Saturday, June 22, 2013

What is wrong with this picture?

Absolutely nothing.


What?  That's a word.

Anyway, the Holy Father had some interesting things to say to nuncios about appointing bishops...
"It's a delicate task," the pope said. "Beware of those who are ambitious, who seek the episcopacy." - CNS Story


Sound-bite/photo-op Catholicism.

Friday, June 21, 2013

The Church Shooting in Ogden.

Only today did I realize some of us might 'know' the victim's wife, Tara.

I just realized it after reading The Deacon's Bench post Utah Church Offers Liturgy of Reparation after Sunday's Shooting:
Tara Evans, sitting where her husband was shot earlier in the week, nodded at Richtsteig’s words, and silently clapped when he finished. 
“We’re not going to let evil come in and take us over,” she later said. 
Wearing a pin of Mother Mary and Jesus, and with bright eyes and a beaming smile, Tara Evans spoke of her blessings. Thursday morning, she and her husband walked hand-in-hand down the hospital hall, surrounded by medical equipment and “an entourage” of medical staff. 
“It’s probably the best walk I ever took with him,” she said. -
If it is the same Tara I think it is, she used to write a Catholic blog, Loved Sinner, and is a Secular Carmelite; Fr. Richsteig is her pastor of course.  Many of us linked to her blog.

Continued prayers for Tara and her husband Jim in his recovery, and all the family.

The Courageous Fr. Pavone to Nancy Pelosi:

"Abortion is not sacred ground; it is sacrilegious ground. To imagine God giving the slightest approval to an act that dismembers a child he created is offensive to both faith and reason.

And to say that a question about the difference between a legal medical procedure and murder should not “have anything to do with politics” reveals a profound failure to understand your own political responsibilities, which start with the duty to secure the God-given right to life of every citizen.

Mrs. Pelosi, for decades you have gotten away with betraying and misrepresenting the Catholic faith as well as the responsibilities of public office. We have had enough of it. Either exercise your duties as a public servant and a Catholic, or have the honesty to formally renounce them." - Entire text here.

Are there Catholic bishops in Washington D.C.?  California?  San Francisco? Are there Cardinals or Bishops who have Pelosi's ear who might speak as directly?  Is there a bishop or diocese to which she is subject, whose local ordinary might provide the proper catechesis, and/or some sort of discipline - canonical or penitential?  Or even a correction?  Hello?  Anybody there?

The effete male.

Why do some men want to look like K.D. Lang or Ellen?

Tom Ford.

The designer doesn't want fat guys shopping his stores, buying his multi-thousand dollar suits, but he wants guys to wear his make-up. 

The male of almost every species is the most naturally good looking of the sexes.  Think about it - do male cardinals color their feathers?  No, poodle, they don't.

Years ago when my friends and I went camping, the women along for the trip used to complain about us guys.  We could eat 5 times the amount of food they did and we never got fat.  We could wake up in the wilderness, our hair totally freaked out, unshaven, unkempt and we still looked good.  On the other hand, they, without make-up, their hair completely flat to their heads looked like crap.  And that - by their own admission.

I have never ever understood why women wear what they wear - especially when it comes to lethal weapon high heels, skirts too short to sit in, or even skimpy tops which reveal every roll and defect - but I digress.  Suffice it to say some women need make-up and hair color.  Nothing wrong with that - I just would never want to have to live like that.

Metrosexual men.

Men have been feminized.  They've been brainwashed - early on - since pre-school.  It's very sad.  A kid can't even beat up another kid, much less draw a man with a gun, without getting kicked out of kindergarten, possibly arrested, and getting labeled a menace to society.

Now Tom Ford wants men to buy into the make-up mythology - as if a man needs eyeliner or mascara. 
Manscara and guyliner are usually the reserve of teens enjoying their experimental emo phase, not the seriously wealthy suited and booted customers of Tom Ford. But that’s all set to change when the designer launches cosmetics for men alongside the modern metrosexual grooming staples of cleanser, moisturiser and eye “treatment”. - Source
Men do not need cosmetics.  Men should not be skinny and effeminate.  Men are naturally good looking - women are too - but they believe what hairdressers, make-up artists, and designers tell them to believe.

Most of the gay men I've known were usually attracted to masculine, straight looking guys - or just straight guys.  Oddly enough, older, more affluent types who happened to find a type like that, would almost invariably attempt to refine him.  Gradually introducing him to designer clothes, fashionable hair cuts, piercing maybe, and to be sure - neatness.  The guys became very careful about their appearance, manners, posture, and so on.  In other words, they got a complete makeover.  The raw, masculine charm and honest handsomeness was hidden beneath a foppish veneer.

It sometimes gets worse as they age.  Remember Gustav von Aschenbach melting on the Lido?

"No, no, no, darling!  Take smaller, quicker steps!
And hold your left arm up with your hand out flat,
as if you are carrying a lovely silver tray!
Oh for heaven's sake -
right hand on your hip,
you twit!"

Do you ever get sick of constant religious talk? Discussions? Blog posts? Evangelists? Apologists? Big mouths?

Constant reporting of every little detail and nuance connected to what the pope said, did, how he said Mass, what he wore, which special needs person he gave a ride to, and so on?

Do you ever get sick of apologetics or even just having to explain yourself or something you said for fear you hurt some one's feelings?


Don't Forget: Fortnight For Freedom begins today.



2013 Fortnight for Freedom: June 21 to July 4

The U.S. bishops have called for a Fortnight for Freedom, a two-week period of prayer and action, to address many current challenges to religious liberty, including the August 1, 2013 deadline for religious organizations to comply with the HHS mandate, Supreme Court rulings that could attempt to redefine marriage in June, and religious liberty concerns in areas such as immigration and humanitarian services. - USCCB

To my knowledge, the Bishops haven't considered entrusting the Fortnight entirely to the Blessed Virgin, nor called on the faithful for a novena of Rosaries, culminating in the Consecration of the United States to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  That's too bad.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

"The gay men's version of a lifelong commitment doesn't necessarily include forsaking all others."

Gay marriage is not marriage.

If you keep calling it marriage, people begin to believe it is the same thing as heterosexual /natural marriage.  It is not.  Which is why I say two gay men can live together as life long friends and companions and do so chastely and celibately - celibate understood as unmarried.  I say that because sexual interest wanes.  But that's another post - one I've done before, just like this one:  I've said it all before.  I'm not a 'professional' however, so my opinion does not count.

Which is why I'm posting an excerpt/lead-in to Steven Thrasher's account The Truth of Gay Marriage.
If heterosexuals knew about how some gay men conduct open relationships, “I suspect, men will envy us.”
Any day now, possibly as soon as tomorrow, the Supreme Court of the United States will rule on whether or not access to civil marriage is the law of the land for any adult couple, gay or straight. If they do rule in favor of marriage equality, they can hardly be charged with being "activist judges," out of step with the average Joe. Instead, they'll be hurrying to catch up with a change in American perceptions on same-sex marriage that has been staggering. 
In the fight for marriage rights, gay activists have (smartly) put forward couples who embody a familiar form of unity. Straight people see Edith Windsor, the octogenarian lesbian widow fighting the Defense of Marriage Act, and they see a life that mirrors their own. The $300,000 tax bill she was slapped with when her wife died is an obvious injustice. 
But not all gay unions are built on the straight model, particularly when it comes to the issue of monogamy. The Gay Couples Study out of San Francisco State University—which, in following over 500 gay couples over many years is the largest on-going study of its kind—has found that about half of all couples have sex with someone other than their partner, with their partner knowing.  
Gay-rights groups are often nervous about sociologists or reporters looking too closely at what really happens in the bedrooms of gay relationships, out of fear that anti-gay activists will bludgeon them with a charge of sexual promiscuity, as a reason to deny them equal rights. But now that gays and lesbians are on the cusp of having access to marriage equality, will the conversation about monogamy change within queer culture? And would straight support have helped gays get the marriage rights they now have if the truly complex nature of sexual boundaries for gay couples were more openly talked about?
On the eve of this new era, I talked to a number of married gays and lesbians about these sometimes uncomfortable questions: a former Catholic priest from Connecticut who married his partner of three decades; a gay marriage and divorce attorney from Massachusetts; a highly religious, sexually monogamous couple in their thirties; two dads of infant children who are in a sexually open relationship; and a leading lesbian marriage equality advocate. - Finish reading here.

The above was written by a gay man who may or may not marry someday.  He would disagree with my assessment that same sex marriage is not, and cannot be equal to natural marriage, even if and when it becomes legal.  In fact, most gay people disagree with me.  I contend that redefining marriage to suit same sex couples, undermines and destroys traditional marriage.

Nevertheless, I actually do believe long-time companions have a great opportunity to come into the Church and embrace Church teaching on sexuality - as friends, helping one another to live chaste and celibate lives.  Mutual sexual interest is usually unsustainable without some sort of outside stimulus, and/or viagra.  Two same sex friends who would see that as an opportunity, still can't call their friendship marriage, but as they grow in grace, they will better understand why. 

I'm not posting this for a guy in his early 20's who is feeling his 'oats'.  I'm not writing this for people who have no time for religion or legal prohibitions against gay marriage and are determined to do what they want.  I'm writing this for anyone who desires to repent, return to the sacraments and grow in holiness, while helping his best friend to do the same.  Divorced and remarried couples face a similar dilemma and can do likewise.

If you are a gay man and you think you are married and believe you are both monogamous, that's just fine.  This post is not for you.

H/T Pewsitters - the best source for Catholic news online.

Gay Pride month is almost over!

Non Compete Agreement

"Today we ask the Holy Spirit to teach us to say 'Father' and to be able to say 'our', and thus make peace with all our enemies. " - Pope Francis


San Francisco: Evidently people do live on Market Street.

And I was told no one does.

Obesity now declared a disease.

I guess alcoholism is too.

"The American Medical Association formally voted Tuesday to classify "obesity as a disease requiring a range of medical interventions." 
The shift is aimed in part to get doctors to tackle obesity as if they were treating a disease instead of a lifestyle condition in need of modification. 
"Recognizing obesity as a disease will help change the way the medical community tackles this complex issue that affects approximately one in three Americans," Dr. Patrice Harris of the AMA said in a statement. "The AMA is committed to improving health outcomes and is working to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes, which are often linked to obesity." - CBS

I understand that... but...

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

In Thanksgiving for the insertion of the Name of our Holy Father St. Joseph into the Eucharistic Prayer II, III, IV of the Mass.

I was thinking it might be a good idea to help Fr. Mark and his priory in Ireland as a way of honoring the Blessed Trinity for the prerogatives given to St. Joseph.  At least join the monks in their novena to St. Joseph asking his help in their 'urgent need', and if possible, send along a donation - in a spirit of thanksgiving.  Visit Vultus Christi for novena prayers and to make a donation if you are able to do so.

Yesterday, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments issued a decree, dated 1 May and signed by the prefect of that dicastery, Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera, which provides that, after the Blessed Virgin Mary, the name of her husband St. Joseph also be read in the Eucharistic Prayers II, III, and IV. - VIS

Preparations are in progress.

Are we paying attention?

Last evening I read a few news stories online, after having listened to the Charlie Rose interview with Obama.

Obama sought to assure the American people that NSA doesn't collect data or listen in to our phone calls, they just record date and time and so on.  The President is telling us it is necessary for security.  Be that as it may, I don't believe anything he says.  The set up NSA has now can be easily controlled by a tyrant - today or very soon, if things get any worse in the world and in this country.  The potential for abuse is enormous.  Do you really trust our government? 

Think about it - Nancy Pelosi, a self-proclaimed devout and respectable Catholic, who adheres to the Kennedy doctrine of no Catholic influence upon her political decisions, in a country wherein separation of Church and State is sacrosanct, tells the press that abortion - the killing of infants in and outside the womb - is 'sacred'.  It is totally absurd.

Unfortunately, many of our elected officials - 'careerists' - remind me of those Pope Francis spoke about at this morning's Mass:
Pope Francis criticized not only the vanity of the scribes and Pharisees, but also those who impose “so many precepts on the faithful.” He called them “hypocrites of casuistry,” “intellectuals without talent” who “don’t have the intelligence to find God, to explain God with understanding,” and so prevent themselves and others from entering into the Kingdom of God. - Vatican Radio
[Don't worry, I'm painfully aware that the Pope's words on hypocrisy apply to me as well.  "Lord, have mercy on me a sinner."]

Cult of death.

Exterminating unwanted infants by abortion is no longer enough, and laws are changing to permit infanticide and euthanasia for children.  LifeSiteNews published a story by Peter Saunders, "Belgium and the Netherlands have taken major steps towards euthanasia for children."  Saunders correctly connects these developments  to how Nazi health care policies developed 70 years ago:
The euthanasia programme in Nazi Germany, later headed by the same Karl Brandt, did not begin in prison camps like Auschwitz and Treblinka. It began far more subtly with doctors in hospitals and its very first victims were children who were killed on supposedly compassionate grounds. 
It is bitterly ironic that child euthanasia is happening again seventy years later on the very same grounds in two countries that share a common border with Germany.  - Source
Depressed yet?

Read the Crisis article by Marjorie Jeffrey about the Frenchman who committed suicide in protest over gay marriage legislation at the altar in Notre Dame, Paris.  A Warning to the West:
The final piece that he wrote on his personal blog, “The May 26 Protests and Heidegger,” gives a clearer explanation of his death than does his suicide letter. It contains a warning and a call to arms. He addresses this warning to the French anti-gay marriage protesters, who, in his opinion, have addressed their rightful indignation at the wrong thing. Venner himself expressed horror at the notion of “gay marriage,” but his objection to the culture of relativism goes deeper than that. He relates the words of an Algerian blogger,
“In any case,” he said, “in 15 years the Islamists will be in power in France and will remove this law.” Not to please us, we suspect, but because it is contrary to Sharia (Islamic law).
This is the only superficially common point between the European tradition (that respects women) and Islam (which does not respect them). But the bald assertion of the Algerian is chilling. These consequences will be far greater and more catastrophic then the detestable Taubira law.
Ultimately, the objections of the May 26th protesters will be moot. Gay marriage is a smaller symptom of the disease. In the end, the suicide of Europe will result in conquest by Islam. He continues, “The May 26 protestors cannot ignore this reality. Their struggle cannot be limited to the rejection of gay marriage. The ‘great replacement’ of the population of France and Europe, denounced by the writer Renaud Camus, is a far more catastrophic danger for the future.” - Crisis
An after thought.

After my rosary last night I was thinking of Fatima and something Sr. Lucy told John Paul II before the Third Secret was finally revealed, "We are going towards it, little by little."  Hence my title for this post, "Preparations are in progress".  They seem to be accelerating.

And so, after awhile, I opened my little New Testament and Psalms to this:
And he said to me, "These words are trustworthy and true.  And the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent his angel to show his servants what must soon take place.  And behold, I am coming soon." - Revelation 22:6

I hope. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

June 18, Autism Pride Day


I never knew there was an Autism Pride Day before yesterday, when I came across it online.  In fact this is Autism Pride Week:
Autism Pride Week begins on Father’s Day, Sunday, June 16th, with our kick-off speaking event by the 2013 National Book Critic’s Award winner for non-fiction, Andrew Solomon, at the charming jewel-box like Diana Wortham Theater, centrally located in downtown Asheville in the Pack Square Cultural Center. Also in the city center, the three-day film festival of autism related films will be held at the historic Fine Arts Theater. - Source
What and why?
Autistic Pride Day, an Aspies for Freedom initiative, is a celebration of the neurodiversity of people on the autism spectrum on June 18 each year.  Autistic pride recognises the innate potential in all people, including those on the autism spectrum.
In June, the organisations around the world celebrate Autistic Pride Day, with events around the world, to persuade "neuro-typicals", people not on the autism spectrum, that autistic people are "unique individuals" who should not be seen as cases for treatment.

Autistic pride asserts that autistic people have a unique set of characteristics that provide them many rewards and challenges. Although autism is an expression of neurodiversity, some people promoting Autistic pride believe that some of the difficulties that they experience are as the result of societal issues. For instance, campaigns to gain funding for autism related organizations promote feelings of pity. Researchers and people with high-functioning autism have contributed to a shift in attitudes away from the notion that autism is a deviation from the norm that must be treated or cured, and towards the view that autism is a difference rather than a disability. New Scientist magazine released an article entitled "Autistic and proud" on the first Autistic Pride Day that discussed the idea. - Source
As stated in another Wikipedia article, an "autistic culture has developed, with some individuals seeking a cure and others believing autism should be accepted as a difference and not treated as a disorder."

I never knew that.

"Diagnosis is based on behavior, not cause or mechanism."

I'm not sure, but from what I've read so far, I believe most agree that there is a 'strong genetic basis' for autism.  There are those who seek a cure, and apparently there is a growing number who object to seeking a cure - hence Autism Pride Week.

What I find very interesting is that autism may develop in the womb, or in infancy - and signs are normally recognized before three years of age.  Thus one could say a person was indeed 'born this way'.  As the child develops, from what I understand, he can regress after a certain point.  Some individuals progress however and live successful, integrated, lives, and so on. Others seem to come 'out of it' completely. 
 All known teratogens (agents that cause birth defects) related to the risk of autism appear to act during the first eight weeks from conception, and though this does not exclude the possibility that autism can be initiated or affected later, it is strong evidence that autism arises very early in development. - Source
To be sure, I know very little about the 'disorder', but I find the research very interesting.

Go here for a List of people with autism spectrum disorders.

The antipathy is mutual.

“If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man's life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.”   ― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Last week I was reading a post criticizing Fr. Martin Fox for a critique he posted, Sad, funny-ironic swan-song of the Vatican II crowd, as the author put it, 'broadsiding' a group of "Spirit of Vatican II priests.  The author, Rita Ferrone didn't like Fr. Fox' tone, nor did some of her commenters.  You can read the whole exchange here.  It's an interesting debate, but an old one - both sides are more or less dead on in exposing a certain antipathy - even enmity that exists between liberals and conservatives - and the issues which divide are real.  Interestingly enough, Fr. Fox is aligned with Fr. Z in the whole exchange - representing the 'conservative side', while Ferrone and Fr. Ruff and commenters represent the 'liberal side'.  Questions of ageism arise, as well as all the liturgical ecclesial, progressive/regressive-repressive suspicions get exposed in the exchange in the com box. 

It is bickering that gets rather tired - for me at least. 

Ironically, the so-called liberals or spirit of Vatican II side are beginning to sound a lot like the old traditionalists did after, or since the Council.  Their complaints are nearly the same.  They can almost echo those who did not want to see the liturgical reforms implemented, or at least did not want them to go off the rails to the extent they did; thus the Vatican II liturgists reject any notion of going 'backwards'.  The pendulum has swung back to their 'side' and they don't like it.  Hence they complain about 'tone' and being dissed by the 'opposition'.

Logs in mens' eyes.

It's all rather short sighted, in my opinion.  I know the so-called liberal side very well.  When I came back into the Church years ago, I was warned to stay away from places like St. Agnes in St. Paul - too pre-Vatican II.  The rosary and Eucharistic adoration were considered pre-Vatican II as well.  Nuns who wished to remain in the old habit had the veils ripped from their heads in some cases.  Traditionalists were mocked and belittled and definitely marginalized.  I recall doing things like bunching up my rosary so no one would notice I was praying it before Mass.  As I mentioned before, I'd slip into closets where they kept the tabernacle to pray before the Blessed Sacrament.  I was told devotion to the Sacred Heart was emotional and superficial - devotions like that were old fashioned, and so on.  I found ways to avoid scrutiny however.  Obviously, the progressives not only had issues with 'tone', not a few had issues with charity and doctrine - and few were strangers to scorn and contempt.  Yet today, when criticized, they protest.  Naturally, two wrongs do not make a right, but they might consider being a little less defensive and toughen up. 

The exchange between Fr. Fox and Pray Tell lays bare these tensions, as well as the animosity and division.  The complaints and defenses from both sides remind me of the Holocaust deniers discussion a month or so ago.  Another hornet's nest, as one blogger put it.  Behaviors, antipathies, animosities, enmities are almost always expressed in a 'tone' the other side finds offensive.  As I mentioned - so-called 'spirit of Vatican II' Catholics have been, and can be just as mocking, sneering, demeaning as any traditionalist.  In private one hears the nastiest things said - stay in a busy rectory for awhile, you'll see.  Or just read Fr. Z's com box, or Pray Tell - or mine sometimes.  No one is innocent, no one.  As the scripture says, "Save us Lord, there is not a good man left, follies they all speak, one to another."

"We too often we become enemies of others: we do not wish them well. And Jesus tells us to love our enemies! And this is not easy! It is not easy ... we even think that Jesus is asking too much of us!" - Pope Francis 6/18/13

Having stated all of that, try reading the post at Pray Tell, as well as the comments, and you will perhaps see what I mean - everyone gets their digs in.  The rebuttals on other blogs might be even more critical. 

BTW - Just for the record, I tend to support Fr. Fox and his POV.  At least he didn't resort to suggesting remedies such as "the biological solution", as Jonathan Day pointed out in his comments to Fr. Fox: "To your credit, you don’t yuck it up like Fr Z does. You don’t use his disgusting term, 'the biological solution.'"

It isn't just progressives who have a hard time understanding the tone and attitude Fr. Z and his commenters, as well as Michael Voris sometimes resort to.  Other Catholics do as well.  Naturally, many do not always like my tone either, though I often apologize for that, one must take into account I'm not a professional - just a 'dopey', 'crackpot' blogger.  Although I'm not trying to excuse myself either.

On the flip side of the record.

Speaking of Fr. Z and Voris - Jonathan Day exposes an underlying hostility and suspicion others have expressed, which may explain why some people are repelled rather than attracted to traditional Catholic teaching.  I know this because when I side with something these guys say, I too get criticized, and what I say pretty much gets dismissed:
At Pray Tell we tend not to engage with voices that are effectively self-deconstructing. Michael Voris comes immediately to mind. Father Z, in the same way, has no formal accountability, other than to an unnamed bishop in a suburban diocese of Rome. So he can butcher the English language, indulge in sarcasm and guilt by association and make dozens of historical and philological blunders. He can mock the sisters of the LCWR for their age, even though his balding head, pouchy cheeks and spreading waistline make it clear that he is no spring chicken. As long as his followers sling gifts and cash his way (his current “goal” is $72,000 per year) he has nothing to worry about. - JD comment

Oucha magoucha Jack!   Fr. Z is a mystery however, much to the chagrin of his critics.  A reader sent me a recent comment to Father's post asking some questions - same old same old - but it maybe why Fr. Z gets so much flack:
jkm210 says:
I’m sure this post is likely to be deleted, but I am honestly curious: Why does Fr. Z require so many donations, and what are the reasons behind his constant travel? If his work in the United States is not financially supported by his diocese in Italy, why is he doing it? And while “it’s not your business” may be the automatic response, I posit that it is, in fact, the business of the readers, if they are being asked to support it financially.
I am not trying to be rude, but I find it a bit disconcerting for a priest to constantly ask for donations to sustain his own personal lifestyle. If there is a valid reason for it, I would be very interested in hearing it. Thanks!
It's none of my business of course.  Although I did notice Father's donation-o-mometer goal has been raised from $6000- to $7000- in a week.  Whatever.  I may just start asking for donations myself.

I suppose the point in all of this is simply to point out that we all fight and cast suspicions upon one anther - we all do this.  We pick out the faults and failings of one another... 
It demonstrates how easily we can take for granted our own state of grace, forgetting we may have been guilty of greater faults than those we notice - or look for - in our neighbor.  What a scary thing it would be if our past sins were to be exposed and known by all... and though forgiven by God, we are condemned by all who hear of it.  Even more so, what a terrible betrayal of mercy and love when we fail to forgive another, or motivated by natural antipathy, we act like watchmen searching the streets and alley-ways by night, looking for more evidence to condemn the unwary culprit. - Loving our enemies
"With forgiveness, with love for our enemy, we become poorer: love impoverishes us, but that poverty is the seed of fertility and love for others..."

Duck and cover.

Monday, June 17, 2013

My email is down...

But I still hear voices.

Anyway - my email really is down.  Don't worry though - I'll be fine until the Feds show up.

Judge lays down the law: Modesty in the court! No bare arms!

“Someone needs to tell women that sundresses are not proper..."

This is so weird because I just noticed a mother walking her daughter home from the park and she appeared to wearing a vintage style sleeveless blouse.  My mother and sister used to wear blouses like that - and dresses.  In those days a woman had to slip on a long sleeved sweater before going to Mass however, since sleeveless was considered immodest.  A pastor, like a judge, can impose rules regarding modesty, but few do, and I suspect even fewer judges do.

So anyway - after thinking about that woman and her ugly blouse, I went online and noticed the following story about a Tennessee judge telling female lawyers in his courtroom to cover up.
Charlotte) — A Tennessee judge wants female lawyers to dress more appropriately while in his courtroom. 
The Tennessean reports that Rutherford County Circuit Judge Royce Taylor has outlined in the Rutherford County Bar newsletter that women are showing too much skin while defending their clients. 
“I have advised some women attorneys  that a jacket with sleeves below the elbow is appropriate or a professional dress equivalent,” the letter states, according to The Tennessean. “Your personal appearance in court is a reflection upon the entire legal profession.”
Taylor tells WSMV-TV that he has been receiving complaints about their attire.
“Most of the complaints came from the attorneys wearing sleeveless attire,” Taylor told WSMV. “In one case I had one to appear in a golf shirt, a woman. I didn’t feel that was appropriate.”  - Source

I agree with the judge.  Men have to dress appropriately, I think women should too - for court that is.  Tank-tops and shorts may be okay for church, but not court.  Will someone please tell Mrs. Obama?

What if male lawyers dressed like that?

Bonus:  Kat wanted to be a lawyer but she couldn't pass the bar - without stopping in.  I'm so kidding.  Love her so much.  So much!


Marylike Standards of Dress for Court:
1. "Marylike" means modesty without compromise -- "like Mary," Christ's pure and spotless Mother.
2. Marylike dresses have sleeves extending to the wrists; and skirts reaching the ankles.
3. Marylike dresses require full and loose coverage for the bodice, chest, shoulders, and back; the cut-out about the neck must not exceed "two fingers breadth under the pit of the throat" and a similar breadth around the back of the neck.
4. Marylike dresses also do not admit as modest coverage transparent fabrics -- laces, nets, organdy, nylons, etc. -- unless sufficient backing is added. Fabrics such as laces, nets, organdy may be moderately used as trimmings only.
5. Marylike dresses avoid the improper use of flesh-colored fabrics.
6. Marylike dresses conceal rather than reveal the figure of the wearer; they do not emphasize, unduly, parts of the body.
7. Marylike dresses provide full coverage, even after jacket, cape or stole are removed.
8. Marylike fashions are designed to conceal as much of the body as possible, rather than reveal. This would automatically eliminate such fashions as slacks, jeans, shorts, culottes, tight sweaters, sheer blouses, and sleeveless dresses; etc. The Marylike standards are a guide to instill a "sense of modesty." A girl or woman who follows these, and looks up to Mary as her ideal and model, will have no problem with modesty in dress. She will not be an occasion of sin or source of embarrassment or shame to others. - Catholic League 
BTW -  Did you know there used to be a thing called 'blessed dresses' for women?  They were modest and blessed and may even have had an indulgence attached - I'll have to look that up.

Oh!  Oh!  BTW-II! Since someone mentioned pants:  Simcha Fisher is on Patheos now.  I saw it coming when Mark almost spilled the beans a few weeks ago.

"No panty-line though -
I hate that myself!
No whale-tail either.

Did the Pope perform an exorcism on this Harley-Davidson Fat Boy?

There were some very heavy burtations.

So anyway, the Pope said nothing about helmets.


Self Portrait, Albert Carel Willink
He died in 1983.  He was Dutch.  His style is imaginary realism.  I like the self portrait very much.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Real quick like...

Last week I received a comment left on my art blog from someone at the chancery.

I work at the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and (I'm not kidding, I promise) we have a package for you! I'm hoping you're the Terry Nelson to whom this package is addressed - could you contact me at your convenience?

Thanks! My apologies for not finding a better means of contacting you!
Intrigued, I contacted the chancery.  The package was sent from Ireland by a reader of my blogs, addressed to Terry Nelson, Fine Artist.  What a compliment, huh?  It is an honor to be called a 'fine artist'.  Amazing detective work by the chancery as well.  I'm not sure if I heard the chancery person correctly, but I think she said she wouldn't be commenting on my art blog.  She may have meant she wouldn't be commenting if she had had another way to contact me, or she wouldn't want to be associated with the blog after she viewed my work.  LOL!  She wouldn't be the first to say that.

I want to thank the person who sent the package from Ireland.  What a very nice thing to do.  I was very touched.  The art work at top is from the card sent to me, it is by Erika Oller and is titled, "Ground Cover".  Very fun.

Sher - I will always be united to you in prayer, praying with you and for you.  Thank you for the prayers, the beautiful framed art work, and the prayer cards. 

Mass Chat: Fr. Z writes about the 'gay lobby'...

It just ain't natural.

Fr. Z rarely ever writes about homosexuality in the priesthood.  In fact he rarely writes about anything homosexual.  He tells why in his latest post:
I hate reading or writing about it. 
[Speaking of a 'gay lobby']  I detest this whole story because I suffered at the hands of these types for decades both in my home diocese and in Rome. And to be clear, they weren’t always liberals. Most were liberals and dissenters, but a few were solidly on the traditionalist side which makes them even more loathsome. These evil twisted men need prayers for the shameful way they treat the priesthood and the Church and because they risk the eternity of Hell. If I sometimes seem to have little sympathy for homosexuals – including and especially pedophiles – in the priesthood, that’s part of the reason.
"I hate reading or writing about it."

Me too.

I really do know some of what he speaks, and in a couple of cases, who.  I can pretty much understand his point of view.  I came back to the sacraments before he was ordained - I knew many of the same people he probably encountered.  I've written about that before.

What I appreciated about Fr. Z's current post is how he speaks of the 'new normal' which is being imposed upon society and the Church.  The 'new normal':
I may not write much on this blog about the whole “Vatican gay lobby” thing. It makes me pretty mad. But it is time for me to say this: 
For decades our society has been slowly but surely and purposely shifted by those in control of the mainstream media and entertainment industry. At first, because of the rise of AIDS, active homosexuals were constantly portrayed as innocent, though perhaps quirky, victims. Once the notion of homosexuality was shifted from its moorings and a new status was created in the minds of the public, another shift took place in the media. Now, TV shows and movies are saturated with homosexuals who are far more sophisticated, with it, intelligent, good looking than their more dysfunctional heterosexual counterparts. Victim time is over. It is cool to be “gay”. 
For years an artificial sub-culture was carefully crafted and now it is busting out into a “new normal”. 
But – contrary to popular opinion – human nature and God’s revealed truths have not changed. Homosexuality is not normal. 
Did you hear what he said folks?  Of course you didn't hear it, because he wrote it - and you read it.
"But – contrary to popular opinion – human nature and God’s revealed truths have not changed. Homosexuality is not normal." - Read his post here.

It's the truth - not that there is anything wrong with that.

Thanks for saying it Fr. Z. 

As for rooting out homosexual priests...

On the other hand.  Fr. Z hasn't said the Church must "track down the 'nest of homosexual priests' and make sure that they are 'rooted out.'"  Mr. Bill said that one.  It kind of has a Third Reich ring to it, don't you think?

How are they going to do that?  Spy?  Have undercover seminarians pose as gay priests to find out who really is gay?  Or pretend to be call boys who make rectory calls?  Can't do that - they'd be lying if they went undercover - faithful Catholics can't go undercover or lie... 

I'm making light of it, yes - because tracking down and rooting out is not how the Church operates these days.  Besides - most priests and bishops already know who's who in their diocese.  In this archdiocese we already have priests who are 'out' - or were at one time.   

So what would a reform look like?  How would a gay lobby be handled? 

First, the group, the cabal, the lobby - if it exists as a monolithic group - would be broken up: people transferred, retired, exiled - quietly.  Unless of course, something criminal is involved.  I doubt it is that well organized however - although I could be wrong.  It's usually not like that.  I think the 'network' is more likely how such things occur in business - the old boys club.  Who is in power and those whom he promotes will be like him.  Otherwise it is more simply a buddy system - or more precisely, a 'network'.  One knows who is who -  the result being a sort of built-in familiarity - a friendship perhaps, but more an alliance - which pretty much survives on gossip and staying in the good graces of those who have been promoted to higher places.  I'm not sure it is necessarily overtly sinister, however, as Fr. Z notes in describing the Italian understanding of what a lobby is: "this is nasty business with lots of passive-aggression, villainous-smiling, lying-in-wait, and backstabbing."  Life in the theater may be a good analogy as well.  I think another characteristic of life in a clique is something St. Benedict discusses in the Rule regarding laughter.  Fr. Mark interprets the Saint this way:
Saint Benedict would have his monk speak without laughter. The kind of laughter that Saint Benedict condemns is the laughter of cruel sarcasm; the mocking laughter of the worldly and the jaded; the shrill laughter of the shallow-minded and superficial; the idiotic laughter of one who makes a joke of everything, even of things sacred. - VC
I call it bar talk/humor - filled with double entendre, cynicism, irreverence, foppishness, and so on.  "The fool lifts up his head in laughter."

What to do?

Of all the voices out there on how and what could be done about the problem, I tend to agree with Jimmy Akin's take, when he speculated:
The Holy See would not be expected (under usual circumstances) to publicly out and fire the known members of the network, stating the reason why, given the firestorm of negative publicity that would produce. 
However, it might well decide to break up the network by retiring or reassigning its members, without publicly stating the reason why. 
The fact that Pope Francis is preparing a major cleaning-house and likely restructuring of the Roman curia (the departments that help him run the Church) would provide an excellent opportunity for doing just that. - Jimmy Akin

Disclaimer:  Personally, I believe there are very good priests who may have experienced homosexual attraction or inclination as a temptation, yet remained chaste and celibate, devout, faithful to their vocation and the teaching of the Church.  In turn, they would support and promote the same for all Catholics. 

I also want to add something from Fr. Oko, the Polish priest who did a study on the problem of a homosexual network/'mafia':

But what can you do to help the priests with homosexual tendencies and gay priests? 
Men with homosexual tendencies already ordained deacons, priests and bishops retain the validity of their ordination, but they are obliged to observe all the commandments of God and all the provisions of the Church. As with other priests, they should live in chastity and cease any action against the well being of the human person and of the Church, any activities with mafia characteristics and especially attitudes of rebellion against the Pope and the Holy See. Priests afflicted with such disorders are to be strongly directed to undertake appropriate treatment as soon as possible. - Don Dariusz Oko

Works for me.

Update:  Seems to be a website in Rome for gay priests and seminarians called Venerabilis ...  If it is authentic, it appears I may be wrong in my assumption the network is not all that well organized.  Holy Baths of Caracalla!

I think that's all I got.  I'm going to grab a donut.  TTYL!

“Look, it’s no secret...
Hello?  Hello?  Father?"