Monday, July 30, 2007

Family Style Meme

(Violently stolen from BMP at Christus Vincit)

WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Yes, I share the same middle name with my dad.
WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? The last time I banged my shin into a pew
DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? No, no one can read it. Tis why I print.
DO YOU HAVE KIDS? Yup - hundreds (Everyone I baptize.)
DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? No, yanked with the adnoids right before my 8th birthday.
DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? only if I have to to get em off.
DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Hey, stop talking about my breath.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? Cherry Garcia. (Yes, I eat commie ice cream.)
WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? Sound of my own voice when it is recorded.
WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? Maternal grandmother.
WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Brown topsiders and black dockers. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? Nutri-system granola bar.
IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? Purple (hmmmmm, purple--drool.)
FAVORITE SMELLS? Sagebrush after a rainstorm.
WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? A lady who called for Mass times.
FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? Baseball, hockey, fencing.
SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? Scary movies with happy endings.
LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.
SUMMER OR WINTER? Winter, I hate heat.
FAVORITE SOUND? Bells. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES? Early Beatles. The Stones are too ugly.
DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? Useless Trivia. (Someday I will be on Jeopardy.)

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Wanted: a non-squeamish lectionary

Those who were at Mass in the Latin Rite this weekend heard the wonderful story of Abraham bargaining with the LORD over the fate of Sodom. (You have been to Mass, RIGHT?) From 50 innocent men down to 10. (I thank God that I never will have to try to sell a used car to Abraham. I would probably end up paying him money.) A great reading but there is a problem with it. It leaves out "the rest of the story." Where is the description of the sin of Sodom, the attempted rape of the angels, and the destruction of the city. It puts a whole new spin on the story when you realize that there were not even 10 just men in the city. Plus, in a world trying to normalize and regularize homosexual behavior, we need to hear from the Sacred Scripture that it is wrong. Admittedly, you can't have everything in the lectionary. But there does seem to be a deliberate effort to leave out whatever offends modern sensibilities. (Rather like what certain spineless ones did in making the reading of part of Colossians optional.)

I want a lectionary that doesn't leave out the 'uncomfortable' bits. (However, as you will see later today, this lack did not slow me down.)

Saturday, July 28, 2007

In a just and perfect world

From my DRE regarding that miserable waste of skin Michael Vick. (Did I mention that I have a great DRE?)

Hippie Elimination Plan Delta 59

(Did I mention I don't like hippies?)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Happy Mormon Day!

Today the State of Utah celebrates Pioneer Day (aka Mormon Day aka, according to my friend Msgr. Pellegrino, The Day the Earth Was Created). It celebrates the day in 1847 that the first group of Mormon pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley. It is celebrated with fireworks, cook outs, and one of the nation's largest parades. (I hate this parade. The summer I worked for the parks department, I had to spend 18 hrs the next day cleaning up after it.) I will celebrate it this year by eating the Jello-shots my junior deacon's wife made for me. (FYI Utah consumes more Jello per capita than any other state in the union.)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

More dumb things the neighbors say

In the Salt Lake Tribune, we have started to have letters to the editor regarding their dumb article on the psuedo-flap concerning the Papal teaching that, by gosh and golly, the Roman (not just Latin Rite) Catholic Church is the Church founded by Christ while he was on earth.

The first comes from a retired American Baptist preacher. (For those who don't know, American Baptist are liberal baptists.) This one was the pastor of a high school friend of mine. He never mentioned that the preacher was a smart-ass however.

Which one is The One?
Public Forum Letter

I get giddy when popes and prophets make exclusive claims on the behalf of their churches being "The One True Church" (Tribune, July 11). After years of ecumenical dialogues, I thought I knew what ecumenism was all about. Now the pope says we misunderstood. We Baptists and other free-church types are illegitimate after all. The lesson is that when Mormons and Catholics invite you over for dialogue and understanding, take lots of salt! I have always been under the impression that it's not the particular church that saves us, it is our faith. I may be wrong about that, too. But before I change my mind, President Hinckley and Pope Benedict need to get together and decide which is "The One True Church" and who speaks for it.

Ellis Keck
Retired Baptist minister
Salt Lake City

Hmmm, what would I like to say to Pastor Keck? Something like this I think. "Hey smart-ass, sorry that you misunderstood what ecumenism is all about. Perhaps you think it is about accepting everyone as equals. Wrong again Hans! I mean Ellis. It is about understanding about what each party actually believes; where we agree and where we differ. It sounds like we are the ones who need to bring along the salt as you seem to be unwilling to listen to what we believe. Maybe if you had actually bothered to read the document you would have understood that this issue is not about who is saved but rather about which church can claim to have been founded by Christ. PS, you might want to see a doctor about your giddiness. They can treat that now."

The next is from some yahoo in the Salt Lake Suburb of Holladay.

Who's in first?
Public Forum Letter

Isn't it quite ironic that while the Roman Catholic Church is declaring its primacy among the world's churches, the Catholic diocese in Los Angeles is paying out a whopping $660 million to settle the largest sexual abuse case to the victims of clergy abuse? And another article recently discussed a sexual abuse case involving the LDS Church. I'm so thankful that my salvation and eternal destiny don't depend on any church dueling for first place, but rather on the Word of God. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6 Churches are meant to be places of worship, learning, fellowship and service to others, not alienation, separation and abuse.

Nancy Wilferd

"Hey Nancy, your sense of irony need a lot of work. Be that as it may, my salvation depends on the Word of God too. But that Word isn't a book. It is a person; the God/Man Jesus Christ. He established His Church, the Roman Catholic, to bring that salvation into your life and mine. It is that Church that preserved and preserves the Faith and in fact gave you the Bible. Want to come to Jesus? Come to His Church. By the way, if the presence of Judas didn't invalidate, the work of Jesus, then I don't see how the LA situation, which was caused by people ignoring the clear teaching of the Catholic Church, affects the validity of the Pope's claims."

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

DOH! Homer v. the witches

A couple of days ago, the Drudgereport ran a story of now some British neo-pagans have their knickers all in a twist of a publicity image of the Homer next to a chalk image of a giant dating from either neolithic time or, more likely, from the 17c. I thought about running the picture then, but the giant is well anatomically accurate. Well, the redheaded cowboy of orthodox apologetics, Jim Akins did a little editing with Photoshop and presto its family friendly. Anyway head on over to Jimmy's blog (where I got this photo from) and read about the whole thing.

Icon of St. Theresia Benedikta of the Cross

My friend Br. Claude Lane, OSB just finished another beautiful icon. Here is what he has to say about the icon:

The image is based on the prototype icon of St. Catherine of Alexandria, as found in the monastery of St. Catherine in Sinai. Patron of philosophers, St. Catherine is depicted seated-- as befits the teacher. St. Catherine is shown surrounded by books and the instruments of learning (globe, stylus, etc.) as well as the famous "Catherine wheel", the spiked instrument of her martyrdom. In our icon, St. Edith Stein, Sr. Theresia Benedikta a Cruce in religion, is seen holding her most famous and important work-- The Science of the Cross. At her feet on the left is the the Autobiography of St Teresa, that, after having read it, Stein said "This is the Truth", at which point she converted from Judaism to Catholicism. Behind her is the famous Kaiserdom, the Cathedral of the Holy Roman Emperors at Speyer-- a symbol of the heights of German spirituality and culture. Just below that, however, are buildings representing the barracks at Auschwitz where St. Edith died in August, 1942. The Star of David indicates her desire to identify with her people in their sufferings. The blue "double reflection" on her habit is a reference to the Carmelite order being especially dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

It's quotes like this...

... that make me think that lobotomies are a more common procedure than any of us supposes.

In regard to the LA Diocese settlement, these words of wisdom:

"I am disappointed," Viscarra said. "And it's making me reevaluate my views of whether people in the ministry should be married. People do have needs."

Thanks to Steve, I now know that this originally came from:

Also, Ms. Viscarra ought to know that this is a want not a need. (No one ever died from not having normal sex let alone the pervert form.)

Potter Puppet Pals

Click here to view the mayhem at the current favorite website of my senior godson and his brothers.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

The Church is the Bride of Christ

"Well, Jesus isn't a polygamist."
--Louise Schwartz, my parishioner. (Commenting on the pseudo flap concerning the Church of Christ being the Roman Church.)

Dumb things the neighbors say

I really have to stop reading the paper before I say Mass. All too frequently something in it will get me riled up and it will find its way into my homily. At least today it was from the religion section. Here is the headline: Pope's declaration of Catholic primacy has protestants, other faiths miffed. Yup, as has been repeated in the blogosphere, some folks are upset because the Pope affirmed the constant teaching of the Church that the Roman Church is that which was established by Christ. (Heaven forbid that the Pope should teach the truth!) This article had reactions from the locals. No surprise that the most inane statement was from the local Episcopal bishopette.

Calling the statement, which refers to the Catholic Church as the "one Church of Christ," "disappointing and regressive," Bishop Carolyn Tanner Irish of the Episcopal Diocese of Utah wondered in a written response why, in a time already steeped in division and when ecumenism is most necessary, the pope would issue comments that "will not help our efforts to find common ground and to move forward together."

Yup that is what St. Peter was commanded to do; paper over differences and be progressive. Wrong again Hans, errr I mean Carolyn. The Vicar of Christ is to teach the truth whether it is pleasant to you or not. We do not water down our teaching to make it palatable to you or anyone else. (Got that CTA, CTSA, and Sr. Joan?)

The Mormons on the other hand have a better perspective. They recognize that being in another church mean that one will believe other things.

Scott Trotter, spokesman for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, weighed in Friday saying, "We are neither offended nor concerned when other faith traditions assert their authority. As stated in our 11th Article of Faith: 'We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where or what they may.' "

(Man, I hate it when I have to praise the LDS.)

Equally sane is the director of the local Protestant seminary.

The academic dean of the Salt Lake Theological Seminary[Tom McClenahan], Utah's only graduate school for Protestant clergy, said Friday he was "surprised by the flap."

"We knew that the Roman Church insists that everyone recognize the primacy of the pope," he said. Those who are upset "seem to think this might hurt their ecumenical conversations with Rome, but it seems Pope Benedict is just saying what the Vatican has said before."

I am glad some of our neighbors aren't surprised that the Catholic Church teaching Catholic doctrine.

Friday, July 13, 2007

The side of the angels

Whenever Michael Moore is against something, it is a good sign that you should be for it. "Bowling for Columbine" is inadvertently a great apologetic for the Second Amendment. "Sicko" shows that socialized medicine/Hillarycare is an extremely bad idea.

Guess what Moore is setting his sights on next? Homophobia. As Dark Horizons reports,

He's done corporate downsizing, guns, Bush and health care, now Michael Moore has targeted the subject of his next doco (propaganda polemic) - homophobia. Moore has revealed that the anti-gay Christian right movement might be the topic of his next documentary. According to SlashFilm, he told magazine The Advocate that "I think it's a very ripe subject for someone like me to make a movie about. Simply because we are not there yet and it remains one of the last open wounds on our soul that we are not willing to fix yet."He goes on to say "There is nowhere in the four Gospels where Jesus uses the word homosexual. The right wing has appropriated this guy ... and they have used him to attack gays and lesbians, when he never said a single word against people who are homosexual. Anyone who professes to be a Christian and does that is certainly not following the teachings of Jesus Christ."

Where to begin. First, opposition to homosexual behavior is not a phobia. Second, Jesus didn't speak about homosexual behavior because He didn't have to. In First Century Jewish society, everyone knew homosexual behavior was an abomination roundly condemned by the law of God. It was only when the Gospel was preached to societies that accepted homosexuality to a degree that the Church had to speak explicitly on this teaching. Third, Moore is an idiot who deliberately distorts the truth to support his agenda. Glad he is on the other side.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


The visually challenged T.O. has zapped me with the "Why I love Jesus" Meme.

The Rules:
Those tagged will share 5 things they "love" about Jesus. Those tagged will tag 5 other bloggers. Those tagged will provide a link in the comments section here with their name so that others can read them.

1) He lived and died for ME! All to commonly, we say that Jesus died for men. The connotation is that He died for everyone and we as individuals are just along for the ride. Wrong! Jesus is God. He knew that He was living, suffering, and dieing for each of us as individuals. He cares about ME!

2) He gives me Himself! Jesus doesn't just give us things or stuff. Jesus gives Himself to us. We see this most clearly in the Holy Eucharist.

3) He is with us! Jesus didn't just do a bunch of stuff for us and then leave us. He is with us always. (See #2).

4) He has a sense of humor! The Lord could even be biting and sarcastic. What, you thought "Whitened Sepulchres" was a complement?

5) Jesus is not a Care Bear! He could and did get angry. In witness to this note the quote found on the header over at Catholic Pillow Fight: "When someone asks you 'think about what Jesus would do', remember that a valid option is to freak out and turn over tables"
(If you want to be tagged, you are.)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Yet more good stuff from the Vatican

(I can hear Reese et al whining as I write).





The Second Vatican Council, with its Dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium, and its Decrees on Ecumenism (Unitatis redintegratio) and the Oriental Churches (Orientalium Ecclesiarum), has contributed in a decisive way to the renewal of Catholic ecclesiolgy. The Supreme Pontiffs have also contributed to this renewal by offering their own insights and orientations for praxis: Paul VI in his Encyclical Letter Ecclesiam suam (1964) and John Paul II in his Encyclical Letter Ut unum sint (1995).

The consequent duty of theologians to expound with greater clarity the diverse aspects of ecclesiology has resulted in a flowering of writing in this field. In fact it has become evident that this theme is a most fruitful one which, however, has also at times required clarification by way of precise definition and correction, for instance in the declaration Mysterium Ecclesiae (1973), the Letter addressed to the Bishops of the Catholic Church Communionis notio (1992), and the declaration Dominus Iesus (2000), all published by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The vastness of the subject matter and the novelty of many of the themes involved continue to provoke theological reflection. Among the many new contributions to the field, some are not immune from erroneous interpretation which in turn give rise to confusion and doubt. A number of these interpretations have been referred to the attention of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Given the universality of Catholic doctrine on the Church, the Congregation wishes to respond to these questions by clarifying the authentic meaning of some ecclesiological expressions used by the magisterium which are open to misunderstanding in the theological debate.


First Question: Did the Second Vatican Council change the Catholic doctrine on the Church?

Response: The Second Vatican Council neither changed nor intended to change this doctrine, rather it developed, deepened and more fully explained it.

This was exactly what John XXIII said at the beginning of the Council1. Paul VI affirmed it2 and commented in the act of promulgating the Constitution Lumen gentium: "There is no better comment to make than to say that this promulgation really changes nothing of the traditional doctrine. What Christ willed, we also will. What was, still is. What the Church has taught down through the centuries, we also teach. In simple terms that which was assumed, is now explicit; that which was uncertain, is now clarified; that which was meditated upon, discussed and sometimes argued over, is now put together in one clear formulation". The Bishops repeatedly expressed and fulfilled this intention.

Second Question: What is the meaning of the affirmation that the Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church?

Response: Christ "established here on earth" only one Church and instituted it as a "visible and spiritual community", that from its beginning and throughout the centuries has always existed and will always exist, and in which alone are found all the elements that Christ himself instituted. "This one Church of Christ, which we confess in the Creed as one, holy, catholic and apostolic […]. This Church, constituted and organised in this world as a society, subsists in the Catholic Church, governed by the successor of Peter and the Bishops in communion with him".

In number 8 of the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium ‘subsistence’ means this perduring, historical continuity and the permanence of all the elements instituted by Christ in the Catholic Church, in which the Church of Christ is concretely found on this earth.

It is possible, according to Catholic doctrine, to affirm correctly that the Church of Christ is present and operative in the churches and ecclesial Communities not yet fully in communion with the Catholic Church, on account of the elements of sanctification and truth that are present in them. Nevertheless, the word "subsists" can only be attributed to the Catholic Church alone precisely because it refers to the mark of unity that we profess in the symbols of the faith (I believe... in the "one" Church); and this "one" Church subsists in the Catholic Church.

Third Question: Why was the expression "subsists in" adopted instead of the simple word "is"?

Response: The use of this expression, which indicates the full identity of the Church of Christ with the Catholic Church, does not change the doctrine on the Church. Rather, it comes from and brings out more clearly the fact that there are "numerous elements of sanctification and of truth" which are found outside her structure, but which "as gifts properly belonging to the Church of Christ, impel towards Catholic Unity".

"It follows that these separated churches and Communities, though we believe they suffer from defects, are deprived neither of significance nor importance in the mystery of salvation. In fact the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as instruments of salvation, whose value derives from that fullness of grace and of truth which has been entrusted to the Catholic Church".

Fourth Question: Why does the Second Vatican Council use the term "Church" in reference to the oriental Churches separated from full communion with the Catholic Church?

Response: The Council wanted to adopt the traditional use of the term. "Because these Churches, although separated, have true sacraments and above all – because of the apostolic succession – the priesthood and the Eucharist, by means of which they remain linked to us by very close bonds", they merit the title of "particular or local Churches", and are called sister Churches of the particular Catholic Churches.

"It is through the celebration of the Eucharist of the Lord in each of these Churches that the Church of God is built up and grows in stature". However, since communion with the Catholic Church, the visible head of which is the Bishop of Rome and the Successor of Peter, is not some external complement to a particular Church but rather one of its internal constitutive principles, these venerable Christian communities lack something in their condition as particular churches.

On the other hand, because of the division between Christians, the fullness of universality, which is proper to the Church governed by the Successor of Peter and the Bishops in communion with him, is not fully realised in history.

Fifth Question: Why do the texts of the Council and those of the Magisterium since the Council not use the title of "Church" with regard to those Christian Communities born out of the Reformation of the sixteenth century?

Response: According to Catholic doctrine, these Communities do not enjoy apostolic succession in the sacrament of Orders, and are, therefore, deprived of a constitutive element of the Church. These ecclesial Communities which, specifically because of the absence of the sacramental priesthood, have not preserved the genuine and integral substance of the Eucharistic Mystery cannot, according to Catholic doctrine, be called "Churches" in the proper sense.

The Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI, at the Audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, ratified and confirmed these Responses, adopted in the Plenary Session of the Congregation, and ordered their publication.

Rome, from the Offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, June 29, 2007, the Solemnity of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul.

William Cardinal Levada

+ Angelo Amato, S.D.B.
Titular Archbishop of Sila

(Thanks to CWN)

Napoleon Bunnamite

Summorum Pontificum celebration

Saturday, July 07, 2007


Well, the long expected Motu proprio Summorum Pontificum has been released and it looks good! Not only does it liberalize the use of the classical rite of the Mass but also classical rites of the other sacraments. (I hope that this will lead to a thorough revision of the new sacramental rites which are clumsy or in the case of the rite for individual Confession, virtually unworkable. Can someone tell me why every rite has to include general intercessions?) No it won't be a magic bullet into the heart of Modernism and yes individual bishops will still be able to effectively suppress the classical rite, but I believe that as Pope Benedict expects it will revitalize the sacral nature of the liturgy within the whole Latin Rite. For a more detailed commentary, see Cafeteria Gerald's cliff notes on the Motu and the Explanatory Letter.
(Photo stolen from Roman Catholic Blog.)

Friday, July 06, 2007

Fun with homeschoolers

Today I was over at Mary's Muse's for a barbecue in honor of two of her sons' birthdays. There were a couple other home schooling families present. I love homeschoolers. They are very fun to be around and you can always count on interesting conversation from both the parents and the kids. (Also, I got to meet a couple dogs, a rabbit, three guinea pigs, a dragon, and assorted fish.)

On of the parents was mentioning another family that homeschools in the classical tradition and how once she overheard the children discussing how to decline the word fart in Latin. Now, I know that there is a real Latin word for intestinal gas. However, I think it would be more fun in Latglish. (Kinda like Spanglish, but with Latin.) For the noun I thing it would be something like Fartus, Farti. For a verb; Farto, Fartare. And some people say homeschoolers have no sense of humor.

Doh! Have to cancel my plans!

Motu mania strikes tomorrow. Let their be much rejoicing as the classical Roman Rite is freed! I had several thing planned, even before Carolina Kat suggested one in her comment on the previous blog. Perhaps a felt banner burn and barbecue. Perhaps skeet shooting with Glory and Praise pamphlets. Perhaps a rock throw using porcelain and glass vessels as targets. Best of all, driving slow around the local 'progressive' parishes blasting Palestrina and Plain Chant on the stereo with the windows rolled down.

But no. The Famous Fr. Z rightly suggest the following Rules of Engagement following the release of the Motu:

1) Rejoice because our liturgical life has been enriched, not because “we win”. Everyone wins when the Church’s life is enriched. This is not a “zero sum game”.
2) Do not strut. Let us be gracious to those who have in the past not been gracious in regard to our “legitimate aspirations”.
3) Show genuine Christian joy. If you want to attract people to what gives you so much consolation and happiness, be inviting and be joyful. Avoid the sourness some of the more traditional stamp have sadly worn for so long.
4) Be engaged in the whole life of your parishes, especially in works of mercy organized by the same. If you want the whole Church to benefit from the use of the older liturgy, then you who are shaped by the older form of Mass should be of benefit to the whole Church in concrete terms.
5) If the document doesn’t say everything we might hope for, don’t bitch about it like a whiner. Speak less of our rights and what we deserve, or what it ought to have been, as if we were our own little popes, and more about our gratitude, gratitude, gratitude for what God gives us.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Happy Birthday to Blog!

Happy birthday to blog! Happy birthday dear blog! Happy birthday to you! (Orthometer is one year old.)

And a bit of brightness during the hard week

Jenkyn Powell, a local stained glass artist who is also a convert from Mormonism, visited the parish last Thursday to begin the design of the stained glass for the four 'big' windows in our new church. They will feature: The Sacred Heart, The Immaculate Heart, St. Peter, St. Paul, (Bl.) John Paul II, St. Pio, Bl. Theresa of Calcutta, and St. Gianna Molla. We were going to wait a while on the stained glass, but I have already been approached by several potential donors.

Hard week

This last week, we had two funerals. The first was an 'ordinary' funeral. The deceased was an older man who had been sick for some time. He died surrounded by his family. (What was unusual was that the family knew the responses when I gave him the last rites!) He funeral was well attended with lots of family and friends. The second was anything but ordinary. It was for a 19 year old young man who, after struggling with severe depression, took his own life. As his family had switched to another parish several years before I came, I didn't know him personally. But I certainly had heard about him from his classmates at our local Catholic high school. He was one of those people who deeply affected those around him. The funeral was celebrated by a priest who is a friend of the family. The church was packed with family, friends, and former teachers. It was heart-wrenching to see them try to cope with the situation. Please keep Willie, Shane, and their families and friends in your prayers.