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Friday, April 20, 2018

Islamic Outreach, Part CV

From an earlier post on this blog:

Pope Francis spoke to the diplomatic corps and amongst other things, said, "Hence it is important to intensify dialogue among the various religions, and I am thinking particularly of dialogue with Islam."


Secretary-General of the Muslim World League Mohammed al-Issa argues that “Europe must do more to … criminalize religious hate speech.” In an April 9 interview with Reuters, this prominent Saudi said: “We believe that European countries, where there is much debate now, and other countries around the world ... need to ... criminalize hatred and contempt for adherents of religions because this threatens the safety of the community.”

The “hatred and contempt for adherents of religions” that Muslims complain of is ecumenical code for “Islamophobia.” Thus, on April 5 Ömer Serdar, a senior official from Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party, announced that he and a “group of Turkish lawmakers will travel to the heart of Europe,” where they will “investigate whether authorities take measures against the hostility of Islamophobic discrimination in Muslims’ daily lives.” Afterwards, “they will hold meetings with state authorities during their visits to Germany, France, and Belgium” and “discuss the issue of marginalization.”

 Everyone -- especially Muslims -- seems to miss the grand irony. If international laws would ban speech, cartoons, books, and films on the basis that they defame religions, those laws would ban the entire religion of Islam itself.

Islam is the only religion whose core texts actively, unequivocally defame other religions, including by name.

 he Koran repeatedly slanders, denigrates, and blackens the reputation of other specific religions. Consider these passages about Christianity:
-- Koran 5:73: “Infidels are they who say God is one of three,” a reference to the Christian Trinity.

-- Koran 5:72: “Infidels are they who say God is the Christ, [Jesus] son of Mary.”

-- Koran 9:30: “[T]he Christians say the Christ is the son of God ... may God’s curse be upon them!”

Another Murdered Mexican Priest

.- A Catholic priest in the Diocese of Cuautitlán Izcalli, México, was stabbed to death inside a church Wednesday, local reports said.
The death of Fr. Rubén Alcántara Díaz, judicial vicar of the diocese, makes 22 priests who have been murdered since 2012, the Catholic Multimedia Center reported. 

 I wonder what the USCCB has to say.... 

The Catholic Church in the United States is an immigrant Church with a long history of embracing diverse newcomers and providing assistance and pastoral care to immigrants, migrants, refugees, and people on the move.  Our Church has responded to Christ’s call for us to “welcome the stranger among us,” for in this encounter with the immigrant, the migrant, and the refugee in our midst, we encounter Christ.

Maybe this is the USCCB's plan to get rid of all our excess priests.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Baseball For The Masses and the Catholic Mass

No one doubts the sincerity of his conviction that baseball is in trouble, though as a business MLB is obviously flourishing, or that the way out of the imagined crisis is to stress up the game by adding clocks, imposing deadlines on players between pitches, and in general pressuring everyone to hurry. Manfred may assume that it’s despite the increase in game length, not because of it, that more people watch baseball now than when games were shorter. And anyway, his ultimate goal is to quicken the pace of play, for which game length — or game shortness, rather — is only a rough proxy.
St. Louis Cardinal Yadier Molina

Bear in mind, however, that pace of play is slower in the NFL. There the ratio of live action to dead time is about half of what it is in MLB. And yet, according to Gallup, Americans prefer football to baseball by a ratio of four to one. Granted, it may be despite all the so-called dead time, not because of it, that football beats baseball in revenue as well as in opinion polls, but maybe that’s enough with the special pleading. Everyone knows that the pauses between the notes are where the art resides, and the evidence that fans like them is greater than the evidence that they don’t.

The assumption that they don’t follows a pattern you might recognize from the Catholic Church’s rewrite of the Mass in the 1960s. The liturgical reformers reduced the amount of dead air, as a radio engineer might think of it. The practice had been that during much of the liturgy the priest prayed sotto voce at the altar while the people in the pews did likewise as they turned the pages of their missal or moved their fingers down the string of their rosary beads. Another option was to close your eyes, forgo all visual, aural, and tactile stimulation, and be still. “Mental prayer,” they called it. It worked fine, at least for those who knew the ropes. For the benefit of those who didn’t, the Church slashed the amount of supposed dead time. That’s when Mass attendance in the West began to plummet. Of course, the people who stopped attending may have done so for other reasons. What we do know is that the increase in the ratio of bustle to quiet didn’t keep them from leaving.
New York Cardinal Dolan
A subcategory of the new Mass was the “guitar Mass,” pitched to the young people. Many of our elders weren’t that much older than we were, but they exaggerated the distance, treating us with the condescending benevolence of a Western anthropologist among people in the bush. They thought we would relate to the holy sacrifice better if we sang lyrics to a Cat Stevens song at the Offertory. God bless the Jesuits who taught my generation of Catholics in the 1970s. They meant well, but they got a lot wrong. A brother of theirs in Argentina grew up to become the pope. I never met him but I recognize his mind.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Jeannette - Joan of Arc Movie MUSICAL!

Jeannette’s Joyful Noise Drowns out the Banality of A Quiet Place

Bruno Dumont’s rock-musical passion play is a true original, unlike Krasinski’s warmed-over horror flick.
Originality is what’s missing from recent hit movies Black Panther, Ready Player One, and A Quiet Place, which makes Bruno Dumont’s Jeannette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc instantly stimulating: The story of France’s patron saint who was martyred during the Hundred Years’ War is told through the joyful noise of a heavy-metal musical.
Dumont, who always challenges audience expectations, first challenges himself in films that test narrative conventions by mixing drama and comedy, tragic realism and the ineffable — usually with particular interest in examining religious faith (as in his 1997 debut, The Life of Jesus, about modern-day French juvenile delinquents). Going beyond commercial Hollywood and most secular European art films, Dumont exposes the emptiness of junk such as Black Panther, Ready Player One, and A Quiet Place. Those hits distract audiences from thinking, and their popularity suggests that moviegoers have become accustomed to not thinking (the key problem with A Quiet Place, which I address below). Dumont’s headbanger Joan is an immediately thought-provoking showpiece.
 First presented as a tween (played by Lise Leplat Prudhomme), then as an adolescent verging on womanhood (played by Jeanne Voisin), Joan sings to hard-rock strains played by an unseen band (French musician Gautier Serre who goes by the name Igorrr). That novelty is striking enough, in the vein of ’70s post-hippie musicals Godspell and Jesus Christ Superstar, but Dumont is primarily a cinema provocateur. He starts with musical artifice then immediately makes you see the vernal countryside of 1425 France, where the young shepherdess contemplates the war and her place in God’s scheme, as the site of a performance. Several religious genres intersect: the juvenile pageant, the passion play, the religious bio-pic, and the mystical art movie. The panoply is Dumont’s method of calling upon the spectator’s sophistication, which places Jeannette far ahead of this year’s banal crowd-pleasers.
Not an artificially polished movie-musical, Jeannette mixes professionalism and amateurism. The future Maid of Orléans dances about barefoot to synthesizer beats and guitar riffs — a mix of modern and primitive that also comment on childhood purity and innocent imaginings that then touch upon divine inspiration. The first of Joan’s miraculous visions occurs when she encounters Saint Catherine, Saint Margaret, and Saint Michael suspended near a tree and they sing to her in simple three-part harmony.
These acts of devotion and revelation have a rough charm, but not even Jeannette’s cartwheels, or her uncle’s crude breakdancing, are exactly cute. Although they sing and dance in states of ecstasy (Voisin’s headbanging tresses unfurl like Metallica’s in their music video One), they are resolute and serious about their hard lives during a time of war when their sense of obligation and personal belief are fraught. (Most songs mention suffering, perdition, and the will to “kill war.”) It is this anguished, difficult consciousness that gives the movie its surprising Millennial pertinence. Dumont reinvents the Joan of Arc story as an allegory for our contemporary circumstances and an argument against the spiritual trap of agnostic doubt. When the prescient child sings that “Hell is spilling onto earth,” it is the most effective expression of our current moral and political chaos to be found in any form of popular culture so far this year.

Combat Rosary

You can get your Combat Rosary and Concealed Carry Permit here.

The Trouble With Jesuits, Part 68

"Be Proud. Be You. Pride Prom 2018."

Pride Prom 2018 Day/Time: Saturday, April 14, 2018 / 8pm - 11pm Location: Alumni Memorial Ballroom
Pride Prom 2018 is intended to be a larger community event focused on our Marquette, Milwaukee and surrounding area community coming together in the celebration of the diversity of our community, in all shapes, forms, colors, and creeds, and specifically the LGBTQIA+ Community.  Calling upon our strategic plan initiatives, this event plays into Marquette’s desire to foster a “Culture of Inclusion” and our Jesuit values of Cura Personalis and respect for the dignity of all our students, faculty and staff at Marquette University and the larger Milwaukee area.  The planning team sees this event as an opportunity and responsibility to engage with our larger community, both on and off campus, in a way that fosters support, inclusiveness, and value for individuals of all identities.  We believe that people entering this space will be able to walk away, touched in mind and heart, observing the diversity that happens within our community and the message of inclusion it espouses. Our hope is that every individual that walks away feels that Marquette University is a place for them and they can see themselves in the “We”, in “We Are Marquette”.

Pride Prom 2018 is an event being held on April 14, 2018 at Marquette University in the Alumni Memorial Union Ballrooms from 8-11pm.  This event is led by a planning team consisting of staff and representatives from the LGBTQ+ Resource Center, MUSG Program Board/Late Night Marquette, and Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA) student organization.

The Epidemic Spreads to Canada

Looks like the USCCB isn't alone in the world...

The Archdiocese of Toronto is joining other Canadian dioceses withholding funds from the international development agency sponsored by the Canadian bishops’ conference. The Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP) is an overseas development agency sponsored by the Canadian Catholic Conference of Bishops. A recent investigation found that the agency has partnered with organizations upholding policies contradictory to Catholic Church teaching, particularly on matters of abortion, contraception and gender theory.
“A recent review of CCODP partners, conducted by representatives of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has produced alarming concerns about dozens of overseas organizations,” said Cardinal Thomas Collins of Toronto in an April 11 statement, according to the Canadian Catholic News. 

“It is critical to ensure that it allocates no funds to projects or groups that operate contrary to the moral and social teachings of the Church,” Collins continued.
Seven other dioceses have withdrawn financial support from CCODP, including St. Catharine, Edmonton, St. Paul, Nelson, and Whitehorse. The Archdiocese of Toronto said that it would freeze around $800,000 CAD earmarked for CCODP until the matter is settled.
Archbishop Richard Smith of Edmonton said April 4 that approximately 40 CCODP partners have shown “evidence of conflict with Catholic moral and social teaching” which does not “demonstrate full respect for the sanctity of human life.”

Thursday, April 12, 2018

The USCCB versus the Holy Goalie

Catholic pews in the US are emptying, according to data from a recent Gallup survey, which showed that Mass attendance is down to a 39 percent weekly average over the past 10 years.
From 2005-2008, Catholics reported attending Mass on a 45 percent average within seven days, but it has since dropped 6 percent from 2014-2017.  
The average Mass attendance in 1955 was at 75 percent, which roughly consisted of all age groups. During this time period, around three in four Catholics had attended Mass within the past week.

But don't worry! United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is on the case!

 One of the highly watched cases of the Supreme Court’s current session, Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31, has sparked such passion that some 73 interested parties have filed amicus briefs in the matter. Among the most unusual is a brief by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops urging the court to rule against Mark Janus, an Illinois state employee who claims that a law requiring him to pay AFSCME an “agency” fee violates his rights. In an unusual move, a prominent bishop, Thomas John Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield, Illinois, has publicly disavowed  the conference’s position, arguing that no consensus exists among Catholics regarding an issue “on which reasonable people can disagree.” Several Catholic scholars have also contested the bishops’ arguments, especially the prelates’ startling suggestion that a ruling for Janus would “marginalize” the church’s voice on public-policy debates in the same way that the Court’s decisions on abortion and same-sex marriage have done. The Court heard arguments in Janus on February 26 and will issue a ruling before the end of its term in June.

The Holy Goalie
 What seems like the bishops’ effort to bend over backward to support AFSCME rankles critics like Bishop Paprocki because government unions are among the most socially liberal labor organizations, using their considerable resources—generated by compelled dues—to fight against the church on issues that have little to do with representing workers. “I don’t know specifically what Janus’ objections are regarding the union’s political work, but the public-sector union supports abortion and donates to Planned Parenthood,” Paprocki has said. In 2014, the union gave $400,000 to the organization’s PAC, which works to elect pro-abortion candidates.

Mea Culpa

The official inquiry into the Chilean Bishop Scandal has concluded and the Holy Father admits he was mistaken in his initial responses.  The Vatican Press Office has posted his letter, which other media outlets are reporting on.  The following is the 'Google translation' of a portion of that letter with a link to the Holy See.
Now, after a slow reading of the minutes of said "special mission", I believe I can affirm that all the testimonies collected in them speak in a stark, without additives or sweeteners, of many crucified lives and I confess that it causes me pain and shame .
I also apologize for not wearing red shoes

Bearing all this in mind, I am writing to you, gathered at the 115th plenary assembly, to humbly request your collaboration and assistance in discerning the short, medium and long term measures to be taken to reestablish ecclesial communion in Chile, with the objective to repair the scandal as much as possible and restore justice. 
I plan to call them to Rome to discuss the conclusions of the aforementioned visit and my conclusions. I have thought of this meeting as a fraternal moment, without prejudices or preconceived ideas, with the sole objective of making the truth shine in our lives. On the date I entrust to the Secretary of the Episcopal Conference to make me reach the possibilities.

As far as I am concerned, I recognize and so I want you to transmit it faithfully, that I have made serious mistakes in the assessment and perception of the situation, especially due to a lack of truthful and balanced information. From now on I apologize to all those I have offended and I hope to be able to do it personally, in the coming weeks, in the meetings I will have with representatives of the people interviewed. - P. Francis

Everything Old Is New Again

.- A new quasi-parish for Catholics interested in the Traditional Latin Mass will open in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia at a church that had been part of a 2014 parish merger.
“In response to a growing interest, it has become timely to provide additional pastoral care for those wishing to participate in Divine Worship in the Extraordinary Form,” Archbishop Charles J. Chaput’s March 14 decree said.

A quasi-parish is the equivalent of a parish under canon law, with some exceptions. It can later become a parish at the discretion of the local bishop. The new quasi-parish will be located at the site of the former Saint Mary Parish in Conshohocken, a suburban Philadelphia borough in Montgomery County. About 8,000 people live in the borough, which is about one square mile in area.
The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter will provide the clergy for the new quasi-parish. 

“While it remains to be seen if this community will flourish so as to become a parish, the establishment of a quasi-parish to provide this spiritual care appears to be most fitting at this time,” Archbishop Chaput’s decree continued.
The archbishop made his decision after consulting with local pastors, local priests who celebrate the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, and the archdiocese’s Council of Priests. The Philadelphia archdiocese announced the planned creation of the quasi-parish on April 8.
The decree becomes effective Aug. 1. A pastor will be appointed before that date.
The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter exclusively celebrates the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, sometimes known as the traditional or Tridentine Latin Mass. It was founded in 1988 as a clerical society of apostolic life, then formally erected as an institute of pontifical right by the Holy See.
In contrast to some other priestly groups celebrating the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite, the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter was established with support from the Vatican, and is in full and ordinary communion with the Pope.

They have a gofundme page.

St. Mary’s Catholic Church served as a landmark for the Conshohocken community for more than 100 years, as the first Polish parish in Montgomery County. It was lovingly built and nurtured by Polish immigrants and their descendants for generations, serving the spiritual and cultural needs of parishioners and visitors alike. The architectural beauty of St. Mary’s Church building represents the tremendous love for and devotion to the Catholic faith of the Polish people.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Illegal Children, Si! Legal Children? Kill 'em! The Pope Says It's OK!

The embed function isn't working, but here's the link:

Fast-forward to the 1:35:25 mark to hear the formerly illegal alien (most recently in the news for getting arrested at the Washington, DC DACA rally), Rep. Isela Blanc (pro-abortion representative from Tempe) misquoted Pope Francis stating that the pope was now in favor of contraception, sterilization and abortion.  She further said that the Catholic Church has evolved on the issue and is no longer even using the rhythm method."

Rep. Grantham swiftly got up and stated that as a Catholic, he didn’t appreciate the mis-characterization of Pope Francis.  He then read the entire interaction that Pope Francis had, and in the proper context.  He further went on to boldly state that the act of abortion IS evil and that the Catholic Church has not softened its stance at all.

Isela Blanc

Monday, April 09, 2018

All Of Your Ads Belong To Us

.- Facebook has apologized for what it called a “mistake” in rejecting a theology ad from Franciscan University of Steubenville, on the grounds that an image of the cross was too violent and sensational.
“Your image, video thumbnail or video can’t contain shocking, sensational, or excessively violent content,” was Facebook’s response, according Tom Crowe, web communications director for Franciscan University of Steubenville.
Used to promote Steubenville’s master’s programs in theology, catechetics, and evangelization, the image was of the San Damiano Cross, a 12th century cross most commonly associated with the university’s patron, Saint Francis of Assisi. 

On Monday, a Facebook spokesperson apologized for the error, stating “sometimes we make mistakes.”
“This image does not violate our ad policies. We apologize for the error and have already let the advertiser know we approved their ad,” the spokesperson continued.
Since other ads with this image have been approved, Crowe told Fox News it was likely that this was not “systemic religious bigotry” but a one-off mistake, possibly from a low-level Facebook employee with a grudge against Christianity.
“Facebook approved other ads with the exact same image, which again leads me to believe it wasn’t an algorithm, but was a low-level staffer who skims many, many ads and just had something personal against this one,” he said.

Shut Up, The Pope Explained

Vatican City (AFP) - Pope Francis issued a warning to Catholics who criticise his calls to welcome migrants with open arms, in a much-awaited text published Monday.
The Argentine pontiff has put the plight of people fleeing war, persecution and poverty at the heart of his five-year papacy, putting him at odds with a wave of anti-immigrant sentiment in many parts of the world.

In the third apostolic exhortation of his pontificate -- a guideline on how Catholics can strive for "holiness" -- the 81-year-old unexpectedly hit out at his critics.
"Some Catholics consider the situation of migrants to be a secondary issue," he wrote.
"That a politician looking for votes might say such a thing is understandable, but not a Christian for whom the only proper attitude is to stand in the shoes of those brothers and sisters of ours who risk their lives to offer a future to their children."

Undocumented Immigrant Jesus

CNA/EWTN News).- Bishops in both the US and Mexico have criticized the Trump administration’s plan to send National Guard troops to the southern border of the United States.
“The new measures on the border US-MX. Once again a senseless action and a disgrace on the administration,” tweeted Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller of San Antonio April 5.
“These measures manifest represion, [sic] fear, a perception that everyone is an enemy, and a very clear message: we don’t care about anybody else. This is not the American Spirit.”


Opined the Mexican born Bishop, who has been an American citizen since Bill Clinton was elected in 1992.

The Mexican bishops' conference tweeted against the militarization of the border, expressing concern that the move may put more Latin Americans at risk.
“It is extremely risky for our Mexican and Latin American people, to have a semi-militarized border. #JesusChrist #migrant, could be executed again for trying to cross #frontier.”

I have no idea what these fellas are talking about. Jesus was a migrant? When? I guess they are talking about when the baby Jesus was taken to Egypt to avoid being...what's the word I'm looking for here? Oh yeah. KILLED. But once the coast was clear, He and his family went back. Which doesn't fit the Merriam-Webster definition. 


  1. a person who moves from one place to another, especially in order to find work or better living conditions.