sábado, 31 de enero de 2015

Pope Francis told reporters that Catholics don't have to be 'like rabbits'

It’s hard not to take the Pope’s remarks
about big families personally

by Francis Phillips

I confess that when I first heard on the news that Pope Francis, during an in-flight press conference on his way back to Rome from his journey to the Philippines, had stated that good Catholics are not required “to be like rabbits”, I groaned. What would the secular press do with this remark this time, I wondered? How much explaining away would Fr Federico Lombardi, the Pope’s hapless press secretary, have to do now, as he has done on so many occasions? Why couldn’t the Holy Father just have a quiet snooze on aeroplanes, rather than talk off the cuff as he is wont to do? Why do the media always have to misinterpret and distort what he says? And so on.

After all, we Catholics know that Church teaching on birth control, as prophetically stated by Blessed Paul VI in his encyclical Humanae Vitae of 1968 is not going to change. Further, we don’t want the teaching to change, however difficult it might sometimes be in practice. That’s why we are members of the Church: not to obey the Pope like robots, as people used to tactlessly suggest to me when they saw me out with my own large family in the past, but because – among other things – we believe that the ordinary magisterial teachings of the Church are the wise and beautiful teachings of Christ, her founder. Indeed, Pope Francis praised Paul VI’s encyclical during the same press conference and reaffirmed the Church’s rejection of population control programmes as “ideological colonisation” – meaning that poor Third-World populations are constantly pressured by the rich West to control their fertility in ways that are contrary to their traditions and their human dignity.

But while I knew exactly what Pope Francis was actually saying, I still groaned. That unfortunate phrase – his own homely idiom, no doubt – was used by feminists with derision against Catholics during the long and heroic campaign in the 1980s of the courageous Victoria Gillick, the mother of ten children, to stop contraceptives being prescribed to under-age girls without parental consent. Those people who read and listen to the secular press and who already have their own prejudices against Church teaching, will remember and repeat the word “rabbits” like a mantra, while we Catholics will sigh and point out as patiently as possible that that the Church has always taught “responsible parenthood” – and indeed, the Pope mentioned this too, during that hour-long meeting with reporters on his flight home.

What the Holy Father implied was that “responsible parenthood” is what matters, not specific family size. This will be different in each family and with each couple; while the use of artificial contraceptives is intrinsically life-denying it can also be irresponsible to have children thoughtlessly, without regard to issues of health and family circumstances. He cited the case of a woman who became pregnant for the eighth time after seven previous C-sections. “Does she want to leave seven orphans? That is tempting God” he commented.

But the problem with these remarks, unless they are carefully developed and explained within the context of Catholic teaching, is that they might cause confusion, not only outside the Church but also inside, among faithful families. 

Why were there no hospitals, for anyone and everyone, in the ancient world?

The Church has always built hospitals

by Anthony Esolen

Why were there no hospitals, for anyone and everyone, in the ancient world? Because Jesus had yet to give mankind, through his Church, the great directive.
One day, as Jesus was entering Capernaum in Galilee, a Roman centurion sent for him, and pleaded with him to heal his dying servant whom he dearly loved.

The Jewish elders joined in the plea, because this centurion was a friend of the Jews. He may have been, in his heart, a convert to the faith in the one God. "He loves our nation," they said, "and has built a synagogue for us!" Seeming to take no note of that reason, Jesus approaches the centurion's house, but the centurion, abashed because he knows that he is a pagan and a sinner, says, "Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant shall be healed."

Jesus marvels, saying, "I have not found such faith in all of Israel!" And the servant was healed from that moment.

But the scene prompts a question. The centurion is rich enough to build a synagogue at his own expense. He lives in the bustling town of Capernaum, on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee; and the new Roman city of Caesarea Philippi is not far away. Why hasn't he brought his servant to the hospital?

You will answer, "Because there were no hospitals in those days," and you will be right, in part. There were health resorts, often built up around natural hot springs in those lands perched atop the volcanic ring of fire. Wherever the Romans found hot springs, they built resorts, even as far north as England: Bath. But there was no such thing as a hospital, where you could go if you were ill and needed care and were not rich enough to get to the spas, and had no money to hire the learned physicians. Apparently there was nowhere to go in Capernaum, even for a centurion with means.

And that prompts another question: "Why were there no hospitals?" It cannot be for want of funds. The Romans were energetic at public works, and when their armies were not busy fighting, they were employed as a corps of engineers and construction workers, building aqueducts, theaters, the civic halls we know as basilicas, temples, roads, and bridges. They could have built hospitals also. Nor was it for want of medical knowledge. The Greeks had learned medicine from the traditions of the Egyptians, whose accumulated knowledge spanned two thousand years. The Greek Hippocrates had bequeathed to the world the oath that bears his name, enjoining a sacred code upon all physicians. "The art takes a long time to learn," said Hippocrates, "and life is short." Those are not the words of a quack.


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Why Solzhenitsyn is still relevant today.

Solzhenitsyn’s permanence

by Brian C. Anderson

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s reputation has waned in the English-speaking world. 

The Russian writer still gets credit, at least from sensible quarters, for revealing the Soviet Union’s infernal system of forced labor and institutionalized mendacity in the series of works that includes One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich and the three-volume “experiment in literary investigation,” The Gulag Archipelago, the publication of which in the West in 1973 sounded the first death-knell of the Soviet Union and made its author a household name. But Anglophone critics have tended to dismiss Solzhenitsyn’s later output—and that’s when they’ve bothered to acknowledge its existence. Diminished interest in Solzhenitsyn is reflected in the fact that much of his post-Gulag writing—including the bulk of his multi-volume literary and historical narrative about the Russian Revolution, The Red Wheel—remains untranslated into English, six years after his death from heart failure at eighty-nine.

The notion that Solzhenitsyn is of merely historical interest in a post-totalitarian age is one likely reason for this neglect. The other is political. 

The American left, never fond of Solzhenitsyn, began actively to despise him after his 1978 commencement speech at Harvard, “A World Split Apart,” which denounced the rise of moral relativism in the West, praised the idea of liberty under God, and blasted anti-war activists for forcing the United States to withdraw militarily from South Vietnam, leaving that country prey to the Communists—views that were anathema to elite opinion, then as today. As one journalist then put it, Solzhenitsyn “is not the ‘liberal’ we would like him to be.” Around this time arose a perception of Solzhenitsyn, sold primarily by the left but endorsed by some on the right, that provided an excuse not to read him: he was a tsarist reactionary, an Orthodox Christian ayatollah, a hater of democracy, a Russian ultranationalist. None of this was true. Solzhenitsyn wasn’t just dismissed; he was demonized.

Daniel J. Mahoney, a political scientist at Assumption College, has labored in recent years to reestablish Solzhenitsyn’s rightful place as a novelist, historian, and moral and political thinker of the first order, whose work provides not only an astonishing account of the soul of man under communist totalitarianism but also deep insights into the problems of modern democratic societies. Back in 2001, he published Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: The Ascent from Ideology, an exploration of the Russian writer’s key spiritual and philosophical themes. A few years later, Mahoney and fellow Solzhenitsyn scholar Edward Ericson Jr. edited The Solzhenitsyn Reader: New and Essential Writings, 1947–2005, a 600-plus–page collection of the author’s work, including material previously unavailable in English. And now comes The Other Solzhenitsyn: Telling the Truth about a Misunderstood Writer and Thinker, a luminously argued book in which Mahoney directly takes on the main charges against Solzhenitsyn and defends him as a man of faith and reason, moderation, and commitment to freedom and the truth.1

Mahoney’s new book isn’t a biography, but the major moments of Solzhenitsyn’s remarkable life run through his narrative.


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From :

The great Russian writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (1918–2008) is widely recognized as one of the most consequential human beings of the twentieth century. 

Through his writings and moral witness, he illumined the nature of totalitarianism and helped bring down an ‘evil empire.’ 

His courage and tenacity are acknowledged even by his fiercest critics. 

Yet the world-class novelist, historian, and philosopher (one uses the latter term in its capacious Russian sense) has largely been eclipsed by a caricature that has transformed a measured and self-critical patriot into a ferocious nationalist, a partisan of local self-government into a quasi-authoritarian, a man of faith and reason into a narrow-minded defender of Orthodoxy. 

The caricature, widely dispensed in the press, and too often taken for granted, gets in the way of a thoughtful and humane confrontation with the “other” Solzhenitsyn, the true Solzhenitsyn, who is a writer and thinker of the first rank and whose spirited defense of liberty is never divorced from moderation. 

It is to the recovery of this Solzhenitsyn that this book is dedicated. 

This book above all explores philosophical, political, and moral themes in Solzhenitsyn’s two masterworks, The Gulag Archipelago and The Red Wheel, as well as in his great European novel In the First Circle. 

We see Solzhenitsyn as analyst of revolution, defender of the moral law, phenomenologist of ideological despotism, and advocate of “resisting evil with force.” 

Other chapters carefully explore Solzhenitsyn’s conception of patriotism, his dissection of ideological mendacity, and his controversial, but thoughtful and humane discussion of the “Jewish Question” in the Russian – and Soviet twentieth century. 

Some of Solzhenitsyn’s later writings, such as the “binary tales” that he wrote in the 1990s, are subject to critically appreciative analysis. 

And a long final chapter comments on Solzhenitsyn’s July 2007 Der Spiegel interview, his last word to Russia and the West. 

He is revealed to be a man of faith and freedom, a patriot but not a nationalist, and a principled advocate of self-government for Russia and the West. 

A final Appendix reproduces the beautiful Introduction (“The Gift of Incarnation”) that the author’s widow, Natalia Solzhenitsyn, wrote to the 2009 Russian abridgment of The Gulag Archipelago, a work that is now taught in Russian high schools.

Les Italiens ont accueilli près de 200 000 réfugiés l’année dernière. Et ce flot continue.

Il y avait un crucifix dans la chambre

Cela peut commencer par un petit geste qui n’est que symbolique :
le refus du crucifix dans une chambre.

Toutes nos explications commodes sur le rôle du chômage ou de la délinquance dans la formation du djihadisme sur notre sol ne suffisent pas.

Les Italiens ont accueilli près de 200 000 réfugiés l’année dernière. Et ce flot continue. Ils viennent des rives sud de la Méditerranée, via la Turquie et la Grèce. On connaît les Italiens, accueillants, généreux, sympathiques et bons catholiques. Ils ont mobilisé toutes leurs associations caritatives au service de ces réfugiés. Des milliers de bénévoles secondent les pouvoirs publics pour les nourrir, les vêtir, les loger en attendant leur “dispersion” vers le nord de l’Europe…

L’une de ces bénévoles, le coeur sur la main, dévouée à son association paroissiale, a offert plus que son secours à ces émigrés : sa maison. Elle a libéré une chambre pour la mettre à disposition ; un réfugié s’est présenté, avec toutes les recommandations. Elle lui a fait visiter la maison et montré sa chambre. Il a dit : « Je ne peux pas coucher là. » « Et pourquoi ? », a demandé cette dame. Il a désigné le crucifix qui se trouvait sur le mur : il fallait le retirer. La dame au coeur sur la main a trouvé ce geste indigne et elle a refermé sa porte.

Cette anecdote, naturellement authentique, a tout d’une parabole. Elle suffit à expliquer ce que, avec nos mentalités d’Occidentaux travaillés par la mauvaise conscience d’avoir voulu faire partager par la terre entière nos libertés, nos droits de l’homme et nos croyances, nous avons du mal à comprendre. Qui est-il ce réfugié qui débarque clandestinement d’un cargo rouillé sur les côtes italiennes ? Un homme qui a rassemblé tout ce qu’il avait d’énergie et de moyens misérables pour quitter son pays, sa famille et traverser la Méditerranée à la recherche d’une autre vie. On pourrait croire que, dans le dépouillement qui est le sien, il serait prêt à accepter toute main tendue, toute humanité ; eh bien, non : au fond de lui, il garde un refus. Toutes les bonnes raisons s’effacent devant le rejet, non pas de l’autre, mais de la religion de l’autre. Ce crucifix au mur.

C’est pourquoi toutes nos explications commodes sur le rôle du chômage, de la délinquance, des mafias et autres dans la formation du djihadisme sur notre sol ne suffisent pas.


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Aristotle wrote that anyone who can exist outside the common life “is either a beast or a god.”

Technology Doesn’t Destroy Community, Humans Do


The human is a social animal, wrote Aristotle: “an individual who is unsocial naturally and not accidentally is either beneath our notice or more than human. Society is something that precedes the individual. Anyone who either cannot lead the common life or is so self-sufficient as not to need to, and therefore does not partake of society, is either a beast or a god.”

Modern society fosters the idea of personhood as a singular thing: we believe that living in community is not necessary, though often beneficial. Social obligation and community are voluntary: they can and should be discarded whenever convenient for the individual. Some believe these trends are based in the increase of technology; but according to Mark Oppenheimer’s January 17 article in New York Times Magazine, any sort of isolation we experience isn’t technology’s fault:
Hampton found that, rather than isolating people, technology made them more connected. “It turns out the wired folk — they recognized like three times as many of their neighbors when asked,” Hampton said. Not only that, he said, they spoke with neighbors on the phone five times as often and attended more community events. Altogether, they were much more successful at addressing local problems, like speeding cars and a small spate of burglaries. They also used their Listserv to coordinate offline events, even sign-ups for a bowling league. Hampton was one of the first scholars to marshal evidence that the web might make people less atomized rather than more.
Keith Hampton’s experiments in sociology and technology give us interesting insights into humans’ interactions with technology and each other. He reminds us that technology, at the end of the day, is merely a tool. It can be used for good or ill, can cultivate community or individualism. Much depends on our attitudes and philosophies toward the medium. Ben Garner made this excellent observation on technology at Humane Pursuits:
Since Neolithic man formed some crude farm implements for himself, we’ve been using technology, and there’s no reason to think that we’re ever going to, or even should want to, stop using them. But we can encourage ways of thinking that will, in the future, change the direction of our technological development. We can question the democratic, individualistic assumptions that made our current technologies so juvenile … We can actively affirm the truth that life is best experienced in the flesh, not mediated through a screen.
If Aristotle was right, we still need community, and cannot merely shrug off this craving for human interaction.


Social media gives new muscle to German Marxist Herbert Marcuse's arguments against free discourse.

Yes, Political Correctness Really Exists


Jonathan Chait burned up the Internet this week with his critique of so-called political correctness. Among many responses, Amanda Taub‘s stands out for its denial of Chait’s basic premise. According to Taub:
…there’s no such thing as “political correctness.” The term’s in wide use, certainly, but has no actual fixed or specific meaning. What defines it is not what it describes but how it’s used: as a way to dismiss a concern or demand as a frivolous grievance rather than a real issue.
This is a curious response. Sure, people use the term in different ways. But Chait provides a perfectly serviceable definition: “political correctness is a style of politics in which the more radical members of the left attempt to regulate political discourse by defining opposing views as bigoted and illegitimate.”

I don’t think Taub would deny that this political style exists, although one may quibble with some of Chait’s examples. What she objects to is the way Chait describes it. In her view, calling denunciations of putatively bigoted opinions “political correctness” allows their advocates to avoid taking those criticisms seriously. So, in a feat of rhetorical jujitsu, Chait becomes guilty of the same tendency he opposes: ruling views he rejects out of respectable conversation.

This dispute is an object lesson in the pernicious effect of political correctness—or whatever you want to call it—on intellectual and political debate. Arguments about ideas devolve into wrangling about words. The conduct of politics by means of semantics sometimes reaches comic heights. In his piece, Chait reports an incident in which,
UCLA students staged a sit-in to protest microaggressions such as when a professor corrected a student’s decision to spell the word indigenous with an uppercase I—one example of many “perceived grammatical choices that in actuality reflect ideologies.”
But there’s nothing important at stake in the phrase “political correctness”. So let’s drop it, at least provisionally, and focus on the phenomenon that Chait describes. Contrary to popular perception, it’s not just a product of youthful exuberance among student activists or the ease and enforced brevity of Twitter. It’s rooted in a philosophical critique of the liberal theory of discourse.

Although it has precedents in Kant, this theory received a definitive formulation in John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty. According to Mill, the truth is most likely to emerge from unrestricted debate. Although Mill did not use the metaphor, such a debate is conventionally described as a “marketplace of ideas,” in which vendors are free to offer their wares and customers are at liberty to purchase only the best goods.


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¿Por qué Hitler odiaba tanto al Papa Pío XII? Judíos que sufrieron la persecución nazi lo explican con perspectiva histórica.

Por qué Hitler odiaba tanto a Pío XII

Un vídeo con testimonios que no deben olvidarse

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Un Parlamento radicale che si nasconde dietro un Presidente cattolico

Mattarella al Quirinale, per liquidare i cattolici

di Stefano Fontana

Un Presidente cattolico che dirà di non essere lì in quanto cattolico ma “a servizio delle istituzioni”

Qualche giorno fa La Nuova Bussola aveva pubblicato un articolo sulle elezioni presidenziali dal titolo: “Non un cattolico”. Invece è stato eletto proprio un cattolico, Sergio Mattarella. Abbiamo quindi perso? Certo, abbiamo perso, ma questo non significa aver sbagliato. Che un quotidiano come La Nuova Bussola chieda che al Colle non salga un cattolico è già di per sé strano e indicatore di un tempo di confusione. Che poi un Parlamento in cui i cattolici sono una sparuta e scomposta minoranza elegga proprio un cattolico è la cartina al tornasole di una anomalia ormai strutturale e fuori controllo.

Facciamo un semplice ragionamento. Stanno transitando in Parlamento molti disegni di legge che, se approvati, sconvolgerebbero in profondità – anzi capovolgerebbero – la società italiana, cominciando dalla famiglia e arrivando poi a tutto il resto. Il disegno di legge Scalfarotto, il Cirinnà e il Fedeli - solo per attenersi ai più noti – aprirebbero alla dittatura omosessualista, ai matrimoni gay con adozioni e (domani) filiazione tramite l’eterologa, all’insegnamento gender nelle scuole obbligatorio per tutti. Distruggendo la famiglia si arriva sempre ad un regime dittatoriale. Per il semplice motivo che per negare la natura ci vuole un grande potere, che solo le dittature posseggono. Ammettiamo, quindi, che tutto questo “pacchetto” – nonostante le proteste di piazza – venga approvato: tutte quelle leggi avranno la firma del nuovo Capo dello Stato Sergio Mattarella. La firma di un Presidente cattolico. Del resto, Mattarella, “uomo delle istituzioni”, non potrà farci nulla, appunto perché “uomo delle istituzioni”.

Copioni di questo genere ne abbiamo già visti molti. L’Italia cattolica non c’è più, ma i cattolici servono ancora perché sono loro che devono – da “adulti” – completare l’esodo del popolo italiano dall’Italia cattolica. Il modo migliore per fare questo è essere “uomini delle istituzioni”. Basta pensare che la Costituzione sia superiore al Vangelo e il gioco è fatto.

Sergio Mattarella è “cattolico”, ma, come si sa, di cattolici oggi ne esistono di diversi generi. Quello di Mattarella è il genere della vecchia “sinistra DC” che oggi ha come una rivincita postuma.


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Ucraina: Vladimir Putin non sembra voler cedere

Le sanzioni non stanno fermando la Russia

di Gianandrea Gaiani

Neppure le sanzioni occidentali, il crollo del prezzo del petrolio e delle quotazioni del rublo che mandano a fondo l’economia russa sembrano indurre il Cremlino a cedere sul fronte ucraino dove le milizie filo Mosca del Donbass sono invece all’offensiva su diversi fronti.

Negli ultimi dieci giorni gli attacchi dei filorussi hanno costretto le forze ucraine a ritirarsi da gran parte delle postazioni tenute intorno all’aeroporto di Donetsk, postazione strategica anche se completamente distrutta dal fuoco delle artiglierie, che consente ai governativi di tenere sotto tiro la capitale dei secessionisti e a questi ultimi di consolidare le difese intorno al centro abitato.

Gli stessi filorussi hanno annunciato l’inizio delle operazioni per la conquista di Mariupol, sul Mare d’Azov le cui coste sono in parte presidiate (e minate?) dagli ucraini per prevenire eventuali sbarchi di marines russi della Flotta del Mar Nero. Il ruolo strategico rivestito da Mariupol è molto rilevante. Mantenendone il controllo, le forze di Kiev (affiancate da contractors statunitensi “intercettati” da un ‘emittente televisiva nei giorni scorsi) lasciano i secessionisti ancorati al confine russo impedendo alla Repubblica Popolare di Donetsk di ampliarsi verso i territori meridionali abitati da ucraini russofoni che in gran parte hanno da sempre il doppio passaporto.

Al contrario, la conquista di Mariupol consentirebbe ai filorussi di dilagare verso sud e di costituire una continuità territoriale con la Crimea annessa alla Federazione Russa. La vittoria sul fronte meridionale costituirebbe la base militare importante per l’annessione a Mosca di tutta la fascia sud orientale dell’Ucraina. L’obiettivo dei secessionisti sembra essere innanzitutto la riconquista dei territori perduti la primavera scorsa con l’avvio della Ato (Anti Terrorism Operation) come è stata battezzata da Kiev.

I negoziati per ristabilire la tregua mediati dall’Osce a Minsk non sembrano portare a risultati concreti e i separatisti hanno minacciato di proseguire la loro offensiva.


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European QE: It is time we had a serious discussion about developing a new monetary order ...

Europe Joins the QE Party

by Frank Hollenbeck

The European Central Bank (ECB) finally pulled the QE trigger by committing to purchase 60 billion euros of government debt and other assets every month until September of 2016 or until inflation gets closer to 2 percent.

The made-up excuse for this legal counterfeiting is that Europe is dangerously close to having (a very flawed) index of consumer prices drop below zero; as though calamity would strike Europe if the index were to register a negative number. The ECB claims it needs to print money because lower oil prices and — previous to that — a stronger euro were causing average prices to deviate from its 2 percent inflation target. It’s like having your supermarket run a 50 percent off sale on steak one weekend, and then having the ECB try to make all other prices in the supermarket go up so your total bill at the cash register goes up.

The 2 percent inflation was never meant to be a target, but a ceiling. The problem has never been too little printing but too much printing. Deflation has never been a real problem (see here, here and here), but bouts of inflation have regularly led to chaos and social upheaval.
Don’t Fear Price Changes

The drop in oil prices is creating a change in relative prices that are part and parcel of a capitalist economy. Such changes are critical to guide resources and production in the direction of where they are most needed. They occur constantly and are not to be feared. They should be embraced as a necessary adjustment to guide limited resources to produce output that best meets society’s demand. A central bank interfering with the measuring stick of prices to alter absolute and relative prices to reach some non-meaningful target shows just how much mainstream economics has become nonsensical. By targeting an aggregate number, central banks distort individual prices and interfere with the efficient allocation of resources and goods and services.


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Par respect pour les transgenres, une université américaine demande à son personnel de ne plus utiliser "monsieur" et "madame"...

Au revoir monsieur, au revoir madame

par Jany Leroy

Par respect pour les transgenres, une université américaine demande à son personnel de ne plus utiliser "monsieur" et "madame" dans sa correspondance avec les étudiants.

Au Disneyland de la décadence délirante, une nouvelle attraction vient d’arriver. Amateurs de grand frisson et de bonne poilade, en avant ! Attention, ça démarre : par respect pour les transgenres, une université américaine demande à son personnel de ne plus utiliser« monsieur » et « madame » dans sa correspondance avec les étudiants. Pas mal, non ? Encore un petit tour ? Allez, c’est reparti. Citons, fournisseur officiel de manèges : derrière cette décision, il y a la volonté de ne pas immédiatement préjuger du fait que si on s’appelle « Laura », on s’identifie en tant que femme. Il s’agit donc de respecter l’identité des personnes transgenres ou de celles qui ne s’identifient pas comme homme ou femme. Et voilà ! Tout le monde descend.

Personnellement, m’identifiant régulièrement à Napoléon, je déplore qu’aucune institution ne s’adresse à moi en employant la formule « Votre Majesté Impériale ». Lors de ces crises passagères, le terme « monsieur » s’avère fortement dévalorisant…


Il est faux d’affirmer sans nuance que la liberté d’expression est née avec la Révolution française.

Le cirque de la bien-pensance :
on ne joue pas avec la liberté

par Jean-Michel Léost

Il est faux d’affirmer sans nuance que la liberté d’expression est née avec la Révolution française. Les penseurs qui l’ont précédée, pour ne citer qu’eux, ont préparé le terrain – et on pourrait en retrouver les prémices jusque dans l’Antiquité. Mais, objectera-t-on, sous la monarchie, il y avait la censure ! Certes, mais cette période a aussi produit des chefs-d’œuvre incomparables : Corneille, Molière, Racine, La Fontaine, Pascal, La Bruyère et bien d’autres, rien qu’au XVIIe siècle.

Du reste, la censure a-t-elle totalement disparu depuis 1789 ? Dès le début, des garde-fous ont été introduits, les « fous » pouvant varier en fonction des circonstances historiques ou politiques. 

Faut-il faire mention, par exemple, de la Convention votant, le 29 mars 1793, un décret rétablissant la censure répressive ? 

Ou du ministère de l’Information, aux débuts de la Cinquième République, théoriquement chargé de veiller à la liberté de la presse mais parfois accusé d’être un ministère de la censure ? 

Ceux qui détiennent le pouvoir ont toujours éprouvé la tentation ou le besoin de contrôler, d’une manière ou d’une autre, l’opinion – et donc de limiter la liberté d’expression. 

Les médias eux-mêmes pratiquent une forme de censure, directement, comme on a pu le voir avec la suppression du débat hebdomadaire entre Zemmour et Domenach, ou, plus subrepticement, par leurs choix éditoriaux et la sélection des informations.

Ces derniers jours, une sorte de chape morale s’est abattue sur les Français. Celui qui ne s’assimile pas totalement à Charlie est présenté comme un déviant, un dissident, désigné à la vindicte populaire.


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Tsípras a parlé de factions « néonazies » qui combattent Poutine dans l’est de l’Ukraine ...

Tsípras, un allié pour Moscou au sein de l’Union européenne ?

par Nicolas Vodé

La victoire aux élections législatives grecques de SYRIZA n’a pas fini de faire trembler les eurocrates en place : après les salves libérales contre la doctrine économique du parti de gauche radical, voici que l’on s’inquiète de ce que Tsípras s’oppose aux sanctions imposées au dernier représentant de ce cher vieil axe du mal : Moscou. En ce moment même, les grandes sphères financières bruissent de chuchotis paniqués sur les dangers que représenterait une collaboration économique entre Moscou et Athènes.

Il est vrai, il n’est d’ailleurs pas besoin d’être un grand analyste pour s’en rendre compte, qu’Aléxis Tsípras n’est pas le meilleur champion qui soit pour les intérêts géopolitiques de Wall Street. Le parti désormais au pouvoir en Grèce alimente depuis les débuts de la crise une claire opposition à la politique atlantiste dans bien des domaines, mais il serait un peu rapide d’y voir beaucoup plus qu’un jeu politique sur l’écœurement du peuple grec face aux injonctions venues de Washington. C’est ce qui explique en partie, par exemple, que Tsípras ait parlé de factions « néonazies » qui combattent Poutine dans l’est de l’Ukraine : le but était surtout de contester l’attitude de l’Union européenne, soutien desdites factions, et aussi ennemi public numéro 1 en Grèce.


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¿ Donde crece la aceptación social de la cultura gay ?

Cultura gay, alto raiting televisivo y aceptación social: colaboración en libro especializado

por Jorge Enrique Mújica, LC


Cada dos años la facultad de comunicación institucional de la Pontificia Universidad de la Santa Cruz organiza un congreso sobre el trinomio Poetica, Comunicazione y Cultura. En 2013 estuvo centrado en la figura del padre en las series de televisión. Como parte del programa de comunicaciones de ese congreso pude presentar la relación titulada La otra paternidad en las pantallas.

En aquella presentación ofrecí el resultado de una investigación con la que traté de poner de manifiesto, con datos empíricos, cómo la aceptación social de la cultura gay crece en aquellos lugares donde las series de televisión de mayor audiencia ofrecen una sobre representación positiva de personajes gays. 

En un segundo momento, a modo de contraste, también hice un excursus sobre la otra paternidad presente en las pantallas: la de muchos sacerdotes que por medio de las redes sociales hacen vivencial esa faceta de su vocación consagrada.

El 22 de enero de 2015 recibí por correo una copia del libro que recoge las intervenciones realizadas en el congreso: La figura del padre nella serialità televisiva, incluyendo la mía. Naturalmente el libro recoge más ponencias, algunas seguramente más importantes o interesantes que la que yo realicé, por eso no puedo menos que animarles a conseguir el libro (el índice puede leerse en este enlace y se puede comprar en internet en este otro link).

Aprovecho este post para agradecer al profr. Enrique Fúster el ejemplar remitido. A título personal debo decir una vez más que mucho de lo que he aprendido acerca de la comunicación en sus diferentes vertientes lo debo a los profesores de la Pontificia Universidad de la Santa Cruz.

Los sueños de San Juan Bosco sobre el Infierno

El Infierno

Memorias Biográficas de San Juan Bosco.


—¡Levántate y vente conmigo! Yo le contesté: —Se lo pido por caridad. Déjeme tranquilo, estoy cansado. ¡Mire! Hace varios días que sufro de dolor de muelas. Déjeme descansar. He tenido unos sueños, espantosos y estoy verdaderamente agotado. Y decía estas cosas porque la aparición de este hombre es siempre indicio de grandes agitaciones, de cansancio y de terror. El tal me respondió: —¡Levántate, que no hay tiempo que perder! Entonces me levanté y lo seguí. Mientras caminábamos le pregunté: —¿Adonde quiere llevarme ahora? —Ven y lo verás. Y me condujo a un lugar en el cual se extendía una amplia llanura. Dirigí la mirada a mi alrededor, pero aquella región era tan grande que no se distinguían los confines de la misma. Era un vasto desierto. No se veía ni un alma viviente, ni una planta, ni un riachuelo; un poco de vegetación seca y amarillenta daba a aquella desolación un aspecto de tristeza. No sabía ni dónde me encontraba, ¿ ni qué era lo que iba a hacer. Durante unos instantes no vi a mi guía. Me pareció haberme perdido. No estaban conmigo ni Don Rua ni Don Francesia ni ningún otro.

Cuando he aquí que diviso a mi amigo que me sale al encuentro. Respiré y dije: —¿Dónde estoy? —Ven conmigo y lo sabrás. —Bien; iré contigo. El iba delante y yo le seguía sin chistar. (Después de un largo y triste viaje, San Juan Bosco, al pensar que tenía que atravesar una tan dilatada llanura pensaba para sí:) —¡Ay mis pobres muelas! Pobre de mí, con las piernas tan hinchadas... Pero, de pronto, se abrió ante mí un camino. Entonces interrumpí el silencio preguntando a mi guía: —¿Adonde vamos a ir ahora? —Por aquí— me dijo. Y penetramos por aquel camino. Era una senda hermosa, ancha, espaciosa y bien pavimentada. De un lado y de otro la flanqueaban dos magníficos setos verdes cubiertos de hermosas flores. En especial despuntaban las rosas entre las hojas por todas partes. Aquel sendero, a primera vista, parecía llano y cómodo, y yo me eché a andar por él sin sospechar nada. Pero después de caminar un trecho me di cuenta de que insensiblemente se iba haciendo cuesta abajo y aunque la marcha no parecía precipitada, yo corría con tanta facilidad que me parecía ir por el aire. Incluso noté que avanzaba casi sin mover los pies.

Nuestra marcha era, pues, veloz. Pensando entonces que el volver atrás por un camino semejante hubiera sido cosa fatigosa y cansada, dije a mi amigo: —¿Cómo haremos para regresar al Oratorio? —No te preocupes —me dijo—, el Señor es omnipotente y querrá que vuelvas a él. El que te conduce y te enseña a proseguir adelante, sabrá también llevarte hacia atrás. El camino descendía cada vez más. Proseguíamos la marcha entre las flores y las rosas cuando vi que me seguían por el mismo sendero todos los jóvenes del Oratorio y otros numerosísimos compañeros a los cuales ya jamás había visto. Pronto me encontré en medio de ellos. Mientras los observaba veo que de repente, ora uno otra otro, comienzan a caer al suelo, siendo arrastrados por una fuerza invisible que los llevaba hacia una horrible pendiente que se veía aún en lontananza y que conducía a aquellos infelices de cabeza a un horno. —¿Qué es lo que hace caer a estos jóvenes?— pregunté al guía. —Acércate un poco— me respondió. Me acerqué y pude comprobar que los jóvenes pasaban entre muchos lazos, algunos de los cuales estaban al ras del suelo y otros a la altura de la cabeza; estos lazos no se veían. Por tanto, muchos de los muchachos al andar quedaban presos por aquellos lazos, sin darse cuenta del peligro, y en el momento de caer en ellos daban un salto y después rodaban al suelo con las piernas en alto y cuando se levantaban corrían precipitadamente hacia el abismo. Algunos quedaban presos, prendidos por la cabeza, por una pierna, por el cuello, por las manos, por un brazo, por la cintura, e inmediatamente eran lanzados hacia la pendiente.

Los lazos colocados en el suelo parecían de estopa, apenas visibles, semejantes a los hilos de la araña y, al parecer, inofensivos. Y con todo, pude observar que los jóvenes por ellos prendidos caían a tierra. Yo estaba atónito, y el guía me dijo: —¿Sabes qué es esto? —Un poco de estopa— respondí. —Te diría que no es nada —añadió—; el respeto humano, simplemente. Entretanto, al ver que eran muchos los que continuaban cayendo en aquellos lazos, le pregunté al desconocido: —¿Cómo es que son tantos los que quedan prendidos en esos hilos? ¿Qué es lo que los arrastra de esa manera? Y él: —Acércate más; obsérvalo bien y lo verás. Lo hice y añadí: —Yo no veo nada. —Mira mejor— me dijo el guía. Tomé, en efecto, uno de aquellos lazos en la mano y pude comprobar que no daba con el otro extremo; por el contrario, me di cuenta de que yo también era arrastrado por él. Entonces seguí la dirección del hilo y llegué a la boca de una espantosa caverna. Y me detuve porque no quería penetrar en aquella vorágine y tiré hacia mí de aquel hilo y noté que cedía, pero había que hacer mucha fuerza. Y he aquí que después de haber tirado mucho, salió fuera, poco a poco, un horrible monstruo que infundía espanto, el cual mantenía fuertemente cogido con sus garras la extremidad de una cuerda a la que estaban ligados todos aquellos hilos. Era este monstruo quien apenas caía uno en aquellas redes lo arrastraba inmediatamente hacia sí. Entonces me dije: —Es inútil intentar hacer frente a la fuerza de este animal, pues no lograré vencerlo; será mejor combatirlo con la señal de la Santa Cruz y con jaculatorias.

Me volví, por tanto, junto a mi guía, el cual me dijo: —¿Sabes ya quién es? —¡Oh, sí que lo sé!, —le respondí—. Es el Demonio quien tiende estos lazos para hacer caer a mis jóvenes en el infierno. Examiné con atención los lazos y vi que cada uno llevaba escrito su propio título: el lazo de la soberbia, de la desobediencia, de la envidia, del sexto mandamiento, del hurto, de la gula, de la pereza, de la ira, etc. Hecho esto me eché un poco hacia atrás para ver cuál de aquellos lazos era el que causaba mayor número de víctimas entre los jóvenes, y pude comprobar que era el de la deshonestidad (impureza), la desobediencia y la soberbia. A este último iban atados otros dos. Después de esto vi otros lazos que causaban grandes estragos, pero no tanto como los dos primeros. Desde mi puesto de observación vi a muchos jóvenes que corrían a mayor velocidad que los demás. Y pregunté: —¿Por qué esta diferencia? —Porque son arrastrados por los lazos del respeto humano— me fue respondido. Mirando aún con mayor atención vi que entre aquellos lazos había esparcidos muchos cuchillos, que manejados por una mano providencial cortaban o rompían los hilos. El cuchillo más grande procedía contra el lazo de la soberbia y simbolizaba la meditación. Otro cuchillo, también muy grande, pero no tanto como el primero, significaba la lectura espiritual bien hecha. Había también dos espadas. Una de ellas representaba la devoción al Santísimo Sacramento, especialmente mediante la comunión frecuente; otra, la devoción a la Virgen María. Había, además, un martillo: la confesión; y otros cuchillos símbolos de las varias devociones a San José, a San Luis, etc., etc.

Con estas armas no pocos rompían los lazos al quedar prendidos en ellos, o se defendían para no ser víctimas de los mismos. En efecto, vi a dos jóvenes que pasaban entre aquellos lazos de forma que jamás quedaban presos en ellos; bien lo hacían antes de que el lazo estuviese tendido, y si lo hacían cuando éste estaba ya preparado, sabían sortearlo de forma que les caía sobre los hombros, o sobre las espaldas, o en otro lado diferente sin lograr capturarlos.Cuando el guía se dio cuenta de que lo había observado todo, me hizo continuar el camino flanqueado de rosas; pero a medida que avanzaba, las rosas de los linderos eran cada vez más raras, empezando a aparecer punzantes espinas. Finalmente, por mucho que me fijé no descubrí ni una rosa y, en el último tramo, el seto se había tornado completamente espinoso, quemado por el sol y desprovisto de hojas; después, de los matorrales ralos y secos, partían ramajes que al tenderse por el suelo lo cubrían, sembrándolo de espinas de tal forma que difícilmente se podía caminar. Habíamos llegado a una hondonada cuyos acantilados ocultaban todas las regiones circundantes; y el camino, que descendía cada vez de una manera más pronunciada, se hacía tan horrible, tan poco firme y tan lleno de baches, de salientes, de guijarros y de piedras rodadas, que dificultaba cada vez más la marcha. Había perdido ya de vista a todos mis jóvenes; muchísimos de ellos habían logrado salir de aquella senda insidiosa, dirigiéndose por otros atajos.

Yo continué adelante. Cuanto más avanzaba más áspera era la bajada y más pronunciada, de forma que algunas veces me resbalaba, cayendo al suelo, donde permanecía sentado un rato para tomar un poco de aliento. De cuando en cuando el guía acudía en mi auxilio y me ayudaba a levantarme. A cada paso se me encogían los tendones y me parecía que se me iban a descoyuntar los huesos de las piernas. Entonces dije anhelante a mí guía: —Querido, las iernas se niegan a sostenerme. Me encuentro tan falto de fuerzas que no será posible continuar el viaje. El guía no me contestó, sino que, animándome, prosiguió su camino, hasta que al verme cubierto de sudor y víctima de un cansancio mortal, me llevó a un pequeño promontorio que se alzaba en el mismo camino. Me senté, lancé un hondo suspiro y me pareció haber descansado suficientemente. Entretanto observaba el camino que había recorrido ya; parecía cortado a pico, cubierto de guijarros y de piedras puntiagudas. Consideraba también el camino que me quedaba por recorrer, cerrando los ojos de espanto, exclamando: —Volvamos atrás, por caridad. Si seguimos adelante, ¿cómo haremos para llegar al Oratorio? ¡Es imposible que yo pueda emprender después esta subida! Y el guía me contestó resueltamente: —Ahora que hemos llegado aquí, ¿quieres quedarte solo? Ante esta amenaza repliqué en tono suplicante: —¿Sin ti cómo podría volver atrás o continuar el viaje? —Pues bien, sigúeme— añadió el guía. Me levanté y continuamos bajando.


La démocratie est née en Grèce. Elle risque bien d’y mourir aussi.

La Grèce : naissance et mort de la démocratie.

par Christian Vanneste

La démocratie est née en Grèce. Elle risque bien d’y mourir aussi. Les Grecs de l’antiquité ont inventé la politique et les trois concepts dont on s’est servi pendant longtemps pour désigner les différents régimes : monarchie, aristocratie, démocratie. 

Ce dernier mot correspondait aux cités où la majorité du peuple détenait le pouvoir. Bien sûr, ni les femmes, ni les enfants, ni les esclaves, ni a fortiori les étrangers ne constituaient ce peuple de citoyens mâles et adultes. Le mot est demeuré pour appeler les démocraties modernes dont le périmètre s’est élargi autour du même principe. 

On peut remarquer toutefois que dans les discours politiciens le terme, latin, de république a pris l’avantage. La démocratie libérale s’opposait au totalitarisme. Les peuples du monde libre qui pouvaient librement choisir leurs dirigeants résistaient aux dictatures communistes qui avaient le toupet de se qualifier de démocraties populaires. 

Aujourd’hui, la République est invoquée pour souligner que nos sociétés reposent sur des « valeurs » plus que sur la volonté populaire. Cette préférence n’est pas innocente. Elle a pour but de disqualifier des idées qui, même soutenues par une majorité du peuple, ne seraient pas compatibles avec les valeurs républicaines. 

Qu’une démocratie libérale soit nécessairement un Etat de droit est une évidence. Mais aujourd’hui la « dérive républicaine » est préoccupante. Elle apparaît clairement dans l’emploi systématiquement péjoratif du mot « populisme ». La république qu’on proclame se méfie manifestement du peuple.

C’est encore un mot grec qui apporte la solution. Le pouvoir dans nos démocraties est confisqué par des oligarchies, par le gouvernement de quelques-uns, qui ne sont pas forcément les meilleurs (Aristoi ). 

Le vote grec en faveur de Syriza illustre cette évolution. Ce parti d’extrême-gauche a pu former un gouvernement en s’alliant avec une formation bien à droite, les Grecs Indépendants. 149 députés du premier avec les 13 de la seconde dépassent la barre de la moitié du Parlement de 300 membres.


viernes, 30 de enero de 2015

The criterion of liberty serves as a uniquely efficient and reliable test of policies, doctrines and governments.

When confused between left and right, 
choose liberty

By Karen Horn


When children are taught the difference between left and right, grown-ups like to make fun of them by saying that all they have to do is to look at their hands: 

The left is in the direction of that hand on which the thumb is to the right of all other fingers, and vice versa. 

This hint won’t fail to increase the child’s confusion, to the sardonic delight of the adults. In the grown-up world of politics, however, the distinction between left and right nowadays proves just as puzzling. 

The traditional classifications are growing fuzzy. 

The only conceptual rescue can come from a switch to an altogether different compass: the differentiation between policies that promote and those that suppress liberty.

The right-hand side of the political spectrum is traditionally the conceptual meeting-point for conservatives leaning either toward the civilized, moderate centre or toward the right-hand fringe, where odd nationalists, xenophobes and, at the very extreme, neo-Nazis (not only in Germany!) find their pastures. What unites them all in spite of their enormous differences in the detail is that they give priority to what they consider to be the inherited cultural norms, values, institutions and conventions of their countries. 

The stereotypical “right” countries are the US, the UK and Switzerland. Economically, a right policy implies a business-friendly stance, with an emphasis on individual property rights and responsibility, leading to a – moderate – free-market approach, complemented with some elements of the welfare state. 

“The right” is associated with an adherence to traditional values such as law and order, a strong state, bourgeois ethics and priority for the family as the nucleus of civil society. 

This goes along with a call for protection against influences from abroad that might erode one’s own culture and the wish that one’s country should develop world importance. 

As one moves further and further to the extreme right, the rightists, just as totalitarian in their hearts as their extreme leftist counterparts, even dream of a “racially clean” community.