Friday, May 31, 2013

"I Want To Do For Oakland What Francis Is Doing For the Church"

Whispers in the Loggia comments on the post-Communion address by the newly-installed Bishop Michael Barber of Oakland, a few miles from here. Bishop Barber is Pope Francis' first new appointment to take office.

His fulsome praise of the man who ordained him -- longtime Oakland bishop John Quinn, the very model of a Catholic Progressive prelate -- doesn't bode well. Nor does his decision not to wear his miter and carry his crozier that day, which is expected of a new bishop when giving his first such address. Nor does his lack of suitable appreciation for the presence of Archbishops Cordileone and Vigneron, his two immediate predecessors in Oakland. Nor does his banter with Governor Jerry Brown, in attendance, a 'Catholic' who strongly and publicly favors abortion rights and gay marriage, in direct opposition to Catholic moral teaching.

And no, there'll be no prizes for those of you who guessed correctly that Bishop Barber happily gave Governor Brown the Eucharist when the latter presented himself, despite the Governor's long persistence in manifest grave sin.

If praising Progressives, ignoring custom and rules, snubbing orthodox bishops, and schmoozing with Catholic renegades like Brown is Bishop Barber's idea of "what Francis is doing for the Church" -- wow, I hope he's very, very wrong.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Qui tacet consentire

I first encountered the following saying on Karen Hall's late, much-lamented blog Some Have Hats:
I've had enough of exhortations to be silent. Cry out with a hundred thousand tongues! I see that the world is rotten because of silence.
The attribution is commonly to St. Catherine of Siena, but like Philothea on Phire, I haven't been able to verify it. But it certainly seems to track with what I know of that outspoken saint's life!
This post's title is the Latin form of the old legal maxim, "Silence gives consent." I don't know about you, but I don't want to end up at the Judgement having to explain how I could remain silent in the face of the truly colossal evils that have sprung up during my lifetime.
And as I was reminded tonight, the Enemy doesn't have to beat you down to silence you; he just has to distract you -- often with superficially good things -- long enough for your time to run out.
I'm done with that.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Five hundred sixty

Today is the 560th anniversary of the  capture and sack of the great Christian city that was once known as Constantinople, by the noble representatives of the Religion of Peace. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Archbishop Cordileone's appearance at the National Organization for Marriage's recent rally in Washington does him tremendous credit. The guy flies all the way across the country to provide some Catholic presence at a time when the Catholic perspective is needed more than ever, and when many American bishops are sitting in their offices trying to stay out of the line of fire.


Does the Catholic perspective on marriage really rest mainly on the welfare of children? A prominent Catholic pro-marriage organization here in California seems to think so. But wouldn't we be better off tackling the move to deconstruct marriage head-on, by challenging the modern (post-modern?) premise that sex is mainly about personal pleasure, with children being a distant second or third benefit? Don't we run the risk of ceding too much ground — ground that we'll just have to recapture later?

Slumber, my darlings

What children want is the assurance so well captured by Stephen Foster 150 years ago in his lullaby Slumber My Darling:
Slumber, my darling, thy mother is near,
Guarding thy dreams from all terror and fear,
Sunlight has pass'd and the twilight has gone,
Slumber, my darling, the night's coming on.
Sweet visions attend thy sleep,
Fondest, dearest to me,
While others their revels keep,
I will watch over thee.
That last line is the essence of parenting. I'll watch over you, even when I have to make sacrifices to do so.

Trouble is, many adults are so fixated on their "revels" that they have scant time for children. One can see this happening in wealthy families in the past — Winston Churchill's parents come to mind, for example.  But the disease has now spread to the middle and lower classes, who now enjoy enough addictive pleasures, technological and otherwise, that children seem to them now to be little but a burden.

Friday, May 03, 2013

Air Force Culture: shut up, Christians

This story has been making the rounds lately. The actions and statements of the Department of Defense are another sign that the war against Christ and His Church is ramping up.

But not in the blunt-instrument way that a few people have portrayed it. The Enemy is too smart for that. As usual, a framework is being set up, one that will enable the wanted result to be obtained, once the furore has died down.

The wording of most of the section isn't so bad in itself, mainly forbidding coercion by superiors toward their subordinates. But the kicker comes at the end, where the policy is abruptly extended to all Air Force personnel, in language that's vague enough to fit the proverbial Mack truck through:
Airmen, especially commanders and supervisors, must ensure that in exercising their right of religious free expression, they do not degrade morale, good order, and discipline in the Air Force or degrade the trust and confidence that the public has in the United States Air Force.
It doesn't take much to imagine how atheist Mikey Weinstein, and others whom DoD is looking to for advice these days, will interpret this. All Christian evangelization, no matter how gentle, will be deemed to degrade morale and good order. Where this isn't done explicitly, just the threat will probably silence many.

You can find the entire document on the DoD's website.