Category Archives: Blithe Spirit

The good and the bad, emphasis on Trib and Sun-Times

They turned swords into buying and selling in a free market

How Capitalism Tamed Medieval Europe

Even England Catches On

London was behind Italy or Flanders, but it was catching up. The city had started to grow as a trading hub in the 12th century, and its mayor, William Hardel, was the only commoner to witness the Magna Carta in 1215 and helped secure Clause 41, which stated that all foreign “merchants are to be safe and secure in departing from and coming to England” without “evil exactions.”

I.e., tariffs and the like.

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While The Nations rage . . .

Trump Makes Gains Ahead of Midterms but Risks Remain for GOP

After losing voter support in every state during his first nine months in office, Trump begins his second year with his popularity on the upswing.

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The cardinal rattled cages with this one, including mine. What was (is) he thinking?

Commentators on Homosexual Blessing Scandal Call for Correction or Dismissal of Cardinal Marx – OnePeterFive

The recent statements made by Cardinal Reinhard Marx, the president of the German Bishops’ Conference and papal counselor, concerning the possibility, even if only in some parishes, of blessing same-sex couples has caused quite a stir in the Catholic world. …

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This POTUS does not mince words

In this case in responding to the Schiff memo:

On Saturday morning the president said on Twitter: “The Democrats sent a very political and long response memo which they knew, because of sources and methods (and more), would have to be heavily redacted, whereupon they would blame the White House for lack of transparency. Told them to re-do and send back in proper form!”

We know what he’s thinking. The previous POTUS, a mainly photo-op fellow, not so much.

Quinquagesima Sunday – Prepare for the fight of your life!

From the witty, informed, perspicacious Fr. Z.:

In our traditional Roman calendar, Sunday is Quinquagesima, Latin for the symbolic “Fiftieth” day before Easter.  This is one of the pre-Lenten Sundays which prepare us for the discipline of Lent.

The priest’s vestments are purple. No Gloria.  No Alleluia. The prayers and readings for the pre-Lenten Sundays were compiled by St. Gregory the Great (+604).

The Consilium’s liturgical engineers under Annibale Bugnini and others eliminated these pre-Lent Sundays, much to our detriment.  (Cf. BugniniCare).

via Fr. Z’s Blog | Formerly entitled: “What Does The Prayer Really Say?” – Clear, straight commentary on Catholic issues, liturgy and life by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf    o{]:¬)

Heresies we always have with us, Jesus did not say — but might have

From 17th-century wise man Thomas Browne:

That Heresies should arise, we have the Prophesie of Christ; but that old ones should be abolished, we hold no prediction.

That there must be Heresies, is true, not only in our Church, but also in any other: even in doctrines heretical, there will be super-heresies; and Arians not only divided from their Church, but also among themselves.

For heads that are disposed unto Schism and complexionally propense [inclined by temperament; I love his terminology] to innovation, are naturally indisposed for a community, nor will be ever confined unto the order or economy of one body [restlessly nonconformist]; and therefore, when they separate from others, they knit but loosely among themselves; nor contented with a general breach or dichotomy with their Church do subdivide and mince themselves almost into Atoms. [Make mincemeat of their new grouping!]

Browne, Sir Thomas. Religio Medici – Enhanced Version (p. 13). Christian Classics Ethereal Library. Kindle Edition.

Italics all mine, ditto bracketed items.

More smart talk on immigration

From an improbable source, when the winds were blowing in one direction.

Hillary Clinton: “Mexico is such an important problem. Mexican government’s policies are pushing migration north. There isn’t any sensible approach except to do what we need to do simultaneously, you know, secure our borders with technology, personnel, physical barriers, if necessary, in some places.

“We need to have tougher employer sanctions and we need to kind of incentivize Mexico to do more. If they’ve committed transgressions of whatever kind, they should be, obviously, deported.” [Speech to the Council on Foreign Relations, October 31, 2006]

Statesman like, eh?

Stirring words in defense of tough immigration policy

In 1995.

We are a nation of immigrants, but we are also a nation of laws.  It is wrong and, ultimately, self-defeating for a nation of immigrants to permit the kind of abuse of our immigration laws we have seen in recent years, and we must do more to stop it.

[Emphases as in the spoken original, see official transcript—it was followed by a 15-second standing ovation.]

By President William Jefferson Clinton in his State of the Union address.

Not bad, when you get down to it.

Commonweal Magazine lays Francis out

Concluding with a virtual prosecutor’s brief:

The letter that Francis received in 2015 directly contradicts his claim that no victims had come forward in Chile, and makes it difficult to believe that he was defending Barros out of ignorance. Francis’s election, with its promise to return a real measure of authority to local churches, gave new life to the reform agenda of Vatican II.

But when it comes to the crisis that has devastated the church, it increasingly looks as though Francis is only offering more of the same—or worse. He might not be inclined to judge, but the church and the world are watching, and will not hesitate to do just that. Francis has demanded accountability from priests and bishops, and now must be held to account himself.

via A Time to Judge | Commonweal Magazine

Plus more more more from One Peter Five:

— A Breaking Point in the Papacy?

At the beginning of 2018, Steve Skojec predicted that this year would mark “the beginning of the end” of Pope Francis’ power. It is now becoming increasingly clear that this pontificate might be facing several distinct points of fracture. Francis’ international standing is being undermined.

There are at least five areas where the pope has become vulnerable: the Cardinal Marx scandal; the Bishop Barros abuse case; the Chinese crisis; the controversy concerning the upcoming World Meeting of Families in Ireland; and the growing resistance to Amoris Laetitia.


— Is Pope Francis Opening the Doors of the Church to “Queer Theology”?

The question arises spontaneously after learning that the Portuguese priest-poet José Tolentino de Mendonça has been asked to direct the upcoming and now-traditional Lenten retreat which will be given in Ariccia, Italy, to Pope Bergoglio and members of the Roman Curia.

Mendonça is known to be a fan of Sister Maria Teresa Forcades i Vila, a theologian noted for her “queer” positions and who is presently in Italy to promote her book We are all Diverse! In Favor of a Queer Theology (Castelvecchi Editore).

Actually, Chicago’s Cardinal Cupich beat this Lenten retreat to it some months back, when shortly after Rev. James Martin, S.J., had appearances cancelled in the wake of publication of his pro-gaiety book Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity (Harper One, 2017), Cupich scheduled him to offer Lenten reflections at Holy Name Cathedral the evenings of March 22 and 23.

Pro-gaiety reaches high ranks not only in Rome but in the U.S.A.

Same-sex-attracted get boost in Oregon . . .

. . . where the archbishop is having a heart for those (and their families) who want to live right.

The first initiative proposed for the Archdiocese of Portland was establishing the ministries of Courage and Encourage, which together provide a support network for same-sex attracted persons who are looking for chaste ways to live their lives, as well as their families.

“We must respond with love, respect and sensitivity to these persons and their families,” Sample said, according to the Catholic Sentinel.

. . . meanwhile pushing a program to strengthen married couples and their families.

The second new effort within the archdiocese was “for our local Church to do a better job of preparing people for marriage.”

Sample said marriage prep begins in youth, through religious education and the ways children grow to view marriage through high school, college and adulthood. He also noted that the archdiocese would be seeking out programs that would best fit existing parish and vicariate-level preparation programs.

and yet more, all

in response to the Church’s 2014 and 2015 worldwide synods of bishops on the topic of marriage, which the archbishop noted was a “major priority for the whole Church throughout the world.”

The very synods which some cardinals and the pope used in effect to strengthen something else — approval of communion for divorced and remarried.

via Portland archbishop celebrates marriage Mass after call for new family initiatives

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