Sunday, 30 October 2016

The Telegraph: Theresa May should drop the net migration target like a bomb

The Telegraph: Theresa May should drop the net migration target like a bomb

by Max Chambers

"When the economy was creating so many jobs, and British unemployment had plummeted so low, it became clear that, when it comes to numbers, it didn’t really matter what tightening measures you devised. The strength of the economy always seemed to trump any clampdown; indeed, the only time we got anywhere close to tens of thousands was in 2012, when the economy was still close to recession. As logic would suggest, when there are fewer jobs, fewer people arrive, and many more leave in search of greener pastures.

When sensible measures don’t work, and you have an undeliverable net migration target to demonstrate progress towards, eventually there is huge pressure to dream up more draconian measures, such as making firms list their foreign workers. David Cameron recognised where this would lead – to proposals that could badly damage key sectors of the economy, but still wouldn’t get him anywhere near his target. Succumbing would supply a short-term political fix, but would ultimately be bad for Britain."

The Washington Post: Justice officials warned FBI that Comey’s decision to update Congress was not consistent with department policy

The Washington Post: Justice officials warned FBI that Comey’s decision to update Congress was not consistent with department policy

Senior Justice Department officials warned the FBI that Director James B. Comey’s decision to notify Congress about renewing the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server was not consistent with long-standing practices of the department, according to officials familiar with the discussions.

FBI officials who work closely with Comey on Thursday contacted attorneys at the Justice Department. Their message: Comey intended to inform lawmakers of newly discovered emails potentially connected to the Clinton email investigation.

Justice officials reminded the FBI of the department’s position “that we don’t comment on an ongoing investigation. And we don’t take steps that will be viewed as influencing an election,” said one Justice Department official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the high-level conversations.

“Director Comey understood our position. He heard it from Justice leadership,” the official said. “It was conveyed to the FBI, and Comey made an independent decision to alert the Hill. He is operating independently of the Justice Department. And he knows it.”

I must become.. an Owl

Saturday, 29 October 2016

The Guardian: Before Brexit, MPs must have their say on article 50

The Guardian: Before Brexit, MPs must have their say on article 50

by Nicky Morgan

"Why does it matter, some may ask, that parliament is involved in the UK’s exit from the EU? Why not just leave it to the government to use its executive power? After all, we know that in recent years governments have agreed not to declare war or commit our troops to overseas engagements without parliamentary scrutiny and approval.

Commons votes were held in 2011 on our involvement in Libya, in 2013 and 2015 on involvement in the Syria conflict and against Islamic State in Iraq. I would argue that in terms of our country’s international profile, Brexit is just as significant a development as any military engagement.

Parliamentary sovereignty – the right to pass laws as the supreme legal authority in the land, including laws that limit the powers of the executive – has been hard-won over hundreds of years. We trample on it at our peril. It may be Brexit now, but what next? Who is to say what element of our constitution could be questioned in future?"

The Huffington Post: Someone Was Actually Arrested For In-Person Voter Fraud. She’s A Trump Supporter.

The Huffington Post: Someone Was Actually Arrested For In-Person Voter Fraud. She’s A Trump Supporter.

Donald Trump regularly claims that the presidential election is “rigged” against him, thanks in part to “all too common” instances of voter fraud. “Watch Philadelphia. Watch St. Louis. Watch Chicago, watch Chicago. Watch so many other places,” the GOP nominee urged his supporters at a recent rally.

Election experts typically respond by pointing out that instances of fraud by voters at the polls are actually remarkably rare.

But they do happen. Case in point: Police in Des Moines, Iowa, said Friday that they had arrested Terri Lynn Rote, 55, on suspicion of voting twice in the general election.

Rote, a registered Republican, allegedly submitted ballots at two different early-voting locations in Polk County, Iowa, according to local media reports. She has been charged with first-degree election misconduct, a felony.

“I wasn’t planning on doing it twice. It was a spur of the moment,” Rote told Iowa Public Radio. “The polls are rigged.” She said she feared her first vote for Trump would be changed to a vote for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Sergius Bulgakov on Mary as Sophia

"But besides this we find another meaning attached to the veneration of Our Lady, insofar as it is directed to created Wisdom. She is created Wisdom, for she is creation glorified. In her is realized the purpose of creation, the complete penetration of the creature by Wisdom, the full accord of the created type with its prototype, its entire accomplishment. In her creation is completely irradiated by its prototype. In her God is already all in all. The limits to the penetration of the creation by Wisdom, involved in its freedom to develop, are entirely transcended in the "handmaid of the Lord," who is already worthy of the glory of heaven. Divine Wisdom shines forth in creaturely form in the complete holiness of her "who is more honourable than the cherubim, more glorious incomparably than the seraphim." For ontological holiness is at the same time fully realized Wisdom, wherein "wisdom is justified of her children" (Matt 11:19). In this aspect of Wisdom manifest in Our Lady it is precisely her creatureliness which appears to be essential, her created human nature, which was found worthy to be honoured with the bestowal of the Holy Ghost."


Sergius Bulgakov, Sophia:The Wisdom of God

Anti-Tank Capabilities

Friday, 28 October 2016

BBC News: Ministers pledge to meet costs of homelessness bill

BBC News: Ministers pledge to meet costs of homelessness bill

The government has pledged its "full and unfettered" support for a bill that would force councils in England to do more to tackle homelessness.

Bob Blackman MP said it was a "national disgrace" that a single person should have to sleep rough.

His private member's bill aims to reform the law to make sure more people get help before losing their home.

A former housing minister had warned that councils would need more funding to fulfil the commitment.


The support for this bill is really encouraging. It is completely unacceptable that anybody should be homeless in Britain today.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

The Feast of Saint Simon and Saint Jude




O God, who by the blessed Apostles have brought us to acknowledge your name, graciously grant, through the intercession of Saints Simon and Jude, that the Church may constantly grow by increase of the peoples who believe in you. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.





The Litany of Saint Jude

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of heaven, Have mercy on us. (repeat after each line) God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
God the Holy Ghost,
Holy Trinity, One God,
St. Jude, relative of Jesus and Mary,
Pray for us. (repeat after each line)
St. Jude, while on earth deemed worthy to see Jesus and Mary, and to enjoy their company,
St. Jude, raised to the dignity of an Apostle,
St. Jude, who had the honor of beholding thy Divine Master humble Himself to wash thy feet,
St. Jude, who at the Last Supper didst receive the Holy Eucharist from the hands of Jesus,
St. Jude, who after the profound grief which the death of thy beloved Master caused thee, had the consolation of beholding Him risen from the dead, and of assisting at His glorious Ascension,
St. Jude, who was filled with the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost,
St. Jude, who didst preach the Gospel in Persia,
St. Jude, who didst convert many people to the Faith,
St. Jude, who didst perform wonderful miracles in the power of the Holy Ghost,
St. Jude, who restored an idolatrous king to health of both soul and body,
St. Jude, who didst impose silence on demons, and didst confound their oracles,
St. Jude, who foretold to a weak prince an honorable peace with his powerful enemy,
St. Jude, who didst take from deadly serpents the power of injuring man,
St. Jude, who, disregarding the threats of the impious, didst courageously preach the doctrine of Christ,
St. Jude, who gloriously suffered martyrdom for the love of thy Divine Master,
Blessed Apostle, With confidence we invoke thee! (say 3 times)
St. Jude, help of the hopeless, Aid me in my distress! (say 3 times)
That by thine intercession, both priests and people of the Church may obtain an ardent zeal for the Faith of Jesus Christ,
We beseech thee, hear us. (repeat after each line)
That thou wouldst defend our Sovereign Pontiff and obtain peace and unity for Holy Church,
That all heathens and unbelievers may be converted to the True Faith,
That faith, hope and charity may increase in our hearts,
That we may be delivered from all evil thoughts and from all the snares of the devil,
That thou wouldst vouchsafe to aid and protect all those who honor thee,
That thou wouldst preserve us from all sin and from all occasions of sin,
That thou wouldst defend us at the hour of death, against the fury of the devil and of his evil spirits,
Pray for us, that before death we may expiate all our sins by sincere repentance and the worthy reception of the holy sacraments,
Pray for us, that we may appease the Divine justice, and obtain a favorable judgment,
Pray for us, that we may be admitted into the company of the blessed, to rejoice in the presence of our God forever,
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.
V. St. Jude, pray for us,
R. And for all who invoke thy aid.

Let us pray. O God, Who through Thy blessed Apostle Jude Thaddeus hast brought us unto the knowledge of Thy Name, grant us both to celebrate his eternal glory by making progress in virtue, and by celebrating his glory advance in virtue. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Who with Thee and the Holy Ghost art one God, now and forever. R. Amen.



Saint Jude and Saint Simon, pray for us, for all missionaries and for Iran.

Bloomberg: Tory Guerrillas Resist Hard Brexit to Defend 48% Who Wanted In

Bloomberg: Tory Guerrillas Resist Hard Brexit to Defend 48% Who Wanted In

by Alex Morales

While the opposition Labour Party’s Brexit spokesman, Keir Starmer, has emerged as a key moderating figure, the stance of pro-European Conservatives may matter more. That’s because May has a working majority of only 16 in the 650-strong House of Commons, meaning just nine rebel members of Parliament could overturn a vote. Among the most prominent voices are former Education Secretary Nicky Morgan, ex-Business Minister Anna Soubry and onetime Attorney General Dominic Grieve.

Their disquiet stems from the Tory party conference earlier this month, during which May signaled she’ll prioritize immigration controls over continued membership of the EU single market, with its free trade in goods and services among 500 million people -- a “hard Brexit.” That week, the pound posted its biggest decline against the euro since 2009.

“There’s a significant number of people in the Conservative parliamentary party who are very alarmed by the sudden talk of hard Brexit,” said Morgan, who was fired from the cabinet when May became premier. Support among rank-and-file Tory lawmakers for a softer Brexit is “enough to threaten the majority -- and more,” she said in an interview.

Other Tories to put their heads above the parapet include former Chancellor of the Exchequer Ken Clarke, onetime Transport Minister Claire Perry and ex-Policing Minister Nick Herbert.


I'm very proud of our Tory guerillas. They need our support.

The Feast of Saint Frumentius

O God, the light of the faithful, and shepherd of souls, who didst set blessed Saint Frumentius to be a Bishop in the Church, that he might feed thy sheep by his word and guide them by his example: Grant us, we pray thee, to keep the faith which he taught, and to follow in his footsteps; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Saint Frumentius, pray for us, for Lebanon and for Ethiopia.

Operation Sophia

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

The Guardian: The Goldman Sachs tape shows May is not leading on Brexit, but following

The Guardian: The Goldman Sachs tape shows May is not leading on Brexit, but following

by Anne Perkins

"Healing the divisions that the referendum exposed does not mean acting as if all the right was on one side. That is democracy as the tyranny of the majority. Often, it is clear that May does really understand that. On the steps of Downing Street as the new prime minister in July, she began by acknowledging the kind of institutional injustice that makes people feel powerless, and she talked persuasively of an economy that works for all. That is the tone of voice that the post-referendum

May is already establishing herself as one of the most evasive of modern prime ministers. The psychologist Peter Bull describes her as a sphinx-like equivocator, author of a new technique of never giving a specific answer to a direct question. This is a lethal electoral strategy.

The Theresa May who talked to the smart kids at Goldman Sachs a couple of months earlier might have allowed her audience to influence her tone of voice. She might have thought that her words would remain unreported. But I think that was the authentic Theresa May. She should remember that authenticity is the quality voters most value. And she should reframe her message about Brexit to reflect her real concerns before she leads a car-crash departure with all the miserable consequences that she foresaw when she was talking the truth to the city slickers."

Balkan Insight: Kosovo Hails Sharp Drop in Middle Eastern Fighters

Balkan Insight: Kosovo Hails Sharp Drop in Middle Eastern Fighters

Speaking at the 93rd NATO Parliamentary Assembly Rose Roth seminar, which was held in Pristina for the first time, Kosovo Interior Minister Skender Hyseni said his country had sharply cut the number of people going to fight in Syria and Iraq from 300 to just two in the last year.

“This year, we had only two cases of our citizens trying to go to fight to Syria. This is clear sign that we have managed to downscale and successfully combat any attempt at violent extremism,” Hyseni said.

He added that the Kosovo parliament will soon adopt regulations to improve cooperation on this and other matters with the Islamic Community - and also deal with illegal mosques that in some cases became recruitment centres for jihadists.

Kosovo has prosecuted several imams, accusing them of recruiting Kosovars to fight in the wars in the Middle East.

Abit Hoxha, a researcher affiliated with the Kosovo Centre for Security Policy, a think tank, said the government still needs to take a more holistic approach to the issue.

“Radicalization needs to be tackled with a more holistic approach. This issue needs to be talked about in schools, universities and local communities with the people who are affected by it,” Hoxha said.


Some people persist in promoting the myth that Kosovo is an hotbed of radical Islam. It's nothing of the sort; Kosovo is a thoroughly secular state.

BBC News: Jeremy Corbyn likens Theresa May Brexit plan to Baldrick at PMQs

BBC News: Jeremy Corbyn likens Theresa May Brexit plan to Baldrick at PMQs

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has likened Theresa May to the comedy character Baldrick over her approach to Brexit negotiations, telling MPs her "cunning plan is to have no plan".

He said the prime minister's position owed less to "great philosophers" than the hapless sidekick from the 1980s BBC TV show Blackadder.

Mrs May noted Sir Tony Robinson, who played Baldrick, was a Labour member.

Sir Tony later described the pair as "a beardy man and a grumpy lady".

During Prime Minister's Questions, Mr Corbyn and Mrs May argued over the government's yet-to-be-announced stance for when negotiations for leaving the European Union begin next year.

Corbyn really is getting rather good at Prime Minister's Question Time. He seems much better matched against May than he was against Cameron. Theresa May's response to the Baldrick jibe was really lame; she just doesn't do funny.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Who is Evan McMullin?

Vox: Pro-lifers who support Donald Trump are kidding themselves — and hurting the movement

Vox: Pro-lifers who support Donald Trump are kidding themselves — and hurting the movement

by Matthew Lee Anderson


"Sure, his promise to pack the court with pro-lifers is not the equivalent of a slot machine. There may be political pressures that would keep him to his word. But I am skeptical: He clearly has no natural interest in the pro-life effort, and would subsequently be highly unlikely to pay the political cost required to get such a judge through.

Trump covets the approval and respect of elites, who will not look favorably upon him if he helps overturn Roe v. Wade. And the day after his (imaginary) first term is over, that is the social set he will retreat to Mar-a-Lago with — not the earnest, good-hearted pro-lifers who would have helped put him in office. The house always wins, and Donald will have his way.

This consumptive vision of judicial appointments has also crowded out other less tangible, but equally important, dimensions of the pro-life movement. Judges and legislation are the body of the pro-life movement’s efforts: They give concrete shape to its aims, and establish clear and definable metrics of success and failure. But the pro-life movement has a soul as well. Or it did, anyway, before it sold it for Donald Trump."

Sunday, 23 October 2016

I resubscribed to the Churchman Journal




I recently resubscribed to the Churchman, the theological journal of the Church Society. The Church Society represents the conservative end of Evangelical Anglicanism, but their theological journal is very high quality and definitely worth reading. The Church Society has been a strong voice against compromise on the issue of human sexuality.

I first subscribed to the Churchman journal in 2007. It got me thinking about some issues of covenant and sacrament that challenged out of my free church Evangelical comfort zone. 2007 was an interesting year in my personal journey. At the start of the year, I had taken a two-month break from my PhD thesis in order to go on a mission trip with OMF to Japan. Experiencing a foreign culture was a great chance to do some maturing. After I came back I needed to do some research on the Oxford Movement as background for my PhD on John Nelson Darby. This got me interested in visiting Anglican churches to enjoy their art and architecture. I began to take an interest in Eastern Orthodox theology, which went hand in hand with reading a lot of Russian history. I was not ready at that time to start questioning my Evangelical theological assumptions, but I was increasingly feeling that I was alienated from grander and more ancient Christian traditions that I could not accept, yet which were scarily appealing.

Mail Online| 'Pfff!': ANNA SOUBRY asks if that was the EU's splutter of contempt... or the sound of UK's Brexit economy tanking?

Mail Online| 'Pfff!': ANNA SOUBRY asks if that was the EU's splutter of contempt... or the sound of UK's Brexit economy tanking?


"As Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat observed: ‘If there are all these problems to have a trade agreement with Canada, imagine an agreement with the UK.’ Precisely. Imagine it.

It’s the stuff of madness to think the EU needs us more than we need them, and they could not have made it clearer to Mrs May at the summit.

My worst fears about the huge problems in Britain getting a good post-Brexit deal with the EU were borne out when I visited Rolls-Royce in Derby on Friday. I met brilliant young apprentices and highly skilled local workers making the finest jet engines in the world.

Rolls-Royce is deeply worried by Brexit. Engine components move between the UK and other EU countries free of tariffs and red tape before coming back to Derby. Our aerospace industry is a British success story which relies on Airbus – a collaboration with other EU countries. Rolls-Royce employs 23,000 workers in Britain, with thousands more in the supply chain, meaning it accounts for one in every 250 UK jobs.

It needs its British workers to move freely throughout the EU. Not surprisingly, it has raised concerns with the Chancellor, Philip Hammond. Thankfully, Hammond is one powerful voice of reason in the Cabinet."

Business Insider: The legal case against enacting Brexit without parliament's permission is much stronger than we thought

Business Insider: The legal case against enacting Brexit without parliament's permission is much stronger than we thought

by Adam Payne

Lord Pannick QC, who was representing lead claimant Gina Miller, who BI interviewed in August, argued strongly that triggering Article 50 will mean statutory rights enjoyed by Brits as EU citizens — like the right to vote to in EU elections and refer a legal dispute to the European Court of Justice — will be destroyed in an instant.

The government, Pannick added, cannot use prerogative power to do this. He said UK law demands MPs to give Theresa May their permission before the prime minister triggers Article 50.

"There is no dispute, that once notification is given, there is a direct causal link between notification and the removal of statutory rights," Pannick said.

"The consequence of notification is to destroy rights and take the preservation of rights out of parliament's hands. This cannot be done. By the time parliament comes to look at the matter, the dye will already be set."

This is going to be one of the most politically significant court cases in British history.

Utah Poll

Saturday, 22 October 2016

The Meaning of the Assumption

BBC News: UK must keep EU free movement, says Plaid's Leanne Wood

BBC News: UK must keep EU free movement, says Plaid's Leanne Wood

Britain would have to keep free movement of people in order to stay in the single market, Plaid Cymru's Leanne Wood has said.

But she said there could be room for negotiation with Norway having restrictions on movement.

The party leader is to tell Plaid's conference that the UK should keep free trade with Europe so Wales' economy does not suffer after Brexit.

Leanne Wood will say 200,000 Welsh jobs depend on being in the single market.

She will also call for all four UK nations to be at the "top table" in negotiations on the terms of leaving the EU, and no loss of power for Wales.

Ms Wood will accuse the Labour Welsh Government of being "all over the place" in its response to Brexit.

Turning to Tradition, by Oliver Herbel



Dr. Oliver Herbel, Turning to Tradition: Converts and the Making of an American Orthodox Church, 2014 Oxford University Press


This book looks at some relatively high profile converts to Eastern Orthodoxy in the United States. The author examines their lives and activities through the lens of the American Anti-Traditionalist tradition. By this, he basically means restorationism, the rejection of historical traditions in favour of a return to apostolic purity. His thesis is that while many of the men he covers were turning to an ancient and historic ecclesiastical tradition, the psychology under which they were operating was similar to that of those who formed American restorationist sects, such as the Mormons, the Jehovah's Witnesses and the Church of Christ.

The first convert covered is Fr Alexis Toth, a Ruthenian Catholic priest who converted to the Russian Orthodox Church and brought a huge influx of Ruthenian Catholics into schismatic Orthodoxy after him. This is a depressing chapter for a Catholic to read. When Fr Alexis Toth arrived in the USA, he presented himself to the local bishop, John Ireland, who expressed disgust that Toth was a widower and denied that he was a true Catholic, contrary to the canon law of the Church. Increasing alienation, already arising from tensions between the Latin and Byzantine rites in his native Hungary, led him to turn to Orthodoxy to recover his Slavonic ecclesiastical identity. Some of these Ruthenians did return to the Catholic Church, particularly many priests, unhappy with Orthodox pay and conditions, but also because of a tendency of the Russian Orthodox to try and impose their cultural and liturgical ethos on the Ruthenian converts.

The book offers chapters on two African-American converts to Orthodoxy, Fr Raphael Morgan, founder of the African Orthodox Church and Fr. Moses Berry. This is a nice counterweight to unfortunate tendencies to racism among some Eastern Orthodox, however, it does appear slightly unrepresentative and possibly misleading to spend half the book talking about African-American conversions when the majority of converts to Orthodoxy are white. It runs the risk of making American Orthodoxy seem an awful lot more multicultural and diverse than it actually is on the ground.

I found the chapter on Peter Gillquist and the Evangelical Orthodox Church very interesting, having come from a restorationist Charismatic Evangelical background. They had decided to try to form a back-to-the-basics Orthodox sect on restorationist lines, without any apostolic succession. They were eventually received en masse into the Antiochian Orthodox Church. Our author charts their development from a restorationist sect to full integration into Orthodoxy, with quite a few crises along the way.

This book was an interesting read, if at times it felt too obviously a reprint of a PhD thesis. I think the methodology of looking at high profile converts who have led others into Orthodoxy runs the risk of failing to offer much insight into the average American convert to Orthodoxy, whether an unwitting bloke who wants to marry a Greek-American girl or an Evangelical who has been driven mad by inane contemporary worship music. I suspect a lot of Orthodox converts will fail to recognize themselves in the profiles of converts reviewed here. There is nothing here about traditionalist Latin-rite Catholics or Anglicans who have turned to Orthodoxy. Nor is there anything about the establishment and development of Western-rite Orthodoxy.



Friday, 21 October 2016

The Telegraph: Child refugees deserve our help - even if they're not as cute as we were led to imagine

The Telegraph: Child refugees deserve our help - even if they're not as cute as we were led to imagine

by Ani Wilkinson

"It’s absurd to claim that you can tell from few photos that the teenagers are older than they seem. Before being allowed to travel to the UK, all fourteen underwent a comprehensive expert age assessment. People have taken to Twitter to share photos of themselves as mature looking teenagers – proving that it’s impossible to guess a person’s age just by looking. Calls for dental checks have also been slapped down by dentists, on the basis they’re not an adequately accurate measure.

It seems to make no difference, though. As long as they can be compared with an idealised type of a helpless, prepubescent child victim, critics will have an excuse for their lack of compassion. Never mind that every single refugee, including those well over the age of 18, has experienced unimaginable suffering. Never mind that our basic humanity should prompt us to feel empathy for people who’ve been forced to leave their home to flee violence and terror."

The Feast of Saint John Paul II



O God, who are rich in mercy and who willed that the blessed Saint John Paul the Second should preside as Pope over your universal Church, grant, we pray, that instructed by his teaching, we may open our hearts to the saving grace of Christ, the sole Redeemer of mankind. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.


Litany to Saint John Paul II

Lord have mercy on us
Christ have mercy on us
Lord have mercy on us
Christ hear us, Christ graciously hear us
God the Father of heaven, have mercy on us
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us
Saint John Paul II, pray for us
Perfect disciple of Christ
Generously gifted with the gifts of the Holy Spirit
Great apostle of Divine Mercy
Faithful Son of Mary
Totally dedicated to the Mother of God
Persevering preacher of the Gospel
Pilgrim Pope
Pope of the Millennium
Model of industry
Model of priests
Drawing strength from the Eucharist
Untiring man of prayer
Lover of the rosary
Strength of those doubting their faith
Desiring to unite all those who believe in Christ
Converter of sinners
Defender of the dignity of every person
Defender of life from conception to natural death
Praying for the gift of parenthood for the infertile
Friend of children
Leader of youth
Intercessor of families
Comforter of the suffering
Manly bearing his pain
Sower of divine joy
Great intercessor for peace
Pride of the Polish nation
Brilliance of the Holy Church
That we may be faithful imitators of Christ
That we may be strong with the power of the Holy Spirit
That we may have trust in the Mother of God
That we may grow in our faith, hope, and charity
That we may live in peace in our families
That we may know how to forgive
That we may know how to bear suffering
That we may not succumb to the culture of death
That we may not be afraid and courageously fight off various temptations
That he would intercede for us the grace of a happy death

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us

Pray for us, Saint John Paul II
That we may become worthy of the promises of Christ



Saint John Paul II, pray for us, for Pope Francis and for Poland.

Silver Arrow 2016

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Beyond Islamophobia




That is so true. So many Christians talk like they are experts on the Quran and Sharia law, when in fact they have just visited Islamophobic websites and read lurid and selective quotations.

DHA| Islamophobia: Overcoming Myths and Engaging in a Better Conversation

DHA| Islamophobia: Overcoming Myths and Engaging in a Better Conversation

Turkey’s Doğan Group held a panel in Washington on Oct. 20 in a bid to globally fight against the fallacies and prejudices directed toward Islam.

The panel titled “Islamophobia: Overcoming Myths and Engaging in a Better Conversation” was organized in cooperation with the U.S.-based Atlantic Council think tank and the Smithsonian Institution. Hürriyet Chairwoman Vuslat Doğan Sabancı delivered the opening speech of the panel, which will be moderated by the president and CEO of the Atlantic Council, Frederick Kempe.

“Islamophobia is a phobia, which is a fear of the unknown. If we put it so simply then the answer is very simple. Let’s get rid of the phobia. Let’s get to know each other” Vuslat Doğan Sabancı said.

“We can introduce a new language in journalism where we can ask question so that the other side is heard” she said. "Freedom of speech should not be exercised at expense of attacking one's dignity, faith."

The panel also featured author and comparative religion commentator Karen Armstrong; former Turkish State Minister Mehmet Aydın; the dean of the School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University, Vali Nasr, and renowned human rights activist Zainab Salbi.

Karen Armstrong: Islamophobia is an irrational fear, it is not based on reason

Karen Armstorng said, "We have cheered when the Wall of Berlin torned down and now we are cheering because new walls are erecting, something has shifted. Islamophobia is an irrational fear, it is not based on reason, it is based on a gut feeling."

Anna Soubry's advice to the PM

The Heavy Anglo-Orthodox : This blog’s policy on Islam

The Heavy Anglo-Orthodox : This blog’s policy on Islam

"On the other hand, we are not to go beyond what the Fathers in their wisdom and in the examples of their lives have laid out for us. This pertains especially to those of us living in America many generations and thousands of miles removed from first-hand contact with Muslim societies. We are not to regard Muslim people as irrational, inherently violent or sub-human (because even ideologies and heresies do not completely damage the icon of God in the person). We are to eschew praying together with Muslims (though, even then, there are certain noteworthy and honourable exceptions); we are not to eschew working with them or living alongside them, as many of us have had to do for centuries (Saint John’s father Sergius, and possibly Saint John himself, served as administrators in Muslim governments). We can and should counter any propaganda by which certain Muslim governments and polities deliberately misrepresent themselves (and, of course, defend ourselves when we have been attacked), but we are not to spread canards about Muslims that are not demonstrably true or that Muslims do not speak or show of themselves."

Christians must reject Islamophobia.

What happened to you, Mrs. May?

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Freedom Crossroads: Donald Trump is a Man Without Principle

Freedom Crossroads: Donald Trump is a Man Without Principle

by John Rust and Conrad Close

"Donald Trump has proven to be a man without principles. He has claimed to be the champion of the rich, poor, educated, poorly educated, man, woman, etc. Through his words, he has claimed many things about his character. Through his actions, he has proven himself to be unprincipled. He is not a man worthy of endorsement by Christians, Christian leaders, or certainly the Church.

No single election is so important that Christians should sacrifice their values for a short-term political victory. When you throw your support behind Donald Trump, you are tacitly endorsing everything he stands for. Christians will never have a candidate with which they agree completely on every single issue. However, this is not a matter of policy. It is a matter of principle. How can you declare that character matters when you support a man who has no morals or decency? How can you insist that the sanctity of marriage matters when you support a man who has been married three times and has openly bragged about adultery and sexual harassment? If you vote for Donald Trump, you trade your Christian witness and testimony for the price of one or two Supreme Court justices.

The Supreme Court may have an open seat, and perhaps will have another in coming years. Perhaps Christians can make the argument against giving certain candidates the opportunity to nominate new justices. Perhaps the argument can be made that Trump will nominate justices who are better. This argument is unsound. Why should Christians trust that Trump will nominate men or women of integrity to the Supreme Court, when his own integrity is missing? Even if he did nominate solid pro-life Justices, it is worth the price of our testimony and public witness?"

National Review: Mindy Finn’s Quest for the Vice Presidency

National Review: Mindy Finn’s Quest for the Vice Presidency

by by Ericka Andersen

After failing to recruit a number of former candidates, members of Congress, and others as an independent candidate, the group Finn was working with eventually approached McMullin. At the time, he was working as the chief policy director for the House Republican Conference and wanted to assist in the search for a candidate.

In the end, McMullin stepped up for the job himself — and it didn’t take him long to find another young, enthusiastic conservative leader he could trust to have by his side. “He knew about me and my background and my work in opposing Trump, in particular [Trump’s] rhetoric . . . around Muslims, Hispanics, women and every other group he’s criticized,” Finn says. When the campaign set up a call with her, Finn knew she was going to be asked to take on some kind of role but was not expecting the VP ask.



One of those Metropolitan Liberal Elite Types




"They really want to know what shirt you wear..."

Catholics are not forbidden to vote for Hillary Clinton

Crux: Knights’ leader right on abortion, wrong on Catholic voting duties


by Charles C. Camosy


Though Anderson is absolutely correct about the unique status of abortion, he is absolutely incorrect if he is claiming Catholics have a moral obligation to avoid voting for a pro-choice candidate.

Back in February I wrote a piece arguing that Catholics may vote for Bernie Sanders, and much of that argument applies to Hillary Clinton as well. This is not “making excuses,” but simply following the reasoning of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who in his previous role as head of the CDF, said:

“When a Catholic does not share a candidate’s stand in favor of abortion and/or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other reasons, it is considered remote material cooperation [with evil], which can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons.”


Catholics have many good reasons for rejecting Trump and may have good reasons for favouring Hillary Clinton.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

World of Tanks

The Guardian: Why are Brexiters trying to shut down debate? Because they’re scared

The Guardian: Why are Brexiters trying to shut down debate? Because they’re scared

by Ian Birrell

"These are inconsequential incidents involving minor figures, but they indicate a hardening intolerance of open discussion as the nation sets out towards its new destination. Look at how the BBC has come under attack, there is pressure on the Bank of England governor, and a firm that sought to put up prices on food became a political football. Knives are out for Philip Hammond, the chancellor, bizarrely accused of “arguing like an accountant seeing the risk of everything” for trying to protect the economy rather than pressing blithely ahead with Brexit. Bear in mind we are just at the start of the difficult process of extraction from the EU, with many bumps and potholes on the path ahead.

There can be just one reason those pushing Britain in this direction want to close down debate: a dawning realisation for them of the harsh reality of Brexit. Until now they have displayed breezy insouciance since their triumph, in some cases allied to foolish arrogance towards fellow Europeans with whom they must negotiate. Yet they have struggled to define a clear vision that stands up to analysis. Why else would they lack confidence to engage with their critics?

We have learned already the claim there would be a £350m-a-week boost for the NHS was simply a brazen lie. Now we see that Brexit means a plunging pound, rising food prices and potentially paying billions to Brussels to protect bankers. Leavers did not tell this to voters. Yet those who point out the difficulties of detaching a complex major economy from the octopus-like EU tentacles are condemned, just as they were previously charged with Project Fear by those people preaching a naive vision of spurious sovereignty."Why are Brexiters trying to shut down debate? Because they’re scared

The Telegraph: Theresa May needs to make clear that Remainers aren't traitors – and that Philip Hammond is just doing his job


The Telegraph: Theresa May needs to make clear that Remainers aren't traitors – and that Philip Hammond is just doing his job

by James Kirkup

"The suggestion from Iain Duncan Smith that Mr Hammond should shut up or ship out is intellectually alarming. Do IDS and friends really want a Cabinet devoid of debate, ministers all adhering to a single orthodoxy on pain of being fired? That's a recipe for stupid, narrow government that makes mistakes and fails to reach out to those beyond its core supporters – something I'm sure Mr Duncan Smith would never want to bring about.

It also borders on the irresponsible at a time when markets and business are damagingly uncertain about the path the government will take through the next decade. I'm no expert, but I reckon the prospect of a finance minister being forced from office for the apparent thought-crime of advocating the single market would take at least three cents off the pound in a matter of minutes, not to mention the chilling effect on potential investment. I always thought these were things that the Conservative Party cared about, but perhaps Brexit has changed even more than I realised.

So Theresa May needs to do a little more than expressing via a spokesman "full confidence" in Mr Hammond, not least because of that phrase's unfortunate associations with political doom. She needs to make clear – in person – that she values full and frank Cabinet debate and all those who take part in it."

Taking Back Control?

Monday, 17 October 2016

The Guardian: Philip Hammond 'not a lone voice' of caution on Brexit

The Guardian: Philip Hammond 'not a lone voice' of caution on Brexit

Several cabinet members have aligned themselves with Philip Hammond in cautioning against the risks of a “hard Brexit,” including the business secretary, Greg Clark, and the work and pensions secretary, Damian Green.

The Chancellor has been accused by ministers who supported Brexit before the referendum of attempting to undermine the process, in particular through urging a delay on migration curbs amid fears of the impact if Britain loosens its economic ties with the EU too dramatically.

But Whitehall sources have confirmed that Hammond is not a “lone voice” inside government with several other cabinet figures, who supported the remain campaign also calling on the prime minister to keep open the possibility of close economic ties with the EU.

Clark and Green are both on May’s Brexit committee but other senior colleagues, including the education secretary, Justine Greening, are also thought to be supportive of Hammond’s stance, which is focused on maintaining as much access as possible to the single market as the UK quits the EU.

Amber Rudd, the home secretary, who is drawing up proposals for immigration controls but was an enthusiastic supporter of the EU before the June referendum, has made arguments in cabinet discussions supporting the chancellor.

Snipers' Fest

The Feast of Saint Luke




ALMIGHTY God, who didst inspire thy servant Saint Luke the Physician, to set forth in the Gospel the love and healing power of thy Son; Manifest in thy Church the like power and love, to the healing of our bodies and our souls; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Saint Luke, pray for us, that we would always proclaim the blessedness of the Virgin Mary.

Evening Standard: Tory councillor Christian Holliday suspended amid fury over Brexit treason petition

Evening Standard: Tory councillor Christian Holliday suspended amid fury over Brexit treason petition


A Conservative councillor was today suspended after demanding that supporting Britain's EU membership should be made a criminal offence.

Christian Holliday faced a huge backlash after launching a petition which said support for the Remain campaign should be considered treason. People found guilty of the offence in the UK can be sentenced to up to life in prison.

It gained more than 1,000 signatures from people backing a 'hard Brexit', but Cllr Holliday was suspended from Guildford Borough Council's Tory group within hours of the petition emerging online.

The petition states that it should be unlawful to “imagine, devise, promote, work, encourage others, or conspire with foreign powers to make the UK, or part of the UK, a member of the EU”.

Having been shouted down as a traitor when campaigning for Remain, it was satisfying to watch the humiliation of this clown. The only disturbing thing about the whole affair is that when asked for a comment, Theresa May sounded rather sympathetic to the petition. Perhaps she rather likes the though of having Anna Soubry thrown in jail?

The Feast of Saint Ignatius of Antioch

Almighty ever-living God, who adorn the sacred body of your Church with the confessions of holy Martyrs, grant, we pray, that, just as the glorious passion of Saint Ignatius of Antioch, which we celebrate today, brought him eternal splendor, so it may be for us unending protection. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.


Saint Ignatius of Antioch, pray for us that we may have true faith in the reality of the Blessed Sacrament.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Duty to the People of Aleppo

New Destroyer

MailOnline: Fears Hammond could quit Cabinet: Chancellor 'excluded from key meetings' as pressure mounts on PM over 'hard' Brexit

MailOnline: Fears Hammond could quit Cabinet: Chancellor 'excluded from key meetings' as pressure mounts on PM over 'hard' Brexit

The Treasury last night moved to quash fears that Philip Hammond could be on the brink of quitting as Chancellor over the mounting Cabinet rift over Brexit.

Friends of Mr Hammond claim he has been deliberately excluded from key No 10 meetings because of his outspoken criticism of Ministers who back the ‘hard’ Brexit option of the UK leaving the single market.

They fear that, at the age of 60, he will walk out of the Government rather than stifle his opposition.

Last night, a Treasury spokeswoman insisted Mr Hammond would not ‘throw his toys out of the pram’ and was working ‘to bring everyone together’.

The fears come as Theresa May faces a hostile reception at her first European Council in Brussels on Thursday where she will hold informal talks on her Brexit strategy with other EU leaders.




Chicago Tribune: The pro-life movement's fatal attraction to Trump

Chicago Tribune: The pro-life movement's fatal attraction to Trump

by Steve Chapman


For conservatives, abortion has become the last resort in rationalizing a vote for Trump. If Hillary Clinton makes one or more Supreme Court appointments, they believe, the chance of overturning its abortion decisions will be gone, perhaps for good. Trump, by contrast, has promised to name conservative justices, defund Planned Parenthood and ban partial-birth abortion.

But the pro-lifers' allegiance to Trump requires a huge leap of faith. In the first place, why do they trust that he'd keep his word? In the 1990s, he described himself as "very pro-choice." This year, asked about abortion, he said, "At this moment, the laws are set. And I think we have to leave it that way."

He is practically at war with House Speaker Paul Ryan and several other prominent Republicans. Who's to say that as president, he wouldn't reverse himself on abortion to make a deal with Democrats?

Nor is there much reason to think pro-lifers would prevail in the U.S. Supreme Court even if Trump were to nominate someone they like. The Roe v. Wade decision has been in place for nearly 44 years, and discarding such an important, long-standing precedent would be a radical step even for a conservative justice.


It's not difficult to imagine a victorious Trump saying "Appoint a pro-life judge? Suckers!"

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Light from the East, by Aidan Nichols



Aidan Nichols, Light from the East: Authors and Themes in Orthodox Theology, 1995 Stag Books

In this book, Dominican theologian Aidan Nichols offers a survey of some of the leading modern theologians in Eastern Orthodox Christianity. He uses each theologian to demonstrate a particular theme in Orthodox theology. Nichols restricts himself to the Eastern Orthodox tradition. It would have been great if he could have covered some Oriental Orthodox theologians, but that would have made for a much thicker volume. In the introduction, Nichols explains the geographical context of the different schools of Orthodox theology, offering historical reasons for the lack of original theological material from Russia herself. Some of the theologians covered are household names, such as Vladimir Lossky and John Meyendorff, while others such as Panagiotis Trembelas are rather less well known.

Our author begins with Vladimir Lossky, explaining his apophatic approach to theological knowledge. Nichols raises the important question of whether Lossky's emphasis on our lack of knowledge of God is in keeping with the emphasis in Scripture of the knowledge that comes from participation in the covenant relationship. He follows this with a look at John Meyendorff and his revival of the thought of Saint Gregory Palamas, which had been neglected during Russian Orthodoxy's western theological captivity. He points out a number of Catholic responses to the Palamatite energy/ essence distinction, ranging from harshly negative to full harmonization with the thought of Aquinas. Nichols suggests that Palamism presents the danger of using our knowledge of God as a criteria for understanding the divine essence:

"And this brings us to a third objection, which is the gravest of them all. If we turn our experience of the God of salvation into statements about what God is like themselves controlled by the Palamite distinction, then we appear to be undermining the simplicity of God- the fact that everything God has by way of attribute, that he simply is."

Nichols is cautious in his judgement of Segius Bulgakov's Sophiology. He has written a primer on Bulgakov, which I am looking forward to reading. I am on a bit of a Bulgakov binge at the moment. He does not think his work should be considered heretical, even if it might be problematic in places. He refers to Barbara Newman's suggestion that Bulgakov's thought is not dissimilar to that of Teilhard de Chardin.

Discussing John Romanides work on Photius gives our author the opportunity to talk about the Filioque clause in the creed. As a Catholic theologian, he defends this and argues that it would be unthinkable for the Church to ever abandon it. In the chapter on Trembelas' work on Christology, he takes a slight detour and raises the debate in Catholic theology as to whether Chalcedon requires that we hold to the hypostatic union of Christ's natures, something never questioned in Orthodoxy. His discussion of aspects of liturgy in the chapter on Alexander Schmemann is very interesting. He has significant concerns about the congregationalist tendency in the ecclesiology of Nikolai Afanas'ev.

This is a really useful book from one of my favorite theologians. It is an helpful introduction to these Orthodox theologians and provides an insightful Catholic perspective on them.

The Dartmouth: The Wrong Move

The Dartmouth: The Wrong Move

Don't boycott Iran

by Sofia Stanescu-Bellu

"Paikidze’s decision was made to protest against a rule requiring players to wear a hijab in the hopes that the tournament will be relocated or postponed. She has framed her decision as a protest against women’s oppression, stating that it is “unacceptable to host a women’s world championship in a place where women do not have basic fundamental rights and are treated as second-class citizens.” And yet, while her intentions are good, her action might backfire.

As Paikidze has pointed out, Iran’s theocratic regime limits women’s freedoms by requiring them to abide by stricter standards than men. It’s also a country where chess is considered “haram,” or forbidden, by the Islamic leadership. Hosting the Women’s World Chess Championship in a country that hasn’t hosted any event of a similar caliber for women in its entire history is a revolutionary act. This tournament is one of the only chances for female Iranian chess players to show their country and the world what they are capable of. It’s also important to note that many of the women competing come from poor backgrounds, and the world championship is one of the only opportunities they have to try and create a better future for themselves.

Paikidze is encouraging others to join her in boycotting this important tournament and has even created an online petition to do so. With this, she is effectively asking others to help her block Iranian women’s only chance to gain recognition in their own country. Considering that Paikidze is an advocate for the increased participation of women in chess, this boycott is the antithesis of what she claims to stand for.

Let me be clear: choosing to host the Women’s World Chess Championship in Iran was a mistake to begin with. The World Chess Federation should not have even considered Tehran as a viable venue option. But given that Tehran was the only city with a bid to host the event, and the championship must be held each year, there was no other option. Iran has been the host of previous international chess events, and no one has voiced their outrage. Many of the top players in the world, including women, have played in Iran and have worn the hijab while playing, citing their wish to respect the local traditions and culture. This event should not be considered drastically different from others in the past."


As the author points out, some of people signing the petition are not so much concerned about oppression of women in Iran, but voicing Islamophobia and hatred. There is a tendency on the right for people to suddenly become feminists when it comes to Islam, without having anything to say about the oppression of women in any other context.

National Review: Trump Threatens to Undo Ingrained Norms of Political Self-Restraint

National Review: Trump Threatens to Undo Ingrained Norms of Political Self-Restraint

by Charles Krauthammer

"Such incendiary talk is an affront to elementary democratic decency and a breach of the boundaries of American political discourse. In democracies, the electoral process is a subtle and elaborate substitute for combat, the age-old way of settling struggles for power. But that sublimation works only if there is mutual agreement to accept both the legitimacy of the result (which Trump keeps undermining with charges that the very process is “rigged”) and the boundaries of the contest.

The prize for the winner is temporary accession to limited political power, not the satisfaction of vendettas. Vladimir Putin, Hugo Chávez, and a cavalcade of two-bit caudillos lock up their opponents. American leaders don’t.

One doesn’t even talk like this. It takes decades, centuries, to develop ingrained norms of political restraint and self-control. But they can be undone in short order by a demagogue feeding a vengeful populism."

60mm Mortar

Bloomberg: Sturgeon Sets Herself on Collision Course With May Over Brexit

Bloomberg: Sturgeon Sets Herself on Collision Course With May Over Brexit


Extracts released in advance show Sturgeon will also argue that Britain’s vote to leave the European Union marks a fundamental shift for the country, one with which Scotland doesn’t agree. She’ll argue that May’s government has adopted an isolationist stance, which she’ll promise to fight.

“We are in a completely new era,” the first minister will say. “And as the world around us changes, we must ensure that Scotland remains the progressive, internationalist, communitarian country that the majority of us living here want it be. The choice we face has never been so stark. The primary contest of ideas in our country is now between the SNP and the hard-right Tories.”

Sturgeon will also announce moves to boost trade, including the setting up of an office in Berlin and a doubling of the number of Scottish investment agency staff in mainland Europe, saying that “we need to tell our European friends that Scotland is open for business.”

Setting herself up for a battle with May will serve Sturgeon in future elections: The SNP’s pitch to voters is that it is best placed to fight for Scotland’s interests. But it will also serve her long-term goal of independence.


Sturgeon is in the strongest position to resist a 'hard Brexit.' Theresa May cannot accuse her of resisting the will of the people, as Scotland voted to stay in the EU.

The Guardian: If they really wanted to Stop the War in Syria, they’d target Russia

The Guardian: If they really wanted to Stop the War in Syria, they’d target Russia

by Jonathan Freedland

"Pity the luckless children of Aleppo. If only the bombs raining down on them, killing their parents, maiming their friends, destroying their hospitals – if only those bombs were British or, better still, American.

Then the streets of London would be jammed with protestors demanding an end to their agony. Trafalgar Square would ring loud with speeches from Tariq Ali, Ken Loach and Monsignor Bruce Kent. Whitehall would be a sea of placards, insisting that war crimes were being committed and that these crimes were Not in Our Name. Grosvenor Square would be packed with noisy protestors outside the US embassy, urging that Barack Obama be put on trial in The Hague. The protestors would wear Theresa May masks and paint their hands red. And they would be doing it all because, they’d say, they could not bear to see another child killed in Aleppo.

But that is not the good fortune of the luckless children of that benighted city. Their fate is to be terrorised by the wrong kind of bombs, the ones dropped by Bashar al-Assad and Vladimir Putin. As such, they do not qualify for the activist sympathy of the movement that calls itself the Stop the War Coalition. Indeed, it’s deputy chair, Chris Nineham, told the Today programme that his organisation would not be organising or joining any protests outside the Russian embassy because that would merely fuel the “hysteria and the jingoism” currently being whipped up against Moscow. Stop the War would instead, explained Nineham in a moment of refreshing candour, be devoting its energies to its prime goal – “opposing the west”."

Friday, 14 October 2016

The Feast of Saint Teresa of Avila




O God, who through your Spirit raised up Saint Teresa of Jesus to show the Church the way to seek perfection, grant that we may always be nourished by the food of her heavenly teaching and fired with longing for true holiness. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.


Litany of Saint Teresa

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven,
Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost, the Sanctifier,
Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God,
Have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us.
Holy Mary, Our Lady of Mount Carmel,
pray for us.
Saint Teresa of Avila,
pray for us.
St. Teresa, whose heart was transverberated by the love of God,
pray for us.
St. Teresa, most humble servant of God,
pray for us.
St. Teresa, most zealous for the glory of God,
pray for us.
St. Teresa, woman truly strong in mind,
pray for us.
St. Teresa, truly detached from all created objects,
pray for us.
St. Teresa, great light of the Catholic Church,
pray for us.
St. Teresa, reformer and glory of the Carmelite Order,
pray for us.
St. Teresa, queen of mystical theology,
pray for us.
St. Teresa, lustrous name of Avila and Spain,
pray for us.
St. Teresa, who didst forever glorify the name of Teresa,
pray for us.
St. Teresa, wishing to suffer or to die,
pray for us.
St. Teresa, exclaiming,
"O Lord, how sweet and pleasing are Thy ways!"
pray for us.
St. Teresa, desiring so much the salvation of souls,
pray for us.
St. Teresa, tasting and seeing how sweet is the Lord,
even in this vale of miseries,
pray for us.
St. Teresa, exclaiming,
"O death, who can fear thee who art the way to true life!"
pray for us.
St. Teresa, true lover of the Cross of Christ,
pray for us.
St. Teresa, who didst live to love,
who died to love, and who wilt love eternally,
pray for us.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.
V. Pray for us, O holy Saint Teresa,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let Us Pray
O God, Who didst replenish the heart of
Thy blessed servant St. Teresa
with the treasures of Thy divine love,
grant that, like her,
we may love Thee
and suffer all things for Thee
and in union with Thee,
that we may gain souls for Thee,
and that we may secure the salvation of our own soul.
This we beg through the merits of our Saviour
and the intercession of Thy glorious virgin Teresa.
Amen.


Saint Teresa, pray for us, and for Spain.

The Guardian: Nicola Sturgeon’s manoeuvres offer a chance to shape Brexit

The Guardian: Nicola Sturgeon’s manoeuvres offer a chance to shape Brexit

by Martin Kettle

"Much of this is down to May’s determined embrace of Brexit and the appointment of the Brexiteers to key posts in the government. What seemed tactically adept in the summer now seems more of a ball and chain, largely because of the studied vagueness of the government’s strategy. But the real catalyst is the gradual dissolution of economic confidence across the UK.

Those who said that the foreign exchange markets were the only real opposition to the May government may have had a point a week ago. But a lot has changed in a week. The continuing slide in the pound, the £66bn annual price tag for a hard Brexit, and then the temporary disappearance of Marmite from Tesco shelves all added to the sense that the May government is fiddling while British business burns. Public opinion has not had remorse about the referendum result yet, but that may change, opening up some political space for opponents of Brexit.

This presents a real rallying opportunity for pro-European and soft-Brexit forces alike. Sturgeon sniffs that opportunity. But the battle will be fought at Westminster, not Holyrood. This is uncomfortable from an SNP perspective; the party is always happiest haranguing from its home base at Holyrood, not wheeling and dealing at distant Westminster. But the votes and the power to change things are at Westminster and Whitehall. The election this week of the party’s Westminster leader Angus Robertson as Sturgeon’s new deputy is another reminder that the centre of gravity of Scottish politics has in some ways been shifting to London since 2015."

NATO Values

Thursday, 13 October 2016

The Feast of Saint Callistus

O God, who raised up Pope Saint Callistus the First to serve the Church and attend devoutly to Christ's faithful departed, strengthen us, we pray, by his witness to the faith, so that, rescued from the slavery of corruption, we may merit an incorruptible inheritance. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.


Saint Callistus, pray for us and for Pope Francis.

Stop Russian Aggression

The Mad Monarchist: King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great of Thailand (1927-2016)

The Mad Monarchist: King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great of Thailand (1927-2016)


"This is why people in Thailand revered their king so sincerely. It was not just the new roads and bridges he had built, making their lives easier. It was not just his emphasis on education and national history in particular, it was not just his sending of his own medical team to treat poor people in the countryside or that he allowed many more poor Thais in the countryside to own their own farms with his land programs. It was the fact that, on numerous occasions throughout his reign, the King saved Thailand from chaos, disorder and civil war. After World War II, Burma, Vietnam, Laos and (for a time) Cambodia all got rid of their kings and people could see the result. Thailand, alone among them, always stood firm, thanks to the popularity of King Bhumibol, and easily became the most free and prosperous country of all her neighbors to the east and west. The King earned the love and respect of his people and he was able to use that love and respect for their benefit by stepping in to stop government dysfunction from damaging the whole country. He used his moral authority wisely and sparingly but always to the benefit of his people. He was a living example of what even a constitutional monarch can do if their people are fervently loyal and fervently support them.

King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great will always be remembered as one of the most significant and successful and beloved monarchs that Thailand has ever had in her ancient history. He has deserved all of the accolades he has received, will always be missed and will always be remembered. For the time being at least, while people come to grips with his loss, the “Land of Smiles” has become a ‘land of tears’… "

New Atlanticist: What Ukraine Can Learn from Romania’s Fight against Graft

New Atlanticist: What Ukraine Can Learn from Romania’s Fight against Graft

by Michael Druckman


"In Romania, the loudest criticism aimed at the DNA is that it throws too many people in jail while neglecting to pursue the prevention aspect of its mandate. In Ukraine, the main complaint one hears is that no one has gone to jail yet. Prevention is a key task of NABU, and strong citizen involvement is playing an outsized role in educating the Ukrainian public about NABU, its ancillary agencies, and its functions.

Romania and Ukraine are dealing with many of the same issues. Both struggle with the proper place of a national anticorruption agency, the role civil society should play in engaging parties and government in fighting corruption, how political parties should be financed, and how public procurement can be made more transparent and competitive for small businesses.

While Ukraine is starting its fight years after Romania, civil society appears far more focused and engaged there. Ukrainian civil society has been hyper-mobilized since well before the Euromaidan, continues to apply pressure on the government to act, and regularly develops solutions subsequently adopted by the government. The creation of an elected civic oversight body within NABU, political party finance reform legislation, and the creation and adoption of the ProZorro e-procurement system were all civil society-led initiatives."

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

The Feast of Saint Edward the Confessor

O Almighty God, who willest to be glorified in thy Saints and didst raise up thy servant Saint Edward the Confessor to shine as a light in the world: Shine, we pray thee, in our hearts, that we also in our generation may shew forth thy praises, who hast called us out of darkness into thy marvellous light; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Most glorious St. Edward, you showed your devotion to God with patience, gentleness and generosity. Like you, may I serve to strengthen the Kingdom of God through patient prayer and charity. Amen.


Saint Edward, pray for us and for England.

The Feast of Saint Theopilus of Antioch

O God, the light of the faithful, and shepherd of souls, who didst set blessed Saint Theophilus of Antioch to be a Bishop in the Church, that he might feed thy sheep by his word and guide them by his example: Grant us, we pray thee, to keep the faith which he taught, and to follow in his footsteps; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Saint Theophilus of Antioch, pray for us, for all bishops and for peace in Syria.

Catholic Bibles| Guest Post: My Journey to the King James Version

Catholic Bibles| Guest Post: My Journey to the King James Version

"As a Mennonite, to talk about church tradition seems a bit strange, but I have to admit that I value it. I especially value the English Protestant tradition that has given us so many masterpieces of English literature and liturgy (e.g. the King James Bible, Book of Common Prayer, the works of Shakespeare). The King James Version of the Bible permeates English. There are many times when we speak, and we unintentionally quote from the KJV. The KJV is all over English language liturgies/worship services, and the KJV is found in other Bibles that are its descendants (ASV, RSV, NRSV, NASB, NKJV, etc.).

However, there is a far greater aspect of tradition that just makes the KJV “click” for me. The KJV is the Bible of my family. Both of my parents grew up in KJV using churches. My father will still say that the KJV is the “most accurate” translation (which I know is debatable). All of the Bibles that mean something to me since they were passed down by loved ones are King James Bibles. When I read my KJV, it reminds me of the coverless KJV my great-grandmother used until her death, or the large Holman KJV my grandfather has studied from for 50 years. That level of sentimentality cannot be found in any other version."

After converting to Catholicism, I still read the King James Bible as often as the Douay-Rheims.

The Telegraph: Ruth Davidson mustn't shy away from the fight she faces with Theresa May and the Brexiteers

The Telegraph: Ruth Davidson mustn't shy away from the fight she faces with Theresa May and the Brexiteers

by Alan Cochrane

"It is pretty plain that she looks to be on a collision course with mainstream English Tory opinion on the consequences of the EU vote, given that Scotland voted to remain. With a hard Brexit favoured by many in Theresa May’s Cabinet, Ruth Davidson has openly declared herself as backing Britain to remain in the single market, so as to preserve and protect Scotland’s economy.

What? Even if that means accepting the free movement of people and more EU migrants, her critics ask? To which La Davidson, in an impassioned speech to the Tory conference in Birmingham, gave a resounding ‘Yes’, saying “immigrants should be made to feel welcome” in the UK.

Her Birmingham effort came just before Mrs May’s speech, which was roundly condemned by the SNP and Labour, as being a return to reactionary Tory ways. But they will find it difficult to make this ‘guilt by association’ claim stick on Ms Davidson, given the way she has distanced herself from the anti immigrant noises from south of the Cheviots.

The Scottish Tory leader’s problem is that immigration policy is reserved to Westminster and is likely to remain so but she will be under tremendous pressure to win some form of special deal for Scotland – possibly a points system for key workers or for students – in the Brexit negotiations.

Ruth Davidson is managing to achieve a separate image for the Tories in Scotland but to maintain that shift she will simply have to accept that a public fight with Theresa May and her Cabinet of Brexiters will have to be on the cards."

Estonian Investment

The Guardian: Jeremy Corbyn pushes Theresa May over 'shambolic Tory Brexit'

The Guardian: Jeremy Corbyn pushes Theresa May over 'shambolic Tory Brexit'

Jeremy Corbyn has used prime minister’s questions to repeatedly press Theresa May on her plans for leaving the EU, saying she was heading towards “a shambolic Tory Brexit” aimed more at appeasing Conservative MPs than meeting the national interest.

May hit back forcefully, and at one point drew cheers from her MPs for mocking Labour about Corbyn’s recent re-election. But at times she found little of substance to say, beyond promising “the right relationship for the UK” after quitting the EU.

Corbyn abandoned his usual approach to PMQs of switching between subjects and focused all his questions on the same theme as the Commons prepared for a Labour-led debate on the need for more parliamentary discussion on the approach to Brexit. The debate was granted after a last-minute government concession.


If this is what Corbyn can do, we need to see more of it. It's fantastic to see a real opposition at last, challenging the government's reckless and arrogant approach to Brexit.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Slovak Shield 2016

The Independent: Labour demands parliamentary vote on Theresa May's 'hard Brexit' negotiation plan

The Independent: Labour demands parliamentary vote on Theresa May's 'hard Brexit' negotiation plan


Labour has backed a plan for a parliamentary vote on the terms of Brexit negotiations, in a move that could sink the Government’s plans for a so-called “hard Brexit”.

Keir Starmer, the party’s shadow Brexit Secretary, said the “opening terms” of negotiations should be put to the Commons and voted on, warning that Theresa May was trying to “maneuver without any scrutiny in Parliament”.

The call comes after a cross-party alliance of MPs including Tories, Labour, SNP, and Green members joined forces to demand a vote on any plan to leave the single market – or the “hard Brexit”.

This Blog now endorses Evan McMullin for President




I initially endorsed Jeb Bush, who sadly pulled out. Then Ted Cruz, with a bit more reluctance. I am now endorsing Evan McMullin.

I am aware he won't be on the ballot in every state. I also know that if a lot of people vote for him, Hillary Clinton will have an easier ride to the White House. However, I consider a Clinton victory to be infinitely preferable to a Trump victory.

I am particularly impressed with Evan McMullin's rejection of Islamophobia. He seems to be far more unequivocal in rejecting hatred and suspicion of Muslims than Marco Rubio or even Jeb Bush.

McMullin's former career as a CIA agent testifies to his awareness of the need for a robust and assertive foreign policy, as well as understanding of the dangers threatening the USA and her allies.

Monday, 10 October 2016

ConservativeHome: Why the Right should make its peace with the State

ConservativeHome: Why the Right should make its peace with the State

by Paul Goodman

"So much for the narrow party politics of her words. But what about the content of the claim itself? Was May right to suggest that free markets, the small state, low taxes and light regulation – the Anglo-Saxon model of capitalism itself – doesn’t always work? I believe she was, for three main reasons.

The first can be found by looking at post-war history. The fastest period of western economic growth was during the 1950s and 1960s, when Keynesianism was the norm, rather than in the 1980s and 1990s, by which time monetarism had replaced it. This is not to say that the former – especially in the vulgar form to which it had degenerated by the 1970s – is better than the latter, but rather to make a wider point. Post-war capitalism produced a mass of good blue and white collar jobs. These were well-paid enough to fund a “family wage”. Many men were earning wages high enough for many women not to need to work in the labour market at all. Living standards rose across the board.

In short, what was most decisive was not just economics, but culture. New technology, innovation, products and invention were producing these jobs – in oil, cars, agriculture, consumer goods. Free market enthusiasts will claim that it was the market itself that produced the culture. But if true, this raises an uncomfortable follow-up question. Why are similar jobs not being created now in the West on the same scale, despite the fact that the Keynsian consensus was overthrown long ago? Here in Britain, nationalised industries are fewer, there are no prices and incomes policies, tripartite planning is no more, and so on."


Theresa May is absolutely right in contending smaller government is always best. There is a place for an interventionist state.

2nd Cavalry Regiment

The Washington Post: In a stunning reversal, theologian pulls back support from Donald Trump

The Washington Post: In a stunning reversal, theologian pulls back support from Donald Trump

Evangelical theologian Wayne Grudem was one of Donald Trump’s most surprising endorsers earlier this year, saying that the Republican presidential nominee was “a morally good choice.” Grudem’s endorsement set off a wave of controversy among evangelicals, who have been deeply divided over this election.

Some evangelical leaders who support Trump said they continue to back him, many of them denouncing his recently revealed comments about sexual assault but saying they still see him as the best choice. But Sunday, Grudem, a conservative theologian respected in many evangelical circles, pulled back his support and called for Trump to withdraw. The move could signal a loss of support for Trump from evangelicals, many of whom see him as a better option than Democrat Hillary Clinton.

“There is no morally good presidential candidate in this election,” Grudem wrote. “I previously called Donald Trump a ‘good candidate with flaws’ and a ‘flawed candidate’ but I now regret that I did not more strongly condemn his moral character. I cannot commend Trump’s moral character, and I strongly urge him to withdraw from the election.”


Try sticking to theology next election.