Sunday, June 30, 2013

Modern Martyr

Persecution of Catholics is in full swing across the globe. From The Blaze:
...Catholic Online is raising alarm that western nations are providing support to the rebels who have shown a proclivity toward persecuting Christians
This should make it clear to Christians around the world what jihadists are about. Make no mistake. Catholics and Christians around the globe are under dire threat, particularly from the spread of militant Islam. Until the threat is recognized and taken seriously, martyrdoms like this will continue.
Total madness. We're waiting to hear a statement from President Obama and the U.N. condemning this savage act perpetrated by "religion of peace" Muslims. Stories like this, which are very common across the Muslim world, don't fit the narrative, the lie, that liberals like Obama have carefully constructed about Islam. They'll try to sweep this under the rug and move on. It's much easier to prattle on about all that "racism" and "inequality" here in the U.S.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Archbishop Listecki warns Milwaukee: "Prepare to be shocked"

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
In a major turning point in its nearly 3-year-old bankruptcy, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee on Monday is scheduled to make public thousands of pages of documents detailing the sexual abuse of minors by priests going back decades, and what church leaders did — and did not do — in response. 
The records will contain parts of 42 priests' personnel files as well as depositions of former Archbishop Timothy Dolan, now cardinal of New York; retired Archbishop Rembert Weakland; retired Bishop Richard Sklba; and now-defrocked priest Daniel Budzynski. ... 
"Needless to say, there are some terrible things described in many of the documents," Archbishop Jerome Listecki said in his weekly letter to local Catholics in advance of the release. To those deciding to read the files, Listecki advised, "prepare to be shocked." 
According to interviews and court records, the documents are expected to include: details about how church officials shuttled abusive priests from one parish or school to the next without divulging their histories; correspondence between the archdiocese and the Vatican, which has the final word on defrocking priests; evidence that the archdiocese under Dolan paid some priests to accept that decision without protest; and graphic accounts of sexual assault of young people. ...
A sad chapter in our history, but a collective healing of memory is important. The full scope of the horrors that unfolded here will be laid bare for all to see. This a necessary step. Stay tuned.

Scenes from Obama's America

Not sure which one looks worse...the androgynous he/she or the gal who, well, needs a lesson in proper fitting clothes. 

Speaking of androgynous, and for kicks...(Julia Sweeney is crazy liberal, but her "Pat" routine came to mind right away.)

Saints Peter and Paul

Friday, June 28, 2013

Thomas Jefferson on the Supreme Court

To consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions [is] a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. Our judges are as honest as other men and not more so. They have with others the same passions for party, for power, and the privilege of their corps. Their maxim is boni judicis est ampliare jurisdictionem [good justice is broad jurisdiction], and their power the more dangerous as they are in office for life and not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the elective control. The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal, knowing that to whatever hands confided, with the corruptions of time and party, its members would become despots. It has more wisely made all the departments co-equal and co-sovereign within themselves. —Thomas Jefferson to William C. Jarvis, 1820

Jimmy Carter the fool, irrelevant as ever

From the Associated Press:
ATLANTA (AP) — Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter says religious leaders, including those in Christianity and Islam, share the blame for mistreatment of women across the world. 
The human rights activist said Friday religious authorities perpetuate misguided doctrines of male superiority, from the Catholic Church forbidding women from becoming priests to some African cultures mutilating the genitals of young girls.
A national embarrassment. We rejected him thoroughly in the 80s and he's been trying to reassert himself, to no avail, ever since.

Mystery and Liturgy

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Another Benedict vs. Francis piece...

Late this evening, I came across a piece on Pope Francis, by John Gehring entitled, "How the Francis effect could rescue the church". Like so many boring pieces written since the election of Pope Francis, Gehring sets out to contrast Benedict and Francis, rather than appreciating them as complimentary. It's a narrow approach and sadly, plays into an all-too-common narrative.

There is no depth in the article, no appreciation for Benedict's rich theological teaching which he bequeathed to the Church. It's rooted in superficial observations about different styles, which are then magnified and manipulated to signify fundamental differences. Here's an excerpt:
As the first Jesuit pope, Francis has taken a vow of poverty. He ditched the silk, fur-trimmed cape favored by Pope Benedict XVI for a simple white cassock. Golden throne? Francis prefers a wooden chair. The red carpet laid out in the Vatican’s Hall of the Throne has been rolled up. 
"The world tells us to seek success, power and money; God tells us to seek humility, service and love,” Francis has tweeted. 
All of these aesthetic changes signify deeper meaning, especially in a church where rituals and images seek to convey transcendent truths. 
The pope’s toned-down style and pastoral touch are also a more fitting brand for a church built on the teachings of an itinerant preacher who in the Gospel says: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.” 
If the Catholic Church hopes to inspire lapsed Catholics and others to embrace the faith with renewed vigor, it will require a radical return to the essence of Christianity. Gospel means “good news.” A smiling, good-humored pope stands in stark contrast to those dour-faced religious leaders who act as gloomy scolds and spy threats around every corner.
What the hell is Gehring talking about here? The irony is that the Catholic Church, alone among Christian denominations, has never departed from "the essence of Christianity", and that's precisely what sets it apart. A so-called Catholic who doesn't get that basic teaching demonstrates the tragic catechetical lacuna so prevalent among lay Catholics that Pope Benedict so-often lamented and sought to correct. By missing this, Gehring misses the boat completely. The "good news" (Theology 101) has to do with our emancipation from sin, and our adoption as sons of the Father through Christ. Among recent popes, few have taught that better than Benedict.

The anti-climactic tone in the last couple of sentences is stunning. First, Gehring talks about the need for a "radical return to the essence of Christianity". You get the sense that something big is coming. What could this essence be? A loud "thud" results however, when he reveals that that "radical return" and "essence" have to do with a, wait...wait..."smiling, good-humored pope". Really? 

The last sentence is embarrassing, and is obviously intended as a swipe at Benedict. Younger Catholics were/are drawn to Benedict because he helped them rediscover a buried treasure that was the Church's liturgical patrimony. John, if you look at the brilliant papacy of Benedict XVI, and all you see is a "fur-trimmed cape" (it's called a mozzetta, by the way), and a "red carpet" there's not much I can do for you.

Spanish gov. accused of 'cozying up' to Catholic Church

A fascinating article, from The Christian Science Monitor:
As Spain's people drift from Catholic Church, government cozies up 
After years of moving in a more socially liberal direction along with the rest of western Europe, the Spanish government is now doing an about face, seeking to clamp down on abortion and return the Roman Catholic Church to a prominent role in the country's school system. 
Though the church is still losing ground among the faithful, it has powerful friends in the current conservative Popular Party government, which has traditionally had close ties to the Vatican. Now the PP is pushing a controversial bill in parliament that would dramatically restrict access to abortion. ...

Not so bad for Republicans

Lately, it's seemed as though everything cuts in favor of the left. Obama gets away with everything. The nation re-elected a man who is more or less a complete fabrication. No one cares. At one level, it looks like the good times keep rollin' for the Democratic Party. Upon closer inspection however, quite the opposite is true. This article, from Politico, focuses on two points: redistricting and the majority of state governments run by Republicans.
Democrats fell far short of winning the House in 2012, an otherwise banner year for the party, and many are privately glum about taking back the chamber in 2014. 
But that grim immediate outlook raises a far more troubling longer-term prospect for Democrats: that the newly drawn congressional lines have tilted the electoral playing field so decisively in the GOP’s favor that the party could control the House through 2020. ... 
But strategists in both parties say they are still reckoning with the long-term implications of Democrats’ disastrous performance in 2010. Not only did they lose the House that year, but setbacks in state capitals meant that Republicans controlled the once-a-decade process of line drawing in 213 districts — nearly five times the number of districts Democrats had oversight over. And Republicans used that power with a vengeance.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Send in the SEAL-ettes

Hang in there...for now
From CBS News:
WASHINGTON (AP) — Women may be able to start training as Army Rangers by mid-2015 and as Navy SEALs a year later under plans set to be announced by the Pentagon that would slowly bring women into thousands of combat jobs, including those in elite special operations forces
Details of the plans were obtained by The Associated Press. They call for requiring women and men to meet the same physical and mental standards to quality for certain infantry, armor, commando and other front-line positions across the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel reviewed the plans and has ordered the services to move ahead. ...
This is such a joke. It's surreal to even read this story as a serious news report. Although laughable/embarrassing news stories are becoming all the more common these days. What is happening to our military? (A rhetorical question, folks.) Women as Navy SEALs and Special Forces...? "Equality" does not square with basic biological facts and physical limitations. Talk to anyone actually serving as a SEAL or in the Special Forces (as I have) and I guarantee you'll get a very different opinion about this scheme. Make no mistake about it, this nonsense is being pushed by ladder climbing, rank-obsessed generals and the like in Washington who are more concerned about their promotions and fancy titles than about what's in the best interest of the soldiers on the frontline.

The irony is, while this is intended to elevate and empower women, it is only through the military radically lowering physical training expectations that will this have a chance of working. (And then what's the point of calling a watered-down version of a SEAL 'elite'?) Otherwise, this experiment will only result in the embarrassment of women who simply cannot complete the rigorous tests that are already in place.

Alas, it's not even worth going into details to refute it. Read some of the comments after the article. They're spot on. Something about using women as a fighting force by simply letting them talk the enemy to death... Just joking, everyone.

Friday, June 14, 2013

So, what will heaven be like?

It's a question I think a lot about. First things first, getting there. "Eye has not seen..." That is true, but there is something irresistible about wondering, and looking forward. Eternal happiness, union with the Triune God, bliss, immortality, glorified body, the list goes on.

Writing from a very Catholic perspective, Howard Kainz offers a good article about this very question, What Will We Do in Heaven? Check it out. He focuses more on the state of the blessed souls in heaven prior to reunification with the glorified body.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Pelosi touts her Catholicism, pro-abortion stance...again

Pelosi gets flustered, and for obvious reasons. Her position (anti-Kermit Gosnell yet pro-abortion) is irreconcilable.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Pro-Life Wisconsin

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
Madison — Republicans in the state Senate gave preliminary approval to a bill Tuesday requiring women seeking abortions to get ultrasounds and doctors providing them to have hospital admitting privileges, clearing the way for the measure to become law by the end of the month. 
Democrats blocked a final vote on the bill Tuesday, but Senate President Mike Ellis (R-Neenah) said senators would return to the floor at 8 a.m. Wednesday to give final passage to the measure. 
The plan has the support of Republicans who control the Assembly, as well as GOP Gov. Scott Walker. The Assembly could take it up as early as Thursday. 
Opponents contend the provision on admitting privileges would shut down one of the state's four abortion clinics. Closing Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin's Appleton clinic would mean Milwaukee and Madison would be the only cities in the state where abortions were available. 
Walker said Tuesday he would sign the measure if it gets to him. 
"I don't have any problem with ultrasounds. I think most people think ultrasounds are just fine," Walker told reporters after a voucher school event at Hotel Metro in Milwaukee.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Gay 'Marriage' Conundrum

1. Does every child have a right to a mother and a father? Most answer in the affirmative. 

2. Does everyone have the right to marry whomever they choose? This is more controversial, but more and more people are saying 'yes'. 

3. Do homosexual 'married' couples have the right to adopt children?   

These 'rights' cannot coexist. Either the first is right (every child has a right to a mom and a dad), and the others are false, or the last two are correct and the first is false. There's no way around it.

With gay rights and abortion, Democrats only care about the people who can vote for them. They throw kids and the unborn under the bus in favor of the women who have abortions and the gay couples who can adopt children. The unborn and little kids, powerless at the ballot box, are left to suffer the consequences. Tells you everything you need to know about liberals and their fake concern for the little guy.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Taking a Stand

From the Washington Examiner:
NFL champ skips WH visit because Obama said ‘God bless’ Planned Parenthood 
Retired Baltimore Ravens center Matt Birk, who won a Super Bowl with the team last year, skipped the team’s visit to the White House due to President Obama’s support for Planned Parenthood. 
“I have great respect for the office of the presidency but about five or six weeks ago, our president made a comment in a speech and he said, ‘God bless Planned Parenthood,’” Birk, a former Minnesota Viking, told a local Minnesota sports blog. “I’m very confused by [Obama's] statement,” he explained. “”For God to bless a place where they’re ending 330,000 lives a year? I just chose not to attend.” 
Kirk said he’s a pro-life Roman Catholic. “Planned Parenthood performs about 330,000 abortions a year,” he said. “I couldn’t endorse that in any way.”
And you'll no doubt remember this? Talk about a study in contrasts.

On Modern Church Buildings

From the Telegraph:
Opposition is mounting in the Holy See to a spate of recent, ultra-modern churches, in Italy and abroad, by high profile architects. 
"The lack of integration between the architect and the faith community has at times been negative," said Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, head of the Vatican's Pontificial Council for Culture. "Sometimes it goes wrong." 
Cardinal Ravasi said a church built in 2009 in Foligno, Italy by the celebrated Italian architect Massimiliano Fuksas, which resembles a monolithic concrete cube, has been "highly criticised". 
In his native town of Merate in Lombardy, Cardinal Ravasi said the local priest needed to bring his own image of the Madonna to mass, because Mario Botta, the architect who designed the church, had not installed one. 
"The problem is that in Catholicism, unlike Protestantism, things like the altar, the images, are essential, while architects tend instead to focus on space, lines, light and sound," said Cardinal Ravasi.
This realization is coming about thirty years too much damage already done.

On Welfare and Poverty

From NBC News:
Two decades after President Bill Clinton promised to "end welfare as we know it," Americans blame government handouts for persistent poverty in the United States more than any other single factor, according to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Thursday. 
Given a list of eight factors and asked to choose the one most responsible for the continuing problem of poverty, 24 percent of respondents in the poll chose "too much government welfare that prevents initiative." 
Whether Americans are too dependent on government was a flashpoint of the presidential campaign last year, and shrinking government has been a focus of the Tea Party movement, which has risen since the election of President Barack Obama.
Wow! I'm not totally hopeless when it comes to the American public after all.

Liturgy with Benedict and Francis

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Three Cheers

From The Washington Times:
Crowd stunned after valedictorian rips up speech, recites Lord’s prayer 
A South Carolina valedictorian garnered wild applause after he ripped up his pre-approved speech and delivered the Lord’s prayer at his high school graduation on Saturday
The act was apparently in protest of the Pickens County School District’s decision to no longer include prayer at graduation ceremonies, Christian News reported. Officials said the decision was made after the district was barraged with complaints by atheist groups. 
But that didn’t stop Roy Costner IV of Liberty High School. He ripped up his graduation speech for all to see, before he started talking about his Christian upbringing, Christian News reported.