Sunday, April 24, 2005

On the Election of Pope Benedict XVI

A recurring complaint from disaffected Catholics (among whom, one may reflect, could be included non-Catholic Christians of all stripes), is the antediluvian insistence on a male clergy. This, the argument goes, is intolerable because women are as capable as men. Other non sequiturs abound: women must be included in the priesthood in order to show respect, because it is disrespectful to disinclude them. This is actually the most-often asserted "argument." Perhaps because there really are no others.

Proponents of female priests share a thought with the fictional characters of the hit Broadway play, "Annie, Get you Gun." According to female priest proponents, "anything you can do, I can do better. I can do anything better than you." But where the musical characters appear to have the ability to sing about their disagreements, and, indeed, end their conflict on a happy note, the empty harridans who preach for "equality" in Catholicism are never going to be requited.

The obvious differences between men and women remain unstated here. It doesn't seem necessary to make these obvious points. Instead, hope and uncertainty: it is hopeful that the Cardinals saw fit to elect a pope whose reputation is one of orthodoxy; perhaps he will take the lesson from the diametrically opposed experience of the American Episcopal Church (and its English parent) and the American evangelical movement. One moves toward institutional death by caving in to the chirping harpies; the other busts out of its adolescent furnishings by insisting that the old (ironic, isn't it?) is the best.

The one note of caution is the nature of B16's first few public utterances: it shoudn't be necessary to promise to compromise with each and every other faith in the world in order to hold high the standard of the Church.

One hopes it's just a sop for the press and the oh-so-sensitive political elites in the world.

All told, there should be some reason to hope.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Ratzinger Reported to Give Communion to Protestants

Some doubt now exists that Cardinal Ratzinger might not exactly view a return to tradition as mandatory: "A German Lutheran theologian well known to the cardinal told UPI that he, too, received the sacrament from [Ratzinger's] hands." The notion that this act of sacrilege is a "conservative" act will come as a surprise to traditional Catholics. The Protestant Church (er, churches), no matter what small political values they had to offer medieval Europe, did not, do not, and will never possess Divine Truth. Whether started by madmen (Luther), whoremongers (Henry VIII) or other men, they simply were not inspired by the only Person who matters: Jesus Christ. We see this human failing all the time: the desire for the approbation of men surmounts one's observance of one's duties. Despite this story, it can not be conclusively determined whether or not the good Cardinal is mixing his vows with vodka these days. It had been previously reported, on this very point, that the Cardinal was in full communion (sorry for the pun) with Pope JPII's teaching on the matter: "THE Pope will issue an encyclical today that explicitly forbids Roman Catholics and Protestants from taking Communion together. According to Catholic teaching, only those in full communion with Rome can take part in the Catholic Eucharist, or Holy Communion. The Pope, who turns 83 next month, is said to be alarmed at the increasingly 'liberal' interpretation of doctrine by many Catholics and is using the twilight years of his pontificate to impose a return to tradition.

"* * *
"The Pope is also said to be alarmed by the practice of lay preachers distributing the Eucharist in parishes that lack a priest. Panorama magazine said that he and Vatican conservatives, such as Cardinal Ratzinger, believed that too many 'Protestant influences' had crept in to Catholic rituals in the guise of 'modernization.' These included priests placing the Communion wafer, or host, in the communicant's hands (as in the Anglican tradition), instead of on the tongue. Last year the Pope also ordered Catholics to halt the growing practice of Anglican-style 'general absolution' for sins and to return to individual confession." It is tempting beyond belief to criticize the press for this mess. But the reality is probably that there is as much confusion in the rank and file of Catholicism as there is anti-Catholicism in the rank and file of the press. Especially the European press. So, another day; another mystery concerning the Mystery of Faith.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Newsflash: Second-Rate Elitist Parrots NYT BSDs on his way onto Anti-DeLay Bandwagon

Even in li'l ole Lansing, Michigan, the long arm of the opinion elite has infected the local law school constabulary. "Assistant Professor" Beery from highly-touted Thomas M. Cooley Law School (and Small Engine Repair) opines that the federal law that created a de novo cause of action in federal court for Terry Schiavo's parents was in actuality "not legally the province of Congress." "Courts," the good professor tells us with his flair for the obvious, "can't pass legislation [and] Congress can't decide cases." What is strange -- even at a backwoods law school like Cooley -- is that the Assistant Professor hasn't found or been made to find the "deprivation clause" in the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment. The analysis is not difficult: The Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution, ratified December 15, 1791, provides in part: "nor shall any person . . . be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." The Fourteenth Amendment, ratified July 9, 1868, is, in pertinent part, identical. The power of Congress to control the causes of action in federal courts, Section 2. of Article III of that dear old (and I do mean old) Constitution, provides (after vesting "judicial power in the Supreme Court): "In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make." If the Supreme Court has "appellate jurisdiction," then some court has original jurisdiction. It should not be too hard to discern that the Framers were conspiring to institute a complete set of lower federal courts. Right at the same time they were constructing the Constitution! Fascinating, eh, Assistant Professor? The other question is, may Congress fiddle with the jurisdiction of these "inferior" courts (I do so hope they won't be offended!)? And the answer is a resounding "Yes!" Article III, Section 2 says, "Congress, you may make "exceptions" and "regulations" to your legislative heart's content! Thus, when Terry Schiavo's "husband" decided to deprive her of life, even though the quality of that life did not measure up to the standards of enemies of Tom DeLay (and, by implication, friends of our "Assistant Professor"), nevertheless, there was no question that she was "alive." As an "alive" person, Terry was still in possession of her Fifth Amendment right to life. No question about it; except perhaps in the minds of lefties. And, since Congress could adjust the original jurisdiction of the inferior federal courts to include a reivew of attempt to deprive her of her right to life, Congress was not exercising a "power to regulate life support," Congress was exercising its power under Article III. You'd think that a law professor might know that. Even if he didn't agree with the politics. Hiding the truth this way will do nothing to enhance the respect one feels for the legal manipulators like our good Assistant Professor. Let's review: Attacks on Terry Schiavo's life implicate a federal right under Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments that she not be "deprived" of her life without "due process" (that's a different laugh track). Congress was authorized under Article III, Section 2 to adjust the original jurisdiction of inferior federal courts. Which it did with this law, Pub. L. No. 109-3 (Section 1.): "The United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida shall have jurisdiction to hear, determine, and render judgment on a suit or claim by or on behalf of Theresa Marie Schiavo for the alleged violation of any right of Theresa Marie Schiavo under the Constitution or laws of the United States relating to the withholding or withdrawal of food, fluids, or medical treatment necessary to sustain her life." Notice, "Assistant Professor," the law is quite specific concerning the "rights" to be vindicated. They are "rights under the Constitution or laws of the United States." The good professor writes: "Not since 1871 has Congress had the temerity to suggest that it could tell federal courts how to decide cases." Savor that phrase: "had the temerity." Assistant Professor Beery might just as well have said, "Not since 1871 has Congress exercised its constitutional right to adjust the jurisdiction of inferior federal courts." Savor the other lie: "tell federal courts how to decide cases." Where, good Assistant Professor, will be find that direction in the statute? Please be kind enough to explicate it for us.. The sarcasm is palpable. The Assistant Professor couldn't stand the idea of the United States Congress reaching out into the world in an effort to block the unlawful killing of a human being. How pathetic that acting for life is such a threat to the liberal technocrats who try to license our entry into this world and hasten our exit.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

He's SOOOOOOO Mean

He's mean. And I don't want to play with him anymore. You'd think that grown-ups could think of more reasons to oppose those with whom they disagree politically than to construct (and I use the term advisedly) emotional that are, when examined by other adults, inordinately childish. If indeed Bolton fired subordinates who preferred the dead-end diplomatic approach of Powell and Clinton, then he should be applauded. If indeed Bolton has a penchant for skewering the United Nations, then he should be given a Cabinet position. Less hand-wringing; more diplomacy. Please.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Carter's a Big Baby

How girlish is this? Carter gets asked to go, told that others might be interested, declines. And now his "supporters" are certain that what was really happening is that he was snubbed by the hidden, demonic Andy Card who conducted a personal vendetta causing "umbrage." Once again, Chicken -- er, I mean, Rabbit -- Jimmy proves that, in the words of the wag, he's America's worst living ex-president. It's enough to make wonder whether or not Saddam is going to get the next Nobel Peace Prize!

Friday, April 08, 2005

Can There Be an Objective Review of Pope John Paul II?

The Pope has passed into history, to a place he will be remembered with fondness by the, oh, I don't know, .05% of the Christians in Europe all of whom were at the funeral.  Across the rest of the great continent, secularists, Moslems, and political lunatics will forget him, or, if they remember him at all, will malign him as a "conservative."
 
For an American Catholic, the Pope's final days (years, really) are, at best, bittersweet.  He didn't do anything about the pederasts in the clergy (although I have to say, I'm not convinced that the problem was exactly as bad as broadcast), he didn't do anything about rationalizing the liturgy (we now stand up during the "Second Half of Mass" which, by no means, may ever be called "A Mass"; instead, it is "a Liturgy" or "our gathering."  Pukin' my guts out.
 
The rationalist bent of the modern age is everywhere.  There isn't a part of the Roman Catholic Church that hasn't been harmed by it.  Whether the next pope can do anything about it is open to serious doubt.  More likely, he'll change "he" to "he/she."
 
What's weird is that the emotives are all arguing that they are the "rationalists."  But when you come right down to it, their best reason for girl altar boys is that "we shouldn't hurt anybody's feelings."
 
Sad.  Truly sad.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Mommy to Prince: You will TOO go to Rome!

Can there be any doubt that the Anglican "Church" is nothing more than a half-millennium-old brothel/fence operation? When one considers that the "head" of the Anglican Church is required by his mommy (and Prime Minister) to put aside his marriage to his truly beloved, and mount his steed to pay respects to the descendant of the man his ancestor raped, pillaged and plundered (OK, not raped), it seems that the Church of England really ought to decide to (a) become Catholic and stop the prayerful imitation or (b) become the Church of Homosexuals and Lesbians and be done with it. I mentioned before how our Papa didn't do the absolutely right thing when it came to the clergy-sex scandal. But, come now. Can anyone view the scene today in England and Rome and even pretend that the Anglican Church exists except in the minds of pasty-white London accountants who keep tabs on the lucre stolen from the monestaries by Henry the Fat -- er, I mean, the Eighth? ... Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded survived? The head of a Christian Church? Primates? Are you kidding?

Apologetically yours, John Paul II

Apologies can be spiritually meaningful. And no one can be indifferent to the life of John Paul II. There will be high drama at the Papal Conclave and a soap-opera for the secular-humanists. It is possible to praise this worthy Servant of God as a good and true Christian while also remembering his significant failings. While these are few, they are memorable. Two, in particular, should cause all believing Catholics to pause. Kissing the Koran, for example, was not a particularly successful evangelical or ecumenical act. Few Mohammedans view the Catholic Pope kindly, and his obeisance to their book is most likely seen as a weakness, not a gambit for their reluctant souls. In the more public, secular sphere, it was a political and diplomatic mistake. No follower of Jesus is swayed to a different flavor of Christianity by the Pope's obeisance to a lie; no pagan follower of Mohammed is swayed by an "infidel" -- indeed the leader of the infidels -- honoring the Green Book. Perhaps with the best intentions, this was a dishonor to the Truth, the Deposit of Faith, entrusted to the Pope. Similarly, the carefully-worded apology for the "violence some have used in the service of the truth" is an apology that either (a) says nothing or (b) says just enough for critics and enemies of the Church to make the case that, in admitting these wrongs, the Church is confessing the error that they smugly knew and reified lo these many years. Exactly what good comes from that? Even the strongest of Catholic defenders, William Donohue, in commenting (on the occasion of the Pope's death) on the "apology" that JPII was "brave" enough to make, can't seem to distinguish between individuals who might (I'm not convinced) have committed sins in the name of the Church on the one hand, and the Mystical Body of Christ, the actual Church, composed of Christ and all His followers in the union of belief and faith, on the other hand. Exactly what has been accomplished by bowing to the modern sense of emotion and confusing even your supporters? The late pope left the American homosexual clergy scandal to fester, elevated schismatics to the rank of Cardinal, as well. These imperfections alone probably prevent him from being considered a "great" Pope; the standards, however, for such elevation are publicly and proudly debased. All one needs for sainthood these days is a public disagreement with Madonna or Britney. John Paul II was a good and holy man (if my opinion doesn't irritate the reader overmuch), who made many wonderful decisions along with these few wrong ones. St. Peter will welcome him with all of the honors dues to a faithful, if erring, Servant of Christ. Pray that the next pope takes the name "Gregory" or "Sixtus"; something to recall the days of tradition, honor and loyalty to the Church and not to modernism.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

The Seattle Times: Opinion: Accepting the painful truth: Sometimes God says no

Leonard Pitts is a stellar human being. At least he thinks so. More later.