Nero was given to fiddling while Rome burned, while we see what seems like a lot of muddling, as the Church faces perhaps her greatest existential crisis, and our own nation of Canada could be a rather dire economic apocalypse.
As Father George Rutler opines in his inimitable way, it seems rather misplaced for the Holy Father to describe our most dire emergency is, yes, plastics in the ocean.
Really? These vast bodies of water, the Atlantic, but most of all the Pacific, are far, far bigger than most of us might imagine, or even can imagine. Yes, there is rubbish therein, most of it placed there by countries that have little concern for the rule of law, including environmental ones, and the most conspicuous violator is China, praised not that long ago with unwitting irony by Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Social Science, for the Communist nation’s exemplary implementation, of all things, of Laudato Si. The good bishop should try taking a dip in the Yangtze, or their one (or is that two?) child policy, draconically enforced.
What is one to make of our political parties, and the charade that parliament has become? Much hay was made the other day of the defection of one Leono Alleslev from the Liberals to the Conservatives (which should not be permitted, for one votes in Canada at least in large part for a Party, not the person). Ho-hum, you might say, but what piqued my interest was an email of the defector some Liberal or other dug up, evidence that Ms. Alleslev was not all that disgruntled with the party for which she was elected, and this may be a calculated move of self-interest. Whatever. Just about every politician, from appearances and behaviour, is motivated by ‘self-interest’.
Rather, what struck me was the remarkable mawkish, emotional, gushy tone of the missive, whose subject line was none other than ‘Canadian Team “Awesomeness”’, and this at a quasi-military meeting on our obligations to NATO. Gone, alas, are the days of hard-nosed, male, or at least masculine, politicians, who really did not give much credence to ‘feelings’, hugs or kisses, but to the business of actually governing and defending a nation against very real aggressors, a nation of which they considered themselves citizens, not of the ‘world’, a term so vague as to defy any accurate description. Read further the aforesaid minister’s follow-up adulatory, fawning comments on the Prime Minister.
I wonder whether people are educated to reason anymore, or are emotion and personal appeal now our governing principles? The more I read of our current politicians, the more my wonder descends into a low, simmering despair.
I wouldn’t mind this so much, if the Liberal Party were not so hell-bent on evil, much of which is and has been done in the name of ‘compassion’ and ‘human rights’. I would think the big Liberal group-hug would end rather quickly if I were to join in and raise the issue of, say, abortion, euthanasia, conscience rights of health workers or even the reality of anthropogenic climate change. Then, oh, then the dictatorial iron fist underneath the fuzzy, emotional, velvet glove would come forth, their tear-ed up eyes turn into a glare, ready to crush such dissenters as myself.
We should keep firmly in mind, as but one historical example, that the Nazis began their own descent into evil with a ‘compassionate’ euthanasia program of the ‘unfit’, and it was but a hop, skip and a jump from there to the ‘final solution’. Not that all that will happen again, and Nazi analogies have their limits, but we must keep our guard up, our intellects clear and sharp, our loins girded, so to speak.
A question: I wonder if the Leader of the Opposition, Andrew Scheer, questioned Ms. Alleslev about her views on these central life issues, before giving her his own warm welcome? Presumably, as a Liberal of a few days ago, she was all-in on the culture of death, as Trudeau has dictated his minions be. Has she changed her mind? Is this what caused her to abandon ship? If not, why accept her as a ‘Conservative’?
And while on wonder, is this is also why the NAFTA negotiations are not going well? The tears and frustration and ‘Canada first’ policies of Krystia Freeland hold not much water with Donald Trump. Does anyone really think Americans, or at least business-savvy ones, want to subsidize Canadians making American cars? Or Quebec farmers trucking milk south of the border? The deadline seems to be tomorrow, or Trump may just unilaterally impose his own tariffs, which bode not well for our economic well-being.
Finally, the Koreans are meeting as I write, and by that I mean the leaders of the North and South, a remarkable event, signifying, we may hope, the end to a long, simmering cold war. I hope also they get down to brass tacks, like discussing Kim Jong-Un’s horrific record on human rights, or lack thereof, and leave the emotionalism aside. Handshakes and hugs, although perhaps a good start, do not a rapprochement make, but real policies, backed up, as Saint Thomas would put it, by force and fear if necessary.
We may pray to Andrew Kim-Taegon and the innumerable Korean martyrs, whose memorial we celebrate today. Father Kim was as clear sighted as they come, walking 300 miles to get to the seminary, assured in his vocation, and writing calmly about his own death just before his martyrdom, as an inevitability of the anti-Christian regime, words that display deep emotion without emotionalism, words with which I will leave you for now:
…as Scripture says, God cares for the least hair of our heads, and indeed he cares with his omniscience; therefore, how can persecution be considered as anything other than the command of God, or his prize, or precisely his punishment?…We are twenty here, and thanks be to God all are still well. If anyone is killed, I beg you not to forget his family. I have many more things to say, but how can I express them with pen and paper? I make an end to this letter. Since we are now close to the struggle, I pray you to walk in faith, so that when you have finally entered into Heaven, we may greet one another. I leave you my kiss of love.