Monday, February 26, 2007

What a load of #$#@!

and a hot, steaming pile of #$#@! to boot!

I assume most people have read or heard about the 'discovery' of the 'Tomb of Jesus, Mrs. Jesus, Jesus' Mom, and Boy Jesus'. It would be funny if it weren't a blasphemous attempt at undercutting the Christian Faith. Suffice it to say that Miriam, Yehesuha, and Joseph were very common names among the Jews.

The whole thing reminds me of this old joke: It seems two German scripture scholars were touring the Holy Land and they ran across an archaeological dig. They introduced themselves to the lead archaeologist, who, when he found out they were scripture scholars, said that they were about to open a tomb that the scholars would find particularly interesting. When they approached the door of the tomb, they saw that the inscription read: Here Lies Jesus of Nazareth. Breathlessly, they waited for the stone to be removed. Gazing inside, they saw the sarcophagus containing a skeleton. One scholar turned to the other and exclaimed, "Mein Gott! He really did exist!"

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Hey Hippy, put down the Holy Water and step away from the font!

Lent has begun. In various places, the liturgiNazis have removed holy water from church and chapel fonts. It has been replaced with rocks, twigs, cat litter, used motor oil. (OK, the last two are guesses, but I would be willing to bet it has been tried somewhere.) I had to suffer through it during my four years at the seminary. THE ICE QUEEN loved replacing the holy water with rocks and twigs. Many of us, smart-asses that we both were and are, just blessed ourselves with the rocks until the rector told us to stop.

However, in the year 2000, Rome issued this decree on the practice:

Prot. N. 569/00/L
March 14, 2000
Dear Father:
This Congregation for Divine Worship has received your letter sent by fax in which you ask whether it is in accord with liturgical law to remove the Holy Water from the fonts for the duration of the season of Lent.
This Dicastery is able to respond that the removing of Holy Water from the fonts during the season of Lent is not permitted, in particular, for two reasons:
1. The liturgical legislation in force does not foresee this innovation, which in addition to being praeter legem is contrary to a balanced understanding of the season of Lent, which though truly being a season of penance, is also a season rich in the symbolism of water and baptism, constantly evoked in liturgical texts.
2. The encouragement of the Church that the faithful avail themselves frequently of the [sic] of her sacraments and sacramentals is to be understood to apply also to the season of Lent. The "fast" and "abstinence" which the faithful embrace in this season does not extend to abstaining from the sacraments or sacramentals of the Church. The practice of the Church has been to empty the Holy Water fonts on the days of the Sacred Triduum in preparation of the blessing of the water at the Easter Vigil, and it corresponds to those days on which the Eucharist is not celebrated (i.e., Good Friday and Holy Saturday).
Hoping that this resolves the question and with every good wish and kind regard, I am,
Sincerely yours in Christ,

[signed]Mons. Mario Marini

So all you LiturgiHippies, put back the water!

Friday, February 23, 2007

One of my favorite actors

Some of Alan Rickman's best bits. (He the only thing that made Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves bearable. He is the Anti-Costner.)

Charlie der Unicorn

Courtesy of The Crescat: Charlie in German.

File under the government gets way too much of our money

Well they do if they can afford to pay for this position.

(Zuccetto spin to JB)

New bumpersticker I just ordered

Update Sunday, February 25:
In case you didn't known, this is a parody of a perennial hippy pacifist sticker which reads: It will be a great day when our schools get all the money they need and the air force has to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber....
While I agree that the ground pounders need the cash more, especially to design and procure a new infantry rifle that has better stopping power and less tendency to jam, it wouldn't make as cool a sticker.
You can order your own here.
(Oh, and if you are saying, "How could a priest have something like THAT!" they also have one that says: Shut Up Hippy! I ordered that too.)

Rumble in my mailbox

Sometimes, I marvel that my mailbox doesn't explode due to what occasionally arrives on the same day. Case in point, what happened last Tuesday. A complementary copy of Ministry & Liturgy (nee Modern Liturgy) magazine showed up. (You know it has to be crap with titles like that.) Now I would rather belt sand my face off than subscribe to this crap. Imagine every goofy liturgical idea and pictures of ugly churches, vessels, and vestments all in one place. Add to this the fact that THE ICE QUEEN (plain clothes nun instructor for pastoral liturgy) from the seminary liked it. But this wasn't the only periodical to show up. Also arriving were The National Catholic Register, The Wanderer, and The American Rifleman. I have the image of these three fine magazines cornering M&L in the mailbox and giving it a turbo atomic wedgie.

Ministry & Liturgy story: I give nicknames to ugly churches. The LA Cathedral is either the Southern California Abomination or the Yellow Armadillo. One church in Salt Lake used to be called Our Lady of the Jacuzzi, until the ugly submersion font was removed by a friend of mine. I call another church, Our Lady of Star Trek. No kidding, it used to look like a set from one of the early, 'Care Bear' seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation. (It has since been improved by a new pastor who among other improvements installed pews and removed the 'Leaking Lamb Font'. It looked like the lamb needed Depends.) This church was featured once featured on the cover of then Modern Liturgy magazine. This prompted someone to call our then diocesan liturgical director and ask, "Who do you have to sleep with to get your church on the cover of Modern Liturgy?"

Obligatory, occasional Charlie the Unicorn post

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Some Ash Wednesday fasting help

Ever notice how appealing the food commercials on TV are on days of fast and/or abstinence? In case any of you are having trouble, here is something to help curb your appetite.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Pyro Priest Strikes

Hi, my name is Father Erik and I am a pyro. I have always been a pyro, just ask my mom. From battle effects in the sandbox using gasoline and Little Green Army Men to the manufacture of napalm in high school, fire has fascinated me. (I have been fairly safe with it. The exception being 4 years ago when I burnt off an inch of hair and my eyebrows lighting a gas fireplace. Word to the wise. Light the match BEFORE you turn on the gas.)

Now I have turned my pyromania to the service of Holy Mother Church. Slacker priests buy their ashes from church good companies. (These are the same fellow who buy their altar bread from commercial enterprises instead of holy, cloistered nuns.) REAL priests make their own from last year's Passion Sunday palms. I had a lot of people turn in their old palms this year; a whole hefty bag full. I spent a good part of yesterday burning them. (Fire, heheheh, fire.) Today, I grind them up. Presto! Ashes for Ash Wednesday.

(Wait until you see the fire I have planned for the Easter Vigil!)

Monday, February 19, 2007

Photos of my church

A parishioner has taken some photos of my church. (I supervised the planning and construction.) Click here to see the photo gallery he put together.

Lots of new blogs

Today I changed over to a new Blogger Template. (Mainly so I could add my little 'I Love Me' corner with my nomination buttons.)

It ate all my Favorite Blog links. Fortunately, I had copied them to a text file just in case. Still, it took me about an hour to re-enter them all. (Which means I can have a new answer for, "What does the priest do all day?"--Swears up a blue streak while entering URLs.)

Anyway, I took the opportunity to make some additions and prune some dead links.

(I will still have to wait until Thursday to restore my hit counter. Don't ask.)

On the horizon, ROME!

I will be leading a pilgrimage to the Holy City for nine days beginning on November 26th of this year. The specifics will be posted in a few weeks in case any of you bloglodytes are interested in coming along.

More Rainbow Fish sightings

(Well, at least this time it isn't in Utah.)

Sunday, February 18, 2007

The state of emergency in Catholic liturgy

Matt Abbott has a very interesting column by a priest of the Diocese of Corpus Christi entitled, "STATE OF EMERGENCY: THE PRESENT SITUATION OF THE CATHOLIC LITURGY IN AMERICA". I recommend reading the whole thing.

It contains a heart wrenching description of the meltdown, liturgical and otherwise, of his home parish in the Diocese of Bridgeport. In a meeting with the then bishop of said diocese, the priest discussed this and other matter. Father Farfaglia offers this insight into why these goofy things happened.

Bishop Curtis died in 1997. He had attended the entire Second Vatican Council and was known as an excellent orthodox moral theologian. Why, then, did his diocese fall apart after the council? Why is the Diocese of Bridgeport, like most of the dioceses in the Northeast, still an epicenter of clergy sexual and financial scandals, parish closings, and continual bizarre liturgical abuses?Here's the answer. At the end of our meeting as we stood at the threshold of his office door, Bishop Curtis turned to me and said: "Well, Jim, I never thought that it was my place to tell my priests what to do." In December 1988, I was a newly ordained priest and still very respectful of any bishop of the Church. Today, after more than 19 years of priestly service, after having been through so many trials and tribulations, what I should have asked my home bishop was, "Well, whose place is it?"

This hits the nail right on the head. Just as we have so many problems in society because of parents trying to be friends rather than parents to their children, so in the Church we have problems with Bishops trying to be brother or companions on the way to their priests. Speaking as a priest, I can say that we have many priest brothers. We have many friends in our parishes. Priests need bishops to be spiritual fathers.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

What is a hero?

Most readers have heard about the spree killings at the Trolley Square mall in Salt Lake City. You may not have heard that the the killer was taken down by an off-duty policeman from my current home of Ogden, Utah. He is rightly being hailed as a hero, because if he had not acted, the odds are good that the fatalities would have been higher.

In light of this, I submit, for your consideration, this definition of a hero. A hero is the right man, in the right place, at the right time, who is willing to do the right thing.

Well it looks like a lot of people are going to Candy Mountain

Well, the results of the 2007 Catholic Blog Awards are in. Thanks to everyone who voted for me. When I started this, I really didn't think that anyone but a few friends who read it. But wow, last week marked 30,000 hits. (Far too many people with far too much time on their hands.) Needless to say despite all my threats and posturing, I didn't win. (And no, I won't pull an Al Gore and hire a bunch of lawyers.)

Here is how Orthometer placed. 11th place in Best Blog by Clergy/Religious/Seminarian. Fr. Z won and to be honest that is who I voted for. 17th in Best Individual Catholic Blog. This was won by Amy Welborn's Open Book which is one of my daily reads. 6th place in Best New Catholic Blog. This was won by Rorate Caeli. 30th in Best Overall Catholic Blog. The lovely Amy W won this one too. 18th in Funniest Catholic Blog. To no one's surprise, The Curt Jester won this one. This is well deserved as Jeff is responsible for more keyboards being ruined by coffee-laugh-sprays than any other site on the Net. 29th place in Smartest Catholic Blog. (Which ain't bad for a blog whose unofficial mascots are Eric Cartman and Charlie the Unicorn.) Jimmy Akin deservedly won this category.

Congratulations to all the winners. As for next year, "I'll be back!"

(Now if I can just figure out how to post the nominee sticker thingies into my blogger template.)

Thursday, February 15, 2007

It's a fact! People who don't vote for Orthometer support liturgical dance!

You aren't in favor of liturgical dance, are you?

Orthometer is up for several 2007 Catholic Blog Awards. Orthometer is in the running in the following categories: Best Blog Cleric/Religious/Seminarian, Best Individual Catholic Blog, Best New Catholic Blog, Best Overall Catholic Blog, Funniest Catholic Blog, and Smartest Catholic Blog. Click on this sentence to vote. (You will have to register. For some reason, they don't want you to be able to vote Chicago-style.)Also, check back each day during the week. I have lots of shameless election posts in the works.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A priest friend gets a new car


I bought a new 2006 Cadillac and returned to the dealer the next day complaining that I couldn't figure out how the radio worked. The salesman explained that the radio was voice activated.
"Watch this!" he said, "Nelson"!
The Radio replied, "Ricky or Willie?"
"Willie", he continued, and "On The Road Again" came from the speakers.
Then he said, "Ray Charles", and in an instant "Georgia On My Mind" replaced Willie Nelson.
I drove away happy, and for the next few days, every time I'd say,
"Beethoven," I'd get beautiful classical music, and if I said, "Beatles," I'd get one of their awesome songs.
Yesterday, a couple ran a red light, and nearly creamed my new car, but I swerved in time to avoid them. I yelled, "Jerks!". (Another word in the original.)
Immediately the French National Anthem began to play, sung by Jane Fonda and Barbara Streisand, backed up by Michael Moore and The Dixie Chicks, with John Kerry on guitar, Al Gore on drums, Dan Rather on harmonica, Nancy Pelosi on tambourine, Harry Reid on spoons, Bill Clinton on sax and Ted Kennedy on scotch.
Damn I love this car!

Bart gets married and moves to Utah

From last Sunday's Simpsons.

The Anti-Valentine's Day

Two ladies from my parish are holding their Fifth Annual Anti-Valentine's Day event. It consists of chocolate cake, alcohol, and a violent movie with a high body count and no romance.

"Hey Brain! What are we going to do tonight?

The same thing we do every night. Help Orthometer take over the world!" (Well, that's what I heard them say.)

Orthometer is up for several 2007 Catholic Blog Awards. Orthometer is in the running in the following categories: Best Blog Cleric/Religious/Seminarian, Best Individual Catholic Blog, Best New Catholic Blog, Best Overall Catholic Blog, Funniest Catholic Blog, and Smartest Catholic Blog. Click on this sentence to vote. (You will have to register. For some reason, they don't want you to be able to vote Chicago-style.)Also, check back each day during the week. I have lots of shameless election posts in the works.

Happy Valentine's Day

From Timelord companion to wife of raving atheist

A bit of trivia for you Sci-Fi fans out there. Specifically for fans of Dr. Who (or as I like to call them: Whoters.) Lalla Ward, born Lady Sarah Ward, is the daughter of the Lord Bangor. She played the second regeneration of Romana, the third major companion of the fourth regeneration of the Doctor, played by Tom Baker. (It makes sense if you have seen the show.) After they had both left the show, they were married for two years. For the last 14 years, she has been married to Dr. Richard Dawkins, biologist, university professor, raving atheist talking head, and author of the current bestseller The God Delusion.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Utah in the news

THE BAD: Last night an 18 year old man went into a mall in a trench coat and began firing at random people. After he killed five people and wounded four, he was shot and killed by the police. I am waiting for the media to begin the blame game. It is the parents fault. No, it is our violent culture. No, it is the guns. Let's get a few things straight. First, spree killings have occurred throughout history. This is nothing new. Second, there is only one person to blame for this; the gunman. Please keep the victim, their families, and yes even the gunman in your prayers.

THE GOOD: Holy crap! We now have vouchers for student attending private schools. I never thought I would live to see the day. The NEA affiliate here in the state is very powerful and has been very successful in stopping educational reform for years. This year the legislature was not cowed and the governor signed the bill. It isn't perfect. It only applies to student who are new to the system or who are now enrolled in public schools. But it is a start. Not a done deal yet, no doubt the ACLU or some like minded group will challenge the law in court.

THE ADMIRABLE: Long time readers will know that I have little use for the Mormon Church. (Heck, if I had use for it, I would be a member.) But here is a story of a Mormon Bishop (think pastor) whose wife and children were killed by a DUI driver. His forgiveness of the young man who killed his family is an example to us all.

A knock at the door

The other day my mom, who lives in Salt Lake, hears a knock at the door. When she opens it, there are two clean-cut young men in suits standing there. One of them saw in a thick, German accent, "Hello, we are the missionaries." Mom replies, "And we are the Catholics and we plan to stay that way."

I love my mom!

"Vote for Orthometer..."

or Bender might ask you to kiss something shiny and metal.

Orthometer is up for several 2007 Catholic Blog Awards. Orthometer is in the running in the following categories: Best Blog Cleric/Religious/Seminarian, Best Individual Catholic Blog, Best New Catholic Blog, Best Overall Catholic Blog, Funniest Catholic Blog, and Smartest Catholic Blog. Click on this sentence to vote. (You will have to register. For some reason, they don't want you to be able to vote Chicago-style.)

Also, check back each day during the week. I have lots of shameless election posts in the works.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Vote for Orthometer! You don't want to go to Candy Mountain do you?

The nominations have been tallied. Orthometer is in the running in the following categories: Best Blog Cleric/Religious/Seminarian, Best Individual Catholic Blog, Best New Catholic Blog, Best Overall Catholic Blog, Funniest Catholic Blog, and Smartest Catholic Blog. Click on this sentence to vote. (You will have to register. For some reason, they don't want you to be able to vote Chicago-style.)

Also, check back each day during the week. I have lots of shameless election posts in the works.

Fisking Rudy on the Second Ammendment

Giuliani says gun control helped reduce N.Y. crime

SACRAMENTO -- Rudy Giuliani addressed a potentially troublesome issue with conservative voters, saying his policies as mayor to get handguns off the street helped reduce crime in New York. "I used gun control as mayor," he said at a news conference Saturday during a swing through California. But "I understand the Second Amendment. I understand the right to bear arms."
He said what he did as mayor would have no effect on hunting.

Folks, this is what is technically referred to as being clueless. Gun control as a crime reducer has proven to be useless everywhere it has been tried. Both the United Kingdom and Australia have seen violent crime skyrocket since they have disarmed their populace. On the other hand states that have legalized the concealed carrying of firearms have seen a notable reduction in crime. Florida is a prime example. Crime was reduced in New York because Rudy supported the police in going after criminals, armed or unarmed. This is the solution to crime, not disarming the populace.

Beyond this, the Second Amendment reads, "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." I don't see anything about hunting here. (BTW, militia does not refer to the National Guard, but to the armed populace.) Mr. Mayor, what part of "shall not be infringed" do you not understand?

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Suicidal Squirrels

I finally found out why we get all the power spikes here at St. James. Running at about four to five every week, they are a real pain. I have to reset all the electronics after each strike. After enduring them for four and a half years, we contacted the power company and found out the cause--small suicidal mammals, mainly squirrels. They climb on the power lines, which is fine. But, for some reason, they then bite down on the line: bye, bye Mr. Squirrel. They power company is slowly replacing the lines with ones that are more dental resistant, but we were told that this will take a while.

But, I have to wonder, why is there this urge to self-destruction among the rodents?

Friday, February 09, 2007

My new motto

To hell with dialogue! Let's just preach the truth.

If you think Mormonism is Pro-life,

think again. See this article from This Rock.

Rainbow Fish attacks continue

Whenever I see 'Pride' in the title of an event, I know something goofy is going on. (Whether it be Gaypride, Paganpride, or Adulterypride.) Pride events almost always are about things that people ought to be ashamed of.

My first exposure, for lack of a better word, to a Pride event was in the Summer of 1988. I was working for the Salt Lake City Parks Department. The previous year the Gaypride event had left our park a shambles. (Condoms were hanging from the trees as well as other things I won't elaborate on.) So my supervisor and I were assigned to watch over the event to prevent damage to the facilities. I had already spent over a month running 'cruisers' out of the restrooms, so I wasn't too happy. Between the flag parade by the gay motorcycle club and the dancers I saw things I never wanted to see again. (Add to this the fact that I lost $15 at the Dunk-a-Dyke Booth.)

Well, it seems that Salt Lake now has a WinterPride event. And part of WinterPride is the WinterPride Interfaith Service:

WinterPride Interfaith Service

On Saturday, February 10th, 2007 at 5:00pm at the First Baptist Church of Salt Lake, faiths of various traditions are preparing this inclusive service for GLBT people, their families, friends and allies in a celebration of "whom we love, and what we believe".
This second annual service is part of the 2007 Salt Lake City WinterPride festival "10 GAY DAYS!" Feb. 9th -18th, and plays an active role in accomplishing the festival's goal of providing something for everyone.
Valerie Larabee, Executive Director of the Utah Pride Center explained, "This is just one more example of the humanity and depth of the GLBT community. This service exemplifies how our community does have values and those values are inclusive of diverse individuals and faiths."
Russ Gorringe, the event coordinator is proud to be part of such a wonderful event and thrilled with the level and diversity of the participants this year. This year's program includes:

Russ Gorringe – Reconciliation and Affirmation, Reverand Dee Bradshaw – Sacred Light of Christ Metropolitan Community Church, Maureen Duffy-Boose – Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans, Reverand Scott Weisser – First Baptist Church, Kamrin Carver – The Lavendar Tribe, Father Bob Bussen – St. Mary's Catholic Church of Park City, The Salt Lake Men's Choir, Chet Cannon – Kanzeon Zen Center, Elaine Emmi – Society of Friends (Quakers of Salt Lake City), Reverand Erin Gilmore – Holladay United Church of Christ

Does anyone think this represents the values and teachings of the Catholic Faith? Draw your own conclusions. (HT to Anonymous Tip)

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Mormons baptizing the dead

The lovely and gracious Argent point out this article, "Will Pope Benedict become a Mormon after he dies?" from South Africa's Mail & Guardian newspaper. If you responded, "What the ...?" you likely either do not live in the Empire of Zion or have not had much contact with the Mormons. Mormons believe that for a person to enter heaven they must either be baptized here on Earth while alive or by proxy after death. They spend a good deal of effort collecting the names of the dead and baptizing them. This is the purpose behind their massive genealogical effort. (This is also why it is important that we do not cooperate with them by allowing them access to church sacramental records.) Less well known, but also pointed out in the article, is the fact that they also do marriages for the dead. This is the majority of what occurs in Mormon temples in case you have ever wondered.

Not only have the Pope's been married off by proxy, but it used to be common (and still may be for all I know) for nuns to be married off as polygamous brides post mortem. There is a story which may well be apocryphal that Rose Kennedy was mighty angry when she found out that JFK had been baptized for the dead. The Mormon General Authorities then clarified that the person was free to reject it if they wished. (I rather like this idea. Then we wouldn't be saddled with JFK as the only Catholic President.)

Of course, these baptisms don't do anything. But it is an arrogant and rude practice.

I am not an ATM! I am a priest!

One of the few things I dislike about being a priest is constantly being hit up for cash. Day in and day out people calling or stop by looking for hand-outs. Some genuinely need help, but the majority are working a scam.

I didn't used to feel this way. When I was first ordained, I believed every story and was quite the patsy. Then came the man who wanted food for his children. Foolish me I gave him cash and later saw him tanking up at the liquor store. So then I would only give checks made out to a store. I received the checks back altered. I have even had people bring in forged bills. There was the gal who set up a fake landlord so that she could score some cash for a drug deal. (When she was busted she told the police that she had gotten the money from the church.) My 'favorite' is the man who called up to have me pay for a motel room two weeks in the future. Seems he was planning his vacation. I have reached the point where I don't believe anyone. This doesn't mean I won't help. I am just very, very restrictive with the church's money--no cash, no assistance with travel, no lodging.

What galls me more than anything else is the sense of entitlement.

Well here is some news. My parishioners give money to help the poor. They do not give money to pay for vacations or booze.

To paraphrase Dr. McCoy, "Dammit Jim, I'm priest, not an ATM!"

Dilbert has The Knack

Monday, February 05, 2007

Cue the Horst Wessel Leid!

I know that I am not the only one who thinks this looks like a Nuremberg Rally. A 2x4 smack to the head to whomever thought of having congregations hold their arms out like that. Another 2x4 smack to whomever thought of having a Jumbo-tron at Mass.
BTW Cardinal Mahony is going to be in SLC for the installation of our new bishop in the Cathedral of the Madeline. Gee, guess he will be able to see what a real cathedral looks like.
(Zuccetto Spin to Gerald Augustinus for the photo.)

We must stop Human-caused Global Tectonic Change now!

It is a scientific fact! The Earth's crust is moving! Continents are drifting toward and away from each other. If this planetary location change is not stopped, someday we might be next-door neighbors to France! Somewhere there is a likely a 'scientist' who thinks this is all due to the presence of human beings. (You know, "Too many humans putting pressure on the plates, yada yada yada....") We have to do our part to reduce human tectonic pressure!

Don't buy this? Think it is ludicrous to think that people can affect the motion of tectonic plates? I agree. But I think a good case can be made that all the hype about global warming uses the same kind of logic. We know that the climate has changed in the past and can infer that it will change in the future. Claims for human caused climate change are based on a less than 150 years of data (much less outside of Europe and North America). I have real problems with people claiming human caused climate shift is a fact and because it is a fact that we need to act on it. (For more, click here.)

What brought this rant on? Some 'Social-Justice-Idiot''s comment elsewhere that, " If you are truly pro life - then you embrace all of the issues that affect humanity. Such as Climate Change - after all - if we do not have a planet that humans can inhabit - then I guess the abortion issue would be solved? Correct?"

(BTW before I get flamed, a Social-Justice-Idiot is someone who distorts the Church's teaching, social or otherwise, to fit his left-wing socialist agenda. Dorthy Day was NOT a social-justice-idiot. The current Catholic Worker movement is full of them. And yes, it would be just as wrong to do it with right-wing capitalist agenda.)

Pastors rule #453a

Before the big game, never tell your congregation who you are rooting for. Otherwise, you will have to eat crow, and eat crow, and eat crow, ....

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Hypnotoad says, "Nominate Orthometer!"

It is time to submit nominations of the 2007 Catholic Blog Awards. Click here and exercise your informed and well-formed conscience!

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Little Green Army Men

The Crescat knocks another one out of the park with her Ode to the Evil Hot Wheel!
When I was little, my minions where the Little Green Army Men. These guys reigned along with Legos and GI Joes (the 12' kind) as the kings of the toy pantheon. I am sure that archaeological surveys of the places I lived at growing up would yield hundreds of these little warriors. My LGAMs attacked my mom's feet more times than I care to mention.

I am always glad when I wake up on February 3rd

and the radio is not playing Sonny and Cher singing "I got you babe".

Friday, February 02, 2007

Arrggghhhh! What is going on here?

Every year St. Catherine of Sienna Parish (which also serves as the Newman Center at the University of Utah) host the Aquinas Lecture. Under the patronage of the Angelic Doctor, this lecture series has presented Utah which such notable Catholic dissenters and nutjobs as Richard Rohr, Monica Hellwig, and Michael Crosby. (Crosby's lecture was so bad that it provoked Archbishop Neiderauer, then our bishop, to write a rebuttal in the diocesan newspaper.)
This is who they are 'gifting' us with this year:

Miriam Therese Winter, Medical Mission Sister, Hartford Seminary's Professor of Liturgy, Worship, Spirituality, Feminist Studies
Director of the Women's Leadership Institute


February 10: Join us for a chili dinner at 6:30 PM followed by "Spirituality In A World Of Change" by Sr. Miriam Therese Winter; musician, professor, author, retreat leader, and medical missionary sister.

February 11: Join Sr. Miriam Therese Winter again at 2:00 PM for "The Spirit In Our Lives."

Both talks are FREE and open to everyone. Please check out her website at:

Hartford Seminary is a Congregationalist institution. Sr. Miriam is the author of: Out of the Depths:The Story of Ludmila Javarova, Ordained Roman Catholic Priest. This book is about a woman who was possibly invalidly ordained as a priest by an underground bishop in Czechoslovakia. (No woman can be validly ordained anymore than the Eucharist can be celebrated with pizza and beer.) It does not appear that Sr. Miriam recognizes the invalidity of the ordination and her book argues from this event from the ordination of women. Lets be clear about this boys and girls, this position is directly repugnant to the infallible teaching of the Church. To hold this position is to be a heretic plain and simple. Here is a sympathetic review of the book by the dissenting organization FutureChurch. FutureChurch also likes her book eucharist with a small “e”. Sister also backs the heretical and neo-pagan Woman-Church Movement.

This woman is being invited to speak at a Newman Parish! I though that the purpose of Catholic Campus Ministries was to strengthen the faith of students in an environment where it is often attacked and to witness to the Faith in places where It is held in contempt. It seems that I have been mistaken. It looks as though their mission is to undermine the Faith and to provide at platform for the teaching of heresy and dissent.

I have often thought that Newman Centers and Campus Ministries are the weakest link in Catholic education. All too often they seem to become hostage to dissent to refugees from the 1970s. They ought to be placed in the care of our most orthodox and vibrant priests, but in my experience they seldom are. Is it any wonder then that vocations are down and many Catholics loose their faith during college?

(Many thanks to an anonymous reader for bringing this to my attention.)

Charlie the Unicorn merchandise

Click here for the official Charlie the Unicorn store! (The horror never ends....)

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Wow! I didn't think that you could...

cross breed Jack Chick Anti-Catholicism and a rabid Pro-Abortion Ideology. But it seems that I was mistaken.

Father Joe published a very funny and insightful post comparing Fr. Drinan SJ with Davros (creator of the Daleks on Dr. Who). (I disagree, however, with his assertion that the Democrats were ever the party of the poor.) This was the first comment on his post:

Agatha Murray - February 1, 2007
Your two posts about Rev. Drinan are despicable and irresponsible. You sir are an evil person. You hide behind humor, but this is the dark truth. Rev. Drinan was a great American who knew full well that we had to set our own course and never surrender our freedoms to a foreign power like the Vatican. He made amends by his service for all those Jesuits before him who sought to undermine our liberties and self-determination. It was no wonder that the Polish Pope should force him out of office.
A woman has the right to determine what to do with her body. You have no right to impose your religious extremism upon any of us. The difficult decision of abortion is between a woman and her medical provider. She does not have to ask your permission or that of the Papist church.
The double-speak is yours! It is obvious that you really do not care about others. You are anti-Choice and a homophobe, truths you cannot honestly deny. How many great leaders like Lincoln have died at the hands of Catholic assassins seeking to extend Roman rule over our land? Probably more than we will ever know. Exterminate, indeed, it is your credo! Rev. Drinan was a renegade to you but a patriot to many of us. We could count on at least one Romanist priest being more American than Roman.
Where will you stop in taking away our freedoms? Will you force couples to have dozens of children? Will you tell us what clothes to wear and what work we should do? Will you censor to death our television and radio programs, movies, books and magazines? Will you bring back book burning? Next you will argue that Christians must close their churches and everyone must convert to Romanism and the ways of the Beast. It is rumored that the Antichrist already walks among us. Are you in his ranks?

What a nut job! A foreign ruler in Rome out to undermine our freedoms--Catholic assassins murdering freedom loving leaders (bet she had a ball with the DaVinci Code)--Catholicism is the religion of the Anti-Christ! Hmmm, I didn't know that Bob Jones had joined NOW.

(Zuccetto Spin to The Curt Jester)

The attack of the Rainbow Fish continues

In my post regarding the 'Gay Mass' in Park City, I concluded with a letter to the editor written by several parishioners in response to a prior letter to the editor praising the 'Gay Mass'. On January 31st, The Park Record printed this letter:

Shame on those who responded to Beano Solomon's letter praising Father Bob for holding a mass which welcomed the gay community. Her letter only expressed admiration for his conducting a worship service. They did not respond to her letter, they changed the subject. She didn't discuss who has sex with whom. That's none of my business and it's none of theirs.
Their letter mentioned a Web site which advocates Reparative Therapy. This therapy is reprehensible! One of its methods is electro-shock therapy on a person's genitals. It tries to "cure" people into "being straight." The record shows that "reparative therapy" has no support from the major medical and mental health professional organizations, such as American Academy of Pediatrics , American Counseling Association, American Psychological Association, United States Surgeon General, American School Health Association, Interfaith Alliance Foundation, National Association of School Psychologists , and National Education Association which take the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and there is, therefore, no need for a cure. Medical doctors can and have lost their licenses for using this "therapy."
I prefer to address gay youth, their parents and friends. Please be assured that there are people and organizations that will understand, love and embrace you. The Utah Pride Center, in Salt Lake City, is a large, thriving community center that serves the GLBT community and can be found at This site has links to organizations such as PFLAG and Family Fellowship These groups don't just tolerate you, they celebrate you; and then go out and advocate for you.
Why would you want anyone's children and friends to live celibate lives? You don't. Why would you want them to come to an empty home every night and have no one to hear their stories, to care about them? You don't. Everyone deserves to be accepted for who he or she is and to be loved. Gay people aren't broken. They don't need to be fixed.
Fran Miller
McLean, Va.

Here we have a representative of the thinking behind the 'Gay Mass'. Nothing will be tolerated but the complete acceptance, nay celebration of homosexuality. Homosexual attraction is a disorder. Those with it must be loved and accepted as persons, but the homosexuality must be rejected. The problem that I see with most so-called Catholic ministries to gays is that they reject this truth in favor of Ms. Miller's celebration of queerness. Courage is a rare example of how to do it right.

Here is another letter to the editor from a fellow from Park City who is studying at Notre Dame.

Ms. Miller’s letter (1/30/07) provides misleading information, employs drastic generalization, and fosters a disrespectful attitude towards persons with same sex attraction. The publication of her letter has led some people astray in its attempts to demonize "Courage Ministries" ( Ms. Miller claims that this organization promotes "reparative therapy" through "electro-shock therapy on a person’s genitals." Any person who honestly examines the organization’s website finds mention of "reparational groups," not reparative therapy. The concept of reparation is simple, even if one does not have an understanding of the Judaeo-Christian tradition. If I do something less than noble—let’s say, be uncharitable towards my wife—then it will not be enough to simply apologize to her. It will take an extra effort on my part to regain her trust and confidence, crucial in a mutually submissive relationship, both for our good and the common good of our family. Those who take part in these reparational groups have themselves been hurt, and have hurt many people. Having changed their own lifestyles, they are committed to praying and fasting for the conversion of those who are involved in hurtful sexual relationships, which plague both
heterosexual and homosexual parts of our society. These groups "stand not in judgment or self righteousness but in solidarity" with their "brothers and sisters in their pain and struggle."
In addition to providing false information, Ms. Miller dismisses views other than her own. Having several friendships with persons who are practicing Catholics and are same sex attracted, I can say that their perseverance and consistency in living their Christian faith to the full is inspiring and encouraging. Therefore, it is offensive when somebody seeks to diminish their heroic efforts to live chastely. Ms. Miller’s dismissal of such people who want to live chaste lives is quite telling of her true attitude. Her celebration of "tolerance" leads her to only tolerate celebration of those attitudes with which she agrees.
She equates same sex attraction with sexual activity by asking, "Why would you want anyone’s children and friends to live celibate lives? You don’t." She therefore assumes that anybody who has chosen a life free of sexual activity is hindered and deprived. Yet, one can look to ancient Roman vestal virgins, Jewish ascetical communities, contemporary Christian
religious, Buddhist monks, and even many single persons in our own society who value a life of celibacy. Celibacy is a conscious human choice, made for various reasons in different societies, and is not a limitation and hindrance to living a happy life.
Not only is Ms. Miller’s letter misleading and broad, but it is also disrespectful to persons with same sex attraction. She asserts, "Gay people aren’t broken. They don’t need to be fixed." Such an attitude toward persons with same sex attraction is degrading. They are not machines to be treated in such a dismissive and generalized manner. Many persons do struggle with same sex attraction, all for different reasons, through no fault of their own, and are lonely, looking for acceptance and friendship. Each person chooses the manner in which he or she lives this reality out, which can either hurt or help him or her. Those who seek to reach out to them ought not to disregard the many who face difficulties.
Finally, in a generation and culture dominated by materialistic consumerism and a utilitarian ideal—I get what I want when I want it—it would be useful for one to consider the motives behind his actions. Interpersonal, and particularly sexual relationships, are plagued by use and abuse, which leads to a disintegration and devaluation of the human person, a fact evidenced by the divorce rate and familial breakdown of our society. Does the remedy lie
in a utilitarian approach to life that often leads one to affirm others in their unhealthy behavior, in order to bring about personal satisfaction and a feeling of benevolence and generosity? Virtue is a habit acquired through human actions that involve moral choices
ordered towards the good. I can choose to affirm the very sources of another’s pain for my own satisfaction, or I can choose to act according to the common good. Therefore, true "tolerance" and "acceptance" means choosing what is genuinely good for another. An approach to the treatment of persons that tolerates their destructive and demoralizing behavior is reprehensible. Therefore, it is the responsibility of all to help and encourage those who are faced with struggles to live lives of virtue.
John Sikorski
University of Notre Dame
PCHS Class of ‘03

I would also add that Ms. Miller is wrongly characterizing reparative theraphy. (See the NARTH website.)

(Hmmm, it seems that at last the Catholic faith is being taught well under the Golden Dome.)