Western Standard

The Shotgun Blog

« The symbiosis of bureaucrats and strippers | Main | 110,000 abortions per year in Canada »

Thursday, May 17, 2007

This just in: Benedict XVI is Catholic!

Enroute to Brazil, Benedict XVI was asked whether or not he supported the bishops of Mexico's refusing communion to elected officials who support abortion.  Benedict's pointing out that this is consistent Canon Law touched off "a firestorm" of controversy.  The Mexican legislators had voted to make abortion legal (HT:  Paul Tuns).

The "firestorm" has even singed the Canadian body politic, with Christina Blizzard's congratulating Premier Dalton McGuinty's response to Benedict's upholding Canon Law, here:

"I have a different constituency than does the Pope," McGuinty said when asked in a scrum about the Pope's statement last week.

"I am responsible for representing all kinds of people from all kinds of different backgrounds, different faiths, different cultures, different traditions," he said.

Absolutely. And in a multi-faith, multicultural province such as this, the very notion that a politician should have to check with the Vatican before making a pronouncement is scary.

And the Pope's threat -- and that's just what it is -- means that Catholics in this country would have to excuse themselves from public life. While we don't have the same separation of church and state that there is in the U.S. Constitution, it is a fairly well established tradition here that the church does not meddle in the politics of the nation. Well, it doesn't meddle much.

It is, frankly, shocking, the Pope would make such a provocative statement in this day and age.

What place does a medieval organization like the Vatican have in a modern multicultural society? What the Pope is actually proposing is that politicians be elected along religious rather than political lines. And that's pure poppycock.

A Catholic politician may not personally support abortion for themselves or their family. But you can't impose that view on public policy, which affects people of all faiths.

What's next? Will the Pope also excommunicate Catholic politicians in jurisdictions that allow gay marriage?

Now, I'm not Catholic, er, "Roman Catholic," as we Protestants are wont to say.  But it strikes me that Blizzard is criticizing Benedict XVI for daring to insist that Catholic politicians be, well, "Catholic."  That they act according to Canon Law if they are to avoid disqualifying themselves under Canon Law from receiving communion.

But let's push Mr. McGuinty's analysis which Ms. Blizzard has so blithely adopted as her own . . . (For more of "This just in," go to Burkean Canuck, here).

Posted by Russ Kuykendall on May 17, 2007 | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference This just in: Benedict XVI is Catholic!:


Speaking as an atheist, I have noticed this same phenomenon before and it baffles me.

Is the pope Catholic? Does a bear sh*t in the woods?


Only a moron or a dishonest ideologue would protest otherwise!

Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2007-05-17 6:54:06 PM

Hey Dalton
"And the Pope's threat -- and that's just what it is -- means that Catholics in this country would have to excuse themselves from public life. While we don't have the same separation of church and state that there is in the U.S. Constitution, it is a fairly well established tradition here that the church does not meddle in the politics of the nation. Well, it doesn't meddle much."

The US constitution never mentions "separation of church and state"

Additionally, it is YOU who are infecting the state into the traditions of the state. Note that the church doesn't approve of abortion but is not telling the Ontario gov't what to do. It is instead dictating to its own members of the church.

Dalton, you are an ideologue. Not a very good one, either.

Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2007-05-17 6:58:56 PM

"means that Catholics in this country would have to excuse themselves from public life."

No, you fool. It means that pro-child killing abortion supporters who claim that they are Catholics in this country would have to excuse themselves from public life.

Posted by: obc | 2007-05-17 7:08:10 PM

"By and large, fascist and communist totalitarianisms are step-children of the Enlightenment and Modernity."

If that's truly rhe case Mr. K. theh why VII.

"From Nostra Ætate[1]:

"True, the Jewish authorities and those who followed their lead pressed for the death of Christ; still, what happened in His passion cannot be charged against all the Jews, without distinction, then alive, nor against the Jews of today. Although the Church is the new people of God, the Jews should not be presented as rejected or accursed by God, as if this followed from the Holy Scriptures. All should see to it, then, that in catechetical work or in the preaching of the word of God they do not teach anything that does not conform to the truth of the Gospel and the spirit of Christ. Furthermore, in her rejection of every persecution against any man, the Church, mindful of the patrimony she shares with the Jews and moved not by political reasons but by the Gospel's spiritual love, decries hatred, persecutions, displays of anti-Semitism, directed against Jews at any time and by anyone."

But this is untrue. Christ rejected all who did not believe in him.

The Heresies of Benedict XVI


Posted by: DJ | 2007-05-17 7:41:51 PM


Sometimes you scare me!

Posted by: obc | 2007-05-17 7:44:43 PM

McGuinty Dalton looks to me like a Dalton brother (lucky luke).

Abortion is simply murder. People who support murder will pay the price when they go and see God. And this day will happen for eveyone of us.

Because man is like a flower. It has a very short time on this earth.

Posted by: Rémi Houle | 2007-05-17 8:05:26 PM

I think Bishop Wingle says it best at:


Why can't they find any journalists who have read a book?

Canada has MORE separation of Church and State, particularly the kind Blizzard means, as it was deliberately made so at the time of Confederation (In fear of the Catholics!!)

No one is forcing McGuinty to claim he is Catholic (which obviously HE IS NOT!) In true Grit style, he PRETENDS to be Catholic, to garner votes. I don't think its working quite as well these days, as pretty much everyone is well over believing the Grits are the party that'cares', and in spite of thirty yrs of dismal catechesis, the Church in Canada is starting to know itself better. The more faithful Catholics are the better educated (in the faith) . That leaves McGuinty with the liars and the ignorant.

Posted by: lwestin | 2007-05-17 9:47:34 PM


Why? If it is true, that the genocide that swept Europe is a product of some pagano-syncretist aberration, then why does the Catholic Church move to this ecumenism? If you read Mein Kampf and some of Adolph's speeches, it's clear, at least in his mind, that he is doing the work of the Almighty. He proclaims his Christian belief. The Catholic Church disavows this, so why the guilt? Why the rush to replace Christ with Man as the centre of the Church? Clearly they feel enormous guilt. It does not make sense.

VII thus takes the authority out of the Church. Thus from Roncalli, the Righteous Gentile, to JPII and now Ratzenberger, all men whose outlook was shaped by the European genocide, are viewed as the Anti-Christ by pre-VII Catholics because of their ecumenical view. And this view can only be asserted if they deny Christ. They, of course, say they don't deny Christ, but they must if they believe VII.

The result being the above position by McGuinty.

Posted by: DJ | 2007-05-17 9:56:49 PM

I apologize...wrong link. Here's the McGuinty reference...


Posted by: lwestin | 2007-05-17 9:58:01 PM


You need to read more directly the writings of the Popes. If you can't tell from their writings that a) they put Christ clearly at the center, and also warn the Church not to get distracted, and b) they admonish against the heresy of syncretism, and teach the true meaning of ecumenism- that the CHurch is re-united as one, by everyone coming home to CHrist's CHurch - then you might be a 'pick -and-choose' the worst kind of Catholic- just like McGuinty.

Posted by: lwestin | 2007-05-17 10:07:31 PM


I'm not a Catholic, but show me how me how you can believe, logically, in Christ, yet also believe "the Jews [or Hindus, Muslims or Animists etc.] should not be presented as rejected or accursed by God."

All these other groups don't believe Christ is God, ipso facto, they must be rejected by Christ. It's entirely illogical.

Posted by: DJ | 2007-05-17 10:27:50 PM


Christ invites, but does not insist, since he understands human nature.

He also acknowledges people have free will and through that free will make their choices.

Christ does not reject the world (realms of God and Caesar), it is the world that rejects him.

The earth had been the domain of satan at the time. That's proven quite explicitly when satan offers Christ power over the earth and explicity says it is his to offer.

Through his death and resurrection, Christ trampled down (spiritual)death (offered by satan) to humanity by death.

Humanity is quite free to follow satan and, in most cases, does believe it it is above natural laws and the natural order. That is the sin of pride, a disobedience to those rules, through which satan was first expelled.

Any other questions?

Posted by: set you free | 2007-05-17 10:45:26 PM


1 Corinthians 3 :18&19
Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a "fool" so that he may become wise. 19For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God's sight.

They have rejected Him, (or don't know Him). This is not the same as Christ rejecting them. Free will. We choose to love God, freely. He does not reject us. A Catholic prays for the souls of the departed, because he knows God's mercy is not limited by our understanding or the constraints of time, therefore there is hope that each will be saved (even if we can't figure out why or how).

Posted by: lwestin | 2007-05-17 10:46:42 PM

Matthew 10:33- “But he that shall deny me before men, I will also deny before my Father who is in heaven.”

"Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, Bull Cantate Domino, 1442, ex cathedra: “…the holy Roman Church, founded on the words of our Lord and Savior, firmly believes, professes and preaches one true God, almighty, immutable and eternal, Father, Son and Holy Spirit… Therefore it [the Holy Roman Church] condemns, rejects, anathematizes and declares to be outside the Body of Christ, which is the Church, whoever holds opposing or contrary views.”2"

Posted by: DJ | 2007-05-17 10:56:00 PM


I guess the point you are trying to make is that, according to the Bible, only God has the power and authority to judge those who move away and how far away they move from his perfection.

I happen to agree that no human can judge what is in another person's heart.

For example, a bank robber may not want to be a bank robber because he knows in his heart it is a morally wrong thing to do. Yet, despite his best intentions, he continues to rob banks (or cheat on his wife or whatever).

That would be an example of a person who is struggling as opposed to a person who does not have any type of moral compass that can distinguish between right and wrong.

The average human being cannot make that distinction. After all, both are bank robbers, right?

Yet, the truth can only be lived out and tested in the Church.

That is why it is important that the Church resist the temptation of judging those who do not accept Christ's invitation.

And, the Inquisition (if that's what you're referring to) is a natural oucome of Rome's self-declaration of its primacy over Christendom despite the existence of the Pentarchy, of which Rome was one of five ancient geographical capitals.

Any more questions?

Posted by: Set you free | 2007-05-18 12:20:55 AM

Hey, I grew up in what was a nominally RC household, with church doctrine practiced McGuinty style i.e. following that which was convenient. I thought it hypocritical then, I find it hypocritical now. I do not go to church, I do not follow any organized religon.

McGuinty is NOT a RC. Sorry, but how could he be? He has clearly chosen his ambitions (politics) over the church and in doing so, has put his eternal soul in mortal peril. At least that would be the stance of the church.

You CANNOT be a RC and support abortion in any way, shape or form. It is clearly against church teachings. You can't pick and choose the teachings you will follow. A true man of honour, one for whom lying is repugnant and service to the church and God paramount would do the honourale thing and recuse himself from the debate. If that means no public service then so be it.

Or do what I have done and divorce yourself from the church and live a (somewhat!) clean life. There canot be any fence sitting on his Dalton, either you come clean or you're a hypocrite.

Posted by: Hoser | 2007-05-18 5:14:16 AM

The Pope is correct regarding the Roman Catholics no to abortion also marriage is exclusively intended for heterosexual couples. Christina Blizzard has it wrong informing the church should stay out of politics. Seperation of state and church meant to keep the state out of the church not the other way around.

Posted by: Larry | 2007-05-18 5:24:38 AM

The real point is Premier Dalton the Dolt, is running scared shitless because his government will soon be replaced by Tory and his Tories -or maybe even the Socialist Horde. Premier Dalton the Dolt is having major problems within his caucus. His Liberal Government is in fact, the most inept in the past
fifty years and a blight on Ontario's once vibrant economy - Don't think the Pope and his associates
will pay any attention to Dalton the Dolt. Maybe Dalton should join the more or less United Church of Canada -the haven for the socially unacceptable and the more or less Socialist Horde. Macleod

Posted by: Jack MacLeod | 2007-05-18 8:17:06 AM

They have nice tv ads....maybe they can help him with his image. They can't do worse for him than Blizzard has!

Posted by: lwestin | 2007-05-18 8:21:10 AM


I would submit that Premier Dalton is overseeing the dying days of a vast social experiment which cannont be supported by its economic base.

In case you hadn't noticed, the Canadian dollar is now nearly 92 cents US.

The Canbuck is now a Petro Dollar, since most of the country's wealth is being created in the oilpatch.

That scuttles decades of Liberal rule at the federal level, whose policies kept the dollar deliberately low to give central Canada an advantage while exporting goods to the US. At one time, not so long ago, the Canbuck was 65 cents US.

Manufacturing plants are shutting down in Ontario and Quebec.

Just watch Question Period and listen to the desparation of the central Canadian politicians who cannot understand that the economic sands are shifting right under their feet.

There's only one self-sustaining economy left in Canada and that's in Alberta.

Watch for increased migration with the Alberta/BC/Saskatchewan population surpassing that of Canada's former economic heartland by the end of next decade.

Meanwhile, hard-working Ontarians and Quebeckers will have long moved out of their provinces, leaving a smaller population to take care of the victim classes the politicians created.

It truly will be a sad spectacle when western Canada declares independence and cuts off the fundings.

Of course, anybody who would like to share in western Canada's prosperity will be unable just to sit back and wait for their cheque to arrive in the mail.

They'll have to get their share of the wealth the same way Albertans do today ... by working for it.

Posted by: Set you free | 2007-05-18 8:37:59 AM

Agreed SYF - we see the Province of Alberta as the next site for major aerospace and technology investment in Canada -maybe Ezra and associates could consider communicating with Israel Aerospace Industries which is considering expansion in North America -IAI are world leaders in Aerospace Electronics and airframe conversions, plus unmaned
airborne vehicles - Quebec was the leader in attracting aerospace and technology investment but
their Language policies are not acceptable to many potential investors -nice place to visit, but would not want to live there -MacLeod

Posted by: Jack MacLeod | 2007-05-18 8:52:22 AM

"I guess the point you are trying to make is that, according to the Bible, only God has the power and authority to judge those who move away and how far away they move from his perfection.

I happen to agree that no human can judge what is in another person's heart.

The average human being cannot make that distinction. After all, both are bank robbers, right?

Yet, the truth can only be lived out and tested in the Church."
Posted by: Set you free | 18-May-07 12:20:55 AM


2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?
3 Know ye not that we shall JUDGE ANGELS? how much more things that pertain to this life?
4 If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.

11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.
12 For what have I to do to JUDGE them also that are without? do not ye JUDGE them that are within?
13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.

DJ, you waste time quoting scripture to Catholics.
They are Bible illiterates who, having a small acorn, imagine they possess an entire pine tree.
Catholics view the scripture through the cracked prism of their tradition rather than judge their tradition through the perfect lens of scripture.

Catholics are incapable of learning from the Bible as it holds only a minor place in their religion. That minor place is to give their religion a veneer of Christianity.

It was not so long ago that Catholics did indeed judge everyone. The Crusades and Inquisitions that they launched killed millions. In 1641 the Irish Catholics rose up at the order of their Pope and murdered 250,000+ Irish Protestants in a single year, yet no Pope has ever visited Ireland or told them to halt their killings.

Catholics have only come to their recent position of apparent sweetness and light since the Anglo Protestant nations obtained overwhelming military might.

Posted by: Speller | 2007-05-18 8:57:17 AM


Bring it on!

You're correct about Quebec ... what CEO in their right mind would want to invest there.

That economy is largely based on the boring threat to separate and the idiotic politicians' compliance in thievery from hard-working Canadians.

Can't survive for long. Too bad. So sad.

Posted by: Set you free | 2007-05-18 8:58:45 AM


Your analysis about the west is quite accurate but it could still be derailed with a Liberal majority. That is not something I think is going to happen anytime soon, but a few more Harper minority governments are probably in order. Only a Harper majority will give the west the breathing room it needs.

A Harper majority would extend beyond 2011 which is the date for the next census that affects the number of seats in Parliament. Based upon the current AB/BC growth rates, I think that census will adjust the number of seats to give a second Harper majority. It would be nice at that time to mandate a census every four years instead of every ten, get rid of the mandatory 75 seats in QB and get rid of the mandatory 4 seats in PEI. Representation by population - what a new concept for Eastern Canada.

This all hinges upon a Harper majority in the near future.

Posted by: Brent Weston | 2007-05-18 9:43:23 AM


The howling by Quebec politicians has already started in Question Period.

You know ... the Quebec is a nation thing and they're going to be under-represented.

The gov'ts response has been that Quebec is guaranteed 75 seats and it has given notice to increase seats where population increases are occuring ... 10 more to Ontario, seven to B.C. and five to Alberta.

B.C. has long been short-changed on rep by pop concept and has suffered much longer than Alberta, whose population is only recently exploding.

Unfortunately, the only way to equalize the situation is to add more seats.

PEI's population is slightly larger than West Edmonton Mall on a busy day and the guarantee of four MPs for a population of 150,000 when B.C. constituencies are one for 250,000 shows the disparity.

There's still an attitude I hear while watching Question Period from MPs Quebec and east that an MPs job is to bring back benefits to his constituency.

In other words, get the loot and get somebody else to pay for it.

It really is a sad way to run a country.

Posted by: Set you free | 2007-05-18 10:07:50 AM

If Pope Benedict XVI lays down the club rules, then club members should follow the rules or quit the club.(or have their memberships suspended)

I agree with the comments that say that McGuinty, like many Liberals, proclaims to be a Catholic only for the optics it gives his political adventures.

I think, though, that a point should be made that the RC establishment has been consistent with it's message on abortion but inconsistent on it's application of discipline to abortion enabling Catholic politicians.

Posted by: Speller | 2007-05-18 10:27:36 AM


"In other words, get the loot and get somebody else to pay for it."

Someone once said that a democracy can never work because once the voters figure out they can vote themselves a raise, the country will go bankrupt. In fact, democracy can work, but it must be built upon a few principles.

Democracy requires a responsible populace.

Posted by: Brent Weston | 2007-05-18 10:40:58 AM


Yep. That cloak of legitimacy can fool some of the people some of the time.


Start with: ‘Thou shalt not steal', go on to coveting thy neighbour's possessions.

The populace may be morally bankrupt and the politicians are more equal than others in that regard.

Posted by: Set you free | 2007-05-18 10:46:57 AM

"Yep. That cloak of legitimacy can fool some of the people some of the time."
Posted by: Set you free | 18-May-07 10:46:57 AM

Yeah, the veneer of legitimacy fools Catholics all of the time, and people who think they're born Christians, rather than Born Again Christians, are fooled all of the time as well.

More to the topic, U.S. citizens who wanted Pope Benedict XVI subpoenaed for covering up the actions of his paedophile priests in the U.S. are probably questioning certain loyalties. For them, the aroma of coffee is in the air.

The Grand Inquisitor, Benedict XVI, will not be subject to any inquiry.
He merely pontificates.

While the Vatican has, of late, gone against abortion fairly consistently, it makes one wonder why they don't have as much concern for children after they are born.
Maybe the more children there are under the papal banner, the better hunting for the paedophile priests?

Further, as the Vatican is recognized as a country and is a member of the United Nations, all Roman Catholics are dual citizens. Citizens of the Vatican state first, and citizens of the state in which they reside comes second.
Benedict XVI is merely expecting Mr. McGuinty to exercise his allegiance as a citizen of the Vatican first, before his office as Ontario's Premier.

Posted by: Speller | 2007-05-18 3:53:52 PM

"Citizens of the Vatican state first, and citizens of the state in which they reside comes second."

That's nonsense. Catholics are in every civilized country in the world. I've NEVER met any that held that view. John F. Kennedy, when running to become the first Catholic President, explicitly stated that his first allegiance would be to the US Constitution, just as Mitt Romney is saying today in regards to his Mormon faith.

I don't recall Kennedy ever acting in conflict to his oath of office. Can you? Although I can think of a few times when his actions conflicted with his faith.

Posted by: obc | 2007-05-18 4:11:30 PM


I'm not in the mood, but here's a little bit...

a) The bible was written by Catholics. There were no other 'Christians' at the time.

b) The whole liturgy is based on scripture. All the prayers. The Mass.

c)Catholics do not presume to be able to individually interpret the Scripture. They rely on the tradition of interpretation handed down from the PEOPLE WHO WROTE IT.

d) It is true that many Catholics are very poorly educated in their faith, and in scripture. However, most of them at least understand the 'whole' of what Christ bequeathed us is more than just scripture. Especially more than 'Speller's' interpretation of scripture. Christ instituted PERSONALLY the Sacraments, and the Church to help us understand and love God more. Some 'Christians' choose to ignore this, and rely on their own 'pick and choose' version. So be it.
c) Benedict XVl is NOT one of the uneducated.
d) the most honest of evangelical theologians end up Catholic. Many, many examples (including a very prominent one this month, n'est pas?)

That's the extent of my interest in this thread. Not only is today the feast of St. Pope John 1,and Pope John Paul ll's birthday, but also my Peter(husband) and Paul's (son) birthday. I am going to eat brownies and watch my boys play baseball in the very warm Cayman evening air.:)

Posted by: lwestin | 2007-05-18 4:42:22 PM

The Bible was written by Jews. Not the Catholic Church or Catholics, Jews.
( the actual languages where Hebrew, Aramaic, and New Testament Greek, note that none of it was written in Latin)
And if Martin Luther had not given it to men in a living language, not the dead language of Latin which none of the Bible was written in, the Catholic Church would have kept men in the Dark Ages which the Catholic Church itself created.

The Jews who became Christians didn't have a catholic attitude. Many are called but few are chosen. Christianity is exclusive to those who believe only Jesus Christ saves, not Mary the mother of Jesus, Jesus alone. Go on, continue in your Mariolatry. Go ahead, continue in your cult.

Just as the Jews have studied and individually interpreted scriptures, so do the true Christians follow in that Jewish tradition. Proper interpretation is called hermeneutics, you might try it sometime, although I doubt it will do any good since you lack the Holy Spirit.
The Vatican hates what the scripture really tellls true believers. The Catholic Church is the Whore of Revelation masquerading as the Bride of Christ.
(which is why the Roman Catholic Church has such a well recorded history of murdering Jews, among millions of others who cleave to the Word)

That you, lwestin, say Christ instituted the sacraments is hogwash.
While I can't prove a negative, (nobody can but the Catholic Church began with Constantine in the 4th Century and that it traces it's beginning to Peter is a self serving Catholic Myth), surely you can demonstrate some proof of that the Lord wanted men between Him and those He would save even though He came to be the direct advocate between men and the Father?
The Bible sure contains no mention of your RC 'sacraments'.

Have a nice weekend. Don't eat too much credulity pie, I know you prefer it to the humble kind.

"I don't recall Kennedy ever acting in conflict to his oath of office. Can you? Although I can think of a few times when his actions conflicted with his faith."
Posted by: obc | 18-May-07 4:11:30 PM

What, obc, do you make of Kennedy's support of the Catholic Diem in(mainly Buddhist) South Vietnam or his support of the Catholic Castro in Cuba?

Posted by: Speller | 2007-05-18 6:01:46 PM

1. "The Bible was written by Jews"

No. It was written by G-d. It was written down by a Jew - namely, Moses. That is to say, the first 5 books.

2. "What, obc, do you make of Kennedy's support of the Catholic Diem in(mainly Buddhist) South Vietnam or his support of the Catholic Castro in Cuba?"

If memory serves, Diem was assassinated one month before he himself was slain. It was said that JFK approved of his murder.

Again, if memory serves, Kennedy did not support Castro. He was behind the Bay of Pigs fiasco that was meant to overthrow Fidel - although he lost his nerve at the last second and refused air cover to the Cuban exiles. As a result most were killed while the others were captured.

Posted by: obc | 2007-05-18 6:11:16 PM

The Bible was inspired by God and written by Jews. It is the Word of God but not written by Him. The only part that the Bible suggests was written directly by God was the Commandments in Exodus Chapter 20 2-17.

Moses was, in fact, a Jew. Yes, Moses wrote the Pentateuch. All of the 66 books of the Bible were written by Jews with the exception of the Gospel according to Luke. Luke was a Gentile.
None of the books of the Bible was originally written is Latin.
The original languages were Hebrew, Aramaic, and New Testament Greek. I have copies of those original texts in the original languages.

On orders from U.S. President John F. Kennedy, Henry Cabot Lodge, the American ambassador to South Vietnam, refused to meet with Diệm. Upon hearing that a coup d'etat was being designed by ARVN Generals led by General Dương Văn Minh, the United States gave secret assurances to the generals that the U.S. would not interfere.

While Kennedy did sanction Diem's overthrow, he was a supporter from the beginning of his presidency until, as you noted obc, JFK's assassination 20 days later. Kennedy supported Diem until about a month before his own death.

In a country where estimates of the religious composition overwhelming estimated the Buddhist majority to be between 70 and 90%, Diem's policies generated claims of a religious bias. As a member of the Catholic Vietnamese minority, he is widely regarded by historians as having pursued pro-Catholic policies that antagonized many Buddhists. Specifically, the government was regarded as being biased towards Catholics in public servant and military promotions, as well as allocation of land, business favours and tax concessions. Diem also once told a high-ranking officer, forgetting that he was a Buddhist "Put your Catholic officers in sensitive places. They can be trusted." Many officers in the Army of the Republic of Vietnam converted to Catholicism in the belief that their military prospects depended on it. The Catholic church was the largest landowner in the country, and the "private" status that was imposed on Buddhism by the French, which required official permission to conduct public Buddhist activities, were not repealed by Diem. The land owned by the Catholic church was exempt from land reform. Catholics were also de facto exempt from the corvee labor that the government obliged all citizens to perform and distributed US aid disproportionately to Catholic majority villages. Under Diem, the Catholic church enjoyed special exemptions in property acquisition, and in 1959, Diem dedicated his country to the Virgin Mary.

Upon learning of Diem's ouster and death, Ho Chi Minh is reported to have said, "I can scarcely believe the Americans would be so stupid." The North Vietnamese Politburo, was more explicit, predicting: "The consequences of the 1 November coup d'état will be contrary to the calculations of the U.S. imperialists... Diem was one of the strongest individuals resisting the people and Communism. Everything that could be done in an attempt to crush the revolution was carried out by Diem. Diem was one of the most competent lackeys of the U.S. imperialists... Among the anti-Communists in South Vietnam or exiled in other countries, no one has sufficient political assets and abilities to cause others to obey. Therefore, the lackey administration cannot be stabilized. The coup d'état on 1 November 1963 will not be the last."

Kennedy was making peace overtures to Castro just before he was assassinated.
Kennedy prevented the successful execution of Operation Zapata(known as the Bay of Pigs Invasion) by refusing the air support the invasion depended on.

On April 14, 1961, B-26 planes began bombing Cuba's airfields. After the raids Cuba was left with only eight planes and seven pilots. Two days later five merchant ships carrying 1,400 Cuban exiles arrived at the Bay of Pigs.
Why did Kennedy refuse air support two days later?

The failure of Operation Zapata lead directly to the placing of Soviet missiles in Cuba.

Just before Kennedy was assassinated he was seeking accommodation with Castro.

Posted by: Speller | 2007-05-19 9:08:00 AM

Well, we all know you really meant to say except for the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts. :)

Posted by: Brent Weston | 2007-05-19 3:03:15 PM


We all know that what is known today as the Catholic Church is in fact the Church of Rome.

Emperor Constantine acutally set up the Byzantine Empire not in Rome but in modern-day Istanbul.

That city was one of the five cities which were capitals of the ancient Christian Churches, known as the Pentarchy.

Last week's Gospel reading clearly gave the identity of one of the five, Antioch, which is the city where the followers of Jesus first became known as Christians.

The other four are Jersualem, Alexandria (Egypt), Constantinople.

Oh, yeah, almost forgot the last one ... Rome.

As we also all should know, Rome's self-declared primacy over Christendom was viewed as an act of pride by the Popes of the other four Sees.

And, the Protestant movement was a reaction to lack of humility from Rome and its actions which suggested it became more interested in worldly power.

The other four ancient Orthodox Sees, meanwhile, continued to focus on humanity's spiritual development and have not spawned similar abberations which moved even further away from the original tenets as articulated by Christ.

Posted by: set you free | 2007-05-19 3:28:12 PM

Yes, Brent, I missed the Book of Acts written by Luke. mea culpa.

The Roman Emperor Constantine started the Catholic Church in 313 A.D.
Constantine was the first Pope.

Posted by: Speller | 2007-05-19 3:37:07 PM


The Emperor Constantine was headquartered in Byzantium, Constantinople, Istanbul.

According to my maps, that's quite a distance from Rome, where the Catholic Church was one of five branches of the Pentarchy.

Posted by: set you free | 2007-05-19 4:33:43 PM


The Pentarchy consisted of the five ancient patriarchates of the undivided Church of the first millennium of her history, including the Churches of Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem.

These major centers of early Christianity, founded by the apostles, were looked to by their respective regions as leaders in Church life, and eventually their bishops came to be regarded as the primates of their areas. The members of the Pentarchy all participated in some form in the first eight Ecumenical Councils, from 325 to 880. Their relationship with each other, despite various periods of rivalry and dispute, was generally in terms of fraternal equality and conciliarity.

– From Orthodoxwiki.com

Posted by: set you free | 2007-05-19 4:37:05 PM

that should be Orthodoxwiki.org

Posted by: set you free | 2007-05-19 4:40:57 PM

A politician, . . . one that would circumvent God.


Posted by: obc | 2007-05-19 4:48:02 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.