Sunday, December 30, 2012


Wanting to do our part to celebrate the Second Vatican Council and its fruits on its 50th anniversary, we offer these visual testimonies to the renewal:

Mount St Helens, after the 1980 eruption: the trees that were once erect

But many years after the Mount St Helens blast, when the whole countryside around was rubble and ash, something happened amid the horrifying ruins:

Mount St Helens, some decades after

Saturday, December 29, 2012


That excellent blog, The Eponymous Flower, informs us that plans appear to be going ahead for a possible canonization of Pope John Paul II.

Actually, this is more serious than first imagined.  If this is not mere wishful thinking on the part of John Paul's admirers and does indeed occur then we have reached yet another crossroads in the history of the Church.

If a legitimate canonization is done, properly and without chicanery, then as I understand it that becomes what some theologians term a "second-class infallible declaration", a declaration that that person is actually in Heaven.  Now what is alarming in this particular case is that there is no evidence that John Paul II's pontificate was anything but a disaster for the Church.  There is plenty of evidence that this troubled man spoke not only good words but not-so-good words, words that just skirted the edges of heresy.  And, no, one doesn't need to be a licensed theologian to be able to state that, as long as one has a basic familiarity with doctrine.  Additionally, there is no evidence at all, unless it has been kept secret (and why it would be kept secret at all would be an open question), that he ever recanted some of those problematical words and actions.  So if the case for his sanctification is being based on what the public could clearly see and hear during his reign then it would seem utterly impossible for the Holy Ghost to allow his canonization to move forward.  It would be an utter contradiction.

Unless, of course, behind-the-scenes chicanery is in play.  In other words if the man actually gets canonized without any clear evidence that he undid some of the damage he inflicted on the Church by his bizarre opinions and lack of firm governance, allowing the Church to float aimlessly at sea, then we are justified in suspecting that games are being played in Rome and that proper processes are being ignored in an unseemly haste to further the agenda of the modernists in the Church.  We know that John Paul II, for all his kindly qualities, was a modernist as is, by the way, the current occupant of Peter's Chair.  And if Rome wants the average Catholic to put aside his suspicions about this canonization then it is going to have to release to the public solid evidence that John Paul II deserves to be declared a Saint.

It is true that generally speaking the Church looks at someone's personal holiness more than anything else (so I have been told) when assessing qualifications for Sainthood.  But I believe it logical to assume that if a man is personally holy his actions would bear that out.  Here there are far too many contradictions.  If John Paul II were personally holy then how can one explain his actions?  Can the authorities in the Church assure us that his personal holiness trumps his terrible legislation?  Can his reciting of the daily rosary (which I have no doubt of) have allowed him to approve the sacrilege of Communion-in-the-hand?  Yes, I do try myself to perform this duty on a daily basis but speaking honestly I believe the chances of my own future canonization are somewhat slim.  This is not an attempt at flippancy.  This sublime prayer has no doubt saved many from going completely off the deep end.  But does it always lead to one's eventual raising to the altars?  Did John Paul's prayer life prevent him from even worse mistakes?  It's an interesting question.  This is too serious an issue to allow sentimentality to rear its hideous head, and to wallow in our own "feelings" toward this Pope.

Since such evidence is scant at best we have a right to know what criteria Rome is using, in detail, to advance his cause.  We are perfectly within our rights as Catholics to ask, "Where is the evidence?"  The supposed "miracle" that has been noised about has been, under closer examination, seriously doubted by reputable scholars as being a genuine miraculous occurrence.

It was John Paul II himself who deliberately cheapened the Saint-making process by his streamlining of all the necessary precautions that the Church had in place for centuries to protect it from from making errors in these cases.  These measures were in place so that the Church could declare with absolute certainty that this or that man or woman was worthy of veneration.  How many times in Church history have there been charlatans who gave every evidence of holiness, only to be discovered later as frauds?  That is why the Church has historically taken her time when considering the canonization of persons.  Indeed it took the Church 400 years before finally declaring Joan of Arc a Saint.

We could go on cataloguing the scandals that prospered under John Paul II, some of them instituted by the man himself.  Assisi is one; the "apologies"(!)to the Jews is another; the appointing and maintaining of one snake after another in the episcopacy; his downright weird meetings with pagans, topless and otherwise.  It is too depressing to recall.  But we must keep these tragedies in mind when we speak of canonizing a man who was at the center of these tragedies.

These attempts to canonize recent modernist Popes is a very, very troubling development.  It could call into question the infallibility of the Pope in the minds of poorly-instructed Catholics.  What if one of these men is "canonized" by some underhanded Vatican streamlining of the process and it later comes to light that the personal life of such a man was a moral mess?  Unless we know for certain that proper procedures were in place we cannot, tragically, just assume that Rome has made a wise decision.  We have the examples of Donald Wuerl and Vincent Nichols and the "theology of the body" to remind us that some decisions of the Popes are skewed at best.  There is a move afoot now to canonize even Paul VI.  Mind-boggling.  If that man is canonized by some process of episcopal legerdemain the Church will indeed have more than egg on her face, because there are some rather unflattering aspects to his life that have been kept from the public but seem to now be leaking out.

A prayer to the Holy Ghost would seem to be in order right now. 

Friday, December 28, 2012


I believe I have found the secret surrounding our president's birth certificate.

He was begotten in a test tube.

Thursday, December 27, 2012


Here richly, with
ridiculous display,
The Politician's corpse
was laid away.
While all of his acquaintance sneered and slanged
I wept: for I had longed
to see him hanged.

Hilaire Belloc

Tuesday, December 25, 2012


Photo by Mr Aaron Teasdale
 "When it was midnight, I walked out, and strolled in the woods....I was suddenly roused from a delicious reverie, by observing a dark object moving slowly and cautiously among the trees.  At first, I fancied it was a bear, but a nearer inspection discovered an Indian on all fours.  For a moment I felt unwilling to throw myself in his way, lest he should be meditating some sinister design against me; however, on his waving his hand, and putting his finger on his lips, I approached him, and notwithstanding his injunction to silence, inquired what he did there.  'Me watch to see the deer kneel,' replied he; 'This is Christmas night, and all the deer fall upon their knees to the Great Spirit, and look up.'  The solemnity of the scene, and the grandeur of the idea, alike contributed to fill me with awe."

                                                   JOHN HOWISON, Sketches of Upper Canada (1821)

[From "The Christmas Book", an anthology by D.B. Wyndham-Lewis]

Monday, December 24, 2012


From the superb St Andrew Daily Missal (pre-Catastrophe edition):

"The central event in the history of the world is about to take place.  In accordance with Isaias' prophecy St John the Baptist is about to introduce the Messias to the world, and it is of the first importance to determine the historic moment when this took place.

Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caeser, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and Philip his brother tetrarch of Iturea and the country of Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Avilina, under the high-priests Annas and Caiphas: the word of the Lord was made unto John, the son of Zachary, in the desert."

St John the Baptist

Let us note the exacitude with which this event is recorded.  One wonders how our historians, who are capable of deciphering the slightest details of the ancient world going back 6,000 years seem to have some difficulty with these particular details recorded by Luke, the physician.  Surely if the mental processes of Queen Cleopatra can be (they believe) deciphered by several nebulous suggestions by personages living in her time then the precision of the story of the birth of Jesus Christ, illuminated in such easily verifiable detail, can not be brushed aside as mere hearsay.  Unless, of course, you are employed by PBS and given millions by well-heeled foundations to produce the usual bilge that tends to show up like clockwork every Christmas and every Easter.  Ho hum.

Let us not be detained overmuch by these zealots.  For at midnight tonight we begin a joyous fesitval, which indeed commemorates the Central Event in all human history.

O come, Emmanuel.

Thursday, December 20, 2012


Some say, that ever 'gainst that season comes
Wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated,
This bird of dawning singeth all night long:
And then, they say, no spirit can walk abroad;
The nights are wholesome; then no planets strike,
No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm,
So hallowed and so gracious is the time.

                                      WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

Saturday, December 15, 2012


This writer is not the first to point out that this latest murder spree in Connecticut may have a preternatural explanation.  There will be blaming and fostering new conspiracy theories to be sure but we cannot discount the agency of an Angelic Intelligence being behind these horrors.

We Catholics can do no more at the moment than pray for the souls of these little ones, and for their parents.  Let me amend that: we can do other things, like putting such episodes into their proper context, as these brief lines are attempting to do.  The world in general - and by "the world" is meant the voices we continually hear from - has completely cut itself off from decency.  Completely.  Of course we are not speaking of the good, average souls who live and work and pray and are rarely if ever heard from.  We are speaking of the usual voices of media and government, those two peas in a single pod who work in unison almost constantly.  Thus we have the usual banalities coming from the talking heads or outrageous hypocrisies like the words of the Chief Assassin in Washington telling us that "they had their whole lives ahead of them".  How profound.  And how funny, coming from a man who not only is the most bloodthirsty abortionist in the world as well as the cold-blooded killer of innocent human beings in the Middle East, many of them women and children - children whose whole lives were ahead of them as well.  When the visage of that foul criminal shows up on intenet or TV I can only look away in disgust.  His cruel indifference to the sufferings of the innocent make him the worst swine in the pigpen.

What happened in Connecticut was a satanic incident, quite obviously so when one considers its proximity to this holy time of year.  It is the delight of the Evil One to shove evil in our faces during Easter and Christmas.  Never forget that this demon is an Angel, and was gifted by his Creator with all the intelligence of an Angel.  We ignore that at our own peril.

Others will write more eloquently on this sad topic, therefore I will quietly post these thoughts and then try to do what can be done with these limited resources.

May these little ones enjoy the Beatific Vision, and may they pray for their parents and for the utter and total defeat of the evil forces that have engulfed our sad world.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


It is not the Christmas Season officially until we ponder Mr Belloc's thoughts on burgundy wine.  That, and his delightful "Noel", which we reproduced about this time last year, remind us that a good, old bit of Christmas celebrating, and not a little decidely wicked humor, comes naturally to the Catholic heart at this time of year.

As Charles Lamb wrote to Bernard Barton, "Old Christmas is a-coming to the confusion of Puritans, Muggletonians, Anabaptists, Quakers, and that unwassailing Crew.  He cometh not with his wonted gait; he is shrunk nine inches in his girth, but is yet a lusty fellow".  Words well worth remembering for those who live in formerly Catholic or non-Catholic countries.  Belloc was disgusted with those who also disgusted Mr Lamb, the Puritans, et al who had a horror of any kind of joyous celebrating of the coming of the Christ Child.  This disgust brought out the playful nature in this great man.

So here it is, for your pleasure: Mr Belloc on burgundy wine.

On the Excellence of Burgundy Wine

My jolly fat host with your face all a-grin,
Come, open the door to us, let us come in.
A score of stout fellows who think it no sin
If they toast till they're hoarse, and they drink till they spin,
     Hoofed it anain,
     Rain or no rain,
To crack your old jokes, and your bottles to drain.

Such a warmth in the belly that nectar begets
As soon as his guts with its humour he wets,
The miser his gold, and the student his debts,
And the beggar his rags and his hunger forgets.
     For there's never a wine
     Like this tipple of thine
From the great hill of Nuits to the River of Rhine

Outside you may hear the great gusts as they go
By Foy, by Duerne, and the hills of Lerraulx,
But the rain he may rain, and the wind he may blow,
If the Devil's above there's good liquor below.
     So it abound,
     Pass it around, 
Burgundy's Burgundy all the year round.

                               Hilaire Belloc (from Sonnets and Verse)

I love this man all year round.  But I love him most at Christmastide.

Friday, December 7, 2012


We were recently reminded of this excellent article by the very perceptive writer Patrick Foy, who writes brilliantly about the machinations behind the scenes that brought America into a terrible war, a war which single-handedly saved the Communist dictators in Russia.  For those who may still be wondering why these "international events" seem to just come upon us out of thin air here is red meat to feast on:

Every war has its villains.  But rarely does the winning side ever want to know the truths of the villainy practiced by their own leaders.  It is time to end such Pollyanna-ish thinking.  Especially these days, when the United States has been recklessly attacking one country after another that has done us no harm whatsoever.  We have become worse than the dictators we fought in the 1940s.  In some ways, far, far worse.

There were other evil regimes that came into being as a result of this war, regimes that are still making life hell for those people it hates.  But that is a story for another day.


Heil Hitler???
I received this in my email today.  I think it's worth passing along.

A Letter from Hobby Lobby Stores CEO
By David Green, the founder and CEO of Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.

When my family and I started our company 40 years ago, we were working out of a garage on a $600 bank loan, assembling miniature picture frames. Our first retail store wasn't much bigger than most people's living rooms, but we had faith that we would succeed if we lived and worked according to God's word. From there,Hobby Lobby has become one of the nation's largest arts and crafts retailers, with more than 500 locations in 41 states. Our children grew up into fine business leaders, and today we run Hobby Lobby together, as a family.

We're Christians, and we run our business on Christian principles.
I've always said that the first two goals of our business are (1) to run our business in harmony with God's laws, and (2) to focus on people more than money. And that's what we've tried to do.
We close early so our employees can see their families at night. We keep our stores closed on Sundays, one of the week's biggest shopping days, so that our workers and their families can enjoy a day of rest. We believe that it is by God's grace that Hobby Lobby has endured, and he has blessed us and our employees.
We've not only added jobs in a weak economy, we've raised wages for the past four years in a row. Our full-time employees start at 80% above minimum wage.

But now, our government threatens to change all of that. A new government health care mandate says that our family business MUST provide what I believe are abortion-causing drugs as part of our health insurance.

Being Christians, we don't pay for drugs that might cause abortions, which means that we don't cover emergency contraception, the morning-after pill or the week-after pill. We believe doing so might end a life after the moment of conception, something that is contrary to our most important beliefs. It goes against the Biblical principles on which we have run this company since day one.

If we refuse to comply, we could face $1.3 million PER DAY in government fines.

Our government threatens to fine job creators in a bad economy.
Our government threatens to fine a company that's raised wages four years running.
Our government threatens to fine a family for running its business according to its beliefs. It's not right.

I know people will say we ought to follow the rules; that it's the same for everybody. But that's not true.

The government has exempted thousands of companies from this mandate, for reasons of convenience or cost. But it won't exempt them for reasons of religious belief.

So, Hobby Lobby and my family are forced to make a choice. With great reluctance, we filed a lawsuit today, represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, asking a federal court to stop this mandate before it hurts our business. We don't like to go running into court, but we no longer have a choice. We believe people are more important than the bottom line and that honoring God is more important than turning a profit.

My family has lived the American dream. We want to continue growing our company and providing great jobs for thousands of employees, but the government is going to make that much more difficult.
The government is forcing us to choose between following our faith and following the law.
I say that's a choice no American and no American business should have to make.
The government cannot force you to follow laws that go against your fundamental religious belief. They have exempted thousands of companies but will not except Christian organizations including the Catholic church.
Since you will not see this covered in any of the liberal media, pass this on to all your contacts.

David Green, CEO and Founder of Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.

Thursday, November 29, 2012


Movies made by degenerates, for degenerates

 The FOX channel, owned by the devout Jew Rupert Murdoch, is about to fling at the public yet another product emerging from its troubled intestines, a television offering entitled "An American Horror Story: Asylum".  This rubbish, made by degenerates for degenerates, is the usual pornographic assault on the Catholic Church and is totally unworthy of any serious discussion, save this:  it is further proof that the dripping jaws of the jackals are coming closer to the Church, aided and abetted by the usual suspects and the sleeping US Episcopate which raises few if any words of protest.

Firstly, does anybody watch this garbage?

One cannot imagine a normal family, or even a hard-working adult coming home from their daily labors and sitting down to watch such things.  Who actually could sit through it?  The ads say that you should only watch it if you are an adult; I would say you should only watch it if you are daft.  What adult would subject himself to it?  Perhaps I am living in the Stone Age of television watching, where the average viewer was gifted with sophistication, some culture and innate good taste - the type of viewer that would appreciate thoughtful television programs.  Are there really now creatures lurking about who would sit through this crap without throwing up?

As for the "talents" who make such things...well, I don't think that even the combined skills of the nitwits, pederasts and Christ Despisers who create today's tv offerings would make anyone with enough sense to tie their own shoes want to sully themselves by looking at it.  The only people I could imagine wanting to watch this would be the same kind who enjoy bear-baiting.

Here is a good project for His Eminence, the Cardinal-Archbishop of New York, the jolly Timothy Dolan.  Your Eminence: remove that wonderful smile from your face and replace it with a look of grim determination.  Hop into a cab and go to the FOX headquarters in New York.  Don't ask for an appointment; don't talk with them on the phone beforehand.  Just go over there, walk right up to the office of the CEO and give him a taste of Hell.  Don't be patient; don't be nice.  Give the bastard hell.  Don't reason with him; one doesn't reason with soulless money grubbers.  Don't dine with him.  Don't laugh with him.  Just give him hell.

If he offers you a generous contribution for your favorite Catholic charity to placate you, throw the money back in his face.

Afterwards, start writing about this in your diocesan paper, on your website, anywhere you like.  Again, Your Eminence, the time for niceties is over.  The Bride of Christ has been mocked, sullied, pornofied and belittled.  When you face God one day, He is not going to ask you if you were pleasant to the CEO of Fox News or to his boss, the devout Jew Rupert Murdoch; He is going to ask you what you did to defend the Bride of His Son.

Your Eminence, the ball is now in your court.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Well, by starting to realize that many Palestinians in Gaza are Christian, for one thing.

This rarely mentioned fact is perhaps the major reason why most Catholics (and most non-Catholics for that matter) are unwilling to look any deeper into the troubles over there and rely only on the propaganda put out by the major media and governmental outlets.  There is more to this story than meets the eye.

One of the founding editors of The American Conservative, Mr Scott McConnell, has written a fine piece on how perception of the Holy Land conflict is radically different from the reality.  A false perception has been created by almost the entirety of the US government establishment, the near-entirety of the national print and visual media, and the occupation authorities in Palestine, these three almost always working in tandem.  Here is a timely article that deserves reading, especially by those Catholics who have not taken the trouble to understand the dynamics of a horror story that has been ongoing since at least 1947.

As we prepare ourselves for the coming of a great Feast next month, let us remember our fellow Christians in that sacred land who are enduring real everyday suffering at the hands of one of history's most brutal regimes.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


I am continually grateful for the writings of Mr Glenn Greenwald, a liberal Democrat, who, unlike his fellow liberal Democrats is not afraid to point out the cynicism, lust for power and  murderous intentions of those in his Party.  He is an equal opportunity enemy of tyrants, be they Republican or Democrat.

He shows us that we as a nation have something to be concerned about, a budding tyranny that has been budding for decades under all presidencies.  We ignore his warnings at our peril.

Here is a particularly brilliant article from Mr Greenwald.  He is of the Left, and therefore no friend of many of the ideas shared by Catholics.  But on this issue he is with us and we should read him:

Pass it on.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


When Advent arrives this year, in a very few days from now, we do the world and ourselves a disservice by letting it pass virtually unnoticed.  In the United States this is always the danger, unsurprising in a country that once many years ago banned the celebration of the great feast that immediately follows Advent (and a case where history just might be beginning to repeat itself with a terrible vengeance) and only eventually relented on the grounds that the nation's economy would benefit.  In a country that thrives on the crassest of commercialism there is a continual din in our ears telling us to buy and buy and buy.  The sad spectacle need not be catalogued here.  It is ubiquitous.  This poisoning has even spread to many other countries.

But we need not let Advent go unnoticed.  We can, indeed must, ignore the malls, the radio stations playing their horrible holiday ditties, the whole sorry lot.  Advent is a time for preparation for Christmastide.  But with all that is being flung at us now (and has been flinging at us since September) we must prepare not yet for Christmas but instead for Advent first.

We speak of New Year's resolutions.  Let us suggest that what we should write down now is Advent resolutions.  We at The Eye Witness wish to offer several possible resolutions we all might make to our spiritual profit.

The Church once wisely taught us that Advent is a time for fast and abstinence.  Much shorter than the 40 days of Lent - this year Advent is only about three weeks long - surely we can begin our joyous expectations of the coming of the Christ Child by a little penance during this holy time.  Our souls need this.  Fasting, paradoxically, is true nourishment.  It must be first on our list.

And there is more.

Surely we can strongly re-think our gift giving, can we not?  Dear parents of growing little ones, give them less, not more.  Prevent them if at all possible from seeing the tv adverts.  They really do not need the latest Chinese-made garbage that will last only a few weeks before being thrown out.  Those of you who are financially secure must try the hardest to slim down the gift lists.  Those who are the working poor, and the non-working poor can find it easier to limit the presents under the tree.  But the financially well-off should take pains to lower spending.  And for the love of God and the health of their minds eschew completely any electronic gadgets.  Think of how many wasted hours are spent staring at computer screens, cell phones and tvs.  (Think, too, about the honeybee population which is dwindling at a terrifying rate, some of which can be directly attributed to the use of cell phones.  Talking uselessly on a cell phone wont compensate for the collapse of food production should this bee problem grow any worse.)  Is it too late to try to interest them in literature - not "Harry Potter" but genuine literature?  At least introduce them to someone like Conan Doyle, for in the writings of this man their minds will be fascinated by his story-telling expertise.  Does that young lad of yours like dinosaurs?  Give him "The Lost World" by Doyle, and you will be giving him the best time of his reading life.  Does that wide-eyed daughter of yours love stories?  Giver her "Kristin Lavrensdatter" or "Little Women".  She will always thank you for that.  Of course give them some kind of amusing gift if needs must, but make it something of quality.  Believe it or not it is still possible to find simple, hand-crafted items made in Europe (even, astoundingly, in the US) if you seek them out.  Use your imagination to select fun items for them that will stimulate their imaginations and their creative impulses.

Give wine and food instead of the latest superfluous junk.  Think of permanence, not in passing fancies.  Don't ever look at the coming Christmas Season as an economic stimulator, a tawdry exercise in mere money grubbing.  We are talking about something loftier than that.

Seek out a quiet Church and spend a few moments with the Blessed Sacrament.  Find a good, solid Confessor and go to him to receive the Sacrament of Penance.

Yes, we all love Bing Crosby and his famous Christmas songs.  They can be listened to in moderation.  Yet it is far better to introduce yourselves to the music of our Christian ancestors.  Many classical radio stations have gone now so it will be necessary for you to buy recordings of this music of the Ages of Faith.  Let your mind and heart sing with the medieval musicians and get recordings of these works.  This music is haunting and beautiful and it cements our connections with our Catholic past.  (Not all modern music is to be disparaged, of course.  If something written relatively recently has quality by all means let it fill you with the joy of the Season.  Indeed one of the most beautiful modern Christmas-related  tunes we have ever heard was written by, of all people, Harpo Marx!  Lyrics are here:

It is good to be done with the cheap and the shoddy, whether it be with what we buy or what we read and hear or the hours we spend.  Find times of quiet during the day or evening.  Find a few moments for the Joyful Mysteries.

Select your Advent wreath and introduce into your home the old custom of Advent wreath prayers before meals, where the youngest, the oldest, the mother and lastly the father have their special duties during each week of the holy time.

Wait until we are far along in the preparatory cycle before we purchase our Christmas trees.  Let us put them up closer to Christmas, and keep them up during the entire Holy Nativity Season if possible.  In some areas we have to duck as we walk by houses on December 26th to protect ourselves from being injured by trees being flung out the front door.  Such people understand nothing of what this time of year means.

Let us then use Advent to cleanse our sensibilities so that our thoughts and efforts are directed at preparing the straw that will make comfortable the manger which will hold the Word made flesh, the Lamb of God.  Do not allow the money-changers to keep your mind misdirected away from the great preparatory days of Advent.  Advent should not be wasted.  Let us live this Advent as if it were our last

If we make a good Advent, we keep a good Christmas.

From the great Robert Shaw:

Sunday, November 18, 2012


L to R: Republican nonentity,  noted standup comic,  grinning psychopath

Dear Assorted sociopaths, assassins, pederasts, war criminals, frothing-at-the-mouth abortionists, wardheelers, bums, idiots and poofs,

Your hero has won again!  But in your jubilation please do not forget to express your deep thanks to the Archdiocese of New York for their help in keeping the White House free of any taint of simple human decency.  You can write them here:

Joseph Zwilling
Office of Communications
1011 First Avenue
New York, NY 10022
Phone: 212.371.1011 Ext. 2990

Aged Parent
The Eye Witness

Friday, November 16, 2012


Noise is being made by certain dignitaries in the Catholic Church in America about the possibility of bringing back the Friday fast, or "meatless Fridays" as it had come to be known.  If it actually happens, and is not merely  a type of finger-in-the-wind move by media-terrified Bishops, then it would be a long overdue return to some semblance of sanity in Catholic practice.  The removing of the Friday fast rules by the aging hippies of the 1960s Vatican was a disaster of the first magnitude.

I have no doubt, either, that it is disaster that was intended.  At least by some of them.

There was an old man this writer once knew and worked with back in the mid-1970s.  He was a cheerful bloke, always managing to keep affable in his humble job as a janitor in a factory.  But there was something constantly troubling him which he would never talk about.  He was a Catholic, but his conversations about the Church whenever the subject came up were always tinged with a distinct touch of sarcasm.  One day the cause of this sarcasm was blurted out when we were engaging in a serious discussion about the Church's sole guardianship of the truth.

"I'll tell you what I think of the Church and the truth," he said with some anger in his voice.  "All the years I was growing up I was told that it was essential to not eat meant on Friday under pain of sin, and now the Church says I don't have to do that anymore.  There's your 'one, true Church' for you.  They make it up as they go along."

Here was an old man on the brink of losing his Faith, and the trigger for that attitude was the colossally stupid Vatican move to eliminate the Friday fast.  I don't know if the man stayed in the Church until his death, but if he didn't then the Church and the leaders thereof would be culpable for the loss of this man's soul.

It is not necessary to go into a long explanation as to the exactitude of this man's views on the Friday fast.  He was clearly badly instructed from youth.  But the nail in the coffin, the action that helped shatter his confidence in the Divine origin of the Catholic Church was the Pope Paul VI-approved elimination of Friday abstinence.

It is utterly without point, too, to bother explaining that the Church in removing this requirement stated that another form of penance could be practiced.  It is without point because nobody listened to that.  All they heard was that they could now enjoy red meat on Fridays.  They forgot (and were rarely if ever reminded of) the reason for Friday abstinence: giving yourself a weekly reminded of the sufferings of Christ on the cross who died on a Friday.  That was always the reason but in America at least, even before the Second Vatican Catastrophe Fridays had been ritualized into a visit to the restaurant with drinks and a lovely fish dinner.  While these pre-conciliar Catholics refrained from meat they weren't exactly being penitential by eating lobster,shrimp, scallops or fish.  They were keeping to the letter of the law but not necessarily to the spirit, and this writer is as guilty as the next in that regard.

Be that as it may a return to Friday penance - as long as the Bishops clearly instruct the faithful that the reason for the penance is to atone a bit for the sufferings of Jesus Christ - can only be a good thing.  There are rumblings in England about a return to the Friday abstinence.  This can only do good for a Church and a world on the brink of total and complete breakdown.

But what will happen if the Bishops reimpose this penance?  Therein lies the problem, though dire as the problem is it should not scare off the Bishops from going ahead with the project.  The problem, simply stated, is this: will Catholics who have been contracepting and NFPing themselves out of existence, and utterly ignoring the Church on vital issues, and whose Mass they attend is a supreme banality that would insult the intelligence of a seven-year-old, bother to obey the fasting rule?  They see priests, nuns, Bishops and Cardinals running around defying dogma and tradition without ever being disciplined by Rome.  They attend the 1970 "ordinary form" Mass (and goodness, ordinary it certainly is) with its dreadful music, words, vestments, preaching, prancing, dancing.  They view the utter hypocrisy of a hierarchy on the one hand condemning the buggering of adolescent boys by homosexually-disturbed priests (while never, of course, ever mentioning the word "homosexual", an indication of cowardice if ever there was one), and on the other hand they watch a Cardinal Wuerl chastising and publicly humiliating a good priest for refusing Communion to an insolent lesbian.  In the face of this will Catholics obey it?

That would depend on the Bishops.  Talk is one thing; action is another.  If it is not enforced it will not be obeyed.  We have the example of Humanae Vitae to reveal what happens when good talk is not backed up by decisive action.  It is not necessary here to review the sad history of that affair.  Priests, Bishops and Cardinals ignored it and refused point blank to implement it.  And the Popes did next to nothing to discipline them for that.  So our Lordships are going to have to commit themselves to enforcing the Friday rules should they decide to reintroduce them.

If it is presented properly, as a small sacrifice once a week to commiserate with Our Lord during His sufferings on the cross, it will do some good no matter how many or how few practice it.  It cannot but bring graces down upon us.  It will be a strong step back to the sane and the holy.  It will be a slap in the face of Satan.  It will change hearts and minds.

It may also contribute, one sincerely hopes, to the quick death of liturgical chaos and tampering.  It may hasten the day when the second-rate Novus Ordo "ordinary form" will enter the dustbin of history, and it may help save the Church.  For if Catholics are still being faced with these atrocious liturgies every Sunday it will be very hard to stop the rot.  And if the Friday abstinence rules come back the graces therefrom surely will ultimately help end the liturgical nightmare we are now faced with.

We are with you, dear Bishops, should you decide to take this vital step.

The Editors, The Eye Witness

post scriptum:
Your Lordships next move, it would seem to us, would be to eliminate the Saturday night anticipatory Mass.  It is Sunday, after all, that is the Lord's Day, not shopping day.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Always our thoughts on the tragedy being played out in the land where Christ once walked center on the never-ending injustice that drenches the area.  On the historical facts behind this tragedy little is known by the average reader.  Therefore it is necessary for sensible discussion that these facts are known.

Daily we hear about Muslim fanaticism, some of which reporting is rubbish while some of it, alas, is true.  Rarely do we ever hear the causes of this fanaticism and when some pundit attempts to find a cause he chooses the route of the unthinking.  To these people the only explanation for the mess is Arab intransigence, recklessness and ignorance (or, more laughably, "because they hate our freedoms").  To these the Arabs are unworthy of their thoughts or their compassion.  They are like ants and nothing more.  Repugnant websites like "JihadWatch" peddle this attitude with grand insouciance, never bothering to do the investigative work necessary to find the real causes of the fanaticism they decry.

The real cause dates back twenty centuries, before there were any such things as Moslems.  But the immediate cause of the current troubles dates from the mad dreams of Theodore Herzl, dreams which came to fruition a little over sixty short years ago, in 1947, the year in which the ethnic cleansing of the Holy Land began.

The following article offers the relevant facts and offers a challenge, too.

Of further interest, this apparently little-known assassination - little know in the USA that is - continues to throw light on the whole terrible situation.  The victim was Catholic Arab Alex Odeh. 

This is but the proverbial tip of the iceberg.  But these things must become better known, for the sake of all people who live in the world.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


                                            St Stanislaus Church, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Whenever one attends a Catholic Mass in the ancient rite of the Church one's reaction is generally awe, an awe brought upon by the majesty and quiet reverence of that Rite which in all its essentials dates from the time of Christ.  Sometimes, however, that sense of awe and beauty is broken by something discordant.  The usual culprit is the music, often ill-chosen or badly played, which keeps one's attention away from the central point of the Holy Sacrifice.  There was not, however, a single discordant note at the Wedding Mass of Mr Andrew Thompson and Miss Maria Guenzel held at St Stanislaus Church in Milwaukee on October 27th which this writer was privileged to attend.  At that Mass the music melded perfectly with the solemn actions performed at the altar.  It was an integral part of the Mass.  It was Catholic music.  It was music that didn't take away from the Mass.  On the contrary the work of this choir at that celebration actually enhanced the Mass and permitted the believers to be totally enveloped in the mysteries.

Interior of St Stanislaus

That minor miracle was accomplished by master choir director Lawrence Stich whose good taste, sense of balance and thorough knowledge of Church music mark him as one of the most accomplished kapelmeisters of his generation.  His Palestrina Choir forces were brilliantly led and equally brilliantly accompanied by the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra's Lee Erickson, who provided sensitive organ playing, majestic when required and delicately hushed when the moment demanded it.  It is well known that not only is Erickson the highly (and justly) acclaimed choral director for the MSO but that he is also an exceptionally gifted organist.  The combination of Stich and Erickson, therefore, was sure to provide top-notch results. 

And it did.

                                                                                Lawrence Stich

                                                           Lee Erickson

The Mass chosen was Rene Quignard's Short Mass in Honor of St John the Baptist and its melodies haunted the lovely 19th Century church on Milwaukee's South side.  The composition was written in the mid-20th century but its ties to the early Christian centuries are evident.  That continuity is what makes the listener believe that such sounds could have been heard at the time of Christ.  Though modern it is, paradoxically, ancient.  The listener is drawn into the entire history of his Faith.  It is the music not only of the 20th century but of the 13th and the 3rd.  And the 21st.  With music such as this one is connected with his Christian ancestors in every time and in every place.  For sheer beauty, for that odd combination of desolate sadness combined with inner exaltation it would be hard to better the Quignard Mass, and it would be harder still to better the performance given here.  Every moment of the music expresses perfectly where you are at the Mass.

Conductor Stich drew out every nuance of this work.  The composer quite clearly meant his music to meet not only aesthetic but spiritual needs. The Kyrie opens the Mass with a heart-breaking and simple statement: Quignard is asking us in his music to beg Our Lord's mercy, and maestro Stich helps us to implore it.  The actions at the altar combined with this sad Kyrie humble the faithful and offer time for reflection.  But then the mood changes to joy and gladness with the towering Quignard Gloria.  Here the Palestrina Choir shone.  Their voices had that rare quality - yes, let us call it a spiritual quality - which enabled them to give glory to God in true fashion.  [One almost hesitates to say this but there were not a few handkerchiefs taken out of pockets during this moment.]
Maestros Stich and Erickson discussing the score
  The Canon of the Mass is introduced with a gorgeous Sanctus, again brilliantly conducted, sung and played.  It must be stated that the final "Hosannah" prior to the Consecration was one of those unforgettable moments when the Mass and the music which adorns it act as one.  Lee Erickson's organ playing perfectly matched the singers throughout the Mass but especially at this moment.  The church now plunged into silence awaits the sacred moments of the Consecration.  After the unbloody sacrifice is accomplished, Stich's singers and Erickson's playing rise slowly in unison to bring these solemn moments to their conclusion.  Their efforts help the priest bring us right to the foot of the Cross.  And then afterwards there is the Angus Dei before Holy Communion, beautiful solos by soprano Mary Brown and the conclusion of a wedding Mass that would not have disgraced the marriage of a Monarch.
Stich with soloist Mary Brown
This writer has personally heard this Mass performed on other occasions in other venues but has rarely heard it done so well.  Stich's skill in filling the church with sound using only a rather small grouping, as here, was never more vividly on display.  It is a testament to an artist who knows the importance of balance and knows how to coax great singing out of his choir.  He demands a lot of his Palestrina Choir and whether it is by sheer talent or sheer talent combined with a determination to show him they can not be defeated the Choir delivers with tremendous power.  Yes, acoustics play their part.  But there must be something filling that acoustical space.  The Palestrina Choir filled it with the song of Angels.

Memorable too was Lee Erickson's opening processional for the entrance of the bride, appropriately setting the stage for the proceedings.  It thundered so as to highlight the great beginning moments, then gave way to the quiet, haunting Propers sung by the men's schola under maestro Stich.  I would not hesitate to say that in its small way this combination of Stich and Erickson at a Solemn High Wedding Mass echoes the more feted collaborations of renowned classical artists.   

                                                           Rev. Father Benoit Jayr

Though more of a music review we cannot neglect to mention that the lucky Milwaukee couple, Andrew Thompson and his new bride Maria, were equally well-served by a gorgeous and reverently arranged Mass in the historical Gregorian Rite performed by Rev. Father Benoit Jayr, a French priest assigned to the parish.  It is the Rite that nourished the Church for untold centuries and it is the Rite that will nourish the Church once again thanks to certain courageous actions taken by the present Pope.

But a Mass, after all, is about the unbloody sacrifice of Christ on the cross and it is the main focus of the wedding day.  It is the Sacrament that is being administered.  How appropriate therefore that this majestic yet mystical ceremony should be adorned with equally mystical music in another kind of perfect wedding, the wedding between a Solemn High Mass in the historic rite of the Church and the glorious music offered by a talented Choir under the direction of a fine artist.  True Church musicians can enrich the rubrics at Solemn High Mass where the beauty of the sounds they bring can stir the very soul.

And as for the wedding Mass at St Stanislaus on October 27th last,  soul-stirring it most certainly was.


While Catholics stagger and stumble from one outrage after another coming from certain quarters in the Church the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano once again jumps right in with another exercise in cultural cluelessness.  Now it is extolling the virtues of the newest James Bond film, with special emphasis on those lovely Bond girls!

RT reports:

Can someone please find me a sick bag?

With thousands of beautiful, touching, well-made films to talk about (all of them made prior to 1970 of course), films which could be the subject of intelligent and meaningful discussion, the Vatican newspaper instead chooses to write about such mind-numbing rubbish as the Bond films...and those hot Bond girls (who have not been so hot lately anyway).

Bond girls.  Seriously discussed in the Pope's newspaper.

Just go ahead and keep on making the Church a laughingstock, you erstwhile editors of the Vatican newspaper.  Keep extolling the virtues of rock music (an oxymoron if ever there was one), childish literature, bad music, poor architecture and stupid motion pictures.  "We must engage the culture", say these liberal churchmen.  Yes, we agree.  But engage in it to uplift it.  Instead of praising such things as the latest mindless Bond movies and all those sexy gals adorning it how about praising some films that will uplift as well as entertain, films made by people with brains and original ideas, films made by artists?

Perhaps that is asking too much.

Thursday, October 25, 2012


The major news outlets routinely ignore these grotesque murder stories so it will not be surprising if any of my readers have not heard of this atrocity.  It is unpleasant to even think about it, let alone write about it.  But we choose to write about it so that we can wake up to the reality of a savagery that is metastasizing in this nation.  As painful as it might be to face the facts, we must: crimes against whites are now at epidemic levels.

The perpetrators of this horrendous crime are rarely pictured or identified.  And the underlying reason for that is sadly obvious: in order to not offend the delicate feelings of some segments of our population, facts will be hidden from public outrage.  But the more they are hidden, the more the outrages will continue.  The NAACP will rush to offer excuses; they will use the tiresome cry of "racism".  The news media and the government will lie about it.  That is to be expected.

This story is but the small tip of an iceberg of evidence that this nation is imploding.  I say that in all sorrow.  But I cannot refuse to face the facts.  When one is criticized for pointing out that black-on-white crimes are growing more and uglier with each passing month, illustrating the horrible state of affairs among blacks, a state of affairs that Walter Williams laments about courageously and constantly, then we know that honesty is to be the first casualty of any attempted discussion on the matter.  But to those Americans who are past the age of 50: do you recall living in a land that saw things like this happening on an almost daily basis?

Christian nations, too, have their crime problems.  History informs us of that quite clearly.  But perhaps only in American does such unspeakable behavior seem to be almost a norm.  And if it tells us nothing else, it says that we had better start doing a better job of converting our countrymen to the Faith.   

Yes, the thought of America becoming Catholic is a utopian one.  But that is no excuse for refusing to try.  In the meantime, however, we must warn our children to stay far away from people like those pictured in the article.  Do not worry about being called names for doing so; be more concerned for your children's lives.

[Note: Though the website from which this article was taken tends to have a rather depressingly atheistic style, and often carries articles which this writer cannot agree with, it does on the other hand provide news that is being systematically hidden by everyone else and is therefore a valuable resource...if for no other reason than it may save the life of you or your loved ones.]

Thursday, October 18, 2012


One wonders just how much longer the world is going to sit by and tolerate the slow martyrdom of Arabs - Arab Christians, as well as Arab non-Christians - in the Holy Land.  Every single day some outrage or another is perpetrated against these people (dutifully covered up the Unfree Press), and no one seems to trouble themselves overly much.  True, one must go to alternative sources to discover the truth but that is not any great effort if one is serious about knowing the facts.

For those who can stand the stench of this story, it is here:

Fully supported by the US "neocons" of both political parties, the occupiers of Palestine continue to treat their non-Chosen subjects like dogs.  But this writer is fully convinced that God is watching these sufferings, just as He watches various religious leaders fall over themselves as they attempt to outdo each other in dialoguing with the persecutors of these innocents.  Those religious leaders who bow before wailing walls and visit synagogues and allow themselves to be insulted by their inferiors are also being watched by "large and awful faces from beyond", as Belloc famously said.  But God, as always, will have the last laugh.

It does offer some comfort that some of the persecutors slowly begin to change their minds and begin to see the reality of the evil of their actions. We at The Eye Witness recommend the video below.  It is long, over an hour, but it is well worth viewing.  You might send it to some "Christian Zionists" you know, both of the Catholic and the Protestant persuasion.

Saturday, October 13, 2012


                                                       The ruins of Walsingham Abbey

The Vatican's friendship with the European Union is a one-way street, unsurprising when one considers the intense anti-Catholicism of that most masonic European super government.  Rome treats this entity with respect, with exuberance and not a little obsequiosness.  And the EU treats Rome with contempt.  When you dance with the devil you had better be prepared for the stiletto which will soon glide noiselessly into your back.

The knifing has now begun in earnest: 

Under pressure from the EU, the Vatican will now, after twenty centuries, be forced to pay a property tax.  On top of the financial ruin caused by Rome's seeming tolerance of homosexual predators in its clergy comes this next blow.  It is a blow that will cripple the Church.  It could pauperize the Church.  How many churches and monasteries will now be sold off to pay for this?  This is a well-orchestrated assault (instigated by the money-lenders and financial oligarchs who perch atop the ramparts of global governments) because it comes right on top of the increasingly vicious anti-Catholic moves being made by the American government in such areas as its infamous Obamacare.

Rome could have prevented this; it could have put away its Gaudiam et Spes and its Nostra Aetetes and  its "openings to the world", still being celebrated by the clueless and the geriatric, and instead started to once again don the cope of prudence.  Looking across the wasteland that was once a thriving Church those who celebrate the fifty year anniversary of what Scottish commentator Gerald Warner has perfectly called the Second Vatican Catastrophe might as well be looking at the landscape post-Mount St Helens.  Craters and ash.  Where the Church was historically wary of "global" initiatives, which it correctly saw as The Enemy in its midst, now it welcomes them with open arms, paying homage to entities like the United Nations and now the European Union.  Where the possibility of a Christ-less world government filled the ancient Church with horror now it treats the looming reality as the last hope of mankind.  It has even at times used its language.  In certain of its diplomatic endeavors todays Vatican has even adopted the "CE" and "BCE" jargon intended to erase "AD" and "BC" in calendar dating, another slap in the face of the Divine Founder of the Church.  Not all Vatican officials use these insulting designations to be sure, but a great many do.  This writer has personally seen documents from the Vatican addressing women with the meaningless appellation "Ms", instead of the appropriate and respectful "Miss" or "Mrs."  The idiotic "Ms" was devised by the cackling harridans and trulls of the Women's Movement in the 1970s, and some in the Vatican dignify such absurdies with their usage of it.  Not even a simple respect for the English language can be found among some prelates any longer.

Of such seemingly minor things can emerge major trouble.  Thus, the new tax applied to Vatican property.  And just as surely as Mary's little lamb followed Mary, look for municipalities in the United States to start doing the same.  Blasted and beaten to the ground by the modernism which is at present ruling the Roman roost, which has brought shame and ruin to the Church, the Holy See will now have to face this new assault.  An assault that could have been avoided.  With its opening of the windows Rome signalled a truce with the world.  How can we now be shocked when that truce is broken by those gnats and blood-sucking mosquitoes who flew into those windows once they were opened?

An enemy has done this, we read in the Gospels.  That enemy has been safely ensconced in the highest circles of the Church since at least the mid-1800s.  Was it not, after all, Saint Pius X (under the prodding of the saintly Cardinal Merry del Val) who ordered the Oath Against Modernism one hundred years ago?  He saw how long and how deep the problem was and reacted by issuing the famous oath, now a dead letter since the pontificate of Paul VI.  This latest crisis did not have its origins in Vatican 2.  The Second Vatican Catastrophe was merely the pus that began to flow out of a sore that had been festering for decades.  We forget, too, that many of the urgent reforms initiated by St Pius X were undone by each of his successors, to a greater or lesser extent, until we have reached the point today in which there can actually be a pro-homosexual "Mass" said in numerous churches left unhindered by such prelates as Nichols and Dolan.  We have reached the point where a viper in sheep's clothing - Cardinal Wuerl - can discpline and humiliate a loyal priest for doing the job he was ordained to do.

The pleadings of the faithful before and after Vatican 2 were ignored by the Vatican.  The evils were left virtually untouched, and the dark flowering occurred.  And now we see the results.

Shall we lose hope?  Of course, no.  It has almost become a cliche to say that :the Gates of Hell will never prevail against the Church".  Cliche or not it happens to be perfectly true.

Or as one worldly-wise commentator said when glancing over the mediocrities in high places in God's Church, "They ain't permanent."

                                                     The pilgrimage to Walsingham Abbey

Saturday, October 6, 2012



This writer had the occasion the other day to peruse some reviews of a new video disc release of a classic film from the 1940s to gauge the general opinion of the overall quality of the product.  One review startled me.  It said, "I will watch an occasional classic movie but I draw the line at black and white."

Goodness.  He draws the line.  At black and white. 

One supposes that this gentleman would ignore a museum exhibition of Rembrandt's charcoal sketches on the premise that he must draw the line somewhere, as these sketches are in black and white.  Ansel Adams' famous photographic studies of the American southwest, photographed in black and white, would elicit no remorse from that gentleman if all the prints and negatives of the man's work were suddenly burned by some zealous guardian of the public, whose job it would presumably be to protect the young and innocent from having to view non-color images.

While such pig-ignorance can be pitied such opinions need not detain us overlong.  For those of my readers who are not afraid to indulge in the glories of rich, lustrous black and white photography allow me to recommend the visual feasting in store for those who are fortunate enough to view the work of Mexico's finest motion picture photographer, the late Gabriel Figueroa.

The Fugitive (1947)

Another illustration, as if one were needed, of the reason why this writer calls film "the oil paint of image capture".  And while these digitized photos look lovely on your computer screen, you should see them projected, on a large screen, in 35mm.  If ever such opportunities to see classic works of cinema on film present themselves in your city, where the digital downgrade steamroller proceeds apace, take them, because if the corporate pirates and media shysters have their way they will soon be unavailable.

The photots above, from John Ford's gorgeous 1947 film THE FUGITIVE, starring Henry Fonda, Dolores del Rio and Pedrom Armendariz, and photographed by a great artist, Gabriel Figueroa.
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