Restoring the Sacred

Monday, June 29, 2015

Friedrich Hayek: The Meaning of Truth

Friedrich August von Hayek, the father of Classical Liberalism (not to be confused with the Liberalism of the Left), is featured in the Notable & Quotable section of today's Wall Street Journal.
From economist Friedrich Hayek’s 1944 book “The Road to Serfdom”:
The word truth itself ceases to have its old meaning. It describes no longer something to be found, with the individual conscience as the sole arbiter of whether in any particular instance the evidence (or the standing of those proclaiming it) warrants a belief; it becomes something to be laid down by authority, which has to be believed in the interest of unity of the organized effort and which may have to be altered as the exigencies of this organized effort require it.
The general intellectual climate which this produces, the spirit of complete cynicism as regards truth which it engenders, the loss of the sense of even the meaning of truth, the disappearance of the spirit of independent inquiry and of the belief in the power of rational conviction, the way in which differences of opinion in every branch of knowledge become political issues to be decided by authority, are all things which one must personally experience—no short description can convey their extent. Perhaps the most alarming fact is that contempt for intellectual liberty is not a thing which arises only once the totalitarian system is established, but one which can be found everywhere among intellectuals who have embraced a collectivist faith and who are acclaimed as intellectual leaders even in countries still under a liberal regime. . . .
The tragedy of collectivist thought is that while it starts out to make reason supreme, it ends by destroying reason because it misconceives the process on which the growth of reason depends. It may indeed be said that it is the paradox of all collectivist doctrine and its demand for the “conscious” control or “conscious” planning that they necessarily lead to the demand that the mind of some individual should rule supreme—while only the individualist approach to social phenomena makes us recognise the super-individual forces which guide the growth of reason. Individualism is thus an attitude of humility before this social process and of tolerance to other opinions, and is the exact opposite of that intellectual hubris which is at the root of the demand for comprehensive direction of the social process.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

USCCB: SCOTUS Decision a "Tragic Error"

From the website of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:
WASHINGTON—The U.S. Supreme Court decision, June 26, interpreting the U.S. Constitution to require all states to license and recognize same-sex “marriage” “is a tragic error that harms the common good and most vulnerable among us,” said Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). 
The full statement follows:
Regardless of what a narrow majority of the Supreme Court may declare at this moment in history, the nature of the human person and marriage remains unchanged and unchangeable. Just as Roe v. Wade did not settle the question of abortion over forty years ago, Obergefell v. Hodges does not settle the question of marriage today. Neither decision is rooted in the truth, and as a result, both will eventually fail. Today the Court is wrong again. It is profoundly immoral and unjust for the government to declare that two people of the same sex can constitute a marriage.
The unique meaning of marriage as the union of one man and one woman is inscribed in our bodies as male and female. The protection of this meaning is a critical dimension of the “integral ecology” that Pope Francis has called us to promote. Mandating marriage redefinition across the country is a tragic error that harms the common good and most vulnerable among us, especially children. The law has a duty to support every child’s basic right to be raised, where possible, by his or her married mother and father in a stable home. 
Jesus Christ, with great love, taught unambiguously that from the beginning marriage is the lifelong union of one man and one woman. As Catholic bishops, we follow our Lord and will continue to teach and to act according to this truth.
I encourage Catholics to move forward with faith, hope, and love: faith in the unchanging truth about marriage, rooted in the immutable nature of the human person and confirmed by divine revelation; hope that these truths will once again prevail in our society, not only by their logic, but by their great beauty and manifest service to the common good; and love for all our neighbors, even those who hate us or would punish us for our faith and moral convictions. 
Lastly, I call upon all people of good will to join us in proclaiming the goodness, truth, and beauty of marriage as rightly understood for millennia, and I ask all in positions of power and authority to respect the God-given freedom to seek, live by, and bear witness to the truth.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Good news for Seniors: A Death Knell for the Death Panel

The U.S. House of Representatives yesterday voted to repeal a portion of the Obamacare law that pro-life advocates strongly opposed because it could lead to rationing of health care for patients across the nation.

This is the first step toward giving the elderly a better chance that their end date will come when God makes the decision - not a panel of "15 unelected members of the President’s choosing."

If you or someone in your family is currently fighting an incurable disease, but hope, in the way of new treatments and new drugs, is on the horizon, it would be beneficial to make yourself aware of IPAB: one of the most heinous elements of Obamacare.

You can start by reading the entire piece from, HERE.

You can also go HERE and HERE for additional information.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Samsung Safety Truck

This two minute video was posted, on June 9, 2015, and as of today it has been viewed more than 2 million times.  Good ideas deserve a wide dissemination.


Friday, June 19, 2015

Fr. John Jamnicky: “The people wanted a church that looks like a church, and honestly, so did I”

Fr. John Jamnicky, pastor of St. Raphael the Archangel Church in Old Mill Creek, Illinois, with the help of Francis Cardinal George, former Archbishop of Chicago (RIP), played a major role in an effort toward "Restoring the Sacred" in Illinois, and that effort is still ongoing.  It's a fascinating story, and it was told in some depth by Michael Tamara today in Crisis Magazine.

Fr. Jamnicky, commented on the ongoing project, and the why behind such a huge undertaking:
“The people wanted a church that looks like a church, and honestly, so did I,” declares Fr. Jamnicky. “The newer parishes in Lake County have been built in ‘big box’ styles, so this is very unique in this area of the archdiocese. People comment about the monumental scale. It’s otherworldly. It’s a little bit of heaven.”

The essay by Michael Tamara details how parts of two old and closed churches in the Illinois archdiocese were combined (and are still being combined) to restore the sacred, and once again to create a beautiful place in which the Catholic faithful can honor God.
You can read the entire essay HERE.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Fr. Rutler on Faith, Morals, and Global Warming

Fr. George Rutler wrote an essay today at Crisis Magazine, which is the most forthright explication of the much ballyhooed, and just published, encyclical of Pope Francis on the environment.  He addressed the historical problem of Mixing Up the Sciences of Heaven and Earth, which is the title of his essay.
Pope Urban VIII and his advisers, in the misunderstood (and sometime deliberately misrepresented) Galileo case, inadequately distinguished the duties of prophecy and politics, and of theological and physical science. St. John Paul II said that “this led them unduly to transpose into the realm of the doctrine of the faith, a question which in fact pertained to scientific investigation.”
If you see the above as possibly analogous to the issuing of this new encyclical, you might be right.  Fr. Rutler went further, intimating that Pope Francis might have written an encyclical on a more clear and pressing problem:
While the Holy Father has spoken eloquently about the present genocide of Christians in the Middle East, those who calculate priorities would have hoped for an encyclical about this fierce persecution, surpassing that of the emperor Decius.  Pictures of martyrs being beheaded, gingerly filed away by the media, give the impression that their last concern on earth was not climate fluctuations. 
Finally, he points out that papal encyclicals are considered infallible only when they deal with matters of faith and morals such as Church teaching on contraception, abortion and marriage.  Interestingly, those who ignore encyclicals that deal with such matters, are rushing to expound on the infallibility of papal teaching on the matter which is the subject of the current encyclical which, as Fr. Rutler points out, "does NOT involve faith or morals."
Saint Peter, from his fishing days, had enough hydrometeorology to know that he could not walk on water. Then the eternal Logos told him to do it, and he did, until he mixed up the sciences of heaven and earth and began to sink. As vicars of that Logos, popes speak infallibly only on faith and morals. They also have the prophetic duty to correct anyone who, for the propagation of their particular interests, imputes virtual infallibility to papal commentary on physical science while ignoring genuinely infallible teaching on contraception, abortion and marriage and the mysteries of the Lord of the Universe.  At this moment, we have the paradoxical situation in which an animated, and even frenzied, secular chorus hails papal teaching as infallible, almost as if it could divide the world, provided it does NOT involve faith or morals.
You can read the entire essay by clicking HERE.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Hilaire Belloc: Politics and Religion

Hilaire Belloc, one of the most prolific 20th century English writers, provided a lesson for today's overly ambitious and hypocritical seekers of political office.  He declared himself a candidate for the House of Commons, in 1906, at South Salford, in the general election.  His opponents immediately attacked him because of his religion and his nationality (he was born in France).  At least today's candidates here in America can only be attacked on religious grounds since religion, especially Catholicism, is the last acceptable prejudice in this country.

Unlike today's candidates who are apt to avoid confronting such attacks, Belloc confronted them head-on, and in his first public appearance as a candidate, addressed a packed audience as follows:
Gentlemen, I am a Catholic.  As far as possible, I go to Mass every day.  This [taking a rosary out of his pocket] is a rosary.  As far as possible, I kneel down and tell these beads every day.  If you reject me on account of my religion, I shall thank God that He has spared me the indignity of being your representative.
Belloc was elected, perhaps because voters in the England of 1906 valued honesty.

The above is from Literary Converts
by Joseph Pearce, Ignatius Press.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Gov. Bobby Jindal: Obama's "Moral" Case for Socialism

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is featured in the Notable & Quotable section of today's Wall Street Journal.  No comment is necessary as Gov. Jindal states the obvious.
From Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s response to a question on Mike Gallagher’s June 10 syndicated talk-radio show about the “moral case” made this week by President Obama for ObamaCare:
Let’s call his remarks exactly what they are. He made the moral case for socialism. Let’s not sugarcoat it, that’s exactly what he believes. He doesn’t hide it, he doesn’t pretend, we shouldn’t either. This isn’t new. Those who favor socialism always make the moral case for it. The truth is, maybe they actually believe in it, but in the real world, socialism harms, it weakens the economies of countries that have tried it. It just does. Weaker economies hurt everybody in them. Socialism kills incentive, opportunity, freedom. It is the opposite of what America is all about. Look, socialism always harms the people it claims to help the most. It handicaps them, leaving them weaker, less self-determined, less free. We should have this debate out in the open. His “moral case” for ObamaCare is actually immoral. Spending money you don’t have is immoral. Borrowing more money than you can pay back is immoral. Lying to the American people is immoral, so it’s ironic he chooses to use the terms “moral case” or “moral imperative” to make the case for what I think is a very flawed law. The Supreme Court, I hope, rules the correct way. We need to repeal this, replace this. Mike, we cannot measure success by how many people are dependent on government. That’s what President Obama wants. That is the opposite of what America stands for.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Crisis Magazine: "German Bishops have Prepared the Way for a De Facto Schism"

Marie Meaney, who received her doctorate and an M. Phil. in Modern Languages from the University of Oxford, wrote an essay today on Crisis Magazine entitled: German Bishops have Prepared the Way for a De Facto Schism, which you can read in its entirety HERE.

The constant meme of Mercy espoused ad nauseam by many German bishops, and others who have bought into the meme, came in for sharp and damning criticism in the essay, as is clear in the below quote.

Here's the quote:
 A Christianity that pretends it can do without marriage while claiming to be acting out of compassion, has taken on the trappings of Christianity while leaving us with an empty shell. This is one of the faces of the anti-Christ rearing its ugly head as it has throughout history. Our society has already fallen for it hook, line and sinker. We abort our children in the name of compassion, and kill the elderly out of mercy. We produce children for the infertile while killing the imperfect in the process. We call for mercy for the divorced and remarried, yet throw the children of the original marriage together with the abandoned spouse under the bus. This is the nasty underbelly of a false kind of compassion and mercy. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Matt Walsh on Bruce Jenner's Insult to Women

Matt Walsh took the occasion of the appearance of Bruce Jenner on the cover of Vanity Fair to try, once again, to enlighten a sleeping majority (who don't know why, of even if, they're opposed to this latest evidence of our cultural decay).

He wrote, as usual, at, and you can read the whole piece, entitled: "Calling Bruce Jenner a Woman is an Insult to Women" HERE.

Two memorable quotes from the essay that jump out at the reader follow:
GLAAD applauded Bruce for being his “authentic self.” Tragically, they weren’t trying to be ironic. A digitally modified, cosmetically altered, manipulatively posed, chemically tampered with, basically cartoon image on a magazine cover is now authentic, according to the terminally dishonest folks in the gay and lesbian activist camp…and
If progressives can wield the power to demolish and remake even the definition of “man” and “woman” in their ideological image, then they have achieved a total  and irreversible cultural victory. They have reached into the universe and reshaped reality itself. They have become gods, or at least that’s the kind of power we give them. You can blab on and on about economics and foreign policy, but if we live in a country where confusion, perversion, and self-worship reign supreme, what’s the point? America will already be dead.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Franciscan University Chorale: Fauré's Requiem, In Paradisum

From YouTube:
Fauré's Requiem in D Minor, VII. In Paradisum, sung by the Franciscan University Chorale, Paul Weber, director. Live performance, November 19th, 2012, St. Peter's Church, Steubenville, OH.

The Franciscan University Chorale is a performing ensemble that is open to all members of the Steubenville community. Admission to the choir is by audition. For more information go to the department's website at

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Matt Walsh: Christian Heretics and The Devil

Matt Walsh wrote yesterday at The Blaze about a game called "Charlie, Charlie" that has become popular with kids, unfortunately, and even more unfortunately is seen by many parents as "just a game."  In the “game,” kids draw a sort of makeshift version of a Ouija board on a piece of paper, place two pencils together like crosses, and attempt to raise a Demon who can answer their questions and tell them the future.

Walsh calls out "Christians" who don't believe in demons or in hell, and provides numerous passages from scripture giving the lie to that position.
It’s terrifying that this belief is so prevalent among Christians in this country. Yes, there have always been heretics, but the denial of Hell, demons, and evil goes deeper and is more bold and more arrogant and more dangerous than most heresies. Hell and Satan are not ambiguous subjects in Scripture. They are clearly addressed over and over again, in both Old and New Testaments, by prophets, apostles, and Christ Himself. Read 1 Peter 5:8; 2 Peter 2:4; Luke 8:2; Luke 11:14; Leviticus 17:7; Genesis 3:1-7; Matthew 10:1, Matthew 12:22; Matthew 25:41; Mark 3:11; Mark 9:38; 1 Corinthians 10:20; James 2:19, Revelation 20:10.
Demons are mentioned 63 times in the New Testament. Satan is mentioned over 30 times.
You can read the whole post by clicking HERE.

Those of us who remember the great preaching of Venerable Fulton J. Sheen might recall his once answering a lady in his audience who loudly proclaimed that she did not believe in hell: "Well, you will when you get there, madam."