stop using their appliances, turn off their lights…Continue Reading

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Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

How Long, O Lord?

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Seventh Sunday In Ordinary Time Readings:Hab. 1:2-3, 2:2-42 Tim. 1:6-8, 13-14Luke 17:5-10 The first reading today, from the Prophet Habakkuk, is very apropos for our time. As it was in his day, so too it is in ours: people crying to God for help, but nothing seems to happen; people crying out “violence,” but God does…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. I don’t use rosary beads to say the rosary since I pray in the car or while doing gardening or housework. Is it okay to pray the rosary daily with my fingers? Also, I have seen pictures of St. Joseph with lilies, and I have been told that is the way he was chosen to be the husband of…Continue Reading

Future Bleak for Vatican II Mass

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK My parish is forced back into compliance with the “unique liturgical expression of the Roman rite” this month, as expressed by Pope Francis in Traditionis custodes, with the banning of the traditional Latin Mass in my as well as in other parish churches. This in order to open us to the full experience of the…Continue Reading

Crazy! . . . A Homily For The 24th Sunday Of The Year

(Editor’s Note: Msgr. Charles Pope posted this on September 10 and it is posted here with permission.) + + The three parables in this Sunday’s lengthy Gospel challenge conventional thinking. They describe people doing things that we most likely would not do. All three of them — especially the first two — seem crazy. Who would ever do what the…Continue Reading

Cardinal Brandmueller… Pope Francis Prevented Crucial Dialogue Among Cardinals At Consistory

By SANDRO MAGISTER (Wanderer Editor’s Note: LifeSiteNews reprinted this article from L’Espresso on August 31. Fr. Kevin M. Cusick alluded to Cardinal Brandmueller’s remarks in his Wanderer column dated September 8.) + + (L’Espresso) — On August 29, a consistory saw the cardinals gathered with Pope Francis. It was behind closed doors, but above all it was broken down, at…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Bridget

By DEB PIROCH “Oh my friends, I love my sheep so tenderly that were it possible I would die many other times for each one of them that same death I suffered for the redemption of all” — Words attributed to Christ, Revelations of St. Bridget. + + In 1999, Pope St. John Paul II issued a moto proprio, making…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Lawrence O’Toole

By DEB PIROCH This Irish saint existed parallel to the life of St. Thomas Becket. Some of his biography can be difficult to follow, given Gaelic history and language, so we try to anglicize everything possible in this article. But his feast fast approaches, November 14, a time to acquaint ourselves with his holy life.Lawrence was the youngest of four…Continue Reading

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