Friday, September 30, 2005

Pointed humor

First read this article on comments made by former Education Secretary William Bennett. Follow the steps of his logic, first

he took issue with the hypothesis put forth in a recent book that one reason crime is down is that abortion is up.

But I do know that it's true that if you wanted to reduce crime, you could, if that were your sole purpose, you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down, ... an impossible, ridiculous and morally reprehensible thing to do...
You can imagine the flak that is flying his way.

Responding later to criticism, Bennett said his comments had been mischaracterized and that his point was that the idea of supporting abortion to reduce crime was "morally reprehensible.
Now I follow his logic. One could contend his delivery was a bit off, but his logic stands. My issue is for all the heat he is getting on this, no one seems to remember that this was Margret Sanger's basis for promoting birth control. The same media that is roasting Bennet would never publish anything bad about the obviously racist Sanger.

Now to the humor. Shortly after reading about this, I get an email with the following. Perhaps you will understand why it took me a moment to catch the pun.

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin was asked his position on Roe vs. Wade. He said "I don't care how people get out of the city."

Good thoughts on liturgy

Amy has a link to this article from Alvin Kimel. Here is part of point #4,

A word to celebrants: Stick to the script! I doubt that you have the authority to ad lib at the liturgy anyway, but few priests have the gift to do it well anyway. Say the words that are given to you, exactly as they are given to you.... Every time you depart from the rite, you disrupt the flow of the liturgy and simply draw attention to yourself and away from the Lord.

That is the whole point of our frustration. The Mass is not about the priest, choir leader or anyone on earth. It is about God drawing us in.

Our anti-women heirarchy up to same old story

As most of you well know, our exclusive male heirarchy seeks to keep women down and powerless. The new pope, same as the old pope, reiterates this policy of keeping women subject to dominant man.

So check out the latest call for repression Pope Urges Concrete Gestures to Honor Women's "Genius"

And for the sharp observers, this is sarcasm.

More on First Reconciliation - First Holy Communion

This Letter from the Vatican explains it quite well. The whole letter is worthwhile to read. There are several good points to common objections, especially objections I have encountered.

When he arrives at the age of discretion, the child has the right in the church to receive both sacraments. It would be an absurd and unjust discrimination and a violation of his conscience if he were prepared for and admitted only to holy communion. It is not enough to say that children have the right to go to confession if this right remains practically ignored. (emphasis added)

This has been my experience. IF the parent asks, then the child is allowed to go on their own with no prep by the RE department. But this statement also brings to point, if the child isn't old enough to understand Confession and Penance (i.e. telling God sorry and getting forgiven) then how is he to understand Transubstantiation?

But to me it boils down to this. The arguement is not about me or you versus the RE department. It is about being part of the Roman Catholic Church versus the local traditions (notice the small "t"). And this is the only time I have heard any defense of tradition or Tradition by this RE department. So it is about Obedience.

Here is the nuts and bolts answer from the Vatican to the question that was posed:
is it still lawful for first communion to precede first confession as a general rule in those parishes where this practice has been in force for the last several years?

The Congregations for the Sacraments and Divine Worship and for the Clergy, with the approval of Pope Paul Vl, have replied:

No, in accord with the mind of the Declaration. Homepage

For those interested in a Catholic homepage with links to Catholic News and many other good tidbits, try

You can even add links to your favorite blogs, and even to mine. Just click on the icon below to setup your own page.

My Catholic Homepage

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

More Religious Ed hijacks

Another item from Rich at Ten Reasons on things he "learned at last night's First Reconciliation meeting."

2. Priests are "ordained by the people."
3. Priests "represent the community" during the sacrament
And can I relate? Our Religious Ed, I mean Faith (misin)Formation, I mean Faith Formation group doesn't think they have any rules to follow either.

Sacrament of Penance before First Holy Communion? Where is that in Canon Law
Canon c914
Well... that doesn't say it "must" be done this way
Redemtionis Sacramentum #87 does
That, thats not an authoritative document!
CCC 1457
Well, we have been doing it this way for 30 years. It is a tradition here.

So, do I or don't I send my son?

EWTN has a great link for reference.

Archbishop Chaput on "What it means to be Catholic"

Archbishop Chaput is what I would call a great modern bishop. Great in that he isn't afraid to answer the tough questions, call a spade a spade and is genuinely a sheperd to his flock. By modern, I mean he knows how to use the technology available to reach his faithful.

In the age when everyone wants everything, including answers, now; Chaput has maded use of the internet to publish his statements, correct misquotations by other media and preach the gospel. Here is the latest:

On this point, he explained the nature of the Church--a body composed of human beings, but aimed and focused on something higher.
“When people say, ‘we are the Church,’” the Archbishop stressed, “of course that’s true…
But a ‘community of faith’ or a ‘community of the faithful’ implies that there’s Someone and something we have the duty to be faithful to. We don’t invent the Catholic faith. Nor do we own it. We receive it; we live it in community; we witness it to others; and we pass it on fully -- as good stewards -- to our children. That’s what life in the Church means.” (emphasis added)

And later points out the big shoes they have to fill:
Bishops”, he said, “have the same need for redemption as the people to whom they belong. The only difference is that God will hold bishops even more accountable because of the leadership to which He ordained them, and because of the graces of office that they’ve received.”
Archbishop Chaput described this vision, borrowing from the wisdom of St. Ignatius of Antioch, as he said: “Every bishop is a successor to the apostles and a pastor of souls. Every bishop has the duty to safeguard the liturgical life of the local Church.”

Oh, that more bishops understood those two concepts. Today, pray for your bishop!

Thanks to Rich

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

More priest speak out on chastity among clergy

This is an excellent article that provides insight from three priests who share their insight on the upcoming Vatican policy indicating homosexuals should not be admitted to the seminaries. Note that this policy coincides but is separate from the ongoing Seminary Visitation.
Fr. Seely

"The key point seems to be that homosexuals possess 'a serious personality disorder which detracts from their ability to serve as ministers.' I take this to mean that they are incapable of perceiving human nature as God as created it, consisting of male and femalepersons meant for mutual attraction, complementarity, and, God-willing, marriage and children.

Fr. Perozich:
Practicing or promoting homosexuals say there are good celibate gay priests. The word celibacy is a diversionary argument by practicing homosexuals. The word 'gay priest' is oxymoronic. All priests take a vow of celibacy, a promise of total dedication of self to God and Church which precludes marriage. The question is chastity.
This Vatican correction may seem to be an over reach, but seminary faculty in many places have preached homosexuality as good and normal, have lived this out, and have pushed the ordination of other active homosexuals, thus seeding the Church with dissent on the matter, keeping the laity in ignorance on the matter, and leaving those with same sex attractions without the truth to help them grow in love and sexual integration.

And my favorite by Fr. Eunteneuer of HLI
Our message to the media, to the homosexual activists and to the liberal church is clear. You can't have it both ways: you can't complain about church negligence in the pedophilic priest problem and also complain about the church's diligence in addressing it. Either you grab the problem by its root and yank it out of the soil of the priesthood or you keep asking the faithful to subsidize deviant behavior and the resulting legal liability. Benedict has made his choice, and we are the better for it."

Finding the humor

Today's BC comic is a definition, the word being defined in Wiley's dictionary is Euthanasia. I won't ruin the punchline, but it is worth checking.

Here is the archive of it for later reference.

Point by point on SSA by Fr. Todd

For those who get confused by all the arguments for and against allowing men suffering from SSA into the seminary, Fr. Todd breaks down an anonymous priests argument for it. Point by point, it is very thorough.

SSA is a disorder. It is not a genetic defect. It is not something we are born with. I know a lot of people would love to argue it is because then it they can use it to mitigate their culpability or excuse their behavior. ... The most important part to understand is that God did not create you intending you to have SSA. SSA is not a gift from God. It is a curse resulting from the fall and original sin. This brings us back to the call to holiness.

Monday, September 26, 2005

The Jester is on a roll

We all need a break now and then, kick back, watch a bit of TV. If EWTN tugs at your delicate moral fiber a bit too much, perhaps the new PWTN is what you need.

Boy, do I need this

Truth? What is truth?

Amy Welborn hits it on head in her article, Sins of the Seminary. The upcoming investigation isn't just about homosexuality, but in regards to those 2 sentences in the 11 page document:

Why is it considered unfair to expect priests and seminarians to live by the values of the institution they serve? Others may call it a purge, but I call it truth in advertising.

As I often have said, if you wanna change God's rules, you form your own church, keep it going for 2000 years and then we will talk. At which point I will point you to a Church that has been around 4000 years.

Amy also points out that this investigation is about proper formation of the priests. Priests who are ordained to down the Eucharist for the service of the faithful.
But a seminary also owes us, the people in the pews, psychologically mature priests who aren't engaged in an eternal and ego-driven struggle with their own problems, who are prepared to serve, to teach and preach - with integrity and honesty.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Correction please

For those who really are seeking the truth, try this balanced article on the Investigation of the US Seminaries

Of those questions, only one directly involves homosexuality, while several others refer more generally to the seminarians' preparation for a celibate life.

There is much more to the article I could quote, but do yourself a favor and read the whole article. This visitation isn't about gays in the seminary, it is about seminarians learning the correct MORAL (any type of sexual activity by a celibate is immoral) teachings of the Church. Basically
An apostolic visitation of seminaries is undertaken to appraise the quality of training for priests.

And with all the news of abuse (homosexual or heterosexual) we can all agree that needs a serious look at.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

But what about feelings

Mark Shea says it well, better than I could hope to try in regards to the "gay outrage" at the coming "inquisition"

As I noted last week, the sacrament under discussion here is Holy Orders not Baptism, Confirmation, or Eucharist. But you'd never know it from reading Sullivan. The way Andy tells it, you'd swear Benedict was ordering all people with homosexual temptations out of the Church--and possibly into concentration camps--not simply saying, "We think it would be a reasonable idea not to put the parish AA group in charge of buying the communion wine."
As a man who is just as barred from the priesthood as any person with homosexual temptation (because Rome likewise deems that my situation as a married man would interfere with the task of the priesthood), I continue to agree with Arch-Conservative Amy that *nobody*, gay or straight, should look at the priesthood either as a civil right or as a vehicle for working out their personal issues. It is a sacrament ordered to the service of the Eucharist.
And as a fellow barred-from-priesthood layman, I find the Church within her right to protect children from those who express their SSA with young boys.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

I am NOT a customer

The Curt Jester comments on an article from the Church Executive. Right or wrong about schools and hospitals, it brings an interesting point about churches. Does your church try to please the customer (the larger number, the better) rather than proclaim the truth? Our priest continues to impress me with his homilies. But the RE, now called the Faith (misin)Formation, continues to drag kids through the warm, fuzzy, no-such-thing-as-sin teachings that only shape them to be future warm, fuzzy RE directors.

In the effort not to offend anyone, does it matter that I am offended? I am not a consumer, this is not a cafeteria, I am Catholic!

Not 100%, yet

You never hear this admission from those who press for more women's rights. During an interview about the upcoming evaluation of the seminaries, the Rector of St. Paul Seminary in Pennsylvania admitted what most know to be true.

"Eighty percent of the church is run by women, so we have to be able to work with women, and those relationships have to be healthy and appropriate," he said.

So where are the women? They are busy running the parish. Of course 80% isn't 95% or 100% so there is room for improvement.

Of course there is Another view, until everybody can be a priest, no one is happy. Reminds me of the wise words from The Incredibles, "Once everyone is special, then no one will be."

thanks to Uncle Di at CWNews for the tip.

Monday, September 19, 2005

A blast from the past

I came across an old article in Crisis Magazine from 2001. It describes the different methods of Natural Family Planning and how they were founded as well as the history of contraception in the US.

In 1930, the Church of England was first to break ranks in the Christian condemnation of Birth Control. This prompted the Federal Council of Churches to follow suit. But the blast of icy cold reality came from this quote in the article.

A day after the Federal Council of Churches declaration, a shocked Washington Post editorialized: "Carried to its logical conclusion, the committee's report, if carried into effect, would sound the deathknell of marriage as a holy institution by establishing degrading practices which would encourage indiscriminate immorality. The suggestion that the use of legalized contraception would be 'careful and restrained' is preposterous."

Can we count the ways? Abortion, sodamy, divorce...

Friday, September 16, 2005

Hobbyists beware

An excellent article from my favorite Catholic Magazine, Crisis, on "The Work of Human Hands: When Catholicism Becomes a Hobby".

The author compares Catholicism as a hobby to another popular Sunday morning hobby. On golf

The golfer, if he whistles, can enjoy some pretty fair music.

Compared to the church hobbyist
No comment.

For those that long for the liturgical reform to actually be acted on, it is a must read.

Encouraging news

I would have to say the cross-section of questions listed by The Times from the seminary inquiry questions is quite encouraging.

"Is the seminary free from the influences of New Age and eclectic spirituality?"
"Do the seminarians or faculty members have concerns about the moral life of those living in the institution? (This question must be answered)."

I still harbor some doubt based on the quotes of some bishops, but I pray that this is a start to redeeming our seminaries.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Failed? Depends on what the objective IS.

This site and author is new to me, but his article on the Scandal of State Management paints a dark picture of our bloated beauracracy that once was our constitutional government. It is a bit long but make sure you read the account given by two emergency medical workers attending a New Orleans conference.

To quote Benjamin Franklin

"Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security, will not have, nor do they deserve, either one."

We get what we deserve

In this case, I won't hold my expectations high.

What I would like to happen? I would like for them to give us at least $20,000 apiece so we can, you know, get our life together. You know, we didn't ask to come on that bus, slave. It's like a slave ship. It's just like, you know, back in history, you know, they put us on a slave ship. They separated us from our family. They did it--you know, just modern-day slavery, you know? Just give us what the f--- we deserve.

The article begins with an interview of the man who was obviously frustrated and rightly so, until this comment and then the photo of him.

un-mumbled tip to the Daily Eudemon

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Some know how to make a point

One of my favorite writers on Catholic Exchange , James Fitzpatrick writes in a way that grabs your attention and then brings home the point. I love his most recent article for that reason and because he isn't afraid to go after the politicos that are laying waste to our country. A tidbit

Have you ever stated in public your wish that Communism would one day envelop the earth?

He knows those that have.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Man made vulnerability

My brother sent me an interesting item on the man-made disaster in New Orleans. This disaster is the welfare state,

For the past few days, I have found the news from New Orleans to be confusing. People were not behaving as you would expect them to behave in an emergency—indeed, they were not behaving as they have behaved in other emergencies. That is what has shocked so many people: they have been saying that this is not what we expect from America. In fact, it is not even what we expect from a Third World country.

Which leads me to another article about our soft underbelly. Think of who, precisely, welfare targets or so incompletely replaces: the fathers of our children.

These two articles are different takes on the same item. Government CANNOT replace the family. Without the family, our society crumbles. Precisely why the government must protect the family, not undermine it with excessive welfare and promoting gay unions.

"Help" is on the way

Help, Planned Parenthood style, is on the way. Never mind water, food and clothing, these people NEED their birth control pills or emergency abortion (Plan B) pills.

The good news is that PP may at least give them a bottle of water to wash them down with.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

No Connection

This is a bit of old news, but life has been more very demanding and should I say, more important than publishing my random mumblings on the web. But...

Several days ago on Meet the Press, Jefferson Parish President Aaron Broussard related an emotional story about the mother of an friend that died while waiting for the promised rescues. A horrible testament to the death, destruction and lack of response from all levels of government.

My issue is not with him but the mindset we as American victims have. Spotting him the concept that we now have a constitutional right to government aid for every disaster, I still have a problem with the connection he makes. He rightly blames bureaucracy for the massive blunders, he goes so far as to blame them for murder.

But then he does a 180 in the same breath and claims:

"FEMA needs more congressional funding. It needs more presidential support. It needs to be a Cabinet-level director."

So if 800 pound gorrilla suffocated many victims of Hurricane Katrina, how is adding more bureaucratic weight going to solve that problem?

All that and never mind the right to "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Government Aid."