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San Martin de Porres

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My patron saint is Martin de Porres. Wikipedia describes him as “the patron saint of mixed-race people, barbers, innkeepers, public health workers, and all those seeking racial harmony,” all of which is news to me. I had always known Saint Martin as just some black guy, which is curious enough. What was my father thinking?

Born a bastard in 1579 in Lima, Peru, Saint Martin was half Spanish, half black. Barred from entering a religious order because of his African blood, Saint Martin was only allowed to dwell with the Dominicans as a servant. He was so conscientious with his menial duties, the friars nicknamed him “the saint of the broom.” Less charitably, a novice dubbed the dark man “a mulatto dog.” Saint Martin could levitate, be in two places at the same time and miraculously heal the sick, often with just a glass of water. Duly impressed, the prior finally permitted him to become a brother. Always drawn towards the most shunned, Saint Martin assisted the poorest and sickest, comforted slaves and sheltered stray animals. In paintings, he is routinely depicted with a broom and a plate of food for a dog, cat, mouse and bird. To lift the convent from debts, Saint Martin even offered to be sold as a slave.

At the time of Saint Martin’s death, the pope was Urban VIII. A vain, greedy man, Urban VIII enriched his entire clan and fought wars to expand his power. He commissioned Bernini to sculpt marble busts of himself, one of which was destroyed by a mob at his death. Urban VIII is best remembered for his persecution of Galileo for saying the earth rotates around the sun.

Giving lie to the dogma that each pope is infallible, there were many grasping, horny or outright evil “holy fathers.” Innocent VIII pistoned out as many as 16 (free) love children, accepted 100 Moorish slaves from Ferdinand of Aragon and sanctioned the slave trade since it lassoed Africans into Christendom. Alexander VI had kids with his mistresses openly. As homosexuals were being castrated or burnt alive for sodomy, Paul II freely enjoyed plenty of Greek loving in Rome and is said to have met his maker while being rear ended by some page boy. Another gay pope, Leo X, was hounded by a contemporary ditty, “Florentine, hustler, blind and a passive homo” [“fiorentin, baro, cieco e paticone”]. Pope Benedict IX was accused by Saint Peter Damian of sodomy, staging orgies and even bestiality, and he was charged by Pope Victor III of murders and rapes. Which pope is lying? Stand-ins for God, they can’t say or do anything wrong, one must remember. For the right fee, several of these creeps could even hoist your loved one out of purgatory.


322 years after his death, Martin de Porres was canonized in 1962, the year before I was born, so it’s likely my father got the idea from the news. In any case, it hasn’t been an inappropriate choice, considering how much time I’ve spent in “inns,” and though no saint with a hoover, I cleaned houses for several years. In my own way, I’m also a bastard, a bastard of Western civilization.

In Saigon, I went to La San Taberd. Jean-Baptiste de La Salle (1651-1719) was a rich man who housed and fed poor teachers, gave his inherited fortune away and saw his life mission as making education useful and available to all. His influence has spread worldwide. Founded in 1874, my Lasallian school was shut down by the Communists in 1975, so I was among its last students.

In 2000, I returned to find its playground comically much smaller than in memory. Ignoring its basketball hoops and ping pong tables, I had spent most recesses testing my kung fu and judo techniques, for nothing made me happier than to knock some serious sense into someone. Quite often, though, it was me who got the pounding end of an inarguable truth. The body teaches nonstop and limits sober.

Thanks to the chopsockies and, well, soldiers and tanks on the streets, helicopters overhead, martial music on radio and TV, and body counts in each newspaper, each morning, violence was always in the air, so it’s no wonder we kids just wanted to kill each other. Between punches, kicks, knees, elbows and throw downs, I did manage to gain a solid academic foundation from the friars, however, for years after the airlift, I would score in the top percentile in math for my SAT, this despite being completely indifferent to numbers by then. Living in a DC suburb, I was engrossed by painting and jazz.

In college, I became quite enamored with myself, a most pervasive sin in any culture, though increasingly more pronounced here, I must say, and to a grotesque degree. The inevitable result was a dark night of the soul lasting a couple of years, and I certainly deserved that roundhouse kick to the head. The very definition of madness, self-infatuation won’t just make one blind but hostile to the rest of the world. Self-worship is the worst idolatry. Swedenborg:

The evils of those who are in the love of self are, in general, contempt of others, envy, enmity against all who do not favor them, and consequent hostility, hatred of various kinds, revenge, cunning, deceit, unmercifulness, and cruelty.

All of the above are plentiful here, for this strutting and bombastic culture abetts the crassest vanities. According to Swedenborg, each man crafts, with his thoughts and actions, his own inferno or paradise, thus becoming a unique demon or angel. Very often, a man will mistake his most elaborately-built hell for heaven, but never vice versa. Obviously, an entire society can also suffer this delusion.

Linh Dinh’s Postcards from the End of America will be published by Seven Stories Press in January of 2017. Tracking our deteriorating socialscape, he maintains a photo blog.

• Category: History • Tags: Christianity 
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  1. TheJester says:

    Enjoyed your comments.

    Being overly enamored with self (narcissism) leading to disdain and contempt for others fits nicely as a description of liberalism (using a small “l” or capital “L” doesn’t change a thing). This is also what plagued the version of liberalism that birthed the Communist ideology and the Soviet system. It is no accident that Obama and Sanders are very friendly toward socialist solutions to social and economic problems.

    Two books that address this issue:

    Slouching Towards Gomorrah, Modern Liberalism and American Decline, by Robert Bork; and,

    Liberalism Is a Mental Disorder: Savage Solutions, by Michael Savage.

  2. John Spiers says: • Website

    Stand-ins for God, they can’t say or do anything wrong, one must remember.

    Ahem… Mr. Linh, popes are infallible only in faith and morals, the idea they are perfect is a heresy long rejected… that popes are sinners like any other is not disputed.

    On the other hand, when you coming to visit Tacoma?

    John Spiers

    • Replies: @Linh Dinh
    , @Linh Dinh
  3. Linh Dinh says: • Website
    @John Spiers

    Hi John,

    Thanks for the clarification on the pope’s infallibility.

    I wish I could be in the Puget Sound area tomorrow, but with a thin wallet and flagging energy, I can’t even get my ass one or two states over.

    My first Christmas in the States was in Tacoma. In his yellow Chevette, the cheapest car at the time, my father drove me and my brother downtown, expecting to see a huge crowd, but it was deserted. Each Christmas in Saigon, thousands of people would mingle around the cathedral. They still do today.

    Driving around the empty streets, my father picked up a hitchhiker and drove the man about three miles to his destination. After he thanked us and got out, my father turned to me and said with genuine disappointment, “He didn’t even invite us inside!”

    In Vietnam, it’s nothing to be invited into a home.


    • Replies: @Lawrence Fitton
  4. Linh Dinh says: • Website
    @John Spiers

    Hi John,

    If a pope is infallible only in faith and morals, yet a sinner like any other, then we’re back to the well worn “do like I say, not like I do”!

    Are you convinced of the need for orthodoxy as emanating from the mind and mouth of one man?


    • Replies: @anon
    , @Hibernian
    , @Art
  5. @Linh Dinh

    hello mr dinh 99.
    galileo penned a snarky dialogue that depicted anyone as a buffoon who denied scientific evidence proving the existence of a heliocentric solar system.
    although cleverly written, the pope knew to whom to dialogue was directed.
    this, most likely, led to galileo’s banishment to florence.(plus he had to recant, pronouncing that the sun went round the earth. although rumor has it that he muttered under his breath “it doesn’t)

    • Replies: @Linh Dinh
  6. Linh Dinh says: • Website
    @Lawrence Fitton

    Hi Larry,

    Yes, the dude put il papa’s words into the mouth of Simplicio, or “Simpleton.” Urban wasn’t going to let that slide.


  7. Anyone born during or after Vatican II who attended Catholic school(s) can reliably be expected to know zilch about the Catholic and Apostolic faith, and you’re no exception.

    The Holy Founder (as the Christian Brothers in my day called St. Jean-Baptiste de la Salle) was indeed of a wealthy family (his mother was of the Moet champagne clan), and a saintly canon of the cathedral of Rheims. He first got into education when he set about teaching his kid brothers after their parents died, and the rest is history.

    Were they already using the term “Lasallian” when you were in school? It was a term coined some time after 1966 (when I graduated from a Christian Brothers college) to try to kid old alums into thinking that there was still something Christian about the Christian Brothers so that they would keep contributing.

    The Pope’s infallibility is limited to pronouncements regarding faith and morals that are intended to engage his infallibility (an ex cathedra — from the chair [of Peter, the first pope] — pronouncement). So none of the matters you discuss, scandalous as they are if true (as some of them certainly were), have anything to do with papal infallibility.

    There was a great German historian of the papacy named Ludwig von Pastor (1854-1928), a convert to the Catholic faith. The English translation of his history of the papacy runs to 40-odd volumes, and so there probably wasn’t much papal dirty laundry that got by him. But a German Catholic philosopher was once at a canonization in Rome and ran into von Pastor. The tears were running down his cheeks with joy that another saint had been raised to the altars.

  8. John Spiers says: • Website

    Hey Linh,

    Thanks for your kind reply… maybe we can get a local school to fork over a stipend o get you here for a talk and book-signing…etc… but to reply for now…

    1. Yes. like all other people, popes can be hypocrites too… they just run bigger risks with Jesus on this rap..

    2. Whether I am convinced of it or not, orthodoxy flows whence it flows… but explicitly not from the mouth of one man; it’s complicated, but orthodoxy is within very narrows bounds, difficult to establish, and only in concert with the whole church. But to answer indirectly, yes, I assent to Church orthodoxy.

    3. As to Galileo, this is protestant diversion. Galileo was teaching, as the pope’s astronomer, the earth circled the sun in a perfect circle, something Bellarmine knew not not be true, and Keplar upon which surely had cautioned Galileo (not to mention Keplar was never cautioned not to teach heliocentrism, which was a well known fact at the time. The Jesuits were teaching it in China.) As others noted, Galileo got snarky, so he was sent to his room, inasmuch as he lived in the Vatican and worked for the pope. But the “anti-science catholicism” libel is the best story protestants have going for them, so it has gained currency.

    BTW. Easter in Saigon in 2010 was much like you described…

    Call me if you are otherwise in Tacoma and we can get in a bar fight at The Swiss some time… you can show me some gung fu moves…

    John Spiers

    • Replies: @Anon
  9. Merry Christmas Linh. And thanks for your thoughtful contributions to fake news.

  10. Date: 
    Sat, 1854-06-10

    On this date in 1854, James Augustine Healy was ordained in Paris, France, thus becoming the first Black priest in the Catholic Church.

    Two brothers followed him and all three had to study abroad. James Healy became the first Black bishop of Portland, ME., in 1875. Alexander Sherwood was ordained for the diocese of Massachusetts. Patrick Frances obtained his PH.D (the first Black) from Louvian University, Belgium and became the first Black president of Georgetown University, Washington D.C.

    The three brothers were sons of an Irish Plantation owner in Georgia and a slave woman. Their sister Eliza, became a nun and notable school administrator.

    Photo in the link.

  11. I’ve always been fascinated with people who are so desperate that they belong to a religion that despises them. Ephesians 6:5 tells slaves to obey their masters as they would Christ. I Peter 2:18 tells slaves to submit not only to good masters but to unreasonable ones too. Until the civil rights era, some black Catholics had to sit in the back pews at mass and were refused admission to white parochial schools.

    In the early 1960s a man in Ghana found a copy of the Book of Mormon, read it, became a believer, and convinced others of its truth. The group wrote to Salt Lake City for two decades begging the church to send missionaries.

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints finally allowed black men into the priesthood in 1978. Blacks were already “members” but they could not enter the Temple and perform ordinances (sacraments) which would determine their fate in heaven. Pre-1978, when an elder was asked how black members would get into the celestial kingdom, the most high heaven, the elder said that maybe they could go as servants.

  12. nsa says:

    In the year 1992, the whore of the seven hills “forgave” Galileo….only 360 years after his “heresy”. Fellow astronomer and cosmologist, Bruno, has never been “forgiven”….he was burned alive as an object lesson to others.

  13. Ivy says:

    The Christmas season provides an opportunity to reflect with humility on the blessings of life.

  14. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @John Spiers

    A minor point requiring correction in an otherwise excellent post:

    As others noted, Galileo got snarky, so he was sent to his room, inasmuch as he lived in the Vatican and worked for the pope.

    Galileo lived in Florence and was “confined” there; if I remember correctly he was also maintained by the Duke of Florence, though he was well known in Rome and presumably entertained at public (that is, papal) expense while there.

    Mike Flynn (SF writer, not General) has a thorough if irreverent discussion of this matter on his blog ( ).

  15. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Linh Dinh

    Mr. Dinh,

    Much to the profit of your soul, apologetics is probably not to your taste. Nevertheless, you asked for it. RH Benson gives a discussion of this exact topic here: . Since it takes him a whole chapter, consisting of some twenty pages, to build his case, you will understand if I don’t try to recapitulate it* …
    We all have our orthodoxies, some more closely defined than others.

    Merry Christmas,

    *Should gremlins eat the link, the reference is to The Religion of the Plain Man (1906).

    • Replies: @anon
  16. amdg says:

    > Giving lie to the dogma that each pope is infallible, there were many grasping, horny or outright evil “holy fathers.”

    The infalibility does not mean they cannot sin. The Holiness is just a title. His Majesty may not be majestic at all…

    If the love of self does not prevent it, you may try to have some basic knowledge of what you write about. It is now so easy with the Internet:

    • Replies: @Linh Dinh
  17. anon • Disclaimer says:

    We all have our orthodoxies, some more closely defined than others.

    By this I had no intention of derogating those less closely defined. There is quite a bit to be said for the nebulous faith held by most Americans, and, I suspect, in some form or another, by most of the world. I add this coda because the original statement is very capable of being misconstrued, and in such cases I find it much better to explain earlier than to soothe later.

    Pax vobiscum!

  18. Linh Dinh says: • Website

    If popes can bungle and bugger, surely I can flub, but there must be a way to correct graciously. On Unz, I’m thankful for the always dignified and enlightening Talha. If only the snark-addicted would learn from this Muslim gentleman.

    • Replies: @anon
    , @Rurik
  19. One little teenie weenie nit-picky correction to very good piece Monsieur Dihn:

    “Urban VIII is best remembered for his persecution of Galileo for saying the earth rotates around the sun.”

    The earth rotates on its axis and revolves around the sun. (according to Galileo anyway) That’s OK; English isn’t your first language. Merry Christmas.

    I am now anxiously awaiting your movie review of Hidden Figures. (premieres in big metro cine Dec. 25, everywhere Jan. 6.)

  20. martino says:

    The Papa´s. You have written the best I can say-

    • Replies: @Linh Dinh
  21. martino says:

    put google translator , please.: Yo tambien fui alumno de LA SALLE. Gran institucion de enseñanza. Pero me pregunto, ¿porqué los religiosos cristianos tuvieron, y tienen tanto empeño en la enseñanza escolar (ahora a partir de los tres años de edad obligatoria en Europa?) ¿Estaban poniendo ya los fundamentos de la programacion de la gente ya en el siglo 17-18-19? ¿E l anarquismo de los niños siempre jugando en la calle,…. futuros anarquistas? ¿El afán de coger a sus futuros e inevitables rivales de pequeños para desactivarlos mediante la “enseñanza”? Es como la domesticación de un perro: cógelo de pequeñito,… de mayor es muy difícil domesticar. Asi podríamos poner a los curas y derivados (pseudoreligiones) como los lacayos del Establisment, o mejor dicho asociados, para adoctrinar y domesticar… Las invasiones de Sudamérica por los españoles (yo lo soy) fueron acompañadas por los curas, para “adoctrinar” a los nativos. Lo mismo en Asia y en Africa. Ahora mismo, los “Misioneros”, lo primero y quizás lo último que hacen en los Paises cuartomundistas es poner escuelas. No pozos de agua, tractores, comida, agricultura… etc-, Tambien ponen hospitales…. vacunan. hacen adictos…Pero no dan condones a los negros para `prevenir el VIH,.. Ahora se han añadido las ONG¨S, con sus RANGE ROVERS, (CURAS, OTAN, ONU…) La enseñanza, ahora en “Occidente” es desde los tres años hasta más allá de los veinticinco, si añadimos los “masters” obligatorios, donde no se aprende casi nada, (en USA, el pais del timo, , encima los estudiantes están endeudados de por vida, maestria de judios) Por cierto, si los judios lo siguen haciendo tan bien y nadie los para, me voy a postrar ante ellos, porque habrán demostrado ser los maestros, ante los tontos. ¿Los Papas? Lihn. , sólo describiendo los hechos has hecho innecesario emitir un juicio: Verguenza nuestra de haber dado preeminencia a estos mamarrachos. Gracias una vez máspor sus comentarios, lihn.

    • Replies: @Jim Bob Lassiter
  22. martino says:

    put geogle translator please.Ahora que hablaba de los hospitales de los”misioneros”: Es como la moda actual de llevar al perro al veterinario porque tiene depresión o multiples enfermedades,al estilo de los humanos. Yo he tenido perros y gatos y no han ido al veterinario, sólo en una ocasion de una gata muy promiscua con una infeccion vaginal a quien tuve que poner antibioticos inyectados (YO). Cuando oigo que en una catástrofe humanitaria van corriendo con mantas y medicinas (en el ecuador) pienso que si creen que todo el mundo es un enfermo que necesita ser medicado. La gente no necesita medicinas ( yo las he necesitado puntualmente en sesenta años), y por supuesto,las tribus de africa no necesitan aviones de medicinas, sino algun cereal y agua.

  23. Linh Dinh says: • Website

    Hola Martino!

    Navidad en La Rambla debe de ser mágico. Quisiera estar allí!


    • Replies: @RobinG
  24. martino says:

    Put googletranslator please. Lo que quiero decir es , que el diseño de la “educación escolar” desde los tres a los a los casi treinta (Casi la mitad de la vida, y la parte más productiva y potente) es un plan, complot, conspiración, para castrar a quienes podrian derribar el Establisment, Aristocracia, o lo que sea, como siempre ha sido, por parte de jóvenes, no de viejos. Añade a esto la guerra entre sexos (el feminismo)(Más castración) El desempleo para los jóvenes. La alienación de la mujer, la sexualizacion de ,los niños con la consecuencia de la imposibilidad de formar familias por: 1.- El hombre no consigue un empleo remunerado para mantener una familia, ni siquiera una mujer, y ya ni siquiera a si mismo.2.-La alienación de la mujer, que nunca está satisfecha, no sabe quien es, rompe los matrimonios, y las leyes arruinan al hombre divorciado y le roban a los hijos tambien,.. etc. Hay másde los mismo. Todo son parte de los trucos de los que qieren a la gente destruida, sometida, medicada, dividida… así ellos pueden seguir prevaleciendo un poco más. Lo que la gente no sabe es que Hernán Cortés, conquistó Mexico con 17 años. Lo mismo Alejandro Magno. Los peces gordos, viejos y podridos lo saben

  25. martino says:

    thank you ,lihn. The Rambla is magic, Barcelona is magic. … Go to translator.. El barrio chino (Chinatown) aqui no es como en USA. es el barrio de las putas de más baja categoria, y ninguna es china. Son desde viejas desdentadas que te ofrecen una mamada por 15 , negras nigerianas a 20$, Españolas gordas de sesenta y tantos… con una clientela fija amplia… de setentones….Alguna rumana joven. Lamento tener tan poco dinero como tu, por ahora (pues he sido millonaria y pobre varias veces) (Ahora pobre), Pues de lo contrario disfrutaria muchisimo contigo haciendote de guia por los sitios mas “downtown”? de esta ciudad. Te aseguro que Philly tendria problemas para competir.Ahora estoy en los principios de los sesenta,pero estoy joven , en apariencia, Hace quince
    años, tras un divorcio y la pérdida de un negocio, pasé de ganar mucho dinero, a dormir en el coche y enseguida alquilar una habitación en el barrio chino y un trabajo de fregaplatos en “los Caracoles”. Fueron seis meses de experiencias intensas en el culo de Barcelona, con la escoria, las putas viejas, las jóvenes (más peligrosas y ladronas) Los moros(marroquis) que me querian robar cada noche, algunas forasteras ignorantes del peligro y peligrosas ellas(italianas, etc) Cada noche en el “Jamboree”, en la <plaza Real. Te contaré algun episodio. Y presiento que un dia nos veremos `por aqui. Ahora vivo en Blanes, playa, Costa Brava, a 70 km. de barcelona . En casa de mi madre, porque no puedo pagar un alquiler.Y no trabajo con 60- FelizNavidad, sea lo que sea

  26. martino says:

    Queria comentarte una cosa Lihn, que tal vez no sabes, y esto tambien para el foro. Google tanslator es desinformación. Sistemáticamente cambia si por no.Yo leo en inglés : Usa will envoy
    — transtlator says Usa Will not envoy.. in spanish. Esto es siempre que haya un tema politico importante. Recientemente, en un tema racista, google translator cambio negros por blancos: donde decia white men, tradujo black men. Esto no es un error, esto es voluntario.. Como soy casi bilingue, ingles.spañol, leo delasdos maneras y es evidente la manipulación. Por ejemplo: Russia says was the CIA who killed ambassator. Translation says : Russia says was not de Cia who killed…

  27. @martino

    “Pero no dan condones a los negros para `prevenir el VIH,.. ”

    No sé quienes creen que los Negros sean muy cumplidos en el empleo de los condones. Pero sí son como una manada de perros hambrientes rascando la puerta trasera de la casa en busca de comida. Entre más que se les den, más reproducen más hambrientes y sarnosos.
    ” Las invasiones de Sudamérica por los españoles (yo lo soy) fueron acompañadas por los curas, para “adoctrinar” a los nativos. ” —

    De acuerdo, siempre y cuando que “fueron” sea la palabra operativa con tu afirmación. Hoy en dia, no tanto. Más bien, me parece que los curas “Gallegos” que se mandan a América Latina son mandados en muchos casos por sus “pecadillos” sexuales en España.


    Los demás puntos tuyos me resultan bastante válidos.

  28. martino says:

    in your earlier theme, the unhappy women, sorry for be outside of the théme now. but i´d read from an english writter , (contemporary), that the men loves a woman that don´t exist no more, and the woman love a man that don´t exist yet- Woman are killing herserf, after have killed the true nature of a woman. I think men are killing himself because are not woman no more… Woman are killing herself because they have killed theyr own nature, men killing himself because treason of woman. Remember the Myth of EVA EVAis always whit satan, estblismenth now. Very sorry for the numberous woman that hink the same that me, but not are the treaunours, bitch EVA. Love for that woman tha are agaisnt the bitch, the witch… etc.

  29. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Linh Dinh

    On the other hand, the writer of the offending comment may feel that the Holy Father, even of a bygone era, is at least as sacrosanct a persona as even the most talented of journalists.

    Buggery is no longer regarded as problematical by most Americans, and poisoning is sure to follow eventually. Perhaps “amdg” is simply ahead of the curve, yet remaining conservative to the extent of holding journalistic carelessness to be the sole universal vice. More likely he is simply indignant, as a man who feels himself or his father (by very remote proxy) insulted has every right to be. Self-control is certainly the ideal, but it is neither very common nor very easy.

    The point “amdg” made had been discussed to death on this thread before he posted; his intention was, as I see it, not to correct but to protest, to add his voice in defense of his ideals; reprehensible, perhaps, but understandable.

  30. @John McFarland

    The Pope’s infallibility is limited to pronouncements regarding faith and morals that are intended to engage his infallibility (an ex cathedra — from the chair [of Peter, the first pope] — pronouncement). So none of the matters you discuss, scandalous as they are if true (as some of them certainly were), have anything to do with papal infallibility.

    Note also that papal infallibility was not asserted as a doctrine of the Roman church until the First Vatican Council of 1870, and when that Council did, it so distressed some German Catholics that they split to form the so-called Old Catholic Church in combination with a previous schismatic group in Holland that had separated from Rome in the eighteenth century.

    The bad popes described reigned before the doctrine of infallibility was introduced, and indeed their actions were often reversed by successors, suggesting that those successors did not regard them as infallible. Alexander VI (Rodrigo Borgia), an oft-cited example of a bad pope, removed the works of Pico della Mirandola from the Index, where a predecessor had put them. After Alexander’s death, Pico’s works were put back on the Index.

    • Replies: @anon
  31. Greg Bacon says: • Website

    The ‘Pope’ is nothing more than the Godfather of a world-wide pedophile ring, that makes the Pentagon look like nerds when it comes to wasting money.

    • Agree: Stonehands
  32. Dan Hayes says:
    @John McFarland

    I subscribe to and accept the fact that a pope may be derelict/scandalous in his own faith and morals. But in the current papacy I am beginning to have serious doubts about some papal pronouncements on faith and morals. Francis’ off-the-cuff faith & moral pronouncements do not inspire confidence, especially since they seem to contradict previous papal documents and dogma. This is serious business – papal malfeasance at the very least.

    Especially galling is this “Whom am I to judge” person vilifying anyone who gets in the way of his agenda! For the most part, the people that Francis so cavalierly calumnizes are those who take their religion seriously. So maybe Francis doesn’t take his religion seriously

  33. @John McFarland

    “…The Pope’s infallibility is limited to pronouncements regarding faith and morals that are intended to engage his infallibility (an ex cathedra — from the chair [of Peter, the first pope] — pronouncement). So none of the matters you discuss, scandalous as they are if true (as some of them certainly were), have anything to do with papal infallibility…”

    Such haughty un- Biblical nonsense.

    This would certainly surprise the rest of the disciples- that Peter was the “pope”.

    Here’s the prerequisite for the shepherd of an assembly of believers:

    5 For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:

    6 If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.

    7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;

    8 But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;

    9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

    Titus 1: 5-9

    • Replies: @Hibernian
  34. RobinG says:
    @Linh Dinh

    Completely OT, but having heard this conversation [Duterte, drugs, US bullying, China, etc.] immediately wondered, “Who would be interested?” Well, how about Linh? The EIR also posted this, but I find it notable that Philippine government shared this. Richard Black is really a remarkable person, with worldwide friends and experiences.
    US SENATOR RICHARD BLACK! Finally Speaks on Duterte War On Drugs

    • Replies: @Linh Dinh
  35. neutral says:

    the patron saint of mixed-race people

    What race(s) is Linh Dinh ?

  36. markflag says:

    Your misunderstanding of papal infallibility is typical. For starters I am not certain the dogma existed during Martin’s time. More significantly, papal infallibility entails only matters of dogma and morality, particularly dogma. Even vis-a-vis it has nothing to do with how a particular pope lived, lives, or will live his life. It has been invoked very very rarely. And it will be invoked very rarely in the future. The vast majority of papal pronouncements carry no more weight than those of a prominent citizen.

  37. Linh Dinh says: • Website

    Hi neutral,

    I’m 100% Vietnamese. A while back, a black woman asked me if I was half black? She appeared to have some Asian blood. Flattered and apologetic, I had to say no.

    Like many Vietnamese last names, mine has its Chinese equivalent. Even Nguyen, claimed by about 40% of the population, is derived from 阮 and pronounced as Yuen in Cantonese.

    I have a Teochew stepmother, and my wife has a Teochew stepfather.

    By the way, a great book on the Chinese in modern Vietnam is Gontran de Poncins’ From a Chinese City: in the Heart of Peace Time Vietnam. Superbly observed and delightfully written, it captures Cholon perfectly. After the Fall of Saigon, many of the Chinese were chased out, so Cholon has lost much of its vitality.

    Two decades ago, I lent this book to a striking half-Asian, half-white barmaid in Philly, never got it back.


    • Replies: @Triumph104
  38. Lihn,
    Your prose often reads like that which is written by a Vietnamese immigrant that settled in Upper Darby….

    So the question begs – did you attend St. Cyril’s, St. Lawrence or St. Ailce?

    • Replies: @Linh Dinh
  39. Linh Dinh says: • Website

    Hi RobinG,

    Both Richard Black and Mike Billington certainly give us a lot to think about here. It’s striking how many American allies have been betrayed by Uncle Sam. You’re used, then smeared, if not killed outright.

    On Press TV recently, I made a comment about Duterte’s pivot to China. In 2013, I was on Press TV with Mike Billington to talk about rising tension between Japan and China, and this is what I said.


    • Replies: @RobinG
  40. Linh Dinh says: • Website

    Hi WestPhillyPride,

    I’ve lived in Philly for 30 years, hence the Philly inflection. In the US, I went to public schools in Tacoma, Salem (OR), San Jose and Alexandria (VA).


  41. Che Guava says:

    Merry Christmas, Linh, and to all other posters!

    I am just home from a Christmas mass, attended with a Catholic friend, but I suggested the church, have long admired the architecture and grounds, my friend also decided it would likely be the most interesting, and it was.

    Re. history, the doctrine of ex cathedra Papal infallibility is recent, mid-19th century, many people think it is much further in the past, but that was when it was introduced.

    One of the first ways it was used was to introduce the confection of Mary’s own Immaculate Conception, within a very few years.

    Over dinner after Mass, my friend was asking why the church is splintered, when I suggested that aspects of recent (recent as in since the mid-19th century) doctrine in the Catholic Church were part of the reason, the line of conversation switched.

    My explanation that part of the splits were because many Anglicans (Episcopalians to US people) are in no way Christian anymore (gay marriage support, lesbian clergy, etc., it is all just a big costume party for most of them, very obvious if one observes the Anglican lesbian clergy, also clear from the gay high church men) was more eagerly received.

    … and not to say, at least many of the gay men are likeable, theologically knowledgable, but they should only be laity, or chaste priests, most seem to be content with that, as should be the case.

    Of course, all must be accepted, but extending the sacraments of priesthood and marriage to active homosexuals of either sex is splintered heretical and not common sense in any way.

    I have not received the Host at a Catholic church for about 20 years, the custom has changed a little.

    Sure, the priest noticed that I didn’t follow exactly the right procedure.

    However, he is an 80 y.o. smoker, my devout friend and I also smoke, we met him in the smoking area outside.

    He explained many things about churches being burnt (US bombings), the names of killed priests (mainly by the government). History of churches in many places.

    I should have apologised for taking communion, although catechised at one time, never a confirmed Catholic, … or perhaps not.

    It was a great service.

    Again, merry Christmas to all Unzers!

    • Replies: @Linh Dinh
  42. Linh Dinh says: • Website
    @Che Guava

    Hi Che Guava,

    As a non-Catholic, you’re not supposed to take Christ into your body, man! The horror!!!

    By contrasting Saint Martin with some of the worst popes, then citing Swedenborg’s definition of a personal heaven or hell, I thought the comments would focus on what constitutes heaven or hell not just for an individual, but society. Since this hasn’t happened, I must have screwed up. I need a drink.

    Speaking of churches, the Duomo in Siena has all these marble pope heads staring down at you. After a minute inside, my wife got a throbbing headache, so had to run out. Those popes were literally oppressing her.

    I, on the other hand, don’t mind religious ostentation. Spartan churches in Protestant countries are bummers.


    • Replies: @Che Guava
    , @Che Guava
  43. @Linh Dinh

    Linh, could you look at the Vietnamese valedictorian in the link and tell me his ethnicity. LINK

    For decades I have heard stories about Vietnamese kids arriving in the US not knowing English, then graduating valedictorian, but I also have read that Vietnamese Americans underperform academically compared to other Asian American groups. I was wondering if the valedictorians were Chinese or from elite Vietnamese families.

    • Replies: @Linh Dinh
  44. Art says:

    It is amazing that Christianity has successfully survived its priests, preachers, and potentates.

    It is a testament to the good love seeking people who have appreciated the fine words, hope, and ideals expressed by Jesus.

    Merry Christmas everyone — Art

    • Replies: @Sherman
  45. Linh Dinh says: • Website

    Hi Triumph104,

    Though his name and face don’t give definite clues, I would guess Vietnamese. The Chinese in Vietnam were clearly much better at business than the natives, and they also worked harder. In spite of discrimination, many of them became fabulously rich.

    Now that Communism has eased up, many Taiwanese have shown up in Saigon to do business. Others come to pick up a bride. The Chinese-Vietnamese who never left after 1975 now have an advantage in dealing with the Taiwanese, and Chinese too. Thanks to their knowledge of Mandarin and, in many cases, also Cantonese, they can plug into this vast Chinese business network spanning the globe. My half-Chinese sister-in-law has taken many business trips to China and other countries, including Dubai.

    Like all East Asian nations within the Chinese orbit, Vietnam also has that centuries-old emphasis on academic success as the key to all of life’s goodies, so that’s one reason why there are many Vietnamese valedictorians in the US.

    Though my South Philly neighborhood has whites, Asians and Mexicans, you’ll find that most of the kids in the civic library, after school hours, to be Asian. South Philadelphia High School is 70% black, 18% Asian and 11% white or Hispanic. Most of its recent valedictorians are Chinese or Vietnamese. Going to a ghetto school, they’re certainly poor.

    At the front of South Philly High is a mural of a black teen in a toga, pondering a book, and another mural of an Asian teen, also in a toga, holding a palette and brushes. Very impressive, these representations of scholarship and art.

    Inside, black kids have beaten up the Asian kids for years, so bad that it was once covered by NPR:

    “In December 2009, 30 students at a high school in South Philadelphia, mostly recent Asian immigrants, were beaten up at school by their peers. Several had to be hospitalized. The federal government later alleged that school administrators had known for months that there were growing tensions between the school’s Asian-American and black students, but had been ‘deliberately indifferent’ to the problem.”


    • Replies: @Che Guava
  46. Hibernian says:
    @Linh Dinh

    The answer to that is that when teaching faith and morals, he is upholding ancient tradition and not his own whim. I’m comfortable with that as far as the Popes in my lifetime are concerned, including Francis who gives me the heebie-jeebies to a certain extent. When I think of the Popes you mentioned, and some others I’ve heard about, there’s a little bit of a crisis of faith.

    • Replies: @anon
    , @Stonehands
  47. Hibernian says:

    So Peter is disqualified because of cutting of a man’s ear with a sword, according to Point #7?

    • Replies: @Stonehands
  48. Art says:
    @Linh Dinh

    Are you convinced of the need for orthodoxy as emanating from the mind and mouth of one man?

    All the good and bad popes be darned – that “life is sacred” comes from Jesus.

    Peace — Art

  49. Che Guava says:
    @Linh Dinh

    Dear Linh,

    Much appreciate the reply, but I am a semi-catholic and Christian.

    … and the service was beautiful, you would have to have been there.

    That church is also beautiful, every time I pass it on my bicycle, I marvel at the architecture, why I suggested it to my friend, who took me up on it, instead of habitual places.

    I hope that you are in a place to have a beautiful Christmas mass or service today, and take the time to be there. It is always worth the time!

    The conversation at the smoking spot was a highlight for me.

    Seriously, go to a church for Christmas, choose what seems best within your range, it will lift your heart.

  50. Rurik says:
    @Linh Dinh

    for the always dignified and enlightening Talha.

    I couldn’t agree more Mr. Dinh

    and since this looks like the perfect venue for saying so, yes, it is

    Merry Christmas!

    to you Mr. Dinh, to Talha (and with gratitude Ron Unz) and all the amazing people whom I’ve come to ‘meet’ here at the UR

    I’ve been humbled by the vast knowledge and wisdom I’ve discovered here, and grateful

    Merry Christmas (and hail the Yule!) to you all !

  51. Hey, Seasons Greetings, my friend – I didn’t see one yet but I imagine you starred in chopsockie film with Bruce Lee. Maybe Netflix! YouTube?
    Sunshine and love in Philly.

    I probably could have become a good Pope.

  52. Dan Hayes says:


    Seconded: “And with gratitude to Ron Unz”.

  53. @Hibernian

    “…So Peter is disqualified because of cutting of a man’s ear with a sword, according to Point #7?”

    Peter was still “sowing to the flesh”.

    Until Jesus died on the cross, establishing the new covenant in His blood, no man but Jesus had the Holy Spirit in him.

    Read Luke’s account of this process of redemption at Pentecost in the Book of Acts.

  54. anon • Disclaimer says:

    Of course, it’s an argument that cuts both ways. Remember the medieval story about the Jew who went to Rome, and why he converted.

    Merry Christmas to all!

  55. “Urban VIII is best remembered for his persecution of Galileo for saying the earth rotates around the sun.

    Giving lie to the dogma that each pope is infallible, there were many grasping, horny or outright evil “holy fathers.”

    Had to stop there. Galileo was not pursued for arguing for the heleiocentric theory. Copernicus had done the same, as you will recall, with full approval.

    Contra Galileo, the theologians argued that it was a THEORY, possibly true but not PROVABLE, which happened to be right, as admitted by Bronowski somewhere in a small footnote which puts it all in context of Einsteinian Relativity. Hilariously, Bronowski then goes on to say, as one recalls, but well, we all know it is true anyway, by observation or some such thing, who knows?

    The Bishop of Rome long held primacy in the West but did not claim INFALLIBILITY until the First Vatican Council of 1869–1870, in which the imbecile and lunatic Giovanni Maria Mastai-Ferretti, Pius IX, essentially pushed it through by force.

    Many theologians fought him tooth and nail, realizing the practical consequences for the Councils and, even worse, the logical conundrum Mastai-Ferretti created by the claim. And in fact, though very quietly, many of them since, have argued that since the First Council the Pope has been schismatic.

    • Replies: @FKA Max
  56. Miro23 says:

    Saint Martin assisted the poorest and sickest, comforted slaves and sheltered stray animals. In paintings, he is routinely depicted with a broom and a plate of food for a dog, cat, mouse and bird. To lift the convent from debts, Saint Martin even offered to be sold as a slave.

    A nice story for Christmas. Have a good Christmas and New Year.

    • Agree: Dan Hayes
  57. RobinG says:
    @Linh Dinh

    Wow! “…impeach Obama…” Looks like I came to the right place!

    Do you recall that a Bill of Impeachment was introduced against Bush Sr. on the eve of the first Gulf War? The Gonzalez Resolution to Impeach George Bush: Congressional Record, Jan. 16, 1991, at H520-21.

    Now, Obama can be existentially dangerous up until inauguration day. We do not want a war with Russia over Ukraine or Syria. Bush Sr. invaded Somalia right after he lost to Clinton. Obama could set off hostilities against Russia within the next month before Trump takes over.

    Francis Boyle, who served as Counsel to Gonzalez, writes, “Obama is aiding and abetting terrorists which is a federal felony. Although Congress has gone on vacation, technically they are still in session. So if you can find me one Member of the US House of Representatives to do so, we could still put in a Bill of Impeachment against him and try to put a shot across his warmongering bow.”



    I think Obama’s right-in-the-open [a week or so ago] authorization for the sale and shipping [?] of “man pads” to various Syrian rebel and terrorist forces is insane, and may be contrary to law.

    Yes, I have no trouble calling it TREASON. It is certainly felony support for terrorists.

    Man pads are shoulder held missile launchers that can destroy high and fast aircraft ….such as commercial passenger airlines [to be blamed on Russia?] and also any nations’ fighter/bombers….such as Russia’s Air Force planes operating in Syria still–that were invited to do so by the elected government of Syria which is still under attack by US proxy [terrorist] forces. Syria is a member in good standing of the UN.

    Given this……I think we are all in very great danger today–now– AND I think we have to press hard to reverse the insane Obama move vis a vis these man pads.

    This truly is an emergency.

    TULSI GABBARD’S BILL MAY BE TOO LITTLE TOO LATE. It may even be just window dressing or PR. [That could be the reason Peter Welch has agreed to co-sponsor it…. The man never does anything that is real and substantive and decent or courageous.]

    IN ANY EVENT both Gabbard and Welch via this bill have now acknowledged that Obama and the US are supporting terrorists in Syria [and elsewhere]–a felony under existing laws. –Quite possibly an impeachable offense.

    “Misprision” of treason or misprision of a felony IS ITSELF A FELONY.

    If Gabbard and Welch KNOW that the man-pad authorization and other US support for terrorists in Syria and elsewhere is presently occurring, I THINK THEY NEED TO FORCE PROSECUTION UNDER EXISTING LAWS NOW, rather than just sponsoring a sure-to-fail NEW LAW that will prevent such things in the far fuzzy future–or NOT.


    Dennis Morrisseau
    USArmy Officer[Vietnam era] ANTI-WAR
    Lieutenant Morrisseau’s Rebellion
    Second Vermont Republic
    POB 177, W. Pawlet, VT 05775
    [email protected]
    802 645 9727

    N.B. The Bill referred to is SATA, the Stop Arming Terrorists Act, introduced Dec. 8, 2016, and to be re-introduced in the new Congress after Jan. 3, 2017.

  58. Sherman says:

    Yep, you certainly live up to Jesus’s ideals.


    • Replies: @Art
  59. Art says:

    Hi Sherm – happy Hanukkah!

    While you Jews are celebrating another military victory – we Christians are celebrating a new life – a grand birth – the most important birth of all time. No birth has effected humanity with greater positive effect – EVER.

    Joy to you!


  60. anon • Disclaimer says:

    And now there isn’t an Index. Not a matter of dogma at all, but of discipline.
    I apologize if you’re an Old Catholic, but few take or ever took them seriously.
    On a related note, Happy Christmas!

  61. Merry Christmas Linh!

    I just wanted to say that I really enjoy your writing and appreciate the fact that you will interact with the commentariat. We all make factual errors from time to time and it’s good that people will point them out. None of us are perfect.

  62. @Hibernian

    The answer to that is that when teaching faith and morals, he is upholding ancient tradition…

    The pope with his catechism; is like the pharisees with their Babylonian talmud….

    Mark 7: 13
    Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.

  63. I was named after the Saint, the Civil Rights icon and the Roman god of war.

    • Replies: @John Spiers
  64. Che Guava says:
    @Linh Dinh


    I haven’t read Swedenborg (I should), but much on the worst of the Popes.

    Agree on many protestant churches, never been to one such, but the Pentescotal ones look like the worst, like playrooms in upper-middle class Western houses.

    I have only seen such places twice, on video, once in film of the drummer from T-Rex in England, once in film of the glamorous Sarah Palin’s favoured church in Alaska.

    Buddhism in Japan has a similar divide. If one sees an ugly ferro-concrete building with a few ‘east Asian’ flourishes on the roof, one can be sure it is a bone-storage centre (post-crematorium), or a ‘temple’ of a ‘newly developed religion’ (translation of the Japanese term for the ones that spread post-war).

    Aum Shinkyou is the most notorious, though they never made it to the stage of massive ferro-concrete edifices.

    The others have between 10 an 15 million adherents here. The largest is Souka Gakkai, with ten million in Japan, many more (as they all do) outside.

    Their services are riducously bad. A friend used to drag me along to the second-biggest at times (over a million in Japan, more than double that claimed overseas, mainly US, and mainly California there). Everyone sits in front of a big TV showing the real service, which only the VIPs can attend (this is also how Souka Gakkai works).

    I qualified for full membership at the one I was dragged along to, but baulked, one huge factor was the difference with true Christian services, which are live (of course I am not counting US televangelists as conducting true services, and, I don’t want to give them ideas, but AFAIK, they only broadcast on TV, they don’t set up a set of ‘temples’
    for people to watch their broadcasts).

    Last night, we had the best standing-room only spot, except that all of the tourist couples (as in clear non-believers) were in the pews immediately in front with their noisy children.

    The worst offender even switched his phone on to entertain the brat. They should simply have left, as should three or four other tourist couples with similar brats.

    They would never behave so badly, or allow such bad behaviour, if it were at a Shinto or Buddhist site. They would be too ashamed.

    However, as my devout friend and I progressed up the aisle to receive the Host, a little girl on the other side, same age-range as the brats of the tourists, was roaring out the words of the hymn playing, I could not help a thumb up for that. Very nice.

    I got Romans 13, verses 13 and 14 in the mini-scroll hand-out after Mass.

    • Replies: @Linh Dinh
  65. Che Guava says:
    @Linh Dinh

    ‘Growing tensions’, what a joke.

    Pretending to be even-handed when one side is clearly the agressor.

    Having been on the receiving end of that nonsense more than once, it is ugly.

  66. Linh Dinh says: • Website
    @Che Guava

    Hi Che Guava,

    All of Swedenborg’s writing is available online. His conception of heavens and hells allows, or charges, each man with total responsibility for his destiny, for with each thought, word and action, he shapes and expresses his heavenly or hellish condition.

    Swedenborg was very important to Blake, Milosz and Borges, and Henry James Sr. was a Swedenborgian.

    Among Borges’ writing about Swedenborg is this poem:

    Emanuel Swedenborg

    Más alto que los otros, caminaba
    Aquel hombre lejano entre los hombres;
    Apenas si llamaba por sus nombres
    secretos a los ángeles. Miraba
    lo que no ven los ojos terrenales:
    la ardiente geometría, el cristalino
    edificio de Dios y el remolino
    sórdido de los goces infernales.
    Sabía que la Gloria y el Averno
    en tu alma están y sus mitologías;
    sabía, como el griego, que los días
    del tiempo son espejos del Eterno.
    En árido latín fue registrando
    últimas cosas sin por qué ni cuándo.

    I translate:

    Towering above others, walked
    That man remote among men;
    Having just called the angels
    By their secret names. He saw
    That which earthly eyes couldn’t:
    The fiery geometry, the crystal
    House of God and the sordid
    Whirlwind of hellish thrills.
    He knew that Glory, Hell and
    Their myths are in your soul. Knew,
    Like the Greek, that temporal
    Days are eternity’s mirror.
    In dry Latin, he registered
    Last things free of why and when.


    • Replies: @E. A. Costa
    , @Che Guava
  67. @Linh Dinh

    “fue registrando”–“he went about rostering”.

  68. FKA Max says: • Website
    @E. A. Costa

    the imbecile and lunatic Giovanni Maria Mastai-Ferretti, Pius IX, essentially pushed it through by force.

    Also this:

    Although Pope Pius IX never signed an actual statement supporting the Confederacy, he responded to a letter written by Jefferson Davis on 23 September 1863 with a letter to Davis written 3 December 1863. Pius’s “letter to Jefferson Davis was accompanied by an autographed picture of the pope”[9] in which the Pope addressed the Confederate President as “the “Honorable President of the Confederate States of America”.[10][11] […] Robert E. Lee, pointing to his own portrait of Pius IX, told a visitor after the war that he was “the only sovereign… in Europe who recognized our poor Confederacy”.[16] […]

    Together with German and Italian immigrants, the Catholic population in the United States increased from 4 percent at the beginning of the pontificate of Pius IX in 1846 to 11 percent in 1870.[1] Some 700 priests existed in the U.S. in 1846 compared to 6000 in 1878.[1] Pope Pius IX contributed to this development by establishing new Church regions and the installation of capable American bishops.[2]

    In my experience and according to my research, the Vatican has a tendency to back both sides of a conflict, as an insurance policy. This does not mean however, that they don’t have a preference on who they want to be victorious.

    For the American Civil War, as I documented above, a pretty clear case can be made, in my opinion, that the Confederacy was their preferred party/ideology to win. Vagueness is an often deployed tactic of the Vatican, as demonstrated in the following example. […]

    As to the Belgian and Irish soldiers fighting on behalf of the North; most of them were mercenaries not idealistic abolitionists or patriots; and as I cited above, it seems, that Ambrose Dudley Mann managed to persuade Pope Pius IX to counter the recruitment efforts of the North in Catholic countries (how much convincing was really necessary to persuade the Holy Father is not clear; probably not much):

    During his visit with the Pope Mann discussed the successful recruitment efforts by the Union who were recruiting thousands of soldiers from Ireland and Belgium, both Catholic countries. According to Clement Eaton, “Mann persuaded the Pope to discourage this enlistment of Catholics in Europe.” [12]

    Earlier in this century, Dr. James Conant, president of Harvard University, stated: “The greater [the] proportion of our youth who fail to attend public schools and who receive their education elsewhere, the greater the threat to our democratic unity.” […]

    In 1875, Ulysses S. Grant campaigned on a plank that Catholic parochial schools would someday lead to another civil war. &

    • Replies: @E. A. Costa
  69. schmenz says:

    Perhaps the author of the above piece would find it profitable to read history straight, not with the baggage of modern prejudices coloring every opinion.

    One point: in the 2,000 year history of the Church there have been great Popes, good Popes, average Popes, mediocre Popes and a few villainous ones. Yet the Church is still here.

    Another point: it is better to try first to understand Catholic teachings clearly (not to mention Catholic history) before writing about them.

    • Agree: Che Guava
    • Replies: @Che Guava
  70. Che Guava says:
    @Linh Dinh

    Thanks, Linh,

    I did have some knowledge of people he influenced, and the basic idea.

    Look forward to reading some of his words over the New Year’s rail holiday, only in the parts I know too well, or at night!

    I much prefer reading from paper, but my electronic dictionary’s book-reading function is alright. I don’t think I have ever seen a book of his, just commentary, and references to him in other things I have read.

    Will make a bookmark.


  71. Che Guava says:

    Trouble, right now, is a doubly villanous Pope, Francis never defended the disappeared in his time in Argentina, he supported it by saying nothing. Many of them were devout Christians.

    Now, he pulls stupid stunts like flying three Muslim families into Rome on his Papal jet to join the invasion. Why did he not choose Christian families persecuted by the Muslims there?

    Of course, he could say ‘the Christian populations there must remain in their ancestral homelands. but never really does.

    He also plays the same kind of game re. doctrine on marriage, ‘who am I to judge’? Nobody is to judge but the above, what he said is so stupid.

    His bad faith also will block me from confirmation.

    • Agree: Dan Hayes
  72. Talha says:

    the Christian populations there must remain in their ancestral homelands

    Darn right – Muslim extremists have zero right to eject these ancient populations. All of them should be allowed to resettle (and hopefully they will) after the fighting is wrapped up.


    • Agree: Che Guava
  73. @FKA Max

    Mastai-Ferretti had excommunicated all involved in the Republic of Rome (1849), including of course Garibaldi.

    Garibaldi later volunteered to lead the Union Forces against the Confederacy. The offer was declined and Garibaldi was apparently offered the rank of Major General, which he declined. His conditions were that he be appointed Commander-in-Chief.

    Which Lincoln would not do.

    Mastai-Ferretti after Garibaldi’s role in the Republic of Rome considered him his and the Papacy’s s greatest enemy and at one point sought to obtain an offer of asylum from England in 1862 when Garibaldi was preparing to move on Rome again.

    Many officers of Garibaldi were recruited by the Union and many Northern Italians joined the ranks.

    One vaguely remembers one pro-Papal source arguing that because the excommunication of the participants in the Roman Republic was blanket and Garibaldi never personally excommuncated, he was not excommunicated at all–but that is a weak argument given the context of the times.

    Lincoln could have done much worse than Garibaldi as commander-in-chief, and in fact he did, until Grant came along at least.

    Thanks for the links.

    • Replies: @E. A. Costa
  74. @E. A. Costa

    According to Bismarck Masti-Ferretti twice asked for asylum after the Capture of Roman:

    “Two other instances occurred after the Capture of Rome and the suspension of the First Vatican Council. These were confided by Otto von Bismarck to Moritz Busch:

    ‘As a matter of fact, he [Pius IX] has already asked whether we could grant him asylum. I have no objection to it–Cologne or Fulda. It would be passing strange, but after all not so inexplicable, and it would be very useful to us to be recognised by Catholics as what we really are, that is to say, the sole power now existing that is capable of protecting the head of their Church. […] But the King [William I] will not consent. He is terribly afraid. He thinks all Prussia would be perverted and he himself would be obliged to become a Catholic. I told him, however, that if the Pope begged for asylum he could not refuse it. He would have to grant it as ruler of ten million Catholic subjects who would desire to see the head of their Church protected.

    Rumours have already been circulated on various occasions to the effect that the Pope intends to leave Rome. According to the latest of these the Council, which was adjourned in the summer, will be reopened at another place, some persons mentioning Malta and others Trient. [… ] Doubtless the main object of this gathering will be to elicit from the assembled fathers a strong declaration in favour of the necessity of the Temporal Power. Obviously a secondary object of this Parliament of Bishops, convoked away from Rome, would be to demonstrate to Europe that the Vatican does not enjoy the necessary liberty, although the Act of Guarantee proves that the Italian Government, in its desire for reconciliation and its readiness to meet the wishes of the Curia, has actually done everything that lies in its power.’…”

    • Replies: @FKA Max
  75. Bill says:

    We are instructed, daily and our whole lives, that the “true meaning of Christmas” is some schmaltzy crap about being nice. Linh Dinh gives us this beautiful meditation on the true meaning of Christmas:

    At the time of Saint Martin’s death, the pope was Urban VIII. A vain, greedy man, Urban VIII enriched his entire clan and fought wars to expand his power. He commissioned Bernini to sculpt marble busts of himself, one of which was destroyed by a mob at his death. Urban VIII is best remembered for his persecution of Galileo for saying the earth rotates around the sun.

    [T]here were many grasping, horny or outright evil “holy fathers.” Innocent VIII pistoned out as many as 16 (free) love children, accepted 100 Moorish slaves from Ferdinand of Aragon and sanctioned the slave trade since it lassoed Africans into Christendom. Alexander VI had kids with his mistresses openly. As homosexuals were being castrated or burnt alive for sodomy, Paul II freely enjoyed plenty of Greek loving in Rome and is said to have met his maker while being rear ended by some page boy. Another gay pope, Leo X, was hounded by a contemporary ditty, “Florentine, hustler, blind and a passive homo” [“fiorentin, baro, cieco e paticone”]. Pope Benedict IX was accused by Saint Peter Damian of sodomy, staging orgies and even bestiality, and he was charged by Pope Victor III of murders and rapes.

    As for what the true meaning of Christmas is, here is a Catholic prayer to be said when lighting the Advent wreath’s candle during the first week of Advent (my emphasis):

    Let us pray.
    Stir up Thy might, we beg Thee, O Lord,
    and come, so that we may escape through Thy protection
    and be saved by Thy help from the dangers
    that threaten us because of our sins.
    Who livest and reignest for ever and ever.

    Linh Dinh also says:

    If only the snark-addicted would learn from [Talha].

    Mea culpa! Mea culpa! Mea maxima culpa!

    And Merry Christmas.

  76. FKA Max says: • Website
    @E. A. Costa

    It was actually the Protestant Prussians, who assisted the Rhineland Catholics in completing Cologne Cathedral:

    With the 19th century romantic enthusiasm for the Middle Ages, and spurred on by the discovery of the original plan for the façade, it was decided, with the commitment of the Protestant Prussian Court, to complete the cathedral. It was achieved by civic effort; the Central-Dombauverein, founded in 1842, raised two-thirds of the enormous costs, while the Prussian state supplied the remaining third.[citation needed] The state saw this as a way to improve its relations with the large number of Catholic subjects it had gained in 1815.

    Work resumed in 1842 to the original design of the surviving medieval plans and drawings, but utilizing more modern construction techniques, including iron roof girders. The nave was completed and the towers were added. The bells were installed in the 1870s. The largest bell is St. Petersglocke.

    The completion of Germany’s largest cathedral was celebrated as a national event on 14 August 1880, 632 years after construction had begun.[11] The celebration was attended by Emperor Wilhelm I.

    The tallest church in Germany, however, is a Protestant one:


    Record height
    Tallest in the world from 1890 to 1901[I]
    Preceded by Cologne Cathedral
    Surpassed by Philadelphia City Hall

    I think it is no coincidence that devout Catholic Konrad Adenauer chose historically Catholic-dominated Bonn (which is right next to Cologne) over historically Protestant-dominated Frankfurt or Hamburg as the interim capital of Germany:

    The choice of Bonn was made mainly due to the advocacy of West Germany’s first chancellor, Konrad Adenauer, a former Cologne Mayor and a native of that area. This was despite the fact that Frankfurt already had most of the required facilities and using Bonn was estimated to be 95 million DM more expensive than using Frankfurt. However, Adenauer and other prominent politicians intended to make Berlin the capital of the reunified Germany, and felt that locating the capital in a major city like Frankfurt or Hamburg would imply a permanent capital and weaken support in West Germany for reunification.

    The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cologne is one of the richest and most powerful Catholic dioceses in the world:

    Cologne, the largest (in terms of inhabitants non-Catholics included) and reportedly richest diocese in Europe, […] It said the 9.6 million Euro earnings from its investments were, as in previous years, added to the diocesan budget of 939 million Euro in 2012, three-quarters of which was financed by the “church tax” levied on churchgoers.[2] […] Documents posted on the archdiocesan website showed assets of €3.35bn (£2.5bn) at the end of 2013. Some € 2.4 billion (£1.8bn) were invested in stocks, funds and company holdings. A further €646m (£475m) were held in tangible assets, mostly property. Cash reserves and outstanding loans amounted to about €287m (£211m).[3]

    I don’t know if Mr. Dinh has read the writings of Avro Manhattan before? They might give him some more additional/alternative insights into how the (religious civil) war in Vietnam came to be:

    Vietnam why did we go?

    Avro Manhattan was the world’s foremost authority on Roman Catholicism in politics. ( ] […]

    With an immense collection of facts, photos, names and dates, Manhattan proves that the Vietnam War began as a religious conflict. He shows how America was manipulated into supporting Catholic oppression in Vietnam supposedly to fight communism.

    Here one of my comments on Eugene McCarthy and Catholic Vietnamese, etc. immigrants/refugees. Again, we see the Vatican-inspired “Invade (Protect) the (Catholic) World/Invite the (Catholic) World” scheme play out: […] Cubans were given a welcome mat almost immediately, Vietnamese and other refugees from the failed Vietnam War were allowed in, as were people disrupted by Central American wars pursued by president Reagan.

    The impact Cardinal Spellman had on the United States’ history and destiny is difficult to overestimate, in my opinion, and he was also one of the main drivers behind the Zionist-Vatican alliance. Many people forget, that Emanuel Celler’s grand-father was Catholic

    • Replies: @E. A. Costa
  77. @FKA Max

    Good old Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium, jeje. And how about that Aula Palatina in Trier for just pure endurance?

    Don’t build’em like that anymore, nosirree.

  78. @John McFarland

    “the term “Lasallian””

    I hadn’t realised the Christian Brothers had rebranded. I assumed he meant “Salesian”, but that is apparently a completely different outfit.

    The Christian Brothers in the UK and Ireland are notorious for brutality and sexual abuse. I don’t know how fair that is. Maybe a rebranding is in order.

  79. BB753 says:

    Strangely enough, Saint Martin de Porres was a favorite of my very pious and very white great-aunts. They even had a tiny plaster figure of the saint, pictured like a minstrel negro with a broom. As a child, I would always marvel at the exotic and humble figure, so different from all the other saints I was familiar with.
    Thanks for the beautiful piece, Linh Dinh! It has brought tears to my eyes.

  80. Linh Dinh says: • Website

    Hi BB753,

    Saint Martin’s humility is certainly magnificent. A while ago, I profiled a black Vietnam vet, Vernon, but I didn’t find out until recently that Saint Martin is also Vern’s patron. In fact, Vern has a Saint Martin prayer card in his wallet at all times.


    • Agree: BB753
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