Today’s day thought experiment: The Oregon Trail

 

A friend sent this:

I never played Oregon Trail, but I watched enough Westerns and studied enough history that I get the gist.

Today’s day thought experiment:

The wagon train is headed west. After crossing the Mississippi, things seem to go well through the plains – but then as things start to rise toward the Rockies, the going gets tougher. There are some Native attacks, the path gets more difficult. The wagon train is still largely together, but it’s showing signs of imminent trouble.

The leadership calls a brief halt to discuss what’s going wrong and how best to address the situation. Among the concerns are the wagons themselves. There have been several broken wheels, which take time to repair, and riding in them on the rougher terrain is not quite the same as when the road was clear and flat. Someone speaks up and notes that most of the plains natives use travois, without wheels. Someone else speaks up and says, “Hey, I remember, back in New England we often used sleighs to travel around. I think I have a painting here somewhere to prove it.” The leadership votes and decides that, from this point on, the wagon train is only going to use non-wheeled means of transportation.

One guy, let’s call him Marcel the Craftsman, thinks this is silly. He decides that he’s going to keep the wheels on his wagon. The leadership and many of the other folks expel him from the wagon train, so he and a few followers go off on their own, but keep heading in the same direction, smaller, but determined.

The wagon train takes off all the wheels and starts slogging west. The tough going gets even tougher – but the leadership focuses on the good things: they haven’t had to stop in days to repair a broken wheel! It’s amazing! It’s like a new springtime has broken out!

Some people complain about the lost wheels, and the convoy gets noticeably smaller – some folks head off on their own, some folks just decide to stay where they’re at, figuring that even without moving in that direction, they’ll all eventually get to Oregon anyway. Some folks begin doubting whether there really is an Oregon, or whether it’s just some myth concocted to keep them in line. All the experts agree, though, that getting rid of the wheels was the best thing that ever happened to the wagon train, and no one is allowed to talk about how much more smoothly the journey was back when there were wheels.

But eventually, after some complaints, the leadership allows some limited use of wheels. Only on Sundays in the late afternoon. Only to appease those silly folks that just can’t get over their nostalgia for back when there were wheels. The painting of the sled in New England is copied so that everyone can see that this is how the early wagon train used to travel, and so it’s obviously better than those nasty wheels.

The road gets worse and worse. More uphill – it’s like there a whole world ranged against our little wagon train. Even without wheels, there are starting to be major problems with the wagons. They’re wearing out, looking really dated and worse for the wear. Not too many young people ride in them anymore. Some walk alongside. Most wander off, aimless, wondering whether maybe this is Oregon here and now? Many of them are picked off by bears.

At last, one of the leaders says, “Okay. I’m going to allow those who want to put wheels back on their wagons to do so, at their own discretion, but we’re going to have to all stay in the same wagon train, helping each other. Maybe there can even be some mutual enrichment. The wheels might work better in some places, and the travois better in others. We’re not at cross purposes here. We’re all trying to get to Oregon, after all.”

For awhile, thing seem to go pretty well. The wheeled carts make some significant progress, although a few of them get a little vociferous about how much better the wheeled wagons are than the travois. A new leader hears the complaints from the folks who insist on sticking with the non-wheeled wagons. He decides enough is enough! He orders most of the wheeled wagons to either take their wheels off again, or at least move over to another path, so as not to offend the travois people. He reminds them that, back when the leadership addressed the problems, in the distant foothills of the Rockies, they agreed to take the wheels off. “Travois are the only expression of the lex procedendi of this wagon train!” he exclaims.

And now the wagon train is deep in the Rockies. The road is tough. There are bears and wolves lurking, seeing weakness. There are hostile tribes ready to attack. The weather has taken a turn for the worse. It would be tough for the wagon train to navigate in the best of condition, but rather than face these problems with a united front, the members of the wagon train are engaged in backbiting and mutual criticism. Many begin to even wonder if the leadership knows where Oregon is?


 

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Daily Rome Shot 347

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Today’s Fervorino.

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ADVENTCAzT 2021: 04 – Wednesday in the 1st Week of Advent – 2 Peter 3:10 and YOU

Fr. Troadec explains the end of the world and why it will be unmade in fire, along with what will happen to us. Fulton Sheen gives a hint about being on the right side of what Fr. Troadec describes.

The wonderful Benedictine nuns of Gower Abbey sing for us.   US HERE – UK HERE

  • Have an idea for a reading in these podcasts?  HERE  
  • Make some Mystic Monk Coffee and have a listen!   Or have a beer!  Or some excellent wine (use FATHERZ10 for a discount)!  All made by monks.
  • PS: These podcasts should also be available through my iTunes feed, though maybe not immediately. Let me know how you are listening.  Through the plugin on this post? Through iTunes? Downloading?
  • Did you enjoy what you heard?  DONATE

My Soundcloud page is HERE

Posted in ADVENTCAzT, ADVENTCAzT, Four Last Things, PODCAzT, Semper Paratus, TEOTWAWKI, The Coming Storm |
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Daily Rome Shot 346

 

BONUS Photo by The Great Roman™

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ADVENTCAzT 2021 – 03: St. Andrew, Apostle

Here is ADVENTCAzT 03, for the Feast of St. Andrew.

  • Have an idea for a reading in these podcasts?  HERE  
  • Make some Mystic Monk Coffee and have a listen!   Or have a beer!  Or some excellent wine (use FATHERZ10 for a discount)!  All made by monks.
  • PS: These podcasts should also be available through my iTunes feed, though maybe not immediately. Let me know how you are listening.  Through the plugin on this post? Through iTunes? Downloading?
  • Did you enjoy what you heard?  DONATE

My Soundcloud page is HERE

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Daily Rome Shot 345

Today’s Fervorino.

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ADVENTCAzT 2021 – 02: It’s not that we have to repeat things, we get to repeat them! – FIXED!

Here is ADVENTCAzT 02, for the Monday in the 1st Week of Advent.

Today, Joseph Ratzinger opens up the 1st Reading from Paul to the Romans, chapter 13.   Fulton Sheen makes the situation really simple.

  • Have an idea for a reading in these podcasts?  HERE  
  • Make some Mystic Monk Coffee and have a listen!   Or have a beer!  Or some excellent wine (use FATHERZ10 for a discount)!  All made by monks.
  • PS: These podcasts should also be available through my iTunes feed, though maybe not immediately. Let me know how you are listening.  Through the plugin on this post? Through iTunes? Downloading?
  • Did you enjoy what you heard?  DONATE

My Soundcloud page is HERE

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CQ CQ CQ: Ham Radio – #ZedNet reminder – 28 November ’21

Fellow hams, here’s a reminder about ZedNet for Sunday 14 November ’21 – evening at 2000h EDT. (0000h ZULU Monday).

NB:  WB0YLE says that there is now a second Wires- X room: 83466

We now have the site running:  http://zednet.xyz

Zednet exists on the…

  • Yaesu System Fusion (Wires-X) “room” 28598, and 83466 which is cross-linked to
  • Brandmeister (BM) DMR worldwide talkgroup 31429 (More HERE)
  • Echolink  WB0YLE-R

Fellow hams who have access locally to a Yaesu System Fusion repeater, a repeater on the BM network, or a multi-mode hotspot registered with BM can get on and have a rag chew…. 24/7/365

Want to get involved? WB0YLE provided a Bill Of Materials, with links, for what you need. HERE  THIS WAS UPDATED on 22 March 2021

I created a page for the List of YOUR callsigns.  HERE  Chime in or drop me a note if your call doesn’t appear in the list.

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Daily Rome Shot 344

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By FSSP seminarians

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Your Sunday Sermon Notes: 1st Sunday of Advent

Too many people today are without good, strong preaching, to the detriment of all. Share the good stuff.

Was there a GOOD point made in the sermon you heard at the Mass for your Sunday obligation (jabbed or not!), either live or on the internet? Let us know what it was.

What was attendance like?

Tell about attendance especially for the Traditional Latin Mass.  I was getting reports that it is way up.

Any local changes or news?

And there’s this.

For those of you who regularly viewed my live-streamed daily Masses – with their fervorini – for over a year, you might drop me a line.  There are developments.  I think the video issues are pretty much sorted.  I still need audio solutions, since the room is pretty “hot”.  Wall hangings, maybe.

I have some written remarks about the TLM Mass for the  1st Sunday of Advent – HERE

 

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ADVENTCAzT 2021 01: “Mary now leads us to the altar where she leads us in prayer.”

Here is ADVENTCAzT 01, for the 1st Sunday of Advent.

Today, Fr. Parsch brings us to Mary, who teaches us how to pray today’s Mass prayers.   And did you know that today’s Mass formulary and the Dies irae of the Requiem Mass are connected?

  • Have an idea for a reading in these podcasts?  HERE  
  • Make some Mystic Monk Coffee and have a listen!   Or have a beer!  Or some excellent wine (use FATHERZ10 for a discount)!  All made by monks.
  • PS: These podcasts should also be available through my iTunes feed, though maybe not immediately. Let me know how you are listening.  Through the plugin on this post? Through iTunes? Downloading?
  • Did you enjoy what you heard?  DONATE
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Daily Rome Shot 343 (bonus)

Photo by The Great Roman™

Today’s Fervorino.

Use your phone’s camera

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New free video series for Advent from the (traditional) Fraternité Saint-Vincent-Ferrier ( @FSVR-Chemere )

Here is a marvelous initiative from the Fraternité Saint-Vincent-Ferrier that I was tangentially involved in.

I think this is going to be really helpful.

Sign up! HERE

I’ve had a preview of one of the still unlisted videos about Communion in the hand.  It is in French but with excellent English subtitles.

I’m looking forward to this!

The introduction video.

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ADVENTCAzT 2021 00: Joyful Penance or Penitential Joy?

Here is ADVENTCAzT 00, for the 1st Vespers of Advent.

Today, we get our bearings in the season   And did you know that today’s Mass formulary and the Dies irae of the Requiem Mass are connected? More on that tomorrow.

  • Have an idea for a reading in these podcasts?  HERE  
  • Make some Mystic Monk Coffee and have a listen!   Or have a beer!  Or some excellent wine (use FATHERZ10 for a discount)!  All made by monks.
  • PS: These podcasts should also be available through my iTunes feed, though maybe not immediately. Let me know how you are listening.  Through the plugin on this post? Through iTunes? Downloading?
  • Did you enjoy what you heard?  DONATE

COMMENT?

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Bottom of the ninth. What did the bishops do? Did they hit a home run?

At The Catholic Thing there is a good description by David Carlin of the miserable, enervated choke the bishops showed the world at their last USCCB meeting. As my dad, a connoisseur of baseball puts it, it’s hard to win with your hands around your own throat.

Striking Out in Baltimore

In baseball, some batters are known as “clutch hitters.” In ordinary situations, they may be no better than .275 hitters. Not bad, but nothing special. But in extraordinary situations, situations in which the game is on the line, they often rise to the occasion and temporarily become the equivalent of .350 or .375 or even .400 hitters.

Our Catholic bishops met in Baltimore the week before Thanksgiving. They met in an extraordinary situation, a situation in which the most conspicuous of all American Catholics, President Joe Biden, had for many months been making it quite clear that he intended to use his high office to promote something that the Catholic religion regards as unwarranted homicide, namely abortion.

inning. Two outs. Bases loaded. Home team down by two or three runs. Bishops at the plate. It was a golden opportunity for the bishops to prove that they are clutch hitters. Perhaps they would be inspired by the memory of the greatest of all Catholic hitters to come from Baltimore, Babe Ruth. Or perhaps they would be negatively inspired by the pro-abortion athleticism of another Baltimore native, Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

And what did the bishops do? Did they hit a home run? Or a triple? Or a double? Or a single? No, none of these. Instead, they struck out. And they didn’t even strike out swinging. Just looking. Worse still, instead of trying to drive in a run or two, they stood at home plate and, using a bullhorn, gave what they took to be an edifying discourse on the nature of baseball and its rules, with particular attention paid to the dimensions of the strike zone.

[…]

Read the rest there.

The “Eucharistic coherence” efforts promoted by the bishops are not bad in themselves but they are a little dreamy.  There’s nothing wrong with aiming at Eucharistic congresses, and so forth.  However, just as all politics is local so too must be all efforts to rekindle or indeed kindle for the first time faith in and devotion to the Eucharist.

What we need to do is:

  • Recover the Traditional Latin Mass.
  • Phase out Communion in the hand.
  • Stress clear doctrine in the pulpit.
  • Reclaim the Church’s great treasury of sacred music.
  • Phase out altar girls.
  • Return to ad orientem worship.
  • Preach the need for the Sacrament of Penance and get priests into the box.
  • Phase out lay readers, etc.
  • Support bishops with the Faith and backbones.
  • Re-institute Forty Hours Devotion.
  • ?
Posted in 1983 CIC can. 915, Our Catholic Identity, The Coming Storm, The Drill, The future and our choices | Tagged ,
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Daily Rome Shot 342 (bonus)

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Today’s Fervorino.

OPPORTUNITY
10% off with code: FATHERZ10

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Black Friday book suggestions and a request

I know a lot of you will be looking to buy things online at a discount for Black Friday and this time period. Please consider coming here and using one of my links to go into Amazon. You get the same prices but I get a small percentage of each sale. I can’t see what you buy. This is an important part of my monthly income, thanks in advance.

To get you started today, I received a lovely new book by Joseph Pearce – winning a great reputation as a biographer – about Joseph Ratzinger / Benedict XVI.

This would make a good Christmas gift. It is not overly long or weighed down with extensive notes. There is an index, which helps. It’s forthright about Benedict XVI’s enemies without being over the top. It is quite personal. The forward is by Scott Hahn because Card. Burke went down for a while with COVID-1984.

Benedict XVI: Defender of the Faith

US HERE – UK HERE

Another favorite of mine by Joseph Pearce is the must read

Literary Converts: Spiritual Inspiration in an Age of Unbelief

US HERE – UK HERE

I also think that he get’s the whole Shakespeare as Catholic debate right.

The Quest for Shakespeare

US HERE – UK HERE

Also learned recently, that he scored an interview with the reclusive Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Solzhenitsyn: A Soul in Exile

US HERE – UK HERE

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YOUR URGENT PRAYER REQUESTS

PLEASE use the sharing buttons! Thanks!

Registered here or not, will you in your charity please take a moment look at the requests and to pray for the people about whom you read?

Continued from THESE.

Let’s remember all who are ill, who will die soon, who have lost their jobs, and who are afraid.

I get many requests by email asking for prayers. Some are heart-achingly grave and urgent.

As long as my blog reaches so many readers in so many places, let’s give each other a hand. We should support each other in works of mercy.

If you have some prayer requests, feel free to post them below.

You have to be registered here to be able to post.

I ask a prayer for myself.  I’m dealing with a lot of challenges right now.

Also, please pray for TF, who is facing serious – faith related – marriage problems.  Great suffering.

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Wherein National ‘c’atholic Fishwrap’s own Wile E. Coyote “oopses” himself. Fr. Z explains.

The Fishwrap is known by various monikers.  The editors call it the National catholic Reporter in defiance of a decree of their local bishop of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Bp. Helmsing, who ordered them to remove “Catholic” from their title.  It is also called by many the National Catholic Distorter, for obvious reasons.  It is known as the National Schismatic Reporter.  There are less cordial nicknames as well.

Most people now recognize it as the Fishwrap.

One of Fishwrap’s prime time writers, Michael Sean Winters, also has his nicknames.  For some he is the “Tricoteuse”  of the papalotrous New catholic Red Guards, aka Madame Defarge, from his self-description as desiring to sit, as did the figure in Dicken’s novel, by a guillotine to watch people he disagrees with be put to death.  Really. For others, like Robby George, he is the Wile E Coyote of catholic Left: he has a penchant for hoisting himself on his own machinations.  Think rollers skates and rockets, catapults and boulders, boomerangs and dynamite.

The last of those nicknames seems most appropriate to apply to MSW today.

Wile E. dusted off his ACME edition of the 1983 Code of Canon Law and applied it to the anything but speedy or appetizing USCCB, which – by the way-  has its own zany relationship with boomerangs and dynamite (cf. can. 915).

Today at Fishwrap, Wile E. (aka Defarge, aka MSW) strapped on his ACME jet pack and skis and aimed himself at the not-ever-to-be-confused-with-Fishwrap, National Catholic Register.

Here goes.  Prepare for the ensuing hijinks.  Will Wile E. catch his prey?

My emphases and comments:

You have to admire the chutzpah of the editors at the National Catholic Register. They published an editorial that insists on calling the recent document approved by the U.S. bishops a “teaching document,” but it isn’t that. [Okay… if it isn’t a “teaching document”, then what is it?  The USCCB calls it a “document” HERE.  The suspense builds as Wile E. checks his gear.] Teaching documents not only require approval by two-thirds vote, but also the approbation of the Holy See. [Oh dear… we can see right away that Wile E. is getting out over his ACME canonical skis.  But let’s let Wile E. cite his ACME copy of the Code!] Canon 455 states:

Can. 455 §1. A conference of bishops can only issue general decrees [DECREES] in cases where universal law has prescribed it or a special mandate of the Apostolic See has established it either motu proprio or at the request of the conference itself.  [The attentive followers of this wacky cartoon, will note that the flaw in Wile E.’s cunning plan is that this canon – in all editions of the Code –  is about decrees.]

§2. The decrees mentioned in §1, in order to be enacted validly in a plenary meeting, must be passed by at least a two thirds vote of the prelates who belong to the conference and possess a deliberative vote. They do not obtain binding force unless they have been legitimately promulgated after having been reviewed by the Apostolic See. [All that’s left is to wait for the (pick one or more) a) boulder, b) cliff, c) fast moving truck, d) cactus.]

But [! – Here it comes!] the bishops were told that this document did not need to be sent to the Holy See. At least the Register admitted what conference president Archbishop José Gomez denied, [Sooo… this is payback from Wile E’s inner Madame Defarge for what Gomez recently said in public!] that this document was the fruit of the working group he set up to confront the prospect of a Catholic president. Gomez seems to forget that in the memo he sent to the bishops on Jan. 19, 2020, accompanying the unfortunate statement he issued the next day when President Joe Biden was sworn in, Gomez wrote that the working group had proposed two initiatives, the first being the Inauguration Day statement. Then he added:

The second initiative was for the Conference to work on a document that clearly lays out the teaching [you mean… like a… “teaching document”?] of the Church on the importance of Eucharist coherence or consistency — including the fact that our relationship with Christ is not strictly a private affair.

Oops.

No better word for it than Wile E’s own, “Oops”.

MSW blasted himself with his ACME rocket and “oopsed” himself.

Insert here the whistling sound of falling, followed by a kaBLAM, and then the impact of the inevitable boulder.

Let’s clear this up.

In Wile E.’s attack on Gomez, and in his sniff of Biden’s hair, he calls the bishops’ rather toothless document a “decree”.

It is isn’t a decree.

How do we know that it isn’t a decree, you ask?

In the realm of official documents you recognize a “decree” because of the large letters that say “DECREE” on it.  Otherwise in the text the legislator writes “I decree”.   It isn’t that hard.

Some samples of USCCB Decrees can be found HERE.  Here’s one:

  On November 18, 1998, the Latin Rite de iure members of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops approved complementary legislation for canon 284 of the Code of Canon Law for the Latin Rite dioceses of the United States.

The action was granted recognitio by the Congregation for Bishops in accord with article 82 of the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus and issued by Decree of the Congregation for Bishops signed by His Eminence Lucas Cardinal Moreira Neves, Prefect, and His Excellency Most Reverend Franciscus Monterisi, Secretary, and dated September 29, 1999.

The National Conference of Catholic Bishops, in accord with the prescriptions of canon 284, hereby decrees that without prejudice to the provisions of canon 288, clerics are to dress in conformity with their sacred calling.

In liturgical rites, clerics shall wear the vesture prescribed in the proper liturgicad books. [Oops.] Outside liturgical functions, a black suit and Roman collar are the usual attire for priests. The use of the cassock is at the discretion of the cleric.

[…]

We note with pleasure that that discretion is, among younger clerics, growing swiftly.

In another, more recent example, about Can. 1297 on Leasing of Church Property, after stating that the Conference sought the recognitio from Rome, it says:

Wherefore, and in accord with the prescripts of canon 1297, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops decrees that the following norms shall govern the leasing of Church property:

[…]

WERE the USCCB’s document on the Eucharist a decree – and it is not – then it would have had to go to Rome for approval.  Since it is not a decree, the Conference is free to publish it and let the chips – or boulders – fall where they may.

FACTOID: The only use of the word “Decree” in the USCCB’s recent document on the Eucharist is in a footnote... to which I direct Wile E.’s full and undivided attention: Council of Trent, Session 13Decree on the Sacrament of the Eucharist.

I note that CANON XI of that Decree says:

lf any one saith, that faith alone is a sufficient preparation for receiving the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist; let him be anathema. And for fear lest so great a sacrament may be received unworthily, and so unto death and condemnation, this holy Synod ordains and declares, that sacramental confession, when a confessor may be had, is of necessity to be made beforehand, by those whose conscience is burthened with mortal sin, how contrite even soever they may think themselves. But if any one shall presume to teach, preach, or obstinately to assert, or even in public disputation to defend the contrary, he shall be thereupon excommunicated.

Oops.

Here is a short of Wile E. drafting his offerings for the Fishwrap.

Posted in 1983 CIC can. 915, Canon Law, Liberals, The Drill, Wherein Fr. Z Rants, You must be joking! | Tagged , , , , , ,
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Daily Rome Shot 341 (bonus)

Photo by The Great Roman™

Today’s Fervorino.

CLICK
The Dominican Sisters of Summit, NJ,
make great soaps
and many other things.
Great Christmas presents.

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