Sunday, December 25, 2016

When a New President Began His Christmas Address by Quoting G.K. Chesterton

Good man

Yes, it was Ronald Reagan in 1981:
G.K. Chesterton once said that the world would never starve for wonders, but only for the want of wonder.
The actual line, which Reagan or his speechwriters slightly changed, is from Chesterton's Tremendous Trifles (1909):
The world will never starve for want of wonders; but only for want of wonder.
Reagan continued a few sentences later:
Yes, we've questioned why He who could perform miracles, chose to come among us as a helpless babe. But maybe that was His first miracle, His first great lesson, that we should learn to care for one another.
Intentionally or not, this echoes another theme from Chesterton, one that he most memorably articulated in his classic The Everlasting Man (1925). Chesterton writes of the Nativity, with the infant Jesus perhaps gesturing towards one of the animals:
. . . the hands that had made the sun and stars were too small to reach the huge heads of the cattle. Upon this paradox, we might almost say upon this jest, all the literature of our faith is founded . . . [T]his is exactly why there really is a difference between being brought up as a Christian and being brought up as a Jew or a Moslem or an atheist. . . . for [the Christian] there will always be some savor of religion about the mere picture of a mother and a baby; some hint of mercy and softening about the mere mention of the dreadful name of God. [But] it is no more inevitable to connect God with an infant than to connect gravitation with a kitten. It has been created in our minds by Christmas because we are Christians; because we are psychological Christians even when we are not theological ones. In other words, this combination of ideas has emphatically, in the much disputed phrase, altered human nature.
For Chesterton, the point wasn't that this illustrated the virtue of caring for each other per se, since all religions do that, at least in one form or another, but that an all-powerful God would not only suffer and die for us as a man but would also be born for us - literally and physically born as all men are born.

This is one of the things that makes Christianity unique, though it is at the same time difficult for many Christians to see. Christmas has made the idea seem so normal.

Muslims, for example, view the idea as a blasphemy - a grotesque insult to God's omnipotence and divinity - and I suspect that many religious Jews may feel similarly, though perhaps without the same degree of vehemence.  

But I, as if suffering from a case of bad Chestertonitis, digress.

I think Reagan's speech was very good. You can grinch about the, as it were, ecumenism of it. But it was the address of an American president not of, say, a Roman pope. Like it or not, Reagan wasn't elected to defend Christian theology. But in this case I think a basic Christian spirit shines through. And he did begin by quoting Chesterton . . .

Indeed, we might contrast the obvious joy and goodwill of the speech and the man with the joyless hectoring of our current Pope, for whom Christmas is merely an opportunity to get in another Marxist nag at "materialism" or whatever.

Or we might contrast it with the recent Christmas address of the Obamas - two grinning ghouls making bad jokes and bragging about their political "accomplishments."

Reagan was often criticized for being too "feel good." I admit I used to sort of agree with that. All Reagan said, three years later was "it's morning in America" and, voila, landslide! or so it may have seemed.

But as my daughter might say, oh man. After three years of Bergoglio and eight years of Barack, I could use a little morning.

When a new president told us it was okay to feel good about our Christian faith and to feel good about America . . .

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Knights of Malta to Pope: Buzz Off

In a perhaps surprising move, the quasi-independent Order of Malta quickly and strongly rejected the decision of Pope Francis to launch an investigation into the recent removal of its grand chancellor.

The Holy See had named a commission of inquiry two days ago. Some interpreted it as an effort to harass or strike back at the leader of the "dubia resistance," Cardinal Raymond Burke, who as Patron of the Knights had participated in the decision to oust the grand chancellor in early December.   

Albrecht von Boeselager was fired for allegedly being involved in the distribution of condoms while he was grand hospitaller or health minister and then attempting to cover it up.
Statement of the Grand Magistry (12/23/25)
The Grand Magistry of the Sovereign Order of Malta has learnt of the decision made by the Holy See to appoint a group of five persons to shed light on the replacement of the former Grand Chancellor. 
The replacement of the former Grand Chancellor is an act of internal governmental administration of the Sovereign Order of Malta and consequently falls solely within its competence. The aforementioned appointment is the result of a misunderstanding by the Secretariat of State of the Holy See. 
The Grand Master respectfully clarified the situation yesterday evening in a letter to the Supreme Pontiff, laying out the reasons why the suggestions made by the Secretariat of State were unacceptable. 
He assured the Holy Father of his filial devotion and asked the Pontiff for the Apostolic Blessing, both for him and for the Sovereign Order of Malta, its 13,500 members and its 100,000 staff and volunteers who continue to provide a permanent and efficient hospitaller presence in more than 120 countries in the world according to the centuries-old charism of the Order of Malta.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Fake President

Barack Hussein Obama is a grifter, nothing more. And in a sense it's unfair to blame him. Grifting is what he does, and he's simply trying to live up to his potential, so to speak.

Give him credit, he's been pretty successful at it.

It would also be wrong to assume that he went to play golf out of laziness or even indifference. For all of the silly Affirmative Action pretense that he is an "intellectual," Obama isn't exactly stupid.  He knows that even with a month left to go, he has ceased to matter. No one cares what he thinks, anymore. No one cares what he does.

Why not play golf?

An adult is about to take the helm. I'm not saying Donald Trump is special. Rather, almost the reverse. It won't be a change so much as it will be a re-establishment of the norm. Republican or Democrat, Jeffersonian, Federalist or Whig - real presidents wear long pants.

From Mediaite:
Obama Heads to Golf Course After Receiving Reports on Berlin Attack and Russian Ambassador Death 
by Justin Baragona | 4:05 pm, December 19th, 2016 
Well, this is what one would call bad political optics. 
With the dual breaking news events surrounding potential terrorism and a foreign diplomat being shot to death, White House pool reports showed that President Barack Obama headed to a country club in Hawaii near his rental house, where he is vacationing. 
The first email shows that Obama has directed his staff to keep him updated on the situation in Turkey regarding the assassination of the Russian Ambassador. 
From the White House, per Principal Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz: 
This morning the President was briefed by his National Security Team on the assassination of the Russian Ambassador to Turkey in Ankara today. The President directed his team to provide updates as warranted. 
Meanwhile, at 10:10 a.m. in Kailua, the press van prepares to depart the rental house where we’ve been holding. 
In a following email, we are informed that Obama is leaving the rental home to go play golf. 
The President and his motorcade departed the Kailua neighborhood where the First Family rents a vacation home at 10:21 a.m. Spectators on the street threw shakas and recorded photos or video on cell phones as the motorcade made the 10-minute drive to Mid-Pacific Country Club, where the President will be golfing under cloudy skies.
The President and his motorcade departed the Kailua neighborhood where the First Family rents a vacation home at 10:21 a.m. Spectators on the street threw shakas and recorded photos or video on cell phones as the motorcade made the 10-minute drive to Mid-Pacific Country Club, where the President will be golfing under cloudy skies. 
The times listed are local Hawaii time. Obama’s motorcade left his vacation home at 3:21 PM ET. 
Currently, the news is dominated by both the assassination in Turkey, which could have large-scale implications on foreign policy and relations, and multiple deaths in Berlin via a truck driving through a market in an incident reminiscent of the Nice terror attack. 
Needless to say, there will be a lot of negative attention given to Obama playing golf in the immediate aftermath of these horrific, and potentially history-altering, events.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

FLASHBACK: Pope Joked About Using Ambiguity to Get His Way on Communion for Divorced/Remarried

"And then he said: 'By the time they get wise to the whole mercy schtick, we'll be on a beach earning twenty percent.'"    

For reasons I don't completely understand, this news item appears to have been largely forgotten. But I believe it is even more important and relevant now than when I first published it on May 7, 2016. The Pope and his ghostwriters designed Amoris Laetitia to be ambiguous. And this is of course why the Pope won't answer the dubia asking him to clarify it. Bergoglio believes that the only way to advance his revolution is through deceit. But oddly, as the article below reveals, his men are not bashful about admitting that.     

Archbishop Bruno Forte, the Pope's handpicked Secretary for the synods on the family, recently spoke at a public presentation on Amoris Laetitia. A transcript of his remarks was published by an Italian news website on May 3rd. In turn, an English translation was just posted on OnePeterFive.

Here's the stunner from the original article:
Archbishop Forte has in fact revealed a “behind the scenes” [moment] from the Synod: “If we speak explicitly about communion for the divorced and remarried,” said Archbishop Forte, reporting a joke of Pope Francis, “you do not know what a terrible mess we will make. So we won’t speak plainly, do it in a way that the premises are there, then I will draw out the conclusions.”
Reporting a joke?

That Pope Francis has intentionally used ambiguous language to advance his agenda should not come as a surprise to those who have steadily followed his pontificate with open eyes. It's perhaps not even a surprise that Francis might talk about his method with his ideological allies. What is stunning is that such a close ally would feel perfectly unabashed about reporting the Pope's little "joke" in a public forum.

These people are now utterly brazen. They brag about manipulating Catholics as Mussolini laughed about firing up the masses during his balcony speeches. But even Mussolini (as far as I know) never publicly boasted about it.

I hope they enjoy their fun while they can. Hell isn't many years off for most of them.

Read the rest here.           

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Surprise! Newsweek Blames Islamophobia for Hoax about Islamophobia

[Update: In the time it took me to write this, Lucy Westcott - @lvzwestcott - has disappeared from Twitter.]

Yesterday, I reported on the case of Yasmin Seweid - the 18-year-old Muslima who made international headlines by claiming to have been harassed by Islamophobic Trump bullies on the New York Subway, only to later admit that she made the whole thing up. She has now been charged with filing a false police report. Towards the end of my post, I wrote:
I wager that the "aspiring fashion model" will come out of this just fine. Islamophobia forced her to lie, you see. How else could this powerless young woman get Americans to face up to their own racism? I predict she'll be a spokeswoman for CAIR (Council for American-Islamic Relations) within five years. Or some such.
I was honestly surprised at how quickly my prediction came to pass.

You can read most of the above referenced Newsweek article here.

To be fair, author Lucy Westcott doesn't explicitly blame only Islamophobia for Miss Seweid's malicious and dishonest behavior. There's an implicit bit in her article about possible pressures coming from immigrant parents who might be overly demanding.

Wait, isn't that a racist stereotype?

But the general theme is clear. It's tough to be a Muslim teenager in America, mainly due to . . . America. This might drive you to file a false police report and in the process publicly lie about non-Muslim New Yorkers (many of them are liable to assault you; many of the rest, if they witness it, will not lift a finger to help).

It's now being reported that Seweid invented the story in part to account for the fact that she was late coming home. I don't disbelieve this, but it doesn't completely explain it - after all, there are a million possible lies a teenager could tell her parents that don't involve being attacked by racist Trump supporters.

Or not. If we're going to absolve Seweid from all or at least most of her moral responsibility, I propose this: The ideology of Islam with its ever-present "us vs. them" subtext and its endorsement of "Taqiyya" or lying in the cause of Islam, coupled with the contemporary liberal obsession with hate speech/hate crimes/racism/Islamophobia, etc. presented the teenager with only one real alternative - or so it appeared in her own mind:

Fake a hate crime.

I'm all for trying to help liberate Miss Seweid from the pressures of Islam and liberalism. Can we at least put some kind of restraining order on, say, any further exposure to the Koran, or at a minimum, American fake-news publications like Newsweek?

You know, keep her away from the bad influences.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

BREAKING: New York Muslima Who Claimed Islamophobic Assault by Trump Bullies, Admits She Lied - Now She's Under Arrest

Pamela Geller correctly called it a few days ago: "Color me skeptical, but the whole thing stinks, like Fulton’s fish market."

Baruch College student, Yasmin Seweid, 18, claimed to have been the victim of an anti-Muslim hate-crime on the New York subway at the hands of three men yelling Trump slogans. But there was no surveillance footage of phone footage of the alleged perpetrators, no other witnesses and her story sounded suspicious and thin to the police.

Nevertheless, she became an instant international celebrity because her fake story fit the "Islamophobia" narrative. Headlines around the world touted her "story" (see end of post). If you thought Islamophobia in the United States was bad before (went the subtext), look how much worse it is now that Trump won the election. 

Then she mysteriously went missing for two days. Skeptics started to sense that she might be a Muslim Tawana Brawley. Anti-Islamophobes wondered whether she hadn't been kidnapped by white supremacists.

Today she admitted that she made the whole thing up, and the police are charging her with filing a false police report.

I wager that the "aspiring fashion model" will come out of this just fine. Islamophobia forced her to lie, you see. How else could this powerless young woman get Americans to face up to their own racism? I predict she'll be a spokeswoman for CAIR  (Council for American-Islamic Relations) within five years. Or some such.

In a just world, she would be sent down to Guantanamo for ten.

She made it all up — and now she’s under arrest. 
The Muslim college student who claimed she was harassed on the subway by three men who shouted “Donald Trump,” called her a terrorist and tried to rip her hijab off her head has admitted to detectives that she concocted the entire story, the Daily News has learned. 
Yasmin Seweid, 18, has been charged with filing a false report, a police source said. 
Seweid had numerous opportunities to admit the incident never happened but again and again stood by her story, the source said. 
Drunk men screaming 'Trump' attack Muslim straphanger, cops say 
On Wednesday, after again being confronted with questions from detectives increasingly suspicious of her story she recanted and said she made it all up, citing family problems. 
The police source said criminally charging her was appropriate. 
“This isn’t something we normally like to do but she had numerous opportunities to admit nothing happened and she kept sticking by her story,” the source said. 
“We dedicated a lot of resources to this — and don’t get me wrong, this is what we do — but we had guys going back and forth, looking for video and witnesses. And we couldn’t find anything. 
L.I. Muslim student who was harassed at MTA station is missing 
“Nothing happened — and there was no victim.” 
It wasn’t immediately clear what Seweid hoped to gain by lying to police. 
The Baruch College student claimed that on her way home to Long Island the night of Dec. 1 she encountered three drunken men on an uptown No. 6 train.
She said straphangers stood by and did nothing while the trio mocked her and tried to tear the religious garb from her head. 
Cops find missing Muslim student harassed by Trump supporters 
“It made me really sad after when I thought about it,” she said. “People were looking at me and looking at what was happening and no one said a thing. They just looked away.” 
She provided police a description of the suspects, one of whom police believed they saw on video following her when she got off the subway at Grand Central Station to look for police. At the same time, there were inconsistencies in her story. 
For awhile, police believed those to be nothing more than typical of someone traumatized, but detectives could not find witnesses or any significant video.
Then, last week, she left home and was reported missing on Thursday — only to turn up safe and sound Friday. 
Muslim student allegedly harassed by Trump supporters safely home 
That, sources said, increased the suspicions surrounding her tale. 

Cardinal Napier: Calling Divorce / Remarriage "Adultery" is More Harmful to the Children than Divorce Itself

H/t Jane Royal.

For reasons best known to himself and perhaps Pope Francis, Cardinal Wilfrid Napier has recently become one of the Pope's chief lobbyists for Amoris Laetitia. This has led him to say some strange things.

The seven remaining Catholics in the world who haven't yet been blocked by the cardinal managed to smuggle this out into the general twitter stream:

Note that the cardinal didn't say that calling divorce/remariage "adultery" is merely a sometimes bad thing or even a usually bad thing, but rather that declaring it so (in any context or the sum of all contexts or whatever) has actually been more harmful to children than the grave sin of divorce/remarriage itself.

The Amoris Laetitia shocks are coming more and more frequently now. And the whole thing is not only exposing the perfidy of long-recognized hacks such as Austen Ivereigh or Antonio Spadaro but also corrupting those who may have previously seemed to be good priests or bishops.

I want to make three quick points, one obvious:

The obvious point is that the recent Catholic Catechism explicitly labels divorce and remarriage "adultery."
2384 Divorce is a grave offense against the natural law. It claims to break the contract, to which the spouses freely consented, to live with each other till death. Divorce does injury to the covenant of salvation, of which sacramental marriage is the sign. Contracting a new union, even if it is recognized by civil law, adds to the gravity of the rupture: the remarried spouse is then in a situation of public and permanent adultery[.]
The catechism then adds to that declaration this quote from St. Basil:
If a husband, separated from his wife, approaches another woman, he is an adulterer because he makes that woman commit adultery, and the woman who lives with him is an adulteress, because she has drawn another's husband to herself.
On the logic of Napier's argument, you should go to your Catechism right now and snip that section out, lest a child of divorced and remarried parents ever see it. Don't worry about the online version. Spadaro already has that deletion job covered.

The second less obvious point is this: During the Second Synod on the Family, the 2015 Cardinal Napier had explicitly and precisely condemned what the 2016 Cardinal Napier would end up doing - approving the watering down or censoring of Catholic language so as not to seem mean or offend: 
There's been a lot of emphasis on using language that doesn't offend, politically correct, if you like, language. I'm not sure that that's the best way to be prophetic. 
When we look at the problems that we've been studying during this three weeks, there are two possibilities: the one is to look at it from the pastoral point of view, where you're trying to reach out to people and to administer to them. The other one which has been, I would say, has been de-emphasized at this time, even at the Synod last year, is the prophetic, where, like John the Baptist, you say you got to repent, and these are the sins and you name them as they are. I think that's the difference.
Finally, there is the emergence of what seems to be new and original argument for Amoris Laetitia or at least the Pope's decision not to answer the dubia: Doubts (especially and presumably unanswered doubts) are a good thing! Isn't that what the "mystery of faith" is all about?

With stuff like this, the previously respected cardinal is becoming a laughingstock. Why is he doing it?  

What did Bergoglio promise the cardinal and/or threaten him with?

Chilling Video of Suicide Bomber Calmly Walking Into Cairo Church

The bomber walks from the bottom right of the screen, fairly rapidly but calmly. It looks as if the man under the tree at lower left may have tried to say something or challenge him but the bomber keeps walking into the small courtyard of the Church. For a few seconds there is calm and then a tremendous explosion blows out the windows and part of the roof.

According to the Egyptian authorities, the bomber was killed in the explosion. If true, the black-clad man seen running out of the church a few seconds later is obviously not the bomber.

From the Daily Mail via Pamela Geller:
Haunting footage captures an ISIS suicide bomber calmly strolling into a Cairo church before killing 25 Christians in a savage attack
  • Abu Abdallah al-Masri detonated a 12kg bomb killing 25 on Sunday
  • Six children and 19 adults, mostly women, killed and 49 were wounded 
  • Now the Egyptian government has released footage showing the bombing
By Charlie Moore For Mailonline 
PUBLISHED: 12:10 EST, 13 December 2016 | UPDATED: 05:18 EST, 14 December 2016 
Horrifying footage showing the moment an ISIS suicide bomber killed 25 Christians at a Cairo church has been released by the Egyptian government.

Abu Abdallah al-Masri detonated a 12kg bomb targeting Cairo's main Coptic Christian community, killing six children and 19 adults who were mostly women.
A further 49 were wounded in the savage attack on Sunday. 
Now, the Egyptian government has released footage showing the bombing which appears to capture the 22-year-old terrorist in the act.

The video is a recording of CCTV footage from outside a chapel adjacent to St. Mark's Cathedral, seat of Egypt's ancient Coptic Orthodox Church.

It shows a dark figure crossing the street and walking through the gates of the church. 
Moments later, the blast sends clouds of dust and debris through the windows. 
It was among the deadliest attacks in recent memory to target Egypt's Coptic minority, which makes up around 10 percent of the population and was largely supportive of the military overthrow of a freely elected Islamist president in 2013. 
El-Sissi led the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi, a senior figure in the now outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group. 
Since then, Islamic militants have carried out scores of attacks, mainly targeting the security forces, while the government has waged a wide-scale crackdown on dissent. 
Small protests were held outside the church in the aftermath of the attack, as Christians accused the government of failing to protect them, a complaint that goes back many years. 
Officials and government supporters have touted the quick identification of the suspected bomber as proof of the efficiency of the security bodies, but Christian activist Nader Shokry said more could have been done to prevent the attack. 
'How did all this planning take place without the security knowing about it?' he said. 'You are saying that this person belongs to a terror group and has been previously arrested... So you should have kept a close eye on him.' 
The Interior Ministry said late Monday that the attacker belonged to a terror cell founded by an Egyptian doctor and funded by Muslim Brotherhood leaders living in exile in Qatar. It said the cell was tasked with staging attacks that would stir sectarian strife. 
But Islamic state has claimed responsibility for the bombing in a statement released on Tuesday. 
Three men and a woman were arrested in connection with Sunday's attack and other suspects were on the run, el-Sissi said. 
The Brotherhood condemned the bombing.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Another Poisonous Fruit of Amoris Laetitia - The Atlantic Canadian Bishop's Decision on Assisted Suicide

God's "rules" and their corollaries in Church doctrine were created for man's benefit. And that applies especially to those rules that were intended to be followed not merely in general but without exception.

That fact is of course often lost in contemporary debates on, say, communion for the divorced and remarried where doctrinal rules are implicitly thought of as potential impediments that get in the way, at least if they are followed (in the language of Francis) "rigidly" or without "discernment."

According to the traditional view of the Church, forbidding admission to the Eucharist for the divorced and remarried was never a punishment, but a means to protect the sacrament of marriage as a positive good in this life, both for the married couple directly involved as well as for others. It was also intended to help the married couple involved, as well as others, get to heaven and avoid hell.

In one sense it's easy to temporarily forget that. People in irregular marital situations may indeed be in "messy," "problematic" or "complicated" predicaments - albeit ones of their own making. In one sense, no one would deny that. Whether they are now, say, admitted to communion or not, their situations will probably continue to be messy, at least in the short term. And death, where the final fate of their souls will be decided, is usually many years away.

Not so with the question of assisted suicide.

The Atlantic Canadian Bishops have just released a document allowing last rites for those intending to commit assisted suicide.

In doing so, they have given the same general arguments as those implicitly set out in Amoris Laetitia - that though suicide remains a gravely sinful act, each situation is different, culpability varies, discernment and accompaniment are paramount, people come before rules, and so on.

Indeed, the bishops explicitly cite Amoris Laetitia and the example of Pope Francis.

The effect of this will be immediate:

More suicides will go to hell.

They will be be accompanied there by their priests.

Suicide is a mortal sin. One who commits suicide will prima facie go to hell.

It is true that we can never know the internal disposition of someone at the moment of death. It is also true (in a sense at least) that "all things are possible with God." But that doesn't mean that the Church should gamble with people's souls merely to avoid awkward conflict or to appear nice or accepting to the rest of the world, or more to the point, to the suicide's family or the suicide himself. What are a few days or weeks of nice compared to an eternity separated from God?

Last rites involves confession (or what is now called the sacrament of penance or reconciliation) at least where or when possible. One of its effects is to remit sins including mortal sins. But this cannot be accomplished it the person is unrepentant. And by definition, a potential suicide continuing to desire to "go through with it" would not be so.

The goal of accompaniment here - and yes, there's nothing wrong with that word under its normal meaning - should be to comfort the person in their illness and help them to come home to their Father.

Not escort them to hell.

But accompaniment is not the ultimate good, and it can even sometimes be evil. The concentration camp guards who led people to the gas chambers were good accompaniers.

All of this should be obvious to any Catholic. Any Catholic pope would immediately put a stop to the sort of thing the Atlantic Canadian Bishops have proposed.

Of course, Francis won't. No doubt he's now getting a kick out of it.

Last week, as all the world now knows, the Pope publicly uttered two disgusting obscenities. But in a sense they were mere words or at the worst, epiphenomena of his own mental defects.

Giving last rites to assisted suicides - in effect to join the other assisters - is an obscenity a million times worse.

Bergoglio wants you to go where he's going. Don't worry, you can be with him forever and ever.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Austen Ivereigh Contradicts Austen Ivereigh

Austen Ivereigh has recently been contradicting himself.

I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that, mind you. Indeed, quite the reverse. As we have learned from Ivereigh himself and other defenders of Amoris Laetitia in the last few weeks, it is a sign of spiritual maturity to deny the Law of Noncontradiction, or its corollary, the Law of the Excluded Middle (that a proposition of a certain type must be either true or not true).*

As our Lord said to the Pharisees as He traced the formula -(A or -A) in the sand, "logic was made for man, not man for logic." Or as He would earlier proclaim in the Sermon on the Mount "don't be so binary, dudes."

Jesus didn't do or say these things, of course, but one almost gets the impression that the defenders of Amoris Laetitia think that he did.

Here was Ivereigh last year on the final relatio for the second synod on the family:

And here is Ivereigh seemingly confirming that version today on Twitter, as well as making an additional claim about Amoris Laetitia:

But here is Ivereigh in a post he wrote yesterday for Crux on Amoris Laetitia:
As (Pope Francis) last week told the Belgian Christian weekly Tertio, everything in Amoris Laetitia - including the controversial Chapter 8 - received a two-thirds majority in a synod that was notoriously frank, open and drawn out... 
The synod decided, by a two-thirds majority, that they wanted both to preserve the doctrine of indissolubility in the current discipline of the Eucharist while at the same time creating sufficient pastoral latitude in the application of the Church’s law to allow pastors to respond to situations where there was a subjective lack of culpability... 
And in some, rare cases it (what the Synod and Amoris Laetitia allows) might lead, yes, to being admitted to Communion where the lack of subjective culpability is beyond doubt, where, for example, an annulment is impossible, where the marriage is irrecoverable, where there are children by a new union, where a conversion has taken place in a person that creates a new state, and where the notion of ‘adultery’ simply fails to capture a reality.
Please keep the laughter down at the back regarding the "in some, rare cases." I want to instead look at the logical issue.

How would Ivereigh answer the above seeming contradiction? Let me suggest three possibilities:
  1. Don't be so binary, dudes.
  2. I said it didn't change the rule. I didn't say there might not be exceptions to the rule.
  3. Shut up, dissidents, the Pope train is leaving the station (the themes of "dissidents" and "the train is leaving" appear extensively in the post).
Obviously, the only answer that merits a reply is 2. That reply is simple: the question (if there ever was a question) has always been about whether the rule (involving communion for those who were divorced, remarried and involved in ongoing conjugal relations) had any exceptions. The Church up through John Paul II in Familiaris Consortia, explicitly answered in the negative. Ivereigh claims Amoris Laetitia answers in the positive.

If you want to boil the debate over Amoris Laetitia down to anything it would be that. And indeed, that issue was the subject of the first of the five dubia that the Pope refused to answer.

If Ivereigh and a host of others can answer it or say it, it isn't clear why the Pope can't. Even here, Ivereigh gives a sort of an answer in his post - something about the Holy Spirit not liking it when the actual workings of the pastoral sausage factory are exposed, or some such.

Also, don't be so binary, dude.


These collective shenanigans are a mockery of God, the truth and yes, logic. Christ didn't walk the Earth and die on the cross so His words could be twisted into a set of paradoxical Zen koans.

Though calling the weaselly, disingenuous and contradictory "arguments" of the Amoris Laetitia spin crowd koans would be an insult to the Buddhists.

*This sentence originally read, "it is a sign of spiritual maturity to deny the so-called Law of the Excluded Middle (that two contradictory statements cannot both be true)." See the comment by Hillary White, below.

Spadaro Attack Machine: Critics of Amoris Laetitia are "professional Christians who put a bandaid of self-righteous over their oozing slime of sin"

Thus spoke Spadathustra

Connoisseurs of the Antonio Spadaro Twitter stream know that 90% of his tweets and retweets pertain to his own interviews, articles and the like.

One might think that he's the busiest, most productive writer in the world until one realizes that those twenty diverse tweets he just shared all link to the same Martin Scorsese interview.

An additional 5% of Spadaro's tweets are pictures of what he had for dinner or snapshots looking out of airplane windows.

But occasionally - perhaps once every 24 to 48 hours - he'll retweet an article or post from someone else. These days they are invariably defenses of Amoris Laetitia and/or attacks on its critics.  

A few hours ago he retweeted a bizarre rant from a former Democratic state representative from Oklahoma. Rebecca Hamilton claims not to have actually read Amoris Laetitia. She also claims that Amoris Laetitia is a "new revelation":
The latest hook to hang pope hatred on appears to be Amoris Laetitia. I was too sick to read when this was published, and, to be honest, I haven’t bothered to read it since. 
Pope Francis is saying, like the first Peter, that Jesus in the Eucharist will be available to more of the people that He made, the people that He came to save. 
That, my friends, is just as consistent with the Gospels as the prior way of doing things was. I believe that it is a new revelation for our times, an extension of the Covenant of grace.
Before continuing we should note that Spadaro and the rest of the Francis propaganda machine seem now to be really scraping the bottom of the barrel in their desperation, against rising opposition, to defend communion for the divorced and remarried. The contrast here is telling. On the one side we have Oxford philosopher and legal scholar, John Finnis. On the other we have Democrat pol turned minor Patheos blogger, Rebecca Hamilton.    

The retired Mrs. Hamilton has a dotty New Age view of her faith - the Pope uses Apostolic letters to proclaim new revelations. She also have a few choice words for Cardinal Burke, John Finnis and the rest of us.

Does Spadaro agree with her sentiments? It's true he didn't explicitly say so.  But her article did make it into his relatively small pantheon of Amoris Laetitia related retweets.

But that is part of Spadaro's schtick, isn't it? Provide cover for his attacks, perhaps with a sock-puppet, while feigning innocence as to any personal intended impropriety or rudeness. In this case he didn't use a sock-puppet, which I assume means the retweet has a high level of authority in the, so to speak, Spadaro magisterium.

The following are direct quotes from Mrs. Hamilton, and refer to the critics of Amoris Laetitia. I "edited" them only by taking them out of the paragraph flow to make a list (again, you may read the actual post to check that I have been fair):      

tear into the fabric of the Church with destructive glee
venomous comments
malicious misinterpretations
deliberate destructiveness
the obsessed people
internal rage
disrespect and hatred
usual projections of angry people
trying to deal with their mental health issues
vilify the pope
the internal fires of self-deification that burn inside them
Schismatic individualism
destroying simple faithfulness
outrageous behavior
vilifying Pope Francis
deliberate misquotes
misquoted teachings from earlier popes
weave tangled skeins of canon law
misquoted papal statements
like a spider, spinning a web to catch its prey
rageful faithful movement
cardinals who should know better
priests who also should know better
bloggers looking for something inflammatory to say that will spin their view meters
wayward cardinals and priests
tribal adoration from the pope-haters
wave of insults and claims
The core problem, a matter of sin
anyone who disagrees with them is subhuman trash
a bandaid of pious self-righteousness over the oozing slime of sin
satan...has...taken over our public discourse
The election just past proved that rather decisively
hatred and vilification (of) Pope Francis
utterly amoral
this plunge into the pit by a whole society
the anger of people who have been called on their sins
they have no intention of giving up (their sins)
those whose real god is their politics.
These people have conflated Jesus Christ with their politics
they have fallen so deeply into the sin of this idolatry
They condemn the pope
hook to hang pope hatred on

Again, it's odd that Hamilton would accuse others of misquoting the Pope when she admits that she didn't read what the Pope actually said.

Rebecca Hamilton is a retired Democrat politician who before she was driven partly insane by the current crisis in the Church, did some good work (for example, for the pro-life movement).

Antonio Spadaro - the Pope's "mouthpiece" - is a vain and silly little man.

And Amoris Laetitia is nothing more than an emanation. It cannot be defended by any honest and rational Catholic.

They're not even trying anymore.