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Doorways along the Via Giulia

January 27, 2018


Via Giulia, near the Palazzo Farnese (Wikipedia)

I WAS fortunate enough to receive a trip to Rome for my birthday this year. My husband and I got back yesterday. We spent six days in the city, visiting the sights of this spectacular metropolis where the ghosts of the past accompany you everywhere. January is a great time to go to Rome. Everything is less crowded and it’s not that cold, although this year because of especially warm weather (60 degrees Fahrenheit during the day), the streets in the main historic areas were mobbed for part of the time we were there. In addition, January is cheaper than the summer and fall months. Our plane fare on Norwegian Airlines was $350 each roundtrip from Newark, New Jersey. We stayed in a small, 24-room hotel which occupies the third floor of a building on Via Firenze near Piazza della Repubblica and the ancient Baths of Diocletian. Our room in this central location in a 19th-century building with an elegant facade and a courtyard with a rickety elevator cost about $80 per night.

Here is the exterior of the building which houses, among other things, the Hotel Oceania:

My favorite feature of the hotel was its interior courtyard, seen here from the third floor:

Last Sunday, to mention just one of the things we did during our stay (I hope to have more posts), we walked along the Via Giulia, a street close to the Tiber in the historic center, a thoroughfare that truly transports the pedestrian to a different time. A good description of it from The New York Times:

Commissioned by Pope Julius II (for whom the street is named), Via Giulia was built in the early 16th century, part of a plan to build a square of roads near the Vatican. The project was never completed. But to this day, Via Giulia is lined with an array of extraordinary churches and cultural buildings, as well as some of the fanciest homes in Rome.

Pope Julius II

Via Giulia offers a walk unusual in Rome for several reasons. It is wide enough that you are not dodging cars and scooters or inhaling their fumes; arrow straight, so you will not get lost; intimate and quiet enough to appreciate what you are seeing.

Via Giulia starts with an ivy-covered arch, designed by Michelangelo; it was part of another unrealized plan, this one to connect the Palazzo Farnese (now the French Embassy) with the Villa Farnese, on the other side of the Tiber. The connection was never made, so the arch instead functions as a sort of majestic entryway.

Despite the crowds on nearby streets, we were almost the only pedestrians along the way, as if we were walking in a village not a big city. Below are some photos of doorways I took along the way. I’m not a talented photographer and I have not annotated these photos, but they give you, I hope, a sense of what we encountered along our path. The grandeur of these doorways and their useless ornamentation are deeply attractive to those who find so much of the modern world visually cold, austere and brutally ugly. One cannot help but feel gratitude toward those who have the wealth to maintain them: Read More »


Sobran on Islam

January 25, 2018

“Let’s face it: Christianity and Islam are eternal enemies. Each makes uncompromising claims of exclusive truth. But this doesn’t mean that the secularist-Zionist war on the Islamic world serves any Christian interest or deserves Christian support.”

— Joseph Sobran


Comrade Rosie

January 25, 2018


THE woman who supposedly was the model for the iconic World War II poster of “Rosie the Riveter” has died. The New York Times honors her contribution to the nation with an obituary. The Anti-New York Times responds here.

While Rosie is commonly portrayed as a symbol of women’s emancipation, she represents the opposite. She stands for the dawning of an era — after the initial postwar return to tradition — in which millions of women would be forced due to economic necessity to enter the paid workforce. Feminists romanticized their loss of status at home as “liberation.” The Rosie poster is a classic work of Soviet-style agitprop. The home stands between the people and the Omnipotent State.


Read More »


What Mass Is

January 24, 2018


Last Supper, Valentin de Boulogne; 1625-26

KYLE writes:

The excerpt below is from a pre-Vatican II Catholic prayer book by Father F.X. Lasance titled, My Prayer Book (1907). The piece is titled “What Mass Is,” and it’s a superb summation of the Mass from an anonymous author. These traditional prayer books are indispensable tools in arming ourselves with the Holy Spirit in the spiritual warfare we’re constantly engaged in.

What Mass Is

Non-Catholics who are present at mass, not understanding the ceremony, wonder why we should be so diligent in assisting at it. To them, the idea of church and public worship is associated with preaching and hymn singing. They are surprised at a function in which a clergy man takes no notice of the people and at which there often is no sermon.

What, then, is the Mass that so attracts Catholics and attendance at which is made obligatory on them, at least once a week, under pain of deadly sin? Read More »


The March for Life

January 24, 2018


St. Joseph and the Christ Child, Guido Reni

LIFESITE NEWS reports on Trump’s live-streamed speech to the March for Life in Washington, D.C. last Friday, marking the 45th anniversary of Roe v. Wade on Jan. 22:

“Under my administration, we will always defend the very first right in the Declaration of Independence, and that is the right to life,” the president told cheering crowds of hundreds of thousands that packed Washington Mall Friday.

Dr. Thomas Droleskey at Christ or Chaos was less enthusiastic. :

][T]he truth remains that no one but no one, despite their good intentions, should be termed “pro-life” who believes [there] are certain supposedly “exceptional” circumstances in which babies may be vacuumed up, sliced and diced, and burned alive in their mother’s wombs. Good intentions do not redeem flawed premises.

For instance, Trump’s mention of the “Mexico City Policy” was very misleading … Read More »


The Doom-Ridden World of the Puritans

January 24, 2018

IN his short story, “The Maypole of Merry Mount,” published in 1832, Nathanael Hawthorne described the conflict between Puritan settlers of New England and those settlers, established at Mount Wollaston, also known as Merry Mount, who retained the ways of old England with its festivals and feasts.

Unfortunately, the culture of the Puritans, who sent the Merry Mounters packing, would ultimately triumph in New England, leading to the grim political creeds we see today, at their core Puritanical even though they reject many of the traditional mores of the actual Puritans

From the story:

All the hereditary pastimes of Old England were transplanted hither [to Merry Mount.] The King of Christmas was duly crowned, and the Lord of Misrule bore potent sway. On the Eve of St. John, they felled whole acres of the forest to make bonfires, and danced by the blaze all night, crowned with garlands, and throwing flowers into the flame. At harvest time, though their crop was of the smallest, they made an image with the sheaves of Indian corn, and wreathed it with autumnal garlands, and bore it home triumphantly. But what chiefly characterized the colonists of Merry Mount was their veneration for the Maypole. It has made their true history a poet’s tale. Spring decked the hallowed emblem with young blossoms and fresh green boughs; Summer brought roses of the deepest blush, and the perfected foliage of the forest; Autumn enriched it with that red and yellow gorgeousness which converts each wildwood leaf into a painted flower; and Winter silvered it with sleet, and hung it round with icicles, till it flashed in the cold sunshine, itself a frozen sunbeam. Thus each alternate season did homage to the Maypole, and paid it a tribute of its own richest splendor. Its votaries danced round it, once, at least, in every month; sometimes they called it their religion, or their altar; but always, it was the banner staff of Merry Mount. Read More »


The Sexual Inquisition

January 24, 2018

FROM an interview with Stephen Baskerville, author of The New Politics of Sex: The Sexual Revolution, Civil Liberties, and the Growth of  Government Power:

Now, after decades of serving as the intellectual apologists for this crass culture, those same radical ideologues have found that they can further increase their influence and power from the chaos they helped create by turning the resulting unpleasantness into newfangled quasi-crimes that no one fully understands and which permit no defense. Having ridiculed not only the Christians themselves into silence but also their annoying, old-fashioned vocabulary of ‘sin,’ ‘immorality,’ ‘fornication,’ and ‘adultery,’ the radicals have substituted jargon that instead condemns ideological unorthodoxy (‘sexism,’ ‘misogyny’) and implies criminality: ‘sexual harassment,’ ‘sexual abuse,’ ‘sexual misconduct,’ ‘sexual assault,’ sexual this and sexual that.

Radicals and revolutionaries always promise us a new world of freedom where we do not have to obey the rules that mankind has had to accept in order to build a stable civilization.  (And the basic rules are universal, though how they are administered vary significantly, usually according to religion, which can make a huge difference in the nature of the civilization.)  But the rules they throw out the front door always re-enter through the back door, often in a grotesque form that is more authoritarian and terrifying.  We found this with Stalinism and Maoism, and now we see it with sexual radicalism. Read More »


Hate in Canada

January 23, 2018



Marriage on the Fly

January 22, 2018


Abyssus Abyssum Invocat

THE supposedly spontaneous wedding ceremony conducted on a plane last week by “Pope” Francis appears to have been a publicity stunt prepared in advance. Was it an attempt to show how much Francis values marriage in the wake of Amoris Laetitia?

His unorthodox action opens up many possibilities, writes Novus Ordo Bishop Rene Henry Gracida:

Imagine if you lived in theatreland in London or New York and had priests competing with jugglers and street magicians, offering free marriages whilst people waited for tickets.

Imagine the Marriage of Figaro with real Marriages!

Imagine, Romeo and Juliet actually getting married!

Imagine, a two for one offer at your local supermarket! Two couples at one go.

Imagine the possibilities for an airport chaplain, you could marry people as they waited to check-in, or as they wait for luggage at the carousel.

Imagine the mass weddings that could take place at the next Glastonbury Rock Festival.

Imagine, in my diocese, a traffic jam on the M25 near Gatwick, a priest wandering up and down in cope and a high viz jacket offering weddings to all and sundry.

None are more difficult to imagine than a non-Catholic acting as pope.

Fake news, fake wedding, fake pope.


The Refugee Contractors

January 22, 2018

ANN CORCORAN at Refugee Resettlement Watch reports on the drop in refugee admissions under Trump. Federal contractors, however, have made this into a self-perpetuating business. She writes:

Sorry to say it for the umpteenth time, but, at minimum, if these nine federal contractors (acting as community agitators and activists while living off taxpayer dollars) are not removed from the system there will not be a long term fix.


Media Bias

January 21, 2018

MEDIA coverage of civil unrest in Tunisia and Iran reveals a political agenda.

See a report by Whitney Webb at Mint Press News.


Puritan Politics

January 21, 2018


H.L. Mencken

“THE chief concern of the American people, even above the bread-and-butter question, was politics. They were incessantly hag-ridden by political difficulties, both internal and external, of an inordinant complexity, and these occupied all the leisure they could steal from the sordid work of everyday. More, their new and troubled political ideas tended to absorb all the rancorous certainty of their fading religious ideas, so that devotion to a theory or candidate became translated into devotion to a revelation, and the game of politics turned itself into a holy war. The custom of connecting purely political doctrines with pietistic concepts of an inflammable nature, then firmly set up by skillful persuaders of the mob, has never quite died out in the United States. There has not been a presidential contest since Jackson’s day without its Armageddons, its marching of Christian soldiers, its crosses of gold, its crowns of thorns. The most successful American politicians, beginning with the antislavery agitators, have been those most adept at twisting the ancient gauds and shibboleths of Puritanism to partisan uses. Every campaign that we have seen for eighty years has been, on each side, a pursuit of bugaboos, a denunciation of heresies, a snouting up of immoralities… ” [emphasis added]

— H.L. Mencken, “Puritanism as a Literary Force,” A Book of Prefaces, 1917


An Insane World

January 18, 2018

LAURA R. writes:

My country Panama is about to surrender to disgusting sexual ideologies this very year, just like Australia, Colombia, Uruguay, Argentina, and Mexico recently did.

So far only China, Singapore, Japan, Russia, Romania and Greece have resisted.

In the end, Japan and Singapore, I believe, will be the only countries in the world that will still retain a normal human society while the rest of the Western world will fall in the evil heterophobia and anti-biology ideologies!


Not Men, but Mice

January 17, 2018

ALAN writes:

Kyle mentioned the incident in 1977 when Anita Bryant was hit by a pie thrown by an advocate for queerdom. I agree with the essence of what he wrote, but  something has been left unsaid regarding the significance of that incident.  I would like to say it.

In 1960, Anita Bryant recorded two love songs that became popular: “Paper Roses” and “My Little Corner of the World.” I remember listening to her recording of “Strangers on the Shore” on a St. Louis radio station in the wee small hours on nights in 1968 and thinking how beautiful it was.  She was a lovely, talented woman. She became a member of Bob Hope’s troupe who entertained American soldiers overseas. She was widely admired by Americans, and rightly so.

Less than ten years later, she was assaulted, insulted, and portrayed as a villainess by American “journalists.”

That fact alone proved that a Cultural Revolution had taken place between those years, a revolution in response to which the older generation, who should have known better, offered little or no opposition. Read More »


Philanthropy at Amazon

January 16, 2018

JEFF BEZOS, the billionaire owner of Amazon, has pledged $33 million in scholarships for illegal immigrants to study at American colleges — a much applauded act of treason. (The entrepreneur, who has received millions in corporate welfare, could have given scholarships for immigrants to study in their home countries or, even better, given scholarships to Americans.)

Meanwhile, a reported 700 Amazon employees need food stamps to survive. Read More »


An Interview on Home and Marriage

January 15, 2018


Chartres Cathedral, Nativity

JUDITH SHARPE of “In the Spirit of Chartres” (ISOC) interviewed me last week. Mrs. Sharpe, whom I have long admired for her common sense, talked with me about the vocation of housewife and “The Feminist War on Marriage.” The interview can be downloaded and listened to for no charge for a few weeks here.

I am truly honored to be among the authors and speakers who have been featured at ISOC. They include E. Michael Jones, Cornelia Ferreira, Hugh Akins, John Sharpe, Dr. Robert Sungenis and many more. Check out the terrific talks there on a wide range of subjects, from the state of the Church to economics to various aspects of the culture war.

In the interview, I mentioned the paradox of feminist opposition to the institution of marriage. As I said, most women want marriage and highly value it. Why then have feminists for hundreds of years opposed marriage in various ways and sought to undermine it? Does that make sense? I never got around in the interview to giving the answer. Suffice it to say, that if women continued to devote their hopes and dreams to marriage they would not devote them to the Revolution. Feminism has consistently sought a transfer of power. The family must give charge over its essential functions to government, business interests and social engineers. Only impersonal forces can be trusted to bring about the utopian society, so radically opposed to human nature, that revolutionaries seek.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the unbelievably bossy, 19th-century suffragette, so elevated to the status of secular sainthood that I can find a long list of children’s books about her in my local library system, called marriage “a rite of barbarism.” (God forgive me, I am deeply tempted to despise this woman.) She wrote in 1871: Read More »


Women and Figure Skating

January 15, 2018


Theresa Weld, 1917

IT WAS once common for women to display charm, grace and athletic skill as figure skaters — without dressing in skimpy outfits. See more on the subject by Dr. Marian T. Horvat.


Hendrick Avercamp


Ave, and Eva

January 15, 2018


Illuminated Manuscript; Harley 2877 f. 18v British Library

St. Robert Southwell (1561-1595)

Spell “Eva” back and “Ave” you shall find,
The first began, the last reversed our harms;
An angel’s witching words did Eva blind,
An angel’s “Ave” disenchants the charms.
Death first by woman’s weakness entered in;
In woman’s virtue life doth now begin.

O Virgin’s breast, the heavens to thee incline,
In thee they joy and sovereign they agnize;
Too mean their glory is to match with thine,
Whose chaste receipt God more than heaven did prize.
Hail, fairest heaven, that heaven and earth do bless,
Where virtue’s star, God’s sun of justice, is.

With haughty mind to godhead man aspired,
And was by pride from place of pleasure chased;
With loving mind our manhood God desired,
And us by love in greater pleasure placed.
Man, laboring to ascend, procured our fall;
God, yielding to descend, cut off our thrall.

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