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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Missing a Good Opportunity to Shut Up

I was writing this post in my head yesterday, but this morning the Powerline blog beat me to it:

Pope Francis, Put A Lid On It. Please.

 Pope Francis has already caused consternation among knowledgeable Catholics with his criticisms of economic freedom. Some have tried to defend him or reinterpret his words, but it is hard to sugarcoat the fact that he is instinctively hostile to free enterprise. Perhaps this is because, as a native of Argentina, he has never seen free enterprise at work and doesn’t understand what it can do for the average citizen.

Now Francis has taken on the global warming cause. Again, it is hard to interpret his words as representing anything but ignorance of the relevant science. Catholic Online reports:
This March, following a visit to the Philippines, Pope Francis will publish an encyclical on the environment that insiders say will tackle the issue of global warming head on. Pope Francis is hoping to have some impact when world leaders meet to discuss climate change in Paris next year. …
 Read the whole thing. Here's the ending....

I am a Lutheran, not a Catholic, but my understanding is that the Pope’s statements are deemed infallible only when he pronounces ex cathedra, and that the sort of ill-informed scientific nonsense that he now contemplates would not be entitled to any such deference. Nevertheless, even the Pope’s most casual comments may be influential. It therefore behooves Francis to either 1) learn what he is talking about when it comes to climate science–probably a poor idea, since the field is in its infancy and there is no consensus about virtually any important proposition, or 2) go back to saving souls and keep his mouth shut about the climate. I recommend the latter course.

I agree with my separated bretheren.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Under the Big Top!

I am starting to be convinced that the least valuable (and academically rigorous) degree offered on university campuses today is the Bachelor of Science in Journalism. At least I think it's a B.S. - it could be a Bachelor of Arts. I can't tell, since the SIUC Journalism website doesn't say.  Anyway, here are the first lines of a story with the byline:

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Islamic Outreach, Part LVI - CHRISTMAS EDITION!

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."

Atlas Shrugged reports:

Muslim children and a teenager disturbed the nativity celebrations for children in the Rheydter St. Mary’s Church. The Muslims screamed, Sh*t Christians!” and, “F*cking Christians!” during the Christmas Eve mass. The sexton held two of the five Muslims before police arrived. Police identified the troublemakers and turned them over to their parents. Police would not say whether it was a deliberate action to disrupt worship on Christmas Eve or a thoughtless prank children in the incident.

And from National Review:

 In some places in the Muslim world and the Middle East, there were just no Christians to be attacked. There was no public Christmas Mass celebrated anywhere in Nineveh Province, Iraq, this year for the first time for more than 1,400 years, Nina Shea recounted in an NRO piece earlier this week.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

All Dogs Go To Heaven

Earlier this month, the New York Times reported, "at a general audience at the Vatican, (the Pope) comforted a boy whose dog had died by saying: "One day, we will see our animals again in the eternity of Christ. Paradise is open to all of God's creatures."

 Except   he never really said that, as a later correction explained.

But that did not stop the intrepid reporters from the Eye of the Tiber from investigating further....

Pope Francis continues to show he’s not your average pope. During a public appearance this afternoon, Francis attempted to comfort a girl whose cat had died, saying, “One day, we will see our animals again in the eternity of Christ. Paradise is open to all of God’s creatures. All of them except for cats. In that case, little girl, the only way you will see your cat again is if you reject God’s grace and end up in hell.”

The Pope’s comment has reignited a debate on the subject, with the Humane Society saying that if Pope Francis believes animals have souls, then “we ought to seriously consider how we treat them,” a representative said. “We have to admit that all animals, save for cats, panda bears, and sloths are sentient beings, and they mean something to God.”

St. Roch, Patron Saint of Dog Owners, Pray for Them.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

St. Joseph Christmas Mass SPECTACULAR!!

From Saturday Night Live, of all things...

Is it Legal To Say "God" in an California Shopping Mall?

From Catholic Vote:

The word “mob” gets a bad rap, since when large groups of people suddenly coalesce in a public space, unfortunate things often happen. But in the case of a musical or dance or theater flash mob, the result can be lovely.
In a world stripped of the sacred and starved for real beauty, the ongoing phenomenon of flash mobs actually singing sacred music in public venues offers a rare moment of grace.

I am even willing to forgive "Go Tell It On the Mountain."

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Picturing Mary

The National Gallery of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. is holding an exhibit entitled, Picturing Mary: Woman, Mother, Idea". I don't know what the idea is, but the paintings are amazing! There is an interactive on-line version located here. Check it out!

Madonna with the Child, Sandro Botticelli (1467)

Interestingly, one of the sponsors of the exhibit is Jacqueline Badger Mars, whsi weird because her husbands last name is Badger. ANyway, she is ranked as the 15th richest person in America, worth more than $19,000,000,000 as an heiress to the Mars candy bar empire.

QUIET!! The Monks Are Singing!

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Mr. Bean's Nativity Set is Livlier Than Mine

Barbarians at the Gate

The Pope better hope not.....

From The Guardian:

He has dismissed and demoted cardinals, bishops and the Vatican secretary of state, and now Pope Francis’s reformist zeal has claimed a new scalp – the head of his own private army, the Swiss Guard.
In a dispassionate one-sentence notice, the Vatican’s official newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, announced on Wednesday that Daniel Anrig will no longer serve as the commandant of the 500-year-old corps after the end of next month.
No official explanation was given for the decision, but it was widely rumoured that the Argentinean Pope, who has established a warmer, more inclusive style of governance since being appointed pontiff in March last year, found the commander’s manner overly strict and “Teutonic”. 


T he Swiss Guard was formed in 1506 as a body of mercenary fighters by Pope Julius II.
The tiny force, which consists of around 110 officers and men, is responsible for the Pope’s safety and the security of the Vatican in general.
They can be seen on guard outside the Vatican every day, dressed in striped blue, red and gold uniforms and carrying halberds as their traditional weapons.
The Swiss Guard’s most significant military engagement was in 1527 when 190 guards died fighting Holy Roman Empire troops during the Sack of Rome, allowing Clement VII to flee to safety through a stone passageway. 

Speaking of old battleaxes, maybe he could replace them with:


Monday, December 01, 2014

Christmas Ideas For the Priest on Your List

Islamic Outreach, Part LV

 From Catholic News Service:

 ISTANBUL (CNS) -- A day after hearing Turkish leaders demand the West show more respect for Islam, Pope Francis prayed alongside a Muslim cleric inside Istanbul's most famous mosque.


 From Jihad Watch:

Fresh surveys show that a new generation, Generation Jihad, is part of European reality today 80 percent of young Turks in Holland see “nothing wrong” with jihad against non-Muslims. 27 percent of 18-24 year-old Frenchmen, and 14 percentof under-25 year-old British, presumably including the vast majority of these countries’ young Muslims, sympathize with the Islamic militant group ISIS. ISIS, or the Islamic State, has declared war against Europe, and is sending jihadis to the West as part of its plan to destroy our lands and install the barbaric sharia and forcibly convert, subdue or kill all non-Muslims, following the same playbook (the Qur’an) as in Syria.