Monday, March 31, 2008

Digest of Today's Posts (31 March 2008)

  • McCain Making Quiet Play for Catholic Vote

  • George Weigel: Pope Unlikely to Denounce "Great Satan Bush"

  • Bobby Jindal's National Prospects

  • Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Commemorated in 2008 on 31 March)

  • Terri Schiavo Passed Away 3 Years Ago Today

  • Creative Minority Report: "It's Morning Again in the Catholic Church"

  • Voice of the Faithful to "Get Message Out" During Papal Visit

  • Benedict in America

  • From over the weekend:
    The Curt Jester: "Shameless Garment" [UPDATED]

    (Digest of Friday's Posts (28 March 2008))


    McCain Making Quiet Play for Catholic Vote

    (Another hat tip to Feddie)

    The Dallas Morning News is reporting: "McCain making quiet play for Catholic vote", and notes that this "quiet courtship [is] part of a broader effort to win religious voters".

    So "quiet", in fact, that many of us can't hear it.

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    George Weigel: Pope Unlikely to Denounce "Great Satan Bush"

    (Hat tip: Feddie at Southern Appeal)

    George Weigel writes at National Review Online:
    ... In “Not Eye to Eye: Wholly Different Angles on the World,” a front-page “Outlook” piece on March 30, Winters claimed that, during his forthcoming visit to the United States, Pope Benedict XVI will “show how much his worldview differs from President Bush’s when he denounces the continuing U.S. occupation of Iraq before the U.N. General Assembly — a denunciation that’s expected to be especially harsh after the recent martyrdom of a Chaldean Catholic archbishop killed by insurgents in Mosul.” In that one sentence, Winters managed to commit several of the capital sins of Vaticanology: He confused the views of low-ranking bureaucrats with the thinking of senior Vatican officials, the pope’s own thinking, and the official position of the Holy See; he assumed that the pope comes into international forums like the U.N. as a policy proponent rather than as a voice of moral reason; and, perhaps worst of all, he somehow imagined that Benedict XVI would cheapen the sacrifice of the slain Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho by using the Chaldean prelate’s death as a way to score a political point.

    In my own conversations with senior Vatican officials over the past 18 months, I have been struck by the fact that the debates of 2002-2003 are over. That there was serious disagreement between the U.S. government and the Holy See prior to the invasion of Iraq is, and was, obvious. Today, however, the page has been turned, and despite what Winters’s Vatican leakers may be telling him, the people who make the decisions tell me, as they have told the Bush administration, that a precipitous U.S. withdrawal from Iraq would be a disaster for both Iraq and the entire Middle East.

    Pope Benedict will likely urge President Bush to demand that the Iraqi government be more assertive in defending the Christian minority population of Iraq; but that means more and stronger American involvement in the evolving politics of Iraq, not the end of an “occupation.” As for a papal “denunciation” at the U.N., Winters and his friends among Catholic Democrats are likely to be disappointed; Benedict XVI is far too shrewd to give fall campaign sound-bites to Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton (either of whose victory in November would cause nightmares for the Holy See at the U.N. and other international agencies).

    Americans interested in hearing what the pope actually has to say about the United States and its role in the world, and about the deeper issues of world politics, should pay particularly close attention to Benedict’s remarks at the White House welcoming ceremony on April 16 and his address to the U.N. General Assembly on April 18. Far from playing Jeremiah against the Great Satan Bush, Benedict XVI is going to teach the world a lesson about moral reason as the “grammar” by which the world can have a conversation about the world’s future. There are truths built into the world and into us, he will remind Americans and the U.N.; thinking together about those truths is one way to change noise into conversation and incomprehension into dialogue. I hope Mr. Winters, his sources, and the editors at “Outlook” are listening.

    (emphasis added)

    My Comments:
    Of course, this has been written by one of the neocon minions of the "Great Satan Bush", who advocated on behalf of the Iraq War from the get-go, so take it for what it's worth. /sarcasm

    I wouldn't be surprised if we hear from Pope Benedict lamenting the initial decision to go into Iraq. And I suspect he'll mention torture at some point. But the Pope doesn't seem likely to launch into a full-scale denunciation along the lines the Washingon Post columnist is indicating.

    Nevertheless, I have a feeling that, regardless of the Holy Father's actual words, whatever he says will be reported as a "denunciation" by those interested in scoring political points.

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    Bobby Jindal's National Prospects

    InsideCatholic on the future of Louisiana's newly elected Governor Bobby Jindal on a national GOP ticket:
  • "Gov. Bobby Jindal Off to a Fast Start" by Deal Hudson

  • "Re: Bobby Jindal" by Irene Lagan
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    Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Commemorated in 2008 on 31 March)

    The Feast of the Annunciation is normally celebrated 25 March, but due to its falling in Easter Week this year, it is instead being commemorated today.

    From the Medieval Saints Yahoo Group:

    Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, March 25

    Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, commemorates the conception in human form of Holy God the Son within the Holy Trinity / Our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ; Also known as Feast fo the Incarnation; The Conception of Christ and beginning of Redemption; Annunciation of the Lord; Solemnity of the Theotokos (Greek); Lady Day or Our Lady's Day

    Instituted: c. 431, shortly before or after the council of Ephesus

    Themes & Motives: Beginning of process of redemption

    Commemorated March 25

    Known as Lady Day, this is one of the Medieval Quarter Days which fall around the Equinoxes or Solstices and mark the beginnings of new natural seasons and were used in medieval times to mark "quarters" for legal purposes, such as settling debts.

    In art: the Annunciation is represented in art by many masters, among them Fra Angelico, Hubert Van Eyck, Jan Van Eyck, Ghirlandajo, Holbein the Elder, Lippi, Pinturicchio, and Del Sarto.

    The Annunciation of Our Lord Jesus Christ to the Blessed Virgin Mary
    (full article at: )

    In the first chapter of Luke we read how the angel Gabriel announced to Mary that she had been chosen to be the mother of the Christ, and how Mary answered, "Here I am, the handmaid of the Lord. Let it be to me as you have said." It is reasonable to suppose that Our Lord was conceived immediately after this. Accordingly, since we celebrate His birth on 25 December, we celebrate the Annunciation nine months earlier, on 25 March.

    For many centuries most European countries took 25 March, not 1 January, as the day when the number of the year changed, so that 24 March 1201 was followed by 25 March 1202. If you had asked a Christian of that time why the calendar year changed so awkwardly partway through a month, he would have answered: "Today we begin a new year of the Christian era, the era which began X years ago today when God was made man, when He took upon Himself a fleshly body and human nature in the womb of the Virgin."

    Pray the Angelus today in honor of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary:
    V. Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariae;
    R. Et concepit de Spiritu Sancto.

    V. The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary;
    R. And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.

    Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum. Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus. Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc, et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.
    Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and in the hour of our death. Amen.

    V. Ecce ancilla Domini.
    R. Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum.

    V. Behold the handmaid of the Lord:
    R. Be it done unto me according to Thy word.

    Ave Maria, gratia plena,.......
    Hail Mary, full of grace, .....

    V. Et Verbum caro factum est.
    R. Et habitavit in nobis.

    V. And the Word was made flesh:
    R. And dwelt among us.

    Ave Maria, gratia plena,.......
    Hail Mary, full of grace, .....

    V. Ora pro nobis, sancta Dei Genetrix.
    R. Ut digni efficiamur promissionibus Christi.

    V. Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God.
    R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

    Gratiam tuam, quaesumus, Domine, mentibus nostris infunde; ut qui, Angelo nuntiante, Christi Filii tui incarnationem cognovimus, per passionem eius et crucem, ad resurrectionis gloriam perducamur. Per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum.
    R. Amen.

    Let us pray:
    Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts, that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His passion and cross be brought to the glory of His resurrection, through the same Christ our Lord.
    R. Amen.
    Annunciation Window, North Transept,
    St. Mary, Mother of the Redeemer - Norwalk, Ohio
    (Photo by Alex Fries)

    Jeffrey Smith at The Roving Medievalist has posted a very nice selection of artwork depicting the Annunciation.

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    Terri Schiavo Passed Away 3 Years Ago Today

    Theresa Marie Schindler Schiavo was born into eternal life 3 years ago today, after being dehydrated to death by her husband and a Florida judge, and after the passage of Congressional legislation to come to her aid (a vote a certain presidential candidate called "my greatest mistake") went unheeded.

    My posts from that day are linked below.

    Theresa Marie Schindler Schiavo, Rest In Peace

    What Has Our Country Done Unto "The Least of These"?

    For full coverage of this tragic anniversary, be sure to read Blogs for Terri. Also, please visit the website for the Terri Schiavo Foundation. Finally, please remember that the Schindlers have written a book about Terri's life titled A Life That Matters : The Legacy of Terri Schiavo - A Lesson for Us All.

    Please pray for the repose of Terri's soul and for the Schindler family on what must be a very difficult anniversary for them.

    "Barack Obama vs. Terri Schiavo" by Nat Hentoff.

    (Hat tip: Christopher at Catholics in the Public Square)

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    Creative Minority Report: "It's Morning Again in the Catholic Church"

    Patrick at Creative Minority Report has produced an ad modeled on the famous 1984 Reagan campaign ad: "It's Morning Again in the Catholic Church".

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    Voice of the Faithful to "Get Message Out" During Papal Visit

    Dave Hartline at The Catholic Report links to this ad from "Voice of the Faithful" calling for a "transformed Church". The ad will apparently run leading up to and/or during the Holy Father's visit to the U.S.

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    Benedict in America

    Christopher Blosser has crafted a nifty new banner for his Benedict in America blog:

    Christopher has some very interesting posts, including this one on celebrating the Bicentennial of the Catholic Church in the United States.

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    Saturday, March 29, 2008

    The Curt Jester: "Shameless Garment" [UPDATED]

    Jeff Miller writes:
    ... But there is no lack of people for who party trumps everything else. There were the pro-life Catholics who thought that Rudy Giuliani was da bomb and of course Casey's predecessor Sen. Santorum decided to support Sen Specter over an actual pro-life candidate.

    Now I am sure that Senator Casey would explain himself using some variation of the seamless garment argument. Though I think for accuracy sake this should be renamed the shameless garment argument since many people who use it are quite shameless in how they justify supporting pro-abortion politician and measures. Democrats who manage to see infinite shades of gray for most moral issues see life issues as one solid color and minimum wage can be of equal value as protecting the unborn. If hospitals treated people like the shameless garment argument then people who stubbed their toe would be as likely to get immediate attention as someone who had already lost near a gallon of blood. What we need is triage when it comes to the pro-life cause and the unborn come first...

    My Comments:
    I keep hearing that opposition to abortion isn't a partisan issue, and that there are plenty of Democrats who are pro-life just as there are plenty of Republicans who are "pro-choice". No doubt. In fact, I agree with that overall assessment.

    Nevertheless, it's a shame that pro-life Democrats can't (or won't) band together to demand that their party reverse its pro-abortion course in the same way that pro-life conservatives and Republicans banded together to demand the GOP not nominate pro-abortion Rudy Giuliani as its presidential nominee. People like me threatened that we would stay home or vote 3rd party (and I certainly would have followed through on that threat) rather than vote for a pro-abort like Rudy. As a result, Giuliani went from sure-thing frontrunner status to also-ran in about the same amount of time it took Steve Dillard to type the words "Catholics Against Rudy".

    Where's the similar effort on the part of Catholic Democrats and liberals? Pro-life Democrats, instead of always asking "Where's the beef?" in regard to the GOP's progress on ending abortion, should instead be putting their pro-life money where their pro-life mouths are and start doing something substantive to turn their party around (and I don't mean this "working behind the scenes" nonsense - I've seen little evidence that such "efforts" are anything more than keeping a low profile and perhaps biding their time).

    But to actually jump on board the campaign bus with a guy who

    (1) voted against protecting babies born alive during botched abortions;
    (2) said that his "biggest mistake" in the U.S. Senate was voting to help Terri Schiavo;
    (3) pledged to Planned Parenthood that he "will not yield" on the "fundamental issue" of abortion;
    (4) criticized the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the partial-birth abortion ban, calling it "part of a concerted effort to roll back women's rights";
    (5) stated that he has a pro-abortion litmus test for Supreme Court nominees; and
    (6) vowed that his first act as President will be to sign the "Freedom of Choice" Act

    just ain't cutting it, and belies your claims of being "pro-life" in any meaningful sense.

    If you must vote for him because you believe "truly grave moral reasons exist" for supporting him over the other guy, I might disagree with you, but I can understand that decision. But actively campaigning in support of such a candidate? That I cannot understand.*

    * IF - and that's a big "if" - I come around to agreeing to vote for John McCain, I can assure you that the extent of my efforts on his behalf will be going the few blocks over to the polling station on Election Day, holding my nose, and pulling the lever.

    UPDATE (31 March)
    M.Z. Forrest is providing the sort of justification I'm looking for from pro-lifers who are considering a vote for Obama. See also here.

    M.Z., while acknowledging that he is leaning toward a vote for Obama, is under no illusions as to the fact that there is little if any practical significance between being "pro-choice" and being "pro-abortion" and what that means for the unborn. You get the feeling from him that his vote for Obama would be one of reluctance (or perhaps even sad resignation), which should be contrasted with the irrational exhuberance that many pro-lifers are exhibiting when it comes to their full-throated support for the man.

    That's the sort of thing I'm looking for. If you believe there are "truly grave moral reasons" that are leading you to support a pro-abortion rights candidate like Obama, I can respect that; but at least be willing to acknowledge that there will be short-term (and probably long-term) negative consequences where the effort to end (or even hold ground on) legalized abortion is concerned.

    That's a far cry from the sort of delusional glorification of Obama's ability to "change" the culture to such an extent that abortion will no longer be "necessary", which we are hearing from some pro-life Catholic quarters, to the extent they address the pro-life issue in regard to Obama at all (see, e.g., Douglas Kmiec and Gerald Campbell - the latter even goes to far as to defend the "pro-choice" position).

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    Friday, March 28, 2008

    Digest of Today's Posts (28 March 2008)

  • Sen. Kennedy Joins Sen. Brownback on Pro-Life Legislation

  • "Pro-Life" Casey Endorses Obama ...

  • Some Public Service Announcements

  • (Digest of Yesterday's Posts (27 March 2008))


    Sen. Kennedy Joins Sen. Brownback on Pro-Life Legislation

    (Hat tip: Regular Guy Paul)

    Give Teddy his due on this one:
    U.S. Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS), a longtime pro-lifer leader, has proposed a $5 million bill aimed at reducing the number of abortions tied to genetic disorders.

    Sen. Brownback has found a cosponsor for the legislation that would shock most pro-life activists: U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA), a fervent pro-abortion supporter. The bill would create a national registry of families willing to adopt children with pre- or post-natal diagnosed conditions, such as Down syndrome. Furthermore, families that receive a diagnosis of Down syndrome or any other genetic condition would be referred to support services that would give information on how to cope.

    The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, chaired by Sen. Kennedy, voted unanimously on Feb. 27 to pass the bill and it now is headed to the full Senate. Similar legislation has been filed in the House.

    Sen. Brownback says that 90 percent of pregnancies are aborted when a genetic test shows that the preborn child will develop into a child with Down syndrome, spina bifida, cystic fibrosis or dwarfism. "I'd like to see [that number] come way down," Brownback said. "I think these children are beautiful and sacred children, and they should be allowed the chance to live."

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    "Pro-Life" Casey Endorses Obama ...

    ... and agrees to actively campaign with the candidate who says his first act as President will be to sign the "Freedom of Choice" Act.

    The reactions at InsideCatholic:
    Mighty Casey has sold out by Todd Aglialoro

    Pro-Life Catholics for Obama by Deal Hudson

    Will Casey help Obama with the Catholic vote? by Brian Saint-Paul

    More on Pro-Life Democrats by Eric Pavlat
    And then there's this one:
    But apparently he's deaf to irony by Todd Aglialoro
    Casey was quoted as saying he favored Obama because the Illinois senator "thinks we shouldn't be deaf to the voices of the next generation."
    To which Margaret Cabaniss responds:
    That level of obtuseness really makes you wonder if he ever believed his own pro-life platform.
    I think many of us already knew the answer to that. I'm not sure I ever took Casey Jr.'s "pro-life" credentials seriously. He's certainly not his father's "pro-life Democrat".

    More from InsideCatholic:
    Casey is a "cynical, traitorous phony"? by Mark Stricherz

    In a reply to your post, you called Sen. Casey a "cynical, traitorous phony." Might that assessment be a bit harsh?

    Your judgment seems based on Casey's endorsement of Obama. But I have not heard you condemn Sen. Santorum, whom you no doubt would have preferred to Casey, for his endorsement of Sen. Arlen Specter in the 2004 GOP primary. As you will recall, the pro-choice Specter beat his largely pro-life conservative opponent by 16,000 votes , so Santorum's endorsement might well have tipped the balance.

    Specter's re-election was no victory for the pro-life cause. He was one of four GOP senators in September 2006 who voted against the interstate child-custody protection act. The legislation failed by three votes.

    Was Santorum a "cynical, traitorous phony"? I don't think he was anymore than Casey. He was being pragmatic without being immoral.
    Was Santorum a "cynical, traitorous phony"?

    In that particular instance? Yep.

    UPDATE #2
    The conversation continues at InsideCatholic:
  • Phonies and then phonies by Todd Aglialoro

  • Re: Casey is a "cynical, traitorous phony"? by Mark Stricherz

  • Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Pro-Abortion Group Praises Casey For Votes

    National Catholic Register: Pro-Lifers Assess Senator Casey’s Voting Record

    Priest Blasts "Usual Suspects" For Votes Against Pro-Life Policy

    Bob Casey Is Not His Father’s Pro-life Democrat

    Senate Democrats (Including Allegedly "Pro Life" Bob Casey) Vote to Rescind Mexico City Policy

    National Catholic Register on the Late Bob Casey, Sr.: "Mighty Casey and American Humility"

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    Some Public Service Announcements

  • New Blog / Project for March-April 2008: "Benedict in America"‏

    Until at least the end of April, Christopher Blosser (of PopeBenedictXVIFanClub, Against The Grain, and Catholics in the Public Square) will be devoting his attention to chronicling Pope Benedict XVI's 2008 Apostolic Journey to the United States, compiling news, commentary and resources on the papal visit -- along with the usual occasional personal/editorial criticism at:

  • Notre Dame, St. Mary's, Holy Cross College‏ Sponsor Joint Eucharistic Procession

    March 27, 2008

    For Immediate Release

    From: 2008 Notre Dame Eucharistic Procession Committee

    On Sunday April 20th, 2008 the University of Notre Dame will hold its 4th annual Eucharistic Procession. All are welcome to join the Reverend David T. Tyson, Provincial Superior, Indiana Province of the Congregation of Holy Cross, and the Notre Dame community as they celebrate and give witness to Christ's presence in the Eucharist. Co-sponsored by many different groups from Notre Dame, St. Mary's, and Holy Cross College, the procession is a revival of an old tradition at the University.

    Join us for the 11:45 Mass at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on the campus of the University of Notre Dame followed immediately by the procession and a picnic lunch provided by the campus Knights of Columbus. If you intend on participating, please visit the Sign-up page to register.

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    Thursday, March 27, 2008

    Digest of Today's Posts (27 March 2008)

  • "Nice Weather We're Having. By the Way, My Girlfriend Got an Abortion Today."

  • Virginia Police Hunt for Snipers in Motorist Shootings Along Interstate 64 (Near Charlottesville)

  • Obama's Problems in Pennsylvania Mirror His Problems in Ohio

  • Are You a Catholic Caveman?

  • Deal Hudson: "A Memo to the Obama Campaign"

  • Yesterday's Post:
  • Inside Catholic: "McCain and the Pope"
  • Labels:

    "Nice Weather We're Having. By the Way, My Girlfriend Got an Abortion Today."

    Overheard at the grocery store by the Cranky Conservative.

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    Virginia Police Hunt for Snipers in Motorist Shootings Along Interstate 64 (Near Charlottesville)

    From FOXNews:
    CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Virginia State Police were hunting Thursday for multiple gunmen suspected of shooting at motorists at three different locations along busy Interstate 64.

    A 20-mile section of the major highway was reopened after being closed overnight and into the early morning hours while officers pursued what they believe were more than one sniper.

    No one was seriously hurt in the shootings. Two people were treated and released at the hospital for very minor injuries, according to state police Col. Steve Flaherty. It wasn't immediately clear whether they were wounded by bullets or shattered glass.

    Flaherty told reporters Thursday that at least four cars were struck by bullets along an 11-mile stretch of the freeway Wednesday night, beginning shortly before the first call came in about 12:10 a.m.

    "I really don't have a good feel for how long this went on," Flaherty said. "We have evidence that it was more than one suspect."

    He downplayed the characterization of the shooters as "snipers," saying they could just be pranksters...

    My Comments:
    Not good. Sarah and the kids are in Charlottesville visiting her folks right now. Her mother actually lives in nearby Crozet, which is where this apparently took place. Sarah called a little while ago to tell me about it.

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    Obama's Problems in Pennsylvania Mirror His Problems in Ohio

    Jim Geraghty, reporting at The Campaign Spot on National Review Online, breaks down Obama's problems connecting with voters in Pennsylvania:
    Over on the home page, I take a look at Barack Obama's efforts in Pennsylvania. His team has been making an effort in getting independents and whatever "Obamacans" remain registered as Democrats; but overall, the sense is that the message is falling flat.

    Obviously, I'd recommend you read the whole thing — but two points that raised my eyebrows. One, it's not unthinkable that out of 67 counties in Pennsylvania, Obama could end up winning... one. He'll win Philadelphia, but Pittsburgh's Democrats are not his ideal kind of Democrats. Maybe Obama will win the county that includes Penn State University, and maybe some of the Philly suburbs will be close. But most of the Democrats in the rest of the state are white, Catholic, elderly, union members, working class — all the demographics that elude Obama's appeal.

    Second, in a state with all of those key demographics, why is Obama touting himself as a political reformer who passed tough ethics laws? If Obama loses in Pennsylvania by a wide margin, the crisis won't be the loss itself; it will be the revelation that Obama still couldn't figure out how to appeal to those demographics, even with six weeks to prepare, in one state.
    (emphasis added)

    Geraghty's full piece on Obama's problems in Pennsylvania (also linked in the excerpt above) can be read here.

    More anecdotal evidence of Obama's problems in Ohio: Sarah's 82-year-old-lifelong-union-Democrat grandmother. The other day while we were at her house for Easter dinner, Sarah's grandmother mentioned that she had never voted for a Republican in her life (and I assume this includes Reagan), but that she thought she might vote that way this November.

    Now, this is a woman who detests Republicans in general and George W. Bush in particular. She regularly bemoans the state of Ohio's economy. She's a very patriotic woman who just lost her WWII vet husband a couple of months ago, but who is nonetheless very angry over the 4000 American dead in the Iraq War, and thankful for the continued safety of her 2 grandsons that have served in Iraq. After 8 years of a Republican in the White House, she's ready for a change.

    So, in a year in which the Republicans are ripe to be thrown out on their arses, and when the 2 Democrat candidates are promising "change", what does Sarah's grandmother do? She's extolling the virtues of John McCain, who she called "a real American hero who, through his sacrifice in Vietnam, has proved that he loves his country". (I think she was a little surprised at my antipathy toward McCain, and that she, a lifelong Democrat, is more favorably inclined toward McCain than I am.)

    This lady is the demographic with whom Hillary! is doing well, and with whom Obama must do well if he is to win in November. But this is also a demographic for whom McCain apparently holds a great deal of appeal.

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    Are You a Catholic Caveman?

    (Hat tip: Regular Guy Paul)

    Are You A Catholic Caveman?
    created with
    You scored as You are a Conservative Novus Ordo type

    Close, but no cigar. You do, however, get the feeling that all those "wonderful changes" brought on by Vatican II have pretty much screwed things up. Best bet... get thee to a Latin Mass.

    You are a Conservative Novus Ordo type


    You ARE a Catholic Caveman!


    You worship dirt


    You're the Anti-Christ


    Novus Ordo through and through


    I'm guessing the 10% for "You worship dirt" is a result of my negative response to whether I liked the drink originally known as Black Protestant Porter. I'd gladly worship dirt rather than drink that stuff.

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    Deal Hudson: "A Memo to the Obama Campaign"

    Deal Hudson, writing at InsideCatholic, offers some unsolicited advice to Sen. Obama on understanding the "Catholic vote".

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    Wednesday, March 26, 2008

    Inside Catholic: "McCain and the Pope"

    Robert R. Reilly writes at InsideCatholic:
    Sen. John McCain cannot win in November without the Catholic vote, which is around 25 percent of the electorate. How is he going to get it? The worst thing he could assume is that it is going to fall into his lap because Catholics will have nowhere else to go. Some people with nowhere to go simply stay home. Or they may go elsewhere, as it appears they have already been doing. The Wall Street Journal reports that in "a recent survey of 19 states that have held presidential primaries this year, 63% of Catholics identified themselves as Democrats." That's up from 42 percent in 2005. Not a good augury for McCain.

    Senator McCain not only needs Catholics who will vote for him, but who will each find ten other Catholics who will do the same. That is not going to happen unless he galvanizes the Catholic electorate. He has an opportunity to do this when Pope Benedict XVI visits the United States during April 15 to 20.

    I was President Ronald Reagan's liaison to the Catholic community from 1983 to 1985. In the 1984 election, President Reagan won the Catholic vote and was the first Republican to do so. Senator McCain might want to take a look at how that happened.

    I recall a definitive moment when the Democrats vociferously complained about the ads run by the Reagan campaign in Catholic newspapers. The ads featured a photo of Reagan and John Paul II smiling together. Was this not politicizing the Catholic Church? How dare the Republicans do such a thing? At that time, Archbishop John Foley was the pope's minister of communications and principal spokesman at the Vatican. When asked, he responded to the complaints by saying that, since these two men shared so many fundamental moral principles in common, it was the most natural thing in the world that they should appear together in a photograph. Not wishing to hear that statement made again, the complaints from the Democrats immediately ceased.
    [ED.: LOL! I love it!]

    The key here is that Archbishop Foley, who came from a Democratic family in Pennsylvania, did not have to make this up -- it was true. President Reagan had embraced moral positions on the family, on the sanctity of human life, on school prayer, and against pornography [ED.: Not to mention against communism] that were completely congruent with those of the Catholic Church. And, like John Paul II, he was fighting for them.

    Can Senator McCain say the same? [ED.: Nope.] If not, a photograph with Benedict XVI is not going to solve his problem. [ED.: I sincerely hope none of the presidential candidates will be so bold as to try to stage some cynical photo op with the Holy Father while he's here.] He needs to campaign on these issues just as Reagan did. He cannot simply claim that point of view; he needs to promote it. He needs to articulate it. [ED.: Yeah, let me know how that works out.] In 1983, President Reagan wrote an article titled "Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation," which appeared in the Human Life Review. That was an extraordinary thing for a sitting president to have done. The fact that he did it convinced many Catholic pro-lifers that Reagan was sincere in his beliefs and was not simply acting for political advantage. They rallied around him.

    So what should Senator McCain do when Benedict XVI visits in April? This is his opportunity to demonstrate that he understands the significance of the pope's thought as it relates to the institution of the family, the sanctity of human life, and the threat of radical Islam. He needs to appear on EWTN with Raymond Arroyo and speak to that significance. He needs to do interviews in the National Catholic Register and other Catholic journals, and on Sirius radio's Catholic channel, which will cover the pope's visit by the hour. He needs to say that what the pope is expressing goes beyond a sectarian Catholic audience, as it addresses the core issues of Western civilization. He needs to say that Benedict was right at Regensburg in assessing moral relativism as the greatest threat to the West and to the integrity of reason, and that he was right also about the nature of the threat from an unreasoning version of Islam.

    [Read the whole thing]
    (emphasis and editorial commentary added)

    My Comments:
    That may be what "the maverick" McCain needs to do, but c'mon. The likelihood of McCain suddenly becoming a culture warrior and alienating his "precious" support among the press hacks and "moderate" voters is about as likely as my becoming a transexual stage performer doing a Marlene Dietrich tribute.

    Cross-posted at Catholics in the Public Square (but without my cynical commentary).


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    Tuesday, March 25, 2008

    Digest of Today's Posts (25 March 2008)

  • Pro-Life Catholic Chris Cox Touted as Possible McCain Running Mate

  • National Catholic Register: "We’re Waiting, Barack"

  • Commenters at NCReporter Wring Hands Over Pope's "Dangerous Political Game" (i.e. Baptism of Prominent Muslim Convert)

  • Nice Friends You on the Catholic Left Have There

  • (Digest of Yesterday's Posts (24 March 2008))


    Pro-Life Catholic Chris Cox Touted as Possible McCain Running Mate

    Quin Hillyer, writing at both Southern Appeal and The AmSpec blog, notes the buzz surrounding California Republican Chris Cox - a pro-life Catholic and a political conservative - as a potential Veep nominee for John McCain.

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    National Catholic Register: "We’re Waiting, Barack"

    The editors of National Catholic Register take Barack Obama to task on where they believe last week's speech on race in America fell short:
    We were waiting through Barack Obama’s rousing speech on racial equality to hear the bedrock principle of human rights on which racial equality depends. We were waiting to hear the revolutionary words of equality that were incorporated after the Second World War by the United Nations in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

    We never heard them. The Washington special interests to whom Barack Obama is beholden wouldn’t let him say them, even if he wanted to.

    As Obama, America’s orator of the moment, stood to speak about the equality and human rights of the races in our time, we were waiting for him to say that all Americans have the right to life, liberty and security of person. That we are all equal, regardless of any distinction: race, color, sex, language — or birth.

    But he couldn’t say that.

    We thought he was going to say it when he spoke about the “band of patriots” who gathered in Philadelphia. But he didn’t mention the Declaration of Independence, to which the U.N. document owes so much. We wanted to hear him quote these words:

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

    But he couldn’t quote those words. He is beholden to special interests that make a great deal of money by denying that people have the right to life. Obama couldn’t say those things ultimately because his official position is that some people are not created equal and do not have equal rights.

    And we don’t just mean abortion — though Obama has helped keep abortion legal in all nine months of pregnancy.

    In 2002, as an Illinois legislator, Obama went a step further when he voted against the Induced Infant Liability Act, which would have protected babies who were “accidentally” born alive during attempts to abort them.

    In a recent debate, Obama said the vote he most regrets was his vote to save Terri Schiavo’s life. Her husband, Michael, wanted Terri dead, even though she was alert and responsive to nurses and family members. He had married again, had a new child with a new woman, and he wanted Terri dead. When a judge granted his request, Congress and President Bush attempted to intervene to save her life, and not just to save her life, but to stop the dangerous precedent. They failed. Now Obama says they shouldn’t have tried.

    How quickly he has gone from opposing unwanted children’s right to life to opposing unwanted women’s right to life! History assures us it won’t stop there.

    [Read the whole thing]
    My Comments:
    Good points, but, in fairness to the candidate, I think that they go beyond the scope of what Obama was attempting to accomplish with his speech.

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    Commenters at NCReporter Wring Hands Over Pope's "Dangerous Political Game" (i.e. Baptism of Prominent Muslim Convert)

    The usual dhimmis accuse the Holy Father of "playing a very dangerous political game" with the Church's sacraments in baptizing a prominent Muslim convert to Catholicism.

    Rich Leonardi has the details:
    Over at the NCRCafe, Pope Benedict's baptism of Magdi Allam has prompted deans from the College of Faint Hearts to sniff their disapproval:
    Does the Vatican have a PR person? In a time when some reconciliation is sought with Muslims, Benedict pulls this stunt. If Allam wants to convert, fine; but why be baptized in St. Peter's square by the gilded pontiff?
    But have no fear; Dale Price is on the case:
    "Stunt?" And what possible reason would Muslims have to object to the free decision of a Muslim to become a Christian? Yes, that is rhetorical, but it happens--publicly--at every Easter liturgy. Your studied outrage would be better directed at the mistreatment of Muslim converts to Christianity throughout the Muslim world.
    Follow Rich's link to National Catholic Reporter to read the anti-Benedict reactions and Dale's priceless (no pun intended) response in full.

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    Nice Friends You on the Catholic Left Have There

    The other day, a commenter at Vox Nova (NOT one of the blog's contributors) attempted to tar all conservatives by association with the allegedly "conservative" Pat Buchanan, who had recently proclaimed that American slavery was the best thing that ever happened to the African peoples:
    Pat Buchanan represents the scummy core of modern conservatism. [ED.: I guess the term "paleo-conservative" and its meaning is completely lost on this person.] The only way you'll distance yourself from him is to cease being conservative entirely.
    Okay, lefties. Never mind that Pat Buchanan and most Americans calling themselves "conservative" parted company years ago. Never mind that, in many ways, he has more in common with the extremes on the left than he does with most people on the right (as another Vox Nova commenter (again, NOT one of the blog's contributors) put it, Buchanan is "a good example of how the extreme Right runs smack into the extreme Left").

    Two can play at your snotty little guilt-by-association game. Christopher Blosser has a couple of posts at Catholics in the Public Square providing textbook examples of the routine nonsense "your side" engages in. Nice friends you guys on the "Catholic left" have there:
  • Obama's followers smear Pope Benedict as a Nazi

  • Chicago anti-war protestors disrupt Easter Mass, throw blood on parishioners
  • The only way you'll distance yourself from this anti-Catholic nonsense is to cease your support for Obama and your pacifist activities entirely.

    What's sauce for the goose ...

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    Monday, March 24, 2008

    Digest of Today's Posts (24 March 2008)

  • Catholic Caveman: "Outside The Democrat Party, There Is No Salvation"

  • Regular Guy Paul Announces Candidacy for Illinois State Representative

  • So-Called "Catholic Reaganite" Doug Kmiec Endorses Obama [UPDATED]

  • K of C Supreme Knight's New Book - A Civilization of Love - Officially Published on March 25

  • (Digest of Weekend's Posts (23 March 2008))


    Catholic Caveman: "Outside The Democrat Party, There Is No Salvation"

    Cavey has the details on a special "Mass for Democrats" being sponsored by a group called Catholic Democrats of California.

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    Regular Guy Paul Announces Candidacy for Illinois State Representative

    Our old friend Regular Guy Paul is throwing his pro-life hat into the ring:
    ... I am announcing today that I will be an independent candidate for the Illinois Legislature in the 62nd District. My name is Paul Mitchell, and I write the Thoughts of a Regular Guy blog []. I am a pro-life conservative, a devout Roman Catholic, a veteran of service in the U.S. Air Force during the Cold War, a married man and father of four children, a college graduate with a degree in economics, a regular guy who commutes daily to a job in the city.

    I will readily concede that I am not the typical or ideal political candidate. I have a three-year history of on-line opinions on my blog, which I intend to continue to make available on-line and to write. I am not rich, nor am I financially independent. I don't own my own business. I've never been involved in party politics. I don't have much money to run with. I'm not well-connected. I'm not especially good-looking. If you're a voter in the 62nd, I'm probably a lot like you.

    I am pro-life. To say that life begins at conception is not a political statement, nor a statement of faith, nor a statement of opinion, but a matter of scientific fact on which there is virtually no credible scientific dissent. This is a fact with moral repercussions, the denial of which has caused great harm in our society. Rampant abortion, money wasted on the chimera of embryo-destructive stem cell research, research into human cloning, euthanasia, and a widespread attitude of disregard for the dignity and sanctity of human life are the necessary results of the assertion of a "right" to deny personhood in law to the unborn little girls and boys in our midst.

    The foundational, elemental building-block of society is the family, not the individual. And the core of the family is the permanent union of a man and a woman, come together for mutual support and to engender and raise the next generation of citizens. The state has an undeniable interest in supporting and protecting the traditional family. But easy divorce and a culture of selfishness have seriously damaged the family, and activists bent on passing gay "marriage" in Illinois threaten to render the idea of marriage completely meaningless...

    Best of luck, Paul!

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    So-Called "Catholic Reaganite" Doug Kmiec Endorses Obama [UPDATED]

    From Christopher at Catholics in the Public Square:
  • Douglas W. Kmiec endorses Obama.
  • "The Cranky Conservative" responds.
  • My Comments:
    I thought Mr. Kmiec had already endorsed the man who Kmiec claims, "apart from the life issues", is allegedly "a Catholic natural". What a joke.

    Well, I guess we have the answer to the question I posed to Mr. Kmiec in this post concerning Barack Obama's attributing blue-collar support for Ronald Reagan to racial animus:
    Got that? Blue collar "anger" and "resentment" over race "have helped shape the political landscape for at least a generation" - meaning that the conservative ascendency that began with the election of Ronald Reagan was a product of there being a whole lot of angry white male factory workers, whose anger was being misdirected toward black folks and exploited by cynical right-wing operatives "for their own electoral ends".

    So, in those 3 paragraphs cited above, Obama regurgitates the tired old leftist meme that the only thing that could possibly explain traditional Democrat voters supporting Ronald Reagan - thereby forging the "Reagan Coalition" - was because Reagan "made us comfortable in our prejudices".

    I wonder what self-described "Catholic Reaganite for Obama" Doug Kmiec has to say about that assessment?
    I still want to hear Mr. Kmiec address Obama's assertion. No true "Catholic Reaganite" would stand silent while the mostly Catholic blue-collar "Reagan Democrats" are disparaged in such a manner.

    Illinois attorney and frequent St. Blog's commenter Donald McClarey, commenting at The Cranky Conservative, has the best response to the Kmiec sellout that I've seen so far:
    “But for Wales?”
    In case you're unfamiliar with the reference, see A Man for All Seasons to get the meaning of Donald's allusion.

    UPDATE #2
    The responses at InsideCatholic should be interesting. Here's the first one from Margaret Cabannis. And here's what Deal Hudson has to say.

    UPDATE #3
    Feddie's "absolutely stunned" reaction is here. And Feddie's Southern Appeal co-blogger Hunter Baker also offers his take.

    UPDATE #4
    More reactions to Kmiec's endorsement.

    WORLD Magazine's World on the Web has a good round-up of blogger reactions:
    ... Andrew Sullivan praises Kmiec’s integrity and open mind, but most conservatives find it hard to see how a president could accommodate both pro-life and pro-abortion positions, or how “understanding” a point of view is relevant if you’re going to oppose it anyway. Powerline blogger Paul Mirengoff deems it “one of the most vacuous statements I’ve ever read,” and Patterico calls it “one of the most puzzling pieces of writing I have ever read.”

    Some conservatives, including Shannen Coffin on The Corner, already dismissed Kmiec as “off his rocker” when he published another piece saying Obama was a natural choice for the Catholic Reaganite vote. Like Reagan, Kmiec said, Obama has empathy and a desire to make Americans deserve to feel good about themselves.

    Rod Dreher said he just didn’t get it: “I think the guy just loves the feeling Obama gives him … It wouldn’t require so much tortuous logic simply to say, “I’m a Republican who’s sick of the Republicans, and want change. Obama is a likable, decent guy, and I’m willing to take a chance on him.” ...
    And Deacon Keith Fournier's commentary piece at CatholicOnline says "God is Not a Republican or a Democrat: But I Disagree with Doug Kmiec’s Endorsement."

    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    Obama Attributes Support for Reagan by Blue Collar "Reagan Democrats" to "Anger Over Welfare and Affirmative Action" [UPDATED]

    "No'bama for Me, Thanks"

    Can a Catholic Vote for Obama?

    Obama's Pledge to Planned Parenthood: “I Will Not Yield"

    Deal Hudson: "Barack Obama's Catholic Problem"

    "Why American Catholics are Supporting Barack Obama

    Catholics at the Ballot Box

    How the Catholic Left Will Tackle McCain

    Why Does Kmiec Criticize McCain for Positions on Which He Gave Romney a Pass?

    Deal Hudson on "Douglas Kmiec and the Lure of Obama"

    Douglas W. Kmiec on "The Moral Duty to Inquire"

    Professor Bainbridge: "Will Catholic Reaganites Go for Obama?"

    Deal Hudson: "Preacher Man: Barack Obama and the the Gospel of Liberalism"

    "Sorry, Doug Kmiec, But This Catholic Isn't Buying Obama"

    Ramesh Ponnuru on Douglas Kmiec and "Catholic Reaganites for Obama" [UPDATED]

    Romney Advisor Says Obama "a Natural for the Catholic Vote"

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    K of C Supreme Knight's New Book - A Civilization of Love - Officially Published on March 25

    I received the following press release in an email from the Knights of Columbus:
    Supreme Knight Carl Anderson's new book, A Civilization of Love: What Every Catholic Can Do to Transform the World, will officially go on sale in bookstores on Tuesday, March 25. Published by HarperOne, the book is what George Weigel (Pope John Paul II's biographer) calls "a bracing call to a new American revolution: a revolution of virtue . . . Give this book to friends who say there's nothing to be done to heal a wounded culture."

    Veteran Vatican correspondent John Allen says the book is "a rare specimen indeed: a practical guide for idealists." Princeton Professor Robert George says that the book is "brimming with insights into the transforming power of Christian faith."

    The United States Ambassador to the Vatican, Mary Ann Glendon, says, "Few elements of Catholic social teaching have been more forcefully stated, or more regularly ignored, that our calling to bring Christian teachings to bear on social, political, and economic issues. Carl Anderson, the dynamic leader of the largest Catholic laymen's organization in the United States, seeks to bring that message home."

    Learn more about the book at this special website:

    Order your copy from an online bookseller:
    Also available at leading bookstores everywhere.

    Do you live in the Washington, DC area? On Monday, March 24, Supreme Knight Anderson will attend a Mass, lunch and book signing at the Catholic Information Center, 1501 K Street, NW, beginning at 12:00 noon. And on Tuesday, March 25, you're invited to join him for remarks, a reception and book signing at Georgetown University's Riggs Library in Healy Hall, beginning at 6:00 p.m.

    He will also sign books at St. Mary's Church in New Haven, CT following Masses on Saturday and Sunday, March 29 and 30.
    Here's a summary of the book from the A Civilization of Love website:
    A Civilization of Love offers a bold blueprint for the Knights of Columbus, the Catholic Church, and all people of faith in the 21st century. Carl Anderson uses his experience as a former White House official, lawyer, educator and leader of the world's Catholic fraternal service organization to show how Church teaching and the Gospel mandate to care for the least among us can help build a better world.

    The book draws its inspiration from the thought of Pope John Paul II, and his successor Pope Benedict XVI, who urged those at World Youth Day to follow the Holy Spirit in the "building up of 'the civilization of love'."

    All author proceeds from the sale of A Civilization of Love will be donated to the Knights of Columbus Charities, Inc.
    And here are some reviews of the book from the website:
    “A Civilization of Love is a bracing call to a new American revolution: a revolution of virtue. By explaining why freedom must be tethered to truth and ordered to goodness, and by offering eminently practical suggestions for bringing truth and goodness into public life, Carl Anderson does all Americans a significant service. Give this book to friends who say there’s nothing to be done to heal a wounded culture.”
    ~ George Weigel
    Distinguished Senior Fellow,
    Ethics and Public Policy Center

    “Catholics do have the power to transform the world. ‘They will do so by their actions, by their attitudes, and by their influence. But above all, they will do so by their love. This love is a matter not of mere high-minded sentimentality but of genuine compassion tempered with a well-grounded realism. It is a love that offers hope not only for eternity but for a better way of life on this earth.’ A Civilization of Love invites us all to be part of that transformation. It is up to us to answer the call.”
    ~ Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur
    The Spiritual Woman

    “Carl Anderson performs some intellectual heavy lifting in these pages, but at bottom his message is utterly simple: Christians will make America into a culture of life and love more by their personal example than by political muscle. He artfully weaves theory and practice, giving us a rare specimen indeed: a practical guide for idealists.”
    ~ John L. Allen Jr.
    Senior Correspondent,
    the National Catholic Reporter

    “Inspired by the life and teaching of John Paul the Great, and drawing on his own experience as a lay Catholic who has devoted his life to serving Christ and his Church, Carl Anderson has written a book brimming with insights into the transforming power of Christian faith. A Civililization of Love, is both a call to personal holiness and a handbook for Catholics who are prepared to take seriously Christ’s command to his disiciples to be ‘salt and light’ in the world.”
    ~ Robert P. George
    McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and
    Director of the James Madison Program in
    American Ideals and Institutions at
    Princeton University

    “Few elements of Catholic social teaching have been more forcefully stated, or more regularly ignored, than that the task of bringing Christian teachings to bear on social, political, and economic issues belongs pre-eminently to laymen and laywomen. Carl Anderson, the dynamic leader of the largest Catholic laymen’s organization in the United States, seeks to bring that message home in A Civilization of Love. Addressing all men and women who are concerned about what kind of society we are bringing into being, he explains how all of us, wherever we find ourselves on life’s journey, can begin building a civilization of love.”
    ~ Mary Ann Glendon
    U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See and
    Professor of Law, Harvard University

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    Sunday, March 23, 2008

    Digest of Weekend's Posts (23 March 2008)

    Sunday, 23 March
  • Easter ... He Is Risen!

  • Friday, 21 March
  • Good Friday

  • (Digest of Thursday's Posts (20 March 2008))


    Easter ... He Is Risen!

    He Is Risen *** Alleluia!

    The Resurrection by El Greco

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    Friday, March 21, 2008

    Good Friday

    Crucifixion by El Greco

    The Pieta by El Greco

    "Stabat Mater"

    At the cross her station keeping,
    Mary stood in sorrow weeping
    When her Son was crucified.

    While she waited in her anguish,
    Seeing Christ in torment languish,
    Bitter sorrow pierced her heart.

    With what pain and desolation,
    With what noble resignation,
    Mary watched her dying Son.

    Ever-patient in her yearning
    Though her tear-filled eyes were burning,
    Mary gazed upon her Son.

    Who, that sorrow contemplating,
    On that passion meditating,
    Would not share the Virgin's grief?

    Christ she saw, for our salvation,
    Scourged with cruel acclamation,
    Bruised and beaten by the rod.

    Christ she saw with life-blood failing,
    All her anguish unavailing,
    Saw him breathe his very last.

    Mary, fount of love's devotion,
    Let me share with true emotion
    All the sorrow you endured.

    Virgin, ever interceding,
    Hear me in my fervent pleading:
    Fire me with your love of Christ.

    Mother, may this prayer be granted:
    That Christ's love may be implanted
    In the depths of my poor soul.

    At the cross, your sorrow sharing,
    All your grief and torment bearing,
    Let me stand and mourn with you.

    Fairest maid of all creation,
    Queen of hope and consolation,
    Let me feel your grief sublime.

    Virgin, in your love befriend me,
    At the Judgment Day defend me.
    Help me by your constant prayer.

    Savior, when my life shall leave me,
    Through your mother's prayers receive me
    With the fruits of victory.

    Virgin of all virgins blest!
    Listen to my fond request:
    Let me share your grief divine

    Let me, to my latest breath,
    In my body bear the death
    Of your dying Son divine.

    Wounded with His every wound,
    Steep my soul till it has swooned
    In His very Blood away.

    Be to me, O Virgin, nigh,
    Lest in flames I burn and die,
    In His awe-full judgment day.

    Savior, when my life shall leave me,
    Through your mother's prayers receive me
    With the fruits of victory.

    While my body here decays
    May my soul your goodness praise,
    Safe in heaven eternally. Amen Alleluia.

    The Collegeville Hymnal
    Minnesota: Liturgical Press, 1990.

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    Thursday, March 20, 2008

    Digest of Today's Posts (20 March 2008)

  • Actor Paul Scofield - Who Won Oscar for Portrayal of St. Thomas More - Dead at 86

  • Lawsuit Against Archdiocese: Guests at Catholic Weddings Want Gifts Back When Marriages Anulled

  • Hillary!'s Touted Foreign Policy "Experience" Illusory

  • Jesuit President of USF Criticizes Denver Archdiocese, Defends Fr. Drinan's Legacy in Rebuttal to Weigel Column

  • Yesterday's Post:
  • Obama Attributes Support for Reagan by Blue Collar "Reagan Democrats" to "Anger Over Welfare and Affirmative Action" [UPDATED]

  • (Digest of Tuesday's Posts (18 March 2008))


    Actor Paul Scofield - Who Won Oscar for Portrayal of St. Thomas More - Dead at 86

    Associated Press has the story on the death of British actor Paul Scofield - who originated the role of St. Thomas More in A Man for All Seasons on both stage (for which he won a Tony Award) and screen (winning a Best Actor Oscar) - from leukemia at the age of 86.

    Read Margaret Cabaniss' tribute to Scofield at InsideCatholic. See also Tito's tribute at Custos Fidei.

    Requiescat in pace.

    UPDATE (21 March)
    This description of Scofield's family life would have made him a man after the heart of the saint he so famously portrayed:
    Scofield was an unusual star - a family man who lived almost his whole life within a few miles of his birthplace in southern England and hurried home after work to his wife and children... When he married actress Joy Parker in 1943, they settled only 10 miles north, in the country village of Balcombe, where they raised their son and daughter and where Scofield was in easy striking distance of London's West End theaters.

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    Lawsuit Against Archdiocese: Guests at Catholic Weddings Want Gifts Back When Marriages Anulled

    The intrepid Maureen Martin reports at
    VESTAVIA HILLS, CALIF.– In a first-of-its-kind class action law suit, a group of plaintiffs have filed suit against the Archdiocese of Vestavia in California for “blatant disregard for the sacrament of marriage” and enabling married couples to bilk consumers out thousands of dollars in gift certificates, household items, hotel lodging, food and gas.

    “Frankly, our clients are tired of forking over money to Target and Bed, Bath and Beyond for cappuccino machines and Panini makers for wedding gifts, only to find out a few years – and in some cases only a few months later – that according to the Archdiocese of Vestavia, that it was all, well, pretend,” said Bob Pappas, an attorney with Pappas, Pappas and Jones in Santa Monica, Calif. “All we are saying is that if you aren’t really married, you don’t need that $80 clothes hamper anymore, so send it back to my client.”

    My Comments:
    Stuff like this is why Maureen's blog never left my blogroll during her 2-year hiatus.

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    Hillary!'s Touted Foreign Policy "Experience" Illusory

    Turns out Hillary! wasn't so involved in her husband's key foreign policy decisions after all. For instance, while the event that I consider to be Bill Clinton's most significant foreign policy achievement was taking place in Belfast, Hillary! was thousands of miles away attending a tribute to a recently deceased pro-abortion Congresswoman:
    ... on the day before the signing of the Good Friday agreement in Belfast she was at an event called "Hats on for Bella" in Washington.

    In her bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, Hillary Clinton has touted her experience in the Clinton White House as preparation to lead the nation in a time of crisis. "Ready on day one" has been her slogan.

    But an initial reading of some of the more than 11,000 pages of Clinton's schedules from her days as first lady, released today by the National Archives and the William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Library, shows that she was often far from the site of decision-making during some of the most pivotal events of Bill Clinton's presidency.

    ... For instance, Clinton has said she helped negotiate the April 1998 Good Friday agreement between warring factions in Northern Ireland. But while Catholic and Protestant figures hashed out last-minute details of a power-sharing agreement in Belfast, Clinton was at the National Press Club in Washington at a party honouring Bella Abzug, a congresswoman from New York City who had died recently. While President Clinton phoned major participants in the peace talks, she met with Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel and joined a farewell party for Democratic operative Karen Finney. On the day the agreement was actually signed, she met with Philippine first lady Amelita Ramos.


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    Jesuit President of USF Criticizes Denver Archdiocese, Defends Fr. Drinan's Legacy in Rebuttal to Weigel Column

    Deal Hudson writes at InsideCatholic:
    The February 20 issue of the Denver Catholic Register published a column on the Jesuits titled "Some Questions for Father General" by George Weigel. In response, the president of the University of San Francisco, Rev. Stephen A. Privett, S.J., published "Attack on Jesuits Out of Place" in Catholic San Francisco, the archdiocesan newspaper.

    Father Privett not only attacked what he termed the "mean-spirited assault" of Weigel, but he was also sharply critical of the Denver archdiocese for publishing it. Father writes,
    The readership of Catholic diocesan newspapers deserves more civil, balanced, and professional fare than that served up and passed around by the Denver Catholic Register.
    I don't know of a single instance in the history of this country's Catholic Church when one diocesan newspaper attacked another by name.

    Father Privett's outrage suggests that he is unaware that Weigel is merely speaking aloud questions that are shared by Catholics around the world. He specifically charges Weigel with making unfounded allegations about two Jesuits in particular, Rev. James Keenan, S.J., and the late Rev. Robert Drinan, S.J. Wiegel puts both forward as examples of Jesuit attitudes toward basic Church teachings on abortion and marriage.

    About Father Drinan, Weigel writes, "He did more than anyone else to convince Catholic legislators that the settled teaching of the Church on the grave immorality of abortion had no bearing on their legislative work." Father Privett's reply to Weigel: "His stunningly sweeping statement . . . lacks any supporting evidence."

    I'm sure that Weigel would be surprised to hear that he needed to document the career of Father Drinan, whom I call in my recent book the "Jesuit priest who invented the pro-abortion Catholic politician." Perhaps Father Privett needs to be reminded that, after being elected to Congress in 1970, Father Drinan wrote in support of Roe v. Wade and Clinton's veto of the ban against partial-birth abortion. After being forced by John Paul II to leave Congress in 1981, Father Drinan continued as a pro-abortion lobbyist both within the Democratic Party and as head of Americans for Democratic Action.


    Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
    National Catholic Register: "Hope and the Politics of Abortion"

    First Things: Robert Drinan, Infanticide, and the "Unthinkable"

    Demythologizing Father Drinan

    Fr. Drinan's Legacy ...

    Fr. Robert J. Drinan, S.J. - Rest in Peace

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    Wednesday, March 19, 2008

    Obama Attributes Support for Reagan by Blue Collar "Reagan Democrats" to "Anger Over Welfare and Affirmative Action" [UPDATED]

    Barack Obama, in his "A More Perfect Union" speech yesterday, attributed the formation of the Reagan coalition to anger and resentment over welfare and racial preferences:
    ... In fact, a similar anger exists within segments of the white community. Most working- and middle-class white Americans don’t feel that they have been particularly privileged by their race. Their experience is the immigrant experience – as far as they’re concerned, no one’s handed them anything, they’ve built it from scratch. They’ve worked hard all their lives, many times only to see their jobs shipped overseas or their pension dumped after a lifetime of labor. They are anxious about their futures, and feel their dreams slipping away; in an era of stagnant wages and global competition, opportunity comes to be seen as a zero sum game, in which your dreams come at my expense. So when they are told to bus their children to a school across town; when they hear that an African American is getting an advantage in landing a good job or a spot in a good college because of an injustice that they themselves never committed; when they’re told that their fears about crime in urban neighborhoods are somehow prejudiced, resentment builds over time.

    Like the anger within the black community, these resentments aren’t always expressed in polite company. But they have helped shape the political landscape for at least a generation. Anger over welfare and affirmative action helped forge the Reagan Coalition. Politicians routinely exploited fears of crime for their own electoral ends. Talk show hosts and conservative commentators built entire careers unmasking bogus claims of racism while dismissing legitimate discussions of racial injustice and inequality as mere political correctness or reverse racism.

    Just as black anger often proved counterproductive, so have these white resentments distracted attention from the real culprits of the middle class squeeze – a corporate culture rife with inside dealing, questionable accounting practices, and short-term greed; a Washington dominated by lobbyists and special interests; economic policies that favor the few over the many. And yet, to wish away the resentments of white Americans, to label them as misguided or even racist, without recognizing they are grounded in legitimate concerns – this too widens the racial divide, and blocks the path to understanding...
    (emphasis added)

    Got that? Blue collar "anger" and "resentment" over race "have helped shape the political landscape for at least a generation" - meaning that the conservative ascendency that began with the election of Ronald Reagan was a product of there being a whole lot of angry white male factory workers, whose anger was being misdirected toward black folks and exploited by cynical right-wing operatives "for their own electoral ends".

    So, in those 3 paragraphs cited above, Obama regurgitates the tired old leftist meme that the only thing that could possibly explain traditional Democrat voters supporting Ronald Reagan - thereby forging the "Reagan Coalition" - was because Reagan "made us comfortable in our prejudices".

    I wonder what self-described "Catholic Reaganite for Obama" Doug Kmiec has to say about that assessment?

    Tito noticed the same thing:
    ... Then Mr. Obama takes a swipe at white Americans by painting some of them as hate mongers in the image of Jeremiah Wright’s bigotry. Mr. Obama explains that this came to the surface in 1980 with the election of Ronald Reagan by those resentful of affirmative action and welfare programs; Mr. Obama calls those that voted for Reagan the “Reagan Coalition”. Imagine that, implying those that voted for the greatest president in the 2nd half of the 20th century as bigots. After insulting Americans who voted for Ronald Reagan he then went after conservatives with the following diatribe:

    “Talk show hosts and conservative commentators built entire careers unmasking bogus claims of racism while dismissing legitimate discussions of racial injustice and inequality as mere political correctness or reverse racism.” ...

    UPDATE #2
    More on blue-collar whites and Obama's message:
    ... There's a new entry next to Mika Brzezinski's name in the annals of MSM elitism. The Morning Joe panelist today lamented blue-collar whites who "can't hear" the message Barack Obama propounded. Poor benighted souls. Joe Scarborough called Mika on it.

    Brzezinski's comment came in response to Scarborough's exposition of why he didn't think Obama's speech would work with many blue-collar whites.

    View video here...
    It's not that blue-collar whites "can't hear" Obama's message; it's that they don't appreciate being accused of being motivated by biogotry, anger, and resentment in voting for Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush.

    UPDATE #3 (20 March)
    It seems that the anecdotal data confirms that the Obama speech only exacerbated his problems with blue-collar voters:
    PHILADELPHIA — Stephanie Gill, a bartender in a white working-class neighborhood in this Rust Belt city, noticed the shift immediately.

    A week ago, her customers at Rauchut’s Tavern in Tacony didn’t have much to say about Barack Obama. But when she returned to work Wednesday, a day after the Illinois senator attempted to quell the furor over his pastor’s racially incendiary remarks, the reaction inside the corner bar was raw and unapologetic.

    “People are not happy with Obama,” Gill said. “It’s the race stuff.”

    Obama has always been a tough sell in largely white Northeast Philadelphia and in the city's blue-collar river wards, a collection of white ethnic enclaves where customers at the local watering hole are often born and raised in the neighborhood that supports it.

    And his speech Tuesday, although widely praised by the pundit caste and Obama supporters, has only seemed to widen the gulf with the Budweiser class here.

    Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton relied on this blue-collar coalition — Catholics, union households, ethnic Europeans — to win Ohio. It accounts for her significant lead in Pennsylvania polls, and represents the demographic that political analysts say Obama needs to make gains with in order to present the strongest case possible for the Democratic nomination and the presidency.

    Glenn Peter, 54, a patron at Rauchut’s Tavern, said he heard finger pointing, not reconciliation. He took issue with Obama’s explanation that Wright’s observations of a racist America were reflecting the racial scars of his past.

    “I don’t want to hear that you are blaming us for him saying this,” said Peter, who is white and worked at an auto parts factory until it was shuttered several years ago. Cutting ties with the church “would have been the best way to do it. That way, I could have been able to listen to him again.”

    Peter nursed his early evening cigarette and a beer at Rauchut’s, where Eagles memorabilia and decorative shamrocks feel secondary to an intimidating portrait of Frank Rizzo, the barrel-chested former mayor popular with white ethnic voters but with a mixed legacy on racial issues.

    Peter said he’s never voted for a Republican for president, but if Obama is the nominee, he will support Sen. John McCain.

    (emphasis added)

    Last week, I mentioned some anecdotal evidence of my own in comments over at Vox Nova in regard to Obama's problems with blue-collar Americans.

    UPDATE #4 (24 March)
    Tertium Quid, whose writing at From Burke to Kirk and Beyond ... I hold in very high esteem, thinks Obama's speech was "brilliant". Posting in comments, I note my antipathy toward the speech, citing to Victor Davis Hanson's reaction at National Review Online.

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