12 November 2011

Coffee Bowl Browsing

Occupy Movement:  this is what happens when you have a society made up entirely of "liberals"?  No, not so sure about that.  Most of the E.U. is quite liberal and it manages to remain more or less civilized.  The OWS movement is what happens when you have a society made up entirely of Wards of that State and Nanny can no longer afford to take care of them.

Case in point (see above).  Bonus:  an updated Occupy rap sheet.  200 incidents and counting.

Catholic Social Services of Southern Illinois splits with the Diocese of Belleville over same-sex "marriage."  Another anti-Catholic notch in B.O.'s belt.

Speaking of B.O.'s anti-Catholic tendencies:  "The America emerging in the next several decades is likely to be much less friendly to Christian faith than anything in our country’s past. And that poses a challenge for all of us as Catholics. It’s not a question of when or if it might happen. It’s happening today."

You can't wear a U.S. flag tee-shirt if someone might be offended.  The sounds like my CPE in St Louis.  My habit offended the chaplains, yet the rainbow flag buttons and pink triangles of the Franciscan priest and UCC chaplain were just fine. 

"Working Man" Michael Moore's million dollar vacation home. . .but remember:  he's not in the 1%.

Probably the best commentary on the Penn State sex-scandal.  Must one child be raped so a football team can be successful?  Ouch.

Of course they were going to riot!  On the Penn State student-rioters:  "Imbued with a sense of victimhood, entitlement, and cultivated grievance that can only be taught, their preferred response to inconvenience is a temper tantrum."

A MUST read:  What's So Great About Catholicism?  "With Pascal I would affirm that one actually learns the Catholic faith by doing — which is why deracinated, prissy, critical philosophes standing outside will never 'get it.' The faith of the Catholic is a great drama unfolding before God, and we are the players in it." 

Vicious bear attack. . .the poor guy barely survives.

The Zombie Apocalypse comes to Sesame Street! 

How to get the police to respond to a burglary. . .call 911 and tell them you have exercised your 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms. 

First World Problems. . .someone send this list to OWS. 

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11 November 2011

No, that "justice/peace" note hasn't been disowned. . .

OY!  I'm getting dizzy.

Apparently, the behind closed doors of the Back and Forth of producing the Church's teaching is being made public.  

Now we're told that the Holy Father's Secretary of State, Cardinal Bertone has not all but repudiated the recently published note from the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

From CNS:  "Cardinal Bertone’s order, they said, simply stipulated that any documents bearing the pope’s signature must be released through his office. The Justice and Peace document did not fall into that category, even though its content was reviewed by the Secretariat."

This leaves the impression that there's something of an ideological struggle going on in the Vatican.  None of this Back and Forth, however, changes the magisterial status of the note.  It's a proposal from a pontifical council issued without the Holy Father's signature.  In other words, it's not binding on Catholics as a matter of faith.  

Read it, discuss it, criticize it, adopt it or reject it. 

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U.D. prof responds to justice/peace "note" (Updated)

Update:  Prof. Medaille writes to correct my misrepresentation of his LifeSiteNews article.  I misunderstood a link he posted on my Facebook page as his response to the PCJP note.  He clarifies the issues in the comments.  My apologies to him for getting this wrong.


University of Dallas theology prof,  John Medaille has an excellent article on LifeSiteNews about the recently published and controversial note from the Pontifical Council on Justice and Peace, "Life and family issues underlie all economic issues in global debt crisis."

"According to Medaille, the crisis of the Euro is in fact a good example of the problem of replacing concrete human realities with ideologies as the foundation of modern economies."  

Prof. Medaille is an advocate of distributism.   I admit to not knowing much about this economic philosophy, but it has a number of heavy-hitting brains behind it.

Give it a read and let me know what you think.

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But some pigs are more equal than others. . .

In its academic heyday in the late 80's and early 90's, postmodernist theories about The Real and how we come to know it (or not) provided an intoxicating elixir for humanities professors who had been sobered by the real world successes of their colleagues in the natural sciences.  Perhaps a bit envious of the research grants thrown at chemists, physicists, and engineers, liberal arts profs tried to squeeze their inherently squishy disciplines into the hard mold of science.  They failed. 

Having failed to transform the study of literature, history, religion, etc. into rigorous disciplines a la physics, humanities professionals succumbed to the temptations of Not Knowing and proclaimed the advent of Universal Ignorance.  And when this proclamation proved to be too bourgeois for the faculty lounge and the conference circuit, they moved as a herd toward the cliffs of Nihilism and Despair, otherwise known as deconstructionism.

That we cannot know everything there is to know about everything approaches the axiomatic.  But to conclude from this premise that absolutely nothing is knowable is absurd.  For example, we know the distance of the sun from earth, approx. 150 million km or about 93 million miles.  We do not know the exact chemical composition of the sun; that is, we do not know precisely how many chemical compounds make up the sun and in what proportion.  That we don't know the exact chemical composition of the sun doesn't mean that we cannot know the sun's distance from the earth.  However, this is exactly what postmodernist theorist would have us believe:  any particular admission of ignorance regarding X is a universal admission that X is unknowable.  In other words, my ignorance of one thing is the same as my inability to know anything at all.

To make matters worse, pomo theorists push the absurd to the nihilistic by asserting that universal ignorance necessarily entails the denial of reality per se.  Not only am I ignorant about X and not only can I know nothing about X b/c of this ignorance, I must conclude that X doesn't exist.  Now, if these theorists really believed this and lived with some degree of integrity, we'd never hear from them again.  You'd have to insane to spend your time rattling on about a non-existent reality.  But they have the same bills to pay that the rest of us do.  Enter:  interpretative narratives.

Here's the move:  humanistic disciplines like literature and history cannot be stuffed into scientific molds, so the hard sciences must be liquified and poured into humanistic molds.  Science like literary criticism or historical accounting is really just a form of narrative, a story we tell one another to help us live more or less fruitful lives.  Replete with metaphors, similes, and other rhetorical devices, science does not and cannot describe a mind-independent world at all.  All it does is impose an attractive story on our ignorant observations of phenomena.  We are left with knowing nothing more than the stories we tell and all stories are equally true.  Einstein's theory of general relativity has the same truth-value as Homer's Iliad

In the pomo world, narratives function as meaning-giving structures, that is, they impose order, significance, and purpose.  This sounds like a good thing.  It's not.  Always on guard against any narrative that even hints at being oppressive, pomo theorists rail against certain kinds of narrative that appear to privilege classes of people over and against other classes of people.  Enter:  cultural Marxism.  Although these theorists insist on the non-existence of a mind-independent reality, they almost always fall back on the necessity of opposing the Grand Narratives of Oppression (racism, sexism, heterosexism, etc.) with the reality of radical human equality.  All human beings are exactly the same in every way and our cultural-social institutions must be shaped in such a way that no differences are recognized or celebrated.  In order to do this, ironically, all differences among humans must be celebrated and valued, except, of course, those differences that give rise to the notion that all humans are different and to be valued as individuals.  

Nonsense, you say?  Absolutely.  But nonsense always shows its chaotic face when we detach our ways of knowing from what can be known. 

You might be wondering:  why should I care what a bunch of comparative lit profs think about reality?  When we detach our ways of knowing (science, language) from what we can know (reality) we are left with nothing more than assertions about power.  With no objective measure for the true, the good, and the beautiful, subjective measures reign supreme.  In such a world, who rules?  Ultimately, if history is any predictor, those with the most money and guns.  Without a real, knowable connection between the Good and the True, those with power define the what is good and true.  To sum up with a literary allusion:  all pigs are equal, but some pigs are more equal than others.

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10 November 2011

Happy 6th Birthday!

Almost let this day slip by w/o noting. . .Happy 6th Anniversary to HancAquam!

Six years ago today I started this blog in order to post copies of my homilies.  

When asked for a copy of a homily I would either email it or burn it to a CD.  My intrepid intern at the time, Ms Loreena Garcia, said to me, "Fr. Philip, join the 21st century and get a blog."  

So, I did. 

You might be interested in a few H.A. stats:

Unique visitors:  618, 751 
Visitors per day:  400
Page views:  917,759
Views per day:  675
No. of posts:  2, 168

My thanks to all of H.A.'s faithful readers.  I pray for you daily!

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"Vatican" disowns controversial "justice/peace" document

The Holy Father's Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, all but disowns the recent note issued by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, ordering that all documents issued by Vatican offices be cleared through his office before publication.

From Chiesa:

ROME, November 10, 2011 – Precisely when the G20 summit in Cannes was coming to its weak and uncertain conclusion, on that same Friday, November 4 at the Vatican, a smaller summit convened in the secretariat of state was doing damage control on the latest of many moments of confusion in the Roman curia.

In the hot seat was the document on the global financial crisis released ten days earlier by the pontifical council for justice and peace. A document that had disturbed many, inside and outside of the Vatican.

The secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, complained that he had not known about it until the last moment. And precisely for this reason he had called that meeting in the secretariat of state.

The conclusion of the summit was that this binding order would be transmitted to all of the offices of the curia: from that point on, nothing in writing would be released unless it had been inspected and authorized by the secretariat of state.

[. . .] 

But more than these terrible grades, what has been even more irritating for many authoritative readers of the document of the pontifical council for justice and peace is the fact that it is in glaring contradiction with Benedict XVI's encyclical "Caritas in Veritate."

In the encyclical, pope Joseph Ratzinger does not in any way call for a "public authority with universal competency" over politics and the economy, that sort of great Leviathan (no telling who gets the throne, or how) so dear to the document of October 24.

In "Caritas in Veritate" the pope speaks more properly of the "governance" (meaning regulation, "moderamen" in Latin) of globalization, through subsidiary and polyarchic institutions. Nothing at all like a monocratic world government.

[. . .]

Read the whole repudiation here.  This pretty much settles the question of whether or not this note represents the "mind of the Church." 

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11.11.11 or 11/11/11 or 11-11-11?

Eleven-eleven-eleven hub. . .for all your Elevendy-eleventh Conspiracy needs!

11:11 on your clock?  Here's why.  I tend to glance at the clock at 12:34 and 5:26 (my b-day). 

Oogiddy-boogiddy Vatican/Illuminati/Masonic/Boy Scout conspiracy revealed!  They forgot to multiply the number of rays of light coming out of the pope's head by 1,111.  Suckers.

All the other (non alien/demon/zombie related) stuff happening in November 2011.

Info on the newly released movie, 11-11-11

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Coffee Bowl Browsing

O, if only women and married men could be college football coaches!  This would've never happened!

Mind control?  A cancer ray?  Wake-up call for the Zombie Apocalypse?  FEMA coup?

Looks like I am getting out of Italy just in time:  Italian economy is finished.  Oh, and so is Berlusconi.

Cops wearing cameras?  Watching the heavily edited vids posted on Youtube by the OWS whiners makes me think that the cops have to start wearing cameras. 

Our P.C. Masters stand around dithering while the loons in Iran build a nuclear bomb.  Somehow, this will all turn out to be Bush's fault.

[Item deleted]

More OWS hypocrisy:  after smashing up a Wells-Fargo bank in Oakland, the Whiners deposit $20,000 in donations.  Sounds like the OWS needs an OWS protest movement.  

Hilarious. . .OWS theme song, "Who Pooped and Peed on the Banks?"  

A test to check the degree to which you have been infected by Modernism!  Being a Dominican, I got about two questions in and started quibbling with definitions, distinctions, etc.  Had to stop.

Options for surviving the apocalypse (Zombie or otherwise). . .

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07 November 2011

Right items, wrong List

A sharp-eyed HancAquam noticed something odd about the Wish List yesterday.

Perched atop the List were links to Calvin Klein's Obsession for Men and another for C.K.'s Obsession Night

Eagle-Eye Reader wanted to know if I really wanted TWO bottles of C.K. cologne!  It took me a while to figure out what this guy was getting at. . .then I went to the List and. . .duh. . .there they were.

Anyway, no. . .I do not want two bottles of C.K.'s cologne.  I have a separate Christmas wish list where I put items I'm thinking of getting for members of my family.  Apparently, while signed in to the regular List, added the right items to the wrong list!

A Good and Faithful Reader did point out though that Amazon sells The Pope's Cologne.  So, I added it to the Wish List

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06 November 2011

We need a new Missal! (UPDATED)

UPDATE:  Mille Grazie to the kind and generous soul who purchased a Missal for us.  It will be delivered to Fr. Dominic Holtz, OP, English-language chaplain for the Angelicum.

UPDATE II:  "I want to thank the kind and generous soul who bought for us and is sending our way at the Angelicum a copy of the revised translation of the Roman Missal. You generosity will be rewarded, of course, by our heavenly Father who sees in secret, and he will know to direct my prayers of thanksgiving for you, and for your intentions, where they deserve. Dominic Holtz, O.P."

The English-language chaplaincy of the Angelicum needs a new Missal!

Many of the friars here at the Angelicum use the English Missal to celebrate Mass.  We use it every weekday to celebrate Mass for the various students who speak English:  Americans, Brits, Canadians, Indians, Kiwis, Aussies, etc.

Since the new English translation is for the whole English-speaking world (and not just the U.S.), the folks here need a new Missal!

If you can help, please do so.  A kind and generous soul purchased a new lectionary for us two years ago.  With the newly translated Missal, we will be set!

God bless, Fr. Philip

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Coffee Bowl Browsing

Rec'd my mandamus Friday.  It's official.  So, I've changed the Wish List shipping address.  :-)

Hardly.  Iranian "scholar" thinks that those entitled narcissists camped out on a lawn everywhere presage the collapse of western civilization.  Take away their venti cafe mocha soy latte and biscotti and then we'll talk collapse. 

But, but, but. . .they're Enlightened!  "Let it sink in: Their protests now need rape shelters. This is actually happening. And New York City lets it go on."  (Hot Air)

Crdl. Pell on "Climate Change, Galileo, and the New Inquisition."  Excellent article. 

"[Heresy is] boring because it’s sterile and orthodoxy is interesting because it’s fruitful."

Looks like the episcopal portion of the German hierarchy needs to be replaced. . .en masse.

Tired of Google pushing their lefty politics on your search results?  Try an alternative search engine. . .DuckDuckGo.

Apparently, Nepal's yeti summers in Vale.

Now, this is my kinda celebrity recipe.  I would adjust the liquid portion of the recipe just a little.

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