Wednesday, November 30, 2005

30 November -- St Andrew's Day

The illustration is the cap badge of an officer in the Black Watch. Note the center of the badge: a medal of St Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland, whose feast day is today. The Royal Scots bear his image also in their own cap badge. John Knox, call your office.

Breviary dot net has the texts for his feast of the office of Matins in the classic Roman Rite. Do have a look. The antiphons are extraordinarily beautiful. And don't overlook the wonderful second nocturn (lessons iv, v, and vi) which relates the old story of his martyrdom.

All the proper texts for his feast can be found here.

If I copied it properly, this should be a direct link to the Matins texts.

Pontifical Mass in Dublin

And in the classic Roman Rite, too. This is the first celebrated by an Archbishop of Dublin since the Bugninian Rite was published.

The first I saw it mentioned was in The Wanderer in the 24 November issue. A very brief mention it was with no further information. With a little rooting around I found that The Latin Mass Society of Ireland has some pictures here. Further explanation, though, was missing.

Nevertheless, very good news indeed.

And while I was looking for pontifical Mass information in Dublin, I also found this tantalizing rumour. So: could it be FSSP or ICR? Or SSPX? Or? I would guess that it probably means an Ecclesia Dei group or they wouldn't be waiting for "Church authorities" and going into detail about Ecclesia Dei. But newspapers get religious news so bolloxed one really can't say until it happens. But an official presence of one of the Ecclesia Dei orders in Ireland would be wonderful news indeed especially considering how anti-traditional the Irish hierarchy is in general.

Fac, Domine, ut ab ortu solis usque ad occasum magnificetur nomen tuum in gentibus, ac in omni loco sacrificetur et offeratur nomini tuo oblatio munda!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


Yesterday was Mary's. THE Mary, i.e., the one who promised to love, honour, and obey me and is far ahead of so many in this world in the marital vocation with success in two out of three. And just because I didn't mention it here on The Day doesn't mean I forgot. But it ought to go on the net. Even a day late. Beirlá Maith, mo cuisla, mo chroí.

And today, the 29th, is the late Archbishop Lefebvre's birthday. Even those of us who couldn't go along with the consecrations owe him a lot. A prayer for his soul wouldn't go amiss. If you thought he was right, pray for him in gratitude. If not, pray in charity, for then he may need it even more.

Blesseds Denis of the Nativity, O.C.D. and Redemptus of the Cross, O.C.D., martyrs

Today is the feast of the blesseds Denis (or Dionysius) of the Nativity and Redemptus of the Cross in the Carmelite calendars. They were both Discalced Carmelites, martyred in Sumatra when they refused to abjure Christianity and become Mohammedans. The following vita is taken from Journey to Carith: The Story of the Carmelite Order of Fr Peter-Thomas Rohrbach, O.C.D. (Doubleday & Co., NY, 1966). It follows rather closely the story given in the old second nocturn of the Breviarium Carmelitarum with a bit of added detail.

Pierre Berthelot was born in the French seaport town of Honfleur in 1600. He developed an early fascination for the sea, and became a professional navigator and cartographer. At the age of nineteen he sailed for the Indies as navigator for a French expedition, but his ship was attacked by the Dutch and he was taken prisoner and brought to Java. After his release, he settled in Malacca, where he signed with the Portuguese and was so successful that the king of Portugal named him "Master Navigator and Cosmographer of the Orient." His marine cartography became well known, and his map of the archipelago of Sumatra is still preserved in the British Museum. His contemporaries described him as a handsome, stocky man, blond and fair-skinned, an adventuresome and high-spirited person, with an inquisitive and active mind. His expeditions frequently brought him to Goa, where he became acquainted with the Discalced monastery and its prior, Philip of the Trinity. In 1634, at the age of thirty-four, he abandoned his career and entered the Order, adopting the name Denis of the Nativity. Four years later the Portuguese viceroy of the Indies asked the Carmelites to allow Denis to serve as navigator on an expedition which was carrying a new Portuguese envoy to Sumatra, a trip which appeared to be quite hazardous because of Dutch pirates and hostile natives. Denis' studies were accelerated, and he was quickly ordained to the priesthood so that he could also serve as chaplain on the expedition. A lay brother, Redemptus f the Cross, was assigned as his companion.

Thomas Rodriguez de Cunha was born at Paredes in Portugal in 1598. He became a soldier and traveled to the East Indies as a young man, becoming a member of the governor's guard at Meliapor where he rose to the rank of captain and commander of the guard. He entered the Carmelite monastery at Goa, taking the name Redemptus of the Cross. He was stationed at the Carmelite missions at Tattah and Diu in the kingdom of the Grand Mogul, and then again at Goa where he served as porter and sacristan. Redemptus was an extremely likable person, friendly and jovial, and where he was assigned to the Sumatra expedition he joked with his confreres about having his portrait painted in case he became a martyr.

The expedition arrived safely at Sumatra, where the party disembarked at the port of Achim, but the two friars were unexpectedly seized by the natives and imprisoned. Asked to renounce their faith, they refused and were sentenced to death. They were led to a desolate spot on the seashore where Redemptus' throat was slit open, while Denis, a crucifix in his hands, was forced to watch. The natives cleaved open Denis' head. Pope Leo XIII beatified Denis and Redemptus in 1900.

Both the Ancient Observance and the Discalced Carmelites keep this day in honour of Blessed Denis and Blessed Redemptus. The collect is the same in both rites:

Deus, qui mirabilis dispositione beatos Dionysium et Redemptum per maris pericula ad palmam martyrii perduxisti : eorum intercessione concede; ut, inter mundanas varietates et sæcularia desideria, fideles usque ad mortem in confessione tui nominis maneamus. Per Dominum. Amen.

O God, Who in Thy wondrous providence, didst lead blessed Dionysius and Redemptus through the perils of the sea to the palm of martyrdom, grant through their intercession that in the midst of earthly vicissitudes and worldly desires we may remain steadfast even unto death in the confession of Thy name. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Liturgical Hebrew

This is very interesting. I had never heard of the Hebrew liturgy in Israel. Since it began in 1955 it must have been the traditional Roman Rite done in the Hebrew, much like the Glagolithic churches in Croatia do the traditional Roman Rite in Slavonic.

JERUSALEM, NOV. 24, 2005 ( - It is now a half-century since the Hebrew-speaking Catholic community in Jerusalem was granted approval to use its language in the liturgy.

Over the past few days, the small Catholic community in Jerusalem that prays in Hebrew, has been celebrating the event, reported the Italian newspaper Avvenire.

The community celebrated its golden anniversary with Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Franciscan Custodian of the Holy Land, who for years has personally cared for this small community "to keep alive the memory of the bond between Christianity and its Jewish roots," observed Avvenire.

The rest is here.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Thanksgiving Day -- St Augustine, Florida -- 1565

It was a traditional Latin Mass of Thanksgiving in St. Augustine in 1565, 55 Years before the Pilgrims Landed at Plymouth Rock. History books have long portrayed images of the US's first Thanksgiving in Plymouth, Massachusetts, with Pilgrims, dressed in black and white, sharing turkey with American Indians. (It should be noted that the Pilgrims, who came to America to escape religious persecution from the Anglicans, were themselves the perpetrators of religious persecution. When they had been in power, they had gone around the English countryside destroying Anglican altars and liturgical accoutrements because the Anglican Church was too "papish" for them. No wonder they were "persecuted.")

To the contrary, the research of Michael Gannon, an expert on Florida colonial history and professor of history at the University of Florida, over twenty years ago revealed that St. Augustine, the US's oldest city, was the site of the first Thanksgiving. This first Thanksgiving took place in 1565, 55 years before the Pilgrims landed, when the Spanish founder of St. Augustine, Pedro Menindez de Avilis,
and 800 Spanish settlers shared in a Mass of Thanksgiving.

Following the Mass, Menindez ordered a communal meal to be shared by the Spaniards and the Seloy Indians who occupied the landing site. Prof. Gannon, in his book, The Cross in the Sand, states that the nation's first Thanksgiving menu would most likely have consisted of what the Spanish settlers had with them during their voyage: cocido, a stew made from salted pork and garbanzo beans laced with garlic
seasoning, hard sea biscuits, and red wine. If the Seloy natives contributed to the meal, the table would have seen wild turkey, venison, gopher-tortoise, mullet, corn, beans, and squash.[PRNewswire]

Thanks to Christopher Zehnder who sent this along a few days ago via Cælum et Terra. He also notes "You'll also find it in Bishop Arias' book "Spanish Roots of America" soon to be published by Loreto Publications.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

"Vatican Issues A Qualified Ban on Gays in the Priesthood"

So says the L.A. Times. Typical. They can't even get the headline right. If The Times is correct in its interpretation of a document which doesn't seem to have been released yet (it's not on the Vatican website as of this writing), it is a complete ban on "gays" in the priesthood -- "gays" being a political term describing those promoting a homosexual lifestyle. Those who are afflicted with homosexual tendencies, however, and are trying to live a chaste life and adhere to and promote Catholic teaching are another matter. If The Times' description of the content of this document is correct, then there is indeed only "a qualified ban" on such people entering the priesthood. They must prove their mettle first.

In a more perfect world perhaps this is as it should be. A tendency is not a sin. But in a world in which men like the eminent lord Cardinal Mahony are put in charge of Archdioceses. . .well. You might as well not bother issuing the document in the first place. Vide: "Openly Gay in Mahony's L.A."

Daniel O'Connell once said that he could drive a coach and six through the loopholes in the average act of parliament. My lord the cardinal appears to view laws and precepts upholding Catholic teaching much the same way.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Pour une plus grande liberté de la forme ancienne du rite romain

For the Francophone amongst us: an interview published by the French daily Le Présent with Cardinal Medina-Estevez in which His Eminence states his belief that the ancient Roman Rite has never been suppressed and is still canonically legitimate. And much else of interest.

The original French is here.

An amazingly coherent Babelfish translation can be found here. (Babelfish always seems to result in near gibberish for those texts that I most want translated. This one isn't half bad.)

[Thanks to L.P. & CTNGreg for the cite.]

Monday, November 21, 2005

The Religion of Peace

Up close and personal:

An enraged mob was scaling the walls of the Catholic compound in Sangla Hill [Pakistan] as Father Samson Dilawar hurriedly ushered his small group into a safe place.

Nine nuns, four teachers and 23 terrified teenage girls huddled inside an upstairs room of the besieged convent as the crowd broke through the gate. Meanwhile, Father Dilawar climbed onto the roof to watch in horror as the crowd systematically destroyed the mission that had taken almost a century to build.

At least 2,000 men, armed with sticks, hammers and containers filled with flammable substances, swarmed across the parish compound Nov. 12.

They broke into the Church of the Holy Spirit, smashing the marble altar, pulling the vestments from their cupboards and shattering the stained-glass windows.

More here.

"Deferred Success"

That's on something called the Global Language Monitor's top ten list of politically correct phrases. It's pc-speak for "failure".

They don't list my very favourite. During the latest outbreak of looting which made the news a couple of months ago, a certain forum for pipers took to referring to the folks engaging in such unauthorized commerce as "undocumented shoppers".


God Bless Poland

This sort of thing happens locally in Long Beach. Except it isn't illegal here. The city officials welcome them and permit them a "pride" parade in which they exhibit their degeneracy in various stages of undress. Poland seems to be the only remaining hold out in the western world. I wonder how long they'll last?

In Presentatione Dominæ Nostræ

Today is the ancient feast of the Presentation of Our Lady in the temple in both the Pauline Rite and the Roman Rite. The old Carmelite Liturgy had a special collect for the feast:

Beatæ Mariæ semper Virginis tribue nos, Domine, supplicantione tueri : ut, cuius venerabilem Præsentationem celebramus obsequiis, eius intercessionibus et meritis commendemur. Per Dominum nostrum. Amen.

Grant us, O Lord, to be protected by the prayers of blessed Mary ever Virgin, that as we celebrate her venerable Presentation with humility we may be commended to Thee through her merits and prayers : through our Lord. Amen.

And yesterday, as I didn't get a chance to mention, was Stir Up Sunday: Excita, quæsumus, Domine, tuorum fidelium voluntates. . .or as the Prayer Book hath it: Stir up, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the wills of Thy faithful people; that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works, may by Thee be plenteously rewarded; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. A suitable liturgical reminder on this, the Sunday next before Advent, to stir up the fruits that have been quietly fermenting and get cracking with those Christmas cakes.

In the traditional Roman Rite the propers for the day are doom-laden to a fair thee well. Our greatly-missed Fr Johnson used to call it "the scary Gospel" (Matthew XXIV: 15-35) as one Sunday a woman came up to him after Mass and told him never to read that Gospel again: it was too scary. And so it is. "When you see that which the prophet Daniel called the abomination of desolation, set up in the holy place (let him who reads this, recognize what it means), then those who are in Judæa must take refuge in the mountains. . . ."

Perhaps Fr Johnson's quondam parishioner had some influence with the late Archbishop Bugnini. I'm told this portion of St Matthew does not appear in the Pauline liturgy (although I've never looked it up). The end-time passages from the other Evangelists do but not St Matthew. Maybe tax collecting gives one an unduly gloomy outlook. Or perhaps the good Archbishop is hoping that if it isn't read it won't happen.

If the world doesn't end in the next two months, Recta Ratio (who knows about Stir Up Sunday and actually mentioned it in time) has some mouth-watering recipes on for you here and here. They're even in time for Thanksgiving.

Score One for the SSPX?

The Reuters headline reads: "Ultra-traditionalist Says Pope Should Convert Jews". Leaving aside whether the pope, in fact, disagrees with the underlying assumption in the headline (the article seems to me to be assuming facts not in evidence), it is an astonishing assertion that only an "ultra-traditionalist" thinks Jews should be converted. Is the "Great Commission" really now only for the few on one side of the Catholic spectrum of opinion? On the first Pentecost when they were only minutes from the reception of the fire of the Holy Ghost were the apostles disobeying Our Lord by preaching in Jerusalem?

It's amazing what you can find in the press if you're not careful.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Almost English

This lovely bit of prose arrived in my mailbox this morning.


Your current case has been assessed to the necessary commissions, and upon fastidious weighing up, we are able to suggest to you the next opportunity.

Based upon fastidious weighing up you qualify to obtain a attractive rield on your primary property investment.

By completing the next attached form in a timely manner we will be able to finalize our review, and we feel certain you will obtain not only a decreased rate of interest, but also a cash return that will implement all your holiday needs and more!

Please go here to finalize this phase of the agreement.

Wishing you all the best over the holiday period,

Juliet Herrington

After fastidious weighing up, I have decided to assess this to the junk file. True, I could have used an attractive rield, but as the initial fastidous weighing up was unable to determine if I were a man or a woman, I lost all faith in the necessary commissions. So sad. And such lovely semi-English, too.

19 November -- St Raphael (Kalinowski) of St Joseph, O.C.D.

From the little "vita" in the Carmelite Propers for his feast:

Raphael Kalinowski was born to Polish parents in the city of Vilnius in
1835. Following military service, he was condemned in 1864 to ten years of
forced labor in Siberia. In 1877 he became a Carmelite and was ordained a
priest in 1882. He contributed greatly to the restoration of the Discalced
Carmelites in Poland. His life was distinguished by zeal for Church unity
and by his unflagging devotion to his ministry as confessor and spiritual
director. He died in Wadowice in 1907.

Normale. At last.

Our question has been answered: normale is 100 car torchings per night. Last night France had only 98. Ah, peace. It's wonderful.

Although, about that 98. Brussels Journal reminds us that if one car is set alight and the two cars on either side of it catch fire, it only counts as one (1) car fire. (And, as we learned last week, if the car isn't totally engulfed and the fire brigade puts it out, why there hasn't actually been a car fire at all.) Still, I'm sure it's consoling to be back to normale.

Tip for young French lads looking for a business to go into: think car dealership. 100 cars x 365 days a year = 36,500 folks in the market for an automobile. And, of course, this year there will be a bumper crop.

Friday, November 18, 2005

News You Can Use

More Spectator. Same issue:

The Hong Kong government issued advice on avoiding avian influenza: "Bird owners should not kiss their pets."

I'll make a note of it.

[Still no link; I read it in the paper edition. (Unless you want to go here and pay for it.)]

Comerica Park, Petco Park, and. . . .Marks and Spencer Cathedral?

Marks & Spencer's name is to appear on the order of service for the enthronisation of Dr John Sentamu as the 97th Archbishop of York, for which the company would supply 3,500 packed lunches at a reduced price. So says the Spectator in the "Portrait of the Week" for 29 October 2005.

Harry Potter and the Half-Crazed Bureacracy

Picture the DMV in charge of prophecies, witches, and knells.

A tip of the Glengarry to Chaos Manor.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Carmelite Monks

The Carmelite Monks of Wyoming, who have had a couple of links at the left almost since their inception, have a new, improved website with much more information. You'll find it here. They also have a new CD with traditional Carmelite chants. There's a sample available on their webpage with a bit of Flos Carmeli nicely sung by the schola.

Vade et aude. And maybe even contribute.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

A Modest Proposal

Charles Coulombe addresses a serious problem in our nation today that far too many Americans are unwilling to face. Unfortunately, he fails to mention the pressing need for state funding in any such proposal. We cannot have a two-tier system in this country in which lower-income Americans are denied the right to have their friends and neighbors whacked. A compassionate democracy needs to provide for all its citizens.

Digging Yourself In Deeper Dept.

You remember the Sony warning from last week? The one in which Sony installs a rootkit on your pc, invisible to you, that among other harmful attributes, opens you up various trojan horses and viruses? Well, according to The Times this morning, Sony has fixed the problem. And made it far worse.

The Times article is here.

If the Times' article has expired and reverted to archive, you might want to look at this site for some explanation.

Catholic Tradition

That's the name of a website I came across this morning, yes, as always, while looking for something else. I haven't begun to finish exploring it; months of labour must have gone into it. Do give it a look. With a printer and a three-ring binder you could make yourself a very serviceable prayer book.

It may be a bit over-illustrated - not everyone has broadband or a fast connection. And there are a few links I could wish had not been included. But then you may think that about The Inn. And those are very small complaints about a very well-done and comprehensive website.

Oh. Yes. The link. It's here.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Suas leis a Gaidhlig

I ran across this article from last month on Scots Gaidhlig and the National Mod while looking for something else. The native language isn't "enforced by law" in Scotland the way it is in Ireland so private enterprises like the Mod are far more necessary for its preservation. It's good to see it still flourishing. There are (or were, at least) some fine recordings of the various events, piping, singing, harping, and so forth. Worth a listen if you run across them.

I remember a story from a few years ago involving the bureaucracy not being quite as au courant with Scottish cultural affairs as it ought to be. In setting up for the Mod the organizing committee had special telephone lines installed for communicating amongst the various venues. When the day came and it was time to use them they were forbidden access as they had no security clearance. Round and round they went with telephonic officialdom. Nothing seemed to help. Until finally the light dawned: British Telecom assumed Mod stood for Ministry of Defense.

Ah, well. It's funnier when Jimmy Mathieson tells it.

Une situation quasi-normale

It's difficult to determine the difference between quasi-normale and normale. Not being a French scholar has always been a handicap. But it seems one has arrived at une situation quasi-normale when only 215 véhicules ont été incendiés et 71 interpellations ont été enregistrées. This, according to the subheadline here, is a retour au calme. Now, I wouldn't be all that calme if it were my véhicule that was being incendiés but I suppose it all depends on your point of view. I wonder what the number-of-cars-incinerated cut-off point is before quasi-normale becomes normale.

Peugeot dealers must be coining it.

Brussels Journal, as usual, has an incisive look at the situation this morning. And in English so that even I can understand it.


The Washington Times reports today that a teacher is to be punished for discussing the Gospels and praising Jews in his classroom. You'd think he'd know better than that by now, wouldn't you. Some people just don't seem to read the newspapers. I must say, though, that the 40 months in prison and the flogging with 750 lashes does seem a bit much.

Oh, did you think this occured in an American public school? Understandable, I suppose. When two great cultures begin to think as one it can be somewhat confusing. This was Saudi Arabia. The view of the Gospels is similar but the Saudi penal code seems to have taken a different fork in the road than our own.

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (Reuters) -- A court sentenced a teacher to 40 months in prison and 750 lashes for "mocking religion" after he discussed the Bible and praised Jews, a Saudi newspaper reported yesterday.
Al-Madina newspaper said secondary-school teacher Mohammad al-Harbi, who will be flogged in public, was taken to court by his colleagues and students.

The rest of the Washington Times report is here.

In Commemoratione Omnium Defunctorum Ordinis Nostri - All Carmelite Souls

The day after the feast of All Carmelite Saints is the day in which All Carmelite Souls are remembered. The Office and Mass in both Orders is that of All Souls Day but with a special collect. Here is the collect from the Liturgy of the Holy Sepulchre as used by the Ancient Observance Carmelites in days past:

Inclina, Domine, aurem tuam ad preces nostras, quibus misericordiam tuam supplices deprecamur : ut animas Fratrum et Sororum ordinis nostri, quas de hoc sæculo migrare iussisti, in pacis ac lucis regione constituas, et Sanctorum tuorum iubeas esse consortes. Per Dominum. Amen.

Lord, give ear to our prayers as we humbly beseech Thy mercy that the souls of the Brothers and Sisters of our Order, who at Thy bidding have departed from this world, may be established in the abode of peace and light, and may at Thy command have entrance into the company of Thy saints : through our Lord. Amen.

The Discalced Order always used the traditional Roman Rite as codified by Pope St Pius V. Here is the particular collect for today:

Deus, veniae largitor, et humanae salutis amator : quaesumus clementiam tuam ; ut nostrae Congregationis Fratres et Sorores, qui ex hoc saeculo transierunt, beata Maria semper Virgine intercedente cum omnibus Sanctis tuis, ad perpetuae beatitudinis consortium pervenire concedas. Per Dominum. Amen.

O God, the generous dispensor of forgiveness and lover of the salvation of mankind, we beg Thy mercy that Thou wouldst grant that the brothers and sisters of our Congregation who have passed out of this age may, by the intercession of the Blessed Mary ever Virgin, come to join the company of the eternally blessed. Through Our Lord. Amen.

Here is the collect in the new liturgy. It is the same in both Orders.

Lord, You are the glory of those who serve You. Look lovingly on our departed brothers and sisters, united in following Christ and His Mother by the waters of baptism and the bonds of Carmel. In Your mercy grant them everlasting sight of You their Creator and Redeemer. We ask this through our Lord. Amen.

Now That's a Thorough Investigation

The international medical committee at Lourdes has approved another miraculous cure. This one is the 67th. The cure, though, happened in 1952. They don't like to be rushed in Lourdes. The story can be found here.

Monday, November 14, 2005

The Feast of All Carmelite Saints

Both the Ancient Observance and the Discalced Carmelite Orders today keep the feast of All Carmelite Saints. If you had the original of that illustration - and a good magnifying glass - you'd see most of the principal saints of the Order gathered round the throne of Our Lady, Regina et Decor Carmeli. On the left side reading from left to right we see standing St Elias the prophet,"dux et pater ordininis nostri primus", St Brocard, St Andrew Corsini, and St Therese, the Little Flower. Kneeling are St Mary Magdalene de Pazzi and St Simon Stock, a.k.a "St Simon the Englishman". On the right side are St Therese of Jesus (of Avila), St Peter Thomas, St John of the Cross, St Angelus, and St Eliseus the prophet, "dux et pater ordinis nostri secundus". Kneeling are St Albert and St Berthold.

It's a great pity that the Order no longer honours either St Brocard or St Berthold. But that's a whinge for another day.

Here is the old collect which both Orders once used on this day:

Omnipotens et misericors Deus, qui nos omnium Sanctorum Ordinis Beatissimæ Virginis Mariæ de Monte Carmelo annua commemoratione laetificas : concede propitius; ut eorum exemplis et meritis, in jugi tuæ legis meditatione, et perfecta abnegatione tibi soli viventes, ad aeternæ vitæ felicitatem cum eis pervenire valeamus. Per Dominum. Amen.

Almighty and Merciful God, Who rejoiceth us each year on the commemoration of all the saints of the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel, graciously grant that of their merits and example and in continual meditation on Thy law and in perfect abnegation living solely for Thee, we may merit to arrive at eternal happiness with them. Through Christ our Lord.

Here is the new collect in English (I have no copy of the Latin text. If there is one.):

Lord, may the patronage of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our Mother, and the prayers of all the saints of Carmel help us to walk steadfastly in their footsteps, and by our prayers and good works to further the cause of your Church. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

All You Need to Know About Religious Vocations

In one easy article.

France: Algeria's Next Province?

The Population Research Institute says maybe. It's all a matter of demographics. And for the traditional European peoples the demographics are not promising. This is from the PRI's latest weekly briefing.

France's End
By Joseph A. D'Agostino

Demographics is not a fashionable issue. Pundits and politicians prefer to discuss other aspects of social difference and reasons for social change such as economics and race. Most American news stories about and commentators on the recent riots in France have blamed a combination of high unemployment (economics) and discrimination (race) for the riots.
They have suggested that more jobs, quotas, and government spending would solve France's problem with her young Muslim rebels. Unfortunately, another aspect (demographics) tells us that there is no practical solution to France's problem, and the radical Muslims are likely to win.

The importers of the Algerian insurrection certainly seem to have won this round, with French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin promising more money for areas dominated by immigrants and their offspring and Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy forced to back off from the hard line he took when he called the rioters "scum." French authorities asked Muslim religious leaders to help end the violence, granting tacit legitimacy to the anti-Western imams. Regardless of the intrinsic wisdom of these decisions, the fact that they came in response to violence means they will encourage more violence. As Heywood Brown said, "Appeasers believe that if you keep on throwing steaks to a tiger, the tiger will become a vegetarian." These riots were organized, at least to a large extent, according to de Villepin and Sarkozy. The tigerish organizers of the riots have achieved a victory. Terrorism works.

So what is France to do? She has failed to create employment for many of her young people, whether French or foreign, due to her socialistic policies, while the French electorate continues to demand continued statism and unaffordable social welfare policies. Despite trying hard, she has failed to assimilate her immigrants and their children, and contrary to what one might think, the children and grandchildren of the initial immigrants tend to be more radical and anti-Western than the immigrants themselves. The trends are all in the wrong direction. And the self-destructing, cringing, appeasing, and degenerate Western European nation in which they live will never win the respect of these radical young men, who will demand more and more and more. I read that the French media are full of stunned incomprehension: Why are they rioting here, when France has been so steadfast in opposing the war in Iraq and in leading international opposition to the United States generally? Their craven lack of understanding of basic human psychology, the psychology of men not so effete as themselves, condemns them.

The sort of young men that France has nurtured in her bosom are very scary indeed, and sound worse than many inhabitants of our own urban ghettos.
In the Autumn 2002 City Journal, Theodore Dalrymple described the vicious street loiterers he saw when he visited Paris' government-planned immigrant suburbs. "A kind of anti-society has grown up in them-a population that derives the meaning of its life from the hatred it bears for the other, 'official,' society in France," he wrote. "This alienation, this gulf of mistrust-greater than any I have encountered anywhere else in the world, including in the black townships of South Africa during the apartheid years-is written on the faces of the young men, most of them permanently unemployed, who hang out in the pocked and potholed open spaces between their logements. When you approach to speak to them, their immobile faces betray not a flicker of recognition of your shared humanity; they make no gesture to smooth social intercourse. If you are not one of them, you are against them." The huge amounts of money that the French government has poured into these area has done nothing to improve mainstream France's image among these ghetto-dwellers, and never will. "Benevolence inflames the anger of the young men of the cités as much as repression, because their rage is inseparable from their being," said Dalrymple. "Ambulance men who take away a young man injured in an incident routinely find themselves surrounded by the man's 'friends,' and jostled, jeered at, and threatened.
. . . Of course, they also expect him to be treated as well as anyone else, and in this expectation they reveal the bad faith, or at least ambivalence, of their stance toward the society around them. They are certainly not poor, at least by the standards of all previously existing societies: they are not hungry; they have cell phones, cars, and many other appurtenances of modernity; they are dressed fashionably-according to their own fashion-with a uniform disdain of bourgeois propriety and with gold chains round their necks." Like all men reduced to useless dependence, they hate those who support them while being unable to throw off their sloth. Raising their standard of living without putting them to work will do nothing. "They enjoy a far higher standard of living (or consumption) than they would in the countries of their parents' or grandparents' origin, even if they labored there 14 hours a day to the maximum of their capacity," Dalrymple noted.
"But this is not a cause of gratitude-on the contrary: they feel it as an insult or a wound, even as they take it for granted as their due. But like all human beings, they want the respect and approval of others, even-or rather especially-of the people who carelessly toss them the crumbs of Western prosperity. Emasculating dependence is never a happy state, and no dependence is more absolute, more total, than that of most of the inhabitants of the cités." Yet the sloth of the native French is more debilitating, because though a people can survive the advanced degeneracy of its men, as many have, it cannot survive that of its women. If a people's women cease to bear and raise enough children, that people dies. If most of its women decide career, freedom, and pleasure are more important than hearth and family, that people dies. In no other area of life does the accumulation of individual decisions more profoundly affect society as a whole. Feminism kills.

Muslim women, in Europe and most other places, are relatively family- and child-oriented. Most Frenchwomen couldn't care less. Examining the birthrates for the two groups, the "French" French will be overwhelmed by their guests soon enough. France's overall birthrate of children per woman is about 1.9, a little less than the replacement rate. The French government forbids the collection of statistics by race or religion (it's one nation, they say), but demographic experts think that the mostly Muslim immigrant population's birthrate is an astonishing twice that of the native population, possibly higher-and more immigrants flood into France every day, where up to 10% of the population is already Muslim.
Some folks think France will be 40% Muslim by 2050, perhaps sooner.

Though French unemployment may be high now, someone will have to work to support native France's aging population, which refuses to bear the next generations itself. The plan was to have the immigrants do it. Maybe the plan needs revision.

Even with immigration, the proportion of French people over 65, which was
16% in 2000, is projected to hit 27% in 2050, with all the attendant increases in the costs of already-bankrupt social security and health care systems. The proportion over 80 will go from 4% to 11%. At the same time, the proportion of people entering the workforce will shrink. It's unsustainable.

I could discuss all the other things I've learned about France recently from reliable sources: the six-fold increase in crime in the last few decades, the cultural acceptance of gang rape in immigrant neighborhoods, the foreign (often Saudi) funding of nearly all mosques in France, the rapidly growing influence of radical Islam among France's Muslims, and the fact that over half of France's prison population is of immigrant stock.

There is also a lot of evidence to support the thesis that the native French have denigrated their guests: Walled them off in vast grim, modern housing projects; bombarded them with degenerate popular culture just as they were cut off from their original cultures; provided welfare rather than employment; and left their spiritual needs to be tended almost exclusively by Muslim firebrands with no competition from Christian missionaries.

Algeria was once a department of France. One day, France may be a province of Algeria. Demographics will likely make the difference.

Joseph A. D'Agostino is Vice President for Communications at the Population Research Institute.

This latest briefing is taken from their e-mail service and is not (yet) on line. The Institute's website can be found here. A briefing from last summer much to the same effect on European demographics in general can be found here.

The Chaldean Church

. . .is centered in Iraq. Along with a new government it now looks as though most Iraqi Christians will soon have a new liturgy. The Asia News article doesn't give any detail, although it does contain the terrifying words "pastoral purposes". We shall have to wait and see what Chaldean Christians think of it.

From Asia News:

Chaldean Synod: Bishops to present Pope with reformed liturgy

The final text of the new mass is expected for tomorrow after seven years spent working on it. Participants say reforming the liturgy was the priority, not politics.

Rome (AsiaNews) – The final version of the reformed liturgy of the Chaldean Church will be presented to the Pope tomorrow morning. The Holy Father will also receive all the Chaldean bishops who are currently taking part in their Church’s special synod that began on November 8 in Rome.

This synod comes seven months after the last one that took place in a Baghdad. Its focus was almost exclusively on the liturgy and private law, overshadowing more political issues that some bishops had highlighted in the period leading up to it.

“There was no way of discussing anything else,” a source close to the synod told AsiaNews. “Reforming the liturgy was the main issue. We had been working on it for seven years and everyone expected the meeting to come up with final version.”

The rest is here.

More on the Chaldean Church:

Chaldean Rite

Chalean Christians

Assyrian Church of the East (not in communion with Rome)

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Pax Europa

Peace in Europe isn't like peace elsewhere. "The situation remained quiet." So says the official communique from the Belgian Ministry of the Interior. France was quiet as well. Unless you count that during "the 17th consecutive night of rioting, 374 cars were torched and 212 people arrested. In Carpentras, where a mosque had been attacked on Friday night, a school burned down. Lyons, France’s second largest city, witnessed heavy fighting between 'youth' and police yesterday afternoon. It was the first rioting in a city center since the French riots began more than two weeks ago. It was also the first rioting in broad daylight. The city center of Paris witnessed no incidents thanks to the deployment of 3,000 riot police, a quarter of all 12,000 officers that were deployed in the entire country yesterday."

Brussels Journal reports more detail here.

And something on the policing situation in France: this one from the Telegraph and this one from the L.A. Times.

Backward, Turn Backward, O Time in thy Flight

The Times yesterday morning reminded us of the days when we in this Archdiocese had a cathedral that resembled a cathedral rather than one of Albert Speer's more demented fantasies. "A Church's Resurrection" is the article's headline. If only.

The church in question is the old cathedral of St Vibiana and, rather than being resurrected, it has been . . . what is the correct word? Secularized? It is, in short, no longer a church but a "cultural center".

Read the article here and ponder how it was much too expensive to retrofit the old cathedral for $8 million but not too expensive to shell out $65 million for the new monstrosity. (Or was it more than $65m? The memory isn't what it was.)

The new building (a.k.a. the Taj Mahony, the Rog Mahal, St Roger's juxta Freeway, and others too numerous to mention) can be seen at its own website here.

St Vibiana's has largely vanished down the memory hole so far as the Archdiocese is concerned. There are some elements of the old cathedral in the crypt of the new. Some stained glass windows and the relics of the virgin martyr herself. But nothing on line that I could find. There is a website (maintained by U.S.C.) with some few pictures here.

Bad tempered whinging aside, I am rather grateful to the L.A. preservationists that St Vibiana's is still standing, even if only as a "cultural center". If the old liturgy could rise from its Bugninian grave, perhaps there is hope for the old building yet. There are a few erstwhile "cultural centers" in the former Soviet Union that again have the Divine Liturgy celebrated in them after a nearly century-long hiatus.

Thursday, November 10, 2005


Happy 230th Birthday to the United States Marine Corps

[The "Leatherneck Pipe Band" is shown in the picture. The band is not an official part of the Corps but is made up of retired and currently serving Marines. Their excellent website can be found here.]

France? What about France?

The Times has largely gotten bored with French riots and wandered off. There was this, though. Is it accurate? Some of the European bloggers have their doubts as the French media has decided not to report uncomfortable facts. With the very best of intentions to be sure. But the result is still a fair amount of ignorance.

Vide: Plus Ultra and Brussels Report

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

San Francisco Approves Gun, Military Recruiting Ban

Of course, if you're in Baghdad-by-the-Bay (that's what they call it; nothing to do with me), the descent into barbarism proceeds at an even faster pace:

Voters approved ballot measures to ban handguns in San Francisco and urge the city's public high schools and college campuses to keep out military recruiters.

The gun ban prohibits the manufacture and sale of all firearms and ammunition in the city, and makes it illegal for residents to keep handguns in their homes or businesses.

Only two other major U.S. cities - Washington and Chicago - have implemented such sweeping handgun bans.

With all precincts reporting early Wednesday, 58 percent of voters backed the proposed gun ban while 42 percent opposed it.

I suppose the silver lining to it all is the revelation that there still are not only schools but children in San Francisco. And then, of course, the Baghdadian burghers' good efforts in regard to the military may not be quite as necessary as they thought. The military may not be coveting their dewy-eyed progeny after all. Vide this from "Strategy Page":

The U.S. Department of Defense sees urban schools as one of its biggest recruiting obstacles. Not because leftist teachers in some of those schools try to keep recruiters out, but because so many potential recruits have to be turned down because of the poor education they have received in those schools.

The rest is here. [First noticed via Jerry's day book.]


We had an election of sorts here yesterday. No people on the ballot, merely "propositions". Who won? The usual suspects: abortionists and perverts, the illiteracy enforcers, the pharmaceutical industry, the statewide political machine in general. If they'd lost, it wouldn't have been much of a loss. Rather like putting on the handbrake on a car hurtling over a cliff. But it would have been a consoling gesture, particularly the redistricting proposition. Redistricting this hopelessly gerrymandered state was really the only glimmer of hope.

Perhaps it's actually a cunning plan to halt illegal immigration: turn the state into such a hopeless mess that even impoverished Mexican peasants don't want to come here.

Dieu le veut!

But surely only His permissive will was involved in the History (sic) Channel's production last weekend on the Crusades. TS seems to have managed to sit through the whole thing. He evidently has a stronger constitution than I. I don't believe I managed a full hour.

The good old Catholic Encyclopædia is approaching its centenary but it still gives a sound background to the crusades in the eponymous article.

More detailed and a very well-balanced history is the Oxford History of the Crusades. Just a few dollars in paperback, sound scholarship and very readable, it is fair to the crusaders and the Mohammedans.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity

8 November is the feast of Blessed Elizabeth in the Carmelite calendar. There are two fine websites dedicated to her here and here -- much information and lots of pictures.


"Priests say Iraqi Christians now the victims of extortion, even death."

First noted on Serge's blog.

Piping Picture(s) of the Week

Members of the pipe band of the French navy, le bagad de Lan Bihoué:

They use the Breton pipes, the bombard, the biniou, and the Scottish Highland pipe.

"The real cause of the French intifada is the enormous growth, dysfunctionality, and arrogant self-confidence of the Muslim immigrant community within France, coupled with the cultural enfeeblement and demographic decline of the French nation."

Srdja Trifkovic, author of "The Sword of the Prophet", on the new Intifada in France.

More here.

Monday, November 07, 2005

France, yet again

The search for news on the French (or by now shouldn't we be saying "European"?) situation has had some interesting results. Jihad Watch is as mentioned before an excellent source. Brussels Journal is a group blog that I came across this afternoon. Fascinating commentary by intelligent writers full of insight. The lead story at the moment reports the spread of the intifada to Belgium and Germany. An article last Saturday outlined the hazards of cartooning about Mohammed. (Why, death for the cartoonist, of course. What else?) There is much else of interest. Do visit.

That's Entertainment!

An advisory received yesterday from Jerry Pournelle whose knowledge of computers is exceeded by, well, nobody I know:

You may or may not be familiar with the Sony Music CD Root Kit problem.

Let me begin with the warning: do not buy or install any Sony Music CD on
your PC. The records play just fine on other systems. There's no problem
with Mac or Linux or with self contained music players.

But if you try to play that record on your CD, it will tell you that you
must install the Sony CD player codec (you can't play the record through
Microsoft Media Player or any other stuff you have installed on your

DO NOT INSTALL THAT SOFTWARE. If you do you may never be able to get it off
there short of scrubbing your system down to bare iron, reformatting, and
reinstalling everything. I wish I were spoofing you, but I am not. This is a
serious warning.

Moreover, if you have given a Sony Music CD to anyone as a gift, and they
have tried to play that music on their PC (not Mac, not a standalone player,
not Linux, but Windows PC) then their systems are infected, and it is
exceedingly difficult -- exceedingly difficult -- to remove that infection
in a way that doesn't blue screen of death the PC.


I have heard nothing about Sony movie DVD's having any such infection, but
it's possible. So far all my Sony DVD's have played with Power DVD and I
have not been asked or required to install any special Sony software to play
a Sony movie DVD; if I am asked to do so I will refuse, and so should you.

Understand that the Root Kit on the Sony Music CD is a deliberate
installation by Sony as part of a Digital Rights Management scheme. They
will now, if you jump through enough hoops, send you a patch that will make
their scheme visible -- like all root kits, their original installation so
infects your operating system as to hide in a directory your operating
system literally cannot see or access -- but it still does not remove it.

I'll have more on removal in the column and at another time this being
column time. I will also have a


warning in my Christmas Shopping List in the column.

This is a serious infection: the scheme has actually been used by third
parties to hide other malware on systems that have the Sony root kit
installed, and others have used the Sony root kit to hide cheat software for
World of Warcraft. Even if you think you know what you are doing, you should
not fool around with this stuff. It's dangerous, it's very difficult to
remove, and there is a very real risk that you will have to reformat your
disk and reinstall your OS and everything else.

For more information see:

The last reference is to the Sysinternals page where an incredulous Mark
Russinovich relates how he found the root kit on his system: the root kit
has been out for months, and this is the first indication of it's existence.
Sony did a splendid job of stealthing this.

I will have more in the column and on the web page. If you have bought and
installed a Sony Music CD on your PC, *you need more help than I can give
you*. Start with the Sysinternals page, and *proceed with extreme caution*.

And the best of British Luck to you.

Still thinking about France this morning.

And so I tried to receive RFI again early this a.m. No luck. Which this time may be partly my fault as the external antenna needs replacing and is disconnected. Not even a bit of Gallic static from the internal whip. And the website is again impossible.

The Times wasn't much interested in the French situation at all. One article. This one. Likewise the Press Telegram only came up with one story. The PT's essay mentioned in the last paragraph that "Churches were set ablaze in northern Lens and southern Sete, [national police spokesman Patrick] Hamon said."

So far there is more information coming from Jihad Watch than anywhere else. It's well-worth following especially now. But don't all go there at once.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Ici Radio France Internationale

Or it would be if you could actually receive it.

The current French spot of bother brings up yet another tangential thought. On shortwave radio this time. More and more international broadcasters are cutting back on the number and target areas of their broadcasts. The BBC coverage is continually being cut. (And the quality of the Beeb's content has dropped dramatically in the past few years; but that's another issue.) Some, like the venerable Swiss Radio International, have vanished altogether. Voice of America is a shadow of its former self. (Sorry. I need to vacate the computer shortly and I haven't got time to find a substitute for that miserable cliche.)

One of the main rationales given for this is that "everyone" is now on line and can hear the broadcasts over his computer. Well, of course, this does over-look the millions in Asia and Africa who may have a radio but no hope of a computer. But more to the point in this little ferverino, it over-looks just this sort of situation as is occuring in France. It took me 20 minutes to finally connect to the RFI website. And I have tried for Lord-knows-how-long ever since to connect to one of the audio links. Completely without success. Now that it would actually be useful to listen to what French officialdom has to say about its "unrest" it becomes impossible. Shortwave radio on the other hand does not become unavailable when it has too many listeners. It can't have too many listeners.

But, of course, you can't listen to an RFI SW broadcast all that easily in North America either. France does not lower itself to broadcasting to North Americans in English. It hasn't for years. (If ever.) Not directly anyway. There is one broadcast in the morning which can be received fairly well, although it's actually directed to Africa. And it helps if you don't mind the American Evangelical station broadcasting at the same time on the same frequency. Fortunately, it is a music programme so you can hear RFI moderately well. (It does get a bit surreal, though, listening to, say, an interview with a French ambassador to Gabon, with the Norman Luboff Choir singing "O God, Our Help in Ages Past" in the background.)

Where was I?

Oh, yes. International broadcasters, please note. If you were actually "broadcasting", you know, over the airwaves, as your name indicates you should be doing, and not just publishing on line, then when crises like these occur you could actually get your point of view before the international public. Instead of being theoretically available on the web but in fact almost completely inaccessible to areas like North America just at the time when it is needed.

A Sidebar on the French "Situation"

It's fascinating to follow the American major media's coverage of the current French "troubles". The Los Angeles Times is having a fit of indecision.

Take this front page article in Friday's paper: "Riots Put a Fear in the French" The subhead says "With clashes ongoing in largely Muslim suburbs in Paris, officials deploy 1,000 police in hopes of reining in restive Arab and African youths." On the rest of the front page there is no more mention of the word "Muslim" (or "Islam" for that matter). Just "youths" of African and Arab descent. Then we turn to page A5. One paragraph into this second page we learn that "(v)iolent disturbances are nothing new in the bleak public housing projects on the urban periphery, where intelligence officials say that the two most powerful social forces are the drug underworld and Islamic activisim." Ah, but not to worry. Read on: "Although Islamic extremism is seen as a serious problem in some of the affected neighborhoods, there is no indication that Muslim fundamentalist leaders have encouraged the unrest, authorities say." So happy to find there's no encouragement of this sort of thing. What a relief.

Or is it? Further down in the same column we learn that "(a) group of youth's clashed with [Interior Minister] Sarkozy's entourage and threw objects at him, an incident instigated by known Islamic fundamentalists, the inteligence official said." A fine Timesian distinction between a Muslim fundamentalist leader and an Islamic fundamentalist instigator can be discerned here, the usefulness of which I will leave you to work out.

Fitting the news into the politically correct template must make for an agonizing work day.