Happy, happy news

SSPX excommunications lifted:

“The decree in which Benedict XVI decided to cancel the excommunication of the four new Bishops consecrated by Archbishop Lefebvre in 1988 will be made public in the next few days. Now, other than the four (Bernard Fellay, Alfonso de Gallareta [sic – Galarreta], [Bernard] Tissier de Mallerais, and Richard Williamson), Lefebvre himself and the Brazilian Bishop [Antonio] de Castro Mayer who participateed at the ceremony, had been excommunicated.

In that occasion, after having been near reconciling with the Holy See (and after having dealt with then-Cardinal Ratzinger and having signed a protocol of intentions), Archbishop Lefebvre abruptly decided for the rupture and, by consecrating four of his young priests Bishops, accomplished a schismatic act [sic], justified by him due to the necessity of allowing his Fraternity of Saint Pius X to survive. Now, with a truly magnanimous gesture, receiving the request proposed by Fellay, Benedict XVI has decided to remove the excommunication. An excommunication which, it should be noticed, has always and exclusively applied only to the consecrating Bishops (Lefebvre and de Castro Mayer, both deceased for a long time) and the four consecrated Bishops, but not the Lefebvrist [sic] priests or the faithful.”

King Louis XVI

Speaking of monarchy, today marks the anniversary of the regicide of King Louis XVI of France, arguably the most symbolically devastating event of the modern age launching Christendom’s long slide into oblivion. Andrew Cusack does us the courtesy of posting his last will and testament, which is so beautiful and Catholic that I am reproducing it here.

In the name of the Very holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

To-day, the 25th day of December, 1792, I, Louis XVI King of France, being for more than four months imprisoned with my family in the tower of the Temple at Paris, by those who were my subjects, and deprived of all communication whatsoever, even with my family, since the eleventh instant; moreover, involved in a trial the end of which it is impossible to foresee, on account of the passions of men, and for which one can find neither pretext nor means in any existing law, and having no other witnesses, for my thoughts than God to whom I can address myself, I hereby declare, in His presence, my last wishes and feelings.

I leave my soul to God, my creator; I pray Him to receive it in His mercy, not to judge it according to its merits but according to those of Our Lord Jesus Christ who has offered Himself as a sacrifice to God His Father for us other men, no matter how hardened, and for me first.

I die in communion with our Holy Mother, the Catholic, Apostolic, Roman Church, which holds authority by an uninterrupted succession, from St. Peter, to whom Jesus Christ entrusted it; I believe firmly and I confess all that is contained in the creed and the commandments of God and the Church, the sacraments and the mysteries, those which the Catholic Church teaches and has always taught. I never pretend to set myself up as a judge of the various way of expounding the dogma which rend the church of Jesus Christ, but I agree and will always agree, if God grant me life the decisions which the ecclesiastical superiors of the Holy Catholic Church give and will always give, in conformity with the disciplines which the Church has followed since Jesus Christ.

I pity with all my heart our brothers who may be in error but I do not claim to judge them, and I do not love them less in Christ, as our Christian charity teaches us, and I pray to God to pardon all my sins. I have sought scrupulously to know them, to detest them and to humiliate myself in His presence. Not being able to obtain the ministration of a Catholic priest, I pray God to receive the confession which I feel in having put my name (although this was against my will) to acts which might be contrary to the discipline and the belief of the Catholic church, to which I have always remained sincerely attached. I pray God to receive my firm resolution, if He grants me life, to have the ministrations of a Catholic priest, as soon as I can, in order to confess my sins and to receive the sacrament of penance.

I beg all those whom I might have offended inadvertently (for I do not recall having knowingly offended any one), or those whom I may have given bad examples or scandals, to pardon the evil which they believe I could have done them.

I beseech those who have the kindness to join their prayers to mine, to obtain pardon from God for my sins.

I pardon with all my heart those who made themselves my enemies, without my have given them any cause, and I pray God to pardon them, as well as those who, through false or misunderstood zeal, did me much harm.

I commend to God my wife and my children, my sister, my aunts, my brothers, and all those who are attached to me by ties of blood or by whatever other means. I pray God particularly to cast eyes of compassion upon my wife, my children, and my sister, who suffered with me for so long a time, to sustain them with His mercy if they shall lose me, and as long as they remain in his mortal world.

I commend my children to my wife; I have never doubted her maternal tenderness for them. I enjoin her above all to make them good Christians and honest individuals; to make them view the grandeurs of this world (if they are condemned to experience them) as very dangerous and transient goods, and turn their attention towards the one solid and enduring glory, eternity. I beseech my sister to kindly continue her tenderness for my children and to take the place of a mother, should they have the misfortune of losing theirs.

I beg my wife to forgive all the pain which she suffered for me, and the sorrows which I may have caused her in the course of our union; and she may feel sure that I hold nothing against her, if she has anything with which to reproach herself.

I most warmly enjoin my children that, after what they owe to God, which should come first, they should remain forever united among themselves, submissive and obedient to their mother, and grateful for all the care and trouble which she has taken with them, as well as in memory of me. I beg them to regard my sister as their second mother.

I exhort my son, should he have the misfortune of becoming king, to remember he owes himself wholly to the happiness of his fellow citizens; that he should forget all hates and all grudges, particularly those connected with the misfortunes and sorrows which I am experiencing; that he can make the people happy only by ruling according to laws: but at the same time to remember that a king cannot make himself respected and do the good that is in his heart unless he has the necessary authority, and that otherwise, being tangled up in his activities and not inspiring respect, he is more harmful than useful.

I exhort my son to care for all the persons who are attached to me, as much as his circumstances will allow, to remember that it is a sacred debt which I have contracted towards the children and relatives of those who have perished for me and also those who are wretched for my sake. I know that there are many persons, among those who were near me, who did not conduct themselves towards me as they should have and who have even shown ingratitude, but I pardon them (often in moments of trouble and turmoil one is not master of oneself), and I beg my son that, if he finds an occasion, he should think only of their misfortunes.

I should have wanted here to show my gratitude to those who have given me a true and disinterested affection; if, on the one hand, I was keenly hurt by the ingratitude and disloyalty of those to whom I have always shown kindness, as well as to their relatives and friends, on the other hand I have had the consolation of seeing the affection and voluntary interest which many persons have shown me. I beg them to receive my thanks.

In the situation in which matters still are, I fear to compromise them if I should speak more explicitly, but I especially enjoin my son to seek occasion to recognize them.

I should, nevertheless, consider it a calumny on the nation if I did not openly recommend to my son MM. De Chamilly and Hue, whose genuine attachment for me led them to imprison themselves with me in this sad abode. I also recommend Clery, for whose attentiveness I have nothing but praise ever since he has been with me. Since it is he who has remained with me until the end, I beg the gentlemen of the commune to hand over to him my clothes, my books, my watch, my purse, and all other small effects which have been deposited with the council of the commune.

I pardon again very readily those who guard me, the ill treatment and the vexations which they thought it necessary to impose upon me. I found a few sensitive and compassionate souls among them – may they in their hearts enjoy the tranquillity which their way of thinking gives them.

I beg MM. De Malesherbes, Tronchet and De Seze to receive all my thanks and the expressions of my feelings for all the cares and troubles they took for me.

I finish by declaring before God, and ready to appear before Him, that I do not reproach myself with any of the crimes with which I am charged.

Made in duplicate in the Tower of the Temple, the 25th of December 1792.

Facebook update

Facebook is turning out to have some surprising benefits. It’s still on probation, because there are definitely negatives – but I think I’m getting those under control. We shall see.

I get a lot of “friends” requests, mostly from people I don’t know. After a few early mistakes, I have decided not to approve those. If you are a reader of this blog and want to be FB “friends” – but you are not a frequent commenter or someone I have corresponded with – please include a note of some kind.

Welcome to California’s Appalachia

So says one commenter to this story about a Catholic priest in Modesto who told Obama-voting parishioners that they needed to go to confession before receiving communion.

“California’s Appalachia”. That isn’t the first time I have seen California’s central valley – which produces 25% of the nation’s food, by the way – as “California’s Appalachia”. I don’t know much about Appalachia, but considering the sources, I’m going to start taking that as a compliment.

Rocky Top

Our little string band thus far consists of two families: the Culbreaths, and the McDs (ab.). The McDs live on a fairly remote homestead in the Sierra foothills near Bangor, California, in a place known by the locals as “Freedom Hill”. In considering a new name for the band, we wanted something that didn’t automatically scream BLUEGRASS so that the kids might perform classical music under the same name. Freedom Hill was a perfect fit.

Freedom Hill’s latest project is the bluegrass song “Rocky Top”. They’re not quite ready to play this one in public, but they’re getting close! “Rocky Top” is a song about a real place in Tennessee, though I haven’t been able to determine whether anyone actually lives there. The Osborne Brothers first recorded the song in 1967.

Remembering Burl Ives

What’s wrong with the world today? What’s wrong is that they don’t make music like this anymore. Or if they do, no one is listening. Burl Ives is an American folk legend – once a genuine hobo – and is distinguished among his contemporaries for cooperating with the House UnAmerican Activities Committee in exposing communists in the entertainment industry.

A Little Bitty Tear

Call Me Mr. In-Between

Funny Way of Laughing

Big Rock Candy Mountain

Mary Ann Regrets

Could you work for this company?

Pop quiz! Identify the warning bells in this company overview:

“And we would like to talk to a very specific person. We would like to talk to you. We would like to talk to you because you see it all. You do not let the tunnel vision of tradition and convention prevent you from making the world a better place. You are bigger than that. You know that there is someplace else for you, someplace where you will be challenged to exceed your potential, where you will be recognized and rewarded for your contributions, someplace where your creativity can emerge. You are not willing to settle for a small life. And though you might not know it yet, you are not willing to settle for anything less than the expanded and amplified world of Daiichi Sankyo.”

Thursday afternoon

Great news from St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Chico! Beginning in February, the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite will be celebrated at 10:30am every Sunday. Until now the Latin Mass has been held at 2:30pm, a highly inconvenient time for many, ensuring that only a few of us hardcore traditionalists would normally attend. The new morning Mass time is an important milestone for several reasons: 1) other Catholics will find it much easier to attend; 2) our community will feel less marginalized; 3) the culture of the Latin Mass will more easily influence the life of the parish; and 4) God willing, with an increase in attendance, we should be able to celebrate a missa cantata more frequently.


Yesterday, I was looking up a business contact on a search engine. The only link that turned up was a “Facebook” site. So, naturally, I clicked on the link and tried to view the page. But in order to view this page I had to register with Facebook. I followed all the promptings, answered the questions, and in a few minutes, as it turned out, I had set up a Facebook page of my own. Somehow Facebook must be integrated with Google. Facebook appears to have gone through my e-mail box and found everyone I have ever corresponded with who has a Facebook site. In the registration process I think I was asked if these people were my “friends”, and of course I answered “yes”.  As it turns out, these poor souls were automatically sent an e-mail in which I asked to become one of their Facebook “friends”. And of course, friends being what they are, many graciously added me to their list of “friends”. As of this writing I have received 53 e-mails from Facebook since 4:17pm yesterday afternoon. Mary-Eileen of Tea at Trianon, ever the perfect hostess, was the first to welcome me. After that, the avalanche. Have you ever discovered that all of your friends threw a party but no one invited you? I had no idea this Facebook party was going on. The entire Catholic blogosphere is evidently on Facebook. Wow! I always thought Facebook was just for teens and rock musicans, like MySpace or something. But, no hard feelings, OK? Although I’m beginning to get the hang of it, I doubt I’ll be able to keep up with it.


The national debt is now just under $11 trillion. The inaugural festivities on January 20 are predicted to cost around $50 million, the most expensive inauguration ever – a combination of $15 million in federal money and some $35 million in private sources. If I understand the news correctly, this does not include the estimated cost of $75 million to the city of Washington, D.C. and $12 million to the state of Maryland, to pay for security and public services. I do realize that $100 million is just another tiny drop in the $11 trillion bucket, but this is sheer recklessness. Every day the news is more grim. Today, we learn that Gottschalks just filed for bankruptcy – another casualty in the retail bloodbath of 2008-2009. The state of California is shutting down two days per month. Etc., etc. – I don’t need to rehash the news for you. It seems to me that if a president were really serious about getting us out of this mess, he wouldn’t be tossing around casual millions like so much confetti.


Here in Glenn County, a 17 year old mother has been charged with willful cruelty to a child – her unborn child. The mother was found to be using methamphetamine in the last stages of her pregnancy. Thank God our local officials still have the courage to call an unborn child an unborn child, and to prosecute when it’s rights are violated. Next, I want to see charges filed against the abortion mills in Chico.


Feminism and the sexual revolution continue to devastate lives and corrupt the culture: sexually transmitted disease rates are soaring. Unsurprisingly, the experts are clueless and recommend the promiscuity-inducing use of condoms as a solution. Also unsurprisingly, homosexual behavior accounts directly for 65% of new syphillis cases in the last eight years.