Saturday, December 30, 2006
Your Favorite Film? The Exorcist (1973) I was 8 when this came out and the radio commercial scared the #$#& out of me. Most people focus on the special effects or the more lurid elements, but it is the story and the acting that have me watching it again and again. Max von Sydow is excellent as Father Merrin. The story is a great rumination on the nature of evil and faith, or the lack thereof. The re-cut issued for the 20th anniversary was a distinct improvement especially in restoring an important conversation between the two priests. (Funny Exorcist Story: The first time I saw this move was when it played on network TV for the first time in 1980. The local then CBS affiliate is owned by the Mormon Church and they wouldn't air it until 10:30 pm. Two hours to watch the movie and then another two to be able to get to sleep--It was 2:30 am before I could get to sleep. The next day just about every kid at my junior high was a walking zombie due to sleep deprivation.) The only one of its sequels that came close was the original version of the prequel Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist (2005). (I have also read that the original cut of The Exorcist III (1990) was worthwhile, but it isn't available.)
Your Favorite Film Priest? No, it is not Father Merrin. (He is a close second along with Father Chisholm from The Keys to the Kingdom (1944)). It is Father Peter Lonergan from The Quiet Man (1952). Ably played by Ward Bond, this priest is a man of faith who is also a man's man. (Unlike the all too frequent characterization of priests as ineffectual milquetoasts.) My favorite line of his is when he responds to Danaher's threat to join the Church of Ireland with, "As if they'd have you!"
Your Favorite Film Nun? I would have to agree with The Caveman and say Deborah Kerr in Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (1957). Her grace and faith remind me of the best religious sister I have known.
Extra Credit (Not in the Meme, but what they heck):
Favorite Older B-Movie? The Omega Man (1971) Charlton Heston! Gun! Mutants! It has it all. It fueled my childhood LaMOE (Last Man on Earth) fantasies and I have a framed, original poster!
Favorite Newer B-Movie? Army of Darkness (1992) The king of the Bs Bruce Campbell! Chainsaws! Deadites! And the best collection of movie one liners every! (Surpassing even Die Hard). "Now listen up, you primitive screwheads. See this? This... is my boomstick! The 12-gauge double-barreled Remington. S-Mart's top of the line. You can find this in the sporting goods department. That's right, this sweet baby was made in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Retails for about $109.95. It's got a walnut stock, cobalt blue steel, and a hair trigger. That's right. Shop smart. Shop S-Mart. You *got* that?" It is just plain groovy!
I tag: The Crescat, Paul the Regular Guy, and TO of LAMland.
It is tragic that a human being could commit acts so evil that the proper response is to take his life. He terrorized his own people for over 30 years with murder and torture. He started two wars of aggression. He funded and supported terrorist organizations. (And he gave that ass Ramsey Clark a bully pulpit as his defense attorney.) The only way one could say that his death sentence is unjust is to say that all death sentences are unjust.
This is precisely what some within the Church are saying, even the Pope himself. But is this the teaching of the Church? No, the Church has always taught that the state has the right to execute criminals in accord with just laws. In the latest edition of the Catechism, John Paul II tried to limit this to only those cases where it was absolutely necessary to protect society. (On this basis alone, one can make a good case that Saddam was a threat as long as he was living.) However, there are good arguments that this is not infallible or even authoritative teaching. Even if it is, the prudential decision that in modern society with our great prisons, the death penalty is not necessary is shaky to say the least. The imprisoned are still dangerous to other prisoners and the guards and there is always the possibility of escape. But, I think we need to remember that punishment is, well, punishment. Its primary purpose is retributive justice not rehabilitation. Punishment restores the order of nature and some crimes are so heinous that death is the proper response.
I admit I am not disinterested in this subject. When I was younger, the son of a friend of my mother's was the victim of a serial killer. This boy that I remember as a nice, friendly little kind was kidnapped and tortured to death. He was one of five victims. His killer merited his punishment.
Not very forgiving are you Father? I have prayed and will pray for this man and Saddam. (Though Saddam's last words don't give me much hope for his repentance.) I hope and pray that they asked for and received God's mercy. But this does not mean that traditional justice ought not to have been done.
Saturday, December 23, 2006
This shouldn't be a problem this year. Our old phone system was dying. We replaced it with a new one. When I go to bed all I have to do is press a button and it goes to the automated attendant before it rings. (Don't worry. There is an emergency option on the menu that will ring into the rectory.)
I still pick up the phone though during the day. And I am dreading the question, "What time is Midnight Mass?" I know. It isn't a stupid question. There are a lot of slackers out there who have moved it to a time earlier in the evening. Fr. Stephanos has even pointed out that the Latin rubrics state that it is a Mass during the Night. However, the common understanding of Midnight Mass is Mass at midnight. So in my opinion, Midnight Mass should be at Midnight. End of story.
And no, Sunday morning Mass does not count for for Christmas and Christmas Eve Mass does not count for Sunday. As I told the folks last weekend, "NO LITURGICAL DOUBLE DIPPING!"
(See Jimmy Akin's post on this.)
A Christmas Story (1983) Good thing TBS plays it for 24 hours straight.
Christmas Vacation (1989) So many good scenes. Can't pick a favorite.
A Christmas Carol (1984) George C. Scott as Scrooge and The Equalizer as the Ghost of Christmas Present. The most faithful adaptation.
Scrooge (1951) Another good adaptation.
Die Hard (1988) Well, it does take place during Christmas.
And in deference to opinions expressed in the combox:
Elf (2003) Will Ferrell's best movie. (Though I did like Zoolander.)
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
John Wilkes Booth (1838-1865) "Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?"
Ezra Taft Benson (1899-1994) Agriculture Secretary under Eisenhower, President of the Mormon Church, and noted anti-Communist.
Fay Wray (1907-2004) Actress and girlfriend of King Kong.
Heinrich the Fowler (876-936) Holy Roman Emperor.
St. Mathilda of Ringelheim (895-968) Wife of the above and saint.
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Being a priest is a lot like being a teacher. If a bug is out there, odds are that you are going get it. Personally, I blame Communion under both species from the Chalice. At my last parish, the year I gave Communion by intinction was the first in a long a time that I didn't get sick at all during the winter.
Which brings me to 'The Worst Christmas Ever'. At about 10:00 PM on Christmas Eve, I came down with rip-roaring case of gastrointestinal flu. I tried to make it through Midnight Mass, but only made it through the Gospel. I skipped right to the Consecration, directed the Extraordinary Ministers to give out Holy Communion, and ran for the restroom. It was not a fun night. At about 4:00 AM, as I was stretched out on the nice, cool bathroom floor, my prayer was, "Oh Lord, please just let me die now." I did recover enough by the morning to do the Christmas Day Mass, though with ALL the optional parts left out. And later in the day the nice lady from across the street brought me a ton of the world's best chicken soup.
End of ramble.
Saturday, December 09, 2006
1) Schizophrenia - Do You Hear What I Hear, the Voices, the Voices?
2) Amnesia - I Don't Remember If I'll Be Home for Christmas
3) Narcissistic - Hark the Herald Angels Sing About Me
4) Manic - Deck The Halls and Walls and House and Lawn and Streets and Stores and Office and Town and Cars and Buses and Trucks and Trees and Fire Hydrants and...........
5) Multiple Personality Disorder - We Three Queens Disoriented Are
6) Paranoid - Santa Claus Is Coming to Get Us
7) Borderline Personality Disorder - You Better Watch Out, You Better Not Shout, I'm Gonna Cry, and I'll Not Tell You Why
8) Full Personality Disorder - Thoughts of Roasting You On an Open Fire
9) Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells
10) Agoraphobia - I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day But Wouldn't Leave My House
11) Senile Dementia - Walking In a Winter Wonderland Miles from My House in My Slippers and Robe
12) Oppositional Defiant Disorder - I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus So I Burned Down the House
13) Social Anxiety Disorder - Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas While I Sit Here and Hyperventilate
14) Attention Deficit Disorder - We Wish You......Hey Look!! It's Snowing!!!
Friday, December 08, 2006
I was in Denver last weekend baptizing the youngest daughter of my friends Dave and Stephanie (the parents of my senior godson Matthew). When I got home and opened the door, I came face to face with THIS! At least, it wasn't in the church.
Today is the 41st Anniversary of my dad's death. Dad was born in American Fork, Utah and grew up in Cedar City, Utah. He attended the University of Utah and graduated in 1964 with a degree in accounting. He joined the Marine Corp. He received his commission through OCS. Originally, he was to have been posted to Hawaii, but was instead shipped to Vietnam in May 1965. He was an artillery officer and headed a forward observer detachment. He was killed in combat in Operation Harvest Moon when the South Vietnamese Ranger Battalion he was attached to were overrun by the Viet Cong. Only one of dad's men survived. The other two were found the next year in a mass grave with executed South Vietnamese civilians. Dad's body was recovered in 1974.
I love you, Dad. I am proud of your service to our country and to the people of Vietnam.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Which makes me think, perhaps the CDW should set up a Black Ops Division. I'm imagining black-cassocked priests in mirror-shades swarming over a 1970s-style church. And then the bullhorn sounds: "STEP BACK FROM THE TAMBOURINE AND COME OUT WITH YOUR HANDS UP! WE HAVE YOU SURROUNDED AND AUTHORIZED TO USE THE THURIBLE IF YOU DO NOT COMPLY!"
Saturday, December 02, 2006
The sign of peace was present in some form during the worship of the early church. But, for some reason it was reduced to a pro forma 'Pax vobiscom. Et cum spirtu tuo.' Some see clericalism as being the reason for this. I suspect it was the things I cite above. I wish that the powers that be, before they 'restore' things to the Mass, would consider the possibility that there may have been very good reasons for their suppression. (See widespread Communion under both species and Communion in the hand for other examples.) Romanticism for past practices untempered by a healthy skepticism can do a lot of damage.
Add to this the possibility that it may be optional. This is the opinion of several respectable authorities. Reasonable interpretations of the rubrics admit this. The rubrics themselves are vague. Either the invitation to the sign of peace is optional or the whole thing is. The later seems the more likely; that whole exchange is optional. Until this is clarified by the competent authority, Rome, this is a legitimate interpretation. Its inclusion depends on whether the Celebrant considers it 'opportune'.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Like many annoying things, there is a center of truth in this. Advent is a separate liturgical season that prepares us for the celebration of Christmas. It should be celebrated with its own hymns and liturgical color (NO, not blue. Don't even get me started on that nonsense. I have personally supervised the demise of two sets of blue advent vestments.) Yes, it is annoying that the secular cultural believes Christmas starts before Halloween and ends on the 26th of December. (That is if Christmas isn't neutered into 'White Holidays'. Hanukkah is no problem, but Kwanzaa is made up BS and I will recognize a Muslim winter holyday when there is a creche in Mecca.) But these defects are not solved by becoming Advent Grinches.
My first year at the Sem, the 'liturgical coordinator' aka THE ICE QUEEN (a plain clothes nun who had taken a fourth vow to fashion) persuaded the Rector to ban Christmas parties, Christmas lights, and Christmas decorations. Instead we were given Jesse Trees which remained undecorated. All of this during the days leading up to finals and during an especially dreary Oregon winter. I have never seen so many depressed people in one place. I even know of a priest who in the name of Advent berated parishioners who had lights on their house. (All he succeeded in doing was ensuring that there would be more lights the following year.)
So, what is my solution? Celebrate Advent liturgically keeping in mind that it is supposed to call to mind and prepare for Christmas. Remind people that Christmas doesn't end until Epiphany. I tell my parishioners that I have no problem with lights and decorations during Advent as long as Baby Jesus isn't in the creche and they stay up until Epiphany.
Saturday, November 25, 2006
Monday, November 20, 2006
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Saturday, November 18, 2006
|Which South Park kid are you most like? |
You are just plain evil and heartless. Though you're sly, and you come up with brilliant schemes, you're pretty dumb and close minded. Other people hate you... #$%#* them!
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Birretta pop to Dymphna's Well
IVRY-SUR-SEINE, France -- Decked out in Sunday finery, the chattering line stretches out the door and up a gritty block of warehouses and homes in this working-class Paris suburb. Inside, the congregation at Impact Christian Center sways and chants to gospel music as the first morning service rolls on, way behind schedule. It is hard to believe that this outburst of religious joy is taking place in France, the most staunchly secular nation of an increasingly secular Europe. Yet even as Christians are fleeing mainstream churches across the region, evangelical Christianity is booming thanks most recently to flourishing migrant churches like Impact Christian. France alone has witnessed an eightfold increase in evangelical Christians over the past half-century, from 50,000 to 400,000 today. Those numbers are small in absolute terms. Indeed, evangelicals represent less than 2 percent of the European population. But their influence is growing, as Roman Catholic and traditional Protestant churches increasingly borrow from their hands-on and inclusive doctrine. Perhaps most significantly, the evangelicals attest that spirituality is not dying out in Europe. "Non-belief, doubt and secularization continue to progress, but increasingly we're witnessing a spiritual turning in recent years," said Christopher Sinclair, a professor at the University of Strasbourg who specializes in evangelical movements. "What's striking about the evangelical movement is that it's growing. You can see this throughout Europe. It's answering a spiritual need," Mr. Sinclair said. As it grows, Europe's evangelical movement is developing a sharply different face than its American counterpart. In France and elsewhere in Europe, evangelicals have largely stayed on the sidelines of political battles -- partly because many believe in the separation of church and state, partly because they remain divided on a number of key issues. "We evangelicals in France are a minority among a Protestant minority," said Etienne Lhermenault, general secretary of the Federation of Evangelical Baptist Churches of France. "So we have a minority mentality. Our American evangelical friends have a majority mentality, even if they're not exactly the majority." European churches are embracing Asian, Caribbean and African preachers such as French-Congolese twin brothers, Yvan and Yves Castanou, who run an organization called Impact. "The church is here to solve all problems -- family issues, financial issues, all different kinds of issues, not just spiritual issues. And that's what really makes a difference," said 35-year-old Yves Castanou, as he paused from greeting a stream of worshippers one recent Sunday inside Impact's threadbare community center. For Ivorian Blaise Ezoua, the Sunday services are worth a 30-mile roundtrip drive each week to the suburban Paris church. "What touches me is the warmth and fraternal community among brothers and sisters here," said the stocky computer technician. "We have brothers from Central Africa. We have brothers from China. We get people from everywhere. Brothers from France are also joining." French skepticism of evangelical Christians, if not downright hostility, is fueled by myriad factors, from suspicions that churches are tainted by American influence to fears they provide platforms for bogus pastors. Even evangelical leaders warn that African-style prosperity churches, which emphasize financial success, are flourishing around Paris. "There's a huge increase in these large churches in the poorest areas," said Majagira Bulangalire, president of the Community of Churches of African Expression in France, a network partly created to fight against scam churches. "They're the biggest swindlers. They can cause a lot of harm to the poor population that flocks to them." Wariness of evangelicals also lingers in the French government, which has a special interministerial committee to fight questionable sects of all types. In some areas, evangelical preachers say they have a hard time getting permits to build new houses of worship, a complaint shared by their Muslim counterparts. In the Paris suburb of Montreuil, suspicions flared into a full-blown confrontation two years ago, when the town's Socialist mayor closed services one Sunday at several evangelical immigrant churches. Relationships between churches and local officials are better elsewhere. In Ivry, the Castanou brothers say Impact is now an accepted town fixture. Moreover, the churches are increasingly gaining acceptance from another quarter -- mainstream Christian churches, which are adopting some evangelical trappings. "For many years, the French Protestant movement was a bit scornful of the evangelical movement," said Jean-Arnold de Clermont, head of the French Protestant Federation. "We thought their theology wasn't very solid, that we were more intelligent. Now, we realize these evangelical churches not only have intellectuals, but they're more emotive, more spiritual. It's in our interest to learn from each other."
From this you can see why the French bishops are so concerned about the prospect of a universal indult. It might de-rail their astonishingly successful effort to re-evangelize French society. (Sarcasm mode off.)
Thursday, November 16, 2006
The paper was committed to "social justice". As it dawned on me that the true definition of "Social justice" is "the endless concoction by incompetent people of unworkable solutions to imaginary problems", I left the paper behind. Now everyone else has, too.
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Thursday, November 09, 2006
It has taken me a few days to collect my thoughts concerning the election. Last week we had the holy days, First Friday, the Our Lady of Fatima Conference, the clothing of a secular Carmelite, and I had to bury my senior deacon on Tuesday. To say I am tired is an understatement. But here goes.
To say I am disappointed is an understatement. The Republican Congress has certainly had its faults over the last few years, but they were nothing compared to those under the long reign of the Democrats. Barney Frank anyone? And the Republicans actually dealt with theirs. How anyone can expect it to be better under Pelosi and Reid is beyond me.
The prospects for social conservatism have gotten dim. Anyone think a Sam Alito will get past Ted Kennedy as chair of the judiciary committee. This is to say nothing of other federal appointments. Embryonic stem cell research, federal gay rights legislation, higher taxes, more useless federal social program are all in the works. We can only hope that the President will sharpen his veto pen. Iraq isn't Vietnam II now but it will be if the Demos have their way.
What bothers me the most is our Church in the United States helped bring this about. The Seamless Garment types in chanceries helped to confuse milk-toast prudential judgments of USCCB bureaucrats with the Church's real moral teachings. Even if the Iraq war is wrong (which I do not believe) it pales in comparison with the Democrat sponsored holocaust of abortion. (Yes, I know there are pro-abortion Republicans, but at least the party is pro-life and pro-life causes have fared well under the current administration.) I hope the are pleased with themselves. The sad thing is that they are. What are a few babies compared to a higher minimum wage and single payer health care?
Well there is the rant. Likely, it won't be that bad. Let us pray that the President will hold firm and that the Republican Party will return to the principles of Ronald Reagan.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Friday, October 27, 2006
The Pope took a couple of days off to visit the mountains of Alaska for some sight-seeing. He was cruising along the campground in the Pope Mobile when there was a frantic commotion just at the edge of the woods. A helpless Democrat, wearing sandals, shorts, a "Save the Whales" hat, and a "To Hell with Bush" T-shirt, was screaming while struggling frantically, thrashing around trying to free himself from the grasp of a 10-foot grizzly. As the Pope watched horrified, a group of Republican loggers came racing up. One quickly fired a .44-magnum into the bear's chest. The other two reached up and pulled the bleeding, semiconscious Democrat from the bear's grasp. Then using long clubs, the three loggers finished off the bear and two of them threw it onto the bed of their truck while the other tenderly placed the injured Democrat in the back seat. As they prepared to leave, the Pope summoned them to come over. "I give you my blessing for your brave actions," he told them. "I heard there was a bitter hatred between Republican loggers and Democratic Environmental activists but now I've seen with my own eyes that this is not true."As the Pope drove off, one of the loggers asked his buddies "Who was that guy?" "It was the Pope," another replied. "He's in direct contact with heaven and has access to all wisdom.""Well," the logger said, "he may have access to all wisdom but he sure as Hell doesn't know anything about bear hunting! By the way, is the bait holding up, or do we need to go back to Massachusetts and grab another one?"
Monday, October 23, 2006
Now the most important reason: Which of the 7 kings is most known, loved and respected in today's generation? If Satan would want to lead the world into imposing universal laws for exalting his false Sabbath (Sunday), who would be the most effective personality other than John Paul II? Who would be more effective than him who called on Christians to "ensure that civil legislation respects their duty to keep Sunday holy…refraining from work and activities which are incompatible with the sanctification of the Lord's Day." [Apostolic Letter, Des Domini of John Paul II, dated May 31, 1998]? Again, no one is better suited for carrying the agenda of Satan than John Paul II. Hence, impersonating him makes the most sense for Satan, who is intent on deceiving the whole world.
Yup, promoting Sunday, that is the devil's work alright.
Sunday, October 22, 2006
Friday, October 20, 2006
Thursday, October 19, 2006
St. Joan of Arc is a joyful Christian community which celebrates the loving Word of God in worship and in action. We transcend traditional boundaries and draw those who seek spiritual growth and social justice.
We welcome diverse ideas and encourage reflection on the message of the Gospel. We are committed to the equality of all our members and strive to ensure their full participation through liturgy, education, and service. By these means we seek to empower all who come to grow in wisdom and bring to reality the promise of Christ.
(Just imagine how many man, oops I mean person, hours were wasted coming up with this. As Christians we have marching order given to us by the Lord Himself.
Then Jesus approached and said to them, "All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age." Mt. 28: 11-13
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
So far it has been suggested that these be burnt. Myself, I am leaning toward a little skeet practice.
The following is a statement released yesterday by Marie Roberts, widow of Charles Roberts, the gunman who committed the Amish school shooting that left five girls dead and five more wounded:
From the Roberts family:To our Amish friends, neighbors, and local community:Our family wants each of you to know that we are overwhelmed by the forgiveness, grace, and mercy that you’ve extended to us. Your love for our family has helped to provide the healing we so desperately need. The prayers, flowers, cards, and gifts you’ve given have touched our hearts in a way no words can describe. Your compassion has reached beyond our family, beyond our community, and is changing our world, and for this we sincerely thank you. Please know that our hearts have been broken by all that has happened. We are filled with sorrow for all of our Amish neighbors whom we have loved and continue to love. We know that there are many hard days ahead for all the families who lost loved ones, and so we will continue to put our hope and trust in God of all comfort, as we all seek to rebuild our lives.
Monday, October 16, 2006
Saturday, October 14, 2006
Knaves: Jimmy Carter, who has obviously never heard of Neville Chamberlain.
Writing in the New York Times on Wednesday, Mr. Carter blamed North Korea's recent nuclear test on ... name calling. After four paragraphs of telling readers how he single-handedly stopped Kim Jong-il's quest for the bomb, the former peanut farmer said, "But beginning in 2002, the United States branded North Korea as part of an axis of evil." Since then, he goes on to write, it's been all downhill. Leaving aside the fact that Mr. Carter's 1994 trip to North Korea proved an unmitigated disaster, his suggestion that current Dear Leader Kim Jong-il was somehow a swell, trustworthy kind of guy before President Bush put his police state in the "axis of evil" category is laughable. Mr. Carter apparently misses the fact that the reason Mr. Kim appeared to be playing nice was because he was dealing with a U.S. administration that desperately wanted to believe him. Once Mr. Bush took office, however, Mr. Kim changed his approach: openly declaring that he is producing nuclear weapons in an effort to blackmail the international community. Mr. Carter's obliviousness brings to mind Neville Chamberlain's infamous claim of "peace in our time." For once again confirming the good judgement of Americans who turned him out of office in a 44-state landslide, Mr. Carter is the Knave of the week.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Last week as we were celebrating the Memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels, I started to think about several things. First, some people name their guardian angels. Second, a friend once told me that one of the Father, I can't remember which, held that at ordination a priest received a second guardian angel.
Stay with me on this, if the second point were true, wouldn't a man who is ordained a bishop receive a third one? In light of the first point, this means I could then name my guardian angels Moe, Larry, and Curly.
(Don't you just love sinus medicine?)
Saturday, October 07, 2006
Friday, October 06, 2006
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Monday, October 02, 2006
Wednesday Update: The convocation is remarkably jargon free so far expect for the above which come from questions and comments of my diocesan brothers.
In the comments, several people have asked whats wrong with one or more of these words. These words in themselves are not bad, it is how they are used to advance particular agendas that I find repugnant. For example, community can just describe a group of people or it can stress the human reality of the Church to the exclusion of the more important religious reality. (Also, note the fact that any parish that refers to itself as a 'Catholic Community' is usually a heretical hotbed.)
Sunday, October 01, 2006
Saturday, September 30, 2006
Friday, September 29, 2006
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
What I find more interesting is that he was appointed Archbishop at the age of 39 by Pope Paul VI in 1969. This was part of an effort to 'decolonialize' the hierarchy in newly independent nations by appointing native bishops. At this time, many very young bishops were named, such as Cardinal Arinze. The track record for what have been called 'Baby Bishops' has not been that great. While there have been shining lights like Pope John Paul II, there have been nut-jobs like Milingo. In our own country, think of Sanchez of Santa Fe or Clark of Rochester. 'Baby Bishops' are simply not a know quantity: they have not been tested over time. Also, if a they turn out to be lemons, we are stuck with them for a long time. Ironically, the late Pope John Paul II is quoted as having said, "No more baby bishops! I want bishops to have had their midlife crisises before they are ordained!"
The weak point in selecting bishops is how the names of potential candidates get to Rome. Much depends on the Nuncio and his staff. Look what happened in the US when Jadot was the delegate: lots of wacky, liberal bishops. But the greater problems is that the names of potential candidates are almost exclusively submitted by the bishops themselves. This is a sure way to continue the current bureaucratic episcopal culture and will mitigate against true reform of the Church in America. Nor does it help that Roman education seems to be more and more a requirement. Remember that it is the bishops who determine which students go to Rome.
What is the solution? A good start would be for the Nuncio to bypass the bishops in searching for candidates. He should get out of DC and meet the clergy and not just of the major dioceses. This should also apply to Auxiliary Bishops. It would be a good thing to appoint them from outside of the diocese in which they are to serve. This would be a good way to shake up ingrown clerical culture.
Monday, September 25, 2006
Sunday, September 24, 2006
Friday, September 22, 2006
Thursday, September 21, 2006
Previously, I stated my opinion about Pope Benedict's words on Islam. And I will say it again, both he and the emperor he quoted were right. Disagree? Then read some good history on the growth of Islam. (Also, contrast it with the growth of Christianity, especially in the New World where it coincided with conquest.) We have been far too fuzzy and tentative regarding Islam for far too long. The words of the Holy Father were a breath of fresh air. I just hope they don't get stifled by the typical curial wimpiness.
What troubles me is the reaction to the Holy Father. I don't mean the Islamic reaction. Their average reaction was easy enough to predict. They can spout all sort of hate towards Christians and Jews but heaven forbid the rot in their own history is pointed out. Nor do I mean the reaction of the secular media. As they believe in nothing and reject the concept of objective truth, they are simply incapable of understanding the Gospel.
What disturbs me is the reaction of some believers. Of course, there are the anti-Benedict types who say, "See I told you so. He is soooo divisive." (Guess what, so was Jesus.) I thank God that Arch. Fitzgerald wasn't on hand to undercut the Holy Father's words to a greater degree than they already were. But of more concern to me is the opinion that we shouldn't say anything that might offend someone. The truth is more important than any one's sensibilities.
Sunday, September 17, 2006
Saturday, September 16, 2006
Pope Benedict, quoting the leader of a Christian nation that bore the brunt of Islamic military expansion pointed this out. And how is the Islamic world responding? (Click here.) Seems to me that they are only proving the Holy Father's point.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Monday, September 11, 2006
Rev. Erik J. Richtsteig, pastor of St. James Catholic Church in Ogden, says the U.S. had every right to strike back after it was attacked on Sept. 11. "If someone is pulling a gun out of their holster, you don't wait for them to pull the trigger before you do something about it." Richtsteig said he is proud of the way the U.S. has executed the war, using proportional force and trying to keep the violence away from civilians. "There hasn't been a terrorist attack in the United States [since Sept. 11] and they've stopped several."
Click here for the complete article.
Sunday, September 10, 2006
Posted: Monday September 11th 2006 12:04am
Source: MGM Films
Author: Garth Franklin
MGM has acquired all North American rights to Rescue Dawn, the survival story of Dieter Dengler, an American pilot shot down in Viet Cong territory, written and directed by Werner Herzog and starring Christian Bale, it was announced today by the company's COO Rick Sands. The film, which was produced by Gibraltar Entertainment in association with Thema Production, is scheduled for a theatrical run in December, 2006.Based on the true story of an American pilot, Dieter Dengler (Christian Bale) is shot down during a top-secret mission to destroy Viet Cong strongholds in Laos at the beginning of the Vietnam War. Taken hostage, he endures unimaginable conditions at the hands of cruel captors in a makeshift POW camp. Dengler's iron will to survive guides him and fellow prisoners in a meticulously-planned, death-defying escape, only to discover the harsh realities of an unforgiving jungle beyond the camp's walls. Steve Zahn and Jeremy Davies costar in this unforgettable story of one man's determination and unrelenting pursuit of freedom."We're very excited to be working with Herzog," said Sands. "He is a legendary director, and he and Bale have brought this incredible and compelling story to the screen in a raw and emotional film."Rescue Dawn is produced by Steve Marlton, Elton Brand and Harry Knapp, executive produced by Jimmy de Brabant, Michael Dounaev, Kami Nagdi, Elie Samaha, Gerald Green, Nick Raslin and Freddy Braidy, and associate produced by Adam W. Rosen and Robyn Klein, with cinematography by Peter Zietlinger, editing by Joe Bini, and original musical by Klaus Badelt.The deal was negotiated by Scott Packman and Ayano Ichida at MGM, and Adam W. Rosen of Rosen Feig Golland & Lunn represented the filmmakers in the sale.
(From Dark Horizons)
Thursday, September 07, 2006
One should always be very suspicious when people alter language to promote their ideology. George Orwell rightly observed in 1984 that language can be used to manipulate thought. Note what the pro-abortion types are doing with their 'pro-choice'/'anti-choice' campaign.
This reminds me of an incident at the seminary. (Disclaimer: Things have changed markedly for the better there.) One of the monks, who taught us modern Church history and was parochial vicar in the town parish, was the principal celebrant and homlist at the seminary Mass. Fr. Emmanuel was always worth listening too. After Mass, the plain clothes sister who directed liturgy for the seminary confronted Father in the sacristy. "Father, here in the crypt chapel, we use inclusive language," she said in her primly saccharine way. Father Emmanuel replied, "Hmmm, Sister you may have a point. Let's start with Satana, Princess of Darkness." Father never again said Mass in the seminary chapel for the remainder of my time there.
Update: More on Fr. Emmanuel
Fr. Emmanuel Clark OSB converted to the Faith. He grew up in the tavern that his parents ran. He attended the boarding high school the abbey ran until the 1960s. He received an advance degree from the University of San Francisco. (He had great stories of the wacky 60s Jesuits that were there during his time.) At one time, he was the assistant dean of the seminary. When I knew him, he was the parochial vicar of St. Mary's parish in Mt. Angel as well as a part time instructor at the seminary. He was very involved in community affairs, particularly the annual Oktoberfest. (His Bavarian hat was bronzed and is now held by a cherub in a fountain in the middle of town.) He was chaplain to the volunteer fire department. (Which is how he got away with habitually parking in the fire lane at the seminary.) He was a chain smoker. I think the only time he didn't smoke was during Mass or while sleeping. After telling an anecdote he would always say, "It's TRUE!" Father died of a heart attack during the late 90s.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Readers of this blog will know that I recently went to Oregon for a few days to pick up an icon for my new church. (As soon as the icon is mounted in the church, I will post a more detailed picture and a description.) The icon was written by Br. Claude Lane, OSB of Mt. Angel Abbey where I attended seminary.
Mt. Angel got some play in Good Bye, Good Men and I have to say that everything mentioned there was true. (I was there when most of it happened.) However, there were also some excellent teachers and priests involved in formation. The current abbot, The Right Rev. Nathan Zodrow, OSB was my formation director for two years. I was also privileged to have Fr. Jeremy Driscoll, OSB, who teaches half-time at the Gregorian and works on the Vox Clara Commission, as one of my teachers. The witness and life of the monks was always good. Even by the time GBGM came out there was a new rector and the problems mentioned had been taken care of.
I have visited several times since I graduated and have been very impressed with the progress the Seminary has made. There is a great prayerful, orthodox, and clerical spirit among the seminarians. (I had a couple come up to me and say, "Hey father, extra-points for the cassock!) Classes began while I visited and I was able to attend the Mass of the Holy Spirit. The current rector, Fr. Rick Paperini, gave an excellent homily which extolled the virtues of Frs. Michael McGivney and Vincent Capodanno. (A far cry from some of the non-sense I heard during my student days.) Later in the day, Fr. Ezechiel Lotz OSB gave an inaugural address that was very interesting.
An interesting fact about the seminary is that both the Discalced Carmelites and the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit have houses of studies there.
I have several friends in the Abbey. The Abbey itself is observant with habits being worn and the Rule of St. Benedict being taken very seriously.
If you ever have a chance to visit the Abbey and Seminary, avail yourself of it. Also, they are definitely worthy of any financial support you can give. Here is a link to their website.
Monday, September 04, 2006
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Here it is folks! The icon I went to Mt. Angel to pick up. A better picture will be posted in the next couple of days along with some interesting things about Mt. Angel Seminary and the trip.
FYI the best bumper sticker I saw on the trip was: Peace had a chance.
Update 3 September 2006 There is a very interesting conversation with a Protestant fellow in the commentary of this post. Please remember to be polite in any comments.
Saturday, August 26, 2006
NRO: Why Haven't Teachers Received Same Scrutiny As Catholic Priests?
Aug. 24, 2006
John Karr isn’t a priest. He’s a teacher. Most teachers are dedicated, hard-working people who wouldn’t dream of hurting a child. The same is true of priests. If the suspect in the 1996 murder of JonBenet Ramsey were a priest, there would be a fresh outcry about a decades-long cover-up in the Catholic Church. Commentators from Left and Right would rightly unite in decrying the crisis and the entrenched complacency that led to it. Catholic pundits would take a special relish in pointing out that they agree: The Church had better get its act together. Any institution that has allowed children to be harmed by predators deserves to be taken to task for it. No institution should get a pass. And no profession should get a pass. Not preachers, not priests — not even teachers. Especially not teachers. And yet … Consider the statistics: In accordance with a requirement of President Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act, in 2002 the Department of Education carried out a study of sexual abuse in the school system. Hofstra University researcher Charol Shakeshaft looked into the problem, and the first thing that came to her mind when Education Week reported on the study were the daily headlines about the Catholic Church. “[T]hink the Catholic Church has a problem?” she said. “The physical sexual abuse of students in schools is likely more than 100 times the abuse by priests.” So, in order to better protect children, did media outlets start hounding the worse menace of the school systems, with headlines about a “Nationwide Teacher Molestation Cover-up” and by asking “Are Ed Schools Producing Pedophiles?” No, they didn’t. That treatment was reserved for the Catholic Church, while the greater problem in the schools was ignored altogether. As the National Catholic Register’s reporter Wayne Laugesen points out, the federal report said 422,000 California public-school students would be victims before graduation — a number that dwarfs the state’s entire Catholic-school enrollment of 143,000. Yet, during the first half of 2002, the 61 largest newspapers in California ran nearly 2,000 stories about sexual abuse in Catholic institutions, mostly concerning past allegations. During the same period, those newspapers ran four stories about the federal government’s discovery of the much larger — and ongoing — abuse scandal in public schools. Perhaps John Karr will help change that. “Could JonBenet Ramsey murder suspect John Mark Karr get a job teaching in your community?” asked USA Today. Not any more, of course; but could a creepy pedophile who isn’t all over Fox News get hired? Richard Dangel, a child psychologist in Dallas, told the paper, “Only about 4% of offenders get busted,” he says. “The other 96% don’t.” Which means that background checks won’t stop the vast majority of sex offenders. A writer for The New York Times lurked online at pedophile chat rooms, and reported this summer about the chilling way pedophiles convince themselves that children want to have sex with them and insinuate themselves into the lives of children. The Times' Kurt Eichenwald explained that pedophiles often discuss their personal lives. They come from all walks of life, but they like to speak about how close their jobs take them to children. “The most frequent job mentioned, however, was schoolteacher,” he wrote. “A number of self-described teachers shared detailed observations about children in their classes, including events they considered sexual, like a second-grade boy holding his crotch during class.” The media have left many with the impression that sexual abuse is a Catholic problem — as if Catholic beliefs and customs make sex abuse inevitable. Church teaching for its part is clear: Sexual abuse of minors is always wrong. A more likely culprit would be a non-religious ambivalence about the pedophilia, as seen, for instance, in the media’s refusal to broaden its scope to include teachers when considering the issue. Professor Michael Tracey, whose e-mail correspondence with Karr helped in identifying him as a suspect, identified the real problem in an interview with the National Catholic Register. “Was JonBenet a pedophile’s dream? Clearly, clearly she was,” Tracey said. “Her death, and the whole circus surrounding it even 10 years later, has everything to do with the culture’s desire to sexualize children.” In 1992, the National Victim Center estimated that 29 percent of all forcible rapes in America were against children under age 11. More than a decade later, an estimated 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 7 boys are victims of unwanted sexual acts. The 2002 Department of Education report estimated that from 6 percent to 10 percent of all students in public schools would be victims of abuse before graduation — a staggering statistic. Yet, outside the Catholic Church, the reaction is increasingly accommodation instead of outrage. The April 17, 2002, issue of USA Today featured an article titled “Sex Between Adults and Children” — a euphemistic way of referring to child molestation. Under the headline was a ballot-like box suggesting possible opinions one might hold on the subject: “always harmful, usually harmful, sometimes harmful, rarely harmful.” The newspaper’s answer: “Child’s age and maturity make for gray areas.” And what about the popular culture? Mary Eberstadt has written at length about “Pedophilia Chic” — from Calvin Klein underwear ads to mainstream defenses of the North American Man-Boy Love Association. Hollywood’s heroic treatment of accused child molesters in “The People vs. Larry Flynt” and “Kinsey” — not to mention its Oscar for Roman Polanski — doesn’t help. It’s good that this ugly problem in the Catholic Church is being investigated, exposed, and dealt with. Now let’s expand the investigation. In the face of the evidence of a widespread epidemic of abuse fed by a new morality that winks at child molestation, why is the Church the only institution under the microscope? Right now an important story stares the media in the face with the cold intensity of teacher John Karr’s eyes. Will they cover it?
Tom Hoopes is executive editor of the National Catholic Register and, with his wife, April, is editorial director of Faith & Family magazine.
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
"Stargate: SG-1" Gets Cancelled
Posted: Tuesday August 22nd 2006 12:16am
Source: The SCI FI Channel
Author: Garth Franklin
The SCI FI Channel has confirmed that it will not renew its record-breaking original series Stargate SG-1 for another season, but will pick up its spinoff series "Stargate: Atlantis" for a fourth year. SG-1 aired its 200th episode on August 18th, and the SF series is the longest-running SF show on American television.SCI FI issued the following statement on Aug. 21: "SCI FI Channel is proud to be the network that brought Stargate SG-1 to its record-breaking 10th season. Ten seasons and 215 episodes is an astounding, Guinness World Record-setting accomplishment. Stargate is a worldwide phenomenon. Having achieved so much over the course of the past 10 years, SCI FI believes that the time is right to make this season their last on the channel. SCI FI is honored to have been part of the Stargate legacy for five years, and we look forward to continuing to explore the Stargate universe with our partners at MGM through a new season of Stargate Atlantis."Stargate SG-1, developed for television by executive producers Brad Wright and Jonathan Glassner, is based on the 1994 feature film Stargate. SG-1, which originally starred Richard Dean Anderson, Michael Shanks, Amanda Tapping and Christopher Judge, began on Showtime, then moved to SCI FI after five seasons. The current cast includes Tapping, Shanks and Judge and newcomers Ben Browder, Claudia Black and Beau Bridges. It airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
-- From Dark Horizons
Saturday, August 19, 2006
By JENNIFER DOBNER Associated Press Writer
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Calling their lives blessed, more than a dozen young women and girls from polygamist families in Utah spoke at a rally Saturday, calling for a change in state laws and the right to live the life and religion they choose.
"Because of our beliefs, many of our people have been incarcerated and had their basic human rights stripped of them, namely life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," said a 19-year-old identified only as Tyler. "I didn't come here today to ask for your permission to live my beliefs. I shouldn't have to."
Polygamy is banned in the Utah Constitution and is a felony offense. The rally was unusual because those who practice polygamy typically try to live under the radar.
It drew about 250 supporters to City Hall, said Mary Batchelor, co-founder of Principle Voices of Polygamy, which helped organize the event.
The youths, ages 10 to 20, belong to various religious sects, as well as families that practice polygamy independent of religious affiliation. They said they spoke voluntarily. They gave only their first names, saying they were protecting the privacy of their parents.
Dressed in flip-flops and blue jeans, bangs drooping over their eyes, the teens at Saturday's rally talked on cell phones and played rock music, singing lyrics written to defend their family life.
All of the speakers praised their parents and families and said their lives were absent of the abuse, neglect, forced marriages and other "horror stories" sometimes associated with polygamist communities.
Speakers said that with "dozens of siblings" and multiple "moms" they are well supported, encouraged to be educated, and can make their own choices about marriage.
"We are not brainwashed, mistreated, neglected, malnourished, illiterate, defective or dysfunctional," 17-year-old Jessica said. "My brothers and sisters are freethinking, independent people; some who have chosen this lifestyle, while others have branched out to a diversity of religions."
First brought to Utah by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1846, polygamy was abandoned by Mormons as a condition of statehood in 1890. The church now excommunicates members found to be practicing plural marriage. It also disavows those who call themselves "fundamentalist Mormons," although most Utah-based polygamists identify themselves with those terms.
Fundamentalists split with the Mormon church in the 19th century and continue to believe plural marriage is the key to eternal salvation.
(Mass will be offered for the person who gives A) The first right answer and B) The best fanciful answer.)
Update 22 August 2006 The contest is officially closed. Fr. Stephanos correctly identified the statue as being the Native American Memorial at Our Lady of the Yellow Armadillo in Los Angeles. (When I first learned what it was, I though, "Haven't we done enough to those poor people?" But when I learned that it was by an Indian artist, I realized it was retaliation.) Seriously, what business does a Pagan statue entitled "Spirit of the Earth" have in a Christian Cathedral. Jack Chick would love this!
I liked all the fanciful suggestions. But the co-winners are Paul Hofer with the 'Monster that killed Tasia Yar' suggestion (extra points because I'm a Trekkie) and Brad Haas with the 'Giant Nut Eating Woman'. Your Mass will be celebrated next Monday.
Honorable mention goes Kasia because I thought the same thing the first time I saw the real thing. And so did the other priest who was visiting with me. We had to stop at the Alhambra Carmelites Convent afterwards to purify our minds with prayer. It reminds me of the episode of Everybody Loves Raymond where Marie takes up sculpture.
Unfortunately, that is not what the liturginazis seem to think. (Just take a look at the pictures of any of the Masses from the Anaheim RE Conferences.) I still remember the icy glare I got when I told the sister who taught us 'Pastoral Liturgy' that our first concern should be to follow the rubrics.
I once thought up a Punk Rock Mass. The priest would have a Mohawk and wear torn black leather vestments. The Penitenial Rite would start, "Lord have mercy on you scumbags!" We would even have Pulpit Diving into the Congregation/Mosh Pit. Think of the possibilities with Liturgical Slam Dancing!
Anyway, click here for a very creative liturgy. (Biretta Tip to Argent.)
Friday, August 18, 2006
If that isn't enough, we found out yesterday Cindy Sheehan is coming too. Sigh, my hometown used to be such a nice place. All the granolas will be coming out of the woodwork for this one and no doubt the Diocesan paper will publish a nice fluff piece on this like they did last time.
Over at Pontifications, Fr. Joseph Freeman has a wonderful meditation entitled Everyone you meet was sent to you for your salvation. Now, if I could just figure out how those two fit in.
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Twice now, I have had people respond to comments I have made on other blogs with statements to the effect, "Oh German, you must be a Nazi." Only they couched them much more subtly. The surprising, or really not so surprising thing, is that these comments invariably come from the Left; the tolerant, accepting ones. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, several people tried and continue to try to do the same with Pope Benedict.
OK folks listen up. Prejudice is bad, mmmkay. To judge someone by anything other than their actions is stupid. Nazism was a bizarre, leftist political philosophy. It is not a genetic trait. Continue to tar a whole people with it is just wrong. It is the similar to the kind of philosophy that would label all Jews Christ-killers because of the actions of a few people around AD 33.
One of my favorite novels, The Killer Angels, has the following quote, "The thing is, you cannot judge a race. Any man who judges by the group is a pea-wit."
Monday, August 14, 2006
The worst thing about them is that they present the sexual libertine lifestyle as having no adverse consequences. If it were the real world, the cast of Will and Grace would be dying of AIDS by season 3 and wondering why 'safe sex' didn't save them. Skanks in the City would include the principle characters being repeatedly treated for STDs. Maybe there would also be a few cases of physically abusive relationship. They could even do a reunion episode with the principals bemoaning their lack of fertility due to contraceptive use and their inability to have stable relationships caused by their promiscuity. Yup, that is what we need; a little truth in broadcasting.
Saturday, August 12, 2006
Fry: Back in the 20th century we had no idea there was a university on Mars.
Professor Farnsworth: Well, in those days Mars was a dreary uninhabitable wasteland much like Utah, but unlike Utah, Mars was eventually made livable.
I am feeling old this weekend. On Saturday, I witnessed the wedding of a kid I knew during my second assignment as a priest. He was in Junior High then. Now he is studying to be a nurse and married to a nice Catholic girl.
The day I officially became an old fogey was two years ago. My church has always had problems with skateboarders. We have it posted but the little #$#*ers come here anyway and do a fair bit of damage. (Not to mention the insurance liability if one of them got hurt.) I got buzzed by the secretary on the intercom telling me they were out zipping around the property. I called the police, realizing it would do little good since they wouldn't respond in time, and then went out to tell them to get off the property. (In more civilized times, I could have taken after them with a shotgun loaded with rock salt.) There response was predictable, "We aren't hurting anything." I replied, "Yes you are. Your damaging this rails and the concrete. Besides, this is private property. I want you out of here." It quickly degenerated with one of the kids saying, "My dad's gonna talk to you." I replied, "I would LOVE to talk to your dad." They ended up leaving.
As I walked back to the Rectory, I realized I had become the old man waving his cane yelling, "Hey you punks! Get off of my lawn!"
Friday, August 11, 2006
The first thing that needs to be made clear is that diocesan priests, unlike members of religious orders, do not take vows of poverty. We can own personal property. However, considering what our salaries are, there usually isn't the opportunity to accumulate wealth. (Do not get me wrong, I think high salaries for priests is an awful idea that would lead to luxury lifestyles not in accord with our vocations.) Also, priests are not to be involved in commercial endeavors. (No selling Amway on the side.) So, he likely didn't get the cash through his salary.
How then could he have come by it? It might have been family money left to him. Or, it might have been left to him by a non-family bequest. Or, he might have invested his spare cash very well. Or, he might have won the lottery. (I have my own fantasy about that. It involves a working Civil War replica cannon.) I other words there are many ways he could have come by it in perfectly acceptable ways.
I think it is ok for a priest, or anyone for that matter, to have that kind of wealth as long as they use it well and in accord with their state of life. He certainly insured that it would be used for good purposes after his death.
Thursday, August 10, 2006
It is likely due to 1) my German ancestry 2) growing up around Marines.
Funny napalm story. When I was in high school, some friends and I discovered how to make napalm. No, I won't post how. I really don't want visits from ATF and/or Homeland Security. Suffice it to say, "Better living through chemistry." We would make a batch, put it in baggies, wrap the baggies around a M-80 with a long fuse, take it out to the desert where we wouldn't cause any fires, and have fun watching the fireballs.
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Yesterday, I snuck off to the movies in the afternoon. I saw Pirates II. It was a fun movie, but certainly darker than the first one. As I was driving home, I spied a car with a dead commie engraved on the back window. It is a good thing that I am a priest, otherwise an incident of vandalism would certainly have occurred. Window + Tire Iron = Restoration of the Order of Nature.
I don't get why people would want to have a t-shirt, let alone a rear car window, with a picture of this murderer on it. Why not have Hitler, Stalin, or even bin Ladin? They also promoted evil, anti-human ideologies, but they were more successful.
Remember, as a t-shirt I once saw said, "Commie Ain't Cool".
(On a related matter, I once stopped in a mall in Salt Lake to get lunch and ended up parking by a car with a "Meat is Murder" sticker. I ended up buying an extra burger at A&W and leaving it on his hood. I did, however, put down some napkins first.)
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Even though we are in the new church, I am still going through the sacristy of the old church. It is amazing how much crap accumulates over time.
While doing this, I found an artifact of pure liturgical evil. I don't know what it is called. I don't want to know what it is called. All I know is that it was used to inflict folk Masses on innocent people.
Speaking of things found in the sacristry, a friend of mine, while on his 'year of pastoral torture' (working for liberal pastor who was trying to drive him out of formation) found a burlap chasuble with a big yellow smiley face on it hidden in the back of the vestment rack. Also, while visiting a priest friend out of state, he showed me a chasuble that belonged to his pastor. It had multi-colored children's handprints all over it. It gave me the creeps. (It really gave me the creeps when I heard he had been dismissed for child abuse.)
Update 14 August 2006 The smiley face chasuble mentioned about was sighted in Oregon. I have another confirmed sighting of the same in the Diocese of Lincoln in the late 1980s. (It must have been left over from Bishop Casey's tenure.)
Sunday, August 06, 2006
What follows is not about Iraq.
It is about several thousand angry protestors recently besieging the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia.
It is about some Ivy League schools that want to ban ROTC from their campuses.
It is about far too many Catholic high schools refusing to let military recruiters into their buildings.
It is about …”soft pacifism.”
Recently, I took part in a colloquium sponsored jointly by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Notre Dame and Georgetown Universities, entitled, “The Ethics of War After 9/11 and Iraq.”
It was a very profitable day-long session that included several bishops as well as professionals from academia and the military. It could have been a brief discussion with all going home after voting unanimously, “War is not the answer, therefore there should be no more war.” A beautiful dream…but a dream.
Unfortunately, our world is more complicated than that, as St. Augustine realized in the 5th century. We have not realized the City of God, yet, where we can presume everyone’s goodness and the perfection of institutions. Rather we are in the City of Man where rapacious power tends to brutalize and enslave the weak. For Augustine, and for Aquinas and all mainline Christian moralists, the virtue of justice sometimes requires “benevolent severity,” the use of force to stop and/or prevent unjust aggression, whether on the street corner, in Kosovo or Kuwait.
A strong concern was voiced by several ethicists teaching on Catholic campuses: many of our ROTC members are uncertain in reconciling their Faith with their military profession. That “soft pacifism” can also be discovered in our “Catholic elite.”
The Catechism of the Catholic Church reflects on our just war tradition to state that every possible means should be employed to avoid taking up arms.
“However, as long as the danger of war persists and there is no international authority with the necessary competence and power, governments cannot be denied the right of lawful self-defense, once all peace efforts have failed” (#2308)
Such decisions are ultimately left “to the prudential judgment of those who have responsibility for the common good.” Therefore, the Catechism (and the Second Vatican Council) declares that public authority can rightly oblige its citizens to take part in national self-defense.
“Those who are sworn to serve this county in the armed forces are servants of the security and freedom of nations. They carry out their duty honorably, they truly contribute to the common good of the nation and the maintenance of peace” (CCC 2310)
The just war principle permits and limits the use of justifiable force. It needs conscientious, principled military members to interpret it and carry it out.
We should encourage our young people to see the military as a noble vocation, demanding great self-sacrifice in the service of peace.
We should esteem that service and support their sacrifice, and not fall victim to the simplistic sentiments of a “soft pacifism.”
“The doctrine that war is always a greater evil seems to imply a materialist ethic, a belief that death and pain are the greatest evils. But I do not think they are. I think the suppression of a higher religion by a lower, or even a higher secular culture by a lower, a much greater evil…. The question is whether war is the greatest evil in the world, so that any state of affairs, which might result from submission, is certainly preferable. And I do not see any really cogent argument for this view.”
“War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and held so by the exertions of better men than he.”
Of course, this set the Pax Christi bozos heads spining. Take a look at this editorial from the National Catholic Distorter.
Friday, August 04, 2006
"It is things going right," he cried, "that is poetical! Our digestions, for instance, going sacredly and silently right, that is the foundation of all poetry. Yes, the most poetical thing, more poetical than the flowers, more poetical than the stars--the most poetical thing in the world is not being sick."--The Man Who Was Thursday
Thursday, August 03, 2006
Spirit of Vatican 2 n. A fictional entity, not unlike the fellow to the left, postulated by dissenters who are upset that the real Second Vatican Council did not teach heresy. Example: "The Spirit of Vatican 2 requires that we recognize same sex marriages." See also, fallen angels.
N. B. If someone ever cites SoV2 as a reference, ignore what they are saying.
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
The only video for fans of both Star Wars and Napoleon Dynamite.
Fanboy video. Need I say more.
1. One book that changed your life. This is a hard one. I would have to say G. K. Chesterton's Orthodoxy. It placed many of my own disparate thoughts in a coherent framework.
2. One book that you have read more than once. This is easy. J. R. R. Tolkein's The Lord of the Rings. I read it at least once a year.
3. One book you'd want on a desert island. St. Augustine's City of God. It has it all; scripture, history, and philosophy. I could read it to Wilson.
4. One book that made you laugh. G. K. Chesterton's The Man Who Was Thursday.
5. One book that made you cry. Michael Shaara's The Killer Angels. This is the best war book ever. I cried at the description of Pickett's charge.
6. One book you wish had been written. The sequel to 'salem's Lot Stephen King talked about in the 80s but never wrote. (Ok, so I like pop horror.)
7. One book you wish had never been written. Karl Marx's Das Kapital. More people have been killed and suffered in the name of this #$%ed up philosophy than any other in history. Close runner up: The Koran for the same reason.
8. One book you are currently reading. Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child's The Book of the Dead. Fun, clever thriller that will keep you out of museums.
9. One book I have been meaning to read. John Paul II Memory and Identity.
10. Tag some others. The guys at Videat Dominus et Requirat, The Art of Apologetics , and Improvised .