Vincent Chiarello | Remnant Columnist
As readers of The Remnant may recall, while in Rome last summer I wrote an article which focused on the traditions and history of the Swiss Guard, and centered around the "giuramento," or swearing in, ceremony of the new Guardsmen. Few, if any, who have come in contact with the Guardsmen are not impressed with their courtesy, their military discipline, and their devotion to the Church.
Along with these very distinctive young men, I had the good fortune of attending a press conference in which the Commander of the Swiss Guard, Colonel Daniel Anrig, impressed the gaggle of reporters by his polished responses to their questions in German, French and Italian, the three national languages of Switzerland. I wrote that each Commander serves at the behest of the pontiff for five years, and then it is usually pro-forma that if he chooses to extend another five years, that wish is granted.
In the autumn of 1990, I was assigned to the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See as Counselor to the U.S. Ambassador, the late Thomas Melady. It was one of the newer positions in our diplomatic service, for formal diplomatic relations between the U. S. and The Holy See had been established only six years earlier during the Reagan Administration. The assignment proved to be my most memorable, for it provided an insider's view not only of the workings within the Vatican, but the interior of Vatican City as well. How many people know, or would imagine, that there is a heliport within the Vatican?
Cardinal Wuerl sits amongst the Pope's inner circle, responsible for the appointment of bishops worldwide and he has been named to direct the committee that will inform dioceses nationwide how to prepare for the Synod next October. What will this mean to the Faithful?
In mid-October, The Washington Post's Lifestyle Section ran a front page story entitled, Drama. Ego. Protocol: Washington Dinners Have it All and that's just the seating chart, by Roxanne Roberts. The focus of the article was where to seat the invited guests, given their importance, at the table of an imaginary Washington dinner party, in this case one given in honor of the birthday of Virginia's Senator, Tim Kaine. The selected hosts for the evening were Wayne and Catherine Reynolds, known in the Washington Establishment's lexicon as "high rollers," that is, people with lots of money, and disproportionate influence.
When they were asked by (visiting) Christians whereof they give to their deities these diversified forms, they answered that their fathers did so before them. "Those who preceded us left them such, and such shall we transmit them to our posterity." This discussion centered around the natives' custom of cannibalism…The Travels of Marco Polo in Zipangu– current day Japan)
The Trappist Nuns of Azeir, Syria 2013
It is not often that video clips viewed on the Internet will call attention to the presence of evil, but on three recent occasions I have viewed videos that have turned my stomach. Both the moral philosophers and Church Fathers knew man is capable of evil, but also believed that a strong and important religious life would reduce and/or eliminate those tendencies for most people, for they recognized that God is the final judge our actions.
“...the judiciary, from the nature of its functions, will always be the least dangerous to the political rights of the Constitution...It may be said to have neither force nor will, but merely judgment...” Alexander Hamilton, Federalist #78
It is cherry blossom time, and tourists from around the country and the world are walking the streets of the District of Columbia in large and small groups, winding their way through the crowded streets. Others, especially those on school trips, arrive in buses that seem to be as tall as two-story buildings. It is a busy time in the nation’s capital, but an eerie silence greets you when you enter the area that houses the chambers of the Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States. Justice Scalia’s secretary greets you with a warm smile, asking about your trip. The outer office is cavernous with large bay windows providing a great deal of light, and the carpet muffling any delinquent sounds that might arise in the corridor. There are paintings of former Justices on the wall, and law books that line the shelves.
Supremes Hear Oral Arguments
Over Contraception Mandate
Washington, D.C.—For those who have never visited the U.S. Supreme Court during a trip to the District of Colombia, a very pleasant aesthetic surprise awaits you. Although there are other government buildings constructed during the decade of the 1930s, many of them in the older "Federal style" using classical architectural forms, the Supreme Court's outside and interior design clearly make it one of the most impressive, along with the original Library of Congress.