Saint John Nepomucene and Warning Flags

Wed, 2017/09/13 - 1:07pm | Your editor
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Since I first ran into him in a course in Eastern European history, my favorite Catholic martyr was St. John Nepomucene who in the 15th century was thrown off the Charles Bridge in Prague and drowned for refusing to divulge to the Emperor what his wife had said in her confession. Now I am reconsidering after it turned out that the secrecy of the confessional was cited by Australian Cardinal George Pell over priests who confessed to having sexually molested children.

An Empress having an affaire is a sin but not a crime or a violation of law (including canon law) whereas a prelate preying on children is a criminal. I am not sure if back in the 15th century this was spelled out by the Czech saint before he was dropped into the Vistula. So now I am backing Baltimore Archbishop William Lori who tonight will celebrate Mass for local “dreamers”, children who were illegally brought to the USA who have grown up and attempted to get proper papers.

One reason is that I ran into a demo over the weekend on behalf of the DAPA law that nobody in the party in power is backing, and got a lovely multi-lingual poster reading “welcome” in a dozen languages (French, Spanish, and what I assume is Arabic among them.) It was given to me by a pair of very tradional-looking nuns, wearing wimpels and carrying yard-long rosaries, presumably to increase their credibility if not their comfort level. I have no problem with propaganda for policies I back.

 

*The Frankfurther Allgemeine Zeitung today headlines” “A Financial Crisis Coming? The situation recalls 2006.” Then the paper quotes London-based analyst Ariel Bezalel of Jupiter Funds, who says “the biggest risks I see today are in the USA where consumer and corporate debt are too high... which also creates risk for the rest of the world.” Mr Bezalel managed the Jupiter Dynamic Bonds Fund which in 2012-2016 produced a 34.6% return compared to a mere 21.7% rise for other bond funds in Britain. He also worries about how easy it is for no-income companies like tesla or Netflix to raise money on the bond markets. The analyst also has a Jewish name which reporter Gerald Braunberger may not have spotted.

 

Bearish too is the European Securities and Market Authority which issued a warning that current market and credit risks are exceptionally high. This could cause a bubble and widespread volatility. It blamed low interest rates and political uncertainty over Brexit. Brexit talks are now being suspended until PM Theresa May delivers what is supposed to be “an important intervention.”

 

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