NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) – The death of composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart at the age of 35 may have been caused by complications stemming from strep throat, according to a Dutch study published on Monday. Since the composer's death in 1791, there have been various theories about the cause of his untimely end, from intentional poisoning, to rheumatic fever, to trichinosis, a parasitic disease caused by eating raw or undercooked pork.
On his death certificate it was officially recorded that the cause of death was hitziges Frieselfieber, or "heated miliary fever," referring to a rash that looks like millet seeds.
But researchers from the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands said studies on his death have generally been based on less-than-reliable evidence, like accounts from people who witnessed Mozart's final days, written decades after his death.
Their new study, reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine, was based on information from official death registers for Vienna in the winter of 1791 that places Mozart's death in a wider context. He died in Vienna.
"Our findings suggest that Mozart fell victim to an epidemic of strep throat infection that was contracted by many Viennese people in Mozart's month of death, and that Mozart was one of several persons in that epidemic that developed a deadly kidney complication," researcher Richard Zegers, of the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, told Reuters Health.
Zegers and his colleagues said this "minor epidemic" of step throat, or streptococcal pharyngitis, may have begun in the city's military hospital.
According to witness accounts, Mozart fell ill with an "inflammatory fever," which is consistent with strep throat, Zegers and his colleagues wrote in their report.
The composer, who wrote more than 600 works during his life, eventually developed severe swelling, "malaise," back pain and a rash, consistent with a strep infection leading to kidney inflammation known as glomerulonephritis.
Zegers said it was also possible that Mozart had scarlet fever, which, like strep throat, can be caused by infection with streptococcal bacteria, but this was less likely because witnesses said Mozart developed a rash near the end of his illness and with scarlet fever, the rash appears early on.
Dieu Le Roy,
Vive la Contre-Revolution!
By ALICE FURLAUD;
ALICE FURLAUD, a writer and broadcaster who lives in Paris, is the author of ''Air Fair,'' a collection of radio dispatches to be published this fall by Peregrine Smith Books of Utah.
"MY grandmother was guillotined," is the startling statement often heard in the Department of the Vendee. This Vendean habit of leaving out the greats when speaking of murdered ancestors brings the dark side of the French Revolution constantly into the present. The Vendee, where a savage popular rebellion against the revolution resulted in the massacre of roughly half the population by the armies of the revolutionary government, is just the place for those who want to escape the brouhaha of the bicentennial celebrations elsewhere in France. Most people in the Vendee see no reason to celebrate.
The deputy from the Vendee, the highly visible French politician Philippe de Villiers, has just published a book called ''An Open Letter to the Beheaders and Liars of the Bicentennial,'' in which he accuses the government of hiding the ugly episodes in the revolution, especially those in the Vendee.
In St.-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie, an Atlantic fishing port and summer resort, there is not a sign of the revolutionary colors blue, white and red in the waterfront shops; a contrast to Paris, where a wide range of blue, white and red souvenirs - including mens' striped shorts labeled Drawers for Sans-Culottes - are on sale at specially built tricolor kiosks all over the city.
''I'll be staying indoors on July 14th,'' said Marcelle Bridier, who retired to her native St.-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie after a long teaching career at colleges in Vietnam and Cambodia. Musing sadly on the Vendean Wars of the 1790's at a windy beachside creperie, Ms. Bridier said: ''The Declaration of Human Rights was a fine ideal. But in the bicentennial festivities no one mentions the massacres here. They were comparable to the genocides of Pol Pot.''
The Vendee is a 2,700-square-mile area south of the Loire, a proudly untouristy region of small roads, small towns, small farms and small nobility - petite noblesse. In pre-revolutionary days most of these nobles lived on their land all year round, being too poor to spend time at court in Versailles. ''They depended on the harvests, just like the peasants,'' said Count Joseph Morisson de la Bassetiere, who raises Holstein cattle and cereals around his pseudo-Renaissance-19th century chateau, La Bassetiere. The chateau, which replaced the 12th-century one burned down by the revolutionary, or Republican, army, stands in a flat, peaceful, pastoral landscape at St.-Julien-des-Landes, 19 miles inland from St.-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie.
Showing a visitor around, the Count spoke of the insurrection as if it were yesterday. ''My grandfather,'' he said, meaning his great-great-great-great-great grandfather, ''was one of two brothers who survived: five others were killed in the Vendean army.''
During the seven years it took the government to crush the counter-revolutionary peasant revolt, which began in 1793, at least 300,000 Vendeans died. The peasants furiously resented the persecution of their priests, and forced conscription into the Republican army. ''The peasants attacked and killed Republicans everywhere here,'' said Mr. de la Bassetiere, ''and they had no weapons except scythes and sometimes hunting guns. They knew nothing about war, so they came to the nobles or others with military experience, and they begged and insisted that they take charge.''
Those embattled peasants, in their extravagantly wide brown felt hats and sabots, are pictured everywhere in the Vendee, from church windows to comic books. So are their doomed, dashing leaders, the Vendean generals in their white royalist sashes. Their names - unknown to most French people - seem to filter into all Vendean conversations.
At a lunch party given by Viscount Alain de la Roche-St.-Andre at Pierre Levee, his chateau, a small jewel of Louis XVI architecture that survived the revolution, a tableful of Vendean aristocrats swapped anecdotes of atrocities committed by the colonnes infernales, the infernal columns of revolutionary troops. Over a lunch of langoustines, tiny, thin-shelled lobsters, lieu, a local ocean fish, and strawberries, there was talk of babies baked in ovens, and trousers (once displayed in a Nantes museum) tailored for Republican officers out of their Vendean victims' skin.
The host and his wife each had a ''grandmother'' shot to death in the same massacre in a field at Angers with a thousand others. Mr. de la Bassetiere told of an ''aunt,'' Mademoiselle de la Biliais, who with her sister looked so beautiful on the way to the guillotine that two Republican soldiers offered to marry them and save their lives. Both refused, Mademoiselle de la Biliais adding, ''I prefer to go to my God.'' A historian, Filbert Dore Graslin, brought out one of his books, with the facsimile of an order given by a Republican general: ''All villages, farms, woods, bushes and in general everything that can be burned will be given up to the flames.''
In the midst of all this Vendean bitterness, there are pockets of bicentennial fervor. One is the primary school in the village of Apremont, where the classrooms are a riot of blue-white-red. Since March, the school principal, Jean-Marie Bideaud, has had his 70 students, aged 2 to 11, dressing up in mob caps and drawing pictures of guillotines. In their school magazine one learns that Marie Antoinette had 170 dresses and that ''we owe to the revolution: wooden pencils, divorce, the franc, liberty, equality, fraternity and liquid bleach.''
At the local chateau they even danced and sang the revolutionary song ''La Carmagnole,'' with its savage verses about cutting throats and firing cannons, a ceremony that brought angry telephone calls from villagers, ''but not as many as we expected.'' Mr. Bideaud suspects that the large portrait of Robespierre the children painted on their playground wall is the only one on display in the Vendee. ''What we're celebrating is 1789, the year of human rights. I disapprove of the massacres as everyone does, but perhaps these are also necessary in a revolution.''
Sites of the carnage of the 1790's are rarely marked by sign posts. At Les-Lucs sur-Boulogne in the middle of the Vendee, the tiny 19th-century chapel replacing the church where 564 people, including 110 children under 8, were burned alive by the colonnes infernales, is almost hidden, out in the woods. Alfred Bonnet, organist of the present village church, points out at least 20 members of his wife's family, the Malidins, among the names of victims on the chapel walls. ''We didn't get much out of the revolution,'' he said.
Farther east in the village of St.-Aubin-de-Baubigne, a statue by Alexandre Falguiere of Henri de la Rochejacquelein, a beloved general who was killed at 21, stands in an out-of-the-way, leafy niche. Rochejacquelein's defiant pose and flowing sash recalls statues of American Civil War heroes. The vast courtyard of his ruined chateau, La Durbeliere, nearby, where 3,000 local people gathered to beg him to lead them to war, is a good place to imagine those dramatic days. Through the central arch there is a sweeping view of the blue hills and steep, wooded fields of the Haut Bocage (the high woodlands), where the peasants were most successful in their guerilla warfare.
Nowadays, small vans bump along the narrow, badly paved roads of the Haut Bocage with one cow staring mournfully out the back, past the remains of red-tile-roofed chateaus and little Romanesque churches with red-tiled towers. This is windy country, and in the distance can still be seen windmills that the peasants used as signals to indicate troop movements. The many wayside crosses are reminders that the Vendeans are still the most fervent Catholics in France.
In the red-roofed hill town of Pouzauges, the local patois is spoken around the cafe's antiquated pinball machine. Down steep alleys there are glimpses of the yellow and dark-green valley outside. Crows wheel and caw around the remains of the 12th-century chateau that dominates the town, and where yet another massacre took place. Only one train each weekday arrives in Pouzauges - none on weekends, and no buses. There is the sense, as everywhere in the Vendee, of a region cut off by its historic wounds from the rest of France.
This isolation seems especially strange because Pouzauges is the nearest town to the chateau of Puy-le-Fou, where on some summer weekends there is a son-et-lumiere performance that can be called, without exaggeration, the greatest show in France. This event was the creation of the deputy Philippe de Villiers, who wrote the narration, some of it in Alexandrine verse. The cast of 700, all local volunteers except for a few stunt men, oxen, goats and a bear, perform scenes from the chateau's history. At this year's opening, when Rochejacquelein, Charette and the other generals galloped wildly past the shaky grandstand that holds 12,000, the cheering nearly drowned out the cannons and fireworks. Mr. de Villiers confided, ''My dream is to transport the show to Florida.''
This may not be a bad idea. With the present state of transportation to and within the Vendee, it's easier for a Frenchman to get to the Epcot Center than Puy-le-Fou. A visitor's guide Getting There
To get to Nantes, either fly or take a train, and then rent a car there to drive to the Vendee. Nantes, now a large industrial city, is no longer in the Vendee. It suffered enormously in the revolution, and a museum of regional folk arts, the Musee d'Art Populaire Regional, is full of Vendean peasant lore. Hotels
Lion d'Or (Rue du Calvaire, 85800 St.-Gilles-Crox-de-Vie; telephone 55.50.39). A simple hotel with a simple restaurant five minutes inland from the harbor; a good place to explore the pretty old streets near the church. Double rooms $32; breakfast $4.
Les Embruns (16 Boulevard de Mer, St.-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie 85800; 55.11.40). In the Croix-de-Vie, or beach section of the town, this hotel has a brand-new chef much talked about in the region. Double rooms about $55; breakfast $3.25.
Auberge de la Bruyere (Route de la Pommeraie; 85700 Pouzauges; 91.93.46). A modern hotel with no atmosphere, but the best view in Pouzauges. The restaurant serves a delicious version of la mogette, a kind of cassoulet. Double about $45; breakfast $4.75.
La Chouannerie (Route de Bressuire, 85700 Pouzauges; 57.01.69). A turn-of-the-century mansion in a hilly garden, run by a friendly family with a taste for quaint decor. In the old barn is an excellent new restaurant. Double room about $34; breakfast $4.
La Belvedere (on the Lac du Ribou, near Cholet, about 20 miles north of Pouzauges; 62.14.02). A restaurant with rooms. A double room is about $42; breakfast $4. There are only eight rooms, so reserve early if you want to spend the night as well as try the fricassee de homard au Sauternes. Food and Wine
Vendean wines are never found in the United States, and rarely even in Paris. The Vendeans themselves do not think much of them. But Pissotte is a light and pleasant rose, and the red Mareuil, which also comes in rose and white, is used with good effect in cooking the region's excellent duck, the canard de Challans.
On the coast there is the usual dizzying variety of seafood, notably oysters, langoustines, mussels and many ocean fish. Best of all are sole meuniere and lieu. The rich and costly homard a l'americaine is a specialty in many restaurants. To be avoided: tourteaux, crabs with nearly impenetrable shells.
For breakfast, Vendeans have la brioche Vendeene, a long loaf with a braided pattern on top, served sliced. Everywhere in the inland part of the department they eat la mogette, consisting of white beans called mogettes cooked with garlic and the local ham, sliced as thin as bacon.
This dish was certainly eaten during the revolution; until recently many Vendeans had it three times a day.
In patisseries, cakes of various kinds tend to be heart-shaped: the Vandean symbol is two hearts, a cross and a crown. A. L.
There is a new company called True Religion (!), yes that is what it says. It is not a modest site...
But Catholics will put up with this, even though it is a direct attack on the Church. Hey 50% voted for Obama, right?
Articles to wash the grime out your mind may be found here and here...
Thanks to Elena-Maria for these links. Her site has a far better picture on it too.
I can not speak for the rest of mankind, but as this is my blog... I will say that if woman wants to be attractive she must dress attractive, refined, modest, and conservatively. She should refrain from sharing her secrets (an euphemism) with every one, and she should be pleasant, soft spoken, and not vulgar.
Men should dress the same, and act as a gentleman (the hardest part), and shave. Speak pleasantly, act refined, and refrain from unplesant speech or vulgarity. He should treat every woman with the respect that he would show the Virgin.
That is my two cents.
ABC video report.
They dance to "When the saints go marching in"- they ain't no saints in the progressive wing of the church.
What a tribute to Saint Jeanne Jugan that her order should be honoured so. The Little Sisters of the Poor remains faithful to it's Charism.
and then there is this...
Ah France, what the revolution has done to you...
It is not widely known in the US, where religious freedom and non-governmental interference in churches is a God given right, that all formerly church property is now owned by the French state.
Communist mayor offers church for sale on ebay
Controversy over God's house in France escalates...
Furniture, cars, a Ferris wheel. Everything possible is auctioned on ebay. Why not have a church? A French mayor has placed a house of God in the online shop, because it is in his are there are three churches but no priest anymore.
In the southern French department of Pyrenees Ariege the dispute escalates over the future of one of the three Catholic churches and chapels in the area of Massat. The communist mayor has now put the parish church up for sale on ebay, as French newspapers have reported. This followed several municipal decisions seeking to desecrate the chapel (!) and change its function into a cultural centre.
Dispute with the diocese
The competent diocese has rejected this requirement. Also, the prefect of the department rejected the proposal. The municipality argues that in Massat there are three churches, including the second largest in the department, but no more priests.
The cost for the upkeep of churches takes up more than one fifth of the municipal budget. The diocese, on the other hand, has warned against a dam being burst if the church is converted. All the experts of the diocese are of the opinion that it should be kept in use.
Cathcon: the French municipality owns French churches, not the Church herself. Often it has been the communist mayors who have been most sympathetic to traditional Catholics. The "mainstream" church would prefer a disco or night club rather than a Latin Mass.
The above post was originally in German.
Support for Obama Health Care Reform
Common Interest - Politics
Hello and thank you for taking the time to read this, this group has been formed in support of our President's Health Care Initiative. The goal of this group is as follows;
1. Health Care is a fundamental right not a benefit.
2. We support a new system of health care similar to the top tier world health care systems.
3. Insurance companies are responsible for over 18,000 deaths a year in the US, WE DO NOT support a system that murders its citizens.
Making sure every American has access to high quality health care is one of the most important challenges of our time. The number of uninsured Americans is growing, premiums are skyrocketing, and more people are being denied coverage every day. A moral imperative by any measure, a better system is also essential to rebuilding our economy -- we want to make health insurance work for people and businesses, not just insurance and drug companies.
The cornerstones of Obama's plan are to expand Medicaid eligibility to include greater numbers of the uninsured; mandate coverage for children; create a national exchange through which the uninsured could purchase a public or private policy; provide subsidies to lower-income individuals and small businesses to help defray the cost of purchasing insurance; and, tax medium- to large-size firms that decline to provide their employees with health insurance
Consumers currently with insurance would face no change in their status, unless their company chooses to stop providing employer-sponsored insurance and instead contributes to the national exchange. Small businesses would be exempt from mandatory coverage or contributions and would receive a tax credit of up to 50% on health care premiums for employees.
All input is welcome, feel free to add me as a friend or send messages there will be much larger organization to come.
Health care is not a right. It is not in the Constitution
The United States system of health care is the top tier world health care systems, the best hospitals, the best doctors, the best nurses. Were it not so the country would not be coming to the United States fro health care.
If "...Insurance companies are responsible for over 18,000 deaths a year in the US, WE DO NOT support a system that murders its citizens..." do you support a health care system which provides abortion?
Dieu le Roy!
(Caution: the link to the trailer is distrubing)
WASHINGTON – "22 Weeks" has the images and sound effects of a horror flick, but it isn't one. Instead, it's based on a true account of a woman who sought a late-term abortion but found herself living a nightmare.
In the 25-minute featurette, Angela, played by Natalie Wenninger, wakes up in her motel room covered in blood. She rushes to the clinic where she had been injected with a needle the day before to abort her baby 22 weeks into her pregnancy. She’s bleeding profusely and is having contractions but is left alone in a dirty room at the clinic. Something is wrong.
Earlier in the film, we find a much different Angela at the EPOC Clinic in Orlando, Fla., as she is midway through the second trimester of her pregnancy. There, Angela is presented with two options: the suction method or an injection to the baby's heart.
She chooses the latter, convinced by employees that the procedure will not cause the baby any pain. She would simply have a stillborn birth the following day. To her, the suction method is a monstrous act.
After the procedure, she is met by a group of pro-life advocates outside the clinic. When one Christian tries to convince her to save the baby, Angela replies, "God was never raped."
While there a several uncomfortable moments when Angela experiences some complications, the shocking scene near the end comes as she has given birth to her baby on a toilet.
"He's alive!" Angela screams, shocked that the baby was not dead like the employees had assured he would be when born.
But the mother is even more horrified when the employees, who respond slowly to her cries, deny the baby is living, do not help her and lock her in the bathroom.
"He's alive and they won't help me!" Angela tells her friend on the phone. "I don't want this anymore ... I made a mistake! Call 911!"
As Angela waits for help, she holds the baby close to her, telling her son, "I'm so sorry" and "I love you so much," and wishing she had another chance.
When the ambulance arrives at the clinic, the employees try to turn them away, insisting that no one placed a 911 call.
"22 Weeks" is based on an article by World Net Daily, which published the true testimonies of the real mother, Angele, in 2005. And while what was depicted in the film was horrifying enough, Angele said what actually happened was even worse.
The baby, whom Angele had named Rowan, died 10 minutes after the 911 call by her friend due to negligence. The doctor, Jim Perper, who administered the injection, was not prosecuted.
Angele, who has not released her last name, attended the free screening of the film at Union Station's Phoenix Theaters in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday as another way of going public with her experience.
The film, which was completed in August 2008, has only been shown in around seven cities in the United States as well as Puerto Rico, where producer Ángel Manuel Soto is from. This was his first film.
Soto, who has partnered with pro-life organizations BornAliveTruth.org and Operation Rescue to promote the film, hopes awareness of the movie and the disturbing practices at abortion clinics will spread by word of mouth.
"This is really happening ... [even] this very day despite the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act," said Jill Stanek of BornAliveTruth.org at the Washington screening.
With limited resources and funding, Soto is largely relying on viewers to get the word out and show the film, which was available for DVD purchase at the screenings. Requests for screenings can also be made at the film's website 22weeksthemovie.com.
After being moved to tears, viewers at the Washington screening expressed their willingness to help. One viewer, who said she had an abortion, told Soto she would show the film to her church of 20,000 members. Another encouraged Soto to get the film in the hands of President Barack Obama, who is pro-choice.
"Since he (Obama)'s advocating abortion, he should watch it," noted the viewer, who said she will write a letter to the president.
Obama and his pro-abortion decisions were indirectly mentioned in a scene in "22 Weeks," but Stanek, whose organization had publicized last year Obama's pro-abortion record, said the message of the film is not a political one.
The Battle of Medina, Texas
It was on this day in 1813 that the bloodiest battle ever fought on Texas soil occurred. Often overlooked, it was a fight between republicans and royalists and was the climax of what is often known as the Magee-Gutierrez Expedition, an unholy alliance of Mexican republican revolutionaries led by Bernardo Gutierrez de Lara and a filibuster (land pirate) army led by a disgruntled former US Army lieutenant named Augustus Magee. Flying a solid green flag (possibly the design of Magee who was an Irish Protestant) they invaded Texas with their grandly named Republican Army of the North. However, American filibusters and Mexican revolutionaries made a poor team and their alliance did not finally go very smoothly. Nacogdoches was taken easily enough but a four month siege of the presidio at Goliad ended in disaster when Spanish troops directed by the Royal Governor of Texas, Manuel Maria de Salcedo, defeated the republicans and relieved the fort. more...
Vatican to Review Case of Inexplicable Healing of Florida Woman
The seemingly inexplicable healing of a Baptist woman from Florida may provide the miracle necessary for the canonization of Emperor Charles of Austria. The woman, in her mid-50s, suffered from breast cancer and was bedridden after the cancer had spread to her liver and bones. Despite treatment and hospitalization, doctors diagnosed her case as terminal. But after intercessory prayers to the Emperor Charles, the woman (who wishes to maintain her privacy and remain unnamed) was completely healed.
The story begins when Joseph and Paula Melançon, a married couple from Baton Rouge, Louisiana and friends of the healed woman, travelled to Austria, where they met Archduke Karl Peter, son of Archduke Rudolf, and grandson of the holy Emperor Charles. The Archduke invited the couple to his grandfather’s beatification in Rome in 2004. Mrs. Melançon gave the novena to Blessed Charles to her sister-in-law, Vanessa Lynn O’Neill of Atlanta.
“I knew that when I got that novena — I knew that my mother’s best friend was sick — I just knew at that moment that it was something I was going to do,” Mrs. O’Neill told the Florida Catholic in an interview. “And that is how I got started, I just prayed the novena.” more...
Pray for us...
On August 15 ...fell the greatest knight of the greatest emperor ever to rule in Christendom:
"Ah! Durendal, white art thou, clear of stain!
Beneath the sun reflecting back his rays!I
n Moriane was Charles, in the vale,
When from heaven God by His angel bade
Him give thee to a count and capitain;
Girt thee on me that noble King and great.
I won for him with thee Anjou, Bretaigne,
And won for him with thee Peitou, the Maine,
And Normandy the free for him I gained,
Also with thee Provence and Equitaigne,
And Lumbardie and all the whole Romaigne,
I won Baivere, all Flanders in the plain,
Also Burguigne and all the whole Puillane,
Costentinnople, that homage to him pays;
In Saisonie all is as he ordains;
With thee I won him Scotland, Ireland, Wales,
England also, where he his chamber makes;
Won I with thee so many countries strange
That Charles holds, whose beard is white with age!
For this sword's sake sorrow upon me weighs,
Rather I'ld die, than it mid pagans stay.
Lord God Father, never let France be shamed!"
the Song of Roland
With you I repeat the refrain!
Vive Le Roy!
Read about the Mystery of Durandal
A must read - fascinating - long article - well worth reading
[...] The economy of the west was perhaps more fatally weakened than that of the east, and when we read in the writings of the early 5th century Christian priest Salvian of Marseille his account of why the Roman state was collapsing in the west – he was writing from France, Gaul – Salvian says that the Roman state is collapsing because it deserved collapse; because it had denied the first premise of good government which was justice to the people. And by justice he meant a just system of taxation. Salvian tells us, and I don't think he's exaggerating, that one of the reasons why the Roman state collapsed in the 5th century was that the Roman people, the mass of the population, had but one wish after being captured by the barbarians: that they would never again fall under the rule of the Roman bureaucracy. In other words, the Roman state was the enemy, the barbarians were the liberators. And this undoubtedly was due to the inflation of the 3rd century. While the state had solved the monetary problem for its own constituents, it had failed to solve that monetary problem for the masses and continued to use an oppressive system of taxation in order to fill the coffers of the ruling bureaucrats and military.
Thanks and a tip of the beret to Byron.
by George J. Marlin
In two remarkable books, Earthly Powers and Sacred Causes, British historian Michael Burleigh, has traced the clash of religion and politics from the French Revolution to our own times. Burleigh shows that modern materialist creeds – Jacobinism, Fascism, Communism, and Nazism – had these common traits: They viewed man, not as a person created Imago Dei, but as a speck within mass society devoid of freedom, self-responsibility, and conscience; and to supplant organized religions, these secularists portrayed themselves as pseudo-divine and elevated their revolutions to religious status.
The French Jacobins suppressed the Church (by 1794 only 150 of 40,000 churches were offering Mass) and replaced it with a civic religion. The Declaration of the Rights of Man was a political gospel. Baptism was redefined “as the regeneration of the French revolution begun on July 14, 1789.” Communion: an association of French people “to form on earth only one family of brothers who no longer recognize or worship any idol or tyrant.” Penitence: “the banishment of all those monsters. . .unworthy to inhabit the land of liberty.”
To eliminate the Lord’s Day, a calendar was created with ten-day weeks. Holydays were replaced with secular feast days called Virtue, Genus, Labor, Recompenses, and Opinion. Notre Dame Cathedral was converted into a “Temple of Reason.” An opera singer was worshipped as the “Goddess of Liberty.”
Mussolini described Fascism as “a religious conception in which man in his imminent relationship with a superior law and with an objective Will that transcends the particular individual and raises him to conscious membership of spiritual society.”
Determined to destroy Italy’s Catholic culture, Mussolini promoted a politics laced with religious symbols. There were mandatory oaths that affirmed the sacrificial community, consecrated political symbols, veneration of war dead and party martyrs.
Ballia, the Fascist youth movement, issued a catechism whose creed included these words: “I believe in Rome the eternal, in the mother of my country and in Italy her eldest daughter who was born in her virginal bosom. . . .I believe in the genius of Mussolini, in our holy father Fascism, in the communion of its martyrs, in the conversion of Italians and in the resurrection of the empire.”
In Russia, the Bolsheviks, who closed 31,000 Orthodox and Catholic churches and persecuted 10 million in the gulag for their religious beliefs, modeled themselves on the Society of Jesus and issued infallible doctrines of salvation. The Soviet nation was designed as a theocracy: the state was the administrative bureaucracy and the Party was the designer and guardian of socialist ideological orthodoxy.
Lenin’s mummified body was worshipped. He was proclaimed “the apostle of world communism…a leader of cosmic stature, a mover of worlds…the chosen one.”
The Nazi creed was soteriological, “a redemptive story of suffering and deliverance, a sentimental journey from misery to glory, from division to mystic unity based on the blood that linked souls.” The holy of holies was the Swastika blood-stained in the failed November 1923 Munich putsch. Hitler consecrated new flags at rituals by touching them with the blood-stained one.
To overshadow the established religions, the Nazis instituted holydays honoring Hitler’s birthday and the Munich putsch martyrs. Every November 18, Hitler would attend a “Last Supper” dinner in Munich, with surviving “Apostles” of the putsch. Annual rallies were held in the new Mecca, Nuremberg, the “capital city of the movement.”
Reviewing the German revolution’s economic materialism, racist biology, corrupt psychology and scientism, political philosopher Eric Voegelin’s assessment applied to all these state religions: “Modernity without restraint.”
In the aftermath of this age of guillotines, gallows, gas chambers and gulags, the secularists have continued to pursue their agenda but under the guise of good government causes. In the United States, for instance, do-gooding social theorists have elevated to religious status drives to stop over population and pollution.
The group EarthFirst! displays an extreme form of a broad ecological current, but openly expresses some of the common elements concealed by others. For example, it insists that Western culture must be eliminated because it is responsible for “ecocide.” These Eco-Warriors call for “the holiest fight of all. . .an eco-jihad.”
By appealing to man’s religious instincts to promote atheist ideologies, do these secularists implicitly affirm what they explicitly deny? Catholic historian Christopher Dawson, whose work influenced Burleigh, would say yes.
For Dawson, man knows by nature that there is something greater than himself and is driven to the transcendent. Religion serves man “as a bridge between the spiritual and the physical.” “A culture that has by and large rejected its religion or secularized itself,” Dawson argued, “has merely substituted some false religion – most likely an ideology of some kind – for its lost faith.” Ideologies are merely “religious emotions divorced from religious belief.”
The recently deceased philosopher Leszek Kolakowski agreed: “Mankind can never get rid of the need for religious self-identification. . . .Religion is a paramount aspect of human culture. Religious need cannot be ex-communicated from culture by rationalist incantation. Man does not live by reason alone.”
Michael Burleigh has performed a great service. His books further bolster Dawson’s belief that a “completely secularized civilization is inhuman in the absolute sense – hostile to human life and irreconcilable with human nature itself.”
We see what secularized civilizations did in the past. Are we alert to what they are producing in the present and will in the future?
George J. Marlin is the author of The American Catholic Voter: Two Hundred Years of Political Impact. ©2009 The Catholic Thing. All right reserved.
Dieu Le Roy!
Growing up in a Catholic family, I naturally went to a Catholic grammar school. I was because of my father that I loved to read. that love flourished at St Andrews Catholic School in Chicago.
One day in 4th grade while I probably should have been doing something else, I found a book on Georges Guynemer. I was fasinated. I one day learned that the school children in France had a saying, "Georges Guynemer flew so high that the angels took him."
This then is his short biography...
He was a sickly child, pampered by his mother and sisters. Born Georges Marie Ludovic Guynemer in 1894, he was so slight and unimpressive at age 20, that French Army doctors wouldn't accept him for service in 1914. His father had been in the French military for most of his life, used his influence to have him placed with the Aviation service as an apprentice mechanic, at Pau airfield which was nearby his home.
Georges persuaded Captain Bernard Thierry to help him enroll as an enlisted pilot trainee in March, 1915.
Eventually he was assigned to Escadrille M.S. (Morane-Saulnier) 3(1), stationed at Vauciennes, as a corporal-pilot. An irrespressible young man, on one patrol he flew right at the German artillery, asked his observer to photograph the exploding shells, and on landing, excitedly showed his CO the holes in his aircraft.
At this time the observor was considered the more presigious memebr of the crew with the pilot being a mere chauffer.
His first aerial victory came on July 19, 1915, while piloting a two-seater. As he described it, he and his gunner, Guerder, sighted a German over Coeuvres. He gave chase but the Boche flew away in his faster plane. Suddenly another dot appeared in the distance and Guynemer flew toward it. At about two miles, he saw that it was an Aviatik (probably a B-I), its pilot intent on his observation duties. Over Soissons, Guynemer engaged the Aviatik in combat for about ten minutes. He stayed below and behind his twisting quarry, while Guerder fired his Hotchkiss machine gun, which jammed repeatedly. At one point the German hit Guerder in the hand. On Guerder's "115th shot," Guynemer was elated to see the enemy pilot slump down, hit, and the observer throw up his hands in despair. The Aviatik flamed and went down in no-man's-land.
Guynemer and Guerder were both decorated with the Médaille Militaire, right...
And shortly thereafter, Guynemer transferred to les Cigognes, the Storks, Escadrille N.3 (Nieuport Squadron 3). The Storks were equipped with the new Nieuport 11 Bébé which featured an upper-wing mounted machine gun that fired over the propeller. Fast (97 MPH) and maneuverable the Nieuport 11 could stand up to the Fokker monoplanes.
Guynemer remaining nearby his stauchly Catholic family, and would attend mass with them. A story illustates this...
On December 8, 1915, flying a Nieuport, he caught a couple German planes over Compiègne, fired on the first one at 50 meters, closed to only 15 meters and fired again, putting the enemy airplane into a spin. Then the young French flier turned his attention to the second plane, which escaped, but in that instant, he lost track of his first victim. He circled vainly, looking for the wreckage that would prove his accomplishment. Low on fuel and late to meet his parents (for Sunday Mass), he touched down at his aerodrome. He rushed to his parents. "Papa, I have lost my Boche," he cried, "I shot down an aeroplane and I don't want to lose him. I must report to the squadron. You go out and find him for me; he's out there someplace. Toward Bois Carré." Guynemer duly reported and his father searched and found the German flier's body, but not the plane. For this aerial success, Georges was promoted to sergeant.
In the next two weeks, he shot down two more planes, a Fokker two-seater and a fixed-gun model. He went on Christmas leave with four victories and wearing the Legion of Honor medal.
He was developing into a skilled ace. His marksmanship had improved and so had his knowledge of his airplane. Before each patrol, he inspected it in detail, each wire stay, each bolt, every bit of fabric, and the alignment of its Lewis gun. His flying style also matured. He flew straight at his enemies, only engaging in aerobatics as a last resort.
"My method consists in attacking almost point blank." he said. "It is more risky, but everything lies in maneuvering so as to remain in the dead angle of fire."
By March, Georges was one of France's top aces; he had eight victories; he had been promoted to second lieutenant. And he was flying the latest scout plane, a Nieuport 17, equipped with a synchronized machine gun and powered by a 120 HP Le Rhône rotary engine. His escadrille was assigned to Verdun, for the great battle there.
On the 12th, the new aircraft almost did him in. He was chasing a pair of two-seaters, and scared one away "with lead in his wings." Then, attacking the second, his powerful Nieuport overshot it. The German fired and Guynemer took two bullets in his left arm and another cut his face. Streaming blood and flying with one hand, he dived 1,000 feet, pulling out just above the ground. He landed roughly, practically destroying his airplane, and with no further injuries. But he was out of action for three months.
Returning in June, over the Somme battlefield, he raised his score to 18 by September.
Late in October, the new Spad S.VII was introduced. Designed around a Hispano-Suiza V-8, 150 HP engine, fitted into a round front radiator, the Spad was an attractive, streamlined airplane, capable of 122 MPH and could reach 3,000 feet in only 15 minutes. The S.VII carried a single, synchronized Vickers machine gun.
Guynemer achieved rapid success in the Spad, shooting down two Albatros fighters, two Albatros two-seaters, two L.V.G.'s, and a Fokker between November 9th and 27th. Les Cigognes won a second escadrille citation. Its pilots led the French aces; by year-end, Guynemer had 25, Nungesser 21, Dorme 15, and Heurteaux also 15. He achieved a rare feat by forcing down an intact twin-engined Gotha bomber. The Russians bestowed the Cross of St. George on him, and he was promoted again.
His dubbed his personal Spad "Vieux Charles(2)," which he flew one morning in March, 1917, to down a couple Albatros two-seaters. That afternoon, he went up again, demonstrating for two Nieuport pilots how to shoot down an Albatros D-II scout. Using just ten bullets, he showed them how it was done. The D-II crash-landed; its pilot turned out to be Lt. von Hausen, nephew of a German general.
He had his best day this month, bagging four German planes, bringing his score to 45. He went on leave and refused his father's advice to move to a training assignment. "It will be said that I ceased to fight because I have won all the awards."
He returned to combat, flying Spads, which were still troublesome. In one experiment, a 37 millimeter cannon was mounted through Vieux Charles's propeller shaft (anticipating the American P-39 Airacobra of WWII). Guynemer tried this weapon out on July 16. He encountered an Albatros D-III and blew it apart with the Spad's cannon. But the recoil was tremendous and the shells' fumes were poisonous; thus the experiment was given up.
By August, Guynemer was suffering, in part from tuberculosis but also from the fighter pilot's malaise, a cafard, the French called it. (Perhaps today it would be called "post-traumatic stress syndrome.") Nothing seemed to go right. His personal Spad was being worked on. Its replacement was a "lemon." Guynemer's guns jammed. The poor weather limited his flying time. He complained about his bad luck, and snarled at his comrades. His disease showed in his complexion and twice caused him to faint while aloft. When a doctor prescribed rest at a nearby villa, Georges left after a few days and began working on airplanes.
By August 20, he had reached fifty-three victories.
The morning of September 11 was foggy. Two Officers from the French aviation headquarters were expected: Majors du Peuty and Brocard (the former CO of les Cigognes). Despite their impending arrival, at 8:30 AM Guynemer took off with Lieutenants Bozon-Verduraz and Deullin. He flew Vieux Charles, which had been tuned and its guns checked. The three fliers were seen over the Langemarck Road and then above the Saint-Julien-Poelcapelle Road. From there they crossed the lines and picked up a German two-seater. Guynemer and Bozon-Verduraz jockeyed around to out-maneuver the Boche, but its pilot put the plane into a spin and eluded them.
Bozon-Verduraz noticed a flight of German scouts (Fokker D-V's or Albatros D-III's?) approaching. He flew straight into them, scattering them. He circled and returned, only to find empty sky. Nothing. He criss-crossed the area, staying aloft as long as he could, but no Guynemer. On landing, Bozon-Verdurqaz asked about Guynemer, but he had not landed.
Two days later the French announced that their great ace was missing. Conflicting reports came in from the German side: according to one, Guynemer had been shot down on the day before he had gone up. Then the Germans announced that Lt. Kurt Wisseman, a two-seater pilot, had downed Guynemer. Three weeks later the British launched a ground attack in the Poelcapelle area, preceeded by the usual artillery barrage; then the Germans counter-attacked and regained the area. Perhaps the wreckage of Guynemer's Spad was blasted into oblivion in the fought-over ground. Or perhaps, as a French journalist explained to the schoolchildren, "Captain Guynemer flew so high he could not come down again."
A Boche two engined bomber ( most likely a Gotha V) shot down by Guynemer on 31 January 1917.
(1) French Squadrons were numbered in sequence with the initials of the airctraft type preceeding the number ie; M.S.3, N.3, and Spa.3. Guynemer flew first a Morane-Saulnier two seater, then a Nieuport 11, and then a series of Spads.
(2) Vieux Charles- Old Charles.
Used by kind permission of the author, Stephen Sherman at Ace Pilots.
Now Neal and I, would disagree on a great deal as I am a Catholic, and Monarchist. But I am laissez-faire when it comes to business. Government has no place in business.
Brantigny's economics rules:
#1 You can not be sucessful in business if you work for some one else.
#2 Companies do not exist to provide jobs.
#3 Companies exist to provide the owner (or owners in a corporation) with profit.
#4 Businesses should not provide health insurance any more than car, life insurance.
#5 When a company stops being profitable to the owner, the owner (or owners in a corporation)will cut back on labour costs to maintain profitability. Unions attempt to keep unprofitable workers on the payroll, therefore...
#6 Unions destroy profitability.
#7 Government ruins competition, places unprofitable demands on business, destroys profits.
#8 Any thing including workers who do not benefit the company and not profitable to keep.
#9 Socialism breeds out initiative, thereby destroying production, therefore it is not profitable.
#10 Every business that fails adds to unemployment.
#11 Government is not a business, therfore it cannot creat jobs.
Neal Boortz @ August 17, 2009
Transcript of remarks made by Leo Carrington (who doesn't exist) to a mandatory meeting of all employees of Carrington Automotive Enterprises, Inc. (which doesn't exist either) on August 17th, 2009 at the Royal Payne Hotel (a purely imaginary place) in Norfolk, Virginia (which does, in fact, exist).
I would like to start by thanking you for attending this meeting, though it's not like you had much of a choice. After all, attendance was mandatory. I'm also glad many of you accepted my invitation to your family members to be here as well. I have a few remarks to make to all of you, and then we'll retire to the ballroom for a great lunch and some employee awards.
I felt that this meeting was important enough to close all 12 of our tire and automotive shops today so that you could be here. To reassure you, everybody is being paid for the day --- except me. Since our stores are closed we're making no money. That economic loss is mine to sustain. Carrington Automotive has 157 full time employees and around 30 additional part-timers. All of you are here. I thank you for that.
When you walked into this auditorium you were handed a rather thick 78-page document. Many of you have already taken a peek. You were probably surprised to see that it's my personal tax return for 2008. Those of you who are adept at reading these tax returns will see that last year my taxable income was $534,000.00. Now I'm sure this seems rather high to many of you. So ... let's talk about this tax return.
Carrington Automotive Enterprises is what we call a Sub-S - a Subchapter S corporation. The name comes from a particular part of our tax code. Sub-S status means that the income from all 12 of our stores is reported on my personal tax return. Businesses that report their income on the owner's personal tax return are referred to as "small businesses." So, you see now that this $534,000 is really the total taxable income - the total combined profit from all 12 of our stores. That works out to an average of a bit over $44,000 per store.
Why did I feel it important for you to see my actual 2008 tax return? Well, there's a lot of rhetoric being thrown around today about taxes, small businesses and rich people. To the people in charge in Washington right now I'm a wealthy American making over a half-million dollars a year. Most Americans would agree: I'm just another rich guy; after all ... I had over a half-million in income last year, right? In this room we know that the reality is that I'm a small business owner who runs 12 retail establishments and employs 187 people. Now here's something that shouldn't surprise you, but it will: Just under 100 percent ... make that 99.7 percent of all employers in this countries are small businesses, just like ours. Every one of these businesses reports their income on a personal income tax return. You need to understand that small businesses like ours are responsible for about 80 percent of all private sector jobs in this country, and about 70 percent of all jobs that have been created over the past year. You also need to know that when you hear some politician talking about rich people who earn over $200,000 or $500,000 a year, they're talking about the people who create the jobs.
The people who are now running the show in Washington have been talking for months about raising taxes on wealthy Americans. I already know that in two years my federal income taxes are going to go up by about 4.5 percent. That happens when Obama and the Democrats allow the Bush tax cuts to expire. When my taxes climb by 4.5 percent the Democrats will be on television saying that this really isn't a tax increase. They'll explain that the Bush tax cuts have expired .. nothing more. Here at Carrington we'll know that almost 5% has been taken right off of our bottom line. And that means it will be coming off your bottom line.
Numbers are boring, I know ... but let's talk a bit more about that $534,000. That's the money that was left last year from company revenues after I paid all of the salaries and expenses of running this business. Now I could have kept every penny of that for myself, but that would have left us with nothing to grow our business, to attract new customers and to hire new employees. You're aware that we've been talking about opening new stores in Virginia Beach and Newport News. To do that I will have to buy or lease property, construct a building and purchase inventory. I also have to hire additional people to work in those stores. These people wouldn't immediately be earning their pay. So, where do you think the money for all of this comes from? Right out of our profits .. right out of that $534,000. I need to advertise to bring customers in, especially in these tough times. Where do you think that money comes from? Oh sure, I can count it as an expense when I file my next income tax return .. but for right now that comes from either current revenues or last year's profits. Revenues right now aren't all that hot ... so do the math. A good effective advertising campaign might cost us more than $300,000.
Is this all starting to come together for you now?
Right now the Democrats are pushing a nationalized health care plan that, depending on who's doing the talking, will add anywhere from another two percent to an additional 4.6 percent to my taxes. If I add a few more stores, which I would like to do, and if the economy improves, my taxable income ... our business income ... could go over one million dollars! If that happens the Democrats have yet another tax waiting, another five percent plus! I've really lost tract of all of the new government programs the Democrats and President Obama are proposing that they claim they will be able to finance with new taxes on what they call "wealthy Americans."
And while we're talking about health care, let me explain something else to you. I understand that possibly your biggest complaint with our company is that we don't provide you with health insurance. That is because as your employer I believe that it is my responsibility to provide you with a safe workplace and a fair wage and to do all that I can to preserve and grow this company that provides us all with income. I no more have a responsibility to provide you with health insurance than I do with life, auto or homeowner's insurance. As you know, I have periodically invited agents for health insurance companies here to provide you with information on private health insurance plans. The Democrats are proposing to levy yet another tax against Carrington in the amount of 8 percent of my payroll as a penalty for not providing you with health insurance. You should know that if they do this I will be reducing every person's salary or hourly wage by that same 8 percent. This will not be done to put any more money in my pocket. It will be done to make sure that I don't suffer financially from the Democrat's efforts to place our healthcare under the control of the federal government. It is your health, not mine. It is your healthcare, not mine. These are your expenses, not mine. If you think I'm wrong about all this, I would sure love to hear your reasoning.
Try to understand what I'm telling you here. Those people that Obama and the Democrats call "wealthy Americans" are, in very large part, America's small business owners. I'm one of them. You have the evidence, and surely you don't think that the owner of a bunch of tire stores is anything special. That $534,000 figure on my income tax return puts me squarely in Democrat crosshairs when it comes to tax increases.
Let's be clear about this ... crystal clear. Any federal tax increase on me is going to cost you money, not me. Any new taxes on Carrington Automotive will be new taxes that you, or the people I don't hire to staff the new stores I won't be building, will be paying. Do you understand what I'm telling you? You've heard about things rolling downhill, right? Fine .. then you need to know that taxes, like that other stuff, roll downhill. Now you and I may understand that you are not among those that the Democrats call "wealthy Americans," but when this "tax the rich" thing comes down you are going to be standing at the bottom of the mud slide, if you get my drift. That's life in the big city, my friends ... where elections have consequences.
You know our economy is very weak right now. I've pledged to get us through this without layoffs or cuts in your wages and benefits. It's too bad the politicians can't get us through this without attacking our profits. To insure our survival I have to take a substantial portion of that $534,000 and set it aside for unexpected expenses and a worsening economy. Trouble is, the government is eyeing that money too ... and they have the guns. If they want it, they can take it.
I don't want to make this too long. There's a great lunch waiting for us all. But you need to understand what's happening here. I've worked hard for 23 years to create this business. There were many years where I couldn't take a penny in income because every dollar was being dedicated to expanding the business. There were tough times when it took every dollar of revenues to replenish our inventory and cover your paychecks. During those times I earned nothing. If you want to see those tax returns, just let me know.
OK .. I know I'm repeating myself here. I don't hire stupid people, and you are probably getting it now. So let me just ramble for a few more minutes.
Most Americans don't realize that when the Democrats talk about raising taxes on people making more than $250 thousand a year, they're talking about raising taxes on small businesses. The U.S. Treasury Department says that six out of every ten individuals in this country with incomes of more than $280,000 are actually small business owners. About one-half of the income in this country that would be subject to these increased taxes is from small businesses like ours. Depending on how many of these wonderful new taxes the Democrats manage to pass, this company could see its tax burden increase by as much as $60,000. Perhaps more.
I know a lot of you voted for President Obama. A lot of you voted for Democrats across the board. Whether you voted out of support for some specific policies, or because you liked his slogans, you need to learn one very valuable lesson from this election. Elections have consequences. You might have thought it would be cool to have a president who looks like you; or a president who is young, has a buff bod, and speaks eloquently when there's a teleprompter in the neighborhood. Maybe you liked his promises to tax the rich. Maybe you believed his promise not to raise taxes on people earning less than a certain amount. Maybe you actually bought into his promise to cut taxes on millions of Americans who actually don't pay income taxes in the first place. Whatever the reason .. your vote had consequences; and here they are.
Bottom line? I'm not taking this hit alone. As soon as the Democrats manage to get their tax increases on the books, I'm going to take steps to make sure that my family isn't affected. When you own the business, that is what you're allowed to do. I built this business over a period of 23 years, and I'm not going to see my family suffer because we have a president and a congress who think that wealth is distributed rather than earned. Any additional taxes, of whatever description, that President Obama and the Democrats inflict on this business will come straight out of any funds I have set aside for expansion or pay and benefit increases. Any plans I might have had to hire additional employees for new stores will be put aside. Any plans for raises for the people I now have working for me will be shelved. Year-end bonuses might well be eliminated. That may sound rough, but that's the reality.
You're going to continue to hear a lot of anti-wealth rhetoric out there from the media and from the left. You can chose to believe what you wish .. .but when it comes to Carrington Automotive you will know the truth. The books are open to any of you at any time. I have nothing to hide. I would hope that other small business owners out there would hold meetings like this one, but I know it won't happen that often. One of the lessons to be learned here is that taxes ... all taxes ... and all regulatory costs that are placed on businesses anywhere in this country, will eventually be passed right on down to individuals; individuals such as yourself. This hasn't been about admonishing anyone and it hasn't been about issuing threats. This is part of the education you should have received in the government schools, but didn't. Class is now dismissed.
Â© 2009 Neal Boortz
Dieu le Roy,
The Church's enemies accuse of her of birthing, aiding, or abetting nearly every social evil that has afflicted the planet: slavery, anti-scientism, Nazism, Fascism, the Holocaust — you name it!
Will historians a hundred years from now accuse the Catholic Church of being equally "silent" with regard to America's abortion holocaust, in word and especially in deed? It's not as crazy as it sounds. What follows is an excerpt from an imaginary monograph: Obama's Pope: How Mother Church Gave Birth to Abortion, by Anne T. Kathlik, to be published in the year C.E. 2100.
"Of course, the Roman Catholic Church of the last century brought America abortion, infanticide, euthanasia, human cloning, embryo-destructive stem cell harvesting, and all manner of Frankenstein-esque evils. The cup of evidence overfloweth.
"The typical American Catholic of the late 20th century voted for openly pro-abortion candidates — most of whom were themselves Catholics in good standing with their Church — time and again, and without any compunction.
"The litany of Catholic politicians who were fervently pro-abortion is endless: Joe Biden, Mario Cuomo, Christopher Dodd, Ted Kennedy (in fact, the entire Kennedy dynasty), Barbara Mikulski, Patty Murray, Patrick Leahy, and Mary Landrieu were just a few of the names in an endless catalogue, all of whom were continually elected and re-elected, in overwhelming numbers, by their Catholic constituents.
"As already noted, all these lawmakers were completely in good standing with their Church, and especially with the Vatican. A handful of bishops, an insignificant percentage, suggested that they ought to refrain from taking Communion at Mass, but most of the episcopal hierarchy decided not to impose any such sanction. A bishop might occasionally express his personal disagreement with the pro-abortion politician, but he felt no need to impose his personal views on the lawmaker. The view of the typical American bishop, and even of the reigning Popes, was essentially that of the pro-abortion politician: these bishops and Popes were personally opposed to a pro-abortion voting record, but their actions indicated that they believed a Catholic could in good conscience vote for and promote abortion and remain in unimpaired Christian fellowship.
"And their flocks got the message.
"The Catholic Church sent its high school students, by their thousands, to the "coronation" of America's most pro-abortion President. Tens of millions of Catholics celebrated with equal fervor and ecstasy, side-by-side with secularists, making no distinction whatsoever between those "marked with the sign of faith" and those who militated against the culture of life.
"'As Catholics we rejoice at Obama's election,' was what one Archbishop wrote in his weekly column in November of 2008.
"The late 20th century Catholic had abortions at the same rate as all others in America, and voted pro-abortion in the same proportions. No distinction was made between those "called out of the world," those merely in the world, and those of it.
"President Barack Obama was awarded, by the Catholic Church, a platform and an honorary degree at the nation's most prestigious Catholic university. A minority of bishops feebly published letters of protest, again expressing their personal opposition to the award, but the university in question, Notre Dame, received no sanction whatsoever. Before, during, and after the award, it remained a Catholic university in full communion with the Catholic Church, operated by a religious order of the same Church. Notre Dame's bishop condemned the invite with his words, but with his actions showed that he did not consider Notre Dame's actions to be so grave as to compromise its Catholic identity. He could have told Notre Dame to stop representing itself as a Church-sanctioned institution, but chose not to. He was 'personally opposed, but . . .'
"The reader will note that, despite the publicity of this scandalous invite, the Pope in Rome raised not a finger, not a cough, in support of the unborn. Oh yes, the occasional morally platitudinous remark, but the actions of the Holy See spoke much louder than her words. France's pro-abortion, thrice-married President, Nicolas Sarkozy, was named an honorary canon of the Lateran Basilica, the mother-church of Catholic Christendom. The Vatican's official newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, published three articles, within two weeks' time, praising the policies and the philosophical orientation of President Barack Obama. The second of these even compared him to Joshua, the Biblical successor to Moses, the Great Prophet and Lawgiver.
"One Vatican archbishop, an American, threw a bone to ultraconservative fringe Catholic pro-lifers at the national prayer breakfast. This archbishop was head of the Apostolic Signatura, and did not indicate that any action was forthcoming against Notre Dame or the continuous run of Catholic pro-abortion politicians.
"Of course everyone knows the work done by very many Catholics, acting independently of their Church, to save the unborn and fight against the legalization of abortion. These Catholics wrote letters and signed petitions, begging their pastors to enforce the doctrine and discipline they were paid to teach. But to no avail. Their pleas fell on deaf ears, both from their local bishops, but especially from Rome. These independent Catholics, from Norma McCorvey and Randal Terry to Priests for Life and Lambs of Christ, deserve the heartfelt praise of all successive generations.
"Meanwhile, the silence and inaction from the 'official' Church was all the more damning. From his window, the man now known as Obama's Pope could have put an end to the travesty of official (express or tacit) Catholic-sanctioned culture-of-death liberalism. He chose silence."
Eric Giunta is a Juris Doctor Candidate at Florida State University College of Law, where he serves as President of that school's chapter of the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies. He has written for LifeSiteNews and the Florida Chapter of the Church Music Association of America, and maintains a blog, "Confessions of a Liberal Traditionalist," at lexetlibertas.wordpress.com.
Eugene Cunningham, is a former educator at two schools of the Miami Archdiocese. He is active in serving and promoting the Tridentine Mass in that diocese, and in the local pro-life movement.
© Eric Giunta and Eugene Cunningham
Reprinted by the kind permission of Renew America, and Steven Stone.