Thursday, 22 June 2017

The Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus



Grant, we pray, almighty God, that we, who glory in the Heart of your beloved Son and recall the wonders of his love for us, may be made worthy to receive an overflowing measure of grace from that fount of heavenly gifts. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.



The Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

V. Lord, have mercy on us.
R. Christ, have mercy on us.
V. Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us.
R. Christ, graciously hear us.
V. God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Son of the Eternal Father, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, formed in the womb of the Virgin Mother by the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, united substantially to the Word of God.
Heart of Jesus, of infinite majesty.
Heart of Jesus, holy temple of God.
Heart of Jesus, tabernacle of the Most High.
Heart of Jesus, house of God and gate of heaven.
Heart of Jesus, glowing furnace of charity.
Heart of Jesus, vessel of justice and love.
Heart of Jesus, full of goodness and love.
Heart of Jesus, abyss of all virtues.
Heart of Jesus, most worthy of all praise.
Heart of Jesus, King and center of all hearts.
Heart of Jesus, in whom art all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
Heart of Jesus, in whom dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead.
Heart of Jesus, in whom the Father was well pleased.
Heart of Jesus, of whose fullness we have all received.
Heart of Jesus, desire of the everlasting hills.
Heart of Jesus, patient and rich in mercy.
Heart of Jesus, rich to all who call upon Thee.
Heart of Jesus, fount of life and holiness.
Heart of Jesus, propitiation for our offenses.
Heart of Jesus, overwhelmed with reproaches.
Heart of Jesus, bruised for our iniquities.
Heart of Jesus, obedient even unto death.
Heart of Jesus, pierced with a lance.
Heart of Jesus, source of all consolation.
Heart of Jesus, our life and resurrection.
Heart of Jesus, our peace and reconciliation.
Heart of Jesus, victim for our sins.
Heart of Jesus, salvation of those who hope in Thee.
Heart of Jesus, hope of those who die in Thee.
Heart of Jesus, delight of all saints.

V. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
R. spare us, O Lord.
V. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
R. graciously hear us, O Lord.
V. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
R. have mercy on us.

V. Jesus, meek and humble of Heart,
R. Make our hearts like unto Thine.

Let us pray.

Almighty and everlasting God, look upon the Heart of Thy well-beloved Son and upon the acts of praise and satisfaction which He renders unto Thee in the name of sinners; and do Thou, in Thy great goodness, grant pardon to them who seek Thy mercy, in the name of the same Thy Son, Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with Thee, world without end.



An Appropriate Protestant Hymn



There is no love like the love of Jesus,
Never to fade or fall,
Till into the fold of the peace of God
He has gathered us all.

Refrain:

Jesus’ love! precious love!
Boundless and pure and free!
Oh, turn to that love, weary, wand’ring soul!
Jesus pleadeth for thee.


There is no eye like the eye of Jesus,
Piercing so far away;
Ne’er out of the sight of its tender light
Can the wanderer stray.

Refrain

There is no voice like the voice of Jesus,
Tender and sweet its chime—
Like musical ring of a flowing spring
In the bright summer time.

Refrain

There is no heart like the heart of Jesus,
Filled with a tender love;
No throb nor throe that our hearts can know,
But He feels it above.

Refrain

Oh, let us hark to the voice of Jesus,
Then we shall never roam;
And we shall rest on His loving breast,
In the dear heavenly home.

Refrain


Theodore E. Perkins (1831-1912)



Sacred Heart of Jesus, may we never stray from thy love.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Eastern Ukraine Stuation Report 21st June



This is war. This is Europe. This is happening today.

Evening Standard: The challenge facing a weak administration

Evening Standard: The challenge facing a weak administration

Editorial


"In the face of this dawning reality the Prime Minister promises humility. If that had been her approach these past 11 months perhaps she might have avoided this humiliation. But from the first day of her coronation as Tory leader last July, Mrs May behaved as if she had a mandate to undo the work of the previous government that she had been part of. She also interpreted the close result in the EU referendum — 17 million votes for Leave against 16 million for Remain — as an emphatic vote not just for Brexit but for a hard Brexit, leaving all economic and security arrangements with our closest trading partners. Those who questioned this interpretation were dismissed as Quislings.

Now it is her Government that is on the receiving end of the electorate’s will — and the Conservative Party, which looked set for ascendancy 12 months ago, fears for the future. It is caught in the Brexit wringer, losing support among urban voters, working people, students and ethnic minorities. Its strategy appears to be — to borrow an old analogy — a combination of John Travolta and Mr Micawber: staying alive and hoping something will turn up. That is not a plan for success.

It will take a new approach to Brexit, a new effort at co-operation and — before long — new leadership to have a chance of turning things around. That’s the only way to stop Jeremy Corbyn and the hard Left reaching No 10, which would — as is evident from their alarming calls for extra-parliamentary action — make a bad situation much worse."

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

BBC News| Philip Hammond on Brexit: Prioritise jobs and living standards

BBC News| Philip Hammond on Brexit: Prioritise jobs and living standards

Jobs and living standards must come first as the UK negotiates its exit from the EU, Philip Hammond has said.

The chancellor said it would require "every ounce of skill and diplomacy" to get the right deal, warning that people didn't vote for Brexit to be poorer.

Speaking in London, he said changes to customs arrangements should be phased in and there should be transitional measures to protect key industries.


One of the best things about the election results was that they saved Philip Hammond, who was in for being sacked or reshuffled. He seems to have found his mojo and is doing a fantastic job of making a case for a softer Brexit.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Committed to Operation Sophia

The Guardian: After Finsbury Park, Britain must tackle its preachers of anti-Muslim hate

The Guardian: After Finsbury Park, Britain must tackle its preachers of anti-Muslim hate

by Nesrine Malik

"We now live in a world where prejudice and violence against Muslims is firmly established. In a relatively short space of time, we have gone from deliberating whether Islamophobia actually exists to scrambling to deal with its rapidly unfolding consequences. On Sunday night, on the 24th day of Ramadan, an Islamic centre in Finsbury Park was deliberately attacked as worshippers left a nearby mosque.

Hate crimes of any nature do not occur in a vacuum, and there is a particularly urgent need to examine the context in which this attack took place. For innocent people to become targets, two things must happen: first, incitement to hatred, and then normalisation. Incitement happens when anger is stirred up and people are depicted as less than human. Normalisation occurs when the incitement is repeated, when it begins to feel like part of the scenery. After that, acting on that rage can begin to feel like less of a crime. This applies, by the way, whether the attackers are “lone wolves” or part of an organised network. It applies to Muslims fed dehumanising distortions about those who don’t share their religion. And it also applies to non-Muslims fed smears against their Muslim neighbours."

Politico: Lithuanians ‘sleep peacefully’ thanks to German troops

Politico: Lithuanians ‘sleep peacefully’ thanks to German troops

by David Stern

PABRADE, Lithuania — When German forces arrived in Lithuania during World War II as part of Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union, many locals greeted them with flowers, hailing what they believed were their liberators from Moscow’s brutal occupation.

Almost eight decades later, the Germans are back — and Lithuanians are again welcoming them with enthusiasm.

This time, some 650 Bundeswehr soldiers are heading up a multinational NATO infantry battalion of around 1,400 troops — part of the alliance’s “enhanced Forward Presence” program.

“They applauded us as we went through one town — that’s never happened to me before,” said Michael, a lance corporal who for security reasons could not provide his last name.

Others say they’ve been told “thank you” and “we’re very glad you’re here.” A recent poll had Germans as Lithuanians’ second favorite nationality — after Latvians.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

5 Rifle Battlegroup in Estonia

Thursday, 15 June 2017

ConservativeHome: Farron’s sideswipe at the ethos of the party he led was truly remarkable

ConservativeHome: Farron’s sideswipe at the ethos of the party he led was truly remarkable

by Paul Goodman

"Be that as it may, his resignation statement was remarkable. “To be a political leader – especially of a progressive, liberal party in 2017 – and to live as a committed Christian, to hold faithfully to the Bible’s teaching, has felt impossible for me.” That sideswipe at his party was extraordinary. It can be read as meaning that orthodox Christian belief and the Liberal Democrat worldview are currently incompatible. Not all Christians will share Farron’s views – or perhaps what were once his views – on abortion and gay sex. Liberal Anglicans, for example, would have no intrinsic problem with the second. But churchgoers and others should ponder what he said.

Farron yesterday put his finger on a problem that this site identified when he was first quizzed about his beliefs. Social conservatism, for want of a better phrase, is not only unfashionable amongst the elites that shape our public culture, but is increasingly treated by them as somehow illegitimate. That the DUP is currently under fire for its stance on abortion and gay sex is a reminder of this (even though the SDLP takes much the same position on the first). That Farron is an evangelical Christian leading a party with a strongly secular ethos was always going to make him a target for media smart alecs and alices. They have pursued him relentlessly."

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Safe Spaces for Women

Liberal Democrat leader felt it impossible to maintain his Faith in the world of Politics

BBC News: Farron quits as Lib Dem leader over clash between faith and politics


In a hastily-arranged statement, and surrounded by his close colleagues, Mr Farron said he had been "proud" to lead the party for two years.

But he said he could no longer reconcile his strong Christian faith with his responsibilities as leader of a liberal party.

"The consequences of the focus on my faith is that I have found myself torn between living as a faithful Christian and serving as a political leader," he said.

"A better, wiser person may have been able to deal with this more successfully, to remain faithful to Christ while leading a political party in the current environment.

"To be a leader, particularly of a progressive liberal party in 2017 and to live as a committed Christian and to hold faithful to the Bible's teaching has felt impossible for me."


This is really sad and tragic. It was always going to be a struggle for an Evangelical Christian to lead a party as politically correct as the Liberal Democrats, but you have to admire him for trying, even if he didn't have the courage to say what he really thought on the old gay sex question that tripped him up.

I feel the same sense of awkwardness. My politics is very much that of a metropolitan liberal, until questions of human sexuality come up.

I fear that many more Christian politicians are going to be hounded out like Farron was.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Providing Security Against Crisis

Tory Workers: Where was the Conservative heart?

Tory Workers: Where was the Conservative heart?

by Nick Denys


"It is not hard to understand why people who instinctively support Labour, in the end when their pen was hovering over the ballot paper, could not bring themselves to mark a cross next to the Conservative candidate. The Conservative General Election campaign was depressing. Our message was that the world is rubbish but please vote for us as we are best at making rubbish decisions. Those who work in the public sector or have not seen a pay-rise in many years were being asked to choose between a Government that would continue to mange the slow decline of their lifestyles or the chaotic unknown. After almost a decade of austerity the chaotic unknown seemed less of a threat than another decade of 1% pay-rises.

The Conservatives did not show their heart. We did not say why we wanted to govern and what we wanted to achieve for people. What is the point of having a strong and stable economy? What will the best Brexit mean for me? The Party missed a golden opportunity to tell those who would not normally ever give us a chance that we care about them. There are large swaths of the population who mistrust our motives and we did not offer them the opportunity to change their minds."

Monday, 12 June 2017

Evening Standard: Austerity and Brexit cost Conservatives their majority, says Theresa May's chief of staff Gavin Barwell

Evening Standard: Austerity and Brexit cost Conservatives their majority, says Theresa May's chief of staff Gavin Barwell

Voters' anger over austerity and Brexit cost the Conservatives their majority at the General Election, the Prime Minister's new chief of staff has said.

Gavin Barwell admitted Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn had been able to tap into frustrations over public sector pay and concerns among Remain-supporters over the Tory approach to leaving the European Union.

The former housing minister lost his Croydon Central seat in Thursday's vote but made a swift comeback after being brought into Number 10 as her senior aide.

In a sign that he will push for a change in approach on Brexit, he said: "We do need to make sure that people that are Conservative-minded that voted Remain in the referendum are happy to continue supporting our party."

Sunday, 11 June 2017

The Guardian: Theresa May's election victory will prove pyrrhic indeed

The Guardian: Theresa May's election victory will prove pyrrhic indeed

by Larry Elliott


"The pro-EU wing of the Tory party is small but, just like the DUP, has become more influential in a hung parliament.

May’s position is that “no deal is better than a bad deal”, but that is a slogan not a policy. Strong lobbying from the CBI, the City and international investors will discourage Britain from walking away from negotiations. As George Osborne pointed out on the Andrew Marr Show, a “no deal” outcome would not be acceptable to the DUP because it would mean a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.

Labour, the Lib Dems, the SNP and some Tories would be content with a compromise deal. Many Tories would not be. All the ingredients are there for a Conservative schism not seen since the repeal of the Corn Laws in the 1840s. Then, as now, the Tories were divided, on that occasion between its free trade and protectionist wings. The split damaged the Tory party so badly that it was unable to form a majority government for 28 years. All Labour needs to do is sit back and watch events unfold. As Napoleon once said, never interfere with an enemy that’s in the process of destroying itself."

Anti-Semitism/ Anti-Zionism

Crux: Venezuela cardinal says Socialist regime leaves people ‘cruelly repressed’

Crux: Venezuela cardinal says Socialist regime leaves people ‘cruelly repressed’


ROME - One of Venezuela’s cardinals promised to give Pope Francis “a very direct, crude, realistic view of the situation we are going through” in a meeting with the pontiff today, saying the country’s socialist government has left its people “cruelly repressed.”

Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino, Archbishop of Caracas, the country’s capital, spoke to Crux in advance of a special meeting of the leadership of Venezuela’s bishops’ conference with Francis. The Argentine pontiff has been an outspoken supporter of dialogue to end the crisis, and the Vatican’s position on the matter is clear: Elections need to happen.

“The situation is very, very grave,” Urosa told Crux on Tuesday afternoon.

“What we see is a people who are suffering, who are being humiliated, and who are being cruelly repressed,” he said. Some 70 people have been killed since massive protests began last April, and thousands have been wounded.

Sky News| Ruth Davidson: Tories need to listen to other parties on Brexit

Sky News| Ruth Davidson: Tories need to listen to other parties on Brexit


Ruth Davidson has told Sky News the Conservatives need to "listen" to other parties when it comes to Brexit.

The Scottish Tory leader, who many see as wielding considerable influence in her party post-election, did not rule out pursuing a softer exit from the European Union after Theresa May lost her majority in the snap poll.

Critics of the Prime Minister say the result is a rejection of her pursuit of a so-called "hard Brexit", shorthand for the UK leaving the single market, exiting the customs union and ending freedom of movement from Europe.

The Youth Vote



Even a Tory like me loves this.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Joint Liturgical Studies no.83: Liturgical Orientation



Fr Neil Xavie O'Donoghue, Joint Liturgical Studies no.83, Liturgical Orientation: the Position of the President at the Eucharist, 2017 Alcuin Club/ Grow

This short book explores the question of which direction the priest should face during the mass. This is a timely topic given Cardinal Sarah's recent controversial call to return to celebrating ad orientem. It is written by a Catholic priest and focuses on the Roman Catholic tradition, though our author points out that the material is very relevant to other liturgical traditions. Fr O'Donoghue takes the view that the current practice of priests facing the people is not objectionable and should not be abandoned. He provides an history of liturgical orientation from the early church onwards. He suggests that for the early church, the question of the orientation of the president was possibly not a major concern. He acknowledges that the bulk of our tradition favours ad orientem celebration, but he does provide some examples of versus populum prior to Vatican II, such as the views and practice of St. Charles Borromeo.

Our author suggests that calls to return to the practice of ad orientem are misguided. He points out that it is easy to look back at the pre-Vatican II Church with rose-tinted spectacles, imagining it to be a perfect time of purity, while failing to see that it was far from perfect and that it had it's own examples of liturgical banality. While acknowledging that there were liturgical misteps after Vatican II, he argues that the change to versus populum revitalised the Church:

In general most people agreed that, when taken as a whole, the reform of the liturgy was a positive development in the spiritual lives of Catholics. In the wake of Vatican II, a more human form of worship became widespread.

In his view, the practice of versus populum reflects the more visible participatory approach to worship of the Vatican II reforms. He observes that there are some parishes which have seen fruit born by the revival of ad orientem or the complete performance of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, however, he identifies these as intentional communities that are different from your average Saint Bernadette's parish. That the Extraordinary Form works well in some parishes does not mean that it can be easily revived as a norm for all parishes, which have become accustomed to versus populum.

It has to be said that our author makes a much stronger negative case against an ad orientem revival than a positive case for the merits of versus populum. Nevertheless, I found his point of view refreshing having been more exposed to writers and bloggers who advocate the tradition orientation.

I'm a Raging Mad Tory Right Now

Theresa May was supposed to win the election on Thursday. There was a pretty good chance she could have won an hundred seat landslide majority. But she didn't. She actually lost seats and she lost her majority in the House of Commons.

Did she lose against someone credible like Yvette Cooper or Chuka Umuna? Nope. She lost to Jeremy f****** Corbyn. Let that sink in for a minute. The prime minister and the leader of the Conservative Party couldn't win an election against a Marxist IRA sympathizer.

I'm angry about the fact that she lost, after fighting a really lousy, crumby campaign, but it's not just that. It's the way Theresa May behaved after the results had come in. She raced straight to Buckingham Palace to ask the queen to let her start a new government with a bit of help from those lovely people in the DUP. Then she comes back and makes what looks like a victory speech, as though she had won the wretched election. It was only later in the day, presumably after somebody had suggested it to her, that she apologised to all the poor Conservative MPs who had lost their seats and their jobs thanks to her bungling.

Everything Theresa May has done shows her to be an arrogant and shallow woman without a shred of humility or self-awareness. It's probably the wrong time to boot her out, but every single Tory in this country has a right to be absolutely furious with May.

Trump Praises Romania and NATO

The Guardian: Theresa May's 'rude, abusive and childish' advisers face calls to quit

The Guardian: Theresa May's 'rude, abusive and childish' advisers face calls to quit


Theresa May’s chiefs of staff, Fiona Hill and Nick Timothy, are facing calls to quit, as one former Downing Street aide spoke out about their “rude, abusive and childish” approach to running No 10.

A string of MPs are demanding changes to the way May governs, including the removal of one or both of her powerful advisers after they ran her disastrous general election campaign that resulted in the Conservatives losing their overall majority.

Katie Perrior, the former director of communications at No 10, who left at the election, said she respected May but her office was “pretty dysfunctional”.

Writing in the Times, she said: “What I could never work out was whether Mrs May condoned their behaviour and turned a blind eye or didn’t understand how destructive they both were. For all the love of a hierarchy, the chiefs treated cabinet members exactly the same – rude, abusive, childish behaviour.

Friday, 9 June 2017

The Washington Post: Theresa May and the revenge of the Remainers

The Washington Post: Theresa May and the revenge of the Remainers

by Anne Applebaum


"Theresa May had a plan: Steal the policies of Britain’s “far right” — the U.K. Independence Party — and then steal their voters, too. Since she took office about a year ago, the formerly moderate British prime minister attacked foreigners, jeered at the European Union and held Donald Trump’s hand. In April, she called an early general election, confident that UKIP voters would now endorse her “hard Brexit” and her watered-down English Tory populism.

Never mind that the moderate centrism of her predecessor, David Cameron, won a Conservative Party majority only two years ago. Never mind that she herself has offered few details about Brexit and what it will mean: May called this a “Brexit election,” declared herself the “strong and stable” candidate, promised tough negotiations with Europe and clearly expected to win a larger majority.

Yes, May had a plan — but it was a plan designed for her base. She ignored the 48 percent of the country that did not vote for Brexit, calling them “citizens of nowhere.” She ignored the anxiety that Brexit has created and the economic consequences that are now just beginning to bite. She ignored younger people, who preferred to stay in the E.U. last year and now prefer the Labour Party to the Tories by a huge margin, 63 percent to 27 percent."


Great analysis of what went wrong for our wretched party leader. A core vote strategy does not work with high turnout.


Compassion and Real Help

Evening Standard: Theresa May’s Northern Irish bailout has a cost

Evening Standard: Theresa May’s Northern Irish bailout has a cost

editorial


"The 10 DUP MPs hold the balance of power in the Commons. They could offer Mrs May “confidence and supply” to keep her in power.

The “confidence” in her leadership is precisely what the British people failed to give her, and “supply” will mean London taxpayers sending yet more money to Northern Ireland. In this topsy-turvy world, decisions that affect London will be taken in Belfast. That is not a sustainable position; this paper will subject it to close scrutiny. How have we reached this sorry state of affairs?

The election made clear that the voters were not fans of Theresa May. Her authority is non-existent. She herself said: “If I lose just six seats, I will lose this election.” Team May lost twice that. As an unelected premier, she had every right to seek a mandate. But she failed to frame what the election was about. She made much of the fact that she didn’t play the “political games” of others but voters never believed her decision to call a snap election was anything other than a naked attempt to grab a landslide. They called her out."

The Feast of Saint Ephraim the Syrian

O GOD, who hast vouchsafed to enlighten thy Church with the wondrous learning and singular holiness of thy blessed Confessor and Doctor Saint Ephraem: we humbly pray thee; that, thou wouldest with unfailing power defend the same against all the deceits of false doctrine, and all the assaults of iniquity. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour. Amen.


St. Ephraim, pray for us and for peace in Syria.

You can make a Deal with an Ulsterman

So the Conservatives will hold onto power by making a deal with the Democratic Unionist Party.

The liberal left are of course outraged at the prospect of the Tories working with the DUP because they oppose abortion and gay marriage. Unsurprisingly I don't share these concerns. However, a deal with the DUP does worry me. The British government should not be getting mixed up in the murky world of sectarian politics. To favour the Protestant Unionist community in Northern Ireland at the expense of Catholics could have dangerous ramifications for the continued peace of Northern Ireland. Since Brexit, there has been a worrying increase in political tension there, as seen in the failure to form an executive administration. For the national government to pick a side could seriously enflame things and in the long run endanger the union that Conservatives are so keen to preserve.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Exit Poll

So there is a good chance we could end up with an hung parliament. Not a good outcome.

Theresa May has been a rotten leader and has fought a terrible campaign. I rather doubt that any of the likely replacements are better should she be toppled. Boris Johnson? Michael Gove? I'd love Amber Rudd to take over, but there is a slight risk she could lose her seat tonight.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Catholic Herald: The political consensus on sex education flies in the face of the evidence

Catholic Herald: The political consensus on sex education flies in the face of the evidence

by David Paton

"Our politicians should hang their head in shame but, astonishingly, the Government continues to endorse resources like the Brook Traffic Light aimed at helping schools to identify sexual abuse. Brook instructs schools to view sexual activity between minors aged 13 and over as reflecting “safe and healthy” development as long as it is consensual and that such behaviour should be given “positive feedback”. It is as if the abuse scandals in Rotherham, Rochdale and Oxfordshire abuse scandals had never happened.

And now this week, research by myself and Liam Wright of Sheffield University has found that areas which have implemented the biggest cuts to teenage pregnancy projects such as new SRE programmes or birth control clinics for teens have actually seen bigger reductions in early pregnancy than areas which have kept these projects going. Perhaps the natural instincts of parents might be correct after all.

Although some people have treated our findings with surprise, there is in fact a wealth of academic evidence that conventional approaches to SRE often have unintended side effects. For example, we know that access to the morning after pill not only does not reduce unwanted pregnancies but, by encouraging teens to take more risks, can increase rates of sexually transmitted infections. In 2009, the BMJ found that teenage participants in one of the most prominent programmes covering sex education and access to contraception were more likely than a control group to get pregnant."

Monday, 29 May 2017

Slovakian and Polish Air Defence

Woman Means Something Campaign: Gender Legislation and the Death of Consent

Woman Means Something Campaign: Gender Legislation and the Death of Consent

by Paul Dirks

"There is nothing more pivotal in the matter of personal privacy than consent. This is true not only in private places like our own dwellings, but in public places as well: change rooms, locker rooms, shelters, public showers, and camp cabins. Sadly, but perhaps inevitably, these spaces have became a battleground as lawmakers and the general public wrestle over competing rights related to sex, gender, privacy, and security. While a significant majority of Canadians approve generally of rights and protections for transgender individuals, the application of these rights to shared segregated spaces typically marked “women” and “men” have met with significantly less public approval."

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Eastern Ukraine Situation Report 28th May



This is war. This is Europe. This is happening today.

SkyBurnsBlack Records



SkyBurnsBlack Records


I recently discovered SkyBurnsBlack records, a Christian label specializing in grindcore, black metal and crust punk music. They have some really interesting artists that you can download at low cost.

The first of these albums I heard was the Norwegian Desmodus Rotundus, which mixes both black metal and grindcore.




Eligibbor is one of the most highly regarded Christian black metal artists:



Another black metal or unblack metal band on SkyBurnsBlack is Flukt:



The cover art suggests it is primitive war metal, like Bestial Warlust, but it's got more of a Celtic Frost influenced sound, like Darkthrone's Panzerfaust album.

Fr. Dwight Longenecker: TV? Turn it Off

Fr. Dwight Longenecker: TV? Turn it Off

So why not get rid of your TV? Go ahead. Do it.

When is the last time you’ve ever seen anything on TV that built you up intellectually, spiritually or socially?

There is good stuff, but you can get that good stuff on DVDs from the library or streaming on Netflix or Amazon.

Sport? Why not go out an play more sports rather than watch them, and if you must watch a big sports event–find another way to do it.

TV?

You can live without it.


Life without television is beautiful. So much more time. Get rid of your TV; it will be the best decision you ever make (after deciding to stop allowing shoes inside your home- but if you are one of my Ukrainian, Russian, Korean or Polish readers you probably already do that).

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Supporting the Police

The Feast of Saint Augustine of Canterbury



O God, who by the preaching of the Bishop Saint Augustine of Canterbury led the English peoples to the Gospel, grant, we pray, that the fruits of his labors may remain ever abundant in your Church. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.



Litany of Saint Augustine of Canterbury


Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.

Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven,
Have mercy on us.

God, the Son, Redeemer of the world,
Have mercy on us.

God the Holy Ghost,
Have mercy on us.

Holy Trinity, One God,
Have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, Mother of God,
Pray for us.

Holy Mary, devoutly honored by Saint Augustine,
Pray for us.

Saint Augustine,
Pray for us.

St. Augustine, glory of the Catholic Church,
Pray for us.

St. Augustine, chosen vessel of the Holy Ghost,
Pray for us.

Great Apostle of England,
Pray for us.

Renowned Apostle of Gentiles,
Pray for us.

Glorious defender of the Catholic Faith,
Pray for us.

Worthy confessor of Christ Our Lord,
Pray for us.

Thou faithful son of the holy Father St. Benedict,
Pray for us.

Thou honorable disciple of thy holy master St. Gregory,
Pray for us.

Thou perfect contemner of the world,
Pray for us.

Example of humility,
Pray for us.

Lover of poverty,
Pray for us.

Strict observer of the holy Rule,
Pray for us.

St. Augustine, curing the blind,
Pray for us.

St. Augustine, restoring health to the sick,
Pray for us.

St. Augustine, preaching the Gospel to our forefathers,
Pray for us.

Zealous patron of immortal souls,
Pray for us.

Powerful in need to all who take refuge in thee in their wants,
Pray for us.

Powerful intercessor in Heaven, Thou our patron saint,
Pray for us.

In all our wants of body and soul,
Help us by thy intercession.

In all dangers,
Help us by thy intercession.

In all tribulations,
Help us by thy intercession.

In temptations of the world, the flesh, and the devil,
Help us by thy intercession.

In case of sickness,
Help us by thy intercession.

In poverty and famine,
Help us by thy intercession.

In danger of losing the Catholic Faith,
Help us by thy intercession.

In the hour of our death,
Help us by thy intercession.

That God may humble the enemies of the Catholic Faith,
make intercession for us.

That all heresies may be extinguished,
make intercession for us.

That the spirit of infidelity may be checked,
make intercession for us.

That all prodigal children may return to the true Church of Christ,
make intercession for us.

That our faith may never cease,
make intercession for us.

That our hope may continually increase,
make intercession for us.

That we may perpetually love God with a sincere heart,
make intercession for us.

That the English nation may return to the Catholic Faith
which thou hast preached to their forefathers,
make intercession for us.

That we may escape eternal condemnation and the everlasting fire of Hell,
make intercession for us.

That we may be saved through Jesus Christ,
make intercession for us.

That we may be taken up to Heaven to see the eternal Glory of God,
make intercession for us.

That we may never lose the grace and love of our heavenly Father,
make intercession for us.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us, O Lord.

V. Intercede for us, O holy Augustine, great Apostle of England,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let Us Pray

O God, Who in the conversion of the Gentiles,
hast mercifully granted the pious prayers of Saint Augustine,
Thy Confessor and Bishop,
vouchsafe to grant through his merits
and intercession that we,
bewailing our sins,
may be consoled by the gift of Thy graces,
through Jesus Christ Our Lord.

Amen


Saint Augustine of Canterbury, pray for us and for England.

Friday, 26 May 2017

Business Insider: Mark Zuckerberg calls for exploring basic income in Harvard commencement speech

Business Insider: Mark Zuckerberg calls for exploring basic income in Harvard commencement speech

Basic-income advocates say the changing nature of work — from human labor to artificially intelligent robots — combined with rising wealth inequality signal the need for an overhaul of how money is distributed.

"We should have a society that measures progress not just by economic metrics like GDP, but by how many of us have a role we find meaningful," Zuckerberg told the crowd. "We should explore ideas like universal basic income to make sure everyone has a cushion to try new ideas."

The statement was Zuckerberg's first public endorsement of the idea, which makes him somewhat late to the party, as far as Silicon Valley goes. Tech executives like Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Y Combinator President Sam Altman, and Facebook cofounder Chris Hughes — who runs a basic-income fund called the Economic Security Project — have endorsed basic income.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

The Feast of the Finding of the Holy Body of Saint Philomena



Litany of Saint Philomena

Lord,have mercy on us.
Lord,have mercy on us.
Lord,have mercy on us. Christ hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven,
have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit,
have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God.
have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, Queen of Virgins
pray for us.
Saint Philomena,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, filled with abundant graces from your birth,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, faithful imitator of Mary,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, model of virginity,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, temple of perfect humility,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, inflamed with zeal for the glory of God,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, victim of love for Jesus,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, example of strength and perseverance,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, invincible champion of chastity,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, mirror of most heroic virtue,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, firm and intrepid in the face of torments,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, scourged like your Divine Spouse,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, pierced by a rain of arrows,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, consoled in chains by the Mother of God,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, miraculously healed in prison,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, comforted by the Angels in your torments,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, who preferred torments
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, who converted witnesses by your martyrdom,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, who wore out the fury of your tormentors,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, protectress of the innocent,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, patroness of youth,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, refuge of the unfortunate,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, health of the sick and infirmed,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, new light of the Church Militant,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, who confounds the impiety of the world,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, who rejuvenates the faith and courage of the faithful,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, whose name is glorious in Heaven and feared in Hell,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, made illustrious by the most splendid miracles,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, powerful with God,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, who reigns in glory,
pray for us.
Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world;
spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world;
graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world;
have mercy on us.
V. Pray for us, O Worker of Wonders, Saint Philomena,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray.
O Lord, through the intercession of Saint Philomena, Virgin and Martyr, whose eminent purity and practice of every virtue was most pleasing to you, pardon our sins and grant us the grace of_______________



Saint Philomena, pray for us, that we may be faithful unto death.

Puma 17

Naturalis Historia: Was The Young-Earth Perfect Prelapsarian Paradise a Maladapted World?

Naturalis Historia: Was The Young-Earth Perfect Prelapsarian Paradise a Maladapted World?

"Would such adaptations—or designs if you prefer that terminology—be found in the world before Adam sinned—the prelapsarian world? Claws, sharp teeth, thick hides, cryptic coloration patterns, exceptional hearing and eyesight, the ability to run very fast, etc. are all traits that serve an obvious function: to allow an animal to capture another or to avoid being captured. But in the perfect paradise model of the original creation that many young earth creationist espouse, these characteristics could not serve those functions and would be useless since no animal died or could be responsible for the death of another animal. In such a perfect paradise, the majority of morphological and behavioral traits that we observe in animals today would be characterized as maladaptations (Footnote 1) to their environment.

What is a maladaptation? It is a trait that is more harmful than helpful. In contrast, an adaptation is a trait that is more helpful than harmful for an individual’s survival and reproduction (i.e. their fitness in a particular environment). Usually maladaptive traits began as traits that were adaptations to their environments but over time became less suitable and even problematic for an organism. For example, Moa birds in New Zealand were very large birds. Their lack of flight and increased size were adaptations that improved their survival on an island with no predators. When predators—humans—arrived, the very traits that were at one time beneficial became a liability. They became maladaptations. Nearly every trait has the capacity to become a maladaptation if the environmental conditions change over time.

Put in the context of a perfect paradise as conceived of by YEC where animals had no fear of one another, what would be the features we would expect to find in animals? We would expect to have animals with no innate fears of humans or other animals, they would have no need of being very fast, they would need no weapons to defend themselves and they would need to traits we associate with sexual selection because they would not have to compete for mates. Fitness to this perfect environment would either result from characters adapted to life without fear of death or all characters would simply be non-adaptive or random because they were of no consequence for survival."

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Radical Islam

Monday, 22 May 2017

SocialJusticeWizard: Masculinity, anime, and gender dysphoria

SocialJusticeWizard: Masculinity, anime, and gender dysphoria


"For the repressed lonely boy, getting into such anime is first of all a way to indulge in the joys of femininity in a way he himself finds acceptable. It may not be entirely socially acceptable for young men to watch “girly” anime, but the male-dominated subculture around them, and the knowledge that the anime are “officially” made for young men, provides sufficient self-justification to overcome the internal fear of indulging in the “girly.” Moreover, the female characters are not only adored, but frequently also sexualized, which provides further masculinity-conformant justification.

Eventually, since the anime girl represents all those repressed emotions in the purest, most concentrated way possible, and as the boy indulges more and more in the media, he is overcome with the desire of becoming like her. A strong identification with the cute anime girl forms. He finally admits he always wanted to be soft and gentle like her, carefree and cheerful like her, enjoy life in its fullest without the heavy chains of masculinity, like her.

And a belief in “female gender identity” begins to form."

The Pocket Scroll| Vernacular Religion in the Latin Middle Ages 1: Homilies

The Pocket Scroll| Vernacular Religion in the Latin Middle Ages 1: Homilies

"Anyway, this canon is interesting because it counters two claims sometimes made by some Protestants (not all Protestants, and not all of them all the time). First, that there was no preaching in the Middle Ages. Second, that the vernacular was forbidden from official church activities in the Middle Ages. These are both false. Given that the Dominican order (founded 1216) is even officially called the Order of Preachers, the idea that people didn’t preach in the Middle Ages very easily refuted; just search your local university library catalogue for medieval preaching. Or sit back and enjoy this anthology by J.M. Neale. Nonetheless, some may still imagine that everything was in Latin."

Evening Standard: U-turn on social care is neither strong nor stable

Evening Standard: U-turn on social care is neither strong nor stable

"The current Tory leaders should have been ready to defend their approach. Instead we had a weekend of wobbles that presumably prompted today’s U-turn. The Pensions Secretary Damian Green was unable to answer basic questions in a TV interview about who will lose their fuel payments, and how much extra money will go into social care."

Just when I was impressed with Theresa May for having the courage to pursue unpopular but necessary policies, she loses her nerve and changes her policy days after releasing the Tory election manifesto.

The Feast of Saint Rita of Cascia

When I am really worried about something, I pray to St. Rita. She is the heavy artillery when you really need a prayer answered. I have never known a prayer not to be answered when I sought the intercession of St. Rita.


Bestow on us, we pray, O Lord, the wisdom and strength of the Cross, with which you were pleased to endow Saint Rita, so that, suffering in every tribulation with Christ, we may participate ever more deeply in his Paschal Mystery. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.



The Litany of Saint Rita

Lord have mercy on us.
Christ have mercy on us.
Lord have mercy on us. Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven,
have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost,
have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God,
have mercy on us.

Holy Patroness of those in need, St. Rita,
pray for us.
St. Rita, whose pleadings before the Divine Lord
are almost irresistible,
pray for us.
St. Rita, who for thy lavishness in granting favors
hast been called the Advocate of the Hopeless,
pray for us.
St. Rita, Advocate of the Impossible,
pray for us.
St. Rita, so humble,
pray for us.
St. Rita, so pure,
pray for us.
St. Rita, so mortified
pray for us.
St. Rita, so patient
pray for us.
St. Rita, of such compassionate love for
thy Crucified Jesus,
pray for us.
St. Rita, obtainer from Christ whatsoever thou askest,
pray for us.
St. Rita, on account of whom all confidently
have recourse to thee,
pray for us.
St. Rita, comforter of thy petitioners,
pray for us.
St. Rita, lavish to thy suppliants in so many cases,
pray for us.
St. Rita, aspiring only for the greater glory of God
pray for us.

By the singular merits of thy childhood,
Obtain for us our request [think of it].
By the perfect union with the Divine Will,
Obtain for us our request [think of it].
By thy heroic sufferings during thy married life,
Obtain for us our request [think of it].
By the consolation thou didst experience at the conversion of thy husband,
Obtain for us our request [think of it].
By the sacrifice of thy children rather than see them grievously offend God,
Obtain for us our request [think of it].
By thy miraculous entrance into the convent,
Obtain for us our request [think of it].
By thy severe penances and thrice daily bloody scourgings,
Obtain for us our request [think of it].
By the suffering caused by the wound thou didst receive from the thorn of of thy Crucified Savior,
Obtain for us our request [think of it].
By that Divine Love which consumed thy heart,
Obtain for us our request [think of it].
By that remarkable devotion to the Blessed Sacrament,
on which alone thou didst exist for four years,
Obtain for us our request [think of it].
By the happiness with which thou didst part from thy trials to join thy Divine Spouse,
Obtain for us our request [think of it].
By the perfect example thou didst give to people of every state of life,
Obtain for us our request [think of it].

V. Pray for us, O St. Rita,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.

Let us pray.
O God, Who in Thine infinite tenderness hast vouchsafed to regard the prayer of Thy servant, blessed Rita, and dost grant to her supplication that which is impossible to human foresight, skill and efforts, in reward for her compassionate love and firm reliance on Thy promise: have pity upon our adversity and succor us in our calamities, that the unbeliever may know Thou art the recompense of the humble, the defense of the helpless, and the strength of those who trust in Thee: Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.



Saint Rita, pray for us and for all victims of domestic abuse.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Trump says there is no Clash of Civilizations between Islam and the West

Daily News: President Trump offers mellow reversal of anti-Islamic rhetoric in Saudi Arabia speech


President Trump offered a total and complete shutdown of his anti-Islamic bombast Sunday in a Saudi Arabia speech, preaching a message of unity that sidesteps nearly two years of his fiery rhetoric.

Speaking in Riyadh, the birthplace of Islam, the man who once called for a ban on Muslim immigration to America suddenly switched to a supportive tone in his call to combat violent extremism.

“This is not a battle between different faiths, different sects, or different civilizations,” Trump said in his highly-anticipated address at the Arabic Islamic American Summit.


This is fantastic! All that Islamophobic garbage that Trump and the people supporting him had spouted- well he just went and denied it.

Pope Francis will be very pleased and impressed with Trump when he comes to visit.

Greek 1st Paratrooper Commando Brigade

Saturday, 20 May 2017

The Eternity Gate




The Sci-Fi game Warhammer 40,000 has some amazing artwork, but this piece, from the second edition of the game is my favorite. It depicts the eternity gate, leading to the throne of the Emperor of Mankind. As well as the Gothic awesomeness, I love the borrowing of Christian imagery in this artwork.

I got into Warhammer 40,000 as a kid at the same time that my parents moved to another town. This involved switching from going to an Anglican Church to a non-denominational Evangelical church that met in a school. Even at the age of 12, my sense of aesthetics was informed enough to find worshiping in a school with the latest contemporary choruses and a jazz band utterly banal. I greatly missed the Medieval church building I had previously attended. Warhammer 40,000 kept up my love of Gothic architecture and gave me a life long love of English cathedrals. I suspect it also helped to establish my monarchist convictions. I suppose with the Emperor confined to his Golden Throne life-support system and power residing in the High Lords of Terra, the Imperium of Man is a constitutional monarchy like ours. I suspect in the punkish days of early Warhammer 40,000 in the 80s, the corpse-emperor was probably meant as a satire of the queen and the royal family, These days, I think the Emperor is more of a Christ figure, who died and ascended a throne, defeating the powers of evil and establishing cosmic harmony.

I don't play Warhammer 40,000 these days, but I do love reading the Black Libray novels, especially the Horus Heresy series. I recently made reference to Warhammer 40,000 when discussing Sophiology.

Milton Friedman; Champion of Social Security

Friday, 19 May 2017

Huffpost: Universal Basic Income Is the Best Tool to Fight Poverty

Huffpost: Universal Basic Income Is the Best Tool to Fight Poverty

by Scott Santens

"Is universal basic income a poor tool to fight poverty? No. It’s the best tool to fight poverty, because poverty inside a monetary system is quite simply a lack of money. Poverty is the inability to purchase food and housing. It’s the inability to afford a new outfit for that job interview, or transport to the job if given the job. It’s the inability to afford schooling. It’s the inability to focus on anything except for where enough dollars are going to come from to live day by day. Poverty is a lack of resources."

Blue Scorpions

Catholic Herald: Medjugorje report leads Church into uncharted territory, says commission member

Catholic Herald: Medjugorje report leads Church into uncharted territory, says commission member

If the Catholic Church recognises as “worthy of belief” only the initial alleged apparitions of Mary at Medjugorje, it would be the first time the Church distinguished between phases of a single event, a theological expert in Mariology has said.

Fr Salvatore Perrella, president of the Pontifical Institute Marianum and a member of the commission that Benedict XVI established to study the Medjugorje case, said that although Pope Francis has not yet made a formal pronouncement on the presumed apparitions, “he thought it was a good idea to clear some of the fog.”

I have many friends who are enthusiastic about Medjugorje, but I'm a bit sceptical about the apparitions there.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

The Feast of Saint Celestine V


O God, who hast raised blessed Peter Celestine to the supreme Pontificate, and also taught him to prefer the virtue of humility, mercifully grant that following his example, we may despise the things of this world, and so merit to attain those rewards which Thou hast promised to the humble of heart.


Saint Celestine, pray for us and for Pope Francis.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Monday, 15 May 2017

The Feast of Saint Dymphna

Lord, our God, you graciously chose St. Dymphna as patroness of those afflicted with mental and nervous disorders. She is thus an inspiration and a symbol of charity to the thousands who ask her intercession.

Please grant, Lord, through the prayers of this pure youthful martyr, relief and consolation to all suffering such trials, and especially those for whom we pray. (Here mention those for whom you wish to pray).

We beg you, Lord, to hear the prayers of St. Dymphna on our behalf. Grant all those for whom we pray patience in their sufferings and resignation to your divine will. Please fill them with hope, and grant them the relief and cure they so much desire.

We ask this through Christ our Lord who suffered agony in the garden. Amen.




Saint Dymphna, pray for us, for Ireland and for all who are afflicted with mental illness.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Crux: Leading a godless life might lead you to Hell, Pope warns in Fatima

Crux: Leading a godless life might lead you to Hell, Pope warns in Fatima


FATIMA, Portugal - Speaking at the famed shrine of Our Lady of Fatima on the 100th anniversary of the apparitions that took place here a century ago, featuring secrets and revelations from Mary, Pope Francis warned hundreds of thousands of faithful not to live a life that profanes God, because doing so leads to Hell.

“Our Lady foretold, and warned us about, a way of life that is godless and indeed profanes God in his creatures,” Francis said. “Such a life - frequently proposed and imposed - risks leading to Hell.”


It is good to hear this message from the Holy Father. Hell is real and to go there is the greatest danger.

The Blaze: No, Jesus didn’t ‘hang out’ with sinners

The Blaze: No, Jesus didn’t ‘hang out’ with sinners

by Matt Walsh


"Of course, “Jesus hung out with sinners” is a loaded statement. There’s always some erroneous insinuation or conclusion attached to it. “Jesus hung out with sinners, therefore [xyz].” Jesus hung out with sinners, therefore it’s OK for me to do whatever it is I’m doing right now. Jesus hung out with sinners, therefore I need not follow whatever commandment or moral teaching we’re currently discussing. Jesus hung out with sinners, therefore this sin that we’re discussing isn’t as bad as you suggest.

I’ve heard “Jesus hung out with sinners” as a sincere justification for going to strip clubs and gay bars. I’ve seen “Jesus hung out with sinners” trotted out during debates about pornography. Somehow “Jesus hung out with sinners” tends even to enter discussions of abortion. “Jesus hung out with sinners, therefore killing babies is alright.” Generally, whatever the application, the argument is always that Jesus “hung out with” such and such a sinner, which means He didn’t mind such and such a sin."


More no-nonsense staight-talking Evangelical thoughts from Matt Walsh.

Maiden, Mother and Queen, by Roger Greenacre



Roger Greenacre, edited by Colin Podmore, Maiden, Mother and Queen: Mary in the Anglican Tradition, 2013 Canterbury Press


This is an anthology of papers, sermons and addresses by the late Anglican theologian and clergyman, Roger Greenacre, plus a few extra bits. Roger Greenacre was an Anglo-Catholic who served as both a parish priest and chancellor of Chicester Cathedral, as well as maintaining a heavy involvement in promoting ecumenical relations between Anglicans and Roman Catholics.

The first part of this book provides a biography of Greenacre, as well as several tributes to his life. I found it a little frustrating reading these tributes as I knew nothing of the man prior to coming to the book. Perhaps I should have read the rest the book before returning to this first section. The second quarter of the book is a collection of sermons by Greenacre on the merits and glories of the Blessed Virgin Mary. These are very edifying. The next section is a collection of lectures and essays by Greeacre about the place of Mary in Anglican worship and devotion, which looks at the Caroline Divines, the Book of Common Prayer and the revival of Mariology in the Oxford Movement. I was aware of some of the Caroline Divines that Greenacre mentions on the subject of invocation of the saints from reading William Palmer's annotations on the Russian Orthodox catechism. There is some repetition of material between the material presented here, as might be expected in an anthology.

The final part of the book addresses the subject of the Mother of God in ecumenicism. I found myself frustrated by the way Greenacre quotes approvingly of theologians who caution against excess and exaggeration in Mariology. Being a Marian maximalist, I hold that if one is orthodox in doctrine, there can never ever be any excess or exaggeration in devotion to Mary. We venerate Mary because she is the mother of Christ. If our veneration of Mary is 'excessive,' its 'excess' is ultimately directed towards Christ. He also argues that the proclamation of Mary's Co-Redemptorship and Co-Mediation would be a disaster for ecumenical relations with Anglicans and other Protestants. I would suggest that ecumenical relations have become so poor that we would be past caring about so subtle a theological point.

This is for the most part a lovely book, showing the depth of devotion that can be found among some Anglicans. I do feel sad that a man such as Greenacre who was so Catholic in his Mariology and so close to Catholics on a personal level never made the step of joining the Catholic Church.

The Feast of Saint Matthias



O ALMIGHTY God, who into the place of the traitor Judas didst choose thy faithful servant Matthias to be of the number of the twelve Apostles; Grant that thy Church, being alway preserved from false Apostles, may be ordered and guided by faithful and true pastors; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


St. Matthias, pray for us and for all those who faithfully serve the Church without recognition.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Eastern Ukraine Situation Report 13th May



This is war. This is Europe. This is happening today.

Catholic Herald| Cardinal Nichols: Christians ‘will persist’ in being ‘awkward’ about sexual morality

Catholic Herald| Cardinal Nichols: Christians ‘will persist’ in being ‘awkward’ about sexual morality


Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the most senior Catholic cleric in England and Wales, has said the Church will continue to be “obstinate” about gay marriage and other questions of sexual morality.

Answering questions after a talk at St Ethelburga’s Centre, London, Cardinal Nichols was asked about the Church’s response to homophobia. The cardinal said that society had become more empathetic and compassionate towards gay people, and that he “rejoiced” in the change.

However, he went on to say that Catholics “still stand for” a definition of marriage as “between a man and a woman” which is open to new life.

Cardinal Nichols went on: “There has never been a time when Christian sexual morality has been totally accepted in any society.” But, he said, Christians would “persist” in being “awkward” on such matters.

The New York Times: "If Liberals Hate Him, Then Trump Must Be Doing Something Right"

The New York Times: "If Liberals Hate Him, Then Trump Must Be Doing Something Right"

by Charles J. Sykes

"Here is how it works: Rather than defend President Trump’s specific actions, his conservative champions change the subject to (1) the biased “fake news” media, (2) over-the-top liberals, (3) hypocrites on the left, (4) anyone else victimizing Mr. Trump or his supporters and (5) whataboutism, as in “What about Obama?” “What about Clinton?”

For the anti-anti-Trump pundit, whatever the allegation against Mr. Trump, whatever his blunders or foibles, the other side is always worse.

But the real heart of anti-anti-Trumpism is the delight in the frustration and anger of his opponents. Mr. Trump’s base is unlikely to hold him either to promises or tangible achievements, because conservative politics is now less about ideas or accomplishments than it is about making the right enemies cry out in anguish."

The Federalist: How Conversion Therapy Bans Will Trap Transgender Children

The Federalist: How Conversion Therapy Bans Will Trap Transgender Children

by Marcus Gregory

'Consider this scenario, based on real events: One day, your high-school-age daughter comes to you with a surprising announcement. She has a history of psychological problems and is unhappy with the pressures of being a young girl. She has spent a great deal of time online reading about transgender and is certain she must really be a transgender man: her gender identity is that of a man. She wants to go on testosterone and cut her breasts off.

After you talk it over with her, she agrees to find a therapist to see if she could be happy with herself without drastic treatment. However, a nationwide law bans any professional from offering care that doesn’t uphold her feeling she is transgender. Instead, your teen daughter takes hormones, which sterilize her healthy body, lower her voice, and change her bone structure, and goes to live as a man. Years later, her body irreversibly damaged, she changes her mind and bitterly regrets losing her fertility. “Why did they let me do this to myself as a child?”'

Friday, 12 May 2017

The Feast of Our Lady of Fatima



O God, who chose the Mother of your Son to be our Mother also, grant us that, persevering in penance and prayer for the salvation of the world, we may further more effectively each day the reign of Christ. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.


The Litany of Our Lady of Fatima

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for our dear country.
Our Lady of Fatima, sanctify our clergy.
Our Lady of Fatima, make our Catholics more fervent.
Our Lady of Fatima, guide and inspire those who govern us.
Our Lady of Fatima, cure the sick who confide in thee.
Our Lady of Fatima, console the sorrowful who trust in thee.
Our Lady of Fatima, help those who invoke your aid.
Our Lady of Fatima, deliver us from all dangers.
Our Lady of Fatima, help us to resist temptation.
Our Lady of Fatima, obtain for us all that we lovingly ask of thee.
Our Lady of Fatima, help those who are dear to us.
Our Lady of Fatima, bring back to the right road our erring brothers.
Our Lady of Fatima, give us back our ancient fervor.
Our Lady of Fatima, obtain for us pardon of our manifold sins and offenses.
Our Lady of Fatima, bring all men to the feet of thy Divine Child.
Our Lady of Fatima, obtain peace for the world.

O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Let Us Pray:
O God of infinite goodness and mercy, fill our hearts with a great confidence in Thy dear Mother, whom we invoke under the title of Our Lady of the Rosary and our Lady of Fatima, and grant us by her powerful intercession all the graces, spiritual and temporal, which we need.
Through Christ our Lord.
Amen.


Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us, for Portugal and for the conversion of Russia.

Howitzers in Austria

Cap X: Certain europhobes disgraced themselves during the French election

Cap X: Certain europhobes disgraced themselves during the French election

by Alex Massie


"A reminder, too, that some of the talk about a civilised, grown-up, respectful Brexit was only talk. For some, it is not enough that Britain succeed; the EU must fail. The days when Brexit was simply a common-sense reform of our constitutional arrangements are long gone, replaced by a desire to see the whole European house come tumbling down. That would, after all, be a sweet vindication of Britain’s decision to leave. Few things are more satisfying than vindication.

“Taking back control” is not enough; the euroweenies must appreciate that, to adapt 1066 And All That, Britain was right and romantic while the Europeans remain wrong and revolting. Macron’s victory, the Telegraph worried, might be bad news for Britain because he’d take a tougher line on Brexit. A measure of parochial self-interest is unavoidable in these affairs but there remained something unseemly about the relish with which so many Eurosceptics welcomed the possibility of an election result that would have been disastrous for the EU and, not incidentally, for France too.

At least the broadsheet columnists largely allowed that Le Pen, though she might be onto something, remained just a little bit infra dig. No such reticence was felt in wilder, less respectable organisations. Leave.EU and Ukip’s remaining true believers didn’t bother to hide their full-throated support for Le Pen. When the mask dropped, you realise there was a mighty good reason the mask was worn in the first place."


Great article. The barely concealed sympathy for Le Pen from Brexiteers was truly appalling.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

New Atlanticist: The West’s Future Depends on the Political Center

New Atlanticist: The West’s Future Depends on the Political Center

by Stanley R. Sloan


"NATO has served US and European interests well since it was founded sixty-eight years ago.

For Europe, it provided a security blanket under which European democracies could stabilize, while rebuilding their economies aided by the construction of a “community” system that became today’s EU. The Alliance served its primary purpose of deterring aggression by the Soviet Union while balancing Soviet power and helping maintain the peace.

Since the end of the Cold War, NATO has proven to be the most important instrument in dealing with threats to international stability—starting with the Balkan conflicts of the 1990s and continuing today with responses to the dual threats of Russian revisionism and terrorism fomented by the Islamic State and al Qaeda.

For the United States, the Alliance has ensured that no hostile power would control the European continent—a longstanding component of American grand strategy—and stimulated the emergence of a Europe that shares American values and has become an important trade and financial partner. Despite persistent European shortfalls in defense spending, the allies have generally supported the United States in responding to international security challenges, particularly coming to its aid following the 9/11 attacks—the only time that NATO’s collective defense provision has been invoked. The allies then sent tens of thousands of soldiers to support the US military effort in Afghanistan, while providing overall management of the military effort by leading the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

Today, while the transatlantic community faces serious external threats, it also has to deal with internal political challenges to the values on which “the West” is based. NATO and EU members must also deal with the factors that are giving rise to illiberal political tendencies that are eroding democratic institutions and processes, even after the defeat of Le Pen."

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Gurkha Snipers

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

The Feast of Saint Damien of Molokai

Father of mercy, who gave us in Saint Damien a shining witness of love for the poorest and most abandoned, grant that, by his intercession, as faithful witnesses of the heart of your Son Jesus, we too may be servants of the most needy and rejected. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Saint Damien of Molokai, pray for us and for Hawaii.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Washington Examiner: Why Macron's victory in the French presidential election is good for American conservatives

Washington Examiner: Why Macron's victory in the French presidential election is good for American conservatives

by Tom Rogan

"Consider national security. Unlike Le Pen, Macron is avowedly pro-American. He supports NATO and cooperation on issues of shared concern. This includes countering Iranian influence in the Middle East and the rise of Islamist terrorist organizations in Africa. But Macron is also more questioning, let us say, towards Vladimir Putin. This is also a good thing. As I've explained, there is nothing wrong with President Trump wanting good relations with Russia. But there is a lot wrong with believing that Putin wants to have good relations with the U.S. Macron's arrival offers the prospect on renewed economic pressure — and western unity — in challenging Putin to abandon Syrian President Bashar Assad, for example. Unless we see that pressure, Putin will keep pushing against U.S. interests around the world. "

Independent: Finland's universal basic income trial for unemployed reduces stress levels, says official

Independent: Finland's universal basic income trial for unemployed reduces stress levels, says official

Citizens receiving a basic monthly income as part of a radical Finnish pilot scheme have seen a reduction in their stress levels, an official leading the trial has said.

The first of its kind in Europe, the scheme sees 2,000 people receive 560 euros (£473) every month for two years. Recipients do not have to report whether they are seeking employment or how they are spending the money, which is deducted from any benefits they are already receiving.

Marjukka Turunen, head of KELA, the legal unit at Finland's social insurance agency, said as well as cutting bureaucracy, reducing costs and tackling poverty, the scheme was having an indirectly positive effect on people's mental health.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Well done, Monsieur Macron



As Father Anthony Chadwick says, I'm a smug little establishment conservative, so yeah, I'm pleased.

The French people have spoken. They have voted against fear, racism and bigotry. They have voted for Europe. They have voted for the European values of tolerance, respect and decency.

The Blaze: Dear Christians, there’s nothing ‘compassionate’ about helping people get to Hell

The Blaze: Dear Christians, there’s nothing ‘compassionate’ about helping people get to Hell

by Matt Walsh

First, the habitual and unrepentant sinner whose sin is being so politely and nicely tolerated. It may be true that this person will feel relieved to be encouraged in his wickedness and told that it’s really very good and natural for him to do whatever it is he wants to do. He may be grateful for such an assurance. For now. But the wickedness he partakes in still destroys him all the same. He is brought closer to eternal damnation all the same. And for us to facilitate this easy and casual descent into the fires of Hell is not compassionate. It’s rather like injecting morphine into a man’s hand so that he no longer feels pain when he places his palm on a hot stove. Not feeling pain is nice, but the problem is that the guy’s hand is still getting burnt to a crisp. Better that he feel the pain and save his hand. Better that the sinner feel the weight of his sin and save his soul.


Matt Walsh tells it like it is. Immorality is immorality and if we tell people otherwise, we are simply leading them towards everlasting torment in the fires of hell.

Borderland, by Anna Reid



Anna Reid, Borderland: A Journey through the History of Ukraine, Second edition 2015 Weidenfield and Nicolson, London


This book felt similar to Simon Winder's Germania and Danubia, which combined travel writing with historical exposition. Anna Reid tells the story of the history of Ukraine, while also giving a very vivid picture of what Ukraine looks and feels like. Where it differs from Winder's books is in the interviews she conducts with Ukrainians. Her focus is on modern Ukraine and the direction she has been going.

This is a second edition. The original edition was published in 1997 and some pretty significant events have happened since then. The updated edition includes chapters covering the Orange Revolution, Maidan, the Russian occupation of Crimea and the Russian backed insurgency in eastern Ukraine, as well as reflections on Ukrainian politics and the nation's future. Of opposition politician and former prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko, Reid says most Ukrainians think her incarceration put her in 'the right place for the wrong reasons.'

This is a very interesting book and was mostly very enjoyable to read, if at times a little depressing, as Reid focuses a lot on the tragedies that have sadly befallen Ukraine. It is somewhat biased in its negative portrayal of the country and might come across as having a rather condescending western tone of superiority. The impression she gives is of Ukraine being a morass of corruption and kleptocracy, ignoring the progress and reforms that have been achieved. While Reid does not seem to be a fan of Putin, some readers have detected something of a pro-Russian bias to the book. The title seems problematic, serving the narrative that Ukraine is not a legitimate nation, but a collision of frontiers. Is Ukraine a borderland? If she is, she is a very big one.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Eastern Ukraine Situation Report 6th May



This is war. This is Europe. This is happening today.

Iluminated Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary



2016 Caritas Publishing


I already have the modern Catholic Publishing Corps edition of the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin and the Bridgentine Daily Office of Mary. I also have the short set of hours of Mary in A Catholic Book of Hours. I bought this book because I fancied having a Little Office in more traditional language (my heart belongs to the King James Version). This book is indeed traditional in using the Douay-Rheims Bible, though strangely, some of the prayers are in contemporary English. I couldn't help concluding after using this, that the Douay-Rheims Psalms do not flow nearly as beautifully as the Coverdale Psalms in the Book of Common Prayer or in the King James Bible and feel somewhat awkward and cumbersome in language.

This edition of the Little Office tries to emulate the Medieval books of hours with their beautiful illuminations. It therefore contains illuminated pages with Medieval illustrations. The book is not nearly as decorated as a Medieval primer, but the illustrated pages are distracting enough. Call me a Puritan if you like, but I bought the book to say the prayers rather than to look at the pictures.

The office has the hours of matins, lauds, prime, terce, sext, none, vespers and compline. Each hours begins with a Hail Mary, which is a very worthy touch. Separate offices are provided for Advent and Christmas, while there are minor variations for Easter and Lent. The big limitation of this book is that, unlike the Catholic Publishing Corps edition, it has no daily variations, so one has the same set of Psalms and prayers every day.

This prayer book will appeal a lot to traditionalists who want an alternative to the Liturgy of the Hours, but personally I think one would miss out a lot if one used this exclusively for daily prayers. Still, any resources that foster increased devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary are to be welcomed.