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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Tolerance Means Nothing Anymore

Or as Cardinal George said, "I expected to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square."

 City Won’t Let Farmer Serve Food to Everyone

Steve Tennes owns and operates Country Mill Farms, an organic apple farm located 22 miles outside of East Lansing in Charlotte, Michigan. Since 2010, his farm has participated in the East Lansing Farmer’s Market. While at the market, Country Mill has always complied with East Lansing laws, including its “Human Relations” law that makes it illegal for public accommodations to discriminate based on sexual orientation and other classifications and to publish any statement indicating someone is unacceptable because of these classifications.

As a Catholic taught to treat everyone with dignity and respect, Steve has gladly served and sold apples to all comers, regardless of their sexual orientation. Steve doesn’t discriminate. Okay, so what’s the problem then? Well, in 2016, Steve posted on the Country Mill Facebook page about his Catholic belief that marriage should be between one man and one woman and that his farm could only host weddings consistent with his faith.
Well, that did it. Normal rules go out the window when that subject comes up. Although his decision violated no law in Charlotte, it did violate East Lansing’s orthodoxy on that issue. After hearing about Steve’s beliefs, East Lansing officials expelled Steve, telling him that Country Mill could no longer participate in the Farmer’s Market. When Steve asked why, the officials responded that County Mill’s “general business practices” outside the city had violated East Lansing’s “anti-discrimination” law. As proof of his wrongdoing, officials pointed Steve to his Facebook post that explained his religious beliefs.

Well, at Least They Didn't Behead Them

The Callanish Stones (or "Callanish I", Clachan Chalanais or Tursachan Chalanais in Scottish  Gaelic) are an arrangement of standing stones placed in a cruciform pattern with a central stone circle. They were erected in the late Neolithic era, and were a focus for ritual activity during the Bronze Age. They are near the village of Callinish (Gaelic: Calanais) on the west coast of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland.

According to one tradition, the Callanish Stones were petrified giants who would not convert to Christianity.

Islamic Outreach, Part C

Part C as in 100.

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."


.- Last week, members of a terrorist group destroyed a Catholic chapel, desecrating consecrated hosts and religious icons, during a nine-hour long attack on the town of Malagakit in southern Philippines.
The June 21 attack was reportedly carried out by about 300 gunmen of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, known as BIFF, which has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State. In the siege they also robbed houses and stores at gunpoint, causing the displacement of hundreds of residents.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Nativity of St. John the Baptist, June 24

Who knew....
A horse rears in the crowd during the traditional San Juan (Saint John) festival in the town of Ciutadella, on the Balearic Island of Menorca, on the eve of Saint John's day.

 The reorganisation of the churches and parishes of Menorca by King Jaime II of Mallorca in the late XIII century included that of St John the Baptist, situated five kilometres south of Ciutadella. This parish had its name changed following the Christian conquest of Menorca from the parish of Artruix (a name designating the whole of the south of Ciutadella) to being known as the parish of St John the Baptist. Today, it is known as Sant Joan de Missa, the little parish church which lost its parochial rites on being linked to the parish of Ciutadella, the home of Menorca’s cathedral.

The fiesta’s Medieval origins are also apparent in the group of horsemen and their attire that lead the proceedings. The municipal council of Ciutadella would elect a committee from different social sectors to administer the religious buildings and charitable works. This was led by a nobleman and included a priest, two farmers and an artisan, and the committee members were known as ‘Caixers’. The committee also organised important festivities, the most important being the birth of St John the Baptist on 24 June, the eve of which a pilgrimage was arranged to the hermitage. After mass everyone returned to the town at sunset when bonfires were lit and people celebrated by dancing in the streets. The following morning mass was held in honour of the saint.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Cardinal Tobin Walks the Tightrope

The Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark 
.- Last month Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Newark welcomed a pilgrimage of self-identified LGBT pilgrims, with an archdiocesan spokesman saying it should be seen in the context of welcoming everyone, not as archdiocese sponsorship of the event.
Cardinal Tobin

“I think that the central point that is missing from the majority of the media coverage and blog postings about this pilgrimage is that the cardinal was asked whether he might welcome a group of pilgrims who identify as LGBT. He said yes, we welcome all in the name of Christ,” James Goodness, communications director for the Archdiocese of Newark, told CNA.
“This was not an event sponsored by the archdiocese, and we did not promote or advertise it,” Goodness said. “It was a purely private event.
Some news coverage of the pilgrimage depicted it as a shift within the Church.

Monday, June 19, 2017

And Then Pigs Flew

Holy Cow! A Jesuit Talking Sense!

The Church should not defend Islam “at all costs” and seek to “exonerate it from the horrors committed every day in its name” or else “one ends up betraying the truth,” a leading Jesuit scholar of Islam asserted.

Greek Melkite Jesuit Father Henri Boulad believes that when it comes to dealing with Islam, the Catholic Church has succumbed to a “liberthal left ideology which is destroying the West” based on the pretext of “openness, tolerance and Christian charity.” 
In a June 10 interview with the Register, Father Boulad reveals that he shared these sentiments with Pope Francis in a letter he wrote to him last August, telling him that many think the Pope’s own views on Islam are “aligned with this ideology, and that, from complacency, you go from concessions to concessions, and compromises in compromises, at the expense of the truth.”
“Christians,” he wrote, “are expecting something from you other than vague and harmless declarations that may obscure reality.”  

That'll Show 'em!

VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Pope Francis has long railed against corruption and the mafia, but now the Vatican is considering developing a whole doctrine around excommunicating corrupt and mafia-tinged Catholics.
The Vatican this week hosted its first conference on corruption and organized crime, inviting 50 prosecutors, U.N. officials, bishops and victims of organized crime for a day of talks.
Organizers said in a statement Saturday that the time had come to develop a new legal doctrine for the Catholic Church around "the question of excommunication for corruption and mafia association."

Michael Corleone could not be reached for comment.

Friday, June 16, 2017

The Scarecrow Will Have To Look Elsewhere

.- A relic of St. John Bosco, which had been stolen from an Italian basilica two weeks ago, has been recovered, the local Prosecutor's Office reported.

An urn containing a relic of St. John Bosco’s brain was discovered missing on June 3. The reliquary was kept in the Basilica of John Bosco in Asti, the saint's birthplace, fewer than 20 miles east of Turin.

Beer is a Gift From God

.- It was God and beer sales that helped sustain the Benedictine monks of Norcia, and it is God and beer sales that will help them rebuild.
Last year, in August and again in October, strong earthquakes rocked the town of Norcia, Italy, killing hundreds of people and destroying the 14th century Basilica of St. Benedict, where the monks of Norcia dwelt.
Miraculously, their brewery, where they produce Birra Nursia, was mostly left intact.
The monks were forced to dwell in tents and cabins through a particularly cold Italian winter while they began rebuilding a new, earthquake-proof monastery in San Benedetto in Monte, just outside the walls of Norcia.
Now, the monks  have announced a special project that will help them rebuild: Leffe, a Belgian brewery, has agreed to partner with the monks for a special edition brew, the proceeds of which will go directly to the monks’ new monastery.

Unfortunately, it will only be available in Italy.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Catholic Beard Balm

I just ordered the Crusader package - three different scents. You can order here. It's fun and a worthy cause.
.- What do you do with an excess of chrism and a plethora of Catholic men with beards?
Tony Vasinda, a director of faith formation at a Catholic parish in Seattle, Wash., was faced with that dilemma three years ago when he ordered some of the fragrant, liturgical oil for his confirmation students.

“I love it when people can actually engage with the materials of the sacrament in advance, so I wanted to have some non-blessed chrism we could use for the candidates to smell and help cement in their memory the different lessons we were teaching,” Vasinda told CNA.
When he went to order essence of chrism, Vasinda only needed an ounce. But the minimum amount he could order was enough to make three gallons.
“So I had a little bit of an excess of chrism,” he joked.
Around that same time, Vasinda had been making beard balms for himself and his bearded friends, and he had an idea for what to do with his surplus.
“I thought hey, wouldn’t it be funny if I made some chrism-scented Catholic beard balm?”

Monday, June 12, 2017

African La Raza

.- Pope Francis met on Thursday with a delegation from a Nigerian diocese which for the last four and a half years has refused to recognize the bishop who was appointed as its shepherd.
Bishop Okpaleke
He demanded that the clerics of the Diocese of Ahiara accept the bishop appointment that has been made, or face suspension and loss of office.
Fr. Peter Okpaleke was appointed Bishop of Aasiara in December 2012 by Benedict XVI. But the Ahiara diocese is dominated by the Mbaise ethnic group. As an outsider from the nearby Diocese of Awka, Fr. Okpaleke was rejected by much of Ahiara's clergy and laity, who wanted one of their own to be appointed bishop over them.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Stuck On Stupid

.- Pope Francis on Monday challenged the Consolata Missionaries to give a “new impetus” to their missions work, including by inculturation of the Gospel, promoting family values, and dialogue with Islam.

Don't get stuck on stupid.

Islamic Outreach Part XCIX

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.",


Days after the Islamic State reportedly kidnapped 15 people from a church (including a priest and nuns) in Marawi, Philippines, the terrorist group released a video showing showing the destruction of a Catholic Church.
The terrorists can be seen smashing statues, tearing a picture of Pope Francis and finally setting the church on fire.
The militants belong to the Maute terror group, which pledged allegiance to ISIS in 2015.
The same Islamic State-allied militants in the Philippines took a Catholic priest and a group of church-goers hostage on May 22-23, threatening to kill them if the nation’s military does not cease its current offensive against them. They also burned the Catholic cathedral of Marawi. ISIS has destroyed numerous Catholic Churches in the regions they control.

Brainless Thief Steals Brain

ROME (RNS) Police set up roadblocks in northern Italy after a thief posing as a pilgrim stole tiny fragments of the brain of John Bosco, one of the country’s most revered saints.
St. John Bosco

The thief entered the church, named after the 19th century saint in Castelnuovo, near Turin, last Friday (June 2), and left with a glass case containing the relic of the saint, who is also known as Don Bosco.
Devotees often visit the church to pray before the relic kept behind the altar. On Sunday, pilgrims gathered at the Don Bosco Basilica to pray for its return.

Great Saint...but his name reminds me of...

Saturday, June 03, 2017

Noted Theologian Nancy Pelosi Explains How God Thinks

Apparently,God thinks just like Noted Theologian Nancy Pelosi. Besides, I thought the polluted air crisis of the future is resolved through abortion and gay marriage!

13th Annual Clericus Cup

.- Upon winning the Vatican's annual soccer championship last week, the victorious team honored Christians in Egypt who have faced increasingly brutal persecution in recent years.
“I would like to dedicate this trophy to our friends from the Coptic Church,” said Deacon Sama Joan Romeo of Cameroon, the team captain of the Urban Lions.
Catholic seminarians and clergy drew soccer teams from the pontifical universities and colleges of Rome May 27 for the 13th annual Clericus Cup competition.
African players are  heavily represented on the team from the Pontifical Urban University, nicknamed “The Lions of Africa.” They hail from countries including Uganda, Cameroon, Tanzania and Botswana.
“All the world is playing in the field, not so much to highlight the word of soccer, as that of the Gospel,” Alborghetti said.
Over 400 players competed, but the May 27 finals came down to two teams: one from the Pontifical Gregorian University, called “Gregoriana,” the other from the  Pontifical Urban University, the “Urban Lions.”

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

I, For One,, Am Glad to Bow To Our Education Degree Overlords

A middle school in Akin, Illinois is under fire when school officials decided not to allow Seth Clark, a 13-year-old salutatorian, to deliver his eighth-grade graduation speech because of its Christian content.
The speech contained a quote from the Bible and mentioned "God-like forgiveness." A local citizen complained, which led to the officials' decision, according to Benton Evening News.

FYI - the student had to submit a copy of the speech in advance to the teachers. I have a hunch that is where the protest came from.
Hotbed of Religious Bigotry

As a public school, it is our duty to educate students, regardless of how different they or their beliefs may be," school Superintendent Kelly Clark said in a statement to Benton Evening News.
"While students are welcome to pray or pursue their faith without disrupting school or infringing upon the rights of others, the United States Constitution prohibits the school district from incorporating such activities as part of school-sponsored events, and when the context causes a captive audience to listen or compels other students to participate."

Monday, May 29, 2017

Leo Durocher Came To Mind

In the words of Leo Durocher, "Show me a good loser, and I'll show you an idiot."

This is the real cover:

Islamic Outreach, Part XCVIII

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.",


.- A Filipino cardinal has prayed for the release of Catholic hostages held by Islamist militants who have seized parts of a city on Mindanao, appealing to Muslim leaders to help secure their release.
“I pray for the safety of all the hostages. I appeal to the consciences of the hostage takers not to harm the innocent as the Islamic faith teaches. I appeal to religious leaders of Islam to influence the hostage takers to release the hostages unharmed,” Cardinal Orlando Quevedo of Cotabato told Radio Veritas.

Said the Guy Who Doesn't Pay Taxes

.- The former head of the US bishops decried President Trump's budget plan, claiming its cuts to social services conflict with both the Catholic faith and American principles.

“Whether through Social Security, Medicaid, food stamps or foreign aid, our nation has recognized that our worth is judged by how we treat the most vulnerable among us,” Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky said in a May 24 article published by Courier-Journal.
“The concept is shared by many religions and has become part of the ethos of the United States.”

Monday, May 22, 2017

Notre Dame Imitates the Eye of the Tiber

A Catholic university is under fire this week after school administrators accidentally hired 37-year-old Todd Alguire, a practicing Catholic, to head their Department of Theology.
Diocesan bishop Kevin Sterling  has now demanded an investigation into the ‘offensive’ hiring after rumors spread that students would need to “brush up on the fundamentals of the Catholic  faith” before beginning this upcoming semester.
Ryan Gurley, a sophomore who described himself as ‘devoutly spiritual,’ told EOTT that his refusal to participate in any further religion classes might lead to his suspension.
“I understand that I’ll eventually either be suspended, or I won’t ever be able to graduate, but I have to stand my ground. I’ll never cave when it comes to my faith. I’m a spiritual zealot, which means I faithfully believe in every religion – so long as it isn’t Christianity, of course.  And that’s why I now stand on my rights as an American citizen and Catholic to not be forced to have to learn the tenets of Catholicism in a Catholic school. What next, having to learn the fundamentals of analytic geometry in Calculus class?”
At the University of Notre Dame, students walked out on a commencement address by Vice-President Mike Pence.

Speaking on Sunday ahead of his graduation, Bryan Ricketts told CNN he would be walking out after learning solidarity during his time at Notre Dame.
"Personally, I know Mike Pence's policies from his time as governor, when he tried to implement RFPA (The Religious Freedom Restoration Act) without civil rights protections for LGBTQ people. As a gay man, this directly impacted me. However, many graduates here have been directly targeted by other policies -- for example, those students and their families who are undocumented and who risk deportation to celebrate this milestone in their lives," Ricketts said.
Fellow protester Jenn Cha said it there needed to be space for dialogue between people of different beliefs. "However, it is an egregious insult to invite Pence to speak at the celebration of the accomplishments of university graduates, many of whom are LGBTQ, first-generation, low-income, and people of color he has actively supported legislation against," she said.

Mexico...the new Spain!

Over the past nine years, Spain has been hit particularly hard by the worldwide economic crisis.
It was in recession from 2008-2009 and 2011-2013, and unemployment in the country is at about 19 percent, with unemployment rates twice as high for people under the age of 25, forcing younger generations to leave the country to find work.
Spaniards are cutting back on expenses everywhere, including opting for smaller, civil wedding ceremonies and celebrations rather than large church weddings, which are down 50 percent since the crisis began.

But there is one thing for which Spaniards are still willing to splurge: First Communion parties.
Parties include fancy, wedding-like dresses for girls, cake, food, photoshoots, and entertainment. Sometimes families will even borrow money or take out a loan in order to “have the communion that God demands,” Francesc Nuñez, sociologist at Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, told Marketplace.
It’s a distinctly religious phenomenon too, he noted, as there is no secular “proxy” for a First Communion party, as there are for events like wedding ceremonies. Despite waning numbers of active churchgoers, approximately 70 percent of Spaniards still self-identify as Catholic.
Which explains my having to vacuum the Church - again - last Friday.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

This Can't Be a Real Thing, Can it?

The Rev. Jerry Hogan, of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops' Circus and Traveling Shows Ministry, leads a baptism service for the son of a member of the crew before a Ringling Bros. circus show at the Dunkin' Donuts Center in Providence, R.I. Hogan's vestments were made by the costume department from old elephant blankets.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Well, At Least He Doesn't Feel "Sassy"

ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (AP) -- Pope Francis has effectively dismissed reports of continuing apparitions of the Virgin Mary at the Medjugorje shrine in southern Bosnia, saying the visions "don't have much value" even if the shrine itself has helped Catholics find God.

Unlike Fatima or Lourdes, France, the Medjugorge phenomenon has never been declared authentic, in part because the local bishops have long cast doubt on the reliability and interests of the "seers."
Did you say "naughty"?

Francis said he knew he was being "naughty" in doubting the Medjugorje phenomenon, in which six youngsters reported seeing visions of the Madonna starting in 1981. Some have reported continuous visions ever since, with precise messages being delivered at pre-designated times, drawing skepticism that their claims were aimed more at bringing religious tourists to the otherwise unremarkable rural spot in southern Bosnia.

Well...Couldn't Hurt

.- After malware hacked as many as 200,000 computers throughout the world, the Russians have an idea: blessing the computers with holy water.
The most recent attacks have been through a form of ransomware called “WannaCry”, which is malicious software that locks up a person’s data and demands, either through a pop-up window or e-mail, that a ransom be paid or else the data will be destroyed.

Part of their solution? Invite Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church to bless computers and servers with holy water.
In a photo shared by @EnglishRussia1 on Twitter, Patriarch Kirill can be seen blessing the computers of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in hopes to protect them from the WannaCry virus. The Russian Orthodox Church has close political ties with the Russian government, making Patriarch Kirill as strong a political figurehead as a religious one in the country.  

Making Armor For the Swiss Guard

The Trouble With Jesuits, Part 64

Let's see what our Jesuit  friends have been up to....

Boston College's commencement speaker is Senator Bob Casey, who claims to be a Catholic...who disagrees with the Church about Gay marriage. He has also voted AGAINST defunding Planned Parenthood. 

Loyola University of Chicago has invited Mary Frances Berry, former Chairwoman of the Commission on Civil Rights. She has publicly advocated same-sex marriage.
Mary Frances Berry

Xavier Becerra is the University of San Francisco's choice. From The Cardinal Newman Society:

 Xavier Becerra, California’s pro-abortion attorney general, will deliver the School of Law commencement address at the University of San Francisco on May 20.

During his tenure as U.S. Congressman for the 30th District of California, Becerra earned a 100 percent rating from Planned Parenthood and NARAL for his votes against a ban on partial-birth abortion, supporting funding for abortions overseas, against a ban on human cloning, and in favor of embryonic stem cell research.Becerra also recently brought felony charges against the pro-life activists behind the Planned Parenthood undercover videos.

Did Anyone Lose a Boat Propeller?


Friday, May 12, 2017

Dumb and Dumber...and Father James Martin

May 9, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) -- Faithful Catholics may be in for a “surprise” when they “get to heaven to be greeted by LGBT men and women,” said a controversial Catholic priest who was appointed by Pope Francis last month to the Vatican’s communications office.
Jesuit priest Fr. James Martin, editor-at-large of the Jesuit-run America magazine, made the comment on his Facebook page on May 5  after posting a link to a pro-homosexual event put on by New Ways Ministry and calling it “another sign of welcome and building bridges.”
When one Facebook commenter responded that “any canonized Saints would not be impressed” by the infiltration of homosexuality within the Catholic Church, Martin replied that some of the saints are “probably gay.”​

The article continues:
But Catholic saint and doctor of the Church St. Peter Damian called homosexuality a “vice” that “opens up hell and closes the door of paradise.”
“This vice [of same-sex activity] is the death of bodies, the destruction of souls, pollutes the flesh, extinguishes the light of the intellect, expels the Holy Spirit from the temple of the human heart, introduces the diabolical inciter of lust, throws into confusion, and removes the truth completely from the deceived mind,” he wrote in his 11th century Book of Gomorrah. 
“It prepares snares for the one who walks, and for him who falls into the pit, it obstructs the escape. It opens up hell and closes the door of paradise,” he added. 

Poking the Hornets' Nest

I originally posted about this a while back:

BELGIUM, May 9, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) -- The Vatican has launched an investigation into Catholic psychiatric care centers in Belgium run by a Catholic order after it quietly approved euthanasia for patients earlier this year. 
The Vatican's Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin is running the investigation of the Brothers of Charity after the board of the Brothers’ institutions made a decision to allow a doctor to kill their patients who “suffer.”

The head of the Brothers of Charity, Brother Rene Stockman, had strongly opposed the decision to begin euthanizing patients. It was he who brought the matter to the attention of the Vatican as well as Belgium's Catholic bishops. 
Stockman said that he hopes for a “clear answer” from his country’s bishops as well as from the Vatican

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Catholics + Zombies = Zombie Catholics

.- Newly-elected President Emmanuel Macron, according to one of his biographers, embodies a new phenomenon in France known as “zombie Catholicism.”
Once among the most Catholic countries in the world, sometimes called the “eldest daughter of the Church,” France has seen serious decline in churchgoing numbers in modern times. While more than 50 percent of people still identify as Catholic, only 5 percent regularly attend Mass.
President Macron

“Zombie Catholics” of France share certain characteristics, the sociologists noted. They typically come from regions of the country where resistance to the French Revolution was the strongest.
“Highly educated and meritocratic, they also privilege a traditional ordering of professional and domestic duties between husbands and wives; strong attachment to social, community, and family activities; and a general wariness over the role of the state in private and community affairs, including ‘free schools’ (Catholic private schools),” they wrote.
According to Marc Endeweld, a biographer of Emmanuel Macron, the new president embodies this “zombie Catholic” phenomenon. Although born into a secular family, Macron asked to be baptized at age 12. While not a regular churchgoer, Macron symbolizes “those territories of Christian tradition that benefit from social structures and economic systems capable of counterbalancing globalization, in contrast to the more Jacobin territories that have lost the protection of the state.”