Sunday, February 27, 2011

Saving Said

In this post I described how Afghani Said Musa was to be hanged for converting from Islam to Christianity.

Here is a happy update: last week an official from the U.S. Embassy in Kabul confirmed that Said Musa was released from prison and is now safely out of the country and will be reunited with his family. For the safety of Said and his family, his whereabouts are unknown.

Read more here.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Catholic Orphanage in India


In the south of India, a few miles from the SSPX Priory in Palayamkottai, is an orphanage served by the SSPX. This house, also a home for the elderly, was founded in 2000 by Sister Mary of the Immaculate when she was still a laywoman. After the orphanage's founder became a religious Sister, the orphanage has been under the care of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart in Vigne di Narni situated north of Rome, Italy.

Generous souls who are so inclined can help the orphanage by contacting:

Soeurs Consolatrices du Sacré-Coeur
via Flaminia Vecchia, 20
05030 Vigne di Narni (TR)

Good folk can also help this worthy traditional Catholic charity via the web site

The Orphan Ride web site follows the travels two American brothers -- Andrew and Randall Leese -- who are bicycling around the world as a fundraiser to raise awareness of the orphanage. There is no overhead for this fundraiser -- from the web site: "every cent of the proceeds will benefit the Servi Domini Orphanage. Andrew and Randall are covering travel costs on their own coin. The two will make a stop at the orphanage en route and spend a month or more lending a hand..." So far their efforts have raised $30,808.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Singing Helmut

A Sunday or two ago Helmut and I were in the parish hall listening to the choir practice the plainchant for Mass.

During a pause in the practice Helmut said, "I wish I could sing."

"I wish you could too," I said.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Looking For the Moderate Voice


A Muslim cleric has announced that he will hold a protest outside the White House. Anjem Choudary, who proclaimed that "the flag of Islam will fly over the White House," says he will lead a demonstration rallying Muslims to establish Sharia law across the United States. This after he called Americans “the biggest criminals in the world today.”

Choudary is the former leader of the outlawed British-based group Islam4UK. The rally is schedule to take place in March; it is organized by the extremist group Islamic Thinkers Society of New York.

"The event is a rally, a call for the Sharia, a call for the Muslims to rise up and establish the Islamic state in America," Choudary declared.

Perhaps moderate Muslims will publicly condemn this rally, so that nobody will think they quietly agree.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Rewriting History

A few weeks back I read an essay from a conciliar priest who characterized the pre-Vatican II Church as a place where the faithful didn't understand what was going on at Mass; who buried themselves in private devotions instead of praying as a community; who said their own Rosaries instead of following what happened at the altar. In the new Mass, the author intimated, people could better understand what was going on and pray along with the priest.

How many people in the Catholic Churches today pray the Rosary at all, let alone at Mass, was not mentioned.

That last remark is not merely a bon mot: it is illustrative of the consequences of the conciliar reforms. After the modernizers had their way, a great many people stopped taking any sort of pious activity or devotion seriously, and a large number simply ceased attending Mass altogether. This neglect and abandonment was not merely a casualty of an era of the world through which the Church passed; rather, it was the direct consequence of the banalization of the Faith itself and of the Mass.

Note too that the insinuation that the majority of the faithful weren't keeping up at Mass or were isolated in pious little cocoons is so gross a misrepresentation that it amounts to a lie. The majority of people in the pews didn't want to see their beautiful liturgy thrown into the back alley or tossed into the dumpster (which all too frequently is literally what happened). And asserting that the little old half-deaf grandma in the back corner telling her beads during Mass was the norm for how the faithful as a whole prayed the Mass is a fabrication.

In my 1962 Missal I find this instruction:

The Holy Mass is a prayer itself, even the highest prayer that exists. It is the sacrifice, dedicated by the Redeemer at the Cross, and repeated every day on the altar. If you wish to hear Mass as it should be heard, you must follow with eye, heart, and mouth all that happens at the altar. Further, you must pray with the Priest the holy words said by him in the name of Christ and which Christ says by him. You have to associate your heart with the holy feelings which are contained in these words and in this manner you ought to follow all that happens at the altar. When acting in this way you have prayed Holy Mass.

According to the traditional thinking of the Church, there are several legitimate ways to attend to Mass. Praying the Rosary and meditating on the mysteries is indeed one of them, and it was adopted by a few. The method mentioned above is, according to the best thinking of the traditional Church, the best way, and it was the method the vast majority used.

And kindly note this: the words cited above were authored by Pope St. Pius X, who died in 1914 just after the outbreak of WWI. Thus, fully a half-century before the conciliarists went to work scrapping the Church's heritage, the Pope had used the full authority and dignity of His office to remind Catholics of the most efficacious way to pray Mass. What Pope Pius said was not novel in his day: contra the modernist revisionists, He was re-iterating what the Church had already long been saying.

Don't heed the revisionists: they're trying too hard to rationalize the grave failings of the conciliar experiment.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Catholics Need Not Apply


Legal conscience protections were just rescinded for health care workers who object to numerous immoral medical procedures.

Obama's Secretary for Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, acknowledged that "rescission of the rule would limit access to pro-life counseling...providers would either leave the health care industry or choose not to enter it" [emphasis added].

As a result, Catholic hospitals and health care workers will find themselves without legal protection when they decline to administer in vitro fertilization or distribute contraceptives for purposes of birth control.

The changes to vital civil rights regulations were made without evidence or justification -- the act was sheer politics. Conscientious physicians and other healthcare professionals can thus be discriminated against with impunity.

Monday, February 14, 2011

St. Valentine's Day

Feast of St. Valentine

St. Valentine, whose relics are pictured below, was a Roman Catholic priest who, after having cured and instructed many persons, was beaten with clubs and beheaded in martyrdom for the Catholic Faith on February 14th, 270 A.D. That is why today is Saint Valentine's Day.

Relic of St. Valentine

The customs associated with Saint Valentine's Day had their origin in a popular belief in England and France during the Middle Ages that on February 14th -- half way through the second month of the year -- the birds began to pair. For this reason the day was looked upon as particularly suitable for writing romantic letters and sending tokens of affection between young people in love.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Neighborhood Fun

Saturday one of the neighbors in my townhouse community spotted an unsupervised kid firing a pellet gun into the community parking lot from the front doorway of his parents' house. The police were invited in to look into the matter.

That same evening, as I was driving into the neighborhood, several boys wearing ski masks and using toy semi-automatic guns were engaged in a shootout game at the entrance to our community -- they were on either side of the driveway, firing across the drive at each other. Certainly boys playing with toy guns are not anything new. The concern is that boys in ski masks darting about the main entrance of our neighborhood at sunset when the light isn't very good could be a recipe for a grave misunderstanding or an unfortunate accident. The police were invited to become involved in that situation too.

Being a board member of the homeowners' association, I actually had a role in addressing these incidents. For me it started with approaching the kids engaged in the shootout. They dispersed before I had a chance to talk to them. Maybe next time?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Former Muslim to be Hanged for Converting to Christianity


Mr. Said Musa is a 45-year old Afghan physiotherapist and Red Cross worker who is to be executed for converting to Christianity. Defense lawyers have refused to represent him, while others have dropped the case after receiving death threats.

The news of the pending hanging was delivered by a judge; this was after eight months of imprisonment during which Mr. Musa was repeatedly tortured and sexually abused by inmates and guards. The prisoner was an especially easy target for these predators because he lost one leg to a land mine some years ago.

Mr. Musa said, "My body is theirs to do what they want with...only God can decide if my spirit goes to hell."

Well said, Mr. Musa. May Almighty God have mercy on your heroic soul.

Some of the comments at the bottom of the news story linked to above trot out the canard that religion is the problem here. No explanation is offered about how this can be so in light of the readily demonstrated fact that it is the secular states who are the most murderous institutions in human history, bar none.

Then again, the anti-religionists as a rule have never been much for reasoned argumentation. To wit: one of their common techniques is to condemn organized religion for grave moral failings by appealing to moral codes that have their source in organized religion.

You read that right.

It's something to remember the next time a secularist, agnostic, or atheist starts condemning, assaulting, or insulting your Faith: ask him where he gets his sense of right and wrong, and then see how readily his notions of justice turn out to be just a rephrasing of the Golden Rule.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Who is the Brain Dead Person Here?


If a man or woman is able to process oxygen from the lungs into the bloodstream, maintain a normal body temperature, digest food and expel waste, grow to normal adult size from the age of four to twenty, and even carry a child to term, is he or she dead?

According to a great many physicians and medical "experts" who benefit from the lucrative organ harvesting business, the answer is yes.

Think I over-state the matter? Consider: in February 2005, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (PAS) refused to publish the findings of its own conference after the speakers denounced "brain death" as a cynical invention to further the monetary interests of organ transplanters.

"Brain death" is a euphemism for profitable euthenasia.