Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Outrageous AP Story about "Francis Revolution"

Get a load of this story. Another tedious Francis vs. Benedict screed. These folks in the mainstream media can't help themselves. From the Associated Press. (My comments are peppered [ ] throughout. Are these writers this devious, or just lazy and totally uninformed about what the Church teaches...?)
VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Francis Revolution is underway. Not everyone is pleased. 
Four months into his papacy, Francis has called on young Catholics in the trenches to take up spiritual arms to shake up a dusty, doctrinaire church [OFFENSIVE] that is losing faithful and relevance [OFFENSIVE]. He has said women must have a greater role — not as priests, but a place in the church that recognizes that Mary is more important than any of the apostles. And he has turned the Vatican upside down, quite possibly knocking the wind out of a poisonously homophobic culture by merely uttering the word "gay" and saying: so what? [NOT WHAT HE SAID AT ALL, HE ACTUALLY REINFORCED WHAT THE CATECHISM TEACHES.] 
In between, he has charmed millions of faithful and the mainstream news media, drawing the second-largest crowd ever to a papal Mass [BUT I THOUGHT THE CHURCH WAS "LOSING RELEVANCE" AND FAITHFUL]. That should provide some insurance as he goes about doing what he was elected to do: reform not just the dysfunctional Vatican bureaucracy but the church itself [IMPOSSIBLE TO REFORM THE CHURCH ITSELF, IN TERMS OF DOCTRINE], using his own persona and personal history as a model. 
"He is restoring credibility to Catholicism," said church historian Alberto Melloni. 
Such enthusiasm isn't shared across the board. 
Francis' predecessor, Benedict XVI, had coddled traditionalist Catholics attached to the old Latin Mass and opposed to the modernizing reforms of the Second Vatican Council. [THOSE "REFORMS" HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE ACTUAL COUNCIL ITSELF!!!!! BY THE WAY, BENEDICT/RATZINGER WAS DEEPLY INVOLVED IN VATICAN II, NOT FRANCIS. BENEDICT DEDICATED MUCH OF HIS PAPACY TO CLARIFYING MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT VII.] That group greeted Francis' election with concern — and now is watching its worst fears come true. Francis has spoken out both publicly and privately against such "restoratist groups," [BENEDICT WARNED ABOUT THE DANGERS OF EXTREMES AS WELL. BEING TRADITIONAL IS NOT COTERMINOUS WITH "RESTORATIONIST."] which he accuses of being navel-gazing retrogrades out of touch with the evangelizing mission of the church in the 21st century. ... [NAUSEATING. SO, IS THIS WHY TRADITIONAL PARISHES ARE DYNAMIC, YOUNG AND GROWING, WHILE CLAP-HAPPY PARISHES ARE OLD, SHRINKING AND FLOUNDERING? FRANCIS, BY THE WAY, HAS ALSO SPOKEN OF CHERISHING OUR LITURGICAL TRADITIONS. HE'S MADE IT CLEAR THAT HE INTENDS TO RETAIN MONSIGNOR GUIDO MARINI, BENEDICT'S MASTER OF PONTIFICAL LITURGICAL CELEBRATIONS.]
As you read more, it gets worse... This is what the agenda-driven media does so well: fabricate a false narrative and constantly breath new life into it with stories peppered with lies and half-truths. If all goes according to plan, the lie will overtake reality. The liberals in the Church did this very thing with regard to Vatican II. Most Catholics actually believe that the Council did away with Latin, Gregorian Chant, ad orientem worship, etc. Totally false.

We've got to be informed Catholics so that this kind of sheer nonsense can be shot down whenever and wherever it crops up.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Monogamy, the Next Victim

Love, now reduced to examining the track record of monkeys. From CBS News:
Only a few species of mammals are monogamous, and now dueling scientific teams think they've figured out why they got that way. But their answers aren't exactly romantic. 
The answers aren't even the same. 
One team looked just at primates, the animal group that includes apes and monkeys. The researchers said the exclusive pairing of a male and a female evolved as a way to let fathers defend their young against being killed by other males. 
The other scientific team got a different answer after examining about 2,000 species of non-human mammals. They concluded that mammals became monogamous because females had spread out geographically, and so males had to stick close by to fend off the competition. 
So it's not about romance, said researcher Dieter Lukas of the University of Cambridge, lead author of the mammals study. "It's just really the best he can do." ...
You can see where this narrative is going...

On the one hand, radical environmentalists will often reduce humanity to just another blip on the evolutionary chain, nothing special, nothing unique, totally dependent on natural selection. Then, on the other hand, those on the left will simultaneously hold that we are something different, so different and superior to the rest of the natural order that we can change the laws of nature to restructure the order of things to suite our individual preferences, desires, etc.

To the left, we're either brute animals or gods.

Pro-Life Incursions

From The Christian Science Monitor:
... Forty years after the US Supreme Court legalized abortion nationwide in Roe v. Wade, the abortion wars are raging as hot as ever. From Texas to North Carolina to Wisconsin to Ohio, to name just the most recent examples, states across America are enacting new restrictions in a wave that began in 2011 – a direct result of the conservative backlash of 2010 that swept Republicans into power in the US House, state legislatures, and governor's chairs. Some have made regulating abortion a top priority. 
If 2011 saw a peak in the passage of post-Roe abortion restrictions at the state level – 92 – then 2013 is poised to come in second. As of July 30, the number of new restrictions is at 55, past the total of 43 for all of 2012, according to the pro-abortion-rights Guttmacher Institute, which researches reproductive health matters. 
And like the political map of the country, divvied up into red and blue states, so, too, are the states increasingly polarized over abortion. Solid-red Texas now has some of the toughest restrictions in the nation, including a just-signed ban on abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy. At the other end of the spectrum, solid-blue California is moving to expand access to early-term abortions by allowing nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, and physician assistants to perform certain types. ... 
But in the realm of new abortion laws, there are far more Texases than Californias. And now there's a new wrinkle: Moderate, battleground states – the "purple" states that decide presidential races, such as North Carolina, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Virginia – are joining the abortion crackdown as never before. In 2008, all four voted for Barack Obama for president. In 2012, all but North Carolina voted to reelect him.

Hear It: "Counting Stars"

Great song. Take a break.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Big Day for Gay?

From Reuters:
ROME (Reuters) - Pope Francis has said gay people should not be marginalized but integrated into society, in some of the most conciliatory remarks by a pontiff on the issue of homosexuality. 
In a broad-ranging 80-minute conversation with journalists on the plane bringing him back from a week-long visit to Brazil on Sunday night, he also said he could not judge gay priests, an emotive topic that divides Catholic opinion. 
But the 76-year-old Argentine did reaffirm Church teaching that homosexual acts are a sin. ...
Then there's really nothing to this apparently "big" story. But if you believe the headlines, you'd think that the Catholic Church, under Francis, was edging towards sponsoring the next gay pride march in Rome, while under Benedict, it was a mere hop, skip and a jump away from the Westboro Baptist loons.

Nothing fundamental has changed. Nothing fundamental will change. The media is, once again, making hay out of these off the cuff remarks of Pope Francis. I don't recall Pope Benedict calling for the persecution or marginalization of gays. Benedict upheld Church teaching. Francis upholds the same teaching.

When reports are written by non-Catholics, or by Catholics who don't understand Church teaching (about 95% of Catholics) you see stories like this. They are inflated, astroturf reports that claim some big shift or imminent change is on the way. Francis obviously speaks a bit differently than his predecessors on various subjects. He is more impromptu in style, less guarded, and likes to shoot the breeze. That said, the ever-feckless communications arm of the Vatican needs to be a lot quicker when it comes to issuing clarifications after the pope kibitzes with reporters. Such clarifications would help blunt some of the media's efforts to confuse the faithful with stories like this.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

"Criticism" of Benedict in Rio?

Is the Church still relevant? More than 3M young Catholics on Copacabana think so. 

An excerpt from a piece appearing in the Telegraph:
On Saturday, in what was interpreted as veiled criticism of his earnest, theologian predecessor, Benedict XVI, Francis said the Catholic Church often uses language that many ordinary people found baffling and overly intellectual. 
The Church was "perhaps too cold, too caught up with itself, perhaps a prisoner of its own rigid formulas," he said. At times we lose people because they don't understand what we are saying, because we have forgotten the language of simplicity and import an intellectualism foreign to our people," he said.
Context is crucial. Was this really an intentional critique of Benedict? I doubt it. Ever since Francis was elected, the media has been relentlessly billing him as the anti-Benedict. I've written about this a bit. More humble, more simple, less "baroque," the "people's pope," more down to earth, and so on. It's getting way too predictable. Francis would object to such tactics, I think.

That said, I can't agree that a problem dogging the Catholic Church over the past forty years has been "intellectualism" or "rigid formulas." If anything, we've traded in the intellect for the purely sentimental, even saccharine. For two generations and counting, Catholics have been reared in an anti-intellectual ethos, from schools to liturgy. Have you been to a typical Catholic parish recently? It's almost all touchy-feely: name tags, silly songs, hand-holding, Father Personality and his cringeworthy jokes, backslapping, high-fives, no substance, etc. It never ends. And having attended Catholics schools for most of my youth, I can't say that "intellectualism" was a cause for many of my peers leaving the Church (which many of them did). We simply weren't taught the essentials of the faith. Period. Feelings and self-esteem took precedence.

Are people abandoning a church that is "too cold"? Judging by the Latin Bishops do the Brady Bunch soundtrack shtick from last night in Rio (see below), it's difficult for me to swallow the "too cold" proposition. Maybe that's happening somewhere, but I don't see it. What's happening is a reaction to the opposite extreme, that of sentimentalism. Many are tuning out because faith rooted in a solitary reliance on sentimentalism and emotions, absent a personal encounter with Christ and solid formation, quickly dries up. There's no depth. Along with his humility, sanctity and unrivaled experience, Benedict brought his much-needed intellect (not intellectualism) to the papacy. George Weigel called Benedict the greatest papal preacher since Pope Saint Gregory the Great.

It is true that intellectualism is a threat (as an -ism) that can sometimes eclipse conversion and that necessary, personal encounter with Christ. That would be a problem, no doubt. The faith isn't an academic formula. I get it. Still, I wouldn't mind seeing a little more mind, a little less schmaltz, and a lot less dancing bishops, in our Church.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Bishops Get Down on Copa

Auditions for the next movie, Bishop Act? It's oddly mesmerizing... 

There are other, better ways to connect with youth. 

Liturgy and Morality: Two Sides of the Same Coin

Cardinal Raymond L. Burke offered an extensive interview with Zenit. His insightful comments on the future of the liturgical reform are noteworthy, as well as his observations on the origins of the rampant liturgical abuses we see on a daily basis.
...There’s no question in my mind that the abuses in the sacred liturgy, reduction of the sacred liturgy to some kind of human activity, is strictly correlated with a lot of moral corruption and with a levity in catechesis that has been shocking and has left generations of Catholics ill prepared to deal with the challenges of our time by addressing the Catholic faith to those challenges. You can see it in the whole gamut of Church life. ~Cardinal Raymond L. Burke

While it's comforting to read this, it's not surprising, considering it's Cardinal Burke. What is frustrating is that so few of his peers speak out on this matter. Liturgical "style" is simply treated as a matter of personal taste. We're to believe that there's no intrinsic code of right and wrong when it coms to the offering of Mass. With more and more multi-cultural add-ons finding their way into liturgy, the Mass has just become another useful venue for displaying the "diversity" of the Church. It's all about us! Cultural narcissism once again rears its ugly face.

Rather than celebrating and encouraging bizarre liturgical innovations as positive manifestations of our narcissism, er, diversity, we should see them for what they are...evil, harmful, etc. Can we please see more bishops and priests take this matter seriously? We're waiting.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Saint James

Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.” “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked. They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.” “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said. “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?” “We can,” they answered. Jesus said to them, “You will drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared.” 
When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John. Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10: 35-45

And viva EspaƱa! Here's the burial site of Saint James, the Patron Saint of Spain, located in Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

Even Popes do el camino!

Monday, July 22, 2013

African-American Pastor is RIGHT

Here's a remarkable (and true) excerpt from Dr. Ken Hutcherson's latest article, appearing in The Christian Post. Backing up another black conservative, Dr. James Manning, Hutcherson writes:
I believe Dr. James Manning hit it on the head when he said that black people have a difficult time accepting truth simply because they are black. That's right, black people are involved and it is impossible for the average black person to believe the truth. They refuse to believe that a black boy could be in the wrong when it comes to a white Hispanic. Blackness is the apex of victimhood and our blackness is above truth, above our Christianity, above our God, above our Holy Spirit, so that means if our blackness is above the Holy Spirit, then it is above Truth. This is so important for everyone to know this so they can understand why this Trayvon and Zimmerman case is where it is today and why blacks refuse to believe what really happened. ...

Friday, July 19, 2013

Obama is a pathological narcissist

Incredible. Obama just now: "Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago."

Absurd. Obama as a youth never lived the inner-city life that Martin did. He grew up in relative comfort and security in a white family.

There have been so many instances where the president (and his wife) twist stories that are totally unrelated to them back to themselves. You'll no doubt remember his, "If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon." Just yesterday, Michelle told a bunch of young girls in Chicago, "I was you." The examples are endless. It is truly remarkable and a bit creepy. Setting aside Obama's nauseating race pandering that demeans the office of the presidency, I simply marvel at this personality disorder that he so conspicuously demonstrates. The discussion could be about traveling to the moon, and Obama would say, "When I was young, I wanted to be an astronaut." No joke. He simply can't help himself. Narcissism betrays a severe insecurity and an obsessive need to assert oneself into every discussion and story. Ever notice how many times he'll use "I" or "me" in a speech? Google it and find out. BIZARRE.

As an aside, I just saw on Politico a headline reading, "Obama weighs in on race, reluctantly." Yeah, "reluctantly"... how laughable. You people at Politico are either the most naive of all political reporters, or you're partisan hacks. Either way, it's embarrassing.

"Hope" Sinks

From the pen of Stuart Stevens, writing for The Daily Beast:
Hope Isn’t Enough: Without Conviction or Destination, Obama Flounders 
Perhaps it was inevitable, that any president branded and sold as “Hope” was destined to disappoint. But in these scorching summer doldrums of 2013, you have to wonder: did it have to be this disappointing?
Ah, the latecomers to the truth. I guess we'll take in the converts. Conservatives warned about the shame that is the manufactured Obama mystique before '08. But who was listening? Fooled again in '12, the masses were caught up in an embarrassing political ecstasy that was bound to burst.

An (Honest) National Dialogue about Race

Sad. Protesters looking for answers in all the wrong places. 'Racism' jibes with the narrative that it's someone else's fault, so the demonstrations will continue. 

Pat Buchanan wrote an excellent article on the true state of affairs in America when it comes to the question of race. The article is entitled Black America's Real Problem Isn't White Racism. Rather than blaming white-on-black racism, or "gun violence" for the tragic deaths of black youth, Buchanan asks the black community to perform a little self-introspection when it comes the search for answers.

He also asks a logically sound question: If the rare instances of white-on-black crime are unquestionably manifestations of racism, then, logically, don't we have to conclude that the astonishingly higher percentage of black-on-white crime indicates an even stronger, wide-spread degree of racism within the black community? Sad thing is, logic, reason, facts, numbers and statistics matter very little in our time. Emotions, street protests, outbursts and convenient cliches that serve a political end trump all else.

Here are some excerpts.
When [Eric] Holder delivered his 2009 "nation-of-cowards" speech blaming racism for racial separation, Manhattan Institute's Heather Mac Donald suggested that our attorney general study his crime statistics. 
In New York from January to June 2008, 83 percent of all gun assailants were black, according to witnesses and victims, though blacks were only 24 percent of the population. Blacks and Hispanics together accounted for 98 percent of all gun assailants. Forty-nine of every 50 muggings and murders in the Big Apple were the work of black or Hispanic criminals. ... 
Though blacks are outnumbered 5-to-1 in the population by whites, they commit eight times as many crimes against whites as the reverse. By those 2007 numbers, a black male was 40 times as likely to assault a white person as the reverse. 
If interracial crime is the ugliest manifestation of racism, what does this tell us about where racism really resides — in America? 
And if the FBI stats for 2007 represent an average year since the Tawana Brawley rape-hoax of 1987, over one-third of a million white women have been sexually assaulted by black males since 1987 — with no visible protest from the civil rights leadership. ...
Has any major news outlet reported these statistics in their coverage of the Trayvon Marin shooting? You'd think that, in the search for answers, these facts might be helpful. The secret is, the real answers and the sad truth must be buried, swept under the rug, because they get in the way of the left's political agenda. So, Democrats and their willing accomplices in the mainstream media will manipulate events like the Martin shooting, and the black community in general, to further their political goals of gun control, white guilt and trumped up charges of "racism" to explain away the sorry state of black America.

One of the best things the black community could do for itself is to sever all ties to the Democratic Party. Don't hold your breath. The arrangement has been carefully constructed: blacks deliver the votes to the Democratic Party on election day, and, in return, the Democrats deliver on entitlements, and in perpetuating the lies that supposedly explain the tragic state of the black community, i.e., racism, slavery, the evil Republicans hate you, the "system" is unjust, you need us to survive, it's not your fault, and so on. Sad, but predictable.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

American Decline

BFFs: Michelle and Beyonce
This shouldn't surprise me, but I read that Michelle Obama took her girls to a Beyonce concert last night in Chicago. Let's just be honest here. Beyonce is trashy. Read her lyrics. Watch her dance. Look at her minimalist approach to covering up. She dresses like a dominatrix and, along with a host of pathetic degenerate celebrities, is contributing to the decline and corruption of America's youth by objectifying the body as a sexual play thing. Young girls imitating an "entertainer" like Beyonce is hardly the kind of thing we should be celebrating, and yet Michelle O. cannot resist fawning over this woman time and time again. How would she feel if her girls went out on a date dressed like Beyonce on stage? Just curious.

We (rather the media and elites) build up people like Michelle O. as brilliant, sophisticated, savvy, cool, etc., but when it comes down to it, she has zero class, zero taste and zero culture. Anyone who goes gaga over someone as grotesque and trashy as Beyonce only shows how vulgar, clueless, and culture-deprived they themselves are. If this is what passes for entertainment and music in America nowadays, there's not much hope for civilization... a little hyperbolic, but you get my point.

Sad. It's the decay of our culture. That our nation's First Lady is contributing to this is sadder still.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Persecution of Christians in Egypt

Manufactured Outrage

I just heard that, in the time between the tragic shooting of Trayvon Martin, and Saturday's not guilty verdict for "white Hispanic" George Zimmerman, 513 African American youths have been murdered by other African Americans across America. No cries of "Justice!" and nation-wide street protests for those black Americans killed by fellow black Americans.

Black on black crime = silence from most of the black community and the mainstream media, "nothing to see here"

"White Hispanic" (or whatever) on black self-defense = de facto state-approved racism on a grand scale, call in the national media, ban all guns! If there's any "white" in the equation, look out.

What a double standard! This proves that all the outrage from the NAACP is nothing but a politically manufactured spectacle. It's a sad attempt to manipulate the death of an individual, and an entire segment of society for political ends. It's what liberals are so damn good at: exploitation and manipulation. In our low information age, it's no surprise that their modus operandi is so successful.

And did you hear Obama's self-serving counsel that we should "honor" Martin with gun regulation? What a disgrace! How about Obama calls for an end to the rampant ghetto-thug aura that has latched onto the black entertainment industry and has dominated the mentality of young African Americans for over a decade. That would put him at odds with his legion of rapper cronies and the millions of dollars they no doubt funnel into his political coffer. He's not a man of principle, folks.

New Tactics

From the National Journal:
Abortion opponents have turned to different tactics since the Supreme Court legalized most abortions half a century ago, from imposing 24-hour waiting periods to banning late-term procedures to requiring minors to get permission. 
But in the wake of Kermit Gosnell, the Philadelphia abortion doctor convicted in May of first-degree murder in the deaths of three babies, the anti-abortion movement has increasingly aimed its fire at the brick-and-mortar. On Friday, Texas became the 16th state to tighten regulations on abortion clinics in the past three years, more than doubling the number of states with what opponents call "targeted restrictions on abortion providers."

Friday, July 05, 2013

Pro-life WI

From Reuters:
MILWAUKEE (Reuters) - Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed into law on Friday new abortion restrictions that opponents said could lead to the closing of two of the state's four abortion clinics. 
Walker's office said in an emailed statement that he signed the law requiring women to undergo an ultrasound before they get an abortion. It also requires doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their clinics. 
"This bill improves a woman's ability to make an informed choice that will protect her physical and mental health now and in the future," said Tom Evenson, a spokesman for the governor.
It would be nice to see a statement of support from the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. We shall see. If it's immigration or union-related news, you can expect a statement right away.

Update: And a district judge froze the law until a hearing on July 17, at which point he will determine the law's fate. Disgusting, but predictable. What the left cannot achieve via the democratic process they will impose via courts. These judges have too much power. Stay tuned...

'Light of Faith'

Read Pope Francis' first encyclical, Lumen Fidei, here. Mostly written by Benedict XVI, Francis made some final touches to the work.

Francis Okays Saint JPII

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Liturgy in Crisis

Let nobody tell you we are not in a serious liturgical crisis in the United States. From Berkeley, CA. I almost choked on my water watching this.