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March/April 2015 Mancipia

The March/April 2015 Mancipia is now posted (scroll down for PDF). Back issues of this newsletter are linked from our downloads page. If you would like to receive our bi-monthly newsletter via U.S. mail, please sign up to get it regularly.   Click here to VIEW full size, DOWNLOAD as PDF file, and/or PRINT. Share, Bookmark, Like: Facebook, Twitter, etc.


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Josef Pieper’s Presentation of Purity and Virtuous Temperance

It is now many years ago that a learned Catholic priest said to me in passing and with modesty during one of our conversations that “in the Old Testament there was always a close connection between impurity and idolatry—as is so today with sexual promiscuity’s link to the ‘cult of man’.” This was indeed “a searchlight insight,” as Hilaire Belloc once called Cardinal Manning’s sudden … More →


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Longfellow and the Faith

And in despair I bowed my head “There is no peace on earth,” I said, “For hate is strong and mocks the song Of peace on earth, good will to men.” Then pealed the bells more loud and deep: “God is not dead, nor doth He sleep; The wrong shall fail, the right prevail With peace on earth, good will to men.” These lines of … More →


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The Cluniac Reform: How Great Catholics Respond to Crisis

There’s no denying that we find ourselves in a wasteland in Church, State, and family today. But let us not, on that account, engage in handwringing and whining. Brother Francis used to call some Catholic writers who majored in this, “professional wailers,” after those Arabs he knew who got paid to set the mood at funeral rites by mourning bombastically. According to Brother, the motto … More →


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“Impostor-Terms” and the Disorder of Expediency: Albert Jay Nock’s Insights on Language and Moral Conduct

In his 1937 collection of perceptive essays, entitled Free Speech and Plain Language, a classically educated master of English prose, Albert Jay Nock (1870-1945), presents many insights about the use and abuse of language which remind us of the ancient Greek historian Thucydides. For, in his The Peloponnesian War (431-404 B.C.), Thucydides also showed a keen attentiveness to the concept and reality of Justice, and … More →


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Two Years of Francis

Two years ago this month Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected pope. I want to talk here about faith and to do so in the context of this anniversary. Before I turn to my subject there are some other things I want to say. The first is that I continue to maintain, as I have done on the SBC website before now, that Pope Francis has done … More →


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The Farsightedness and Omissions of a Professed “Superfluous Man”: The Intellectual Journey of Albert Jay Nock

It is now nearly forty-five years ago that Albert Jay Nock’s intellectual autobiography was first recommended to me by a well-respected and graciously well-mannered “Epicurean Conservative” Professor at the University; and I was at once arrested by its title: The Memoirs of a Superfluous Man (1943). My first question to Professor John Shelton Reed was: “Why was he superfluous?” Soon, with the help of Professor … More →


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Begone Satan! I Will Lay Down My Life in Obedience to My Father

Sunday’s Gospel for the first week of Lent recounts the three temptations of Our Lord near the end of His forty day solitary fast in the desert. He is in the company of “the beasts” (Mark 1:13). The Old Serpent is watching Him. The first two temptations are more easily understood than the third. After forty days without food, Jesus, in His human nature, is … More →


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A Raging Bull in the China Shop

Are some stories too harrowing or too intense to be turned into movies? Well, yes there are. Word comes to us that Shusaku Endo’s novel Silence is being turned into a motion picture. Endo’s story of a priest whose mind and will are all but crushed by a people who refuse to be swayed by the Catholic Faith is a veritable tsunami of despair. It is … More →

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The Fast Path and the Slow Path of Subversion: Roberto de Mattei’s Recent Strategic Insights

To understand how faithful Islam still tries, by faster and slower means, to instil and instal itself in Europe today — and in the secular West in general — will enhance the weakened Cultural Immune System of the Catholic Faith; and also assist our fitting and loyally obliging Strategic and Tactical Resistance to some of Islam’s actual or externally manipulated cultural and religious subversions. For, … More →


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Decline and Fall…and Rise?

When Austria was defeated by Prussia in a war in 1866 and political power and cultural dominance within greater Germany shifted from Vienna to Berlin, the people of Vienna tried to mask their true feeling of loss by acting gaily, but gaiety, like laughter that lasts more than four or five seconds, soon becomes forced. To keep up the appearance of theirs, the Viennese resorted … More →


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Why Saint Benedict Center Insists on a Philosophical ‘Platform’

(The following two articles, written by Larry Koralewski, a long-time student of Brother Francis, will be the first of a number of installments to come, most of which will deal with the Saint Benedict Center courses on Philosophy.) Why Saint Benedict Center Insists on a Philosophical “Platform” Anyone who has read the news knows about political platforms. It is a statement which gives the aims … More →


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Fortitude, Proportion, and Innocence: Discerning Perceptions from Hilaire Belloc’s The Silence of the Sea (1940)

While I was last evening and this morning reading aloud to our six-year-old daughter the full 1836 text of “The Little Mermaid,” by Hans Christian Andersen, I came to think of Hilaire Belloc as well as of Caryll Houselander and their own deep hearts for the Little Children—and for the Sea (like Hans Christian of Odense, Denmark!). And since I have also been re-reading some … More →


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Restoration or Desecration?

On the Feast of All Saints, 1983, I worshipped at Mass in the Sistine Chapel with Pope St. John Paul II on the altar. Msgr. Alfons Stickler, the Austrian-born Vatican Librarian and champion of the Tridentine Mass and of Latin as the language of the Church, was consecrated a bishop at this Mass (St. John Paul made him a cardinal in 1985). After the Mass … More →


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Moi Aussi, Je Ne Suis Pas Charlie

Honore de Balzac, the great nineteenth-century French novelist whose chief work is the series of short stories and novels collectively known as The Human Comedy, wrote that “when the Revolution cut off the head of the King, it cut off the head of every father in France.” Balzac being a Catholic royalist in his politics, his statement is hardly surprising. It is also true. Something … More →

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