Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Happy Walpurgis Night!

Today, in addition to being the memorial of one of my favorite Saints, Pius V (of whom Tundra Terry says, "Trads-more-trad-than-trads love him! In their opinion, there hasn’t been a pope (like him) since."), is also Walpurgis Night. In European folk belief, it is a day when witches gather and are especially powerful. It is also a major day of 'celebration' among certain groups of modern occultists. What a day for a witch hunt!

Today also marks the 63rd anniversary of the self-inflicted assumption of room temperature of the Austrian that General Patton, among others, referred to as, "that paper-hanging son-of-a-bitch."

Give Us Back Our Holy Days!

In my last parish the days to come were know as "The Time Father Erik Complains About the Bishop Moving the Solemnity of the Ascension to Sunday." I suppose that it could also be called Whiningtide. In our diocese, the celebration of this feast was moved 14 years ago. This was during my first year as a priest and so I have never been able to celebrate this feast on its proper day in the Latin Rite. (I have snuck down to the Maronite parish a couple of times.) I am beginning to feel like the Emperor Augustus. It is said that after the disastrous loss of three legions in Teutoburg Forest, for years August would periodically cry out, "Quintctili Vare, legiones redde! (Quinctilius Varus, give me back my Legions!)" Well, here I am crying out, "GIVE ME BACK MY HOLY DAYS!" And I will keep doing so until I get them back or I am dead, whichever comes first.
Why is it important? Primarily for a couple of reasons. First, religion is being pushed more and more to the periphery of society. The Faith is seen by many as a 'Sunday Thing'. Moving this important feast day only serves to underscore this belief. (And if things keep going this way, soon Sunday itself will be seen as optional. Oops it already is by many. The effective view of many is, "Keep holy the Sabbath Day, except when I want to go skiing, or camping, or the kids have a soccer tournament.) Second, the Ascension is a solemnity that celebrates an historical event. This event took place on a Thursday.
And so, dear readers, I ask that you join your prayers to mine that this, and other, holy days be restored to their proper days and obligatory nature.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Sanity At The Chronicle.

The following was sent from the new editor-in-chief of The Utah Daily Chronicle to a person who expressed concern over the Red Herring column:

I want to extend my sincere apology regarding an article published in The Chronicle last week. While it was intended to be a satirical piece, I agree that was in poor taste and should never have been published. Unfortunately, that decision was left in the hands of the previous editor-in-chief, who's tenure ended last Wednesday. I have already removed the article from The Chronicle's Website and have personally apologized to Bishop Wester's office. In addition, we plan to print a formal apology when The Chronicle resumes publication on May 14. As the university's independent student voice, The Chronicle highly values religious tolerance and we hope to better promote that ideal in the future. Feel free to contact me if you have any additional questions or concerns.

Sincerely, Dustin Gardiner
The Daily Utah Chronicle

Fair enough and well said. Errors in judgment occur and one of the purposes of student life in general is to make them and learn from them.

However, if the comment #16 on the previous post is in fact from the column's author, he has yet to recognize his error let alone learn from it.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Utah State Tax Dollars At Work.

This article (Zuccetto Spin to JS) is from the official student newspaper of my alma mater, the University of Utah, The Daily Utah Chronicle:

Red Herring: Wizard King ends tour of U.S.
Orion Archibald
Issue date: 4/23/08
Editor's note: The following column is a satirical piece and does not represent the views of The Daily Utah Chronicle.
Move over Gandalf: There's a new wizard in town!
Ending a week-long tour of the eastern United States, the Grand Magical Wizard King -- known to mystics by his native wizard title "Pope Benedict" -- held what many in attendance could describe as "a magical event" inside Yankee Stadium.
The ceremony, hailed by the Wizard King's followers as a "mass," sought to bestow the powers of the Magical Wizard King and his apprentices onto the lay followers gathered within the stadium, bringing to a close several days' worth of magical powers and spells cast by the Wizard King in both Washington, D.C., and New York City.
First citing the magical word "Alleluia," the Wizard King channeled the combined auras of those at Yankee Stadium through a guided series of chants and "prayers" to pay homage to the Wizard King's deceased grand master, the Omnipotent Grand Master Wizard King of the Universe -- referred to frequently by the Wizard King as "Jesus Christ."
With the help of his Wizard Apprentices and several young mages-in-training, the Wizard King cast his magical spell over the several thousand wafer crackers and thimbles of wine distributed to those in attendance. On-lookers, as though by routine, consumed the foods, allowing the Wizard King's magical powers to "spread through their bodies" and "clean their souls," according to several eye-witness accounts."
I'd heard of this Wizard King before," said John Daley, a construction worker from Brooklyn, N.Y. "But when I felt the magical power of his words mixing into these crackers, I knew he was a tried and true wizard supreme."
Although there were no fireworks or displays of the Wizard King's ability to summon lightning bolts, electric power blasts or other assorted sorceries through his wizard staff, he recited many passages alluding to a great forthcoming conflict between his Grand Wizard Coalition and that of a sinister Dark Sorcerer King of the Underworld. His master, the Wizard King noted, had defeated the Dark Sorcerer before in fair magical wizard combat, but the lay people of this land must prepare for "Round Two".
He's a sneaky devil, but we must prepare all peoples to combat him in their daily, non-magical lives," the Wizard King said.
To preserve the remainder of his magical powers -- which the Wizard King assured would be used to fight the heralds of Magicks ranging from Poverty to Famine -- the Wizard King was promptly shuttled from the ceremony in his specially crafted hyperbaric, magical white Mercedes."
Like he was riding a modern day white steed onto the rainbow sky bridge back to his grand wizard castle, or so I'm told," Daley said.
The Wizard King's chamber, prepared atop a standard Mercedes M Class, is designed to boost the Wizard King's powers by preventing swarms of lay persons from stealing the powers granted by his long white robes and pointed hat, while simultaneously dispelling the magical power of boomsticks fired point blank at the Wizard King's body.
In a statement delivered by the Wizard King's press corps, he thanked the people of the Americas and promised to "continue to train others in the magical powers bestowed by our Omnipotent Grand Master Wizard King of the Universe." The worldwide wizard training is to include lessons given at various Wizard Training Castles, or "cathedrals," throughout the known world, in topics ranging from magical chants to staff fighting to wizard gamesmanship to converting alms and donated moneys into magic powers, culminating in the ability to transfer massive amounts of guilt and mental suffering onto the various people of the land.
Although it is unclear when the Wizard King is set to return to the United States, one thing is for certain: His magical presence won't be forgotten any time soon."
I've felt a massive hole in my life for several years," Daley said. "Now, with the Wizard King's help, I can fill that hole by purging myself of the continual guilt I suddenly feel in my life -- with the help of his magical spells, of course."

(Please note that this was originally published without the editor's disclaimer and the byline is a pseudonym.)

To call this ham-handed effort satire is to dignify rantings that would embarrass most high school atheists. I would expect better logic from writers at a major university. I would also expect better editorial judgment. Somehow I doubt they would have published a similar attack on the Dalai Lama (or even Tom Cruise). But we must remember that Christians in general and Catholics in particular are not worthy of respect let alone courtesy in academic America.

UPDATE: (also courtesy of JS)

It seems that in the same issue we are told that: Residence Halls To Offer Diversity Education. Think the Chronicle staff will sign-up for it or that it would do any good? I don't either.

Friday, April 25, 2008

See The Previous Post.

Your Life is 16% Green

You're not really a tree hugger... if anything, you're a smokestack hugger.

So the environment is not your thing. Would it kill you to at least not litter?

(Zuccetto spin to Christus Vincit.)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Earth Day...

to all you granola eating, tree huggin, neo-pagan, Gaea-loving pantheists!

In the Spirit of Earth Day, the following Orthometric events are recommended:

--bean eating (gotta add to those greenhouse gases).
--tree cutting.
--styrofoam plate tossing.
--Spotted Owl cook-offs.

Throat Possession.

It is Spring allergy season and I am suffering from one my bouts of throat possession. This time, however, Kermit brought along a friend. (Hmmm, interesting image; Fr. Corapi as a Muppet.)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Friday, April 18, 2008

Recommended Reading.

After the recent visit to the orthometric combox (a year late mind you) from the Seder Supper dancer from St. Joan of Arc, I had been planning to write something on this disagreeable subject. However, Cathy of Alex beat me to it. Do yourself a favor and read it, if only for its wonderful title of "The Abomination of Desolation".

Papal Reflections.

Today, I had lunch with a permanent deacon friend. He asked me what I thought about the papal visit. I was somewhat taken aback. I hadn't fallen into critical mode yet, I have been too busy listening to what the Holy Father had to say. I am continually amazed at his ability to state clearly and compellingly the Gospel. I don't think this is due primarily to his brilliance, but rather to his charism as the Vicar of Christ. We are hearing the voice of Christ speaking through one whom He has sent. May God grant us all the grace to listen!

I was especially touched by his meeting with the victims of clergy abuse. This was no mere exercise in symbolism. I hope the bishops take to heart his words of this subject.

Now for the criticism of the visit itself.

1) I wish that the Holy Father would have been able to visit more of the US than just the North East. (Or the left coast for that matter.) Flyover country exists too.

2) I wish that he had ignored the UN. May God save us from world government!

3) That whoever planned the music for the DC event be sentenced to a decade of penance under the tutelage of the monks of Solemnes. (I only hope that New York redeems our country's liturgical reputation, such as it is.)

Minor things all in all. God has truly blessed us in the person of Pope Benedict.

I Say, You Say Meme.

BMP at Christus Vincit puts forward this fun meme:

1. That shiny metal stuff that you use to wrap food with:
A. Aluminum foil / B. Tin foil / C. Reynolds Wrap

B. Tin Foil.

2. That clear plastic stuff that is also used to wrap food with:
A. Plastic wrap / B. Saran wrap / C. Glad wrap

B. Saran Wrap.

3. Those things you use for facial and nasal care:
A. Tissues / B. Kleenex / C. Snot rags

D. Shirt Sleeve.

4. The stringy pasta that you eat with meatballs:
A. Spaghetti / B. P'sghetti / C. Noodles

A. Spaghetti.

5. Those wooden sticks you see in a chips bag:
A. Pretzel / B. Prentzel / C. Sticks

A. Pretzel.

6. That mammoth trunked animal in the zoo:
A. Elephant / B. Elly-Phahnt / C. Wooly mammoth

D. Ephalump.

7. The room in the house you have to use at least once a day:
A. The bathroom / B. The rest room / C. The little boys'/girls' room / D. The can

E. The Crapatorium.

8. The paper you use after using the room described in question #7:
A. Toilet paper / B. Bath (or bathroom) tissue / C. Butt wipe

D. The National Catholic Reporter

9. Your classification of a passenger van (full-sized or mini), besides van:
A. Car / B. Truck / C. Bus

D. BMW (Big Mormon Wagon--A Utah Thing.)

10. OK, finally, something relating to liturgical music - your classification of a Hammond organ:
A. Instrument / B. Appliance / C. Furniture

D. A weapon of Mass destruction.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Monday, April 14, 2008

Is This Guy Excited About The Pope's Visit Or What?

"All Catholics care about the pope because he's the visible leader of our church," said Bishop Tod D. Brown, head of the Diocese of Orange. "He is a focal point, and I think because of that, in any organization or grouping, you're going to listen to the top leader."
The pope's visit will be a positive one for the church after the sexual abuse scandals, Brown said.
"I think that our church is just beginning to move beyond that now," said Brown, who has met the pontiff twice.

(I guess the answer is 'Or what'.)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

When Kindergarteners Attack.


I am ready!

The Wedgie Patrol.

In the comments on the previous post, Ignorant Redneck asked:

Could you legalize severe public floggings for guys who wear theirtrousers undone around their buts?

Ummm, I would reserve flogging for those who wear no pants (or drive cars with stupid Darwin fish on them.) For the belt challenged, I would establish the Wedgie Patrol. This would be a brute squad of men with the build of professional wrestlers. They would be empowered to 'help' those with low hanging pants by forcibly demonstrating proper belt lines.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

When I Am Emperor.

The following TV commercials (among others) will be banned:
1-All commercials for lawyers. (One call does not do it all.)
2-Any commercial that includes the line, "It's my money and I want it now!"
3-Any commercial for feminine hygiene products.
4-Any commercial advertising treatments for E. D.. (This is a matter of justice for folks named Edward, Edwin, Edmund, etc....)
5-Ads for electric scooters.
6-Ads for 'male enhancement'.
The following practices will be legalized:
1-The shooting of skateboarders trespassing on private property.
2-The private ownership of RPGs and their use on autos emitting excessive bass.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Practice For My Dream Job.

This weekend is my parish's annual Media Fair (used book and DVD sale). Every year, I have the privilege of going through items before the sale to remove heretical and/or objectionable materials. Into the trash went one copy of The Passover Plot and two copies of Dick McB's (anti) Catholicism. Yo ho ho, tis the inquisitor's life for me!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

In Memory of Ralph.

Today in my homily, I mentioned my late lamented pet cockroach Ralph. I tied him in with the following Gospel passage:

And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.

Whenever I read this, I just picture turning on the lights and the roaches ducking for cover under the stove, fridge, etc....

But, back to Ralph. In the seminary, during the summer between First and Second Theology, I went to Cuernavaca, Mexico to study Spanish. I had a miserable time. I couldn't go to daily Mass because all the Masses were in the morning when we had class and all the priests who were studying Spanish with us were to lazy to say one. Also, I came down with a Giardia infection. (I lost 50 pounds in two months. I don't recommend this diet however.) And, I was bored to death. I was so bored I made a pet of a cockroach that lived in my bathroom. Every morning, I would feed him a little something. Here is thinking of you, Ralph.

A Modest Proposal.

I paid my 2007 taxes today as well as those for the first quarter of 2008. Which means that the next couple of weeks are not going to be good ones for my parishioners who work at the Ogden IRS Processing Center. (Can you say passive-aggressive boys and girls? I knew you could.)
More and more I am convinced that two things should happen. First, election day should be the day after tax day. Second, only those who pay taxes should be allowed to vote.