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Thursday, June 30, 2016

You Can't Deny Science!

Women between the ages of 30 and 55 who attend church weekly are six times less likely to commit suicide than women who never attend church, according to a report published by the Journal of the American Medical Association.

According to the report, Catholic women who attend church at least weekly are 20 times less likely to commit suicide than women who never attend church, while Protestant women are approximately three times less likely.
The report was based on analysis of the health of nearly 90,000 women who took part in the Nurses’ Health Study.

Race To The Bottom

 I still like the United States' chances, but Canada is Gaining on us!

Upholding a lower court ruling, the Ontario Court of Appeal has ruled that the Law Society of Upper Canada was justified in denying accreditation to Trinity Western University, an evangelical school whose students are required to pledge to avoid sexual activity outside of marriage between a man and a woman.

Comparing the pledge to rules against interracial dating, the court ruled found the pledge “deeply discriminatory to the LGBTQ community” and ruled that “public interest in ensuring equal access to the profession justified a degree of interference with the appellants’ religious freedoms.”
“To find that religious freedom was infringed, as the court did, but then to rule that the infringement is justified despite evidence that the infringement was not necessary, is very troubling,” said Andre Schutten, counsel for the Association for Reformed Political Action.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

I Have a Pallium. We have Pallia.

Pope Francis celebrated Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica on June 29, the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, and blessed the pallia that will be conferred on metropolitan archbishops by pontifical representatives.
As is customary, a delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, led this year by Metropolitan Methodios Tournas of Boston, attended the Mass in honor of the patrons of Rome.

Blessed the what?

The pallium (derived from the Roman pallium or palla, a woolen cloak,  pl.: pallia) is an ecclesiastical vestment in the Catholic Church, originally peculiar to the Pope, but for many centuries bestowed by him on metropolitans and primates as a symbol of the jurisdiction delegated to them by the Holy See. In that context it has remained connected to the Papacy.
The pallium, in its present Western form, is a narrow band, "three fingers broad", woven of white lamb's wool from sheep raised by Trappistt monks, with a loop in the centre resting on the shoulders over the chasuble and two dependent lappets, before and behind; so that when seen from front or back the ornament resembles the letter Y. It is decorated with six black crosses, one on each tail and four on the loop, is doubled on the left shoulder, and sometimes is garnished, back and front, with three jeweled gold pins. The two latter characteristics seem to be survivals of the time when the Roman pallium was a simple scarf doubled and pinned on the left shoulder.

The Papal Pallium

The Solemnity of St. Peter and St. Paul

 Father Z observes:

 Today we observe the Solemnity of St. Peter and St. Paul. The  Norms of the Church say this:

St. Paul and St. Peter, by El Greco

N.17. The faithful who use with devotion an "object of piety" (crucifix, cross, rosary, scapular or medal) properly blessed by any priest, can acquire a partial indulgence. But if this "object of piety" is blessed by the Supreme Pontiff or any bishop, the faithful who use it devoutly can also acquire a plenary indulgence on the feast of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, provided they also make a profession of faith using any legitimate formula.

An explanation of indulgences can be found here.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Now If Chicago Would Leave Illinois....

 From Eye of the Tiber:
Archbishop Blase Kupich

Blase Cupich has resigned as Bishop of the Archdiocese of Chicago after the diocese voted yesterday to leave the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
An emotional Cupich fought back tears late last night as he announced his resignation.
Surrounded by altar servers, deacons, and priests dressed as clowns, Cupich delivered an emotional statement outside Holy Name Cathedral.

Cupich said he accepted the decision of the laity, which voted by 52 percent to 48 percent to leave the USCCB.
The emotional Cupich announced he was standing down, before adding: “I will do everything I can in the future to help this great diocese succeed. Well, maybe it’s not great, but good. I will do everything I can in the future to help this good diocese succeed. Actually, come to think of it, it’s really not that good at all, is it? Ok, let me try this one more time. I will do everything I can in the future to help this not that good at all diocese succeed.”
“I think the diocese requires fresh leadership. I do not think I can be the captain to take the diocese to its next destination. In all honesty, I don’t even think I can captain a remote control toy boat.”
Bishop Cupich’s voice broke as he finished, watched on by his most trusted liturgical dancer.

I'm Sorry. He's Sorry. We Are All Sorry. Very Sorry.

 ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (Reuters) - Pope Francis said on Sunday that Christians and the Roman Catholic Church should seek forgiveness from homosexuals for the way they had treated them.
Speaking to reporters aboard the plane taking him back to Rome from Armenia, he also said the Church should ask forgiveness for the way it has treated women, for turning a blind eye to child labor and for "blessing so many weapons" in the past.
I'm Sorry About My Hat
 In the hour-long freewheeling conversation that has become a trademark of his international travels, Francis was asked if he agreed with recent comments by a German Roman Catholic cardinal that the Church should apologize to gays.
Francis looked sad when the reporter asked if an apology was made more urgent by the killing of 49 people at a gay club in Orlando, Florida this month.
He recalled Church teachings that homosexuals "should not be discriminated against. They should be respected, accompanied pastorally."

He added: "I think that the Church not only should apologize ... to a gay person whom it offended but it must also apologize to the poor as well, to the women who have been exploited, to children who have been exploited by (being forced to) work. It must apologize for having blessed so many weapons."

 I also apologize to Muslims for the Crusades, the meat industry for the whole abstinence thing, and dogs and cats for their lack of a soul.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

REASON Talks about the Lack Thereof

Just in case you need more examples of why laws against "hate speech" are a bad idea, here's a case out of Spain in which a Catholic leader is under investigation for remarks he made during a religious ceremony.
While giving the homily at a Catholic University of Valencia mass, the Archbishop of Valencia, Cardinal Antonio Cañizares, suggested that "the gay empire" and "radical feminism" were undermining traditional family values. "The family is being stalked today, in our culture, by endlessly grave difficulties," he said. "When the family is attacked or is diminished, the most sacred forms of human relationship are perverted."

Note that the 70-year-old Cardinal didn't threaten violence against anyone, nor attempt to incite listeners to violence. He merely expressed his—perhaps unfashionable, but hardly radical or dangerous—opinion that Spain has passed "legislation contrary to the family," and that this stems from "the action of political and social forces," including the "gay empire," the ideas of "radical feminism," and "the most insidious of all, gender theory." 
Yet because hate speech is such a nebulous concept, one rooted in à la mode concepts of civility and shifting perceptions of power, the homily Cañizares gave has earned him an investigation by the Provincial Prosecutor's Office in Valencia. 
The investigation stems from a criminal complaint filed by Lambda LGBT collective, which called Cañizares' homily "homophobic and sexist," designed to "incite hatred against those who do not enter fit into the archaic models defended by the Catholic hierarchy." That's right: the group is upset about a Catholic official defending "Catholic hierarchy" during a Catholic mass. 
Alas, this effort to dictate the confines of religious rhetoric isn't just a whim of one particularly illiberal activist group; Lambda's complaint was signed by 55 other organizations, including the Spanish Network of Help to Refugees. In a statement, the Network accused Cañizares of being an "ultra conservative" who yearned for the "times when immigrants, gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transsexuals and women were subjected to the dictates of a society governed by the powers of the Catholic church society." Apparently, such sentiment is now potentially criminal in Spain. 

OH NO! The Gay Empire has an ARMY!

The governor of Valencia condemned Cañizares for "fomenting hatred, while the Monica Oltra, Valencia's vice president and minister for Equality and Inclusive Policies, called the Cardinal a misogynist. If found guilty of the charges against him, Cañizares could face up to three years in prison.


Coffee With Jesus

You Get What You Vote For

 Please remember that Catholics voted by 50% to 47% Obama over Romney...

Churches in California are officially subject to an onerous state regulation that requires them to pay for abortions, thanks to a ruling by the Obama administration.
The troubling situation began in 2014 when the California Department of Managed Health Care reclassified abortion as a “basic health service” under the Affordable Care Act and ordered all insurance plans in the state to begin covering surgical abortions immediately. Even churches are not exempt from funding abortions.

The churches filed a lawsuit against the regulation last October, and it has been moving through the courts.
They also asked the Obama administration to uphold the Weldon Amendment — federal law that protects conscience rights. But, today, the HHS Office of Civil Rights released the results of its investigation into the California abortion mandate, stating it found no violation and is closing its investigation of the complaints without further action.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Trouble With Jesuits, Part 50

In a state ruled by a former Jesuit, perhaps we should not be shocked to find ourselves in the grip of an incipient state religion. Of course, this religion is not actually Christianity, or even anything close to the dogma of Catholicism, but something that increasingly resembles the former Soviet Union, or present-day Iran and Saudi Arabia, than the supposed world center of free, untrammeled expression.

Former Jesuit Jerry Brown

Two pieces of legislation introduced in the Legislature last session, but not yet enacted, show the power of the new religion. One is Senate Bill 1146, which seeks to limit the historically broad exemptions the state and federal governments have provided religious schools to, well, be religious.
Under the rubric of official “tolerance,” the bill would only allow religiously focused schools to deviate from the secular orthodoxy required at nonreligious schools, including support for transgender bathrooms or limitations on expressions of faith by students and even Christian university presidents, in a much narrower range of educational activity than ever before. Many schools believe the bill would needlessly risk their mission and funding to “solve” gender and social equity problems on their campuses that currently don’t exist.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

I'm Glad We Got THAT Cleared Up

Eye of the Tiber explains:

Pope Francis said Thursday that the majority of the words that come “spilling” out of his mouth are invalid because most of the time he doesn’t understand that what he says is permanent.
“We live in a culture of the provisional,” the Pontiff said, responding to a question about the “crisis of his pontificate.”
Francis said he often doesn’t comprehend the importance of what he’s saying when speaking off-the-cuff, which he said is “indissoluble.”
“Sadly in today’s pontificate, I don’t understand that what I say will have ramifications for not only my pontificate, but of the many pontificates to come,” he said. “I say something random, and people do not know what it means. And because people listen to me with the philosophy that I am the Pope, they believe I have fully contemplated and formulated what I am saying, which is, in many cases, not the case. This then makes what I say null.”
Francis went on to say that when Catholics have to spend most of their working lives defending what he says, and having to write blog posts or responses to comments on a combox asking if the “pope really said such and such,” clearly there is something invalid in many of the “weird, weird, weird” things that somehow manage to find their way from his brain to his mouth.

Does the Pope Remind You of Donald Trump, or Vice-Versa?

The Pope, once again, misses a chance to be quiet....

A layman asked about the “crisis of marriage” and how Catholics can help educate youth in love, help them learn about sacramental marriage, and help them overcome “their resistance, delusions and fears.”

The Pope answered from his own experience.

“I heard a bishop say some months ago that he met a boy that had finished his university studies, and said ‘I want to become a priest, but only for 10 years.’ It’s the culture of the provisional. And this happens everywhere, also in priestly life, in religious life,” he said.

“It’s provisional, and because of this the great majority of our sacramental marriages are null. Because they say ‘yes, for the rest of my life!’ but they don’t know what they are saying. Because they have a different culture. They say it, they have good will, but they don’t know.”

He spoke of his encounter with a woman in Buenos Aires who “reproached” him. She said that priests study for the priesthood for years and can get permission to leave the priesthood to marry and have a family. For the laity, this woman said, “we have to do the sacrament for our entire lives, and indissolubly, to us laity they give four (marriage preparation) conferences, and this is for our entire life.”

Edward Peters, JD, JCD, Ref.Sig.Ap disagrees:
Last time a ranking prelate (Cdl. Kasper) opined that half of all marriages were null his attribution of such a reckless assertion to Pope Francis himself could be dismissed as hearsay, deflected as referring to marriage in general and not Christian marriage in particular, or at least minimized as describing merely ‘many’ or even ‘half’ of all marriages. But none of those qualifications can be applied to blunt the impact of the pope’s startling claim “the great majority of our sacramental marriages are null”.
If last time was bad, this time is very bad.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

More for Less...I Mean, Fewer

El Salvador’s National Minimum Wage Council has proposed to raise the minimum wage by 5% each of the next three years—a proposal that the nation’s leading prelate has rejected as insufficient.
“I would say it is unfair and sinful not to pay proper wages to workers,” said Archbishop José Luis Escobar Alas of San Salvador, according to the Fides news agency.


Let's see....GDP is $8300 with a 2% growth rate. Remittances make up 17% of that! Unemployment is 6.2%, but does not include underemployed.

Raising the minimum wage has NEVER done anything to help the poor. It just makes more poor people.  With all due respect, don't know what you are talking about.

What else have you been up to?

In late December, the Archbishop of San Salvador, Jose Luis Escobar Alas, gave orders to remove the ceramic mural facade of San Salvador's Metropolitan Cathedral—without consulting the national government or the still-living Salvadoran artist, Fernando Llort. A large white sheet covered the cathedral's front as workers chipped off all 2,700 pieces of mural tile.

As the news spread, Facebook groups, such as Indignados por el Mural, gathered photograph, popular opinion, and press releases, and demanded answers. Photographs showed the church steps covered in dust and ceramic pieces being thrown into dumpsters. The Secretary of Culture formally condemned the act and declared it against El Salvador’s cultural patrimony law, under which changes to historical and cultural monuments in need of restoration must be approved by his office. A week later, the destruction of one of the country's most famous murals was still the major topic of discussion. 

I like this:
The Church's action speaks not only to a disregard for national cultural patrimony but also to the historical memory that conservatives want to erase.

One is a World Renowned Religious Scholar and Leader. THe Other is the Dalai Lama

Noted Theologian Nancy Pelosi and some old guy.


Blame Where It Doesn't Belongs

 From National Review's David French:

Somehow, Omar Mateen’s massacre has put American Christians on the defensive. We are now fully through the looking glass. A Muslim man walked into a gay nightclub and gunned down 49 men and women, most of them gay or lesbian. He paused in the middle of his massacre to call 911 and a local television station, making clear that he wanted the world to know he had pledged allegiance to ISIS. There are no dog whistles here. This is a textbook example of jihadism in action, plain and simple. Yet somehow, Omar Mateen’s massacre has put American Christians on the defensive. Yesterday, Anderson Cooper grilled Florida attorney general Pam Bondi, accusing her of hypocrisy for expressions of support for slain Floridians. Why was she hypocritical? Because she opposed same-sex marriage.
 The principles, such as they exist, seem to be this: If you oppose same-sex marriage or mixed-gender bathrooms, then you not only can’t legitimately grieve the loss of gay lives, you’re partially responsible for the massacre in Orlando. Conservative efforts to protect religious freedom and freedom of association from unprecedented infringement will kill people. Never mind that all the actual evidence in the case points to Islamic motivations extrapolated from well-known and widely shared interpretations of Shariah law, somehow those darn Baptists are to blame.

 Read the whole thing.

I'm in accord with the guy that won the "Draw Mohammad" contest in Texas:

I had nothing to do with the atrocity in Orlando. You had nothing to do with it. America had nothing to do with it. Only a devout Muslim did

I Offer This Without Comment

(Vatican Radio) The world of the Circus spreads “a culture of encounter” and those working in such traveling shows have a unique opportunity “to be Christ’s witnesses” to “even the most distant” of people:  that’s what Pope Francis said Thursday to members of Italian circuses and traveling entertainment.
In a festive audience in the Vatican, Pope Francis greeted representatives of circus associations, employees of amusement parks and fairs, street performers, artists, designers and puppeteers, musicians and folk groups celebrating their Jubilee for Circus and Traveling Show People.  The Pope told them their festiveness and joy “are distinctive signs of your identity, your profession and your life” and that this appointment “could not be overlooked” in the Jubilee of Mercy.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Peso of the Beast

The frosty relationship between two of the world’s most prominent Argentinians appears to have taken a turn for the worse after it emerged that Pope Francis rejected a charitable donation from president Mauricio Macri – at least partly – because the sum included the figure 666.
Mauricio Macri

 Earlier this month, the centre-right president made a donation that totaled 16,666,000 pesos (slightly under $1.2m) from the Argentinian government to the Scholas Occurentes educational foundation, which is backed by the pope and is based on a similar organization founded by Francis when he was cardinal of Buenos Aires.

 Francis, who has long supported progressive causes in Argentina, and the centre-right president Macri have often found themselves on opposite sides of political debates.
But the pope is reported to have been particularly irritated when the Argentinian media presented the president’s donation as a sign that relations between the two leaders were improving.

Monday, June 13, 2016

And It DIDN'T Happen in Ireland!

NICOSIA, Cyprus — The best man slapped the groom on the back, which is an old Cypriot wedding custom. The priest punching the best man would be an innovation.
But Cyprus police said Monday they are investigating an allegation that this happened at a wedding over the weekend.
Police say the victim — the groom’s 22-year-old brother — was taken to a hospital but wasn’t seriously hurt and that his family filed a complaint.
A family member — speaking on condition of anonymity because the investigation is continuing — said the priest had initially gestured with a raised hand for the slapping to cease, then punched the brother in the chest and face when the warning went unheeded.

The family member told the Associated Press that the wedding unraveled during the ceremony’s Dance of Isaiah, when the priest, holding the Gospel, led the couple around the altar three times. With the backslapping continuing, the irate priest put the gospel down and unleashed on the brother.
“It’s a tradition that I don’t condone, but that was uncalled for. … He could have just interrupted the ceremony,” said the family member. He said although the priest hastily abandoned the ceremony after the kerfuffle, the couple did receive a marriage certificate.
“The wedding was spoilt after that with many people not showing up for the reception after word spread, but we made the best of it,” the family member said.
Bishop of Paphos Georgios backed the priest, whom he hailed as one of the best clerics in his diocese. He told the state-run Cyprus News Agency that the backslapping custom, dating from Ottoman times, doesn’t befit the island’s Orthodox Christian traditions.
The bishop said he had instructed priests to interrupt any ceremony where family or guests didn’t demonstrate the appropriate respect. He added he would investigate the matter.

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Requiescant in Pace

Thoughts from Father Humwicke

Those who died in the most truly appalling events at Orlando ... may they, through the all-atoning Sacrifice of our most sweet Redeemer and our suffrages, have remission of their sins: we pray this for them as we pray it for all the departed, since as Christians we believe that anyone who claims to be without sin is deceiving himself and the Truth is not in him. This, of course, goes equally for popes and for rent-boys and for you and for me.
Humanly, we may surely hope that many of those killed in a situation which prima facie may have been at least a proximate occasion of mortal sin, may, through their own ignorance, not have had that full knowledge and consent which would render their deeds and intentions as lethal subjectively as they are objectively. It is a sobering thought that it may be easier for us, who are instructed Catholics, to go to Hell than it is for the uninstructed.

And we pray for the wounded; for the families, friends, survivors, witnesses of those who died. Perhaps a particular prayer is appropriate for those who were not aware that their sons or daughters were being drawn into intrinsically disordered actions: parents for whom the horror of so dreadful a bereavement may even be  increased by that realisation.

And I think we need to be aware that the Hierarchs of the Spirit of this Age will use this fearful atrocity for their own purposes. Treating the victims of a deranged murderer as martyrs for a noble cause is likely to become a stock element in the perverted parody of the moral high ground which the Powers of Evil seek to inculcate. And it will become part of a campaign which, if it succeeds, will lead to the increasingly violent persecution of anybody who articulates the teaching of Scripture and of the Catholic Church (Catechism paragraphs 2357 and following).

Thursday, June 09, 2016

I'm Offended That You Are Offended By My Taking Offense

Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera of Valencia, Spain, faces criminal charges for a speech in which he said that gender theory is "the most insidious and destructive ideology of humanity in all history." 
The hateful Cardinal Llovera
 The Spanish Network of Help to Refugees filed a criminal complaint against the cardinal, saying that his statement was a hate crime. The group charged that Cardinal Cañizares "is an ultra-conservative trying to subvert the constitutional order." Under Spanish law, law-enforcement officials are required to conduct an investigation when such a charge is filed.
Cardinal Cañizares was the prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for Divine Worship before his appointment in 2014 as Archbishop of Valencia.

Well, SOME would argue that maybe Nazism might have gender studies in the "insidious and destructive" category. And what the heck is the "Spanish Network of Help to Refugees"? And why do they even care?

Unless there's an army we don't know about.....


Noted Theologian Nancy Pelosi is an award winner!

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 2, 2015 ( -- House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, says that same-sex “marriage” is perfectly "consistent" with Catholic Christianity.
Pelosi brought her grandchildren to see her receive an award from the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, to show the young, impressionable children that "marriage equality is important."
Noted Theologian, Nancy Pelosi
 In an interview with Thomas Roberts on MSNBC, Pelosi said she took the children to the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund gala because "it's really important to see what the practice of our faith is."
Pelosi, who described herself as a faithful Christian and “mainstream Catholic,” said her pre-adolescent grandchildren needed to see and be present at a gay and lesbian celebration in order "to give them the image that we have for all people," meaning the image the Catholic Church has for all.

The House Minority Leader explained that same-sex marriage "is important," and that her grandchildren "have been hearing this [message supporting gay 'marriage'] their whole life" because "they go to Catholic school." (ed. note - in San Francisco).

In perhaps the most controversial of her statements, Pelosi said, matter-of-factly, that same-sex 'marriage' "is consistent with the dignity and worth we [Catholics] attribute to every person."

Winning the War Without Firing a Shot

Italian Catholics are being told to pray silently to avoid offending anyone. 
Parishioners in the Italian parish of St. Anthony in Ventimiglia, a small town in northwestern Italy about four miles from the border of France, were ordered Saturday by a Catholic aid organization volunteer to pray the Rosary silently so the Muslim migrants living in the church would not be offended. 

With a population of about 55,000, Ventimiglia has been overwhelmed by Muslim migrants, receiving over 50 every day, many of which are housed in Catholic churches. 

ANSA reports a parishioner snapped back at the volunteer, telling him to "bring migrants into another church." The parish priest, Don Rito, instead took the parishioners to another church close by where they could pray out loud.

The "Catholic aid organization is CARITAS, a branch of the social justice warrior wing of the Catholic Church.

After seeing this photo of the church, I can't imagine why ANYONE would want to go there.

Tuesday, June 07, 2016


 The president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines has defended his silence in the face of strong criticism of the Church by the nation’s president-elect.
Describing the recent election as “referendum between me and the Catholic Church,” Rodrigo Duterte, 71, used an obscenity to describe bishops and said that “the most hypocritical institution is the Catholic Church.”
Duterte, founder of the Church of Duterte

“I will lecture until June 29,” the day before his inauguration, “on whether or not you are still relevant,” Duterte added, as he described himself as an ex-Catholic who has founded a new church, the “church of Duterte.”
Defending his silence in wake of Duterte’s remarks, Archbishop Socrates Villegas said that “mine is the language of peace that refuses the dark magic of revenge. Mine is the silence of respect for those who consider us their enemies but whose good we truly pray for and whose happiness we want to see unfold.”
“Mine is the silence of Jesus before the arrogance of Pilate,” the prelate added.
Archbishop Villegas

 The CIA Factbook says the Phillipinos are:

Catholic 82.9% (Roman Catholic 80.9%, Aglipayan 2%), Muslim 5%, Evangelical 2.8%, Iglesia ni Kristo 2.3%, other Christian 4.5%, other 1.8%, unspecified 0.6%, none 0.1% (2000 census)

Yup. Trumpesque.

Monday, June 06, 2016

Deeply Significant is an Understatement

What began with glowing rosaries and the rediscovery of a statue of the Virgin Mary in Argentina has now been approved by the local bishop as a series of apparitions that are “of supernational origin” and worthy of belief.

And the designation is deeply significant, recognizing the messages of Our Lady of the Rosary of San Nicolas, which exhort peace and give dire warnings, one miracle researcher says.
Bishop Hector Cardelli of San Nicolas in Argentina’s Buenos Aires province made the announcement May 22 at the conclusion of a Mass during the well-attended pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary of San Nicolas.
The bishop has investigated the contents of the apparitions through 1990....

The apparitions began after some rosaries in homes throughout San Nicolas de los Arroyos in Buenos Aires Province began to glow without any explanation.

Gladys Quiroga de Motta
A wife and mother named Gladys Quiroga de Motta saw these glowing rosaries and began to pray to the Virgin Mary. The Virgin appeared to her on Sept. 25, carrying the infant Jesus and wearing a blue gown and veil. Her figure glowed with light.
With only a fourth-grade education, Gladys had no great knowledge of the Bible or theology. She is a mother of two daughters and a grandmother.  
At various times, the Virgin Mary apparition referred the woman to several Bible verses. One month after the first appearance, the apparition gave Gladys a white rosary and said, “Receive this Rosary from my hands and keep it forever and ever. You are obedient; I am happy because of it. Rejoice, for God is with you.”
The Virgin Mary asked Gladys to go look for a statue that had been blessed by a Pope and was forgotten away in a church. She found the statue on Nov. 27, 1983. It was in the belfry of the diocesan cathedral.
The statue in question was of the Mother of God holding the Child Jesus. It had been brought from Rome after it was blessed by Pope Leo XIII. Following the Virgin’s instructions, it was found in the bell tower of the church. The statue resembled the apparition.

We're Doomed. Again.

 Here's the Headline:

Is this the end of Catholicism?

This was harder than I thought it would be,” Margaret O’Brien told a CBS reporter last weekend. O’Brien, 86, had been one of the hundred or so parishioners holding a round-the-clock vigil at St. Frances X. Cabrini Church in Scituate, Mass.

Eleven years ago the Boston Archdiocese announced that it was closing the parish, a reorganization necessitated by the financial settlements after the clergy sex-abuse scandal. The parishioners at St. Frances have tried to alter the hierarchy’s decision using canon law as well as the US legal system, maintaining a presence in the building so it would not be sold out from under them.
But last month, they lost their final appeal when the Supreme Court declined to take their case. And on Sunday, they held their final service, holding 11 prayer quilts the community had created to commemorate each year of their battle.

 The story says these are just the kind of Catholics we need to save the Church from declining attendance. 

While the Catholic hierarchy may not have had a choice in closing the parish, in order to thrive they need to re-create exactly the kind of community that St. Frances had become. Especially with a decline in vocations, the church is more dependent on lay participation than ever.

So how did these upright and outstanding Catholics respond to the closure?

While the hierarchy has expressed its hope that the St. Frances congregants will join other local parishes, they say they are done. Starting next week, the members will be forming a religious institution independent of the church, meeting initially at the local Masonic lodge.

Good Catholics? I say....

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Tithing and the Church

 The website Canon Law Made Easy provides some interesting thoughts on the the teachings of the Church with regards to tithing.

The site does not allow copying and pasting, so you will have to go there to read the whole thing but the short answer is NO. Tithing is not required. Here's the Canon Law:

 Can. 222.1

The Christian faithful are obliged to assist with the needs of the Church so that the Church has what is necessary for divine worship, for the works of apostolate and of charity, and for the decent support of ministers.

 Says the site:

But note that Can. 222 says absolutely nothing about tithing, much less does it attach the penalty of excommunication to anyone who does not tithe. In fact, the current law provides no numerical figures or calculations at all. For that matter, a close look at the Latin wording will show that it doesn't actually require the faithful to give money! The terminology indicates that Catholics are to assist the Church, to come to its help as needed - and there are many different, genuine ways to do this that don't involve one's wallet.

I was wondering about this after having read the first reading form the Genesis  last Sunday:

In those days, Melchizedek, king of Salem, brought out bread and wine,
and being a priest of God Most High,
he blessed Abram with these words:
"Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
the creator of heaven and earth;
and blessed be God Most High,
who delivered your foes into your hand."
Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.

Banana Vitae

Eye of the Tiber reports:
 Animal rights activists have created an online petition asking the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to waive the sainthood waiting period for Harambe, the endangered 450-pound gorilla who was fatally shot after a boy fell into its “hermitage” at the Cincinnati Zoo.
The petition, which has already gathered over 300,000 signatures, asks Pope Francis to immediately proclaim Harambe a saint, elevating the great ape to the universal veneration of the Church.
“By canonizing Harambe, the Pope will not be making him a saint,” said Toby Porter who is spearheading the canonization effort. “We already know he’s a saint because he’s an animal, and all animals are worthy of eternal veneration regardless of whether they are dead or alive. Rather, Pope Francis will simply be declaring that our silverback gorilla is already with God and is an authentic example of following Christ, and worthy of imitation by the faithful, both human and ape.”
Porter later went on to add that he hoped Harambe would be added to the general calendar of the Church.
In response, Pope Francis announced this morning that he would be issuing a new encyclical titled, Banana Vitae, reaffirming the orthodox teaching of the Catholic Church regarding responsible conservation of animals and their habitats.

At press time, animal rights activists have also announced plans to ask Pope Francis to excommunicate the parents of the boy who fell into the gorilla “hermitage” for negligence, as well as the zookeeper who shot Harambe for violating the spirit of Laudato Si.

Mongolia Moves Into a Tie With the Diocese of Belleville, 1-1

The little Catholic community of Mongolia-- about 1,000 strong-- awaits the ordination of the first native priest in August.

Bishop Padilla

Bishop Braxton
Deacon Joseph Enkh will be ordained on August 28 by Bishop Wenceslao Padilla, the apostolic prefect of Ulan Bator. He received his training in South Korea, and was ordained to the diaconate there in December 2014. Returning then to Mongolia, he has been visiting country's six parishes-- which to date have been served exclusively   by foreign missionary priests.

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Formerly Catholic University Celebrates Diversity!

The Gay and Lesbian Alumni of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s (GALA-ND/SMC) named Notre Dame junior Samuel Cho and Saint Mary’s junior Maranda Pennington the recipients of its 2016-2017 LGBTQ student scholarships.
Jack Bergen, the chair of GALA and a 1977 Notre Dame graduate, said the scholarship was instituted in spring of 2015, making this year its second consecutive year in what he hopes to be a continued tradition.
Leprechauns are ADORABLE!

“When we were starting this up, we talked … and decided creating this scholarship would be a great way to demonstrate our support and to help eligible and qualified students with their financial burden at Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s,” he said.
Bergen said like most alumni groups, GALA has two primary purposes — to continue to engage alumni of the University and the College and to stimulate interactions between alumni and current students.
“As a result of the University more actively recognizing the LGBTQ student population as part of the community, we felt that it was time to do more for the LGBTQ students on campus,” he said.