Today Is The Day
Get ready for it.
Okay Then, That Was Unexpected...
Church Art Shouldn't Make You Say "Blech!"
Cardinal Urges Priests To Liven Up Sermons
I got some ideas...
New Translation Objections Are Becoming More Ridiculous
Grasping at straws...
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.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
"There is a place where reason is suspended..."
"Jesus is stuck in the eucharist and cant get out because the priest put him there?"
"...where reality intersects with fantasy...."
"How can so many be so blind to the abundance of compassion found in that reality. And yet, isn't it an additional grace to read, and hear, and know all of you who make it so."
"...where strange powers..."
"There has to be at least a spiritual community or you are talking some kind of industrial-style magic."
"...and ancient orders..."
"Priests from the Melchisedek priesthood? Or the Salem Priesthood? or the Abramic Priesthood?"
"Many Papal Sandals, Schisms, Splits and Reevaluations of the meaning and establishment of new Rites, Rituals, Dogma and Doctrine."
"I'm not a theologian, just a member of the laity..."
"...dares to enter..."
"...I have no clue what you are trying to say."
"...and will reveal..."
"...we have Scripture, the Didache, Sacred Tradition and writings of the early Church Fathers..."
"Your reply has nothing to do with the question." "What does this mean exactly?"
"Now playing at the National Catholic Distorter, featuring LarryD of Acts of the Apostasy..."
"Sounds like you have an axe to grind."
"...Catechesis, via Polling III..."
"Thanks for your compliment, but in all fairness..."
"....I'm trying to keep the conversation on topic."
The Original Here. The Sequel here.
More fun that a person should be allowed to have. Click on the above link if you want to read the back and forth. Be prepared - herding cats is easier than trying to figure out what some of these writers are trying to say. The writers for The Dick van Dyke Show never wrote anything as funny as some of the NCR readers replies. And these people are serious.
Saint Jerome is also the patron Saint of Bloggers, don'cha know!
Source: The Curt Jester Archives
For more information on St Jerome, click here.
Monday, September 29, 2008
Writing a bio of Fr Drinan?: "...I have moved my NJVoice to Boston College for a year in order to write a book about Fr. Robert F. Drinan, S.J., the Jesuit priest who served for ten years in the U.S. Congress to oppose the Vietnam war and remove Nixon from office..."
Liberation theology?: "...mid-20th century movements like the worker priests and labor priests, and, later, liberation theology have helped priests and religious orders like mine to understand the degree to which both the prophets and the gospels demand that Christians identify with the poor..."
Belief in the following liberal lie?: "For me this includes laws that would lessen the number of abortions, mostly through social and economic reform (you mean, like FOCA? Really??) rather than by sending women who have aborted to jail."
Yeah, I can understand why this particular priest is proud to be an apostate.
It comes down to this: "Mmmm, good Kool-Aid!!"
With that being said, I read with interest an editorial posted at LifeNews.com, by Joan Swirsky, titled Some Feminists Love Abortion On Demand But Hate Governor Sarah Palin. In it, Swirsky details many of the rants and charges against Governor Palin by liberal politicians, comedians and some prominent feminists. She also provides a thumbnail history of the feminist movement, beginning with the approval of the birth control pill by the FDA, back in the 1950's.
One of the movement's platforms has been equal pay for equal work - a worthy and just cause. I don't think anyone, of any ideology, disagrees with this. It's a true injustice that, in 21st century America, this condition still exists. For decades, the Democrat party has consistently touted itself as the leader in working to eliminate this disparity.
Which is why the following information is so telling: "Relevant here is the "share the wealth" socialist philosophy of presidential candidate, Barack Obama. The women on his staff earn a paltry 77-cents on the dollar compared to the men, who receive 100 cents on the dollar. From October 1 through March 31 of this year, Obama paid women on his senate staff an average annual salary of $44,953.21 - $12,472 less than the $57,425 he paid men on his staff.
"In stark contrast, Sen. McCain pays female campaign staffers 101 percent of what he pays men, and females on his senate staff higher salaries than he pays his male staff."
But back to the central theme, that of abortion. That is the crux of the matter here. Liberal feminists hate Palin because of her pro-life, anti-abortion stance, pure and simple. Swirsky quotes writer Maureen Scott: "Feminists and their flocks of angry, aggressive, cutthroat, whining followers are just jealous that it isn't one of their `gals' up there. Sarah hasn't advocated for them or accepted their playbook of rules...She doesn't hate men, or support killing defenseless babies. She has not been part of demonstrations against America or fought in the streets against inequalities. Oh, the horrors of Sarah and her success!"
In all the reading I've done, across numerous newssites, blogs and opinions, there's one point that hasn't been made yet. Extrinsically, perhaps, but no one has specifically come out and said what I'm about to state, to the best of my knowledge.
Camille Paglia, writing in Salon.com, came tantalizingly close: "...Liberals for the most part have shrunk from facing the ethical consequences of their embrace of abortion, which results in the annihilation of concrete individuals and not just clumps of insensate tissue...I have never understood the standard Democratic combo of support for abortion and yet opposition to the death penalty. Surely it is the guilty rather than the innocent who deserve execution?
"The gigantic, instantaneous coast-to-coast rage directed at Sarah Palin when she was identified as pro-life was, I submit, a psychological response by loyal liberals who on some level do not want to open themselves to deep questioning about abortion and its human consequences..."
What makes Paglia's comments interesting is that she is an avowed Liberal, holding a pro-abortion position. But her comments are a tangent to what I believe is closest to the truth.
Which is this: the feminists' anger, at it's root, is that deep down inside, those who've chosen to abort their child know they've been lied to, but aren't ready or are incapable to admit it. They were told: "abort that child, otherwise you'll be held back; don't let a child get in the way of your success; if you have that child, you'll have to give up your education/career/dreams/goals." So, many of them took that rotten advice, and most discovered later in life that their lives have not improved as a result. And how could it, really? The reality of having murdered one's own child is a fact no one can easily deny.
Now there comes along a woman who, through her own hard work and determination, with the support of a loving husband, with the strength of faith, has achieved success professionally and personally. State governor and a mother of five. Business owner and a devoted wife. And now she's been selected for the second-highest position in the land.
This vitriol has been welling up for years. Now there is an outlet. There is a face with a name towards which all this hatred can be directed. It's a deep-seated jealousy that is revealing itself as bitter hatred. Thing is, the anger is misdirected - it's not Sarah Palin's fault that her life is proof that being pro-life can translate to personal success. It's the Feminists' fault that their lies led to women having lives filled with misery, unhappiness and regret. After all, that's one reason why groups such as Rachel's Vineyard and Silent No More are growing in numbers, helping many women (and men, too) heal from the pain and anger.
So this begs the question: will the pro-abort feminists take an honest look at themselves, and direct their anger where it belongs?
Friday, September 26, 2008
Several posts ago, if you recall, I mentioned that the NCD submitted a poll question: "Who is it that Consecrates the Eucharist at Liturgy?", and provided four possible answers. One of the answers was the correct one, yet only 47% of the respondents answered correctly. So I submitted the following comment:
My question is, will the National Catholic Reporter ever get around to telling the 53% of respondents (as of the time I wrote this comment) who answered incorrectly what the correct answer is? Will the NCR take the time to explain and show what the Church teaches, or will it leave the majority of its respondents in ignorance?
My comment generated 5 direct replies - I'm not going to post all of them here (if you're interested, this link should take you there) - 4 of which were confrontational. One tried to use the Catholic Encyclopedia to support the incorrect answers in the poll, but in typical progressive behavior, never really got around to addressing my original question. I've responded to these confrontational incorrigible commenters, but I thought you might find two of the replies humorous.
Reply #1: There's a one right answer? I'm guessing you've been cherry-picking your documents! We belong to a faith community rich in diverse language over two millenia to approach anything we might want to talk about. So, why don't you name what document you're consulting (I'm guessing maybe just one?)..
My response to this was direct, along with a question: As the Catechism of the Catholic Church states in paragraph 1411 "Only validly ordained priests can preside at the Eucharist and consecrate the bread and the wine so that they become the Body and Blood of the Lord." Despite our being a priestly people, unless we're ordained by a Bishop, the laity have no power to consecrate the Eucharist. So yes, there is only one right answer.
The Catechism draws from the teachings of the Church, spanning the two millenia. But if you want me to cite other Church documents and teachings from the Church Fathers, I'll do so. It may take me some time, so please be patient.
But why is it so important to make the consecration about "us" instead of focusing on the "Him" who instituted the Sacrament during the Last Supper? Can you give me any examples of saints who believed as you do?
Reply #2: which is the correct answer? without the assembled community,all you have is a priest talking to himselfwithout the community (laity)the church does not exist the clergy was established by christ to serve the community not to be serviced by the community a fact that those in the bishopric seem to have forgotten interesting how christ spells it out so clearly in the gospels and the great lengths the bishopric will go to, including being dishonest to hide the truth of what christ is really saying in the gospels
(Apparently e e cummings reads the NCD . Who knew?)
And my response: A priest who says Mass privately still confects the Eucharist. Are you claiming that in those instances, there is no consecration? Without a priest, there is not and cannot be any consecration.
There was one snarky reply ("Why not do it yourself - check the catechism") which generated a "high five" from another reader. It'll be entertaining to see where that goes, since I replied to both.
I might include my blog title on future replies; I'm just not sure sending trolls an invitation would be prudent.
The other interesting thing? Replies take up to 24 hours to be approved and published by the comments moderator. My series of replies appeared in about an hour.
Christians are branded as irrational by atheists and skeptics because we believe in a transcendent God, an invisible Spirit who has created all that exists and has acted in time and history, most notably through His Son, Jesus Christ. And since God won't definitively prove His existence for the convenience of these atheists and skeptics, we're the ones who are mocked and scoffed at. We're the ones who are considered to be superstitious.
Well, according to an article in last week's Wall Street Journal, Look Who's Irrational Now, by Mollie Ziegler Hemingway, the opposite is actually the truth. No duh.
Here's the first three paragraphs:
"You can't be a rational person six days of the week and put on a suit and make rational decisions and go to work and, on one day of the week, go to a building and think you're drinking the blood of a 2,000-year-old space god," comedian and atheist Bill Maher said earlier this year on "Late Night With Conan O'Brien."
On the "Saturday Night Live" season debut last week, homeschooling families were portrayed as fundamentalists with bad haircuts who fear biology. Actor Matt Damon recently disparaged Sarah Palin by referring to a transparently fake email that claimed she believed that dinosaurs were Satan's lizards. And according to prominent atheists like Richard Dawkins, traditional religious belief is "dangerously irrational." From Hollywood to the academy, nonbelievers are convinced that a decline in traditional religious belief would lead to a smarter, more scientifically literate and even more civilized populace.
The reality is that the New Atheist campaign, by discouraging religion, won't create a new group of intelligent, skeptical, enlightened beings. Far from it: It might actually encourage new levels of mass superstition. And that's not a conclusion to take on faith -- it's what the empirical data tell us.
And here's the money paragraph.
"What Americans Really Believe," a comprehensive new study released by Baylor University yesterday, shows that traditional Christian religion greatly decreases belief in everything from the efficacy of palm readers to the usefulness of astrology. It also shows that the irreligious and the members of more liberal Protestant denominations, far from being resistant to superstition, tend to be much more likely to believe in the paranormal and in pseudoscience than evangelical Christians.
The article ends with a quotation from a GK Chesterton Father Brown story: "It's the first effect of not believing in God that you lose your common sense, and can't see things as they are."
For Catholics, this shouldn't come as a big surprise, but it's always nice to have something scientific like a statistical study to support our claims. Makes you want to say "Nyah, nyah, told you so!" Not that any of us would.
As Catholics, we have the Catechism to guide us, #2116 and #2117 in particular. Scripture exhorts us to avoid all forms of witchcraft, divination, soothsaying and the like. Satan tempts mankind all the time to disbelieve in God, and when that happens, all forms of weird crap rush in to fill that void, and instead of being "enlightened" and "open-minded", the person is lost in the dark and closed off to grace.
So the next time a person accuses you of being irrational for being a Christian, just smile and ask "Is that what your horoscope said this morning?"
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Now the conditions.
First: complete the One-Word Meme.1. Where is your cell phone? Dresser
2. Where is your significant other? Livingroom
3. Your hair color? Brown
4. Your mother? 79
5. Your father? 82
6. Your favorite thing? Hmmmmm......
7. Your dream last night? Forgotten
8. Your dream/goal? Heaven
9. The room you're in? Man-cave
10. Your hobby? Golf
11. Your fear? Hell
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Employed
13. Where were you last night? Home
14. What you're not? Thin-skinned
15. One of your wish-list items? SPORE!!!!
16. Where you grew up? Rochester
17. The last thing you did? Litterbox (cleaned it, not used it! sheesh)
18. What are you wearing? Clothes
19. Your TV? Toshiba
20 Your pet? Cat
21. Your computer? Slow
22. Your mood? Content
23. Missing someone? Nope
24. Your car? Driveway
25. Something you're not wearing? Kilt
26. Favorite store? BestBuy
27. Your summer? zzzzzzooooooooooooommmmmmm
28. Love someone? Infinitely
29. Your favorite color? Green
30. When is the last time you laughed? Today
31. Last time you cried? Unsure
Second: Nominate and link to at least 7 other blogs.
And the lucky winners are....(drumroll please)
1. Fellow Michigander Dale Price
2. Robert at Sorry All The Clever Names Are Taken
3. The Mom, who probably doesn't have enough time to do this....
4. Eegahinc at laugh-a-minute B-Movie Catechism
5. Paul The Regular Guy...
6. Dimbulb at The Divine Lamp
7. The tag team of Bear and Puff in the Great White North.
The third step is for the recipients: display the award, link back to the person who showered you praise and adulation (that would be me), nominate and link to 7 more blogs, and leave a message on each of those blogs you've nominated, and send the person who awarded you $100 in small, unsequenced bills.
Well, ok, you can skip the money part. But have fun!
One that I found effective for me is to take the Sons for a car ride and talk.
Some say it's the vibration from the car, others say it's the time away from any distractions such as TV, Video Games, Computer, IPod, etc. Others say it's the removal of the child from the situation at hand that helps.
Whatever the reason, the Sons usually calm down and stop misbehaving after these car rides together. Eye to eye contact helps a lot too.
I've included a photo below of one of my sessions with one of the Sons, in case you would like to use the technique.
(Disclaimer: not my son, not my pic - undetermined original source)
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Now, to me, that's a straightforward catechesis question from a good 2nd grade Catholic theology text, proper to help children prepare for their First Communion. Bear in mind that the average age of the NCR readership is 68.
So here are the four choices the NCR gives: A) The Community Assembled. B) The Community Assembled Through The Celebrant. C) The Ordained Minister Celebrant. D) Other.
As of today, only 38 readers have taken the poll, and the correct answer, (C), has been selected by only 47% of the respondents. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church states in paragraph 1411 "Only validly ordained priests can preside at the Eucharist and consecrate the bread and the wine so that they become the Body and Blood of the Lord."
Here's one of the comments, by a man who admitted to selecting (D): "Eucharist is more than "liturgical" celebration/ consecration; Eucharist is transformation in/ by divine instance in cosmic relationships, but especially in self-reflective consciousness (vitality, humanity).
Personal intention and mindful reflection in relational transformation celebrate and engage divinity/ Eucharist. When the community, collectively and mindfully joins in celebration and activation of self-transforming Eucharist, it celebrates, conscecrates Eucharist (liturgy = leitos ergon). One who leads the celebration facilitates the community, but it is "people individually and the community assembled" who mindfully consecrate (self-commit to, facilitate) the purposeful transformation of Eucharist — which is the "Other" that I would suggest.
"People Individually and the Community Assembled"
Yeah, just like at the Last Supper, where Jesus took bread, blessed it, gave it to His disciples and said: "Take, eat, for in this celebration we have activated a self-transformation moment, dudes. I only facilitate, but it is all of you who are mindfully consecrating this purposeful event. Assemble later and be re-transformed again when you think of me, 'k?"
I submitted my own comment, which is awaiting moderation. It went something like this: "Is the NCR going to provide the correct answer to the 53% of respondents who answered wrongly? Is the NCR going to explain and show what the Church actually teaches, out of respect for its readers?"
I highly doubt it.
*Update* The NCR did print my comment, unabridged - if anyone responds to it, it probably won't show up until tomorrow. And the percentage of incorrect responses? It's increased to 57%.
Monday, September 22, 2008
The responses from both, taken from an article at LifeSiteNews.com, are similar, with more qualification on McCain's part.
First Obama's answer (bold mine): "I believe that the restrictions that President Bush has placed on funding of human embryonic stem cell research have handcuffed our scientists and hindered our ability to compete with other nations," he said. As president, Obama guaranteed he would ensure all research on stem cells is conducted "ethically and with rigorous oversight."
Addressing the objection that ESC research requires harvesting cells from and destroying innocent human life, Sen. Obama explained that "hundreds of thousands of embryos stored in the U.S. in in-vitro fertilization clinics will not be used for reproductive purposes, and will eventually be destroyed. I believe that it is ethical to use these extra embryos for research that could save lives when they are freely donated for that express purpose."
Obama also said he disagreed with the mounting evidence that indicates stem cells from alternate sources continue to show more promise than embryonic stem cells. He argued that embryonic stem cells still have more "versatility" and remain the "gold standard."
Couple things here - conducting research on embryonic stem cells 'ethically' is an oxymoron. To say that it's ethical to use the 'extra embryos' for research if they're freely donated is a lie - the fact is, the parents of those embryos are sacrificing their children no differently than if I was to hand over my ten year old son to a hospital for organ harvesting. These embryos are not free to donate themselves - they would be taken advantage of because they are not given any choice. They're being classified as property, stripped of the dignity of being called human. Finally, for a guy who claimed that the question of when human life begins is above his pay grade, he seems rather sure that evidence of how alternate sources of stem cells have been proven to affect cures and treat illnesses is somehow debatable. I guess he's just smarter on some scientific issues than on others.
Now McCain's (again, bold mine): "While I support federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, I believe clear lines should be drawn that reflect a refusal to sacrifice moral values and ethical principles for the sake of scientific progress.
"Moreover, I believe that recent scientific breakthroughs raise the hope that one day this debate will be rendered academic," he continued, citing other stem cell research that does not require the destruction of embryos.
"I oppose the intentional creation of human embryos for research purposes and I voted to ban the practice of 'fetal farming,' making it a federal crime for researchers to use cells or fetal tissue from an embryo created for research purposes."
So McCain still supports limited ESCR, which violates one of the 'non-negotiable' issues for Catholics. However, he makes distinctions in his statements, such as recognizing that research in alternate sources of stem cells will (hopefully) make ESCR moot. On top of that, he does have a voting record that opposes specific aspects of the issue at hand. But there's still the strange disconnect similar to Obama - ensuring 'ethical' principles in the destruction of embryos. I recall a statement I've heard Fr Pavone make on many occasions: "You can't practice vice virtuously."
I have hopes that McCain will change in this all-important life issue. Selecting Palin as his VP is one reason. And the following statement in the article gives reason for hope also: At the recent Catholic Leadership Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina, Dr. Jack Willke, former head of National Right to Life, revealed he has had two very recent meetings with McCain during which he presented much information on the subject to the Republican presidential candidate.
McCain isn't perfect in this issue - but he has demonstrated he is willing to listen to the pro-life argument, and there's hope he may shed his support for limited ESCR. Combining all the non-negotiable issues, he still remains for me the better of the two candidates.
Oh, and Senator Obama? About the "mounting evidence" you disagree with? Here's a new article on another advancement you may want to sink your teeth into, also from LifeSiteNews.com: Adult Stem Cells From Teeth Could Heal Stroke Damaged Brains.
Friday, September 19, 2008
While there, I came across this Barack Obama biographical video. Now I don't have to read either of his autobiographies, because I learned his whole life story in just under 5 minutes. The important stuff, anyways.
I've also made one small to my sidebar - I now have a separate Catablogue for priestly blogs called "The Collared Catablogue".
P.J. Myers, that's who. The Eucharist blasphemer from Minnesota.
University of Minnesota Prof Attacks Pro-Life Pharmacist, Gets Students Involved
St. Paul, MN (LifeNews.com) -- P.Z. Myers, professor of Biology at the University of Minnesota Morris, turned his sights this week to pro-life pharmacist Mike Koelzer of Kay Pharmaceuticals in Grand Rapids, Michigan, who had stopped selling contraceptives in 2002 due to their abortifacient nature.
Myers instructed his readers to take action against the pro-life pharmacist, by emailing him, boycotting the pharmacy, and picketing and protesting his speaking engagements.
"I think Mike Koelzer is a contemptible, sanctimonious ass, and I hope he goes out of business," said Myers on his blog on Monday. "If Mike Koelzer comes to your town to speak in some demented fundagelical [sic] church, feel free to picket and protest, and feel free to attend and grill him with difficult questions."
Koelzer confirmed that he had received over 400 emails in the 36 hours since Myers' post, but he remarked that the 'difficult questions' Myers wanted his readers to grill him with were nowhere to be found.
To Koelzer's credit, he is taking the high road in this story.
"I had to read all of the messages," Koelzer told LifeNews.com. "They were quite boring. None of them offered up any real argument, and they were all demanding I give them their choice while denying my own choice."
"It was like they were following the same script, as if it was their own church or club, using the same boring rhetoric, and the same 5 or 6 words or phrases were repeated often such as 'sanctimonious,' 'fairy in the sky,' 'bronze age,' and 'crackers,'" added Koelzer.
"I was handed a script of what their arguments were," observed Koelzer. "Attacks with no reasoning or posing of an argument, demanding I do everything and anything they want."
Sounds like a great guy - and if you want to show your support for him, click here and email him a note.
As for PJ Myers - he and his mindless minions aren't interested in dialogue, just diatribes. They'll slither under the rocks soon enough. Hopefully.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
From FoxNews.com, an AP story:
Hoping for Advantage, Brazilian Candidates List Selves as ‘Barack Obama’ on Ballot
"With Barack Obama on the ballot in at least eight local elections in Brazil, you might think the Democratic presidential candidate is keeping his options open in case John McCain winds up in the White House.
"Not at all. Due to a quirk in Brazilian electoral law, candidates can put any name they want on the ballot, as long as it isn’t offensive. At least eight candidates have chosen to be known as “Barack Obama.”
I have a better idea - why not just pack the real Obama in a crate, plaster "Ship to Brazil" stickers all over it, and put it on the next plane to Rio? They're welcome to have him!
As I read this story, the scene from "Spartacus" where Roman centurions rode up to the group of slaves and asked "Who is Spartacus?" flashed in my mind. To protect the real Spartacus, slave after slave rose to their feet and said "I am Spartacus!"
I guess when Brocco said he was a citizen of the world, he wasn't kidding.
Such as last night.
I was watching "Special Report with Brit Hume" on Fox News, reading along as the program was ending. And in the black bar of broken text, the words "I'm Brute Human, thanks for watching" scrolled by.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Monday, September 15, 2008
Well, well - another homily from Bishop Gumbleton. This might become a regular feature...
Just bits and pieces reprinted from the September 11 edition of the National Catholic Distorter.
The Peace Pulpit: Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, the homily delivered at The Church of the Madonna in Detroit on Sunday, September 7.
First, the set-up:
"As always when we celebrate our liturgy of the word, we try to listen deeply to what God is speaking to us. We must try to do it within the context of what is happening within our lives. Today, of course, we know, and all of us are very profoundly aware, that the biggest thing happening in our life right now, happening within our country, is the campaign to determine who will be our leaders for the next four years."
Okay, he's going to tie the gospel reading into the election. Let's read on...
"First of all, because if we are listening carefully, we'll discover that God's word must always be listened to within the context in which God proclaims that word. We have to be very careful not to take a passage of scripture and say, "This proves a certain thing," and then that's it.
"No, scripture is much more complicated than that. We have to listen carefully to be sure we don't distort God's word and try to impose upon another what we think God is saying. We have to always try to listen to what God is really saying."
So here he presents his premise - we have to be careful not to take God's Word out of context and misinterpret it. Always a good idea. Moving on...
"In today's gospel lesson, when we hear Jesus say to the disciples -- and he's talking to all the disciples, not to the apostles, that special group, but all the disciples -- Jesus says to them, "Whatever you bind on earth is bound in heaven. Whatever you loose on earth is loosed in heaven." Do you remember just a few weeks ago when Jesus asked the disciples, "Who do people say I am?" You remember, some said "John the Baptist" others said "Jeremiah." One of the prophets, Peter, says, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." And Jesus said to Peter, "Yes, Peter, and you are the rock upon which I build my church." And then he says, "And whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven. Whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." That passage is sometimes taken out of the larger gospel context. That was in Chapter 16. Today, in Chapter 20, (actually, it's chapter 18) Jesus is saying the same thing to the whole group of disciples. Sometimes people took that other passage without listening to this passage. They began, and it didn't happen until about the fourth century, to interpret that Peter then, was given the sole authority to bind and to loose, and we ended up with a papacy where everything is centralized into one person, the pope."
Gee, it didn't take long for him to violate his premise....
"Another example today is where Jesus says to that assembled group of disciples that 'if the person won't listen to the church, push him away.' We have developed, in Christian churches sometimes, what is called shunning, where a person is totally rejected, pushed out of the community, ignored, condemned, sent away.
But if we listen to this passage that we hear today, it was in the framework where Jesus puts it. Just before today's passage, we had the beautiful parable that Jesus tells about the one sheep that is lost. There's a whole flock of sheep. One is lost and Jesus says, 'God goes after that one who is lost. You don't push that sheep away and neglect, and ignore, and condemn. You go and find the sheep and bring it back.' After this passage, what you'll hear next Sunday is the time when Peter says, "How many times do I have to forgive somebody -- seven times?" "No, no, seven times seven times, without limit."
Even though we make judgments at times and we say as a community, "This is wrong," we never push somebody away and leave that person abandoned."
Ladies and gentlemen, Premise has left the building!! Jesus' teaching here has nothing to do about lost sheep, or forgiving our brother. The parable of the lost sheep is about seeking those who have strayed. This teaching has to do with the person who has sinned, refuses to listen to right reason and refuses to listen to the Church, yet still wishes to remain in the community. It's the framework for the excommunication process - it's not shunning, in the classic definition of the term. It is an act of love, not an act of hate. However, as we read on...
"Even though we make judgments at times and we say as a community, "This is wrong," we never push somebody away and leave that person abandoned.
"How easily this can happen. It was brought out with the experience of a person, a very well known leader in political life. He was the legal counsel under President Reagan and under the first President George Bush.
His name is Douglas Kmiec and recently he spoke about the views of two of our candidates, Senator [Barack] Obama and Senator [Joseph] Biden. He says, "In my view, [they] seek to fulfill the call by Pope John Paul II, in the encyclical 'Evangelium Vitae,'" the gospel of light, "to 'ensure proper support for families and motherhood.' It cannot possibly contravene Catholic doctrine to improve the respect for life by paying better attention to the social and economic conditions of women, which correlate strongly with the number of abortions." He's against abortion, but he says there's a way you can prevent abortions without eliminating choice."
So here we have it. Back to the set-up. And the only way he can support his set-up is to violate the premise he presents in the second and third paragraphs! Incredible! Once again proving that liberals have to distort Church teaching and Scripture to back up their positions.
Gumbleton concludes his homily with more of the same - such as:
"During this campaign, as it goes on we're going to have to be very careful, I'm sure, that we don't allow this kind of division to rise up among us, where some say, "God said this, therefore, you must go." No, we can't be that way. We have to be the way Jesus was."
"Yes, standing up for the truth, but always being open to hearing new insights as others also listen to God's word to hear God's truth."
Sure, Bishop. Never mind that these "new insights" are actually distortions of God's Word, distortions so misleading that many Catholics are fooled into believing lies. Jesus did say in Matthew's gospel: "If he refuses to listen even to the Church, then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector."
So I'm not going to listen to Doug Kmiec - in fact, I will do what I can to actively oppose him - because he isn't listening to the Church. And I pray that not too many people listen to you either.
Mimes gone wild at the Diocese of Rochester.
The DoR is my childhood diocese - I moved to Michigan in the late 1980's. I still have family members in Rochester, and over the past few years, I've listened to how abuses and shenanigans like this have contributed to the diocese's decline. Lately, mainly through Rich's blog, I've learned even how much worse the state of the Church is there. It's sad and stupid and sickening - faithful Catholics are in a catechetical wasteland, counting the days until Bishop Clark retires and, by the grace of God, are blessed with a new shepherd who will lead them to better pastures.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
"The surprising thing about God is that God calls us as a community, not as individuals. Our journey, our faith journey, is together. We go to God together. Catechists have responded to a significant and needed call in the Church today. Yet it is a call that asks them to be on a journey with, alongside, others; what a privilege! And in that journey, we all learn from each other – no matter what the age or ability of the others on the journey with us."
No where in this article is it mentioned that a catechist is called to pass on the truths of Christ's Church faithfully; she uses descriptions like "an echo of God's Word", a "connector", to "call people forth to be people for others". Sounds similar to how Christ instructed the disciples to "Go, therefore, and be connectors of all nations", doesn't it? *Snark* off.
Actually, I am a catechist this year, starting my seventh year. I taught 1st grade for two years, then because of dissatisfaction with the parish program, I dropped out and taught my sons one on one for three years. Then, two years ago, I joined a local catechism group affiliated with a different parish. It's not a parish program per se, but one more for home-schooled children, and parents who are unhappy with the programs offered by our local parish. This year, I'm teaching 8th grade, preparing the students for the sacrament of Confirmation. There are no plans on being an echo or a connector. I don't even know what that means - except that it sounds touchy-feely. My goal is to prepare the kids and get them ready for a very important stage in their lives as young Catholics. To tell them the truth without watering down the Truth. To (hopefully) help them embrace their faith and recognize the importance of belief and hope and faith and charity, so that when they receive the Holy Spirit next Spring, they will be well disposed.
So, Sr Schaeffler, I'll be a teacher, not a connector. I'll be a witness to the faith, not an echo of God's Word. Get your head out of Eckhart Tolle or whomever else you're reading, and get serious about what it truly means to be a catechist.
"I read with interest the article "Economic toll of health care crisis threatens all" (June 20). Catholic Health Association president and CEO Sr. Carol Keehan mentioned the current crisis of the uninsured in this country (47 million total).
"What concerns me about this organization relates to who they do business with.
"In the past, their speakers have been former U.S. presidents who are avowed pro-abortionists.
"Recently, the governor of California (a Catholic and pro-abortionist) spoke to the Catholic health care industry about the crisis. I looked on the CHA website and no where does it discuss the dilemma of the unborn in this country.
"If one looks at the health care costs of this horrific procedure, it's quite staggering. The latest cost figures available from 2005, were 1.21 million (3,300 a day) abortions performed, at an average cost of $418.
"That's more than $505 million dollars ($1.6 million per day) spent on killing babies! Sixty-six million dollars is supported by taxpayer's money.
"Estimated costs for this procedure over the past 20 years totals to more than $13.5 billion dollars!
"If on stopped using taxpayer money to pay for this procedure, you could pay each uninsured man, woman and child in this country a million dollars, which the interest alone would cover their entire living expenses for a year!
"The health care problem in the U.S. was created by man, but will need God's help to fix it.
"Until we stop slapping Him in the face to a tune of 3,300 times per day through destruction of His own creation, don't expect His help, nor solution, anytime soon.
Thomas J. Forbes, MD
Grosse Pointe Park
Friday, September 12, 2008
This one, though, looks like it's gonna deliver a crushing blow to not only Texas, but Louisiana as well. Surges of 10 to 25 feet. Waves up to 50 feet. 110 mph winds. The storm spans 600 miles, with the eye over 120 miles.
Pray for those who ignored the evacuation alert and decided to ride this out. When residents are told to write their Social Security numbers on their arms so that they can be identified if they don't survive, that's serious. This is the first time I've ever heard officials tell residents that if they don't leave, they face certain death.
Pray for those who have evacuated that they have found safe havens.
This isn't the time to worry about gas prices spiking. This isn't the time to worry about sporting events being cancelled. This isn't the time to worry about the presidential election even. This is the time to pray.
"Our Lady of Succor, we are lost unless you hasten to our help."
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
The "Big Bang Machine" has been turned on, and it worked. This is the huge cyclotron/particle accelerator & collider that took 14 years to build and has been at the center of some controversy. 'Scientists, journalists and dignitaries watched from the control room at Europe's CERN particle-physics center on the French-Swiss border, near Geneva, as beams of protons were sent all the way around the collider's 17-mile (27-kilometer) underground ring of supercooled pipes for the first time.' It won't be several months yet before the proton beams are ready to collide, and then the real research and fun begins. Scientists state that the collision will cause 'particles to melt into bits of energy up to 100,000 times hotter than the sun's core — a state that should replicate what the entire universe was like just an instant after it came into being.' They hope to be able to study quarks, Higgs boson particles, supersymmetry particles, dark matter, anti-matter and other mysterious sub-atomic realities with cool sounding names. They may even locate Michael Moore's sense of decency, but that's highly unlikely.
It does sound dangerous - no wonder there's more than just a little fear on the part of the The End of The Earth crowd. At the very least there'd be a more logical reason for the existence of global warming once this collision occurs. Little bits of energy 100,000 times hotter than the sun's core? How the heck did they measure that? I'm sure they have a way to predict the sun's core temperature - it's just mind-boggling. But if one of these scientists screwed up one small calculation, or put a decimal point in the wrong place somewhere, or whatever, we'll all hear one big collective "oops!", and it'd be the last thing we ever hear.
To some, being Europe and all, getting sucked into a black hole might be considered an improvement....perhaps this is what Pope Benedict was referring to when he spoke of the dictatorship of relativism.
So it got me wondering: what have the Michigan bishops been saying?
Very little, it turns out.
After checking the home pages of the Archdiocese of Detroit and the other six dioceses in the state, this is what I've found.
Only two (the Archdiocese and the Diocese of Marquette) provide direct links to the USCCB response to Nancy Pelosi. Bishop Sample of Marquette wrote a column Sept 5 on the USCCB's document Faithful Citizenship, but made no specific mention of the Pelosi situation. To me, that's like providing a Kleenex for a severed limb. Doesn't really help matters.
Diocese of Gaylord? Nothing
Dicocese of Kalamazoo? Nada
Diocese of Lansing? Nope
Diocese of Saginaw? Not a word
Diocese of Grand Rapids? Ix-nay on the eaching-Tay
Now, a couple of the diocesan websites have links to the Catholic News Service, where one of the scrolling stories is the USCCB statement. But that really doesn't count. All in all, a weak and mostly non-existent display of Church teaching. Disappointing, because I would have thought that given the caliber of several of Michigan's bishops (one being Bishop Carlson in Saginaw, formerly in South Dakota, where he stood up to pro-abort Catholic Tom Daschle years ago), along with having Cardinal Maida at the Archdiocese, no less, someone would have been fairly vocal. Disappointing, too, because these fundamental questions of "When does Life begin?" and "Has the Church always been consistent in Her teaching on abortion?" have to be concisely answered in the face of deliberate misrepresentation. It has to be said over and over, that in the face of intrinsic evil, there can be no compromise and no doubt as to what the Chruch teaches and has always taught.
If you're a Michigan resident, call or write your bishop and ask if he intends to take this opportunity to directly talk to his respective flock. It'd be interesting to know what the response will be.
There is time to "strike while the iron is hot".
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
I've attended Masses where the Sign of Peace descended into events similar to what Matthew described - a group hug, where people stretch and contort across pew and aisle to reach everyone just beyond touching distance. Where the priest leaves the sanctuary to shake hands with as many congregants as possible, even after the choir starts The Lamb Of God, resembling a politician at a voter's rally. All the while, I'm asking myself: Is this proper behavior, while standing at the foot of the Cross?
He quotes our Holy Father as having asked "the competent curial offices to study the possibility of moving the sign of peace to another place (in the Mass), such as before the presentation of the gifts at the altar. To do so would also serve as a significant reminder of the Lord's insistence that we be reconciled with others before presenting our gifts to God."
As everyone knows, Pope Benedict XVI has been active in 'reforming the reform' throughout his pontificate; while still Cardinal Ratzinger, he penned "The Spirit of the Liturgy", a brilliant book that, without so much stating it, shows how important it is to restore reverence to the Mass.
I wonder if hand holding during the Our Father is next on Pope Benedict's list.
Monday, September 8, 2008
Acts of the Apostasy offers a simple five step plan designed to provide relief and peace of mind!
1) Create a file and name it "Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden"
2) Delete the file; click on 'Yes' when asked "Are you sure you want to send Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden" to your Recycle Bin?"
3) Open your "Recycle Bin" and right click on the "Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden" file icon.
4) Select "Delete"
5) Click on 'Yes' when asked "Are you sure you want to delete Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden?"
There - don't you feel better now?
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Two weeks ago it was "Pelosi-gate". Today it was Biden's turn in the barrel. I'm wondering who's going to be next.
On "Meet The Press" with Tom Brokaw, Biden spoke like a true believer in relativism and the Church of Me. In response to Brokaw's question 'As a Roman Catholic, when does life begin?', Biden answered thus:
"I'd say, 'Look, I know when it begins for me.' It's a personal and private issue. For me, as a Roman Catholic, I'm prepared to accept the teachings of my church.
"But let me tell you. There are an awful lot of people of great confessional faiths--Protestants, Jews, Muslims and others--who have a different view. They believe in God as strongly as I do. They're intensely as religious as I am religious. They believe in their faith and they believe in human life, and they have differing views as to when life--I'm prepared as a matter of faith to accept that life begins at the moment of conception. But that is my judgment. For me to impose that judgment on everyone else who is equally and maybe even more devout than I am seems to me is inappropriate in a pluralistic society."
Brokaw's next question was "But if you, you believe that life begins at conception, and you've also voted for abortion rights..."
And now Biden's response:
"No, what a voted against curtailing the right, criminalizing abortion. I voted against telling everyone else in the country that they have to accept my religiously based view that it's a moment of conception. There is a debate in our church, as Cardinal Egan would acknowledge, that's existed. Back in "Summa Theologia," when Thomas Aquinas wrote "Summa Theologia," he said there was no--it didn't occur until quickening, 40 days after conception."
Brokaw was on the right track with his follow-up question, and then Biden stepped in front of the oncoming train. With Pelosi, it was the Augustine Express. Biden got the Aquinas Unlimited.
For complete in-depth coverage, once again I recommend checking out the American Papist - footage from the interview, great commentary and on-target observations.
I have a couple observations and questions of my own, FWIW.
1) I pray that the bishops rap Biden's knuckles a little harder this second time around, especially with the installation of Bishop Malooly in Biden's home diocese tomorrow. The opportunity to present Church teaching on such a fundamental issue with in two months of the election is providential. Any attempt of the left to accuse the Church of injecting faith into politics can easily be refuted because it's the politicians who are attempting to teach the faith. And failing miserably. So this is coming down to a Teachable Moment - and it ought not to stop at the bishops. Priests and deacons must do their part from the pulpits as well. And the exhortation in today's first reading from Ezekiel commands the laity to "dissuade the wicked from his way". So this involves the entire Church, not just the bishops.
2) The fact that abortion kills a life is not a faith matter, but one of biology. And since Biden is willing to trade a vote to preserve his conscience at the expense of a life (because he believes life begins at conception), he deserves to be challenged.
3) Might these exchanges between politicians and bishops mean the demise of the "seamless garment" argument? I for one hope so. IMHO, the "SG" argument has provided pro-choice Catholics too much cover over the years. Immigration, the living wage, reducing poverty, adequate health care - can anyone with a straight-face say that these are equally important to the issue of abortion?
4) Will any of this trickle to the Congressional elections coming up this fall?
Hang on tight - it's going to be an interesting 57 days.
Friday, September 5, 2008
From the California Catholic Daily:
"Executive Director and Co-founder of Catholics in Alliance, Alexia Kelley, served as religious outreach coordinator for John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign.
"James Salt, who helped start Catholics in Alliance and is now Director of Organizing for a nearly identical group called Catholics United, had previously worked on the campaign of the pro-choice Catholic Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius.
"While the group was forming, David Wilhem, the non-Catholic former chair of the Democratic National Committee, was helping to form the group's board of directors."
And later in the piece:
"The Chair of the Board of Directors for Catholics in Alliance is Ambassador Elizabeth Frawley Bagley. She served in a number of capacities in the Clinton State Department and is the wife of former Democratic National Committee finance chair, Smith Bagley. Ambassador Bagley has herself given hundreds of thousands of dollars to the DNC, as well as to numerous stridently pro-choice Democratic candidates including, Barack Obama, Al Franken, Barbara Boxer, Claire McCaskill, Charles Schumer and The Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund."
A of the A has turned over other rocks, and has found the following amid the muck and slime:
* Call-to-Apostasy cites Catholics in Alliance in their quarterly Call To Action News, April 2008 (page2) edition.
* ARCC (Association for the Rights of Catholics in the Church) has a direct link to Catholics in Alliance.
* Catholics in Alliance links to Pax Christi USA- Bp Thomas Gumbleton is the founding Bishop President of Pax Christi USA (according to their site), and whose "Ambassadors of Peace" list also includes John Dear, SJ. Judy Coode, who is the communications manager for the Maryknoll Global Concerns office, also works with Catholics in Alliance.
* Elephants In The Living Room, a dissident group founded in Detroit MI, has invited Fr David Hollenbach, SJ to speak at their next event on Thursday Sept 18. Hollenbach is a commentator listed on the Catholics in Alliance site. The Elephants is another group co-founded by Bp Gumbleton.
Suffice it to say, and it comes as no surprise, that Catholics in Unholy Alliance is associated with dissenting and heretical groups, directly and indirectly. So much so that Cardinal Francis George of Chicago has previously forbidden the group from distributing their materials in parishes across his diocese.
This group is trying to fool Catholics into believing that they can vote for Brocco Bamma despite his complete and total defense of abortion. They are not non-partisan. They are not independent. They have an agenda to get pro-abortion candidates elected by being selective among Catholic social justice issues, rather than embracing the entirety of the Church's teachings.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Carolina Cannonball has an insightful post on "spiritual quitters". Here's an excerpt:
"... have you ever noticed the reoccurring theme when you converse with ex-Catholics about their faith, or their current lack of it? They all have the same basic lament about Catholicism... the guilt. Oh that famous "Catholic Guilt". According to them, Catholicism represents an ideology that everything is a sin and a source of shame. It's oh-so-inconvenient to have a moral conscience. Especially in this day and age when every modern psychologist will tell you it's unhealthy to feel guilt."
Click here for the entire post. It's really good - and the art she included is awesome.I know many people who fit the description of quitters - including those who refuse to admit their sin and demand that the Church change in order to assuage their guilt, while claiming to be "faithful" Catholics. I used to be in that place, and only by God's grace do I refrain from returning. There are times when I think it would be much easier to just chuck the whole Catholic thing and be "of the world", rationalizing that the Church teaching is at fault, not my unwillingness to submit to it. Life would be better if I didn't have to bear a cross. But that would mean giving up on the true freedom that God wants me to enjoy. Freedom comes not from quitting, but from trusting. So I embrace the cross again, and resolve, from day to day, to not quit and to be free.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
On August 12, 2008 the Oakland County prosecutor issued a 12 count warrant against the Woman Care abortion clinic at 28505 Southfield Road in Lathrup Village for violating the Michigan State Statutes that regulate the disposal of medical records. The Woman Care abortion clinics are owned and operated by Alberto Hodari. The warrant was sworn on August 15th and Hodari and the Woman Care clinic will be arraigned on the charges September 3, 2008 at the 46th District Court in Southfield .
Nearly 200 patient records were discovered by members of Citizens for a Pro-life Society and other pro-lifers in February and March 2008 when they conducted an investigation of the trash dumpster behind Hodari’s Lathrup Village abortion clinic. On March 6th Monica Migliorino Miller, director of Citizens for a Pro-life Society, turned over all of the patient records retrieved from the trash to Serg. Vincent Lynch of the Lathrup Village Police Department.
Miller and other pro-lifers monitored the trash dumpster every weekend from Feb. 7 through March 2nd. In addition to numerous patient records which disclosed detailed personal information of patients at the Woman Care clinic—pro-lifers also discovered bio-hazard waste and the remains of aborted babies.
The bio-hazard waste included bloody suction gauze tubing used in abortions, blood drenched surgical paper, dozens of glass medicine vials, used syringes, IV bags with tubing and sharps, numerous condoms and condom wrappers probably used for ultra-sounds, bloody surgical gloves, and dozens of bloody suction canulas. (See You Tube video "Hodari Dumpster Scandal" )
The babies from the Hodari dumpster were buried by the Archdiocese of Detroit in a May 3rd ceremony at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Southfield.
The 12 count warrant charging Hodari and Woman Care clinics is the consequence of a 6 month-long investigation that began in March of this year. The 12 counts are on behalf of 12 actual women whose privacy rights were violated when Woman Care tossed patient records in the trash. However, the records actually reveal the names and personal information of dozens of women who obtained an abortion at the Southfield clinic.
Miller states: “We are glad that finally these charges against Hodari and the Woman Care clinic have been filed. We were confident all along that Hodari broke the law. The rights of all these women have been violated. What we found in the dumpster is a sign of absolute gross negligence on the part of this abortion practitioner and we hope that justice will be done now that Hodari and his clinic is being prosecuted.”
Someone care to explain how the pro-abortion crowd "cares about women", when their privacy is violated by cavalierly disposing their intact medical records in the trash? This all comes down to money and the callous disregard for human life. Pray that this so-called doctor is found guilty, punished to the full extent of the law, come to understand that abortion is an offense against God and against nature, repent of his sins (a la Dr Bernard Nathanson), and that every one of his six abortion mills are shut down permanently.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
As reprinted on August 28 2008 in the National Catholic Distorter:
The Peace Pulpit: Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, the homily delivered at St Hilary Parish in Detroit on Sunday August 24 (emphasis mine)
"Some of you, I'm sure, have been to Rome and have seen the great basilica of St. Peter on Vatican Hill in the midst of Vatican City. If you haven't been there, you've certainly seen pictures of that tremendous basilica, overpowering in its size and richness and the symbol of power that it gives forth. Perhaps you noticed if you were there that around the dome -- which is the most extraordinary feature of this church, a huge dome -- in very large letters are the words that Jesus says today in the gospel.
"They're written in Latin: "Tu es Petrus, et super hanc petram aedificabo ecclesiam meam." I still know my Latin. It says, "You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church." We've come to accept that, that it's Peter, now the successor of Peter, the pope, who has ultimate authority in the church, and especially since the first Vatican Council, which ended in the year 1870, so over 100 years ago, but still dominant in our church, we have ascribed to the pope, total power and authority in the church.
"To you I give the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." The pope, according to this interpretation, has total authority, total power within our church. We've come to be very used to that and have accepted that this is the interpretation of this gospel passage.
"But in fact, that interpretation did not become part of the church's tradition until the fourth century, when Constantine (the Roman emperor) had been baptized and the church began to exist with freedom in the Roman Empire. It began to take on some of the traits of that empire -- power, prestige, wealth -- so this interpretation of this passage developed in that fourth century.
(here it comes! The text proof...)
Before that, in the earliest tradition, the passage was interpreted as Peter being a type, an image of all the disciples. So Jesus is saying then, "It is on all my believing disciples that I build my church. To all my disciples I give the power to bind or to loose." That's the earliest interpretation and that's reinforced, actually, when you go just a little bit further into Matthew's gospel in the 18th chapter, and Jesus is speaking, not to Peter, but to all the disciples, the whole community. "I say to you, whatever you bind on earth, heaven will keep bound; whatever you unbind on earth, heaven will keep unbound."
So there you have it. I'm a Pope now. Pope LarryD I, head of the Vir Specus Catholic Church. And you're popes too. We have "total authority, total power within our church", according to Bishop Gumbleton. Heck, he's been acting as his own pope for years anyway, along with all his buddies at Pax Christi, DignityUSA and Call to Action.
I'm still Catholic, because I'm not protesting anything. I'm just fulfilling my role as Christ declared. At least according to Bishop Gumbleton.
"So it wasn't Peter, and now the pope, that has the full authority and power within the church, it's the whole community, the church. That's what Jesus said to his disciples and that was the earliest interpretation of this passage."
I'm not going to quote him anymore. Instead, I ex-communicate and laicize him because of his dumb homilies. There - my first ex grabatus statement. That wasn't so hard.
Needless to say, I wasn't all that excited about the first Tuesday in November. I had every intention of holding my nose and voting McCain. But now, with the pick of Sarah Palin as his Veep...or Veepette, I suppose!...I'm pretty darn hepped about the 2008 election.
There have been megabits upon megabits posted across blogdom the past several days, since the close of the Democrappy National Convention, through the subdued start of the Republican National Convention. So rather than rehash all that, I've compiled some highlights and observations.
* Brocko's choice of Biden for Vice-Predisent. Biden has been barred from speaking at Catholic schools by his bishop, which is a good first step. Hopefully the bishop will remain consistent and instruct him on his Catholic duty to oppose and stop abortion (along with ESCR, so-called gay marriage and all the rest), and the theological consequences of the failure to do so - time will tell. The constrast between him and Sarah is well-defined on the life issues, and their debate in October will be interesting. And it's become much clearer who the proper choice is when Catholics head out to vote. I've proudly added the "Catholics Against Biden" widget to my sidebar.
* Do the Catholics For Obama really want to cast their votes with idiots like this? Some turn violent in GOP convention protests. The opening paragraph: "Demonstrations near the Republican National Convention site turned violent Monday, as protesters harassed some delegates, smashed windows, slashed car tires and threw bottles. Police using pepper spray arrested more than 250 people."
----->>UPDATE: The first paragraph has been changed since I linked to the story. There is now practically NO mention of the activists' actions, and the story mainly focuses on how several reporters were arrested. Makes you want to say "hmmmmm".
* The discovery that Sarah Palin's oldest daughter Bristol is five-months pregnant, and that she and her boyfriend are going to marry. Creative Minority Report juxtaposes Veep-candidate Palin's statement with Brocko's from a few months ago. It's encouraging to see Sarah walk-the-walk, anticipating the eminent arrival of her grandchild as a gift from God, regardless of the circumstances, and not a "punishment". In addition, Dr James Dobson of Focus on the Family weighed in with a supportive statement:
"We have always encouraged the parents to love and support their children and always advised the girls to see their pregnancies through, even though there will of course be challenges along the way. That is what the Palins are doing, and they should be commended once again for not just talking about their pro-life and pro-family values, but living them out even in the midst of trying circumstances.
"Being a Christian does not mean you're perfect. Nor does it mean your children are perfect. But it does mean there is forgiveness and restoration when we confess our imperfections to the Lord. I've been the beneficiary of that forgiveness and restoration in my own life countless times, as I'm sure the Palins have."
* Related to the above point, Paul at Thoughts of A Regular Guy has a great post on why the Liberals hate Sarah Palin. It's fear expressed as hate, and he makes his point succinctly and forcefully - it all comes down to abortion.
* No post-Convention bump for Brocko and Biden. Can't say it breaks it my heart, because it doesn't.
* Hurricane Gustav hit the Gulf Coast with much less than expected intensity, thanks be to God, but there were actually some Democrats who were glad it was going to make landfall at the same time as the start of the Republican convention.
While this conversation is not indicative of ALL Democrats, I'm sure there were a handful who were disappointed Gustav weakened throughout the day yesterday. None would publicly say as much, of course. As I watched the news coverage yesterday, though, there was this underlying sense of frustration among the reporters that things weren't on the same level as Katrina. They were trying to find something bad to report. The worse they could say was that two levees were possibly in danger of giving way, and no one will know the extent of the damage until first light. There was little evidence, if any, of genuine relief that damage and destruction was minimal, when compared to the forecasts.
* And finally, we end with another snippet for the (People Who Call Themselves) Catholics For Obama bandwagon. Fr Erik at Orthometer had choice words concerning the Matthew 25 Network, a "Christian fellowship" organization trying to peddle Obama as the only candidate that espouses authentic Christian charity. This is done by quoting Matthew's gospel where Christ preaches that whatsoever you do to the least of our brethren, then we also do unto Him. Unless the brethren are unborn. Or can be harvested for stem cells. They apparently don't count. On top of that, the best way to care for the least of all is to have the government do it, because we all know that Christ said later in Matthew 26, "Thou shall elect officials to take thy taxes, claiming to help the least of thy brethren so that thou mayst feel good about thyself, and not become personally involved."
It's going to be an interesting two months.
We now resume regularly scheduled programming.