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Francis: "I Made A Mistake"

Can't find a source more official than Raymond Arroyo's Facebook page yet, but it seems Cardinal Burke (who was quoted in the press saying it was high time for the Holy Father to clarify Church teaching in the wake of the PR fiasco accompanying this pre-Synod on the family)  got what he wanted. Money quote: 

 I made a mistake here. I said welcome: [rather] to go out and find them.
Which is precisely what I always have understood him to mean, but I am glad he said it outright to clarify. In full context: 

We will speak a little bit about the Pope, now, in relation to the Bishops [laughing]. So, the duty of the Pope is that of guaranteeing the unity of the Church; it is that of reminding the faithful of their duty to faithfully follow the Gospel of Christ; it is that of reminding the pastors that their first duty is to nourish the flock – to nourish the flock – that the Lord has entrusted to them, and to seek to welcome – with fatherly care and mercy, and without false fears – the lost sheep. I made a mistake here. I said welcome: [rather] to go out and find them.

Continuing, he made it a point to quote Pope Benedict (and Lordy I wish people who want to freak out about this Pope, or co-opt him as the case may be, would read him and note how often he recurs to Benedict): 

His [the pope's] duty is to remind everyone that authority in the Church is a service, as Pope Benedict XVI clearly explained, with words I cite verbatim: “The Church is called and commits herself to exercise this kind of authority which is service and exercises it not in her own name, but in the name of Jesus Christ… through the Pastors of the Church, in fact: it is he who guides, protects and corrects them, because he loves them deeply. But the Lord Jesus, the supreme Shepherd of our souls, has willed that the Apostolic College, today the Bishops, in communion with the Successor of Peter… to participate in his mission of taking care of God's People, of educating them in the faith and of guiding, inspiring and sustaining the Christian community, or, as the Council puts it, ‘to see to it... that each member of the faithful shall be led in the Holy Spirit to the full development of his own vocation in accordance with Gospel preaching, and to sincere and active charity’ and to exercise that liberty with which Christ has set us free (cf. Presbyterorum Ordinis, 6)… and it is through us,” Pope Benedict continues, “that the Lord reaches souls, instructs, guards and guides them. St Augustine, in his Commentary on the Gospel of St John, says: ‘let it therefore be a commitment of love to feed the flock of the Lord’ (cf. 123, 5); this is the supreme rule of conduct for the ministers of God, an unconditional love, like that of the Good Shepherd, full of joy, given to all, attentive to those close to us and solicitous for those who are distant (cf. St Augustine, Discourse 340, 1; Discourse 46, 15), gentle towards the weakest, the little ones, the simple, the sinners, to manifest the infinite mercy of God with the reassuring words of hope (cf. ibid., Epistle, 95, 1).”

It's worth reading the whole thing for the list of temptations (right and left and human) to which we are subject and his confidence in the Ignatian discernment process. 

Update: I see Arroyo is using Vatican Radio's provisional translation.

Take Heart, Catholic Peeps

Cardinal Pell on what's REALLY happening at the Synod. Just listen.

Now ask yourself if you feel better or worse.

On the one hand, here are three reasons there was never any cause for hysteria.

1) If you're Catholic, you believe the Holy Spirit protects the Church from error in faith and morals and that the bishops of the Church teaching in union with the Holy Father will not go astray.
2) Plus, most of the guys at the Synod are solid JP II-BXVI men who were not going to simply capitulate to the culture.
3) Plus, that "relatio" document was a discussion document with no authority reaching no conclusions  at a half-way point of a synod that is a pre-meeting for the REAL meeting next year. Means zero in the long run.

However. That the orthodox bishops of the world should have to go out and try to rescue their own synod is extraordinary ... and requires explanation that is not just Vatican gossip.

Not The Chemical Weapons You Are Looking For?

For ten years the Grey Lady has insisted there were absolutely, positively, no chemical weapons in Iraq. Today she says, "there, like, totally were chemical weapons in Iraq," but the government lied about finding them -- even though they were reported in the 2004 Duelfer report as she herself admits.

The policy seems to be: if chemical weapons caches might support the policy of the president you hate, they don't exist. If ten years later you can use those same non-existent caches to pitch a "US bad to its own soldiers" story to your editors, well suddenly an ontological change occurs and those weapons become highly, highly significant.

Update: the more I think about this story, the more it burns me. I will let Gabriel Malor spell out why, but the gist is that Bush NEVER claimed Saddam had an active weapons program. Read the speeches again (they're linked at Malor's piece).

The first sentence is an absolute lie, uttered at Bush 43's expense, and made to justify the terrifying conclusion, laid at Obama's feet, in the last sentence.
This NYTimes piece has an overarching political goal: to cement forever the lie that the Iraq War was directed solely at stopping an active weapons of mass destruction program in Iraq. As we know, the military never found an active weapons program, which makes this a particularly compelling slander.
So let me remind you about the actual casus belli for the Iraq War.
In 2002, Saddam Hussein was doing everything he could to foil the UN weapons inspections teams about his existing weapons caches (the ones the NYTimes just "found" in its hit piece). You might recall, the U.S. was enforcing no-fly zones over Iraq at the time and attempting to ensure that Hussein remained disarmed. Hussein, for his part, was attempting to obscure both what he was capable of doing and what WMD, particularly biological and nuclear, remained to him. He was well-known, of course, for using chemical weapons against his own people and against the Iranians. Of particular concern going forward were his nuclear plans and the possibility that he would sell or give weapons to terrorists with Western ambitions.
On September 12, 2002, Bush went to the UN to plead with the useless world body to actually enforce sanctions and impose thorough weapons inspections. Nowhere in his speech will you find a claim that Hussein had an "active weapons program," as the NYTimes writers would now have you believe. Rather Bush talked about finding Hussein's old weapons and deterring his hope to once again restart his weapons programs


Nothing Against Patrick Modiano...

...but should we be taking Literature advice from people who write like this? Here's how the Nobel committee announced this year's literature prize:
The academy said the award of 8 million Swedish crowns ($1.1 million) was "for the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies and uncovered the life-world of the occupation."
Ungraspable human destinies? Life-world? Ugh. What a bunch of fashionable academic clap-trap. 

Update: However... interesting that Modiano writes about the German occupation of France and presumably Jewish suffering among other things. (I don't know his work at all as that remark suggests). Didn't think you could safely reference Jews in Europe, so that's something. 

Putin Takes A Page from Kim Jong Un


Have you seen The Twelve Labors of Putin -- his birthday gift to himself? 

Shamelessly pinched from the story.

This has got to be the best obsequy from a sycophant since Stalin: 
As seen here, backing peace in Ukraine, Mr Putin is painted as a strong leader by the group. "We the people have trusted the leaders of Russia: the tsars, the emperors, or general secretaries of the Communist party," Mr Antonov told the BBC. "Vladimir Putin continues that tradition. He is a hero of the people."

French Feminists Miss Real Reason to be Offended

Shamelessly pinched from the story linked below.

Osez Le FĂ©minisme maintains that the statue is clearly nothing more than the disgusting depiction of a sexual assault in progress.
“The sailor could have laughed with these women, hugged them, asked them if he could kiss them with joy,” the group told The Times of London.
“No, he chose to grab them with a firm hand to kiss them,” they continued. “It was an assault.”
I too find the display ignorant. But only because: what's it doing in Normandy? The kiss was on V-J Day, not D-Day. 

The REAL War on Women

...the biggest problem might be the lack of pockets in the first place: women's slacks, dresses, and blazers often have no pockets, or worse, “fake” pockets that serve no utilitarian purpose besides sartorially leading the wearer on to believe they have a handy wardrobe aide, until it’s too late.
OMG, Yes! 25 years ago when I was working as a pro-life lobbyist I used to tell a colleague that if the feminists really wanted to advance the status of women they'd fight for some freaking pockets in our power suits. Fake pockets are the scourge of woman-kind.