Regína sacratíssimi Rosárii, ora pro nobis!

From the October AD 2010
Our Lady of the Rosary
Parish Bulletin

On This Page:

Just War at the Air Force Academy

Malankara Update

Bishops Rings?

Real Presence-Substance & Accidents


[Q&A Archives]

Our Lady of the Rosary
Just War at the Air Force Academy

    Question: The United States Air Force Academy recently announced that it was cancelling its course on the doctrine of Just War because it violates the Constitutional separation of Church and State.  Were they correct in doing so?

    Answer:  No!  To begin with there is no Constitutional “separation of Church and State.”  That phrase was coined by Thomas Jefferson to reassure a Baptist group in Connecticut that the government was not going to tell them when to observe days of prayer, or fasting, or thanksgiving.  President Washington had issued a few proclamations that sounded as though he was requiring the churches to follow various national observances as part of their worship—Thanksgiving Day, for example.  The Constitution forbids the establishment of a federal religion, something that caused a lot of unrest in England.

    In any event, “Just War doctrine” has little or nothing to do with revealed religion.  Among other pagans, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, and Seneca, commented on the distinction between just and unjust war.[1]  Such theories are almost always an extension of the Natural Moral Law.  The reader is invited to examine the article in the Catholic Encyclopedia under the heading “War” to see that it contains no references to Scripture or Church pronouncements—indeed, it positively disallows God’s war-making instructions to the Israelites as a basis for other just wars.  Natural Law principles of the right to one’s own person and property are extended to society at large.  If somebody can morally defend against somebody else’s aggression or theft, then all of the “somebodies” who make up a nation may collectively defend themselves against the collective aggression or theft by the “somebody elses.”  Those who have not been threatened have no such right, and no one may “defend” against those who have posed no threat.

    The action at the Air Force Academy is simply a part of the larger cultural Marxism that is trying to expunge anything that resembles morality from American life.  It is directly related to the secular materialism that urges birth control, abortion, euthanasia, divorce, and sodomy on society, ridiculing and even punishing those who dissent.  Together with religion, morality is the force which brings order to Western Civilization.  Marxism and Modernism must weaken and eliminate Christianity and even natural morality in order to flourish.  This is what Patrick Buchanan referred to as the “long march through the institutions.”

     Marxists in the West must first change the culture; then power would fall into their laps like ripened fruit. But to change the culture would require a "long march through the institutions"—the arts, cinema, theater, schools, colleges, seminaries, newspapers, magazines, and the new electronic medium, radio. One by one, each had to be captured and converted and politicized into an agency of revolution. Then the people could be slowly educated to understand and even welcome the revolution.

    [Antonio] Gramsci urged his fellow Marxists to form popular fronts with western intellectuals who shared their contempt for Christianity and bourgeois culture and who shaped the minds of the young.[2]

    One must question the motivation of the federal government in doing away with the “Just War” studies.  Since the administration of Abraham Lincoln our national government has departed widely from its Constitutional basis—and from Observance of the Natural Moral Law.  Lincoln made war on Americans, conscripted soldiers, levied a constitutionally prohibited direct tax on incomes, printed fiat money backed by nothing of value, and attacked civilian populations that offered no military resistance.  Roosevelt and Truman carried Lincoln’s policies forth with a vengeance, terror bombing entire cities with weapons of mass destruction, confiscating the nation’s gold, sending Americans to fight foreign wars against those who did us no harm, and without any Congressional declaration of war.  Today, appeal is made to both the bogus War Powers Act of 1973 and to UN resolutions to authorize war—in some cases these wars violate both our own Constitution and the Charter of the United Nations, which forbids war between member nations.  The War Powers Act requires a congressional declaration if hostilities go beyond ninety days,  but even this is being violated with the current war against Libya.

    The Air Force is the service most directly connected with mass annihilation of enemy targets.   It flies the big bombers, capable of delivering large thermonuclear payloads.  It stands to reason that a government that engages bombing civilian populations would not want its officers making personal decisions about the morality or legality of the orders they receive.  Moral training is largely absent from many schools and churches—it will now be removed from the service academies.  The question now remains:  Will “I vas chust obeyink orders” become a legitimate defense for war crimes?

Our Lady of the Rosary
Malankara Update

    Update:  Last month I mentioned our then forthcoming August 27th meeting with The Most Reverend Dr. Joseph Mar Thomas, Bishop of Bathery in Kerala India.  When I met Mar Thomas he wanted to make me understand that the Church in India before the Portuguese conquest did not hold the errors of Nestorius that the Blessed Virgin was Mother only of the human Christ and not the divine.  He attributed the condemnation by the Portuguese Jesuits to their inability to read the native language and their reliance on translations to Latin.


Our Lady of the Rosary
Bishops Rings?

    Question:  Why is the stone in a bishop’s ring generally an amethyst?

    Answer:  While some ascribe mystical properties to the beautiful violet stone—they are usually the same people who dabble in the foolishness of astrology—the bishop’s use of an amethyst is grounded more in middle age theories about the psychological values of stones and their colors.  Modern people are familiar with the idea of painting a room in a cool blue to nurture tranquility, or painting it bright red to achieve the opposite effect.  To the medieval mind the color of the amethyst promoted stability and sobriety, qualities Saint Paul demanded of those who might be nominated to the office of bishop.[3]  Amethyst is said to come from the Greek “Αμεθυστος” (amethustos) meaning “not intoxicated.”  The stone is often employed as a centerpiece for the bishops pectoral cross, and was found in the breastplate worn by the Old Testament high priests.[4]

Our Lady of the Rosary
Real Presence--Substance & Accidents

    Question:  You seemed very concerned about receiving Holy Communion before taking a blood test for your annual physical.  If Holy Communion is no longer bread and wine, how could it register in your blood levels.

    Answer:  The blood test in question requires fasting from midnight.  We describe the change from bread and wine to our Lord’s body and blood as “transubstantiation.”  It is the substances which change and not the appearances, accidents, or forms.  [The Novus Ordo ditty, set to the tune of Tantum ergo, about “bread and wine to be transformed now through the action of our priest” is characteristically bad theology.]  The consecrated host remains white, and round, and of the same size and weight—there is no change in it observable chemical properties.  The appearances of wine are likewise unchanged by consecration.  Thus, if bread or wine would distort the results of the blood test, the Eucharistic body and blood will do exactly the same.  Of course, even if the accidents did change to those of flesh and blood, a sufficient quantity would make its appearance in the blood.



[2]   Patrick J. Buchanan, The Death of the West (New York: St. Martin's Press, 2002) p. 77.

[4]   Exodus xxviii: 15-20

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