Sunday, 12 August 2018

The 'missing girls' never born in Victoria

The 'missing girls' never born in Victoria

The 'missing girls' never born in Victoria

A phenomenon of "missing girls" could be afflicting Victoria, as a study of more than a million births suggests some parents could be aborting unborn female babies or undergoing embryo selection overseas in order to have a son.

If nature was left to take its course, it is expected that for every 100 girls born, about 105 boys will be brought into the world.

But in findings researchers say indicate "systematic discrimination against females starts in the womb", mothers within some key migrant communities are recording sons at rates of 122 and 125 for every 100 daughters in later pregnancies.

Lead researcher Dr Kristina Edvardsson from Melbourne's La Trobe University said it showed gender bias persisted in Victoria, despite laws banning people from choosing the sex of their child, other than for medical reasons.

"We believe that some women may be terminating pregnancies after discovering they are expecting a girl and in other cases are travelling overseas to access non-medical sex selection services through assisted reproduction," she said.

Analysing almost 1.2 million births between 1999 and 2015, the study found while the overall ratio of male and female babies born across Victoria was as expected (at close to 105 to 100), there were notable exceptions.

During 2011 to 2015, mothers born in China had about 108 boys to every 100 girls. The bias towards boys was much higher if they already had two or more children, with boys born at a rate of almost 125 to every 100 girls.

Similarly, mothers from India had boys at a rate of about 104 to 100 for their first child. But after their second child, this blew out to almost 122 boys to every 100 girls.

The rate of males born to mothers from some South-east Asian countries was also more than expected.

Melbourne GP and president of the Australia India Society of Victoria, Dr Gurdip Aurora, said he had recently encountered one likely case of gender selection involving a couple who had migrated from India.

Dr Gurdip Aurora.

Dr Gurdip Aurora.

Photo: Luis Enrique Ascui

The pair already had three daughters, and the woman was pregnant again.

"They wanted to have an ultrasound done and [then] decide whether they would have the child or not, if it happened to be a female," Dr Aurora said.

The GP refused to help them.

There is now widespread global access to ultrasound technology to determine the sex of a baby, and Australian parents can find out their baby's gender from within 10 weeks with a newly-available blood test.

In India, Dr Aurora blames the entrenched preference for males on the country's illegal dowry system, where people are often compelled to hand over large amounts of cash, goods or property when their daughters marry.

The Indian government has estimated that two million girls go "missing" from its population each year due to sex selective abortion and other forms of discrimination that lead to premature death.

Yet this bias was not felt by all migrants, Dr Aurora said, and he believes that gender selection does not appear to be a major issue in the Australian-born Indian community.

Dr Edvardsson said after some migrants arrived in Australia they had smaller families, which could mean they were more likely to turn to sex selection to have a son, as simply continuing to have children until a male was born was not a feasible option.

Gender selection through IVF is banned in Australia, except in cases where a child's gender may help avoid the transmission of a genetic abnormality or disease. In Victoria, such cases are assessed through the patient review panel, which considered 69 applications for sex selection between 2010 and 2016.

There are, however, companies that provide gender selection through IVF to Australian parents who travel overseas, while abortion providers may have no way of knowing if a woman is seeking a termination due to a preference for a son.

Dr Cameron Loy, chair of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners in Victoria, said he would strongly advise parents not to put their health at risk by travelling overseas to countries where prenatal sex selection is legal for IVF.

A strong desire to have a child of a certain gender is not necessarily confined to select ethnic groups and many fertility service providers have called for governments to allow sex selection in Australia for the purposes of family balancing.

Dr Jim Tsaltas, a clinical director of Melbourne IVF, said there was support for the use of technology in cases where parents already had two of more children of the same gender.

Researchers will now embark on a bigger project investigating the causes and prevalence of prenatal sex selection across the country. Dr Edvardsson said it had been shown in other countries that law changes had limited effect, instead she believed there needed to be a change to the value people placed on sons and daughters.

Friday, 10 August 2018

Tradition is about to be totally cleared 'cleared through customs' | Fr. Z's Blog

Tradition is about to be totally cleared 'cleared through customs' | Fr. Z's Blog

Tradition is about to be totally cleared 'cleared through customs'

I read this at Messa in Latino in Italian which I share in my translation:

"… I went to the parish to go to confession.

The confessor, in his sixties, asked me, "I've been here for almost five years but I don't think I've ever seen you".

I replied, "It is true, Father, you haven't seen me because I go to the Shrine of … where every Sunday Mass is celebrated in ancient rite …."

"I expected the usual rebuke, as happened when I spoke with the Rector of a very famous Marian Shrine.  The confessor told me with great gentleness: "Keep going just like that, my son: that is the true future of the Church! The liturgy of our fathers will save the Church! Keep going and do not give up!"

"Father,I replied, why don't you celebrate the old Mass as well, since you think so highly of it?"
The confessor: "After my first public celebration, I would be marginalized by my order … but above all I worry that they would will send in a Protestant pastor….  Have patience a little while longer: Tradition is about to be totally 'cleared through customs' (sdoganata – legitimized) and the pestiferous confusion that reigns uncontested now will be annihilated. Have faith: Our Lady will help us!"

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

A Gatherum Omnium: Fr. Z comments on lots of today's stories | Fr. Z's Blog

A Gatherum Omnium: Fr. Z comments on lots of today's stories | Fr. Z's Blog

A Gatherum Omnium: Fr. Z comments on lots of today's stories

There is so much going on today, allow me to signal to you some things that I found interesting, but have not the time to comment upon comprehensively individual posts.

Here is a Gatherium Omnium with my pointed comments.  I want to have a little of the day off today without posting these separately, so here goes.  This is an experiment.  The combox moderation is, as I write, OFF (though some of you are on permanent moderation for one reason or another).

At Italian Sismografo, we read that the Vatican City State only abolished the death penalty in 2001, only 17 years ago, and the the Papal States applied capital punishment on 527 people in a period of 74 years between 1796 and 1870.   There was an official executioner Giovanni Battista Bugatti (aka "Mastro Titta" and "er boia di Roma").   He started work at 17 and continued for the next 68 years.  He was succeeded by Vincenzo Balducci, to whom Pius IX gave a pension of 30 scudi. The concordat with Italy in 1926 read: "Considering that the person of the Supreme Pontiff is sacred and inviolable, Italy declares that whatsoever attempt on his person or whatsoever incitement to commit such an attempt shall be punished with the same penalty forseen for all similar attempts or incitements conducted against the person of the King."

At WaPo we read the claim from AP and Nichole that Catholic orders of religious in these USA favor the ordination of women as deaconettes.   Well… of course they do!  Water is still wet and the sun still rises in the East.  CARA did a survey of men and women: 72% think it should be done.  Of course we know the state of religious orders these days, don't we.  And we know why groups such as the FFIs and the Canons of St. John Cantius, et. al. are given special treatment.

A priest friend sent an excerpt from a piece by the late and lamented Justice Antonin Scalia about capital punishment penned in First Things in 2002:

It is a matter of great consequence to me, therefore, whether the death penalty is morally acceptable. As a Roman Catholic—and being unable to jump out of my skin—I cannot discuss that issue without reference to Christian tradition and the Church's Magisterium.
The death penalty is undoubtedly wrong unless one accords to the state a scope of moral action that goes beyond what is permitted to the individual. In my view, the major impetus behind modern aversion to the death penalty is the equation of private morality with governmental morality. This is a predictable (though I believe erroneous and regrettable) reaction to modern, democratic self-government.
Few doubted the morality of the death penalty in the age that believed in the divine right of kings. Or even in earlier times. St. Paul had this to say (I am quoting, as you might expect, the King James version):
Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? Do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: for he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. (Romans 13:1-5)
This is not the Old Testament, I emphasize, but St. Paul. One can understand his words as referring only to lawfully constituted authority, or even only to lawfully constituted authority that rules justly. But the core of his message is that government—however you want to limit that concept—derives its moral authority from God. It is the "minister of God" with powers to "revenge," to "execute wrath," including even wrath by the sword (which is unmistakably a reference to the death penalty). Paul of course did not believe that the individual possessed any such powers. Only a few lines before this passage, he wrote, "Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord." And in this world the Lord repaid—did justice—through His minister, the state.
These passages from Romans represent the consensus of Western thought until very recent times. Not just of Christian or religious thought, but of secular thought regarding the powers of the state. That consensus has been upset, I think, by the emergence of democracy. It is easy to see the hand of the Almighty behind rulers whose forebears, in the dim mists of history, were supposedly anointed by God, or who at least obtained their thrones in awful and unpredictable battles whose outcome was determined by the Lord of Hosts, that is, the Lord of Armies. It is much more difficult to see the hand of God—or any higher moral authority—behind the fools and rogues (as the losers would have it) whom we ourselves elect to do our own will. How can their power to avenge—to vindicate the "public order"—be any greater than our own?
So it is no accident, I think, that the modern view that the death penalty is immoral is centered in the West. That has little to do with the fact that the West has a Christian tradition, and everything to do with the fact that the West is the home of democracy. Indeed, it seems to me that the more Christian a country is the less likely it is to regard the death penalty as immoral. Abolition has taken its firmest hold in post-Christian Europe, and has least support in the church-going United States. I attribute that to the fact that, for the believing Christian, death is no big deal. Intentionally killing an innocent person is a big deal: it is a grave sin, which causes one to lose his soul. But losing this life, in exchange for the next? The Christian attitude is reflected in the words Robert Bolt's play has Thomas More saying to the headsman: "Friend, be not afraid of your office. You send me to God." And when Cranmer asks whether he is sure of that, More replies, "He will not refuse one who is so blithe to go to Him." For the nonbeliever, on the other hand, to deprive a man of his life is to end his existence. What a horrible act!
Besides being less likely to regard death as an utterly cataclysmic punishment, the Christian is also more likely to regard punishment in general as deserved. The doctrine of free will—the ability of man to resist temptations to evil, which God will not permit beyond man's capacity to resist—is central to the Christian doctrine of salvation and damnation, heaven and hell. The post-Freudian secularist, on the other hand, is more inclined to think that people are what their history and circumstances have made them, and there is little sense in assigning blame.

Speaking of capital punishment, my friends Fr. Gerry Murray and Dr. Robert Royal were on Raymond Arroyo's EWTN show last night. They commented on L'Affarie McCarrick and about Francis' change to the CCC. This is "must watch TV".

They think that what Pope Francis did is, frankly, ultra vires.

Meanwhile, back in Rome, the Pope meet with a bunch of Jesuits.  He spoke to them, of course.  Here is how he greeted them in my translation:

Good day!  I am happy to welcome you.  Thanks a lot for this visit, which does me well.  When I was a student, when you had to go to the General and when with the General we had to go to the Pope, you wore the cassock and cape.  I see that this fashion is gone, thank God.

I would respond to the Holy Father – who was wearing a cassock with a little cape – that sometimes clothes do make the man.  There is a relationship between outward habit and inward habit.  Formality is a good thing.  It promotes respect and maintains roles.  Without such, with informality, comes priests saying, for example, "Call me 'uncle'!"

On that same note, Austin Ruse, of the esteemed C-FAM (Center for Family & Human Rights),  wrote something that will be controversial at the ever more valuable Crisis:

The Fetid Sea in Which They Swim

The gaying of the Church is perhaps the most diabolical attack the Devil has ever launched against the Catholic Faith.


The rest is pretty rough, so I'll leave it there. But he is *expletive" right.

Also at Crisis from Michael P. Foley:

The Jim Foley Option to End Clergy Sexual Abuse

In the wake of the "Uncle Ted" McCarrick scandal have come a series of recommendations about where the Church should go from here and what the laity can do to help. Answers range from Anthony Esolen's urging the resignation of every bishop who knew of the Cardinal's vile actions to Christopher Tollefsen's invitation to suspend all donations to diocesan coffers until the American bishops clean up their act. I also recall that when the clerical abuse scandal first broke twenty years ago, Alice von Hildebrand called for priests to follow the example of Pope St. John Paul II and use "the discipline" (self-flagellation) to mortify the flesh. Not a bad idea, that.

To this promising list I would like to add one more: the Jim Foley Option. Jim Foley was my dad (1930-2009), a relatively short but solidly-built Korean War vet who grew up on the streets of eastern Los Angeles. Jim was a devout Catholic and fiercely proud of his Irish heritage, but he differed from his fellow Irishmen in one crucial respect. As Wilfrid Sheed, son of the great Catholic apologist Frank Sheed, once explained, while the English respected the priestly office and took the man as they found him and while the Australians were cynical about their ordained ministers, the Irish were prone to an undue reverence of the clergy. [A gift that keeps on giving, it seems.]

Jim did not have this tendency. He was enormously respectful of and helpful to the priests in our life even when, which was often the case in California's San Bernadino diocese in the 1970s and '80s, those priests were broken men (usually because of alcoholism) or dishonest (especially where our parochial school's finances were concerned).

But Jim knew where to draw the line. When I was about twelve or thirteen, our parish received a new associate pastor.


He goes on to describe how the priest wanted to "fraternize" with the boys. Continuing….


My father had no proof, but the rumor made sense. Jim did not make a federal case out of it by writing to the pastor or the bishop; instead he went straight to the potential troublemaker and told him not to spend time with me. And if the priest "had any problem with this," Jim added as he thrust a finger at the priest and then a thumb over his shoulder, "I'm going ask you to take off your collar and we are going to step outside."


I anticipate all kinds of backlash from the Jim Foley Option. I don't care. Our culture has moved away from fist fights (which do note, is all that I am suggesting) to ridiculous lawsuits and hysterical shaming on social media, and I don't think it is the better for it. We have forgotten the quick and easy art of conflict resolution through threat of bloody nose.

I do not recommend the Jim Foley Option as the only solution because it clearly is not. But while reforming clerical culture and eliminating the hierarchy's Lavender Mafia will take time, the Jim Foley Option can be instituted without a moment's delay. Just think for a moment how much different the last few decades would have been if every homosexual or pedophile clergyman had lived in fear of getting the stuffing kicked out of him for preying on the innocent. Just think how different the lives of so many victims would be if they had had a Jim Foley like I did. If fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, perhaps a fear of pugilistic dads could become the beginning of clerical chastity.


A couple things about this.  First, "do it yourself gallows" or "the guillotine" this is not.  Not by a long shot.  Next, I have long been of the mind that when priests hear about other other priests doing stupid or wicked things they should get a group of the guys together and find their confrere, perhaps in the parking lot, and "explain the situation". I've never had any takers. We live in troubled times.  For my part, a long time ago in a galaxy far far away I once told a guy from another continent with a different view of women than we tend to have in these USA that, if he ever grabbed Mrs. X and shook her again or even looked at her cross-eyed, I'd introduce fractures to his ulnae and radii.  My language may have been a little more pointed and I may have said it with one hand on his office chair and the other on his desk.  He seemed to get my point despite our cultural differences and he was quite considerate toward women parishioners thereafter.  Yes, I also told the pastor.  The situation was handled.

To be honest, I really do get the urge of some for "DIY gallows", I really do.   But it's one thing to talk about fraternal correction and another thing to talk about lynching and guillotining.

But I do get it.  What normal man, seeing kids threatened or harmed, won't be enraged? For example, when I am with a family who have little kids or grandchildren around – mind you, give the present circumstances I as a rule avoid children as if they were plague bearing ship rats – something wells up in me.  I think I would probably do grievous harm to anyone who tried to hurt them: and I am not even their natural father.  Protective instincts are just plain human.  Urges to harm are of Hell. I can indeed imagine the protective instincts of a father for his sons.  Hence, what Austin wrote, above, makes a lot of sense.  He writes, of course, about the fall out to this approach:

Sure, the Jim Foley who carries out his threats could get arrested, but how many predator priests and bishops or their colluding chanceries would wish to press charges and have their own foul deeds brought into the light of day? Besides, my father would have gladly gone to jail to save me from being molested.

*sigh*  We have been put into a seriously EVIL situation.

His note about self-mortification is apposite. I think I must make a plan along these lines.

An article at Catholic World Report reminds us that Pope St. John Paul II's important encyclical Veritatis splendor will be 25 years old on 6 August, Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord.  You will recall that certain elements of VS were key to the Five Dubia of the Four Dubia Cardinals about Amoris laetitia, which to all appearances contradicts VS. My friend Sam Gregg of ACTON Institute wrote:

Veritatis Splendor was certainly that rarity: a post-1960s text which forcibly challenged the moral subjectivism and sentimentalism which had permeated most Western culture-shaping institutions. But the encyclical wasn't just about reaffirming basic Catholic moral teaching. It sought to present to a church and world increasingly settling for moral mediocrity a compelling narrative about what freedom and the good life are really about.

Isn't that a key?  Note the "sentimentalism" point.  If you go back and watch that video I posted, above, you will hear Robert Royal say that he thinks that a certain sentimentalism could lie behind the change to the CCC.

Gregg's whole article is really good.  Spend the time to read it.  Perhaps I should PODCAzT it?

BTW… I was at the presser for the presentation of Veritatis splendor (yes, I am getting old).  I remember reading the Latin, which was customarily distributed to journalists before these pressers.  Then I saw it in Latin in L'Osservatore Romano the next day, back when L'OR was mostly useless and harmless instead of positively ridiculous and weird.  Then, months later, I remember sitting in the office of the PCED and checking the Latin of VS in the newly delivered copy of the AAS.  I pulled out the original release in Latin and started to compare it with the official, final version in the AAS.  I found change after change after change.

When They Who Are High Atop The Thing stopped writing their documents in Latin, they got longer and murkier.  With the introduction of word processors the length and murkiness increased.  Now, documents have to be reverted into Latin, which to this days remains the official version.

This to students and scholars: When a document is released these days, it comes out in various languages, none of which are Latin.  However, the Latin that will appear in the AAS is the official version.  However, the Latin version is hardly ever looked and and it can have changes.  So, most of the time, when people cite modern papal documents, they are not referring to the true, official version.  Nor are they double checking the vernacular they are working from against the finalized text in the AAS.  Is this a problem?

At The Catholic Thing, David Warren writes about the change about capital punishment. He opines:

At a time when the Catholic Church endures spiritual catastrophe, he has decisively re-focused from the interior and sacred, to the exterior and profane – in effect from religion to politics, of an unmistakably left-liberal stamp, changing the demeanor of his office by his dress and gestures, his appointments, and so forth.

My impression – that he is systematically undermining the integrity of Catholic teaching, and politicizing what was once apolitical – may be discounted. It is only my opinion. In the realm of fact, I simply notice that the Church is at war within herself, with rival factions, "traditionalist" and "modernist." One would have to be obtuse not to notice.

Hard to argue with that.  If anything has advanced in the last few years in the Church it is disunity.

Church Militant, a few days ago posted a story about how the Diocese of Orlando barred a parish from ad orientem worship.  It seems that the priest started this quite a while ago, but now the diocese has crushed it out… with raw power, not with law or reason.  There is a local petition to the diocese.  However, there is also a separate petition for the reversal of this oppression intended for people who are not in the diocese.  I have no idea if any of you are interested in such things, but that petition can be found HERE.

The faithful have a right to be heard.   Let's put it this way: In the present environment, I would not want to be a bishop known as blowing off the legitimate aspirations of the faithful.

That's it for now.  I may add later.

For now I will NOT turn on moderation.  However, some of you are assigned to permanent moderation because some of you do not think before posting or engage your reason filters, or whatever.

I don't really need the fruits of your chattering Id in my combox.  Also, I know some of you reeeeeally want to vent you frustrations, but let's have more decorum than the libs provide.

If you have any charity towards me, please don't act like a dope in my combox.  Your unfiltered, unconsidered comments can hurt me.  Get it?


Edward Feser, who write The Book about this topic has penned a piece for First Things

I wonder if anyone in Rome asked Feser for his thoughts before this change to the CCC was announced.

Feser writes:

It was clearly and consistently taught by the popes up to and including Pope Benedict XVI. That Christians can in principle legitimately resort to the death penalty is taught by the Roman Catechism promulgated by Pope St. Pius V, the Catechism of Christian Doctrine promulgated by Pope St. Pius X, and the 1992 and 1997 versions of the most recent Catechism promulgated by Pope St. John Paul II — this last despite the fact that John Paul was famously opposed to applying capital punishment in practice. Pope St. Innocent I and Pope Innocent III taught that acceptance of the legitimacy in principle of capital punishment is a requirement of Catholic orthodoxy. Pope Pius XII explicitly endorsed the death penalty on several occasions. This is why Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, as John Paul's chief doctrinal officer, explicitly affirmed in a 2004 memorandum:

If a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment … he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities … to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible … to have recourse to capital punishment.

Interesting, no?  About Catechisms?

Feser has a razor sharp mind.  He says that what Pope Francis has done contradicts past teaching.

Nor does the letter from the CDF explain how the new teaching can be made consistent with the teaching of scripture, the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, and previous popes. Merely asserting that the new language "develops" rather than "contradicts" past teaching does not make it so. The CDF is not Orwell's Ministry of Truth, and a pope is not Humpty Dumpty, able by fiat to make words mean whatever he wants them to. Slapping the label "development" onto a contradiction doesn't transform it into a non-contradiction.

He goes on to make the point I made yesterday.  If this new idea of how development is applied to other questions, what results is a circus clown car of results for moral questions.  That's my image, not Feser's.  Feser, as I did, mentions implications for contraception, marriage, divorce, Holy Communion, etc.

More… if this doesn't sober people up, I don't know what will:

If capital punishment is wrong in principle, then the Church has for two millennia consistently taught grave moral error and badly misinterpreted scripture. And if the Church has been so wrong for so long about something so serious, then there is no teaching that might not be reversed, with the reversal justified by the stipulation that it be called a "development" rather than a contradiction. A reversal on capital punishment is the thin end of a wedge that, if pushed through, could sunder Catholic doctrine from its past—and thus give the lie to the claim that the Church has preserved the Deposit of Faith whole and undefiled.

Not only does this reversal undermine the credibility of every previous pope, it undermines the credibility of Pope Francis himself. For if Pope St. Innocent I, Pope Innocent III, Pope St. Pius V, Pope St. Pius X, Pope Pius XII, Pope St. John Paul II, and many other popes could all get things so badly wrong, why should we believe that Pope Francis has somehow finally gotten things right?

That, my friends, is a question to be asked.

Thursday, 2 August 2018

A priests suggestions to correct our Catholic identity | Fr. Z's Blog

A priests suggestions to correct our Catholic identity | Fr. Z's Blog

A priests suggestions to correct our Catholic identity

At Catholic World Report, Fr. Peter Stravinskas reacts to ongoing scandal. He has some suggestions about how to address the identity problem we have in the Church – that's what it is, isn't it! – along the lines of Catholic Education, Clerical Leadership, and Faith and Conviction.

His section on Liturgy was of greatest interest to me, because I contend that everything… everything… all our problems and all our achievements… flow from and are brought back to how we collectively worship God in our sacred liturgical worship. What does Fr. S prescribe?

Eliminate altar girls, Communion-in-the-hand and extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion. [Do I hear an "Amen!"?] All of these practices entered the mainstream in direct violation of liturgical law, were winked at by bishops, and then codified as normative, thus rewarding disobedience. In keeping with the recommendations of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict and Cardinal Robert Sarah, re-introduce celebrations of Holy Mass ad orientem, which would have a major effect on the atmosphere of worship and the mentality of the priest. Needless to say, a healthy dose of Latin and Gregorian chant is likewise in order.  [We need the TLM far and wide and often.]

The vast majority of priests under the age of forty would move in this direction tomorrow. [Yes!  They would.  But there is a big "however"…] However, they are inhibited from doing so by pastors still living in the 1960s and by chancery bureaucrats who are similarly enmired. Fidelity to the rubrics, truly sacred liturgical music, and a deep sense of the sacred are essential if we are to bring back those who have been scandalized by abuses over the long haul, abuses which have been deeply ingrained, institutionalized and normalized. That's the "zero tolerance" that is needed. Not a few good bishops are supportive of these liturgical changes but are cowed by their own bureaucracy and/or by their fellow bishops.

We need positively to support our bishops and our priests who are putting themselves in the cross-hairs by trying to revitalize our sacred liturgical worship.  We must must must encourage and support them.

There are small things you can do to help your priests and bishops move in the right direction.  For example, THANK THEM for what they do.  Assure them of your prayers.  TELL THEM what your legitimate aspirations are.  Get organized to provide material support and dedicated time.   Send them Spiritual Bouquets!   The TMSM I am involved with recently organized a Spiritual Bouquet for the Extraordinary Ordinary.  We took out a color ad in the newspaper for the occasion of his 15th Anniversary as bishop here.

We need to get onside and stay onside.liturgical

Thursday, 19 July 2018

One approach to Great Books

St. John's College at Annapolis and Santa Fe list the curriculum of books read in their course of study for a degree - a grounding curriculum in the liberal arts, and the intellectual cornerstones of Western Civilization, which span all the major branches of knowledge and art:

Academic Program

The Reading List

The reading list that serves as the core of the St. John's College curriculum had its beginnings at Columbia College, at the University of Chicago, and at the University of Virginia. Since 1937, the list of books has been under continued review at St. John's College. The distribution of the books over the four years is significant. Something over 2,000 years of intellectual history form the background of the first two years; about 300 years of history form the background for almost twice as many authors in the last two years.

The first year is devoted to Greek authors and their pioneering understanding of the liberal arts; the second year contains books from the Roman, medieval, and Renaissance periods; the third year has books of the 17th and 18th centuries, most of which were written in modern languages; the fourth year brings the reading into the 19th and 20th centuries.

The chronological order in which the books are read is primarily a matter of convenience and intelligibility; it does not imply a historical approach to the subject matter. The St. John's curriculum seeks to convey to students an understanding of the fundamental problems that human beings have to face today and at all times. It invites them to reflect both on their continuities and their discontinuities.


HOMER: Iliad, Odyssey
AESCHYLUS: Agamemnon, Libation Bearers, Eumenides, Prometheus Bound
SOPHOCLES: Oedipus Rex, Oedipus at Colonus, Antigone, Philoctetes, Ajax
THUCYDIDES: Peloponnesian War
EURIPIDES: Hippolytus, Bacchae
HERODOTUS: Histories
PLATO: Meno, Gorgias, Republic, Apology, Crito, Phaedo, Symposium, Parmenides, Theatetus, Sophist, Timaeus, Phaedrus
ARISTOTLE: Poetics, Physics, Metaphysics, Nicomachean Ethics, On Generation and Corruption, Politics, Parts of Animals, Generation of Animals
EUCLID: Elements
LUCRETIUS: On the Nature of Things
PLUTARCH: Lycurgus, Solon
NICOMACHUS: Arithmetic
LAVOISIER: Elements of Chemistry
HARVEY: Motion of the Heart and Blood
Essays by: Archimedes, Fahrenheit, Avogadro, Dalton, Cannizzaro, Virchow, Mariotte, Driesch, Gay-Lussac, Spemann, Stears, J.J. Thompson, Mendeleyev, Berthollet, J.L. Proust


THE BIBLE: New Testament
ARISTOTLE: De Anima, On Interpretation, Prior Analytics, Categories
VIRGIL: Aeneid
PLUTARCH: "Caesar," "Cato the Younger," "Antony," "Brutus"
EPICTETUS: Discourses, Manual
PTOLEMY: Almagest
PLOTINUS: The Enneads
AUGUSTINE: Confessions
MAIMONIDES: Guide for the Perplexed
ST. ANSELM: Proslogium
AQUINAS: Summa Theologica
DANTE: Divine Comedy
CHAUCER: Canterbury Tales
MACHIAVELLI: The Prince, Discourses
KEPLER: Epitome IV
RABELAIS: Gargantua and Pantagruel
PALESTRINA: Missa Papae Marcelli
VIETE: Introduction to the Analytical Art
BACON: Novum Organum
SHAKESPEARE: Richard II, Henry IV, The Tempest, As You Like It, Hamlet, Othello, Macbeth, King Lear, and Sonnets
POEMS BY: Marvell, Donne, and other 16th- and 17th-century poets
DESCARTES: Geometry, Discourse on Method
PASCAL: Generation of Conic Sections
BACH: St. Matthew Passion, Inventions
HAYDN: Quartets
MOZART: Operas
BEETHOVEN: Third Symphony
STRAVINSKY: Symphony of Psalms


CERVANTES: Don Quixote
GALILEO: Two New Sciences
HOBBES: Leviathan
DESCARTES: Meditations, Rules for the Direction of the Mind
MILTON: Paradise Lost
PASCAL: Pensees
HUYGENS: Treatise on Light, On the Movement of Bodies by Impact
ELIOT: Middlemarch
SPINOZA: Theological-Political Treatise
LOCKE: Second Treatise of Government
RACINE: Phaedre
NEWTON: Principia Mathematica
KEPLER: Epitome IV
LEIBNIZ: Monadology, Discourse on Metaphysics, Essay On Dynamics, Philosophical Essays, Principles of Nature and Grace
SWIFT: Gulliver's Travels
HUME: Treatise of Human Nature
ROUSSEAU: Social Contract, The Origin of Inequality
MOLIERE: Le Misanthrope
ADAM SMITH: Wealth of Nations
KANT: Critique of Pure Reason, Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals
MOZART: Don Giovanni
JANE AUSTEN: Pride and Prejudice
DEDEKIND: "Essay on the Theory of Numbers"
"Articles of Confederation," "Declaration of Independence," "Constitution of the United States of America"
TWAIN: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
WORDSWORTH: The Two Part Prelude of 1799
Essays by: Young, Taylor, Euler, D. Bernoulli, Orsted, Ampere, Faraday, Maxwell 


Supreme Court opinions
DARWIN: Origin of Species
HEGEL: Phenomenology of Mind, "Logic" (from the Encyclopedia)
LOBACHEVSKY: Theory of Parallels
TOCQUEVILLE: Democracy in America
LINCOLN: Selected Speeches
KIERKEGAARD: Philosophical Fragments, Fear and Trembling
WAGNER: Tristan and Isolde
MARX: Capital, Political and Economic Manuscripts of 1844, The German Ideology
DOSTOEVSKI: Brothers Karamazov
TOLSTOY: War and Peace
MELVILLE: Benito Cereno
O'CONNOR: Selected Stories
WILLIAM JAMES; Psychology, Briefer Course
NIETZSCHE: Beyond Good and Evil
FREUD: Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis
BOOKER T. WASHINGTON: Selected Writings
DUBOIS: The Souls of Black Folk
HUSSERL: Crisis of the European Sciences
HEIDEGGER: Basic Writings
EINSTEIN: Selected papers
CONRAD: Heart of Darkness
FAULKNER: Go Down Moses
FLAUBERT: Un Coeur Simple
WOOLF: Mrs. Dalloway
Poems by: Yeats, T.S. Eliot, Wallace Stevens, Valery, Rimbaud
Essays by: Faraday, J.J. Thomson, Millikan, Minkowski, Rutherford, Davisson, Schrodinger, Bohr, Maxwell, de Broglie, Heisenberg, Mendel, Boveri, Sutton, Morgan, Beadle & Tatum, Sussman, Watson & Crick, Jacob & Monod, Hardy

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

The demographics of church participation are shifting. | Fr. Z's Blog

The demographics of church participation are shifting. | Fr. Z's Blog

The demographics of church participation are shifting.

The demographics of church participation are shifting.

In these USA…

The numbers of active priests will drop, impacting the number of parishes open.  The number of millennials going to church will drop, thus impacting parish income.  The number of conservative and traditional priests will rise, percentage wise, in presbyterates, thus impacting liturgy, preaching, and identity.  The number of children being born to practicing Catholics will outstrip those being born to liberals.   The number of conservative or traditional bishops being appointed will probably drop, thus creating a slowly growing identity rift between faithful and their local chief pastors.

Meanwhile, I saw this tweet:

New seminarians of the Institute of Christ the King. Vocations booming. Bishops, this is where young men are going. News flash: Catholic identity matters.

— Cream City Catholic (@CCityCatholic)

Daily Prayer for Priests

ACTION ITEM! Urgent prayer request for a priest | Fr. Z's Blog

Daily Prayer for Priests

O Almighty, Eternal God, look upon the Face of Your Son and for love of Him, who is the Eternal High Priest, have pity on Your priests. Remember, O most compassionate God, that they are but weak and frail human beings. Stir up in them the grace of their vocation which is in them by the imposition of the bishop's hands. Keep them close to You, lest the enemy prevail against them, so that they may never do anything in the slightest degree unworthy of their sublime vocation. O Jesus, I pray for Your faithful and fervent priests; for Your unfaithful and tepid priests; for Your priests laboring at home or abroad in distant mission fields; for Your tempted priests; for the lonely and desolate priests; for Your young priests; for Your dying priests; for the souls of Your priests in purgatory. But above all, I commend to you N. and all the priests dearest to me, the priest who baptized me,  the priests who have absolved me from my sins, the priests at whose Masses I have assisted and who have offered me Your Body and Blood in Holy Communion,  the priests who have taught and instructed me or helped and encouraged me,  and the priests to whom I am indebted in any other way. O Jesus, keep them all close to Your Heart, and bless them abundantly in time and in eternity. Amen.

Monday, 16 July 2018

Books we should have read | Fr. Z's Blog

Books we should have read | Fr. Z's Blog

Books we should have read

What books do you think absolutely must be read, preferably before graduating from High School, or at least college… or before death?

Maybe I can eventually turn this into a POLL. 

I will start with some books as they occur to me. 

Some authors obviously could have more than one book.  After all, what are you going to say about Charles Dickens or Jane Austen?  I sometimes just pick a representative book.  You can argue for a different one, of course.  I sometimes list more than one work of an an author, especially if they are not really books.

Here goes…

The Bible
William Shakespeare – Just Read Everything
Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales
Plato, The Republic
Homer, The Odyssey & Iliad
Charles Dickens, Great Expectations
Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
USA – Founding Documents
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
Fyodor Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment
Cervantes, Don Quixote
Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
St. Augustine, Confessions
George Orwell, 1984
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World
Thucydides, The Peloponesian War
Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan
St. Teresa of Avila, The Interior Castle
Herodotus, History
Victor Hugo, Les Misérables
Virgil, Aeneid
Aeschylus, The Oresteia
Friedrich von Hayek, The Constitution of Liberty
Russell Kirk, The Conservative Mind
The Cloud of Unknowing
Euripides, Medea; Trojan Women, Bacchae
Sophocles: Oedipus trilogy
Robert Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land
Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
Joseph Heller, Catch-22
St. Benedict, Rule
Pope John Paul II, Salvifici doloris; Veritatis splendor, Centessimus Annus, Evangelium vitae
G.B. Shaw, Pygmalion
Dante Alighieri, La Divina Commedia
William Bennett, America: The Last Best Hope I & II
Descartes, Discourse on Method
George Eliot, Middlemarch
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago
St. Therese, Story of a Soul
Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil
James Joyce, Ulysses
J.D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness
Ernest Hemingway, For Whom the Bell Tolls
Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
Franz Kafka, Metamorphosis
T.S. Eliot, Complete Poems and Plays
Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman
Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot
John Stuart Mill, On Liberty
Nicolo Machiavelli, The Prince
Geoge Bernanos, Diary of a Country Priest
Aristotle, Categories; Nicomachean Ethics
William Golding, Lord of the Flies
Gabriel Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude
Herman Melville, Moby Dick
Blaise Pascal, Pensees

You may have your own suggestions.

I am not talking about books you like.  I really like Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin series, but I don't think they are at the level of books which everyone should have read.

I mean books you should read… essential books you should know.


Giuseppe Maria Tomasi di Lampedusa, The Leopard
A. Manzoni, I Promessi Sposi
W. Whitman, Leaves of Grass
V. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning
Ovid, Metamorphoses
Marx, Das Capital and the Communist Manifesto
Freud, On the Interpretation of Dreams.
Darwin, On the Evolution of Specie
John Donne
John Keats
E.M. Remarque, All's Quiet On the Western Front
E. Waugh, Brideshead Revisited
E. Bronte, Wuthering Heights
G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy
Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations

Books for boys. Suggested titles and an additional point. | Fr. Z's Blog

Books for boys. Suggested titles and an additional point. | Fr. Z's Blog

Books for boys. Suggested titles and an additional point.

At Crisis there is a good post about

10 Books That Every Boy Should Hazard

I warmly approve his use of "hazard". Thank you.   He signals the spirit of this list in a word.

The writer, Sean Fitzpatrick, explains:

Thanks to the adulterators of children's literature, the natural anticipations when approaching forgotten classics have been skewed. Everyone expects that everything will be picturesque, nice, and most importantly, safe. For reality is far too dangerous, far too harsh a thing, and children must be protected from it at all costs. Real stories for real boys, however, refuse to deliver saccharine platitudes. These books are composed of the uncanny, unforeseeable, and unimaginable. They present a reality that is often harsh, terrible, and so far from the idyllic it is free to become adventure. The books every boy should hazard are constantly on the brink of disaster, but still bear the distant but firm promise of final resolution; deftly navigating the fine line between realism and romance—requiring caution.

The books he recommended.

I. Midshipman Easy by Frederick Marryat


Recommended Age: 14-16

Perhaps the mighty Aubrey/Maturin series when they are a bit older.

II. Wild Animals I Have Known by Ernest Thompson Seton


Recommended Age: 10-14

III. Otto of the Silver Hand by Howard Pyle


Recommended Age: 13-15

IV. The Chimes by Charles Dickens


Recommended Age: 15-17

V. The White Company by Arthur Conan Doyle


Recommended Age: 15-17

VI. The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan


Recommended Age: 14-16

VII. The Other Wise Man by Henry van Dyke


Recommended Age: 12-14

VIII. The Black Arrow: A Tale of the Two Roses by Robert Louis Stevenson


Recommended Age: 14-16

IX. The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope


Recommended Age: 14-16

X. The Persian Expedition by Xenophon


This one surprised me.  However, I can see why he included it.  As he described: It's a manual for leadership.

Recommended Age: 15-17

So, those are the books that are recommended in the Crisis piece. You can see more about them over there.

I would add a question and a proposal.

So…. Kindle or a book?   Perhaps a combination of both.   There's nothing like a real book. But the Kindle makes it easy to read on the fly, and the books don't gather dust.

In addition to finding books for boys of that age, might I suggest also some effort to read aloud?

The return of “Iota Unum” by Romano Amerio | Fr. Z's Blog

The return of "Iota Unum" by Romano Amerio | Fr. Z's Blog

The return of "Iota Unum" by Romano Amerio

The find gentleman Sandro Magister has a very good piece today on his site about the return to view of two volumes by Italian-Swiss author Romano Amerio, namely Iota Unum and Stat Veritas.

These are very good books.  It is very interesting that these volumes seem to be coming back into view.

Iota Unum is available in English and it is an important read, especially now that we have been as a Church refocused through a hermeneutic of reform and continuity, rather than of rupture.

Here is the first part of Magister's piece.  Go to his place for the rest.

You can purchase Iota Unum with this link.  I don't have it in English, but I have read it in Italian.  You will get involved.

My emphases and comments.

Grand Returns. "Iota unum" and "Stat veritas" by Romano Amerio

Two outstanding works of Catholic culture are returning to the bookstores. And the taboo on one of the greatest Christian intellectuals of the twentieth century is crumbling definitively. The question he highlights is also at the center of Benedict XVI's pontificate: how much can the Church change, and in what way?

by Sandro Magister

ROME, July 15, 2009 – As of tomorrow, two volumes that have taken their place among the classics of Catholic culture will return to Italian bookstores, published by Lindau. Their content is in striking harmony with the title and foundation of Benedict XVI's third encyclical: "Caritas in Veritate." [I must go back and reread, I think.]

The author of the two volumes is Romano Amerio, the Swiss scholar, philosopher, and theologian who passed away in 1997 at the age of 92. One of his great admirers, the theologian and mystic Don Divo Barsotti, summed up their contents as follows:

"Amerio essentially says that the gravest evils present today in Western thought, including Catholic thought, are mainly due to a general mental disorder according to which 'caritas' is put before 'veritas', without considering that this disorder also overturns the proper conception that we should have of the Most Holy Trinity."  ["caritas" out of harmony with "veritas"…]

In effect, Amerio saw precisely in this overturning of the primacy of Logos over love [and who knows what some people think "love" is these days] – or in a charity separated from truth – the root of many of the "variations of the Catholic Church in the 20th century": the variations that he described and subjected to criticism in the first and more commanding of the two volumes cited: "Iota unum," written between 1935 and 1985; the variations that led him to question whether with them, the Church had not become something other than itself[Folks, in the English speaking world it might be hard to imagine what sort of reaction there was to Iota Unum in the Italian speaking environment of Rome.]

Many of the variations analyzed in "Iota unum" – although just one of them would suffice, one "iota," according to Matthew 5:18, from which the book's title is taken – would lead the reader to think that there has been an essential mutation in the Church. But Amerio analyzes, he does not judge. Or better, as the fully formed Christian that he is, he leaves the judgment of God. And he recalls that "portae inferi non praevalebunt," meaning that for the faith, it is impossible to think that the Church could lose its way. There will always be continuity with Tradition, even if it is amid turbulence that obscures it and leads one to think the contrary[Timely.]

There is a close connection between the questions posed in "Iota unum" and Benedict XVI's address to the Roman curia on December 22, 2005, a fundamental address in terms of the interpretation of Vatican Council II and its relationship with Tradition[And talks with the SSPX?]

This does not change the fact that the state of the Church as described by Amerio is anything but peaceful.

In the address on December 22, 2005, Benedict XVI compared the babel of the contemporary Church with the upheaval in the fourth century after the Council of Nicaea, described at the time by Saint Basil as "a naval battle in the darkness of a storm."

In the afterword that Enrico Maria Radaelli, a loyal disciple of Amerio, publishes at the end of this revised edition of "Iota unum," the current situation is instead compared to the Western Schism, meaning the forty years between the 14th and 15th centuries before the Council of Constance, with Christianity leaderless and without a sure "rule of the faith," divided between two or even three popes at one time.

In any case, republished now years later, "Iota unum" reasserts itself as a book that is not only extraordinarily relevant, but "constructively Catholic," in harmony with the Church's magisterium. In the afterword, Radaelli demonstrates this in an irrefutable way. The conclusion of the afterword is presented further below[You will want to check that out.]

As for the second book, "Stat veritas," published by Amerio in 1985, it is in linear continuity with the previous one. It compares the doctrine of Catholic Tradition with the "variations" that the author identifies in two texts of the magisterium of John Paul II: the apostolic letter "Tertio Millennio Adveniente," November 10, 1994, and the address at the Collegium Leoninum in Paderborn on June 24, 1996.

The return to the bookstores of "Iota unum" and "Stat veritas" brings justice both to their author and to the de facto censorship that for long years bore down on both of these consummate books of his. In Italy, the first edition of "Iota unum" was reprinted three times for a total of seven thousand copies, despite the fact that it ran to almost seven hundred pages of demanding reading. It was then translated into French, English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, and Dutch. It reached tens of thousands of readers all over the world. But for official Catholic bodies and Church authorities it was taboo, as of course it was for its adversaries. [It sure was.] More of a singular case than a rare one, the book was an underground "long seller." Requests for it continued  when the bookstores ran out of copies.

The breaking of the taboo is recent. Conferences, commentaries, reviews. "La Civiltà Cattolica" and "L'Osservatore Romano" have also woken up. At the beginning of 2009, a first reprinting of "Iota unum" appeared in Italy, published by "Fede & Cultura." But this new edition of the book produced by Lindau, together with that of "Stat veritas," has the added value of the editorial work of Amerio's greatest student and intellectual heir, Radaelli. His two extensive afterwords are genuine essays, indispensable for understanding not only the profound meaning of the two books, but also their enduring relevance. Lindau intends to publish Amerio's "opera omnia" in the next few years, with Radaelli as editor.

The following is a tiny sample of the afterword to "Iota unum": the final considerations. …