Omnes Sancti et Sanctæ Coreæ, orate pro nobis.

Now Blogging Afresh at Ad Orientem 西儒 - The Western Confucian

Saturday, April 30, 2005

My Daughter and St. Bernadette
For a few days, my 22-month-old daughter Joy has been pulling my DVD copy of The Song of Bernadette (1943) off the shelf, always choosing it alone out of about 50 titles. Tonight, after mass, she brought it into the living room and put it front of the TV. It was late and she still needed her leg massages, all the more so because her walking has taken a turn for the worse in recent days. (We don't let her watch TV, but have a couple of children's classical music DVDs, which she collectively calls "Bach," that help keep her still for the massages.) I thought that since the movie tells the story of Saint Bernadette of Lourdes, aside from it being one of my favorites, I'd see what happened if we watched a 1940s black-and-white film together.

She laughed through the first minutes of the film. Then, just before Bernadette was to receive her first vision of the Blessed Virgin in the film, the wind blew. I asked Joy what was happening. She joined her hands in prayer, these days one of her favorite gestures. (At least fifteen times a day, she must ask us to pray with her in front of the crucifixes, the statue of the Blessed Virgin, or the Our Lady of Guadalupe candle.) A moment later, when in the film Our Lady appeared, Joy lit up with joy. I asked her who that was and Joy again made the prayerful gesture. I told her she was right, that that was Mary and that we ask her to pray for us. Then Joy pointed up to the crucifix on our wall and said "also" in Korean. I told her that she was right again; we pray to Jesus, her Son.

We continued to watch the movie. Whenever there were scenes of the town's authorities, who worked unsuccessfully to paint the apparition as a fraud, Joy seemed annoyed.She again made the prayerful gesture and looked to meto bring Berndatte and Our Lady back to the screen. When Bernadette appeared, she gigged with glee. It was not long before she fell into a happy sleep.

Sometimes my wife asks Joy if her legs will be okay, and her little hands meet in prayer. I think she's telling us something.
Fans of Chinatowns...
will enjoy the GI Korea Blog's latest post: Korea's Only Chinatown - Focus on Incheon Part 1.
Be Careful What You Say in South Korea
TV host forced out over pro-Japan book
Here's how commenter Xavier Basora of Buscaraons described his mother tongue in these Comments on this blog:
    Catalan is a beautiful language, not as musical as Italian or Spanish, but Catalan often reminds me of a women wearing tailored clothes that flatter her. If you're familiar with French and Spanish or Portuguese, you can understand the gist.
That last sentence is certainly true, if judged from Mr. Basora's last blog post:
    A tots els lectors fidels. Demà m'en vaig de Canada per Singapor per estar amb la promesa. Encara no hem fixat la data de la boda, peò esperem que sigui aviat. Doncs per alguns dies no podré actualitzar la meva bitacòla.
May God bless you in your new home and at the start of a new life. I look forward to your next post and many more in the future.
Lots of good stuff...
from today, like everyday:

Anthony Gregory writes on the phrase I always use as an exampe for my students of what a euphemism is in 'Collateral Damage' as Euphemism for Mass Murder.

"Happiness is a German pope succeeding the greatest pope ever, a Pole," begins Taki, in High Life: Making a stand.

"Small is Beautiful" is the gist of this article from New Zealand: Roger Kerr Speech - The Size Of Nations.
"Korea’s Economy in Middle and High School Textbooks"
That's the title of thesis of the conservative professor profiled in this editorial: Professor Lee Young-hoon’s Academic Courage Should Be Given Credit.

Here are a couple of excerpts from the editorial:
    The main point of his thesis is that most textbooks undermine the “Hangang Miracle” based on faulty statistics. His examples are, “Korea’s economy grew on the sacrifices of minimum-wage laborers and small- and medium-sized companies and the income gap between the classes worsened in three decades from the 1960s.” Professor Lee showed that this is not true through his research conclusions....

    Professor Lee’s conclusions challenge three strong beliefs: Japanese colonial rule and development, which has been considered an “absolute evil,” common knowledge as we know it, and a sign of authority, the textbook. This is a difficult task to undertake without academic courage.
In Korea, reactionary nationalism exists on the Left, not on the Right, of the political spectrum. For me, learning that fact was the beginning of understanding not only Korean politics, but politics in general.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Articles of Note ...
from today's

First, an article by Ryan McMaken from a Catholic Personalist perspective: The Church, the State, and the Degradation of the Human Person

Second, an article by Sabine Barnhart that illustrates how the Welfare State leads to the Culture of Death: Germany’s Population Decline
South Park Conservativism: An Infantile Disorder
I apologize for echoing V. I. Lenin with the title for this post, but that's how I'd label the phenomenon described in this article, Interview: South Park Conservatives, which defines the term like this:
    [I]t refers to someone who isn’t necessarily an across the board conservative, especially when it comes to matters of censorship and popular culture, but who recoils from today’s liberalism, with its political correctness, its illiberalism, its elitism, and its feckless response to the War on Terror.
Conservatives? What exactly is it that these youngsters are conserving? Irreverent American pop-cultural garbage? A Wilsonian war? Egalitarian democracy? These are all things the conservative despises. They sound more like Jacobins than Burkeans to me.

If this is the future of conservatism, as the author suggests, I want nothing of it. I'll take NPR over FOX anyday.

At least liberals recognize the importance of elites (although they don't admit this) and have enough sense to look down on pop-cultural trash like South Park. I'm sure I could have a more interesting conversation over wine and cheese with one of them than over a six-pack of Bud with some South Park-addicted frat-boy.

Reading this interview, I feel like the author of Party Crashing: A paleo’s-eye view at the Star Trek convention of the American Right
Streaming Musica Sacra from Portugal
RADIO SET Gregorian [via Seattle Catholic]
Good News from Sandro Magister
The “Reform of the Reform” Has Already Begun
The Church I Was Raised In
Below are some comments I left on Procrastination Central to this post: Lutherans Not Allowed to Pray with Members of Other Denominations?:
    I was raised in the Missouri Synod Lutheran Church and am now a Catholic. I have nothing but admiration for my former denomination, even though I recognize it does not possess the fullness of the faith as only the Catholic Church does.

    I once met a fellow Missouri Synod Lutheran at a conference who joked, "Almost Catholic, huh?" They really are that. In Germany, such Lutherans call themselves "Evangelical Catholics."

    The Missouri Synod maintains a beautiful liturgy, much more reverent than your average novus ordo mass, I'm sorry to say. Imagine, I'm Catholic, but I miss the chanting from my former Protestant denomination! What sad irony.

    Like Catholics, the Missouri Synod practices closed communion, signifying not that they are "judgmental" but rather that orthodoxy of faith is important to them. This even makes them anti-Catholic, which, paradoxically, is a good thing. The Protestant who thinks the Catholic Church is false at least acknowledges that what Catholics believe matters. The Protestant who ignores Catholic beliefs altogether dismisses them as unimportant. The Blessed Virgin, the Communion of Saints, the Seven Sacraments, etc. are essential, not optional, to the Faith.

    As far as American Protestants go, the Missouri Synod is about as close to the real deal as you can get before reaching Rome. They'll be the first to come home.

    A famous former Missouri Synod Lutheran is Father Richard Neuhaus.
Here's the denomination's website: The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod.

Here's the church I grew up in: St. John's Lutheran Church - Orchard Park, NY.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Straight Talk about...
A Crowned Ethiopian, a Bear and a Mussel...
are what Pope Benedict XVI chose for his Papal Coat of Arms:

Here's a description of the bear and the mussel, but not the crowned Ethiopian, from Pope's coat of arms has Bavarian elements:
    The bear, which is saddled with heavy packs, symbolizes the weight of the papal office, the diocese said in a statement.

    It has its origins in a Bavarian legend concerning the diocese's patron, Korbinian, who encountered the animal while on a trip to Rome. The bear ate Korbinian's mule, and God saddled it with the mule's packs.

    The mussel dates back to a parable by St. Augustine -- about whose works the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger wrote his final thesis -- and symbolizes "diving into the groundless sea of God," the diocese said.
Does anyone know what the crowned Ethiopian symbolizes?

UPDATE: More details can be found in this article: L'Osservatore Romano publishes new Papal coat of arms.
Arming Civilians
From Gun Control and Genocide:
    Sunday, April 24th marked the 90th anniversary of the first genocide of the twentieth century: the Turkish government’s slaughter of over a million unarmed Armenians. The key word is "unarmed."
How would the gun-grabbers answer this one?
WWII Allied Crimes against God
Re: Mongol devastations: The destruction of Dresden and Hiroshima marked the beginning of the Cold War. The Allies wrestled for control of the world while the civilian population was taken hostage. By Jörg Friedrich

    2314 "Every act of war directed to the indiscriminate destruction of whole cities or vast areas with their inhabitants is a crime against God and man, which merits firm and unequivocal condemnation." A danger of modern warfare is that it provides the opportunity to those who possess modern scientific weapons especially atomic, biological, or chemical weapons - to commit such crimes.
It doesn't get much clearer than that.

[link to article via]
What Would Jesus Do in Afghanistan?
John VIII tells us he would probably agree with Amnesty International: AI condemns stoning [via TCR News Headlines].
Learning Chinese
Re: More Young Americans Take Chinese Language Challenge

Although I am no supporter of Red China, I think this is a good trend. I am not thinking this for practical reasons; Chinese will never be a language of international communication the way Englsh is today. Even if America sinks into the dust and China becomes the world's sole super-power, English will remain a global lingua franca, at least in the West, just as Greek did in the Eastern part of the Roman Empire. While Chinese grammar is simple, its wonderful written language is just too difficult and impratical.

The impracticality of Chinese writing is part of what makes it so wonderful, as I'm sure my favorite Chinese philospher Chuang Tzu (莊子)* would agree. Each Chinese character contains an etymological history. In his book Pictorial Sino-Korean Characters, Korean Protestant pastor Rev. Jacob Chang-ui Kim even uses Christian theology and imagery to explain them, a testament to their universality.

*For an introduction to this philosopher of the impractical, I recommend Way of Chuang Tzu, by the sometimes-problematic Thomas Merton.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center Takes On the DPRK
North Korea gassing its citizens: rights group
Rights vs. Responsibilities[From today's Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty e-newsletter]

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Metric News
Re: Time to Redefine the Kilogram, Scientists Argue

I despise the Metric System and all it stands for with every fiber of my being and vow that I will not rest until I see its end.

That might be overstating my opposition a bit, but I do think the greatness and humanness of the English Imperial System is highly unappreciated by moderns. Besides, the Metric System came out of the French Revolution, so how good can it really be?

Here are some of my thoughts, with plenty of anti-Metric links, from a previous post: Down with the Metric System! Long Live the English Imperial System!
Selected Quotes from...
Pope Benedict XVI on Sacred Music [via Open Book]
An On-line Discussion about John Brown
The "Good" Terrorist
An Accidental Day Trip into Korean Catholic History
The Snyders of Pohang took a trip to a recreational area yesterday in Sanae, South Gyeongsang Province. Quite by surprise, we discovered two Korean Catholic gems.

The first was a 100-year-old church in a tiny village. Two friendly old-timers told us about it. There's no parish priest there anymore. I asked how many Catholics lived in the village and was told "five households." Korean country-folk still think in terms of families, not individuals. The village itself had seventeen households. Here are some photos:

A few miles away there was a Catholic rest-house. Behind it, was a steep mountain path with the Stations of the Cross. Here's number 14:

After the last station, there is this cave, where, in 1868, not more than 40 years before the above church had been built, three Catholic laymen hid for several months during one of the 19th Century persecutions which altogether claimed 10,000 martyrs:

The three were captured and met their blessed martyrdom in Ulsan, my wife's hometown. Here are their names:
    born: ? in Gyeongsang-do

    born: 1819 in Gongju, Chungcheong-do

    born: 1822 in Gimhae, Gyeongsang-do

    (from MARTYRS OF KOREA (X 1791-1888) [II])
I asked these holy martyrs to pray for my family and for our faith.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Homosexuals and White Males: An Analogy
I while back, I posted the Catholic position on homosexuality on a progressivist's blog. I tried to do so charitably, stating that homosexual persons have an unfortunate inclination, which is only sinful when acted upon. This idea was met with rabid hostility by a practicing homosexual fellow-commenter who brought up "dress-wearing" cardinals, "Hitler's Pope," and other such nonsense.

Today, weeks too late, I suddenly thought of this analogy: Catholics see homosexuals as progressivists see white males. Being a white male is not in itself evil, but it inclines one toward evil patriarchal and racist thoughts and actions. Just as the Catholic says a homosexual person can be redeemed through orthodox belief and the sacraments, so do progressivists have their methods of redemption for white males: politically-correct orthodoxy and the "sacrament" of deviant sexual behavior. There is even a parallel to the Sacrament of Confession, in which the progressivist white male must constantly denounce not only his own sins, but even more so the sins of his ancestors.

This makes sense, because Progressivism really began as nothing more than the social teaching of Catholicism minus the authority and metaphysics that hold it all together and make it both human and divine. It is really no wonder then that Progressivism, like all heresies, should so mirror the Catholic faith from which it originates and deviates.
An Incomplete and Entirely Unoriginal Political Observation
While I find much of value in Paleoconservatism, Paleolibertarianism, and Classical liberalism (roughly in that order), each system seems tainted: the first by nationalism, the second by economic quasi-utopianism, the third by its Enlightenment baggage.

With these thoughts, I remembered this quote from Archduke Otto von Habsburg, son of the Emperor Blessed Charles of Austria:
    I am often asked if I am a republican or a monarchist. I am neither, I am a legitimist: I am for legitimate government. You could never have a monarchy in Switzerland, and it would be asinine to imagine Spain as a republic.
    [quoted here from More dynasty than Dallas]
The Archduke was really on to something here. Republicanism or Monarchism are both fine sytems of government, but are not interchangeably suitable for all peoples. Inhuman systems like Democracy and Socialism are to be ruled out because they suit no one.

Similarly, the three political outlooks outlined above, and perhaps others, might be suitable in varying degrees in different times and places. None is perfect, though.
Eva Peron...
was my match for the Dead Celebrity Soulmate Search. In the end, she turned me down, though.

[link via eclexys]
Father Jim Tucker Asks some Tough Questions about...
Consanguinity, Incest, and Freedom to Marry
Making the World Safe for Democracy, Again
Call Me Unaccountable: Woodrow Wilson and George Bush
"My Pro-Japanese Declaration at the Risk of Fatal Beating"
Cho Young-nam: A singer in trouble
"The Document That Put Ratzinger on Top"
did the message get through? [via Seattle Catholic]
Baby Rowan
From Abortion staff ignores baby boy born alive?:
Pro dolorosa Eius passione, miserere nobis et totius mundi.
For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

[link via Pro-Life News]

Monday, April 25, 2005

Pope Benedict XVI - Classical Liberal?
Father Jim Tucker of Dappled Things links today to this interesting article: Benedict XVI and Freedom.

It comes from the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty, which Fr. Tucker describes as being "indispensible for the study of the compatibility between orthodox faith and the politics of liberty."

Here's another article from the institute by its president, Fr. Robert A. Sirico, on the same theme: True Liberalism.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Lest We Forget
Re: Armenia to mark 90th anniversary of Ottoman massacres

The 20th Century's first genocide was of the world's first Christian nation.

    Catholicos of All Armenians Garegin II (2nd R) speaks as Armenian
    President Robert Kocharyan (2nd L) attends a ceremony at the
    memorial to the dead, to mark the 90th anniversary of the mass
    killing of Armenians in Yerevan, April 24, 2005. Hundreds of
    thousands of people clutching tulips, carnations and daffodils
    climbed a hill in Armenia's capital on Sunday to lay wreaths and
    remember the 1.5 million they say were killed 90 years ago in
    Ottoman Turkey.
The man formerly known as Cardinal Ratzinger was right: Muslim Turkey has no place in the European Union. Remember 1683!

Also, tomorrow is Anzac Day: Ninety years on, Gallipoli campaign still grips nation's imagination.
Pope Benedict XVI
Re: Pope's Inaugural Mass Draws More Crowds to Rome

This probably ends the media's fascination with the Vatican, at least until Pope Benedict XVI publishes an encyclical they don't like. The media told us the world loved Pope John Paul the Great. If it did, which I don't think is true, it did so naively, by ignoring his message. The world won't love Pope Benedict XVI. This will be a good thing.

Below are some photos from today's inaugural mass, taken from the slideshow linked to in the above article, with my comments.

Here's a photo of the Holy Father in his stunning papal vestments:
Korea has made its presence felt during the past month. Stephen Cardinal Kim Sou-hwan played a prominent role both at today's mass and at the funeral mass for Pope John Paul the Great. Here's one of the Holy Father blessing a Korean family:
Finally, here are some wholesome young Fräulein in front of the Bavarian flag:
Wilkommen, Heilige Vater, Papst Benedikt XVI!
Maureen Dowd is a Nincompoop
This comparison of the Vicar of Christ to W's veep has to be one of the most asinine things I've ever read: Uncle Dick and Papa. Surely the Old Grey Lady could do better than this.
Our German Shepherd

Viva il Papa!

Pope Benedict XVI

Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Patriarch of the West, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman Province, Sovereign of the State of the Vatican City, Servant of the Servants of God

Shortly, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI will be formally installed. In the meantime, I will be listening to Abba Pater, in remembrance of our beloved Pope John Paul the Great (eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon him).

For days, I have been walking around wild-eyed, drinking German beer, pumping my fist like some soccer hooligan while chanting, "TU - ES - PETRUS!"

What a joy it was to hear the name "Benedict" in the prayer at Mass! It seems almost impossible. If I were not already convinced, I might say, "There is a God."

I can take down the congratulatory banner I had placed at the top of this blog, placing now at the top of this post for the sake of posterity.

I pray it will be many, many years that Pope Benedict XVI will be our shepherd.
The Unholy Trinity
For those who can read Spanish, Buscaraons' latest post wil be a treat: De la promulgación de la ley de la unión homosexual: los limites del trinitarismo laico.

For those who can read English, French, or Catalan, be sure to pay the polyglot blog a visit.
Birth Control is for Pansies
Sancta Sanctis's Enbrethiliel, in Gift Ideas for Expectant Mothers, reports on t-shirts with this slogan:
    Birth Control Is for Sissies.
This slogan is too good to be limited to pregnant women. Although not for a t-shirt, I suggest the title of this post as a slogan for married men, the only ones who have any business when it comes to performing the marital act.

Real men feareth not their pro-creative power, or haveth the fortitude to restrain it when not in the proper vocation. The rest of youse are a bunch of panty-waists.
Functional Literacy in Korea
Hunjangûi karûch'im's Antti Leppäsen reports the following today in Koreans' reading comprehension of Korean:
    OECD has surveyed the capacity for actual reading comprehension in its member states, and it has turned out that Korea has gotten the lowest scores, that is Koreans have the lowest understanding of official and technical texts among the OECD countries.
When I reported this news to my wife, she countered, "That's because Korean is difficult." In reality, she's right; Mr. Leppäsen does an excellent job of explaining why this is the case:
    I'm not really surprised at all about this, thinking of how non-lucid (?) official, formal written Korean can be, and how opaque for example all kind of formular writing can be. I'm of course talking as a non-native speaker, but so the native speakers are in trouble as well. Or actually the formal language in those kind of Korean contexts isn't really native at all for many Koreans.

    One part of this unfortunate phenomenon has got to do with the idea that the Chinese characters are not really needed to understand or to write the Korean language as it used in official contexts at the moment. Koreans' poor performance in understanding everyday pieces of formal texts shows how the Chinese character terminology becomes difficult to understand when written in the wonderful hangul. (Knowing Chinese characters helps in understanding also the pure-hangul texts - and I know it even with my shobby knowledge of hanja.)

    This is the reason why for example my wife says Finnish-language official documents are much easier for her than Korean-language ones (in case she sometimes happens to see those), despite that the latter is her native (and much stronger) language.
Mrs. Leppäsen's comments remind me of something many Korean Christians have told me: it is easier for them to read the Bible in English than in their native tongue! The reason is, as Mr. Leppäsen said, that formal Korean uses many words from Chinese, which may have many different meanings but identical pronunciation in Korean. A friend told me that for the longest time she thought the New Testament term "인자" (inja) meant "Nice Guy" (仁子) not "Son of Man" (人子).

I think the problem arises from the fact that out of nationalism Koreans have de-emphasized the teaching of Chinese characters. I spent my last three years of Korean language study focusing mainly on Chinese characters (about 1800 of them). I'll be the first to admit that my success in mastering Chinese characters was extremely limited at best, but I can attest to the fact that they are absolutely essential in understanding Korean.

[I have to confess also that I post this story for another reason: Koreans have on occasion bragged to me about their country's literacy rate, especially vis-à-vis that of the United States. The statistic I've heard more than once is that South Korea's literacy rate is 99%, while that of the United States is 50%. Of course, this is pure rubbish, and is probably based on different definitions of literacy.]
Quality of Life
Some selected nations from Malaysia 36th in quality of life index:
    Singapore is in 11th place followed by Japan (17th), Hong Kong (18th), Taiwan (21st) and South Korea (30th), among the 111 countries that were ranked....

    Ireland leads the ranking, moving up from fourth last year to top spot, while the United States dropped two places to 13th. Zimbabwe is at the bottom rung.
I spent a year in Malaysia and can attest that it is a fine place to live, and having visited it on two occasions, agree that nearby Singapore is one of the world's best places (much better than Japan); small really is beautiful.
The Washington Post Gets it Right on Condoms and AIDS
Or at least this letter to the editor from William Kraus of Edgewater, Md. does: A New Pope Who Defends the Old Truths.

Here's an excerpt:
    With regard to condoms and AIDS, other avenues seem to be just as effective at stopping the spread of this scourge without being based on the assumption that people are too stupid or weak to control their behavior. Pope John Paul II argued that people can and should be trusted to make moral choices.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

JIMMY posted this reader comment yesterday:
    I saw a clip today of a young German woman being interviewed in Rome. I forget her exact words, but she indicated that the election of Benedict represents the redemption of Germany: the country that produced Hitler has now produced a Pope.
If only the world agreed!

The title for this post comes from this article, linked to by Procrastination Central today:The same theme is taken up by this must-read* article:As a man of Germanic descent and an admirer of Germany (especially Bavaria, from where Pope Benedict XVI hails), I pray the new Holy Father will be a very German Papst indeed, and that he will stand against the prevailing Zeitgeist to present the Catholic Weltanschauung to the world.

Just as John Paul the Great brought the best of Poland to the papacy, as the great Italian popes did with Italy, and as Cardinal Arinze would have done (and might someday do) with Igboland**, Pope Benedict XVI will bring his country's particular genius to the Church.

*at the very least for these lines:
    The elevation of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger to the papacy testifies to the value of the College of Cardinals as an electoral instrument, particularly in comparison to the periodic circuses by which the "democracies" now choose their titular heads. Next to this dignified, multilingual, and immensely learned German churchman, who will be henceforth known as Benedict XVI, our current "democratic" leaders, exemplified by the tongue-tied W and his English lap dog Tony Blair, look almost infantile. One needs the pen of an H.L. Mencken to depict this staggering contrast, which seems particularly striking at a time when we are launching wars to make the rest of the world resemble the "democratic" West.
**The Federal Republic of Nigeria is a colonial creation; thus, it is impossible to speak of a Nigerian people or culture. It is, however, possible to do so of the Igbo, Hausa, Fulani, Yoruba, or Tiv.
Playing to the Crowd
Here's some excellent analysis of the latest goings-on in Japan, South Korea and China: Blame enough to go around in Northeast Asia.

This is what the authors have to say about South Korea's president:
    South Korean President Roh Moh-hyun reversed the position of his predecessor and played to the crowd, launching a "diplomatic war" against Japanese claims to the islands. In an open letter to the South Korean people titled "With Regard to Recent Korea-Japan Relations", Roh concluded, "These moves nullify all the past reflection and apologies made by Japan." Roh’s domestic political agenda has been cast as a fight with former ruling elites over collaboration with the prewar Japanese imperial government in South Korea. His sudden, over-the-top escalation of rhetoric on Tokdo/Takeshima only makes sense in this context.
Say what you will about ex-President Kim Dae-jung, at least he never "played to the crowd."
Corporal Works of Mercy
Re: Irish nun recognized for AIDS work in Korea
One-fourth of the world's AIDS patients are cared for by Catholic hospitals.

Friday, April 22, 2005

DDR Hits Northern California!
DDR was all the rage here in Korea when I was courting my future wife way back in the 1990s. It's finally made its way to my parents' town: Dance Dance Revolution to tear apart Chico.

I haven't seen a DDR machine in years. Dance Dance Revolution seems almost as dated as that other DDR, der Deutsche Demokratische Republik.
Lincoln the War Criminal?
Robert Koehler, the Korea expat blogger extraordinaire behind The Marmot's Hole, has in recent weeks twice linked to his most controversial post, Mao, Tojo and Lincoln, which is all the more timely now that this is again in the news: Japanese Lawmakers to Visit War Shrine.

More on the dictator president who suspeded habeas corpus and did much to give us modern "total war" can be found at the King Lincoln Archive.
Pope Benedict XVI on the Death Penalty and War
These two stories linked to on Open Book today illustrate how utterly useless words like "conservative" and "liberal" are as understood by the American popular mind:New Pope A Strong Critic of War & New Pope Benedict XVI was instrumental in revising Catholic Church teachings on death penalty.
A Very Hopeful Sign
From Communiqué from the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X:
    In the name of the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X, His Excellency Bishop Fellay, Superior General, welcomes the accession of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger to the Sovereign Pontificate. He sees there a gleam of hope that we may find a way out of the profound crisis which is shaking the Catholic Church, of which some aspects have been spoken of by the former Head for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and quite recently so in his preaching on the occasion of the Stations of the Cross on Good Friday.

    His Excellency Bishop Fellay implores Our Lord Jesus Christ, Head of the Mystical Body, that the two-thousand-year-old Tradition of the Church, forgotten and mistreated during the last forty years, may regain its place during this Pontificate, and that the Traditional Holy Mass may be re-established in all its rights, without restrictions.

    Finally, the Superior General assures the Successor of Peter, Benedict XVI, of his prayers and those of all the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X for the considerable task which awaits him in order to restore all things in Christ.

    April 19, 2005

    +Bernard Fellay

    Superior General
[link via Seattle Catholic]
The Holy Father and Germany
To both of these stories I say, "And rightly so": "Nazi" Attacks on Pope Anger Germans & Town deems pope worthy of beer.
An Observation about Korean Protestants and Catholics
Re: Pastor Kim Jin-hong Leads Global Korean Community, "Doorae"

It seems that whenever the media highlights a Korean Protestant pastor working overseas, the work he does is with the overseas Korean community, whereas most of the Korean Catholic priests and nuns I hear about working overseas are evangelizing native populations.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Long Overdue Linkage
These two fine blogs have been added to my side-bar: Buscaraons & HaLf-BaKeD tAtErS.
Innocent Blood?
Re: Texas may have put innocent man to death, panel told

Although Catholic teaching holds that the death penalty is not intrinsically evil and may be justified in some times and places, the chilling details of the above story lend support to the noble efforts reported on in this earlier story: U.S. Bishops to Launch Campaign to End Death Penalty*.

If Cameron Todd Willingham is indeed innocent, as he maintained until his death, I pray that he is now enjoying eternal bliss with his daughters.

Here's what the CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH says on the death penalty:
    2267 Assuming that the guilty party's identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.

    If, however, non-lethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people's safety from the aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means, as these are more in keeping with the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person.

    Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm - without definitely taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself - the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity "are very rare, if not practically non-existent."
*I wouldn't object if an exception were made allowing child-rapists and -killers to be hanged.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

The "Mind of the Church"
Cor ad cor loquitur's Dave Armstrong shares his insights into our new Holy Father, including fascinating parallels between Leo XIII and John Paul II on the one hand, and St. Pius X and Benedict XVI on the other, in this post: The Holy Spirit Has Spoken Through the Cardinals: Pope Benedict XVI (Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger): My Own Thoughts on the Current "Mind of the Church".
    Prayer on the Election of
    Pope Benedict XVI

    Father of providence,
    look with love on Benedict, our Pope,
    your appointed successor to St. Peter
    on whom you built your Church.

    May he be the visible center and foundation
    of our unity in faith and love.

    Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
    who lives and reigns with you
    and the Holy Spirit
    one God, for ever and ever.

[link via Open Book]
Anachronistically Titled Site On-line Again after Meltdown
The Cardinal Ratzinger Fan Club
From the Holy See's Website:
Vino Argentino
This message from a colleague might be of interest to others living in Korea:
    New on my recommended list: Norton. Cabernet. From Argentina. Available at Walmart. The price is a little high at 20,000, but well worth it. It has none of those nasty chocolate overtones that seem to be creeping into new world wines these days. No way... this flavor is old school. Check it out.
Sounds excellent. One of my best solo dining experiences was at a pizzeria in Mendoza, Argentina with a bottle of local wine.
US Troops Out of Korea!
Re: U.S. policy on North seen in flux

The DPRK may be upping the nuclear ante.

I agree with the proposal a certain author put forward back in January, 2003, in The Coming U.S. Retreat from Asia:
    [I]f a war, conventional or even nuclear, broke out, no vital U.S. interest would be imperiled, so long as no U.S. troops are in South Korea. And no U.S. army should be sent to fight it. South Korea has 30 times the economy and twice the manpower of the North. It is past time Seoul took responsibility for her own defense.

    Moreover, withdrawal of U.S. forces from the peninsula would moot America's quarrel with the Communist North. An agonizing reappraisal of an Asian policy that dates to John Foster Dulles is overdue.

    As for Beijing, the Chinese should be told that if they will not assist us in keeping Pyongyang out of the Nuclear Club, the United States will no longer seek to restrain South Korea, Japan or Taiwan from joining that club. Let us withdraw our troops from Asia and let Asia's democracies acquire the same weapons as Asia's communist dictators. Nuclear weapons have raised the price of empire too high.
Before you go, please let me know ahead of time.
Note to Self: Schadenfreude is NOT Charitable
Liberal U.S. Catholics Dismayed at Choice of Pope

Habemus Papam!

Pope Benedict XVI

Viva il Papa!

Re: Cardinal Ratzinger of Germany Is New Pope

My son, God bless him, was hungry at 1:50 AM, and woke up my wife who in turn woke me up, so I was able to receive the first Urbi et orbi blessing from the new Holy Father.

I can't believe it! Cardinal Ratzinger is the new Vicar of Christ! Amazing! May God bless him. There will be some great years ahead of us, God willing. What a great time for orthodoxy! What a great time to be Catholic!

Laudetur Iesus Christus!

UPDATE: From Joseph Ratzinger elected new Pope, here is the announcement from Cardinal Protodeacon Medina Estevèz:
    Nuntio vobis gaudium magnum: habemus Papam. Eminentissimum ac Reverendissimum Dominum Joseph sanctae romanae ecclesiae cardinalem Ratzinger, qui sibi nomen imposuit Benedicti XVI.
And from the same source, here are the first words to us from Pope Benedict XVI:
    “Dear brothers and sisters”

    “After the Great John Paul II, the cardinals have elected me, a simple and humble worker in the vineyard of the Lord.

    “I find consolation in the fact that the Lord knows how to work with inadequate instruments and use them well, and [speaking to the crowd] I especially entrust myself to your prayers.

    “In the joy of the Risen Lord, confident in His permanent help, we continue [in our task].

    “The Lord shall help us, and Mary, His Most Holy Mother, is with us.

    “Thank you!”
It was great to hear that continuation of Pope John Paul the Great's Marian message.

Mother of God, Pray for our Holy Father.

UPDATE 2: Expect more outrageous headlines like this one: Ratzinger in Charge of Doctrine Crackdowns.

Crackdowns? What crackdowns?

As Karl Keating noted in his March 8th e-letter entitled THE REPRESSION THAT WASN'T, during the Papacy of Pope John Paul the Great, 24 people, out of 1.1 billion, were disciplined.

UPDATE 3: The ever-reliable Serge, of A conservative blog for peace, has compiled a very impressive list of The new Pope’s opinions on various and sundry topics, especially relating to war, modernism, and Eastern Orthodoxy.

UPDATE 4: There's already a blog: Pope Benedict XVI!

It's 4:00 AM. I won't go back to to sleep. I've taken a cue from Edward Yong of In principio erat Verbum - Εν αρχη ην ο Λογος and popped Palestrina's Missa "Tu es Petrus" in the CD player in celebration of the great day. As Edward notes: "Wail and gnash your teeth, ye liberals and heretics! Roma, Roma über alles!"

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

El Generalísimo
Having spent over a year in free and prosperous Chile, and having met numerous refugees from enslaved Communist Cuba, I, too, would choose the t-shirt pictured above over the one more commonly seen on college campuses, if only to make the same point made by the author of this article from where the image comes: Che vs Pinochet?.
A New Link
I'm returning the favor of linking to this fine blog: Procrastination Central. Pay it a visit; you won't be disappointed.
What the Kids Learn at School these Days
McGill University student Anna Montrose, quoted in College taught her not to be a heterosexual:
    It's hard to go through four years of a Humanities B.A. reading Foucault and Butler and watching 'The L Word' and keep your rigid heterosexuality intact. I don't know when it happened exactly, but it seems I no longer have the easy certainty of pinning my sexual desire to one gender and never the other.
Click on the link for a very enlightening interview with Miss Montrose.
More from der Panzerpapabile
Cardinal Ratzinger Warns of "Dictatorship of Relativism", which "does not recognize anything as absolute and leaves as the ultimate measure only the measure of each one and his desires."
President Roh, Troubled by Koreans Who Are...
'More American Than Americans'
Why the North Korean Soccer Riot Was a Good Thing
North Koreans think the unthinkable
Jerusalem Post Defends der Panzerkardinal
Ratzinger a Nazi? Don't Believe It! [via Seattle Catholic]
The Family
Korean Buddhist Monk Beopjeong (법정 法頂), quoted in Find Buddha in the Family, Revered Monk Urges:
    Because of broken homes, there are many cold houses that are just shells, while the warmth of families has disappeared. Don’t look for the Buddha or bodhisattvas in temples. We must gather our thoughts and through studying our hearts bring them inside ourselves and into our families.
Some might find it strange of me to quote a Buddhist monk on this page. There is, of course, just one true religion*. But reverence for the family does not belong to just one religion, or even to religion in general. Like marriage from which it springs, family is a natural development that has spontaneously come into existence in all human societies. Thus, when Cultural Marxists and their allies sneer at the very idea of family and marriage** and bemoan societal recognition of them as interference of religion in secular life, they are dead wrong. The family, not the individual, is the basic unit of any society. To reject this is to reject human nature.

*Here is what the Catechism of the Catholic Church has to say about other religions:
    843 The Catholic Church recognizes in other religions that search, among shadows and images, for the God who is unknown yet near since he gives life and breath and all things and wants all men to be saved. Thus, the Church considers all goodness and truth found in these religions as "a preparation for the Gospel and given by him who enlightens all men that they may at length have life."

    844 In their religious behavior, however, men also display the limits and errors that disfigure the image of God in them:
      Very often, deceived by the Evil One, men have become vain in their reasonings, and have exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and served the creature rather than the Creator. Or else, living and dying in this world without God, they are exposed to ultimate despair.
**I wish I had a dime for every time one of my generation uttered such trite nonsense as, "I don't believe in the institution of marriage." The amazing thing is that whenever I heard someone recite this cliché, the speaker seemed convinced that it was a demonstration of originality and intelligence.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Quote of the Day
    I'm happy to be back. I was so intoxicated when I went over to the North.

    -South Korean fisherman Hwang Hong-ryon, 57, after his defection to and repatriation from North Korea
From Fisherman Questioned Over Defection Motive
Hot off the Presses!
Spero News has just published its latest edition with this article by yours truly: Old history, fresh tension in Northeast Asia.

Here is a list of links to all of this week's stories:It's a pretty impressive project, if I do say so myself.
Rep. Henry Hyde Defends Palestinian Christians
Walling off Christianity
Language Fun

Your Linguistic Profile:

70% General American English

15% Yankee

10% Upper Midwestern

5% Midwestern

0% Dixie

Although I was born in Ohio and grew up in Western New York, I expected at least some Dixie in my speech, seeing that my father was born in Georgia and three of my four grandparents are from the South (Mississippi or Maryland).

[link via eclexys]
"Returning to her Catholic Roots"
Kidman seeks theological education
The Next Papal Name
Seattle Catholic today links to this article that discusses what the next pope's choice of name might indicate: New Pope's First Message? 'A Name is a Sign'.

I wouldn't mind seeing a Pius XIII.

Irish on-line betting firm Paddy Power, in addition to taking bets on Who Will Be The Next Pope?, is also taking bets on What Papal name will the new Pope Choose?.
Der Panzerkardinal Speaks
Europe in a Crisis of Cultures
Oui, oui

Your Inner European is French!

Smart and sophisticated.

You have the best of everything - at least, *you* think so.

After all the French-bashing of recent years, I can finally cry:

    Vive la France!

    Vive le Québec Libre!

Of course, I refer only to pre-1789 France.

As for Québec, I'm all for her freedom and independence, if only to annoy all the French-hating socialist English Canadians I've met here in Korea, who pride themselves on their tolerance and sophistication vis-à-vis backward Americans, while spouting the most hateful rhetoric against the long-suffering people of Québec.

Seriously though, Québec is a beautiful place, a truly "distinct society," and until recently had been, with Ireland and Poland, a staunch bastion of conservative Catholicism.

[link via Sancta Sanctis]
Don't Just Sit Around Waiting for White Smoke
Stay informed and pray.

You can catch up on all the papabili news at The New Pope Blog; A place to discuss The New Pope News, and Speculation. A Catholic Community.

And while you're keeping up with the news, why not join Catholic Ragemonkey's Father Stephen Hamilton in his Novena for the Conclave & New Pope?

Sunday, April 17, 2005

More Bloodtype Nonsense
I posted on this topic two days ago. Cathartidae, noting that "Western media outlets are finally catching on to Korea's current obsession of men with blood type-B," has linked to this article from New Zealand: Bad days for South Korea's type-B men.

The article mentions the Japanese origin of the superstition:
    In Asia, the subject of linking blood types to personality took off with the 1927 publication of a series of articles by Japanese scholar Takeji Furukawa called The Study of Temperament Through Blood Type.

    The concept hit pop culture and mass media in 1971 when Japanese writer Masahiko Nomi expanded upon Furukawa's ideas and wrote Understanding Compatibility from Blood Types.
It also presents the scientific view:
    Kim Tae-suk, a doctor in the department of psychiatry at the Catholic University of Korea, said younger Koreans were buying into defining people by blood types because of what they see on TV, movies and in print.

    "I can definitively say there is no scientific evidence that links a person's blood type to their character," Kim said.
"Sorry doc," says the blogger from whom this link came, "but you're gonna have to do better than 'there's no scientific evidence' to convince a lot of these chicks otherwise."
Pope John Paul II and Ludwig von Mises
From Two Men From Galicia*:
    [I]t was a Catholic culture, aristocratic, and somewhat non-democratic, that shaped Mises and John Paul into top-rate intellectuals within their realms of the social sciences. Their intellectual formation — reflecting several centuries of Scholastic influence on the Continent — contrasted with the modernizing tendencies of Europe at a time when Hegel was still the most popular philosopher in Germany. Aristotelian ideas were still very strong in Austria as well as in the Austro-Hungarian Empire during the decades leading up to World War I.
[link via]

*Serge of A conservative blog for peace describes the fascinating history of this region of the Austro-Hungarian (Holy Roman) Empire in his most recent LRC picks.
An Islamic Assessment of Pope John Paul the Great
Pope John Paul II: A "prophet" of our times
Academic Hoaxes
Re: Scientific Conference Falls for Gibberish Prank

The above story brings to mind Sokal's Paper, which sought to prove the hypothesis that
    a leading North American journal of cultural studies... would publish an article liberally salted with nonsense if (a) it sounded good and (b) it flattered the editors' ideological preconceptions
Here is that paper in full: Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity.

The editors of the postmodern jounal on whom the latter hoax was played published the bogus article because it conformed to their belief that there is no absolute truth and that the laws of physics are themselves only social contructs.

I've written a couple of articles for journals here in Korea and proofread countless others, including some for international scientific journals. It is my opinion that much of what is written, including what I wrote, adds absoultely nothing to humanity's body of knowledge.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Why Have a Pope Anyway?
Jason Choi gives an extensive answer to that question here: The biblical basis for the Papacy.
"Will the North Korean people become the forgotten ones?"
Nuclear standoff dents North Korea aid - Caritas
The Crucifix and the Crescent
Vatican Is Rethinking Relations With Islam [via Open Book]

Friday, April 15, 2005

Japanese Pseudoscience in South Korea
Re: Hey baby, what's your blood type?: Controversial dating technique all the rage in South Korea

I first heard the idea that blood type indicates personality here in Korea. Koreans should reject this pseudoscientific idea, especially in light of its origin (from BLOOD TYPE AND PERSONALITY):
    The idea of a correlation between blood type and personality was first noted in the 1930s during Japan's invasion of eastern Asia. Military leaders commissioned a study on how blood type influences personality in an effort to breed better soldiers.

Some companies in Korea don't hire men with type B blood. Imagine, Koreans today are losing out on job opportunities because of the unfounded ideas of Japanese eugenicists in the 1930s!
The Prayer for the Election of the Pope

[from today's email from the Oremus Network]

Thursday, April 14, 2005

The Greatest Failing of the Papacy of John Paul the Great
From Catholic Church Prays for More Priests:
    While the number of Catholics jumped to more than 1 billion around the globe during John Paul II's 26-year papacy, the number of new priests didn't keep pace....

    The Vatican says the church had about 405,450 priests worldwide in 2003, a 3.7 percent drop from 1978, the year John Paul took charge. But in the United States and Europe — which accounts today for nearly half of the total — numbers have fallen about 20 percent over the period.
I don't think blame for this sad trend can be placed on JP2's shoulders -- look at the culture he was up against -- but this is one of the major challenges the Church faces.

Let's do our part and offer this Prayer for Vocations:
    Lord Jesus Christ, Savior of the world, we humbly beg of Thee to revive in They Church that spirit which Thou didst so abundantly bestow on the Apostles. Call, we pray Thee, very many to Thy priesthood and to the religious life. And may zeal for Thy glory and the salvation of souls inflame those whom Thou hast chosen, may they be saints in Thy likeness, and may Thy Spirit strengthen them. O Jesus, give us priests and religious after Thine own Heart!
The Genographic Project
Diffusion is the most interesting part of Geography. I will be eagerly awaiting the results of this study: Here's the project's official site:
You and I can even take part:
    The project is also inviting participation from the general public, for a fee. People may buy a kit for $99.95 (plus shipping and handling) that will allow them to scrape the matter from the inside of their cheeks and send it in. They will receive information about their own migratory history, and their data will be included in the master database. Participants will receive updates on the project and other materials as well.
Here's how: How to Participate - The Genographic Project.
Korea's Race Suicide
These stories bode ill for Korea's already abyssmal birthrate:One of the most entertaining group presentations I've ever heard from my Korean university students was one they themselves entitled "Pandas - The Lazy Bastards." The group said that they had originally chosen the topic of panda conservation for the persuassive speech I had assigned, but upon further research, they came to the conclusion that pandas were not worthy of human conservation efforts, as the animals showed almost no interest in reproduction.

Korea is, of course, not alone in sharing this pathetic trait in common with pandas. Japan and every nation of Europe save Muslim Albania has a birthrate below replacement level. [Yes, I read Patrick J. Buchanan's The Death of the West.] The United States continues to grow solely due to immigration, one of the issues on which I part company with PJB.

The situation is dire even among Korean Catholics, who should know better. I cannot think of one family at my parish with more than two children. Middle-aged women at church have even commented that my wife and I had our two kids too close together (20 months). I say this not to be judgmental, because there are valid reasons to space or even limit a family's number of children, using Natural Family Planning methods, of course. Still, one would expect a wealthy parish like mine to have at least some families with three or four kids. Child-rearing is expensive in Korea due to the excessively competitive education market, but one would expect more Catholics to reject such non-Catholic social competitiveness.
Exposing False Knowledge
The African heterosexual AIDS myth
A Libertarian Case for Social Conservative Positions on Marriage
Marriage and the Limits of Contract
140 Years Ago Today
President Lincoln was shot and mortally wounded by John Wilkes Booth while attending the comedy "Our American Cousin" at Ford's Theater in Washington, D.C. He died the next day.

Moral: Don't go out for laughs on Good Friday.

UPDATE: For more on the sixteenth president, see's King Lincoln Archive.
Culture of Death Spreads
Iran's Parliament eases abortion law [via Pro-Life News]
Der Panzerpapabile
Could the cardinal "feared by liberal Catholics as a dour enforcer of orthodoxy" be the next Vicar of Christ?

These articles explore the possibilies: I'm sure our friends at the The Cardinal Ratzinger Fan Club are smiling.
Wilsonian Interventionism continues its exposé of the much-lauded Wilson presidency in What We Can Learn From Woodrow Wilson’s Great Blunder. On the same theme was this from last week: Paving the Road to Hell.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Language Policy
I oppose both the establishment of English as an official language in the United States and efforts at introducing official bi- or multilingualism. English will remain the de facto common tongue of the land. The immigrants from Vietnam, Cuba, and elsewhere whom I've had the pleasure of knowing know this better than anyone else.

Here are two articles related to language policy from today's news: W.Va. Makes English Its Official Language and Swiss multilingualism stirred up by English and new tongues.
Warning: Don't Make Anyone "Feel Bad" in a University Classroom
My Battle With the Thought Police
His Serene Highness
Prince Rainier, RIP
Anti-Christian Violence in Bangladesh
Baptist clergyman decapitated

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

AIDS and Condoms
Re: UN Official Hopes New Pope Will Ease Condom Stance

Of course, this will not happen.

And if it did, what would be the result? More cases of AIDS!

Let us look at two Southeast Asian nations. From Telling the Truth: AIDS Rates for Thailand and the Philippines:
    The first AIDS case in Thailand was diagnosed in 1984, when a homosexual prostitute tested positive for the disease. Later it spread among the female and male prostitutes, and among intravenous drug users. The first AIDS case in the Philippines was also diagnosed in 1984.

    By 1987, there were 112 cases of HIV/AIDS infection in Thailand and 135 cases in the Philippines.

    In 1991 the World Health Organization (WHO) AIDS Program forecasted that by 1999 Thailand would have 60,000 to 80,000 cases, and that the Philippines would experience between 80,000 and 90,000 cases of HIV/AIDS.

    During that same year the Minister of Health of Thailand, Mr. Viravedya, launched the heavy-handed, "100% Condom Use Program." All brothels were required to stock a large supply of condoms, and condom vending machines appeared in supermarkets, bars and other public places. This initiative was widely accepted by the people of Thailand. I was able to visit Bangkok in both 1994 and 1997 to see this first-hand.

    A year after this program was set loose upon Thailand (1992), the infamous Secretary of Health (now a senator), Mr. Juan Flavier, tried to implement the program in my own country, the Philippines. This small, 4'11'' man tried every technique he could think of to get his country to accept the flood of condoms waiting to invade. He even went so far as to mock and deride Church leaders.

    Flavier's efforts in the Philippines failed, however, and in 1999 the UNAIDS reported 755,000 total confirmed cases of HIV infection in Thailand-65,000 had died of the disease. That same year, in the Philippines, the total number of HIV cases was only 1,005. The disease had killed only 225 people.

    The discrepancy in the infection rates between the two countries, Thailand with severe condom-oriented programs and the Philippines without, has continued and only grown wider. As of August 2003 there were 899,000 HIV/AIDS cases documented in Thailand and approximately 125,000 deaths attributed to the disease. These numbers are many times those projected by the WHO (60,000-80,000 cases) in 1991.

    These numbers contrast sharply with those of the Philippines where, as of September 30, 2003, there were 1,946 AIDS cases resulting in 260 deaths. This is only a mere fraction of the number of cases (80,000-90,000) that the WHO projected would be reached by 2000.
And let us consider Africa. From Abstinence success in Uganda resisted by AIDS community:
    As AIDS sweeps across Africa, Uganda remains a lone success story. Millions of Ugandans have embraced traditional sexual morality, including sexual abstinence outside of marriage and fidelity within marriage, in order to avoid infection. But the international AIDS community has been reluctant to promote this strategy elsewhere, continuing instead to place its faith in condoms.
Finally, words of wisdom from Mark Steyn in Why progressive Westerners never understood John Paul II:
    In Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life), the Pope wrote: "Sexuality too is depersonalised and exploited: it increasingly becomes the occasion and instrument for self-assertion and the selfish satisfaction of personal desires and instincts. Thus the original import of human sexuality is distorted and falsified, and the two meanings, unitive and procreative, inherent in the very nature of the conjugal act, are artificially separated."

    Had the Pope signed on to condom distribution in Africa, he would have done nothing to reduce the spread of Aids, but he would have done a lot to advance the further artificial separation of sex, in Africa and beyond. Indeed, if you look at the New York Times's list of complaints against the Pope - "Among liberal Catholics, he was criticised for his strong opposition to abortion, homosexuality and contraception" - they all boil down to what he called sex as self-assertion.

    Thoughtful atheists ought to be able to recognise that, whatever one's tastes in these areas, the Pope was on to something - that abortion et al, in separating the "two meanings" of sex and leaving us free to indulge in one while ignoring the other, have severed us almost entirely and possibly irreparably from traditional impulses, such as societal survival. John Paul II championed the "splendour of truth" not because he was rigid and inflexible, but because he understood the alternative was a dead end in every sense.
The Sexual Revolution lead to unprecedented disease and cultural decline in the industrialized world.

What will it take to stop the rich sexual libertines at the UN and elsewhere from forcing their genocidal agenda on the poorer people of our world?

Veni, Domine Iesu!