AoftheA Has Moved!!!!!

Why are you here? I'm over here now:

Acts of the Apostasy...on WordPress!

Click the link and read all the new stuff! Your friends are over there waiting for you!

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...
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.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Catholic Dopplegangers, No. 2

Separated at birth? Products of a secret Vatican apologist cloning program? Well, maybe not the second one due to ethical and moral implications. But I dunno. There's enough similarity where hair color differences can be explained away with a bottle of L'Oreal, so I suspect a conspiracy of some sort...

Here's a question for you - if Mark and Jimmy were martyred via being burned at the stake, would that be a Shea-Akin Bake?

Mila's Daydreams

Deep down...

...I am a real softie. Don't tell anybody.

Mila's mom sets up photos as her baby naps, imagining what she's dreaming of. Check out Mila's blog for more pictures.
Okay, that's enough cuteness for one day. Back to regularly scheduled blogging! Oh - and today's the last day to submit your Catholyc Ice Cream flavors for the 1st Annual AoftheA Hot Summer Snark contest. Big winner to be announced on Sunday August 1!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Clerk Thwarts Armed Robber...With Christ

Wow. A great story from Florida - an armed robber entered a MetroPCS store, and when the sales woman calmly told the man that God's plans for him included better things, he left peaceably.

Here's the story from the Daily Mail Online: Armed Robber Abandons Raid After Shop Assistant Preaches a Christian Sermon

A would-be armed robber who held up a mobile phone shop repented during the raid and left as a rescued soul after a sermon from a Christian shop assistant.

Nayara Goncalves, 20, told the man calmly that God had better plans for him when he drew a gun and demanded cash from the till of the shop in Pompano Beach, Florida.

The fearless shop assistant even made the robber promise he would go back to church and turn his life around as he sheepishly left after listening to five minutes of preaching.

'I said I know you have a gun and you’re going to do what you want, but let me tell you about Jesus,' said Miss Goncalves, who added she always carries a Bible.

I’m a Christian and I have God, and let me tell you about Jesus because he can change your life, you don’t need to do this.'

During the encounter, which was captured by a security camera at the MetroPCS shop, the man told her that he was going to be evicted in three days and needed $300 (£192) to cover his rent.

'I’ve never done this before,' he is heard telling her. 'I’m not very good at this, obviously. If there’s no money in the register, can you show me?'

Miss Goncalves told him that there was little cash in the til but that any he took would be deducted from her wages.

What a witness by Nayara. Hopefully the man will put that grace to good use.

UPDATE - there's a video from the store's security camera at Matthew Warner's blog at National Catholic Register, via CMR. Awesome.

ECUSA To Develop Gay Rite

Seems like Episcopalians can't move quickly enough to inspire their more traditional brethren to get the hell out of Dodge.

From The New York Times: Episcopal Committee Is Working On Gay Rite

Armed with a new $400,000 grant and the support of the Episcopal Church, a Berkeley seminary is convening priests from across the country to craft the liturgical rite for same-sex couples to receive religious blessings.

The new rite, which will take years to complete, will most likely consist of a series of original prayers, Bible readings and two essays: one on the theological meaning of same-sex blessings, and one advising priests who administer the new rite. If approved, the new blessing would be just the third addition to Episcopal liturgy since 1979.

“This is very significant,” said the Rev. Ruth Meyers, chairwoman of the church’s Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music, who is heading the effort. “It does acknowledge a fuller participation of gays and lesbians in the life of the church.”

The Episcopal Church approved the development of “theological and liturgical resources” for the blessing of same-sex relationships at its 2009 convention, citing “changing circumstances in the United States and other nations.” It then partnered with the Berkeley seminary, Church Divinity School of the Pacific, which last month received a grant from the Arcus Foundation, a gay rights organization in Kalamazoo, Mich., to coordinate the effort.

The "theological meaning of same-sex blessings"? Well, that's simple enough, and I can define it in a sentence, much less than in an essay. Heck, I can explain it in a single word: "Abomination." How's that? And it's biblical to boot.

This new rite won't accomplish the result they're hoping for - recognizing the participation of gays and lesbians in their church. I predict it will have the opposite effect, and give further recognition to the fact that the gays and lesbians are different. In fact, I bet the normal rite of marriage eventually gets changed so as not to offend the homosexuals. So, instead of "I now pronounce you husband and wife", it'd be "I now pronounce you love and beloved", or "I now pronounce you lifelong committed partners". Because if there ends up being two distinct rites, the homosexuals will still feel separated and discriminated against. To assuage their feelings of being treated differently, the traditional rite will be stripped of all significant meaning so that ultimately, it won't mean anything at all.

Hey - that sounds like the Catholyc Womynpreests ordination rite!

This proposed change to the Episcopalian marriage rite reminds me of what's been going on in the Catholic Church, only in reverse. For years, the progressives and liberals have been caterwauling over Pope Benedict's Summorum Pontificum - easing the rules of celebrating the Latin Mass. On top of that, Catholycs have been throwing fits over the new translation that's coming Advent 2011. All the "advances" of Vatican II, in their opinion, are being crushed; actually, in the world of reality where the rest of us live, many of the errors are being corrected. In fact, you could say that such efforts were enacted to bolster and clarify Catholic identity, so that we won't be mistaken as Episcopalians.

If the Catholycs don't like what's happening in the Church - and they don't, not one bit - sounds like the Episcopalians are doing the kinds of things they prefer. So as their traditional-minded members swim the Tiber to the Church, how about they storm their rainbow-colored beaches and join the Highly Tolerant ECUSA?

Of course they won't do that - because they want the Church to capitulate to the shifting sands of cultural devolution, and they'll do everything in their power to see that that happens. They'll point to the ECUSA as being "enlightened" and "loving" while at the same time accuse the Church of being bigoted and homophobic. And stick around til the bitter end.

Crazy, what?

s/s Pewsitter

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Better Heresy With Technology

The National Catholic Distorter spits out articles, editorials and guest columns that consistently misrepresent Church teaching and mislead on current events concerning the Pope, the Vatican and the universal church. They have co-opted "social justice" issues to such a degree, that they ought to be called the National Socialist Reporter. Not once, in all the years I've been forcing myself to read them, have they wavered in their tear-down-the-institutional-Church-and-arrest-all-the-bishops screed.

Thus, it got me wondering - despite the fact they employ known anti-Church writers and publish liberal/progressive/Catholyc opinion - how do they do it? How are they able to remain so on task, day-in and day-out, without never missing a beat? Sure, a broken clock is right twice a day, and a blind pig will root out a truffle here and there. But these guys are spot-on all.the.time. If journalism were baseball, these guys would be Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak and then some.

So I did some investigating, and this is what I learned: it's due to technology. While they write, a highly refined editing program called "Hereditorial" - an amalgamation of Heresy and Editorial - constantly runs in the background. As they work their little dissenting fingers away on their keyboards, Hereditorial checks their work and if something doesn't correlate with the program's algorithmic templates - if they stray too close to orthodoxy - error messages automatically pop up. The writer cannot proceed until resolving the error.

Here are some of the most common Hereditorial error messages (click images to enlarge):

Once they finish their article, the following message appears:

So there you have it - they're putting technology to evil use. For shame.

(Error messages developed at Atom Smasher Error Message Generator)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Westboro Church Targets....Justin Bieber???

Here's a headline I bet no one saw coming:

From PoliticsDaily: Justin Bieber Joins Lady Gaga as Target of Westboro Baptist Church

Watch out, Justin Bieber, you're a target.

The 16-year old Canadian pop star, who teenagers either undyingly love or massively loathe, has been singled out for protest by the notorious Westboro Baptist Church, just like his top-charting rival Lady Gaga.

When Bieber plays the Sprint Center on Wednesday night in Kansas City, fans can expect to see Westboro Church members holding signs and issuing taunts.
Can you say "jump the shark" moment? I don't ascribe to the Westboro style of preachin' and picketin', - this is the group that regularly protests at funerals for those killed in action, tying it all into the homosexualization of our nation - but this is America, and they have the constitutional right to look like idiots. But Justin Bieber? Really? Puberty will sink his career soon enough, right?

Here's some of the Westboro Church's reasoning for protesting the high pitched warbler:
Bieber is also criticized for performing last Christmas in Washington where "he got to pose with Anti-Christ Beast Obama." The group writes, "He and Obama are of one mind and they are leading this nation to hell! Justin will answer to God!"
Oh ho ho! A socialist teeny-bopper conspiracy that will result in Armageddon! Well, I got news for Westboro. Everybody is gonna answer to God someday.

If Justin Bieber deserves any criticism, it's for brain-cringing lyrics. Check out these words of wisdom, from the song "Omaha Mall". Warning! - you will either feel dumber for having read them, or you may become possessed.

Omaha mall (x2)
You know that we ball at the Omaha mall

Omaha mall (x2)
You know that we ball at the Omaha mall
Mall, mall, mall m m mall

Yeah I ball, Omaha mall, 5 feet tall but I still do it all
Yeah I get it in to the Benjamins then I spend it all
at the Omaha mall
Yeah ever in mall mall
We are doing it huge
We are spendin' cash lookin' for some sick shoes
Yeah were at the mall
Yeah we're in my world, world
Yeah we got our shoes and now were lookin' for some
girls, girls

Omaha mall
Yeah this beat rocks now I'm rollin' round the mall
tryna' find a g shock
Yo there's some girls they look good from afar
But you never know at the Omaha mallI've been to LA, New York, I've done it all
But none of it compares to the Omaha mall
Omaha mall (x2)

You know that we ball at the Omaha mall
You know I'm a star (x2)
You know that we ball at the Omaha mall
You know I'm a star (x2)
You know that we ball at the Omaha mall
*Ryan Good*
Omaha mall (x2)
See how we ball at the Omaha mall
Now we're at the food court tryna' get some sparro's?
Hey there Justin, you got a dollar i can borrow?
"Yeah i do!"

Maybe get a burger
A sweet and sour chickenNow I'm walkin' out cause its so finger lickin'
Hey! Girl were ballin' yeah girl were ballin'
What did I just say yeah were Omaha mallin'
Shift my attention now I'm bout to go to the baby gap
Get my lil sister something maybe a sweet baby gap
cap, cap, cap c cap cap cap
(Cap cap cap)

*Justin Bieber*
Omaha mall (x2)
You know that we ball at the Omaha mallOmaha mall (x2)
You know that we ball at the Omaha mall
Mall, mall, mall m m mall mall mall ball b b ball

Pure.evil. Someone call Fr Amorth.

Otherwise, this is Bieber's future:

Heresy, Humor And St. Augustine

"Heaven will be where no heretic will bellow, no schismatic cause dissension, where all will be of one heart, where peace will abound." - St Augustine

I don't know where the quote comes from - I found it in the July issue of Magnificat, in the Saints Meditation for July 22 - but I like it. As long as we live and breathe, we will have to endure the bellowing and dissent, realizing that only in heaven will we experience true peace and union. Nothing has changed in 2,000 years. Life was, is, and will continue to be a struggle - both internally and externally - and the Church will always be under attack, from within and without.

Nowadays the Church seems to be assailed more from within. The sex abuse crisis - which is an attack of a different nature, but just as real and just as damaging, because it could lead to the loss of salvation for many souls - has become the rallying point of today's heresy-mongers. It's almost as if they are saying "The Church has abdicated its standing on issues of morality; therefore, the Church has no right to pronounce on issues of faith." Well, it may sound convincing to people who think the Church is merely a human institution, or to people who don't think at all. But since the Church was divinely-instituted, Her teachings are independent of the sinfulness of the members. The teachings are still true, and in matters of doctrine and dogma, they cannot change. Even in the midst of heinous actions and unimaginable sins - a la the sex abuse crisis - the Church remains the bride of Christ, free of error. Not free of sinners - not while it exists on Earth, not ever. But still the source of salvation.

So until the days of heaven, I see no problem with arguing with the heretics and dissenters of our day - in fact, by virtue of our Confirmation, we have a duty to defend the Church! - singling out their errors, poking fun at their ill-conceived ideas, satirizing their appeals for false charity and rigid intolerance. The best weapon against falsehoods is the Truth - not my Truth, but the Truth. And there are a variety of ways in which the Truth can be presented - and one way to get the bellowing started is to present it with humble humor and a smile. Sometimes - once in a great while, and only due to the grace of the Holy Spirit - fools can be made to realize their foolishness through the tried and tested method of reductio absurdum.

Anyway, I didn't intend to make St Augustine's quote about me, but it looks like I trended in that direction. Perhaps some are offended by my approach to dealing with the dissent in the Church - that is not my intent. I have found that people will take the long way around to be offended no matter how many safeguards are put up to prevent that from happening. Or others may say "how can anything said on this blog change the situation for the better?" I have no illusions about the total lack of influence I hold in this regard, but I believe that unlike the heretics and dissenters and schismatics, I am not making the situation worse. Through their anger, their bile, their imagined oppression and calls for "reform" - those are the sources of disunity. Truth divides, as Jesus said - but lies are what perpetuate separation.

If I bring a smile, or make someone laugh - for now, that's more than enough. There's a lot of stress and strife weighing so many of us down right now, all the bellowing notwithstanding.

So are imaginary Catholyc ice cream flavors gonna bring about conversion? Probably not. That's not the point. Or is writing a 'play-by-play' description of a Mass going to save a soul? I highly doubt it. I write what makes me laugh, and if it makes a bunch of other folks laugh too - that's cool. Like my profile says: "I'm the USO for the Church Militant." Hey, I've got awards to prove it! LOL!

And if what I write makes some heretics bellow...well, they're looking for something to bellow about anyway. But maybe - just maybe - in the course of getting hot and bothered, they just might see some scrap of Truth in some of the straw I've written. And that's cool too.

I think St. Augustine liked battling the heretics of his day. If he were alive today, I wonder if he'd be a blogger. I wonder if he could out-fisk Fr. Z. - speaking of which, check out Father's latest dissection of an intolerable editorial from the National Catholic Distorter. Talk about bellowing! Hoo-wah!

So thanks for reading - and commenting - and I hope by God's grace to be a source of fun and faith. I've got some new ideas brewing (oh, and some are really good! The rest of them just plain suck) for future publication.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A House Built On Sand...

Sometimes it only takes one question to challenge, and perhaps unravel an entire philosophy. Those familiar with New Age bunkum (and you can toss in the Sola Scriptura crowd, too) know this all too well.

Ha ha!!

While it might have been interesting to hear Chopra's response (if there had been one), it wouldn't surprise me if it had been vague, filled with impressive vocabulary, and condescending. Cos that's how the Enlightened Ones roll.

s/s Mark Shea

Jesus Crust, I Place My Toast In You!

OK. This is strange. But I suppose that's par for the course for the Anglicans.

Artist Makes Image Of Christ Using Burnt Toast

s/s The Crescat

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Long And Shorts Of It

To the guys who attended the Saturday mass this past weekend....

You're wimps. What, a little heat and humidity too much to bear? Can't suffer just a little for the Savior who suffered all for you? It's the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, gentlemen, not the Weekend Buffet at the Country Club! You're absolutely pathetic - I'm ashamed that I share an extra Y chromosome with the lot of you! And the Church is air-conditioned on top of everything else! I know, I know. The pontoon boat was waiting for you at the dock for an evening jaunt around the lake. Or your buddies were waiting on the first tee with a 5:51 PM tee time.

I bet you'd never wear shorts to a friend's wedding, though. No way - because you wouldn't want to offend the bride. But Jesus Christ? Makes me think you don't believe in Him all that much if you can't muster up enough courage to pull on the slacks and wear them for an hour. With socks and shoes too.

The example you're setting for your children is abysmal. You're a soldier - at least you ought to be - and being a soldier means attending the King in the proper attire. Shorts?? T-shirts? Have you no honor?

It is distressing to see how weak so many men are today - myself included, although I would never wear shorts to Mass - giving in to the whims of fashion and culture instead of standing apart and giving witness to our love for Christ, that we would suffer in such a small way. Not trivial, and not insignificant. Because to dress properly involves exercising the will over one's desires, giving up comfort and convenience out of love and deference to Christ. And yet - it seems to be too much to ask.

And besides - some of your legs are just plain U-G-L-Y.

(And don't get me started on the women wearing spaghetti strap tops with plunging necklines, complete with visible sports bras. What - plan on going for a jog after communion? Modesty please!)

The pastor of a nearby parish posted this at the entrance to the Church: No Shorts, No Shoes, No Service. Beneath that slogan was a list of clothing he decided was inappropriate for Mass. And summer masses are extremely well-attended. When standards are set, explained and expected, more often than not, people will rise up to meet and surpass those standards. When the attitude is "at least they're showing up for Mass" - or - "God doesn't really care how you dress" - the underlying reality is a gross misunderstanding of what the Mass is, and why we are exhorted to always give God our best, who has never held back on giving His very best to us.

Rant over.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Need Prayers?

I'll be spending a Holy Hour before the Blessed Sacrament at our parish's Perpetual Adoration Chapel at 5:00 PM (EST). Amongst other things, I'll be praying for my readers and fellow bloggers. Any special intentions you'd like me bring to Jesus?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

1st Annual AoftheA "Hot Summer Snark" Contest

What? A contest?

That's right, fans and followers. The Editorial & Creative Staff at AoftheA put their collective heads together and has come up with the 1st Annual AoftheA "Hot Summer Snark" Contest.

It's simple. Let me set the stage for you...

Progressive Catholycs have opened an ice cream parlor to beat the summer heat. What are some of the flavors they serve?

For instance, how about "Sr Joan's Chocolate Chippister Kooky Dough"?

Leave your flavors in the combox. Punalicious, snarknificent, chock-full-of-attitude flavors. There are no real rules - except no vulgarities please! - just use your imagination, include any of the crazy cast of Catholyc characters or their nutty theological ideas. Photoshops are welcome, too. Submit as many as you can think of.

Then, The E & C Staff will select the best one, announce the winner, and award the prize....

...which is a guest post here at the AoftheA. That's right - your chance to be all snarky and satirical and parody-ish on the bigge--, well, most medium-sized stage on the Interwebs. Your opportunity to post on the 2010 Snarkiest Blog. I'm taking a big risk here - putting my rep on the line, leaving myself open to being upstaged by a mere amateur. Which shouldn't be too difficult, but whatever.

You say you don't have a blog of your own? No matter. Oh - and for readers in the Southern Hemisphere, where it's winter time? You're welcome to participate. AoftheA, as everyone knows, is an all-inclusive blog.

So be creative. Have fun. Entries will be accepted until Saturday July 31 and the winner announced on Sunday August 1.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Banner Day

Erin at And Sometimes Tea linked to an article by Damien Thompson in the UK Telegraph whereby he displays righteous disgust at parish banners that have been designed for Pope Benedict's visit to England later this summer.

Erin is equally disappointed at the banner - a veritable tribute to the post Vatican II indistinct homogeneous amorphous-ness that has engulfed so many US parishes in a smothering tsunami of felt and fabric. Here's the banner:

I guess it's supposed to be fire. Or maybe a dual pilot light of a propane barbecue. I suppose it can be whatever you want it to be.

But because of a comment left at Erin's blog, I can no longer look at that banner and think fire, or flame or anything remotely spiritual. You see, the commenter pointed out that the banner looked rather...well, bosomly.

See? Now you're saying..."what fire?"

And now it needs to be...cleaned up, so I went ahead and fixed it.

Catholycs In The Public Square

We're ankle deep in election season - primaries in many places are rapidly approaching - and the rising tide of slime and mud will reach its peak in November. Sorry to remind y'all of that.

Which only means that faithful Catholics (not "ardent" ones, like Pelosi, etc.) intent on voting have to be aware of not only how the candidates stand on a wide array of political and moral issues, but also the nature of various groups who support those candidates.

One such group, a Catholic-front group named Catholics United, has committed half a million dollars to several candidates in Ohio.

From Catholic Group Will Spend $500,000 Aiding Health Bill Backers Like Rep. John Boccieri

A Catholic group that backs health care reform legislation adopted this year will spend $500,000 to run ads and send organizers to the districts of several Congress members it expects will get flak from anti-abortion organizations for their "yes" votes.

In Ohio, Catholics United announced it will help Democratic Reps. John Boccieri of Alliance and Steve Driehaus of Cincinnati. The group isn't backing any GOP members of Congress because none of them supported the health care reform bill, said Catholics United spokesman James Salt.

Salt's press release says Boccieri, Driehaus and the other members of Congress are facing "co-ordinated misinformation campaign from a host of self-proclaimed pro-life groups intended to perpetuate the misconception that the health care reform bill passed earlier this year allowed for federal funding of elective abortion."

The group's organizers and volunteers will monitor religious right activities in the targeted districts to counter inaccurate attacks. Earlier this year, it placed television ads on Driehaus and Boccieri's behalf. Salt said it plans to do so again.

Catholics United said its effort is a direct response to ads currently being placed by organizations including the Susan B. Anthony List, Family Research Council, National Right to Life Committee, as well as national Republican groups. It observed the NRLC's recent claims that the federal government will fund elective abortions through high risk pools in Pennsylvania have been discredited by media fact checks.

This puff piece is disingenuous on so many levels - par for the course regarding the MSM, when it comes to providing info on Catholic social teaching. It's laughable that Catholics United gets away with calling the Susan B Anthony List and others as "self-proclaimed pro-life groups", while they go around promoting themselves as a Catholic group. What a bunch of hypocrites. CU is just a group of political hacks who have co-opted the Catholic name in order to confuse the electorate, give cover to Catholycs and conspire with an all-too-accommodating media to obfuscate and blow smoke up everyone's collective skirts.

No quotes from the organizations opposed to Obamacare; no mention that the US Bishops are opposed to the Health Care Bill due to abortion funding (which is, in fact, part of the law - if it weren't, why the need for an executive order?); no mention that Catholics United is not really a Catholic group - they are opposed to many Catholic teachings, such as abortion, homosexuality and contraception.

Bottom line: Catholics United is a group of non-Catholics and Catholycs, standing in defiance of the US Bishops on Obamacare (along with Sr Carol Keehan and CHA, btw). Therefore, any candidate they endorse is not one any faithful Catholic ought to vote for. Be on the lookout where you live to see if they're endorsing or supporting any candidates up for election this year. Don't be fooled.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Play-By-Play Masses

Every Mass is a sacred event - when Jesus' sacrifice on Calvary is made present to us, when simple bread and wine becomes the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ.


We've all been subjected to awful Masses, where at worst we're forced to ask "Was this valid or not?", and at best, we've scratched out 12 squares on our Liturgical Abuse Bingo card. The point of the Mass is to worship God, and getting agitated and distracted by what's going on is not in line with Church thinking.

But the way some churches are run, you'd believe the inclusion of play-by-play announcers and in-liturgy commentators would not be out of place...
Stan O'Neill: "Good morning everybody, and welcome to the 10:30 Liturgy, coming to you live from the worshiping space at USCCB Park. I'm Stan O'Neill, along with Seymour Feldt. Seymour, looks like we might have a full house this morning."

Seymour Fedlt: "Right you are, Stan. Looks like a good turnout today - back pews are packed to capacity, and the overflow towards the sanctuary is starting to fill in."

Stan: "To get a better feel of what's going on down there, let's bring in our down-on-the-field reporter Carmen Ghather. Carmen, how's the mood down there?"

Carmen Ghather: "Stan, it's electric. People are chatting, smiling, laughing. Very hospitable atmosphere. I just came from the gathering space outside where the greeters are in fine form. I don't want to slap a jinx on the home team, but I have a feeling that today's liturgy will be top notch. The momentum is palpable. Back to you, Stan."

Stan: "Thanks, Carmen. Seymour, let's talk a bit about the home team. Starting line-up."

Seymour: "It's a balanced blend of veterans and rookies, Stan. Let's start at the top: Liturgist Ivana Beappreeced. She's got her team running on all cylinders, from the choir to the altar servers, from the EMHC's to the lectors. A well-oiled machine that hasn't slowed down since Easter season. Her team is strong up the middle, with a line-up that is dangerous from top to bottom."

Stan: "What have you heard about today's liturgy?"

Seymour: "Ivana isn't one to tip her hand before the opening hymn. Based on prior liturgies, we can expect vigorous active participation, moments of poignant interaction and top-notch EHMC choreography. She possesses a magical touch that gets everyone involved."

Stan: "Who's her starting presider today?"

Seymour: "Well, Stan, she hasn't released the starting line-up today. If you recall, she stopped publishing her weekly Liturgical Rotation back in Advent, to keep things fresh, so your guess is as good as mine. Fr. Roland started the previous liturgy, so it could be Fr. Ray Key, or maybe, just maybe a visiting priest. We'll have to wait for the Pre-Liturgy Announcer to call the full line-up."

Stan: "As if on cue.... the PLA is approaching the lectern, line-up card in hand. Let's listen in as the on-field mike picks up the announcements."

[PLA steps behind lectern]

PLA: "Good morning everyone, and welcome to USCCB Field for today's 10:30 Liturgy. I'm Ricky d'Splitt, and presiding today's liturgy is Fr. Roland Pinn. Our starting lector is Marge Winn-Stick, assisted by Sue Envarysoon. Please rise for the Liturgical Anthem "All Are Welcome", but first, greet those around you."

Stan: "Fr Roland presiding back-to-back liturgies - interesting strategy."

Seymour: "I'm sure Ivana has her reasons, but I'm not sure how that strategy will play out. The 9:00 AM Liturgy went into overtime as there was a last-minute 50th wedding anniversary recognition ceremony at the end, so I'm surprised to see Fr Roland back out there. He may be Ivana's ace, but we'll just have to wait and see how he holds up as the liturgy progresses. Perhaps Carmen can find out if Fr Ray was a pre-liturgy scratch due to an undisclosed injury."

[music to "All Are Welcome" commences]

Stan: "The Liturgy of the Word line-up looks solid through and through, Seymour. Ricky is Ivana's go-to guy as PLA, and Marge is a force to be reckoned with at the lectern. She has control, she has touch - perfect pitch, exquisite tone, expert pronunciation. A real winner."

Seymour: "Right you are, Stan. Whether she's facing all the Kings of Judah, or the entire roster of Israelite enemies, from Ammonites to Moabites, from Abijam to Zedekiah, Marge just bears down and plows right through. No slurs or stumbles, her pronunciation skills are envied by announcers from around the world - from the World Cup to the Tour de France."

Stan: "What about Sue Envarysoon? What do we know of her?"

Seymour: "The newest member of the team, Sue was picked up off waivers from the Liturgy Team that performs at CSA Arena. Don't know much about her, but she must be pretty special if Ivana has her front and center at the 10:30. As assistant, she'll handle the Prayers of the Faithful, but those can be pretty rough, especially for Remembrance of the Ill and the Deceased. A lector's nightmare, trying to get all those names pronounced correctly."

Stan: "Looks like the procession has ended...Fr Roland has kissed the altar, and the Liturgy is officially underway."


Stan: "As Fr. Roland starts his homily, let's welcome Ivana Beappreeced into the booth. Ivana, great liturgy thus far."

Ivana: "Thank you, thank you. I'm pleased."

Stan: "You started Fr Roland. Your reasoning?"

Ivana: "Well, I had Fr Ray ready to go, but something didn't look right during pre-liturgy warm-ups. If you recall, his past couple starts weren't all that smooth, and it turns out he was keeping an injury from the trainers. I was forced into starting Roland, but so far, he's doing a great job. He's my ace."

Stan: "Will Ray be ready to go next week?"

Ivana: "I hope so. We'll have word on his injury sometime during the second half. If he's not, I may have to call up a visiting priest, which I'd rather not do."

Seymour: "A big test for the liturgy comes up, where you have newcomer Sue Envarysoon reading the announcements. Worried?"

Ivana: "Not at all. Before we signed her, I reviewed a lot of tape from her CSA Arena liturgies, and she stepped up when called upon. I have no qualms about throwing her in there."

Stan: "Attendance seems solid again today, Ivana. What's your secret?"

Ivana: "We're fielding a strong team, Stan. People will come out when you have a winner out there, week in, week out. Simple as that."

Stan: "What can we expect for the second half?"

Ivana: "Keep an eye on the girl altar server, Stan. She's a rookie, just called up from the Youth Liturgy. Shows a lot of promise. Beyond that, I expect smooth sailing here on in."

Seymour: "There's a rumor, Ivana - and it's just a rumor - that you're being pressured to bring the EF here at USCCB Field. Any truth to that?"

Ivana: "Just rumors, Seymour. No one has talked to me about that, no one on my team has asked about it. I thought the press conference I held last month would have put the whole EF thing to bed, so I'll repeat here what I said then: you'll know the EF has come to USCCB Field because I will have tendered my resignation."

Stan: "Ivana, as always, a pleasure. Good luck with the second half."

Ivana: "Thanks, guys."


Stan: "We're just moments from the start of the second half - the Liturgy of the Eucharist. The ushers are proceeding down the aisles, collection bowls in hand. Formation looks good, Seymour."

Seymour: "Stan, watching these guys do their thing is watching poetry in motion. Step for step, stride for stride. Crisp, red blazers. Shiny silver nametags. I never get tired of observing their fluid, effortless style."

Stan: "They've handed the collection bowls to congregants seated at the end of every other pew. The bowls are being handed down to the opposite end of the pew, then passed back to the person behind, and then handed from person to person, back towards the originating end. It's choreographed very very well."

Seymour: "The ushers step backwards as they distribute the bowls - it's like watching an intricate dance. The last bowls are handed they're returning to the front, where the filled bowls are ready to be collected. They're taking the bowls from...oh no!"

Stan: "Oh, this is bad! One of the ushers has dropped a bowl! Envelopes, bills, checks and coins - scattering everywhere!"

Seymour: "Ivana will NOT be happy about this. This is the kind of error that can cost a team big time."

Stan: "The key will be - can they recover?"

Seymour: "I'm checking the replay...oh, gosh. The usher totally botched the hand-off. He took his eye off the bowl, and just flat-out fumbled it."

Stan: "It's almost too painful to watch."


Stan: "Since that awful fumble during the collection, the team has managed to pull itself together and get back on track. The offertory procession went off without a hitch, and the choir kept everyone engaged with a rousing 'Here I Am , Lord.' But here comes a big test for Ivana's rookie altar server, Moira Less. Roland is preparing the chalice...Moira has the water cruet...he extends his hand for it...whoa! Seymour, did you see that?"

Seymour: "I saw it, and I still can't believe it!"

Stan: "Moira just pulled off a successful Cruet 180 Rotation Maneuver perfectly! That's not something you see everyday!"

Seymour: "Check out the replay - see how she had the handle of the cruet pointed towards her? Just as Roland reached for it, she smoothly rotated the cruet so that he could take it by the handle. She made that move like an old pro - none of that extend-and-pull-back, herky jerky hand-jive commotion you would expect from a rookie."

Stan: "By far the most exciting thing I've seen in a while, Seymour, and it just make might up for that costly collection fumble. Let's get a reaction from Moira's parents. Carmen?"

Carmen [whispering]: "Stan, I'm with Moira's dad Werth - you must be so proud of your daughter."

Werth: "I am. I only wish her mother were here to have seen that rotation. She would have been so proud."

Carmen: "Oh I'm sorry."

Werth: "What? Oh - no, nothing like that. Her mom is leading the Children's Liturgy right now."

Carmen: "For a rookie, Moira is showing great poise."

Werth: "She's a natural, what else can I say?"

Carmen: "Well, congratulations. Stan?"

Stan: "One proud papa there, Seymour."

Seymour: "She's got quite the career ahead of her, if she can pull off a move like that. And she knows it too - look at that smile!"


Stan: "Roland seems to be holding up, Seymour. Only a few moments away from the closing prayer, and he hasn't missed a beat."

Seymour: "Strong homily, good consecration - you know, I thought he had bitten off more than he could chew when he invited the children to surround the altar for that part, but he pulled it off."

Stan: "That was gutsy, but then - that's why he's the ace of the staff."

Seymour: "I thought the EHMC's did a fine job too. Pure ballet."

Stan: "Agreed. When you've got twenty EHMC's up there, a lot can go wrong. Not today though - perfection.

Seymour: "With all those glass chalices, one dares not imagine how terrible it would be if one were dropped."

Stan: "Roland is wrapping up the final blessing...and now Ricky's coming to the lectern for the post-liturgy announcements."

Seymour: "This could take awhile. I read online somewhere that this part of the liturgy ought to be called the Liturgy of the Bulletin."

Stan: "Really? How disrespectful is that?"


Stan: "Let's go down to Carmen as the team recesses off the field - Carmen, are you with Fr. Roland?"

Carmen: "I am, Stan. Roland, how do you feel?"

Roland: "Tired. Ready for a soak in the hot tub."

Carmen: "These double-headers are rare - but you did a great job."

Roland: "Thanks."

Carmen: "Talk to me about Moira's 180."

Roland: "Wasn't that great? Caught me off-guard for a second there, but it was pure gold."

Carmen: "What about the collection fumble."

Roland: "All I can say is, we're all a team here, and we support each other during good times as well as during bad. Ivana will go over the tape and make a decision before next week's liturgy. I know the usher - good guy - I'm sure Ivana will be fair."

Carmen: "Thanks, Roland. Enjoy your post-liturgy hot tub! Stan? Seymour?"

Stan: "Thanks, Carmen. Stay tuned, folks - after the break, we'll have post-liturgy reactions direct from the gathering space, Seymour will be reporting live from the coffee and donut room, and we hope to have word on Fr Ray's injury, along with highlights from today's liturgy."
Me and my imagination...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Hey Bellevue! Got One For Ya!

Proof that Catholycs can be not only ridiculously heretical, but embarrassingly certifiable at times, as well:

There's much I could say to poke fun at Mr Grosswirth, but since he did a fair job of it all by his lonesome, I'll refrain from additional commentary.

s/s to Orate Fratres

Men Of Means

Long ago, in my youth, I entertained daydreams about being rich. Actually, the daydreams entertained me. I think most everyone does at some point in their lives - the trappings of modern living: fine homes, flashy cars, exotic vacations. At the time, I hadn't regained the fervor of my faith. You could say that my faith consisted of striking it rich and retiring early. For a time, I participated in one of those multi-level marketing schemes - it was a telephone long-distance thing, whose name escapes me at the moment (that tells you how long ago it was) - that promised the rewards of monetary fulfillment for years and years if you built up a large enough base of customers and "distributors". It never really worked for me, so after a couple years, I dropped out - in the end, I managed to recoup my initial investment, barely.

For a number of years, I followed the mutual fund market like a hawk, balancing my portfolio, researching fund families and running numbers through investment calculators like a gambler drops quarters at the slots. Dreams of amassing a fortune via the Eighth Wonder of The World - Compounding Interest - and the Ninth one, too - the US Stock Market - started to dissipate over time, right around 9/11, as priorities reoriented themselves, and then completely disintegrated amidst the 2008 crash. I'm still saving for the future - retirement, kids' college, etc. - but I don't pore over the stock columns or purchase the investment magazines anymore. Now I just blog for money. LOL!

No, nowadays I work hard at my job and we live within our means. I've no regrets regarding the unrealized dream of amassing obscene wealth - it probably would have erupted as a great stumbling block to being authentically Catholic, knowing me - and am content with the blessings that God has generously showered upon me and my family.

I don't begrudge those who have wealth - earned or inherited - unless, of course, it's come about through ill-gotten means. It's all God's anyways. Sure, some are going to say "What need does God have for money?" and the obvious answer is "None." But there are a whole lot of His children throughout the world who could benefit from it, even the loose change jangling in their pockets and purses. God spreads His gifts as He pleases, and that includes treasure as well as talent, and on the day we depart the Earth, we will have to give an account on whether or not w used those treasures to build up His kingdom and take care of the less fortunate and destitute.

Which has me concerned for Warren Buffett. A man of nearly-unimaginable wealth, he announced some time ago that he intends to donate 99% of his estate to charity - and his estate has been estimated to stand at about $47 Billion. A lot of good can be done with that sort of coin.

And I'm sure that some good will be done. But according to this story at Catholic Online, it appears that Mr. Buffett has decided to spend some of his wealth on an extremely evil program.

Buffett Secretly Spending Millions on Abortion Med-School Scheme - NY Times

OMAHA, Nebraska ( - Billionaire investing mogul Warren Buffett has been secretly backing a campaign to combat the decrease in doctors who are training as abortionists and to bring abortion into the mainstream of medicine, revealed the New York Times this week.

In her NYT magazine cover story, journalist Emily Bazelon describes how abortion "rights" activists are working to "recast doctors, changing them from a weak link of abortion to a strong one."

The piece, entitled "The New Abortion Providers," claims that abortionists and the pro-abort lobby are trying to dispel the image of the "greedy, butchering 'abortionist'." "The bold idea at the heart of this effort is to integrate abortion so that it's a seamless part of health care for women - embraced rather than shunned," writes Bazelon.

The strategy, she says, aims at moving abortuaries away from stand-alone facilities into hospitals and encourages family physicians to offer abortions within their practices.

She describes two training programs for abortionists that are central to this strategy. The first, called the "Family Planning Fellowship," is a two-year post-residency program designed to further equip doctors for providing abortions and contraception. She says this fellowship is now being offered at 21 university campuses. The second is called the Kenneth J. Ryan Residency Training Program, which aims to supply medical schools with funds to train ob/gyn residents in providing abortions. So far, this program has funded 58 campuses in the U.S. and Canada.

"The money for the Ryan and the Family Planning Fellowship comes from one foundation and from one family," writes Bazelon. "The donor has chosen to remain anonymous, which helps to explain why there's been so little publicity about the pro-choice strategy of bringing abortion into academic medicine. It has been covered by a veil of semisecrecy."

But as the two training programs have grown, this anonymous donor has become more widely known, she says. "In the course of my reporting, two doctors who had not done the fellowship themselves, but who work in universities, volunteered to me that the money for the programs comes from the Buffett Foundation," she wrote.

According to Bazelon, the Buffett Foundation's tax records reveal that most of its spending is allocated to "abortion and contraception advocacy and research." The Foundation has given tens of millions to Planned Parenthood and Ipas, as well as millions to other pro-abortion groups like Catholics for Choice. Buffett has pledged to give away 99% of his estimated $47 billion assets, with most of it going to the Gates Foundation, which is infamous for its avowed emphasis on population control.

So to combat the dropping numbers of abortionists, Buffett has been secretly funding programs to train doctors to do abortions in hospitals and within their practices rather than have stand-alone abortuaries. Buffett is an avowed believer in population control, but it's egregiously sad that so much money is being spent to further the cause of the Culture of Death rather than help mothers with unexpected pregnancies. Or support groups and organizations that promote adoption.

This story only proves, once again, that liberals and progressives are not really interested in finding common ground with pro-life groups, because there's too much money in the abortion industry to effectively reduce those numbers. Remember - Buffett is an investor, first and foremost, and although he's providing the funding for this program, a part of me thinks that he's looking at this as an investment, so for him, there has to be some sort of positive return. Either financially, or as another step towards his ideology of keeping human population in check.

In some twisted way, Buffett possibly believes that funding this program is going to help poor exploited women who don't have easy access to abortion. The reality is, this plan will only serve to further exploit them and continue to treat the unborn as a problem to get rid of, rather than as a fellow citizen who needs assistance. A man of Buffett's wealth could support every single Problem Pregnancy Center in America for years to come, and be a great force for the Culture of Life. His legacy would last much longer would he stand for Life - not to mention contribute towards the salvation of his soul - than by contributing to the Soulless Machine Of Death. I'm not holding my breath that he will change, but...miracles do happen.

So, along with praying for Buffett's change of heart, I need to check my current mutual funds to make sure none of them invest in Berkshire-Hathaway. I may not be a man of means to the extent of Buffett, but I have to be sure that my paltry means aren't being used to bring about unjustifiable ends.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Martha: The Matriarch Of Women's Ministry?

Well, that's what the priest basically said during his homily at Mass on Sunday. Martha's "active ministry" of service complements Mary's "contemplative ministry", thus demonstrating that women are called to have an active role in Church ministries.

Seems that "modern Scripture scholars" and "Scriptural commentators" claim that the passage in Luke's gospel read at Sunday's Mass had quite a bit to say about the role of women in the Church, from Martha's perspective. Because the Greek word diakonia, meaning service or work, was used in the Lk 10:40 "But Martha was distracted with much serving; and she went to him and said, 'Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her to help me.'" And you know - "deacons" comes from the word diakonia - ta da!

Actually, I agree with the priest - but not for the same reason. The way I see it, you've got a complaining woman who's telling God what to do. Sounds like the CRONES and the womynpreest cult rather accurately, doesn't it?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

I'm Baaaaaaaccckkkk!!!

Moonbats beware!

To demonstrate your gratitude that I've returned safely from my jaunt to Minnesota, please head over to Our Sunday Visitor. They're compiling a list of Catholic blogs and websites, calling it the "best of the (Catholic) web" for its annual Catholic Internet Guide. They've got a link to an on-line poll asking for your choices in several categories.

So show your love for AoftheA - and any of the other great Catholic sites you enjoy. Thanks in advance!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Light Blogging Ahead!

Blogging will be especially light through Saturday.

My parents and older sister have been in town since last weekend, their first stop on "The 2010 Trans-America Driving Tour", visiting family members scattered across the fruited plain. Next stop - my older brother's family in metro Minneapolis. Being the good son that I am (*ahem*), I'm helping out with the driving. So look out Terry, Ray, Cathy and Adoro - LarryD is coming to town! Lock up your valuables!

After visiting with my brother's family for a couple days (and hopefully getting in some golf!), I'll be flying back home Saturday.

Prayers for safe travels would be greatly appreciated!

The World Cup Pre-Game Mass

This makes the Wild West Mass in Vienna seem tame by comparison. It might also explain why Netherlands lost the World Cup.

About the only positive thing one can say about this sacrilegious display is that the church was actually full. Unfortunately, it looks like everyone enjoyed themselves.

s/s Kresta In The Afternoon via CMR.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Somewhere Over The Double Rainbow

Yeah, it's beautiful and all, but dude - it's just a double rainbow, y'know?

Upon witnessing this fantastical wonderment of nature, he found himself overcome with hunger...

Monday, July 12, 2010

Progressive Parables: The Good Catholyc

What if Pax Christi or the CRONES wrote "The Good Samaritan" parable?
And in order to justify himself, the John Paul II priest asked "And who is my neighbor?"

And Jesus answered him with a parable:

"A Free-Trade Coffee merchant was traveling between San Francisco and Sacramento when she was attacked by a mob of Maxwell House Coffee distributors. She was beaten, robbed and left for dead. A Bishop decked out in a cappa magna came upon the unconscious woman, crossed to the other side of the road, and continued on his way. Then a priest, with cassock and biretta, came upon the woman; he too crossed to the opposite side and went about his business. Finally, a sister from an LCWR community, while on her way to an "Amnesty For Aliens" rally, came upon the beaten woman. She rushed to her side, called the National Catholic Reporter to do a full investigation of the matter, proceeded to organize a boycott of "Big Coffee", performed a Native American Cleansing Ritual, burned incense and placed reiki healing stones upon her. Then she called for a womynpreest to come say Mass for her, invoking the Spirit of Sophia to bless the woman and curse the misogynistic all-male hierarchy. Finally, she helped the woman into her Prius, brought her to the rally as a symbol of the abuse the Capitalist Corporate Culture inflicts upon women and minorities, and was then enrolled for full governmental assistance. Tell me, which one acted as this Free Trade merchant's neighbor?"

The priest responded, "The one who cared for her."

"Go, and do likewise."

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sharia Law In Dearborn, Michigan

In late June, several Christian evangelists were arrested in Dearborn MI for "disorderly conduct" - by distributing Gospel tracts during the annual Arab American Festival. Apparently that's the charge for handing our literature that others don't agree with. The story about that incident is here.

On Monday, July 12, the four defendants are to be arraigned.

From Spero News: Christians To Be Arraigned For Disturbing Michigan Muslims
Four Christian missionaries will be arraigned on criminal charges on July 12 in the 19th Judicial District Court in Dearborn, Michigan. This is the next step in what has been described by the Thomas More Law Center in a press release as police enforcement of Sharia law in a city dominated by a large Muslim population.

To the jeers and shouts of “Allah Akbar” – Allah is Great - by the Muslim crowd, the four Christian missionaries were arrested and thrown in jail on June 18, 2010 by Dearborn Police officers at the Annual Arab International Festival held in Dearborn. One of the arrested missionaries was Dr. Nabeel Qureshi, MD, who was speaking to several Muslim youths. The other three missionaries, who were merely videotaping the conversation, had their cameras and other equipment seized before police arrested them as well.

According to the Thomas More Law Center, Dearborn Police refused requests by the missionaries to view the video at the scene of their arrest, which the missionaries claimed would completely exonerate them of any wrongdoing.

The Center, a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan is representing all of the Christian missionaries. Because District Judge Mark W. Somers required that all four defendants personally appear before him for the arraignment, the Law Center assisted with the costs of their travel from different parts of the country.

Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, commented, “It’s evident that the Dearborn Police department was more interested in placating Muslims than obeying our Constitution. These Christians were exercising their Constitutional rights to free speech and the free exercise of religion, but apparently in a city where the Muslim population seems to dominate the political apparatus, Sharia law trumps our Constitution.”

Read the whole thing.

I routinely drive in and around Dearborn for business - my van sports a "WDEO 990 Catholic Radio" bumper magnet. I wonder how long before I'm pulled over and arrested for "disturbing Michigan Muslims".

So it continues...

Friday, July 9, 2010

Caption Contest #17

Saw this over at the Crescat, and I thought - "hey, I ain't got nothin' right now, so how about a Caption Contest?" So here ya go!

(Click here for last contest winner)

Leave your captions in the combox!

Light blogging for the next few days, as I have out of town guests (my folks, actually).


From Jared: "See, and now Mother Angelica is following my tweets too!"

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Belgium: Here's An Idea! Let's Flush Our Dead!

What in heaven's name is going on in Belgium? Have they lost their minds souls? Don't answer that - it's a rhetorical question.

One of the Corporal Works of Mercy is "Bury the dead." This proposal, though, sounds more like an Environmental Work of Lunacy.

*WARNING - some details may not be suitable for the easily squeamish!*

From the Belguim Considers Proposals to Dissolve Bodies and Flush Them into Sewage Systems
It could hardly be said to be the most dignified of send-offs.

Undertakers in Belgium plan to eschew traditional burials and cremations and start dissolving corpses instead.

The move is intended to tackle a lack of burial space and environmental concerns as 573lbs of carbon dioxide are released by each cremated corpse.

Under the process, known as resomation, bodies are treated in a steel chamber with potassium hydroxide at high pressure and a temperature of 180c (350f).

The raised pressure and temperature means the body reaches a similar end point as in standard cremation — just bones left to be crushed up — in two to three hours.

Six states in America have passed legislation to allow resomation and the Scottish company behind the technology says it is in talks to allow the process in the UK.

Although the ashes can be recycled in waste systems, the residue from the process can also be put in urns and handed over to relatives of the dead like normal ashes from crematorium farewells.

Resomation Ltd was formed in east Glasgow in 2007 and has been in talks with the UK government about using the technology in Britain.

The company says on its website: 'The process needs to be approved in each country and/or state before resomation can take place.

'In the UK discussions have already been held with the relevant Ministers and departments within Whitehall in order to progress the use of resomation in the UK.

'Elsewhere across the globe this is a work in progress.'

Sandy Sullivan, founder of The Resomation Company said: 'Resomation offers a new, innovative approach which uses less energy and emits significantly less greenhouse gasses than cremation.

'I am getting a lot of requests from families and we hope it will become legal in Scotland within the year.

'Burial space is running out and I have had lots of people contact me whose loved ones have chosen resomation.

'It's a highly sensitive subject but I think the public are ready for it.'

The name ‘Resomation’ comes from the Greek word ‘Resoma’ meaning rebirth of the human body.

This is not the "rebirth" of the human body. It is the desecration of the human body. It reduces the body from its exalted position of being made in the image and likeness of God to a mere amalgamation of parts represented as a carbon footprint which is an inconvenience to enviromentalist moonbats.

I guess this is what happens when a society no longer believes in the dignity of the human person. Either kill them before they're born, or kill them when they're old, sick and useless, and then dissolve them away to make room for...well, who, exactly? Folks are either being aborted or euthanized, or sterilizing themselves to prevent pregnancy. Who's going to be left to enjoy the freed up space?

Oh, wait. We're talking about the "environmentally conscious" here. Never mind.

This is not a brand new thing. From a 2008 Catholic News Service story, the process had been developed in 1992 to dispose of animal carcasses, and two medical research centers in the US have been using alkaline hydrolysis to dispose of cadavers. It's gaining traction as an alternative to burial and cremation, though - as the Daily Mail reported: "Six states in America have passed legislation..." Which six states?

According to this article from February 2010 in Obit Mag, the six states are Maine, Florida, Minnesota, Oregon, California and Washington (the last three are "inquiring" as of the article's publication. Their legislature's may have approved it by now). The company profiled in the article, bioSAFE Engineering, explains that the process basically liquefies everything except the bones, which can be crushed into a fine ash.

The ashes are often returned to the family - no problem there - but what happens to the "greenish-brown liquid composed of amino acids, sugars and salts"? Here's what the article says:
And if you’re really dedicated, you can take home those liquid remains and use Grandma to fertilize your garden.
Umm, no thanks. That's just gross - "Grandma loved those roses." "Yep - and now those roses are loving Grandma right back!" Ewwww.

And what happens if you're not that dedicated? Is the goo flushed down the loo? Interestingly, the article doesn't specify. Can't let little details like "How are the non-ash remains are disposed of?" rain on the picnic - that might turn some folks off. Can't imagine why...

Ultimately, though, we need to ask: has the Church spoken up about "bio-cremation", or to use its technical term, alkaline hydrolysis? From the same 2008 CNS article:
In May (2008), Bishop William E. Lori of Bridgeport, Conn., chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Doctrine, wrote Archbishop John G. Vlazny of Portland, Ore., that the hydrolysis process produces bone residue that "can easily be crushed into a powder" and returned to the family "just as the ashes are returned to the family after cremation."

"The many gallons of liquid, however, which contain the matter that was the rest of the body, are to be poured down the drain (or perhaps spread on a field as fertilizer)," Bishop Lori wrote. "Dissolving bodies in a vat of chemicals and pouring the resultant liquid down the drain is not a respectful way to dispose of human remains."
While not "official" Church teaching, as it seems to have originated from the USCCB and not the Vatican, the statement had been issued by a bishop, so it does carry moral weight. As Catholics, we are obliged to consider the Church's instruction in matters of prudential judgment - and I think Lori's dead-on with this. Any thinking Catholic ought to see that this process has serious problems.

And while we're at it, let's review official Church teaching on cremation. The Church teaches that cremation is acceptable, as found in paragraph 2301 of the Catechism:
The Church permits cremation, provided that it does not demonstrate a denial of faith in the resurrection of the body.
It is not beyond God's power to reassemble a cremated body on the Last Day, when our souls are reunited with our bodies - besides, we all turn to dust anyway, when you think about it. Cremation just speeds up the process.

The Church teaches that the ashes are not to be scattered to the wind, or dumped in the ocean, or any such similar gesture, just as corpses are not to be left unburied or uncared for, subject to the elements and beasts. Thus, the work of mercy exhorting us to 'bury the dead'. And just as a corpse is buried in a coffin, the ashes are to be contained in a reverent fashion - for instance, my sister's remains are in an urn, held in a mausoleum - but never dispersed. So it makes sense that the Church would be unsupportive of this ecofreakish process, on the basis of the disrespectful means of disposal of the liquid-y parts.

It's "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust", not "Ashes to ashes, sludge gets flushed."

Look Who's Another Year Older!

Greetings to everyone, and may the deep and longing gaze of Sophia be upon you all! Sister Patricia Owens O'Flannery here - I've been in Arizona at a Navajo sweat lodge (lost 22 pounds!) and just returned earlier this week.

I hope LarryD doesn't get upset about me telling everyone, but...

Be kind to him today - it's his birthday!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Remember - It's A Religion Of Peace

Muslims Break Up Private Home Mass

Stoning Death Imminent For Iranian Adulterous Woman

In Kerala, India - Christian Professor, Accused Of Blasphemy, Has Hand Severed

Waiting for public condemnation by "moderate" Muslims for these actions.



Meanwhile, three Detroit suburban mosques have scheduled 6 services to mourn the death of a pro-Jihad Hezbollah cleric. These services are being held in the same suburb - the Dearborn area - where Christians were arrested for distributing the Gospel on public property during an Arab International Festival (not 'Islamic', or 'Muslim', but 'Arab' - there are Christian Arabs, are there not?).



Something tells me I'll be waiting a long time. I know there are Muslims who don't condone any of these things. So where are they? Are they afraid of retribution? If that's the case, doesn't the fear of reprisal prove, therefore, that Islam is not a religion of peace? Does calling into question the morality of these actions automatically put the person in the cross-hairs for retaliation?

I'll take that as a yes.

The Compendium Of Progressive Saints #4

----Fourth in a series in anticipation of the 2011 American Catholic Council----

4) Saint Fr. Brian McRichard (1895 - 1965)

Fr McRichard was born in the Scottish village of Inverkipperness, and emigrated to the United States in 1913 in order to avoid being drafted to fight in World War I. He then quickly entered the seminary in New York City.

McRichard was a bright seminarian, with a profound understanding of liturgy and theology. He was ordained in 1921, and assigned to a Manhattan parish as an associate pastor. For years, McRichard was known as a devout priest who celebrated Mass reverently and always made himself available for the Sacrament of Confession.

Then, in mid 1930, while walking past the construction site of the Empire State Building, a falling hot rivet struck McRichard in the head, and embedded itself in his skull. Surgery was deemed to dangerous to remove the rivet, so it was allowed to remain in place. From that moment on, his demeanor and attitude completely changed. He grew irritable, irascible and nearly heretical, penning columns for the parish paper that called for "reform" and "progressive approaches to the Faith." He attacked papal infallibility, and suggested that a new Vatican Council ought to be convened, to "complete the Vatican Council and correct its errors."

Patrick Joseph Cardinal Hayes, Archbishop of New York at the time, was asked by the parish's pastor to do something about McRichard. After careful consideration, and determining that the wayward rivet had caused a mental imbalance, Cardinal Hayes decided to move McRichard out of parish life. It was decided that in his condition, the only suitable place for him was a university. Thus, in early 1931, McRichard became a Theology professor at a small private university.

Throughout his tenure, McRichard continued to challenge Church teachings, even writing a series of articles against Pope Pius XI's encyclical Casti Connubii. While most considered his writings to be scandalous, he was careful to never cross into heresy, and he attracted a following amongst like-minded students and several other professors. He relentlessly called for "openness", "fairness" and "inclusivity", stating that such goals represented a "call to action for all Catholics".

For nearly 30 years, McRichard continually called for a new Vatican Council, and in 1959, when Pope John XXIII announced his intention to convene a council, it seemed that his dream was about to be realized. In 1961, the Holy Father officially summoned the Second Vatican Council, and it opened in October 1962. McRichard was invited by his friend Hans Kung to the council, representing his chance to make his mark on the Catholic faith.

Alas, it was not to be. The rivet stuck in his skull began traveling, worming its way through the bone towards his brain. This sudden turn in his health prevented him from going to Rome. As a result, he became more bitter and more erratic. This change forced the university to remove him from the active faculty. His articles and essays became more and more strident and incoherent; curiously, his followers and fans increased their support.

Then, on November 19, 1965, only two days before the close of the council, the rivet reached his cerebral cortex, and McRichard died suddenly while penning that famous phrase "spirit of Vatican II". A graduate student saw that phrase, cabled it to Hans Kung, and the rest, they say, is history.

Fr Brian McRichard is the patron saint of newspaper editors, tenured Catholic university professors, and construction workers.

Progressive Saint #1 - Saint Percy MacWafful the Tolerant (read this for series background)
Progressive Saint #2 - Saint Lorraine of Toulouse

Progressive Saint #3 - Saint Alyssa de Milano

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Commenting Issues

Anyone else having commenting issues at their blog? Submitted comments are either a) not showing up in the combox, but are appearing in my email; or b) show up in the combox, but aren't reflected in the '# comments' total; or c) show up in the combox for a brief period of time, and then mysteriously disappear. And comment moderation is turned off. Weird.

And while I'm on the subject of Comments - anyone else having issues with WordPress blogs? For the past few weeks, none of the blogs I read on WordPress will accept my comments.

That is all - I'm certain that any comments left regarding this post won't be showing up. I'll try to manually add them to the combox throughout the day. Rest assured I'm not deleting anyone's comments (unless you're a real jerk!).

UPDATE #1: (9:30 AM 7/6/10) If you're having similar issues with your blog, click this link: Blogger Help. They're aware of the problem and hopefully correcting it soon.

UPDATE #2 (11:30 AM 7/6/10): Seems like some comments are starting to filter through.

Wild West Mass In Vienna

You don't need to be fluent in German to see the problems with this Mass, held at a "Wild West Festival" in Vienna.

The video is titled: "Mit dem Segen des Kardinals", which translates to "With the blessing of the Cardinal". That would be Cardinal Schoenborn, and with that being the case, no wonder the faith is wheezing and groaning in Austria.

Beer and cigarettes at Mass? Unbefreakinlievable.

s/s to Catholic Church Conversation.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Another Call For Vatican III?

Yet another (retired) chief leading his braves off the reservation. Over two years ago, ex-communicated Archbishop Milingo called one - it never happened. And now there's this:

From California Catholic Daily: Time For A New Council (my comments in blue)
Retired Sacramento Bishop Francis Quinn was honored June 30 with a “Beacon of Hope” award at the Crest Theatre in Sacramento, serenaded by the Sacramento Gay Men’s Chorus. (big red flag numero uno right there!)

The appearance of the Gay Men’s Chorus seemed particularly apropos considering comments the 88-year-old bishop emeritus made to the June 2010 issue of the publication Inside East Sacramento. “Pointing to the dramatic changes made within the Catholic Church by Vatican II, Quinn asserts that it is time for a new council, this one dedicated to looking at human sexuality and its intersection with religion,” said Inside East Sacramento. “The new council, he says, should involve the entire Catholic community as well as people of other faiths.”

“So many of the issues that Catholics deal with -- divorce, homosexuality, premarital sex -- center around sexuality and affect how they connect with the church,” Bishop Quinn told the publication. “We need to move beyond this circular logic and look at what is really happening in people’s lives.”

Apparently he's out of the loop - Catholycs have already scheduled a "new council" - the American Catholic Council. I'm sure sex will be all the rage - they might even get around to actually talk about it!

But if he means the Vatican should convene another council, then I have a suggestion: hold it in Trent (or whatever the town's called nowadays) Call it Trent II. The first one was a phenomenal success, so why not? I think it's time to generously apply "Anathema sit!" again, and get those Catholyc heads a-spinnin'!

They'd be spinning so fast, they'd generate more electricity than a California wind farm!