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Today Is The Day
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Church Art Shouldn't Make You Say "Blech!"
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Cardinal Urges Priests To Liven Up Sermons
I got some ideas...
New Translation Objections Are Becoming More Ridiculous
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This Comes As No Surprise
Up with the ex-communicated!
Things A Catholic Ought Never Say
Watch your mouth!
Sister Patricia: On Seven Quick-Takes Friday
Catching up with Sr Pat.
Just Thought You'd Like To Know...
A public service announcement.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Denver Weather Tonite

Clear skies, mid sixties, light winds, heavy bs.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

More Bishops Board The Bus

A lot of has been posted the past four days on "Pelosi-gate", and several blogs are keeping the issue at the forefront. American Papist, Tom Peters' excellent blog, is doing yeoman's work on keeping on top of press releases, bishop statements and media coverage (of which there is very little, not surprising).

For a running update on American bishops who have issued statements, click here: American Bishops who have spoken against Pelosi. As of this post, the number is at eleven.

Tom also posted a statement attributed to another prominent pro-abortion Catholic politician, which I'm reposting here:

[Question: Why do you hold a pro-choice position on abortion?]

Answer: "... Even within our own [Catholic] church, there’s been debates about life, you know, from, from “Summa Theologica,” Aquinas, and 40 days to quickening and right to, you know, you know, Pious IX, animated fetus doctrine and so on. So this—the, the, the decision’s the closest thing politically to what has been the philosophic divisions existent among the major confessional faiths in our country. And that’s why, I think, that’s why I’ve come to the conclusion some long time ago, over 25 years ago, that is the—it is the [pro-choice] template which makes the most sense."

This quote comes from April 29, 2007. Three guesses who said it...

A personal sidenote: I find it interesting, but not surprising, that no one is coming to Pelosi's aid during this situation (except for Apostates for Choice). A big part of the reason may be that it's the week of the Democrappy National Convention, and drawing unwanted attention to supporting baby-killing is not on the agenda, even if it is part of their platform. Another reason may be that the backlash generated by her gaffes was unexpected, given past history in cases like this. When was the last time the American Bishops have responded this quickly, with some pretty strong language? Now that the gauntlet has been thrown down, I pray that they continue to apply pressure and stand together, and take the necessary steps to follow through if forced by further refusal on Pelosi's (and any other pro-abortion Catholic politician) part to recant and repent. Now is not the time to lose credibility.

Keep up to date on this issue by frequently checking Tom's blog. Updates are made throughout the day, and this issue is too important to remain uninformed.

Apostates For Choice Lend Support To Pelosi

Apostates For Choice (or as they like to call themselves, Catholics For Choice) issued a press release on Tuesday August 26, 2008. Here's the opening three paragraphs:

Catholics for Choice Responds to Bishops' Comments on Speaker Pelosi

Washington, DC—Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, issued the following statement about the response from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi:

“In their response to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, the US bishops commented on their interpretation of what Speaker Pelosi said, not what she actually said. Speaker Pelosi was correct in noting that Catholic teaching has changed over the years, even on the issue of when life begins. But the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops used the occasion to bang the drum on their issue sine qua non in American politics: abortion. In doing so, the bishops ignored many relevant issues, including the importance of conscience, what Catholics themselves actually believe, and the role of religion in politics.

“On conscience, Catholic politicians need no reminding that Catholic teaching requires them to follow their own consciences—even if it is in conflict with church teaching. In addition, Catholic teaching requires at least tolerance, if not respect, for other people’s decisions. Speaker Pelosi and the many other prochoice Catholic politicians are following this teaching to the letter when they recognize the proper place for personal religious convictions in the political arena, and support policies that help ensure affordable contraception, safe and legal abortions, comprehensive sexuality education, and affordable health care for all people in this country.

“Despite what many bishops might hope, they cannot impose teachings on an unwilling faithful. Barely a fifth (22%) of Catholics in the US agree with the bishops that abortion should be completely illegal, and Catholic women in the US have abortions at the same rate as women in the population as a whole. In fact, while the bishops may seek to make abortion an election issue, it is clear from a poll conducted by the noted Washington, DC, firm Belden Russonello and Stewart, that many of the hierarchy’s teachings on reproductive health and rights have not been received by the faithful."

The rest of the press release is just as dumb.

So the moral of the story, in the mind of Apostates for Choice, is let polls and opinions be your guide, instead of revealed truth. These people are the Anti-Magisterium, and are using their misinformed consciences to dictate what is truth, instead of forming their consciences to the Truth. It amazes me that they can say with a straight face that being a faithful Catholic means follow one's conscience, even if it's in conflict with Church teaching.

And another thing - tolerance is not a Christian virtue. Love is the prime virtue we are to exhibit, and that sometimes means admonishing the sinner and instructing the ignorant. It doesn't mean let's just all get along; it's not "I'm okay, you're okay"; it's not ignoring sinful behaviors that could lead to eternal damnation, for both the individual and for others. The commandment Christ gave us is "Love your neighbor as yourself", not "Tolerate your neighbor as yourself". God is intolerant of evil and sin and pride - he is merciful to those who seek repentance and show humility, but make no mistake - he is intolerant. Ever hear of the commandment "I am the Lord your God; you shall have no other god before me"? How is that tolerant? Christ said "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life" - how is that tolerant?

I found today's first reading to be very appropriate, especially the first verse. From Paul's 2nd Letter to the Thessalonians, Chapter 3, verse 6: "We instruct you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to shun any brother who walks in a disorderly way and not according to the tradition they received from us."

So with Apostates for Choice on Pelosi's wagon, it's just more proof that her point of view is wacky and wrong. We are known by the company we keep, and I'm betting the usual group of dissenters, heretics and apostates will be jumping aboard. Any guesses as to who will be next?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Instructing The Ignorant

One of the Spiritual Works of Mercy is to instruct the ignorant - and what follows is Cardinal Egan doing just that with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and pulling no punches in the process.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 26, 2008

STATEMENT OF HIS EMINENCE, EDWARD CARDINAL EGAN CONCERNING REMARKS MADE BY THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Like many other citizens of this nation, I was shocked to learn that the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the United States of America would make the kind of statements that were made to Mr. Tom Brokaw of NBC-TV on Sunday, August 24, 2008. What the Speaker had to say about theologians and their positions regarding abortion was not only misinformed; it was also, and especially, utterly incredible in this day and age.

We are blessed in the 21st century with crystal-clear photographs and action films of the living realities within their pregnant mothers. No one with the slightest measure of integrity or honor could fail to know what these marvelous beings manifestly, clearly, and obviously are, as they smile and wave into the world outside the womb. In simplest terms, they are human beings with an inalienable right to live, a right that the Speaker of the House of Representatives is bound to defend at all costs for the most basic of ethical reasons. They are not parts of their mothers, and what they are depends not at all upon the opinions of theologians of any faith. Anyone who dares to defend that they may be legitimately killed because another human being “chooses” to do so or for any other equally ridiculous reason should not be providing leadership in a civilized democracy worthy of the name.

Edward Cardinal Egan
Archbishop of New York

August 26, 2008

No commentary is necessary. I hope that other bishops and Cardinals stand with courage and determination with Cardinal Egan and continue to instruct all of us on what it means to be Catholic.

Red Wings s/s to Creative Minority Report

Friday, August 22, 2008

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Maryknoll Priest 'Admonished'; Calls Meeting 'Productive'

In "Dissent-speak", this translates to: "High fives all around for the guy who stuck it to 'da man'!!" This display of smug defiance regarding women's fauxrdination sickens me.

Here's the story from California Catholic Daily:

A Maryknoll priest who earlier this month participated in the attempted ordination of a “womanpriest” has said a subsequent meeting with his superiors over the affair was “productive.”

On Aug. 8, Fr. Roy Bourgeois joined Dana Reynolds, a Carmel-by-the-Sea woman who claims to be a Catholic bishop, in the attempted ordination of Janice Sevre-Duszynska at a Unitarian church in Lexington, Kentucky.

In his homily during the ordination service, Bourgeois equated the Holy See’s teaching that the Church has no authority to ordain women with the segregation of African-Americans in his home state of Louisiana. “No matter how hard we may try to justify discrimination, in the end, it is always wrong and immoral,” said Bourgeois. “As Reverend Nancy Taylor of Boston put it, ‘Prejudice in liturgical clothing is still prejudice.’”

Hearing reports of Bourgeois’ participation in the ordination service, his superiors summoned him to meet with them in Maryknoll, New York. On Aug. 19, Bourgeois told the National Catholic Reporter that he had met with his superiors. They, including Maryknoll Superior General Fr. John Sivalon, agreed, said Bourgeois, that they would join in "collective discernment over issues of justice, including the role of women in the church."

Bourgeois said he told his superiors that Maryknoll and other men’s orders need to be “open enough” and “have courage enough” to discuss with women the matter of ordination. “We don’t have to start ordaining women,” he said, “but can we at least invite women in and just listen? Can we shut up long enough to hear their stories, their experiences of being marginalized in the church? Can we hear the pain they feel?”

Bourgeois said he asked his superiors (who did not respond to the question), “What do we say to Janice and other women who say they are called by God to be priests?”

A joint statement from Bourgeois and his superiors notes that the matter of Bourgeois’ participation in the ordination service has been investigated and sent on to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome. Bourgeois’ superiors gave him a “canonical warning,” informing him of a violation of Church law. A future violation could bring on Bourgeois the penalties of dismissal from his order or excommunication. Bourgeois told Catholic News Service that he had “no intentions of participating in a similar ceremony in the future."

But what if the Holy See excommunicates him? “I would be very, very sad,” Bourgeois told the National Catholic Register. “I’ve been a Maryknoll priest for 36 years. But if Rome came down with the ax? I’d have to embrace it.”

"Embrace it"? In other words, "Sigh - it'd be just another cross of injustice I'd have to bear. Sigh sigh alas sigh."

This is how I think the meeting actually went:

Maryknoll Superiors: "Thanks for coming, Ray."

Ray: "No problem."

MS: "Need anything? We got Bud Light, High Life, harder if you want."

Ray: "Got any Mike's Hard Lemonade?"

MS: "Sure. So, pretty ballsy, concelebrating at the ordination."

Ray: "A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do."

MS: "Got that right! But listen, Ray, this kinda puts us in a tight spot. There are still a couple Maryknoll supporters who think what you did was wrong."

Ray: "Hey, I understand."

MS: "You realize that this is just for appearances sake. We have a prepared statement, saying that we've admonished you with a 'canonical warning', and that we have to send a report to the CDF."

Ray: "I expected as much. I've got a some statements too. Wanna hear 'em?"

MS: "Sure."

Ray: "We ought to join in collective discernment over issues of justice, including the role of women in the church."

MS: "Hey, not bad."

Ray: "There's more: 'We don’t have to start ordaining women, but can we at least invite women in and just listen? Can we shut up long enough to hear their stories, their experiences of being marginalized in the church? Can we hear the pain they feel?' Well?”

MS: (laughing) "Awesome! That's good stuff."

Ray: "And how about this. 'What do we say to Janice and other women who say they are called by God to be priests?'"

MS: (more laughing) "Stop it man, you're killing us!"

Ray: "OK, so is that it?"

MS: "Yeah - you know, Ray, the CDF could come down pretty hard on you."

Ray: "Eh - so they make me a martyr and a mega-star."

MS: "Just don't let it go to your head."

Ray: "Sure."

MS: "So now what?"

Ray: "I'll call Roberts over at NCR and give him some schtick over how broke up I'd be if Rome gets tough, yada yada yada. He'll lap it up. And how we've come to an understanding and had a productive meeting and all that. You may come off as the fall guys, if that's okay."

MS: "Sure. Let's stay on the same page about this. Oh, and Ray?"

Ray: "Yeah?"

MS: "Keep up the good work."

Monday, August 18, 2008

More Stuff From My Mailbox

A friend sent me a collection of kids' letters addressed to God. There's no indication as to the original source, or what age these children were. Heck, they could be faked for all I know! I selected a few that brought a smile to my face anyway, and with it being Monday, maybe they'll brighten your day as well.

Who Said It?

From an event held on May 21, 2008 in the Archdiocese of Detroit:

"...It’s very special that we’re doing this tonight because, maybe some of you are aware, today is a new feast day in the Church. It’s the feast of Blessed Franz Jagerstatter. He was declared Blessed, by Pope Benedict just this past October 26, 2007. His feast day is today, the day of his Baptism in 1913, which was the day after he was born – they did it really quick, back then in Austria. Those who know of him remember him as one who said “absolutely no” to Hitler’s war. He refused to serve in Hitler’s army. That was considered treason according to the Nazi ideology and the policy of the Germany government at the time. He was executed, beheaded, on August 9, 1943. Now, Benedict has declared him among the Blessed. I think that’s especially significant because Franz said “No” to Hitler’s army and Joseph Ratzinger said “Yes.” He served in Hitler’s youth and also in Hitler’s army. So now the Pope is saying Franz was right, I was wrong. I think that’s very courageous on the part of Pope Benedict, but it’s also a very important lesson for all of us."

Was this said by a:

a) Call-to-Apostasy speaker
b) professor from Sacred Heart Seminary
c) Voice of the Faithless activist
d) retired bishop from the Archdiocese

It's widely known that the Holy Father was never a member of the Nazi party, nor were any of his family members. He was conscripted to serve in an anti-aircraft unit, then transferred to a tank trap unit, when he deserted the Nazi army and was captured by the Allies, finally being freed at the end of the war. To suggest, allege or imply otherwise was irresponsible and downright slanderous and perhaps calumnious.

And for those of you who guessed correctly, congratulations!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Obama Is More Christ-like Than...Well, Than Christ?!?

I've heard of the expression "more Catholic than the Pope", but this takes the cake. By far.


The supporter is Dr Marc Lamont Hill, an Assistant Professor of Urban Education and American Studies at Temple University. On his The O'Reilly Factor appearance Wednesday 8/13, he makes wild and false assertions that the early Church and first-century Jewish did not prohibit abortions. Pierre, though, provides details on what the actual teachings were, citing the Didache and Josephus (1st century Jewish historian) as well as referencing other sources.

Here's some of the jaw-dropping exchange between O'Reilly and Hill (emphases are Pierre's):

O'REILLY: ... Barack Obama has been the most progressive voice in the country, more than Barbara Boxer, more than Nancy Pelosi, in supporting abortion on demand, whether it's in the third trimester, whether it's partial-birth abortion. No matter what it is, he says, "Yes." So - How do you reconcile finding Jesus with the being the most pro-abortion politician in the country? Don't you want to know that?

HILL: I think he's made that very clear. In fact, he's probably been most clear on that point. There are different schools of theological understanding, many of which believe that the Bible is not something that should be read fundamentally, but --

O'REILLY: The question is simple. (crosstalk) Would Jesus be as progressive on abortion - does he believe Jesus would, based upon his knowledge of theology - as he [Obama] is?

HILL: Absolutely. I think, absolutely.

O'REILLY: You believe Jesus would say, "Partial-birth abortion: No problem"?

HILL: I think Jesus would be even more radical than all the candidates who are --

O'REILLY (incredulous): On this issue?

HILL: On this issue and on all these other issues. I think a fundamentalist understanding of the pro-life/pro-choice debate is misguided and actually misses the point. And I think Barack Obama understands this kind of thing -- (inaudible) close to the center --

O'REILLY (incredulous): That would be a stunning dissertation if the Senator would give it. And I would absolutely want to hear it.

HILL: And I think he would. I think he will!

So let me get this straight. Obama is the new Messiah who will save America, improving the country from how it is now, by bringing back a time when it used to be better, and to prove it, his supporters are saying that Obama is to the right of Jesus Christ.

That line of thinking goes well with this picture:

Trust Vs. Suspicion

I don't have time this morning to make any comments on PaulCat's post from yesterday over at Alive and Young, but I highly recommend it. It's lengthy, but his insights on how one's hermeneutic approach to Scripture - whether it's one of trust or suspicion - can influence one's progress on the path to holiness. Very good stuff.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Stay Strong, USD!

The California Catholic Daily continues coverage of the University of San Diego's dis-invitation of the heterodox theologian Rosemary Radford Reuther, who had been offered an honorary, year-long professorship. The latest development? An on-line petition was conducted by two dissenting "catholic" groups demanding that USD flip-flop and re-invite Reuther. Here's the story (emphases mine):

The Usual Suspects

"An online petition signed by thousands is asking the University of San Diego to again change its position and re-invite “feminist theologian” Rosemary Radford Ruether to take an honorary, yearlong professorship at the Catholic school.

"Ruether, a supporter of abortion rights, contraception and the renaming of God, had been invited to hold the Monsignor John R. Portman Chair in Roman Catholic Theology at USD for the academic year 2009-2010, a decision that prompted a flood of complaints after California Catholic Daily first reported news of the appointment on July 9. On July 18, Pamela Gray Payton, assistant vice president for public affairs at USD, issued the following statement: “Upon review of the specific purpose of the Monsignor John R. Portman Chair in Roman Catholic Theology, the University of San Diego is no longer considering the appointment of Dr. Rosemary Radford Ruether as the 2009-2010 Chair holder.”

"A dissident-backed petition under the title “Support Rosemary Radford Ruether and Academic Freedom!” on the web site iPetitions.com has drawn more than 2100 signatures in support of reinstating Ruether to the Portman professorship. (iPetitions.com allows backers of various causes to create their own petitions and gather signatures via the Internet, and claims it reaches up to 250 million users.) A check of the web site yesterday revealed that the Ruether petition had been “closed” after a total of 2102 signatures were obtained – though some of the signatures appear to be duplicates.

"The petition in support of Ruether was sponsored by the Women’s Ordination Conference, “a national organization that works for Catholic women to be priests and for a more inclusive Roman Catholic Church,” and by the Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual, "a feminist educational center.”

"Aisha Taylor, the new executive director of the Women's Ordination Conference, is a 2003 graduate of USD, where she obtained a bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Humanities, “with an emphasis on feminist liberation religious studies.” While at USD, she was reportedly heavily involved in the activities of the pro-homosexual campus group PRIDE. Taylor also serves on the “anti-racism team” of the dissident group Call to Action.

"Many of those signing the petition said that USD had lost status in the academic world by dis-inviting Ruether because it signified a violation of academic freedom, or worse, gender discrimination. Other signers are well known dissidents, including Frances Kissling, founder of Catholics for a Free Choice, the pro-abortion group repeatedly denounced by U.S. bishops and now going by the name Catholics for Choice.

"Some of the signers identified themselves as faculty members at USD. Patricia A. Plovanich wrote, “I am a member of the department in question. The administration made an end run around the faculty, half of whom are out of the city, and simply made a decision without consultation with the Department of Theology and Religious Studies. It is a first in the long history of administrators working with our department.”

"Several signers of the petition said that Ruether now does not want to be reinstated to the Portman Chair, but that the university nonetheless should pay her for the year under the terms of the original offer.

"Ruether has said she thinks that God can be called “Gaia,” after the Greek mother-earth goddess, has been a longtime supporter of women’s ordination, and since 1985 has served on the board of Catholics for Choice, described by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops as “an arm of the abortion lobby in the United States and throughout the world.” In 2005, Ruether told an audience at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles that “Christianity is not necessarily worse than other religions, but it is the vehicle of Western Civilization,” which, she said, is riddled with hierarchy and patriarchy. Christianity, she said, presents an image of a tribal war god instead of “wisdom pervading the universe.”

I'm hoping USD sticks to their decision despite this protest, as lame as it is. Only 2102 signees? And possibly some of them duplicates? Those numbers are encouraging! I'm betting that USD made their decision based on numbers and dollars alone, given that this heretic was offered the position to begin with. Perhaps they thought, 'Hmmm. On one hand, there are alumni threatening to cut back on donations, and parents threatening to pull their kids out. These people are faithful Catholics who will most likely have more kids or larger families, which means potential students (tuition) which will lead to more alumni (donations). On the other hand, these dissenters are contracepting and aborting themselves into non-existence.' Easy decision, in my opinion. Of course, I'm hoping the theological crap this woman espouses, along with her dubious associations with dissenting so-called catholic organizations, also played a part in USD's decision, but I'm not holding my breath. It sure would be great if they had taken into consideration Pope Benedict's words from his Address to Catholic Educators on April 17, 2008, during his visit to the United States (again, emphases mine):

"In regard to faculty members at Catholic colleges universities, I wish to reaffirm the great value of academic freedom. In virtue of this freedom you are called to search for the truth wherever careful analysis of evidence leads you. Yet it is also the case that any appeal to the principle of academic freedom in order to justify positions that contradict the faith and the teaching of the Church would obstruct or even betray the university's identity and mission; a mission at the heart of the Church's munus docendi and not somehow autonomous or independent of it.

"Teachers and administrators, whether in universities or schools, have the duty and privilege to ensure that students receive instruction in Catholic doctrine and practice. This requires that public witness to the way of Christ, as found in the Gospel and upheld by the Church's Magisterium, shapes all aspects of an institution's life, both inside and outside the classroom. Divergence from this vision weakens Catholic identity and, far from advancing freedom, inevitably leads to confusion, whether moral, intellectual or spiritual."

As for Ruether, perhaps Charlie Curran can get her a job at SMU. I'm sure her views and opinions would fit right in.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Wednesday One-liner

Speed Bump is one of my favorite cartoon strips. Its creator, Dave Coverly, has a dry humor and somewhat twisted view of life that I can relate to, and today's strip made me laugh. I added the caption.

Call-To-Action's Annual Check-up

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

American Life League Smackdown

ALL has produced a really good video that shoots down the 63 dissident so-called Catholic groups that have collaborated in calling upon the Vatican to assuage their guilty feelings and change doctrinal teaching on contraception. Back in late July, just before the 40th anniversary of Humanae Vitae, these "oddball groups", as the narrator calls them, took out a full page ad in an Italian newspaper demanding that 2000 years of Church teaching be swept away.



My only complaint with the video is that the 63 group names scroll by much too quickly for my slow eyes to follow. Beyond that minor thing, it's a good piece of production.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Walk Out

Yesterday I attended the 11:00 AM Mass at the nearby Dominican Sisters chapel (previously posted about here) with my two sons. The Mass was proceeding along normally up until the homily, when the priest said: "As many of you know, the Dominicans add the letters "O.P." after their names, which stands for "Order of Preachers". They have the charism to preach - so here to preach today's homily is....Connie."

Oh boy.

Up to the ambo strolled a pant-suited woman, who began the homily. My younger son whispered to me "Dad, she's not a priest! They're doing it wrong!" I debated whether I should stay and endure this unholy mess, or leave and drive over to our home parish. They have a 10:45 AM Mass, so chances were good we could get there prior to Holy Communion. So I prayed to God, asking Him to give me a quick answer as to what I should do. No sooner had I thought that prayer, Connie said: "Sisters and brothers, we must never be afraid, and we must protect our children from all harm!"

Talk about instant messaging! I motioned to the boys to get up, and we walked out. As we walked to the car, my younger son mentioned he saw four or five other people leave as well. I took the time during the drive to our home parish to reiterate that only an ordained man - bishop, priest or deacon - is allowed to preach the Gospel or deliver the homily.

Thanks to God, we arrived during the Offertory (the presiding priest gave typically long homilies, so the Mass wasn't as far along as I had thought), and we were able to worship in relative freedom from liturgical abuses. I say "relative freedom" because just before the Our Father, for some unexplicable reason, the priest invited the 3 altar boys to stand near him, and he had them lead the congregation in the Our Father. Then he made the comment, "See, not only do they look good, they sound pretty good too!"

*Sigh*

Next Sunday, and every Sunday, it's the Benedictine Monastery.

Needless to say, I'm writing a letter to the director of the Dominican Motherhouse explaining why my family will no longer be attending Mass there, and that I'll be asking those I know who typically attend there to consider attending elsewhere.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Name Day

St Lawrence before Emperor Valerianus, by Fra Anglico with Benozzo Gozzoli, 1447-49

Today is the feast day of St Lawrence of Rome, the saint whom I'm named after. Here's the bio of this 3rd century martyr, as seen at Patron Saints Index.
Third-century archdeacon of Rome, distributor of alms, and "keeper of the treasures of the church" in a time when Christianity was outlawed. On 6 August 258, by decree of Emperor Valerian, Pope Saint Sixtus II and six deacons were beheaded, leaving Lawrence as the ranking Church official in Rome. While in prison awaiting execution Sixtus reassured Lawrence that he was not being left behind; they would be reunited in four days. Lawrence saw this time as an opportunity to disperse the material wealth of the church before the Roman authorities could lay their hands on it. On 10 August Lawrence was commanded to appear for his execution, and to bring along the treasure with which he had been entrusted by the pope. When he arrived, the archdeacon was accompanied by a multitude of Rome's crippled, blind, sick, and indigent. He announced that these were the true treasures of the Church. Martyr. Lawrence's care for the poor, the ill, the neglected have led to his patronage of them. His work to save the material wealth of the Church, including its documents, brought librarians and those in related fields to see him as a patron, and to ask for his intercession. And his incredible strength and courage when being grilled to death led to his patronage of cooks and those who work in or supply things to the kitchen. The meteor shower that follows the passage of the Swift-Tuttle comet was known in the middle ages as the "burning tears of Saint Lawrence" because they appear at the same time as Lawrence's feast.
The legend goes, that as Lawrence was being martyred, he told his executioner: "I'm done on this side; you may flip me over". That explains why he is also the patron saint of comedians and comics.
Pray for us, St. Lawrence. Ask the Lord to give us all the gift of holy humor, because in times like these, we need all the laughs we can get.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Tragedy Strikes Kentucky; Over 150 Injured

As reported in the National Catholic Distorter, over 150 people attended the excommunication ceremony of Janice Sevre-Duszynska on Saturday, August 9, in her attempt to become a priest in the Roman Catholic Church. However, all those in attendance suffered critical injuries, resulting in the single-greatest disaster to strike Kentucky in 2008.

The injuries, however, are not physical, as everyone was able to leave under their own power. The injuries are entirely spiritual, as their souls have been cut off from God's graces in varying degrees. It seems that the greatest symptom of these injuries has been a significant increase in pride, as evidenced by comments by the media spokesperson for Womynpreests, Bridget Mary Meehan:

“We are building a renewed model of priesthood for a renewed Roman Catholic Church in a community of equals in which all are welcome at the sacred Eucharistic table” said Meehan, ordained two years ago, is a priest for house churches in Sarasota, Florida, and northern Virginia.
“Excommunications are not keeping people from seeking us out,” she said by phone from Lexington. “There is no punishment, there is nothing the institutional church can do to stop this movement,”
she said.

The Diocese of Lexington had made the following comments in anticipation of this tragedy: "The Roman Catholic Diocese of Lexington condemned the Roman Catholic Womenpriests movement as 'in opposition to the church’s authentic teaching' and warned that 'members of the Catholic faithful should not support or participate in Saturday’s event.' Participation in the event, 'carries with it very serious penal sanctions in Church Law,' a statement on the diocese’s Web site warned.
"The event, the diocese said, 'has no connection to Roman Catholic Liturgy or Sacraments and cannot in any way be recognized as a valid reception of Sacred Orders.'”
While some may see these comments as harsh in regards to the extent of spiritual damage incurred by the attendees, the Diocese has actually exhibited pastoral care and concern for its members. In fact, all validly ordained priests are ready and available to hear the confessions of those who have been harmed by this event, to bring healing and reconciliation.

***************************************************

Note: This is the comment I submitted to NCR in response to this article:

Pope Benedict stated that the true Church will be smaller in the future, and with every faux ordination that occurs, the more that His Holiness' statement comes into being. I pray for the souls of these poor misguided women - they aren't following the Holy Spirit, but their prideful will, no matter how strongly they "feel" that God is calling them to do this. I may feel strongly that 2+2=5, but no amount of strong feelings will ever make something that is untrue, true. So no matter how strongly these women feel that they're confecting the Eucharist, or absolving someone of their sins or that they've undergone an ontological change, the fact is, none of that has happened or ever can happen. So why the NCR or anyone else for that matter, covers these events as positive news, is beyond me. They ought to be covered as scenes of tragedy, like an earthquake, tsunami or plane crash.

I wonder if it'll survive moderator approval.

UPDATE: The NCR did post my comment. So far, most of the comments have been in favor of the faux ordination. Big surprise there, eh?

Friday, August 8, 2008

Whole. Lotta. Nothing.

That's what I see in Obama's new sign.



Or better yet, "We got a choke hold on America."

Red Wing stick salute to the Curt Jester for his funny take on this poster.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

New Member Of The Catablogue

I've added The Daily Homily to my Catablogue. Its author is Fr James Farfaglia, pastor of St Helena of the True Cross of Jesus in Corpus Christi, TX, and I've reproduced his Thursday, August 7 homily here, entitled "The Church, The Archbishop and The Speaker of the House". Nancy Pelosi, the Queen Bee of the House of Reprehensibles, has been in the news recently, gloating that her diocese does not take issue with her stances that clearly violate Church teaching. Fr. Farfaglia's homily brings into focus today's Gospel and where our true loyalties must lie if we honestly consider ourselves Catholic, and how we ought to lead our lives.

Today's Gospel passage directs our gaze to Rome, the center of Catholicism. As Catholics, our identity, meaning, and direction only have fulfillment in so far as we are united to the Vicar of Christ, the visible head of the Church. The challenging times that we live in provides countless opportunities to be heroically faithful to the Magisterium of the Church.


In order to continue his work on earth and lead all peoples to eternal salvation, Jesus established one visible and hierarchical Church. It is very clear from the continual preparation of the Jewish people in the Old Testament and then with the precise act of Jesus in Cesarea Philippi, that God willed to found one Church as a visible, hierarchical, living, and continuing authority, to teach, govern, and sanctify in his name. It is no less clear that Jesus appointed the Apostle Simon the fisherman as the visible head of his Church. Even as he conferred the authority, Jesus changed Simon's name to Peter; i.e. rock. The name Peter had never existed prior to this divine event in Cesarea Philippi.

Throughout biblical history, when God called someone for a particular mission, he usually changed the name of the person called. The changed name denoted the mission of the particular individual and a change in that person's destiny.

Abram was given the name Abraham, a name that denotes the father of many nations (Genesis 17: 5). John the Baptist was not named Zechariah, but rather John, meaning Yahweh is gracious (Luke 1: 13). The angel Gabriel told Mary that she was to name her son Jesus signifying Savior (Luke 1: 32). Jesus gave Peter a new name. That name was Peter. The name Peter had never existed before Jesus gave him this new name. Peter means rock. When Jesus said, "You are Peter and on this rock I will build my church," the words this rock refer to Peter.

Many people argue that the use of the word rock does not refer to Peter at all. They point out that in the Greek text Petros (Peter) is a masculine noun and that petra (rock) is a feminine noun. Therefore the two rocks do not match up.

The original Gospel of Matthew was written in Aramaic, a language that does not make a distinction between petros and petra. In Aramaic, the word for rock is kepha. In the original Aramaic kepha is used the same way twice. You are Kepha and on this kepha I will build my Church. Since the Greek word for rock, petra, is feminine, it would have been inappropriate for the Greek translator of the Aramaic text to give Peter, Petros, a feminine name. Thus the distinction between Petros and petra.

When studying Scripture it is also important to consider the writings of the Fathers of the early Church. Not one, including those who spoke Greek, ever had a problem with this understanding of Peter as the head of the Church.

Trials and tribulations will always be a part of the Church because it is not merely a human entity. The Church is the Mystical Body of Christ, and Satan will continue to attack it until the Second Coming. Perhaps history will judge our age as presenting the most formidable challenges the Catholic Church has had to face, although it is true that there have been other dramatic moments in the history of the Church.

The Catholic Church is the only institution in human history that has continually survived its own problems and failures. As G.K. Chesterton once said, this is true, "because it has a God who knew his way out of the grave". Jesus assures us of his continual presence and protection: "the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Matthew 16: 18).

Rather than becoming discouraged, angry, or even rebellious during a difficult time of trial, we must stand fast through prayer and fidelity. We must always pray for our Church, and always trust that God will deliver us from all evil. The words that Thomas Paine wrote in 1776 are equally true today as they were then: "These are times that try men's souls".

The reality of division within the Catholic Church in this country is very real. Just after the death of Pope John Paul II, CNN/USA TODAY/GALLUP Poll found that seventy-nine per cent of the Catholics polled said that the a new Pope should change the Church's teaching on birth control. Sixty-three percent said that priests should be able to marry. Fifty-nine per cent want a change on the Church's ban on embryonic stem-cell research. Fifty-five per cent said that women should be able to be ordained as priests. Thirty-seven per cent want a change on the Church's stand against abortion. In addition, forty-nine per cent believe the Church should change her teachings on divorce.

Unity in the Catholic Church is damaged when Catholics, be they clergy or lay people, deviate from the deposit of faith, either through an unhealthy attachment to the past or a detrimental deviation, in the name of progress, from authentic Church teaching and discipline. Both postures tear away at the garment of unity.

Every member of the Church is obligated to obey every teaching of the Church. Matters regarding faith, morals and discipline are not subject to personal interpretation. Even Canon Law and liturgical norms are not guidelines. The Church is very clear that no one has the authority to deviate from Church teaching and discipline, nor does anyone have individual authority to introduce novelties for the sake of novelty into the liturgy. (General Instruction of the Roman Missal, chapter 1, #'s 24-25).

In reality, there are no conservative Catholics or liberal Catholics. Conservative and liberal are two ambiguous political adjectives that do not apply to Catholicism. The Church is a communion. Unity is nurtured by our mature assent of mind and will, as an act of love, to the Church of Jesus Christ. Unity means that we are in step with the Church, integrating our entire being with the beauty of its rich heritage and its exciting future.

We live in a moment of history when many Catholics openly defy the teachings of the Church. Case in point is Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House of Representatives. She openly professes an unyielding support for abortion, embryonic stem cell research, and homosexual marriages. She continues to receive Holy Communion. She even had the audacity to receive the Eucharist from the hands of Pope Benedict XVI during his U.S. visit. Honestly, I was very disappointed that the Holy Father remained silent about Catholic pro-abortion politicians that continue to receive Holy Communion in open defiance of Church teaching.

Added to this on-going scandal is the support that Pelosi receives from Archbishop Donald Wuerl of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. Wuerls' actions in favor of the heresy of the culture of death cry out to the wrath of God. St. John Chrysostom was correct when he said that the road to hell is paved with the skulls of bishops. Perhaps on Judgment Day, the souls of the millions of aborted babies dressed in white robes will stand with Jesus and pronounce the terrible sentence of eternal condemnation on the many bishops and priests who continue to do nothing about the modern holocaust of abortion.

The only solution for the problems that we face as a Church in America is to get back to basics and rediscover the same Jesus that Peter encountered. "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God" (Matthew 16: 17). We must begin again by truly living as disciples of the Lord and living the Gospels with renewed authenticity. Many of our problems are rooted in a spirit that is not Christian. A faith lived like the early Church will enliven our parishes and simplify the way we do things as a Church. In this way, we can become more efficacious in our service to our brothers and sisters, especially to those most in need. True Christianity will liberate us from ambition, worldliness and continual scandals.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Art Imitating Life

Michelangelo's David returned to Italy after a tour of US cities...






(Source)

The tour sponsors were:




Tuesday, August 5, 2008

There's Gotta Be A Reason

Maybe it's just my imagination. Or maybe I've just been paying closer attention. Perhaps a combination of the two. Or something altogether different. It's been weighing on my mind, and I've been working out a theory.

It seems that there have been a spike of stories as of late on women's "ordinations" and subsequent articles on these ladies' lives and attitudes, and the dissident groups that support and encourage them. In July there were the three ladies who excommunicated themselves in Boston. There's an excommunication scheduled in Kentucky for August 9th. The California Catholic Daily has an article on a womynpriest heading to Jakarta to spread heresy and dissent. And the Baltimore Sun has a story on one of the women who participated in the fake ordination in Boston. The issue of female priests in the Catholic Church just won't go away, and seems to be gathering steam. And I was desperate to know why.

It's been a constant teaching of the Church since the beginning. Archbishop Burke has been one of the most vocal American Bishops (if not the only American Bishop) in publicly defending the teaching. Pope John Paul II issued an apostolic letter in 1994 to all the bishops, in which he wrote:

"(The church) holds that it is not admissible to ordain women to the priesthood, for very fundamental reasons. These reasons include: the example recorded in the Sacred Scriptures of Christ choosing his Apostles only from among men; the constant practice of the Church, which has imitated Christ in choosing only men; and her living teaching authority, which has consistently held that the exclusion of women from the priesthood is in accordance with God's plan for his Church."

And Pope Benedict XVI has been equally clear.

Now, I can cite the theological filters that the dissenters have established within their minds, claiming that the teaching is not explicitly ex cathedra. I can point out that these womyn, and their supporters, are in open dissent, and can refute their "proof" of female deacons in the early Church. And I can ignore their empty claims of discrimination, sexism and all the other baseless accusations against the hierarchy of the Church.

The answer to the question 'What is behind this phenomenon?' is pride, of course. They've placed their "feelings" of God calling them to the priesthood (which are false) above the Truth of God's Church (which is true). But what about the increase of instances, the proliferation of heightened activity? That, to me, has been the deeper question as of late.

And after a lot of thought, I've come up with the answer. No, it's not "the devil made them do it". In fact, I would be surprised if any of these dissenters truly believe in the existence of Satan. And concupiscence? Could be - but that's just a $2 word that belongs in the 16th century, along with "ineffable", or "gibbet", according to some, and probably most in the womynpriest movement would agree. Shortage of priests? That's laughable.

No, the answer is much simpler.

Anthropomorphic Global Warming (You didn't think I was going to say 'Man-made', now did you?).

To confirm this, I read through the Warmlist, which lists all the conditions, problems, catastrophes, alarms, anomalies and doom-&-gloom predictions that have been associated with AGW as found in articles appearing on the Internet. As of July 16, there have been 598 citations, ranging from acne to Yellow fever. Female so-called ordination is not on the list, but I think it ought to be. Let's be real here; if an increase in witchcraft executions is on the list, then female so-called ordination ought to be, too.

Of course, I couldn't make this claim without backing it up. So what's the link, I asked myself. What's the common denominator between female so-called ordination and all 598 effects of AGW? After some additional thought and pondering (like 15 seconds or so), the answer came to me: Since anthropomorphic Global Warming is an unsubstantiated claim, then any effect, direct or indirect, of AGW cannot possibly be proven or disproven, because the original premise is untrue. Therefore, this apparently recent increase of dissent is a direct result of AGW. And since I feel that it is true (using the same basis of reason as the dissenters), then it is true.

Now I feel better, because this issue was really bothering me. When logic is insufficient to explain something stupid, it's comforting to know that there is something even more stupid to help explain it.

Monday, August 4, 2008

From My Mailbox

A friend sent this to me this morning - it's one of those emails that have made the trip up and down the Internet many times, but since they're humorous, I'm posting them.

THE FOLLOWING STATEMENTS ABOUT THE BIBLE WERE WRITTEN BY CHILDREN. THEY HAVE NOT BEEN RETOUCHED OR CORRECTED. INCORRECT SPELLING HAS BEEN LEFT IN.

1. IN THE FIRST BOOK OF THE BIBLE, GUINESSIS. GOD GOT TIRED OF CREATING THE WORLD SO HE TOOK THE SABBATH OFF.

2. ADAM AND EVE WERE CREATED FROM AN APPLE TREE. NOAH'S WIFE WAS JOAN OF ARK. NOAH BUILT AND ARK AND THE ANIMALS CAME ON IN PEARS

3. LOTS WIFE WAS A PILLAR OF SALT DURING THE DAY, BUT A BALL OF FIRE DURING THE NIGHT.

4. THE JEWS WERE A PROUD PEOPLE AND THROUGHOUT HISTORY THEY HAD TROUBLE WITH UNSYMPATHETIC GENITALS.

5. SAMPSON WAS A STRONGMAN WHO LET HIMSELF BE LED ASTRAY BY A JEZEBEL LIKE DELILAH.

6. SAMSON SLAYED THE PHILISTINES WITH THE AXE OF THE APOSTLES.

7. MOSES LED THE JEWS TO THE RED SEA ! WHERE THEY MADE UNLEAVENED BREAD WHICH IS BREAD WITHOUT ANY INGREDIENTS.

8. THE EGYPTIANS WERE ALL DROWNED IN THE DESSERT. AFTERWARDS, MOSES WENT UP TO MOUNT CYANIDE TO GET THE TEN COMMANDMENTS

9. THE FIRST COMMANDMENTS WAS WHEN EVE TOLD ADAM TO EAT THE APPLE.

10. THE SEVENTH COMMANDMENT IS THOU SHALT NOT ADMIT ADULTERY

11. MOSES DIED BEFORE HE EVER REACHED CANADA THEN JOSHUA LED THE HEBREWS IN THE BATTLE OF GERITOL.

12. THE GREATEST MIRICLE IN THE BIBLE IS WHEN JOSHUA TOLD HIS SON TO STAND STILL AND HE OBEYED HIM.

13. DAVID WAS A HEBREW KING WHO WAS SKILLED AT PLAYING THE LIAR. HE FOUGHT THE FINKELSTEINS, A RACE OF PEOPLE WHO LIVED IN BIBLICAL TIMES.

14. SOLOMON, ONE OF DAVIDS SONS, HAD 300 WIVES AND 700 PORCUPINES.

15. WHEN MARY HEARD SHE WAS THE MOTHER OF JESUS, SHE SANG THE MAGNA CARTA.

16. WHEN THE THREE WISE GUYS FROM THE EAST SIDE ARRIVED THEY FOUND JESUS IN THE MANAGER.

17. JESUS WAS BORN BECAUSE MARY HAD AN IMMACULATE CONTRAPTION.

18. ST. JOHN THE BLACKSMITH DUMPED WATER ON HIS HEAD.

19. JESUS ENUNCIATED THE GOLDEN RULE, WHICH SAYS TO DO UNTO OTHERS BEFORE THEY DO ONE TO YOU. HE ALSO EXPLAINED A MAN DOTH NOT LIVE BY SWEAT ALONE.

20. IT WAS A MIRICLE WHEN JESUS ROSE FROM THE DEAD AND MANAGED TO GET THE TOMBSTONEOFF THE ENTRANCE.

21. THE PEOPLE WHO FOLLOWED THE LORD WERE CALLED THE 12 DECIBELS.

22. THE EPISTELS WERE THE WIVES OF THE APOSTLES.

23. ONE OF THE OPPOSSUMS WAS ST. MATTHEW WHO WAS ALSO A TAXIMAN

24 ST. PAUL CAVORTED TO CHRISTIANITY, HE PREACHED HOLY ACRIMONY WHICH IS ANOTHER NAME FOR MARRAIGE.

25. CHRISTIANS HAVE ONLY ONE SPOUSE. THIS IS CALLED MONOTONY.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Angels Are Rejoicing

Christ tells us in the Gospel that when a sinner repents, the angels in heaven rejoice...

From Human Life International (emphasis mine):

Former Humanae Vitae Dissenter Signs the HLI Pledge
by Rev Thomas J Euteneuer

In the course of my week I get many letters from all kinds of good people (and a few not-so-good ones…) who express their sentiments on how Human Life International impacts their lives; and every now and then I get a letter that literally causes me to shed tears of gratitude. This week was one of those weeks. I received a letter from a former priest who had signed the “protest document” just after Humanae Vitae was released forty years ago last week, and it is one of the most touching testimonies that I have read in a long time. I would like to share the joy of this particular Humanae Vitae conversion story with you in the hope that it will touch your heart as it did mine.

“Dear Fr. Euteneuer,


I have signed and am returning the Pledge of Assent to Humanae Vitae for the Laity. There is for me a special significance in signing this Pledge, and [it] will give me a peace of mind and heart that I have not experienced since 1968. In 1968 I was a young Franciscan priest studying in the Graduate School of Religious Education at Catholic University. I personally knew Fr. Charles Curran and Fr. Dan Maguire, and was a student of Fr. Robert Faricy, SJ. Since they, as well as many other professors and graduate students were signing the Protest Document, I went along and did so also.

In 1975 for personal reasons not related to any doubts or questions about the Faith, or the Church, or the Religious Life…I requested and obtained…a dispensation from Pope Paul VI returning me to the Lay State. Later, I was married in the Church and raised my two children in the Faith….I have had many conversations with my Pastor and with his assistant (who is my spiritual director) about my days as a Franciscan Priest, and have been active in many of our parish’s lay apostolate and ministries.

But I have always regretted having signed the Protest Document against Pope Paul’s teaching in 1968, and having learned a few years ago that Fr. Faricy had publicly repudiated signing the Protest, I had wished that I, too, could repudiate in some official way, having signed the Protest….And so your “Pledge” document offers me an opportunity to correct my mistake, and find healing—and telling you about all this helps me to feel that my repudiation of the Protest is now known and accepted in a kind of semi-official sort of way by an “authority” in the Church.

And thank you for reading this, thereby humoring an old man, who despite everything else, knows that he is a “priest forever, according to the Order of Melchizedek.’”

I can’t tell you how much good this letter did for me! It reminded me that in Christ’s Kingdom it is never too late, even after forty years, to fully embrace the Truth. All of us make mistakes and all of us sin, but He gives us all a chance to be reconciled with Him and turn our sorrow into joy. Truly this dear soul has found his peace and healing through our campaign, and in some small way we have been for him a sign of God’s infinite Mercy that knows no bounds for those who truly repent! I have chosen to spread this word far and wide today as a way of honoring this priest’s desire to let his repudiation be a public testimony to others.

As the Lord said of Zacchaeus, “Truly, this day, salvation has come to this house!” (Lk 19:9) Let us all rejoice in such a complete and blessed return!

I imagine the rejoicing was thunderous.