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                August 20, 2010

Oil's Not Well (or Gone!)

by Thomas A. Droleskey

One of the advantages of having suffered from some physical limitations in the past few months, including the physical fatigue whose root cause appears to be the off-the-charts level of the sulfur-containing amino acid homocysteine in my blood plasma (high level amounts of homocysteine are toxic to the brain and have been traced by scientists to chronic fatigue and, eventually, to Alzheimer's disease), is that I am really unable to react as quickly as in the past to various news stories. This is not, however, a bad thing as it is often better to wait to see how certain stories develop rather than to attempt an instant commentary.

Such is the case with the initial reports that started to emerge last month that "seventy-five percent" of the oil that had gushed out of the British Petroleum Deepwater Horizon well since it started leaking on April 20, 2010, had been "disappeared," allegedly having been "evaporated" by the rays of the sun. Although various reports over the course of the last four months have indicated that naturalist talking heads such as Rush Limbaugh had been contending that this would be the case (as has at least one generous soul in our own acquaintance) as the months progressed, I, as a layman in matters of geology and true environmental science, remained quite skeptical. I believed that the analyses provided on this site in Deepwater Plague, Deeper Waters Than We Think, and As New Dog and Pony Shows Come To Town, part one were sound. Facing frustrating physical limitations that I recognized were from the hand of God and which I had to heed in order to better discharge my principal obligations to my family, I decided to "sit" on any response to the claim, which I believed to be preposterous on its face, that "seventy-five percent of the oil spill" had "disappeared" until more was known.

More is known now.

The claim that "seventy-five percent" of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill has evaporated is indeed bogus. This is unsurprising as most of what we are told by those in positions of governmental authority is simply untrue, something that I will illustrate in a very brief (remember, brevity is the new byword of this website!) way later in this article.

A governmental system founded on the lie that men do not need to organize themselves or their public lives around the Catholic Faith as they submit with humility and docility to the Deposit of Faith that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has entrusted exclusively to His Catholic Church for Its eternal safekeeping and infallible explication and as they seek to cooperate with the Sanctifying Graces that Our Lord has won on for us on the wood of the Holy Cross by the shedding of every single drop of His Most Precious Blood and that flow into our hearts and souls through the loving hands of Our Lady, she who is the Mediatrix of All Graces, must spawn habitual liars. It is a lie that anything short of Catholicism can sanctify and save the souls of men and also provide the means of a secure social order. There can be no true social order if men are not seeking to please God by persisting in a state of Sanctifying Grace as members of His Catholic Church and by pursuing the common temporal good in light of their Last End, that is, the possession of the glory of the Beatific Vision of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost for all eternity in Heaven.

Have you read this before? Oh, you have, have you? Good. You'll keep seeing it until I am really unable to write any longer.

Here is one story (with a a link to another) concerning the true state of the Gulf of Mexico in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill of April 20, 2010:

New research confirms the existence of a huge plume of dispersed oil deep in the Gulf of Mexico and suggests that it has not broken down rapidly, raising the possibility that it might pose a threat to wildlife for months or even years.

The study, the most ambitious scientific paper to emerge so far from the Deepwater Horizon spill, casts some doubt on recent statements by the federal government that oil in the gulf appears to be dissipating at a brisk clip. However, the lead scientist in the research, Richard Camilli, cautioned that the samples were taken in June and circumstances could have changed in the last two months.

The paper, which is to appear in Friday’s issue of the journal Science, adds to a welter of recent, and to some extent conflicting, scientific claims about the status of the gulf. While scientists generally agree that the risk of additional harm at the surface and near the shore has diminished since the well was capped a month ago, a sharp debate has arisen about the continuing risk from oil in the deep waters.

So far, scientific information about the gulf has emerged largely from government reports and statements issued by scientists. Many additional research papers are in the works, and it could be months before a clear scientific picture emerges.

The slow breakdown of deep oil that Dr. Camilli’s group found had a silver lining: it meant that the bacteria trying to eat the oil did not appear to have consumed an excessive amount of oxygen in the vicinity of the spill, alleviating concerns that the oxygen might have declined so much that it threatened sea life. On this point, Dr. Camilli’s research backs statements that the government has been making for weeks.

Dr. Camilli, of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Woods Hole, Mass., said the plume, at the time he studied it, was dissipating so slowly that it could still be in the gulf many months from now. Assuming that the physics of the plume are still similar to what his team saw in June, “it’s going to persist for quite a while before it finally dissipates or dilutes away,” he said.

Concentrations of hydrocarbons in the plume were generally low and declined gradually as the plume traveled through the gulf, although Dr. Camilli’s team has not yet completed tests on how toxic the chemicals might be to sea life.

In a report on Aug. 4, a team of government and independent scientists organized by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimated that 74 percent of the oil from the leak had been captured directly from the wellhead; skimmed, burned, dispersed chemically or by natural processes; evaporated from the ocean surface; or dissolved into the water in microscopic droplets.

The report found that the remaining 26 percent of the oil had mostly washed ashore or collected there, was buried in sand and sediment, or was still on or below the surface as sheen or tar balls.

While the government report expressed concern about the continuing impact of the spill, it was widely viewed as evidence that the risk of additional harm in the gulf was declining.

This week, scientists at the University of Georgia, who in May were among the first to report the existence of the large plume studied by Dr. Camilli’s team, sharply challenged the government’s assessment. They contended that the government had overestimated rates of evaporation and breakdown of the oil.

The idea that 75 percent of the oil is gone and is of no further concern to the environment is just incorrect,” said Samantha Joye, a professor of marine sciences at the University of Georgia. She has studied the spill extensively but has not yet published her results.

Responding to the University of Georgia criticism, Jane Lubchenco, the NOAA administrator, said the government stood by its calculations. “Some of those numbers we can measure directly,” she said. “The others are the best estimates that are out there.”

Dr. Lubchenco has noted repeatedly that some of the remaining oil existed in the form of undersea plumes and cautioned that this subsurface oil could pose a threat to marine life.

In another report this week, researchers from the University of South Florida said they had found oil droplets scattered in sediment along the gulf floor and in the water column, where they could pose a threat to some of the gulf’s most important fisheries.

The dispersed oil appeared to be having a toxic effect on bacteria and on phytoplankton, a group of micro-organisms that serves as a vital food for fish and other marine life, the scientists said, although they cautioned that further testing was needed.

Dr. Camilli’s paper tends to support the view that considerable oil may be lingering below the surface of the gulf. He said he was not especially surprised by the slow rate of breakdown, considering that the deep waters of the gulf are cold, about 40 degrees Fahrenheit in the vicinity of the plume.

“In colder environments, microbes operate more slowly,” Dr. Camilli said. “That’s why we have refrigerators.”

For weeks, BP, the company that owned the out-of-control well, disputed claims from scientists that a huge plume of dispersed oil droplets had formed in the gulf, with its chief executive at the time, Tony Hayward, declaring at one point, “There aren’t any plumes.”

NOAA, while initially skeptical, ultimately confirmed the existence of such plumes in two reports. The new paper appears to dispel any lingering doubt, providing detailed evidence that one major plume and at least one minor plume existed and that they contained large quantities of hydrocarbons, albeit dispersed into tiny droplets.

Dr. Camilli’s team measured the main plume at roughly 3,600 feet below the surface; it extended for more than 20 miles southwest of the well. It was more than a mile wide in places and 600 feet thick, traveling at about four miles a day.

At the time his team studied it in June, the plume appeared to have narrowed from measurements reported early in the spill by a team that included Dr. Joye and Vernon Asper, a marine scientist from the University of Southern Mississippi, but Dr. Camilli’s results otherwise matched their report.

The slow breakdown of the plume, if verified by additional research, suggests that scientists may find themselves tracking the toxic compounds from BP’s well and trying to discern their impact on sea life for a long time.

I expect the hydrocarbon imprint of the BP discharge will be detectable in the marine environment for the rest of my life,” Ian MacDonald, an oceanographer at Florida State University, told Congress in prepared testimony on Thursday. “The oil is not gone and is not going away anytime soon.” (Gulf Oil Plume Is Not Breaking Down Fast, Research Says; see also W.H. slammed for rosy Gulf view.)


Has the administration of Caesar Barackus Obamus Ignoramus told us a fib, perhaps even a whopper? Is this possible? Yes, sad to report, so sad to disillusion the vast numbers of you who compose the readership of this site, the administration of the man who believes in the "audacity of hope" and who speaks to us in such measured, reassuring means by way of his ubiquitous TelePrompTer has lied to us. I am sorry to be among those to have to break this news to y'all.

Even those who make their living shrimping in the Gulf of Mexico have reported seeing oil in the Gulf of Mexico, and it is not to their economic self-advantage to fabricate such a story:

While the government says that the oil is gone, shrimpers say its still there.

The Press-Register reports:

Opening state offshore waters to fishing and winding down the cleanup effort on the coast is premature, said Louie Miller, state director of the Mississippi Sierra Club.

"We've got shrimpers out there saying there is oil out there," Miller said. "We had a meeting Wednesday night where we had over 150 shrimpers... who are saying there is oil out there and these underwater plumes are varying in size and shape. This stuff is obviously moving around out there."

[William Walker, executive director of the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources] "If you are not going to validate what you are saying through accepted scientific protocol and approaches, then quit talking about it without any evidence what you are saying is true," Walker said.

In other words, shut up.

Obviously, gulf shrimpers have a strong motivation to have everyone think that the shrimp is safe and the oil is all gone. They wouldn't be speaking out unless the problem was fairly bad.

Indeed, the Sierra Club accuses the government of reopening oiled fishing grounds to limit BP's liability:

The existence of oil is irrefutable, Miller said. Oil has reappeared on beaches in Alabama, Petit Bois and Horn islands and continues to wash ashore in Louisiana, he said.

Miller said there also is evidence of submerged oil.

"It is a weird thing. It is like strands, this black water, as they are calling it. It is like strands that are about three to four times the thickness of human hair. These things can be about foot-and-a-half, to five- to six-feet-long."

Miller said the assumption is oil that has been dispersed.

"To open up these waters, in my opinion, is nothing more than to limit the liability of BP to pay claims," he said.

"Because now they can deny any claims after the time at which these waters were opened back up," Miller said.

PBS Newshour also covered the shrimpers' distrust of the government's claims that all is well:

PBS: [Vice president of the Louisiana Shrimpers Association Acy] Cooper says despite government claims that most of the oil is gone, there’s plenty of it still on the bottom.

COOPER: I went out there and we made about four or five passes with the wheel, with the boat, stirred up the mud, and before you know it, oil was coming up. So these are the kind of areas that we need to distinguish where it's at, and these are the new places we need to keep closed. We don't need to open this. Keep them out of there.

(Video here). And see this.

Truthout reports:

Two days after [William] Walker's announcement [that all was well] and in response to claims from state and federal officials that Gulf Coast waters are safe and clean, fishermen took their own samples from the waters off of Pass Christian in Mississippi.

The samples were taken in water that is now open for shrimping, as well as from waters directly over Mississippi's oyster bed, that will likely open in September for fishing.

Commercial fisherman James "Catfish" Miller, took fishermen Danny Ross Jr. and Mark Stewart, along with scientist Dr. Ed Cake of Gulf Environmental Associates and others out and they found the fishing grounds to be contaminated with oil and dispersants.

On August 13, Truthout visited Pass Christian Harbor in Mississippi. Oil sheen was present, the vapors of which could be smelled, causing our eyes to burn. Many ropes that tied boats to the dock were oiled and much of the water covered with oil sheen.

"BP has bought off all our government officials, and shut them up. You can't say the oil is gone, it's right here! Them saying it's not here is a bunch of bullshit."

He worked in the VOO program looking for oil. When his team would find oil, upon reporting it, they would consistently be sent away without explanation or the opportunity to clean it. "They made us abort these missions," he said. "Two days ago I put out boom in a bunch of oil for five minutes, they told me to abort the mission, so I pulled up boom soaked in oil. What the hell are we doing out there if they won't let us work to clean up the oil?"

"I can take anybody in here out and show them oil, every single day," David White, a local fishing charter captain responded. "I was in the VOO program, driving around calling in oil, telling them where it is and nobody ever came. I never saw any skimmers there and I'm talking about some serious oil. I can show you tar balls going across the bottom like tumbleweeds."

Yerkes provided Truthout with a written statement from Lawrence Byrd, a local boat captain who was a task force leader in the VOO program from June 4 to July 21. On July 27 and 28, Byrd took BP officials, Coast Guard officials and an EPA official on a fact finding mission in search of oil.

"The Coast Guard told us if we could show them the oil, they'd put us back to work," Yerkes told Truthout, "So Byrd took him, and other officials out on his boat and showed them the oil."

Byrd's statement contains many instances of the group encountering oil on the trips:

"Within 30 minutes in the Rocky Bayou and Boggy Bayou we found 4 different football field sized areas of oily sheen on the water ... We moved east from there in search of weathered oil, just past Mid Bay bridge we found a 2 acre oil slick with a water bottle full of crude oil. At this time the Coast Guard Lt. had seen enough to warrant a 2nd trip with BP officials and EPA."

The next day, July 28, Byrd wrote:

"On board were BP officials, a Parson official, 2 Coast Guard Lts and EPA. First stop Crab Island Destin where we found tar balls, dead fish and plenty of dead sargasm grass. All officials seemed very concerned about all of our findings."

"There are surfers coming in with oil on them," Yerkes continued, "There are divers telling us it's on the bottom. We have VOO workers coming in after finding oil three inches thick atop the water as of last week and they go back out there and it's gone."

Project Gulf Impact filmed local fishermen saying much the same thing:

“Fishermen do not want to lose our credibility or deliver contaminated seafood to market and make people sick.” – Kathy Birren

“While President Obama and state officials claim that the Gulf is ‘open for business,’ these fishermen say the spraying of dispersants in the Gulf of Mexico is ongoing and they’re concerned that seafood pulled from impacted waters is unsafe for eating.”

“The tissue testing of this seafood is inadequate and testing for the toxic dispersants is non-existent.” – Tracy Kuhns, Louisiana Bayoukeeper

“I think it is crucial for the public to be made aware of the concerns of the commercial fishermen. And if a commercial fisherman who makes his living off of those products doesn’t want to deliver them to the public, the public needs to know why.” – Chris Bryant, Commercial Fisherman.

And see this:

Indeed, fishermen hired by BP are still finding tar balls, but are being instructed to hide their discoveries.

Is the Sierra Club right? Are still-oiled fishing areas being reopened solely to limit BP's liability?

Are fishing areas instead being reopened to try to save the Gulf fishing industry (even though local fishermen and shrimpers would rather have dangerous areas remain closed so that Gulf seafood's reputation isn't permanently destroyed)?

Or is it just part of the same old attempt to cover up the severity of the crisis?

One thing is for sure: the oil is not just in the imaginations of shrimpers and fishermen. While government scientists claim that 75% of the oil has disappeared, independent scientists say that up to 80% of the oil is still there. (Shrimpers told to 'shut up';Gulf Shrimpers Find Oil In Reopened Fishing Areas. Government Says "Shut Up". Sierra Club Alleges Areas Were Solely Reopened to Limit BP's Liability)


This is nothing new, of course. American presidents and their factotums and toadies have been telling lies for the past two hundred twenty-one years, that is, from the time that the Freemason George Washington was sworn in as our first president on April 30, 1789. All manner of evils have been promoted both openly and covertly by American presidential administrations.

Various presidential administrations, including but not necessarily limited to those of Presidents John Adams, Abraham Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt,  John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, George Herbert Walker Bush, Bill Clinton, George Walker Bush, and Barack Hussein Obama, have used outright disinformation techniques to obfuscate the truth and to present things as facts that were contrary to the truth. Some of these presidential administrations have attempted censorship while others have sought to use sloganeering to silence opponents, going so far in some cases as to threaten dissenters with imprisonment for seeking to get their fellow citizens to pay attention to that man behind the curtain pulling the levers to produce all of the smoke reflected in the mirrors of propagandizing. (See Fascists for Freedom.)

The supposed citadel of "liberty," a cry that has been taken up by a new breed of "libertarians" who do not understand or care that the only foundation of true liberty for men and their nations is the standard of the Holy Cross of Our Divine Redeemer, Christ the King, that is the United States of America has perpetrated great evils under various slogans that have received, at least for the most part, the enthusiastic support or, at the least, have been received with passive indifference by a citizenry that has always been more concerned with bread and circuses than with supernatural and natural truth.

How many Americans, including Catholics, care that American money and policy-makers sought to insinuate Freemasonry into Our Lady's beloved country of Mexico almost immediately after the Mexicans gained their independence from Spain in 1821 or that it was the policy of the government of the United States of America during the administrations of Presidents Thomas Woodrow Wilson, Warren Gamaliel Harding, and John Calvin Coolidge to support the murderous Masons of Mexico against the courageous Cristeros who sought defend the Sacred Rights of Christ the King and of the Patroness and Empress of the Americas, Our Lady of Guadalupe (see The Americas Belong to Our Lady)?

How many Americans, including Catholics, understand how brutally one presidential administration after another dealt with the American Indians as treaties were broken and outrages, such as the forcible removal of several Indian nations from their homelands of longstanding in North Carolina and Georgia to the Indian Territory (modern day Oklahoma) that is evocative of the forcible removal of Catholics from their beloved Acadia (Nova Scotia) by the Catholic-hating English in 1755? How many people even know about the Trail of Tears that was forged by cruel Americans to clear out "undesirables" so that the "superior" white man could have his way? (See the appendix below to contrast the brutality of the American treatment of the indigenous peoples of this country with the Catholic charity exhibited by Father Pierre-Jean De Smet, S.J.)

How many Americans really care about the outrages committed by William Tecumseh Sherman and his "March to the Sea" that involved a veritable scorched earth policy during the latter days o the War Between the States?

How many Americans, including Catholics, care about the fact that there was no just cause for war between the United States and Spain in 1898 that led to the American conquest and colonization of lands that were thoroughly Catholic as the American government introduced the "enlightenment" represented by the building of Protestant churches and Masonic lodges, thereby taking souls purchased at the price of the shedding of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ's Most Precious Blood out of Holy Mother Church? Who cares about the brutality of the American forces against Filipino patriots who sought to defend their country against an unwanted American invasion and occupation of their country following the mock "Battle of Manila" in 1898 (see Balangiga Massacre, 1901)?

How many Americans are aware of the lies that have been told by various presidential administrations about the "necessity" and the "safety" of various vaccination schemes dreamed up by social engineers and eugenicists?

How many Americans care about the lies told by Woodrow Wilson to involve us in a war that involved no legitimate American security interests, World War I, or the lies told by Franklin Delano Roosevelt to whip up a war fever prior to the Japanese assault on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, that many American historians have written was provoked, at least in part, by the Roosevelt administration's policies in the Pacific that were deemed by the brutal Japanese imperialists to a direct threat to their territorial interests?

What about the lies told by President Lyndon Baines Johnson during the Vietnam War or the misrepresentations and exaggerations made by George Herbert Walker Bush prior to the Persian Gulf War of 1991 or by his son, George Walker Bush, prior to and after the onset of the Iraq War in 2003? And this is say nothing about the lies told by Richard Nixon or by Bill Clinton on matters of public policy and their own criminal behavior or the current administration of Caesar Barackus Obamus Ignoramus that has told us lies about taxpayer subsidize "bailouts" of private industries and about the "stimulus package" and about ObamaCare and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Indeed, how many Americans, including far too many Catholics all up and down and across the vast expanse of the ecclesiastical divide during this time of apostasy and betrayal, believe that God will "bless America" with material prosperity in abundance even as the daily carnage of preborn children, killed by chemical and surgical means under cover of the civil law, continues unabated and as all manner of evils ("rock" music, gross immodesty of dress, indecency of speech, blasphemy, usury, commercialism, materialism, self-indulgence, gluttony, perversity, pornography, and statism, to name to just a few) are promoted in our popular culture and protected in our laws, our courtrooms and taught to children in public and conciliar schools?

Who care about these lies? Who is seeking to make reparation for them by praying to become victim souls to offer themselves as oblations of love to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary. How many people are seeking to withdraw more and more from the bread and circuses to make reparation for the excesses engendered by a world that has rejected and spat upon and forgotten the Social Reign of Christ the King and the public honor that must be given to His Most Blessed Mother, Mary our Immaculate Queen?

A nation founded on lies produces liars. I seem to recall writing an article about that once or twice (see A System Based on Lies Produces Liars). We should be surprised that the administration of the ruling caesar has lied to us about the "evaporation" of oil in the Gulf of Mexico and that the seafood caught there is safe to eat? Not really. Not really at all.

"Oil's not well (or gone)" in the Gulf of Mexico. All will not be well in this land, which we called to love with all of our hearts as we seek its conversion to the Catholic Faith by planting a few seeds of Catholic truth by our prayers, our lived example, our fasting, our mortifications, our voluntary sacrifices, and by the many Rosaries we pray each day, until every jot and tittle of what is owed to God for the crimes committed against Him and the souls won for us by the shedding of the Divine Redeemer's Most Precious Blood is paid back. Chastisements are indeed upon us, and what we are seeing at present, as I noted last month, is just a down payment of worse things to come if naturalism continues to take hold of our own minds and hearts as Catholics by our refusing to reject the "wisdom" of any naturalist "commentator and focus instead on praying more fervently and speaking more openly as Catholics in honor of Christ the King and Mary our Immaculate Queen no matter what this may cost us professionally or personally.

Our Lady has given us the Rosary as the weapon to defeat the devil and his minions in our own lives and to crush the enemies of her Divine Son, Christ the King, at work in the world. She has given us her Brown Scapular of Mount Carmel as her shield to protect us in the battles of the moment.

As we offer our prayers for those who continue to suffer in Louisiana and elsewhere along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, it is important to note that the deep waters of the present time will recede when the Triumph of Our Lady's Immaculate Heart as her Fatima Message is fulfilled.

Let us pray to Our Lady that we are held firmly in her loving arms now and at the hour of our deaths so she may present to her Divine Son as lovers of His Holy Cross upon awakening to our own Particular Judgment.

Isn't it time to pray a Rosary now?


Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.


Vivat Christus Rex!

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.


Saint Joseph, pray for us.

Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.

Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.

Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.

Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.

Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.

Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.

Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, pray for us.

Saint Jane Frances de Chantal, pray for us.

See also: A Litany of Saints

Appendix A

Father Pierre-Jean De Smet, S.J.'s Treatment of the American Indians:

A Far Cry from the "Trail of Tears" and from Conciliarism's Approach to Non-Catholics

(my own commentary is adapted from an article published four years ago now.)

The work of the conversion of souls of the Indians in North America prompted Father Pierre Jean De Smet to leave his native Belgium, much against the wishes of his parents, to follow in the missionary footsteps of his fellow Jesuits, the North American Martyrs. Although Father De Smet was not called to lay down his life as a blood martyr for the Faith, he gave of himself tirelessly, walking frequently on foot, as Saint Hyacinth (Compare and Contrast) had done in Central and Eastern Europe in the Thirteenth Century, to seek out the lost sheep who had never heard of Our Lord and His true Church, the Catholic Church. Much unlike Benedict XVI and his fellow conciliarists, Father De Smet did not want to take any chances with souls. Father De Smet was no believer in "universal salvation." Neither were the Black Robes who had preceded him to this continent by two centuries. A passage from The Life of Father De Smet, written by Father E. Laveille, S.J., proves this important point:

The American Missions, from their very beginnings, attracted great numbers from the Society of Jesus. Jesuits were the early explorers of New France and given to it its first martyrs. "The history of their labors," says a Protestant writer, "is connected with the origin of every celebrated town in the annals of French America: not a cape was turned, nor a river entered, but a Jesuit led the way." While Fathers Jogues, de Brebeuf, and Lalemant shed their blood upon the shores of the St. Lawrence, Father Marquette in a bark canoe explored the course of the Mississippi as far as the Arkansas.


Father De Smet was inspired by these examples of missionary zeal. Father Laveille describes the Belgian Jesuit's extraordinary zeal for souls:

The day came when the Catholic families of St. Louis in default of a college sent their children to this mission school. At first the scholastics of Florissant taught the young Indians, and Father De Smet was at the head of this department. After the "third year," however, he seems to have been left quite alone. No human motive could have persuaded him to seek this particular phase of the work, for those who know the idleness, the unsteadiness, and the revolting filth of the Indians, know also that constant contact with these gross natures requires a heroic charity of which God alone can judge the price. But nothing deterred this man, who upon his arrival in St. Louis, wrote to his father: "To suffer and die for the salvation of souls is the sole ambition of a true missionary."


What, may I be so bold as to ask, has changed? Who on earth, including a putative "pontiff" or an alleged "council," has the authority to change the command Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ gave to the Apostles to seek to convert souls until the end of time? It appears as though the logic of conciliarism is such that the only people who are "outside" of the Church are those Catholics who believe in everything, including Our Lord's institution of the papacy, mind you, contained in the Deposit of Faith and who worship as Catholics of the Roman Rite have always worshiped. Everyone else is "in" except those deemed to be "schismatic" for adhering to supposedly "outdated" notions such as the simple Catholic truth that the Church was instituted to sanctify and save souls, that the Catholic Church is alone the sole means of teaching and sanctification that God Himself has instituted. Father De Smet would be deemed a "schismatic" today for not engaging in "interreligious dialogue," for believing that he had to proselytize the Indians so as to save their immortal souls.

Not content with his work in Florissant, Missouri, Father De Smet wanted to head out to the far reaches of the West:

On January 26, 1838, he wrote to the Carmelites of Termonde: "New priests are to be added to the Potawatomi Mission, and my Superior, Father Verhaegen, gives me hope that I will be sent. How happy I would be could I spend myself for the salvation of so many souls, who are lost because they have never known the truth! My good Sisters, I beg you to pray for this intention. Implore the divine Pastor to deign to look upon the most unworthy of His servants, who longs to work for His glory. I tremble when I think of the great qualities an apostolate to the Indian demands. We must make men before making Christians, and such work requires unlimited patience and solid virtue, and you know what I am. Nevertheless, I am not discouraged. God's strength is greater than my weakness, and He can bring forth from stones children of Abraham."

Zeal for the salvation of souls and profound humility (God could not resist his supplications) were the distinguishing traits of our missionary, and a few weeks later he was appointed to the Potawatomi Mission. Father De Smet left St. Louis May 10th, Father Verrydt and Brother Mazelli joining him at Leavenworth. In going up the Missouri he greatly admired the vast river, dotted with its many islands; the villages that rose one above the other on its banks, the towering rocks, the caves, the forests, and the immense prairies, all of which lent infinite variety to the aspect. But the scenic beauty failed to render agreeable a journey fraught with many dangers.

"I would rather cross the ocean," he writes, "than ascend the Missouri River. The current is so swift that in order to get up the river the boat must be heavily loaded and the steam at full pressure. Hence, the traveler is in imminent danger of being shot up into the air by an explosion, and coming down perhaps in bits. Added to this, we run upon sand-bars every day--a dangerous proceeding. Lastly, the river bristles with snags which tear a boat open, and are the terror of pilots and travelers. More than once we were in great peril from them."

Crowds of Indians came to the landing to greet the missionaries, and whenever the boat stopped for fuel the priests went ashore to visit the different villages. The chief of the Iowas, an old pupil of Father De Smet's at Florissant, wished to keep him with his tribe. An Indian convert, eighty-four years of age, prepared himself for death by confession, shedding, meanwhile, tears of repentance. everywhere they were most cordially received.

Who, precisely, did Roger Schutz, the Protestant syncretist who was placed in Heaven by Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI in 2005 again just a few weeks ago now, make his confession to on a regular basis? Ah, I forgot. "Brother" Roger never converted. He is in Heaven, though. Why in the world should Father De Smet have left the comforts of Belgium if the Indians of North America could be saved without being converted to the true Church? Well, the answer, as readers of this site now, is that Father De Smet took seriously the consistent, defined, dogmatic teaching of the Catholic Church concerning the necessity of seeking with urgency the conversion of souls to her maternal bosom. This teaching his well summarized in the words of Pope Eugene IV in the Papal Bull Cantate Domino, issued on February 4, 1442, during the Council of Florence:

It [The Holy Roman Church] firmly believes, professes, and proclaims that those not living within the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics cannot become participants in eternal life, but will depart "into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels" [Matt. 25:41], unless before the end of life the same have been added to the flock; and that the unity of the ecclesiastical body is so strong that only to those remaining in it are the sacraments of the Church of benefit for salvation, and do fastings, almsgiving, and other functions of piety and exercises of Christian service produce eternal reward, and that no one, whatever almsgiving he has practiced, even if he has shed blood for the name of Christ, can be saved, unless he has remained in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church.

Father De Smet worked tirelessly for souls, baptizing countless numbers of Indians and spending much time in instructing them in the Holy Faith:

Many of these baptized died saintly deaths. A girl twelve years of age exclaimed at the moment of death: "How beautiful! How beautiful! I see the heavens opening and the Mother of God is calling me to come!" Then turning to those about her she said: "heed what the Black Robes tell you, for they speak the truth; they will come and in this place erect a house of prayer.

Enemies of Catholicism vainly endeavored to sow dissension and distrust, by insinuating that the missionaries had no intention of returning. "You are mistaken," replied Big Face. "I know our Father; his tongue does not lie. He said, 'I will return,' and return he will."


Father De Smet traveled to the Northwest to minister to the Coeur d'Alenes Indians:

Formerly the Coeur d'Alenes were considered the most barbarous and degraded of the mountain tribes; they adored animals, and lived in complete ignorance of God, the souls, and a future life. even the precepts of natural law were but vaguely understood and pretty generally offended against in practice. About 1830, an Iroquois Catholic, it is supposed, taught them the first elements of Christianity. Shortly after this date, the tribe suffered the ravages of a violent epidemic. When the plague was at its height, a dying man heard a voice saying: "Leave your idols, adore Jesus Christ, and you will be cured." He obeyed, and was restored to health. Then, making a tour of the camp, the restored man related what had taken place and entreated his stricken brethren to follow his example. They did so and all likewise were cured. This event produced a profound impression on the Coeur d'Alenes, but without a priest to further instruct them, a few of the tribe returned to the worship of idols; the conduct of many, however, since the revelation of the true God, had remained irreproachable.

Such was the condition of the Coeur d'Alenes when Father De Smet visited the tribe in 1842: "I was conducted in triumph to the lodge of the chief," he tells us, "and there, as in every other Indian camp, the calumet was brought forth. After it had been handed around several times and smoked in solemn silence the chief addressed me in the following words:

"'Black Robe, welcome to our country. Long have we desired to see you and be enlightened by your words. Our fathers worshiped the earth and the sun. I remember directly the day we first heard of the one and only true God. since then it is to Him we have addressed our prayers and supplications, and yet we are much to be pitied. We do not know the teachings of the Great Spirit, and we sit in darkness. But now I hope you have come to bring us light. I have finished. Speak, Black Robe! Every ear is open and eager to hear your words.

"During the two hours in which I spoke to them of salvation and the end of man, absolute silence and stillness reigned. The sun was just setting, and I recited the prayer I had some days before translated into their tongue. Refreshments were then offered, consisting of scraps of dried meat, a black moss cake that tasted like soap, and a glass river water, all of which were as nectar and ambrosia to a man who had not tasted food since sunrise. The chiefs expressing a desire to hear me again, I continued to instruct the tribe until far into the night, pausing every half-hour to hand around the calumet and give time for reflection. During these pauses the chiefs conversed about what they had just heard, explaining it to their subordinates.

"Upon awakening in the morning I found my tent invaded by Indians who had slipped in before dawn. Getting up at once, I knelt down, the Indians following my example, and together we offered our day and our hearts to God. 'Black Robe,' said the chief, 'we came here early this morning to watch you and imitate you. Your prayer is good, and we wish to adopt it. But you will stay here only two nights, and we have no one to teach it to us.' I rang the bell for morning prayers, and promised the chief they all would know the prayer before my departure."


Then it was that Father De Smet laid down the method that would henceforth be used for teaching the tribes their prayers. He assembled the Indians, ranging the children in a circle, with instructions to keep the same place at every reunion. Then each one was made to learn a phrase of the prayer by heart. Two children repeated the Hail Mary, seven the Our Father, ten the Commandments, and twelve the Apostles' Creed. After repeating to each child his particular phrase until he knew it by heart, the missionary then made them recite the phrases each in turn. This made a continued prayer, which the tribe listened to night and morning. After a few days one of the chiefs knew all the prayers by heart, and from that time he recited them for the tribe.

Two days after his arrival at the Coeur d'Alene camp, Father De Smet baptized the children, the sick, and the old men and women of the tribe. It seemed as though God had only kept these last on earth to accord them this supreme favor. In listening to their expressions of joy and gratitude one seemed to hear again Simeon's praises to the Lord.

Torn with regret, the missionary took leave of his new Christians, promising to send them a priest to complete their instruction. "Never has a visit to the Indians given me so much consolation, and nowhere have I seen such mistakable proof of true conversion, not even excepting the Flatheads in 1840." The future but confirmed his judgment, for the Coeur d'Alenes remained the most industrious and Christian of the mountain tribes.

Understanding the lies of Protestantism, which is no means of salvation whatsoever, Father De Smet sought to battle for souls against the heretical sects of Martin Luther's and John Calvin's and Thomas Cranmer's and John Wesley's progeny, who were endeavoring to do the devil's work by snatching the souls of the Indians for their own false religions:

As far back as 1834, Methodists, Presbyterians, and Anglicans swarmed into Oregon, each denomination establishing its own churches. The zeal of the Catholic missionaries accomplished prodigies in an effort to combat the work of these sects. Catholic churches were erected at Vancouver, Willamette, and at Cowhite. Christian piety being revived, Canadian trappers were rescued from the disorders of a life of adventure; and the Indian was not forgotten.

In order to teach the tribes Father De Smet retraced his steps and went up the Columbia to Walla Walla and Colville. But what were two priests in the vat work of converting a population of 200,000 souls, scattered over an area aggregating nine hundred miles in length and six hundred miles in width?

Hearing that Father De Smet, with five other missionaries, had arrived in the mountains, Father Blanchet hastened to acquaint him with the conditions existing in Oregon: "You can readily see," he says,  in concluding his letter, "how timely the arrival of one of your Fathers and a lay Brother would be. In my opinion, this place is where the religious foundations in this part of the country should be laid: a college, a convent, and schools are an absolute necessity. This is the battle-ground, here we must conquer, and here the first large mission should be established. From central posts missionaries could visit the outlying posts, distributing the Bread of life to infidels still plunged in the darkness of death."

Does this zeal for souls characterize or contradict the ethos of conciliarism? Anyone who can claim that the mandate given by Our Lord to the Apostles on Ascension Thursday can be changed is no "centrist" or "realist." Anyone who can claim that there no longer remains an urgent necessity to convert Protestants and Jews and the Orthodox and Mohammedans and all others, including Hindus and Buddhists, to the true Faith is an enemy of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, a veritable blasphemer who contends that God and His truths are immutable and that His Holy Church is not the one and only means of human salvation.


Appendix B

Le Grand Derangement

From Acadia and the Acadians, by Robert Chenard

The British "Final Solution" for the Acadians was deportation. It all started at 3 PM on September 5, 1755 at the Catholic Church in Grand Pre. Following the orders and plan of the Lieutenant General, Governor Lawrence, following the decree of the King of England, the British Council at Halifax unanimously decided to begin deporting the Acadians immediately to various British Colonies outside of Canada. The vessels needed for this were to be commandeered in the King's name. By this time, the Acadians numbered some 13,000 on the Acadian peninsula alone. More and more British troops had been arriving and the Acadians were acutely aware that big trouble was brewing.

 A proclamation was issued accordingly to "all the inhabitants of the district of Grand Pre, Minas, River Canard, etc. ..... to attend the Church at Grand Pre on Friday the fifth instant, at three of the clock in the afternoon, that we may impart to them what we are ordered to communicate to them; declaring that no excuse will be admitted, on any pretense whatever, on pain of forfeiting goods and chattels, in default of real estate. - Given at Grand Pre 2d September, 1755."

That Friday, 418 of the residents presented themselves at the Church as ordered. Colonel John Winslow, having tricked them into this assembly, announced to them that they were to be immediately deported outside of the Province and that all their properties and goods with the exception of their cash monies and personal belongings were hereby confiscated by and to the benefit of the British Crown. Soldiers surrounded the church to prevent any escapes.

The news of this spread quickly and those who could escaped to the woods, but in vain. Their country was laid to waste. Deported from Grand Pre alone were 2,242 Acadians. The Acadians were lined up and driven to the transport ships. Women and children were loaded on boats as fast as could be provided. As if to deprive the exiles of even the hope of return, the British burned to the ground 255 of their homes, 276 barns, 11 mills, and one church while the transport vessels were still in sight. Despite the promises of Colonel Winslow to keep families together, most families were separated immediately - parents from their children, wives from their husbands, children from their siblings - many to never see each other again. The Acadians were placed under arrest and were loaded on the ships with no choice in the manner. They took only what they were wearing and what little monies they had on their person at the time. Some of the ships used as transports were not seaworthy. Consequently, two of the ships, the Violet and the Duke William, with two groups of 650 Acadians went to a watery grave in the icy mid-Atlantic on December 10 of that year. Only one lifeboat with 27 survivors lived to tell what happened. "I do not know," observes 19th century American historian George Bancroft, " if the annals of the human race keep the record of sorrows so wantonly inflicted, so bitter and so lasting as fell upon the French inhabitants of Acadia."

How ironic it must seem for the living descendants of those expelled Acadians who now live in the town of Winslow - a town so named in honor of the same British officer, General John Winslow, who was directly responsible for carrying out those dastardly deeds in the darkest hour in the history of the Acadians.

About 2,000 Acadians managed to escape arrest and they wandered through the woods like hunted animals, half-clad and half-starved, in ever search of some near relative. Some made it safely into Quebec where they established new lives in such towns as l'Acadie, Becancour, Nicolet, and others. Of those escapees was one of my own 6th generation paternal ancestors, Laurent Doucet, son of Paul Doucet (a direct descendant of Acadia's first governor, Germain Doucet) and Anne LeBrun. How they survived this terrible ordeal is almost miraculous. Today, the direct descendants of these escaped Acadians number over 230,000 souls, including one-third of the present population of New Brunswick.

The deportation continued unabated over a period of 8 years. Between 1755 and 1763, Governor Lawrence kept unloading the Acadians along the American coast - over 2,000 to Boston, where the Bostonians treated them like slaves, 700 from Grand Pre and Port Royal to Connecticut, and about 250 poor, naked, and destitute to New York. New York rid the major part of her Acadian exiles by persuading them to emigrate to Santo Domingo, where most of them perished miserably from the torrid sun. Lawrence exiled 754 to Philadelphia where, being held captive aboard the ships in the harbor for three months, smallpox killed 237 of them. Some 2,000 more were removed to Maryland where several hundred of them escaped to Louisiana, Quebec, and the West Indies. To North Carolina, Lawrence sent 500, and to South Carolina, 1,500 Acadians. The Carolinians cleverly enticed them to leave in some old boats for Acadia. Of these, only 900 arrived at the River St. John. Another 400 were banished to Georgia where, preferring death anywhere in the tropics to slavery with the blacks in the cotton fields and sugar plantations, they fled. Wherever they went, the Acadians were unwanted, shunned, cheated, despised, and heartlessly allowed to die without even the care and affection given to pet animals. Only Connecticut was prepared to receive the exiles sent to her and treated them as a group humanely. In all, nearly 3,700 Acadians were dispersed along the coast in the British colonies of America. There is no doubt that every Acadian would have preferred exile in France to banishment to any other place.

The method of dispersing the Acadians has scarcely an equal in history. Said Edmund Burke, "We did, in my opinion, most inhumanely, and upon the pretenses that, in the eye of an honest man, are not worth a farthing, root out this poor, innocent, deserving people, whom our utter inability to govern, or to reconcile, gave us no sort of right to extirpate." How right was his judgement. There were many pitiful separations in families. One case is particularly well-known. Due to the small number of transports, Rene Leblanc, notary-public of Grand Pre, his wife, and their two youngest children were put on one ship and landed in New York, but their eighteen other children and 150 grandchildren were loaded aboard different ships and dispersed among the colonies. There were deliberate separations of husbands from their wives and fathers from their children. Men would come back home from their work in the woods or fishing boats only to find their families gone, their homes burned to the ground, and the British soldiers waiting to arrest them and force them aboard ships for permanent banishment from their lands. Yet others were taken to various ports in England as prisoners of war and placed in concentration camps such as at Liverpool. (Acadia and the Acadians, by Robert Chenard.)




© Copyright 2010, Thomas A. Droleskey. All rights reserved.