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Acts of the Apostasy...on WordPress!

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Instant "Acts"ess

You're one click away from AoftheA's most recent posts:

Today Is The Day
Get ready for it.
Okay Then, That Was Unexpected...
Weird.
Church Art Shouldn't Make You Say "Blech!"
Or cringe.
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, March 31, 2009

Guest Contributor

I'm going to be "off-line" for a couple days, but in the interim, I've invited a guest contributor to keep the flame stoked, as it were.

Her name is Sr Patricia, and she has an interesting story. I've mentioned in a couple posts (here and here) that I live near the Motherhouse of a Dominican Order of Sisters - right down the street, in fact. We rarely attend Mass there anymore because of some major liturgical abuses, and this particular order aligns with some rather dubious "Catholic" organizations.

However, I've gotten to know Sr. Patricia over the past few months, and she's confided in me that she's trying to make changes, in her own small way. And she wants to tell her story, but it's darn near impossible for her to start her own blog - there's very little privacy, and the only chance she has to go online is when she's at the local library and uses their computers. So I asked her if she'd be willing to publish some posts in my absence - she's read my blog and just loves it. She's agreed, and her first one is going to come out tomorrow morning. How many more after that she'll be able to publish, I don't know.

I'll be back on Thursday or so! Make Sr Patricia feel welcome!

Un-Baptism?

From Breitbart.com: Following Atheist Trend, Britons Seek 'De-Baptism'

More than 100,000 Britons have recently downloaded "certificates of de-baptism" from the Internet to renounce their Christian faith.

The initiative launched by a group called the National Secular Society (NSS) follows atheist campaigns here and elsewhere, including a London bus poster which triggered protests by proclaiming "There's probably no God."


"We now produce a certificate on parchment and we have sold 1,500 units at three pounds (4.35 dollars, 3.20 euros) a pop," said NSS president Terry Sanderson, 58.

Shame on the NSS, taking advantage of the stupid! If they were truly serious about helping people "de-Christianize", they wouldn't be charging for the certificates. The mere fact that some are willing to part with their money in order to prove that they don't believe in their baptism is ridiculously ironic.

Or they would take the advice of The Curt Jester: "Lame! If they want to do it right they need to do what Julian the Apostate did. He baptized himself in bull's blood to be de-baptized. Sure that is just as ineffective as an internet certificate, but it at least shows commitment."

Christ wondered if any will still have faith upon his return. Seems like there will be a bunch who will have the paperwork to prove they don't.

People for the Exploitative Treatment of Animals

Why does this come as no surprise?

From the TelegraphUK.com: Animal Charity PETA Accused Of Slaughtering Thousands Of Pets Placed In Their Care by Paul Thompson

*WARNING* - the article displays one of PETA's infamous ads showing a nude model.

An Animal welfare charity has been accused of slaughtering thousands of pets placed in its care.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), which boasts Paul McCartney and Pamela Anderson among its supporters, are accused of only finding homes for seven pets last year.

Since 1998 more than 20,000 pets handed to PETA have been put down.
In 2008 official figures show that the charity put down 2,124 animals that had been given to them.


Figures obtained from the Virginia Department of Agriculture reveal that last year PETA killed five pets a day.

The charity, which collects over £25m in donations, does not run an adoption shelter.

But as the most high profile animal welfare agency in the U.S. many people take unwanted cats and dogs to their main offices in Norfolk, Virginia.


CCF (Centre for Consumer Freedom) Research director David Martosko said: "PETA hasn’t slowed down its hypocritical killing machine one bit, but it keeps browbeating the rest of society with a phony ‘animal rights’ message."

In a way, this article demonstrates Chesterton's definition of a heresy - a promotion of a truth at the exclusion of all the other truths. PETA promotes an idea that is fundamentally good - treating animals ethically. As Catholics, we believe that since God created us to be stewards of His creation, we have a responsibility to treat all life with respect and conscientiousness. In no way does it mean to take the extreme on that truth - that's why there's no conflict with a hunter training his dogs to retrieve the ducks he had just shot out of the sky. As long as balance is maintained between the extremes - for instance, one extreme being caged dog fights and the other being a person leaving their fortunes to a beloved pet - then all is well in the world.

PETA's excuse at the end of the article is that the animals were 'unsocialized', so putting them down was the only ethical thing to do. Humph - I doubt it. I believe that these extremists, and other groups similar to them, hold most humans in contempt, and use the animals as a prop to push their beliefs on the rest of society.

Monday, March 30, 2009

A Little Monday Amusement

Some fun to chase away the Monday blues....

Fly Swatter

My best thus far: 56% accuracy; 32.6 seconds.

**UPDATE: Now it's 63% and 24.9 seconds. OK, so I amuse easily....

I Swear!!

Over the weekend, an anonymous visitor left two comments expressing dismay that several recent posts have included coarse and vulgar language, so much so that any increased use would prevent him/her from returning. That would bring about disappointment to him/her, as he/she stated that reading my blog is a source of enjoyment. And the only people I want to not enjoy my blog are the kinds of people I point at and highlight their silly (and wrong) notions of Catholicism. So this is an open letter to that anonymous visitor.

First of all, thanks for reading my blog. Not everyone gets the humor (or, humour for Canadian and English readers!), so I appreciate the compliment that you find my blog funny. I'd hate to lose any readers, seeing as I have so few. The ones that try to get away have a posse sent after them, just so you know.

Secondly, I take your opinion seriously regarding the vulgar language. I just want to make a couple points so that you have a clear understanding where I'm coming from.

On the "I Have Seen The Future" post, which was a total fiction and satirical piece, I sprinkled some obscenities here and there (rather tame ones, I thought) to project the deep sense of frustration at how our country had changed. There are a handful of readers who know me personally, and they know that I strive to refrain from swearing - so for them, I think they would have had an appreciation for how I made myself to appear in the future.

In the "Medium Not So Well" post, I used a common abbreviation that does in fact mean what you believe it to mean. "Who's That Fatty?", right? Well, anyway, looking back, it didn't add anything to the post, while a cleverly developed phrase would have been possibly more effective. My mom always said that resorting to swearing just meant you were too dumb to think of anything intelligent to say. She doesn't read my blog, mind you, but that shouldn't make a difference.

Of course, remember that even Christ employed harsh and strong language at times. Many of the epithets he hurled at the Pharisees were considered vulgar in his day. I'm not saying I'm on a par with Jesus - far from it!! - but if He wrote a blog, mine would probably be funnier, but have way, way less hits.

In conclusion, I take your criticism constructively, and I haven't lost any sleep over your comments. And to verify just how obscenity-free my blog is, I ran AoftheA through a Cuss-o-Meter, and the results are shown below:

The Blog-O-Cuss Meter - Do you cuss a lot in your blog or website?

According to the Cuss-o-Meter site, my blog is more cussless than 99% of the blogs that have been checked out. While it shows that there's room for improvement, I'd say that's pretty dam---er, darn good!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Barackedygook

Either I'm getting older and finding it more difficult to understand today's youth, or the kids in the following story are just plain dumb. I'm going to claim the latter.

From the TimesUnion in Albany NY: 'Baracking' is Hip, Respectful by Scott Waldman.

What up, my Obama?

In the hallways of Albany High School, that is the new hello.

If you sneeze, your friends at Albany High might say "Barack you." Goofing off in the hallway? "Barack's in the White House now" means cool it.

(source)

Presidents usually don't earn a blip on the radar of teenage American hipness. But Barack Obama's rise to the White House already has changed the way young people talk to one another. Creatively riffing on the unusual name — Baracking — is a natural progression of Obama's prominent spot in pop culture.

Along with simple phonetics, it's symbolic of young people's admiration, said Deborah Tannen, a linguistics professor at Georgetown University.


"It sounds like they are transferring their positive feelings about the person to new contexts," she said.


'What up, my Obama'??? Are you kidding me? If someone said that to me, I'd reply with "Who you calling a socialist, Commie-loving tax-and-spend baby-killing punk?"

And if someone were to say "Barack's in the White House", I'd probably come back with a "Thanks to morons like you."

Time will tell if this will be a short-lived trend destined to die a quick death along the shores of the Hudson, or sweep the nation like a pestilence. God is merciful, so I'm praying for a sudden demise.

This isn't the only time a politician's name has been adapted into the common lexicon. Remember Judge Robert Bork? When an individual is ravaged by the politics of personal destruction, that person is said to have been "borked". Maybe the time has come to say someone has been "baracked" - for when their income falls, their job disappears, or their personal freedoms are restricted. I can hear it now:

"Hey, LarryD! How come you're not blogging anymore?"

"Can't - I've been baracked."

Given the current state of affairs in our nation's capitol, I think it's time to create additional phrases and terms utilizing prominent members of the government. For instance....

A) "You're such a Dodd."
n. 1.implying senility; 2. one who refuses to accept responsibility for their actions and assigns blame to other persons.

B) "Don't teleprompt." -or- "Stop prompting." -or- Any variation thereof.
This basically translates to "Think for yourself."

C) "Geithnered"; ex: "The mechanic geithnered me out of $75!"
vi. to swindle; to cheat, esp. in financial matters; to avoid paying taxes.

D) "Frank" -ed, -ing
n. This is a Catholic blog - I can't get specific here.
v. See above definition.

Hmmm....now that I think about it, if someone were to say "Barack you" to me after sneezing, I'll just answer "Frank you!"

Feel free to post your own ideas and creations in the combox.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Medium Not So Well

The United States Federal Government isn't alone in wasteful spending and suspect loans.

From the TelegraphUK.com: Psychics Given Government Grant to Help Relatives Contact the Dead by Luke Salkeld (bold mine)

Two clairvoyants have been awarded a £4,500 government grant to set up a school for psychics.

Paul and Deborah Rees had their palms crossed with taxpayers' silver after applying for funding through a Department for Work and Pensions job creation scheme.


The couple's Accolade Academy of Psychic and Mediumistic Studies aims to train people to contact 'the other side'.


Yesterday critics branded the award a 'disgrace' and said public money should not be spent on 'hocus pocus' business ideas at a time when thousands are losing their jobs.

But Mr Rees, 40, and his wife, 37, defended the public funding.


Mr Rees said: 'People who feel their tax money has been wasted should remember that if they'd lost a child they would go to a medium to get peace that their loved one has passed safely and is in a better place.

'Our job is to provide substantial evidence to bring ease to people's grieving.'

The couple, who have been working as mediums for five years, admitted they were surprised to get the Want2Work grant aimed at setting up new businesses.

Mr Rees, a father-of-two who worked as an upholsterer for 17 years, said: 'They hadn't invested in psychics before so we really had to prove ourselves.'


Okay. These guys are psychics, and they were surprised they got the grant? And they got the grant because they had proven themselves? WTF?

All jokes aside, these people are a danger on several levels. First, grieving people are being exploited while they're extremely vulnerable. Who can expect the parents of a dead child to think clearly during a highly emotional time? For self-proclaimed psychics to step in at such a time, providing false hope with a false promise, is despicable.

Second, they're dabbling with demonic forces. As the Catechism states, in paragraph 2116: "All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to "unveil" the future...They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone."

I see the temptation in wanting to know the fate of our loved ones, but in the final analysis, that temptation arises out of a sense of selfishness. The desire to know is only to placate the uncertainty felt within. The ironic thing, though, is that any 'message from beyond' comes from Satan or his minions, and he, being the father of lies, can not divulge a truthful answer. Not only that, the devil is given an avenue by which he can infiltrate the seekers' lives, and oppress them. Or, the seeker strays farther from that which is True, and sees faith as something less necessary and relevant.

The Church teaches that it is not for us to know the destiny of any departed person, with declared Saints being the exception. God judges the state of the person's soul, as is His right, and His alone. It is our duty to pray for the dead, for the unknown souls in purgatory, to shorten their time of purification, reach heaven, and in turn pray for us. This is the economy of the Triumphant, Militant and Suffering Church - we remain in communion with one another, both in this life and in the life beyond. It is our lot to "leave it in God's hands", with childlike trust. Seeking answers that are not permitted for us to have insults God, abandons the suffering in Purgatory, and ultimately harms our souls.

In the movie "The Lord of the Rings", there were devices called palantiri, that resembled crystal balls. In their pure form, they were used as communication devices, whereby the owners (typically kings) could commune with their allies and keep watch over their domain. Saruman, the head wizard, possessed one, as did Sauron, the Dark Lord, representative of the Dark One, Satan. Sauron twisted their use, using them as devices to control, deceive and pervert. The movie left out an element that was prevalent in the novels, one that I thought demonstrably showed the danger of 'divination'. The city of Gondor stood as the first line of defense against the might of Mordor, Sauron's domain. Denethor, the steward of Gondor, also possessed a palantir, and Sauron manipulated Denethor through the use of the palantiri. He would project images to Denethor showing him his massive armies, the hordes of evil Orcs, the gathering forces being aligned against him. Seeing these images drove Denethor to despair, paralyzing him into inaction. Without hope, he failed to lead. He even attempted to kill his son Faramir, and ultimately he was driven to take his own life. Tolkien was showing that dabbling in the powers of darkness can lead one to death - the opposite result of what was intended. It is better to have faith without knowing than to know and thus lose faith.

This newsstory is indicative of the erosion of Christianity in England - it's not symptomatic, but a consequence. There has been righteous outrage at this couple receiving the grant, and an investigation has been launched into the psychic school itself. Perhaps the money will be returned, perhaps not. Regardless of the outcome, authentic Christianity in England will continue to be assailed in ways large and small.

And you won't need a psychic to tell you that.

ps - yes, I gave up blogging over the weekends during Lent. This was composed on Friday - 'Post Options' work well in that regard!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Easy Choice

Two stories in today's Faith section of the TelegraphUK.com.
Which one of these leaders would you rally behind:
Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury(source)


Archbishop of Canterbury Praises Britain's Muslims
The Archbishop of Canterbury has praised Muslims for stimulating debate about religion in Britain.

OR

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor

(source)

Head of Roman Catholic Church in England Urges Faithful to Remain Brave

The leading Roman Catholic in England and Wales has urged the faithful to remain "brave and courageous" in today's "very secular" society.

Easy choice.

I Have Seen The Future

Did anyone else have problems with Blogger last night? I don't know if there was unusually high solar activity, or a surge in the electric grid, or if Joe Biden had a coherent thought, but whatever it was, Blogger freaked out. And freaked me out in the process.

Let me explain.

While surfing the blogosphere last night, my laptop screen started flashing strangely. It made unusual beeping noises and vibrated so much, it nearly jumped off the table. I steadied the laptop, and as I was about to reboot the thing, it settled itself down, and the image stabilized. It had never acted that way before. As the thoughts "That was weird!", "What the heck just happened?" and "I hope my comment at CMR got saved!" simultaneously ran through my mind, the image on the screen came into focus. I couldn't believe my eyes. My own blog appeared, and I was looking at a post....from the future!! I read it with trepidation, each successive paragraph describing a horror that...that...well, you should read it for yourselves and come to your own conclusions. I managed to take a screenshot of it before it faded from view:

THURSDAY, JUNE 22, 2011

Today Just Sucked

Tonight's post exceeds my Local Content regulated limit for the week, but I don't care. Let the Youth Brigade blueshirts come and interrupt my wireless service again, the freakin' punks. I might take a couple out before they do. Today made me so damn angry, it doesn't matter what they do anymore.

This morning I had to renew my driver's license and registration - I was dreading it because this was the first time I've had to do that since all the new regulations were put into effect last year. So I got all my papers together, made sure I had enough money in the checking account to cover the vehicle registration ($732 for local fees, state fees, federal fees, UN Zone fees, climate impact fee, evaporated gasoline recovery fee, road rage education fee, multiple passenger fee[I have a minivan], 10K+ miles/year fee, English-only forms fee and natural born citizen fee), and went down to the neighborhood United Nations General Secretary of State office.

Five f****** hours later, I finally made it to the front of the line. I thought I was going to go crazy, listening to all the stinkin' propaganda coming from the televisions - Obama this and Obama that; "Yes we can" crap over and over, Chris Matthews plugging the latest bailout (another one for the newspapers!). Needless to say, I wasn't all that happy once I got to the counter.

So then the fat whale-in-a-standard-issue UN-blue muumuu bureautard looks over my papers, pulls up my file on the screen, looks at me with those beady eyes, behind her stupid square glasses beneath the stupid UN-blue tri-cornered cap and gives a little 'tsk tsk' and shake of her head. Uh oh.

"What?" I asked.

"Well, Citizen 135-222LD, it says here you're noncompliant in your Generations Invigorating Volunteerism hours. You're 32.5 hours short of the requirement."

Oh crap! My mind is racing. I paid Myron the $500 to get me the required 100 hours! The twerp cheated me! You just can't trust anyone on the Volunteer Hours black market anymore!

"Are...are you sure?" I asked.

"Mmm-hmmmm," she responded, in the smug way that only an overpaid, overweight bureautard can. "I'm sorry, but until you complete your Generation Invigorating Volunteerism hours, I cannot issue you a new license or register your vehicle. I'm going to have to impound your van until you're in compliance. And that will be $732."

"I lose my van, and I have to pay?"

"Think of it as co-latt-eral," she said. "Incentive."

I gave her the check. Fortunately it was from a bailed out banking institution, so it was good here. But this really sucked. "Come on," I implored. "Isn't there something you can do?" I gave her a look that suggested I was willing to do anything to get this taken care of. Well, not anything, mind you - I still have my dignity to consider.

"Excuse me, Citizen 135-222LD, are you attempting to bribe me?"

Man, this woman was an itchy trigger finger waiting for a target, and I just stepped into her crosshairs. "Just a little help, that's all," I answered, pushing my luck.

She looked at her screen again, fingers typing with all the speed of a half-asleep sloth. "Hmmmm," she said. "Hmmmm," again. Then she looked at me through those stupid square glasses, a condescending look she must have picked up from watching way to many presidential press conferences. "Says here," she said with a menacing tone that pinched my eardrums, "that you voted for McCain in '08. Sorry - I can't help you. Oh - and your Generation Invigorating Volunteerism hours are now up to 48.2."

"But - "

"NEXT!!"

By the time I got outside, the peacekeepers had already slapped wheel boots on my van, so I had to walk over four miles home. While on the way, I stopped at the Mega Starbucks - you know, the kind with the Free-Trade Target store inside? Our town just had one built a couple months ago, and I hadn't shopped there yet - for an iced Fair Trade coffee and Multi-grain GMO-certified Oatmeal Carob Cookie. I still had $40 on me, so I knew I was good for it.

I get to the counter and place my order, and when the teenaged girl told me the price ($37.50! Yes - I was golden!), I took out my wallet and handed her the two twenty's. She looked at them, looked at me, popped her bubblegum and said: "Sorry, like, we don't accept that currency here."

Say what? "Whaddya mean? This is US currency - Andrew Jackson, right there!"

"Who?" Smack smack with the gum - she was as stupid as she sounded. "Um, anyway. We, like, only accept Geithner bucks. You can go to the currency exchange in aisle 4 if you'd like."

Stupid Geithner bucks - the international currency. So I went to aisle 4 - past the Chinese condoms, the Plan B (in five exciting flavors!) cartons, the compact fluorescent bulbs - and exchanged my $40.

Wow - a whole $12.32. There goes my iced coffee and cookie. So I settled on a cup of water and a tofu 'Healthcube'. I wanted a Coke and bag of chips, but when the checkout lady scanned the items and my citizen ID number, my National Health & Human Services Patient Record came up on her terminal and "suggested" a more healthy alternative. Since I didn't have enough G-bucks to cover the Health Penalty, I had to get the water and crapcube. Not going back there again, that's for damn sure!

That was my day. Like I said, I'm sure the Youth Brigade will be here any minute to talk to me about my volunteer hours crap (Myron, if you're reading this, you are so toast!!) and "discuss" my blogpost limit violation. I wish the local Fairness Doctrine officials (yeah, I know they're not called that, but let's be honest, shall we? "Local Content and Minority Broadcasting Board" is just a smokescreen!) would do their own dirty work, the cowards. Sending punks to enforce their stupid rules.

Well, sorry for this rant. I'm just so fed up with our loss of freedoms and all these UN regula

POSTED BY LARRYD AT THURSDAY JUNE 22, 2011
LINKS TO THIS POST
1 COMMENTS
LABELS:
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The post ended just like that. Scary weird.

Oh, and I read the comment. It was from Myron. He wrote: "I only take G-bucks now. Sorry dude."

The Passion

Each Lent I make the attempt to watch Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ. Some years, it doesn't happen, but this year, I was able to watch it again, along with the men's small group to which I belong.

The film loses no power and impact with each viewing. In fact, they increase every time. Caviezel's portrayal shows Christ as a real man, enduring physical, spiritual, emotional and psychological pain on a scale that is incomprehensible to me. Add to that the fact he endured all that, gave up his life for my salvation, and the incomprehension factor increases exponentially.

I saw the film the day it opened, going with other guys from our prayer group. This was not a jumbo popcorn moment. I was mesmerized, absorbed by the sheer brutality and raw violence - not shocked in a "ohmiGod how gratuitous!" way, but along the lines of "Lord have mercy, look at what I did to you!" The scourging was especially difficult to watch - the scene of Mary and Mary Magdalen wiping up Christ's blood touched me deeply.



There are countless scenes throughout the film that left an impact. I'll share two of them here.

First, the contrast between Peter and Judas. Peter's denial in the courtyard, when making eye contact with Jesus after denying Him the third time, really grabbed me. At that precise moment, Christ knew. And when I sin, or deny Him in any way, He knows. He suffered the abuse by the guards, the lies of the witnesses, the loneliness in the prison - because of the times I have sinned and denied Him. And He knows. I don't always need a crowing rooster to remind me - although other signs often serve as a reminder. The look of sadness in my wife's face when I act like a jerk; the sound of disappointment in a friend's voice when I selfishly let him down; the hurt in my son's eyes when I treat them unjustly. Those are the roosters that wake me up, and lead me to ask for forgiveness - and not always as quickly as I should. In the film, Peter is shown kneeling at Mary's feet, and professes his unworthiness, and also expresses his shame. His request for forgiveness is implied, and as Scripture tells us, it is given by Christ.



The interpretation of Judas' portrayal was striking - the descent into despair, pursued by demons, driven to what he believes to be the only escape from his plight - suicide. His shame and guilt was so thick and heavy that he feared Jesus' mercy - he believed he was unforgivable, even though it was evident that he desired forgiveness. He had his opportunity, yet he let it go, and from that point, Satan took hold until the bitter end. And that is what Satan wants us to believe - that the sins we've committed, and the wilful acts of pride we've displayed, are much too big for Christ to forgive. But as Christ showed us by His supreme act of love, His dying on the cross, all our sins can be and are forgiven, if we only ask for it.

The other scene occurs on Calvary, after Christ is nailed to the cross. John's face is transfixed in disbelief and horror as the Roman soldiers raise Christ's cross, to be dropped into the posthole. But as Christ is lifted up, John remembers the Last Supper, when Christ blessed the bread and lifted it up. Then, his expression changes into one of understanding and almost joy - the ultimate "aha!" moment. When a truth is revealed to us, we experience those "aha!" moments as well, and it brings us peace, joy and deepens our love for Christ. Even if the situation we find ourselves in is painful, uncertain or inescapable. I think at that point of the ordeal, John was given a consolation, probably subconsciously, that despite all this suffering and confusion, everything was going to turn out okay. I think he experienced, perhaps for only a short moment, the trust in God that Mary had.

What scene (or scenes) in the movie left an impression on you?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Whoa! One Year Already?!?


Acts of the Apostasy turns 1 today. How time flies!

409 posts.
Nearly 1,000 comments.
25,461 visits.
From 95 countries.
Zero trolls.

Thanks for stopping by and reading, and leaving the occasional comment. Stick around - I may even get good at this!

And help yourself to a cupcake - there's no way I'm gonna eat all those!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Somewhere In The Internet, A Cat Carries A Blogger's Tongue

I was lurking over at Call to Apostasy's Sour Patch Kids' blog called Young Adult Catholics - although they don't act much like adults and they're not all that Catholic either, now that I think about it. Maybe they should call their blog Young Whiny People Who Prattle Endlessly On Social Justice Initiatives And Anti-Papal Pablum. But I digress.

Last week, one of the SP Kids posted on the firing of Ruth Kolpack, the ex-Pastoral Administrator at a parish in Beloit WI, by Bishop Morlino of the Madison diocese. The reason for the firing was that Kolpack's master's thesis contained doctrinal errors, and when she refused to recant, Bishop Morlino had no choice but to fire her. True to form, the SP Kids jumped all over this 'social justice' issue like flies on sh.....well, there was jumping, I'm sure.

The following is excerpted from the comments - with names changed.

faithfulCatholicperson said:
March 19, 2009 at 6:43 pm
Just wondering, would CTA support anyone in their ranks in a teaching position who wrote his thesis on reserving the Priesthood to men?

SPKid poster said:
March 20, 2009 at 2:01 am
Yes.

faithfulCatholicperson said:
March 20, 2009 at 4:18 pm
In theory, or is there actually someone?


5 days now, no reply.

Feast Of The Annunciation

A window from 1997 of the Annunciation graces the west window of the little Slipper Chapel in Walsingham's Catholic shrine.


Have a blessed Feast Day!
A priest friend told me the following: Gabriel appeared to Mary twice. The first time Mary told him: "Don't interrupt me now - I'm saying the rosary."
*rimshot*

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Get Ready! Big Happening Tomorrow!

My Public Service Announcement for the day:


Don't tell me you forgot - March 25 is the CRONES'* Big Day! Sure, it's the Feast of the Annunciation and all, but this is BIG! This is ACTION! This is RELEVANT! You still have time to print out the 2009 Activist Toolkit, which includes the inclusive liturgy playbook, a press release template and a 'tips' list to help organize Women's Ordination functions. Plus, as an added bonus for 2009, "Shatter The Stained Glass Ceiling" postcards are available, which can be printed out and sent to pastors around your diocese to show them your inner moonbat.

I'm seriously bummed that there are no events planned in the Detroit area. There is a service planned in Rochester, NY, so maybe Dr K., DORCatholic and Kit can head on over and, ahem, "participate"!

According to the website, this is a worldwide event that, interestingly, only has events scheduled in the United States. Hmmm. Perhaps they should rename this the National Day of Prayer....but that would require them to be honest, which is quite a stretch, I suppose. If you're going to obstinately deny Church doctrine, then what's a little false advertising to boot?

Here's a couple pics showing the great fun and apostasy that can be had at this event.

Whaddy know? The women (?) under the age of Old in the second picture is actual proof that juvenile moonbats do exist in the wild.

Here's a description of last year's coven gathering: "On April 14, 2008, in conjunction with thirteen similar events around the country, over 100 people attended an inclusive Mass presided by Catholic women, including two recently excommunicated ordained women from St. Louis." Um, if they were excommunicated, how "Catholic" were they? And "an inclusive Mass presided by Catholic women" - a phrase rife with impossibilities if I ever read one.
So remember to pray tomorrow - pray for all vocations (except for the fake ones this group wants), and pray for the sincere conversion of these people and their supporters.

Thank you for your attention to this Public Service Announcement!

*CRONES = Coalition of Resentful "Ordained" Non-Episcopal Sistahs, or The Women's Ordination Conference

One Crazy Scheme Deserves Another

From WSJ Online - in a word, bizarrocrazyweirditude.

Couple's Dreams of Immortality at Death's Door, Thanks to Madoff by Emir Efrati

Arakawa and Madeline Gins's quest to make human beings immortal is at risk of dying.

That's because the couple lost their life savings with Bernard Madoff, the mastermind of a multibillion-dollar fraud.

Of all the dreams that were crushed by Mr. Madoff's crime, perhaps none was more unusual than this duo's of achieving everlasting life through architecture. Mr. Arakawa (he uses only his last name) and Ms. Gins design structures they say can enable inhabitants to "counteract the usual human destiny of having to die."

Immortality Quest Hits Financial Snag

The income from their investments with Mr. Madoff helped fund their research and experimental work. Now, Mr. Arakawa, 72 years old, and Ms. Gins, 67, are strapped for cash. They closed their Manhattan office and laid off five employees.

The pair's work, based loosely on a movement known as "transhumanism," is premised on the idea that people degenerate and die in part because they live in spaces that are too comfortable. The artists' solution: construct abodes that leave people disoriented, challenged and feeling anything but comfortable.

They build buildings with no doors inside. They place rooms far apart. They put windows near the ceiling or near the floor. Between rooms are sloping, bumpy moonscape-like floors designed to throw occupants off balance. These features, they argue, stimulate the body and mind, thus prolonging life. "You become like a baby," says Mr. Arakawa.

Ohhhh-kayyy.

If the secret to immortality is an uncomfortable dwelling place, then I'm set. Drafty windows, two sons who still haven't figured out how a clothes hamper works, creaky floors, a garage that is self-dirtying, clutter that expands exponentially (so quickly I can claim it as a dependent on my income tax), a lawn that lost the Battle of the Weeds years ago....still, it's nothing compared to one Japanese couple who live in a loft designed by these people.

At least one tenant says he feels a little younger already. Nobutaka Yamaoka, who moved in with his wife and two children about two years ago, says he has lost more than 20 pounds and no longer suffers from hay fever, though he isn't sure whether it was cured by the loft.

There is no closet, and Mr. Yamaoka can't buy furniture for the living room or kitchen because the floor is too uneven, but he relishes the lifestyle. "I feel a completely different kind of comfort here," says the 43-year-old video director. His wife, however, complains that the apartment is too cold. Also, the window to the balcony is near the floor, and she keeps bumping her head against the frame when she crawls out to hang up laundry, he says. ("That's one of the exercises," says Ms. Gins.)


Get used to it, Ms. Yamaoka. You and your husband are going to live forever. Provided you don't go postal all over him after one too many bumps on the head.



IMO, these people are insane; fortunately they've found the perfect home.

Understandably, Arakawa and Gins have been devastated by the Madoff Ponzi scheme.

Barring a sell-off of their collection, the couple fear they won't realize their dream of building a "reversible destiny" village with homes and parks that would combine their theories of life into one community.

"Here was someone we thought was a supporter of ours," says Ms. Gins of Mr. Madoff, "and he pulled the rug out from under us."

No rug, Ms. Gins - a rug would make your home comfortable. And I seriously doubt Madoff was a supporter. He just knew a sucker when he saw one.

Two Headlines

One of the results of Internet abstinence during Lent weekends is that my aggregator racks up quite an accumulation of posts. Come Monday, I scan several of the feeds, while the majority get deleted. The pertinent stories get commented on at other blogs in most cases, so I know I'm not missing much.

While scanning through the headlines at one of my feeds, two headlines appeared in succession. The first one read "Luxembourg legalized euthanasia, passing over Grand Duke's refusal" and the following one read "Political leaders must understand religion, Tony Blair writes". I found the juxtapositional disconnect ironic to say the least.

Blair is quoted in the second story as saying "As the years of my premiership passed, one fact struck me with increasing force: that failure to understand the power of religion meant failure to understand the modern world."

There is a significant difference between understanding the power of religion, and respecting the truths that religion proposes, and in the case of the Grad Duke of Luxembourg, the Catholic faith. I have no doubt that world leaders understand the power of religion - it's just that they don't care. It's evident here in our country - the most pro-death president in our nation's history, elected into office with the assistance of a majority of so-called Catholics.

The ambitions and positions of elected officials and career politicians are not formed in a vacuum. Their positions reflect the views and beliefs of their constituency. So it's not just the politicians that disrespect religion - it's the people as well. This shouldn't surprise anyone. When only a third of Catholics attend weekly Mass, when 90% or more use artificial contraception, when more than half are pro-abortion, when more would prefer to be 'spiritual' instead of 'religious', when so many feel it's more important to be politically correct instead of faithful to Church teaching, when so many think that one faith is as good as another, when so many base their decisions on their "feelings" - this is what happens. Faithful adherence to Catholic teaching gets in the way of these peoples' choices, to remain mired in their sin. And they want their political leaders to affirm them in their beliefs. Yes, America is secular and pluralistic, and I'm not advocating theocracy. But it's been my experience that people tend to be more honest politically than theologically - one only has to look at Nancy Pelosi's "ardent" Catholicism to get my point - and how they vote is a good indicator to how they believe.

Tony Blair got it wrong. Failure to understand the power of religion doesn't mean a failure in understanding the modern world. The modern world wants nothing to do with religion. The two are incompatible. Rather, failure to understand, or mitigate, the power of the modern world leads to a further marginalization of religion. Which is exactly what's happening in America, and around the world.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Hearing Is Believing

This is a post I put up at Catholic Dads (my first contribution on that blog).

The Sons of LarryD are stricken with a disease - it's not life-threatening, mind you. It's pandemic, but not contagious. It's neither debilitating nor incapacitating.

It's just really really frustrating.

I'm talking about Liturgical Laryngitis. You can set your clock to when it strikes, and you can guess rather accurately as to when the symptoms disappear. Sure, there are occasions when it fades away during Mass, for a sentence or two - such as "Dad, tell him to stop kicking me!"; or "Is Mass almost over?"; or "Do you have to sing every verse of the recessional?" Other than that, though, their vocal chords remain as silent as Zechariah while waiting for John to be born.

Our Father? I think I see the lips move, but it could just be labored breathing. The Creed? Head bobs and half-closed eyes. The Gloria? Forget it, double if it's being sung. Even the Kiss of Peace comes out as a barely audible "Pb-wi-u".

All this despite the occasional subtle elbow nudge, usually met with a surprised glance and an expression that says "What'd I do??"

"I can't hear you," I mention quickly during a pause in the Lamb of God.

"I'm sayin' it!" is the defensive response. Yeah, the laryngitis lifted just enough for four syllables.

I've explained to them that it's important to respond audibly because we are worshipping as a community, and as such, we ought to participate. I've said many times that speaking the words reinforces their meaning, and helps us to better believe and better understand. "Yeah, but God hears us," they have said. True enough, but he's put me in charge. And I have the car keys. Talk or walk.

Thinly veiled threats aside, it is head-bangingly frustrating to get them to project their voices during the responses and prayers. I'm not pushing the envelope in having them sing the hymns. Yet. What makes it so frustrating is that these are the same kids who will shout a conversation with one another, while one is in the basement on the PS2 and the other is two floors higher in his bedroom. These are the same kids who have had shrieking contests. These are the same boys who mimic Steve Perry and actually reach the glass-shattering, canine-eardrum-shattering high notes.

But get them to Mass, and they're transformed into Marcel Marceau's.

This past Sunday at Mass, though, I witnessed...or rather heard...something that is giving me hope, however slight, that the older Son of LarryD (he's 13) might be growing out of this.

He was actually singing the responsorial psalm. I said nothing. I avoided eye contact like the plague. I gave no hint that I recognized his voice, joining mine in singing. I know how embarrassing it is for a teen son to know that his dad heard him sing in church - better to pretend it never happened.

Besides, God heard him.

On Bearing Crosses

Mt10:38 "and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me."

For the past couple weeks, I've been meditating on the Cross, and the cross(es) I must bear. As St Paul wrote, the cross can be a stumbling block for some, and a foolishness for others, but as a Christian, it ought to be what I preach. By how I live, how I treat others, how I follow Christ. Thus, in doing so, I will know joy and peace and one day, by God's merciful grace, I will die upon that cross with outstretched arms, and be welcomed into the Kingdom of Heaven.

But it rarely seems that on this side of eternity it will ever happen. Instead of joy, I experience anguish. Instead of peace, fear. Because I don't trust enough, my faith remains smaller than a mustard seed and the shackles of sin keep me too often out of the light of God's grace.

Still, I think I'm getting better at bearing my crosses, if ever so slightly. Christ never said it would be easy - sure, the burden will be light when I follow Him, but how many times do I discover I'm trudging along, dragging my wooden weight, following something else, everything else? That's when my cross crushes me - it's when I fall - and it's Christ's loving mercy and forgiveness that gives me the strength to stand back up, and at least for a while, the will to follow Him once again. Or how often do I wish to exchange my cross for another, only to find that the apparent 'lightness' of a new one was illusory, and turned out being heavier than the first? Or how many times have I attempted to fling away the cross I have, only to discover a new one has replaced it, without my consent, doubling my pain and difficulties? Ironic how that happens, isn't it? When I presume to know myself better than God does?

I've been meditating on the source of our crosses. Where do they come from? How do they come into our lives? Are some temporary while others are permanent? Does one ever get lifted in place of another, or do they accumulate throughout our lives, only to be laid down on the Last Day?

I think they come from three sources.

Natural/Uncontrolled circumstances

Some crosses are just because "Life happens." Natural disasters, crazy accidents, birth defects, aging. A tornado destroys someone's town. A hurricane ravages the Texas coast. You slip on a banana peel and throw out your back. A child is born handicapped. Events that no one has any control over, but that must be dealt with. Theologically, they can be described as either being God's ordained will, or His permitted will. These types of crosses...happen. And they happen to everyone, in one form or shape, to one degree or another. Living in Michigan, I don't worry about the hurricanes or earthquakes - but a tornado may hit my home. Who knows? Both Sons of LarryD have food allergies, one life-threatening, requiring the constant availability of an Epi-pen, and the reading of a thousand and one ingredients lists. Is it a huge cross? Size, they say, is relative. Life would be easier without that particular cross, but it's still there.

Consequences of the exercise of our free will

The choices we make, or fail to make in some instances, result in the burden of one or more crosses. The sacrament of Reconciliation absolves us of the eternal consequences of our sin, but the temporal effects can resonate for a lifetime. Broken relationships, injuries, addictions, jail time - the crosses that come from these situations are the just consequences of the actions.

Consequences of others exercising their free will

These are the toughest. Natural disasters happen to everyone. We all suffer from the effects of our less-than-virtuous decisions. But when we have to suffer because of someone else's choice or action, the temptation to shake our fist at God and scream "It isn't fair! I didn't choose this!!" can be overwhelming. And while God is big enough to handle our anger and frustration, it's important to move beyond that. There are many many people who cling to their anger because it is the only solid anchor they have. It is the only real thing they believe in. And as the image of an anchor suggests, the anger and resentment drag them down to depths from which there is seemingly no escape. But if they were to move past the anger, and grab hold of the cross instead, then they would be grabbing hold of Christ. They would be lifted up. And by holding onto Christ, they would be led towards peace and acceptance. The pain would never totally go away; the confusion may remain to one degree or another; the consequences will most likely persist till death. But embracing the cross will make those realities bearable, and will allow them to focus on the love and goodness, and not be defeated by the despair and bitterness.

Last week, in a suburb of Detroit, four young teens were tragically killed when their car was struck by a full-size van, helmed by a drunk driver. The driver survived, as is usually the case, and faces four counts of second-degree murder. I cannot imagine the grief, pain and despair experienced by the four families, forced to bury their teen age children and assume inexplicably heavy crosses. How can it be, in such a situation, that God is indeed most loving and most merciful? An event such as this brings to the fore aching questions and powerful doubts. I do not know anything about the faith of the families involved, but I know that if this had happened to me, my own would be severely tested, confronting unspeakable tragedy with the full knowledge that God loves me and desires only what is good for me.

If there has been one constant truth throughout history, it is that God loves. Always. As I approach Holy Week, culminating with the death of Christ on His cross, I am reminded that this was God's most supreme act of love, ever. I'm shown the single greatest act of love ever expressed. World wars, genocide, abortion, slavery, child abuse, natural disasters, crimes of any kind - none of these events have the power to destroy God's love for me. And remembering that is key. Despite Satan's attempts to destroy all the good that God created, God's love and compassion still conquer. Regardless of the personal pain I suffer, or the losses I endure. Or the sizes and quantities of the crosses He asks me to bear in this life. The evil in the world I witness and experience is not a sign of the absence of God's love; it's proof that sin exists, and the crosses I bear, to one degree or another, is evidence of that fact.

Christ's death on His cross bears witness to God's love for me. The crosses I bear can be sources of joy and peace, provided I bear them out of love for Christ. It is the greatest paradox, and my greatest consolation.

I know I've simplified the theology of the Cross - it's a compilation of my thoughts and impressions, not a treatise or thesis. But if I've erred in anything I've written, then I'll gratefully accept correction. It'd be just another cross.

TOTUS

If you are in need of a good laugh every day, Barack Obama's Teleprompter's Blog delivers.



He writes his own stuff, you know.

The First Annoying Vegan



Thus, the tribe of Vega departeth from Moses and the Israelites, wandering the desert in search of the land of Fruits and Nuts, eventually settling in the land of Kalli Phournya.

stick salute to The Ironic Catholic

Friday, March 20, 2009

Playing The F.O.O.L.

Are you tired of all the rhetoric coming from Washington D.C.? It seems that every other senator and representative is expressing "Outrage!" over this and "Outrage!" over that. Has the episode earlier this week regarding the AIG bonuses sent you over the edge with all the political pontificating and presidential posturing? Are you ready to scream "Stop feigning outrage already! Enough is enough!!"

If that describes how you're feeling, then you're ready for AoftheA SmartA** Mfg's latest product. You need the F.O.O.L. Model 1A-A.



Yes, the F.O.O.L. Model 1A-A, short for Feigned Outrage Oscillating Locator. With this new device, it'll be a snap to solve that pesky problem of being unsure if a person's indignant reaction is authentic, or if they're just jerking you around.



Let's see how the F.O.O.L. Model 1A-A operates. It's easy-to-use controls and convenient features make this handheld device simple and efficient.


Let's use this week's AIG Bonusgate fiasco as an example. Representative Barney Frank was a central figure throughout this episode, and he had a lot to say during the proceedings and on all the news channels. Was it genuine, or was it Feigned Outrage?
With the F.O.O.L., you'll know in no time. First, aim the F.O.O.L. towards the person speaking - in this case, Rep. Frank. The finely tuned sensors analyze his words, his mannerisms, and over seventeen biological and physiological triggers, all in the blink of an eye. If he's feigning outrage, crosshairs are superimposed over his face, and the 'Target Acquired' notification signal flashes across the lower portion of the screen.

At this point, you're ready to deal righteous justice. The F.O.O.L. automatically arms, and all you have to do is press the "Fire" button.

See? Wasn't that easy? And satisfying?

Once you start using the F.O.O.L. Model 1A-A, you won't want to stop.

Say you come across a demonstration led by the Rev Al Sharpton....
















It's a outrage!! He was feigning it!









Or how about when the President spoke earlier this week on AIG Bonusgate? He was angry. He was outraged. But was it genuine?

...apparently so! It was the teleprompter this time!


Say your bishop is under assault by a pack of angry womynpreests....

...wow! Three at once!!


Order a F.O.O.L. Model 1A-A right now, from AoftheA SmartA** Mfg! And if your neighbor or coworkers start complaining about your latest purchase, you just might want to check to see if their outrage is really legitimate!

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Resounding CHORUS

(AoftheAP) Could it be that all is not bliss in heaven? The Celestial Hallowed Organization of Relatively Unknown Saints (CHORUS) convened yesterday, the day after St Patrick's Day, in what has become an annual affair. The great multitude of saints - one could call it a communion - met in a spacious hall in East New Jerusalem to provide consolation to each other and enjoy their time together.

"Don't get me wrong," said St Joseph of Arimathea. "We're not unhappy. After all, we are in heaven, so why should we be? It's just that for those of us who are secondary saints, sharing the same date with some of our more famous brethren, well, we just want a little more recognition. That's all."

Joseph, prominently mentioned in Sacred Scripture as the Sanhedrin member who provided the tomb for Jesus' burial, is the de facto chairsaint of CHORUS. His feast day is March 17, and is annually overshadowed by St Patrick.

"I'm not bitter," Joseph said. "I couldn't be here if I was. But really - Pat gets parades, little trinkets, green beer. And what do I get? I mean, if you think about it, I was there, I knew Jesus personally! And then 400 years later, Pat arrives, gets some notoriety for driving snakes off a two-bit island in the North Atlantic and...well, honestly, I am happy for him. It's just kinda disappointing, that's all."

When asked for his thoughts on the matter, Patrick shrugged a little. "Eh, he's blowin' it out o' proportion, if you tink about it. He's outside o' stinkin' time and space, fer pity's sake!"

St Maro, an abbot from the 5th century who shares February 14 with another well-known saint, took St Patrick's comment in stride. "Sure, I understand Pat's point and all. But year after year after year, it can get a bit frustrating. For instance, several years ago, we drafted a petition that would have set up a five year rotation plan. Give us CHORUS members our day in the sun, as it were."

When asked what happened to that proposal, Maro sighed. "Ah, never went anywhere. We had to withdraw it due to that 'bound on Earth, bound in heaven' clause. So here we are."

The joke among the CHORUS members is that they're the real cloud of witnesses, because of their anonymity, because their lives are but wisps of rumors and long lost history. St Maximus the Martyr is one such saint.

"In a way, it's an honour to share the date with Catherine of Siena," Maximus said. "A Doctor of the Church, you know, so it gives me some cred. But to be honest, I only come to the meeting because the food is great."

Watching the saints mingle with one another, one sensed their profound joy at experiencing the beatific vision. There may be some lingering poignancy at their reduced status in the eyes of the Church Militant, but to a saint, none blamed their more famous counterparts for any perceived slight.

"Hey, it's not Pat's fault," Joseph said. "For once, though, it'd be nice if the schoolkids would remember it's 'Arimathea' and not 'Arithmetic'."

St Peter, the recognized leader of the saintly community, tried to take a more pragmatic approach to the situation. "It's not what I'd call a controversy. They just have to remember that this is temporary. Once Jesus returns to Earth and does his sheeps and goats thing, there will be no more Feast of St So-and-So or Memorial of St Whosit. That's the important thing to remember. And besides - I have to share June 29 with St Paul, and you don't see me complaining!"

When this was mentioned to Ss. Salome and Judith, and St Emma, who also share June 29, they rolled their eyes and responded "What. Ev. Er."

To some, Christ's return can't come soon enough. Outside the hall where CHORUS met, in a not-nearly-as-infinitely-spacious-but-pretty-darn-close room, the group SNUB held their yearly get together. SNUB, short for Somewhat Neglected Union of Blesseds, was organized several years ago by Blessed Robert Southwell to help promote their importance to the entire economy of prayer and devotion.

"I think it's important to let everyone know that we're full-fledged members of the heavenly community," Robert said. "We're not a farm club, we aren't JV. We aren't semi-pro. We don't consider ourselves second-class citizens by any means. Speaking on behalf of the SNUB membership, we only wish that more Church members would keep us in mind when they pray - our intercessory capabilities aren't any less just because we aren't "saints". Still, our name kinda speaks for itself."

To be sure, CHORUS will meet again next year, and SNUB will hold their annual fete as well. Provided, of course, that their Lord and Savior doesn't have other plans.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Creepy

So thinks Ace of Spades over at Big Hollywood. And I agree.

Obama Appoints Minister of Culture (emphasis original)

Meet Obama’s new Culture Warrior:

President Barack Obama has established a staff position in the White House to oversee arts and culture in the Office of Public Liaison and Intergovernmental Affairs under Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser, a White House official confirmed. Kareem Dale, right, a lawyer who last month was named special assistant to the president for disability policy, will hold the new position.

“It’s a big step forward in terms of connecting cultural and government with mainstream administration policy,” Mr. Ivey said in an interview on Friday. …

Mr. Ivey, a former chairman of the National
Endowment for the Arts, said he expected that the job would mainly involve coordinating the activities of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Institute of Museum and Library Services “in relation to White House objectives.”

Okay, where to begin?


1. Yet another distraction for our overwhelmed president.
2. It’s creepy.
3. It’s unnecessary. Our “culture” already is falling over itself to connect with “mainstream administration policy.” How much adulation from the media does our Narcissist in Chief need? He’s got all the free adulation in the world; now he feels the need for a post crafted specifically to handmaiden more of it?
4. Did I mention it’s creepy?....


"In relation to White House objectives"? I don't like the sound of that. Hasn't this been tried in other parts of the world, in past times? Say, in places where personal liberty was a bit more restricted? Man oh man, say it isn't so.

On the other hand, maybe this position will be responsible for picking out DVD sets for other world leaders...

You Know You're Saying The Right Thing...

...when so many others are claiming you're wrong.

Catholic Culture: New York Times, Others Blast Papal Comments On Condoms

The New York Times, The Times of London, and others are blasting Pope Benedict for saying that AIDS is “a tragedy that cannot be overcome by money alone, that cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which even aggravates the problems.” A sampling of comments appears below, along with data supporting the papal comments from the National Catholic Register.

American Papist has a good commentary on the Holy Father's statement as well.

Rich Leonardi at Ten Reasons cites comparative statistical evidence regarding AIDS rates and condom usage in other parts of the world. Good stuff.

The world doesn't want to hear the truth - especially from the Catholic Church. Pray for our Holy Father as he preaches and teaches throughout Africa.

Parish Priest Pulls Plug On VOTF

Voice of the Faithless of Southwest Florida is upset. They're hurt. And disappointed. All because the pastor of St John the Evangelist parish in Naples FL told them "No can do" on holding a memorial Mass in the church later this month.

From NaplesNews.com: Group Not Allowed To Celebrate Mass In Catholic Church by Jenna Buzzacco

The pastor, Rev. John Ludden, decided to deny the group use of the church because of what VOTF stands for. He's going to need a lot of prayers and support, because the following quote from Jessica Lillie, VOTF's director of communications for VOTF, sounds slightly threatening.

“We are the Eucharistic ministers, the parish musicians, the lectors, the CCD teachers (and) the pastoral and finance council members who constitute the backbone of numerous parishes,” Lillie said in a statement Friday. “It is shameful that any pastor would seek to deny the Eucharist to such faithful members of the church, or worse to defame those members by claiming they cannot be in the presence of the Eucharist.”

Kudos to Rev Ludden. He's making it very clear that he understands VOTF's beliefs, and refuses to give them any formal recognition. And he's not denying the Eucharist to the members of the group - he's just denying them permission to use the church. Big difference. I hope his bishop lends him support.

The story concludes with this:

Ludden’s decision not to allow the organization access to the church isn’t stopping the group from celebrating its annual Mass, though. Clark said the organization was able to rent out space at Vanderbilt Presbyterian Church, 1225 Piper Blvd., for the Mass.

The service will be held in the church’s sanctuary, Clark said.

“We will have the Mass in the appropriate venue,” she said.

I agree with that - a non-Catholic group ought to hold their service in a non-Catholic institution. Sounds appropriate to me.

Just Call Me "Citizen"

"Comrade" will work, too.

You know it's only a matter of time before something as loony as this gets pushed here in the States.

From the Daily Mail Online: EU Bans Use Of 'Miss' And 'Mrs' (And Sportsmen And Statesmen) Because It Claims They Are Sexist

Using 'Miss' and 'Mrs' has been banned by leaders of the European Union because they are not considered politically correct.

Brussels bureaucrats have decided the words are sexist and issued new guidelines in its bid to create 'gender-neutral' language.

The booklet warns European politicians they must avoid referring to a woman's marital status.

This also means Madame and Mademoiselle, Frau and Fraulein and Senora and Senorita are banned.

I suggest that the EU do away with the words "politician", "bureaucrat" and "Secretary" and replace them with "idiot", "moonbat", "Chief Muttonhead" and "dumbass". Nothing sexist about those words.

Progressive Catholics are applauding this, I'm sure - it supports their desire to translate the liturgy and Scripture into a gender-neutral litany of pablum and senselessness. It's a step towards neutering the priesthood. It's the incremental advance of inclusion and tolerance for so-called gay marriage, or just the dismantling of the entire institution. The same titles listed above apply to them as well.

Or maybe "white washed tombs" would be more appropriate.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Defining The Terms

Erin Manning at And Sometimes Tea is a gifted writer. Her style of prose has a fluidity to it that makes the reading easy and understandable, regardless of the topic she tackles. Whenever I read her blog, I come away with a clearer and deeper appreciation on issues regarding family, faith and the world, and more often than not, I catch myself thinking "Man, I wish I could write like that!" Not in an envious way - I'm not jealous of others' gifts. But I'm challenged to improve my own writing, so that my posts are better understood and the point I'm attempting to make is more concise. Hopefully I'm getting better as my blog develops - my readers have come to learn (I hope by now!) that my snarcastic approach to the wild and crazy antics of the "Wandering Tribes" represents my deep love and faithfulness to Christ and His Church. Some may interpret it as mean-spirited or harsh, to which I don't say, "well, that's your problem, not mine!" No one wants to be misunderstood, and the best way to be understood is to employ words in their proper contexts. And when the necessary word that would perfectly express an idea or thought doesn't exist, do what Erin did:

Create it!

A recent post of hers is just brilliant, and funny: Words And Meanings Below is a portion.

...Since I've written about all of this (gay civil unions) on other occasions, let's do something different. Let's pretend for a minute that the sort of compromise Kmiec and others want would come to pass. What would we do about the vocabulary?

I think that heterosexual couples would fight to retain the use of the word "marriage" to describe our unions. After all, the word has been used in both civil and religious contexts for hundreds of years to describe the joining of one man and one woman in a state of matrimony--would it really be fair for heterosexuals to adopt some new civil term? Most of us would probably just ignore it.

Moreover, there's the question of religious groups and their understanding of marriage. It's just going to create widespread confusion if "Catholic marriage" means one man and one woman, and "Episcopal marriage" means either that, or two women, or two men, one of them a bishop, for instance. And things could get really confusing if the number of people involved grows to more than two, which is the next step in dismantling marriage and removing it as a societal concept in order to destroy the family and lay waste to our culture once and for all (and does anyone really think that's not the endgame of the forces involved in all this?).

For now, though, perhaps those religions that want to unite two men or two women in some kind of union ought to lead the way, and come up with a new, revolutionary name for this kind of union--at least until the State decides to act. I even have a suggestion--an acronym, actually. I think that the churches who want to marry gay couples could propose uniting these couples in Same-sex Innovative Nuptials, or SIN. Churches that wanted to bless SINs could advertise that they do so, and create special SIN-blessing ceremonies for their same-sex attracted congregants. They could encourage gays and lesbians to commit to SIN, to unite with each other in SIN and to live in SIN, proudly accepting all the consequences of making SIN the center of their lives.

In a SIN ceremony, two men or two women would pledge to remain in SIN with each other. They would not have to pledge fidelity, as SIN is usually open to the involvement of other people on a more casual basis. They could write their own vows, making it clear to the whole assembly just how important SIN is to them and how they find no conflict whatsoever with God's words or traditional church teaching about sex, marriage, and the like and SIN. The pastor or minister could exhort the couple to persevere in SIN and never to let anything draw them away from SIN, especially those other homophobic churches who just don't appreciate how vitally important SINs are to people who struggle with same-sex attraction...


Check out the whole piece.

Climate Of Bias

--- in keeping with the "green" theme of the day---

Two international conferences were held this past week, both of which addressed the issue of Global Warming and Climate Change. One took place in Copenhagen, where the recurring mantra of "much worse than predicted" was heard numerous times, in regards to rising sea levels, increasing temperatures and melting ice caps. The other happened in New York City, and was titled "Global Warming: Was It Ever Really A Crisis?" Over 700 attendees met in New York, headlined by Czech president Vaclav Klaus, the highly outspoken mythbuster of AGW, and Professor Richard Lindzen of MIT, an AGW debunker.

Guess which conference was covered by the media like a thick blanket of CO²?

From the Telegraph.co.uk: Nobody Listens To The Real Climate Change Experts by Christopher Booker.

Feast Of St Patrick

Okay, so maybe St Patrick didn't drink green beer. And I'm positive he didn't say "Kiss me, I'm Irish!" But he did say the following:

"And if I should be found worthy, I am ready to give even my life for His name's sake unfalteringly and very gladly, and there I desire to spend it until I die, if only our Lord should grant it to me." (from St Patrick's Confession)
Happy St Patrick's Day!

Monday, March 16, 2009

This Probably Isn't Going To Help My Humility

A regular reader was kind enough to nominate Acts of the Apostasy in the '09 Blogger's Choice Awards, for Best Religion Blog. Thanks!!


My site was nominated for Best Religion Blog!

I'm only 60 votes behind Creative Minority Report. At the very least, I'd like to pass up The Daily Profaner and Antichristian Phenomenon. Please go and show your support - there might be indulgences involved. You never know.

Progressive Bible Quotes #4

John 16:12-13 (McBrien-Kmiec 2008 American Edition)



12"I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. 13 But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all magical thinking."

When progressive Catholics get something wrong about Church teaching, they don't do the job halfway. They put all their thought and effort into it, and as a result, come off sounding ridiculous. Despite the flowery phrases and $2 words, which add to the inanity.

Case in point: the latest "Young Voices" column at the NCR.

The Church Of Magical Thinking by Jaime Manson

For Roman Catholics seeking reform in their church, it might be fair to call this season the winter of their discontent.

In early February, the front page of The New York Times reported on the church’s new offering of indulgences. This piece came on the heels of another cover story about the pope’s decision to lift the excommunications of four schismatic bishops who reject the reforms of the Second Vatican Council.


These actions arrived after a summer highlighted by the placing of a severe
interdict against Sr. Louise Lears that banished her from her ministry and from receiving the sacraments, and an autumn colored by the excommunication of Maryknowll Fr. Roy Bourgeois . Both were punished as a result of their open support of the ordination of women...


...Psychologists define “magical thinking” as the belief that one’s thoughts, words, or actions can exert more power or influence over events than one actually has.

Lately I’m wondering if some of those in the church’s leadership aren’t struggling with a serious case of it. Not only are they assuming power that belongs to God alone, they are using functions like excommunication and indulgences on a people for whom these realities are no longer relevant or real. Indulgences and excommunications only create barriers between people and the understanding they seek, and they drive the church into an ever-deepening irrelevance, especially for younger generations.


The church has lost its power over the people through its unwillingness to meet human beings where they are. Anyone who argues that this is not the work of the church needs to wrestle with the mystery of the Incarnation: God’s great act of taking on human flesh, meeting us where we are, in order to seek a deeper communion with us. Though they left the Medieval worldview regarding their faith decades ago, people today are no less in need of guidance and support in finding a spiritual path, in answering timeless questions about God and suffering, and in seeking out deeper understandings of life’s purpose. The people of God are starving for meaning, and all the church seems willing to deliver is magical thinking.

Asked why the church was once again promoting the need for indulgences, Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, said, “Because there is sin in the world.” But, really, is there any greater sin than willfully separating a human being from the love of God? Welcoming people to the table, regardless of their beliefs, their sins, their sanctimoniousness, was the central purpose of Jesus’ ministry in this world. That the Roman Catholic hierarchy seems bent on undoing the work of the Incarnate God is not simply sad, it is profoundly erroneous...

You know, I'm sympathetic to Ms. Manson's condition. Why? Because she suffers from the very thing she is attributing to the Church. She has been subjected to the magical thinking exercised by progressive Catholics. Surely it's magical thinking that the "ordained" womynpreests are actually ordained, and that they are actually confecting the Eucharist. If that isn't magical thinking, then what is? Along with the silly notion that Christ's central mission was to welcome everyone to the table, and that the Church is trying to undo all that.

However, I want to give her the benefit of the doubt. Maybe she is truly ignorant of the truth. Maybe she does have a distorted view of what an excommunication is. Perhaps she has no clue what indulgences are and why they are still pertinent to the world today. And not just pertinent, but necessary! Denying the reality of indulgences can lead to the denial of purgatory, which can lead to the denial of the nature of the afterlife, which then could lead to the denial of the central truth of our faith: that Christ came to save us because we are unable to save ourselves, because our sins separate us from God. Thus, by his grace, we may be with God in Heaven for eternity. I don't want to think that she is willfully misleading her readers on Church teaching.

That is until I read the next paragraph.

In my recent travels, I had the powerful opportunity to listen to a member of Sr. Louise Lears’ parish tell the story of the nun’s attending Mass on the first Sunday after she was placed under interdict. Her 85-year old mother was at her side. Not wanting to jeopardize the parish any further, Sr. Louise followed behind her mother as she went up to receive Communion. Her mother took Communion, broke it, turned around and gave it to her daughter. After witnessing this, Sr. Louise’s sister, Kate, and many other parishioners went and did the same. By the end of communion, Sr. Louise’s hands were filled with fragments of the Eucharist. After the Mass was over, as the family was standing in the back, Louise’s mother said to her daughter, “I was the first person to feed you, and I will feed you now.”

O, Church, where is your victory? O, Hierarchy, where is your sting?

Okay, no more doubt. Glorification of such blasphemous behavior removes all doubt about her lack of ignorance. Reading that passage filled me with sadness for the irreverence shown our Lord, and anger for the audacity the woman dared to display before the altar. If there was ever an event that exemplifies Saint Paul's admonition in I Cor 11:29 (For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself), then this was it.

These people are so far off the path, it's frightening. When that first step is taken, the trajectory is not a parallel path, heading in generally the same direction. The path is tangential, and each step leads farther and farther away, towards an unhappy destination. Even the trip is rife with unhappiness - living one's life believing in lies, or refusing to accept the truth, leads to opinions such as this one, full of confusion, anger and mistrust.

They will deride the Church for "magical thinking", and in the process lead others to join them on their own Magical Mystery Tour. But not me. I'll continue to praise the Church for her "miraculous teachings", and do my best to keep others from straying.