Monday, October 29, 2007

Batshit Crazy Award for best post title goes to...

Mark Shea at Catholic and Enjoying It! for Wicca: Spirituality for People Who Still Live in their Mom's Basement

The whole Dumbledore gay thing

DGD at The Sci-fi Catholic has a great post on this tempest in a tea pot. Take a look at it.

Mail:hate and otherwise

I know the blogging has been thin of late. The dog died. Then there was the trip to and from EWTN. And then there was cleaning up from the trip to EWTN.
Of course, I had Pastor stuff waiting for me when I got home; phone calls to return, checks to sign, etc.... But, I also had a good deal of feedback from The Journey Home appearance to deal with. It fell into the following categories: supportive praise, questions relating to the topic, thoughtful critiques (largely from Mormons), and flaming hate mail (all from Mormons and one a rather nasty post on this blog from a relative.) All but the last category I didn't mind, especially the thoughtful critiques. Disagreement is good for the brain. It helps one to clarify ones thoughts and arguments. The hate mail is another matter. It seemed to boil down to, "You are a nasty man because you said things we don't like." I didn't bother to respond to the hate mail, except for the post. But if I had, I would have made two main points. First, ad hominum arguments don't work. Attacking the arguer doesn't affect the argument. Second, it helps to actually listen to the argument, before taking issue.

Ma Beck on Halloween

In the comments on the preceding posts, several people suggested looking at this post by Chicago's own Ma Back. Having read it myself, I can only second what she has to say.

But, of course, I can't just leave it there. I have little tolerance for the "Halloween is the Devil's day" types. The origins of the day are irrelevant--they don't tell us what it means now. Now it is just a day for kids (and more than a few adults) to dress up and get a sugar high. Does this mean that parents, particularly Catholic parents, shouldn't exercise prudence when it comes to costumes and activities? Of course not. Having your 5 year old dress as Hannibal Lectur, Jason Vorhees, or a streetwalker is a bad idea, mmmkay. But most importantly, it ought not to be allowed to eclipse the Holy Days.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

People who take Halloween seriously

(Maybe too much so.) This house is across the street from my mother's house. The owners decorate it for every season, but Halloween seems to be a special favorite. They go all out. It is fun to watch the people drive or walk by to look at it, particularly those with little children.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Thomas v. Gum

Thomas, the official Orthometer gunboy, has had a close encounter of the gum kind. As his mom writes,

I can't get the gum off him.. tried it all. He was playing with it and he pulled it out of his mouth and said "It juts got on my eyes"
I have tried
Peanut Butter
WD40 I know I shouldn't have
Baby Oil
Olive Oil
A warm rag
I even had him chew another piece of gum to put on it to pull it off.. but he kept playing with the gum.. Lesson NOT learned.
I have tried to cut it out and it pulls to hard. There must have been super glue in that gum.
etc.. nothing works

any suggestions welcome.
If you have any ideas, please post and I will forward them to his mom.
PS See, gum is EVIL!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Don't be a Dick

Diogenes the Great reports on yet more drivel from Dickie "Power-tie" McBrien.

"Can you imagine what kind of candidates we would attract to the U.S. Senate, for example, or to any other high-ranking political, corporate or academic office if a commitment to lifelong celibacy were an essential, non-negotiable requirement?"
-- Father Richard McBrien, addressing the
Voice of the Faithful convention yesterday.

Yet more proof that Dick should be sent to the old hippy home and yet more proof that VOF is just a front for CTA Modernism.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Sweet home Alabama

No posts until late Tuesday at the earliest. I am taking of for Birmingham for my appearance on EWTN's The Journey Home. This show airs live on Monday October 15th at 6:00 pm MDT. (Please keep me in your prayers. Especially, that I do not give in to the temptation to do either my Dr. Evil, Cartman, Mr. Mackey, or Comicbook Guy impressions on the air.)

Friday, October 12, 2007

Why is the Church hated?

Why should men love the Church?
Why should they love her laws?
She tells them of Life and Death, and of all that they would forget.
She is tender where they would be hard, and hard where they like to be soft.
She tells them of Evil and Sin, and other unpleasant facts.
They constantly try to escape
From the darkness outside and within
By dreaming of systems so perfect that no one will need to be good.
But the man that is will shadow
The man that pretends to be.

–T. S. Eliot, “Choruses from ‘The Rock’”

(Zuccetto spin to The Art of Apologetics)

Please don't go see the Bastard Queen of England, Pt. II

Yet another canoniztion of the wretched spawn of Horny Henry and Anne Boleyn hits the theaters. Decent films has a good review of this bad movie. Please, don't encourage Hollywood by paying to see this attack on history and the Faith.

Carlos the Unicorn and the Journey to Banana Mountain

(In response to a meme--don't blame me for the Candy Mountain flashbacks, blame Snuffles at The Sci-Fi Catholic.)

A word of explanation: being a good monarchist, I refuse to promote the Marxist propaganda of SVII's Che Lovell and his play The Bananas of Revenge. Instead, I present to you the story of an innocent, hard working unicorn Carlos and his oppression by the Marxist agitator unicorns Red and Pink. The following is the story outline.

Open on Carlos taking his siesta in the middle of a beautiful Latin American field.

Pink & Red: Hey Carlos, you lackey of the Norteamericano imperialists, come with us to Banana Mountain. It is a workers paradise. Come with us Banana Mountain!

Carlos: Oh, &#$r#, it is you guys. Listen I have told you, I don't want to join the International Federation of Working Unicorns. And there is no such place as Banana Mountain.

Pink & Red: Shun the capitalist! Shuuuuun.

(Cut to Carlos, Pink, & Red standing before a dinosaur.)

Carlos: Holy #$#&, what is that?

Pink & Red: Don't you recognize Jimmy Carter? He is taking some time away from propping up Latin American comrades and certifying their elections. Listen. He is telling us the way to Banana Mountain.

(The dinosaur spouts nonsense in a southern accent.)

(Our hero arrives at Banana Mountain.)

Carlos: Holy #$#*, Banana Mountain does exit. Can I go home now?

Pink & Red, pulling out AKs: Sorry Carlos, reactionaries have to go to the Banana Mountain reeducation center.

(As Carlos marches into the reeducation cave, the letters from the Banana Mountain sign come to life and sing a rousing rendition of The Internationale.)

(Cut to a bruised and battered Carlos.)

Carlos: Oh freaking, ^&#EW#, they took my wallet!

(Now you understand why my vampires in rural Utah novel has never been written.)

As if more proof that the Nobel Peace Prize has become a joke were needed.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Algore and his amazing green weenie propaganda machine. One last nail in the coffin of what was once a respectable institution. (Previous examples being Rigoberta Menchu, Yasset Arafat, Jimmy Carter, Mohamed Elbaradei, Mickael Gorabechev, Kofi Annan, and Henry Kissinger.) The name ought to be changed to the Left Wing Image Award.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Bad way to start a day

My senior dog Torq died last night. He was 11 years old and a great little guy.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Partisan joke (so sue me)

THE SITUATION: You are in Miami , Florida . There is chaos all around you caused by a hurricane with severe flooding. This is a flood of biblical proportions. You are photo-journalist working for a major newspaper, caught in the middle of this epic disaster. The situation is nearly hopeless. You're trying to shoot career-making photos. There are houses and people swirling around you, some disappearing under the water.

THE TEST: Suddenly you see a woman in the water. She is fighting for her life, trying not to be taken down with the debris. You move closer and she looks familiar. You suddenly realize it's Hillary Clinton! At the same time you notice that the raging waters are about to take her under forever. You have two options: You can save the life of Hillary Clinton or you can shoot a dramatic Pulitzer Prize winning photo, documenting the death of one of the world's most powerful women.

THE QUESTION: Here's the question, and please give an honest answer..... "Would you select high contrast color film, or would you go with the classic simplicity of black and white?"

(Zuccetto spin to Mungo's Mom)

Monday, October 08, 2007

"We are too Christians!" Part II

(From the MyFox Utah site.)

Church Leaders Address Christian Controversy

SALT LAKE CITY -- LDS church leaders addressed an ever-growing controversy during the 177th Semi-Annual General Conference on Sunday. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe in Jesus Christ, but some conservative Christians have spoken against calling the LDS faith a "Christian" faith. Much of the controversy revolves around the differences between deities in Mormonism and conservative Christianity. Mormons believe God is a separate, physical being; conservative Christians believe God is a spirit with three natures." They were not imaginary beings, they were beings tabernacled in flesh, and out of that has come our unique and true understanding of deity," said LDS church President Gordon B. Hinckley. The comments come as much of the country, including Republican evangelicals, focus on the Mormonism of presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

I can only echo what my friend James Snow who sent this to me said, "Are there NO fact checkers in news rooms?"

(Related to this, one of my parishioners told me that a Mormon neighbor of hers explain that the reason they are Christian is because the name Jesus Christ is in the title of their Church. Hmmm, I want to be a dragon. I will add dragon to my name and that will make me one!)

Addition: Here is the letter James sent correcting the errant news anchor:

The news story about the LDS conference horribly botched the traditional definition of the Trinity. Additionally, President Hinckley's remarks are an intellectually dishonest and ridiculous caricature more suitably found in a histrionic polemic than a prime time television newscast. If he studied the creeds and doctrines as claimed with honest inquiry and examination, then he would know better than refer to them as imaginary beings: One (Being, Essence, Nature); Three Persons. As to his claim that the Creeds are too much for him to comprehend, I would remind him that "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

"Much of the controversy revolves around the differences between deities in Mormonism and conservative Christianity. Mormons believe God is a separate, physical being; conservative Christians believe God is a spirit with three natures. [Incorrect, this would signify modalism.]
"They were not imaginary beings, they were beings tabernacled in flesh, and out of that has come our unique and true understanding of deity," said LDS church President Gordon B. Hinckley."

First of all, liberal or conservative Christians may be found to profess the Nicene Creed. The usual adjective would be historic, orthodox, credal, or even Trinitarian. A useful soundbite of comparison would be that the Mormon believes the Godhead has three separate beings and three distinct persons while the historic Christian believes God is three distinct but not separate persons.

Another addition:

Check out Deacon Scott's post on this topic.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Name Meme

(Stolen from various).

YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet & current car) - Figgy Saturn (Never let a 5 y. o. name a guinea pig.)

YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (fave ice cream flavor, favorite cookie)- Cherry Oatmeal

YOUR “FLY Guy/Girl” NAME: (first initial of first name, first three letters of your last name) - E Ric (Which interestingly enough (mis) spells my first name.)
YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal) - Black Dog.

YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first) -Ric Er. (At least its not Jar Jar!)

SUPERHERO NAME: (”The” + 2nd favorite color, favorite drink) - The Purple Glenlevit.

NASCAR NAME: (the first names of your grandfathers) - Max Norman

TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME: (Your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter) - Woodbury Washington.

SPY NAME: (your favorite season/holiday, favorite flower)- All Souls Rose

CARTOON NAME: (favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now + “ie” or “y”) -Orange Sweatpantsy.

HIPPY NAME: (What you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree)- Granola Bar Rowan

YOUR ROCKSTAR TOUR NAME: (”The” + Your fave hobby/craft, fave weather element + “Tour”) - The Target Shooting Wind Tour!

YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born) John Cedar City

14. WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother’s & father’s middle names ) John None

(For a more testosterone filled 'Meme', go see this gem by the Caveman.)

Pet Peeve: Homemade Hosts

(Another in my continuing series of post of things liturgical that drive me nuts.)

A few years ago, it was all the rage among the liturgically avaunt garde to encourage parishes to make their own hosts. After all, it looks, tastes, and feels more like bread. It is an opportunity for people to be more involved. It is more like what Jesus and the early Church would have used. Like Frisbee hosts, this is practice is not a priori invalid. However, in my view, other concerns trump reason for doing this.

I have encountered this practice personally three times. First, during college when I was attending a Newman Center. Second, at the seminary. (The Ice Queen was a big fan of what some of the seminarians referred to as 'Chewy Jesus'.) Third, at the Air Force Base I served at when I was in the reserves. I noticed several things about it. First, It leaves particles EVERYWHERE; on the Altar, around the altar, on hands, and hence on the floor. Second, It sticks between ones teeth. Third, It hardens to the consistency of rock in the Tabernacle. Most importantly, one can never be sure whether the bakers actually follow liturgical law and use only wheat flour and water. I have heard numerous first hand reports of people taking it upon themselves add things for reasons of taste or easier baking. This is quite serious it as it can affect validity.

Another thing to be considered, is that many cloistered religious support themselves by making altar breads. By using homemade breads, we are failing to support our religious. I know of several priests in my diocese who use breads made by the big companies that are horning in on the good sisters' livelihood. (One I know has the class to donate money to the sisters to make up for the shortfall. However, I think it is better to support the sisters' labor than to simply give them money.)

In a nutshell, buy normal hosts from the sisters.

(Coming soon: Junior Clansmen Suits and greeting people at the beginning of Mass.)

"We are too Christians!"

This is the first weekend in October. In Utah, this means that we will have some kind of storm (snow or rain) and the Mormons will hold their Fall semi-annual conference. (The Spring version is the first weekend of April.) Some claim a causal connection between the two event. My grandmother would always say, "When the saints meet, the heavens weep." If this is true, then they need to meet more frequently to get us out of the current drought. (And, hence, father will have enough water in the Great Salt Lake for his boat.)
We can also count on some Fundamentalist Protestants tracting and protesting outside Temple Square. I don't like this myself. I think it is rude. But, then again, I didn't appreciate the two Mormon missionaries that I ran out of St. Peter's Square a few years ago after I caught them tracting. ("He guys. I am from Utah and I know what you are doing. I will give you a couple minutes to leave and then I will go and fetch security.") There was also a similar incident about 20 years ago when some of the boys were passing out anti-Catholic tracts in front of our Cathedral.
Quite frequently the speakers at conference feel the need to defend their status as Christians or attack the doctrine of the Trinity. I wasn't surprised that this happened this year what with the discussion of the Mormons Christianity or lack thereof related to Mitt Romney's presidential candidacy. Here is the Salt Lake Tribune account:
Not only is Mormonism a Christian faith, it is the truest form of Christianity, said speaker after speaker on the first day of the 177th Semiannual LDS General Conference.
LDS authorities were responding to the allegation that Mormonism isn't part of Christianity. Made by different mainline Protestant and Catholic churches and repeated constantly during coverage of Mitt Romney's presidential campaign, the claim is based on Mormonism's beliefs about God, its rejection of ancient ideas about the Trinity still widely accepted, and the LDS Church's extra-biblical scriptures.
"It is not our purpose to demean any person's belief nor the doctrine of any religion," said Apostle Jeffrey R. Holland in the afternoon session. "But if one says we are not Christians because we do not hold a fourth- or fifth-century view of the Godhead, then what of those first [Christians], many of whom were eye-witnesses of the living Christ, who did not hold such a view either?"
Oh my, where to start and how not to be unduly snarky. If the Mormons want to claim to be Christian, fine let them. But do not object when others dispute that claim. Either the Mormons are correct in their Polytheism, doctrine of eternal progression, etc... or Orthodox Christianity is with its doctrines of the Trinity, Incarnation, etc.... However, both cannot be. To hold this would be to make the very term Christian meaningless. Not too many years ago, Mormons proudly proclaimed their non-Christian nature. However, it recent years there has been a concerted effort to proclaim their own Christianity. Folks, saying that you are a Christian doesn't make it so.
Also, Elder Holland makes a common error it supposing that simply because a doctrine wasn't solemnly taught until the Fourth Century, it wasn't believed until then. Doctrines are only defined when they are disputed. He needs to show us that the first believers did not hold Trinitarian compatible views.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Dick knows squat

Dick McBrien is at it again. (I once made a dart board out of his photo for our late, retired bishop.) This time he is rejecting the recent Vatican clarification on the uniqueness of the Catholic Church. Hmmm, do I believe the Successor of St. Peter or an aging Father Power-Tie? I think I will go with the Pope. The unanswered question is why any church publication is still printing his crap.

(Addition encouraged by readers: The moral--don't be a Dick!)

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Bow down before me! says I'm a Nerd God.  What are you?  Click here!

St. Therese story

(I ought to have posted this yesterday, but I was a bit snowed in catching up on Pastorwork.)
I owe a St. Therese a great debt. She helped to convert my maternal grandmother. Here is the story.
My grandmother, Lois Eleanor Thayne Barnes was the daughter of a Mormon bishop. (This is not as impressive as it sounds--Mormon bishops are the equivalent of our pastors. They only serve part-time.) She was raised to fear the Catholic Church in general and priests in particular. She almost passed out from anxiety when she had to meet with a priest due to my aunt marrying a Catholic. Paradoxically, we later found out that she had secretly desired to be a Catholic from a young age. From her late teens, she was a non-practicing Mormon. (Preacher kid syndrome--yup, clerical marriage is SUCH a good idea--sarcasm off.) Anyway, she was always supportive of me becoming a Catholic and becoming a priest.
When the relics of the Little Flower made their world tour, one of the stops was Salt Lake City. My mom was by then a secular Carmelite. She helped the Carmelite sister in suburban Salt Lake when the relic stopped at the Carmel before going to the Cathedral. The sister gave mom some Third Class relics that had been touched to the reliquary. Mom gave one to her mother.
That night, my grandmother had a dream of a beautiful woman. When she woke up, the room smelled of roses. She asked my mother what this meant. Explained the rose smell to her and opined that perhaps it meant that she should become a Catholic. Not long afterward, she asked me to baptize her.
Dear St. Therese, thanks for the rose!

I'm back

I returned to Utah from my retreat at the Sacred Heart Retreat House in Alhambra, CA on Friday at 11:30 pm.

The retreat was sponsored by the Southern California chapter of the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy. Our retreat master was The Rt. Rev. Edmund McCaffrey, Retired Abbot of Belmont Abbey. He is a great retreat master; solid theology and a most engaging speaking style. (If you ever get a chance to listen to him, make sure you do so.) The other retreatants were a great bunch of guys both young and old. (An acquaintance of mine, Fr. Dan Mode, author of The Grunt Padre was also on this retreat. He is a Navy Chaplain and just finished a year's tour in Afghanistan.) This was the best retreat I have made since attending one with Groeschel in 1995. (Not to mention that I was able to have my yearly In-N-Out Burger fix.)

On Saturday, I spoke at our diocesan religious education congress on the topic of Confession. (Yes, Confession. I don't like the term Reconciliation. It reminds me of check books.) It was nice to see a whole bunch of folks I have known from years past.

On Sunday, Fr. Frank Pavone MEV celebrated and preached at all our Masses. As you can expect, he gave a very powerful homily. We had several visitors to the parish including DGD from The Sci-Fi Catholic (unfortunately, Snuffles stayed home).

On Monday, I went through my snail mail (filled up a trash can with the junk mail) and my email (170).

Yes, the dogs and the conure were happy to see me.