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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Joan of Arc Was in the Confederate Army???

Another day, yet another statue of a military hero is reportedly under fire. This figure astride a horse was vandalized with the spray-painted words "Tear It Down."

Who was this historical figure? General Lee? Stonewall Jackson? Nathan Bedford Forrest?

No, this was a figure who hails from the north.

Of France.

 The phrase "Tear it Down" was hastily sprayed in black paint across the base of the golden Joan of Arc statue on Decatur Street in the French Quarter sometime earlier this week. It has since been removed, with only the vaguest traces of the paint remaining.

Junipero Serra Was in the Confederate Army???

.- A statue of St. Junipero Serra in a Los Angeles public park appeared to have been vandalized last week in a time of national debate about historical statues.
The statue portrays the Franciscan friar in a favorable light, with his arm on the shoulder of an indigenous child. The park is across the street from the Mission San Fernando in Mission Hills community of Los Angeles. The mission was founded by Fr. Fermin Lasuen, another Franciscan, in 1797.
A picture of the statue was circulated on social media, showing it spray-painted red with the word “murder” written on the priest in white.

Down Under Goes Around the Bend

It emerged last fortnight that Queensland’s Department of Education wants to ban primary school students from talking about Jesus. Kate Jones, the relevant minister, hastily insisted that ‘no one is telling a child what they can and can’t say in the playground,’ and that current education policy remains as it has been ‘for more than 20 years’, but her department’s recent review of religious instruction in schools speaks for itself:
The Department expects schools to take appropriate action if aware that students participating in RI [Religious Instruction] are evangelising to students who do not participate in their RI class, given this could adversely affect the school’s ability to provide a safe, supportive and inclusive environment for all students. 
In the report, an example of inappropriate evangelistic action is (get this) praying for your fellow students. According to the Australian, earlier reviews cite further examples like ‘sharing Christmas cards that refer to Jesus’s birth,’ and ‘creating Christmas tree decorations to give away’. God knows what ‘appropriate action’ is supposed to be handed down to students who pray irresponsibly. A firm talking to? Expulsion? If ‘inclusivity’ is the orthodoxy of the day, should we perhaps reinstate the old punishment for heresy and bring back burning?

My favorite part of the article:
  The report gets even weirder when it recommends that biblical instructors refrain from mentioning anything too ‘violent’ that takes place in the Bible. This is an enormous ask. I don’t know if anybody writing the report has ever noticed, but Christians tend to wear these little gold ‘t’ shaped thingies on chains around their necks. If somebody from Queensland’s Department of Education and Training were to open a Bible, they might discover that the itty bitty aforementioned intersections of vertical and horizontal lines symbolically represent that time the Messiah was nailed to a cross until his lungs collapsed and he died. Violence is at the very heart of the Christian story. You may as well ask maths teachers to do their lessons without reference to numbers.


Friday, August 18, 2017

Swagger Wagon

The parking lot at St. Francis de Sales will be packed with these babies!

From Eye of the Tiber:

Just in time for back-to-homeschool, Ford’s roll-out of the new RAD-TRAD X9 is a nod toward its largest conversion van market segment: radical traditional Catholics.
The 15-passenger van, guaranteed to take up two or more parking spots at parish events, arrives at dealerships next week.
Intentionally built to pre-Vatican II safety standards, Ford’s engineers avoided certain modernist frills like seat-belts and air bags.  Nevertheless, reports suggest the RAD-TRAD X9’s low emissions of venial-grade wanderlust are fully California-compliant.

The van features automatic retractable steps for easier egress while wearing even the most frumpy modesty-ware.  State of the art, flat-earth-based GPS navigation,  spare chapel veil cubbies,  and parental media controls that block offensive stations like ESPN and EWTN are also included.
It comes standard with five controversial bumper stickers, most of which don’t make any sense to other drivers stuck behind the four-cylinder van, which reaches speeds as high as 50mph on the freeway.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Noted Theologian Has an Epiphany

Thirty years in the House, and she just now noticed them? I guess she was too busy thinking deep, theological thoughts.

House Minority Leader (and noted theologian) Nancy Pelosi  on Thursday said she supports removing Confederate statues from the U.S. Capitol and called on Speaker Paul D. Ryan to join the push to remove them “immediately.”
“The Confederate statues in the halls of Congress have always been reprehensible,” Mrs. Pelosi said in a statement.
A. H. Stephens, VP of the Confederate States and Democrat

“If Republicans are serious about rejecting white supremacy, I call upon Speaker Ryan to join Democrats to remove the Confederate statues from the Capitol immediately,” the California Democrat said.
“There is no room for celebrating the violent bigotry of the men of the Confederacy in the hallowed halls of the United States Capitol or in places of honor across the country,” she said.

Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States and Democrat

I Am What I Am

Holy Snakes!

Church Pop).- Every year, on the Orthodox feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos, a monastery on a Greek island experiences a miracle – dozens of snakes come to 'venerate' an icon of Mary.

In a phenomenon that has reportedly been happening for hundreds of years, black snakes begin appearing on the Greek island of Kefalonia between Aug. 5 and Aug. 15, the days when the Greek Orthodox Church celebrates the dormition of the Theotokos (Mother of God).

According to tradition, the miracle of the snakes began in 1705, when nuns of the monastery were about to be attacked by pirates. 


Legend has it that the nuns prayed fervently to the Virgin Mary, asking her that she turn them into snakes to avoid capture. Other versions say that the nuns prayed that the monastery be infested with snakes so as to scare away the pirates. Either way it happened, they were spared.
Since then, the small black snakes, known as European Cat Snakes, appear every year just before the feast, and make their way to the walls and entryways of the Church to 'venerate' the silver icon of Mary known as the Panagia Fidoussa, or the Virgin of the Snakes.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

I Will Be Paying Attention Tomorrow

From Father Z:
Like many other parishes, we have communion under both species. However, the deacon only adds a water to the chalice that the priest is consecrating. He does not add water to the other chalices on the altar. Are those chalices validly consecrated?
The old manuals such as Sabetti-Barrett  describe as a grave violation of law the failure of the priest to add some water to the chalice.  However, they were describing the addition of water to one chalice, not many… which is an innovation in the Roman Rite.
In the ancient Mediterranean world, wine was always cut with some water.  It is likely that Our Lord did the same at the Last Supper when He instituted the sacrament of the Eucharist.  Since the earliest days, water was added to the wine.  Also, the water is a symbol of our humanity being taken by the Second Person of the Trinity into an indestructible bond with His divinity.  So, the addition of water is also a theological statement against the heresy of monophysitism.

While it is a serious abuse to omit the addition of water to a chalice of wine to be consecrated, the lack of water does not make the wine invalid material for consecration.
On the other hand, if I am not mistaken, the rubrics only mention water being added to a singular chalice.  A solution could be to add water to the source of wine for the chalices to be consecrated.

Priests for Trump

.- For the ninth year in a row, Mexico is the most violent country in Latin America for priests, said a report from the Catholic Multimedia Center.

The report covers 2012 to 2017, which aligns with the presidency of current Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. During this time, 19 priests and two lay persons were murdered, and two priests reported as missing.  
“This year, 2017 specifically, has been disastrous for the priesthood in Mexico,” the Catholic Multimedia Center reported. “Four murders, two thwarted kidnappings, two iconic attacks, one at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Mexico City and the other at the Offices of the Mexican Bishops’ Conference, as well as hundreds of threats and extortions of priests and bishops.”

Friday, August 11, 2017

Relish the Relic

From the Catholic News Agency:

Is it weird that Catholics venerate relics? Here's why we do

.- “We are many parts, but we are all one body,” says the refrain of a popular '80s Church hymn, based on the words of 1 Cor. 12:12. 
While we are one body in Christ, if you happen to be a Catholic saint, the many parts of your own body might be spread out all over the world. 
Take, for example, St. Catherine of Siena.  
A young and renowned third-order Dominican during the Middle Ages, she led an intense life of prayer and penance and is said to have single-handedly ended the Avignon exile of the successors of Peter in the 14th century.
When she died in Rome, her hometown of Siena, Italy, wanted her body. Realizing they would probably get caught if they took her whole corpse, the Siena thieves decided that it would be safer if they just took her head. 

When they were stopped on their way out by guards outside of Rome, they said a quick prayer, asking for St. Catherine of Siena’s intercession. The guards opened the bag and did not find the dead head of St. Catherine, but a bag full of rose petals. Once the thieves were back in Siena, Catherine’s head re-materialized, one of the many miracles attributed to the saint. 

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

READING About this Gives Me the Creeps!

(CNN)A small group of nuns and priests met the woman in the chapel of a house one June evening. Though it was warm outside, a palpable chill settled over the room.

As the priests began to pray, the woman slipped into a trance -- and then snapped to life. She spoke in multiple voices: One was deep, guttural and masculine; another was high-pitched; a third spouted only Latin. When someone secretly sprinkled ordinary water on her, she didn't react. But when holy water was used, she screamed in pain.
"Leave her alone, you f***ing priests," the guttural voice shouted. "Stop, you whores. ... You'll be sorry."
You've probably seen this before: a soul corrupted by Satan, a priest waving a crucifix at a snarling woman. Movies and books have mimicked exorcisms so often, they've become clichés.
The 1973 film "The Exorcist" shaped how many see demonic possession.
But this was an actual exorcism -- and included a character not normally seen in the traditional drive-out-the-devil script.
Dr. Richard Gallagher is an Ivy League-educated, board-certified psychiatrist who teaches at Columbia University and New York Medical College. He was part of the team that tried to help the woman.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

This Will Come As a Surprise to Christopher Columbus

.- The impact of Our Lady of Guadalupe on the Americas should encourage Christians in the U.S. to continue to evangelize, even when their country seems headed in the wrong direction, Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles has said.
“Guadalupe is the true ‘founding event’ in American history. And that means it is the true founding event in the history of our country — and in the history of all the other countries in North and South America,” Archbishop Gomez said July 27. “We are all children of Guadalupe.”
“In God’s plan, this is one continent. It is meant to begin new civilization. A new world of faith,” he reflected.
Not sure what he's getting at with the last bit. North and South America are really one continent in "God's plan"? And which country is heading in the wrong direction> The United States? Mexico? I can guess...

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

In Heaven, There is no Beer

A group of trainee priests were surprised to be turned away from a pub after a member of staff thought they were on a stag do. The seven seminarians were initially barred from the City Arms in Cardiff on Saturday despite insisting their clothes were not fancy dress.

But they managed to get their celebratory pints on the house after the bar manager realised they were the real thing. Father Michael Doyle said the seven went to the pub in Quay Street to celebrate the ordination of Father Peter McLaren at Cardiff Metropolitan Cathedral of St David near Queen Street. He said it was a double celebration because Fr McLaren was the second to be ordained to the priesthood in a week. He added that the City Arms was a favourite of his colleagues including the Archbishop of Cardiff, George Stack. Fr Doyle said: “They arrived at the City Arms and they were dressed wearing the clerical collar.

The doorman basically said something along the lines of, ‘sorry gents, we have a policy of no fancy dress and no stag dos’.”

The doorman was good-natured but firm, and the students had started to leave when they were approached by the bar manager. “He basically said, ‘you’re real, aren’t you?’,” said Fr Doyle. “He invited them back in and when they walked back in the entire pub burst into a round of applause, and they had a free round off the City Arms.”

Saturday, July 29, 2017

As Rare as a California Condor!

Look! A Jesuit in a prayerful position. Granted, Superior General of the Jesuits Father Arturo Sosa, is in Buddhist temple, but....hey! It's a start!

St. Thomas (Patron Saint of Architects), Help Them!

South Summerlin is expanding, and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Las Vegas is trying to keep pace by building a new church.
“This area of town is growing very fast for south Summerlin, and there’s no Catholic church servicing this area,” said Rev. Bill Kenny, the founding pastor of Holy Spirit Catholic Church, which will seat 1,600 people.
The 27,846-square-foot structure will be the newest church in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Las Vegas. It will sit on a plot of land just under five acres at 5830 Mesa Park Drive, and is expected to be completed in April or May.
The contemporary, southwest-style church’s total costs are about $12 million, which include the building, parking lot, landscaping, furnishing and artwork.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Good Bye, And Thanks For...Something Or Other

He started his Charlotte career in 1974 as the first priest ordained in the brand new Catholic diocese here. He ends it this month as pastor of St. Matthew, the largest Catholic parish in the United States.
At 75, Monsignor John McSweeney will soon leave affluent Ballantyne – where this parish named for the patron saint of bankers was built – and move to Jamaica or Haiti, where he hopes to spend his retirement years living with and ministering to the poorest of the poor.
“I’m going to try to walk in the sandals of the Lord,” he says.

Sounds like a great guy, huh? Read on....
Echoing Pope Francis – the fifth pontiff to reign during McSweeney’s time as a priest – he’d like the church and the diocese to be more about hospitality and less about judgment. That means, he said, being more welcoming: Of divorced-and-remarried Catholics, of LGBTQ persons, and of others who have long felt excluded by the church.
With too few diocesan priests, including in Charlotte, where the Catholic population is booming, McSweeney said he’d also support the church re-opening the door to married priests by making celibacy optional – as it was the first 1,000 years of Roman Catholicism.
McSweeney said he’s also “very concerned” that many of the priests graduating from seminaries these days are too conservative and could spur a revolt by Catholics in the pews against the priests’ efforts to stifle the reforms of the Second Vatican Council. Also known as Vatican II, this council in the 1960s embraced church reform, including expanding the role for lay Catholics and celebrating the Mass in the local language more so than in Latin.
Because Vatican II has done wonders for Church participation.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Nuns Against Progress

This sad story features courageous nuns fighting Big Oil, a chapel, and social justice.  Or something. I suggest the "nuns" read what the definition of a chapel really is (according to the Catholic Encyclopedia).
The sisters of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ may lead simple lives of service to God, but their lives have been complicated recently. The proposed construction of a natural gas pipeline would cut through the farmland the order owns just outside of Columbia in Lancaster County, across the river from York County. 

They are in the middle of a fight to prevent the pipeline's developer, the Williams Company, an energy infrastructure firm headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, from seizing the right-of-way through their land to build a 120-mile-long pipeline that cuts through central Pennsylvania.  
The chapel is part of the fight, built on land Williams has gone I court to seize through eminent domain. It is more than a place of worship and prayer. It is a symbol of the order's resistance to the construction of the pipeline. 
The order, which has 2,000 members worldwide and more than 200 in the United States, has a lengthy history of activism and fighting for social justice and seeking, according to its mission statement, "to educate ourselves and the others on important issues of social justice in our world. Tragedies such as poverty, war, racism, and global warming separate us in a way that does not mirror our hope for the Kingdom of God." 
The order's motto is "You will lack nothing if God is with you. Be a woman of great courage."  
I guess depriving poor people affordable gas is part of the whole "social justice" thing.

76 Trombones Led the Spanish Mass

Apparently, all you  have to do is SAY your community is safe and welcoming and it becomes thus! Therefore, I declare myself to be rich and handsome! Voila!

The Jackson County Board faced a deadlock Tuesday evening as it failed to adopt a resolution that would proclaim the county as a safe and welcoming community for immigrants.
Six board members opposed the adoption of the resolution while six others voted in favor of it; with a split vote and no majority, the resolution did not pass.
However, Ana Migone, a family practitioner at SIH and a leader in the Spanish mass service at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, said she didn’t expect to see the level of animosity toward immigrants from the opposition.
“My heart was pounding so fast,” she said. “I was really worried that something was going to happen.”
I wonder how one becomes a "leader" in a "Spanish mass"? Do you just grab the baton?

Friday, July 21, 2017

Shut Up, He Explained

I'm no expert, but I am pretty sure Jesus never mentioned anything about illegal immigration. I am getting tired of Bishops in the United States (and the Pope) lecturing to me about what an awful person I am for thinking a secure border makes good sense.

.- A U.S. bishop (Bishop Mark Seitz of El Paso) on the border of Mexico hopes his new pastoral letter on migration will turn the hearts of Catholics to encounter their migrant brothers and sisters in a concrete way.

"What does Jesus have to say about the poor, about the marginalized, about what they can actually teach us and how they are the really important ones in the Kingdom of God?” he reflected.
Bishop Seitz began his letter by stating some of the great challenges facing migrant communities in the U.S., and how the Church should respond to them.
“Since Jesus announced Good News to the poor, our Church has been called to stand with the suffering,” he wrote, saying that “migrants are living through a dark night of fear and uncertainty.”
“Recently we have witnessed indefensible, hateful words towards our neighbors in Mexico, the demonization of migrants, even of those children known as Dreamers, and destructive language about our border,” he said.
He also pointed to other problems – the breaking up of families by deportations, an increase in deportations of those without criminal records, and the detention of asylum seekers.
The journey north to the U.S. through Mexico is a dangerous one, Bishop Seitz said, with harsh desert conditions, drug trafficking, and smugglers all posing a danger to migrants. Yet once they reach the border, “increased militarization and more walls will only make this journey even more dangerous.”
“As God’s people here on the border, we are called to transform this desert, making refreshing pools of the burning sands of injustice and quenching the thirst of the oppressed,” he wrote.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Trouble with Jesuits, Part 65

.- An analysis piece published Thursday in La Civilta Cattolica discusses what it calls a “surprising” and unfortunate alliance between conservative Catholics and evangelicals in the U.S. on issues such as immigration – suggesting the two are in direct opposition to Pope Francis' message of mercy.
The article, published online July 13, is co-authored by Fr. Antonio Spadaro, editor in chief of the Jesuit publication, and Marcelo Figueroa, a Presbyterian pastor who is editor in chief of the Argentine edition of L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican's newspaper.
Father Spadaro
Fr. Spadaro and Figueroa start from the US motto, In God We Trust, saying that for some this “is a simple declaration of faith,” but for others it is “the synthesis of a problematic fusion between religion and state, faith and politics, religious values and economy.”
The authors hold that in recent decades American politics have been shaped by “religion, political Manichaeism and a cult of the apocalypse.”
They cite President George W. Bush's speaking of the “axis of evil” and the US' duty to “free the world from evil” as an example of what they call “a Manichaean language that divides reality between absolute Good and absolute Evil.”

So it's like Pope Francis there good and evil in the world? "Who am I to judge?"

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Can You Hold Hands AND do the Orans Position?

There is no specific prohibition against holding hands during the Our Father, or any other time at Mass for that matter, either for the Novus Ordo or the TLM.
However, there is also no provision to ask or invite people to do so.  Were a priest or anyone else to do so during Mass he/she/? would commit a grave liturgical abuse.
Congregations of total or near total strangers might be spontaneously driven sincerely to hold hands in some circumstances.
But – and perhaps it is a lack of something on my part – I cannot see this hand holding stretch exercise across aisles, for example, as a regular practice as anything other than contrived sentimentalism which distracts us from the transcendent nature of God Almighty and the meaning of the petitions in the Our Father.

On a related note, during the Our Father the faithful are not to use the so-called “orans position” (“praying position” with hands extended, open), which is the proper hand position of the priest celebrating the Mass.  Even worse is when they hold that position after the Our Father through the (Protestant) addition that follows.  The orans position is reserved for a certain liturgical role (read: priest – not even deacons).  That position of extended hands is not appropriate for the lay faithful in the pews.
We must not mix or confuse liturgical roles.  Lay people have their own dignity without trying to jazz them up by – and how condescending is this? how clericalist? – allowing them to do what the priest does.  That’s the worst sort of clericalism and it is always used by libs, isn’t it?  The subtle message given, when roles are purposely confused for the sake of “active participation” or “getting the laity involved”, is really “You aren’t good enough on your own, so I’ll let you do something that I can do.”   Grrrrr.  But I digress.
So, I repeat: I am unaware of a prohibition of holding hands during Mass.  Spontaneous hand holding? Fine.  It must never be invited or imposed by someone with a microphone anywhere near the altar or by anyone in the pews.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

These Jesuits Will Stop at Nothing

.- Cardinal Joachim Meisner, archbishop emeritus of Cologne, Germany and one of four cardinals who sent the "dubia" to Pope Francis last year, passed away Wednesday morning at the age of 83.
According to a press release from the Archdiocese of Cologne, the cardinal died July 5 while on vacation in Bad Füssing, Germany. Recently, the prelate had lived in Cologne.
Archbishop of Cologne from 1989-2014, he retired with the permission of Pope Francis in February 2014, at the age of 80, the same year his age made him ineligible to vote in a conclave.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Cardinal Dolan Was Unavailable For Comment

Father Gerald Murray weighs in on Amoris Laetitia, one year on:

Cardinals Brandmueller, Caffarra, Burke, and Meisner
What are we to make of Year One of the Amoris Laetitia era? We have had: papal silence on the dubia; papal approval of a draft statement by a group of Argentine bishops of the Rio de la Plata region that opens the door to the reception of Holy Communion by divorced and civilly remarried Catholics; affirmations by Cardinal Müller that Holy Communion cannot be given to those living in a state of adultery; the publication by the pope’s own newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, of the statement by the Bishops of Malta that couples in invalid second marriages can receive Holy Communion if they at are at peace in their conscience with that decision; the reaffirmation by the Bishops of Poland that the teaching and discipline enunciated by St. John Paul II in Familiaris Consortio have not changed, and that only those civilly remarried couples who live as brother and sister may be admitted to Holy Communion; the Archbishop of Philadelphia saying the same thing; while the bishops of Belgium and Germany agree with the bishops of Malta and Rio del La Plata, Argentina.

This is the current unholy mess. As the four Cardinals lament: “And so it is happening – how painful it is to see this! – that what is sin in Poland is good in Germany, that what is prohibited in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia is permitted in Malta."

Geographically different doctrine within the same Catholic Church is not simply bizarre. It is impossible. If such is found to be the case, then we are dealing with error in one place and true doctrine in another. It is not that hard to tell which is which.