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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Places NOT to See in New York City

The Church of St. Francis Xavier (55 West 15th Street), a Roman Catholic parish in the Jesuit tradition, strives to be a prophetic, welcoming community, and an inclusive witness to the presence of Christ Jesus in our midst. Mindful of our utter reliance on God, and need for God’s grace, we rejoice together in our celebration of the sacraments and proclamation of the Gospel. As a people of hope, we commit ourselves through prayerful and creative discernment to respond to God in our time by: being a respectful community where seekers and their questions are welcomed, where injustice is challenged, where the poor, the alienated and the marginalized find a home, and where people are refreshed, reconciled and renewed.

What it looks like now that the Jesuits have gotten done with it:

 Luckily, they found room for the jazz band.


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Boko Haram, Al-Qa'ida, Hamas, Al-Shabaab,and ISIS Were Unavailalbe For Comment

Cardinal Turkson

The president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace has called for a broad discussion of the just-war theory, suggesting that a papal encyclical on the topic might be appropriate and questioning whether the just-war tradition should be abandoned.
Cardinal Peter Turkson spoke out after a Vatican conference co-sponsored by his Pontifical Council and Pax Christi, which concluded with a call for a break from the tradition of just-war teaching. The cardinal said that Pax Christi had made a "very legitimate" argument for change in the Church's stand.
"Too often the 'just-war theory' has been used to endorse rather than prevent or limit war," the cardinal said; "and it can undermine efforts to develop alternative capacities and tools for conflict to be overcome and transformed."

Pope Francis, Please Note

 From the blog,  The Catholic Things:

The other day I heard a radio commercial advertising “sedation dentistry.” The reworking of your teeth takes place in one session while you are asleep.  You meet first with the doctor for a “non-judgmental” evaluation. When he inspects your crooked and missing teeth, he promises, he won’t gasp in horror or give you a lecture. He’s certainly not revealing an inability to properly evaluate teeth by refusing to judge the condition of our smiles. But the term is ambiguous and it’s contrary, “judgmental,” has become, increasingly, a dread weapon of moral destruction.

Many people today also expect religion to be “non-judgmental.” Self-esteem, apparently, is in short supply at the moment.  So there is a demand that priests (and ministers – and imams?) be inspiring and vibrant and – above all – non-judgmental. All this, in order to enable us to “feel good about ourselves” – regardless of behavior.

Someone recently told me about a Catholic religion teacher who was called by a concerned parent. The teacher was presenting the Catholic faith in a methodical fashion. An upcoming topic was to be love and marriage. The parent wanted assurances that his young daughter would not be taught that the lesbian lifestyle of her older sister is immoral.

If the younger sister came home with a crisp understanding of Christian marriage, she would become hopelessly “judgmental” – a truly horrible person – at least in Dad’s judgment. And she might even find herself denied entry to one or more colleges on the basis of her “intolerance.” You see, believing and living the Catholic faith is “judgmental” and it ruins education – and careers.

The demand for non-judgmental authority figures, however, defies logic. If a criminal tries to break into your house and you call 911 for assistance, you wouldn’t want a “non-judgmental” police officer to be dispatched to accompany the burglar on his journey.  In small claims court where you sue to retrieve a $500 over-charge, you wouldn’t want the magistrate to be “non-judgmental.” When a doctor discovers a dangerous cancer that needs immediate treatment, the last thing you want is someone who is “non-judgmental.”

Indeed, “non-judgmental” authority figures under these circumstances would be negligent – perhaps criminally so.  Lobbyists for a “non-judgmental” morality would agree, but in so doing they render the term “non-judgmental” unintelligible, except as a “new morality” code word.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Father Z. Sends a Message to Bishops

This post is particularly relevant considering the remarks by Bishop Braxton at Confirmation the other night...

On this note… the Extraordinary Ordinary, Bp. Morlino of Madison, has been able to foster a large number of vocations for a mostly rural diocese.  How does he do it?  First, he asks men to think about the priesthood.    Duh, right?  He is supportive of his priests and seminarians.  And he says Mass, including the Extraordinary Form, happily and often.  Consider this:

 Your Excellencies… THIS is how you do it.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Sri Sr Ravi Shankari For President!

Unlike the current administration, at least he has a policy!

AGARTALA: Spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said on Thursday that he tried to open a dialogue with the Islamic State group but it rebuffed him by sending him a photograph of a beheaded man.
“I tried to initiate peace talks with the ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) recently but they sent me a photograph of a beheaded body of a man. Thus, my effort for a peace dialogue with the ISIS ended,” he said.
“I think the ISIS does not want any peace talks,” he told the media in Agartala. “Hence, they should be dealt with militarily.”…

And To Our Jewish Friends....

Chag sameach!

You Can't Fix Stupid

Bishop Ägidius Zsifkovics

 An Austrian bishop has rejected the government’s request to build a border fence on land owned by a parish in Moschendorf, a town of 400 along the Hungarian border.
Acknowledging the “difficult situation” surrounding migration, Bishop Ägidius Zsifkovics of Eisenstadt said that a border fence on Church property would be “contrary to the spirit of the Gospel and the clear message of Pope Francis.”
Bishop Zsifkovics also said that the proposed fence evoke painful memories of the Iron Curtain.

A couple of things, Bishop...

Can you name this famous city (also a country!), the one with a giant wall all around it to keep out the infidels?

And the Iron Curtain? Here's what Wikipedia says:

 The Iron Curtain formed the imaginary boundary dividing Europe into two separate areas from the end of World War II in 1945 until the end of the Cold War in 1991. 

So an actual wall is bad because it would remind people of an imaginary wall? Jeepers...

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Trouble WIth Jesuits, Part 46

Jennifer Azzi, left, and Blair Hardiek

 The women’s basketball coach at the University of San Francisco, a Jesuit-run school, has indicated that she does not want to coach women who are opposed to same-sex marriage.
Jennifer Azzi, the coach, last week announced that she and her top assistant are partners in a same-sex marriage. She told the San Franscisco Chronicle that she was confident her personal situation would not have an adverse effect on potential team members, and if anyone did object, “I don’t want to coach them anyway.”

It's difficult to say which should happen:

1) The Jesuits should leave San Francisco, or
2) All move there.

Fool Me Twice, Shame...WAIT. WHAT?

Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul, Legnica, Poland

In 2013, in Poland, a bleeding host proved to be precisely that, as it was announced today by Bishop Zbigniew Kiernikowski, of the Diocese of Legnica:

"On 25th December, 2013 during the distribution of the Holy Communion, a consecrated Host fell to the floor and then was picked up and placed in a water-filled container (vasculum). Soon after, stains of the red colour appeared. The former Bishop of Legnica, Stefan Cichy, set up a commission to observe the phenomenon. In February 2014, a tiny red fragment of the Host was seperated and put on a corporal. The Commission ordered to take samples in order to conduct the thourough tests by the relevant research institutes.n the final announcement of the Department of Forensic Medicine we read as follows:
In the histopathological image, the fragments of tissue have been found containing the fragmented parts of the cross striated muscle. (…) The whole (…) is most similar to the heart muscle with alterations that often appear during the agony. The genetic researches indicate the human origin of the tissue."

"In January this year I presented the whole matter to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in the Vatican. Today, according to the recommendations of the Holy See, I ordered the parish vicar Andrzej Ziombro to prepare a suitable place for a display of the Relic so that the faithful could give it the proper adoration.”"
- See more at:
In 2013, in Poland, a bleeding host proved to be precisely that, as it was announced today by Bishop Zbigniew Kiernikowski, of the Diocese of Legnica:
“On 25th December, 2013 during the distribution of the Holy Communion, a consecrated Host fell to the floor and then was picked up and placed in a water-filled container (vasculum). Soon after, stains of the red colour appeared. The former Bishop of Legnica, Stefan Cichy, set up a commission to observe the phenomenon. In February 2014, a tiny red fragment of the Host was seperated and put on a corporal. The Commission ordered to take samples in order to conduct the thourough tests by the relevant research institutes.
In the final announcement of the Department of Forensic Medicine we read as follows:
In the histopathological image, the fragments of tissue have been found containing the fragmented parts of the cross striated muscle. (…) The whole (…) is most similar to the heart muscle with alterations that often appear during the agony. The genetic researches indicate the human origin of the tissue.
In January this year I presented the whole matter to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in the Vatican. Today, according to the recommendations of the Holy See, I ordered the parish vicar Andrzej Ziombro to prepare a suitable place for a display of the Relic so that the faithful could give it the proper adoration.”
- See more at:

Fool Me Once, Shame on You

KEARNS, Utah - It turns out the "bleeding host" was not a miracle, it was mold, according to the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City.
The diocese investigated the event some were calling a miracle inside the Saint Xavier church in Kearns.

Officials released this statement Wednesday:
"In November of 2015, it was alleged that a consecrated host (communion bread wafer) from Saint Francis Xavier Church in Kearns, Utah, appeared to be bleeding. A thorough investigation has concluded that the host did not bleed, but the change of appearance in the host was due to red bread mold. The consecrated host has been disposed of in a reverent manner, as is required."

"Put Out My Hand, and Touched the Face of God."

Mike Hopkins was raised in a Protestant family, but married a Catholic woman. Though they were raising their two daughters as Catholics, he wasn’t sure it was for him right away, until he said he “felt that something was missing in my life.”
After a period of discernment, he eventually joined RCIA and was received into full communion in the Catholic Church. But that raised a question for him when he was sent to the International Space Station as an astronaut in 2013 for 24 weeks: how would he receive the Sacraments?
He couldn’t celebrate Mass or do Reconciliation without a priest. But he would be able to receive the Eucharist if he took consecrated host with him to space.
With the help of his pastor, Fr. James H. Kaczynski of the St. Mary Church in Texas, he got special permission from the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston to carry 6 consecrated hosts (which can be split into 4 pieces each) in a pyx into space to consume once a week while on the International Space Station.

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston

  Let's go to the Rulebook (General Instruction of the Roman Missal - G.I.R.M.):

160. The priest then takes the paten or ciborium and goes to the communicants, who, as a rule, approach in a procession.

The faithful are not permitted to take the consecrated bread or the sacred chalice by themselves and, still less, to hand them from one to another. The norm for reception of Holy Communion in the dioceses of the United States is standing. Communicants should not be denied Holy Communion because they kneel. Rather, such instances should be addressed pastorally, by providing the faithful with proper catechesis on the reasons for this norm.

But this is a kinda special case. I mean, I would be glad to fly up there and act as Extraordinary Minister. But either the Archbishop made the decision or took it to the higher ups in Rome. 

But as Father Z. points out:

 I’ll bet they dispensed from having a candle burning in the place of reservation.

Friday, April 15, 2016

NOAA Feast of St. Telmo, April 15

 He's a Spanish Dominican who is invoked against storms at sea. But more importantly....

Funny....They Don't LOOK Muslim

Two Christian churches have been burned in Chile on March 31, the fourth and fifth alleged arson cases in 24 hours. The perpetrators, according to International Christian Concern in their April 7 report, are supporters of the Mapuche, an indigenous people who are said to be trying to get rid of those who practice religion that contradicts their beliefs.

"We never imagined that these attacks would occur in our community. There is no conflict in our community," Pastor Jose Dario Pineda said, as quoted in the report by ICC. "We are all Christians and live in peace."
The first of the two cases is the burning of the Catholic church of Santa Joaquina. A pamphlet was reportedly found with the words "grandparents and ancestors have also been burned to death." This has led to speculations of the Mapuche being responsible for the fire as the note is presumed to be referring to the violence experienced by the indigenous people's ancestors under Spanish rule.

Sounds Weirdly Familiar...

Eye of the Tiber reports:

Fr. Kenneth Roberts of Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Albany, New York announced today that despite having the power and authority to bring Christ down from Heaven during the Mass, he is still, for some unfathomable reason, still  required to get permission from the parish council about most everything he does.
“I guess I’m just kinda confused,” Roberts told EOTT after his request for money to purchase a more proper tabernacle was denied. “I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt though…sometimes people forget that I’m able to do things that angels can’t even do.”
Parish Council member Joan Merriman told EOTT that, although she was sorry about their decision in this particular case, that she could not apologize for his requirement to pass things by them before making decisions.
“Although Fr. Roberts does indeed act in persona Christi as he forgives me of all my deepest, darkest sins, it’s still necessary for him go through us so that he doesn’t make any silly decisions like spending money on traditional vestments when we could be using that money on new banners and balloons for the church.”

Wiat a second ...WE have Sex and Violence, Too!

 Unfortunately, this is NOT satirical.

Each year, the ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom compiles a list of the top ten most frequestly challenged books in order to inform the public about censorship in libraries and schools. The ALA condemns censorship and works to ensure free access to information.
A challenge is defined as a formal, written complaint, filed with a library or school requesting that materials be removed because of content or appropriateness. The number of challenges reflects only incidents reported. We estimate that for every reported challenge, four or five remain unreported. Therefore, we do not claim comprehensiveness in recording challenges.

  1. Looking for Alaska, by John Green
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group.
  2. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James
    Reasons: Sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, and other (“poorly written,” “concerns that a group of teenagers will want to try it”).
  3. I Am Jazz, by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings
    Reasons: Inaccurate, homosexuality, sex education, religious viewpoint, and unsuited for age group.
  4. Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out, by Susan Kuklin
    Reasons: Anti-family, offensive language, homosexuality, sex education, political viewpoint, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group, and other (“wants to remove from collection to ward off complaints”).
  5. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon
    Reasons: Offensive language, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group, and other (“profanity and atheism”).
  6. The Holy Bible
    Reasons: Religious viewpoint.
  7. Fun Home, by Alison Bechdel
    Reasons: Violence and other (“graphic images”).
  8. Habibi, by Craig Thompson
    Reasons: Nudity, sexually explicit, and unsuited for age group.
  9. Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan, by Jeanette Winter
    Reasons: Religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group, and violence.
  10. Two Boys Kissing, by David Levithan
    Reasons: Homosexuality and other (“condones public displays of affection”).

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Don't Go in the Attic! Wait! No! GO in the Attic!

A 400-year-old painting that might have been executed by Italian master Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio has been found in an attic in southern France.
Eric Turquin, the French expert who retrieved the painting two years ago, says it is in an exceptional state of conservation and estimates its value at 120 million euros (about £100m).
The picture, whose authenticity has not been established, had been left for more than 150 years in a property in the outskirts of Toulouse.
Called 'Judith Beheading Holofernes,' it depicts the biblical heroine Judith beheading an Assyrian general, and is thought to have been painted in Rome circa 1604-05.

Judith, a widow, was said to have seduced Holofernes before getting him drunk and killing him with his own sword. 
Typically for a Caravaggio painting, it is the moment of the greatest dramatic impact - the decapitation itself - that it depicted.
Fitting with his mastery of light and shadow, which the Italian developed into a technique known as chiaroscuro, the painting is dramatically lit from the side to emphasise the facial expressions of the murderer and her maid, Abra.
Mr Turquin told a press conference today that there 'will never be a consensus' about the name of the artist.

Caravaggio is remarkable. He did a lot of Catholic art. Do you see a theme?
Beheading of John the Baptist

David with Goliath

Abraham and Isaac

Nancy Pelosi and Dick Durbin...Call Your Office!

Scotland’s eight bishops have issued a pastoral letter urging Catholics to vote in the May 5 Scottish Parliament election.
“Keep in mind that the Scottish Parliament now has more powers than before,” including “responsibility for legislation regarding abortion in Scotland,” the bishops stated. “Please make your views known to the candidates and the parties.”
The bishops added:

Please bring to this election the benefits of the insight that your Christian faith gives: insight into the dignity of each person, particularly the weakest and most vulnerable; insight into the value of all human life from conception to natural death; insight into the family as the fundamental unit of our society; insight into social and economic justice for all; insight into the care of the common home we inhabit.

Meanwhile, the United States Conference of Bishops has gone out on a limb and asked local churches to be more inclusive!

 Throughout the United States we experience a profound demographic shift as Hispanics, Asians, Africans, Caribbean people, and many other communities of non-European origin are on the rise. Today, as ever, the Church's mission to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ and promote the life and dignity of each and every human being has much to do with insight into cultures. Catholic parishes are moving from mono-cultural patterns to ones we call "shared," that is, to parishes in which more than one language, racial or cultural group seek to celebrate the Eucharist and embody Christian community. For ministers and pastoral workers to be effective in this diverse environment, the right knowledge, attitudes and skills need to be developed.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Indiana University UPDATE!

 From Eye of the Tiber:

Just a day after students at Indiana University mistook a Dominican for a member of the Ku Klux Klan, students and members of the faculty have been placed on high alert, with fears that the person in question could possibly be a devout Catholic praying on campus.
According to reports, Student Body President Allen Cheung wrote a post on Facebook saying, “There has been a person reported walking around campus in a Dominican outfit holding a rosary. Because the person is protected under first amendment rights, IUPD cannot remove this zealot from campus unless an act of violence is committed, like trying to convince students about the objective truths of Catholicism.”

“Please, PLEASE, PLEASE be careful out there tonight,” Cheung continued. “Always be with someone, and if you have no dire reason to be out of the building, I would recommend staying indoors lest you be indoctrinated.”
Other students also posted their own warnings on social media telling their roommates to keep safe and to remember that priests don’t approve of premarital sex or contraception, because of the “extreme hatred they have for anything fun or liberating.”
Indiana University officials put out a statement early this morning warning students to take proper precautions when going outdoors.

“We advise that students do not walk alone,” the statement read. “If you are confronted by the Dominican zealot, do not look him in the eyes, as this dangerous individual may attempt to convince you that you are a sinner, or worse, make you believe that not everything is acceptable just because it makes you feel good. Furthermore, should you run into this medieval time traveler, please remember atrocities he committed during the Spanish Inquisition, and that he has been trained in the art of manipulation and torture. If you are accused of being a witch or a Jew, admit nothing, and run to the nearest safe-space and call for help.”

From the comments:
Watch out, there's a Dominican zealot at Purdue, also. Now, if they could only infiltrate Notre Dame ;-)

 There were actually about 14 Jesuits on campus, too, but no one recognized them in their typical street clothes. And not one person caught them praying either.

Friday, April 08, 2016

Tweet of the Day

The original A - Team:

Choosing the Correct Fight

The president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines said that “a Catholic voter commits a grave sin in voting for candidates who oppose the Lord’s teachings on the sacredness of human life from conception to natural death.”
Archbishop Socrates Villegas made this statement in a pastoral letter to his flock in the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan.

Archbishop Villegas
 As the May 9 elections approach, the prelate examined voting in light of each of the Ten Commandments. Commenting on the First Commandment, he said, “Do not vote for an atheist or for someone who makes fun of the name of God. A Catholic cannot support a candidate who vows to wipe out religion from public life.”
“You are called to be authentic Catholic voters who decide from prayer and conscience,” he continued. “Be free from the tyranny and pressure of trends and herds. Do it right! Choose what is right according to the Ten Commandments.”

 Meanwhile, our bishops go after global warming deniers and people who think the government should enforce the laws....

Thursday, April 07, 2016

I'm Glad the Bishops Have Solved All Our Problems!

Catholic persecution in the Middle East, declining numbers, bad catechesis, liturgical abuse, closing churches....all SOLVED.

Now the Bishops have set their sights on those meanies who  want to put a cap on the number of "refugees" admitted into the United States:

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued an action alert urging Catholics to “tell [the] House leadership not to bring [an] anti-refugee bill to a vote.”
According to the alert, the Refugee Program Integrity Restoration Act of 2016, sponsored by Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID), would “roll back protections for refugees seeking admission to the United States, as well as for refugees who have already been admitted to the country.”
“As the House Leadership contemplates whether to bring this bill to the House floor for a vote, it is critical that they hear from everyone who supports refugee resettlement,” the alert continued. “We must persuade them to not bring this dangerous measure to a vote in the full House of Representatives.”

The Value of a University Educashun, Albigensians Edition

 First of all, I am not sure the guy in question IS a priest. Not all Dominicans are priests. They are referred to as the "Black Friars" because of the black cappa ( like a cloak) they wear over the white cassock.

Rumors of a klansman on campus have proven false after a priest innocently made his way through Bloomington.
Last night around 9:15 PM, social media became a furious storm of confusion regarding a man in white robes roaming along 10th St. and purportedly armed with a whip.
Students thought the white robes indicated Klu Klux Klan affiliation.

Students widely disseminated messages like the above. There was no safety alert released by the University.
 Luckily, the Dominican Friars were quick to release a handy aid for the imbeciles at Indiana University;

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Hindu Outreach, Part 1

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."

Citing a “need to control the rising number of public holidays,” the government of the largely Hindu nation of Nepal has removed Christmas from the list of approved days, according to an AsiaNews report.
Rev. C. B. Gahatraj, the head of the National Federation of Christians, said that “if Christmas is not a national holiday, the workers of the private sector will not be able to celebrate it. The government recognizes 83 festivities for Hindus and other communities, but none for Christians.”

"Celebrating Christmas would make us look funny."

Formerly Catholic Schools Celebrate Life!

First Up...Notre Dame!

Catholics celebrated the Feast of the Annunciation on Monday, when the Virgin Mary said “yes” to God and Christ was conceived in her womb through the power of the Holy Spirit. But at the University of Notre Dame, a number of students spent Monday night on campus listening to former Texas State Senator Wendy Davis describe the benefits for women of choosing abortion or using contraception. 

She was sponsored by Notre Dame University's Department of Gender Studies:

 Gender Studies is an interdisciplinary academic program in the College of Arts and Letters at Notre Dame. Gender Studies analyzes the significance of gender—and the cognate subjects of sex, sexuality, race, ethnicity, class, religion, and nationality—in all areas of human life, especially in the social formation of human identities, practices, and institutions.

 Next up...Villanova!

Villanova's first national championship in three decades led to multiple arrests, hospitalizations and a horse assault as celebrations spilled out into the streets late Monday night and early Tuesday morning.

Horse Assault

The University was founded by the Order of St. Augustine. I assume it was the Hippo Augustine, not the Canterbury one.

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

St. Augustine Goes to England

I had no idea that St. Augustine went to England...then it dawned on me that he isn't St. Augustine of Hippo, He's St. Augustine of Canterbury!

A short walk outside the Roman walls of Canterbury is St Martin's, the oldest Church in the English speaking world. St Bede says that it was in use in late Roman times but had fallen out of use until it was restored by Queen Bertha, the Christian wife of King Ethelbert, in about 580. When St Augustine arrived in 597, his community of monks enlarged the Church to make use of it for the choir offices and it was here that Ethelbert was baptised.

Since the Reformation, the Church has been in use as an Anglican Church and continues to be a parish Church today. The visitor is welcomed by one of a team of volunteers who are enthusiastic and knowledgeable. In the photo above, you can see the red, flat Roman bricks that were re-used in the walls, and the saxon buttress which was part of St Augustine's extension.

Among the many features of interest is the Squint, an angled hole in the western wall of the Church which was provided for lepers to be able to see the Mass being celebrated. I suppose this was a medieval effort at providing disabled access.

Lowe's Feast Day of St. Vincent Ferrer

St. Vincent Ferrer is a Spanish Dominican who is the patron saint of builders, but is also invoked against lightning, earthquakes and epilepsy.

He is not to be confused with Jose Ferrer.

Jose, not Vincent