Saturday, February 18, 2012

Acts of the apostasy...

No, this isn't about the blog by that name, but the ELCA of Minnesota.

Or at least just one synod.  Yesterday Minneapolis area Lutherans voted against changing the state Constitution to ban same-sex marriage - or rather, to define marriage as between one man and one woman.  The National ELCA already permits openly gay and lesbian pastors in committed relationships, so this comes as no surprise.  I'm not sure what their rules are concerning contraception and abortion, but I suspect they are pretty liberal on that issue as well - I could be wrong of course.

A former presiding bishop of the ELCA, Herbert W. Chilstrom once made the statement that the Catholic bishops of Minnesota are making a 'significant mistake' in promoting an amendment to safeguard traditional marriage.  Concerned about 'not offending' people seems to be key to the bishop's stand against the marriage amendment, reasoning:
"There are many gay and lesbian people who are in stable, long-term relationships, active in the church," he said. "I think that has moved me in the direction of saying I believe we need to respect these relationships, and we ought to accord them the same benefits we give to straight marriages." - Bishop Chilstrom 
Holy crap.

Link to the story:  Minneapolis-area Lutherans oppose marriage ammendment.

Editor's note: I may be mistaken, but I think local progressive Catholics would like to see the Catholic Church base itself on the ELCA synod of the baptized model.  I'm against it.

Photo:  Remember when the inverted Cross atop Central Lutheran Church in Minneapolis dangled from the steeple on a Wednesday afternoon following a rare downtown twister as the ELCA Churchwide Assembly was in legislative session across the street at the Minneapolis Convention Center?  Story here.

Blessed John of Fiesole

Friday, February 17, 2012

I didn't say anything.

Blogger of the Week

Why?  Because he is just about perfect.  I think he is a model blogger. 

Mother Dolores Hart At the Oscars.

Mother Dolores wears her habit all of the time BTW.

She is expected to walk the red carpet and be in the audience for this year's Academy Awards, since a short film documentary, “God is the Bigger Elvis,” about her and the abbey is nominated for an Oscar.  The former won't be acting - she really is a nun - unlike some very public religious women, aka 'sisters' who have been in the news lately.
Mother Dolores, 73, was an award-winning actress who performed in two Elvis Presley movies. In 1963, she was about to sign a seven-figure contract and was engaged to a Los Angeles businessman when she decided to join the Benedictine Abbey of Regina Laudis in Bethlehem, Conn, where she is now prioress.

The 37-minute documentary talks about Mother Dolores’ story and about life at the abbey. It is an Oscar nominee for best documentary short category and will premiere April 5 on HBO. 
“I adored Hollywood. I didn't leave because it was a place of sin,” she told USA Today.
"I left Hollywood at the urging of a mysterious thing called vocation. It's a call that comes from another place that we call God because we don't have any other way to say it. It's a call of love. Why do you climb a mountain?"

The nun said she allowed cameras to access the abbey to help those who are soul-searching.

“We wanted to invite the world into another order of life that might give some hope,” she said.

The documentary interviews Mother Dolores and other nuns like Sister John Mary, 44, a former Oxford-educated advertising executive who came to the abbey after a period of addiction. - CNA
Always a fan, I wrote to her after an ABC piece by Bob Brown, and I treasure the letter she wrote in response.  I can't wait for this year's awards show - there is sure to be lots of admiration for real nuns in habits.  I'm happy Billy Crystal is hosting.



Oh look! I'm just like Gramick! I'm in a habit.

I found all my old Picassa albums online, and came across this.  It is a photo of me as a novice in a monastery.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Tomorrow is a new day and a new feature!

I will be posting my Blogger of the Week notification.  It is my way to showcase model bloggers... to help them "get the respect they deserve" as Faye Dunaway stated so eloquently in the film, Mommie Dearest.

Look for it.

Here is a guy who struggles with SSA and is 'out'.

That is, he doesn't write about SSA using a pseudonym - not that anything is wrong with that BTW...

One of my friends suggests anonymous writers on SSA lack credibility on some level.  I don't think that - but I understand wanting to know who is writing what and for what and do they practice what they preach and so on.  Anyway, I came across this author who uses his real name, and speaks about same sex issues in, how should I say it?  More theological terms.  His name is Patrick Einheber - and I found a photo of some one by the same name.  I think my friend might like what he has to say.
Same sex attraction and the choice of the greatest good.

A major part of my struggle as a Catholic who experiences same-sex attraction has been the difficulty of wrestling with my desire for the goodness of love, relationship and pleasure that seems to be denied me by the teachings of the Church about homosexual relationships. After all, aren't these things good and aren't we all entitled to them? Why would the Church, or more importantly, God, wish to deprive some of us of these things? The answer, although it may not seem obvious at first glance, is that they don't wish to deprive us of any goodness at all and in fact wish for our perfect happiness. So how then can we understand these apparently disparate things? I found the solution to this problem in a consideration of good and evil themselves, as the Church and the Bible describe them, and what it is that the good God wishes to give to us in our creation as sexual beings. It's not a simple answer, but it is a consistent, meaningful and beautiful one.
Same sex attraction presents a situation that is very similar to that experienced by Adam and Eve. Every person who is attracted to others, whether they are of the same sex or not, sees something good, pleasing and desirable in those people. And these things are certainly and truly present. All people are created by God and are good. We all radiate this goodness in an apparent way, especially in our sexual nature. We understand that there is goodness to be had in the giving of ourselves and the receiving of the other in a mutual exchange of persons. However, just like Adam and Eve, we are not free to take hold of every good that we perceive. Sometimes there are very apparent goods around us that we are not allowed to grasp because there are greater goods to be had. For example, we should not forcefully take the goodness of another person's sexuality because to do so would be to violate their freedom and dignity as a person. These greater goods must always be considered. - Read it all.

Jeannine Gramick

Gramick veiled.

And religious decorum.

Playing the nun-card - or just playing dress up.  The School Sisters of Notre Dame do not wear habits - check out their website.  Jeanine Gramick, SSND only wears a veil when she's playing dress up to impress outsiders that she speaks for the Catholic Church.  Sporting a veil when she is spouting false teaching seems to me to be what Pharisees do... widen their phylacteries for the camera.
Sr. Gramick (believes) she will be vindicated by an increasingly liberal laity. She told the National Catholic Reporter that “thinking, studying, praying, in order to come to a decision which may or not be what a moral authority teaches” is “a positive thing. It’s obedience to the Spirit.”Renegade nun...

This is how the liberated Gramick normally dresses.

Where are the bishops and canon lawyers on this one?  Kathy Sebellius is a lay woman - but this woman is a religious - and thinks she is above the Magisterium.  Hello?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Sr. Jeannine Gramick dons a veil...

To promote Same Sex Marriage.

This is a serious step - dressing like a nun in public... AND to stand in opposition to Church teaching in an effort to support and promote same sex marriage.  This is not dissent, this is rebellion.  Gramick has already defied Vatican instructions to cease and desist her leadership role, as well as any involvement with New Ways Ministry and has gotten away with it for many years now.  Church leaders sympathetic to gay politics have turned a blind eye. What she is doing today is in open defiance of Church teaching.  The Church definitely has jurisdiction over religious men and women, and before exercising canonical disciplines toward secular politicians, it seems to me the Church first and foremost needs to deal effectively with neo-protestant clergy and religious like Jeanine Gramick.
Dissident nun misleads Catholics in Maryland.

At a recent event in Maryland, Sister Jeannine Gramick publicly claimed that the recognition of homosexual unions is an issue of Catholic morality, and that those who oppose it are immoral. This position, she stated, “flows from our own church’s social justice teaching.”

However, her statement is false. The Catechism of the Catholic Church clearly teaches that homosexual vice is “intrinsically disordered” and “contrary to natural law” (2357).

Sister Gramick further states: “... our church leaders have claimed that marriage must be between one man and one woman; that the definition of marriage has always been the same; that it cannot change. Well, this is simply not so,” she said. - Source

And she had the effrontery to wear a veil...  So why do I say it that way?  Because normally she wouldn't be caught dead in a veil.  Orders that have given up the habit believe the veil is sign of suppression and oppression.  They normally only resort to it when fund raising or trying to pull off something 'Catholic'.

2/18/12:  Here is another post about it:

Prison holocaust in Honduras.

Hundreds of prisoners died in a prison fire in Honduras Tuesday.  The prison was over crowded, the prisoner's cries for help were initially ignored - confusion and mayhem resulted - prisoners burned to death and others died from smoke inhalation.
TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) — Trapped inmates screamed from their cells as a fire swept through a Honduran prison, killing at least 300 inmates, authorities said Wednesday.

Lucy Marder, chief of forensic medicine for the prosecutor's office, said early Wednesday some 356 people on the prison roster are unaccounted for among 852 prisoners.

"The majority could be dead, though others could have suffered burns, escaped or survived," she said.

The fire broke out Tuesday night at a prison in Comayagua, a town 90 miles (140 kilometers) north of the Central American country's capital, Tegucigalpa.

Comayagua fire department spokesman Josue Garcia said he saw "horrific" scenes while trying to put out the fire, saying inmates rioted in attempts to escape. He said "some 100 prisoners were burned to death or suffocated in their cells."

"We couldn't get them out because we didn't have the keys and couldn't find the guards who had them," Garcia said. - Source

Prayers for the dead, their relatives, and the survivors. 

The times, they are a changin'...

From Monsignor Charles Pope...

Pope Benedict XVI warned visiting U.S. bishops that “radical secularism” threatens the core values of American culture, and he called on the church in America, including politicians and other laypeople, to render “public moral witness” on crucial social issues.

This will call for greater courage and hard work than is evident in many clergy and laity in the Church today. Too often the instinct is to play it safe. And when we are outspoken it is only in the safety of like-minded family and friends. Public moral witness must begin with clergy but it cannot end there. Also public moral witness requires a deep commitment in terms of time and even money.
Increasingly for clergy, the pulpit cannot be a place for abstractions and generalities like “do good, avoid evil.” We have to speak clearly to the issues of our day and be willing to name them. Clear assessments like sin, mortal sin, hell, judgment, right, wrong, good, and evil, must once again find a place in our homilies. Further, we must name issues clearly, abortion, homosexual acts, fornication, contraception, neglect of the poor, greed, corruption and so forth. Ambiguity must give way to clarity. But clarity must also reflect charity. We are to speak the truth in love.
Parents too and every level of the laity must give clear moral witness to their children. Parents must be willing to raise and discipline their children and instruct them clearly in the faith and moral life. It is not enough to say what is taught, but good teaching must also address why. This takes courage and the sacrifice of time.
Catholics in general must be far more willing to enter the public square without apology or fear, and be willing to speak the truth in love. In so doing we must be willing to accept that we will be misquoted, misunderstood and ridiculed. We must accept that we will get it with both barrels and learn that, just because people are angry with us, does not mean we did anything wrong.

Opening with a dire assessment of the state of American society, the pope told the bishops that “powerful new cultural currents” have worn away the country’s traditional moral consensus, which was originally based on religious faith as well as ethical principles derived from natural law.

Yes, at only fifty years of age, I can remember a time when there was a general consensus on the basic moral issues. We had surely been wrong on race, but on most other matters there was a wide consensus that divorce, contraception, abortion, fornication, homosexual acts, disobedience and disrespect for authority by children, loud and obnoxious behavior, public lewdness, immodesty, and bad language were all wrong. I do not say we all lived these values perfectly in every way. But they were agreed upon benchmarks and were largely undisputed.

Whether they claim the authority of science or democracy, the pope said, militant secularists seek to stifle the Church’s proclamation of these “unchanging moral truths.” Such a movement inevitably leads to the prevalence of “reductionist and totalitarian readings of the human person and the nature of society.”  - Source

The Monk...


I like this image very much. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


This is encouraging: Steve Gershom

He's gay and Catholic... how queer is that?

Just the other day I read a comment on his blog from a reader who said that those people to whom she recommended his site were turned away because  of his description 'gay and Catholic'.  That comes as no surprise.

That's Gershom's hook however - and it is effective.  He's young, gay and Catholic - as well as faithful to Catholic teaching - and surprise - well adjusted.  God bless him.  He gets a lot of good press - because he says a lot of good stuff.  He writes very well on The Truth About Same Sex Attraction...

 It does get better.
I’m so used to being gay and Catholic, I forget how strange that sounds.

I forget that, for some people, “homosexual” describes something like a different race, or maybe even a different gender. I forget that some Christians think I’m the worst kind of pervert (but a pervert they have to treat nicely), and some secularists think I’m the worst kind of hypocrite; the former because I’m sexually attracted to men, and the latter because I don’t do anything about it.

Read the last part again. Yes, I’m attracted to men; no, I don’t sleep with them, for the same reason that a lot of Catholics don’t sleep with people they’re not married to. But you’d be surprised how often people hear the first part (gay) and not the second (celibate) — even though the second is the only part that’s up to me.

I’m not very sensitive about the word “gay”, but some of us in the Gay Catholic business prefer the phrase “same-sex attraction,” or SSA. I find it more accurate than “gay” or “queer” or any of the others, just because it suggests that homosexuality is something I have rather than something I am. That’s the way I think of it. So the idea of gay culture, gay rights, gay marriage, gay anything really, is foreign to me. You might as well talk about gluten-intolerance culture, or musician’s rights.

I also don’t mean to trivialize the experience of having SSA. Sex isn’t everything, but as anyone with any kind of sexual dysfunction knows, it’s an awful lot. Put the sexual aspect together with the other things that homosexual men and women often experience — depression, low self-esteem, loneliness, a sense (however false) of being utterly different — and you have a heavy cross.

I’ve experienced healing in every area I mentioned above, but nobody’s healing is complete this side of heaven. Loneliness can be the worst part: not the absence of friends, I’ve got those, but the effort of forging out a way to live in a society that constantly tells us that romantic love is anyone’s only shot at real happiness, and that celibacy (not to mention virginity!) is some kind of psychological disease.

These questions are still present to me, but none of them are show-stoppers anymore. You deal with them, you pray and seek advice, you offer up the incidental pangs, and you get on with your life. And none of the things I deal with are unique to gay men or women. Being straight isn’t a guarantee of having a healthy, shiny, pre-integrated sexuality; it just means the whole beautiful, messy concerto is in a different key. Nobody gets to sit this one out.

To quote the YouTube campaign — you know the one, full of compassion and good intentions and muddled thinking — it does get better. - Read the whole thing here.
Prayers and best wishes for Steve Gershom - he's been on radio and is widely read - he's doin' good!  God bless him and give success to his work - but more than anything - make him truly holy.

At first I thought this guy was a CFR (Franciscan).

Turns out he's a Muslim cleric just released from prison.
A radical cleric, the Jordanian preacher known as Abu Qatada, once described as "Osama bin Laden's right-hand man in Europe" was freed from a British prison to live under virtual house arrest on Monday after a court ruled that his detention without trial was unlawful. - Reuters

Monday, February 13, 2012

Obama to deploy “Truth Teams” to counter negative coverage...

The Obama campaign is to “educate” and deploy what it describes as “truth teams” to ensure that any attacks on the president’s record are feverishly countered in the run up to the general election. - Full story here.

Nicki Manaj and the music industry...

Decadent, pornified, circus freaks.

Nicki Manaj at the Grammys.  It is so lucky for her that the Catholic Church is tolerant - if her act would have been an attack on Islam, she might be without her head today...
The Catholic League was not amused.

“Perhaps the most vulgar was the sexual statement that showed a scantily clad female dancer stretching backwards while an altar boy knelt between her legs in prayer,” said Bill Donohue, the president of the Catholic League.

“None of this was by accident, and all of it was approved The Recording Academy, which puts on the Grammys. Wheter Minaj is possessed is surely an open question, but what is not in doubt is the irresponsibility of The Recording Academy. Never would they allow an artist to insult Judaism or Islam,” Donohue said.

“It’s bad enough that Catholics have to fight for their rights vis-a-vis a hostile administration in Washington also having to fend off attacks in the entertainment industry,” said Donohue.  - Source

Michael Voris is old!

He looks pretty good though, huh.

So here I am this morning, minding everyone elses business and I come across an article on Michael Voris here, that led me to here, and I found out Michael is 50 years old.  I thought he was about 30 or something.  It's the hair.  I'm growing mine out. 

Yeah - that's all I got from the article...

Not really - but I did find out more about him than I knew before - and my respect for him deepens.
For much of his life, Michael Voris of Ferndale was a lukewarm Catholic, someone who usually just went through the motions at church.
But after the sudden death of his brother in 2003 from a heart attack and the death of his mother from stomach cancer the following year, the former TV reporter became a changed man.
"Her dying really kind of started to wake me up," Voris recalled. "You have to face mortality. And then the questions came pouring in: What is the meaning of life? Who are we as human beings? Is there life after death? Those are fundamental questions everyone has to look for."
Voris found those answers in the Catholic Church. - Detroit Free Press
[Ferndale - it sounds so Truman Show.]

Anyway - I really do think Voris is a good Catholic man.  May God bless him and his good work.

Monastic Stability

Drugged and unresponsive.

It's gotta be an epidemic by now.

How many people 'out there' habitually take such drugs as Lorazepam, Valium, Xanax and/or some other type of anti-anxiety drug, as well as some sort of anti-depressant, along with prescription sleep aids?  How many people take at least two of these drugs and sometimes mix it with alcohol?  How many people take even more prescription drugs for pain, along with those already mentioned?  How many people abuse these drugs?