Is Texas Heading Quietly Toward Secession?

July 25, 2009 by  
Filed under Patrick's Blog

It happened before, yes, but come on. Could it realistically happen again? Lots of folks would say no, it couldn’t. But given all the weird stuff happening and all the unravelling going on in this country lately . . . a story like this takes on new and unsettling connotations.


Last time it happened was in 1861, and the burning issues of the day back then were states rights and slavery. Today, the new burning issues are, among other things, states rights, abortion, and “health care.”

Yes, yes, I agree that it’s far-fetched to imagine that, in this day and age, there could ever be a serious bid on the part of a state to break away from the U.S. And yet . . . I think that most of you would agree with me that there are plenty of really bad things going on these days that, 50, 30, or even just 10 years ago, would have seemed preposterously far-fetched. Am I wrong?

AUSTIN — Gov. Rick Perry, raising the specter of a showdown with the Obama administration, suggested Thursday that he would consider invoking states’ rights protections under the 10th Amendment to resist the president’s healthcare plan, which he said would be “disastrous” for Texas.

Interviewed by conservative talk show host Mark Davis of Dallas’ WBAP/820 AM, Perry said his first hope is that Congress will defeat the plan, which both Perry and Davis described as “Obama Care.” But should it pass, Perry predicted that Texas and a “number” of states might resist the federal health mandate.

“I think you’ll hear states and governors standing up and saying ‘no’ to this type of encroachment on the states with their healthcare,” Perry said. “So my hope is that we never have to have that stand-up. But I’m certainly willing and ready for the fight if this administration continues to try to force their very expansive government philosophy down our collective throats.”

Perry, the state’s longest-serving governor, has made defiance of Washington a hallmark of his state administration as well as . . . (continue reading)

You never know who may be following this blog . . .

July 25, 2009 by  
Filed under Patrick's Blog

Click the pic . . .

Yes, Virginia. Saint Augustine Really Was Catholic.

July 25, 2009 by  
Filed under Patrick's Blog

Dave Armstrong has compiled a handy series of statements from the great bishop-apologist, Augustine of Hippo, detailing his teaching on the sacraments of the Catholic Church. It’s a useful corrective against those, such as Calvinists, who attempt to portray St. Augustine as not having been Catholic, at least not in the “Roman Catholic” sense of the word.


This list is worth bookmarking, both for your own personal study of this patristic giant and for those times that may arise in which you need to debunk bogus claims about what St. Augustine really believed.

Oh, and you can find here and here a couple of related items that I posted here on this blog awhile back.

North Korea Publicly Executes Christian Woman for Distributing Bibles

July 25, 2009 by  
Filed under Patrick's Blog

North Korea publicly executed a Christian woman last month for distributing the Bible, which is banned in the communist nation, South Korean activists said Friday.

Ri Hyon Ok, 33, was also accused of spying for South Korea and the United States and organizing dissidents. She was executed in the northwestern city of Ryongchon near the border with China on June 16, according to a report from an alliance of several dozen anti-North Korea groups.

Ri’s parents, husband and three children were sent to a political prison camp in the northeastern city of Hoeryong the following day, the report said, citing unidentified documents it says were obtained from North Korea. It showed a copy of Ri’s North Korean government-issued photo ID.It is virtually impossible to verify such reports about secretive North Korea, where the government tightly controls the lives of its citizens and does not allow dissent.

On Thursday, an annual report from a state-run South Korean think tank on human rights in the North said that public executions, though dropping in number in recent years, were still carried out for crimes ranging from murder to circulating foreign movies.

North Korea claims to guarantee freedom of religion for its 24 million people but in reality severely restricts religious observances. The cult of personality surrounding national founder Kim Il Sung and his son, current leader Kim Jong Il, is a virtual state religion.

The government has authorized four state churches, one Catholic, two Protestant and one Russian Orthodox, but they cater to foreigners and ordinary North Koreans cannot attend. However, defectors and activists say more than 30,000 North Koreans are believed to practice Christianity secretly. . . . (continue reading)

Legionary Troop Movements in High Gear

July 23, 2009 by  
Filed under Patrick's Blog

In recent weeks, there has been a flurry of “troop movements” within the Legionaries of Christ, and it’s not entirely clear to me yet what is behind it. To be sure, for a large, multi-national organization such as the Legion to have some level of constant movement of personnel is quite understandable and quite common to any group of this type, secular or religious.


But some of these recent LC perigrinations are unusual both in that they involve priests and lay people abruptly leaving the organization — a number of them high-profile folks (Fr. Thomas Berg, Tom Hoopes, Paul Bernetsky) — and others who are being transferred far afield at precisely the time of the apostolic visitaion, which is undertaking the Vatican investigation of the alleged problems within the order, in the wake of the recently disclosed Father Maciel scandals.

These new movements are in addition to the rumor that upwards of 25 Legionary priests (a dozen of whom are said to be Americans) are soon to depart en masse from the order to establish a new religious congregation. Keep in mind that that is merely a rumor. But given the recent high-level LC and RC defections, it is a plausible rumor.

Legionary-watcher “Cassandra” offers some intriguing tidbits about all this in a recent post. Some of these I’ve known about, others are new to me. But all of them, taken together, indicate a new pattern of LC personnel changes that is, at the very least, curious.


Father Antonio Rodriguez, for ages academic dean at the Legionary seminary in Cheshire, Connecticut, has removed to Switzerland. How will he now be able to testify to the apostolic visitation about the seminary?

Tom Hoopes, National Catholic Register editor, resigned this week. Together with Brendan McCaffery, Chief Operation Officer for Circle Media, let go last week, these represent decades and decades of experience at the highest level of Legionary operations in Connecticut. Will the visitation seek them out in Kansas or Les Avants-sur-Montreux or wherever or lose forever their testimony?]

[Updated] Life-after-rc the other day reported that there is evidence that the Legionaries have been moving members around possibly to make them less available for the apostolic visitation to interview.

History may be repeating itself: that’s certainly what the Legionaries did in the late summer of 1956 in the face of the first apostolic visitation. Legionary Brother José Domínguez, who had recently helped Father Maciel draft the fourth vow, was moved for the duration to Massa Lubrense on the southern extremity of the Bay of Naples. Brother Saúl Barrales spent nine months of 1957 in the Canary Islands. (See González “Testimonios y documentos inéditos” 278 and Berry and Renner “Vows of Silence” 182.)

In light of that, interesting:

Father Jonathan Morris, formerly vice rector of the Legionary seminary in Rome, is now on sabbatical for six months or more at Old St. Patrick’s in Manhattan. (exlcbloglinks to the Old St. Patrick’s bulletin with this information.)

Yesterday, July 16, the National Catholic Register’s accountant was let go. This may have been another cost-cutting move – in the downturn the Register became a bi-weekly — though cost-cutting was not the purpose of the acquisition of Southern Catholic College announced yesterday as well.

Such movements would provoke an important procedural question for the apostolic visitation: will the visitators interview only Legionaries and employees currently in place or will they also seek out former Legionaries, those on sabbatical, and those no longer employed? It’s not as if Father Morris can hide in lower Manhattan, but how can Bishop Versaldi, whose responsibility includes Italy, interview him if he is not in Rome? How will Archbishop Chaput, whose responsibility includes the US, interview him if he is on sabbatical from a Legionary assignment? (continue reading)

Legionary Troop Movements in High Gear

July 23, 2009 by  
Filed under Patrick's Blog

In recent weeks, there has been a flurry of “troop movements” within the Legionaries of Christ, and it’s not entirely clear to me yet what is behind it. To be sure, for a large, multi-national organization such as the Legion to have some level of constant movement of personnel is quite understandable and quite common to any group of this type, secular or religious.


But some of these recent LC perigrinations are unusual both in that they involve priests and lay people abruptly leaving the organization — a number of them high-profile folks (Fr. Thomas Berg, Tom Hoopes, Paul Bernetsky) — and others who are being transferred far afield at precisely the time of the apostolic visitaion, which is undertaking the Vatican investigation of the alleged problems within the order, in the wake of the recently disclosed Father Maciel scandals.

These new movements are in addition to the rumor that upwards of 25 Legionary priests (a dozen of whom are said to be Americans) are soon to depart en masse from the order to establish a new religious congregation. Keep in mind that that is merely a rumor. But given the recent high-level LC and RC defections, it is a plausible rumor.

Legionary-watcher “Cassandra” offers some intriguing tidbits about all this in a recent post. Some of these I’ve known about, others are new to me. But all of them, taken together, indicate a new pattern of LC personnel changes that is, at the very least, curious.


Father Antonio Rodriguez, for ages academic dean at the Legionary seminary in Cheshire, Connecticut, has removed to Switzerland. How will he now be able to testify to the apostolic visitation about the seminary?

Tom Hoopes, National Catholic Register editor, resigned this week. Together with Brendan McCaffery, Chief Operation Officer for Circle Media, let go last week, these represent decades and decades of experience at the highest level of Legionary operations in Connecticut. Will the visitation seek them out in Kansas or Les Avants-sur-Montreux or wherever or lose forever their testimony?]

[Updated] Life-after-rc the other day reported that there is evidence that the Legionaries have been moving members around possibly to make them less available for the apostolic visitation to interview.

History may be repeating itself: that’s certainly what the Legionaries did in the late summer of 1956 in the face of the first apostolic visitation. Legionary Brother José Domínguez, who had recently helped Father Maciel draft the fourth vow, was moved for the duration to Massa Lubrense on the southern extremity of the Bay of Naples. Brother Saúl Barrales spent nine months of 1957 in the Canary Islands. (See González “Testimonios y documentos inéditos” 278 and Berry and Renner “Vows of Silence” 182.)

In light of that, interesting:

Father Jonathan Morris, formerly vice rector of the Legionary seminary in Rome, is now on sabbatical for six months or more at Old St. Patrick’s in Manhattan. (exlcbloglinks to the Old St. Patrick’s bulletin with this information.)

Yesterday, July 16, the National Catholic Register’s accountant was let go. This may have been another cost-cutting move – in the downturn the Register became a bi-weekly — though cost-cutting was not the purpose of the acquisition of Southern Catholic College e="color:#3333FF;"> announced yesterday as well.

Such movements would provoke an important procedural question for the apostolic visitation: will the visitators interview only Legionaries and employees currently in place or will they also seek out former Legionaries, those on sabbatical, and those no longer employed? It’s not as if Father Morris can hide in lower Manhattan, but how can Bishop Versaldi, whose responsibility includes Italy, interview him if he is not in Rome? How will Archbishop Chaput, whose responsibility includes the US, interview him if he is on sabbatical from a Legionary assignment? (continue reading)

New Legionary Imbroglio Erupts Over Probate Fight With Wealthy Benefactress’s Family

July 23, 2009 by  
Filed under Patrick's Blog


The Hartford Courant (a newspaper that has for years been vociferously antagonistic in its coverage of the Legionaries of Christ and their founder, Father Maciel) reccently reported the story of a new court fight between the Legion and the family of the late Gabrielle Mee, a wealthy widow who, in her old age, became a consecrated member of the order’s Regnum Christi women’s branch.


Mee’s family is fighting to recover the millions in cash and real estate that she donated to the Legion. They want the money returned to them, arguing that, “Had she been aware of what is going on with the [order and its leader] there is no way she would have left everything to them.”

It will be interesting to see who emerges victorious in this struggle over the money, mainly because the court’s ruling could portend how future such lawsuits may be adjuticated if more are brought by others who have the same type of complaint against the Legion.

In addition to the Courant’s report below, be sure to also read an opposing view of this matter, written last month by someone identifying himself as a relative of Mrs. Mee who disagrees with the arguments the rest of the family are making against the Legion.

When Gabrielle Mee died in May 2008 on the Greenville, R.I., campus of the Legionaries of Christ, her caregivers mourned the loss of the order’s “grandmother.”

Leaders of the secretive Roman Catholic order rushed from Connecticut and New York to pay their final respects. Six of her consecrated “sisters” carried her plain wooden coffin to the cemetery where she was buried next to her husband, Timothy Mee.

None of her family attended the service for Mee, who was 96 when she died. In fact, many of her relatives didn’t find out that Gabrielle Mee had died until nearly a year later when a letter from the Legionaries’ lawyer arrived, notifying them that the Probate Court in North Smithfield, R.I., was about to administer her will.

What relatives discovered is that since the mid-1990s Gabrielle Mee steadily turned over real estate and money — upwards of $7.5 million — to the Legionaries of Christ, which is headquartered in Orange, Conn.

Stunned family members are accusing the church of taking advantage of a lonely, deeply religious older woman. They have hired a Providence attorney to contest her will . . . (continue reading)

New Legionary Imbroglio Erupts Over Probate Fight With Wealthy Benefactress's Family

July 23, 2009 by  
Filed under Patrick's Blog


The Hartford Courant (a newspaper that has for years been vociferously antagonistic in its coverage of the Legionaries of Christ and their founder, Father Maciel) reccently reported the story of a new court fight between the Legion and the family of the late Gabrielle Mee, a wealthy widow who, in her old age, became a consecrated member of the order’s Regnum Christi women’s branch.


Mee’s family is fighting to recover the millions in cash and real estate that she donated to the Legion. They want the money returned to them, arguing that, “Had she been aware of what is going on with the [order and its leader] there is no way she would have left everything to them.”

It will be interesting to see who emerges victorious in this struggle over the money, mainly because the court’s ruling could portend how future such lawsuits may be adjuticated if more are brought by others who have the same type of complaint against the Legion.

In addition to the Courant’s report below, be sure to also read an opposing view of this matter, written last month by someone identifying himself as a relative of Mrs. Mee who disagrees with the arguments the rest of the family are making against the Legion.

When Gabrielle Mee died in May 2008 on the Greenville, R.I., campus of the Legionaries of Christ, her caregivers mourned the loss of the order’s “grandmother.”

Leaders of the secretive Roman Catholic order rushed from Connecticut and New York to pay their final respects. Six of her consecrated “sisters” carried her plain wooden coffin to the cemetery where she was buried next to her husband, Timothy Mee.

None of her family attended the service for Mee, who was 96 when she died. In fact, many of her relatives didn’t find out that Gabrielle Mee had died until nearly a year later when a letter from the Legionaries’ lawyer arrived, notifying them that the Probate Court in North Smithfield, R.I., was about to administer her will.

What relatives discovered is t
hat since the mid-1990s Gabrielle Mee steadily turned over real estate and money — upwards of $7.5 million — to the Legionaries of Christ, which is headquartered in
Orange, Conn.

Stunned family members are accusing the church of taking advantage of a lonely, deeply religious older woman. They have hired a Providence attorney to contest her will . . . (continue reading)

Cletus, Take the Reel

July 21, 2009 by  
Filed under Patrick's Blog

I am not much of a Country Music fan, but I know that many of you probably are. And many of you are familiar with Carrie Underwood’s hit song “Jesus, Take the Wheel.” (You can watch it here, if you aren’t.)


Now I introduce you to Tim Hawkins, singing “Cletus, Take the Reel.”

Enjoy . . .

Obama’s Science Czar Considered Forced Abortions, Sterilization as Population Growth Solutions

July 21, 2009 by  
Filed under Patrick's Blog



President Obama’s “science czar,” Paul Holdren, once floated the idea of forced abortions, “compulsory sterilization,” and the creation of a “Planetary Regime” that would oversee human population levels and control all natural resources as a means of protecting the planet — controversial ideas his critics say should have been brought up in his Senate confirmation hearings.

Holdren, who has degrees from MIT and Stanford and headed a science policy program at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government for the past 13 years, won the unanimous approval of the Senate as the president’s chief science adviser.

He was confirmed with little fanfare on March 19 as director of the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy, a 50-person directorate that advises the president on scientific affairs, focusing on energy independence and global warming.

But many of Holdren’s radical ideas on population control were not brought up at his confirmation hearings; it appears that the senators who scrutinized him had no knowledge of the contents of a textbook he co-authored in 1977, “Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment,” a copy of which was obtained by FOXNews.com.

The 1,000-page course book, which was co-written with environmental activists Paul and Anne Ehrlich, discusses and in one passage seems to advocate totalitarian measures to curb population growth, which it says could cause an environmental catastrophe.

The three authors summarize their guiding principle in a single sentence: “To provide a high quality of life for all, there must be fewer people.” . . . (continue reading)

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