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Today Is The Day
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Okay Then, That Was Unexpected...
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Church Art Shouldn't Make You Say "Blech!"
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Cardinal Urges Priests To Liven Up Sermons
I got some ideas...
New Translation Objections Are Becoming More Ridiculous
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, November 30, 2010

Oh No!! Wikileaks Dumps Vatican Secrets!

(AoftheAP) Two days after dumping hundreds of thousands of classified documents from the US State Department, Wikileaks has unexpectedly released thousands of Vatican state secrets onto the Internet.

Wikileaks issued the following statement immediately upon releasing the documents online: "Acting on a tip from an anonymous source, we were provided access to thousands of sensitive Vatican communiques, cables and memos. We would have released them sooner, but they were all written in Latin. Not only that, but since the data had been downloaded onto 8" floppy disks from the Vatican City State server, which is a refurbished ACS-8000 system, it took us awhile to transfer the data to a more up-to-date system."

The identity of the anonymous source has yet to be discovered; however, it is believed that the person responsible was a former seminarian who had been expelled from the Pontifical North American College for having posters of Richard McBrien and Hans Kung on the walls of his room.

Some of the alleged secrets uncovered in the data dump are:
  • the Vatican State Dept. had given many of the world leaders nicknames based on US television programs, such as "Carlton Banks" for President Obama; "Coach" (from Cheers) for Vice-President Biden; "Ricky Ricardo" for Fidel Castro; "Reverend Jim" for Muammar Gaddafi; "Tattoo" for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad; "Uncle Fester" for Kim Jong Il;
  • Vatican agents had tailed and bugged author Dan Brown, citing reports that he "was getting uncomfortably close to the truth" with the Angel and Demons and The Da Vinci Code novels;
  • Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, has been referred to as "that freakshow runaway badly in need of an eyebrow trim and a tube of hair gel";
  • prominent Catholic politicians and celebrities were the subject of many memos - Nancy Pelosi was referred to as "a glittering jewel of theological idiocy"; Tony Blair was often called "the high-profile charlatan"; Sean Hannity, Christ Matthews and Bill O'Reilly were referred to as "the 3 Stooges of American media - their misunderstanding of their own Catholic faith is just incoherent slapstick and sight gags."
  • The Vatican bank maintains unmarked accounts that Catholic politicians have been contributing to in order to avoid ex-communication.
  • the Vatican has spies regularly attend the USCCB meetings, with orders to monitor who drinks what, who runs up high hotel charges from watching too many in-room movies, and who sleeps the most during the meetings.
  • There are several pages devoted to the recent dust-up concerning the new English translation; one Vatican official is quoted as saying "Whoever came up with 'Fishperson' for Bishop Trautman deserves a plenary indulgence! Very funny!";
  • Pope Benedict XVI was asked to guest host Saturday Night Live when he visited America in 2008, but he had to decline due to a scheduling conflict;
  • The Apostolic Visitation of Women Religious was code-named "Salem II";
  • The Vatican operates a covert blog operation, which underwrites such sites as Curt Jester, Creative Minority Report, The Hermeneutic of Continuity and LOLCats.
Surprisingly, some of the data and secrets uncovered pertained to events and issues that had occurred decades, even centuries, ago. Among those were:
  • Church officials never really had a problem with Galileo - they just wanted to "play some mind games with him and have a little fun";
  • Pope Julius II's first choice to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel was a guy named Pietro who drew caricatures for the tourists;
  • The Vatican Bank helped fund the faked lunar landings in the 60's and 70's;
  • For a few years in the early 1980's, whenever Pope John Paul II met privately with prominent dissidents and rogue theologians, he would conclude the meetings by declaring "Release the Kraken!", and then summon the CDF;
  • They have a list of who's in Hell, they just aren't telling people about it so that no one gets upset should they discover their loved ones are on the list;
  • In early 1981, the Vatican attempted to copyright the phrase "Spirit of Vatican II" in order to generate revenue from any individual or organization wanting to use the phrase, and to litigate against groups using the phrase without permission. The plan would have raised hundreds of millions of dollars, but it was dropped shortly after the assassination attempt on John Paul II on May 13, 1981. Evidence shows that Call-to-Action, and not the Soviet government, planned the attempt in retaliation for the Vatican's copyright plan.
Officials from the Vatican have remained silent regarding the leak. Speaking on condition of anonymity to AoftheA, one official remarked that they would normally issue a press release through L'Osservatore Romano, or have Fr. Lombardi issue a statement. "But they've been screwing up so much lately, we've decided it's best to not comment on this document dump, lest our statements get misreported. As usual."

It's unclear how much negative impact these revelations might have on ecumenical matters with the Anglican Church and the SSPX, or on diplomatic relations between the Vatican and other nation-states. Only time will tell. When asked about the leaks, US President spokesman Robert Gibbs remarked: "We do not foresee our relationship with the Holy See undergoing any significant change. We will continue to say we are in accord with much of what the Holy See stands for, and then turn around and act in a completely opposite manner."

On a positive note, it was discovered that the Third Secret of Fatima had indeed been released in full.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Scientists Discover Reverse-Aging Process?

Great! I'll be able to really act my age when I'm all immature and stuff!

From the Daily Mail:
The secret of eternal youth has been unlocked by scientists in remarkable research that paves the way for a ‘forever young’ drug.

Lives could be longer and healthier, free from illnesses such as Alzheimer’s and heart disease, with skin and hair retaining its youthful lustre.

Such a drug might allow men and women to have children naturally until they are a ripe old age.

[...]

They were carried out by cancer doctor Ronald DePinho of Harvard University in the U.S. and detailed in the prestigious journal Nature.

Before treatment, their skin, brains, guts and other organs resembled those of an 80-year-old person.

Within just two months of being given a drug that switches on a key enzyme, the creatures had grown so many new cells that they had almost completely rejuvenated.

Remarkably, the male mice went from being infertile to fathering large litters.

Dr DePinho said: ‘In human terms, it would be like having a 40-year-old person who looked 80-plus and reversing the effects to the levels of a 50-year-old.

Read the rest here

And in a related story, organizers of the American Catholic Council will be soliciting volunteers at their upcoming June 2012 event to take part in clinical trials. Sign-ups are expected to go through the roof.

Seriously, though...

I can see where such a breakthrough would be enticing to a lot of people, like maybe atheists and those who want to put off meeting God for as long as possible, and possibly even Bret Favre or Hugh Hefner. Not me, though. When it's my time, just let me go. We live in a vale of tears - why prolong it any longer than need be? Besides, who wants to endure a Bret Favre retirement press conference, only to see him hold an un-retirement press conference three days later where he switches to yet another team, for the next, oh I don't know, forty some odd years? And who wants to hang around with non-believers and skeptics longer than necessary anyway (besides other non-believers and skeptics, of course)? They're no fun to be with now, and they sure as heck won't be any more fun with an extra sixty to seventy years tacked on, right?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Leslie Nielsen, 1926-2010

One of Hollywood's funniest straight men.



May he rest in peace.

"Please Extend Your Hand In Blessing..."

It happened today at Mass, during the Blessing of the Advent Wreath. Father invited the congregation to extend their hand in blessing as he read the prayer.

I don't know about you, but I believe that this expression of our universal priesthood - which is the reason that's given for such tomfoolery - is inappropriate. Not to mention awkward looking and uncomfortable. I mean, I know that the look they're going for is akin to this:


But to me, it only reminds me of this:


Know what I mean?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

After The Stuffin'

Ladies and gentlemen, AoftheA is proud to present, the one and only Engelbert Humperdinck performing a post-holiday favorite:

After The Stuffin'

So I push back my plate
After the stuffin'
And the turkey and cranberry sauce
And I hope I resist
The tryptophan that is makin' my eyes cross

It's so hard to explain
Everything that I'm feelin'
Plates and plates of food seem to go by
But I love food so much
That the smell of roast turkey makes me high

Thanks for makin' me
This feast that was fit for a king
And thanks for feedin' me
Darn near everything

Now I'm nearly asleep
After the stuffin'
I loosen my belt a notch or two
Cos' I happened to see
Pumpkin pie and the Cool Whip comin' thru

And I know that my song
Isn't tellin' any ol' lie
Oh, cos' after the stuffin'
I still got room for pie.

A Thanksgiving Prayer

Extending wishes of a happy, healthy and holy Thanksgiving to all my readers and their families! Thanks for reading, and for the occasional comment. I'm humbled you take time from your busy day to include me as part of your Internet journey. I'm in awe of so many talented writers who come up with inspiring, funny and thought-provoking things...to be like them is a goal of mine, and I feel I still have quite a ways to go.

God has blessed me far more than I deserve. Too often I have neglected to give Him the thanks and gratitude He is due - He deserves to be thanked more than just one day out of the year. It is unpardonable. But by the saving action of Christ's atoning death on the cross, I know I am forgiven.

Thank you God, for the gift of life - please help me to live it wisely each day and for your glory.

Thank you God, for the gift of faith - please help me to safeguard it and to live it, to be a source of strength in season and out of season. Help me to pass it on as You desire, so that more may come to You and to your Church.

Thank you God, for the gift of love - please help me open my heart to all those You place in my path, that I may be able to love them as You do, despite my weaknesses and failings, despite my shortcomings and imperfections. If anyone should come to know your love through me, then that would truly be one of your finest miracles.

Thank you God, for the gift of hope - please help me to always believe, that despite whatever happens, You have plans for my eternal joy and not my desolation. Let not my despair ever quench the fire of hope in You.

Thank you God, for the gift of friends - please help me to cherish them as Jesus cherishes them. They are sons and daughters of the King, and thus deserve to be treated as such. In fact, help me to treat those who aren't friendly with love, kindness and charity, for they are sons and daughters of the King too.

Thank you God, for all the gifts and goods You have entrusted unto me -please help me to not waste a single one by burying them - inspire me to increase them, so that on the last day, I can offer back to You a rich and bountiful harvest.

Thank you God, for the gift of your Son - please conform me more each day into His image, without counting the cost. Help me to carry my cross, to persevere to the end of the race.

Amen

What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Belgian Waffle Experiment

If you thought this post was going to be about a tasty breakfast food, dripping with syrup or strawberries or powdered sugar, you'll be disappointed. This is more like "Leggo my Ego".

The New York Times reported on a growing group of disaffected Catholics in Belgium who are forming their own communities - called ecclesias - and holding masses without priests and doing whatever they want. Ummm, there's a word for that....let me think...hmmmm....oh yeah! Protestants!

Here's some of the story:

BUIZINGEN, Belgium — Willy Delsaert is a retired railroad employee with dyslexia who practiced intensively before facing the suburban Don Bosco Catholic parish to perform the Sunday Mass rituals he grew up with.

“Who takes this bread and eats,” he murmured, cracking a communion wafer with his wife at his side, “declares a desire for a new world.”

How very Catholyc of them - making up their own words for the consecration. Gee whiz, if that's the "ritual" he grew up with, no wonder he's confused! Even if Willy was a priest, and said those words, there'd be no consecration. Even if Willy were a womynpreest and used the proper formula - still no consecration. Silly people.

With those words, Mr. Delsaert, 60, and his fellow parishioners are discreetly pioneering a grass-roots movement that defies centuries of Roman Catholic Church doctrine by worshiping and sharing communion without a priest.

Don Bosco is one of about a dozen alternative Catholic churches that have sprouted and grown in the last two years in Dutch-speaking regions of Belgium and the Netherlands. They are an uneasy reaction to a combination of forces: a shortage of priests, the closing of churches, dissatisfaction with Vatican appointments of conservative bishops and, most recently, dismay over cover-ups of sexual abuse by priests.

"Defies centuries of Roman Catholic Church doctrine - just like the Protestants! What I said!

In my opinion, the phrase I emphasized from the article is the most important factor with folks like these. Simply put, it's 'Spirit of Vatican II' in action. Because "conservative" bishops use terms like personal sin, evil, hell, confession - you know, they incorporate all Church teaching, including the hard sayings, and don't preach 100% namby-pamby plastic banana Kumbaya politically correct theology. Priest shortages and church closings - yes, they're factors, but not the major ones. And the sexual abuse crisis and cover-up - most of those involved were their kinds of priests and bishops, right? Yes - evil things were done, make no doubt about it. And it seems that the Belgian situation was especially egregious. But again - it was their sort of bishop involved. It's a weird disconnect.

The churches are called ecclesias, the word derived from the Greek verb for “calling together.” Five were started last year in the Netherlands by Catholics who broke away from their existing parishes, and more are being planned, said Franck Ploum, who helped start an ecclesia in January in Breda, the Netherlands, and is organizing a network conference for the groups in the two countries.

At this sturdy brick church southwest of Brussels, men and women are trained as “conductors.” They preside over Masses and the landmarks of life: weddings and baptisms, funerals and last rites. Church members took charge more than a year ago when their pastor retired without a successor. In Belgium, about two-thirds of clergymen are over 55, and one-third older then 65.
"Conductors" - driving their train right off the track.

The article goes on to describe more of what's happening in the Belgian Church, how the official Church is responding, and even a little bit about their services. Like this:
Almost 150 people gathered around (Delsaert) for a service organized by teenage members who picked a theme of peace and music from John Lennon and Paul McCartney.
[Insert Church Lady voice here] "Isn't that special?"

Lennon and McCartney songs? Just how old were those teenagers??? But see - it's about how they feeeeeeeeeeeeeel and not about worshiping God. Sad, very sad.

Here's my prediction - junk like this is going to be happening more and more in the US. Already there are "intentional Eucharistic communities", where Catholycs are holding ceremonies and simulated consecrations in their homes, or having them in sympathetic Christian churches, oftentimes led by womynpreests. It's my opinion that after the American Catholic Council takes place in June, once they realize they don't have the numbers (or the longevity) to affect meaningful change in the Church, the Belgian Waffle Experiment will gain traction.

Which is unfortunate. Rather than transform their lives to the expectations of the Church, they are trying to transform the church to match their expectations - which are pretty shallow and petty. They're taking the easy way out. They're fragmenting the body of Christ, which is never a good thing. Make no mistake about it - it has nothing to do with unity or justice. They're in union with no one but themselves. They can say all they want that the spirit is moving them, but I highly doubt it. This has to do with pride and getting their way.

But hey - at least the music will be groovy, right?

Now, where's my syrup?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Progressive Bible Quotes #11

Lk 21:1-4 (McBrien-Kmiec edition) 1When Jesus looked up he saw some wealthy people putting their offerings into the treasury 2and he noticed a poor widow putting in two small coins. 3He said, “I tell you truly, this poor widow put in more than all the rest; 4for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth, and the rest of their wealth should be taxed heavily, because that would be fair.”

On January 1, 2011, the Bush tax rates are set to expire, and all tax rates will immediately revert to the levels last seen in the Clinton administration. Now, it's important to speak in clear and concise terms. The media is trying to tell you that the Republicans (and some Democrats, too, to be fair - but that's only because they want to be reelected in 2012) are pushing for a tax cut - including the wealthiest among us - when in reality, what is trying to be averted is a tax increase. In other words, maintaining the rates is NOT a tax cut. A tax cut would mean that the current rates would be lowered, which is not what is being discussed. A tax increase means that some or all of the rates would go up - which is what will happen on January 1. Here's a list that shows how taxes will increase(Source):
Tax Cuts Expiring in 2010
  1. Tax Rates. The top tax rate will go from 35% to 39.6%. In addition, if nothing is done, it will mean higher taxes across the board and a return of the marriage tax penalty. See the proposed 2011 tax rates for more information.
  2. Capital Gains. The 0% long term capital gains rate will go away. Capital gains rates will go up to 10% for lower tax brackets and from 15% to 20% for higher tax brackets.
  3. Dividends. Dividends will be taxed as ordinary income, with the new higher rates. Right now the dividend tax rates are 10% and 15%.
  4. Child Tax Credit. The child tax credit will return to $500 from the current $1,000 per child. In addition, it may not be refundable for some taxpayers.
  5. 529 Plans. 529 plan withdrawals will not be allowed tax free for computer or Internet access.
  6. Business Taxes. In addition, various business taxes will change including the payroll tax credit and section 179 expense deduction.
  7. Estate Taxes. Without any action, the estate tax (or death tax as some like to call it) exemption will go back to a $1 million exemption.
  8. Other Tax Credits. The tuition credits will be limited, as will the earned income tax credit.
  9. Mortgage Premiums. You will no longer be able to deduct mortgage insurance premiums after December 31, 2010.
Ouch - that is gonna hurt. Just with the Child Tax Credit alone, should that deduction go bye-bye, that's an additional $1,000 added to my AGI. Thanks a lot.

Some are advocating for keeping the tax rates where they're at for the low and middle income classes, and allowing the tax rates to go back up for the wealthiest Americans. Others want all brackets to remain where they're at. Speaking for myself, I'd like to see the current tax rates codified. In today's disastrous economy, increasing taxes helps no one. No.One.

We have been told by Christ to "render unto God what is God's, and render unto Caesar what is Caesar's". So we are obligated to pay our taxes, and to do so honestly. We should not be like Cabinet members or government employees, who seem to believe that paying one's taxes is only for us plebes. Christ's admonition didn't have any conditions attached to it. So I'm not advocating for an elimination of taxes - I just wish the laws were applied justly. Doesn't seem to be happening. Apparently you can be Secretary of the Treasury, say you made a mistake, and all is forgiven. But if you are a parent struggling to make ends meet...maybe not so much.

The issue of fairness in taxation is one that has been argued and debated and batted around like a volleyball on a California beach, within and without the Church. Now, the Church doesn't speak specifically on the American tax system, mainly because She is concerned with the spiritual well-being of 1.2 billion Catholics, and surprisingly, most of them don't live here. However, Pope Benedict did write about economic justice in his book Caritas in Veritate:
“The Church's social doctrine has always maintained that justice must be applied to every phase of economic activity, because this is always concerned with man and his needs. Locating resources, financing, production, consumption and all the other phases in the economic cycle inevitably have moral implications. Thus every economic decision has a moral consequence.”
Taxation is a 'phase of economic activity'. When some cheat their way out of paying their fair share (cf gov't employees above), then a greater burden falls on those who play by the rules, and those who rely on government assistance are left with fewer resources. Doesn't sound like justice to me.

And then there's this (from Gateway Pundit): Head of Household of 4 has More Disposable Income Than Family Making $60,000 a Year

Tonight’s stunning financial piece de resistance comes from Wyatt Emerich of The Cleveland Current. In what is sure to inspire some serious ire among all those who once believed Ronald Reagan that it was the USSR that was the “Evil Empire”, Emmerich analyzes disposable income and economic benefits among several key income classes and comes to the stunning (and verifiable) conclusion that “a one-parent family of three making $14,500 a year (minimum wage) has more disposable income than a family making $60,000 a year.”



Presuming this is accurate, there's not much incentive for someone making minimum wage to improve their lot in life, when all that happens is that more of their rising income is confiscated to help out the guy down the street making minimum wage. How can anyone get ahead? The answer? Government doesn't want anyone to get ahead. It wants everyone equally miserable.

This is what happens when the government provides for too much of too many people's needs - incentive is squashed. Granted - there are people who truly need the assistance, and we are obliged to help. However, there are way way too many people who are gaming the system at the expense of others, and let me tell ya, slapping punitive tax rates on the producers in our society will only exacerbate the problem and not cure it. The better option is for churches and communities to help their own - but that would mean less government control and involvement, and that, ladies and gentlemen, must not be allowed to happen.

Oh - unsurprisingly, there are Catholycs about who have no problem with taxing the higher income brackets at even higher rates in the name of "social justice". I'm not going to cast aspersions as to their reasons for wanting to do that - I have to wonder if they think such a tax policy fulfills their obligation to take care of the least of our brethren. Well, I'm sorry to inform them that Christ didn't mean for us to fulfill that obligation by taking other people's money away from them. It's almost as if some Catholycs think they're off the hook just because some millionaire has to pay exorbitant taxes to a corrupt and unjust government. Or maybe they agree with the president they helped to elect, when he said back in April: “I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money...”. OK - so who is qualified to determine just how much is "enough"? Some would say 'The government!', to which I say "I do think at a certain point they've cheated enough on their taxes." In which case, they ought not be relied upon to make honest and just decisions on how other people's money should be handled. Think about it - if they're dishonest with their own finances, how much more so they will be with others.

Bottom line - tax rates and policies and such fall under the prudential judgment umbrella in regards to Church teaching. Which is why we can discuss it, and still be Catholics in good standing, and persuade those who don't know any better, believing that higher taxes are a good thing. I say, the lower the better. Allow those who earn it, to keep more of it. Not out of greed or avarice, but out of fairness. And pay your fair share. Be honest. Be a Christian.

And if you think taxes should be higher, then by all means - donate to the IRS. Just don't force me to comply.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Condom Conundrum

"There may be a basis in the case of some individuals, as perhaps when a male prostitute uses a condom, where this can be a first step in the direction of a moralization, a first assumption of responsibility, on the way toward recovering an awareness that not everything is allowed and that one cannot do whatever one wants." - Pope Benedict XVI

"She (the Church) of course does not regard it (condom use) as a real or moral solution, but, in this or that case, there can be nonetheless, in the intention of reducing the risk of infection, a first step in a movement toward a different way, a more human way, of living sexuality." - Pope Benedict XVI

Actually, it's not really a conundrum - I just like the alliteration. But those in the Church (and outside it as well) who want to see a liberalization of Church teaching on contraception, they've interpreted the Holy Father's statements as expected: a U-turn, a potential shift in teaching. Sorry, that's not what it is. And some of the more orthodox commenters have expressed consternation - not so much at what the Holy Father said, but how the aftermath was handled by the Vatican PR - that the Holy Father is speaking on topics that are better left alone.

Based on what I've read all across the Innerwebs, it seems to me the Holy Father has spoken clearly on Church teaching regarding condoms, contraception and the sinful nature of man. His job is to teach, in season and out of season, regardless of the subject. After all, issues concerning morality and the dignity of the human person are rather important, and need to be engaged.

Which leads me to what I think is one of the most cogent thoughts I've read thus far:

From Fr. Z:

I wonder if the Holy Father goes forward with controversial statements knowing that they are going to create a furor precisely because he knows that there will be a public discussion to follow...
We say we want a voice in the public square. That isn’t going to be easy. Our responses aren’t going to look like clean white packages with plastic wrap.
Recall the Pope's speech in Regensburg back in 2006, and his reference to Islam. And the statements on AIDS and condoms he made to reporters on his Africa trip. Discussion ensued. There was engagement in the public square. So if these latest statements, taken from his forthcoming book "Light of the World", is a clarion call for us to better learn and understand our faith, in order to be salt and light out in the world, in order to generate discussion and clarification of Church teaching, and lead others to truth...well, that's a good thing, isn't it?

So what do you think?

For a thorough analysis of the Holy Father's statements, check out Jimmy Akin at the National Catholic Register, as well as his follow-up article.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Onion: Oprah Invites Hundreds Of Fans To Be Buried With Her In Massive Tomb

Gotta love the Onion. Best parody site anywhere.



s/s to The BlogProf

Sr. Joan: Laity Are Like IED's

As far as analogies go, this one's kinda crazy. I suppose when you consider the source....

From the The National Catholic Distorter

The Ticking Time Bomb Of Lay Involvement by Sr. Joan Chittister

Ticking time bombs are among the world’s most dangerous weapons. Most of them are too small to see at first glance. Most of them are easy to make. You can plant a number of them at one time. They can do a great deal of damage, however small.

We discovered that to our peril when convoy after convoy in Iraq was ambushed and destroyed, not by a well groomed, well-trained army with weapon systems as big as ours but by collections of nails in wired tin cans planted by children or detonated by lone insurgents. We spent years being frustrated in the fields of Cambodia, too, unable to see the landmines in front of us, unable to neutralize them before they exploded

No doubt about it: small things can create huge craters in a society.

Now we are dealing with another kind of time bomb. This one’s in the church. Few noticed when this one was planted either. Few people saw the power in it.

In the revised Code of Canon Law that followed Vatican II, someone planted what, at that time, read like a welcome invitation -- an openness to participation by the laity in the organizational development of the church. Little was made of the statement and little expected to come from it.

Canon 212 gave laity “the right and the responsibility” to make known to their pastors their needs.

For a pacifist, her warfare analogy sounds uncharacteristic. Her column goes on (and on and on and on), as she gives an example of two parishoners who wrote a letter to their pastor, but it's the analogy I want to focus on.

She's comparing the dissident laity to limb-separating, foot-tearing, life-ending ticking time bombs and Improvised Exploding Devices. She's admitting that people like her and those who believe as she does are small, cheap and create havoc. She's actually correct.

a) The bombs are designed to eliminate and damage the enemy. Check
b) They are designed to catch the enemy unawares. Check
c) Their purpose is to reduce the effectiveness of a more superior and advanced force. Check
d) The goal is to demoralize and confuse the enemy. Check
e) They're cowardly. Double-check
f) In the long run, they don't win the war. Check

Any other similarities I may have missed?

If the Catholycs are IED's, then she'd better hold onto her Birkenstocks and polyester pants, because the faithful, orthodox Catholics are a neutron bomb waiting to go off. We've had enough of the guerrilla-style catechesis and hit-and-run theology they've been pedaling the past 40+ years. And our Commander-in-Chief, Pope Benedict, has been littering the battlefield with pamphlets and fliers, just like the Allies used to do to warn the civilians of impending bombing raids. Those pamphlets were the motu proprio, Summorum Pontificum, Anglicanorum coetibus, his encyclicals, his speeches in Spain and England and America and everywhere else he's visited. So go ahead and plant your little cheap bombs, Joanie - we still have the bigger guns.

And her cut-and-paste cafeteria-style editing of Canon 212 is typical. Here's the complete canon:
Can. 212 §1. Conscious of their own responsibility, the Christian faithful are bound to follow with Christian obedience those things which the sacred pastors, inasmuch as they represent Christ, declare as teachers of the faith or establish as rulers of the Church.

§2. The Christian faithful are free to make known to the pastors of the Church their needs, especially spiritual ones, and their desires.

§3. According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.(Source)

Yeah, there's a lot more to the canon than just "the right and responsibility" to make their needs known to the pastor. There's that little issue in Can. 212 §1. about "Christian obedience" that always manages to get overlooked.

Like a little IED, she blew up it apart.

Friday, November 19, 2010

If NASA Ran Healthcare...

...this would be the Death Panel plan.

From The Daily Mail Online:

It's usually cheaper to fly one way, even to Mars.

Two scientists are suggesting that colonisation of the red planet would be faster and cheaper if astronauts behaved like the first settlers to come to North America - not expecting to go home.

'The main point is to get Mars exploration moving,' said Dirk Schulze-Makuch, a Washington State University professor who co-authored the controversial article.

The two scientists propose the missions begin with two two-person teams of astronauts in their 60s who would fly in separate ships that would then serve as living quarters on the planet. More colonists and regular supply ships would follow.

Publication of the paper comes less than a month after Nasa let slip that it is actively investigating the possibility of humans colonising other worlds in an ambitious project named the Hundred Years Starship.

The settlers would be sent supplies from Earth, but would go on the understanding that it would be too costly to make the return trip.

Y'know, there are days when I feel like going to Mars, just to get away from the idiots...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I'm An Inspiration!

Now, this is either good or bad, and I'm not sure which, but one thing's for sure - it's very funny.

My "Election Aftermath" post inspired awesome Catholic blogger B-Movie Catechism (a cool blog that needs more frequent posts, btw!) to design Cosmic Girl's villainous costume. Well, technically it was a commenter who provided the inspiration, but I have no problem whatsoever with taking sharing the credit.

COSMIC GIRL


He gives details on the disguise. Go forth and read by clicking here!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Election Aftermath

....meanwhile, back at SCHISM [Society of Catholycs Hellbent on Instituting Secular Modernism] headquarters...

EXT. SWAMP - NIGHT
Moonlight streaks through moss-covered trees. Standing in the middle of a clearing is a black-domed structure that wouldn't look out of place as a church in the Archdiocese of LA. It is the secret hideout for the nefarious super-villain group SCHISM.


INT. SECRET HIDEOUT
People seated around a large round table in a dimly lit room. One person is standing - he's looking around the table, a scowl on his face. It's KING KUNG (aka Hans Kung), leader of SCHISM.

KING KUNG
Okay people, we took a shellacking in yesterday's election. Anyone have any thoughts as to how this happened? REESE'S PIECES?

REESE'S PIECES (aka Tom Reese, SJ)
It was RAINBOW KID's fault. If he hadn't come out of the closet in support of Gerald, he would have won the election easily!

RAINBOW KID
(jumps out of chair)
That's not fair! Commonweal assured me it was in the bag!

K.K.
Okay, stop shouting. It screws up my hearing aid. And why is it so dim in here? Can someone please turn up the light? I can hardly see as it is.

R.P.
We recently had the bulbs replaced with CFL's. It's important we be environmentally responsible in our evil bid to take over the Church.

K.K.
Fine, whatever. But let's not point fingers at each other, okay? I want to have a constructive dialogue and figure out our next plan of action. GERALD, I'm sorry you didn't win. We had worked so hard to get into position to take over the USCCB, and our plans were thwarted.
(Shakes fist, looks to sky)
Darn you, JP2 bishops!!

GERALD KICANIS
These things happen. Perhaps this minor setback will allow me to return to Tucson and meddle with...
(rubs hands together mischievously)
...immigration reform. Muwahahahahaha!!

K.K.
Great idea! That's keeping things positive. COSMIC GIRL, you wanted to say something?

COSMIC GIRL (aka Joan Chittister)
I sense that the problem was our messaging. Too few people understand that they are Church, and in being and living Church, they can create their own reality and invoke the Spirit of Unification, thus raising their consciousness sufficiently in order to overcome the shackles of hierarchy and be free to love.

R.P.
(aside to person next to him)
I don't even understand that, and I'm a Jesuit!

K.K.
M'kay. Messaging. Right. Anybody else? MCBRAIN?

MCBRAIN (aka Richard McBrien)
I blame John Paul II.

K.K.
(softly)
Richard, let it go. He's dead.

MCBRAIN
(thinking)
I blame...the German Shepherd!!

ALL
Hisssssssssssssssssssssssssss!

K.K.
Listen, we've experienced some setbacks in recent years. World Youth Days. Ordinatio Sacerdotalis. Summorum Pontificum. The motu proprio.
Anglicanorum coetibus.

Voice in back
Dude! Can you,like y'know, use English and stuff? We're like, whoa, what language is that dude speakin, like, y'know?

K.K.
Who is that? SOUR PATCH KIDS?

S.P.K. (aka YouthGen from Call-to-Action)
Yeah, dude. Like, what are you talkin' about?

K.K.
(ignoring SPK)
Another setback has been the new English translation, and I thought the "What If We Just Said Wait" campaign would have stopped it dead in its tracks. Alas, we were thwarted. Still, we have some successes to be proud of from the past 40+ years: The LIVE CURRANT's masterful 'P.O.B.' Politician Abortion Equivocator Policy .

LIVE CURRANT (aka Charles Curran)
(rises from chair slightly and bows)
Thank you, thank you. Let me also remind you that I nearly single-handedly dismantled the Humanae Vitae Missile. Muwahahahahaha!!

ALL
(clapping)

K.K.
Yes, that was brilliant. And we have more Catholics cohabiting, contracepting, aborting, supporting gay marriage and divorcing than at any time in history. All great achievements. But we are in danger of losing it all. GERALD's defeat could signal the unraveling of the Seamless Garment.

ALL
Gasp!! Not the Seamless Garment!!

COSMIC GIRL
The great Seamless Garment that encompasses all of reality is becoming threadbare, permitting the darkness of orthodoxy to stream into our pathways of consciousness, disrupting the flow of cosmic energy that...

K.K.
Yes, yes, COSMIC GIRL. It's bad. We all know that. Now the question is - what do we do about it? How do we spin this defeat to the public? We need talking points.

R.P.
We could say that the moderate lost and the ultra-conservative won.

K.K.
EX-cellent!

MCBRAIN
The Catholic-Paper-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named wields too much power!
We could say that the fundamentalist rabid right wing Catholic bloggers influenced the vote!

K.K.
Yes! Yes! EX-cellent!

LIVE CURRANT
We should say that it's time for the bishops to resist listening to the laity.

R.P.
But we've been complaining for years that the bishops haven't been listening to the laity.

L.C.
Well, they should stop listening to the wrong sort of laity, then!

K.K.
EX-cellent!

RAINBOW KID
We could say that Dolan's election is virtually meaningless because the USCCB, as a body, really has no authoritative power and thus is incapable of rendering any doctrinal statements that the laity are bound to obey.

[silence]

What? What'd I say?

K.K.
Guards! Take the
RAINBOW KID to the Marty Haugen Reorientation Room! Immediately!

Two GUARDS dressed like liturgical dancers prance into view, grab the RAINBOW KID by the arms and drag him out of the room.

K.K.
Okay, we all know he's right, but let's face it. If we publicly admitted that the USCCB is just theatre, then when we take it over someday, our own statements could be used against us. But we have talking points now. Yes, this has been a dark day for SCHISM, but I predict brighter days in our future, and for the future of our Church. So do not despair! For, lo, let me remind you of our most ambitious, devious, nefarious scheme yet!
(He pushes a button on the tabletop)

A large projector screen descends from the ceiling.

K.K.
Behold! I give you....the American Catholic Council!!!
Muwahahahahahahaha!!

All
(standing and rubbing their hands with glee)
Muwahahahahahahahaha!!!





Fade to black.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Why I Don't Endorse The TEA Party

I'm all for a constitutionally limited Federal government, lower taxes and reduced spending. Those are good and necessary things - and our nation is suffering due to an onslaught against those principles. Hopefully the recent election will stem the hemorrhaging and restore some legislative sanity, with a potential wholesale reversal in 2012.

But it ought not be at the expense of the weakest among us in society. And therein lies the flaw with the TEA Party movement.

From LifeNews.com:

The fiscally conservative tea party activists were crucial to electing pro-life candidates in the 2010 mid-term elections, but now they are calling on Republicans in Congress to avoid social issues like abortion.

Their call follows on the heels of two governors who are potential presidential candidates saying the Republican Party should declare a “truce” on abortion and other topics.

In a letter released today, according to Politico, the Tea Party activists, joined by representatives of a gay Republican group, say they want Republicans in Congress to lay off social issues.

“On behalf of limited-government conservatives everywhere, we write to urge you and your colleagues in Washington to put forward a legislative agenda in the next Congress that reflects the principles of the Tea Party movement,” the letter says. “This election was not a mandate for the Republican Party, nor was it a mandate to act on any social issue.”

Some of the signers of the letter, Politico indicates, include gay group GOProud’s chairman Christopher Barron, libertarian host Tammy Bruce, bloggers Bruce Carroll, Dan Blatt and Doug Welch and Tea party activists unrelated to the gay rights group.

That letter to pro-life presumptive House Speaker John Boehner and pro-life Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell comes at the same time as leading pro-life organizations are calling for a vote on a bill that would stop all federal funding for abortion, including in the ObamaCare health care law.

Ralph King, who is a Tea Party Patriots national leadership council member and a co-coordinator of its Ohio group, told the political web site, “When they were out in the Boston Harbor, they weren’t arguing about who was gay or who was having an abortion. I look at myself as pretty socially conservative. But that’s not what we push through the Tea Party Patriots.”

King's statement about the original Tea Party, while true, is rather dumb. Neither abortion nor so-called gay marriage were social ills at the time. And if the Tea Party Patriots want fiscal issues to be front and center - well, they have the right to argue that point. What I take issue with is their demand for the Republicans to ignore the social issues. There's no liberty and pursuit of happiness without life - I wonder if that concept has occurred to them.

Perhaps the letter is not indicative of the majority of the TEA Party - I'm not sure. There were many TEA Party candidates who did campaign on both the fiscal and the social issues. So maybe this is representative of a minority viewpoint. Regardless - the assault on our culture is much more grave than the assaults on our rights and freedoms and paychecks. We profess in the Pledge of Allegiance "liberty and justice for all", not "liberty and justice for voters and taxpayers". One of the rallying cries of the TEA Party has been calling for an end to the generational theft due to legislation like Obamacare, bailouts and earmarks - well, what's the point in trying to protect the livelihoods of future grandchildren, if there's no commitment to even protecting their future lives?

I don't buy the argument that both fiscally conservative and socially conservative issues can't be addressed simultaneously once the new Congress convenes. There's no reason why one has to be sacrificed for the other. It's bad enough that the elitist Blue-blood wing of the Republican Party prefer that the pro-lifers just go away, at least until the next election when they depend on their votes - but now the TEA Party is on their side?

Come 2012, will the TEA Party urge conservative candidates to turn a blind eye to social issues like abortion and so-called gay marriage, or DOMA and DADT? And if the candidates cave to their pressure, then I'm left to wonder if conscientious Catholics will be able to support anybody.

Caption Contest #19


(Previous contest winner is here)

The photo was taken during Obama's recent Asia trip, where he walked by an exhibit of several examples of Japanese robots. There's an accompanying video at the site...all I can say is, it's rather demonstrative of how impersonal Obama is. Sad.

Anyway - leave your captions in the combox!

Monday, November 15, 2010

So Has Terrorism Won?

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety~~Benjamin Franklin.



A couple related links -

Red Cardigan parodies Home For The Holidays brilliantly.

Paul, Just This Guy You Know gives us a TSA fashion tip. (And a S/S for the video, too!)

Patrick Madrid weighs in as well.

Toddlers, elderly ladies, nuns - sure, they fit the profile for airplane bombers, don't they? The moment the decision was made to not profile passengers based on who has blown up or attempted to blow up airplanes in the past, was the moment that basic respect for human dignity went by the wayside. We're all suspects.

We've lost, folks.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Study: Only Child's Are Happier Than Those With Siblings

Gee, I wonder what the agenda of these researchers is...

From the Daily Mail Online:

They are often viewed as being awkward, lonely and demanding, but a new study has revealed that only children are happier than those forced to fight for their parents’ attention with their siblings.

One of the reasons single-children appear more confident and content is they do not have to deal with ‘sibling bullying’, according to researchers, with almost a third of youngsters saying they are regularly hit or shoved by a brother or sister.

Many children with siblings also complain of their belongings being stolen and being called ‘nasty names’ by a brother or sister.

The figures, which come from one of the widest-ranging studies on family life conducted in Britain, Understanding Society, tracked the lives of 100,000 people in 40,000 homes.

Previous research has indicated that being an only-child could hamper social skills, while those enjoying sole parental attention are often considered more selfish than other youngsters,

A Ohio State University study in 2004 showed single children found it hard to make friends on joining kindergarten compared with those who had at least one sibling.

But Gundi Knies from the Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Essex, who analysed the Understanding Society data, said the findings indicate the fewer siblings children have, the happier they are.

The study also that children from ethnic minorities are happier than their white British counterparts.

Miss Knies says competition for parental attention and irritation over the need to share belongings such as toys and sweets with siblings, could be to blame for greater unhappiness amongst those with a brother or sister.

Sibling bullying is also a regular occurrence in many homes, with 30 per cent of teenagers claiming they suffer verbal abuse from their brother or sister, while almost one in five say they have personal items taken from them.

Wow! Who knew that kids tend to be selfish, self-centered, mean and find it hard to share! Thank goodness we have researchers to study such things and point them out to the world at large!

I'm from a large family - the 9th brat out of 10 brats - and I've never wished I was an only child. Now, we were selfish, self-centered and mean to each other at times. That happens in families because *gasp* we're all sinners! I was called nicknames that hurt, but I wouldn't call it 'bullying'. Heck, nowadays, a kid looks cross-eyed at a classmate, and that's called bullying. And I wasn't always eager to share with my brothers, either. And they weren't always eager to share with me.

But here's the thing - our parents instilled Christian values (sometimes forcefully, I might add) in all us kids. I mean, how can a person truly love their enemy if they don't have any siblings to practice it on? Where's the practical experience in 'praying for those who persecute you' if you're an only child?

That's not to say all parents of an only child don't teach those values. I just think that the 'evidence' the researchers have uncovered - only child's are happier because they don't have to share or compete for parents' attention - suggests that most parents aren't emphasizing those values.

I think the study is flawed and worthless. Some kids are only child's because of circumstances beyond anyone's control - health of the mother, infertility, government policy. And some kids with siblings will be miserable even if they were an only child. I bet most kids waiting to be adopted would be happy regardless if their new family was childless or not.

With all things being equal, not accounting for personality traits, I believe that the happiness of a child with siblings comes down to the parents. And the researchers sorta allude to it (emphasis mine):
The researcher claimed tensions between siblings were likely to have an impact on parents, saying: ‘From anecdotal reports, quarrelling siblings increase stress for parents and some just give up intervening or intervene inconsistently, leaving the field wide open for the bully sibling.’
Let me translate that: the adults in the family need to act like adults, and the children deserve that in order to have a stable environment in which to have their selfishness changed into selflessness, and meanness turned to love. Parents have to be united and defuse the tensions, regardless of how much stress it will cause - very rarely do siblings do it on their own. Wanna know how my mom got me and my brothers to stop fighting? "Kiss and make up" was her punishment, and it worked.

I'm afraid the selfish and self-centered kids who've become selfish and self-centered adults, and married other selfish and self-centered adults, will read this study and think: "Gosh, we can't have another child; otherwise the little Princess won't be haaaaaaaaapy."

I wouldn't be so sure.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Don't Ask Me Why...

...but I thought these were hilarious.





Now I want a Frosty.

I've never worked at a fast food place - and with training videos like these, I'm glad I never did!

Friday, November 12, 2010

"Dancing With The Stars" Considers Same-Sex Dance Couple

Remember the good ol' days when television was about entertainment? Hasn't been that way for awhile now - it's all about pushing agendas. It's now "entergayment".

From Fox News

Portia DeGeneres could be the first celebrity to dance with a same-sex partner on "Dancing with the Stars".

The hit competition series is "planning to feature a same-sex couple. You're at the top of the list," Ryan Seacrest told Portia (who changed her last name from de Rossi to DeGeneres) on his radio show yesterday.

The proclamation seemed to surprise DeGeneres, who is married to talk show host Ellen DeGeneres. "Goodness, you really do break news," she said.

Rather than flat out pooh-pooh the notion, DeGeneres said, "I'm not gonna pass, let me think about it. I used to be a ballet dancer. It's not completely a pass. You never know."

While ABC does not comment on casting rumors, the network is said to be keeping an eye on how the same-sex couple fares on Israel's "Dancing With the Stars," before deciding whether to go ahead with its own same-sex pairing here in the US.
Um, Fox News? Portia and Ellen are not "married" - they're play-acting. They're living a reality-based show without cameras, sponsors or salaries. Just wanted to make that point clear.

This is why I don't watch network prime-time TV or cable channels anymore - with me, it's either sports, EWTN or the Weather Channel. I'm tired of the agenda pushing. No one can convince me that having a same-sex couple on DWTS is about reaching out to the gay community, when they are around 5% of the population. This totally has to do with indoctrination and so-called "tolerance".

If GayBC does this, I hope the show tanks. This isn't a rant directed to people who struggle with SSA, but I've had it with the "You must approve of us and our lifestyle" messages constantly being pushed.

Oh, The Hupersonity!

The PC police continue their march to make this a gender neutral world - witness their latest personipulation of linguistics:

From The Daily Mail:

In the nursery rhyme, the Gingerbread Man fled from the clutches of an old woman and her husband.

But now he has been cornered by an even more unforgiving foe – political correctness.

Council bureaucrats have stripped gingerbread men of their gender and renamed them gingerbread ‘persons’ on menus for 400 primary schools.

Parents in Lancashire were astonished when they discovered the change.

‘It is absolutely ridiculous,’ one mother said. ‘Someone has obviously taken the effort to change this and it is almost offensive.

‘I am all for anti-discrimination but this is a pudding. The gingerbread man is a character from a rhyme in a book, for goodness sake.’

Laura Midgley, of the Campaign Against Political Correctness, added: ‘It is totally ridiculous political correctness, nobody wants to talk about gingerbread people. They are what they are.

‘It is not just an innocent mistake. Whoever did it, I hope they will think long and hard about it.

‘If these sorts of things go unchallenged, they become the norm.’

The wording went out on the new autumn-winter weekly menu provided by the Lancashire School Meals Service.

Preston MP Mark Hendrick described the change as ‘daft’.

The outcry has since forced officials into an embarrassing U-turn.

They now claim renaming the biscuits was a mistake and that their gender will be reinstated as soon as possible.

Hmmm - I'm surprised no one thought to rename the Lady Fingers and blancpersonge! Thankfully, common sense has prevailed in this instance, but more and more, RightSpeech is being persondated upon Western society.

For years, persony liberals in the Church have sought to remove masculine references from Scripture, in order to appease their false sense of justice and fairness. They drag out the tried-and-true bogeypersons of "Sexism" and "Misogyny" in order to make their case, saying that gender specificity dehupersonizes them. Well, they can continue to issue their depersonds all they want - the Church has personaged to survive 2,000 years quite well with the Scripture just as it is. Besides, we are compersonded to not change one jot or tittle...oops, tittle might be a sexist word too!

Such personufactured outrage at so-called politically incorrect speech has gotten way out of hand. There must not be any personstion of the masculine in the culture anywhere! But it's okay for wopersons to dress provocatively and act like nymphopersoniacs - in fact, you might even say it's encouraged! - and if anyone should point out the hypocrisy, or worse, treat the wopersons as mere sex objects, all H-E-double hockeysticks breaks loose. It's a reprehensible double standard, I tell ya.

If you ask me, it's all bull personure. I say we start perpersonently dispersontling the PC machine and get back to calling things as they are. Let's not let the thin-skinned easily offended crowd outpersoneuver us and force us to live and think and speak according to their megalopersoniac dictates!...oops, dictates might be another sexist word!

Are you with me?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

What Are You Waiting For?

Sorry to bring up the CTA 2010 Annual Meeting again, but this is illustrative of what's wrong with the Progressive Catholyc movement.

From the Sour Patch Kids blog:

At the Call to Action 2010 National Conference, young adults created a banner that was used in the closing liturgy. The message: What are you waiting for?

As a young, progressive Catholic, what are you waiting for in your life, in the Church, in our world?

It's ironic in a way - asking 'What are you waiting for?' at a Call-to-Action event?

An expanded view of the banner can be viewed at the SPK blog, but here are a few of the gems:

"A get real church"
"For the hierarchy to listen and pay attention to the Holy Spirit"
"Marriage equality"
"Birth control - using condoms to be sanctioned" (by a 64-year old, no less)
"Women priests"
"I am waiting for God to be welcomed back into her Church"

Correct me if I'm wrong, but "Good things come to those who wait" isn't in the Bible, is it?

See - with them, it's about waiting for something to happen. Oh sure, they talk about "activism" and "advocacy"; they hold workshops and presentations; they organize protests at papal visits, wherever he goes - but when the rubber hits the road, all they want is for the Church to accommodate their selfish needs and desires. They want the Church to change Her teachings, to declare sinful things as blessed, to proclaim immoral acts as holy. They aren't willing to do the changing and the repenting and the growing, because they're all so busy....waiting. To a person, I would wager that they are waiting for the next Pope to be "their kind of guy". Just waiting.

They are about the complaining and the accusing....the waiting. Not about the doing. Contrary to their claims, Jesus does make demands on us, if we stand up and declare we are His followers. We are to take up our cross daily; we are to be working in the vineyard; we are to suffer for the sake of the Kingdom; we are to give up everything; we are to lay down our lives for our friends; we are to serve; we are to give a cup of cold water to the littlest among us; we are to feed the hungry; we are to clothe the naked; we are to care for the infirmed; we are to visit the imprisoned; we are to be the salt of the earth; we are to be a light in the darkness; we are to be a city on the hill; we are to love our enemies; we are to pray for those who persecute us; we are to turn the other cheek; we are to give our coat; we are to walk one mile more; we are to repent; we are to pray; we are to do the will of the Father.

We prepare for the second coming of Christ.

We are not called to wait.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Exclusive! Call-to-Action Annual Meeting Report

Most of you were probably unaware that Call-to-Action held their annual meeting in Milwaukee last weekend. Not so here at AoftheA. We're on the cutting edge of All Things Heresy. I know that Sr Patricia really wanted to go, but she was otherwise engaged, leading an "Improving The Liturgy Through Belly Dancing" seminar in Binghampton NY.

The great thing about a CTA conference, is that you really don't need to attend in order to know what was discussed and covered. If you know the code Catholycs use when they talk amongst themselves or when they issue press releases, then interpretation is easy.

For instance -here's a breakdown on some of the workshops and presentations. The text in red is taken from the annual meeting schedule; the text in blue is what the presentations were really about.

Organizing Like Jesus: A Day of Training to Build a Racially and Generationally Inclusive Church

~~We are called by the gospel to lift up love and inclusion on individual, communal and societal levels.


Synopsis: Jesus was a holy organizer, just like Obama. But our group only has really old white people! How can we get younger people involved, and maybe some Latinos and blacks so we don't look racist? And we'll include anybody, except those who want to stifle the Spirit of Vatican II or who want to take the Church back to the 16th century. Other than that, we're totally inclusive!

Intentional Eucharistic Communities: Creating and Nurturing a Welcome Table

~~Panelists representing various intentional communities....will lead this day of sharing for those who are looking to begin a new intentional community as well as those who are already part of an intentional community.

Synopsis: Womynpreests need a safe place to celebrate Eucharist, so let's form intentional communities! An 'intentional community' is a group of Catholycs who intend to do whatever the heck they want, no matter what the Church says. And when we say "a Welcome Table", we really only intend to welcome those who agree with us. No Vatican II deniers wanted!!

All The Colors Of The Rainbow: The Lives of LGBTQ People Across the Age Spectrum

~~A panel of CTA members ranging from young adulthood to the wisdom generation will facilitate reflection on a variety of aspects of the lives of LGBTQ people.

Synopsis: 'Wisdom generation' refers to old gays who have the "Jesus never talked about homosexuality" and "St. Paul didn't really mean homosexuals in his letters" memes down pat, so that makes 'em smart. 'Wisdom generation' never ever refers to other old people in the Church who disagree with us, such as the hierarchy. Homosexual acts are good, because it's about loving one another. And since we're all victims, others will be forced to be nice and not be judgmental.

Don't Treat Mother Earth Like Dirt: Blessings for a Troubled Earth

~~This prayer session will use Catholic imagination address our often troubled relationship with creation and the earth.

Synopsis: More abortion! More contraception! Less people!

The Catholic Imperative FOR Same-Sex Marriage

~~Same-sex marriage is a highly volatile topic in our Church and across the nation. Contrary to what most of us have been taught, there is much in our tradition that supports civil and religious marriage between two same-gender adults.

Synopsis: Repeat a lie often enough, and more people will believe it to be the truth. Those who disagree will be called bigots and homophobes, but in a nice way, because we are tolerant loving Catholycs who are good at twisting interpreting Scripture properly to support the gay agenda - such as David and Jonathon in the Old Testament.

Sex and the Soul: Juggling Sexuality, Spirituality, Romance and Religion on America's College Campuses

~~Today's college students are fascinated by religion but they are also more sexually active than previous generations. How do these young people reconcile their spiritual longings with sexual freedom on campus?

Synopsis: More abortion! More contraception! Keep your rosaries off my ovaries! Sex = love, and man, do I really want to love a lot of people! Love is beautiful, and since it's beautiful, it is also very good. Therefore, sex is good, and more sex is more gooder.

Women in the Church: Let's Talk About It!

~~2010 marks an important year for women’s ordination advocates. This year we celebrate 100 years of St. Joan’s Alliance and 35 years of the Women’s Ordination Conference (WOC) here in the United States.

Synopsis: Evil misogynistic hierarchy!! More womynpreests!

Closing Liturgy: 10:45AM - 12:15PM (Sunday)

Synopsis: Probably something like this -



So there it is in a nutshell - this year's version of the same cr*p sandwich. Don't feel bad if you missed it - the same menu will be served at the 2011 American Catholic Council!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Cath-O-Graphs

You know this is true....


From The Mailbox

I received an interesting email over the weekend - a request of assistance from my readers (yes, you!!) on an intriguing project. If you've ever wanted to contribute to writing a play, here's your opportunity.

Here's the email:

Hi Larry,

May the Lord give you peace!

I am writing to ask your help. I am engaged in producing a script for a play that will oust the infamous Vagina Monologues from Catholic college campuses nationwide. Its working title is: Who Told You that You Were Naked? (from Genesis 3:11), and its goal is to represent the fullness of our Catholic understanding of the real and ideal relationships between men and women in Christ, rather than the debased and reductive vision propounded by Ensler’s play.

Would you be willing to share the following questions with your readers, so that I might incorporate their answers into this new play? Any or all would be of great help. All comments will be separated from any distinguishing markers (names, places) to protect confidentiality. And if I can answer any questions, please ask: aadderley@gmail.com.

1. Man and woman go together like: ____?

2. The best thing about the difference between men and women is: ____ ?

3. The image I get when someone says “complementarity” is: _____ ?

4. In heaven, men will ____ and women will _____ .

5. In hell, men will ____ and women will ____.

6. In purgatory, men will ____ and women will ____.

7. The single change to our culture that would best exhibit complementarity would be: _____ ?

May God bless you in your ministry,

Dr. Adrianne Adderley


So put on your thinking caps, and help out this dear lady in providing Catholic campuses a better option than that terrible play.

Here are my answers (in typical LarryD fashion...)

1. Nitro and Glycerine
2. Well, like they say in France: Vive la difference!!
3. The interplay between Vince Guaraldi's piano and his ensemble.
4. Not have to kill any spiders; not be afraid of any spiders.
5. Be forced to sit through Justin Bieber concerts; be forced to watch "The 3 Stooges"
6. Patiently endure hour upon hour of Christmas shopping with their wives; patiently endure hour upon hour of Christmas shopping without being able to purchase anything.
7. women will automatically know all the rules about different sports, while at the same time, men won't be so obsessed about watching them.

Have at it in the combox!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Equality Laws - Bad For Children?

This isn't a big surprise.

From the Telegraph:

Fewer children are being adopted than at any time since 1998 after Labour gave adoption rights to homosexual and unmarried couples, according to new figures.

Last year, some 4,655 children were adopted in England and Wales, 15 per cent fewer than the peak of 5,477 in 2002, the Office for National Statistics said.

The reduction, to the lowest level for 11 years, follows reforms intended to give couples from a far wider range of backgrounds the legal right to adopt children.

Christian campaigners said that the new equality rules have forced large numbers of religiously based adoption agencies to close, leaving many vulnerable children languishing in care.

More than 4,000 children in Britain are on waiting lists for adoption. Many have brothers and sisters who need to be adopted together while some have suffered abusive or are disabled.

Andrea Williams, from the Christian Legal Centre, said Catholic adoption agencies had closed since the new rules were introduced because they did not want to place children with gay or unmarried couples.

“Many Christian adoption agencies have closed,” she said. “That is a reality and it’s a tragedy.

“These agencies are good at matching children- very often they are god at matching the most vulnerable children, the hardest children to place.

“If they are not closing then they are being coerced into diminishing their Christian ethos and being forced to consider every type of couple, including same-sex couples.”

There was a sharp drop in the number of adoptions between 2005 and 2006, covering the period when the Adoption and Children Act was introduced.

The ONS figures showed that a growing proportion of children who were adopted were aged between one and four, with fewer adoptions of children aged 10-17 in recent years. Eight out of 10 children adopted were born out of marriage.

The highest point in recent years was 2002, with 5,477 children registered as adopted.

The Coalition has raised concerns that too many children are being forced to wait to be adopted.

Children’s Minister Tim Loughton is planning to remove rules barring children from being adopted by parents of a different racial or cultural background.

He has told councils to make more use of voluntary adoption agencies and not to wait too long in the hope of finding the “perfect match” between children and families.

Speaking at a conference earlier this week, Mr Loughton said: “It is much better that a child is adopted by loving parents than left waiting for their future to be decided.

“I know that matching children for adoption is a complex and sensitive process, but in some cases there is too great an emphasis on finding the ‘perfect match’.

“Ethnicity should not be a barrier to adoption if there are loving, stable and secure families ready and waiting to adopt children.”

It'll be interesting to see how adoption rates change in places like Boston and Washington, D.C., where Catholic adoption services closed because similar rules were enacted.

There may be other mitigating factors involved for the decline in number of adoptions in England - the poor economy could be one - but one thing is for sure. Allowing same-sex and unmarried couples the 'right" to adopt a child really hasn't helped children. Faith-based agencies either had to comply with the new rules, thus go against core values and cease being Christian or Catholic, or be forced to close. The laws were more about creating a false sense of "fairness" for the gay community instead of ensuring authentic justice for the weaker, more vulnerable members of society - the children. The gays and co-habitation crowd don't want to be made to feel different from married couples - even though they are - and in their selfish desire to be treated as normal, they are reluctant to adopt children who are handicapped or who came from difficult and abusive situations. Many want "perfect" kids to counteract their imperfect relationship, like some sort of human antidote.

Whereas Christian married couples, with all things being equal, are more willing to accept the imperfect and the unloved - because they recognize Christ in the weak and the frail. They value each and every life - they believe that all are created in the image and likeness of God. Thus, when agencies that do a good job in placing at-risk and special-needs kids with loving, stable families are forced to close, where are those families to go? Can they really expect government agencies to do as good a job? Even the Children's Minister doesn't seem to think so.

Bottom line - fewer children are being helped. What we see happening in England now is what might happen more and more here in America. Which is what happens when fairness rather than justice is pursued.