Sunday, September 23, 2007

Off on retreat

No posting till next Sunday. I will be away on retreat.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

New high in YouTube low.

BMP at Cristus Vincit has found something that surpasses even "The Star Wars Holiday Special" in crapitude. What is it? Click here to find out. Hint: it involves 'Sr.' Frodo Chidester's congregation (points if anyone can find her actually in the video) and KUMBAYA.

"Man on a Tightrope"

Earlier this week Fox Movie Channel showed a very interesting movie from 1953 by Elia Kazan. "Man on a Tightrope" was about a circus escaping communist Czechoslovakia. I remember seeing it, but not really understanding it, when I was about six. It is well worth watching. Here is what one of the IMDB reviewers had to say,

This is a particularly fine film, but the other users missed an item that I would like to mention. Namely, communism or, rather, the specific type of communism which was practiced within the old Soviet Empire, was a subtle poison to the human spirit. In a critical scene, just before the fatal run across the border, the Circus manager questions a roustabout about his betrayal of his community(the Circus) and everyone whom he ever knew there. This man, with a straight face, announces that he and the other manual laborers are the heart and essence of the circus. Along with the movie audience, the manager(played by veteran actor Frederick March) is shocked that anyone could convince himself that people come to see him and his fellows, not the aerialists, not the lion tamer nor even the clowns. There are no paranoid political rants here, but that form of communism is "busted" for its "divide and conquer" tactics. People took appalling risks to flee communism and this film gives the viewer part of why they were willing to take them. I couldn't imagine then and I can't imagine now that "a higher standard of living" was the reason for this.

Keep an eye out for it an watch it if you get the chance.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Two-Hour Star Wars Holiday Special in only Five Minutes!

Imfamous from 1978! (And you thought Nimoy singing about B. Baggins was bad!) Zuccetto spin to The Sci-Fi Catholic.

Ugly Austrian vestment mystery solved!


Head over to Sacra Cracovia for the TRUTH about the horrible vestments used during the Holy Father's Austrian visit!
Sacra Cracovia is the blog of my friend Jon. Jon is a graduate student in theology at Notre Dame. (This gives me lots of hope for the Theology program there.) Recently, I attended Jon's wedding the holy, lovely, and gracious Monica Q.

Orthometer on the Journey Home

Mark your calendars. I will be on Marcus Grodi's EWTN program, "The Journey Home", on October 15th. (You will be able to see what my poor parishioners have to suffer through.)

Monday, September 17, 2007

Coming to my parish

Father Frank Pavone, MEV, founder of Priests for Life, will be celebrating the Holy Mass and preaching on Sunday, September 30th at St. James Parish in Ogden, Utah. Masses are at 8:00 am, 9:30 am, and 11:30 am. Anyone who is in the area is welcome to attend.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

First principle of liturgy:

Liturgy is first and foremost concerned with the worship of God. It is about God.

Corollary to the First Principal:

Liturgy is not about us; our needs, desires, and/or identities.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Out of the mouths of cartoon cats


Zuccetto spin to John Barnes.

Warning on Halloween Costumes

Before you choose a Halloween costume this year, it's important to consider whether it's appropriate. You may feel your costume is creative, but in these politically correct times, you need to take the feelings of others into account! The following costumes have been deemed politically incorrect, so beware.


Raggedy Ann. This costume clearly objectifies women.
Werewolf. Offensive to animal advocates and those with male-pattern baldness.
Cave man. The proper term should be "evolutionarily challenged"; "man" is overtly sexist; also insulting to those in loincloths.
Cop. Authority figures should not be ridiculed.
Grim Reaper. Trivializes death; may also encourage children to use scythes without the necessary supervision.
Napoleon. Offends the French. (In much the same way deodorant does.)
Frankenstein's Monster. Pokes fun at those with psychological or emotional problems, as well as those with identity crises.
Bride of Frankenstein. Extremely offensive to women—they should not be known by, or valued more, merely because of their husbands.
Skeleton. Exhibits an insensitivity toward those with eating disorders.
Angel. Mocks religion and the religious.

Hunchback of Notre Dame. Ridicules those with physical deformities, as well as those suffering from "ligyrophobia," a fear of noise.
Dracula. Endorses the irresponsible practice of transmitting bodily fluids.
Sigmund Freud. Insults those with the lifelong opinion that a cigar is just a cigar.
Flapper. Demeaning to women and tassel salesmen.
Gladiator. Insensitive to cross-dressers.
Cowboy. Encourages violence, cruelty to animals and spontaneous "whooping."
Mafioso (mobster, "wise guy"). Unfairly stereotypes Italian-Americans. OK, actually, fairly stereotypes Italian-Americans, but it's still stereotyping.
Tarzan. Condones mistreatment of minorities and animals. Again, hurtful to those in loincloths.
Ghost. Glorifies the occult.
Witch. Religious persecution. Also pertains to warlocks, Gnostics, conjurers, chiromancers, shamans and Druids.
Leprechaun. Shows contempt for the Irish-American community, as well as the diminutive.
Presidents. Encourages scorn and contempt for authority figures, at least half of whom have no criminal record whatsoever. (See also "Cop.")
Characters from Star Wars. Offensive to Star Trek fans.
Characters from Star Trek. Offensive to Star Wars fans.
Mummy. Offends Egyptians, embalmers and the undead.
Genie. Objectifies women; subjects those who may be "buxom challenged" to ridicule. (Note: Same applies to wenches.)
Pirate. Distasteful to those with hooks for hands and the vision impaired (wearers of eye patches), not to mention parrot owners.
Zombie. Disrespectful of the dead.
Princess. Contributes to myth that women must be "rescued" to live happily ever after (same goes for Snow White); also insulting to certain Jewish-Americans.
Gorilla. Condescending to our friends in the wild kingdom.
Medusa. Exploits animals; sends the wrong message to young girls by implying women are defined by their physical appearance.
Gumby. Ridicules those with disfigurements (especially of the head).
Knight. Offensive to dragons, I imagine.
Baby. Promotes a lack of respect for youth, human life and those who drool voluminously.
Ballerina. Cruelly mocks the short, not to mention the waif-like.
Indian. Native-Americans have been oppressed, slaughtered and persecuted—imitation buckskin and feathers are the final insult.
Devil. Affront to demons and those currently possessed by demons; Satanists are people, too, all right?
Sports Figures. Belittles our heroes.
Convict/Prisoner. See "Sports Figures"—the groups often seem to overlap.
Fairy. Offensive to interior designers and choreographers. (Note: The same guideline applies to sprites and pixies.)
Bandito. Racial stereotype; subtly condones handlebar mustaches.
Headless Horseman. Blatantly sexist; wrongfully pigeonholes equestrians; also involves another physical deformity—offensive to amputees and the headless.
Viking. Endorses razing; in addition, glorifies pillaging and ravishing.
Porky Pig. Insensitive to members of the Jewish-American community (as well as members of Weight Watchers).
Klingon. Unjustly hurtful to illegal, as well as resident, aliens. (See also "Characters from Star Trek.")
Hobo. Derides the economically and hygienically disadvantaged.
Professional wrestlers. Offensive to just about everybody. (See also "Sports Figures.")
Mermaid. Slights women and aquatic life simultaneously.
Daffy Duck. Unkind to those with speech impediments. (Same goes for Elmer Fudd and Barbara Walters.)
Phantom of the Opera. Unfeeling toward those with physical malformations; shows contempt for those committed to ridding the civilized world of musicals.
Ninja. Perpetuates stereotype of Asians; also promotes "lurking."
Albert Einstein. Insulting to those who have a problem comprehending the particle nature of light.
Chinaman. Sexist; racist; upsetting to immigrants and honor students.
Clown. Deeply offensive to Geraldo Rivera.
Aunt Jemima. Racially inflammatory; serves to exacerbate the already incendiary "pancake vs. waffle" debate.
Robin Hood/Merry Men. Suggests an intolerance for those with alternative lifestyles.

(Myself, I am torn between Severus Snape, Vlad the Impaler, and Ray Stanz.)

Zuccetto Spin to Sharon and Emily.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Note: When musicians are applauded at Mass, something bad is going on.

A friend who is possibly more sarcastic than I am told me the following story. He was visiting the parish nearest his house, which is not his parish. The choir (music group, whatever you want to call it) was up front and elevated in a prominent place. At the end of Mass, the entire congregation gave them a rousing round of applause. Paul, on the other hand, had to fight back the urge to ask the priest, "Father, the performance was great. When the heck is Mass?"

Just as the homily is not supposed to be a stand up act, so music at Mass is not a performance. It is an act of prayer and an offering to God. If musicians are applauded, the first question that should be asked is, "What is being done that makes people believe that this is a performance?"

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Speaking of California...

A relative of a parishioner was visiting here last weekend. Like his brother, he discovered that it is fun to yank my chain. "Hey Father, what do you think of Martin Luther." "He was a heretic," I replied. "Well, a couple of years ago at a class in (blank), Bishop (name withheld) said that he was a hero and a saint in heaven. What do you think of that?" "That bishop is a heretic too. Luther would have been lucky to make it to Purgatory."

I vaguely remember reading of a mystic who claimed that Luther was in Purgatory and would remain there until the last soul that his doctrine deceived was released.

Luther and the others commonly referred to as reformers were not. They were rebels. The real reformers were people like S. Theresa of Avila, S. Pius V, and S. Charles Borromeo.

"But Father, I saw the Pope wearing an overlay stole...."

I have gotten several emails and comments stating this or, similarly, pointing out that certain important ecclesiastical types do. My initial and enduring response is, "So what. Just because someone important does it, it doesn't make it right." I think most clergy that engage in this abuse do so innocently. They simply are unaware or haven't thought through the rubrics.

The Pope is a different case. As the supreme earthly legislator within the Church, he has the authority to grant himself a dispensation from liturgical law. However, I am told that this is not what is going on when one sees the Pope in an overlay stole. The Pope doesn't bring his own vestments with him when he travels. It is provided by the area which is hosting his visit. Ideally, the papal Master of Ceremonies would provide guidance on this, but as this is Archbishop Marini.... A few years ago, I was at the ordination of a friend in California. It was about to get ugly after the diocesan MC informed me that, "In this diocese, we wear the stole on top." Just then, my Roman trained friend suggested that I do what John Paul II did when confronted with this, wear another stole under the chasuble. I suspect this is what the current Holy Father does when confronted with a similar situation.

(P. S. Be careful not to confuse the papal pallium with an overlay stole.)

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Recurrent nightmare


While I have been out of school for 14 years now (I did ten years of post high school education), this time of year always brings back memories of the beginning of the school year.
One memory that jumps to the forefront is the anxiety of starting a new year. Often this was manifested with a dream/nightmare that I had forgotten that school had started and missed the first day/month/ and even once year of school. This still happens on occasion. (It is a great relief to wake up and realize that it isn't true because, heh, I graduated!)
The funny thing is that during my junior year of high school, it actually happened. I forgot to set my alarm and because mom had already left for work, I slept in until 11:00 a. m.. You can't imagine the panic I felt as I woke up and looked at my clock. I think I set a land speed record getting to school that day.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Blogging from behind the Spud Curtain


I am in Boise for a funeral. I will be back (loaded with Utah State Lottery tickets) Wednesday evening.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Pet Peeve: Frisbee Hosts


Perhaps they have made an appearance at your parish or maybe you have encounter them while on vacation. Maybe you thought to yourself, "Why is Father trying to consecrate a Frisbee?" Well, it isn't a Frisbee, it is a Frisbee Host. A Frisbee Host is an extra large host designed to be broken in many parts.

Let me make something perfectly clear. Unlike the Overlay Stole, the Frisbee Host (assuming that it is made of wheat flour and water) is perfectly licit according to the rubrics of the Ordinary Rite. They are used because of the suggestion (note that it is suggested not required) in the GIRM that,

The meaning of the sign demands that the material for the Eucharistic celebration truly have the appearance of food. It is therefore expedient that the eucharistic bread, even though unleavened and baked in the traditional shape, be made in such a way that the priest at Mass with a congregation is able in practice to break it into parts for distribution to at least some of the faithful. Small hosts are, however, in no way ruled out when the number of those receiving Holy Communion or other pastoral needs require it. The action of the fraction or breaking of bread, which gave its name to the Eucharist in apostolic times, will bring out more clearly the force and importance of the sign of unity of all in the one bread, and of the sign of charity by the fact that the one bread is distributed among the brothers and sisters.

Also, I suspect that their is a desire that everyone be able to SEE the principal host. However, like many suggestions in regards to the liturgy, they just don't work in the real world. For example, that all the hosts for a given Mass be consecrated at that Mass. Trust me, this is a can of worms even to try.

"OK Father, then why don't you like it?" First, I think the sign value concern can be adequately addressed by having the host and wine brought up together in the Offertory procession. Secondly, not everything has to be extremely visible. With a real elevation of the Host, the Body may be more than adequately seen. Third, the products of the Frisbee Hosts when broken are very small and/or have sharp edges and points. They are not at all friendly for Communion on the Tongue. Fourth and most importantly, in spite of what their manufactures claim they leave a ton of particles and these particles tend to shoot everywhere. (I suspect this is not a concern for those who push their use.) Traditional communion breads are far more friendly towards Communion on the Tongue (which is the preferred and universal practice of the Latin Rite) and better preserve reverence for the Sacred Species.

(Liturgical Pet Peeves yet to be addressed: Homemade Altar Breads and Junior Klansman Suits.)

Saturday, September 01, 2007

The Ballad Of Bilbo Baggins (uncut version)

And here is the uncut version.

Leonard Nimoy's Ballad of Bilbo Baggins

Last week, I presented Bill Shatner's take on Rocket Man. Well I ran across something worse. Spock singing the Ballad of Baggins. I think this could even make Jeffrey Smith long for Charlie the Unicorn.

Caption Contest Results


Here are the results for the caption contest. The winner is Al, aka Bill the Cat, for "SHHHHHHHHH!!!! Be veewy vewy quite, I'm hunting 'HARE'etics!" Every time I read it, I hear it in Fudd voice and can't stop laughing. Al, a Mass will be said for your intention (as long as it has nothing to do with Jeane Kirkpatrick. :) ) Close seconds are: The Caveman for,"Yippie-ki-yay, meus frater" ; Dim Bulb for, "Excuse me, ma'am. Did a whiny Swiss theologian just run by here?" and "I can shoot a copy of McBrien's CATHOLICISM out of the hand of a seminarian at fifty paces" and "When the albino monks fail, they call me."; and Viscount Sir Regular Paul for, "I am their shepherd. They are my flock. Back off." A Mass for the collective intentions of all who participated will also be offered. (Hmmm, I am starting to feel like Dumbledore at the end of the year feast.) A special award to Vincenzo for the the cool picture. He gets a special Mass for his intention. And finally Mass will be offered for Digi's dad because a) she came up with the idea and b) he served our country.