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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.

Monday, October 31, 2011

A Halloween Short Story

I've recently discovered John C. Wright's blog (via Mark Shea) - he of Fantasy/SF fame, and convert to Catholicism from atheism - and his posts are consistently stunning, intelligent and thought-provoking. I wish I could say with honesty that he's following my example, but I'm quite sure he's never read AoftheA, so I'll just leave it to coincidence that our blogs are so uncannily similar.

*ahem*

Anyway - he penned a quick little read apropos for today entitled "The Eve of All Saints' Day". I recommend taking five or so minutes to give it a read. Cool stuff.

NCReporter: Think Like A Planet!

Ever read something so ridiculously stupid, you feel as if your IQ's dropped about a dozen points? (I know - it probably happens every time you read AoftheA. Har har) I tell ya, if I keep reading articles like the one I just did, I'll end up being smart enough to write for the National Catholic Distorter, and come up with stuff like the following:

World Leaders Need To Think Like A Planet by Sharon Abercrombie
Envision for a moment the healing that could wash over our suffering planet if the entrenched ruling establishment were to come together for a very special one-day gathering at a retreat center deep within the California redwoods.

These retreatants would be comprised of an assortment of political leaders, lobbyists, bankers, CEOs of GMO research facilities, the military, and members of the oil, natural gas, nuclear weapons , timber and coal mining industries. Factory farm corporations would be there, too.

Imagine them shedding their initial sheepishness, contempt and self-consciousness at being invited "to do WHAT KIND OF STUFF?" Watch as they sink into a numinous space where the agenda includes drumming, chanting, meditating and mask making.

With your mind's eye, envision these power brokers abandoning their Blackberries for construction paper, crayons, paints, clay , feathers, leaves and cardboard. Earlier that day, they had walked in the forest and "let themselves be chosen by another life form," in the words of Buddhist writer Joanna Macy, describing such a retreat day: They had wandered off alone outside "to happen onto the identity they will assume. They take time to contemplate this life form, imagining its rhythms, and pleasures and needs. They ask the non-human creature's permission to speak for it."

Now, observe these men and women sitting in quiet corners of the room. They are busy creating masks. Likenesses of penguins, polar bears, tigers, mountains -- maybe even a gopher or an earthworm -- begin taking shape.

After an hour or so, half of the group dons masks. They sit in a circle, facing outward. A second circle forms around them, looking inwards. One by one, the masked figures begin telling of the pain they have suffered because of the thoughtlessness and greed of human beings. The outer circle then takes it turn to move to the inner circle with their own stories and identities.

Perhaps what will transpire will be a miracle of tears, regret, deep sadness and a vow to change. And if so, they will be the results of having walked in the footsteps of a nonhuman for a little while.

This is what the Council of All Beings is about. Macy and John Seed created what they call a communal ritual in early 1985, during a weekend workshop for social and environmental activists in Australia.

Macy, an author, teacher and antinuclear activist, learned she had a lot in common with her co-facilitator, John Seed, founder of the Rainforest Information Center.

"We discovered that we shared a passionate interest in deep ecology and the writings of Norwegian philosopher Arne Naess about the 'Ecological self,'" Macy explains on rainforestinfo.org. "As Buddhists we both resonated with these concepts, finding them close to the Buddha's core teachings on the interdependence of all life. John expressed the wish that my workshops include a 'deep ecological' group experience to directly challenge the anthropocentrism of industrial society."

Maybe instead of thinking like a planet, the author should try thinking like a person. Just sayin'.

There's nothing that screams "Dumb as a lampshade!" quite like an article where the author imagines someone making a worm mask. And then trying to think like one. I mean, how much thinking is an earthworm capable of anyway? They can't be very smart since after every rainstorm, scores of 'em are stretched out on my driveway, drowned and bloated.

Articles like this, unfortunately, are par for the course at the Distorter, where greater credence is given to Buddhist philosophy than Catholic thought. Christ said we are to become like little children, not like tigers, mountains or earthworms.

The article dives deeper into the ocean of un-smart-ness:
Together, Macy and Seed invented the Council of All Beings. It was introduced shortly afterward at a camp north of Sydney, on huge flat rocks by a waterfall. About 40 people took part.

Within a year, the Council of All Beings had spread by word of mouth across the globe, through Macy and Seed's workshops. She recalls: "People were gathering to shed their personae as humans and give voice to the plight of the Earth. They spoke as whale and wolf and wind, aspen and marsh, and any other nonhuman they felt called to represent."

Joanna Macy maintains that without emotions, truly realizing the interconnectedness of all life stays stuck at the intellectual level. Mental concepts alone do not affect our attitudes and behaviors.

"We need to feel (the interconnectedness) and our capacity to feel is stunted if we block out the pain within us over what is happening to our world. Furthermore, if we proceed to take part in the Council per se, speaking on behalf of other life-forms, without first acknowledging our sorrow for what others beings are suffering at human hands, we risk being superficial …"

According to Macy, humans' connections to other life forms are based on more than the emotional attachments to places and beings we have loved.

"They are also organic, woven by shared ancestries, embedded in our bodies. Each atom in each molecule of our being goes back to the beginning of life and has belonged to far more ancient and varied forms of life than our own. The human form we wear now is just the latest and briefest chapter of a long evolutionary journey."

Remember - this comes from a *supposed* Catholic publication.

But just to be fair, I gave this a go. I decided to try and shed my human persona and get in touch with my ancestral otherness, by communing with my Sunday dinner: steak, mashed potatoes and a salad.

Steak: I made a cow mask. All I could think of were those funny Chik-Fil-A commercials where those cows make "Eat Mor Chikin!" signs. But boy, that steak was really really good.

Potatoes: I made a potato mask. How many eyes are there supposed to be in a potato mask? And it's hard to think like a potato. Would a potato be happier in a Pringles' tube, or boiled? I bet mashing is pretty painful - but probably not as painful as being digested, what with the mastication, and saliva, and being dumped into a pit of corrosive gastric acid. GOD, FORGIVE ME FOR I AM SUCH A TERRIBLE PERSON TO DIGEST A POTATO!!!! (sorry - almost lost it there) Or does a potato die when it's taken out of the garden? Does it need dirt to breathe, like a fish in a lake, and thus "drowns" when it's harvested? Well, whatever - the mashed potatoes were good. I like to think I gave the potato a last hurrah by making a butter volcano - y'know, you hide butter inside the mound of potatoes, so it melts and then when you take a forkful, it kinda spills down the sides. I think the potato liked that.

Salad: This one was tough - do I make a mask for the greens, the radicchio, the yellow pepper, the radishes or the cherry tomatoes? I ended up not making one, but I think the salad was happy because it was a big get together of veggie friends, all mixed together with a light vinaigrette. Sorta like OWS -without the odor.

Oh well. I tried. I think I felt something as a potato, but I doubt it. Kinda like reading the article - you think you read something that passed for smart, but in the end, it was just your imagination.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Thursday, October 27, 2011

PETA Seeks Constitutional Protection For Orca Whales

The world has indeed gone nuts.

From CNN.com: PETA Lawsuit Alleges SeaWorld Enslaves Killer Whales
(CNN) -- Can killer whales sue SeaWorld for enslavement?

A lawsuit filed Wednesday by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and other "next friends" of five SeaWorld killer whales takes that novel legal approach.

The 20-page complaint asks the U.S. District Court in Southern California to declare that the five whales -- Tilikum, Katina, Corky, Kasatka, and Ulises -- are being held in slavery or involuntary servitude in violation of the 13th Amendment.

A PETA statement said the lawsuit is the first of its kind in contending that constitutional protections against slavery are not limited to humans.

"Plaintiffs were forcibly taken from their families and natural habitats, are held captive at SeaWorld San Diego and SeaWorld Orlando, denied everything that is natural to them, subjected to artificial insemination or sperm collection to breed performers for defendants' shows, and forced to perform, all for defendants' profit," the lawsuit says, arguing that those conditions amount to enslavement and/or forced servitude.

A SeaWorld statement called the lawsuit a baseless publicity stunt by PETA, which is known for provocative advertisements and public demonstrations on behalf of animal rights.

At the heart of the lawsuit is the question of whether a non-human entity can sue for a violation of constitutional rights.

The 13th Amendment outlaws slavery and "involuntary servitude" in the United States without any specific mention that it applies only to people.

SeaWorld claims PETA is just doing this for publicity, but I'm not so sure. PETA folks are insane. They probably believe their lawsuit has a chance of winning.

And if it does win (and that's a mighty big "if", but then again, the world has gone nuts), then Tilikum and company will have enjoy greater constitutional protection than unborn human children. That's the really crazy bit.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Meanwhile, Up In Heaven...

"Morning, Tommy."

The portly tonsured man, seated at the crystal kitchen table, glanced up from reading the newspaper at the man who had addressed him. "Good morning, Frankie."

Frankie smiled. Everyone else around here called him Francis, except for Tommy. Just as he was the only one who called the angelic Dominican "Tommy".

Frankie poured himself a cup of coffee and sat down across from Tommy. He cocked his head a bit to see beneath the dog-eared corner of the newspaper clutched in Tommy's thick hands.

"USA Today, huh?" he remarked. "Didn't think they delivered here."

"I dispatched Gabriel to retrieve this morning's issue," he explained. "Although I do wish these journals were published in Latin. For old time's sake."

Frankie sipped from his porcelain mug, when Tommy let out a sudden shout of surprise, causing Frankie to splutter coffee across the table.

"Tommy! What is it? What's wrong?" he asked, while wiping the droplets off the surface with the sleeve of his brown habit.

Tommy lowered the paper and gazed at his breakfast table companion, "Please pardon that unexpected outburst, my Franciscan friend. But it appears that we have been duped."

"Duped? How so?"

"According to this article, Americans claiming to be Catholic believe that you can disagree with Church teachings and still call yourself Catholic!"

Frankie blinked hard, several times, before replying. "What? All of them?"

"Nearly so. 86 percent believe it."

"Are you sure they were talking to Catholics?" Frankie asked.

"Fair point. It is the USA Today after all. But I believe it is safe to presume that yes, those being polled were indeed Catholic." Tommy raised the newspaper, shielding his face. "There's more. Listen - 'The survey, a comprehensive look at the beliefs and practices of 1,442 U.S. Catholic adults, also finds that 86% say "you can disagree with aspects of church teachings and still remain loyal to the church." Only about 30% support the "teaching authority claimed by the Vatican." And 40% say you can be a good Catholic without believing that in Mass, the bread and wine really become the body and blood of Christ — a core doctrine of Catholicism.' "

Frankie bowed his head and stared into his coffee cup, turning it slowly in his hands.

Tommy read on. "And if you aren't depressed enough yet, let me add that 67% said that helping the poor is most important to them."

Frankie's frail shoulders slumped. Tommy folded the newspaper and laid it on the table. They sat in silence for several moments; Frankie stared into his swirling steaming coffee, and Tommy tapped his finger pensively onto the table, his face tight as a drum.

Taking a deep breath, Tommy started. "Objection 1..."

Frankie held up his hand, still gazing into his mug. "Don't, Tommy. No Summa." Tommy closed his mouth.

Sighing heavily, Frankie looked at his friend. "So all those years of poverty. The fasting. The preaching and the sacrifices. Apparently I didn't have to be all in. I only needed to give 67%."

Tommy nodded. "I always knew my writings were straw. I poured my heart and mind and strength into my work, and as it turns out, I didn't need to do that. I could have been a good Catholic by attending Mass once every three weeks. I could have prayed half as much, and still ended up here."

Frankie continued. "And the stigmata. What was the point of that?"

"And to think I endured imprisonment at the hands of my own family for my faith," Tommy added. "As I look back, that was so unnecessary."

"Tommy, you are so right - we were duped."

Tommy and Frankie's eyes met. A nearly imperceptible twinkle flashed between them, and then ear-to-ear smiles cracked their beaming faces. Laughter filled the kitchen, and Tommy smacked the table with his meaty palm, causing some of Frankie's coffee to slosh out of its cup.

"Ha ha!" Tommy chortled. "I believe you laughed first!"

"Not on your life," Frankie countered. "Although I almost lost it when you said 'Objection 1'."

Tommy's expansive frame shook as his laughing subsided. "Okay then. I humbly concede defeat. One day, however, I will outlast your stoic demeanor and outright win a match of 'Partial Faith Poker'."

"Never. All those years of practice, that's why I always win." Frankie raised the cup to his lips, and before drinking, he shook his head and added, "Silly Americans. Part-time Catholics indeed. What was it that you once wrote - there is no such thing as partial faith - there is either total faith or no faith?"

"Yes, extremely true. One cannot extract a stone from an arch and expect the structure to remain strong and standing. To be clear, I find no amusement at their waywardness - after all, the sacrileges committed against our Savior's Sacred Heart are indeed very grievous."

"And to our Lady's Immaculate Heart as well," Frankie interjected.

"True, true," Tommy agreed. "However, it is amusing, in a sense, that one can profess to be Catholic while disagreeing with parts of Church teaching. While disregarding the pontiff. While supporting same-sex marriage...or abortion. There is such disjunction between their beliefs and their actions, one wonders if they're thinking at all! And how is it possible for them to maintain composure when they make such claims? I believe I would laugh to their faces at such blatant displays of ignorance! Charitably, of course."

"Of course," Frankie agreed. "To be fair, Tommy - it's not just Americans. It's like that in every country down there."

Tommy nodded. "Our Savior did wonder if He would find faith on Earth upon His second coming. His word, when sent out, does not return empty." He pushed away from the table and picked up his paper while getting to his feet. "And nor do our intercessions. Hurry up and finish your coffee, Frankie - the 14% need our help. They need strength to remain faithful amidst such faithlessness. To be a light in the darkness. To forge ahead on the narrow path. To show others the way to joy, peace and happiness."

Frankie drained his cup and stood up. "Right behind you, big guy. And the 86%?"

"God save them."

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pope Joan's Latest Lament

The Lake Erie Libber - Sr Joan Chittister, aka Pope Joan Of Erie - penned another screed for the National Catholic Distorter. And as usual, it's the same ol' same ol' - she's been treading this rut for so long now, you can no longer see the top of her head.

This one is titled Lack Of Women Will Irreversibly Harm The Church. Man, sounds like she's issuing a threat, doesn't it? Or a dire warning. Either way, it's over-the-top hyperbole and completely ridiculous - and all it's lacking is a soundtrack.

Until now... (click the green arrow)


Dorian Kelly - River of Blood - eerie beginnings; a menacing chase, leading to a gruesome and sinister end. Dorian Kelly, PRS. .mp3


Found at bee mp3 search engine

[...]

What bothered them was their 4-year-old daughter. She was a quick-minded child. Precocious. Persistent. Confident. They knew...she would question the difference between what her brother could do in the church and what she could do. That would be years away, of course, but still... they were struggling, to no avail, to find a reason good enough to appease her, they said. Then, suddenly, one Sunday morning after Mass as they sat at the family breakfast table, it happened.

"Mama," she said suddenly, "why don't we have any girl priests at our church?"

They looked at one another, dumbstruck, unprepared. Too late. There was nothing left to do now but be honest.

"Because, darling," the mother said, "our church doesn't allow girl priests."

The little girl pursed her lips and frowned. "Then why do we go there?" she demanded.

With the retreat to Vatican I in full force, this question and its answer get closer and closer.

Feminine language is fast being cut from the very prayers of the church. The invisibility of women is official policy again. Women have been removed from various church boards stealthily but steadily.

All talk of the restoration of the diaconate has been suffocated.

"If the diaconate is restored for women," an official spokesperson is reported to have said, "they will assume they can then be ordained to the priesthood."

It has not occurred to the spokesman, it seems, that the restoration of the diaconate for married men did not launch an assault on the chancery doors to require a married priesthood. Either that, or the old "you know how irrational women are" argument is being dusted off again, too.

And now, in places even in this country, some dioceses are denying girls the opportunity to become altar servers, despite official church acceptance of female servers since 1983 and the long-established practice in churches everywhere.

The idea that women are to be "seen and not heard" is fast becoming "neither seen nor heard."

Here and there, little by little, the hoary head of chauvinism, of patriarchy, of sick and petty and adolescent sexism is making one last desperate attempt to make us a totally male church again.

Correction: To make us a serving female church, a parading male church again. And all of it, as usual, in the name of God. In defense of the faith. In imitation of the church of Christ.

...But when a church can simply erase the women in its midst, refuse to discuss the subject and attempt to go on calling itself church, Christian and holy, that is another matter entirely.

...From where I stand, it is clear that the church already lost a good proportion of one generation of women in the last 25 years and is now willing to lose the next one to reassert its maleness. The question rises again with new and demanding urgency for many: Why do we go there?

The answer to it will not only affect the women and their children for generations to come. It will affect the church in ways no number of male altar boys can begin to heal it.

Joan needs to get over herself. The Church isn't erasing the women in its midst - it's merely ignoring the ones who have convinced themselves they can do a better job of running the Church than Christ Himself. And that's what has her, and those in agreement with her, angry.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Ill-bread

The following was in my email box this morning. For those of you with a low tolerance for bad puns, you might want to skip this.

On the Jewish New Year, there is a ceremony called Tashlich. Jews traditionally go to the ocean or a stream or river to pray and throw bread crumbs into the water. Symbolically, the fish devour their sins.

Occasionally, people ask what kind of bread crumbs should be thrown.

Here are suggestions for breads which may be most appropriate for specific sins and misbehaviors:

For ordinary sins: White Bread

For erotic sins: French Bread

For particularly dark sins: Pumpernickel

For complex sins: Multi-Grain

For twisted sins: Pretzels

For tasteless sins: Rice Cakes

For sins of indecision: Waffles

For substance abuse: Stoned Wheat

For use of heavy drugs: Poppy Seed

For petty larceny: Stollen

For committing auto theft: Caraway

For timidity/cowardice: Milk Toast

For ill-temperedness: Sourdough

For silliness, eccentricity: Nut Bread

For not giving full value: Shortbread

For jingoism, chauvinism: Yankee Doodles

For excessive irony: Rye Bread

For unnecessary chances: Hero Bread

For warmongering: Kaiser Rolls

For dressing immodestly: Tarts

For causing injury to others: Tortes

For lechery and promiscuity: Hot Buns

For promiscuity with gentiles: Hot Cross Buns

For racist attitudes: Crackers

For sophisticated racism: Ritz Crackers

For being holier than thou: Bagels

For abrasiveness: Grits

For dropping in without notice: Popovers

For gluttony: Stuffing

For impetuosity: Quick Bread

For indecent photography: Cheesecake

For raising your voice too often: Challah

For pride and egotism: Puff Pastry

For sycophancy, butt-kissing: Brownies

For being overly smothering: Angel Food Cake

For laziness: Any long loaf

For trashing the environment: Dumplings

For telling bad jokes/puns: Corn Bread
Corn Bread indeed...

And don't blame me for the jokes. I didn't make them up.

About all I can come up with is...

For lying about your weight: Graham Crackers

For liking bad bread puns: Doughnuts

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Momentary Lapse Of Overlooked Congratulations

I should have made mention of this earlier.

Fellow Michigan Catholic blogger Dale Price - proprietor of Dyspeptic Mutterings - announced earlier this month and he and his wife Heather gave birth to a healthy, robust son (Dale affectionately described him as a "brick"). I believe that increases the number of children in the Price household to six.

Congratulations Dale and Heather! This one's for you and Thomas Henry:

The Moment Fr. Pavone Lost Credibility

I've avoided blogging on the Fr Pavone situation to this point for the simple reason I hadn't come to an opinion one way or the other. I've been trying to maintain a disinterested distance from the whole brouhaha because a) most people tend to let their emotions speak for them, and this is explosively emotional, and there's no arguing emotions; and b) I don't have all the facts in order to take an informed intelligent position.

Until now.

A while back, I had subscribed to the Priest For Life email service, and yesterday I received an email from them, signed by Fr. Pavone. Here's how it started:
I’m writing to thank you for your prayers, to urge you to remain steadfast in your resolve to end abortion, and to give you an update on my situation with Bishop Zurek.

Even as you read this I am praying for and working toward a speedy resolution of my current situation. In obedience to my bishop, I am carrying on with our shared pro-life mission from a convent here in Amarillo.

My only real fear right now is what might be going through your mind at this time regarding me and Priests for Life. That’s because of all the misinformation and outright attacks on me and Priests for Life that are taking place right now.

All I can tell you is that just about everything you’re reading or hearing is false. All of it.

Of course, you can dispel my fear that you might be taken in by these false accusations by clicking here. and making as large a contribution to Priests for Life as you can … whether it be for $15, $150 or $15,000. (bold original, and I removed the link)
This email has "slimy" all over it.

So what he's saying is, in order to dispel HIS fears that I might be taken in by false accusations (by whom? where? everything not issued by PFL or Fr. Pavone might be a "false accusation"?), I have to donate money to PFL?? And if I don't, I've somehow been duped? I'm sorry, Father, but my wallet is closed to PFL from now on. I have no use for shuckster-ish shameless begging for donations as a means to drum up "support" for a particular position. It's bad enough politicians resort to such tactics - but for priests?

Oh - and the letter went downhill from there:
But rather than ask you to simply take my word for it, I thought you would appreciate reading a letter we received from the Most Reverend Roger W. Gries, O.S.B., Auxiliary Bishop of Cleveland. As you’ll see when you click on the link below …

… it’s addressed to you as a “Supporter of Priests for Life.”


Two things that you’ll want to pay special attention to in Bishop Gries’ letter are:


1. That Bishop Gries wrote his letter on September 19 … ten days after my bishop wrote to him.

2. This paragraph from the middle of his letter: “Please keep Father Pavone in your prayers. He is currently facing some difficult days as he negotiates with his bishop. The work he had done since founding Priests for Life must continue as we face the future. Please continue to support Priests for Life.”

I encourage you to click here and read Bishop Gries’ letter.

And as you do, please keep in mind that his words of encouragement are not the only ones to come my way. Another one who is free to go public with his endorsement is Ray Flynn, the former mayor of Boston and U.S. Ambassador to The Holy See. Here’s the short note he sent me:

“I want you to know that in my opinion, nobody speaks more effectively and as passionately for the unborn as you do. We are very fortunate to have such a strong and committed pro-life voice as you. Please God, continue to give Fr. Frank Pavone the courage to lead us in this critical life issue. We will pray for you and support you in the years ahead.”

Regrettably, due to the sensitive and private nature of my situation with Bishop Zurek, I cannot reveal the names of others who’ve contacted me or repeat their kind words. But I can tell you that I’ve had numerous positive conversations with many bishops in the past several days. To a man, they all want my situation with Bishop Zurek resolved quickly and amicably.

That is my desire as well.

But since I must be obedient to my bishop, I am conducting my pro-life mission from Amarillo. I am hopeful that very soon now I will be back on the road fulfilling my vocation to energize the People of Life both here in the United States and throughout the world.
There's more to the letter, but you get the general drift.

So...he prints support from two people, and then goes on to say that "due to the sensitive and private nature of my situation with Bishop Zurek" he can't reveal the names of those who are supportive. What? It's okay to cite Bp. Gries and Ray Flynn, but nobody else? And what's with pitting one bishop (along with some anonymous ones) against his own?

And if his desire is to have this situation resolved quickly, why did he blow off the meeting arranged by Bishop Zurek? If he "must be obedient to (his) bishop", then why didn't he meet with him? That makes no sense to me.

And he hopes to be "back on the road fulfilling (his) vocation"? His first vocation is to be a priest, isn't it? Obedient to his bishop? Am I missing something here?

If Priests For Life is of God, then it will continue to do God's work with or without Fr. Pavone at the helm. That's how I see it, but I'm not so sure Fr. Pavone does. I'm struck by the unsavory similarity to Fr Gruner and his The Fatima Crusader organization. Gruner believes that if he weren't still directing the group, it would fail. (he might well be right)

To me, at this point, it doesn't matter if Pavone is right and his bishop is wrong, or vice versa. I know nothing about Bishop Zurek at all, so I have no opinion on him or his position. I pray for the sake of the Church that this situation get resolved quickly and completely. I pray that both parties display humility and civility. I hope it's not too late for that, and yet I fear in Pavone's case, it might be. Which is why, as a result of this email, Fr. Pavone has zero credibility left with me. I'm going to continue to support pro-life causes, but I can't support Fr. Pavone.

Needless to say, I emailed PFL and unsubscribed from the email service.

I know I might take some flak over this. Let 'er rip. I'm not denying that Fr. Pavone has been a force for good in the pro-life movement - I'm saying that his current actions show that he's merely protecting his own interests at the expense of his credibility. And maybe at the expense of the pro-live movement.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Michigan: Best State For Catholic Blogs!

Boo-yah! Something that I always suspected being true has been proven!

Michigan Rated #1 State For Catholic Blogs
A recent nationwide survey conducted among 1,241 Catholic adults has revealed that the best state for Catholic blogging is Michigan. And by a wide margin. 18% of respondents chose the Mitten State - because of its miles of Great Lakes coastlines, unrivaled scenery and having been the birthplace of Call-to-Action - far exceeding Nebraska, in second place with 12%.

"This just goes to show that if you're a Catholic blogger, Michigan is where it's at," Keith Rohlheimer said, who blogs at Wolverine Catholic. "Our state is the home of Ave Maria Radio, RealCatholicTV, Fr John Hardon and Blessed Solanus Casey. We have our share of crazies too - Call-to-Action started here, Elephants in the Livingroom, and the American Catholic Council met in Detroit in June. We got it all."

[...]

Rounding out the top five behind Michigan and Nebraska were Colorado, Georgia and Vermont. The bottom three states were Minnesota, Texas and Wisconsin.
This puts the "Great" in the "Great Lakes State", me thinks!

Click here to read the entire article and see where your state ended up.

OWS Protesters Who Want Your Things, Have Their Things Stolen

Oh, the wondrous, beautiful, sweet sweet irony of it all.

The "redistribute the wealth" crowd on Wall Street is shocked - shocked, I tell you! - that there are some among them who are redistributing their own things. This sounds like it's straight out of the Onion News Network, but it's not.

Occupy Wall Street protesters said yesterday that packs of brazen crooks within their ranks have been robbing their fellow demonstrators blind, making off with pricey cameras, phones and laptops — and even a hefty bundle of donated cash and food.

“Stealing is our biggest problem at the moment,” said Nan Terrie, 18, a kitchen and legal-team volunteer from Fort Lauderdale.

“I had my Mac stolen — that was like $5,500. Every night, something else is gone. Last night, our entire [kitchen] budget for the day was stolen, so the first thing I had to do was . . . get the message out to our supporters that we needed food!”

Crafty cat burglars sneaked into the makeshift kitchen at Zuccotti Park overnight and swiped as much as $2,500 in donated greenbacks from right under the noses of volunteers who’d fallen asleep after a long day whipping up meals for the hundreds of hungry protesters, the volunteers said.

Apparently, an 18 year-old from Ft Lauderdale, slumming in New York, who owns..oops, I mean owned a $5500 Mac (really? - my little Asus was only $600 and some change...) represents the "99%". Right - I'm having a real hard time buying that.

HT Hot Air

Friday, October 14, 2011

What's The Next Gayness?

So now that everyone - at least it seems so - is cool with gay marriage and homosexual activity, and they're being granted special rights and all, what's the next gayness? What disordered behavior is going to be afforded "normal" status next?

I think it's a toss-up between bestiality (which is being spun as "zoophilia" - I mean, who doesn't like zoos, right?), pedophilia, or polygamy. Case in point for the latter:



It might take awhile, but all three will end up as being acceptable mainstream behavior someday. Sure, bestia---I mean, zoophilia, might currently be illegal in Switzerland, but that doesn't seem to be stopping nearly 3.5% of the population from engaging in the behavior. Give 'em time - they'll demand special rights, too, and most likely eventually get them. Won't PETA be proud.

And the polygamy crowd...it's not a stretch to presume that should the definition of marriage get changed from one man + one woman, then it will be altered to 'more than one man' + 'more than one woman'. That's a slam dunk guarantee.

As for the pedophilia - as Mark Shea has said on more than one occasion (and I'm paraphrasing here) - today the Church is castigated for not having done enough to stop it, but in the future it will be castigated for not doing enough to promote it.

Yep - we all gots freedom of choice. And what folks do in the privacy of their own home is nobody's business, you judgmental, heterosexist, multiple-wives-a-phobic, anti-pedophilia, bestiality haters!

You know I'm right...unfortunately. The question remains - which one's next? I don't know, and I don't wanna know - and I suspect you don't wanna know either. One thing I do know is that it will be the Catholic Church that will take a stand for purity, morality and chastity - and stand alone, if necessary.

Remember - it's October. Pray the rosary.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Gay Rights > Children's Rights

We're constantly being told that kids raised in a gay household will turn out just fine. Not quite.

From The Daily Mail:
A High Court judge issued a stark warning yesterday about the traumatic effects on children when complicated homosexual parenting arrangements unravel.

In a case in which a gay man and his lover took the lesbian mother of his children and her partner to court for access rights, the judge expressed frustration at the ‘lack of sufficient vocabulary to explain the true nature of the relationships’.

But Mr Justice Hedley was clear about the impact of the couples’ conflict on the two sisters in the case, saying at least one of them had suffered significant emotional harm.

‘The four adults in this case regard the price paid by these two children as an acceptable price for the pursuit of their own adult disputes,’ he said.

The identity of the girls, aged six and ten, and their four parents was kept secret in the Family Division judgment published yesterday.

The judge said the adults involved were ‘intelligent professional people’ who agreed to have children through IVF ‘with the agreement and co-operation of all parties’.

But he warned: ‘The case provides a vivid illustration of just how wrong these arrangements can go.’
Gee, ya think?

And the judge expressed frustration at the "lack of sufficient vocabulary" to describe the situation? I got some words for him: immoral, unnatural, disgusting, selfish. I'm sure there are plenty more.

These poor girls. Victims in a world gone mad, where it's okay to take obese kids away from their parents, or to deny foster parents the ability to adopt kids because of their Christian view of homosexuality. But when the kids are merely subjected to "significant emotional harm", why the sensible thing to do is just issue stark warnings and modify the parenting arrangements. Because the rights of gays to construct children via masturbation and a baster, and raise them in the presence of disordered behavior and abnormality must never ever be abated, the rights and well-being of said children be damned.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Because I Like This Song

Breaking News! Patheos Announces Newest Contributor!

(AoftheAP) Fresh on the heels of landing big-time bloggers Mark Shea of 'Catholic And Enjoying It', Kat of 'The Crescat' and Marc Barnes of 'Bad Catholic', the religious portal "Patheos" has announced that they have landed perhaps the biggest name in Catholic blogdom: Pontifex Blogimus.

"We're extremely excited to have Pontifex Blogimus join the Patheos team," a spokesman for the portal told AoftheA. "Adding that blog to our already impressive roster sets up a star-studded lineup that stands head and shoulders above any other religious web portal out there. Just imagine how much traffic to Patheos is going to increase."

Terms of the contract have not yet been released, but it's fair to say that Pontifex Blogimus will undoubtedly command some impressive compensation. As to content, Patheos gave assurances that Pontifex Blogimus won't be restricted.

"Obviously, a certain level of sensitivity towards our Wiccan, Eastern spirituality and non-Catholic contributors has to be afforded. But just think about it - this will make Patheos the place to go on the Internet for top-notch Catholic blogging," the spokesman said. "No one will have any reason to go anywhere else, ever again."

Upon landing the high-profile blog, other Catholic web portals have indicated that they are not taking this action lying down. Unconfirmed reports from the National Catholic Register indicate that they are close to inking deals with heavy hitters "Standing On My Head" and "What Does The Prayer Really Say?"

"It's important that we keep pace with Patheos," an NCR rep told AoftheA on the condition of anonymity. "We're pleased with our line-up, but you can never have too many solid performers on the team. Both blogs are close to signing, as we're putting the finishing touches on negotiations with their agents. I expect an official announcement will be made by the middle of next week."

The National Catholic Reporter has responded immediately to the Patheos news as well, by tendering offers to Charles Curran, Hans Kung and Hugo Chavez, the president of Venezuela. All three are expected to accept the offers and begin submitting weekly columns before the end of October.

America, dotCommonweal and Vox Nova declined to be interviewed, except to state that while they understand the world of Catholic blogging is evolving to paying web portals, they prefer to remain pure and unstained by what they call "materialistic motives".

But what does all this mean for the smaller blogs unaffiliated with web portal teams?

"Well, they've got their little niche, that's for sure," the Patheos spokesman said. "They have their cadre of followers, and we believe that they will somehow survive and stick around. They won't be able to compete with us or the Register, but we're sure they'll be happy even if their readerships shrink and hits dwindle down. Besides, we look at those blogs as our "farm system" - they're developing, they're improving their skills, with the hope that one day they'll be ready for the big show.

"We're always on the lookout for the Next Big Blog. In order to run a successful web portal, you can't stand still. Yes, we've landed the big fish with Pontifex Blogimus, but that doesn't mean we're done."

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Strange Creatures Of Our World IV

Welcome to the fourth installment of a quasi-regular feature here at AoftheA (Part I is here; Part II is here; Part III is here.) that we call "Strange Creatures Of Our World". It's a brief exploration of some of the more unusual members of the animal kingdom, that despite their bizarre nature, show us that God's creation is vast, diverse and yes, sometimes scary.

This installment looks at Parisitism - the types of creatures that exist by attaching themselves to a host. This symbiotic relationship between the parasite and host is very common in the animal kingdom, and typically involves two distinct and disparate species.

Here are some of the varieties of parasites:

The Pea Crab

The Pea Crab lives inside mollusks, and are about the size of a pea (hence it's name).


Varroa Destructor

The Varroa Destructor is a mite that attaches itself to honeybees, sucking their blood. Once inside a hive, the female mites enter the honeybee brood cell, lays her eggs on the larva, which hatch at about the same time as the young bee emerges. These mites stay with the host. It's believed these mites are the cause of the decimation of the honeybee population world-wide.

Tapeworm

Let's not discuss this one, shall we?


Emerald Cockroach Wasp

These little devils paralyze a cockroach with its venom, takes it to its lair, stick one of its larva on the cockroach's abdomen, then buries it. Once the larva hatch...feeding time!


Flea

Bane of cats and dogs.


Occupy Wall Street

They seek to live off the hard work of others, and enjoy the fruits of others labors yet make no effort to contribute to society in a positive manner, while at the same time make demands that would certainly destroy the very system that sustains them. When not protesting, they prefer subterranean dwelling places (i.e.: their parents' house basement), are fascinated by small hand-held technological devices, and are proficient with cardboard and Sharpie markers.

"But LarryD!", you exclaim. "You said the parasite and host are distinct and disparate." This is true. And after two-three weeks of 'protesting', I'd say these slackers stink, and that their tactics are rather desperate.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Seven Prayers God Always Says No To

*Welcome NewAdvent readers!*

I recently heard of a book written by Anthony DeStefano called Ten Prayers God Always Says Yes To. Now, I've never read the book, and this post isn't a book review - the title ought to be a dead giveaway.

But it got me thinking - are there prayers God always says no to?

Well, this is AoftheA - of course there are! There are at least seven.







I'm sure there are more...