Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Julian Assange and his "admirable" backers

The Telegraph reports that the folk who stood bail for alleged sex pest Julian Assange have been ordered to stump up £93,500. It seems the judge has treated them rather leniently by reducing the amount they each have to pay and by giving them a month to come up with the money.

The bit that really caught my eye was this:

 Howard Riddle, Chief Magistrate, told Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Monday: “I say immediately that I have real respect for the way that the sureties have conducted themselves in difficult circumstances.
“In declining to publicly (or as far as I know privately) urge Mr Assange to surrender himself they have acted against self-interest.
“They have acted on their beliefs and principles throughout. In what is sometimes considered to be a selfish age, that is admirable.”
So a judicial officer thinks that it's "admirable" to back someone who has broken his bail conditions? I wonder if Howard Riddle would have been so lenient if it had been a common drunk or petty thief who had skipped bail. Somehow I doubt it.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Making the sign of the cross

Here's a snippet of the transcription of a fascinating talk given by Dom Cassian Folsom, prior of the Benedictine Monastry of San Benedetto and well known liturgical scholar:

... I had occasion to talk with a young Greek layman, who pointed out to me that Catholics make the sign of the cross backwards. That's not the most ecumenical way to put it! But there's something behind what he said. You know how the Byzantine tradition makes the sign of the cross: with the thumb, forefinger and middle finger held together and the last two fingers held together against the palm.
The three fingers symbolize the Trinity, and the two fingers symbolized the double nature of Christ: divine and human. Making the sign of the cross then, becomes a mini-catechesis, a self-reminder of the most basic mysteries of our faith.
But the way of holding your fingers is not the only difference. The eastern tradition makes the sign of the cross from right to left, whereas we make it from left to right. Why?
It's interesting to note that in the 13th century, Pope Innocent III (contemporary with St. Francis of Assisi) instructed the faithful on the meaning of the sign of the cross in these words: "The sign of the cross is made with three fingers, because the signing is done together with the invocation of the Trinity. This is how it is done: from above to below, and from the right to the left, because Christ descended from the heavens to the earth, and from the Jews (right) he passed to the Gentiles (left)."
Note that Pope Innocent is describing what the custom was in the West. In the 13th century the East and the West still made the sign of the cross in the same way. The pope goes on to say: "Others, however, make the sign of the cross from the left to the right, because from misery (left) we must cross over to glory (right), just as Christ crossed over from death to life, and from Hades to Paradise. [Some priests] do it this way so that they and the people will be signing themselves in the same way. You can easily verify this - picture the priest facing the people for the blessing - when we make the sign of the cross over the people, it is from left to right."
So the people, imitating the blessing of the priest, began to sign themselves from left to right. Be that as it may, centuries have gone by since then, and we in the West make the sign of the cross from left to right, with the palm open.
The whole, very interesting transcript is here

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Hitler's Pope

I've long thought that the myth of Hitler's pope is one of the great slanders of our time. The lies of a few about Venerable Pius XII have encouraged every rag tag Catholic baiter to adopt the "cause" and accusePapa Pacelli of being, at best an anti-Semite, and at worst an active collaborator with Hitler.

The Telegraph today has an article about recently released documents that show the high regard in which Pius XII was held by many Jews:

“While in nearly all the countries of Europe we were persecuted, imprisoned and threatened with death because we belong to the Jewish people and profess the Jewish faith, Your Holiness not only sent notable and generous gifts to our camp through the apostolic nuncio...but also showed your fatherly interest in our physical and spiritual well-being,” they wrote in German.

“(You) intrepidly raised your universally venerated voice against our enemies – still so powerful at that time – to openly support our rights to human dignity.

“When in 1942 we were under the threat of deportation to Poland, Your Holiness extended your fatherly hand to protect us and prevented the deportation of the Jews imprisoned in Italy, thereby saving us from almost certain death.”
Unfortunately, of course, it doesn't matter what is or isn't released because the secularist liars and bigots will continue to peddle their calumny.

You can read the whole article here

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Fulton J Sheen

'Nuff said!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Thread for Weaving Joy

"A Thread for Weaving Joy" is the title of a talk given earlier this week by Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput O.F.M. Cap. to some participants in the March for Life pro-life rally.

Imagine a bishop standing up and expounding Catholic teaching. Imagine a bishop talking about what is required to be a Catholic. The cheek of it!

Catholic public officials who take God seriously cannot support laws that attack human dignity without lying to themselves, misleading others and abusing the faith of their fellow Catholics.  God will demand an accounting.  Catholic doctors who take God seriously cannot do procedures, prescribe drugs or support health policies that attack the sanctity of unborn children or the elderly; or that undermine the dignity of human sexuality and the family.  God will demand an accounting.  And Catholic citizens who take God seriously cannot claim to love their Church, and then ignore her counsel on vital public issues that shape our nation’s life.  God will demand an accounting.
and then there is this:
Evil talks about tolerance only when it’s weak.  When it gains the upper hand, its vanity always requires the destruction of the good and the innocent, because the example of good and innocent lives is an ongoing witness against it.  So it always has been.  So it always will be.
While the speech is was delivered to an American audince, the points the Archbishop makes are equally valid on this side of the Atlantic.

Read the whole thing here.

Friday, December 23, 2011

O Emmanuel

The last of the seven great Antiphons, O Emmanuel

O Emmanuel, Rex et legifer noster,
exspectatio Gentium, et Salvator earum:
veni ad salvandum nos, Domine, Deus noster.

O Immanuel, you are our king and judge,
the One whom the peoples await and their Saviour.
O come and save us, Lord, our God.
Isaiah prophesied:

"The Lord himself, therefore, will give you a sign. It is this: the maiden is with child and shall give birth to a son whom she will call Immanuel." (Isaiah 7:14)

Immanuel means "God is with us". 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

O Rex Gentium

The King of the Nations,  or O Rex Gentium, O Antiphon number 6.

O Rex Gentium, et desideratus earum,
lapisque angularis, qui facis utraque unum:
veni, et salva hominem,
quem de limo formasti.

O King whom all the peoples desire,
you are the cornerstone which makes all one.
O come and save man
whom you made from clay.
Isaiah tells us:

"For there is a child been born for us, a son given to us and dominion is laid on his shoulders; and this is the name they give him: Wonder-Counsellor, Mighty-God, Eternal-Father, Prince-of-Peace." (Isaiah 9:5)

"He will wield authority over the nations, and adjudicate between many peoples; these will hammer their swords into ploughshares, their spears into sickles. Nation will not lift sword against nation, there will be no more training for war." Isaiah 2:4

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

O Oriens

O Antiphon number 5, O Oriens or O Rising Sun (Sunrise)


O Oriens,
splendor lucis aeternae, et sol justitiae:
veni, et illumina sedentes in tenebris, et umbra mortis.

O Rising Sun,
you are the splendour of eternal light and the sun of justice.
O come and enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.
Isaiah tells us:

"The people that walked in darkness has seen a great light; on those who live in a land of deep shadow a light has shone." (Isaiah 9:2)

Monday, December 19, 2011

O Radix Jesse

The third of the O Antiphons, O Radix Jesse or O stock of Jesse

O Radix Jesse, qui stas in signum populorum,
super quem continebunt reges os suum,
quem Gentes deprecabuntur:
veni ad liberandum nos, jam noli tardare.

O stock of Jesse, you stand as a signal for the nations;
kings fall silent before you
whom the peoples acclaim.
O come to deliver us, and do not delay.
Isaiah says:

"A shoot springs from the stock of Jesse, a scion thrusts from his roots." (Isaiah 11:1)


"That day, the root of Jesse shall stand as a signal to the peoples. It will be sought by the nations and its home will be glorious." (Isaiah 11:10)
    Jesse was the father of King David, and Micah had prophesied that the Messiah would be of David's line and be born in David's city, Bethlehem (Micah 5:1)

    Sunday, December 18, 2011

    O Adonai

    The second of the O Antiphons, O Adonai 

    O Adonai, et Dux domus Israel,
    qui Moysi in igne flammae rubi apparuisti,
    et ei in Sina legem dedisti:
    veni ad redimendum nos in brachio extento.

    O Adonai, and leader of Israel,
    you appeared to Moses in a burning bush
    and you gave him the law on Sinai.
    O come and save us with your mighty power.
    In Isaiah we read:

    "... but [He] judges the wretched with integrity, and with equity gives a verdict for the poor of the land. His word is a rod that strikes the ruthless, his sentences bring death to the wicked. Integrity is the loincloth round his waist, faithfulness the belt about his hips." (Isaiah 11:4-5)

    "For the Lord is our judge, the Lord our lawgiver, the Lord our king and our saviour." (Isaiah 33:22)