“Whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for others, no place for the poor..." - Evangelii Gaudium

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The John Paul II Memorial 'Pissoir'.


People are pissed.
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Evidently no one likes the new sculpture of JPII across from the train station in Rome.  Some say it looks like a refrigerator with a head, but I got it right away - the pope is opening his cloak to welcome pilgrims to Rome, giving them shelter.  Works for me - though the head looks like Mussolini's.  It's expensive whimsy.  Someone had to approve it, and it had to cost some money - so I say leave it alone.  The Japanese can take photos of themselves in it.
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On second thought - it looks a bit like an oversized pissoir or public urinal.  I loved those when I was in Europe - though a friend told me just last weekend they've been removed in Paris.
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If you stare at the statue long enough all sorts of things come to mind.  Critics of the late pope can say the nothingness beneath the cloak represents _______?  More seriously however, I myself wouldn't mind seeing a circular staircase and a slide within the structure - it would be fun for kids.
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I have to admit I like it just because it annoys so many people.  I wonder what Benedict XVI thinks?

Fr. Pfleger gets his parish back.



The Cardinal gave in.


It's nice the Cardinal and Fr. Pfleger worked things out.

The art of disappearing


For the 'rapture'...
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The art of disappearing is the title of a poem I treasure by Naomi Shiab Nye. I received it from a friend a couple of years ago.  I reflect on the poem often - it expresses something about me.  It's unfortunate that friends take it personally whenever I publish it on the blog, as if I am rejecting them, but it isn't about rejecting any one at all.  I thought of reprinting the poem today for the 'rapture', but I know for sure some would interpret it as a response to their hospitality.  So I won't.  Instead, I'll pretend I can write poetry and make up my own poem instead.
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Alone 
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Practiced in the art of disappearing... 
frequently at parties I've excused myself on the pretense
I was stepping out for a moment.
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I would get my coat and go out unseen. 
Slipping away to avoid being persuaded to stay. 
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Sometimes I didn't want to leave,
but I was never sure how I could remain
without being 'found out'.
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I'm not sure I knew what that meant however.
Probably because I never knew what I did.
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I must have learned it from my parents.
Sometimes my dad would disappear for months.
Once he pretended he killed himself and left only his wallet on the Wabasha Street bridge.
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My mother disappeared a few times as well.
She stayed with other men -
sometimes for a long time.
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I never asked them why they did that.
I suppose I was afraid they would do it again.
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I left home the same way.
One evening I just disappeared,
walked out without saying good bye.
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Seeking what, I never knew,
still a novice in the art of disappearing.
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When I grew up,
I once had a lover who disappeared.
That was when I 'found out'...
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If you disappear before they do,
you never have to be afraid to discover you are alone.
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Art:  Abstract, Gerhard Richter

Friday, May 20, 2011

For Sheldon Lee Cooper




What?

Is Benedict XVI attempting to change Catholic teaching on sexual morality?



"Queer perspectives."
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I noted on another blog seeds of a discussion over a claim by a priest-theologian that Benedict XVI is in the process of overturning Humanae Vitae.  As many Catholics know, the encyclical of Paul VI was the first to be publicly and widely dissented from, while fomenting dissent on sexual ethics ever since - into our own day with the debate of same-sex marriage.  I'm amazed that anyone would even suggest Benedict XVI is the least bit interested in undoing Paul VI's encyclical on Human Life, or that his predecessor was lacking in support as well.  In fact JPII constantly affirmed the teaching put forth by Paul VI, and so does Benedict XVI.  In truth, a pope could never reverse infallible teaching.
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It seems to me that pro-same-sex marriage 'theologians' hope to separate the two inseparable aspects of the conjugal act, union and procreation, in order to claim same-sex sexual relations as equal to the conjugal act between husband and wife.  The approval of same sex marriage and homosexual acts requires that much of Judeo-Christian moral teaching be discarded.
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If you do not have a copy of Humanae Vitae, you can find the text here.  I'll highlight a couple of passages which impressed me today:
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No member of the faithful could possibly deny that the Church is competent in her magisterium to interpret the natural moral law.
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The transmission of human life is a most serious role in which married people collaborate freely and responsibly with God the Creator. It has always been a source of great joy to them, even though it sometimes entails many difficulties and hardships.

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The fulfillment of this duty has always posed problems to the conscience of married people, but the recent course of human society and the concomitant changes have provoked new questions. The Church cannot ignore these questions, for they concern matters intimately connected with the life and happiness of human beings.
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No member of the faithful could possibly deny that the Church is competent in her magisterium to interpret the natural moral law. It is in fact indisputable, as Our predecessors have many times declared, (l) that Jesus Christ, when He communicated His divine power to Peter and the other Apostles and sent them to teach all nations His commandments, (2) constituted them as the authentic guardians and interpreters of the whole moral law, not only, that is, of the law of the Gospel but also of the natural law. For the natural law, too, declares the will of God, and its faithful observance is necessary for men's eternal salvation. (3)

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Union and Procreation

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12. This particular doctrine, often expounded by the magisterium of the Church, is based on the inseparable connection, established by God, which man on his own initiative may not break, between the unitive significance and the procreative significance which are both inherent to the marriage act.
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The reason is that the fundamental nature of the marriage act, while uniting husband and wife in the closest intimacy, also renders them capable of generating new life—and this as a result of laws written into the actual nature of man and of woman. And if each of these essential qualities, the unitive and the procreative, is preserved, the use of marriage fully retains its sense of true mutual love and its ordination to the supreme responsibility of parenthood to which man is called.
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We believe that our contemporaries are particularly capable of seeing that this teaching is in harmony with human reason.

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Faithfulness to God's Design

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13. Men rightly observe that a conjugal act imposed on one's partner without regard to his or her condition or personal and reasonable wishes in the matter, is no true act of love, and therefore offends the moral order in its particular application to the intimate relationship of husband and wife. If they further reflect, they must also recognize that an act of mutual love which impairs the capacity to transmit life which God the Creator, through specific laws, has built into it, frustrates His design which constitutes the norm of marriage, and contradicts the will of the Author of life. Hence to use this divine gift while depriving it, even if only partially, of its meaning and purpose, is equally repugnant to the nature of man and of woman, and is consequently in opposition to the plan of God and His holy will. But to experience the gift of married love while respecting the laws of conception is to acknowledge that one is not the master of the sources of life but rather the minister of the design established by the Creator. Just as man does not have unlimited dominion over his body in general, so also, and with more particular reason, he has no such dominion over his specifically sexual faculties, for these are concerned by their very nature with the generation of life, of which God is the source. "Human life is sacred—all men must recognize that fact," Our predecessor Pope John XXIII recalled. "From its very inception it reveals the creating hand of God." (13) - Humanae Vitae
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Our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI is not about to change Catholic teaching on faith and morals.
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Photo:  Gay protestors during BXVI's visit to the UK.  

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Best marketing campaign ever...

Looks like Global Warming to me...



Cardinal Pell disagrees with the Vatican study on Global Warming...
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[Just because the Vatican publishes a study doesn't mean the results become an article of faith BTW.]
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This weekend I was hosted to a special dinner at a friend's house and somehow the conversation strayed off onto right-wing nuts and Sarah Palin and global warming - favorite topics I tend to bring up when there is a lull in the conversation.  My host asked, "How can these idiots say there is no global warming?"
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I answered, "I don't know."
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I went on to say I think there really is global warming but I'm not sure it is all man made, nor do I think man has the capability to do much about it.  I personally think it is part of the earth's natural cycle, like women and their hot flashes - the planet is going through a natural cycle of warming, and next it will probably begin cooling and ask for a sweater.  The concept is easy to grasp for the terminally subjective, since it has been a very cold spring so far this year.
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Anyway - I find that I agree with Cardinal Pell on this one.
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Sydney's Cardinal George Pell said the causes of climate change remain "unclear", even as a Vatican-appointed panel of scientists warned about the need to mitigate man-made global warning, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.
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"Climate change is real," he told the newspaper. "The causes are unclear, and our ability to influence climate change [is] even less certain," he said. - Source

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Yep!  Mother Nature's just having a hot flash.
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(As a kid, Woody Allen was always concerned that the universe is expanding.)

Has anyone else noticed?





Haven't you noticed how pro-gay every one seems to be getting lately?  Perhaps it is true that most Catholics now favor gay marriage?  What if the entire world decided gay is good, gay is a gift from God?  Then the next question to be answered would have to be:  If gay is good and it is a gift from God, then how can the Church say no to gay sex and gay marriage?  Haven't you heard that one?  Haven't you read that on Catholic blogs and in the com boxes?  I wrote about this trend a few years ago - now the idea seems to have  gone mainstream.
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That's what has been bothering me.  But even if the whole world says it is good, that can not and does not  change Roman Catholic Church teaching. 
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I'll keep blogging what the Church teaches, not what some priest-theologian, gay-activist-personality tries to pass off as Catholic teaching.
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"Happy the man whom you teach, O Lord,
who you train by means of your law."
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Art: Bosch, Ship of Fools

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Absolutely nothing to blog about.



Nothing to say that hasn't already been said...
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Art:  Mark Rothko, #6, 1964