Friday, May 30, 2008
While surfing the blogs and reading the coverage of this, I have noticed a train of thought from the dissenters. It goes something like, "There are women way more talented than the men in the priesthood these days." It is usually coupled with, "How many parishes have to be closed before this is changed?" They miss the point entirely. Church doctrine isn't a plastic thing that we can change, whether the reasons are frivolous or serious. The Church must obey the teachings of Her Lord. The position of the Church on ordination has been uni-vocal throughout Her entire existence: only validly baptized men may be ordained. To hold anything else is heresy. 'Ordaining' a woman would be like using pizza and beer for the Eucharist. I may like it more than bread and wine. It may meet a 'need'. However, no matter how many times I might say the words of institution over it, it will not become the Body and Blood of Christ.
However, today I am putting out a call for help in dealing with more mundane problems. First, I want someone to build me a working, scale model Predator drone with cigar-sized miniature Hellfire missiles. It could orbit the parish grounds and finally put an end to the interminable skate-punk problem. (A RC AC-135 would also work.)
Second, I need someone to develop a portable electromagnetic pulse gun. For those who don't know, EMP fries electronics. (I really shouldn't need to put out a call for this with all the engineers in my parish. However, most of them seem overly concerned about their security clearances.) Why do I want this? Because I am sick and tired of listening to other people's car stereos. Especially, when both of our windows are closed. Now, I could use an RPG, but this would be overkill. With an EMP, I could take out the offending auto without collateral damage or unfortunate traffic delays.
Monday, May 19, 2008
Thursday, May 15, 2008
What is the solution? I am tempted to say that Lex Luthor in the original Superman had the right idea: Nevada as beachfront property. Or even a Great Wall of Kalifornia. (Something that many of us in the Golden State colonies have wished for for many years.) However, in all seriousness, only prayer and evangelization can reverse this great evil. Oh, and an end to the imperial judiciary.
Monday, May 12, 2008
Specifically through a strong electromagnetic plate positioned under the pulpit. The offenders will simply be issued special shoes with steel plates in the soles. As soon as the homily begins, a switch is thrown and, presto, no shambulation.
I also believe that with sufficient research this technology can also be applied to the abuse of inviting the congregation into the Sanctuary. Just imagine. Next time this happens in your parish, flip a switch and they will be hurled back into the pews. (This could also be useful with Water Witches (aka Poncho Ladies(tm)).
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Friday, May 09, 2008
The Vatican letter mentioned two things; privacy concerns and cooperation with the erroneous practice of baptism of the dead. Now, especially with older records the privacy thing strikes me a bit bogus. Most simply don't care if their great-grandfather was a bastard either literally or figuratively. (I am rather amused by my own relation to John Wilkes Booth.) The real issue is the purpose of LDS genealogical research. Historical interest and family history are subsidiary issues. The principal purpose is to enable the proxy baptism of deceased people. Believe me, I know how important this is for Mormons; it touches on the very issue of salvation. I also understand that they intend only the best by this practice, to enable salvation. However, they need to look at this from our perspective. This practice is erroneous. It is based on a false understanding of baptism, salvation, the afterlife, and God Himself. It doesn't matter that it has no effect. Neither does a Hindu sacrifice, but I am not going to participate in that either. Don't expect us to cooperate directly with something that flies in the face of our beliefs. And don't get your knickers in a twist when we don't. We aren't afraid of baptism of the dead. We just don't want to be a part of it.
Behold the Rowan (Mountain Ash) Tree which is planted outside my front door. According to European folk belief, this wards off witches. (Yet another reason why I never expect visits from NOW, NARLA, or Sr. Joan.)
This could also be used to help deal with the nuttjob-armpithair-hippies of Code Pink and their use of witches against the Berzerkley USMC recruiting station. Though, I think Supersoakers filled with Holy Water would be both more fun and effective.
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
“Dynamic facilitator” (With a title like this, you know it can't be good.)
Study suggests new role for pastors as increasing number of non-priests lead U.S. parishes, Oakland diocesan newspaper reports.
About five years ago, national priest, deacon, and lay leader ministry organizations (aka pressure or advocacy groups) initiated research to look at developments in ministry in the Catholic Church. During the week of April 20-26, 1,200 members of these groups met in Orlando, Florida, to discuss the results of the research project, titled “Emergency Models of Church Leadership.”
The research results “were, for the most part, hopeful and exciting, looking very much toward the future that the Spirit is leading us to in this country,” wrote Fr. Dan Danielson in a special report on the Orlando gathering for the Catholic Voice, newspaper of the Diocese of Oakland. (I always get nervous when someone implies that simply because something is happening that it is a sign of the Holy Spirit's leadership. Remember, there are other spirits that are anything but holy.)
Danielson, formerly pastor of the Catholic Community of Pleasanton, said the report presented “some statistics I previously had not been aware of that made the questions dealt with all the more urgent.” For example, the U.S. Church now has more than 31,000 lay ecclesial ministers (60% of them women) working at least 20 hours a week. At the same time, there are 16,000 permanent deacons and only 21,000 diocesan priests, 70% of them 55 and older. (Yes, and what kind of thinking got us into this mess to begin with?)
According to the report, the U.S. has 18,000 parishes, with new ones being added in the West and South. “Thirty-five to 40 percent of these parishes share their pastor with at least one other parish or mission,” wrote Danielson. “Two-thirds of U.S. dioceses have more parishes than priests available to staff them. Catholic people other than priests are the leaders of 616 parishes in 110 dioceses.” (The real question is; is this a good thing? Parish Life Coordinators and their like are not a good idea.)
The Orlando gathering addressed six focus issues (such as “parish life coordinators and sacramental ministers” and “pastoring multiple parishes”) through sub-groups. Danielson joined the “best practices of parish life” sub-group, where he learned that today’s parishes need a “pastor leader” who possesses “the ability to develop human relationships in the parish, has some developed leadership skills, is able and willing to collaborate with others in ministry, and has sufficient theological formation.” Parishes need to form lay leaders and empower parishioners. “Above all, the parish has to become an evermore welcoming Eucharistic community, facing outward in service to all and not inward in service only to its active members.” (Ah yes, focus issues; a great a way to arrive at pre-ordained conclusions. Moreover, all that seems to be talked about are issues of human interaction; the priest as a half-assed social worker. A seminary friend of mine used to point out that we shoot collaborators during wartime and we are definitely at war.)
Research, wrote Danielson, points to 13 practices “as the keys to the vibrancy of a Catholic parish.” Among these are the “redefinition of the role of pastor as a dynamic facilitator who orders and calls forth the gifts of others, serving as a change agent for new roles and structures, in other words, a shepherd.” (Damm! Look at all the jargon in this sentence. I am sure it violates some EPA toxicity reg.. Hmmm, I don't seem to recall Our Lord ever saying, "Go therefore and be vibrant!" or "I shall make you agents of change.")
Parishes must foster “an intense connection with the Eucharist as the center of parish life as well as participation in the other sacraments -- the fundamental defining characteristic of the Catholicity of a parish.” Parishes must also engage in “intense efforts to embrace multi-culturalism… especially in worship,” as well as “proactive personal outreach to individuals and households,” and a “commitment to justice.” (OK, the first part is good. The Sacraments are at the heart of Catholic life, but what about belief and teaching? The rest seems to be just more washed out liberalism.)
The groups behind the “Emergency Models” research were National Association of Lay Ministry, the Conference for Pastoral Planning and Council Development, the National Association of Church Personnel Administrators, the National Association of Diaconate Directors, the National Council Young Adult Ministry Association, and the National Federation of Priests’ Councils. (Yes indeed, the usual suspects.)
What we have here, it seems to me, is an effort to use the manufactured vocations crisis to remake the Church in the Call to Action image.
Sunday, May 04, 2008
Saturday, May 03, 2008
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- In an effort to block posthumous rebaptisms by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Catholic dioceses throughout the world have been directed by the Vatican not to give information in parish registers to the Mormons' Genealogical Society of Utah.
An April 5 letter from the Vatican Congregation for Clergy, obtained by Catholic News Service in late April, asks episcopal conferences to direct all bishops to keep the Latter-day Saints from microfilming and digitizing information contained in those registers.
The order came in light of "grave reservations" expressed in a Jan. 29 letter from the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the clergy congregation's letter said.
(Read the rest of the story here).
Finally, something is being done about this. For years, Mormons have been mining Church records for names for posthumous baptism. (This is the principle purpose of the titanic genealogical efforts of the Mormon church.) While, of course, these proxy baptisms have no effect, we certainly shouldn't be aiding them in any way.
(Now, if only something would be done about selling vestments and other sacred items.)