St. Joseph Des Champs

St Joseph has always had a special relationship to Québec. for example Brother Andre Bessette had built an oratory to the foster father of Jesus. So it is no wonder that the first pilgrimage in honour of Saint Joseph should also begin in Québec. Joseph Fromm from Good Jesuit, Bad Jesuit mailed this article to me today...

St Joseph des Champs...Such is the name of the first pilgrimage, which, So far as we can learn, was established in honor of St. Joseph. It owes its existence to a Jesuit Father, named Debrosse, a zealous servant of the saint. One day, as the fervent religious was pondering the means best calculated to awaken his favorite devotion in the hearts of others, the thought came into his mind to establish this pilgrimage, and, aided by the benevolence of pious friends, he was enabled to carry out his idea. On the 19th of March, 1840, the elegant chapel, now to be seen on the road to Chateau Goutier, about a mile and a half from Laval, was blessed under the name of St. Joseph of the Fields. The altar, of peculiar beauty, is surmounted by a statue of St. Joseph holding the Infant Jesus in his arms. Two reliquaries have been placed in that holy spot, presented by the Marquis and Marchioness of Ambray on their return from Rome; they contain a piece of the cloak of St. Joseph, and of the veil of the Blessed Virgin...

Thanks once again to you Joseph...

Joseph has written a number of articles on St Joseph this week.

Empire State Building Tragedy of 1945

Lost amid the hoopla surrounding the celebrations of the end of World War II has been the 50th anniversary of the army plane crash into the Empire State Building. Many do not know of the tragic incident of July 28, 1945 -- the day a B-25 bomber, lost in fog, rammed into what was then the world's tallest building. Fewer, still, remember the miraculous survival of the woman who fell 75 stories when the cables to her elevator were severed. Elevator operator Betty Lou Oliver survived the of 75 storey plunge inside an elevator, which still stands as the Guinness World Record for the longest survived elevator fall ever recorded.

Lieutenant Colonel William F. Smith, Jr., a decorated veteran of 100 combat missions, was piloting the bomber from his home in Bedford, Massachusetts to Newark, New Jersey to pick up his commanding officer, before returning to home base in South Dakota. The flight plan called for Smith to land at LaGuardia Airport. A dense fog over the city led the air traffic controller to direct that a landing be made. Smith, however, apparently believing he could maneuver safely through the fog, asked and received permission to fly on to Newark -- on the other side of Manhattan from LaGuardia. The last thing the air traffic controller told Smith was, 'At the present time, I can't see the top of the Empire State Building.'

The War Department, now a section of the Defense Department, later determined the pilot erred in judgment when electing to fly over Manhattan in the weather conditions which prevailed at the time' -- Smith should never have been cleared to proceed on to Newark. Disoriented by the dense fog, he apparently believed he was on Manhattan's west side.

Smith's final blunder came when he passed the Chrysler Building. Had he kicked the left rudder, he would have been safe; instead, he went right rudder and directly on a path to the Empire State Building. At 200 miles per hour, the unarmed trainer bomber screamed down 42nd Street and banked south over 5th Avenue. The pilot tried desperately to climb, but it was too late. At 9:40 that Saturday morning, the B-25 slammed into the 79th floor of the Empire State Building.

Luckily, the accident occurred on a weekend, with only about 1,500 people in the building -- compared with the 10,000-15,000 on an average weekday. Still, 14 died in the accident -- 11 in the building, plus Colonel Smith and the other two occupants of the plane. Hardest hit was the Catholic War Relief Office on the 79th floor, directly in the path of the bomber. Eight Catholic War Relief Office workers were killed.
From Life Magazine. The building's distinctive Art Deco spire was originally designed to be a mooring mast and depot for dirigibles. The 102nd floor was originally a landing platform with a dirigible gangplank. A particular elevator, traveling between the 86th and 102nd floors, was supposed to transport passengers after they checked in at the observation deck on the 86th floor. However, the idea proved to be impractical and dangerous after a few attempts with airships, due to the powerful updrafts caused by the size of the building itself. A large broadcast tower was added to the top of the spire in 1953.


Juan Carlos, President or King of Spain.

Last December, I posted an article about King Juan Carlos of Spain. I commented on how I hoped he would choose his eternal soul over his reign. As events have shown he has not chosen the greater part as he has bowed to political expediency. It is unfortunate.

This is an act of moral cowardace (1) and compromise (2) . Cowardice by any king is unsavory, and unworthy.

Theodore Harvey has written an opinion piece that sees the King in a far more better light that I am afraid I can. Theodore Harvey does not "feel it fair to blame the King". Why is it that we have always to blame someone? In this case, it is because by his signature he has condemned thousands of babies to be killed in his name. Truthfully the Spanish Government could after voting removed the requirement for his signature altogether such as in Luxembourg where the legislature has removed the Grand Duke Henri's right of veto. This is, I am afraid, one of those times where there will be no ambiguity at the judgement.

It seems that Theodore Harvey is willing to congratulate King Juan Carlos for his "prudence". I fail to see the the prudence in spending an eternity in hell for bowing to the secular god.

More: here...
Evidently the Spanish Bishops are not prepared to excommunicate Juan Carlos.

(1)...Moral cowardice is fear of upholding the good because it is good, and fear of opposing the evil because it is evil... Ayn Rand

(2)...There can be no compromise on basic principles. There can be no compromise on moral issues. There can be no compromise on matters of knowledge, of truth, of rational conviction... Ayn Rand


St Louis IX, King on Heresy

"...but he that shall deny me before men, I will also deny him before my Father who is in heaven..." Matt 10:33 Douay-Rheims Bible

Jean de Joinville relates an episode from the Crusades,

...Whilst the King was waiting for his servants to finish paying the Turks in order that his brother might be set free, a Saracen, very well dressed, and a very honest fellow by his looks, came to the King, and offered him milk in jars and flowers of divers kinds, on the part of the children of the Nasac*, the whilom** Sultan of Egypt; and he made the offering in French. The King asked him: where he had learnt French? and he replied, that he had once been a Christian. And the King said to him: "Get you hence; for I have no more to say to you."

I drew the man aside and questioned him about his affairs; and he told me, that he was born in Provence, and had come to Egypt with King John, and that he was married in Egypt and a rich and powerful man.

I said to him: "Surely you know very well, that if you were to die in this state, you would go to hell?" "Yes," said he (for he was sure there was no religion so good as the Christian), " but I dread the poverty in which I should find myself, were I to go over to your side, and the shame. Not a day would pass, but I should hear them say: 'There goes the renegade'; and so I prefer to live rich and comfortable, rather than put myself in such a position as I foresee."

And I told him: that on the day of judgment, when his sin would be seen of all men, the shame would be much greater than what he was describing. Many good words I said to him, with very little effect. So he left me, and I never saw him again...


*The sultan had been recently killed by his emirs who felt humiliated by the Sultan's action of relieving them of their positions.


Peace of Rueil

On 11 March 1649, the Peace of Rueil signed by Frondeurs and the King Louis XIV marking the end of the Fronde of the Parlements in France.

To the end of his life Louis XIV never forgot the Fronde. It coloured his life as well as insuring building of Versailles, absolutism in France and in the end the martyrdom of Louis XVI and Queen Marie-Antoinette.

The First Fronde, the Fronde Parlementaire (1648–1649)

In May 1648 a tax levied on judicial officers of the Parlement of Paris was met by that body not merely with a refusal to pay, but with a condemnation of earlier financial edicts, and a demand for the acceptance of a scheme of constitutional reforms framed by a united committee of the parlement (the Chambre Saint-Louis), composed of members of all the sovereign courts of Paris.

The military record of the first Fronde (the Fronde Parlementaire) is almost blank. In August 1648, strengthened by the news of the Prince of Condé's victory at Lens, Mazarin suddenly arrested the leaders of the parlement, whereupon Paris broke into insurrection and barricaded the streets. The noble faction demanded the calling of an États-généraux, which had not been convoked since 1615. The nobles were certain that in an États-général they could continue to control the bourgeois element as they had in the past. The royal faction, having no army at its immediate disposal, had to release the prisoners and to promise reforms, and fled from Paris on the night of October 22. But the signing of the Peace of Westphalia set free Condé's army, and by January 1649 Paris was under siege. The peace of Rueil was signed in March, after little blood had been shed. The Parisians, though still and always anti-cardinalist, refused to ask for Spanish aid, as proposed by their princely and noble adherents, and having no prospect of military success without such aid, the noble party submitted and received concessions. more...

More on the Fronde is here... as well.

Dieu Suave le Roy!


Why Marie-Antoinette wore perfume...

Elena-Maria answers this question today on her blog...

By the time the Bourbons came into power in France, perfume had not only risen to an art, it was regarded as medical necessity. Despite the opulence of the palaces of France, they lacked indoor plumbing. According to historians who somehow report to know such things, it was not uncommon to find human excrement in the elegant carpeted stairways of the great palaces. Piles could be found in hallways and corridors. With bathing a rarity and a rather liberal interpretation of the word rest room, the world of the French court stank.

If the English are laughing at this last statement allow me to remind the reader that James I stank so bad that his wife Anne of Denmark found it difficult to be with him in bed. This my account for the birth of only 4 children.

In a related story a phial of Marie-Antoinette's own perfume was discovered, has been analyzed and remanufactured. From a 2007 Washington Post article we read "When Francis Kurkdjian, one of France's premier perfumers, set out to re-create a fragrance of Marie Antoinette, his greatest fear was that it would stink.

After all, he reasoned, the 21st-century nose might have little tolerance for the potent potions that the famous queen and her royal court used to mask the smells of their opulent but odoriferous 18th-century environs at the Chateau de Versailles.

Last month, Sillage de la Reine -- "In the Wake of the Queen" -- an amber essence of jasmine, orange blossom, tuberose, iris, cedar and sandalwood was released for public sale. The deluxe version, 8.5 ounces in numbered Baccarat crystal flasks, costs $10,500. At that price, it's kept in a locked vault, available for purchase only via the Internet. For aristocratic pretenders with less princely pockets, a crystal phial containing just under an ounce is available for $450 in the chateau gift shop."

I do not know how many they have sold thus far, but at those prices it is not likely to be picked up by a tourist as a souvenir in the Versailles gift shop.

Thanks to Elena-Maria (Elena-Maria-Antoinette!) for this article.


My Other Blog

I have posted some new article on my other blog Jacobins and Girondins. These are articles which did not make the cut on this one. I am rather more sarcastic there, as well.

Today feature is Sean Penn, in "Here is an Idiot elitist..."

The "Carville poll: Majority now say U.S. is less respected".

A "Female convert to islam volunteered for terrorism."

From yesterday, The "Kids in the hall on the Canadian Health Care System" ...

God save me,



The Holy Souls In Purgatory, Have No Hope Save In Us

I have often thought on the women who referred to in the Visions at Fatima...

Lucia asked about two young women who had died recently, and was told that one was in heaven and the other, her friend Amelia, would be in purgatory "until the end of world."

An article for Good Jesuit, Bad Jesuit..

The holy souls in purgatory, in their extreme destitution, have no hope save in us. The poor man eases his poverty by working; if he can not work, he begs; and his sad destitution moves others to compassion. With regard to other unfortunates, the case is the same. Some resource is always left to them, and the surest ground of hope is prayer to God who never rejects it. But to the souls in purgatory everything is wanting if our charity will not remember them.

For them there is no divine mercy—its reign is ended. The whole of the debt is now to be paid, "to the last farthing." They do not sow in the other world; the day is ended; it is succeeded by the night, "in which no man can work." (John ix. 4.)

What of their companions? All are equally powerless to assist one another. To us alone it would be useful for them to make known their distress; but, alas, we can neither see their tears nor hear their lamentations. Let us at least hear the language which the Church puts upon their lips on this day, and if we feel any compassion while meditating on them, let us not harden our hearts.

"Have mercy on me, have mercy on me, ye at least, my friends, for the hand of the Lord hath touched me." (Job, xix. 21.)

Shall we, through our negligence and indifference, be as severe as the just God who because of His justice is forced to chastise them? "Why do you persecute me as God?" (Ib.)

Link (here) to the portion mentioned in the book entitled, Meditations for he use of the Secular Clergy, by Fr. Pierre Chaignon, S.J.

Lord take into you busom the Souls of Purgatory,


Lesbian couple send their child to Catholic School

My comments will be following these commentaries...

Most Reverend, Bishop Charles Chaput, OFM Cap. ArchBishop of Denver

Catholic schools: Partners in faith with parents

Denver news media have reported in recent days on the case of two children of a lesbian couple in Boulder. The couple was informed by Sacred Heart of Jesus parish school that the older child, whom they were enrolling in kindergarten for next year, would be allowed to attend kindergarten but would not be able to continue into first grade the year after. Their younger child would be welcome to finish preschool, but not continue into kindergarten. Many have wondered why. Sacred Heart of Jesus parish has borne the difficult publicity surrounding this issue, but archdiocesan policy was followed faithfully in this matter, and the policy applies to all Archdiocese of Denver schools.

Some background is important. Then we’ll turn to the human realities involved.

Catholic schools began in this country in the early 19th century. Catholics started them as an alternative to the public schools of the day, which taught a curriculum often hostile to Catholic belief. In many ways times have changed, but the mission of Catholic schools has not. The main purpose of Catholic schools is religious; in other words, to form students in Catholic faith, Catholic morality and Catholic social values.

We take great pride in the academic excellence of our schools as well. The reason is simple. A strong, well-rounded academic education helps to create mature citizens who contribute to the wider community. It’s also true that some of our schools exist as a service outreach in largely non-Catholic communities. Many of our schools also accept students of other faiths and no faith, and from single parent and divorced parent families. These students are always welcome so long as their parents support the Catholic mission of the school and do not offer a serious counter-witness to that mission in their actions.

Our schools, however, exist primarily to serve Catholic families with an education shaped by Catholic faith and moral formation. This is common sense. Other religious traditions do the same according to their beliefs, and at a heavy sacrifice. We need to remember that Catholic families pay twice for a Catholic education: through their taxes, they fund public education; then they pay again to send their children to a Catholic school. The idea that Catholic schools should require support for Catholic teaching for admission, and a serious effort from school families to live their Catholic identity faithfully, is reasonable and just.

That’s the background. Now to the human side of a painful situation. The Church never looks for reasons to turn anyone away from a Catholic education. But the Church can’t change her moral beliefs without undermining her mission and failing to serve the many families who believe in that mission. If Catholics take their faith seriously, they naturally follow the teachings of the Church in matters of faith and morals; otherwise they take themselves outside the believing community.

The Church does not claim that people with a homosexual orientation are “bad,” or that their children are less loved by God. Quite the opposite. But what the Church does teach is that sexual intimacy by anyone outside marriage is wrong; that marriage is a sacramental covenant; and that marriage can only occur between a man and a woman. These beliefs are central to a Catholic understanding of human nature, family and happiness, and the organization of society. The Church cannot change these teachings because, in the faith of Catholics, they are the teachings of Jesus Christ.

The policies of our Catholic school system exist to protect all parties involved, including the children of homosexual couples and the couples themselves. Our schools are meant to be “partners in faith” with parents. If parents don’t respect the beliefs of the Church, or live in a manner that openly rejects those beliefs, then partnering with those parents becomes very difficult, if not impossible. It also places unfair stress on the children, who find themselves caught in the middle, and on their teachers, who have an obligation to teach the authentic faith of the Church.

Most parents who send their children to Catholic schools want an environment where the Catholic faith is fully taught and practiced. That simply can’t be done if teachers need to worry about wounding the feelings of their students or about alienating students from their parents. That isn’t fair to anyone—including the wider school community. Persons who have an understanding of marriage and family life sharply different from Catholic belief are often people of sincerity and good will. They have other, excellent options for education and should see in them the better course for their children.

A reply from Father Bill Breslin, pastor at Sacred Heart of Jesus, Boulder

What wisdom is at work in not having children of a gay marriage in a Catholic school?

If a child of gay parents comes to our school, and we teach that gay marriage is against the will of God, then the child will think that we are saying their parents are bad. We don't want to put any child in that tough position-nor do we want to put the parents, or the teachers, at odds with the teachings of the Catholic Church. Why would good parents want their children to learn something they don't believe in? It doesn't make sense. There are so many schools in Boulder that see the meaning of sexuality in an entirely different way than the Catholic Church does. Why not send their child there?

The core issue for us Catholics on this question is our freedom and our obligation to teach about marriage and family life as our Faith teaches. If parents see the cultural interpretation of what tolerance has become as more important than the teachings of Jesus, then we become unfaithful to the Lord and we lose the meaning of the beatitude, “Blessed are you when they insult you for My sake, for the Kingdom of Heaven is yours.” Many of Jesus’ teachings were not popular. In fact, He was crucified for His teachings.

Glossing over differences on essential matters, and pretending that crucial issues are irrelevant, is not tolerance. It is relativism, meaning that nothing is important anymore and everyone can have their own interpretation of what is goodness and truth. This kind of tolerance, which is a decidedly secularist invention, seeks to separate all moral discourse from public life. However, those who embrace this kind of tolerance do not, of course, acknowledge that they are imposing their own moral judgments upon society.

The Catholic Church invests in parish schools so as to assist children in becoming disciples of Christ and to stand as a light shining in the darkness that has rejected Christianity and the truth of being human, including the meaning of human sexuality.

Once again we see a "progressive" Priest instructing his Bishop about the faith. Just when will this end? Does Fr Breslin imagine himself as Luther? Truly this is a direct challenge to his ordinary is it not? This letter makes me wonder if Fr. Breslin's homilies are faithful to the Magesterium or just faithful his opinion. This is not confidential discourse, this is public defiance.

But on a deeper level, is it fair to the parents who strive each day to raise their children in accordance with the teachings of the magesterium? For this report to be made these women had to admit that they were living in a state of sin and scandal
as self proclaimed lesbians.

The only real losers are the children.

It hurts me physically to think that it is under the title of the Sacred Heart that this should happen.

Sacred Heart of Jesus, Pray for us, who are so in need of your mercy.


Maitre Jehan de Montesiler

Here is an obscure story about the siege of Orleans in 1429 which I found in the Xenophone group's history of the the Hundred Years War, I have borrowed this portion of a couleuvriner (handgunner) in Jehanne's Army. If you have never seen this group's web site you will find it interesting, though not often updated... Click on the name above to go there.

Left: An imagined Maitre Jehan de Montesiler, the renowned couleuvriner at Orléans (1429), with a possible version of his weapon -- a hand-held 'culverin'. The configuration shown here, incorporates an early 'matchlock' (Z-shaped) triggering lever. The end that lowered to a touch-hole on the barrel of the gun held a lit-match or hot coal, that ignited the charge inside the gun. The length of the narrow gun stock required suggests that it was braced beneath the gunner's arm. A shorter, thicker stock might have been use, and would have rested against the side of the gunner's upper arm. The heavy gun barrel rested in the cut-out at the top of the large shield. Such shields had their own support, or could be held by an assistant to the gunner.

Many narratives of the famous siege of Orléans (1429) mention the actions of this gunner. Jean d'Aulon testified [some time after the event, at the rehabilitation trial of Jeanne d'Arc] that on the first day of attacking Les Augustins, he instructed the French gunner, Jehan de Lorraine, to take out "a large Englishman" who was causing great harm to the French attackers at the gate to the compound. The gunner succeeded in striking the particular English warrior just before the French rushed and seized Les Augustins. One author summarizes the activities on the gunner, Jehan, who was a "phenomenal shot with the culverin," as follows:

"The English were already well acquainted with the gunner. From his post under the pier of a bridge he had inflicted almost as much damage upon them in his few days at Orleans as all of Gaucourt's garrison [defenders of the city] in the seven months of the siege. In spite of their attempts to retaliate, the fellow seemed to lead a charmed life. He obviously thought so too, for with a grim humor that was not without its risks he would pretend to be lying dead within full view of the enemy. Then when he thought they had rejoiced enough, he would cast gloom upon them by getting up and strutting insolently away, to repeat his deadly performance on his culverin." [Frances Winwar, The Saint and the Devil, (NY, 1948) p.104. The summary is based upon several contemporary sources.]

Another account of the siege of Orléans (1429) is le Journal du siège d'Orléans [believed to have been maintained during the event and written by an observer inside of the city] mentions that on 3 March (1429), "Jean [Jehan] de Montesiler, originally from Lorraine, a very skilled couleuvriner ... killed in two shots 5 English, of whom [was] Richard, lord of Grey, nephew to Salisbury." Some authorities note that this "signaled the advent of this new arm." [André Corvisier, ed. Histoire militaire de la France p.188.]

The killing of more than one individual with a single shot, suggests a sizable projectile -- possibly a stone ball, no larger than a human fist, but not a small lead shot. This, in turn, suggests a gun barrel of some caliber [diameter] -- slightly smaller than a modern infantry-carried mortar. Such a 'handgun' was probably too large [heavy] for a man to hold and aim without some assisted support for the gun. But certainly not so large that it could not be propped on a wall or large shield [pavise, used by crossbowmen]. Such a supported gun is an individual gun -- properly a 'hand-gun' or 'hand-cannon'.

The next question is how well could the gun be used in a marksman's role -- which is the role ascribed to Jehan de Montesiler. Could Jehan have performed his feat without a matchlock? Was it possible to aim an individual's firearm that could not be raised to the gunner's eye level? Depending on how large the shot, the required accuracy of aiming may have differed -- smaller shot requiring more precision.

The specific configuration of Maitre Jehan's gun remains an issue. Was it hand-held or hand-welded. It is questionable that the hand-held guns at the time were shoulder supported. Certainly, since the early fifteenth century there were handguns of very small barrel diameter and supported by the long wood shaft [stock] braced under the gunner's arm -- not an ideal position for marksman aiming. A slight advancement came about sometime in the early fifteenth century when the wood stock was shortened and braced aside the gunner's upper arm -- possibly even atop his shoulder. This certainly would improve the aligning of the eye to the gun barrel, and permit better aiming at a single target. What evidence is there that such a configuration existed in 1429 Western Europe?

It should be noted that the marksman role was not the incentive for the early adoption of small firearms. The mass employment of the early handguns did not require marksman aiming to be effective. A large number of under-arm supported guns would contribute in disrupting an enemy's attack in the open, harassing crews operating siege artillery or workmen reparing damaged fortifications -- the traditional rolls for crossbow weapons.

If the S- or Z- shaped lever for aligning the lit match to the powder hole were part of the guns, then there is a possibility of the gunner being able to point (aim) his peace with more precision. It should also be noted that a number of individually operated small guns would be more effective than the same number of tubes on a single multi-barreled gun in sustained encounters, as the former could be reloaded more quickly and directed more effectively toward targets. Of course, it required more gunners. With missile weapons, rate-of-fire is often more important than mass.

What would cast considerable light on gunner Jehan's ability to have aimed his piece like a marksman is to know if his gun were configured with a matchlock. Burt Hall, and a few others who have examined the evidence of early medieval handguns, agree that one of the defining features of the first arquebus [to distinguish it from a short-barreled 16th-century musket that was also called an 'arquebus'] was the use of a mechanical device to align the match to the powder-hole. The first such mechanism was a Z-shaped lever that pivoted at a point along the side of the gunstock. As the rear end of the lever was squeezed to the stock, the front end lowered a hot coal or lit match to a touchhole and priming powder near the breech end of the gun barrel. The earliest evidence of such a device is an image in a 1411 manuscript now in the Österrichische Nationalbibliothek, Vienna.

The barrel of such guns rested on a wall, wagon side, a large shield, a pole support. Many of these hand-directed guns had projections ['hooks'] extending from beneath the stock of gun barrel. These 'hooked' on to the side of a wall, or wagon sideboard, and absorbed some of the recoil when the gun was fired.

There are indications that primitative Z- and S- shaped mechanical locks were significantly introduced by 1430, and were used in the Hussite Wars (1419-1434) as well as by the gunner at Orléans in 1429. However, Burt Hall delays dating the effectiveness of these early 'arqubuses' until better [corned] gunpowder became available to propel the small shot at high velocities, which he suggests is about 1450. This tracts with the timeframe of recognized French artillery prowess. [B.S. Hall's Weapons and Warfare in Renaissance Europe (Baltimore, 1997) pp. 96, 119-121, 147-151.]

Left: Hand-gunner shown here with an arquebus, may have appeared in the very last battles of the Hundred Years' War. Modern authorities believe that the improved 'corned' gunpowder [ca. 1450] would have been necessary for such a small bore [about 15 mm] and longer barrel [about 1 meter] handgun to have been effective. Medieval illustrations that first depict such handguns date after 1470, and more around 1480, though their subject battle scenes may be of an earlier date.

On the other hand, there may not have been a requirement for the medieval handgunner, Jehan, to have had his eye aiming down the barrel to achieve his acclaimed marksmanship. After all, we do not know how many times he may have missed. His successful hits may have taken more than one shot, following some 'zeroing-in' shots to assess the trajectory, distance, and best angle of his gun barrel.

There are examples of some well-practiced modern shooters who fire their small arm weapon 'from the hip', or with the barrel in some position lower than eye level, and achieve a degree of accuracy against a human-size target. Allowing for a gunner's experience and practice, and familiarity with the power of his particular gunpowder and individual gun, a trigger matchlock device may not have been essential. This 'experience and practice' could explain why the accounts do not mention others in this combat role.


The Bible as seen on Google Maps

Some interesting photos.

The Crucifixion

Crossing the Red Sea



... and in China

This is about a month old, sorry it takes me a litle time to read get around the net...

Nine-Year-Old Girl Gives Birth to Healthy Child in China 02.02.2010

That is what is says, this is no typo.

Source: Pravda.Ru

A shocking story took place in China. A nine-year-old girl gave birth to a healthy baby boy in Changchun Hospital in China’s northeastern province of Jilin. Doctors performed Cesarean section on the little mother after she started having contractions.

The baby-boy was born weighing 2.75 kg.* Medics said that both the mother and child were “fine,” China’s City Evening News portal said.

The medics of the hospital did not give any other comments to reporters. No wonder, because the subject of early pregnancy is tabooed in the communist country.

A correspondent of a local newspaper penetrated into the hospital twice in an attempt to see the young mother, but his efforts returned no result. He only managed to find out that the girl looked older for her nine years. Nothing is known about the details of the child’s pregnancy.

The police are trying to find the father of the girl’s child – they have already questioned the members of the young mother’s family. A sexual relationship with females under 14 years of age is considered a severe sex crime in China.

Statistics says that Chinese girls get pregnant and subsequently try to make an abortion a lot more frequently than it is believed. Chinese schoolgirls make about 30percent of all abortions performed in the country. Female college students add another 20 percent to this number.

In 1910, a Chinese boy aged 9 and a Chinese girl aged 8 became the nation’s youngest parents ever. The youngest mother in the USSR was a six-year-old girl, who gave birth to a dead child in 1930. The little girl had been raped by her own grandfather.

In April of 2000, a Russian girl from the Rostov region gave birth to her child when she was eight. The child’s father was a 13-year-old boy.

The world record for ‘youngest mother’ belongs to Peru, where Lina Medina, aged only five, delivered a baby in 1939.

These are the people, Obama borrows money from.

Mary Mother of us all, take into your protection this little baby and protect his mother.


* about 6 lbs


Enter the Belgian Ratzinger

From the New Oxford Review via Robert Banaugh some time collaborator on articles via Post-Councillar Catholicism
March 2010

In the post-Vatican II years, Belgium and the Netherlands have been known as the "lowlands" of liberal Catholicism. Here one is likely to find the most impoverished kind of Christianity in all of Christendom throughout history. Even the most liberal dioceses in the U.S. look rosy in comparison to the anemia that has long set in throughout the Lowlands. These are countries where those precious few who still attend Mass sit through the entire liturgy — no kneeling, no standing; and in some places, like the Church of the Madeleine in Brugge, Belgium, they sit on barstools instead of in pews.

The Netherlands, of course, gave the world the bestselling Dutch Catechism, the infamous 1966 re-writing of the tenets of the Catholic faith, specifically formulated to appeal to those hankering for a morally mushy brand of Christianity. The book, put together by the Dutch hierarchy, was deemed so "undogmatic" and misleading that American Bishop Robert Joyce refused to give his imprimatur to an edition slated to appear in the U.S.

Just next door, Belgium is home to the beautiful campus of the Catholic University of Louvain. Rich in history, Louvain (Leuven in Flemish) has earned a reputation as the most liberal pontifical university in the world. If you think Notre Dame and Georgetown are morally and religiously ambiguous, these flagship Catholic universities in North America glow positively traditional when compared to Louvain.

Further, both the Netherlands and Belgium have boasted the most liberal cardinals in the land in recent decades. The leader of the Church in Belgium is traditionally the archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels. Since 1962 this post has been held by just two men. On the orthodoxy meter, Leo Jozef Cardinal Suenens (1961-1980) and Godfried Cardinal Daneels (1980-2010) were about the equivalent of Archbishop Rembert Weakland and Joseph Cardinal Bernardin — at best.

Cardinal Daneels, the archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels for three decades until this January, was touted by European and American media as the leading liberal papabile hopeful before the conclave that elected Benedict XVI. (One must understand that media personalities often tout the churchmen they'd like to see elected to the papacy; in fact, Daneels had about as much chance as Rembert Weakland of being called to the papal throne.)

Daneels was the cardinal who in 2001 was publicly angling for the resignation of Pope John Paul II, who'd had enough of the previous Pope's pontificate and hoped he could relieve the Slavic Pope of his duties.

Under Cardinal Daneels's watch in Belgium, Mass attendance and vocations to the priesthood dropped to historical lows. Further, as leader of the Belgian Church he provided little to no opposition to abortion, euthanasia, and same-sex marriage — all of which are now legal in this country, which is said to be approximately 80 percent Catholic.

Three decades is a long tenure, and during those years Daneels made headlines with a number of outspoken challenges to Church teaching, and in a way that would even make an Archbishop Weakland marvel. He provided mealy-mouthed advice about the use of condoms to prevent AIDS, saying it is a form of self-defense. After a law was passed by the Belgian parliament legalizing same-sex marriages in 2003, the Cardinal remained vague on the question whether or not homosexual practices are illicit. Though he never openly questioned the Church's position on a male-only priesthood, Daneels's vicars general were both women.

His predecessor, Cardinal Suenens, was more outspoken and boldly "reform-minded." He even questioned the Church's teaching on marriage and contraception during the Second Vatican Council, accusing the Church of "holding procreation above conjugal love." A few years later he openly opposed Pope Paul VI's Humanae Vitae.

Suenens died at age 91 in 1996, and Daneels submitted his mandatory resignation at age 75 two years ago, in January 2008. At long last, Pope Benedict XVI has accepted his resignation and appointed a new primate of Belgium — a man who appears to be Daneels's polar opposite. Known as the "Belgian Ratzinger," Archbishop André-Mutien Léonard was named the new archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels on January 18. As you might imagine, he's creating quite an uproar in the Lowlands. Where Daneels and Suenens consistently questioned and undermined Church teaching on the hot-button moral issues of the day, Léonard has been an outspoken opponent of abortion and euthanasia, and criticized the Catholic University of Louvain for its research into assisted reproduction and embryonic stem-cell exploitation.

The powers-that-be in the Belgian government are not amused. In fact they seem to believe the sky is falling.

Belgian's Health Minister Laurette Onkelinx may have summed up best the general feeling of despair at the announcement of Daneels's successor: "Church and State are separate in Belgium, but when there are problems in our society, all the social partners sit down around a table, including representatives of secularism and of religion," she told RTL Radio (Jan. 18). "Cardinal Daneels was a man of openness, of tolerance and was able to fit in there. Archbishop Léonard has already regularly challenged decisions made by our parliament. Concerning AIDS, he's against the use of condoms even while people are dying from it every day. He is against abortion and euthanasia…. The pope's choice could undermine the compromise that allows us to live together with respect for everyone."

There you have it: "openly challenged decisions" made by Belgian parliament. In other words, Archbishop Léonard is doing what Cardinals Suenens and Daneels should have been doing for the past four decades as Belgium has sunken into a moral morass, legalizing abortion, legalizing euthanasia, and legalizing same-sex marriage — for starters.

In an interview with Reuters (Jan. 18) just after the Pope's announcement was made public, Bert Claerhout, editor-in-chief of the Catholic weekly Church and Life, said the appointment of Léonard "is clearly a conscious choice for a totally different style and approach: for more radical decisiveness rather than quiet diplomacy, for more confrontation with the secular society instead of dialogue, reconciliation and the quiet confidence that the tide will ever turn."

In one of his first public comments, Archbishop Léo­nard told a Belgian television station (Jan. 25) that "homosexuality is not the same as normal sex in the same way that anorexia is not a normal appetite," adding that he would "never call anorexia patients abnormal." But aside from his straight talk on hot-button moral issues, Léonard is known for his promotion of vocations to the priesthood, his love for beauty and tradition in the liturgy, and his genuine concern for social issues.

By all accounts, it appears that the Church in Belgium is under new management that will take at least one of the Lowlands countries in a different direction than it's been headed for the past forty years. Perhaps the Belgian Ratzinger can steer the ship back toward the orthodoxy long promoted by his German counterpart. At 70 years old, he will not be afforded decades to implement his program of counter-reform. With the mandatory age of retirement set at 75, Archbishop Léonard has his work cut out for him.

Thanks and a tip of the beret.


The pesky problem of sin..

As you know the readings from the past Sunday, the 3rd in Lent (C)* surrounded redemption.

Our deacon delivered the homily. He is well spoken, but rather reticent on occasion, (as in opposition to me). His homilies however are direct and to the point, which is how I know that when he speaks it is the Holy Spirit speaking through him.

Our two holy priests are not from this country. In keeping what has become de rigeur the diocese has posted 2 priests from other countries, Kenya and Philippines to our parish. I am sure both of them a destined for sainthood. We are very thankful for them. According to the daecon, these priests queried him and asked him why no one shows up to confession but everyone comes to communion. Deacon answered that it was because in America no one sins...(1)

He was right, the American Catholics and Catholics around the world have been led astray after VCII by "Modernistic" bishops, priests, religious and laity. These wolves easily convinced the flock that, "... what the Church has been teaching through out the century's was outmoded and encased in ritual." Many of those who were of the generation before mine the so called greatest generation, (a term I dislike to the fullest) were glad to see the Latin go, the teachings watered down, sin became a matter of conscience and the mystery and majesty not lost but thrown away It was just so hard to do all these things the Church required after all we are all going to heaven anyway so why get bent around the shaft over it.

Let me examine this for a moment. I was 12 when the Novus Ordo was promulgated, and Latin has all but disappeared. We have thus had a languge shift though some would say this is a linguicide . Although written about during the time of the promulgation of the Novus Ordo as a mere movement into making the Mass more understandable, it was a in fact a cover up to remove the mystery and majesty of the Church, and the Mass. There are few Catholics under 50 who remember celebrating a High Mass, sung in Latin. Latin was the language which bound the "Roman" Catholic Church, but know we have separate Masses for Hispanics, Filipinos, Kenyans, Koreans etc... I can't really understand why we are called catholic, because in reality it is not. ( I also hate the term Extraordinary Rite to denote the latin Mass. I am somewhat less bothered by the use of "Traditional Catholic Mass").

Some of the consequences have been, decreased Mass attendance. I am sure someone will comment and say the Mass attendance had already been declining throughout 40's. Maybe this is true, or maybe it is a doctoring of history. We were at war in Europe and Asia for half of the 40's, and lack of attendance may be accounted for simply because those returning from the war saw this as a continuation of their military experiences. They possibly saw this a regimentation. This being said, we further chased Catholics out by confusing them with the experimentation of the 60's. I remember them, balloons and posters in the sanctuary, "I'm ok you're ok" homilies given by priests to insure that no one got offended and thereby reduce the donations on Sunday.

If you present a homily which downplays sin, then the train of thought naturally progresses to "...there really isn't any sin, unless I think it is," mentality.

When I teach the Confirmants I have a group of questions to see if they understand what the commandments say. My question about the 7th (Catholic) Commandment is this, Can you keep a penny if you find it on the street?(2) Think about that question, and consider it from a totally Catholic perspective. My answer is below. The answers I get are pretty indicative of their not realizing what sin is.

The beginning of the end for the Mystery and Majesty began when the "experimentation" of differnt types of liturgies. Puppet masses, ballon masses, masses on the beach, childrens masses (when the emphasis went from masses for the children to masses by the children,) time limits on homilies, Communion on the hand, Communion under two species, the use of bread baked for communion. I deplore the lack of decorum in dress in males and females (sometimes I think a biker rally just ended), lack of decorum in language, the introduction of cell phones into churches by irresponsible parishoners. I also deplore the chewing of gum while going up to Communion, AC/DC tea shirts, and mohawk haricuts and dancing in the Church. I actually hate it when the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the person of Christ is removed to a hiding place in a "Euharistic Chapel" as if it wasn't HIS Church.

On Saturday I went to a parish in Danville to attend my yearly certification as a Cathecist in the Diocese of Richmond. While is was well presented, one of the diocese instructors cause me concern in speaking of the magesterium mantion that the Church had erred on the subject of slavery. I don't know about you but the church in the guise of the magesterium is always free from error. After that little bombshell I lost interest in her talk. She did not, after being called on that during the luncheon break, either appologize or make a retraction.

This story demonstrates the Modernistic" view of the church which is found in many diocese in this country. Pope Pius X on September 1, 1910 prumulgated an "">Oath Against Moderism. Sometime after VCII the oath was dropped. Maybe it should be brought back out and taken by Cathecists.

I offer some remedies, ...frequent reception of the Eucharist. ...Priests should act like Priests, (At another parish where I went, the parish priest would take time of from celebrating Mass to play in golf tournements, he was known as a good golfer but not as a good pastor), nuns like nuns, move the Blessed Sacrement to the Altar where HE belongs and not hidden in a room. ...Emphasis the decorum of receiving Communion at Mass. ...Change the word Altarserver to Altarboy as they are the first seedbed of vocations to the priesthood.(3) ...Return to latin to unify the Church and don't leave it to the pastor to decide. ...Train Cathecists in Cathecism, (it is unbelievable how many Catechists do not know what the churches teaches, and while they serve with all good intentions, they teach error becuse that is what they were taught.) Focus on Prayer, the Eucharist, and Faithfulness to the Magesterium and the True faith.(4)

As my friend Robert Banaugh says, "...If you were right then, we are right now. If we are wrong now, you were wrong then..."


Isaiah 55:1-9, Psalm 63:1-8, 1 Corinthians 10:1-13, Luke 13:1-9.

(1) At a Christmas reconcilliation at our sister parish 4 Priests were asked to hear confession and only 2 parishoners came.

(2) The answwer is, "Since everything belongs to God ultimately, the coins belongs to God, therefore it would be wise to just put it in the collection basket. God will distribute the money as He sees fit. I use it to illustrate that every action we do has a consequence. It is hard to believe their faces when I tell them the answer. I also hear a lot of what ifs...

(3) As the Cathecist who trains the altarservers, I ask the males to serve, the female have to volunteer. It may be thought of as being sexist but it is not. we need more priests in the church.

(4) Let us stop the teaching of opinion and the return to the what the church says.

I am not a "TradCath". If I had a term to denote my thinking, it would be orthodox.