Friday, September 16, 2022

Neocon Hubris & the Battle for Ukraine


By Pieter Vree | September 2022 NEW OXFORD NOTEBOOK

And here we thought they’d exited the world stage, heads lowered, hats in hand. The entire lot of them seemingly had faded into the sunset.

Not so. The neoconservatives are back.

Or, more accurately, they never left. They merely blended into the background, working as assiduously as ever toward their ultimate goal: U.S. military and economic hegemony in every corner of the world.

If you thought the neocons were effectively exiled from the halls of American political power when they failed to force a successor to George W. Bush into the White House, think again. (Who remembers Sarah Palin? In 2008 an official at the neocon American Enterprise Institute said of the vice-presidential hopeful, “She’s bright and she’s a blank page. She’s going places, and it’s worth going there with her.” Hey, stop snickering!)

Palin (and her running mate, John McCain) went nowhere and is a mere historical footnote. But the neocons? They regrouped, rebranded, and resumed their nefarious activities. You see, party affiliation doesn’t matter to them as much as power and influence. You’re a Republican? Fine. You’re a Democrat? Not a problem. To the neocons, the labels are interchangeable.

Opportunistic malleability is in their DNA. Neoconservatism, in the words of its founder, ex-Trotskyite Irving Kristol, “is not a ‘movement’…[but] a persuasion, one that manifests itself over time, but erratically, and one whose meaning we clearly glimpse only in retrospect.” Neoconservatism, which began in the Democratic Party in the 1960s, eventually became associated with the Republican Party in the 1980s (its roots are in the Trotskyism of the 1930s). But it isn’t tied to the GOP.

Scott McConnell, former editor of The American Conservative, described the neocons as “resilient and tactically flexible.” In 1991, when George H.W. Bush “tried to put America’s weight behind settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” McConnell wrote (Dec. 18, 2006), “many neoconservatives suddenly remembered their Democratic Party roots and bolted.” In the next election cycle, “a significant group of neocons signed on as advisers to Bill Clinton.”

From Bush Sr. to Clinton to Bush Jr. to Barack Obama, the neocons managed to exert influence over a succession of U.S. presidents.

Obama? Yes. During the height of the Arab Spring, Charles Krauthammer, a neoconservative syndicated columnist (who previously was a self-described Great Society Democrat), wrote that the Obama administration “is rushing to keep up with the new dispensation, repeating the fundamental tenet of the Bush Doctrine that Arabs are no exception to the universal thirst for dignity and freedom” (March 4, 2011).

Even William Kristol, son of Irving and founder of the (now-defunct) neocon rag The Weekly Standard, called Obama “a born-again neocon.”

Only Donald Trump interrupted the flow. Glenn Greenwald, former editor of The Intercept, wrote during Trump’s term that “one of the most under-discussed yet consequential changes in the American political landscape is the reunion between the Democratic Party and the country’s most extreme and discredited neocons.” The latter, Greenwald observed, “loathe” Trump, who has “accelerated this realignment,” though it “began long before the ascension of Trump and is driven by far more common beliefs than contempt for the current president” (July 17, 2017; emphasis in original).

Trump notwithstanding, neoconservatism truly is a bipartisan project. Democrats, Republicans — it doesn’t matter who’s in charge. The neocons will adapt.

And adapt they have — to the current presidency. “The Biden Administration,” writes Jeffrey Sachs in Tikkun (June 29, 2022), “is packed with the same neocons who championed the US wars of choice in Serbia (1999), Afghanistan (2001), Iraq (2003), Syria (2011), Libya (2011), and who did so much to provoke Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.”

It is as it always was.

By any rational standard, the neocons’ track record “is one of unmitigated disaster,” Sachs writes. Yet that hasn’t prevented Biden from bending his ear to them.

Given the neocons’ penchant for warmongering to advance the American empire, it should come as no surprise that their fingerprints are all over the latest international crisis. “As a result” of the neocons’ abiding influence, Sachs writes, “Biden is steering Ukraine, the US, and the European Union towards yet another geopolitical debacle…. The war in Ukraine is the culmination of a 30-year project of the American neoconservative movement.”

According to Sachs, the neoconservatives “championed” the expansion of NATO “even before that became official US policy under George W. Bush, Jr. in 2008. They viewed Ukraine’s NATO membership as key to US regional and global dominance.

In fact, two years earlier, Robert Kagan, cofounder of the neocon think tank Project for the New American Century, spelled out the case for Ukraine’s admission to NATO. “Might not the successful liberalization of Ukraine, urged and supported by the Western democracies,” he wrote in the Washington Post (April 30, 2006), “be but the prelude to the incorporation of that nation into NATO and the European Union — in short, the expansion of Western liberal hegemony?”

Kagan knew full well the implications of this strategy. If Russia continues to be one of the “sturdy pillars of autocracy over the coming decades,” then that nation will be an obstacle to “the West’s vision of humanity’s inexorable evolution toward democracy.” (Democracy is neocon code for the end to which any and all means are acceptable.)

Russia, Kagan said, can be expected to “resist the encroachments of liberalism in the interest of [its] own long-term survival.” He quotes Dmitri Trenin, a former member of Russia’s Foreign and Defense Policy Council, as saying, “The Kremlin is getting ready for the ‘battle for Ukraine’ in all seriousness.” Mind you, this was 16 years ago. (Kagan, true to form, was so incensed by Trump’s nomination in 2016 that he left the GOP and endorsed Hillary Clinton for president.)

Seven years before Kagan, paleoconservative pundit Patrick J. Buchanan sounded the warning bell about expanding NATO to include Ukraine. “By moving NATO onto Russia’s front porch,” he wrote in his book A Republic, Not an Empire (1999), “we have scheduled a twenty-first-century confrontation.”

That, however, was all part of the neocons’ master plan. Says Sachs:

The neocon outlook is based on an overriding false premise: that the US military, financial, technological, and economic superiority enables it to dictate terms in all regions of the world. It is a position of both remarkable hubris and remarkable disdain of evidence. Since the 1950s, the US has been stymied or defeated in nearly every regional conflict in which it has participated. Yet in the “battle for Ukraine,” the neocons were ready to provoke a military confrontation with Russia by expanding NATO over Russia’s vehement objections because they fervently believe that Russia will be defeated by US financial sanctions and NATO weaponry.

And here we are.

After Russia invaded Ukraine in February, did you ever stop to wonder why the overwhelming sentiment among American pundits and politicos, Democratic and Republican alike — not to mention the corporate media — is virulently pro-Ukraine and vehemently anti-Russia? Dissent from the parties’ line was difficult to come by. The whole thing was presented to the American public as a real-life version of Star Wars, with Ukraine’s plucky president Volodymyr Zelenskyy (a former actor, by the way) cast in the role of Luke Skywalker against Russian president Vladimir Putin’s Darth Vader.

Many Americans swallowed it hook, line, and sinker. As Wayne Allsworth, author of The Russian Question: Nationalism, Modernization, and Post-Communist Russia, put it, the invasion “prompted a firestorm of anti-Russian propaganda in Western mass media reminiscent of the disinformation campaign to which we were subjected prior to the 2003 Iraq war” (Chronicles, May 2022). History has a way of repeating itself, especially when different players are acting out the same old parts in the same old plot but on a different stage.

Did you ever stop to wonder why Pope Francis took so much flak for suggesting that the invasion was “perhaps somehow provoked” by NATO’s “barking at the gates of Russia”? The Holy Father was onto something. And he was wise to warn us to “move away from the usual Little Red Riding Hood pattern, in that Little Red Riding Hood [i.e., Ukraine] was good and the wolf [i.e., Russia] was the bad one. Something global is emerging and the elements are very much entwined.”

This is not to say that Russia was justified in invading a sovereign nation. Far from it. The very act of invasion violates Catholic just-war principles, and Ukraine is well within her rights to defend herself against the aggressor. But America has blood on her hands as well, and our continued involvement will only add accelerant to the fire.

Nobody wants all-out war — nobody, that is, except the neocons. And Biden, like Bush Jr. and Palin, might be enough of a “blank page” to do their bidding, at which point the neocon’s “remarkable hubris” could set the entire world aflame.

Observe: Ever the bumbler, Biden let slip this March that Putin “cannot remain in power.” Though Biden did backtrack, saying he wasn’t expressing support for a Russian regime change, the cat was out of the proverbial bag and the plot laid bare. Who knows what Biden really thinks? He himself might not know!

But one thing is clear: Biden is heavily invested in managing the outcome of the invasion. Already in fiscal year 2022, the United States has provided $950 million in “security assistance” to Ukraine — including aircraft, artillery, and ammunition — and over $5 billion total since the beginning of the Biden administration. And though the president insists he has “no intention of fighting Russia,” he has increased the number of U.S. troops in Europe to 100,000. How is Russia to take this allocation of U.S. money, materiel, and manpower if not as an act of aggression? What does the United States stand to gain by continuing to meddle in another far-flung regional conflict?

Pat Buchanan, who saw this coming over two decades ago, said it best. “In 230 years,” he wrote in his syndicated column (May 20, 2022), “the United States has never gone to war with Russia. Not with the Romanovs nor with the Stalinists, not with the Cold War Communists nor with the Putinists. U.S. vital interests dictate that we maintain that tradition.”

©2022 New Oxford Review. All Rights Reserved.

The foregoing article, "Neocon Hubris & the Battle for Ukraine," was originally published in the September, 2022 issue of the New Oxford Review and is reproduced here by kind permission of New Oxford Review, 1069 Kains Ave., Berkeley, CA 94706.

Friday, August 19, 2022

A Life’s Worth of Failure, an Abundance of Gratitude

By Karl Keating | The New Oxford Revies, July-August 2022

I came to hiking and backpacking late in life. I remember exactly when it was that I went on my first backpacking trip. It was in California’s Sierra Nevada, south of Mammoth Lakes. The first day I hiked to Duck Lake and camped there. The second day I hiked farther, to Purple Lake, and camped there. The third day I began to retrace my steps. Along the way, I met a ranger. We spoke for a few moments, and then she said, “I don’t know if I should tell you this. I don’t want to ruin the rest of your hike.”

“Well, now you’ve got me wondering,” I said. “So you may as well tell me.”

“New York’s Twin Towers have been destroyed.”

That first backpacking trip sticks in my memory for more than one reason, as do two preparatory day hikes I took in the months immediately prior.

In July 2001 I hiked up White Mountain. At 14,252 feet, it’s the third-tallest peak in California and, by general consensus, the easiest of the fourteeners to summit. But I didn’t find it easy. Once I passed 13,000 feet, my leg muscles turned to Jell-O. The farther I ascended, the more often I had to stop to catch my breath: every hundred paces, every fifty, every twenty. At length, I reached the summit, and, at length and thoroughly exhausted, I returned to the trailhead, where I said to myself, “This, by far, is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life.”

I changed my mind a month later.

In August I did a day hike of Mt. Whitney. At 14,505 feet, it’s the tallest peak in the 48 contiguous states. The Mt. Whitney trail is half again as long as the White Mountain trail, and the elevation gain is twice as much.

I reached the summit later than I had hoped, but I reached it. On the way down, I passed Trail Crest, at 13,600 feet, and was about to enter the infamous 97 switchbacks. They take you, in a precipitous mile and a half, down 1,600 feet to Trail Camp, roughly the midpoint of the route.

At the top of the switchbacks, one of my toes began to bother me. I suspected a blister was in the works. I knew what I should do: sit down right there, take off my shoe and sock, examine the toe, and tape it up as necessary. “No,” I thought, “I’ll wait until I get to the relative comfort of Trail Camp.” It was a capital mistake.

Wednesday, June 01, 2022

How political correct language undermines the Gospel (and much more)

The world, according to Christianity and much of classical antiquity, is populated by things with stable natures, like fire and water, gold and silver, dogs and cats, and men and women. These things are what they are, and are not somethe else. The strength of this view lies in seeing the world as it is, rather than as some might wish it to be. But a war is being waged against this ancient view. Examples include: Nominalism (from the Latin 'nomen' for 'name'), which attacked this view, insisting that common names like 'dog' and 'cat' don't refer to anything real outside our minds but are only 'names' arbitrarily assigned to things. Darwinism attacked it, insisting that 'species' is a term arbitrarily assigned to a phase of an evolutionary continuum, and that nothing remains unchanging. Postmodern Deconstructionsism attacked it, insisting that it was part of a metanarrative that was no more than a social construct. Transgenderism attacks it, insisting that one's 'gender' is also a social construct arbirarily assigned at birth. As R. R. Reno recently noted in his First Things column:
Ze and Zir are easy to mock and ridicule. But the now-ubiquitous use of “them” as a singular pronoun shows how deeply all of us are now implicated in the rebellion against bodily reality. -- R. R. Reno, "Transgenderism: Escaping Limits," First Things (June 2022).
Students these days end up writing the most tortured grammatical contortions, like this:
If a human being is not an end in themselves, they can more easily be seen as a 'burden to society' if they cannot make a 'contribution.'
Or:
Everyone thinks they are a theologian, and begin misapplying theological arguments, or even argue themselves headlong over the edge, into sedevacantism.
Any foreigner trying to master the logic of English grammar would find such sentences, for all their 'political correctness,' grammatically unintelligible. I don't know of any European language being flogged into such torgured contortions as English over politically correct allergies. Almost all continue to use masculine pronouns inclusively. And Asian languages, so far as I know, have not succumbed to the contortions now fashionable in English.

Peter Kreeft noted the problems with language of this kind in a footnote in one of his philosophy books:
"Man" means "mankind," not "males." It is traditional inclusive language. "Humanity" does not go with "God" ("God and humanity") because "God " and "man" are concrete nouns, like "dog" and "cat," while "divinity" and "humanity" are abstract nouns, like "canininity" and "felinity" or "dogginess" and "cattiness." Whatever the political or psychological uses or misuses of these words, that is what they mean. We do not undo old injustices against women by doing new injustices against language." -- Peter Kreeft, Philosophy 101 By Socrates: An Introduction to Philosophy Via Plato's Apology (San Francisco: Ignatius, 2002), p. 9n1.
Kreeft notes the tendency towards abstraction in such language, a retreat from the concrete and the real. But I would go farther. I would retrieve Reno's point about our complicity in the rebellion against bodily reality when we use such language.

In the earlier form of the English Mass, when I was first received into the Catholic Church in 1993, when we came to the response: "Let us give Him thanks and praise," many individuals with an allergy to masculine inclusive pronouns for God would subsitutute: "Let us give God thanks and praise." It sounded innocent enough. But there is a Gnostic presumption at work here that one can get behind the language of Scripture and the Church to the supposed 'reality' of a God beyond gender. Woe betide the day God became Incarnate as a man! Such deconstructionists want to unmake the genetic design revealed in Scripture. One can imagine where such logic might lead. Imagine the resulting translatin of John 3:16 --
For God so loved God's world that God gave God's only Child that whoever believes in them/Zem/Xem shall not perish but have eternal life.
Again, as Reno says about 'Ze' and 'Zir,' it's easy to mock and ridicule such caricatures, but the challenge is real. Once we capitulate to using the language of the revolt against nature, we undermine the metaphysical foundations of the Gospel. If St. Paul's syllogism in 1 Corinthians 15 about Christ's resurrection means anything, it is that our own redemption rests on Christ's being the New Adam and having taken on the human nature of the Old Adam and redeemed it. If He rose from the dead, we may hope that we, too, who have been incorporated into His mystical Body, shall also be resurrected in the world to come.

But all of this depends on there being such a thing as "human nature" for Christ to take on and redeem as the New Adam. If there is no such thing and if Christ be not risen, then as Paul says, "we are of all men the most miserable."

What does resistance require? Is it enough that we resist using Ze, Zir, Zem, Zeir, Xe, Xir, Xem, Xeir? Is it enough that we use good grammar and refuse to mix singular nouns with plural pronouns like they, them, themselves, etc? Is it enough to avoid using God or Godself repeatedly instead of personal pronouns for God? All of that would help, of course. But my own view is that we have to return to the inclusive use of the masculine pronouns as suggested by Peter Kreeft above. As he notes elsewhere, a consolation to the contemporary feminist might be found in metaphor of the Church as the Bride of Christ, since, in relation to the Bridegroom, all men, along with women, are feminine in relation to the heavenly Bridegroom! I will not go into the metaphysical foundations for the inclusive use of masculine pronouns represented in Genesis, where Eve was created from a rib removed from the sleeping body of the Adam, or in biblical passages like 1 Corinthians 11:1-16, long unfamiliar with Catholics because excluded from the 'short form' of their Novus Ordo lectionary readings.

But in the transgender movement, one can more clearly see the animus at work, and that it isn't just about language. It is about unmaking the objective order of nature, or, if you prefer, the Creation Order. J. Budziszewski, in his book about natural law, What We Can't Not Know, references in this connection a very ancient Greek word: γοητεία (goēteía). The word is associated with occult demonology and witchcraft, and Budzieszewski links it to the sorts of impulses one finds in the revolt against being, not merely in radical examples like Aleister Crowley, but even in the currently more mainstreamed dispositions found in LGBTQ+ communities. The point would be that even in subtle and now widely-accepted ways, the revolt against nature has found a home in contemporary language and habits.

The resistence can also begin with language that used to be mainstream. The contemporary allergy against use of expressions like 'mankind' involves neither a recent discovery that women are also members of the human family nor an effort to clarify a puzzling expression. I don't know of any woman visiting a zoo who saw a sign on a door that said "DANGER! MAN EATING TIGER" and would assume the warning didn't apply to her because she wasn't a biological man. As Kreeft notes, words like "man" and "woman" are strong nouns, not anemic abstractions like "humanity." They deserve to be recalled into service. I will not reference the contraction H. L. Mencken made of "he-or-she-ior-it," but it's clear enough what he would have thought of our contemporary lingistic inclinations.

Let me conclude by 'correcting' the earlier sentences butchered by political correctness. Let the reader judge whether he would agree with me that the traditional inclusive forms are much more natural and lucid.
If a human being is not an end in themselves, they can more easily be seen as a 'burden to society' if they cannot make a 'contribution.'

Corrected: If a man is not an end-in-himself, he an more easily be seen as a 'burden to society.'
Again:
Everyone thinks they are a theologian, and begin misapplying theological arguments, or even argue themselves headlong over the edge, into sedevacantism.

Corrected: Everyone thinks he is a theolgian and begins misapplying theological arguments or even to argue himself headlong over the edge into sedevacantism.
And finally:
For God so loved God's world that God gave God's only Child that whoever believes in them/Zem/Xem shall not perish but have eternal life.

Corrected: For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Monday, May 23, 2022

Tridentine Community News -- San Francisco TLM Celebrant Training Report #6; Seminarians of the Franciscans of the Holy Spirit


"I will go in unto the Altar of God
To God, Who giveth joy to my youth"

Tridentine Community News by Alex Begin (May 22, 2022):
San Francisco TLM Celebrant Training Report #6



For the sixth time, Extraordinary Faith was invited to provide Traditional Mass celebrant training in the Archdiocese of San Francisco. We are delighted to report that with the approval of Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, soon-to-be-ordained Reverend Mr. Gerardo Vazquez will celebrate his second Holy Mass after ordination to the priesthood in the Extraordinary Form. It will be a Solemn High Mass on Sunday, June 12, 2022 at 1:30 PM, at historic St. Monica Church in San Francisco, and everyone is invited. The schola of the Benedict XVI Institute, a.k.a. the Archbishop’s Schola, will provide the music.

Deacon Gerardo took Extraordinary Faith’s training program on the Traditional Latin Mass on May 12 & 13. Pictured with Deacon Gerardo is Fr. Kevin Kennedy, Administrator of St. Monica Parish, who also pastors a nearby Byzantine Rite parish.

Seminarians of the Franciscans of the Holy Spirit



The Franciscans of the Holy Spirit have become familiar faces at Traditional Latin Masses around metro Detroit, in their home parish of St. Mary of Redford and at the Oakland County Latin Mass Association at the Orchard Lake Shrine Chapel, Old St. Mary’s, Our Lady of Good Counsel, and other sites. The FHS seminarians – whom you may recognize but whose names you may not know – are now featured with bios on their own web page: https://becomefire.faith/about/meet-seminarians. There you can meet Br. Paul Graupmann, Br. Elijah Delello, and Br. Lawrence Hogue.

The “oldest” of them, Deacon John of the Cross, returned this week to the FHS home base of Phoenix, Arizona, to be ordained to the sacred priesthood. He will be assigned to one of their apostolates in Phoenix, but we can expect to see him visit Detroit from time to time. And yes, rest assured that he intends to make the Traditional Mass a part of his priesthood, as the TLM is written into the FHS constitutions.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week

  • Wed. 05/25 7:00 PM: High Mass at Old St. Patrick, Ann Arbor (Rogation Day) – Outdoor procession precedes Mass
  • Thu. 05/26 7:00 PM: High Mass at Our Lady of the Scapular, Wyandotte (Ascension Thursday)
  • Thu. 05/26 7:00 PM: High Mass at St. Priscilla, Livonia (Ascension Thursday)
  • Thu. 05/26 7:00 PM: High Mass at St. Thomas the Apostle, Ann Arbor (Ascension Thursday)
  • Sun. 05/29 2:00 PM: High Mass at St. Alphonsus, Windsor (Sunday After the Ascension) – May Crowning and procession follows Mass
[Comments? Please e-mail tridnews@detroitlatinmass.org. Previous columns are available at http://www.detroitlatinmass.org. This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Albertus (Detroit), Academy of the Sacred Heart (Bloomfield Hills), and St. Alphonsus and Holy Name of Mary Churches (Windsor) bulletin inserts for May 22, 2022. Hat tip to Alex Begin, author of the column.]

Tuesday, May 03, 2022

Tridentine Community News - Fr. Perrone Celebrates Mass at OCLMA and Old St. Mary's; Romeo Knights Photo Album of Historic Detroit Churches; Detroit Catholic Podcast Interviews Wassim Sarweh; TLMs This Coming Week

May 1, 2022 - St. Joseph the Worker


"I will go in unto the Altar of God
To God, Who giveth joy to my youth"

Tridentine Community News by Alex Begin (May 1, 2022):
Fr. Eduard Perrone to Celebrate Masses at the Oakland County Latin Mass Association and Old St. Mary’s

A familiar face is returning to the altar in the Archdiocese of Detroit: Fr. Eduard Perrone celebrated the Sunday 9:00 AM High Mass for the Oakland County Latin Mass Association at the Orchard Lake Shrine Chapel on May 1 [and will do so again on May] 8, and 22. He will also celebrate the 10:00 AM High Mass at Old St. Mary’s on May 15. We hope you can join us and welcome Fr. Perrone back to the traditional liturgy.

Fun fact: Prior to becoming a priest, Fr. Perrone was the music director at Old St. Mary’s and even released a now highly collectible LP recording of the Novus Ordo Latin Mass choir there.

Romeo Knights Photo Album of Historic Detroit Churches





Brian O’Curran of the Romeo Knights of Columbus has posted a beautiful collection of photos of historic Detroit churches taken during a recent Prayer Pilgrimages bus tour. Rarely can one see such architectural splendor all in one place. [Photos of the naves of St. Hedwig and St. Florian above].

See the full album at: https://romeoknights.com/2022/01/16/prayer-pilgrimage-2022/

Detroit Catholic Podcast Interviews Wassim Sarweh

Those attending the March 20, 2022 Tridentine Mass at Old St. Mary’s may have noticed a sound crew recording the choir that day. The Detroit Catholic was there to capture some background music to be used in an interview of Oakland County Latin Mass Association/Orchard Lake, Old St. Mary’s, and Holy Family Saginaw Tridentine Mass music director Wassim Sarweh.



The podcast, entitled “Does the Music Matter?” and part of their Detroit Stories series, was posted on the Detroit Catholic web site this week: https://www.detroitcatholic.com/news/detroit-stories-episode-30-does-the-music-matter-podcast

Full disclosure: The podcast emphasizes the diversity of musical styles available at Archdiocese of Detroit Masses and therefore includes some decidedly untraditional music alongside our beloved Gregorian Chant.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week Fri. 05/07 7:00 PM: Solemn High Mass at Old St. Mary’s (Feria of the Second Sunday After Easter) – Celebrant: Fr. Steve Mateja, Deacon: Fr. Michael Suhy, Subdeacon: Br. Lawrence Hogue, FHS. Reception after Mass.
[Comments? Please e-mail tridnews@detroitlatinmass.org. Previous columns are available at http://www.detroitlatinmass.org. This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Albertus (Detroit), Academy of the Sacred Heart (Bloomfield Hills), and St. Alphonsus and Holy Name of Mary Churches (Windsor) bulletin inserts for May 1, 2022. Hat tip to Alex Begin, author of the column.]

Sunday, January 02, 2022

Tridentine Community News - Exorcisms in the Blessing of Epiphany Water; Plenary Indulgence for Prayers During Pandemic; Tridentine Masses This Coming Week


"I will go in unto the Altar of God
To God, Who giveth joy to my youth"

Tridentine Community News by Alex Begin (January 2, 2022):
January 2, 2022 – Holy Name of Jesus



A priest reader of this column who happens to be a diocesan exorcist pointed out that the prayers of exorcism in the Blessing of Epiphany Water are similarly worded to the prayers in the Rite of Exorcism. These prayers are more detailed than the prayers of exorcism of salt and water used in the blessing of regular Holy Water. The pure and exorcised Epiphany Water is customarily taken home and sprinkled in the rooms of the house as a protection against evil.

As a result this priest has decided to use Epiphany Water for other blessings he conducts during the year. For reference, one of those exorcism prayers from the Epiphany Water Blessing is provided below. Note that the Traditional Roman Ritual requires that it be prayed in Latin.

The full English translations of the Blessings of Epiphany Chalk and Water were published in our January 3 and January 10, 2010 columns and are available on the Tridentine Community News page of www.windsorlatinmass.org
Exorcism Against Satan and the Apostate Angels

We cast thee out, every unclean spirit, every devilish power, every assault of the infernal adversary, every legion, every diabolical group and sect, by the Name and power of our Lord Jesus + Christ, and command thee to fly far from the Church of God and from all who are made to the image of God and redeemed by the Precious Blood of the Divine Lamb +. Presume never again, thou cunning serpent, to deceive the human race, to persecute the Church of God, nor to strike the chosen of God and sift them as wheat +. For the Most High commands thee, + He to Whom thou didst hitherto in thy great pride presume thyself equal; He Who desireth that all men might be saved, and come to the knowledge of truth. God the Father + commandeth thee! God the Son + commandeth thee! God the Holy + Spirit commandeth thee! The majesty of Christ commands thee, the Eternal Word of God made flesh, + Who for the salvation of our race, lost through thy envy, humbled Himself and was made obedient even unto death; Who built His Church upon a solid rock, and proclaimed that the gates of hell should never prevail against her, and that He would remain with her all days, even to the end of the world! The Sacred Mystery of the Cross + commands thee, as well as the power of all Mysteries of Christian faith! + The most excellent Virgin Mary, Mother of God + commands thee, who in her lowliness crushed thy proud head from the first moment of her Immaculate Conception! The faith of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul and the other apostles + commands thee! The blood of the martyrs commands thee, as well as the pious intercession + of holy men and women!

Therefore, accursed dragon and every diabolical legion, we adjure thee by the living + God, by the true  God, by the holy + God, by the God Who so loved the world that He gave His Sole-Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but shall have life everlasting – cease thy deception of men and thy giving them to drink of the poison of eternal damnation; desist from harming the Church and fettering her freedom! Get thee gone, Satan, founder and master of all falsity, enemy of mankind! Give place to Christ in Whom thou didst find none of thy works; give place to the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church which Christ Himself bought with His Blood! Be thou brought low under God’s mighty hand; tremble and flee as we call upon the holy and awesome name of Jesus, before Whom hell trembles, and to Whom the Virtues, Powers, and Dominations are subject; Whom the Cherubim and Seraphim praise with unfailing voices, saying: Holy, Holy, Holy, the Lord God of Hosts!
Plenary Indulgence for Prayers During Pandemic

With the ending of the Year of St. Joseph on December 8, 2021, many easy ways to gain a Plenary Indulgence every day have expired. However one can still take advantage of the several simple means to gain a Plenary Indulgence during the time of pandemic, some of which can be done in your own home.

Holy Mother Church granted a simple way to gain a Plenary Indulgence during this time of pandemic “to those faithful who offer a visit to the Blessed Sacrament, or Eucharistic adoration, or reading the Holy Scriptures for at least half an hour, or the recitation of the Holy Rosary, or the pious exercise of the Way of the Cross, or the recitation of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, to implore from Almighty God the end of the epidemic, relief for those who are afflicted and eternal salvation for those whom the Lord has called to Himself.” The usual conditions of Confession within 20 days, reception of Holy Communion once per indulgence sought, prayers for the Holy Father’s intentions, and freedom from attachment to sin apply in those locales where churches have reopened since the indulgence opportunity was first published. For complete details, see: https://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/en/bollettino/pubblico/2020/03/20/200320c.html

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
  • Thu. 01/06 7:00 PM: High Mass at OCLMA/Orchard Lake Shrine Chapel (Epiphany) – Celebrant: Fr. Clint McDonell. Blessing of Epiphany Water at 6:15 PM. Please bring bottles if you would like to take some home. A limited number of small bottles will also be available for those who do not bring their own.
  • Fri. 01/07 7:00 PM: High Mass at Old St. Mary’s (Feria of Epiphany) – Celebrant: Fr. Derik Peterman. Devotions to the Sacred Heart before Mass. Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament at the end of Mass. A reception follows in the Parish Hall.
  • [Comments? Please e-mail tridnews@detroitlatinmass.org. Previous columns are available at http://www.detroitlatinmass.org. This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Albertus (Detroit), Academy of the Sacred Heart (Bloomfield Hills), and St. Alphonsus and Holy Name of Mary Churches (Windsor) bulletin inserts for January 2, 2022. Hat tip to Alex Begin, author of the column.]

    Monday, November 01, 2021

    Christ the King. What does it mean?

    Yesterday was the Feast of Christ the King. Here is what was written by Fr. John Bustamante in his "A Vicarious Descant," Assumption Grotto News (October 31, 2021):
    Today is the Feast of Christ the King as instituted by Pope Pius XI in 1925 in the encyclical Quas primas. In accordance with the directives regarding this feast day, after Mass will follow the Act of Consecration of the Human Race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

    Our Collect prayer today is:
    Almighty and everlasting God, who in Thy beloved Son, the King of the whole world, has willed to restore all things, mercifully grant that all the kindreds of the nations that are divided by the wound of sin, may be brought under the sweet yoke of His rule. Who liveth and reigneth ....
    Pope Pius XI crealy taught what the Kingship of Christ means. He shows that while this Kingship is spiritual, it is a grave error "to say that Christ has no authority whatever in civil affairs ..." (#17). In paragraph 18 we read:
    [Thus] the empire of our Redeemer embraces all men. To use the words of Our immortal predecessor, Pope Leo XIII: "His empire includes not only Catholic nations, not only baptized persons who, though of right belonging to the Church, have been led astray by error, or have been cut off from her by schism, but also those who are outside the Christian faith; so that truly the whole of mankind is subject to the power of Jesus Christ." Nor is there any difference in this matter between the individual and the family or the State; for all men, whether collectively or individually, are under the dominion of Christ. In him is the salvation of the individual, in him is the salvation of society. "Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given to men whereby we must be saved." He is the author of happiness and true prosperity for every man and for every nation. "For a nation is happy when its citizens are happy. What else is a nation but a number of men living in concord?" If, therefore, the rulers of nations with to preserve their authority, to promote and increase the prosperity of their countries, they will not neglect the public duty of reverence and obedience to the rule of Christ. What We said at the beginning of our Pontificate concerning the decline of public authority, and the lack of respect for the same, is equally true at the present day. "With God and Jesus Christ," we said, "excluded from political life, with authority derived not from God but from man, the very basis of that authority has been taken away, because the chief reason of the distinction between ruler and subject has been eliminated. The result is that the human society is tottering to its fall, because it has no longer a secure and solid foundation.
    The very last encyclical Pope Pius XI promulgated was titled, Ingravescentibus malis or "Ever increasing evils." In this last encyclical, Pius calls upon all mankind to turn to Christ by calling upon the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, saying:
    More than once have We asserted -- and We recently repeated this in the Encyclical Letter Divini Redemptoris that there is no remedy for the ever-growing evils of our times except a return to Our Lord Jesus Christ and to His most holy precepts. Truly, only He "hath the words of eternal life" (Cf. John 6:69), and individuals and society can only fall into immediate and miserable ruin if they ignore the majesty of God and repudiate His Law .... [A]nyone who studies with diligence the records of the Catholic Church will easily recognize that the true patronage of the Virgin Mother of God is linked with all the annals of the Christian name. When, in fact, errors everywhere diffused were bent upon rending the seamless robe of the Church and upon throwing the Catholic world into confusion, our fathers turned with confident soul to her "alone who destroys all heresies in the world" (Roman Breviary), and the victory won through her brought the return of tranquility .... Therefore why should We supplicate Our Heavenly Mother in this manner with due disposition and holiness? We desire very earnestly, Venerable Brethren, that the Holy Rosary should be recited in a special manner in the month of October and with increased devotion both in the churches and in homes. And so much the more must it be done since the enemies of the Divine Name -- that is, those who have rebelled against and denied and scorned the Eternal God -- spread snares for the Catholic Faith and the liberty due to the Church, and finally rebel with insane efforts against divine and human rights, to send manking to ruin and perdition. Through efficacious recourse to the Virgin Mother of God, they may be finally bent and led to penance and return to the straight path, trusting to the care and protection of Mary.
    The Month dedicated to Our Lady of the Holy Rosary has drawn to a close, but let us all have been renewed in our fervent prayer of the Rosary and continue to pray the Rosary as often as we are able.

    May be turn to our Blessed Mother whose Immaculate Heart is the "cause of our joy" and make our urgent pleas that she guide our nation back to God and may we put our confidence and trust in the Lord Jesus' most merciful Heart.

    Our month of prayers for the Holy Souls of Purgatory begins tomorrow, November 1. A plenary indulgence, applicable only to the Holy Souls in Purgatory, is granted to those who visit a cemetary and pray, even if only mentally, for the departed on each of the first eight days of November.

    In two weeks, beginning November 12, we will have our annual 40 Hours Devotion. Please consider visiting our Lord for Adoration after the morning Mass until 6:00 PM on Friday and Saturday. The Friday morning Mass will be followed by Exposition, the Litany of the Saints, and a Procession in the church. Likewise, the Sunday Close of 40 Hours will be at noon with the Litany of the Saints and a Procession in the church, followed by Benediction....

    Thursday, October 21, 2021

    "Costa Rican bishop suspends priest for saying Ordinary Form Mass in Latin and ad orientem"

    As Fr. Joseph Fession, S.J., asks in the Editor's column in the Ignatius Press catalog, "How's that for a headline?" (Here's the CNA report.) Fessio, founding editor of Ignatius Press, goes on to observe that the Costa Rican bishop (and bishops -- see below) are "either not serious Catholics or terribly ignorant." What does he mean?
    The 'typical edition" or primary and original text of the Mass -- whether in the "Ordinary" or "Extraordinary" form is Latin. And celebrating "facing East" or "facing the Lord" is not only a legitimate option, it is presupposed by the Roman Missal (both in Latin and in its official English translation). Otherwise why, if the celebrant is already facing the people, would the rubrics instruct him to face the people at the "Pray, brethren" ("Orate fratres")?
    Fessio continues:
    Why would a bishop do something like this? There's a major clue in a statement by the bishops' conference that "the use of the Missale Romanum of 1962 or any other of the expressions of the liturgy prior to 1970 is no longer authorized," including "prayers, vestments or rites" associated with the pre-1970 missal (Fessio's emphasis).

    Do they really know what they are saying? "Prayers," like the Collects that have been used since the earliest centuries? or like Euchaistic Prayer I (the Roman Canon)? "Vestments," like, say, and alb or stole? "Rites," such as the "Lord, have mercy" in the Introductory Rite?
    Gestures like those of the Costa Rican bishop give bishops a bad name. They give the impression that our spiritual shepherds have no love for Catholic traditions that have been the spiritual nourishment of Catholics from the earliest years of the Church. They give the impression of pitiful ignorance of Church history any time before 1970 and even of the rubrics of the Novus Ordo Missae implimented under Pope Paul VI in 1970. Catholicism is nothing if not traditional (1 Cor 15:3). There is no future in the shallow puddle of historically-oblivious Catholicism.

    Thursday, July 29, 2021

    Tridentine Community News - Vatican Phase-Out of Latin Books for the Ordinary Form; San Francisco Training Report; Paducah, Kentucky Priest Training Report; San Francisco Archbishop's Secretary Training Report; Tridentine Masses This Coming Week

    Vatican Phase-Out of Latin Books for the Ordinary Form

    Author and speaker Fr. Peter Stravinskas wrote in an article for Catholic World Report on June 30 that Libreria Editrice Vaticana, the Vatican publishing house, has discontinued offering its Latin books for the Ordinary Form Mass and Divine Office. This writer has noticed that their web site, www.vaticanum.com, has for many months shown only a travel-sized version of the Latin Altar Missal for the Ordinary Form; the full-sized version is no longer to be found. Likewise the Ordinary Form Breviary is no longer offered in Latin.

    Fr. Stravinskas also writes that the Congregation for Divine Worship has rescinded permission for third party publishers to offer these books. The most noteworthy of these, Midwest Theological Forum, continues to advertise its Latin Ordinary Form altar missal [pictured] and Latin Ordinary Form Breviary for sale, but perhaps will not be allowed to reprint them when current inventory runs out.

    If this information is true, it puts a firm nail in the coffin of the Latin Novus Ordo Mass. There are few who still hold out much hope for the Ordinary Form in Latin, but if the books that support that liturgy are intentionally made unavailable, then the only future for Latin in the life of the Church is in the Extraordinary Form.

    San Francisco Seminarian Training Report

    On Wednesday, July 7, 2021, eight seminarians of the Archdiocese of San Francisco took part in Traditional Latin Mass altar serving training taught by Extraordinary Faith at St. Patrick Seminary in Menlo Park, California. Archbishop Cordileone has recommended that his seminarians learn the Extraordinary Form, both for its own merits and for learning how better to offer the Ordinary Form. The seminarians will use their skills to serve a weekly Saturday Low Mass offered at the seminary by Fr. Samuel Weber.

    Paducah, Kentucky Priest Training Report

    Fr. Bruce Fogle, Pastor of historic St. John the Evangelist Parish in Paducah, Kentucky, celebrated his first Traditional Latin Mass on Tuesday, July 13, 2021 after training from Extraordinary Faith. Three of his altar servers also took part. Fr. Fogle intends to start a Sunday Low Mass later this summer, which will be the first one in the larger region that includes southern Illinois. He would like to turn this into a High Mass eventually.

    San Francisco Archbishop’s Secretary Training Report

    Fr. Armando Gutierrez, priest secretary to Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, celebrated his first Traditional Latin Mass on Friday, July 16, 2021 at Star of the Sea Parish in San Francisco, after training from Extraordinary Faith. Fr. Armando will be part of the archbishop’s initiative to expand the number of priests available to offer the Extraordinary Form in his archdiocese.

    Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
    • Fri. 08/06 7:00 PM: High Mass at Old St. Mary’s (Transfiguration of the Lord) – Celebrant: Fr. Stephen Pullis. Reception after Mass.

    Monday, June 28, 2021

    Topic: Pro-Abortion Catholic Politicians Receiving Communion

    [Advisory: I recently received the following contained in an email]

    Statement:

    Nobody who is obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin should be given Holy Communion. But pro-abortion politicians are obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin for, by being politicians, their support of abortion — the murder of babies in the womb — is an extremely grave sin, and it is publicly manifest. Moreover, they do so in a manner that is obstinate to the clear teachings of the Church, and they persevere in this; thus, they are obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin. Thus, again, nobody who publicly supports abortion should be given Holy Communion.

    Justification:

    Greetings in the Lord to the faithful of Christ and His Holy Church. The greatest evil, at least on the natural level, in our world today is, by far, the massive slaughter of God’s children in the womb through abortion. With each abortion, an innocent child’s life is snuffed out, and, with legalized abortion, the number of these murders of children in the womb is mind-numbing (an estimated 50 million children murdered by abortion throughout the world each year — over 100,000 daily!) For good reason, then, does the Catechism of the Catholic Church call this sin an “abominable crime.” With each abortion, not only is an innocent baby’s life ended but, along with that, many other lives are deeply devastated: We priests know all too well the indescribably deep pain inflicted on the hearts and souls of the mothers and fathers of these children (to whom our hearts go out with deep fatherly affection) as well as so many others wounded by this horrible scourge, a scourge that is of — or beyond — biblical proportions. “Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils and shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan: And the land was polluted with blood” (Psalm 106: 37–38).

    With all this in mind concerning the absolute horror and injustice of abortion, we, the PFC and our supporting clergy, want the faithful to know that Catholic politicians who publicly support this mass murder of God’s children ought not be given Our Lord’s Body and Blood in Holy Communion! For, by publicly supporting abortion, such politicians are contributing to the shedding of the blood of many children, precious children for whom Our Lord shed His Blood, that same Blood that is received in Holy Communion. Concerning the unworthy reception of Holy Communion, i.e., the reception of Holy Communion in a state of mortal sin, the Apostle Paul flat out declares, “He that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body” (1 Corinthians 11:29). Based on these words of the Apostle, the Church herself, in her Code of Canon Law (Canon 915) declares that anyone who is “obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin” (e.g., pro-abortion politicians) is “not to be admitted to Holy Communion.” Thus, these politicians ought not to be given Holy Communion, for, in presenting themselves for the sacrament, they are causing scandal to the faithful and offending Our Eucharistic Lord, who, again, shed that very Blood of His, present in the Holy Eucharist, for each and every poor, innocent child who is so very unjustly killed by abortion.

    In fact, more than that, we, the PFC, do not understand why these politicians are not required, under ecclesiastical obedience, by our fathers, the bishops, to publicly recant and repent from their pro-abortion positions under pain of receiving a formal, public excommunication should they fail to do so! Nobody who persists in the support of mass baby-murder (which is what legalized abortion is) — especially one who does so publicly — has any right to call himself Catholic! To allow this is to do a disservice to the very names “Catholic” and “Christian”!

    The fact that pro-baby-murder politicians are being permitted to receive Our Sacred Lord has the potential to undermine both our awareness of the indescribable evil of this massive child-sacrifice known as legalized abortion, as well as the indescribable sacredness of the Blessed Sacrament — both truths we must uphold as Catholics. In the end, the permitting of such politicians to receive Our Lord amounts, objectively, to a serious lack of charity towards, first, the children in the womb who, daily, are slaughtered by the tens of thousands throughout the world and, second, Our Lord Himself, truly present in the Blessed Sacrament, who is treated in a sacrilegious manner by each and every one of these public sacrilegious Communions. If these little ones of God and the Eucharistic Lord Himself are truly loved, how can this be permitted? It cannot.

    So, in the face of such scandalous actions taking place, we, the PFC, urge the faithful to hold fast to their utter hatred of the evil of abortion (and their love of those killed by abortion, as well as those so very deeply wounded by abortion, especially the parents of these children) and to their utter love of the Blessed Sacrament (and, consequently, to their hatred of anything that denigrates this Most Holy of Sacraments, such as is taking place with these publicly scandalous and sacrilegious Communions).

    We urgently call upon our spiritual fathers, the bishops, to stop this horrific and unjust (and uncharitable) scandal, even as we also call upon these pro-abortion Catholic politicians (most especially our son in the Lord and in His Church, Joseph Biden) to repent of their sins against, first, the unborn, and, secondly, against Our Lord Himself (for, to these politicians, sons and daughters of ours in the Church, we say that, when your lives are over, you will no longer have power but, rather, will face Our Lord and all His little ones, and you will then have to give an account of your actions: If you do not repent, you will face everlasting condemnation; and, so, out of love for you, our sons and daughters in the Lord and the Church, we call you to repentance today!)

    In Christ,
    Patres Fidelium Christi (PFC)

    Tuesday, December 15, 2020

    Why Conservative Justices Run Interference for Liberal Causes

    THE CONSTITUTIONAL FLAW IN THE CONSERVATIVE MIND

    by Edwin Dyga

    Edwin Dyga is the Chief of Staff to the Parliamentary leader of the Christian Democratic Party in New South Wales, Australia. He was the founder and convenor of the Sydney Traditionalist Forum.

    The passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the consequent appointment of a third justice to the U.S. Supreme Court by President Donald Trump reignited debate about the impact of jurisprudence on American society. As the debate often revolves around questions of morality and its role in contemporary governance, conservatives cannot boast about their track record. Even if they exert cultural influence over large sections of the public, this is seldom reflected in legislative or judicial outcomes. This disconnect is the result of a political approach on the putative Right that seems to focus on diagnosis — why things are as they are — instead of on self-reflection and a reassessment of the tactics used to arrive at the status quo. What do recent developments in the judicial arena teach us about how we have arrived at this juncture?

    Prof. David Flint, former dean of law at the University of Technology Sydney, wrote that the Supreme Court was the American Founding Fathers’ “biggest mistake, a disaster our [Australian] founders followed, even awarding the federal government an untrammeled discretion in choosing judges” (The Spectator, June 27). Flint argues that the Founders should have foreseen the rise of the kritarchy (i.e., rule by the judiciary) in much the same way Alexis de Tocqueville foresaw the potential decay of American democracy. Perhaps Flint is right, but intuition suggests that no matter how a judicial institution is established, politics, like greed and corruption, will make its presence felt. The seismic cultural shifts experienced in recent decades confirm this as we witness the continuing hyper-politicization of the public square. The problem of institutional collapse lies elsewhere, and the Founders of both nations can be forgiven for what seems, in retrospect, to be no more than the sin of gallant naïveté.

    The formal structure of an institution, its constitutional order and the framework of rules and regulations according to which it operates, is not enough to guarantee its integrity. To believe otherwise is to indulge in a dangerous utopianism that ignores the primacy of an institution’s animating force: the people who constitute it, their attitudes and dispositions, and their culture, which is never a rigid force and inevitably changes the way organizations operate over time. The cultural impact of a judicial system does not, therefore, depend on whether judges are elected or appointed but on the cultural milieu in which its jurisprudence is shaped. Just as the milieu changes, so does its jurisprudence. Much like the human-resource departments in both the private and public sectors today, fill an organization with revolutionaries and it will reflect their values and act according to their imperatives — sometimes in a manner hostile to the organization’s original purpose.

    Collapse is evident when those dedicated to preservation or renewal appear to strike at the foundations of the social order or actively fail to protect its integrity. Consider President Trump’s second appointee, Brett Kavanaugh, who, in his first act as an associate justice of the Supreme Court in 2018, sided with his liberal colleagues in refusing to hear an argument in support of a state law that purported to prevent Planned Parenthood, a billion-dollar corporation dedicated to the promotion of abortion, from receiving additional taxpayer funds. Catholic commentator Michael Warren Davis put it delicately when he said this development “doesn’t bode well” for the pro-life cause (theDoveTV, Dec. 17, 2018). Kavanaugh, Davis said, “didn’t even want to hear the case…. He is invincibly certain that Planned Parenthood is entitled to taxpayer money.”

    Similarly, President Trump’s first appointee as associate justice, Neil Gorsuch, wrote the decision in June this year that effectively extended Title VII of the Civil Rights Act to people who profess exotic sexual identities, consequently imposing the next stage of the sexual revolution on the public square and further restricting the public and private rights of citizens who prefer to live by normative values. In an unrelated case decided that same day, he did not dissent from a decision that effectively upheld California’s so-called sanctuary laws that prohibit local law-enforcement officials from aiding federal agents in enforcing federal law.

    These decisions are nothing short of a colossal humiliation to the Christians and conservatives who supported Kavanaugh and Gorsuch during their confirmation hearings. What inclines these supposedly conservative appointees to score such “own goals,” and so consistently? Flint writes that the “long term solution is to reverse unaccountable judicial supremacy and the deleterious effect it has had,” but reliance on “originalist” appointments (i.e., judges who claim to uphold original intent of the law) is obviously not enough.

    Gorsuch’s decision on the scope of Title VII in Bostock v. Clayton County (2020) was made on the basis of a strict reading of the law. Ironically, this is what conservatives have been demanding of their court officials since the era of judicial activism came to dominate social policy. However, it remains somewhat of a mystery that a self-described originalist would hold that the drafters of the Civil Rights Act had the incessantly expanding matrix of performative sexual identities in mind over half a century ago, in 1964. What strikes the observer is that a commitment to due process and the letter of the law, however flawed in this case, has led Kavanaugh and Gorsuch, ostensible opponents of jurisprudential progressivist overreach, to effectively defend a status quo they were expected to nudge to the Right, if not at least reform to something approximating a legal order untainted by the mischief of contemporary identity politics.

    While this may seem counterintuitive, conservatives’ rejection of the political Left’s messianic disposition and methodology is to blame for its inability to reclaim ground lost to the so-called Enlightenment project in the field of law reform. That disposition may be anathema due to the perceived crudity of the Left’s revolutionary character: The nature of a conservative prohibits him from taking revolutionary steps to promote his agenda. By eschewing the Left’s tactics, the conservative does not “lead by example” to “shame his opponents”; instead, he is led by his opponents who are unshackled by the sensibilities of “polite society.” As a consequence, conservatives have been gamed by their own commitments to decorum and process.

    Thus, jurisprudential orthodoxy has been turned on itself to further entrench an inherently hostile cultural revolution, and it has done so as a function of its own animating principles: seeming acceptance of the letter of the law (which is increasingly drafted by unapologetic leftist ideologues), restraint in the novel application of precedent (i.e., refusal to engage the Left at its own game), and, of course, compromise in the face of progressive pressure. The result has been a gradual and successive defeat over the past half century for those who would maintain a traditional social order, facilitated by their own judicial appointments.

    The historical legacy of this conservative failure can be seen in a number of significant Supreme Court decisions, all of which were facilitated by Republican-appointed justices. In Engel v. Vitale (1962) Chief Justice Earl Warren (an Eisenhower appointee) sided with the majority in banning prayer in public schools. In Griswold v. Connecticut (1965) Warren again, along with Justice John Marshall Harlan II (also an Eisenhower appointee), held for the majority in legalizing the free availability of artificial contraception. In Roe v. Wade (1973) Chief Justice Warren Burger (a Nixon appointee) and Justices Harry Blackmun and William Brennan Jr. (Nixon and Eisenhower appointees, respectively) held for the majority in legalizing abortion. In Lawrence v. Texas (2003) Justice Anthony Kennedy (a Reagan appointee and a Catholic) joined Justice David Souter (a Bush appointee) for the majority, with Justice Sandra Day O’Connor (another Reagan appointee) concurring, effectively normalizing paraphilia nationally.

    Though the rationale for those decisions is open to debate, the weakness of the conservative elements on the bench could be identified in their commitment to reason while their opponents’ was a function of their commitment to social engineering at the service of “progress.”

    If Justice Kavanaugh were indeed motivated by a desire to retard the hijacking of the judicial system by militant progressives, he would be receptive to any opportunity that might expose the bench to a legal argument that could rationally justify an interpretation of law amiable to advocates of normative values. Yet in Andersen v. Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri (2018) he seemed to agree that the state should not consider evidence of alleged organ-harvesting from aborted children, evidence which an experienced legal team believed had reasonable prospects of being persuasive in a court of law. Where does this urge to err on the side of the enemy’s program originate?

    Giving a hearing to arguments, however tenuous, is the leftist strategy for shifting public opinion and creating rhetorical space for the development of legal precedent. Forever on the lookout for implications and inferences, judges committed to “progressive” social engineering through judicial fiat have set a now-long-standing precedent for this jurisprudential strategy — one their erstwhile opponents refuse to follow. It is difficult to imagine that there wouldn’t be a prima facie case to consider in Andersen, given the complex legal and moral arguments cited by both sides in what is one of the most passionately contested debates in the American public square: When does human life begin? Yet the conservative disposition, forever disinclined to learn from the victories of the Left — and therefore incapable of applying strategies that actually succeed — is thus constitutionally handicapped in the culture war.

    What, then, are we to make of alleged champions of judicial originalism who lead the charge for the continuing revolution in social mores? The coalition on which Trump was delivered to office in 2016 had to squint at Gorsuch’s “long history of espousing progressive opinions,” Davis writes at CrisisMagazine.com (June 17), in order to avoid the potential disaster of Hillary Clinton appointments to the Supreme Court. “What do we have to show for it?” Davis asks. Not much, it seems. Gorsuch was preferred over Amy Coney Barrett, whose cultural traditionalism suggested that her Senate confirmation hearings would be excruciating and, therefore, intolerable. The torturous process endured by the compromise appointee Gorsuch and his family illustrated that the Trump administration and its Christian and conservative supporters suffered the indignities of a contentious confirmation process anyway, for little in return.

    While it is true that both Gorsuch and Kavanaugh have shaped, and will likely continue to shape, the future of American jurisprudence the right way in other areas, their milquetoast resistance — or effective defection — on these civilization-defining issues is unforgivable. Victory in “most cases” isn’t the point; victory in the difficult cases is crucial.

    The passing of Justice Ginsburg in September opened the path for yet another appointment by the Trump administration. Amy Coney Barrett’s successful appointment to the position this October — on the auspicious date of Hillary Clinton’s birthday, no less — unsurprisingly infuriated the political and cultural Left. But legal traditionalists would do well to restrain themselves from pre-emptive celebration. Constitutional scholar Patrick Deneen gave a cautious endorsement of the charismatic Catholic jurist while noting that she may well be susceptible to the “gentry liberal” ethos that has seen a successive number of allegedly conservative appointees to the Supreme Court lean Left or defect to the progressive side of the bench altogether (First Things, Sept. 29).

    An early portent of failure might be seen in the manner in which conservatives promoted Barrett’s candidacy in the media: her status as a woman, the “diversity” of her family, and in some cases playing down her Catholicity. These were highlighted as assets or advantages, but all of them are markers of politically progressive legitimacy. How can a conservative prevail by reaffirming an allegiance to liberalism? Would it really be a disqualifier to say that the only equality she intends to promote is equality before the law, that she will bring the wealth of Aquinas to the bench and reintroduce the spirit of Antonin Scalia?

    These unhappy developments bring to mind my own experiences, a decade ago, as an advisor to the New South Wales attorney general and minister for justice. New South Wales is the most populous and litigious state in Australia and, as such, sets the tone for legal reform throughout the Commonwealth. Under the Australian system, ministers (and the AG) are appointed from among elected parliamentarians. The AG was elected to the Lower House in an atmosphere of considerable acrimony, mostly caused by activist elements who targeted his Catholic faith and history of pro-life advocacy as a “threat to democracy.” They denounced him as an “extremist,” called his appointment evidence of a “creeping theocracy,” and accused him of other such predictable nonsense. While in the privacy of personal conversation he did profess a commitment to fighting a culture war, this was more rhetoric than praxis.

    The invectives took their toll, however, and the preferred strategy was to “prove” to those who despised him that he wasn’t the incarnation of their greatest fears. The result was an unremarkable policy agenda that terminated with his eventual removal from the Ministry and retirement from politics shortly thereafter.

    Advice can be given, but it cannot be compelled. I recall a conversation with a senior colleague about the perils of judicial activism in which I suggested that the one way to put a stop to it would be to engage in it from our side of politics. The appointment of judges and magistrates is the responsibility of the minister; there are no confirmation hearings. Surely the specter of activist judges pushing the acceptable scope of debate on contentious issues to the Right would have roused an outcry against conservative judicial activism. Today, the brazen impudence of the Left comes down exclusively on the activism of conservative justices. A decade ago, however, there might still have been a desire to manifest a semblance of impartiality in the eyes of the public. Thus, the whole culture of “legislating from the bench” might have been put in the spotlight, irrespective of the politics involved. Whatever the outcome, either judges committed to normative values and legal orthodoxy would populate the bench or the whole concept of activism might face critical scrutiny.

    Yet the blissful incomprehension that glazed over the eyes of my senior colleague in response to my suggestion of confronting the Left at its own game was telling — and deflating. Instead, a steady stream of “sensible” judges (his description) was appointed, one of whom actually boasted of his feminist credentials in a press release. I asked the then-convenor of the Samuel Griffith Society (the Australian equivalent of American Federalists) whether they were ever consulted about judicial appointments during that period. His answer was a simple “no.” I felt a fool for even asking.

    The pathology of meekness among main stream conservatives is evidently shared across the Anglosphere. There simply doesn’t seem to be any real desire to prevail. The heart is cold, and the fight is gone. The root of this flaccidity of character is as much a function of allowing their political foes to set the boundaries of acceptable discourse as it is with adhering to rules that are no longer applicable to modern political combat. Justices Kavanaugh and Gorsuch are undoubtedly brilliant judicial scholars in their own right, but they (and their appointers) do not seem to appreciate that one cannot wear red and march in a straight line when fighting a guerrilla war.

    The same could be said of my colleague, who, in another exchange concerning the reasons why conservatives are losing the culture war, stated laconically, without the slightest tone of concern or urgency, “There are more of them than there are of us.” When asked why he thought that was the case, he chuckled condescendingly and walked away. These exchanges are memorable because they are shocking; they fill a person concerned about the future of his nation with bitter dread.

    Is this a conflict between generational perspectives? Opposition to Australia’s legislative redefinition of “family” in 2018 was organized through a corporate entity presided over by three directors, two of whom were born in the 1930s, the other being not much younger. The campaign, evidence of which was difficult to discern on the streets or in cyberspace — where cultural and political questions are determined by a growing cohort of engaged citizenry — failed spectacularly and unsurprisingly. Anything that was effective in drawing the public’s attention to the creeping totalitarianism of the “woke Left” (such as an Internet meme that was cited in parliamentary debates) was, of course, dutifully withdrawn in an attempt never to give offense to the enemy. These people might be described as “beautiful losers,” but the “beautiful” aspect relates to their oft-professed principles, which might be true in a teleological sense but which are no longer valid in light of contemporary rules of engagement. They are trapped in an Ernstfall in which they meander blindly, wondering why the times keep passing them by. The tragedy is that they seem incapable or unwilling to learn from their, or anyone else’s, mistakes.

    The perennial complaint that I and some of my younger colleagues had against our senior leaders was the utter lack of mentorship or support, outside of the simple world of party politics, which would be aimed at fostering a future cadre of community leaders capable of forming an alternative cultural and political elite. But under these circumstances, even with such mentorship, all we can hope for is a litany of future judicial, political, and managerial officers who “sensibly” — if unwittingly — comply with the leftist program and steer the course of “progress.”

    Pace Flint, the biggest mistake does not lie with the Founders (whether American or Australian) but with those charged with the task of defending the institutions the Founders established. An effective defense requires an offensive strategy in the cultural sphere. But this is rarely accomplished, much less tried. It is past time for conservatives to recalibrate their methodologies if they are to have any real hope of achieving their objectives. Political history is a record of competing rules of engagement between opposing cultures, worldviews, and systems. Contemporary conservatives are historically illiterate, for they are unable to recognize where tactical changes in approach to defending those institutions have become necessary. It is time to realize that a different kind of leadership is required.

    ©2020 New Oxford Review. All Rights Reserved.

    Edwin Dyga's "Why Conservative Justices Run Interference for Liberal Causes" was originally published in the New Oxford Review (December 2020), and is reproduced here by kind permission of New Oxford Review, 1069 Kains Ave. Berkeley CA 94706-2260.

    Sunday, September 13, 2020

    Tridentine Masses coming this week to metro Detroit and south-eastern Michigan


    Tridentine Masses This Coming Week

    Sunday


    Monday


    Tuesday


    Wednesday


    Thursday


    Friday


    Saturday


    Sunday


    * NB: The SSPX chapels among those Mass sites listed above are posted here because the Holy Father has announced that "those who during the Holy Year of Mercy approach these priests of the Fraternity of St Pius X to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation shall validly and licitly receive the absolution of their sins," and subsequently extended this privilege beyond the Year of Mercy. These chapels are not listed among the approved parishes and worship sites on archdiocesan websites.

    Tridentine Community News - Thirteenth Metro Detroit Weekly Sunday Tridentine Mass Site Debuts Today: St. Thomas the Apostle, Ann Arbor; Sage Advice from Cleveland; Archdiocese of Portland Liturgical Handbook; First of Two Pittsburgh Episodes of Extraordinary Faith Now Viewable on YouTube and Vimeo; Tridentine Masses This Coming Week


    "I will go in unto the Altar of God
    To God, Who giveth joy to my youth"

    Tridentine Community News by Alex Begin (September 13, 2020):
    September 13, 2020 – Fifteenth Sunday After Pentecost

    Thirteenth Metro Detroit Weekly Sunday Tridentine Mass Site Debuts Today: St. Thomas the Apostle, Ann Arbor

    The thirteenth weekly Sunday Tridentine Mass, and the 37th Traditional Mass site in metro Detroit and Windsor, debuts on Sunday, September 13 at 11:00 AM at St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Ann Arbor. Fr. Gerald Gawronski, a longtime celebrant of the Traditional Mass in the Diocese of Lansing, will be the celebrant. Professional, paid choir members are being sought.

    Since Summórum Pontíficum was published in 2007, there have been repeated attempts to establish a weekly Sunday Mass in Ann Arbor. Until now the best that has been possible was a monthly Mass at Old St. Patrick’s and sporadic special occasion Masses at St. Thomas the Apostle. The debut of this Mass is a testament to the years of patient and persistent work of Juventútem Michigan founder Paul Schultz and Ann Arbor TLM organizer Joe Lipa. St. Thomas offers a central location in downtown Ann Arbor, and 11:00 AM is a surprisingly prime time hour.

    Sage Advice from Cleveland

    Along similar lines, an August 29, 2020 post on the Cleveland TLM Friends blog (www.clevelandtlmfriends.com) explains how new TLM sites typical start up. Asking the diocese, the bishop, or chancery officials for assistance rarely helps and often introduces unnecessary red tape. New Mass sites are most successfully initiated at the ground level through joint efforts of laypeople and clergy, as the post so eloquently states: “But for those who live on the outermost eastern and western edges, there is still room for growth. Cleveland TLM Friends has been contacted by quite a few Faithful Catholics over the years, asking if there is any known effort to get the Mass started in these outlying areas. My opinion has always been the same: it starts with a stable group and a faithful pastor. Part of the success of the Traditional Catholic Movement in Cleveland has been its grass-roots development, never relying upon diocesan involvement to get the ball rolling. This isn’t to insinuate a separatist attitude. Rather, the Traditional Catholic Movement finds its success in having a pure heart, one based upon love for Tradition and the Mass; its success is not the result of a manufactured accommodation by the less-than-interested.”
    Archdiocese of Portland Liturgical Handbook


    The Archdiocese of Portland, Oregon has issued a 350 page Liturgical Handbook establishing norms for celebration of the Ordinary and Extraordinary Form Mass and Sacraments in their diocese. Impressive in scope and orthodoxy, it devotes special attention to the role of appropriate sacred music. Many problems could be solved if other dioceses followed this lead. For more details, see this story on The New Liturgical Movement blog:
    http://www.newliturgicalmovement.org/2020/02/liturgical-handbook-published-by.html. The book can be downloaded free here: https://archdpdx.org/divine-worship, or purchased for Amazon Kindle.

    First of Two Pittsburgh Episodes of Extraordinary Faith Now Viewable on YouTube and Vimeo



    Episode 21 of Extraordinary Faith – Pittsburgh Part 1 of 2 – is now available for viewing on the Extraordinary Faith channel on YouTube and Vimeo. Church Music Association of America General Manager Janet Gorbitz introduces us to the organization and welcomes us to its Sacred Music Colloquium, held at Duquesne University. This annual gathering attracts approximately 250 people of all levels of experience seeking to increase their understanding of Gregorian Chant and Sacred Polyphony, while offering exemplary liturgies. We speak with symposium instructors from Camden, New Jersey; San Diego; and Chattanooga, and learn how they are implementing innovative traditional sacred music programs in their home parishes.

    Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
    • Mon. 09/14: No Mass at Holy Family, Detroit
    • Tue. 09/15 7:00 PM: High Mass at Holy Name of Mary, Windsor (Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary)
    • Wed. 09/16: No Mass at Holy Family
    • Fri. 09/18: No Mass at Holy Family
    • Sat. 09/19 8:00 AM: Low Mass at Miles Christi (St. Januarius, Bishop, & Companions, Martyrs)
    [Comments? Please e-mail tridnews@detroitlatinmass.org. Previous columns are available at http://www.detroitlatinmass.org. This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Albertus (Detroit), Academy of the Sacred Heart (Bloomfield Hills), and St. Alphonsus and Holy Name of Mary Churches (Windsor) bulletin inserts for September 13, 2020. Hat tip to Alex Begin, author of the column.]

    Sunday, September 06, 2020

    Tridentine Community News - Twelfth Metro Detroit Weekly Sunday Tridentine Mass Site Debuts on September 13: St. Priscilla, Livonia; St. Aloysius Mass Report; Side Altar Spotted in Use at St. Hugo; Simultaneous TLMs at Orchard Lake Shrine Chapel; No Weekday TLMs at Holy Family Sept. 14-25; Tridentine Masses This Coming Week


    "I will go in unto the Altar of God
    To God, Who giveth joy to my youth"

    Tridentine Community News by Alex Begin (September 6, 2020):
    September 6, 2020 – Fourteenth Sunday After Pentecost

    Twelfth Metro Detroit Weekly Sunday Tridentine Mass Site Debuts on September 13: St. Priscilla, Livonia The twelfth weekly Sunday Tridentine Mass, and the 36th Traditional Mass site in metro Detroit and Windsor, debuts on Sunday, September 13 at 1:00 PM at St. Priscilla Church in Livonia. Administrator Fr. Joe Tuskiewicz, one of metro Detroit’s best-known roving celebrants of the TLM, will be offering this Mass at the request of some parishioners and with the support of his Parish Council. Music for this High Mass will be supplied by parish music director Felicity Long, a member of the family whose multi-generational members have served as music directors for Latin Masses at Assumption Grotto, St. Edward on the Lake, Immaculate Conception Lapeer, and Ss. Cyril & Methodius Sterling Heights.

    St. Aloysius Mass Report


    Thanks to everyone who turned out on Friday, August 28 for the first Traditional Mass in the lower level church at St. Aloysius in Detroit. The acoustics were amazing! And Administrator Fr. Mario Amore invited us to hold more Masses there in the future. A little-known fact: The lower level High Altar came from the original St. Aloysius Church and dates to 1873. Imagine how many thousands of Holy Masses must have been celebrated on that altar up until it got idled around 1965. A perfect setting for the Traditional Mass. [Photo by Fr. Mario]



    Side Altar Spotted in Use at St. Hugo


    On Saturday, August 29, this writer randomly walked into the St. Hugo Stone Chapel and found a priest saying a private Mass at a Side Altar. In over 50 years of visiting this chapel, never, ever has a Side Altar been seen in use. How beautiful and appropriate to see these architectural elements once again used for the Holy Sacrifice.

    Simultaneous TLMs at Orchard Lake Shrine Chapel


    In a further sign of the times, that same Saturday, August 29 at 12:00 Noon, two simultaneous Traditional Masses were offered at Orchard Lake Seminary’s Archdiocesan Shrine Chapel of St. John Paul II: In the main church there was a scheduled High Requiem Mass celebrated by Msgr. Ronald Browne, while in one of the chapels in the sacristy, an unscheduled Low Mass was offered by Fr. Lukasz Iwanczuk at the request of two seminarians. For those who have not been back there, the expansive sacristy has six private chapels – six small rooms with ad oriéntem altars and seating for two faithful each – in which seminary priests can and do offer their daily Masses.

    No Weekday TLMs at Holy Family Sept. 14-25

    Because of Fr. Paul Ward’s planned time away from the parish, there will be no Traditional Masses at Holy Family Church in Detroit on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, September 14, 16, 18, 21, 23, and 25. Weekday Masses will resume at 12:00 Noon on Monday, September 28.

    Interesting tidbit: Franciscan Friars of the Holy Spirit from St. Mary of Redford serve the Monday Masses at Holy Family.

    Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
    • Tue. 09/08 7:00 PM: High Mass at Holy Name of Mary, Windsor (Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary)
    • Sat. 09/12 8:00 AM: Low Mass at Miles Christi (Most Holy Name of Mary)
    [Comments? Please e-mail tridnews@detroitlatinmass.org. Previous columns are available at http://www.detroitlatinmass.org. This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Albertus (Detroit), Academy of the Sacred Heart (Bloomfield Hills), and St. Alphonsus and Holy Name of Mary Churches (Windsor) bulletin inserts for September 6, 2020. Hat tip to Alex Begin, author of the column.]