Wednesday, February 15, 2023

You aren't going to lose your TLM because somebody is grieving about losing theirs

 This week I read a Tweet by a nice woman saying that the TLM will be cancelled in her parish. People rushed to accuse her of lying. People outside the diocese actually had the nerve to write that she apparently didn't hear what she heard her priest announce. Others rushed in to say that no, Bishop Barron, of World on Fire fame had actually given her an upgrade by inviting the SSPX to take over a church/chapel in another part of the diocese roughly two hours away. "See," they cackled. "Bishop Barron isn't cancelling anything!" How is losing the TLM in your parish that you've been attending and having to go elsewhere not cancellation? 

The most disgusting part of this pitiful episode has got to be the self righteous Pharisees braying, "You bad Trads complain and will make the saintly bishop so mad he'll take the TLM away from all us! Thank God we're glad Trads and not stupid and ugly sinners like you!"

That's like saying to an abuse victim to hush and not cry so much or they'll  provoke the abuser to beat them some  more.  If your bishop is so thin-skinned, petty and evil that he crushes people because a handful irritate him  then I hate to break it to you but you don't have a good and holy bishop. You don't even have a bread and butter bishop who's mostly decent even if he is a company man. You have a martinet, a cruel step-father and someone who ought not be a bishop. 

I've always believed that the diocesan TLM was doomed and would not last much longer than Pope Benedict XVI's life. That doom has nothing to do with a grouchy Trad in Dubuque  talking on Twitter, Facebook or Blogger. You aren't going to lose your TLM because somebody openly grieved about losing theirs. You are going to lose it because Pope Francis and all his boys hate Tradition. If you can't offer sympathy to a person who is sad because they can't go to  Mass anymore then for the love of God, at least don't pile on with the abuse. 

Saturday, February 11, 2023

Random thoughts on a Saturday Afternoon.

  • St. Peter, pray for us 

  • Shortsighted people dismiss the importance of the Chinese balloon because China and most of our "allies" already spies on us everyday but spying wasn't the point. By sending a balloon to violate the US airspace the Chinese conducted a humifaction ritual and they got away with it. 

  • The bishop's Lenten Appeal starts next week. Rocky and I may find another parish to go to so we don't have to sit through the always uncomfortable speech that will take the place of the homily. 

  • I don't excuse Kari Lake for losing her Faith but not being able to even go into a church during Covid didn't help. 

  • Pope Benedict XVI's posthumous book was such a disappointment that nobody is talking about it. If the Italian nick-name for Pope Paul VI was "The Sad One," then surely poor Benedict's should be something like, "The Pitiful". 

  • Have you ever noticed how many NBA or NFL players went to Catholic high schools? Most don't seem to have taken the Faith from their school years  but their athletic skills were what the school wanted them for and they made money for the school. If your kid's school is financially sound because it's an athletic powerhouse but the kids don't go to Mass regularly and they don't even have a school chapel then what are you paying for?

  • Did you see that hideous , blasphemous jacket Damar Hamlin had on at the Super Bowl? He's not a nice guy.

Mother Mary Lange, pray for us

Sunday, February 05, 2023

No quick answers in the Neumayr tragedy

 When I first read that George Neumayr was dead I thought it was a stupid joke but then messages from various sources confirmed the news. It is said that he died of malaria, which seems odd to many people. In every photo he Tweeted from Cote d'Ivoire  he was either chomping a cigar or looking like a happy tourist posing with the locals. He didn't appear feverish or in pain at all. On the other hand, he did complain of an episode of food poisoning. It is possible that the nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea that can come with malaria or Yellow Fever  was mistaken for sickness from eating food that had been poorly cooked or kept in unsanitary conditions. Tap water is potable in Cote d'Ivoire but the State Department advises that you stick to bottled water and realize that the ice cubes in your drink at the restaurant or bar probably came from the tap. 

Nobody has commented on what  George Neumayr's general health was like but  some men, even ones who don't look robust,  have the mental and physical  constitution  of bulls. It takes something  catastrophic to make them drop or even admit to being sick. 

Years ago, my Uncle Junior got  walking pneumonia and would have died if other relatives hadn't nagged him into seeing his doctor, who after seeing him, called an ambulance. Until he was unconscious my uncle was insisting that he just had a cold and was not really sick. I can see Neumayr refusing to accept being sick, especially while on a business and pleasure trip until it overwhelmed him. 

Multiple people have written eloquently about the tragic loss of this much loved and admired Catholic author and reporter. There is  passionate speculation about his enemies in various chanceries and the circumstances surrounding his death and there may never be a satisfactory answer. 

I am about to write something indelicate and if you are someone who loved the late George Neumayr you may want to stop reading now. It's been about three weeks since the death and there have been no indications that  George was able to marry his fiancee and the body was buried in country. Presumably the remains are  in a morgue until Neumayr's next-of-kin can fulfill all the local government requirements for release. There  have been no reports about the conditions of morgues in Cote d'Ivoire. Has the body been embalmed?  Does Cote d'Ivoire require that? Have tissue samples been preserved? The mortal remains may have deteriorated beyond the point where a proper autopsy is even possible. 

Contrary to what you've seen in the movies our government doesn't automatically ship deceased civilians home nor does the government pay any medical facility bills. The US consulate takes charge of personal effects and assists next-of-kin to navigate the laws of the land when a citizen dies overseas. 

If a US citizen dies in a first world country getting the body home in a timely fashion can be done. A friend of my mother and of mine  died in London*, while studying there. The embassy did a fine job helping his elderly parents make it to the hospital in time before he was removed from life support and then with paperwork and accommodations until the poor parents could return home. Everything was done with speed and efficiency and kindness. The time from my friend's death to his funeral was not too much more than if he'd died in the US. George Neumayr was visiting a third world country. Nothing about this process is going to be quick. 

Out of all the countries to visit in Africa, Cote d'Ivoire is one that shouldn't be on your list unless you are an experienced third world traveler or have family there. The State Department has four levels of travel advisories from "exercise normal precautions," down to the last one which is "do not travel".  Cote d'Ivoire is rated at level three, that is  "reconsider travel." 

The country has high violent crime. Home invasion, robbery and carjacking are common. Local police, government officials and soldiers have been known to demand bribes. Embassy personnel are not allowed to travel at night.  Visitors are strongly urged to make "evacuation plans that do not rely on U.S. government assistance," avoid crowds and "obtain comprehensive medical insurance that includes medical evacuation." In the State Department's Traveler's Checklist it states that medical evacuation for treatment could cost up to  $100,0,,,, x n00.

  Lepanto Institute said that George Neumayr refused to go to the hospital-- probably until he couldn't object anymore-- and if you read the State Department description of medical facilities in Cote d'Ivoire I see why: 

  • Adequate health facilities are available in Abidjan and other major cities, but health care in rural areas is below U.S. standards.
  • Public medical clinics lack basic resources and supplies.
  • Hospitals and doctors often require payment “up front” prior to service or admission.
  • Credit card payment is not always available, and most hospitals and medical professionals require cash payment.
  • Medical staff may speak little or no English.
  • Generally, in hospitals only minimal staff is available overnight. Consider hiring a private nurse or having family spend the night with the patient, especially a minor child.
  • Patients bear all costs for transfer to or between hospitals. 
Ambulance services in the public system are:

  • not widely available, and training and availability of emergency responders may be below U.S. standards.
  • not equipped with state-of-the-art medical equipment.
  • Injured or seriously ill travelers may prefer to hire a private ambulance or take a taxi or private vehicle to the nearest major hospital rather than wait for a public ambulance.

In short, Cote d' Ivorie can be a dangerous place and whatever bad happens there could end up staying there. This is a tragedy that probably won't end with a neat explanation. May George Neumayr rest in peace.

*  British medicine may be free but I'd rather cut my trip short than trust NHS doctors especially as a foreigner. To this day I still think my friend would be alive if he'd gone to see a doctor at home. 

Thursday, February 02, 2023


 A Medieval  hymn for Candlemass

The queen of bliss and of beauty.

Behold what life that we run in,

Frail to fall and ever like to sin

Through our enemy's enticing;

Therefore we sing and cry to thee:

Revertere, revertere,

The queen of bliss and of beauty.

Come hither, Lady, fairest flower,

And keep us, Lady, from dolour;

Defend us, Lady, and be our succour,

For we cease not to call to thee:

Revertere, revertere,

The queen of bliss and of beauty.

Turn our life, Lady, to God's lust, [pleasure]

Sin to flee and fleshly lust,

For, after him, in thee we trust

To keep us from adversity.

Revertere, revertere,

The queen of bliss and of beauty.

This holy day of Purification

To the temple thou bare our salvation,

Jesu Christ, thine own sweet Son,

To whom therefore now sing we:

Revertere, revertere,

The queen of bliss and of beauty.

Farewell, Christmas fair and free!

Farewell, New Year's Day with thee!

Farewell, the holy Epiphany!

And to Mary now sing we:

Revertere, revertere,

The queen of bliss and of beauty.