Saturday, February 19, 2011

No honor among thieves.



Salvation so uncertain.
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Something is wrong with me.  I suppose it could be called a case of 'no honor among thieves' - I never got that proverb - so I may have it wrong here as well.  What I'm getting at is my tendency towards denial - making excuses for other people's bad behavior - pretending it doesn't exist or it isn't as bad as people think.  I'm not sure it is authentic charity at work in that either - you know how St. Paul writes that 'charity hopes all things, believes all things', etc..  I could be more or less unconsciously protecting and defending another sinner's reputation simply because in my past I too was promiscuous and hypocritical.  Obviously the hypocrite part remains active - the promiscuous part not.
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"If somebody up there likes me somebody up there cares
Deliver me from evil save me from these wicked snares." - Sting
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That said, I know how easy it is to fall into sin, even repeated mortal sin.  I recall Teresa of Avila writing something on mortal sin and how surprised she was regarding how far a person can go in committing them, but a confessor contradicted her saying he was surprised that they didn't do worse.  The mystery and horror of mortal sin!  Perhaps it can only be realized and understood through the awful things we see and witness today - even those sins committed by priests and religious people.
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I offer my apologies to those offended by my defense of Chris Wenthe - the latest local priest to fall.  Actually his crimes were more or less past him, occurring about 5 years ago, but the law caught up with him this past week.  As one reader noted, "I don't know the entire story" - hence any defense or comment on the story is not mine to give.  I was looking at the guy not only as another sinful human being would, but as a Catholic, trained to never say anything bad about a priest, and whose habit it is to usually look up to a priest, and I based my comments upon externals and idealized expectations.  True I'm critical of priests in other instances - so yeah, suddenly being so compassionate when they sin is pretty inconsistent.
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I did the same thing with Fr. Euteneuer - at first.  Last fall I did it with another local priest arrested for cruising in a public park where gay men meet for anonymous sex.  Come to find out later the man had something of a gay history.  Didn't matter - I still defended him, calling his crime a sin of weakness.  I won't go into that here except to make this observation:  Isn't it curious our double standard of excusing the sexual infidelities of heterosexual priests - as well as our 'relief' it was heterosexual - contrasted with our tendency to condemn and vilify - without mercy - the infidelities of homosexual priests?    Although there are degrees of sin.  But I digress.
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What is wrong with me.
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I can't believe I am as old as I am and somehow remain as naive as a kid.  Arrested development I suppose - seriously.  I have always - deep own - blamed myself for the times I was sexually abused as a kid.  Sexualized early, I was 'out' right after high school and in a long term relationship shortly after.  I was promiscuous as well - I slept around a lot.  There was no real expectation of fidelity in those days.  So it went.  Drugs came later - then my amazing conversion.
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After I left monastic life, I eventually fell into the same pattern.  I was spiritually immature and after disappointments with a few mentors who left monastic life and were found 'wanting' - I succumbed to temptation.  I was worse than I had been in my first fall from grace - mainly because I had come to know  the truth and I still believed - yet I chose to act out.  It got to be a living hell - until the 'second' conversion.  The second conversion did not mean the addictions disappeared - the spiritual battle actually intensified - but this time I was engaged, knowing I was absolutely no good, a sinner who can't be trusted - yet passionately loved by Christ.  I make no excuses for myself.  I'm still that sinner - loved by Christ.  I continually break the Heart of the only Man who ever loved me for who I am, with all of my flaws and sins and creepiness.  Therefore when I see better men than I am fall, it is very sad.  Sin is sad.
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Yet truth be told, I'm no better and much worse than these fallen priests.  I have no right to condemn and no right to defend these priests - much less myself.  Therefore, I have to take my place with the priests who abused and sodomized and exploited vulnerable men and women.  I have to take my place with their victims - because I have been there.  I have to take my place with the enablers and the hypocrites who covered up their crimes - because I have been doing just that.  I share their shame.  There really is no honor among thieves.
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I'm sorry.
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Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.  Amen. 
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Art:  Retablo - no other information available.
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Relax, have a cigar, make yourself at home. Hell is full of high court

Judges, failed saints. We've got Cardinals, Archbishops, barristers,

Certified accountants, music critics, they're all here. You're not alone.

You're never alone, not here you're not. OK break's over.

-St. Augustine In Hell, Sting







Friday, February 18, 2011

+ Fr. Matthew Kelty OCSO +



Two friends inform me that Fr. Matthew Kelty of Gethsemani Abbey, Kentucky died today.  He was 95.  He persevered in the monastery 51 years.  Blessed is he who dies in the Lord.  May the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace.

+
Since he clings to me in love, I will free him;
protect him for he knows my name.
When he calls I shall answer: 'I am with you.'
I will save him in distress and give him glory.
With length of life I will content him;
I shall let him see my saving power.
Psalm 90
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H/T: Thank you Michael and Jeron.

Blessed Giovanni of Fiesole (Guido di Pietro) - AKA, Beato Fra Angelico



Pope John Paul II beatified Fra Angelico on October 3, 1982 and in 1984 declared him patron of Catholic artists.
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Angelico was reported to say "He who does Christ's work must stay with Christ always". This motto earned him the epithet "Blessed Angelico", because of the perfect integrity of his life and the almost divine beauty of the images he painted, to a superlative extent those of the Blessed Virgin Mary. - Pope John Paul II
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Fra Angelico is among those privileged few who have been beatified without a miracle.
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"We, with sound knowledge, bearing in mind the considerable merits in the Church of Fra Giovanni da Fiesole, exclusively for the good of souls, of Our own initiative and with Our apostolic authority, concede as a sign of special grace that his birthday, with the title of "Blessed" in the Liturgy of the Hours and in the Eucharist may be celebrated, with an obligatory degree of remembrance, in the basilica of S. Maria sopra Minerva, where his body is buried, and with a facultative degree of remembrance throughout the Order of Preaching Friars."  - Ven. John Paul II, Moniales OP

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Art:  B. Fra Angelico, thanks to Moniales OP

Friday is a day of penance...


Please pray for priests.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I don't know what to say!



I know this priest!
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Please pray for Chris Wenthe.  Story here.

Coma and Government Collapse...



What's the deal with all the deposed dictators falling into comas?  First Mubarak, now Tunisia's Ben Ali
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Maybe Wisconsin's GOP Gov. Scott Walker could succumb next.
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Photo: Wisconsin public workers protest at State Capital in Madison.  In Minnesota - especially Minneapolis - taxes are skyrocketing - and property values falling.  We need a tax revolt. 

H/T Drudge

Rumours and fear mongering over Summorum Pontificum



Strange, violent, and dark forces wish to derail the application of Summorum Pontificum.
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Late last night I received a couple of links to stories concerning rumours circulating that Summorum Pontificum is in danger of being sabotaged.  Some bloggers are asking for prayers and fasting to prevent anything like this from happening.  The rumours and fears and conspiracy theories seem to have originated with an otherwise credible blog.
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I can't believe how shell-shocked traditionalists remain, despite the fact the Extraordinary Form of Mass has been 'liberated' and permitted by Papal decree - Summorum Pontificum.  Just yesterday I posted photos of Cardinal Burke presiding over the ordination of deacons for the Institute of Christ the King.  Along with Burke, Cardinal Ranjith is a proponent of the traditional liturgy, as are many other influential prelates, including abbeys and monasteries - traditional safe houses for the liturgy.  Such rumours are unsettling and foment suspicion amongst the faithful.  This form of liturgical gossip was once limited to seminaries and rectories or chanceries, as well as the whispers in the loggia of the Vatican.  It was bad enough then, yet now days, when everyone is an expert, this crap spreads like wildfire across the Internet.  And not a few people jump on these stories and use them to criticize anyone who just might happen to adhere to the liturgical reforms of the Novus Ordo - not the abuses of course - but the proper celebration of the Ordinary Form of Mass.
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To my mind this rumour mongering and alarmist fears indicates a lack of faith and trust in God.  It is evidence that some uber-Catholics believe they can dictate to others the mind of God - the mind of the Church; that they can force God to arrange everything to their tastes.  It is an insult to God to say the Novus Ordo is not a licit Mass, or to rip it apart and condemn it as less holy than the Extraordinary Form.  It is akin to saying that  the 40 years since the Council, God has abandoned his people - that he left the faithful to wander in the desert.  'What father would give his children stones when they asked for bread?'  In effect, some of these traditionalist rebuke God as the Israelites did when they asked, "Is it possible for God to prepare a table in the desert?"  God has never abandoned the faithful - he continues to nourish us with the bread of angels - 'conforming to every taste' - Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.  No one is going to undo Summorum Pontificum.
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In today's Gospel, it strikes me that the Holy Spirit seems to speak to those who would pull Christ aside and rebuke him, saying, "Get behind me... you are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do."
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Again - no one is going to undo Summorum Pontificum.
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St. Joseph




Cardinal Mahony recently blessed a handsome sculpture of St. Joseph and the Child Jesus, by Christopher Slatoff.  "This life-sized bronze sculpture --- the newest artistic addition at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels --- not only depicts the loving relationship between St. Joseph and Jesus, but also the challenges of fatherhood and of being a Christian, according to his creator, Christopher Slatoff." - Source
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I like it. 
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H/T Spirit Daily

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Catholic Priest, Raymond Gravel Sues Lifesite News.


"This lawsuit also comes at the same time that attacks on the free speech rights of pro-life, pro-family and Christian citizens and media have been increasing all across the West." - LifeSite News
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A Canadian Roman Catholic priest and former gay sex-trade worker in Montreal, not to mention a former pro-choice Canadian politician who supports abortion and same-sex marriage is suing LifeSite News for libel.  Evidently LifeSite referred to the priest as a pro-abortion politico, while the priest claims he is merely "pro-choice" - legal double talk.  Before renouncing his political career after an ultimatum from the Vatican, Gravel opposed a bill which would recognize the rights of an unborn child injured as a result of a crime as separate from the injury of the mother. (Wiki)  Not a pro-life mindset on any level.  Gravel's lawsuit would put LifeSite out of business.
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On record for numerous attacks against Canada's Cardinal Ouellet and Church teaching regarding abortion, what follows is a summary of Gravel's other anti-Church rants:
  • In 2003, Fr. Gravel wrote an article criticizing the Vatican's stance on homosexuality.
  • In 2004, he told Radio-Canada that he would not stop receiving Communion despite his support for abortion.
  • In 2006, he led a group of 19 Quebecois priests in signing a letter condemning the Church's teachings on homosexuality.
  • Again in 2006, he defied Vatican directives by taking up a position as Member of Parliament for Repentigny, Quebec.
  • As MP in 2007, he opposed the Unborn Victims of Crime Act, stating that he feared it would "open the door to a re-criminalization of women who have abortions, and that's not to be desired."
  • Finally, in 2008, he backed the decision to award infamous abortionist Henry Morgentaler the Order of Canada, and criticized the Canadian bishops for their opposition.
There are growing concerns among Canadian Catholics regarding the fact that Gravel, who has so often publicly opposed essential Catholic teachings, somehow still manages to retain his priestly faculties. - Source
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Pastoral malfeasance.
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"Father Gravel gave a long interview last summer to the 'gay' magazine Fugues (June 2, 2005), published in Montreal. It was a true confession of a disturbed priest, which he would never have made in a Catholic publication.. He was born in 1952 in the small village of Saint-Damien-de-Brandon. From ages 16 to 24, he was a 'gay' prostitute in Montreal and took drugs. After a terrible sexual relation with a client that led him to the hospital, he became a bartender at 'gay' establishments. At 32, he entered the seminary in a dramatic change to fulfill a childhood dream, but with no real spiritual conversion. Journalist Patrick Brunette does not understand how someone can be 'gay' and want to become a priest, since the Church has always condemned homosexuality. - Source
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So who admitted this creep to Holy Orders in the first place?

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Go here to read more and please donate to help LifeSite News in this attack.
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Photo:  Raymond Gravel
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H/T to Angela for the lead story.

Me thinks some guys like this stuff much too much...






Too grand.
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I really believe many of the reforms regarding liturgical/ecclesial wear which evolved as a result of Vatican II and Paul VI and JPII were needed.
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(If that statement doesn't reduce my Follower count to zero nothing will.)
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Photo credit:  NLM
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H/T DB

What?


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Something reminded me of this show...

H/T DB

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Neo-Protestants





That's what I call dissenters these days.  Not just the liberal 'ordain my mother' and 'marry my son and his boyfriend' activists, but even some of those who promote spurious apparitions, dubious religious movements and disobedient charismatic cults.  Diane at Te Deum has an update on one such cult figure here.
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They are like "the first Protestants who wished to regulate everything by private inspiration, subjecting to it even the Church and its decisions. For the true believer, however, docility to the interior Master admits nothing contrary to the faith proposed by the Church and to its authority; on the contrary, it tends only to perfect faith and the other virtues." - Garrigou-Lagrange

What did Jesus look like?



I think very ordinary...
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"Who would believe what we have heard? To whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?

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He grew up like a sapling before him, like a shoot from the parched earth; There was in him no stately bearing to make us look at him, nor appearance that would attract us to him." - Isaiah 53
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Show us your Face O Lord, and we shall be saved.

Monday, February 14, 2011

This is dumb...



Another post about nothing...
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I don't know who she thinks she is but Lady Gaga is delusional - Anderson Cooper interviewed her last evening on 60 Minutes and it turns out she imagines herself as some sort of intellectual-sociologist-performance artist-therapist - healing the world.  We are living in Sodom.
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That's a lie!  Lila Rose.  So people think that because Old Testament Biblical figures lied, it's okay to lie.  That is such fundamentalist bullshit. 
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And then.... and then....
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I've tried to be nice to Spirit Daily lately, but my patience is wearing thin.  There is a post up today regarding effeminate images of Christ (according to the author something of a plague since the Renaissance no less) as being responsible for driving men away from the Church.  Claiming artists have depicted Christ as androgynous - while world visionaries and mystics have described Jesus as anything but.  WTF?  You base your reasoning on spurious and subjective mystical experience? 
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I hate it when people who know absolutely nothing about art and whose only exposure to good art happens to be the kitschy reproductions found on holy cards or cheap religious store framed copies of copies, attempt to criticize the masters.  Fra Angelico was beatified without a miracle - JPII said his art was his miracle.  His depictions of Jesus certainly do not look like Neanderthal Man.  A very famous, conversion-working image of the Sacred Heart is often criticized as effeminate, although the original is not, some copies may come off so.  Nevertheless it depicts a young man lovingly presenting his heart to the viewer - moving countless souls to devotion in the past couple of centuries.  (Shown above.) 
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The writer at Spirit Daily cites the testimony of former priest Francis MacNutt-case and some nutty psychiatrist's near death experience as evidence Christ looked like the Incredible Hulk or something.  The author claims no one represents Christ in a manner men can relate to.  He suggests classical images should be replaced with manly ones... probably lifting weights and kicking ass.  The author goes on to say many artists have feminine traits that they may have translated into their art.  What an idiot.  Is Michelangelo's depiction of Christ effeminate?  Michelangelo was said to be a little light in the loafers, yet even his woman are butch.
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The know-it-all at Spirit Daily ought to stick to his Catholic tabloid news stories covering fake apparitions and mystics and occult stories.  His point of view is just as stupid as the pseudo documentary on embedded sexual imagery in classical iconography such as the San Damiano crucifix.  I wrote about that here.  What sophistry.  I think the sexual issues these people bring up are with the beholder.       
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Art: Sacred Heart of Jesus, Pompeo Batoni, 18th century.  The artist lived in the baroque period - the same period uber-Catholics can't seem to get enough of with all the architectural ornament and liturgical lace and satins.  Maybe what remains of all of that should be done away with too.

For a friend or two.

iPhone app and Fr. Z: Homosexual activity is a mortal sin.



"Activity... does that include dancing Howard?"
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I was surprised to see Fr. Z even commenting on the news gay activists are against the Confession app on iPhone, but then I realized that Fr. Z is always interested in and knowledgeable about everything connected to the Internets.  Which helps to explain why he is The Number 1 Catholic blogger in the universe, in the history of the world, in the Church, etc..  Go vote for him here.  It is really a very major accomplishment that he is so well known you know - and as far as I know, never once found to be in error on anything doctrinal.
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I'm not at all making fun of him or his good post on the queer lament from gay activists that the authors of the Confession app included "homosexual activity" as sinful and therefore a necessary part of the examination of conscience in preparation for a good confession.  In fact, gay people should use it (confession) frequently, and perhaps they would find themselves better equipped to overcome those disgusting temptations to sodomy.
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Typically Father posts his commentary on news items within the published content - his comments are distinguished by the red.  In response to the gay activist's deluded statement, "Gay Catholics don't need to confess."  Father remarked, no doubt with great restraint:
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 [They do if they commit homosexual acts!  Homosexual acts are intrinsically evil.  They are mortal sins.  Commit a mortal sin and die unrepentant and unconfessed and you will probably wind up for eternity in the state of separation from God which is called Hell. Sin = Death + Hell.] - Read the rest here.
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Thus we see how and why homosexual activists are so eager to silence the truth - they do not want people to know the consequences, while they deny it themselves.  That is not charity.
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Personally, I continue to pray for my deceased 'gay Catholic' friends who were actually told by priests and religious their homosexual activity was not sinful. 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The day the music died... Grammys 2011


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Although I like this guy - and I loved Gwyneth.

Lie-la Rose and the Planned Parenthood Exposé



Let your 'yes' be 'yes' and your 'no' 'no', anything more is from the evil one. - Mt. 5:37
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Today's Gospel is providential in so far as it speaks to the huge ethical debate going on regarding Live Action President Lila Rose and the group's undercover activities to expose Planned Parenthood corruption and alleged cooperation in illegal activity.  All the moral theologians and ethicists are arguing about something many pro-life people would probably prefer to turn a deaf ear to - if not condone.  However, it is an important discussion, and one that at least one major news source took notice of.  (CBS) 
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The brouhaha centers around the fact that in an effort to discredit an 'evil' organization, the 'good guys' have resorted to the evil of lying.  Perhaps no longer a big deal in contemporary culture where the flip expression, "I lied, so sue me!" is frequently used to defend self-interest.  Nevertheless, Catholic moral teaching is clear on the subject; the Catechism "unequivocally says that lying is 'the most direct offense against the truth.' It goes on to state that 'by its very nature, lying is to be condemned.'"
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Planned Parenthood, an organization based on lies, assists in killing babies - a far greater evil than lying to save a life.  From what I understand, John Chrysostom and John Cassian defended the use of lying to save an innocent person.  Lila Rose defends the group's tactics pointing to the fact some Christians used similar deceits to save Jews in WWII, as did undercover priests under Communist regimes.  Likewise, priests and religious during the civil strife in Spain and Mexico in the early 20th century used undercover methods and false identities, as did those priests ministering to Catholics during the English persecution under Elizabeth I.
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What I find most provocative about this discussion is the renewed focus it poses upon lying in our culture.  We live in a culture of lies and cover-up, where just about everything is 'marketed', hyped and manipulated in order to deceive.  It's actually pretty amazing this debate has even become news.
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Links:
Pro-life group's video stings spark ethical debate.  CNA/EWTN News (for quotes and original news source for this post)

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Additional good commentary:
Building a Culture of Lie: The exorcist and Lila Rose, by Dawn Eden and William Doino Jr.

Mass Chat: Valentine's remembrance.


Real Love...
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Married couples, living and deceased (widows and widowers) renewed their vows last evening at the vigil Mass.  They will do the same today.  Then after Mass last evening there was a romantic dinner for the couples - I think some of their kids might have acted as waiters.
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I'm not making fun of it however.  The vows were tied into the profession of faith - don't ask me how - but it was actually a beautiful affirmation of Christian marriage and everlasting love.  I was almost verklempft.
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(I had just gone to confession,  so that may explain my charity.)
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(FYI - I'm not a fan of Valentine's Day.  I love love however.)
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Art: St. Valentine healing an epileptic.