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.

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.

Independent: Hate crimes almost doubled in schools during Brexit campaign period, figures reveal

Independent: Hate crimes almost doubled in schools during Brexit campaign period, figures reveal

Reports of hate crimes in schools almost doubled during the Brexit campaign, new figures have shown.

There was an 89 per cent rise in police reports of hate crime last May, the month before the referendum was held, compared to the same month the previous year, according to figures obtained by the Times Educational Supplement (TES) through Freedom of Information requests.

The statistics, based on responses from 30 of England's police forces, also show that in the three months surrounding the 23 June vote — May, June and July last year — reported hate crimes and incidents in schools increased by 54 per cent.

Friday, 5 May 2017

Some Friends of Mine

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Independent: Tory think tank rounds on May over pledge to cut net migration to below 100,000

Independent: Tory think tank rounds on May over pledge to cut net migration to below 100,000

A leading Conservative think tank has urged Theresa May to drop the Government’s target to reduce net migration when the party issues its general election manifesto.

Bright Blue, a group of modernisers who describe themselves as liberal conservatives, has attacked the goal of bringing net migration below 100,000 a year as “arbitrary, indiscriminate and unachievable".

The group’s advisory board includes Damian Green, the Work and Pensions Secretary and former immigration minister; George Freeman, who chairs Ms May’s No 10 policy board; and the former ministers Nicky Morgan, Maria Miller, Nick Boles and Lord (David) Willetts.

Happy Retirement to the Duke of Edinburgh

National Review: A Conservative Defense of Women’s Rights

National Review: A Conservative Defense of Women’s Rights

by Kaeley Triller

"The data consistently show that 99 percent of sexual crimes against females were committed by males. When the data change, then maybe we can have a discussion about whether or not anatomy matters. I won’t be holding my breath. In the meantime, it’s hard to overstate the significance of anatomy. Anatomy is why girls are trained to never to walk alone at night, to carry pepper spray, to use a buddy system. Like skin color, biological sex is not something one can peel off at the end of the day, or paint on with liquid eyeliner and fishnets. Anatomy is what puts women on the losing end of the power differential almost every single time.

And speaking of the power differential: Gender-identity politics carry deeply troubling implications for women’s sports. Is it really okay for Fallon Fox, a transwoman, to compete against females, hitting one of them so hard that it shattered her eye socket and ended her career? Is it okay for a biological male to claim the $500 first prize in a woman’s marathon? When do women ever win in this equation? Are there any women in the NFL? The NBA? MLB? Has anyone actually thought this through? Research from the Women’s Sports Foundation indicates that female athletes already receive 63,000 fewer opportunities at NCAA institutions than males do, and we receive $183 million less in NCAA athletic scholarships. We can’t afford to relinquish our coveted spots to men, nor should anyone ask us to."

Monday, 1 May 2017

Workers' Day

The Feast of Saint Athanasius

Almighty ever-living God, who raised up the Bishop Saint Athanasius as an outstanding champion of your Son's divinity, mercifully grant, that, rejoicing in his teaching and his protection, we may never cease to grow in knowledge and love of you. 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 Athanasius, pray for us, for all for theologians and for the Christians of Egypt.

The Athanasian Creed

WHOSOEVER would be saved / needeth before all things to hold fast the Catholic Faith.

2 Which Faith except a man keep whole and undefiled, / without doubt he will perish eternally.

3 Now the Catholic Faith is this, / that we worship one God in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity;

4 Neither confusing the Persons, / nor dividing the Substance.

5 For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, / another of the Holy Ghost;

6 But the Godhead of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost is all one, / the glory equal, the majesty co-eternal.

7 Such as the Father is, such is the Son, / and such is the Holy Ghost;

8 The Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, the Holy Ghost uncreated;

9 The Father infinite, the Son infinite, the Holy Ghost infinite;

10 The Father eternal, the Son eternal, the Holy Ghost eternal;

11 And yet there are not three eternals, but one eternal;

12 As also there are not three uncreated, nor three infinites, / but one infinite, and one uncreated.

13 So likewise the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, / the Holy Ghost almighty;

14 And yet there are not three almighties, but one almighty.

15 So the Father is God, the Son God, the Holy Ghost God;

16 And yet there are not three Gods, / but one God.

17 So the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, / the Holy Ghost Lord;

18 And yet there are not three Lords, / but one Lord.

19 For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity / to confess each Person by himself to be both God and Lord;

20 So are we forbidden by the Catholic Religion / to speak of three Gods or three Lords.

21 The Father is made of none, / nor created, nor begotten.

22 The Son is of the Father alone; / not made, nor created, but begotten.

23 The Holy Ghost is of the Father and the Son; / not made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.

24 There is therefore one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; / one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts.

25 And in this Trinity there is no before or after, / no greater or less;

26 But all three Persons are co-eternal together, / and co-equal.

27 So that in all ways, as is aforesaid, / both the Trinity is to be worshipped in Unity, and the Unity in Trinity.

28 He therefore that would be saved, / let him thus think of the Trinity.

29 FURTHERMORE, it is necessary to eternal salvation, / that he also believe faithfully the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.

30 Now the right Faith is that we believe and confess / that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is both God and Man.

31 He is God, of the Substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; / and he is Man, of the Substance of his Mother, born in the world;

32 Perfect God; / perfect Man, of reasoning soul and human flesh subsisting;

33 Equal to the Father as touching his Godhead;/ less than the Father as touching his Manhood.

34 Who although he be God and Man, / yet he is not two, but is one Christ;

35 One, however, not by conversion of Godhead into flesh, / but by taking of Manhood into God;

36 One altogether; / not by confusion of Substance, but by unity of Person.

37 For as reasoning soul and flesh is one man, so God and Man is one Christ;

38 Who suffered for our salvation, / descended into hell, rose again from the dead;

39 Ascended into heaven, sat down at the right hand of the Father, / from whence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

40 At whose coming all men must rise again with their bodies, / and shall give account for their own deeds.

41 And they that have done good will go into life eternal; / they that have done evil into eternal fire.

42 THIS is the Catholic Faith, / which except a man do faithfully and stedfastly believe, he cannot be saved.

GLORY be to the Father, and to the Son, / and to the Holy Ghost;

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, / world without end. Amen.

A Hymn to Terrify the Protestants

1. Bring flowers of the fairest
Bring flowers the rarest,
From garden and woodland and hillside and dale;
Our full hearts are swelling,
Our glad voices telling
The praise of the loveliest flower of the vale!

Refrain: O Mary, we crown thee with blossoms today!
Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May.
O Mary, we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May.

2. Our voices ascending, in harmony blending,
Oh! thus may our hearts turn, dear Mother, to thee;
Oh! thus shall we prove thee
how truly we love thee,
How dark without Mary, life's journey would be. Refrain

3. O Virgin most tender,
our homage we render,
Thy love and protection, sweet Mother, to win;
In danger defend us,
in sorrow befriend us,
As pure as the lilies we lay at your feet.Refrain

4.Their lady they name thee,
Their mistress proclaim thee,
Ah, grant that thy children on earth be as true
as long as the bowers
are radiant with flowers,
as long as the azure shall keep its bright hue. Refrain

5.Sing gaily in chorus;
the bright angels o'er us
re-echo the strains we begin upon earth;
their harps are repeating
the notes of our greeting,
for Mary herself is the cause of our mirth Refrain

This has become my favorite Catholic hymn. It's in part a counter-reaction to my hostility as a fundamentalist Protestant to Mariology. This would probably have horrified me years ago. A song about crowning the statue of Mary with flowers in May, like a pagan goddess of Spring. I'm going to try and sing it every day this May.

I argued not that long ago, that in a sense, Mary is Mother Earth. The Earth was created for Christ, to bring life to Him that He might indwell the cosmos. Likewise, Mary was created to bring life to Christ, to bring Him into the world.

M1A2 Abrams

The Feast of Saint Tamara

Let the mountain-tops and vales of Georgia sound with songs of praise to laud Tamara as the vessel of wisdom, the smiling sun, the sword of truth, the conversion of infidels, the most harmonious reed-pipe of Jesus Christ, and our fervent intercessor before the King of Kings, entreating Him to grant great mercy unto us.

O Thou whom thy people called a king in justice and truth, the father of orphans and the judge of widows, thou sun which shone on the Georgian land, thou who spentest all thy strength defending thy kingdom, rise up, O Tamara, and defend us now also, and by thine intercessions with Christ, save us from sufferings.

Saint Tamara, pray for us and for Georgia.

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Eastern Ukraine Situation Report 30th April

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

Alvin Plantinga wins Templeton Prize

Crux: Scholar who revitalized Christian philosophy wins Templeton prize

PHILADELPHIA - Philosopher Alvin Plantinga has won the prestigious Templeton Award for once again making belief in God “a serious option within academic philosophy,” the Templeton Foundation has said.

“The field of philosophy has transformed over the course of my career,” Plantinga said in response to the honor. “If my work played a role in this transformation, I would be very pleased.

“I hope the news of the Prize will encourage young philosophers, especially those who bring Christian and theistic perspectives to bear on their work, towards greater creativity, integrity, and boldness,” he said April 25.

The Pennsylvania-based John Templeton Foundation awards the prize to a living individual who has made “an exceptional contribution to affirming life’s spiritual dimension, whether through insight, discovery or practical works.”

“Alvin Plantinga recognized that not only did religious belief not conflict with serious philosophical work, but that it could make crucial contributions to addressing perennial problems in philosophy,” said the foundation’s president Heather Templeton Dill.

I've read God, Freedom and Evil and Warranted Christian Belief. I've known of his works since I was a sixth frm student. I think Plantinga has made some very helpful contributions.

Headcoverings, by Jeremy Gardiner

It has been my conviction since I was at college that according to 1 Corinthians 11, a Christian woman should wear a fabric headcovering in worship, if not every day. This seems to me a very certain conclusion of what St. Paul was instructing in 1 Corinthians 11. Yet I spent most of my life attending evangelical churches in which no women cover their heads. Now I attend Catholic churches in which no women cover, apart from perhaps a few African ladies. It is disturbing how a straight forward command in Scripture has become so neglected.

Thankfully, on the Evangelical side of the fence, Jeremy Gardiner has made a valiant proclamation of the truth of Christian headcovering both through The Headcovering Movement and in this book. As can be expected from an Evangelical, Gardiner makes his case primarily from Scripture. However, early in the book, he demonstrates through an extensive set of quotations, that women's fabric headcovering had been the universal practice of Christians until the Twentieth century. His exegesis is likewise simply communicated, but very effective, demonstrating that headcovering is rooted not in contemporary customs, but in the creation order. He demolishes the absurd 'long hair is the covering view' and the common notion that the 1 Corinthians 11 has something to do with prostitution (advocates of this idea can never agree on exactly what). He acknowledges that verse 10 i obscure, with its reference to angels, however, he argues that the passage as a whole is not difficult or obscure, but very plain in it's meanings and implications. In the later chapters, he offers some practical advice about what styles of covering are appropriate, when women should cover and at what age girls should start covering. He encourages women not to be fearful of what others might think, but to take the courage to wear an headcovering, even if they are the only lady in the congregation doing so.

Gardiner argues that 1 Corinthians 11 clearly implies that men should not wear their hair long, on the basis of verses 14-15. I am not completely convinced. When I came to the view that the women's headcovering (and the man's lack of headcovering) in 1 Corinthians 11 was mandatory, it was not long before I had my very long hair cut short. I was not convinced that long hair on men was forbidden, but it seemed more appropriate given my new convictions. There is enough doubt for me not to encourage men to wear their hair long, but I am not so sure about it being an absolute rule. What does Gardiner make of the Nazarites in the Old Testament. St. Paul himself had taken a Nazarite vow for a time, according to Acts and St. John the Baptist was probably a Nazarite. Surely long hair was not a disgrace for Nazarites. Gardiner might say they were exceptions, but that surely only proves there is a certain amount of relativism here. Is Paul's argument aesthetic rather than moral? Gardiner points out that the word 'disgrace' is used for immoral sexual lusts in Romans 1:26. However, a word can be used differently in different contexts. I am sure even he does not see a moral equivalency between sexual immorality and hairlength. We might ask if he is prepared to condemn women who wear their hair short, which might be a losing battle. Even in many churches that frown on long-haired men, there are lots of women with pretty short hair. I have worn my hair short since I was 21, so I am prepared to be wrong on that issue. Our blogging friend, Fr Anthony Chadwick, would no doubt disagree rather more strongly.

What about Catholics? There are thankfully some traditionalist Catholics who wear a mantilla at mass, but sadly this is all too rare. The current code of canon law does not require the woman's headcovering. This means that it cannot be a great sin for a woman not to cover. However, I would suggest that if a woman has read 1 Corinthians 11 and understands why she should cover and also understands the uniformity of Christian tradition in demanding headcovering, it would be a sin for her not to cover.

The Month of May

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Catholic Herald: New law to protect the homeless is a ‘major victory’, says Catholic charity

Catholic Herald: New law to protect the homeless is a ‘major victory’, says Catholic charity

"New legislation to help the homeless in England and Wales has been welcomed as “a major victory” by a Catholic homelessness charity.

The Homelessness Reduction Act was granted Royal Assent yesterday. It requires local authorities to provide advice to all those seeking housing help, rather than only those assessed as a priority, and imposes on councils a new prevention duty towards those at risk of becoming homeless within 56 days.

Linda Maytum-Wilson, acting chief executive of Caritas Anchor House, said: “I am delighted to see that the Bill has been passed. It is the most significant reform to homelessness legislation in England for 40 years and its passage means that those experiencing or at risk of homelessness will finally receive the support they need."

ConservativeHome: Carswell. Energetic, honest – and with no idea of how the world actually works

ConservativeHome: Carswell. Energetic, honest – and with no idea of how the world actually works

by Andrew Gimson

"He never gets to grips with the perennial question of how democracy is to be saved from degenerating into mob rule. The answer lies in the defence and adaptation of traditional institutions, including traditional political parties,so that no one part of the oligarchy can dominate and tyrannise the others. But that is a conservative answer, and Carswell is determined to be a rebel."


Independent: Front National leader replacing Marine Le Pen quits days after nomination over Nazi gas chamber row

Independent: Front National leader replacing Marine Le Pen quits days after nomination over Nazi gas chamber row

The man appointed to replace Marine Le Pen as leader of the far-right Front National party has quit the job after just three days over accusations he denied the existence of gas chambers in the Second World War.

Ms Le Pen stepped down temporarily as chairwoman of her party on Monday night, claiming it would allow her to represent better the interests of "all French people" in the presidential race.

But Jean-Francois Jalkh, the party's vice president and an MEP who was named interim leader at least until the end of the campaign, has decided to turn down the role, Ms Le Pen's partner and spokesman Louis Aliot told French radio station RMC on Friday.

The U-turn comes after an interview dating back to April 2000 resurfaced, in which Mr Jalkh allegedly made comments denying the use of Zyklon B gas in Nazi gas chambers, Le Monde reports.

The Daily Signal: Groups Urge Carson to Spike Gender Identity Rule for HUD Shelters

The Daily Signal: Groups Urge Carson to Spike Gender Identity Rule for HUD Shelters

Citing safety for women, 40 leaders of groups across the country have signed a letter asking Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson to rescind and revise a gender identity rule adopted by the Obama administration for government shelters.

The rule, published in September 2016, allows all individuals to use HUD men’s and women’s shelters based on their gender identity, regardless of whether they were born male or female.

“Dear Mr. Secretary,” the letter to Carson reads, “We write to urge you to … protect the safety and privacy of women in need of shelter due to homelessness or violence.”

Friday, 28 April 2017

The Feast of Saint Catherine of Sienna

O God, who set Saint Catherine of Siena on fire with divine love in her contemplation of the Lord's Passion and her service or your Church, grant, through her intercession, that your people, participating in the mystery of Christ, may ever exult in the revelation of his glory. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, on God, for ever and ever.

O great St. Catherine of Siena, glory of the Dominican Order, who served the sick and suffering in time of plague and brought back the exiled popes from Avignon to Rome, pray for us that we may have some measure of your courage and self sacrifice. Amen

Blessed be the name of God!

Litany of Saint Catherine of Sienna

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, our mother,
pray for us.
St. Dominic, glorious Patriarch, etc.
St. Catherine of Siena,
St. Catherine benevolent mother of the poor,
St. Catherine, kind mother of the suffering,
St. Catherine, merciful mother of the sick,
St. Catherine, refuge of the sorrowful,
St. Catherine, intercessor for sinners,
St. Catherine, rose pf patience,
St. Catherine, model of humility,
St. Catherine, lily of chastity,
St. Catherine, vessel of graces,
St. Catherine, zealous promoter of the honor of God,
St. Catherine, luster of holiness,
St. Catherine, example of mildness,
St. Catherine, glory of the Order of Preachers,
St. Catherine, fruitful mother of spiritual children,
St. Catherine, promoter of peace,
St. Catherine, terror of the evil spirits,
St. Catherine, follower of Jesus,
St. Catherine, who didst give the blossoms of thy innocent youth
to the service of thy Heavenly Spouse,
St. Catherine, who didst lead an angelic life in human flesh,
St. Catherine, who didst tear thy virginal flesh with scourges,
St. Catherine, whom Jesus, Himself, did feed with His Body and Blood,
St. Catherine, who didst exchange thy heart with the Heart of Jesus,
St. Catherine, who was blest with His Holy Wounds,
St. Catherine, who was taken to Heaven to the celestial nuptials,
St. Catherine, who didst receive a hundredfold, reward for all thy labors and merits,

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.

Pray for us, O glorious Virgin, St. Catherine
that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us Pray.
O God, who didst enable Blessed Catherine, graced with the special privilege of virginity,
and patience, to overcome the assault of evil spirits, and to stand unshaken in the love of
Thy Name, grant we beseech Thee, that after her example treading under foot the wickedness
of the world, and overcoming the wiles of all enemies, we may safely pass onward to Thy glory.
Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Saint Catherine of Sienna, pray for us, for Italy, for all Dominicans and for Pope Francis.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

The Feast of Saint Louis De Montfort

O God, who willed to direct the steps of the Priest Saint Louis along the way of salvation and of the love of Christ, in the company of the Blessed Virgin, grant us, by his example, that, meditating on the mysteries of your love, we may strive tirelessly for the building up of 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.

A Litany to St. Louis De Montfort

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.

Hail Mary
pray for us!
Saint Louis-Marie de Montfort
pray for us!
Ardent disciple of Jesus Christ the Incarnate Wisdom,
pray for us!
Eloquent preacher of the Cross,
pray for us!
Singer of the praises of the Sacred Heart,
pray for us!
Loving slave of Jesus in Mary,
pray for us!
Faithful son of the handmaid of the Lord,
pray for us!
Apostle of the Most Holy Rosary,
pray for us!
Preacher of the Mother of the Redeemer,
pray for us!
Servant of the poor and the afflicted,
pray for us!
Man of solitude and prayer,
pray for us!
Wonder of mortification,
pray for us!
Model of priests and missionaries,
pray for us!
Fervent minister of the Holy Eucharist,
pray for us!
Fearless champion of truth,
pray for us!
Restorer of devotion to the Blessed Sacrament,
pray for us!
Marvel of poverty and abandonment to Divine Providence,
pray for us!
Teacher of the people of God,
pray for us!
Founder of Religious congregations,
pray for us!
Apostle of the end times,
pray for us!
Obedient collaborator with the Pope and Bishops,
pray for us!

Thou seest the Face of God:
obtain for us perseverance in the faith.
Thou shinest within Infinite Charity:
obtain for us the gift of pure love.
Thou livest in the New Jerusalem:
obtain for us the spirit of prayer.
Thou standst before the throne of the Lamb:
obtain for us the wisdom of the Cross.
Thou contemplate the Mother of the Lord:
obtain for us true devotion to Mary.
Thou dwellst with the Apostles of Christ:
obtain for us missionary zeal.
Thou sharest in the communion of Saints:
obtain for us love for the Church.
Thou art seated at the Table of the Kingdom:
obtain for us the crown of glory.
Thou art a powerful intercessor before the Throne of God:
hear our prayers.

(Here make your intentions in silence).

Let us pray.

O God, Who in the power of the Holy Spirit hast made Saint Louis-Marie an ardent apostle of Christ Crucified and a faithful son of the Virgin Mary; Grant that through his example and intercession we may be renewed in the spirit of our baptism and be always faithful to Our Lord Jesus Christ, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Spirit. One God, forever and ever. Amen.

Saint Louis De Montfort, pray for us, that we may be more devoted to the Blessed Virgin.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Summer Shield

Father Ed's Blog: Christians need not apply

Father Ed's Blog: Christians need not apply

"This week the ugly face of modern British bigotry was exposed. And again the intolerance came, not from Christian quarters as we are led to believe, but was aimed squarely at them. How the media gunned for Tim Farron over his personal views on sex. He was hounded aggressively until cornered then given a clear ultimatum: publicly endorse the moral values of the sexual revolution/gay lobby or face the consequences and be damned.

The witch hunt was the more alarming given that Farron’s voting record proves he is no threat to LGBT causes. This was not about his being problematic but a test of his orthodoxy; when push came to shove would he side with the teaching of the faith, that sex has a procreative purpose and belongs in marriage, or concede to the secular consensus that sex is for gratification with no questions asked? The message is crystal clear; a luke warm faith that bends to secular will is, just about, acceptable but a strong Christian faith is now anathema and will not be tolerated."

It's a bit surreal that it's the leader of the Liberal Democrats who has been the victim of a LGBT witch hunt. What saddens me is that many Tories have joined with the LGBT thought police in using the issue to attack Farron. Conservatives ought to be respectful of religious convictions.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

CapX: Don’t bet on a Tory landslide quite yet

CapX: Don’t bet on a Tory landslide quite yet

by George Trefgarne

"There are, in my view, five reasons to be cautious about a total rout.

The first is the localised nature of our Parliamentary system. It is all very well citing the Tories’ 25 per cent poll lead, but the ultimate result will depend on where those votes are. Many of them will be piled up, somewhat uselessly, in existing Tory safe seats or in ultra-safe Labour or SNP ones.

By contrast, there are many seats, especially in the West country, in university and spa towns, which were held by the Lib Dems only two years ago and might not be so safe. The polls suggest that a Lib Dem recovery is underway, membership is rocketing, and a leaked memo from the Tory guru Lynton Crosby only three weeks ago suggested the Lib Dems could take 27 seats from the Conservatives.

In addition to which, the use of new technology, such as social media, hyper-localised digital advertising, targeted polling and individually customised mail shots actually mean local factors are more important in General Elections than they used to be. Just look at the rise and fall of figures such as Zac Goldsmith and Douglas Carswell, both of whom relied heavily on social media in their campaigns."

The Secret Barrister: UKIP’s “Integration Agenda” is a masterclass in legal ignorance and shameless racism

The Secret Barrister: UKIP’s “Integration Agenda” is a masterclass in legal ignorance and shameless racism

"By “face covering”, UKIP plainly intends to target the “niqab” (or, as Kippers inaccurately often refer to it, the burkha), in an emulation of the ban enacted in France in 2010. The problem with such laws, as France has discovered, is that in order to maintain the façade that this is not an attack on a particular group of people, rather a general principle, you have to ban all face coverings. Which means prima facie outlawing balaclavas, motorcycle helmets, Halloween masks, gimp suits, zentais (those all-in-one spandex body suits beloved of stag parties abroad) and football mascots, and then working backwards to create exemptions to avoid the law being utterly unworkable. UKIP has today spent significant effort responding to questions as to whether large, face-obscuring hats as worn on Ladies Day will be criminalised, and whether the ban would include beekeepers. Whatever your position on the liberal principles at play, the practical flaws with such laws are obvious."

New Atlanticist: Making the Case for Multilateralism

New Atlanticist: Making the Case for Multilateralism

World leaders must reaffirm the importance of a cooperative international system and the tangible benefits to all stakeholders, Werner Hoyer, president of the European Investment Bank (EIB), said at the Atlantic Council on April 21.

While the surge of populism throughout Europe—in response to terrorism and economic stagnation—means that “renationalization is visible,” particularly in France during an election year, Hoyer insisted that when “the cooperative approach and the multilateral approach is being put into question in an irresponsible way… it is important to explain again the values of international cooperation.”

The Guardian| The doom-mongers got it wrong: the centre is holding in Europe

The Guardian| The doom-mongers got it wrong: the centre is holding in Europe

by Joris Luyendijk

"How many more European elections before Brits and Americans stop projecting Brexit and Trump on to Europe? Ever since British voters stunned the country, the world and – probably – themselves by voting to leave the EU, the British press has all but reduced politics in Europe to the “who’s next?” question. After Donald Trump’s election those parts of the American media still interested in the EU joined the fray: surely if America and Britain can bring populists to power, this must now be a trend that the rest of the west will follow?

But then Europeans started to vote. First Austria chose a Green president over a nationalist one. Then the populist PVV party of Geert Wilders received a paltry 15% of the vote in the Dutch general elections. And now the unapologetically Europhile Emmanuel Macron has come out on top in the first round of the French elections, setting him on course for victory against Marine Le Pen next month. The next European elections are in Germany, where all traditional parties are solidly pro-EU. The new Eurosceptic party Alternative für Deutschland is mired in divisions, infighting and confusion."

Monday, 24 April 2017

The Feast of Saint Mark

O ALMIGHTY God, who hast instructed thy holy Church with the heavenly
doctrine of thy Evangelist Saint Mark; Give us grace that. being not like
children carried away with every blast of vain doctrine, we may be established
in the truth of thy holy Gospel; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Saint Mark, pray for us, for the city of Venice and for the Christians of Egypt.


Sunday, 23 April 2017

The Feast of Saint George

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who didst strengthen thy blessed martyr George with the virtue of constancy in faith and truth: Grant us in like manner for love of thee to despise the prosperity of this world, and to fear none of its adversities; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Saint George, pray for us, for England, for Georgia and for all soldiers.

Eastern Ukraine Situation Report 23rd September

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

National Review: Trump’s ‘Buy American, Hire American’ Policy Is Dangerous Nonsense

National Review: Trump’s ‘Buy American, Hire American’ Policy Is Dangerous Nonsense

by David Harsanyi

"Moreover, it seems telling that many of those who are concerned about illegal immigration also seem intent on lowering numbers of legal and potentially high-achieving immigrants from entering the country. The underlying message is that there is a cultural problem, not merely an economic one. “When two-thirds or three-quarters of the CEOs in Silicon Valley are from South Asia or from Asia, I think . . . ,” White House chief strategist Steve Bannon said not long ago in a jumbled explanation of economic nationalism, “a country is more than an economy. We’re a civic society.”

The second part of the order cuts down on waivers and exemptions to President Herbert Hoover’s Buy American law. It instructs agencies to use American-made goods and services rather than saving taxpayer dollars or searching out the best deals they can. This is how we incentivize rent-seeking and cronyism. Until a couple of months ago, this is what Republicans used to call “picking winners and losers.” If you thought General Motors shouldn’t be bailed out because it couldn’t compete in a global marketplace, why would you support a state-impelled “Buy American, Hire American” when it comes to steel, for example?"

Campaigning in Stevenage Town Centre

Yours truly in the middle wearing a bomber jacket.

I was campaigning yesterday with Stevenage Conservatives and Stephen McPartland MP. I've criticised Theresa May and Brexit an awful lot, but I'm too dyed in the wool Tory not to campaign. Strangely, I become a really enthusiastic Tory as soon as I get out and start campaigning.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Baltic Fire Support

Returning to Reality, by Paul Tyson

Paul Tyson, Returning to Reality: Christian Platonism for our Times, 2015 The Lutterworth Press, Cambridge

Paul Tyson makes a case for a revival of Christian Platonism. I think I agree with Tyson that a Christianized form of Platonism is a good thing, though in a number of ways, I found this a frustrating book. I think it would have been helpful for readers for Tyson to have made some more direct comparison between Christian Platonism and other forms of Christian metaphysics, such as Thomism. Tyson spends a good deal of the book critiquing modernity. That is a worthy task, but well read Christians are likely to have read a number of books attacking both modernity and postmodernity, so it felt somewhat tedious.

Tyson makes reference a view times to John Milbank, but otherwise he does not make any mention of Radical Orthodoxy. This is somewhat disingenuous, as it is very clear that Tyson has been influenced by the Radical Orthodoxy school of theology. This is seen most clearly in his identification of Blessed Duns Scotus as the originator of modern thought with his advocacy of the univocity of being. Personally, I am not convinced of the univocity of being, but I am very uncomfortable with the way Radical Orthodoxy has turned Blesed Duns Scotus into a theological Darth Vader. Scotus made many wonderful contributions to theology. Might one not alternatively blame St. Thomas Aquinas' empiricism (and Tyson does hint at this as a root cause later in the book). Tyson does acknowledge that some scholars have questioned the approach he takes to Scotus, but it might have been better if he had avoided that whole avenue of controversial historiography.

What was most frustrating was the way our author connects adopting Christian Platonism with a left-wing anti-capitalist stance. I find it puzzling that he makes the connection between Christian Platonism and radical politics, as the Patristic Fathers did not share his politicized approach to the faith. Many of the anti-Nicene Fathers were positive in their views of the Roman empire and had no interest in political change. The post-Nicene Fathers were even more accepting of the Christianized empire.

I think Tyson is mostly on the right lines, but this book could have been better.

Ukraine Crisis: More than 90% of citizens consider themselves ethnic Ukrainians – survey results

Ukraine Crisis: More than 90% of citizens consider themselves ethnic Ukrainians – survey results

92% of citizens of Ukraine consider themselves ethnic Ukrainians, according to the Razumkov Center survey. 6% of the respondents consider themselves ethnic Russians, 1.5% account for other ethnic groups. It has been the highest recorded rate concerning Ukrainian self-determination since Ukraine gained independence. Russian annexation of Crimea and aggression in Donbas accelerated the self- identification process, say sociologists.

According to 2001 census, 78.8% citizens called themselves Ukrainian, in 2015 (according to Razumkov Center) it was 86%, and today it is 92%. According to the survey, the percentage of those who consider themselves Ukrainian is higher among the youngest audience – from 18 to 22 years old (96.2%). Among those over 60 it is less than 90%.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

The Feast of Saint Anselm

O GOD, who hast enlightened thy Church by the teaching of thy servant Anselm: Enrich us evermore, we beseech thee, with thy heavenly grace, and raise up faithful witnesses who by their life and doctrine will set forth the truth of thy salvation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Saint Anselm pray for us, and for England.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Bloomberg: May's Latest Brexit Gambit Is Clever But Not Smart

Bloomberg: May's Latest Brexit Gambit Is Clever But Not Smart

by Therese Raphael

"Third, there is something troubling about the way May framed her decision in a Tuesday speech -- something that sounds too close to an attempt to stifle debate.

In defending her decision, the prime minister pointed a finger at the opposition parties (and by extension, those in her own party who are dragging their feet on Brexit). She said division jeopardized the chances of getting a good Brexit deal and accused her detractors, as she has in the past, of playing political games.

In fact, the entire case for new elections was couched in terms reminiscent of the way Winston Churchill rallied the country for a war of survival.

"There should be unity here in Westminster," May said. "Instead there is division. The country should be coming together, but Westminster is not." The upshot: Those who aren't with me are against me, and those who are against me are against the country.

Brexit is historic and complicated and consequential. But it isn't an existential battle against an external foe. It isn't disloyal to question the government's strategy or oppose it. The furniture in the House of Commons is arranged in two facing rows precisely because debate and challenge are central to democracy."

I'm really conflicted by this election. If I'm asked to help campaign with the local Conservatives I will, but it will be with a sense of weariness.

Helicopter Exercises

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

The Daily Signal: Dignity and Fairness Matter for Every Child in the Locker Room

The Daily Signal: Dignity and Fairness Matter for Every Child in the Locker Room

by Kelly Fiedorek

"But substantially missing from this national conversation are the indispensable voices of the vast majority of children, and particularly girls. Ignoring their voices results in a failure to advance true equality and justice and violates children’s fundamental rights. Indeed, not one child’s privacy should be compromised.

And yet, young girls across the country—including in Illinois and Ohio, as just two examples—have been subjected to anxiety and humiliation when their school administrators secretly decided to open the schools’ locker rooms, restrooms, or showers to the opposite sex.

In Texas, 10-year-old Shiloh Satterfield recently described to the state’s Senate Judiciary Committee how uncomfortable and anxious she feels now that her school has changed its policies to let boys into the school’s intimate facilities."

Monday, 17 April 2017

The Blaze: Christian parents, your kids aren’t equipped to be public school missionaries

The Blaze: Christian parents, your kids aren’t equipped to be public school missionaries

by Matt Walsh

Fifth, related to the last point, your child is not ready to be a missionary. He cannot be a “witness” to others until he himself has been properly formed in the faith. It’s no surprise that most of the young “missionaries” we commission and send forth to minister to the lost souls in public schools quickly become one of the lost souls. We don’t need to sit around theorizing about whether the missionary approach to education is wise or effective. We already know that it isn’t. The vast majority of the parents who think their kids are being “salt and light” to their peers in school are simply oblivious to the fact that their little Bible warriors have long since defected and joined the heathens. You can hardly blame the kids for this. They’re just kids, after all. They aren’t warriors. Warriors are trained and disciplined. Children are neither of those things. I imagine this is why St. Paul didn’t travel to Athens and Corinth recruiting toddlers to help him carry the Gospel into pagan lands.

Education is supposed to prepare a child to carry the torch of truth. That is, he’s supposed to be ready to carry it once his education has been completed. This should not be a “throw them into the deep end to see if they can swim” strategy. They can’t swim. You and I can barely swim, morally and spiritually speaking, and we’re adults. Do you expect your child to be more spiritually mature and morally courageous than you?

I have always said the same thing. The idea that Christian children can evangelize their peers in secular schools is one of the worst myths in Evangelicalism. I am so glad my parents sent me to an independent Evangelical school which grounded me in the absolute truth of the Bible.

Secular education poisons children.