Tag Archives: Islamic Terrorism

Analysis: In denial of terrorist reality

terrorist attack NYC Oct 31 2017

  • Surely he’s a career criminal, because only career criminals are terrorists.
  • Surely he just snapped, because only people who have snapped are terrorists.
  • Surely he’s deranged, because only deranged people are terrorists.
  • Surely he’s off his meds, because only people off their meds are terrorists.
  • Surely he’s just sick, because only sick people are terrorists.
  • Surely he’s just crazy, because only crazy people are terrorists.
  • Surely he’s just stupid, because only stupid people are terrorists.
  • Surely he’s poor, because only poor people are terrorists.
  • Surely he’s jobless, because only jobless people are terrorists.
  • Surely he’s homeless, because only homeless people are terrorists.
  • Surely he’s without a family, because only people without a family are terrorists.
  • Surely he’s an American military veteran because vets are probable terrorists.
  • Surely he’s pro-life, because only those pro-life are terrorists.
  • Surely he’s pro-liberty, because only non-totalitarianists are terrorists.
  • Surely he’s pro-pursuit of happiness, because only happy people are terrorists.
  • Surely he supports the American Constitution, because only people who support the American Constitution are terrorists.
  • Surely nothing happened.
  • Surely everyone is nice.
  • “Terrorism” is FoxNews right-wing propaganda. It just doesn’t happen.
  • Surely the Qur’an’s command of hacking down Christians and Jews wherever you meet them is just propaganda because diversity is always nice.
  • Surely the Judeo-Christian command to love thy neighbor as thyself is terrorism because, well, just because.

We say cowardly things, manifesting that we are in denial, not because we’re afraid of terrorism but because we’re afraid of ourselves. The promised Messiah, our Savior, does not save us from nothing. It is He who provides us with love and truth and goodness and kindness, with His friendship. Why would He do that? Because we don’t have this on our own. We say cowardly thing because we have rejected faith in God, and therefore are immersed in fear, therefore in denial. But let’s continue with our sarcasm, but what people really say:

  • Surely this is the fault of rental trucks.
  • Surely this is the fault of guns.
  • Surely this is the fault of not surrendering to Islamicists.

I say, those who say cowardly things facilitate terrorism.

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Lion’s Gate: Preparing the 4th Temple with the blood of the peacekeepers (This Jewish Catholic Priest’s opinion)

lions gate

Islamic terrorists like any other criminals simply ignore the fact that crime is always counter-productive. Just a little while ago, some Israeli LEOs were assassinated at the Lion’s Gate, right next to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The LEOs weren’t expecting the unprovoked attack and were exactly where they were supposed to be.

The immediate visceral reaction to this kind of violence at the Temple Mount (where you also find the ultra-vulnerable because basin-like Jewish prayer area at the Western [wailing] Wall), is to remove the Islamicists definitively, destroy the mosque, rip out the Dome of the Rock, and build the 4th Temple. Proof of this is that the immediate statement put out by Prime Minister Bibi is that the Status Quo of the Temple Mount will simply remain the same. In other words, if this was the instantaneous answer with no question being asked, the presumed question is whether the Status Quo will finally change, as it is soon expected to be changed within the foreseeable future. In other words, the tension is so much at fever pitch that anything could bring about a major change. It’s just a matter of time, sooner than later.

So, what’s this opinion of this Jewish-Catholic Priest? I think that whatever about the status of Jerusalem as an international city desired by some, blah blah blah, it is intense insanity to have more than one group contending to have ownership of the same place at the same time anywhere at any time for any reason. That’s simply not how fallen humanity is able to maintain peace.

Is it not better to have, say, the Israeli Defense Forces control the Old City of Jerusalem including the Temple Mount and then allow visitors with controllable security measures in place for each visitor? I think so. That doesn’t mean anything is any less international if whatever about that “international” issue were to be decided. One group in control just means greater security. If it’s the first most holy site for a group, shouldn’t that group be in charge? The Temple Mount is the first most holy site for the Jews.

The Church of the Resurrection is Catholic from the beginning. I think the entirety of the Church of the Resurrection, including Calvary and the Holy Sepulcher, should be given over to the Franciscans at the Custody of the Holy Land exclusively. The extreme violence of some of the groups there is simply unacceptable.

Take an example. Should Vatican City and Saint Peter’s Basilica be given over to Islam? I mean, after all, they’ve raided and pillaged Vatican City and Saint Peter’s Basilica (of the time) a number of times (the reason for the massive defensive walls around Vatican City). I don’t think so.

The easy largesse of those who shout “BE NICE!” and don’t lift a finger to help keep the peace and who don’t take account of ongoing horrific violence caused by the insistence on that easy largesse.

// (begin sarcasm) — Hey! Let’s make the Swiss Guard in charge of the Temple Mount! –(end sarcasm) //

This opinion does not have anything to do with what I think about the fulfillment of the covenants in Christ Jesus our Lord and God. No, I do not believe that any building of any 4th Temple is productive in any way on any level.

Further disclaimer: I’m Catholic. I’m Jewish. I lived in Jerusalem for a good while, arriving when Jewish pilgrims were stoned at the Western Wall from the Mosque above, and when, then, 19 Palestinians were killed. I walked from the U.N. compound South of Jerusalem back to Jerusalem down the length of the Silwan valley into Silwan and back up to the Temple Mount. That was the day after fake “Christians” went into the town of Silwan to celebrate the death of the Palestinians. Those fake “Christians” say that “ethnic cleansing” (genocide, really) of all non-Jews throughout the Holy Land is the only way for Jesus to come back again. Those fake “Christians” are simply monsters. My saying that the Jews should have control of the Temple Mount has nothing to do these fake “Christians”. It’s the other way. What I’m pushing for would save many lives on a day to day basis.

Of course, there are those who would say that this would start a war. My answer to that is, “Where have you been?” I’m guessing that when the USA takes out North Korean nuclear capabilities, the Israelis will do the same for Iran, which is perhaps the best time to take peaceful control of the Temple Mount.

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Filed under Intelligence Community, Interreligious dialogue, Jewish-Catholic dialogue, Missionaries of Mercy

Basic coping mechanisms in societal and geo-political breakdown: Go to…

tactics 2

Whatever one thinks about anything 2nd amendment (gun rights), there are some tactics which are essential to everyone’s life regardless of whether or not one carries, tactics which, knowing them well and putting them into practice, is a huge service to oneself, to one’s neighbor, to society.

  • The Crucial Advantage: Preventing violent attacks before they happen [I thought this might just be a short pamphlet with some throw away lines, but, no, 266 pages of tightly scripted text book; I’m impressed.]
  • How to Control Conflict and De-escalate Threats (DVD & guide) [So, if you can’t prevent violence, is there a way to control the conflict and deescalate? Much excellent advice here, also that which requires study. Excellent.]
  • Advanced Gunfighting and Survival Tactics [In the heat of an uncontrollable situation, are there nevertheless useful tactics that benefit you, others, society? This is multiple DVD course which needs ongoing training, bringing much together. Great!]
  • The Gift of Fear [Throwing a spotlight on a balanced approach to situational awareness, not paranoid, not naive, entering deep into the human psyche in a fallen world.
  • On Killing [Analysis of what goes on in the fallen human psyche when faced with the mere possibility of killing, for instance, in self-defense, whether in war or in society; a balanced outlook that makes the difference between being mowed down or having no conscience whatsoever.]
  • Defeating Jihad [Trying to wrap your mind around confronting violence for the sake of violence? Meet Sebastian Gorka. He makes an extraordinary analogy between the ideology of the USSR and that of ISIS. Perfect.]
  • Left of Bang [Superb presentation of situational awareness.]

tactics 1

But I’ll tell you this, none of this can be brought to perfection without first being good with God. For instance, if one is already being dead and on one’s way to heaven, that is, as far as one knows having nothing on one’s conscience, that means everything as far as one’s engagement is concerned, as far as one’s prudence and emotions and fear and reason can be properly utilized in whatever situation. Rule number one: Go to confession.

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ODNI NSA CIA… Politically correct intelligence? Is that, like, a thing?

CIA MEMORIAL LANGLEY

Thanks for your “DEDICATION ON BEHALF OF THE AGES.”

A great deal of my life in academics was spent in getting to know the greatest thinkers the world has ever known, such as the prophets and evangelists, such as Augustine and Aquinas on the one hand, as well as, on the other, the fakers who become flavors of the day for self-congratulators, such as Erasmus and Luther, Rahner and de Chardin, Mohammed and Cardinal […].

What I’ve discovered about so very many of the analysts of those personages and so many others is that it’s all just about another effort in self-congratulation unless they take the time and effort (laziness and fear of the reality of oneself is the problem) to read everything that person has read, unless they go back in time as well as one might so as to insert oneself in the languages and mores and the times in which that person lived, shedding anachronisms of what we know or think we know and whatever we would want to see for whatever selfish reasons. You know the exclamation by a great orator: “O tempora! O mores!” That blistering sarcasm presumes a comparison with other times and other ways of doing things, condemning the idiocy of our own day, whatever day that happens to be in which pride of self covers over reality. But this protestation falls on deaf ears. The game among most academics is to ensure that no one does real research so that the comfort of self-congratulation can continue unabated: “Let’s all read ourselves into whatever and whoever, just don’t confuse us with the facts!”

Now, I just wonder – just wondering, mind you – whether or not a few of those who set policy for intelligence communities these days have set about reducing acquisition of knowledge, of actionable intelligence, to the lowest common denominator that is so low and so common that, really, if someone knows how to play this game, he or she can escape being thrust outside the ultra-broad parameters of tolerance of normalcy by encoders of algorithms, thus remaining undetected, the tradecraft of avoiding tradecraft, making it appear that one is not avoiding detection. Doing this is as easy as knowing the dumbed-downness of one’s partner in the “game.” If the political correctness of analysts has been brought to the point of having analysts never delving deeply into motivation (a predictor of action), the policy has provided a licence to terrorists to kill. Such policy would be the arrogance of a false humility, the imposition of what one expects of one’s ideological instead of real self, a reading of the mere shell of oneself into the target, the actual reality of the target being brushed aside as irrelevant, making the suspect no longer suspect. If it’s irrelevant for me then it must be irrelevant for him, right? Wrong. This is precisely not the humility of which I wrote regarding Kryptos. (See: Solving Kryptos – Crux stat dum volvitur orbis.) This is precisely the way to let terrorism happen.

So, let me be more specific. Is there a politically correct denial of natural law, even though it is cited continuously and somewhat speciously, you know, the old “integrity which knows how to work in gray areas” diatribe? What is the basis for integrity if not natural law, such as in “Don’t murder the innocent,” that kind of thing? Rejection of some of the natural law is rejection of all of it, weakening the accomplishment of the mission because of the dimming of the vision of analysts. If they can’t see what they are doing, what can one expect?

O.K., let me be even more specific. If there is such a backing away from natural law, there follows lockstep a confounding of real religion with fake religion. True religion, to be such, must be consonant with natural law. Fake religion always compromises natural law. If true religion is irrelevant to the analyst, he or she won’t be able to assess the importance of fake religion as a primary motivator in terrorist attacks. This is ideological insanity (wildly not consonant with reality) and forces analysts to be nervous enough to exaggerate their merely secular analyses, as if that were enough. “We can do it! We can do it!” Yes, UBL was had that way, but so much more can be done. Fake religion is the primary motivator in terrorism. That must be taken into account. If not, expect the worst, like Kasi, like the Tsarnaevs, like…

So, what is the crux of religion? It’s not as Kryptos as you think, if you’re honest.

Anyway, something to think about even before mid-late January when the swamps along the Potomac will be drained. Let’s gear up for something good, shall we? For my part, I think I should start publishing a bit more on real vs. fake religion. Stay tuned.

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Filed under Intelligence Community, Interreligious dialogue, Politics, Terrorism

Killing priests: where’s Father George?

don claudio toniniFirst anecdote: don Claudio Tonini

Pictured here is don Claudio Tonini (a saint if you ask me), who was brutally beaten by his assistant priest in December of 1992. I used to have all sorts of pictures of him. This one is up on the internet. In the bigger picture, I think I’m the one sitting next to him on his right. He finally died about 12 weeks later in March of 1993 from the battering he had received, dying as pastor of the parish. I had only been ordained for less than a year when I took over his parish in the Sacred Heart of “La Piccola Russia”, “The Little Russia,” as the heavily Marxist town of Piombino, Italy, north of Rome, was nicknamed (and for good reason). He had been a missionary up and down the Italian peninsula in his younger days and then pastor of this church since forever. He was always in demand as a preacher of parish missions, called in by bishops far and wide. The Marxist town couldn’t but build him a youth center for free next the church since everyone in town respected him so much.

Meanwhile, I was alone in the parish. Don Claudio was still in the hospital when I got there. The assistant, “Quel M,” as don Claudio called him, successfully escaped to the mountains and then, not being arrested, hid out, somewhat ironically on any number of levels, at “La Misericordia,” at the waterfront just down the street from the parish.

The most the bishop and the vicar general would do at that time was to take me away from my studies at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome so as to get me to come to the parish, maybe because I was an unknown for “Quel M” and maybe also because I was also physically about as big as the assassin and so most likely would not be bothered by him while I tried to take care of don Claudio when he was brought back to the parish. They were wrong on that. They and the other priests of the Diocese of Massa Marittima – Piombino were scared to death of him.

What had happened is that “Quel M” was finishing Sunday Mass, and while everyone was still there don Claudio went up to the pulpit to announce that all the youth were to gather over in the youth center after Mass, so, an announcement of ten seconds or so. “Quel M” let himself get enraged about this, but disappeared for a few hours, only to come back that afternoon to hunt down diminutive don Claudio (mid-80s, frail, about 5’5″ and perhaps 125 pounds), who was sitting at his desk in his office. With both hands, “Quel M” (mid-30s, strong as an ox, about 6’5″ and perhaps 300 pounds) grabbed the largest volume of the Summa Theologica of Saint Thomas Aquinas (which don Claudio would read before giving his catechism classes to the youth), and proceeded with all his might to bash don Claudio over the head and on his face with it, then choking him in a strangle hold trying to crush his throat which don Claudio had used to preach about Jesus throughout his life. “Quel M” left don Claudio for dead. Three days later (three days, mind you), don Claudio awakens from his coma and, from the floor, is just able to reach the phone and call an ambulance, face and head swollen like a basketball, eyes still swollen shut.

Senseless, you say? Sick, you say? Yes, well, I’ll write about that soon.

Meanwhile, “Quel M” returned to the parish (though forbidden by the bishop), in order, he thought, to preside at the funeral of the head of Italy’s Catholic Action. She was from the parish and all sorts of politicians and dignitaries and untold numbers of churchmen of every rank showed up in that little out of the way parish church. I asked the higher-up ecclesiastics if they would like to preside over the funeral. They were afraid, and so cited my appointment by the local ordinary to surveil the situation. “Quel M” was a volcano. A monsignor whispered to him that he shouldn’t be there and “Quel M” erupted violently, but somehow got himself out the door like a twirling Tazmanian devil of Bugs Bunny fame, though there was nothing funny about this. He again had murder in his eyes and was totally out of control. Within a few minutes he was back in again. In order to calm down the situation I asked him if he would do the first reading. “Si!” he exclaimed. But then, during Mass, from the side, he said all the parts that I was to say in a very loud voice indeed. Just so sad. I let him read because I was afraid that he would actually have killed a number of the old priests there. Truly… Anyway…

Don Claudio and I became instant life-long friends if such a thing makes sense. It’s just that it seemed we knew each other forever. He loved Jesus. He loved the truth. He called our friendship in the priesthood a “sintonia” in the truth, explaining that sintonia has to do with radio waves being on the same frequency, strengthening each other.

When Saint John Paul II got wind of all this, he was pretty upset, furious really, and sent a letter to all the Italian bishops about how to deal with their priests. Yikes! This was a saga which carried on for some years.

And now the rest of the story: I repeatedly begged don Claudio to tell the police what had happened, to tell the full story to the bishop, but he would not do this. Don Claudio didn’t want to hurt “Quel M” in any way. Don Claudio wanted with all his might that “Quel M” come to know the mercy of the Lord. Don Claudio taught me much about the priesthood in view of other priests. I don’t know if I leaned what I should have learned, but my experience with him has nonetheless been invaluable for me. Thanks, don Claudio! I went to visit his tomb in the mid-2000s, brought there from Rome by a friend who has served as a kind of special secretary for a successive number of Roman Pontiffs. Even after so many years, his tomb was surrounded by huge bouquets of fresh cut flowers.

Having said all that, if I had walked in on “Quel M” attacking don Claudio, I think I would have – in one movement – thrown him through the window (high up along the ceiling) and out into the garden. If he had broken down the doors (I think we had already changed the locks) so as to reenter to do away with me, the witness to the murder, and if I then had a gun… Look, I just don’t know… but… He’s lucky I wasn’t there. Is that a good thing about me? Where’s Father George as Father George? That’s the question. I still have to write about priests and guns. Patience!*

Père Jacques HamelSecond anecdote: père Jacques Hamel

I’ve written about père Jacques: ISIS murders priest during Mass. R.I.P. Père Jacques Hamel. My comments. As you know, one of his attackers said: “To those who dare to say we shouldn’t kill a priest… we spare no-one.” Apparently, that’s a citation from Ibn Hazm al-Andalusi:

“And it is allowed to kill anyone aside from those we have mentioned, among the combatant idolators or the non combatants, such as the trader, the servant, the old man who gives his advice or not, the farmer, the bishop, the priest, the monk, the blind, the cripple. Spare no-one.”

Senseless, you say? Sick, you say? Yes, well, I’ll write about that soon.

It seems that the mosque to which the jihadis belonged was donated by the parish of which père Jacques was the pastor. Whatever you might think about all that (and I would have really a lot to say as you might imagine), you have to think nevertheless that père Jacques just wanted to do good to people and would hold out a spirit of forgiveness even while his throat was being slit.

Do I learn anything from that? You know what I wrote in the post about père Jacques linked to above, you know, the bit about “If I had had a gun…” Is that a good thing? Where’s Father George as Father George? That’s the question. As I said, I still have to write about priests and guns. Patience!

* I wrote to the parish in Piombino yesterday, asking the email address of “Quel M” so that I might relate to him the mercy that don Claudio desired for him. It’s only right. It just entered my heart all of a sudden to do this.

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Filed under Father Byers Autobiography, Priesthood, Terrorism, Vocations

Terrorism analysis – the big picture (1) Politically correct guilt inviting terror but always against the same victims

yad vashem railroad

National guilt that is way over-exaggerated for past injustice is one of the best ways to invite a proliferation of terror in an effort to self-punish. Everything can be exaggerated, and the reasons can be frightening and bad things can and do happen.

Do we shout in a self-congratulatory way: “Never again!” as if we were morally superior today compared to people of yesterday just because we live today, giving ourselves a licence to kill? Some people say “Never again!” with sincerity, but some do not.

Three examples: Germany and France and these USA

(1) Germany

Germany has been going through a much needed process of guilt, coming to grips with just how it is that they did what they did against the Jews. But there is some exaggeration in this. Thus, I’ve had a number of highly influential professors from Germany and a Nazi-sympathizing part of Switzerland who said that those who remain Christian after the Holocaust are guilty of the Holocaust even if they were born after the Holocaust and had nothing to do with the Holocaust. That’s stupid or more likely malicious. That kind of self-righteous crusading statement just builds up a false guilt and a real resentment against those on whose behalf one is supposed to feel guilty. No one likes a misplaced guilt and will work to take away the cause, even doing what they have falsely been accused of doing. These professors, by the way, remained Christian. Basically they were thereby saying that they were Nazis. I’ve heard the same diatribe from people who should know better from four different countries, with dozens of others who thought it was great or couldn’t care less. So, what has happened since then?

As a nation, Germany congratulated itself to the end that it is thought Germans could not ever be prejudiced again and, to prove that this was the case, welcomed as many Islamicist terrorists as they possibly could, and even tolerated for as long as they could all the subsequent raping and killing that is so allowable under Sharia law. I wonder who the enemies of Israel are if not Islamicist terrorists. Get it?

(2) France

You’ll remember that France was pretty weak when it came to defending the Jews during World War II. The French police of the Vichy government helped round up and deport over 75,000 Jews, almost all of whom died in the concentration camps. France had already long occupied Algeria, but it wasn’t long after WWII that they lost their war with Algeria, which was waged by Islamicists from 1954 to 1962. At first, nervous about it, Frenchmen everywhere would drive about in France honking their horns three times and then, after skipping a beat, two other honks, the beats for the chant “Algérie Française,” a political/military movement. Most French Islamicists are from Algeria. They flooded France from that time until today. To this day, when there is a news report in France about terrorists, you’ll undoubtably hear that kind of honking going on in the background: “Algérie Française” honk-honk-honk—honk honk.

Meanwhile, the French feel terribly guilty about their treatment of the Jews, and say that they would never ever help with anything like the Holocaust ever again, not with the Jews, not with anyone. Of course, in being oppressive to the Algerians for so long, and feeling even more recently guilty about that (and losing yet another war) they couldn’t bring themselves to say anything but good things even about Islamic terrorists. I mean, what did we see the other day? A couple of known terrorists had their tracking devices turned off for hours each day so that they could go about unmonitored, you know, so the French could consider themselves to be nice, instead of, like, you know, prejudicial. A blood-bath ensued. Of course it did. The individuals involved are known terrorists. It isn’t prejudice to keep them locked up. But the French just cannot, cannot, cannot put real blame on anyone for anything because they know that they themselves are guilty of past oppressions against both Jews and Algerians. But letting real criminals free to kill is no way to cover up one’s own guilt. These individuals wanted to fight for ISIS in the Middle-East, and we know the intentions of ISIS for Israel. It’s O.K. to judge the cases of individuals. Really, it is.

(3) These USA

These USA are a special case. We liberated the Jews from the camps. We have helped Israel. Rightly so. We have suffered events like 9-11 from Islamist terrorists. But now we have been apologizing to the terrorists, lying to do so, coming up with stories about some video so as to congratulate terrorists for killing Americans in Benghazi, and a thousand other examples where the most obvious terror related incidents are called work-place violence, etc. Why? Is there guilt? Not unless it comes from someone believing in Islamicist terrorism whose regret is that the world does not yet totally belong to ISIS. The annihilation of Israel followed by wholesale slaughter of Jews throughout the world is lockstep.

Finally…

Here’s the deal. We’ve all crucified the Son of the Living God with original sin and whatever other rubbish we ourselves have come up with. He purposely, willingly let us kill Him, our attempt at getting His goodness and kindness away from our eyes (too incriminating for our guilt). He, having stood in our stead and taking on the death we deserve, having the right in His own justice to have mercy on us, forgave us. So, no more guilt. But we are afraid of forgiveness.

But we won’t admit what we’ve done, but that doesn’t change the facts. And the guilt works on us. Even if we say we are atheists, we cannot escape the weight of the glory of God bearing down upon us as an invitation to His mercy. We still see it as incrimination of our weakness and self congratulations and arrogance. And so we attempt to get Him out of the way. We attempt to get His family out of the way, the Jews: “Ah! Maybe if we kill all the Jews, our own guilt will just disappear!” We are sooo stupid and self-righteous. Meanwhile, Israel is every single day closer to being wiped off the face of the earth.

“Salvation is from the Jews” – Jesus Christ

If only we would just get a bit of humility. We can ask the Most High for this humility. We should remember, with Saint Paul (Romans 9:4-5):

They are Israelites; theirs the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; theirs the patriarchs, and from them, according to the flesh, is the Messiah. God who is over all be blessed forever. Amen.

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Filed under Interreligious dialogue, Jewish-Catholic dialogue, Terrorism

ISIS murders priest during Mass. R.I.P. Père Jacques Hamel. My comments.

Père Jacques HamelDearest Father Jacques, remember us down here as you enter eternal life. Thank you for your priesthood in Christ Jesus. Thank you for laying down your life even as you offered Holy Mass. Just… thank you.

=== Let’s analyse this, shall we? Let’s use the FOX story as a base. We’ll add some comments of the Holy See. My emphases and [comments].

Two attackers reportedly shouted “Allahu Akbar” before slitting the throat of an 84-year-old priest and critically injuring at least one other person [an eldery nun] during a Tuesday morning terror attack on a church near the Normandy city of Rouen, officials said.

The terrorists, who French President Francois Hollande said had pledged their allegiance to ISIS, were later shot and killed by police.

The priest, identified by Sky News as Jacques Hamel, was dead at the scene, and another person, possibly a nun, was clinging to life, Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said.

The killing Tuesday inside the church, in the small northwestern town of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, “is obviously a drama for the Catholic community, for the Christian community,” Brandet told reporters. [Just “for the Catholic community, for the Christian community,” and not all people of good will? Wow. No. This kind of word-play is how it all gets much worse much more quickly. This is a supremely stupid move of Brandet. Perhaps he thought he was being nice, but, no. Watch for the liberal media to follow his example, you know, just sectarian violence or workplace violence in which surely Father Jacques was at least partly to blame, you know, just because…]

The attackers were not immediately identified. [Actually, they were. They had already tried to enter Syria to fight for ISIS. They were wearing electronic ankle GPS locators. The alarms should have been screaming away in police stations all around, but suicide terrorists don’t care if they are followed and killed after they’ve done their dirty work. They want to die. Does no one, after tens of thousands of incidents counting just since 9-11, perceive any of this? (Correction! No alarms since they turn the alarms off on purpose so that they can get in a morning’s terrorism while not being tracked!)] Police said the pair entered through the back door of the church and took the priest, two nuns and two parishioners hostage during morning Mass. [The priest was immediately beheaded. The word “hostage” is incorrect. They are not immediately killed in order to torture them in horrific ways and let the media scene play up outside. Remember the Paris attack in the theater? They neglected to tell us of the horrific tortures, eye-gouging, eviscerating, dismembering, etc. The captives are not hostages. They are there to set an example.]

Police responded and later confirmed that the attackers had been “neutralized,” Sky News reported. Three hostages were rescued in good condition, while another was taken away on a stretcher, according to reports. [And other reports say that the motive is not clear. What? Really?]

=== Now, let’s see what the Cardinal Secretary of State of the Holy See has to say:

[…] Le Saint-Père est particulièrement bouleversé par cet acte de violence qui s’est déroulé dans une église au cours d’une messe, action liturgique qui implore de Dieu sa paix pour le monde. Il demande au Seigneur d’inspirer à tous des pensées de réconciliation et de fraternité dans cette nouvelle épreuve et de répandre sur chacun l’abondance de ses Bénédictions.

In my translation (skipping the expected bit about solidarity in grief): The Holy Father is particularly upset by this act of violence that took place in a church during a Mass, a liturgy which implores God’s peace for the world. He asked the Lord to inspire all with thoughts of reconciliation and fraternity in the face of this new trial and to spread on each of the abundance of His blessings.

So, nothing from the Secretary about ISIS or Islamist fear mongering. Nothing. Just a complaint about the place and time. I mean, is anyone really shocked that ISIS has no pious devotion for the Mass? Do we really expect ISIS to kneel at the altar rail, wait until Mass is over, and then behead the priest? And that makes it all better? I’d like to see the Cardinal just go ahead and condemn ISIS (which immediately claimed responsibility, by the way). In fact, I’d like to see him be a signatory of the Regensburg address of Pope Benedict XVI.

=== Now, my own comment: If ISIS thinks that they are spreading fear and terror by this, it’s certainly not working on me. Perhaps that’s a tactical fault of mine, but fear is not any kind of great motivator for me. A desire to make a positive contribution to the virtue of justice in the proper self-defense of self or others in the face of unjust aggression is a source of motivation. And that, I think, is consonant with the Lord inspiring all with thoughts of reconciliation and fraternity even as He spreads on each the abundance of His blessings. Self defense for self or others is a part of those blessings as well.

Again, I wish it were not this way. I wish Father Jacques Hamel had not been beheaded. I wish the Sister had not been grievously wounded. I with the others hadn’t been taken hostage. I wish all people would kneel before our Lord and Savior, accepting redemption and salvation. I wish, in fact, that we were already in heaven. Wouldn’t that be great?

But, to be frank about it, had I been in the sacristy during Mass, say, collecting old Mass vestments and altar cards with the permission of the good priest, and the ISIS crowd had come in that back door next to me wielding their knives and shouting Alahu Akbar and starting in on their attack, I would not have let the attack proceed. I mean, no hesitation about “Oh, let’s wait just a minute and let’s see if we can alert the media about sound bites of setting up encounters of dialogue with multi-cultural participants so that we can be perceived as being heroic men of consensus,” or something like that. In that amount of time, the good priest’s head would already be balanced on top of the chalice, right? So, instead, in a nanosecond, my CCW would already have been drawn and the “neutralizing” would already have been accomplished.

We live in a violent world. And the Mass is a most violent place already: it is Calvary where being tortured to death is the order of day, of that hour, when all hell is broken out, when Christ claims victory by not giving in right to the end (and then rising from the dead). Is it bad and evil to defend priest and people at Mass? No, it is not bad and evil. It is good. Our Lord is our Redeemer, not any priest or any parishioner. We are mere sheep, all of us.

Meanwhile, two things today, my “day off”:

(1) As soon as I click “Publish” for this post, I will be offering Holy Mass for those involved in this and in all recent terrorist incidents both oversees and here in these United States.

(2) I’m going to go and kill some paper targets, which I haven’t done for a full week. A friend says I need to start working on muscle memory. Meanwhile, Aliengear holsters (IWB and OWB) came in yesterday afternoon. I may need to adjust them for ease of use. For now, I can only use the OWB as I haven’t taken the CCW course yet (outside of acing the qualification test).

And, yes, I know. I still have to write something about the why of guns and priests. Patience!

P.S. Please don’t think that I am devoid of knowing something of the Mystical Body of Christ. I know that when Jesus, Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception, lays down His life he is also laying down our lives with His, especially His priests – as the Master so the disciple – especially when we offer the Holy Sacrifice and say His wedding vows to His Bride the Church: This is my body given for you, my blood poured out for you in sacrifice. Yes, I know. And Father Jacques is a hero for me. When I say the consecrations I am aghast at the torture and death; when I say the consecrations I am in awe of Jesus as I then kneel beneath the weight of the glory of His love; when I say the consecrations I tremble and find it difficult to move on to the rest of Mass, wanting to continue to stand there, beneath the Cross. But, more on this later. Now, it’s time to offer Mass for Father Jacques and the others. Accompany me, if you would, with a Hail Mary for the eternal repose of his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed. Hail Mary…

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Flores for the Immaculate Conception (Flos Carmeli / Lourdes / CCW edition)

I made this set of videos (about 20 minutes all told) during my time living just over the cave of Elijah on Mount Carmel, Israel. The O.C.D.s had invited me to stay there for an entire month during the years that I was a chaplain at Lourdes. I must say that these videos are very emotional for me to watch to this day. What a fright! But… Jesus, Mary’s Son, is just that good and kind! Even though in watching these you don’t move from station to station yourself, I’m sure your heart will be transported to be right next to Jesus, to be with Him in solidarity, and to be right next to His dear Immaculate Mother as she accompanies our Lord, again in all solidarity.

If you’re wondering, what you saw is the work of acid attacks.

Then, of course, we have the great Flos Carmeli. We would sing this from Elijah’s cave after offering the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass:

Flos Carmeli,
vitis florigera,
splendor caeli,
virgo puerpera
singularis.
Mater mitis

sed viri nescia
Carmelitis
esto propitia
Stella Maris.

Radix Jesse
germinans flosculum
nos ad esse
tecum in saeculum
patiaris.

Inter spinas
quae crescis lilium
serva puras
mentes fragilium
tutelaris.

Armatura
fortis pugnantium
furunt bella
tende praesidium
scapularis.

Per incerta
prudens consilium
per adversa
iuge solatium
largiaris.

Mater dulcis
Carmeli domina,
plebem tuam
reple laetitia
qua bearis.

Paradisi
clavis et ianua,
fac nos duci
quo, Mater, gloria
coronaris.
Amen. (Alleluia.)

Flower of Carmel,
Tall vine blossom laden;
Splendour of heaven,
Childbearing yet maiden.
None equals thee.
Mother so tender,

Who no man didst know,
On Carmel’s children
Thy favours bestow.
Star of the Sea.

Strong stem of Jesse,
Who bore one bright flower,
Be ever near us
And guard us each hour,
who serve thee here.

Purest of lilies,
That flowers among thorns,
Bring help to the true heart
That in weakness turns
and trusts in thee.

Strongest of armour,
We trust in thy might:
Under thy mantle,
Hard press’d in the fight,
we call to thee.

Our way uncertain,
Surrounded by foes,
Unfailing counsel
You give to those
who turn to thee.

O gentle Mother
Who in Carmel reigns,
Share with your servants
That gladness you gained
and now enjoy.

Hail, Gate of Heaven,
With glory now crowned,
Bring us to safety
Where thy Son is found,
true joy to see.
Amen. (Alleluia.)

A picture of the wadi of Mount Carmel from the ruins of the Monastery of the Little Brothers of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Today’s monastery is above Elijah’s Cave, just a bit further to the North:

flores - mount carmel wadi

Note today’s mosque up on the hill to the right. Sigh. That’s the Mediterranean Sea in the distance. It is from this vantage point that the Islamicist guy living in the monastery saw the ship coming from Rome carrying the priests and brothers of the Discalced Carmelite Order which was returning for the umpteenth time to reclaim from the Islamicist slaughterers this part of the Holy Land, reestablishing some modicum of peace. The Islamicists slaughtering everyone was the reason for the provision of self-defense for the local population wrought by the Crusaders, some of whom, to the point, became the first Carmelites, fighting spiritually for the Immaculate Conception, that Flos Carmel without equal. They would be hermits (more or less) for six months, and then descend upon the land and preach ferociously, as only crusaders can, for another six months, then return.

My heart speeds up with memories! Also of Lourdes, where the Immaculate Conception appeared to Saint Bernadette also as Our Lady of Mount Carmel. This is the Carmelite Monastery on the far side of the river from the grotto in Lourdes as seen from my room in the Chaplains House in Lourdes (above the grotto). Look to the right of the donkey’s ears:

lourdes donkey carmelite monastery

  • Pray the Rosary!
  • Wear the Brown Scapular!

Maybe my interest in CCWs comes from my rather extensive Carmelite experiences, with the Carmelites having been ferocious soldiers, with Elijah, hailed as the founding father of the Carmelites, having been the greatest prophet and – most precisely – a warrior prophet. But, I’m still thinking about all that. Meanwhile, my neighbor, with his ineffable military background, is taking me to one of the the very many shooting ranges in the area to give me some pointers about how to hold a pistol so as to be able to repeatedly shoot in quick succession without aiming, and yet back up bullets in the same hole in the target. I don’t think I’ll get the hang of it that easily. (I ain’t that good, or bad, depending…)

I would like to ask readers a favor on this day: please say a Hail Mary for Sister Elizabeth of the Trinity, O.C.D., who has offered up her prayers and sacrifices for yours truly for life. I am totally unworthy of this. Utterly. She is my great hero. Hail Mary…

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CCW priest? To carry or not to carry?

The naysayers ask:

“Why on earth would a priest carry a weapon? What a scandal! Leave that kind of thing to the professionals! There are police for that sort of thing, you know. Only they should have guns.”

They’re the same people who say that Police are evil and bad and shouldn’t be allowed to have guns.

priests wear all blackIn response, I think of Father Kenneth Walker, FSSP – may he rest in peace – who would have used his CCW had he had a chance. By the way, if even he didn’t even get the chance, do you think the police would have been there in time to save him? No? At least his chances were better with a CCW. Sure, if it’s our time to go it’s our time to go, but meanwhile, we can do the act of charity of at least trying to be available for the self-defense of others. That’s not a lesser of two evils. That’s a positive contribution to the virtue of justice, even if the perp should die. And Father Kenneth was trying to save another person who was being beaten just about to death  (another priest) until Father Kenneth intervened. I think that black lives matter, that is, that the lives of priests matter, you know, men in black, whatever race they happen to be. There are plenty of creeps who don’t think so.

dylannIt’s not a matter of a priest asking whether or not churches are left out of the mix or not, as there are plenty of CCW parishioners at church for any given event, at least in my parish. But, as it is, the priest only spends a relatively small percentage of his time in church. He is otherwise with the community one way or another, perhaps much more than the average Joe. It’s not a matter of a priest asking whether he himself is worried for his own safety, as that’s not really the point I wouldn’t think. It’s to be available to help others in difficult circumstances. But having said that, yes, there are a number of times during which I wish I had had a CCW, like the time I ran to stop an arson in progress, recording the whole thing with 911. The pretty much daily repercussions of that are still not over, and that’s well over a year ago.

But it’s not even for that that I ask the question about CCWs and myself. I have to wonder if I’m a bit of a unique case, so much so, as you know, that the FBI once gave me a false passport. Someone needing a clean identity stole mine, and commenced committing all sorts of crimes with all sorts of really, really evil people right around the world, then dropped my identity and took up his own once again, leaving me with the sole responsibility for having done all sorts of really evil things internationally. But if those various crowds he had been dealing with should look me up for more of the same or to shut me up (though I know nothing) I would at least feel a little more prepared for the confrontation with a CCW. And then there’s me dealing with the Islamic terrorist crowd, that is, personally. Having made friends in this country or that, they would only realize later that they had been had. But I just had to understand the terrorist mentality a bit more. And I did get to know it. And I dare say I understand it. But all that wins me no friends on the terrorist side of things. I guess I would feel better with a CCW.

But feeling a little more prepared with a CCW is about what, just feelings? Is there more to it? Is it worth all the effort to train up? That’s a big investment for both time and treasure. To me, a CCW is the kind of thing you use as a tool to make you much more able calmly to diffuse a situation with a confidence perhaps even surpassing that Crocodile Dundee with his knife. And that’s what it’s all about, right? Diffusing situations. Needs level headedness.

This brings me back to what is still one of the most popular posts on this blog with school districts, all sort of government entities, even nuclear sites which want to intensify training for everyone on site:

Active Shooter: The Coming Storm (FBI: Train now!)

Anyway, I’m thinking of a Kel-Tec PMR-30, which can still be a CCW for someone tall and heavy with a loose shirt. That would be me. However, I’m open to suggestions…

And I do have all sorts of people with ineffable military backgrounds who, knowing my history, have basically been begging to teach me how to shoot a pistol. I figured out how to do the sniper thing as a kid all on my own (even slowing my heart-beat), but that was a long-rifle. Pistols are a whole different thing. I’d like to empty the clip into a 25 cent sized target at, say, 25 yards. Is that unrealistic? I’ve always said, don’t start unless you’re the best, otherwise you’ll be nervous and that can only hurt people. Am I wrong?

Out of respect for Father Walker, no smart aleck comments, please.

UPDATE: Someone sent an email to hint that I might be imprudent to say that presently I don’t carry. But the bad guys around here don’t read this blog. When they see me they surely assume that I do carry. In fact, a worker (illegally) frisked me for CCW in Lowes a while back. I guess it’s the loose fitting shirt thing. I’ve been told a thousand times for decades right around the world that I look like law enforcement. Why? It is what it is.

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The news is out: I too was once a male trapped in a female body

chuck norris

Sent in by a reader. Ha ha ha.

But, it’s not so funny in the wake of the Orlando shooting.

There are even bishops who say that the blame for the Orlando shooting is to be put squarely on the faith of Catholics, discounting those who truly are homophobes mind you (those afraid that they might be homosexual and so lash out at homosexuals). Those bashing the Catholic faith say that the faith itself is at fault, for they say that the faith sets up structures in society by which such terrorism can play out.

But, no. That’s not the way it is. Those who truly have the faith, and are not homophobic, want to share with people the greatest love of their own lives, Jesus Christ, the Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception. They do this while also talking about the immorality of homosexual acts because they want to help people participate in a much fuller life.

I remember saying this to a homosexualist activist back in the 1980s when I was a seminarian returning home from Rome for Summer vacation. We were on the shuttle van from the Twin Cities Airport to Collegeville, MN. He had been invited to teach a course at the Benedictine University about, I guess, all things homosexual.

I was sitting way in the back of the van, still in my cassock, and he was sitting in the seat just ahead of me, well, not sitting; he suddenly flipped himself about on the seat, on his haunches, facing me. I could see the driver’s face in the rear view mirror. He was scared at this unprovoked – what else to call it? – attack. The homosexualist guy was extremely agitated with me before he even introduced himself to me. I guess it was the cassock. He was raising his voice and waving his hands about, explaining with much frustration and anger just how happy he and his fellow gays are to be gay.

But, here’s the deal: the stats are that gays are astronomically more likely to attempt suicide, even multiple times, and then also be successful in committing suicide, than heterosexuals. That speaks to great sadness and frustration when non-stop distracting oneself just doesn’t work anymore, meaning the great sadness and frustration were there the whole time.

And, so, what? We Catholics, whether having homosexual tendencies or not, are supposed to keep the truth of the love of our Lord hidden from those in an active homosexual lifestyle, thus content to keep them locked in discontent? Just to say, the stats for gay on gay murder are also astronomical. Back to Orlando…

Was the terrorist guy gay? I doubt it. No one ever spoke of any date, at least on which something happened. He got his face known on dating apps. He sat alone, but was getting his face known. He was playing the game so that he could spend as much time as possible there to get to know when most people would be there, be wasted on drugs and alcohol, where the exits were, if any emergency exists were chained (as even high schools stupidly do for their dances, against the fire code), if there was security, bouncers, and who and where they were, if there were occasionally used metal detectors, etc., etc., etc. Do you think that that is, like – 00000000hhh! – lying? That would be taqiyyah, wouldn’t it?

The trouble is, Westerners are so wrapped up in their rejection of religion being reasonable that they cannot wrap their minds around something being wrong with a religion which rejects the utility of reason, as Islam does with its denial of an analogy between our reasoning and God’s reason. And then they can’t see when anything is wrong.

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