Rome excommunicates four bishops in Ukraine

Four bishops of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church excommunicated

Former monks of the Basilian Order of St. Josaphat who appointed themselves bishops of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in 2008 have been excommunicated for disobedience

They appointed themselves bishops of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in 2008. After trying to be recognized by the Ukrainian state as a Ukrainian Greek Catholic Orthodox Church, four former monks of the Basilian Order of St. Josaphat, a Ukrainian, Slovak and two Czechs have been excommunicated. Their relations with the Vatican deteriorated four years ago, when, in a letter to Benedict XVI, these "bishops", very critical of the Vatican authorities, denounced "a general drift of the Church." Their grievances? The "heretical views" taught by the faculties of theology, "syncretism with pagan religions," the "presence in the episcopacy and priesthood of homosexuals and pedophiles," especially within the Greek Catholic Church.

Convinced of all this, the four religious, founded "the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Orthodox Church" in 2009, targetting the ulra-Orthodox faithful, disappointed by the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, as cited by Infocatho.be and Apic agency. Before the excommunication, the Vatican had tried to negotiate, hoping to convince them to stop "deceiving the faithful, which has happened in many cases." Rome encouraged them to "repentance" and "return (…) to full communion with the Catholic Church . " But nothing helped. Trying to register with the state of Ukrainian Orthodox Church Ukrainian Greek-Catholic was the error too far.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith accuse them of slandering "the representatives of the Holy See and the local church" and the sin of disobedience. By their conduct, the four former religious "continue to challenge ecclesiastical authority, undermining not only morally and spiritually the Basilian Order of St. Josaphat and the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, but also the Apostolic See and the entire Catholic Church " . The Tribunal of the primatial archiepiscopal see of the Ukrainian Church found them guilty of "unlawful usurpation of office, sedition and hatred against certain hierarchs and incitement to disobey."

The Roman Excommunication

For background, the Code of Canons of Oriental Churches

Not least among them Canon 1058 - The Roman Pontiff is judged by no one

The group seems to have started the mutual anathemas with this excommunication in 2011 by Father Elias, who styles himself Patriarch.

A reminder of the mutual anathemas between Rome and the Ecumenical Patriarch in 1054, when Cardinal Humbert deposited the Bull of Excommunication on the High Altar of Hagia Sophia. They were lifted in 1965 bringing this protest from the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia. The text of the lifting of the anathemas here from the Autocephalous Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

And in other news......

Ecumenical Patriarchate: two deposed bishops
According Orthodoxie.com , who quote a statement issued yesterday by the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, two bishops living in the United States, the Metropolitan Bishop, Paisios of Tyana and his auxiliary, Bishop Vincent of Apamea have been deposed: "The reasons given were: appropriation of funds of the Church, immoral conduct and insubordination towards the Holy Synod. The two former hierarchs are now just monks. "

Original French article...

Catholic Conservation.


Schismatics move to the far right, heretics move to the far left.


A travesty of the faith thanks to Cardinal Schönborn.

If there is a question why the Church militant is suffering watch this...

The Catholic Church in Austria: Defining Deviancy Downward
Watch the abomination as reported below, a putative celebration of the Mass, and savor the spectacular horror. Then wonder to learn it has been perpetrated three times this past year and will be yet again this coming June 26th: the so-called "Western" (as in cowboy) Mass, with the imprimatur of the ineffably bewildering Cardinal Schönborn of Austria. It is tempting to rattle off a list of the atrocities to be seen (e.g. ashtrays for smokers, take-out food and the Confederate flag) but far better to watch the video in its entirety--you don't want to miss a thing. If it is not yet exhausted, stretch your capacity for wonder one more time and ask yourself why, oh why, will the Holy Father and the Vatican not drive a stake into the heart of these monstrosities.

It's a well-worn trope on this ol' blog but worth trotting out once again: however deplorable the state of Catholic worship in America, it is far, far worse in Europe and with its continued celebration of the "Western Mass," the Church in Austria may well be comfortably ahead in the race to the bottom.

Gott in Himmel

Never doubt why the Pope raised new cardinals this year.
I can only wonder what would happen if the Hapsburgs still ruled in fact.

How does Cardinal Schönbornn keep his job. This is heresy.


The End of the Anglican Communion?

...All Archbishops of Canterbury fail, quite simply because the Church of England isn’t a Church at all, it’s a theme park: you wander about and choose the rides you want to go on. It’s not there to change you but to reflect what you already are. It has no consistent theology; it has a portfolio of theologies, each one inconsistent with the others. We all know that...

Stephanie Mann gives an insight to the meaning of the resignation of the Arch-Bishop of Canterbury, here...



Health Care Hearing Day 2

Dear My Fellow Virginians,

Today was the second day of the three-day healthcare hearing in the U.S. Supreme Court, and as promised, I wanted to offer you my reflections on today's hearing.

Today the Court heard two hours of argument on the individual mandate - the heart of the federal health care law. It was exciting and modestly encouraging today in the courtroom.

Let me note at the outset that I am a litigator, and any good litigator will tell you their own stories of having been in court and having the feeling that things were going their way, only to see the court rule against them in the final order. So, while today went well for the limited government side, it always comes with the foregoing caveat born of experience.

The federal government went first in the person of Solicitor General Verelli. He was up for almost an hour, followed by Paul Clement for half an hour on behalf of the states, and Mike Carvin for half an hour on behalf of the NFIB.

Previous Compass readers will recall that this argument has two parts: the most important is the argument whether or not the mandate is permissible under Congress' power to regulate interstate commerce; the federal government's fallback argument is that the penalty you have to pay if you don't buy the government-mandated insurance is a tax for constitutional purposes (a position that Justice Scalia quietly called "extraordinary" at the end of the SG's argument).

Justice Kennedy spoke early and asked the SG if the federal government could order people into commerce in order to regulate them. And thus began more quasi-answers (like yesterday) by the federal government, as the SG said "that's not what's happening here."

Gradually the SG was directly confronted with the main challenge the feds had in court today, namely, to identify some limiting constitutional principle regarding federal power if the mandate was in fact constitutional.

The SG identified two circumstances that he said demonstrated the uniqueness of the health care (I'm going to say "HC" for short) market that would restrict 'mandates' from spreading to the other areas of the economy. First, he said that HC was unique because big, unaffordable costs could hit someone without insurance unexpectedly; and Second, those costs would be shifted to others if the person couldn't afford to pay those costs.

Somewhat amusingly, Justice Alito noted that burial costs were expensive and could hit one unexpectedly as well. He further noted that if he was too poor to pay his own costs and hadn't prepared for his burial, he would still certainly be buried, and those costs would in turn be shifted to others either by raising everyone else's burial costs if the buriers had to absorb those costs, or we'd all pay higher taxes if the government bore those costs.

The Chief Justice had his own examples handy.

The SG more or less simply insisted that HC was unique.

The old standbys of the fed's being able to order you to buy a car or broccoli came up too.

My strong sense is that the federal government failed to overcome its main hurdle of the day, namely, to articulate some limitation to federal power if the mandate was constitutional.

Justice Kennedy noted that the mandate was unique in light of its affirmative requirement of a citizen to purchase something, and that would appear to alter the relationship between the government and individuals in a "fundamental way." This is a powerful and deeply philosophical statement that I take great comfort in.

It is a point that we have been making repeatedly, and it goes deeper than just this piece of legislation. It is akin to my consistent comment that this case is not about HC, it's about liberty. And I believe the fundamental change Justice Kennedy was speaking of was one that dramatically reduces citizens' liberty.

At several points, Justice Kagan threw the SG what I thought were 'lifelines.' She seemed to advance the notion strongly that this is just ordinary regulation of a national market, and it's just a question of timing - of 'when' the feds apply regulation. Justice Kagan seemed to base her assertion on the notion that we are all in, or will be in, the HC market.

Justice Scalia roughly hammered on what market was actually being regulated. He noted to the SG that 'you are talking about HC, but you're regulating insurance.'

The Chief Justice played off that discussion a bit by noting that the feds were trying to solve the problems in the HC market by regulating insurance. Thus, even if the HC market were unique, what's to stop the feds from coming back later with some other mandate that was not related to insurance but that was rationalized as helping out with the HC problem?

The Chief Justice also noted wryly that if the Court allows the mandate, 'you'll just be back with something else that's unique' later.

Justice Breyer referred to the opinion of former Scalia clerk and now 6th Circuit Judge Sutton who ruled the mandate constitutional, and noted his two pages of alleged government compulsions. To which Mike Carvin simply said 'none of them apply.'

Never before has the federal government ordered us to buy a product under the guise of regulating commerce.

Justice Breyer also played off one of Justice Kennedy's exchanges with the SG, and pressed the SG to concede that if they could compel this under the commerce clause, then the feds could compel other purchases too. This revealed one of the numerous difficulties of the federal position. Justice Breyer's tone strongly suggested he thought the SG's position should be that the feds could order us all to make government-directed purchases under the commerce power, but the SG knew that would be a deep hole with many of the Justices and he wouldn't go there.

The SG's problem is that Justice Breyer was actually pushing him toward a much more consistent position. And it was the logical position for the SG, but it didn't suit his more limited goals in this case - goals that have left him desperately trying to find some way to treat insurance for health care as totally unique from everything else on earth.

He simply did not pull it off, and while Justice Breyer may vote his way, I don't think Justice Breyer will agree with the SG's argument re the mandate.

The Justices also heard argument about whether the the penalty you have to pay if you don't buy the government-mandated health care was a tax. There was much less discussion of this, frankly, because I think it is seen as a far-fetched argument... I would call it radical.

If all the feds have to do to bring a directive under the taxing power is fine you if you fail to do it, then they can order you to do anything that doesn't conflict with some other constitutional protection.

That argument is going nowhere.

As a final sign that the tax argument is going nowhere, Justice Ginsberg reiterated her statement from yesterday that taxes are designed to raise revenues, but penalties are to compel behavior, and if the penalty works perfectly (i.e., everyone buys the health insurance), the penalty will raise no revenue at all. I.e., there's no way it's a tax.

No Justice gave any particular indication that they were ready to defend the penalty=tax position.

Thus my conclusion that it's going nowhere.

I left court today happier than when I arrived.

Tomorrow morning, the Court will hear argument on the severability of the individual mandate (i.e., the remedy if the mandate is found unconstitutional); and tomorrow afternoon they will hear the 4th and final argument regarding whether the massive medicaid burdens foisted on the states under the health care law are so onerous as to amount to unconstitutional coercion by the feds of the states under the spending power.

Unconstitutional coercion of the states using the spending power has never been found to exist by the Court, but if this isn't the case for it, I don't know what is.

You can hear my audio summary of the day by clicking here.

And please encourage others to sign up for The Compass. We are trying to get over 5,000 new subscribers this week, and we're well on our way, but we need your help. So, please forward this on to others and encourage them to go to www.Cuccinelli.com to sign up for themselves!

Thanks so much!


Ken Cuccinelli, II
Attorney General of Virginia


Pic de Bugarach: French commune home to 20,000 ‘doomsday cultists’ awaiting alien salvation

...But of that day and hour no one knoweth, not the angels of heaven, but the Father alone. And as in the days of Noe, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, even till that day in which Noe entered into the ark, And they knew not till the flood came, and took them all away; so also shall the coming of the Son of man be... Matthew 24:36-39 Douay-Rheims Bible

An estimated 20,000 New Age believers who say the "upside down" mountain is home to aliens who will rescue them from an impending apocalypse have saturated a small French commune near the foot of the picturesque Pic de Bugarach.

The Independent reports the growing flock, who locals refer to as "esoterics," believe the world will come to an end on December 21st, 2012. They also reportedly believe that the unique mountain is in fact home to a race of alien beings that will emerge to rescue the gathered humans and transport them to a new civilization.Pic de Bugarach has long been famous because rock samples taken from its peak are actually older than points measured at lower elevation.

Scientists say that is because when the 1,230 meter mountain erupted its peak flipped upside down before crashing back down upon the mountain's base. The mountain is said to have played a role in inspiring everything from Jules Verne's "Journey to the Center of the Earth," to Steven Spielberg's "Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

"The BBC reports that the French government is concerned about mass suicides taking place near Pic de Bugarach in advance of the December 21 date and that there have been reports of "strange rituals" taking place there as well. more...

Esoteric is another word for Gnostic. There are no new heresies.

Just so we don't forget, New Age followers are still waiting for aliens to beam them up 15 years after the Heaven's Gate cult suicides on March 26, 1997 left 39 people dead. Read more:


Health Care Hearing Day 1

March 24, 2012

Dear Fellow Virginians,

Today was the first day of the three-day healthcare hearing in the U.S. Supreme Court, and as promised, I wanted to offer you my reflections on today's hearing.

Today the Court heard 90 minutes of argument on the Anti-Injunction Act ("AIA"). The AIA was enacted in 1867 to require any lawsuits challenging tax statutes to happen only after the taxes are paid; i.e., pay first, then sue. The rationale is that it's important to keep the tax revenues flowing without nuisance lawsuits getting in the way, and the national government can pay back any necessary taxes and interest on those relatively rare occasions when it loses such a suit.

Two years ago, the federal government was arguing that the AIA barred the lawsuits challenging the federal healthcare bill, but they have since changed position to agree with the states that the AIA should not apply to bar this case.

Even if the AIA applied and the case was dismissed, it would not be a judgment on the merits of the lawsuit - i.e., it wouldn't be a judgment about whether the individual mandate is constitutional or not. So, we'd all be back in three years after folks refused to pay the penalty.

Can you imagine the destruction that would be caused by three more years of uncertainty about whether or not the federal healthcare law is constitutional? I'd rather not contemplate it.

It's always a bit dicey to read too much into oral argument, but the tone and focus of the justices' questions and comments gave me the strong impression that they will not throw the case out without reaching the merits.

The moment the case began, Justice Kennedy was immediately on the front edge of his seat, but Justice Scalia got the first question in... followed closely by Justice Kennedy. Pretty soon all of the justices were firing away (except Justice Thomas, as he famously does not ask questions during oral argument).

Some of the most interesting exchanges came from some unexpected directions. And there was some spill-forward into tomorrow's hearing regarding the individual mandate as it relates to the feds' tax argument.

Today also saw a lawyer appointed by the Supreme Court itself arguing that the AIA bars the case from going forward.

It is fairly common for the Court to appoint a lawyer to argue a position that no party in the case is advancing, but I cannot remember a case in which the Court appointed two such lawyers. The second Supreme Court appointed lawyer will argue on Wednesday regarding the severability of the individual mandate (more on that Wednesday night).

Justice Breyer was the first to ask a tax question that clearly will tie in to tomorrow's arguments. Quite simply, as it relates to the penalty you have to pay if you don't buy the government-mandated health insurance, Justice Breyer asked simply "why is this a tax?"

While addressing the U.S. Solicitor General, Justice Alito noted words to the effect that 'today you are arguing the penalty is not a tax, so the AIA shouldn't come into play, but tomorrow you'll be here arguing that the penalty is a tax.' He clearly had a problem with that set of arguments, and he wasn't alone.

Justice Sotomayor noted a series of exceptions or exemptions from the AIA, and wanted to know if there was ever a case where something was found to be a tax for constitutional purposes, but not for purposes of the AIA. No such case was cited.

This is consistent with the federal government's inconsistency (did you follow that?). In this particular case, both the states and the feds agree the AIA should not apply, and today's discussion seemed to suggest the Court is headed in that direction. However, the states and the feds come to their conclusions differently, and once again, the feds rely on words meaning one thing here, and another thing there.

Wouldn't it be nice if words meant the same thing every time? Words like "tax," "penalty," and "economic activity." To you and me maybe, but not the federal government.

Regarding the tax question, Justice Ginsberg noted that the penalty was to induce compliance with the mandate, not to raise revenue (generally, to be a tax, an act must be intended to raise revenue generally). Justice Ginsberg went on to note that because the penalty was to back up the compulsion to buy insurance, it wasn't a tax.

I'll finish today's walk-through with what I thought was the most interesting exchange of the day, and it was between Justice Kagan and the SG. Justice Kagan posed the following scenario and question: "If someone didn't buy the mandated insurance, and paid the penalty, then later was answering a question about whether they had ever violated a federal law, what would the answer be?" The SG, in a decidedly unconfident manner answered "No."

Think about that. The feds mandate you have to buy insurance, but if you don't obey that mandate, you have not broken the law? Again, this illustrates the incredible inconsistencies undertaken by the feds.

Assuming that the AIA does not bar the case - an outcome I expect - then they will reach the question of the constitutionality of the mandate itself... and that is what will be argued for two hours tomorrow.

This really is the heart of the case, and it goes to the outer limits of already-expansive federal power.

If the federal government can order you to buy health insurance, then there's nothing to stop them from ordering you to buy a car, asparagus, or a gym membership (the very examples used by the district court judge in Virginia's case). That's why I say this case is not about health care or health insurance, it's about liberty.

On a separate note, it's worth recognizing that today's subject matter - the AIA - is in many ways the most confusing subject in the case. After you read my analysis of all three days, I think you'll see what I mean.

If you'd like to hear the audio briefing I gave to Virginia media today, click here.

Tomorrow I will again be in the courtroom taking notes to share with you tomorrow night in The Compass. And while all three days are important, tomorrow is the biggest of them all, so stay tuned tomorrow night!

Also - please make sure to share this with your friends! If you can - please forward this on!


Ken Cuccinelli, II
Attorney General of Virginia

Catholics under attack

Even if you don't like Glenn Beck this is worth watching. If you do not think that there is a war going on in the world between the forces of God and the forces of satan I can only say look at the evidence. I have placed posts on this blog before, but I have never tied them together as Beck does.

What Beck did not say is that the Pope is responsible to God to continue the faith the way it was given to him, much like the president (who regardless of who it is regularly ignores this fact).

Again, the time is coming when we will have to make the decission will we stand with the church or with the state. When the time comes will there be enough evidence to convict you as a Catholic?

Although this video is primarily concerning Americans, this war is worldwide.

Mary most Virgin, pray for us.


On Cardinals:

The maximum number of Cardinal Electors allowed at any one time is 120. The Pope cannot raise more than 120 men under 80 to the Cardinalate at any one time. On the last two occasions, the Pope named new cardinals soon after the number of electors fell below 120. There have been as many as 135 electors at times.

Scots in the hundred years war

Rarely remembered now is the relationship between France and Scotland in the Hundred Years War.

There had long been an alliance between them more popularly known as the Auld Alliance left( in French : Vieille Alliance). This friendship was forged because the two countries were at war with England, though for different reasons. Charles V was the first king to employ Scotsmen in his bodyguard, but it is principally with Charles VII that the alliance was properly employed by the creation of the first elements of Scots Guards ( Gensdarms Ecossais) who were maintained by tradition in the King’s Household until the 18th century and again under the Restoration.

In 1420, a group of Scots landed at La Rochelle, to assist the Dauphin Charles. In command was John Stewart son of the Regent of Scotland the Duke of Albany. He was made constable of France, in 1423 for his victory a Bauge. He was killed in the battle of Verneuil in 1424.

At Orleans there were three companies of Scots knights, led by William Hamilton, Thomas Houston, John Wischard (Oulchard in French) and five squires, Thomas Blair, Henry Galoys (Galloway), Edward Lennox, David Melvill and Alexander Norwill.

The Scots never abandoned their posts and always fought with the upmost gallantry, they maintain a post of honour in French history.

Some of the nobles that fought alonside Joan are:

BLAIR (alias Blar), Thomas. – This Scottish squire was present at Orleans from the beginning of the siege, commanding a company of 20 men-at-arms and 29 bowmen.

Coat of arms: Argent a chevron Sable between three tortaux.

WISHART, John of (alias Wischard, Wischart, Ouschart or Oulchart). – John Wishart of Pittarow, a Scottish knight, was doubtless the son of the 5th baron of this name. He arrived at Orleans in October 1428, with 48 men-at-arms and 105 bowmen. He returned to France in 1436 to accompany Princess Margaret of Scotland who marry the Dauphin Louis (future King Louis XI). John Wishart was still alive in 1443.

Coat of arms: Argent three piles Gules meeting in point.

GALOYS (GALLOWAY), Henry. –This Scottish squire led at Orleans a company of bowmen whose commander was William Hamilton. At the beginning of the siege, this company was made of 10 men-at-arms and 30 bowmen. The name "Galoys" was possibly for "Galloway" in the French chronicles.

Coat of arms of Galloway: Azure, a lion Argent langued, armed and crowned Or.


The queen pays her bills

There is just so much about the Reine Martyr that is just untrue. Far from the spendthrift that she is portrayed in books, Marie-Antoinette payed her bills as did everyone else. Indeed at the end she had already sold the silver as it were to pay the servants. While much has been made the infamous "affair of the necklace", Marie-Antoinette believed her children were her true pearls.

Thanks to Elena Maria for two links today.



Islamic Marriage Guide for the religion of peace

...Thanvi also writes that “the husband should treat the wife with kindness and love, even if she tends to be stupid and slow sometimes...”

"Beat by Hand or Stick": Islamic Marriage Guide Teaches Husbands How to Control Their Wives

A bookstore in Canada has sold out of an Islamic marriage guide that instructs Muslim men on how to beat their wives, according to the Toronto Sun.

Among the advice dispensed in “A Gift for the Muslim Couple” is to “beat by hand or stick” and “pull [her] by the ears.” The husband may also withhold money to exert control, though should “refrain from beating her excessively.”

The 160-page book’s description says it “deals with the subject of marriage and after marriage relationship, as well as the various pitfalls of marriage, causes of breakdown and their causes.” It was being sold at Islamic Books and Souvenirs in Toronto. The store’s manager told the Toronto Sun it had been sold out for some time. The owner refused to comment to the newspaper.

“[I]t might be necessary to restrain her with strength or even to threaten her,” writes author Hazrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi, described as a “prolific writer on almost every topic of Islamic learning.”

The book lists the husband’s supposed rights, which say the wife is unable to leave “his house without his permission,” and that she must “fulfill his desires” and “not allow herself to be untidy…but should beautify herself for him.”

Thanvi also writes that “the husband should treat the wife with kindness and love, even if she tends to be stupid and slow sometimes.”

Wasim Vania, president of the Islamic Society of Toronto, condemned the book, telling the Sun it “should never have entered Canada.”

“We were the first religion to give power to women. It is sad that someone would write this. We don’t have hatred in our hearts and we don’t teach this,” Vania said.

In January, a Canadian jury convicted a Muslim husband, wife and son of murdering three teenage daughters and a co-wife in what was termed an honor killing. The trial transfixed the country and prompted a debate about assimilating immigrants.

This isn't the 7th century is it.

and, this


I have returned

I am not trying to sound like General MacArthur, just to announce that I have returned from Illinois.

My mother was struck by three strokes 2 weeks ago. My wife and I travelled to Chicago to be near her. When we arrived she had developed complications from a medicine they gave her and could not speak due to her tongue having swelled. She recovered from that and is now in the RIC where she is doing much better. Her left side is much affected but the doctors hope that there will be much improvement and a return to normalcy.

My baby sister is the recipient of many graces for attending to our mother daily and has been at my mother's side continuously these two weeks.

Here is a little bit on how to recognize a stroke,

Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke.

Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions:

S *Ask the individual to SMILE.

T *Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently) i.e.. It is sunny out today.

R *Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.

If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call emergency number immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.

Another sign of a Stroke -------- Stick out Your Tongue

Ask the person to 'stick' out his tongue. If the tongue is 'crooked', if it goes to one side or the other that is also an indication of a stroke.

Thanks to all of you who have added prayers for my mother.