Omnes Sancti et Sanctæ Coreæ, orate pro nobis.

Now Blogging Afresh at Ad Orientem 西儒 - The Western Confucian

Thursday, March 31, 2005


[image from Dubai Looks to Build Tallest Skyscraper]
A Blogommendation
Hallowed Ground is the new blog of my e-quaintance Jeff Culbreath, of El Camino Real fame. The new blog will continue with "commentary on Catholicism and culture, but there will be more of an emphasis on family, rural living, and various topics of local interest."

Although we have not yet met in person, while reading each other's blogs Mr. Culbreath and I discovered a number of remarkable coincidences. He and his family have recently relocated to a farm in Orland, the small and beautiful Northern California town where my wife and I were married five years ago. He grew up in Durham, which is quite near Chico, where my parents now live. He once attended Faith Lutheran Chico, my parents' church. We both spent some time at St. Augustine of Canterbury Episcopal Church in Chico, an important step in our conversion Catholicism.

Be sure to check out his new blog to read about the good life and how it can be led.
Father Frank A. Pavone's Missionaries of the Gospel of Life
New Order of Catholic Priests Is Forming to Fight Abortions and Euthanasia
교황 요한 바오르 2세

[images from 어린 시절의 교황 요한 바오르 2세 & 젊은 시절의 교황 요한 바오르 2세 respectively]
Astronomy Domine
Ptolemy Tilted Off His Axis
Not with a bang, but a whimper.
The strange death of the liberal West [link via A conservative blog for peace]
Madonna Simultaneously Sacrileges Catholicism and Judaism
From Catholic League speaks out against Madonna's latest stunt:
    The pop star dressed up like a nun and her husband, Guy Ritchie, dressed up as the ailing Pope for a London party celebrating the Jewish holiday of Purim, reported the Daily News.
"The New Morality"
The Culture of Death Advances
Ordinary and Extraordinary Care
Here are some illustrative quotes from Catholic teaching on end of life issues misrepresented:

Richard Doerflinger, Deputy Director of the Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:
    The Church teaches that we have a moral obligation to support life. That obligation has limits. People talk about ordinary and extraordinary means. That just means that when the efforts to sustain life start doing more harm than good to the patient the moral obligation ceases to apply. Even then you should never abandon a patient and never deny them the basic care owed to everyone because of their human dignity.

Father Thomas Williams, dean of the theology department of Regina Apostolorum Pontifical University:
    The Pope uses two sets of terms. For treatment to be considered extraordinary, death must be "imminent and inevitable" and the treatment would result in "precarious and burdensome prolongation of life."

Father Williams quotes from Evangelium Vitae, the papal encyclical released ten years to the day before Terri Schiavo's forced dehydration and starvation began.
The Sick
Three stories with a common theme:

Let us offer this Prayer for the Sick near Death:
    Almighty and Everlasting God, preserver of souls, who dost correct those whom Thou dost love, and for their betterment dost tenderly chastise those whom Thou dost receive, we call upon Thee, O Lord, to grant Thy healing, that the soul of Thy servant, at the hour of its departure from the body, may by the hands of Thy holy Angels be presented without spot unto Thee. Amen.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005


This 1995 image of an underground mass in Shaanxi, China comes from the Angry Twins:

Of the situation in China, the secular humanist Nicholas D. Kristoff writes this in Where Faith Thrives:
    David Lyle Jeffrey of Baylor University sees some parallels between China today and the early Roman empire. He wonders aloud whether a Chinese Constantine will come along and convert to Christianity.

    Chairman Mao largely destroyed traditional Chinese religions, yet Communism has died as a replacement faith and left a vacuum. "Among those disappointed true-believer Marxists, it may well be that Marxism has served as a kind of John the Baptist to the rapid emergence of Christianity among Chinese intellectuals," Professor Jeffrey said. Indeed, it seems possible to me that in a few decades, China could be a largely Christian nation.

For more about the persecution of the Catholics in China, see The Cardinal Kung Foundation.

Nat Hentoff on Terri Schiavo

Nat Hentoff, a self-described "Jewish atheist civil-libertarian pro-lifer," demonstrates that morality is not dependant on religion in writing about "the longest public execution in American history" here:

Lord, have mercy.

[link via A conservative blog for peace]

Shameful Censorship

Re: S. Korea bars secret video of the North: A tape of a public execution, smuggled into South Korea, is kept off the air.

How far will Seoul go to appease P'yŏngyang?

Here are some quotes from the above article:

Pak Sang Huk, an escapee from the North:
    We have told of many public executions [in the North]. But officials in Seoul always ask us for material evidence. Now that we have evidence, they don't want to see it.... The people who brought this tape through China were speechless when they visited KBS [Korean Broadcast Service] studios, and were shunned.

Gyeng-seob Oh, who runs the newsletter NKnet:
    When I first saw the footage, I thought it would be front-page news. But South Korea, the most important market for this information, was not interested.

An unnamed North Korean refugee:
    What will we say when they ask us, "What did you do to help?"

A reader provided these links to images:
Scotsman and Korean Unite to Clone Humans

International Cloning Project Due Next Month

"This is about civil rights!"

From Jesse Jackson Prays With Schiavo's Parents:
    I feel so passionate about this injustice being done, how unnecessary it is to deny her a feeding tube, water, not even ice to be used for her parched lips. This is a moral issue and it transcends politics and family disputes.
Let us...

Pray for Terri [link via Apologia]

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Patrick J. Buchanan on the Culture of Death

Nazis: Pioneers in Medicine

Doublespeak and the Culture of Death

Re: Orwell and Terri Schiavo

The gross misuse of language the above article documents necessitates today's second citation of this saying of Confucius:
    "When words lose their meaning, people lose their liberty."
Other Religious Voices on Terri Schiavo

The following quotes come from Ethics of life and death often create a divide:

Raphael Davidovich, Orthodox Rabbi of the Adath Jeshurun Synagogue:
    The life that Judaism places the highest value on is not just a full, conscious, active life, but any human life....

    There's no measurement in Jewish ethics for how conscious a human life has to be in order to be a human life... There's no doubt in traditional Jewish ethics that Terri is alive and should not be deprived of any care without her consent.

Ahmed Noor, trustee of the Mosque & Islamic Center in Hampton, VA:
    Human beings are the crown of God's creation. Every moment of life has great importance, even if it is of poor quality.

Monsignor Michael McCarron of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church:
    Our church has an unyielding, unalterable stance on life regardless of its activity. If you're negating human life - whether in euthanasia or abortion or capital punishment - then you're off base.
Vive Le Français!

Why study French?

The participants in the first Conference for French Language in Northeast Asia couldn't find an answer to that question, other than the belief that English is "not a quality language," at least according to this article:

I can't believe the author of this article is reporting the whole story. Any self-respecting Francophone could come up with dozens of reasons to learn the language of the "First Daughter of the Church." I only took a couple of semesters of French in college, and could never speak it without a strong Spanish accent, but can think of these reasons off the top of my head:

1. to read Blaise Pascal
2. to travel to Québec or Côte d'Ivoire
3. to watch a lot of good movies without subtitles
4. to understand all those phrases used by characters in Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy novels translated into English
5. to impress people

Seriously though, the article, which focuses on French in international business, illustrates the sad reality that people these days, especially here in Northeast Asia, only learn languages for instrumentative reasons. If it can't make you money, why learn it? Gone are the days when a Miguel de Unamuno would learn a language like Danish solely in order to read the works of a Kierkegaard.

Another Group of Fanatics Seeks to Impose its Religious Beliefs on the Rest of Us!

At least that's how our progressivist friends would read the following story from the Dominion of Canada:

But such an interpretation would be completely wrong!

These Sikhs are not trying to impose any religious belief on anyone. Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, the highest Sikh authority, is not asking the Canadian Sikh MPs to support legislation insisting that Guru Nanak was inspired by God or demanding devotion to the Adi Granth, any more than Pope John Paul II has ever called for legislation in favor of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception. Protestants are mistaken when they resort to Leviticus or the "God made Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve" line of argumentation. This might work when preaching to the choir, but not when dialoging with people of other or no religious beliefs. Gay "marriage" is a moral and social issue, not a religious* issue.

One need not look to Scripture, but to God's other Revelation, Creation, to agree with Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti that homosexuality is "totally against the laws of nature." Even atheistic societies like Cuba and the former Soviet Union have correctly recognized the dangers homosexuality poses to a society. Even the ancient Greeks and Romans, in their decadence, not to mention the various Indian tribes of North America or the islanders of Melanesia, never dreamed of elevating such unions to the status of procreative marriage.

Leave it to the dying West to consider such lunacy!

*Words like "moral" and "religious," and really all words, have lost their precise meanings to post-moderns, who believe words have no meaning and are only defined by power-relationships. This situation makes logical discussion impossible. As Confucius said, "When words lose their meaning, people lose their liberty."

[For more on this theme, see Poll: Israelis say no 'gay pride' in Holy City]

Korean Bullfighting

In Korea, unlike Spain, it's bull vs. bull, as pictured below, from No coup de grace, just guts and glory at Korean bullfights:

Monday, March 28, 2005

Dying of Thirst

From Wittingshire: Thirst [link via El Camino Real]:
    In 1906, W.J. McGee, Director of the St. Louis Public museum, published one of the most detailed and graphic descriptions of the ravages of extreme dehydration ever recorded. McGee's account was based on the experiences of Pablo Valencia, a forty-year-old sailor-turned-prospector, who survived almost seven days in the Arizona desert without water....

    Saliva becomes thick and foul-tasting; the tongue clings irritatingly to the teeth and the roof of the mouth .... A lump seems to form in the throat ... severe pain is felt in the head and neck. The face feels full due to the shrinking of the skin. Hearing is affected, and many people begin to hallucinate... [then come] the agonies of a mouth that has ceased to generate saliva. The tongue hardens into what McGee describes as "a senseless weight, swinging on the still-soft root and striking foreignly against the teeth." Speech becomes impossible, although sufferers have been known to moan and bellow.

    Next is the "blood sweats" phase, involving "a progressive mummification of the initially living body." The tongue swells to such proportions that it squeezes past the jaws. The eyelids crack and the eyeballs begin to weep tears of blood. The throat is so swollen that breathing becomes difficult, creating an incongruous yet terrifying sense of drowning.

    Finally ... there is living death, the state into which Pablo Valencia had entered when McGee discovered him on a desert trail, crawling on his hands and knees: "His lips had disappeared as if amputated, leaving low edges of blackened tissue; his teeth and gums projected like those of a skinned animal, but the flesh was black and dry as a hank of jerky; his nose was withered and shrunken to half its length, and the nostril-lining showing black; his eyes were set in a winkless stare, with surrounding skin so contracted as to expose the conjunctiva, itself as black as the gums...; his skin [had] generally turned a ghastly purplish yet ashen gray, with great livid blotches and streaks; his lower legs and feet ... were torn and scratched by contact with thorns and sharp rocks, yet even the freshest cuts were so many scratches in dry leather, without trace of blood" (Philbrick, 126-128).

And from the same source, this:
    Terri Schiavo's tongue and eyes were bleeding and her skin was flaking off, said Barbara Weller, the Schindlers' attorney.

For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
Pro dolorosa Eius passione, miserere nobis et totius mundi.

The Disabled and Terri Schiavo

This article came as a link in an email from a disability listserv to which I belong:

These lines struck me:
    To be put to death without trying absolutely every means to preserve that life including proper rehabilitation is simply murder or in properly prepared situations suicide. No one truly knows where Terri would be today if she had been given all resources that had been available to her and no one truly knows what Terri's wishes were, probably not even Michael Schiavo. However, the days that Terri has spent clinging on to life speaks [sic] volumes. When a person is ready to give up they [sic] slip into death and without any will to live, Terri Schiavo would have been gone a long time ago [sic]. It is painfully and horrifically evident that Terri is fighting to hang on and despite court rulings and the claims of Michael Schiavo, this "vegetable" is telling me [sic] she wants to live. [my emphasis]
Other Religions on Terri Schiavo

The Orthodox Jewish position below, like that of Pope John Paul II, is that food and water are basic requirements, like air, and do not constitute extroadinary measures. Here's Rabbi Pinchas Lipner, Orthodox dean of the Institute for Jewish Medical Ethics at Hebrew Academy of San Francisco, quoted in Heart of Schiavo fight: Humans decide death:
    We have to give food and drink if a person is alive. The Jewish position is that we have to care for life.

The following Buddhist position, if it can be called a position and not a cop-out, illustrates why this religion is so popular in the post-modern, values-free West. There are no rules, just as long as you feel good (are mindful) about what you're doing. Here's Rev. Dean Koyoma, the minister at the Mountain View Buddhist Temple, quoted in the same source:
    There isn't a hard-and-fast rule in Buddhism. What it would say is that you have to be mindful of your actions.

It is not surprising that Muslims, who worship the Creator, have a similar view to that of Catholics and Jews. Here's Aziz Junejo, host of "Focus on Islam," a weekly cable-television show, quoted in 5 Times columnists consider issues of faith in Schiavo case:
    We must remember she is not dead, and that God and the U.S. Constitution give her the right to live.

    Muslims generally believe a sick person should patiently endure the pain and pray to Allah that if he or she is patient, there will be a great reward and blessing for them in the eternal life.
Terri Schiavo Update

This updates some information posted earlier today:
The Next Korean Wave*?

Manufactured Transgender Pop Group 'Lady' Set to Debut

For those outside Korea, the "Korean Wave" (한류 韓流) refers to the recent popularity Korean pop-culture has enjoyed in East Asian countries.

Bringing Culture to the Provinces

Korea's most renowned violinist, quoted in Chung Kyung-wha Shuns Seoul in Chamber Orchestra Tour:
    I always found it unfortunate that unlike the small towns in Europe where there are a lot of opportunities to enjoy high quality music, Korea's regional cities have none.
Terri Schiavo and the Bushes' Cowardice

Today's email message from Michael Peroutka, the man who received my vote in the 2004 presidential election, had this title:
    The Governor and the President Have Murdered Terri Schiavo - Somebody has to say it!

I might not have used the verb "murder," but I share Mr. Peroutka's disgust at the hypocrisy of the Bushes in this matter. No sooner had the polls been conducted, and it determined that a large majority of Terri Schiavo's fellow citizens had no problem with her being de-hydrated to death, than the "pro-life" Bushes abandoned this poor woman to her cruel, unusual, and horrifying fate.

There was no mention of executive orders, as were issued in the Elián González case or in the school desegregation of the 1950s and '60s. Our "leaders" are the ones being led, by the polls, not by their convictions, if they can even be said to have any.

What we have now is mobocracy: plain, simple, and barbaric.

Meanwhile, Terri Schiavo keeps fighting for her life. Here's more:

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Whale Meat

These two stories come ahead of the upcoming meeting of the International Whaling Commission in Ulsan*, my wife's hometown, a city that I lived in for three years:

I side against Greenpeace. The people of the Ulsan area have been whaling for 8000 years! Whale meat is a delicacy, something that I enjoy with my father-in-law.

*For more information, see Ulsan - IWC or click on the image below:
Red China's Repression of Catholics

Letter to Chinese Ambassador Yang Jiechi

Dog and Dogs in Korea

That count/non-count noun distinction makes all the difference.

From Dogs Adored While Being Eaten in Seoul:
    These days dogs are treated like an adored member of the family in Seoul where they were once raised to feed the hungry stomach of their masters. Yet dog meat is so popular among the Korean people even instant dog soups line supermarket shelves.

Antti Leppänen of Hunjangûi karûch'im posted on the subject of dog meat a few weeks back (see Use of dog meat as human food to stay outside of law).

He also included a link to the second of these paintings below, which each reflect the contrary Korean attitude to dogs, by primitivist painter Choi Suk-un:

Dogs with clothing, like the one in the first picture, and even hair-dye are a common sight in urban Korea. Their owners, usually young women, generally carry their dogs, like an accessory. It is less common to see someone actually take their dog for a walk.

Take a drive through the country and it's still possible to see dog meat prepared in the traditional, yet illegal, way pictured in the second picture: hang the dog up by the neck and beat it to death, thereby stimulating the secretion of adrenaline, which is said to both make the meat more delicious and help with male impotency. Most restuarants are said to use electric shocks to kill their dogs.

Terri Schiavo

CNN reported that her husband has denied his dying wife the Eucharist on Easter Sunday.

Here are two articles worth reading:

Κύριε, ελέησον.

Christ is Risen!

    The Morning of the Resurrection by Sir Edward Burne-Jones (1833-1898)
    [image from CGFA]

Happy Easter!

Today, I'll try to fit in a viewing of Hill Number One, "an hour-long Easter special sponsored by the Family Rosary Crusade--the story of Jesus after the crucifixion, when he was buried in the tomb and then was risen. It's talky, stiffly staged, and very earnest. [James] Dean has a small role, about four lines of dialogue, and he's wildly miscast as the serene and pious John the Baptist."

John the Apostle, not John the Baptist.

In contrast to the above review, I found it very moving. It begins with several soldiers in the Korean War contemplating the meaning of life. A Catholic chaplain relates the Easter story. It was James Dean's first on-screen appearance. At the end, a priest with an Irish accent extols familes to pray the rosary together.

The Golden Age of Television! That wouldn't fly today!

[image from IFILM Movies - Hill Number One]

End of Blogfast

Here are some things I might have posted about over the last 40 days:

My Son Joel at One Month

Holy Week

Holy Week 2005 was of course marked by the absence of the Holy Father and the very unholy events occurring in Florida. Terri is in the last stages of dying from thirst as I write this. I can think of nothing new to add to the horror, rage, and disgust all people of informed conscience feel observing these events.

The Caelum et Terra Blog's Daniel Nichols, in The Passion of Terri Schiavo, writes:
    The Russian Church has a name for those innocents who, while not martyred for their faith, nevertheless are unjustly killed: they are called Passion-Bearers, and their suffering is seen as a participation in the sufferings of Christ.

El Camino Real's Jeff Culbreath exposes the hypocrisy of both the Bushes and many leading paleo-conservatives.

First, he links to this posting by Apologia's William Luse entitled Goodbye, Terri, from which this comes:
    From somewhere in America, probably Texas, George Bush took a moment out from pitching other matters like Social Security reform to remind us that we should always 'err on the side of life.' Why? Because this 'is a complex case.' No it isn't, Mr. President. And your use of that word lets you off the hook. It tells us you're not sure a murder is taking place. In it we can read the future. It tells us you already know that the courts will rule against you, but you have made a gesture. Much like your brother in Florida, who petitioned the same court that is allowing this execution for permission to take Terri into protective state custody via the DCF, and who likewise knew what the decision would be - but he had made a gesture. Do you really want to make a gesture, Mr. President, Mr. Governor? Send in the federal marshals to take custody. Clinton did it, with the intention of returning a boy to his father and to reinternment in the prison camp known as Cuba. But you, Mr. President, have the opportunity to literally set someone free, to save her not merely from prison but from death. You can use the justification that Martin Luther King used in his breaking of the law (acquired via St. Augustine): that an unjust law is no law at all; that the State cannot lawfully participate in murder; and that the Florida law that got this ball rolling is unconstitutional, thereby rendering null and void all judicial decisions pursuant to it.

    Will you, Mr. President, lay down your political life for this one innocent friend, this woman, this human being? No, you will not.

Next, writing in SCHIAVO AND THE LIMITS OF IDEOLOGY, Mr. Culbreath minces no words:
    One strains to find a common thread in the various opinions of "old rightists" that are opposed to Christian faith and order. Barry Goldwater was militantly pro-abortion, Sam Francis wanted non-whites to practice contraception, Winston Churchill advocated using poison gas on civilian populations, Pat Buchanan winks at torture, Thomas Fleming thinks that euthanasia is a family affair, and John Derbyshire has just invited Michael Schiavo over for a beer. I think the common thread among these paleo-conservative opinions is an exaggerated belief in human inequality. I say exaggeratred, because human inequality is certainly a fact of our existence and needs to be emphasized over and against the prevailing egalitarianism. But many of the old rightists seem to believe that human differences - such as the difference between people like Terri Schiavo and the rest of us - determine human value. And that is why the Catholic can never get too chummy with them, no matter how praiseworthy their views on other subjects.
Finally, a reminder to keep praying:

A Lenten Breakthrough?

Ever since first putting effort into Lent a few years ago, I've always ended up disappointed with myself. In fact, by Good Friday, I usually feel like I should be doing this:

or this:

[The first image reminds me of an old movie in which a clueless American in Spain sees a religious procession and asks, "What's with all these crazy ku kluxers?"]

In the morning of the last day of Lent this year, I finally realized that disappointment might be what the season's all about: disappointment with one's sinful self. Lent is for penitence. If I want to feel good about myself, I'll turn to Oprah and Dr. Phil.

But by the evening of that same day, I had learned much more than that. I had been having an ongoing battle with Scrupulosity. It was not the old type, born of legalism, in which one worries about breaking the Eucharistic fast if a particle of food becomes dislodged from one's teeth one hour before mass, but the new type born of a conscience raised in a culture in which words like virtue and sin have become archaic, and words like venial and mortal completely alien.

The breakthrough occurred as I was mentally reviewing the various Internet sites, listed below, that I had consulted for hours researching the above themes, trying to decide whether or not I was in a state of mortal sin and thereby not worthy of the Eucharist. I decided I’d compose an email to a blogging priest, since although my Korean ability is sufficient for confessing my sins, it is not at a level that I could get serious spiritual direction on a matter like this.

While mentally composing this message, the sitiation came to light and I answered my own question. I came to the conclusion that I had probably committed a venial sin, out of ignorance, lack of reflection, or both, especially since I did not consider that it might have been a mortal sin until after the fact. More importantly, however, I concluded that instead of wasting hours contemplating whether some past sin had been venial or mortal, I should instead abhor all sin, mortal and venial, as well as its near occasion, and devote my spiritual energies to rooting it out and doing penance. I realize now that my scrupulosity had been a cover for all kinds of venial sins that I had let grow like weeds in an untended garden, some of which gave rise to actual mortal sins. Prayer, especially The Divine Mercy Chaplet, will be my way out of this mess.

Right now, I feel like the character in Walker Percy’s The Moviegoer, a disabled boy on his death bed, who cheerfully lets his half-brother know that he had “conquered an habitual disposition.”

Here are some sites that were helpful in defining the differences between mortal and venial sins:

Here’s a site that tries to simplify things in light of the “Biblical scholarship in the Catholic Church in the past 30 years” and ends up leaving a muddled, confused mess:


In order to reinvigorate my study of classical languages, I bought a copy of the Septuaginta (LXX), the Third Century B.C. translation of the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek.

I was happy to find this evidence for the Catholic biblical canon written by the Protestant editor in the preface:
    Thus it came about that the earliest Christian communities were formed to a large extent from Jews of the Dispersion, while the LXX, being already everywhere wide-spread and well-known, was simply adopted by the Christians as the Church's Bible.

The LXX, you see, contains the deuterocanonical texts that Protestants reject.

Two Book Reviews

Here are two interesting book reviews that appeared recently:

Books Finished

Here are some very brief reviews of my own of books I recently finished:
    The Rosary of Our Lady by Romano Guardini
    This excellent devotional work by a great thinker really upgraded my daily Rosary during Lent.

    Great Heresies by Hillaire Belloc
    I was enthralled by everything he wrote, especially about Mohammedanism being a Catholic heresy, but not the way he wrote it. Belloc seems to repeat things unnecessarily too often. I feel the same way about G.K. Chesterton, Belloc's colleague. There's something about his style of writing I don't like even though I love what he has to say.

    The Belief of Catholics by Ronald Knox
    This is the book to read to understand the Catholic Faith! I'll be searching out other works by this author, whom no less a figure than Evelyn Waugh credited with having written the 20th Century's greatest book.

    The Moviegoer by Walker Percy
    Southern Catholic existentialism. What more needs to be said? Here's more about the author: Walker Percy: Doctor of the Soul.

Today I begin A Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh.


Here's a list I found of 503 Notable Converts to Catholicism, a conference entitled the Catholic Pilgrimage of Converts, fellow ex-Missouri Synod Lutheran Fr. Ricahrd John Neuhaus' How I Became the Catholic I Was, and this partial list of converts complied by the late Gerard Serafin, from a post entitled The Convert:
    How much the poorer the Church would be without this "great cloud of witnesses!" Just think of the contributions of those like John Henry Newman and Gerard Manley Hopkins, Frederick William Faber, of Gilbert Keith Chesterton , Robert Hugh Benson, Sir Arnold Lunn, Christopher Dawson, Eric Gill, of Ronald Knox, the great Welsh poet, David Jones, Les Murray (Australian poet), Takaski Nagai.

    Or more recently of Peter Kreeft, Thomas and Lovelace Howard, Malcolm and Kitty Muggeridge, Paul and Evelyn Vitz, Sheldon Vanauken (God rest his soul), Dale Vree (editor of The New Oxford Review) and Deal Hudson (editor of Crisis), Scott and Kimberly Hahn, John Michael Talbot, Annie Dillard, the once-abortionist doctor, Bernard Nathanson.

    How blessed we have been by converts like St. Edith Stein and Dorothy Day (the canonizable foundress, along with the saintly Peter Maurin, of the CatholicWorker movement), of other saintly friends, Catherine von Hueck Doherty, and Helen Iswolsky, by Adrienne von Speyr and Gertrude von le Fort, of both Jacques and Raissa Maritain. Of Angelus Silesius, of Fr Louis Bouyer, Brother Max Thurian of Taize (may he rest in peace), Fr Richard John Neuhaus and Fr George Rutler. And of the great Russian, Vladimir Soloviev as well! The convert scripture scholars like Henrich Schlier (disciple of Rudolf Bultmann), and Eugene Pedersen.

    The writers like Sigrid Undset, Graham Greene, Evelyn Waugh, and Walker Percy. Americans like St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Orestes Brownson, Isaac Hecker, Rose Hawthorne Lathrop, daughter of Nathaniel Hawthorne, and the son of John Foster Dulles, Cardinal Avery Dulles, S.J. And converts like "the rocking horse" Catholic, Caryll Houselander, and the convert-in-heart Simone Weil, Deitrich von Hildebrand, Thomas Merton, Fr Aidan Nichols, OP.

    How marvelous a group! I realize this is a very limited listing (I didn't even mention, "The Duke" John Wayne!)? The list could get very long...... thank God!

Defense of a Saintly Man

I posted this on a blog where a commenter was engaging in character assassination: Pope Pius XII from the Jewish Virtual Library.

Science and Scientism

Here are some science-related articles that appeared recently:

Darwinian Fundamentalists and other Atheists

Here's a good article: The Metaphysics of Evolution.

And I liked this quote from Turkish philosopher Harun Yahya in Atheism worldwide in decline:
    Atheism, which people have tried to for hundreds of years as "the ways of reason and science," is proving to be mere irrationality and ignorance.

As the Psalmist observed, "The fool has said in his heart, There is no God" ( Psalm 14:1).

Economics and Politics

Searching for information on Distributism for a comment on another blogger's site led me to an examination of Paleoconservatism and Paleolibertarianism. I find myself being persuaded more and more by the latter, thanks to the excellent and paleolibertarian bloggers like Serge of A conservative blog for peace, and Fr. Jim Tucker of Dappled Things.

Here are various websites related to the above ideas:

Finally, here are two very interesting paleolibertarian articles:

The Pope vs. Hunter S. Thompson

From An inglorious suicide:
    How striking is the contrast between Thompson’s tawdry death and the excruciating struggle of Pope John Paul II, whose passionate belief in the sanctity of life remains unwavering, even as Parkinson’s disease slowly ravages him. The pope’s example of courage and dignity sends a powerful message, but the chattering class would rather talk instead about why this stubborn man won’t resign. Meanwhile they extol Hunter Thompson and are itching to know — are his ashes really going to be fired from a cannon?


We started raising four members of the Lonchura striata domestica species. What interests me most is the last part of that name: The Society Finch does not exist outside of captivity! (See The Society Finch: A Bird With A Mysterious Past.)

There's even a Society Finch Blogger!

[Image from the SOCIETY FICH PAGE]


These excellent blogs were kind enough to link to this one:

I'm returning the favor on my side-bar.

Gifts from a Reader

A reader sent these links, the first of which is about a new Catholic translation of the Bible into Korean:

Also from this reader comes this refreshing quote:
    'I am an aristocrat. I love liberty; I hate equality.'
    John Randolph of Roanoke (1773–1833), American legislator

A Parental Visit

My parents visited for the first three weeks of Lent. Not only was I able to see Korea through their fresh eyes, I re-learned the value of an extended family, such as the one I grew up in.

A Brief Movie Review

On Fat Tuesday, I saw Diarios de motocicleta (2004), the hagiographic biopic about Ernesto 'Che' Guevara's youthful trip across South America.

Very beautiful imagery.

Very sinister ideological content.

Much better is director Walter Salles's Central do Brasil (1998).


... here are some articles I found interesting enough to bookmark:

I got through that without once mentioning the Dokdo/Takeshima row.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

The Culture of Death

These stories warrant a break from my blogfast:

Now begins the slow, painful process of starvation for Terri Schiavo. Her nurses will put Vaseline on her lips to prevent cracking, so the silent woman's suffering won't upset those who have to see her.

Here's another milestone in Western Civilization's descent into barbarism [via Seattle Catholic]:

The baby in question was "more than 24 weeks" old. Here's what a 24-week aborted fetus looks like, from

"Mommy, I'm sorry about my lip, but did you have to..."

"Yes," answered the Enemy, as the child's mother wasn't listening. "You're mother had to do what she did. She did it for you. The other kids might have laughed at you. Your quality of life would have been markedly lower than theirs. And imagine the inconvenience you would have caused your parents! Their life-style might have been threatened. What's more, your lip, even after surgery, might have made other people uncomfortable. We can't have that now, can we, in our brave new world? So shut up and let me get back to the beautiful people."

Pro dolorosa Eius passione, miserere nobis et totius mundi.