Thursday, December 17, 2015


I continue to be disturbed at the coloring book Catholicism of so many of our adult Catholics and the Protestantizing of our Catholic theology by them, much of which is actually herectical.

Neo-conservatives, neo-traditionalists take Pope Francis to task over His Holiness concern for the environment. But His Holiness' concern for the environment is very Catholic and linked to God, first and foremost, His supreme ability to sustain what He creates physically and spiritual (grace, by the way) and our acknowledgement that we are not God only God is. You can't get any more Catholic than that! We are not gnostics or dualists, separating the physical from the spiritual as so many Protestants more distant from Luther and Calvin are. Gnosticism and Dualism are both heresies declared so by the Supreme authority of the Church in the second century.

This is what Pope Francis said today:

Pope Francis’ address to four new Ambassadors

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Thursday said today’s globalization of indifference is rooted in a distorted or unbalanced humanism in which “man has taken the place of God and therefore has become in turn a victim of various forms of idolatry.” At the same time, he pointed to a positive development, saying we are witnessing from those with more mature consciences a growing “non-violent reaction” to the wars and terrorism that have marked this year. The Pope’s remarks came in an address to the Ambassadors from India, Latvia, Guinea and Bahrain to the Holy See who were presenting their Letters of Credence.

In his discourse, Pope Francis urged the Ambassadors to work together to promote a culture of solidarity in our world that can help counteract the globalization of indifference which, he said, is unfortunately “one of the negative trends of our times”. Whilst recognizing that this attitude of indifference can take many different forms and there are many causes that help to feed it, Pope Francis said its roots can be found in today’s “distorted humanism in which man has taken the place of God.”  As a result of this, he added, “mankind has become in turn a victim of various forms of idolatry.”

He went on to say that “indifference towards God, towards our neighbor and towards the environment is inter-linked” and each helps to feed the other.  Saying this indifference can only be counteracted with a response that tackles all three elements, the Pope called for “a renewed humanism that reinstates human beings in their correct relationship with the Creator, with others and with creation.”

In order to achieve this aim, said Pope Francis, we need to promote a culture of solidarity and sharing and this requires the active involvement of political, social, cultural and educational leaders, as well as the mass media that nowadays exert a strong influence on personal and social attitudes.

Noting that 2015 unfortunately has been marked by a growing number of violent conflicts and terrorist attacks, Pope Francis said there was some good news as this situation was triggering “a growing non-violent reaction” that is spiritual and moral among those with more mature consciences.

He said the Catholic Church through its Jubilee of Mercy wishes to encourage this process by spreading throughout the world the spirit of forgiveness and reconciliation.


TJM said...

With all due respect, maybe His Holiness needs to get a better grip on his off the cuff statements which appear to reject the Faith as handed down and snarky when speaking of faithful, Catholics. Mercy I guess is just for liberals who reject major tenets of the Faith. He comes across as a left-wing loon, no different than Obama. In modern times, Popes have become over-exposed and increasingly have been used by godless, anti-Catholic media types to suit their evil political purposes.

Jusadbellum said...

Who actually pollutes the planet right now? Communists and Socialists BY FAR are the most egregiously guilty of de-humanizing conditions, and worshipping material wealth at the cost of human dignity, freedom, and rights.

Consequent to treating people as means to the end of enriching the oligarchic 1% (all members of the ruling party), is to treat the environment as a means to this end as well. Thus we get the smog over Beijing and the vast despoliation of countless other ecosystems.

Not respecting private property is an indirect way of not respecting other people.

But instead of condemnation of the guilty we get happy clappy praise for the evil-doers and stern rebukes for the one small sliver of humanity who are NOT communists, socialists, or fascists as though global warming is caused by the middle Class capitalists who haven't yet been subsumed into the Corporatists-fascist oligarchic system.

Now, perhaps this is 14 dimensional chess here and the Pope, realizing the awesome power and evil of the global 1% (communists, socialists, fascists and all of them hedonistic atheists), thinks that the way forward is to avoid an open pogrom against Catholicism so as to buy us time to infiltrate the ranks of the worker and police/surveillance apparatus to the point that they can't easily genocide us.


That would make a lot of sense - with the risk "only" of scandalizing the true believers and making them go to ground in a quietist, "benedict option" of dropping out of politics and hoping for some sort of Amish game reserve existence. That way, we endure but do not threaten the status quo and so might just be around to pick up the pieces when the oligarchs blow themselves up.

On the other hand, what if they are not nearly as smart and all-powerful as the above scenario paints them as? What if capitulating like this dooms billions of human beings yet unborn to a century of post-Christian slavery and de-humanization via the sex, drugs, and nihilist 'bread and circuses' offered to the human bee hive?

What of Our Lord's command to make disciples, rather than merely "endure" as a small flock?

I don't see how it's "smart" to praise the evil-doers and dump on those who are NOT responsible for the global financial and ideological mechanisms that are directly at fault for this de-humanized world.

Anonymous said...

The problem is that the Holy Father says way too many things, most not worth quoting, most also are not clear as to what he is trying to say and who he has in mind as the audience. To be fair, the MSP quotes only what they like and the faithful feel dissed twice, by the Pope and the Enemy. So, the HF is often portrayed in opposition of orthodox Catholic theology.

The problem is more serious than one would think. Pius iX, X, XI, XII and Leo XIII were in clear opposition to Modernist trends in Catholic theology. The Synod document immediately preceding Vatican 2:Veterum Sapientia by John XXIII, was the last document that still continued the fight for Tradition. Good Pope John praised it as a most important document that would set the tone for the upcoming council. He was beaten down or lost interest in it because it never was implemented as the council shifted into a radical overdrive embracing ambiguity and Modernity in theology. We would be even in a bigger mess but for the 13 Cardinals at the last Synod.

The future does not look bright. The only consolation one can take is that Jesus is in charge and so matters will be resolved for the best but probably not in the life time of those born in the early part of the 20th century.

Jusadbellum said...

I think you're right Anonymous.

The Lord always gives us what we want - for good or for ill.

If we want to embrace rebellion and death, then He will give us over to our rebellion and death. It's the rare miracle that keeps us from a wayward path.

It seems that the insight given to Abraham is permanent: if a given society drops below 10% of just people, the Lord will allow that population to be 'nuked' by natural and/or man-made causes.

Thus because the majority of Jews rejected Jesus, once the 40 year window of mercy was over, Jerusalem was utterly destroyed. They got what they wanted: armed rebellion against Rome...and nature took its course via the hand of Roman legions.

What has the West chosen? Sexual hedonism and materialism. So accordingly our falling birth rates mean our economies will collapse unless we import vast numbers of the fertile 3rd world. But the price will be total loss of culture and then freedom and liberty of what remnant remains.

If men lust after other men, the Lord grants them that wish - and nature follows its course with HIV and other STIs that defy medical science to keep at bay.

So be careful what you wish for, because you will probably get it.

Anonymous 2 said...


To be consistent, would you apply the same logic to the Iraq War? Or is that distinguishable?

John Nolan said...


Forgive my ignorance, but what constitutes a neo-conservative in religious terms? It's not in the British political lexicon either, but I have heard it used by Americans in a political context as if its meaning were self-evident. Similarly, I know what is meant by traditionalist, but neo-traditionalist? Is 'neo-' a pejorative prefix meaning 'the sort of traditionalist I don't like'? Or is it someone who was once a progressive but has changed his mind?

I think we need to stop labelling groups of individuals simply in order to disparage their views. Hitler had identifiable categories to target (Bolsheviks, Jews and so on). Stalin invented a previously non-existent class (the 'kulaks'), demonized them and proceeded to liquidate them. Michael Voris may not be my cup of tea but his views are undeniably Catholic. Questioning the authority of some of the pronouncements of Vatican II or the judgement of Paul VI does not make one a Protestant, any more than questioning the hypothesis of anthropogenic climate change makes one Manichean. The more I read of the actual history of the Council, the more inclined I am to reject the theory that there was a 'true' Council and a false 'spirit of the Council' which perverted it. As for ACC, I give it as much credence as the phlogiston theory or the science of phrenology. It is far more dangerous in that it is a swindle practised on a global scale, and has developed such a momentum that even if incontrovertible evidence were produced to refute it, its devotees would be unmoved.

Gene said...

Yawn...this Pope has already defined himself. All the apologies and rationalization only equal denial. I'm just waiting until he is gone.

George said...

God is not like the Genie in the lamp of the Aladdin story. He does not grant evil to those who wish for it. He respects our free will and allows us to disobey His Holy laws and then subsequently allows the consequences which are the result of that disobedience. He is merciful in that he does not exact immediate retribution and this allows us to repent if we respond to His overture of grace. We do live in a fallen world full of danger however, in which we can meet our demise at any time.

"Or those eighteen people who were killed when the tower at Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than everyone else who lived in Jerusalem? By no means! But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did!”

Jusadbellum said...


Yes. Iraq counts. So does Korea and Vietnam.

The US wanted to get involved in Korea and so we remain there to this day. Involved.
The US wanted to get involved in Vietnam and then wanted to leave. So both the deaths directly caused by our military actions AND the 2 million deaths caused by our hasty departure and failure to fulfill our treaty obligations to the South Vietnamese, are both our fault. The "baby killers" where not the soldiers but the politicians who chose to abandon an entire nation to communism in 1975.

The US wanted to get involved in Iraq and then chose to depart- so again, it's on our moral heads the rise and spread of ISIS. Had we not chosen to depart, Mosul would never have fallen and ISIS would never have seized $1 billion in cash from the Mosul bank as well as a city of 1 million people.

The US chose to destabilize Libya and indeed the whole Middle East so yes, to a large degree the guilt for all the death from north Africa to Syria is on our heads.

We wanted abortion on demand. We wanted no-fault divorce. We wanted to promote sodomy and every other sexual perversion as both rights and positive goods to be promoted from Kindergarten through graduate school, in the federal government and in the fortune 500. We wanted euthanasia. We wanted human experimentation. We wanted embryo-killing research.

And so we got everything we wanted. We got the "Great Society" and a raft of "helping the poor" wealth transfers that have led the black community to go from 20% illegitimacy rates in 1960 to 90% illegitimacy rates today, 2 generations of fatherless black men who, while only 6% of the population are responsible for 45% of all crimes.

So yes, we get what we want. The question is, why do we want so little that is morally good?

Hollywood has been promoting the Zombie meme for a damn good reason and it's not a good one. Logically the next thing we'll want is some "final solution" to those who are deemed "haters, deniers, and 'phobes" who are considered far more dangerous to the Republic than any Muslim terrorist or gangster. It won't be enough to be silenced and shouted down. So I expect "we" the post-Christian US will get what "we" want there too.

It will mean bloodshed and warfare, but what's that to a people that has accepted and demanded for 2 generations the "right" to the private execution of the utterly defenseless and utterly innocent among us?

Anonymous 2 said...


I realize that many Republicans are pushing the narrative that the Iraq mess is all Obama’s fault because the surge was working and everything would be hunkydory if only we had stayed. This is understandable for two reasons: first, because they want to deflect from the far more obvious and much more clearly demonstrable point that we would not be confronting the present mess had we not invaded in the first place; and second, because, incredibly, some of them want to do it all over again, thereby proving that some people are either unwilling or unable (or both) to learn from history. By the way, none of the other Middle East destabilizations would have occurred either had we not invaded Iraq. Of course, the Democrats are vulnerable regarding the Iraq invasion too, considering how many of them in Congress supinely allowed themselves to be (mis)led into and in the war. The lethally woeful combination of ignorance and arrogance (or hubris) that leads to these sorts of misadventures is not a Republican or Democrat problem. It is an American problem. And it is long past time that America, the testosterone saturated teenager strutting around the global playground, grew up.

Regarding the last part of your comment about Zombies, you do but jest, surely. You sound paranoid, but perhaps this is the line being peddled by the NRA nowadays. It wouldn’t surprise me.

More generally, I agree that we ignore nature and natural laws at our peril (hubris again). But this is why we do need to be concerned about the environment and global warming as well, and why Pope Francis is so right to weave all of these things together in one coherent tapestry.

George said...

One would think that what Mr Bush did in invading Iraq, and the subsequent effects that resulted, would convince anyone else which such designs that such an action would not be a wise move. One would think. And yet Mr Obama did not heed the mistake that his predecessor had made. So just like Saddam, Khaddafi, Munarek, and Assad had to go. Yes they were all despots, but they headed Middle Eastern majority-Muslim countries where sizable Christian populations were allowed to live and work without fear of persecution or physical harm from Islamic radicals. It was indeed fortunate for the Coptics in Egypt that the military in that country re-asserted what they considered as their prerogative of leadership and took that nation back out of the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood.
As far as Iraq, Mr Obama did not play the end-game well at all. From what I have read, it is the opinion of most of the ranking military officers who commanded forces over there post-war, that things would be much better today in that country had Mr. Obama not bungled things. Lacking any acquired knowledge and experience in matters of war, he should have deferred to those who did. He had run for the Presidency, gotten elected, and so he took ownership of all that his predecessor had left. Iraq, at that point, became his responsibility.

Anonymous 2 said...


You do recall how some conservatives/Republicans attacked Obama at the time Gadaffi was removed for “leading from behind.” Are they now suggesting that he should have left Gadaffi in place? I am confused. It seems to me they cannot have it both ways and argue both that he did not do enough and that he should have done nothing. Which is it? Of course, the explanation is that Republicans/conservatives are hopelessly fractured on the question of Libya just as they are on the question what to do about ISIS now, although they all talk tough. Just consider the last Republican debate. They were all over the place. For example, Rubio still supports the toppling of Gadaffi, Cruz opposes it.

As for the consequences of leaving Iraq, well, as I indicated, there is disagreement about this point. Compare: (we should not have left)

with: (staying would have made no difference)

What we can all agree on, surely, is that none of this would be happening if we had not toppled Saddam in the first place. That is the basic point. And still the neocons want “regime change” in Syria (indeed, as I understand it, this was part of their original game plan in the invasion of Iraq).

I am sure Obama has made mistakes in foreign policy—he readily admits mistakes over Libya, for example—but the worst and most egregious foreign policy blunder (I believe in the history of the republic) was that of the Bush administration.

Who is more at fault—the one who recklessly pushed Humpty Dumpty off the wall, or the one who is having a very hard time trying to put him back together and prevent further fracturing? Doesn’t the question answer itself?

Gene said...

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the King's horses and all the King's men,
Had egg salad then.

Anonymous 2 said...

Rand Paul and Donald Trump add:

Most of it is on the faces
Of those who invaded places
We should‘ve left well alone
To address matters at home

But still they will not learn
So all they will ever earn
Is the need to confess
For making a big mess

George said...

Iraq is on Mr Bush. The rest is on Mr.Obama. I'm not sure who the President has shown less concern for: the Iraqi and Syrian Christians, or the dismembered babies of Planned Parenthood. Perhaps there is an answer to that. At this point who started it all is of little concern to the refugees from ISIS. The Republicans are fractured alright. Not that many over Libya though. So Mr Rubio still supports the toppling of Khaddafi? No wonder he is behind in the polls. I would be interested to hear the opinion of some of what is left of the the over 100,000 Christians that worked and resided in Libya under Mr. Khaddafi. When the Fire dept responds to a blaze,it is not their concern who or what started it. The concern of those responding is to put the thing out and to keep it from spreading further.

Gene said...

In response to Anon 2's Political Eggs...

Politicians both Left and Right,
Seem totally unable to fight
The urge to poke their faces
In totally unwarranted places.

Whether Clinton, or 'Bammy, or Bush,
Whenever the shove comes to push,
The primitive grasp for Imperial,
In all of them seems to be serial.

Why all the foreign affairs,
Internationally putting on airs,
When right here at our own feet,
People are dying out in the street?

Anonymous 2 said...

Political eggs continued:

Who cares about the cost
And those we have lost?
We’ll fight for the cause
To show min're bigger than yours

Gene said...

The fellows on Capitol Hill
Lack the requisite will
To bring to the facility,
Any degree of humility.

Jusadbellum said...

Leading from behind means toppling a dictator without boots on the ground to ensure there is no power vacuum created with the fall of a highly centralized regime.

Suppose some alien invasion force attacked the UNITED STATES and 'beamed up' every American who got a Federal pay check. All of them. Poof, gone. The Federal Government simply ceases to exist overnight. No military, no intelligence community, no welfare state, no EPA, no FBI, no IRS, no congress, courts, or US Marshalls. They simply vanish.

What would happen when tens of millions of Americans suddenly realize no welfare or Social Security or other wealth transfers are going to come through the now non-existent US postal system?

Wouldn't you expect instant anarchy, chaos, and the creation of a host of small to mid-size warlords trying to cobble together a new country?

Thus, all things being equal, the more centralized a country is on a dictator, the more UNSTABLE it will be with his toppling from power.

What anonymous and others simply and utterly fail to address is that when Democratic administrations invaded other countries - like Europe, Korea, and later Vietnam, they understood that invasion required a more or less permanent commitment and garrisoning of troops to ensure the peace.

That's why we still have troops in Korea.

ISIS didn't exist in 2008 when Obama won office. The Syrian civil war had not yet broken out and neither did the "Arab Spring". The whole region was relatively at peace.

But what did the geniuses among the Democrats who hated Bush do? They made unilateral withdrawl on a date-certain to be a political goal. So the GOP neo-cons lose and on their way out set the course for this ballyhooed withdrawl of troops. The super-geniuses (all of them pure as the wind driven snow of course) in the DNC didn't suddenly reverse course and re-negotiate with Iraq, but accepted total US pull out as their victory over the hated Bush.

So you guys got what you wanted: total US pull out. It follows then that morally speaking you and you ALONE own all the bloodshed that has erupted since 2008 and so far more Iraqis have died and been displaced by this feckless "strategy" than were killed in the initial invasion.

But I get it, when your side does it (anything) it's moral and justified and wonderful and awesomely awesome. When the hated otherside does the same or less, then it's the worst thing evah.

No Republican created the Jim Crow or KKK. It wasn't a Republican that got the US into WW1, WW2, Korea or Vietnam. It wasn't a Republican that propped up the USSR or facilitated the red diaper babies penetration of our society. It wasn't a Republican that shafted the Shah of Iran setting in motion the Persian theocracy. But I get it, Democrats are angels and Republicans are devils because shut up.

Detroit and all our major inner cities' bloodshed is entirely the fault of the NRA and not the residents thereof.

George said...

The Fearless Leader caught the setting sun
and pondered the time he had run,
and not whether the war was lost or won
only that his eggs are well done.

Anonymous 2 said...


Sorry, you don’t “get it” at all.

Are you saying that because Democrats engaged in foreign policy hubris and did other bad things in the past, it is okay for Republicans to do them now? Anyway, please exempt me from your critique of partisanship, whatever it is. I only immigrated to this country in 1979. And I am neither a registered Democrat nor a registered Republican but a non-partisan Independent, who votes both ways depending on the issues. If there were a sensible, non-ideological Republican presidential candidate, I would be quite happy to vote for him or her. In fact, I voted for W the first time, not realizing in my naivete back then that the ideologically driven neocons controlled his foreign policy.

As for who is responsible for the current mess, we can argue all day long about whether the U.S. withdrawal in 2011 made any real difference or whether the mess would have happened anyway. Indeed, people do—narrative and counter-narrative ad nauseam. What cannot be denied, and this is the fundamental point, is that it is highly likely there would not be this mess if we had not invaded in the first place. Please see my post of 11:25 p.m. on December 18. Moreover, I would be just as critical of a Democrat if he had led us into this insane war as I am of W. Indeed, I_am_just as critical of those many Democrats who voted in favor of the Congressional authorization, like Hillary Clinton, whom I do not particularly care for.

And comparing Europe and Korea to Iraq is like comparing apples to oranges—both fruit to be sure, but . . . .

As for the Arab Spring, the neocons owned it until reality mugged them again.

And as for the existence of ISIS, yes it did exist in 2008. It was formed in 2006 but, with little success in Iraq, switched its attention from Iraq to Syria in 2009. Both the Bush and Obama administrations (with the prodding of hawks like McCain) share the blame for its rise:

And how on earth can you compare the casualties in the initial invasion with the casualties since 2008? What about all the casualties between 2003 and 2008, or don’t they count for some reason—all the ethnic cleansing, including of most of the Christians? Good grief, man! I think you need a reality check about the Bush administration:

So, please stop being silly. And just who is being partisan here?

John Nolan said...

One of the problems with democracy is that the so-called leaders it throws up are usually men or women of little ability. What ability they have is directed at persuading the mob to vote for them.

Foreign policy (or diplomacy) requires a lot more than that. Richelieu and Bismarck were pre-eminent at the craft. Palmerston's handling of the Belgian independence question and the Mehemet Ali crisis was masterful. His predecessors, Castlereagh and Canning died relatively young, worn out by the workload of the office. Yet even Palmerston in old age was totally outmanoeuvred by Bismarck.

The bellicose Seward could have lost the American Civil War had not Lincoln reined him in. In honesty, I can't think of any US statesman who excelled in diplomacy. The greatest achievement of the Pax Americana, the victory in the Cold War, cannot be attributed to one figure, although I believe that Ronald Reagan will be seen by future historians as one of the greatest Presidents. JFK's media-generated star waned long ago.

One of the key principles in foreign policy is that you identify the Power you least want to prevail in a given situation and be sure to work closely with him. Canning did this over Greek independence (the adversary being Russia) in the 1820s. He also ensured that the Monroe doctrine worked in Britain's favour since only the Royal Navy was capable of enforcing it.

The Dulles-Eisenhower policy over Suez in 1956 is frankly inexplicable even if you accept that Dulles wanted to remove British and French influence from the Middle East. Little over a decade later when LBJ wanted token British support in Vietnam he was not surprisingly rebuffed by Harold Wilson.

The USA is in unique in history since the Roman Empire in being militarily unchallenged and for the foreseeable future unchallengeable on land and at sea. For all her economic power and seaborne empire, Britain in the 19th century could not call the shots in Europe. When Bismarck went to war with Denmark in 1864 he discounted British intervention: 'If England lands an army I shall send a policeman and have it arrested'.

A pity, therefore, that the foreign policy of the only superpower is in the hands of lightweights and political pygmies from Obama upwards.

Anonymous 2 said...

John misunderestimates the United States, I think. President Trump will have a great foreign policy. In fact, the thought inspires more poetry:

America need not fear
Now that Trump is here
To build a great wall
So we can walk tall

In the City on a Hill
Speak loudly we will
And carry a twig
To make us feel big