The recent disgraceful treatment of St. Junipero Serra’s memory reminds me of the main character in George Orwell’s prescient classic 1984 who worked in the Ministry of Truth. His particular job in that ministry was the constant revision of history to fit the official party line at any particular moment. The past was to be constantly readjusted so that it would always jive with the present political narrative. Welcome to our current Orwellian sequel, 2020. Today’s version of the Ministry of Truth goes by various names: Black Studies, Women’s Studies, or Native American Studies. These “truth ministries” are now a part of every major university. There, history is constantly being rewritten to fit a narrow, “victim – oppressor” narrative. Classroom study is further supplemented by disruptive activism (or virtual lab sessions) which includes pulling down or defacing monuments to any supposed “oppressor” from the past.
Fr. Serra, the great Franciscan missionary who founded nine missions up and down coastal California during the late 18th century, has been vilified and had statues vandalized and toppled amidst accusations of genocide and racism leveled against him. But the facts do not bear such charges out. Nearly 5,000 Christian Indian converts lived in relative security on mission lands because Fr. Serra fought diligently to protect them, not only from tribal enemies but also from Spanish civil authorities and colonists who, too often, cheated and brutalized the natives. Serra’s first sin, according to the identity politics view of history, was being a white European male who brought his Catholic faith to the indigenous peoples of California. He is charged with Christianizing pagan Indians, and for that grevious misdeed he will not be forgiven by modern day academics harboring deep hostility towards Christianity. Continue reading
This being my 101st official post (hooray!), I feel entitled to offer a humorous riposte to those people who glare and ask me why I’m not wearing a mask. Answer: “Because I’m better looking than you are.” But the real fact is that many of us simply refuse to drink the Kool Aid being poured down the public’s throat by Big Media that masks are critical to protecting everybody’s health. Lately even Dr. Tony Fauci has admitted that the masks are “largely symbolic,” a remark that the same media outlets don’t seem overly interested in reporting.
Face masks have by now taken on the role of “virtue signalling” as those of us who shun them have quickly learned. On more than one occasion now some perfect stranger has glanced my way with obvious scorn to elicit the peevish inquiry, “why aren’t you wearing your mask?” I suppose it’s because I have nothing to hide ~ after all, isn’t that the more common purpose of a mask, to hide one’s identity? As for any hard scientific evidence that, outside of hospital settings, masks reduce the risk of infection ~ there simply isn’t any. Continue reading
We have now entered into Phase II of the great Covid-19 social experiment on how social isolating, er… “distancing” combined with government mandated unemployment for 30 plus million workers can drive the more unstable members of society to unleash their brute animal instincts (also known as rioting). Pavlov would have loved to witness this party. It only takes a few months of non-stop fear mongering and media induced hysteria to turn people into frustrated, pent up animals.
As we have now entered into the riot phase of the grand Faucian experiment you are no longer required to social distance so long as you are hurling rocks and insults at the police or setting cars and buildings on fire. Arson is such a great release from two months on non-stop daytime TV! But do wear your mask because masks will keep you safe ~ not from the virus stupid ~ safe from being recognized or photographed by CATV and police cameras. One other positive benefit of the mask is that it hides at least parts of some very ugly mugs from full public view. Those people carrying looted big screen TVs out of Target are not exactly super-model types. Continue reading
What constitutes a true National Emergency? Lately it seems that faulty computer models emanating out of the NIH are sufficient justification for turning our daily lives into paroxysms of reactionary fear worthy of Chicken Little. All this induced anxiety seems to be the new normal as Big Data imposes its iron will upon every aspect of our formerly peaceful lives. We’ve become so comfortable with “virtual realities” that we are now apparently well primed for “virtual catastrophes” such as the corona virus pandemic. But have the American people by and large made a “Faucian” deal with the devil, willingly trading away their most valued freedoms for some illusory “safe place” to hide out in the current crisis? I fear that for today’s Americans the distinction between risk management and crisis management has become hopelessly blurred so that the faintest amount of risk is now posed as a definitive crisis. I would call such a trade-off not a crisis of public health but of public sanity.
The media has played no small part in this unfolding hoax. What they initially presented to us as a serious public health threat has turned out to be an entirely different thing: a crisis of public sanity. I say that because after eight long weeks of endless data pouring in it should be obvious by now to any unbiased observer that this novel corona virus, engineered in a Chinese bio-weapons lab, is hardly any more virulent than any other common flu strain. And yet people are wandering about looking like zombies with half their faces missing (behind a mask). They are forbidden to go to work, stand close enough to chat, or eat their lunch in a public outdoor space. They cannot attend Church services or visit their local pub or flower boutique, though they can still purchase “essential items such as liquor and marijuana! Continue reading
The surreal atmosphere of the present “crisis of fear” which is being relentlessly exploited by the media and its political allies brings into sharp focus the courageous reply of St. Peter and the apostles before the Sanhedrin as recorded in chapters 4 and 5 of Acts of the Apostles. “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God you must judge… We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 4:19; 5:29) Christians now find themselves in a similar situation with the sudden closing of churches by secular authorities, thus preventing us from fulfilling the divinely mandated obligation to worship God as a community.
This is no small matter because one’s duty to God actually supercedes any civil duties. Christ clearly drew this distinction when he said, “render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” (Mt 22:21) Therefore, obedience to Caesar does not excuse one from the far greater obligation of obedience to God. St. Thomas More expressed this relationship concisely and beautifully on the scaffold only moments before his martyrdom. “I die the king’s good servant, but God’s first.” Continue reading
Many Christians today question whether the Catholic Church is actually Biblical. Such a question is highly paradoxical for the simple historical reason that the entire New Testament originated from within that very same church. Note that St. Paul wrote his early epistles well before all four gospel accounts were even composed. This means that when Paul refers to the authority of Scripture (as in Romans 15:4), he can only be referring to the Old Testament canon known as the Septuagint ─ not the Bible we know today, because the New Testament part of the Bible did not yet exist.
This fact raises an interesting point. During his entire life on earth, Jesus Christ never wrote a single line of Scripture. He certainly could have done so but he chose not to. Instead what he left us was an oral tradition in custody of the Church which he founded. It was the leaders of this same Church who would eventually compose the New Testament, and centuries later decide which of the countless texts then circulating among various Christian communities were divinely inspired ─ and which were not. This final canon of 27 books plus the Hebrew Scriptures containing 45 books were confirmed by Church authorities at the end of the fourth century, some 300 years after the death of the last apostle, John. This means that the authority of the Bible rests upon the authority of that apostolic Church founded by Jesus Christ who commissioned it to “go therefore and make disciples of all nations.” (Mt 28:19) Continue reading
A blessed Christmas and happy new year to you all. Another year rolls by and suddenly it’s 2020 ~ a year to restore our vision, one might hope. But vision seems to be an increasingly disfavored quality in today’s culture of anxiety, fear, and polarization as various factions compete to “fix the world” according to their own preconceived agendas. Yet caught up in that worldly frenzy we also stand to loose the very thing that God once set foot on this mortal coil to give his restless creatures: PEACE. Today one must work overtime to restore that vision of interior peace which, after all, is God’s vision as well.
Peace is, to a large extent, dependent upon our knowing who we are and the humble acceptance of our relative insignificance – not our imagined importance – in this broken world. After all we have very little time at our disposal in the great scheme of things, and how we use that limited time may well determine our ultimate state of happiness. This thought struck me forcefully as I was counting down the hours and minutes to midnight on December 31. Continue reading
Colorado Special Masters Report asserts clerical “Guilt by Association”
With the unqualified blessings of four Colorado bishops and following the same biased template laid out by the 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report, former U.S. attorney Robert Troyer on October 24 released the Special Masters Report (the Report) on clergy child sexual abuse in all three Colorado dioceses. I will here limit my observations to my own Archdiocese of Denver but those observations could well apply in principle to the two sufragen dioceses. The report spans a 70 year period from around 1949 to the present found 123 cases of abuse, including alleged abuses, in the archdiocese ─ a distinction clearly overlooked by the Report.
Clerical abuse is a reprehensible disorder which ought never to be tolerated. Nevertheless the current “Me Too” hysteria only seems to be muddying the waters. What we now increasingly see is a rash of unverified allegations from decades long past being blithely fobbed off as established facts. Just so, the evidentiary standards adopted in this Report appear to be rather slim ─ i.e., whether “from our investigation it is more likely than not that a child sex abuse incident occurred.” Who determines what is “likely” and what is not? This is a purely subjective standard which demands no substantial evidence of wrongdoing. Continue reading
For 500 years now the Eucharist has been a source of contention and doctrinal division among Christians. Yet it is entirely Scriptural. In fact Catholic Eucharistic Liturgy boasts of its deeply Jewish roots going back to the very first Passover. From its very institution at the Last Supper it has been understood as the New Passover which institutes a New Covenant just as the Mosaic Passover instituted the Old Covenant. By reviewing the Book of Exodus, we can see the close correlation between that first Passover and Christ’s later institution of the Eucharist.
Anticipating their departure from Egypt, Moses instructs the people, even before the actual Passover event, “You shall observe this as a perpetual ordinance for yourselves and your descendants. Thus you must observe this rite when you have entered into the lands which the Lord will give you as he promised.” (Ex. 12:24-25) Similarly, at the last supper Christ exhorts his disciples thus. “Do this,.. in memory of me. For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes,” (1Cor. 11:25-26) Does the first rite not anticipate the second? And what is it that both rites are actually commemorating? It is the imminent deliverance of God’s people, the first from slavery to the Egyptians, the second from that slavery to sin which is synonymous with bondage to Satan. Continue reading