Sunday, March 27, 2016

What Did John See?

In the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite, the Gospel for the Mass of Easter day is John 20:1-9.  In the Extraordinary Form, this is the Gospel for Easter Saturday. 

John and Peter run to the tomb. John, the younger of the two, gets there first, but stops and peers in.  True to character, Peter, rushes headlong in.  John sees and believes.  

What did he see?

Was it the image on the shroud?  Was it the way the jaw cloth was tossed aside?

The Shroud of Turin will be exhibited this spring from April 19th through June 24th. At National Review, Myra Adams asks, "What Does the Shroud of Turin Prove about Easter?"  It also reproduces Babara M. Sullivan's 1973 article, "Reading The Shroud of Turin."

While a famous (infamous?) carbon dating puts it in the medieval period, there are a great many mysteries that baffle scientific explanation, particularly if it were a medieval forgery:


1) Why is the image a photographic negative?
2) Since the image consists of light scorch marks on the outer fibers of the cloth, what process created it?
3) How did the image come to contain three dimensional information, a technical feat only brought out by the technology used to interpret images sent from probes to outer space in the twentieth century.
4) How did the cloth acquire the micro spores from precisely the right centuries and locations that show its originating in first century Palestine, resided in Syria and Turkey as well as modern Europe?

The list goes on.

No known scientific process could have produced the image.  It is more difficult to explain it as a forgery than as being authentic.

Resurrexit sicut dixit, Alleluia!

What If the Presidential Election in 2016 Ends in an Indecisive Three Way Race

People are already speculating on the possibility of a three way race.  One scenario is Senator cruz or Governor Kaisic is nominated by the Republicans and Trump runs as a third party candidate.  Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is nominated by the Democrats and is indicted before the election. (If Clinton were indicted before the convention, the pols would desert her for Vice President Biden.)

Let us further speculate that none gets a majority of electors in the electoral college.  What happens?

The House of Representatives votes and each state gets one vote. (Article II Section 1.) There is a possibility of deadlock, but presumably multiple ballots are possible. The Senate only gets involved in the case of a tie for Vice President, the president of that chamber.


If I remember right, Jo
hn Quincy Adams was the last president so elected, although Andrew Jackson, the Trump of his day, had more popular and electoral votes (neither anywhere near a majority.)

Adams was certainly worthy of the office. I can not make the same judgement about his successor. Unfortunately, in the next election the populist, rabble-rouser Jackson won, financed by the crony capitalists of the day (mostly country bankers.) The "man of the people" had as his running mate, the well heeled New Yorker Martin Van Buren. The demon of the Trail of Tears promptly drove the economy into America's first recession and the the first of the banking crises we have suffered from every ten years since (in my professional judgement, no coincidence.)

Jackson was the godfather of the expansionist policies that hoped to extend slavery to ever newer lands. Professional historians frequently rate him among our five greatest presidents. Greatest is not best and he hardly exemplifies the virtue that the Founders believed essential to the Republic's success. The German word for "great" is "gross."

The moral: do not believe every judgment you read in the history books.

Humility


Moderation in pursuit of truth is no virtue;
Humility in its service is no vice.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Blessed JJose Sanchez Del Rio

 

 
On October 16th, the Church will recognize the teenage martyr of the Cristero revolt for religious liberty, Blessed Blessed Jose Sanchez Del Rio as a saint of the universal church.
 
They were fighting for their religious liberty to worship Christ the King (whose feast, not so incidentally, was proclaimed for the universal church by Pius XI in 1925.)

Whether the Callas regime was motivated by its socialism, communism, sheer egotism, or free masonry may be fun to debate, but the crucified Mexicans and the numerous martyrs were the fruits by which we know that regime's true nature.

Religious liberty is under attack here in the United States by dogmatic secularists who are willing to use the power of the state to suppress it as they are Brussels and Ottawa among other places. The case of the Little Sisters of the Poor and the challenge to state Blaine amendments are before a Supreme Court suffering from the loss of Anton Scalia. We need prayer and fasting.

Religious liberty is a fundamental human right that inheres in our god-given human nature and that the church has dealt with it differently over the centuries. To my mind, how the church should treat this right is prudential rather than dogmatic. I appreciate anti Vatican II Catholics and I may differ on this.

History does not treat the consequences of using state power to impose Catholicism kindly. It is no coincidence that the areas where Charlemagne imposed Christianity by the sword were the strongholds of the Protestant Revolt seven centuries later (Niedersachsen and Martin Luther's own Sachsen Anhalt.) The sins of the fathers fall to the sons even to seven centuries. Increasingly even the secularists are coming to appreciate the wisdom of Benedict's address in Regensburg, an address that seems prescient in light of the Brussels attacks. 
 
¡Viva Cristo Rey!

When in Buenas Airies, Even Our President Tangos

¡Unos fenómenos! Los Obama bailaron tango en la cena de honor

Mora Godoy y José Lugones invitaron al presidente y a la primera dama de los Estados Unidos a la pista.

Miércoles 23 de Marzo de 2016
And on CBS:



He looked like he was tried to start an American Tango: shame, shame. 

She then backled him all the way, but she couldn't backlead him into a dip!


Por Una Cabeza: perfect comment on his tenure in el Casa Blanco.

 

Monday, February 29, 2016

Paul Scalia's homily for his father, Justice Antonin Scalia

Those of us who have lived in the Diocese of Arlington are familiar with the eloquence of Paul Scalia's homilies.  What a difficult task it must have been to give the homily for his own father and before such audiences.  

This homily is not sentimental, but it is moving and full of power.  It is worth the sixteen minutes.  Rhetoric is a dying art and the word "rhetoric" has become a synonym for sophistry, but this is worthy of a Demosthenes or a Cicero. 







I will not analyze the homily in detail.  Michael Pakaluk provides an excellent analysis in Crisis.

Justice Clarence Thomas, whom Paul Scalia reconciled back into the church, was a lector doing a reading from Romans.  Senator Cruz, a Southern Baptist, interrupted his campaign to attend the funeral.  You can read an account of the funeral in the New York Times.

Monday, February 01, 2016

Twentieth Century Martyr Leads to Twenty First Century Miracle

In a previous post, I prayed to Blessed José Luis Sánchez del Río for Kathleen Parker.  Maybe a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist is a bridge too far even for one of God's heroes, but hope is one of the theological virtues.  

I knew of the young martyr's heroic sanctity.  What I did not know is the nature of the miracle that has advanced Blessed José's cause.  If you can read the story of Ximena Guadalupe Magallón Gálvez with dry eyes, good on you.  But the glory of miracles is that they are eucatastrophes: yes, the story has a happy ending!  Read it—it will make your day.