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Thursday, May 28, 2015

I Need to Pay Better Attention to the News

I thought they voted on a referendum on same-sex marriage...

From Eye of the Tiber:

Ireland overwhelmingly approved a referendum to allow “snakes” back in the country on Saturday, becoming the first country in the world to allow such a move by popular vote. Though the final tally is yet unknown, the referendum achieved the support of an estimated 65 percent of the population.
Michael Fitzpatrick, prominent supporter of the “Hell No” campaign, conceded the referendum’s defeat Saturday morning.
“It is a sad day now that Ireland has approved reentry of paganism,” Fitzpatrick said, explaining how, although snakes have never actually existed in Ireland, that the referendum would now allow the “pagans,” which he believed the snakes represented in the time of St. Patrick, to take back their country from Catholicism.
Supporters of the reentry of paganism erupted with jubilation in Dublin, which has long been a liberal stronghold. But the referendum received support throughout the whole country.
As a result of the referendum, which amends Ireland’s constitution to approve of snakes “without distinction as to length or toxicity of their venom,” pagans in the country will be permitted by law to begin deconstructing everything Catholicism has built as soon as this summer.

What Color Are the Clouds on the Belgium Bishops Planet?

From Catholic World News:

As an international conference on nuclear nonproliferation concluded, Belgium’s bishops issued a statement calling for universal nuclear disarmament.
At the earlier time, the bishops stated, the Holy See tolerated the possession of nuclear weapons for deterrence so long so long as nations worked progressively toward disarmament. 

Hey, angry Islamic guy! If we deactivate all our nukes, will Iran do the same wit their nuclear program?


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Chesterton Sees the Future

 From Patheos:

A generation is now growing old, which never had anything to say for itself except that it was young. It was the first progressive generation – the first generation that believed in progress and nothing else…. [They believed] simply that the new thing is always better than the old thing; that the young man is always right and the old wrong.

 And now that they are old men themselves, they have naturally nothing whatever to say or do. Their only business in life was to be the rising generation knocking at the door. Now that they have got into the house, and have been accorded the seat of honour by the hearth, they have completely forgotten why they wanted to come in. The aged younger generation never knew why it knocked at the door; and the truth is that it only knocked at the door because it was shut. It had nothing to say; it had no message; it had no convictions to impart to anybody…. 

The old generation of rebels was purely negative in its rebellion, and cannot give the new generation of rebels anything positive against which it should not rebel. It is not that the old man cannot convince young people that he is right; it is that he cannot even convince them that he is convinced. And he is not convinced; for he never had any conviction except that he was young, and that is not a conviction that strengthens with years.”

- G.K. Chesterton, Illustrated London News of July 9, 1921

Noted Theologian Nancy Pelosi

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Should I stand or should I kneel?

From Crisis Magazine:

In 1967, the Sacred Congregation of Rites promulgated Eucharisticum Mysterium, wherein the Holy See declared that the Faithful may receive the Blessed Sacrament either standing or kneeling. Again, the bishops’ conferences were empowered to set the proper posture for their respective territories. (See Eucharisticum Mysterium at para. 32.) (This document also reminds us of the incredible speed at which the age-old liturgy was transformed, as it allowed the priest to sing aloud the Canon, an instruction that would become moot within two years.)
The American bishops, however, did not formally adopt a norm on the proper posture for the reception of Holy Communion until 2002. Such lack of formal direction, of course, did nothing to impede the removal of altar rails in countless parishes across the country, as the practice of taking Communion on one’s knees was nearly entirely abandoned.
In 2002, the USCCB formally named reception while standing as the proper posture for American Catholics. At that time, the bishops inserted language into the GIRM that, while not prohibiting a communicant to kneel, marked anyone who did so for “catechesis” so that he might come to learn the “reasons for” standing. (See GIRM 2002 at para. 160.) At the behest of the Holy See, the language on “catechesis” for those who wish to kneel was removed from the GIRM in 2010.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Trouble With Jesuits, Part 35

 From the New York Times:

VATICAN CITY — Six months after becoming the first Latin American pontiff, Pope Francis invited an octogenarian priest from Peru for a private chat at his Vaticanresidence. Not listed on the pope’s schedule, the September 2013 meetingwith the priest, Gustavo Gutiérrez, soon became public — and was just as quickly interpreted as a defining shift in the Roman Catholic Church.
Father Gutiérrez is a founder of liberation theology, the Latin American movement embracing the poor and calling for social change, which conservatives once scorned as overtly Marxist and the Vatican treated with hostility. Now, Father Gutiérrez is a respected Vatican visitor, and his writings have been praised in the official Vatican newspaper. Francis has brought other Latin American priests back into favor and often uses language about the poor that has echoes of liberation theology.

 And then came Saturday, when throngs packed San Salvador for the beatification ceremony of the murdered Salvadoran archbishop Óscar Romero, leaving him one step from sainthood.

Archbishop Romero
 Stephen Hayward of Power Line points out:

Liberation theology grew out of the misbegotten “Christian-Marxist dialogue” of the 1960s and 1970s, which must seem as quaint and laughable as promoting Esperanto. It was not a coincidence that liberation theology was especially popular in Latin America during the high water mark of Marxist guerilla insurgencies and the final death spasms of socialist utopias such as Nicaragua. . . Nicaragua’s Father Ernesto Cardinal said that “Christians are not only able to be Marxists but, on the contrary, to be authentically Christian, they ought to be Marxist.”

"Shut up, Father Cardinal" explains St. Pope John Paul 2
 The literature of liberation theology consisted of the usual Marxist cant sprinkled with holy water, with unoriginal references to class struggle, oppression, imperialism, dependence, and especially how Latin America poverty was all the fault of capitalism emanating from the United States and western Europe. “Liberation,” understood in the usual Marxist way (the use of the precious term “praxis” was always a dead giveaway), was now equated with Christian salvation. “It is quite remarkable,” Catholic theologian Michael Novak wrote at the time, “that the list of cities requiring liberation did not include Cracow or Leningrad, Havana or Peking, Hanoi or Prague.”
Liberation theology likes to describe itself with the slogan that it represents the “preferential option for the poor,” whatever that means. Here’s one concrete application: give poor people the option to own property and start businesses with the security that the state won’t get in their way or steal it from them. Pope Francis is listening to the wrong Peruvian thinker. He should have invited Hernando de Soto instead of Gustavo Gutierrez.

Pentacost Tuesday

Pentacost used to have it's own Octave until it was abolished by Vatican II. That's why priests have already reverted to the "Ordinary" green chasuble for daily Mass. But in Luxemborg, it's "Whit Tuesday" when they boogie down for St. Willibrord!

The video says the dance is to ward off St. Vitus Dance from the local sheep. The dance's true meaning is lost to time - maybe it just sounded like fun! Wikipedia says:

The dancing procession of Echternach is an annual Roman Catholic dancing procession held at Echternach, in eastern Luxembourg. Echternach's is the last traditional dancing procession in Europe.
The procession is held every Whit Tuesday around the streets of the city of Echternach. It honours Willibrord , the patron saint of Luxembourg, who established the Abbey of Echternach.

 Willibrord's Abbey of Echternach was a major Christian centre in the Middle Ages, and maintained a famous library and scriptorium. However, it owes its modern fame to the quaint dancing procession. This aspect of the cult of the saint may be traced back almost to the date of his death; among the stream of pilgrims to his tomb in the abbey church have been Emperors Charlemagne, Lothair I, Conrad, and later Maximilian (in 1512).
Catholic historians are reluctant to ascribe any pre-Christian antecedents to the dancing procession, and claim only that its origin cannot be stated with certainty. There might be elements of pagan cult, such as the ones that were criticised by Saint Eligius in the 7th century. Documents of the fifteenth century speak of it as a long-established custom at that time, and a similar "dancing" procession, which used to take place in the small town of Prüm, in the Eifel, was documented as early as 1342. Legends are told that relate the dancing procession to an averted plague or offer a fable about a condemned fiddler, but the dancing procession to the saint's tomb is an annual ceremony done as an act of penance on behalf of afflicted relations and especially in order to avert epilepsy, Saint Vitus Dance, or convulsions.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Resume Virtues versus Eulogy Virtues

I have nothing snide to say about the following. I thought it was interesting and kind of sad. It should make you want to teach PSR
From Maggie Gallagher and the National Review article, "Why Are Palo Alto Kids Killing Themselves?"
Stress in itself is not what causes people misery, anxiety, or depression, and fun is not what keeps people from wanting to kill themselves. Listening to these voices made me think again of David Brooks’s astute comment that there are the Résumé Virtues and the Eulogy Virtues. The résumé virtues are what create success in status competitions. The eulogy virtues are what gives meaning to life in the face of the inevitability of that ultimate failure, death...
The elite Creative Class in America prides itself mostly on its brains, and the amazing things that, with hard work and perseverance, one can contribute to the world through intelligence; all true and good as far as it goes. That is why elite parents try so hard to pass on their class advantages to their children through relentless development of their little human capital, from violin lessons to SAT tutoring. It is the same reason why so many elite stay-at-home mothers I know value their own mothering to the extent it produces daughters who succeed in the world of education and work. My daughter’s getting into Harvard validates my mothering. We seemed to have turned our very children into résumé virtues. To be a B student is to become a B human being. None of us would say that out loud to our children, or even to ourselves. But the gods of the résumé virtues are relentless and unforgiving, unless their godlike status is contested, unless there is a world outside of work and achievement, some other definition of being human and worthy of love, some glimpse of the human soul.

Catholic Professor Irwin Corey

Today's stories from the Catholic World News:

A Catholic monk has been kidnapped from a monastery in Qaryatayn, Syria. 

 A Pakistani anti-terrorism court has indicted 106 persons for the brutal November lynching of a Christian couple in Chak, a town located in Punjab province. 

 In an interview with Vatican Radio on the eve of Ireland’s referendum on same-sex marriage, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin said that “marriage has its place in the construction of society, and changing the definition would have long-term consequences.” 
Nepal's officials tell Mother Teresa's nuns: all aid must go through government.

But don't worry... we have it under control!

In an address to the World Health Assembly in Geneva, the president of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Health Care Workers said that “urgent action” is needed to address serious health-care deficiencies in impoverished nations.
Stating that over half of the world’s rural population lacks access to basic health care, Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski said that “in 2015 we are still a long way from universal coverage” and that the Holy See wished “to stress the role of public-private partnership in promoting universal coverage.

Archbishop Zimowski

Thursday, May 21, 2015

We Salute You, Diocese of Ogdensburg, NY!

Man, does it snow in Ogdensburg...from their website:

1600s - French, Dutch, and English fur-traders came; followed shortly after by the French missionaries, Father Issac Jogues, S.J. and companions who were martyred establishing the first missions among the Five Nations.
For a long time the Church of the North Country was served by the Bishops of Quebec because of the Intolerance of the English and later the American rule. The Catholic Church was suspect because of the ties to the English enemy, France.
1752 - The Mission of The Holy Trinity at La Presentation Fort (Ogdensburg) was established May 29, 1752.
Bishop Terry LaValley
 1808- Established as part of the Diocese of New York
1847 - Established as part of the Diocese of Albany
1872 - The Diocese of Ogdensburg was acknowledged on February 16, 1872 by Pope Pius IX, "We, with definite knowledge, mature deliberation, and by our Apostolic Authority, in virtue of the present document, separate and sever from the Diocese of Albany, the following territory -- the counties of St. Lawrence, Franklin, Clinton, Jefferson, Lewis, and Essex, together with that part of the counties of Herkimer and Hamilton which lies above the northern line of the townships of Ohio and Russia; and this same territory we erect and constitute as a true and properly called diocese."

St. Mary's Cathedral in Ogdensburg

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Catholic Nero

As Christians are wiped out by Islamic terrorists, Cardinal Parolin has his priorities straight:

Cardinal Pietro Parolin
 No one is immune from the implications of climate change, the Vatican's Secretary of State has warned.
“When the future of the planet is at stake, there are no political frontiers, barriers or walls behind which we can hide to protect ourselves from the effects of environmental and social degradation," wrote Cardinal Pietro Parolin in a message to participants in a conference on climate change and economics, held at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross.
Cardinal Parolin said that he hoped the conference would stimulate thinking on the ways in which the world economy can be re-oriented "to cultivate two interconnected objectives: combating poverty and easing the effects of climate change." 

Catholic Cruella DeVille

Father Z. visited the Galleries of the Palace of the Doria Pamphilij where he came across this bust of Olimpia Maidalchini...

Olimpia Maidalchini
She sounds like quite a character.

When you go to the Gallery, don’t miss learning about this one.  Donna Olimpia.  She must have been a fright to live with.  At one point she talked Innocent X, her brother in law, out of the licenses for the brothels in Rome, arguing that it wasn’t right for the Holy See to have them.  She immediately took the income and put the family crest over the doors.  At one point she locked the Pope in his room.  Interesting.

Here's what Wikipedia has to say:
Maidalchini's reputation can be seen in her unflattering bust by Alessandro Algardi (circa 1650), currently in the Doria Pamphili Gallery. Maidalchini was notorious for guarding access to Innocent X, and utilizing it to her own financial benefit. Her wired widow's hood in the bust was interpreted by Ann Sutherland as a jab at the fact that neither Maidalchini nor her family provided for the burial of Innocent X after his death in 1655, which was paid for by Innocent X's former butler.
Eleanor Herman says that Olimpia locked the Pope alone in his chamber on the night from 26 to 27 December and she went to her palace in fear that the Pope died that night and that her palace was sacked and burned. The morning of the 27th, she was barred access to Innocent X's chamber, much to her chagrin since she was expecting to steal the two chests full of gold that were hidden under Innocent's bed. Right after Innocent's body was removed on 29 December, she entered the chamber, removed the chests, and then ran to her palace to lock herself in fear of what angry mobs could do to her. Olimpia, and many other people, removed papal treasures from the papal palace during the convalescence of Innocent, to the point where he died in absolute poverty since everything had already been stolen from him by his last days of life. Olimpia allowed the pontiff's body to stay unburied for three days, and to be buried in "the simplest of forms imaginable". claiming that she was a poor widow that couldn't arrange a proper burial.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Islamic Outreach , Part LXIV

The Council of the Bishops’ Conferences of Europe has sponsored a three-day meeting at the Abbey of St. Maurice in Switzerland devoted to Muslims in Europe.
Alluding to the persecution of Christians in the Middle East, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, said that “dialogue is more necessary than ever. Firstly, because the vast majority of Muslims do not recognize themselves in these barbaric events; then, because to pursue dialogue, even in a context of persecution, can become a sign of hope.” 


ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has released a call to arms which asks Muslims everywhere to physically join ISIS in the area it now controls or simply take up the struggle against unbelievers wherever they are.
The title of the message “March Forth Whether Heavy or Light” comes from a verse in the Koran which calls on believers to “strive with your wealth and your lives in the cause of Allah.” In Baghdadi’s view that striving is ISIS’s war against unbelievers.
“O Muslims, Islam was never for a day the religion of peace. Islam is the religion of war,” al-Baghdadi says, according to an English language transcript of the speech promoted by ISIS-affiliated social media accounts. 

Do you think Islam is a "religion" of war, Angry Muslim Guy?

A "Come To Jesus" Moment

FORT WORTH(CBSDFW.COM) — Doctors can’t seem to explain it, but one Texas family is sure it was the hand of God that brought their son back to life.
17-year-old Zack Clements is a strong, healthy and outgoing high school athlete. He goes to school and plays football at Victory Life Academy in Brownwood, Texas.
It was there last week the teen suddenly collapsed while running in P.E. class.
He was rushed to the hospital where doctors worked to revive him.
According to Clements, “they said I was without a heart beat for 20 minutes.”
When doctors finally got a pulse, Clements was airlifted to Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth.  He would wake up there in the intensive care unit days later.
His recovery has been hard to believe, but even more amazing is the story he tells of what he saw when his heart stopped beating.
“When I was out those 20 minutes, I saw a man who had long ruffled hair and kind of a thick beard, and it didn’t take me long to realize that that was Jesus,” he said.
 " I went up to him and he put his hand on my shoulder and he told me everything would be alright and not to worry.”

Luckily, he got a picture with his cell phone.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Today in History, May 13

Pope John Paul II is shot and wounded at St. Peter’s Square in Rome, Italy. Turkish terrorist Mehmet Ali Agca, an escaped fugitive already convicted of a previous murder, fired several shots at the religious leader, two of which wounded nearby tourists. Agca was immediately captured.

Agca claimed that he had planned to go to England to kill the king but couldn’t because it turned out there was only a queen and “Turks don’t shoot women.” 

Well, I guess that's TECHNICALLY true. They just crucified these Christian Armenian women. No shots were fired as far as I know.
1915 Armenian Genocide

Do you think this guy was Muslim, Angy Islamic Guy?

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

And All The Bishops At Sea

Father Z addresses an issue I was actually aware of from a cruise in October. There was a priest on board, and he said Mass. During the Eucharistic Prayer (#2, of course) he prayed (more or less)"Remember, Lord, your Church, spread throughout the world, and bring her to the fullness of charity, together with Francis our Pope and WHOEVER IS BISHOP IN THIS PLACE and all the clergy."

From his blog:

 Which bishop, if any at all, do priests pray for during the Canon of the Mass if a ship is at sea? Would it be the bishop whose diocese is closest? Would it be the bishop whose diocese the ship embarked? I could imagine that military ships pray for the Military Ordinary, but what about us non-military?

 Father Z's response:

The priest is to say the name of the bishop of the territory where the Mass is being celebrated.  Even if he is with a group of pilgrims from the Diocese of Black Duck, and they are travelling through the Archdiocese of Metropolis, they say the name of the Archbishop, not of their own Bishop of Black Duck.  An exception is, for example, on military ships which are covered by the Archdiocese for the Military Services.
Dioceses are regions of land, not oceans.  They would include bodies of water such as lakes and rivers, but they would not extend out into the, say, Pacific beyond a very short way.
Under the old Code, if I am not mistaken (I’m writing this on the fly), people were covered by the jurisdiction of the port whence they departed.   This is why I believe your planet’s Moon is under the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Orlando, since (then) Cape Kennedy was in that diocese.  If that was the case under the older Code, I suppose there would be something similar via the newer Code.
I am not quite sure how the Apostolate of the Sea would fit into all of this.
Another thing comes to mind, if the priest truly doesn’t know the name of the bishop, he can simply leave the proper name out… except in Rome.  In Rome he leaves out the whole phrase about the diocesan bishop, because he has mentioned the Pope and the Pope is the diocesan bishop.

 Bottom line: When I don’t know the name, I just leave it out and say “Antistite nostro… our Bishop”, and move on.  I’ve prayed for the local bishop.  God knows the name, even if I had forgotten it when I got to that point.

We've Lost Everyone Who Doesn't Know What Consubstantial Means

Washington (AFP) - The United States is becoming a little less Christian, and a little more unaffiliated to any faith, a major study on the nation's changing religious landscape suggested Tuesday.
"The United States remains home to more Christians than any other country in the world," with 70.6 percent of its population, or 173 million adults, identifying as Christian last year, the Pew Research Center said.
But that figure is down from 2007 when 78.4 percent called themselves Christian, Pew said in its 200-page study, titled "America's Changing Religious Landscape."
While Protestants in 2007 accounted for 51.3 percent of Americans with religious affiliation, that slipped to 46.5 percent in 2014, with 62 million Evangelicals and another 36 million belonging to mainstream Protestant denominations.
Roman Catholics, who in September will welcome Pope Francis on his first papal visit to the United States, number 51 million, down three million from 2007.
At the same time, the proportion of Americans claiming no religious affiliation -- the so-called "nones" -- has grown from 16.1 percent to 22.80 percent.

 Muslims and Hindus each comprise less than 1 percent of the U.S. population. The number of Jews rose slightly over the period, from 1.7 percent to 1.9 percent of Americans.

According to Althouse, you can't blame the Mormons:
These "nothing in particular" people, at 15.8%, now outnumber the mainline Protestants, who are down to 14.7%, from 18.1%.

It's also interesting that Mormons — who might seem like a large and growing group — are only 1.6%, down from 1.7%. And how about Muslims? You hear so much about them, but they're only 0.9% (up from 0.4%). Buddhists hold steady at 0.7%. Hindus are up to 0.7%, from 0.3%. The biggest non-Christian religion is Judaism, and it's not declining. It's up to 1.9%, from 1.7%.

The Trouble With Jesuits, Part 34

 From Breitbart:

Georgetown University, the oldest Catholic and Jesuit institute of higher learning in the United States, will honor advocates of abortion during its commencement ceremonies this coming weekend.
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Rep,  John Lewis (D-GA) are among those scheduled to take the podium for addresses to Georgetown graduates.
Ban Ki-moon.

 As the Cardinal Newman Society observes, Ban Ki-moon will address graduates of the School of Foreign Service. An ardent supporter of universal access to abortion and contraception throughout the world, Ban Ki-moon affirmed “the importance of sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights” for women last September when he met with other U.N. leaders.
Lewis, who will address graduates of Georgetown’s McCourt School of Public Policy, earned a NARAL pro-abortion voting record of 100 percent in 2013 and 2014, and voted against the prohibition of partial-birth abortions as well as even minor restrictions to access to abortion.

Man in the Moon

The Trouble With Jesuits, Part 33

Follow the links for the source material from CNN, PJ Media, and the Telegraph:
Cuba has eased its persecution of religion in the last 23 years, but there have been few overtures suggesting the country’s executive office might be finding its faith.That changed Sunday when President Raul Castro said the teachings of Pope Francis had persuaded him not only to take a softer line on religion, but perhaps to return to the Catholic Church and begin worshipping again as he once did, growing up in Jesuit schools.
 Now, you could interpret that to mean that Raul Castro has suddenly seen the light and decided that Marxism is not his cup of tea, but somehow I doubt that’s the case. He’s no better than his older brother and previous communist dictator Fidel; they share the same radical ideology and have, together, changed Cuba into one of the most totalitarian nations on earth, where religious people are persecuted and those with different opinions are arrested, locked up in prison camps, tortured and even killed.
 So why, then, would Raul consider rejoining the Catholic Church? The answer, I believe, can be found in Pope Francis’ obvious Marxist leanings:

Unfettered global capitalism has met its match at last. Ever since Bishop Bergoglio picked St Francis of Assisi to be his guiding inspiration and lead a "church for the poor", all his actions have been in the same direction. 

 The conservative power of the Papal Curia is being broken. All of a sudden the Vatican is the spearhead of radical economic thinking. The best-known of the Pope's newly-minted Council of Cardinals is none other than Archbishop Reinhard Marx, the firebrand "Rote Kardinal" of Munich and author of Das Kapital: A Plea for Man.

Actual religious Catholics should be worried by this, however. Marxist dictators like Raul Castro should fear the Church, not say they’ll rejoin it because the current pope is one of them.

Thursday, May 07, 2015

It Doesn't Take Much to Know More Than Most

 From Eye of the Tiber:

"Declaring that they didn’t have the knowledge or will to properly catechize their son, local nominal Catholic parents (St. Joseph parents' name redacted) told the press today that they were officially leaving their son’s eternal salvation in the hands of his catechism teacher.
“Yes, as a Religious Ed teacher, one of my duties is to make sure that my students learn about the things most parents don’t have time for, like Jesus and salvation.” Tom Cerny told EOTT. “Society expects too much from parents these days. I dare say they expect the impossible. How is it possible for parents to do the essential things like making sure their children get enough quality TV and internet time, not to mention video game hour…and then to ask them to teach their children about the Church? No, no…that’s too much. That’s my job…it’s why I get paid the big bucks.”
Cerny added that if the Church continued to stress that parents spend more quality time with their families, that children would suffer and would be left out from learning indispensable life lessons as provided by role models like the Kardashians."

I doctored up the article a little. Can you tell?

Swiss Army Armor Update!

Yesterday was the day that new members of the Swiss Guard were sworn in. Fath
er Z helped raise the money to embellish Corporal Bergamin's breastplate with etchings of St. Joseph and St. Joan of Arc. Mission accomplished!

Corporal Bergamin

Islamic Outreach, Part LXIII

From The Catholic Herald (UK), a story about Bishop Alessandro in Kenya. The Title of the article is "The Bishop Who Risks Martyrdom Every Day".

Bishop Joseph Alessandro is short in stature, meek and softly spoken. But don’t be misled by appearances: he is a courageous man serving Christ and the Church in what has become one of the most dangerous regions for Christians in East Africa.
On Holy Thursday, militants stormed Garissa University College near his cathedral and shot dead at least 150 people, injuring 79 others. The victims, mostly students from other parts of Kenya, were singled out for being Christian and then killed.
“It started early in the morning,” Bishop Alessandro, co-adjutor bishop of Garissa diocese, told me at a guesthouse in Rome. “We could hear every gunshot from our house, because it’s not even one kilometre away, so it’s very close.”

 In November al-Shabaab, which is loosely connected to al-Qaeda, ambushed a bus near Garissa, separated Christians from Muslims and shot dead the 28 Christians. On December 2, the same group attacked workers at a stone quarry in the area, again singling out Christian workers from Muslim ones, and killed 36 of them.
“We are always somewhat concerned about security, also when we have functions,” Bishop Alessandro said. “We try to bring security on to the compound, police or military men.” He said the liturgies are also brought forward, so that the faithful can return home in daylight. 

It's an inspiring story....until they hit you with this "Shut Up, I Explained" moment:

Kenya’s bishops are deeply alarmed by the spread of the violence in a democratic country that is largely peaceful. They also resent the silent international response, especially the omission of the fact that Christians are victims, and they believe the lack of condemnation among many Muslim leaders is part of an effort to make Africa Muslim.
But they are determined to help defuse tensions, chiefly by preaching forgiveness, pursuing dialogue with Muslim and Christian partners, and through prayer. 

Want to  dialog, Angry Muslim Guy?

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Shut Up, I Explained

From Catholic Culture:

Two gunmen shot and wounded an unarmed security guard in Garland, Texas, as he stood near a controversial exhibit with artwork depicting Muhammad, the founder of Islam.
The gunmen were subsequently killed by local police. The Dallas Morning News reported that the men had attended a mosque in Phoenix and that one was the subject of an FBI investigation.
The Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest was sponsored by the American Freedom Defense Initiative. 

Draw Mohammad Wilkerson Contest

A front-page headline in L’Osservatore Romano decried the artwork as “blasphemous,” and the accompanying article stated that “ultraconservative European politicians” were expected at the exhibition, with its portrayals of the “prophet Muhammad.”
Speaking of the “need to approach the religious experience of the other” with a respectful attitude, the unsigned article criticized the exhibit’s “provocative intent, almost wanting to throw gasoline on the fire.” 

L'Osservatore Romano is the daily paper in the Vatican City State, and is considered the unofficial newspaper of the Holy See. I would like to ask their editors:

1) You DO realize that the Islamists were there to KILL people? Not insult them - MURDER them? Isn't there, like, a commandment about not doing that?

2) Exactly what did these guys do that was "provocative"? Was being a Christian provocation? 

More mush from the wimps.

Monday, May 04, 2015

Religious Freedom Or Lack Thereof

In its newly released annual report, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) is urging the State Department to designate or redesignate 17 nations as “countries of particular concern” (CPCs) because they are nations in which “particularly severe violations of religious freedom are perpetrated or tolerated.”
The nations are Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, the Central African Republic, Egypt, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Syria, Tajikistan, and Vietnam. 

So let's review:

COUNTRY                        DOMINANT RELIGION

BURMA                                      NONE (80%)
CHINA                                        OFFICIALLY ATHEIST

ERITREA                                    ISLAM
IRAN                                            ISLAM

N. KOREA                                   NONE
SAUDI ARABIA                         ISLAM

SUDAN                                        ISLAM 
TURKMENISTAN                      ISLAM

UZBEKISTAN                             ISLAM

EGYPT                                        ISLAM 
IRAQ                                           ISLAM
NIGERIA                                    ISLAM 
PAKISTAN                                  ISLAM
SYRIA                                         ISLAM
TAJIKISTAN                              ISLAM  
VIETNAM                                  NONE (81%)

The report seems to indicate that Islam is not a very tolerant religion. How does that make you feel, Angry Muslim Guy?

"With Malice Towards Nun"

That's the headline of this amazingly sad but not surprising article in the Christian Post::

Why is the United States barring a persecuted Iraqi Catholic nun — an internationally respected and leading representative of the Nineveh Christians who have been killed and deported by ISIS — from coming to Washington to testify about this catastrophe?
Earlier this week, we learned that every member of an Iraqi delegation of minority groups, including representatives of the Yazidi and Turkmen Shia religious communities, has been granted visas to come for official meetings in Washington — save one. The single delegate whose visitor visa was denied happens to be the group's only Christian from Iraq.
That trouble maker, Sister Diana Momeka

Sister Diana Momeka of the Dominican Sisters of Saint Catherine of Siena was informed on Tuesday by the U.S. consulate in Erbil that her non-immigrant-visa application has been rejected. The reason given in the denial letter, a copy of which I have obtained, is:

"You were not able to demonstrate that your intended activities in the United States would be consistent with the classification of the visa."

National Review does a follow up here.

Whether conscious or not of her high value in that regard, those who decided to block Sister Diana from entering this country on a visitor visa acted in a manner consistent with the administration’s pattern of silence when it comes to the Christian profile of so many of the jihadists’ “convert-or-die” victims in Syria, Libya, Nigeria, Kenya, and Iraq. In typical U.S. condolence statements, targeted Christians have been identified simply as “lives lost,” “Egyptian citizens,” “Kenyan people,” “innocent victims,” or “innocent Iraqis.”

Things I Can't Explain

An entire Facebook Community dedicated to "Churches That Look Like Chickens".

Friday, May 01, 2015

Well, that Stinks! Or Will Soon.....

Do you enjoy your soap that is handmade by the cloistered Dominican Nuns of Our Lady of the Rosary from Summit, New Jersey?

Honey and Lavender
 How about the SUPER and NATURAL soap stylings of the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration from San Antonio, Texas?

Blood Orange and Bergamot

Too bad.

From The Anchoress:

If you like your nun soap, you can’t keep your nun soap… 

At least not if Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California) and Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) have their way, because the government can’t leave anything alone; everything must be regulated: the Personal Care Products Safety Act (S. 1014) will basically regulate the small cottage industry of artisanal soap-making out or existence with annual fees, multiple registrations and detailed information about every product they offer.

Collins is a "Catholic" who voted against the Partial Birth Abortion Act.

Word of the Day

I learned a new word...OK,


May need radical sanation
 From EWTN:
If a Catholic is married outside the Catholic Church, then the marriage must be convalidated. This is true whether the marriage involved a Catholic and a non-Catholic or two Catholics.
The marriage can be convalidated either through a simple convalidation, which requires a new (although usually simple) ceremony with a new exchange of consent. Or the marriage can be convalidated by a radical sanation. A radical sanation is a decree issued by the diocesan bishop stating that he accepts the original consent of the marriage as valid. A radical sanation is usually sought when one party to the marriage does not want to participate in a new ceremony for some reason (e.g., because of belief in conscience).
In any case, there is no requirement for a non-Catholic to become Catholic just to get married in the Church or have one's marriage convalidated in the Church by either method.
If a person has prior marital bonds, then one needs to resolve those issues (usually by petitioning a diocesan Tribunal for a declaration of nullity of the prior marriages) before a marriage can be convalidated by either method.