See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. - James 5:7

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Guys in capes...


Well it's really a coat, only worn like a cape.  Notice how it looks?  Notice the attitude of the wearer. 
.
Photo credit:  Sartorialist

Homosexual's kids in Catholic schools.



Boston Archdiocese releases non-discrimination policy.
.
Well intentioned, faithful Catholics often ask why gay couples would want their kids in Catholic school in the first place, especially since Catholic teaching condemns homosexual acts and anything resembling same sex marriage.  I have to wonder, "Why not?"  Perhaps these couples recognize the truth contained in Catholic teaching, and believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Catholic Church.  So who wouldn't want their kids in a Catholic school?  Other people see it as a case of dissidents infiltrating the Church in the attempt to change Catholic teaching.
.
This past week the Boston Archdiocese laid out guidelines for welcoming children from such households.  I totally understand the fears many people have about this decision, especially since the guidelines contain the following instruction:  "Each school should implement a recruitment and marketing program to maximize its enrollment consistent with its capacity and location."  God only knows how some schools will market themselves.
.
Bad parenting and the role of Catholic education.
.
Like I always say however, my parents were in a civil marriage, alcoholic, promiscuous, my dad in and out of jail, oh - he was a Lutheran as well, and hated Catholic teaching on divorce and remarriage, they never went to Mass, we were on welfare, and by golly, my mom got us into Catholic school anyway.  What if the nuns or the pastors would have told my fallen away Catholic mom to go to hell the way people want to tell same sex couples and their kids to go to hell?  It is doubtful I would be a practicing Catholic today without having had that Catholic education. 
.
Personally, I think many marriages are bad, and parenting is worse.  I think it unfortunate that we have so many single parent families, and I'm totally against same-sex marriage, as well as single people adopting children.  (I know!)  But this isn't Little House On the Prairie, in large urban areas especially, there is a far different reality.  When parents fail to train their kids for heaven, isn't that an opportunity for the Church to step in?  After all, isn't this the era of the "new evangelization"? 
.
"While Jesus was at table many tax collectors and sinners sat with Jesus and his disciples; for there were many who followed him... " - Today's Gospel, Mark 2: 13-17
.
For there were many sinners who followed him.
.
Though dissident groups praise the Boston Archdiocese for such an 'open' policy, I personally do not see the action as affirming the homosexual lifestyle, since parents must agree to having their children taught Catholic doctrine.  Neither do I see the decision as a triumph.  Archbishop Chaput of course has a different view and is against admitting children of same sex couples for fear of harming them further.  Chaput has a point, but I'm still screwed up from my upbringing.  Nevertheless Catholic education provided me with faith, hope, and charity - as well as an identity and a basis for some stability in my life.  Sadly, the disconnect between dioceses and bishops points to the wider split in Catholic policy in this country.  To be sure, opponents to the Boston policy have a right to be heard as well as the right to take the matter up with the Holy See.  In the meantime, don't screw around with kids.
.
I would rather save souls.
.
Link: LifesiteNews

Friday, January 14, 2011

Good News: Venerable John Paul II will be beatified May 1.



TE DEUM laudamus: te Dominum confitemur.
.
VATICAN CITY (AP) — The pope on Friday signed off on the miracle needed for the beatification of Pope John Paul II, and set May 1 as the date to honor one of the most beloved popes of all times as a model of saintliness for the church. - Source  (May 1 is Divine Mercy Sunday.)
.
Photo:  Time cover with fresco style painting of Pope John Paul II.  It is one of my favorite portraits.  Artist information unknown.  Photo taken from Time Archive.
.
H/T Spirit Daily
.

You can't shut me up...


I Blame the Parents: Girls Busted For Phony Facebook Pages



Especially the moms...
.
JANUARY 13--Two Florida girls are facing cyberstalking charges for allegedly creating a fake Facebook profile in the name of a fellow high school student and placing obscene photos on the page, including one showing their classmate’s head atop the body of a “nude prepubescent girl’s body,” according to investigators.

.
When deputies with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office last month interviewed one of the suspects, Taylor Wynn, 16, she admitted creating two fake Facebook pages “as a joke because she thought it would be funny.” Wynn said she was once friends with the unnamed victim, “but they do not like each other now.” - Read more here.
.
I always blame the parents.  Mums and dadums, they are your kids... you raised them... and you did not do a good job, did you.
.
Photo:  What?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

One of THE Very Best Versions Ever

For the under-employed, unemployed, retirees and others who live online... Blog Award Season is here!



But blogging is not competitive... no... well, yeah... but...  Huh? 

"I like bloggers who work and play well with other bloggers. Some don’t, you know. Some bloggers think that others bloggers are competition. I think we can all help each other out."

Yes - and be sure to vote for your favs and drink lots of coffee while you're at it - oh and go over and drive up those stats too.
.
2011 About.com Awards
.
And... drum roll....
.
Bloggers Choice Awards 2011

.
I'm embarrassed at how much time I spend online.  Sometimes I'm even 'afraid' at how much:  2 hours in the morning, a couple more at night - with a brief check on email in the afternoon.  I paint at home - in another area away from the computer.  Sometimes those email checks take about an hour.  Is this really the best use of my time?  What about those people who have real jobs or careers and almost spend as much time as I do online?  What about people who have vocations who spend all of that time online?  I know for a fact they have to be spending hours reading email, researching stories, other blogs, other news sources, and so on.  All of this work for a nomination and/or an award for best actor without a real job?
.
.
.
What?

Outside the USA: Catastrophic floods in Brazil...



Sometimes I wonder if Americans even realize there is a whole world outside the US and its dominions?
.
Brazil is the latest country to be devastated by floods...
.
Such disasters hit Brazil annually in its rainy summer season and unduly punish the poor, who often live in rickety shacks perched perilously on steep hillsides with little or no foundations.
.
Rio state's Civil Defense department reported on its website that 159 people were killed in Teresopolis, 160 in nearby Nova Friburgo and 36 in neighboring Petropolis.
.
"It's over. There's nothing. The water came down and swept everything away," said Sidney Silva. - Source
.
"...unduly punish the poor."
.
.
Photo:  Brazil floods - BBC

The Tuscon Memorial Service: "A Celebration of Life"...


"The lack of etiquette and decorum...  Oh my dear!  Who invited the riff-raff in?"
.
Actually, I was impressed with the President's address at the memorial in Tuscon, and I was buoyed by the enthusiasm of the crowd.  I paid no attention to the political signs and t-shirts - these days everyone promotes something.  (How about some coffee with that Ham?)   Anyway, I stopped watching midway, satisfied the President was there, attempting to rally the country and honoring the dead, while affirming the wounded.  Like I said, I was impressed, but I had some painting to do and I tire of political rhetoric on how we should all just get along.
.
The critics are out en masse today - that's just fine - that's contemporary American life.  Yet before 'they' go too far ripping apart the event for lack of decorum and sobriety, let them examine the way we do funerals in this country these days - even in Catholic churches.  It's no longer a funeral rite, but a celebration of life.  The dead aren't dead - they 'passed Go' and went straight to heaven - while the sick and wounded always fight to live - because life is worth celebrating and cheering and everyone is a hero and a champion in the Super Bowl of life.
.
Fact is, most secular Americans take these events personally and seriously, and they observe and participate in them the only way they know how.   Give people a break in times like these.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Is it a saints name?


The Holy Father proposes a return to using Christian names for kids.

.
POPE Benedict XVI has urged parents to use proper Christian names when naming their children.  The Pope was believed to be speaking out against the trend of copying obscure celebrity baby names. - Source
.
Instead of "Apple".
.
People do name their kids weird names - no doubt about it.  Even John Paul - few people realize the Pope took that name because he was a huge fan of Jean Paul Belmondo, the famous French actor.  I know!  That's a lie of course, but a lot of people name their kids after people - celebrity or not - instead of saints.  I myself prefer saints names.
.
When I was baptized the priest questioned the name Terrance - I suppose it was at that point my mother had to convince him my patron saint was actually St. Therese.  Little did they know, there is a St. Terrance.  That said, many priests and Catholics don't always know if there is a saint associated with an unusual name already.  To be sure, if priests did know their saints a little better, they could actually help the irreligious mom and dad with a short catechesis in preparation for baptism, rather than trying to control and dictate what name they choose for their kid.  (Gosh!  So many rules!)
.
I've written about all of this before, so I'll not waste time criticizing how church people decide to exercise their authority.  Parents should do their homework however, and surprise the priest with how much they actually know about what is in a name.
.
For example:
.
You like the name Evan?  Tell the priest it is a derivative of Eve - I think she was a Biblical figure.  For a boy it also works as a derivative for Evangelist - just tell Father the John is silent.
.
How about the despised Tiffany?  A derivative of Epiphany - a Biblical event - and the girl has 3 kings for patrons.  Not bad.
.
Sienna?  The patroness is Catherine of Sienna - or Bernadine.
.
Avery?  How about Ave as in Maria?
.
Adler?  Derivative of St. Adalbert.
.
Just a few examples, I know.  I suggest you be creative if you want an unique baby name - and if all else fails, add "Mary" or "Maria" or "Joseph" to the name - religious people have done that for centuries.  Remember Sammy-Jo, Heather Locklear's character from "Dynasty"?  Jo could be for St. Josephine or Joseph, and Sammy would have to be for Samuel.  Oh sure, now you wonder who the patron saint for Heather is?  St. Eric of course.  The name Erica comes from the Latin word for the Heather plant. The name is the feminine form of Eric - there is a saint named Eric.
.
A traditional saint's name would certainly be better than a name like "Apple", but it doesn't mean you can't be creative either.  Who knows - if you are good Catholic parents with an unusual baby name - that baby might become the very first St. "Apple".  I know, Gwyneth Paltrow is not Catholic, although I do wonder if Gwyneth may have named her daughter with St. Apollonia in mind?  It is a stretch, I know - but one might attribute Apple to Apollonia, might one?  BTW - Apollonia is the feminine for Apollo - a pagan God - the male equivalent is Apollonius.  Yet both are saints names.
.
Anyway, don't get too bent out of shape about this whole thing.  I'd be more concerned that the parents are married and of the opposite sex, as well as intent upon raising the "Apple" Catholic. 

Prayers for the suffering Haitians on the first anniversary of the quake.

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel of Haiti

O Mary, Black Madonna of Mt. Carmel, your children continue to suffer and have no one to help them rebuild... no one to nurse them back to health, no one to clothe and feed them, no one to minister to them spiritually in the manner they deserve and need.  O Blessed Mother of Perpetual Help, do not forget the poorest and most despised of your children.  O Mother of Prompt Succor, delay no longer and come to their aid!  Convert the hearts of those who control and exploit your children, the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere.  Move them to act promptly and decisively for the welfare of these souls most in need of Christ's mercy.  Amen

Thank you for hearing our prayer and obtaining the graces we ask for our brothers and sisters in Haiti.

Donate:  Catholic Relief Services Emergency Fund For Haiti.

USCCB News: Linda Hunt Appointed Director of Human Resources


Story here.
.
What?
.
.
.
.
Photo:  Linda Hunt

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Breaking! The cape tutorial has been removed.

How to wear a cape with flair: A tutorial for celebrity clergy. Back by Popular Demand!


.
Sorry, no male models could be found for this tutorial.
.
What?

More cases of widespread sexual abuse by clergy.



From Fr. Gordon MacRae:
.
“There are cases of sexual abuse that come to light day against a large number of the Catholic clergy. Unfortunately it’s not a matter of individual cases, but a collective moral crisis that perhaps the cultural history of humanity has never before known with such a frightening and disconcerting dimension. Numerous priests and religious have confessed. There’s no doubt that the thousands of cases which have come to the attention of the justice system represent only a small fraction of the true total, given that many molesters have been covered and hidden by the hierarchy.”

.
This isn’t an editorial in yesterday’s New York Times, nor is it the opening gun in a new lawsuit by Jeffrey Anderson. It also isn’t a quote from S.N.A.P. or V.O.T. F. It is part of a speech delivered on May 28, 1937 by Joseph Goebbels, Adolf Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda for the Third Reich. - Catholic Scandal and the Third Reich

.
Some facts from Dr. Thomas Plante, PhD:
.
“Catholic clergy are not more likely to abuse children than other clergy or men in general.” [As I pointed out in "Due Process for Accused Priests," priests convicted of sexual abuse account for no more than three (3) out of 6,000 incarcerated, paroled, and registered sex offenders.]

.
“Clergy sexual abuse in the Catholic church cannot be blamed on celibacy.” The majority of men convicted of sexual abuse are married and/or divorced.
.
“Almost all of the clergy sexual abuse cases that we hear about in the news are from decades ago,” most from the 1960s to 1970s.
.
“Most clergy sex offenders are not pedophiles.” Eighty percent of accusers were post-pubescent teens, and not children, when abuse was alleged to have occurred.”
.
“There is much to be angry about,” Dr. Plante concluded, but anger about the above media-fueled misconceptions is misplaced.   Why this isn’t clearer in the secular press is no mystery. As one observer of the news media wrote, “More than illness or death, the American journalist fears standing alone against the whim of his owners or the prejudice of his audience.” Lewis Lapham, Money and Class in America, Ch. 9, (1988). - ibid
.
Click here for more information on Fr. MacRae.
.
h/t Spero News and Pewsitter

The Assassin


Oh come on!  Who didn't know this guy was a nutcase?  Who sold the idiot the gun?

There ought to be a law.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Our Lady of Mejugorje is 165 meters tall.



New book with interviews of the seers.

This year marks 30 years since the phenomena of Medjugorje began, attracting over 30 million pilgrims in the process.  I wanted to believe in the apparitions, but I have always been unable to sustain any interest.  That is not to say I haven't been impressed with the devotion some of the adherents of Medjugorje have shown over the years.  A few devout people impressed me so much I was willing to accept the veracity of the apparitions on their testimony alone.  Holy people can be deceived as easily as sinners, even without losing the grace of God.  But like I said, I have never been able to sustain any interest in Medjugorje, and I am more inclined to disbelieve it entirely - especially in light of some very good documentation discrediting the veracity and obedience of the people involved.
.
That said, I do not have the competence to say it is true or false, I only follow what the Church says and await the final official decision.  Of course belief in such matters is neither required or necessary for salvation. 
.
"The Virgin Mary is a blue eyed teenage girl that appears taller than she is because she stands on a cloud."

.
That is according to a new book that has carried out exclusive interviews with the the visionaries of Medjugorje, who first saw her 30 years ago this year when they were schoolchildren.
.
On June 24, 1981, six children in the town of Medjugorje, in then Yugoslavia, began to experience phenomena which they alleged to be apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
.
The apparition they saw had a message of peace for the world, as well as a call to conversion, prayer and fasting.
.
The message has gained a strong following among Catholics worldwide and Međugorje has become one of the most popular pilgrimage sites attracting over 30 million pilgrims since the apparitions began in 1981. - Croatian Times
.
People with special needs.
.
I've noticed a wavering pattern with some Medjugorje believers over the years, they accept the events as true, then they don't, and suddenly they do again.  Such inconsistency seems to me to be natural - perhaps all too human, rather than direct diabolic delusion.  Possibly it is a case of 'the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak' .  In some cases it just might be that fallen human nature, desperate for some sort of sensate quasi-spiritual consolation or affirmation, returns hoping to recover an earlier experience of God's love.  I think sometimes God grants these mercies to desperate souls lest they despair.  Despite themselves, some end up attributing the grace to the extraordinary claims of the so-called apparition.  Indeed, God does work in and through particular places and events.  I'm not a theologian, so it is difficult for me to explain this very well.

Take a desperate man for instance, perhaps some sort of addict.  Suppose he wanders into a Pentecostal revival meeting and there experiences an inner healing or inner conviction concerning the love of God.  Almighty God can and does work outside the Church and 'approved' means sometimes.  It doesn't mean that Pentecostalism is the way to go however.  Frequently desperate souls find the encounter with God they need for salvation outside the normal structure of the Church and the sacraments.  Grace builds upon grace of course, thus solace in this or that particular experience which can sometimes be found outside the scope of Church approval, is meant to be a stepping stone to a destination, not the destination.  Similarly apparitions, private revelations and spiritual consolations are not an end in itself.
.
Some movements can be a threat to pure faith of course, thus we see the Church entering in to correct any error, false teaching, and so on.  Normally, in and of themselves, unapproved private revelations often pose no harm to individuals of good faith - so long as the messages lead the soul to authentic conversion, the practice of the virtues, devout reception of the sacraments - and of course, fidelity to Church teaching.  What is always necessary is that pure faith be based upon the fullness of the truth of Jesus Christ which is only found in the Roman Catholic Church.
.
In the meantime, wavering souls often need some sort of solace in this vale of tears, and if they do not find it in their parishes, they will find it in dubious movements and private revelations.  Most of us are very little souls, very weak, and in need of great mercy.  Let's pray for one another. 
.
H/T Spirit Daily

Fr. Cutie on The View


Whoopie seemed to like him - she even expressed interest in his type of church.
.
This morning Fr. Alberto Curie was on The View promoting his tell all book, dressed in clerics with the nice crisp Anglican dog collar.  He is saying some pretty lame things about celibacy and cites the ancient history that all protestants have done since Marty Luther.  He also has the same bitch about homosexual clergy getting away with 'stuff' while he was singled out for being honest about his needs.  Not exactly his words, but I caught the drift.  I know many former priests, gay and straight.  I'm not down on former priests - just the ones who lambasted the Church after they left.
.
Cutie complained that he was singled out when his bishop went on television announcing the canonical penalties, he claimed he couldn't understand it considering how other cases have been treated.  Cutie appears not to understand that he was a public figure and he was caught scandalously romping with his mistress on a public beach.  A disc jockey in high school before entering seminary - hot-stuff Cutie was probably welcomed by vocation directors and faculty falling all over themselves to get him into seminary - regardless of any moral issues he may have had.  I have no doubt he was the golden boy, poster child for recruitment at the time.  Later, easily approved for ordination and in recognition of his communication skills, not to mention his show-biz good looks and aspirations, his ambitions were put to good use in the New Evangelization on Telemundo.  Cutie became a celebrity priest and spokesman for Latino youth, sort of a  pop-culture icon.  Considered a "What-a-waste" hip priest, he dazzled everyone from Gloria Estefan to Raymond Arroyo.  He knows all of that.  So why should the guy be surprised that the public scandal he caused was addressed so immediately and publicly?
.
That said, he was groomed to fall from grace - albeit unwittingly.
.
"Those who flatter you, lie to you." 

Spanish Catholic Youth Calendar...


The passion according to theology of the body...

.
A Catholic youth group has shocked its religious superiors in Mallorca by producing a calendar that features a nude version of the passion of Christ. - Story

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Mass Chat: Homilies


I've noticed my pastor usually strings together phrases from the introduction and commentary on the day's readings from Magnificat as the basis for his homilies - often including excerpts of the daily meditation.
.
Magnificat is a very good resource.

Parent One, Parent Two...



More reasons why gender neutral terminology is bad.
.
Whereas one might expect most people would be able to simply point to this case (the change of U.S. passport applications from father/mother to parent one/two) as proof that ss marriage is not natural and demands special politically correct handling, which means upsetting Western Civilization as we know it - Hilary Clinton's State Department appears to have the power to convince us otherwise. 
.
My friend Paula sent me a link to Fr. Malloy's blog, who in turn links to the Fox article:
.
The words “mother” and “father” will be removed from U.S. passport applications and replaced with gender neutral terminology, the State Department says.
.
“The words in the old form were ‘mother’ and ‘father,’” said Brenda Sprague, deputy assistant Secretary of State for Passport Services. "They are now ‘parent one’ and ‘parent two.’"
.
A statement on the State Department website noted: “These improvements are being made to provide a gender neutral description of a child’s parents and in recognition of different types of families"
.
“We find that with changes in medical science and reproductive technology that we are confronting situations now that we would not have anticipated 10 or 15 years ago,” she said. - Fox
.
Needless to say, gay rights groups are in full support of the decision.  Fr. Malloy also posted an insightful piece of commentary from Lawrence Auster on the issue:
.
When a supporter of homosexual "marriage" smugly says to you, "How does it hurt me, how does it hurt you, how does it hurt society, if two men or two women are allowed to marry each other and express their love for each other?", one answer you can give him is this: "It will result in the official elimination of the concepts of mother and father. Does that bother you? Or are you fine with that?" If your interlocutor is brought up short by your answer, he will have to admit that homosexual marriage is not just about benignly including same-sex couples in the institution of marriage, but about effecting an extremely radical transformation of human society. And if he's not brought up short, then he is exposed as someone who supports that extremely radical transformation. - View From the Right
.
I also want to conclude with this from the same source:
.
Of course this change is driven not just by homosexual marriage, but by homosexual adoption as well. Once homosexual couples are allowed to adopt, as they increasingly are in this country and elsewhere, you instantly have "alternative" families to which the terms "mother" and "father" do not apply. Therefore, in order to include homosexual couples equally in the parental relationship and not exclude them or treat them as "second-class parents," the terms "mother" and "father" must be replaced by sex-neutral terms. - View From the Right  
.
(Thanks to Paula for the links to this story - and Fr. Malloy who did all the work on the original post.)
.
Segue
.
Did anyone else see this story:
.
Parents should give babies sense of sexuality from birth: Planned Parenthood
.
A program touted as “a bold, nationwide, social change effort” is being launched by Planned Parenthood to alter family dialogue about sexuality and encourage parents to ease their children’s transition into a sexually active lifestyle.
.
Entitled “Real Life. Real Talk,” the program was first used in Connecticut, New York, Maine, and Arizona between 2004 and 2008, and its nationwide distribution is now being funded by groups that include the Ford Foundation.
.
The stated goal of the program is “to positively change the social climate in communities” with “more open, honest, and balanced talk” about sex; it targets parents and guardians of children as young as 8 years old.

.
“A more positive social climate will, over time, help to ensure that people — particularly young people — have adequate information and services to enable them to make healthy sexual choices,” states Planned Parenthood, noting that “getting people to talk openly ... about ... sensitive or stigmatized” issues is always “a critical step in making social change happen.”  - Source
.
Photo:  Gay dads with daughter.

Appalling.

I don't know what else to say about the tragedy in Tuscon.  The shooting ranks right up there with the other assassinations and mass murders this culture of death breeds.

Prayers for the victims.