Poor students make for poor teachers…

Francis Speaks, Scalfari Transcribes, Brandmüller Shreds

As a Church historian, the German cardinal refutes the notion according to which clerical celibacy was an invention of the 10th century. No, he objects: its origin is with Jesus and the apostles. And he explains why

by Sandro Magister

… Fr. Lombardi cast doubt on the notion that the pope had proclaimed, with regard to the celibacy of the clergy, “I will find the solutions.”

But he made no objection to the other highly reckless words put into the pope’s mouth, according to which “celibacy was established in the 10th century, 900 years after the death of our Lord.”

A Church historian no less authoritative than German cardinal Walter Brandmüller, for more than twenty years the president of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences, in fact felt himself duty-bound to demonstrate the lack of foundation for this idea. …

Scalfari’s previous interview with Francis, which appeared in “La Repubblica” of October 1, 2013, also raised doubts about its reliability. So much so that the following November 15 it was taken down from the official website of the Vatican, where it had been placed among the pope’s discourses and afterward inexplicably reappeared, translated into five languages, only to disappear once again a few days ago.

Scalfari himself admitted that he had accompanied the preliminary draft of that first conversation that he sent to the pope – which did not raise any objections and was published without revision – with a note in which he wrote:

“Keep in mind that some of the things you said to me are not written down here. And that some of the things I attribute to you, you did not say. But I have put them there so that the reader may understand who you are.”

Months later, a second conversation between Scalfari and Francis did not undergo any journalistic “translation,” at the prudential request of the Vatican.

But after the third conversation, which took place last July 10, this time as well without a recording, the pope again gave Scalfari the go-ahead to include his changes, with the results that can be seen.

Please follow the link to the Chiesa website if you wish to read Brandmüller’s letter to Scalfari.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Getting paid to have fun?

“If I want to sell you something, we speak English. If you want to sell me something, dann sprechen wir Deutsch.” – Willy Brandt, German Chancellor

Johnson: What is a foreign language worth? – Mar 11th 2014, 17:11 by R.L.G. | BERLIN

… The pros [of knowing at least one foreign language] are that working in a foreign language can [help] people make better decisions … and that bilingualism helps with executive function in children and dementia in older people…. The cons: one study finds that the earnings bonus for an American who learns a foreign language is just 2%. If you make $30,000 a year, sniffs Mr Dubner, that’s just $600.

But for the sake of provocation, Mr Dubner seems to have low-balled this. He should know the power of lifetime earnings and compound interest. First, instead of $30,000, assume a university graduate, who in America is likelier to use a foreign language than someone without university. The average starting salary is almost $45,000. Imagine that our graduate saves her “language bonus”. Compound interest is the most powerful force in the universe (a statement dubiously attributed to Einstein, but nonetheless worth committing to memory). Assuming just a 1% real salary increase per year and a 2% average real return over 40 years, a 2% language bonus turns into an extra $67,000 (at 2014 value) in your retirement account. Not bad for a few years of “où est la plume de ma tante?

Economist - accumulated language bonusSecond, Albert Saiz, the MIT economist who calculated the 2% premium, found quite different premiums for different languages: just 1.5% for Spanish, 2.3% for French and 3.8% for German. This translates into big differences in the language account: your Spanish is worth $51,000, but French, $77,000, and German, $128,000. Humans are famously bad at weighting the future against the present, but if you dangled even a post-dated $128,000 cheque in front of the average 14-year-old, Goethe and Schiller would be hotter than Facebook.

Why do the languages offer such different returns? It has nothing to do with the inherent qualities of Spanish, of course. The obvious answer is the interplay of supply and demand. This chart reckons that Spanish-speakers account for a bit more of world GDP than German-speakers do. But an important factor is economic openness. Germany is a trade powerhouse, so its language will be more economically valuable for an outsider than the language of a relatively more closed economy.

But in American context (the one Mr Saiz studied), the more important factor is probably supply, not demand, of speakers of a given language. Non-Latino Americans might study Spanish because they hear and see so much of it spoken in their country. But that might be the best reason not to study the language, from a purely economic point of view. A non-native learner of Spanish will have a hard time competing with a fluent native bilingual for a job requiring both languages. Indeed, Mr Saiz found worse returns for Spanish study in states with a larger share of Hispanics. Better to learn a language in high demand, but short supply—one reason, no doubt, ambitious American parents are steering their children towards Mandarin. The drop-off in recent years in the American study of German might be another reason for young people to hit the Bücher.

Back to the salt mines, I go!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Speaking of Paul VI and surprising comforts…

I just saw the following quotation on another forum–it is solid gold!

“4. In making this profession, we are aware of the disquiet which agitates certain modern quarters with regard to the faith. They do not escape the influence of a world being profoundly changed, in which so many certainties are being disputed or discussed. We see even Catholics allowing themselves to be seized by a kind of passion for change and novelty. The Church, most assuredly, has always the duty to carry on the effort to study more deeply and to present, in a manner ever better adapted to successive generations, the unfathomable mysteries of God, rich for all in fruits of salvation. But at the same time the greatest care must be taken, while fulfilling the indispensable duty of research, to do no injury to the teachings of Christian doctrine. For that would be to give rise, as is unfortunately seen in these days, to disturbance and perplexity in many faithful souls.”

– Paul VI, Credo of the People of God, 30 June 1968

All I will note is, this was penned in early/mid 1968, and a young man named Bergoglio was ordained as a post-conciliar Jesuit in late 1969.

Dry cough.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

A new spirit for a new world?

The following is a Google translation of the Italian text of Paul VI’s 2 July 1969 General Audience. I saw portions of it in (proper) English cited as proof of Paul VI’s quasi-Modernist recklessness, but I think the text is more balanced than that, as a whole.

I wish my Italian were good enough to translate this properly, as it does not (any longer?) appear to be available online. It is a balanced statement, by and large, yet I think you’ll see how the Teilhardian naivete of the whole thing captures so many of the myopic trends which the Fathers of Vatican II ratified, even if only by a benign neglect of the Council’s own documents and their own divine duty.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

The novelties will continue until morale improves…

At what point can we officially write off the entire German-speaking Church?

Switzerland: “Very constructive dialogue” between bishops and the wives of priests

The president of the Swiss Bishops Conference spoke for the first time in years with the wives of Catholic priests. The meeting took place on Monday in Fribourg and proceeded in a “pleasant, amiable atmosphere,” a spokeswoman for the Association of Women Affected by Celibacy [Ahem!] (aka “Zöfra”) told the press agency Kipa. Simon Spengler, spokesman for the Swiss Bishops Conference, told us that the meeting was brought about by Zöfra and proceeded positively.

“They sought out and asked the bishops to receive them in a deep discussion, which has in fact now taken place. In years past there were encounters at times, but more recently, for various reasons, contact had been broken off. There were grievances on both sides, and now, thanks to the initiative of Zöfra, the dialogue is underway again.”

The encounter was not arranged for the entire Swiss Bishops Conference, but with its executive committee. Among those present on the bishops’ side were the chair Markus Büchel, vice-chair Charles Morerod, as well as the auxiliary bishop of Basel, Denis Theurillat. Büchel invited the Zöfra delegation so that they could “submit their concerns directly to the bishops,” Spengler stated.

“That resonated very positively with Zöfra and it led to a very constructive discussion between the Zöfra representatives and the bishops’ executive committee.”

This was the first discussion with Zöfra since 1997. The outcome of this week’s encounter will be discussed at the next plenary session of the Bishops Conference, added Spengler. The Association of the Wives of Catholic Priests [Ahem!] brought various requests before the bishops’ conference.

“For example, they wanted a permanent correspondent [aka an "Inside Man"] at the bishops’ conference, instead of always having to speak with individual bishops. The conference must deliberate whether or not it can satisfy this wish. In any case it was decided that contact would be maintained. The most important thing is that a clear signal was sent to the Zöfra representatives that the bishops take their pleas seriously.”

In addition Zöfra asked that bishops would do away with some restrictions involved in laicizing priests living in a relationship with a woman, leaving more pastoral care to laicized priests. One thing not discussed at the meeting, Spengler said, was a general discussion of doing away with priestly celibacy.

“That wasn’t the case. It had to do with concrete cases, such as how to help a priest who lives in a situation out of conformity with the Church, that is, one who in fact lives with a woman and is torn in two directions. That holds for the partner as well as for the community, so that all interests are recognized and the man can stand without fear before the bishops in light of his situation.”

Gabriella Loser Friedli, spokeswoman for Zöfra, said that, as far she knows, such a meeting was “a first for the world.” As a rule, bishops do not respond to letters from organizations with the same focus.

(rv/kipa 17.07.2014 mg)

if you give a mouse a cookie

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Kaleidoscopic Katholicism…

A kaleidoscopic concatenation of current collocations from our cabal of clever Keystone Clerics…

“This soteriological emergency requires, as a first urgent measure, that all would-be converts be welcomed and protected. These measures, however, will not be sufficient, unless they are accompanied by policies that inform people about the dangers of wandering outside the Church and, above all, that promote repentance in their countries of origin.” (unsource)

“You know you don’t need, you don’t need to be in the USA, you are part of the USA, you don’t physically need to be in it, inside it you know to be part of America’s family like.” (unsource)

“I’m not interested in bringing immigrants to America. I want people to find dignity in their own community. There are so many issues we will never agree on. Let’s not spend our time on those. Rather, let’s be about showing the universal kingship of man.” (unsource)

[UPDATED:] “I’m really not expecting any of you to admit immigrants to the USA. Please understand that’s not what the Church is about. What we’re talking about is a unified position to go before the world and say we are proclaiming world peace as the only hope of salvation.” (unsource)

My problem is that I keep trying to stop my head from spinning, but if you just let it go, it all makes sense.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

It made me chuckle loudly…

Chaugh? Laughle? COL?

Anyway, being married to an AAAAAASIAN makes me partial to these kind of gags.


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment