Inside Reims Cathedral

On the 17th of July 1429, King Charles VII was crowned under these walls after the Victory over the English at Orleans by Jehanne la Pucelle.

It will witness the coronation of the Great Monarch when God wills it.


A colour engraving of Charlotte Corday

The writen caption on the top margin reads:The heroic Charlotte la Cordé, upon her trial, at the bar of the Revolutionary Tribunal for having rid the world of that monster of Athiesm and murder the regicide Marat, whom she stabbed in a bath where he had retire on account of a Leprosy with which Heaven had begun the punishment of the crimes---The noble enthusiam which this woman met the charge and the elevated distain with which she treated the self created Tribunal struck the whole assembly with fear and astonishment./ Js. Gy., desn. et fect.

The interior of the Revolutionary Tribunal crowded with figures. Charlotte Corday (right) stands at the bar, a raised circular stone platform, her wrists linked by a chain, addressing her judges (left), who listen with alarm, as do the the spectators and the two ruffians holding spears who stand behind her.... 1 print : engraving, color. [England] : Published July 29th 1793 by H. Humphrey, No. 18 Old Bond Street, 1793.

Dieu Suave le Roy!

Sts. Perpetua and Felicty

I know this is very late and I apologize, Fr Gregory Pilcher a Bendictine Monk had posted this earlier in the month. These two Saints are mentioned in the second canon of the Mass, an honor given to 4 other women and the blessed Virgin .

Today is the feast of the holy blissful martyrs Perpetua and Felicty and their companions in North Africa. They have been favorite saints of mine since childhood. So sad that the place where they gave their blood for Christ was overrun by the arian Vandals. Then, after the Vandals were converted, they were then in turn conquered by the impious Mohammedan pagans. There were over four hundred Latin Rite dioceses in North Africa before the conquest. Now all of them are titular dioceses in the Roman Church in partibus infidelium(1).

Felicity was Perpetua's slave, but she was also her companion both in life and death. We rightly reject any form of human slavery, but for them, it was unquestionably normal. As the icon shows, however, they are also united on a more personal level than that of mistress to slave. The icon also shows them as true Africans. Something that those of us white folks so often forget when we think of the saints from anywhere.

Collect: Father, your love gave the saints Perpetua and Felicity courage to suffer a cruel martyrdom. By their prayers, help us to grow in love of you. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

(1) In the lands of the infidels.

Dieu le Roy!

39 relics discovered,

From the Blog New Liturgical Movement I was fasinated to see this article, Relics of 39 Saints Discovered in Mediaeval Portable Altar

Thanks and a tip of the beret to Fr G, who follows my blog.


Reason #53- Why I am a Monarichist, US Senator proposes nonprofit status for newspapers

First it was the bailout of the auto industry, then it was the bailout of the banks, now it seems a Senator has determined that newspapers should be helped out. Now for those who don't realize what is happening, I will simplify it, the government is rapidly attempting to take over every facet of your life. A newspaper which owes it's existence to the government does not have Freedom of Speech.

It is not the first time the First Amendment has been under attack, earlier this year it was proposed that the Catholic Churches in Connecticut relinquish the authority of the pastor in their financial dealings. Connecticut also attempted to require Priest giving absolution to a sex offender report it to the authorities. (The rebirth of the cult of Reason and Enlightenment.)

At the beginning of this week, Secretary Geitner opined that the government might have to look into limiting what an executive in any business could be paid, whether they had or had not taken bailout money. That is communism, pure and simple. Later in the week he announced favorably that a world wide currency, an idea proposed by the Red Chinese (BTW a communist country) might be looked at with favor in order to solve world wide economical problems.

This nation which will be feeling the deficit for generations to come, due to the overspending of the Congress. Old and unsuccessful programs which do not show results are not ended, they are just given more money, based on the old axiom "We have never spent enough on this program to make it work". That is job security for a voter.

The auto industry is a good example, we bailed them out last year for an unbelievable amount because they were "too big to fail". While the media focused on the minutea of executives taking the company plane and distracting the masses with class envy and warfare, the unions danced with glee and the companies were bailed out. Now the industry is getting ready for another handout. When will this end? I am reminded of that scene from "Gone with the Wind" as Scarlett travels the streets of Atlanta, a carpetbagger tells a group of freedmen, "...We'll give you 40 acres and a mule 'cause we're your friends and friends vote for friends." The national legislature has turned into a collective of carpetbaggers and scalawags. Once again last week, while the scandal of who allowed the AIG bailout to include bonuses for executives became news, all media attention was redirected at those "crooks" at AIG who were given bonuses, to the point that the mob was being bused in to protest the AIG executives. Windows were broken and lives threatened, all because of the class warfare rhetoric spewing from the newspapers, the congressmen, New York Attorney General and Obama. The real attention should have been directed at Chris Dodd (from Connecticut I might add, strange isn't it)and Tim Gietner (a self professed tax evader)for allowing the clause allowing bonuses to be added to the Bailout bill. This bill which was NEVER read by any member in the House or Senate, (but lauded by them as a great step towards getting the economy back to a sound footing,) was passed in the middle of the night as it were.

The House in a stroke of unconsitutional legislation adopeted a bill which would have taxed the bonuses at 90%! I am sorry to say that Republicans voted for it also. It has not yet been brought to the Senate. Due to the attention of the mob and the threats of attacks on their families the executives all returned the money. Where was the govenment to step in and say stop?

Your freedom is being traded for security, in the end we will have neither.

Jhesu, Marie et Joseph,

By LARRY MARGASAK – 1 day ago
WASHINGTON (AP) — Struggling newspapers should be allowed to operate as nonprofits similar to public broadcasting stations, Sen. Benjamin Cardin, D-Md., proposed Tuesday.

Cardin introduced a bill that would allow newspapers to choose tax-exempt status. They would no longer be able to make political endorsements, but could report on all issues including political campaigns.

Advertising and subscription revenue would be tax-exempt, and contributions to support coverage could be tax deductible.

Cardin said in a statement that the bill is aimed at preserving local newspapers, not large newspaper conglomerates.

"We are losing our newspaper industry," said Cardin. "The economy has caused an immediate problem, but the business model for newspapers, based on circulation and advertising revenue, is broken, and that is a real tragedy for communities across the nation and for our democracy."

Cardin said his proposal may not be the best choice for some major newspapers, but "should be an option for many newspapers that are struggling to stay afloat."

Speaking on the Senate floor, Cardin added, "As local papers are closing, we're losing a valuable tradition in America — critically important to our communities, critically important to our democracy."

The head of the newspaper industry's trade group called the bill a positive step.

John Sturm, president and chief executive officer of the Newspaper Association of America, said the proposal "recognizes changes in the law might be necessary to provide a boost to newspapers trying to weather this difficult economic period."

He agreed with Cardin that his approach may not work for all newspapers, but said the legislation is a starting point for discussions already under way on ideas to help the industry.

The association is a nonprofit organization representing the $47 billion newspaper industry and more than 2,000 newspapers in the United States and Canada.

Reports of layoffs and furloughs at newspapers around the country have become common in recent months. Gannett Co., which publishes 85 daily newspapers, announced Monday that it was asking most of its 41,500 employees to give up a week's pay for the second time this year. The same day, Advance Publications, which publishes daily papers in nearly two dozen cities, said it was ordering 10-day furloughs and a pension freeze at nearly all its daily newspapers.


Voices Of Spring Waltz - Johann Strauss Jr.

For a rainy spring day,
Thank God I am alive...

Hebert n'est pas mort!

Hebert n'est pas mort! Le Monde, opinion, 24 mar 2009

Votre Sainteté,

Votre déclaration dans l'avion vous conduisant en Afrique a jeté la consternation et a suscité de nombreuses réactions indignées du monde scientifique, politique, de malades du sida et des associations qui luttent au quotidien sur le terrain pour freiner l'épidémie et aider les malades.

Parce que cette déclaration est contredite par les résultats de vingt-cinq ans de recherche scientifique. Ces études montrent que le préservatif est une barrière imperméable aux agents infectieux sexuellement transmissibles (1). Les normes internationales de fabrication de cet outil de prévention lui assurent la plus grande efficacité.

L'analyse globale de près de 140 articles scientifiques consacrés au suivi de couples où l'un des deux partenaires est séropositif démontre de manière irréfutable que l'utilisation régulière du préservatif permet de réduire d'au moins 90 % le risque de transmission du VIH, mais également d'autres maladies sexuellement transmissibles (2).

Je trouve rassurance dans le fait qui il y a seulement un 10% risque...
La méthode catholique est 100% efficace.Translation of the above:

Le Monde, Opinion: 24 March 2009
Your Holiness,

Your declaration during your plane ride to Africa created dismay and gave rise to indignate reactions in the scientific, political world to AIDS patients and associations in the fight to to halt the epidemic and help those patients in the field.

It is because this declaration is contradicted by the results of twenty-five years of scientific research.These studies show that condoms are an impervious barrier to infectious sexually transmittable deseases.(1) The international standards in the manufacture of this tool for the prevention assure the greates effectiveness.

A global analysis monitored 140 scientific items devoted to the following of couples where on of the two is positive shows irrefutably the the unifrm usage of a condom reduces the risk by 90% not only the transmission of HIV, but equally other sexaully tranmitted diseases(2).

I am reassured that there is only a 10% chance...
The Catholic method is 100% effective.

Note the translation is mine. I believe I have captured what they are trying to say.

From the newspaper Le Monde a leading French newspaper from 24 march 2009.

1. "Information note on effectiveness of condoms in preventing sexually transmitted infections including HIV". Who/Unaids, Geneva, August 2001.

2. "Effectiveness of male latex condoms for HIV/STD prevention". National HIV Prevention Conference. Abstract T1-C1301. Atlanta, 2003.

Bertrand Audoin, directeur exécutif de Sidaction ;

Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, chercheuse en virologie à l'Institut Pasteur, lauréate du Prix Nobel de médecine 2008 ;

Jean-François Delfraissy, directeur de l'Agence nationale de recherche sur le sida et les hépatites virales ;

Yves Levy, président du conseil scientifique de Sidaction.

Father Tim has an article posted on his Blog which refutes the French "evidence" here.

(a) Jacques-René Hébert published the revolutionary news paper Père Duchesne an extremely anti-Catholic, anti-monarchy newspaper during the Revolution. It was especially insulting to the Queen and King., insinuating that the children of the Royal family were not the kings.

Dieu décide au final,


The Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary


In the Orient, where the part which Mary took in the Redemption is celebrated by a special feast, 26 December, the Annunciation is a feast of Christ; in the Latin Church, it is a feast of Mary.

It probably originated shortly before or after the council of Ephesus (c. 431). At the time of the Synod of Laodicea (372) it was not known; St. Proclus, Bishop of Constantinople (d. 446), however, seems to mention it in one of his homilies. He says, that the feast of the coming of Our Lord and Saviour, when He vested Himself with the nature of man (quo hominum genus indutus), was celebrated during the entire fifth century. This homily, however, may not be genuine, or the words may be understood of the feast of Christmas.

In the Latin Church this feast is first mentioned in the Sacramentarium of Pope Gelasius (d. 496), which we possess in a manuscript of the seventh century; it is also contained in the Sacramentarium of St. Gregory (d. 604), one manuscript of which dates back to the eighth century. Since these sacramentaries contain additions posterior to the time of Gelasius and Gregory, Duchesne (Origines du culte chrétien, 118, 261) ascribes theorigin of this feast in Rome to the seventh century; Probst, however, (Sacramentarien, 264) thinks that it really belongs to the time of Pope Gelasius. The tenth Synod of Toledo (656), and Trullan Synod (692) speak ofthis feast as one universally celebrated in the Catholic Church.

All Christian antiquity (against all astronomical possibility) recognized the 25th of March as the actual day of Our Lord's death. The opinion that the Incarnation also took place on that date is found in the pseudo-Cyprianic work "De Pascha Computus", c. 240.

It argues that the coming of Our Lord and His death must have coincided with the creation andfall of Adam. And since the world was created in spring, the Saviour was also conceived and died shortly after the equinox of spring. Similar fanciful calculations are found in the early and later Middle Ages, and to them, no doubt, the dates of the feast of the Annunciation and of Christmas owe their origin.

Consequently the ancient martyrologies assign to the 25th of March the creation of Adam and the crucifixion of Our Lord; also, the fall of Lucifer, the passing of Israel through the Red Sea and the immolation of Isaac. (Thruston, Christmas and the Christian Calendar, Amer. Eccl. Rev., XIX, 568.)

The original date of this feast was the 25th of March. Although in olden times most of the churches kept no feast in Lent, the Greek Church in the Trullan Synod (in 692; can. 52) made an exception in favour of the Annunciation. In Rome, it was always celebrated on the 25th of March.

The Spanish Church transferred it to the 18th of December, and when some tried to introduce the Roman observance of it onthe 25th of March, the 18th of December was officially confirmed in the whole Spanish Church by the tenth Synod of Toledo (656). This law was abolished when the roman liturgy was accepted in Spain.

The church of Milan, up to our times, assigns the office of this feast to the last Sunday in Advent. On the 25th of March a Mass is sung in honour of the Annunciation. (Ordo Ambrosianus, 1906; Magistretti, Beroldus, 136.)

The schismatic Armenians now celebrate this feast on the 7th of April. Since Epiphany for them is the feast of the birth of Christ, the Armenian Church formerly assigned the Annunciation to 5 January, the vigil of Epiphany.

This feast was always a holy day of obligation in the Universal Church. As such it was abrogated first for France and the French dependencies, 9 April, 1802; and for the United States, by the Third Council of Baltimore, in 1884.

By a decree of the S.R.C., 23 April, 1895, the rank of the feast was raised from a double of the second class to a double of the first class. If this feast falls within Holy Week or Easter Week, its office is transferred to the Monday after the octave of Easter.

In some German churches it was the custom to keep its office the Saturday before Palm Sunday if the 25th of March fell in Holy Week.

The Greek Church, when the 25th of March occurs on one of the three last days in Holy Week, transfers the Annunciation to Easter Monday; on all other days, even on Easter Sunday, its office is kept together with the office of the day.

Although no octaves are permitted in Lent, the Dioceses of Loreto and of the Province of Venice, the Carmelites, Dominicans, Servites, and Redemptorists, celebrate this feast with an octave.

Thanks and a tip of the beret to Clerical Whispers the Blog of an Irish Priest (there is no higher calling)in Northern Ireland.

Jhesu, Marie et Joseph.

90 years ago...

On the Austro-Swiss Border 90 years ago today, the Austro-Hungarian Imperial and Royal Family arrived at the Austro-Swiss border in an Imperial train and departed Austria under the protection of a British Officer sent by King George V, Lt.-Col. Edward Lisle Strutt.

The Wilson Revolution unplugged has more, here.

Pray for us Holy Emperor St Carl


House adopts plan for 'volunteer' corps

Brown Shirts.

Also requires new evaluation of 'mandatory' service for all

The U.S. House of Representatives has approved a plan to set up a new "volunteer corps" and consider whether "a workable, fair, and reasonable mandatory service requirement for all able young people" should be developed.

The legislation also refers to "uniforms" that would be worn by the "volunteers" and the "need" for a "public service academy, a 4-year institution" to "focus on training" future "public sector leaders." The training, apparently, would occur at "campuses."

The vote yesterday came on H.R. 1388, which reauthorizes through 2014 the National and Community Service Act of 1990 and the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973, acts that originally, among other programs, funded the AmeriCorps and the National Senior Service Corps.

It not only reauthorizes the programs, but also includes "new programs and studies" and is expected to be funded with an allocation of $6 billion over the next five years, according to the Congressional Budget Office. More...

Posted: March 19, 2009 4:58 pm Eastern
By Bob Unruh
© 2009 WorldNetDaily

Dieu le Roy,

Barack Obama a écrit à Jacques Chirac/Barack Obama writes to Jacques Chirac

The new Obama Administration foriegn relations team kicking around some new ideas on diplomacy

Le Figaro 03/19/09
Le président américain vient d'adresser une lettre «très sympathique » à Jacques Chirac, selon l'expression de ce dernier. «Je suis certain que nous pourrons au cours des quatre années à venir collaborer ensemble dans un esprit de paix et d'amitié afin de construire un monde plus sûr» , écrit le successeur de George W. Bush au prédécesseur de Nicolas Sarkozy. En évoquant le mot de « paix», Obama rend un hommage implicite à l'action de l'ancien président français qui s'était opposé à la guerre en Irak. Une intervention américaine contre laquelle le futur président américain s'était opposé comme sénateur, lors du vote au Congrès.

OK I know this didn't make it on the headlines over here, because I would have heard about it before this. It seems that the BO has written a letter to Jacques Chirac. This letter has even the French scratching their heads. In the world of Diplomacy the French, well, basically invented it this is a faux pas of enormous size.

Here is my translation of the above...

Barack Obama writes to Jacques Chirac...

The American president has just addressed a "friendly" letter to Jacques Chirac, according to his own words. "I am certain that we will be able during the four years to come to collaborate together in a spirit of peace and of friendship in order to construct a surer world", writes the successor of George W. Bush to the predecessor of Nicolas Sarkozy. While evoking the word of "peace", Obama sends an implicit homage to the action of the French former president who was opposed to the war in Iraq. An American intervention against which the future American president also had while a senator in the vote on the war in Iraq in the Congress.

After giving a present of American DVDs to the British Prime Minister this improvement in the diplomatic relations between our oldest ally can only be seen as an improvement in relations.

By the way, American videos don't play on British DVD players, but the White House just laughted it off. Can't you take a joke? So stuffy sometimes.
Send the Germans a case of Coors.
Dieu le Roy,

Alone in the Prison

Or when did we see thee sick or in prison, and came to thee? And the king answering, shall say to them: Amen I say to you, as long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me. Matt, 25: 39-40

As I have said in an earlier post I work in a prison as a case manager. The men in my charge are confined to a well lighted cell 24 hours a day 5 days a week and 23 hours the other 2. It is a hard way to live. These men, placed themselves there by infractions. They all are aware of why they are in their cells.

Not so with the eldest daughter of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette who witnessed the removal of her family one by one. Once removed from her she never saw them again. Elena-Maria Vidal captures something of the fear, lonliness, and prayerful solitude in which Madame Royale spent her time in the temple prison in her historical novel Trianon.

...Until the 9th of May nothing extraordinary happened. On that day, at the moment we were going to bed, the outside bolts of the doors were drawn, and a knocking was heard. My aunt begged of them to wait till she had put on her gown; but you answered that they could not wait, and knocked so violently, that they were near bursting open the door. When she was dressed, she opened the door, and they immediately said to her, "Citizen, come down." — "And my niece?" — "We shall take care of her afterwards." She embraced me; and, in order to calm my agitation, promised to return. "No, citizen," said they, "you shall not return:— take your bonnet, and come along." They overwhelmed her with the grossest abuse. She bore it all patiently, and embraced me again, exhorting me to have confidence in Heaven, to follow the principles of religion in which I had been educated, and never to forget the last commands of my father and mother. She then left me....more...

Dieu le Roy!

The Cardinal Newman Society's petition

On line petitions are nice, though they really have little impact, because the recipient can change his email to reject all those emails, however they are great for allowing that recipient to see how large the opposition is.

The Cardinal Newman Society has developed this petition,

Dear Father Jenkins:

It has come to our attention that the University of Notre Dame will honor President Barack Obama as its commencement speaker on May 17.

It is an outrage and a scandal that “Our Lady’s University,” one of the premier Catholic universities in the United States, would bestow such an honor on President Obama given his clear support for policies and laws that directly contradict fundamental Catholic teachings on life and marriage.

This nation has many thousands of accomplished leaders in the Catholic Church, in business, in law, in education, in politics, in medicine, in social services, and in many other fields who would be far more appropriate choices to receive such an honor from the University of Notre Dame.

Instead Notre Dame has chosen prestige over principles, popularity over morality. Whatever may be President Obama’s admirable qualities, this honor comes on the heels of some of the most anti-life actions of any American president, including expanding federal funding for abortions and inviting taxpayer-funded research on stem cells from human embryos.

The honor also comes amid great concern among Catholics nationwide about President Obama’s future impact on American society, the family, and the Catholic Church on issues such as traditional marriage, conscience protections for Catholic doctors and nurses, and expansion of abortion “rights.”

This honor is clearly a direct violation of the U.S. bishops’ 2004 mandate in “Catholics in Political Life”: “The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.”

We prayerfully implore you to halt this travesty immediately. We do so with the hope that Catholics nationwide will likewise call on you to uphold the sacred mission of your Catholic university. May God grant you the courage and wisdom to do what is right.


More than 31,000 signers to date.

To add your name go here...

Dieu le Roy!

Obama at Notre Dame?

What is the president of Notre Dame thinking? "University President Fr. John Jenkins responded to criticism regarding the announcement of President Barack Obama as the 2009 Commencement speaker by clearly making a distinction between honoring the president and supporting his political views." What? Father Jenkins is finding refuge in detail. If that were the case why doesn't Notre Dame invite Kim Jong Il to speak at the commencement address.?

No one single man has in so short a time attacked the Church as Barack Obama since the Cult of Reason based on secularism and atheism devised during the French Revolution by Jacques Hébert.

Perhaps Fr. Jenkins is not aware of the Churches teaching on abortion, contraception, dignity of the unborn not to be used as vessels of stem cells? Perhaps, but I doubt it.

So I say this, if you are a Catholic and plan to send you child to Notre Dame, do not until this pharisee Jenkins is removed. If you are an alum don't send money to the University until Jenkins is removed. Do not in any way support Notre Dame University until Jenkins is removed. If you are graduating from Notre Dame and Obama is the speaker turn your back on him, and the way of death.

This is not the first time a Notre Dame has been attacked. Here is another

Virgin Mother of God,Queen of Heaven, whose name graces the great cathedrals, whose name adorns this university, assist those who are in need of your guidance.

This article by my friend Joseph is more restrained than my outrage



Red Envelope Campaign

In the Name of the Holy Family.

The Knights of Columbus continues the fight against FOCA. This campaign is called the Red Envelope Campaign. Like any military operation it has a goal. This Goal is to give the President an idea what kind of fight he is up against, and that the good Christians of this country are not about to give up without a fight.

Get a red envelope. On the front, address it to:

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Washington, D.C.

On the back, write the following message:

This envelope represents one child who died in abortion. It is empty because that life was ended before it was able to offer anything to the world. Responsibility begins with conception.


It Takes Real Men to Admit Mistakes

I saw my friend and fellow Knight Carlos after Mass yesterday, He told me that he had an article I should read about the Marine Corps, (my Corps). I reproduce it here but the original may be found on his site which is located here...

Peggy Noonan

A Tragedy of Errors, and an Accounting

After a crash, the Marines set an example.

It is late in the morning one day last December.

A plane is in distress, it's lost one engine and now two and it's going down, and people on the ground hear the sound, look up, say, "That's going awful low," and whip out their cellphones. You could see the pictures they took later on the news.

It sounds like Chesley Sullenberger and US Airways Flight 1549, but that was five weeks later. This was the military jet that went down in San Diego; this was the story that ended badly.

Then this week it took a turn. And looked at a certain way, the San Diego story is every bit as big, and elements of it just as deserving of emulation, as Sully saving all souls when he put down in the Hudson.

It's Dec. 8, 2008, 11:11 a.m., and a young Marine pilot takes off from an aircraft carrier, the USS Abraham Lincoln, on a routine training flight. The carrier is maybe 90 miles southwest of San Diego. Lt. Dan Neubauer is flying an F/A-18 Hornet. Minutes into the flight, he notices low oil pressure in one of the two engines. He shuts it down. Then the light shows low fuel for the other engine. He's talking to air traffic control and given options and suggestions on where to make an emergency landing. He can go to the Naval Air Station at North Island, the route to which takes him over San Diego Bay, or he can go to the Marine air station at Miramar, with which he is more familiar, but which takes him over heavily populated land. He goes for Miramar. The second engine flames out. About three miles from the runway, the electrical system dies. Lt. Neubauer tries to aim the jet toward a canyon, and ejects at what all seem to agree is the last possible moment.

The jet crashed nose down in the University City neighborhood of San Diego, hitting two homes and damaging three. Four people, all members of a Korean immigrant family, were killed -- 36-year-old Youngmi Lee; her daughters, Grace, 15 months, and Rachel, 2 months, and her 60-year-old mother, Seokim Kim.

Lee's husband, a grocer named Dong Yun Yoon, was at work. The day after he'd lost his family, he humbled and awed San Diego by publicly forgiving the pilot -- "I know he did everything he could" -- and speaking of his faith -- "I know God is taking care of my family."

His grace and generosity were staggering, but there was growing local anger at the military. Why was the disabled plane over land? The Marines launched an investigation -- of themselves. This Wednesday the results were announced.

They could not have been tougher, or more damning. The crash, said Maj. Gen. Randolph Alles, the assistant wing commander for the Third Marine Aircraft Wing, was "clearly avoidable," the result of "a chain of wrong decisions." Mechanics had known since July of a glitch in the jet's fuel-transfer system; the Hornet should have been removed from service and fixed, and was not. The young pilot failed to read the safety checklist. He relied on guidance from Marines at Miramar who did not have complete knowledge or understanding of his situation. He should have been ordered to land at North Island. He took an unusual approach to Miramar, taking a long left loop instead of a shorter turn to the right, which ate up time and fuel.

Twelve Marines were disciplined; four senior officers, including the squadron commander, were removed from duty. Their military careers are, essentially, over. The pilot is grounded while a board reviews his future.

Residents told the San Diego Union-Tribune that they were taken aback by the report. Bob Johnson, who lived behind the Yoons and barely escaped the crash, said, "The Marines aren't trying to hide from it or duck it. They took it on the chin." A retired Navy pilot who lives less than a block from the crash and had formed, with neighbors, a group to push the Marines for an investigation, and for limiting flights over University City, said after the briefing, "I think we're out of business." In a later story the paper quoted a retired general, Bob Butcher, chairman of a society of former Marine aviators, calling the report "as open and frank a discussion of an accident as I've seen." "It was a lot more candid than many people expected."

This wasn't damage control, it was taking honest responsibility. And as such, in any modern American institution, it was stunning.

The day after the report I heard from a young Naval aviator in predeployment training north of San Diego. He flies a Super Hornet, sister ship to the plane that went down. He said the Marine investigation "kept me up last night" because of how it contrasted with "the buck-passing we see" in the government and on Wall Street. He and his squadron were in range of San Diego television stations when they carried the report's conclusions live. He'd never seen "our entire wardroom crowded around a television" before. They watched "with bated breath." At the end they were impressed with the public nature of the criticism, and its candor: "There are still elements within the government that take personal responsibility seriously." He found himself wondering if the Marines had been "too hard on themselves." "But they are, after all, Marines."

By contrast, he says, when the economy came crashing down, "nowhere did we see a board come out and say: 'This is what happened, these are the decisions these particular people made, and this was the result. They are no longer a part of our organization.' There was no timeline of events or laymen's explanation of how a credit derivative was actually derived. We did not see congressmen get on television with charts and eviscerate their organization and say, 'These were the men who in 2003 allowed Freddie and Fannie unlimited rein over mortgage securities.' Instead we saw . . . everybody against everybody else with no one stepping forth and saying, 'We screwed up.'" There is no one in national leadership who could convincingly "assign blame," and no one "who could or would accept it."

This of course is true, but somehow more stinging when said by a serviceman.

The White House this week was consumed by extreme interest in a celebrated radio critic, reportedly coordinating an attack line with antic Clinton-era political operatives who don't know what time it is. For them it's always the bouncy '90s and anything goes, it's all just a game. President Obama himself contributes to an atmosphere of fear grown to panic as he takes a historic crisis and turns it into what he imagines is a grand opportunity for sweeping change. What we need is stabilization -- an undergirding, a restrengthening so things can settle and then rise. What we're given is multiple schemes, and the beginning of a reordering of financial realities between the individual and the state.

The Obama people think they are playing big ball, not small ball, and they no doubt like the feeling of it: "We're making history." But that, ironically, was precisely the preoccupation of the last administration -- doing it big, being "consequential," showing history. Watch: Within six months, the Obama administration will be starting to breathe the word "legacy."

What they're up to will win and hold support, at least for a while, until the reaction.

But is it responsible? Or is it only vain?

Anyway, all honor this week to the Marines, who were very much the former, not the latter.


There are more Catholics in the Marine Corps that any other service.

The Queen's Agony

As a case manager in a prison I talk to many mothers and families who call me to ask about how their sons are doing in prison. I have encouraged calls from the family of the fellows in my charge so that the families may find a bit of peace. It is not always easy to communicate with a mother who is crying, worried about her son who is placed on long term segregation (used to be called solitary). After everything is said and done these fellows have mothers who love them.

I know how my wife loves our children. I love them too but it is is something different to someone who has carried the child for nine months growing with her, kicking her, keeping her up at night... No, I love the kids but Suzy has a mothers love.

Like Mary the Mother of Christ, Marie-Antoinette had her only living son torn from her arms, never on this side of life to be joined together again. It was only after threats of violence towards him and his sister would she relinquish her hold and release him to his own prison.

Children too have that connection with their mothers which can not be broken. (Men in battle are known to cry for their mother as they die on the battlefield, it is heart rending.) Today I direct the reader to the article on Tea at Trianon, written by Elena-Maria on the agony of Queen Marie-Antoinette. If there were no other reason for her beatification this would suffice...

Her neck never stopped aching from the vise-like grip with which his short arms had locked around her, refusing to let go, as the commissaries began to drag him from her arms. His cries of "Maman! Maman!" echoed within her still. Her heart was not broken, it was gone. ~from Trianon by Elena Maria Vidal, Chapter Seven: "The Sacrifice"more...

Thanks and a tip of the beret to Elena-Maria.