Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Happy Belated Birthday to Kaiser Wilhelm II

January the 27th is the Kaiser's Birthday!

Charlie the Unicorn...

continues his path of destruction. Here is another video. (No it's not Charlie, but it will warp your brain too.)

What the Caveman is really doing

The Orthometer's favorite Papist from the Neolithic Era hasn't been posting much for the last couple of weeks. The official claim is that it is due to a life-threatening illness averted by prayer and some slick surgery which ruined CC's career as a male model.

I don't buy this story for a minute. It is a cover from some top secret ecclesiastical black ops. No one knows for certain what this retired drill sergeant is up to. Could it be training the Vatican's new Liturgical Rescue Team? (A crack force of clerical commandos with a mission to enforce rubrics and eliminate felt and burlap.) Could it be preparation for a role as a deep cover mole at the Anaheim Religious Education Conference? (Even now the Caveman could be undergoing intensive training in liturgical dance.) My personal bet is that he is part of an episcopal re-education team. (Wrong thinking bishops are given the opportunity for a little 'vacation' --no sleep, EWTN, and John Wayne movies.) The sad thing is that we will likely never know the truth!

(Seriously, say a prayer for the Caveman's recovery and that the slacker will get off his duff and blog.)

This is my kind of TV channel

Seems that the Whapsters are proposing a new cable channel. It looks great, but where is the Sci-Fi?

Monday, January 29, 2007

The Jesus Seminar

Dr. Blosser, the P. Papist, has a new blog examining the Jesus Seminar. For those for haven't heard of the Seminar, they are usually quoted on 20/20 or the History Channel around Easter and Christmas. Their goal seems to be to take the Christ out of Jesus. Check it out.

The influence of the 'Rainbow Fish' is spreading

Most readers of the Orthometer are likely familiar with the controversy over Ministry to Gays in various dioceses that do not challenge them to embrace the teaching and practice of the Church but rather comfirm them in their sinful and self-destructive lifestyle. (Here is an example.) Well it seems that no place is free of this nonsense.

A friend emailed this to me:

Gay Mass planned (from the Park Record, Jan. 13, 2007)
by Jay Hamburger OF THE RECORD STAFF

A prominent Park City clergyman plans to hold a Mass for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people during the Sundance Film Festival.
Father Robert Bussen, the leader of St. Mary's Catholic Church, says Park City is ready for such a service and he intends to hold the Mass monthly after the first celebration.
"It's time. In the Catholic Church, we seem to have a huge chasm between the church offices, so to speak, and the gay sons and daughters," Bussen says.
The first Mass is scheduled on Jan. 20 at 6 p.m. in the church's Old Town chapel, 121 Park Ave. Parking is available in a lot behind the chapel.
Bussen says he is unsure how many St. Mary's parishioners are gays or lesbians but he says the sexual preferences of people in the Roman Catholic Church generally resemble those in the rest of the population. He says, though, the Catholic Church has not welcomed them.
Heterosexual people are invited to the Mass and Bussen says the celebration will be the same as a regular Mass.
Bussen says it is difficult to predict how many people will attend.
People who visit during film-festival week are well known for supporting gay rights and there is usually a bloc of movies with gay themes. The Queer Lounge, a hotspot for gays and lesbians, has drawn big crowds during the festival as well.
For more information about the Mass, call Bussen at xxx-xxxx.

Apart from wondering when they will schedule the Adultery or the Self-Abuse Mass, I don't think I can respond better than these parishioners did in a letter to the editor:

This letter is in response to Beano Solomon regarding “GLBT / Sundance Mass at St. Mary’s”. Its purpose is not to instigate a battle among the community, but to give a few words of explanation amidst a great deal of confusion.
The Catholic Church maintains that persons with a homosexual inclination must be respected and treated with sensitivity and compassion, which does not leave any room for discrimination. They have an innate human dignity as do all people, created in the image and likeness of God. Having said this however, it must be clarified that, based on the Old and New Testament tradition, as well as the natural order of creation, homosexual acts are always disordered and are never approved by the Catholic Church.
In our moral theology, all persons, regardless of their sexual orientation, are called to a pure life, and the sexual acts are reserved to the context of marital union between one man and one woman, being open to the gift of life.
The Catholic Church does not reject persons with same-sex attractions, but offers love, help and support through a very powerful and highly effective ministry called Courage. Both those who minister and those who seek help are called to holiness and close relationship with God, which leads them to self-mastery and inner freedom. The organization’s website: www.couragerc.net, in addition to offering a great deal of useful information, provides many powerful testimonies of people who were helped by this organization.

Forgive me if I do not shed tears over this man's death.

Fr. Robert Drinan SJ died at the age of 86. But I will shed tears for his life. Here is a man of obvious intelligence and skill. I also have to believe that he embraced the teachings of the Church at some time in his life. Yet, somewhere along the way he rejected the clear teachings of the Church in favor of the ideology of American Secular Liberalism. Instead of using his position in Congress to advance the Gospel, he became a pro-abortion, left-wing shill and he continued in this role for the rest of his life. He has much to answer for. I also shed tears for the fact that his superiors in the Jesuits did NOTHING to stop his dissent. (Not to mention the bishops who continued to grant him faculties in their dioceses.) I will pray for the man. He needs prayers; lots of prayers. I only hope they are able to do him some good.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

And the winner of the millstone hung round the neck award is....

Sister Frances Dominica. (Zuccetto Spin to Pro Ecclesia for this story from the UK Telegraph)

A young disabled man who receives care for his life-limiting illness at a hospice run by a nun spoke yesterday of his decision to use a prostitute to experience sex before he dies.
Sister Frances Dominica gave her support to 22-year-old Nick Wallis, who was born with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Sufferers usually die by their thirties. Mr Wallis told staff at the Douglas House hospice in Oxford that he wanted to experience sexual intercourse. He explained that he had hoped to form an intimate and loving relationship with a woman, but his disability had acted as a barrier. He told The Daily Telegraph: "It was a decision two years in the making and I discussed it with my carers and my parents. Telling my mother and father was the hardest part, but in the end they gave me their support. "There are many aspects of life that an able-bodied person takes for granted but from which I am excluded.
"I had hoped to form a relationship when I went to university, but it didn't happen. I had to recognise that if was to experience sex I would have to pay for it out of my savings. My mind was made up before I discussed it with anyone else." The hospice staff, after taking advice from a solicitor, the clergy and health care professionals, decided to help him. "I found an advert from a sex worker in a magazine for the disabled," said Mr Wallis. "The initial contact was by email and then by phone." It was arranged for the prostitute to visit his home in Northampton. "My parents went out," he said. "It was not emotionally fulfilling, but the lady was very pleasant and very understanding. I do not know whether I would do it again. I would much rather find a girlfriend, but I have to be realistic." Mr Wallis has decided to talk in public about his decision as part of the BBC documentary series about life inside Douglas House and its associated hospice for children, Helen House. "I have done so in order that people may understand the issues that face people in my situation. I suppose some people may be judgmental." He said he did not discuss his decision directly with Sister Frances, who founded the two hospices. "But I know she gave me her support." Sister Frances described Mr Wallis as "delightful, intelligent and aware young man". "I know that some people will say 'You are a Christian foundation. What are you thinking about?'. But we are here for all faiths and none," she said. "It is not our job to make moral decisions for our guests. We came to the conclusion that it was our duty of care to support Nick emotionally and to help ensure his physical safety."

"Whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me; but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea." Matt 18: 5-6

On the Resurrifix

In the comment section of my post welcoming the Dominican Spuds to the Orthometric Blog Roll, Michael asked the following about the Resurrifix:

I agree that some of the "reforms" of the past four decades are in fact dangerous and threaten to damage the Faith; but as long as the corpus is not in a blasphemous or sacrilegious position (inverted or face down, for example) I fail to see how His portrayal on the cross is one of them. (I have similar comments for those with an aversion to prayers in Latin, by the way.) Enlighten me?

I promised that I would explain. It has taken a bit due to a very busy week (no, not with World of Warcraft). Anyway, here it is.

During and even prior to the 1960s there was a tendency to replace crucifixes with crosses with figures of the Risen Christ or simple figures of the Risen Christ. Often times people were told that this change was mandated by the reforms of the Second Vatican Council. They were told that we are a 'Resurrection People" or that we needed to move away from 'morbid medieval spirituality'. This trend continued through the 1980s when it began to change due to more orthodox trends in Catholic theology and liturgy. (The Council said nothing about jettisoning the crucifix.) Finally, the latest General Instruction of the Roman Missal decreed that every church was to have a cross in the sanctuary with a figure of the crucified Lord upon it--in other words, a crucifix. In seems that Rome has notice the 'resurrifix' fad and rejected it.

Michael rightly asks what is so important about this? I would point out several factors.

The first is theological and biblical. We are saved from our sins not by the Resurrection but by the Crucifixion of Our Lord. I am not preaching a Good Friday without Easter Sunday, but the Crucifixion is the Sacrifice by which we are saved, by which the world, the flesh, and the devil are defeated. At the Mass, we stand not at the empty tomb, but at the Cross. It is the Sacrifice which is made present to us. St. Paul tells us to glory not in the Resurrection of the Lord but in His Cross (Galatians 6). Also, nowhere in Sacred Scripture are we told to take up our resurrection daily and follow after the Lord. Instead, we are told to take up our crosses.

The second is psychological. The 'resurrifix' speaks of an attitude which seeks to paper over human suffering and the mystery of suffering within our Faith. It can be an expression of the trivial "The Mass is a party" attitude still all too common.

The third and last is iconographic. Prior to the late 1950s, one never found a resurrifx. It was completely alien to Catholic iconography. One did find a preference for bare cross among the Protestant. Was the Risen Christ portrayed? Certainly, but usually as the Pantocrator of Byzantine art not as a half-naked 'Superman'. Innovations, particularly those that express shaky theology, should be avoided.

What is the solution? Get rid of the things. If the are of artist and iconographic merit, move them to somewhere else in the church. But the sanctuary and processional crosses should be crucifixes.

Roe v. Wade Anniversary Homily

(A word of explanation; ordinarily I do not write my homilies out. I preach from an outline so that if I loose my train of thought, I can quickly find my place again, but I am not limited by a formal script. However, I have had several requests for last weekend’s homily/sermon on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.)

One of my favorite things about being a Catholic is that we have saints. Not only do they pray for us, but their lives give us examples of how to follow Our Lord in very concrete situations. There are saints for every situation and every state of life.

Each year as this weekend approaches, I turn in prayer and thought to one of my favorite of the new saints, actually a blessed, Clemens August Graf von Galen. (Isn’t that a wonderful, German name?) Blessed Clemens was the Bishop of Munster in Germany during the time of Hitler. He had the nickname of “The Lion of Munster”. What do lions do? They roar. Blessed Clemens roared against the injustices perpetrated by the government of his own, beloved country. He was a patriot, but this did not stop him from denouncing the evils of the Nazi regime; against the Jews, against the handicapped, and against the sick. He did not shrink from doing so even though by doing so he took his own life in his hands. I pray that I will have the courage to be like Blessed Clemens.

Thirty-four years ago this Monday, the Supreme Court declared that there is a constitutional right to abortion. They did so based on specious reasoning and bad legal thought. (I have some homework for you. Look in the constitution. Nowhere will you find abortion even mentioned.) Sadly, this decision was authored by a judge who claimed to be Catholic. Since then, tens of millions of human beings, innocent babies, have been slaughtered in their mothers’ wombs. (I use the word slaughter advisedly. We would not tolerate being done to animals what is done to these children. They are scalded to death with saline or chopped up alive!) Innocent human lives are lost because of lies and the cowardice of people who know that abortion is wrong but do nothing to stop it.

I hope that everyone here knows that abortion is directly and always repugnant to the teachings of the Catholic Faith and has always been so. Abortion is not a new thing. It was practiced by the Greeks, Romans, and even the Egyptians. The Fathers of the Church always condemned abortion as gravely sinful. Our Faith teaches that a baby is human from the very moment of conception and that innocent human life may never be directly and deliberately taken. Abortion is murder and it is intrinsically evil. We as Christians cannot have any part in moral evil. We cannot do it ourselves, nor can we stand by and tolerate others doing it. This is particularly the case when the victim is an innocent incapable of defending himself. We are required to fight and struggle against this evil.

I know there are some who do not want to hear this. Some do not like hearing about unpleasant things. But, pretending unpleasant things do not exist only allows them to flourish. It definitely does not make them go away. Some have been misinformed about Catholic teaching in the past. That the Church’s teaching on this is somehow less than clear or certain. This teaching is unequivocal. Some do not want to ‘impose our religious beliefs on others.’ But we do this with many things; murder, theft, and the sanctity of marriage. And not only is this based on religious belief, but it is also found in the natural law. Most sadly, some have deliberately chosen values and beliefs that are contrary to the Gospel. They say, “I know what the Church teachings, but my ideology is more important and it takes precedent over the Gospel.” We cannot be like this! We must accept the teachings of the Church wholeheartedly and completely.

We cannot simply wail and wring our hands over this issue. We must do something. It is corrupting our society. It began with artificial contraception which led to abortion. Abortion has brought us to the point where we farm human beings for embryonic stem cell research and kill the sick and handicapped. Designer babies are around the corner. Some there will be no human dignity, no human rights. We must do something.

What then are we to do? First, we need to pray and do penance both in reparation for the sins of our country regarding innocent human life and also for the conversion of those who are pro-abortion. Conversions are possibly. Conversions have been remarkable. Norma McCorvey, Jane Roe, worked many years in abortion clinics. Yet, through the prayerful witness of Christians and other people of good will, she is now a pro-life, believing Catholic. Second, every Catholic need to learn what the Church teaches about the sanctity of innocent human life and why She teaches it. We need to learn this so we can speak intelligently on this issue at home, work, school, or even socially. We need to learn this so we are not silent in the face of so much pro-abortion propaganda. Lastly, we need to work politically to change our country’s policy. It has been through politics that we have been stuck with this abomination and it is partially through politics that it will be changed. Like it or not, it is through political means that things happen in our country; by elections; by voting for candidates and politically parties who support our position on the sanctity of innocent human life. Unfortunately, there are some candidate and some parties that are directly opposed to the Church’s infallible and certain teaching on this issue. We cannot vote for these people regardless of their stand on other issues. Nothing is more important than the right to life, not the economy, not national defense, nothing! If you are dead, nothing else matters.

On this sad anniversary, we call these things to mind. We turn to the Lord of Life, Our Savior Jesus Christ. We beg for His grace and His strength to eliminate the scourge of abortion.

Monday, January 22, 2007

OK, this IS more twisted!

The artist must have been singing "A Touching Place" while assembling this!

(Zuccetto Spin to The Curt Jester for pointing out what was originally posted at Upper Canada Catholic.)

The most twisted thing I have seen in a long time

Zuccetto Spin to The Crescat

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Observation on Roe v. Wade

A parishioner emailed me the following:

The next time you have a homily about Roe v. Wade and pro-abortionists, maybe you could mention that they claimed the right to abortion would help prevent child abuse. Everything I've read indicates that the incidence of child abuse has risen significantly since Roe v. Wade. It seems to me that the decision to make abortion legal brought about an increasing indifference to the value of children, born or unborn. If you can kill them before birth then apparently it doesn't matter if you abuse and/or kill them after they are born.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Blessed Clemens von Galen pray for me!

I am preaching about the anniversary of Roe v. Wade and abortion this weekend. I am praying that the Lion of Munster will help my words have their desired effect.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


A lesson in Latin courtesy of Monty Python's Life of Brian.

(Warning: Some rough language.)

Monday, January 15, 2007

Wow! I wish I wrote this!

Take a look at this inter-linear commentary on an article regarding Collaborative-Uber-Servant-Leader Trautperson's Chicken Little Impression concerning the new translation of the Mass into English.

I am in awe of Dr. Esolen's prose, wit, and razor-like insight.

(Zuccetto spin to Dad29)

The Orthometer Blogroll welcomes...

our friends from 'The Great Spud North', 'Empire of Zion, Northern Annex", and "Home of the Utah Lottery" Dominican Idaho. Not only has Mark been helpful in fixing code on this blog, but he has some good posts on the Ressurifix (aka Airplane or Superman Jesus). (I have had the pleasure of retiring 2 altar and 2 processional ressurifixes. So if you like them, better hope I am never your pastor.)


Does anyone have a link to or know where I can find the "Epitaph for a Social Worker"? I believe it is in something by C. S. Lewis, but am not sure.

On funerals

Seems like I created a mini-firestorm with my post on the Dies Irae. So, let me throw some Napalm on the fire and talk about funerals in general.

In regards to funerals we ought to do two things. First and foremost, we pray for the deceased. This logically implies that they may need our prayers and that our prayers can do good for the departed. Can you say Purgatory boys and girls? I knew you could. As a religious service, a funeral is meaningless without this prayer. If the deceased is certainly in heaven, lets skip the Mass and have a big party. None of us can know where they are. We hope they are in Heaven or at least Purgatory. In any case, we need to pray for them. It is part of our duty as Christians to pray for the dead.

Second, we need to reflect upon a Christian understanding of death. Death is not the end. The deceased does not 'just live on in our memories.' When they die, they go to the Lord Jesus to be judged. The outcome of this judgement cannot be taken for granted. If the person died outside of a state of grace, they will go to Hell. If they died with attachment to sin, they will go to Purgatory and then to Heaven. We can help these souls to heaven through our prayers and penances. We also reflect upon the glory which is heaven and the Resurrection and our hope for these things for the deceased and ourselves. To leave out any of these elements is to distort Christian belief. Christians neither despair (there is the possibility that even the most harden sinner repented) nor have unrestrained certainty (Universalism and 'Once Saved, Always Saved' are heresies.)

Funerals are NOT celebrations of the life of the deceased. (They can rightly be seen partly as celebrations of what Jesus had done in the life of the deceased. Liturgies are primarily about God, not about us.)

In my never to be humble opinion, the following ought to be done to restore the true nature of the Catholic funeral. Restore prayers, readings, and songs that reflect the entirety of the Christian mystery of death--the four last things. Bring back the Dies Irae and the Libera Me, Domine to provide balance. (The fundamental flaw with the current right is that it makes it possible to gloss over 'the unpleasant things.') Enforce the prohibition on eulogies. (This does not mean that you cannot mention the deceased or their life. But the focus needs to be on what God does, not what they did.) Ban speaking in memory of the deceased at vigils, rosaries, and Mass. Sharing memories is a good thing to do, but not as part of the church services. (This is especially important here in Utah. Mormon funerals consist a variety of talks about the deceased: usually canonizations and 'bearing of testimonies'. The later consists in a talk about why the speaker knows the Mormon Church to be the 'one, true church.' Too many times, Catholics will imitate their neighbors regarding the canonizations and Mormons will abuse our hospitality with the testimonies. After the second and last time the later happen to me, I informed the Mormon elder that I would be at his ward the next Sunday to lead the Rosary.) Lastly, ditch the white vestments at funerals. The do not symbolize hope, but rather presumption. Black may be too solemn and down for some, so I am willing to compromise with Violet, which symbolizes prayer for the dead nicely.

Today is NOT the Feast Day of St. Martin Luther King

A several years ago, a priest in a neighboring parish turned the Sunday Mass into the 'Feast of St. Martin Luther King'. Prayers were offered and the pulpit was turned over to the pro-abortion, Episcopalian president of the local college. (She happened to be a Black woman.) A friend of mine from that parish asked me tongue and cheek if I had celebrate this feast in my parish. When I said no, she asked why not. I replied that last time I checked, he was not a saint and we only honor saints and the beatified liturgically.

Please do not get me wrong. Every American, regardless of race, owes a profound debt of gratitude to Dr. King for his Civil Rights work. But this does not mean he was a saint. His personal life was far from saintly. Congress has legislated a federal holiday. (I think we have too many holidays already. But, I probably think this because I don't get to enjoy any of them.) There is a tendency to popularly canonize cultural heroes, both worthy and less so. (Don't get me started on Princess Diana.) We should and must only honor liturgically those whom the Church holds up to us.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Thoughts while driving

So, as I was driving down to Salt Lake for my day off. As I drove past a McDonald's, I noticed that the flag was flying at half staff. I thought to my self, "Oh my! Has Bill Clinton died?"

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Put down the white out and step away from the Requiem

While browsing the Wikipedia article on my favorite hymn, Dies Irae, I found this quote from Bugnini's book on the 'Reform' of the Roman Liturgy justifying its removal and the restructuring of the Requiem Mass.

They got rid of texts that smacked of a negative spirituality inherited from the Middle Ages. Thus they removed such familiar and even beloved texts as the Libera me, Domine, the Dies Iræ, and others that overemphasized judgment, fear, and despair. These they replaced with texts urging Christian hope and giving more effective expression to faith in the resurrection.

What an arrogant load of bunk! What they smacked of is 'Fear of the Lord' and a healthy appreciate of the Last Things. Instead, we are stuck with 'Masses of the Resurrection' (which never existed) and eulogies that canonize the departed instead of praying for them.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

New hymn of the week

Found on the 74th comment on Fr. Z's post mentioned in my preceeding post:

“Father, Turn East!”(Sung to the tune of ‘People Look East,’ French Trad.)
1. People look East! A man sits there.

Tabernacles were located where
Tables were made, gradines were blunted,
Christ our Lord off to the side was shunted.
People look East at mass today;
See the fashions of the day.

2. When you pray, reach your hands aloft!
Seems God’s arms aren’t long e-noff!!
Pop music’s nice in any weather;
Chant is good, but our sound-system is better.
Liturgies change each day or two,
That’s the fruit of Vatican II.

3. Father turn East, you’ll miss the spate
Of the faithful who come to mass late.
Send a mes-sage to those who back-slide,
Dir-rec-tion-al-ly show to them your back-side.
Turn to the East, as if to say
“Sixties’ laxity’s passing away!”

4. Turn to the East! The time has come;
Put “Lay Ministers” under your thumb!
Prayerful intents beat fascination
With so-called active participation!
Father turn East at mass today.
Versus Populum’s clearly passe!!

Father, why don't you....

Faithful readers, as well as those who know me non-cybernetically, ought to have figured out that I am of a Traditionalist mindset. (My standard response to, "Father, you are soooo pre-Vatican II!" is to say, "No, I am pre-Trent." Not exactly true, but it gets the point across.) I try to do things according to Canon Law and the rubrics. Still, for some we are not traditional enough. "Father, why do you have altar girls? Why don't you say Mass in Latin? Why don't we have a Communion Rail? etc....)

Fr. Z has a good explanation.

Cellphone karma

More thoughts on Capital Punishment

The Roving Medievalist last week posted A Rant on Capital Punishment. While I don't agree with him on several points, I do think that any Catholic who is pro-Capital Punishment needs to take seriously what RM has to say. Particularly, his point about people who seem to be. "Republicans before they are Catholics." If someone says to themselves, "I am X (Republican, Democrat, American, etc....) before I am Catholic. I will judge the teachings of the Church based on X," then they have BIG problems. The Catholic Faith comes first, last, and always. (An example of such dissent would be William F. Buckley's Mater Si. Magister Non, in which he dissented from Bl. John XXIII's teachings because they didn't jibe with his conservative views.)

Now on another point. The subject of Papal Infallibility is a very complex one. But suffice it to say that it does not extend to prudential judgments. John Paul II may well have been in error when he claimed that modern penal science made the death penalty no longer necessary as a protective measure for society. Saying this is not rejecting Church teaching or attacking Papal authority. And Benedict XVI used Capital Punishment as an example of where one could disagree and remain a good Catholic.

The principal problem I have with saying that the Catholic Church rejects the death penalty is that if it were true it would mark a departure from historical church teaching. Founded in Sacred Scripture, the Church has always taught that the state has the right (but not the obligation) to execute criminals in accord with just laws. Not just as a protective measure, but as a matter of justice. (Because John Smith murdered Bob Jones, his action merits the punishment of death.) The state may and perhaps ought to choose for whatever reason not to exercise this right, but one cannot accuse it of violating the laws of God if it does. It is simply wrong to say that, "Because you are a Catholic, you must oppose the death penalty." You may but you do not have to.

Now on to the arguments against the Death Penalty. I do not think that one can oppose it on the basis of a consistent ethic of life. Innocent human life is sacrosanct. Criminal guilt can forfeit that right. I do not see how support for the Death Penalty weakens the case against abortion in any meaningful way. I do not think one can argue either for or against it on the grounds of deterrent. You can find studies that go either way on this. Plus, to argue for someone's death based on its influence on others smack of treating a human being as a thing not a person. The only anti-Death Penalty argue that really gives me pause is the fact that the poor, men, and members of minority groups are more likely to be executed than rich white women. But as the moral maxim reads, "The abuse does not negate the use."

Please feel free to express your reasoned agreement or disagreement in the comment box.

Cellphone karma 2

Monday, January 08, 2007

And I missed him....

I was introduced to a woman today. She is of no particular religion. Her husband is a non-practicing Catholic. They have a young daughter. She was talking to a parishioner of mine about remedying the lack of religion in her family. What brought this about? It seems that a Mormon friend told her daughter that, "The devil is in that church." What church you may ask? My church, St. James Catholic in Ogden, Utah. And here I missed him.

A new high/low in ugly churches

Take a look at this post by Argent, unless you have eaten in the last hour.

Catholic Alphabet Meme

I saw this over at Happy Catholic. I wasn't tagged, but I want to do it anyway.

[A is for apparitions - your favorite]: Fatima (I like my apparitions detailed and approved.)

[B is for Bible - the one you read most often]: Ignatius Bible

[C is for Charism - the one you would most like to have]: Luminousity (It would make hearing Confessions easier).

[D is for Doctor of the Church - your favorite]: St. Athanasius the Great, Defender of the Divinity of Christ.

[E is for Essential Prayer - What's yours?]: Bless us Oh Lord and these Thy gifts which we are about to receive through Thy bounty through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

[F is for Favorite Hymn]: Dies Irae.

[G is for Gospel - your favorite author?]: John.

[H is for Holy Communion - How would you describe it, using one word?]: Umm, Communion.

[I is for Inspiration - When do you feel most inspired by God?]: Saying Mass

[J is for Jesus - When did you first meet Him?]: I can't remember. It seems like I have always known him.

[K is for Kindness - Which saint or person has most inspired you by their kindness?]: St. Maximillian Kolbe.

[L is for liturgical year - your favorite time in the liturgical cycle?]: Lent

[M is for Mary, the Mother of God - Your favorite term of endearment for her]: Our Lady

[N is for New Testament - Your favorite passage]: Galatians 6:14, 17 -- But far be it from me to glory except in the cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Henceforth let no man trouble me; for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.

[O is for Old Testament - Your favorite Book here]: Malachi.

[P is for Psalms - your favorite]: No doubt about it ... Psalm 130 (and 144).

[Q is for quote - saint quote]: St. Francis, "Preach always. When necessary use words."

[R is for rosary - your favorite mysteries]: Sorrowful.

[S is for Saint - the one you turn to in time of need - not including the Blessed Virgin Mary]: St. Michael, St. Athanasius, and St. Anthony of Padua.

[T is for Tradition - your favorite Catholic tradition]: Prayer to the saints.

[U is for university - Which Catholic University have you attended or are currently attending?]: Marquette, Mt. Angel Seminary.

[V is for Virtue - the one you wish you had]: Hope.

[W is for Way of the Cross - Which station can you most relate to?]: Don't have a special one.

[X is for Xaverian Brothers - Do you know who they are?]: No.

[Y is for your favorite Catholic musician]: Palestrina.

[Z is for Zeal for the faith]: Yes.

Ok time for revenge: I tag the Catholic Caveman. And The Crescat (tired of the tags yet?)

LOTR Horoscope

Weird Al and Lord of the Rings!

Weird Al - Virus Alert

Al's take on the omnipresent virus alert spam.

Creepiest Music Video Ever

But I like it anyway.

A New Bishop

I woke up this morning and found that I have a new bishop (This is my guess/translation):

Il Santo Padre Benedetto XVI ha nominato Vescovo di Salt Lake City (U.S.A.) S.E. Mons. John Charles Wester, finora Vescovo titolare di Lamiggiga ed Ausiliare dell’arcidiocesi di San Francisco.

The Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI has nominated as Bishop of Salt Lake City, His Excellency John Charles Wester, previously Titular Bishop of Lamiaggia and Auxiliary of the Archdiocese of San Francisco.

S.E. Mons. John Charles Wester

His Excellency Monsignor John Charles Wester

S.E. Mons. John Charles Wester è nato a San Francisco il 5 novembre 1950. Ha frequentato le scuole elementari in parrocchia e poi il "Saint Joseph’s High School Seminary" dell’arcidiocesi. Nel 1972 ha terminato gli studi filosofici al "Saint Joseph’s College Seminary". Ha quindi frequentato la teologia al "Saint Patrick’s Seminary" a Menlo Park, California.

His Excellency Monsignor John Charles Wester was born in San Francisco on 5 November 1950. He attended a parochial elementary school and "Saint Joseph's High School Seminary" of the Archdiocese. In 1972 he finished philosophical studies at "Saint Joseph's College Seminary." He studied theology at "Saint Patrick's Seminary" in Menlo Park, California.

È stato ordinato sacerdote per l’arcidiocesi di San Francisco il 15 maggio 1976. Già sacerdote, e senza interrompere il ministero pastorale, ha conseguito un "Master’s Degree" in spiritualità all’Università di San Francisco e uno in "Pastoral Counseling" al "Holy Name College" di Oakland, California. Dopo l’ordinazione ha ricoperto i seguenti incarichi, tutti nellarcidiocesi di San Francisco: vice-Parroco della "Saint Raphael’s Parish", San Rafael (1976-1979); Amministratore e insegnante al "Marin Catholic High School" (1979-1986); Assistente al Sovrintendente delle Scuole Cattoliche (1986-1988); Assistente amministrativo dell’Arcivescovo (1988-1993); Parroco della "Saint Stephen’s Parish", San Francisco (1993-1997); Vicario per il Clero dell’arcidiocesi (dal 1997 al presente).

He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of San Francisco on 15 May 1976. As a priest, while engaging in pastoral ministry, he received a Master's Degree in Spirituality from the University of San Francisco and another in Pastoral Counseling from Holy Names College in Oakland, CA. Since ordination he has held the following post in the archdiocese: parochial vicar of St. Raphael Parish, San Rafael (1976-1979); Administrator and Instructor at Marin Catholic High School (1979-1986), Assistant Superintendent of Catholic Schools (1986-1988); Administrative Assistant of the Archbishop (1988-1993); Pastor of St. Stephen's Parish, San Francisco (1993-1997); Vicar for Clergy (1997-present).

Il 30 giugno 1998, è stato eletto Vescovo titolare di Lamiggiga e consacrato il 18 settembre dello stesso anno come Vescovo Ausiliare dell’arcidiocesi di San Francisco in California, della quale è stato Amministratore Apostolico quando è rimasta vacante.

On 30 June 1998, he has named Titular Bishop of Lamiggia and consecrated on 18 September 1998 as Auxiliary Bishop of San Francisco, of which see he was Apostolic Administrator during the vacancy of said see.

Nella conferenza episcopale degli Stati Uniti svolge i seguenti incarichi: consultore per la commissione sulla migrazione; membro della commissione per le vocazioni; consultore del comitato per il dialogo interreligioso.

He has the following positions in the USCCB: consultor on the Immigration Committee, member of the Vocation Committee; consultor of the Commitee for Inter-religious Dialogue.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Bizarre and Useless Fact

The Diocese of Brooklyn has a chaplain for the sanitation department.

Yeah it is propaganda, but it is funny, well made propaganda

Yeah, it is promoting tofu and organic, hippie food. But it is funny and very well made.

(Zuccheto Spin to The Whapanators)

Happy Feast of Divine Revelation

This weekend we celebrate the Solemnity of the Epiphany. By happy coincidence, the vigil Mass falls on the traditional date of this feast. (No, this is not another rant on the moving of holy days. Scroll down to "What the #$#^ were they thinking?" for that.) I don't think most people appreciate just how profound and important this celebration is.

Most people think of the Magi when they think of Epiphany and well they should. But, there is a deeper reality that this event points to. The collect of the day reads, "Father, You revealed Your Son to the nations by the guidance of a star. Lead us to Your glory in heaven by the light of faith." The preface reads in part, "Today You revealed in Christ Your eternal plan of salvation and showed Him as the light of all peoples. Now that His glory has shone among us You have renewed humanity in His immortal image." And the Communicantes of the Roman Canon for Epiphany read, "In union with the whole Church we celebrate that day when Your only Son, sharing Your eternal glory, showed Himself in a human body." On Epiphany we celebrate the definitive 'showing', or revelation, of God to man in the person of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

This is a topic near and dear to my heart. I came from a religion where revelation was not finally. At any moment, a new revelation could come along and change any or everything. But it is not that way for Orthodox believers. "In many various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets; but in these last days He has spoken to us by a Son, whom He appointed heir to all things, through whom also He created the ages. He reflects the glory of God and bears the very stamp of His nature, upholding the universe by His word of power." (Heb. 1 1-3) In the person of Jesus, God shows the entire world, Jew and Gentile, who He is, who we are, and how we may get to Him. Jesus did not come only to die for us, but also to show us God in His own person. (The Second Vatican Council teaches on this in a beautiful, profound was in Dei Verbum.) This revelation is complete, final, and prefect. Nothing may be added or subtracted from it. This revelation is entrusted to Holy Mother Church and she guards it and passing it on the each generation of believers.

This is why heresy is such a pernicious sin. It pretends to alter or correct the perfect revelation of Christ. Whenever someone dissents from the Faith, subtracts from , adds to, or changes Sacred Scripture, they distort the true image of Christ which He gives to us through the Church. Often times to the extent that they create 'Another Christ' through 'Another Gospel'. (This is why Mormonism is not Christianity.) As for me, I want to know the Real Jesus. The one who lived and is present to us in and through the Church He founded while He was on Earth.

And so today, we celebrate the beginning of this prefect showing of God to the world. Therefore, let us pray for the grace to show what has been shown to us to the world.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Alternative History

President Gerald Ford died last week. He was characterized as a decent man. Other than his being wishy washy on abortion, I would have to agree. (I even had to play him in my 5th grade Presidents' Day pageant.) The one thing I can't seem to forgive him for is losing to Jimmy 'Lust-in-my-heart' Carter. Not only did we have to put up with his incompetence for four years, but we have also had to endure his self-anointed foreign policy junkets. A case could be made that these have damaged our country almost as much as his presidency.

Likely, things would have been better with four more years of Ford. He was not nearly as naive as Carter when it came to foreign policy. But, we also have to face facts. Ford was a Rockefeller Republican: he liked big government and was socially liberal.

Let's suppose a different course. What if Ronald Reagan had received the Republican nomination? I think it is safe, considering how close the Ford-Carter election was, to believe that Reagan would have won. I can't imagine Reagan pulling the rug out from under the Shah. 30 years without rogue Iran, now there is a thought. The rebuilding of the military would have started four years sooner. I doubt the Sandinista would have been allowed to taken over Nicaragua. It also would have been far less likely that the Soviets would have invaded Afghanistan. Communism would have fallen sooner. On the domestic front, just imagine not having to deal with Carter appointed federal judges. This would have been excellent news for the pro-life cause. Dismantling the Great Society earlier would also have been good. The best thing would have been Jimmy Carter going back to Plains, Georgia to farm peanuts.

Another question that would need to be answered is: Would Reagan's agenda have gone as far as it did if it had not been preceded by the failure of the Carter presidency?

Monday, January 01, 2007

Too good to stay in the comments

Fr. Tim Finnigan posted the following in the comment box on the Liturgical Double-Dipping Post:

I heard once of a young priest who rang up his former Pastor, disguised his voice, and asked "What time is Midnight Mass?" to which he got the answer "What time is Midnight in your part of the world." He followed up by asking if there were any other "services" because he and his friends wanted to go to a party and they wanted to do a bit of Church as well. Cruel!


What the #$% were they thinking?

Today, January 1st, is the Solemnity of The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God. It is the fundamental Marian feast day. It is one of the holy days of obligation in the Universal Church. It should be observed as a holy day of obligation in the Church in the United States. (Remember, there is no such thing as the American Catholic Church.) But it isn't this year because it falls on a Monday.

Well you may ask how did such a thing come to pass. For several decades the liturginazis have been waging war on holy days of Obligation. (There are even some that want to remove or transfer the Sunday obligation.) About 10 years ago, they managed to persuade to bishop's conference to allow provinces to move Ascension Thursday to Sunday. (STUPID, A-HISTORICAL MOVE #1.) At the same time they decreed that if certain holy days fell on a Saturday or a Monday then they wouldn't be obligatory. (I think they must have read a Weekly World News story about people who go to Mass two day in a row bursting into flame -- Spontaneous Ecclesial Combustion.) Heaven forbid that people have to go to Mass two days in a row; o the horror! I suspect that the real reason was whiny priests complaining about the burden of celebrating all those Masses. The effect is yet more people being confused about the Holy Days. And in my diocese, add the fact that our former bishop would automatically dispense with the January 1st obligation when it fell on a day it should be observed. I once heard this justified by the fact that many people just don't go. Can't let the little darlings sin can we? So we remove the obligation. Heck, lets just get rid of the 10 commandment while we are at it, then there wont be any sins at all. (I actually heard of a nun during the felt banner CCD years saying that if the kids weren't taught the commandments, they wouldn't sin.)

As I have commented before, this is yet another step on the road to the marginalization of Catholic religious practice. It began with Saturday night fulfilling the Sunday Obligation. It continued with the abrogation of the Lenten fast, meatless Fridays, ember and rogation days. And now it is the Holy Days of Obligation. Unless it is stopped and reversed it will end with religious practice safely in the closet.

Well, not having a mitre and crosier, I can't do much about this. But in my parish we observe the holy day Mass schedule regardless of the day it falls on.