Saturday, March 24, 2012

Women Cardinals?

Ooooo!  It's all the buzz lately!

Anyway - haven't we had a few already?  Just KIDDING(It's what you were thinking!)

But dese guyz think it's a possibility...

It could happen.

Fr. Dolan died.

Fr. Leo Austin Dolan, 1952 - 2012

Fr. Dolan was a very kind man, a faithful priest.  There is a brief biography here.  Father was also a devout promoter of the cause for the canonization of Ven. Matt Talbot.  May he rest in peace.

"The Church is the friend of mankind, the great defender of individual dignity, representing the Lord of Life. It is always open to forgiveness and restoration." - Fr. Dolan

Fr. Dolan heard some of my most difficult confessions in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  Thanks be to God for the gift of his priests.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Agents for Change: The Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ Religious Education Congress

"The work of the devil will infiltrate even the Church."

Amazing.  The agenda and speakers at the the religious ed congress I mean.  So a new Archbishop of Los Angeles doesn't guarantee orthodoxy I guess.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, March 22, 2012, ( – The Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ Religious Education Congress bills itself as an “opportunity to hear God’s voice in their own lives.” However, some of the featured speakers at the March 22-25 event, said to be the largest of its kind in the world, have described Barack Obama as “pro-life,” longed for “public models of gay priests,” opposed marriage protection legislation, and encouraged children to engage in “genital self-touch.”

Fr. Bryan Massingale, a priest with the archdiocese of Milwaukee and an associate professor of moral theology at Marquette University, spoke last March before the group “Equally Blessed,” which describes itself as “a coalition of faithful Catholics who support full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people both in the church and in civil society.” The professor, who has said he wants the Church to be “more sensuous and feminine,” publicly opposed Wisconsin’s Marriage Protection Act last year. His recorded talk, “Whatever Happened to the Common Good,” laments “the challenges of living this conviction in a fragmented and divided society.”

Fr. James Martin of America magazine participated in a workshop at the 2005 Religious Education Congress, where he told the faithful: “[I]f only there were more public models of gay priests. In the absence of any healthy gay priests for Catholics to reflect on publicly, and with the only examples being notorious pedophiles, the stereotype of the gay priest as child abuser only deepens.”

Sister Fran Ferder, a Franciscan nun, has said the Church needs a “theology of body touch, body exploration,” especially for children. “Ordinary genital self-touch can be very important and can help children come to reverence their bodies, to know them,” she said.
Sr. Ferder has stated Catholic bishops shame sexual sins in order to control their flock. Such “negative messages” about “sexual mistakes,” she said,“have to do with control and maintaining power. The patriarchal dominance in the hierarchy is incredibly strong, and sexual mandates are a good way to scare and control people.”

She and Fr. John Heagle from the Diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin, direct the Therapy and Renewal Associates, based in Seattle. Fr. Heagle has stated the Church needs to listen to the “love stories of the gay and lesbian community.” - Source

Yes, this is definitely a WTF? moment if there ever was one.

Image:  SB the logo for the Religious Ed Conference 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

It bears repeating.

Who knew Paul Harvey was a prophet?

Fr. Z has the post "If I were the devil".  It is a segment from Paul Harvey dated - get this, October 13! 1964.  It is absolutely astonishing.  Go listen.

My friends and I used to make fun of Paul Harvey as some old guy, totally out of touch with contemporary life.  We couldn't have been more wrong.

Adrienne posted on it too.  Both of us were around in 1964-65.  (I was an infant of course.)

Photo:  Controversial Beatles album cover titled "Butchers".  Today it too seems prophetic, now that abortion is widespread and legal.

"Don’t change your life to fit the teaching; change the teaching to fit your life."

"Don't go changin' to try to please me..."

Remember that lyric from the Billy Joel song?  I was actually given that song to 'meditate' as my penance in confession once - many years ago now.  I'll bet penitents sometimes still get such penances from some priests who will also tell you: "Don't change your life to fit Church teaching; we've interpreted the teaching to fit your life."  Or something like that - you get what I'm saying.  If not, Larry pretty much nails it with his post: "Sex Sells, Even For a Bishop" (I might have said, "especially for a bishop").  Now I kinda sorta posted on this the other day - giving the "benefit of a doubt" to the retired Bishop, but Larry went ahead and exposed the man's work for what it is, Take a look:
... leave it to a retired bishop to champion the cause to completely turn upside down and inside out Church teaching regarding sexual acts, and in particular, homosexual acts. - Read more.
It is nice to have some one else point out the errors these churchmen foist upon others these days.  These priests are like shamans, preaching gnosticism and theosophical fantasies to people who want their sins affirmed and approved... I'm okay... you're okay.  Christ speaks about them in today's Gospel:
"How can you believe, when you accept praise (affirmation and approval) from one another and do not seek the praise that comes from the only God?" - John 5: 31-47

If they do not accept the teaching of Moses and the Scriptures, how can they accept the teaching of Christ and the Church?  Priest and prophet really do 'forage in a land they know not'. 

Narcissistic-ly disordered people...

On Facebook.
Facebook's 'dark side': study finds link to socially aggressive narcissism.

Psychology paper finds Facebook and other social media offer platform for obsessions with self-image and shallow friendships*.
Duh!  That was so hard to figure out? 
Researchers have established a direct link between the number of friends you have on Facebook and the degree to which you are a "socially disruptive" narcissist, confirming the conclusions of many social media sceptics.

People who score highly on the Narcissistic Personality Inventory questionnaire had more friends on Facebook, tagged themselves more often and updated their newsfeeds more regularly.

The research comes amid increasing evidence that young people are becoming increasingly narcissistic, and obsessed with self-image and shallow friendships.
The latest study, published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, also found that narcissists responded more aggressively to derogatory comments made about them on the social networking site's public walls and changed their profile pictures more often.

A number of previous studies have linked narcissism with Facebook use, but this is some of the first evidence of a direct relationship between Facebook friends and the most "toxic" elements of narcissistic personality disorder.

Researchers at Western Illinois University studied the Facebook habits of 294 students, aged between 18 and 65, and measured two "socially disruptive" elements of narcissism – grandiose exhibitionism (GE) and entitlement/exploitativeness (EE).

GE includes ''self-absorption, vanity, superiority, and exhibitionistic tendencies" and people who score high on this aspect of narcissism need to be constantly at the centre of attention. They often say shocking things and inappropriately self-disclose because they cannot stand to be ignored or waste a chance of self-promotion.

The EE aspect includes "a sense of deserving respect and a willingness to manipulate and take advantage of others".

The research revealed that the higher someone scored on aspects of GE, the greater the number of friends they had on Facebook, with some amassing more than 800. - The Guardian

We all know who we are. 

*Don't I know it.

Photo: Larry  What?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Here's something... from Fr. James Martin

I found it on a pro-same-sex marriage blog called Sensus Fidelium.

Of course God loves all persons - God as Father wills us into existence - he wanted, he wants,  each of us as his children.  Thus, I do not believe Fr. Martin is saying anything in opposition to Church teaching in his video, although he may not be teaching perfectly or clearly the dogma of faith.  Indeed Christ loves us - just the way we are - but he calls us, invites us, to reform our lives and believe in the Gospel.  He came to call sinners, to heal the sick... not to affirm a sinful way of life. 

Therefore, Fr. Martin is absolutely correct when he says: "Jesus is always welcoming people. . . . I would say that Jesus, if he were here today, would probably be reaching out specifically to gays and lesbians, and specifically to gay and lesbian teenagers who find themselves being rejected by society and often rejected by their religious communities . . ."

At the end of the tape, Fr. Martin continues:  "God can help you understand your own dignity, in time.  God sees things in an entirely different way than we do.  What may seem impossible for you at the time is possible for God..."

Now, perhaps because I want to start giving everyone the benefit of the doubt, I just wonder if Fr. Martin isn't really inviting gay and lesbian youth to be open to change, to be open to God's grace and call?  I wish Fr. Martin would have had more time here so that he could have added that it gets better through conversion and acceptance of Christ's teaching...

I must say I am confused that I found the Fr. Martin video on a Catholics for Marriage Equality site however. 

Don't look now... Infanticide

"Wrap him in a blanket and set him aside, and he will just go to sleep - forever."

A doctor at a local hospital pretty much said that to a mother who just gave birth to a severely mentally disabled baby.
One parent tells 5 EYEWITNESS News that North Memorial Medical Center told her to "wrap her baby up in a blanket and let him go." Mary Kellett says her son Peter was born seven years ago with Edwards Syndrome, similar but worse than Down Syndrome. It is a chromosomal condition that often leads to premature death, and a short life with severe disabilities. - Source
I heard that and I was stunned.  I couldn't imagine doing such a thing.  I recalled how there was once  an uproar over Obama, who as a senator, opposed "born alive" legislation, a notion his political opponents used against him, claiming he was in favor of letting abortion survivors die.  Thinking it through, I realized that the practice must not be all that uncommon, and though it is in effect passive infanticide, if it is practiced, it is done so because deliberate infanticide is illegal; albeit some academics and medical ethicists would like to see it as a legal alternative.  Strangely enough, deliberate euthanasia actually sounds more humane than allowing a born alive infant, or one who is severely disabled, to be laid aside to die from starvation.  What an awful, monstrous thought.

We choose not to know.

Evidently I am not alone in having never heard of such a practice - or allowing myself to consider that such procedures exist.  The Minnesota Senate is working on a bill  "that would require all hospitals to post and explain their policies with parents of minor children who are patients. It would also require hospitals to register those policies with the Department of Health."
A growing number of parents say hospitals make them feel pressured to let their babies die rather than face a life with disabilities.

Many hospitals have policies called "medical futility" policies about tough decisions regarding treatment for severely disabled newborns. A state Senate committee will hear testimony on a bill Friday morning that would require all hospitals to post and explain their policies with parents of minor children who are patients. It would also require hospitals to register those policies with the Department of Health.

Kellett says she hopes lawmakers adopt the new bill so hospitals are more inclined to provide information about the emotional benefits of accepting a child with disabilities, rather than pointing out only the negative effects. - Source
Gratefully, Mary Kellett refused to let her son die and took him home.  He lived for six years and the family considered him a gift from God. 

I find the whole idea heartbreakingly sad.  To kill an infant - in the womb or out of the womb - what a barbarous act.  To allow a born alive infant to be set aside to die, without nourishment, without tenderness and love - how cold and inhumane can mankind be!

Today's reading from Mass, consoling as it is, does not take away the pain:
"Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb?  Even should she forget, I will never forget you." - Isaiah 49: 15
When I was little, I remember that graphic documentaries were finally being released showing the atrocities committed in the Nazi Holocaust.  Too young to see the films, I remember the horror of being told how the Nazis took Jewish infants by the feet and smashed their heads against tree trunks and fence posts for sport.

We have become that in the United States.

Blessed Alberto Marvelli

1918 - 1946

March 21 is the birthday of Alberto Marvelli.  I'm working on a painting of him which is taking very much time.  It was to be an icon - or in that style - but I decided to do something different - although I will do a gold nimbus.  The background is heavily distressed, simulating old fresco - but not exactly.  I've layered many glazes over images that are a sort of painted collage.  I have a friend who paints and uses collage, a style I like, but I opted for painting in the images and texture of fresco - which is why it is taking so long.  The background is more or less finished, so today I begin the actual image of the saint.   

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Kama Sutra Katholicism

Remember I said something about bishops in favor of changing Church teaching on sexuality?

Retired Bishop Geofrey Robinson urges change in Church teaching...
BALTIMORE -- At the Seventh National Symposium on Catholicism and Homosexuality, retired Australian Bishop Geoffrey Robinson called Friday for "a new study of everything to do with sexuality" -- a kind of study that he predicted "would have a profound influence on church teaching concerning all sexual relationships, both heterosexual and homosexual."
"If [church] teaching on homosexual acts is ever to change, the basic teaching governing all sexual acts must change," he said.
Robinson, a priest since 1960 and auxiliary bishop of Sydney from 1984 until his retirement for health reasons in 2004, told the Baltimore symposium, sponsored by New Ways Ministry, that "because sex is so vital a way of expressing love, sex is always serious."
That view, espoused by the church, stands in contrast to the general perception of modern society, which "appears to be saying more and more that sex is not in itself serious," he said.
For the church to deal with sex seriously, however, does not in itself mean that the church must continue to accept uncritically its traditional understandings of sexual morality, he said.
Robinson was a featured speaker at the March 15-17 symposium, which drew about 400 gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning Catholics and church personnel ministering to them. The gathering's first day was devoted to a spiritual retreat guided by the bishop. - NCR

I know he's old, I know he's retired.  I know he's Australian.  I know New Ways Ministry is not approved by the Church.  But - these are not isolated theories, unknown, nor automatically dismissed, amongst sitting bishops and clergy and religious educators.  To be fair, Robinson's teaching is much more complex and is not a blanket affirmation of homosexual acts.  As the Bishop makes clear, that would require a change in Church teaching regarding heterosexual acts.  A conversation far too complex for me to get involved in here and now - but it connects to a lot of other discussions on sexuality floating around these days, from the Westian version of TOB, to the incarnational spirituality retreat at St. John's, and so on.

The agents for change are at work, in the Church...

Malia Obama Spring Break in Mexico Story Disappearing From the Web...

From The Blaze:

Have you heard that Malia Obama, the president’s daughter, is reportedly spending her spring break in Oaxaca, Mexico? Allegedly, she’s jetting off with some of her classmates and 25 Secret Service agents to a country that the State Department has said all Americans should avoid. But something is different about the latest “Obama vacation controversy:” references to it are disappearing from the Internet — and fast.

I didn't realize 13 year olds went on spring break vacations with their friends.  If I was a dad, my girls wouldn't be allowed to do that.  

I wonder if I will be asked to remove this post?


Monday, March 19, 2012

Emotionally disturbed bloggers... it's an epidemic.

I've seen it everywhere - but mostly on Catholic blogs.

On priest's blogs - and not just the commenters either.  I've especially seen it with stay at home moms who blog - 'desperate housewife syndrome' to be sure: they rip into other stay at home moms who blog and tear them to pieces.  I've also seen big guys trounce little guys, and intellectuals voxing their opinions to decimate pseudo intellectuals, and the list goes on and on.  Evidently therapy and treatment no longer work for these types.  (Never did for me.)

What to do?  Let's look at the problem as it affects the emotionally disturbed, egotistic, narcissistic, looking-for-trouble, individual blogger who has nothing else going for him or her:
Bloggers with emotional disturbances can exhibit behaviors that leave even the most seasoned  web browser feeling burned out. It can be frustrating for people reading blogs when they feel they’ve missed something, misunderstood or misinterpreted something they've read. It shows up in their writing - whether posts or commentary: Tantrums, defiance, aggression, poor spiritual life, poor social skills and passive noncompliance of requests (such as asking for an apology) can present a challenge. But caring readers can have success with bloggers who have emotional disturbances if they get support from group bloggers and consistently use humor to deflect anti-social behaviors.

But how to do it?  Be proactive...

Use positive reinforcement to motivate the ED bloggers. When a reader and commenter gives positive feedback and reinforcement to the ED blogger it breaks the chain of negative behaviors. Online intercourse that focus on negative forms of attention such as reprimanding and excessive prompting can help maintain inappropriate behaviors. So, use reinforcers that are intrinsically motivating for the blogger.

For instance, compliment bloggers in order to draw out the positive in their blog posts.  For example, "You seem to be dealing very well with your recovery, I think it has helped you to stop blogging all together."  I said that to Cathy and she hasn't updated her blog since.  No more rants about what I wear to church.  

Anyway, I hope this helps any blogger suffering from emotional development issues.  Remember, don't drink and blog, and never blog when you are angry or feel you don't measure up to someone elses standards.  If all else fails, move to Ireland.

And for heaven's sake - do not give them squirt guns - they put urine in them.  I know!

Solemnity of Our Glorious Patriarch, St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

In thanksgiving for favors granted.

Happy feast day to every one.

Go to Joseph.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Open Communion

So here's how I see it.

Though the missalettes in the pew may have instructions on who may receive communion, the rules do not always apply.  Especially at funerals and weddings.  Although - for a time - there was a prohibition against showing up in a sash:  If you were wearing a Rainbow Sash, you could not receive, and if you approached to receive, you would be denied communion - although you might have received a 'blessing'.  See - that's another place where Fr. Guarnizo went wrong I think - he could've, should've offered a 'blessing' to Barbara Johnson.  That said - I don't think a priest has a leg to stand on refusing communion to someone just because they are wearing a colorful accessory - not after the Fr. Guarnizo correction... at least that argument may likely be raised from now on.*

Anyway, so when my relatives go to Mass for one of their kids to get baptized - as they have done - they can go to communion, even though they haven't been in a church since the last funeral, and haven't been to confession once in their adult lives.  (No, they do not marry in the Church either.)

Likewise, anyone can go to communion standing, kneeling, lying prostrate; receive in the hand, on the hand, or on the tongue; dressed in a tank top and jeans, or shorts, or topless - depending on the country.  Come as you are - everyone is welcome.  Gather us in.

That's the way it is when Catholic teaching and discipline is taught, but not practiced, when priests and bishops neither agree nor support one another.  It's a free-for-all.

Rose?  Or pink?

I think everyone knows the answer to that one.

Gree-vee-ous or grie-vous?

C'mon Fathers - you should know this.  (Hi Nan - my pastor pronounces it wrong too!)

Photo:  John Paul II in New Guinea accepting the gifts.  Oh, lighten up. 

*Note:  I'm against it, of course. 
**How irishronic - I just discovered Nat'lCathRegister has a post entitled "Closed Communion" - this post has nothing to do with that one.

Mass chat: Cardinal Cushing said...

Catholics did “not seek to impose by law their moral view on other members of society.”

I will not be surprised if more than a few bishops and priests ultimately end up compromising on same sex marriage/civil unions just as some of their their predecessors had done on the issue of conscience and contraception - ignoring Humanae Vitae.

I have good reason to say that.  However, for those who may not be aware of the concessions made by Catholic leadership in the past, the NY Times has an interesting op ed on the issue titled:  Cardinal Cushing, Catholics and Contraception: 1968:
It was not until the 1960s that reformers next attempted to amend the state’s birth control restrictions. Even then, Dukakis recalls, “the memory of the ’48 battle was fresh in our minds.” That seems to have been also true for Cushing (now a cardinal). He clearly had a change of heart on the appropriateness of laws like the state’s birth control restrictions, which sought to impose moral behavior at odds with individual conscience. More generally, he had adopted a conciliatory tone. Two days before a fellow Massachusetts Catholic won the first primary of the 1960 presidential campaign, Cushing argued that a Christian must engage in “friendly discussion with those whose views of life and its meaning are different than his own.” The times had changed, and so had he.

In 1963, while a guest on WEEI radio, Cushing took a question from an unidentified female caller who asked if he considered the birth control ban to be “bad law.” Yes, Cushing replied. “I have no right to impose my thinking, which is rooted in religious thought, on those who do not think as I do.” (The anonymous caller, I discovered decades later, was Hazel Sagoff, executive director of Planned Parenthood of Massachusetts. A month earlier she had learned from a Cushing confidant that support for the state’s ban was dwindling within the local church hierarchy.) It was the first time that the cardinal publicly announced a willingness to accept revisions to the state’s contraception law.

Poor health prevented Cushing from appearing before the legislative panel considering the Dukakis bill in March 1965, but he dominated the hearing nonetheless. In a written statement he declared that “Catholics do not need the support of civil law to be faithful to their own religious convictions and they do not seek to impose by law their moral views on others of society.” He found it unreasonable to “forbid in civil law a practice that can be considered a matter of private morality.” What’s more, he observed, laws needed a “reasonable correspondence” to community standards to be effective and enforceable. Cushing, however, could not endorse the proposed change to the ban, because he felt that it lacked “proper safeguards” for the young. He requested that Gov. John Volpe appoint a commission to craft a repeal to “satisfy the conscientious opinions of the whole community.”
When a bill that would allow physicians to prescribe birth control to “any married person” was introduced in the next legislative session — a bill otherwise similar to the one House members had rejected 119–97 the year before — Cushing endorsed it publicly by praising its “safeguards” while reaffirming his position that Catholics did “not seek to impose by law their moral view on other members of society.” - Seth Meehan

Catholic Bishops will most likely win the HHS Contraception Coverage Mandate battle - but it will just be a bone tossed to them in an election year.  The big one - Same Sex Marriage battle will rage on, wearing down the opposition, until it is once again conceded:  “Catholics do not need the support of civil law to be faithful to their own religious convictions and they do not seek to impose by law their moral views on others of society.”

I think some dioceses are almost there now. 

Hopefully, I'm wrong.