Thursday, February 28, 2013

How a Good Lent Can Help Fix a Bad Economy

Written by John Horvat II
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To those who see no link between Lent and our failing economy, it might be the case to look again.

Economics is about people. It cannot be reduced to numbers, formulae and analyses. “The subject matter of economics,” observes economic historian Odd Langholm, “is properly the habits, customs, and ways of thinking of producers, consumers, buyers, sellers, borrowers, lenders, and all who engage in economic transactions.”

That means our moral habits can have a definite effect on determining if our economy grows—or fails.

In my new book, Return to Order: From a Frenzied Economy to an Organic Christian Society—Where We’ve Been, How We Got Here, and Where We Need to Go, I show how our present economic crisis is being caused by what I call “frenetic intemperance.”

Frenetic intemperance can be defined as a restless spirit inside certain sectors of modern economy that foments a drive inside men to throw off legitimate restraints and gratify disordered passions. It is not a specifically economic problem but a moral and psychological vice that throws everything out of balance. When frenetic intemperance dominates, it often sends the whole system into convulsions—as we saw during the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis. And, unless addressed, it is virulent enough to crash the entire financial system.

In our daily lives, we see frenetic intemperance in the tendency to desire everything, right away, regardless of the consequences. Everyone must have the latest gadget even though they do not need it and really cannot afford it. The mad lack of restraint leads to an unstable economy laden with boom and bust, debt and stress. It creates a cold mechanistic economy where money rules. It gives rise to a materialistic culture which values quantity and utility over quality and beauty. The long and short of it is that a frenzied economy comes from frenzied lifestyles.

And that brings us to Lent. Fighting bad moral habits and practicing restraint is what Lent is all about. More than giving up a box of chocolates, how about giving up habits that foster frenetic intemperance, which is the real root cause of our economic decline? Besides the personal benefits of interior peace, detachment, and greater spiritual freedom, a good Lent can also help save our economy.

Here are some suggestions on how this might be done.

1. Avoid speculative investments that promise huge returns on investment in little time. Such offers usually do not deliver what they promise and always feed frenetic desires that create anxiety and stress.

2. Stay away from business relationships that are cold and mechanical. Treat workers like family. Respect those for whom you work.

3. Avoid trendy business gurus and books that call for radical changes that will “revolutionize” a company or keep people in a constant state of change.

4. Eschew work schedules that are inhuman and stressful. Learn to appreciate leisure.

5. Avoid compulsive buying especially during those sales frenzies around the holidays.

6. Shun the abuse of credit cards and especially the temptation to pay only the minimal monthly amount. Avoid consumer debt as you would the plague (i.e. borrowing to buy things for your immediate consumption, e.g. that new laptop, games, cars, fashion clothing, etc. that you cannot afford, as opposed to investment debt , e.g. your home mortgage).

7. Learn not to have everything right now. The culture of instant gratification creates a frenzied lifestyle—and economy.

8. Do not take as role models those who have money as the central axis of their lives. Admire character not a person’s bottom line.

9. Resist the temptation of seeing only quantity and cheapness. Learn to appreciate the beauty of quality and good taste.

10. Avoid lavish display, especially of fancy gadgetry that leads to a desire to keep up with the e-Joneses with the latest version.

As Lent progresses, we would do well to do something that has an impact beyond our own spiritual lives. It would be good to practice charity toward our neighbor by looking at the big picture. Giving up frenetic intemperance is a good start.
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John Horvat II is a scholar, researcher, educator, international speaker, and author. His book Return to Order: From a Frenzied Economy to an Organic Christian Society—Where We’ve Been, How We Got Here, and Where We Need to Go will be published February 19.


How a Good Lent Can Help Fix a Bad Economy

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Praise for Return to Order - Rev. Dr. John Trigilio, Jr.

Fr_Trigilio"John Horvat succinctly describes the condition, history, diagnosis and prognosis of our current economic crisis. The economic chaos or peril is only symptomatic of the bigger and more crucial issue of a CULTURAL CRISIS. His terminology of FRENETIC INTEMPERANCE is brilliant. This is not an apologia to retreat from the world nor is it an attempt to turn back the clock, so to speak. It is a coherent explanation of the sitz-im-leben we find ourselves. Only an ORGANIC CHRISTIAN SOCIETY can save Europe and America from the same oblivion that doomed the Egyptian, Greek and Roman civilizations. Western Civilization is rooted in the JUDAEO-CHRISTIAN ethos. No philosophical or economic theory can provide what an organic Christian society alone creates and supports. Not Socialism, not Communism, not Fascism and not unbridled, unrestricted and unlimited Consumeristic Capitalism. Horvat, like Fr. Sirico, shows that a Free Market makes sense and conforms to the Natural Moral Law but must also be constrained and governed by it as well. I highly recommend this book."

Rev. Dr. John Trigilio, Jr.
 EWTN Host

Praise for Return to Order - Rev. Dr. John Trigilio, Jr. | Return to OrderReturn to Order

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Confession: The Sacrament of Divine Mercy

To better understand the great spiritual treasure contained in the Sacrament of Penance or Confession, let us turn the clock back two thousand years to Palestine, to a scene in the public life of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

The majesty of His Person, the wisdom pouring forth from His mouth and the power manifested by His miracles attracted a multitude that followed Him everywhere.

Only God Can Forgive Sins
One day, after curing the centurion’s daughter as a reward for his faith, silencing the storm before the fearful apostles, and expelling the demons in Gerasa, he boarded Peter’s boat for Capharnaum.
Hearing that He was in a house in their city, the people gathered in such numbers that the door of the house was obstructed. But for faith there are no obstacles, so some charitable persons carrying a paralytic, unable to enter by the door, climbed to the roof and lowered the suffering man into the room, setting him at Our Lord’s feet to be cured.

To everyone’s surprise, instead of simply performing the expected miracle, Jesus said: “Courage, son, thy sins are forgiven.”

This was something new. No prophet had dared pardon sins. Not even John the Baptist, the greatest of all, had dared so much, preaching only the baptism of penance for the forgiveness of sins.[1]

Nevertheless, this new Prophet declared, “thy sins are forgiven.”

The Pharisees, always looking for something with which to be scandalized, despite the Master’s astounding miracles, thought to themselves: “How does this man speak this way? He is blaspheming. Who but God alone can forgive sins?”

Truly, only God can forgive sins. That is because sin is an offense against the divine Majesty and only the object of the offense can forgive the offender. No one can forgive an offense done to another, above all when this Other is of a superior nature, God Himself.

Still, the wisdom and the miracles showed that this Prophet possessed powers that no other prophet before Him had possessed. His was an unfathomable perfection. But the Pharisees had hardened their hearts, and their understanding was clouded by passion. Within themselves, they uttered the same accusation that they were to renew at His passion: “He has blasphemed.”[2]

There was drama in the air. Everyone felt it. How would Jesus react before that mute accusation and ill-disguised surprise?

The answer came as a challenge. “Why are you thinking such things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, pick up your mat, and walk’?”
As always, the Pharisees were speechless before the dilemma offered them by the Rabbi.
In answer to their silence, Jesus said: “But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins,” He said to the paralytic, “I say to you, arise, pick up your mat, and go home.”
“And immediately,” writes Saint Mark, the paralytic “rose, picked up his mat, and went away in the sight of everyone. They were all astounded and glorified God, saying: ‘We have never seen anything like this.’”[3]

The miracle performed by Our Lord on this occasion had an apologetic value. As Saint John Chrysostom explains, Jesus proved His divinity by a triple miracle: “First, declaring openly their secret thoughts and murmurs against Him; second, healing the paralytic, third, performing the miracle with this end in view, that, by it, He might show that He had the power to forgive sins.”[4]

Our Lord Gave the Apostles the Power to Forgive Sins
Here we have the explanation for Confession. As Jesus proved that He was God by means of an astounding miracle, He also proved that He could forgive sins. And, as God, He has not only the power to forgive sins but has also the power to confer this faculty on others.

Furthermore, as Jesus is the only priest of the new Law, the mediator between God and men, a simple “delegation” of the power to forgive sins would still not be enough. It was necessary that Christ unite His Eternal Priesthood to that of those that would continue His work on earth after His ascension into Heaven.[5] For this reason, He instituted the ministerial priest as the visible instrument of His action.[6]

The power to forgive sins was bestowed on the Apostles on the evening of the day Our Lord resurrected from the dead and mysteriously appeared amidst the Apostles gathered in the cenacle behind locked doors.

Saint John narrates:
Now when it was late that same day, the first of the week, and the doors were shut, where the disciples were gathered together, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst and said to them, “Peace be to you.”

When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. The disciples therefore were glad, when they saw the Lord. He said therefore to them again, “Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you.”

When He had said this, He breathed on them and He said to them, “Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whose sins you shall forgive they are forgiven them, and whose sins you shall retain they are retained.”[7]

The Power to Judge and to Forgive
It is clear in the narrative above that Our Lord instituted not only the Sacrament of Penance, but also the mode in which it must be practiced. On declaring that the sins that a priest forgives are forgiven and those that he retains are retained, He is signifying that, before forgiving, the priest must become acquainted with the sins as well as with the dispositions of the sinner. Only then will he be in a position to judge if there are conditions for forgiveness or not.

The seal of confession is an essential aspect of the sacrament of Penance. This sacred trust between penitent and confessor cannot be broken.

Thus, in the tribunal of Confession, as in any other tribunal, it is necessary that there be an accused, an accuser, and a judge. In Confession, the role of accuser is exercised by the penitent who accuses himself to the priest of the sins he has committed; hence the necessity of oral confession.[8] The judge is the priest.

The Absolute Necessity for Secrecy in Confession
Our Lord, having established the Sacrament of Penance and the need for the penitent to declare his sins to the priest, also established the secrecy of Confession as a necessary consequence. For if secrecy were not obligatory, Confession would be odious if not impossible. This would render the sacrament ineffective, which is absurd.

Therefore, the secrecy of Confession is a divinely instituted right and cannot be abolished by any earthly authority. Any attempt in this respect is in direct opposition to God’s will.

Besides being a divine right, this obligation of secrecy was also established by ecclesiastical law, which always imposed the severest penalty for its infraction.[9] Current legislation continues to maintain the same, declaring that any confessor who violates the secrecy of Confession is automatically excommunicated and can only be absolved by the Holy See.[10]

Is It Not Too Humiliating to Confess to Another Man?
Is it not too humiliating to have to submit to another man, himself a sinner, at times possibly even a greater sinner than the one confessing his sins?

If we truly realized the scope of God’s infinite grandeur and majesty and His immense perfection, we would be much more ashamed of telling our sins to Him (as if He did not already know them,) than to a man. The more perfect is the creature we address, the more miserable we appear and the more evident is the contrast between perfection and sin.

That is why theologians say that when a person dies in the terrible state of mortal sin and appears at his private judgment before the unspeakable perfection of God, he flees from God and hurls himself in Hell to hide his shame.

Thus if we analyze this well, this very humiliation of having to confess our sins to another man is a mercy of God. How much more humiliating it would be to kneel before the Divine Master Himself and tell Him all our sins! What is the humiliation before a man compared to the humiliation of recounting our sins before the infinite perfection of God?

In any case, this is the form in which Our Lord instituted the Sacrament of Confession, so we should submit in a spirit of obedience and love. In His infinite wisdom, He does everything to perfection. When men try to modify what He instituted, the result can only be deplorable.

The prideful attitude of saying, “I confess directly to God,” is almost the same as saying: “I am so perfect that I go directly to God Himself. I have no need of those crutches that are the Sacraments, the advice or the help of other men.”

The priest is “taken from among men and made their representative before God to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.”[11]

An angel cannot be a mediator. To refuse thus the mediation of another man is to refuse the priesthood, because the priest, while a mediator, has to be of the same nature as those for whom he mediates. That is why Our Lord, the Supreme Priest, became flesh and took our nature onto Himself, as Saint Paul says: “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin.”[12]

But Can a Sinner Forgive Sins?
To a priest applies, even more than to the common faithful, the general convocation to sanctity of Our Lord when he said: “So be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.”[13] But a priest is also subject to temptation and can not only sin but be, in certain cases, a sinner. Nevertheless, even when he sins, he does not forfeit the power that comes to him from the Sacrament of Holy Orders.

This was the objection raised at the beginning of the Church by the Donatist heretics as a result of a misunderstanding of the doctrine on the sacraments. But Saint Augustine made it very clear to these same heretics that the power of the sacraments does not come from the sanctity of its ministers but from the infinite sanctity and perfection of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

I Have No Sins to Confess…
Many people feel no need to go to Confession, thinking that they have no sins. They should consider what Scriptures says: “For the just man falls seven times.”[14] “Yet there is no man on earth so just as to do good and never sin.”[15] “If we say, ‘we have not sinned,’ we make Him [God] a liar, and His word is not in us.”[16]

In these times of extreme corruption, let us avail ourselves of this instrument of divine mercy that is Confession. Let us carefully examine our consciences and with the firm resolution of turning away from sin, confess our failings to the priest.

For this small effort, this small humiliation, the reward is immense. Our soul is washed clean, our sins are forgiven, and we return to God’s friendship. As the Psalmist says: “cleanse me with hyssop, that I may be pure; wash me, make me whiter than snow.”[17]

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Mercy Without Justice Is the Mother of Dissolution; Justice Without Mercy Is Cruelty
Charity Does Not Justify Compromise
The Mother: Love, Affection, Goodness, and Mercy

1. Cf. Luke 3:3. [back to text]
2. Matt. 26:65. [back to text]
3. Mark 2:5-11; cf. Matt. 8:1-34; 9:1-8. [back to text]
4.. Cornelius a Lapide, St. Matthew’s Gospel, Chaps. I to IX, in The Great Commentary of Cornelius a Lapide (London: John Hodges, 1893), p. 353. [back to text]
5. See 1 Tim. 2:5; Heb. 5:6; 7:24; Ps. 110:5. [back to text]
6. Our Lord instituted the Sacrament of Holy Orders on Holy Thursday. After anticipating the sacrifice of the Cross in a sacramental form by the transformation of the bread and wine into His body and blood, He commanded the disciples: “Do this in remembrance of Me.” On giving this command, He also granted the necessary power to execute it, that is, the power to consecrate. (Luke, 22:19; 1Cor.11:24.) [back to text]
7. John 20:19-23. Saint Cyril explains that Saint Thomas, despite being absent, also received the Holy Ghost and then the power to pardon sins eight days later when Our Lord appeared to him and converted him from his incredulity. (cf. Cornelius a Lapide, The Great Commentary–St. John’s Gospel [Edinburgh: John Grant, 1908], p. 273). [back to text]
8. Under special circumstances, the Church allows general absolution without oral confession, but oral confession must be made at the first opportunity. (See Canon 963.) [back to text]
9. Cf. “Seal of Confession. … Imposed by Christ in instituting the sacrament, this obligation has repeatedly been inculcated by ecclesiastical authority.” Fr. Gregory Manise, O.S.B., s.v. “Seal of Confession,” in Dictionary of Moral Theology (Westminster, Md.: Newman Press, 1962), p.1105. [back to text]
10. Canon 1388, cf. Canon 983. [back to text]
11. Heb 5:1 [back to text]
12. Heb. 4:15. [back to text]
13. Matt. 5:48. [back to text]
14. Prov. 24:16. [back to text]
15. Eccles. 7:21. [back to text]
16. 1 John 1:10. [back to text]
17. Ps. 51:9. [back to text]

Monday, February 25, 2013

Off the Beaten Path

Written by Norman Fulkerson
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Off the Beaten Path
Since reading Return to Order by John Horvat, I was inspired to apply the principles he so clearly lays out for the reader. He gives organic society as the solution for our economic problems and an essential part of such a plan is a healthy regionalism. Although it might be hard to believe, America as Europe has a myriad of examples of such a thing.

It is for this reason that I decided, on a recent trip to North Carolina, to avoid chain restaurants in favor of more local flavors. This not only helps to support regional businesses, but it gives the traveler a chance to really appreciate and subsequently understand the area they are visiting. My efforts were paid off today when I had lunch at The Pit in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina’s warehouse district. It was recommended by locals as a good place to sample a bit of barbeque, for which this state is most known.

What struck me first was the excellence of the food; every dish was a culinary masterpiece one would only expect to find in grandma’s kitchen. Add to this the quantity and you can be assured that you will leave The Pit completely satisfied. This is due as much to the excellence of the food as from the fact that what you eat is largely produced by local people.
“What struck me first was the excellence of the food…”

Michael Woods is the Assistant Chef and he took time out of his busy schedule to share some of the secrets of their success. The conversation with him was nearly as enjoyable as the lunch I had just enjoyed. He explained the history of the restaurant. One of the secrets of their success is the authenticity of the barbeque which began with a legendary “pit-master” and co-founder Ed Mitchell, a black gentleman who put them on the map in Raleigh. Mr. Mitchell’s picturesque bushy white beard and frayed overalls might have deceived some of the early patrons, but they quickly made The Pit their favorite watering hole in town. Mitchell is no longer with them, but Mr. Woods explained how the trademark flavors crafted by him continue.

Their website boasts of having “the freshest of the state’s bountiful produce.” The meat they serve, for example, is as homegrown as the founder. The pigs used to produce their world class ribs are obtained exclusively from farmers barely an hour away from the restaurant and are raised with free-range farming practices. Even more interesting is the pedigree of their sweet potatoes. They are purchased from another local farmer who proudly boasts of the fact that the seeds used to grow them are from the same line that dates back to the turn of the century. Their delicious heirloom cabbage collards also enjoy a long tradition of satisfying the palate of customers; their seed line is several generations old. The farmer they buy them from “had to plant fifteen extra acres just to keep up with our demand,” Mr. Woods explained. Such is the case with a catfish company that supplies them with their fish. It is appropriately named “Locals.”

All of the spirits at The Pit have been handpicked to enhance the smoked and sometimes spicy fare cooked off the pit, as well as with some of the more traditional entrees.

Although they have been in business for only four years they enjoy an enormous popularity with the locals… and those who take the time to get off the beaten path. Fridays and Saturdays are their busiest days as they serve 3,000 people.

Yes it does pay to get off the beaten path and discover what makes a particular region of the United States special. Yes there is an alternative to the mass-produced, artificially re-created country-store-atmosphere in such places like Cracker Barrel. Today I was able to say NO to this lack of authenticity and the fabricated flavors dished up by chain stores in favor of something truly unique.

Off the Beaten Path

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Abuse No One Wants to See

Written by John Horvat II
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The Abuse No One Wants to See
In these times of great concern for children, sexual abuse and gun safety, there is an alarming government report on abusive behavior that seems to have gone unnoticed by major media.

The report deals with the culpable misbehavior of a large sector of the population. The number of yearly victims – some 20 million – is mindboggling. Half of these are youth – some as young as 10 or 11 – who will be scarred for life. The economic consequences of these acts are costing billions of dollars.

Such a report should have raised a firestorm. There should be loud cries of “Save Our Children.” It should have at least triggered a congressional inquiry as to the cause of this massive abuse.

But this particular problem exists in a vacuum. The crisis can easily be avoided but no one seems to care. This abuse is looked upon with indifference because it involves moral values. It is simply not politically correct to complain.

The behavior is promiscuity especially among the nation’s most sexually active sectors. The consequences are illnesses and death. The new report issued this week by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) claims that America is suffering from an “ongoing and severe epidemic” of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) that is costing the nation’s healthcare system an astounding $16 billion in medical costs per year.

The report documents an estimated 20 million new cases of STDs a year that are a “severe human and economic burden” on the entire country. Youth bear a substantial burden of these infections. CDC estimates that half of all new cases occur among young men and women. Moreover, this is only part of the whole picture. The new cases plus the ongoing infections add up to an aggregated total of 110 million cases of those now suffering from these diseases largely caused by immoral behavior.

This epidemic is the result of abusive and frenzied lifestyles. The media are all too ready to cry hysterically against a so-called gun culture. And yet no one blames the Hollywood stars, media personalities, pornographers and other accomplices who have created this truly destructive culture that encourages promiscuous behavior and destroys so many lives.

Not even the financial costs appear to be cause for alarm. Some STDs, such as HIV and AIDS, require lifelong treatment and care; they are extremely costly. Others that are curable also require expensive care. The $16 billion price tag for treatment does not include the downtime of those infected and other related costs.

In other words, promiscuity is not a private matter. It weighs heavily upon the nation and the economy since over one third of all Americans are affected. Morals and economy are linked. Unless America returns to the fundamentals of Faith, family and community, there will be no end to these problems. That is but one more reason why a return to order is needed.

The Abuse No One Wants to See

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Thoughts on the Resignation of Benedict XVI

Written by Roberto de Mattei
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Thoughts on the Resignation of Benedict XVI
On February 11, the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, the Holy Father Benedict XVI announced to the Consistory of Cardinals and to the whole world his decision to resign from the papacy. The announcement was greeted by the cardinals “almost in disbelief”, “with a sense of bewilderment”, “like a bolt from the blue”, according to the remarks addressed to the Pope immediately afterward by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Dean of the College of Cardinals.

If the bewilderment of the cardinals was so great, one can imagine how intense the disorientation of the faithful is these days, especially those who have always regarded Benedict XVI as a reference point and now feel somehow “orphaned”, if not downright abandoned, in view of the serious difficulties that the Church faces at the present hour.

Yet the possibility that a Pope could renounce the papal throne was not entirely unexpected. The [then] President of the German Bishops’ Conference, Karl Lehmann, and the [then] Primate of Belgium, Godfried Danneels, had put forward the idea of the “resignation” of John Paul II, when his health had deteriorated. Cardinal Ratzinger, in his 2010 book-length interview Light of the World, had told the German journalist Peter Seewald that if a pope “realizes that he is no longer physically, psychologically, and spiritually capable of handling the duties of his office, then he has a right and, under some circumstances, also an obligation to resign” (p. 30). In 2010, then, fifty Spanish theologians had expressed their support for the Open Letter to the bishops of the whole world by the Swiss theologian Hans Küng with these words:

We believe that the pontificate of Benedict XVI is worn out. The Pope has neither the vigor nor the intellectual acumen to respond adequately to the serious and urgent problems which the Catholic Church finds that she must face. We think therefore, with due respect for his person, that he ought to tender his resignation from his office.

And in 2011-2012, when some journalists, like Giuliano Ferrara and Antonio Socci, had written about the possible resignation of the Pope, this idea had elicited among readers more disapproval than agreement.

There is no doubt whatsoever about the right of a Pope to resign. The new Code of Canon Law regulates the possibility of a resignation by the Pope in canon 332, paragraph 2, with these words:

Should it happen that the Roman Pontiff resigns from his office, it is required for validity that the resignation be freely made and properly manifested, but it is not necessary that it be accepted by anyone.

Moreover Articles 1 and 3 of the 1996 Apostolic Constitution Universi Dominicis Gregis, on the vacancy of the Holy See, foresee the possibility that the vacancy of the Apostolic See might be brought about not only by the death of the Pope, but also by his valid resignation.

In history there are not very many documented episodes of abdication. The best known case is still that of St. Celestine V, the monk Pietro da Morrone, who was elected in Perugia on July 5, 1294, and crowned in L’Aquila the following month on August 29. After a pontificate of only five months, he thought it opportune to resign, considering himself not up to the office that he had taken. Therefore he prepared his abdication, first consulting the Cardinals and then issuing a constitution with which he reaffirmed the validity of the rules already established by Gregory X for conducting the next Conclave. On December 13 in Naples he pronounced his abdication in the presence of the College of Cardinals, relinquished the papal insignia and vestments, and resumed the habit of a hermit. On December 24, 1294, Benedetto Caetani was elected Pope in his stead, with the name of Boniface VIII. Another case of papal resignation - the last one to date - occurred during the course of the Council of Constance (1414-1418). Gregory XII (1406-1415), the legitimate Pope, in order to mend the Great Western Schism (1378-1417), sent to Constance his plenipotentiary Carlo Malatesta to make known his intention to retire from the papal office; on July 4, 1415, his resignation was officially accepted by the conciliar assembly, which at the same time deposed the antipope Benedict XIII. Gregory XII was reinstated in the Sacred College with the title of Cardinal Bishop of Porto and ranking first after the Pope. Having abandoned his papal name and garb and taken again the name of Cardinal Angelo Correr, he retired to the Marches as papal legate and died in Recanati on October 18, 1417.

The possibility of resignation, therefore, is not scandalous per se: it is covered by canon law and has historically occurred over the centuries. It should be noted, however, that the Pope can resign, and sometimes has historically resigned from the Papacy, inasmuch as it is considered an “jurisdictional office of the Church” and is not indelibly linked to the person who occupies it. The apostolic hierarchy in fact exercises two powers that are mysteriously united in the same persons: the power of order [i.e., Holy Orders] and the power of jurisdiction (see, for example, St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, II-IIae, q. 39, a. 3, resp.; III, q. 6, a. 2). Both powers are ordered to achieve the particular goals of the Church, but each with its own characteristics, which distinguish it profoundly from the other: the potestas ordinis is the power to distribute the means of divine grace and pertains to the administration of the sacraments and to the conduct of official worship; the potestas iurisdictionis is the power to govern the ecclesiastical institution and the individual faithful.

The power of order is distinguished from the power of jurisdiction not only by a difference in nature and object, but also by the way in which it is conferred, inasmuch as this power is essentially given at consecration, that is, by means of a sacrament and through the impression of a sacred character. Possession of the potestas ordinis is absolutely indelible inasmuch as its degrees are not temporary offices, but rather imprint characters upon those who on whom it is conferred. According to the Code of Canon Law, once a baptized man becomes a deacon, priest or bishop, he is one forever and no human authority can erase this ontological condition. The power of jurisdiction, in contrast, is not indelible but rather temporary and revocable; its offices, for which physical persons are responsible, terminate with the cessation of the mandate.

Another important feature of the power of order is its non-territoriality, since the degrees of the hierarchy of order [i.e., Holy Orders] are absolutely independent from any territorial limitation, at least as regards the validity of their exercise. The offices of the power of jurisdiction, on the contrary, are always limited in space, and the territory is always one of their constituent elements, except that of the Supreme Pontiff, who is not subject to any spatial limitation.

In the Church the power of jurisdiction belongs jure divino, by divine right, to the Pope and to the bishops. The fullness of this power resides, however, only in the Pope who, as its foundation, supports the whole ecclesiastical edifice. In him is found all pastoral authority, and in the Church any other independent pastoral authority is inconceivable.

Liberal theology supports in contrast, in the name of the Second Vatican Council, a reform of the Church, in a sacramental and charismatic sense, which pits the power of order against the power of jurisdiction, the church of charity against the church of law, the episcopal structure against the monarchical structure. The Pope, reduced to a primus inter pares [first among equals] within the college of bishops, would have only an ethical and prophetic function, a primacy of “honor” or “love”, but not of government or jurisdiction. From this perspective Hans Küng and others mentioned the idea of a pontificate “of limited duration” and no longer for life, as the form of government required by the swiftly changing modern world and with its endless new problems. “We cannot have an 80-year-old Pontiff who is no longer fully present from the physical and mental standpoint,” Küng said to the radio station Südwestrundfunk; the Swiss theologian sees the limitation of the papal mandate as a necessary step for the radical reform of the Church. The Pope would be reduced to the president of a board of directors, to a merely arbitrating figure, alongside an “open-ended” ecclesiastical structure, such as a permanent synod, with decision-making powers.

However, if one maintains that the essence of papacy is found in the sacramental power of order and not in the supreme power of jurisdiction, then the Pope could never resign; if he did, he would lose by his resignation only the exercise of the supreme power, but not the power itself, which would be indelible, like the sacramental ordination from which springs. Anyone who admits the possibility of resignation must admit that the Pope derives his summa potestas [supreme authority] from the jurisdiction that he exercises and not from the sacrament that he receives. Liberal theology is therefore self-contradictory when it pretends that the Papacy is founded on its sacramental nature, and then claims that a Pope can resign, which however can be admitted only if his commission is based on the power of jurisdiction. For the same reason there cannot be, after the resignation of Benedict XVI, “two popes”, one in office and one “emeritus”, as some have said improperly. Benedict XVI will go back to being His Eminence Cardinal Ratzinger and will not be able to exercise the prerogatives, such as infallibility, that are intimately connected with the power of papal jurisdiction.

The Pope, therefore, may resign. But is it opportune for him to do so? An author certainly not “traditional”, Enzo Bianchi, certainly not a “traditionalist” author, wrote in the July 1, 2002, issue of La Stampa:

According to the great tradition of the Church of the East and of the West, no Pope, no patriarch, no bishop should resign just because he has reached an age limit. It is true that for thirty-some years in the Catholic Church there has been a rule that invites bishops to offer their resignation to the pope upon completing their seventy-fifth year, and it is true that all the bishops accept this invitation in obedience and submit it, and it is also true that normally their requests are granted and their resignations are accepted. But this remains a recent rule and practice, established by Paul VI and confirmed by Pope John Paul II: there is nothing to prevent it from being revised in future, after deliberation of the advantages and problems that it has produced in these decades in which it has been applied.

The rule that bishops resign at age 75 from their dioceses is a recent phase in the history of the Church, which seems to contradict the words of St. Paul, in whose estimation the Shepherd is appointed “ad convivendum et ad commoriendum” (2 Cor 7:3), to live and to die alongside his flock. The vocation of a Pastor, like that of every baptized person, is in fact binding, not until a certain age or contingent on good health, but until death.

In this respect, the renunciation of the papacy by Benedict XVI appears as a legitimate act from the theological and canonical perspective, but on the historical level as an absolute break with the tradition and practice of the Church. From the perspective of what the consequences of it might be, this gesture is not simply “innovative”, but radically “revolutionary”, as Eugenio Scalfari described it in the pages of La Repubblica on February 12. The image of the institution of the papacy in the eyes of public opinion throughout the world is in fact being stripped of its sacredness so as to be handed over to the criteria by which modernity judges things. It is no accident that in the Corriere della Sera on the same day, Massimo Franco speaks about an “extreme, final, irrevocable symptom of the crisis of a system of government and a form of papacy.”

No comparison can be made with either Celestine V, who resigned after having been snatched by force from his hermit’s cell, or with Gregory XII, who in turn was forced to resign in order to resolve the very serious issue of the Great Western Schism. Those were exceptional cases. But what is the exception in the gesture by Benedict XVI? The official reason, enunciated clearly in his words on February 11, reflects the norm rather than the exception:

In today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the bark of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity....

We are not confronted here with a serious disability, as was the case with John Paul II at the final close of his pontificate. The intellectual faculties of Benedict XVI are fully intact, as he demonstrated in one of his last and most important meditations at the Roman Seminary, and his health is “generally good”, as Fr. Federico Lombardi noted; according to the spokesman of the Holy See, however, the Pope has pointed out in recent times, “the imbalance between the tasks, the problems to be addressed and strength which he feels that he does not have at his disposal.”

Nevertheless, from the moment of his election, each pontiff experiences an understandable feeling of inadequacy, noticing the disproportion between his personal abilities and the weight of the responsibility to which he is called. Who can say that he is capable of supporting with his own strength the munus [office] of the Vicar of Christ? The Holy Ghost however assists the Pope not only at the time of his election, but until his death, at every moment, even the most difficult of his pontificate. Today the Holy Ghost is often invoked inappropriately, as when it is claimed that He vouches for every act and every word of a Pope or of a Council. These days, however, He is notably absent from the comments in the mainstream media that evaluate the gesture of Benedict XVI according to a purely human criterion, as if the Church were a multinational corporation, directed in terms of sheer efficiency, regardless of any supernatural influence.

But the question is this: in two thousand years of history, how many Popes have reigned in good health and have not noticed the decline of their strength and have not suffered from illnesses and moral trials of all sorts? Physical well-being has never been a criterion for governing the Church. Will it be from Benedict XVI on? A Catholic cannot help wondering about these questions, and if he does not ask them, these questions will be posed by the facts, for instance in the next conclave, when the choice of Benedict’s successor will inevitably be oriented towards a young cardinal in his prime so that he can be considered equal to the serious mission that awaits him. Unless the heart of the problem is not in these “questions of deep relevance for the life of faith” referred to by the Pope, which may be alluding to the ungovernable situation in which the Church seems be in today.

It would be unwise, in this respect, to consider the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI as already “concluded”, or to start drawing up premature assessments, without first waiting for the prophetic deadline that he announced: the evening of February 28, 2013, a date that will be engraved in the history of the Church. Before then, but even after that date, Benedict XVI could still be the protagonist of new and unexpected scenarios. The Pope indeed announced his resignation, but not his silence, and his decision restores to him a freedom that perhaps he felt deprived of. What will Benedict XVI say and do, or Cardinal Ratzinger, in the coming days, weeks and months? And most importantly, who will lead, and in what manner, the bark of Peter in the new storms that inevitably lie ahead?  (Translated by Michael J. Miller)
*          *          *

About the Author:
Roberto de Mattei teaches Modern History and the History of Christianity at the European University of Rome, where he is Dean of History. He is also president of the Lepanto Foundation. He is the author of many books and publications translated into several languages and directs the magazines “Radici Cristiane” and “Nova Historica” and the news agency “Corrispondenza Romana”.

Thoughts on the Resignation of Benedict XVI

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Vile V-Monologues Play Haunts 12 Catholic Colleges: PROTEST HERE

According to the Catholic Education Daily, twelve Catholic institutions of higher learning have allowed Eve Ensler's lewd play on their campuses this semester.

Here is the list published by the Cardinal Newman Society:

  • Bellarmine University (March 23 & 24)
  • The College of the Holy Cross (February 25 & 26)
  • Dominican University (February 14)
  • Georgetown University (February 14)
  • Georgetown University Law Center (February 21)
  • Loyola University - Chicago (March 15 & 16)
  • Saint Mary's College of California (February 15)
  • Seattle University (March 1, 2 & 3)
  • Siena Heights University (April 19 & 20)
  • The University of Detroit Mercy (February 28)
  • University of San Francisco (April 27 & 28)
  • Xavier University (April 2)

"Year after year, the play has been employed by the feminist pro-abortion movement as a tool to tear down moral boundaries," said TFP Student Action director John Ritchie.

"Its vulgar and immoral content is designed to shock, degrade, and desensitize," he continued.  "Under the false guise of fighting to end violence against women, the production merely fosters the perverse culture that feeds the fire of disorderly passions which are responsible for causing violence and abuse in the first place -- namely, lust, homosexual behavior, immodesty and vulgarity."

Register your peaceful protest here

TFP Student Action has repeatedly protested the presence of this scandalous play on Catholic campuses. When the University of Notre Dame hosted a performance of the play in 2008, TFP Student Action organized a protest on campus, distributing a statement by Bishop John D'Arcy of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend.  The late bishop's statement is still applicable today.
He said:

“While claiming to deplore violence against women,” the play “violates the standards of decency and morality that safeguard a woman’s dignity and protect her, body and soul, from sexual predators….

Most importantly, the sexual sin, which the play depicts in several scenes, desecrates women just as much as, if not more deeply than, sexual violence does. The play depicts, exalts, and endorses female masturbation, which is a sin. It depicts, exalts, and endorses a sexual relationship between an adult woman and a child, a minor, which is a sin and also a crime.”

How Catholics Must Speak the Truth
Bishop D’Arcy is categorical when addressing the main argument put forth by those advocating the play’s performance, that from its discussion… the truth will emerge.

“[W]hat makes a Catholic university distinctive is the conviction that in the search for truth, we do not start from scratch; we start from the truth that has been revealed to us in the Word of God, the person of Jesus Christ, and the teaching of his church. The notion that truth will emerge from a discussion in which many points of view are represented both disrespects revealed truth and separates the search for truth from the certainty of faith; instead, as Pope John Paul II stated in Ex Corde Ecclesiae: ‘A Catholic university’s privileged task is “to unite existentially by intellectual effort two orders of reality that too frequently tend to be placed in opposition as though they were antithetical: the search for truth, and the certainty of already knowing the fount of truth.” — John Paul II, Discourse to the Institut Catholique de Paris, June, 1, 1980, cited in Ex Corde Ecclesiae."

Why the V-Monologues Play is Spiritually Harmful
Bishop D’Arcy concludes, stating, “the performing of this play, even with one or more persons willing to present Catholic teaching, is in direct opposition to both the spirit and letter of Ex Corde Ecclesiae. Also, because it depicts and endorses sinful sexual acts in direct opposition to church teaching, I believe its performance to be pornographic and spiritually harmful. This judgment is made after prayer, reflection and dialogue and after preparing several statements over many years.

“Because of this pastoral finding, of which I am convinced, and keeping in mind primarily the spiritual welfare of our young students… A decision not to sponsor the play is not only consistent with academic freedom but is a right use of such freedom for it shows respect for the truth, for the common good and the rights of others. (cf. Ex Corde Ecclesiae, 12)”

Will the leaders of the twelve aforementioned Catholic universities and college act in accord with Catholic teaching and cancel the scandalous play?  It remains to be seen.

In the meantime, please register your protest here

Vile V-Monologues Play Haunts 12 Catholic Colleges: PROTEST HERE

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Why the State Cannot Substitute the Family

the_state_cannot_substitute_thefamilyThe State can never substitute the family especially in the formation of children. Sociologist Carle Zimmerman notes that “the parent who prevents a baby from swallowing a safety pin, keeps him from high places, warns a child daily about crossing the street” and other protective functions, “does more protecting of a family member than the whole police force of the United States does altogether for the child in its entire pre-adult life.”

In a similar way, the parent who keeps the child away from “scalding water, matches, electrical circuits, stoves (wood, gas, and electric), and fireplaces” does more to safeguard him from danger than the local fire department.

Indeed, he concludes that the “religious and moral attitudes and behavior of the parents, still have ten times more influence upon the value behavior of the young than all the other ‘moral’ agencies put together” (Carle C. Zimmerman, Family and Civilization, ISI Books, Wilmington, Del., 2008, p. 196).

Why the State Cannot Substitute the Family | Return to OrderReturn to Order

Monday, February 18, 2013

What’s Really Wrong with Our Economy?

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Written by John Horvat II

The debate over what’s really wrong with our economy seems irreconcilably divided into two camps.

On one side you have those who claim everything will be all right if we could just get big government out of our economy. On the other side, the Paul Krugmans of the world are shouting all the louder: get more big government into our economy and everything will be fine and dandy.

Neither argument gets to the root of why we are in the situation we are in today. We are in our present state not only because big government put itself in economy but above all because morality has been taken out.

There is an underlying moral problem that urgently needs to be addressed. This can be seen in a reckless and restless spirit inside some key segments of modern economy. It creates frenzied markets that lead people to resent the very idea of restraint and scorn the spiritual, religious, moral and cultural values that normally serve to order and temper economic activity.

You can see this in newfangled investment products and derivatives in the world of finance that run enormous risks. You can see it in speculative bubbles like the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis or in massive debt.

However, most of us sense this frenetic spirit in our frenzied and rushed lifestyles. Instant gratification is the order of the day. We must have everything now, instantly, regardless of the consequences. We demand the latest and greatest version of the most powerful gadget. We must have that house now with neither money down nor means to pay. Consumers are encouraged to spend with reckless abandon with the click of a mouse or the swipe of a card.

This frenzied way of life ends up destroying morality, sacrifice and restraint. It ends up attacking economy’s natural immunity systems of family, community and Church that normally defend society against intemperance and keep economy in balance.

We can compare our economy to a very healthy and robust human body – it’s the biggest and best around with an enormous capacity to work. But there is also a drug that enters into the veins of this healthy body and wreaks havoc upon its systems. It breaks down the body’s defenses. It can even stimulate the muscles to work harder and frenetically. The end result, however, is an enormous imbalance in the body. At times, the whole system crashes.

Our problem today is that this drug is undermining and dominating our robust economy; it’s setting the tone. It’s tearing our economy and society apart.

That’s why I think the debate has not been well framed. Everyone seems to be arguing over how we are going to keep the frenzied party going and who is going to pay the bill – the free market or the government.

Let the free market work, one side says, give us fortified vitamins (tax breaks) to let the body naturally adjust to frenzy. The liberals say we need artificial steroids (stimulus packages) to jumpstart the drugged-out body.

We need to address the real issue – the drug. I call this reckless frenzy “frenetic intemperance,” which like an addiction is getter ever worse. I contend that we need to get rid of this now-dominant frenetic intemperance so the economy can be stable, healthy and prosperous once again.

This cannot be done by legislation, regulation or rigid planning since it will strangle commerce penalizing especially the innocent. It cannot be done through completely unrestrained markets outside of virtue, since these are volatile and will often crash.

This is a moral problem that needs a moral solution. We need to go to the root of the problem deep inside the soul of modern man. The only real response to frenetic intemperance is a corresponding temperance. And this temperance is found in what I call an organic Christian society.
Return to Order - Buy your copy today
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John Horvat II is a scholar, researcher, educator, international speaker, and author. His book Return to Order: From a Frenzied Economy to an Organic Christian Society—Where We’ve Been, How We Got Here, and Where We Need to Go will be published February 19.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Liberals’ “War on Women”

Liberals’ “War on Women”Written by James Bascom

 “Thou shalt defend the weak and make thyself their protector.” – From the Ten Commandments of Chivalry

Leftists constantly remind the world about how much they care for the “oppressed classes,” while accusing conservatives of striving to perpetuate their “exploitation.” One such group that liberals claim to defend is women and during the 2012 Presidential campaign, the media loudly denounced the so-called war on women supposedly being waged by conservatives.

But liberals’ cynical hypocrisy was exposed for all to see on January 24 when outgoing Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta announced, without any public debate or forewarning, that he was lifting the 1994 Pentagon ban on women serving in direct combat positions. Women will now be allowed to serve as infantry, tankers, fighter pilots, platoon commanders, and the thousands of other positions that expose them to direct enemy fire. Yet the same media and liberal establishment that decried the Romney campaign’s “war on women” were elated with the decision.

Just as the “war on women” has nothing to do with true femininity and everything to do with the promotion of abortion, contraception, and homosexual sin, so also the push to allow women in combat has nothing to do with “military readiness” or “combat effectiveness” and everything to do with “the dictatorship of equality.” The clamor for equality goes so far that its proponents are more than willing to sacrifice the dignity, honor and the very lives of America’s daughters, wives, and mothers on the battlefield rather than admit the reality that men and women are not equal. Indeed, the left is truly engaged in a “war on women,” an ideological war that declares its utter rejection of human nature and the natural inequalities between the sexes. Their war is a total one and aims to burn to the ground the last remnants of chivalry and the true expression of masculinity and femininity.

Men and Women Are Not Equal
Men and women share the same human nature, and as such have an equal share of the inalienable, perfect rights that stem directly from it, such as the right to life, the right to worship God, the right to constitute a family, the right to property, etc.

But the equality stops there. In numerous other things, however, the sexes are not and should not be equal. Men and women have a myriad of natural, inherent, physical and psychological differences which give them their respective roles, vocations, and duties toward God, each other, and society. Like the different organs of the human body, the sexes have unique, harmonious, complementary, and irreplaceable functions that sustain the body of society.

See more by clicking below

Liberals’ “War on Women”

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Marvelous World of Our Lady’s Flowers | Return to OrderReturn to Order

 Ourladys_flowersWhile modern men look for happiness in instant gratification, there was once a time in Christendom when men believed happiness came from a true understanding of the order of the universe. They saw the universe as a great lesson book which, through symbols, one could come to know, love and serve God. One beautiful and touching page in this book was their perception of flowers.

With great practical sense born of observation, people of those distant times believed flowers to be symbolic of virtues and qualities that ultimately reflected the perfections of God, but which could be seen more directly in that most perfect of all God’s creatures – the Blessed Virgin.

Flowers belonged to Mary, the Mother of God. In those times when spiritual life anddaily life were so intertwined, flowers were a veritable catechism for the faithful. Flowers transformed abstract virtues into easily understood symbols found in daily life and linked them to Our Lady, the perfect human model of Christian virtue.

Thus, there were at least a thousand flowers and herbs named after Our Lady, her qualities, and episodes in her life. In medieval times, each country circulated its own names and legends adapting to the local culture and flora. Art, poetry and literature celebrated this intimate link between flowers and the Blessed Mother. To better contemplate these marvels, there were enclosed “Mary Gardens” with those flowers and herbs that spoke of her to the faithful.

Some of the flower names make this link easy to trace. The marigold comes from the idea that this bright yellow flower is “Mary’s gold.” Carnation is a corruption of the word “coronation” since the flower was often used to crown statues of Our Lady. The herb Rosemary is said to honor Mary, the Mystical Rose. “Lady’s Slipper,” like many other flowers that now begin with the word “lady,” was originally “Our Lady’s Slipper.”

110_Longwood_Gardens_041609-LHowever, other flower names have not survived to our times. The lily of the valley was called Our Lady’s Tears, since from afar the white flowers seemed like tear drops falling. The humble sweet violet used to be known as “Our Lady’s Modesty.” The enchanting forget-me-nots were reminders of the “Eyes of Mary.” Even the lowly dandelion with its bitter tasting greens came to be called “Mary’s Bitter Sorrow.” And the names go on and on, since nearly every familiar flower or herb known today had its equivalent Marian name.

Some flowers gained their name because they bloomed close to feast days. The snowdrop, for example, was called “Candlemas Bells” since it often bloomed early on Candlemas – the feast of the Purification. The Assumption lily bloomed near the feast of the Assumption. It represented her immaculate purity, virginity and innocence that were rewarded by her assumption into heaven.

Of course, the rose came to symbolize Mary from the earliest times of the Church since it is a flower so rich in expression that it encompassed her purity, sorrow and glory. Numerous varieties of rose are associated with the Blessed Mother: the Rose of Sharon, Christmas Rose, or Scotch Rose. A collection of roses in a garden was called a rosarium. Later, a collection of Hail Mary prayers became known as a rosary.

028_Estate_Flowers_040509-LFrom this vision of flowers came lore and pious legend full of innocence and wonder. Legend has it, for example, that the tiny flower columbine sprang up wherever Our Lady’s foot touched the ground when on her way to visit her cousin Saint Elizabeth and was thus called “Our Lady’s Shoes.” It was said the carnation (also called “Mary’s Love of God”) first appeared when it sprang from the tears of the Blessed Mother that fell upon the ground upon seeing her Son carry the Cross. The lily, it was said, was originally yellow and came from the sorrowful tears of Eve upon being expelled from paradise. When Our Lady stooped to pick a lily, the lily became white and fragrant. It is told that the stars of the heavens came down to earth in their desire to glorify the Christ Child in Bethlehem and planted themselves around the manger as radiant buttercups.

While such stories were but mere legend, they spoke of great truths. They served to enchant, instruct and inspire the faithful to greater devotion and love of God. They made more human that tender connection between the Blessed Mother and fallen humanity. In this way, common flowers united all in virtue, speaking through poetry and song to saint and sinner, rich and poor, old and young, learned and ignorant.

Such was the marvelous world of Our Lady’s flowers that we have lost. It is but one of many pages of that great lesson book where even the most common things in Creation were a source of simple joys accessible to all. Indeed, even sorrow in this vale of tears was made meaningful and beautiful.
For our sad days, it is a lesson for us. If we are to return to some kind of order, it must not have as its basis the sterile statistics of a society where money alone rules. It cannot have as its foundation the frenetic intemperance of rushed lifestyles. Such things lead to frustration not happiness.

Doubtless we must provide amply for material needs. However, this order should have as its aim the desire to understand the meaning of things by seeking out their final and highest causes, which is called wisdom. In an order based on wisdom, men derive great happiness in naturally seeking God or the likeness of God in all things – even in common flowers.

The Marvelous World of Our Lady’s Flowers | Return to OrderReturn to Order

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Sea Change in the Muslim World

 By David Ignatius - February 10, 2013

WASHINGTON -- Something startling is happening in the Muslim world -- and no, I don't mean the Arab Spring or the growth of Islamic fundamentalism. According to a leading demographer, a "sea change" is producing a sharp decline in Muslim fertility rates and a "flight from marriage" among Arab women.

Nicholas Eberstadt, a scholar with the American Enterprise Institute, documented these findings in two recent papers. They tell a story that contradicts the usual picture of a continuing population explosion in Muslim lands. Population is indeed rising, but if current trends continue, the bulge won't last long.

 Eberstadt's first paper was expressively titled "Fertility Decline in the Muslim World: A Veritable Sea-Change, Still Curiously Unnoticed." Using data for 49 Muslim-majority countries and territories, he found that fertility rates declined an average of 41 percent between 1975-80 and 2005-10, compared with a 33 percent decline for the world as a whole.

For more, see link below:

A Sea Change in the Muslim World

Friday, February 8, 2013

Patton on Leading from the Front

Quotes from General George S. Patton:

“In war every man is expendable. That includes me! Any man who thinks he is indispensable already is not worth his weight in anything. I will get a transfer for such an officer immediately. Every man must be willing to give his life to accomplish the mission, but do not lose your life without making several of the enemy lose theirs. Never die alone. Take several of the enemy with you!

“Any man who starts thinking he is indispensable will start staying away from the fighting at the front. He will spend more time in the rear echelons thinking he is too important to risk going where the shells are falling and men are being killed. This man is a coward twice over. He is afraid of himself and of the enemy. In war every man is expendable.”

Alan Axelrod, Patton on Leadership: Strategic Lessons for Corporate Warfare (Paramus, N.J.: Prentince Hall Press, 1999), 146.
Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 254
Patton on leading from the front

Thursday, February 7, 2013

How Eating Was Industrialized

Industrialized_eatingWritten by John Horvat II

Psychiatry professor Peter Whybrow comments that what Henry Ford did for cars, McDonald’s did for fast food. It industrialized eating. The original intention of fast food was fast service. However, the end result has been fast eating. Everything about McDonald’s in particular and fast-food in general is about speed. Eleven minutes is the average time a customer spends at a fast-food outlet.

Every effort is made to speed up yet more the food-producing process. An extreme example of how this is done can be found in Thomas Friedman’s book, The World is Flat. He tells of a McDonald’s in Cape Girardeau, Missouri that outsources its drive-through window orders to a firm in Colorado. The customer is ordering a mere five feet away yet must talk to someone two states over to take his order. Friedman points out how this increases efficiency by shaving a few seconds off on each order.

Mcdonalds_mealAnother way eating is industrialized in fast food is by its standardization and taste engineering. McDonald’s and other chains use a wide variety of synthetic ingredients, artificial sweeteners, high fructose sugars and trans-fats to ensure that each product will always be the same. “In the international fast-food business,” Dr. Whybrow notes, “McDonald’s is the legendary benchmark of standardization, ensuring that a Big Mac will taste exactly the same in Moscow as it does in Chicago.” (Peter C. Whybrow, American Mania: When More is Not Enough, W. W. Norton, New York, 2005, p. 199.)
How Eating Was Industrialized | Return to OrderReturn to Order

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Gallup: Conservatives Outnumber Liberals in 47 Out of 50 States | CNS News

( - The percentage of individuals who identify as conservative in 2012 outnumber those who identify as liberal in 47 out of the 50 states, in addition to the District of Columbia (D.C.) according to a Gallup poll released on Feb. 1
Nationally, the amount of self-identified conservatives (38 percent) still outnumbers liberals (23 percent). The disparity between conservatives and liberals has remained consistent since Gallup began its tracking in 2008.

The top three conservative states in the U.S. were Alabama, with 50.6 percent of its citizens identifying as conservative followed by North Dakota and Wyoming, which both had 48.6 percent.

Two states—Massachusetts and Rhode Island—along with the District of Columbia were the only places where there were more self-identified liberals than conservatives.

Gallup: Conservatives Outnumber Liberals in 47 Out of 50 States | CNS News

Monday, February 4, 2013

Petition: STAND with the Boy Scouts & oppose pro-homosexual pressure tactics

By William Stover   
Boy Scouts of America

Why does the homosexual movement continue to target the Boy Scouts of America with relentless protest?

To STAND with the Boy Scouts, sign your petition here

Two national BSA board members are pressuring the organization to abandon its morally sound membership policy which bars open homosexuals from holding leadership positions.

Groups and advocates who promote “tolerance” have also collected over 300,000 online petitions” — aided by liberal media publicity — to force the Scouts to accept unnatural vice in their ranks.

However, the Boy Scouts are standing strong by their Oath:  “On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country …to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.”
In fact, the Scouts’ right to uphold moral standards was confirmed by a Supreme Court ruling in 2000.  Shortly before that decision, the Boy Scouts issued this statement:  “We believe that homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the requirement in the Scout Oath that a Scout be morally straight and in the Scout Law that a Scout be clean in word and deed, and that homosexuals do not provide a desirable role model for Scouts.”

Speaking to the press on Tuesday, Boy Scouts spokesman Deron Smith reaffirmed that the organization’s exclusion policy “is absolutely the best policy.” Chief Scout Executive Bob Mazzuca added:  “The vast majority of the parents of youth we serve value their right to address issues of same-sex orientation within their family, with spiritual advisers, and at the appropriate time and in the right setting.”

Parents understand how public acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle would not only undermine the moral atmosphere of the Scouts, but also increase the risk of sexual abuse.  A study published by the Family Research Council shows that homosexuals, who account for approximately two percent of the population, are responsible for up to one third of child sexual abuse cases.

Please Stand with the Boy Scouts: sign your petition here

Let your voice be heard.  Join millions of Americans who respect moral values, Natural Law and the Ten Commandments.  Please ask 5 of your friends to stand with the Boy Scouts too by signing the petition.

Contact information:

The National Boy Scouts of America Foundation
Mr. Wayne Perry, President
1325 W. Walnut Hill Lane
Irving, Texas 75015-2079
National Help Desk: 877-272-1910
BSA National Council operator: 972-580-200
Petition: STAND with the Boy Scouts & oppose pro-homosexual pressure tactics

Friday, February 1, 2013

Pre-Launching of Return to Order Book Draws Enthusiasm

pre_-_launching_of_bookBy Ben Broussard*

The day after the 40th annual March for Life, the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) held a special event at its Washington Bureau to introduce its new book on the economic crisis and Christian organic solutions.

With standing room only, guests crowded the small auditorium for the event. The American TFP was pleased to welcome foreign delegations that had participated in the March for Life. Among them were Duke Paul of Oldenburg, Lady Virginia Coda Nunziante from Rome as well as delegates from the Netherlands, Italy, Belgium and Lithuania. Students from the TFP-run St. Louis de Montfort Academy served refreshments while members of the American TFP conversed at length with the diverse group gathered numbering more than 120.

Mr. Mario Navarro da Costa, director of the TFP’s Washington Bureau, welcomed everyone and recognized the different delegations represented. He then introduced the keynote speaker, Mr. John Horvat II, Vice-President of the American TFP and author of the much anticipated book: Return to Order: From A Frenzied Economy to An Organic Christian Society – Where We’ve Been, How We Got Here, and Where We Need to Go.

Mr. Horvat compared the launching of the book to the christening of a battleship, in that it is the culmination of many years of work, and also the beginning of a great undertaking where the ideas presented will enter the bruising and grueling battle of the modern socioeconomic crisis. He then added that the book comes at a time of great soul-searching for America and for conservative America in particular. As the storm rages, the principles expounded upon in Return to Order will serve as a lighthouse so that we, as a nation, will be able to find safe harbor allowing us to establish the order so desperately needed.

He went on to explain what sets Return to Order apart from other books that deal with the topic of the present economic crisis. He explained how the expression “frenetic intemperance” was coined and how it describes an economy that resists all restraints and gratifies all desires. In conclusion, he demonstrated that the present economic quandary has been caused by a moral crisis deep within the soul of modern man.

After a brilliant analysis of the problem, Mr. Horvat proposed an organic Christian society as the solution to the present crisis. He insisted that the Church, family and society were the firm foundation for the practice of the virtues needed to restore order, which resonated well with the audience. In his final remarks, he poignantly stated that America is worth fighting for and the timeless principles in Return to Order could be likened to a fully armed battleship entering the fierce battles ahead. To this, the audience gave an enthusiastic standing ovation.

A lively question and answer session followed and conversations lingered long into the evening. Mr. Horvat remained to sign books and guests eagerly purchased copies and further discussed the many topics addressed.

With the economic and moral crises in America worsening, the need for a Return to Order is more necessary than ever. Like the Prodigal Son spoken of by Our Lord in the Gospel, let us as a nation realize we have erred and make the decision to return to Our Father’s house. Once there, we can discern God’s marvelous plan for America and build an organic Christian society where all is oriented toward the good, the true and the beautiful.

Pre-Launching of Return to Order Book Draws Enthusiasm - Return to Order