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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Zimmerman, Eleison

Look out kid, they keep it all hid
Better jump down a manhole, light yourself a candle
Don't wear sandals, try to avoid the scandals
Don't wanna be a bum you better chew gum
The pump don't work, 'cause the vandals took the handles

Lord, Have Mercy.

British Criminals Are Soft

 From the Daily Mail (Motto: "We're More Reliable Than The National Catholic Reporter!") :

A convicted criminal who was serving out his sentence in a monastery has escaped for the second time and asked to be sent back to prison because life was too tough.
Thief David Catalano, 31, was sent to a Santa Maria degli Angeli community run by Capuchin monks in Sicily last November.
But he found their austere lifetstyle too tough to handle and soon escaped. After a short while on the run he was caught by police and sent back.

Tougher Than Criminals
On Monday he fled for the second time in six weeks, only to swiftly turn himself in at a police station and beg officers to send him back to jail in the nearby town of Nicosia.
He told the stunned policemen: 'Prison is better than being at that hostel run by mon

When 10 People Who are Clueless Have a Meeting, Do They Know Less as a Group Than As Individuals?

From the National Catholic Reporter (so it's probably not true), from the collection of stories listed under "Eco Catholic":

The head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is scheduled to make a brief Vatican visit at the end of the week on the topic of addressing climate change. 

 EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy will meet there Friday with senior officials, among them Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. She is also slated to meet with Catholic journalists Friday morning and business leaders in Rome that afternoon.

 Discussions also expect to touch on Pope Francis’ upcoming encyclical on the environment.

Altar Boys....Redux

From the SF Gate:

S.F. Catholic Church priest bans girls as altar servers

A Catholic priest, new to San Francisco and no stranger to controversy, has banned girls from acting as altar servers at Mass, a decision that sets his parish apart from all others in the archdiocese.
The Rev. Joseph Illo, pastor at Star of the Sea Church since August, said he believes there is an “intrinsic connection” between the priesthood and serving at the altar — and because women can’t be priests, it makes sense to have only altar boys.
“Maybe the most important thing is that it prepares boys to consider the priesthood,” he said.

Father Illo
 The headline is not quite accurate....

Girls trained to be altar girls will be allowed to continue serving, with the use of females phased out. Illo said he wants to get an altar boy program up and running for all Masses, as part of a larger father and sons program at the church.

Why is Father Illo controversial? here's why (not):

This is not the first time Illo has drawn national attention to his parish. In 2008, as a Modesto priest, he said that voting for Barack Obama, who supports abortion rights, required a trip to the confessional.
“Voting for a candidate who promises 'abortion rights,’ even if he promises every other good thing, is voting for abortion,” Illo wrote in a letter to parishioners. “It is a grave mistake and probably a grave sin.”

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Noted Theologian, Nancy Pelosi, Gets Taken to the Woodshed

From CNS:

Noted Theologian Nancy Pelosi
 ( – Responding to statements made by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi--who would not say at her press briefing last week if a 20-week-old unborn child is a "human being"--Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco said that it is a “scientific fact that human life begins at conception” and that “no Catholic can dissent in good conscience” from Church teaching on the sanctity of life.
At her Jan. 22 briefing Pelosi said she had "great standing" to speak on the issue of abortion, noting that she was a "Catholic and a mom of five" and asserting that it was "true" she knew "more about having babies than the pope."

Archbishop Cordileone

"It is a scientific fact that human life begins at conception," the archbishop said in a written statement to "This has been established in medical science for over 100 years. Catholic moral teaching acknowledges this scientific fact, and has always affirmed the grave moral evil of taking an innocent human life.
“This has been the consistent teaching of the Church from the very beginning, a teaching already discernible in the natural moral law, and so a teaching from which no Catholic can dissent in good conscience,” he said.
“It is the obligation of pastors of souls to reach out to their people who have difficulty understanding and accepting such important teachings of the Church in order to extend to them true pastoral care and, where appropriate, to establish a regular dialogue,” said Archbishop Cordileone. “This is something I have always striven to do in the various ministries I have exercised as a priest and bishop, including now as the Archbishop of San Francisco. I ask for people’s prayers for success as I continue to strive to do this."
Pelosi lives in Cordileone's archdiocese and represents San Francisco in Congress.

Zimmerman, Eleison

From a recent Mass, a quote from Bob (Zimmerman) Dylan:

 Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside
And it is ragin'.
It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'.

Lord Have Mercy.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Words of Wisdom from G.K. Chesterton

To tell the priest to throw away theology and impress us with his personality, is exactly like telling the doctor to throw away physiology and merely hypnotize us with his glittering eye.
G.K. Chesterton

Nancy Pelosi (Catholic) Is Smarter Than The Pope!

  Katherine Connell writes in National Review:

A reporter from CNS News today asked Nancy Pelosi: “Is an unborn child 20 weeks into pregnancy a human being?”
That’s not a question Pelosi is interested in addressing for obvious reasons, so she didn’t answer it. 
So the reporter asked again, “When it comes to the matter of whether or not an unborn child is a human being at 20 weeks gestation, what is your personal take on it? If it is not a human being, then what do you believe it is?”

That incensed her. “You know it is really interesting that you would come to these meetings to talk about it,” she replied. The nerve of a reporter coming to a press conference to talk to a member of Congress about the central point of a bill being considered in the House.
She continued: “As a mother of five, in six years, I have great standing on this issue, great understanding of it, more than my colleagues. In fact, one day many years ago, perhaps before you were born, when I was a new member of Congress, as a Catholic and a mom of five, opposing some of the initiatives similar to what — in the same vein as — what we have today, one of the Republicans stood up and said: Nancy Pelosi thinks she knows more about having babies than the pope. Yeah, Yeah. That would be true.”

Connell sums it up:

Actually, no one doubts that Nancy Pelosi has more direct knowledge of what it’s like to bear children than the pope does. What some people find hard to comprehend is how “as a mother,” she’s totally fine with letting unborn children be killed right up to the point of exiting the birth canal, and how as a “devout Catholic” she has no problem publicly disregarding clear and longstanding Church teaching on the issue while also claiming that the professed devoutness of her Catholicism somehow gives her more credibility to do so. 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Catholic Rabbits

 Rome (AFP) - Pope Francis has said that good Catholics do not have to breed "like rabbits", defending the Church's stance on artificial contraception and appealing to the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics to practise responsible parenting.
Speaking to journalists on his flight back from the Philippines, the pope said that he once asked a mother of seven children who was pregnant with her eighth if she wanted to "leave behind seven young orphans".
"She said, 'I trust in God.' But God gave us the means to be responsible," the pope said. "Some think, and excuse the term, that to be good Catholics, they must be like rabbits."
Francis said creating new life was "part of the sacrament of marriage" and in Manila strongly defended his predecessor Paul VI's outlawing of artificial contraception for Catholics in 1968.
Following the church's teachings did not mean "Christians should have children one after the other", he said.


 Just a day after Pope Francis told Catholics that they should not feel like they have to breed “like rabbits” because of the Church’s ban on contraception, an American Imam today echoed the Pope’s words, urging Catholics to listen to their spiritual leader.
“Yes, that sounds like an excellent idea,” the Imam reportedly said this morning. “Having many Catholic children is such a burden, and the Catholic world is so overpopulated already. One Catholic child, maybe two, is plenty to bring into the world. Maybe none at all is best.”
The Imam, who has a meager 8 children himself, praised the progressive culture of Europe, where both marriage and child-bearing have reached an all-time low in most countries. “When it comes down to it, a Catholic is really being selfish when bringing more people to suffer in this world. Contraception, even abortion, is really the best option for Catholics.” The Imam concluded, “On the other hand, in a generation or so none of this will matter anyway.”


Thursday, January 15, 2015

Islamic Update Part LVIII, Satirical 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."

Meanwhile... (FYI - you should begin reading James Lileks blog every day, but this is from National Review):
CNN News
April 5 2015 3:07 p.m.

ANCHOR: We return now to Vatican City, where earlier this morning — Easter Sunday, as it is known by the people who call themselves “Christians” — an explosion demolished Saint Peter’s, a basilica that many say symbolizes the gap between the wealth of the Church and the poverty of many countries. Jen Bleuper was at the scene when the explosion happened. Jen, what are you hearing about the explosion?

JEN [remote in Rome]: what
ANCHOR: I said, what are you hearing?
JEN: Not a lot, my ears are still ringing.
ANCHOR: All right, we’ll return to her in a moment. To bring you up to speed: Earlier today a seemingly coordinated attack on the structure was carried out by four men who ran a van through the crowd, emerged with shoulder-mounted missiles, and demolished the centuries-old structure. The death toll is unknown; it is not clear whether the pope, who was speaking on the balcony — angering some, perhaps, by restating some points of Catholic dogma many in the Church regard as out of step with the times — it is unclear whether the pope has survived, or whether this event might make the Church rethink some of its teachings. We — ah, it seems Jen’s hearing is better. Jen, what news from the scene?

 ANCHOR: Jen, do we have any idea who did this? Is anyone claiming responsibility?
JEN (remote in Rome): Witnesses say only that the black van had black flags with some sort of white squiggles and that the four men were masked, wearing checked scarves, shouting — and I wrote this down . . . here. They shouted, “All of Hugh Agbar.”

SAINT Junipero Serra?

This is a scoop from the Catholic World News!

Catholic World News - January 15, 2015
In a surprise announcement, Pope Francis has disclosed that he plans topreside at the canonization of Blessed Junipero Serra this year.

Speaking to reporters who accompanied him on a flight from Sri Lanka to the Philippines on January 15, the Pontiff said: "In September, God willing, I will canonize Junipero Serra in the United States."
The Pontiff is scheduled to travel to the US in September, to attend the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. The details of the papal trip, including the other stops that he might make, have not been settled.
Blessed Junipero Serra, a Spanish Franciscan, established a string of missions along the California coast. He is the leading figure in the evangelization of California during the 18th century.

Did You Hear the One About the Insomniac, Agnostic, Dyslexic?

He stayed awake at night wondering if there was a dog...


Two newly rolled out rugs at the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office administration building sure looked nice while they lasted.
They were placed at the front entrance-- bright green with the sheriff's bold, yellow emblem.
But there's one major problem.
If you look closely, you'll see a major typo within one of the crests -- "In Dog We Trust."

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Venezuelan Bishops Give the Pope a Lesson in Economics

From Catholic Culture:

The Catholic bishops of Venezuela have issued a statement charging that the country’s economic crisis can be attributed to the failures of a “politico-economic system of a socialist, marxist, or communist nature.”
The bishops said that the Venezuelan government has sought to control every aspect of private life, curbing individual rights and hampering economic growth. This sort of centralized control, the bishops said, has “led to oppression and ruin in every country where it has been tried.”
The Catholic bishops have been at odds with the government of Venezuela since the rise of the late Hugo Chavez, whose regime stifled political opposition. In their new statement, the members of the Venezuelan episcopal conference called upon the government to stop the intimidation of critics and media outlets and to free political prisoners. 

Feast of the Ass, January 14

If I hadn't of read about it, I wouldn't have believed it....

The Feast of the Ass (Latin: Festum Asinorum or asinaria festa, French: Fête de l’âne) was a medieval, Christian feast observed on January 14, celebrating the Flight into Egypt

It was celebrated primarily in France, as a by-product of the Feast of Fools celebrating the donkey-related stories in the Bible, in particular the donkey bearing the Holy Family into Egypt after Jesus‘s birth.


A girl with child on a donkey would be led through town to the church, where the donkey would stand beside the altar during the sermon, and the congregation would “hee-haw” their responses to the priest.

Father Z gets in on the fun:

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Canon Law and the Freemasons

From Canon Law Made Easy :

 Canon 2335 of the 1917 code stated clearly that those Catholics who joined a Masonic organization or some other, similar group that plotted against the Church or against civil authority, incurred excommunication. The Church’s interpretation of Freemasonry’s main purpose was pretty clear: it was an association that plots against Catholicism. Membership in it was, therefore, obviously inconsistent with being a Catholic.

 (T)he Code of Canon Law that was promulgated in 1983 by Pope John Paul II replaced the earlier code of 1917. The 1917 code was thus abrogated—repealed and replaced, in other words—by the current code.
  Far from resolving the confusion, the new Code of Canon Law that was promulgated in 1983 left many Catholics even more perplexed. The corresponding canon in the current law does not even mention Masonry by name. Instead, it uses much broader terminology: anyone who joins an association that plots against the Church is to be punished by a just penalty. 

 The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a Declaration on this very subject in 1983, the same year that the new Code of Canon Law was promulgated. This document provides a theological interpretation of canon 1374. It notes that the new code does not expressly mention Freemasonry because of an “editorial criterion,” which led the Code Commission to avoid mentioning by name specific associations “inasmuch as they are contained in wider categories.” The Declaration asserts clearly that “the Church’s negative judgment in regard to Masonic association remains unchanged, since their principles have always been considered irreconcilable with the doctrine of the Church and therefore membership in them remains forbidden. The faithful who enroll in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion.”

Sunday Celebration in the Absence of a Priest

I did my practicum last Saturday, and await the official documentation from the Bishop that will allow me to preside over a Sunday Celebration in the Absence of a Priest (SCAP). I have already contacted my friends in the video to come and help me out when I am actually called upon.

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Deep Dark Fear

From the web cartoon series:

Father Z Answers the Tough Questions

From Father Z's blog:

From a reader…


Do you think there should be a dress code for attending Mass? I am talking about girls and women wearing shorts and revealing tops and dresses? 
"It would be a bad idea to have a dress code at Holy Mass, especially one where girls and women would be required to wear shorts and revealing tops and dresses. If it were required for females to wear shorts and revealing tops and dresses, it would be very difficult to distinguish church from the supermarket, the mall, ball park, or almost any other venue.
As a priest, I might end up forgetting that I’m at church and, instead of reciting the prayers at the foot of the altar, I might start looking around for the concession stand. In colder climates, requiring shorts would be very difficult for those women who have become accustomed to wearing jeans, quilted jackets, and baseball caps, just like their brothers."

A couple of points - first of all, I added the pictures. Secondly, the word QUAERITUS means (according to the intertubes) : third-person singular present passive indicative of quaerō "he (she, it) is sought for" "he (she, it) is asked, he (she, it) is questioned" "he (she, it) is striven for" "it is missed, it is lacked" "he (she, it) is desired"

Friday, January 02, 2015

The Trouble With Jesuits, Part 24

From the aforementioned article:

Raul and Fidel Castro were raised by a rosary-reciting, Catholic mother. They attended high school at the Jesuit-run Belen College, although Raul didn’t finish. Despite initially declaring Cuba an atheist state, the Castros have regularly, if hypocritically, paid respect to the Catholic Church. Fidel’s visit to the Vatican in 1996 laid the ground for Pope John Paul II’s historic visit to Cuba in January 1998 when the Pope called for the release of some political prisoners, which occurred a few months later.

The Pope and the Dictator

A very interesting article entitled "The Cuban Knot" by Victor Gaetan is available at Foreign Affairs. The title plays of  a drawing Pope Francis keeps on his desk which the author calls "Mary, Untier of Knots" (I have only seen it as "Undoer of Knots)".

Here's a sample of the article:

In Cuba, in other words, the church is still strong. Havana’s Cardinal Archbishop Jaime Lucas Ortega y Alamino has followed a strategy of reconciliation on the island, avoiding confrontation with the state while winning more independence to carry out the Church’s religious mission. Under Ortega’s 35-year leadership, the Catholic Church, to which about 60 percent of all Cubans belong, has emerged as the only national institution that functions independent of the state. 

Still, Ortega was never popular with regime opponents because of his determination to avoid confrontation. While Benedict was in Cuba, Ortega refused to arrange a meeting between the Pope and opposition leaders. Instead, devout Catholic opposition leaders such as Oswaldo Paya found Cuban security surrounding his house to prevent him from attending Benedict’s public Mass. Five months later, Paya was killed in a car accident suspected of being engineered by state agents. No investigation has ever been completed. Although Ortega presided over Paya’s funeral, his family says the cardinal did nothing to protect or promote the democracy movement Paya fostered. Rosa Maria Paya Acevedo, the regime opponent’s daughter, wrote an eloquent critique of the U.S.–Cuba deal in The Washington Post. Many other dissidents are similarly disappointed with the news.
But Ortega likely isn’t losing sleep about this criticism. He has a different vision of Cuba’s future: A few days after Francis was elected, the Havana Archdiocese published a document containing 23 proposals produced by a group, Laboratorio Casa Cuba, comprised of “professors and researchers of diverse ideologies (Catholics, critical Marxists, republican–socialists, and anarchists).” It’s a Christian social–democratic program, with an anti-American cherry on top.   

Gross was released on the first day of Hanukkah. He opened his press conference in Washington with the Hebrew phrase Chag Sameach (Happy holiday) and thanked many, including the Jewish Community Relations Council, synagogues, his Shabbat group, and “other Jewish, Christian, and Muslim organizations” for his release. He didn’t mention Francis, presumably because he had no Vatican, he’s probably already starting on the next knot.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Islamic Outreach, Pat LVII NEW YEAR'S DAY EDITION!

Catholic Vote has the scoop:

Catholic Church Fails to Behead A Single Person in 2014

 For the most intolerant and extreme religion in the world, this is a rather embarrassing statistic.

It appears that the Catholic Church, widely recognized as the most uncompromising and dogmatic among the world’s major religions, is about to close out the year without executing a single person.
As everyone knows, the Catholic Church is a religion of strict doctrine, ruling every aspect of each individual Catholic’s life from the Vatican with an iron fist, while at the same time relentlessly imposing its beliefs on the rest of society.

Yet for some reason the Catholic Church has had an abysmal year at the chopping block, failing to kill a single one of its billion-plus members for failing to live in strict adherence to her teachings.  On top of that, the Vatican has put to death exactly zero people from other religions for refusing to convert to Catholicism.
Even some followers of Islam, universally known as a religion of peace and tolerance, have found time on the weekends to behead a few non-believers.  And yet the Catholic Church, far from resembling anything having to do with peace or tolerance, has taken incompetence to a whole new level when it comes to imposing its beliefs.
Sure, 2015 is a new year and all, but let’s face it.  When it comes to intolerance, we’re pathetic.