Saturday, December 30, 2006

New member

as you can see below, the blog has a new member. My better half now has joined the blogging age and can post her own items (rather than giving me an article to post for her.)

Wow, an email address of her own and two weeks later she is bloggin.

Talk about culture war.

It all started out very innocently. We were on our way back home from visiting family for Christmas. Of course traveling for seven hours in a car with six kids is always an adventure. So when our four year old sent the distress call from the very back of the suburban "I need to go potty right now!" We figured it was time to stop. So we all piled out and Dad sent the battle cry "Everyone's going to TRY to go to the bathroom cause I'm not stopping again."
So the five boys filed to the right and my 11 year old daughter and I to the left. It was a one stall room so she went in first. When I went in for my turn I glanced to the left at the dispenser on the wall. At first I thought it was a feminine products dispenser, but upon a closer look, boy was I wrong. It advertised flavored condoms on one side, and an exotic sex kit on the other. I can't even remember what was in the middle section because I was so upset. I do know it had nothing to do with feminine products though. And do you think there was a feminine hygiene product dispenser in the gas station bathroom...NO.
OK, some of you may not find issue with this but, my innocent daughter (one of the reasons we home school is so that our children are not bombarded with stuff like this) is an avid reader. She reads anything and everything she can get her hands on. So I knew she read it. Now, I have no problem discussing Sacramental sex with my children, but flavored condoms PLEASE!!
So as I watched my boys file out of the restroom with my husband ( they're little so he was there to protect their innocence), I mentioned what I'd seen to him and he was just as irritated as there was one in the men's restroom as well.
After all of our troop got their snacks and were hustled out to the suburban, I lingered to talk with the man running the cash register. I called him over and said something like "Usually I'm not a complainer but, I am upset that you have trash like a flavored condom dispenser on your wall where my young teenage daughter can see it. You don't even help women out by providing a feminine products dispenser." As the young man grew deeper shades of red he said "I only work here." I responded "I understand that but, please pass this on to your manager, thanks."
Upon entering our vehicle my husband smiled, shook his head, and said "You 're not going to win the culture war here." I responded, "One battle at a time."

Friday, December 22, 2006

destined to be a classic

Tim Jones spoofs the Time "Man of the Year" issue with a Sola Scriptura Bible showing the "Bible Scholar of the Year"
 
This is a gem, and read the comments too.  There are some creative people out there.
 

the marrying kind

Excellent Commentary on Bettnet on Rabbi Boteach's article on Beliefnet on getting married young.
 
Dom calls on the married men to back him up.
The most underestimated problem of the vocations crisis is that we also have a crisis in marriage. If we had more Catholics marrying and not putting off their families, we’d have more priests.
Dead on here. Sacrifice begets sacrifice if you understand my meaning.
 
I was listening to the CD "How To Keep Your Kids Catholic" by Ken Hensley from the Lighthouse Catholic Media. He mentions how in speaking to children and young people, one sure way to reach then is to show them the way to happiness.  A 7 year old isn't going to be searching for Truth, but they are looking for happiness.  It was kind of a light bulb going on in the struggle with keeping my kids growing in their faith.  True happiness is found in Christ.  And we get to know Him by following His commandments.  It took me a while to figure that out in marriage, but I am finally starting to get the message. 
 
I got married just shy of 21.  If I had to do it all over, I would skip the tough years of marriage were I was concerned about "getting my share" or being selfish with time.  All the years I wasted looking to find happiness in selfish pursuits.  And I finally found true happiness in self-sacrifice and selfless service of my wife and family
 
I know that sounds like how TV portrays Christians with the long face and dull lives claiming they are happy.  Truth is, the dullness and sadness of being lonely and selfish are the real downers.  It is hard to explain unless you have experienced it.  But take Pascal's wager and live it for several weeks, a couple months and see what difference it makes.
 

to our health

I decided to eat healthier this Christmas season.  So I have reduced my Milk Chocolate intake and replaced it with Dark Chocolate. (it is supposed to be healthy right?  Perhaps not in the quantities I am dealing with, but every little bit helps.)
 
 

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

crack shot

One moment I am making a snide comment on Bettnet about Joseph Rago's dependence on an editor in his piece dismissing bloggers as lacking "complexity and complication" and just too "informal" to be journalists.
you would take away his straw man.  Where else can he point to the lowly masses and use big expensive-daddy-paid-for college words.
 
It is much more fun to look down and scoff than to actually think.  Or to write about something meaningful.  “oh look at those mormons [ed. note (morons?)] with computers, thay [ed. they] can’t even spell.”
and then next I stumble on the Day by Day cartoon lampooning him for forgetting a period.  Great minds think alike?  Or all those minds lacking "complexity and complication" think in parallel?

top ten animal geeks

Another slightly off-the-wall attempt at geek humor.  This Top Ten Animal Geeks is worth the time for geek humor.
 
Pavlov's dog gets a nod at #2.  Mr. Ed didn't make it but Hoover the Seal did.

Hoover was a seal who could speak in what has been described as a "drunken New England accent" and would insult the neighbours of his Boston owners. He appeared on television and in newspapers, offering expert commentary on the issues of the day -- admittedly with a rather nonsensical and limited vocabulary, while slobbering wildly, but then those same disabilities haven't stopped political careers.

Hoover lived a happy life as an international novelty, but died in a moulting incident in 1985.

Tragic end it must have been.

Monday, December 18, 2006

and Merry Christmas to you too

Had to stop by Best Buy today and was pleasantly surprised by the cashier wishing me a Merry Christmas as I left.  Seems as more places are understanding that people are shopping for CHRISTMAS presents and won't be offended by a Christmas greeting.
 
I saw a big Merry Christmas button on the front of Sear's black Friday ad.  And no mentions of "Holiday Trees" were to be found.
 
Perhaps the pendulum has started back the other way.
 

scarce

Life is hectic around Christmas, and work is keeping me busy. So I probably won't be posting much until 2007. But this item caught my eye. As a Minnesota Viking fan, I don't like the Bears and don't shed any tears for them. But it is a bit painful to watch a guy be stupid as Tank Johnson has been.
I usually am on the defendant's side on gun charges unless he has a criminal record preventing him from rightfully owning guns. But when someone can't stay home on the day they are arrested, something isn't quite right. I love this line from the coach.
Teammates came to Johnson's defense following Sunday's game, and Smith called him "a caring guy" and "a good father" with two "beautiful children." But the Bears' patience may be wearing thin.
Yeah, he has a long rap sheet and his friend gets busted for Felony drug possession. And to celebrate they head to a night club (sans the weapons that were confiscated?) and the friend gets shot and killed. Umm, a good father might have been home with the "beautiful children"?
And the foot in the mouth award goes to the GM Angelo.
"We have been meeting internally all day regarding Tank Johnson," Angelo said. "It is a complicated matter that involves many parties. We are currently pursuing a course of action and communicating with the league to reach a conclusion as quickly as possible."
I don't think he meant parties at the bar, but yeah it does make it complicated.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

show me the money

Or we'll shut our doors.  Seems as though the mantra about caring for women runs a bit shallow.  Especially when the money runs a bit low.
An abortion business in Seattle that targeted poor women is closing after doing abortions for thirty-four years. The Aradia Women's Health Center abortion facility is closing down because it mostly does abortions on low-income women and rising costs for rent and other expenses have made it difficult to operate.
This is good news of course, but it also exposes the underlying support for abortion.  It is a good money maker in most cases.  And when it is not, well they shut down.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

all your children are belong to us

Dom has some scary revelations of the ideology the public schools are indoctrinating the kids of Massachusetts.  The one line of their slogan gives me the creeps,“These kids are our kids.”
 
On one hand it makes me thankful we live in Idaho.  But on the other, that line of thinking, as Dom puts it "That they must 'educate' children over the parents’ objections because they know what’s best for the kids and for society." pervades even the relatively good elementary schools of Idaho.  They aren't shoving homosexuality down the grade-schoolers throats.  That can wait until middle school and high school. 
 
But the "our kids" theme pervades most of what they do.  Take for example, the recent intense focus on the 3 Rs during the Christmas season.  (yes I know it isn't Christmas yet and it is actually Advent, but consider the target audience.)  The first R we should focus on is mateRialism.  Two items were included in this subject. 
 
The first one stated that the class was going to sponsor a needy family.  A noble claim I guess, but not exactly what I send my child to school for.  Sponsoring needy families is best handled by the local churches and other quasi-Christian entities.   So we considered this request and looked at the "wish list" was for the family.  The two children actually submitted what kind of presents they wanted.  Seemed a bit odd for a "needy" family, but I suspended judgment.  That is until I saw the "bratz" doll on the list.  And no mention of good books, sort of a glaring omission considering one of the original Rs was Reading.
 
Then the school offered a "store" for the child to shop for his parents.  Insinuating that the parents couldn't handle this task I guess.  We of course didn't send any money, but we heard from another parent that tried that approach and the teacher gave her kid money so she wouldn't feel left out.  Just stare at the screen and repeat,“These kids are our kids.” 
 
On to the next R.  spRelling.  Mistakes happen, I can deal with that.  But this bites right at the source.  We have our blind child in public school to learn Braille.  Braille is difficult, the resources are expensive and it is very time consuming.  The public school has the teachers, the aides and the resources to do a good job.  Or so that was the promise.  But I would doubt that promise when our son has to point out spelling mistakes in his homework.  And not just any homework, but Spelling.  Four or five mistakes on one spelling lesson? 
 
So forgive us for feeling that the school doesn't seem to care about education when they send leaflet after leaflet home touting the goody-goody "all your children are belong to us" activities and they can't get his spelling words spelled right.

job opening

Looks like there might be a job opening here.  If they take laymen, I might recommend a few.  (right Eric)
 
via the Curt Jester

Monday, December 11, 2006

the Sibling Advantage

In the second of this ongoing feature, it was actually our babysitter who revealed this sibling advantage to me.  While driving her home she mentioned that she had another babysitting job the next day, but it was a single child across town.  I mentioned it was quite opposite of our many children and just a few blocks away.  She stated that she preferred watching multiple children because there is no escaping the single child.  They must be entertained at all times  was her insinuation.
 
And it got me to thinking about it.  Children with multiple siblings have entertainment and stimulation available at most every turn.  They have siblings to play with, wrestle with, hide from and even avoid. 

Today's Sibling Advantage: Life isn't just about being entertained.  They don't have a chance to get bored, so occasional time by themselves is cherished rather than dreaded.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

twisted pair

And not in the network cabling terminology.
 
A Canadian Bishop has done his duty as a shepherd and of course is now being taken to task by the media. via Bettnet.
 
See if you can follow the twisted logic from a twisted situation after they "married" they took placed an announcement and photo in the paper.  Archbishop Terrence Prendergast did his duty and instructed their pastor and them of their situation and that they were restricted from receiving communion.

"Your state of life — after having celebrated a same-sex civil marriage and spoken about it publicly on radio and television — has established your relationship as a public scandal," the archbishop wrote to them in a letter dated Aug. 18.

"This disciplinary measure is to remind you of the objective seriousness of your present state and to invite you to renounce it and to return to living according to Christ’s injunction to ‘sin no more.’ "

The paper of course gives them ample free room to twist in the wind as they explain their case.

A Roman Catholic couple say they’re being driven from the church over the archbishop’s opposition to their same-sex union....

When the notice appeared, the couple’s priest at Stella Maris in Meteghan told them that Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, head of the Halifax archdiocese and administrator of the Yarmouth diocese, which includes Meteghan, had directed that they could no longer receive communion or assume any leadership position in the church. That meant Mr. Poirier could no longer serve as a director of the choir at Stella Maris.

....Mr. Poirier and Mr. Murphy subsequently joined Beacon United Church in Yarmouth, where they felt more welcome.

....But the men maintain they’re Roman Catholic and still attend a service at Stella Maris once in a while.

Not that this would be the back-breaking straw, but going to another church and not attending Mass on Sunday would mean they aren't really Roman Catholic.  Although most readers will have already gathered that.

"For seven years, we’ve been accepted by the people of the community and the people that go to church," he said. "There hasn’t been a problem."  The archbishop is denying them something that’s integral to their faith because renouncing their way of life is out of the question, Mr. Murphy said. "We were born this way," he said. "God has created us this way and the way that we live is blessed by God."

In reality, that should read

The archbishop has shown them they are denying something that’s integral to their faith because they put their 'way of life' ahead of their faith.  We were born to love, honor and serve God. God has created us this way and the way that we live is should be in line with the teachings of Christ.

And that "we've been accepted" part would be further proof the Archbishop was right in saying.

"Fellow believers, seeing this and the nonchalance of Catholics, would be led astray and weakened in their faith," he said.

expressing their guilt

Overall, a great article in the Fort Wayne Gazette by Rob Stein about the Pope Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction.  Run by Thomas Hilgers, the institute treats women using “natural procreative technology,” and the article even has a local connection in it.

Their destination was the Pope Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction, which has become perhaps the most prominent women’s health center serving Catholics and other doctors, medical students and patients who object for religious reasons to in vitro fertilization, contraceptives and other aspects of modern reproductive medicine.

“We have built a new women’s health science,” said Thomas Hilgers, who runs the institute. “Our system works cooperatively with the natural fertility cycle and enables doctors to treat women and married couples, especially Catholic married couples, in a way that allows them to live out their faith.”

Hilgers and his supporters say the approach, called “natural procreative technology,” can address a spectrum of women’s health issues, including family planning, premenstrual syndrome, postpartum depression and infertility, without the use of birth control pills, sterilization, abortion or in vitro fertilization. Instead, Hilgers said, he uses diagnostics, hormones and surgery to identify and treat underlying causes of reproductive ailments that other doctors often miss.

But as good as the article is, the columnist has to insert the obligatory bitter comments from "the other angle." 

But many mainstream authorities question Hilgers’ assertions that his techniques are equal or even superior to standard therapies. They worry that women are being misled and given unproven, ineffective treatments, denying them the best available care.

“This is anti-science,” said Anita Nelson, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of California at Los Angeles. “I respect people’s personal values. But I am deeply concerned that they are giving treatments and making claims that are not scientifically proven as safe and effective.”

"safe and effective" like the morning after pill that has a side effect of death.  Safe as in pumping a young girl's body full of un-natural chemicals to suppress a natural function.  Effective as in most contraceptions that have a sizable failure rate, and those 'failures' often lead to abortions, safe and effective in its own way.  As long as you don't consider the health and well-being of the baby or the mother.

Although some independent experts say that some of the institute’s offerings may be acceptable alternatives for religious patients, as long as they are fully informed about their options, others view its work as a disturbing example of religion intruding into secular society.

“Combining medicine and religion is dangerous,” said the Rev. Carlton Veazey, president of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. “This tendency is creeping into our health care system.”

I like the Curt Jester's response to that one.  I guess the Rev. Veazey never heard of St. Luke's, Holy Family or Sacred Heart hospitals.  Just look at the health care industry, how many of the hospitals have Catholic names on them?  Most all that have been around for some time, unless they have changed to a secular name.  No, Rev. I would say the tendency towards ripping faith and religion out of medicine has had its full and dangerous course.  Perhaps the pendulum is starting to swing back towards natural treatments, towards treating the fertility as normal rather than a disease.

“If you look at what’s happened with abortion services being severely limited in large parts of the country, this is not at all an unrealistic fear,” said R. Alta Charo, a bioethicist at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

The controversy is part of a larger debate over the relationship between religion and medicine, which is being sparked by conflicts between patients and religious health care workers who refuse to provide care they find offensive, citing a “right of conscience.”

These supporters of Pro-Choice don't think much of choice when it isn't their choice.  There is no way the title of bioethicist should follow that person's name.  It seems to be a case where they "doth protest too much."  They seem to express their guilt with their narrow-minded attack on women who make the CHOICE to seek alternative care.  Case in point is this money quote:

“They might as well be advocating prayer for infertility,” said Richard Paul, a fertility expert at the University of Southern California.

“The reason that this is dangerous is because women have a biological clock, and while they are using up time with less effective therapies, time may run out.”

That oxy-moronic quote shows the pro-choice world has shown that they don't care about the women.  They care about their pocketbook.  Any choice that doesn't feed their greed shouldn't be a choice in their mind.  This person would probably be able to turn around and say (with a straight face) that women should have the choice not to be forced to bear a child should they get pregnant. 

Although on the positive side, it shows their excess protestations may show that the conscience is not yet dead.

 

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Komen Foundation supports breast cancer?

Seems like a conflict of interests given the data connecting abortions with breast cancer.  But what "Foundation" really supports an end to their reason for getting funds.  I guess it is a no brainer then that the Susan G. Komen Foundation would support Planned Parenthood.  Sort of works in favor of both groups.  Komen keeps the "cause" alive by supporting abortions, PP gets funds from unsuspecting sources.
Komen representatives also appeared to be "more concerned about assisting women after they had contracted breast cancer, than informing them to avoid breast cancer risk by avoiding abortions and having [an] early, full term pregnancy."
Yeah, that seems consistent with the business model they use.  Promote the tragedy, but don't prevent it.

Monday, December 04, 2006

worst president?

Greg at Crowhill brings up an interesting point about the Worst President Ever.  And he raises the question about the southern states claim about secession. 

Interestingly three of the original states would not join the Union unless they were able to explicitly reserve the right of secession. two of those were NY and NH (I think NH was the second) who fought for the North.

Glad he brought this up. Most people have such a skewed view of history today. But then again, we learn our history from the victors.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

selfish charity

A great post over at the Crowhill Weblog, The selfish guide to charity.
 
It is something that I have also gone round and round with myself on this. I have handed out several dollars to one guy after I won the office football pool. Another time a guy approached me when I was in the drive thru. I said no thanks, but then bought an extra burger and drove round to give it to him. He didn’t seem too excited about the burger.
 
The comment by Mystagogue puts a great finishing touch on the article.  We should give despite the potential for the gift to be abused.  Why?  Simply put, Justice is God's, Mercy is ours.  We abuse our gifts from God (and we have been given more so more will be expected) more often than the beggar or homeless guy.

Diversity on diversity

CELEBRATE DIVERSITY:
CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS

The United States is 85 percent Christian, which means we are more Christian than India is Hindu and Israel is Jewish. Moreover, 96 percent of Americans celebrate Christmas. So why do we have to tippy-toe around the religious meaning of Christmas every December?

There is something sick about Friendship Trees, Winter Solstice Concerts, Holiday Parades and Holly Day Festivals. The neutering of Christmas extends to the banishment of Nativity Scenes from the public square, the expulsion of baby Jesus from crèches not otherwise forbidden, the banning of red and green at school functions, the censoring of “Silent Night” at municipal concerts, etc.

All of this madness is done even though 97 percent of Americans say they are not offended by Christmas celebrations. So as not to be misunderstood, it is important to recognize that the few who are complaining do not belong to any one religious or ethnic group—there is plenty of diversity to be found among the ranks of the disaffected. No matter, fairness dictates that their intolerance should not trump the rights of the rest of us. Diversity means respect for the traditions and heritages of all groups, not just those which have been cherry-picked by the multicultural gurus.

To be excluded is normal. Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Veteran’s Day, Black History Month, Gay Pride Parades—they all exclude someone. The Olympic Games are a showcase of segregation—men are barred from women’s sports—yet not even radical feminists call it sexist. Should all of these holidays and events be banned because some feel excluded?

By celebrating Christmas we are celebrating diversity. Don’t let the cultural fascists get their way this year.

William A. Donohue
President

Talk about calling a spade a spade.  I love this line, "their intolerance should not trump the rights of the rest of us. Diversity means respect for the traditions and heritages of all groups, not just those which have been cherry-picked by the multicultural gurus."

 

Monday, November 27, 2006

Not of this world

Good to know the pope agrees.  Something about wise men thing alike? 
 
Well, never mind my feeble attempt at humor.  The pope has a bit more to say on it than I do.
On "the feast of Christ the King, and reminded the faithful, "The Cross is the 'throne' from which He demonstrated the sublime regality of God-love."

 

Missing the point

Don't you get the feeling that in this weekend's Gospel that Pontius Pilate is missing the point?  He asks if Jesus is a King, Jesus says his kingdom is not of this world, if it were, his followers would be fighting.  And so Pilate comes back, "So you are a king." 
 
Of course we have the advantage of history to set the situation against, but still, Pilate seems to be oblivious to what Jesus tells him.  Kinda like when we have our minds set and hear only what we want. 
 
So on the Feast of Christ the King, what is the point.  Is it just a rah-rah we win in the end kinda celebration to end the liturgical year.  As my priest said, "Christ the King is easy to say.  Kind of rolls off the tongue."  But his point, it isn't so easy to live.  Is Christ the King of all corners of our life?  And then he went on and listed some common failures of people.  I was nodding along thinking, yeah I know someone that could work on that, nod, nod and then he mentions one for me and I stop judging and check my own account.  Umm never mind.
 
Always good to be reminded of our own need for a savior.  Especially right before receiving the Eucharist.

 

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Monday, November 20, 2006

chip away

Slowly but surely, Pope Benedict chips away at the walls that divide. Considered by many liberals to be a divider not a uniter, Pope B. XVI shows the uniting power of truth.
This latest comes from the office of the CDF, but I am sure it wasn't without the pope's blessing or promptings.
I was hoping to find another source as CWN gets alot of anti-Vatican II commentors.

The translation of pro multis has been the subject of considerable debate because of the serious theological issues involved. The phrase occurs when the priest consecrates the wine, saying (in the current translation):

...It will be shed for you and for all so that sins may be forgiven.

The Latin version of the Missal, which sets the norm for the Roman liturgy, says:

...qui pro vobis et pro multis effundetur in remissionem peccatorum.

Critics of the current translation have argued, since it first appeared, that rendering pro multis as "for all" not only distorts the meaning of the Latin original, but also conveys the impression that all men are saved, regardless of their relationship with Christ and his Church. The more natural translation, "for many," more accurately suggests that while Christ's redemptive suffering makes salvation available to all, it does not follow that all men are saved.

The interesting thing I learned is that it wasn't just the English translations that had it wrong. So barring a total meltdown in disobedience by the bishops we should be seeing the translation soon.
For the countries where a change in translation will be required, the cardinal's letter directs the bishops to prepare for the introduction of a new translation of the phrase in approved liturgical texts "in the next one or two years."
Why even worry about such minute details? Because this is one of the large clubs used by the traditionalist factions to beat up the Church, the Pope and anyone who doesn't have Mass in Latin. Some go so far to say that any Mass in English is invalid because of the translation error. This is ludicrious of course, but this action removes another stumbling block.

Friday, November 17, 2006

the message

One wonders if the Republicans received the message delivered on election night. Seems they might have, at least they have learned to act like they are listening. While the Democrats think they have the mandate to get even more radical, the Republicans are reshaping their leadership to attract the religious conservatives once again.
The House GOP selected their top two leaders and both have 100% pro-life voting records.
The Senate GOP's new top man is Sen. Mitch McConnell, another with a 100% pro-life record. The number two, Trent Lott is pro-life on abortion but sadly has voted for the embryonic stem cell research.
And even Bush is getting into the act, appointing Dr. Eric Keroack as assistant secretary of the Department Health and Human Services. And as Dom has pointed out, not only is he pro-life but anti-contraception as well.

And the democrats, well here is my thought on their post-campaign promises. My thoughts in Bold.
"With integrity, civility, and fiscal responsibility as our guide, Democrats intend to move forward with the agenda for change on which we were elected. We will:

•Make America safer by implementing the recommendations of the 9/11 commission.
- Their recommendation? Be safe out there!

•Make our economy fairer by raising the minimum wage and ending taxpayer subsidies for sending jobs overseas.
- With a higher minimum wage, Taxpayer subsidies will no longer be necessary to drive jobs overseas

•Make college more affordable by cutting the interest rates on student loans.
- more "lifer" college students means lower unemployment rates too. Double chaching!
- With lower interest rates, colleges can afford to charge more for even less.


•Improve healthcare by allowing Medicare to negotiate for lower prescription drug prices and promoting stem-cell research.
- pump more money into research that hasn't produced any results. Now there is science for ya. Science does its best when it pays its own way. You know, that results orientated plan? Oh wait these are politicians, they haven't worked a meaningful job in decades.

•Achieve energy independence within 10 years by investing America's energy dollars in the Midwest instead of the Middle East.
- spend more of our tax dollars to "research" what? Investing means using your own money, not mine. I'll believe their commitment when they all show up to work in the carpool lane. Driving a yugo rather than a limo.

•Guarantee a dignified retirement by improving Medicare, protecting Social Security, and making it easier to save for retirement."
- Our "dignified retirement will now start when we turn 85. But hey, more working years means more years to save for retirement.

So Ironic

Ironic Catholic is so good, even her spouse is ironically funny.  Here is If the FDA regulated the Eucharist.  Via the Curt Jester



Thursday, November 16, 2006

just be honest

As this so-called JP2 generation has come of age, religious orders have begun to reach out again to young people--and to do so in the language that young people speak.
It isn't about the language young people speak.  It is about a calling.  If the youth are seeking something, they aren't going to join an order that lives "like everyone else."  A calling, especially a calling from above will lead them to something above the average, something challenging and fulfilling.
 
As Fr. Corapi is wont to say regarding his search for a religious order.  Many bragged about how they were modern, no habits, they went to movies and bowling…
And his response was, if I wanted to be secular, why would I join a religious order?
 
As Dom points out,
I look at it like I look at most youth ministry programs. If you try too hard to compete with the secular culture you can lose what makes you distinct from it.
and he is spot on about the youth groups trying to be relevant.  That is just a numbers game.  If we look only to numbers instead of souls, we are by definition, irrelevant to the cause.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

haven't heard much of that issue

While they were pimping for ESCR, I never heard the media bring up this little issue with embryonic stem cells:
"Whilst embryonic stem cells have great potential to deliver therapies for disorders, such as diabetes, a fear has been that they will form tumors because of the presence of undifferentiated cells," Prof Tuch said.
Now that there may be a "potential", and I stress potential because of the inate honesty and integrity of those promoting this, perhaps the media will be more forthcoming regarding this little hang-up to the miracle answer to all of our modern diseases.

Happy are those indeed

The bishops have released the document on reception of the Eucharist titled, "Happy Are Those Who Are Called to His Supper".  Happy indeed.  I haven't read it yet, but it is in the printing queue to be read tonight or tomorrow.  Meanwhile, the Curt Jester has freed the document from the evil confines of the PDF format and reposted it in html.
 

What about pabulum?

Father Corapi was speaking on the virtue of Faith today.  And one of the ways to sin against Faith is the failure to protect your faith and that of your children.  So not subjecting yourself to false teachings or hanging about in a blasphemous environment. 
 
Kinda reminds me of what occurred on another blog discussion this weekend.  The religious fervor of one commenter set the left bank off on a blasphemous trail that in my mind negates any value the discussions have.  And funny how often the sin of presumption comes up in those types of discussions, assuming that there is no conversion or contrition necessary for the mercy of God to work.  Yes God loves us no matter how sinful, but if we persist in that state without contrition or sincere repentance, God's mercy is not free to work.  In other words, God's love and mercy is infinite, but we can choose to reject them.
 
But back to my original thoughts.  Obviously it is wrong to put our children in religious classes that pervert the teachings of the Christ or twist and torture them to reach the wrong conclusions.  But what about Religious Education that doesn't teach against the faith, but merely fails to inspire any interest in the faith?
 
To use an analogy, obviously it is wrong to feed them poison.  But what about feeding our children cold pabulum that soon turns them away from eating any nourishing food?  Or only feeding them light and fluffy foods that fail to satisfy the bodies real needs.  Will that not lead to starvation also?
 
So should I waste time with sending my child to a uninspiring Religious Ed class for his First Holy Communion? 

Monday, November 13, 2006

teachable moments

Dom at Bettnet has a link to an elementary school using a pre-conceived "teachable moment" to skate past the Parental Consent Law and taught 3rd graders about transvestites and sex change operations.  The "random question" from a child that prompted this "teachable moment" was brought on by a social worker describing alternatives to the traditional family.  And the social worker?
The social worker then elaborated on this "teachable moment." But this wasn't just any social worker employed by the Newton Public Schools. This was Laura Perkins, former board member of GLSEN, the Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network; or rather, "Laura Perkins, MSW, Franklin School and the Newton Early Childhood Program," according to the GLSEN Boston Conference, where she hosted a seminar in which the "Rationale for integrating GLBT (Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender) issues in the early elementary years will be presented" and "classroom lessons demonstrated."
Yup, it was random for sure.  The topic of transgender just happened to come up when a propagandist was there to shill for the GLBTQUPCDI.  (They like to add the Q for "questioning" so I took the liberty of adding Unsure, Promiscuous, Confused and Downright Immoral)
 
And I think we have problems in Idaho because they are still pushing the seat belt issue down our throats.

Arinze encourages wider use of Latin

Something I have been hopeful of for some time, Cardinal Arinze has said Latin should be more widely used in the Novus Ordo Mass.
Latin "suits a Church that is universal. It has a stability modern languages don't have," he said.  The Cardinal also said it’s no small matter for priests or bishops from around the world to be able to speak to each other in a universal language and lauded the possibility that "a million students" gathered for World Youth Day every few years could "say parts of the Mass in Latin."

He suggested that larger parishes offer Mass in Latin at least once a week and that smaller, rural parishes offer it at least once a month.  Homilies, he said, should always be in the vernacular.

Any priest can celebrate the Vatican II “Novus Ordo” Mass in Latin,...
Of course, we shouldn't hold our breath because it is hard to pray without exhaling.

Friday, November 10, 2006

buckle up this

Need another reason to homeschool your children?  Try this one on for size.  Our one son who attends public school (he is blind and Braille ain't exactly our first language, let alone easy to learn) came home with a permission slip to attend an assembly on seat belts. (I remember those lame assemblies as a child.  I always made the point of not wearing one because these goofballs acted like they wanted to "protect" me.  Even as a child I could see through their BS.) 
 
Seems as though the people in charge have a great idea to promote seat belts among the kids.  They get to 'ticket' their parents if they catch them not buckling up.  The fine is 25 cents each time. 
 
What a great idea!  And I will follow that up by letting them giving me a whipping if I don't clean my plate and wash out my mouth with soap if I use a bad word.  Hey, why not just hand them the keys and say take me home son I am tired of driving. After all, you are just as responsible as I am for raising this family.
 
Whatta bunch of maroons!  My wife sent the slip back saying he did not have permission to attend.  I told her it was a good thing the slip was already gone.  My terminology for saying no would have ended me up in the bathroom chewing on the soap bar. 


Hapy Vetrans day

Of course, all those who weren't "stuck" in the military will recognize the misspelled words.  But in honor of our Veterans, I figured I would post this a day early to give them extra time to read it.
 
But seriously, my heartfelt thanks to the many veterans I know and the thousands I don't know.  I wish my family and friends that have served could have been there last night.  Been there at my son's school for the Veteran's day program.  (Yes we homeschool, except for our 9 year old blind son.)
 
Being fairly skeptical of public schools, I went without much expectations.  But this program almost renewed my faith in them.  (Almost.  See the next item)  While we waited, they played patriotic songs sung by children including "God Bless America".  The principal welcomed everyone as the 3rd grade class filed in.  Then he did the best thing possible and sat down, leaving the rest of the night to the kids.  Perhaps that was what made it so special, no adults yammering their views, no one telling us what a 'real' patriot is; just the kids putting on a program to thank the veterans.
 
My son got to come out following the pledge and the singing of "The National Anthem".  He belted out his opening line, "Please be seated."  He loves the mike and made the most of the rest of his part.
 
That made a dad proud, but then I was plain flabbergasted by the rest of the program.  The kids sang "God Bless America" and other patriotic songs.  Then they invited the Vets to come up, and not just the select VFW that paraded in, carrying their parade guns of all things.  Wonder how they got those past the "gun free zone" signs.  But all the Vets in the crowd came up to a standing ovation.  Each in turn introduced himself (and herself for the one female) ending with the guy that had just returned from Iraq.
 
They each got a handmade ribbon from some of the students. 
 
The program ending with a moving slide show with some 9/11 pictures of the firemen at the WTC.  I had a tear in my eye from it all.  The kids did a rousing rendition of "Proud to be an American" to end it.
 
Wow was all I could think.  So, for those who have the chance, get yourself to an event to commemorate the Veterans.  It isn't the same just sitting at home being thankful, being in the presence of men and women who have sacrificed to protect our freedom really brings it home.  I must say as I watched the Vets all walk to the front of the gym to the ovation, a part of me was sad that I hadn't made that same sacrifice.  Granted my chance was during peace time and I had looked at the National Guard, but still it saddened me a bit to know I wasn't among those who stood up to serve.  So thank you from the bottom of my heart.

on the bright side

A couple items of humor from Scrappleface, via Crowhill
 

10. New York Times and CNN will carry much less negative news about Congress.
9. Rhode Island Republican Sen. Lincoln Chafee lost and Connecticut Democrat Sen. Joe Lieberman won, a net gain of two for the GOP.
8. We may finally get to see the Democrat plan for victory in Iraq.
7. Taxpayers will be relieved of the burden of making so many investment decisions.
6. Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum is now available for Supreme Court appointment.
5. Possible reduction in attacks on our troops in Iraq, since terrorists fear attorneys.
4. NSA agents could soon be freed from having to listen to annoying terrorist chatter.
3. Lynn Swann will be remembered as a great wide receiver during the Pittsburgh Steelers 1970s dynasty.
2. Since a lot of the polling places are in church buildings, millions of Democrats actually went to church yesterday.
1. C-Span could get a ratings boost for new reality show: Impeachment 2007

In addition, the president noted that “millions of American Democrats will sleep more peacefully now that they are assured that Karl Rove doesn’t control everything.”

Presumptive House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi, at a secret news conference in an undisclosed location, said, “This is a vision that springs from the heartland of the new America, and we intend to take these San Francisco values out to the Bible-belt, red-state fringes of the South and Midwest.”
 
“What’s good for San Francisco is good for the nation,” she said, “And it’s about time our country got back to the fundamentals which shaped a generation of trans-decent folks living here in America’s garter belt.”

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Bio-dethics

 
Whatever happened to the "it will never lead to that" argument?  This is incredible.

Britain's Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecology has put forth a proposal calling for the active euthanasia of babies born with serious health problems, the Times reported Sunday.  One argument the doctors are using is that the possibility of killing newborns after birth will reduce "late abortions".

The college is arguing that medical advances which allow severely disabled babies to survive more often and with longer life spans make the option of "active euthanasia" necessary for the wellbeing of families.

"A very disabled child can mean a disabled family," the proposal said. "If life-shortening and deliberate interventions to kill infants were available, they might have an impact on obstetric decision-making, even preventing some late abortions, as some parents would be more confident about continuing a pregnancy and taking a risk on outcome."

Again, the pro-death crowd treats fertility like a disease and pregnancy like a terminal side-effect.  But now they can rescue women from this horrible problem even after they have given birth.  And remember, contraception was all about freedom.  That silly old man in Rome that prophesied that it would lead to accepting abortions was full of hot air.  And those people that claim that blob of tissue is a life don't understand science.
 
And now we have progressed to this fine point of scientific deduction

Bioethics professor John Harris, with the Manchester University and a member of the government's Human Genetics Commission, said the law permitting abortion of disabled babies up until birth was reason enough to permit infanticide of disabled newborns.

"We can terminate for serious foetal abnormality up to term but cannot kill a newborn. What do people think has happened in the passage down the birth canal to make it okay to kill the fetus at one end of the birth canal but not at the other?" he said.

what, not who, we are

Greg at Crowhill puts it about as good as it can be said.

A lot of people will hear that story and it will confirm their prejudice that religious people are hypocrites, that we can’t really conquer sin, and we’d be better off if we just got over our hang-ups so we could “be who we really are.”

That’s actually not a very good idea. Yes, Rev. Haggart is a hypocrite. He preached one thing and did another.

So do I.

Greg's point is that we all are sinners.  We all fail to achieve the goal, but that isn't "who" we are.  As Pope John Paul II put it, we are not the sum of the mistakes we have made.  Sinners is what we are.  So WHO are we?  Children of God, made in his image and likeness.
 
And Greg makes a great point regarding the "be true to who you are" argument

There’s another important issue here. Everybody can agree that we should suppress angry words and laziness, and that we should teach our children to be kind and hard workers. That’s because we all agree that angry words and laziness are Bad Things. So when a person is a hypocrite on this issue, or is “suppressing who he really is,” we say “hurrah for suppressing hypocrites.”

IOW, it’s not that we mind when people suppress their bad traits. In fact, civil society requires it. If everybody did what they wanted, society would be impossible.

The world surely would be a horrible place if a bunch of sinners ran around pretending that their sin was okay.  In fact it is a horrible place because some 40-45 million babies have died because people are thinking their sin is okay.  Are they being "true" to themselves?

We modern folk have inherited a basically just and functional society and so we don’t worry or think too much about what makes one, so we’re liable to unwittingly tear the thing apart. We’re more concerned about individual rights. Things seem stable and functional, so it’s not unreasonable to think, “Quit your worrying, the world won’t end if Sam marries Harry.”

Do we really know that? Do we actually understand the implications of a change in sexual ethics?

This may be why stable societies fall apart. They forget what made them stable in the first place and, fat and happy in their affluent lives, they take a “live and let live” approach that doesn’t really work.

Ted Haggart’s religious beliefs told him to suppress his same-sex attraction. Christianity, like every other religion, believes that a just society is built on heterosexual marriage, which means (in part) channeling sexuality, and especially male sexuality, toward procreation and the nurture of offspring.

He brings out something here that isn't mentioned much.  I have railed on it a few times and have read some good articles on why a government has the need to protect and promote healthy families.  Not by over-involvement, but by certain benefits and structures.  The family is the basic block of civilization and the health of the civilization is reflective of the health of the basic family unit. 
 
Just as having a bunch of un-attached, war-mongering, single men running around would not be good for society, neither is destroying the family where healthy citizens are raised and formed.
 
-----<>-----
Regarding Mr. Haggart, I get the general feeling of sympathy.  We are all soldiers in the spiritual war.  He wasn't my general, but he put himself out front in the battle.  He made himself a bigger target and sadly was shot down in a dramatic fashion.  It can be demoralizing for the troops, but someone will pick up the banner and lead the way.  That battle may have been lost because their leader didn't have the proper armor, but the war rages on. 
 
 

Monday, November 06, 2006

courage men, courage

Our priest gave a good sermon this Sunday about the duty to vote. I wonder if the one slip-up was freudian?
He was quoting from the bishops' exhortation to vote I think and it went on about deciding by the worthiness of the candidate, not the party. "neither left nor right, conservative nor libertarian..."
Anyway, here is another sermon of a bit more rousing type on vocations. I will be keeping a copy of it to read to my boys as they come of age.

tip to the Curt Jester

The title says it all

Possible Supreme Court Retirement Shakes Up Election Last Minute

With the thought that Justice John Paul Stevens may retire, suddenly the ante has been upped.  Now I am not a Republican and I am not 100% sold on Bush's first two appointment being the best available, but to have the possibility to replace the liberal Stevens with at least a mildly constitutionalist should get some voters excited.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Pull the hat down tighter Beetle

Gerald has the goods on the latest "Halloween Family Celebration Mass" or something to that effect at Corpus Christi in California.
I love this line attributed to Father Baily in Gerald's Comments.
At Corpus Christi, we don't care where you are or what you do in your life -- that isn't who you are! Sins are like -- well, as you all well know, when you have a small child who is sick and vomits on you, you don't throw that child away. You hold him, and comfort him, and help him get better. Well, when we sin, it's like we're vomiting on Him. And His response is at least as loving as any parent's. He's not going to throw you away."
Somehow vomiting on Him is quite appropriate.  Throw in the lukewarm theology and perhaps Fr. Baily should worry about the same in return. 
I wonder if he would find it all happy and fun if someone showed up for communion dressed as a midget with his shoes attached to his knees.  Not that I would recommend using the Eucharist to make a statement, but one sometimes wonders.

Racing for the Cure (if pregnancy is a disease)

Dom points out that Diocesan newspaper for Phoenix has brought out the fact that the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation has strong ties to Planned Parenthood.  I shudder every time someone promotes the Race for the Cure.
From the Article
 A Planned Parenthood representative said some people in the community have a misconception about the organization's work.

"The reality is that over 90 percent of our work is about sexual health education and prevention of unplanned pregnancy and disease," said Melissa Fink, the organization's spokeswoman. "Last year alone, our health centers served nearly 55,000 women and men across central and northern Arizona."
I think the misconception is that they consider abortion to be "prevention" of an unplanned pregnancy.  Somehow I doubt that 90% factor excludes abortions.
 
I am glad to hear Bishop Olmstead is making a strong stand in Phoenix.

from the mouth of babes

I was flipping through a magazine last night and run across a short article on the Democrats.  It had a picture of Howard Dean and also the Demo donkey emblem.  My 18 month old, sitting on my lap, started pointing at the page. 
 
So I just casually asked, "Where is the donkey?" 
 
He responded by pointing to Howard Dean.


Thursday, November 02, 2006

pruning the branches

 
Peggy Noonan nails down the lid on the coffin for the Republicans. At least for this election. 
He was literally surefooted on the rubble that day [9/11] he threw his arm around the retired fireman and said the people who did this will hear from all of us soon.
Images like that fix themselves in the heart. They're why Mr. Bush's popularity is at 38%. Without them it wouldn't be so high.
Not exactly a ringing endorsement.

But there's unease in the base too, again for many reasons. One is that it's clear now to everyone in the Republican Party that Mr. Bush has changed the modern governing definition of "conservative."

He did this without asking. He did it even without explaining. He didn't go to the people whose loyalty and support raised him high and say, "This is what I'm doing, this is why I'm changing things, here's my thinking, here are the implications." The cynics around him likely thought this a good thing. To explain is to make things clearer, or at least to try, and they probably didn't want it clear. They had the best of both worlds, a conservative reputation and a liberal reality.

That would be two-faced in my opinion.  Or as my wife says, Bush speaks with a forked tongue.  He is the master politician.  He gets his enemies to hate him (Bush derangement syndrome is in full swing) and says exactly what his supporters want to hear.  And most can identify with the theory that anyone so hated by the liberal crowd must be doing something right. 
 
But to me, that is his greatest deception.  He has done more for the liberal ideology than Clinton did. 
"No Child Left Behind" anyone? 
 
Hillary-care?  Signed, sealed and delivered.
 
Government intrusion into everyone's lives, the un-Patriot Act and wiretapping.  These have gotten so bad that died-in-the-wool big government people sound like screaming libertarians.  And he has done all this while keeping the "enemy" seething with hatred.
 
Sounds like Noonan is expecting a bit of pruning for their own good.

Inviting criticism

Sen, Kerry's inane quotes and worse apology need no more dissection. But my former military brother sent me this well done response










And I saw this bumpersnicker at Happy Catholic

The WHOLE seamless garment

The seamless garment argument has always rang hollow, as in someone avoiding their failure in the details by talking about "the larger picture."

But I was thinking about it this morning.  Fr. Corapi mentioned a bit about it, you can hear him on 970 am in the inland northwest.  Anyway, when most mention the "seamless garment", they usually are trying to justify their support for just a few pieces of it.  But a "seamless garment" is only really seamless if it is intact.  If you tear out a chunk here and a chunk there, it isn't much of a garment.  And the only way to make it a garment again would be to sew a bunch of seams in it.
 
I think the whole seamless reference is supposed to be to Christ's garment at the crucifixion that the one soldiers won by casting lots.  But again, this was done so they didn't want to tear the garment. 
 
And furthermore, I am wondering if this "seamless garment" has been handed down throughout the generations, making me question the heredity of those in possession of this garment.




Monday, October 30, 2006

On our men's retreat

I attended our annual men's retreat this last weekend.  As usual, the male bonding, Sacrament of Confession and Mass each day were well worth the price.  The evening sessions of "Theology on Tap" are also a regular favorite. 
 
The priest that was the retreat master was an absolute rock.  Imagine being at a Mass where there was nothing to offend the senses.  (well exclude the band that was doing the music, but that wasn't Father's fault.)  We had the long Eucharistic prayers with Cosmos and Damien, and Felicity and Perpetua.  And no Extraordinary Ministers! 
 
Father had a small chalice (later I asked about the chalice and it was from Jerusalem, blessed in the Upper Room and was a traditional Jewish Blessing Cup such as would have been used at a Passover meal.)  No Cup being passed around, and Father was the only Minister of the Eucharist.
 
But that led to an issue that surprised and disturbed me.  The committee (including me) gathered at one table during breakfast on Saturday.  One issue popped up, the rest of the committee had taken a "straw poll" and decided that they wanted the Cup at Mass.  (I wasn't in on that discussion because I was in a different cabin Friday night.)  One committee member went so far as to call his priest and have him bring two chalices down that afternoon when he came for confessions.  Father asked that we perhaps wait until Sunday for High Mass and it would make that more special.  But several members of the committee were adamant and Father backed down.  I threw my opinion in for Father at that point, but the "fuller sign" guys had their way.
 
I have already expressed my disgust of this disrespect to one member of the committee, but I can see some storms brewing in the future meetings.

doing the dishes

Gerald at the Closed Cafeteria reports on a memo in the LA Archdiocese regarding the end of the indult for purification of the sacred vessels after Communion.  An interesting excerpt,
in effect since 2002 which allows extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion to help cleanse cups and plates when there are not enough priests or deacons to do so.
At least the use the proper title for the Extraordinary Ministers, but cups and plates?  Pleeease!  I can almost hear the announcement at the beginning of Mass
Welcome to our fraternal banquet, after sharing our meal please recline and wait for our staff to wash the dishes.  Mr. Smith.... Mrs. Jones, you all have KP duty after brunch is served.
The Curt Jester has the excerpt from Redemtionis Sacrumentum and also argues that the abuse of EMHC is part of the problem. 

Friday, October 27, 2006

First Eucharist before confession, year 2

Another year, another battle. This year, I have another child of age to receive First Holy Communion. But our parish still sees fit to wait until the fourth grade to instruct the kids on Confession. So if one desires to follow the Church norms and Canon Law, they are on their own to instruct the child the Sacrament of Penance.
And a good friend referred me to this site called Bonfire of the Vanities by Fr. Fox. In his item on Confession, he explains the value of teaching children about confession.
* Part of the value of bringing children to confession is so they become accustomed to examining their lives, and to recognizing sin as sin, and having discernment about it. The idea that young children don't have sin to confess is absurd. Oh, I am not saying they have mortal sin, only God can read souls. But if you think second- and third-graders don't have sin, what planet do you live on? I was talking to a 3rd-grade teacher last night, about today, and she said, "some of them said, 'but we did that last year!'" I said, if they have any problems coming up with sins to confess, I bet you can help them! She laughed, as did the others at the table; Sister said, "that's what my mother always said to me!"

Another part of it, of course, is so they learn the form. Some will say, the form doesn't matter. And, on one level, that's right. I can help anyone go to confession. But learning the form, and getting it down pat, is valuable because then the penitent can focus energy on the really important stuff: the self-examination. A lot of people use, "I don't remember how" as an excuse not to go, and months become years. Also, a certain rigor of practice contributes to a certain rigor of thought; i.e., it helps people organize their thinking, and that helps their spiritual growth.

* I told the kids, with the sacraments, we think about what God gives us; but did you notice how, in this sacrament, its important that we give Jesus something? And did you notice what we're supposed to give him? Our sins! And, incredible as it seems, he actually wants them! Because he knows how they weigh us down, and he wants to get rid of them for us. I also told them the confessional is "the garbage dump"--we get rid of our spiritual garbage. So I led them in a simple examination of conscience, and I said, we feel sorry for sin, we feel bad about it; that's appropriate. But in a moment, when we let Jesus take all our garbage, we will feel great!
Case in point on the form. My wife often resisted going to confession, and finding excuses was easy. But a huge hurdle was cleared when just this last year, she finally learned the proper form! From our daughter no less, who has a good Catholic curriculum using the Baltimore Catechism. Knowing the correct form and not having to fret about the details removed one more stumbling block.
How many Catholics have not gone to confession for years because of the poor catechesis?

Hell is for sale

Saw on slashdot that the domain, Hell.com is for sale.
Now someone who buys Hell.com "has the opportunity to redefine what hell means, at least on the Internet," says Monte Cahn, Moniker chief executive.
Sorry, the catechists have already beat them to the punch on redefining hell.  In geek speak, any "Faith Formation" document referring to Hell.com would come up with a 404 Error, Hell not found.
 

Not the enemy

Somewhere I saw that this Sunday is Priest Appreciation day.  Whether I am correct or not, give your priest a hug, a handshake or whatever and tell him "Thank you!"
 
I have been listening to Fr. Corapi speak on the Sacraments on the drive to work in the morning.  Yesterday he said something that struck me.  He said that all priests are sinners and have faults, but the support of the laity is needed.  I often have mentioned we should pray for our priests, but Fr. Corapi asked that we "pray, do penance and sacrifice" for them. 

It used to be known as a sin to speak ill of a priest.  And Fr. Corapi explained how easy it is for us to kick them when they are down, stomp on them and rail against them.  But when they are down, they need our prayers the most.  I guess the point is this.  Just my wife and I have a saying when the argument turns personal and destructive rather than loving, "I am not the enemy."  This reminds us both that we are to help the other get to heaven.  Without the other, we are lost.   We must remember that when we get down on a priest for his failures.  Not that their sins are excusable, but that without them we are lost.  Without our priests, we have no Eucharist.
 
So as the old adage goes, "pray for your enemies."  And I will add, "and don't forget your allies either."

On EMs purifying vessels

A good friend alerted me last night that the Rome has responded to the USCCB on the status of the indult that expired this year. 
 WASHINGTON (CNS) -- At the direction of Pope Benedict XVI, extraordinary ministers of holy Communion will no longer be permitted to assist in the purification of the sacred vessels at Masses in the United States.

In an Oct. 23 letter, Bishop William S. Skylstad, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, asked his fellow bishops to inform all pastors of the change, which was prompted by a letter from Cardinal Francis Arinze, prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments.

The U.S. bishops had asked the Vatican to extend an indult -- or church permission -- in effect since 2002 allowing extraordinary ministers of holy Communion to help cleanse the Communion cups and plates when there were not enough priests or deacons to do so.

Bishop Skylstad, who heads the Diocese of Spokane, Wash., said Cardinal Arinze asked Pope Benedict about the matter during a June 9 audience, "and received a response in the negative."
I had wondered about this recently because I remembered the indult granted back when the norms were published.
 Noting that the General Instruction of the Roman Missal "directs that the sacred vessels are to be purified by the priest, the deacon or an instituted acolyte," the cardinal said in his Oct. 12 letter that "it does not seem feasible, therefore, for the congregation to grant the requested indult from this directive in the general law of the Latin Church."

Thursday, October 26, 2006

whatever the fraction

One fifth, one fourth, whatever the fraction, that is alot of children that will never grace this world with a smile or a hug.

Abortion is 'America's holocaust' - Opinion

Well done Emily.

Via Parousian, via Mark Shea

truth in advertising?

When it comes to politics, not a chance.  I usually ignore most "celebrities" who pimp themselves for a political cause.  But Michael J. Fox continues his campaign of spreading lies to promote the immoral ESCR.
 

The ad blasts Mark Green for opposing embryonic stem cell research even though he has a $25 million dollar plan to have the state promote adult stem cells.

"His latest ad, which is part of a national smear campaign by Democrats, flat out lies about my record on stem cell research," Green said in a statement. "However, using a celebrity to further Jim Doyle's false attacks does not make them any more true."

Barbara Lyons, director of Wisconsin Right to Life, said the ads were misleading and preying on voters' emotions.

"Everyone deeply sympathizes with Fox who has Parkinson's disease. What we don't respect is the 'hype' and false hope he conveys about embryonic stem cell research," she said.

"There is no cure or even help for humans from this controversial research," said Lyons. "No human being has ever received an embryonic stem cell because they are too dangerous and tend to produce tumors."

Somehow I doubt we will ever hear that last line from the major media outlets.
 

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

evil begets evil

Kathy Shaidle weighs in on Michael J. Fox pimping for the Embryonic stem cell side.

I'm sorry a movie star has a disease, but that doesn't give him the right to sacrifice others in a quest for a cure. What if there was a chance that experimenting on, say, Parkinson's patients might lead to a cure of something else...? (Paging Dr. Mengele...)

Suffering is part of life, and can even be redemptive. Quixotic campaigns to wipe out every trace of suffering inevitably increase such suffering exponentially, and invent new hybrids in the process. Because such quests are a) founded on faulty principles and/or b) satanic.
Evil begets evil. Suffering will never be wiped out by causing more suffering and sin. Sin is the cause in the first place.

freedom isn't free

Freedom isn't free, and I contend that Freedom is a Christian concept.
John Tierney is quoted at isteve.com and further elucidates this in Iraq.
The problem is that they have so many social obligations more important to them than national unity. Iraqis bravely went to the polls and waved their purple fingers, but they voted along sectarian lines. Appeals to their religion trumped appeals to the national interest. And as the beleaguered police in Amara saw last week, religion gets trumped by the most important obligation of all: the clan.

The deadly battle in Amara wasn’t between Sunnis and Shiites, but between two Shiite clans that have feuded for generations. After one clan’s militia destroyed police stations and took over half the city, the Iraqi Army did not ride to the rescue. Authorities regained control only after the clan leaders negotiated a truce.
...
These allegiances explain why Iraqis don’t want to give up their local militias. They know it’s unrealistic to expect protection from a national force of soldiers or police officers from other clans, other regions, other religions. When the Iraqi Army ordered reinforcements to go help Americans keep peace in Baghdad, several Iraqi battalions deserted rather than risk their lives defending strangers.
Via Kathy Shaidle