Tuesday, November 28, 2006

What a load of #$#@!

So you don't think the courts are out of control? Don't think this country has WAY too many lawyers? Then read this.

The Advent Police

Turn off those lights! Hide that tree! And for heaven's sake, don't use the 'C' word before the 24th of December. You will celebrate Advent, whether you enjoy it or not. The Advent Police have spoken!

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

Quote of the Week

'I-Told-You-So' has a brother. His name is 'Shut-The-Hell-Up'.
--Montgomery Burns, The Simpsons

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Media hungry priest strikes again

Here is a link to an article about the Our Lady of Fatima Conference my parish hosted.

I told you he was my animated alter ego

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!

Personality Test Results

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Animaniacs - Hot, Bothered, and Bedeviled

Birretta pop to Dymphna's Well

As I go down in history

Zuchetto spin to The Crescat

Father Erik --


Extremely extreme!

'How will you be defined in the dictionary?' at QuizGalaxy.com

How true! How true!

The great success of the Spirit of Vatican II in France

From The Washington Times

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

Another good quote

Kathy of Relapsed Catholic speaking of the left-wing Catholic rag she used to work for:

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

Quote of the Week

From a comment on Off The Record:

It all goes to prove that "dialogue" is a process wherein one compromises one's beliefs.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

TV priests gone bad

A priest friend of mine forward me a post by a priest friend of his on the fall of some TV priests. Interesting reading and presented well. Have a look here.

A victory for the seamless garment!

...unfortunately, it is a condom.

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.